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Author Topic: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation  (Read 1222 times)

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Online AndyZTopic starter

Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« on: June 01, 2012, 12:45:57 AM »
So apparently the House of Representatives recently had a bill to stop sex-selective abortions, which is to mean, aborting a fetus simply because it wasn't the gender that you want your child to be.

In this thread, I would like to avoid partisan politics.  We can talk about how one party hates people all day long, and it's boring ad hominem rhetoric.

We can also talk about how impossible this bill would be to regulate.  I like my threads to be hypothetical at start, though, and don't see any particular need just yet to go into how to regulate a bill.

My thought is this: we have a line of continuity for people's beliefs.  Upon one extreme end, abortion is always wrong, no matter what, even if the mother is going to die and the baby has been scientifically proven to already be dead in the womb.  Upon the other end, the pregnant woman carries sole rights and can make the sole decision, and absolutely no one can dispute her choice.  In a hypothetical exercise, it is easy enough to extend the line beyond these two points to a ban on contraception or infanticide, but it doesn't seem necessary for this discussion.

I'm curious as to whether sex-selective abortion is the demarcation, the point at which it "crosses the line."  Are there people out there who would be happy with a ban of abortion for an (arguably) frivolous reason such as the one stated but believe that some abortions are necessary, and where is the demarcation for that person?

This is going to get people from all scopes, and I'm not sure how much a fully pro-life person will be able to contribute to this specific discussion, but everyone is welcome if we can try to keep it civil.  I would like to know more about this demarcation as well as its justifications.

Again, if you only want to talk about how Republicans want to legislate the womb, or how Planned Parenthood was started by Margaret Sanger to try to get rid of all the African Americans, please post it elsewhere.

For a point of clarification, if it makes a difference to someone's answer, apparently it takes 18-20 weeks to determine the sex of the fetus.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 11:28:19 AM by AndyZ »

Offline NatalieB

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2012, 12:55:36 AM »
For my point of view - a ball of cells isn't a person.  I see no problems with abortions for an unwanted pregnancy (broken condom or whatever) and honestly I don't see this as much different (much - I do think there's a difference)

But I think - and I stress I'm speaking personally here - it comes down to the fact that its not a human life thats being destroyed.  Killing a human just because you want them to be a boy and hope the next person to come along is is obviously not just wrong but psychopathic.  But removing a ball of cells isn't, to me, a moral equivalent at all.

As to where the demarcation is for me?  It's when that thing becomes a human.  Prior to that abortion is fine for any reason whatsoever.  Once it hits "human" though then not for any reason.  Where exactly that point is I'm not qualified medically or morally to state.  Somewhere around 28 weeks if you really pushed me, but thats almost plucked from the air so please don't attach too much weight to it.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2012, 01:03:51 AM »
I don't think sex selection is a big deal in the consideration of abortions..here in the US. China has historically done this sort of thing. Which is why in the next two or three decades things will be very very troublesome for their population in some regions.. sexual disparity will hit between 7 to 10 men for every 1 woman in some regions. That will cause LOTS of problems.

Offline Lilias

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2012, 03:14:27 AM »
I don't think sex selection is a big deal in the consideration of abortions..here in the US. China has historically done this sort of thing. Which is why in the next two or three decades things will be very very troublesome for their population in some regions.. sexual disparity will hit between 7 to 10 men for every 1 woman in some regions. That will cause LOTS of problems.

India also had to legislate against the practice not too long ago. You know that something has become a real problem when there are laws about it.

In China, the practice stems from a combination of population control and a set of traditions that have to be passed down from father to son; in India the reason is the persistent custom of dowries, which makes girls either expensive or unmarriageable. Both backgrounds are very culture-specific, and neither is an issue in the West, where it's easier to have a designer baby.

