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Why shouldn't the mother have the option to abort?

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Neo-Logic, Jun 5, 2005.

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  1. Yes, abortion should remain legal up to the 2d trimester

    17.3%
  2. Yes, abortion should remain legal, even up to the 3rd trimester

    15.4%
  3. Yes, abortion should remain legal, but only to the 1st trimester

    9.6%
  4. No, abortion should be made illegal because the fetus is a living being

    48.1%
  5. I don't know/others

    9.6%
  1. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    I do not consider you to be in the category of those pro-choicers who are inconsistent. As far as personhood goes, its got about a thousand and one definitions. I would agree with you that an unborn fetus does not really have "personhood", (At least not an unwanted one. Mothers who want their babies, on the other hand, often become attached to them and attribute personhood to them before they are even born.), however, I would also say that a newborn baby doesn't have "personhood" either.

    So the questions remain: What is personhood? When does personhood develop? Is personhood more important than life? Is life allowed to be terminated up until the point it acheives personhood, which would include born babies in many cases?

    *Gulp* There really is a lot more to this issue than many people realize.

    Obviously, in such a situation as a stopped heart there is not much time for alternatives. The point I was trying to make was that in a medical situation such as that one where a patient is fighting for their life, as long as the potential for recovery exists, (much like the "potential for birth" that a fetus posesses), a doctor is obligated to exhaust that potential unless otherwise noted by DNR, etc. However, DNR can be marked as a preference by the patient themselves, whereas an unborn baby cannot speak for itself.

    So, who is allowed to speak for the unborn baby? With born babies and children, the state will take them into custody if the parents are unable to care for them or simply unwilling. Obviously it is not that simple with a fetus. The state cannot simply take over guardianship of an unbron fetus. Unless...as you mentioned before, medical science may lead us to an age where embryos can be removed from the woman's womb and be allowed to grow and develop in a sort of uterine petri dish. Is it plausible to expect the government to pay for something like that? Not only for the care of the "unborn" embryos, but for the care of the many parentless children afterwards? Are there enough couples interested in adoption to take the babies off of the hands of the government?
     
  2. Neo-Logic

    Neo-Logic Reality Checker

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    I consider fetuses, after a certain stage, human. However, I definately consider the mother a human, moreso than I do the unborn human. I advocate the choice of the mother to terminate that human being stuck inside of her with certainty.

    Furthermore, abortion has nothing to do with the argument of a mother killing a born child and comparing that to abortion. The two are seperate entities. On one hand, you have the child, living inside the mother, absolutely dependent on the mother for its survival and no one else. This is different from the born child which could be taken care of by another being and though dependent, not directly upon the mother's womb and the mother's bodily resources.
     
  3. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    Hello again Mister Emu,

    You said:

    I seem to recall some religious texts that suggested similar acceptability...absent any change in position. ;-)

    When I said:
    It ain't about your opinions of morality or ethics; it's about protection of each individual's own rights as guaranteed under constitutional law.

    You queried:
    Is this supposed to be a trick question of some sort?
    Basic civil rights are outlined in the final draft of the US Constitution itself, and within the additionally specified rights and protections as enumerated within the initial (and subsequent) ratified Amendments to the Constitution, with subsequent interpretational rulings of constitutional merit and founding intent, as provided by the US Supreme Court .
    Just where do you think they come from?

    I submitted:
    When opponents of choice to legal abortions begin to couch their arguments around secular aspects of individual rights and liberties, I may then choose to engage a fruitful debate on the topic.

    You replied:
    As I do not share your concluding perspective, I can not offer authoritative or especial insight as to the rationale or motives espoused by yourself or others of similar bent. Suffice to say that in my considerable first-hand experience, rarely, if ever, are such "arguments" predicated upon consideration of secular law and precedent (much less the potential consequences of such a strident and immutable position of singular emotional appeal).

    Due process can only be "denied" to one rightfully entitled as a "person" (or citizen) under law. Gestating human ova/embryos do not retain that legal distinction. Your moralistic/philosophic assertion that any and all embryos are indeed "persons" is noted as such...but it don't make it so...legally, ethically, or morally.

    You (somewhat rhetorically) asked of me:
    As you might expect from one of us wavering, fence-sitting, non-committal, and wishy-washy contenders agin' concepts/precets of "absolutes", I would suggest that there are veritable and measurable degrees of mental retardation/incapacitation that must be fairly and objectively evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In matters of criminal culpability under law, the basic question of responsibility/accountability rests within the accused's capacity to cognitively formulate a conclusive distinction between "right" and "wrong" (by legal, not moral distinctions). If a "mentally handicapped person" can demonstrably make such a distinction, then yes, they are rightfully subject to the same consequences; if not, then no.

