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GOP Candidate: Imprison Rape Victims Who Get Abortions

The tidal wave of disgusting positions on rape victims and abortion by Republicans continues. ThinkProgress points out that a Republican Senate candidate from North Dakota has actually sponsored legislation that would sentence women, including rape victims, who seek abortions to life in prison without parole.

Rep. Rick Berg (R-ND), the candidate for Senate from North Dakota, once voted for a bill that would have made any woman who obtained an abortion guilty of a homicide crime — even if it were in the case of rape or incest. Indeed, the bill Berg supported does not even contain an explicit exception if an abortion is necessary to save the woman’s life.

In 2007, Berg was among the small number of state representatives in the North Dakota House who supported the measure. It also would have imposed penalties on doctors and anyone else who “aids, abets, facilitates, solicits, or incites” a person into an abortion.

Here’s what the bill said:

Intentional termination of human life – Preborn children. A person is guilty of a class AA felony if the person intentionally destroys or terminates the life of a preborn child. A person that knowingly administers to, prescribes for, procures for, or sells to any pregnant individual any medicine, drug, device, or other substance with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of a preborn child is guilty of a class AA felony. A person that intentionally or knowingly aids, abets, facilitates, solicits, or incites a person to intentionally destroy or terminate the life of a preborn child is guilt of a class C felony. For purposes of this section, “preborn child” includes a human being from the moment of fertilization until the moment of birth.

That felony carries a maximum penalty of life without parole. Amusingly, Berg was one of the people who immediately condemned Todd Akin for his idiotic comments.

Comments

  1. Artor says

    “Amusingly…” I don’t think that word means what it was used here to mean. Try “revoltingly,” or “infuriatingly.”

  2. AnatomyProf says

    It looks like they wanted to include distribution of PlanB and IUDs as a felony too. Why not go for condoms. “Every sperm is sacred. Every sperm is good. Every sperm is needed in your neighborhood.”

  3. cry4turtles says

    I would be writing from behind bars if this succeeded. I think my head just spun around and fell off my neck!!!

  4. Quodlibet says

    With their “no exceptions” position, they paint themselves into a small corner. I would ask them to consider an admittedly extreme case:

    Suppose a woman has an ectopic pregnancy. Would you prohibit a therapeutic abortion, without which she will die? How can you reconcile her certain death your “pro-life” stance? And the embryo is going to die anyway. Would you send her doctor to jail for saving her life? Would you imprison her partner or spouse or EMT who rushes her to the hospital when her tube bursts? What about every person in the hospital who assisted with the life-saving surgery and post-op care? Would you send the woman to jail because she desires to live? How is this “pro-life”?

    What if this woman also has other children or family members who depend on her? Is her life not of value to her family? What if she is a single parent? Would you orphan her children in order to uphold your rigid “pro-life” stance? Are their lives not of value?

    What if she is a business owner, on whom many jobs depend? Is her life not of value to the economy?

    What if she is an artist, farmer, engineer, teacher, scientist, health care worker? Is her life not of value to the community?

    She is a person with a life of her own. Is her life not of value?

    I often cite ectopic preganancy as an example of why 100% “pro-life” policies are anti-life – I know that it’s an extreme and rare situation – but anyone who is nominally “pro-life” cannot in good conscience condemn to death any woman who finds herself in this situation.

  5. eric says

    This is the logical and natural conclusion to the pro-life position. If you think an embryo is a person, then you should treat killing it as murder. You should have very little moral angst about breaking laws to prevent it, the same way most people would have little problem breaking in to someone’s house to stop a murder.

    The moderate pro-life position is the one which is surprising and internally inconsistent. The pro-lifers who don’t want criminal penalties for mothers and doctors, and who want to change the law while remaining law-abiding citizens are stuck in the same unethical position as the Democrats in the lead up to the civil war: claiming they oppose some moral ill, but not willing to stop it or hold those who do it accountable.

    Of course, even Berg is missing some consistency, because if he really thinks an embryo is a person, then he should be willing to punish women who have miscarriages for committing manslaughter. That is the absurdity to which Berg’s position reduces.

  6. blf says

    It’d be easier just to lock all the wimmin in brothels: You can easily monitor how often they reproduce; Hard to get any contraceptives or an abortion; No need to bother with that consent silliness; There’d be a revenue stream (profit!); and If a wimmin gets uppity or doesn’t have enough babies often enough, there’s no need to bother with due process and all that weak-kneed libturd moonbat nonsense before the punishment…

    It’d also eliminate rape(of wimmin).

