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fishe
29-08-2007, 06:08 AM
Iím been thinking about this lately Ė basically around what I think of it personally and the moral/ethical sides of the topic in terms of legislation. I donít have any particular reason to be thinking of it, I just thought of a friend I know whoís had one and that got me thinking. Because my ideas are probably incomplete, I thought I would throw them out here and see what the intelligentsia on here think :)

In short my view is: Abortion is justifiable killing.

At length my view is:

First I should probably define what I think killing is. I see everything that isnít inanimate (e.g. rocks) as having life. Therefore, Ďkillingí for me is taking/removing/stoping the life of a plant, animal, human, whatever.

I use the word justifiable above because Iím referring to the fact that I believe abortion can only be seen as killing (as defined above); killing, or stopping, a life from occurring. I believe that stopping the Ďorganismí at any point from fertilisation onwards is killing, as it will continue to develop into a human without this intervention (of course, barring other external factors).

So I donít buy in to any of the arguments around when life or consciousness actually begins as I see these as a means of rationalising the fact that we are stopping a life from occurring. Iím more in favour of simply calling it what it is, killing.

However, Iím willing to label it justifiable killing. We kill all the time Ė for warmth, for shelter, for food. While I agree that human life has the highest value, I donít believe itís beyond justification for killing. The problem here, and this is something Iím still grappling with, is what constitutes a valid justification. It probably just has to be the choice of the individual.

The final part of my thinking is that abortion however itís posited should never be taken lightly. It should never become an easy option, a popular remedy. Of course these ideas need to be balanced with making it accessible to all the right people with the necessary and very important support structures in place (e.g. medical and counselling services).


Thoughts please, thanks.

zhao
29-08-2007, 10:20 AM
i think anytime before it leaves the womb it is not a human yet. and it is OK to force quit.

also, what we need desperately is a children of men scenario - neuter everyone now!!!

IdleRich
29-08-2007, 10:29 AM
"i think anytime before it leaves the womb it is not a human yet. and it is OK to force quit."
I think that that's far too simplistic an approach.
I'm inclined to agree more with Fishe - for most liberals it's an automatic knee-jerk no-brainer that abortion is ok but I think that it's not quite as simple as that. Certainly at some point a foetus becomes alive - maybe not a person but alive - and an abortion is killing that foetus and that ought to be recognised and considered. I'm certainly not saying that abortion is wrong but I agree that it ought not to be done lightly.

swears
29-08-2007, 10:50 AM
Isn't there some evidence that a foetus can feel pain a certain amount of time after conception?

fishe
29-08-2007, 11:33 AM
Isn't there some evidence that a foetus can feel pain a certain amount of time after conception?

I'm no expert in this area, but yes, it's possible to prove foetus' can feel pain from some point on during their time in the womb - not sure when - and of course there's the problem of defining pain. Is pain just nerve response, or nerve response and conscious recognition etc.?

When consciousness develops is still very much up in the air, given that we know so little about it and its mechanisms.

And what if we could say without a shadow of doubt that, for instance, at 25 weeks a foetus is conscious and can feel pain. Does that now make it a human? What was it at 24.5 weeks? Do we allow abortions right up to the precise 25 week cut off?

It seems like an overly clinical and calculating approach...

zhao
29-08-2007, 11:38 AM
there is also evidence that plants can feel pain.

there was also a conclusive study about plant empathy. fuck fetuses. no i mean don't fuck them, kill them.

dHarry
29-08-2007, 11:53 AM
there is also evidence that plants can feel pain.

there was also a conclusive study about plant empathy.
Where's this evidence? (and don't tell me you mean Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird's The Secret Life Of Plants? :rolleyes: or Stevie Wonder's concept album based on it Journey Through The Secret Life Of Plants!?! :p)

swears
29-08-2007, 11:56 AM
You get babies being born earlier and earlier all the time, so the line between a premature baby and foetus is getting more and more blurred. Abortion isn't really a mainstream political issue in the UK, thankfully. The debate in the US seems to be polarised between a left wing that believe a woman always has the right at any stage of pregnancy, and a right wing that think it is actual child murder. I would say it's not so black and white.

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 11:57 AM
there was also a conclusive study about plant empathy. fuck fetuses. no i mean don't fuck them, kill them.

Have you noticed that plants aren't humans aren't plants yet, Zhao? I'm obviously a fan of self-interested speciesism on this matter. ;)

The foetus = the child = the man. The continuity is obvious. When you kill one you kill the others.

Arguments about consciousness in the womb are obviously undecidable, so it's best to err on the side of caution.

Compare the moral imperative behind anti-global warming - to prevent harm to a putative, unconceived generation - to that around abortion - to prevent harm to a real, unborn generation. There is a mismatch.

john eden
29-08-2007, 12:02 PM
Compare the moral imperative behind anti-global warming - to prevent harm to a putative, unconceived generation - to that around abortion - to prevent harm to a real, unborn generation. There is a mismatch.

I think you are confusing the individual and the collective.

I can imagine that people being able to make informed opinions about whether or not to have an abortion (and indeed whether or not to use contraception) would mean that we would end up with a future generation which is composed of people who were wanted and cared for.

Indeed, the book Freakonomics puts forward a compelling case for the availability of abortion leading to a reduction in violent crime 20 years later.

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 12:08 PM
I think you are confusing the individual and the collective.

I can imagine that people being able to make informed opinions about whether or not to have an abortion (and indeed whether or not to use contraception) would mean that we would end up with a future generation which is composed of people who were wanted and cared for.

Indeed, the book Freakonomics puts forward a compelling case for the availability of abortion leading to a reduction in violent crime 20 years later.

What is the collective composed of, pray tell?

The above is just an argument for eugenics/social engineering, which schemes obviously always turn out really nicely. ;)

Why not just reduce violent crime right now, by doing away with any adults with a record of it?

john eden
29-08-2007, 12:15 PM
What is the collective composed of, pray tell?

The above is just an argument for eugenics/social engineering, which schemes obviously always turn out really nicely. ;)

Why not just reduce violent crime right now, by doing away with any adults with a record of it?

It's not necessarily an argument for eugenics. To my mind it's an argument for creating a society where people are looked after and inequalities of wealth are reduced. But you'd have to read the actual chapter for the full info, research etc.

Just because a collective is composed of individuals doesn't mean that the two are the same thing.

IdleRich
29-08-2007, 12:17 PM
"Indeed, the book Freakonomics puts forward a compelling case for the availability of abortion leading to a reduction in violent crime 20 years later."
Yes, he says that abortion has reduced crime but I'm pretty sure that he also specifically says that he is not advocating abortion as a crime prevention measure or indeed at all. If I remember correctly he makes a big thing about how people from both the left and the right have seized on various points he has made for their own end but he is merely seeking to explain correctly and amorally what has happened in the past.
Of course such a conclusion is loaded but he is saying it is neither a case for or against abortion.

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 12:26 PM
It's not necessarily an argument for eugenics. To my mind it's an argument for creating a society where people are looked after and inequalities of wealth are reduced. But you'd have to read the actual chapter for the full info, research etc.

Just because a collective is composed of individuals doesn't mean that the two are the same thing.

I know that an individual = 1 person and a collective = >1 person AND collective - sum of all its people = 0. Yes?

I'm happy to lose a little collective well-being to gain a few more beings to the collective. :D

Maybe if I could experience the wonders of collective well-being by tapping into the collective (un)consciousness, then I wouldn't be so pro-individual. ;)

In any case, the 'health of society' argument is moot, given that it still does not give one the right to terminate human life, especially as the reasons for doing so are hypothetical.

john eden
29-08-2007, 12:35 PM
In any case, the 'health of society' argument is moot, given that it still does not give one the right to terminate human life, especially as the reasons for doing so are hypothetical.

I am glad you are in favour of a healthy society, mixed biscuits.

But yes, it does seem entirely irrelevant to the matter in hand.

Thank you for raising it. ;)

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 12:42 PM
I am glad you are in favour of a healthy society, mixed biscuits.


You're throwing a nice little do for your buddies and everything's going swimmingly. You're told that there's a couple of potentially 'difficult' people at the door who might just be a little 'problematic' - they might eat too many canapes, drink a little too much wine, dogear your copies of the Socialist Worker. Why spoil the party by inviting them in? Huh?

(That's an analogy btw.) ;)

john eden
29-08-2007, 12:45 PM
You're throwing a nice little do for your buddies and everything's going swimmingly. You're told that there's a couple of potentially 'difficult' people at the door who might just be a little 'problematic' - they might eat too many canapes, drink a little too much wine, dogear your copies of the Socialist Worker. Why spoil the party by inviting them in? Huh?

(That's an analogy btw.) ;)

What, martin and STN?

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 12:51 PM
lol

Even in the impossible event that you had cast-iron proof that the spawn of Satan was to emerge from your least-favourite auntie's nether regions, you would still not be justified in killing it in utero.

Sure, once it gets out and throttles the midwife, you can stamp it to death with impunity. :cool:

swears
29-08-2007, 12:55 PM
The foetus = the child = the man. The continuity is obvious. When you kill one you kill the others.

This argument is flawed because if you followed it to a logical conclusion you'd be getting into "every sperm is sacred" territory, and everybody would be having as many children as possible, because otherwise you are not allowing people to exist. Which is absurd.



Arguments about consciousness in the womb are obviously undecidable, so it's best to err on the side of caution.



This is the area the debate should be focusing on, I think.

john eden
29-08-2007, 12:57 PM
lol

Even in the impossible event that you had cast-iron proof that the spawn of Satan was to emerge from your least-favourite auntie's nether regions, you would still not be justified in killing it in utero.

Sure, once it gets out and throttles the midwife, you can stamp it to death with impunity. :cool:

Perhaps we've gone down the wrong track here.

I doubt very much that anyone puts themselves through an abortion because they believe their child will be evil.

However, in my experience, many women have had abortions because they believe they won't be able to love and/or care for the child. That doesn't seem like a good option for either the mother or the child.

