Is abortion murder or not?

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Kerrie

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Why are you being so sexist in this discussion?
i can ask you why are you being so inconsiderate of the mother's feelings? she is the one who goes through the body changes, has to bear a child (believe me it is very painful) and ultimately responsible for the child because so many men will walk away from parenthood and leave that mother a single parent. she will pursue child support, but he may not pay, he may not be involved. this isn't about YOU, this is about the woman and her ultimate burden of responsibility. sure, you might be a responsible father, unfortunately many men left women high and dry which gives a woman incentive to terminate, and she needs to be able to do it safely. now that abortion has been legal for 32 years in America, women who have had the choice will not stop getting abortions whether you feel it is wrong or not.

thank goodness it is not your dogmatic views that rule my body.
 

Hurkyl

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And I could ask you how you can be so dismissive of the child. And, I could say how it isn't about YOU, but about the defenseless child and its right to live.
 

Kerrie

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Hurkyl said:
And I could ask you how you can be so dismissive of the child. And, I could say how it isn't about YOU, but about the defenseless child and its right to live.
the child has a right to life once he/she is born, and yes, i have two children of my own i love very much. you try telling this to a woman with no money, no support, 2 months pregnant and unable to provide a solid home once she was to give birth. the abortion law is not about morals of the life of a child, it's about the safety and privacy of a woman who's immediate life is considered by the eyes of the law more important then a 8 week fetus.

thank goodness it is not your dogmatic views that rule my body either.
It is the children of men who are being brutally murdered by the abortionists. I would prefer to see my son grow up to be a tall strong young man, and not killed because the timing is inconvenient. I would also not like to be murdered by my mother now because she decides that I am now inconvenient.
i am guessing then if you had a daughter you wouldn't feel so strongly? don't tell me about being sexist.
 

Hurkyl

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the child has a right to life once he/she is born
Once there is agreement with this, there is no problem, and I would defend abortions right up until the moment of birth. (At least, unless some other issue pops up)

The problem? There isn't agreement with this. :tongue2: This is my #1 gripe with the majority of pro-choice advocates: they take your statement as an axiom, and refuse to acknowledge any disagreement on this point.

You call others dogmatic -- but you aren't any better.


you try telling this to a woman with no money, no support, 2 months pregnant and unable to provide a solid home once she was to give birth.
I will not accept an emotional argument in support of murder, period.

When a rational argument is presented that destitution is a valid excuse for murder, I'll listen.


the abortion law is not about morals of the life of a child, it's about the safety and privacy of a woman who's immediate life is considered by the eyes of the law more important then a 8 week fetus.
If it's about balancing the safety and privacy of a woman against the life of a fetus, then it most certainly is about the life of the fetus.

On privacy: if the fetus has a right to life, you have to present an argument why the mother's right of privacy is more important than the fetus's right to life.

On safety: if abortion should be illegal when safety is not considered, you have to provide an argument why an illegal act should be made legal in order to protect the safety of those committing that illegal act.

(If giving birth puts the life of the mother at risk, that's a third, separate issue)


thank goodness it is not your dogmatic views that rule my body either.
What views have I presented that are dogmatic? I intend this both as:

(1) a challenge for you to back up your allegation, as I suspect you are making unwarranted assumptions about my position.
(2) self-improvement, as I try to avoid making any assertions I can't back up with reason.
 

Kerrie

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Hurkyl said:
Once there is agreement with this, there is no problem, and I would defend abortions right up until the moment of birth. (At least, unless some other issue pops up)

The problem? There isn't agreement with this. :tongue2: This is my #1 gripe with the majority of pro-choice advocates: they take your statement as an axiom, and refuse to acknowledge any disagreement on this point.

You call others dogmatic -- but you aren't any better.
think of it this way...if a woman is telling you that circumcision is wrong for moral reasons, you have only a fraction of the feeling a woman understands when men, who have no clue what child bearing is all about, tells her to continue on with a pregnancy she is unfit to deal with.


I will not accept an emotional argument in support of murder, period. When a rational argument is presented that destitution is a valid excuse for murder, I'll listen.
your definition of murder is not consistent with the U.S. laws obviously. abortion is not considered murder in the eyes of the law.


If it's about balancing the safety and privacy of a woman against the life of a fetus, then it most certainly is about the life of the fetus.

On privacy: if the fetus has a right to life, you have to present an argument why the mother's right of privacy is more important than the fetus's right to life.
try reading the U.S. Constitutional Amendment XIV. it guarantees the same privacy for men and women. the term "fetus" is not anywhere in the constitutution. according to the U.S. laws, a fetus is not considered a U.S. citizen, but once it is a child born and breathing, it is considered a U.S. citizen. it is your own opinion that a fetus is a citizen with rights, but it is not consistent with the laws. if you don't like the laws, i suggest writing your congressmen or find a new country to live in.

