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Thread: On abortion

  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    Ah, but the devil's the details. What the hell do you mean by life? You keep saying you have no idea when it starts but it's kinda important, dontchathink? The only universally agreed standard at which a fetus' right to life equals the mother's is birth. Anything before--even third trimester fetus--relies on some extra worldly logic.
    What are you even talking about? You should be more precise with what you are trying to say, which I think I know what you are trying to say but that isn't what you actually wrote.

  2. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by imanihonjin View Post
    What are you even talking about? You should be more precise with what you are trying to say, which I think I know what you are trying to say but that isn't what you actually wrote.
    Ok, not my clearest moment. I'm just echoing what NWC has pointed out. The only point that we can all agree that a fetus acquires full human rights is birth--anything before that point relies on some moral/theological code that lacks any clear standard. You might have your point, but everyone else has theirs, ranging from fertilization to birth. You're not even able to define yours with any useful measure. Roe v Wade tried to with a viability standard, but that's not even going to work very soon, as technology advances.
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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vic Vega View Post
    The Freakanomics guys have some interesting stats about this. YouTube has this section from their movie.
    I think (I'm assuming oxcoug agrees) this correlation to the drop in violent crime is just as good of an explanation as abortion:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27067615?SThisFB

    Also, watch the "Cosmos" episode about Clair Patterson as well. Interesting stuff.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by beefytee View Post
    I think (I'm assuming oxcoug agrees) this correlation to the drop in violent crime is just as good of an explanation as abortion:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27067615?SThisFB

    Also, watch the "Cosmos" episode about Clair Patterson as well. Interesting stuff.
    Steven Pinker refutes the abortion/crime drop in The Better Angels of Our Nature.
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  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    Ok, not my clearest moment. I'm just echoing what NWC has pointed out. The only point that we can all agree that a fetus acquires full human rights is birth--anything before that point relies on some moral/theological code that lacks any clear standard. You might have your point, but everyone else has theirs, ranging from fertilization to birth. You're not even able to define yours with any useful measure. Roe v Wade tried to with a viability standard, but that's not even going to work very soon, as technology advances.
    So in your laid out plan then a baby only receives rights after birth? So a mother could terminate a baby at 40 weeks? You are a doctor, are you saying that you don't believe that baby is alive at that point in time? You are right I am not certain when life begins, but I don't think it should be out of the purview of society to determine when it is that a baby has certain rights that may not be violated. All laws are determinations based on questions of morality. Why should this one be any different?

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by wuapinmon View Post
    Steven Pinker refutes the abortion/crime drop in The Better Angels of Our Nature.
    Are there any statistics that show what sectors have the largest abortion rate? Poor, middle class, rich? Whites, blacks, hispanics, asians? Religious people, atheists?

    If the highest rate of abortions is among the poor and minorities, why couldn't you conlcude that their is a correlation with the crime rate going down? Oh, oh. Is that a Paul Ryan moment? Am I antic poor and a racist for even asking the question?

  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by imanihonjin View Post
    So in your laid out plan then a baby only receives rights after birth? So a mother could terminate a baby at 40 weeks? You are a doctor, are you saying that you don't believe that baby is alive at that point in time? You are right I am not certain when life begins, but I don't think it should be out of the purview of society to determine when it is that a baby has certain rights that may not be violated. All laws are determinations based on questions of morality. Why should this one be any different?
    You really need to let go of this "alive" language. Of course it's alive. So is a fertilized egg. The better question is when does the fetus acquire fully human rights, equal to the mother. And no, that doesn't occur until birth.

    As a physician, if I'm treating a pregnant woman, the woman's life comes first, then the fetus'. This is the standard of care--they are not treated equally.
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  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    You really need to let go of this "alive" language. Of course it's alive. So is a fertilized egg. The better question is when does the fetus acquire fully human rights, equal to the mother. And no, that doesn't occur until birth.

    As a physician, if I'm treating a pregnant woman, the woman's life comes first, then the fetus'. This is the standard of care--they are not treated equally.
    Another reason such a standard is impractical is that is raises the question of who advocates on behalf of the fetus over the rights of the mother? Does the mother incur liability towards the fetus since her rights are subordinate to the fetus? Can the state sue a woman for negligence when she miscarries? Ridiculous and untenable to give superior right to a fetus.
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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    The only universally agreed standard at which a fetus' right to life equals the mother's is birth. Anything before--even third trimester fetus--relies on some extra worldly logic.
    After the mother's life, then does the fetus have status with all others? My understanding is that if a mother is murdered and the fetus dies, it is considered a double homicide. Why isn't a homicide and then a theft of something the mother possessed?

