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Thread: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Quote Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
    So is a child who dies of cancer aged 3 months in a poor country with no medical care still a living person 5 years later because somewhere else in the world chemotherapy would have saved them?


    i.e. a weird variation on Schrödinger's cat.
    Now that's just silly. Religious people don't care about children after they are born.

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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Quote Originally Posted by Galant View Post
    The single point I brought up relates to definitions. No one is saying there aren't difficulties in understanding the fullness of human life. The point is that 'human being' is a term which cannot be denied the unborn child. It is a specific term with a real meaning which can't just be twisted around to fit one's criteria. I, myself, am no authority on these issues, therefore I refer to what I have read and learned on this matter, and my knowledge is certainly incomplete. However, as said, human being is a specific term, and I would be curious to hear what other scientific term or definition might be rightly applied to the unborn.

    Since you brought it up the processes of twinning and the rare instances of the production of chimera, though, neither of those rule out the possibility of individuality in the embryo(s). This is because it does not necessarily follow that because an entity may split it was not therefore a whole living organism prior to the split, or that is two organisms combine into one that there were not two at some point. If a flatworm is cut in half we get two flatworms. Does it follow there was no living (whole) flatworm prior to the split? With regards monozygotic twinning, it has been described as exactly analogous to cloning, that is, essentially, a wholly natural form of cloning where genetic information of one whole individual is used as the basis for another. Just because the second, or third or fourth individual(s) did not form till later and by different means does not mean that a unique and whole individual did not exist first. Additionally, if one absorbs the other into itself, it does necessarily follow that two distinct entities did not, at some point, exist. Only that those entities are subject to processes which older individuals are not.

    Either way, all of this is off the point. This thread concerns the treatment of the unborn by the mother - or other individuals - and not time frame was specified. We have almost immediately ended up discussing the earliest stages of development but there is no reason to limit the discussion to only those stages. Stating that an unborn child, at no point in his or her development, can be called a human being must simply be false. People may wish to discuss personhood in terms of analysing the potential rights of the unborn child, however, I submit that whatever discussion of personhood may take place, the unborn child is human and is an individual being. And in defense of that I submit the below as defense of that position.

    "Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoo development) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual."

    "A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo)."
    Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.

    "[The zygote], formed by the union of an oocyte and a sperm, is the beginning of a new human being."
    Keith L. Moore, Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2008. p. 2.

    "Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a 'moment') is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte."
    Ronan O'Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8.

    "Human embryos begin development following the fusion of definitive male and female gametes during fertilization... This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development."
    William J. Larsen, Essentials of Human Embryology. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1998. pp. 1, 14.

    "It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and resultant mingling of the nuclear material each brings to the union that constitues the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual."
    Clark Edward Corliss, Patten's Human Embryology: Elements of Clinical Development. New York: McGraw Hill, 1976. p. 30.

    "The term conception refers to the union of the male and female pronuclear elements of procreation from which a new living being develops."
    "The zygote thus formed represents the beginning of a new life."
    J.P. Greenhill and E.A. Friedman, Biological Principles and Modern Practice of Obstetrics. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 1974. pp. 17, 23.

    "Every time a sperm cell and ovum unite a new being is created which is alive and will continue to live unless its death is brought about by some specific condition."
    E.L. Potter and J.M. Craig, Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant, 3rd edition. Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers, 1975. p. vii.

    "Biologically speaking, human development begins at fertilization."
    The Biology of Prenatal Develpment, National Geographic, 2006.

    "The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception, when an individual's unique set of DNA is created, a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated."
    In the Womb, National Geographic, 2005.


    The below from a US report, Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, 97th Congress, 1st Session April 23-24, 1981.
    "It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive...It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception."
    Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth
    Harvard University Medical School

    "I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception."
    Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni
    Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics, University of Pennsylvania

    "After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being. [It] is no longer a matter of taste or opinion...it is plain experimental evidence. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception."
    Dr. Jerome LeJeune
    Professor of Genetics, University of Descartes


    "By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception."
    Professor Hymie Gordon
    Mayo Clinic


    "The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter – the beginning is conception."
    Dr. Watson A. Bowes
    University of Colorado Medical School
    This reminds me of those huge lists of scientists who believe in creationism that the idiots throw around. Project Steve was the response. Just like this silliness, it shows that it's easy to find a few people with fringe views to support yours, but that doesn't give your brand of drivel legitimacy.

