Author Topic: Farfetched hypothetical  (Read 1402 times)

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Offline Fiji

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Farfetched hypothetical
« on: January 08, 2014, 07:14:41 AM »
This just occured to me[1]
Suppose ... one of these "personhood at conception" bills actually passes (hang on, has this actually happened yet, anywhere?). In this state an elevator with a sign "5 persons maximum" has four people in it, two men, two women. It crashes, killing all inside.
The company who installed the elevator is sued.
Can the attorney of the company then demand that it be checked to see if both women were pregnant? And if they were, then the people in the elevator ignored the safety measures, being in the elevator with 6 persons and the company is off the hook?

What other tomfoolery could result from such bills?
 1. posts where I start with those exact words never end well, be warned. My mind is a weird and scary place, none so more than to myself.
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2014, 07:41:44 AM »
What other tomfoolery could result from such bills?

All kinds of stuff.  Some would be relatively silly, such as two pregnant women in a car being able to use an HOV lane or a pregnant woman going to the movies and being required to buy two tickets.  Airlines would undoubtedly require two tickets as well, since they're always going crazy trying to find new ways to charge fees.  Everyone's age for drinking, smoking, voting, driving, and so on would all be lowered by nine months unless the pertinent laws say "years of age" rather than "date of birth".  Pregnant women who drink even a single sip of wine could be prosecuted for providing alcohol to a minor.  Pregnant women sentenced to jail for any reason would be able to object that their sentence constitutes imprisonment of their child without due process.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Mrjason

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2014, 07:52:06 AM »
What other tomfoolery could result from such bills?

Pregnant women who drink even a single sip of wine could be prosecuted for providing alcohol to a minor. 

What about people selling alcohol to pregnant women, could they be prosecuted too as they have technically sold it to both woman and foetus?
Would women have to piss on a stick to even be allowed into the bar as the minor hidden in their uterus isn't allowed in...

Having sex twice within 7 days would be a no no as the bloke could be prosecuted for sexual assault on the blastocyst if the woman had conceived on the first rendezvous...
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 08:05:33 AM by Mrjason »

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2014, 07:53:24 AM »
Any anti-abortionists want to comment on this?
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Online jaimehlers

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2014, 09:16:33 AM »
Before anyone says that nobody would ever do things like that[1]....never underestimate stupid people, especially when you give them unintended consequences to play around with.
 1. I caught myself starting to scoff at some of those things.

Offline rev45

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2014, 09:29:00 AM »
It would be mandatory for the mother to get a health insurance plan for the fetus.  Expectant mothers could take out life insurance plans.  Should there be a miscarriage where the new person is accidentally flushed down the toilet, we would need to inspect the pipes and prepare a rescue mission to retrieve our flushed countryman.  Upon retrial of our drowned comrade we would need to prepare a funeral with fetus sized casket and we will need tombstones to identify them.  I suspect we will see cemeteries fill up quickly.
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2014, 10:06:11 AM »
A pregnant woman could take out a life insurance policy on the fetus, then get an abortion and file a claim.  Insurance companies would exclude abortion, of course, in which case they'd stage an assault to force a miscarriage or something else like that.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline screwtape

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2014, 11:11:09 AM »
Before anyone says that nobody would ever do things like that[1]....never underestimate stupid people, especially when you give them unintended consequences to play around with.
 1. I caught myself starting to scoff at some of those things.

Cipolla's 4th Law of Human Stupidity:

4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake.


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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2014, 11:17:58 AM »
What other tomfoolery could result from such bills?
Pregnant women would have to pay double at a buffet.  Or triple if carrying twins.
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Offline Boots

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2014, 03:47:39 PM »
Pregnant women could vote twice, or is that too much of a stretch?

Census data gets wonky too.
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Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2014, 04:58:05 PM »
Pregnant women could vote twice, or is that too much of a stretch?

Census data gets wonky too.

Given that the fetus is not of voting age, I wouldn't think that that, at least, could be twisted into an issue.

Some of the questions about alcohol made me think of an article I saw yesterday in which it was stated that one glass of wine per week for an expectant mother was not harmful, and might, indeed, be beneficial for the developing fetus. The comments following the article were almost universally irate at the thought that a pregnant woman could, under any circumstances whatsoever, think of even taking a sip of wine, and that if they could not, for the sake of their babies, manage to forswear a glass of wine  for those 9 months, they were probably raging alcoholics.

I don't know whether this is typical of the thinking nowadays, but back in the dark ages when I had my kids (between 23 & 29 years ago), my doctor did advise me that while I should give up alcohol for the most part, a weekly glass of wine was not a problem. Actually, he may have even said a daily glass of wine, because I remember him telling me that another of his patients wondered whether she could save up all those "daily" glasses of wine for the weekend. Which, he told her, NO, that was NOT the idea!

