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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » pro-choice vs. right-to-life (Page 1)

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Author Topic: pro-choice vs. right-to-life
nifty
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i was debating the whole pro-choice vs. right to life thing with my friend the other day ... just wanted your opinions.
i'm sure this topic has been up again and again but i just want your opinions.

i'm pro - choice

she's right-to-life

am especially looking for right to life opinions.

what do you think of birth control? all kinds, condoms, pills, morning after, starilisation, abortion...

thank you!!
:P
(p.s hope i havnt offended anyone with wording of this post couldnt thnk of any other ways to word it )


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Daydreamer24
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Scarleteen is a pro-choice site.

Personally, I think that this world is so over-populated as it is, and bringing an unwanted child in just makes life more difficult for both parties. I'm not trying to be selfish, that's just my opinion.

Why go through all of the hardships of raising an unwanted/planned child just because of one mistake? If you took all of the right precautions that came with sex, is it really fair to have a baby as punishment? That's being really unfair to you AND the kid.

When going into labor, a woman is risking her life. If you don't want to risk your life, why have a child?

More later when I can organize my thoughts.

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"There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread." -Mother Teresa

"The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem." -Theodore Rubin

[This message has been edited by Daydreamer24 (edited 01-03-2003).]


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leetle
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I was pro-life until my ex girlfriend had an abortion. This was like 4 years ago. She was pro-life also. We had already broken up when she realized she was pregnant. She told me after she had an abortion that she had been pregnant and it was mine. I got really mad at her, I wanted her to have kept it, which is why she didn't even tell me. After 2 years she told me that she loved me so much that she didn't want to screw my life up, she didn't want to be the source of my failure.. After she told me that, I decided that pro-choice is fair to all parties involved. The pro-life agenda is selfish, taking into account ONLY the child's rights, failing to even consider the amount of pressure it would put on the parents. Abortion isn't pretty, it isn't something to laugh about, but its needed. Especially in our society.

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UKgirl
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I am very much pro-choice. I'm an atheist, so none of the religious arguments against it apply for me.
I think its really odd the way that "Pro-life" people claim that the foetus is a human being at such an early stage? If they truly believe this why aren'e they also campaigning for funerals for miscarriages? It doesn't make sense.

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Daydreamer24
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Search in Sex Ethics and Politics for more abortion threads.

Also -- read this article on abortion: Abortion – One Woman’s Story.

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"There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread." -Mother Teresa

"The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem." -Theodore Rubin


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missyj
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I am Pro-Life.
I have no problem with preventing pregnancy, birth control pills, sterilization and what not. But when it comes to abortion, I am against it, in ALMOST all cases. I believe that abortion is necessary when the mother's life is endangered by the pregnancy or birth. And currently, I am still trying to decide for myself if abortion is alright when a woman is raped. Other than that, I am right-to-life.

I believe that once the egg and sperm have met, life begins, and it isn't up to us whether or not it should continue. Before that, the egg and sperm are just sex cells, they aren't capable of starting life on their own. And if you use contraception, you aren't ending life, because it never had the chance to begin.

If you want to say something silly, like: "why don't they have funerals when a woman has a miscarriage?" Then so be it, but I think that is a natural but sad thing. There was a child, but no-one got the chance to actually know her/him. She was alive, we just didn't have the opportunity to see her.

I also think that father of a child should be able to have some kind of control over whether or not the child is aborted. If the mother has significant (health) reasons to abort, then really it is still her body. But this baby is half the father's too, if he is willing to take care of it, and he wants it, then why should he be denied?

Anyways, that's where I stand. I am pro-life, with a dash of pro-choice.

The funny thing I sometimes think of is this:
None of the pro-choice people were aborted, they all had the chance to be born. I think every embryo ultimately *should* deserve a chance at life. They may just be a little blob, but it's the only blob that could turn into human life.

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Love is natural, and everything that goes with it. ;)


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Laura
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quote:
Originally posted by Daydreamer24:
Why go through all of the hardships of raising an unwanted/planned child just because of one mistake? If you took all of the right precautions that came with sex, is it really fair to have a baby as punishment? That's being really unfair to you AND the kid.


But is it ever "really fair to have a baby as punishment"? Even if a woman has sex irresponsibly and without protection, even if you feel she deserves whatever's coming to her - there is a big big big big difference between having a child and having a big red letter A sewn on one's dress. Forcing a woman to have a child because you'd like to see her shamed for the choices she made is, in any event, not fair to the child.