To me that is a very sad situation, and one I would like to see reduced in frequency by improvements to contraception and sex education.

I think the balance as it stands with UK abortion law is probably correct, and should be defended.

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 01:02 PM
This argument is flawed because if you followed it to a logical conclusion you'd be getting into "every sperm is sacred" territory, and everybody would be having as many children as possible, because otherwise you are not allowing people to exist. Which is absurd.

If you leave a sperm on its own for a year, you won't find some gurgling babe there one morning. I'm referring to the fertilised egg and its (barring natural disaster) inevitable progression to adulthood. ;)



'consciousness in the womb debate'

Well, it's an interesting debate but it's ultimately undecidable, so of little use in the matter at hand. The inner life of a foetus is inaccessible to us, just as the inner world of the bat is (per Thomas Nagel).

Furthermore, 'feeling pain' must not the sole criterion of a 'valid existence,' for obvious reasons.

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 01:07 PM
However, in my experience, many women have had abortions because they believe they won't be able to love and/or care for the child. That doesn't seem like a good option for either the mother or the child.


It's all so beautifully altruistic: 'I can't care for the child, so I will kill it.' Nice.

If the 'collective' is worth its salt, it can do its best to step into the breach: for instance, through adoption.

martin
29-08-2007, 01:08 PM
Can't we make these foetuses do a means test or something?

swears
29-08-2007, 01:19 PM
If you leave a sperm on its own for a year, you won't find some gurgling babe there one morning. I'm referring to the fertilised egg and its (barring natural disaster) inevitable progression to adulthood. ;)





But at an early stage the embryo is little more than a tiny cluster of cells, conception isn't some magical process that suddenly makes it sacred. That embryo might develop into a human being, but a sperm might as well.

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 01:22 PM
That embryo might develop into a human being, but a sperm might as well.

Only if it hooks up with an egg. It's doomed if goes it alone - I've seen many a brave sperm try and fail.

I'm 'little more' than a big cluster of cells. ;) The embryo *is* the human being, just as the tadpole is the frog.

john eden
29-08-2007, 01:23 PM
It's all so beautifully altruistic: 'I can't care for the child, so I will kill it.' Nice.

If the 'collective' is worth its salt, it can do its best to step into the breach: for instance, through adoption.

"I can't care for a child, so I will ensure I don't have one."

IdleRich
29-08-2007, 01:25 PM
"But at an early stage the embryo is little more than a tiny cluster of cells, conception isn't some magical process that suddenly makes it sacred."
Well, maybe not but as it starts off as a cluster of cells that may morally be killed and finishes off as a human which may not then presumably there must be some "magical process" that makes it sacred somewhere along the line right?

john eden
29-08-2007, 01:26 PM
Only if it hooks up with an egg.


I thinik "the collective" should step in and ensure that all sperm have a decent chance of hooking up with an egg.

It's only fair.

swears
29-08-2007, 01:29 PM
Only if it hooks up with an egg. It's doomed if goes it alone - I've seen many a brave sperm try and fail.

I'm 'little more' than a big cluster of cells. ;) The embryo *is* the human being, just as the tadpole is the frog.

I meant that a sperm may well inseminate an embryo and develop into a human being given the chance, that doesn't make it sacred.

Yes but what makes you more than a big cluster of cells? Simply the fact that you were conceived? Doesn't it also require you to develop some form of consiousness and form relationships with other humans?

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 01:30 PM
"I can't care for a child, so I will ensure I don't have one."

Yes, by not making one in the first place like family-planning n00bs.

swears
29-08-2007, 01:32 PM
...there must be some "magical process" that makes it sacred somewhere along the line right?

This is the grey area the debate should focus on in scientific and ethical terms.

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 01:35 PM
I meant that a sperm may well inseminate an embryo and develop into a human being given the chance, that doesn't make it sacred.

Yes but what makes you more than a big cluster of cells? Simply the fact that you were conceived? Doesn't it also require you to develop some form of consiousness and form relationships with other humans?

Once again, the consciousness question is undecidable and thus irrelevant. If you can explain how science could actually definitively convey 'what a foetus feels' then it could be brought back into the equation. I don't think it ever could (for Nagel's reasons).

'Forming relationships with humans' hmm...would you do away with the irritating little brats that are occasionally found incompetently raised by wolves?

john eden
29-08-2007, 01:35 PM
Yes, by not making one in the first place like family-planning n00bs.

Well we've already agreed that there should be improvements to contraception and sex education I think.

But accidents can happen in the heat of the moment, nonetheless.

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 01:39 PM
But accidents can happen in the heat of the moment, nonetheless.

True, but in this case you are not justified in walking away from the wreckage, Lee Hughes-style.

john eden
29-08-2007, 01:41 PM
True, but in this case you are not justified in walking away from the wreckage, Lee Hughes-style.

I don't think the process you describe is that simple.

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 01:44 PM
I don't think the process you describe is that simple.

The long and short of it is that foetus => child => man/foetus = child = man and that terminating one is finishing with all.

However many practical difficulties that might come about in attempting to provide for a human being do not justify killing it. That much is clear.

john eden
29-08-2007, 01:47 PM
I meant "walking away".

Nobody I know has taken that decision lightly.

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 01:52 PM
I meant "walking away".

Nobody I know has taken that decision lightly.

Yeah, I do appreciate that. :(

I am effectively arguing that it should be a decision that is taken for them, which is harsh but, ultimately, fair (only given that the alternative is manifestly unfair).

john eden
29-08-2007, 01:57 PM
Yeah, I do appreciate that. :(

I am effectively arguing that it should be a decision that is taken for them, which is harsh but, ultimately, fair (only given that the alternative is manifestly unfair).

What you are proposing is that the state forces people to have babies that they don't want. Which also seems unfair.

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 01:59 PM
What you are proposing is that the state forces people to have babies that they don't want. Which also seems unfair.

Well, only in the same way that the state forces adults to not do away with other adults who they don't want. Which I find equally unfair. :(

john eden
29-08-2007, 02:03 PM
Well, only in the same way that the state forces people to keep alive other people who they don't want. Which I find equally unfair. :(

Fair enough if you see it like that, but people I know who have had a miscarriage early on in their pregnancy have been less upset by that than having a friend or relative die.

The state doesn't see the two scenarios as the same and neither do I.

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 02:08 PM
Fair enough if you see it like that, but people I know who have had a miscarriage early on in their pregnancy have been less upset by that than having a friend or relative die.


Yes, and I would be less upset by the murder of some friendless itinerant than that of my mum. Despite that, both acts are equally wrong; both endings equally tragic.

wheninrome
29-08-2007, 02:09 PM
Fair enough if you see it like that, but people I know who have had a miscarriage early on in their pregnancy have been less upset by that than having a friend or relative die.

The state doesn't see the two scenarios as the same and neither do I.

Ah, but you see - if abortion is murder then a miscarrage is involuntary manslaughter. If the state wasnt so 'liberal' that'd carry a sentence of 5-10 years hard graft at least.

Y'see, once women become preganant they automatically give up all rights of control over what goes on in their bodies... :rolleyes:

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 02:21 PM
I can roll my eyes too.

Look: :rolleyes:

!

It's quite good fun.

Mr. Tea
29-08-2007, 02:40 PM
Ah, but you see - if abortion is murder then a miscarrage is involuntary manslaughter. If the state wasnt so 'liberal' that'd carry a sentence of 5-10 years hard graft at least.

Y'see, once women become preganant they automatically give up all rights of control over what goes on in their bodies... :rolleyes:

Que? What complete rubbish. People die all the time without it being 'manslaughter'.

No-one's claiming that women don't have the right to control what happens in their bodies: the argument is that once a woman is pregnant, there is someone else in her body. Whether than 'semi-person', or potential person, has all the rights of a human being, or some of them, or no rights at all, is the matter under discussion. But claiming that the ethics of abortion are about the woman (or even the woman and the would-be father) and no-one else is ludicrous.

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 05:13 PM
Well said, Mr T.

zhao
29-08-2007, 05:21 PM
Whether than 'semi-person', or potential person, has all the rights of a human being, or some of them, or no rights at all, is the matter under discussion.

well my point is that there are, right now, millions upon millions of "complete", "fully grown", "adult" human beings that live without rights, in abject poverty, starvation. and that their rights should take precedence over these "semi" or "potential" human beings.

Mr. Tea
29-08-2007, 06:15 PM
Umm, I don't think anyone's saying that we should protect unborn babies at the expense of starving oppressed poor people in the more fucked-up parts of the world. I don't think the two are mutually exclusive (not that all foetuses have to be protected if they're going to be born to women who don't want them or wouldn't be able to cope with them).

Your argument would be more effective in favour of abortion - or, better still, contraception! - in those parts of the world where starvation, oppression etc. widely occur, which also tend to be the places where populations are most rapidly increasing. In much of the developed world (significantly, excluding the US) populations are rapidly aging and even shrinking because of falling birth rates - just look at the trouble Japan's in. Of course, in terms of resource use and pollution the world can afford another African or Indian much better than it can afford another European or American, but that's another issue (though obviously an extremely pressing one).

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 06:24 PM
not that all foetuses have to be protected if they're going to be born to women who don't want them or wouldn't be able to cope with them

Ugh - absurd hedging. If foetuses are to have rights, they obviously apply across the board.

If the mother can't cope, others should work to help her out. If the mother doesn't want the child, then others can care for it.

Mr. Tea
29-08-2007, 06:32 PM
Ugh - absurd hedging. If foetuses are to have rights, they obviously apply across the board.

If the mother can't cope, others should work to help her out. If the mother doesn't want the child, then others can care for it.

Yeah, I suppose that was a bit of a cop-out - I used to totally anti-abortion but I've come round to thinking it might be a necessary thing. I agree that there are always lots of couples who want to adopt babies, and that demand outstrips supply (to put it crudely), but even so, it's a lot for a woman to go through to be pregnant for a whole term and actually give birth only to have to give it away.

