Jumping In

When does life begin? At conception, which is a moment that a couple can recount and pinpoint only in somewhat specific terms and in retrospect, i.e. “… it must have been those days in Acapulco, or that Wednesday in January when we were snowed in, or that night I was raped…”

When the period doesn’t arrive and confirmation of pregnancy does, some time has passed and the moment when life begins has already happened. The zygote—the fertilized ovum—can develop as nothing other than a more fully formed human being. There is no continuum into which one can push a pin. There is a certain futility in trying to split hairs and soothe consciences with philosophy and religion and even science. Arguing over the go/no go moment can be mere cerebral exercise and only matters in terms of the import given to a woman’s decision to keep or abort.

The matter of whether or not a life has been spared or taken is not up for debate, as I see it. A life will be spared or taken, regardless of the point in the pregnancy at which a decision is made.

Is not the central issue that the woman have resources and support which aid her in making a decision and having the final say in the course of events, in how things unfold? The moral implications and emotional consequences are, ultimately, of no concern to anyone but the woman. She will either be at peace with her decision, or not.

Others of course can feel upset or offended, but it’s no one else’s business to interfere with this, except in situations where the emotional and decision-making faculties of the woman are of properly assessed and verifiable concern.

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