On safety: if abortion should be illegal when safety is not considered, you have to provide an argument why an illegal act should be made legal in order to protect the safety of those committing that illegal act.
how much of roe vs. wade have you read? have you read anything i have posted these last 3 pages? abortion is only legal because of the safety and privacy of a woman, not because the U.S. laws say it's okay to terminate fetuses. it's about being practical and dealing with reality, many women were becoming severly ill and even risking their lives up until abortion was made legal in 1973. to tell a woman she should keep her baby regardless of her current position is unrealistic. would you rather see teenagers dump a newborn in the dumpster because they didn't know how to deal with it, or perhaps given her the option for abortion before that child came into the world and then die a horrible death?

let me repeat, the U.S. laws for abortion were not based on the morality of the situation...not everyone's idea of morality is consistent nor practical...the laws for abortion were made for realistic and practical reasons. you can scream, kick, yell and preach all you want how horrible it is(and i agree it is a horrible act personally), but those women stuck in a desperate situation are only thinking of what they feel is right for them. this is not my opinion, but a fact that has been proven over and over. millions of women obtain abortions each year, and since abortion has been legal, in my state NOT ONE WOMAN HAS DIED. the judicial law has the perspective of, "she's going to terminate the pregancy one way or another...if it is legal, she will be safe. and under the constitution she has a right to privacy."


my argument is backed up by the laws of the U.S. itself. yours are backed up by your own personal morals, again not always consistent and practical with the rest of the united states citizens.
 

Hurkyl

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I suspect you are making unwarranted assumptions about my position.
yours are backed up by your own personal morals
Case in point. I haven't even thought of venturing into moral concerns. Thus far, I've mainly been interested in trying to establish that the standing of a fetus is a core topic in the issue of abortion. Frankly, most of the stuff one can say on abortion is irrelevant if the involved parties don't already agree on this core topic.


Just because the law is the way it is doesn't mean that's the way the law should be. For example, wasn't slavery once legal? :tongue2:


Besides, there is already legal precedent for considering the premeditated slaughter of a fetus as murder -- IIRC, in some states a man that kills a mother and her fetus can be charged with two counts of murder.


Furthermore, one does not need to be a US citizen to be protected by US law. I'm pretty sure that I could be convicted as a murderer if I kill, say, an illegal immigrant.
 

russ_watters

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Kerrie said:
think of it this way...if a woman is telling you that circumcision is wrong for moral reasons, you have only a fraction of the feeling a woman understands when men, who have no clue what child bearing is all about, tells her to continue on with a pregnancy she is unfit to deal with.
Kerrie, I've been nice about this, but your position on this point (regarding the conception vs birth thing, there is much room for reasonable disagreement) is simply not reasonable and here's why: "a woman" doesn't pay for or have any personal obligation toward a circumcision. I can understand the desire for complete control over your body, but the fact of the matter is, your decisions affect other people and the other people affected should be considered when making decisions. That doesn't just apply to abortion, that applies to every decision that affects others, even ones that involve directly, only your body (such as suicide or getting a tattoo).

Regarding the other thing, both you and Hurkyl have highlighted the main dilema in the issue: proponents of both sides (though, imo, more often the "pro-life" side because of the religious aspect) often consider their position axiomatic.

-Life starts at conception, so abortion is murder.
-Human life (or rights) starts at birth, so the rights are entirely the woman's until that point.

There is, however, a third position, held by a significant fraction of pro choice advocates (ie, me):

-Human life (and rights) start somewhere between conception and birth.
 
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Kerrie

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russ_watters said:
Kerrie, I've been nice about this,
um, okay :uhh: i didn't realize you were an authority on the subject.

but your position on this point (regarding the conception vs birth thing, there is much room for reasonable disagreement) is simply not reasonable and here's why: "a woman" doesn't pay for or have any personal obligation toward a circumcision.
she can if she is the mother of the boy being circumsized. but my point was more about the issue of control from another gender regarding sexual health. american law has clearly defined that the woman has control of her body while pregant. i think also society in general would rather see a serious alcoholic female abort her baby rather then drink while pregnant and give birth to a baby with FAS.

I can understand the desire for complete control over your body, but the fact of the matter is, your decisions affect other people and the other people affected should be considered when making decisions. That doesn't just apply to abortion, that applies to every decision that affects others, even ones that involve directly, only your body (such as suicide or getting a tattoo).
please explain how my tattoos affect anyone else? especially if they are hidden all day under my clothing where no one can see them? Russ, i am inclined to think you are joining a band wagon of bias rather then trying to see reason within the american laws. no one has addressed the blatant fact of why abortion is legalized, only addressed me who is just reiterating the law that protects women and their privacy-the same privacy you are entitled to.
 

Kerrie

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Hurkyl said:
Just because the law is the way it is doesn't mean that's the way the law should be. For example, wasn't slavery once legal? :
you are absolutely right, and it was abolished because of the personal liberties of the individual were the issue-the same basis abortion was legalized in 1973. again, what research have you done on roe vs. wade? abortion was illegal prior to then.

