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Author Topic: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech  (Read 12537 times)

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Offline Rider of WindTopic starter

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I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« on: September 30, 2010, 03:26:26 PM »
http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=158348990848143#

She is...amazing. Her views are so strong and so well conveyed that my own views have shifted to accommodate hers. Not changed but...opened a bit. Enjoy.

Online Vekseid

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2010, 04:22:24 PM »
She keeps saying how she feels that people she annoys with her appeals to God are just 'jewels in her crown', as she says. She is a testament in her own right, and invoking grace does not strengthen her statements - it cheapens them. I can't say her faith disappoints me as such, but to me - it's just another crutch she uses where she can be standing on her own.

When I was still a Catholic, we watched a late term abortion where the fetus was strangled and had its cranium crushed as it was being removed from the womb. We saw it struggle and then the mess, and the gathered remains of its torn corpse as the narrator mentioned that they would be reconstituted to make sure they got the entire baby out.

I've never been comfortable with non-medically (including psychologically) necessary late trimester abortions since.



But pro-lifers are very keen on focusing on late term abortions, because that's when the fetus is most recognizably a human infant. 70% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, mostly in the first trimester - and that's when the majority of abortions are performed.

Offline Trieste

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2010, 05:47:07 PM »
I've never been comfortable with non-medically (including psychologically) necessary late trimester abortions since.

Then don't get one.

I know you're not coming out in support of either side, necessarily, but I think that this is a good example of "If your conscience bothers you, then listen to it. However, do not mistake it for someone else's conscience." Things like getting one's tubes tied are perfectly legal, but are not done helter skelter. Carrying marijuana has been decriminalized in my state; does that mean that everyone will do it just because they can? Hardly. Keeping abortions legal does not encourage anyone who wasn't thinking of one already to go out and get one; it simply allows those considering their options to listen to their own conscience, and make their decision based on their own feelings and situation, not based on some misguided excuse for ethical standards.

Offline Serephino

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2010, 09:06:27 PM »
She has an interesting story, and some good points.  I felt like I was sitting through a church service again.....  If I'm not mistaken, late term abortions are illegal unless the mother's life is in danger, and I'm okay with that.  I believe the limit is 12 weeks. 

Offline errantwandering

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2010, 09:29:28 PM »
I think the key problem with the abortion debate is that everyone disagrees at what point the child ceases to be a part of someone's body and becomes its own entity.  Even American law is divided on it, shooting and killing a pregnant woman is considered 2 different murders, but if said pregnant woman were to end her pregnancy, it is simply tissue removal.  Personally, I feel that anything other then a very early term abortion is a murder, because I draw that particular line at the moment it has a discernible heartbeat and brain activity, which is at the 6 week point. 

Offline HockeyGod

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2010, 09:32:48 PM »
Then don't get one.

I'm not sure that's the point. People who are anti-abortion aren't just doing it because of some flippant ethical guideline. Many could probably care less about the mother. They are focusing on the rights of the little creature growing in the belly and that little creature's right to live. Someone f'ed up and got pregnant and now there's a living thing that must suffer the consequences.*

To tell an an anti-abortion person to "not get one" is akin to saying - don't advocate for the little thing that can't advocate for itself. The crux of the argument isn't whether or not they have a higher standard for an ethical code...they believe that the mass of whatever in someone's belly is a living creature that deserves the right to live.

Your example of legalizing marijuana has the same litmus test for this argument. Marijuana doesn't have anything to do with LIFE, with someone's right to be born into the world and LIVE. An argument I think would be comparable would be capital punishment. I find it rather ironic/funny/disgraceful that so many right to life people are pro-capital punishment. If the crux of the argument is the right to life, why should we kill at any time? Anywho...

Now...my position doesn't really matter, I'm just saying that you're vastly oversimplifying the argument. Do I think the woman in the video has some issues of grandeur in her argument? Probably...then again I'm not an aborted child that survived.

*Understandably there are a minority of pregnancies that are due to incest/rape or medically crucial to save the life of the mother. The stat I found was 1% and 6% for these. 93% were social in nature (noted as unwanted, inconvenient, etc.).

Offline Asuras

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2010, 09:48:39 PM »
When I was religious, I regarded life as beginning at conception. Since I started questioning that I can no longer ethically (this being the key word) distinguish between the humanity of a clump of cells in an embryo, a toddler crawling in a cradle, or cattle in a farm. It is a harrowing question.

Offline Trieste

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2010, 09:54:17 PM »
To tell an an anti-abortion person to "not get one" is akin to saying - don't advocate for the little thing that can't advocate for itself. The crux of the argument isn't whether or not they have a higher standard for an ethical code...they believe that the mass of whatever in someone's belly is a living creature that deserves the right to live.

Tell you what. The advocates for the poor little fetus can pay for fetal removal. If the thing is at the point where it can live without the mother's support, then so be it; they can have it. If the thing cannot live without the mother, however, then it is not its own discrete organism, and external organisms have absolutely no business with it. None. Nada. At all. Period.

Your example of legalizing marijuana has the same litmus test for this argument. Marijuana doesn't have anything to do with LIFE, with someone's right to be born into the world and LIVE. An argument I think would be comparable would be capital punishment. I find it rather ironic/funny/disgraceful that so many right to life people are pro-capital punishment. If the crux of the argument is the right to life, why should we kill at any time? Anywho...

120th-trimester abortion is okay, but god help you if you do it in the 2nd one. :)

Offline HockeyGod

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2010, 09:58:20 PM »
120th-trimester abortion is okay, but god help you if you do it in the 2nd one. :)

*insert very inappropriate hysterical laughter*

Offline errantwandering

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2010, 10:14:49 PM »
I see a pretty big difference between capital punishment and abortion, actually.  In my eyes, abortion is the killing of an innocent, IE murder.  If there is overwhelming evidence of guilt in a capital punishment case, however, then that person is by no means innocent.  Some people do deserve to die, that isn't murder.  Have to be careful with that one, though...if there is even the smallest chance of innocence, capital punishment shouldn't be used.

Offline Trieste

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2010, 10:41:10 PM »
*insert very inappropriate hysterical laughter*

*winks*  :-*

I see a pretty big difference between capital punishment and abortion, actually.  In my eyes, abortion is the killing of an innocent, IE murder.  If there is overwhelming evidence of guilt in a capital punishment case, however, then that person is by no means innocent.  Some people do deserve to die, that isn't murder.  Have to be careful with that one, though...if there is even the smallest chance of innocence, capital punishment shouldn't be used.

I think most people can agree that capital punishment is all fine and dandy if you could trust the justice system. I think that most people can agree that you would be a fool to trust the justice system with human lives. Therein lies the rub, and the conflict is what to do about it.

If you want to discuss capital punishment in further detail, feel free to make a thread. :)

Offline Host of Seraphim

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2010, 11:48:23 PM »
At around like 3:45 in:

Quote
We are in an interesting battle, whether we realize it or not. It is a battle between life and death. What side are you on?

Oh, gimme a break. It is nowhere near that simple. Pro-choice people aren't on the side of death. I don't have a have a chalkboard that says "BABIES - ABORTIONS" and add another tally under the abortions side each time a woman gets one. I don't put on a party hat and blow a kazoo when I hear about a family member or friend having a miscarriage. I've never heard of pro-choice people following around pregnant women and pestering them to abort. And I'm pretty sure abortionists don't wake up gleefully rubbing their hands together at the prospect of killing fetuses.

I agree with Vekseid about her weakening her standpoint by bringing up religion. I also agree with alxnjsh that she seems to be suffering from some illusions of grandeur. o_O She was a bit creepy, and the fact that her voice reminded me of the medium from Poltergeist didn't help at all.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2010, 12:11:19 AM »
I cannot provide any witty, inspiring responses, much less answers to this issue. But that our human society suffers the macabre practice of late term saline abortions, with only an exception of saving the life of the mother in a last ditch emergency case, is completely unfathomable to me. How in the world did we get to a place where we thought for even a moment that such a thing was remotely acceptable?

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2010, 02:22:31 AM »
I find her arguments extremely predictable and a definite appeal to emotion.  Everyone can gasp in horror at the procedure of a late term abortion and then turn venomous eyes on this surgeon who has a passion for abortions.  She paints this picture of abortion clinics becoming chain restraints like McDonald’s or something.  Her words are meant to paint battle lines but then again she forgets so much else in her efforts to make villains.  Such as all the services that Planned Parenthood gives to women including access to information about adoption.  She also forgets that late term abortion was made illegal some time ago.  Easier to bring up later term abortion though because if you move further down the line, arguments becomes a lot more gray and uncertain.  She is definitely appealing to emotion.

As for the comparison to the death penalty, the woman did open herself up to that criticism with her statement about our arrogance in deciding life and death.  Capital punishment is certainly a reflection of that arrogance in deciding life and death.  What I find more humorous is that she is the one trying to decide life and death by denying people a choice.  She is trying to deny people a choice based on her own perceptions and beliefs.  Interjecting God into that argument is just solidifying that she wants to press her own beliefs and their consequences on others.

Offline Synecdoche17

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2010, 03:24:24 AM »
The stat I found was 1% and 6% for these. 93% were social in nature (noted as unwanted, inconvenient, etc.).

A truly stupendous number of these "social abortions" could be prevented if the United States were to implement comprehensive programs to assist poor people, teach teenagers about sex ed, enforce child support payments from deadbeat parents, and stop shaming young women who become pregnant. Religious conservatives have blocked all of these - as far as I'm concerned, many of these so-called "pro-lifers" ought to blame themselves for the abortion rate.

Offline Jude

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2010, 03:26:58 AM »
I think abortion is closer to animal rights than it is capital punishment.  If a fetus isn't a person, it's still an animal.  I find it hilarious that a lot of people who are pro-choice are also animal rights extremists.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2010, 03:40:48 AM »
The argument is not whether the fetus is human but whether the fetus is alive.  Going by that statement something that is not alive is therefore an animal?  Makes absolutely no sense.

I am also a key supporter of Syn just said regarding social changes.  If the environment of the United States was made more conducive to young mothers, made more friendly for babies to be born to mothers that need help caring for those children and had a better adoption system then perhaps a true argument for abortion being taken off the table could be had.  When we as a society have a massive protest because the President of the United States wants to mandate all children having health insurance, then we are not a society that can rightfully say abortion is wrong.

As George Carlin said they will do anything for the unborn but once you’re born, you’re on your own.

Offline Jude

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2010, 05:15:32 AM »
It doesn't make any sense to argue that a fetus isn't alive.  Those are living cells, it's an undeniable fact.  If you're arguing "alive" in any human sense (as in aware, etc.), that's a different topic, but animals aren't alive in that sense either.  I don't see how a fetus fails to match the criteria for an animal, so maybe you could enlighten me?

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2010, 05:28:58 AM »
Composed of living cells does not making something alive.  I could remove a person’s heart, set it on a table and the cells will continue to function.  Nobody would tell me the heart is a living organism though.  In truth a heart would have more a right to being called alive than a forming fetus because at least the heart has specialized cells which are functioning as intended.  The cells of a fetus are still forming, being assigned their place and dividing to create more.  Were you to stop breathing the cells in your body are alive for more than an hour after you have stopped taking in oxygen.  Are you still alive?

As for the difference between a fetus and an animal, I don’t really catch your problem here.  A human being is an animal so far as I am aware. 

Offline Jude

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2010, 07:14:21 AM »
So, just to be exact, do you think a fetus that is capable of perceiving and responding to sound, kicking in the womb, etc. is not a living organism?

As far as I can tell the justification for aborting a fetus is largely that it's not a human being, and that's an argument I can get behind:  it's not.  I'm not against abortion, my point was just that it's silly to be an extreme advocate of animal rights (say, considering killing ants wrong) while being OK with abortion (because obviously a fetus is infinitely more complex, sophisticated, and "closer" to human than an ant).  Both are parts of the extreme left wing "profile" however, it just seems immensely hypocritical.

Not that the extreme right wing isn't guilty of something similar -- "WE DON'T NEED BIG GOVERNMENT TELLING US HOW TO LIVE, INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY -- except when it comes to mandating that women cannot have an abortion, people injecting drugs into their own body, and letting gays marry, then we want big government intervening whenever possible."

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2010, 08:37:04 AM »
Nobody would tell me the heart is a living organism though.  In truth a heart would have more a right to being called alive than a forming fetus because at least the heart has specialized cells which are functioning as intended.
Careful here, cells in a fetus are differentiated and functioning properly. This is the reason that we need embryonic stem cells as opposed tofetal stem cells. Indeed the basis of organ formation has occurred by the time we reach the fetal stage.

So, just to be exact, do you think a fetus that is capable of perceiving and responding to sound, kicking in the womb, etc. is not a living organism?
First, the majority of abortions occur at <9 weeks gestation (Source: CDC Abortion Surveillance). At this point it isn't even a fetus, much less a human being. It is completely incapable of: "perceiving and responding to sound, kicking in the womb, etc." Please refrain from mischaracterising the subject of this debate. And this isn't just directed at Jude. The dividing line between embryo and fetus is not arbitrary. An embryo does not even have the basis of all organisms and has a pre-developed brain that is less sophisticated than an insect's. It is not capable of sensation. These are essentially little more than teratomas. It is not until the fetus that the area even begins to get gray (unless you think that conception is divine magic <_<).

From the same study we can see that only 5.4% of abortions are carried out at or after the second trimester.

Further, a fetus is considered to have no chance of independent survival until 22 weeks.

(because obviously a fetus is infinitely more complex, sophisticated, and "closer" to human than an ant).
Oh wow, no. Only one of these things is true, the other two are just absurd.

Offline Jude

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2010, 08:47:55 AM »
Could you elaborate on your last statement?  You're much better educated about this than I am, so I'm curious to hear more of what you have to say on the matter.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2010, 10:19:55 AM »
Could you elaborate on your last statement?  You're much better educated about this than I am, so I'm curious to hear more of what you have to say on the matter.

The developmental bio bit? I don't want to go too much into it cause it is a little off topic, but I will be brief and you can PM me about anything else. I will concede that we might be having a semantic disconnect, but presuming we are not, you have severely underestimated the complexity and sophistication of insects (which by extension I am assuming will stand in for all non-human animals), or severely overestimated that of humans. There is remarkably little variation in complexity across higher eukaryotes. Variation tends to come in matters of scale and timing.

-To grab the example on hand (since I am currently slacking off from preparing my presentation on it  :P) there is so much homology between the human and drosophila brain function that we can express mutantHtt or alpha-synuclein within the drosophila brain, generate the symptoms of Huntington's or Parkinson's respectively, and perform drug trials to determine treatments in humans.
-The study of apoptosis grew out of observations of C. elegans, a roundworm that has 18,424 protein coding genes, which is not very far off from your ~20,000 protein coding genes. One actual benefit of the human genome project was that it finally put to rest the human genomic super-complexity nonsense. And if you really care about raw genome size (coding and non-coding), flowering plants are more complex by at least an order of magnitude.
-If functional complexity and sophistication were a meaningful rubric, bacteria have significantly more complex and sophisticated metabolisms than any eukaryote.

With rare exception humans share a large degree of structural and functional organ homology with other animals, a proteomic functional homology, and an almost complete functional gene homology. The same biochemistry happens in all of us, the same building blocks are manipulated in the same way, to result in similar functions. Nothing about our systems is particularly more complex.

What makes humans (and indeed any other lifeform) unique is what is expressed and when. The embryo is significantly less complex than any organism, because it is largely undifferentiated and does not even have basal components of all systems. The fetus is more developed, but still lacking in a great deal of functional sophistication (which is why it can't live outside the mother). The born human is quite complex and sophisticated, in almost all ways as complex as the adult (there is still a bit of neural and immune development to be done), which is to say: not that much more complex than an ant  :P

So that wasn't as brief as I would have liked, but: It is incorrect to describe a fetus as largely more complex or sophisticated than other animals, it is absurd to describe it as "infinitely" so. It is correct to call a fetus closer to a human than an ant. Although, the same is not true about a human embryo depending on the stage of embryonic development. Which is why, incidentally, I find the idea of being against embryonic stage abortion confusing. And as we see from the CDC data the majority of abortions are of embryos, not fetuses.

Offline TheVillain

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2010, 12:09:32 PM »
Just wanted to say that whoever said "heartbeat and brain activity are discernible at 6 weeks" is wrong. The heartbeat one is about right, and been recorded in as little time after conception as the 22nd day.

The brain however is a different story. There isn't even enough working brain matter for higher processes to be even theoretically possible until week 26 to 28 varying between people. And modern neurological studies suggest that consciousness and sentience don't begin until after birth.

