In our humble opinion however, this one from sleazebear - who should be blogging, not just leaving comments - is superb.
Indeed. It is ALL about controlling women, and their bodies too.
jimmy durante writes: "At what point do non-sentient embryos become sentient and thus, per your definition, human?"
Sentience is necessary, but not sufficient, to be considered human. Not that I'm a philosopher or anything. But that's what I'd say. As for when it happens, from what I understand (see below), medical experts say sentience isn't achieved until late in the second trimester.
But let's leave that aside. What I've always wondered, but have been too lazy to check out, is how many "late term" abortions actually happen in Canada. So, I decided to check out the statistics on this. According to my limited research (just about 10 minutes on the web), no pregnancies are viable before 20 weeks, and almost all are viable after 27 weeks.
According to Statistics Canada, in 2003, 0.7% of abortion procedures for which detailed records were available were performed after 20 weeks of gestation. (89.4% were in the first trimester when it's generally considered by medical experts that fetuses do not have a sufficiently developed to be considered sentient -- and once again, it's arguable as to whether sentience is sufficient to declare a fetus "human".) If we do a little calculation, we can make a rough estimate that probably 725 abortions that year were performed after the 20 week mark before which hardly any fetuses are viable.
So each year, only 725 abortions past 20 weeks in Canada out of more than 100,000. 0.7%. Also of interest: there are very few providers of late term abortions in Canada. They are not easy to get. According to statistics I found on a pro-life site -- a pro-life site -- there were only 49 abortions in Canada performed past the 24-week "sentience" point. That's roughly 0.04%.
Please note that the Canadian Medical Association does not endorse "elective" abortions past the 20 week mark. That means that those 725 abortions are undoubtedly almost all due to serious fetal illness or serious threats to the health of the mother. (Many severe fetal defects that result in miscarriage or death soon after birth are undetectable before 24 weeks.)
From the information that I could find, abortions past 20 weeks aren't even particularly easy to find in Canada. No doctor in Quebec performs them, for example, even in the case of fetal illness or threats to the mother.) So I'm left to wonder how many of these mythical 8-month abortions happen in Canada? From what I can tell in my admittedly quick bit of Google research, the number is probably zero. And based on the policy of the CMA, I'd be surprised to find a doctor Canada that would perform an abortion on a viable, healthy, late-term fetus when there's no threat to the health of the mother. In other words, it really is about controlling women's bodies.