Is a foetus a living being?
Science defines a living organism as follows: -
1) Homeostasis: Regulation of the internal environment to maintain a constant state; for example, electrolyte concentration or sweating to reduce temperature.
2) Organisation: Being structurally composed of one or more cells, which are the basic units of life.
3) Metabolism: Transformation of energy by converting chemicals and energy into cellular components (anabolism) and decomposing organic matter (catabolism). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.
4) Growth: Maintenance of a higher rate of anabolism than catabolism. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter.
5) Adaptation: The ability to change over a period of time in response to the environment. This ability is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism's heredity as well as the composition of metabolized substances, and external factors present.
6) Response to stimuli: A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism to external chemicals, to complex reactions involving all the senses of multicellular organisms. A response is often expressed by motion, for example, the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun (phototropism) and by chemotaxis.
7) Reproduction: The ability to produce new individual organisms, either asexually from a single parent organism, or sexually from two parent organisms.
By this criterion, a foetus is indeed, a living thing.
Is a foetus a parasite?
Collins English Dictionary, Harper-Collins, Eight Edition (2006), p1181
Parasite (‘paera,sait) n 1 an animal or plant that lives in or on another (the host) from which it obtains nourishment. The host does not benefit from the association and is often harmed by it
(biology) A (generally undesirable) living organism that exists by stealing the resources produced/collected by another living organism.
Lice, fleas, ticks and mites are widely spread parasites.
A more accurate, scientific definition is as follows: -
A more recent definition or perhaps description of parasitism is that given by Crofton.
1. Ecological relationship between two different organisms, one designated the parasite, the other the host.
2. The parasite is physiologically or metabolically dependent upon its host.
3. Heavily infected hosts will be killed by their parasites.
4. The reproductive potential of the parasite exceeds that of their hosts.
5. There is an overdispersed frequency distribution of parasites within the host population. That is, the parasite population is not evenly distributed amongst the host population nor is it randomly distributed but clumped, so some hosts have a lot of parasites, most have very few.
Let's look at some of these points in more detail.
1. Parasitism is, like most other animal associations defined in terms of two different species, who form a regular association, although this seems sensible, and it does exclude consideration of the mammalian foetus as being parasitic upon its mother, there are some very interesting immunological parallels between the mechanisms the foetus uses to avoid being rejected by the immune response of its mother and the ways in which the parasites of mammals seek to avoid their hosts immune response. Also in a number of deep-sea fish, the males are tiny and become parasitic on the females, nothing is known about the physiological basis of this.
Sometimes people add that the parasite is the smaller and the host the larger of the two organisms. This is generally true, although in some fish parasites, the plerocercoid stage of the tapeworm that lives in the body cavity of the fish can be heavier than the host. Size to a certain extent distinguishes parasites from predators, as predators are usually, but not always, larger than their prey. Any one parasite usually only infect a few different species of host during its life cycle (their are a few 4 host life cycles, no 5 host life cycles), this is in contrast to predators which usually eat a range of different prey species.
2. Physiological or metabolic dependence of the parasite on its host is central to most attempts to define parasitism. It does not of course distinguish parasitism from mutualism.
3. Heavily infected hosts are killed, this introduces the concept of the cost to the host population of parasitism.
4. Parasites have a higher reproductive potential than their hosts, this distinguishes parasites from predators. Predators have a lower reproductive potential than their prey, and are less numerous, whilst parasites have a higher reproductive potential and are more numerous.
5. Overdispersed or clumped frequency distribution is important in that it is something that can be quantified and we shall return to it when we look at parasite populations. This frequency distribution helps to exclude micro-predators from our definition.
By these standards, a foetus is not a parasite.