Offline Salamander

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #24 on: October 01, 2010, 12:23:23 PM »
Quite true. The key issue here isn't so much the number of neurons as their connectivity. You can have as many neurons as you like, but if they aren't wired together, then you don't get cognition. The connections between neurons are called synapses, and the process by which they join up with each other to form a functioning network is called synaptogenesis. Its been a few years since I studied this stuff, and I can't remember exactly when the main phase of synaptogenesis starts, but its pretty late- something like the 25th week. Before then, the fetus is just a mass of cells, with no cognitive capacity at all.

Offline LongN4

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #25 on: October 01, 2010, 01:22:27 PM »
She's got passion gotta respect her for that even if I don't agree with everything that she says.

Offline Rider of WindTopic starter

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #26 on: October 01, 2010, 01:32:56 PM »
She's got passion gotta respect her for that even if I don't agree with everything that she says.
+1   I found her to be a great speaker. Which is half of what impressed me.

------------------------------
  Additionally, as her argument does bring in religion quite stridently, I wanted to make a comment or two about that.

  I think I'm quite safe in saying that many of those who are anti-abortion and consider themselves 'devout' servants of their chosen religion don't give two hoo-has about embryonic development. As fascinating and relevant as it is. The main issue as seen there is, does it have a soul? An innocent soul, worthy of life. Which is not completely answerable by any person that has any training in logic, speech, debate, sciences, etc. Many sects of Catholicism and other religions certainly claim that they have the answer. 

  When in the development of a fetus, does it gain a soul? This is assuming of course that the concept of soul is even worth talking about. But I can assure you, to most Christians it is.

This article was very staunchly against: http://home.flash.net/~thinkman/articles/abortion.htm

And then the contrast of this article just makes things interesting: http://www.elroy.net/ehr/abortion.html

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #27 on: October 01, 2010, 01:48:59 PM »
The brain however is a different story. There isn't even enough working brain matter for higher processes to be even theoretically possible until week 26 to 28 varying between people.
The prebrain has developed from the neural plate and subdivided itself into pros-, mes-, and telencephalon by week six. Also, I have always despised that fallacy that thinking the amount of brain matter is important. And Salamander explains why:

Quite true. The key issue here isn't so much the number of neurons as their connectivity. You can have as many neurons as you like, but if they aren't wired together, then you don't get cognition. The connections between neurons are called synapses, and the process by which they join up with each other to form a functioning network is called synaptogenesis. Its been a few years since I studied this stuff, and I can't remember exactly when the main phase of synaptogenesis starts, but its pretty late- something like the 25th week. Before then, the fetus is just a mass of cells, with no cognitive capacity at all.
Neural connections are what matter. Spinal nerve connections begin to form in the mid-late second trimester. Sensory first (which we determine from fetal light and sound reactions) and motor later, when voluntary movement begins. There is an initial neuron bloom which is then pared back by neurotrophic growth factors (a site-specific factor excreted in limiting quantities that directs neuronal growth to certain systems).

However claiming that no higher functions or cognitive ability exists is a problematic statement. While we can easily test for nerve activity, cognition is a bit more nebulous quality and difficult to test for.

And modern neurological studies suggest that consciousness and sentience don't begin until after birth.
Produce them. Citing vague studies is meaningless.


Additionally, to try to wrap this back around to abortion, what is your purpose in trying to determine this? Are y'all pro-abortion before peripheral nervous system development? and against it after? How does this affect your thoughts on the morality of the action?


  I think I'm quite safe in saying that many of those who are anti-abortion and consider themselves 'devout' servants of their chosen religion don't give two hoo-has about embryonic development. As fascinating and relevant as it is. The main issue as seen there is, does it have a soul? An innocent soul, worthy of life. Which is not completely answerable by any person that has any training in logic, speech, debate, sciences, etc. Many sects of Catholicism and other religions certainly claim that they have the answer. 

  When in the development of a fetus, does it gain a soul? This is assuming of course that the concept of soul is even worth talking about. But I can assure you, to most Christians it is.
Soul is a meaningless quality for any kind of practical abortion discussion. Any one person's beliefs about the existence or non-existence of the soul should have no ability to impose restrictions on another persons actions. And as it is a belief (unless there is some demonstration of soul) it remains a waste of time in abortion discussions. Law and policy cannot be based on noumenal objects.

As Trieste said, if you aren't comfortable with abortion, then don't get one. Don't mistake your religious beliefs, conscience, or opinions for anyone else's.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2010, 01:51:49 PM by DarklingAlice »

Offline Rider of WindTopic starter

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #28 on: October 01, 2010, 02:02:34 PM »
  I placed this in this specific forum to discuss the political and the religious aspects that arise from her speech. Religion is a concept, a very complex and varied one that I think warrants a bit of attention. And yes, that is my personal opinion, I'm not assuming that it is shared by all.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #29 on: October 01, 2010, 02:34:11 PM »
The problem I have with that is: whose religion? Religious beliefs are, as you say, varied. There are many differing religious beliefs on the nature and disposition of the soul. And there is no evidence for any of it. Which is not to say any of it is not true. The nature of the noumenal is just that. There is no phenomenon, no component of experience.

I have my religious beliefs, you have yours, and Gianna has hers. So what gives religion its relevance to this discussion? We can go around a circle and present our religious views, but what do our individual, personal views on something that is not an object of experience have to do with those of any other person? And what do they have to do with the actions of any other person? e.g. I can say that the Bible says this, or that the catechism of the Catholic church says that, and you can respond by saying that the Quran says this or that, or reciting a passage from the Gita, and it will all be true that these books say these things. But unless we are trying to assert that one of these books is somehow right, then we are just listing facts.

In short: What purpose does a religious discussion of abortion have unless we are proselytizing (as Gianna is in her speech)? And if we are proselytizing, what gives us the right to do so?

Offline Scott

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #30 on: October 01, 2010, 02:46:49 PM »
She convinced me... I will never have an abortion.

But I support a woman's right to choose. 

Offline Noelle

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #31 on: October 01, 2010, 06:18:09 PM »
I really couldn't get past the whole "I'm a special snowflake who loves baby Jesus and deserves your attention and different treatment" attitude in this. It's great that she found strength in her own story and has gone on to overcome and even use her disabilities to her advantage, it's truly admirable that she hasn't let this bring her down, but the "I'm a princess" attitude is really off-putting. She fell into the most stereotypical holes: The evil, twisted, mad abortion doctor who loves scrambling fertilized eggs; the damaged mother who comes back into her life later that she feels both pity and a smug sense of superiority over.

I see her point and I see what she's trying to say -- it's not hard to imagine that you'd be grateful for the fact that you weren't aborted, but all of it is buried under emotional blackmail and vague references to the power of Christ. How am I supposed to sympathize with and join her cause if I'm not religious? The uber-dramatic claim of people "becoming uncomfortable hearing the name Jesus" made me roll my eyes, too. This isn't the Exorcist -- hearing holy names doesn't burn my demonic flesh or make my tongue tie itself into a knot. I just want you to keep your religion out of my politics. Resorting to emotions is the exact last thing we need to do because then we ignore reality for what "feels right" to us. The human perception is greatly flawed. If this speech prevents more women from having an abortion, that's really great, I'd be really glad to hear it, but banning the practice is just counter-productive.

Online Vekseid

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #32 on: October 01, 2010, 09:24:39 PM »
Then don't get one.

I know you're not coming out in support of either side, necessarily, but I think that this is a good example of "If your conscience bothers you, then listen to it. However, do not mistake it for someone else's conscience." Things like getting one's tubes tied are perfectly legal, but are not done helter skelter. Carrying marijuana has been decriminalized in my state; does that mean that everyone will do it just because they can? Hardly. Keeping abortions legal does not encourage anyone who wasn't thinking of one already to go out and get one; it simply allows those considering their options to listen to their own conscience, and make their decision based on their own feelings and situation, not based on some misguided excuse for ethical standards.

When was I addressing the legality of it? Even when I was vehemently opposed to abortion I never wanted to make it illegal, knowing the statistics from the nation most similar to our past - Brazil - where it is illegal. It's not a question of law. Responsible jurisprudence means making laws that will be respected and followed, regardless of which side one takes in the debate.

I'm a 'body is a vessel of the mind' person - if an awareness did not choose its current state it cannot be held responsible for it, and should not be judged for it. Mentally, a child is not significantly different just before or after birth (and cultures practicing infanticide sometimes reflect this concept). There is a point at which it develops awareness, and a human child isn't even fully developed at birth.

I'm not convinced that the act of birth is a good dividing line - an infant is still incredibly dependent on others for care.

Offline LIAR

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2010, 10:52:08 PM »
I didn't find her argument all that strong or appealing. I think it's fantastic that she's found strength despite her hardships in life, but... all her talk about being Gods girl/princess made the whole speech annoying.

Offline Lycan Queen

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #34 on: October 05, 2010, 08:45:49 PM »
Okay, I will view the video when I'm on better internets, but here are my reasoning:

1) Pro-choice and abstinence only: I'm sorry, but if you have this stance, your arguement is invalid at this point. You cannot say that a woman cannot get an abortion, and then refuse the them preventative education. There's already problems with STDs and overpopulation, along with the fact that the abstinence only stance is a very unhealthy stance on sex. Especially saying that you can't masturbate.

2) Health. As long as the system is as it is, with the growing gap between the middle, lower, and upper class, and education being as it is, such that it would be worse to ban abortion than to allow it. Women would go do it anyway, and they would with "doctors" who aren't qualified with tools that are not clean. More mothers and doctors would be at risk. And if an abortion is murder, then does miscarriage count as murder, too?

We have enough people suffering now. There are too many children now that are in bad homes or no homes. I've had friends who suffered terribly under foster care.

To me, don't talk to me about bringing more children into the world until every child living now has a loving family and enough to survive comfortably. It isn't fair to the children who will be born to not fix the other problems first.

Regardless of the ethics of getting an abortion, banning it would cause far more problems than it would fix.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #35 on: October 06, 2010, 07:36:54 AM »
Lycan,

I don't generally disagree with you. I would only ask you and others, are there any lines to be drawn? How in the world do we ever come to a conclusion that a late term, saline abortion is an acceptable option? They only way I can see it if its done on an emergency basis where the mother's life is in immediate danger.

So where I am, there is a very clear and distinct line between first term abortions, and the rather brutal means necessary to execute a late term abortion.

I don't like to see any official entity tell people what they can and cannot do with their bodies, but I've got to think there has to be a line somewhere, no?

Offline Trieste

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #36 on: October 06, 2010, 09:44:13 AM »
I don't like to see any official entity tell people what they can and cannot do with their bodies, but I've got to think there has to be a line somewhere, no?

Frankly, not a legal one. Official (as in legal) entities have no business making medical designations of 'necessary' and 'unnecessary'. Again, if you do not think that late-term abortions are ethical, then don't get one. Living tissue is not 'alive' tissue and as was pointed out earlier, humans are not necessarily fully developed even at birth. It's been posited by evolutionary biologists that we actually give birth before we really 'should', because our craniums would be too big to fit through the birth canal otherwise. Have you ever changed a baby's diaper and thought "Holy GOD, kid, I only gave you formula! What did you do to it to make it this vile?!"...? If you have, you're witnessing firsthand the benefits of being born without a fully developed digestive system.  ;D

Your ethics should affect your decision, abso-friggin-lutely. However, your ethics should not affect my decision.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #37 on: October 06, 2010, 09:53:26 AM »
So where I am, there is a very clear and distinct line between first term abortions, and the rather brutal means necessary to execute a late term abortion.

For clarification's sake: If late term abortion were not brutal you would be behind them? Or is that just an ancillary appeal to emotion?

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #38 on: October 06, 2010, 03:28:31 PM »
Frankly, not a legal one. Official (as in legal) entities have no business making medical designations of 'necessary' and 'unnecessary'.

They absolutely do. In any country that regulates medical practice (i.e. all of them), or in which any entity constituted or mandated by law to provide healthcare (e.g. National Health Services, Insurers) have to prioritise. Why the distinction?

Performaing unneccesary procedures on a patient in certain circumstances is gross professional misconduct. Also, jurisdiction-wide triage priorities are essential.

Quote
Your ethics should affect your decision, abso-friggin-lutely. However, your ethics should not affect my decision.

The premise of this statement is that rights can be exercised in isolation. This is a false dichotomy. Your rights to decide will always be circumscribed by the society in which you operate. My ethics may say that carnal knowledge of children is acceptable, much as the ancient Greeks did. My society, however, regards this a grave crime.

This is one of the 'features' of democratic law making; where the views of the majority prevail of the views of the minority, the majority does have a 'right' to impose their view on the others. You don't like it? Move jurisdiction.

Personally, I'm terrified of this tyranny of the majority. If it could be exercised in the UK at the moment, being a Muslim or being homosexual would probably be made capital crimes.

Quote
For clarification's sake: If late term abortion were not brutal you would be behind them? Or is that just an ancillary appeal to emotion?

How does that aid in clarification? The supposition of non-brutal late-stage abortions is definitionally impossible. To my mind, it's about as useful as saying "If slavery were moral, then I wouldn't oppose slavery". Also, I think there's something wrong if you don't have strongly held emotional engagement with an issue like this.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #39 on: October 06, 2010, 07:24:28 PM »
How does that aid in clarification?

I am attempting to determine what, specifically, Zamdrist objects to re: late term abortion. Thus clarifying the substance of his argument.

The supposition of non-brutal late-stage abortions is definitionally impossible. To my mind, it's about as useful as saying "If slavery were moral, then I wouldn't oppose slavery".

Then I would recommend a better imagination, or a better dictionary.

Also, I think there's something wrong if you don't have strongly held emotional engagement with an issue like this.

Why? Emotion is a hallmark of sentimentality and serves no purpose in the realm of morality. Your emotional response to an issue like this serves not one whit in ethical questions concerning the issue.

Offline Noelle

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #40 on: October 06, 2010, 07:35:21 PM »
The problem with emotional engagement is that emotions can be very unreliable and emotions often don't take into account A) reason and factual evidence, and b) what's actually best for the people at large. Frankly, half the problem I see in this debate is that people often run solely on emotion, which is where we get the grossly inaccurate "baby-killer" image and emotionally-blackmailing advertisements against abortion. Notice that this isn't nearly as emotionally distressing as this. You can guess which image pro-life organizations use more despite the fact that the picture shown is well past the stage that typical women abort. The overwhelming majority do it in the first trimester, which is also when most people are more comfortable with the idea of abortion happening. You'll notice that the most commonly reported excuse for having it later was just making monetary and administrative arrangements to have it done, not any latent, evil desire to make the process 'more brutal'.

But those are facts. Many people don't like facts because they can seem impersonal -- but I would rather see a decision made based on things that actually are rather than based on how things appear to be to someone's individual perception colored by unchecked emotion.

The problem with arguing abortion is that there is no clear-cut majority that society can turn to for the norm on the subject; Actually, pro-choice support has just barely lead the country for the last 15 years, though interestingly last year, the roles reversed. There's a good chance we will be locked in debate this way for at least another decade, though I predict it will go on much longer.

Offline Trieste

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #41 on: October 06, 2010, 07:57:41 PM »
It occurs to me that there has been a good amount of discussion on why abortion should be legal and blah blah blah.

I would like to reverse it. Why should we make abortion illegal? Why should we go through the process of revoking Roe v. Wade? Why should we deny this medical procedure to those who would like to have it? I find the 'unnecessary procedures' argument to be lacking, as cosmetic surgeries are not anywhere close to being made illegal and they are medically unnecessary.

I'm asking this question because as far as I can tell, there is no real objective reason that it should be illegal. Every single position has been based on morality and opinion of 'when life begins'. If you're not going to accept my definition of 'when life begins', I would like to know why I should accept yours. Just throwing that out there. :)

Offline RubySlippers

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #42 on: October 06, 2010, 09:57:14 PM »
Trieste ok here is my best reason to making the Life Begins at conception, well two reasons.:

1. A human mother with a human father, or rather her egg and one sperm always makes a human being upon birth. A child with a genetic disorder is still a human child. A mutant or evolutionary advanced human is still a human being. Not a dog or a cat or a chicken - human. So regardless of what you call the fetus it will be a human being. This for me overrides any other arguement that its not a human since it has (insert anything from heartbeat to brain waves to movement) all don't matter - the genetic potential does.

2. Since we cannot be sure when life begins to then be respectful to the unborn human in the mother it must then be considered a human being at birth and given the same right to life as the mother barring a danger to the existing lifes physical health considering all available medical options. And I mean even taking the child from the mother as a very early preemie and other options to give the child any chance at life as one even when the chance of survival is low.

I feel the same way about the Death Penalty if you cannot be 100% sure the person is guilty then there is no right to execute anyone, life in prison will suffice.