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 06:35 PM
but even so, it's a lot for a woman to go through to be pregnant for a whole term and actually give birth only to have to give it away.

Well, she could always change her mind (is this in law?).

Mr. Tea
29-08-2007, 06:38 PM
Well, she could always change her mind (is this in law?).

Well yes, but that won't change her circumstances, which are presumably sufficiently awkward (i.e. parenthood-unfriendly) for her to be considering abortion/adoption in the first place.

mixed_biscuits
29-08-2007, 06:40 PM
Well yes, but that won't change her circumstances, which are presumably sufficiently awkward (i.e. parenthood-unfriendly) for her to be considering abortion/adoption in the first place.

That's a different matter entirely.

Freakaholic
29-08-2007, 09:21 PM
But two points.

First, there seems to be an underlying assumption here of the importance of human life in the grand scheme of things. Any question of abortion, for me, hangs on the question of the importance of human life. I tend to see us (humans) as another evolutionary mistake, just like any other species. Consciousness, too, is an evolutionary mistake that allowed us to stop adapting to our surroundings and gave us awareness of our surroundings so we could adapt them. If humans are just another species, and consciousness does not give us a moral or ethical imperative to spare human lives, then what is the real question here? I think one has to weigh, then, the positive and negative effects on the potential person's life, and the lives of those that are creating it.

Which brings me to my second point. In the end, i never have to have an abortion, not having a womb and all (i tried letting the fetus gestate in a box, didnt work). So i never have to atually make the decision. I think its important to realize that, as much as we discuss the positives and negatives of abortion, its the woman who has to do it. She has more at stake than anyone else. I think, for this reason, in the end, it should be each individual woman's decision. I rarely fall in line with political bandwagons and the party-line rhetoric of these "issues," but in this case i think the "Pro-choice" line is right - generally not for the same reasons, but because in the end, im not going to tell a woman she cannot do something with her body, or that she should. If i were to be in the predicament, i would definitely have my opinion, but in the end, its the woman's decision.

fishe
29-08-2007, 11:10 PM
gah, the problems of being in an opposing time zone from the majority of you lot! I'm lost in the sea of ideas now. Will try and read and contribute more later :D

Mr. Tea
30-08-2007, 01:56 PM
But two points.

First, there seems to be an underlying assumption here of the importance of human life in the grand scheme of things. Any question of abortion, for me, hangs on the question of the importance of human life. I tend to see us (humans) as another evolutionary mistake...
Eh? 'Mistake' according to whose criteria? To call something a mistake implies that something has not gone to plan - whose 'plan' has gone awry here? Describing something as a mistake or a success is to place human values on it; I think you've tried so hard to be anti-anthropocentric you've ironically started sounding very anthropocentric indeed.


Which brings me to my second point. In the end, i never have to have an abortion, not having a womb and all (i tried letting the fetus gestate in a box, didnt work). So i never have to atually make the decision....
But as I said a few posts ago, the woman is not the only party whose rights have to be taken into consideration here. On the previous page someone made a comment along the lines of "a woman should have the absolute right to decide what goes on in her body" - couldn't a wifebeater just as well say "I should have the absolute right to do as I please in my own home"? The extent to which a foetus has or doesn't have rights is open to discussion, but to claim that abortion is solely about the woman's rights is to automatically assume, without justification, that the foetus has no rights at all. If you can put together a good argument as to why this should be the case, then by all means do so, but to tacitly assume it is the case is avoiding the argument altogether.

swears
30-08-2007, 01:59 PM
"someone made a comment along the lines of "a woman should have the absolute right to decide what goes on in her body" - couldn't a wifebeater just as well say "I should have the absolute right to do as I please in my own home"?

:slanted:

Mr. Tea
30-08-2007, 04:29 PM
"someone made a comment along the lines of "a woman should have the absolute right to decide what goes on in her body" - couldn't a wifebeater just as well say "I should have the absolute right to do as I please in my own home"?

:slanted:

(yay, self-quoting...)

I'm not, by any means, trying to put abortion and wifebeating in the same moral category, obviously.
My point is that "I should control what goes on in my body" and "I should control what goes on in my house" both sound like perfectly reasonable statements, to the point that you can't really argue against them, until you consider that the rights of someone else may be affected by what you do in your own body/house.

Freakaholic
30-08-2007, 04:57 PM
Eh? 'Mistake' according to whose criteria? To call something a mistake implies that something has not gone to plan - whose 'plan' has gone awry here? Describing something as a mistake or a success is to place human values on it; I think you've tried so hard to be anti-anthropocentric you've ironically started sounding very anthropocentric indeed.

Ahh, my word choice was a bit poor. I did not mean to imply any sort of "plan gone awry". More of an "accident" than a "mistake," then?


But as I said a few posts ago, the woman is not the only party whose rights have to be taken into consideration here. On the previous page someone made a comment along the lines of "a woman should have the absolute right to decide what goes on in her body" - couldn't a wifebeater just as well say "I should have the absolute right to do as I please in my own home"? The extent to which a foetus has or doesn't have rights is open to discussion, but to claim that abortion is solely about the woman's rights is to automatically assume, without justification, that the foetus has no rights at all. If you can put together a good argument as to why this should be the case, then by all means do so, but to tacitly assume it is the case is avoiding the argument altogether.

I would not claim that anyone has "absolute rights" to anything, except perhaps their thoughts. For now. But I dont think that I was saying that, or that the issue is "solely about the woman's rights". But I try to make a connection between the idea that humans are an accident and the lack of foetal rights. The good of the potential parents and the quality of potential life heavily outweigh any implicit "rights" that being conceived may bring, in my opinion, because of the lack of importance i place on any individual human's life. Therefore, i see it as a question of who it affects. And, not being a woman, i can never know the full effects. And that is why i think that, while discussion and adding input, and possibly even having a say in some cases is important, the final decision should lie with the person whos body it is.

Kinda tired this morning, so i hope that makes sense.

Mr. Tea
30-08-2007, 05:13 PM
Ahh, so then would it be reasonable to summarise your position (if may take such a liberty :)) as "quality, not quantity" when it comes to human life? That extinguishing some potential human lives (with birth providing a convenient cut-off point between potential and actual life) while bringing up others that will be cared for and given a decent chance is better than demanding that *all* foetuses be taken to term, even though some of them will be unwanted and (adoption notwithstanding) probably have rotten lives as a result?

And as a lemma to this, where do you stand on totally unsuitable parents - the sort of people who, by this argument, really ought to have the pregnancy aborted - who insist on having kids anyway?

Freakaholic
30-08-2007, 05:21 PM
Ahh, so then would it be reasonable to summarise your position (if may take such a liberty :)) as "quality, not quantity" when it comes to human life? That extinguishing some potential human lives (with birth providing a convenient cut-off point between potential and actual life) while bringing up others that will be cared for and given a decent chance is better than demanding that *all* foetuses be taken to term, even though some of them will be unwanted and (adoption notwithstanding) probably have rotten lives as a result?

And as a lemma to this, where do you stand on totally unsuitable parents - the sort of people who, by this argument, really ought to have the pregnancy aborted - who insist on having kids anyway?

Thats an interesting way of putting it, and i dont think, on the surface, i have any problems with that.

I am a proponent of enforced sterilization, or at least restricted reproduction.

Some interesting, if not humourous, input on this from Chris Korda (of Ghostly International and Spectral):

http://www.churchofeuthanasia.org

Check out his e-sermon on Humans as Cancer (http://www.churchofeuthanasia.org/e-sermons/humcan.html)

Gavin
30-08-2007, 07:10 PM
"someone made a comment along the lines of "a woman should have the absolute right to decide what goes on in her body" - couldn't a wifebeater just as well say "I should have the absolute right to do as I please in my own home"?

:slanted:

The analogy doesn't follow, but you might be interested to know that in some places in the U.S. (Ohio is one), any woman seeking to have an abortion must obtain consent of the "father." If she is unsure of the father, she has to submit a list of all her past partners who are then subject to paternity tests.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Ohio is experiencing a boom in teen pregnancy.

Whoever said the issue in the U.S. is black and white is off the mark; very few people are adamantly pro-choice anymore (just as very few people are adamantly feminist), and many states have rolled back abortion rights so much as to make them practically impossible (having one clinic in the entire state, all manner of bureaucratic rules). The Democrats are completely shaky on this point, and conventional wisdom is rapidly shifting to outlawing it, or at least heavily restricting it. Roe v. Wade will go the way of Brown v. Board in at least 15 years.

ripley
30-08-2007, 07:50 PM
Two points

1. discussing adoption as an alternate to abortion is inappropriate.
Carrying a child to term inside one's body for 9 months and going though the process of giving birth is a life-threatening, as well as seriously costly experience, and most of the cost can only be borne by the body of the mother, it cannot be shared. Forcing women to bear that cost is a serious step, and is not equal to the cost to the woman of undergoing an abortion.

2. more generally, preventing women from having abortions they want must be recognized as something which disproportionately affects women, especially with respect to their bodies (including, again, risk of death). This has serious implications for women's autonomy in the world we live in, in contrast with men. Even if one could rely on fathers sticking around and providing 50% material support (something which society does not appear to require of them), point 1 still is a factor -w hat about one's life in that 9 months? Even setting aside the distasteful way people discuss babies as "punishment" - what are the ethic of system that punishes mothers so much more than fathers?

tate
30-08-2007, 08:12 PM
Whoever said the issue in the U.S. is black and white is off the mark; very few people are adamantly pro-choice anymore (just as very few people are adamantly feminist), and many states have rolled back abortion rights so much as to make them practically impossible (having one clinic in the entire state, all manner of bureaucratic rules).
Typical mis-statement I've come to associate with dissensians: "[in the US] . . . very few people are adamantly pro-choice anymore." What? Total bullshit. How do you quantify "very few people" in the US anyway? If you're a Brit, you don't know what you're talking about, if you're in the US, you must live under a rock (and yes i've read your many posts and pieces for stylus etc etc - which makes your statement even more bizarre). The current supreme court composition is indeed scary and completely fraudulent as an intellectual entity (thomas, roberts, and scalia are a joke, on an intellectual level, as far as i am concerned), but let's not go around saying that "very few people are adamantly pro-choice" in the US anymore, b/c that's simply not correct.

