Late-Term Abortion

Neverfox
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Late-Term Abortion

(Note: Yes, this is long. But since you can see that, you can choose not to read it if that bothers you. For the rest of you, thanks for taking the time.)

I found myself in unexpected and uncharted waters a couple of days ago. I found out that my wife and I had different conclusions concerning the issue of late-term (~3rd trimester) abortion. The reason this was unexpected is primarily because we are both pro-choice (though this issue points out that that term doesn't have one definition) and both adamantly don't want children. There is no question, as we have discussed like any mature adults, that if she became pregnant despite birth control that an abortion would be a no-brainer. We both believe that the mass of cells in her womb are not a person. There would be no reason we can think of why we would ever find ourselves in a 3rd trimester pregnancy so the topic has just never come up for that or any other reason.

So how did it come up finally? Two reasons really. One, I had been participating in some on-line debates with pro-life fundamentalists on another forum and had related my experiences to her. She, on the other hand, has been reading quite a bit about the election and expressing her frustration over troubling aspects of Obama's record on reproductive rights. So the issue began to enter our conversations from a more theoretical, whole-issue perspective than before. She mentioned to me that she was frightened of the prospect of Obama supporting the removal of exceptions for late-term abortions for mental health. I then looked at her kind of funny because I took it for granted that she would be opposed to late-term abortions for the same reason I can come to that conclusion: the fetus at about 20 weeks completes the connection of the neocortical fibers of the brain (essentially fully turning on the nervous system) and is, in addition, proven viable outside the womb and begins releasing pain hormones in response to stimuli. I had taken the Lockean view of person-hood and I saw the ~20-24 week mark as the point at which Lockean person-hood could be achieved for the first time (though admittedly it is a hedged bet since there is no test for it). I had held this position in debates about when abortion should be allowed (before ~20 weeks) and I thought my position was fairly obvious and scientifically and rationally sound. I even patted myself on the back for thinking what a good feminist I was for fighting the good fight for a woman's choice. But she called me out on it when she heard it. See, my wife, it turns out is truly pro-choice...period.

I will attempt now to sum up her stance without getting it wrong. She isn't here to write this herself. To her, the woman's choice trumps everything until the moment the umbilical cord is cut. "Separate" is the final key delineating factor in determining who has rights. She doesn't believe it has anything to do with person-hood in the Lockean sense alone but also requires separation. I came across this website that seems to express her view well. Please look over the FAQ so that I won't need to waste too much space describing it. An interesting note is that I would describe our general political views as leaning towards socialism and this is described by this site as a "capitalist" view of abortion but I'm not sure how they get into mixing an economic philosophy with abortion. That's a topic for another day.

So it was needless to say a bit scary to find that we disagree on an issue that is so volatile. I've seen people get really worked up over abortion or politics in general. But after the initial high blood pressure exploration of the topic with each other (mainly we argued about the meta aspects such as who was thinking more rationally), I've decided to try and explore the various aspects of the topic and see what I can learn or if the facts can change or reinforce my stance. My goal is to get at the truth. As my sig line says, when the facts change, I change my mind. I'm looking for input from others who have thought about this. What I'm not looking for is a discussion of when life begins or the ethics of early term abortions. I know people disagree on these topics too but my wife and I are past that and don't need to rehash it.

I've identified several arguments that play a role in most discussions of late-term abortion:

  1. Viability
  2. Separateness
  3. Permission
  4. Person-hood
  5. Relative value

If you can think of any others that are worth discussing, please bring them up. I'd love to hear them. Notice I didn't mention life. We don't disagree that the fetus is alive. That's not the issue. The issue is does it have a right to live at any definable point prior to birth in the late-term.

  1. Viability - The earliest known healthy, surviving birth is 17 weeks. I've never been one to base my argument purely on viability because it only represents potential and potential is never a good argument in my opinion for reasons that any discussion about early-term abortion or contraception will prove. It does however get interesting when you mix it with a discussion about separateness. Because unlike the potential of sperm or eggs or zygotes, a viable fetus means a fetus that can potentially be separated (see next)
  2. Separateness - This is my wife's primary measure (along with relative value). "Snip it" and then and only then does it have rights that other people have. I admit that this is no different in style from my picking the neocortical connection point as the moment in time that person-hood begins. It always seems a bit absurd to take any one point in time as "the" moment when it is likely a subtle continuum but it is all we really can do without rendering ourselves helpless. Immediately though, I can see puzzles that arise from this criterion. First, if viability can be achieved at 17-20 weeks, why couldn't induced labor be the alternative to abortion at this phase. It achieves separateness without violating one of the other principles here. My wife brought up some reasonable objections to this. One, it requires the woman to submit to a medical procedure that could cause her harm. I think this is a good point but it does beg the question that the harm to the woman is paramount and exceeds to rights (if any) of the fetus, which is part of the debate itself and would need to be demonstrated. Also, if separateness is the only measure then what do you do about the fact that some abortions involve separating the fetus from the mother? This argument would then imply that the separate being now has rights which would prevent you from letting it die (which defeats the purpose). I realize however that you can kill the fetus first before separating it but that seems to be a technicality. Can this issue  rest on the order in which we perform a procedure? Another example that comes to mind is that of Siamese twins. If you base an argument on "no person has the right to live attached to another person's body" then you can see the issue here. This example does have the added aspect that both twins may be conscious and thus able to express their shared conflict of rights that would cancel out. That brings us to person-hood questions below.
  3. Permission - Related to separateness but subtly different. This says that the woman is letting the pregnancy happen by giving permission to use her body. If she chooses to retract it, then so be it. The problem I see with this is that when we have someone who trespasses, is it the obvious conclusion that you kill them? Some might think so if it is self-defense and I think some argument can be made for self-defense in the case of the health of the mother but can it be made for any reason? I should note here that when I bring up the issue of "reasons" my wife can get very sensitive because she thinks it ridiculous that the debate always goes towards the woman who would "change her mind" late-term. She thinks this is sexist and ignores the real problems that a woman might face in the late months. I agree but I also think that you have to assume all things might happen in some cases, no matter how infrequent, and so you need to cover all the bases.
  4. Person-hood (also consciousness/self-awareness etc.) - This is a fuzzy area but is where I've spent most of my time. My conclusion, perhaps not complete, was that whatever our laws for defining right to life in separate beings should be applied even in the womb. I rejected separateness/dependence as a criteria because a 1-year old child is also dependent (though separate) and because separation can be achieved if it's necessary. To me, the issue is about the brain. Is it at a level that allows it to function in a way that would full the Lockean definition of a person. In my first round of research, I arrived at 20-24 weeks at the point where it seems likely a consciousness is possible and thus it would be risky to abort without potentially violating a person. I've moved this to 28-32 weeks since I've learned more about fetal brain development. Even thought the neocortex is connected, the Melina sheaths are not sufficient for "human" thought until then. So as you can see, I've moved the window to about 7-8 months based on my original argument. But that still leaves room for an issue. The problem with pre-birth person-hood is that is conflicts with the very real issue of the woman's rights. Are her rights more or less important or are they in an intractable deadlock?
  5. Relative value - Another one of my wife's angles is that even if you assume person-hood or reject separateness or permission, the woman's rights take precedence based on relative value. This is based on the idea that the woman has a mental life that not only includes cognition but emotion, imagination and creativity. The woman is not only alive but living in the real world whereas the fetus (which wouldn't be there without her anyway) doesn't know what it is missing. I guess one could argue then how this differs from the life after birth. Arguably a 1-day old (which I assume isn't in debate here) isn't different from a minus-1-day old in this regard. This is where "separate" comes back in to play.

