TWIS : I believe life begins at conception

B0003402 Early human embryo
Credit: Yorgos Nikas. Wellcome Images
images@wellcome.ac.uk
http://images.wellcome.ac.uk
Colour-enhanced scanning electron micrograph of an early human embryo. This stage occurs at about 2-3 days after fertilisation. The zona pellucida has been removed to aid visualisation. Each cell is approximately 33 microns in diameter.
Scanning electron micrograph
Published:  - 

Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons by-nc-nd 2.0 UK, see http://images.wellcome.ac.uk/indexplus/page/Prices.html
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“Well, I believe life begins at conception.”

You don’t. It might seem convenient or fashionable in your circle to say that, but it’s important to think that through. And the place that idea inevitably takes us is a bleak vision of government surveillance and control. You see, for every person born in the US, two fertilized eggs died. That means induced abortion (the kind we always holler about) is about 9% of the unborn deaths in the country. But where’s the outrage over the other 91%? Where’s the campaign to raise research dollars to stop failed implantation and spontaneous abortion? If  SIDS were killing two-thirds of babies, you can bet we’d hardly talk about anything else. And why aren’t we prosecuting for manslaughter those parents who fail to maximize their zygote’s chances. If you really believed life begins  at conception, you ought to favor the following policies.

Mandatory birth control. Unprotected sex, because it has such deadly consequences for zygotes, would need to be carefully controlled. This is especially true of married couples who are by far the most likely to be having unprotected sex. Couples would need to undergo an examination to determine they have maximized implantation chances before they are allowed to pursue pregnancy. Forgetting to take your birth control is now a prosecutable offense.

Lots more money for the NIH. Great research is being done to improve implantation rates for in vitro fertilization (IVF). Most of this research is funded by the NIH or NSF. However, one Party in particular is determined to keep those budgets low. We should expand research related to infertility by 10X at least. (As a bonus, we just might improve the lives of the post-natal!)

Mandatory tubal ligation at 35. Beyond 35, implantation rates begin to drop. In IVF clinics, it’s been found that 45% of (in vitro) fertilized eggs successfully implant for women under 35. As women age, that rate drops quite quickly to about 7% for women over 40. Remember that IVF involves fertilizing up to a dozen egg cells, then selecting the healthiest ones and implanting at the optimal time. Natural implantation rates are liable to be quite a bit lower.

Mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds. As you can imagine, the state of the uterine walls is critical for successful implantation. Women seeking to come off of their (state-mandated) birth control should undergo a transvaginal ultrasound to determine their viability. Women with insufficient uterine walls may be required to lose weight or make other dietary and lifestyle changes in order to pursue pregnancy.

In short,  if life begins at conception, there’s going to be a whole lot more of Uncle Sam in your vagina. Even if the only sex you’re having is with your spouse. And, lest you gentlemen feel left out, there is evidence that your health can have an effect on implantation as well. Get ready to drop those drawers for your state scrotum inspection!

Now, ThisWeekInStupid supports a grown-up discussion of when life begins. But we want it clear at the outset that it won’t just be about slut-shaming unmarried women. If life begins at conception, the choices of all of us are going to need to be severely restricted.

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