Here's something else I've been wondering about: suppose that, as some people advocate, abortion were legal only in cases of rape. Wouldn't that then give a pregnant woman the motive to lie and say she was raped? Wouldn't that then allow a *real* rapist, who happened to have impregnated his victim, to defend himself by saying, "Oh, well, she's just lying because she wants an abortion"? It seems to me that in many cases, rape is hard enough to prosecute as it is, without allowing rapists this loophole.


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Gumdrop Girl
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Preface: this topic is always a hot one, and people have VERY strong opinions about it. Be familiar with the concept of diplomacy before posting a reply because this thread will be closed as soon as any flaming erupts.

I, personally, encourage dialogue between parties and would love to see both sides represented fairly and with insightful commentary (but i can settle for just fairly, I guess).

I am pro-choice. I am NOT pro-abortion. I want women to have choices available to them in the event of an unplanned pregnancy. I want abortion services available to the women who need them. The choice I'd make for myself is not to have one, but I am not in any position to tell anybody what they can and cannot do in such a scenario. But I also want to facilitate adoption services for women to make it a real and viable option for women who otherwise simply cannot bring themselves to choose abortion.

How do I feel about birth control? I think it's better than sliced cheese. I honestly cannot praise the invention of contraception enough.

Emergency contraception? I don't think it should be prescribed for stockpiling, by that I mean I still think women need to see the doctor after the incident to make sure she does need emergency contraception because as someone who has used it, it is not something you would want to just take if you didn't have to. Do I have any moral objections to emergency contraception? no. I understand enough about how the drug works to know that it is indeed NOTHING like abortion.

But how do I feel about mifeprestone (aka RU-486)? I have always been in favor of its introduction and use in the United States. But I am aware that it has its own share of disadvantages over surgical abortions performed in clinics. For one thing, it takes longer. Luckily, medical supervision during the taking of the doses helps ensure that the medicine is used properly. However, how the woman deals with the products of conception afterwards can be difficult. In these cases, I hope every woman who needs post-abortion support is able ot get it.

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Laura
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On second thought, I guess "shamed" was not quite the right word to use up there. I know there are a lot of young mothers here, and I didn't mean to imply at all that there is anything shameful about that. Really, I was trying to argue *against* the idea that any pregnancy should be treated as either a punishment or a shaming device - because that's just not very helpful at all for anyone involved, least of all the child.
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Dusk
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Well, I'm one of those sort of in-between people. Right now, since it's legal to have an abortion, I accept a women has the right to go that route if she wants. It's not a choice I'd make.

Like missyj, I think once egg and sperm meet, that's a life created. How I see it is, given the normal circumstances egg and sperm meet, it's good odds a baby will be born nine months later.

That's why I have difficulty understanding the "my body, my choice" thing. Once a fetus is up and going, it's a genetically different organism. It shares genetic similarities to the father and mother but it is an individual.

This genetic difference sets it apart from the woman's body. It is not a part of her body but is merely an organism that is taking advantage of the given situation. It doesn't even share the same blood (if I'm remembering my biology correctly).

(Please note, I'm not saying this to attack anyone just explaining why I believe as I do :-) )

I have no problems with contraceptives. They prevent sperm and egg from meeting up, so no life is being stopped after it's already begun.

UKgirl mentioned funerals for miscarriages. I believe I've heard of people doing that. Holding funerals or wakes, naming the child and including it when answering such questions as "How many children do you have?"

I'd like to see adoption considered more over abortion. It gives the child a chance to live and a couple who can't have children a child to include in their life.

I also think both mother and father should both have a say in whether a child is aborted. If one or the other wants the child to be born, that wish should be honored. The parent who doesn't want anything to do with the child can sign away rights if that's what they want.


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UKgirl
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quote:
Originally posted by Dusk:

I have no problems with contraceptives. They prevent sperm and egg from meeting up, so no life is being stopped after it's already begun.
...
I also think both mother and father should both have a say in whether a child is aborted. If one or the other wants the child to be born, that wish should be honored. The parent who doesn't want anything to do with the child can sign away rights if that's what they want.[/B]


just out of curiosity, what are people's veiws on the contraceptive pill? Yes, it MAINLY works by preventing an egg and sperm from coming into contact by preventing egg release and thickening the mucus at the cervix so that sperm cannot enter. BUT they also change the womb lining so that if an egg and sperm meet, the resulting fertilised egg cannot implant, and therefore dies. Do "pro-life" people think this is ok??

How about IUDs?

Also, RE the 2nd part of the quote, how many people think that a man has the right to force a woman to go through 9 months of pregnancy (after which her body may never be the same again), hours of painful labour (which could result in a painful episotomy, natural tearing, damage to the pelvic floor muscle, a huge ceasaren scar, and in some cases even death), and the possible angiush caused by having given up a baby, just because it was his sperm?


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nifty
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thank you all for your input - i realise this is a hot topic, and i don't know what flaming is but i hope that does not happen...
i want to make it clear to the scarleteen people that i don't want to cause trouble bringing such a delecate issue up (seems pretty cheeky cause i'm so new to the site, i thought...) i'm just interested in opinions and i couldnt find anything directly relevant to my debate with my friend... (i have tried using search but my computer freezes up - the comp is from the stone age so its not the site )
thank you.

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missyj
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UK Girl-

I had known about the pill changing the womb's lining, but never actually thought about it being ending life. I suppose that first of all the pill works 'more often' on the pretense that the sperm and egg never meet, so in that case no life has begun and thus no life is being ended. But as you said, the pill also thickens the lining, so even when life has begun, it can't continue. So this little organism, never really had a chance at life anyways. It may be an embryo, but an embryo cannot develop into a child without implanting itself into the uterine lining. So you could even say, that life doesn't actually begin until the embryo has implanted itself there, because if it doesn't then it simply can't develop. I guess, I can't say I disagree with the pill either, cause I am on it. But keep this in mind:

One of the main reasons that I am against abortion is that some people are irresponsible when it comes to sex, and when suddenly the woman gets pregnant, they think they can just vaccum it out and end the whole ordeal. Personally, I am 100% for contraceptives, like Gumdrop said, "greatest thing since sliced bread." Like a lot of people, I like sex (lol), but I don't want to deal with a huge potential of pregnancy every time. So even if a contraceptive can *arguably* be stopping the life from continuing, I am still in favor of a responsible couple doing all they can to stop contraception.

So far the pill, emergency contraception etc. are the best things we have to work with to stop unwanted pregnancy. They may not be perfect in all aspects, but they are doing a dang job of stopping a heck of a lot of pregnancies before they start. Therefore making a lot of things a little bit easier for society to deal with.

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Love is natural, and everything that goes with it. ;)


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missyj
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O - and UK Girl about the second thing-

If the woman has good reasons NOT to have the child, and not to undergo pregnancy, mainly HEALTH reasons I would think, then 100% her choice, it is still her body. But, think about this, what if the woman was irresponsible and got pregnant, but her partner was a good man, who actually wanted the child, and was willing to provide it with a good life. Then should the woman just say: "Too bad, I don't feel like living with my choices, I don't care if technically the child is HALF made of you or the fact that you want it, I am going to get rid of it anyways"?

There would always be exceptions with something like this, but honestly, I think that the man should have some say. The woman may undergo those 9 'terrible' months, but the father could be willing to take care of that child for the next 18 years! And think of what a wonderful person that child could grow up to be...

This is a really touchy topic, like I said there will always be exceptions, but for the MOST part, I believe that the biological father of the child should have some say.


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logic_grrl
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OK, here's a thought:

If someone forces a penis into a woman's (or man's) body against their will for even a few seconds, we (as a society) consider it rape. And we treat it as a very serious crime because we believe that people have an absolute right to their physical autonomy which should never be violated.

Most sensible people would never say that someone "deserved" to be raped because they'd behaved in an irresponsible or foolish way.

Now, if a person is forced to have a growing organism inside their body against their will for nine whole months, leading to an inevitable process which is likely to cause great pain and medical risk (a baby being forced through a vagina can do a lot more damage than a penis can) - isn't that actually of comparable seriousness as a violation of someone's physical autonomy?

Even if you're opposed to abortion, you've surely got to agree that forcing someone to carry a pregnancy to term against their will is a very, very serious thing to do to them.

Before abortion was legalized, many women were so desperate to end unwanted pregnancies that they put their lives at risk (and, in many cases, died) trying DIY abortions at home or getting "backstreet" abortions. Think for a minute about just how desperate you'd have to feel in order for forcing coathanger wire into your uterus to start to look like a good option. There are also a number of cases of women committing suicide when they couldn't get abortions.

So I get very uncomfortable when I hear people implying casually that women who've been "irresponsible" deserve to be forced to carry a pregnancy to term against their will, or should have to do so in order to provide another person with a child to bring up.

A forced pregnancy and forced childbirth isn't just some sort of minor inconvenience or annoyance, and it might be useful to remember that, whichever side of the debate you're on.


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Sunset_Rose
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Gumdrop Girl, I feel its neccessary to steal your preface... hope you don't mind....

Preface: this topic is always a hot one, and people have VERY strong opinions about it. Be familiar with the concept of diplomacy before posting a reply because this thread will be closed as soon as any flaming erupts.


I am definatly pro-choice.
I am pro-choice because that is what I feel it should be- a Choice.

