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Abortion

Enter here to explore ethical issues and discuss the meaning and source of morality.
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Thomas
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Abortion

#1 Post by Thomas » January 17th, 2008, 11:01 am

StuartG wrote:...the Catholic Churches arguments do not get a proper hearing because of the automatic "there can't be anything reasonable about the RC Church's position on abortion." reaction.

Here's part of the Church's position on abortion (paraphrased)

We have no objective, indisputable scientific way of judging at what point a fertilised egg becomes human, we must therefore grant it human nature from the beginning.

No mumbo jumbo or anything, just reason. You may not agree with it and it is arguable, but it is a reasoned position and it demands a reasoned response.

Because we don't agree at what point it becomes human, we must force the woman to carry and give birth to a baby she doesn't want, regardless of the effect this has on her mental health, emotional wellbeing and the quality of her life? To me this is inhumane.

My reasoned response is that the life being lived by a woman is more important than the potential life of the unborn child and I can explain why, if need be. For this reason, abortion legislation should be weighted in favour of allowing women to have abortions. The consequences of making abortion illegal have always been catastrophic.

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Curtains
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Re: Abortion

#2 Post by Curtains » January 17th, 2008, 1:05 pm

But are you saying that a pregnancy can be terminated at any stage of pregnancy?

While I sympathise with the plight of women carrying an unwanted pregnancy, my conscience tells me that once the neural/sensory system has developed, once the baby has a functioning mind and can feel pain and definitely once it is capable of life outside of its mother's womb, it should be considered a human being in its own right. I don't think abortion should be sanctioned in this case even though its life may not have the same value as that of the woman.

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xman
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Re: Abortion

#3 Post by xman » January 18th, 2008, 1:51 am

There is no cut and dry moment when that child is aware. From zygote through embryo to foetus, each step and sub-step advances that life. At 7 weeks old, my unborn child writhed at the ultra-sonic waves, aware of term.

X
Always remember, it's your right to have a SUPER day.
If you're wrong, call me ... I'll have one for you!

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Thomas
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Re: Abortion

#4 Post by Thomas » January 18th, 2008, 11:07 am

All foetuses are potentially viable, it is only that some require the agreement of the woman to remain pregnant just a wee bit longer.

I don't see why the viability of a foetus should affect the woman's right to decide for herself whether she wishes to continue with her pregnancy. I believe very few women want late abortions and fewer doctors would agree to perform one without a real medical justification. In any event, I don't see why it should be a crime for a doctor to perform a late abortion.

If society (or any individual or organisation within it) would insist that a woman should have a child she does not want, society must take responsibility for any unwanted children that result. They must be able to guarantee that the child will be provided with the best possible upbringing and bear the consequences if this doesn't happen.

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xman
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Re: Abortion

#5 Post by xman » January 18th, 2008, 8:13 pm

Thomas wrote:If society (or any individual or organisation within it) would insist that a woman should have a child she does not want, society must take responsibility for any unwanted children that result. They must be able to guarantee that the child will be provided with the best possible upbringing and bear the consequences if this doesn't happen.
And since it's the Catholics who insist, it's they who would get the golden opportunity of thousands of new indoctrinated minds every year, funded surely by the state.

X
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FloatingBoater
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Re: Abortion

#6 Post by FloatingBoater » January 18th, 2008, 8:58 pm

Reading Thomas’ post really makes me angry in its nievety. It is so easy to glibly trot out the same old hackneyed arguments about a woman’s inalienable right to decide whether or not to carry through to delivery, a pregnancy or to terminate it at will.
Does the father have the same right? It took two to establish the pregnancy it should be mutually agreed to decide on the outcome.

As a society I think we have become so laid back about reproduction we hardly give a thought to how the child will fare in life. If say a seventeen year old girl gets pregnant, decides that she wants to keep the child, even though the father does not want to face the responsibility of providing a home and stable environment; why then should the state have to shoulder his responsibilities?

Does anyone seriously, give a toss about the fact that a child could be being borne into poverty, just because the mother wants a walking talking Cabbage Patch Kid twelve months after leaving off her school tie!

