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Monday, June 9, 2014

Birth isn't the beginning of life, so let's stop talking like it is

[Today's guest blog post by Alexa Gospodinoff is part of our paid blogging program.]

I think most pro-lifers would agree that if one were to examine our current scientific knowledge of the human life cycle from an unbiased perspective, without any cultural baggage, one would immediately see that a human life biologically begins at fertilization and quickly conclude that all human beings are equally worthy of the right to life regardless of level of development. But it's clear that that's not the way most people think. Secular Pro-Life has touched on both obvious and subtle anti-preborn phrases in our language before, and to a large extent those are the kinds of things I'm talking about. But even expressions that only imply birth-as-beginning-of-life—like "born this way, "a born leader," and "a sucker born every minute"—add up to ensure that without critical thought, people will instead perceive birth as the beginning of life. And the consequences for preborn children are very real.

To me, it's obvious that discrimination based on birth originates from the fact that birth is when we become visible to born people. It's a sad but true universal fact that if the dominant, privileged group is not visually exposed to members of a vulnerable population, the culture at large will not consider the needs of that vulnerable population, nor will its members be treated as fully human. A born person is not necessarily more developed, more capable of rational thought, more viable, or even actually older than a person before birth. It is instead through the literal invisibility of preborn children throughout most of human history that birth has become an acceptable criterion for discrimination.

Almost every pro-abortion argument either is explicitly predicated on the idea that human life begins at birth, or depends on its audience to consciously or subconsciously discriminate against preborn persons. That's how someone can conclude that banning abortion is a more intolerable violation of bodily rights than tearing off someone's limbs. While it's true that some people do nominally or actually reject birth as the beginning of human life and yet consider themselves pro-choice, as an industry and an ideology, abortion would quickly wither and die without societal discrimination based on birth status.

Consider this: despite what certain pundits might have you believe, few women, no matter how poor, scared, or desperate, would agree to have the life of a born human ended in order to escape their circumstances. If every person who self-identifies as "pro-life" or "personally pro-life" were to immediately stop using phrases which contribute to preborn erasure and discrimination based on birth status, and start calling out others when they hear that kind of language, we could make an enormous difference in the number of children who are aborted without passing a single law or winning a single debate. (The laws would follow. The debates would follow.)

In fact, I think it's more important to avoid preborn erasure outside the context of abortion. So it's heartening to me to read people's thoughts about avoiding birth discrimination in language, although it's frustrating when dehumanization and erasure are described as "poisoning the debate." Imagine if we denounced the practice of referring to women as "bitches" and "sluts" as "poisoning the equal pay debate". No matter what the topic of conversation, preborn children deserve to be recognized as human beings for their own sake.

In short, I think a big part of "winning the abortion debate" doesn't involve debating at all. The next time you hear the word "born" or "birth," consider whether it's perpetuating that utterly false dividing line between preborn and born.

51 comments:

purrtriarchy said...

Should zygotes embryos and fetuses be granted citizenship? What if the pregnant person is in a number of countries before birth? Should the prenate be granted multiple citizenship certificates since it is already a separate individual upon fertilization?

KB said...

I know you are being a troll but lets go ahead and answer. Maybe you will learn something not related to the abortion debate. Few countries bestow citizenship based on geography. The United States is one of those that do but for most countries citizenship is granted based on usually the nationality or at least the permanent residency of the mother, sometimes based on the father.

Even if your red herring jab were to hold any weight, what makes you think that the entirety of pregnancy would be grounds for citizenship? If we were to live in a world that bestowed a citizenship title on the pre-born it would still be just a one time deal. You could feasibly make it official at the point you knew

Fusengammu said...

I began reading this blog with an open mind about the pro-life view point, but now I'm firmly convinced that the pro-life viewpoint, while laudable in certain respects, is based purely on an emotional appeal kind of similar to PETA. I agree with some of the positions PETA takes, and I can agree with some of the pro-life posters here on certain issues, but at the heart of the matter I find is just irrational worship of the fetus and hysteria. "Anti-preborn" phrase? Oh brother. This post by Alexa demonstrates this by its advocacy of playing silly word games redefining "birth" to try to get people to somehow believe that a fetus is a full-fledged person and that somehow abortion is discrimination. If the pro-life position really had a good case, it shouldn't need to play these stupid games and try to force its black-and-white simplistic view of the world on actual human beings. Work on improving the role of women and the poor so abortion will become not only an unattractive choice, but a practically worse choice. Women are not stupid. Many of them have abortions for realistic and rational reasons.

argent said...

