What do you think about ***Abortion***





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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: What do you think about ***Abortion***
By Dentist86 (Dentist86) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:14 am: Edit

What do you think about ABORTION?

By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:35 am: Edit

Honestly, did you seriously just post this thread?
wow

By Dentist86 (Dentist86) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:37 am: Edit

i just wanted to hear what other people have to say about Abortion. I think it's okay..Perfectly OKAY

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:39 am: Edit

well if it was banned, those long nights on the beach with the coronas would be twice as stressful and not half as fun :)

By Foreignboy (Foreignboy) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:41 am: Edit

Depends. I thinks it's ok if done early enough.

By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:43 am: Edit

Scubasteve! Shame on you! I am not a whore. But that smiley makes you oh so cute

By Dentist86 (Dentist86) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 03:02 am: Edit

Guys, Come on..Let's be serious about this, PLEASE.

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 03:03 am: Edit

she gave me a smiley tounge guy.. trust me im very serious

By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 03:22 am: Edit

Do you just want to talk straight abortion? I don't think it's right...ever. I would never have an abortion...ever. i think it's irresponsible, irrational and inconsiderate.

By Foreignboy (Foreignboy) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 03:30 am: Edit

What if some girl gets pregnant after being raped? What about incest?

By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 03:34 am: Edit

Morning after pill

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 03:34 am: Edit

"irresponsible, irrational and inconsiderate."

you forgot the most important "i" : i love scuba

By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 03:35 am: Edit

ss~

Sorry mods, I had to.

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 03:36 am: Edit

first off ouch </3

second off...aside from a few developmental technicalities... in essence, doesnt the morning after pill pretty much accomplish the same thing as abortion so why for one and not the other? Well i can see why for morning after ... but if such a firm stance agaisnt abortion then why for the morning after pill?

By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 03:39 am: Edit

It indeed does. I really don't believe in that either, but sometimes compromises must be made. I believe in prevention or adoption. But, then again, i've never been pregnant

PS: "i love scuba" doesn't really fit the context, does it. I do love to scuba dive though

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 03:45 am: Edit

give me your aim and im sure i can transform the context to an i love scuba agreement

By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 03:51 am: Edit

Scuba~
Be resourceful (aka check my profile)

sincerely,
Ashley

PS: It is my bed time

By Lame (Lame) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 04:59 am: Edit

The morning after pill does NOT do the same thing as an abortion. The morning after pill does not terminate a pregnancy if it already has occurred. If you got pregnant, you're stuck with it--Plan B does not do anything. What it does do is prevent you from getting pregnant by preventing ovulation or if the egg is already released it stops it from traveling any further. The abortion pill causes the lining of the uterus to be shed. That said, it is every woman's right to have access to birth control, emergency contraception, and abortions.

By Curiouskatie (Curiouskatie) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 12:20 pm: Edit

I saw this thread and thought back to an interesting debate in my Critical Reading and Writing class a few months ago. Interestingly enough, none of the females in the class were against abortion (although some were not totally pro-abortion). Some of the males were anti-abortion, some were ambivilent, and some were pro-, but none of the girls were anti-. Just thought that was weird. However, my best friend is a girl and is adamently anti-.

By Neo (Neo) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 01:22 pm: Edit

Eww. Curiouskate, watch your terminology.

People aren't "pro-abortion" -- the term is "Pro-Choice."

By the same measure, people aren't "pro-childrenthroughrape/incest" -- the term is "Pro-Life."

By Nlkrueger (Nlkrueger) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 01:25 pm: Edit

I saw a bumper sticker a while back that said:
Smile! Your mom chose life.

Pretty much sums it up for me.
Having a sexual relationship with someone is a major step. If a person isn't prepared to accept all possible consequences (including pregnancy) associated with sex, then the surest path is abstinence.

By Idiias (Idiias) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 01:31 pm: Edit

Scuba and Ashley........GET A ROOM (P.S. She sleeps naked :) )

By Curiouskatie (Curiouskatie) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 01:33 pm: Edit

Sorry, neo! My mistake

By Bee_Bee (Bee_Bee) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:22 pm: Edit

i think its wrong

By Gidget (Gidget) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 03:45 pm: Edit

I think that everyone has a right to choose and those that think abortion is wrong should think of the overall consequence of getting rid of it. Many women would be caught with un wanted pregnancy resulting in an a flux of children waiting to be aopted (and their are already WAY to many) or some would choose to keep their babies and prehaps those children would grow up happily but statsitically they would grow up in poor and possibly abusive homes. Some women may find themselves without any way to deal and the children end up abandoned. I am not saying every teen mother or mother of an unwanted pregnancy ends up like this cause a lot of these stories end happily. I am just saying that if a lot end badley as well and sometimes abortion is the best awnser.

I have never been in this situation but if I was I would want all the options available to me.. wouldn't you?

If you are ready to respond with "abortion is wrong" seriously and I mean seriously sit their and think - "if I was pregnant right now, about to head off to college and begin my future, what would I do?"

By Eyesclozedtight (Eyesclozedtight) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 04:27 pm: Edit

well first off, it's hardly some fat cat politician's place to say what a woman can and can't do with her body. especially when he's pushing his own moral agenda on them. flat out wrong.

secondly, i hardly condone abortion. i think it's irresponsible and the cowards way out(hold certain exceptions like rape). even though i am a guy, and it ultimately doesn't come down to my decision, if a girl and i were presented with the situation i would want to have the baby.

but here is the brutal truth. abortion is like drugs. if it's illegal, people are still going to do it. only they'll do it in back allies with coat hangers. sounds nice and safe right? wrong. abortions should be available to women for their safety, which is why i am pro choice.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/11/05/abortion.ap/

count the women standing behind bush as he signs a bill clearly controlling their lives.

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 04:28 pm: Edit

I'll just say that I am an adoptive father of a little boy who was slated for abortion, whose grandmother persuaded his birthmother to finish the pregnancy.

It is easy to argue abstracts. My son's little smile and easy laugh are anything but abstracts.

I'll not post on this thread again. This is one subject that even a wise-ass like me takes too seriously to get mired in on an "Oh yeah? Well what about..." kind of argument.

I'll simply opine that life and death choices should be considered very, very carefully.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 04:37 pm: Edit

Ideally, it should be safe, legal, and rare. Method of accomplishing the third part - IMO, birth control, education, birth control, Plan B, forcing insurance companies to cover birth control the same way other medications are covered, access to health care... all that.

Personally, I do not think that it is an easy choice for anyone. I read a story about a woman whose sons had brittle bone disease. One had some 77 breaks by the age of 5. At one point, he said to his mother that if she knew he would live a life in such pain and still chose to bear him, he would never have forgiven her. I know a woman with a son who is 18 and has the mental age of a 1-year-old. She is certainly pro-choice, recognizing how terrible the entire situation is. I just do not think that other people are capable of making those deeply personal decisions.

By Philntex (Philntex) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 05:27 pm: Edit

I'm pro-choice, to start off, but I'm not going to get into the pro-life vs. pro-choice debate. However, an interesting question was raised that actually came up after another fine episode of my favorite show "Six Feet Under." On the show, a girl got pregnant, didn't tell anyone, had an abortion, and didn't even tell the father of the child because she didn't want to "deal with it." When he eventually found out (this season; the abortion happened last), he was devastated. In the end, though, there was absolutely nothing that he could do about it.

It got me to thinking. I completely understand that pro-choice is all about a woman's choice as to what happens with her, her body, and her child, but it does seem unfair that ultimately a potential father has no say in the matter, especially if he isn't told until after it happens. I'm not well versed in terms of abortion specifics, but it seems to me that the father (unless it was rape) should be informed of the mother's conception before she can terminate it. I don't know. Just something I thought about when the episode came on a couple of weeks ago. If I'm wrong, please correct me because it's something that both I and my friends would like to know more about.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 05:49 pm: Edit

Phil: Ideally, that would happen. Also - just my belief - the father should know so that he can bear some of the psychological burden as well. No reason that it should just be the woman's problem or concern. It took both people to create the situation.

By Clickspring (Clickspring) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 06:29 pm: Edit

I seriously hope it's a decision I never have to face. It'd be really hard for me to choose to abort if
1) the baby was concieved with my boyfriend who I am madly in love with
and
2) I was still in college

which is my current situation. If I was raped or something it'd be a no brainer to abort, and if I was out of college I would probably keep it, but right now it'd be a really hard decision to make, although I probably would abort just because I'm not mature or established enough to be a mother.

That said though, I am steadfastly pro-choice. If abortion were illegal it would still happen in shady ways that would endanger the lives of women.

To the government:
KEEP YOUR LAWS OFF MY BODY

By Jlq3d3 (Jlq3d3) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 07:17 pm: Edit

"first off, it's hardly some fat cat politician's place to say what a woman can and can't do with her body."

I dont know yet if im pro or anti-abortion, but those who are against abortion arnt against a woman dealing with her own body. They claim that the baby is not the woman's body.

By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 08:20 pm: Edit

idiias, the smiley saved you.

Sincerely,
Ashley

By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 09:20 pm: Edit

bump for idiias

By Nutriamorada (Nutriamorada) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 09:39 pm: Edit

I think it all depends on the circumstances.
but I figure that making abortion procedures entirely illegal would be a very bad idea.
we'd end up with back alley abortions and dead babies in garbage cans. not cool.

By Philntex (Philntex) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 09:39 pm: Edit

Agreed, Aries. That's why I've thought it strange that sometimes the father plays so little a role in the abortion decision. The emotional/psychological burden DOES fall on both, as you said. Hmmm...

By Disappear_Here (Disappear_Here) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:12 pm: Edit

NO. unpretected sex and underage sex is irresponsible, irrational and inconsiderate NOT the abortion itself.

By Clickspring (Clickspring) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:20 pm: Edit

Disappear_Here:

People of all ages get abortions. This isn't an issue of age.

By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:25 pm: Edit

both are.

By Magoo (Magoo) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:26 pm: Edit

crap not again...this came up a few months ago, got pretty crazy, i got in an argument with some folks...

here is the core of my belief on abortion
as a male, i do not like to get to concerned with this issue...in other words i believe in a womans right to choose regardless...it is her body i do not feel that it is right for me to be active in trying to prevent a woman from controlling her own body...this, however does not mean that i philosophically agree with it, i think that the women that use it as a means of birth control, are, well pretty sad (don't want to be offensive)

also if abortion was outlawed in this country it would not stop people from wanting to get it done illegally where they can cause serious damage to their phisical being. furthermore those that can afford it will fly off to other countries where it is safe and legal, to have the porcedure.

By Foreignboy (Foreignboy) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 11:10 pm: Edit

Well, you have to consider that when a woman gets pregnant, we're not just dealing with her body. There's the baby also. Sure, women should be able to choose what happens to their own bodies, but what about the kid?

Should starving families be allowed to kill their children to save the other members? No. Should pregnant women be allowed to kill their babies? Well... the only answer we have so far is 'it depends'.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:41 am: Edit

Magoo: You hit on an interesting point. When abortion was not legal, wealthier women would still be able to get the procedure - many took "vacations" in small, neighbouring countries (think islands) that allowed it. Poorer women and women in more desperate situations (think abusive husband) were the ones with the most problems and the most disproportionately affected by the ban.

ForeignBoy: A recent spate of pregnant women who were prosecuted for the decisions that they made during pregnancy highlight some of what you are saying. There was, quite recently, a woman who refused a C-section that doctors ordered. One of her twins died before she delivered vaginally. Many legal scholars said that it was wrong to so prosecute her as we, as a society, do not otherwise force people to have surgery, even if it saves another life. We do not require that people undergo bone-marrow transplants, even if they are a match for someone who needs one, and even if that person in need is the child of the potential donor. Ergo, that should not change during pregnancy, as we would be forcing a single class of citizens (pregnant women) to adhere to a different standard (surgery to save another life) that we do not inflict on other people. That's just something to ponder.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/03/19/colb.csection/index.html

For one article.

To answer your question... (and the mothers on this board know far more than I would!), pregnancy wrecks havoc on the mother's body. It is not simply gaining weight and getting a belly; the fetus leeches minerals from bones, causes hormonal and psychological changes, and causes significant strain on the body. Until about 6 or 7 months, the baby is not capable of surviving on its own. So, in order to maintain the viability of the fetus, the mother must allow it to disrupt her body. (Side note: this disruption can sometimes be quite dangerous. Some women get very hypertensive; my stepmom's liver shut down and her platelets dropped so low that she had to give birth via C-section, and it took hours to sew her up.) Anyway, our society has no means of keeping the baby viable without the mother until about 6 or 7 months. It is not like foster care, in which an extensive system exists to care for an unwanted child. The woman is forced to have, essentially, a parasite. (Now, I know that people are going to jump all over me, but I am using the biological denotation of the word: a being which causes harm to another in order to survive and grow.) Can we, as a society, require that pregnant women continue being pregnant, given this?

As a libertarian type, I tend to believe that removal of freedoms is most damaging to those who are in the worst situation. Outlawing abortion will not adversely affect the 30-year old professional who will go to a foreign country and has a strong support network. It will harm the 22-year-old woman who is married to or dating an abuser, who lacks the resources and ability to extricate herself from a bad situation, and whose pregnancy would be terrible for her and the child-to-be. Not a problem for the healthy women; terrible for the women who were under doctor's orders to not become pregnant but had birth control fail. A woman with medical insurance, maternity leave, a husband - not a problem. A woman without benefits, a steady job, and people to help her through pregnancy and recovery - well, tough luck for her. Women with healthy fetuses/babies - not a problem. Women whose fetuses are severely deformed, would not survive birth, would die within a few years (as with some genetic abnormalities) would go through hell with fewer choices.

Enough of my ranting. I do think this will join the ranks of AA as another enternally unresolved CC discussion. Also, many thanks to those who have posted thoughtful and calm replies.

By Crazylicious (Crazylicious) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 01:56 am: Edit

GIVE UP FOR ADOPTION

By Fenix_Three (Fenix_Three) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 02:29 am: Edit

It's a difficult choice and it's up to each person to decide what they want to do. I am pro-choice, though I would try to do as many things as possible to get rid of the fetus any other way before it develops into an embryo (yes the zygote comes before the embryo). I feel that causing unnecessary pain upon any living creature is bad (or morally wrong, though I think that morals are not absolute). Therefore, I would try to abort (if it was my last option) within the first month (or as soon as I found out). Yes the child could have become the next Einstein, but it could have easily ended up in the hands of an unprepared single mother (myself in this example).
As for having underage sex it's not as bad as having unprotected sex. As far as I know younger people are at the same risk of getting pregnant as those over 18. As long as you're educated about birth control I don't think that age restrictions are really necessary (within reason). Emotional maturity is also important to consider, however it is difficult to quantify which is why we resort to an age of consent. (It is also why it's illegal to have sex with a woman under the influence of alcohol (no matter what age she is) in the state of California.)
Anyways, going off topic. As for adoption, a great choice. But I think that I'd seriously harm myself and the potential baby before I carry to full term. It's also not that great for the woman to become pregnant early in life.
Scary difficult decision, so just let everyone decide for herself.

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 03:16 am: Edit

my motto: fuc k like jack rabbits as long as you got ur body armour

By Conker (Conker) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 09:27 am: Edit

I think that if the woman's life is threatened, an abortion should always be legal. Otherwise, I defend a woman's right to an abortion in the first trimester but recommend that she give the baby up for adoption.

By Gidget (Gidget) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 09:29 am: Edit

For those who are saying GIVE UP FOR ADOPTION - what about the hundreds and hudreds of chilren in foster homes already waiting to be adopted?

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 10:08 am: Edit

I apologize. I said I wouldn't post again, but I'm going to.

Those children in foster homes are alive. Some may be adopted. Some may not. All of them are being cared for. Each will find his or her own way in life. Some outcomes may be favorable, and some may not. Just like for you and me.

The point is that they have a chance for something. A discarded tiny human life has no chance whatsoever.

I find it singularly odd that the same people who argue so stridently for civil rights and argeu against the death penalty, against taking away rights, and against punishing people who have not had so much luck in life, and are willing to put up billions in taxes to support such people through welfare and social programs, turn 180 degrees when given the choice to determine the fate of a human being who is probably more in need of a compassionate advocate than any adult who has fallen on hard times.

These are nascent, individual human lives. To argue differently is simply intellectually dishonest. To defend the liberties of one human being while pretending the other doesn't really exist because it has not yet fully morphologically developed, is bizarre. Should we consider those who are deformed, and morpholgically imperfect, non-persons?

Some may argue that fetuses are not yet sentient, and are therefore not technically alive. Should we strip the rights of those on life-support? Those in comas?

I understand that there are ancillary issues, such as rape and incest. I don't understand how killing a human being ameliorates those issues. It seems to punish the wrong person.

Finally, unless I am misinformed, (and I don't think I am), negative rights trump positive rights under our constitution. An example of a negative right is the right not to be killed. A positive right is the right to be given something (an education, a tax refund, an abortion).

This is a thorny issue. It is one where, in extreme cases, we have a choice between two evils: Murder and suffering. This is not an easy choice, but I'd contend most of us would take physical discomfort for 9 months and psychic pain over being killed.

As for abortions that are undertaken for reasons of convenience, well, the right choice seems clear.

I used to be pro-choice. I was taught in school that it was the right thing to believe, I was told at home that it was the right thing to believe, and I accepted it as gospel. I remember having arguments with pro-life people when I was younger, and feeling in the pit of my stomach that my arguments were flimsy, and philosophically untenable. But I kept arguing anyway, because I was afraid that women wouldn't like me, that I would be painted as a right wing nut, and that people would accuse me of being anti-civil rights. I was afraid.

I’ve gotten over a lot of those fears. I hope that maybe some of you do, too. If not, I support your right to believe whatever you like, as long as it does not hurt me.

