U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Great Debates
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-16-2008, 06:48 PM
 
Location: wrong planet
5,116 posts, read 10,033,334 times
Reputation: 4134

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by coldwynn View Post
This is a very important point, IMO. I do not think we can claim to be pro-life, if all we care about is the life of the unborn child. If we want to claim being pro-life, than we also have to be anti-war, anti-capital punishment, and pro-social welfare.

It seems to me that this issue is not really about principles but a divisive political issue meant to obscure the failings of the political candidate.
Very good point. Is is one of those issues that cause people to vote against their own interests, economically, just to "support" an issue. The "pro-life" candidate most likely is only anti-choice when it comes to women's reproductive rights. They never seem to be anti-war (defense only) or anti capital punishment.

I am pro-choice. First trimester the pregnant woman should have the choice to do whatever she feels is right. It is her body and her life that will be affected. Because only she will go through the pregnancy, I would always leave the choice to her. After the first trimester I feel you should only have terminate a pregnancy if the mother's health is at risk.

Most importantly I believe in making birth control widely available and EDUCATION, the less unwanted pregnancies the better.
__________________
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. ~Henry David Thoreau


forum rules, please read them
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-17-2008, 06:02 AM
 
239 posts, read 624,381 times
Reputation: 67
To be honest i WAS pro choice as was my wife until we went to her sonogram at 4 weeks and saw the baby's heart beating then we realized this isn't a blob this is our kid and it is alive...a very happy moment....and from that moment abortion became less of a surgical procedure ..and more like killing to me...if you stop a beating heart either by shooting someone or surgery it still accomplished the same thing death ...so if saying it's just a blob ...or it can't live outside the mothers body helps you sleep at night good for you..but there is little diffrence to me in someone who kills in a hospital or goes out and kills on the street either way you just stopped a beating heart....you killed.....you robbed an individual of their god given right to live.... just my 2 cents
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-17-2008, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
3,088 posts, read 4,544,006 times
Reputation: 1598
Quote:
Originally Posted by southernmeltdown View Post
To be honest i WAS pro choice as was my wife until we went to her sonogram at 4 weeks and saw the baby's heart beating then we realized this isn't a blob this is our kid and it is alive...a very happy moment....and from that moment abortion became less of a surgical procedure ..and more like killing to me...if you stop a beating heart either by shooting someone or surgery it still accomplished the same thing death ...so if saying it's just a blob ...or it can't live outside the mothers body helps you sleep at night good for you..but there is little diffrence to me in someone who kills in a hospital or goes out and kills on the street either way you just stopped a beating heart....you killed.....you robbed an individual of their god given right to live.... just my 2 cents
A fine story, and a valid point, for you and for your wife, but the real question is, not do you believe that "abortion" is OK, but do you believe that women and families should have real CHOICE! I think that there are VERY FEW pro-choicers who are pro-abortion, it is more the deeply held conviction that people need to make their own choices, about their bodies, their families, etc. There are way too many abused, abandoned, unwanted, unhealthy, congenitally "addicted" children out there. . . only a few of these will get a chance at being raised in a stable family, with a chance for what most of us would consider a "good" life. Our specie has already "overpopulated" the planet, to the destruction of a great many other life forms. . . . Balance in all things is a "greater good", individual choice, even individual "mistakes" are the way people "learn", not from having rules, morals, etc. forced upon them. I applaud the wise choice that you and your family can and will make, presumably even if you later find out that your newborn has Downs syndrome, severe Autism, or another such congenital problem. Many would no more want the choice to have a child taken away from them than they would want choice of NOT having a child taken away from them. . . . it is important to look at all sides of this issue. . . do we really want "government" to tell us who should and who should not have children?

Last edited by cap1717; 09-17-2008 at 07:56 AM.. Reason: spelling
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-17-2008, 08:29 AM
 
878 posts, read 1,846,372 times
Reputation: 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by coldwynn View Post
This is a very important point, IMO. I do not think we can claim to be pro-life, if all we care about is the life of the unborn child. If we want to claim being pro-life, than we also have to be anti-war, anti-capital punishment, and pro-social welfare.
I think that's an absurd statement. Being pro-life is about valuing life, valuing those who choose to give their life, and devaluing the life of those who forcibly take it from others.

