Saturday, November 28, 2009

Alaska ballot initiative will argue that "single-cell embryos" be recognized as legal persons.

Kurka's effort is part of a nationwide push to put "personhood" initiatives on state ballots. The movement focuses on writings by Justice Harry Blackmun in the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision that established abortion rights nationally. Blackmun indicated that a fetus would be protected if its personhood were established.

"So, basically, what we're doing here is if we say that we recognize the unborn as persons, then a woman's right to choose or a right to privacy doesn't matter (just like) she doesn't have a right to kill her child after it's born," Kurka said.

The ballot measure he's sponsored seeks to put in law that "all human beings, from the beginning of their biological development as human organisms, including the single-cell embryo ... shall be recognized as legal persons in the state of Alaska."

Here we go again. This 22 year old kid, Christopher Kurka (A Mike Huckabee supporter in the last election), is introducing an initiative that will inflame the passions of the church going sheeple who receive their information about reproduction from the pulpit instead of the science book. And they will, of course, turn out en masse to defend the rights of a potentially Christian microorganism.

The idea of a single cell being considered a human being would be laughable if it were not so potentially destructive to the rights of women. Look EVERY SINGLE CELL IN YOUR BODY is a potential human being.

Tetraploid blastocysts are produced by jamming mouse zygotes together so that they join to create cells that have twice the DNA of normal cells. The pre-implantation embryos composed of tetraploid cells and iPSCs can develop to term after being transferred into the womb of a surrogate mother. In other words, mouse skin cells can be transformed into mouse embryos. There is no reason to believe that this would not also work for human skin cells.

This development has prompted a biologist and a bioethicist to take on the argument that the "natural potentiality" of human embryos to develop themselves means that they must be accorded the full moral respect we give to adult human beings.

In other words, with a little manipulation it is possible that a skin cell, scraped off of your forearm, could potentially be an exact duplicate of you. A loving thinking human being, unrecognizable, in a room full of people, as being different in any way.

So would skin cells be afforded the same protection under this initiative? I highly doubt it as these people are not much for scientific quandaries. They can only entertain emotionally charged, intellectually starved arguments that inflame the passions of those who choose to belief over the opportunity to think.

The problem is that piles of scientific research pale in comparison to one chubby, smiling American baby. And oh yes, the "American" part is very important to this group.

These same paragons of morality do not lose a second of sleep over the slaughter of Iraqi or Afghanistan children in their beds by American forces. We are supposedly attacked by nineteen men from Saudi Arabia and we invade two different countries and slaughter hundred of thousands, if not millions of innocent people, and these moral relativists do not bat an eye. But dare to threaten the "potential" life of a single American cell and they take to the streets in droves.

Does THAT make sense to anybody?

Look I get it. I love babies. I really do. Even babies that are not from this country.

But this is not an issue of babies. This is an issue of choice. And as much as I love babies I do not have the right to tell a woman that because she CAN have a baby she MUST have a baby. I am not so arrogant.

Like everybody else I wish that there were NO abortions, and I believe that with more education and access to contraceptives we can greatly reduce the number in this country. But let's not forget that the SAME people who demand that single cells be awarded human rights, are the SAME people who argue against sex education being taught in the school. And SOME of these people have taken their crusade in a very dangerous direction indeed.

So I hope that when this intuitive makes it onto the ballot that those who truly respect "human rights", and do not want to see them stripped away from Alaskan women, will turn out and vote to keep religious intolerance away from their reproductive organs.


  1. Anonymous8:24 AM

    I guess this means that masturbation, oral sex and wet dreams are also forms of abortion?????

  2. Anonymous8:35 AM

    One worrisome aspect of this bill, should it pass, would be that women would bear the burden of proof should a fertilized egg NOT implant in the endometrium, for whatever reason, natural or induced. This gives the contents of one's feminine hygiene product equal status with the woman wearing it.

