There has been a lot of discussion over the past decades on when life begins. Some people say "at conception" and some people say later, based on whether the fetus can live on its own outside the womb. No one ever placed the date that life begins at BEFORE conception. Not until now, anyway. Let's take a trip to Arizona.
The Arizona state senate has already approved, and their house is poised to also pass, a set of amendments related to bill 2036. Here it is, in the 36-2151 definitions section:
4. "Gestational age" means the age of the unborn child as calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman.
Now let's think about that for a little bit. Years ago, and I mean 50+ years ago, when they were still using rabbits (and mice and frogs) for pregnancy tests, that's how they used to determine due dates. It gave rise to "kids are born when they're ready to be born." The date determined by the doc could be off by weeks. In addition, pregnancy wasn't generally confirmed until weeks after conception (4 - 6 weeks generally) because the test wasn't that sensitive for hCG.
Fast forward to 2012: incredibly accurate pregnancy tests exist which can confirm pregnancy 48 hours after conception. Ergo, dates for conception and therefore birth can be far more accurate.
But not in Arizona, which wants to take another giant step backwards. One of the big problems with this timing mechanism is its dependence on the idea that all women run on 28 day cycles. And yes, there are those incredibly rare women who run 28 cycles through war, pestilence, depression, stress, malnutrition and all sorts of other things. But for most women, 28-day cycles are more of a ideal in a book as opposed to real life. For some women, this legislation could add a month (or more!) to the "gestational age" of their unborn child.
Once again, insanity trumps science in Republican circles.