Representative Paul Broun (R-Georgia) believes the "greatest moral issue facing our nation" is the killing of unborn children, and that all Americans have a "moral and constitutional obligation" to protect every unborn child. That's why Broun, a medical doctor, has promised that the Sanctity of Human Life Act will be the very first bill he will introduce in every Congress until abortion is banned in the U.S. He notes the bill scientifically defines life as beginning at the point of fertilization with the creation of a human zygote.
I'll give Mr. Broun credit - he's up front about what his objectives are - unlike Ken Epp's terminally dishonest C-484.
Before you wander down that little legislative path, let's consider a couple of implications here:
(1) Not all fertilized eggs implant in the uterus. This is a biological given. Does this mean that a woman who has a fertilized egg is guilty of either involuntary manslaughter, or 'failing to provide the necessities of life' should this happen?
(2) Should a woman who has sex find herself suddenly obliged to stay away from alcohol, tobacco and other substances until her next period, or risk being charged with child endangerment?
(3) Consider miscarriage (also known as a natural abortion) - has the woman then committed a criminal act?
(4) Is a woman who as a result of exercise or other activities injures the fetus she is carrying, is she guilty of some kind of an assault?
(5) Consider the medical ethics problems raised by treating a pregnant woman. Suddenly the doctor is potentially facing lawsuits not just on behalf of the woman, but a second set of damages with respect to the fetus. (You just have to know this one is coming) What are the doctor's options when saving the mother damages the fetus? Or vice versa?
The list is practically endless - and it all boils down to a moral belief that demands that a pregnant woman is not considered to be able to make her own moral and ethical decisions about a matter that affects her as much as it affects the fetus.
It's a matter of time before one of Stephen Harper's band of wingnuts puts almost identical legislation before the House of Commons.