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When we try to assign a time at which we "acquire personhood," we find that there are no break-off points. There are no nice points in human life at which we can see that we have characters A, B, and C afterward, but lacked them before. (Unless we limit ourselves to some very arbitrary and superficial descriptions -- usually physical.) This has led some to believe that the question of what a person is cannot be answered. Yet it is the pro-abortionist's method of answering the question that has broken down. Logically, in attempting to set a time for the "acquisition of personhood," the pro-abortionist has simply begged the question. They have assumed that it happens at some time convenient enough to permit abortions, and then set out to prove this time or that.
—John Walker

Our government has the right and duty to protect the lives of all living humans in this nation regardless of place of residence (living in or out of the womb), degree of perfection, age, sex or degree of dependency. This protection should be guaranteed by our Constitution and be enforced through due process of law. A civilization will ultimately be judged by how it treats the smallest, the most dependent the most innocent among its members. Did that nation cherish, protect, love and nourish them or kill them?
—Jack Willke, M D.

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Q: When exactly is it okay to have sexual intercourse with my husband and when must he abstain from ejaculating?

A: What you need to do is use a reverse rhythm method. Keep track of when your menstrual cycle begins, determine your luteal phase, and how long it takes you to cycle. There is about a five-day period in which vaginally deposited sperm have a chance to fertilize an egg produced on the fourth day of this period. So for four days prior, and for one day after you ovulate, it is safe for your husband to ejaculate. Using an Ovulation Calculator and reading up on calculating your fertility will help you determine when ovulation can be expected.

Q: I had my tubes tied before I realized how wrong that is. What can I do now, though?

A: While having your tubal ligation reversed is a possibility, one you should discuss with your doctor, you should immediately start using a hormonally based means of birth control—one that will suppress ovulation. While you might not expect the following advice from a pro-life, anti-abortion group, you should consider going to Planned Parenthood for up-to-date, reliable information about which birth control method would be best for you.

Q: What if I'm on vacation in a remote area and I'm going to ovulate in four days, I don't have any birth control pills, and I can't get any semen from a sperm bank? I know it wouldn't be ethical to seduce the tour guide without telling him why, but rather than condemn my egg to certain death, wouldn't I be justified in committing the lesser evil?

A: Well, in your hypothetical case, it would be too late to advise you to plan ahead. Hypothetically, since none of our members would be so irresponsible, problems like this would never come up :-), but let's say a situation like this did arise. What you have just discovered is known as an ethical dilemma, and they're not called dilemmas for nothing. Sometimes there may not seem to be any way out, but you should assume that if you can be creative enough, you can find a way out. But if you can't, honesty remains the best policy. What would be wrong with just telling the guide, or any other men you come across, what your situation is and asking for a donation? But then you're going to ask, "But what if I'm thrown into an all women's prison?" The sad truth is that life is trouble, sometimes you'll just have to mourn your losses the best you can.

Billions and Billions Q: My boy friend doesn't know how to make love without coming and he doesn't want any children. I've tried to explain to him why I find this so disturbing, but he just doesn't understand. I've been on the pill, but I desperately want to have children now and stopped taking them. I want to put him off until I'm fertile, then try to get pregnant. I know it would be wrong to not tell him I stopped using birth control, but if I tell him I'm afraid he won't fertilize my next egg, and I know that would be wrong too. What should I do?

A: You have only one clear course of action: tell him what you have done and what you will be forced to do if he doesn't want to father your child. Sperm donors are available, and if you must go that route, then do so. If your boy friend doesn't want children and you are determined to have children, then you have an irreconcilable difference and must choose between loosing a relationship or loosing your child. You also need to consider your complicity in having sex with a man you know to be sexually incontinent by choice. Can you in good consciousness allow a lover to ejaculate during sexual activity when you are not fertile? Surely you cannot, so your current relationship appears to be untenable for several reasons.

Q: By pretentiously calling yourself the "True" Right to Life Movement you imply that all other pro-life points of view are false. Whether you intend it or not, what you are doing can only create disunity within the pro-life camp and weaken the pro-life cause, so how can you consider yourself "truly" pro-life? The millions of true pro-life advocates are doing God's work, so who's work are you doing?