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 10:58 am: Edit

Oh, and Scuba: You need help. I mean that in a nice way, though. :)

By Bumblebee83 (Bumblebee83) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 03:08 pm: Edit

I think I started the thread a few months ago that Magoo was talking about, and it turned into a insult contest. I am pro-choice. I always have been and probably alwasy will be. I don't like late-term abortions so much, but I think right now it's better than the alternative of no abortions.
Up until the late 1800s, early 1900s abortion was legal and very common. But then the anti-obscenity laws were passed which made it illegal to talk about birth control, abortion, sex, anything. Meaning a mother couldn't even tell her daughter what would happen on her wedding night and even a doctor couldn't help a woman protect herself. But then some woman got a little mad that their husbands kept going to whores and spreading stds aorund town and even back to their wives. So they passed laws making any info about sex illegal in hopes that it would end prostitution. Well, obviously that didn't work. So women took to giving themselves abortions. which is dangerous and a lot of times fatal.
Over 50% of rapes in this country go unreported, for a variety of reasons that I don't feel like getting into. Until rape is irradicated I cannot in good conscience tell women that they should not be allowed to decide what happens to their bodies, since it appears to me that many many men think THEY have control over women. Having tons of children is very very bad for women. I think its much worse to have 11 kids lose their mom while sh's having baby 12 than to have 11 kids have a healthy, alive mom and not have baby 12
Also -about that case of the woman being prosecuted for not having a c-section. The doctors weren't even sure if the other baby would have lived if she had the surgery.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 04:44 pm: Edit

You can't be concerned about freedom when you deny the right to life. It's "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", with "life" coming first. The child in the womb is a living, growing, human life that needs only nutrition and a safe environment in order to survive, kinda like the rest of us. If we can't value the dignity of that life, what do we value? Many posting here seem to have an innate sense of the value of unborn life, but are unwilling to confront those who would take it. Don't ask me not to judge you when you would cause harm to another defenseless human being. I realize the difficulties associated with unwanted pregnancy, but none of it justifies killing.

As to all the children out there in foster care waiting to be adopted, I am an adoption attorney and an adoptive parent. There are so very few babies available for adoption. The children in foster care are not generally available for adoption. Their parents are winding through the court system, trying to get them back. Most of them do go back, to neglectful homes where the parents are too busy to care for them because they are pursuing their "freedoms", that is, the freedom to drink, do drugs, have sex and generally whatever else they want to do that is their right.

With rights come responsibilities. We have obligations to our fellow man that outrank our personal desires.

As to the "morning after pill", it can act as an abortifacient when it prevents a fertilized egg from implanting in the mother's womb. It is in principle no better than abortion.

One-third of the post-Roe generation has been eliminated by abortion. Our birth rate is dangerously low, and we may soon have to start paying people to have children, much like many European countries do. Our younger generations will be severely strapped trying to support the aging baby boomers. So what's next, involuntary euthanasia? It's already happening in Europe and will happen here if we start rationing Medicare. What value does our society have if we don't value the least among us. I don't know a single handicapped or severely ill person who doesn't want to live or isn't glad they were born. Don't take one hard, unusual case and apply it to everyone. There is a reason and a purpose to every life. It's up to us to find it and value it.

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 05:00 pm: Edit

I'm DEFINATELY pro-life. I'd lose respect for anybody who I found out had an abortion.

The thing I'm unsure about is if abortion should be illegal or not. I suspect it wouldn't do much good if it's illegalized. (People would just have abortions illegally and not by a professional doctor, and then there would probably be MORE deaths than when abortion was legal!)

By Eyesclozedtight (Eyesclozedtight) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 05:19 pm: Edit

chavi,
you can't really be suggesting that our country doesn't have enough people are you? i highly doubt we'll have trouble finding citizens to fill your "one third" gap.

this is purely a religious issue if you ask me. it comes down to whether you think the fetus is living or not. while the religious right feels that it is a human life at contraception, other sides feel it is not officially a human life until it can survive on it's own.

i guess my point is that we can't put religions morals and teachings above our law because it would violate the first ammendment.

if you don't like abortion, then don't have one.

By Jlq3d3 (Jlq3d3) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 07:06 pm: Edit

eyesclosedtight, i dont think you need religion to believe that a baby is living born or unborn.

By Bumblebee83 (Bumblebee83) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 07:32 pm: Edit

Immigration people!! There are millions of people coming into our country every year, unlike Italy and other such countries where they pay people to have children. no one is moving there. Honestly, you can't really believe that we don't have enough people in our country. I bet a good percentage of the people posting to this board are immigrants or children of. And why exactley do I need to support the baby boomers? Support yourselves. By the time our generation is old enough there won't be any medicare or social security left for us. Get a retirement fund.

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 08:23 pm: Edit

Eyes: With respect, this is the full text of the first amendment:

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

I'm not quite sure how this makes your point, but perhaps you could explain.

I think that religion can be left out of it, actually:

When does "personhood" begin? At conception, without a doubt. The logic is perfectly clear. In fact, biologically, the question of when life begins is more of a non- question, simply because there is no end of life. In human sexual reproduction, one parent, the male, contributes a sperm, the other, the female, an egg. Both the gametes are special cells known as germ cells. Each contains 23 chromosomes, half of the total number which constitute the total necessary 46 found in a viable zygote. The sperm and the egg are alive. The zygote is alive. There is no death at any point. There is continuous life from beginning to end, so the question isn't "When does a thing become alive?" There is life throughout. Given that this is the case, the question becomes, "when does a unique individual person result?"

A man named Gregory Koukl probably answers this queston best, and in simple terms:

"This always happens at the point of fertilization because at the point of fertilization something remarkable takes place. In the case of human beings, an egg with 23 chromosomes unites with a sperm with 23 chromosomes and creates a zygote with--guess what--46 chromosomes. Not all the chromosomes of the mother, not all the chromosomes of the father, but a unique chromosomal match. In other words, at that point, by scientific assessment, we have a living thing that does not have the chromosomal makeup of either of his parents, but a combination of the two. In other words, it has its own unique chromosomal pattern of 46 chromosomes that are its own as a living being. That's how we know the zygote is not mom and is not dad. It is something different and it is alive. If it is alive, and it is not mom and is not dad, it must be a separate organism—living in mom, sure enough, but a separate living entity. It is a living being."

It seems plain enough to me that the fetus is, in fact, a person. As a human being, it is entitled to all the human rights that you and I are, under the laws of our land.

That's not religion. That's high school biology.

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 08:41 pm: Edit

Noodleman, you've just made me think abortion should be illegal.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 08:45 pm: Edit

It's called civil rights, Eyesclosedtight! The same thing that gives you or me a right to life. Is our right to live based on religion? Yes, it sure is. But it is also based on law, a law that says all persons have the right to life. In that sense, all law is based on some kind of moral principle - how can you separate the two? Is it right to steal? No, it's wrong, so we have laws against it. I understand you may feel that an unborn child is not a person, but a lot of people felt blacks were not "persons" either, not too long ago. Have you looked at any of the new 4D ultrasound images yet? Embryos as young as 12 weeks gestation sucking their thumbs, opening their eyes, and moving around.

Immigration?! Bumblebee, is that really your answer? Italy has plenty of immigration, most of it Muslim. They're losing their western culture, their national identity. You don't care about that? So what happens when all these immigrants come into our country, start enjoying a nice standard of living, and, as usually happens, drop their birth rate down to 1.7, or wherever it is we're at now? They'll just have the same problem, get fat and lazy and decide kids aren't worth the trouble, that they're nothing but a burden, and continue our descent into selfishness for us. In order to survive as a society, we have to have moral laws and follow them up with a charitable attitude towards those under pressure to break them.

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 08:58 pm: Edit

Don't ever speak the truth about immigration while in college, Chavi. They'll accuse you of being "racist" (which, of course, is the worst of crimes).

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 08:59 pm: Edit

I actually agree on a principle that abortions should not be allowed but you are missing a critical aspect -- they will still happen (sadly in my opinion) if it is illegal. As someone has illuminated before, the wealthy will be able to do so easily someplace else leaving the poor to use shadier means. This is based on history when abortions were illegal. Therefore, I believe that they should remain legal but heavily controlled. This is not based on religion by the way for many people including myself.

By Jlq3d3 (Jlq3d3) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 09:28 pm: Edit

craig, i dont know about my stance on abortion, but that logic is faulty. Almost all things that are listed as crimes go on without 100% enforcement, but that does not mean certain acts shouldn't be crimes. Murder, robbery, assault, forgery "will (does) still happen" even though they are crimes.

By Bumblebee83 (Bumblebee83) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 10:42 pm: Edit

Chavi- You said that our country had a dangerously low birth rate. What is so dangerous about that? Why do we need to keep increasing our poulation? We already have problems with unemployment. Honestly, we're not running out of people. Our population grows every year.So all the baby boomers get old and the new people who immigrate here will pay taxes, etc. and those people will get support. And no, I don't care about Italy losing it's national identity A nation's identity should be difined by the people who live in it, not the people who lived in it hundreds of years ago. If you don't agree why don't you hand over your house to the people out founding fathers stole the land from?
Children are not a burden unless they are born to parents who do not want to be parents. As you said Chavi- "Most of them do go back, to neglectful homes where the parents are too busy to care for them because they are pursuing their "freedoms", that is, the freedom to drink, do drugs, have sex and generally whatever else they want to do that is their right." Why is this better than the child never having been abused?
I'm probably going to get a lot of flack for this but what you are basically proposing Chavi is socialism. Everyone should be equal, everyone should be nice and good and help other people before they help themselves right? NO! We are capitalist, supposedly. Thats not what our country believes! Our entire society is based on competition. Goodchocolate-what is exactley is this truth you speak of?

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 10:47 pm: Edit

Noodleman said, When does "personhood" begin? At conception, without a doubt. The logic is perfectly clear. In fact, biologically, the question of when life begins is more of a non- question, simply because there is no end of life. In human sexual reproduction, one parent, the male, contributes a sperm, the other, the female, an egg. Both the gametes are special cells known as germ cells. Each contains 23 chromosomes, half of the total number which constitute the total necessary 46 found in a viable zygote. The sperm and the egg are alive. The zygote is alive. There is no death at any point. There is continuous life from beginning to end, so the question isn't "When does a thing become alive?" There is life throughout. Given that this is the case, the question becomes, "when does a unique individual person result?"

Well, biologically, you are wrong. Many gametes are viable enough to permit fertilization, but carry heavy genetic abnormalities which do not permit them to develop into humans. Approximately 80% of pregnancies result in "spontaneous abortion," in which the body rejects the embryo or fetus because it is not viable. The April issue of Discover magazine detailed recent research which suggests that many egg cells lack the capacity to develop into babies once fertilized; they can be fertilized, but the resulting embryo is not viable for long. I will dig up the actual statistics, but over 90% of fertilized eggs will never survive until birth. (This does not account for elective abortion - this is unihibited pregnancy.) A lot of what determines the viability of an egg is the habits of the mother - up to three months prior to conception.

Chavi: short-term you are correct. Long term, you are horribly, horribly wrong. The US consists of 6% of the world's population yet uses some 40% of its resources. The economic questions of caring for ones elders are not problems of the current, sustainable childbirth rate; they are the issues coming from the baby boom and the government raiding of social security. If we produce more children and have a continuously growing population, we will hit an environmental and economic crisis. The environment cannot sustain our current population (note oil crisis, pollution, suburban sprawl, landfills, quest for renewable energy, thoughts of drilling in the Arctic for oil, fish farming, endangered species, I could go on indefinitely). Some models predict that there will be world war over scarce resources by 2040.

Lovely about Italy. Heard about China? Too many people, so they are forcing parents to only have one child. Funny how too many births (resulting in a too large population) has now resulted in, well, very common abortions. Roughly 2/3 of the population under the age of 15 are male, as female babies are more frequently aborted. Sad how lack of birth control in the past probably lead to forced birth control now. Adults who were poorly suited to be parents had children; now adults who are well-suited and passionate about kids are not allowed to have them.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:31 pm: Edit

Nice try. The entire world population could fit inside the state of Texas, with families of four each having 1/2 an acre. Plenty of room left. You've just been spending too much time in the city. Actually, the birth rate would most likely take care of itself as standards of living improve, without the "help" of abortion. But you need to at least sustain. We're dangerously close to not even doing that, and much of Europe is losing population. Funny thing about conraception, though. Wherever it becomes commonly used, abortion rates increase, not decrease.

Bumblebee, I'll address the issues you raise, but none of them really matter in the face of right and wrong. Killing is wrong, no matter population decreases, child abuse or whatever. First, it is extrememly important that our population at least sustains itself. A decreasing population, as in Europe, finds its economy shrinking and with it its standard of living. You have an increasingly elderly portion of the population who place large burdens on the younger, working members. The economy could easily collapse. Next, Ariesathena, you talk about China, how about Hong Kong? How about Taiwan? One of the densest populations in the world, and one of the most thriving economies and standards of living. China's problem is their form of government and all the "population experts" at the U.N. who have convinced China they need to eat their young in order to survive. The government there is simply trying to control their citizens so they can maintain power.

Second, I really can't stand it when people argue that abortion saves children from child abuse. What do you think goes on in an abortion? I think we got into this on another thread a while back. Abortion is child abuse. You're tearing the child limb from limb, all in the name of compassion? And capitalist or no capitalist, society still must take care of those who can't take care of themselves. Able-bodied people must work, but our worth as a society is judged by the way we care for our children, the elderly, the sick and handicapped. That's not socialism, that's common decency. By the way, no one ever answered my question on that last thread, about exactly where in the development of the human embryo, something magical happens where it suddenly becomes a human being worthy of legal protection, while a minute before it was something different?

By Eyesclozedtight (Eyesclozedtight) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:42 pm: Edit

sorry friends, i must have lost a post in there clarifying my last post. stupid CC. anyways, i'll clarify now.

i agree, i was hasty to say it was a religious point of view. i'm sorry. you gotta realize that i live in orange county where in any argument, especially abortion, it's backed by a quote from the bible. i'm just sort of used to it. sorry.

but i'd say the fundamental difference between pro-choicers and pro-lifers is that pro-life believes in a being immediately after conception. i'll be honest, i personally believe that we should consider it a life more like around 12 weeks as Chavi described, and i'd hope that anyone considering abortion as the way out would do so before then. but this isn't concrete. it's merely a difference of opinion and we can only agree to disagree on it.

i guess i'm not making a point as much as i'm sort of explaining my take on all of it. i know it sounds like i'm hedging on the issue, but i'm really pro choice mainly in the case of rape and because of the brutal reality that if it is made illegal women will resort to the coat hanger.

jlq,
i think craig is refering to victimless crimes like drug use etc. calling abortion a victimless crime almost seems parodoxical though. i guess i feel that if the mother becomes the victim of her own pregnancy then something needs to be done.

chavi,
i'd like to see some stats to back up the fact that 1/3 of all children have been aborted after roe v. wade. i also think you are very confused to think that america is somehow running out of citizens. bumblebee is absolutely right, your argument is complete nonsense. our country is founded on diversity, if you can't accept that, then maybe you're in the wrong place. also, you're right it is civil liberty. when your "morals" step on my freedoms, then it's against the law. morals are merely relative. just because a religious text lays them out doesn't mean it should be the standard for all of our lives.

not trying to step on anyones toes here. and i'm sorry again for jumping the gun.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:47 pm: Edit

There is a difference between those crimes and abortion -- there is no unending moral debate on those. We can sit back and have an unending debate on when something is considered a person, etc.,etc. But what it comes down to it there has to be a solution based on society's best interests. Also, making abortion illegal does not lower abortion rates (sadly), and these abortions are more dangerous (especially for the lower classes -- 1 woman/ 7 min dies of an illegal abortion worldwide). I believe the figure worldwide of illegal abortions is about 20 million/year. In the other circumstances making it illegal lowers the rate, but this is not necessarily true with abortions -- and they become more dangerous. In some circumstances the rates have gone higher (don't know why) with it becoming illegal (these statistics are difficult to nail down b/c it's difficult to track illegal abortions).

I am not saying that it is good to make abortions legal, but this has to move beyond the morality issue and move into what's best for society. We can go around in circles all day, but I think a keeping abortion legal but controlled (much more so than now) is in society's best interests and could actually save lives. Once again this is a debate and I just wanted to throw out another thought.

By Jlq3d3 (Jlq3d3) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 12:05 am: Edit

craig, well if aborion is not immoral, than your point has no weight because it shouldnt be against the law if its not immoral. But if abortion is immoral, than your last post saying that there is "debate on the morality" of abortion is also useless to the arguement because abortion would have already been deemed immoral. I hope you understand my logic that i didnt explain to clearly.
Basicly I am saying this premise it wrong: Abortion is immoral but there is no point to outlawing it because some people would do it anyway.

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 12:14 am: Edit

Hoo-kay.

Eyesclosedtight:

Let's talk about civil rights. No morals, just a couple of little pieces of paper we base our country's existence on.

The Declaration of Independence, in its oft-quoted opening states, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The word "all," as I see it, is of great importance here. Perhaps you will agree.

The Declaration also proclaims our rights as being "unalienable." This means that they cannot be taken away. The Declaration does not state that some people are more entitled to these rights than others. As a society we fell into the trap of awarding rights in an arbitrary way once before. The trap was called slavery, and the toll on our people, both as individuals and as a whole, is still being exacted today.

Out of expediency, we subjugated an entire race of human beings. We claimed then that economic hardship would befall our country if we had to pay for slave labor; we claim now that some women will not be able to support their children if they give birth.

We insisted then that Africans were not really people, after all; that they had no rights to begin with. We insist now that tiny human babies are not really babies; they are just compilations of cells and have no rights as people.

Pro-slavery advocates argued than that "slavery was a matter of choice. Those who believe slavery is wrong need not participate in it, but they have no right to prevent others from doing so," was the wisdom of the day. Today, pro-choice advocates choose the same fallacious arguments to rationalize genocide.

Abortion is a human rights issue, as was slavery, and once again, the majority is on the wrong side. The African slave trade resulted in the needless loss of 6,000,000 lives. The death toll for legalized abortion in this country now stands at 40,000,000 at the rate of 1.5 million more every year.That's a lot of children, Eyesclosedtight, and there is no end in sight.

The United States Constitution is no less straightforward than The Declaration of Independence regarding abortion.

