Seven questions about abortion

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  • #1
lockecole
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Should abortion be legal...
1. when the woman's life is endangered?
2. when the woman's physical health is endangered?
3. when the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest?
4. when the woman's mental health is endangered?
5. when there is evidence that the baby may be physically impaired?
6. when there is evidence that the baby may be mentally impaired?
7. when the woman or family cannot afford to raise the child?
 

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  • #2
Lyuokdea
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Should abortion be legal...

I believe that individuals should always have the choice because of extenuating circumstances that the law was not intended for, reducing such a complicated issue down to these rules of this and that is not the correct way to handle such a sensitive and important issue, so I am going to answer the questions on what I personally believe should be done in these instances, this is not to say that I wouldn't support people's decisions to make individual choices which are contrary to mine.

1. when the woman's life is endangered?

yes, an pregnancy should not be a death sentence for a mother.
2. when the woman's physical health is endangered?

yes, as long as the danger to physical health is substantial, I mean this to say, many studies suggest that all birth is harmful to the mother just because of stress, this is not a substantial enough reason

3. when the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest?

yes, if the pregnancy was not the result of a decision made by the mother, she shouldn't have to live through the consequences of a decision she didn't make.

4. when the woman's mental health is endangered?

I'm not exactly sure how this can be evaluated, nor do I believe in many of the definitions of Mental Illness currently offered, (if your interested in classifications of mental illness i suggest you read some work by Thomas Szasz.)
Without more specifics I can't accurately evaluate the question.

5. when there is evidence that the baby may be physically impaired?

these are tougher questions and i tend to lean toward no, unless it is in the most extreame sence, I would have to say that for this to be a moral option, the physical ailment must be scene that will kill the baby at a very young age.
6. when there is evidence that the baby, I believe that some life is better than none at all, the life of steven hawking, for instance, shows that a life full of physical disability can still be extreamly worthwhile.

6. may be mentally impaired?

I would still say no except in the most extreame circumstances, if the baby is going to be a vegetable, that is one thing, having a lower than average IQ is another.

7. when the woman or family cannot afford to raise the child?

no, adoption is always a viable option which is better for the baby than abortion.
 
  • #3
Originally posted by lockecole
Should abortion be legal...
1. when the woman's life is endangered?
2. when the woman's physical health is endangered?
3. when the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest?
4. when the woman's mental health is endangered?
5. when there is evidence that the baby may be physically impaired?
6. when there is evidence that the baby may be mentally impaired?
7. when the woman or family cannot afford to raise the child?

Yes.

8. when used as a form of birth control?

Yes.

eNtRopY
 
  • #4
Pyrite
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so then you believe that a fetus has no life, no mind, no soul (should it exist.) i take it? Should it be legal when the mother is 8 1/2 months pregnant? when the child has developed a mind, and the ability to feel? where is the line between the mother getting an unnessessary organ removed and murder drawn? I have no answers for you, only questions.
 
  • #5
Originally posted by Pyrite
so then you believe that a fetus has no life, no mind, no soul (should it exist.) i take it? Should it be legal when the mother is 8 1/2 months pregnant? when the child has developed a mind, and the ability to feel? where is the line between the mother getting an unnessessary organ removed and murder drawn? I have no answers for you, only questions.
Hmmmm...late-term abortions constitute probably 1% of all abortions, and normally are performed when the risk to the mother is great, or when the fetus is seriously deformed, beyond any hope of a meaningful existance.
 
  • #6
kat
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Originally posted by Zero
Hmmmm...late-term abortions constitute probably 1% of all abortions, and normally are performed when the risk to the mother is great, or when the fetus is seriously deformed, beyond any hope of a meaningful existance.

I think your confusing the terms your applying your data to. Late term abortion is generally 16 weeks on, the rate would be much higher then 1% and I believe that a very low percent of these were due to risk or medical problems with the fetus. However "viable" fetuses are generally considered 20 weeks and on, your 1% would apply to the post-viable fetus.

One issue that might discourage post-viable abortions is that women have a 50% greater rate of suicide then the average for other women. This would affect approximately 150 to 300 women a year. (300 to 600 post-viable abortions per year)

At any rate, women have a right to control their own bodies, a right that should not be infringed upon.
 
