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As a libertarian, your stand on this issue will depend solely on the definition of a human life that the state is charge with protecting. I believe it's not a life until it escapes from the womb and takes a breath, but I sincerely respect those of you who have a different definition.

If one applies basic facts of biology, one (libertarian, democrat, republican, naderite) HAS to admit that a fetus is a human life. Its not another species. Its not dead tissue or cells. I think its important to separate "belief" and scientific fact. Scientific facts are more appropriately used as a basis for law than "beliefs." The state's role is in legislating the rights of this life and balancing those with the rights of the life on which it depends - the mother.

This matter becomes salient as well when considering an assault on a pregnant woman with the intent of causing the death of the fetus. The crime DOES involve an assault on two lives and should be judged accordingly. Given the uncertainty of intent and knowledge of fetal life in these cases, they do merit special treatment differentiated from other homicides. Ultimately, the law NEEDS to make distinctions between legal and illegal termination of a pregnancy (by the mother and/or another assailant).

As an advanced modern society, we ALL need to be able to accept certain uncomfortable FACTS and deal with the issue of competing maternal and fetal rights honestly and openly.

Personally, I struggle with the moral dilemmas of this issue and don't see it as black and white.

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