In the fourth amendment of The Bill of Rights, it is clearly stated, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." A person is still a person, whether he be at the beginning or at the end of his natural life. No distinction is made here related to sentience, size, or age. The amendment clearly states that we are to be secure in our persons, meaning in our corporeal bodies. The fourth amendment further delineates that the only reason we (or our effects) may be seized, is upon "probable cause." This term speaks specifically to acts which we might deem criminal. Are these tiny children being defined as inherently offensive? Have they committed an unlawful act by their mere existence?

The first section of the 14th amendment of The Bill of Rights states, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." The first part of the amendment is often held up by abortion advocates as evidence that States may not pass laws that infringe upon the enumerated rights of American citizens. The suggestion here is that abortion is actually a right.

The trouble is that there is no passage in the constitution that outlines a "right to abortion," as one of the civil liberties to which we are entitled. The ephemeral (though often trumpeted) "right to privacy," is what is invariably pointed to by pro-abortion folks in this argument. The trouble is that it doesn’t exist, explicitly, and even if it did, it seems to me that the second part of the 14th amendment, which guarantees equal protection to all people of and by the laws of our land, would prohibit the removal of life without due process in the first place.

AriesAthena:

With respect (and with far fewer words) I absolutely cocur that you are correct in stating that a majority of embryos do not reach term for natural reasons. This argument, while factually correct, has nothing to do with my point, though.

I said that life began at conception. It often ends, as you say, quickly after, with no one the wiser. And sometimes it doesn't. You haven't given me a "biological argument" that in any way refutes that an embryo is a living thing. You have merely stated that sometimes things don't work out for the embryo in nature.

Goodchocolate:

Were you being sarcastic or sincere? It is impossible to tell, since you didn't punctuate your declaration with inane emoticons.


I need sleep. My 2-year old wasn't really into relaxation tonight and I'm pooped.

-Noodleman

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 12:23 am: Edit

I'm saying that we have to take the moral issue out of it and look at its overall effect upon society. Personally I see it as immoral but it is up to debate quite clearly so forget about it -- toss the morality issue aside for a second and think.

So, if it were made illegal most people would do it anyway under unsafe conditions thus making it illegal would have the same consequences if not worse (as seen in other countries and our history). History has proven that women who really want an abortion get one no matter what -- there are always avenues open. It was estimated that in the years going up to 1973, it was going over 1 million illegal abortions per year.

Maybe the difference in this situation is that I see law as based on the best interest of society and you see it as based on morality?

One historical tidbit that doesn't have to do with any side really but I find interesting: the push for making abortion illegal way back when was by male doctors who were trying to push unliscensed females out of business (women controlled childbirth and everything that went with it at that time). Making abortions illegal therefore was not really championed out of morality in the beginning.

By Eyesclozedtight (Eyesclozedtight) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 01:05 am: Edit

noodleman,
i do agree with your point, but i, like craig look at this issue not from my best interest, but from that of the nation as a whole. you state that 40,000,000 abortions have already occured with no end in sight. i'm not sure what makes you think that making abortion illegal will deter abortion. i guess for all i know i don't know that it won't either, but from my best guess, i'm thinking that making abortions illegal will only make them unsafe. just like marijuana, the fact that it's illegal doesn't make kids not want to do it(i'm not by any means comparing the two actions though). and in some cases should we overlook the woman's life that might be threatened by the pregnancy as well? i mean obviously the line should be drawn somewhere, but where? for the most part i think i stand along the same lines as craig. abortion should stay, but under close watch and regulation. organizations like planned parenthood should focus on making abortion a last resort and not a routine.

i'm glad this has stayed civil.

By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 01:50 am: Edit

bump for dentist

By Chavi (Chavi) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 01:41 pm: Edit

The 1.5 million abortions per year statistic is from the Allen Gutmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthool, the largest abortion provider in the country. A breakdown is readily available on the NRLC website at:

http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/facts/abortionstats.html

Also, for some good discussion of numbers of illegal abortions, check out:
http://www.catholic.net/rcc/loveboth/chapter27.html

Keep in mind that Dr. Bernard Nathanson, abortionist and founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League, has publicly admitted the he and other leaders of the pro-abortion movement in the 60's and 70's, regularly fabricated statistics on illegal abortions in order to push their point.

Eyesclozedtight, you missed my point. North America and Europe are running out of citizens, as will the rest of the world over time as standards of living improve, due to our (referring to all humans) inherent tendency to want to protect our comfort levels and standard of living by restricting the number of children we have. By the way, Planned Parenthood was founded in the 20's and 30's by a renowned eugenicist named Margaret Sanger, who fervently believed that birth control and abortion were valuable methods of controlling the spread of the bad genes of the underclasses. So who's the racist now?

Another example of how abortion is so good for women, in addition to the spate of killings of pregnant girlfriends over the last several years by their boyfriends:

"Remix of Usher Song Advocates Abortion, Violence Against Pregnant Women
New York, NY (LifeNews.com) -- Music fans should be outraged by a remix of a song off the latest hit album from R&B singer Usher. The remix, featuring hardcore rapper Joe Budden, advocates abortion and violence against pregnant women, a representative of an African-American group says. Usher's latest album, Confessions, has topped the sales charts for nine weeks, selling more than four million copies in only 11 weeks after its release. Three of the first singles from the album have hit number one, and the latest, "Burn," remains at number one for the seventh straight week. However a remix of the song, "Confessions, Part II" is drawing complaints. In the original, currently number two on Billboard's pop charts, Usher's "confession" is that he has had an illicit relationship with another woman. The mistress reveals she is three months pregnant and plans to keep the baby. However, Budden adds additional lyrics to the song, not found in the original on Usher's album, saying he hopes she will abort the baby and, if not, he will beat her to cause the baby's death: "Pray that she abort that, If she's talkin' 'bout keepin' it / One hit to the stomach, She's leakin' it," Budden sings. Day Gardner, director of Black Americans for Life, an African-American pro-life group, says the lyrics are "demeaning and outright violent toward both women and unborn children."
http://www.lifenews.com/nat602.html

Sorry, one more: check out the 4D images on the BBC website - BBC NEWS |Health | Scans uncover secrets of the womb

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 01:50 pm: Edit

Chavi: The physical space that humans need to live has little, if anything, to do with the amount of pollution we create, the amount of drinkable water that we need, how much natural resources (like oil) we use, and the destruction of the environment to maintain our lifestyle. If you took biology class, you would probably understand that many populations go through cycles. When the population of a certain species becomes to large, they compete for scarce resources, many die, and the population decreases to a more sustainable level. Human population, over the earth, has been growing exponentially. Increases in diseases from pollution, skin cancer (as a result of atmospheric problems), viruses, you name it, are often the result of us overpopulating the earth. So, well, nice try with Texas, but please, do not be so blind.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 01:52 pm: Edit

Just looked at CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/science/06/30/air.quality.ap/index.html

Again, nice try on the fact that we need more people, not fewer. We really are slowly killing ourselves. It is sad that people do not realize it and become attached to their tunnel vision; it certainly is not your generation that will pay for this.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 05:26 pm: Edit

So what you're saying is we might as well all kill each other off? Then why be against war, or murder?

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 06:00 pm: Edit

No, dear, I am not saying that. I am saying that we are overpopulating the earth, which refutes your posts about needing to reproduce so as to populate the earth even more.

By Bebere87 (Bebere87) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 06:20 pm: Edit

When it comes down to it, abortion is a deeply personal decision. It has nothing to do with overpopulation, or atomic bombs, or Tom Cruise. I feel that it should be a woman's right to choose...and yet, I would never have one myself.

The thing is that any woman who wants to have an abortion probably would not have made a very good mother for that child anyway...If a woman hates her child and wants to terminate her pregnancy, this is not a great way to start off the parent-child relationship. Considering how many grossly imcompetent parents there are nowadays, those women who opt for abortions should certainly be allowed to do so, rather than force them to bear their children and inevitably screw them up. Although the adoption argument is something to think about...

By Chavi (Chavi) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 10:43 pm: Edit

But Ariesathena, aren't you're using overpopulation as a justification for abortion? And Bebere, are you using the potential for child abuse as a justification for abusing the child now before anyone else gets a chance to? Just trying to understand your point of view.

By Bebere87 (Bebere87) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 12:00 am: Edit

No

A) I'm not necessarily talking about abuse; just bad parenting, it can lead to a pretty screwed up kid

and more importantly

B) I don't think that abortion=abuse

What I'm about to say is incredibly controversial...so I hope I don't offend anyone. Quite frankly, a fetus is not necessarily deserving of all of the rights of an ordinary person. Why not? Because until that fetus leaves the mother's womb, it is a part of her. A mother should be able to do whatever she wants to do with her body. A termination of her pregnancy is a personal medical decision; the mother is not abusing her child. In fact, most studies have shown that early abortion does not even hurt the fetus.

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 01:30 pm: Edit

I'd be interested in what your definition of abortion would be, then. You're right; "abuse" isn't accurate. It's much too timid.

To truly understand what is actually being spoken of when the word abortion is used, some terms must be defined.

The most common procedures undertaken by abortionists are called “suction aspiration” and “dilation and curettage.” These tidy phrases are rather polite terms for what Dr. Phillip G. Stubblefield, in Gynecologic and Obstetric Surgery, describes in the following:

“In suction and aspiration, a powerful suction tube with a sharp cutting edge is inserted into the womb through the dilated cervix. The suction dismembers the body of the developing baby and tears the placenta from the wall of the uterus, sucking blood, amniotic fluid, placental tissue, and fetal parts into a collection bottle. Great care must be taken to prevent the uterus from being punctured during this procedure, which may cause hemorrhage and necessitate further surgery. Also, infection can easily develop if any fetal or placental tissue is left behind in the uterus. This is the most frequent post-abortion complication.”

“In dilation and curettage, the cervix is dilated or stretched to permit the insertion of a loop shaped steel knife. The body of the baby is cut into pieces and removed and the placenta is scraped off the uterine wall. Blood loss from D & C, or "mechanical" curettage is greater than for suction aspiration, as is the likelihood of uterine perforation and infection.”

When described in these terms, the word abortion sheds its mantle of propriety and can be seen for what it really is: abortion is nothing less than the cruel murder of a child not yet born.

Still, this sort of plain language does not seem to phase abortion’s strongest proponents. They will perhaps agree that it is unfortunate, but stop far short of giving up the fight. They will insist that this is no brutal murder, but rather a legal and ethical medical procedure—on the grounds that the fetus is simply not a biological entity that can be defined as a person. It seems that this argument against personhood is the single issue that most abortion advocates cling to as the supreme rationalization of an act that is otherwise too terrible to justify.

The arguments are myriad.

One is that the fetus is not a sentient being—in other words, it does not think and feel as a post-natal human being does. If sentience defines personhood, then perhaps it is also ethically permissible to murder adults who are asleep, unconscious, or in a coma. They are, after all, not sentient either. Of course, they have the probability of being sentient in the near future, but so does a fetus—does it not? To claim that a human being can be functional, become non-functional, and then return to a state of function is to assume that there is some underlying personal unity to this individual.

Another argument is that the fetus is not, until a certain point, morphologically human. It does not look human. Does our society then exclude as “people” those who are missing limbs, have birthmarks, or any of a host of defects that render them somehow less than our ideal? Sounds like genocide or eugenics to me...

...But definitely not abuse.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 01:38 pm: Edit

Bebere87, have you looked at the 4D images on the BBC website? Take a look - the first one is about 12 weeks gestation. Most abortions take place between 8-12 weeks. The website is: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3846525.stm

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 01:40 pm: Edit

Chavi, no, I'm not. You were using underpopulation as a justification for removing a constitutionally protected right. I pointed out that the aforementioned underpopulation is hardly a problem.

Nice try, dear.

By Bebere87 (Bebere87) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 01:59 pm: Edit

I don't in any way mean to dismiss the brutality of abortion. I shuddered as I read Noodleman's description of the procedure...and for a moment I began to reconsider my position. However, no matter how cruel or controversial, I don't think anyone can truly understand unless they have been through an unwanted pregnancy themselves. I have not, so I don't claim to "understand"...but all I can say is that if you had a baby growing inside of you, a baby whose birth would forever alter your life, and you did not want it, you might think differently. Being personally opposed to abortion (for myself, I mean), it makes it difficult and even hypocritical to vehemently defend a woman's right to choose. But I do. It doesn't mean that every pregnant woman must have an abortion. It means that those women who want one will be allowed to do so. You can make whatever choice you'd like when it comes to you. Don't place restrictions on the choices of others, especially if you can't begin to comprehend what they're going through. This is not an issue for the courts, the doctors, or the populace to decide. It's a PERSONAL DECISiON. And it should stay that way.

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 03:06 pm: Edit

By taking away a fetus' life, one is making the ultimate restriction of choice for another. Death is an irrevocable decision made for the nascent child, without any consultation with him or her. There is no due process, no representation, no defense, and no return for the fetus. The same, by the way, goes for the death penalty, if you're wondering. I'm opposed to that, too.

Here's an analogy: You have hands. What you do with them is your concern. When you use them on another person, though, it becomes the law's concern. Your body, your choice, as long as you do not impinge upon another's soveriegn control over his or her body. To remove life from another is to remove the most basic and fundamental thing they have.

To say that the law should not place restrictions on the choices of others when those choices directly affect a human life in the most egregiously devastating way possible is to argue for anarchy, lawlessness, and vigilantism.

I could easily argue that it is my personal decision to kill my boss, and that you can't begin to comprehend how I feel--and that I am justified in doing so because by paying me a lousy salary and being a nasty sonofabitch he is forever altering my life and causing me to put my kids in lousy schools and ruining my whole family's chances of thriving--but I don't think I'd get very far in court, cause the state would get a lawyer, and people would testify in court, and I'd be up the creek without a paddle and rightly so. That's due process.

The law is there to protect people. It's why pedophiles rot in prison. It's because someone has to stand up for those who are unable to defend themselves.

When someone decides that having a baby is "not the best thing right now" and kills it, there isn't any court, there isn't any lawyer, and there isn't any creek or paddle. There's just a little puddle of tiny little bones and brain and blood that gets disposed of like so much rubbish.

And it isn't a "part of the woman's body." I mean that with the utmost respect for women. It is an individual organism, with different and unique genetic properties, that is dependent on the mother--just like an infant is when it is outside of the womb. It's just much harder to rationalize killing it when it can look at you and gently coo.

It really is just a rationalization.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 04:04 pm: Edit

It IS part of a woman's body. If you don't believe me, try separating the two. No luck there. It might temporarily be part of a woman's body, but an embryo or fetus and a pregant woman are physically attached to each other. It's called placenta and an umbilical cord, kids.

This debate seems to center on when people believe that the fetus/embryo/baby/child (use whichever loaded terminology you will) is a human. I, for one, think that we only dehumanize ourselves when we compare a lump of cells, with no capability of rational thought (blastocyst, for those of you who need clarification), no nervous system, no brain, to a human.

Noodleman: If your boss were to threaten your life, you would be justified in taking his. Such is the case in many abortions. (Many, not all, to those who would twist my words.)

This is just me, but I can never get over how the anti-abortionists (pro-life is an utter misnomer) do not understand the less-than-ideal situations that pregnant women go through. I've listed them before, but here they are again: rape; incest which will cause a psychologically and perhaps physically impaired child; a deformed fetus that will never survive the birthing process; baby with chromosomal abnormalities which will cause it to die by age 3; women who become hypertensive, whose bodies shut down when they are pregnant; toxemia; abusive husband/boyfriend who "will kill [the woman] and the baby too" unless she gets rid of it; women with rH factor; women whose physicians say that another baby could kill them and the birth control failed; women who find out that the baby they are carrying has brittle bone disease or will never develop mentally beyond the age of 1... do I need to go on? Why on earth do people think that they are better able to make that decision than the pregnant woman? Why, when someone is suffering that much, do you want to legislate via blanket prohibitions against them?

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 04:43 pm: Edit

First: I gotta know what dictionary you own, cause the word "many" sure doesn't fit in that sentence. I'm not twisting your words, though I'd suggest you revisit them and perhaps replace many with "almost no."

But hey, what's a little fuzzy math when it's killing were talkin about.

Here's some stats, and they're not from a flaming right-to-life Website. Planned Parenthood, actually.

Reasons given for Abortion

Wants to postpone childbearing: 25.5%
Wants no (more) children: 7.9%
Cannot afford a baby: 21.3%
Having a child will disrupt education or job: 10.8%
Has relationship problem or partner does not want pregnancy: 14.1%
Too young; parent(s) or other(s) object to pregnancy: 12.2%
Risk to maternal health: 2.8% (Many?)
Risk to fetal health: 3.3%
Other: 2.1%


Next:
___________________________________________

The placenta and umbilical cord are the connection between the two separate organisms, er, kids. It's kinda funny when you make the opposition's point for them in your own words.

Loaded terminology is loaded precisely because it connotes meaning. It is far easier to kill something that one can selectively dehumanize semantically. Pro-choice advocates often persist in calling something with a face, limbs, and organ systems "products of conception" right up until the time it passes through the birth canal. "Congratulations, Mrs. AriesAthena! It's a beautiful bouncing productsofconception!"

Within 3 weeks after conception, the nervous system begins to take shape. Look it up. It's not debatable.

Next:
_____________________________________

a deformed fetus that will never survive the birthing process; baby with chromosomal abnormalities which will cause it to die by age 3;women who find out that the baby they are carrying has brittle bone disease or will never develop mentally beyond the age of 1 OK. Wait. Now we care about the future of the products of conception? Why would you care about the future of a clump of cells unless it had one? You certainly do chase your own tail.

women who become hypertensive, whose bodies shut down when they are pregnant; toxemia;women with rH factor; women whose physicians say that another baby could kill them and the birth control failed;
2.3%. See above. Don't suppose you'd consider a case-by-case basis. Unless you think the greater good is served by lumping in the other 97.7%.

Abusive husband/boyfriend who "will kill [the woman] and the baby too" unless she gets rid of it; I imagine this is very common. It happens to people I know all the time. 14 times last week alone. Nice apocryphal touch. Let's just say it is common. I love it. That's like saying, "Oh yeah? Well I'll kill the baby first! Hah! Howdoyalike that!" This is what we have uh, police for, dear.

I gotta run. I'll finish burying you later.