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  • #7
Originally posted by kat
I think your confusing the terms your applying your data to. Late term abortion is generally 16 weeks on, the rate would be much higher then 1% and I believe that a very low percent of these were due to risk or medical problems with the fetus. However "viable" fetuses are generally considered 20 weeks and on, your 1% would apply to the post-viable fetus.

One issue that might discourage post-viable abortions is that women have a 50% greater rate of suicide then the average for other women. This would affect approximately 150 to 300 women a year. (300 to 600 post-viable abortions per year)

At any rate, women have a right to control their own bodies, a right that should not be infringed upon.

Ok, maybe more than 1%, I was probably thinking of the so-called'partial birth abortion'(right-wing propaganda phrase).

The suicide rate probably has more to do with societal pressure, doesn't it? The people who drive them to suicide are the very ones who site their suicide later to prove their point.
 
  • #8
kat
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Originally posted by Zero
Ok, maybe more than 1%, I was probably thinking of the so-called'partial birth abortion'(right-wing propaganda phrase).

The suicide rate probably has more to do with societal pressure, doesn't it? The people who drive them to suicide are the very ones who site their suicide later to prove their point.

Probably Zero, but the 1% is in reference to aborting what they call a "viable fetus" or one that would be able to survive outside of the womb.

As for the 50% increased rate in suicides, I don't think it's as simple as to say it's because of societal pressure. Before a "late term" abortion (16 weeks), and I say this from the viewpoint of a mother of 4, a woman might develop a feel or relationship with their child. But my feelings for my children at that point were nothing like they were by 24+ weeks where I felt my child kicking, had seen them through a sonagram, and later even felt "hiccups". I would tend to believe that these women had formed a relationship with their child and later could not get over the loss. It's possible that their feelings, depression, whatever that caused them to become suicidal were exagerated by the hormonal changes in their body post-abortion.

Many women that I know who have had abortions at any stage have professed feeling a deep loss at some point later in their life, many also felt regret. Unfortunately, I think that some women who might otherwise give birth to a child and either raise it theirselves or give it up through adoption (open or otherwise) don't because of the strong stigma that is attached to unwed pregnancies. *shrug*
 
  • #9
And if they felt it was socially acceptable to have abortions, they would maybe get one sooner?

And since when do doctors terminate 8-month fetuses that are viable outside the womb? (Hint: the answer is never in the U.S.)
 
  • #10
Laser Eyes
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No to all of them. I don't think abortion should be legal in any circumstances.
 
  • #11
Originally posted by Laser Eyes
No to all of them. I don't think abortion should be legal in any circumstances.

And conveniently enough, you're not a woman.

eNtRopY
 
  • #12
Originally posted by eNtRopY
And conveniently enough, you're not a woman.

eNtRopY

And he's a Biblical literalist...*grins* if he is consistant, we'll always know his political views too!!
 
  • #13
kat
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Originally posted by Zero
And if they felt it was socially acceptable to have abortions, they would maybe get one sooner?
well, there are of course different circumstances and reasonings for different women but it's not until later in pregnancy (at least the 15th week) that an amniocentesis can be done, so health issues with the child might not appear until after the mother has developed a strong emotional connection to her child....I'm not sure that greater acceptance of abortion is going to decrease her loss, although it might decrease any guilt she might feel. It would be talking for talks sake to debate it. You might also have less late term abortions, particularly in the teen age bracket if there were less stigma attached to becoming pregnant...in other words, they may be more likely to seek help earlier rather then attempt to hide their pregnancy.
But, again I do know many women who have had an abortion in their early months who continue to feel a great loss and express regret for the loss of that child. That's not to say that anyone has a right to make a decision on what they can or cannot do with their own bodies nor does addressing the increase in the rate of suicidal tendancies address the fact that the risk of death from completing a pregnancy is about ten times higher than the risk of death from having an abortion.
 
  • #14
Hurkyl
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Only women are allowed to debate whether women

Your point being?
 
  • #15
Laser Eyes
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And conveniently enough, you're not a woman.
How do you know? If you think every woman supports abortion you would be wrong.

That's what I love about the internet - it's anonymous.