Is a foetus human? The obvious and easy answer is yes. If you sent a DNA sample from a foetus to a lab, then the results will be human DNA. A foetus is still a member of Homo Sapiens. Is a foetus a separate person from his/her mother? Yes, because the moment a sperm fertilises an egg, it has its own unique DNA that is both different to that of the sperm and of the egg. Is a foetus no different than any other cell? Apart from having separate DNA from the mother, a fertilised embryo, unless pre-maturely terminated WILL develop into a human baby. A foetus is thus different to someone who is brain dead or senile, because the foetus has the potential for future activity, whilst there is no chance of a brain dead person ever having a future.
A foetus is therefore, a living human being who is a separate organism from the mother, from the moment of conception, yet not a parasite.
Is abortion murder? It depends on whether or not there is a legitimate reason. Are there legitimate reasons to have an abortion? Yes. If there is a significant threat to the health, or even life, of the mother. However, the overwhelming majority of abortions are carried out for ‘social reasons’. Top reasons include: -
a) It would interfere with work, school, etc.
b) It would be too expensive to raise a child
c) Family problems
By this logic, it would be perfectly acceptable for people to murder their already living children. ‘Population control’ is also not a valid reason, as, using the same logic, murder would be an equally viable method.
Abortion is clearly murder and only permissible if there is valid reason. Women have a right over their own bodies, but they do not have the right to murder their children. One argument often used is that a foetus is using a mother's body 'against her will.' a) Unless a woman is raped, then sorry, no. b) Your right over your body does not supercede someone else' right to life and c) by that logic, parents can eject their infant children from their homes as they are 'living in their homes against their will' and if the child dies as a result, it wouldn't be murder. How about this. Imagine if someone kidnapped you, tied a rope around your ankles, tied the other end to their arm and then dangled you over the top of a skyscraper. They inform you that you are currently using their body against their will for your own survival and say that, since it is their body, they have the right to cut the rope that is currently preventing you from falling hundreds of feet to your death. Exactly.
When all is lost, typically the pro-choice trump card of choice (see what I did there?) is to assert that an unborn baby isn't a person. Of course, when you ask them what defines a person, this is where it all becomes rather sticky. You see, the only thing that seperates one indistinct blob of cells from another is a qualitative difference that is inaccessible to the scientific method, and since most, if not all, pro-choicers are typically atheists, who, preumably, don't believe there is an immaterial aspect of human beings, then such a line of reasoning rather ironically undercuts their position. This blob of cells can walk and talk, but how is it 'better' than the blob of cells that cannot? Oh sure, the walking talking blob claims to be sentient and sapient, but that is just atoms in motion.
One pro-choicer once commented that an adult human being is a sports car, whereas a foetus is a slab of steel. From a scientific perspective, there is nothing quantifiably different between the two (other than that a car is made of steel, cast iron, aluminium, copper, chrome plate, plastic, rubber, glass, paint, leather, sometimes wood, and sometimes carbon fibre and titanium). There is the fact that, if left unpertubed, the human foetus will become a human adult. At which point does a human magically transform from a non-person into a person, and which side of the womb does this magical transformation take place? The same commenter also said they think we are "more than just our instruction set" (referring to DNA). Really? And what scientific justification do you have that, sir? The same commenter also claimed that there is no "soul" (i.e. immaterial aspect). That doesn't really quite square now, does it? The only logical position is to assert there is an immaterial aspect that makes a person fundamentally different from a non-person... but that then undercuts their whole argument, whoops. Pro-choice. Double-think in action.
If you do not want a baby or want to get pregnant, simply do not have sex, or at least use contraception. If you get pregnant then you have to live with the responsibility of your actions. Claiming that a baby is an "unfit punishment" for a "momentary lapse" (i.e. saying that someone should not be expected to give birth to and raise a baby because they got knocked up one time whilst drunk) is probably one of the most mentally and morally retarded things a person is capable of saying (shortly after denying the holocaust, claiming the world is 6,000 years old, and claiming Jesus never existed.) One thing about pro-abortionists, is that none of them were aborted. I used to be a lot more open-minded about pro-choice, but right now, I would like to just gather up every pro-choicer in a massive sack, along with holocaust deniers, creationists and Jesus mythicists and I would close the top of the sack and beat them with sticks, and I wouldn't care who got the worst of the sticks. Pro-choicers are among the most vapid, supercilious, condescending, piss-poor excuses for human beings in existence.
