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Author Topic: Questions concerning abortion
BGgurl
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Mr. Card,
I know you've brought up the topic of abortion in some of your articles, but this is a topic that I've been trying to resolve my stance on for some time now. As far as religion and ethics go, what are your thoughts about life beginning at the moment of conception? What do you think about pro-life movements that want an end to abortion? If you get a chance to respond to this I would really appreciate it. Thanks a lot and have a great Christmas!

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Lucky_Sean
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Well before and if Mr.Cards responce kicks in, I'll off my simple student's perpesctive. It isn't your average student as I am actually religious, however I of course like all university students are entirely liberal to one extent or another.

Basically to start with a few common ideas, I don't like the idea of "month counting." That those who believe before a certain month it doesn't really count as the child is not concious or doesn't have a soul. Regardless of when you do it, you basically do it. However that is not to say that it is terrible or shouldn't happen or anything like that.

A child does not develop really into a person until it is personified from birth and experiance. Many children die in birth for one complication or another, this is sad and can be a terrible loss - I was a baby who nearly had this happen being born at 4lbs and 5 ounces. My family's determination to keep me alive though saught me through that and well here I am. However if I were to die it would have been understandable. Quite simply I don't recall such an experiance, I recall later health problems but I cannot recall my first year or so of life. That is not to say it isn't a part of whom I am just I myself as a person have not yet been developed.

I would feel no loss, others may but I would not. In the end what someone needs to consider is what is best for the baby. If you cannot bring a child into a loving family, it is not financially feasable, you are alone, you have been drinking with the child etc. There are many rationalizations but essentially I believe it boils down to what would the best be for the babys life with your own? There is no reason to force a 16 year old girl into having a child because she wasn't careful with sex, it wouldn't help both of them. As well if she decides to, then power to her, she may prove to flouish within adversity.

Fate I believe has a role in this as well, I believe that the world comes down to choice, simple of course but conflicting in nature. If we choose how can we have fate? I believe that fate has general paths and turns based off our choices, maybe a person has a particular urge to have an abortion or not to. In the end though it comes to choice and as always in life there will be continued balance from it.

So to sum many rambling thoughts, I belive that life isn't just given a soul or not. That the first moments of life do not determine a person, it is what happens henceforth. That to decide for an abortion should be what is best for the baby, is it possible for me to do this so the child can flourish. As well as ultimatly what is best for you? Are you stopping cause it may interfere with your career or because you yourself are still a child and would fear to have those early times in adulthood with a child. This is why I believe people should decide to have a child, not just fall into one unless falling into one was a possible part of their relationship.

Hope that provides some ideas to help you decide your own opinion.

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Omega M.
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This was posted by OSC a little while ago:
quote:
But keep in mind that I don't actually believe that the soul takes possession of the body at the time of conception. I don't think abortion is the exact equivalent of murder. And there are circumstances, in my opinion, where abortion is justified or even essential. But I recognize that good people can disagree with me in both directions.

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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by Lucky_Sean:
Well before and if Mr.Cards responce kicks in, I'll off my simple student's perpesctive. It isn't your average student as I am actually religious, however I of course like all university students are entirely liberal to one extent or another.

Basically to start with a few common ideas, I don't like the idea of "month counting." That those who believe before a certain month it doesn't really count as the child is not concious or doesn't have a soul. Regardless of when you do it, you basically do it. However that is not to say that it is terrible or shouldn't happen or anything like that.

A child does not develop really into a person until it is personified from birth and experiance. Many children die in birth for one complication or another, this is sad and can be a terrible loss - I was a baby who nearly had this happen being born at 4lbs and 5 ounces. My family's determination to keep me alive though saught me through that and well here I am. However if I were to die it would have been understandable. Quite simply I don't recall such an experiance, I recall later health problems but I cannot recall my first year or so of life. That is not to say it isn't a part of whom I am just I myself as a person have not yet been developed.

I would feel no loss, others may but I would not. In the end what someone needs to consider is what is best for the baby. If you cannot bring a child into a loving family, it is not financially feasable, you are alone, you have been drinking with the child etc. There are many rationalizations but essentially I believe it boils down to what would the best be for the babys life with your own? There is no reason to force a 16 year old girl into having a child because she wasn't careful with sex, it wouldn't help both of them. As well if she decides to, then power to her, she may prove to flouish within adversity.

Fate I believe has a role in this as well, I believe that the world comes down to choice, simple of course but conflicting in nature. If we choose how can we have fate? I believe that fate has general paths and turns based off our choices, maybe a person has a particular urge to have an abortion or not to. In the end though it comes to choice and as always in life there will be continued balance from it.