OK, now you have the issues all laid out. Solve it for me Eye-wink Just kidding. I would however love to get some different perspectives on this. I want to be rational and base my conclusion on a logically consistent foundation. I also don't want to be just another white male jerk who can't see it from the woman's perspective. I'd like to think that if men could get pregant I'd could still reach the same conclusion. All in all it's not an easy one to sort out.

 

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I agree with her - should be

I agree with her - should be allowed no questions asked until birth.


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MattShizzle wrote:I agree

MattShizzle wrote:

I agree with her - should be allowed no questions asked until birth.

Thanks for reading it, Matt. However, I would appreciate it if you elaborated on your thought process and reasoning if you have the time. I'm trying to determine why it is the rational conclusion to have rather then just taking a vote. But if you don't have time, I understand.

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"...what we always meant by socialism wasn't something you forced on people, it was people organizing themselves as they pleased...And if socialism really is better...then it can bloody well compete with capitalism. So we decided, forget all the statist shit and the violence: the best place for socialism is the closest to a free market you can get!" - Ken MacLeod's The Star Fraction


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Well, most people already

Well, most people already know but if you haven't regularly written my posts I guess you wouldn't. I just don't really see even a "born" baby as a person yet. I only would say birth because an arbitrary point needs to be set. I think it's disgusting to force a woman to carry an unwanted baby even for 1 day. It's also possible for her not to find out until late term (there have been births where the woman didn't even know she was pregnant.)

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I agree with you

I agree with you NeverFox.

Once the higher brain functions kick in, that is a human.  No abortions in the third trimester.  And let's face it, why would a woman wait that late?  Get it done in the first few months and be done with it.

I think Matt here has some odd notion in his head that if it isn't old enough to talk it's not a human or something.  Truly disturbing to hear him show callous concern for a human baby.

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I agree that third-term

I agree that third-term abortions should not be permitted except in very rare cases when the woman's physical (note: not psychological) health is concerned. Even then, I feel that delivering the baby prematurely should be preferred to abortion if the mother cannot carry the baby to term.

I also use sentience (ie: ability to feel and experience pain) as the determining factor. If we cannot do laboratory tests on cats and dogs, and we also can't abuse them, due to their ability to feel pain, why should we be allowed to arbitrarily disregard that same ability in a fetus? Viability is also important because if the fetus can survive outside of the uterus, then it is no longer just a part of the mother and is in fact a separate creature.

Personally, I find late-term abortions repugnant. I wouldn't support an attempt to rule-out second term abortions, but in my mind, anything past 18-20 weeks is disgusting. Why would anybody need to wait that long? If you didn't know you were pregnant, you are obviously mentally ill. I've been pregnant enough times to know that you can tell even before the baby starts kicking, which is another tell-tale sign that something is living inside of you. If you want an elective abortion past the point of viability or development of sentience, then there's always abortion. Don't want to give birth? Have a c-section. Anything else is infringing upon the rights of another human.

Furthermore, if late-term abortion is permissable, why is infanticide not also legal? The trip through the birth canal doesn't magically change anything in the baby's neurology, so it logically makes no sense to start there. If the development of "personhood" is the determining factor, then it should be okay to kill children up until the age of 12-18 months. Before that they have no self-concept and therefore aren't deserving of any rights whatsoever. Anybody who holds the position that late-term abortion should be an elective (ie: not necessary) option must accept that their position ultimately leads to either the endorsement of infanticide or that it is completely illogical and arbitrary.


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Neverfox wrote:I've

Neverfox wrote:

I've identified several arguments that play a role in most discussions of late-term abortion:

  1. Viability
  2. Separateness
  3. Permission
  4. Person-hood
  5. Relative value

Hi Neverfox.  I will do my best to make some words for you.

1. As far as a 28wk-old fetus being viable, I'm not sure you can really say that.  I see preemies during my clinical rotations in sonography school and they are supported by much staff and machinery (that goes 'ping').  Seems like 'potential' talk.

2. Yes, this argument should not come down to procedural order.

3. I do believe the mother and her rights should carry more weight.

4.

5. See #3.

 

Man, I thought this would be a snap.  It's not easy to define my feelings on this.  I know that I would have a hard time going through with a 38 week abortion...I would never think of having a pregnancy go that far.  However, I would want the option to do it if I needed.

I feel like even with this procedure being an option, it would not  be utilized much.  The hormones and brain changes involved with having a child create very protective mother creatures.  Just a thought.

 


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Quote:1. As far as a

Quote:
1. As far as a 28wk-old fetus being viable, I'm not sure you can really say that.  I see preemies during my clinical rotations in sonography school and they are supported by much staff and machinery (that goes 'ping').  Seems like 'potential' talk.

This is a big mess of worms, isn't it?  I don't know if you followed the thread on whether or not human evolution is "natural," but this kind of thing was mentioned a lot.  We evolved brains that allow us to weaken selection pressure by keeping more humans alive than if we were in a hunter-gatherer state.  However, those who suggest that human tampering with natural selection is a problem would do well to realize the dilemma they're placing themselves in with regard to not only late term abortions, but medical care for premature babies, corrective procedures for birth defects (such as sewing up an exposed spine), and so forth.

In any case, the argument from nature is a fallacy.  That is, saying that just because something is "natural," it is also what humans ought to do, is fallacious.  Infanticide has been practiced through much of human history, mostly because abortion wasn't available in a lot of cases, and was quite dangerous to the mother when it was.  Wet nurses throughout history have been well practiced in the art of looking very downtrodden while delivering the speech, "I'm sorry ma'am, but when I took the baby out of your sight, into the other room, all by myself, (wink wink nudge nudge) I'm afraid it suddenly had trouble breathing, and passed away suddenly."

There's a lot more to this question than just the viability of the fetus, or its "personhood."  First, is the fact that a fetus is viable an automatic moratorium on late term abortions?  The emotional weight of the opinion that every baby deserves to be born doesn't offer any substantive argument, and offers no justification outside of, well... appeal to emotion.  By law, a baby is a human after birth.  To offer constitutional rights to a fetus is to open a can of political worms that leads to a very bad place.  Do we really want to put women on trial for violating the rights of fetuses?  Do we want attorneys ad litum to be appointed to every pregnancy?  After all, the law insists that those who are unable to institute legal action on their own behalf be represented when their rights have potentially been violated.

With the virtual moratorium on infanticide, can we really say that abortion is a worse alternative in any case? 

Is there a valid argument for why every viable fetus ought to be born, other than the emotional one?

Is there a valid reason for asserting that killing is ok in war, as punishment, and in self defense, but that it's always, always, always wrong, no matter what, if we're killing an unborn viable fetus?

Is there a legal justification for extending rights to a fetus despite no constitutional or legal foundation to do so?

Nasty, tough questions.  I don't pretend to have the answers to all of them.  I do know that I feel like the best situation is to have an abortion in the first 9-12 weeks, for many reasons, including what PorkChop has mentioned -- the drastic hormonal changes that happen in the second and third trimesters.  I'm  just not sure I can say that outlawing third trimester abortions is legally justified.  I'm sort of a stickler for not adding things to the constitution just because we want to.

 

 

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Third trimester abortions

Third trimester abortions are difficult to get if the fetus is viable.  In my state they are legal to get unless the fetus is viable, the patient will then have to make a case that giving birth will cause physical harm or severe mental distress.  Also, it such a procedure becomes more difficult and more expensive in the third trimester.  Sometimes it will be cheaper to give birth and give the child up for adoption.

The anti-choicers could care less if the fetus has severe birth defects or is a tubal pregnancy.  They believe that once the woman gets pregnant she become the property of the state or church and the fetus takes priority.  So even if the woman were to die in childbirth it's acceptable provided the fetus is born alive.