If "pro-life" means anti-war, anti-capital punishment, and pro-social welfare, why are so many Democrats in favor of abortion?

Structuring the abortion debate around saving the life of the mother vs. saving the life of the child is clouding the issue. Very few abortions are done out of medical necessity, many are done as a means for birth control. Therefore, the question that "pro-choice" members need to answer is:
Does a woman's convenience outweigh the right of a potential life to exist?

Many would say "no." That our society values life, even potential life, so highly that convenience cannot come close to measuring up, in any conceivable situation life outweighs convenience.

Others say that the potential for life only exists at the point when the fetus is viable. Before that, biological processes (natural spontaneous abortions) make the potential for life unreliable, and if we can control these biological processes, then we can determine whether life has potential. Personally, I view that as putting the cart before the horse, but I can appreciate the argument that life begins at viability.

And the "fringe" believes that the balance must be between a woman's convenience and absolute, living and breathing on its own, life. That abortions up until the child's foot is out of the womb are morally O.K.

There's also the way-out-there-fringe, who say that infanticide is acceptable. But I think we can all dismiss those out of hand.

Not to say that there aren't "pro-life" fringers who oppose IUDs and condoms.

Aside from the moral and ethical issue is the legal issue. The demise of Roe v. Wade would not signal an end to legalized abortion, it would return the decision to the states to decide for themselves whether, and to what extent, to regulate abortions.

There's also the problem that Roe is a poor legal decision. It applies poor science (fetal development cannot be accurately separated into three distinct trimesters), poor logical reasoning (refusing to decide on "when life begins," yet weighing that factor in its decision), and recognizes an unenumerated Constitutional right which only applies to half the population.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-17-2008, 10:34 AM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 4,939,282 times
Reputation: 3848
The characterization of "life" within the context of a debate on abortion is a red herring. Whether a fetus, an embryo or a zygote is a potential life, an absolute life, or no life at all -- whatever the case may be -- it is parasitizing the mother's body and cannot survive without doing so until quite late in the pregnancy. When I describe it as a "parasite", I am not using the word rhetorically, and I am not trying to disparage the fetus/embryo/zygote; rather, I am using the word in its literal sense -- a parasite is an entity that cannot survive except by sapping the host's bodily fluids and nutrients, and utilizing the host's organs. So the question in any debate on abortion should be -- even if the entity is a living human organism, should the coercive power of the State be employed to force the host to donate her body of its benefit?

Before you rush with the answer, consider the following: if a child desperately needs a kidney transplant, there is no legal way to force his father to donate one of his kidneys. If the father refuses to do so voluntarily, we may deem him immoral, heartless, etc. -- but he will not go to jail, and he is in no danger of being dragged to the operating room against his will. A blood donation is a quick, simple, and mostly painless procedure, and yet, we don't force people to submit to it even when blood banks experience acute shortages. In fact, we don't force people to donate blood even in times of war or disaster. Society may moralize, but it will rather let an ill person die than force another to donate even one drop of his blood against his will. Organs and bone marrow are harvested on a strictly voluntary basis, even though people who need them die by the thousands waiting for a donor. And these are not fetuses, embryos or zygotes, but full-term human beings with thoughts, feelings, families, and usually, an acute understanding of the fact that they are dying.

Laws that criminalize abortion are an exception to the general principle that one person may not be forced to make his body available for the benefit of another -- even if the consequences to the donor are minimal, and the one who needs the donor's body is on the brink of death. In fact, even post-mortem organ harvesting is strictly voluntary -- meaning that our culture holds bodily integrity and autonomy so sacrosanct, that even the interests of DEAD people in that regard are put ahead of the interests of someone else's "right to life". Except, of course, that many of the same people who would not harvest a dead person's heart to save another from dying still view a pregnant woman's body as merely a vessel, in which she can expect neither integrity nor autonomy.