The right to bear a child must also come with the moral obligation of bringing it up by the parents’ own endeavours and not simply based on the woman’s so called ‘right’ to be able to conceive and give birth and be funded entirely by an over abused welfare system.

In exceptional circumstances, of course, late terminations are necessary; but in the first 4-6 weeks the parents should be able to evaluate whether it is fair to the child, themselves or society to allow the foetus to develop to full term.

Casual unprotected sex is now so common that becoming pregnant or fathering a child appears to some people not to carry any sense of responsibility or obligation. So much so,I would suggest that life itself has been devalued: could this be why when life so easily created, it is also so easily taken away in stabbings and shootings of and by young people with no real sense of reality or moral conviction?

It is not society’s responsibility to support an individual’s procreative desires. Neither is it society’s role to dictate to anyone how they should design their lifestyle, but there should be a very clear message sent out that the good will of society should neither be taken for granted or abused.
Let us accept that the difference between a prophet and a madman is not what they say but whether the crowd accepts the story and tells their children to believe it.

Moonbeam
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Re: Abortion

#7 Post by Moonbeam » January 18th, 2008, 10:44 pm

:puzzled:

I think that both xman and, especially, Floating Boater, have misunderstood Thomas' posts. However, I'll wait and see if Thomas himself responds before commenting.

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xman
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Re: Abortion

#8 Post by xman » January 19th, 2008, 4:42 am

Moonbeam wrote:
I think that both xman and, especially, Floating Boater, have misunderstood Thomas' posts. However, I'll wait and see if Thomas himself responds before commenting.
Well in my case it certainly wouldn't be the first time, but I was actually adding to what Thomas said, not contradicting it. Still ... let us wait and see.

X
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If you're wrong, call me ... I'll have one for you!

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Thomas
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Re: Abortion

#9 Post by Thomas » January 19th, 2008, 12:07 pm

Hello xman
xman wrote:
Thomas wrote:If society (or any individual or organisation within it) would insist that a woman should have a child she does not want, society must take responsibility for any unwanted children that result. They must be able to guarantee that the child will be provided with the best possible upbringing and bear the consequences if this doesn't happen.
And since it's the Catholics who insist, it's they who would get the golden opportunity of thousands of new indoctrinated minds every year, funded surely by the state.

X
Indeed!

However, given the number of unwanted children that would be born if abortion were impossible for women to obtain, the fact is that nobody can guarantee that none of them would suffer through being unwanted. Not the Church, not the State, not any individual. It is an untenable position and this is another reason why the anti-abortion position is an inhumane one.

Thomas
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Re: Abortion

#10 Post by Thomas » January 19th, 2008, 12:11 pm

Greetings, FB.

I am bemused at your response to my post, which was simply an argument for women's entitlement to abortion, and not the argument for irresponsible parenthood and abuse of social welfare you appear to have taken it as.
FloatingBoater wrote:
As a society I think we have become so laid back about reproduction we hardly give a thought to how the child will fare in life. If say a seventeen year old girl gets pregnant, decides that she wants to keep the child, even though the father does not want to face the responsibility of providing a home and stable environment; why then should the state have to shoulder his responsibilities?
I agree. But what has this got to do with anything I said?
Does anyone seriously, give a toss about the fact that a child could be being borne into poverty,

Yes, that is one of many things I am deeply concerned about, which is why I take the position I do on sex education, contraception and abortion.
The right to bear a child must also come with the moral obligation of bringing it up by the parents’ own endeavours and not simply based on the woman’s so called ‘right’ to be able to conceive and give birth and be funded entirely by an over abused welfare system.

I couldn't agree more.
In exceptional circumstances, of course, late terminations are necessary; but in the first 4-6 weeks the parents should be able to evaluate whether it is fair to the child, themselves or society to allow the foetus to develop to full term.

Indeed they should and, in an ideal world, they would. So?
Casual unprotected sex is now so common that becoming pregnant or fathering a child appears to some people not to carry any sense of responsibility or obligation. So much so,I would suggest that life itself has been devalued: could this be why when life so easily created, it is also so easily taken away in stabbings and shootings of and by young people with no real sense of reality or moral conviction?