    Those pesky good-for-nuthing skoools could be repurposed.

  7. Ichthyic says

    Well, he might be evil, but at least he’s consistantly…

    how about:

    Well, he’s consistently really evil, but it’s a dry evil.

  8. mythbri says

    Pfft. Women kill half of all fertilized embryos without even trying, or in some cases, knowing. We’re a murderous gender, we are.

    This post was my morning cup of sadness. Thanks ever so much, Ed.

  9. Abby Normal says

    Why is it that every time I read an article about abortion on this site, I come away wanting to kick someone in the balls so hard they shoot out his nose?

  10. Robert B. says

    Huh. I think this is what it looks like when someone actually, consistently believes that abortion is murder. Most people can’t sustain this much cognitive dissonance between their politics and their concept of basic human decency.

    (Hint: If your ethical positions lead logically to monstrous discompassion, you’re doing it wrong.)

  11. wscott says

    @ Ed: The article you linked to says Berg voted for the bill, but doesn’t say he actually sponsored it. Still reprehensible, of course.

    @ Eric 10: Well put, and you highlight why the issue is so intractable. The idea that a handful of cells is a real person with all rights pertaining thereto seems absurd to me; but if you genuinely believe that, then the fetus’ right to be born should trump the mother’s right to choose. For example, if a mother of an infant “chose” not to feed the child, we’d arrest her for child abuse. To a pro-lifer, those two cases are the same.

    To put it in an (oversimplified) logic statement:
    1. A fetus is a person.
    2. A person deserves legal protection – at a minimum, to life.
    3. “Choosing” to end another person’s life is murder.
    4. Therefore, abortion is murder.

    The problem is that #1 is largely a value statement. Even if you disagree with it (which I do), it’s hard to argue against beyond “I disagree.” So instead the pro-choice movement spends most of their time trying to “lawyer” their way around #3 & #4 rather than addressing the root issue.

    To take your pre-Civil War analogy from another direction, the pro-slavery arguments were either political (“Washington can’t tell us what to do!”) or splitting hairs (“Negroes aren’t really people.”) While the abolitionists were making a moral case: human beings are not property. The moral argument eventually trumped the practical argument. (Tho not until a lot of blood had been spilled.) Yes, I realize I’m sorta comparing pro-choicers to slavery supporters, sorry; but I’m comparing their tactics, not the rightness of their cause. My point is that we need to focus more on why the pro-lifers’ “moral” argument is wrong, because that’s the crucial point.

  12. vmanis1 says

    Actually, the bill could have been worse. North Dakota abolished the death penalty in 1973; had the state not done so, the bill could have been written to require the death penalty for anyone who performs (or incites [?]) an abortion, practises prohibited contraception, or makes a sperm unhappy. This would have lead to the slogan `Kill For Life’.

  13. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    The idea that a handful of cells is a real person with all rights pertaining thereto seems absurd to me; but if you genuinely believe that, then the fetus’ right to be born should trump the mother’s right to choose. – wscott

    No, it shouldn’t. No person is entitled to make use of another’s blood, organs or body cavities in order to stay alive.

  14. slc1 says

    Re wscott @ #19

    The problem is that the position of the extreme anti-abortionists is that life begins at conception, e.g. fertilization. This is the reason why the Raping Children Church and their born again fellow travelers oppose in vitro fertilization because several eggs end up being fertilized but only one is implanted, the others frozen and, if unused for some period of time, discarded. But discarding a fertilized egg is murder according to these folks because it is a person and has the same rights as all other persons.

    This is a preposterous position as it is my information that more then half of all fertilized eggs conceived conventionally end up being spontaneously aborted. Thus, under this nonsense, god is the worlds greatest mass murderer as he allows spontaneous abortions to take place.

  15. Aliasalpha says

    So how long will it be before they just try & make not conceiving a crime (for the woman naturally)? Charge women with the murder or manslaughter of the average number of sperm (or potential people!!!!11) per ejaculate, after all there’s so many sperm & only one ovum, failure to be fertilised against such odds is clear evidence of malicious premeditation.

  16. raven says

    It’s all just an expression of the GOP’s contempt and hatred of women.

    With such a law, any woman who gets pregnant in North Dakota should and would immediately head for the borders. There are 49 other states to choose from and Canada is to the north.