So to sum many rambling thoughts, I belive that life isn't just given a soul or not. That the first moments of life do not determine a person, it is what happens henceforth. That to decide for an abortion should be what is best for the baby, is it possible for me to do this so the child can flourish. As well as ultimatly what is best for you? Are you stopping cause it may interfere with your career or because you yourself are still a child and would fear to have those early times in adulthood with a child. This is why I believe people should decide to have a child, not just fall into one unless falling into one was a possible part of their relationship.

Hope that provides some ideas to help you decide your own opinion.

I really like what you wrote. Except in the case of thinking of what is best for the baby. Maybe its because I'm male, engaged, and in my mid-twenties, I will never have this fear. But when people make this argument I never understand why they never think of putting the child up for adoption. (Outside of cases of rape and incest.)
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Bob_Scopatz
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I haven't found the point at which life doesn't exist (even prior to conception, the gametes are alive), so I agree that setting an gestational age cut off is not really sitting well with me these days.

I don't know of other alternatives (other than gestational age) that would be workable/enforceable and still give women the legal ability to choose whether to complete a pregnancy or not.

And I'm not ready to say that we should outlaw abortion or equate it to murder.

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Will B
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I think what's relevant is the presence of a nervous system. Babies that can feel pain -- and they do -- shouldn't be tortured to death. We can say it's best for a child to die in agony, but their physical reactions -- grimacing, jerking, attempting to cry -- suggest that's just a rationalization; they don't want a painful death any more than we would.

[ December 13, 2005, 09:47 AM: Message edited by: Will B ]

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pooka
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quote:
I don't know of other alternatives (other than gestational age) that would be workable/enforceable and still give women the legal ability to choose whether to complete a pregnancy or not.
I only see this as important where they were not given a choice about starting the pregnancy. I new idea I just had is that women can do a pre-conception contract with the baby's father about whether such and such defects are worth scrapping a potential life over. I think the existence of such contracts might lend more gravity to the conception process.
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Eva Scrye
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I recall reading a statistic that claimed that only about 2% of abortions were due to rape-pregnancies or health dangers.

It seems to me it always comes down to the fact that, besides some very unfortunate, yet rare, circumstances, women HAVE the choice of having a child or not. It's called choosing to have sex or not, not choosing whether to accept the consequences of that action or not, at the expense of an innocent who has yet to make any action at all.

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sweetbaboo
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Well said Eva. I agree, it is the responsibility of the people deciding to have sex to accept the consequences of their actions, and not dismiss them in a quick procedure. I was adopted into a loving family but could easily have been ended in abortion. There are other alternatives.
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cheiros do ender
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What exactly is the argument behind banning abortion? Certainly these people donít think denying a conceived baby birth is playing god. If it was Godís will to want all conceived babies born He would not let women fall pregnant from rape in the first place, donít you think? Then thereís history. A number of women have died from giving birth too many times, under customs similar to the idea that abortion be banned. And yet do these people learn from history?

It should be the choice of the parents, with help deciding from their own community, whether or not being brought into this world is worthwhile for the child.

Edit: I would answer the below question fully, but it's my 100th post coming up and I want to make it a good one. I don't know why, I just do. I will say though, I don't think ones community "getting together" is neccessary for them to advise you. ANd by community I don't mean your neighbours and the like, I mean the people close to you whom you allow to help you make important decisions in cases like these.

[ December 21, 2005, 12:47 PM: Message edited by: cheiros do ender ]

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Dagonee
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quote:
What exactly is the argument behind banning abortion? Certainly these people donít think denying a conceived baby birth is playing god.
Many of us believe it is the intentional killing of an innocent human being.

quote:
If it was Godís will to want all conceived babies born He would not let women fall pregnant from rape in the first place, donít you think?
No. Why you think I would think that?

quote:
Then thereís history. A number of women have died from giving birth too many times, under customs similar to the idea that abortion be banned. And yet do these people learn from history?
You're reason for supporting leaglized abortion is that, in the past, giving birth too many times was lethal?

quote:
It should be the choice of the parents, with help deciding from their own community, whether or not being brought into this world is worthwhile for the child.
So you'd be comfortable with the idea of your community getting together right now and passing judgment on whether you should have been brought into the world?

How many people do you know who truly believe they wish they had never been born?

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BGgurl
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quote:
Many of us believe it is the intentional killing of an innocent human being.
Dagonee, why do you believe this? Is there any evidence you can give to support your belief?
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A Rat Named Dog
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quote:
Is there any evidence you can give to support your belief?
The whole problem here is the fact that there is little, if any, evidence that "proves" one side to be right or wrong about the point at which human life begins.

