Monday, February 27, 2006

More Than Meets the Media

Reason takes a look at a lot of things that the South Dakota Roe v. Wade killer bill may cause as consequences, and they're not pretty:

For example, the bill defines "unborn human being" as an "individual living member of the species, homo sapiens, throughout the entire embryonic and fetal ages of the unborn child from fertilization to full gestation and childbirth; and "fertilization" as "that point in time when a male human sperm penetrates the zona pellucida of a female human ovum."

Prolifers on the Supreme Court (whoever they may be) could use this bill as an excuse to rule that all fertilized human eggs are people. Such a ruling would criminalize human embryonic stem cell and cloning research.

On a somewhat less consequential front, this bill would also seem to outlaw in vitro fertilzation in which not all embryos are implanted in a patient's womb. To get around this problem, the bill might be interpreted to require that all embryos produced by IVF be implanted even if they are genetically defective.

William Saletan has long argued that the pro-life movement would logically have to make war on IVF, but I think this is something that everyone except its most ardent supporters doesn't realize. Here we have the beginning of it though. If life truly begins at conception/fertilization, IVF becomes almost impossible. And the South Dakota bill, if it delivers the sort of judicial fireworks its supporters hope for, might do it.