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Fertilized Egg, Meet Human Rights

As of Tuesday, the North Dakota House says that a fertilized egg has human rights:

zygote 

That’s a fertilized egg. Male and female DNA joined together. A human life.

From the article:

The bill declares that “any organism with the genome of homo sapiens” is a person protected by rights granted by the North Dakota Constitution and state laws.

The bill, which still has to pass the ND Senate, would “essentially ban abortion in the state.”

Good stuff.

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Discussion

3 thoughts on “Fertilized Egg, Meet Human Rights

  1. At the risk of being excoriated by the masses who frequent your blog (ok, so I’m probably safe since the this isn’t the Xanga or KWC side)…I have a question. And it’s only a question.
    How is it that you can freeze an embryo (from 1 to 6 days after fertilization) for years and later implant it, experiment on it, etc, but you cannot, I presume, freeze at a later stage of development and expect the frozen unborn child or born child or adult to survive? As much as I love Star Wars, I think Han Solo is unique in his ability to survive the carbon freezing process.
    Is there something fundamentally different about the nature of an embryo and later stages of development? Is that embryo “alive” since it can be frozen and “survive” but no other life form that I’m aware of can survive such a process?
    As I said, it’s just a question. I’ve always believed life begins at fertilization, but I have this nagging question that could have implications for embryonic stem cell research, the ethics of frozen embryo transfer, etc.
    Go ahead. Bite my head off.

    Posted by ahoak | February 23, 2009, 9:07 am
  2. Good question. Maybe it’s just a matter of being in an earlier, less complex stage of development. I don’t know if we’d say an embryo is alive or not, but it at least has the potential for life. The implication of your question is that if it’s not technically alive yet, maybe it’s ok to do research, etc. on it … maybe somebody has written about this somewhere. And yeah, Han Solo is cool.

    Posted by BenHoak | February 24, 2009, 8:25 am
  3. “I don’t know if we’d say an embryo is alive or not, but it at least has the potential for life.”

    Embryos and zygotes are alive! They are individually whole human persons.

    See Libertarians for Life science page here.

    “As demonstrated above, scientifically there is absolutely no question whatsoever that the immediate product of fertilization is a newly existing human being. A human zygote is a human being. It is not a “potential” or a “possible” human being. It’s an actual human being — with the potential to grow bigger and develop its capacities.”

    As for ahoak’s question about embryo freezing, you can do a lot to an elderly person that you cannot do on an embryo or zygote. Does that mean that the elderly person should be killed for someone else’s benefit? (Ever seen Soylent Green: here and here.)

    Speaking of Star Wars, see my post here: “Hail Emperor Palpatine!”

    For updated info on cloning embryos see here.

    Posted by gbm3 | March 21, 2009, 7:07 pm

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