    Mrs. Tarquin Biscuitbarrel

  3. Anonymous8:35 AM

    Consuming large quantities of alcohol could damage that single cell embryo so we need to cover that too. Then there's the case of women getting on a plane leaking aminotic fluid bearing a premature down's syndrome baby. Sounds like we need a law for that too.

    And we certainly should pass legislation to ensure that every women carrying a single cell embryo must be emtionally, financially and physically able to bear the child and rear it to maturity. How dare a women not meet the requirements for motherhood!! Let's jail her!!

  4. Anonymous8:41 AM

    You fall into their trap arguing about whether or not a single cell is a human. The issue is, a woman's right to choose. Period! Why do you Americans insist on letting the wackjob kristyuns drag you backwards?

  5. mommom8:44 AM

    Darn!! If this was a law 2 years ago Sarah Palin could have been charged with neglect and criminal negligence for the wild ride!!

  6. Roe v Wade is FEDERAL Law. This initiative,if passed, will be overturned. But how many women will be prosecuted (or die from "back alley" abortions) while awaiting the decision?
    Reminds me of when MatSu Regional Hospital banned abortions. Then, after a "lengthy battle" the Alaska Supreme Court overturned the hospital's ban on abortion.

  7. emrysa8:50 AM

    sure would be nice if these nutcases put their efforts into solving the problems of the ALREADY BORN rather than spending their time on those who aren't and may never be.

    good luck, alaska.

  8. Anonymous8:50 AM

    This is another example of the far far right wing religious "Personhood" movement, which is active in nearly every state, which is intended not only to outlaw all abortion, but to outlaw all contraception, and in vitro fertilization.
    Basically, Personhood is intended to make every woman's body the property of the state.

    Personhood was defeated 73-27 in CO in the 2008
    election, but rest assured they will push this agenda every year, in every state, until by some naive legislature or by the voters they achieve the goal of a far right religious theocracy taking over government, like the other Taliban.

  9. Anonymous9:12 AM

    Doesn't Aalska have any real problems for these kooks to worry about? Like maybe the hungry children across Alaska?

  10. Anonymous9:43 AM

    Has Mr. Kurka considered improving the lives of those around him? Children that need loving homes? Children that need an education? Children that need health care?

  11. Anonymous9:50 AM

    Oh fer crying out loud.
    Do these morons have nothing better to do?
    Dear Mr. Kurka,
    There are human beings, walking, talking, existing independently of another human being's body in Alaska who are hungry and cold. You are in a position to do something for them. Could you please spend some of your energy advocating for them, instead of a single cell, which btw won't even implant for another week (Shall we imprison the mother if her ovaries fail to make enough gestational hormones to allow implantation? Shall we prosecute her dead body when she has an ectopic pregnancy, and the only human being you think matters given a choice between the mother and embryo dies following rupture of her fallopian tubes, thus killing the embryo-human? How do you propose enforcing your religious ideology?)

  12. I thought the Catholic Church established when a fetus was a "person". And coincedentally it coincided with when science did. Somewhere about 5-6 months gestation? I don't recall correctly.

    But at no time has the church recognized a fertilized cell as a "person".

    Not until the nutjobs started in on Roe v Wade.

    You want a fertilized egg to be a person? Then you have to recognize cloning too. And everything that contributes to cloning as a potential person.

    Kurka is a child. 22 years old. And a child shall lead them? Right. Kurka isn't stupid. He sees where the money and his future is. He's looking to be the next megachurch pastor living in luxury and skimming/skamming the sheeple.

    All of these personhood laws need to be defeated with a huge margin. And that scares me, given what they whackjobs and their money did to Prop 8 in California and whatever it was in Maine.

  13. Legally speaking, giving a Zygote or an Embryo legal status as a human being would not make 1st trimester abortions illegal.
    I played devils advocate and explored the "legal" rights and responsibilities of a woman if the Zygote or Embryo was to be given the SAME rights as a human here
    Legally in order to outlaw abortion you would have to dehumanize women.