Nice points by Ripley, by the way, as always.

Gavin
30-08-2007, 08:30 PM
Typical mis-statement I've come to associate with dissensians: "[in the US] . . . very few people are adamantly pro-choice anymore." What? Total bullshit. How do you quantify "very few people" in the US anyway? If you're a Brit, you don't know what you're talking about, if you're in the US, you must live under a rock (and yes i've read your many posts and pieces for stylus etc etc - which makes your statement even more bizarre). The current supreme court composition is indeed scary and completely fraudulent as an intellectual entity (thomas, roberts, and scalia are a joke, on an intellectual level, as far as i am concerned), but let's not go around saying that "very few people are adamantly pro-choice" in the US anymore, b/c that's simply not correct.

Nice points by Ripley, by the way, as always.

Ok, I'll admit I don't discuss the abortion thing very often, but when I do, even the people who defend it take a "yes, but" position. They shuffle uncomfortably, they sense that their arguments ring hollow, and more and more they concede points to the anti-abortionists, or have these stupid "but what about rape and incest" arguments that don't really do anything to shore up the right for legal safe abortions for any woman who wants one. Rarely do women's rights take the place they should (in this thread it took several pages), and it's been a while since I've heard someone pro-abortion articulate that position well -- actually, ripley's post was the best job of that I've seen in a while. Plenty of "liberals" or "democrats" or whatever they want to call themselves are anti-abortion, even (and especially) young people. There's a sense that the battle has already been lost or will be soon and now it's time for a strategic retreat where we hold on to what we can. I'm pretty sure NOW people are already saying this.

And I live in the U.S. and while I haven't been under a rock, I have been in Ohio for a while until recently, which may account for my particular perspective on this.

mixed_biscuits
30-08-2007, 08:38 PM
Two points

1. discussing adoption as an alternate to abortion is inappropriate.
Carrying a child to term inside one's body for 9 months and going though the process of giving birth is a life-threatening, as well as seriously costly experience, and most of the cost can only be borne by the body of the mother, it cannot be shared. Forcing women to bear that cost is a serious step, and is not equal to the cost to the woman of undergoing an abortion.

2. more generally, preventing women from having abortions they want must be recognized as something which disproportionately affects women, especially with respect to their bodies (including, again, risk of death). This has serious implications for women's autonomy in the world we live in, in contrast with men. Even if one could rely on fathers sticking around and providing 50% material support (something which society does not appear to require of them), point 1 still is a factor -w hat about one's life in that 9 months? Even setting aside the distasteful way people discuss babies as "punishment" - what are the ethic of system that punishes mothers so much more than fathers?

Fine, if there is a clear and present danger to the life of the mother, then perhaps abortion is justified (as you are thereby maximising the chances that the number of humans about stays stable).

Temporary physical pain, financial cost (however onerous either might be) and harm to one's 'lifestyle' give as little cause to kill an unborn human being as one that has been born (provided that one believes that their lives are equally important).

You overlook the fact that nobody 'forces' women to get pregnant in the first place. Unless there has been rape, then unwanted pregnancy is due to mismanagement of your own life. If you've screwed up, you deal with it. Why should the baby pay the price?

And regarding fathers sticking around, why not go to the lengths of being pretty sure that who you have conceived a child with is a decent sort who will stick around? And if they aren't, then 'hard cheese - that's life.'

stelfox
30-08-2007, 09:04 PM
yet another instance from ripley of why this board needs more women, and yet another example of why that probably won't happen in the initial post. the pro-life position is way too limited in its scope to take into account the various reasons why abortions happen - and need to happen. very few women take this step lightly or use it as an alternative to contraception 1) because it's pretty inconvenient at the very least 2) because the procedure is pretty harrowing for most who have to undergo it. no one is saying that it's pleasant or good or without implication. however, it can be the responsible thing to do for a variety of different reasons. better no child than an unwanted child or a child that would be at any kind of risk unacceptable to the expectant mother, as far as i can see.

to that latter end, walking through hackney the other day i saw a women who was 8 months pregnant if she was a day smacked out of her tree, with a can of tennents super in hand and an equally drunk and fucked up guy slapping her around (luckily several people stepped in to stop this and i didn't have to cross the road and get involved because it was a pretty ugly scene). was keeping the baby the best option in this scenario?

still, outside of casting judgement on people and their ability to look after a child, which is, although in that particular instance pretty clear-cut to my mind, very knotty territory for the most part (ie what really consitutes "being able to care for a child"? a lot of different things actually and there's no perfect set of criteria either), it's every individual woman's place to say what she does and does not want to go through, not a man's and certainly not that of wider society.

wider society (particularly those members on the anti-abortion side) tends toward the hyperbolic, sentimental and irrational when discussing the "right" to life. this is evident in the continual falling back on a belief in god as sole architect/destroyer of life as a way of blanking out life's difficult and uncomfortable realities and the way that new or potential life is privileged over that which is pre-existent. this last point doesn't make a great deal of sense at all. the risk to a woman's health of carrying a child to term is a very important issue here. sure, in the affluent west, we're not living in the 18th century any more and comparatively few women die in childbirth. however, it can still happen, and in significantly more cases giving birth can, while not actually killing the mother, do a hell of a lot of damage to future health. ante-natal care being such as it is these days, most women are made aware of any such problems in advance and those kinds of risks are up to a woman to weigh up and decide upon. after all, if having a baby is going to kill a woman how can anyone say that she has to see the pregnancy through? isn't that "justifiable murder", too? also adoption isn't a straightforward issue for women carrying unwanted babies, either. it has many implications, political and personal.

of course, we'd all rather live in a world where abortions weren't happening because they're not pleasant things to have to think about, but sometimes life is about making the least unpleasant of several unpleasant choices. just because things aren't fluffy and nice doesn't mean that they're not necessary. also, it's always best to avoid standing in judgement over those kinds of choices because you never know when you might have to make them yourself, just as you can never fully understand another person's experiences or circumstances.

mixed_biscuits
30-08-2007, 09:21 PM
it's every individual woman's right to say what she does and does not want to go through, not a man's and certainly not that of wider society.

First of all, it is quite often men and wider society that enable abortions for women. ;)

Regarding rights, individual women could attempt to opt out of society and assume any rights that they want but, if they succeeded in doing so, they would lie outside of the ethical sphere (ethics deals with our conduct in society) and the ethical problem of abortion would no longer be under discussion.


new or potential life is privileged over that which is pre-existent. this doesn't make a great deal of sense at all.

Personally, I'm not arguing for privileging life-in-the-womb over life-outside-it. I'm merely arguing for parity, as I can't see how we can reasonably make a definitive distinction between the human-being-in-development (from the moment of conception until 18 or so) and the grown human-being-in-decline (anything after, like me :(). I would accord equal rights and make any ethical decisions from that premise, including decisions made on the basis of a threat to the mother's health.

Thought experiment: in the future, no woman need gestate her child. The embryo is developed artificially, away from the mother's body. What rights will be accorded to the developing foetus?

Gavin
30-08-2007, 09:59 PM
Thought experiment: in the future, no woman need gestate her child. The embryo is developed artificially, away from the mother's body. What rights will be accorded to the developing foetus?

Copyrights.

mixed_biscuits
30-08-2007, 10:20 PM
Copyrights.

Hah - and you bet they will be enforced as strongly on the first day of its existence as on its last! ;)

Mr. Cheese
30-08-2007, 10:28 PM
I think this oft-repeated phrase is a bit ridiculous:

ďA woman should have the absolute right to decide what to do with her bodyĒ

Does anyone think this should be the case if she is eight months pregnant? Itís an OK rule of thumb, but I find that itís all too often used as a conversation killer.

mixed_biscuits
30-08-2007, 10:39 PM
I think this oft-repeated phrase is a bit ridiculous:

“A woman should have the absolute right to decide what to do with her body”

Does anyone think this should be the case if she is eight months pregnant? It’s an OK rule of thumb, but I find that it’s all too often used as a conversation killer.

As Mr Tea said earlier, the problem is that there is another body inside her body - and the former is, more so than not, a separate entity (which is, after all, why you can usually cause it fatal harm with no long-lasting damage to its host).

IdleRich
31-08-2007, 10:17 AM
Ripley said "what are the ethic of system that punishes mothers so much more than fathers?"
It is nature that puts the baby in the mother rather than the father - that may not be fair but you cannot say it is unethical. For me the first question is whether or not it is ok under certain circumstances to kill a foetus before it is born. This question is prior to any other. If (like mixed_biscuits) you think it's not ok then - unfortunately - women have to bear the brunt of that decision.
What you are saying is "It would be unethical for women to suffer more than a man after they have both been equally responsible for her pregnancy - therefore it is ok to kill a foetus" - do you think that that argument is valid? I think it's putting the cart before the horse and a distraction from the real question.

Mr. Tea
31-08-2007, 01:39 PM
2. more generally, preventing women from having abortions they want must be recognized as something which disproportionately affects women

I guess IR has just made this point, but it struck me as well: surely pregnancy itself is something "disproportionately affects women"? At the risk of stating the obvious, it's men that get women pregnant, but it's women that actually get pregnant...

ripley
01-09-2007, 06:57 AM
It is nature that puts the baby in the mother rather than the father - that may not be fair but you cannot say it is unethical. For me the first question is whether or not it is ok under certain circumstances to kill a foetus before it is born. This question is prior to any other. If (like mixed_biscuits) you think it's not ok then - unfortunately - women have to bear the brunt of that decision.

it's not that women HAVE to, it's that society is organized in a way to force women to bear the brunt. If abortion is a choice woman can make, i.e. is society is organized differently, then they clearly don't have to bear quite so much.

of course, if life was overall organized so that it was easier to be a parent that also would reduce abortions, and would have the added bonus of not forcing women to bear children.