Offline Trieste

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #43 on: October 06, 2010, 10:12:29 PM »
I understand the position that "life begins at conception". My question was:

You say that life begins at conception, and I say that life doesn't begin until the child is able to breathe with his own lungs, etc. If you are unwilling to accept my definition of where life begins, why should I be willing to accept yours enough for it to be law? What makes your stance more valid than mine?

Offline Jude

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #44 on: October 06, 2010, 10:22:59 PM »
1. A human mother with a human father, or rather her egg and one sperm always makes a human being upon birth. A child with a genetic disorder is still a human child. A mutant or evolutionary advanced human is still a human being. Not a dog or a cat or a chicken - human. So regardless of what you call the fetus it will be a human being. This for me overrides any other arguement that its not a human since it has (insert anything from heartbeat to brain waves to movement) all don't matter - the genetic potential does.
Your argument seems to be:  "the fact that the fetus will become a human being means it deserves the rights of a human being."  The problem with that is, it will only become a human being if the mother suffers through nine months of pregnancy to facilitate its maturation within her womb.  You're setting an arbitrary point at which the potential for life becomes important -- your view it's conception, why not preconception?  Why aren't egg cells and semen given the same reverence since they have the potential to form the basis of a human life as well.

It seems as if you're arguing that because, for example, semen cannot form a child on its own then it shouldn't be given the same reverence.  That seems reasonable until you realize that a fetus cannot become a child on its own either.  Returning to my earlier point, it has to be nourished by a mother in her womb at her expense for nine months in order to receive all of the chemicals it needs to become a child.  A fetus is simply further down the line than semen is, more complete to be certain, but not complete.  That human being is being constructed while in her womb from materials it is taking from the mother.

Saying genetic material is the defining material that gives moral weight strikes me as completely arbitrary, a designation made simply for the sake of justifying a position in opposition to abortion.  Genetic material is not special; it too is just physical material arranged in a particular way.
2. Since we cannot be sure when life begins to then be respectful to the unborn human in the mother it must then be considered a human being at birth and given the same right to life as the mother barring a danger to the existing lifes physical health considering all available medical options. And I mean even taking the child from the mother as a very early preemie and other options to give the child any chance at life as one even when the chance of survival is low.

I feel the same way about the Death Penalty if you cannot be 100% sure the person is guilty then there is no right to execute anyone, life in prison will suffice.
We know when biological life begins, but certainly that isn't "human life."  The question is, when does human life begin?  The two do not begin concurrently, but all of the things we associate with human life (mainly thought) are fundamentally impossible for a fetus because it doesn't have the mental faculties to do such for reasons discussed throughout the thread.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #45 on: October 07, 2010, 07:29:42 AM »
It occurs to me that there has been a good amount of discussion on why abortion should be legal and blah blah blah.

I would like to reverse it. Why should we make abortion illegal? Why should we go through the process of revoking Roe v. Wade? Why should we deny this medical procedure to those who would like to have it? I find the 'unnecessary procedures' argument to be lacking, as cosmetic surgeries are not anywhere close to being made illegal and they are medically unnecessary.

I'm asking this question because as far as I can tell, there is no real objective reason that it should be illegal. Every single position has been based on morality and opinion of 'when life begins'. If you're not going to accept my definition of 'when life begins', I would like to know why I should accept yours. Just throwing that out there. :)

Is it really fair that we must look at the situation completely objectively and without emotion? I'd argue we are not automatons devoid of emotion. And honestly no one has a definitive answer on when life truly begins, where the line is. In fact, that's just it. It is a mystery by design, and each person defines it differently. For some it begins immediately at conception, for others it is at the third trimester, and others its only after the baby leaves the woman's womb. That we all define it differently is of course the conundrum.

I have my own feelings concerning this, and they are surely at odds with others here. Though emotionally driven it may be, I try to think of my son, and if his future girlfriend became unexpectedly pregnant. That would be my granddaughter or grandson in that young woman's womb. And while it surely wouldn't be my say, I could never counsel her/them to terminate the pregnancy because the timing or situation wasn't ideal. Rather I would offer my support, and do everything I could to help, be it financial or being 'grandpa' and babysitting, helping out wherever I could and made sense.

No, I can't remove my feelings and emotion from the issue and look at it solely objectively. It's life or the potential of life and such it isn't conducive to an emotionless examination.

At the same time, making the process illegal isn't a practical solution either. It's fraught with all sorts of problems. For me at least, I could only condone it early in the first trimester, after than and the closer you get to physical birth I become more and more uneasy with the idea.

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #46 on: October 07, 2010, 08:06:18 AM »
Quote
Then I would recommend a better imagination, or a better dictionary.

The previous author already defined brutality as a necessary component of late-stage abortions to his world-view. I would recommend a course in basic reading or perhaps being more tolerant to the world-views of others ;)

One cannot frame an argument for tolerance of one's own views based on the intolerance of the views of others.

Emotion is a hallmark of sentimentality and serves no purpose in the realm of morality. Your emotional response to an issue like this serves not one whit in ethical questions concerning the issue.

Aristotle's ethical premise of Eudaimonia was based squarely on the premise of happieness. That ethics consists of our experiences in life and our responses to them. We should aim for 'kalos' (I believe it's beauty, harmony, or 'pleasant' or something like that). Both Aristotle and Plato tread 'thumos' or the cause to anger as a vital, positive, and necessary part of their ethical structures. Admittedly, Aristotle doesn't regard this as being properly an 'emotion', and sees virtue in following the rational. Hedonism, for instance, was the maximisation of pleasure as an ethical standpoint.

The typical undergraduate philosophy class response is "emotion is the enemy of rationality". Look further and you'll see it is impossible to act as a purely rational actor. It is, however, the emotional content of an ethical system that lead to some of its triumphs. Emotions serve two purposes; two evaluate a given ethical standpoint, and to allow the influencing of others through joint subjective truths.

In terms of modern theoretical approach, I quite favour consequentialism - that the morality of an action is determined by its outcomes, the traditional 'ends justify the means' approach. What are the ends? They could be anything. Even... *gasp*... happiness!

Any notion of a rule-making system based on the prevention of suffering is tied to an empathetic regard to the subject. You can frame an entire justification for human rights on the principle of preventing suffering.

I can't understand the appeal of critical theoretical approaches to morality and ethics, as some authors suggest that reality itself is in doubt, and that rationalism is therefore irrelevent, leaving us only with emotion.

My view on this is that my emotions and 'gut reactions' to issues are generally more persuasive to me than the cold 'truth' of logic. Give me data or give me death.

Your broad and sweeping generalisations are unbeckoming. Your concept of ethics has no room for the emotions. That does not mean that ethics as a whole cannot.

Quote
I'm asking this question because as far as I can tell, there is no real objective reason that it should be illegal. Every single position has been based on morality and opinion of 'when life begins'. If you're not going to accept my definition of 'when life begins', I would like to know why I should accept yours. Just throwing that out there. :)

Because Roe's appeal was moot. She had already given birth at the time it occured. Given that this effectively changed the law, the change should be undone by a virtue of being counter to the general principles of the rule of law ;)

-

Edit: My grave concern in the whole abortion debate in the US is that it's law made by judges. Yes, they're interpreting the constitution, but that's a dark art that could go either way. I think it should be replaced with 'proper' law, made be elected representatives, just as the US constitution envisages.

My personal bias on this? I think it's a deeply complex question and not one that you can draw broad sweeping statements about. It therefore doesn't lend itself well to the language of a 'right'. Yes, I'm happy on my fence here.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2010, 08:20:29 AM by mystictiger »

Offline Noelle

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #47 on: October 07, 2010, 02:20:18 PM »
If the morality of an action is judged by its outcome, then by that reasoning, if I'm unhappy with my pregnancy and I'm panicking and worrying because it will cause me financial hardship, and if I'm not willing to quit drinking and smoking while I'm pregnant thus causing the baby to suffer as well, then the obvious happier solution is to abort it. If someone else's emotions are violently opposed to the thought of my abortion because they think I'm ejecting fully-grown dead babies out of my womb due to someone else's emotional misinformation (as I gave example of in my previous post), there's no way I want their emotions involved if not only are their conceptions not tied to truth, but that statistics are saying you will have a happier, healthier, more equal society by allowing abortion to continue.

Nobody is suggesting you act as an automatic, unemotional entity. Everyone's emotions color their thinking to some extent, but the point is to keep your emotions in check by way of hard facts. I absolutely do not want someone who is willing to disregard evidence because it doesn't line up with their emotions to be making laws. Emotions are more persuasive, and that's the danger of them. If someone out their is willing to manipulate your emotions to blackmail you into seeing their point, that's precisely why you need to keep your emotions balanced by resorting to checking out the 'cold facts' to see if what they're saying has any basis.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #48 on: October 07, 2010, 02:48:59 PM »
The previous author already defined brutality as a necessary component of late-stage abortions to his world-view. I would recommend a course in basic reading or perhaps being more tolerant to the world-views of others ;)

One cannot frame an argument for tolerance of one's own views based on the intolerance of the views of others.

No, but one can dismantle and analyze one's own world view. Provided one isn't an unamaginative dogmatist and therefore renders oneself irrelevant  :P

I am also pretty sure Zamdrist doesn't need you to answer questions for him.

Aristotle's ethical premise of Eudaimonia was based squarely on the premise of happieness. That ethics consists of our experiences in life and our responses to them. We should aim for 'kalos' (I believe it's beauty, harmony, or 'pleasant' or something like that). Both Aristotle and Plato tread 'thumos' or the cause to anger as a vital, positive, and necessary part of their ethical structures. Admittedly, Aristotle doesn't regard this as being properly an 'emotion', and sees virtue in following the rational. Hedonism, for instance, was the maximisation of pleasure as an ethical standpoint.

The typical undergraduate philosophy class response is "emotion is the enemy of rationality". Look further and you'll see it is impossible to act as a purely rational actor. It is, however, the emotional content of an ethical system that lead to some of its triumphs. Emotions serve two purposes; two evaluate a given ethical standpoint, and to allow the influencing of others through joint subjective truths.

In terms of modern theoretical approach, I quite favour consequentialism - that the morality of an action is determined by its outcomes, the traditional 'ends justify the means' approach. What are the ends? They could be anything. Even... *gasp*... happiness!

Any notion of a rule-making system based on the prevention of suffering is tied to an empathetic regard to the subject. You can frame an entire justification for human rights on the principle of preventing suffering.

I can't understand the appeal of critical theoretical approaches to morality and ethics, as some authors suggest that reality itself is in doubt, and that rationalism is therefore irrelevent, leaving us only with emotion.

My view on this is that my emotions and 'gut reactions' to issues are generally more persuasive to me than the cold 'truth' of logic. Give me data or give me death.

Your broad and sweeping generalisations are unbeckoming. Your concept of ethics has no room for the emotions. That does not mean that ethics as a whole cannot.

See, contrary to popular belief philosophy is not just a set of random, equally valid opinions. It is a a vibrant, developing, academic art. There is a reason the ancients are outmoded (regardless of how much respect I have for them...well...for Aristotle at least, only a few of the Platonic dialogues were really worth keeping around). Trying to apply Aristotelean ethics whole-cloth to modern concerns is about as useful as trying to draw biological conclusions from his conviction that semen was made of the same substance as stars; or to use his flawed mechanics in place of the modern revisions. Really if you want to stay relevant in these things then I suggest reading something written in the past 2000 years. Start with the 18th century, you might find it...Enlightening. Even Millsian/Utilitarian happiness is defined as the balance between pleasure and suffering rather than in the imprecise and impotent terms of emotions.

Regardless, this is not the place for a general discussion of ethics, so if you want to persist in your emotion theory I would ask that you take an example from Noelle and do so in specific relation to the abortion question, or PM me, rather than drag the whole thread even further off topic.

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #49 on: October 07, 2010, 03:08:41 PM »
You have a habit of regarding people who disagree with you as off topic.

Happiness, by any stretch of defintion or interpretation is an emotion, as in suffering. They both relate to what one feels rather than exclusively what one things.

To deny the role of emotion is to preclude what it is that makes us human, as opposed to computers. I am firmly with Amartya Sen in that a purely rational choice is the choice of a rational fool. I would strongly urge you to consider the Bounded Rationality, as espoused by Herbert Simon.

This is 'on topic' because it relates to the question of ethics, and your denial that an ethic that includes emotion is valid. You have asserted, a priori, that any concept of ethics that conflicts with yours is invalid. Although you may claim that your concept is rationalist, your prejudice is automatically irrational based on your utterly subjective exclusion.

The belief that Abortion Is Wrong (why? Just because it is! I have a gut feeling) is of equal normative weight to any reasoned or logical belief. With concerns for the ontology and epistemology of both beliefs, they are both internally consistent. You do not regard them as convincing - it is therefore a fallacy to say that they are unconvincing. You do not have a monopoly on 'fact', let alone 'truth'.

The outcome as advocated by Trieste that 'You don't accept my premise therefore I won't accept yours' is unsatisfactory because it does not take us any further into the discussion of the matter.

All of these arguments are inherently subjective appeals to paradigms that are not accepted by both parties. We therefore do not in fact have a debate, we merely have a discussion about the comparative utility of ... exagerating for effect now... wombats and curise liners: which is better?

Offline Trieste

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #50 on: October 07, 2010, 03:14:29 PM »
If you would like to discuss each others' posts at length, there is a dialogue forum for that.

A general discussion of ethics is off-topic. So discuss it somewhere else, please.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #51 on: October 16, 2010, 08:04:15 AM »
Your argument seems to be:  "the fact that the fetus will become a human being means it deserves the rights of a human being."  The problem with that is, it will only become a human being if the mother suffers through nine months of pregnancy to facilitate its maturation within her womb.  You're setting an arbitrary point at which the potential for life becomes important -- your view it's conception, why not preconception?  Why aren't egg cells and semen given the same reverence since they have the potential to form the basis of a human life as well.

It seems as if you're arguing that because, for example, semen cannot form a child on its own then it shouldn't be given the same reverence.  That seems reasonable until you realize that a fetus cannot become a child on its own either.  Returning to my earlier point, it has to be nourished by a mother in her womb at her expense for nine months in order to receive all of the chemicals it needs to become a child.  A fetus is simply further down the line than semen is, more complete to be certain, but not complete.  That human being is being constructed while in her womb from materials it is taking from the mother.

Saying genetic material is the defining material that gives moral weight strikes me as completely arbitrary, a designation made simply for the sake of justifying a position in opposition to abortion.  Genetic material is not special; it too is just physical material arranged in a particular way.We know when biological life begins, but certainly that isn't "human life."  The question is, when does human life begin?  The two do not begin concurrently, but all of the things we associate with human life (mainly thought) are fundamentally impossible for a fetus because it doesn't have the mental faculties to do such for reasons discussed throughout the thread.

A fetus is a child just an unborn one. An egg on its own or a sperm on its own is not a genetic child gestating in the mother is it? You need both right now until they develop cloning or some technique to get around basic natural biology. As for the latter what is more arbitrary your assumption that a child at birth is a person or mine that its at conception. I have as much ground as you the unborn little baby in the mother will be a human being and at birth its also a human being. My position is when one cannot be sure then go for the simplest view that offers the most protection to human life at conception so that the mother then has the same rights to life but matching her child to live. If the mothers life is in danger I'm all for tipping the balance of survival to that life that is here the standard the Jewish faith gives. Over the narrow one that defends the child at all costs. But I pointed out all other options must be ruled out including giving a very premature child even a 1% chance of survival outside the childs mother if needed. As for the mother and the pregnacy its for me not an issue her right was gone when the child was conceivd in her but she can opt to adopt out the child.

As for why should it be illegal abortion should not, that is medical practice and may be necessary to save the life of the mother. What should be the case is tolimit it to medically necessary cases which noone is saying should not be the case. But have also strong sex educationa and ready available to contraception to avoid getting pregnant i'm not a purde I'm all for sex but in a way that is responsible so that abortions are not necessary. Roe vs, Wade was a bad case the states have the right and should regulate medical practice then if you want abortion on demand fight it out at that level.

Offline Noelle

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #52 on: October 16, 2010, 12:49:46 PM »
I have as much ground as you the unborn little baby in the mother will be a human being and at birth its also a human being.

Will be is the operational word. Which is why the question is asked what makes its potential more protectable or sacred than the potential of an unfertilized egg or sperm who also have the potential to become a human being. Why is it acceptable to masturbate and kill millions of 'potentials' in one go, or to shed potential once a month via menstruation, but eliminating the potential of a fetus is a more grave offense?

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My position is when one cannot be sure then go for the simplest view that offers the most protection to human life at conception so that the mother then has the same rights to life but matching her child to live.