Like feminism is irrational worship of women and marriage equality is irrational worship of LGBTQ people. Come on. This comment is just a long way of saying "I have no justification for my discrimination except that that's the way it's always been."

argent said...

Maybe you're a troll, but if not I'd like to ask you this: what's your actual argument? Is it "we shouldn't speak in accurate ways because it would cause cognitive dissonance with the way we do other things?"

argent said...

See, these embarrassing science fails of people not even able to differentiate between someone who is a human being and something that's not are exactly why we need to flush out all the scientific inaccuracy from our language.

Fusengammu said...

I don't think science says anything about what constitutes a human being. Science is a set of rules for hypothesis testing. I myself am a junior-level scientist with papers in journals with decent impact factors. While I would rank myself at most a 3rd rate scientist on Landau's scale of scientists, I do try to the best of my ability to remove emotion and subjectivity in all of my work, and to adhere to the scientific method.

So I would be most interested to know, how would you scientifically distinguish between human and non-human? What would be the null hypothesis, and what sort of test or experiment would prove or disprove the humanness of something? Instead of railing about the "scientific inaccuracy" in the language, why don't you educate us all on these scientific tests that would force us to inconclusively categorize embryos or fetuses as human.

From what I can tell by an informal survey of bumper stickers at my institute of employment, that most actual scientists are pro-choice. I suspect this is because in fact the question of humanness of an embryo or fetus is not a scientific question, but is really about the emotional attachment one places on embryos and fetuses.

argent said...

But for serious, here's the thing. Firstly, the ability to sense that one is being discriminated against is in no way necessary for discrimination to take place. Just ask any little boy trying to pray the gay away.

But even if it were important, it's not something that begins at birth, no matter how you define it. Birth status is not an absolute indicator of vital signs, consciousness, true age, level of development, viability, or anything else pro-choicers claim to distinguish between "person" and "nonperson" based on. Being born just means that you're not preborn anymore. It means the things it means and nothing else. And yet it is culturally used as a stand-in for any number of the above things, and the fact that it is falsely used as such a stand-in prevents rational discussion from taking place.

Fusengammu said...

Point taken about awareness about whether the person being discriminated against realizes or not.

However, then it is a question of "human". The fact that the pro-life movement needs to invent new words to try to convince people where to draw the line should tell you that this whole debate is not grounded in anything factual or concrete. The nature of science is that anyone provided with the data and arguments should be able to reach the same conclusion. This does not seem to be the case here.

Hence it is all tugging at emotional heartstrings. Poor pre-born baby etc. etc. With such sloppy thinking, what is there to stop us from starting to say "poor pre-conceived baby, poor pre-conceived baby?"

argent said...

Do you really mean what you say, that needing to invent new words means a movement is devoid of substance? I'm not sure if you've thought that through. Every decent movement I've been in has had to invent a plethora of new words, while every rotten movement I've had the misfortune to belong to has relied on old words, old paradigms, the stuff everyone believes until they think about it.

I think you might be mistaking this post, which is advice to pro-lifers on how to stop undermining themselves with casual anti-preborn language, for an argument to be presented to pro-choicers. As an analogy, imagine if I wrote up a post on why you should stop saying "you throw like a girl" as an insult if you don't mean to demean women and girls. If you were of the belief that women and girls are inferior and should be demeaned, you probably wouldn't find it a very convincing argument to win you over.

Also, if you find no logical stopping point between "twinkle in someone's eye" and "old and gray", that's your problem. It doesn't excuse putting birth up on a pedestal as something it's not.

Fusengammu said...

Sure, maybe movements need to invent new words. But inventing new words is also a great way for ideas that have no real substance behind them to suddenly sound profound and enlightened. Invent away all the new words, but the truth remains the arguments for pro-life are as hollow as a donut.

argent said...

Welp, someone on the internet just called the pro-life movement "hollow as a donut", time to pack up and go home I guess. Just don't make me be the one to break it to Gianna Jessen.


But for real, if you want to sit down with a pro-lifer and have a debate, the way to get that is not to comment on a post saying "here's some things you can do to alleviate discrimination" with "there's no discrimination, you're just making up words to sound profound, you're being overemotional about this, so this post is silly and worthless".

purrtriarchy said...

