Abortion and Women's Rights

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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby PAstrychef » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:49 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:If a man and women have no obligation for the outcome of their personal behavior does society have an obligation to make abortions available on demand?

And here is where you begin to decide for others what is acceptable behavior. And if you think choosing to terminate a pregnancy happens easily you need to talk to some women who have had them. Especially if there is no (or little) of what is seen as acceptable trauma surrounding the conception. Even the posters here allow that rape might be an acceptable reason to abort. But a woman with as many kids as she can cope with and a husband who refuses birth control? A single woman with limited employment? Even doing everything "right" pregnancies occur. How about severe birth defects?
Look at kids in foster care. They get sent back over and over again as the people who offered to parent them decide they're too much trouble. The parents of unwanted offspring treat them badly, the kids are much more likely to become a net drain on society instead of an asset and things just get worse all around.*
Given that the science is, and is likely to remain, so inexact-forcing a limiting moral viewpoint on others is the wrong thing for society to be doing.

*Born Unwanted: Developmental Effects of Denied Abortion, Henry David
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby iop » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:02 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I maintain that benchmarks are foolish because ultimately, they come down to an arbitrary decision as to when we limit the rights of the woman. Is a beating heart indicative of life? Brainwaves? Second Trimester? 22 weeks? 24? If the mothers belly is beyond her breasts? What about if she's named the fetus?

These all come down fairly arbitrary conditions that have no bearing on the fact that a woman is still in a situation where she should be able to decide what happens with her body.


Would you find it acceptable if abortion was legal till term, but that it would be illegal to choose a procedure that kills the fetus once it would be viable outside the womb?

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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby Indon » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:08 am UTC

Okay, the thread seems to have covered the basics (though I prefer to describe the right of bodily autonomy as a right of property, so that more libertarian folk can better get the idea), so I'll try to contribute something novel.

Thoughts on the following situation in which abortion is made illegal: Where the state, under a viable legal justification (at the extreme end, mass spontaneous combustion - or, in a more reasonable example, preserving the human race in the case of some extreme emergency, and at the other end a measure to halt a naturally declining population), claims a woman's womb and child-rearing services under eminent domain and pays her an appropriate wage to bear and raise the child.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:13 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:Okay. Let’s see if we can start with a fact or two: There exists at least one state in the US where it is currently legal for any pregnant woman to have an abortion at any time before childbirth at her sole discretion. In that same state, it is currently illegal for a mother to murder her children at any time after their birth (with the usual exceptions like self-defense).

[...]
What would be gained or lost by society if the legal right to life were moved to begin with the third trimester of pregnancy? What would be gained or lost by society if it were moved to begin at the first birthday?

Now, this hasn't taken hold in the thread very much, but before I even consider discussing the questions, I would like to know
1. why you or anyone else thinks that the 'fact' stated above is a fact at all,
2. if you can even remotely prove that.


MAYBE if you reduce the size from 'state' to 'county' you could be right. I'll just be waiting for that data though. Since I am going to operate on the assumption that in fact the cutoff is probably around the 20th week, I propose the counter argument that nobody has actually ever given me a reason to think that the cutoff should not be birth.
So what of it?

@indon you have an interesting idea. What I consider an appropriate wage for bearing and raising a child would be pretty large! How about the equivalent to the CEO of Goldmann Sachs?
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby morriswalters » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:15 am UTC

The point you make is certainly valid. I confess I don't know the mechanism. However it does move the point of intervention into the earliest point of the process. If you consider the social discord that abortion causes it may be better that if it is to happen it happens at that point rather than later. At that point it is a private matter, rather than a public matter. But better in my point of view to not have to make the decision at all.

My basic argument would be that the *pair* have an obligation to the public to conduct themselves in a fashion, such that the issue never arises. We require drivers to carry insurance to mitigate the effect of an accident. We require cars to be built to the safest standard available. We require drivers to be licensed. And we enforce penalties to ensure maximum compliance. Why do we require a higher standard of drivers than we require of couples engaging in sex? I admit the sex is a private behavior but abortion is not.

@ PAstrychef
As I stated initially I am currently limiting myself to discussing abortion as contraception rather than trying to develop a one size fits all argument. In terms of what is acceptable personal behavior I am not interested. However I am interested in how this intersects with public behavior. Abortions require infrastructure which is indirectly supported by by the public which must administer regulations to protect all interested parties. Thus abortion moves the sex act to the public realm not me.

