Over at Casting Pearls Before Swine, Mark discusses the goofiness of a man being charged for two murders because the woman he killed was pregnant. It's not that he shouldn't be charged with two murders, but that in a world where a pregnant woman is allowed to decide whether she's carrying a child or a lump of tissue, don't they need to know how she felt about her pregnancy before charging the guy?
Of course each state has it's own rules regarding such things and in the state where this crime occurred, they may have more sense. But it seems the whole issue, indeed specifically the Roe v Wade decision, was premature. Should there not have been some federal interpretation of what constitutes a human being, a person, someone worthy of the rights afforded all United States citizens under the Constitution? I'm not aware that this has ever taken place.
Personally, I think it's pretty obvious. I've stated it consistently in every such discussion of which I've been a part. The act of sexual intercourse is designed by God (or nature, for you heathens) as a means of producing an offspring, thereby insuring the existence of the species for another generation. Basic biology. It's more often done for the pleasure it provides (at least during the act), but that pleasure is built in to the whole procedure to guarantee that it even gets done (imagine if it didn't feel good---who'd do it without being forced?). The product of that action is another human being, as soon as fertilization takes place. How could it possibly be anything else given the purpose of the act that brought it about, or, more specifically, invited it into existence? From that first moment, there is life there. Of this there is no dispute. It is a living "thing". But it is an entirely human thing, a human being.
There have been all sorts of arbitrary points after fertilization that have been used to suggest that until that point, there's no human being, no person, no child. None of these points have been anything more than subjectively chosen in order to keep alive the hope that one won't be convicted in any way of murdering a child, and they can continue engaging in reckless, self-gratifying sex.
So I welcome any effort to explain how there can be any point in the process through which we all did journey where one isn't yet a human being worthy of all the respect that should be shown to any other human being.