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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.

Came across a Web site called Father Joe: From silly to sacred, a priest speaks … Here's an excerpt from one of his posts:
OBAMA: “The issue of abortion, I don’t think, has gone away. People think about it a lot, obviously you do and you feel impassioned. I think that the American people struggle with two principles: There’s the principle that a fetus is not just an appendage, it’s potential life. I think people recognize that there’s a moral element to that. They also believe that women should have some control over their bodies and themselves and there is a privacy element to making those decisions.”

FATHER JOE: He is right, the issue of abortion has not gone away, although it is disturbing that so many prolifers are willing to shove it to the sidelines for charismatic candidates. Given the stakes, there is no way for serious people not to feel impassioned. And yet, it is this fire for the cause that is largely extinguished in the Democrat party, and yes, even increasingly among moderate Republicans, especially when it comes to stem-cell research. Senator Obama embraces no middle ground. He is solidly in the abortion camp and has the endorsement of Planned Parenthood. Note that he calls the fetus only POTENTIAL LIFE. This is a refusal to face the facts and to live up to the Christianity he claims for himself. The fetus is ALIVE and he or she is HUMAN. He says that it is “not just an appendage” but then essentially catalogues it as such by the dismissal of rights. Women have a right to some say over their bodies, but so do the unborn boys and girls. This is where the pro-abortion argument becomes nonsensical. Human life is incommensurate. One person does not have more of a right to life than another.
Now Father Joe seems like a nice man, and I'm sure he's sincere in his beliefs. A Chimera at they are no more than that -- beliefs. People who continue to insist that life begins at conception, ignore, among other things, issues like twinning, where the embryo splits into two separate ones. Or chimeras, when two distinct embryos merge into one. I've yet to hear a satisfactory explanation for those occurences if, as Father Joe and many others believe, life begins at conception.

And what about the fact that thousands upon thousands of embryos are passed every month by women who never even know they're pregnant. Are we to view those (surely billions by now) microscopic particles as distinct human beings who all died? What a mess that creates for anti-choicers. As Jack likes to say, maybe the Church should start baptizing the menstrual flow to cover all those "human beings" who are flushed away every month.

Continue reading (the comments to Father Joe's post are interesting as well).

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