Is the simplest view forcing a woman to allow a second life to leech off of the very things her body requires to survive for nine months followed by painful labor and weeks of recovery followed by more than several months to struggle to take the weight off, or is it to value the pre-existing life more than mere potential and allow the pre-established life to decide what can and cannot take over her body and use her resources and allowing her to decide? A woman isn't going to choose abortion every time. The fact that the option is there doesn't mean it's going to be right for everyone. There are plenty of women out there who will choose to carry to term and there will be some who don't, as we've seen since the advent of Roe v Wade.

The simplest solution is not to force women and men alike into a decision and take some of their own dignity in the process -- and it certainly wouldn't prevent those who wanted one badly enough from seeking a remedy anyway -- but allowing them to decide what is best for their situation. A fetus does not have and should not have the same amount of rights that a fully-grown and established adult does and never at any point in time should an organism that essentially leeches for survival be ruled over its host. Something that requires me to rent out my womb to feed and nurture it in every aspect of its early development in order to even give it a hope of exiting my body alive does not have the same right to life that I do.

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As for why should it be illegal abortion should not, that is medical practice and may be necessary to save the life of the mother. What should be the case is tolimit it to medically necessary cases which noone is saying should not be the case. But have also strong sex educationa and ready available to contraception to avoid getting pregnant i'm not a purde I'm all for sex but in a way that is responsible so that abortions are not necessary.

Well no, actually, I'm saying that shouldn't be the case. There are plenty of people who are saying that it shouldn't be only medically necessary abortions should be legal. That's kind of the whole point of a lot of people rallying to keep abortion legal to the general public.

The biggest flaw in your view on contraception is that the only failsafe form of contraception is abstinence, which already doesn't line up with your opinion that sex is okay. No form of contraception is 100% effective -- there will always be the margin of user error on top of its general rate of protection. The pill is 99% effective with perfect use, but how many women forget to take a pill now and then? Condoms are about 97% effective with perfect use, but average use drops that number down to 90% or so -- and that's if you use a condom every single time. 10 out of 100 women will get pregnant despite trying to be safe, and you're still willing to deny them an abortion despite the fact that they've taken the right steps to prevent the need for one? Your expectations are unrealistic. If we had a form of contraception that guaranteed there would be no pregnancy, that person would probably be given a Nobel prize, but the fact is, it doesn't exist. Any sex you have comes with a risk at some level. People don't typically plan on winding up with STD's just like they don't typically plan to wind up with an unwanted, unplanned pregnancy.

Offline Serephino

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #53 on: October 16, 2010, 08:09:26 PM »
Something that's been brought up, but still not answered is that if a pregnant woman is murdered the killer usually gets charged with the murder of the unborn child too.  But if the mother doesn't want it she can kill it?  That just seems like a double standard to me.  You can't have it both ways.  Either the life of an unborn child has value, or it doesn't. 

Also, while I agree that only abstinence is 100% effective, there are many resources, such as the ovulation calender on the American Pregnancy Association website. 

http://www.americanpregnancy.org/gettingpregnant/ovulationcalendar.html

It can't pinpoint ovulation exactly, but it does tell you about when your fertile period is.  If you really don't want to get pregnant that badly, you use that calender and then you don't have sex on the days with the little circles on them.

I don't think sex is bad, but I do believe in personal responsibility.  While sex is fun, its primary biological function is reproduction.  Every time you do it you risk pregnancy.  If that risk isn't worth it to you, then don't do it, or do everything humanly possible to make the risk as low as you can.  That's one of the reasons why I never had sex with any of the girls I've dated, even when they wanted to.   

Online Oniya

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #54 on: October 16, 2010, 08:44:57 PM »
The ovulation calendar, while useful for trying to become pregnant, is one of the least effective ways of avoiding pregnancy.  They used to call it the 'rhythm method', it was the only method of birth control (other than abstinence) approved by the Catholic Church - and they had a name for people who used it as their primary birth control method.



Parents.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #55 on: October 16, 2010, 08:46:48 PM »
In the case of incest and rape one can debate to me the birth control option but if a woman willingly splays her legs she has to expect pregnancy can result. If a woman uses the pill or similar method and the man one form its more effectiove or a woman can use a diaphram and the pill, or contraceptive foam and the pill or any other combo. I take the pill and am gay in case some sick pervert rapes me I want that layer of protection since as a sexually mature woman I Can get pregnant.

But even if its the case of incest or rape one can consider the health of the mother if a very young mother its likely a concern, if not adopt out the child. I actually want this all out of the hands of the parents but in the hands of doctors using their best medical knowledge and clear laws. Ideally to get an abortion one should get a legal opinion of two doctors and the approval of a judge in writing, if there are medical grounds then it should be simple enough.

As for the egg and sperm until they are together in a little baby in the mother is it life in the sense it will become a human being after nine months, apart its clearly not. Unless you can show me where an egg or sperm can become a gestating child alone without medical technology. For me its not a reasonable argument.

Offline Noelle

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #56 on: October 16, 2010, 09:24:44 PM »
In the case of incest and rape one can debate to me the birth control option but if a woman willingly splays her legs she has to expect pregnancy can result.

I thought we got past the attitude that women who have sex are whores beginning with the feminist sexual revolution around the 60's or so. Actually, if a woman "willingly splays her legs", she's practicing a normal, healthy human behavior -- AKA the drive to have sex. Your views are all over the board -- you think sex is okay, that women should use contraception, but that if they open their legs, they should expect to become pregnant...even though they're taking measures so they don't have to expect pregnancy? I think that's more than just a little misogynistic and painfully hypocritical of you. It's not even consistent.

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If a woman uses the pill or similar method and the man one form its more effectiove or a woman can use a diaphram and the pill, or contraceptive foam and the pill or any other combo. I take the pill and am gay in case some sick pervert rapes me I want that layer of protection since as a sexually mature woman I Can get pregnant.

You take the pill and you're gay and that...what? I...don't understand...That doesn't make sense.

And I'm pretty sure women that rely on free/reduced-cost clinics can only be prescribed one method of birth control at a time under their coverage. Do those women deserve to be slightly more prone to pregnancy because they can't afford it? Do they "deserve" pregnancy they can't afford? If I recall, you often defend the lower-class as needing to be protected, and here we are now...

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But even if its the case of incest or rape one can consider the health of the mother if a very young mother its likely a concern, if not adopt out the child.

Just curious. If you're raped, if your sister or mother or even any potential daughter of yours is raped, you'd make them carry it to term. Can we clarify this? I actually personally find that absolutely horrifying. Age should not play a factor. That is absolutely horrendous and extending that pain by making a woman carry a child conceived through a brutal and abhorrent act is cruel. Some women choose to carry to term and they find that they love their baby and it has changed their life for the better in the end, but they need to be allowed to make that choice to begin with.

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I actually want this all out of the hands of the parents but in the hands of doctors using their best medical knowledge and clear laws. Ideally to get an abortion one should get a legal opinion of two doctors and the approval of a judge in writing, if there are medical grounds then it should be simple enough.

...Why would you completely remove this from the hands of the people -- the women whose bodies are actually affected by this, as well as the men who will have to support the child? How does that make sense at all? I'm all for letting medical professionals be involved, but I'm not about to agree that the foreign occupation of my womb and forced resource-leeching be entirely left up to people who don't actually have to live with the long-term consequences. We're not talking about lending out an inanimate space here. We're talking about whether or not it's okay to tell a person that they have to share their body, their actual physical being with something they don't want. That's not an issue you exclude the actual person on given that it's their life and their only body.

I don't think abortions should be like fast food, I don't think it should be that easy, but I'm also not comfortable with someone who's not me having the final word that I have to carry something in my body and nurture it. You know what some are going to do instead? They're going to keep smoking and drinking and doing everything they can to terminate their pregnancy through other means. If they don't kill the baby, they're sure as hell upping its chances of coming out deformed either mentally or physically. Are we going to police that, too? That's hardly fair to the child and it's hardly fair to the mother. Nobody wins. Pregnancy should not be punishment.

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As for the egg and sperm until they are together in a little baby in the mother is it life in the sense it will become a human being after nine months, apart its clearly not. Unless you can show me where an egg or sperm can become a gestating child alone without medical technology. For me its not a reasonable argument.

You keep missing the point. How much potential is "enough" potential? Why are they more worthy of protection when they are conjoined than when they are separately? What makes a fertilized egg that will possibly gestate in nine months more precious than an egg and a sperm that could connect tomorrow and form a baby in nine months and one day?
« Last Edit: October 16, 2010, 10:01:24 PM by Noelle »

Offline Noelle

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #57 on: October 16, 2010, 09:36:50 PM »
Sorry, I'm double-posting. Figured it might be easier to reply individually this way.

Something that's been brought up, but still not answered is that if a pregnant woman is murdered the killer usually gets charged with the murder of the unborn child too.  But if the mother doesn't want it she can kill it?  That just seems like a double standard to me.  You can't have it both ways.  Either the life of an unborn child has value, or it doesn't. 

Do you support abortion in cases of rape or incest? Curious.

I think intent plays a large part in blame in terms of fetus murder. Yes, it places a lot of power in the hands of the mother, and as much as I hate resorting back to this argument, she's the one who is sacrificing her body, health, and other resources to bring new life into this world. I don't necessarily agree with the imbalance of power, since I think men should be able to at least protect themselves from financial obligation if they don't want the child but the mother does, but it is what it is.  If another person forcefully takes the child away from her without her consent, I think they rule based on intent to give birth to another human. I honestly wouldn't be opposed to them reducing the penalty on behalf of the fetus, though, because I don't think intent is enough alone to deem it worthy of calling it a full-fledged murder, same as any person outside the womb. :P Justice, maybe? Avenging the wrongful death of a mother and soon-to-be child? No idea.


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I don't think sex is bad, but I do believe in personal responsibility.  While sex is fun, its primary biological function is reproduction.  Every time you do it you risk pregnancy.  If that risk isn't worth it to you, then don't do it, or do everything humanly possible to make the risk as low as you can.  That's one of the reasons why I never had sex with any of the girls I've dated, even when they wanted to.   
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That works for you, but your decision should not be everyone's decision, and for a lot of human beings in general, that's easier said than done. People have been having sex for pleasure for a very long time now -- it's a perfectly natural urge. A lot of what makes abortion important is that it levels the playing field between men and women. Men have little to no direct risk involved (besides the mother carrying it to term, making him pay child support, blah blah, but even that isn't foolproof given how many deadbeat guys there are out there and the hassle you have to go through to go after them to pay it, if they even can) and I can't agree that women should have to be the only ones to bear the burden of consequence for their actions. It's inequal, simple biology has made sure of it, that much can't be disputed, but we can try and balance those inequalities by offering women a way to take more control of that. It's human to err. If a man doesn't pull out in time, if he doesn't put the condom on correctly, the woman is the direct recipient of the consequence.

Abstinence only doesn't work as an effective advertisement, and because humans are going to be naturally apt to ignore it, it's more vigilant to find ways to protect those people from ever needing an abortion than it is to try to convince them to stop all together. Using pregnancy as a "haha, told you so" is a very poor way to justify it (not that I'm saying that's what you want).

Online Oniya

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #58 on: October 16, 2010, 10:09:50 PM »
You take the pill and you're gay and that...what? I...don't understand...That doesn't make sense.

I believe that was supposed to mean that, although Ruby is gay, and would not be able to get pregnant by accident in the normal course of consensual activities, she chooses to take the Pill as a precaution, on the (hopefully) off chance that some sicko rapes her.

Offline Noelle

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #59 on: October 16, 2010, 10:15:30 PM »
Ahaha, it was just worded very strangely, jumping from talking about two different methods of contraception and then listing the pill and being gay. I was very confused!

Offline Trieste

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #60 on: October 16, 2010, 10:17:30 PM »
It's really, really insulting to be preached to about the dangers of sex by people who are in primarily homosexual relationships. If the point of having sex is reproduction, why would two women or two men do it? Oh, right, because it feels good. Which would be the actual primary reason people who are not actively looking to conceive have sex.

So don't even start down that path, please.

It's also not a double standard to prosecute someone who kills a fetus of murder in addition to the mother, any more than it's a double standard to charge someone with assault if they attack her and remove her uterus while it's legal for her to do so. The difference is consent, and it has to do with what's done to another's body with or without their permission.

There seems to be a point missing here: Criminalizing abortion doesn't actually stop abortions from happening. It just makes them more dangerous, and makes a modern medical procedure available only to the affluent, while those who can't afford one on the sly make do with shoving stuff up their vagina or ingesting toxic substances and hoping that those substances are more toxic to the unwanted embryo than they are to the person ingesting them.

Why, why, why would we deny modern medicine to the lower classes deliberately when we've just spent so much frustration and money and time trying to make health care - yes, including abortions - accessible to people who can't afford it? Is it that people who don't share the anti-choice view -  the view that parasitic embryonic tissue is sacred - should be punished with disease, infection, sterility and death? That's not right, man.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2010, 10:24:53 PM by Trieste »

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #61 on: October 16, 2010, 11:14:48 PM »
I completely agree with the "Criminalising-most things-doesn't-stop-them" point. What stops me from stealing or murdering or having carnal knowledge of a cow isn't the fact that it's illegal, but that I think it's wrong. The kind of thing that criminalisation stops me from doing is parking illegally, but that's mostly because I don't want to get a ticket.

I'm far less sanguine 'people will do it anyway' argument, does it apply also to drugs? Criminalising cocaine means that it gets cut with all kind of nasties. If it were legal, it would be safer. The same is true of a number of other really very divisive issues: euthanasia, prostitution, fox hunting, arms dealing, bear-baiting, dwarf-tossing, and so on. Or is abortion 'special'?

Offline Noelle

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #62 on: October 17, 2010, 12:23:33 AM »
Absolutely it applies to drugs. If you'd like to discuss it in-depth, I'd be happy to make a separate thread with my view, but for now, I'll give you the abridged version to stay relevant. Long story slightly shorter? Drugs aren't nearly as dangerous as people make them out to be. Promoting responsible use and providing people with ample information about the drug is the best possible protection you could offer them. Knowledge truly is power. Legalizing drugs allows not only a safer and more controlled end-product, but it also allows a push for people to make more informed decisions, to provide them with safe outlets for their recreation, and to better provide support for those who truly do need help. Not every person caught smoking pot needs NA or has a soul-crushing addiction. We need to save those resources for those who truly do have a problem and focus more of our attention on those people instead.

Anyway, drawing back from that tangent, how does this relate to abortion? Provide women with all possible angles, with all possible knowledge she can have about her choices and she will be more likely to make the best possible decision in the end. It doesn't matter to me whether or not that decision ends up in an abortion, it matters that the option to choose it -- or not choose it at all is there. You can better protect those women who can so easily fall victim to people who are illegally providing potentially questionable and unsanitary forms of abortion. You can better care for those who truly are having emotional struggles over their pregnancy (and potential abortion) rather than forcing those women to stay silent and deal with it on their own. I would say the same of prostitution and euthanasia, as well. It comes back to protecting the people and providing adequate and accurate knowledge instead of letting them rely on hearsay from possibly dangerous places. The more you know, the better your choice will likely be.

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #63 on: October 17, 2010, 07:52:48 AM »
The point I was rather unsuccessfully trying to make is this:

Laws are a method of social control
Laws are enacted by the legislative organ of a state
Laws are therefore what the legislature thinks is right

Thus if a state outlaw abortion or drug use or dwarf tossing it does so in the knowledge that people will continue to have abortions, and that the moral price of accepting abortion is worse than the price of people dying or getting seriously injured.

This is not a value statement, but rather an observation. I personally dislike the attitude; it makes as much sense to me as bombing abortion clinics to save lives. You either have an absolute belief that life is sacred, or you don't.

It's interesting to see that different countries have strongly divergent views on the acceptability of abortion. Different states, different rules. I thought it particularly interesting that former communist countries were much more supportive of the idea apparently - but it's hard to compare the datasets used between the various surveys.

My concern with the 'but they'll do it anyway' approach is that it doesn't answer the question, but rather sidesteps the debate entirely. Basing choices on the lowest common denominator, on pragmatism, or on the right to privacy resulsts in such awkward and unsatisfactory political quick fixes like Wade v Roe.

Offline Jude

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #64 on: October 17, 2010, 10:42:18 AM »
Laws are a method of social control
Laws are enacted by the legislative organ of a state
Laws are therefore what the legislature thinks is right
Part of what I'm going to say will inevitably seem like needless nitpicking and part of it contains my point, so I want to preface my actual argument with this in hopes that you won't be offended by the statements that I make that aren't relevant and may seem needlessly judicious.