Besides, there is already legal precedent for considering the premeditated slaughter of a fetus as murder -- IIRC, in some states a man that kills a mother and her fetus can be charged with two counts of murder.
yes, and i agree with anyone who kills a fetus-such as an enraged man like Scott Peterson-is infringing upon the mother's rights and liberties to bear her child.
 

anti_crank

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Hurkyl said:
the child has a right to life once he/she is born
Once there is agreement with this, there is no problem, and I would defend abortions right up until the moment of birth. (At least, unless some other issue pops up)
I cannot speak for others, but I fail to see how a different position can be logically sustained. What sort of argument for abortion rights would you find acceptable?
 

Hurkyl

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yes, and i agree with anyone who kills a fetus-such as an enraged man like Scott Peterson-is infringing upon the mother's rights and liberties to bear her child.
Let me make sure I clearly understand you:

(1) When someone kills a fetus, you think it appropriate to call it a murder.
(2) When the mother kills a fetus, you think it inappropriate to call it a murder.


I cannot speak for others, but I fail to see how a different position can be logically sustained. What sort of argument for abortion rights would you find acceptable?
I don't understand the question.
 

Kerrie

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Hurkyl said:
Let me make sure I clearly understand you:

(1) When someone kills a fetus, you think it appropriate to call it a murder.
(2) When the mother kills a fetus, you think it inappropriate to call it a murder.
due to the fact that the U.S. laws have granted the woman a choice in remaining pregnant, it is not considered murder. me personally, i think a woman who chooses to go beyond 4 months of pregnancy and then decide to abort is approaching a fine line. being a mother, and having been pregnant twice, i didn't feel an attachment or movements till around 5 months along. this may be different for other women.

remember hurkyl, you are assuming that life begins at conception and many hold a different opinion of this, especially the U.S. laws. and maybe if you yourself found out that you impregnated a gal you had only known for a few months yet you had the opportunity of your life that would enhance your career, you yourself may be the kind of guy who would sacrifice this wonderful opportunity to be a father. but, you and the gal have a falling out, she gets custody, you are stuck paying child support to a child you see every other weekend at best. of course, you would have a new family member, but had the woman decide to abort, you would have been making more money, gotten more opportunity for advancement, got to travel, etc. the attachment to the child never would have been. these are the kinds of aspects people look at when considering this awful but sometimes necessary choice. so, her decision to keep the child could set you back in your dreams and goals all because the condom broke, or she forgot to take her pill.

now think of her. you and her don't have a long term relationship, she is raising a child mostly alone who doesn't see his or her father daily like a child should, all of you struggle financially. again, perhaps you personally are willing to take responsibility for the situation, i don't doubt that from your responses. but a great majority of men are not like this, putting many women in a bad position. this is where the U.S. laws give them options. the U.S. laws do put the woman first before a 12 week old fetus because again, her needs are more immediate then the fetus. if she can hardly take good care of herself, how can she take care of herself while pregnant, and even worse, take care of a new baby? this is the positive thing about the law, there is a choice. abortion is a choice, a hard choice of course, but still a choice. it falls within the woman's freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. constitution, again because her needs are much more important and immediate then the 12 week old fetus.
 

loseyourname

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This is from Norah Vincent (it's short, so I'll post the whole thing):

1.9..03
Wrong Focus in Abortion Issue
LA Times, Op. Ed.

On Jan. 22, abortion rights groups will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. Antiabortion groups will memorialize it.

Rhetoric will fly on both sides, all of it aimed at the new Republican-controlled Congress, which Roe supporters see as a grave threat to women's reproductive freedoms and Roe opponents see as their best hope for securing fetal rights.

Of course, the rhetoric will be aimed at you and me too because, in 2004, we will decide whether to reelect President Bush or install the Democratic challenger. Bush is likely to sign into law any bill Congress passes banning partial-birth abortion and to appoint pro-life judges to the Supreme Court; a Democratic president would probably veto such a ban -- as President Clinton did twice -- and appoint pro-choice judges.

For far too long, the abortion debate has been about political advocacy, not ideas. The feminist establishment has made choice a woman's issue. The Christian right has made life a religious issue. Both have made loyalty crucial. If you're pro-woman, you're pro-choice. If you're pro-God, you're pro-life. But this is a false dichotomy. Abortion is not a feminist issue, and it is not a religious issue. It's a libertarian issue that, legally speaking, has nothing to do with women's bodies or God and everything to do with the Constitution.

So let's be clear about the basics. "A woman's right to choose" and "sanctity of life" are misleading phrases used to whip up public outrage and obscure the real issue at hand.

The case for abortion, and the legal basis on which Roe was decided, does not rest on "choice" but on the right to privacy implied, though never explicitly stated, in the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th amendments.

The case against abortion does not rest on "life" in the cosmic or biblical sense but on life in the purely legal sense, as set forth explicitly in the 5th and 14th amendments: "Nor shall any person ... be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law."

Thus, despite what the activists want you to think, the real question on abortion is whether the right to privacy or the right to life should prevail. Which comes down to the real choice on abortion: Is the fetus human?