I personally believe that to bring a child
who will be unloved, unwanted and whose parents will not be able to give that child the emotional support it needs into the world is simply wrong.
I think that because a child is pure, and helpless. Leaving it to be scarred is, in my opinion, worse than aborting its birth before it has any more experience of the world than the safety and comfort of its mothers womb.
Therefore, unless I was ready and able to care for and love and support my child, I would have an abortion.

Thats just my opinion. I'm not trying to force it onto anyone else.

I believe strongly that everyone should have a choice- so everyone should make the best decision they can at the time of their pregancy. Noone is saying abortions are easy. I just think that they are a choice.


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Daydreamer24
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logic_grrl: I couldn't agree more. Very well said!
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Dzuunmod
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quote:
Originally posted by logic_grrl:
Before abortion was legalized, many women were so desperate to end unwanted pregnancies that they put their lives at risk (and, in many cases, died) trying DIY abortions at home or getting "backstreet" abortions. Think for a minute about just how desperate you'd have to feel in order for forcing coathanger wire into your uterus to start to look like a good option. There are also a number of cases of women committing suicide when they couldn't get abortions.

I'm very much pro-choice. Let me get that out of the way. That being said, I cringe when I hear people use this sort of reasoning to justify pretty much anything.

What you're saying in this section of your argument, logic, is basically that the law should allow for abortions because women will have them regardless. Should the law then allow for other sorts of things that people have shown through history that they will do regardless? I don't think so.

I believe there are a lot of good arguments in favour of legal abortions - some of which you've made, logic - and there are many arguments in favour of them that I support. I just don't think that this is one of them.

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-Elvis Costello, Cheap Reward

[This message has been edited by Dzuunmod (edited 01-04-2003).]


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Beppie
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quote:
Originally posted by Dzuunmod:
What you're saying in this section of your argument, logic, is basically that the law should allow for abortions because women will have them regardless. Should the law then allow for other sorts of things that people have shown through history that they will do regardless? I don't think so.

I think the difference here Dzuun is the fact that women having abortions regardless of laws against it will often result in severe injury and possibly death for the woman involved, an argument that definitely does not apply to things like murder, assault and rape.

I am pro-choice. My stance is similar to Gumdrop Girl's, although I think that if I was to find myself with an unwanted pregnancy, I would definitely consider abortion to be an option for me (although never having been in that situation, and hopefully I never will be, I can't say for certain what my feelings would be when it came to the crunch).

I definitely think that we need to promote things like open adoption schemes and soforth to increase the amount of choice that a woman has- but I will always think that a woman has the right to choose abortion if that's what she wants.

I used to think that the father should have some say over what happens to the child, but I no longer do. While I do think that in many cases the ethical thing for the pregnant woman to do would be to consult the father and consider his opinion, there is way too much of an opportunity there for men to exploit the situation, resulting in a child that is not only unwanted, but seen as something of a gaming chip between two individuals. Furthermore, the fact remains, that whoever provided the sperm, it is the woman's body that must carry a child to term, it is the woman who risks her health, and let's face it, it is the woman who is most likely going to end up as the primary caregiver, giving up her job and current way of life (NOTE: I do realise that there are many men out there willing to be the primary caregiver, and do a GREAT job of it- however, the fact remains that there are still more female primary caregivers than male). For these reasons, I think that the woman should have the final say in whether or not a pregnancy is carried to term.


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logic_grrl
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No, actually, that wasn't what I was saying .

What I was saying was that people who treat a forced pregnancy and birth as if it was merely a trivial inconvenience for the woman involved may not appreciate the real seriousness and suffering involved.

But if you look at how much pain and risk people were willing to undergo when they couldn't get legal abortions (and still are, in areas where abortion is illegal), you get a clearer idea of just how desperately someone can want to end a pregnancy.

My sister's boyfriend is a trainee doctor who's done some work experience overseas, including in an area where abortion is inaccessible. He ended up treating one girl who'd tried to give herself an abortion by inserting splinters of wood into her uterus (this was last year, incidentally, in case anyone thinks this sort of stuff is history)

I'd say that for someone to even think of doing that to themselves, a forced pregnancy has to be a lot more to them than just a bit of an annoyance.{


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Heather
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I could have an awful lot to say on this topic -- and do, as someone with both personal and professional experience in regard to abortion -- but for the time being think it's best to let the conversation run its course without me.

But one thing I'd like to say, that I think is as simply as I can put all of what I'd usually have to say in far more words is that with any pregnancy, we're not talking about one life being impacted, nor about the loss or gain of one life.