This, again, is very true. However, like much else in your post it is a complete red herring that has nothing to do with anything I wrote.

Furthermore...

I have not defended "the woman’s so called ‘right’ to be able to conceive and give birth and be funded entirely by an over abused welfare system".

I have not suggested that it is "society’s responsibility to support an individual’s procreative desires",

I have not argued that it is "it is society’s role to dictate to anyone how they should design their lifestyle". Indeed that it is very opposite of what I have argued.
FloatingBoater wrote: It is so easy to glibly trot out the same old hackneyed arguments about a woman’s inalienable right to decide whether or not to carry through to delivery, a pregnancy or to terminate it at will.
Does the father have the same right? It took two to establish the pregnancy it should be mutually agreed to decide on the outcome.
Of course it took two to establish the pregnancy, of course it should be mutually agreed to decide on the outcome. But this doesn't always happen, does it? Sometimes they disagree on what the outcome should be. Sometimes the man has disappeared by the time the woman discovers she is pregnant and sometimes he does a runner straight afterwards. Sometimes the woman has no idea which of a number of men was responsible for the pregnancy and wouldn't know how to trace him if she did. That, alas, is the nature of things.

The bottom line is that it is the woman's body that the foetus grows inside, the woman who goes through childbirth and the woman who is left holding the baby. The buck stops with the woman and that's why she should be entitled to terminate the pregnancy if that is what she wants to do. To force her to continue a pregnancy against her will is to deny her humanity and treat her as a breeding machine.

This is the only argument I have made in my previous two posts and I note that you have made no attempt to address this argument.

May I respectfully suggest you read my previous posts again, carefully this time, and try to avoid reading into them things that simply aren't there? :)

FloatingBoater
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Re: Abortion

#11 Post by FloatingBoater » January 19th, 2008, 2:55 pm

All foetuses are potentially viable, it is only that some require the agreement of the woman to remain pregnant just a wee bit longer.
Sorry Thomas, but I must confess that only a man could come out with a phrase like this :pointlaugh:
I don't see why the viability of a foetus should affect the woman's right to decide for herself whether she wishes to continue with her pregnancy.
:sad2:

This where the crux of this topic lies and to be honest it is this particular statement which lead to my comment re ‘naivety’ and my insurant rant about how we as atheists attempt to make a moral judgement on the importance we place on human life.

I have obviously extended my thinking further than Thomas’ post was intended.

We are living in a society where as individuals we have never had so much control of our everyday lives. Every case of state funded abortion however needs to be evaluated on its own merit. It is undeniable that for a woman to proceed with a termination there should only be the woman’s and the man’s needs to be taken into consideration. However, if those needs are nothing more than a change of mid or system of late birth control, this is where I have serious moral problems.

Firstly consider the rights of the father who may desperately wish to raise the child, where or when should his feelings be taken into consideration provided that the woman is in good health and he is soundly equipped to provide for the child through to adulthood.

Secondly, if one considers the number of women and their partners who are desperate to have a family and would love to adopt a newborn, why can’t society strike a bargain with the mother of an unwanted child to proceed with the pregnancy and support her
confinement and beyond, to the mutual benefit and satisfaction of all parties.

Thirdly, should the mother whish to raise her child alone, she definitely should also be supported to do so on proviso that she can similarly call upon her own resources i.e. family, financial resources, earning potential or other tangible means of support for herself and the child.

What needs to be brought back into balance I feel, is the seriousness of creating a human life, not simply an individual’s right to end one once a pregnancy has passed the embryonic stage, [exceptions permitted] every woman should be supported in bringing forward the natural returns of her actions.