And he's a Biblical literalist...*grins* if he is consistant, we'll always know his political views too!!
Take a guess Zero. We'll see how close you get.:wink:
 
  • #16
Zantra
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Originally posted by kat
well, there are of course different circumstances and reasonings for different women but it's not until later in pregnancy (at least the 15th week) that an amniocentesis can be done, so health issues with the child might not appear until after the mother has developed a strong emotional connection to her child....I'm not sure that greater acceptance of abortion is going to decrease her loss, although it might decrease any guilt she might feel. It would be talking for talks sake to debate it. You might also have less late term abortions, particularly in the teen age bracket if there were less stigma attached to becoming pregnant...in other words, they may be more likely to seek help earlier rather then attempt to hide their pregnancy.
But, again I do know many women who have had an abortion in their early months who continue to feel a great loss and express regret for the loss of that child. That's not to say that anyone has a right to make a decision on what they can or cannot do with their own bodies nor does addressing the increase in the rate of suicidal tendancies address the fact that the risk of death from completing a pregnancy is about ten times higher than the risk of death from having an abortion. [/B]

Women who give thier children up for adoption also have regrets. The only difference between that and abortion is that they have a in some cases, an opportunity to actually see the child if the opt for adoption. It's all about freedome of choice. While I don't feel that late term abortions can be excluded as harming a viable lifeform, earlier ones just prevent the process. If a woman choose to do it, it is thier right. I see no differnence between a 9 week abortion, and using a condom, as consciousness hasn't yet even devoloped. Those who view it as murder aren't being objective. They are also infringing on someone's right to make a choice that is wholly thiers to make. bottom line, if you weren't there when the process was started, you have no say in how the process unfolds. Period.

One caveat I have is when women use abortion as a form of birth control. That's irresponsible in so many ways I won't even go into it.
People like that shouldn't even be allow to reproduce, and certainly are incapable of the demands of parenthood. Abortion, regardless of weather it offends people or not, is a right and a priveledge afforded by the constitution. People do things every day that I don't agree with. I may not agree, but I don't intervene and say "you can't do that because I don't agree with it." Some would say you're taking a human life, and I say to you "where do we draw the line of "a life" or "a conscious being. Science has shown that fetal consciousness does not fully occur until the last trimester. Until then you're not killing something that "could be" a human if allowed to grow. But if it isn't yet, then it isn't murder. it's that simple.

I also want to point out that you don't see pro-abortionists resorting to violence or taking lives. That by definition, contradicts the very believe of pro-lifers, which is to save lives, not take them. That is why I've always viewed prolifers as fanatical and illogical. Blowing up buildings and wreaking havoc does not add to the cause, it simply takes away from it, and makes them look- well, not sane.
 
  • #17
Yes to all of the situations.

Both the experiences of abortion and adoption can traumatize a woman. Most women are never the same after an abortion or giving up their child for adoption. Counseling before and after either experience is a must.
 
  • #18
Hurkyl
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Those who view it as murder aren't being objective.

Is this a "anyone who disagrees with me can't possibly be thinking objectively" type statement, or are you merely stereotyping? There was an interesting discussion going on here, what was the point of reverting back to brick wall rhetoric?
 
  • #19
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Hurkyl
Is this a "anyone who disagrees with me can't possibly be thinking objectively" type statement, or are you merely stereotyping? There was an interesting discussion going on here, what was the point of reverting back to brick wall rhetoric?
Hurkyl, I'm going to have to agree with the statement and go further. To view a question as binary when it is clearly not is oversimplifying. The "further" part is that its an indication to me that the opinion hasn't been thought through. It also indicates a desire to give an absolute answer to avoid arguement.

My personal opinion on abortion aside, I have never once failed to complicate the question beyond a binary answer to someone who has a binary opinion.

For starters, what is the EXACT definition of abortion, ie when in the process of reproduction can you say you are aborting it? Before conception (if you prevent the egg from joining the sperm, you're aborting the process, aren't you?)? After conception but before the zygote first splits? After conception but before implantaion?

Different birth control methods disrupt different parts of the process, which is why most forms of birth control are considered abortion by some religions - yet most women/couples some form or another.
 
  • #20
Why is the state, an ostensibly beaureaucratic entity, so interested in the vagina? There's plenty of other people telling you what to do - clergy, psychologists, etc, with good council to give. If anything this has to be a personal, perhaps spiritual choice. When the state interferes with this, its just destructive. example: You don't need a business licence to perform illegal abortions.
 
