Although unstated, Steve Briggs’ June 14 question, printed in the Mountain Times, was probably directed at me.
He asks “If the little person in the womb is not alive, why must an abortion provider kill him or her?” I’m reminded of the reaction of the physicist Wolfgang Pauli to something he read: “This isn’t right. It’s not even wrong!” In other words, Mr. Griggs’ question makes no sense, but I’ll try to give it an intelligible interpretation.
Suggesting that a zygote or fetus is not “alive” is ridiculous and not what I said. Bacteria reproduce so are arguably alive. So are grass and ticks. None of these things is conscious. I have no problem killing (or mowing) them. Whether viruses, which reproduce only by hijacking other cells DNA, are “alive” is a subject of debate. As an article in Scientific American says, “A precise scientific definition of life is an elusive thing.” Briggs demonstrates his religious bias with “the little person in the womb.” Presumably, he means anything from the just-fertilized egg, or zygote, to a healthy 8-month fetus. F
or the second, if the mother is healthy and the pregnancy presents no danger to the mother (as decided between her and her doctor), I would agree that destroying the fetus would be tantamount to murder. To suggest that a zygote is a “person” is to show that one believes in an immortal soul being implanted at the “moment” of conception.
Mr. Briggs has a constitutional right to have and express this opinion, but it isn’t remotely scientific, and he has no right to inflict the tenuous logical consequences of it on others.