A Question of Timing

Via Opposing Views:

The ‘Woman’s Health and Safety Act’ signed into law by Arizona Governor Jen Brewer in April goes into effect this month.

The law calculates a woman’s pregnancy as starting the very first day of the last menstrual period, reports the Daily Beast, which could be two weeks before the actual conception.

Women usually ovulate [and conceive] two weeks after the start of their last period. By saying that pregnancy starts two weeks before conception, Arizona’s new law narrows the window in which a woman can get an abortion…

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6 Responses to A Question of Timing

  1. Acilius says:

    Why stop there? We hear people say that “Life begins at conception,” but that is obviously a very imprecise way of stating the matter. The spermatozoa are obviously alive, or they could not make their way to the egg, which, also, is obviously alive. So if we are going to enact laws to grant legal personality to fertilized eggs, why not to each unfertilized egg, and to each spermatozoon? So that every girl is a mother before she is born, from the moment her egg cells form while she is still in utero. And of course, the courts may be asked to rule her an unfit mother. Every boy a father too, and every ejaculation a holocaust.

  2. Polichinello says:

    As the first commenter below the article points out, it is standard practice to measure gestational periods from the beginning of the menstrual cycle. So, when a woman conceives, her Ob-Gyn considers her two-weeks pregnant. Anyone who’s had a kid should know this, for crying out loud. That the article leaves out mentioning this rather salient fact should give pause before taking the rest of its hysterical claims seriously.

  3. Andrew Stuttaford says:

    Hello Polichinello,good to hear from you. What are the “rest of the [article’s] hysterical claims”?

  4. Polichinello says:

    One example:
    The new law could also close the chances of a woman aborting a baby with a lfe-threatening illness as the ultrasound usually done at about the 20th week, which would be the 18th week under the new law.

    It’s been years since I went through this, but I remember having this ultrasound done at the 20th week, using the timing put forward by those RACIST RETHUGLICAN FUNDIE TEABAGGERS!!!11!1!!! /libmouthfoaming

    Who knows, maybe I’m misremembering that, but given the fact that they omitted mentioning the standard practice of measuring gestational timing (due to stupidity or mendacity, you make the call), I wouldn’t trust that claim, either.

  5. Andrew Stuttaford says:

    Not quite sure I follow you there. That said, a medical rule of thumb is one thing, giving statutory force to it is another.

  6. Polichinello says:


    It’s not some informal “rule of thumb”, Andrew. It’s standard practice. There’s no way to pinpoint a time of conception, so the gestational period begins with the menstrual cycle.

    The problem is you guys are mocking the AZ legislators for being ignorant god-botherers when they’re following long established medical procedure. Moreover, the writer of your OP article seems blissfully ignorant of this, as he confounds the timing of the critical ultrasound reading.

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