The differences showed up most sharply in questions related to abortion. When Warren asked when life and human rights begin, McCain's succinct reply, "At conception," and mention of his pro-life voting track record were greeted with some of the loudest applause of the evening.
Obama's pro-choice stance and flippant language were not.
"Whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective," Obama said, "answering that question with specificity is above my pay grade."
The President of the United States is supposed to uphold the Constitution.
How the heck is he supposed to do that if he doesn't know who has constitutional rights?
However, R. Alta Charo, a professor of law and ethics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, pointed out that Obama's position has been law since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. It "specifically says that neither biologists nor doctors nor theologians can agree upon the moral status of the fetus."
That's not the question. The question is: when do human rights begin?
It's not about the "moral status of the fetus". It's about the legal status of the fetus.
McCain's statement that human rights attach at conception "still does not answer the question of what to do when there is a conflict with the rights of the woman," Charo says.
If human rights begin at conception, the question becomes: does one human being have the right to take the life of another human being when there is no issue of self-defense?
And the answer is no. That's pretty obvious.
She also sees inconsistency between McCain's conservative views on when life begins and his support of embryonic stem cell research, which many conservative Christians oppose.
A valid point. It's true, McCain is not a perfectly pro-life candidate. However, he's miles ahead of Obama on pro-life issues. You do not have to vote for a perfect candidate, only one that will advance the pro-life agenda.
"If he believes in human rights at the moment of conception, then he ought to be against embryonic stem cell research, IVF and even the so-called 'rhythm method.' " which has the effect of timing intercourse not only to prevent conception,
Well no. There is no attempt to kill when a blastocyst fails to implant. He just dies of natural causes. No one who is pro-life rallies against death by natural causes.
but also to allow conception at a time when the fertilized egg will drop into a uterus that is not at the right time of month for implantation."
Not exactly. Few people use the calendar method anymore. Faithful Catholics who space children mostly use NFP. NFP is based on the date of ovulation. If you follow the rules of NFP, you will wait three days after the rise in basal temperature-- corresponding to ovulation-- before you have sex. Sometimes this is also cross-checked with cervical mucus observations. If you lack cervical mucus, and you ovulated three days ago, it's difficult to conceive. There's usually no fertilization to begin with.
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