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10:22 PM on 10/11/12 
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jawstheme
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Yeah. There have been a lot of Dems in my area who have either held that view or just pro-life so I guess it doesn't seem like news to me but you're right.

The problem is legally that if you concede that life is at conception (personhood) the state arguably has a fundamental interest in protecting that life that counterbalances the fundamental interest that has been found for a pregnant woman's choice. This would have legal implications that should basically allow states to pass whatever they want against abortion. I imagine that's bad for the left.
03:43 PM on 10/12/12 
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jawstheme
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The whole framing of the abortion debate in terms of when life does or does not begin, and thus using that criterion in determining its ethical status, is fundamentally ill-conceived. A better argument is just to say that, in some cases, it's morally acceptable to take the life of an innocent human being.

Well The Constitution would hold that if it is deemed a person it is entitled to certain protections that can't be taken away without due process. So as a pro life advocate this isn't ill conceived at all, its a very good way to get what you want. There's an argument to be made on whether we should be following a 200 year old document, but that will probably go over about as well around here as me arguing that we should scrap capitalism.
06:17 PM on 10/12/12 
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The argument rests on a fallacy of equivocation between being human and alive with personhood.

Many legal arguments rest on fallacies, or at least assumptions, but its still law. I wasn't talking about the logical merits of the argument. I don't agree with the argument.
07:10 AM on 10/13/12 
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But first and foremost they're making an ethical argument. And, moreover, the law can and does take circumstances and contingencies into account. For example, in some cases it is already legal (and, in my opinion, perfectly ethical) to kill an alive human being who even possesses personhood, i.e.; active human euthanasia in Oregon. So we need not fear that using personhood rather than life as an ethical criterion will be in any way more problematic, legally speaking, since we may apply whatever contingencies we see fit to the situation at hand.

Edit: I should also add that, far from being a sufficient condition, life is apparently not even a necessary one to establish personhood, as evidenced by the fact that corporations are granted the legal rights of persons.

Good point.



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