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post #21 of 68

 

Quote:
The problem with the article is that their first tenet is demonstrably false: "The newborn and the fetus are morally equivalent."  In that the fetus is dependent upon a *specific* woman's body for continuing life and an infant is not dependent upon a *specific* woman's body for life they are fundamentally different.

There are certainly practical distinctions there, but how does this make them not "morally equivalent"? What does that even mean?

 

I found the thrust of this article horrific (from a pro-life and anti-infanticide POV), but I thought the authors actually made a few good points.

 

I have long been baffled by the pro-choice tendency to segregate reproductive "what I do with my body" from run-of-the-mill, everyday "what I do with my body". The strongest argument for legalised abortion is "You can't tell me what to do with my body" - but the government does tell you what to do with your body, all the time. Everything we do involves our bodies, because we're physical beings. If we are told to pay our taxes, we have to use our bodies to do it - either typing with our fingers on the keyboard, using our mouths to tell someone else to do it, walking to the post office, whatever - even just using our brains to make the calculations is a physical event. In that sense, the government is "enslaving" our bodies. Same with pretty much any law - the use of our bodies is restricted in how far we press our feet on the accelerator, whether or not we're allowed to use our hands to wield a gun, build a backyard fence more than so many centimetres high... everything.

 

These authors recognise that. They don't get precious about the distinction between carrying and raising a child, but recognise that both are bodily processes that involve a mother - and if a mother can legally kill her child because nurturing him in utero is causing her mental and/or physical distress (which she can), and if a newborn is fundamentally no different to a fetus (which he isn't), then surely it's logical that she be allowed to kill her child because nurturing him outside the womb is causing her mental and physical distress?

 

Now, the obvious answer to that is "But someone else could take care of him", but that question presupposes that newborns/fetuses have moral worth, ie that it's morally preferable to allow them to live; which the authors haven't granted in the article. At any rate, there are, at least theoretically, situations in which a woman couldn't hand the baby off to someone else. Say a woman was on a plane with her newborn baby and it crashed, and she and the baby ended up on a desert island - little food and water, and the mother would be more likely to survive if she conserved her resources by not breastfeeding and spending her time hunting for food rather than caring for the baby. In that situation, would her killing her baby be morally indistinguishable from abortion? The baby is just as dependent on her body as if it were still in the womb; it will die without her, and only her, physical care.

 

And yes, like a PP, I would be interested to pin these "ethicists" down on just when they feel killing one's offspring is impermissible. I suspect they're shying away from the issue because they know darn well that any number is going to be arbitrary and contentious. Six months (the Lacanian mirror stage of development)? The individual age at which caring for the child is no longer mentally or physically burdensome for the parent?

 

Carrying their logic further, because adoptive parents have the rights to authorise any medical procedures a biological parent would, could a couple adopt a special needs baby (or even a "normal", healthy baby, according to the terms of their argument, if they lived in an abortion-on-demand area) and then perform a "post-birth abortion"?

 

It's all quite fascinating, in a horrific sort of way.

post #22 of 68
Thread Starter 

Good points, Smokering. So much to think about!

post #23 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeckyBird View Post



No, thank YOU for posting! You are one of my favorite members here on MDC, and  I always enjoy reading your posts. I admire the way you think!



hug2.gif

post #24 of 68

The way we have handled discussion of abortion on MDC has been evolving.  I don't remember the exact time-line and you have been here for a couple of the changes at least, but basically *at this point* limited discussion of abortion is allowed.  If it ever appears to be veering into a personal territory or a more in-depth debate there may be additional moderation.

 

By "word choice" I am asking you to all be adults.  Everyone knows that there are certain terms that tend to provoke the "other side" and I'm *asking* people to avoid using those terms.  It does no good to needlessly irritate people you are trying to have a discussion with.  Just think before you post and you should be fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post

Well, perhaps you can clarify a couple of things.  I once state my views on abortion without challenging someone else's, and a mod removed the post while accusing me of "debating abortion."  It looks like people are sharing their views here, so to clarify....we get to share them, but no one is allowed to challenge them, right?

 

 

Also, would you mind clarifying what you mean by “word choice?”  That criteria can be quite subjective depending on your own personal views.



 

 


 

 

Well, taking your numbers at face value for the sake of argument, that’s still 300-600 annual  babies/infants/fetuses/feta-babies…or whatever you want to call human offspring at this face of development.  (See what I mean about word choice?) 