    If the fetus has as much rights after the mothers life, why is it a mother can choose to end the life even if hers is not in danger, but the husband can't.

  10. #70
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    Equating unborn rights with the rights of the mother is impractical in all aspects. Any other balancing test cannot be implemented without impinging upon the liberties of the mother.

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  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topper View Post
    Equating unborn rights with the rights of the mother is impractical in all aspects. Any other balancing test cannot be implemented without impinging upon the liberties of the mother.

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    Too bad we can't get mothers to agree on aborting the horny toad in Nevada. Certainly mothers rights take precedent over a horny toad. It is probably because men are also part of the human race that makes it so the horny toad has as much rights as humans.

  12. #72
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    If we keep the horny toad we solve global warming.

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  13. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    You really need to let go of this "alive" language. Of course it's alive. So is a fertilized egg. The better question is when does the fetus acquire fully human rights, equal to the mother. And no, that doesn't occur until birth.

    As a physician, if I'm treating a pregnant woman, the woman's life comes first, then the fetus'. This is the standard of care--they are not treated equally.
    Who is claiming that the babies right to life is more important than the mothers. If that is what you believe I have been arguing then I apologize for not being clearer. What I am talking about is when the rights of the mother to not have to be pregnant any more are subordinate to the rights of a baby's life. There is almost no difference between baby at 40 weeks still inside the womb is no different than a 3 week old baby on the outside of the womb in terms of viability. I know the better question is when does a fetus acquire fully human rights....many states can an do set that mark at the 3rd trimester of pregnancy (other than issues dealing with the life of the mother-which I agree with btw).

  14. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by TripletDaddy View Post
    Another reason such a standard is impractical is that is raises the question of who advocates on behalf of the fetus over the rights of the mother? Does the mother incur liability towards the fetus since her rights are subordinate to the fetus? Can the state sue a woman for negligence when she miscarries? Ridiculous and untenable to give superior right to a fetus.
    You both are acting like there is no precedent for a baby to be given rights prior to being born. It happens in most states in this country this very day. And all those cases where a baby is given "superior" rights in regards to negligence on the mothers behalf are sure causing quite the ruckus aren't they.

  15. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by imanihonjin View Post
    Who is claiming that the babies right to life is more important than the mothers. If that is what you believe I have been arguing then I apologize for not being clearer. What I am talking about is when the rights of the mother to not have to be pregnant any more are subordinate to the rights of a baby's life. There is almost no difference between baby at 40 weeks still inside the womb is no different than a 3 week old baby on the outside of the womb in terms of viability. I know the better question is when does a fetus acquire fully human rights....many states can an do set that mark at the 3rd trimester of pregnancy (other than issues dealing with the life of the mother-which I agree with btw).
    There are huge differences between a 40 week fetus and a baby--it's no longer completely dependent on the mother for its oxygenation and nourishment, for one.

    The third trimester is becoming increasingly arbitrary as our technological capabilities improve.
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  16. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    There are huge differences between a 40 week fetus and a baby--it's no longer completely dependent on the mother for its oxygenation and nourishment, for one.
    A 40 week baby in utero would be able to be completely independent, given the opportunity.

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    There are huge differences between a 40 week fetus and a baby--it's no longer completely dependent on the mother for its oxygenation and nourishment, for one.

    The third trimester is becoming increasingly arbitrary as our technological capabilities improve.
    I haven't followed the back and forth closely. Are you for the mother having a choice even if her life is in no danger?

    I don't think you can throw out the life of the mother is more important unless you are arguing a mothers right to abort is only if she is in danger.

    Otherwise it is a freedom argument, not a life and death argument. Is the mother free to carry this thing or not based on how she feels.

  18. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by imanihonjin View Post
    A 40 week baby in utero would be able to be completely independent, given the opportunity.
    You don't know that--birth is a significant even physiologically. Probably the most important and significant physiologic change that occurs.

    And you're unconsciously alluding to a viability standard. That's fine...that's what roe v wade did too. But again, that'd becoming increasingly irrelevant. There will be a time where we will be able to claim the same "potential independence" of a fertilized egg. Then what?
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  19. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    You don't know that--birth is a significant even physiologically. Probably the most important and significant physiologic change that occurs.