By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 05:16 pm: Edit

Perhaps women who know in advance that Pregnancy could be so dangerous for them should have their tubes tied.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 05:30 pm: Edit

Noodleman: 3 weeks after conception, though, is certainly long after the 72 hours after intercourse that Plan B is used. I should have clarified.

We are saying the same thing about terminology. Let's be honest: when you want the kid, it's a baby. When you don't, it's a fetus, an embryo, whatever. When you are a biologist, you use those terms. When you are anti-abortion, it's a kid, a human with limbs, thoughts, dreams, a soul, or a baby. I tried to give a sample so as to not be biased.


Has relationship problem or partner does not want pregnancy: 14.1%
Too young; parent(s) or other(s) object to pregnancy: 12.2%
Risk to maternal health: 2.8%

Actually, all three of those fall under some of the things I listed at the end. Furthermore, if you read Chavi's posts, 1 million/year * 2.8% = 28,000 women per year who are at risk to their health from pregnancy. Many, Noodleman.

Education? Which education? High school, often, I suppose. Sometimes college.

Um... you're not making sense with the anti-abortion because women might be carrying deformed babies. I believe in choice because there are many reasons for having an abortion - and I did list the fact that women have abortions because of fetal abnormalities.

Ah, the undercurrent of society of which you are blissfully unaware. Some 1/3 of women will be raped or sexually assaulted during her lifetime. Many more will be in abusive relationships. I've read enough stories about women who, before '72, had back-alley abortions rather than have a child. I'm sorry, but so many women (and men, let's be unbiased, but they are not of concern for this debate) are in abusive relationships.

I do wish that your statement of "This is what we have uh, police for..." had any bearing on reality. It doesn't. There was recently a trial in which a woman got 50 years in jail for killing her abusive husband. Police did nothing about the abuse. There are shelters which are filled with women who are escaping abusive relationships. People are encouraged to donate their cell phones to be reprogrammed to dial only 911 during emergencies so that women who are being harassed, stalked, or abused with have recourse. It's a very sad, very prevalent, aspect of our society. Many women are threatened so that they will not seek the help they need. I encourage you, not for this debate, but for your general knowledge, to understand both the cycle of abuse (how people who grow up seeing abuse will either marry or become abusers in many cases) and the methodology of abuse. Look up "15 signs of an abusive lover" online. You can see that a lot of abuse begins with isolation, threats, making the other person feel stupid, making everything the other person's fault, etc. That can escalate to physical violence. Often, when a child is in the picture, the abuser will use the child against his victim, threatening to kill the baby or run away with the kid unless the victim accedes to his demands. It's horrible and sad, but it happens.

A few final thoughts. First of all, I tried to be rational and unbiased in my response to you. It does bother me that you speak of "burying me" and mocked the fact that I acknowledge loaded terminology for what it is. The latter was done to facilitate debate and to be fair; the former is plainly immature on your part. There are many rational, mature, and intelligent people who believe quite strongly in both sides of this debate. Do not debase either side as you are doing, please.

Secondly, something that I have mentioned but will do so again because you might have missed it. My stepmom, whom I love dearly, became pregnant with my little sister. She felt quite ill around the 6th/7th month of pregnancy, finally went into the hospital after a few days of it. She was literally dying then. The diagnosis was pre-eclampsia and toxemia, which took hold remarkably quickly. Normal platelet count is 180,000 (I forget the units). Hers were 36,000 when she went in there, and 30,000 a half hour later. Her blood pressure was something like 220/150. Simply put, she had about six hours to live. The treatment for her disease is to immediately have her give birth. She and my dad opted for C-section. The physicians asked my father which one he would want to live if they had to make a choice. He said that he wanted both my stepmom and the baby, of course; but if it had to be one or the other, my stepmom. Just letting you know this for a few reasons. I've seen personally the health effects of pregnancy on people who are close to me. Also, if things were different, that situation could have resulted in one of the banned partial-birth abortions - partially born, complications arose, and a choice had to be made. Easily could have gone that way, though I am grateful that it did not. Anyway, I understand, in ways that you cannot, the problems which can occur during pregnancy and the tough choices to be made.

Finally, one woman who is quite close to me was essentially forced into having sex by her abusive ex-boyfriend. She became pregnant and had an abortion. He wanted to get married, but I think she realized that keeping the kid (even giving it up for adoption) would allow him to stay in her life. So please, do not mock things so callously.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 05:33 pm: Edit

I've seen studies that men have much easier times getting vasectomies than women have getting their tubes tied. I know that I don't want children, but am aware that almost no physician would perform the procedure on me.

Also, what good does that statement serve, genius? That women who had birth control fail should endanger their lives because they didn't get their tubes tied? That we can criticize her after the fact? Does health insurance cover tube-tying for young women? Is it conceivable that, in a society in which 1/3 or so of people lack health insurance, that people could not afford the procedure and might opt for birth control instead? In short, what's your point?

By Chavi (Chavi) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 05:49 pm: Edit

Ariesathena - I guess I've just gotten so cynical about people that I sometimes think we will never make abortion illegal again until we have some selfish interest in doing so, kinda like all the reasons you have given. When society gets to the point that it is literally dying off and everyone's pocketbooks are being severely affected by a tanking economy, or say we find a new planet to inhabit, they'll make it illegal for sure. But to just do it because it's the right thing, or to save the little ones from an excruciating death, isn't a good enough reason, is it? I've become convinced that the polarization in our society isn't one of liberal/conservative, it's one of life vs. death. The one side is constantly wringing their hands over "our planet is dying!", global warming, the animals are all becoming extinct, the air and water are dirty, there's not going to be enough left for me, I need more money in my pocketbook, we need to kill all the criminals because they're out to get me, we need the old people to kill themselves so I don't have to foot all their medical bills, the poor need to quit reproducing because their lives are a dead end and they'll never improve their lot, we need to experiment on embryo's so I can be cured if I ever get sick, we have to appease all the other countries of the world and cower in the corner because I don't ever want to risk my life going to war, etc. etc. etc. What does all this kind of thinking have in common? Fear. You operate only out of fear. Fear of pregnancy, fear of fetal deformity, fear of your health being at risk because of the baby, fear of the planet being burdened by another human sucking up your air, fear of not having complete control. People who think that way have little hope for the future, and little confidence that doing the right thing will make life for everyone better.

Bebere87, it is your fear that keeps you from doing the right thing. You know in your heart that abortion is a terrible evil, yet you cannot bring yourself to admit that you have an obligation to stand up for the rights of that defenseless human being. Look at the 4D pictures I asked you to look at. (You too, Ariesathena, who thinks this is part of the mother's body. Why haven't you looked at them yet, are you afraid?) How can you stand there and tell that little infant that his mommy has the right to suck him into a sink? You are afraid of what this would mean for your life if you get pregnant unexpectedly. You are asking for the option to destroy another being out of fear of being inconvenienced. How selfish is that? To paraphrase a very wise person, what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose his soul?

By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 05:59 pm: Edit

I think that it would be wise that if your LIFE was being threatened to get your tubes tied and avoid any possible threat. Of course men have an easier getting vasecromies, their reproductive organs are on the outside, thus the procedure is much less invasive. Ariesathena, how old are you? I am certain no physician would perform the operation on you for no real reason. Did your stepmother have chronic hypertension before her pregnancy? Often when women are at risk for preeclampsia/eclampsia are generally monitered closely in case complications arise. I don't quite understand what you're trying to prove by this story, other than the fact that some pregnancies can be dangerous. These women shouldn't be pregnant in the first place, IMO. Plus, these cases make up quite a small percentage of abortions (the birth control failed and it was dangerous to the mother's health). I also don't like the "people will have unsafe abortions" excuse. This is true for everything the gov't makes illegal (and thus doesn't regulate). Prostitution, drugs, etc. (this goes for illegal transplants from other countries). I've never been pregnant, I don't know what I would do. But sitting here, in my situation, I don't understand how abortion is legal.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 06:37 pm: Edit

Ariesathena, I didn't see your last post before I wrote my last one. I remember hearing your stepmother's story before, and I want you to know I don't mean to be insensitive to it. I understand you went through a great trauma, not knowing if you were going to lose her, lose your sister, or both. I still don't understand how saving your stepmother would require killing your sister. Why wouldn't a simple C-section have been the only alternative? But you can't take one horrible situation and make good law based on that. That's what I mean by operating solely out of fear. And no, I wouldn't recommend getting your tubes tied. Again, that's something you feel compelled to do out of fear. Why do you fear something that could be so wonderful? It's very sad. Get around some people with a more positive outlook on life. There are so many wonderful things to experience and enjoy and love on this earth. If your stepmother hadn't survived your sister's birth, I think she would have wanted you to to do that, and to love and care for your sister the way she does. And I also suspect that your stepmother would have chosen to save your sister's life over her own, if that decision had to be made. But there would of course always be an exception for the life of the mother in any law against abortion.

By Dentist86 (Dentist86) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 08:07 pm: Edit

Most opposition to abortion relies on the premise that the fetus is a human being, a person, from the moment of conception. The premise is argued for, but, as I think, not well. Take, for example, the most common argument. We are asked to notice that the development of a human being from conception through birth into childhood is continuous; then it is said that to draw a line, to choose a point in this development and say "before this point the thing is not a person, after this point it is a person" is to make an arbitrary choice, a choice for which in the nature of things no good reason can be given. It is concluded that the fetus is, or anyway that we had better say it is, a person from the moment of conception. But this conclusion does not follow. Similar things might be said about the development of an acorn into an oak tree, and it does not follow that acorns are oak trees, or that we had better say they are. Arguments of this form are sometimes called "slippery slope arguments"—the phrase is perhaps self-explanatory—and it is dismaying that opponents of abortion rely on them so heavily and uncritically.

I am inclined to agree, however, that the prospects for "drawing a line" in the development of the fetus look dim. I am inclined to think also that we shall probably have to agree that the fetus has already become a human person well before birth. Indeed, it comes as a surprise when one first learns how early in its life it begins to acquire human characteristics. By the tenth week, for example, it already has a {48} face, arms, and legs, fingers and toes; it has internal organs, and brain activity is detectable.2 On the other hand, I think that the premise is false, that the fetus is not a person from the moment of conception. A newly fertilized ovum, a newly implanted clump of cells, is no more a person than an acorn is an oak tree. But I shall not discuss any of this. For it seems to me to be of great interest to ask what happens if, for the sake of argument, we allow the premise. How, precisely, are we supposed to get from there to the conclusion that abortion is morally impermissible? Opponents of abortion commonly spend most of their time establishing that the fetus is a person, and hardly any time explaining the step from there to the impermissibility of abortion. Perhaps they think the step too simple and obvious to require much comment. Or perhaps instead they are simply being economical in argument. Many of those who defend abortion rely on the premise that the fetus is not a person, but only a bit of tissue that will become a person at birth; and why pay out more arguments than you have to? Whatever the explanation, I suggest that the step they take is neither easy nor obvious, that it calls for closer examination than it is commonly given, and that when we do give it this closer examination we shall feel inclined to reject it.

I propose, then, that we grant that the fetus is a person from the moment of conception. How does the argument go from here? Something like this, I take it. Every person has a right to life. So the fetus has a right to life. No doubt the mother has a right to decide what shall happen in and to her body; everyone would grant that. But surely a person's right to life is stronger and more stringent than the mother's right to decide what happens in and to her body, and so outweighs it. So the fetus may not be killed; an abortion may not be performed.

It sounds plausible. but now let me ask you to imagine this. You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers {49} has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. The director of the hospital now tells you, "Look, we're sorry the Society of Music Lovers did this to you—we would never have permitted it if we had known. But still, they did it, and the violinist is now plugged into you. To unplug you would be to kill him. But never mind, it's only for nine months. By then he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you." Is it morally incumbent on you to accede to this situation? No doubt it would be very nice of you if you did, a great kindness. But do you have to accede to it? What if it were not nine months, but nine years? Or longer still? What if the director of the hospital says, "Tough luck, I agree, but you've now got to stay in bed, with the violinist plugged into you, for the rest of your life. Because remember this. All persons have a right to life, and violinists are persons. Granted you have a right to decide what happens in and to your body, but a person's right to life outweighs your right to decide what happens in and to your body. So you cannot ever be unplugged from him." I imagine you would regard this as outrageous, which suggests that something really is wrong with that plausible-sounding argument I mentioned a moment ago.

In this case, of course, you were kidnapped; you didn't volunteer for the operation that plugged the violinist into your kidneys. Can those who oppose abortion on the ground I mentioned make an exception for a pregnancy due to rape? Certainly. They can say that persons have a right to life only if they didn't come into existence because of rape; or they can say that all persons have a right to life, but that some have less of a right to life than others, in particular, that those who came into existence because of rape have less. But these statements have a rather unpleasant sound. Surely the question of whether you have a right to life at all, or how much of it you have, shouldn't turn on the question of whether or not you are the product of a rape. And in fact the people who oppose abortion on the ground I mentioned do not make this distinction, and hence do not make an exception in case of rape. {50}

Nor do they make an exception for a case in which the mother has to spend the nine months of her pregnancy in bed. They would agree that would be a pity, and hard on the mother; but all the same, all persons have a right to life, the fetus is a person, and so on. I suspect, in fact, that they would not make an exception for a case in which, miraculously enough, the pregnancy went on for nine years, or even the rest of the mother's life.

Some won't even make an exception for a case in which continuation of the pregnancy is likely to shorten the mother's life; they regard abortion as impermissible even to save the mother's life. Such cases are nowadays very rare, and many opponents of abortion do not accept this extreme view. All the same, it is a good place to begin: a number of points of interest come out in respect to it.

1. Let us call the view that abortion is impermissible even to save the mother's life "the extreme view." I want to suggest first that it does not issue from the argument I mentioned earlier without the addition of some fairly powerful premises. Suppose a woman has become pregnant, and now learns that she has a cardiac condition such that she will die if she carries the baby to term. What may be done for her? The fetus, being a person, has a right to life, but as the mother is a person too, so has she a right to life. Presumably they have an equal right to life. How is it supposed to come out that an abortion may not be performed? If mother and child have an equal right to life, shouldn't we perhaps flip a coin? Or should we add to the mother's right to life her right to decide what happens in and to her body, which everybody seems to be ready to grant—the sum of her rights now outweighing the fetus' right to life?

The most familiar argument here is the following. We are told that performing the abortion would be directly killing3 the child, whereas doing nothing would not be killing the mother, but only letting her die. Moreover, in killing the child, one would be killing an innocent person, for the child has committed no crime, and is not aiming at his mother's death. And then there are a variety of ways in which this {51} might be continued. (1) But as directly killing an innocent person is always and absolutely impermissible, an abortion may not be performed. Or, (2) as directly killing an innocent person is murder, and murder is always and absolutely impermissible, an abortion may not be performed.4 Or (3) as one's duty to refrain from directly killing an innocent person is more stringent than one's duty to keep a person from dying, an abortion may not be performed. Or, (4) if one's only options are directly killing an innocent person or letting a person die, one must prefer letting the person die, and thus an abortion may not be performed.5

Some people seem to have thought that these are not further premises which must be added if the conclusion is to be reached, but that they follow from the very fact that an innocent person has a right to life.6 But this seems to me to be a mistake, and perhaps the simplest way to show this is to bring out that while we must certainly grant that innocent persons have a right to life, the theses in (1) through (4) are all false. Take (2), for example. If directly killing an innocent person is murder, and thus impermissible, then the mother's directly killing the innocent person inside her is murder, and thus is {52} impermissible. But it cannot seriously be thought to be murder if the mother performs an abortion on herself to save her life. It cannot seriously be said that she must refrain, that she must sit passively by and wait for her death. Let us look again at the case of you and the violinist. There you are, in bed with the violinist, and the director of the hospital says to you, "It's all most distressing, and I deeply sympathize, but you see this is putting an additional strain on your kidneys, and you'll be dead within the month. But you have to stay where you are all the same. Because unplugging you would be directly killing an innocent violinist, and that's murder, and that's impermissible." If anything in the world is true, it is that you do not commit murder, you do not do what is impermissible, if you reach around to your back and unplug yourself from that violinist to save your life.

The main focus of attention in writings on abortion has been on what a third party may or may not do in answer to a request from a woman for an abortion. This is in a way understandable. Things being as they are, there isn't much a woman can safely do to abort herself. So the question asked is what a third party may do, and what the mother may do, if it is mentioned at all, is deduced, almost as an afterthought, from what it is concluded that third parties may do. But it seems to me that to treat the matter in this way is to refuse to grant to the mother that very status of person which is so firmly insisted on for the fetus. For we cannot simply read off what a person may do from what a third party may do. Suppose you find yourself trapped in a tiny house with a growing child. I mean a very tiny house, and a rapidly growing child—you are already up against the wall of the house and in a few minutes you'll be crushed to death. The child on the other hand won't be crushed to death; if nothing is done to stop him from growing he'll be hurt, but in the end he'll simply burst open the house and walk out a free man. Now I could well understand it if a bystander were to say, "There's nothing we can do for you. We cannot choose between your life and his, we cannot be the ones to decide who is to live, we cannot intervene." But it cannot be concluded that you too can do nothing, that you cannot attack it to save your life. However innocent the child may be, you do not have to wait passively while it crushes you to death. Perhaps a pregnant woman is vaguely felt to have the status of house, to which we don't allow the {53} right of self defense. But if the woman houses the child, it should be remembered that she is a person who houses it.

I should perhaps stop to say explicitly that I am not claiming that people have a right to do anything whatever to save their lives. I think, rather, that there are drastic limits to the right of self-defense. If someone threatens you with death unless you torture someone else to death, I think you have not the right, even to save your life, to do so. But the case under consideration here is very different. In our case there are only two people involved, one whose life is threatened, and one who threatens it. Both are innocent: the one who is threatened is not threatened because of any fault, the one who threatens does not threaten because of any fault. For this reason we may feel that we bystanders cannot intervene. But the person threatened can.

In sum, a woman surely can defend her life against the threat to it posed by the unborn child, even if doing so involves its death. And this shows not merely that the theses in (1) through (4) are false; it shows also that the extreme view of abortion is false, and so we need not canvass any other possible ways of arriving at it from the argument I mentioned at the outset.

