Friday, September 19, 2008

But When You Think It Through...

Voters in Colorado have an initiative on the ballot (see pages 9 and 44) that changes the state constitution:

Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Colorado: SECTION 1. Article II of the constitution of the state of Colorado is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION to read: Section 31. Person defined. As used in sections 3, 6, and 25 of article II of the state constitution, the terms "person" or "persons" shall include any human being from the moment of fertilization.

From the Johns Hopkins Hospital:

A miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of an embryo or fetus. If it occurs after 20 weeks, it is called a stillbirth. Medically known as a "spontaneous abortion," a miscarriage is relatively common, occurring in one in six pregnancies. It is especially common during the first few weeks of pregnancy. The early spontaneous abortion rate is estimated to be 45 percent of all pregnancies. Many women may not know they were pregnant and experienced an early spontaneous abortion. Because it is so prevalent, for most women a history of one or two miscarriages does not mean there is anything wrong with the woman's reproductive health, and the prognosis for future childbearing is excellent.

So if this passes:

(1) If a woman has a miscarriage at 4 weeks will she be investigated for murder?

(2) If a woman has a miscarriage at 20 weeks will she be investigated for murder?

(3) If a woman has a miscarriage will the doctor's care come into question so that the doctor may be investigated for murder as well?

(4) If a woman has an abortion because the fetus is lifeless, will she be investigated for murder? How about he doctor?

(5) If a woman has an ectopic pregnancy and a surgeon saves her life by removing the non-viable fertilized egg, is the surgeon guilty of murder?

(6) If a surgeon refuses to operate on a woman's ectopic pregnancy and she dies, is the surgeon guilty of two murders?

I could come up with other scenarios: a vehicle accident, an amusement park ride, and even a three-legged race at a church picnic. There's no limit in our litigious society. The Colorado legislature would be forced to determine when and if a murder has been committed. But it shouldn't be that difficult if, as the state constitution would declare, every fertilized egg is a person and has equal rights under the law. So there needn't be much discussion or debate. It's pretty simple--once you think it through.

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