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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Quote Originally Posted by TeePee View Post
    This reminds me of those huge lists of scientists who believe in creationism that the idiots throw around. Project Steve was the response. Just like this silliness, it shows that it's easy to find a few people with fringe views to support yours, but that doesn't give your brand of drivel legitimacy.
    It might be a list, like the Stephen Project, but that doesn't invalidate the contents.

    As Galant says, it states biological facts, but does not address the ethical or moral considerations raised by the OP.
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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    It might be a list, like the Stephen Project, but that doesn't invalidate the contents.

    As Galant says, it states biological facts, but does not address the ethical or moral considerations raised by the OP.
    On the contrary, a list does not provide validity to an opinion, any more than listing the producers of 'Ancient Aliens' provides validity to the idea of alien visitation.

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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Quote Originally Posted by TeePee View Post
    On the contrary, a list does not provide validity to an opinion, any more than listing the producers of 'Ancient Aliens' provides validity to the idea of alien visitation.
    Eminent biologists with same message?

    But I'd be open to look at a similar list of eminent biologists in their field with opposing views, after all, debate and disagreement among academe is one of the ways science advances and ethical considerations develop.
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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    This is not 'eminent biologists', it's a list of cherry-picked quotes compiled by an organisation called 'National Association for the Advancement of Preborn Children', a bunch of right-wing nut jobs who are dishonestly trying to push for anti-abortion laws in the US, and for a ban on research into stem-cell treatments and IVF.

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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    The quotes are still quotes from people eminent in their field, regardless of whether they have been cherry picked to advance a particular point of view.
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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    The quotes are still quotes from people eminent in their field, regardless of whether they have been cherry picked to advance a particular point of view.
    It would be more accurate to say that some of them were eminent in their field, since these quotes span more than half a century, and many of them are now deceased. A quote relating to 'modern molecular biology' has a different context when you realise it was made before NMR scanning of proteins was possible. This is, of course, just following the play book. It's not just a shortage of modern quotes, but mainly that dead scientists are less likely to complain about out of context quote mining.

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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Not true.

    The first several quotes are from text books. I'll link to a few reviews of/references to those text books. There are also a couple of quotes from National Geographic documentaries and then there are quotes, as cited, from a US subcommittee report addressing the question of when human life begins.

    The quotes are not from "right-wing nutjobs". Quite frankly, that's incredibly insulting. If you took two minutes to look them up you'd find that they are or were recognised, respected experts in their fields, some of whom are or were the recipients of awards for their work, including one who was the lead scientist responsible for the work in discovering how chromosome analysis can diagnose Down Syndrome and other similar diseases. Again I'll post information. Feel free to point out how these individuals can be rightly considered "fringe nut-jobs" or kindly rescind your comment, please.

    With regards the subcommittee report, that subcommittee was formed to address, in part, the question of when life began, in order to look at legislation to change abortion law. The scientific testimony was to address the question of the beginning of human life in biological terms. In the report's own words: "Only by determining whether unborn children are human beings, and deciding whether our law should and does accord intrinsic worth and equal value to their lives, can our government rationally address the issue of abortion." Now, if by your definition anyone who is either opposed to abortion, or who declares that the unborn child is a human life, is a "right-wing nutjob" I'd suggest you appear to have decided the matter beforehand. If however, you wish to look at the question itself, surely that requires an investigation into the matter by professionals suited to the job?

    The full text of that report is here. It's long but organised. I suggest starting around page 3 and then also on from page 11 for the scientific question, however, the contents clearly indicate where to turn for what content.

    Now, as for the textbooks, here are a few references. Some of the text books are newer (2000's), some older(60's 70's), none of them are or were 'fringe'.

    "Human Embryology and Teratology" - Dundee Uni review - "This is unquestionably a very valuable
    and useful embryological text. It is however far outside the student ability to purchase and so for that reason it should be viewed as a library book..." Publisher.

    "The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology" & "Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects"

    Review of an early edition from the Journal of Anatomy as cited in the US National Library of Medicine & National Center for Biotechnology Information.
    About the author - clearly a typical, fringe, right-wing "nut-job":-
    Keith L Moore
    - professor emeritus in the division of anatomy, in the Faculty of Surgery, at the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Moore is associate dean for Basic Medical Sciences in the university's Faculty of Medicine, and was Chair of Anatomy from 1976 to 1984. He is a founding member of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA),[1][2][3] and was President of the AACA between 1989 and 1991.

    Among his numerous awards:

    Awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. The Medal is awarded to those who have made significant contributions and achievements in Canada. The medal was created to mark the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada,
    Honoured Member of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA), the highest honour given by the association for scholarship and service. The recognition is for “outstanding contributions to the field of Clinical Anatomy, epitomized by his many textbooks on clinically- oriented gross anatomy and embryology, and many years of dedicated service to the AACA and its journal, Clinical Anatomy”
    Member of the National Board of Medical Examiners of the United States of America, the first Canadian to be appointed to this prestigious board. The certificate was presented “in appreciation of the valuable contribution to the work of the board and the preparation of examinations for American and Canadian Medical schools”
    Member of the Federative International Committee on Anatomical Terminology for 20 years, the only Canadian ever appointed to this prestigious committee. The aim of this committee is “to present the official terminology of the anatomical sciences after consultation with all 55 members of the International Federation of Associations of Anatomy, thus insuring a democratic input to the terminology”. The terms are translated into several languages so that all anatomists and doctors can use the recommended terms
    J.C.B. Grant Award, the highest honour given by the Canadian Association of Anatomists in recognition of “meritorious and outstanding scholarly accomplishments in the field of anatomical services”
    Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (FRSM) London England
    American Medical Writers Association Award for “excellence in medical publications as represented by his book “The Developing Human”
    American Medical Writers Association Awarded Honourable Mention for his book Clinically Oriented Anatomy

    "Essentials of Human Embryology" - Review of from the Journal of Anatomy as cited in the US National Library of Medicine & National Center for Biotechnology Information.

    "Biological Principles and Modern Practice of Obstetrics"

    "Emanuel Friedman is a retired American obstetrician. He analysed thousands of women during labour in the 1950s, and from his statistics produced a graphical representation of an ‘ideal’ labour, which remains known as the Friedman curve... Monitoring progress through the first phase against that expected by Friedman’s curve has directed clinical decisions such as whether to perform a Caesarean section. The curve remains a feature of obstetrical training. However, its influence in the delivery room has decreased recently. There have also been calls to re-examine the criteria behind Friedman’s curve. This would take into account changes in both obstetrics and society since Friedman’s original work, such as the use of epidural anaesthesia and increases in average weights of mothers and infants."
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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Referenced scientists:
    Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth
    Porphyria Foundation - "She is a physician at Brigham & Women's Hospital, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, where she performs basic science and clinical research in photobiology. Her clinical studies focus on developing photo-protective treatments for erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP) and other human photosensitivity diseases. She has studied beta-carotene and the amino acid, cysteine, as protective agents against the effects of light in EPP patients. She is also developing gene therapy treatments for EPP. Her basic science studies focus on: molecular biology of EPP and related gene therapy studies; carotenoid molecule photoprotective functions in the bacteria that contain carotenoids, as well as mammilian cells supplemented with them; genetics of the pigment formation in non-photosynthetic carotenoid-containing bacteria."

    Focus - Harvard Medical School - Bulletin from 2000 "The Society for Photobiology awarded Micheline Mathews-Roth, HMS associate professor of medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, with its Lifetime Achievement Award at its annual meeting in July. Currently Mathews-Roth is concentrating on developing gene therapy as a potential cure for erythropoietic protoporphyria, since standard beta-carotene treatment, although effective in preventing the development of symptoms, has no effect on the disease's cause."

    Dr. Alfred M. Bongiovanni - Deceased - the following from an obituary -

    "...an internationally known specialist on growth and hormonal problems... At the time of his death, he was director of fetal and perinatal endocrinology in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Pennsylvania Hospital. He was also a professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine. In addition, he was chairman of Penn's department of pediatrics and William H. Bennett Professor there. Dr. Bongiovanni, former physician-in-chief and chairman of pediatrics at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, also served as adjunct professor of pediatrics at Thomas Jefferson University. His specialized areas of interests led to work with the Rockefeller Institute, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins University. His concerns for the health and welfare of children worldwide were reflected in his association with international institutions and programs. He traveled to the Soviet Union in 1965 on a lecture tour sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare and helped set up the agenda for the Second International Congress on Hormonal Steroids in Milan, Italy, the following year. He served as visiting professor of pediatrics at Pahlavi University in Iran...and in the same capacity at the University of Ife in Nigeria...he served as associate director of Project Hope in Cairo, Egypt.