    This would only effect the poorest women of course.

    Anyone with a car, who knows someone with a car, and the middle class and rich could just flee.

  17. raven says

    Speaking of fleeing the USA, I’ve been thinking about it for years, if Romney and the thugs get elected.

    I just got an email yesterday from an old colleague and friend.

    He and his wife are leaving the USA and soon. He’s a dual citizen, although the vast majority of his life was spent in the USA, so it is easier for him.

    It isn’t just the politics and fundie death cultists but that is part of it.

  18. mythbri says

    @raven #24

    No, actually. Regarding abortion, the number of states to choose from dwindles. Mississippi has attempted, and very nearly succeeded, in a de-facto suspension of abortion services. Which, of course, condemns women who are too poor to leave the state to keeping pregnancies against their will.

  19. raven says

    Speaking of evil fundie death cultists, South Dakota and other states tried to pass laws making it legal to murder MD’s and health care providers.

    The Eric Rudolph-Scott Roeder memorial hunting license law or some such. It’s just a way to legalize xian terrorism and murder.

    South Dakota legislator defends bill to make killing to defend fetuses a
    oices.washingtonpost.com/…/south_dakota_legislator_defend.html

    15 Feb 2011 – What happens if you’re trying to kill somebody to protect a fetus but you …. Kevin_Willis, the current South Dakota law of justifiable homicide …

    Fundie xians take after their Sky Monster god. Their solutions to what they consider problems frequently involve killing a bunch of people. It’s a religion that has been drenched in blood for 2,000 years. Nothing different here.

  20. Chiroptera says

    wscott, #19: The idea that a handful of cells is a real person with all rights pertaining thereto seems absurd to me; but if you genuinely believe that, then the fetus’ right to be born should trump the mother’s right to choose.

    If one’s ethics is based on some version of utilitarianism, then there is something to this. However, most people aren’t utilitarians — in fact, I suspect an awful lot of people who think they’re utilitarians but aren’t really (I was one of those).

    Non-utilitarians can and do take into account other factors than just the sum of the number of lives saved/lost and total sum of “well-being”; the bodily autonomy of each individual human may very well be one of those things. In that case, a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body will take precedence over another person’s right to life if that life depends on leeching off of the womans body without her consent.

  21. Chiroptera says

    wscott, #19:

    I should add that, if I recall correctly, conservative Christians are usually among the loudest critics of utilitarian ethics. So, no, under the conservative Christian’s own ethical standards, it’s not automatic that anyone’s right to life automatically trumps other considerations; certainly it doesn’t automatically trump a woman’s right to make her own life decisions. To conclude that fetuses are peoples that deserve protection, the conservative Christian is still making a whole lot of other hidden assumptions. Most, I suspect, involving the word “whore.”

  22. eric says

    slc1:

    This is the reason why the Raping Children Church and their born again fellow travelers oppose in vitro fertilization

    Another big hypocrisy/inconsistency with the moderate pro-lifers that I forgot to mention. Yes, you are absolutely right, current IVF practices should also be opposed by anyone who really thinks an embryo is a person. Any morally consistent pro-lifer should insist the practice be either eliminated or changed to a one-embryo-at-a-time practice (which would drastically increase the cost and medical procedures needed per success).

  23. Michael Heath says

    slc1 writes:

    The problem is that the position of the extreme anti-abortionists is that life begins at conception, e.g. fertilization.

    I don’t see the problem deriving from anti-abortion right supporters arguing life begins at fertilization. Instead I see their defect being that they defectively conflate life and personhood, and then where they assign life/personhood.

    I think one can make a compelling argument life begins at conception. The problem begins when they start introducing their zany religious concepts about the existence of a soul and its supposed implantation into a fertilized egg to equate life with personhood that their position starts to be indefensible. Indefensible that is within a liberal secular democracy rather than a misogynist fascist theocracy which is the point from which they argue.

    So two root cause problems:
    1) Life ≠ personhood
    2) Their dogma doesn’t overrule the U.S. Constitution (properly interpreted). And if they did a get a constitutional amendment that personhood started at conception, that would cause the Constitution to no longer meet the minimal standards asserted in the D of I that is required of legitimate governments, which would effectively end our being a secular liberal democracy and instead make us a fascist state.

  24. Michael Heath says

    Modusoperandi writes:

    They do know that abortion is legal, right?

