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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » pro-choice vs. right-to-life (Page 2)

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Author Topic: pro-choice vs. right-to-life
UKgirl
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quote:
Originally posted by Dusk:
It is about responsibility to me. If two people engage in sex, they risk getting pregnant.

I know this is is going back a bit in the discussion, but Dusk's comment really stuck in my head.

As I've said, Im pro-choice, and the way I see this whole responsibility thing is like this:

Yes, everytime a woman has sex she risks pregnancy. Equally, everytime a person crosses the road they risk being killed. That does not mean that if they do get hit, everybody stands by saying "they knew the risks of crossing the road, they have to take the consequences" and lets that person die. We help them. We understand that accidents happen.

What about carelessness? If someone gets run over because they weren't being careful, we help them and then tell them how to avoid it happening again. Surely if a woman has been careless we could do the same.

Also, nobody suggests not crossing the road.


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britt0285
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This topic was actually discussed briefly in my government class. It is my personal belief that abortion is unmoral. I believe that abortion should be available in the event of rape or if the pregnancy is believed to put the womans life in danger. I do not, however, believe that abortion should be illegal because I would not like the fact that the government would have control over my body. I have several reasons that I believe abortion would be wrong for me. That doesn't mean that it would be wrong for everyone. When it comes down to it a woman should have the right to chose. I would just hope that the woman would chose to continue the pregnancy and search for other options such as adoption.
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Milke
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britt, that was a really awesome post. It's great to be able to realise that different people have different needs, and support making choices that don't necessarily suit you available, because you know someone else might need them.

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Milke, SSBD, RATS, TMNTP

It was a good lay. . .


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britt0285
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Thanks. I just believe that maybe the reason abortion is felt as such an unmoral act is because it goes against the christian religion. I am not too familiar with other religions. My boyfriend is buddhist so I am somewhat familiar with that but I am unaware of where they stand on the abortion issue. However, I was rasied in southern baptist home, so it is unmoral for me. But I do not believe that I should force my beliefs and religion on others who have different views, but im not saying that all christian ppl are against abortion (I'm trying to keep away from generalizations)
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Heather
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Just FYI, Britt, you may appreciate or have interest in this organization, which is Catholic-based but supports reproductive choice: http://www.cath4choice.org/

(They represent various viewpoints and feelings about abortion, but support choice all the same, like yourself. They also have some very interesting statistics in there, like for instance that the majority of Catholics in the US do not believe that abortion is always morally wrong, and that the number of Catholic women who get abortions is tno lesser than women of other faiths and traditions.)

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 01-10-2003).]


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logic_grrl
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It's an interesting fact that for most of its history, the Christian Church has not been officially opposed to all abortions.

In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, many Christian theologians (including St. Thomas Aquinas and Pope Innocent III, both in the 13th century, and Pope Gregory XIV, in the 16th century) maintained that abortion was not a sin if it was performed before "quickening".

"Quickening" was usually defined as the point when fetal movement was first felt by the woman, and it was felt that the fetus did not have a soul before then.

Pope Gregory XIV stated that "quickening" only occured at 116 days into a pregnancy - well after the first trimester (the majority of modern abortions take place within the first trimester).


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punkfag
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I have never met someone anti-abortion who is pro-life.
* That doesn't mean that those of you who claim to be pro-life aren't. I'm speaking from personal experience here, and respect the right of eveyone to their own opinions. *
That said, I refer to them as anti-choice. <<<For example>>>, George W. Bush calls himself pro-life because he is against a woman's right to make choices about her own body. Pro-life? What about the lives of innocent Iraqis he's willing to kill for dominance and oil? What about the lives of the working class people who he makes poorer by the day, while the rich get richer? What about the lives of women who die from back-alley abortions? What about queer people who kill themselves? What about the lives of people getting HIV while he cuts funding for sex ed and HIV prevention? What about the lives of these so-called un-born children in third world nations? Many of them will die anyways, from hunger, disease, and AIDS, while Bush refuses to give more aid, and threatens to leave U.N. meetings. Unfortunately, most "pro-lifers" support Bush and his agenda. That is anti-choice.

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

[This message has been edited by punkfag (edited 02-16-2003).]


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Confused boy
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Hear, hear!

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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jessakuh
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im pro-choice. This is a free country people havethe rigt to choose. If you dont believe in abortions then dont get one.thats how i see it. dont ruin others people right to choose because you feel a different opinion to them
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Milke
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You know, much as American politics can upset me, I'm not sure all those things relate to the topic at hand, punkfag.

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Milke, SSBD, RATS, TMNTP

It was a good lay. . .


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cupcake
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Wow, kudos to Britt!

