By John Rozycki
In Dr. Robert Ashman’s response to Mr. Tom Quiner’s August 2nd piece on webcam abortions he accuses Mr. Quiner of “confusing the 9-week embryo with a “person,” a “child” and a “dead baby” to be expelled into the toilet.” Further, Dr. Ashman states that “embryo, fetus and child are meaningful distinctions if you understand human development.”
Dr. Ashman completely misses the point. The issue does not lie with the scientific understanding of human development. Pro-life physicians and pro-life bioethicists thoroughly understand such development, as does any well-informed person. It is the conclusions they reach that differ materially.
Dr. Ashman’s attempt to relegate the decision about when human life begins solely to science falls short. Still, even if the moral or theological aspects are ignored, given the tremendous value of a human life, if someone is uncertain as to whether or not an embryo or fetus is human, it behooves that person to err on the side of life.
Finally, Dr. Ashman tries to pose a dichotomous question to the Iowa Board of Medicine. Who is my patient, the embryo or fetus, or the woman? Given the value of human life, the answer is: both.
[Thanks to John Rozycki for submitting this response to Dr. Ashman.]