Abortion & "Morality Clauses"

GlamourKat
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Abortion & "Morality Clauses"

This sickens me. I once had to get the morning after pill, and it was difficult(although not THIS difficult), and the doctor made me feel like a dirty whore even though we used a condom, but it came off. The religious views behind this "Morality Clause" make women's lives difficult. What should it MATTER if you're married or raped? You don't want a kid, and you don't want to have an abortion(which I hear are SUPER fun and don't hurt incredibly and make you wish you weren't the unfortunate owner of a uterus)

Go to her blog to comment, and post here too if it's related to religion/birth control.....

Den Of The Biting Beaver
Monday, September 18, 2006

Morality clauses, EC, and broken condoms

I'm stunned. I'm utterly, completely stunned. I'm shaky and anxious and shocked beyond belief. I live in rural Ohio and I have been denied EC.

Two months ago I stopped taking birth control. My body finally decided that it was fed up and the cycle of side-effects began again as they have every time I've taken hormonal contraception since I was a teenager. The Depo shot culminated in a trip to the ER due to heavy bleeding and fainting. So my doctor switched me to the yet another low-dose birth control pill which began fucking me up several months ago. So, approximately 2 months ago I stopped taking it.

I am also unable to be fitted for birth control methods that block your cervix seeing as how I have almost no cervix left after my operation last year. So for the last few months I have relied exclusively on condoms.

Friday night the condom broke. But I didn't panic, I thought to myself, with a huge sigh of relief, "Wow, thank goodness it's over the counter now!" and I fell asleep (since there are absolutely NO 24 hour pharmacies within 100 miles of me). Saturday morning I awoke and phoned the pharmacy. I asked them about EC and was told that they won't be stocking it until January 1st, until then it was still by prescription only.

Soooo, I phoned my doctors office which informed me that the office was closed and that I had to call the local hospital and have her paged in order to reach her on the weekend. So I called her and had them page her. A little while later she called back and I answered the phone immediately. She sounded tired and really grumpy; I apologized for having to page her for a thing like this and then asked her if I could get a prescription for EC. She explained that I needed to go to the Emergency Room to get it.

My heart fell, the ER has a 100$ co-pay attached to it. "Well," I thought to myself, "that's still better than the price of a kid" so I called the Emergency Room to verify the information and to ask what their procedures were. When I called the hospital they transferred me to the ER. I asked the nurse what the procedure was for EC and what would be the best time to come down there (I didn't want to wind up behind 3 critical people and end up waiting for 12 hours). The nurse responded in a small, questioning voice, "EC?" and so I explained. "Yes, Emergency Contraception. Plan B. You know, right?"

"Oh" she replies. "Hold on just a sec" and she puts me on hold.

A few moments later another nurse answers the phone. "Can I help you" he says.

"Yes," I reply "My name is BB and I was told that I need to come here to get a scrip for Plan B."

"Oh," he says, "Can you hang on a second?"

"Sure" I reply, becoming decidedly nervous.

He puts me on hold and I sit on the edge of the bed frowning and fiddling with a pen. I wait on hold for 15 minutes before he finally comes back on.

"Have you talked to your doctor?" he asks.

"Yes, I talked to her this morning and she told me to go to the ER" I reply.

"Oh, so she won't prescribe it for you?" he asks.

This possibility hadn't occurred to me. I just assumed that the ER was standard procedure, "Hmmm" I say, "Well, I guess not. It's not just standard procedure to go to the ER?"

"No, not really. We don't really have this happen much." He replies and then he says, "Well I called the pharmacy to ask them because I had heard that it was going over the counter. They told me that they won't sell it til the first of the year" I finished the sentence with him and explained that I had called the pharmacy first thing this morning and was told the very same thing.

"Well see," he begins, his voice dropping a little, "the problem is that you have to meet the doctor’s criteria before he'll dispense it to you."

"Criteria?" I question.

"Well," the nurse sounds decidedly nervous as though what he really wanted to do was hang up the phone completely, "Yes, his criteria. I mean...ummm...well, are you ok? Is there any, ummm....trauma?" he asks me.

My face changes expression and I hurry to explain, "No, no" I said, "No. I haven't been raped. This was consensual sex."

"Oh..." he trails off.

I wait expectantly.

"Well, ummm....*clears throat*...So you haven't been raped?" he asks again.

"No. I have not been raped. The condom broke". I state, becoming very frustrated at this point and wondering what the hell is going on.

"Ok, well ummm....Are you married?" he mumbles the words so low I can barely hear them.

Suddenly I get this image of the poor nurse standing at the hospital reading from a cue card that was given to him by a doctor.

"No." I state plainly. "I am not married. I've been in a relationship for several years and I have three children, I don't want a fourth." I respond tersely.

"Oh, I see." He says and then he hurries on, "Well, see. *I* understand. I want you to know that I understand what you're saying. But see, the problem is that we have 4 doctors here right now but only one of them ever writes EC prescriptions. But see, the thing is that he'll interview you and see if you meet his criteria. Now, I called the pharmacy but I also talked to him and well....*clears throat*....you can come down and try to get it. You know, if you meet his criteria he'll give you a prescription, I mean, there's really no harm in trying." the nurse trails off, his voice falters as I realize what I'm being told.

He continues, almost over eager at this point to distance himself from the hospital, "See, I understand what you're saying and all. I think it's a good thing that it's going over the counter. I just thought I should tell you what he told me. You know, you'll just have to have an interview with him and he'll see if you meet his criteria. He'll only be on duty until 2pm today though and you should ask for him if you decide to come down because he's really your only chance."

I sigh and thank him before hanging up. I know exactly what he was telling me. If I wasn't raped and wasn't married then too damn bad for me.

I opened the phone book again and called the Urgent Care in my county. Who knows, maybe they'll do it for me. "No," the nurse said, "We don't prescribe the abortion pill here".

"No, wait I'm not asking for the abortion pill. I'm asking for EC!" I say, "It's not the same thing."

