Email L. Henry Platt, Jr.
ON THE DEFINITION OF LIFE
The framers of the Constitution of 1787 had a basic concept of life beginning at the first breath and ending with the last. In twenty-first century America, medical technology has made this concept incomplete. The Amendment (qv.) which begins to address some of this void is here proposed to provide a reasonable legal definition of the beginnings of life.
Without this definition I can sadly envision lawsuits to make accepted means of birth control such as "the morning after pill" or the "IUD" being attacked or defended.
In Ancient Greece and some other primitive cultures life didn't begin until after a child had been breathing for at least fifteen days. These cultures often permitted a child to be killed or simply abandoned to be raised by other humans or animals of the place. Insurance companies today frequently do not offer certain coverages until a child is fifteen days old.
At the other end of the legal spectrum are those people who believe that life begins at the moment that a sperm fertilizes an egg. (Now, the question arises: does this count as a human embryo if the union occurs in a Petri dish.) The Constitutional amendment I propose does not answer all questions about the beginnings of life, but it does provide a reasoned, middle ground upon which future legislation may be built. As of the election season of 2008, there are candidates who look at certain breathing infants as not really alive, and there are other candidates who believe that life begins at the moment that a sperm fertilizes an egg. Does the child who was conceived on a remote atoll of the Marianna Islands have Citizenship Rights as a citizen of the United States of America?
WE THE PEOPLE of the United States of America need to have our laws enacted in our legislatures not dictated by just a few judges. My proposed Amendment (qv. click here) will not suit everyone, but it is my strong opinion that it is carefully worded so that it satisfies both moderate Roman Catholics and Roe vs. Wade as originally decided (which did not provide that a woman having carried a child for eight and a half months might be persuaded by another woman to get an abortion. [For the sake of this story, the other woman had lied and embellished the lies that the expectant father had repeatedly and indiscriminately been both promiscuous and intimate with two other women in recent months.]) My proposed amendment does not fully satisfy the personal mores of every "right to lifer", but I feel that this amendment is far more acceptable than the other extreme.
I strongly implore, request and recommend that all of my readers forward both the amendment and the commentary (or at least the web-address) to your Congressional Representatives in the House and the Senate.
To return to the Amendment, click here.
© L. Henry Platt, Jr.