A: If you are implying that we are doing the Devil's work, then nothing we devils can say is likely to change your (or the teeming millions) point of view. As for creating dissention in the camp, we're sorry, but we see no other way. The pro-life camp has, unfortunately, built their house on sand. In the long run it will be best to tear down the house and rebuild it on a firm foundation.
      Part of that foundation should be a respect for evidence and reason. Reason and evidence should determine what your conclusions are, but for too many people it is their conclusions that determine what their reasoning shall be, which makes their reasoning sham. If you further realize that any conclusions you arrive at could be wrong, then you can avoid another common error by acquiring the ability to have (tentative) conclusions without being had by them. It is one thing to possess a point of view, and quite another to be possessed by it.
      Humanity will never find common ground in any belief system, but perhaps if we could all acknowledge the possibility that we might be wrong, we could all find common ground in our fallibility. The pro-life camp has seized upon the "life begins at conception" conclusion without the slightest consideration or concern that their slogan might be wrong. They then pit themselves against everyone who doesn't agree with them, and feel compelled to humorlessly crush those they have pitted themselves against, so who's really creating disunity?
      When all the unbelieving infidels have been eliminated or converted, will the world really be a better place? Given that everyone is someone else's infidel, perhaps we should be looking for a way out of our collective madness by holding our opinions a little less tightly and finding common ground in our common humanity rather than our endlessly dissentious beliefs.

Q: I'm still not clear about when human life begins, though it is obviously the Big Question. It's just that the whole idea that I began life as germ cells seems so bizarre. There doesn't seem to be any precedent for your views. Who dreamed up such a notion anyway? Doesn't science irrefutably point to fertilization as the beginning?

For most people the "right to life" issue turns on how one answers the question of when human life begins. By way of putting the issue into some perspective, consider that in some cultures a baby is neither given a name nor considered to be a human being until its feet touch the ground (earth) sometime in its first postpartum year. Should death occur prior to this, the loss is not regarded as the death of a human, but is rather viewed as the return to heaven of a Heavenly Being who failed to make the transition to Earthly Being. This adaptive belief would help mitigate grief in a society beset by a high infant mortality rate, as has been the case in all societies until recent times.
      For Jews, life begins at birth when the neonate is half way out of the womb. Historically this view, that life begins at birth, has been the most common view taken by peoples around the world.
      About 400 years ago early scientists argued that what becomes a baby existed pre-formed in male germ cells. A tiny baby, called a homunculus, was imagined to inhabit each sperm. The woman's egg or womb was thought by these male scientists to serve only to incubate the homunculus. In this view human life began with spermatogenesis.
      In 1651, William Harvey proposed his ex ovo omnia (everything comes from the egg) theory. In this view human life begins with oogenesis. For over two hundred years the debate was over whether human life began with spermatogenesis or oogenesis.
The homunculus       Sperm were actually hypothetical entities until Von Leeuwenhoek invented the microscope in 1677 and discovered spermatozoid. In 1694, Niklaas Hartsoecker made his famous drawings of sperm showing tiny babies in the head of the sperm. In 1751, Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertius studied the occurrence of polydactyly in several generations of a Berlin family and became convinced that Harvey's theory was the correct one. In 1827, Karl Ernst von Baer discovered the mammalian ovum, but thought sperm were mere parasites. It wasn't until 1840 that Martin Barry came up with the crazy idea that spermatozoa enter the egg for some reason. In 1875, Oscar Hertwig, based on his study of sea urchin reproduction, proposed that both egg and sperm are required for reproduction, and that both physically unite during the process we now refer to as fertilization, again, for some unknown reason. In 1877 fertilization was actually observed happening in starfish eggs.
      Was this, then, the first scientific proof that life begins with fertilization? While this has been a popular view in recent times, a better case can be made that both of the early theories were correct, and that human life begins with both spermatogenesis and oogenesis. It is gametogenesis, then, that gives rise to a human being. Fertilization, a process that takes about 24 hours, is no "moment of conception" that many imagine, but rather one of several stages in human development, the earliest being gametogenesis.
      If asked where he came from, a child might say, "From my mommy and daddy," which everyone understands to be correct, but few have thought about what this out-of-the-mouth-of-babes verity really implies. If you believe that human life begins with the fertilized egg, then you believe that a zygote is formed from something that is either not human, not alive, or both. Yet ova and sperm are clearly alive and behave purposefully. They act deliberately, independently, one could even say willfully, to achieve their goal of uniting with one another so that each might continue to live.
      The cells that give rise to gametes, on the other hand, do not engage in any autonomous behavior; they are cells that give rise to separate and genetically unique beings, but have no "life of their own" as gametes do. Clearly, as the child intuits, we begin our lives as two beings, created in our mothers and fathers, whose further development requires that they fuse into a zygote, divide into an morula, differentiate into an embryo, grow into a fetus, then undergo birth and childhood development before becoming adults with the ability to produce new life in the form of their own gametes.
      That life begins with gametogenesis will, in due time, be accepted as an obvious fact once people allow themselves to think about it. For example, imagine if artificial wombs were ever made, what would you have to put into one? Although a fertilized ovum would work, the first, the most basic thing you would need to begin life is not a zygote, but a mature ovum and sperm (QED).
      So again, when does human life begin? Do you equivocate like some and point to viability, implantation, quickening, or perhaps the initiation of a fetal heartbeat as the beginning of human life? Or perhaps, like Carl Sagan, you think that human life doesn't begin until the fetus develops distinctly human brain waves, since an adult without brain waves is considered by most to be dead? If you're uncomfortable standing on the slippery slope, and are looking for a firm place to stand, the erroneous notion that the 24-hour process of fertilization is the beginning must be abandoned. The view that must now be embraced, in light of scientific knowledge, is that life begins with gametogenesis. Since gametogenesis is the production of sex cells, you could, biologically speaking, say in brief that "life begins with sex."