    I don’t think it’s effectively available in North Dakota. I don’t follow the abortion debate very closely so perhaps someone can provide an update, but it seems to me if a female wants an abortion, she’ll have to be able to travel out-of-state to secure one.

    It would be interesting to know if there are ob/gyns in that state that do so in a manner which is as affordable as those done in clinics that specialize in the practice.

  25. dave says

    I don’t think it’s effectively available in North Dakota.

    Are you suggesting that the Red River Women’s Clinic is ineffective? Granted, the fact that there is only one clinic within a state of over 650,000 is distrubing, but abortion is available without travelling out of state.

  26. naturalcynic says

    “Incitement to abort” is enough of a nebulous term that it could include advertising [a highway sign with: Low cost abortions in beautiful downtown Morris, just a short drive from Fargo] to just websites and phone #’s [crisis pregnancy? call 555-090-0009] to other kinds of free speech issues [which could include a NDak Ob-Gyn giving info on an out-of-state facility].

  27. JustaTech says

    Well, as long as the punishment for the man is just a severe…it isn’t? you mean that only one half of the guilty party would be prosecuted? Shouldn’t there be a law against “inciting an unwanted pregnancy”? “Failure to determine appropriate mate”? As they say, it takes two to tango, so why isn’t there equal punishment for starting something that isn’t finished? Oh, right, because men are so much more important than women.

    I really wish these people would learn why the things they say/sponsor for legislation are horrible.

  28. says

    naturalcynic @35: “Incitement to abort” is enough of a nebulous term that it could include advertising [a highway sign with: Low cost abortions in beautiful downtown Morris, just a short drive from Fargo] to just websites and phone #’s [crisis pregnancy? call 555-090-0009] to other kinds of free speech issues [which could include a NDak Ob-Gyn giving info on an out-of-state facility].

    Technically speaking, “incitement to abort” is nebulous enough that it could include impregnating a woman who is known to not want to have a baby.

    Somehow, though, I suspect that the impregnating party would get off scot-free. Boys will be boys, after all…

  29. zmidponk says

    Hmm. Leaving aside the wrongness levelled at women in general by this bill, there’s also this:

    This bill basically outlaws anything that causes the death of the foetus. Suppose a pregnant woman has a medical problem where her pregnancy causes a very high risk of death. If the doctors give her an abortion, and save her life, they’ve broken this law because the abortion results in the death of the foetus. However, if the doctors stand by and do nothing, and this causes her to die, this also causes the foetus to die. Therefore, no matter what the doctors do, including if that’s ‘nothing’, they cannot avoid breaking this law in this situation.

    Am I missing something here?

  30. says

    zmidponk “This bill basically outlaws anything that causes the death of the foetus…Am I missing something here?”
    Stress, exercise, breast-feeding and coffee, among other known abortifacients. This means that, among other things, Walmart could be prosecuted for knowingly selling to women who are (or could be) pregnant with a utero-American.

  31. wscott says

    @ Nick Gotts: I think that’s a good counter-argument. The only counter-example I can conceive of would be an infant that is allergic to formula or something and is thus dependant on the mother’s breast milk. If the mother refused to nurse, would we charge her with child abuse? If the child died, would she be criminally liable? I don’t know.

    @ Chiroptera: Also very good points. Whether you value life (of the fetus) over bodily autonomy (of the mother) is ultimately a value judgment. What’s interesting is that conservatives generally tend to value individualism over communitarianism, which you would think would logically lead them in the other direction. You know, if logic had anything to do with it.

    @ Michael Heath: Great distinction between “life” and “personhood.”

  32. leni says

    …but if you genuinely believe that, then the fetus’ right to be born should trump the mother’s right to choose.

    Funny how this only applies to women. I wonder what they’d say if there were laws forcing them to donate organs to people on the donor waiting lists.

    This is really why I think the anti-choice position is inherently misogynistic. Maybe you don’t have to be a misogynist in order to hold that position, but there’s no getting around the fact that it presumes that a woman’s right to personal autonomy, health, and well-being are secondary. And not only that, but women should feel guilty for not wanting to donate their bodies to another, and further that they should also pay for it. Having a baby isn’t exactly cheap. Oh, they like to say that it would be the same if men could have babies too, but we don’t live in that universe. In this universe, there is a long history of women’s interests being considered secondary. The very presumption, usually unquestioned, that others have automatic rights to use our bodies is absolutely just another way of saying “you don’t matter…as much”.

