Okay...Penance completed. Now Stephen, I would like to address your point regarding the point of conception as the origin of life. I did not address that, because it takes my mind even further off topic.
Let's assume that you are correct. (nice start, eh? smile with me please...)
Now do we go further to protect the QUALITY of life of the unborn child? Does the child have the right to a smoke-free environment? The issues of alcohol and drug abuse come into play here as well. Should a government monitor every pregnancy to ensure that unborn child is not subjected to various poisons of drug abuse? (By the way, in instances of substance abuse, substance abusers quite often are so physically screwed up, that they don't realize they are pregnant. Should ignorance be an excuse? What a legal can of worms that is!) Beyond the obvious, what about a child's right of proper nutrition? Should the diet of a woman ALSO be legislated? Assuming that is even practical, there is now medical evidence that EMOTIONS also play a part in the health of a child during pregnancy. Are you going to attempt to legislate HAPPINESS?
You ask where does it all begin? I'm wondering where it will all end.
An unwanted pregnancy, not always, but quite often produces an unwanted CHILD. In the instance of a drug abuser, that child quite often is born with birth defects. Who is going to adopt or care for SCORES of children who might be born with holes in their hearts, or the sometimes less obvious instances of sometimes subtle brain damage?
(The rest of this is not necessarily directed to Stephan.)
If you've read the entire thread, you may recall I said my story was a simple one. It is, until you get into the details. I had a friend with the same addiction as I who chose to have her child. That was, gratefully, the only funeral service I attended for a baby. (Joshuah was 8 months old when he died, from an irreparably damaged heart.) And no, I don't feel it justified my decision. My friend's pain haunts me as much as my own. Two women, in the same circumstances, chose two different options and STILL held hands that day and cried.
Here is yet another true story. My thirteen year old cousin was a beautiful, intelligent girl. She was one who came into puberty early, however. She was an honor roll student and considered "a perfect child." She was SO perfect, that she apparently could not stand the idea of admitting a mistake to her parents. She was about to enter her second trimester of pregnancy when she blew her brains out. ON FATHER'S DAY, with her father's handgun.
I can go on, too. I have held a man who wept inconsolably after learning that his girlfriend aborted his unborn child.
So what is my point? I simply wished to underscore the fact already stated by myself and others, that this issue, has many fine lines of great dimension. It's extremely personal and painful. So I plead with you all to show sensitivity and discretion as you debate what may be purely hypotheses to you. (I said, MAY be, as I'm not presuming to know your life story any more than I presume that you know mine.) I simply ask, that we all be aware and type carefully, as we cannot assume to know another's personal pain.
Oh...came back to add that I know that I repeated myself here. tsk...it's just a habit of mine---I repeat myself until I receive some acknowledgement of being understood, or at the very least, HEARD.
and? Interloper, I respect your work, and I'd like to add that I hope nothing I said made you feel victimized, as that was not my intent. Trust me, as a practitioner of an "alternative" religion, I do know what persecution feels like.
[This message has been edited by serenity (12-18-2001 11:53 AM).]