Q: I find it hard to take you seriously. Isn't this all some sort of elaborate joke to parody pro-lifers?

A: I've heard this charge before. It seems that some people have difficulty dealing with new ideas, especially ones that call into question their basic assumptions. Dismissing our views as some sort of joke obliviates them from seriously thinking about what we are saying. By not taking us seriously, you only put off the need to question your assumptions. Thoughtful individuals will see our views for what they are.

Q: It would seem, by your logic, that you've dodged a major ethical and legal issue in your FAQ.

I started ejaculating around age 10, many of my female friends started menstruating around that age as well. It would seem that you are claiming that it is a moral imperative for people to have sex with small children, as waiting for them to come of age would needlessly waste over a hundred ovum lives and countless billions of sperm lives. This disturbs and worries me, as it's a dangerous line of thought.

It should also be noted that there exist, in any sample of ejaculate, millions upon millions of sperm. Do you advocate the development of new technology to isolate and preserve the sperm from a man's first ejaculation? Obviously, the capture of the first ejaculate could be immediately followed by that male's sterilization, as he would then have more sperm than he could possibly find ovum for in his lifetime.

Just trying to gain a better understanding of your founding principles.

A: Careful readers will anticipate my response. We recognize that sexual behavior appropriate for our Miocene ancestors, whose life expectancy may have been 25 years, is no longer appropriate. We do not advocate that children should be having sex with one another, or adults, and/or begetting children. What our supporters do, as a practical matter, is council abstinence and place their pubescent daughters on birth control pills to prevent premature ovulation. This is no different than millions of responsible parents do now days to avoid unwanted pregnancy.

Pubescent boys pose a greater challenge, as currently no technology exists to prevent premature spermatogenesis. We support research in male birth control that would inhibit sperm production, but until a male Pill is available, we council abstinence and teach our sons the self-control that will allow them to achieve sexual continence. We acknowledge, however, that loss of sperm will occur through masturbation and nocturnal emission in immature males. We are saddened by this loss, but also have compassion for the sexually challenged adolescent. Moral perfection is not obtainable in the short term, but must be learned. We need to know what is right and wrong, naturally, then strive as best we can to live the true, good, and beautiful life.

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