If the fetus isn't human, then getting an abortion is no different from getting a tattoo or a nose job. It's a victimless procedure that is nobody's business and should be legal.

If the fetus is human, then it deserves all the constitutional protections that you and I enjoy, the most important being the right to life.

If a fetus is human, then the logical conclusion is inescapable: Abortion, by definition, is homicide and should be illegal except when, to save her own life, the mother aborts in self-defense.

Fetal humanity is the philosophical hinge on which the abortion debate turns.

The less time since conception, the stronger the case against fetal humanity becomes, which is why pragmatic pro-lifers realize that first-trimester abortions are likely to remain legal in this country even if Roe is overruled.

But the converse is also true. The closer you get to the ninth month, the more irrefutable the case for fetal humanity becomes. That is why pro-choicers are going to have to accept that a ban on late-term procedures like partial-birth abortion is not only an inevitability under the current administration but also a moral imperative.

So maybe a good way to mark this 30th anniversary would be to move the debate from all or nothing -- conception to birth -- to a compromise in which lifers concede the first trimester, choicers concede the third and the rest of us have an intellectual discussion about the middle.
Perhaps this can help give some clarity to the issue.
 

russ_watters

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Kerrie said:
um, okay :uhh: i didn't realize you were an authority on the subject.
I didn't say I was an authority, I just meant I wasn't being very forceful with my opinion. I'm known to do that, ya know....
 

Hurkyl

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due to the fact that the U.S. laws have granted the woman a choice in remaining pregnant, it is not considered murder.
I don't have a legal dictionary at hand, but every definition I can find for the word murder is the "killing of a human being by another human being".

I think you'll agree that this definition of murder cannot apply to one of these situations, but not the other. (Though, if you would care to explain how, I'll listen)


Some of the definitions include the qualification "unlawful". Others instead qualify it with "it is not always a crime". Others don't have anything to say about legality.


However, every definition I could find specifically states that the actor and actee are human beings, or are persons.


Assuming you stick to your response, I conclude that you intend the following:

(1) The fetus is a human being.
(2) Abortion takes the life of a human being.
(3) The definition of murder requires the killing to be unlawful.
(4) The only reason abortion isn't murder is because it is lawful.


Am I correct?



remember hurkyl, you are assuming that life begins at conception and many hold a different opinion of this, especially the U.S. laws.
Am I now? I don't recall making any statement that assumes life begins at conception, except in that parody of your post. I don't think I've even made any statements of the form "If life begins at conception, then <insert conclusion>".

At your suggestion, I started reading up on Roe v Wade, and one thing really stood out: that the justices specifically intended to avoid having an opinion on this. Instead, the decision was based on the lack of legal precedent for ascribing rights to a fetus.

So, I'm now even less convinced that your opinions are backed by U.S. law. (at least some of them)


if you yourself found out that you impregnated a gal
Actually, I have an easy answer for your hypothetical: I practice abstinence.

I would also like to point out that there wouldn't even be a shred of tolerance in any other situation for the taking of a life merely to get ahead in the world.

So, why is there tolerance for the taking of a life in this situation? Because it's legal? But weren't you trying to use this example to convince me why it should be legal? If so, you're wrapping yourself in a circular argument.

Furthermore, your hypothetical was presented as if the man has a choice in the matter. Are you advocating that the man has a right to demand the abortion of this child?

Penultimately, the lynchpin of your hypothetical is that having the baby leads to financial difficulty for all. Unless you meant to imply that abortion should be reserved only for those who aren't well off, that renders the whole thing moot.

And finally, this sounds an awful lot like a threat: that I should support abortion, otherwise bad things will happen to me. Is that really the form of argument you wanted to take?
 
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Kerrie

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Hurkyl said:
I don't have a legal dictionary at hand, but every definition I can find for the word murder is the "killing of a human being by another human being".

I think you'll agree that this definition of murder cannot apply to one of these situations, but not the other. (Though, if you would care to explain how, I'll listen)
here's the specific definition by a U.S. law dictionary:

Death of an unborn child who is "quick" (fetus is moving) can be murder, provided there was premeditation, malice and no legal authority. Thus, abortion is not murder under the law. Example: Jack Violent shoots his pregnant girlfriend, killing the fetus. Manslaughter, both voluntary and involuntary, lacks the element of malice aforethought.

Assuming you stick to your response, I conclude that you intend the following:

(1) The fetus is a human being.
(2) Abortion takes the life of a human being.
(3) The definition of murder requires the killing to be unlawful.
(4) The only reason abortion isn't murder is because it is lawful.


Am I correct?
NO, you are not.

1. The fetus in not able to sustain independent life, thus not considered a human being.
2. Abortion does not take the life of a human being.
3. Abortion has this defintion (again from a legal dictionary):

the termination of pregnancy by various means, including medical surgery, before the fetus is able to sustain independent life. Until 1973 abortion was considered a crime (by the mother and the doctor) unless performed by physicians to protect the life of the mother, a phrase often broadly interpreted. Untrained persons performed thousands of abortions each year in the U.S. using hasty, unsanitary and dangerous means, resulting in maiming, permanent damage of organs, and death of many women.
4. Abortion was legalized for the protection and privacy of the woman because the fetus is not considered a human being in the eyes of the U.S. law.