  14. Anonymous10:28 AM

    Anyone with a brain doesn't live in Alaska - with a few notable exceptions.

  15. If a single cell embryo is a living person, can I write it off as a dependent on my taxes? Does that mean that that embryo will be allowed to collect on the Alaska Permanent Fund?

  16. The personhood BS is based on a religious idea of a separate soul that is supposedly ZAPPED into a fertilized egg by God at the moment of fertilization.

    Otherwise, that embryo is a parasite in the accurate medical terminology and cannot exist outside its host until around 24 weeks.

    If one of these fundie "scientists" could prove the soul theory then hey, I might protect a fertilized egg too, but religious ideas should not be law.

  17. Anonymous11:10 AM

    "dehumanize women"

    DING DING DING, ladies (er, sub humans) and gentlemen we have a winner! THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT TO DO!

  18. Anonymous11:27 AM

    Until it can survive outside of the host, it is a parasite. Per a PhD in microbiology that I know.

  19. The radical right wants to take away civil rights from actual human beings and has worked towards that goal by radicalizing our supreme court and taking our privacy rights. But, they want to bestow rights on a clump of cells. Do they even know that many pregnancies end in spontaneous abortions and there is a reason, usually the fetus has some abnormalty. I guess they can charge their God with being an abortionist.

  20. mlaiuppa said..."I thought the Catholic Church established when a fetus was a "person". And coincedentally it coincided with when science did. Somewhere about 5-6 months gestation? I don't recall correctly."

    It's called "quickening", when the prospective birth mother first feels movement from the fetus.

    There's a rather lengthy time between ovum fertilization and "quickening" where a human embryo closely resembles a pig embryo or a monkey embryo -- I don't see the religious fundamentalists/dominionists honoring God's OTHER creations which so closely resembles us, even AFTER birth.

  21. Gryphen - They very well might be going after stem cell research in addition to abortion. The maniacs are definitely going after women: "...a woman's right to choose or right to privacy doesn't matter...".

    I predict the supporters of embryo personhood will do there darnedest to keep the discussion to their talking points about 'life' and away from discussing how this ultimately COULD be enforced.

  22. Deb in WI12:14 PM

    I'm not well-versed in this political area, but what would that do for the badly needed stem-cell research? Wouldn't that make it illegal?

    That same research might save my son from receiving 4 shots per day, not including finger pricks several times per day. Science on stem cells has afforded possible cures and prevention of not only type 1 diabetes in the near future, but relief for lots of other serious, painful ailments.

    Stem-cell research isn't what the right makes it seem -- They aren't mad scientists making Frankenstein, they are working on a cure for my "baby" and countless others out there.

  23. Anonymous12:18 PM

    I went to an anti-war demonstration at the beginning of the Iraq war, and saw a sign with a pic of a pregnant Arab woman that said:

    Abortion is ok if you kill the mother too!

    BTW, I read that in Nepal the anti-abortion laws are so bad that if you even have a miscarriage or a stillborn baby, you'll be accused of infanticide and sent to prison. I bet the Christians would like that.

  24. Anonymous12:45 PM

    Same old song. Why do these male Xtain nutcases seem to resent women so? Is it to keep the base fired up, or to keep the female gender living in fear of displeasing God by not being fruitful and producing more sheeple?

    I've heard the latter theory via an Evangelical acquaintance of mine (we speak every now and then, and, no, we never discuss politics or I'd give her more than an earful). She HAD to have her first child when she was very young and admittedly not ready. In fact, she never really wanted kids, but she HAD to procreate--otherwise she would end up burning in hell, according to her over-the-top, overbearing Evangelical mother. My acquaintance had NO choice in the matter once her parents knew. Big mistake. So . . . three kids later(!!), she resents every single one of them (she once complained to me) and the kids know it, too. It's a dysfunctional family run wild: kids arrested, flunking school, husband miserable because he can't deal with the children either and so he plays around while she turns a "blind eye" to it, family counseling sessions like the worst Jerry Springer episodes you could imagine. Yes, I know she shouldn't have had the last two kids much less the first, but living under this kind of stifling pressure to remain pregnant when you don't want to, along with the constant fear of hell, is VERY real to some and devastating when the fallout begins.