"Well, we use the words interchangeably here. Sorry, we don't prescribe it". She all but races to get off the phone with me.

I start looking through the telephone book, dialing hospitals from counties all around me. It seems that nobody will prescribe it to me. None of the hospitals are willing to touch me, of the ones that will prescribe it I am asked a series of questions to 'screen' me before I come to the hospital. The results aren't good. I'm not married and wasn't raped, so there's very little they can do for me. But I can try the nurses tell me uncomfortably.

"But if I go through all this and I can't get it will I still be charged the co-pay?"

"Well....ummmm...yeah. I'm afraid so Ma'am." comes the reply.

I called every hospital in every surrounding county and none of them would prescribe me EC. Not even ONE. Of the 2 that said that they sometimes will their 'criteria' was clearly not my situation.

Next I tried Planned Parenthood. None of them were open. Not one. Every Planned Parenthood in Ohio was either closed on Saturday or would be closed before I could drive the 100 miles to them.

I was told by every urgent care I called and every emergency room that I was shit out of luck. I was asked my age. My marital status. How many children I had. If I had been raped and when I became uncomfortable with the questions I was told, "Well Ma'am, try to understand that you will be interviewed and the doctor has 'criteria' that you need to meet before he will prescribe it for you."

When I asked about what 'criteria' there was that I had to meet, the reply was, "Well, he's kind of old fashioned". I was told that I might be able to 'talk him into it' anyway and that it can't hurt to try (except for the fact that each and every time I try it I'll have to pay $100 co-pay).

I found that the more hospitals and clinics and doctors I called the more ashamed I became. Yep, you heard right. I was feeling ashamed at being such an unworthy dirty whore. Well, at least in the eyes of all these hospitals and doctors and clinics. I cried, then I sweated, then I cried some more, then I called some more.

Folks, the condom broke Friday night and I searched all weekend for someone who could prescribe me EC. It is now Monday and I have to report that I have been unable to find anyone who will write me a fucking prescription for EC. None of the hospitals in the surrounding counties would write it for me. I stopped my search at about 100 miles from my home because my telephone book wouldn't take me out any further than that.

I have been asked about my sexual practices. Whether I'm 'monogamous' or 'in a relationship' if I'm married, if I have kids, how many kids I have, if I was raped or 'traumatized' but there wasn’t' ONE question about my health. Not one. The few places that said that they had a doctor who would occasionally write prescriptions for EC told me that I had to ask for that doctor specifically and then they proceeded to tell me that I would be 'interviewed' to see if I meet that doctors 'criteria' and then they proceeded to ask me all the above questions before telling me that I should 'try anyway' and I 'might be able to talk him into it'.

Unwilling to go to the ER and be shamed and 'interviewed' for my 'criteria' before being told that I'm too slutty or too something or other I broke into a sobbing heap of anger and fear and I did the only thing I could think of doing. Dubhe and I went out to the local pet shop and played with the puppies for awhile before getting a bite to eat. Then I came home and drank a bottle of wine, smoked like a fiend and downed butter rum shots until I fell asleep.

Moral of the story?......

Well, quite frankly I don’t know, it seems that there is no moral to the story other than morality clauses fucking suck. I’m off to smoke a carton of cigarettes and suck down more butter rum so stick that in your morality pipe and smoke it you dirty bastards. Oh and if I end up having to get an abortion I’ll ask if I can keep the little parasite and I’ll be sending it to each of you who denied me EC.

Ok, I'm also editing this post now because I wanted to ask. Does anyone know if Nortrel 7/7/7 can be used as EC? I thought about getting the last refill I have on the old prescription and taking them all over a 2 day period. Of course, I don't want to die either *sigh* and I'm afraid that it will fuck me up to take all the pills in a few days.

I've been unable to find the information on my brand of pill. The packet I have is actually Nortrel 7/7/7 but it was sustituted for Ortho Novum 7/7/7 (I assume that the Nortrel is the generic form of Ortho Novum) Anyway if anyone out there has used my brand as EC please, please, please let me know!!

Thanks a million guys.

~BB


MattShizzle
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That is so fucked up.

That is so fucked up. Sanctimonious cocksuckers. I wish ANY man who would try to prevent a woman from getting an abortion would get bent over a dumpster and raped in the ass by someone infected with AIDS.

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Wouldn't be better if they

Wouldn't be better if they just had everything that doesn't kill them, a lot of somethings that are itchy Eye-wink

That or just makes their shit fall off }Smiling


Susan
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I'm a little confused that a

I'm a little confused that a morning after pill would happily be prescribed for a married woman, but not an unmarried woman. It's OK not to want more kids if you're married?

Sad how men and religion have such control over women's bodies.

You have to wonder how it would work out if every woman going into an abortion clinic told a protester, "I will not give birth to a child that will be unloved and possibly end up in foster care. However, I will give birth to this child, but YOU have to raise it, change its diapers, clothe it, feed it, take it to tee ball, send it to college and pay for a wedding." How many protesters would start taking personal responsibility for these unwanted babies?

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Susan wrote:I'm a little

Susan wrote:
I'm a little confused that a morning after pill would happily be prescribed for a married woman, but not an unmarried woman. It's OK not to want more kids if you're married?

Sad how men and religion have such control over women's bodies.

You have to wonder how it would work out if every woman going into an abortion clinic told a protester, "I will not give birth to a child that will be unloved and possibly end up in foster care. However, I will give birth to this child, but YOU have to raise it, change its diapers, clothe it, feed it, take it to tee ball, send it to college and pay for a wedding." How many protesters would start taking personal responsibility for these unwanted babies?

Agreed. I've often asked anti-abortion people how many children they would make room for in their homes.
I also take it a step further for the ones that preach about stem cells and embryology. The ones that think every embryo is a life have to be the most irrational.
The other part of this is that they think that all pregnancies are on purpose and that women get abortions because they WANT to have an abortion??!! WTF? No sane individual goes out and purposefully gets pregnant just to have an abortion.