The anti-choicer position is contrary to the Bible's position on abortion which states that a woman is a life but the fetus is merely property.  As is stated in one of the books should a woman be attacked and miscarry then a fine is paid (women are property and damage to the woman is compensated in financial means).  However if a woman dies as a result of that miscarriage then the attacker is put to death for murder (since a woman is considered a life).


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Quote: I'm looking for

Quote:

 

I'm looking for input from others who have thought about this. What I'm not looking for is a discussion of when life begins or the ethics of early term abortions.

 

 

Nor would I choose to engage you in such circular and self-defeating debate.

As a person with some experience in counselling subjects prior to abortion on this issue I have found too that my views have changed over time regarding the "cut-off" point in what constitutes humane versus inhumane. Your own analysis of the clinical considerations is superb and cannot be faulted in my view, and your partner's inclusion of the woman's own weighted input into the decision-making process is significantly important and relevant too. My own experience is that this latter input however, if not regulated by consideration for the clinical implications involved, tends to disregard them on occasion and can indeed bring a person into an area where "inhumane" becomes a possible description of what might transpire should they not be counselled to consider those clinical implications.

My own views as they stand now are completely predicated on the elimination of the hypothetical. That is to say, for example, that a man's views (unless he is a person who regards himself as the "future father" ) are degraded in value purely because he is not the one in the dilemma. The focus, in other words, begins and ends with the person carrying the foetus. Likewise, views - even if they are expressed by the woman - which are founded in moralistic or theistic judgements (proclaimed largely by men in any case) must take second billing to those arrived at through consideration of the clinical reality of the situation.

So the sequence of events with regard to an individual confronted with the dilemma, after counselling, making a decision regarding abortion reads as follows;

(In most cases the inability to get beyond any of these points tends to render the rest meaningless - and nearly always results in either the woman allowing the pregnancy to go to full term which includes the risk of degradation of mental health, or risk psychologically damaging herself in any case through having an abortion she regrets. The purpose of counselling is to arrive at a decision easiest to live with afterwards, not one deemed morally right or wrong by non-participants)

1. Get the person to assess the feasibility of to have/not have a child as uninfluenced by hypothesis-based opinion as possible (this, in some cases, is the hardest thing to do).

2. Apprise the person of the biological reality of what is happening to her body.

3. Establish the relationship implications of the decision. This includes her relationship with the "father", her family/friends, and ultimately with herself.

4. Apprise the person of the law and her options.

5. Apprise the person of clinical studies regarding sentience, foetal development, etc.

6. Apprise the person of the procedure which will apply.

7. Allow the person as much time as is feasible to consider her decision based on the information and her own (now hopefully better informed) conclusions .

8. Facilitate that decision supportively.

 

Since the law effectively decides the "cut-off point" the issue of whether we are talking about early or late term pregnancy is secondary to the importance of the decision to the individual herself. I have yet to see two cases entirely similar and have never ever been able to predict the decision taken with any great certainty. But to answer your query regarding what others might think regarding where that "cut-off point" might lie, I personally steer clear of what I regard as a philosophical debate about "potential" and more to the physical (and especially the migration in development between the telencephalon and cerebrum).  To me perception is the key, not the potential to perceive. Once a foetus has developed a cerebrum (which is designed for nothing else), even of a rudimentary form, it is sentient and that's enough for me. Since there is huge debate about what constitutes a developed cerebrum I tend to the earlier estimations which means I object to an abortion on humanitarian grounds and without reference to the mother's mental health only tentatively after the third month and absolutely after the sixth.

 

But I, as man, have the freedom to regard this issue untramelled by considerations relating to my own body. This falls under "hypothesis" therefore and I try, as best I am able, to be non-judgemental about people whose evaluation of the dilemma concerns huge consideration, as the carrier of the foetus, for their own welfare. Rape and incest victims, for example, must be shown more compassion and consideration than others but aside from that in any case, unless we are totally empathetic (an impossibility in my view), we have no right to presume we know better than the person in the situation or that our compassion or views even matter that much.

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I also believe in 3rd

I also believe in 3rd trimester abortions only ever being used in case of serious danger to the mothers life (my brothers fiance would most likely die if she gets pregnant/has to give birth again and already suffered complications from her first [and only] birth). To me, your wife seems to have the idea of 'if it's in my body, then I own it, regardless of anything else' kind of thought process on the issue (correct me if I'm wrong). this does seem somewhat arrogant to me as it disregards the wishes of the father and is making a choice for the unborn child once it has hit whatever stage that sentience is possible (somewhat like making the choice of taking narcotics while pregnant). other reasons, I have forgotten in the short time it took for me to read the OP and (most of) the following posts (I haven't had anything to eat in ~17 hours, and my head starts swimming when I encounter walls of text on something I am not too familiar with). Also, the 'separateness' argument seems to me to be bullshit, and can become completely arbitrary in the case of premature births.

as an aside, is it abortion day on the RRS? there seem to be quite a few threads on abortion going at the moment and even the music I'm listening to seems to be going on about abortion.

while on the subject, what happens to a fetus if the mother is in a coma for the most part of the pregnancy?
 


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Arkanrais wrote:while on the

Arkanrais wrote:


while on the subject, what happens to a fetus if the mother is in a coma for the most part of the pregnancy?


 

I've heard of women in comas being inseminated (INVESTIGATION), carry the baby to full term, and give birth to healthy children before.

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MattShizzle wrote:Well, most

MattShizzle wrote:

Well, most people already know but if you haven't regularly written my posts I guess you wouldn't. I just don't really see even a "born" baby as a person yet. I only would say birth because an arbitrary point needs to be set.

My mind has gone there in the process of this debate. How do we know what we really think until we ask the tough questions? For now though I wouldn't venture into justified infanticide but I see how answering that question for yourself would inform your abortion stance.

Quote:
I think it's disgusting to force a woman to carry an unwanted baby even for 1 day.

That's the heart of my wife's feelings but I always have pause because there are plenty of limits that our laws and ethics place on us that we might not want personally if it is found that the rights of someone else are threatened by our wants. And thus the discussion about when and what in terms of the fetus. I'm not sure we have a right to our wants in every case if that's what you are saying.

Quote:
It's also possible for her not to find out until late term (there have been births where the woman didn't even know she was pregnant.)

Oh great! You had to go and throw that into the mix. Now that just screws up everything. Eye-wink Really though that is a seriously tough example but how often does that happen?

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kellym78 wrote:I also use

kellym78 wrote:
I also use sentience (ie: ability to feel and experience pain) as the determining factor. If we cannot do laboratory tests on cats and dogs, and we also can't abuse them, due to their ability to feel pain, why should we be allowed to arbitrarily disregard that same ability in a fetus? Viability is also important because if the fetus can survive outside of the uterus, then it is no longer just a part of the mother and is in fact a separate creature.

I'm with you here. I just don't know if I buy the idea that the fetus is part of the mother. If you took some of the fetal tissue and injected it into the mother, she would have an immune response would she not? Also, every cell of her body contains the same DNA. The cells of the fetus, however, do not. I think I would consider DNA the ultimate rule in determining this from that. Of course, the issue of clones challenges that. Would you consider two clones to be the same person with one set of rights (one could kill the other without violating anything) or do you consider them separate persons and why? Is it the separateness? If so, then perhaps this is the example that finally lends credibility to the separateness argument. One also might argue that nurture plays a role in defining the line between two clones.