We're talking about two (and that alone makes what Clare had to say very worth listening to, whether or not you feel it's valid -- women have aborted for millennia, and will continue to -- DIY abortions rarely, if ever, result in merely the loss of a fetus, but often in the loss of two lives, something that is easy to overlook a generation or two past the time when nearly every woman knew another who had died or become seriously ill due to illegal abortion). That given, and given that an infant may also grow to be an adult woman, and their life does not start and stop at infancy (nor is their life simply the ability to be physically living), I'm of the mind that even summarizing being anti-choice as "pro-life" is just entirely too simplistic, which is part of why this discussion can be so hard to have fully.

(For the record, I'm often terribly uncomfortable having a discussion on this topic on-site at all, for a number of reasons, but so far, I'm very much appreciating how level everyone has been -- let's hope it can stay that way.)

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Gumdrop Girl
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quote:
[birth control pills] also change the womb lining so that if an egg and sperm meet, the resulting fertilised egg cannot implant, and therefore dies. Do "pro-life" people think this is ok??

This depends on whether a certain person believes life begins at fertilization or not, of course. The thing is, however, that 1 in 3 fertilizations actually implants successfully. This is natural and the woman will have never known anything had ever happened (human chorionic gonadotrophin hCG -- the hormone that is tested for to detect pregnancy -- is produced only after the conceptus implants).

Now, if you believe that life starts at fertilization AND therefore believe that birth control pills terminate life by not allowing the fertilized cell mass to implant, then you would also need to include "naturally" failed implantations (the 2 out of 3 fertilizations) in your definition of a miscarriage.

imho, i don't believe that life begins at fertilization, so I don't think birth control is abortive in any way, shape or form.

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Dusk
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*thunks head* Sorry I did state that once sperm and egg it was life, didn't I? I do believe sucessful implatation is necessary too. As Gumdrop Girl said, many sperm-egg (what's that called, gamat?) do not implant or implant incorrectly and so do not go to term.

UKgirl, that about the effects of the birth control pill is a very good point! One that I think certainly needs consideration. Almost nothing is going to work as perfectly as anyone wants. I guess it comes down to, which is more acceptable to the person considering the subject. To me, it's at least somewhat more acceptable to use a form of contraceptive that works mostly by preventing the egg from being released than a post-implant method that works entirely by removing an already growing fetus.

I do still stand by my opinion regarding respecting the father's wishes. I do not believe that rape (a physical assult without consent) is comparable to pregnancy (the result from -usually- a consensual decision to have sex).

It is about responsibility to me. If two people engage in sex, they risk getting pregnant. I know people will do so regardless of whether they take those risks seriously (meaning they have considered the possibilities of what might happen and accept them). I do not believe a growing fetus deserves to be denied life because the parent(s) decide to abort or the father deserves to be denied his child because the mother doesn't want to put up with pregnancy.

I know pregnancy can be hard on the mother, both during the term and at labor. I know there are many things that can go wrong during them. I think, however, you are overstating them a bit That's not to say those cases are unimportant, just let's keep it in perspective.

Yes, some women who don't want to be pregnant will try to abort themselves if they can't get it performed. I'm not denying that. The world isn't perfect and some people will harm themselves if they find they are in a situation they can't handle.

Beppie brought up the possibility of a father asking the mother not to abort just to exploit the situation. Well, some women do the same thing. They get pregnant, have a child then go after the father for all the money they can, even though they (the mother) care little to nothing about the child.

There are always imperfections in any system and always people who are going to try and twist it to benefit them best.

I should note, that while I'd like to see something like a mutual consent for abortion, I understand that it's likely not to be implamented. I also have nothing against abortions for medical reasons (mother's life is in danger).

For me, if the question is approached with all seriousness and gravity, with a willingness to look at both sides, then I can be somewhat content whether or not anyone agrees with me. I generally respect anyone who comes to a conclusion after taking such consideration into it.

Edited to add: I was thinking this over after I made my post and it came to mind that a lot of disagreement between abortion supporters and detracters seems to hinge on a difference of what is considered life. From what I've read of pro-abortion views, the litmus test seems to be viability.

Not true viability, as even though a healthy full-term newborn can breath on it's own, heart pumping blood and basically doing all the necessary bodily things, it can't exactly protect itself from danger or get up to hunt for food. (Perhaps I am defining it wrong?) But rather seems to be viability with normal care. That is, as long as it is cared for (sheltered, fed, bathed, etc.) the newborn will live, but precludes extreme medical intervention (feeding tubes, breathing machines).

It would seem to solve any conflict that on one hand an abortion of a sixth month baby can be performed without judgement yet on the other hand the survival of a sixth month preemie can be deemed a medical miracle. (Forgive me if I'm off here, it is quite early, I hope my thought is coming across here. Also apologize for making a long post even longer.)