Why has citizenship, historically, been granted at birth?

purrtriarchy said...

Nope, not trolling. Just thinking about why citizenship, historically, and currently is often granted at birth.


BTW, I do believe that Canada is like the USA, in that citizenship applies to the country you're born in.

KB said...

This particular article isn't a debate, so I'm not sure why you are using it to color what you see as the "pro-life view point". It is obviously taking for granted the concept that abortion harms an individual person, and offering tips on next steps in making abortion unthinkable. It's giving guidance on how pro-life people can change our culture, given our conclusion. It's not emotional to make suggestions on how the pre-born can better be considered individuals worthy of being considered people in their own right on a societal level, if you have already reached the conclusion that the pre-born are individuals worthy of being considered people in their own right.

Typically Fusenfammu, you have respectful posts through which, although I end up not agreeing, I can at least get a better perspective on the pro-choice position. What changed?

KB said...

also, because I have been curious for awhile on it, is your name "fusen" ふせん  or "fuusen" ふうせん?  and is it "gammu" がんむ or "gamu" ガム?

I'm guessing you were going for Balloon Gum ( Bubble Gum) but who knows, maybe instead of 風船ガム you are 付箋ガム (sticky gum)  普選ガム (universal suffrage gum) or 不戦ガム (anti-war gum). Kanji is fun.

KB said...

Not a bad honest question then. Thanks for correcting me there.

Citizenship is essentially a contract between individual and state (although it is enacted on all of us without consent at first, at least). It essentially is what binds the individual into certain rights and responsibilities, as granted or demanded by the state. I'd say there is a discontinuity at this point, since we do offer rights to the pre-born in some ways (charging those who murder or maim pregnant women such that their fetuses die) - which would suggest that citizenship is in order, but in other ways, rights are revoked or ignored, as is the case in abortion. Speaking academically, it doesn't make sense to confer citizenship upon an individual that has no rights or responsibilities, or otherwise interacts with the state.

But let me be clear, I think that is a result of our schizophrenic culture and corresponding government that we do offer certain rights to the pre-born, not others, and consequentially, citizenship does not make sense. In an ideal world, where each individual human being was respected, the pre-born would be a part of that "contract" of citizenship, with the rights to not be unjustly murdered or maimed, in exchange for the responsibility to not murder or maim other citizens.

Why have the pre-born traditionally not been included in this contract? Well, why had for the large majority of history (dating back to Roman times when citizenship was invented) citizenship not included the landless? Women? Children? Because we are learning and understanding more and more what it means to be human, and how interconnected we are at all these different levels. Just because we may not have land, we still are impacted by the decisions of the state, and the state is impacted by us. We understand that now. Similarly, we are coming to understand that the pre-born are impacted by, and can have the ability to impact the decisions of the state. We are becoming more thorough in our understanding of citizens - it is our incomplete knowledge at this time that has set up such standards.

KB said...

Species classification is a funny thing. One could say that like personhood, it is something we invented, but actually I would say it is a tool we use in order to understand the natural world. That is, it's not an experiment one can conduct, but more akin to the variables "x" or "y" that we use to develop a mathematical structure. We could just say all life is just one blob of life, that has changed over the generations, and that isn't technically wrong. However, chopping us into human, dog, stonefly, or sage bush, helps us to further study interesting questions that we otherwise couldn't articulate if we just defined all of us as "one blob of life".

So, understanding that species are essentially a construct we use, we still have a methodology for defining them! In my work in botany and butterflies, where the line between species is a lot greyer, we nonetheless employ these tests in order to note determine if it is an artemesia tridentada or an artemesia douglasii.

One way is morphology (although it is the weakest, and needs corroborating evidence). Do these organisms look similar? Do they have the same or similar structures? It is clear the fetus and the adult human does in fact meet this criteria. I would give you a pass for saying the zygote and embryo does not, but again, this is the weakest way of figuring this out particularly for metamorphic species and other fauna.

Another is ecological niche. Do the two organisms occupy a similar environment? Considering that a pregnant woman can climb a 10,000 ft mountain and both herself, and her zef survive, or she can submerge herself underwater where both she and her zef would die (as in, both require oxygen), I think this is corroborating. Habitats that allow for the existence of human adults also allow for the existence of the pre-born. I'll admit, when speaking about humans, that have been able to dominate any landscape, this method is not terribly reliable though. Luckily, there are still other ways.