Some say, "Look, we don't know when life starts, so for heaven's sake, let's not kill anything that might be human."

Others say, "Look, we don't know when life starts, so you can't prove that abortion is a bad thing, while I CAN prove that a lot of other bad things would happen if we don't allow abortions."

And others, naturally, say other things. There are nearly as many different opinions on this topic as there are people.

Basically, in the absence of any universally-agreed-upon facts about the moment when life begins, this whole debate becomes about human value judgments, which are, by their nature, highly subjective.

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Eva Scrye
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Well said er.. Rat? Or do you go by Dog?

I guess I'm just the type that doesn't look to new 'techniques' to manage my life and family. If I don't want children, I don't have sex, end of story. Obviously there's the other argument about birth control, but no need to get into that now. At least not in this thread.

But I agree that this is not the standpoint of all people, and I respect their views.

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TomDavidson
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Eva, that's quite possibly the first time I've ever seen someone, on their first try, correctly divine that "A Rat Named Dog" goes by "Dog." [Smile]
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Hank
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You may remember that a few years back there was this huge public outrage about some teenaged girl who got pregnant and remained basically in denial about it until she actually gave birth, then she killed the baby and just left it. At the time I couldn't help thinking, "Gee, if she'd killed it a few months sooner, noone would have said anything."
I think that every child which takes root in any uterus is entitled to live. Period. There are extreme circumstances, such as women who would die if they gave birth, but for every woman like that I think there are hundreds or thousands of people who destroy that life for no other reason than their convenience.
I include pregnant teenagers in this category (inconvenience) because I think they are only being selfish in choosing abortion. There are so many families that would LOVE to adopt a baby, and would even help pay for hospital expenses in some cases. Even if these girls are not ready to be mothers, they are kidding themselves if they think that abortion somehow benefits the baby.
Maybe this sounds really extremeist. But women who get pregnant when they are not in a position to raise a child have already proven themselves to be irresponsible--and their "Community" obviously hasn't kept them from making dumb decisions in the past. I think that if we as a society decide that it is ever okay for someone with that kind of decision-making track record gets to choose whether someone gets to live or not, then we are definitely headed down a bad road.

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Eva Scrye
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Hehe, well said Hank.
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airmanfour
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Abortion makes for a healthier world. not necessarily better, mind you, but most definately healthier.
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A Rat Named Dog
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Healthier ... unless you believe that life starts earlier, in which case, all those deaths tend to tip the health balance the other way.

(Eva, Tom is right. I go by Dog, and I am amazed that you caught on. You rock!)

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Icarus
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quote:
Originally posted by BGgurl:
quote:
Many of us believe it is the intentional killing of an innocent human being.
Dagonee, why do you believe this? Is there any evidence you can give to support your belief?
::scratches head::

It's the logical position. The point of viability keeps getting pushed back further and further, and you would insist that the mere technicality of not having passed through the birth canal--or been removed through cesarean section--yet makes one not human? Not alive? I think that's an exceptionally audacious claim, and that the burden of proof is on you.

-o-

Most Lucky_Sean's argument, as far as I can tell, can be applied to infanticide as easily as to abortion. He claims that birth somehow changes things, but goes on to admit that the death of a born infant is no great tragedy. Based on his logic, I don't see how he can favor legalizing abortion but outlawing infanticide. Unless it's, you know, an arbitrary line.

-o-

quote:
A number of women have died from giving birth too many times, under customs similar to the idea that abortion be banned. And yet do these people learn from history?
A far, far larger number of unborn human beings have died in legal and illegal abortions. Do abortion advocates not learn from history?
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Penta
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I am...conflicted.

On the one hand, abortion is bad. Let me be simple about that. As a Catholic who has looked into the theology on it, I can say that easily.

But I'm not sure banning it is a smart idea.

We know what back-alley abortions look like from before Roe v Wade...And I think everybody can agree, we don't want those back. Legal abortions are safe abortions.

My thoughts:

1. Encourage adoptions. If need be, bend the first amendment into a pretzel, and fund religious efforts. Defense used? Public funds could not do this. There is a compelling state interest to encourage adoptions. Ergo, religious groups are allowed equal access and very limited and strictly audited funding. (By strictly audited: GAO gets rights to unannounced, no-knock looks at their operations and their books, the same as any other federal program. You take federal money, you take the federal whip.) Same time, advertise it. Deploy the PSAs in spades, and require abortion clinics to refer women to adoption agencies.

