I disagree with Hightower.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

When does life begin?

It seems to me that both sides of the abortion argument proffer unsupportable arguments.

If a live human sperm fertilizes a live human ovum resulting in a live human embryo which will become a live human adult (in 21 years and 9 months) at what point in this scenario was it ever NOT alive and/or NOT human.
The question is neither when life begins nor when it becomes human.  The only question is at what point society grants protection of human life


  1. Agreed. Also the times at which a right to life have been granted have ranged at least from conception to 1 year of age. I think that the Bible has Mosaic law forbidding the “spilling of your seed on the ground.”

    Aside from birth another point in between that has been considered a defining point for a right to life has been quickening (when the mother feels movement by the fetus)which occurs around the fourth month of pregnancy.

    On quickening Wikipedia has Blackstone saying:
    Life… begins in contemplation of law as soon as an infant is able to stir in the mother's womb. For if a woman is quick with child, and by a potion, or otherwise, killeth it in her womb; or if any one beat her, whereby the child dieth in her body, and she is delivered of a dead child; this, though not murder, was by the ancient law homicide or manslaughter. But at present it is not looked upon in quite so atrocious a light, though it remains a very heinous misdemeanor.
    Nevertheless, quickening was only one of several standards that were used historically to determine when the right to life attaches to a fetus. According to the "ancient law" mentioned by Blackstone, another standard was formation of the fetus, which occurs weeks before quickening. Henry de Bracton explained the ancient law, about five hundred years before Blackstone:
    If one strikes a pregnant woman or gives her poison in order to procure an abortion, if the fetus is already formed or quickened, especially if it is quickened, he commits homicide.[6]
    I am a supporter of abortion rights who is saddened by the fact that they has been rooted in the curious current notion of the right to privacy. I wish that the court would look at te above and review the rationale for Roe v Wade and conclude that the above meant that at the time of the writing of the Constitution there existed a right to abortion. One could then combine that with the 9th Amendment and arrive at a rational basis for a right to an abortion.

    9th Amendment The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

  2. Good and informative analysis Wayne. I agree with everything you opined.