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April 26, 2016

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At the moment abortion isn't murder. Murder is "the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another." Right now it is lawful to kill a human being in the womb and therefore is not murder. A more succinct definition is "homicide" which is any killing of a human.

In addition, the use of the word "murder' can be argued away. Homicide is much more difficult, perhaps even impossible, to argue away. That makes the argument much stronger because the only fallback position for the pro-choicer is that we don't really know when a person is a person. At that point it is quite easy to find scenarios where most people (save for the most educated) apply that inconsistently.

You probably don't think every case of termination is murder. If you can think of a situation where a termination is the only possible choice where one life is preserved over continuing the pregnancy to birth and risking the life of both then you are recognising that there is a grey area. If you can't think of one then you will be seen rightly or wrongly as a moral monster.

At the moment abortion isn't murder. Murder is "the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another." Right now it is lawful to kill a human being in the womb and therefore is not murder. A more succinct definition is "homicide" which is any killing of a human.

In addition, the use of the word "murder' can be argued away. Homicide is much more difficult, perhaps even impossible, to argue away.


Not at all. Quoting from 1 U.S. Code § 8:
"(a) In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the words “person”, “human being”, “child”, and “individual”, shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development."
Legally, abortion is neither murder nor homicide.

That makes the argument much stronger because the only fallback position for the pro-choicer is that we don't really know when a person is a person.
Also, no. A pro-choicer does not need to defend the position that we "don't really know when a person is a person", if anything, what (s)he would need to defend is that a human in early stages of development is *not* a person (and that's not the only fallback position s(he) would have because she could also argue that a woman's right to bodily integrity is by itself perfectly sufficient to establish abortion as legal).

http://crossencountersmin.com/featured-article/abortion-murder/

Andy,
You realize that by similar definition, blacks were considered non-person. By your logic, if the majority decides tomorrow to alter the US code and define those over 6'3" to be non-persons, then we can butcher them with impunity.

Laws encode morality that we know and experience to be true. Not the other way around.

kpolo,

You realize that by similar definition, blacks were considered non-person. By your logic, if the majority decides tomorrow to alter the US code and define those over 6'3" to be non-persons, then we can butcher them with impunity.

It's not "my logic", it was a mere statement of fact (I replied to someone pointing to the *legal* definitions of murder and homicide)
Also, a mere majority vote cannot lead to any conceivable legal outcome, not in a constitutional democracy.

Laws encode morality that we know and experience to be true.
That sounds like an oversimplification. I'm pretty sure that what you "experience" to be morally true will not always be in agreement with what I or someone else will experience as morally true.

Andy,
First of all, the legal definition of a word should never be used to define reality. Case in point: corporate personhood. Is a corporation a person? No, and nobody argues that they are. But the legal definition is that they are (and has been for many, many decades, and for good reason). Legal definitions correspond to the scope of law, but do not necessarily describe reality accurately.

OK, let's presume that a woman has a right to "bodily integrity", whatever that means. Let's also presume that the woman decides to kill a 1 day old baby because it violated her bodily integrity in some way. *Almost* every person will argue that she is unjustified in doing so. Why? Because at that point the child has the same right that the woman does. If the child did not have the same right, the woman is not un-justified in killing the 1 day old. In other words, there is something inherent in the 1 day old that negates the validity of its unjustified death.

But if a woman is not justified in killing a 1 day old because of a shared right to bodily integrity what is the condition that caused that right to be conferred in the first place? Being born? But birth is just a change of location in conjunction with a giant mess. There is no change inherent in the child that occurs in the birthing process besides how its held, how it gets oxygen and into which orifice it ingests food.

For that reason practically every argument for abortion ends up on the personhood argument; because there IS no difference between a 1 day old and a -1 day old. In order to allow for abortion and still be consistent (or, at least, pretend to be), some nebulous definition of personhood is the only way that can be achieved.

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