2. The thought of a waiting period does appeal.

3. Restrict abortions. Don't ban em, but restrict em. At the same time, make it clear that illegal procedures get both sides jailed.

4. Be sensible. If you're going to restrict abortions, loosen restrictions (at least, as medical advice indicates is prudent) on contraception, and don't be afraid to distribute it. Even Catholicism bends; contraception is bad, but abortion is worse. Contraception can be forgiven. Abortion...yes, but not so much.

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Hank
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thanks, Penta, that's a really well-balanced answer. It makes alot of sense.
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cheiros do ender
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I agree, except...

quote:
GAO gets rights to unannounced, no-knock looks at their operations and their books, the same as any other federal program.
Do you mean all their finacial records, or just those in regard to the topic at hand. If the former, I don't think this could work.
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davjonz
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I am anti-abortion save for those rare circumstances where the mother could be killed (and usually the child with her) during birth. Abortion has touched my family. That touch was cold and painful for everyone involved and led to the estrangement of my parents and one of my sisters for many, many years. But I believe abortion should remain legal.

And yet, at the same time, I see a number of logic foils on both sides of the table.

First, if you talk about abortion killing elements of human life, then you had better ban both menstruation and masturbation. Most boys are blithely killing sperm from about 13 onward with no intention of creating a baby (despite their fervent wish to practice).

And what about stem cell research? The U.S. is falling behind in this unique, fast-paced area because we don't want scientists fertilizing eggs only to rip them apart to harvest stem cells. Countries like India are fast outpacing us and we have no means to catch up since the few lines granted by President Bush are running (may have already run) out.

But what if you believe abortion is okay? Well, how far do you take it? Senator Barbara Boxer (D) would have babies aborted very late in their development: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=2973
As would many of her supporters -- hers is not a tiny constituency.

So should abortion be banned? What about those girls who, according to physicians, would face mortal danger should they bring a baby to term? What should we tell those girls if we ban abortion? "Sorry, Tina, but you shouldn't have had sex with your boyfriend." Or worse, "Sorry, Tina, you shouldn't have been raped by that mugger."

It's a tough issue and it's not going anywhere. I think the best we can do is make our own decisions and stick by them. So long as abortion is legal, no one is FORCED to have an abortion against their personal/religious beliefs. If you think abortion is murder, then don't do it. It's like murdering an adult. If you don't believe in doing it, then you don't do it. You haven't thus far anyway, right?

Of course I see the flaw in such logic. We are male and female. If the man wishes to keep a baby and the woman wishes to abort it, what is the man left to do? Cry to the courts maybe, if he has time. Perhaps he should have gotten to know the woman better before he knew her carnally. But that's easy to say and harder to live.

Too bad this world isn't perfect.

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cheiros do ender
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I don't think it should be banned, but I do think it would help if women had to go through the judicial system to get an abortion, though it would have to be rather quickly in a lot of cases. Maybe it already does {I'm not American), but if that's the case banning it would take away a persons right to the judicial system... well I don't know about the judicial system in regard the the constitution and whatnot... whatever.

Anyway, next point:

quote:
So should abortion be banned? What about those girls who, according to physicians, would face mortal danger should they bring a baby to term? What should we tell those girls if we ban abortion? "Sorry, Tina, but you shouldn't have had sex with your boyfriend." Or worse, "Sorry, Tina, you shouldn't have been raped by that mugger.
If you ban abortion then those girls will be forced to bring a baby into this world with an unqualified, single teenage mother who'll probably never get anywhere further in her education because she has a baby to look after.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
If you ban abortion then those girls will be forced to bring a baby into this world with an unqualified, single teenage mother who'll probably never get anywhere further in her education because she has a baby to look after.
Unless she lets somebody else adopt it.

Which, in my view, is the best choice.

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airmanfour
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Dog, i didn't say anything about the human population becoming healthier, i used the word world.
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Penta
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quote:
Originally posted by cheiros do ender:
I agree, except...

quote:
GAO gets rights to unannounced, no-knock looks at their operations and their books, the same as any other federal program.
Do you mean all their finacial records, or just those in regard to the topic at hand. If the former, I don't think this could work.
Unless they work from separate accounts and through separate corporate entities (which is done already by Catholic Charities, which is simply a corporate subsidiary of the local diocese/archdiocese), yes.

For one thing, if one entity keeps multiple books, that's accounting fraud. Every financial entity is supposed to have ONE set of books.