On the other hand, a fetus of certifiable sex is definitely no longer just a cluster of cells. At around 20 weeks, when scanning for sex takes place, it is definitely a baby, alive and kicking, so I would be inclined to consider an abortion at that stage as criminal.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2012, 05:57:26 AM »
For my point of view - a ball of cells isn't a person.  I see no problems with abortions for an unwanted pregnancy (broken condom or whatever) and honestly I don't see this as much different (much - I do think there's a difference)

But I think - and I stress I'm speaking personally here - it comes down to the fact that its not a human life thats being destroyed.  Killing a human just because you want them to be a boy and hope the next person to come along is is obviously not just wrong but psychopathic.  But removing a ball of cells isn't, to me, a moral equivalent at all.

As to where the demarcation is for me?  It's when that thing becomes a human.  Prior to that abortion is fine for any reason whatsoever.  Once it hits "human" though then not for any reason.  Where exactly that point is I'm not qualified medically or morally to state.  Somewhere around 28 weeks if you really pushed me, but thats almost plucked from the air so please don't attach too much weight to it.

There was a discussion somewhere in this section before about abortion and being human, Andy probably remembers the thread name, but the point is, the clump of cells is already human. It is human genes, human DNA. So trying to judge at what point an abortion should not happen by when it becomes 'human' doesn't really work. It is never not human.

As for aborting because the baby is not the gender the parent(s) want? No. I really do not think abortions should be done past 12 weeks. Three months is a pretty good amount of time to know if you want to be pregnant or not.

Offline vtboy

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2012, 03:27:40 PM »
So long as the courts recognize the Constitutional right of a woman to control her womb, her reasons for aborting a fetus are irrelevant, at least as far as the public is concerned.

Abortion for the sake of the mother's health, rape, incest, congenital defect, economic burden, convenience, gender preference, hair color, whim -- it's all the same. Government may not fetter the right until ex utero viability of the fetus, the legal rationale being that only at viability does the State's interest in a potential person (note, "person," not "human") outweigh the mother's interest in controlling her own body. I do not know how this demarcation coincides with the development of any level of consciousness. But, prior to viability, even fetal capacity to solve differential equations or to compose symphonies would not constrain the right.

I think it appropriate that any secular society which aspires to be egalitarian guarantee at least this minimum level of privacy and autonomy for women. It might be argued that an even more extensive right should be recognized -- perhaps permitting a woman to abort after ex utero viability unless the State is willing to remove the fetus and bring it to term by its own means.

My thoughts about the latter formulation of the right remain embryonic.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2012, 03:46:15 PM »
In the US I see this as a way to further restrict the woman's right to control her body.. because CLEARLY someone would argue pro/con that any given abortion could be a sex selective one.. though to what extent of success I'm not sure.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2012, 10:45:23 AM »
I have no problem with it. Though I do think that the sex of one's child is a rather shallow and inane thing to use as a basis for choice; but until we wise up and prohibit the shallow and inane from breeding... Basically, I think that it is better for a mother to abort than to raise a child she doesn't want. This is both from the standpoint that a woman should not be forced to carry a child she doesn't want for nine months and from the standpoint that a mother raising a child she doesn't want and/or which is culturally frowned upon is less likely to raise that child well (again, I am not sure these people should be allowed to raise children at all, but that's not the debate).

And before this goes any further note that Andy is way off. Screening for fetal sex via ultrasound can occur at 11 weeks, and a new method was published earlier this year to use PCR of maternal plasma to determine sex at 6 weeks with 100% accuracy. (Kolialexi A, Tounta G, Apostolou P, et al. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2012 Mar;161(1):34-7. Epub 2012 Jan 17.)

EDIT: Oh, and did anyone check to see whether this bill made exceptions for X-linked genetic disorder? Cause it would be a little short sighted if it didn't.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 10:49:30 AM by DarklingAlice »

Online AndyZTopic starter

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2012, 11:27:49 AM »
I won't be posting too much, but I wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts and for the correction on how long it takes to determine gender.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2012, 12:55:34 PM »
As a matter of principle, I am of the opinion that abortion should be legal whatever the reason.