What you are saying is "It would be unethical for women to suffer more than a man after they have both been equally responsible for her pregnancy - therefore it is ok to kill a foetus" - do you think that that argument is valid? I think it's putting the cart before the horse and a distraction from the real question.

It is what I'm saying, and it is not at all the cart before the horse. because the suffering is a matter of society, and not biology. So the ethics have to do with what is avoidable, and what kinds of overall outcomes will occur based on what society. Pretending that mothers and fathers are in equal positions with respect to pregnancy is at least naive, and at worst, dangerous because it denies that.

in "nature" of course, women would lose far more pregnancies than they do now, but we don't allow nature to dictate when a wanted fetus is threatened. We don't say "oh that's just nature in action" when women rush to the hospital to preserve the pregnancy when they go into premature labor or have problem with their pregnancy. It's the organization of society. It's not nature that prevents women from having access to abortion, either.

edited to add - I'm not talking about "ok to kill a fetus" so much as urging a more realistic and ground concept of ethics, that takes into account the unequal positions of the parties involved. Some folks are quite willing to consider the unequal position of a fetus, but have more trouble taking into account the unequal position of women in this situation. Fetuses may survive or not based on a variety of decisions outside factors like stress, nutrition, environment, etc, and also pure accident. Forcing a woman to bear an unwanted fetus is not a decision by the fetus, it is a decision by another person (or persons). Arguing that those other persons have more rights than the woman subjugates women in society.

the one thing mixed biscuits has right is that if fetuses were grown in vats this would be a much simpler ethical issue, but we're not there yet by a long shot. (so long as child-rearing is women's work it would still have gender implications too)

mixed_biscuits
01-09-2007, 10:45 AM
the one thing mixed biscuits has right

Hey, hold it right there, I'm right about everything! ;)

I don't think your points have much bearing on the ethics of the situation. The ethical demand that considers the foetus' life more important than others' convenience would hold regardless of the type of person who invokes it, whether they are male, female, premiership footballer or dwarf.

Furthermore, that the foetus is 'unwanted' should not be, in itself, reason enough to justify terminating it. After all, as the law stands, a woman cannot proclaim that a 30 week old foetus is 'unwanted' and thereby be allowed to dispose of it. Being 'unwanted' is obviously not a sufficient condition in itself. It is only because younger foetuses are considered to be 'less than human' in a significant way that abortions are held to be justified. As I can't see how they can be reasonably considered in this way, I am against abortion. It is our conception (heh) of the foetus that is the deciding factor.

I still don't know why, if women are dead set against having a baby, they don't just make a special effort to avoid getting knocked up in the first place. Unless the pregnancy is forced, it's just a question of mismanagement.

IdleRich
01-09-2007, 01:37 PM
"it's not that women HAVE to, it's that society is organized in a way to force women to bear the brunt. If abortion is a choice woman can make, i.e. is society is organized differently, then they clearly don't have to bear quite so much."
No, read what I said again.


"If (like mixed_biscuits) you think it's not ok (to kill a foetus) then - unfortunately - women have to bear the brunt of that decision."
What you have said is not an argument about the "then" not following from the "if", you are refusing to accept the "if".
Which you are free to do of course, but it doesn't change the fact that if it is immoral to kill a foetus then that leaves pregnant women stuck.
I'm not pro-life by the way but that leaves me having to face the uncomfortable realisation that I think in some circumstances it is ok to kill a foetus. I'd like to be able to justify that to myself and I'm not sure you can argue it from the fact that "otherwise it is not fair on women" (Though my girlfriend says that you can).

Gavin
01-09-2007, 06:43 PM
Hey, hold it right there, I'm right about everything! ;)

I don't think your points have much bearing on the ethics of the situation. The ethical demand that considers the foetus' life more important than others' convenience would hold regardless of the type of person who invokes it, whether they are male, female, premiership footballer or dwarf.

Furthermore, that the foetus is 'unwanted' should not be, in itself, reason enough to justify terminating it. After all, as the law stands, a woman cannot proclaim that a 30 week old foetus is 'unwanted' and thereby be allowed to dispose of it. Being 'unwanted' is obviously not a sufficient condition in itself. It is only because younger foetuses are considered to be 'less than human' in a significant way that abortions are held to be justified. As I can't see how they can be reasonably considered in this way, I am against abortion. It is our conception (heh) of the foetus that is the deciding factor.

I still don't know why, if women are dead set against having a baby, they don't just make a special effort to avoid getting knocked up in the first place. Unless the pregnancy is forced, it's just a question of mismanagement.

The implicit (occasionally explicit) assumption of your posts is that women have abortions because a baby would be too "inconvenient" or because they were too lazy/stupid to use birth control (and thus deserve the "punishment" of a baby which the man, who in many cases decided not to wrap his own shit up, faces nothing of the sort, by your own previous admission). These one-dimensional characterizations really need to be left out of any meaningful debate on abortion.

mixed_biscuits
01-09-2007, 08:10 PM
The implicit (occasionally explicit) assumption of your posts is that women have abortions because a baby would be too "inconvenient".

Well, if it isn't because of a risk to the mother's life, then isn't an abortion sought, in the final analysis, because of the 'inconvenience', greater or lesser, to either the parents and/or society at large?

Presumably getting pregnant when you didn't intend to involves a mistake (by definition) somewhere along the line, and the woman is normally complicit in the whole affair - or am I missing something?

In any case, my argument on the identity of the foetus and the grown man underpins my view and trumps more minor concerns - this is what you should be attacking, not the connotations of some of the language that I use (which is normally intentional, for my own amusement).

Mr. Tea
03-09-2007, 05:58 PM
The implicit (occasionally explicit) assumption of your posts is that women have abortions because a baby would be too "inconvenient" or because they were too lazy/stupid to use birth control (and thus deserve the "punishment" of a baby which the man, who in many cases decided not to wrap his own shit up, faces nothing of the sort, by your own previous admission). These one-dimensional characterizations really need to be left out of any meaningful debate on abortion.

But for a man to get a woman pregnant, in Britain at any rate, is not without consequences for him, as he can (in theory, at least) be chased up by the Child Support Agency.

And all this talk of the woman being 'punished' if she doesn't have the option of aborting an unwanted pregnancy - surely the foetus is being punished (capitally, in fact) if she does terminate it? And if anyone has made a mistake, it is surely the would-be parents (yes, both of them, obviously) rather than the would-be child?

I'm not actually in the anti-abortion camp myself (I'd rather call it that than the ridculously vague 'pro-life' - I mean, who calls themselves 'pro-death', for fuck's sake?), I just find the arguments used by some of the more vociferous pro-choicers a bit specious.

ripley
06-09-2007, 05:19 AM
Hey, hold it right there, I'm right about everything! ;)

I don't think your points have much bearing on the ethics of the situation. The ethical demand that considers the foetus' life more important than others' convenience would hold regardless of the type of person who invokes it, whether they are male, female, premiership footballer or dwarf.

first, you persist in discussing "convenience." please stop ignoring the fact that it childbearing is actually life-threatening, first of all. And beyond that 9 months of incredibly intimate and constant servitude (in which your body is 24hour at the service of another in what is often painful and tiring ways), loss of job and livelihood, loss of educational opportunity, potential loss of partner or other social connections (having a baby can be totally isolating), these are not trivial. Do you really think that all that goes into bearing and raising a child is :convenience"? isn't it rather more important than that? if it is so important, why should it be enforced on a happenstance?

beyond that, your equation (fetus vs. all) is a false and easy one. that equation leads to systematic inequality, because it does not account for all the costs to people involved in creating a fetus, and how those costs are distributed. it's not just fetus vs. others' individual rights, it is fetus vs. the systematic enforcement of women's inequality - and that inequality is not "natural" since (as I pointed out before), nature 'allows' abortion alongside lots of other things. It's true nature has only women get pregnant, but after that nature has little to do with fetal survival. In nature, women could kill the foetus any number of ways. this seems hard for people to grasp, but it is society that forces childbearing on women, not nature.

mixed_biscuits
06-09-2007, 07:56 AM
first, you persist in discussing "convenience." please stop ignoring the fact that it childbearing is actually life-threatening, first of all. And beyond that 9 months of incredibly intimate and constant servitude (in which your body is 24hour at the service of another in what is often painful and tiring ways), loss of job and livelihood, loss of educational opportunity, potential loss of partner or other social connections (having a baby can be totally isolating), these are not trivial.

Very seldom life-threatening (at least in the West) - http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/80743.php; inconvenient in different ways, none of which would justify killing anybody out of the womb.

Martin Dust
06-09-2007, 10:08 AM
but it is society that forces childbearing on women, not nature.

Ermmm...What?

bassnation
06-09-2007, 12:23 PM
Very seldom life-threatening (at least in the West) - http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/80743.php; inconvenient in different ways, none of which would justify killing anybody out of the womb.

childbirth is fucking difficult and can be dangerous, either for the child, the mum or both. i've witnessed two births now, and believe me our anatomy makes it very difficult compared to other mammals to get the baby out - mainly the size of the brain and the fact we are bipedal which makes it so. even so recently as 80 years ago 1 in 8 women died during childbirth. theres every indication that its getting more dangerous in the uk, due to the chronic shortage of midwives.

i'm not going to comment on the morality beyond saying its a womans choice. funny how these discussions is always a bunch of men sitting round wailing how wrong it is, when they'll never have to carry a baby or make such a difficult decision as to terminate.

bassnation
06-09-2007, 12:29 PM
I still don't know why, if women are dead set against having a baby, they don't just make a special effort to avoid getting knocked up in the first place. Unless the pregnancy is forced, it's just a question of mismanagement.

this is ludicrous and sexist. so its totally a womans responsbility??? wtf? if more men had the ability to face up to their responsibilities maybe less women would abort. i view statements like yours as being totally indicative of this attitude.

bet you don't have kids either and probably no experience of the soul destroying drudgery that is being a parent, at times. theres already too many fucking people in the world, we don't need more unwanted babies.

