When Does Human Life Begin?

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Accountable
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Post by Accountable »

Lulu2 wrote: I don't think it's as much about "illegality" as it is control. Control of womens' bodies and control of their fates.That's really your interpretation of my opening post?
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Adam Zapple
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Post by Adam Zapple »

Lulu2 wrote: I don't think it's as much about "illegality" as it is control. Control of womens' bodies and control of their fates.


Of course it is. It couldn't possibly be about legitimate differences of opinions. No one in disagreement with the "choice" position could possibly have anything but impure motives.
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Post by koan »

If the battle over the legality of euthanasia was as vehement and violent as the battle over abortion, they could target hospital building that were full of patients who want to die and everyone would be happy. As long as they housed them in cheap buildings and bombed during a lunch break.
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Post by koan »

In fact, if they put them in buildings that need to be demolished it would be even better!
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Post by koan »

Diuretic wrote: Is this deliberate mockery I read before me?
:yh_giggle :yh_tong2
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Marie5656
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Post by Marie5656 »

I voted for at first breath. But I think the adendum would be at the time the baby is able to sustain life outside the womb.

I remember when Scott Peterson was charged with the murder of his wife and then unborn baby, that was the criteria used to charge him with the baby's death...because he would have been able to live outside the womb had he been born.
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Lulu2
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Post by Lulu2 »

ADAM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lulu2

I don't think it's as much about "illegality" as it is control. Control of womens' bodies and control of their fates.



Of course it is. It couldn't possibly be about legitimate differences of opinions. No one in disagreement with the "choice" position could possibly have anything but impure motives"



Good grief! Adam, you're among the very pure of heart--and I mean that sincerely. But you need to know that there actually ARE other people and organizations with more covert and sinister motives.

Yes, it's true!
My candle's burning at both ends, it will not last the night. But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--It gives a lovely light!--Edna St. Vincent Millay
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Adam Zapple
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Post by Adam Zapple »

Here's what I think. I don't know when life begins exactly but I think science is getting closer to answering that question for us.

It could be when the sperm penetrates the egg. This is certainly the ignition point of life. This union sparks the creation of the genetic makeup of a unique human being. It isn't a kumquat or a doorknob - it is human. However, I'm not convinced that this is quite yet "a life". Many times an egg and sperm join and pass out of the uterus unknown to anyone without becoming anything more.

I'm more inclined to believe life begins when the embryo implants itself in the uterus. Only then can the potential of the embryo be realized and become the human it is destined to be.

I've heard, and been somewhat persuaded, by arguments that life begins with brain waves. We determine that life has ended with the cessation of brain waves so it stands to reason that life begins with the introduction of brain waves (at approx 8 weeks). Makes sense but when I look at a 7 week old fetus, there is no doubt in my mind that what I am looking at is a human being. Though not fully developed, it is certainly a human offspring.

Until I'm convinced otherwise.....
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Post by Lulu2 »

Nobody "likes" abortion! Sometimes, it's necessary. And it should be legal and easily accessible.
My candle's burning at both ends, it will not last the night. But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--It gives a lovely light!--Edna St. Vincent Millay
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Post by Accountable »

It shouldn't be too easy. It cheapens human life enough as it is.
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Post by Lulu2 »

And what is "too easy?" If you're a woman living in a state which doesn't make terminations accessible, what do you do? It's not a matter of "cheapening human life"....it's a matter of honoring and respecting womens' choices.

The life of an adult, sentient human being is more important than an embryo. And that DOES value life!

JMHO, folks.
My candle's burning at both ends, it will not last the night. But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--It gives a lovely light!--Edna St. Vincent Millay
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Post by Accountable »

Lulu2 wrote: And what is "too easy?" If you're a woman living in a state which doesn't make terminations accessible, what do you do? It's not a matter of "cheapening human life"....it's a matter of honoring and respecting womens' choices.



The life of an adult, sentient human being is more important than an embryo. And that DOES value life!



JMHO, folks.I said it shouldn't be too easy, not inaccessible. Address what I write rather than what you think I mean.
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Post by Lulu2 »

Sorry...if you want precise definitions, perhaps you'll be more clear about just what constitutes "too easy." Mea culpa.
My candle's burning at both ends, it will not last the night. But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--It gives a lovely light!--Edna St. Vincent Millay
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Post by koan »

how do people here that stand against abortion rights feel about the pregnancy of a raped woman?
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Post by AussiePam »

Diuretic wrote:

Well it's this. How we define "life" and "living" is both scientifically and socially determined. In our own jurisdictions we'll struggle to find consensus on what we mean and we'll struggle to get it into local legislation. But there's no science behind it. "Life" begins when we say it does.