What I would like to know is how they intend to enforce such a law. What's to stop people from simply giving another reason? Nothing, that's what. Unless they'll next be requiring mothers to pass lie detector tests ( nevermind their reliability or lack thereof ) or to say that you can't have an abortion of you know the child's gender. Which wouldn't surprise me in the least. Because, frankly, what is this but another attempt to infringe upon reproductive rights? It's like that ultrasound law from a few months ago. Just make it inconvenient enough, and you won't have to make it illegal, because people won't bother jumping through all the hoops required to actually have an abortion, regardless of the reason.

Offline Lilias

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2012, 01:11:39 PM »
The NHS trust in my area (and several others in the UK) doesn't scan for sex. Those parents-to-be who absolutely want to know have to go private. When I was expecting the Spawn, four years ago, a private sonogram would cost a bit over £100. Most people don't bother, because they don't mind finding out at birth, like not so long ago.

I think the new method that Alice mentioned is brilliant, and it would be great if it caught on, though I see the trend swinging more towards designer babies. My disagreement with sex-selective abortions is their inherent unfairness towards girls, as they are the ones overwhelmingly likely to be jettisoned.

Online AndyZTopic starter

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2012, 02:32:01 PM »
Most of you were able to resist the allure of pointing fingers at politics, and respected my request not to get into the issue of how to regulate matters.  With those who couldn't, I could ask how they feel about Cass Sunstein and if they're going to vote against Obama in November, but I'd rather just ignore them.

Let me attempt to draw the demarcations to date.  Feel free to correct me if I got you wrong; I'm listing everything specifically to make sure I understand correctly, and to give you the opportunity to explain my misunderstandings.

NatalieB is somewhere between the listed points, but doesn't seem to have a set point yet.  That's fair: not everyone is really sure, and I give credit to people who at least know enough not to have made up their minds yet.

Iniquitous Opheliac believes that the most important part is giving the mother ample time to decide, but not an inordinate amount of time, and has listed such as three months.

VtBoy lists viability.  Here I would like to ask: If an attempt to abort a fetus is made, and survives the attempt, does that being (for lack of a better neutral word) deserve medical care in your perspective?  I have further questions, some only marginally on topic, but they would depend on that answer.

DarklingAlice gives the reason that it is better to better to abort a child than to force a woman to raise it.  While I agree, I'm not sure it wouldn't be better still to give up the child for adoption.  However, that'd get off topic fast.

Lilias mentions the phrase "designer babies" and how it's unfair to girls, who are the ones being aborted more often than boys.  Does this extend to all traits, to only traits which are considered medical defects, or some other delineation which I haven't considered?  Is the trimester or the current stage of development at all important?

Since we've also reached the limit of the line to date with some posts, I would also like to extend it.  I've heard of some stories where medical tests can only be done when the infant is born, and that would require a post-birth abortion to be done within a few days of the birthing.  Is there anyone out there with such a perspective, or further beyond that?

Offline Lilias

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2012, 03:57:10 PM »
DarklingAlice gives the reason that it is better to better to abort a child than to force a woman to raise it.  While I agree, I'm not sure it wouldn't be better still to give up the child for adoption.  However, that'd get off topic fast.

Pregnancy puts tremendous strain on a woman's system. While not a disease in itself, it is a time of massive internal upheaval that can trigger actual ailments, several of them life-threatening (gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, blood clots). Most of us put up with all the discomforts looking forward to holding our babies. One simply cannot force a woman to go through all that for a child she doesn't want. And I'm not even beginning to touch upon the social and financial repercussions of a pregnancy.

Lilias mentions the phrase "designer babies" and how it's unfair to girls, who are the ones being aborted more often than boys.  Does this extend to all traits, to only traits which are considered medical defects, or some other delineation which I haven't considered?  Is the trimester or the current stage of development at all important?

I don't fault any parents who find out that the child they are expecting - and want - has some congenital defect and decide to abort rather than take on the burden of lifelong care. It's a heartbreaking decision, even more so if the condition diagnosed would make for a brief life. No parent wants to watch their child die, and abortion in such cases can feel like the merciful thing to do.