Friendly regards FB
:wave:
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Zoe
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Re: Abortion

#12 Post by Zoe » January 22nd, 2008, 2:04 pm

FloatingBoater wrote: Firstly consider the rights of the father who may desperately wish to raise the child, where or when should his feelings be taken into consideration provided that the woman is in good health and he is soundly equipped to provide for the child through to adulthood.
That really depends on what 'taken into consideration' means. The woman should certainly be asked to consider the possibility of having the baby and letting the father raise it if that's what he wants to do. But I can think of many reasons why a woman who really doesn't want a child of her own, would be reluctant to do this. Should she be forced to continue the pregnancy anyway? I think not.
Secondly, if one considers the number of women and their partners who are desperate to have a family and would love to adopt a newborn, why can’t society strike a bargain with the mother of an unwanted child to proceed with the pregnancy and support her confinement and beyond, to the mutual benefit and satisfaction of all parties.
I understand this happens in the US and there is no reason why it shouldn't happen here provided that it is really consensual and not the only option available to the pregnant woman. I don't think it affects the abortion issue one way or the other - unless it is proposed as a reason for making abortion illegal again.
Thirdly, should the mother wish to raise her child alone, she definitely should also be supported to do so on proviso that she can similarly call upon her own resources i.e. family, financial resources, earning potential or other tangible means of support for herself and the child.
What if she can't call on any of those things? Should she not be supported anyway? I strongly believe a woman in such circumstances shouldn't have a child but I'm not sure that I can see an alternative to supporting her provided she is fit to be a mother and provide a loving home.
What needs to be brought back into balance I feel, is the seriousness of creating a human life,
Devil's advocate: Why is it serious?

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Alan H
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Re: Abortion

#13 Post by Alan H » January 22nd, 2008, 9:16 pm

Zoe wrote:...I'm not sure that I can see an alternative to supporting her provided she is fit to be a mother and provide a loving home.
There seems to be a perpetual dilemma: "the state should support mothers in bringing up their young children" versus "the government should be encouraging single parents to get back into work to get them off state benefits, so they can become more independent". They can't have it both ways! I've never heard a half-decent debate on this.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

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kbell
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Re: Abortion

#14 Post by kbell » January 23rd, 2008, 12:52 pm

Seen at iidb
Yesterday the Termination of Pregnancy Amended Bill was passed by Parliament here in South Africa

This act effectively allows health clinics to perform abortion on all those women that request it. The limit on the age that a person may request abortion is as low as 12 years. AND GET THIS, any teenager who request an abortion may do so without the parents permission.

This bill got me thinking and after careful deliberation of all the facts at my disposal I have come to the conclusion HOW WONDERFUL that we have the most liberated and extremely responsible ABORTION ACT in the world.

In conclusion South Africa is a secular democracy with a strong constitution that directs all our moral affairs. Living in a secular democracy means that each person should be able to choose any lifestyle as long as it is within the law. This means that I can advocate any twelve year old girl who is faced with an unwanted pregnancy to terminate the fetus. It also means that I am all in favor of a women who may want to terminate her pregnancy because she wants to GO FOR A HOLIDAY TO THE SWISS ALPS.

Engage me on this topic. What do you think?
Notwithstanding all those selfish women who just won't let the nuisance of a pregnancy get in the way of their skiing holiday, it sounds like a good piece of legislation to me.
Kathryn

Lucretius
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Re: Abortion

#15 Post by Lucretius » January 23rd, 2008, 11:38 pm

Might a case be made that even when a child is born it is not fully aware? It has no motives that I can tell other than cry, poop and eat.

Does anyone here have memories of when they where 1 day old. Even 1 year old?

I think my earliest memories are around 3-4 years old. Most of those are a blur.

Also aren't there studies of feral children who haven't learnt language before 5 or 6 years old and therefore can't.

Disparate post. Perhaps some stuff to think about.
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xman
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Re: Abortion

#16 Post by xman » January 23rd, 2008, 11:58 pm

My 3 yr old friend, Joey remembers me from last year, but he will forget those memories in time. The reason has been explained to me that after about 5 yrs of age the mind reuses the part of the brain formerly used for those early memories and thus erases those memories. If that's true, it doesn't bode well for the memory argument toward cognisance.

I uphold that as soon all all the chromosome pairs are in play, we have a human being, no matter what phase of development. I'm also with you Autumn. I firmly uphold a woman's right to choose. I would emphasise and encourage responsible practice if I could. I'm for doctor assisted suicide as well. This may be a slippery slope, but it's one I'm prepared to live with. Abortion is, therefore a very difficult decision to make, and one I am glad I have not had to face.

