Monday, December 03, 2007

More on the Ballot Initiative to give Personhood to Embryos

Judith Graham and Judy Peres of the The Chicago Tribune have done a follow-up article on ballot initiative we had blogged about before -- the proposed referendum to grant the legal status of personhood to embryos from the moment of fertilization. The strategy of the groups proposing the ballot and the response from all different viewpoint is revealed, including the thoughts of some ethicists -- a major concern being that "many people won't understand the potentially profound consequences." Check out the full article here.


SabrinaW said...

Trying to think about all the legal requirements to support such legislation makes my head hurt - what about miscarriages? Each miscarriage (including late periods) would have to be reported and fully investigated by law enforcement to rule out homicide. Additionally, all menstrual blood by a woman would have to be potentially considered as "human remains", to be buried or cremated according to law, since it is illegal to desecrate human remains.

Additionally, every woman who may be pregnant will need to be monitored in every aspect of her life to ensure that she isn't taking any action that could harm the "person" inside her.

I have to question the poll, because a sliding scale of legal personhood/recognition could be more appropriate. This would allow us to recognize when the fetus starts to feel pain or experiences cognition without necessitating the invokation of extreme measures like those listed above.

SabrinaW said...

Also, this is a lazy and irresponsible piece of legislation - in an attempt to make a simplistic moral statement, this law would place undue strain on all peripheral entities within government, resulting in a law that was impossible to enforce consistently and fairly (which undermines governmental legitimacy) and in innumerable half-hearted attempts to enforce that will drain a community's resources, preventing it from preserving existing life in the form of crime prevention, humanitarian assistance, etc.

Law is not morality, and morality should not always be law, and to conflate the two undermines both.