Abortion and Hostage Situations

Marty Hamrick
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Abortion and Hostage Situations

I have usually stayed out of the abortion debate because it generally brings about too many emotional responses that I would rather not deal with because I dislike drama. However recent posts in other secular forums by posters who wanted to "put me on the spot" about my stance on the issue inspired me to write the following in which I compare unwanted pregnancies to hostage situations. I will never be pregnant because I am a male, so I've never felt completely comfortable giving my opinion on abortion, but I do know a little about hostage situations.

As a photojournalist, I've probably covered about a dozen hostage situations. They usually last anywhere from 12 to 18 hours at which point the hostage takers are either going to come out in handcuffs or body bags. To law enforcement's credit and thanks to their diligence, skill , perseverance and dedication, I've never seen a victim killed while I was covering the ordeal.

What many don't realize is that the first priority of any hostage rescue team, anywhere in the world is NOT the safety and lives of the innocent hostages. A hostage situation is considered a "homicide in progress". If the hostage takers can be neutralized while minimizing collateral damage (innocent lives), great, if not, the hostages are an "acceptable loss". Now while this may seem cold and calculating to the uninformed, let's examine why the deaths of hostages is acceptable while negotiating with terrorists is not. If, say, the one time a hostage taker gets away with negotiating what he wants, either he will strike again eventually, taking more innocent lives or his success will inspire more to follow in his example, again taking more lives. This is the chief reason why we had the fiasco in Waco back in the 90's. Now I'm not going into the obvious mistakes the government made in that disaster, but there is a very good reason, why you would've never seen David Koresh walk out of that compound,his lawyer by his side to get anything at all that he demanded. The Branch Davidians had to go down, it didn't necessarily have to go down the way it did, but the Davidians HAD to lose, for if they had've succeeded in keeping the government at bay, AFTER we had seen the images of the ATF agents backing down, that would've sent a message to every dissenter in North America from white supremacists to black separatists that they could thumb their nose at the government and get away with it (not to mention the earlier fiasco with Randy Weaver)and we would've been on the brink of anarchy. It makes no difference what KIND of government we have, no government be it totalitarian or democratic could tolerate out and out dissension.
Now lets look at abortion and the the "lesser of evils". First off, I have no sympathy for people who get pregnant unintentionally. There are too many ways to avoid it. It happened to me and my then girlfriend who later became my first wife, and we ended up raising two daughters, so personally I don't like abortion, my ex didn't like it and we walked it like we talked it. This may have been fine for us at the time, we were in our 20's, had jobs with benefits and while an unplanned child was an inconvenience, we weathered the storm. However others are not so lucky. Stats will show many, probably the majority of unwanted fetuses who will be born in abject poverty, with horrific birth defects to mothers addicted to crack and meth with virtually zero chance to be anything but another statistic on a system that can't afford it and a burden to the next generation who don't deserve it.
Now, sure, I've read the pro life propaganda about how Beethoven was born in such a condition, but deciding legal policy on such statistics is like trying to earn a living by playing the lottery.
I've heard enough about faith based morality and Bible based morality being taught in abstinence based sex ed programs (that have been miserable failures), heard enough proud Christian parents who brag on their home and private schooled kids and definitely heard enough about God's judgement on a nation and really don't care how any fundy wishes to cherry pick scriptures to support his political agenda,and definitely heard enough blame being placed on "loose morals of the hippie Hollywood liberal generation", the bottom line is, stats are stats and it doesn't matter what brought us to this point. The lesser of two evils for an unborn child in such situations is not to be born as stats will show, that the child has almost less than zero chance of being anything but another statistic on an epidemic situation.
As Forrest Gump says, "That's all I have to say about that."

 

"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."


harleysportster
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On a personal level

 On a personal level, I do not really like the idea of abortion but consider myself to be pro-choice. 

I like your analogy. 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Agreed, a very good analogy.

Agreed, a very good analogy. I feel I have a few things to add. This is a very touchy topic, and I think that BOTH sides have an incredible ability to be wrong. 

