Yeah, Life Begins at Conception —So What?

Mary Elizabeth Williams says that not all life is equal

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 23, 2013 1:00 PM CST

(Newser) – It's time abortion rights supporters stopped dancing around it: Life begins at conception, argues Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon. "Throughout my own pregnancies, I never wavered for a moment in the belief that I was carrying a human life inside of me," she writes. "And that doesn’t make me one iota less solidly pro-choice." Indeed, Planned Parenthood now eschews the pro-choice/pro-life terminology altogether, and Williams thinks that's a "long overdue" move; it only strengthens abortion opponents when "we squirm so uncomfortably at the ways in which they’ve repeatedly appropriated the concept of 'life.'"

"We wind up drawing stupid semantic lines in the sand—first trimester abortion vs. second trimester vs. late term," as if "there’s a single magic moment when a fetus becomes a person." The uncomfortable truth is this: "All life is not equal," Williams writes. We make decisions about life all the time, from war to the death penalty to care for the terminally ill. "A fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss." Click for Williams' full column.

This moment doesn't mean a whole lot, Mary Elizabeth Williams argues.
This moment doesn't mean a whole lot, Mary Elizabeth Williams argues.   (Shutterstock)
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I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing. - Mary Elizabeth Williams

It seems absurd to suggest that other only thing that makes us fully human is the short ride out of some lady’s vagina. That distinction may apply neatly legally, but philosophically, surely we can do better. - Mary Elizabeth Williams

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