|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
I posted something about this a couple of weeks ago, but it's still funny, don't you think? Things look a little different when it's men who might lose the freedom to control their own bodies.
Of course, there was no chance of that, not in Oklahoma and not anywhere. But it's still funny.
And no, a fertilized egg is not a person. It might become a person, in the right circumstances, but most don't.
Most fertilized eggs even fail to implant in the uterus, which begins a pregnancy. Many more spontaneously abort after that. From this article at Discover Magazine, "at minimum [my emphasis], two-thirds of all human eggs fertilized during normal conception either fail to implant at the end of the first week or later spontaneously abort."
That's a lot of "people" going down the drain. Of course, a fertilized egg is not a person. It has the potential to become a person, but so does an unfertilized egg. So does a sperm cell. In no circumstance can it be done alone.
Even the Catholic Church never used to consider a fertilized egg, or even a fetus, to be a person. And the Bible makes it abundantly clear that a fetus isn't a person. The penalties prescribed for killing a person and killing a fetus were quite different.
But you can believe whatever you want. If you believe that abortion is wrong, don't have an abortion. If you believe that masturbation is wrong, don't masturbate. These are religious issues, and we have freedom of religion in America.
A fetus is always alive (or, if it's dead, it's never going to become a person), and it's always human life. You can say the same thing about sperm, or about every cell of your body. When a fetus becomes a person, with rights of its own, that's a legal question.
A living fetus grows and develops. It's never separate from its mother until birth, and we must recognize that. Of course, we consider conjoined twins to be separate people, don't we? No, these are not simple matters.
In general, I'd say we do things pretty well. We don't consider fertilized eggs - or sperm - to be "people." We don't consider a blastocyst to be a person, either.
And our restrictions on abortion vary depending on the stage of the pregnancy, which only makes sense. As a fetus gets closer and closer to becoming a person, we get stricter about abortions. It seems to be a reasonable compromise, don't you think?
After all, one thing we don't want is for ham-handed politicians to get between a woman and her doctor, no more than we men want the government keeping track of our sperm. Whether a fetus is a person or not, a woman most definitely is.