Thursday, June 3, 2010

When Do People Die?

One of my law professors, who was a conception guy, he once asked me "What's up with you and brain activity?" Yeah yeah, what's up with me and brain activity? Cause I'm not a conception guy. I'm a brain activity guy. Most of your pro-lifers are conception guys. Life starts at conception, that's their thing. Now, I could go all Saint Augustine on them, and say that life starts when the body becomes animated with life. We're alive when brain activity starts, when voluntary movement occurs. The creation of the human form is the onset of existence, but just because your form is there does not mean you are alive, any more than a dead guy is alive just cause his body is lying there.

But defining when life begins is the wrong question to ask. It's a vague, dumb-ass question, just the sort of question a fuzzy thinker like Harry Blackmun would pose. "When does life begin?" And Harry goes on to conclude in Roe that a lot of people are in disagreement on this, so we'll just ignore this issue and move on. This is why Harry Blackmun has a reputation, among pro-life people, of being a dumb fuck. So to speak. Pro-lifers don't actually talk this way. Most of them are nice, polite, good people. I am in that small, tiny minority of the pro-life community who thinks brain activity is important, and says "Harry Blackmun is a dumb fuck." There are not a lot of us, but we're more fun at parties.

I know, I'm conceited. Egotistical. Okay. At least I'm not asking "the hard questions," and then ruminating on the answers, and then saying I don't know, and then saying it doesn't matter. How about asking a not-so-hard question and answering the damn thing. For instance, a far superior question for Supreme Court Justices to be asking, the next time they wade into their abortion jurisprudence, is this one: "When do people die?"

Infanticide is what all the pro-lifers are unhappy about. Few pro-lifers give a damn about the destruction of "potential life," a.k.a. the happy horseshit straw man that Supreme Court liberals are always talking about. We're unhappy about dead babies. Dead babies as in, dead babies. So if you want to take the pro-life position seriously and address our argument, you need to make sure you're not killing anyone. And one way to do that is to apply our death statutes to the issue.

What's nice about our death statutes, is that we are all in agreement. Red states, blue states, all 50 states. Washington D.C. agrees, too. Every industrial nation in the world, with the exception of Japan (always gotta be somebody), we are in worldwide agreement in regard to when people die. Total brain death.

So if a baby's brain is working and you cause it to stop--you know, by cutting into her with knives, or injecting poison into her neck--then that doctor has committed homicide under our death statutes. Which we might apply to the abortion controversy if some unelected people had not declared the unborn to be legal objects in 1973.

Brain activity starts at the point when doctors start calling an embryo a fetus. Yeah yeah, there is actually a medical reason for the name change. The baby's developed and starting to move. Mom won't feel any kicks until quickening, but he's kicking around in there. This happens approximately seven weeks after conception, nine weeks after the last menstrual period. Once you are a kicking baby who has brain activity, I think it's really bad to do an abortion after this point.

Now, if you're a smart Ivy Leaguer, you might be inclined to make up your own smart shit, and go off-book as it were. "I will define life and death for all humanity, because I went to Yale." But if you're a dumb-ass like me who wouldn't be allowed to sweep up in the Ivy League, you'd probably be inclined to look up our death statutes if you get a hard question like that. Just read and follow, man. How hard is it?

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