One of the best ways to determine if two organisms are of the same species is if they can reproduce reliably fertile offspring. In botony, of course, this requires time, since we can't know that if we look at two organisms before flowering and fruiting. Humans and other fauna are no different though. We must measure capacity to reproduce and produce reliably fertile offspring. We still consider a plant, pre-flowering, to be of the same species as another plant, pre-flowering, if later on, we see that they do produce reliably fertile offspring. In this measure, the pre-born passes with flying colors.

Since the introduction of DNA testing, our understanding of species has been greatly enriched. It has allowed us to add hundreds of butterfly species in northern California to be discovered. Where previously we thought two individuals were of the same species, now we can determine with certainty, that they are not. Here again, the pre-born passes with flying colors. DNA of the pre-born is more similar to an adult human being than any other organism in existence.

This is why we can say with 100% scientific certainty that the pre-born are human. Personhood, of course, is much more poorly defined, being a variable of social and legal construction, rather than scientific. But that is another post.

purrtriarchy said...

Abortion was illegal for a long long time before it was legal. Surely governments could have made some efforts during the 1940s, or 50s or 60s or 70s or 80s (in the case of Canada, for example) to grant citizenship to embryos?

KB said...

When was abortion illegal before Roe v. Wade? Plenty of states had laws on the books making it legal, and beyond that, often there weren't laws either way. It wasn't a topic well understood.

That is to say, the laws did not exist as they did because there was some understanding about in-utero human development and empathy for this group of people as fellow citizens. For thousands of years society was complacent as it was because there an inability in terms of scientific understanding and legal framework to deal with the topic.

purrtriarchy said...

Well the government could have simply granted citizenship to fetuses once the woman started showing!

And I believe that even in the 1960s, pregnancy tests existed. In Romania, there was even a pregnancy police squad that checked women regularly to make sure they were pregnant and not shirking their state sanctioned duties to have at least 4 kids.

If Romania could do it, so could the rich nations of the west.

KB said...

Without fact checking your claims about Romania, sure, they could have. I'm no expert on Romania as to their motivations for their legal system, or what socio-political system led them to enact the policies they did. It seems like you are confirming what I am saying though, that whatever legal system they had with regards to the pre-born, it likely wasn't because of a respect for the life of that person. Again, I'm not rabidly for giving the pre-born citizenship, as I said previously, it's not that important to me, it just seems to make sense that if your society valued the pre-born as an individual with a right to life, it would make sense for the government to extend rights to that individual.

I guess I am not sure what you are getting at. Most industrialized countries have universal healthcare, but the US doesn't (Obamacare is not universal health care). So it is rarely as easy as saying, "They can do it, why can't we?"

purrtriarchy said...

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/children-decree/

KB said...

"In 1966, Ceaucescu issued Decree 770, in which he forbade abortion for all women unless they were over forty or were already taking care of four children."

Yeah, that doesn't look like the motivation was because of an inherent worth of an individual so much as a political effort to make more peons *cough cough* babies at any cost.

Simon Jm said...

What about we change citizenship to persons that have passed the mirror test otherwise technically they aren't persons.

Simon Jm said...

Would love to discuss these areas in more detail. There are some biologists who will claim the zygote isn't a homo sapiens or that it is a developing HS but not yet a HS. Tried to start some conversations with academics but few have the time.

argent said...

Because people become visible to born people at birth, and if you're not visible you have no rights (I'm not saying that's okay, I'm saying that's the way things have historically worked).

purrtriarchy said...

Not hidden once the woman starts showing. Grant citizenship once she gets a tummy.

argent said...

There's a difference between "someone being visible" and "people being able to visually tell that someone exists". You know how advertisements have shots of women's bodies without their faces included? And we recognize that not showing their faces dehumanizes them, because visual face-to-face communication is such a huge part of humans' ability to be empathetic (and recognize human rights).

purrtriarchy said...

Well considering that abortion was illegal for a loooong time and still is in many countries, it would appear that not everyone has 'dehumanized' prenates.


So, why on earth would they stick with citizenship at birth?

argent said...

I don't think abortion was necessarily made illegal out of a concern for prenates. I mean there are tons of societies in which rape was illegal because it meant you were damaging someone else's goods. I don't think it would be reasonable to ask "why didn't those societies grant women citizenship, if women are really people like you claim?"

ignorance_is_curable said...

