Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash
By the way ... an alternative to considering a frozen embryo as property of either the father or mother is to think in terms of custody. If the law upholds the humanity of the embryo, thereby entitling it to the protections of law, then I think the right of the custodial parent to decide to destroy it is diminished, if not extinguished entirely. An alternative to destroying "unwanted" embryos could be to encourage mothers who have difficulty conceiving to become surrogates.
I think we ought to be prepared to begin contemplating the humanity of the unborn, in the legal sense anyway, since I think this is more or less inevitable in the United States. And if Justice O'Connor, the swing vote in Casey v. Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania (1993), and Chief Justice Renquist retire and are replaced by Bush appointees, the chances are high that any legal shift will remain unchanged for the next several decades. Interestingly enough, Justice O'Connor, in her majority opinion in Casey, opined that had we known in Roe v. Wade what we knew in 1993 about pre-natal development, abortion would never have become legal. She, however, ascribed more weight to precedent, the legal doctrine of stare decisis, and suggested that, since women had been relying on the results of Roe v. Wade for 20 years, that the decision should stand. Interestly enough, she didn't believe that the new information we had regarding pre-natal development was compelling enough to cease perpetuating injustice to the unborn.
If we are going to reach a gradualist compromise, it should be done on the most reasonable basis available. I personally believe that is at conception because, only after conception, does the fetus have potency within itself to grow to childhood (i.e., with nurishment). I just can't see how any of the gradualist arguments can escape circular reasoning.
[This message has been edited by jbouder (06-27-2003 01:41 PM).]