I think there is a lot of truth in what you say, Diuretic.

I've never terminated a pregnancy, but I've been closely associated with a couple of women who have.

For me there are two separate questions, although this thread appears to address only one.



The first question is when does life begin

The second is whether killing another human is right.

To the second, I'd have to say no. Killing another human being can't be right. It can't be good. However, we do it. We even do it legally and patriotically. The State may execute someone for some crime. In wars, soldiers kill. Killing in self defence is considered acceptable. In some places, people who wish to die are helped do this. Killing a potential child can't be right and good. But it's done. All I can say is that it would be really nice to have black and white in these moral issues. But they aren't black and white. Things can be bad and less bad. The case of the lesser evil. I hope that in any circumstances when human life is taken, it is never taken lightly.

As for the first question - I just don't know the answer.
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Post by Accountable »

Lulu2 wrote: Sorry...if you want precise definitions, perhaps you'll be more clear about just what constitutes "too easy." Mea culpa.The culpa is all mea. Generally, anything's value is at least partly attributable to it's accessibility. It's why prices go down when supply is high and why rich kids don't take care of their stuff.



In a way, human life has become more valuable with better news coverage. Thousands of war casualties was more acceptable in the 30's an 40's than it is today, for instance.



In other ways, human life is less valued. I sense a line with you in this subject, and I won't cross it because of my respect for you. I'll just stop here.
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Post by Accountable »

koan wrote: how do people here that stand against abortion rights feel about the pregnancy of a raped woman?Yup, no agenda in this question.



Someone else will have to answer this one because I'm not against abortion rights, only abortion.
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Post by Accountable »

Diuretic wrote: I'm not dodging the question K I just don't qualify for it. So I'm going to back to the original question but I think your question is very important.



On the question of when life begins well it doesn't really begin because it's there all the time. A living spermatazoa penetrates a living egg. Now those objects aren't inert, they're living organisms so they're both "alive". But so is a tree, in that sense, alive, and we cut trees down. The spermatazoa penetrates the egg and a reaction begins - don't know the scientific details but I would assume there is a specific name for this particular concept. What happens to the spermatazoa then? Is it absorbed into the egg as part of the process? Is it discarded? Does it "die"?



The egg begins to develop, the end result is a human being. The egg, after fertilisation begins to change according to a pre-determined set of rules. Sorry I'm not using the correct scientific terminology because I have no idea about it, I'm just thinking out aloud here. Anyway, the organism that has been created as a result of this reaction between spermatazoa and egg (ovum?) continues to develop through various stages. It's a living organism, it's not a rock. But a flower is a living organism as well and we cut flowers for our vases.



The organism that was originally created by the spermatazoa penetrating the egg continues to develop towards its final form. It is a living organism. It is living within a human host. Mammals do that. Reptiles don't do that. When a chicken lays an egg is the egg "alive"?



When the foetus is developed to a particular point (this is when all things are going according to plan) it will be ready for explusion from the host body. The foetus is a living organism, it is still living within the sentient host. The foetus isn't sentient. It doesn't make decisions about what to do. Nor does the sentient host make those decisions. She responds to her own biology and that of the foetus. They are in symbiosis. At the optimum (usually) time of development the foetus is expelled from the host. We see a human at a stage of development we call "baby" or "infant". I would think most cultures have their words to differentiate the post-partum human from the developing foetus still in the host's womb.



You may be wondering what's the point of all this rambling?

Well it's this. How we define "life" and "living" is both scientifically and socially determined. In our own jurisdictions we'll struggle to find consensus on what we mean and we'll struggle to get it into local legislation. But there's no science behind it. "Life" begins when we say it does.Precisely the point of the thread. Thanks, Di.



So .......... got an answer? :sneaky:
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Post by Marie5656 »

When I tell people I am pro choice, they automatically assume pro choice means pro abortion under any circumstances.

Actually my beliefs lie toward the choice of abortion as a legal option...not the ONLY option. If I were pregnant with an unwanted child, my CHOICE would be adoption, but it is good to know that abortion is out there, even though I, personally would not choose to have one.