Laws are not always enacted by the legislative organ of a state.  In a totalitarian regime they come about by decree or edict, but even in a democracy they can be enacted by ballot initiative that has nothing to do with the legislature.  The purpose of a legislature is to enact laws, so the way you're framing the discussion is a little chicken-before-the-egg.  In the case of a tyrant, laws as passed that serve his or her whims.  Sometimes those whims have an organized philosophy behind them, sometimes they're merely self-serving decrees.  Ironically, despite the act that we live in a representative Democracy, the same can be said of the individual legislators as well.

There are many different philosophies that motivate laws, and morality is not necessarily a basis of all of these points of view.  I personally do not believe that the purpose of law is to mandate that people follow certain rules -- I feel the entire point of morality is negated if every single moral tenet is enacted into law and people are forced to adhere to them like commandments by governmental power -- in fact I don't think morality has anything to do with just law whatsoever.  I am a student of Hobbes.

Without law there is no order, and life becomes an endless series of battles between you and others as you ceaselessly compete for your own selfish interests.  In a system of complete anarchy no one wins because we're all too busy screwing each other over.  All of the good things about civilization (language, literature, technology) are a result of us agreeing upon a set of ground rules that serve as the basis of cooperation and mediation of conflict.  These rules, known as laws, exist to create order wherein mankind can flourish and each individual can pursue their own selfish desires in-as-much as they do not impede on each other's ability to do so.

So, ultimately, I believe the purpose of law is to enshrine and protect the freedom of the individual to determine the course of their own life by limiting the ways that both the cruel circumstances of reality and other human beings can force us to accept outcomes we did not choose by way of force.  Obviously everyone does not agree with me.
Thus if a state outlaw abortion or drug use or dwarf tossing it does so in the knowledge that people will continue to have abortions, and that the moral price of accepting abortion is worse than the price of people dying or getting seriously injured.
I agree that's the choice being made at current by most of our elected officials, and it's not all based on religion either.  There are plenty of moral philosophies that make it clear that abortion is morally repugnant (and of course there are philosophies that disagree with that sentiment too).  Kantian philosophy for example holds that if an action cannot be universalized, then it is not morally right.  Put simply, if every woman got an abortion when they became pregnant the human race would cease to exist, thus a strict Kantian could consider abortion immoral on grounds of pure reason (though that's the problem with Kantian ethics -- it's still ultimately subjective).
This is not a value statement, but rather an observation. I personally dislike the attitude; it makes as much sense to me as bombing abortion clinics to save lives. You either have an absolute belief that life is sacred, or you don't.
You can have a belief that life is sacred and still take life.  People who bomb abortion clinics do so for the same reason that soldiers go off to war -- not that I'm equating the two.  Our soldiers are fighting to protect our liberties and are not misguided in their aims, but the logic used is the same.  If you can end one life to save many others, it makes sense.
It's interesting to see that different countries have strongly divergent views on the acceptability of abortion. Different states, different rules. I thought it particularly interesting that former communist countries were much more supportive of the idea apparently - but it's hard to compare the datasets used between the various surveys.
Not really very surprising.  Communism came loaded with the idea of atheism in many instances, and atheism rejects the notion of a soul.  If you remove the soul from the equation, a fetus really isn't anything special in and of itself.  It's a lot harder to make the jump to outlawing abortion when that's in play -- plus communists greater understand scarcity and making tough decisions for their own sake.  I'm not surprised that they have a keen understanding and appreciation for abortion.
My concern with the 'but they'll do it anyway' approach is that it doesn't answer the question, but rather sidesteps the debate entirely. Basing choices on the lowest common denominator, on pragmatism, or on the right to privacy resulsts in such awkward and unsatisfactory political quick fixes like Wade v Roe.
I agree.  The fact that "they'll do it anyway" is completely irrelevant.  If you believe the purpose of law is to enshrine morality and you believe abortion is immoral, then you're not going to be too troubled by a few women accidentally killing themselves in the process of aborting their children -- after all, they were trying to do something morally repugnant in the first place.

The Roe v Wade privacy ruling was very shaky, quite honestly I think it's absolute nonsense.  Right to privacy has nothing to do with this issue anymore than it does with any other legal issue pertaining to an individual committing criminal acts.  I'm equally annoyed by the "it's my body" argument -- not because it's necessarily false, but it's basically spouting a knee-jerk talking point that often seems completely void of any nuance or actual thought.

However, analyzing the situation from my perspective on law, I think it's pretty clear that abortion should be legal.  In prohibiting it, the government would be requiring women to carry children to term that they do not want.  That is, quite clearly, forcing them to accept a certain existence for nine months of their life that they may not want.  This is not done to protect the interests of another human being ultimately, there is no human in the equation, just a bundle of cells that could eventually be a human.

Now, if you want to treat the fetus like a human being, then lets do so.  Imagine a human being approached a woman and latched onto her, refusing to let go.  Lets say this person demands nourishment, a safe environment in which to stay, and in doing so hurt the complete stranger that they chose to essentially kidnap.  We, as a society, would not tolerate their behavior, even if for some reason the only way that person could survive is by controlling the life of a complete stranger for nine months.  Why should fetuses, that aren't even human, be given special treatment?

You can argue that the person brought it on themself by having sex, and it's true that they opened themself up for pregnancy that way, but you open yourself up for a car accident by getting into your vehicle everyday, fully knowing it could happen, and we still don't tell people:  "You were in a car accident?  Well, deal with it.  You knew the risks."  The comparison is doubly apt because living in our society without a car is difficult, and resisting the temptations of sex is even harder (especially for the younger generations) -- we're wired to fuck against any and all rational impulses.

Offline Doomsday

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #65 on: December 04, 2010, 05:29:26 AM »
Some people do deserve to die, that isn't murder.

That's some harsh judgment you're passing.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #66 on: December 04, 2010, 07:30:55 AM »
Jude, unless incest and rape is the case and those are rare the woman chooses to splay her legs for the man or men and risks pregnancy one then must take prudent measures to not get pregnant. If your in a car driving your expected to pay attention, wear a seatbelt, not be impaired, practice the rules of the road and therefore reduce your risk. You don't do these your likely partially or fully at fault as in your driving and very tired so as to be impaired and hit a tree thats on you.

My parents put me on the Pill young in case I might be raped even though my father taught me how to hurt someone trying that and how to use legally carry weapons. I still take it just in case even though gay because if raped I want no child from it. Even if the case I get pregnant my duty is to the child then to carry the unborn to term then I could adopt it out or raise the child. As a woman one must prepare for that in the worse case and I don't want to consider abortion at all.

In this age there is no reason to have a child if one doesn't want one abortion might have been the only option for many a long time ago, but now there are options.



Offline Jude

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #67 on: December 04, 2010, 09:12:32 AM »
If the pill was 100% effective and provided free of charge, I would agree with you, but it's not.  Just as wearing your seatbelt and taking all of those precautions won't prevent car accidents in extreme circumstances, all of the birth control in the world doesn't always prevent pregnancy.  Abstinence is the equivalent of being a non-driver.

There are definitely some areas you can live in where you don't need to drive.  Big cities, small communities, et cetera -- but in those circumstances you are still relying on other people to drive, so I don't know that the metaphor is at all apt.  Without automobiles to bring us to and from work, move goods about the country, and create networks of connection throughout the country, our lives would be set back hundreds of years.

Choosing abstinence wouldn't have such disastrous consequences, of course, but viewing it as the "solution" to all that ails us fails to take into account the positive things that sex does.  It can bring you closer to another person, it's a great way to relieve stress and also is pretty good exercise.  The risks for many types of cancer decease with frequent sexual activity (and the only ones that increase can be warded off against by administration of HPV, which conservatives are also consequently against) and it's generally a very healthy action.

I'm stepping off the rails of reason for a second here and stating my frank opinion on the subject:  the Christian Right wants the world to view sex as a negative thing.  Their crusade against abortion is really just a thinly veiled attack on sexuality in general.  The possibility of an unwanted child was the final barrier in place that kept people fearful of indulging.  It's not at all surprising that they oppose abortion, it's a get out of jail free card to one of the final "punishments" that keeps their traditional, repressive ideas in place.

I've watched religious conservatives smile as depressing statistics about the danger posed by STDs were read, I've seen them stand outside abortion clinics and yell at women going in as if they were witches from the Puritanical period of early America, and I've seen people weep for the death of unintelligent cellular formations that, scientifically speaking, were not even remotely human.

This is getting out of hand.

Offline Noelle

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #68 on: December 04, 2010, 09:31:57 AM »
Jude, unless incest and rape is the case and those are rare the woman chooses to splay her legs for the man or men and risks pregnancy one then must take prudent measures to not get pregnant. If your in a car driving your expected to pay attention, wear a seatbelt, not be impaired, practice the rules of the road and therefore reduce your risk. You don't do these your likely partially or fully at fault as in your driving and very tired so as to be impaired and hit a tree thats on you.

Slut-shaming doesn't do anything but suggest that those silly women should stop tramping around and getting themselves into these crazy messes! Using words like "choosing to splay her legs" suggests that the man is innocent in his sexuality, but a woman who "chooses to splay her legs" deserves any consequence because she's a loose whore and didn't 'protect her purity'. People "wear their seatbelt" and practice safer sex every single day and still manage to get pregnant. Even the best drivers get into accidents, what do you blame then?

Quote
My parents put me on the Pill young in case I might be raped even though my father taught me how to hurt someone trying that and how to use legally carry weapons. I still take it just in case even though gay because if raped I want no child from it. Even if the case I get pregnant my duty is to the child then to carry the unborn to term then I could adopt it out or raise the child. As a woman one must prepare for that in the worse case and I don't want to consider abortion at all.

Your choice is not everyone's choice. Your "duty" is only self-imposed. Not all women can take the pill, not all women want to take the pill. Using yourself as a paragon of how others should act is a very poor mechanism.

I'm even going to go out on a limb to say that being gay is an especially poor standpoint to judge women who "splay their legs" from considering that neither protected nor unprotected sex for gays has any consequence like pregnancy -- you know, unless you want to just tell homosexuals to suck it up and live with any STDs they contract and never treat them because it's just what happens sometimes when you open your legs for someone.

Quote
In this age there is no reason to have a child if one doesn't want one abortion might have been the only option for many a long time ago, but now there are options.

There has been no better or safer time for abortion than now. I am going to argue that previously, abortion really wasn't the option it was today, given that the methods were far more unreliable and more likely to end in death for both parties, as well as the fact that it was much more heavily socially stigmatized. Abortion has NEVER been a woman's only option, that's absurd, and nobody here is arguing that it SHOULD be the only alternative.

In this day and age, there is no reason to have a child if one doesn't want, and that's why abortion is available along side birth control, because for straight people (and gay women who are raped, I guess), there is no guaranteed safe sex.

Offline Serephino

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #69 on: December 04, 2010, 08:35:54 PM »
I sort of agree with Ruby, and am not Christian.  I know that birth control isn't 100% effective, and both parties know that when choosing to have sex.  Sex isn't bad, but if you are a heterosexual, pregnancy is a possible outcome.  What is so horrible about personal responsibility? 

I dated women, but never had sex with them for that very reason.  When thinking about it, that was one of the first things that came to mind.  If she ends up pregnant, is this someone I want to be tied to for the rest of my life?  The answer was always no, so I kept it in my pants.

My thought is, if you're going to have sex, be as careful as you can be.  There is clocking (which is similar to the rhythm method, but more involved and has a much higher success rate as a form of pregnancy prevention), birth control, condoms, female condoms, spermicide....  I educated myself well, because no, I don't think men are without responsibility. 

If you do get pregnant despite your best efforts, and you really can't care for the child, there is always adoption.  Just getting rid of it seems so cold...

Offline Noelle

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #70 on: December 04, 2010, 09:28:41 PM »
I utterly fail to see how having an abortion is synonymous with a lack of personal responsibility. A lack of personal responsibility is having unprotected sex and using abortion as your main go-to birth control. A lack of personal responsibility is a teenager who hits somebody else's car and then drives away, or someone who gets caught smoking pot and tries to make excuses, or someone who a kid who's only sorry they got caught. Pulling the bar back and saying that using protection is responsible but having an abortion if that fails is a lack thereof simply does not follow. Using your own personal accounts of abstinence or protection or what-have-you as an expectation of how others should behave does not work on a realistic scale.

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #71 on: December 04, 2010, 10:25:25 PM »
Quote
Now, if you want to treat the fetus like a human being, then lets do so.  Imagine a human being approached a woman and latched onto her, refusing to let go.  Lets say this person demands nourishment, a safe environment in which to stay, and in doing so hurt the complete stranger that they chose to essentially kidnap.  We, as a society, would not tolerate their behavior, even if for some reason the only way that person could survive is by controlling the life of a complete stranger for nine months.  Why should fetuses, that aren't even human, be given special treatment?

How do you define human-ness? I would suggest that, on a genetic level, that a fetus is absolutely human. It is the production of two humans, and will result in another human. How could that not be human? At what point is human-hood conferred?

Birth? That's kind of arbitrary. You're saying that it's not a human when it's inside its mother but then at the first moment that it has contact with atmospheric oxygen then it is human?

How about this way - we put it in terms of functional capacity to live! Yes, this seems objective. We could say that if it doesn't have functional lungs it isn't human. Ah. Right. Patients with lung cancer suddenly stop being people. Or maybe we could put it in terms of brain function. Ooops - there go the coma patients.

There are different expectations of what and how humans should act at different stages of their development. Peeing yourself and falling asleep in public is only acceptable for the very young and the very old. You don't, for example, give 7 year olds the right to vote.
And to equate pregnancy as assault? Come on. There's no equivalent or analogy to pregnancy. It's not cancer, or a male who's sick or anything else. It's a unique status that only effects females. Any argument by analogy is therefore going to be utterly and gloriously irrelevent!

To use another selective, useless, and utterly biased analogy:

I go out to a pub, and meet someone. I get talking, and we become friends - and even add him or her on facebook. Then a few weeks later I discover that I don't actually want to be friends with him! I therefore have him shot.

This isn't an objective, detached judgment that one can make. It's a purely subjective decision based on personal preference. I think that abortion before 24ish weeks is acceptable, and after not. This is utterly arbitrary, and I base it purely on the idea that at 24 weeks it's vaguely capable of being born alive and being supported by additional means. I would apply this to all humans though - if a human being is too damaged, too immature, too undeveloped, too old to live without a technical crutch then I'm quite happy to let it die.

There is no amount of pictures of dialation and curetage pictures, the silent scream, and all that will convince me otherwise. There is no amount of bra-burning placard-waving human rights speak that will convince me to shift my view in the other direction. This is a personal moral choice. As such, it cannot be wrong if it is come to personally. What may be right for me now is not necessarily the same as what is right for you, or indeed me in the future. There is no such thing as objective scientific truth in such matters - positivism tried to prove this, but now we've got scientific realism that recongises the cultural embeddedness of knowledge.

So yes, wave hands and make wild and inflamatory statements. It won't bring us any closer to a dialectic synthesis - it'll just leave us more entrenched and firmly convinced that I Am Right And You Are Wrong.

As a purely intellectual exercise, the Abortion-as-lack-of-responsibility would run along the following lines I suspect:
All birth control measures are a gamble - the 'win' is pleasure, the 'lose' is parenthood. If you lack the personal moral fibre to pay up if you lose, then you'd better stick to masturbation or oral.


Offline Zakharra

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #72 on: December 04, 2010, 10:30:37 PM »
 Then I am very glad you are not able to make the laws, Mystictiger.

  No woman should ever be forced to carry a fetus she doesn't want to.  To force a woman to carry one full term, birth it and then either care for it or give it up for adoption is foolish and uncaring. Untill that  fecut is born it is a potential human. It is not a human until that moment.  Nature aborts a hell of alot of pregnancies on it's own.

 You would force a woman to bear the child though? Pregnancy puts a huge strain on a woman's body during and afterward. It's not an easy thing you are wantng to inflict upon women.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 10:38:52 PM by Zakharra »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #73 on: December 04, 2010, 10:36:43 PM »
Then I am very glad you are not able to make the laws, Mystictiger.

+1.

I know of three people who had abortions, that have admitted to me. None of the three of them felt that it was a decision entered into lightly. They, for the most part, didn't explain all their reasoning for doing so but none of them were doing cartwheels afterward.

Even the girl who did it for purely medical reasons hated doing it, but she had to go through it. She spent months in therapy battling the depression from doing it and dealing with the fears she might NEVER be able to carry a child to term.

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #74 on: December 04, 2010, 10:38:57 PM »
Quote
You would force a woman to bear the child though? Pregnancy puts a huge strain on a woman's body during and afterward. It's not an easy thing you are wantng to inflict upon women.

Er. No. Where did I say that? Which part of 'before 24 weeks is fine' suggest this?

