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Author Topic: Requesting an explanation on how things work together  (Read 501 times)

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Offline AndyZTopic starter

Requesting an explanation on how things work together
« on: September 07, 2012, 01:58:55 AM »
Some people are pro-choice, believing (as I understand it) that the woman has a right to do whatever she wants with her body, including abort a fetus.

Some people believe that trans fats should be banned, or that the currently illegal drugs should remain illegal.

To me, these two beliefs seem to be in conflict.  It seems like that the second set of beliefs would be claiming that a person does not actually have the right to do whatever they want with their body.  This would imply that there's another reason that abortion is acceptable, or another reason that drugs are unacceptable.

Now, I figure that it's just that I'm missing some piece of the puzzle.  I'm just wondering how someone could hold these two sets of beliefs simultaneously.  What am I missing?

Online Vekseid

Re: Requesting an explanation on how things work together
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2012, 02:22:35 AM »
This is a touchy subject - making drugs illegal had profoundly racist messaging. The scopes are different, however - the reason for making drugs illegal is because of its supposed impact on the lives of those around them. The premise may in many cases be false but that doesn't change the fact that the presented scope is different.

Banning substances from sale but not use is a somewhat different line - there are millions of different chemicals, and while many may be harmless, it is not necessarily harmful for a central regulator to attempt to keep tabs on what is having a positive or negative effect on society as a whole, and try to influence accordingly. Regulatory capture is of course an immense problem, but it's not what you're asking here. In the case of trans fats, a healthier populace reinforces a more healthy populace through social pressure. E.g. it's easier to lose weight if your friends are thin, for example.

Abortion on the other hand is profoundly singular in impact. 70% of conceptions end in miscarriage as is, though by the time a pregnancy is detectible it's closer to a third.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Requesting an explanation on how things work together
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2012, 09:56:29 AM »
I am not aware of pro-choice being in favor of a woman doing whatever she desires to her body.  People that are pro-choice, in regard to the abortion issue, are in favor of a woman having the choice to abort a fetus.  This does not mean that people who are pro-choice believe that no choice should be denied to a woman.  Such a statement is taking the term pro-choice to a ridiculous level and manufacturing a paradox when compared to other choices such as drug abuse and self-harm. 

The heart of the issue in regard to pro-choice is that a woman can have a medical procedure performed to them in order to remove what is considered by medical science to be on par with a tumor or virus.  A collection of cells that leach off the motherís body in order to multiply and grow is the view point of medical literature.  I fail to see how this stance prevents a person from also believing that certain drugs should be restricted from public consumption or that trans-fat should be banned from the populace. .

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Re: Requesting an explanation on how things work together
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2012, 10:32:27 AM »
Another thing I noticed in the examples used was that the 'choices' in the non-abortion questions had a uniform 'good choice' and 'bad choice'.  Transfats have been linked to numerous medical conditions - choosing to eat them does no good to anyone.  Illegal drugs are linked to severe side effects, not to mention the effect on community of the drug trade, whether in terms of violence or in the overwhelming single-mindedness of the addict looking for the next fix. 

On the other hand, there are valid reasons for a woman to choose whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term.  Callie gave one in the previous incarnation of this thread:  You discover that your child is going to have a short life of agonizing pain - too short to hope for medical science to 'someday find a cure', or for them to even accomplish the basic achievement of taking their first step.  There is no uniform 'good choice' - which is why it should be left to the individual to make it.

Offline WildCat

Re: Requesting an explanation on how things work together
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2012, 11:17:02 AM »
The language of the pro-choice movement has been one of...well...choice. But I think that a larger driving impetus in much of the community is actually one of compassion. Being pro-choice is often about caring about what a woman is going through, caring about the harm that an unintended pregnancy could inflict. The "it's her body" aspect perhaps parallels the same argument one could make about choice to grow out hair or clip toenails. But I think an overall better parallel would be defense of the choice between receiving lifesaving but painful and risky cancer treatment or foregoing the treatment and savoring what time one has left. Now viewing the position as "pro-compassion", this can perfectly in line with policies designed to keep people from inflicting harm on themselves in the form of drugs or trans-fats.