As for the victim of rape? I say yes, there has been enough trauma for the person. But also, a young victem of rape or incest...someone who is still a child herself. I feel rather than put such a young girl through a pregnancy, which may be harmful to someone her age, then consider abortion.
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Post by Accountable »

Diuretic wrote: Yep - it depends on the context :)


OOooooo!! :yh_clap Very nice. Now with music. :p


In a social context.
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Post by Okie »

Diuretic wrote: In a social context....legal context?

Because the law should (pause for a chuckle or two) represent a social consensus, life is defined according to what is politically acceptable/convenient and perhaps that definition may be robust enough to be different in different socio-legal contexts.

You've made the point that different states in the US have different laws concerning many things - the definition of "life" would have many meanings, depending on which jurisdiction was being examined.

So, while scientists might have many definitions they - I would suspect - at least agree on those defininitions in a shared scientific context regardless of cultural influence. By that I mean in a given scientific context the definitions or understandings are constant regardless of country/culture. But when it comes to the social definitions, well, take a card...any card....
I dont understand much of what yu just said but I feel that if I am in a haopital bed and there is no brain wave activity, I am dead, please pull the plug. I am just a body lying there, I am not alive. If I do not ask for a drink or something to eat in a reasonable length of time then pull the plug. I dont want to stay anymore.
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Post by Okie »

Diuretic wrote: I'm not dodging the question K I just don't qualify for it. So I'm going to back to the original question but I think your question is very important.

On the question of when life begins well it doesn't really begin because it's there all the time. A living spermatazoa penetrates a living egg. Now those objects aren't inert, they're living organisms so they're both "alive". But so is a tree, in that sense, alive, and we cut trees down. The spermatazoa penetrates the egg and a reaction begins - don't know the scientific details but I would assume there is a specific name for this particular concept. What happens to the spermatazoa then? Is it absorbed into the egg as part of the process? Is it discarded? Does it "die"?

The egg begins to develop, the end result is a human being. The egg, after fertilisation begins to change according to a pre-determined set of rules. Sorry I'm not using the correct scientific terminology because I have no idea about it, I'm just thinking out aloud here. Anyway, the organism that has been created as a result of this reaction between spermatazoa and egg (ovum?) continues to develop through various stages. It's a living organism, it's not a rock. But a flower is a living organism as well and we cut flowers for our vases.

The organism that was originally created by the spermatazoa penetrating the egg continues to develop towards its final form. It is a living organism. It is living within a human host. Mammals do that. Reptiles don't do that. When a chicken lays an egg is the egg "alive"?

When the foetus is developed to a particular point (this is when all things are going according to plan) it will be ready for explusion from the host body. The foetus is a living organism, it is still living within the sentient host. The foetus isn't sentient. It doesn't make decisions about what to do. Nor does the sentient host make those decisions. She responds to her own biology and that of the foetus. They are in symbiosis. At the optimum (usually) time of development the foetus is expelled from the host. We see a human at a stage of development we call "baby" or "infant". I would think most cultures have their words to differentiate the post-partum human from the developing foetus still in the host's womb.

You may be wondering what's the point of all this rambling?

Well it's this. How we define "life" and "living" is both scientifically and socially determined. In our own jurisdictions we'll struggle to find consensus on what we mean and we'll struggle to get it into local legislation. But there's no science behind it. "Life" begins when we say it does.


Wow. Well, it does make a difference to a lot of people. some fight the use of a morning after pill. If a girl has unprotected sex one evening she can still take that pill to stopp it from developing into a fetus. but many people working in pharmacies feel that is a living person and so will not fill her prescription to get that pill. Some pharmacies allow them to work there and refuse to fill the doctors prescription if they object morally. They have no idea why the doctor wrote it but can refuse it.

We may soon have a law requiring them to fill it but there is no law to force a pharmacy to stock the pill.

The pill is called Plan B.
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Post by AussiePam »

I don't know how what the current American law is on abortion. Different in different States? I found a synopsis of the messy legislation here in Australia. Quite a hotchpotch

http://www.saltshakers.org.au/html/P/5/B/99/

There was a case of a termination performed recently in Melbourne at 32 weeks, which hit the press and reopened discussion.
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Post by Okie »

AussiePam wrote: I don't know how what the current American law is on abortion. Different in different States? I found a synopsis of the messy legislation here in Australia. Quite a hotchpotch

http://www.saltshakers.org.au/html/P/5/B/99/

There was a case of a termination performed recently in Melbourne at 32 weeks, which hit the press and reopened discussion.
That really is a mess isnt it. I do recall how bad it was in the past here when it was illegal all over and girls still got pregnant and had no egal recourse. Some left town to live with and aunt and had her baby and gave it away and some found someone to do an aboortion in a dirty back room. Lots got infection and died. I think if it gets too hard they will go back to that again. I knew a girl whose dad raped her many times and no one in the house let anyone know. If she had got pregnant I would hope she would not have had to raise it. She was very young. I did not know of it until he was in the grave.
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Post by Fibonacci »

In My opinion Life begins when all the necessary body systems are fully developed.