X
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Alan C.
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Re: Abortion

#17 Post by Alan C. » January 24th, 2008, 12:23 am

xman
My 3 yr old friend, Joey remembers me from last year, but he will forget those memories in time. The reason has been explained to me that after about 5 yrs of age the mind reuses the part of the brain formerly used for those early memories and thus erases those memories.
xman, I can still remember now, my grandfather dying and being carried out the front door on a stretcher in 1953, I also remember the Queens :sick: coronation from the same year. I was two years old.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Maria Mac
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Re: Abortion

#18 Post by Maria Mac » January 24th, 2008, 10:37 am

Lucretius wrote: Does anyone here have memories of when they where 1 day old. Even 1 year old?
I have memories from 1-2 years old but I'm not sure what your point is in respect of abortion.

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Re: Abortion

#19 Post by Maria Mac » January 24th, 2008, 10:46 am

I responded to the thread at iidb thus:
Maria wrote:It's awful for child that age to have to go through pregnancy and childbirth and to force her to do so would be more inhumane than an early termination.
Fayzal Muhummad wrote:AND GET THIS, any teenager who request an abortion may do so without the parents permission.
Good! Far too many teenagers have later abortions, run away from home or give birth to unwanted children because they are afraid to tell their parents.
Fayzal Muhummad wrote:Living in a secular democracy means that each person should be able to choose any lifestyle as long as it is within the law.
Excellent! Why shouldn't people choose any lifestyle as long as it is within the law?

Fayzal Muhummad wrote:It also means that I am all in favor of a women who may want to terminate her pregnancy because she wants to GO FOR A HOLIDAY TO THE SWISS ALPS.
Well it sounds as if you personally are not in favour of such a woman but then it's not really any of your business, is it?

Either abortion is wrong or it's not wrong. The reasons why a woman might choose to have an abortion (and I frankly don't believe anyone has one just because it gets in the way of a holiday) aren't relevant to the rightness or wrongness on the act because the end result is the same.
I thought that Fayzal was anti-abortion and that his post was sarcastic but in a later post he said he was totally pro-choice.

However, one point somebody else raised that is worth thinking about is the fact that parental consent is required for other medical procedures on minors and there are presumably good reasons for this. Should an exception be made for abortion or should the requirement for parental consent for all medical operations be abandoned?

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Re: Abortion

#20 Post by FloatingBoater » January 27th, 2008, 7:15 am

I am all in favor of a women who may want to terminate her pregnancy because she wants to GO FOR A HOLIDAY TO THE SWISS ALPS.
To admit that I was slightly taken aback by the stark emotionless remark above may appear to make me sound like some kind of moral crusader; let me assure you that I am nothing of the sort.

Taken on face value and assuming that the decision to go on the holiday in the Swiss Alps (or anywhere else for that matter), could be catered for by he morning after pill or early embryonic interruption would give me no problem, but I would have a problem if the practice became a substitute for contraception.

I can speak only for myself, but I know that to abort a foetus at an advanced stage of development is another issue entirely. I say this having worked at the sharp end of the NHS where the reality of the technique required wouldnecessitate dismemberment in the womb. I know from first hand that this procedure does have in some cases a direct effect on certain staff and clinicians who inevitably seek to avoid this type of operation.

To take a moral stance on any issue requires a thorough understanding of why we lean towards one way or another in our decision making; and like so many of our consumables and ’lifestyle’ products today, they seem to come pre-packed, sanitised and guaranteed fit for use without reference to any of the moral issues which surround them.
Not surprisingly one can sense that in our society today, there is a lack of social discipline or cohesion of understanding which I suggest emanates directly from the absence any form of identifiable moral compass.

Of course religion in all of its guises claims supreme authority on this one, but should not humanists also consider themselves socially and constructively moral too. I regard myself as liberal in my outlook as an individual, but I also have to live amongst millions of others who may also have their own take on what liberal attitudes mean to them.
It concerns me that on matters that require a great deal of mature thought, and that the visible result may be taken completely out of context by immature minds of later generations.

kind regards FB
Last edited by Maria Mac on January 27th, 2008, 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: edited to correct quoted text
Let us accept that the difference between a prophet and a madman is not what they say but whether the crowd accepts the story and tells their children to believe it.

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