I have argued that because human sexual reproduction inevitably
involves the creation and destruction of embryos, it is a problematic
activity for those who believe that the embryo is “one of
us.” Or, if it is not a problematic activity, then neither is
the creation and destruction of embryos for a purpose of comparable
moral seriousness—the development of lifesaving therapy, for
example. I assume that, whereas it is possible for the very first act
of unprotected intercourse to result in a live human baby, and hence
not in a given case cause any embryo loss, this is a rare event and
that, statistically, for every live birth from three to five embryos
must be created only to die. For dramatic effect, I assume that five
is a reasonable figure, giving each embryo a 20% chance of survival;
however, nothing in the argument depends on any specific figures being
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