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Post by eyesopen »

Life to me begins when the sperm penetrates the egg thats when cells start forming cells are the first sign of life! Human life begins when we treat things humanly!
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Post by zinkyusa »

Unfortunatley I don't think anyone has a clue when human life begins. I wouldn't even know how do define it. I would say it maybe begins at the moment the fetus/baby becomes self aware that is separate and distinct from it's mother..Is that in the womb, or at the moment of birth or even after?
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Post by guppy »

zinkyusa wrote: Unfortunatley I don't think anyone has a clue when human life begins. I wouldn't even know how do define it. I would say it maybe begins at the moment the fetus/baby becomes self aware that is separate and distinct from it's mother..Is that in the womb, or at the moment of birth or even after?


that moment occurs when you close the wallet.
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Post by YZGI »

guppy wrote: that moment occurs when you close the wallet.


so true:yh_rotfl :yh_rotfl
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Post by weber »

human life begins at conception when the sperm enters the egg and everything starts dividing and without anything being added to it by anybody, there is growth and a human being. The only difference a 20 year old person and the sperm and egg uniting, is growth, just growth.
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Post by Okie »

zinkyusa wrote: Unfortunatley I don't think anyone has a clue when human life begins. I wouldn't even know how do define it. I would say it maybe begins at the moment the fetus/baby becomes self aware that is separate and distinct from it's mother..Is that in the womb, or at the moment of birth or even after?
Someone told me that some Asians count their birthday from the day they were concieved instead of the day they are born. Seems obvious to me that "birthday" means the day you are born, not when you are concieved. If it were so then it would be called conception day

I feel a fetus is a person when they have brainwave activity. That is the way they determine when life is gone is when brainwave activity stops. .
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Post by Accountable »

Okie wrote: Someone told me that some Asians count their birthday from the day they were concieved instead of the day they are born. Seems obvious to me that "birthday" means the day you are born, not when you are concieved. If it were so then it would be called conception day

I feel a fetus is a person when they have brainwave activity. That is the way they determine when life is gone is when brainwave activity stops. .I can't speak for all Asians, but I know that Japanese celebrate birthdays. Instead of the period of, say between the 10th and 11th birthdays being 10 years old, they say they are in "the 11th year." Perhaps that's where the mixup is.
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Post by Lulu2 »

Let's be very honest and say that this isn't an issue of "when life begins" as much as it's an issue of when we feel comfortable with terminating a pregnancy.

Lots of people think it's NEVER ok to terminate a pregnancy.

Most of us (see the polls) think it's ok under many circumstances and time periods.

Many of us who think it's NEVER ok to terminate pregnancies want to control the access of the rest of us to the right to termination of our pregnancies.

Most of us (see the polls) who think it's a matter of privacy and CHOICE will fight those who want to impose their will on our bodies until the end of time.
My candle's burning at both ends, it will not last the night. But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--It gives a lovely light!--Edna St. Vincent Millay
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Post by Accountable »

Along those lines there are two things that would put me over the moon:



1. A doctor figures out a way to take a fertilized egg from one womb and implant it in another. That way instead of aborting, a woman desiring but unable to become pregnant can have the full experience she craves.



2. Far less likely, but better imo: the gov't grants citizenship with all it's rights and protections upon conception, or some such point. It would make it a crime to kill the fetus, and solve the problem of illegal criminal aliens crossing the border to give birth so their child can be American.



I would expect the former not too far in the future.
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Post by rainbowsmiles »

I know I'm too late for this conversation but I just thought I'd answer anyway... I use to think it was when a baby could survive outside the mother (28 weeks possibly or more) then I later decided it was when the heart developed, now I believe that its when the sperm penetrates the egg. I keep evolving on that one ;) Good topic to discuss though.
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Post by Lulu2 »

"2. Far less likely, but better imo: the gov't grants citizenship with all it's rights and protections upon conception, or some such point. It would make it a crime to kill the fetus, and solve the problem of illegal criminal aliens crossing the border to give birth so their child can be American."