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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby podbaydoor » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:21 am UTC

Advocate increased and thorough access to contraceptives of all kinds and education and remove the stigma around issuing contraception. And figure out how to deal with the woman whose partner refuses to use contraception, or their priest bullies them out of it, or the pharmacy won't sell them Plan B. The "pair" responsibility you keep talking about doesn't work there.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:40 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:Why do we require a higher standard of drivers than we require of couples engaging in sex?
Because rather a lot more people are killed every year in car accidents than in sex accidents, presumably...
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby Aic » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:44 am UTC

Contraception fails. Period.

You could say everybody knows there always is the risk that contraception fails and you get pregnant, so it is obvious. Contraception(-fail) is also taught at schools here more than once, usually. But even if it wasn't, I think it's your responsibility to be fully informed about what you are doing. I still think it is my very fault when there's a fetus sticking around somewhere after something I did voluntarily, knowing the (low) risk. So I can't push away the moral problem from me. Sure it's also the guy's fault, but he's obviously just lucky as heck not to carry the fetus.

I think it's similar to asking if one Siamese twin is morally allowed to commit suicide when it also kills the other twin. On the other hand, I think he's even more allowed to do so since he didn't cause that problem of sticking together with someone else. (And it doesn't suddenly become a woman's rights issue just because the twins are women.) Well. Probably off topic.

Is it a cultural thing when people would go for unprofessional or self-made abortions once the laws restricted them? Those seem to be rare here, but I can't find statistics right now. (I was like "what the hell? xD" when I read of that coathanger...concept, or self-induced abortion being seen as an almost normal issue, and I really wasn't oblivious about the whole abortion topic. Which is also discussed at schools. And forums. And everywhere. Since you've got to be quick and it's a bit confusing how to get an abortion, here.)
It's weird how here, the huge majority would never question that a fetus is a human after a certain (pretty early) point of development (though many people aren't sure when -exactly- that would be. As said, our laws decided "around 3 months" since the brain starts to develop pretty well after that and the fetus seems to become aware of it's surroundings, and many people stick with that opinion), while other countries don't see anything life-worthy even a few days before birth.
There also are no real popular "pro-life" or "pro-choice" associations/interests here.

So actually, here it is "more of a "when is the fetus a baby" issue".

Another popular concept of "when is something a human" seems to be "at a point when it can survive on it's own outside of the uterus". But I'm not sure if C1-quadriplegic people would be amused.

and pays her an appropriate wage to bear and raise the child.

About 220 dollar/month here. Probably not appropriate, dunno. But one shouldn't assume that people keep the child if they didn't want it in first place.

And figure out how to deal with the woman whose partner refuses to use contraception, or their priest bullies them out of it, or the pharmacy won't sell them Plan B.

Pretty much unthinkable here. Maybe in some very rare and very weird cases. Church doesn't have to tell people anything here, pharmacies are bound by laws to give those meds out. I do, though, give you that some women might stick with such mentioned assholes and rather abort fetuses instead of leaving. But I'd consider that their own responsibility, too. Maybe that's also a cultural thing, people who don't use/demand condoms are generally considered idiots here.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:50 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:The point you make is certainly valid. I confess I don't know the mechanism. However it does move the point of intervention into the earliest point of the process. If you consider the social discord that abortion causes it may be better that if it is to happen it happens at that point rather than later. At that point it is a private matter, rather than a public matter. But better in my point of view to not have to make the decision at all.

My basic argument would be that the *pair* have an obligation to the public to conduct themselves in a fashion, such that the issue never arises. We require drivers to carry insurance to mitigate the effect of an accident. We require cars to be built to the safest standard available. We require drivers to be licensed. And we enforce penalties to ensure maximum compliance. Why do we require a higher standard of drivers than we require of couples engaging in sex? I admit the sex is a private behavior but abortion is not.