I'm a lot the same way. But I don't have any deep religious beliefs.
My bf and I considered abortion, but as pro-choice as I am, I knew that it wasn't the right choice for me.
I just don't think the two are synonymous. If someone else feels that that choice is right for them, I think, all the power to them. It's teh nature of choice.

It's also worth notinng, that when I was younger, I was dead set on abortion. I swore that if I ever got pregnant, I would get an abortion, no doubt about it, no matter what anyone said. I was never going to have kids


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UKgirl
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yeah, its important to remember the right not to choose abortion. I remember my friend telling me about when his sister was pregnant. She was 18, just finished her A-level qualifications, and had a place waiting for her at an Oxbridge college. So people assumed she wouldn't keep the baby, and everyone's first reaction when they heard about the pregnancy was "when is the abortion?" That really upset her.
She kept the baby, is very happy, and going back to studying again.

[This message has been edited by UKgirl (edited 01-16-2003).]


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Chinyere85
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Wowwie. Long long long topic with a lot of replys. You don't mind if I only skim the previous replies while posting my own opinion, do ya? If I repeat something already said, I appologize.

*Ducks flying tomatoes.*

So anyway, without thinking about it, I would automatically answer I am pro-life (or right-to-life, as I saw it referred to earlier...hmm, never had heard that before).

But, when I think of it more, I think of too many other cases where there might have been acceptions. I mean, there is rape and incest, and cases in which a mother really doesn't want the child and really would be unsuitable. I think of all the cases with the babies drowned in toilets and cringe.

My position used to be that if you messed up and didn't play it safe (whether that is in safe sex or straight up abstinence) that you should suffer the consequence and just have the kid, life lesson learned. But, I now see how unfair that is.

We all have accidents and/or make mistakes. A life should never be a grave mistake.

A little while back (and I mean, a few months ago), I was involved in this crazy movement in which I believed that if I never participated in the "game," never gave into the impulses that ultimately lead to reproducation, that I would lead a happier life.

In the request of friends and family, I gave that up a short while ago. I am too unhealthy to do something else against my health. Not that such ideas aren't still appealing to me...

But anyway, I agree with the population theory. There are already too many mouths to feed in this world, and babies and children are dying everyday. We need no more unwanted children in this world, and anyone who is truely right-to-life should be willing to make an effort to help these children. I still believe everyone should have the right to a life, but no one should be made to live in a sucky one.

As one who has contemplated suicide and looks more rationally at death and not living, I have come to the conclusion that happily ever after does not exist for everyone and that life is not always the greatest experience ever. No one should be made to live in misery.

For anyone who takes a firmly religious stance on this, I can identify. My right-to-life decision was purely religious also. But the fact of the matter is not everyone has the same faith (ie faith in God, faith in self, faith in humanity, faith in good, etc...) We all have a faith in something different. I think that the only decision we should make is for ourselves in each situation, even as a very religious person.

We are not here to judge others, we have other duties in life. There are certain things that I wouldn't do myself, but in terms of what anyone else choses...I believe it is their own choice. Whether it is denounced as sin or whatever...it is your choice. And thus clears up any ambiguity in the argument in terms of rape, incest, etc.

And even looking at it in terms of ethics, it's like the choice between two evils, if abortion or birth control is considered such. Either a potential life is extinguished, or a baby is born that lives miserably or, if not miserably, with due struggles in his or her life because of the inability/irresponsibility/desire of the parent. I've seen and I've known many lives like this, cases of unwanted and neglected children. Some of them die. Some of them live into adulthood, to encounter various problems.

No doubt, some of them live, overcome the problems and become great people. There's a gospel singer I know, Donnie McClurkin, who was the result of a rape of his mother. Had psychological effects on him, yes. He had various problems growing up, but now he's big in the world of gospel music. But, my position still stands in terms of being pro-choice. I don't criticize anyone for doing something that I don't believe is right unless they are very close to me and they respect my opinion...of which there are a limited few.

I can say for myself, at this point, that I would never abort a child, even if the result of rape or incest. But I can't know that, because I am not there. The fact of the matter is that rape and incest are, by vast understatements, not pleasant experiences to go through. Deciding whether to allow a pregnancy to go full term, to abort the child, to give the child away or to keep the child just compound that. It is one's choice.

Hah! I also believed at one point that I would never use birth control, that I'd take whatever kid comes.

Considering my years left in fertility, I've reconsidered this decision...

Just as I'd rather have my own choice in the matter, I believe that others should have the same. Whether considered a sin or not, if one is looking at it that way, people also have their right to sin. But I'm not even going as far as to pass that first judgement. We are not the one's to judge.

Wow. That's a lot of stuff.