The problem with the (usually) religious "pro-life" stance, is that it's extremely mis-labelled. What they mean, is "anti-abortion". Many a person have been in situations where they became pregnant, and due to their personal biology, attempting to carry a child to full term would almost certainly spell their death (with no chance of child-birth either). If you're "pro-life", you would support an abortion in this situation, but many people don't, as they believe that life begins at conception, as that's when god deals in souls. The "grey area" in most religions runs somewhere between where the Catholics sit (every sperm is sacred, no contraception allowed), and anything after the morning after pill is murder. So then the religious are reduced to having to admit the following. "It's god's will that she got pregnant, and it's god's will that she will die unless she has an abortion. If she has an abortion, she will go to hell". What's a woman supposed to do, thank god for the death sentence?

Personally, I think that the grey area where it comes to abortion, begins when a fetus begins to experience brain activity. Personally, I think from that point on, you should do everything you can to carry a child to full term, because our brains are where all our sensory and our consciousness reside. However, if after that point a pregnant woman is told that continuing is a risk to her own life, I would not think any less of a woman who made the choice to end it there. It's quite similar to a hostage situation really (once again, very good analogy). Someone has to die. The unborn has yet to experience much, and certainly hasn't been faced with an unimaginably difficult choice.

Now, the keyword here, is pro-choice. Would I shed a tear if Beethoven never existed? Well no, because we wouldn't know what we're missing. However, I've seen a nice email chain letter discussing the Beethoven situation. The way it's worded usually ends with "Do you think the woman should abort the child?". Personally, I think I don't have the authority to make that decision. ONLY she does. I saw another one recently on Facebook of a young mother who had a child born with a condition that left it born without eyes, and other deformities in his face. Part of it had her saying (in the form of holding up written signs), something along the lines of "People say I should have had an abortion". There-in lies my issue with the other side. The correct term is pro-choice for a reason. However, it is not a man's choice (although in a committed relationship, I would respect a woman who wanted to hear the father's opinion). It IS the woman's choice at the end of the day. I personally know nobody that sees abortion as birth control for procrastinators. Even for the pro-choice camp, it's typically seen as a last resort, or something necessary if the situation changes (be it a change in health, or something else in their life).

Now the reason I don't believe it should be modified legally to align itself with what I think, IS the other side. Until everybody agrees to have reasonable discussion on the topic, I fear any changes in abortion laws can lead to a slippery slope. Some of the stuff I'm hearing about certain states mandating ultrasounds (and not a little machine on the abdomen. An intrusive probe variety of ultrasound) before abortions. Until the anti-abortion side (using the more accurate name for them) backs down, I don't support touching the laws. 

Theists - If your god is omnipotent, remember the following: He (or she) has the cure for cancer, but won't tell us what it is.


Marty Hamrick
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Good points, Jab. The one

Good points, Jab. The one thing that I get disgusted with are the number of girls, usually poor and uneducated ,many of them minorities who DO use abortion as a means of birth control. I know a woman who works for a clinic and some of these girls, most well under 18 actually lose count of how many abortions they have had. My friend says she believes that these girls are sent to abortion clinics as punishment for getting pregnant. One girl was asked how many she had had and she replied, "I dunno about 5 or 6". The real number was around 15.

If the pro lifers really want to make a difference they need to help educate people in these areas of society especially about proper birth control. The problem there is that many of the so called pro lifers are Catholic and eschew birth control.

"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."


ProzacDeathWish
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Marty Hamrick wrote: One

Marty Hamrick wrote:

 One girl was asked how many she had had and she replied, "I dunno about 5 or 6". The real number was around 15.

 

 

       ...just sterilize the stupid girls and be done with it. 

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." Voltaire ( 1694-1778 )


Marty Hamrick
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ProzacDeathWish wrote:Marty

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Marty Hamrick wrote:

 One girl was asked how many she had had and she replied, "I dunno about 5 or 6". The real number was around 15.

 

 

       ...just sterilize the stupid girls and be done with it. 

And at the risk of sounding like a Machivelian totalitarianist, do likewise to the stupid guys who impregnated them and their offspring.

"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."


ProzacDeathWish
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Marty Hamrick wrote: And at

Marty Hamrick wrote:

 And at the risk of sounding like a Machivelian totalitarianist, do likewise to the stupid guys who impregnated them and their offspring.

 

                                           I have no problem with that.   I hate mindless breeders.

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." Voltaire ( 1694-1778 )