Now, one can argue about what constitutes life, about how harmful drugs are or or not, etc. But that's beside the point.

What I have trouble with is how someone can simultaneously believe that the life of a fetus is inviolate; but that it's perfectly okay to repeal Obamacare and leave more people without access to healthcare, start up wars and massacre thousands of people overseas, execute citizens who are deemed undesirable, etc.

Offline vtboy

Re: Requesting an explanation on how things work together
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2012, 03:15:07 PM »
Some people are pro-choice, believing (as I understand it) that the woman has a right to do whatever she wants with her body, including abort a fetus.

Some people believe that trans fats should be banned, or that the currently illegal drugs should remain illegal.

To me, these two beliefs seem to be in conflict.  It seems like that the second set of beliefs would be claiming that a person does not actually have the right to do whatever they want with their body.  This would imply that there's another reason that abortion is acceptable, or another reason that drugs are unacceptable.

Now, I figure that it's just that I'm missing some piece of the puzzle.  I'm just wondering how someone could hold these two sets of beliefs simultaneously.  What am I missing?

I think you've overstated the position of most people in the pro-choice camp. Though some may subscribe to the view that we should all be free to do whatever we will with our bodies, I doubt they account for more than a small fraction of the group.

As I understand the matter, for most the pro-choice position is rooted in the recognition that pregnancy uniquely implicates two fundamental interests peculiar to women: (i) the intimacy of the reproductive decision (i.e., whether to devote one's body to the nine month task of spawning); and (ii) the profound attendant physical and emotional burdens, among them morning sickness, fatigue, insomnia, mood swings, hypertension, weight gain, gestational diabetes, labor, and heightened risk of mortality. (To these biological disabilities one might also add social and economic impairments, such as delayed career or educational development, abandonment of vigorous or risky recreational activities, and surrender of the joys of alcohol, caffeine and tobacco). 

It is these special and extraordinarily intimate aspects of pregnancy, aspects which go to the very core of one's perception of self and embrace of life, which distinguish the question of whether women should have the right to abort from the question of whether I should be permitted pharmacological recreation.         

« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 04:02:04 AM by vtboy »

Offline Serephino

Re: Requesting an explanation on how things work together
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2012, 07:02:09 PM »
I'm liberal, and not entirely pro-choice.  I mean, I will concede that there are good reasons for it, like the health of the mother, or, as Callie said, if the child will likely have a genetic defect that will kill it.  As much as I consider life important, being so miserable for such a short time is not a life, it's torture.  When our dog had arthritis so severe she found it better to soil herself than get up and go to the door, we had her put down.  I know, a dog is not a person, but the point is a living being that can't speak for itself should not be made to suffer like that.  If it means aborting a fetus, so be it...

Just because I am a liberal does not mean I am of like mind with every other liberal out there.  In fact, I often find myself agreeing with Callie, a conservative.  I am mostly a pro-choice person.  The trans fat thing is kinda stupid to me.  I can see the point of it.  I mean, it causes health problems, and people were shoveling those foods in their mouths like there was no tomorrow anyway.  Banning those was done for public welfare.  How is banning abortion good for anyone.  Sure, ultra conservative people will be happy that everyone has to fall in line with their morals, but you'll have women dying of complications.  One of my best friends was raped by her ex husband, and had that high blood pressure thing with her daughter, so she could've had it again and died from it.  She chose to keep her son.  Has anyone ever died or been psychologically scarred from not being allowed to have trans fats?

Offline WildCat

Re: Requesting an explanation on how things work together
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2012, 04:58:58 PM »
The whole pro-choice/pro-life thing is so frequently painted in binary terms. I strongly suspect that a lot of people would be surprised how much common ground might actually exist.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Requesting an explanation on how things work together
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2012, 08:07:19 AM »
Thank you all for your replies.