 

If the numbers have been in that range since Roe v. Wade in 1973, that’s 39 years worth of late-term abortions, or 11,700 to 23,400 total.  Those *are* real casualties—not just abstractions to be dismissed as “red herrings”—and the majority were done on healthy mothers carrying healthy offspring. (Yes, that last link is RTL, but it’s hard to argue with the citations).     

 

So like Becky Bird, I’m not “picking” a debate, but I’m still curious to hear your answer to her question:


So I'm wondering how you would apply your conclusion that a fetus is different from a newborn to those specific 11,700 to 23,400 cases?


I have no desire to debate abortion rights.  Child in the womb?  Mother's right to choose.  That is exactly the difference I have stated and it is still there in all 11,700-23,400 cases.  Once there is legislation produced that allows induction with  termination of parental rights at age of viability, then you can debate the morality or ethics of abortion past viability.  As of *right now* it is the only choice for a woman who does not want to continue with a pregnancy.

post #25 of 68
Quote:

Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post

 

I have no desire to debate abortion rights.  Child in the womb?  Mother's right to choose.  That is exactly the difference I have stated and it is still there in all 11,700-23,400 cases.  Once there is legislation produced that allows induction with  termination of parental rights at age of viability, then you can debate the morality or ethics of abortion past viability.  As of *right now* it is the only choice for a woman who does not want to continue with a pregnancy.


Yeah, I tend to agree with this.

 

I'm also very much of the "if you don't want one don't get one" camp. It's a choice that people have, those rights should be prevented from being further degraded, and people who are opposed can exercise their right not to have an abortion. I'm pro-choice, but have no intention of ever having an abortion (I did get pregnant unintentionally at 23, and had a child out of wedlock while in law school - so I can sympathize when people are pregnant in less than ideal circumstances because its very hard). I realize that not everyone would make the same choice that I did, and am at peace with that.

 

I may not personally agree with someone's choice, but that doesn't give me the right to dictate what that persons choice should be.

 

post #26 of 68

 

Quote:
I'm also very much of the "if you don't want one don't get one" camp. It's a choice that people have

Those two statements annoy me intensely, as I see them all the time in the abortion debate and they completely miss the point. "If you don't like abortion, don't have one" (as it's usually stated) really, REALLY fails to engage with the pro-life position, which is (generally speaking) that abortion is murder. Saying that to a pro-lifer makes about as much sense as saying "Don't like genocide? Don't commit one" or "Don't like rape? Don't do it". It's asking us to stand by while innocent people (in our view, at least) are being killed, without any argument stating why that's a good/necessary/right thing to do. I'm guessing most of the people who make that statement wouldn't want us to stand tolerantly by and watch them get mugged, saying "Well, I don't agree with mugging, and I'd never do it myself, but it's his body and he has the right to use it as he wishes, so if he chooses to mug you I'm not going to judge him".

 

And "it's a choice that people have" is an utterly meaningless statement. Well, yes it is; so what? Beating my four-year-old with a red-hot poker is a choice I have; shooting up a K-Mart, doing cocaine while pregnant, putting ground glass in my husband's dinner or cheating on him are all choices I have. Everything's a choice. There may be negative consequences to those choices, but I can still exercise them as far as I am able. Or if the "choice" statement means that it's a legally sanctioned choice, well, duh, but isn't the morality of that choice the very question under discussion?

 

Quote:
I may not personally agree with someone's choice, but that doesn't give me the right to dictate what that persons choice should be.

So you're an anarchist?

post #27 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

 

Those two statements annoy me intensely, as I see them all the time in the abortion debate and they completely miss the point. "If you don't like abortion, don't have one" (as it's usually stated) really, REALLY fails to engage with the pro-life position, which is (generally speaking) that abortion is murder. Saying that to a pro-lifer makes about as much sense as saying "Don't like genocide? Don't commit one" or "Don't like rape? Don't do it". It's asking us to stand by while innocent people (in our view, at least) are being killed, without any argument stating why that's a good/necessary/right thing to do. I'm guessing most of the people who make that statement wouldn't want us to stand tolerantly by and watch them get mugged, saying "Well, I don't agree with mugging, and I'd never do it myself, but it's his body and he has the right to use it as he wishes, so if he chooses to mug you I'm not going to judge him".