    As applicable, it is as it should be, indeed.

    After I said:
    A human clone borne of a toenail clipping would be no different (or "separate and distinct") than other "natural" identical siblings (twins, triplets, etc.).

    You feigned some confusion in asking:
    My "point" was that I rebutted your assertion that not every person (either initially conceived or subsequently gestated to term) is necessarily a "separate and distinct" person (as you suggested). It was you that introduced the qualifier of DNA as being distinctive as to individual personage. My rebuttal suggested that such a qualifier is flawed and incomplete (though I note your willing acceptance of any and all human clones as distinct and separate "persons", despite the fact that they all share identical DNA of their respective "donors").

    I said:
    A human clone's "potential" as a person (or persons in this case) would be no more, and no less than that of identically split (mitosis) ova.

    You replied:
    OK. Consider yourself corrected. You're wrong. ;-)

    "Barring miscarriage"...or personal choice of pregnancy termination by means of legal medical procedure...;-)

    Nonetheless, you have completely evaded/ignored the "potential" aspects of that stray hair on the floor. If properly applied and sustained, that hair "could" become a "person". Conversely, a fertilized and dividing ova may or may not enjoy (citing the potential of miscarriage that you mention) any enhanced or greater "potential" of [one day] becoming a "person" (regardless of their prospective or actual DNA structure).

    [Note: I am simply countering what I consider the inadequacy of your foundation in rebuttal. Under even current law, birthed identical twins, triplets, etc. are indeed "separate and distinct persons", despite the fact that they share identical (and indistinguishable) DNA. "Persons" can therefore, be distinct and separable, but certainly not by DNA alone. Where are these "differences" (of individualism and distinct personhood betwixt those of identical DNA signatures) manifested and eventually realized? Within the womb (or prospective petri-dish/growth environment), or after birth? What measurable aspects of "personality" or distinct individualism is readily observable amongst gestating identical twins (or triplets) after 5 weeks? 5 months? What human behavior is readily identifiable as unique and distinct from one to the next? You tell me...

    How does a sluffed-off human hair in a hairbrush differ from a 3 day fertilized ova in identifiable/quantifiable terms of human behavior, personality, or ultimate "potential" as a "separate and distinct" person (if human cloning is as simple and readily accessible as conventional conception methods)? That lone hair retains every bit of "separate and distinct" DNA that any other cognizant (and civil-rights laden) "person" may claim and establish for themselves. By your standard, doesn't that "separate and distinct" DNA deserve the same rights and protections afforded to any "person" of similar description at the moment of actual conception? How does one "potential" significantly differ from the other, besides aspects of specified time and place?

    Or, is it possible that aspects of individualism and personhood are relegated not to definitions provided by science, medicine, or precedented law...but by individulaized/group religious interpretations of dogmatic teachings/understandings of faith-based texts (or unreligious philosophic perspectives)?

    As far as the Christian Scripture is concerned, I can readily cite Chapter and Verse that clearly illustrate that gestating (or unborn) "potential" persons are not considered "actual" persons at all until birth, and that "forced" (unintentional or not) "miscarriages" of pregnant women amounts to little more than minor property loss and due compensation from the offending parties involved. So surely, no adherent Christian would claim that the Bible definitively affirms that any unborn (or undelivered - literally, not "spiritually") embryo is a "person" of equal rights and consideration under even Mosaic law, much less US constitutional law in the 21st century.

    Talk about settled law indeed...
     
  4. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    Hello once more Ceridwen018,

    Why won't you just let me get some sleep? ;-)

    You said:

    Thanks. I just hate to be thought ordinary...;-)

    In your final statement, I would disagree. A born, living "baby" is a "person" in my estimation. No equivocation. From that point on, their "potential" is theirs (and their caregiving parents) to ultimately realize.

    You have exceeded my own premised points, yet all are worthy of legal distinction and "semantical" evaluation and determinations...

    And we ain't even scratched the proverbial iceberg tip yet...yet I retain an unsated itch for progressive forethought and rational resolutions...;-)
     
  5. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
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    This has to do with the topic at hand how? Also, I recall a bit of scripture regarding slavery as well, but again this discussion is not "the Bible on slavery".

    To the meaning of this statement(which you either missed, or ignored), settled law means little when the law can change.