Forget the fact that most of the "pro-life" movement is in favor of cavalier warfare and capital punishment. If these people are indeed "pro-life", why aren't they rushing to pass laws that would require people to donate their organs? If the interests of a "person" who needs the body of another to survive are truly absolute and trump everything else, then we should force everyone to donate blood every six weeks and harvest organs from dead people regardless of their or their families wishes. If the "pro-life" movement is to be consistent, it should advocate mandatory registration and donation of bone marrow and other tissues and organs -- except, of course, if that would kill the host (and maybe not even then).

Selfishness, convenience, etc. -- those are all irrelevant. The overwhelming majority of people who refuse to donate blood, bone marrow, tissues and organs do so out of selfishness and for the sake of convenience, and yet we let them. Hell, the idea of forcing biomedical donations is not even on the table -- except when it comes to pregnant women.

Now, isn't that interesting?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-17-2008, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Texas
8,668 posts, read 19,917,306 times
Reputation: 21277
I understand your point, redisca, but I think the comparison is a little "apples to oranges." Pregnancy presents a decidedly more complex and unique situation. For one thing, just on first glance, it strikes me that there is a vast ethical difference between NOT doing something which PERHAPS could save someone (and something that someone else could and possibly will do) and that of taking direct action to extinguish the life of someone.

Last edited by kaykay; 09-17-2008 at 10:50 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-17-2008, 10:50 AM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 4,939,282 times
Reputation: 3848
Quote:
Originally Posted by zman0 View Post
There's also the problem that Roe is a poor legal decision. It applies poor science (fetal development cannot be accurately separated into three distinct trimesters), poor logical reasoning (refusing to decide on "when life begins," yet weighing that factor in its decision), and recognizes an unenumerated Constitutional right which only applies to half the population.
I think you misinterpret Roe v. Wade. Preliminarily, the Constitutional right at issue applies to the entire population -- and that is the fundamental right to bodily autonomy and freedom of medical decisions, that take place between a patient and a doctor, from governmental intrusion. It just so happens that in the context of abortion, only half of the population is ever in a position to make pertinent medical decisions with their doctors -- but if a man ever got pregnant, Roe would apply to him the same way that it applies to women. Conversely, the mere fact that only women get pregnant does not justify the position that women have no constitutional rights with respect to that condition. (I'm sure, using the fact that only half the population has testicles to justify a law that would force men to share their jewels with victims of testicular cancer would not sit well with most members of the stronger sex -- or anybody, really.) Moreover, the trimester scheme is not predicated on "when life begins", but on the ability of the fetus to survive outside the woman's body. And in any event, the scheme was modified in Casey v. Planned Parenthood to give states the opportunity to show at any stage of the pregnancythat the government's interest in the fetus outweighs the mother's interest in bodily autonomy.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-17-2008, 10:55 AM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 4,939,282 times
Reputation: 3848
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaykay View Post
For one thing, just on first glance, it strikes me that there is a vast ethical difference between NOT doing something which PERHAPS could save someone (and something that someone else could and possibly will do) and that of taking direct action to extinguish the life of someone.
I disagree. If someone is a perfect match for a person who needs a kidney, then a donation positively WOULD save a life -- and I don't see that there is a "vast ethical difference" between refusing to take an affirmative step towards donating a part of one's body and taking an affirmative step towards preventing such a donation. At best, the difference is academic -- certainly from the point of view of a person whose parent will not donate a kidney.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-17-2008, 11:01 AM
 
878 posts, read 1,846,372 times
Reputation: 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redisca View Post
The characterization of "life" within the context of a debate on abortion is a red herring. Whether a fetus, an embryo or a zygote is a potential life, an absolute life, or no life at all -- whatever the case may be -- it is parasitizing the mother's body and cannot survive without doing so until quite late in the pregnancy. When I describe it as a "parasite", I am not using the word rhetorically, and I am not trying to disparage the fetus/embryo/zygote; rather, I am using the word in its literal sense -- a parasite is an entity that cannot survive except by sapping the host's bodily fluids and nutrients, and utilizing the host's organs. So the question in any debate on abortion should be -- even if the entity is a living human organism, should the coercive power of the State be employed to force the host to donate her body of its benefit?
In a legal context, a person has no affirmative duty to act, that is no person can be compelled to perform for another. One exception to this is when there is a special relationship.