    It would almost be worth it to see their faces the moment that found out that not only did they have to donate an organ, but that they’d have to pay for the surgery and aftercare lol.

    Almost. Well it would be the best April Fool’s Day ever maybe.

  33. Chiroptera says

    leni, #42: I’m sure if we looked, we could find plenty of examples back in the day (particularly when health care was being discussed) of them calling Clinton a socialist out to destroy ‘Merica as we know it just as they do with Obama.

    In fact, I’d have slightly less problems with forced organ donations than I do with denying women their right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. But I admit, I’m a bit of a trouble maker.

    It certainly would be the logical conclusion to their “pro-life” stance: have everyone donate tissue for typing (I’m sure these law and order nuts would be all in favor of having this so we could convict more people based on DNA evidence), and then when someone needs a kidney, absent any volunteers, we have a lottery to find the lucky one to celebrate life!

  34. Chiroptera says

    Oops. I meant to quote this from leni’s post:

    It would almost be worth it to see their faces the moment that found out that not only did they have to donate an organ, but that they’d have to pay for the surgery and aftercare lol.

  35. typecaster says

    I think one can make a compelling argument life begins at conception. – Michael Heath

    Well, no one else has stepped up to be the pedant, so I guess it falls to me. (Michael, this is just a response to a common argument, and absolutely not an attack on you or your position, which addresses larger issues and is more nuanced. It helps that I largely agree with it.)

    One could make a compelling argument IF it were established that the egg and sperm cells were non-living matter. Since I rather suspect that this isn’t the case, I can’t see any reason to say that their combination produces new life. It does produce a new combination of DNA in a new specific example of Homo Sapiens , but it isn’t new life, just an extension of two other such examples. Of course, if allowed to develop normally, it does have something like a 60% likelihood of becoming a person at some point, and Micheal correctly distinguishes between the two states. But the union that allows DNA recombination and cell division is not a “start of life”. It’s a process that requires pre-existing life to happen, and is thus a continuation rather than a beginning; a potential, not an actualization.

  36. Ichthyic says

    Instead I see their defect being that they defectively conflate life and personhood, and then where they assign life/personhood.

    I disagree with Heath about 50% of the time.

    this is not one of those times.

    this is, and always has been, an issue of where rights are assigned, not an issue of biology.

  37. slc1 says

    Re Michael Heath @ #32

    As is my wont, I will disagree with Heath to this extent. I would not define the fertilized egg as life until it is implanted in the woman’s uterus because, as I mentioned, 1/2 of all fertilized eggs fail to implant and are aborted spontaneously. Of course, some day an artificial uterus will be invented which can sustain a fertilized egg for the 9 month gestation period. When that happens, I would agree that fertilization = life, but not as we sit here today.

  38. Michael Heath says

    slc1 writes:

    As is my wont, I will disagree with Heath to this extent. I would not define the fertilized egg as life until it is implanted in the woman’s uterus . . .

    I didn’t take the position that fertilization equals life, I instead made the point an argument could be made this is where [new] life begins.

    slc1 writes:

    I would not define the fertilized egg as life until it is implanted in the woman’s uterus because, as I mentioned, 1/2 of all fertilized eggs fail to implant and are aborted spontaneously. Of course, some day an artificial uterus will be invented which can sustain a fertilized egg for the 9 month gestation period.

    You seem to be unconsciously making an argument within the context of an early personhood argument using a very subjective and arbitrary juncture, a juncture which also isn’t even all that relevant when it comes to what we’re doing and will be doing in the lab. Even you sense the weakness of your position with your rhetoric here about artificial uteruses.

    I would instead not introduce the personhood argument in terms of the emergence of rights we must begin to consider until a fetus begins to experience suffering; the same thing we typically do when it comes to species other than humans (not that those other species rights are or necessarily should be protected equal to ours). From this perspective we don’t need to get so hung-up on the personhood debate and instead can focus on the most parsimonious point where a new life begins, regardless of that life’s viability.

    This framework wouldn’t satisfy those pro-abortion rights supporters who argue the unborn are parasites or as trivial as a fingernail or organ; they typically demand the pregnant female’s right to abort extends well past the point the fetus is sentient enough to suffer and some even to the point of delivery. But I think it does work for most people able to critically analyze this issue beyond the ideological/partisan debate. (Where I’m not insinuating my position is superior, I’m not very informed on the abortion debate; just that’s it’s neither sufficiently loyal to the pro- or anti-abortion advocates to please either.)