    Again, where do you believe Constitutional law originates? Not what is it, but where it came/comes from.

    Hmmm, what makes the difference between believing a fetus a person, and believing it to not be so, that makes one an emotional appeal and the other not so?

    They do if the mother wishes it so. Were I to intentionally slay an unborn child without the mother's consent it is (to my knowledge) murder.

    See that is what I at least(and as far as I know other pro-life persons) am trying to get, legal distinction of personhood for unborn children.

    I meant, of course, handicapped in such a way that they cannot distinguish between "right" and "wrong". The point of the question was, to determine whether or not you truly believed that law should show no favour or bias as you said, which it seems you do not.

    I did not introduce the idea of DNA being a qualifier, nor did I mean to, however it is easy to show distinction and seperation by a seperate DNA.

    Please enlighten my then, what did you mean by a clone's "potential" for life? Did you mean a clone in the embryionic stage?

    Well I was ruling out unnatural sources of conception/interruption.

    What about five weeks out of the womb? I honestly do not know, do they show personality 5 weeks out of the womb? Or five months? If not would you define them as persons?

    Because it is not, a 3 day fertilized ova, if one were to use the material therein to produce an ova, than the ova would be no different.

    Hair carries the respective DNA of its donor does it not?

    When a hair falls on the ground and over any period of time starts to become a seperate human, left alone by science, I would then argue for "hair" rights, until that time hair is not in the category of fertilized ova, embryoes, or fetuses. Yes it may have the "potential" for seperate and distinct personhood/life via cloning technology, however it is not yet a seperate and distince person/life, as is a fetus, embryo or fertilized ova.

    Hmm, please do...

    Wait nevermind. Don't do the above.
     
  6. DreamQuickBook

    DreamQuickBook Active Member

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    Unlike most people, just because I hate a behavior (and this is personal, I've been through it before. No one HATES abortion the way I do) doesn't mean I want to use the power and force of the government to do away with it. I try to see, objectively, if there is a benefit, no matter how cruel a benefit it may be. As evil as abortion is, the alternative could be worse. We must always be cautious, that we do not unleash more depravities by trying to eliminate the most visible ones.
     
  7. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    But why is a newly born baby a person over an unborn fetus? Is it simply because you can see it and therefore become attached to it? Like the question, "If trees screamed when we cut them down, would we be so cavalier in doing so?"...("Maybe if they screamed all the time for no good reason." ;) ) The only difference between a fetus in the third trimester and a born baby is location, basically.

    Another thing I don't understand is how a newborn baby can own up to its own potential while an unborn fetus cannot. I don't understand the difference.
     
  8. Ryan2065

    Ryan2065 Well-Known Member

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    I have one big problem with what has been said here, and that is everyone throwing around the word parasite to name all these different things that are NOT parasites.

    How EXACTLY does another human outside of the womb live ON or IN another person? Don't play the word game with me on this one, you all know that it means physically on. The media has called certain people or groups of people social parasites, and now they are refered to as just parasites. As far as I know there have been no biologists who refer to people as parasites.

    Also, I have a question here for you pro-life people out there. Are you for or against birth control, condoms, and other forms of contraceptives? After all, the act of sex has the potential to make a full grown human male or female. When one of the sperm that was meant to hit that egg dies it is effectively killing half of the baby, the other half of the baby that would have come to be dies when the egg is not fertalized.

    My point is, if we make abortion illegal, where do we stop?

    Also, from what I have read of this debate, all pro lifers should be against in vetro fertilization. The way this lovely process works is they merge sperm and egg cells outside of the womans body then put them back inside of her. Oh what a lovely process right? Well they actually make a few extra embyros and usually destroy the excess when they are done. Oh and they also need to put 4 or 5 embyros inside the mother and just hope that one of them takes and becomes a baby. Note, they put a few fertalized eggs into the mother in the hopes that one of them will become a baby. Sure seems like they are killing lots of babies there.

    I do not see how a pro-life individual can not be against these things. They use the same "logical" arguments that pro life people use.
     
  9. DreamQuickBook

    DreamQuickBook Active Member

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    Actually, the child does feed on the mother's nuitriants without giving anything back.
     
  10. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    I understand what you are saying Jocose, and you do have a small point - but I think it too small to be worth attention.