Quote
No woman should ever be forced to carry a fetus she doesn't want to.  To force a woman to carry one full term, birth it and then either care for it or give it up for adoption is foolish and uncaring. Untill that  fecut is born it is a potential human. It is not a human until that moment.  Nature aborts a hell of alot of pregnancies on it's own.

So you should be allowed to abort a pre-human up to the point that contractions start?!


Quote
Then I am very glad you are not able to make the laws, Mystictiger.
Well, actually as a voter in a democracy I can make laws.

And guess what? Democracies tend to choose to allow abortion up to... 24 weeks - this relfects the point at which assisted life is possible
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 10:44:58 PM by mystictiger »

Offline Zakharra

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #75 on: December 04, 2010, 10:58:17 PM »
 No. You can vote for people to send to Congress or state legislature to make laws. I do not believe all states allow the voters to directly vote on laws, bypassing the legislature. This is not a pure democracy. Each democracy type makes it's own choices and right now, in several states, abortion is legal up to the day of birth. LEGAL.

Offline Zakharra

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #76 on: December 04, 2010, 11:01:17 PM »
Er. No. Where did I say that? Which part of 'before 24 weeks is fine' suggest this?

  I was being very clear.. PREGNANCY. Full term, puts a huge strain on a woman's body. Not just part of a pregnancy, but the entire thing from conception to birth and afterward is a strain and exercise in pain no man will ever know. Men get off easy. 

Offline Trieste

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #77 on: December 04, 2010, 11:02:25 PM »
Sigh.

"She shouldn't splay her legs."

"If you don't want to have a child, don't have sex."

These are frustratingly sex-negative comments that, once again, demonize the decision to have sex. To choose to engage in sex for something other than procreation. To enjoy it. If you choose to have sex, you deserve what you get.

When did a child become a punishment?

Why is having kids become a 'consequence' used to deter people from having sex? The irony is that I see the same people lamenting the lack of good parenting skills in the world. Why? You want to force people to have children they don't want.

It's yet another symptom of the moral arguments that anti-choice folks like to base their arguments on. It's as if some folks just can't stand the idea of other folks having guilt-free casual sex. There has to be limits. Others' morality has no place in my sex life, and it's none of anyone's damn business what I do with my vag, or my uterus. It's nobody else's business how much I'm having sex, and it's nobody's business but my doctors' how I go about dealing with the consequences. There is no reason to force more unwanted children into the world when we already have so many people that we are straining our planet's resources. Not only is it irresponsible, it's moronic and vengeful.

It is nobody's right to determine the right of another person to make use of medical technology to better their own lives - even if the first person is the one footing the bill. Get your own uterus, and then you can rule that with your damn moralistic iron fist.

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #78 on: December 04, 2010, 11:18:40 PM »
I would broadly agree with Trieste except for one thing:

Quote
It is nobody's right to determine the right of another person to make use of medical technology to better their own lives - even if the first person is the one footing the bill. Get your own uterus, and then you can rule that with your damn moralistic iron fist.

Where taxes are paid to provide that medical technology (such as those of us who live under the Death Panels / NHS), there should be some limit placed on consensus. I say 'should' because my taxes have gone to support armed conflicts in at least two countries. I don't want 70 yearolds to receive IVF, or smokers to receive new lungs - there is only a limited supply of money to go around, and I'd rather it went to the deserving sick.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that access to medical technology is right. It's a privilege.

Having said that, if you haven't worked out that you're patient by Week 24 then you're probably not going to make an ideal parent anyway.

This is why I'm glad to have male plumbing - I can pee standing up and I don't have to worry about such matters!
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 11:24:18 PM by mystictiger »

Offline Trieste

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #79 on: December 04, 2010, 11:30:24 PM »
Of course you have to worry about such matters; it just took them longer (ridiculously, inexcusably so) to come up with birth control that works with your plumbing.

Edit: The above line is addressing mystic up there, but hereafter the 'you's are meant to be generic. Sorry about that.

And to be honest, if you don't think that smokers are 'deserving', then I suggest you work to make smoking illegal. Not to be snippy, but either make something legal or don't; this paternalistic crap about how smokers are a pathetic breed who don't deserve medical treatment because they are making use of a legal substance that happens to also be a popular source of tax money is also inexcusable in my book. Either accept that other adults are not going to make the same choices as you are, or come out and criminalize cigarettes.

Given the taxes on tobacco, it's a) unlikely that it will be made illegal and b) quite likely that your hypothetical smoker has paid quite enough for his new lung already.

I could go on for hours on that topic (say, diabetics who don't take their meds? Sun-worshipers who develop cancer? I'm sure you get my drift) but it's off-topic for the thread, so getting back to the point: abortion is a legal medical procedure, and should certainly not be made illegal for moral reasons that are not shared by everyone. The legalization of abortion has been tied to drops in crime rates, and lower mortality of both infants and women.

Infants because 'mothers' who would otherwise have been drugged out through the entire pregnancy are now able to just abort safely and be done with it.

Women because you don't have young girls going to get their reproductive organs mangled with rusty, unclean instruments.

It is obviously a benefit to our greater society to keep it legal.

I can understand being against getting an abortion for oneself. I can respect that. It's cool. I myself would probably not get one if I found myself pregnant, despite being vehemently child-free. However, it is unacceptable and the epitome of hubris to try to impress my morality on another person. It is not acceptable to try to do so. It should absolutely be a choice made between a woman and her doctor, and possibly the father of the baby. It should not be an option for anyone else to be involved, and certainly not some overpaid, underhanded politician that spends most of his time across the country in a cushy D.C. apartment, surrounded by rent boys and yes-men.

Harrumph.

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #80 on: December 04, 2010, 11:55:10 PM »
Quote
Of course you have to worry about such matters; it just took them longer (ridiculously, inexcusably so) to come up with birth control that works with your plumbing.

Edit: The above line is addressing mystic up there, but hereafter the 'you's are meant to be generic. Sorry about that.

Contraception isn't the same thing as abortion. There's nothing that I could take that would induce an abortion. I'm all for contraception. :P

Quote
And to be honest, if you don't think that smokers are 'deserving', then I suggest you work to make smoking illegal. Not to be snippy, but either make something legal or don't; this paternalistic crap about how smokers are a pathetic breed who don't deserve medical treatment because they are making use of a legal substance that happens to also be a popular source of tax money is also inexcusable in my book.

In the event that healthcare funding was infinite, then yes, spread the love.

When it isn't, I think a degree prioritisation is necessary. If I had the choice of giving a donor heart to a 20 year old or a 50 year old - and I had just the one heart - I'd give it to the 20 year old. I don't have particularly high moral horse on this issue, but rather a small budget.

Quote
It is obviously a benefit to our greater society to keep it legal.

Absolutely. Making something legal doesn't mean making it a right.

I suspect the difference in our positions is down to the meaning of the word 'right'. I do not believe that any patient has a 'right' to receive medical treatment. To me, the idea of having a 'right' is something you demand from the state, or forbids the state from doing. It is clear that there are two types of interaction - positive (in the sense that the state must do something) and negative (the state must refrain from doing something). Negative rights are, to my mind, the only thing that deserves to be called a Right, in that negative rights are real and legal and enforceable. By contrast, the postive goals tend to be aspirational.

If I am lying bleeding on the ground, I don't have a right to treatment. The state can't make me better by refraining to act. Rather, the state has to do something to make me better.

Why does this distinction matter? It's a question of legal theory in the end - if you want a coherent idea of what a right is, then the word 'right' has to include property and ownership. I can only own a defined and distinct thing (for example, a house). You cannot complete a positive goal. You can never be completely and forever healthy.

This doesn't mean that I think people should be left to die. I think the state has an obligation to treat them, but if they die then I haven't breached any human rights in not being able to cure them.

Again, coherence with the rest of the legal system is important to me. Up to 24 weeks? By all means. Abort away. After 24 weeks, the fetus is viable. You should therefore apply the same standards to any other form of human existence. We therefore end up with fairly strong protection to all people who require technological assistance to live. I wouldn't want a coma patient's life support to be turned off merely because it's cheaper to do that than to reduce hospital bureaucracy. Again, protected doesn't mean immune - if you want to do something to get past these protectiones, then you have to have a good reason. "Because I feel like it" is insufficient. Because it will cause suffering, pain, or will be disproportionate? That's a reason.

Offline Alsheriam

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #81 on: December 05, 2010, 06:07:17 PM »
Looking at this debate and watching the video could only once again remind me of the reason I made the decision to categorically reject religion. Looking back to my earlier formative years of being a froth-in-the-mouth Baptist, I could only be horrified at the kind of person I was: arrogant, racist, ignorant, close-minded, intolerant, selfish, all too eager to impose my views and worldview onto another person, and unthinking of the feelings of those of other religions.

Thank goodness I no longer partake in this opiate. I've been better off without it.

Offline Peachie

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #82 on: December 05, 2010, 06:10:31 PM »
Quote
I can understand being against getting an abortion for oneself. I can respect that. It's cool. I myself would probably not get one if I found myself pregnant, despite being vehemently child-free. However, it is unacceptable and the epitome of hubris to try to impress my morality on another person. It is not acceptable to try to do so. It should absolutely be a choice made between a woman and her doctor, and possibly the father of the baby. It should not be an option for anyone else to be involved, and certainly not some overpaid, underhanded politician that spends most of his time across the country in a cushy D.C. apartment, surrounded by rent boys and yes-men.

Agreed 100%. Just saying...

Online Oniya

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #83 on: December 05, 2010, 06:18:25 PM »
Looking at this debate and watching the video could only once again remind me of the reason I made the decision to categorically reject religion. Looking back to my earlier formative years of being a froth-in-the-mouth Baptist, I could only be horrified at the kind of person I was: arrogant, racist, ignorant, close-minded, intolerant, selfish, all too eager to impose my views and worldview onto another person, and unthinking of the feelings of those of other religions.

Thank goodness I no longer partake in this opiate. I've been better off without it.

Religion does not mandate intolerance, nor is it the only source thereof.

Offline Alsheriam

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #84 on: December 05, 2010, 08:22:13 PM »
Religion does not mandate intolerance, nor is it the only source thereof.

I was constantly instructed by my parents and church during my childhood that the other Asian races we lived with in Singapore (predominantly Muslim Malays, Hindu/Muslim Indians) were inferior and disgusting because they did not worship God. We Chinese are far more capable and potent at intolerance than Caucasians, and I can confidently assert that if given the opportunity, the Chinese can make the Klan look like a tea party in comparison. They constantly quoted from the Bible, talking about how God instructed the faithful to crush all false idols, and how Moses acted towards the worship of the golden calf at Mt. Sinai and how we should all act like Moses in that regard.

That prompted me as a child to disrespectfully kick over the miniature altars of other people's religions.

If that isn't a case of religion eagerly giving out the mandate for intolerance, then.. *shrugs*

Online Oniya

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #85 on: December 05, 2010, 08:41:23 PM »
I did not say that your religious upbringing and cultural background did not result in a period of intolerance, only that religion in general does not necessitate intolerance.  As an example, Unitarian Universalists are remarkably welcoming of other faiths, beliefs, and lifestyles.  I've seen a devout Roman Catholic sit shoulder to shoulder with an equally devout Pagan and the only argument was over the last crescent roll.  I have also seen people who espouse no religious affiliation at all who are remarkably intolerant. 

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation.

Offline Trieste

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #86 on: December 05, 2010, 08:42:04 PM »
We Chinese are far more capable and potent at intolerance than Caucasians

Not to be difficult, but how is this not indulging in racism? :P

Offline Alsheriam

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #87 on: December 05, 2010, 08:49:30 PM »
Not to be difficult, but how is this not indulging in racism? :P

It's not so much of indulging in racism but more of a frank statement of an observation I've made of my own race. Fortunately, I decided to educate myself proper and consider myself colorblind, but that isn't the case for the vast majority of the Chinese people.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #88 on: December 05, 2010, 08:53:59 PM »
Not to be difficult, but can this stop being about Alsheriam's irrelevant personal anecdotes and maybe drift back towards topic? :P

If we must make glaring generalizations on the nature of religion perhaps it could be relevant to religion's positions on abortion? Also might be nice to stop using the word religion as a synonym for Christianity, but maybe that is asking too much...

Offline Trieste

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #89 on: December 05, 2010, 08:56:17 PM »
Oh, don't be prickly. <3

Offline Alsheriam

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #90 on: December 05, 2010, 09:00:26 PM »
Unfortunately it's the Judeo-Christian and Islamic brands of 'religion' that have been causing the most amount of trouble in societies all over, so it's rather inevitable to use 'religion' as a synonym for 'Christianity'.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #91 on: December 05, 2010, 09:21:20 PM »
Wouldn't it then make more sense to let 'religion' refer the all three?

Regardless, as Oniya's inclusion of Wiccans and the UUs shows that what wasn't the definition she was working under. I just think that unless we're talking with the same terms, we're going to be talking at cross purposes. I'm not often going to speak up in favor of religion, and oh boy can I tell all sorts of disturbing stories of my childhood in both Baptists, Catholic, and non-denominational Protestant communities...I just am not sure that it is relevant to a larger discussion of the attitudes of the religious (and I mean that universally) on abortion.

I'm not a fan of generalization without data.

EDIT: Although, that said we can certainly say that we personally have had bad experiences with Christianity, and that the video in the OP is repugnant and filled with specious claims.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 09:31:23 PM by DarklingAlice »

Offline Trieste

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #92 on: December 05, 2010, 10:15:49 PM »
Had forgotten that there was a video in the OP that I was unable to watch when it was posted due to being at school.

She certainly has a high opinion of herself. She's nothing more than a real-life troll. I find her statements offensive and arrogant, especially since she's standing there denouncing everyone else's arrogance. She's a hypocrite, intentional or no. I don't find her well-spoken or amazing at all.

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #93 on: December 06, 2010, 07:32:26 AM »
I very much doubt that many of us here are in her 'target audience'.

I understand that the meeting she was addressing was a pro-life rally. This context is important - she's not trying to convince people, but to reaffirm them. If you don't buy her central premise, you're necessarily going to find her irritating and dull. Kind of like going to watch baseball if you're a cricket fan.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #94 on: December 06, 2010, 07:41:34 AM »
Unfortunately it's the Judeo-Christian and Islamic brands of 'religion' that have been causing the most amount of trouble in societies all over, so it's rather inevitable to use 'religion' as a synonym for 'Christianity'.

I'm going to take a stab in the dark and presume Muslims and Jews would disagree with that generalization, and vehemently so.

Offline Noelle

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #95 on: December 06, 2010, 10:32:12 AM »
As would every other religion in the world, I'm sure, but we're not talking about what's technically politically correct, we're talking about colloquial usage, which is a whole different monster, and besides that, discussing why it's not fair to use Christianity and religion interchangeably isn't really on-topic.

Mystictiger has a point here, too; she was mostly just preaching to the choir, but I do find it sad that instead of being able to make her point intelligently and logically, that instead she resorts to emotional blackmail and indirect shaming on women like her mother, painting them to be sad, hollow people. Both sides are guilty of such tactics, and especially so when they're talking to others in their following.

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #96 on: December 06, 2010, 03:01:26 PM »
Again, you tailor your message to your audience. The kind of people that I have met at pro-life groups don't do so from a logical and considered appreciation of the facts, but rather a visceral reaction to it.

Why attend meetings? Because this is an issue that I sit on the fence about. It was interesting to see the kind of rhetoric deployed by both sides.

The pro-choice group meeting at the University was full of a discourse of human rights, and of the importance of women's rights against the 'malestream' whilst the people at the various clinics described it in much more mechanical, biological terms. By contrast, the pro-life group at a local catholic church described it purely as a question of morality, while the non-religious university society put it in again in terms of human rights.

Both sides are of course going to frame the debate in words, phrases, and terms that best suit their agenda. People call themselves 'pro-choice' not 'pro-feticide' or 'anti-life'.

I suspect that it would be a very small minority of people who would attend a 'non-spinned' portrayal of this debate. The closest I actually found were the medics who performed the procedure.

Online Oniya

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #97 on: December 06, 2010, 03:30:56 PM »
Unless there's a 'zero-population growth' group out there like there is in China, I don't know of any people out there saying that women must have abortions, in the same way that the pro-life crowd says that women must not have abortions.  The opponents to the pro-life crowd say that the decision should be up to the mother or parents involved (a rapist is not a parent, and therefore does not deserve a say), not some outside regulatory group.

Offline Alsheriam

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #98 on: December 06, 2010, 08:03:31 PM »
I'm going to take a stab in the dark and presume Muslims and Jews would disagree with that generalization, and vehemently so.

*glances at the two millennia of mutual hate in the Middle East, then looks once more at the explosions of terrorism perpetrated by adherents to both sides*

Really?