Beyond such cases, viability is one demarcation, but not as clear as its supporters would want it to be. As any woman who has been pregnant can tell you, the fetus is alive, active, even develops the first signs of character, long before the age that would give it a chance outside the womb. Besides, with the viability threshold inching further and further down, I can see less and less excuse for a late-term abortion. From 6 months onwards, it can be in the mother's best interest (and definitely the child's) to induce labour than abort.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2012, 11:24:57 PM »
As I am male I believe I am imminently unqualified to speak to women's reproductive rights and responsibilities.

I will say this much however:

I am a 42 year-old father with an 18 year-old son. If my theoretical future daughter-in-law chooses to abort my theoretical granddaughter based on a preference of another gender, I am going to be upset. That is of course presuming I am even privy to the decision.

Point being it is all quite easy to sit back and form dispassionate opinions, but what if you were personally affected by this decision?

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2012, 11:49:56 PM »
As I am male I believe I am imminently unqualified to speak to women's reproductive rights and responsibilities.

I will say this much however:

I am a 42 year-old father with an 18 year-old son. If my theoretical future daughter-in-law chooses to abort my theoretical granddaughter based on a preference of another gender, I am going to be upset. That is of course presuming I am even privy to the decision.

Point being it is all quite easy to sit back and form dispassionate opinions, but what if you were personally affected by this decision?

This is a sidenote: but I really fail to see how your counterfactual, future daughter-in-law's reproductive choices "personally" affect you. I will never understand the audacity and entitlement of some parents towards their children's products of conception.

But for the moment, let us grant that it does. Putting myself in that situation, were my reaction to being personally affected different from my moral calculus, that would be a failing on my part and a source of shame. This is true of any situation.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2012, 11:57:12 PM »
This is a sidenote: but I really fail to see how your counterfactual, future daughter-in-law's reproductive choices "personally" affect you. I will never understand the audacity and entitlement of some parents towards their children's products of conception.

But for the moment, let us grant that it does. Putting myself in that situation, were my reaction to being personally affected different from my moral calculus, that would be a failing on my part and a source of shame. This is true of any situation.

How dare I admit I would have a human emotional response. How dare I! Oh the shame!

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2012, 01:00:37 AM »
How dare I admit I would have a human emotional response. How dare I! Oh the shame!

That was in aid of...what, exactly? You asked how I would react, and I think rational action and self-control are perfectly human traits. Indeed, I would say they are necessary human traits if one is to act morally in any complex situation.

Offline vtboy

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2012, 10:06:08 AM »
From AndyZ:
Quote
VtBoy lists viability.  Here I would like to ask: If an attempt to abort a fetus is made, and survives the attempt, does that being (for lack of a better neutral word) deserve medical care in your perspective?  I have further questions, some only marginally on topic, but they would depend on that answer.
I'm not sure exactly what you're asking and what you mean by "deserve." My concern with abortion is strictly one of law and policy: finding a rule which best serves societal interests without insult to fundamental rights of existing persons to determine the most intimate and affecting aspects of their lives.

As a matter of legal right, there is no reason why the State should not be allowed to sustain a surviving, aborted fetus, since the mother's constitutional right to control her own body would not thereby be imperiled. Whether it is wise policy for the State to do this is entirely another matter, and raises questions which do not lend themselves to simple answers. For example:
 
(i) In deciding whether to sustain the fetus, should the State consider its health? If the mother terminated her pregnancy because the fetus suffered some congenital defect which would doom the eventual child to a life certain to be short and miserable, is it appropriate for the State to veto the decision and to condemn the child to that fate? To what extent should optimal use of scarce and expensive medical resources, which might otherwise be devoted to wanted children with rosier prognoses, determine the answer?

(ii) Should the developmental stage of the fetus be considered? Assuming medical technology advances to the point at which even a zygote might be brought to term outside of the mother's body, should the Statethen  preserve all embryonic tissue, notwithstanding the demonstrable absence of anything approaching sentience? If neurological development figures into the equation, at what point would preservation be mandated? Does consideration of neurological development at least suggest recognition of a legal right in the fetus -- i.e., not to be terminated once there are inklings of consciousness? Would a sea change in current abortion jurisprudence necessarily follow?