 

And "it's a choice that people have" is an utterly meaningless statement. Well, yes it is; so what? Beating my four-year-old with a red-hot poker is a choice I have; shooting up a K-Mart, doing cocaine while pregnant, putting ground glass in my husband's dinner or cheating on him are all choices I have. Everything's a choice. There may be negative consequences to those choices, but I can still exercise them as far as I am able. Or if the "choice" statement means that it's a legally sanctioned choice, well, duh, but isn't the morality of that choice the very question under discussion?

 


http://mypage.direct.ca/w/writer/anti-tales.html

 

The above is my response to you. Most of your post is far too personal for any other response - I feel it verges on a personal attack, and is inflammatory in a way that any response would violate the UA.

 

post #28 of 68

Please explain how your link is at all relevant to my argument? I've seen that page before, and it doesn't address either of my points; all it does is point out the hypocrisy of some "pro-life" (although obviously not) individuals, which isn't really the issue at hand.

 

As for the rest of my post, I disagree that it's inflammatory (certainly no more so than your original statements, to which I was responding) and it certainly wasn't intended as a personal attack; but if you feel it warrants reporting, report it. Otherwise, feel free to point out any errors of reasoning in my argument, or respond rationally to it.

post #29 of 68

This is getting touchy.  And I doubt it will be allowed much longer.

 

I'm pro choice.  Or so I was told.  I use Birth control.  I believe in the use of the morning after pill and I feel strongly that any woman who does not want to carry to term for any mirade of reasons should not have to.  I don't think I would ever abort, but I can choose to if I feel it's necessary for me. 

 

I have a strong fear of forcing people into having children through guilt and coersion.  Should they have gotten pregnant?  Eh, probably not.  But it happens and then what?  There are too many factors involved to nit pic over peoples rights and reasons.  And there are far too many people weighing in on the uterus. 

 

For those who believe it's morally wrong, I get it, I understand where you're coming from. 

 

As far as the article is concerned.  It's yucky to me.  Very yucky.

post #30 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

This is getting touchy.  And I doubt it will be allowed much longer.

I'm pro choice.  Or so I was told.  I use Birth control.  I believe in the use of the morning after pill and I feel strongly that any woman who does not want to carry to term for any mirade of reasons should not have to.  I don't think I would ever abort, but I can choose to if I feel it's necessary for me. 

I have a strong fear of forcing people into having children through guilt and coersion.  Should they have gotten pregnant?  Eh, probably not.  But it happens and then what?  There are too many factors involved to nit pic over peoples rights and reasons.  And there are far too many people weighing in on the uterus. 

For those who believe it's morally wrong, I get it, I understand where you're coming from. 

As far as the article is concerned.  It's yucky to me.  Very yucky.

I agree with much of this post. Ever read The Handmaid's Tale? Forced childbearing is my worst nightmare for myself and my female descendants.
post #31 of 68

 

Quote:
I have a strong fear of forcing people into having children through guilt and coersion.

I agree. But once someone is pregnant, she has a child, by definition; whether or not she should be permitted to kill that child is a different issue. Unless pro-lifers are actually impregnating women against their will, they aren't "forcing" them into having children. They are trying to prevent them killing the defenseless children they already have.

post #32 of 68


I understand why you think that.  I really do.  I don't fault you for believing that.  Having and raising children is an enormous responsibility.  Some people take it too lightly.  As someone who was taught abstinence only I'm thankful for the friend I had who told me everything my mother didn't tell me.  I didn't know things I should have known.  I could have very well gotten pregnant had I not thought I would burn in hell forever if I had sex before marriage.

 

While we worry about what is going in utero... the children born, abused, assaulted, missing, lost and murdered by adults are mostly ignored.  We keep saying have the baby.  We then forget about them while they wander this crappy place treated like shyte by the very adults who should not have had them..  I think most of us already know that while they are a gift they are placed in some of the most horrific situations.  I prefer to put my heart and mind into the children who are here and who have gone through hell and back. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

 

I agree. But once someone is pregnant, she has a child, by definition; whether or not she should be permitted to kill that child is a different issue. Unless pro-lifers are actually impregnating women against their will, they aren't "forcing" them into having children. They are trying to prevent them killing the defenseless children they already have.



 

post #33 of 68

 

Quote:
While we worry about what is going in utero... the children born, abused, assaulted, missing, lost and murdered by adults are mostly ignored.  We keep saying have the baby.  We then forget about them while they wander this crappy place treated like shyte by the very adults who should not have had them..

Do "we"? I don't know any pro-lifers (and I know a lot - Christian circles) who ignore the fact that children who are born experience hardship and suffering.