uh. First of all consider what you mean by 'the social discord that abortion causes' and where you got that notion. SOME people, who aren't me, or many women, or say, Former First Lady Laura Bush, have a problem with abortion. It is, however, a legally protected right of women in the united states. The discord comes when crazy people decide it's better to terrorize women and shoot at doctors than allow this procedure to ever happen. Does it cause a personal discord to you? Would it bother you personally to know that someone you knew had an abortion? And are you sure that that isn't just... your problem?
Abortion, just as the decision to *have* a baby, is not a public matter. the fact that it squicks you out if you see a woman growing on the waistline one day and not growing the next is not even a public matter. It would always be better to not have to make the decision at all. It is a myth that women make the decision blithely or without forethought. However, sexual maturity and fertility happens long before brains are fully developed, and yet, we have managed to create the iPod. One should think that making a decision about our organs ought to be something we've handled by now. And in fact, we have. However the problem that often delays a woman into getting a later term abortion? Oh, just that they're so fucking hard to get, is all.
We hold drivers to a higher standard than couples engaging in sex for a few reasons:
1. Cars cost money, sperm and egg are free. We can't stop people from having them.
2. Rape happens near-constantly if were talking 'in the US' or especially 'in the world'.
3. Crashing a car might actually cause loss of life or property. Having an abortion only causes loss of potential fetus or embryo, something that happens all the time every time a woman has a miscarriage or hell, doesn't even know she was pregnant/the egg didn't implant. The person or people suffering in that regard are the ones who lost the potential for a fetus, not you, or anyone else.
To me, that means it's not actually a public behaviour.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby podbaydoor » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:52 am UTC

Aic wrote:Is it a cultural thing when people would go for unprofessional or self-made abortions once the laws restricted them?

What do you think women in America did before Roe v Wade? What do you think women do in the Middle East or India or anywhere else it's illegal? Incidentally, mother mortality rates rise whenever abortion is banned or restricted.
Church doesn't have to tell people anything here, pharmacies are bound by laws to give those meds out. I do, though, give you that some women might stick with such mentioned assholes and rather abort fetuses instead of leaving. But I'd consider that their own responsibility, too.

You've never heard of emotional abuse or coercion? I'm not sure what country you're in, but the above situations aren't uncommon in America given the religious climate. If you're being pressured by your partner, church, and community and will likely be ostracized by one or all for a mortal sin...not to mention many areas have driven licensed abortion providers out thanks to death threats and/or homicide.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby Aic » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:02 am UTC

What do you think women in America did before Roe v Wade? What do you think women do in the Middle East or India or anywhere else it's illegal? Incidentally, mother mortality rates rise whenever abortion is banned or restricted.

Sorry for poor wording. Sure people do and did it everywhere, what I was aiming for is if it would become normal, an accepted way and so on. Since it doesn't seem to be like that here at all. The USA do have much looser laws about abortion, and still it seems to be much more popular or a common idea to self-abort there, in contrast to here (Germany) where abortion isn't possible regularly after the third month.

You've never heard of emotional abuse or coercion? I'm not sure what country you're in, but the above situations aren't uncommon in America given the religious climate. If you're being pressured by your partner, church, and community and will likely be ostracized by one or all for a mortal sin...

I know that especially church is much different in the USA, but I wanted to state how pity I find it that those things are of any importance for the question about the assumed life or non-life of a fetus. But I guess that's a different topic.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:11 am UTC

Aic wrote:Since it doesn't seem to be like that here at all. The USA do have much looser laws about abortion, and still it seems to be much more popular or a common idea to self-abort there
First, back-alley abortions are not self-abortions. Second, it's not popular or common *now*, in places where safe medical abortions are actually accessible. But it certainly *was* common before they were legalized, and is certainly less rare now in places where abortions aren't accessible. Third, the worldwide abortion rate is higher than it is in the US, or in most other countries where it's safe and legal. Which means that, on average, women are actually *more* likely to seek out abortions when they live in countries that see fit to dictate what they're allowed to do with their bodies, than they are in countries where their rights are more protected and other kinds of family planning are more normal.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby Aic » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:22 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:First, back-alley abortions are not self-abortions. [...]

True, I didn't find a fitting word while I was typing.
Thank you very much for some further clarification!

Which means that, on average, women are actually *more* likely to seek out abortions when they live in countries that see fit to dictate what they're allowed to do with their bodies

Sounds interesting, do you have some sources I could look up? I'm going to search for it anyways, just in case you have something ready.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:29 am UTC

Aic wrote:Sounds interesting, do you have some sources I could look up?
This is a decent rundown of some worldwide statistics.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby FireZs » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:25 am UTC

So here's a useful thought experiment: What if we have the technology to extract fetuses from pregnant women and freeze them in a such a way that they can be thawed at some point and put into another woman? To the woman it would just be like having an abortion, while technically, nothing is being "killed," human or not. It'll be basically taking the IVF embryo freezing concept and applying it to the entirety of pregnancy, and even if the vast majority of the frozen fetuses will remain in stasis forever, the potential for life of all of them is not destroyed. Would pro-lifers be ok with this? Would pro-choicers be ok with this (I assume yes, unless there's something important in the actual destruction of the fetus)?