[This message has been edited by Dusk (edited 01-05-2003).]


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logic_grrl
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quote:
I do still stand by my opinion regarding respecting the father's wishes. I do not believe that rape (a physical assult without consent) is comparable to pregnancy (the result from -usually- a consensual decision to have sex).

I'm not saying rape is comparable to pregnancy - I'm saying rape may be comparable to forced pregnancy, in the sense that both violate a person's right to control their own body (and consenting to have sex doesn't automatically mean consent to pregnancy).

My point is that, even if you believe that forcing someone to carry a pregnancy to term against their will is the morally right thing, it's important to be aware that for that person, it may well be literally be a "fate worse than death" - something that they would be willing to risk their life and/or kill themselves to avoid. It may not seem that way to you, but then you're not them.

Now, that's a pretty big deal. So, as I said, it bothers me when people treat a forced pregnancy as if it was just a question of a bit of inconvenience for a few months.



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UKgirl
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I don't know what the situation is in the US, but in the UK a woman can have an abortion only up to the 24th week of pregnancy. After this she can only have an abortion if her life is in danger or if the child will be born disabled. What are people's thoughts on this? Does it discriminate against the disabled?

[This message has been edited by UKgirl (edited 01-12-2003).]


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logic_grrl
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We've already got a thread going on this specific issue (abortion because of fetal disability) here:

http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/Forum8/HTML/000532.html


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Dzuunmod
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quote:
Originally posted by Beppie:
I think the difference here Dzuun is the fact that women having abortions regardless of laws against it will often result in severe injury and possibly death for the woman involved, an argument that definitely does not apply to things like murder, assault and rape.

This is true enough, but the same could be said, for, say, illegal drug use. If you aren't doing that safely, you're putting yourself at more risk than you would be if heroin were perhaps legal, and you could inject under supervision. That doesn't mean that heroin ought to be legalized.

quote:
Originally posted by logic_grrl:
But if you look at how much pain and risk people were willing to undergo when they couldn't get legal abortions (and still are, in areas where abortion is illegal), you get a clearer idea of just how desperately someone can want to end a pregnancy.

But, frankly, the pain and risk that someone might go through to do something illegal might be equally harsh with respect to other illegal activities. What might that heroin addict mentioned above do to get her fix, if the drug is illegal? What sort of pain and risk could she go through if she doesn't get it?

quote:
Originally posted by Miz Scarlet:
...women have aborted for millennia, and will continue to - DIY abortions rarely, if ever, result in merely the loss of a fetus, but often in the loss of two lives, something that is easy to overlook a generation or two past the time when nearly every woman knew another who had died or become seriously ill due to illegal abortion...

I'm afraid this is exactly what I was getting at in my first post. It doesn't matter that people have been stealing for millenia, raping for millenia, murdering for millenia or committing bank fraud for as long as there have been banks, so why then is this held up as an argument for abortion?

Again, let me reiterate that I'm seeing a lot of good points here about why abortion should be legal - and that I agree with most of them. I just don't like this reasoning. If we're in favour of legal abortions, I think it's important to feel passionately about it, yes, but also to use solid reasoning. I just don't think that these particular arguments are solid, myself.

Just to briefly use an analogy...

I am in favour of legalized prostitution - I think the government should be out of our sex lives, and if people want to treat sex as a commodity, then that's their own business. However, I hear a lot of people saying that, well, prostitution's been around forever, and if we can't stop it, we might as well legalize it.

If that's the reasoning that people use, then why do we bother having laws?

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UKgirl
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the discussion seems to be going directly into "should it be legal?", completely bypassing "is it right?". surely whether it is legal should be based on the ethics, rather than whether its going to happen anyway.
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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by logic_grrl:
I'm saying rape may be comparable to forced pregnancy, in the sense that both violate a person's right to control their own body (and consenting to have sex doesn't automatically mean consent to pregnancy)...

And how about forced financial compensation on the part of the biological father who may have consented to sex but does not wish for the child to be born? Where does that fall under the "rape" logic?

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Dusk
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quote:
Originally posted by logic_grrl:
My point is that, even if you believe that forcing someone to carry a pregnancy to term against their will is the morally right thing, it's important to be aware that for that person, it may well be literally be a "fate worse than death" - something that they would be willing to risk their life and/or kill themselves to avoid. It may not seem that way to you, but then you're not them.

Now, that's a pretty big deal. So, as I said, it bothers me when people treat a forced pregnancy as if it was just a question of a bit of inconvenience for a few months.


And I'll restate

quote:
Yes, some women who don't want to be pregnant will try to abort themselves if they can't get it performed. I'm not denying that. The world isn't perfect and some people will harm themselves if they find they are in a situation they can't handle.

