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Jack Sisson's Life Ethics Blog

We must find new ways through many ethical issues, especially regarding bioethics, medical ethics, and criminal justice. Jack Sisson's 'Life Ethics' blog focuses on numerous areas of concern, including the philosophical and ethical dilemmas surrounding stem-cell research, abortion, medical research, and health care.

Miscarriages are pregnancy losses before twenty weeks. The numbers vary on just how many miscarriages occur. The March of Dimes says "about 15 percent of recognized pregnancies end this way." (Emphasis added.) The UK's Net Doctor estimates that one in eight pregnancies ends in miscarriage, but The Miscarriage Association, also in the UK, puts that number at "more than one in five."

Why are we talking about miscarriages? Moreover, why worry about the numbers? Well, if it's true that "women lose 10% - 15% of all pregnancies during the embryonic stage, that's a significant loss of "human life" if one subscribes to the position advocated by President Bush and the Pope. The March of Dimes has even estimated that "as many as 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, because many losses occur before a woman realizes she is pregnant." (Emphasis added.) If that 50% figure is anywhere near accurate, we're talking about an epidemic loss of human life, a loss of unparalleled proportions.

Where's the Church's concern over this? Those numbers represent an awful lot of unbaptized babies. Or could the fact that many of the "babies" in question are so microscopic that women do not know they are carrying them -- do not even notice when they lose them -- mitigate that concern?

Apparently so, unless someone raises the issues of choice and stem cell research. Then those microscopic collections of cells suddenly become more important than the women who carry them. The status accorded them borders on reverential, and research with the potential to save millions of real human lives borders on sin.

Note: I in no way want to minimize the very real pain and loss of miscarriage. This post concerns miscarriages of early-stage embryos, those losses not even the woman is aware of. Embryos used for stem cell research are fertilized in vitro, not in the woman's body. They are "typically four or five days old... a hollow microscopic ball of cells called the blastocyst." I refer only to that level of embryonic development.

Brain Pills
Roe v. Wade
Stem Cells
Stem Cell Fight!
Bearing Right
Moral Monkey?
Dave's site
Stem Stall
Bush the hypocrite

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