As for the animal analogy, I would respond that we don't in our society have a rule against killing or harming non-human animals in general (we do everything from castration to slaughter); we just can't cause them inhumane pain and suffering. Therefore, the person-hood concept plays a key role. This is one reason why I adjusted my personal "line" past 20 weeks and into 28-32 weeks. The neurobiology seems to show that the pain response exhibited prior to the explosion of Myelin sheaths in those later weeks isn't anything like human mental states. Also, I suppose that abortion could be controlled in a manner that makes it measurably painless. That would leave you only with the determination of person vs. non-person.

kellym78 wrote:
Personally, I find late-term abortions repugnant. I wouldn't support an attempt to rule-out second term abortions, but in my mind, anything past 18-20 weeks is disgusting. Why would anybody need to wait that long? If you didn't know you were pregnant, you are obviously mentally ill. I've been pregnant enough times to know that you can tell even before the baby starts kicking, which is another tell-tale sign that something is living inside of you. If you want an elective abortion past the point of viability or development of sentience, then there's always abortion. Don't want to give birth? Have a c-section. Anything else is infringing upon the rights of another human.

This was my point too. If your main objection is, "It's my body" then why should abortion be the only option if viability is possible? If someone trespasses should killing them be the first option or simply having them leave alive? The response I got was that birth and c-sections are both risky medical procedures that shouldn't be forced on a woman if she doesn't want them. Which in turn got the response from me that when rights conflict not everybody gets what they want. Can anyone think of a precedent where a person has to endure physical/medical treatment legally against their will for the sake of maintaining a balance of rights? It is my understanding that competent adults have the right to refuse medical treatment but I also understand that only in the case of abortion are another person's rights possibly involved.

kellym78 wrote:
Furthermore, if late-term abortion is permissible, why is infanticide not also legal? The trip through the birth canal doesn't magically change anything in the baby's neurology, so it logically makes no sense to start there. If the development of "person-hood" is the determining factor, then it should be okay to kill children up until the age of 12-18 months. Before that they have no self-concept and therefore aren't deserving of any rights whatsoever. Anybody who holds the position that late-term abortion should be an elective (ie: not necessary) option must accept that their position ultimately leads to either the endorsement of infanticide or that it is completely illogical and arbitrary.

Once again, you've covered a key point that seems to make her logic inconsistent unless the argument for separateness can be bolstered as significant. However, I'm not convinced of that either though my clone example above might add some perspective.

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PorkChop wrote:1. As far as

PorkChop wrote:

1. As far as a 28wk-old fetus being viable, I'm not sure you can really say that.  I see preemies during my clinical rotations in sonography school and they are supported by much staff and machinery (that goes 'ping').  Seems like 'potential' talk.

Yes, but viability here only seems to matter when it means "can live without the mother" since the issue is whether or not the mother is the only determining factor the baby living. The second that other means can be employed, I think the issue becomes more difficult for the mother to argue.

PorkChop wrote:
3. I do believe the mother and her rights should carry more weight.

I actually do too if the rights were the same rights. But one is a right to one's body's freedom where as the other is one's right to live. So it's not exactly a fair balance to begin with except in the case where the mother's life is in danger also.

 

PorkChop wrote:
I feel like even with this procedure being an option, it would not  be utilized much.  The hormones and brain changes involved with having a child create very protective mother creatures.  Just a thought.

I'm sure it's rare also. But I'm not sure I'm comfortable letting rarity be policy. I think you have to cover your bases ahead of time. I would guess that most laws apply to things that are relatively rare but important.

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Neverfox wrote:This was my

Neverfox wrote:

This was my point too. If your main objection is, "It's my body" then why should abortion be the only option if viability is possible? If someone trespasses should killing them be the first option or simply having them leave alive? The response I got was that birth and c-sections are both risky medical procedures that shouldn't be forced on a woman if she doesn't want them. Which in turn got the response from me that when rights conflict not everybody gets what they want. Can anyone think of a precedent where a person has to endure physical/medical treatment legally against their will for the sake of maintaining a balance of rights? It is my understanding that competent adults have the right to refuse medical treatment but I also understand that only in the case of abortion are another person's rights possibly involved.

First of all, a third trimester abortion involves giving birth--just to a dead baby. How do you think they get it out? Not only that, but that procedure is risky as well. So that argument falls flat on its face. As for the medical treatment issue, in the case of giving birth particularly, there have been many instances of women being forced to have c-sections and I remember one where the hospital sued for emergency custody of a pre-born infant because the mother refused a c-section and left the hospital. (That woman ultimately gave birth to a healthy baby without a c-section.) Women have also been prosecuted in some states for attempting to kill their unborn child late in pregnancy (there was some woman who tried to drink so much alcohol that the baby would die) and there are laws that punish those who injure a pregnant woman or cause injury to the child more severely. Obviously, the law has already established a certain amount of rights for a viable fetus.

Quote:
Once again, you've covered a key point that seems to make her logic inconsistent unless the argument for separateness can be bolstered as significant. However, I'm not convinced of that either though my clone example above might add some perspective.

The fetus is separate. It has its own circulatory system, dna, bodily functions, etc. It just so happens that the placenta attached to the uterine wall receives nourishment from the mother, similar to how it will receive nourishment after birth via lactation. The only argument one can maintain is either that selfishness trumps the life of a sentient being or that we should be allowed to kill one year olds.


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Those are very bad laws. I

Those are very bad laws. I really think that the mother should be allowed infanticide up to a certain age. If she can put it up for adoption right at birth she isn't going to nurse it - so why not refuse to provide nourishment that way? How the fuck is a fetus/baby sentient? Last I read, a Cockatiel has about the same intelligence as a 2 year old - someone who buys one can kill it with no consequences. No, we can't torture animals but abortion is clearly not torture. No need for hyperbole to defend an irrational position. I would agree to give the parents the option to get rid of it after it was born up until about age 2.

 

By the way, since when can't they do lab tests on cats and dogs? That is worse because it involves long term pain rather than very quick end to life - and a cat/dog has WAY more mental capacity than a fetus. Be more like doing a lab test on an insect.

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kellym78 wrote:I agree that

kellym78 wrote:

I agree that third-term abortions should not be permitted except in very rare cases when the woman's physical (note: not psychological) health is concerned. Even then, I feel that delivering the baby prematurely should be preferred to abortion if the mother cannot carry the baby to term.

I also use sentience (ie: ability to feel and experience pain) as the determining factor. If we cannot do laboratory tests on cats and dogs, and we also can't abuse them, due to their ability to feel pain, why should we be allowed to arbitrarily disregard that same ability in a fetus? Viability is also important because if the fetus can survive outside of the uterus, then it is no longer just a part of the mother and is in fact a separate creature.

Personally, I find late-term abortions repugnant. I wouldn't support an attempt to rule-out second term abortions, but in my mind, anything past 18-20 weeks is disgusting. Why would anybody need to wait that long? If you didn't know you were pregnant, you are obviously mentally ill. I've been pregnant enough times to know that you can tell even before the baby starts kicking, which is another tell-tale sign that something is living inside of you. If you want an elective abortion past the point of viability or development of sentience, then there's always abortion. Don't want to give birth? Have a c-section. Anything else is infringing upon the rights of another human.

Furthermore, if late-term abortion is permissable, why is infanticide not also legal? The trip through the birth canal doesn't magically change anything in the baby's neurology, so it logically makes no sense to start there. If the development of "personhood" is the determining factor, then it should be okay to kill children up until the age of 12-18 months. Before that they have no self-concept and therefore aren't deserving of any rights whatsoever. Anybody who holds the position that late-term abortion should be an elective (ie: not necessary) option must accept that their position ultimately leads to either the endorsement of infanticide or that it is completely illogical and arbitrary.

