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Subject:  Re: Poll: When should abortion be legal/banned Date:  7/10/2013  7:06 PM
Author:  Stonewashed Number:  1888281 of 2206836

Having said that, the "saves the babies" blanket opposition to abortion is an emotional, uninformed, and selfish one. Selfish because it relies on personal belief (i.e. "life begins at conception")

Actually that is not an emotional belief, it is a biologicial definition

When the life becomes a sentient being is a personal belief.

BiologySince there is no unequivocal definition of life, the current understanding is descriptive. Life is considered a characteristic of organisms that exhibit all or most of the following characteristics or traits:[29][31][32]

1.Homeostasis: Regulation of the internal environment to maintain a constant state; for example, electrolyte concentration or sweating to reduce temperature.
2.Organization: Being structurally composed of one or more cells — 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 time in response to the environment. This ability is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism's heredity, diet, and external factors.
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 chemotaxis.
7.Reproduction: The ability to produce new individual organisms, either asexually from a single parent organism, or sexually from two parent organisms.
These complex processes, called physiological functions, have underlying physical and chemical bases, as well as signaling and control mechanisms that are essential to maintaining life.

Now if you want to argue that a human fetus isn't sexually mature so that disqualifies it from being considered alive, then you are going to have to disqualify every child below the age of puberty and sterile adult as non-living, but they are certainly sentient beings.
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