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Omega M.
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I'm pretty much indifferent to the plight of unborn humans per se, as they can't tell their side of the story and make you feel for them the way other marginalized groups can, and I can't imagine they can fear pain and death the way, say, anyone over five years old can. But I'm for banning all abortion because it seems that any other restriction will always encourage people to loosen it just a little more until we're killing people we decide later we really didn't want to kill. After all, how much different is a baby one day after birth from a baby one day before it starts being born? (And the same question applies to any other time.)

To be consistent, I'd also ban any medical techniques that involve creating and killing genetically distinct embryos, and birth control devices whose sole purpose is to prevent embryos from implanting. I will allow the pill, even though one of the things it does is make it harder for embryos to implant, because that's more of a side effect than a main function (and thus can't be distinguished reliably from a number of other everyday things that may make it a little harder for embryos to implant).

I wish I had a more original argument, but there you go.

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cheiros do ender
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quote:
I wish I had a more original argument, but there you go.
Well, you've just converted me to your side of the argument. It might not have been original, but it was certainly the best written I've ever seen on the subject.

Or maybe I'll change back later. We'll see.

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Eva Scrye
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First, I've got to say, this is by far the most intelligent and level-headed discussion regarding this topic I've ever taken part in... So kudos to everyone!

Something Davjonz mentioned triggered something in my mind. He suggested that since abortion is forced on no one, that it becomes a decision. And this decision does not actually affect those who dislike abortion.

It's a similar situation, IMHO, with us up here in Canada. We legalized and legitimized gay marriage fairly recently. I was quite frustrated with the whole situation, but after some discussion with a friend I realized that it doesn't really matter to me. I'm not gay, and it doesn't actually affect me if gays can marry in my town, regardless of whether I believe it to be morally wrong or not.

This brings us to the problem of believing we have a solution for society that society is blind to. We may believe that society is best off not allowing abortions, but if another person's decision to do something we consider immoral *actually* harmful to us in any way?

Thus, my stance has become increasingly less politically-minded. If someone is in anguish over the decision of abortion, and comes to me for advice, then yes, I will tell her my feelings on the subject in as loving and supportive way as I know how. But I'm not sure, exactly, how trying to alter the "rules" of society is actually showing empathy with anyone.

Essentially, I look at these issues from a much more personal standpoint.

But I, like others here, am a bit on the fence on several side issues. All I can say for suredness, is that *I* would *never* consider an abortion unless the person's life were directly threatened. And even then I would have difficulty accepting it.

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Dagonee
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quote:
Something Davjonz mentioned triggered something in my mind. He suggested that since abortion is forced on no one, that it becomes a decision. And this decision does not actually affect those who dislike abortion.

...

This brings us to the problem of believing we have a solution for society that society is blind to. We may believe that society is best off not allowing abortions, but if another person's decision to do something we consider immoral *actually* harmful to us in any way?

...

But I'm not sure, exactly, how trying to alter the "rules" of society is actually showing empathy with anyone.

All these statements rely on the assumption that the unborn child is unworthy of protection. While it's true that even if abortion is the killing of a human being, a particular abortion doesn't "affect" most people in society, that has never been a criterion applied to laws restricting the ability of one person to end another person's life.

Taken to it's extreme, all law is an expression of morality. It's not a question of an action being taken that is considered immoral "affecting" us, but of it affecting the unborn child who will be killed.

As for altering "rules" showing empathy, it can and does. The 13th amendment, which severely altered the rules of society, exists because some people could feel empathy for a group that man did not consider human beings.

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Omega M.
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quote:
Originally posted by Eva Scrye:

Something Davjonz mentioned triggered something in my mind. He suggested that since abortion is forced on no one, that it becomes a decision. And this decision does not actually affect those who dislike abortion.

No, that particular abortion doesn't; but as I said above, will allowing some unborn babies to be killed encourage people to allow slightly older unborn babies to be killed, and then just-born babies, and then ...? I know you can draw a lot of wrong conclusions from the slippery slope argument; but I don't think I'm wrong using it in this case, since (in my opinion) the reasons given for, say, not allowing just-born babies to be killed but allowing babies to be killed at any time before birth feel ad hoc. (The baby isn't that much more physically developed once it's born, and it's not that much more self-aware.)
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Icarus
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
Taken to it's extreme, all law is an expression of morality.

I don't, personally, agree with this. I believe laws [should] exist to sort out the gray areas where our rights collide, and to protect our rights.

However, I believe unborn babies should have rights and be entitled to legal protection. Eva, your argument might work on those who believe this is a religious issue: those who put up billboards with Jesus or Mary and saying abortion is a sin. I'm not the least bit interested in using the law to prevent sin if I don't perceive it as tangibly hurting anyone. But to me this isn't a private issue, or a victimless crime, and so I can't fathom the attitude that says well, this is immoral, but I don't want to impose my morality, so I think it should remain legal. All I can imagine is that your only reason for thinking it is immoral is that your religious leaders told you it is, but you don't see any other reason for it.