It is one of the typical Hypocrisies of abortion opponents to insist that Science be used to determine "when does life begin?", but to deny Science and insist that only the Dictionary should be used to determine "what is the difference between any possible type of person, and any possible type of mere animal organism, anywhere in the Universe?"


And so it doesn't matter a bit if an unborn human is alive, if it is also just a mere animal organism (and which in terms of Science it absolutely is!). That's because the Law grants rights to persons, not animals. The U.S. Constitution uses the word "person" throughout, and doesn't use the word "human" even once.

ignorance_is_curable said...

And what will that "dad" be if a miscarriage happens? You are assuming far too much (like a 100% success rate of pregnancies being carried to term, and there is no such thing).

ignorance_is_curable said...

And that is basically the attitude of all Religion-based opposition to abortion: "We want more future tithers born!" They will deny that is the real reason of course, but the proof that it actually IS the real reason is readily available to be noticed by anyone paying the slightest attention: In our currently overpopulated world, they STILL preach 'be fruitful and multiply"!


Purely secular GREED is what it is, having nothing whatsoever to do with Religious philosophy!

ignorance_is_curable said...

You have described the anti-abortion viewpoint reasonably accurately --they assume certain things to be true, for which they have no actual evidence whatsoever.


Such as the notion that an unborn human animal organism qualifies as a person.


Such as the notion that "intrinsic value" exists.


Such as the notion that humans have intrinsic value.


Such as the notion that "right to life" is an intrinsic thing.


Such as the notion that there is no significant difference between an about-to-be-born human and a recently-born human.


Such as the notion that unborn humans are "innocent".


Such as the notion that deliberate abortion has no equivalent in Nature.


Such as the notion that personhood is an innate/inevitable aspect of a human life.


Such as the notion that the potential deserves to be treated like the actual.


Such as the notion that sex obligates in a particular way.


Such as the notion that human life "matters".


Such as the notion that the world isn't overpopulated.

Vita said...

Still a dad. If a human child dies at any other stage of development the parents are still parents, they are just parents of a child who is no longer alive.

This is also the case with a miscarriage as the human being whose life came to a premature end has the DNA of both of her/his parents.

Not assuming 100% of pregnancies naturally result in a live birth. Just saying that someone is a parent before their child is born because life start before birth.

purrtriarchy said...

Often times women's bodies will expel fertilized eggs in their menstrual blood. They are often completely unaware of this. Does this mean that these women and the men they have sex with are the parents of multiple dead babies?

ignorance_is_curable said...

There is more than one definition of "parent", and only ONE of them is about passing on one's genes. Another is associated with the phrase "parenting skills", of which ZERO frequently gets done prior to birth, especially by the "dad". So, you are STILL failing to consider the FULL situation.



Lots of people know that a biological parent can be very different from a "father" or a "dad".

Jackie said...

I have a question.
Why do pro lifers want to lie about what words mean? It seems they want to cling to the human centric definition of the word ''person.''
Also, I've decided to be pro choice on the matter.

Vita said...

I agree with you that "parent" has at least two definitions. Being a parent genetically and caring for a child are the two most common uses.

I also agree with you that being a parent in only the genetic sense involves no action whatsoever (after the child has been conceived). That does not change the fact that the genetics of that child are inherited from her/his biological mother and father. So once a child is conceived his biological mother is a biological mother and by extension his biological father is biologically his father.

You are correct that a father does very little in taking care of his child until after the child is born. However that man is still a father (biologically) because his wife/girlfriend/lover is biologically a mother.

It is very interesting that you bring up adoption, because adoption is an option that the pro-life movement argues for. Give the child a chance whether in a biological or an adoptive home.

ignorance_is_curable said...

You are STILL mis-using the language! This time the wrong word is "child", and there is an exact Science-related reason why it is wrong.


(Before getting to that, though, note that, currently as I write this, near the end of all the messages is a comment about Hypocrisy of abortion opponents, regarding wanting to use Science for one thing, but not other equally-appropriate things. Your dictionary only includes "common usage" regarding various things, not Objective Fact.)


An unborn human organism is physically different from a post-natal human. That's because the unborn organism includes a placenta as a vital organ, essential to its survival, while a post-natal human typically survives just fine without it. Note that it took modern DNA tests to prove that the placenta is part of the unborn human; the "common usage" of dictionaries is basically perpetuating ignorance of Fact. When was the last time you THOUGHT about any ordinary "baby" or "child" in terms of being associated with a placenta?