Mr. Tea
06-09-2007, 02:03 PM
this is ludicrous and sexist. so its totally a womans responsbility??? wtf? if more men had the ability to face up to their responsibilities maybe less women would abort. i view statements like yours as being totally indicative of this attitude.


I don't think it's sexist, beyond that fact it's 'sexist' that it's women and not men that have babies.
If the consequences of pregnancy affect the woman more than the man (which they clearly do), is it not therefore more the woman's responsibility to avoid pregnancy if she doesn't want to become pregnant?

That said, if the woman actually has the baby, then I'd say she and the father definitely have equal responsility towards it.

bassnation
06-09-2007, 02:28 PM
I don't think it's sexist, beyond that fact it's 'sexist' that it's women and not men that have babies.
If the consequences of pregnancy affect the woman more than the man (which they clearly do), is it not therefore more the woman's responsibility to avoid pregnancy if she doesn't want to become pregnant?

That said, if the woman actually has the baby, then I'd say she and the father definitely have equal responsility towards it.

it takes two people to make a baby and contraception is as easily available for men as it is for women, christ, does no-one use a bloody condom anymore, lol.

its a shared commitment. if men had to carry the baby and commit to bringing up the child like women do, you can bet your mortgage they'd be more in favour of abortion, simple as that. women grow up, men don't. i don't think most people who've argued in favour of the pro-life position would be able to handle that kind of responsibility, to be honest.

Mr. Tea
06-09-2007, 02:42 PM
f men had to carry the baby and commit to bringing up the child like women do, you can bet your mortgage they'd be more in favour of abortion, simple as that.

Two things:
1) If men had babies, they'd be women. It's pointless to hypothesise about this.
2) Most of abortion's most vociferous opponents are women.


women grow up, men don't.

What the hell is that meant to mean? Are you going to start wibbling on about how women can't drive and men can't cook (LOL!!!)?


i don't think most people who've argued in favour of the pro-life position would be able to handle that kind of responsibility, to be honest.
Well if they're that pro-life then they presumably would use contraception if they wanted to avoid having kids, wouldn't you say?

bassnation
06-09-2007, 02:54 PM
What the hell is that meant to mean? Are you going to start wibbling on about how women can't drive and men can't cook (LOL!!!)

let me explain it in simpler terms for you then.

people like you and mixed_biscuits aren't even prepared to take responsbility for your part of the bargain, apparently this is mainly down to the woman. but you are quite happy to sit there wittering about how a woman should put her entire fucking life on hold to bring up a kid. if you can't even commit to one tiny responsibility (and it is as much your thing as hers, lets not beat around the bush) then don't lecture others about what they should commit their entire lives to (in this case a child).

this is what i mean by the fact that most women grow up fast, but a lot of men can't, won't and ultimately, don't.

seems pretty bleeding obvious to me.

and like i said upthread i bet you don't have kids.

Mr. Tea
06-09-2007, 03:05 PM
So from the content of my posts, you've deduced that I never, ever use condoms and basically couldn't care less if I got my girflfriend pregnant. Well done, that's a really Sherlock Holmes-standard bit of detective work, I have to say.

How exactly do you think I'd feel if I unintentionally got a woman pregnant? I specifically mentioned upthread that it's certainly not consequence-free for a man to impregnate a woman - quite apart from the obvious financial aspect of it, there's the far more important emotion involvement in having (potentially) fathered a child.
As I've said before, I think it's a good thing, on balance, that we have abortion available in this country: my corollary to that was that I don't think a lot of the arguments put forward in favour of it are particularly good, and just because I think it ought to be legal, doesn't mean it doesn't still have some thorny ethical issues surrounding it.

Has it occurred to you that I might not want to be the father of an unwanted baby? For you to assume that because I'm questioning some of these issues that I'd happily go around sticking my dick here, there and everywhere and then say "Oh, sorry love, looks like you should have been more careful!" if a pregnancy were to result, is both idiotic and insulting.

Edit: no, I don't have kids. This is because my girlfriend and I - jointly - take responsibility for making sure this doesn't happen. And if I did have kids I'd take good care of them and bring them up to the best of my abilities.

Martin Dust
06-09-2007, 03:59 PM
let me explain it in simpler terms for you then.

people like you and mixed_biscuits aren't even prepared to take responsbility for your part of the bargain, apparently this is mainly down to the woman. but you are quite happy to sit there wittering about how a woman should put her entire fucking life on hold to bring up a kid. if you can't even commit to one tiny responsibility (and it is as much your thing as hers, lets not beat around the bush) then don't lecture others about what they should commit their entire lives to (in this case a child).

this is what i mean by the fact that most women grow up fast, but a lot of men can't, won't and ultimately, don't.

seems pretty bleeding obvious to me.

and like i said upthread i bet you don't have kids.

That's you told, now get to bed with no supper :p

mixed_biscuits
06-09-2007, 04:22 PM
Why is there such a strong correlation between being fervently pro-abortion and failing to use capital letters? :slanted:

Mr. Cheese
06-09-2007, 04:35 PM
Why is there such a strong correlation between being fervently pro-abortion and failing to use capital letters? :slanted:

It’s PoMo, isn’t it? By the way, Mr. Tea is so on the money on this thread he deserves a prize.

mixed_biscuits
06-09-2007, 04:44 PM
Itís PoMo, isnít it? By the way, Mr. Tea is so on the money on this thread he deserves a prize.

PoMo is good in Scrabble now and can therefore be written pomo!

vimothy
06-09-2007, 05:02 PM
I mean, who calls themselves 'pro-death', for fuck's sake?), I just find the arguments used by some of the more vociferous pro-choicers a bit specious.

Pro-death - sounds like a good name for a metal band!

Mr. Tea
06-09-2007, 05:26 PM
Itís PoMo, isnít it? By the way, Mr. Tea is so on the money on this thread he deserves a prize.

Cheers, Mr. Cheese.

nomadologist
06-09-2007, 06:01 PM
oh please. Until any of you find yourself pregnant I don't think your opinions on abortion matter much. It's simply not your decision to make.

Someday when you get pregnant accidentally and can neither afford to take care of a child, nor wish to have one with whomever you may have slept with, get back to me about the "ethical issues" surrounding abortion.

It's always hilarious to read men's opinions on this. Because they are so unqualified.

nomadologist
06-09-2007, 06:02 PM
Itís PoMo, isnít it? By the way, Mr. Tea is so on the money on this thread he deserves a prize.

"pomo" is a perfectly acceptable form of that word

Mr. Tea
06-09-2007, 06:06 PM
It's always hilarious to read men's opinions on this. Because they are so unqualified.

So you have to have experienced something personally to have the right to an opinion on it, do you?
Right, I'm just off to Texas to kill someone so I can get myself on death row and therefore be entitled to an opinion on capital punishment, back on a tick...

nomadologist
06-09-2007, 06:11 PM
The implicit (occasionally explicit) assumption of your posts is that women have abortions because a baby would be too "inconvenient" or because they were too lazy/stupid to use birth control (and thus deserve the "punishment" of a baby which the man, who in many cases decided not to wrap his own shit up, faces nothing of the sort, by your own previous admission). These one-dimensional characterizations really need to be left out of any meaningful debate on abortion.

Yes, this is a huge problem with all of these arguments. There are plenty of medical reasons (I suffer from two of them now and used to suffer from three) why many women can't take hormonal birth control (for example, one was the fact that I was on topamax for bipolar disorder and raging migraines/seizures, and it renders birth control ineffective.)

Because I had no more reliable form of birth control to rely upon other than condoms (which apparently can be defective without you knowing or noticing), I got pregnant once. I knew because I felt TERRIBLE. AWFUL. I couldnt' eat a single bite of food. I felt like I had the worst motion sickness you'd ever experience. And I was only a few weeks along.

So I got an abortion at a clinic. Waves of joy and relief washed over me when that shit was over with. I wasn't put under so it was ridiculously painful, and far from "convenient." I don't mind talking about it because I'm not ashamed and I don't think I did anything wrong. It wasn't a "hard" decision to make, either. I knew immediately that whether a fetus is a person or not is really irrelevant when you're 21-years-old, a barely employed bipolar junkie with no chance in hell that you could raise a child properly in a manner I think all children deserve.

Convenience has nothing to do with it. I don't think adding insult to injury by forcing a child to bear the brunt of my accidents in life is a very ethical thing to do either.

nomadologist
06-09-2007, 06:14 PM
As Mr Tea said earlier, the problem is that there is another body inside her body - and the former is, more so than not, a separate entity (which is, after all, why you can usually cause it fatal harm with no long-lasting damage to its host).

If a fetus is a separate entity, then why does it rely completely on the "host" body for its sustenance?

I've heard fetuses compared to parasites by hardline pro-choicers. And some scientists.

Mr. Tea
06-09-2007, 06:18 PM
Babies are completely dependent on their mothers for several years, aren't they? And after infancy, children are still generally looked after by parents or carers until they leave home.

The argument that a foetus is dependent on another person applies just as well to young children. Hence my mention upthread of cultures where infanticide is acceptable in times of hardship. There really isn't too much of an ethical distinction between killing an advanced foetus and killing a newborn.

Edit: hang around some harrassed parents and you'll hear teenagers described as 'parasites'. ;)

nomadologist
06-09-2007, 06:20 PM
I still don't know why, if women are dead set against having a baby, they don't just make a special effort to avoid getting knocked up in the first place. Unless the pregnancy is forced, it's just a question of mismanagement.