    And you're unconsciously alluding to a viability standard. That's fine...that's what roe v wade did too. But again, that'd becoming increasingly irrelevant. There will be a time where we will be able to claim the same "potential independence" of a fertilized egg. Then what?
    The mortality rates are so low at that point there is every justification in the world to afford a baby the right to life at that point in time. I am not unconsciously alluding to a viability standard, I think that without question viability is an indicator of life but I am not certain that it a necessary component to determine life.

    As to your fertilized egg question, I simply don't know. What are the competing interests? Does life begin then? I simply don't know. I have claimed over an over again, that I don't know when life begins but I do believe that it is before birth.

  20. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by imanihonjin View Post
    As to your fertilized egg question, I simply don't know. What are the competing interests? Does life begin then? I simply don't know. I have claimed over an over again, that I don't know when life begins but I do believe that it is before birth.
    I'm assuming by "life", you mean "equal rights" (I hate to keep harping on this, but you keep using the term that is completely useless here.). If that's what you mean, then why should it begin before birth? I'm not asking argumentatively, just to hear your reason.
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  21. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by byu71 View Post
    I haven't followed the back and forth closely. Are you for the mother having a choice even if her life is in no danger?

    I don't think you can throw out the life of the mother is more important unless you are arguing a mothers right to abort is only if she is in danger.

    Otherwise it is a freedom argument, not a life and death argument. Is the mother free to carry this thing or not based on how she feels.
    This is actually a more relevant point. Just because a mother's rights should supercede a fetus' doesn't mandate the legalization of abortion. We have animal cruelty laws, for example, despite the clear standard of human rights superceding animal ones. It's a question of balance.

    A relevant hypothetical: Suppose there was someone 100 miles away starving to death. You have plenty of food storage. Should you be legally obligated to feed him? What if he's across the street?
    Certainly, it's the morally decent thing to do. But at what point does it become a legal requirement?
    At least the Big Ten went after a big-time addition in Nebraska; the Pac-10 wanted a game so badly, it added Utah
    -Berry Trammel, 12/3/10

  22. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    I'm assuming by "life", you mean "equal rights" (I hate to keep harping on this, but you keep using the term that is completely useless here.). If that's what you mean, then why should it begin before birth? I'm not asking argumentatively, just to hear your reason.
    For the same reason that you and I have rights that are protected from infringement upon. Once human life has been established a baby in utero should be afforded the protection against their life. You have clearly established that once the baby is able to live independently from its mother it should be given certain protections (which makes me wonder how you would feel if the mother gave birth alone in a rural area and the baby came out fine, but the mother didn't do anything from the time of birth to take care of the baby and it subsequently died....is she guilty of murder or just a post birth abortion, does she have the affirmative obligation to take care of the child by clothing it and feeding it? Why? Two seconds before birth under your theory she was able to terminate the child's life). I simply believe that those protections should be afforded at some point before birth as a human life has been created prior to the baby breathing its first breath.

  23. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    This is actually a more relevant point. Just because a mother's rights should supercede a fetus' doesn't mandate the legalization of abortion. We have animal cruelty laws, for example, despite the clear standard of human rights superceding animal ones. It's a question of balance.

    A relevant hypothetical: Suppose there was someone 100 miles away starving to death. You have plenty of food storage. Should you be legally obligated to feed him? What if he's across the street?
    Certainly, it's the morally decent thing to do. But at what point does it become a legal requirement?
    That's an interesting analogy, but it doesn't fit the termination at 40 weeks. What could possibly be a competing interest in the mother (other than her own health) to not deliver a baby at that point in time?

  24. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by imanihonjin View Post
    For the same reason that you and I have rights that are protected from infringement upon. Once human life has been established a baby in utero should be afforded the protection against their life. You have clearly established that once the baby is able to live independently from its mother it should be given certain protections (which makes me wonder how you would feel if the mother gave birth alone in a rural area and the baby came out fine, but the mother didn't do anything from the time of birth to take care of the baby and it subsequently died....is she guilty of murder or just a post birth abortion, does she have the affirmative obligation to take care of the child by clothing it and feeding it? Why? Two seconds before birth under your theory she was able to terminate the child's life). I simply believe that those protections should be afforded at some point before birth as a human life has been created prior to the baby breathing its first breath.
    Ugh. We can't keep having this discussion about "life". A fertilized egg is "alive", if we define life as spontaneously growing with some sort of coordination. It's just not an interesting definition legally. So either throw out a different one or stop talking about it.
    And your hypothetical mother would be guilty of murder or neglect. Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by imanihonjin View Post
    That's an interesting analogy, but it doesn't fit the termination at 40 weeks. What could possibly be a competing interest in the mother (other than her own health) to not deliver a baby at that point in time?
    I can't think of anything, which is why this really never happens and is sort of a silly hypothetical. Despite that, I see a legal need to address it and have done so.
    The termination at 40 weeks is analagous to the starving man across the street. Minimal effort to preserve his life, certainly the morally decent thing to do, but no one would claim you are legally required to do it.
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  25. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    Ugh. We can't keep having this discussion about "life". A fertilized egg is "alive", if we define life as spontaneously growing with some sort of coordination. It's just not an interesting definition legally. So either throw out a different one or stop talking about it.
    And your hypothetical mother would be guilty of murder or neglect. Next?



