Abortion Debate Remains Matter Of Opinion

To the Readers’ Forum:

In the Feb. 4 ”Letter To The Editor” entitled ”We Deserve Better,” the author states “It has been scientifically proven that life does begin at conception and these babies they are eliminating are indeed children.”

No, actually ”life” begins even before conception. The spermatozoa and the egg are both living things. If the criteria for ”life” is enough to ban abortion, then events where hundreds of thousands of spermatozoa are ”wasted” should be considered acts of mass murder? By that logic, each time an egg is allowed to go unfertilized and die on the uteral lining an act of passive homicide has occurred. No, the scientific truth is that new life is not breathed into an egg during fertilization. The DNA is combined and the single cell begins to multiply, but the zygote is not more alive after conception that the spermatozoa and the egg were before.

The reality is that what identifies us as a ”person” is our nervous system: our brain and its connections to our body, the nerves. During the first term of pregnancy, this system has not differentiated itself into anything that resembles a human nervous system. In many ways, at these early stages of embryonic development, what exists is the developing shell of what will become a ”person” or a ”child.”

The abortion debate is a matter of opinion. One problem is that anti abortionists often treat their opinion as fact, wishing it to be law for all. Of course this can not, and should not be so.

The author then claims: “Will we keep voting for the same people year after year as our rights are poured down the drain?”

I consistently am amused by the position that restricting assault weapons and high capacity magazines is a devastating blow to our rights, but contrarily, controlling what women do with their bodies, banning gay marriage, banning important stem cell research, and deciding for people whether their health insurance can include contraception somehow bestows us with freedom. Ironic, is it not? At least the article got one thing right. Yes, we do deserve better.

Kevin Byrd

Jamestown