[Update: Catholic blogger Jeff Miller responds to the results of the Mississippi vote here]
Next week, the citizens of the state of Mississippi will be voting on a "personhood amendment,"which seems to mean that if it passes, every human being from the moment of conception shall be protected under law. (Since it conflicts with Roe v. Wade and probably a dungheap's worth of other Supreme Court jurisprudence, I expect a state or federal court to strike it down posthaste. That's if it passes, the odds in favor of which I have no idea.)
Former W4 blogger Frank Beckwith (to whom I owe the hat tip for the link, and whose initials are identical to FaceBook's) notes that the issue is being discussed at National Review's The Corner, and quotes one of their bloggers, a Robert VerBruggen (who describes himself as "basically a pro-lifer"), as follows:
What’s not clear to me, however, is why “distinct DNA” should be the criterion by which we judge personhood for moral and legal purposes. As Reason’s Ronald Bailey has pointed out, 60 to 80 percent of human embryos — post-conception, with distinct DNA — are naturally destroyed by the woman’s body. Are we to see this as a large-scale massacre of human beings, develop drugs to prevent it from happening, and require all women who have unprotected sex to take them? Certainly, we would be willing to take measures like this if post-birth infants were dying in comparable numbers.
Frank gives a thorough response at his blog, but before you read his answer, I'd like to hear your own.
For my own part, VerBruggen's protest sounds like a variation on the so-called 'problem of evil,' in which its profligacy constitutes an argument against either God's benevolence or his existence.
I also wondered why a man who thinks like that is writing for NR, but that's only because I sometimes forget what big tents these putatively conservative organs really are.
[Addendum]: For those interested in the entire exchange, here are the links with the oldest at the bottom: