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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 21, 2008 at 3:42 PM

What is an embryo?

Get real

I was amused by the comments of Sean Tipton, spokesman for the Society of Reproductive Medicine [“How some couples’ hopes for a child find new life,” page one, Nov. 20]. This scientific “expert” failed to reach the logical conclusion of the science, and implicitly asks us to draw an illogical conclusion in the process.

He dons the hat of a moral philosophy expert with his quip that groups “want to elevate the moral status of the embryo to be the equivalent of an existing child.” Wrong. Science shows the embryo to be a complete human being. “Child” is a stage of development of a human being.

He tries to prove his point by noting that only 25 percent of fertilized eggs (embryos) develop into babies. And what is the percentage of babies that develop into children, or children into adolescents, or adolescents into adults? Is a child less of a human being than an adolescent or adult?

Due to disease, accidents or other maladies, not all embryos will eventually become adults, nor children become adolescents. Yet, each and every one is a human being.

Equally bizarre were the comments by the [nation’s leading advocate for privacy and a woman’s right to choose] NARAL’s Karen Cooper. Perhaps someday she will stop viewing unborn human beings through her abortion-lobby lens and start recognizing them as her fellow humans.

— Dan Kennedy, Bellevue

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