(iii) If State fetal preservation is selective, what fetal attributes (apart from absence of congenital defect) should be considered? Is it appropriate for the State to employ this power in the service of eugenics -- to prefer fetuses which promise to develop into smarter, healthier, more sexually attractive, and more physically able people? Would it also be permissible for the State to prefer attributes which promise more compliant and conforming citizens?

(iv) Should the State assume financial responsibility for rearing the child (assuming, for some reason, adoption is not available)? Vindication of the mother's right to bodily autonomy does not require that she (and the father) should be absolved of the legal obligation to support offspring. On the other hand, since many abortions are performed in furtherance of the mother's (or both parents') economic interests, would not frustration of that purpose chill the right to terminate the pregnancy? 

I think these questions are, at best, the proverbial tip of the iceberg. I don't presume to have the answers, but my instincts are to leave the questions to individuals rather than to government. Thus, I suppose I am opposed to the sort of state intervention you have proposed.   

From Lillias:
Quote
Beyond such cases, viability is one demarcation, but not as clear as its supporters would want it to be. As any woman who has been pregnant can tell you, the fetus is alive, active, even develops the first signs of character, long before the age that would give it a chance outside the womb. Besides, with the viability threshold inching further and further down, I can see less and less excuse for a late-term abortion. From 6 months onwards, it can be in the mother's best interest (and definitely the child's) to induce labour than abort.

Agreed that viability will one day (probably in the very near future) no longer be a meaningful fulcrum for the balance of state and individual interests. Perhaps some minimum threshold of neurological development would provide a better guide.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2012, 10:12:14 AM by vtboy »

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Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2012, 11:38:22 AM »
     This is interesting, but -- apart from disagreeing in principle...  I can't imagine a practical way to measure and regulate on these grounds.  It involves parents and family histories and abstract ideas and economic forecasts, and things still in the womb.  In the abstract, it might seem tempting to say ick, sex selection for babies is bad.  However, I'm doubtful that it would be practical to monitor for it on a large scale.  There are so many variables that go into the birth/abortion question.  When is the decision being made, and do we even have a reliable prediction about the actual infant in question?  Beyond that (and regardless)...  Many of the factors that go into this choice are not observable in the clinic or hospital.  They could take weeks or months to discover.  Even if there were a fast track:  I doubt we have the means to establish what they all are for each case, and to weigh the decision in view of so many competing issues that do affect what parents or society would do if there were a birth.   

      First, there's the sex prediction business.  I'm not really clear on just how well we can judge sex -- including how many less reported conditions, conditions that have often been masked as simply male or female -- before the abortion decision is made.  Kessler has reported a history of surgeries by doctors after birth to 'reinforce' whichever sex (usually binary) each individual doctor believed the baby could best pass as.  Now, I'm not sure if medicine has somehow found a more precise empirical basis to fix upon sex earlier since then...  It makes me very skeptical, though.

     Yet for many people, it's enough to say that we can guess sometimes, or many times.  Or perhaps the idea would be only to punish people for aborting based on a guess about sex -- even if those guesses are not always technically accurate.  Then it would be an ethical question about the parent's decision style, more than a question about any actual being to be protected.  I don't think this is exactly a new point in the abortion debate.  It's either a chance for a baby to be created/born (as you prefer) or not. 