Am I now? I don't recall making any statement that assumes life begins at conception, except in that parody of your post. I don't think I've even made any statements of the form "If life begins at conception, then <insert conclusion>".
Like I stated previously, I assumed you had this definition because you are implying that:
1. A fetus is a human being.
2. Abortion is murder.
3. Thus, human life begins at conception.

At your suggestion, I started reading up on Roe v Wade, and one thing really stood out: that the justices specifically intended to avoid having an opinion on this. Instead, the decision was based on the lack of legal precedent for ascribing rights to a fetus.

So, I'm now even less convinced that your opinions are backed by U.S. law. (at least some of them)
Hurkyl, I am becoming convinced you are selective reading my posts. I have stated over and over that the U.S. judicial system did not make a judgement call in the decision of abortion, but made it legal for the safety and privacy of women . If you are going to attack my views, at least ready my points without a predisposed bias.



Actually, I have an easy answer for your hypothetical: I practice abstinence.
Great, you are doing your part in preventing unwanted pregnancies. I assure you not everyone follows this example, and to expect them to is unrealistic in our society. I think you can agree to that.

I would also like to point out that there wouldn't even be a shred of tolerance in any other situation for the taking of a life merely to get ahead in the world. So, why is there tolerance for the taking of a life in this situation? Because it's legal? But weren't you trying to use this example to convince me why it should be legal? If so, you're wrapping yourself in a circular argument.
Again, here is where I get my assumption that you think life begins at conception. I think others would agree you hold that viewpoint.


Furthermore, your hypothetical was presented as if the man has a choice in the matter. Are you advocating that the man has a right to demand the abortion of this child?
Where did you get the idea I was advocating the rights of the man? I was presenting an argument of how his life is affected by the situation.

Penultimately, the lynchpin of your hypothetical is that having the baby leads to financial difficulty for all. Unless you meant to imply that abortion should be reserved only for those who aren't well off, that renders the whole thing moot.
I gave a very common example of why women choose abortion. Of course, there are probably many other reasons, such as a woman does not want to have children even though she would be able to provide.

And finally, this sounds an awful lot like a threat: that I should support abortion, otherwise bad things will happen to me. Is that really the form of argument you wanted to take?
Please tell me where I ever implied this? Matter of fact, I feel more you are out to attack my views which are consistent with the U.S. laws. I have given a reasonable response to each point brought up. This is the Value Theory Forum, so it is opinions and beliefs that are at hand here. I have supported my beliefs and opinions with my reasons as to why I believe abortion is acceptable. You won't change my stand on it, so please stop attacking my views, and if you have points you want to address, please don't read my posts selectively. Perhaps if this continues, this thread may need to be closed.
 

Kerrie

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russ_watters said:
I didn't say I was an authority, I just meant I wasn't being very forceful with my opinion. I'm known to do that, ya know....

gotcha :smile:
 
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I do not see why legality of abortion in the US should make it moral or not. Abortion is not legal in many countries. Are you saying that because these countries are not superpowers, then abortion is moral?
In reality the human moral values should be independant of US laws. As I am not a US citizen I fail to see the relevance.
If you want to trace exactly the victorious argument of Roe vs Wade, then the conclusion would become clear. It seems as if that is what you intent to do. I could just as well trace the victorious argument of the government of e.g. Chile.
 
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russ_watters

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I do not see why legality of abortion in the US should make it moral or not. Abortion is not legal in many countries. Are you saying that because these countries are not superpowers, then abortion is moral?
In reality the human moral values should be independant of US laws. As I am not a US citizen I fail to see the relevance.
If you want to trace exactly the victorious argument of Roe vs Wade, then the conclusion would become clear. It seems as if that is what you intent to do. I could just as well trace the victorious argument of the government of e.g. Chile.
You are correct and this is another problem with some of the statements made in this thread: laws follow morality, not the other way around. Our government was set up with that in mind and it occasionally makes its way into court cases. For laws over which there is some controversy, laws can and do change, so the legality of a certain act cannot constitute de facto evidence of its morality.
 
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Kerrie

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I do not see why legality of abortion in the US should make it moral or not. Abortion is not legal in many countries. Are you saying that because these countries are not superpowers, then abortion is moral?
In reality the human moral values should be independant of US laws. As I am not a US citizen I fail to see the relevance.
If you want to trace exactly the victorious argument of Roe vs Wade, then the conclusion would become clear. It seems as if that is what you intent to do. I could just as well trace the victorious argument of the government of e.g. Chile.
abortion is legal for practical reasons above moral reasons. i happen to agree that being practical in this situation rises above being moral, thus i agree (and support) the U.S. laws. and in those countries that abortion is illegal, how readily available is contraception? how expensive is it? unfortunately, america is a society where sex is thrown in your face consistently by the media, yet contraception is either expensive, or you must get a doctor's prescription for it. sometimes, lusty teens are not willing to wait for it. and if abortion was made illegal, can our society deal with a tremendous amount of single parents on welfare? can our society find homes for all of the unwanted children put up for adoption? these are practical and realistic issues at hand. it is the american tax payer footing the welfare bill, and taking care of many children who have the state as their legal guardian until a family is willing to adopt. i can only imagine the rise in taxes if our welfare system exploded.