At any rate, I did have the occasional glass during all three pregnancies, and am neither a raging alcoholic, nor do I have kids who appear to have had any adverse effects.

Offline RED_ApeTHEIST

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2014, 10:53:49 PM »

What about people selling alcohol to pregnant women, could they be prosecuted too as they have technically sold it to both woman and foetus?

Technically, they only sold the liquor to the mother. It would be no different then selling liquor to someone who had a baby with them in a carrier.
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Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2014, 05:10:44 AM »

What about people selling alcohol to pregnant women, could they be prosecuted too as they have technically sold it to both woman and foetus?

Technically, they only sold the liquor to the mother. It would be no different then selling liquor to someone who had a baby with them in a carrier.

Good point. The difference being, I guess, that if one assumes that the person buying the alcohol intends to imbibe (which may or may not be the case in whatever scenario), then the infant would be spared the effects, while the fetus would have the same blood alcohol level as the pregnant woman.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2014, 05:40:41 AM »
Pregnant women who drink even a single sip of wine could be prosecuted for providing alcohol to a minor.

Thing is (and due respect to what Jynnan has been saying about the advice of a glass a day), they ARE still providing alcohol to a minor, as the alcohol will be entering the foetal bloodstream.  Now maybe that small amount of alcohol is medically good for the embryo (and I guess it probably is), but then if a pregnant woman drinks (say) eight units, should she then be prosecuted?  What is the difference between her transmitting that alcohol to her uterus, and mixing it in with her newborn's formula bottle, if personhood begins at conception?

Essentially, the personhood laws would have to mean the same laws applying to the woman 2 week before birth, as 2 weeks after birth.  Certainly possible, but practical or sensible?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Fiji

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2014, 06:19:51 AM »
Thanks for all the replies, I expected one or two, but not this.

Wrt alcohol and pregnancy. It is an established fact that the placenta does not stop alcohol. Now, there are a whole range of studies, that say, on the one hand that even a single sip is massively harmful all the way up to even binge drinking having no bad effects and possibly even being beneficial.
However ... the relevant laws don't talk about doing harm to underage people (can you call the blastocyst a child?) they talk about providing alcohol to the 'child'. Which is what the mom IS doing, even if she's not aware yet that she's pregnant. And thus, she could get into legal hot water.

Here's another one ... can a pregnant woman go and see a PG-13 rated movie? Of course the fetus would never actaully SEE the movie, but she IS bringing a person of less than 13 years of age into a theater showing a PG-13 movie.

Now there are a million age related things in all kind of laws so ... would a redefinition of the legal concept of 'age' be required?
And culturally, would we start celebrating siring days iso birthdays?
"Yeah, Bobby, on this day, eight years ago, Mon and I had a tender moment in an alley outside a bar."

Would all sexually active women be requirted by law to take monthly pregnancy tests? Or even daily test? Would pregnant women be required to wear a visual sign marking them as pregnant (now, it doesn't HAVE to be a star of David ...).
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Offline Mrjason

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2014, 07:43:03 AM »
Would all sexually active women be requirted by law to take monthly pregnancy tests? Or even daily test? Would pregnant women be required to wear a visual sign marking them as pregnant (now, it doesn't HAVE to be a star of David ...).

Who would foot the bill? A large part of the worlds economy would be dedicated to the production and administration of pregnancy tests.
Would this lead to a black market in virgins wee?

Scary stuff.

Offline Fiji

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2014, 07:46:40 AM »
^^ Wasn't that a plot point in a Christofer Lambert movie?
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2014, 07:47:21 AM »
Probably the biggest one -- and the one that I personally consider to be the most hypocritical -- is that if life does indeed begin at conception, then both the pregnant woman and the abortion doctor are guilty of premeditated homicide and should therefore be prosecuted for it and given the same penalty they would if they had done the same thing to a 30-year-old man.  However, anti-abortion activists never call for people receiving or performing abortions to receive, for example, the 25-to-life sentence that is often typical for premeditated homicide.  Why not?
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Mrjason

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2014, 07:59:47 AM »
^^ Wasn't that a plot point in a Christofer Lambert movie?

Possibly, I must admit I didn't really understand the last 3 highlander movies

Offline Fiji

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2014, 08:23:18 AM »
I thought the whole point of these bills was to make abortion absolutely impossible.
But indeed, if anyone still went ahead with an abortion, both parties would be up on charges of premeditated murder.

And you get a godaweful[1] mess when a woman goes to a different state for her abortion.
On her side of the border, she has a person in her womb, she crosses the border and the person ceases to exist. The fetus is still there, it's just not a person anymore.
She has her fully legal abortion and goes back home without a person in her womb ... has a crime been committed?
 1. intended!
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Schrodinger's thunderdome! One cat enters and one MIGHT leave!