    During his years of teaching, treatment and research, he contributed more than 290 articles to the medical and scientific journals of the world.

    ...he served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Medical Science, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and the journal Pediatrics. Among his many awards and honors, he received the Ciba Award, the highest honor given by the American Endocrine Society; the first Mead Johnson Award of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Bar Kochba Medal of Israel, and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Lectureship of Georgetown University. He also received the Shaffrey Medal of St. Joseph's College, the Mendel Medal of Villanova University and the Packard Lectureship of the Philadelphia Pediatric Society. He was a fellow of the Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, a former member of the executive committee of the Endocrine Society and past president of its Philadelphia chapter. He was a past chairman of the American Pediatric Society and of the Institute of Child Health, Human Development and Mental Retardation Training Review Committee of the Public Health Service and National Institutes of Health, and was a former member of the U.S. Pharmacopeia Panel on Pediatrics and the Public Health Service panel for the National Institute of Arthritic and Metabolic Disease. He served on the advisory committee on research of the American Cancer Society, on the medical board of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and on the board of trustees of the South Jersey Medical Research."

    Dr. Jerome LeJeune - Deceased - Has an article in Wikipedia as well as a foundation in his name. Some bits and pieces:

    Jérôme Lejeune (June 13, 1926 – April 3, 1994) was a French pediatrician and geneticist, best known for discovering the link of diseases to chromosome abnormalities.
    In 1964 he identified Cri du Chat Syndrome...and in 1966 he described 18q-Syndrome... Lejeune also discovered the Dr phenotype and he identified trisomies on chromosome 9 in 1970 and chromosome 8 in 1971.
    In 1962 the President of the United States personally presented him with the Kennedy Prize for his research into genetic intellectual disability and for finding the genetic cause of Down syndrome.
    In 1964, the first chair of human genetics was created at the Paris School of Medicine, and Lejeune was named to fill it.
    In 1969, Lejeune's work earned him the William Allan Award, granted by the American Society of Human Genetics, the world’s highest honor in genetics.
    As a well-known geneticist, he was called to the United States to testify in court in Davis v. Davis, the Tennessee Frozen Embryo Case, in Maryville, Tennessee in 1989.

    Professor Hymie Gordon - Deceased. Clearly another fringe nutter:

    "Hymie Gordon, BSci, BM, BSurg, MD, FRCP, was co-founder and Co-Chair of the Program in Human Rights and Medicine at the University of Minnesota, Professor Emeritus of Medical Genetics at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, and founder and director of the Mayo Clinic's world renowned program in medical genetics.
    He was a fellow of the Forman Foundation and served as research associate in the Department of Cardiology at the Postgraduate Medical School and the Hammersmith Hospital in London, England.
    He was assistant physician in medicine and instructor in biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
    He established a genetics teaching and research program at the University of Cape Town and a Comprehensive Care Clinic at the Groote Schuur Hospital.
    He joined the Mayo Clinic on the 1st of May, 1969, and was charged with the task of developing a program in medical genetics.
    In January of 1972, he became the first chairman of the Department of Medical Genetics and the first Professor of Medical Genetics at the Mayo Medical School.
    In 1988, with G.E.M. Anscombe and John M Dolan, he founded the Program in Human Rights and Medicine at the University of Minnesota.

    He was an invited lecturer at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the University of Padua, the Sorbonne in Paris, the Royal Postgraduate Medical School and most of the other London Medical Schools, and the University of Oxford.
    He was the David Hsia lecturer at Loyola Medical School, the Morris Fishbein Lecturer at the University of Chicago, the Kelly lecturer at Albany Medical School, the McKenzie Professor at the University of Edmonton, and the Benedict Lecturer at the American Academy of Ophthalmologists and Otorhinolaryngologists.

