This is third in a series (started here) of an email conversation about beginning of life issues.
Could you please provide some resources for the [non-destructive?] ESCR procedure you describe below? I can't find any with ease. What happens to the embryonic human when the stem cell is extracted? Implanted into woman? Discarded? Dies (I assume not)?
It is refreshing to hear that you think the "personhood" concept is "patently ridiculous".
"Would you propose a woman who illegally purchases a morning-after pill, or has an abortion before organogenisis be punished in the same manner as a mother who killed her toddler?"
Abortion, the Pill, and the "morning-after pill" were once illegal. They can be again. When they were illegal before, the punishments were not equal for each crime against humanity. Further, the doctor usually received the punishment in accordance with the severity with the crime. Nonetheless, abortion was still a crime.
Even M. Sanger (founder of Pl. Parenthood) said, "While there are cases where even the law recognizes an abortion as justifiable if recommended by a physician, I assert that the hundreds of thousands of abortions performed in America each year are a disgrace to civilization." and "...abortion was the wrong way—no matter how early it was performed it was taking life.." (from "Margaret Sanger Was Against Abortion?")
"What about other organisms besides humans, is there something, in your opinion, that makes a [I assume "human"] fertilized egg "better" or more deserving of life, than an animal without [I assume you meant "with", not "without"] the sense of self-awereness?"
Actually, it's a human zygote. Calling it a "fertilized egg" is like calling you and me a "fertilized egg" at our current stages of devel. A human zygote is part of the human family, the animal (mature) is not. From the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights<, "...the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world..." "Binary system"? What do you mean by this (please clarify)? Either one is alive or dead? Black and white for morality/ethical nature of abortion/destructive ESCR? Thank you in advance for your reply.
I am running low of time for today, so I apologize in advance for the inarticulate manner in which I will be attempting to answer your questions as soon as possible. I actually did mean "without" a sense of self-awareness. While the capacity for self-awareness if difficult to test in animals, it is impossible for it to exist in an embryo of any type before the creation of even the most rudimentary of neural systems. I do not look to any religious system OR man made entity such as the UN as my source of guidence about how to regard other living creatures. Whether or not abortion is made illegal again, it will continue, if you believe it can be stopped by purely legal means than you are doing nothing but perpetuating an illusion. People will still be able to obtain the drugs and even the procedure itself via illegal means. As a religious person, and therefore a student of the nature of humanity, do you really believe humans, especially scared, desperate ones, wouldn't do these things, just because the government threatened them? Here are links to four scientific papers addressing the topic of morula-derived stem cells:
By binary system I do indeed mean that I do not see life as a black and white situation. Before you formed a brain, your cells were alive, yet when your brain dies, "you" will be considered dead, even though many cells in your body will still be functional. It is an uncommon position, I do not expect anyone to sympathize with it, and I understand many people actually find it somewhat unpleasant.
Furthermore, you are twisting what I said in regards to "personhood" and while I apologize for any unintentional obfuscation on my part (I do not believe it is possible to say "this is a person and that is not" based on legally-decided criteria, but I will admit I do not believe a zygote is the same as a child, it has the potential to become one.) I must also state that I am somewhat taken aback by your manner of drawing attention to the matter.
Again, please forgive my terseness, and I thank you for being so civil, despite our different backgrounds. I look forward to hearing from you again, but I must also warn you that I may not have as much time to write long emails after tomorrow.