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Offline Fiji

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2014, 08:25:06 AM »
^^ Wasn't that a plot point in a Christofer Lambert movie?

Possibly, I must admit I didn't really understand the last 3 highlander movies

Here we go[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortress_%281993_film%29
 1. Man! My memory is really making an effort these days!!!
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Offline Mrjason

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2014, 08:32:32 AM »
I thought the whole point of these bills was to make abortion absolutely impossible.
But indeed, if anyone still went ahead with an abortion, both parties would be up on charges of premeditated murder.

And you get a godaweful[1] mess when a woman goes to a different state for her abortion.
On her side of the border, she has a person in her womb, she crosses the border and the person ceases to exist. The fetus is still there, it's just not a person anymore.
She has her fully legal abortion and goes back home without a person in her womb ... has a crime been committed?
 1. intended!

Interesting idea. I would guess it wouldn't be a crime as the state where the foetus is a person wouldn't have jurisdiction in the state where it was just a bunch of cells.
Dunno though. there might be a possible extraterritorial application of the states laws. 

You also raise immigration and citizenship issues. Would a foetus have a passport? Who would check it? Would border guards need to be trained gynaecologists?
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 08:36:15 AM by Mrjason »

Offline Fiji

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2014, 02:30:55 AM »
Today, a person's existance is checked via birth certificate[1]. So in this dystopia, women would indeed be required to perform pregnancy test every single day. Or, since this would a society where women are second rate citizens at best, they would have to get up in the morning, hold their pee, rush over to the neighbourhood pregnancy detection center and pee on a stick in front of a doctor.
Is the test positive? Then the doctor issues a conception certificate and the woman is marked as being pregnant ... temporary tattoo to the forehead perhaps?[2]

So, these pregnancy detection centers would need 1) a ton of pregnancy tests 2) a whole battery of ultrasound devices 3) a tattoo parlor 4) a laser device for removing the tattoo at some point.

Hey, psst, need some virgin wee? Mrjason can hook you up!

I feel a short story coming up.
 1. to keep it simple
 2. loads of fun when the woman in question has a spontaneous abortion
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Offline Mrjason

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2014, 05:05:21 AM »

Hey, psst, need some virgin wee? Mrjason can hook you up!


What are you trying to say?

Offline Fiji

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2014, 05:45:07 AM »

Hey, psst, need some virgin wee? Mrjason can hook you up!


What are you trying to say?

Not YOUR wee ... unless you've just become Mrsjason all of a sudden ;)
But, you did imply you were in touch with the virgin wee black market.
Would this lead to a black market in virgins wee?

Go on, admit it, Mrjason! You're a wee pimp!
Science: I'll believe it when I see it
Faith: I'll see it when I believe it

Schrodinger's thunderdome! One cat enters and one MIGHT leave!

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Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2014, 07:09:54 AM »
But how sensitive are those pee tests? I know you can tell much earlier now than they were last time I had any call to use them, but aren't there still at least a few days between the time an egg is fertilized (the most sensitive of tests could not discern that before implantation, could they?) and when the test would show positive for pregnancy.

There would be no way to ever tell whether any given woman of child-bearing years might just possibly have a couple of cells of potential new humanity floating around in her uterus. Would we just have to assume she was pregnant just in case?

Offline Fiji

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2014, 08:38:29 AM »
Wiki claims that the usual run of the mill pee-on-a-stick tests can give false negatives up to 17 days after the actual sex.
Now, ignoring the fact that I might be taking notes for a potential short story, what would be the worst possible way (for the women, but who cares about the women, right?) this 17 day window can be worked into law.
Immediat drug test, and if there's proof of drug use in the past 17 days ... jailtime?
Interviewing friends and family to see if the walking baby-factory had any alcohol?
Science: I'll believe it when I see it
Faith: I'll see it when I believe it

Schrodinger's thunderdome! One cat enters and one MIGHT leave!

Without life, god has no meaning.

Offline Mrjason

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Re: Farfetched hypothetical
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2014, 08:50:47 AM »
Wiki claims that the usual run of the mill pee-on-a-stick tests can give false negatives up to 17 days after the actual sex.
Now, ignoring the fact that I might be taking notes for a potential short story, what would be the worst possible way (for the women, but who cares about the women, right?) this 17 day window can be worked into law.
Immediat drug test, and if there's proof of drug use in the past 17 days ... jailtime?
Interviewing friends and family to see if the walking baby-factory had any alcohol?

The worst possible scenario would be to ban any sexually active women from doing anything that may be illegal/harm their stowaway.
This would be enforced by daily virginity checks for post pubescent females.

This would also put me out of the V-WeeTM business :(