Caution: 'Exclusionary' legal principle - bills on beginning of human life

Dianne N. Irving
copyright October 16, 2020
Reproduced with Permission

I have been requested by several on my e-list to explain again how critically important the "language" used is in any bill dealing with when human beings begin to exist, especially various renditions of "personhood" bills. To that end I have copied below several of my articles; see especially, "Personhood "Language" 2008 - 2011", at:

What is crucial to understand is the legal concept of "exclusionary" -- which lobbyists on Capitol Hill are already quite familiar with and use all the time to sneak in the "exceptions" they want in any bills or regulations. "Exclusionary" is a legal term that requires most courts to interpret any DEFINITION used in a bill or regulation LITERALLY, i.e., acknowledging ONLY that definition. Such a requirement means that any other definitions would NOT be covered by that bill or regulation. The example I often used is if a bill defines "bears that can't be killed" as "brown bears", then that bill would NOT apply to any white or black bears. And THEREFORE THEY CAN BE KILLED.

Relevant to when human beings begin to exist, IF a bill states that "we should protect human life from conception to natural death" (first articulated early on by the Vatican then later retracted), THEN (applying the legally required "exclusionary" principle) (1) that bill would NOT apply to living human beings reproduced a-sexually (without the immediate use of fertilization/sperm & "egg -- e.g. natural MZ identical human twins, artificial clones and genetically engineered human embryos often a-sexually reproduced in IVF/ART research labs and "infertility clinics" around the world, etc.). (2) It is also of concern that dozens of state LAWS (legal "precedent") now already MIS-define "conception" as "beginning at implantation, which is 5-7 days POST-fertilization. Indeed, the term "conception" has been formally rejected by human embryologists as inaccurate and unscientific [see, e.g.: Ronan O'Rahilly and Fabiola Muller, Human Embryology & Teratology (New York: Wiley-Liss, 1994), pg. 19: "The term conception, however, may refer either to fertilization or to implantation and hence (like gestation) is best avoided."] (3) Further, such a bill would not include those human beings who DIE UNnaturally (as in car accidents, faulty surgery, diseases, riots, etc.). Thus based on such false "science" the bill would end up leaving out of consideration millions of innocent living human beings -- and THUS continue to allow them to be used and abused in unethical and deadly reproductive human embryo research -- including all manner of genetic engineering research. The lobbyists on Capitol Hill aren't stupid ... See a discussion of the legal concept of "exclusionary" (or literal interpretation) in Irving, "Personhood "Language" 2008 - 2011", at:

See also Irving:

Hopefully responsible people will forward this concern and explanation to those engaged in writing legislation so that they will know how to base any definitions used in bills or regulations on the accurate, complete, inclusive scientific facts.