Aggregating Skeptical Thought

A skeptical inquiry into abortion, v.2.0

Mara posted a comment in my previous post, A skeptical inquiry into abortion, that directed me to a link detailing Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan’s exact same inquiry, The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers, many years ago.

I have to tell you I’m a bit embarrased and proud in having been enlightened to this information. I’m embarrased that I did not know that this article existed and I’m proud that Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan pursued the same line of thought regarding viability and brain activity that I had.

If you read both my post and Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan’s article they pursue the same line of reasoning that I did however they diverge from me on the issue of viability. I find it adequate to show viability (as does the decisions/guidelines laid out in Roe v. Wade) however they take it a step further to say that while viability shows that the fetus has now taken on enough evidence to exhibit life (and complex life at that) it may or may not be fully human.  If you were to quotemine this article to show the primary differences I think this one is best.

Viability arguments cannot, it seems to us, coherently determine when abortions are permissible. Some other criterion is needed. Again, we offer for consideration the earliest onset of human thinking as that criterion.

In the conclusion to their article they offer up the following opinion and I have to agree with them particularly because there is a lack of scientific evidence to be able to adequately define as to when “human” thought or brain patterns are exhibited by a fetus.

Since, on average, fetal thinking occurs even later than fetal lung development, we find Roe v. Wade to be a good and prudent decision addressing a complex and difficult issue. With prohibitions on abortion in the last trimester–except in cases of grave medical necessity–it strikes a fair balance between the conflicting claims of freedom and life.

Filed under: Politics, Religion

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