My guess at the motivations behind the anti-choice people is that they want more people so that they can try to fill the church pews and get more money from the faith-based initiative programs.
Either that or they're really just evil assholes masking themselves in their idea of piety.

It's also important to note that a great many women are anti-choice. It isn't just 'men and religion'. Women are just as capable of this aberrant behavior.

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I would think some of those

I would think some of those men would realize that it might be better if they don't have to pay child support and make someone else raise their kid. Even if you think that is cold hearted its still a point.

One person once said that allowing abortion let more people have sex and not get married. You know I would think he/she would have realized some married people don't want another kid or any kids and that a kid doesn't make people get married...

I knew a girl that once said something to the effect "It may not be my choice, but its not my choice to make for other."


averyv
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call the aclu. is there

call the aclu. is there standing precident that indicates the reactions of the hospitals are 'ok' (in the legal sense)? i vaguely remember a case not too long back where a similar question was being posed. or is it that since it 'legally' goes otc on jan 1 theres nothing that can be done? at least the aclu would be able to tell you if you have courses of action...

that is some real shit. im very sorry. very very sorry.

i think i am most dissapointed in planned parenthood, aside from it not being otc from the get-go. lets be honest here. friday night happens far too often to not be open on saturday.

and mattshizzle...how immature. im sorry. it is inappropriate of me to say here. but really...

dont these people have any concept what it takes to raise kids? if a parent willingly says 'no, i am not prepared or capable of raising a child' how could you possibly deny that? i suppose adoption is always an option, not that no cost is involved in the 9 months carrying...

guh. sickening. my sincerest condolences.

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
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Firstly, let me clarify that

Firstly, let me clarify that I agree that if a person is kept from the morning after pill due to religious views and some personal stance that another individual has on the issue, that majorly sucks and the situation is grave. I think this article, though, is raising alarm bells where the situation isn't as extreme as they are portraying it. The biggest reason for my skepticism is ... you have 120 days to get EC after having sex. Even though the planned parenthoods may be closed on Saturday, I just called an Ohio Planned Parenthood and found out that most in the state of Ohio are open on Monday. The term "morning after" is an inadequate descriptor of what she needs - she still has an opportunity to take it. She's not completely out of luck on Monday.

Maybe it is because I feel some form of skepticism towards the Biting Beaver due to the occasional lack of critical thoughts that are shown in the biting beaver blog, but I tend to take some of what is said there with a grain of salt, which motivated me to investigate a little into this issue. Of course, I do grant that she tries to use some humor in the way she views the world, so not all of her statements are intended to be taken seriously (for example, her blogger profile makes a joke about why raspberry-flavored things are blue, implying that it is a patriarchal conspiracy because pink is effeminate). However, since the article is serious in nature, I don't think she's joking about much of it. There's really not much investigation that I can do, since I don't know what part of Ohio this person is from.

I did do the one thing I could do, and I bothered to call a Planned Parenthood in Ohio and ask them if they had reports of a similarly extreme nature. I know that many doctors, nurses and medical professionals will deny people EC - its an issue that I have written on and discussed with people before. However, I just wondered if Ohio had as extreme of a situation as so many other states in regards to abortion and EC regulation and related things. Ohio is not one of the states that I recall being in as dire of a situation as many others, like the Dakotas. So, a quick call to Ohio gets me the following information:

1) Most Planned Parenthoods in Ohio are open on Monday.

2) Although Planned Parenthood often sees clients who have been rejected by doctors, pharmacies and clinics elsewhere, it doesn't seem to be a pandemic issue for Ohio.

It isn't that I want to say that all of this account is untrue. Perhaps she lives in an area where every facility within 100 miles will deny her EC, and that is a problem. I think where I see the flaw in this post is, this person is implying an impossibility of obtaining something that she needs to take within a particular time period, and then implying that said time period has passed when it clearly hasn't. So while she has reason to be cranky about not getting the pill in the beginning - she can still obtain the pill elsewhere and doesn't have to rely on alternative means on Monday.

Now, as to the issue of her being denied in the first place - this is still a hazy area for doctors who still take the hippocratic oath (which is a changing creed itself, mind you). Doctors often believe that they are adhering to the oath and their personal beliefs by behaving this way when they truely aren't. An individual denying another medical assistance, however, is clearly not doing their job, but they believe they are due to some ancient creeds that they adhere to.

(and no, Notrel and Novum are not EC)

Now, as to the responses to the opening post:

EC is not considered an abortion. This is actually a somewhat hazy area because some people consider a person to be pregnant once the egg is fertilized and others consider a person to be pregnant once the fertilized egg has embedded itself into the wall of the uterus. For those that consider fertilization to be the point of the start of a pregnancy, then EC is an abortificant (as are a number of other contraceptives). For those who consider embedding of the fertilized egg to be the start of pregnancy, then it isn't necesarily an abortificant ... the reality is, actually, that the results of studies on this are still somewhat inconclusive. There is a suspicion that EC will occasionally cause an abortion after this point, but since most women remain pregnant after taking EC after the fertilized egg has been embedded, EC is not considered to be an abortificant.

EC is not the same as the Abortion Pill - these really are two different things.

darth_josh wrote:
Agreed. I've often asked anti-abortion people how many children they would make room for in their homes.
I also take it a step further for the ones that preach about stem cells and embryology. The ones that think every embryo is a life have to be the most irrational.

Actually, if we're honest with ourselves, an embryo is a "life" - it is more a matter of what the value of said life is in relation to the individual who is carrying it.

Quote:
The other part of this is that they think that all pregnancies are on purpose and that women get abortions because they WANT to have an abortion??!! WTF? No sane individual goes out and purposefully gets pregnant just to have an abortion.

In a way, that is true. Many of the people who are against abortion and even some forms of contraceptives are people who believe that a deity intended the pregnancy. Hence, the pregnancy has a "purpose" - but, if the diety intended a pregnancy, why could they not stop an abortion or overpower other birth control methods? I don't think, however, that "Pro-Life" individuals really think that women go out to get pregnant just to go get an abortion, though.