Our law follows from our morals, a father might be right in not giving his kidney to his ailing child, but he would be wrong in not taking his ailing child to the hospital.

Another exception to the general duty not to act is when the person who fails to act caused the circumstances of duress.

First, the general rule: A passerby who sees a child drowning in a pool has no obligation to jump in and try to save that child.

Then the exception: A passerby who throws a child into the deep end of a pool has the obligation to jump in and try to save the child.

Again, laws follow morality. We allow you to skate for leaving someone to their fate, but not when you act to put that person in jeopardy.

Your analogy of a child being a parasite on the mother may be apt in a technical sense, but you ignore the moral issue of taking responsibility for your actions. A woman who has sex knows that pregnancy is a possible result. Condoms are not 100% effective, neither is the pill or anything else. Abstinance is the only 100% effective (absent divine intervention) means of preventing pregnancy.

The mother's acts (in a majority of abortion cases) resulted in the creation of a life. Acting against that life is as morally corrupt as throwing a child into a swimming pool and hoping he can make his way to the edge.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-17-2008, 12:12 PM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 4,939,282 times
Reputation: 3848
zman0: Although the question of morality is relevant, it is not dispositive. The exceptions you've quoted are a case in point. It is immoral not to donate an organ to one's own child. (How you can say that it is the right thing to do is beyond me. Does it follow that donating an organ to one's child is morally wrong?) It is immoral to walk by a drowning person and not help -- particularly if you are good swimmer. It is immoral to hear someone being brutalized in the street and not call the police. It is immoral for a medical professional not to aid a grievously injured person. The true reason for those legal exceptions is the exact opposite of what you suggest -- they exist not as evidence that it is morally acceptable to refuse to save a life, but precisely because the law limits the extent to which the State's coercive apparatus should enforce moral rules.

From the point of view of the person who is condemned to die by the choice of another -- whether the person is a real one or a mass of undifferentiated cells -- the distinction between action and inaction that you present as being crucial, is actually quite flimsy. I also don't see how it can be compatible with the "pro-life" philosophy -- i.e. being "pro-life" when life is ended by an affirmative act, then suddenly switching to being "pro-choice" when life is ended through inaction. If life is sacred, and the preservation of life is always superior to matters of someone else's convenience, then it should be treated as such regardless of what is required to save it. To distinguish between action and inaction is merely a way to honor some forms of convenience and disregard others.

And besides -- taking one's child to a hospital is an affirmative act. So the whole action/inaction dichotomy breaks down anyway. The reason it's not illegal to refuse to donate a kidney is not because donating it is an affirmative act, but because it is considered wrong to violate a person's bodily autonomy, even for noble reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zman0 View Post
Your analogy of a child being a parasite on the mother may be apt in a technical sense, but you ignore the moral issue of taking responsibility for your actions.
Abortion is one of the ways to take responsibility for one's actions. In fact, a good argument can be made that carrying to term is irresponsible in a number of scenarios. However, "responsibility" here is merely euphemism for "punishment" -- isn't it? I feel that's the real impetus behind anti-choice legislation. It's not really about anyone's life at all -- it's about punishment. A woman should be made to bear the child as punishment for having sex -- end of story. If it were otherwise, taking responsibility should apply to other situations as well. If you choose to have a child, it is a foreseeable possibility that this child may one day need you to donate an organ to him -- shouldn't the parent then be made to bear his responsibility by making the donation? If you choose to drink, smoke, or fry in the sun, it's a foreseeable possibility that you will one day develop cancer -- shouldn't such people be made to take responsibility for their actions by withholding treatment from them, or at least denying them Medicaid or Medicare? If you choose to have unprotected sex, even with your spouse, it's a foreseeable possibility that you will contract a venereal disease -- shouldn't people with STD's be treated similarly? If you overeat, then you should bear the cross of heart-disease and bad knees; why should you be able to use medicine to cheat justice? If you own a gun, you should take responsibility for accidentally shooting yourself by foregoing reconstructive. Infertility is often a result of optional activities, diet, etc. -- should fertility treatments likewise be banned.? True, I am going to extremes here -- but these things represent the idea of "taking responsibility" (read: submitting to punishment) taken to its logical conclusion.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Great Debates
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top