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Opening Arguments

A matter of indifference

I think the bill requiring a doctor to tell a woman considering abortion that life begins at conception is wrong, for a lot of reasons, the main one being that legislators have no business declaring legal certainty over something about which there is no medical, philosophical or ethical certainty. But one of those reasons is not improper religious interference:

The Rev. Michael D. Mather of Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis told the Senate health committee that not even fellow Methodists agree on when human life begins.

As written, Mather said the legislation represents one religious viewpoint - the belief that human physical life commences when a sperm fertilizes an egg.

"I believe that what is matter of faith should not be a matter of law," he told the panel.

David Sklar, an intern at the Jewish Community Relations Council, read a statement by the Indianapolis group that called the bill's declaration that life begins at conception to be "blatantly indifferent" to diverse religious beliefs, including Jewish tradition.

People of different religious beliefs disagree about a lot of things. Methodists and Catholics, for example, have different ways of looking at homosexuality. Different faiths have differing views on the death penalty. That doesn't mean a bill for or against the death penalty or for or against gay marriage is "religious" legislation. Whether a bill is "blatantly indifferent" to diverse relgious beliefs should be a matter of indifference to us.


Steve Towsley
Fri, 02/16/2007 - 9:25pm

>"...legislators have no business
>declaring legal certainty over
>something about which there is
>no medical, philosophical or
>ethical certainty."

No reasonable and/or sane person is going to disagree that legislators can have no business declaring legal certainty over matters about which there is no medical, philosophical or ethical certainty.

It seems so straightforward.

William Larsen
Sat, 02/17/2007 - 11:19pm

When does life begin? The issue of abortion in my opinion is not about religion at all. We have laws against killing some body. We also have laws dealing with assault. We have laws that even in some cases make you responsible for seniors. We have laws that require parents to provide adequate care to minors.

There is no question that once a fetus is born, they have legal protection. The question really is, when does life begin? There are cases where premature births of 30 weeks used to be a problem, now they have a very good chance of surviving and becoming adult human beings. Was there any doubt that these fetuses would not develop into a human being if allowed to progress?

A fetus needs the help of the woman in whose body they live to survive. We have environmental laws against polluting the environment in which fish live, we live, why not the environment in which a fetus lives?

At what instant does life begin? Is it defined by ones ability to survive on their own? If so, then why have laws to care for the elderly? If you can no longer care for yourself, you are no longer a human being? Clearly I do not have this view nor does the majority of the public, but is a fetus really any different? A person with an incurable disease has very little chance of being a productive citizen once again, yet a fetus has a very high probability of becoming a productive member of society if allowed to live.

Everyone living today began as a fetus. We were all given a chance. What makes any fetus any different from us?

Kenn Gividen
Sun, 02/18/2007 - 1:08am

We are endowed "with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

We're familiar with that phrase. But most are unaware that our nation's Declaration of Independence immediately adds, "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted."

Our nation was founded upon the principle that the purpose of government is to secure the right to life. How can life be secured if we refuse to acknowledge it exist?

By defining the parameters of human life at conception the state legislature is allowing the fundamental principle of our nation to be realized.

Steve Towsley
Sun, 02/18/2007 - 10:57am

>When does life begin? .... There >is no question that once a {baby}
>is born, they have legal >protection.

Above, we can see that this poster actually answers his own question in official, legal, societal terms.

I suppose the real issue is whether his first question "When does life begin?" will be answered in terms of faith, science, medicine or some other discipline. You can't just declare "life is life," because tissue is alive yet we trim our nails and hair every so often, and perform -ectomies regularly without compunction.

Before you ask when life begins you have to go on record as defining what you mean by life, in your question. Reason? Soul? Human DNA? Breath?

Then you can argue apples and apples, no matter which side of the tree you fall on.

Sun, 02/18/2007 - 1:22pm

Come on, we all know when life begins even those who destroy it knows when it began.What we have in the methodist fellow is a false prophet leading hia sheep astray Proverbs c17,v15 Hewho justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an AMOMINATION to the LORD!

Sun, 02/18/2007 - 1:32pm

ABOMINATION ,a vile detestable shameful action or thought.

Steve Towsley
Sun, 02/18/2007 - 1:36pm

If you're pulled over by a cop for a violation of the law, you can quote the Bible or the Constitution until you're blue in the face and you'll still get the citation, and maybe even a trip downtown to see the judge on Monday morning, at which point your only valid defense will be to show you did not break the chapter and verse of the law of the land for which you were detained.

No other chapter or verse will be admissible. Render unto Caesar...

Mon, 02/19/2007 - 8:48pm

the things that are Caesas's and to God the things that are Gods. Unborn children should never be Caesars possessions.