+++++++++ Accountable, you insist that a woman who does not want to continue a pregnancy MUST do it for 9 months before giving birth. WHY? Are you saying that the "rights'' of a zygote outweigh those of a sentient, adult human being? If so, why?
My candle's burning at both ends, it will not last the night. But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--It gives a lovely light!--Edna St. Vincent Millay
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Post by Adam Zapple »

zinky wrote: Is that in the womb, or at the moment of birth or even after?




That would be months after birth.
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Post by weber »

Lulu2 wrote: Let's be very honest and say that this isn't an issue of "when life begins" as much as it's an issue of when we feel comfortable with terminating a pregnancy.

Lots of people think it's NEVER ok to terminate a pregnancy.

Most of us (see the polls) think it's ok under many circumstances and time periods.

Many of us who think it's NEVER ok to terminate pregnancies want to control the access of the rest of us to the right to termination of our pregnancies.

Most of us (see the polls) who think it's a matter of privacy and CHOICE will fight those who want to impose their will on our bodies until the end of time.


Well I was answering the OP question "When does life begin". As far as abortion, terminating pregnancy goes, that's up to the individual. As long as the option is there, the choice is there. I know where I stand.....doesn't have anything to do with where anybody else stands.
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Post by Okie »

rainbowsmiles wrote: I know I'm too late for this conversation but I just thought I'd answer anyway... I use to think it was when a baby could survive outside the mother (28 weeks possibly or more) then I later decided it was when the heart developed, now I believe that its when the sperm penetrates the egg. I keep evolving on that one ;) Good topic to discuss though.
I dont think its when the sperm penetrates the egg for this reason, no one has a funeral for a miscarriage do they? I will say I do not know if they in fact have a funeral or not. Maybe if its very late in the pregnacy? I doubt they would if it was like three weeks into it.
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Post by rainbowsmiles »

I think the funeral is irrelevant (I may have misunderstood your post though). IMO the value of unborn life is an individual thing. I think the life of an embryo can be valued as much as the life of a newborn baby, it would just depend on the person experiencing the loss and how they interpret it. For me, life has nothing to do with how the life was celebrated or how an individual says goodbye (i.e. funerals). And though I believe life begins at conception, I'm also pro-choice. Another thing that is personal and the meaning behind it has more depth than just the words imply.
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Post by weber »

Okie wrote: I dont think its when the sperm penetrates the egg for this reason, no one has a funeral for a miscarriage do they? I will say I do not know if they in fact have a funeral or not. Maybe if its very late in the pregnacy? I doubt they would if it was like three weeks into it.


Oh there is a funeral all right Okie. Just that it is attended by one person....the mother......and with enough grief if everyone was there. I had a miscarriage and it was just as painful as losing a child and I have never fogotten. A miscarriage is different than an abortion. I wanted my baby. Women who have abortions don't want the baby. And please note that I am not against abortion....just making a statement as to the difference between the two.
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When Does Human Life Begin?

Post by Okie »

rainbowsmiles wrote: I think the funeral is irrelevant (I may have misunderstood your post though). IMO the value of unborn life is an individual thing. I think the life of an embryo can be valued as much as the life of a newborn baby, it would just depend on the person experiencing the loss and how they interpret it. For me, life has nothing to do with how the life was celebrated or how an individual says goodbye (i.e. funerals). And though I believe life begins at conception, I'm also pro-choice. Another thing that is personal and the meaning behind it has more depth than just the words imply.
What I meant about having a funeral is that it seems to me that if a person truly believes life begins at conception, then they really would want to have a funeral when they have a miscarriage. In any case, I dont think men should have a say in it if a woman chooses not to carry a baby for nine months. Now when men start to carry babies inside them, then they can have a say.
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weber
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When Does Human Life Begin?

Post by weber »

Okie wrote: What I meant about having a funeral is that it seems to me that if a person truly believes life begins at conception, then they really would want to have a funeral when they have a miscarriage. In any case, I dont think men should have a say in it if a woman chooses not to carry a baby for nine months. Now when men start to carry babies inside them, then they can have a say.


You are right Okie. You would think a person who believes life begins at conception would want a funeral after a miscarriage. Unfortunately, miscarriages are not planned and are quite extremely devastating experiences and happen unexpectedly and being on happy gas quite dulls the senses or something like that. By the time reason returns, it is all over and done with. At least that is what I experienced. And I think a man should at least have some say as to what happens to a life he took part in beginning.
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Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.

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