I almost agree with you but for this: I would use viability as the determining factor, rather than "sentience" which I think is a little more complicated than just being able to feel pain. Or at least, I think the separate but related quality of sapience may be equally important.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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MattShizzle wrote:I would

MattShizzle wrote:

I would agree to give the parents the option to get rid of it after it was born up until about age 2.

Parents already have this option.  It's called putting the child up for adoption.

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kellym78 wrote:First of all,

kellym78 wrote:
First of all, a third trimester abortion involves giving birth--just to a dead baby. How do you think they get it out? Not only that, but that procedure is risky as well. So that argument falls flat on its face.

Excuse me while I slap myself silly for letting that get by me. Nice catch, Kelly.

Ooo....owww...oooo....aaaaa...

Ok, that's better.

kellym78 wrote:
As for the medical treatment issue, in the case of giving birth particularly, there have been many instances of women being forced to have c-sections and I remember one where the hospital sued for emergency custody of a pre-born infant because the mother refused a c-section and left the hospital. (That woman ultimately gave birth to a healthy baby without a c-section.) Women have also been prosecuted in some states for attempting to kill their unborn child late in pregnancy (there was some woman who tried to drink so much alcohol that the baby would die) and there are laws that punish those who injure a pregnant woman or cause injury to the child more severely. Obviously, the law has already established a certain amount of rights for a viable fetus.

That's another topic too that is troubling. There is apparantly some concern (so I've heard but haven't verified) that hospitals may do more c-sections than should be warranted for financial gain.

But back to the topic at hand, I can imagine that these examples raise there own questions since they are essentially variations on the theme up for debate in the first place. I'm starting to think that appealing to law is circular and perhaps I should abandon that line of reasoning.

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MattShizzle wrote:Those are

MattShizzle wrote:

Those are very bad laws. I really think that the mother should be allowed infanticide up to a certain age. If she can put it up for adoption right at birth she isn't going to nurse it - so why not refuse to provide nourishment that way? How the fuck is a fetus/baby sentient? Last I read, a Cockatiel has about the same intelligence as a 2 year old - someone who buys one can kill it with no consequences. No, we can't torture animals but abortion is clearly not torture. No need for hyperbole to defend an irrational position. I would agree to give the parents the option to get rid of it after it was born up until about age 2.

 

By the way, since when can't they do lab tests on cats and dogs? That is worse because it involves long term pain rather than very quick end to life - and a cat/dog has WAY more mental capacity than a fetus. Be more like doing a lab test on an insect.

First, sentience is not the same as intelligence (sapience). I would say the reason why post-birth infanticide isn't allowed is because if we base it on the level of sentience or sapience, we could justify death at any stage of life for certain individuals. If you are willing to do that you are at least logically consistent but good luck make a social contract that sticks with that one. But if you aren't, then you are essentially admitting that there is some merit to including species membership in the equation. In other words, the fact that some sentience (no regard to level) exists in combination with species membership defines a right to live. Also, birth (or technically the moment of viability) is the first point at which other means are available to support the life in the same way that they exist for adults.

You view also seems to imply ownership on the part of the mother. If the mother disavows ownership explcitly or implicitly, does that change the matter? I can't kill someone else's baby by your measure can I?

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MattShizzle wrote:Those are

MattShizzle wrote:

Those are very bad laws.

In your opinion, apparently.

Quote:
I really think that the mother should be allowed infanticide up to a certain age.

I really think that's disgusting. Especially when you could just give it to somebody else.

Quote:
If she can put it up for adoption right at birth she isn't going to nurse it - so why not refuse to provide nourishment that way?

Because somebody else will feed it.

Quote:
How the fuck is a fetus/baby sentient?

Check a dictionary:

noun

  1. a sentient state or quality; capacity for feeling or perceiving; consciousness
  2. mere awareness or sensation that does not involve thought or perception

(emp. mine)

Quote:
No need for hyperbole to defend an irrational position.

You have yet to demonstrate my irrationality. If mental capacity is the determining factor, then we should be allowed to kill people with mental retardation, Down's Syndrome, or perhaps even severe autism. How do you like them apples? Be consistent or admit defeat.

Quote:
By the way, since when can't they do lab tests on cats and dogs?

There are laws limiting tests on higher functioning animals to certain areas only...ie not for laundry detergent or mascara.

Quote:
a cat/dog has WAY more mental capacity than a fetus. Be more like doing a lab test on an insect.

Oh yeah? PROVE IT. I've got studies out the ass that will show that your statement is pure ignorance. Likely based on a perverse worldview and personal bias.


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I have nothing to add to

I have nothing to add to that.  Good job.


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So do you have ANYTHING that

So do you have ANYTHING that would apply to a baby that wouldn't apply to an animal routinely killed for food or whatever other than it happens to have human DNA? As far as I see you are just as irrational on this position as fundies are on religion, if not more so. I don't see any rational reason to value a human of a certain cognitive ability higher than an animal of the same - and I mean a cat should be considered of way more value than a 1 year old human - a cat can easily survive on it's own. A 1 year old has literally zero chance.

 I literally see a baby as having absolute zero value and not deserving of any rights whatsoever. Forcing a woman to carry a fetus she doesn't want even for one minute is utterly disgusting to me and reminds me of the "Alien" movies. I seriously think we need to start in the strongest possible way discouraging breeding as our planet is way overpopulated. I think something like China's "1 baby" policy would be a great idea worldwide - maybe having a lottery or something only allowing about 10% of the population to breed in more overpopulated areas.

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MattShizzle wrote:So do you

MattShizzle wrote:

So do you have ANYTHING that would apply to a baby that wouldn't apply to an animal routinely killed for food or whatever other than it happens to have human DNA? As far as I see you are just as irrational on this position as fundies are on religion, if not more so. I don't see any rational reason to value a human of a certain cognitive ability higher than an animal of the same - and I mean a cat should be considered of way more value than a 1 year old human - a cat can easily survive on it's own. A 1 year old has literally zero chance.

 I literally see a baby as having absolute zero value and not deserving of any rights whatsoever. Forcing a woman to carry a fetus she doesn't want even for one minute is utterly disgusting to me and reminds me of the "Alien" movies. I seriously think we need to start in the strongest possible way discouraging breeding as our planet is way overpopulated. I think something like China's "1 baby" policy would be a great idea worldwide - maybe having a lottery or something only allowing about 10% of the population to breed in more overpopulated areas.

Seems to me like you can't survive on your own, Matt.  After all you admit to being barely able to change an incandescent lightbulb.  And fluorescent?  Forget about it!  If someone dropped you off in the jungle you would die in a week.  Zero chance.  Hell I could drop you off in a grocery store with a credit card of unlimited balance and you would stand just as much chance as you would in the jungle.  And this is after 34 years of being given an opportunity to figure out what the fuck to do.  A 1 year old baby has taken up faaaaar fewer resources than you have and already return a greater value on average than you have as of yet with a tiny fraction of the resources invested.

I now hereby place a greater value on cats and 1 year old babies than I do on Shizzle.  Shizzle has zero value and is not deserving of any rights whatsoever.  Time for us to get rid of your ass.  We're overpopulated anyway.

Post Script:  I don't care that much for cats.

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You really are an asshat. I

You really are an asshat. I could survive given the groceries. A baby couldn't survive even given a chef, chauffer, etc and isn't even able to communicate it's wants. A baby has given literally nothing. I really do think a 1 baby limit worldwide is a good idea. Anyone having more than 1 would receive 25 years in prison and automatic sterilization before realease, Only exception would be a woman who served at least 5 years could be released once she reached menopause. Breeding is very selfish and inconsiderate to the rest of the world seeing what the population is. Maybe a 5 year ban on reproduction would be even better.

