Monday, January 29, 2007

Life Does Not Begin At Conception

Life continues through conception.

The sperm is not dead, is it? No, it is alive.

The egg is not dead, is it? No, it is alive.

Both cells are alive, conveniently formulated definitions to the contrary not withstanding.

The cells combine, chemicals go nuts, and they form a zygote, a blastocyst, a fetus, a baby, a child, a mate, a parent.

Life does not begin at conception, life continues through conception.

Asking what constitutes human life is a subtle way to label the rest not human, which is just a baby step away from genocide, infanticide, or geronticide. It is all human life.

While I am unconcerned with drawing the line between human and nonhuman at sperm and egg, drawing it anywhere between zygote and newborn is impossible. It's trying to hit a moving target, if nothing else, and one with spurious criteria for success and horrifying consequences for failure.

The mental acrobatics required to say that a fertilized egg is not human are the same as those required to say that a newborn is not: it cannot survive without help, therefore killing one is of no more concern than letting the other starve in the street.

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