Thursday, March 16, 2006

Can o' worms

I found this list of questions posted elsewhere. Thanks to Molly for posting them, and I hope you don't mind I'm reposting them here, with some minor wording changes. They are probably the most succint, logical way to clarify the extentive abortion discussions that I've seen in quite some time.

1) Should women who abort get life sentences in prison and/or the death penalty?

2) If a woman's husband [partner] knows she is aborting, should he be charged as an accessory to murder?

3) How about her friends who know she is aborting?

4) Should [doctors who perform abortions] receive life sentences in prison and/or the death penalty?

5) If a woman smokes [or drinks alcohol or abuses drugs] during her pregnancy and the fetus dies as a result, should she be charged with murder?

6) If her husband [partner] knew she was a smoker [or drinker, or drug-user] and [her actions could] kill the fetus, is he criminally negligent?

7) If a woman eats unhealthily during pregnancy and the fetus dies, should she be charged with negligent homicide?

8) If the husband [partner] knew she wasn't eating healthily, should he, too, be charged with negligent homicide?

9) If a woman has a serious medical condition that would almost always lead to the death of a fetus, but gets pregnant anyway, should she be criminally liable if the fetus dies?

10) If her husband [partner] knew of this condition, should he, too, be criminally liable?

11) If a company manufactures a product which [starts] a fire in a fertility clinic, destroying 1500 frozen embryos, should they be liable for mass murder?

12) If an electric company has a power failure which cuts power to a fertility clinic, thawing embryos and rendering them unusable, should they be liable for mass murder?

13) If a pregnant woman reports to her doctor that she is smoking [or drinking alcohol or abusing drugs] during her pregnancy, should her doctor be mandated to report it to the appropriate agency for dealing with child abuse?

14) If a woman has cancer and her chemotherapy kills a fetus, should she be given a life sentence and/or sentenced to die?

15) If her doctor was aware of her pregnancy [when he prescribed and/or performed the chemotherapy], should he be charged as an accessory to murder?

16) Should children who are [born] disabled be allowed to sue a parent for any negligent conduct during pregnancy that may have caused their disability -- for instance, smoking or consuming alcoholic beverages?

17) Should a person with 15 frozen embryos in storage be required to carry [to term] each embryo as soon as possible [to prevent chromosomal damage to the embryos that occurs over time]?

18) If I had 15 embryos in storage, should I be able to claim them as dependents on my tax paperwork?

19) If a government agency determined that a woman was being neglectful to her fetus during her pregnancy, should she be forced by the Department of Children and Families to care for the child and/or have it forcefully removed [when medically feasible]?

20) Should one in three American women be imprisoned or sentenced to death?

If you answered "no" to ANY ONE of these questions, you may hate abortion with all your heart, but you do NOT believe a fetus has the same legal rights as a person from the moment of conception. You may think abortion is disgusting and morally abhorrent, but unless you answered an emphatic "yes" to all of the above, you do not believe that fetuses are actually human beings with human rights. If you answered "yes" to every single one of these questions, you at least have some strong convictions -- but I'm guessing very few people would want to live in that world.
Later on, I will answer these questions fully. You can, perhaps, guess how I'll answer the majority of them. When appropriate, I'll compare the answers I give to how I'd answer if we were talking about a roommate or a 5-year-old.

What I find most interesting about this list is that it presupposes a husband (or partner, in my version): one who is equally intentional about creating a child. Unfortunately, there are a lot of situations in which this is just completely not part of the pregnant woman's reality.

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