Yuval Levin on the contradiction in the U.S. Senate's stem cell bill.
All of this has caused senators to revise the House bill and include support for ethical alternatives. But given that revision, the Senate bill now contains a contradiction that its sponsors will need to learn from for next time. It acknowledges the value of exploring means of deriving pluripotent stem cells without destroying embryos, and so acknowledges also the problem inherent in such destruction. But if they now recognize that problem, and the value of advancing scientific techniques that allow us to avert it, the sponsors of the Senate bill need to rethink the rest of their measure.
Miranda Sawyer, a broadcaster in the UK, examines her pro-choice beliefs after a trip to America for a television program about the abortion debate in America. The most poignant moment comes early in the article when Miranda writes,
My mind kept returning to the pregnancy test. If my reaction to those fateful double lines that said 'baby ahead' had been horror instead of hurrah - and, to be honest, it wasn't unalloyed joy that I felt when I saw them; I was scared, too - then I would have had little hesitation in having an abortion. But it was that very fact that was confusing me. I was calling the life inside me a baby because I wanted it. Yet if I hadn't, I would think of it just as a group of cells that it was OK to kill. It was the same entity. It was merely my response to it that determined whether it would live or die. That seemed irrational to me. Maybe even immoral.Miranda, however, concludes that early term abortion should be legal on demand because while the unborn are alive they don't have "human characteristics"/aren't persons but then notes for late-term abortions, "Who are we to say whether the life inside is a person, or not?"
So, in other words, abortion should be legal early on because the unborn at that stage aren't persons but we have no objective way of proving unborn children later in development are persons. It seems like Miranda realized her original pro-choice position (killing unborn children should be legal because they're unwanted) was illogical so she accepted another pro-choice position regardless of how logical it was.