I live in a country where coexisting with people of every other creed is a fact of life. I took part in an operation where I had to chase after an escaped terrorist ringleader with fellow Malay Muslim conscripts and I'd trust them to watch my back any day if I ever had to be called up for emergency reservist duty. Frank discussions with these lifelong friends of mine yielded admissions from that the conflict between those two religions has been largely unproductive to society at large, and the only reason they remain adhering to Islam is because apostasy (renouncing oneself's own religion) is widely reviled in the Malay community and will get them thrown out of their houses and disowned by their entire families.

This isn't any different in Muslim communities in other countries, such as Moroccan Muslims in the Netherlands, where I was told by an exchange student who hung out here that she was banned from seeing other boys, listening to any kind of music and many other things we take for granted as normal till she was 20, ran away from home and decided to renounce Islam.

But I digress. This thread is about abortion after all. I hold a very dim view of people who oppose abortion based on religious or emotivist reasons, who have no other reference of knowledge other than the bible and quote incessantly from it and expect educated people to take them seriously.

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #99 on: December 06, 2010, 08:09:35 PM »
Yes, while there have been some meanderings, please try to keep it on topic.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #100 on: December 07, 2010, 08:17:55 AM »
*glances at the two millennia of mutual hate in the Middle East, then looks once more at the explosions of terrorism perpetrated by adherents to both sides*

Really?

I was referring to your generalization, the lumping together the three under the umbrella of Christianity, not their ability in some parts of the world to coexist. I'm pretty sure a Muslim or Jew doesn't consider themselves generally Christian.

But on topic, the support of abortion as a tenable option has less to do with some kind of altruistic belief in personal liberty and choice, then it does with society's five minute attention span. Take a pill to make me thin, change the channel on the television, abort this inconvenient fetus/baby, it's all the same these days. No one wants to take responsibility for their choices and decisions. There are always exceptions the rule, of course, I wouldn't deny an abortion to a rape victim or if the life of a mother were in danger. But laws shouldn't be based on exceptions, but rather the rule. Murder for example (not comparing to abortion) is always illegal, unless it happens as a result of self defense, in which case it isn't murder.

On the list of options given when faced with an unexpected, unwanted pregnancy, I can only hope abortion isn't at the top of the list, hopefully no where near the top.

Additionally, one need not come from a religious point of view to find abortion disagreeable. Religion doesn't have the market cornered on morals and values.

These are my personal beliefs. If you or anyone else reading them disagree with them, then they are not your beliefs. You're welcome to your own, as I am mine.

Offline Noelle

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #101 on: December 07, 2010, 09:54:10 AM »
Five-minute attention span? If by five-minute attention span you mean thousands of years of people ingesting herbs, consuming mass amounts of pure vitamin C, poking things up into their womb, flushing the womb with boiling water or Coke or whatever the product of the moment is, and trying rigorous massage externally for centuries, then you'd be a lot more accurate. Apparently the ancient Greeks and Romans found abortion to be acceptable, but what have they ever done for us, right? It wasn't until the Church made its debut as a force that they began putting the banhammer on it.

And if by "five-minute attention span" you mean a huge issue that became a rallying point during second-wave feminism as women fought for more sexual equality and control over her body including issues of birth control, then that would also be more correct to say. There are loads and loads written on the issue of reproductive rights and why they are important to establish and maintain a healthy and happy population that I think it would adequately indicate that there's quite a bit more to this than simply some recent cultural fad for instant gratification. If that were the case, I imagine abortion rates would be quite a bit higher than what they are now.

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #102 on: December 07, 2010, 10:26:33 AM »
Quote
Apparently the ancient Greeks and Romans found abortion to be acceptable, but what have they ever done for us, right? It wasn't until the Church made its debut as a force that they began putting the banhammer on it.

Both cultures also practiced infanticide.

From the Hippocratic oath:
"I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion."

Offline Trieste

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #103 on: December 07, 2010, 10:29:45 AM »
There are quite a few references in the Hippocratic Oath that make reference to when docs still made house calls, too. >.> Specifics don't much help.

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #104 on: December 07, 2010, 11:04:19 AM »
The point is that abortion the Graeco-Roman tradition was not one of abortion left right and centre. This was an interesting source. The idea that the wicked and bad patriarchy of the Church came along to oppress women is irritating and inaccurate. There have always been abortions, but they've not always been welcomed or accepted, nor have they always been frowned upon.

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #105 on: December 07, 2010, 11:11:56 AM »
I see now what you were getting at. The previous post did not convey the point as effectively - or if it did, I missed it.

Offline Noelle

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #106 on: December 07, 2010, 12:24:03 PM »
I wasn't aware of the line in the Hippocratic Oath, but I did do a little quick search and found the Wikipedia article to make a few interesting references.

Quote
The Oath forbids the use of pessaries (vaginal suppositories) to induce abortion. Modern scholarship suggests that pessaries were banned because they were reported to cause vaginal ulcers.

Of course, there are interpretations that take it to mean not to practice abortion in general as more of a moralistic issue, but there's also this:

Quote
Regardless of the Oath's interpretaion, Hippocrates writes of advising a prostitute who became pregnant to jump up and down, touching her buttocks with her heels at each leap, so as to induce miscarriage.[14] Other writings attributed to him describe instruments fashioned to dilate the cervix and curette inside of the uterus.

Here's the section I'm curious to do a little more looking into -- certainly it blurs the line of moral ambiguity just a bit more for largely pre-Christian times:

Quote
Prehistory to 5th century

Abortion was a common practice. Evidence suggests that late-term abortions were performed in a number of cultures. In Greece, the Stoics believed the fetus to be plantlike in nature, and not an animal until the moment of birth, when it finally breathed air. They therefore found abortion morally acceptable.

...

In Rome, abortion was practiced "with little or no sense of shame."[58] There were also opposing voices, most notably Hippocrates of Cos and the Roman Emperor Augustus. Aristotle wrote that, "[T]he line between lawful and unlawful abortion will be marked by the fact of having sensation and being alive."[59] In contrast to their pagan environment, Christians generally shunned abortion, drawing upon early Christian writings such as the Didache (c. 150 A.D.), which says: "…do not murder a child by abortion or kill a new-born infant."[60] Saint Augustine believed that abortion of a fetus animatus, a fetus with human limbs and shape, was murder. However, his beliefs on earlier-stage abortion were similar to Aristotle's,[61] though he could neither deny nor affirm whether such unformed fetuses would be resurrected as full people at the time of the second coming.[62]

    * "Now who is there that is not rather disposed to think that unformed abortions perish, like seeds that have never fructified?"[21]
    * "And therefore the following question may be very carefully inquired into and discussed by learned men, though I do not know whether it is in man's power to resolve it: At what time the infant begins to live in the womb: whether life exists in a latent form before it manifests itself in the motions of the living being. To deny that the young who are cut out limb by limb from the womb, lest if they were left there dead the mother should die too, have never been alive, seems too audacious."[63]


The real point, however, is that Zamdrist's assessment of the situation being a current "instant fix" fad is grossly inaccurate and suggests that it's just some superficial trend. On the contrary, abortion has been sought as a necessity for women regardless of what times they lived in, unless you'd also like to argue that women in the 5th century were also just after a pill to cure everything. Waving it off with one hand and suggesting that women who seek abortions are too lazy or immature to handle the responsibility of pregnancy is incredibly demeaning and short-sighted.

Offline Serephino

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #107 on: December 07, 2010, 08:30:07 PM »
So because women in ancient cultures did it, we should allow it too?  Aren't we supposed to be more evolved and enlightened?  The Spartans took infants who they thought weren't strong and left them on a hillside to die.  So shall we then take infants with something wrong with them and throw them out on the sidewalk?  The non Christian Spartans did it...

Yes, abortion has been around for a long time, but that doesn't make it right.  I am completely against late term abortions.  Earlier on, I'm not so sure.  Would it be so horrible to give women a deadline to decide?  That kind of compromise I could live with. 

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #108 on: December 07, 2010, 08:33:19 PM »
Why on earth should you be permitted to tell someone else what to do with their body?

Are you a doctor?

Are you a relative?

Is it your child?

Unless the answer to one of these questions is yes, you've got no claim. None at all. That's pretty much the basis of the division, right there.

Online Oniya

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #109 on: December 07, 2010, 08:51:33 PM »
Aye - after all, as has been pointed out before, the option to carry a child to term is also a choice.  So is the decision to keep it or put it up for adoption.  I've made those choices (to carry and to keep), and all that I would ask is that every other woman out there has the option to make the choices for herself.

Offline Jude

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #110 on: December 07, 2010, 08:53:41 PM »
Why on earth should you be permitted to tell someone else what to do with their body?
I don't see that argument as particularly persuasive unless you're for legalized drug use of all kinds including heroine, suicide, and selling of organs.  Certainly in the sort of legal tradition we've developed as a society, passing laws that regulate abortion isn't out of the norm.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 08:58:09 PM by Jude »

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #111 on: December 07, 2010, 09:01:34 PM »
Actually, my beliefs in other aspects of society don't really give you a claim on my uterus. Not to be dramatic, but the best analogue I can think of right now (after about 96 hours of grueling physics computations and lab reports :P) is that saying "Yes" at first to sex and then changing your mind to "no" a few minutes later doesn't invalidate either decision. You're allowed to change your mind, you're allowed to have varying thresholds on issues, and you're allowed to think that some things are sacrosanct while others are not.

I believe that heroin, morphine, cocaine, and other various recreational drugs should be standardized and legalized, and administered in clean centers by licensed professionals.

I think that the decision to end a life is the same as the decision to end a pregnancy - best left between doctor and patient.

I think that, if you want to sell a kidney to pay for college, then you should be able to - although you shouldn't have to. It's your kidney.

Now would you address the topic without throwing up straw men, please? :P

Offline Noelle

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #112 on: December 07, 2010, 11:13:50 PM »
So because women in ancient cultures did it, we should allow it too?  Aren't we supposed to be more evolved and enlightened?  The Spartans took infants who they thought weren't strong and left them on a hillside to die.  So shall we then take infants with something wrong with them and throw them out on the sidewalk?  The non Christian Spartans did it...

You've completely missed the point and context of why I pulled up that bit of historical significance. No, I did not mention anywhere that because X group did it, that's a green light for us, that's a shoddy argument, at best. I mentioned Greeks/Romans in the context of Zamdrist's assessment of the need for abortions being just another fad comparable to diet pills in an age of instant gratification in order to show that it's something that's been going on for a very long time - so the assumption of women wanting abortions just being fickle, immature, and irresponsible isn't really all it's cracked up to be unless, as I said, you're willing to argue that mysteriously the ancient Greeks were living in an instant-fix culture, as well, in which case I wish you the best of luck in defending.

Otherwise we really don't disagree in terms of the 'compromise' of abortion -- I'm not okay with late-term abortions except in medically necessary cases. I have a very firm belief in reproductive rights, as defined by the WHO:

Quote
Reproductive rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. They also include the right of all to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence.

This is basic stuff, just take a look at underdeveloped nations that don't practice any form of reproductive rights and see how socially, personally, and economically well-off their women are. Just see where their women stand in society and just how equal they are. I don't believe this is directly comparable to an ongoing debate over abortion in the US, I am hardly suggesting that the US is in danger of collapsing into a third-world standard of treatment towards women, but I do believe that essentially forcing someone to reproduce is atrocious. If the World Health Organization is striving to give people the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health, then failing our women by forcing them to give birth or to herd them back to dangerous and potentially destructive means in order to eliminate a baby they can't or don't want to care for is immediately detrimental to the well-being of not just these women, but your average functioning, productive, and healthy society.

Offline Jude

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #113 on: December 08, 2010, 01:49:58 PM »
Actually, my beliefs in other aspects of society don't really give you a claim on my uterus. Not to be dramatic, but the best analogue I can think of right now (after about 96 hours of grueling physics computations and lab reports :P) is that saying "Yes" at first to sex and then changing your mind to "no" a few minutes later doesn't invalidate either decision. You're allowed to change your mind, you're allowed to have varying thresholds on issues, and you're allowed to think that some things are sacrosanct while others are not.
Right, but if you justify one particular action on the basis of a fundamental principle such as "I should have ultimate domain over my own body" you can't invoke the principle in one area and not in others.  That's hypocrisy.
I believe that heroin, morphine, cocaine, and other various recreational drugs should be standardized and legalized, and administered in clean centers by licensed professionals.
What about other sorts of drugs?  Prescription medicines for example -- if you believe you have ultimate domain over your body, then what right does the government have to stop people from abusing any substance they like?
I think that the decision to end a life is the same as the decision to end a pregnancy - best left between doctor and patient.

I think that, if you want to sell a kidney to pay for college, then you should be able to - although you shouldn't have to. It's your kidney.
There are all sorts of dangerous outcomes when you start letting people sell organs.  It may make sense from a purely principled "it's my body" perspective, but the unintentional outcomes can be far reaching.  This is true for everything, even abortion.
Now would you address the topic without throwing up straw men, please? :P
I was addressing the topic in questioning the principle you evoked as the basis for your opposition to abortion legislation.  And it would only be a straw man if I substituted your proposition for another proposition as misdirection, that is the definition of straw man.  I merely drew other logical conclusions from the principle you stated as a way to express that if you believe in that underlying principle, you have to accept the rest that comes with it too.

As for the part of my point you didn't address, in making the comment I did about the legal traditions of the United States, my point was that we already have laws that govern the way people treat their own bodies.  It's relevant to discussion because it just goes to show how utterly baseless the overturning of Roe v Wade was when nothing happened subsequently to all the drug laws on the books.

I'm for abortion remaining legal, but I think it's still important to make the distinct between varying justifications of that position.  The "it's my body" argument is a classic knee-jerk feminist response to the situation (not that I am implying you are a feminist so much as claiming it's the sacrosanct principle preached by feminists in response) that flies in the face of many positions held on issues like prostitution by many feminists.  I'm not saying that you're in that group -- you see it would be a straw man if I specifically conflated you with any of these contradictions I pointed out by placing in any category which I have not done -- I'm merely discussing the complication and hypocrisy of the issue.

That's what gets me about abortion; there's so much self-righteousness over it on both sides.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 01:54:18 PM by Jude »

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #114 on: December 08, 2010, 03:09:35 PM »
Noelle is over-stating the WHO's position on abortion. The premise that the WHO is pro-abortion isn't true. Rather, the WHO's position is that:

"Where contraception is available and affordable, abortion should rarely be necessary; when it is necessary, however, it should be accessible and safe."

It does not therefore work on the basis that abortion should be a right, but rather that access to abortion - where it is necessary - should be safe. The two are very different rights.

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #115 on: December 08, 2010, 03:27:56 PM »
Right, but if you justify one particular action on the basis of a fundamental principle such as "I should have ultimate domain over my own body" you can't invoke the principle in one area and not in others.  That's hypocrisy.What about other sorts of drugs?  Prescription medicines for example -- if you believe you have ultimate domain over your body, then what right does the government have to stop people from abusing any substance they like?

Well, I mean, why stop there? Why even require medical licenses, or FDA approval? Oh, right - you have to make allowances for safety. I don't mind if you bring my statements further, but do try to keep it logical, please.

Offline Noelle

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #116 on: December 08, 2010, 03:54:06 PM »
Noelle is over-stating the WHO's position on abortion. The premise that the WHO is pro-abortion isn't true. Rather, the WHO's position is that:

"Where contraception is available and affordable, abortion should rarely be necessary; when it is necessary, however, it should be accessible and safe."

It does not therefore work on the basis that abortion should be a right, but rather that access to abortion - where it is necessary - should be safe. The two are very different rights.

I'd like to politely disagree that they're not pro-abortion.

Quote
Internationally agreed policy

In international fora, abortion is mainly discussed in the context of reducing the impact of unsafe abortions on women’s health, but it is about women’s right to affordable and accessible abortions.

They're also not arguing where it is necessary, they're arguing when. Very key difference: even in countries where it is heavily stigmatized and/or illegal, it's still happening and it's still in the mission statement of the WHO to provide those women safe services.

I think they've taken a very fair and sane approach to the issue in their goals...

Quote
One of the objectives of WHO/Europe’s regional strategy on sexual and reproductive health (2001) was to reduce the number of abortions by:

    * providing adequate reproductive health services;
    * integrating family planning into primary health care policies and programmes;
    * removing legal obstacles to contraceptive choices.


Indeed, they state on the site that Europe has the highest abortion rate. Something a lot of vehement pro-lifers miss is that those who support abortion aren't necessarily thrilled about the need to have one in the first place. If there's one issue both sides desperately need to come together on, it's how to realistically reduce the need for them all together. Having the right to begin with isn't the last stop in the line.