    I'm NOT saying every Xtain family is like this; but if this is happening with one that I know of, there must be many, many, many more out there. It's a vicious circle that the Christian Taliban loves to promote with flowery rhetoric like (insert harp music) "the unborn" and "personhood."

    I remember a bumper sticker in the 1970s, when we all seemed more sophisticated and much less dumbed-down as a country: "Every child a wanted child." Will we ever see this kind of compassionate thought again, without the Xtains going berserk?

  25. Anonymous12:59 PM

    There goes the morning after pill, too.

    Jail her!!! LOL.... sad but too accurate.

  26. Does this mean if you pop a zit your guilty of murder?

  27. Anonymous1:42 PM

    Blackmun was one justice, not the whole Supreme Court. And "personhood" is in no way shape or form a legally defined word.
    You can probably come up with a pretty well delineated definition of “person”, but what does the qualifier "-hood" do to alter or define "person."
    It is difficult to guess what the current far left activist, anti-person, pro-business Supreme Court would do with a case based on this phrase.
    But the personhood these people want declared clearly is not what the founding fathers had in mind when the said all men have a right to life.
    Abortions existed in their day and I am sure they all knew about them, yet they were tacit on that topic.

    There are death panels, and they are the churches that press for these types of restrictive laws.
    Disparate women will go to the back alley butchers once more. So not only with the fetus die anyway, but so might the woman. What is gained is more butchery not less.

  28. Anonymous1:53 PM

    How is the law going to determine at what point a women is considered to be carrying a single fertilized cell?
    Since, there are laws concerning some types of behaviors of pregnant women who are known to be pregnant, ie. drinking, smoking, medications etc., are all women of child bearing years going to be force to take a pregnancy test every month? Stop taking needed medication after every sex act until proven to not be pregnant?
    There are a myriad complications to the implementation of such a law.
    Since sexual activity can threaten an existing pregnancy, do men have to abstain until their mate is proven to be no pregnant? What is to be done about ectopic pregnancies, hydatid cysts?
    How about abusive husbands, stressful employers, a couple of drinks, cigarettes, MJ, medications etc.
    Where are the legal boundaries to be defined, and they have to be defined to be implemented.

  29. Anonymous2:46 PM

    As a university biology teacher, I can tell you that a fertilized egg can be called a zygote, but it is not an embryo. We can't use the word "embryo" ntil enough cells have formed to create the different tissues, such as skin, musccle, bone, nervous tissue, digestive system.

    After it is a single fertilized egg, it divides in two, then four, eight cells, forming a hollow ball of cells (blastocyst). That begans to curve inwards and form the diffent layers. But you're going to have to sign up for the whole course if you want to know a specific time that the heart and blood vessels form and begin pumping blood through the body of the developing being.

    we have the same problem at the other end of the scale, namely, pronouoncing someone dead. When the heart stops? When the brain stops? (Remember Terri Schiavo?) We just saw a guy who was in a comma for 23 years, yet he claims to have heard everything around him. None of these are easy questions, but the politicians are not the ones with the right answers.

    A single fertilized egg is not an embryo. Period.

  30. Anonymous2:57 PM

    this kid is so off base, he has not lived in the real world long enough presume anything, let alone influence someone elses life.

  31. I think I said this once before. I am done with the prolifers, not because I am unsympathetic to their position - in fact I am. I'm done because they are almost all hypocrites. They are nearly always pro war and indifferent to blowing bits into the bellies of children and grandpas. When they take the same stance on war that the Mennonites, the Amish and the Quakers do, I will respect them. These groups are also pro-life, but I can respect them.

    And by the way, the belief that a soul inhabits the body immediately upon conception is just that, a belief. It may be so but it might not. We don't really know.