And on a related note, Obama’s promotion of abortion.
US President Barack Obama has lifted a ban on federal funding for foreign family planning agencies that promote or give information about abortion.
In 1997, Obama voted in the Illinois Senate against SB 230, a bill designed to prevent partial-birth abortions. In the US Senate, Obama has consistently voted to expand embryonic stem cell research. He has voted against requiring minors who get out-of-state abortions to notify their parents. The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) gives Obama a 100% score on his pro-choice voting record in the Senate for 2005, 2006, and 2007.
Source: Obama Nation, by Jerome Corsi, p.238-239 Aug 1, 2008
Obama has consistently refused to support legislation that would define an infant who survives a late-term induced-labor abortion as a human being with the right to live. He insists that no restriction must ever be placed on the right of a mother to decide to abort her child.
On March 30, 2001, Obama was the only Illinois senator who rose to speak against a bill that would have protected babies who survived late term labor-induced abortion. Obama rose to object that if the bill passed, and a nine-month-old fetus survived a late-term labor-induced abortion was deemed to be a person who had a right to live, then the law would "forbid abortions to take place." Obama further explained the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not allow somebody to kill a child, so if the law deemed a child who survived a late-term labor-induced abortion had a right to live, "then this would be an anti-abortion statute."
Source: Obama Nation, by Jerome Corsi, p.238 Aug 1, 2008
January 22, 2009 - Releases statement restating support for Roe v. Wade decision that allowed virtually unlimited abortions and has resulted in at least 50 million abortions since 1973.
January 23, 2009 - Forces taxpayers to fund pro-abortion groups that either promote or perform abortions in other nations. Decison to overturn Mexico City Policy sends part of $457 million to pro-abortion organizations.
January 26, 2009 - Obama nominee for Deputy Secretary of State, James B. Steinberg, tells members of the Senate that taxpayers should be forced to fund abortions. Nominee erroneously says limits on abortion funding are unconstitutional.
March 5, 2009 - The Obama administration shut out pro-life groups from attending a White House-sponsored health care summit. Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion business, made the invitation list as did other pro-abortion groups.
March 11, 2009 - Obama signed an executive order establishing a new agency within his administration known as the White House Council on Women and Girls. Obama's director of public liaison at the White House, Tina Tchen, an abortion advocate, became director of it.
March 11, 2009 - Obama administration promotes an unlimited right to abortion at a United Nations meeting.
March 11, 2009 - Obama administration officials deny negative effects of abortion at United Nation's meeting.
March 26 - President Obama announced $50 million for the UNFPA, the UN population agency that has been criticized for promoting abortion and working closely with Chinese population control officials who use forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations.
May 8 - President Obama releases a new budget that allows the Legal Services Corporation to use tax dollars to pay for pro-abortion litigation.
May 8 - President Obama's new budget calls for taxpayer funded abortions in the nation's capital.
July 2- Calls for an unlimited right to abortion at a United Nation's meeting.
July 14 - Obama science czar nominee John Holdren is revealed to have written before that he favors forced abortions.
July 30 - Awards several pro-abortion activists with the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom.
August 6 - Obama criticized for asking for people to "snitch" on groups and people who oppose the pro-abortion health care bills in Congress.
October 5 - Anounces he will give the keynote speech for pro-abortion group Human Rights Campaign.
October 19 - Obama's serve.gov web site promotes the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
October 21 - Obama administration web site promotes pro-abortion health care bills.
December 17 - Signed a bill that overturned the 13-year-long ban on funding abortions with tax dollars in the nation's capital.