We have a large number of often-used words to distinguish different humans by different physical characteristics. "Black", "white", "skinny", "chubby", "strong", "feeble", "tall", "short", and so on, for quite a long list.



The words "embryo" and "fetus" are always associated with the unborn, and therefore, for mammals, are always associated with a placenta. To insist that it is OK to call the unborn human a "baby" or "child" is to exhibit language-usage Hypocrisy, with respect to the physical characteristics of humans.

Vita said...

You believe I am misusing the language and I believe you are guilty of the same error.

Child is appropriate (baby is a term that is more specific and I only use that to refer to recently born children) because it is a broad term that includes babies, toddlers, and young people until at least their teenage years if not until adulthood. Especially since Merriam-Webster uses the definition: "an unborn or recently born person".

First two definitions of father from Merriam-Webster: "a man who has begotten a child" and "a male parent". Beget is likewise defined as "to cause (something) to happen or exist" and "to become father to someone".

The first definition of father is very clear as beget means to cause something to exist (especially by a father) and in this case that which is caused is a new life, as soon as that new life is caused the man is a father.

We know that fertilization is when a new life is formed so therefore a father is a father the instant that the new human life begins.

I have a question for you: When does a mother become a mother? Is it during the nine-months her child is in her womb or only after her child is born?

purrtriarchy said...

"Child" can also include my cat. She is my baby girl.

ignorance_is_curable said...

And dictionaries only record how words are used, regardless of whether such usages make sense. That's why I specifically pointed out the Hypocrisy of abortion opponents, regarding their ignoring of Science when it comes to talking about personhood, while valuing Science with respect to "life".


And what did you do in response? You immediately exhibited exactly the Hypocrisy I described!

Clinton said...

IIC: "There is more than one definition of 'parent'! You are not using the one I want you to use, therefore you are misusing the language!"

Clinton said...

If you think the pro-life position is based only on emotion, you haven't been reading this blog very much at all. I could point you to several articles that make a reasoned case that the unborn are full human persons, with natural human rights, that should be respected from fertilization.

Clinton said...

It's true that abortion was illegal up until 1973. Pre-1973, some states had started to be more lenient with their restrictions on abortion. But before the early 1900's in US common law, and for almost 800 years of England's common law, abortion has been illegal because killing the fetus (at least after quickening) was considered homicide. If there were legal abortions in the US, it was only up until the time of quickening. Once medical science advanced and the unborn were discovered to be humans from fertilization (not quickening, which was when the child was considered to be "ensouled" because it was animated), abortions were stopped from fertilization. Also, before the 1900's, abortions were very rare because they were much more dangerous, and apart from considering abortion to be homicide, it was also considered to be attempted suicide by the woman because abortions were so dangerous.

Clinton said...

Certain Asian countries count a person's age from fertilization, not from birth. At birth, they start you at one year old. I fail to see what the point of your argument is.

Russell Crawford said...

Until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype, there is no human life. The first point at which it is reasonable to assume a human life is created is at birth. Until the fetal heart is transformed into a human heart there is no proof the fetus is human. The same is true with regard to respiration, digestion and the brain. Those process are confirmed to be human at birth. Of course some life is never confirmed to be fully human even though it is born.

Feemster said...

Go to Google Images.....Google late term abortion. See what all the fuss is about!!!

Cass said...

I think the simplified argument the author is making is that the act of "being born" doesn't instantly change the intrinsic worth of an individual.for example, a fetus is considered viable at 24 weeks,( even though the youngest premature baby to survive was 22 weeks) So at 23 weeks 6 days, the fetus can be terminated? What happens in the next 24 hours to suddenly make this human have rights? No one can pin point the exact moment of viabliity. Even so, if 24 weeks is the magic number, why make exceptions for emotional reasons? The mother was raped? does that change the worth of the 33 week fetus? why not allow it to live, she will have to give birth in a late term abortion anyhow; the only difference is a deadly injection to the heart of the fetus first. Also, that it is a well known fact that certain terms are more emotionally charged, therefore used for an agenda. Of course pro-lifers will use preborn or unborn baby; just as pro-choicers will use contents of the uterus, lump of cells ( all living creatures could be called this.) and fetus ( ironic, since fetus means offspring in latin)