    The definition was given as :-
    1. Biology. An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host.
      1. One who habitually takes advantage of the generosity of others without making any useful return.
      2. One who lives off and flatters the rich; a sycophant.
    2. A professional dinner guest, especially in ancient Greece.
    O.k, let's take The biological definition - that is the one which could be interpreted the way you are doing so. The point here is that a)The woman chose to have the 'parasite' - if that is what you call the fetus - or she took no precautions, which is no excuse.

    a different organism - if the mother a different organism, which I suppose strictly speaking, she could be seen to be, "while contributing nothing to the survival of its host" - I can't see as being correct - a child (which is hopefully what the fetus will become) - will bring hapiness to the mother; also, the mother chooses to have the 'parasite' - which, I would suggests makes the fetus not a parasite. The other definitions are invalid. Therefore I contend that a baby is not a parasite, in the strict, true meaning of the word.:)
     
  11. Ryan2065

    Ryan2065 Well-Known Member

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    The defination reads...
    This means that the organism has to grow, feed, and be sheltered ON or IN another organism. I have never seen a child physically attached to his or her mother through a bilogical device that allows them to grow, feed and be sheltered. The parasite term you are looking for is a social parasite, not a biological parasite. Just because something can not fend for itself does not mean it is a parasite.
     
  12. Ryan2065

    Ryan2065 Well-Known Member

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    First off... Michel, you say "if the mother is a different organism, which I supposed strictly speaking, she could seem to be." Well you better hope that the fetus is a different organism because here is the defination of organism...

    So if the fetus was not considered a different organism, then it would not be considered an individual form of life. =) Therefore killing a fetus would be no different than killing some skin cells.

    Happiness does not contribute to the survival of the host. It might make the host's life happier, but does not make a host survive longer. By your logic cigarettes contribute to the survival of someone because they make them happy. Yea there are bad side effects to cigaretes but there are also bad side effects to children.

    Michel, the mother chooses to have the parasite? wait, what... So are you argueing that mothers that go in for abortions are choosing to have this parasite? And where in the defination of parasite does it say the organism does not want the parasite?

    The fetus is a parasite in every sense of the word, make no mistake about it.
     
  13. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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  14. huajiro

    huajiro Well-Known Member

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    All that I will say on the subject is that in my opinion it is wrong to affect any other living being in a negative manner, period. Killing another living being is bad, especially for not being able to control your urges.
     
  15. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Unless the baby ids a danger to the mother's life, I agree with you.:)
     
  16. Ryan2065

    Ryan2065 Well-Known Member

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    Hrm, it really all depends on your defination of a parasite. We are argueing that the defination of a parasite fits what a fetus is. The second site I cannot access. The first site you gave me is just the defination of a parasite. I see nowhere that lists known parasites.

    I think we are miscommunicating here. We are argueing that the fetus can be considered a parasite. Is there a part of the defination of parasite that does not fit a fetus?
     
  17. DreamQuickBook

    DreamQuickBook Active Member

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    umm the child is connected through a tube to the mother. I'm not trying to disagree with the idea that Children should be murdered in the womb...but... still, I'm not sure what you are saying here meshes very well with science.
     
  18. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    No, there isn not; having said that, I can find nothing on the internet that makes a connection between a fetus and a parasite. I believe there is a difference - a parasite will eventually choke the life of it's host, because it will never cease to drain the host - a fetus does not work that way.:)
     
  19. Ryan2065

    Ryan2065 Well-Known Member

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    From your own source... =) Do read carefully next time...
    So you say that you believe that a parasite will never cease to drain the host? What scientists say that? =)

    You guys are putting too much effort into proving that the fetus isn't a parasite. What would this prove anyways? If the fetus is "technically" a paraiste would you then suddenly believe that abortions should be allowed?

    Back to the topic at hand, no one addressed my origional statement... I'll quote it for you...
     
  20. Neo-Logic

    Neo-Logic Reality Checker

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    Just out of curiousity, I wonder how many of the voters that voted "No, abortion should be made illegal because the fetus is a living being" are males.

    Being a male myself, I can only imagine the pain and suffering of birth, let alone the troubles that comes with pregnancy. This makes me think, if a willing pregnancy can cause such complications and troubles, think of how much harder it will be for the mother, emotionally and physically, had they been forced to carry the pregnancy to full term because of a law which prohibits them from aborting.

    Just as I cannot describe to anyone how a certain food item tastes if they themselves had not experienced it, I cannot feel the pain and complications of pregnancy, being that i'm a guy and all. I don't want to support any law that makes abortion completely illegal as I would only be imposing my personal opinion derived from my imagined empathy of what the mother must feel when I in reality, have no idea.
     
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