abortion is certainly not the ideal method of dealing with this, but society in general is not an ideal one either. the harsh reality of the general public is many can be reckless, careless, and promiscuous, and if you deny this fact, you are seriously sheltered. the best we can do is advocate using contraception or abstinence. abstinence is something many people are just not going to practice because their hormones overrule them. kudos to those who do however.

plus, obviously americans have a different mindset of morals then the U.S. laws, many examples of that in this thread. i really think however, many of those oppossed to abortion fail to see the practicality of it over the morality of it. me personally, i think a woman who finds herself in this situation not rush into any decision, but weigh all of her options, reach out for emotional support as much as possible, and weigh all of her options.
 

Hurkyl

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law dictionary said:
Death of an unborn child who is "quick" (fetus is moving) can be murder, provided there was premeditation, malice and no legal authority. Thus, abortion is not murder under the law. Example: Jack Violent shoots his pregnant girlfriend, killing the fetus. Manslaughter, both voluntary and involuntary, lacks the element of malice aforethought.
I've added emphasis. I've stumbled across a law dictionary on the web (dictionary.law.com) which has this phrase in it. Here's another excerpt from that same definition:

law dictionary said:
the killing of a human being by a sane person, with intent, malice aforethought (prior intention to kill the particular victim or anyone who gets in the way) and with no legal excuse or authority.
Which is pretty much what I plucked out of google. The passage on the fetus appears to be part of a list of clarifications of the law, rather than an addendum saying "Oh yeah, murder can be this or that other thing".


Anyways, this particular line of thought was intended as a response to your statement:

Kerrie said:
remember hurkyl, you are assuming that life begins at conception and many hold a different opinion of this, especially the U.S. laws.
You seem to have backed away from your assertion that U.S. law holds the opinion that life does not begin at conception, so that ends my interest here.


Incidentally, I'm surprised to learn that, legally, that abortion specifically applies to the time when the fetus is unable to "sustain independent life". I had thought it applied all the way up until birth. Incidentally, I have seen various pro-choice activists use abortion in that form. This suggests a new question: Would you support making legal the killing of a fetus at any time before birth?



However, (4) still deserves discussion:

Hurkyl said:
(4) The only reason abortion isn't murder is because it is lawful.
Kerrie said:
4. Abortion was legalized for the protection and privacy of the woman because the fetus is not considered a human being in the eyes of the U.S. law.
You didn't answer my question: I did not ask why abortion was legal, I asked that, if abortion was not lawful, if it would be murder. The passage I emphasized from the law dictionary states that the legal answer to (4) is "yes".

Allow me to restate:

If abortion was illegal, then aborting a quick fetus would be murder in the eyes of the law.

Do you agree or disagree?

(What about a fetus that is not yet quick?)


Kerrie said:
Hurkyl, I am becoming convinced you are selective reading my posts. I have stated over and over that the U.S. judicial system did not make a judgement call in the decision of abortion, but made it legal for the safety and privacy of women . If you are going to attack my views, at least ready my points without a predisposed bias.
Not selective reading, selective response. You keep arguing how wonderful the ruling on abortion is, because it increases the safety and privacy of women, but I don't care: all of us already know that the ruling increases the safety and privacy of women! I don't discuss that issue because, as far as I know, there's nothing to discuss!

The interesting question for debate is the negatives of this ruling, which you appear to be actively trying to avoid.


Hurkyl said:
I would also like to point out that there wouldn't even be a shred of tolerance in any other situation for the taking of a life merely to get ahead in the world. So, why is there tolerance for the taking of a life in this situation? Because it's legal? But weren't you trying to use this example to convince me why it should be legal? If so, you're wrapping yourself in a circular argument.
Kerrie said:
Again, here is where I get my assumption that you think life begins at conception. I think others would agree you hold that viewpoint.
And you would be right. However, I have not made a single argument based on this belief in this thread.

Recall that I had established earlier in the post (and further justified, now that I'm armed with legal definitions) that the only reason abortion is not considered murder is because it is legal. Furthermore, that the definitions strongly suggest that the killing of a fetus is the taking of a human life, at least when the fetus is quick.

I accuse you of assuming (correctly) that I lean towards believing life begins at conception, and assuming (incorrectly) that I'm arguing from that belief.


Kerrie said:
Where did you get the idea I was advocating the rights of the man? I was presenting an argument of how his life is affected by the situation.
Because this is the poster-child argument for the rights of the man in these circumstances. It illuminates that the man's thoughts, feelings, desires, needs, actions (aside from sex), situation, or anything are entirely irrelevant -- his future rests entirely on the decisions made by the woman.