  • #21
russ_watters
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Originally posted by schwarzchildradius
Why is the state, an ostensibly beaureaucratic entity, so interested in the vagina? There's plenty of other people telling you what to do - clergy, psychologists, etc, with good council to give. If anything this has to be a personal, perhaps spiritual choice. When the state interferes with this, its just destructive. example: You don't need a business licence to perform illegal abortions.
Though also pro choice, it is to me a question that falls in the realm of government. The issue is rights and it is the government's job to protect them.

The difference of opinion is based on defining two sets of rights and how they interact.
 
  • #22
Mulder
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Originally posted by lockecole
Should abortion be legal...
1. when the woman's life is endangered?
2. when the woman's physical health is endangered?
3. when the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest?
4. when the woman's mental health is endangered?
5. when there is evidence that the baby may be physically impaired?
6. when there is evidence that the baby may be mentally impaired?
7. when the woman or family cannot afford to raise the child?

Yes to all.

An unwanted child is usually better off unborn, imo.
 
  • #23
Zantra
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Originally posted by Hurkyl
Is this a "anyone who disagrees with me can't possibly be thinking objectively" type statement, or are you merely stereotyping? There was an interesting discussion going on here, what was the point of reverting back to brick wall rhetoric?

No I'm simply saying that those who call any type of murder aren't being objective, because where exactly do we define the line between preventive action and murder? What point in the gestation period? what point in the birth control process? Before you can call it murder, you have to define the point of change.

Those would would say any type of birth control is murder are not being objective because murder is defined as the taking of a conscious being. A great deal of the gestation period is not defined as "conscious" so by definition it would not be murder. So then it's subjective.
 
  • #24
Hurkyl
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... So then it's subjective.

Sir, I don't think that word means quite what you think it means...
 
  • #25
Zantra
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Originally posted by Hurkyl
Sir, I don't think that word means quite what you think it means...

Ok the let me clarify that it's based on opionions and experiences, not on objective facts.

sub·jec·tive ( P ) Pronunciation Key (sb-jktv)
adj.

Proceeding from or taking place in a person's mind rather than the external world: a subjective decision.


Seems like the right context to me. The definition of the point of murder is subjectively viewed by some, not by the exact science defining it as the point of cosciousness.
 
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  • #26
Hurkyl
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The definition of the point of murder is subjectively viewed by some, not by the exact science defining it as the point of cosciousness.

The... exact science... of defining it as the point of consciousness?

[?]



Just to make sure I'm not grossly misinterpreting you, you do mean to imply that your viewpoint is objective, right?
 
  • #27
Zantra
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Originally posted by Hurkyl
The... exact science... of defining it as the point of consciousness?

[?]



Just to make sure I'm not grossly misinterpreting you, you do mean to imply that your viewpoint is objective, right?

/sigh.. here we go again.. Another war of somantics.. hehe

Yes my viewpoint is objective in that I believe it's not considered murder prior to a conscious state. Maybe it's not an exact science, in which case it's open to interpretation. If the exact point of cosciousness can't be determined, or at least agreed upon, then it all becomes SUBJECTIVE. So I guess the only way to define murder is to define the point of consciousness. We can determine the point that the brain develops, but I don't know if we can determine actual thought
 
  • #28
Originally posted by russ_watters
Though also pro choice, it is to me a question that falls in the realm of government. The issue is rights and it is the government's job to protect them.

The difference of opinion is based on defining two sets of rights and how they interact.

And shouldn't the medical and biological viewpoint be foremost in the government's mind when reaching decisions based on answers that fall under their umbrella?
 
  • #29
The difference of opinion is based on defining two sets of rights and how they interact.
Totally. It's a unique genetic entity at conception. But murder, mentioned by someone else, is taking away a life against someone's will. A unique genetic entity doesn't have a will, necessarily, does it? No way modern law can answer that question, nor can science, because the will is the core of human consciousness. Just chemicals, but chemistry can't model it. I digress. I think it's less destructive in total for public laws to stay out of this.
 
