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If an embryo is now a person, mortality rates just soared in Alabama — The Washington Post, Outlook

Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, states have begun enforcing statutes that forbid abortion. The states with laws specifying that personhood begins at the moment of conception carry extra baggage: Paradoxically, death rates for their youngest citizens will spike. Statutes supposedly intended to protect the lives of the unborn will instead, at least on paper, produce a result that would ordinarily be reckoned as catastrophic and demand dramatic responses that have nothing to do with abortion.

Those enacting these statutes have failed to face squarely the fact that more than 30 percent of human embryos spontaneously self-abort. This occurs most often within weeks of conception, and without the knowledge of the pregnant woman, but there is no doubting that it does occur, day after day. Laws stipulating that human personhood begins at conception mean that each of these rejected embryos is the death of a young human being.

Deaths of the very youngest are conventionally recorded in health statistics as the “infant mortality rate,” defined as the number of deaths per 1,000 live births. These statistics have not traditionally…Read More

Perspective by Daniel Wikler and Andrew Koppelman

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