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Author Topic: I'm Speechless...Abortion Speech  (Read 10085 times)

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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.

Offline Trieste

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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. 

Offline Trieste

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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.

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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 »

Offline Trieste

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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.

Offline Trieste

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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*