Every sperm is a living, breathing person!

Every sperm and every egg, fertilized or not, is a living, breathing person, endowed by its Creator with certain inalienable rights. At least, that’s what the proposed 2010 personhood amendment to the Colorado state constitution implies. No, it doesn’t say that literally, but thanks to the vague wording of the amendment, that’s one possible interpretation.

It’s also clear from an article in The Colorado Independent that this is only half of what the amendment’s authors intended.

“It’s intended to account for human beings who may be created through asexual reproduction in laboratories and used as raw material for research, organs, or stem cells. Fertilization would not have properly applied to asexually reproduced humans, but even asexually reproduced human beings have a definite biological beginning,” [Gualberto Garcia] Jones explained. (Jones heads the organization that initiated this year’s amendment)

That this law could be interpreted to include sperm is an ironic example of the law of unintended consequences. Continue reading

Fixing what isn't broken

We have this great little library around the corner, which is very convenient. In London, there are lots of libraries, but it’s such big city geographically that it’s not always the case that there’s a library just around the corner. It’s a nice library—it’s right next to The Keats House, where John Keats lived next door to Fanny Brawne before heading off to Italy and an untimely death. The trees at the edge of the Keats House grounds hang over the path that leads to the library doors, and in Spring there are lovely blossoms dropping petals on the path. The building itself is that curious medley that one often encounters in England, a combination of a bit of old grandeur with some 1960s crap thrown in to make the interior more “functional.” But it’s comfortable, it has a good collection of books and newspapers, an attractive children’s room, and a bunch of PCs that people use for internet access, and it used to have a neighbor’s cat, Moggy, who would wander in and sleep all day before she died last Spring, much to the dismay of the regulars. Continue reading