 

There are certainly pro-lifers who focus on the pro-life cause to the exclusion of other charities, and I don't see that that's necessarily a bad thing - if you donate or do activism work to end slavery in Asia, that doesn't mean you're OK with slavery in India, it just means you have a specific passion and/or only so much time, money or mental energy. Some pro-lifers probably think that soon-to-be-aborted children are in direr straits, needing more urgent help, than kids who are at least alive and capable of semi-independent existence. There's a certain logic to that.

 

But most pro-lifers I know get just as het up about the suffering of already-born children, and many pro-lifers - Protestants, Catholics, people with no religion, all sorts - have fostered and adopted special needs children, set up charities to get food, clothing and Christmas presents to needy kids, campaigned for tougher penalties for child abusers, put up flyers for missing children, let neighbor kids come over to play to avoid their drunken parents, called the police on domestic violence....

 

I don't think it has to be an either/or, and honestly I don't think it usually is. Approximately 50% of people in the USA are pro-life (I think I read 47% as a recent figure) - I highly doubt all the child-related charities are comprised of the other 53% because the pro-lifers only care about fetuses.

post #34 of 68

You're not going to get an argument out of me.  I'm sorry.  I see that you're very passionate about your beliefs.  That's absolutely awesome.  The "We" is everyone included.  So much concern about what is happening in the uterus on both sides.  If they put that much effort into what is happening outside of the Uterus it would be amazing.  And no I do not think they do enough.  I don't care how many numbers there are to say they are trying.  They still suck at it. 

 

Some pro-lifers probably think that soon-to-be-aborted children are in direr straits, needing more urgent help, than kids who are at least alive and capable of semi-independent existence. There's a certain logic to that.

 

I don't understand this logic at all.  As you said it's some I doubt it's all

post #35 of 68

 

Quote:
I don't understand this logic at all.

...Because once you're dead, you're dead? Even a starved, abused, miserable child has a chance, however slight, of his/her situation changing for the better - someone might notice, a school program might provide food, the abusive parent might get arrested, the kid might make a friend, discover a talent, find a compassionate neighbor. Someone who's about to be killed is about to have all his/her options rather abruptly and finally taken away. It's like walking down the street in Ethiopia and seeing starving children begging by the street - if you're about to stop and pull out a coin, but see another kid about to be run over by a bus, you don't stand there thinking "Well, these kids all have it pretty bad, slow starvation is really a lot worse than a quick death" - you save the kid from the bus. (OK, not my most elegant analogy ever - I haven't had much sleep for a week.)

 

Again, among the pro-lifers I know, most are equally passionate about children in danger inside the womb and out. I'm just pointing out that it's not necessarily hypocritical for some pro-lifers to be more actively involved in helping the unborn than the born; any more than the reverse. (I have a sister who's pro-life, but as far as I know she doesn't participate in any kind of pro-life activism; but she does do a lot of work with the homeless. It would certainly be odd to say "You only care about people once they're born, you hypocrite!" to her, so I don't see why the reverse isn't true.)

 

post #36 of 68

We are running pretty far afield here, and have entered into the debating abortion territory.  While this rule may seem arbitrary to you, the fact is that we have tried (more times than I can count) to host this discussion and truthfully, no one's mind gets changed, and it devolves into an argument.  So, let's at least head back into the topic posited by the OP and out of the "it's okay/it's wrong" territory.

post #37 of 68

PartyPOOOOOPER! 

 

I'm not debating.  I'm rationalizing.  HA!

post #38 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

Again, among the pro-lifers I know, most are equally passionate about children in danger inside the womb and out. I'm just pointing out that it's not necessarily hypocritical for some pro-lifers to be more actively involved in helping the unborn than the born; any more than the reverse. (I have a sister who's pro-life, but as far as I know she doesn't participate in any kind of pro-life activism; but she does do a lot of work with the homeless. It would certainly be odd to say "You only care about people once they're born, you hypocrite!" to her, so I don't see why the reverse isn't true.)

 



Clearly you and I know a VERY different set of pro-lifers. The ones I know are filthy effing rich, and would just seek treatment elsewhere. They don't give a rats ass about poor children (clearly poor children have lazy parents, who just need to get a job), and they don't want to adopt, and they don't want to foster, and they don't want to pay taxes so that everyone can have healthcare.

 

The problem with illegalizing abortion is the "slippery slope". Once late term abortion is made illegal, people push for early term abortion to be made illegal, and then there are exceptions for the life and health of the mother, and cases involving rape or incest. Then politicians want to take those exceptions away too.

