Monday, July 21, 2008

Whole, separate, unique, living human beings?

William Salatan has an interesting blog entry in Slate about the the South Dakota law requiring doctors to read a script to women seeking an abortion.
The script, dictated by the legislature three years ago, declares that any abortion 'will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.' …

I have to say, it's a relief to learn that the embryo is so complete and independent. I mean, it solves the whole problem. Here's this woman who just wants to be separated from her embryo. And lo and behold, it's already separate! No need to agonize. Just detach it and let it grow. It's separate, it's whole, it's living. Cancel the abortion. Perform a separation instead.

Sure, some cranky district attorney might take you to court, claiming your separation was really an abortion. Make sure you countersue for legal costs, because you've got a slam-dunk case. The law under which you're being prosecuted doesn't just declare that embryos and fetuses are separate. It also defines abortion as "the use of any means to intentionally terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with knowledge that the termination with those means will, with reasonable likelihood, cause the death of the fetus."

How can South Dakota claim that you should know separation will kill the fetus, when South Dakota has insisted on informing you, prior to the procedure, that the fetus is already whole and separate?

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