  39. hypatiasdaughter says

    If you prohibit abortion to save a woman’s life, you should prohibit killing in self-defense. That is the only true pro-life position if you think that someone is a “person” from conception to natural death.
    If the threat to your life, which is the basis of self-defense, permits you to kill a fully formed born person, it should be a sufficient justification to kill an unborn person. If abortion is wrong in this situation, so is self-defense.
    #39 zmidponk
    It isn’t just risky pregnancies. There are health conditions: some are brought on by pregnancy (diabetes and pre-eclampsia); some are aggravated by pregnancy (colitis); and some are unrelated (cancer). Treating the conditions, with no direct purposeful intent to cause an abortion, can cause serious fatal birth defects or abortion.
    How risky dos this make it for doctors and hospitals to treat these serious medical conditions without facing an abortion charge?
    In the country with some of the most advanced medical in the world, these laws are barring women from access to basic life and health saving medical care.
    It’s like a woman and a man were in a car accident, taken to a hospital and the man gets taken in for life-saving surgery while the woman is given a band-aid and left on the stretcher to die.

  40. Rike says

    Can anyone see this like I do – a return to the dark ages where witches and non-christians and gays will be burned at the stake? If we don’t stop these fanatics, that’s exactly where the US will end up!
    I came here from Germany in the 70s, and I am more and more getting ready to go back!

  41. Ichthyic says

    I would not define the fertilized egg as life

    cells are alive.

    eggs are cells.

    eggs are alive.

    not really much of an issue from a biological standpoint.

  42. hypatiasdaughter says

    #9 Quodlibet
    That any law would for any reason would prevent treating an ectopic pregnancy before it ruptures is so insane that I cannot really believe that anyone would propose it or a state legislature would pass it.
    I keep thinking that some pro-choicers exaggerated or are lying about an existing law for dramatic effect and it’s being passed around the internet without confirmation. Yes, it is so insane that I would rather think “my side” went over the deep end than believe that it actually exists.
    Remember those scene in Alien when the baby alien bursts out of a man’s chest? That is what an ectopic pregnancy does inside the fallopian tube, except the “baby” dies as a result.
    That you would deny a medical treatment to prevent this from happening is the clearest statement that a woman is no longer considered a “person” or has the same basic rights to life as a man in this country.
    That these laws are inspired by a pack of religious fascists is the clearest indications that religion does not really consider women fully human – no matter what they say.
    I would claim that this comes from scientifically illiterate fundie yahoos who don’t know the facts, but the RCC has aligned with them over abortion and the RCC does know better. The RCC has always accepted the principle that abortion is permitted to save a woman’s life but have abandoned it so they can walk lock step on the abortion issue with the more politically powerful fundies.

  43. slc1 says

    Re Ichthyic @ #51

    Indeed, some extremists on the anti-abortion front consider that an unfertilized egg is life.

    Re Michael Heath @ #48

    I think that ole Heath is just pulling my chain here, as I ofter pull his chain. The position of the Raping Children Church and it’s born again fellow travelers is that fertilization (e.g. conception) = life = personhood. I entirely agree with Heath that this is a preposterous position, given the fact that 50% of all fertilized eggs fail to implant. I never said that an implanted fertilized egg = personhood. The trouble is that the concept of personhood is somewhat amorphous and may not even be a scientific proposition. Thomas Aquinas opined that personhood commenced at the time of quickening (~10 weeks). It is unfortunate that the Raping Children Church refuses to consider the position of its own most celebrated theologian.

  44. Ichthyic says

    Indeed, some extremists on the anti-abortion front consider that an unfertilized egg is life.

    I think you’re missing the point here.

    that cells are alive is uncontroversial.

    the controversy and extremism arises from trying to assign rights based merely on that alone.

    an egg cell should no more have the rights granted to individuals in the US constitution than a hair follicle cell.

    that help clarify what I meant, and I think Heath meant?

  45. Ichthyic says

    also, just to toss it out there, but since the assignment of rights will inevitably be subjective, I’ve always felt a good clear case can be made for assigning rights post-partum.

    that’s it.

    if it’s not post partum, it doesn’t have rights yet.

    seems simple enough to me.

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