Quote:
My guess at the motivations behind the anti-choice people is that they want more people so that they can try to fill the church pews and get more money from the faith-based initiative programs.

I don't think they really go through that much of an extensive thought process, actually. For one, that takes too much effort. However, their motivations are in order to get immediate gratification. They want more people in their in-group to varify all that they believe and think. As maladaptive as this can potentially be, it isn't surprising, most people like to have others agree with them.

Quote:
Either that or they're really just evil assholes masking themselves in their idea of piety.

I don't think that is the only alternative.

Quote:
It's also important to note that a great many women are anti-choice. It isn't just 'men and religion'. Women are just as capable of this aberrant behavior.

Very true. This is one thing that makes me want to disassociate from the more extreme parts of feminism (although many of my goals prevent this) - there seems to be an underlying desire to blame all aspects of problems with sexual social status on the men in society, when in reality there really is an element of many women who support things that oppress women. This is something that stretches beyond just the oppression of women, though. Historically, many people who have been oppressed have contributed in some form to their own oppression. We see this in homosexuals who are extreme anti-homosexual, in situations of slavery, and in many other cases.

This is both a social and a psychological problem. Studies done on epeople who have been seriously abused, for example, often show the victim as justifying or even supporting some of what the abuser does to them. There are many stories of slaves returning to their masters (abusive or not) or showing loyalty to their masters before the civil rights movement (and after). What seems to be playing a role in this is that people act on what they perceive as helping them survive over a notion of some form of liberty or some other social reward that they may see as distant or unpredictable.

Voiderest wrote:
I would think some of those men would realize that it might be better if they don't have to pay child support and make someone else raise their kid. Even if you think that is cold hearted its still a point.

As pointed out, this isn't entirely about men. Even so, those who are against these things don't see that as a consequence. If it isn't their offspring, then they don't see it as their problem. If it is, then they view their own rights as taken away because they don't get to make the decision. While it is true that they should not have the right to make this decision, that doesn't stop their emotional reaction to the possibility of having offspring.

Quote:
One person once said that allowing abortion let more people have sex and not get married. You know I would think he/she would have realized some married people don't want another kid or any kids and that a kid doesn't make people get married...

It really shouldn't matter. Marriage is a social construct that really shouldn't be a question in regards to children. Marriage and having children are really two separate issues that are only put together due to the social ideas surrounding them rather than any logical reasoning.

Quote:
I knew a girl that once said something to the effect "It may not be my choice, but its not my choice to make for other."

Which is an excellent stance to have.


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Voiderest wrote:Wouldn't be

Voiderest wrote:
Wouldn't be better if they just had everything that doesn't kill them, a lot of somethings that are itchy Eye-wink

That or just makes their shit fall off }Smiling

Yeah, but only if they meet the criteria. Otherwise it's ass rape over the dumpster by aids patient.

EDIT IN AFTER READING SILKY'S POST: You seem to be very "angrey" at something Silky. Eye-wink Sticking out tongue

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equinox
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Interesting topic

What are we to do with "prolife" Atheists/Agnostics? Check Google...

Robert M. Price called abortion 2nd degree murder on the "Truth-Drive Thinking" podcast on 08/16/2006.

Richard Dawkins in his new book, The God Delusion, states on page 4 that American polls suggest that atheists and agnostics far out-number religious Jews and most other religious groups. He seems to think if we could get Atheists to 'come out' of the closet and mobilize, the stigma surrounding Atheism could be deconstructed...and this also seems to imply that Atheism could gain more respect in society, politics, etc...This has been suggested in many podcasts as well.

Depending on which poll you read and at which time, it may be safe to say that Americans are 50%/50% (give or take a few % points on either side) in support of abortion. http://www.pollingreport.com/abortion.htm

I have to wonder with respect to Dawkins’ findings and the various polls, how many atheists/agnostics do not favor abortion? The abortion issue shouldn’t be a religious issue.

I also have to wonder if, in theory, abortion is contrary to natural selection? Dawkins continually points out how simple, natural and elegant natural selection is. I really only know of one simple and natural way to keep the selfish genes progressing forward. And how would we know when the next Einstein will appear?


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Of course, how do we know

Of course, how do we know when the next Hitler would appear? There are pro-life atheists, like Nat Hentoff, but the vast majority of atheists are pro-choice. I wouldn't think it would be against natural selection - wouldn't kids who are unwanted at a disadvantage?

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equinox
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yeah

Yeah...unwanted kids may be at a disadvantage once they are here, but that shouldn't change the genes they are bestowed at conception. But, then again, could a woman who is depressed have some sort of effect on her fetus? Since they claim smoking lowers birth weights and other substances have various other effects, maybe depression could have similar negative effects. But unsure if those are genetic effects...


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Environment also tends to

Environment also tends to have as much effect on personality as genetics - especially environment in very early childhood.

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SilkyShrew wrote:The biggest

SilkyShrew wrote:
The biggest reason for my skepticism is ... you have 120 days to get EC after having sex. Even though the planned parenthoods may be closed on Saturday, I just called an Ohio Planned Parenthood and found out that most in the state of Ohio are open on Monday. The term "morning after" is an inadequate descriptor of what she needs - she still has an opportunity to take it. She's not completely out of luck on Monday.

I'm sure you meant 120 hours.

Emergency contraception can be used at any time during the menstrual cycle. Earlier, small studies seemed to indicate that timing of the first dose within the first 72 h was not important, but it is now clear that both forms of oral ECPs are more effective if given in the first 24 h, with efficacy decreasing over the next 48 h (Table 1). Despite this, it has been suggested that emergency contraception may be useful for up to five days (7). If an adolescent girl presents after three days, ECPs can be tried up to 120 h after intercourse, as long as she is informed that it has less chance of working, although an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD), if available, is a better option.