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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby morriswalters » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:14 pm UTC

I have some more questions. For informational purposes here's a link to a Wikipedia article. I'll refer to it if I make any claims about development. As a matter of scale according to this Wikipedia Article 42 million abortions are performed annually, world wide. Approximately 1 million in the US.

The status of the potential child seems to be the ethical barrier to full acceptance of abortion. The question may be stated as, *How important is life?* With a secondary question of when does the mothers safety become less important the the potential child. I use the phrase potential child since it has neutral semantic connotations, I will accept any convention that is seen as useful. It is arguable life begins at conception is at least a valid starting point for the discussion. However it is obvious that there is no specific time or period of development which can be precisely pointed to as where human life begins. Would a position that says a chain exists that begins with fertilization that will inevitably end with live birth, given no intervention of any kind be defensible? If we accept that as a starting point then it seems that we may move to the central point, how important is viable potential child.

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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby Ulc » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:54 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Would a position that says a chain exists that begins with fertilization that will inevitably end with live birth, given no intervention of any kind be defensible?


No, it wouldn't.

A huge number of things can go wrong through that chain, and a very large number of fertilization events terminates by them self. Making a assumption that every fertilization event would led to a live and viable birth is wrong - and while making slightly wrong assumptions can occasionally be very useful, there is a couple of things one must make a point out of; 1) The need for the assumption to facility a coherent discussion, 2) that the assumption is mostly correct, but with some flaws and 3) That the assumption does not radically change the topic.

But that is entirely beside the point in my opinion.

The point is that a potentiality does not have rights, and that we do not owe it anything. Meanwhile the right to bodily autonomy is pretty freaking important - as in 200m high letters written in flames with "DO NOT VIOLATE" important. For a violation of that right to be okay, it would have to be very large gains, and a minor violation*.

I'd say that forcing someone to live with a parasitic lifeform in them for 9 months, subjecting themselves to large number of physically uncomfortable things, a whole host of strange hormones, a lot of time spent being unable to do what one wants followed by the very painful experience that is giving birth - is not a minor violation.

And to be honest, I can't see a coherent argument that such a violation of bodily autonomy would ever be right. Even for a fully concious grown human. Much less a mere potentially that is unable to feel.

*Right of the bat, I can't think of any case where a violation of the right to bodily autonomy against a human being capable of making informed decisions, would ever be right.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:58 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:My basic argument would be that the *pair* have an obligation to the public to conduct themselves in a fashion, such that the issue never arises. We require drivers to carry insurance to mitigate the effect of an accident. We require cars to be built to the safest standard available. We require drivers to be licensed. And we enforce penalties to ensure maximum compliance. Why do we require a higher standard of drivers than we require of couples engaging in sex? I admit the sex is a private behavior but abortion is not.

I think this is the crux of our argument disconnect;
You feel that sex is a private matter, but abortion is not. I feel that society shouldn't be able to tell a woman what is private and what isn't. She's not having sex with society.
And I don't think you get it, Society DOES enforce the maximum penalty for failure to have 'insurance' so to speak, while having sex; we shun women who seek abortions, and force them into 18 years of a servitude for an 'insurance' failure.

I really want you to try and understand this point: Sex is something two people do, and is private, and as you stated, is none of anyone elses business. Ergo, the ramifications of that act are ALSO private, and it is NOT the purview of society to dictate the outcome of that private act. NOTHING about a woman's uterus is a public act.

At least, and this is a thought experiment, if it was, I would encourage you to imagine what it would be like to have your testicles be under the public sphere. Want to masturbate? Tough shit, you're harming potential life. You didn't HAVE to spill your sperm in the shower drain. Did you just get kicked in the nuts in a sporting game? You should be incarcerated or exiled for potentially depriving your wife of an heir. Your wife keeps having babies, but you can't afford to care for them anymore? Too bad, you can't get a vasectomy, because your vas deferens is public property.

FireZs wrote:and even if the vast majority of the frozen fetuses will remain in stasis forever, the potential for life of all of them is not destroyed. Would pro-lifers be ok with this?

I'd be fine with it if every woman who under went the procedure opted for her embryo to be frozen, and then decided to pay for the costs of maintaining a frozen embryo. Personally, I don't understand why we need to keep all these embryo's sitting around frozen. It seems magnificently pointless and a complete waste of resources, literal or ethical. If you're upset about harming potential life, why is freezing potential life in permanent stasis any better?
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:31 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:when does the mothers safety become less important the the potential child.
Never. I can kill a fully existing adult to protect my own safety. Why should a fetus have more rights than that?
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby FireZs » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:36 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
FireZs wrote:and even if the vast majority of the frozen fetuses will remain in stasis forever, the potential for life of all of them is not destroyed. Would pro-lifers be ok with this?