It is possible that a woman who comes to such a state that she would harm herself, might qualify for a "medically necessary" abortion as well as some pyschological help (to uncover any possible deeper issues). Let me repeat, so there's no misunderstanding, a woman who would hurt herself not someone who generally supports or wants an abortion.

In citing what might possibly happen to the woman, you have left out what might possibly happen to the man. What about men who would suffer terrible grief from losing a child? Perhaps to the point of becoming suicidal? Or worse, homicidal?

Edit: Dzuunmod and BruinDan, good posts.

Ukgirl, the difficulty with going on the question "is it right?" and saying laws should be based on ethics is that people have different ideas on what is right and ethical and start from different premises. For example, I brought up the question on when one considers viable life to have started. What point does it move from a medical procedure to murder?

[This message has been edited by Dusk (edited 01-05-2003).]


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Heather
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quote:
Originally posted by Dusk:
It is possible that a woman who comes to such a state that she would harm herself, might qualify for a "medically necessary" abortion as well as some pyschological help (to uncover any possible deeper issues). Let me repeat, so there's no misunderstanding, a woman who [b]would hurt herself not someone who generally supports or wants an abortion.[/B]

I cannot state enough how important it is to realize that until less than 40 years ago was medical abortion widely legal. And until that time -- and still now due to the cost -- "those" women are, in fact, not people with psychological problems. They're everyday women -- they were your own mothers, aunts, grandmothers, who were in sound mind, but whom for a myriad of reasons, did not wish to be pregnant or bear children. And for the record, no, at this time or with what the right is proposing, "those" women would not be entitled to mmedical abortions even if they were mentally unstable.

My great concern when ideas go in this direction is that all too often, women's bodies in history have been seen as little more than storage facilities or factories for making babies. And they are not that. And if some of these rights are taken away, I assure you, that sort of view will reach much further than reproductive choice.

And I'm going to confess that now and then with these sorts of discussions, my patience or tolerance is often limited when the majority of people having the discussion have not ever been pregnant, aborted or reared children. Just like the media portrays sex in a way I think we all can agree is often profoundly unrealistic, so it does with other things, like being pregnant, having children and rearing them.

It is not a minor thing. And the individual woman's experience aside on a physical level, we tread VERY shaky ground if it is said that a woman doesn't have the right to decide if she wants to have a child or not, but those SAME women are given the responsibility of making choices for the whole of a child's life. In other words -- is that truly sensible? If we cannot entrust each woman with the choice to actually bear or not bear children, how then should we trust her with all of the choices that a parent must make for a child as they grow? That's pretty big stuff.

Because you know, they do grow up.

quote:
Ukgirl, the difficulty with going on the question "is it right?" and saying laws should be based on ethics is that people have different ideas on what is right and ethical and start from different premises. For example, I brought up the question on when one considers viable life to have started. What point does it move from a medical procedure to murder?]

And this is the part of the discussion that I'm not willing to entertain here at Scarleteen. Sorry, but that just isn't somewhere I'm comfortable going here in this context.

For the purposes of this discussion -- whether you agree or not -- I'm going to have to ask that you operate from where the legal issues and acknowledgments on life stand right now, which is after birth.

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Gumdrop Girl
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quote:
Asked by Dusk: sperm-egg (what's that called, gamat?)

I know i use too much jargon, so I'll post a short glossary.

gamete: sex cell such as sperm or ovum
fertilization: the union of sperm and ovum
conceptus: a generic term at any stage for the result of a sperm-egg fertilization
zygote: ONE-cell product of fertilization, first step after fertilization
embryo: conceptus that has begun to differentiate, this is the step before "fetus"
fetus: conceptus has taken on discernably human features, more advanced in development than an embryo
mitosis: cell division
implantation: the process by which the conceptus sticks to the uterus and begins development
hCG: human chorionic gonadotrophin, a hormone that is produced only during pregnancy immediately starting after implantation; pregnancy tests detect this hormone
abortion: termination of a pregnancy, whether spontaneous, drug-induced or surgical; also called termination or "AB"
products of conception: term used to apply to the material removed during an abortion including placental, embryonic and other tissue

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Milke
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Touchy topic!
Sometimes people who are compatible as a couple have very different viewpoints on certain things, which can lead to tricky situations, but, if handled welll, can also mean both parties learn from the other, and benefit from being exposed to things they might not have considered otherwise. It's very possible to agree to disagree; to realise that while you don't think what I believe is right, it is my choice to feel that way, and that by respecting my choices you may well be able to both learn from me and influence me. There have been efforts to get people on both sides of this debate to discuss and find out what they have in common, and maybe find ways to compromise, and make the situation more aggreable to everyone. Anyone got any experience with things like this, or additional feelings on the topic?