  32. Really what the attorney general and mr Kurka are doing is wasting paper. If someone asks me to sign a piece of paper with this ignorance on it i will scream at them that they insult all trees for being the makeup of paper. How is it that everyday is someone more stupid than the day before? All the things we face today and this needs a petition? Make sure to ask my wife to put corks on all the forks.

  33. Anonymous3:37 PM

    Wow. Mr Kurka needs to go study some biology and reproductive science. "Single cell embryo" is not a scientific term, and not one that could be tested for. The science doesn't even support this measure.

  34. Anonymous3:37 PM

    "from the beginning of their biological development as human organisms, including the single-cell embryo"

    Yes siree, gals, you get raped and that embryo is YOUR problem and we'll put you in jail to make sure you PAY for getting raped.

    Aint religion a fine thing!

  35. Anonymous3:46 PM

    left activits supreme court? LOL. You must be high.

    Bush appointed the majority of the justices, but surely we wouldn't want to take away from your Fox learnins.

    Please don't expect to be taken seriously by anyone who isn't in your cult. You will be laughed out of normal society for failure to recognize reality.

  36. Anonymous5:18 PM

    Laws aren't supposed to be based on religious convictions... right? If a fetus can't survive outside the mother's body, it doesn't get citizen's rights. It's a possession.

    And being human isn't all that wonderous. Since we still don't give consideration and legal standing to a zygote that managed to figure out it likes its own gender, I think the back is asswards, somewhere.

  37. MacAndCheeseWiz5:25 PM

    So an abortion and a miscarriage would mean the same thing?

    Interesting... So a man who marrys a pregnant woman, is marrying his own child as well- and wouldn't the argument lead to legalized child sexual abuse?

    Since Mr. Kurka is so young and has all the resources in the world at his disposal, I wonder how many of these "persons" he's willing to adopt?

    Gryphen, your last line says it all!

  38. Anonymous6:13 PM

    Hey Kurka, you 22 year old jerk-off, why don't we just round all the womens up and put them into reproductive control camps?

    Allow them work-release only when signed out (married) to the man.

    Go ahead, just try and criminalize a woman's sexuality. You come after our sex lives and we'll make sure you never enjoy yours.

    Sanctimonious, righteous, arrogant A$$hat.

  39. Anonymous6:16 PM

    Onething I am with you on your thoughts I was around anti abortionist for around two years.The lies they told to uphold their thinking drove me away.I call them anti abortionist because like palin that is what they are, not pro-life at all.They are like McCain with is bomb bomb bomb Iran little ditty in his hurry to start another war.I know a lot of people like billy Graham but if you read crazy for God by Frank Schaeffer you find out both him and his son are what I call fake christians that scam people so they themselves can live in luxury. Kind of like the Bakers. Remember Tammy Faye?Grahams son came to Alaska but not until palin was shammed into doing something by bloggers and the people of Alaska..Chavez did more for those people as far as fuel than palin ever did,JMO

  40. So did the AG allow a petition that makes no sense at all. Other than to waste paper. This is an AG.....WE never voted for.OH shit i forgot steve is whats leftover from the hotdog party in Fairbanks last summer.I am sorry my bad.

  41. mlaiuppa11:48 PM

    But Project Savior, dehumanizing women is exactly the goal they're aiming for.

    Barefoot, pregnant and scrubbing the kitchen floor.

    I'm sure they'd deny them higher education and make them wear a burka if they could.

    Talibangelicals, the lot of them.

    I'm sure Kurka has his eye on a nice fertile woman so he can start his quiverfull alá the Duggars. And he can give them all "C" names like Jim Bob did with his; Carrie, Christie, Charles, Carl, Christine, Christy, Christopher, Christal, Calum, Calvin, Cindy, Catherine, Calvin, Cameron, Caleb, Carter, Carrie, Casius, Clancey, Christian, Cody, etc.

    Gee, he's lucky. He can even name one of them Cheney.

    Gag me with a spoon.


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