Silkyshrew, I agree with mostly everything you said. Your posts are always so calm and well thought out.. Truly a rational respoder for SURE! Smiling


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Sapient wrote:EDIT IN AFTER

Sapient wrote:
EDIT IN AFTER READING SILKY'S POST: You seem to be very "angrey" at something Silky. Eye-wink Sticking out tongue

You know I am! But after some shots of double chocolate coffee, and some time with my toy box, you know I'll be as safe as a muzzled dog ... or shrew, as the case may be.

equinox wrote:
I have to wonder with respect to Dawkins’ findings and the various polls, how many atheists/agnostics do not favor abortion? The abortion issue shouldn’t be a religious issue.

You're right, it shouldn't be a religious issue at all. Although, I don't think the stance of other atheists on the subject (or if another is an atheist or not) should have much bearing on anyone's personal stance. My personal stance is based on how I view the data that I have seen on the subject and my empathy towards the people I think are most valuable in the issue.

Quote:
I also have to wonder if, in theory, abortion is contrary to natural selection?

Technically, abortion is natural selection.

Quote:
Dawkins continually points out how simple, natural and elegant natural selection is. I really only know of one simple and natural way to keep the selfish genes progressing forward. And how would we know when the next Einstein will appear?

Einstien is only one of billions of people in the world but of the past and future. The possibility of his likeness in intelligence and other features that he was valued for seems an extreme reason to prevent people from making a choice about their own futures. The chances of a child developing to be someone that has a drastic negative impact on society is more probable than someone being another "Einstein" (meaning another person so like einstein in brainpower, personality and public influence altogether that they would truely be closely associated with the image of Einstein) but that is not a reason for me to shift my position one way or another, either. The reality of the situation is, there is no way at all to know the potential impact of whatever a fertilized egg on the rest of the world if it is allowed to continue to develop. We do know that if it is terminated the impact is more easily predicted and is likely very small. A very small impact (even inconspicuous in nature, or perhaps a better description is needed here ...) may sound negative to you, but that is better than a large negative impact and certainly is irrelevant compared to an unknown possibility of a positive impact. There are known negatives that can be predicted in regards to an unwanted pregnancy and positives are usually unpredictable and each situation is different, even when we have knowledge of common patterns.

GlamourKat wrote:
'm sure you meant 120 hours.

Yes, that is what I meant, lol, sorry about that. I would go back and edit the post to correct that, but apparently we can't edit our posts after a response to them or a certain amount of time Sad

I wonder if that can be fixed ... Sapient? Please? (I need a batting eyes graphic or emoticon for situations like this as well, lol)

Quote:
Silkyshrew, I agree with mostly everything you said. Your posts are always so calm and well thought out.. Truly a rational respoder for SURE!

Thanks blushing Sometimes I am so hyper critical of how I respond to people that I wonder if I am coming across clearly enough and I worry about making mistakes. When I do make a mistake it often isn't a big deal, so you'd think it wouldn't matter to me as much. lol


equinox
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think

I'll need to think about abortion as natural selection. Do you mean this in a social evolution sense...for the good and fitness of the current living selfish genes? Tell me what you mean. I'm still trying to grasp natural selection.

Don't you think in terms of probablilities that it is more likely that a brilliant mind will show up again (even one that is mildly inferior to the likes of Einstein) than that life itself will appear on some other planet in a multiverse? Yet Dawkins seems to think it likely that more life exists "out there".

According to Wikipedia, 46 million cases of abortion happen globally every year. Could this be 46 million cases of natural selection interrupted?


SilkyShrew
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equinox wrote:I'll need to

equinox wrote:
I'll need to think about abortion as natural selection. Do you mean this in a social evolution sense...for the good and fitness of the current living selfish genes? Tell me what you mean. I'm still trying to grasp natural selection.

Natural Selection involves the "selection" (though this term is sometimes considered inadequate) of surviving organisms to pass on their genetic code over those that are "selected against" or don't survive. Aborting a fetus is selecting against it.

This reminds me of a couple of things:

Firstly, some animals in times of despiration will kill and occasionally eat their young. This act is one that may play towards the benefit of the organism if it means that organism survives long enough to breed again in a time in which their situation is not so desperate.

The other thing that it reminds me of is a time when I saw someone post an image in a forum somewhere in which there was a steal grating over a gutter, and an image of a duckling that was clearly small enough to fall in standing in a precarious position near the gutter. The question presented with the image was, "is this natural selection?" My thoughts at this image was that it must be natural selection. If, for example, the image had the duckling standing above a ravine where there was some other danger like a fast flowing river or something that was an immediate threat, it would be pretty clear that the event was natural selection. Should the duckling fall and be killed by whatever fate awaited him, then his genetic composition has been selected against. Should the duckling survive by using some keen ability to jump that he was predisposed to having due to some cool genetic trait of his, then he would be selected for. The main difference in the description is that the steel grate is human made. So the question is, does something contructed by humans which results in the killing of the duckling mean that the duckling isn't naturally selected against? Well, considering that humans are natural beings, and that we do what comes naturally to us - then the events leading to the creation of man-made items which result in the selection against the duckling are also natural. Hence, the duckling that perishes due to human constructed items is naturally selected against.

Likewise, when an individual terminates a pregnancy, the genetic code that perishes with the pregnancy is selected against, naturally.

Hopefully that description is clear enough - but I appreciate having to hash this out because it made me think of a creative way to describe natural selection.

Silky's New Version of the Story of the Ugly Duckling wrote:
The summer sunshine danced over the pond in time with music of the noises of all the animals that inhabited it and its lush surroundings. Such a fine day encases many a sign of how the world moves and operates based on simple principles that we can learn through the simplest and most delightful observations. Tiny birds flit about on sleek wings that serve to carry them away from predators that may taunt and injure them and the bird's wings take them to each little grain of corn or tiny seed that they can spy with their sharp eyes; the trees grow tall and full, spreading their branches wide so that the leaves can soak up the sun which helps them to utilize the nutrients that their roots find in the ground, and the sharp and attentive eyes of the cat watched rabbits play to see if they would come close enough for him to pounce and have a tender treat for the evening. The other animals, of course, instinctively knew to keep their distance from the cat, and the cat was satiated enough by the food that was given him from the humans that he did not stray from his perch to chase the birds or the rabbits.