    I can't think of anything, which is why this really never happens and is sort of a silly hypothetical. Despite that, I see a legal need to address it and have done so.
    The termination at 40 weeks is analagous to the starving man across the street. Minimal effort to preserve his life, certainly the morally decent thing to do, but no one would claim you are legally required to do it.
    Are you legally required to refrain from snapping the starving man's neck? Or twisting off his limbs? Or cracking open the starving man's skull and vacuuming out his brains?
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  26. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    Ugh. We can't keep having this discussion about "life". A fertilized egg is "alive", if we define life as spontaneously growing with some sort of coordination. It's just not an interesting definition legally. So either throw out a different one or stop talking about it.
    And your hypothetical mother would be guilty of murder or neglect. Next?

    I have claimed that when "human life" begins is a murky thing and that is why I think it more than appropriate that society be given the ability to determine it. The only reason I keep talking about it, is because you keep asking me about it.

    So how can you say that the mother in my hypothetical is guilty of murder or neglect when all that she did is less invasive and damaging to the child than what happens to a late term aborted child.


    I can't think of anything, which is why this really never happens and is sort of a silly hypothetical. Despite that, I see a legal need to address it and have done so.
    The termination at 40 weeks is analagous to the starving man across the street. Minimal effort to preserve his life, certainly the morally decent thing to do, but no one would claim you are legally required to do it.
    Your analogy doesn't hold to a late term abortion because at that point in time the mother is doing something to physically destroy a child's life by having the child torn limb by limb out of the womb. It isn't a matter of having only to supply food to them but an affirmative action to destroy life. What are the chances for complications on a late term abortion verses childbirth?

  27. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by All-American View Post
    Are you legally required to refrain from snapping the starving man's neck? Or twisting off his limbs? Or cracking open the starving man's skull and vacuuming out his brains?
    None of those are an obligatory part of an abortion, of course, as I'm sure you know.
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  28. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    None of those are an obligatory part of an abortion, of course, as I'm sure you know.
    So what are the more humane methods of a late term abortion?

  29. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by imanihonjin View Post
    So what are the more humane methods of a late term abortion?
    And which of them can I do to the starving man with your approval?
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  30. #90

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    I had an interesting experience in tumor board this morning, which illustrates just how complex this issue can be. A 30ish year old woman has a rapidly growing mass in her breast. The biopsy shows an aggressive cancer, with really not a lot of chemotherapeutic options to treat. During all this, she discovers she's pregnant. She already has 2 children, and this pregnancy is 8 weeks along.

    If you play the odds, chances are that this cancer will be her life-defining illness. It may already be metastatic. She understands this, yet is agonizing over treatment. If she delays chemotherapy for a few more weeks, the risks to the fetus become minimal. Yet if she delays too long, the cancer might spread, and also interfere with breast feeding. The oncologist told us that she really is devastated thinking about losing the baby, and is leaning towards delaying treatment until the fetus is 'out of the woods'.

    At this point in time, the fetus looks virtually identical to most other vertebrates, both in land and sea. It is less than an inch in size. And it doesn't come close to any viability definition that imanihonjin keeps clinging to. Yet here this woman is, already with 2 children, her life literally hanging in the balance, regarding the rights of a cellular mass as much as her own.

    It made me realize just how much emotion is in this debate. When you know how relatively many first trimester pregnancies are lost, most of them unbeknownst to the mother, an 8 week old fetus can seem like such an inconsequential thing. But whatever you want to call it, a baby, life, potential life, clump of cells, a lot of women sacrifice their needs and desires for their pregnancies. This is a good thing.

    The arguments over when life starts, the morality of abortion versus the morality of forcing women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, and the rights of the fetus versus the rights of the mother are messy and complicated. Anyone who offers blanket answers or solutions lacks empathy for the other side of the debate.
    Last edited by Northwestcoug; 05-15-2014 at 12:12 PM.

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