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April 23, 1982

Human Life Bill

JAMA. 1982;247(16):2230. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320410016007

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To the Editor.—  The COMMENTARY by Dr Meyer demands comment. It is interesting that of the nine scientists who addressed the Senate Subcommittee on Separation of Powers chaired by Senator East, only the one who said it is not "a scientific fact that human life begins at conception" is identified, and only his comments are given expression and then, with approbation. Dr Meyer seems to endorse compromise in this matter, but of what, or to what end, I am not sure. Ordinarily, I am all for compromise if it reflects a compassionate effort to relieve those otherwise excessively burdened by our imperfect system of justice, but how do you compromise an issue that is, quite literally, life or death?The Supreme Court pontificated, "If the suggestion of personhood is established... the fetus' right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the 14th Amendment." The charge was unbelievable. The fetus had