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Dusk
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quote:
Originally posted by Miz Scarlet:
I cannot state enough how important it is to realize that until less than 40 years ago was medical abortion widely legal. And until that time -- and still now due to the cost -- "those" women are, in fact, not people with psychological problems. They're everyday women -- they were your own mothers, aunts, grandmothers, who were in sound mind, but whom for a myriad of reasons, did not wish to be pregnant or bear children. And for the record, no, at this time or with what the right is proposing, "those" women would not be entitled to mmedical abortions even if they were mentally unstable.

Which is why I stated the psychological help would be to uncover any possible deeper issues. Meaning the woman may or may not be mentally unstable. A tendency to harm oneself may be an indicator, I was stating nothing more than a possibility.

quote:
It is not a minor thing. And the individual woman's experience aside on a physical level, we tread VERY shaky ground if it is said that a woman doesn't have the right to decide if she wants to have a child or not, but those SAME women are given the responsibility of making choices for the whole of a child's life.

Funny, could've sworn I said either parent could sign away their rights.

quote:
1-04-2003 Dusk posted:
If one or the other wants the child to be born, that wish should be honored. The parent who doesn't want anything to do with the child can sign away rights if that's what they want.

Ahh, so I did Which means they wouldn't be expected to make any choices for the whole of the child's life.

quote:
For the purposes of this discussion -- whether you agree or not -- I'm going to have to ask that you operate from where the legal issues and acknowledgments on life stand right now, which is after birth.

Unfortunately, doing so effectively stifles any meaningful discussion by those who believe the legal issues/acknowlegments on life are wrong. You force them to start on a basis they believe to be false.

Gumdrop Girl, thanks for the glossary, very helpful! ^_^

Milke, indeed! I know the different viewpoints in a couple situation first-hand ^_^. My boyfriend and I had a discussion prompted by a story of a woman who was pregnant and ill. Her treatments could seriously affect the baby and there was a question of whether she should abort.

My boyfriend asked me if I were in a similar situation, what would I do? (though he suspected what I might answer) He actually supported the abortion route, he told me, because he would be afraid of losing both the child and I. We had quite the convo over that

It would be nice to see some sort of agreement that could be worked out. As I stated in the beginning, I'm sort of an in-betweener. Though I think the child has a right to live, I accept my definations are not everyone else's. Someone who believes that legally/morally/etc. life doesn't begin until after birth, has just as much right to live their life according to their views as I have to mine.

While I'd like to see fathers brought into it a bit more than I think they are, things as they stand could be considered at least tolerable. No laws force a woman under any circumstance to have an abortion if she doesn't want one. And abortions can be done safely for those who do. I know that's the "if it's going to be done, let's do it safely" argument, but it's the most I can give without compromising my own beliefs

And since Miz Scarlet has dictated a restriction which makes it impossible for me to continue discussing true to my beliefs, I shall bow out of the thread. Good day all ^_^


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Frog Hunter
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I've put a lot of thought into this topic... and I can sum my own opinions up in point form. Just to offer a few thoughts...

Edit: Seems I decided not to use point form after all... hehe

A human embryo/foetus is less developed than a full-grown chicken, dog, or monkey. Were it a matter of keeping a woman's life on the right track, I doubt anyone would criticize her choice in killing any of these three animals... so what is the problem if she wants to kill an embryo/foetus?

The criticism of this first point is that a foetus will (if all goes well) eventually become a human being, even if it is not already a human being. Thus the moral problem with killing a foetus clearly isn't the killing of the living organism (as the destruction of much more developed and sentient organisms is no issue at all under the circumstances in which a woman would choose to have an abortion), rather, the problem is with the destruction of potential life.

Well, I can't deny that destruction of a foetus IS potential life. You've all been discussing birth control as well, which is similarly, destruction of potential life.

Know what else is destruction of potential life? Abstinence. In fact, every moment you spend doing anything other than copulating is destruction of potential life. Think of how many eggs could have been fertilized today, if everybody spent the whole day copulating. How many potential lives have been lost?

The argument that it is destruction of potential life is weak because the potential for life exists at any given time, between any pair of people with complimentary genitals.

Sure, abortion destroys potential life. I'm pretty sure that's the whole point. Life is precious, which is why it should only occur when it is going to be given the treatment it deserves.

In terms of its results, abortion is no worse than using a condom, or simply abstaining from sexual intercourse. Morally, abortion is no worse than shooting and eating a deer.

[This message has been edited by Frog Hunter (edited 01-05-2003).]


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