-o-

quote:
Originally posted by davjonz:
First, if you talk about abortion killing elements of human life, then you had better ban both menstruation and masturbation. Most boys are blithely killing sperm from about 13 onward with no intention of creating a baby (despite their fervent wish to practice).

(Reductio ad Absurdum meets The Strawman?)

This is an--intentional?--misphrasing of the position. Nobody but you has used the phrase "elements" of human life. I believe that at some point before birth, a fetus is a human being. Nobody here has argued that a gamete is a human being. A gamete has none of the features of a human being. For one thing, a gamete does not have the same number of chromosomes as a human being; for another, it is not genetically distinct. Gametes also will not grow into a human being by themselves, no matter how much you nurture and protect them. Gametes also, quite apart from masturbation, die by the millions everyday through menstruation and nocturnal seminal emissions. I'm not aware of anybody seriously arguing that we extend the legal protection of human life to gametes.

So gametes are off of one end of the spectrum. Virtually everybody agrees that they are not human beings. Babies are off of the other end. Virtually everybody agrees that babies are human beings and deserve protection. In between is the gray area. Now, I would argue that infants that are clearly viable, such as last trimester fetuses, should not be in any sort of gray area at all, but many abortion advocates would disagree. Like Bob, I don't believe that we can know where in that gray area human life begins. But unlike Bob, I don't believe that we should therefore ignore the gray altogether. I don't see allowing women to choose whether or not to complete a pregnancy as the higher value in this case. So, seeing that on one side of the spectrum we have a human being, and that we don't know when that begins to be true, I think we should err on the side of protecting human life and, if not outlaw abortion altogether, then at least push it back to earlier points in the pregnancy, and restrict it in other ways as well.

EDIT to tone it down, if you can believe that . . .

[ December 24, 2005, 01:16 PM: Message edited by: Icarus ]

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Dagonee
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quote:
I don't, personally, agree with this. I believe laws [should] exist to sort out the gray areas where our rights collide, and to protect our rights.
Then you view law as an expression of the moral tenet that people should not interfere with the exercise of the rights of other beyond a certain point. Otherwise law wouldn't be necessary.
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Eva Scrye
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That's a good argument Dagonee (in your reply to my post). I'll take all that into consideration from now on. Same to you as well, Omega.

Icarus, I think you slightly misunderstand my position (or I failed to explain, which is just as likely). It's not about me 'not imposing my morality', nor is it that I rely on my religious leaders to tell me what is right. It's simply that I see my place in this as not being political, but as being personal. I can't see myself at a rally with a poster, but I can see myself giving counsel to those in distress about the issue.

After further thought, I agree that my stance was not fair, as the child *is* obviously harmed, thus rendering my parallel to gay marriage to be useless.

Wow... great forum, you guys have some awesome stuff to say.

Edit: Typos, this keyboard is rather faulty.

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A Rat Named Dog
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quote:
Dog, i didn't say anything about the human population becoming healthier, i used the word world.
airman, I'm trying to decide ... does this opinion make you varelse? [Smile]
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TomDavidson
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I think it depends on whether you can understand his opinion or not. [Smile]
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Hank
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I'd like to address the sentiment that, "Oh, the real question isn't whether abortion is wrong or not, it's whether we should legislate it or not." I've given this alot of thought, and the thing is, ALL laws impose the values held by the majority on those who do not agree with those values. Most of these are so universally held that we don't realize that that is what we are doing.
For example, the law forbids intentional murder of another human being without cause (such as self-defense). That is because society at large thinks that it is morally wrong to murder people. Serial killers don't feel that they have done anything wrong. They hold a different value system. Unfortunately for them, society doesn't agree with them, so we have laws that allow us to put them in prison or possible execute them for acting on a different value system than that held by the majority of society.
We as a society are perfectly within our rights to impose our values on others.

The real argument is that in america, we believe in individual freedom, and so the law generally does not impose on citizens unless they're behaviour is imposing on other members of society. So the real question is the same one we've been arguing all along. Are unborn children members of society?

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macnewbold
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To echo something Eva said, congrats to everyone on having a very rational and insightful discussion on a very complicated, emotional, moral topic. I enjoyed reading it, and many of you bring up some very good points. Thanks!
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BaoQingTian
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quote:
Originally posted by davjonz:

First, if you talk about abortion killing elements of human life, then you had better ban both menstruation and masturbation. Most boys are blithely killing sperm from about 13 onward with no intention of creating a baby (despite their fervent wish to practice).