This is ridiculously stupid. There are hundreds of medical reasons why many women cannot take hormonal (the only close to 100% perfect) birth control. In this case, women are forced to rely on known-to-be shaky methods like condoms or the ever-popular "pull out" method (which actually more effective than condoms I've read in certain places). If men want to make sure that no woman decides to abort a fetus he helped make, then maybe men should stop telling focus groups that they'd never take perfectly safe, non-hormonal birth control. Because if they did, then big pharma would start investing in manufacturing the many viable ways men could, with literally no side effects, prevent themselves from causing pregnancy.

In other words: get a vasectomy if you're really worried. They're reversible.

nomadologist
06-09-2007, 06:22 PM
Babies are completely dependent on their mothers for several years, aren't they? And after infancy, children are still generally looked after by parents or carers until they leave home.

The argument that a foetus is dependent on another person applies just as well to young children. Hence my mention upthread of cultures where infanticide is acceptable in times of hardship. There really isn't too much of an ethical distinction between killing an advanced foetus and killing a newborn.

Edit: hang around some harrassed parents and you'll hear teenagers described as 'parasites'. ;)

When you have one in you, we'll see what kind of choice you make. Until then, talk about infanticide coming from you just sounds, well, silly to me.

I know men want to believe this, but there is no guaranteed "special bond" a woman is going to feel with an unwanted pregnancy. I know motherhood has been all mysticized to death and everyone wants to believe in that version of the madonna with the halo who sits on the top of the binary above the whore and everything, but it's just not true.

A wanted pregnancy is another story, I'm sure.

Mr. Tea
06-09-2007, 06:26 PM
Yes, I daresay I might have stronger pro-abortion feelings if I were ever to get pregnant. Once I'd got over the initial shock, of course. :) But that doesn't mean I'm not entitled to an opinion.

The point about condoms being less than 100% effective is well made, I think, and also one that I don't think has been mentioned so far.

nomadologist
06-09-2007, 06:28 PM
The efficacy of condoms is something I've heard often challenged. I know that the pro-choice, planned parenthood types like to push them hard for the purposes of controlling STDs, but as my aunt who has 5 children can tell you, they're less reliable than people think. This same aunt had her last two children after having her tubes tied TWICE, because both times it reversed itself.

mixed_biscuits
06-09-2007, 06:29 PM
"pomo" is a perfectly acceptable form of that word

*anticipated*

Mr. Tea
06-09-2007, 06:30 PM
Wow. That woman is obviously just meant to breed!

mixed_biscuits
06-09-2007, 06:31 PM
There are hundreds of medical reasons why many women cannot take hormonal (the only close to 100% perfect) birth control.

I have the solution: just abstain from having sex unless it is with someone who you would be happy to bring up a wanted baby with. ;)

nomadologist
06-09-2007, 06:41 PM
I have no problem doing that. Sex is nothing that special anyway. Especially with someone you don't like a lot.

Edit: Of course, even if I did that, it wouldn't mean that I am in the right situation in life to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. There are many many poor people who have no healthcare in the U.S. who couldn't afford birth control (and free clinics are drying up left and right) who can't afford to have children on the most fundamental financial level.

nomadologist
06-09-2007, 06:41 PM
Of course, I expect you to do the same. Otherwise any abortion incurred is also, technically, your fault. Baby killler.

nomadologist
06-09-2007, 06:42 PM
Wow. That woman is obviously just meant to breed!

one of them was tubal ligation PLUS condom, too

mixed_biscuits
06-09-2007, 06:47 PM
Of course, I expect you to do the same. Otherwise any abortion incurred is also, technically, your fault. Baby killler.

I agree! :D

mistersloane
06-09-2007, 06:48 PM
I have the solution: just abstain from having sex unless it is with someone who you would be happy to bring up a wanted baby with. ;)

Nope, the solution is anal sex for everyone until one WANTS to get pregnant.

mixed_biscuits
06-09-2007, 06:48 PM
Nope, the solution is anal sex for everyone.

Boomshackalack now everyone's happy! ;)

nomadologist
06-09-2007, 06:49 PM
Nope, the solution is anal sex for everyone until one WANTS to get pregnant.

This is the ancient Italian form of birth control. Works like a charm.

mistersloane
06-09-2007, 06:53 PM
This is the ancient Italian form of birth control. Works like a charm.

I knew it was a form of birth control, not heard about it being Italian though, that's interesting, is that lore or whre does it come from?

nomadologist
06-09-2007, 06:56 PM
I agree! :D

I will never understand why, without fail, men who participate in focus groups and studies into the commercial viability of male birth control SIMPLY REFUSE in staggeringly high numbers to even admit willingness to maybe TRY it for a little while. This is especially weird to me a) because men stand to lose so much in paternity suits, and b) because there are several medical strategies that are known to exist that can lower sperm count and motility temporarily at 100% accuracy rates with NO SIDE EFFECTS. For women, on the other hand, hormonal birth control radically alters their brain/body chemistry and causes many many terrible, unpleasant side effects--including (noshit alert) a severely lowered libido. My own mother after going off birth control spent a couple years having a serious of nervous breakdowns the doctor attributed to hormonal imbalance. After you go off the pill, it can take, well, forever to return to "normal."

Can you imagine what men would say if you asked them to not only take a birth control pill, but one that would make them gain 25 pounds, feel constantly irritable, constantly fatigued, and lower their sex drive to basically nil? Based on their reaction to being asked to basically take a placebo whose "effects" were 100% reversible, I can't even imagine...

EDIT: Other wonderful side effects of hormonal birth control for women include an increased risk of cardiovascular events (like heart attack and stroke) and breast cancer! Lovely.

nomadologist
06-09-2007, 06:58 PM
I knew it was a form of birth control, not heard about it being Italian though, that's interesting, is that lore or whre does it come from?

I think from Roman Catholicism. My great uncle told me that who was from Italy! I've heard that Italian porn is unduly preoccupied with anal intercourse, so I don't doubt it.

nomadologist
06-09-2007, 07:05 PM
2) Most of abortion's most vociferous opponents are women.


Where the fuck did you get this idea? Anecdotally, in my experience, I have noticed that it's mostly men who care about this issue. I know a lot of women who claim they'd never have an abortion themselves, but most of them admit it's too personal and devisive an issue to leave in the hands of the government. Even then, these are, in every case I can think of, women who've never experienced an unwanted pregnancy.

nomadologist
06-09-2007, 10:05 PM
I agree! :D

Right, so you're celibate? And if your girlfriend got pregnant tomorrow you'd both have it and live happily ever after?

How old are you? 40?

Gavin
06-09-2007, 10:37 PM
Do you think women would trust a man who says he's on the pill? "Don't worry about a condom, hon, those little bastards aren't going anywhere." That said, I'd take it, I want all the protection I can get!

nomadologist
07-09-2007, 12:26 AM
This is one of the major arguments potential manufacturers make against a male pill. To me it's utterly baffling that anyone would lie about that and risk consequences like paying 50% of your salary out in alimony. Of course, I'm sure it would happen, but the widescale problem some people assume it would be is weird to me.

Male birth control would be so much easier and foolproof.

I've made the argument to my friends that even if I could be on the pill, I wouldn't take it for reasons that fall under "feminist principles." I tried taking it as a teenager several times, but could never stay on because the side effects were so severe. As important as it was in liberating women sexually back in the day, it's become a new form of bio-slavery, where women have to literally put themselves at risk of serious medical injury just so their male partner can experience more pleasure during intercourse (and avoid having to get an abortion).

I think if more women would push the issue and refuse to ruin their body chemistry for their boyfriends, we might get somewhere near a readily available male pill and actual female sexual liberation.

nomadologist
07-09-2007, 12:42 AM
When I went to Planned Parenthood I remember reading a lot of their literature in the waiting room...I was shocked to read that 40% of women in the "first world" get at least one abortion in their lifetime. That means abortion is an extremely common procedure. It pissed me off to think that people tried to make women feel bad and all too often solely "responsible" for an ACCIDENT, when accidental pregnancy is obviously something that happens quite often. I refuse to feel "stigmatized" by any of it.

I also felt so bad for the dozens of 14 and 15 year-old black girls there with no boyfriend or friend with them. I was pretty lucky to have my boyfriend there and paying for it. (what he considers the best $250 he ever spent) In the changing room they were asking me if it hurt, and I didn't have the heart to tell them that even on three dime bags of dope it was the most painful experience of my life. It continued to hurt and cramp for 6 months, too. So it's not some sort of "free pass" out of hardship.

mistersloane
07-09-2007, 12:50 AM
I just want to know with all the people who are anti-abortion, y'know, what exactly are you going to do to stop people from having them? Are you going to shackle them to a bed until it's delivered and then make them look after it? I mean, please.

nomadologist
07-09-2007, 01:00 AM
I just want to know with all the people who are anti-abortion, y'know, what exactly are you going to do to stop people from having them? Are you going to shackle them to a bed until it's delivered and then make them look after it? I mean, please.

They're going to try to stigmatize and witch hunt abortion receivers to death.

nomadologist
07-09-2007, 01:02 AM
I just want to know with all the people who are anti-abortion, y'know, what exactly are you going to do to stop people from having them? Are you going to shackle them to a bed until it's delivered and then make them look after it? I mean, please.

Wouldn't you think men would be all for abortion on demand? Especially if it meant more consequence-free sex for them? It's only their mommyhood fetishizing that makes some sort of moral imperative out of social principles leftover from a bygone pre-technological/scientific era.

mistersloane
07-09-2007, 01:12 AM
Wouldn't you think men would be all for abortion on demand? Especially if it meant more consequence-free sex for them? It's only their mommyhood fetishizing that makes some sort of moral imperative out of social principles leftover from a bygone pre-technological/scientific era.

I've been quite weirded out by this thread, really quite freaked out. And so I'm off to bed.

mixed_biscuits
07-09-2007, 11:01 AM
And if your girlfriend got pregnant tomorrow you'd both have it and live happily ever after?


We would do the former and live in hope of the latter.