     However, here the anti-abortion camp has -- I must say, cleverly -- rephrased the problem as "No, that's not all: What if it's a chance for a girl or not."  It sounds like someone was betting that a female life (or prior ingredients for that female life) will be more protected.  From an anti-abortion view, this works, if one assumes: 'There already is something we call life there, now deal with it.'  I am more of the opinion that we can't reasonably force other people to leverage every potential building block of the universe, every possible project biological or otherwise, at great pain and risk.  I'd say, first, it would be preferable to more evenly distribute opportunities across the people who are out of the womb (and btw: then more of them would probably not have abortions).  However, to go on playing this game...  I don't think it's practical to monitor for this form of discrimination as a national-clinical regime would require:

     I'm reading that Franks, who authored the House bill of the moment, claimed it was necessary due to a mix of cultural and racial distinctions.  Franks cited reports of a tendency to favor sons among specific Asian communities in the US, and also claimed that there is widespread abortion among Blacks.  There may well be a real problem there, but I tend to agree with certain Asians (erm, Huff post wasn't very specific on that) who responded that we need to deal with the cultural stereotypes and socioeconomic structures that can make male babies seem preferable.  I happen to believe those issues are not wholly limited to Asian immigrant communities.  But perhaps there is room to debate the location and nature of the actual problem. 

     Even if the problem were largely isolated to particular urban (?) areas with particular immigrant communities, are we in a position to start a Civil Rights protest-era style, focused policing of those areas (as with school desegregation, but dealing with family and hospital life instead) -- as opposed to a blanket Affirmative Action-style monitoring of all abortions?  I don't think a blanket program would have the means to establish how the parental decision was actually made.  It would take quite a background check for every case, to even come close.  If it were a regular academic interview project, it could easily take some weeks.  Even the courts often give respondents a month to get back to them.  Actually, I doubt even a very fast and focused program would have the resources to be much good at this.  It might be a great job for some linguists and ethnographers, those who don't have ethical qualms about digging into family lives rather intrusively.  Still I doubt we would be able to find and recruit, or be willing to pay on public funds, enough people with the skills to judge.   
« Last Edit: June 03, 2012, 11:46:21 AM by kylie »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2012, 07:49:12 PM »
I'm of the opinion that is firstly the woman's choice. Regulating the process is needed to SOME degree, but some of the atrocities of the last year are just that.. atrocities.. Vaginal ultrasounds? WTF?

I had a supervisor, who along with his wife, were from a small group of cajuns who carried the Tay-Sachs gene.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tay%E2%80%93Sachs_disease

They were having problems getting pregnant and decided finally to go with a fertility specialist but JUST before they did, they had a baby.. the fetus wasn't a carrier like them.. but Tay-Sachs positive. Infantile Tay-Sachs kills by age 4, even late onset kills. There is no cure. And it's not pretty.

Online AndyZTopic starter

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2012, 12:11:53 AM »
From AndyZ: I'm not sure exactly what you're asking and what you mean by "deserve." My concern with abortion is strictly one of law and policy: finding a rule which best serves societal interests without insult to fundamental rights of existing persons to determine the most intimate and affecting aspects of their lives.

As a matter of legal right, there is no reason why the State should not be allowed to sustain a surviving, aborted fetus, since the mother's constitutional right to control her own body would not thereby be imperiled. Whether it is wise policy for the State to do this is entirely another matter, and raises questions which do not lend themselves to simple answers. For example:
 
(i) In deciding whether to sustain the fetus, should the State consider its health? If the mother terminated her pregnancy because the fetus suffered some congenital defect which would doom the eventual child to a life certain to be short and miserable, is it appropriate for the State to veto the decision and to condemn the child to that fate? To what extent should optimal use of scarce and expensive medical resources, which might otherwise be devoted to wanted children with rosier prognoses, determine the answer?

(ii) Should the developmental stage of the fetus be considered? Assuming medical technology advances to the point at which even a zygote might be brought to term outside of the mother's body, should the Statethen  preserve all embryonic tissue, notwithstanding the demonstrable absence of anything approaching sentience? If neurological development figures into the equation, at what point would preservation be mandated? Does consideration of neurological development at least suggest recognition of a legal right in the fetus -- i.e., not to be terminated once there are inklings of consciousness? Would a sea change in current abortion jurisprudence necessarily follow?