2. The extreme view could of course be weakened to say that while abortion is permissible to save the mother's life, it may not be performed by a third party, but only by the mother herself. But this cannot be right either. For what we have to keep in mind is that the mother and the unborn child are not like two tenants in a small house which has, by an unfortunate mistake, been rented to both: the mother owns the house. The fact that she does adds to the offensiveness of deducing that the mother can do nothing from the supposition that third parties can do nothing. But it does more than this: it casts a bright light on the supposition that third parties can do nothing. Certainly it lets us see that a third party who cays "I cannot choose between you" is fooling himself if he things this is impartiality. If Jones has found and fastened on a certain coat, which he needs to keep him from freezing, but which Smith also needs to keep him from freezing, then it is not impartiality that says "I cannot choose between you" when Smith owns the coat. Women have said again and again "This body is my body!" and they have reason to feel angry, reason to feel that it has been like shouting into the wind. Smith, after all, is {54} hardly likely to bless us if we say to him, "Of course it's your coat, anybody would grant that it is. But no one may choose between you and Jones who is to have it."

We should really ask what it is that says "no one may choose" in the face of the fact that the body that houses the child is the mother's body. It may be simply a failure to appreciate this fact. But it may be something more interesting, namely the sense that one has a right to refuse to lay hands on people, even where it would be just and fair to do so, even where justice seems to require that somebody do so. Thus justice might call for somebody to get Smith's coat back from Jones, and yet you have a right to refuse to be the one to lay hands on Jones, a right to refuse to do physical violence to him. This, I think, must be granted. But then what should be said is not "no one may choose," but only "I cannot choose," and indeed not even this, but "I will not act," leaving it open that somebody else can or should, and in particular that anyone in a position of authority, with the job of securing people's rights, both can and should. So this is no difficulty. I have not been arguing that any given third party must accede to the mother's request that he perform an abortion to save her life, but only that he may.

I suppose that in some views of human life the mother's body is only on loan to her, the loan not being one which gives her any prior claim to it. One who held this view might well think it impartiality to say "I cannot choose." But I shall simply ignore this possibility. My own view is that if a human being has any just, prior claim to anything at all, he has a just, prior claim to his own body. And perhaps this needn't be argued for here anyway, since, as I mentioned, the arguments against abortion we are looking at do grant that the woman has a right to decide what happens in and to her body.

But although they do grant it, I have tired to show that they do not take seriously what is done in granting it. I suggest the same thing will reappear even more clearly when we turn away from cases in which the mother's life is at stake, and attend, as I propose we now do, to the vastly more common cases in which a woman wants an abortion for some less weighty reason than preserving her own life.

3. Where the mother's life is not at stake, the argument I mentioned at the outset seems to have a much stronger pull. "Everyone {55} has a right to life, so the unborn person has a right to life." And isn't the child's right to life weightier than anything other than the mother's own right to life, which she might put forward as ground for an abortion?

This argument treats the right to life as if it were unproblematic. It is not, as this seems to me to be precisely the source of the mistake.

For we should now, at long last, ask what it comes to, to have a right to life. In some views having a right to life includes having a right to be given at least the bare minimum one needs for continued life. But suppose that what in fact is the bare minimum a man needs for continued life is something he has no right at all to be given? If I am sick unto death, and the only thing that will save my life is the touch of Henry Fonda's cool hand on my fevered brow, then all the same, I have no right to be given the touch of Henry Fonda's cool hand on my fevered brow. It would be frightfully nice of him to fly in from the West Coast to provide it. It would be less nice, though no doubt well meant, if my friends flew out to the West Coast and carried Henry Fonda back with them. But I have no right at all against anybody that he should do this for me. Or again, to return to the story I told earlier, the fact that for continued life that violinist needs the continued use of your kidneys does not establish that he has a right to be given the continued use of your kidneys. He certainly has no right against you that you should give him continued use of your kidneys. For nobody has any right to use your kidneys unless you give him such a right; and nobody has the right against you that you shall give him this right—if you do allow him to go on using your kidneys, this is a kindness on your part, and not something he can claim from you as his due. Nor has he any right against anybody else that they should give him continued use of your kidneys. Certainly he had no right against the Society of Music Lovers that they should plug him into you in the first place. And if you now start to unplug yourself, having learned that you will otherwise have to spend nine years in bed with him, there is nobody in the world who must try to prevent you, in order to see that he is given something he has a right to be given.

Some people are rather stricter about the right to life. In their view, it does not include the right to be given anything, but amounts to, {56} and only to, the right not to be killed by anybody. But here a related difficulty arises. If everybody is to refrain from killing that violinist, then everybody must refrain from doing a great many different sorts of things. Everybody must refrain from slitting his throat, everybody must refrain from shooting him—and everybody must refrain from unplugging you from him. But does he have a right against everybody that they shall refrain from unplugging you from him? To refrain from doing this is to allow him to continue to use your kidneys. It could be argued that he has a right against us that we should allow him to continue to use your kidneys. That is, while he had no right against us that we should give him the use of your kidneys, it might be argued that he anyway has a right against us that we shall not now intervene and deprive him of the use of your kidneys. I shall come back to third-party interventions later. But certainly the violinist has no right against you that you shall allow him to continue to use your kidneys. As I said, if you do allow him to use them, it is a kindess on your part, and not something you owe him.

The difficulty I point to here is not peculiar to the right to life. It reappears in connection with all other natural rights; and it is something which an adequate account of rights must deal with. For present purposes it is enough just to draw attention to it. But I would stress that I am not arguing that people do not have a right to life—quite to the contrary, it seems to me that the primary control we must place on the acceptability of an account of rights is that it should turn out in that account to be a truth that all persons have a right to life. I am arguing only that having a right to life does not guarantee having either a right to be given the use of or a right to be allowed continued use of another person's body—even if one needs it for life itself. So the right to life will not serve the opponents of abortion in the very simple and clear way in which they seem to have thought it would.

4. There is another way to bring out the difficulty. In the most ordinary sort of case, to deprive someone of what he has a right to is to treat him unjustly. Suppose a boy and his small brother are jointly given a box of chocolates for Christmas. If the older boy takes the box and refuses to give his brother any of the chocolates, he is unjust to him, for the brother has been given a right to half of them. But {57} suppose that, having learned that otherwise it means nine years in bed with that violinist, you unplug yourself from him. You surely are not being unjust to him, for you gave him no right to use your kidneys, and no one else can have given him any such right. But we have to notice that in unplugging yourself, you are killing him; and violinists, like everybody else, have a right to life, and thus in the view we were considering just now, the right not to be killed. So here you do what he supposedly has a right you shall not do, but you do not act unjustly to him in doing it.

The emendation which may be made at this point is this: the right to life consists not in the right not to be killed, but rather in the right not to be killed unjustly. This runs a risk of circularity, but never mind: it would enable us to square the fact that the violinist has a right to life with the fact that you do not act unjustly toward him in unplugging yourself, thereby killing him. For if you do not kill him unjustly, you do not violate his right to life, and so it is no wonder you do him no injustice.

But if this emendation is accepted, the gap in the argument against abortion stares us plainly in the face: it is by no means enough to show that the fetus is a person, and to remind us that all persons have a right to life—we need to be shown also that killing the fetus violates its right to life, i.e., that abortion is unjust killing. And is it?

I suppose we may take it as a datum that in a case of pregnancy due to rape the mother has not given the unborn person a right to the use of her body for food and shelter. Indeed, in what pregnancy could it be supposed that the mother has given the unborn person such a right? It is not as if there were unborn persons drifting about the world, to whom a woman who wants a child says "I invite you in."

But it might be argued that there are other ways one can have acquired a right to the use of another person's body than by having been invited to use it by that person. Suppose a woman voluntarily indulges in intercourse, knowing of the chance it will issue in pregnancy, and then she does become pregnant; is she not in part responsible for the presence, in fact the very existence, of the unborn person inside her? No doubt she did not invite it in. But doesn't her partial responsibility for its being there itself give it a right to the use of her {58} body?7 If so, then her aborting it would be more like the boy's taking away the chocolates, and less like your unplugging yourself from the violinist—doing so would be depriving it of what it does have a right to, and thus would be doing it an injustice.

And then, too, it might be asked whether or not she can kill it even to save her own life: if she voluntarily called it into existence, how can she now kill it, even in self-defense?

The first thing to be said about this is that it is something new. Opponents of abortion have been so concerned to make out the independence of the fetus, in order to establish that it has a right to life, just as its mother does, that they have tended to overlook the possible support they might gain from making out that the fetus is dependent on the mother, in order to establish that she has a special kind of responsibility for it, a responsibility that gives it rights against her which are not possessed by any independent person—such as an ailing violinist who is a stranger to her.

On the other hand, this argument would give the unborn person a right to its mother's body only if her pregnancy resulted from a voluntary act, undertaken in full knowledge of the chance a pregnancy might result from it. It would leave out entirely the unborn person whose existence is due to rape. Pending the availability of some further argument, then, we would be left with the conclusion that unborn persons whose existence is due to rape have no right to the use of their mothers' bodies, and thus that aborting them is not depriving them of anything they have a right to and hence is not unjust killing.

And we should also notice that it is not at all plain that this argument really does go even as far as it purports to. For there are cases and cases, and the details make a difference. If the room is stuffy, and I therefore open a window to air it, and a burglar climbs in, it would it be absurd to say, "Ah, now he can stay, she's given him a right to the use of her house—for she is partially responsible for his presence there, having voluntarily done what enabled him to get in, in full knowledge that there are such things as burglars, and that burglars {59} burgle." It would be still more absurd to say this if I had had bars installed outside my windows, precisely to prevent burglars from getting in, and a burglar got in only because of a defect in the bars. It remains equally absurd if we imagine it is not a burglar who climbs in, but an innocent person who blunders or falls in. Again, suppose it were like this: people-seeds drift about in the air like pollen, and if you open your windows, one may drift in and take root in your carpets or upholstery. You don't want children, so you fix up your windows with fine mesh screens, the very best you can buy. As it happens, however, and on very, very rare occasions does happen, one of the screens is defective; and a seed drifts in and takes root. Does the person-plant who now develops have a right to the use of your house? Surely not—despite the fact that you voluntarily opened your windows, you knowingly kept carpets and upholstered furniture, and you knew that screens were sometimes defective. Someone may argue that you are responsible for its rooting, that it does have a right to your house, because after all you could have lived out your life with bare floors and furniture, or with sealed windows and doors. But this won't do—for by the same token anyone can avoid pregnancy due to rape by having a hysterectomy, or anyway by never leaving home without a (reliable!) army.

It seems to me that the argument we are looking at can establish at most that there are some cases in which the unborn person has a right to the use of its mother's body, and therefore some cases in which abortion is unjust killing. There is room for much discussion and argument as to precisely which, if any. But I think we should sidestep this issue and leave it open, for at any rate the argument certainly does not establish that all abortion is unjust killing.

5. There is room for yet another argument here, however. We surely must grant that there may be cases in which it would be morally indecent to detach a person from your body at the cost of his life. Suppose you learn that what the violinist needs is not nine years of your life, but only one hour: all you need do to save his life is to spend one hour in that bed with him. Suppose also that letting him use your kidneys for that one hour would not affect your health in the slightest. Admittedly you were kidnapped. Admittedly you did not give {60} anyone permission to plug him into you. Nevertheless it seems to me plain you ought to allow him to use your kidneys for that hour—it would be indecent to refuse.

Again, suppose pregnancy lasted only an hour, and constituted no threat to life or health. And suppose that a woman becomes pregnant as a result of rape. Admittedly she did not voluntarily do anything to bring about the existence of a child. Admittedly she did nothing at all which would give the unborn person a right to the use of her body. All the same it might well be said, as in the newly emended violinist story, that she ought to allow it to remain for that hour—that it would be indecent in her to refuse.

Now some people are inclined to use the term "right" in such a way that it follows from the fact that you ought to allow a person to use your body for the hour he needs, that he has a right to use your body for the hour he needs, even though he has not been given that right by any person or act. They may say that it follows also that if you refuse, you act unjustly toward him. This use of the term is perhaps so common that it cannot be called wrong; nevertheless it seems to me to be an unfortunate loosening of what we would do better to keep a tight rein on. Suppose that box of chocolates I mentioned earlier had not been given to both boys jointly, but was given only to the older boy. There he sits, stolidly eating his way through the box, his small brother watching enviously. Here we are likely to say "You ought not to be so mean. You ought to give your brother some of those chocolates." My own view is that it just does not follow from the truth of this that the brother has any right to any of the chocolates. If the boy refuses to give his brother any, he is greedy, stingy, callous—but not unjust. I suppose that the people I have in mind will say it does follow that the brother has a right to some of the chocolates, and thus that the boy does act unjustly if he refuses to give his brother any. But the effect of saying this is to obscure what we should keep distinct, namely the difference between the boy's refusal in this case and the boy's refusal in the earlier case, in which the box was given to both boys jointly, and in which the small brother thus had what was from any point of view clear title to half.

A further objection to so using the term "right" that from the fact that A ought to do a thing for B, it follows that B has a right against A {61} that A do it for him, is that it is going to make the question of whether or not a man has a right to a thing turn on how easy it is to provide him with it; and this seems not merely unfortunate, but morally unacceptable. Take the case of Henry Fonda again. I said earlier that I had no right to the touch of his cool hand on my fevered brow, even though I needed it to save my life. I said it would be frightfully nice of him to fly in from the West Coast to provide me with it, but that I had no right against him that he should do so. But suppose he isn't on the West Coast. Suppose he has only to walk across the room, place a hand briefly on my brow—and lo, my life is saved. Then surely he ought to do it, it would be indecent to refuse. Is it to be said "Ah, well, it follows that in this case she has a right to the touch of his hand on her brow, and so it would be an injustice in him to refuse"? So that I have a right to it when it is easy for him to provide it, though no right when it's hard? It's rather a shocking idea that anyone's rights should fade away and disappear as it gets harder and harder to accord them to him.

So my own view is that even though you ought to let the violinist use your kidneys for the one hour he needs, we should not conclude that he has a right to do so—we should say that if you refuse, you are, like the boy who owns all the chocolates and will give none away, self-centered and callous, indecent in fact, but not unjust. And similarly, that even supposing a case in which a woman pregnant due to rape ought to allow the unborn person to use her body for the hour he needs, we should not conclude that he has a right to do so; we should conclude that she is self-centered, callous, indecent, but not unjust, if she refuses. The complaints are no less grave, they are just different. However, there is no need to insist on this point. If anyone does wish to deduce "he has a right" from "you ought," then all the same he must surely grant that there are cases in which it is not morally required of you that you allow that violinist to use your kidneys, and in which he does not have a right to use them, and in which you do not do him an injustice if you refuse. And so also for mother and unborn child. Except in such cases as the unborn person has a right to demand it—and we were leaving open the possibility that there may be such cases—nobody is morally required to make large sacrifices, of health, of all other interests and concerns, of all other duties {62} and commitments, for nine years, or even for nine months, in order to keep another person alive.

6. We have in fact to distinguish between two kinds of Samaritan: the Good Samaritan and what we might call the Minimally Decent Samaritan. The story of the Good Samaritan, you will remember, goes like this:

A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him he had compassion on him.

And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

And on the morrow, when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, "Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee."

(Luke 10:30-35)

The Good Samaritan went out of his way, at some cost to himself, to help one in need of it. We are not told what the options were, that is, whether or not the priest and the Levite could have helped by doing less than the Good Samaritan did, but assuming they could have, then the fact they did nothing at all shows they were not even Minimally Decent Samaritans, not because they were not Samaritans, but because they were not even minimally decent.

These things are a matter of degree, of course, but there is a difference, and it comes out perhaps most clearly in the story of Kitty Genovese, who, as you will remember, was murdered while thirty-eight people watched or listened, and did nothing at all to help her. A Good Samaritan would have rushed out to give direct assistance {63} against the murderer. Or perhaps we had better allow that it would have been a Splendid Samaritan who did this, on the ground that it would have involved a risk of death for himself. But the thirty-eight not only did not do this, they did not even trouble to pick up a phone to call the police. Minimally Decent Samaritanism would call for doing at least that, and their not having done it was monstrous.

After telling the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus said "Go, and do thou likewise." Perhaps he meant that we are morally required to act as the Good Samaritan did. Perhaps he was urging people to do more than is morally required of them. At all events it seems plain that it was not morally required of any of the thirty-eight that he rush out to give direct assistance at the risk of his own life, and that it is not morally required of anyone that he give long stretches of his life—nine years or nine months—to sustaining the life of a person who has no special right (we are leaving open the possibility of this) to demand it.

Indeed, with one rather striking class of exceptions, no one in any country in the world is legally required to do anywhere near as much as this for anyone else. The class of exceptions is obvious. My main concern here is not the sate of the law in respect to abortion, but it is worth drawing attention to the fact that in no state in this country is any man compelled by law to be even a Minimally Decent Samaritan to any person; there is no law under which charges could be brought against the thirty-eight who stood by while Kitty Genovese died. By contrast, in most states in this country women are compelled by law to be not merely Minimally Decent Samaritans, but Good Samaritans to unborn persons inside them. This doesn't by itself settle anything one way or the other, because it may well be argued that there should be laws in this country—as there are in many European countries—compelling at least Minimally Decent Samaritanism.8 But it does show that there is a gross injustice in the existing state of the law. And it shows also that the groups currently working against liberalization of abortion laws, in fact working toward having it declared unconstitu-{64}tional for a state to permit abortion, had better start working for the adoption of Good Samaritan laws generally, or earn the charge that they are acting in bad faith.

I should think, myself, that Minimally Decent Samaritan laws would be one thing, Good Samaritan laws quite another, and in fact highly improper. But we are not here concerned with the law. What we should ask is not whether anybody should be compelled by law to be a Good Samaritan, but whether we must accede to a situation in which somebody is being compelled—by nature, perhaps—to be a Good Samaritan. We have, in other words, to look now at third-party interventions. I have been arguing that no person is morally required to make large sacrifices to sustain the life of another who has no right to demand them, and this even where the sacrifices do not include life itself; we are not morally required to be Good Samaritans or anyway Very Good Samaritans to one another. But what if a man cannot extricate himself from such a situation? What if he appeals to us to extricate him? It seems to me plain that there are cases in which we can, cases in which a Good Samaritan would extricate him. There you are, you were kidnapped, and nine years in bed with that violinist lie ahead of you. You have your own life to lead. You are sorry, but you simply cannot see giving up so much of your life to the sustaining of his. You cannot extricate yourself, and ask us to do so. I should have thought that—in light of his having no right to the use of your body—it was obvious that we do not have to accede to your being forced to give up so much. We can do what you ask. There is no injustice to the violinist in our doing so.

