I wonder if the latest research advanced the data reported in the article I wrote in November 2000 in Beyond Religion, Collection of Essays, (published on Amazon.com (Kindle) in July 2011 as ebook by INHOUSEPRESS)
According to Mr. Moore, a gentleman of literary aspirations otherwise unknown to me, we, Canadians, indulge in an annual blood bath. No, not the slaughter of the millions of cows and calves, pigs and piglets, fowl and fish and whatever else serves to distend our obese paunches, but of ‘pre-born’ children. (Moore, Charles W. A sense of betrayal, The Gazette, Montreal Nov.13th, 2000). Until recently, the adjectives ‘pre-born’ or ‘un-born’, or ‘un-dead’ have been reserved for ghouls, the living-dead adorning our Halloween horror films. Now we are told that children have joined such grotesque ranks. Albeit, thankfully, only the pre-born variety. It seems evident that Mr. Moore and his ‘pro-life’ compadres, would like to make abortion illegal, probably under the penalty of death. The fundamentalists like the penalty of death. History has shown that some ‘pro-lifers’ love killing those who disagree with them, like starting preemptive wars. Thankfully, according to the pool, which he quotes, Canadians do not share this sentiment.
The same cannot be said for mother nature.
Another recent article reprinted from the Washington Post has announced the results of an extensive scientific research, which states that: "Most newly conceived human embryos harbor colossal genetic defects that are incompatible with life". Furthermore, "...most pregnancies––whether naturally occurring or the result of test-tube fertilization––quietly fail within days or a few weeks after conception." (Weiss, Rick: Embryo study shows defects are killers, The Gazette, Montreal, Oct.23rd, 2000) It seems that we have no choice but to make mother nature illegal. Moreover, it is quite apparent that Mr. Moore has not been recently pregnant and thus does not speak from first hand experience of multiple spontaneous abortions, even though they contribute to a blood-bath infinitely greater than the one to which he is referring.
No one in their right mind would question the thesis that life begins at conception. It may be wiser, however, to refer to this life as biological life. Such as is abundantly manifest in all animals, fowl and fish which, I presume Mr. Moore, together with the rest of the human race, have no qualms in slaughtering in order to masticate them in vastly excessive quantities. The problem, I suggest, rests in the excess, not in the fact per se. Strange though it may seem, Jesus of Nazareth is said to have eaten meat, whereas Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian. Perhaps this is one reason why the ‘pro-lifers’ argue that they are regarded by the ‘pro-choicers’ as "just a bunch of lunatic fringe religious fanatics who need not be taken seriously." Quite true . Perhaps this well earned opinion would change if the ‘pro-lifers’ would desist from on-going murder of millions of animals of all species, or define how does the human animal differ from the remaining fauna. The question remains, therefore, whether we draw any distinction between human and non-human life. If there is a difference, then the question is at which point in the biological life does this difference occur.
The sausage-shaped globs of DNA, known as chromosomes, carry practically all the genes inside a cell. Most human cells contain 46 chromosomes of which only 23 from each parent are passed on at impregnation. Has life already begun? Are the residual chromosomes murdered? There are millions of them.
The slaughter gets worse.
Compared to the other mammals, humans are very inefficient reproducers. Only about one-in-four of natural monthly attempts result in pregnancy. Are the products of unsuccessful attempts murdered? The eggs have been impregnated, but sensitive hormone test have also shown that a high percentage of early pregnancies end within days or a few week (Weiss, Rick, ibid). Nature is really selective. Whatever she doesn't like, she aborts. For a time, the human embryos hover on the brink of molecular self-destruction. Then, after a perilous beginning, some achieve genetic stability, and continue their growth. Some become babies. Born babies.
Perhaps in another few million years evolution will improve her batting average. Perhaps we can help nature in her quest. But please, don't make nature illegal just because she protects our biological integrity by an ongoing, continuous ‘blood-bath’.
We still haven't defined if, and if so––when, the human life become different from the rest of fauna. If we claim a different status from the rest of animal kingdom, if we do not abide by the kill-or-be-killed dictum for food, for territory, for power, then I see little or no evidence of it. We certainly murder a great many more of our own species than any other mammal. And we kill not just our ‘pre-born’, but the well and truly and very selectively born children, as well as our adults and our hapless elderly. We murder them indiscriminately, individually and en masse, often without rancor. We then adorn the chests of our most successful murderers with colorful ribbons, elevate them to the ranks of heroes, build statues for them, put their unaffected faces on postage stamps. We are really proud of them. We forget that the genes in those murdered do not differ in any way from the genes that our parents have passed on to us. We kill because, as I've already written in the previous essay on The Errant Supermen, we like killing. It is in our blood. It is carried in our genes.
Except in those few––who kill no more.
[It may be of some interest that, at the time of writing this article (November 2000), Internet offered 470 pages on the subject of abortion. The matter is not likely to be resolved in our lifetime].