    He was a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Physicians of London, the Royal Society of Medicine, and the British Interplanetary Society; and he was a member of the Genetical Society of Great Britain.
    After emigrating to the United States of America he was a member of the American society for Human Genetics, the American Association for the History of Medicine, the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
    He served on the editorial boards of Postgraduate Medicine and of the American Journal of Medical Genetics.
    He composed and delivered a vast, sixty-lecture, three year lecture series titled, "History for Physicians," which covered illness, disease, medicine, and human culture from Biblical times up through the Human Genome Project. Third, as Co-Chair of the Program in Human Rights and Medicine, he spent thousands of hours planning, participating in, and leading seminars, lecture series, and other educational programs."


    Lastly we have Watson Bowes, retired as of 1999, recipient of the University of Colorado "Distinguished Achievement Award 2010".

    Short Bio - "In 1982 he joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina as a full professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In June of 1999 he retired and is now professor emeritus. His major professional interests include high-risk obstetrics, preterm birth, and all aspects of labor and delivery."

    "Watson Bowes, MD ’59, was presented with the Distinguished Achievement Award, which recognizes outstanding service benefiting the community, the practice of medicine, delivery of health care and the University of Colorado School of Medicine. An obstetrics doctor, Bowes pioneered RH sensitization and published several papers on intrauterine transfusion early in his career. He was a faculty member at the University of Colorado and later moved to the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill where he was presented with several faculty and teaching awards. His colleague at UNC and fellow alumnus, William Droegmueller, recalls Bowes as "the best possible role model for students and residents I can think of. He was a devoted physician and a doctor’s doctor—literally, because so many physicians wanted him to deliver their babies.

    Bowes, who is retired, still attends department conferences, reviews literature, contributes reviews to Faculty 1000 and continues to play a prominent role in the field of physician ethics, both locally and nationally."
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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Ah, the Galant Gallop continues.

    The National Association for the Advancement of Preborn Children are indeed a bunch of right-wing nut jobs.

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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Quote Originally Posted by TeePee View Post
    Ah, the Galant Gallop continues.

    The National Association for the Advancement of Preborn Children are indeed a bunch of right-wing nut jobs.
    That'll be the same bunch of 'right wing nut jobs' that are in favour of gun ownership and oppose the provision of health care to all Americans, regardless of income (aka Obamacare)?
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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    That'll be the same bunch of 'right wing nut jobs' that are in favour of gun ownership and oppose the provision of health care to all Americans, regardless of income (aka Obamacare)?
    Single issue politics. They are more like the NRA, they care about one issue and ignore everything else.

    The difference is that, unlike the NRA, their fringe position has very little support in the US. Earlier this year their dishonest attempts to push for a 'personhood' amendment in Colorado was met with an overwhelming defeat by the electorate. In contrast, the NRA is a massive organisation, and has overwhelming support in the US, with opinion polls showing 60% or the population supporting their cause.

    Also, Obamacare is a mandate that requires everyone to pay for private health insurance, regardless of income. It's origins are very much to the right of the aisle. The biggest beneficiaries are the insurance companies, exactly as you would expect.

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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    I do not know the detail of the case (notably, whether the mother was drinking the entire time up until the day she gave birth). I don't know much about what the law says, but logically I find attempted murder difficult to fit. If I was to pick something, it would be some kind of neglect.

    Morally speaking, I am generally fine with abortion in the first earlier stage of pregnancy. But once the brain, heart and nervous system has been sufficiently developed to the point they are functioning independently from the mother, then I have difficulty to accept that just a lump of cells. Well, less of a lump of cell than a new born baby is anyway (even fully grown adults are just a lump of cells - so I see that term as no less than a way to dehumanise).

    As far as I am concerned, pregnancy is the first step to motherhood, and I would question whether a person who can't control themselves for 9 months for the well-being of their future child, to be fit for raising that child for the next 18 years or so that follows. I do not view women as moving incubators.. but should they choose to take up the task of motherhood, I would expect them to take all reasonable precautions as soon as they know that they realise they are pregnant. Some people are worried about slippery slope, but I personally don't think that is reason to keep things completely black or white. I don't think it is that difficult to give up a alcohol for 9.5 months I don't think that we need to go as far as punishing someone who had a glass of champagne. But I think that there is still a world of difference between that, and "most reasonable person" would consider as "drinking in excess"..

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