I'd be fine with it if every woman who under went the procedure opted for her embryo to be frozen, and then decided to pay for the costs of maintaining a frozen embryo. Personally, I don't understand why we need to keep all these embryo's sitting around frozen. It seems magnificently pointless and a complete waste of resources, literal or ethical. If you're upset about harming potential life, why is freezing potential life in permanent stasis any better?


Well, for one it would be much easier to get the baby you want if you're infertile and going for IVF treatments. The point is that nothing is technically killed in the process. As I said, this is more of a question for pro-lifers. If they would be ok with this hypothetical procedure, then they're probably sincere in their motivations to protect life. If they're not, then we'll know that controlling the sexual behavior of women is at least one part of their motivations.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:49 pm UTC

I admittedly misread your question as being posed for pro-choicers. My mistake.

However, I'm under the impression that IVF is for people who want to use their own genetic material. It'd be interesting for pro-lifers to get behind this, and then be forced to prove the depth of their beliefs by impregnating every woman with these fertilized but frozen embryos. "If you really believe in life, provide an incubator for these babies."

But yeah, I don't see why this is a practical solution, as adoption centers in the US are overstocked, so to speak. There isn't a shortage of viable embryos, there's a shortage of parents able to care for them.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby morriswalters » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:58 pm UTC

@Ulc
For the purpose of this argument would you care to state how live birth occurs unless this chain is complete? I did not state that nothing could interrupt it, any number of things can. I simply said that if it is not interrupted it will finish with a live birth.

@Izawwlgood
I do not state that your point of view is incorrect, however I reserve the right to present arguments which may or may not be in opposition. In the case of public versus private, I do so. If the issue were entirely private we would not be having this discussion. Abortion is as safe as it is because we have made a public investment to make it so. This means putting regulations in place to protect those availing themselves of the procedure. This requires an outlay of public funds and debate over the nature of those regulations. It also implies infrastructure supported by everyone. It presents issues involving funding for the procedure. All in the public sphere.

For the record I not only believe sex is a private matter, I insist that it be. However it would be a simplistic attitude on my part to not realize that this can never be completely true. We impose conditions about what is acceptable to us as a society to maintain the balance which preserves the most freedom for all parties.

gmalivuk wrote:
morriswalters wrote:when does the mothers safety become less important the the potential child.
Never. I can kill a fully existing adult to protect my own safety. Why should a fetus have more rights than that?
For the purposes of my discussion I have made it clear that I am discussing abortion on demand or abortion as contraception. Under the circumstances I have limited my responses. Your reply seems to be an attempt to make the choice more extreme than it is. Under normal circumstances a normal pregnancy is not life threatening, although there is certainly greater risk than would exist if a women was not pregnant. So for my position safety is a relative term, implying an amount of risk that a woman should be required to incur. In addition killing to protect your safety from an assault is not an apples to apples comparison. I will try to avoid using extreme examples to make a point since that is not conducive to discussion, I certainly would hope that everyone could do the same.

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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby Angua » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:10 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:I do not state that your point of view is incorrect, however I reserve the right to present arguments which may or may not be in opposition. In the case of public versus private, I do so. If the issue were entirely private we would not be having this discussion. Abortion is as safe as it is because we have made a public investment to make it so. This means putting regulations in place to protect those availing themselves of the procedure. This requires an outlay of public funds and debate over the nature of those regulations. It also implies infrastructure supported by everyone. It presents issues involving funding for the procedure. All in the public sphere.

For the record I not only believe sex is a private matter, I insist that it be. However it would be a simplistic attitude on my part to not realize that this can never be completely true. We impose conditions about what is acceptable to us as a society to maintain the balance which preserves the most freedom for all parties.
The bolded part (and the rest derived from that) is a false assumption. Abortion is a public matter because people have chosen to make it so. Even if the woman in question was willing and able to pay for it herself, in places where this is illegal she is not allowed to, and the pro-lifers would still be against it even if they were in no way affected by the decision. (I personally then think that woman who are unable to do so should still be able to get abortions, but that is neither her nor there).

I sort of see your arguement as saying that because people are protesting about homosexualss right to be married (or in some countries even to have sex) means that their marriage or sex-life is in the public domain, just that some people have decided that it should be.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:15 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote: If the issue were entirely private we would not be having this discussion.

