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home : opinions : opinions May 24, 2016

2/11/2012 1:09:00 PM
Letter: Abortion boils down to destruction of a human life


As a Christian and a retired physician, I was gratified to read in the recent Verde Independent that Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa is proposing Arizona bill SB 1494 that would define human life as beginning “at conception.”

This is consistent with the Bible and certainly is backed by medical science. For women considering abortion, this would put them on notice as to what they are really doing - destroying a human life.

Kirk R. Stetson M.D.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012
Article comment by: Ann Rant

Phineous, Regarding the 'resulting baby', let me quote William H. James from the Galton Laboratory, University College London:

"Of 100 human zygotes, now, in this country, it is estimated that embryonic and early fetal loss (before the end of the 3rd month) accounts for 44 induced abortion, 7 late fetal loss (after the 3rd month), 4 and mortality between birth and maturity, 1. Of the remaining 43 who reach maturity, it is estimated that 8 fail to reproduce, leaving 35 who do reproduce."

So, it is ok to lose 44% of these zygotes, which are barely more than the sperm in your parts being in close proximity to a woman, by natural attrition but the 7% due to abortion is unacceptable? Maybe women who lose zygotes or early term embryos should be murderers as well?

Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012
Article comment by: Phineous Jack

My heart goes out to you.

Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012
Article comment by: Gaia Gurl

Just as I THOUGHT . . . Jack you have NEVER been pregnant, so don't tell WOMEN what to do with THEIR bodies!

Being there is not like BEING pregnant.

Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012
Article comment by: Phineous Jack

And my experience is this, I am the father of two and grandfather of four, I was present for all of there births. I was a paramedic for 13 years and yes your newborn did look like the 12 week old fetus just bigger.
I am sorry you had a miscarriage, I am sure that was a painful experience, I don't wish that on anyone.

@ Ann, You are right but my discusion was with Gaia Gurl so I was answering to that. The average person can recognize a human fetus around nine weeks. So I guess you win that one. However I would like to address this statement,
"There are many reasons, rape being one, that a woman would want to take the morning after pill. SB1494 would make her a murderer. She would have a stiffer sentence than her assailant. That is ridiculous."
Atually I think this is ridiculous,

Sentencing for rape varies depending on circumstances and locale. However, Department of Justice (DOJ) reports this:
The average sentence for criminals convicted of rape in the United States (and released in 1992) is 117 months. The average time served is 65 months, which equates to 56 percent of the actual sentence served. For crimes of sexual assault, the average sentence is 72 months, and the average time served is 35 months, equating to 49 percent of time served. (Greenfeld, Lawrence A., 1995, "Prison Sentences and Time Served for Violence," page 1, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.)

The resulting baby would have a stiffer sentence than the rapist as well.

Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012
Article comment by: Phineous Jack

Gaia Gurl,
You need to educate yourself on these points,
1, "Let's see at 12 WEEKS . . .
It is called a FETUS." Moot point to what you call it.

2, "'It has no rights in a court of LAW." There are actually several laws that protect babies in the womb, Unborn Victims of Violence Act being one and another international law, The American Convention on Human Rights is a treaty signed by 24 Latin American countries in 1969, which states that from the moment of conception, human beings have rights. It came into force in 1978. There are others...

3, "It cannot LIVE outside the Mother's WOMB." Where it can live is also a moot point. All babys need protection and care to live outside the womb. Some elderly require the same type of care as a new born.

4, "80% of miscarriages happen in the first trimester." Interesting fact but what does that have to do with anything we are discussing?

5, "Can the embryo FEEL?" Yes, "Lip tactile response may be evoked by the end of the 7th week. At 11 weeks, the face and all parts of the upper and lower extremities are sensitive to touch. By 13 1/2 to 14 weeks, the entire body surface, except for the back and the top of the head, are sensitive to pain." S. Reinis & J. Goldman, The Development of the Brain C. Thomas Pub., 1980 There are many more medical publications on this.

6, "Can the embryo THINK?" At nine weeks, the embryo's ballooning brain allows it to bend its body, hiccup, and react to loud sounds. At week ten, it moves its arms, "breathes" amniotic fluid in and out, opens its jaw, and stretches. Before the first trimester is over, it yawns, sucks, and swallows, as well as feels and smells. By the end of the second trimester, it can hear toward the end of pregnancy, it can see. Source: Psychology Today, Sep/Oct98, Vol. 31 Issue 5, p44, 6p, 4c.

7, Does the embryo have a SOUL? I will give this question, because this can not be measured, does anthing have a soul and can you point to it. My personal belief is yes, but I can not prove it, but you can't prove that it doesn't.

Have a nice day.

Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012
Article comment by: Hollyann anonymous

10 years later and I still remember that day as if it was taking place right now. I was a immature, naive young girl going against all I had ever believed. Surrounded only by those adults telling me what was 'best' to do at the time. I do not believe any of them took into consideration the way that decision would carry with me throughout life. My bf agreed. Oh yes, my first and the love of my life, who would be with me forever. Yea okay. Leading up to that day I prayed and prayed that Pres Bush would pass the law making abortion illegal. Unfortunately, it did not happen. Had I not accepted and taken Valium that day when I first entered the clinic I do not believe I would have been able to follow through. I watch female after female go back as I waited for my name to be called. I remember being tired and pretty calm until I got back to the room. Once I was in there and the doc began the procedure I cried and yelled and cried more. I begged her to stop...that I had changed my mind and that I wanted to keep my baby and go home. Both the doctor and the assistant were cold and rude and told me that I needed to calm down and be quite so I did not disturb the other patients. They said it was to late and that I could not turn back. I was to late, the procedure was over and I wanted my life to be as well. In the days following all I did was sleep...cry...sleep and cry. I secluded myself from everyone. A few months later I went on a self destructive path leading to experimenting with and overdosing on numerous drugs. That lasted about 6 months and I finally decided it was time to accept he decision I had made, forgive myself and accept that my life could go on. I know have two children a 6yr old and a 5 yr old who are my world. I still think about my other child, imaging what he/she would be like, look and talk like, interests that he/she would have and it saddens me. I made my choice the woman's right so many push for but I was no where near a woman when I was given the right to make that choice. We are all different and we have all been shaped and shifted in our lives by the decisions that we have made. One day my children may be faced with the same choice and I hope that out of my mistake I will be able to help them make a better decision.

Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012
Article comment by: Ann Rant

Take a look at the 'baby' at less than 2 weeks. I'm pretty sure that conception happens at the very beginning of that time span. Cute, huh? Looks just like his daddy. Well, minus the great smile, heart, lungs, arms, legs, brain... Dr. Stetson's letter was celebrating that SB1494 would consider life to start 'at conception'. There are many reasons, rape being one, that a woman would want to take the morning after pill. SB1494 would make her a murderer. She would have a stiffer sentence than her assailant. That is ridiculous.

I was going to ask you for some vegan recipes, but you caught that loophole in your logic. A cow has a brain, heart, lungs, a sense of its surroundings, the ability to feel pain and social interactions with other cows when it is killed to make your burgers. At conception, none of those things are present. Enjoy your Big Mac.

Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012
Article comment by: Gaia Gurl

Why Jack, because I DON'T agree with YOU?

I am educated, I have HAD a child and it did not look ANYTHING like a twelve week old fetus.

Neither do my TWO grandsons.

I have also HAD a miscarriage.

What is YOUR experience?

Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012
Article comment by: Phineous Jack

And I have no problem consuming something that was once alive, be it animal or vegetable. But that's not what we are talking about now is it.

Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012
Article comment by: Phineous Jack

Gaia Gurl,
You should realy, really educate yourself.

I also take it you didn't look up the picture of the 12 week old "fetus"...

Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012
Article comment by: 99% of Women say.

Keep your Religion and Insanity out of my Healthcare Insurance, treatments or decisions. It is not up for discussion. Your political football is flat. And your disgraceful, disgusting cpac bought voice is getting old. You rightous bigot's must stop your nonsense and shut up your pie hole.

Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012
Article comment by: America and Americans First and WINNING.

Rick Santorum's moneybag cpac loon says? Women? Take an Aspirin. Put it between your knees. Thats the way we use to do it? What kind of statement and idiot would say that? In my opinion? The gop has committed political suicide on many issues and thus will lose at city, county, state and federal levels. At this point the election is over, cpacs can save their money or donate to a worthly and meaningful cause. I have zero respect for the current republicans to allow such nonsense and insults to intelligent Americans.

Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012
Article comment by: Oh please Jack!

Once again, here we have that tireless creative zeal fabricating moral absolutes where there are none. Maybe Gaia Gurl's metaphor doesn't translate in context for you, but here's one that fits like a glove according to your own terms. What about the LIVE plant foods, vegetables and grains, that I'll bet you have no problem consuming? They were alive, before they were harvested and ended up on your table. And no, obviously, in most contexts there's little comparison between a fetus and a plant -- but according to Phineous's own guidelines, it fits perfectly.

Fits my own intention, too, of doing my part to keep the boundaries around sovereign human rights preserved.

Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012
Article comment by: Gaia Gurl

Let's see at 12 WEEKS . . .
It is called a FETUS.
It has no rights in a court of LAW.
It cannot LIVE outside the Mother's WOMB.
80% of miscarriages happen in the first trimester.


Can the embryo FEEL?
Can the embryo THINK?
Does the embryo have a SOUL?

You CANNOT answer these questions, NO ONE can.

A TUMOR is living tissue, when we have them removed ARE we committing MURDER?

If I cut my right arm off, it is still LIVING tissue, does that make it ALIVE? Then why don't we have FUNERALS for AMPUTATIONS?

WHO is being intellectually DISHONEST?

Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2012
Article comment by: Phineous Jack

Well yes... that is how it is. Life is life, no matter how someone interprets it. If it is living it's alive...
The only reason someone has to enterpret it is so society can get around common sense and kill it. Ever hear of gain green? A doctor can take one look at the tissue and tell you what is dead and what is alive. Not difficult at all.

Gaia Gurl, I appreciate your passion, but really you just revealed how intulectually dishonest you are really being with yourself. Honestly, comparing an inanimate object with a baby? How can I take that seriously? Look up baby pictures at say 12 weeks of gestation and honestly tell me that it is not a baby... I dare you.

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