I gave a very common example of why women choose abortion.
Your argument is not that abortion is legal, and should be legal, because of the financial situation of the parents. Thus, your example is what is commonly known as a red herring.


I have given a reasonable response to each point brought up.
I disagree. You have argued that it increases the safety of women (which, I believe, you brought up). You have argued that it increases the privacy of women (which, I believe, you brought up). You have provided emotional arguments for the purpose of convincing others through compassion, or fear, rather than reason.

However, the only thing I recall you ever saying on the standing of a fetus is "it's not a human being", and "it's not alive", without giving any rationale whatsoever. I don't consider that a reasonable response.


if you have points you want to address, please don't read my posts selectively.
I address the parts of your post that have relevance to the issues I wish to discuss. Actually, I have already done far more responding to the other parts of your posts than I probably should have.


Perhaps if this continues, this thread may need to be closed.
I wouldn't have an objection to that: you don't seem interested the issue I'm trying to discuss, and I'm not interested (at the moment) in the points you're trying to make, so we're not really getting anywhere.
 
Last edited:

selfAdjoint

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You can't get an answer to the hypothetical "If abortion wasn't legal would it be murder" out of a lawbook. The present state of the law feeds both the law book and the legality of abortion. If the law were changed regarding abortion, perhaps the definition of murder would have to change too. That's the touble with hypotheticals: we always want to control them, like experiments, but you can't. Thery're the great unknown.
 

Hurkyl

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I remember now how we got started on this line. I asked:

Hurkyl said:
(1) When someone kills a fetus, you think it appropriate to call it a murder.
(2) When the mother kills a fetus, you think it inappropriate to call it a murder.
Not thinking that "unlawful" was part of the definition of murder. Kerrie responded with

Kerrie said:
due to the fact that the U.S. laws have granted the woman a choice in remaining pregnant, it is not considered murder.
So, naturally, I wished to press the question, by asking if there was any other reason one would not consider it appropriate to call it a murder. I would have rephrased the question to talk about the killing of a human being (as phrased in the definition of murder), but Kerrie states that it's not a human being until it's born. (Though not really saying why)


Kerrie seemed to agree with the law that allows a murder charge for killing a fetus, so I would like to establish upon what grounds that agreement is based. The next question, of course, is why those grounds shouldn't also apply to the mother. (In particular is the legality of abortion the only reason)


Kerrie did speak about a "fine line" after four months, but didn't elaborate on her views of crossing that line.
 

Kerrie

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Hurkyl said:
You seem to have backed away from your assertion that U.S. law holds the opinion that life does not begin at conception, so that ends my interest here.

[QUOTE/]

again, selective reading. i never stated that the U.S. laws had the opinion, rather, i made it clear that abortion in the eyes of the law is not considered murder and the fetus was not an independent form of life.


Incidentally, I'm surprised to learn that, legally, that abortion specifically applies to the time when the fetus is unable to "sustain independent life". I had thought it applied all the way up until birth. Incidentally, I have seen various pro-choice activists use abortion in that form. This suggests a new question: Would you support making legal the killing of a fetus at any time before birth?
you are basically steering me to state where i believe independent life begins separate from the mother. in a majority of cases, women will abort up to 12 weeks. at this stage, i would consider the fetus to be just a mass of cells rather then an independent form of life. a baby born at 5 months term even is severely underdeveloped, but with technology today, can survive. the child will have huge health issues however. at 12 weeks along, again, in the majority of abortion cases, there is no way that fetus can sustain life on their own. to the woman, most likely, it is a clump of cells.



You didn't answer my question: I did not ask why abortion was legal, I asked that, if abortion was not lawful, if it would be murder. The passage I emphasized from the law dictionary states that the legal answer to (4) is "yes".
i think Self Adjoint summed up this point quite well. the fact is, abortion is legal, not considered murder in the eyes of the law for the reasons i gave. and if abortion was illegal, there could be many reasons as to why it would be illegal. why are we dealing with the hypothetical rather then what is in the here and now? i have given very valid and solid reasons of my position, trying to ask questions that have no relation to reality whatsoever is a waste of time.

If abortion was illegal, then aborting a quick fetus would be murder in the eyes of the law.

Do you agree or disagree?
that depends on why abortion was outlawed, whether it be for the immediate importance of the fetus, or the morality of the act. again, hypothetical question, which in my opinion, is just dodging the reality that abortion is legal, whether you accept it or not.


Not selective reading, selective response. You keep arguing how wonderful the ruling on abortion is, because it increases the safety and privacy of women, but I don't care: all of us already know that the ruling increases the safety and privacy of women! I don't discuss that issue because, as far as I know, there's nothing to discuss!
that's obvious, you would rather discuss what could have been rather then what truly is. again, dodging the reality abortion is legal for the reasons i have stated over and over. because you deem that there is nothing to discuss doesn't make the facts change.


The interesting question for debate is the negatives of this ruling, which you appear to be actively trying to avoid.
those "negatives" are ultimately your opinion, and again separate from the facts of reality.