We're having this debate, because as I see it, some people feel their moral system is worth forcing on others/everyone. A woman's right to her body is none of your business, and we're only having this discussion because you erroneously assume you have a right to tell her what to do. I'm perfectly able to see how someone would choose to be pro-life, and use that outlook for themselves, but you're not arguing for why personally this outlook is legitimate, you're arguing for why legally, we should limit choice in others.
morriswalters wrote:Abortion is as safe as it is because we have made a public investment to make it so.

I don't know if this is true. I think Abortion is safe because medicine has advanced to the point that abortion is safe. I'm not sure if that happened with public funding or private funding, but I wager, neither do you.

morriswalters wrote:This means putting regulations in place to protect those availing themselves of the procedure. This requires an outlay of public funds and debate over the nature of those regulations.

And if you want to take this route of discussion, than I think you misunderstand how paying taxes work. There are plenty of things my taxes goto that I don't feel they should, but frankly, them's the breaks. If you are bringing this up because of the moral opposition to having your taxes goto something you don't support, then you simply make an argument for why the private sector needs to step up it's game. Which I think it has; Planned Parenthood is receives only like 1/6th it's funding from the Government. If you're making the argument that abortions represent a poor usage of tax dollars, than I urge you to read the link PAstrychef provided about how making it more difficult for women to get abortions results in a glut of unwanted children, who are likely to be in dire financial situations, which results in more crime, and therefor, a greater cost to society.

From an ethical standpoint, I can see no reason to limit abortions to others. From a practical standpoint, you should be throwing money at abortion providers.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby podbaydoor » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:26 pm UTC

I do enjoy Izawwlgood's analogy with the man's testicles. I'll have to remember that.

Under normal circumstances a normal pregnancy is not life threatening, although there is certainly greater risk than would exist if a women was not pregnant.

Sez you. Right now there is no movement to forcibly draft men into potential death and/or servitude for 18 years. Why should this draft apply to women?

Right now, abortion might have some government funding, and considered (at a stretch) a public matter only because the private sector has been understandably scared off by the hostility, risk of homicide, and attempts by the same government to ban this particular business market out of existence.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:29 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:For the purposes of my discussion I have made it clear that I am discussing abortion on demand or abortion as contraception.
Then don't throw around words like "safety". Also, abortion by definition is not contraception. It is, however, birth control, again by definition, because it's a way of controlling whether a birth happens or not.

Under normal circumstances a normal pregnancy is not life threatening, although there is certainly greater risk than would exist if a women was not pregnant. So for my position safety is a relative term, implying an amount of risk that a woman should be required to incur.
If you're using it as a relative term, then say so. And also, if you're using it as a relative term, then we quite simply *cannot* make judgments about when something else is more or less important than it, because we can't pin down how much safety we're talking about in the first place.

In addition killing to protect your safety from an assault is not an apples to apples comparison.
You're allowed to kill in self-defense whether or not the person you kill had any malicious intent toward you, so don't presume I was only talking about assault. Given that most late-term abortions are in attempt to prevent bodily harm to the woman, I see them as being *very* much like killing in self-defense (at least, if we decide for some reason to believe the fetus at that point is a person).
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby morriswalters » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:55 pm UTC

All right, not contraception, birth control. I point out that from my viewpoint that the effective outcome is the same, the difference lies in the timing, however I will use whatever language you are comfortable with. In terms of using safety as a relative term, it's implicit from the way I have limited my responses. In addition we are quite good at defining safety as it relates to risk. I have already stated that I am not discussing abortions to preserve the life of the mother. I may at some point, but not now. I don't wish to deal with the resulting complications of trying to deal with two separate issues at once. It contributes too much noise. I am dealing with the most controversial types of abortions first, elective abortions. Abortions that are done exclusively because the women has become pregnant and for whatever non health related reason has chosen to terminate the pregnancy. You may certainly do as you wish. I hope I have clarified my position to you.

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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:58 pm UTC

Right, so, again, tell me/us why you think it is important to limit the rights of OTHER womens to choose what happens to their bodies. I get it, that you personally don't feel elective abortions jive with your personal outlook, but tell us why it is necessary to prevent OTHER women from getting them.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby podbaydoor » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:15 pm UTC

Surveys have shown that the top reasons for women to get abortions are because they don't feel they can afford to raise a baby and/or they don't feel they are emotionally or psychologically ready.