Regarding 'action' and abortion, I would have to consider to what extent I want legislation to represent or enforce the Ethical Good. Luckily, my remit doesn't go as far as legislation or organising witch hunts; I just deal with ethics.

mistersloane
07-09-2007, 11:08 AM
We would do the former and live in hope of the latter.

Regarding 'action' and abortion, I would have to consider to what extent I want legislation to represent or enforce the Ethical Good. Luckily, my remit doesn't go as far as legislation or organising witch hunts; I just deal with ethics.

Medical ethics directly deals with cause and effect, to try and opt out by saying you're 'just' dealing with ethics means you haven't thought this through at all.

dHarry
07-09-2007, 11:33 AM
Nomadologist has finally said it (something that I concluded years ago, after many debates like this) - it's none of our (men's) business ultimately; we can't get pregnant, accidentally or otherwise! Once you accept that, then surely you have to come down on the pro-choice side, whatever the difficulties with the rational ethical debate, which seems to be fundamentally unresolvable, right down to the language used e.g. "killing a foetus/baby/person" vs. "terminating an unwanted pregnancy". I really believe that only women should be allowed to vote on the issue.

BTW I know perfectly normal women, who are great mothers, who would routinely describe their pregnancy as a parasitic invasion of their bodies (and they weren't writing feminist theory PhDs on Irigaray and the Sexual Politics of Reproduction in Alien or anything!), and the newborn baby as little more than a larva which processes milk into shit! The foetus is a parasite at least as much as it is a potential human being. "So where do you draw the line - what about infanticide? etc" - well, infanticide was pretty common up until recently (and probably still is in the developing world?), and how can you moralise from on high about difficult situations of poverty, a hostile social environment to unmarried mothers etc? And you just have to draw the line somewhere, don't you? So a certain number of weeks into the pregnancy seems to be as good as any quasi-arbitrary point to draw it, which balances some notion of respect for the developing baby with the right to terminate the pregnancy.

And yes we all can have an opinion on the death penalty without actually being on death row for murder, because we're all capable of murder or being convicted of it, or being murdered, so the opinion does count. Pregnancy and abortion are exclusively female experiences, so women should be allowed to decide.

Interesting point also about the bio-ethics of the pill, nomad - my girlfriend used to find even female doctors very difficult to talk to about pros/cons, side-effects etc, when they would push the pill on her and shut down discussion - and of course a constantly renewed prescription means a constant revenue stream for the doctors, retail chemists and the pharmaceutical companies that supply them, so they're all too happy with the setup.

mixed_biscuits
07-09-2007, 12:43 PM
Medical ethics directly deals with cause and effect, to try and opt out by saying you're 'just' dealing with ethics means you haven't thought this through at all.

Can I change the law on my own? No. Am I going to organise witch hunts? No. Can I hope to guide my own behaviour after thinking about the ethical ramifications? Yes. Do you understand now?

mixed_biscuits
07-09-2007, 12:49 PM
Nomadologist has finally said it (something that I concluded years ago, after many debates like this) - it's none of our (men's) business ultimately; we can't get pregnant, accidentally or otherwise! Once you accept that, then surely you have to come down on the pro-choice side, whatever the difficulties with the rational ethical debate, which seems to be fundamentally unresolvable, right down to the language used e.g. "killing a foetus/baby/person" vs. "terminating an unwanted pregnancy". I really believe that only women should be allowed to vote on the issue.


Pointless - this argument removes the need to 'vote' at all by taking the problem out of the ethical sphere.

If direct personal experience is king (or queen), then only *that particular mother* with *that particular child* experiencing *that particular pregnancy* can lay claim to it being 'her business.' There is no 'ethical problem' any more, and no need to 'give reasons' for any of one's behaviour, as there is nobody to give reasons to.

mixed_biscuits
07-09-2007, 12:52 PM
And you just have to draw the line somewhere, don't you? So a certain number of weeks into the pregnancy seems to be as good as any quasi-arbitrary point to draw it, which balances some notion of respect for the developing baby with the right to terminate the pregnancy.

I would like to think that the moment of conception makes for a somewhat more definite line than a 'quasi-arbitrary point', for reasons given previously.

mistersloane
07-09-2007, 01:06 PM
I would like to think that the moment of conception makes for a somewhat more definite line than a 'quasi-arbitrary point', for reasons given previously.

Oh please. Are you gonna cry, scream murder or even be bothered if someone in a lab drops a petri dish with 3 impregnated eggs on the floor? Didn't think so.

mixed_biscuits
07-09-2007, 01:15 PM
Oh please. Are you gonna cry, scream murder or even be bothered if someone in a lab drops a petri dish with 3 impregnated eggs on the floor? Didn't think so.

I don't think we can rely on crude 'empathy' here - it hasn't prevented things like slavery and genocide, after all.

Martin Dust
07-09-2007, 02:12 PM
What's with all the "cock" waving going on in this thread?

Mr. Tea
07-09-2007, 03:45 PM
This is the ancient Italian form of birth control. Works like a charm.

Although like all their best ideas, they nicked it from the Greeks...

Mr. Tea
07-09-2007, 03:47 PM
Where the fuck did you get this idea? Anecdotally, in my experience, I have noticed that it's mostly men who care about this issue. I know a lot of women who claim they'd never have an abortion themselves, but most of them admit it's too personal and devisive an issue to leave in the hands of the government. Even then, these are, in every case I can think of, women who've never experienced an unwanted pregnancy.

I'm thinking mostly of the Christian, family-values, will-somebody-please-think-of-the-children brigade.

swears
07-09-2007, 04:10 PM
I don't think we can rely on crude 'empathy' here - it hasn't prevented things like slavery and genocide, after all.

You seriously don't see any difference between a fertilised egg and a newborn baby?

mixed_biscuits
07-09-2007, 04:20 PM
You seriously don't see any difference between a fertilised egg and a newborn baby?

My argument is that, as there is no way definitively to ascertain or agree on the point at which the foetus becomes 'human' then we have to err on the side of caution and accord the developing human - at a very early stage of development - the same rights as the developing human at a later stage.

That there is debate *at all* on this matter tells us to err on the side of caution.

Mr. Tea
07-09-2007, 04:36 PM
On the Dissensus front page, this thread is (or, until a second ago, was) labelled "Abortion mixed biscuits", which made me slightly queasy. :p

IdleRich
07-09-2007, 04:46 PM
"Abortion mixed biscuits", which made me slightly queasy.
Ever seen that film Dumplings?

Mr. Tea
07-09-2007, 04:48 PM
Ever seen that film Dumplings?

No. But given the context, I can get a good idea of what it's about.

nomadologist
07-09-2007, 06:00 PM
Interesting point also about the bio-ethics of the pill, nomad - my girlfriend used to find even female doctors very difficult to talk to about pros/cons, side-effects etc, when they would push the pill on her and shut down discussion - and of course a constantly renewed prescription means a constant revenue stream for the doctors, retail chemists and the pharmaceutical companies that supply them, so they're all too happy with the setup.

It's one of my pet issues. I can't stand the thought that women are needlessly ruining their physical experience of life just because it makes so many people so much money, and because men refuse to take responsibility themselves.

Mr. Tea
07-09-2007, 06:11 PM
It's not all doom and gloom, though - taking the pill is meant to help protect against osteoporosis in later life.

It's funny, I've heard women complain about how incredibly difficult it is to get the pill in America - a far cry from doctors pressuring women to take it, no? Although I expect it's one of those things that varies a lot from state to state.

nomadologist
07-09-2007, 06:20 PM
You can also do that by drinking milk.

It's difficult to get the pill at a reasonable price from a clinic anymore. It's not difficult at all to go pay the doctor off-insurance about $150 for a 10 minute visit during which they insist that you go pay at very least $50 month to get birth control.

nomadologist
07-09-2007, 06:24 PM
here's another argument pro abortion from an "ethical" standpoint that i've heard:

vaginal birth comes at the risk of all kinds of complications, the least of which are potential failure for tearing to heal and eventual uterine/vaginal prolapse. this means that giving birth is highly likely to take away a woman's ability to experience pleasure during intercourse.

can you imagine what a man would say if you tried to tell him he could not medically remove something from his body that threatened to forever ruin is ability to enjoy sex?
why should women be told that they can't?

Mr. Tea
07-09-2007, 06:24 PM
I find doctors very difficult to talk to about pros/cons, side-effects etc, when they would push milk on me and shut down discussion. What if you're lactose intolerant? What if you're vegan? What if you DON'T LIKE MILK?

nomadologist
07-09-2007, 06:27 PM
exactly

Mr. Tea
07-09-2007, 06:29 PM
The physical after-effects of childbirth can heal over time; a more potentially pressing consideration is the fact that you're not going to have the time or energy for sex for years to come, and that this is going to affect the father equally...

If you're just going to list all the bad things about having kids, you could start with a quote of the estimated amount of money the average couple spends on bringing up a child from birth to leaving home.

nomadologist
07-09-2007, 06:35 PM
I do that in my head all the time.

nomadologist
07-09-2007, 06:37 PM
The physical after-effects of childbirth can heal over time;

prolapse requires extremely expensive experimental surgery that barely works.

i know this because i've had to write countless proposals SINGING THE PRAISES OF PROLIFT from the rooftops for a client who shall remain nameless.

nomadologist
07-09-2007, 06:45 PM
Oh please. Are you gonna cry, scream murder or even be bothered if someone in a lab drops a petri dish with 3 impregnated eggs on the floor? Didn't think so.

This is what's hilarious about the pro-life, anti-stem cell research activists: these same people said nothing, in fact, are ALL FOR creating viable embryos that will eventually be destroyed, just as long as this happens at FERTILITY CLINICS and not abortion clinics.

I love stem cell research for teasing out all the not-at-all latent hypocrisy in the pro-life position.

Mr. Tea
13-09-2007, 04:40 PM
This just in: contraceptive pills 'cut risk of cancer in women':

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6987889.stm

Unless they use it for more than eight years. Or something.