7. Following the lead of the opponents of abortion, I have throughout been speaking of the fetus merely as a person, and what I have been asking is whether or not the argument we began with, which proceeds only from the fetus being a person, really does establish its conclusion. I have argued that it does not.

But of course there are arguments and arguments, and it may be said that I have simply fastened on the wrong one. It may be said that what is important is not merely the fact that the fetus is a person, but that it is a person for whom the woman has a special kind of responsibility issuing from the fact that she is its mother. And it might be argued that all my analogies are therefore irrelevant—for you do {65} not have that special kind of responsibility for that violinist, Henry Fonda does not have that special kind of responsibility for me. And our attention might be drawn to the fact that men and women both are compelled by law to provide support for their children.

I have in effect dealt (briefly) with this argument in section 4 above; but a (still briefer) recapitulation now may be in order. Surely we do not have any such "special responsibility" for a person unless we have assumed it, explicitly or implicitly. If a set of parents do not try to prevent pregnancy, do not obtain an abortion, and then at the time of birth of the child do not put it out for adoption, but rather take it home with them, then they have assumed responsibility for it, they have given it rights, and they cannot now withdraw support from it at the cost of its life because they now find it difficult to go on providing for it. But if they have taken all reasonable precautions against having a child, they do not simply by virtue of their biological relationship to the child who comes into existence have a special responsibility for it. They may wish to assume responsibility for it, or they may not wish to. And I am suggesting that if assuming responsibility for it would require large sacrifices, then they may refuse. A Good Samaritan would not refuse—or anyway, a Splendid Samaritan, if the sacrifices that had to be made were enormous. But then so would a Good Samaritan assume responsibility for that violinist; so would Henry Fonda, if he is a Good Samaritan, fly in from the West Coast and assume responsibility for me.

8. My argument will be found unsatisfactory on two counts by many of those who want to regard abortion as morally permissible. First, while I do argue that abortion is not impermissible, I do not argue that it is always permissible. There may well be cases in which carrying the child to term requires only Minimally Decent Samaritanism of the mother, and this is a standard we must not fall below. I am inclined to think it a merit of my account precisely that it does not give a general yes or a general no. It allows for and supports our sense that, for example, a sick and desperately frightened fourteen-year-old schoolgirl, pregnant due to rape, may of course choose abortion, and that any law which rules this out is an insane law. And it also allows for and supports our sense that in other cases resort to abortion is even positively indecent. It would be indecent in the woman to request an {66} abortion, and indecent in a doctor to perform it, if she is in her seventh month, and wants the abortion just to avoid the nuisance of postponing a trip abroad. The very fact that the arguments I have been drawing attention to treat all cases of abortion, or even all cases of abortion in which the mother's life is not at stake, as morally on a par ought to have made them suspect at the outset.

Secondly, while I am arguing for the permissibility of abortion in some cases, I am not arguing for the right to secure the death of the unborn child. It is easy to confuse these two things in that up to a certain point in the life of the fetus it is not able to survive outside the mother's body; hence removing it from her body guarantees its death. But they are importantly different. I have argued that you are not morally required to spend nine months in bed, sustaining the life of that violinist; but to say this is by no means to say that if, when you unplug yourself, there is a miracle and he survives, you then have a right to turn round and slit his throat. You may detach yourself even if this costs him his life; you have no right to be guaranteed his death, by some other means, if unplugging yourself does not kill him. There are some people who will feel dissatisfied by this feature of my argument. A woman may be utterly devastated by the thought of a child, a bit of herself, put out for adoption and never seen or heard of again. She may therefore want not merely that the child be detached from her, but more, that it die. Some opponents of abortion are inclined to regard this as beneath contempt—thereby showing insensitivity to what is surely a powerful source of despair. All the same, I agree that the desire for the child's death is not one which anybody may gratify, should it turn out to be possible to detach the child alive.

At this place, however, it should be remembered that we have only been pretending throughout that the fetus is a human being from the moment of conception. A very early abortion is surely not the killing of a person, and so is not dealt with by anything I have said here.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 08:39 pm: Edit

Okay, Dentist86, but you don't seem to understand that carrying the baby to term especially in the case of rape/incest is better for the baby, the mother and for society. A scared, young victim of rape will not benefit from having an abortion. She will be responding to the violence with another act of violence, and have to live with the guilt forever. Giving life to the innocent child will help with the healing process and will be something she can look back upon with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Giving the child to an adoptive family so he won't have to be made aware of his origins and be raised without a loving father would be a further act of courage and love. Society makes laws not just for the sake of rights, but also for the good of society as a whole. This concept is neither socialistic nor democratic nor libertarian (I would say that libertarian best describes your position), but has it basis in the Christian-Judeo thought that the founders of our country relied upon. This doesn't mean forcing Christianity or Judaism on anyone, but that the concept of responsibility for the least among us is a precept developed over the years by Christian and Judaic philosophy upon which our Constitution and laws were intended to be based. Otherwise, why bother with any forms of welfare, education or emergency healthcare? This is where the libertarians go wrong. No, we shouldn't be doing for those who can do for themselves, but we do, as a society, have moral responsibilities to the weak and defenseless.

By Jenesaispas (Jenesaispas) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 09:17 pm: Edit

...is better for the mother?! Excuse me? How the hell can carrying a child that was forced into you be good for anybody? It's definitely better for the mother to abort the child in this case. If she doesn't, she'd have to live with her rape every day for months and months and months, with the pregnancy as a constant reminder. The rape would interrupt her life. How could she ever return to daily life unscathed? Carrying a child is supposed to be a sacred, beautiful, and loving thing, not something that is imposed upon a woman, especially in the cases of rape and incest. Now, I'm no advocate of abortion. In most cases, it's deplorable. But I can't see how carrying a child conceived through rape/incest could be good for anybody, the child included. (And what do you tell the child if he asks who his mommy and daddy are, that he is the product of rape?)

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 09:22 pm: Edit

My goodness, Dentist! That was a LOT of copying and pasting from

A Defense of Abortion

Judith Jarvis Thomson

Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 47 (1971)

I've grabbed lists and stats from the net and occasionally a sentence that comes with it but, whoa!

If you take the whole article, you really ought to include the Bibliography...

So here it is.

1. I am very much indebted to James Thomson for discussion, criticism, and many helpful suggestions.

2. Daniel Callahan, Abortion: Law, Choice, and Morality (New York, 1970), p. 373. This book gives a fascinating survey of the available information on abortion. The Jewish tradition is surveyed in David M. Feldman, Birth Control in Jewish Law (New York, 1968), Part 5, the Catholic tradition in John T. Noonan, Jr., "An Absolute Value in History," in The Morality of Abortion, ed. John T. Noonan, Jr. (Cambridge, Mass., 1970).

3. The term "direct" in the argument I refer to is a technical one. Roughly, what is meant by "direct killing" is either killing as an end in itself, or killing as a means to some end, for example, the end of saving someone else's life. See note 6, below, for an example of its use.

4. Cf. Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius XI on Christian Marriage, St. Paul Editions (Boston, n.d.), p. 32: "however much we may pity the mother whose health and even life is gravely imperiled in the performance of the duty allotted to her by nature, nevertheless what could ever be a sufficient reason for excusing in any way the direct murder of the innocent? This is precisely what we are dealing with here." Noonan (The Morality of Abortion, p. 43) reads this as follows: "What cause can ever avail to excuse in any way the direct killing of the innocent? For it is a question of that."

5. The thesis in (4) is in an interesting way weaker than those in (1), (2), and (3): they rule out abortion even in cases in which both the mother and child will die if the abortion is not performed. By contrast, one who held the view expressed in (4) could consistently say that one needn't prefer letting two persons die to killing one.

6. Cf. the following passage from Pius XII, Address to the Italian Catholic Society of Midwives: "The baby in the maternal breast has the right to life immediately from God.—Hence there is no man, no human authority, no science, no medical, eugenic, social, economic, or moral 'indication' which can establish or grant a valid juridical ground for a direct deliberate disposition of an innocent human life, that is a disposition which looks to its destruction either as an end or as a means to another end perhaps in itself not illicit.—The baby, still not born, is a man in the same degree and for the same reason as the mother" (quoted in Noonan, The Morality of Abortion, p. 45).

7. The need for a discussion of this argument was brought home to me by members of the Society for Ethical and Legal Philosophy, to whom this paper was originally presented.

Did you read it, too?

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 09:35 pm: Edit

Time out:

"A few final thoughts. First of all, I tried to be rational and unbiased in my response to you. It does bother me that you speak of "burying me" and mocked the fact that I acknowledge loaded terminology for what it is. The latter was done to facilitate debate and to be fair; the former is plainly immature on your part. There are many rational, mature, and intelligent people who believe quite strongly in both sides of this debate. Do not debase either side as you are doing, please."

AA, I meant "bury you in a lengthy post." You misunderstood what I meant. Truly. Also, I really wasn't mocking you. Arguing, sure, but not mocking. If my syntax doesn't convey my meaning, I apologize. I really am trying to be civil.


I'd honestly like to continue debating right now, but (I'm not making this up) I am Mr. Mom tonight for my adopted son, whose mother, an ex-vice-president of NOW, is working late.

Believe it or not, I see a lot of common ground between us. I'd like to see reasonable legislation made. I feel that what we have today is way, way, way too lax. 1.5 Million is too many.

-Noodleman

By Dentist86 (Dentist86) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 11:04 pm: Edit

Thanks Noodleman!! Thanks for adding other information for me. (I mean it)..
If you have time to IM me..then IM me..(my s/n Uofpenn10)

By Chavi (Chavi) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 11:46 pm: Edit

Jenesaispas - did you not even read what I said? I think I explained my statement fairly well. By doing the right thing, that's how a woman can carry a child of rape to term. I've known women who have done it. It's not easy, especially at first. But it is much more healing and dignified than traipsing down to the local clinic, laying oneself up on a table and putting your feet in the stirrups while some strange man sticks a vacuum up your insides and sucks the life out of you, all for $350 or so. Why add insult to injury? Do something you can feel good about, that's the ultimate way to stand up to a rapist and deny him his victory.

By Jenesaispas (Jenesaispas) on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 12:43 am: Edit

If you're comfortable with that, then good for you. But what if you're completely uncomfortable? What if you're so unstable that you commit suicide because you cannot stand or live with the parasite that's inside of you? Is an attempt worth sacrificing one's self?

And it may not be best for the mother to have the chid. What's best for her own healing is what she decides. To impose what's "right" is unethical by anyone's standard, I should hope.

The woman should have a choice if the pregancy was forced upon her, without ANY possible prevention, or any within reasonable means.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 01:07 am: Edit

Getting to bed soon... quick response to Chavi. First of all, you are wrong. You don't know me or my family, and I would truly rather you not presume things which are entirely untrue. Stop. You are wrong, and it's truly insulting.

Ash, babe, same goes for you. No hypertension. I was trying to show that there are pregnancies which can become unsafe, and do so quickly. I was trying to show that I personally am aware of at least one situation in which the question of "which one would you chose" was asked. So now you think that certain women shouldn't even try to be pregnant? That I might change my mind about not wanting children? 70% of people surveyed in an Ann Landers column said that if they knew what raising children was really like, they would have either delayed having kids or not had them at all. I happen to know what it is like and, for a mulitude of reasons, realize that I am not suited for it. Let's get off the glorifying motherhood b.s. and realize that raising kids is terribly draining. Babysit infants and toddlers, preferably more than one, for about three days straight. No help, no anything. I've done things like that for 8 years, and realize that I could not live like that every day. I also firmly believe that most kids need more than 2 parents. A host of aunts, uncles, older cousins, friends of parents, and older siblings can all be tremendously beneficial in a child's life. I do intend on being another adult figure (and I am) for children. Until you kids on this board have kids of your own, you won't realize how inadequate two people are for the task. Not to be cliche, but it does take a village. I do not think that I need to bear children of my own to be a postive influence in the lives of youngsters - and, so far, I've certainly been quite involved in dozens of kids lives without having any of my own.

See one of my first posts. "Safe, legal, and rare." I don't believe that, as society is today, making abortion illegal will really affect the frequency all that much. I do want legislation and social programmes which will decrease unwanted pregnancy and hopefully leave the rest to a woman's decision (up to a point). Better birth control, better education, better access to birth control, some societal changes (did anyone see that 11 jurors who saw a videotape of a rape wanted acquittal on a bunch of counts?) are in order before we ban abortion.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 01:21 am: Edit

One final thing: a round of applause to all those who kept this conversation civil.

By Bumblebee83 (Bumblebee83) on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 02:57 am: Edit

I'm not operating out of fear Chavi, and I don't think most pro-choice people are either. Aren't your opinions based almost soley on your fear of god? And I absolutley disagree that when a woman becomes pregnant from rape that having the baby would be best for her. Thats ridiculous. A friend of mine was date-raped in high school ( drugged at a party by the quaterback of our football team) and thnakfully, she didn't get pregnant. But one day the guy walked into the place we worked (despite her restraining order) and she literally fell to the floor sobbing hysterically. after a year of therapy. How would having that baby be good for her?
I also had a friend who has gotten pregnant three times,each time using hormonal birth control, and at least once with a condom too. She had the first baby and it was adopted and she chose, after going through that, to have two abortions afterwards.
And why isn't ok to be selfish and look out for myself?

By Chavi (Chavi) on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 09:01 am: Edit

Ah, therein lies the rub, Bumblebee. I am now speechless. "Why isn't it ok to be selfish and look out for myself?" Wow, that says it all. Well, then, let's just do away with all welfare, all environmental laws, why, all laws everywhere. Let's all just look after ourselves. We don't need government looking out or us or anyone else. I say "Power to the anarchists!!" Great idea!

By Smhop (Smhop) on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 01:32 pm: Edit

I won't get into the when does life begin debate... but I will say this:

What ever happened to good old personal repsonsibility? You know, that little thing where you acept certain risks, and live with the consequences of your actions... not blaming or hurting others?

My H is an attn'y , and I cannot tell you the frivolous lawsuits he has seen. FOR EX: the 82 year old man who CLIMBED the shelving unit at walmart which of course fell on him, and what does he do? He sues walmart... I Mean, come on, .... take some PERSONAL responsibility.

So, you go skiing, you end up paralyzed.. those are the risks of skiing... and you have to live with it. NO doc, no politician, comes along and saves you. You have to live, for the rest of your life, whith the consequences.. and yes, it hurts the plans you laid, and yes it affects your quality of life... whatever. That is part of life: personal repsonsibility. LIVING with that which we create (you made the bed, lie in it)

So, you have sex, you get pregnant... Why should someonoe save you? This is the consequence of your action... I'm sorry... it "sounds" harsh, but only on the surface... think this through. Abortion, be it 'right' or 'wrong' is inherently a SELFISH act. "my"body... "my" life... "my" rights.... yadda yadda. What about "my" responsibility?


Flame away, I dont care. My opinion is not just about abortion, but about selfish people acting selfishly in a selfish world. The "me" generation spawned the "mini me" generation, and its all way out of control.

By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 01:48 pm: Edit

smhop~
I totally agree with you, it's all about taking responsibility for one's actions and, if the consequences of those actions are unfavorable to you, not taking such big risks.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 02:57 pm: Edit

I'll bite - since when is a baby a punishment for acting the "wrong" way, i.e. having sex? Why is it only the woman who then is supposed to take responsibility for those nine months and the emotional toll?

By Smhop (Smhop) on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 03:29 pm: Edit

And as a side note to the person who posted tirhe lengthy example about the violinist etc... you MISS the point entireloy. A woman does not "wake up one day with this thing attached to her by some third party". The woman comitted the risky act which sometimes has consequences.

I am too frustrated to find eloquant words for me argument--- but again, I am primarily concerned with "personal repsonsibility'.

By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 07:55 pm: Edit

Ariesathena~

Along with being female comes the responsibility of childbearing, pregnancy, etc. We are responsible for the emotional stress and such because we are, well, women. Sex is not wrong, but it is a risky behavior, that has certain responsibilities attatched.

It's a shame that your stepmother suffered from such complications. But, I don't quite understand what this has to do with abortion. I don't think making a choice between mother and child is abortion. As you said, the only treatment for those complications was birth or at least attempted birth.

To answer your question I DO think that some women should definately NOT try and become pregnant (people with a history of severe pregnancy induced hypertension, for example). And if they do, they should be willing to accept the higher risk of complications.

I really don't care if you don't want any children. I would have no problem with you getting your tubes tied, but I can understand why no doctors would perform the operation.

I'm also very sorry that my opinion is insulting to you and "wrong". I didn't presume things, that's why I *asked* if your stepmom had hypertension before.

I don't want children either, I'm sure that I'm not responsible or commited enough. I will do everything I can to prevent pregnancy at this time (although I would never get my tubes tied now, I want to keep my options open). However, if I were to get pregnant, I would do my best to be responsible for my actions (however safe they were), then give the baby up for adoption.

By Bumblebee83 (Bumblebee83) on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 09:33 pm: Edit

I wasn't suggesting we throw all the laws out the window, and I do believe in personal responsiblity. Which is exactly why I don't agree with welfare at all, take responsibilty for yourself. and enviromental laws have to do with protecting an enviroment and animals and at some level ourselves. If we kill off all the useable land on earth we will not be able to grow any sort of food to sustain. And I think that abortion is being responsible. "Someone" isn't giving me a second chance or saving me or whatever. I screwed up and a very painful thing will have to be done, painful in psychological, emotional, and physical fashions. I don't understand how giving the baby up to complete and total strangers, or worse an orphanage, is any more responsible than abortion.
And I must say Chavi, if I made you speechless, I did my job quite well.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 12:18 am: Edit

Oh, poor baby! You're going to make such a painful decision for yourself (forget about the baby's pain being sliced and diced). And letting the poor child live with a loving family (just because you don't know them doesn't mean they're not wonderful parents) would be sooooo irresponsible! Gee, maybe you could like, take the time to get to know them? Ah, but then again, you don't care. Let the baby take care of itself. And don't forget, no welfare for the old, the crippled, the insane, the sick, or any other such bums! Abortion is mean, and so is your attitude. Sorry.