Why is it okay to leave a mother and (born, viable) child to starve in a shitty society but not okay to prevent the entire situation in the first place?
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby greengiant » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:27 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Right, so, again, tell me/us why you think it is important to limit the rights of OTHER womens to choose what happens to their bodies. I get it, that you personally don't feel elective abortions jive with your personal outlook, but tell us why it is necessary to prevent OTHER women from getting them.


I'm assuming it's that whole "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins" thing. For people who believe a foetus is a person, making abortion illegal is no different to making infanticide illegal. Most legal systems agree that it's OK to tell people what to do when their actions affect a third party.

You might not agree that a foetus is a person. You might think it is but argue that the mother's rights outweigh any rights it has. You might use some other reason or a combination of reasons. Fair enough. But I think it's a bit unfair to just dismiss pro-life arguments out of hand because it's not OK to tell other people what to do. If a foetus is believed to be a person, it's perfectly reasonable for a discussion of its rights to be in the public domain. If not, yeah seems like it's a private thing but this only holds if people are working from the common assumption that a foetus is not a person and has no rights to be considered.

I guess where a lot of people (me included I guess) have trouble is that they think an undelivered 39-week foetus is no different from a premature baby born after 39 weeks and think that if the latter has a right to life, so must the former. Although as I said before, I have no suggestion as to where the cut-off should be. Maybe you're right and birth is the best cut-off point to use simply because it is clear cut, but I don't think other positions are untenable.

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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:56 pm UTC

Because of how complicated the issue is. I don't think a fetus more rights than a premie because of the order of reliance's, but I don't think that a premie has a right to life. Again, because this is such a complicated issue to draw neat lines around, I wonder why you should even try to do so, and instead, simply not have laws about it. Is it murder to place a baby in a dumpster? Is it murder to artificially induce premature labor and give birth to a fetus that cannot survive on it's own? Is it murder to unplug an incubator and let a premie die? Is it murder to take RU 486 and have a miscarriage? Is it murder to take the morning after pill and have a miscarriage? Is it murder to wear a condom?

Where do you draw the line? Where does anyone else? Legally, I just think we should draw the biggest swath we can around the problem and let women decide. It's not going to stop the horror stories, but no legal matter would; when people get desperate, they do desperate things. Is the solution now to punish them? Who exactly are we trying to protect here? The children, by forcing them to be raised by parents who don't want them? To be a drain on the tax payer in the foster system or orphanages? The religious rights morality and sensibilities?
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby morriswalters » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:58 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Right, so, again, tell me/us why you think it is important to limit the rights of OTHER womens to choose what happens to their bodies. I get it, that you personally don't feel elective abortions jive with your personal outlook, but tell us why it is necessary to prevent OTHER women from getting them.


I haven't stated my personal outlook, I am exploring the ethical and moral positions. I'm interested in this discussion because I want to test my preconceptions. Tell me if you are interested enough to carry on a conversation based on that idea, if you are we can continue, else wise we can't.
podbaydoor wrote:Surveys have shown that the top reasons for women to get abortions are because they don't feel they can afford to raise a baby and/or they don't feel they are emotionally or psychologically ready.

Why is it okay to leave a mother and (born, viable) child to starve in a shitty society but not okay to prevent the entire situation in the first place?
I don't say that it is. Are you saying that a discussion of the moral and ethical problems is not worth having? I'll point out an interesting statistic. Minorities are much more likely than white women to use abortion services. What does that imply? Maybe the solution is the status quo, maybe it's something different.

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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby FireZs » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:26 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Where do you draw the line? Where does anyone else? Legally, I just think we should draw the biggest swath we can around the problem and let women decide. It's not going to stop the horror stories, but no legal matter would; when people get desperate, they do desperate things. Is the solution now to punish them? Who exactly are we trying to protect here? The children, by forcing them to be raised by parents who don't want them? To be a drain on the tax payer in the foster system or orphanages? The religious rights morality and sensibilities?


The fact that knowing where to draw the line is hard doesn't mean that there should be no lines at all. The fact that infanticide is illegal doesn't prevent it from happening, but it's still illegal. Are you arguing that it shouldn't be? Because this whole paragraph can be equally applicable to unwanted children that were actually born, whose humanity I don't think anyone can deny.

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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby Mavketl » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:59 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Are you saying that a discussion of the moral and ethical problems is not worth having?
This is an odd response to someone who is giving their opinion on a moral and ethical problem.