 

As you probably know, miscarriage is more common than live birth (without taking abortion into consideration). Alabama has amended criminal statutes so that women can be held criminally responsible for the outcome of their pregnancy. How on EARTH does that further ANY public policy? If people are "pro-life" they should be donating to study the causes of miscarriage and to stop miscarriage - so that women who desperately want children can have them without suffering loss.

 

As for the article, I was pointing out the hypocrisy of the movement. When someone "needs" an abortion their circumstances are somehow different from anyone elses, and they, as "pro-lifers" are more entitled - to privacy, to special treatment, etc. It also proves that those who have the means will still seek abortions. Rich people will go to foreign countries for medical tourism to get the services they "need".

 

People without the means to seek safe abortions in a foreign country, will seek back alley illegal procedures that put the mothers life in danger. Most women who seek an abortion already have children. Should those children grow up without a mother because of someone's moral objection to abortion? Sure, they think of abortion as murder, but murder is illegal and people still do it, and abortion is legal because if it wasn't women would be dying from illegal abortions that aren't safe (which is one of the reasons it was legalized in the first place).

 

My main and biggest problem with the pro-life movement is the hypocrisy. Rick Santorum (puke.gif) is running for president and doesn't believe that abortion should be legal ever under any circumstances (even to save the life of the mother, one who may already have children that need her). And yet, when his wife was dying because of an infection from a living fetus, he chose abortion. His choice was "moral" because he couldn't live without his wife. But other men and children are supposed to live without their wives, mothers, daughters, sisters because he doesn't think they should have the right to an abortion when the pregnancy is killing the mother? According to your views he murdered his baby!!!! MURDER!!! OMG HE COMMIT MURDER. But he's running for president on a pro-life platform. Preaching that which he does not practice.

 

I am pro-choice not because I believe that abortion is "moral", not because I think it is "right" - but because abortion is a medical decision that is between a woman and her doctor. I believe in women choosing to parent. I don't believe in forcing women to parent. I don't believe in criminalizing drug use during pregnancy because I want women to seek medical treatment (not entirely related but part of the same slippery slope).

 

You are free to disagree with me. You are free to be pro-life - but until the pro-life movement actually lives a pro-life lifestyle, I'm probably not going to listen to them.

post #39 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post


 You are free to be pro-life - but until the pro-life movement actually lives a pro-life lifestyle, I'm probably not going to listen to them.


It's really interesting, I think I see a pattern here. People (not just you) are seeing the personality of a movement based on its most notorious or vocal members.

 

What if your typical pro-lifer were more like the woman who volunteers for the homeless? And not rich people who think they can dictate what everybody else does and do whatever they want. And who think Rick Santorum is a major hypocrite too?

 

I wonder if we could align more. I think we could stop talking about the typical points (which seem to speak to the side who says the points but do not at all resonate with the other side).

 

What if we could all focus on the bottom line, which is as you said, that it's a slippery slope. And that there are some circumstances that most of us would agree that abortion should be allowed. And that it's not "nothing" and shouldn't be abused.

post #40 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post

What if we could all focus on the bottom line, which is as you said, that it's a slippery slope. And that there are some circumstances that most of us would agree that abortion should be allowed. And that it's not "nothing" and shouldn't be abused.


The problem is, there won't be legislation that everyone can agree on. It quickly becomes an all or nothing issue.

 

And its not limited to abortion. There is an attack on women's access to birth control going on right now, and any woman who speaks up about it is labeled a slut who can't keep her pants on (ummm men can't keep em on either - I really hate that double standard). The Supreme Court is hearing next week oral arguments about health care reform - depending on what they decide (we should know sometime before 2013) women's health care could be in jeopardy.

 

It's fine to be pro-life, but then there need to be in place social programs that actually help under privileged women get the healthcare they need (no, not everyone can UC safely, sometimes people do need to be under the care of a midwife or obgyn), that help those children get healthcare, and then help those women actually afford to raise those children - especially if you aren't going to allow affordable access to birth control to sexually active women. And don't tell me that we shouldn't have sex if we don't want babies - married women have sex. Single women have sex. Married men have sex. Single men have sex. Until men are willing to go without sex, women shouldn't be required to go without sex either. The double standard is nauseating. And pro-lifers need to be willing to pay for those programs - the conservatives are the more "pro-life" party, and yet all they want are tax cuts for the rich, and higher tax burdens for the poor. How does that help children born to poor families?

 

 

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