A reader from Australia writes:
Thought you might find this story interesting.
The parents of a 32-week-old (in utero) baby, who was killed when her mother was run over, are pushing for the driver to be charged with murder or manslaughter.
The second line of the story sums it up…
But according to New South Wales law, Zoe Ball was not a human being because, despite spending eight months in her mother’s womb, the baby did not take a breath.
I live in Victoria, the state south of NSW, which last year decriminalised abortion and effectively legalised it up to 40 weeks (on demand up to 24 weeks, with approval of two doctors after that).
Any changes NSW might make won’t impact on us, though I doubt the campaign will succeed.
But boy would I welcome any kind of debate on just what is a human being, and at what point they “become” that human being… if nothing else, to bring to light our utter hypocrisy on these issues and give me an excuse to argue the topic with my many pro-choice friends.
cheers, and thanks for your blog!
PS: The laws will be reviewed... but I won’t be getting my hopes up!
What’s with the “taking a breath” criterion anyway? Once again this proves my point that, when it comes to abortion, prolifers are the hard-headed science types and prochoicers are mystical superstitious primitives who should be shaking mistel branches at statues. Try to have a conversation about what a human organism is (hint: it’s got 46 chromosomes and is not a goldfish or a cucumber) and they go all Bronze Age on you, asserting that they know when a “soul” enters the body, or babbling that the spirit only enters when you inhale your first breathe of mystical air or chattering about how the “blood of the mother” in the umbilical cord somehow deprives the fetus of its humanity. It’s science worthy of a shaman, and yet it seems to dominate the discourse of prochoicers.