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kellym78 wrote:I've got

kellym78 wrote:
I've got studies out the ass that will show that your statement is pure ignorance. Likely based on a perverse worldview and personal bias.
Could you post a link or cite some of those studies? I'm not aware of any study suggesting sentience in fetuses until late in the third trimester.

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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MattShizzle wrote:You really

MattShizzle wrote:

You really are an asshat. I could survive given the groceries. A baby couldn't survive even given a chef, chauffer, etc and isn't even able to communicate it's wants.

Guess what, asshat?

I am a chef, chauffer, etc to my children.  I have a 4 year old that will turn 5 in Sept. and a 3 year old that will turn 4 in Dec.  THEY SURVIVED!

MattShizzle wrote:

A baby has given literally nothing. 

My children have ME.

Their parent you fucking ass-stain.

I give for them.  Every day.  What have you given?  Or have others given for you for 34 years?

MattShizzle wrote:

Breeding is very selfish and inconsiderate to the rest of the world seeing what the population is.

It's very selfish and inconsiderate that you keep consuming resources when there are too many people on the planet already which you admit to.  Life IS being selfish and inconsiderate.  I'm very selfish and inconsiderate of my life.  I'm also very selfish and inconsiderate of my families' lives as well.  Fuck you.  I will defend that selfishness and inconsiderateness of them continuing to live with the last drop of my blood.

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You really do suck the cum

You really do suck the cum out of a dead donkey's dick. You literally are my least favorite person on this site. You are a great advertisement for not breeding. Too bad you did. That makes the world a much worse place with the DNA of a piece of garbage like you expanding. They have you because unfortunately you breeded and unfortunately they survived. Babies give NOTHING to anyone else unless the parents want them.

 

Do me a favor and don't reply to anything I post. You and your entire stock should just go die you retarded piece of monkey shit. If it were up to me you and they would be eliminated.

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Ummmmm

Ummmmm


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Wow. I see a couple people

Wow. I see a couple people here have thier testosterone all up in a knot. Sticking out tongue

 Matt: Wishing death on him and his whole family? Bad form, man. Bad form.

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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MattShizzle wrote:You really

MattShizzle wrote:

You really do suck the cum out of a dead donkey's dick. You literally are my least favorite person on this site. You are a great advertisement for not breeding. Too bad you did. That makes the world a much worse place with the DNA of a piece of garbage like you expanding. They have you because unfortunately you breeded and unfortunately they survived. Babies give NOTHING to anyone else unless the parents want them.

 

Do me a favor and don't reply to anything I post. You and your entire stock should just go die you retarded piece of monkey shit. If it were up to me you and they would be eliminated.

 

Thank you, Matt.

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WOW

This part is in response to MattShizzle: Is your last name Stalin? I really do hope you find god because we sure don't need atheists like you around...

As for the general topic, I agree with the sentiment of "once it can feel pain it is not game".

However, I personally think that if we begin to use abortion as a tool to be irresponsible, then our civ is bound to be destroyed.

The debate really should not be focused on abortion but on education. Why can't we see that it is uneducated, poor and religious people in Mississippi trailer parks and The Philippines that are reproducing like rabbits? What we need is to educate the remaining 6.1 billion earth people who still think god is a super great guy...


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MattShizzle wrote:You really

MattShizzle wrote:

You really do suck the cum out of a dead donkey's dick. You literally are my least favorite person on this site. You are a great advertisement for not breeding. Too bad you did. That makes the world a much worse place with the DNA of a piece of garbage like you expanding. They have you because unfortunately you breeded and unfortunately they survived. Babies give NOTHING to anyone else unless the parents want them.

 

Do me a favor and don't reply to anything I post. You and your entire stock should just go die you retarded piece of monkey shit. If it were up to me you and they would be eliminated.

This is crossing the line. Saying that somebody's entire family should die or that you would eliminate them is a clear violation of the rules. Keep your discourse on an appropriate level or your posts will be deleted and your account suspended.

 


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Douglas V.Burgeson's point

Douglas V.Burgeson's point regarding the need to educate is an excellent one, and one that the religious right tend to distort or ignore altogether when they wish to push their anti-abortion agenda. They have good reason to do so.

One should avoid the tendency to think of the term "education" in strictly academic terms, as many do when asked to contemplate this matter. Sex education should always have a place of course in the school curriculum, but if it is conducted as a series of "rules" and "moral instructions" (the campaign by the religious right to promote "abstinence" is a case in point) then it fails in its objective. Even when presented in the context of "educating for life" it often fails, and of course the reason is the nature of the rest of the education the pupil is receiving at the same time.

We learn a lot at school - or at least we can potentially. But we learn as much if not more from observation of the society around us, and unless as children we are encouraged to think for ourselves (or at least think) we are poorly equipped to assimilate and understand the lessons available from observation later. Teenagers represent an age group in which the ability to comprehend is affected, often negatively, by a host of other inputted data that influences a person's sense of self, sense of worth, and the ability to impartially and objectively apply the evidences to himself or herself. The result of this, and US statistics unfortunately bear this out, is that cultures dominated by pervasive moral authorities tend to produce people who can academically absorb information but have huge problems applying that knowledge practically or effectively.

Sex education therefore, even when presented in an unbiased and factual manner, tends in these societies to go in one ear and out the other, to cite a cliche. The mechanics and processes it imparts are understood, but the application of its implications proves to be beyond many of the people who are taught it. What is going on in these peoples' heads due to other, stronger, influences takes precedence.

Unless, in other words, education is taken to mean the whole upbringing of the child and - crucially - that at every point it encourages the individual to think rationally and critically, then no attempt to achieve a nation of young people with completely responsible attitudes to their sexuality will succeed. The church has always shown that it makes for a lousy sex educator, and a religion-ridden society fares no better. One would almost believe that it suits the religious to create a market for abortion services, and that does indeed beg a question or ten about these peoples' honesty, their cynically exploitative tendency, and their targetting of children and youth.

Check the statistics that are readily available regarding teenage pregnancies, unwanted pregnancies, abortion levels etc in countries that proclaim themselves god-fearing, such as the USA, and those avowedly secular, like France. The sex education classes which pertain in both countries' school systems are remarkably similar, but the evidence the statistics portray is a slap in the face for any who naively think that introducing god into the process produces responsible people. Poverty, as the poster said, also plays a role - but France too has its fair share of poor people. Yet even that impoverished sector of French society produces young adults infinitely superior to their American equivalent in terms of understanding, and ultimately controlling, their sexuality and the life choices which result from expressing it.

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MattShizzle wrote:So do you

MattShizzle wrote:

So do you have ANYTHING that would apply to a baby that wouldn't apply to an animal routinely killed for food or whatever other than it happens to have human DNA? As far as I see you are just as irrational on this position as fundies are on religion, if not more so. I don't see any rational reason to value a human of a certain cognitive ability higher than an animal of the same - and I mean a cat should be considered of way more value than a 1 year old human - a cat can easily survive on it's own. A 1 year old has literally zero chance.

 

Respectfully Matt, that may seem like a flaw but it's the way that human babies evolved to be. I think sentience is very difficult to determine even in living, post-natal animals and I've considered lately that the distinction between sapience and sentience might just be a human abstraction.  Human babies evolved so that they born altricial, or helpless, with a high degree of neotony (retention of immature, and in the case of humans, even underdeveloped) traits at birth. The brain of the infant continues to grow outside the womb, reaching a size that could never have passed through the birth canal, and even this process is imperfect. Human beings on average experience significantly more difficult births than pretty much any other animal. And the end result of this evolutionary trade-off: the kind of intelligence and cooperation  that permits you and I to be exchanging information over a digital medium of human invention. In other words, helpless babies are the price of human nature, so it's kind of pointless to complain about an evolutionary fitness tradeoff that's arguably worked in your benefit more than it has worked against you.

