Don't carry logic to absurd lengths
March 3, 2022
To The Eagle:
Statutes granting personhood rights to fetuses are never more pernicious than when they criminalize acts of God.
You might be surprised to learn that in the United States a woman coping with the heartbreak of losing her pregnancy might also find herself facing jail time. Say she got in a car accident resulting in the loss of the fetus, or simply gave birth to a stillborn. In such cases, women have been charged with manslaughter in Oklahoma, Georgia and Texas.
It’s hard to find a compelling reason for prosecuting pregnancy loss. Nearly one million known pregnancies end in miscarriage or stillbirth annually, according to government statistics. Despite improvements in prenatal care and medical technologies, the rate of early stillbirths has stayed stubbornly the same over the past 30 years. The cause is rarely, if ever, definitively found.
An ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition in which a fertilized egg implants itself outside of the womb. If such embryonic tissue grows unchecked it can kill the woman, and must be removed. A bill to ban abortion introduced in the Ohio state legislature requires doctors to “reimplant an ectopic pregnancy” into a woman’s uterus, a procedure that is medically impossible, or face charges of “abortion murder.”
That legislation bans abortion outright and defines a fertilized egg as an “unborn child.”
That’s scientifically and ethically absurd, like the comment of a recent writer to The Eagle who stated “a blastocyst, embryo or fetus is a human baby.” He apparently thinks any cellular reproductive tissue is a baby.
We’d better hurry up, then, and criminalize male masturbation and female menstruation. Spermatozoa are alive. So are female eggs.