In the thick of some cattails stretched out high above the pond, a fair distance from the cat, the farmhouse where its owner lived, and under the shelter of some trees there was a duck sitting quietly on her nest simply waiting for her small clutch of eggs to hatch. It seems like a duck would get weary of such a task, sitting for so long and not being able to leave the nest for long without putting the eggs at risk of some danger, but through the workings of nature, through those principles within which the world seems to work, the duck does not worry and rarely leaves her nest at this time. Even the lack of interaction from other animals does not draw her out and away from her task, for one of the mother duck's most innate drives is to guard, protect and hatch the small clutch of eggs.

Other ducks swam about the pond, dipped their heads down below the surface in search of food, and waddled about the banks with their heads up high in a manner that we humans might deem to be a look of self-importance. Not a single one, though approached the nesting mother duck. At length, long after you or I would have given up this seemingly trivial position, the duck began to shift her body a little as the eggs began to crack. She lifted her feathery abdomen from the eggs and watched as each one cracked slowly open and tiny little heads began emerging saying, "peep, peep, peep" while the attentive mother softly replied, "quack."

The little ducklings each quacked as well as their young little beaks and necks let them as they were fresh from their eggs and they looked about the nest. As little humans grow and develop, we learn to say things like, "what a big world!" And "all these things seem so mysterious to me!" But to tiny little ducklings such questions never arise, they simply follow their mother about instinctively and learn to eat and survive the way that she does and the way that their little fuzzy bodies will let them. However, the world is much bigger to the duckling than the tiny little egg that they just came from, so there certainly is a few minor observations that they must make once escaping those shells! So that is what the tiny little ducklings did. The mother duck, already inclined to teach her little ducklings about the pond and where to find food, looked about the broken shells in her nest and didn't fail to notice that there was still one very large egg remaining that hadn't hatched, but was still quite warm from the body inside. The duck, still motivated to do as was natural to her, promptly sat back down on the nest, the large egg, and arranged herself so that the little ducklings could be nestled snuggly underneath her feathery bottom.

Ducks are not rather picky creatures about their young, and, being unable to communicate like human critters can, they do not make comments like, "my, I have the loveliest brood of ducklings on the pond," doting as a human mother might over her children. And although human children, beautiful as they are, are not like ducklings, one could say that these ducklings all really were particularly pretty as ducklings would come. Without the need and ability to make declarations of her pretty little brood, the mother duck was attentive in keeping them warm along with the large egg and giving them the occasional bite of food that she obtained from nearby her nest.

It seems such an odd thing that one would find the eggs of particular types of birds, even ducks, to be of very different sizes, but it just so happens that sometimes the accidental adoption of a foreign egg is not unlikely, even in the world of ducks. An observer, then, might find themselves suddenly guessing as to the nature of the large egg that the mother duck continues to sit on. Is it a turkey? How would a turkey survive under the care of a water-bound bird? What other birds might be large and seemingly more cumbersome than the tiny creatures that had just hatched? The mother duck did not wonder these things, but simply continued to wait for the egg to hatch, feeding her hatched brood with what lay close by the nest.

Finally, the egg broke, and a young peeping fuzzy creature crept out. It was larger than the other little birds, and some may even say it was decidedly uglier. The duck, though, paid no notice, for this duckling was similar enough in shape and behavior to the others that the duck could not be conscious of its difference on any great levels. One thing seemed likely - this bird was not a turkey, its feet were webbed like those of the others.

The next day the weather was just as lovely as on the previous days and the sun was warm and there was a very slight, but comforting breeze. The mother duck, with only slightly different motivations than before, but motivations still influential enough to alter what she did only slightly, took her little family down to the water of the pond. Each little bird, automatically, and without an utterance of protest, or deviating from the wake of their mother simply followed along behind her. Once they reached the pond, the mother duck jumped right in and swam just a short distance from the bank, then turned and watched as each of the young followed along behind her, right into the water. Each little duckling quacked and swam around in the water, even the ugly duckling (which, we can be absolutely certain at this point, is NOT a turkey).

The mother duck, naturally tending to the duties that mother ducks tend to, led her little brood around the pond and the farmyard, seemingly showing them each little aspect with the exception of the area too close to the lazy cat, who quickly caused a disturbance by rushing at a bucket that he saw movement in, knocking it over, and stealing one of the fish before the farmer could stop him. With great noise, the farmer restored the bucket to its upright position, replaced the fish and filled it half-way again with water to sustain the fish until he could properly prepare them for whatever farmers do with buckets of fish.

The mother duck made no observation of the scene other than to flee with her ducklings (who were also startled) far away from the ruckus caused by the cat. The ducklings soon followed their mother around more parts of the farmyard where they encountered other animals, even a few ducks. The ducks passed with seeming recognition and did not seem to notice that one of the ducklings was quite a bit larger and uglier than all the other little ducklings. Apparently this little bird is only ugly to particular observers, and must not be ugly to the mother ... for ... whatever reason.

Perching themselves near some other ducks, and sitting in their self-important fashions, they watched the happenings around the pond with whatever limited interest a duck can have in such things. Unlike human children, who sometimes mock each other and take offense at the observation of what faults they may or may not have, a duckling pays no mind to if it is ugly or not. Each creature does that which is natural to it, and to a duck it is sitting around and watching the happenings of the pond that come natural to it. Thus, the ugly duckling, in the fortunate state of not being hatched into a human child, did not suffer the knowledge of his unappealing, large and abnormal (for a duckling) appearance.

