The following letter was written by Gary Cherone of Van Halen. This letter may be reproduced in its entirety by the media. Credit for source must be given to Rock For Life.
An Open Letter to Eddie Vedder:
When is a woman not a woman? There in lies the only clear refutation of a woman’s rights. A woman’s rights - seems a mere tautology, a redundant catch phrase. Are not rights self evident? Intrinsic assumptions of the inalienable? So, when is a woman not a woman, a right not a right? When she doesn’t exist.
When does a woman become a woman?
Is it when her first ballot has been cast? Or when she graduates from her class?
Is it when she makes a wish on her sweet sixteenth? Would I be amiss if it were her first kiss?
Is it when she’s diagnosed by the boy next door? Or as ambiguous as the cutting of the cord?
Is it the time it takes to travel the distance through the canal? Or when she’s kicking and becomes viable?
Is it when her sex is discovered by a sonogram? Or after eight weeks when the changes in her body will be mainly in dimension?
Is it when her brain waves are detected after 40 days? Or is it around three weeks when her primitive heart beats?
Can there be only one true line of demarcation? One finite measurable point in time that differentiates life from non-life? Womanhood from non-womanhood? Rights from no right? Is it the moment of conception - that point when all of the above is set in motion? That precise moment when “a separate human individual, with her own genetic code, needing only food, water, and oxygen, comes into existence”? Indeed, It is at that point, “like the infant, the child, the adolescent, that the conceptus is a being who is becoming, not a becoming striving toward being. She is not a potential life, she is a life with great potential”. She is not the mother, she is an other - a somebody other than the mother.
A woman, however beautiful, however complex when fully grown, begins life as a single cell, a zygote - that stage in human development through which we all pass. She fulfills “the four criteria necessary to all life - metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction. Her genetic makeup is established at conception, determining to a great extent her own individual, physical characteristics”: her eyes, her hair, her skin color, bone structure, her gender.
So let us not be confused, “she did not come from a zygote - she once was a zygote. She did not come from an embryo, she once was an embryo. She did not come from a fetus, she once was a fetus”. She did not come from a little girl - she once was a little girl.
When is a woman not a woman? The answer is absolute, non-negotiable. To argue against would be to ignore the innate, the fact of the matter. The answer can never be a matter of opinion or choice. This is not a metaphysical contention. This is biology 101. The answer is scientifically self-evident - as inherent as the inalienable. Therefore, the ability to pursue happiness is contingent upon liberty - her liberty, and her freedom is solely dependent upon the mother of all human rights...the right of life.
What if she’s having a boy?
[Quotations by Francis J. Beckwith]