This was already addressed

quote:

And what about stem cell research? The U.S. is falling behind in this unique, fast-paced area because we don't want scientists fertilizing eggs only to rip them apart to harvest stem cells. Countries like India are fast outpacing us and we have no means to catch up since the few lines granted by President Bush are running (may have already run) out.

Yes, let's ask Dr Hwang Woo-suk about the amazing success in this area of research.


quote:

So should abortion be banned? What about those girls who, according to physicians, would face mortal danger should they bring a baby to term? What should we tell those girls if we ban abortion? "Sorry, Tina, but you shouldn't have had sex with your boyfriend." Or worse, "Sorry, Tina, you shouldn't have been raped by that mugger."

Someone cited a statistic that about 2% of abortions performed are for the mother's health or rape. Additionally most people against abortion do make an exception for these cases.

quote:

It's a tough issue and it's not going anywhere. I think the best we can do is make our own decisions and stick by them. So long as abortion is legal, no one is FORCED to have an abortion against their personal/religious beliefs. If you think abortion is murder, then don't do it. It's like murdering an adult. If you don't believe in doing it, then you don't do it. You haven't thus far anyway, right?

Although I wouldn't personally murder an adult, I support legislation outlawing this. In the case of abortion however, the potiential victims have no voice.

quote:

Too bad this world isn't perfect.

It isn't perfect. But I'm a little bit tired of hearing the argument, 'If it doesn't affect me, then who am I to tell others what to do.' IMO this is cowardly. We are each part of our respective communities, and we should strive to improve them in every way we can, from personal one on one help to being a voice for change to voting for legislation that we see as necessary.

If your faith plays a part in defining your morals, then a final thought that I'm trying to figure out how to express (i'm sure I'll bungle it). If something is taught as wrong by our religion yet we don't see the harm to ourself or our community if others practice it (so-called victimless sins/crimes), then perhaps we need to either re-evaluate our faith or re-examine the apparent lack of harm.

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Eva Scrye
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Well said, and well summed up!

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm almost sad to see this thread slowing down. Usually I'm desperate for the debate to end @_@

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pwiscombe
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quote:
Legal abortions are safe abortions.

Might be safer for the mother, but not very safe for the baby.

I can't buy the logical argument that you should legalize something because people are going to do it one way or another.

---
I guess the biggest issues I have with the abortion debate is how it seems to throw logic out the window.

Examples:
1) My daughter can't be given an asprin at school without a signed consent from a parent, but she can get an abortion without my knowledge.

2) The so-called Partial Birth Abortion ban was thrown out because there wasn't an exemption for the life of the mother. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but the baby is "born" either way. It is just whether or not the baby is born alive or dead. If delivering a baby that is alive is going to injure the mother, isn't delivering a baby that has been dead for under a minute going to cause the same injuries?

3) The Terminology. Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life. Most "pro-lifers" aren't very pro-life when it comes to the death penalty. Most pro-choicers completely ignore that the baby isn't really given a choice in all this, and that 99% of the time, the action that resulted in the pregnacy was a choice in the first place.


---

Rant #2

Why is EVERY Supreme Court nomination about Abortion and only Abortion. Why is the right to abort a baby the #1 concern of so many out there? What does that tell us about the priorities of our society? Is consequence-free casual sex that important that it is THE litmus test on which we base our judicial system?

If you think I am stretching here, think of the demands by certain interest groups that we spend billions of dollars to develop an AIDS vaccine.

HIV is interesting in that it is very difficult to get. You can't get if from casual contact, or if someone sneezes on you, or from a dirty telephone, or from mosquitoes. Anybody who doesn't want to get infected with HIV can do a couple of very simple things and they will NEVER have to worry about it. So why are we spending billions of dollars researching a vaccine? The only reason I can see is so that people can go back to risky behaviour without fear of AIDS. In other words, consequence-free casual sex (without a condom getting in the way)

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VetaMega
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quote:
1) My daughter can't be given an asprin at school without a signed consent from a parent, but she can get an abortion without my knowledge.
A child would be less likely to get an abortion if she had to tell her family. If the parents decide for the child, then it wouldn't be the child's choice at all. The act of being pregnent and giving birth is a particularly unpleasent process. Now you can say that that process is result of bad choices the child had made, that she had already made the decision by accepting the risks of her behavior. But what if she had been raped? In our society,we try our best to limit the conquences out there. If a woman is forced to keep her baby against her will, she would be tempted to use other more dangerous means to miscarry it.

quote:
Most pro-choicers completely ignore that the baby isn't really given a choice in all this
You ignore the fact that the baby isn't able to give an opinion, that it is incapale of feeling or thought without a brain.