As time passed, though, the differences of the ugly duckling became more apparent, and his behavior and that of the other ducklings were enough different that the mother duck, doing again what came natural, would no longer allow him into her nest, to swim with her in the pond, or to sit with the other ducks as they sat in their self-important positions watching the happenings of the pond. The ugly duckling was suddenly on his own. So he flew away and arrived at a large moor, where he spent the night and encountered more ducks in the morning. These ducks seemed as disinterested in him as his own mother.

However, there were a couple goslings nearby who didn't seem to mind the company of the ugly duckling and they allowed him to follow them around the moor. They soon began to take off, though, and he was about to follow them, but two loud noises pierced the air, BANG! And the goslings fell from their flight as the other geese on the moor suddenly filled the air while the little duckling survived by staying hidden in the grass, safe on the ground and away from the main part of the moor. Dogs ran about plucking limp geese from the ground and gunsmoke filled the air, but still the little duckling stayed hidden from sight, and away from the dogs and guns. Finally the moor got quiet, and so in the stillness that followed that evening, the duckling fled the moor and found a tiny house that was in great disrepair. A storm formed in the sky above him and beat down around him, but the duckling could go no farther and since the door to the little house was open, the duck sought shelter inside.

In this cottage there lived a woman, and two cats, one of which was prone to be frightened of everything. The woman, often making the habit of calling herself a 'shrew' (though she didn't look much like a rodent of any type) - not out of a poor temperment, but more because she liked the sound of it (she was not an angry person in the least) - was fond of nature and its quirky animals. The older cat, a sleek and mischievous creature, was called "Onyx" by the shrew due to the gem-like quality of her fur. The scardy cat, called "Fizgig" was simply that, a skiddish little puffy black thing that was prone to hiding in odd places.

On the morning that the little duck was discovered in the house, the Shrew awoke with a start, exclaiming, "What the hell was that!?!?" And she looked around to try and figure it out. Not knowing much about the difference between a duckling and any other bird baby (other than maybe the shape of a beak or foot or something), the shrew simply assumed that she had encountered a fat duck, and worried that it might be more difficult to train it to the litter box than the two cats were. "How very cool!" She exclaimed, "I wonder how long it takes for a duck to start laying eggs, maybe the internet has some information." So, she let the duck stay in the house and tried, through much planning and conditioning, to train the duck to use the litter box. Which was a task, of course, that she was somewhat successful at doing.

But cats being, as cats often seem to be, the rulers of any house in which they possess, the two cats in Shrew's house were not fond of the duckling and were prone to hissing at it, and looking at it with great hunger (forcing the shrew to hide the duck in her bedroom closet in the evenings when she had to sleep, and watching the cats closely in the daytime, lest she find nothing but a bloody feather should she not take great care). And the duck, being as ducks are, often sought to swim in the water that would form in the bottom of the shower (resulting in a few embarassing situations for the Shrew), in the sink, and sometimes in the toilet (which led to the practice of the Shrew trying to leave the top down all the time).

Though the Shrew was fond of all animals, and had perhaps an overly-soft heart in regards to them, the presence of the duckling became too much trouble for even her to tolerate. So the last time the duckling was found to have managed to lift the lid of the toilet enough to get inside, but accidentally trapping himself there, the Shrew had to finally give the whole matter up. "You are a quirky animal, indeed; my cats want to eat you; I'm too busy to always keep an eye on you; and the cat litter never clumps right when you use the box! I think you are far better off outside anyway!" So she put the duckling back outside.

The duckling found a part of a small stream where the water was deeper and moved just a little slower, but few other animals were around and none of them that were paid much attention to him. Autumn had come and the world outside was somewhat different than when the duckling had hatched. Leaves dropped from their branches and the air felt cold and damp.

Then one day, as the sun was sinking into the west, some birds flew down out of the sky. They were very graceful and pretty with white feathers and broad, strong wings. These were swans - strong, graceful, and very well-traveled birds with webbed feet like a duck, but longer legs and necks and fuller bodies. They were lovely birds and one could imagine that an ugly duckling such as our hero, were he human, would have longed to be just such a creature. But these swans, they flew away on their strong wings, as swans naturally do, towards warmer regions while the ugly duckling stayed in his stream and swam around, using his motion to stay warm as he swam until he was cold, tired and weak and the stream froze around his legs.

Early in the morning, though, a human peasant came by with long hair and playing a guitar who carefully devised a plan to use the loud squeal of his guitar to find the resonance factor of the ice and break it to pieces! Then he brought the duck home to his apartment in the city, where he lived with a cat. The warmth of the apartment was good for the duck, and he quickly was revived. However, the cat, reacting with curiousity and playfulness, as cats sometimes do, went to play with the duck, and the duck, very much afraid that yet another cat wanted to eat him he flew up onto the counter top and knocked over a plate of spaghetti, a pan of freshly warmed ground boca burger, and some fresh parmesean cheese. The house was a mess and the nice man was frustrated. The cat sat down and watched as if he were an innocent bystander and the duck escaped out of the window and hid in a nearby snow-covered tree (which is somewhat precarious and difficult for something with webbed feet).

Were the duck human, he would likely declare his winter something that he underwent with great difficulty. But, being a duck (and an ugly one at that), such considerations did not enter into his brain as he simply went about searching for food in an ever-hungry and cold state of being.

On day, the duck ultimately ended up laying again near a pond amongst some cattails. The air had warmed up and the sun was shining. Twitters and chirps of other birds of various kinds could be heard around him and one could tell that spring had finally arrived. Over the winter, despite the consistent hunger, the bird's wings had grown strong and he flapped them against his sides on occasion (which helped to keep them that way) and wandering around with seemingly some focus in direction finally led him to a nice little garden on the edge of the pond. In the garden there were some very pretty swans, just as lovely as the ones that had been encountered the previous fall. Confident in his manner, and unable to be aware of the significance of their beauty as compared to the state of ugliness others might have seen in him in the past, the bird flew out towards the swans into the water, and a couple of them swam out close by him.

