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And fertility clinics are not the only place where embryos are routinely destroyed in the course of making a baby. Every year, in the U.S. alone, nature (or God) kills hundreds of thousands of embryos so young that the bearer didn't even know she was pregnant. About 15% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, most of them in the embryo stage. Although there is research going on to reduce miscarriages for the sake of would-be mothers, there is no big crusade to save the lives of these lost embryos. Why not?
Contrast this widespread tolerance, if not acceptance, of the mass slaughter of embryos, even among right-to-lifers, with the huge fuss that antiabortion forces have stirred up over the relatively rare practice they insist on calling partial-birth abortions. This campaign emphasizes how recognizably human end-of-term fetuses are. The explicit or implicit argument is that these physical human qualities are at least part of what makes late-term abortions as morally objectionable as killing a postbirth human being. Either this argument is utterly disingenuous or the corollary must be that destruction of a newly conceived embryo is morally less objectionable.
If stem-cell research is banned or limited on the principle that just-conceived embryos have rights just like the rest of us, that will be a principle applied almost nowhere else. It's a principle that few people actually believe in and one that almost nobody--not even sincere right-to-lifers--really lives by.