So yeah, adoption is far more preferable to infanticide.

 

Quote:

 I literally see a baby as having absolute zero value and not deserving of any rights whatsoever. Forcing a woman to carry a fetus she doesn't want even for one minute is utterly disgusting to me and reminds me of the "Alien" movies. I seriously think we need to start in the strongest possible way discouraging breeding as our planet is way overpopulated. I think something like China's "1 baby" policy would be a great idea worldwide - maybe having a lottery or something only allowing about 10% of the population to breed in more overpopulated areas.

Agreed about China's policy, we need to control population growth in an egalitarian manner, but unfortunately I think we have to rely on the tried and trusted but still less efficient effort to educate the world's citizens about all ways of avoiding unwanted pregancies and STI's. Frankly when it comes down to abortion, the label Pro-Choice says it all: it's a woman's choice. Yes, there can be complicating circumstances as Kelly pointed out, but the reasonable ideal is that it's WOMEN who make the choice, not men, unless we're involved directly and even then it's a woman's choice as to whether we get a say. Last time I checked we were both not women.

Also, evolutionarily speaking babies have 50% of the value of their mother and 50% percent of the value of their father, as this is the breakdown of whose genes they're carrying, and in most cases responsible parents instinctively protect their (Post-Natal) children for this very reason. Remember Hamilton's Rule of Kin Selection:

C < R x B

where in C represents the cost to the actor, R represents  the genetic relatedness of  the actor to the recipient, and B represents the fitness benefit to the recipient.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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FulltimeDefendent

FulltimeDefendent wrote:

Respectfully Matt, that may seem like a flaw but it's the way that human babies evolved to be. I think sentience is very difficult to determine even in living, post-natal animals and I've considered lately that the distinction between sapience and sentience might just be a human abstraction.  Human babies evolved so that they born altricial, or helpless, with a high degree of neotony (retention of immature, and in the case of humans, even underdeveloped) traits at birth. The brain of the infant continues to grow outside the womb, reaching a size that could never have passed through the birth canal, and even this process is imperfect. Human beings on average experience significantly more difficult births than pretty much any other animal. And the end result of this evolutionary trade-off: the kind of intelligence and cooperation  that permits you and I to be exchanging information over a digital medium of human invention. In other words, helpless babies are the price of human nature, so it's kind of pointless to complain about an evolutionary fitness tradeoff that's arguably worked in your benefit more than it has worked against you.

Instead of a Blog

Think this can't work? - Think again.

"...what we always meant by socialism wasn't something you forced on people, it was people organizing themselves as they pleased...And if socialism really is better...then it can bloody well compete with capitalism. So we decided, forget all the statist shit and the violence: the best place for socialism is the closest to a free market you can get!" - Ken MacLeod's The Star Fraction


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MattShizzle wrote:You really

MattShizzle wrote:

So do you have ANYTHING that would apply to a baby that wouldn't apply to an animal routinely killed for food or whatever other than it happens to have human DNA? As far as I see you are just as irrational on this position as fundies are on religion, if not more so. I don't see any rational reason to value a human of a certain cognitive ability higher than an animal of the same - and I mean a cat should be considered of way more value than a 1 year old human - a cat can easily survive on it's own. A 1 year old has literally zero chance.

 I literally see a baby as having absolute zero value and not deserving of any rights whatsoever. Forcing a woman to carry a fetus she doesn't want even for one minute is utterly disgusting to me and reminds me of the "Alien" movies. I seriously think we need to start in the strongest possible way discouraging breeding as our planet is way overpopulated. I think something like China's "1 baby" policy would be a great idea worldwide - maybe having a lottery or something only allowing about 10% of the population to breed in more overpopulated areas.

 My first memory is short after birth. A nurse carries me through a dark corridor to a bright white room, where she puts me on a table, takes a big scissors and cuts some remaining bits of skin from the area of my belly button. It doesn't hurt, but the scissors are very cold. My consciousness is clear and I certainly don't feel like less valuable than a cat.

My mother does a regression therapy, and it also involves a possibility to take people into a moment of their birth. The session reveals real facts about the birth, for example, what kind of were birth complications (from a perspective of the child), or who was pulled out by gynecologic pliers. Those who had undergone that experience, all claims, that a child at the moment of birth has extremely clear and perceptive consciousness. It's absolutely uncomparable to any latter state, not even a greatest genius has so bright mind. Of course, a child has initially almost no motoric abilities, so by a logics of a "jumping/deaf spider experiment" you assume, that a young child is a pack of meat.
Matt, with all respect, you're very, very ignorant about it, and you're also a potential baby killer. (thanks geezus for police and laws) In this case I sympathize with Watcher, you theoretize about human lives, when you don't know anything about them. I wish you to undergo a regression session to the time of your birth, and a re-evaluation of your opinion by what you would experience. Or exactly said, I wish you the feeling like a total asshat, which would inevitably come.

 
As for abortion, I would suggest do it immediately and without remorse, or not at all (if a life of mother isn't endangered). Late abortion may cause serious emotional problems (somehing like trauma of a policeman who "used the gun&quotEye-wink, and are known to be risky for further fertility.
As for occult sources, I had read that when someone asked a soul when does it start to inhabit the body, the soul answered that it begins after fifth week of pregnancy. For ending the pregnancy till five weeks, there is practically no bad karma. However, after that time a potential bad karma for abortion rather quickly raises till it reaches a full rate of bad karma per one human murder. A late abortion may be rather close to it.
So, I personally wouldn't go demonstrate against late abortions, I would rather support making early abortion till 5 weeks freely available, anonymous, and even propagated. In this way women who don't want to spend next 20 years of their life by child care could immediately do a right thing without guilt and consequences, except for a chance to arrange their life better.

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Quote:My first memory is

Quote:

My first memory is short after birth.

 

Liar.

 


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Luminon wrote:you're very,

Luminon wrote:
you're very, very ignorant about it
That's bloody rich coming from you, Luminon.


 


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Nordmann wrote: Quote:My

Nordmann wrote:
Quote:
My first memory is short after birth.
Liar.
C'mon, I'm almost insulted. We're on an internet forum! We don't have to lie, we don't have to pretend anything. There are no too bad consequences here for saying the truth. Lying here would be just losing each other's time, it's senseless. I can't gain anything on internet forum by a lie, but I would lose my self-respect. If I would want a respect and popularity among atheists, I would pretend to be Richard Dawkins Junior. My favorite writer, Benjamin Creme, teaches a honesty of mind, sincerity of spirit and detachment. It means being who and what I am, saying and doing what I think, and not being depressed if someone doesn't like it. I don't want everyone to necessarily like me, I can live without that, but I want everyone to trust me, just as I want to trust other people.

This my first memory is just one of more my memories you wouldn't believe, even if you would have them. I grew up in convincement, that everyone in the world had a few strange experiences they couldn't explain, which keeps them from being entirely self-righteous and closed-minded.


 

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Luminon wrote:Nordmann

Luminon wrote:

Nordmann wrote:
Quote:
My first memory is short after birth.
Liar.
C'mon, I'm almost insulted. We're on an internet forum! We don't have to lie, we don't have to pretend anything. There are no too bad consequences here for saying the truth. Lying here would be just losing each other's time, it's senseless. I can't gain anything on internet forum by a lie, but I would lose my self-respect. If I would want a respect and popularity among atheists, I would pretend to be Richard Dawkins Junior. My favorite writer, Benjamin Creme, teaches a honesty of mind, sincerity of spirit and detachment. It means being who and what I am, saying and doing what I think, and not being depressed if someone doesn't like it. I don't want everyone to necessarily like me, I can live without that, but I want everyone to trust me, just as I want to trust other people.