At that moment, his grouping with the swans created a striking image. For over the hard winter he developed and changed. His feathers became a gleeming white, his wings became strong and graceful, and his reflection in the water looked just like the magnificant reflections of the lovely swans at his sides. The ugly grey feathers that once kept him warm had been replaced by ones better suited to a large bird like him that could fly long distances and didn't need to endure terribly cold weather. Now this bird, having never known of his ugliness, nor could he ever be aware of his beauty, the bird that seemed to have just enough advantage to survive through the harshness of nature, could be seen to have yet another advantage. For this pretty bird is revered as elegant and valuable to the humans around him and those humans, child (ugly and pretty alike), or adult (ugly and pretty alike) bring him food so that he can grow fat (and also so that the fish and wildlife people from the government can complain that they must be careful or he won't be able to fly is fat carcass to warmer climates later on).

This, dear friends, is evidence of advantages that are so often overlooked. Yet, in the funny way that the world moves and operates on observable factors, this bird was able to survive. Now, many things that helped him survive, such as the strength that carried him through the winter, and even odd factors like the man rescuing him from the frozen water ... these all worked to the advantage of the duck ... er ... swan so that he could now do what every creature is driven to do. He can reproduce!

I thank Hans Christian Anderson for the inspiration.

Anyways, that was mostly silliness - and ended up far longer than I had initially intended, but hopefully it serves as a good example.

equinox wrote:
Don't you think in terms of probablilities that it is more likely that a brilliant mind will show up again (even one that is mildly inferior to the likes of Einstein) than that life itself will appear on some other planet in a multiverse? Yet Dawkins seems to think it likely that more life exists "out there".

I'm not sure what you're getting at here. I think that from the perspective of me, sitting here on this planet where we reproduce and regularly have what we perceive as intelligent beings as offspring, then it certainly does seem like such a thing is more likely, than, say, the appearance of life on another planet. However, what does this have to do with abortion and abortion being natural selection?

equinox wrote:
According to Wikipedia, 46 million cases of abortion happen globally every year. Could this be 46 million cases of natural selection interrupted?

I wouldn't think so. I would think it would be 46 million examples of genetic combinations being selected against.


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Wow, this abortion vs.

Wow, this abortion vs. natural selection thing creeped me out.
Why, you ask?
Cause I just got this VIVID image of a fetus killing the abortion doctor or developing psychic powers to control the mother's mind into keeping it. Man, THAT would be a keen genetic advantage, yo.
I think I've been watching too many episodes of "Supernatural".
wtf


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thanks

SilkyShrew...thanks for the response. Now I need to consider genocide, murder and war in light of natural selection and then, of course, morals.

I was suggesting that it is probably more likely that we will see more brilliant people in this world who will progress our understanding of the world over another world like ours existing. I was reading Dawkins book and Carriers concerning the probability of our world evolving in a multiverse and realizing that the probability that a brilliant mind could likely come out of one (Einstein or Nobel winner for instance) in 46 million is probably pretty good.

I need to read more on this...


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No problem. I think that the

No problem.

I think that the probability for brilliant people on the planet probably is high, and that the probability for those on other planets is probably unpredictable at this point. Brilliant people are not necesarily common, per capita, but we do see our fair share. Keep in mind that we know something about Einstein's brilliance simply because he's in the historical spotlight - however, much like Darwin and other great minds there are brilliant people that they have managed to gain from themselves. There are also brilliant people that history never recognizes, that live common lives and that may make a discovery or have some great insight that never reaches very far or goes into the history books under 'anonymous' - or sometimes, other events in their lives greatly overshadow certain things they may have done. So, while Einstein may seem like a historical novelty ... brilliance is much more common than it may seem at a glance.

Smiling


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Natural Selection, Artificial Selection, or do they apply to us!

Natural Selection, Artificial Selection, or do they apply to us!Anymore that is! I think ideas best describe what forces are most a work in modern human evolution. Dr. Stephen Gould's Puntuated Equalibrium (human's are going through a period were we are so good at manipulating our environment, that there are no environmental pressures driving our evolution). And Howard Bloom's Lucifier Principle (which states that at some point in the recent past, human's evolved past being tribal to becoming super-tribal. that our genes gave way to the memes. ideologies that we can spread through culture. that's all we have for now and until the environment changes us).

A daughter of hope and fear, religion explains to Ignorance the nature of the unknowable. -Ambrose Bierce


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hmmm

ShadowofMan, I am mildly familiar with Gould's Punctuated Equilibrium, but hadn't thought of it in terms of our manipulating influence (maybe artificial selection?) on evolution. That idea is worth some serious consideration in contrast to darwinism as described by Dawkins or SilkyShrew. I'll also check out Bloom's Lucifer Principle. Thanks for the tips.


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ShadowOfMan wrote:Natural

ShadowOfMan wrote:
Natural Selection, Artificial Selection, or do they apply to us!Anymore that is! I think ideas best describe what forces are most a work in modern human evolution. Dr. Stephen Gould's Puntuated Equalibrium (human's are going through a period were we are so good at manipulating our environment, that there are no environmental pressures driving our evolution). And Howard Bloom's Lucifier Principle (which states that at some point in the recent past, human's evolved past being tribal to becoming super-tribal. that our genes gave way to the memes. ideologies that we can spread through culture. that's all we have for now and until the environment changes us).

I liked Bloom's book, but he tends to go past the data (interesting though)

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


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equinox wrote:ShadowofMan, I

equinox wrote:
ShadowofMan, I am mildly familiar with Gould's Punctuated Equilibrium, but hadn't thought of it in terms of our manipulating influence (maybe artificial selection?) on evolution. That idea is worth some serious consideration in contrast to darwinism as described by Dawkins or SilkyShrew. I'll also check out Bloom's Lucifer Principle. Thanks for the tips.

If you don't take Dawkins seriously, (or silky shrew for that matter), then you're just conceding that you yourself don't have much of a handle on the topic.

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'