Recall that I had established earlier in the post (and further justified, now that I'm armed with legal definitions) that the only reason abortion is not considered murder is because it is legal. Furthermore, that the definitions strongly suggest that the killing of a fetus is the taking of a human life, at least when the fetus is quick.
"Death of an unborn child who is "quick" (fetus is moving) can be murder, provided there was premeditation, malice and no legal authority. Thus, abortion is not murder under the law. Example: Jack Violent shoots his pregnant girlfriend, killing the fetus. Manslaughter, both voluntary and involuntary, lacks the element of malice aforethought. "

The clause does say legal authority, and the mother has been granted legal authority to abort by the outcome of Roe vs. Wade.


Because this is the poster-child argument for the rights of the man in these circumstances. It illuminates that the man's thoughts, feelings, desires, needs, actions (aside from sex), situation, or anything are entirely irrelevant -- his future rests entirely on the decisions made by the woman.
yes, it does, regardless if she chooses to go ahead with the child or not. there has been suggestions that:
a. mother and father both choose to terminate, both go in on the necessary costs.
b. mother wants to keep child, father does not and he is willing to pay for some of the abortion charges. she refuses, he can sign a waiver that he is not financially responsible for the baby and/or can have visitation .
c. father wants to keep child, mother does not. although probably a rare instance, if mother can agree to bear child, she can sign a waiver that she is not financially responsible for child, but he is. she can also sign a waiver of parental/visitation rights as well.
d. both parents keep child, and laws are currently set in place for this scenario.

perhaps men are not granted any say in this situation because there has been so many dad who abandoned their responsibilities, and basically that has ruined it for the "good guys". but, i would venture to say that the law protects the woman solely because the law has determined that the fetus cannot sustain independent life without the mother, nor can it sustain a healthy life if the mother chooses to live her life recklessly while pregnant.


Your argument is not that abortion is legal, and should be legal, because of the financial situation of the parents. Thus, your example is what is commonly known as a red herring.
selective reading again, read my posts again, i also stated that the woman has a legal right to privacy and safety. i gave a common example of why women choose abortion. please stop with your biased views of what you think my perspective is.

However, the only thing I recall you ever saying on the standing of a fetus is "it's not a human being", and "it's not alive", without giving any rationale whatsoever. I don't consider that a reasonable response.
well, reason must be a subjective term then. obviously we don't agree on what's reasonable. the eyes of the law don't see the fetus as a human being either, why aren't you shouting your beliefs to the lawmakers? i didn't make the law, but in this instance, i am glad the law is the way it is because i agree with it, and it protects me personally.

Kerrie seemed to agree with the law that allows a murder charge for killing a fetus, so I would like to establish upon what grounds that agreement is based. The next question, of course, is why those grounds shouldn't also apply to the mother. (In particular is the legality of abortion the only reason)
as i stated above, the mother has legal authority to end the development of the fetus, thus she is protected from any legal prosecution of what some would consider murder. because the law has given the mother the legal authority to carry her baby or not, if another human being takes that life from her, then i think some sort of charge should be assessed because she is choosing to bear that child. so, i think i have addressed your above statment very clearly. the mother and fetus are not considered separate beings until that fetus is able to sustain life on their own.


Kerrie did speak about a "fine line" after four months, but didn't elaborate on her views of crossing that line.
Yes, I did state that. This statement was derived from my own opinion and experience of being pregnant twice. Sometimes a woman is several weeks (even 2 months pregnant) along before she realizes she is pregnant. By the time she is 4 months along, she has had plenty of time to make her decision (assuming the pregnancy was unexpected). If she decides to abort after that, then that may be just a case of a very confused woman uncertain of what she wants in life. Up until that four months, a woman does not feel movement. The fetus us unable to survive at 4 months gestation, but might be able to at 6 months. It really depends on the fetus, and how well the mother has taken care of herself while pregnant-another form of proof of how much control the mother has over the fetus. If she's malnourished, underweight, drinks, etc, that fetus doesn't have as much of a chance to be strong and healthy say as the woman who excercises, eats a balanced diet, and gets plenty of rest. Her fetus, if born at 6 months will be better equipped to survive against the odds of being underdeveloped. So really, there cannot be a definite line of where independent life begins and ends because of all of the variables. It's just not realistic to assess this, which goes to show we are all true individuals with different needs.
 

Hurkyl

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why aren't you shouting your beliefs to the lawmakers?
For the same reason I'm not arguing for my beliefs here: I don't have what I would consider a strong argument to back them up.


selective reading again, read my posts again,
Let me give you an example of why I'm apparently confused about your posts:

------------------------
according to the U.S. laws, a fetus is not considered a U.S. citizen

american law has clearly defined that the woman has control of her body while pregant

remember hurkyl, you are assuming that life begins at conception and many hold a different opinion of this, especially the U.S. laws.

i never stated that the U.S. laws had the opinion [that life does not begin at conception]

the eyes of the law don't see the fetus as a human being
------------------------
 

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