  • #30
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Zero
And shouldn't the medical and biological viewpoint be foremost in the government's mind when reaching decisions based on answers that fall under their umbrella?
In my personal opinion yes, but I'm of the scientific worldview. To someone of the religious worldview, religious implications are most important. Hence the conflict.
Originally posted by schwarzchildradius [various moral and scientific complexities...] I think it's less destructive in total for public laws to stay out of this.
You can't get out of it that easily. You (and the government) have to draw a line. Yes, there is ALWAYS a line. The line implied by your view is that until the actual birth, its still just another part of the woman's body and subject to her absolute precedence of rights. Not my opinion, but I'm not trying to argue the nuances. My point is simply that you have STILL drawn a line.

Zantra and Hurkyl, perhaps you should join my thread in philosophy about morality. I argued that morality can be approached scientifically. That makes it BOTH objective and subjective. The process of finding The morality like the GUT leades to a specific and objective conclusion. But the process itself is DRIVEN by the various subjective biases of all involved.

Not even Spock was always objective all the time: even logic is a bias.
 
  • #31
Hurkyl
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/sigh.. here we go again.. Another war of somantics.. hehe Yes my viewpoint is objective in that I believe it's not considered murder prior to a conscious state. Maybe it's not an exact science, in which case it's open to interpretation. If the exact point of cosciousness can't be determined, or at least agreed upon, then it all becomes SUBJECTIVE. So I guess the only way to define murder is to define the point of consciousness. We can determine the point that the brain develops, but I don't know if we can determine actual thought

You aren't even sure if the meaning you ascribe to things like "murder" or "consciousness" are well-defined; how can you argue that your choice of definition is better in any way than that of a pro-life'r, who can give an entirely unambiguous definition. (Though, as you mentioned, not all agree on the particular definition)

Beyond that, you don't even have a good reason for your choices. As you stated, you "guess the only way to define murder is...". I simply don't understand how you can possibly think that you are being the least bit objective in your viewpoint, let alone how you can be so sure that you are right and the pro-life'rs are wrong.


IOW, my objections are somewhat more significant than a "war of semantics".
 
  • #32
megashawn
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hmm. Yes to all the questions.

And as per giving a child up for adoption, there are also plenty of starving homeless orphans in africa that could use a good home.

(Not picking on Africa, just pointing out a larger issue.)

I mean, lets bring another life into a world, give it up to some strangers, who could be helping to save an already troubled life.


Basically, it boils down to whatever the woman wants to do. Thats not the case, but it should be.

I know that if I had such power, to give birth, I'd want the power of choosing whether I bring that life into the world or not. Nobody else.

And when I say life, I mean full blown pregancy. There is no good evidence of a fetus being concsious real early, is there? I may be mistaken.
 
  • #33
The line implied by your view is that until the actual birth, its still just another part of the woman's body
Not exactly - a fetus is a physically unique human being, and I dont think there's any way to dispute that at all. Heck, scientists have been growing humans out of the vagina for what, 30 years? But since as you've said, rights are in conflict (i.e. woman's right to decide when she becomes a mother vs. fetus's right to be alive) then somebody has to make a choice. I think it ought to be the family having (or not) the baby instead of some senator or judge. It's disgusting, but the fact is that 13 year old girls get pregnant, and they don't always have a lot of support from home. Let's let the medical community and spiritual leaders handle it, keep government out.
 
  • #34
russ_watters
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Originally posted by schwarzchildradius
...keep government out.
The problem is that since some people think any abortion is murder and murder is illegal, the government CAN'T stay out even if it wants to. At the very least, there would need to be a law or court decision stating that abortion is not murder and its up to the mother/family to decide if it should be done.
 
  • #35
Originally posted by Hurkyl
You aren't even sure if the meaning you ascribe to things like "murder" or "consciousness" are well-defined; how can you argue that your choice of definition is better in any way than that of a pro-life'r, who can give an entirely unambiguous definition. (Though, as you mentioned, not all agree on the particular definition)

Beyond that, you don't even have a good reason for your choices. As you stated, you "guess the only way to define murder is...". I simply don't understand how you can possibly think that you are being the least bit objective in your viewpoint, let alone how you can be so sure that you are right and the pro-life'rs are wrong.


IOW, my objections are somewhat more significant than a "war of semantics".

Of course the anti-abortion(and anti-freedom in general) crowd can give an unambiguous answer..which is exactly why they need to be removed from the debate. They base all their decisions on religious viewpoints, a stance that the government should not, and cannot take.
 

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