(iii) If State fetal preservation is selective, what fetal attributes (apart from absence of congenital defect) should be considered? Is it appropriate for the State to employ this power in the service of eugenics -- to prefer fetuses which promise to develop into smarter, healthier, more sexually attractive, and more physically able people? Would it also be permissible for the State to prefer attributes which promise more compliant and conforming citizens?

(iv) Should the State assume financial responsibility for rearing the child (assuming, for some reason, adoption is not available)? Vindication of the mother's right to bodily autonomy does not require that she (and the father) should be absolved of the legal obligation to support offspring. On the other hand, since many abortions are performed in furtherance of the mother's (or both parents') economic interests, would not frustration of that purpose chill the right to terminate the pregnancy? 

I think these questions are, at best, the proverbial tip of the iceberg. I don't presume to have the answers, but my instincts are to leave the questions to individuals rather than to government. Thus, I suppose I am opposed to the sort of state intervention you have proposed.   

From Lillias:
Agreed that viability will one day (probably in the very near future) no longer be a meaningful fulcrum for the balance of state and individual interests. Perhaps some minimum threshold of neurological development would provide a better guide.

My only issue with leaving it to the individual is that we then effectively set no boundaries.  I believe that you would agree that the mother believing that the child isn't alive until it first takes a breath would not change your stance on viability.  However, I realize people's ideas are going to differ, and really just have this up to try to understand other beliefs on the subject.

I'm of the opinion that is firstly the woman's choice. Regulating the process is needed to SOME degree, but some of the atrocities of the last year are just that.. atrocities.. Vaginal ultrasounds? WTF?

I had a supervisor, who along with his wife, were from a small group of cajuns who carried the Tay-Sachs gene.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tay%E2%80%93Sachs_disease

They were having problems getting pregnant and decided finally to go with a fertility specialist but JUST before they did, they had a baby.. the fetus wasn't a carrier like them.. but Tay-Sachs positive. Infantile Tay-Sachs kills by age 4, even late onset kills. There is no cure. And it's not pretty.


I'm going to presume that you're saying that you only believe that fetuses should be aborted when there is some sort of terrible and incurable disease, or similar circumstance, as opposed to presuming that you're simply trying to continue to derail the thread with partisan attacks.

Do you feel the same way about euthanasia, and that already-born people found with previously undiagnosed diseases should be put out of their misery?  If so, are they given a choice of survival or simply put down if you made the decision?

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2012, 12:18:05 AM »
I said that it's the person/persons choice. Within specific guide lines, that is what the laws are for. My mom told me a few horror stories of some of the events before Roe Vs. Wade. If you make abortion illegal, it won't stop it.. it will simply make it more dangerous.

I said I'm prochoice.. that means individuals should have the decision making right to choose. My personal decisions aren't relevant to someone elses choices. .

Making it degrading, humiliating and time comsuming and restricted do us no good. The rich can get their procedures elsewhere and what do we do when they make it more important than the woman's life? Lock her up and tie her down?

Sorry..reproductive rights are under attack this year in ways that scare me.


Online AndyZTopic starter

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2012, 12:22:37 AM »
Okay, so you just flagrantly ignored my original posting requests to attack Republicans and threw in a sob story about your relatives just to give an extreme example of why abortion should be necessary?

In a proper demarcation, there are those who believe that only extreme reasons are acceptable.  If you're saying that you think it's entirely the woman's choice, you're significantly farther down along the line.

It's equivalent to saying that you think we should be allowed to shoot anyone we want, and then giving an example about how your grandmother was attacked in her home by robbers, and that she wanted a gun to protect herself.  That's an argument, at best, for self-defense, not for being allowed to shoot anyone at will.  Do you understand the difference?

I ignored your first few posts, but if you honestly can't or won't follow my requests, please don't post in my threads.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Sex Selective Abortions - Determining the Demarcation
« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2012, 12:30:29 AM »
Seeing as I consider myself a moderate republican I guess I'll bow out and let you get what your looking for.

I will, before withdrawing, restate my opinion that this issue (selective sex abortions) isn't a US problem as such and is simply another move by authoritarian moral conservatives.

Having my say.. I withdraw.