Personal Opinions: I am Christian. I believe a baby's life begins in the womb.I also believe that people should choose to have a baby; that the baby should be the result of good and pure intentions - not a product of guilt, pressure, and unwanteness.
What the solution to all this? Abstinence? It's ab an ideal solution but unrealistic. We live in a soceity where people find it hard to control their passions. Invitro-fetilization? Unfortunately there are more people who don't want children than those who do. Not everyone can make the arragements.

The current system is best. It isn't the government's position to force pregnency and childbirth onto those who don't want it. People have to make decision themselves. We can preach to pregnent females and express our opinions, telling them that the right decision is to keep the baby. We can provide provide emotional support to those who need it. But in order to be a society where all the right things are valued, it has to be the mother's choice. Indeed many parents will choose to keep the baby. Those who do not have to live with the consequences. All we can do is inform them. God is a kind and merciful god. He loves children and will not treat those so untainted, yet to even breathe life, badly. You can expect him to make the right decisions. I tell you the truth, it is God's will that everyone has choices. He wants us to make the right ones. But ultimately in order to be the type of people God wants us to be, we have to be the ones to choose to do so. Does it make any sense?

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jeniwren
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quote:
The act of being pregnent and giving birth is a particularly unpleasent process.
This, btw, is untrue. But even if it were 100% true for all women, it's important to consider that it is a temporary condition that will resolve itself in short order. The baby being aborted has a permanent condition from which they will never recover.
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VetaMega
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I'm sure there are people who find pain and labor passonite but that wasn't the point. The point was that no one besides them should choose whether or not to go through this process.

No woman is the same after giving birth to a child. On the other hand, some women walk out of an abortion center guilt free. Now whether their particularly honorable people is up to debate.

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Icarus
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quote:
You ignore the fact that the baby isn't able to give an opinion, that it is incapale of feeling or thought without a brain.
erm, fetuses have brains long before birth, and experiments have indicated they most certainly are capable of feeling and thought before birth.

(And that sentence was your only nod to addressing what those of us who oppose abortion have been saying.)

Beyond that, I'm intrigued by your prophetic tone at the end of your post, where you come just shy of saying God wants abortion to be legal.

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Dagonee
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quote:
I tell you the truth, it is God's will that everyone has choices. He wants us to make the right ones. But ultimately in order to be the type of people God wants us to be, we have to be the ones to choose to do so. Does it make any sense?
I somehow doubt you really believe this with respect to other acts that result in the death of human being - which I'm taking your comment "I believe a baby's life begins in the womb" to mean.

If you do, then I want no part of your ideal legal system.

It's also woth noting that criminal laws do not prevent people from making choices to commit crimes. They simply create consequences for those crimes, and make it harder to find people to assist in executing those choices.

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pooka
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On the topic of stem cell research, I was troubled by an analogy drawn on the Nova episode about it. A guy was saying if he had a living (but terminally ill) child and a freezer full of zygotes and the house was on fire, he would certainly save the child.

The problem with this analogy is that the house is not on fire. The embryos are not in imminent harm's way.

An equally apt analogy would be if you are in a room with your child and your child is intent on unplugging the freezer full of embryos. Still far from an instructive but just as accurate. I'm not saying ill children are out to harm embryos. They are just being used to promote that agenda, kind of like the battle school kids.

Anyway, in generall I fall into the category of
quote:
Some say, "Look, we don't know when life starts, so for heaven's sake, let's not kill anything that might be human."


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VetaMega
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Abortion has to be legal. It provides a safe alternative to forceful miscarriage.

Fetuses may have brains but zygotes don't. That was what I was getting at. I didn't say much about her argument because because it is a horrible one. While life may start in the womb, killing a couple cells is not equivilent to murder in any sense of the word. Some passages in Bible say that God knew you while you were still in your mother's womb. However, it also says that he knew you even before then. While the topic of a "you" being in a zygote is questionable, no one can say that an abortion causes birth. Without birth, the baby in the mother's womb is sinless; it was not born and nothing can be used to judge agaisnt it. Thus refutes all Christian claims against abortion.

If you anti-abortionists had their way, all the pregenent 12 year olds would have to stay pregenent or risk life-sentences. I don't know about you, but I don't have the heart in me to imprision those children. If you do, I don't want to live in your kind of society. Indeed what we'd end up in is a Cavinist theocracy; using harsh laws and consequences to create a "perfect" society.

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