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But The Range Of Our Disagreement Did Not Include Six Months

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Posted by Mike Pearson on June 24, 2002 04:22:01 UTC

except in medical emergencies for example

Longer-term questions :
Do you believe that the only way to be loyal to humankind is to hold that only humans have rights and no other creature has any where near the same level of legal protection.

You seem to value the legal rights of a four-cell human being over the legal rights of an adult humpback whale or dolphin or elephant whose brains contain a lifetime of memories and are hundreds of times larger than the human fetus...
Can we say your valuation of those rights is because of scientific merit, or is it due to your religious beliefs? If we have evidence that another life form on Earth is highly intelligent and friendly to us, should we work as hard to save it from being killed as you work to make sure no human embryo or fetus is killed
I do not create a slippery slope
with my valuations. Where we draw the line
has a fence and a locked gate.

If you draw the line without strong regard to scientific merit, it seems less defensible on
spiritual grounds too...and I am in accord with you on certain absolutes of the law regarding
refraining from harming...but we live in a natural setting with hard realities pressing us.
I think abortion is a poor way to regulate our birth rate for many reasons, including the surgical risk to the mother and the potential for sadness. But that does not move me to forbid all
women who might do so. For the reasons above and in respect of your arguments, the action does not constitute a killing. And there is one more reason why spiritually, there seems less than adequate evidence that "soul" is harmed. The fetus has not made an ethical decision as far as we know, ever. We have reason to believe it could not. We are strongly extending a line to extend to several months before birth when we say a human in the womb does have legal rights to protection. But we have not agreed to extend that to conception.
To have acquired the rights of an American child several months before birth is better than the rights of a vast number of full-grown adults in many centuries under the rule of many governments, including Christendom.


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