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Abortion and frozen embryos

January 24, 2016

Those who oppose women’s reproductive choices like to put their rhetorical focus on late-term abortions. But the ideology that treats the earliest embryo as a person has all sorts of nutty and intrusive implications, from birth control to in vitro fertilization. Be glad that the courts have tossed out Arkansas’s “heartbeat” bill. It’s not a pulse that makes a person.

Update: It seems to me misguided that the courts focus on viability, which is very much a moving target, slipping ever earlier and earlier as biotech and medicine advance. The conservatives who back fetal pain laws actually make more sense. As a fetus develops more and more cognitive capacity, there is stronger argument for a state interest in its well-being. One doesn’t have to believe that there is a sharp philosophical line between non-person and new person to believe that the law will have to figure out a legal line. Prior to the fetus even being able to experience pain, there is no reason to interfere with the woman’s choice. Whether or not current medical science makes the fetus viable.

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