This my first memory is just one of more my memories you wouldn't believe, even if you would have them. I grew up in convincement, that everyone in the world had a few strange experiences they couldn't explain, which keeps them from being entirely self-righteous and closed-minded.

I don't believe at all that you're lying when you say you have those memories.

You're deluded.

Big difference.

 

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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Luminon wrote:Nordmann

Luminon wrote:

Nordmann wrote:
Quote:
My first memory is short after birth.
Liar.
C'mon, I'm almost insulted. We're on an internet forum! We don't have to lie, we don't have to pretend anything. There are no too bad consequences here for saying the truth. Lying here would be just losing each other's time, it's senseless. I can't gain anything on internet forum by a lie, but I would lose my self-respect. If I would want a respect and popularity among atheists, I would pretend to be Richard Dawkins Junior. My favorite writer, Benjamin Creme, teaches a honesty of mind, sincerity of spirit and detachment. It means being who and what I am, saying and doing what I think, and not being depressed if someone doesn't like it. I don't want everyone to necessarily like me, I can live without that, but I want everyone to trust me, just as I want to trust other people.

This my first memory is just one of more my memories you wouldn't believe, even if you would have them. I grew up in convincement, that everyone in the world had a few strange experiences they couldn't explain, which keeps them from being entirely self-righteous and closed-minded.


 

 

 

Ok then

DELUSIONAL

 

And btw I don't think your umbilicus has been cut, metaphorically speaking.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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My girlfriend has made a

My girlfriend has made a point about abortions that I've not only not been able to refute, but that convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that abortions should be legal - whatever the trimester.

 

She calls it medical sovereignty: the idea that no one can be forced to give of their body for the wellbeing of another person, not even when life is on the line.  I cannot be compelled to donate a lung, kidney, or any other organ to save the life of another human being.  In the same way, a woman cannot be compelled to donate her uterus to save the life of a fetus. 

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Fight the infection.


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Kavis wrote:I cannot be

Kavis wrote:
I cannot be compelled to donate a lung, kidney, or any other organ to save the life of another human being.  In the same way, a woman cannot be compelled to donate her uterus to save the life of a fetus. 

Interesting, however, if one knows she is pregnant and she knows she does not want a child, what excuse is there to wait for 8 1/2 mouths to abort the pregnancy 2 weeks before due date which at this point the fetus is a fully developed infant sans breathing on its own?

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Kavis wrote:My girlfriend

Kavis wrote:

My girlfriend has made a point about abortions that I've not only not been able to refute, but that convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that abortions should be legal - whatever the trimester.

 

She calls it medical sovereignty: the idea that no one can be forced to give of their body for the wellbeing of another person, not even when life is on the line.  I cannot be compelled to donate a lung, kidney, or any other organ to save the life of another human being.  In the same way, a woman cannot be compelled to donate her uterus to save the life of a fetus. 

Also the fact that you will more than likely still have your uterus afterwards. It's not a state that will permanently impair or alter you, so technically organ donation isn't in the same category.


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This is a bit off topic, but

double post, velly solly.


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This is a bit off topic, but

This is a bit off topic, but I feel the need to share.  I just returned from the International Organization for Mycoplasmogists 2008 Congress (held this year in gloriously shitty Tientsin, PRC), where the Vice-President for Research at Eli Lilly (a serious bigwig in the microbiology world at large) announced that there is indeed a microbial component in premature birth and maybe even spontaneous abortion.  The organism is called Ureaplasma, and if you didn't guess from the name, it's typically the causative agent of a good old minor league urinary tract infection.  It's just that in a pregnant woman it has the unfortunate habit of moving up to a DE-luxe apartment in the abdomen.

The reason this story is so important for folks like us is that yet another medical mystery with eschatological overtones has been laid to rest.  25 years ago Barry Marshall proved that it was a mere bacterium that gave people ulcers, not stress, not diet, not fallen angels.  And now we know that if you're trying to get knocked up, it's a good idea for you to synchronize the blessed event with taking a Z-Pack (it's a mollicute, penicillin and its derivatives won't work).  Happy fucking!

"The whole conception of God is a conception derived from ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men."
--Bertrand Russell


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aiia wrote:Interesting,

aiia wrote:

Interesting, however, if one knows she is pregnant and she knows she does not want a child, what excuse is there to wait for 8 1/2 mouths to abort the pregnancy 2 weeks before due date which at this point the fetus is a fully developed infant sans breathing on its own?

There are reasons that spring to mind.  An earlier abortion may not be economically feasible.  The woman may not be free to seek out the abortion sooner, especially if she's constrained by social or familial scorn. Some women don't realize they're pregnant until very late in the second or even third trimester.  Some women may find it very difficult to make the decision to have an abortion.

 

kellym78 wrote:

Also the fact that you will more than likely still have your uterus afterwards. It's not a state that will permanently impair or alter you, so technically organ donation isn't in the same category.

 

Human pregnancy is one of the most difficult and dangerous flavors of reproduction on the planet, with childbirth being especially dangerous.  Even with modern medicine, it's not guaranteed a woman will emerge from labor with her body, life, or child intact.

Cesarean sections are particularly traumatic to the woman's body, and involve partially removing the woman's uterus from her abdominal cavity.  Not that "natural" childbirth in a hospital is much better: many hospitals assume the woman's vagina will tear during delivery, and make an incision along her vaginal wall to control the tear as a matter of course.  Nevermind that the odds there will be tearing are increased by the presence of the incision.

Here are some of the complications associated with human pregnancy: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/index.htm

Given the dangers and complications inherent in human pregnancy, I think the organ donation comparison is apt.

 

Edit: I finished this post without the following, because I couldn't find numbers from reputable sources. I have since been able to pin down the numbers from a World Health Organization report for 2005, a National Centers for Health Statistics report, and Wikipedia.

It's estimated that, worldwide, about 529,000 women die as a result of pregnancy each year, according to reports by the World Health Organization¹ and the United Nations. While the risk of death for the mother is relatively low in the United States, it is still ridiculously high in developing nations.  In the US, about 13 of every 100,000 live births result in the mother's death.  In Pakistan, it's 1,900 of every 100,000 live births.

Pregnancy is a much riskier prospect for the child: "The mean stillbirth rate in the United States is approximately 1 in 115 births."² ³ However, this doesn't seem to be terribly relevant to the current discussion, except to note that stillbirths can add complications to an already risky biological process.  

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Fight the infection.


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Neverfox

Neverfox wrote:

FulltimeDefendent wrote:

Respectfully Matt, that may seem like a flaw but it's the way that human babies evolved to be. I think sentience is very difficult to determine even in living, post-natal animals and I've considered lately that the distinction between sapience and sentience might just be a human abstraction.  Human babies evolved so that they born altricial, or helpless, with a high degree of neotony (retention of immature, and in the case of humans, even underdeveloped) traits at birth. The brain of the infant continues to grow outside the womb, reaching a size that could never have passed through the birth canal, and even this process is imperfect. Human beings on average experience significantly more difficult births than pretty much any other animal. And the end result of this evolutionary trade-off: the kind of intelligence and cooperation  that permits you and I to be exchanging information over a digital medium of human invention. In other words, helpless babies are the price of human nature, so it's kind of pointless to complain about an evolutionary fitness tradeoff that's arguably worked in your benefit more than it has worked against you.

 

Well, unless Matt would prefer all humans to have the brain capacity of a Homo habilis.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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Seems to be working fine for

Seems to be working fine for Matt, given his contributions lately.