As for the general dismissive attitude you might be getting, that's because we have had this discussion. More than once. And if you care about the issue, you should read the arguments in those threads instead of demanding that everyone restates them for your convenience. You don't really think you've made any arguments that haven't been covered already, do you?


Examples are this thread*, and this thread*, and this thread, and this thread, and this thread, and this thread, and this thread, and this thread*. And many, many more.
(There are other places where people talk about abortion, but I tried to link only the ones that are suitable for the kind of discussion you are looking for.)

* = recommended.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby fullmoonmidget » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:31 pm UTC

I have two different beliefs on abortion. I personally would get an abortion in circumstances involving sure death. That's it.

However, I do believe that a woman has a right, and a need, to control her own body. Therefore, I propose a solution: only allow abortions through the first semester. That's approximately 2 months from the time a woman should know that there is a possibility, at least a month from when they should know. It cuts out the messy "are they viable" points. There are many different points when a fetus is viable, depending on the state of the medical care, and, honestly, the potential child itself.

I do not have the right to impose my morals on others. It is the same as religion, gay marriage, and whatever else people insist on sticking their noses in.

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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby sophyturtle » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:41 pm UTC

Any cut off you come up with will not be satisfactory, because it is imposing things on someone else. Some people do not have regular periods, and would not know in the first 2 months. Other actually have something like a period for months into their pregnancy (I will provide anecdotal evidence if we like).

Then of course there are all those abortions for medical safety issues, some of which happen pretty darn late in the pregnancy.

Setting a limit on when someone can have an abortion is telling that person what they can and cannot do with their body based on some arbitrary rule you came up with. It has no relation to their actual situation, and that is a problem.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby Azrael » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:46 pm UTC

It seems, generally, that many more of those commenting from the pro-life position here haven't done even the most basic research.

Roe vs. Wade established abortion on request as a legal right prior to viability based on trimesters, and left post-viability regulations to the states provided it did not infringe on the federal standard. It suggested (1973, remember) that viability was roughly 28 weeks, but perhaps as early as 24. Thus, 1st & 2nd trimesters were protected. That trimester standard of viability was overruled in 1992 by Planned Parenthood v. Casey and "viability" remains somewhat amorphous, although the decision cited 22 weeks as a start. Both decisions required exceptions for the health of the mother, although those too are now (since 1992) more amorphous since 'health of the mother' is so vague.

So ... stop suggesting either trimester-based or viability-based concepts of restriction like it's novel. You're, at best, 19 years out of date. But really, more like 38.

Now, I know not all of you are from the US, but if you aren't, then you're even more misinformed. Many European countries already have established limits on the number of requests and hard-stops on the duration of pregnancy as well.

Go educate yourself, even only as far as reading for 10 minutes on Wikipedia before you start/continue to comment. Otherwise, you end up looking really, really ignorant.

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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby podbaydoor » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:49 pm UTC

I didn't know I was pregnant until about 8 weeks along, and that was only because my body reacted in a way - nausea - that caused me to become suspicious. Women become aware of their pregnancies at different times. First trimester (I assume that's what you meant) is as arbitrary and inapplicable a line as any other line.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:50 pm UTC

fullmoonmidget wrote:Therefore, I propose a solution: only allow abortions through the first semester. That's approximately 2 months from the time a woman should know that there is a possibility, at least a month from when they should know.
You obviously have a lot to learn about how women's bodies work if you think all of them ought to know after only two months of pregnancy.

Furthermore, you're only giving them a month to get an abortion after realizing they're pregnant. Even if you work to ensure that everyone has safe and ready access to abortions near where they live, and eliminate things like waiting periods, that doesn't give much time for a decision.
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Re: Abortion and Women's Rights

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:55 pm UTC

fullmoonmidget wrote:I have two different beliefs on abortion. I personally would get an abortion in circumstances involving sure death. That's it.

However, I do believe that a woman has a right, and a need, to control her own body. Therefore, I propose a solution: only allow abortions through the first semester. That's approximately 2 months from the time a woman should know that there is a possibility, at least a month from when they should know. It cuts out the messy "are they viable" points. There are many different points when a fetus is viable, depending on the state of the medical care, and, honestly, the potential child itself.

I do not have the right to impose my morals on others. It is the same as religion, gay marriage, and whatever else people insist on sticking their noses in.


There are some countries that have similar laws to this IIRC (and might, say, allow abortions in later terms only for health reasons). It's worth saying, that this would mean that almost 90% of abortions would be perfectly legal in this situation, probably more because late-term abortions are more often associated with health complications anyway--generally people who don't want to have a child abort as soon as they can.


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