By Smhop (Smhop) on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 01:20 am: Edit

Personal responsibility means taking taking charge of your life's circumstances- whatever they may be. One can't just hand over a "get out of jail free" card!!! Its unethical.

And, yes, I think the man should share in this responsibility-- not merely the woman.

On that note, wouldn't it be nice if a man had to sign off before a girl destroys his baby-- truly, some men out there would care and NOT want to abort his child... so, then the moral question is how do you make a woman carry something she doesn't want to carry? The answer is : its NOT her choice. It takes two people! THUSLY, The baby, the life form, the whatever-you-want-to-call-it does not belong to her. And, if we go that far,then this third party being should have a right to life of its own. Its a tough ball of wax, thats why we take the "easy" way out. =(

One last thought: we can argue science, and we can argue morality, but what about God/religion/nature/fate? I mean, if a being is brought into creation by a higher power, what right does the individual have to destroy that life? Is it a sin? Many won't accept that bc guilt is just too hard to live with, its so much easier to live in a secular world... Once, again, we take the easy way out.

I guess in many ways, we have to take the easy way out bc this issue presents so many ethical dilemas, and we have not yet evolved enough as a society to deal with them.

Frankly, I thnk it should be outlawed. I do not believe we would have a dirge of back alley abortions-- since there is no longer a social stigma to unwed-parenthood-- many girls would have thier babies, not abort them. The problem is that abortion has become an acceptable choice/ an alternative to personal responsibility, a "get out of jail free card". The Easy way out. =(

As for the common arguments about rape,incest or illness/threat to mother... perhaps the answer lies in "medically neccesary abortions only" IE: you can to get a prescription or something of that nature. Maybe we need two docs to say "yes, this a one of those rare incest cases, we should not suffer this one to live"... or "the psychological trauma of rape has made this woman unfit to carrry this child" But those cases would be RARE indeed... and abrtion, if allowed to occur at all, should only occur in the rarest of instances... it should *not* be a free choice to shrug off the consequences of your actions.

Lastly, I look forward to the day when medical science learns to re-implant an embryo. Many childless couples would love to have an "unwanted" embryo implanted in the woman... as for the pregant mom who did not want the baby, she would only have to "suffer" a trimester at most, to get the fetus developed enough for re-implantation... it could be her little "secret" like abortions are, done discreetly and as out-patient surgery perhaps. THIS would be the best solution of all!!

DOes it sound like science fiction? I don't think so, if the research companies would spend money on this an not on more abortion pills,,, they could make a fortune on the proceedure (imagine no cost to the unwed mother, cost sponsered by the adoptive parents). Imagine annonymity for both sets of parents: We would merely need a truthful medical discolsure/history from the genetic parents. The med research companies are only after the almighty dollar in the first place.. so why not make a buck AND save society from this ethical plague? Enough research dollars and I bet someday this could be a reality. THOUGHTS ANYONE?

ignore my typos, my keyboard is messed up.

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 01:33 am: Edit

Many won't accept that bc guilt is just too hard to live with, its so much easier to live in a secular world

The reason people prefer live in a "secular world" is common sense, not because it's "easier" (like you hinted at).

By Eyesclozedtight (Eyesclozedtight) on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 01:55 pm: Edit

smhop,
the problem i find with your argument is that irresponsible people will continue to have unprotected sex. then, again, it's the child's fault for having such irresponsible parents? how do we trust an already irresponsible mother not to smoke, drink, or to take her meds, or to show up to her doctors appointments? so i guess on one level the child will pay in either respect. if the mother knows she can't carry the child in a healthy environment, what should she do? also, the fact that there is no longer a stigma to children born out of wed-lock has nothing to do with whether women will continue to have abortions even if they are made illegal. of course i am no fortune teller, but i'd imagine women would continue to get abortions for the same reasons they get them today.

chavi,
i think you're one of the most confused posters on this thread. have you ever met someone who had an abortion? are you a girl, and if so have you ever been pregnant? do you even realize how much physical and psychological trauma occurs to a woman who has an abortion? how about a woman who is raped? you obviously don't. what confuses me is that you value the potential life of a human being so much more than an already living(eating, sleeping, breathing) person! also i think you fail to realize that the "sicing and dicing" you describe goes on INSIDE the mother. the one who is already living. do you think she wouldn't consider her own pain and consequences before an abortion? do you really think that abortion is just something that women haphazardly do? as well, how do you defend the baby's pain when sometimes it hasn't even developed a nervous system yet? i guess i've just gotta realize this is all coming from the person who said that having the resulting baby of a rape was "healing," and that we're running out of people.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 07:58 pm: Edit

Eyesclozedtight, Bumblebee, AA and anyone else: if you are interested in having even a slightly educated conversation about the fetus, first look at the 4D images on the BBC website. The address is:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3846525.stm

I know you're afraid to look. I've asked you to several times, and all you want to do is insult me. Take a look and then get back to me.

By Eyesclozedtight (Eyesclozedtight) on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 08:43 pm: Edit

answer the question, chavi: do you really know what it's like to carry and abort a child first hand?

we've all seen the 4D pictures. you posted the link 3 times already. i think you're using that as a diversion because you really don't know what you're talking about. prove me wrong, chavi.

go.

By Bumblebee83 (Bumblebee83) on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 09:21 pm: Edit

I'm going to lay out the situation for all of you right now. Dear old Chavi and I have gotten into this before so I know a bit about this. She is rude inconsiderate and religion ha d blinded her from thought. She's hijacked her daughter's account on this site and attacks anyone who even slightly disagrees with her. I quite frankly am tired of having to see her inane mean posts everytime I'm here. She's pissed off because hse couldn't have babies of her own and refuses to even consider that someone else may have a good point.
And just so you know Chavi, I've seen your freakin' BBC pictures and I have a degree in child development. I also worked as a rape counselor at a local shelter after a friend of mine was raped in high school. So please shut up.

By Bumblebee83 (Bumblebee83) on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 09:25 pm: Edit

And no one insulted you until now. Now I have and I'm glad, because you insluted me first. Don't ever call me mean again. That was completly uncalled for.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 11:32 pm: Edit

So, you looked at the video? And you still advocate that it's ok to destroy that little life? Amazing, but not surprising, that someone could still destroy a tiny life like that, knowing what it is. Well, I guess there's not much more to say, then. Eyesclozedtight, why are you so determined to make this personal? You can't just stick to the facts? I've seen this issue from every possible facet. What more do you need to know? Oh, and keep screaming at me, Bumblebee. You'll get it out of your system some day and then maybe you can think more rationally about it all.

By Bumblebee83 (Bumblebee83) on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 01:36 am: Edit

You attacked first sweetheart. I don't understand why you think that I haven't come to my decision rationally? What about anything I have said was irrational? Please, show me, because I just don't see it.

By Idiias (Idiias) on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 03:07 am: Edit

burn

By Idiias (Idiias) on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 03:08 am: Edit

*bump

By Eyesclozedtight (Eyesclozedtight) on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 03:09 am: Edit

i'm "determined" to make this personal because i know you're talking out of your ass. you can't back up any statement you've made beyond, "look at these 4D pictures everyone! they're real!" do you really think we don't know what a fetus looks like? give me a flippin break! i can respect posters like noodleman who can give a good argument for their position, but i unfortunately can't give you the same. i made a distinct post directed towards you, and the best response you had was, "look at these 4D again you inconsiderate meanies." on top of that, we've all called you on a number of your statements about 1/3 of pregnancies ending in abortion since roe v. wade and how the world is running out of people. i'm still waiting for you to cite your sources with valid facts. you obviously have no idea what you're talking about, so until you do, let the rest of us have an intellectual discussion without your rhetorical nonsense.

By Smhop (Smhop) on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 12:11 pm: Edit

This was an interesting discussion til it got childish.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 12:35 am: Edit

eyesclozedtight - re your desire to know more about me. What if I was Mother Teresa? Seriously, what would you say? What fault would you find with someone like her who has spent her life working with and laboring for the suffering and the poor and the rape victims and the AIDS victims? Would you grant her any moral authority to speak on the subject of abortion? The reason I don't see the need to tell you anything personal about me is that you will find fault with whatever I say. I could be one of the most perfect people who ever walked the earth, and you would find fault. You are just trying to avoid discussing the facts and obfuscate by focusing in on me. As for statistics, I believe several people, including myself, have referred you to Allen Gutmacher Institute numbers showing over 40 million abortions in the last 30 years. Try adding up the numbers born since 1973 as listed on http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005067.html
For your additional education, try taking a look at the following articles: The CATO Institute discusses falling birthrates in Spain and Western Europe at http://www.cato.org/dailys/05-14-99.html Then an interesting interview in the Rocky Mountain News with Philip Longman, senior fellow at the New America Foundation, about his book The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity at http://rockymountainnews.com/drmn/opinion/article/0,1299,DRMN_38_2985653,00.html

Then there is another article from Insight magazine about economist and University of Maryland professor Julian Simon and his new book Hoodwinking the Nation at
http://www.pop.org/main.cfm?id=147&r1=2.00&r2=6.00&r3=0&r4=0&level=2&eid=258

If you're really interested in the facts, that should keep you busy for awhile.

By Kissy (Kissy) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 01:15 pm: Edit

Chavi and Noodleman- you've articulated my opinions better than I ever could have myself. Thank you. I also agree, Noodleman, that there is hypocrisy, if one can generalize, in the fact that most pro-choicers are opponents of the death penalty and vica versa.

I had an amnio during one of my pregnancies, thinking I was 20 weeks along. Midway through the procedure, the dr. realized I was just 12 weeks pregnant. Since there was enough amniotic fluid to perform the test, he decided to proceed.

As my H and I were watching the procedure on the screen, we witnessed our baby, a 12 week-old fish with nubby upper appendages, grab the needle which was in utero. The fetus held on and shook the needle, almost violently, for what seemed like an eternity. The needle couldn't be removed until the baby let go and swam away, so as not to harm it. The dr. told us,"Mr. and Mrs. Kissy, I can tell you without even doing the genetic screen that you're going to have one ornery boy!" He was so right -- we were blessed with our ornery boy, whose personality was so evident at just 12 weeks gestation. Life without him, or our other children, would be unthinkable.

By Thebarnrat (Thebarnrat) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 04:12 pm: Edit

Not really going to launch into an abortion debate here. I am pro-choice though. Although I don't condone it, and believe that prevention is the best method, I am perfectly fine with the idea of abortion in all cases unless the baby can support itself outside of the uterus. And even then, abortion is acceptable if the birth will possibly cause the death of the woman.

There are a few arguments that REALLY bother me however. I HATE it when people say something along the lines of "Well, if a woman is stupid enough to get knocked up,then she deserves to have the baby." It is my personal belief that a human life form should not be used as means of reward or punishment. Does a baby DESERVE to be born into that type of home? And then people always come back with "She can always give the baby up for adoption." People seem to treat the adoption process like the pound. Just my $.2.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 06:43 pm: Edit

Kissy - glad to meet a fellow traveler. Loved your story. (Psssst! Just watch that talk about children being wonderful and fulfilling and human and stuff. It drives them insane around here.)

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 10:24 pm: Edit

As this argument is getting out of control, I will simply only add to the least contentious part of it: responsibility by both a man and a woman.

Both a man and a woman choose to have sex (and if not, that's a different story - and most people do approve of abortion in cases of rape), and should share the responsibility. In my experience, talking to male friends, most of them would prefer their girlfriend to have an abortion. Option #2, trailing by a lot, would be adoption. Option #3 is the worst - that of keeping the kid. I also know of someone whose wife aborted their child - and this man loves children. Right now, I will state my stance: sharing the responsibility of an unplanned pregnancy is a tremendously complicated issue, and frankly, I don't have any clear answers to it.

There is the '70s model, in which as only women can get pregnant, only they can be responsible. Witness health classes that made women simulate baby care (with an egg) which they had to watch over constantly, while the men did nothing like that. Not functional.

There is the current system, in which if a woman wants an abortion, she has one. This is good sometimes (it's her health at stake in some situations), bad in many, many others. Not functional.

I cannot mention how many relationships I've had problems with because men want sex sooner than I do. Very few of them seem to understand the emotional, psychological, and physical repercussions - and I think it's because they don't worry every 28 days about pregnancy. They are not the ones who would suffer for 9 months, 3 weeks; they would not be the ones with the emotional devestation from an abortion. My entirely personal opinion: having the responsibility only on the woman does not work. I can start in with some horror stories of otherwise very good people who were pretty terrible to me because they did not understand my reasons for not having sex. The health issue (I spent two years with undiagnosed abdominal problems), the education issue (pregnancy and college/law school don't mix), the emotional issue (huh? what? emotions?) - all just over their heads, not their problems, so get in bed or break up.

As I said, I don't have any easy answers to that one. I can beg parents to warn their SONS about pregnancy, the dangers of promiscuity, the emotional and psychological implications of pregnancy, but that will not happen soon. The current societal standard is that women bear responsibility for a pregnancy, while men do not - and there are manifold problems resulting from this. I've dated many young men - educated, intelligent, caring - who simply do not understand that sex can cause pregnancy, and unwanted pregnancy is a huge problem. If anyone has time, drag up the "Sex and the City" thread, in which the OP asked if daughters were warned. No mention (save for Jamimom's posts) about sons.

I would love for some parents, or young men, to provide input. I do realize that there are exceptions (I've befriended and dated a few) - no need to start a debate about that - but any constructive input or comments would be great.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 11:53 pm: Edit

AA - I agree with you. I too spent most of my dating years in law school. Men those days (early 80's) expected to have sex within a couple of dates. I imagine it's even worse now. I've taught my daughter that telling a guy up front you have no intention of having sex with him until you're married is the best way of weeding out the good ones from the not so good ones, if for no other reason. I understand the peer pressure and the desire to have a boyfriend and the hurt over getting dumped by one guy after another. But it's better than what so many other young girls are going through these days. The pill did not liberate us. Abortion has not liberated us. These things have only increased men's expectations. The same can be said of women in the working world. It took my husband a long time to come to grips with the fact that I wanted to quit work and stay home with my child. He had always imagined himself with a working wife and didn't want that breadwinner responsibility all to himself. He's happy with our situation now, but I'd say he was pretty resentful at first. And he's one of the nice guys. No, I'm not saying that all women should stay home or the pill should be illegal. I'm just pointing out the irony of so-called women's liberation. Maybe we women should start re-thinking some of this. By the way, my husband was the first guy I dated who responded to my wait until marriage line by saying "OK, I'll wait as long as it takes." Guys like that are out there. We have to quit lowering our standards and messing up our lives for the sake of being with somebody. The fact of the matter is that it is us women who are ultimatley responsible, alone, for the child. We are responsible for who we choose to have sex with and we are the stuckees with the results of that sex. There are single mothers all over the place now with no Daddy in sight. I would say we women have been doing an awfully bad job of making choices lately. Face it, men are only going to be as good as we expect them to be. We need to expect more of the right things (no, not good looks, money or a hot car) and quit settling for less.

The other side of the coin, there is nothing more effective for raising a good son than having a good Dad for a role model. I've told all my kids that there is no reason for them to start dating until they are in a position to consider getting married. It just screws things up when you date so early. My 17-yr. old daughter sees that with her friends. It consumes them. My son is 12 and already has girls starting to chase after him. Other mothers warn me how direct and assertive the girls are these days, and their sons are barraged with constant phone calls and e-mails and IMing. I have already started warning him of the dangers out there. We are a very pro-life family and he realizes that if he ever got a girl pregnant, he would have no power to prevent that child from being aborted. Hopefully, by raising him to appreciate unborn life, he will be so much more concerned about the consequences of his actions when it comes to sex. You mentioned your friends who have stated they would prefer their girlfriends to have abortions if they got pregnant. Why are these girls dating guys like this? Why would you make yourself vulnerable to a man so callous? These guys are spoiled brats who are thinking only of themselves.

By Smhop (Smhop) on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 02:38 am: Edit

chavi-- you are very on the ball, imo. NOT just on your stance on abortion, but the whole way you look at the new issues arrising out of feminism and the also comendable way you are rearing yoru son.

If we take a hard look at what feminism has brought to us, many would "take it back". Women came from behind... fought for equal rights-- but unfortunately kept on going past that-- and in my opinion, took it too far. =(

How did the "I'm as good as a man, I can do what a man can do" turn into the "I HAVE to work, it takes two incomes to raise a family"?!?! We have stripped our American males of the ability to earn enough income to BE the primary breadwinners. We have stripped the American woman of the ability to stay home and raise her babies if she wished to!! It is GOOD to be able to vote... it is good to be ABLE to hold a job, get educated, climb the corporate ladder. BUT, it is only good if you WANT it. It is sad, sad, sad that families today are stuck leaving thier kids to be raised by strangers in daycare because they both *have* to work.

I have family mebers who truly have it MADE. Both he and she are eye-docs... both educated, both career minded... but get this: they opened a practice together and they job share. Thus, one of them is always home with thier 2 yo daughter. NOW that is truly, truly social advancement. Men at home, women at work.. vice versa.. the family unit does NOT suffer. All have equal rights, and no one is forced into ecomonic dependency servitude.

I hope "feminism" continues to evolve... because it has stagnated at a terrible, terrible place.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 11:43 am: Edit

Chavi: I think we can agree on a few things, as you mentioned above. I don't, however, think that the Pill or abortion or whatever, in of itself, has really lead to any of this. The Pill can certainly help a marriage as couples do not have to worry about having more children than they can handle. I do think that, properly used, the Pill can reduce unwanted pregnancies - and very few people are really opposed to that!

Theoretically, feminism should allow us the choice to work or stay at home. My father did consider staying at home with the kids, but my stepmom does it. Reasons are that this way, they can both see the kids; her job was much less flexible and would have her travelling about 60 hrs/week. If things were different, and I'm sure they are for many families, it is sensible for the father to stay home.