Globally speaking, here's their statement -

Quote
WHO’s global reproductive health strategy (2004) identified unsafe abortion as a preventable cause of maternal deaths and injuries, and the steps needed to prevent them, including:

    * strengthening family planning services to prevent unintended pregnancies;
    * training health-service providers in modern techniques and equipping them with appropriate drugs and supplies for gynaecological and obstetric care;
    * providing social and other support to women with unintended pregnancies;
    * to the extent allowed by law, providing abortion services in primary health care.

So to some extent, you're correct, Mystic. They don't seem to actively lobby for the right to abortion in the loud and occasionally violent way that some do, especially in America, but I don't think it's entirely accurate to say that they're not pro-abortion. They recognize that it is a resource that is undeniably useful to women and vitally important to provide adequate services for, but they prefer to instill positive and health-conscious change in society in ways that don't cause unnecessary political drama.

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #117 on: December 08, 2010, 04:24:51 PM »
By 'where' I did not mean a geographical character, but rather the a conditional gramatical structure. Or something like that. I am therefore happy to replace it with 'when'.

My objection to characterising the WHO as suporting a right to abortion is the kind of language that is used.

International human rights instruments (of which WHO policy statements are not included) express rights in terms of simple and unqualified statements. See, for example the rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the EcoSocCon and CCPR.

At no point is there an unqualified statement that women have a right to abortion. Rather, the abortion is contingent upon medical necessity. Where / when that medical necessity exists, it should be safe, affordable, clean, and so on. To say that 'where an abortion takes place, it must be clean' is not the same as an unqualified right to an abortion.

I think the best way to characterise the WHO is that they're neutral on abortion - they recognise that it takes place. In the situation that it takes place, there are certain minimum standards that should be met. I suspect that we are again thinking vaguely the same thought but in different words.

As you say, it's an entirely pragmatic way of doing things. Which is odd for a UN body...

Get out of my mind! :)

Offline Jude

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #118 on: December 08, 2010, 04:51:01 PM »
Well, I mean, why stop there? Why even require medical licenses, or FDA approval? Oh, right - you have to make allowances for safety. I don't mind if you bring my statements further, but do try to keep it logical, please.
That's exactly the point I was trying to make.  The reason allowances for safety must be made is that there are competing principles at stake when it comes to all of those issues and abortion is no different.  The country as a whole agrees that people doing what they wish with their own body is good -- but they also agree that people have a certain degree of responsibility towards the community in which they live.  Sure, some people are against drugs for purely paternalistic reasons, but others believe that certain illegal substances damage the community through individuals.  Suicide is another poignant example where the actions of an individual has repercussions that affect those around them profoundly.  You, for all intents and purposes, do not have the right to kill yourself in most (if not all -- I'm not fully up on the individual legal statuses state by state) of the United States.

Abortion clearly has an impact on another life, potential or otherwise.  Summing up the whole issue with a slogan-like statement of "it's my body" betrays all of the levels of nuance and complication intrinsic to the situation.  It's a non-starter for discussion because it basically dismisses, out of hand, the other principles that are at play.  Just as it's one-sided and unfair to say "it's my body" as a total justification for suicide (and of course even if we did legalize it there would still be extra dimensions that come into play regarding sanity and the like), the extremist pro-choice attitude adds little to advance the actual dialogue.

Dismissing competing principles without bothering to go into the additional layers of depth is really only effective at creating an equally harsh reaction.  The whole point of the thread, I thought, was to delve into the additional layers of complexity -- I don't understand the seeming need to dismiss them entirely, though I could be misinterpreting that.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 04:53:08 PM by Jude »

Offline Trieste

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #119 on: December 08, 2010, 04:57:07 PM »
An abortion has an impact on fetal or embryonic tissue.

This does not automagically make it another 'life'. There is a difference between living tissue and a life, else organ transplants would get very strange, very quickly.

If a woman chooses to have fetal or embryonic tissue removed from her body, it doesn't matter to me what is done with that fetal or embryonic tissue. Use it for research. Give it to someone else. Fertilize your lawn with it. Or raise it as your own. If someone wants to say "That's a life you're ruining!" then fine: let that person take responsibility for that so-called life.

However, if that 'life' is not able to live outside of the womb in which is was implanted, then that's pretty much just too damn bad for the person who is considering it a 'life'.

I maintain that the woman has the right to remove that living tissue, however, if she chooses to do so. Period.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #120 on: December 08, 2010, 05:10:19 PM »
The whole point of the thread, I thought, was to delve into the additional layers of complexity -- I don't understand the seeming need to dismiss them entirely, though I could be misinterpreting that.

Ummm...actually the whole point of this thread was to discuss a particular crazy woman and her largely unimpressive video. The general argumentativeness of Elliquians just makes it fly gradually of course until it become a contest of principles filled with sound and fury... Something in our natures I guess :P

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #121 on: December 08, 2010, 05:19:53 PM »
Ummm...actually the whole point of this thread was to discuss a particular crazy woman and her largely unimpressive video. The general argumentativeness of Elliquians just makes it fly gradually of course until it become a contest of principles filled with sound and fury... Something in our natures I guess :P

Stop being so cynical. Rather think of it as our desire to express our opinions and learn through interaction! ;)

Although I do suspect we should boot Trie and Jude off to the Debates section...

Having read a little more about the initial crazy woman video, I can understand why she's mental. Can you imagine growing up knowing that your mother tried to abort you, but was too cheap to do it properly? Urgh. There's going to be plenty of broken glass in that psyche.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #122 on: December 08, 2010, 05:28:27 PM »
Stop being so cynical. Rather think of it as our desire to express our opinions and learn through interaction! ;)

Although I do suspect we should boot Trie and Jude off to the Debates section...

Oh don't even go pretending that you and me are blameless in this <_<

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #123 on: December 08, 2010, 05:33:06 PM »
Oh don't even go pretending that you and me are blameless in this <_<

My dear Alice - I attribute all our passed clashes bickering conversations to a shared belief in the spirit of the enlightenment, and am glad of almost all of them! And I must thank you for sharing your views. Even when they're biggoted, closed-minded, and coldly inhuman different :)

Offline Trieste

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #124 on: December 08, 2010, 05:33:57 PM »
You're all just trying to gain power over my super-uterus. *eyetwitch*

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #125 on: December 08, 2010, 05:37:13 PM »
You're all just trying to gain power over my super-uterus. *eyetwitch*

Worst super power ever

EDIT: And yes, it is a very quiet night at the law mine, but I am required to be alert, awake, and available.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 05:49:05 PM by mystictiger »

Offline Noelle

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #126 on: December 08, 2010, 09:03:25 PM »
The woman was literally born the poster child for pro-life advocates everywhere. There's no such thing as a magical fetus (again...worst superpower ever), it had nothing to do with her "fighting" the abortion (I mean really, babies aren't exactly aware enough to keep from shitting themselves, but could magically understand what was going on inside the womb during an abortion and cling dearly to life as she implies? Say it with me now: crackpot) ...It has everything to do with a botched medical procedure. But that doesn't sound quite as touching, I guess.

DAMN YOU, COLD, INSENSITIVE SCIENCE. *shakes fist*

Offline Serephino

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #127 on: December 08, 2010, 10:59:00 PM »
The most used argument is that an abortion is nothing but the removal of tissue.  What would be so horrible about making sure it stayed that way?

What would be so horrible about making it illegal to have an abortion after maybe.. 9 weeks.. but legal up to that point?  I researched fetal development for a story I was writing, and a fetus has all organ systems in place at 8 weeks, which I think is pretty cool.  I can't remember when brain activity starts, but there has been recorded evidence that a fetus reacts to being prodded and lights and sounds at some points.  They say when a baby is fussy two things that can help are swaddling, and making a soft rhythmic shushing noise in the baby's ear.  This is because it recreates the environment in the womb.  Swaddling recreated the snugness, and the noise recreates the sound of the mother's heartbeat and stuff.  If a fetus was really so mindless and unaware up to the point of birth, then why would such things bring a newborn comfort? 

So why couldn't a fetus be considered a human life when it takes a human shape or is responsive to stimuli?  One of the characteristics of life is being able to react to stimuli.  If the woman wants to have an abortion, then she's free to decide while it's still only a cluster of cells. 

I don't see that as a bad compromise between both sides.  And in case anyone is wondering, most of my info came from ivillage.   

Offline Trieste

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Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #128 on: December 08, 2010, 11:09:47 PM »
Because 8 weeks or 9 weeks is a ridiculously short amount of time to find out that you're pregnant, go to the doctor, think about it, think about it some more, and make the decision. You hardly want someone to end a pregnancy because in two days they will reach the 9 week mark and they will have no other choice. It's a weighty decision, and it should not be a choice that suffers external coercion. Biological reasons for disallowing abortions aside, there should not be a deadline for that kind of decision. Women should have a choice, but they should not make that choice lightly, for chrissake.

Everything reacts to stimuli. Dust flying through the air reacts to the mere action of you walking past it. While I'm not equating living tissue of any sort to dust - unless it's a water bear, because those things are hideously adorable - 'reacting to stimuli' is not an appropriate demarcation. A heartbeat is not, either; after all, the hearts that get transplanted into whoever needs them still need to be able to beat, or they're useless. Livers need to function for transplantation, else they do nothing. Living tissue is not the same as alive.

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #129 on: December 09, 2010, 01:06:05 AM »
The issue being that at 22-24ish weeks the foetus becomes viable with external technological support. The transition from potential to capable is of vital importance. The choice of the woman at tht point becomes secondary.

Offline Zakharra

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #130 on: December 09, 2010, 01:46:05 AM »
The issue being that at 22-24ish weeks the foetus becomes viable with external technological support. The transition from potential to capable is of vital importance. The choice of the woman at tht point becomes secondary.

 Then at that point, let the state pay for the surgery to remove the fetus and care for it. At no cost to the mother after that. Unless you are wilwling to couigh up the money needed for that, no one, I repeat NO ONE, except the pregnant woman and maybe the possible father, should have any say in whether she keeps it or not.

 The bolded part is especially troubling.

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #131 on: December 09, 2010, 02:11:24 AM »
Troubling? I agree, it's deeply troubling. It goes from removal of something that might one day be alive to killing something that is alive.

And phrase your objections to my stance in an active form. "It is troubling". Troubling to you perhaps, but not to me. Explain why you think I am wrong rather than just asserting that I am. While your at it, go and read this and you'll understand why I think the 22-24 week landmark is so important. It's a question of brain development. As a good Cartesian (most of the time) I think that what makes us human is the ability for rational thought. Guess what happens at 22-24 weeks?

The Talmud has a... unique answer to this question. Human life only begins on the 13th day -after- birth.

The woman has complete right and freedom over her body up to week 22ish. Thereafter, there are two people to think about. At that point, medical necessity (e.g. risk of harm to the mother) should be the only criteria that is acceptable for termination.

Is this unfair? Yes. I suggest you take it up with Evolution, and see if we can stop being mammals and go back to laying eggs. Or become monotremes.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 02:40:00 AM by mystictiger »

Offline Scott

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #132 on: December 09, 2010, 02:43:36 AM »

Offline Zakharra

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #133 on: December 09, 2010, 08:23:11 AM »
Troubling? I agree, it's deeply troubling. It goes from removal of something that might one day be alive to killing something that is alive.

And phrase your objections to my stance in an active form. "It is troubling". Troubling to you perhaps, but not to me. Explain why you think I am wrong rather than just asserting that I am. While your at it, go and read this and you'll understand why I think the 22-24 week landmark is so important. It's a question of brain development. As a good Cartesian (most of the time) I think that what makes us human is the ability for rational thought. Guess what happens at 22-24 weeks?

 Simply? You do not have any rights over what I or anyone does to their body. It makes not one bit of difference if the fetus is viable outside of the womb. Under the law it is the woman's choice. What I bolded removes that choice from the woman. Unless you are the one carrying it, you should have no authority to stop or prevent an abortion of another woman's  pregnancy.

 If you want it so badly, you pay for the cost and care for the potential child.

Quote
The woman has complete right and freedom over her body up to week 22ish. Thereafter, there are two people to think about. At that point, medical necessity (e.g. risk of harm to the mother) should be the only criteria that is acceptable for termination.

Is this unfair? Yes. I suggest you take it up with Evolution, and see if we can stop being mammals and go back to laying eggs. Or become monotremes.

 Get your goddess damned hands off of other people's  reproductive systems.

 I'm not meaning to be snarky or personal, but  people who say things like that would likely try to establish control over a woman, or someone else's, body under the catch all phrase, 'It's for your own good', irritate me  Shut the fel up and keep your damned hands OFF of me.

Offline Caeli

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #134 on: December 09, 2010, 08:44:11 AM »
Locked.

'Shut up' is not an appropriate response during a civil discussion.

Offline mystictiger

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #135 on: December 13, 2010, 06:40:35 PM »
Quote
Get your goddess damned hands off of other people's  reproductive systems.

 I'm not meaning to be snarky or personal, but  people who say things like that would likely try to establish control over a woman, or someone else's, body under the catch all phrase, 'It's for your own good', irritate me  Shut the fel up and keep your damned hands OFF of me.

Tell me when human life starts? Tell me when I can end it without being called a murderer?

Offline Noelle

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #136 on: December 13, 2010, 09:23:47 PM »
Simply? You do not have any rights over what I or anyone does to their body.

Make no mistake, I support the option to have an abortion, but reasoning like this has already been discussed here as to why it's not necessarily the most accurate point in favor of abortion when, in fact, under the same law where it's a woman's choice, it's also illegal to do other things to your body such as drugs, selling your organs, suicide, and euthanasia. It's illegal in many states to get a tattoo or piercing under a certain age. It's illegal to drink under a certain age, and in the US, you become a legal adult a whole three years before you can consume alcohol. Your body has restrictions under the law whether or not you actively think of them.

Granted, I think that a fair number of those have good reason, be it maturity, societal well-being, or what-have-you, and I also think that the alternative to a fair few of them are nothing nearly as drastic as being forced to gestate and give birth -- being drug-free, tattoo/piercing-free, having all your organs, and living are all generally unobtrusive things -- minor annoyances in some cases compared to being forced to bear a child. At any rate, I'm off on a tangent now.

Quote
It makes not one bit of difference if the fetus is viable outside of the womb. Under the law it is the woman's choice. What I bolded removes that choice from the woman. Unless you are the one carrying it, you should have no authority to stop or prevent an abortion of another woman's  pregnancy.

I don't know if that first statement is entirely true; by that logic, taking a medical-grade Hoover to your kid the minute before it drops out of your womb would be A-okay with no moral or legal repercussions. If that's what you believe, then I guess we're on different standards of acceptable abortions, but I just can't agree with that, and if you can't either, then it brings us right around to the questions that Mystictiger has presented to us -- when is a life a life, and where is the line?

Quote
People who say things like that would likely try to establish control over a woman, or someone else's, body under the catch all phrase, 'It's for your own good', irritate me  Shut the fel up and keep your damned hands OFF of me.

I think that's a bit of an exaggeration. Most people who lobby against abortion aren't misogynistic uber control freaks, they tend to be people who truly, morally believe that what you're doing is equatable to a full-blown murder -- the kind of thing that gets the average man locked up in prison. If you believed that legal murder was happening every day, you'd probably be outraged, too. For a lot of pro-lifers, the dilemma isn't about whether or not the woman should have the choice -- the dilemma is about making it okay to commit murder.

It's unfair because, as Mystic says, biology has made it unfair. Men and women are not biological equals and the unfortunate consequence is that only one half of the pair it takes to even make a child has to bear the greater share of the burden, both physically and socially. Science has taken steps to try and make sexual freedom more equal between the two sexes through various methods of birth control, but the thing is, if/until they find a way to either gestate the embryo outside the womb (be it in an artificial womb setting or somehow implanting it into a man), women will always be at the biological disadvantage. But if you think about it, under the present law, that same party also has the power to choose whether or not to have the child regardless of the man's wishes. The choice is more than just "my body, my rules" -- the things you choose to do with it can and do affect other people.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2010, 09:53:44 PM by Noelle »

Offline Serephino

Re: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech
« Reply #137 on: December 13, 2010, 11:09:00 PM »
I'm definitely not out to take away women's rights.  However, I do believe that aborting a fetus that animated and viable is harming another living thing, and that I'm not okay with.  If you let the pregnancy continue to the point where the baby could possibly live outside the womb, what's the point in getting rid of it then?  You've already gone most of the way.  What reason, other than your life being in danger, is there to get an abortion that far along? 

In my state the abortion of a viable fetus is actually illegal unless two doctors both think it's medically necessary.  I thought it was 12 weeks, but I just looked it up.  And even then, it looks like they just remove it and try to keep it alive.  That's not so bad in my opinion.   

http://law.findlaw.com/state-laws/abortion/pennsylvania/