I've said it before, and here it is again: I do think that abortion should be a RARE procedure. Simplest way for that to happen is to reduce unwanted pregnancies, and I think that will happen when teenagers realize that they are too young for sex, when there are far fewer rapes, when men stop pressuring for sex, and when there is very accessible and reliable birth control for those who are mature enough to use it. We might disagree on a few of these points, but it's mostly semantics.

From my own experiences, even telling a man at the beginning of dating that you want to wait has little effect. Many think that you can be persuaded, or just dismiss it.

Smhop: Yes and no. Both parents don't have to work in many cases; sometimes they don't have a choice as they need to make ends meet. It is not a feminism issue so much as a high standard of living issue - people want to live beyond the means of one income. Working women might enable that, but certainly are not responsible for it.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 01:43 pm: Edit

I think you are very wrong about the pill, Ariesathena. It has most certainly led to widespread promiscuity, you must at least admit. Men no longer see any reason not to pressure a woman for sex, and women often feel they have only two options: Use or be used. We feel we must either give in to the sexual demands and quite often be used, or that we must go out there and use men for sex and be more like them. This has in turn led to more abortion, not less. Many women (no, I realize not all) by nature have an innate desire for children which is emotionally tied up with the desire for intimacy in the sexual relationship. Hence, so many young girls getting pregnant almost on purpose so as to have a child to love them and stupidly thinking the guy will somehow stay around. You also have many people who get "caught up in the moment", fail to use birth control and end up pregnant. More sex is just going to equal more pregnancies, there's no way around that. The availability of the pill has led to an attitude that we are entitled to have and enjoy sex whenever we want and not have the unwanted consequence of pregnancy. This has led to abortion because we need it to take care of our birth control failures. More birth control education isn't going to do much to change that, it will simply make kids feel its ok to have sex as long as it's "safe". There is more of an attitude of "everyone is doing it", it's normal to be doing it now and we don't want to be left out, do we? Of course, popular culture and parental morals also contribute to this. But what I'm trying to say is that birth control failures will always be with us. The only way to eliminate them is to go around and force all unmarried persons of a certain age to be temporarily sterilized somehow until they purposely want to have a child. Few people would do that voluntarily, because they want control and don't want the side effects, and think they're just about to meet the right one, etc. So unless we're going to force this on people, there will be unintended pregnancies. But if there is nothing wrong with abortion, why worry about making it rare?

As for working, I think it's great that we have the flexibility we have today. Nothing wrong with Dad staying home with the kids, unless you're talking about an infant or toddler. They just by nature need that bonding with Mommy. But I know so many women who work because the kids drive them crazy and it's easier to work. When I worked and had my daughter with a babysistter, my house stayed clean and organized, I had the freedom to run errands during my lunch hour or on my way home with no kids in tow, and I got to deal with adults all day which is (usually) easier than putting up with all the griping and chatter from the kids. But our kids need us, like it or not. I have a friend who is a wonderful mother, when she's home, but I'm sure her kids are growing up with the underlying feeling that Mommy's job is more important to her then they are. That has to affect your ability to bond with and nurture your own kids.

Finally, you can't just tell a man you want to wait to have sex. Make it very definite that it won't be until marriage, then watch him run very quickly. Better to avoid that guy altogether early on than to waste your time and emotional health on him. I had one guy tell me "that's ok, I know a girl back home I can get some from once in a while." That's when you'd better run!

By Chavi (Chavi) on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 03:52 pm: Edit

An article from Deal Hudson (publisher of Crisis Magazine) re Kerry and abortion that I think addresses some of the issues raised here:

On Sunday, John Kerry told Iowa's Telegraph Herald that he personally opposes abortion and believes that life begins at conception. The exact quote is as follows:

"I oppose abortion, personally. I don't like abortion. I believe life does begin at conception."

Amazing.

...

For example, compare his recent statement with the remarks he made at last year's NARAL Pro-Choice America Dinner:

"I think that tonight we have to make it clear that we are not going to turn back the clock. There is no overturning of Roe v. Wade...
There is no outlawing of a procedure necessary to save a woman's life or health and there are no more cutbacks on population control efforts around the world. We need to take on this President and all of the forces of intolerance on this issue. We need to honestly and confidently and candidly take this issue out to the country and we need to speak up and be proud of what we stand for."

Did you catch that? Not only should abortion be available to all American women, all the time, but it should be used as a population control valve around the world. And this is something we should "be proud of." Not what you'd expect from someone who claims he doesn't like abortion.

And this isn't an isolated comment...

From the Boston Herald on January 23, 2001: "I will not back away from my conviction that international family planning programs are in America's best interests. We should resist pressures in this country for heavy-handed Washington mandates that ignore basic choices that should belong to free people around the globe."

Kerry's support for "international family planning programs" -- a standard euphemism for "abortion" -- is an issue he's advocated for some time. If Kerry is telling the truth about being "personally opposed" to abortion, why is he trying to spread it worldwide?

But perhaps the most outrageous quote comes from the 1994 Congressional record: "The right thing to do is to treat abortions as exactly what they are -- a medical procedure that any doctor is free to provide and any pregnant woman free to obtain. Consequently, abortions should not have to be performed in tightly guarded clinics on the edge of town; they should be performed and obtained in the same locations as any other medical procedure... [A]bortions need to be moved out of the fringes of medicine and into the mainstream of medical practice. And by the same token, if our children are to be safe from the danger of fanaticism, tolerance needs to spread out of the mainstream churches, mosques, and synagogues, and into the religious fringes."

Abortion is simply "a medical procedure"? If that were true, then on what grounds could he possibly be personally opposed to it? He certainly doesn't seem to be struggling with the issue here. And how exactly does he propose to "spread tolerance" to the "religious fringes"? Presumably, he's referring to the people who, as an article of faith, believe abortion to be immoral. But didn't he just claim to be one of those very people?

John Kerry says he believes that abortion is wrong and that life begins at conception. And yet he vows to do everything he can to make sure that women have the freedom and right to end that life.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 04:35 pm: Edit

I don't see opposing abortion and supporting the freedom as a contradiction. Even though he opposes abortion, he sees it as better to be legal than illegal. It could be political (I'm not denying that) but I hold a similar stance.

I think it is similar to the argument that people against the war can still support the troops. They are not really connected

By Nyu2010 (Nyu2010) on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 09:04 pm: Edit

If I ever got pregnant, I would definitely have an abortion!


If you don't like abortions, don't have one. Don't preach to others.


And males shouldn't be taken seriously on this issue, hmmm especially GoodChocolate hmmm.

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 10:29 pm: Edit

And males shouldn't be taken seriously on this issue, hmmm especially GoodChocolate hmmm.

I've never posted anything that's hinted at my sex -- I could be female for all you know! :)

By Smhop (Smhop) on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 11:50 pm: Edit

"It is not a feminism issue so much as a high standard of living issue "

Yes, I was thinking this as I posted it, actually. Many women do not have to work, but prefer to have greater riches, or at least, less struggles, than prior generations. I still see this as a selfish choice within the confines of many marriages, and at the expense of the children. Yeah, we can give them a car at 16, but no mom at home after school.. what's more important? I have said it before, I will say it again.. the me generation has led to the mini-me generation. A generation of selfish pursuits has led to a generation of expected entitlements. Feminism plays a huge role, in any event. Maybe its not all bad per se, but it is INTERESTING.

I think the feminist movemnet is evolving-- pay close attention and you will see many 30 somethings leaving the workforce, rather than joining... they want to get educated first, rasie kids second, and work later (rather than empty nest). This could be a much healthier balance.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 12:05 am: Edit

...or be educated, work, have children, raise children - and then said children would have (theoretically) older, wiser, more mature, and more "worldly," if you will, parents. Feminism has pushed for the education, the work, the delay in marriage and childbirth, all of which can be great things. Forgive me for saying so, but 20 or 22 is too damn young to marry and far too young to have children.

By Gidget (Gidget) on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 09:25 am: Edit

This is just a point for all those who said being adopted doesn't always lead to a bad upbringing. If this was my child I gave away for adoption I would feel horible. They weren't adopted from the system but its the same- Not all adoptions end up like this but it does happen-


Parents who caged, beat boys deserve stiff prison terms, court told

OSHAWA, Ont. (CP) - A couple who kept their two adoptive sons caged and chained like animals over a 13-year period deserve stiff penitentiary terms and are far from being poorly skilled parents deserving of sympathy, court heard Wednesday.

In final pre-sentencing submissions, Crown attorney Soula Olver argued the "near torture" inflicted on the boys should rule out the conditional sentences urged by the defence. "(The children) were systematically abused on an ongoing basis for 13 ½ years," Olver told the court.

"The maltreatment of two innocent young boys became a way of life."

The woman, 42, and man, 51, pleaded guilty in January to charges of assault with a weapon, forcible confinement and failure to provide the necessities of life. They cannot be named to protect the identities of the boys, who are now 17 and 18, are in foster care and attending high school.
Sentencing has been scheduled for July 5.
Olver told Ontario Court Judge Donald Halikowski that the boys, who are "scarred for life," were adopted as toddlers by their aunt because their mother was dying.

"If anything," said Olver of the boys who were hyperactive and may have suffered fetal alcohol syndrome, "compassion was even more warranted."

But instead of finding sanctuary, their new home quickly became a house of horrors, with their adoptive mother taking the lead in tormenting them.

Although they went to school, Olver reminded the judge the boys were often tied to their beds, sometimes handcuffed, and were often beaten with a variety of implements.

At one time, one boy was forced to sleep in a dog cage without even a piece of cardboard to lie on.

They were kept in diapers because they couldn't get to the washroom and were given rectal examinations by their mom.

They lived in such fear, court heard, that they ate their own feces to hide evidence of accidents and, deprived even of water, felt compelled to drink their own urine.

"How can you sit there and lie?" the heavy-set mother, who had been listening impassively, burst out at one point during the court proceedings.

"You're all liars."

The boys were rescued from their home in Blackstock, Ont., three years ago in a case that horrified police and child-care workers, who found them after a tip from a relative.

When investigators visited the ramshackle two-storey farmhouse near Port Perry, one of the boys was found in a makeshift cage that was strapped to a wall and padlocked.

It was only later the boys discovered the couple weren't their real parents.

While Olver said the mother should serve six to eight years and the father three to five years, the defence argued for conditional sentences of 12 to 15 months for her, and six months for her husband.

Defence lawyer Alex Sosna conceded the allegations were as horrific as "one would read in a Stephen King novel," but said the portrait of the woman as an abusive, manipulative monster was exaggerated.

He said his Grade 6-educated client was herself abused as a child.

The boys never showed outward signs of abuse and there were no indications the mother was a sadist, Sosna told the judge.

The defence noted the boys spoke affectionately of their father, who sometimes took them fishing or to an amusement park, but the judge indicated he had trouble separating the roles of the couple in the abuse.

Sosna also read two similar handwritten apologies from the mother.

"This is one of the hardest, saddest letters I have ever written," she wrote.

"I tried as hard as I could but I just couldn't take it any more. I'm so sorry I put you in the crib. It was not right. It was criminal."

"Although you may always hate me, I will always love you."

Olver rejected the assertion the couple simply had "poor parenting skills" and dismissed the letter as self-serving and manipulative.

She contrasted the treatment of the two boys with the kind and loving care the couple gave their biological son, their grandchildren and even neighbourhood kids.

Nor was there any evidence the mother was abused as a child, Sosna noted.

"I didn't have a childhood because of her stupidness," the younger son said in a victim-impact statement last month.

"The crib incidents were unbearable," the older boy said. "They have haunted me since the day I left."
© The Canadian Press, 2004

As a note--- These parents were sentenced to nine months in prison- not long enough if you ask me.

By Smhop (Smhop) on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 12:13 pm: Edit

That story has nothig to do with normal adoptions proceedings. Adoptive couples have to go through intensive background checks and applications, social worker visits etc... They are couples who desperately want children. That was a sad, sad, sick story-- and I am convinced and relieved to think of how rare that must be.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 01:20 pm: Edit

"...for all those who said being adopted doesn't always lead to a bad upbringing ..."

And abortion always leads to NO upbringing as well as a painful demise for the fetus. There are no guarantees in life. No matter how carefully you plan, bad things happen. Kinda silly to decide to just end it now and not even give the baby a chance. Besides, the story above has nothing to do with abortion and little to do with placing children for adoption. The parents in question were relatives who took the children in after their mother died. Although I'm sure if you look hard enough you can find an instance of a child being placed with parents who had background checks and the whole lot and still abused the child. This is by far an exceptional situation. Children placed for adoption with a married couple almost always fare better than those raised by single moms.

By Taru (Taru) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 03:07 pm: Edit

Wow, I take a little break from CC and find one of these threads here all over again.

Just keep abortion legal and mind your own morals. Don't have an abortion if you're against it, period. And don't you try to impose your values on another woman's body. You can be personally against abortion but also want to have the option legally available to women who aren't against it.

Didn't the mods shut down the last thread like this because it was "two sides trying to force the other to concede" or something? Has that changed at all here?

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 03:10 pm: Edit

I find a certain irony in Chavi not being willing to have gay couples marry and thus adopt, but being against abortion. Wouldn't gay marriage allow more adoptions to take place and thus minimize abortions? Just thinking out loud, but if you really care about life and only life, the two opinions are not really compatible.

By Bumblebee83 (Bumblebee83) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 03:14 pm: Edit

I'm with you Craig. The more good parents out there the better and by limiting who can marry and have children is ridiculous. I used to babysit for a gay couple and their children were the most well behaved, intellegent children I've ever spent time with.

By Musefinity (Musefinity) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 04:47 pm: Edit

Seriously, Taru. I am probably 100% morally against abortion (unless in the case of rape, 14-year-old pregnancies, and complicated pregnancies, of course). But I still have the tolerance to be 100% politcally pro-choice.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 10:41 am: Edit

Craig, in case you haven't heard, there is a severe shortage of babies available for adoption. My precise statement, which I will reiterate for you, was that, ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, the better choice for placing a baby is with a married heterosexual couple. I have no problem with gays adopting "special needs" kids, if they're having a hard time finding a married heterosexual home for them. Sorry, I have no tolerance for anything less than the best when it comes to the interests of children. They take precedence over the interests of either their actual or their want-to-be parents.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 11:00 am: Edit

I hadn't heard there was a shortage of people on this planet,unlike other species, we hardly seem to be endangered
http://www.msnbc.com/news/307068.asp

By Taru (Taru) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 02:23 pm: Edit

Exactly, Musefinity. I know a lot of people with the same views as you, and it's really one of the most tolerant and respectful positions you can have on the issue.

And Chavi, there are thousands of babies available for adoption; there is more of a supply than there is a demand. This is especially true for older children (who are less likely to be adopted). Also, I find it offensive that the only children you find suitable for gay couples to adopt are "special needs kids." Any loving couple (indeed, any loving adult) is capable of providing a caring home for a child, regardless of the child's condition. Just what are you insinuating by writing that you only approve of same-sex couples adopting "special needs kids"?

By Chavi (Chavi) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 04:24 pm: Edit

There you go again. I place babies for adoption for a living, Taru. It is no state secret that there are a lot more couples wanting to adopt babies than there are babies available to be adopted. Please don't make me have to find statistics for you, ask any adoption agency. Yes, there are a lot of babies in foreign countries in need of a home, but many other countries, largely for cultural reasons, limit the number of children they will place in the U.S. The expense, the waiting period and the technicalities make for a process not many people are able to go through. As for older children, maybe you don't understand that older children fall under the label "special needs". Yes, they are fairly difficult to place, therefore a homosexual couple adopting them is better than foster care or a shelter home. Although, I still think a heterosexual married couple would be a better choice, all other things being equal and if that were a possibility. I NEVER said that a homosexual couple is incapable of providing a caring home for a child. I simply said, and let me repeat it once again, that if I had a choice between placing an infant with a solid, stable, happily married couple or a solid, stable, happily "committed" homosexual couple, I would choose the married couple hands down. This is because it is better for the child to have both a mother and a father. I repeat, I never said that a gay couple cannot be good parents. You really need to be more careful in interpreting other people's comments. I think it is awfully intolerant of you to put words in other people's mouths. Just what are YOU insinuating?

By Gianscolere (Gianscolere) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 12:46 am: Edit

(lol)

i'm pro-choice

By Gidget (Gidget) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 10:21 am: Edit

I think a happily commited gay couple should have just as much right as a heterosexual couple to adopt a child and provide it with a home. Just becuase a family has a mother and a father does not make it a better home. I know many kids raied in a 'typical family' that had horrible upbringings and I know some raised by a homosexual couple and it is a happy and wonderful home to be in with more love than you can imagine and growing up with two dads hasn't hurt her a bit, she is a beautiful girl with wonderful ideals and moral and is very well adjusted.

By Gidget (Gidget) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 10:29 am: Edit

In now way am i gneralizing that all mother father homes are bad nad all homosexual couples are prefect parents but by choosing one over the other for adoption of a baby you are making a generalization that heterosexual couples are much better parents and that homosexual couples are not.


As a side note this debate is turning into a long one and although everyone has vaild points I doubt we will agree. I think this is one of those topics where you know what you believe and no one can change that. I think that it is unfair to claim we know what is best when we have never been in a situation like this. I held my freinds hand as she decided her future and realized I will never know what she was feeling and I can't make a decision to cut off options for people in a situtaion I have never been.

By Gidget (Gidget) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 10:45 am: Edit

In now way am i gneralizing that all mother father homes are bad nad all homosexual couples are prefect parents but by choosing one over the other for adoption of a baby you are making a generalization that heterosexual couples are much better parents and that homosexual couples are not.


As a side note this debate is turning into a long one and although everyone has vaild points I doubt we will agree. I think this is one of those topics where you know what you believe and no one can change that. I think that it is unfair to claim we know what is best when we have never been in a situation like this. I held my freinds hand as she decided her future and realized I will never know what she was feeling and I can't make a decision to cut off options for people in a situtaion I have never been.

By Riflesforwatie (Riflesforwatie) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 11:14 am: Edit

I think the abortion issue is not as important as a lot of other issues out there.


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