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Issy
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Well, nice to such active discussion.
I'd like to post an excert from the Inga Muscio's book Cunt, but that would probably break copyright infringement rules, so I'll refrain. Instead I'll direct you to the afterword in the new edition pg 258-67. It's entitled "A Clarification: I am a Pro-life Baby Killer" and I think it does a fabulous job of placing the abortion debate within a larger and more nuanced context. Please read it and other accounts of women who have actually had abortions before jumping to your own conclusions, especially if you don't have any first hand experience with pregnancy, childbirth and/or abortion. It's not an easy issue and it's not black and white. Grey all 'round, my friends, grey all 'round.

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When shall we learn, what should be clear as day,/We cannot choose what we are free to love?
-from "History" Adrienne Rich


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Dzuunmod
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Hey Issy, welcome to the boards.

As long as the excerpt that you want to post isn't too long, you're certainly welcome to do it. After all, people quote from books and papers when they themselves write books or papers. You could throw two or three paragraphs up on the boards, and as long as you tell us who wrote it, and where you saw it, there's no problem with it.

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"And when I'm gone, she'll never leave me. No, no she'll never, be untrue. And buddy if you do not believe me, you don't believe the sky is blue."
-Joel Plaskett, Down at the Khyber


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Heather
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I just wanted to mention that this is the most sound, divserse and calm discussion we have ever had on the topic here.

Good job, everyone!

I will chime in with UK as well as with some of what Chinyere said (and note that yes, punkfag, the hypocrisy you're pointing out with *some* who subscribe to pro-life views is seen all too often -- we've got the highest child poverty rate in the industrialized world in the US, and one of the highest child mortality rates, too boot -- I post this today with the foul taste in my mouth of Bush's "National Sanctity of Life Day. " His "pro-life" stance apparently includes, against the advice and pleas of nearly every other nation in the world, and a majority of our citizens, forging on with a path to carelessly destroy the lives of both American soldiers and Iraqi people, including their children -- hell, we just bombed Canadians in Afghanistan "on accident" yesterday during "friendly fire." But I digress.).

While certainly it's not required to have an opinion on the topic, I think it's very important to really listen and hear the voices and perspectives of women who have actually EXPERIENCED abortion, adoption and/or childbirth and child-rearing.

We often see things very differently when they're academic than when they are actual. And all of those options are often very different when played out than they are as mere ideas.

If you haven't had any of those experiences yourself, or don't have women around to talk to who have and are trying to figure out how you feel (and really, you can just ask most of us who you know or think may have been there), there are some books with some first-person accounts you may find of interest, like, "Bitter Fruit: Women's Experiences of Unplanned Pregnancy, Abortion, and Adoption" (Rita Townsend), Anne Perkins, Ann Perkins).

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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Dzuunmod
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The negative stuff that people have been saying here about Bush was summed up by the fabulous police chief character played by S. Epatha Merkerson on a Law & Order rerun the other night. It was something like:

"These people want the baby to come out, but after that, they don't give a damn what happens to it."

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"And when I'm gone, she'll never leave me. No, no she'll never, be untrue. And buddy if you do not believe me, you don't believe the sky is blue."
-Joel Plaskett, Down at the Khyber


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Milke
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More Canadians were lost to American friendly fire? Last I checked, we hadn't even resolved what was coming of last April's incident.

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Milke, SSBD, RATS, TMNTP

It was a good lay. . .


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Dzuunmod
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I'm not quite catching you, Milke...

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"And when I'm gone, she'll never leave me. No, no she'll never, be untrue. And buddy if you do not believe me, you don't believe the sky is blue."
-Joel Plaskett, Down at the Khyber


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cupcake
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Read Ms. S's response....

I see what's being meant.

I THINK that's she just means the trial.. god I hope she means just the trial.


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Heather
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Yes, I was referring to the April incident. Long day for me yesterday.

(Apparently, the two US pilots were hopped up on amphetamines. Apparently. Of course, there are other similar inncidents that have yet to be filed, like when our charming troops attacked an Afghan wedding celebration last July and killed 40 people, but gee, they're Afghan, so that's not so important. Jesus.)

Anyway, back to topic.

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 01-20-2003).]


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UKgirl
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/cartoons/stevebell/0,7371,748411,00.html

anyway, back to the topic..


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Milke
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(You know, somehow I don't think anyone was out to kill Canadian soldiers, or Afghanistan civilians, and I doubt that anyone who was involved feels proud of what happened. I think we're assuming more intent than there could possibly have been in a situation where those involved could hardly see, and thus, fully understand what they were dealing with, and it bothers me a bit how we're handling this. The possibility of war terrifies me, but is it possible our wrath is being aimed at the wrong target here?)

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Milke, SSBD, RATS, TMNTP

It was a good lay. . .


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UKgirl
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where exactly should our wrath be aimed?

[This message has been edited by UKgirl (edited 01-21-2003).]


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UKgirl
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I'm sorry for the above post, I realise it was out of line, off the subject and would make it difficult for others to add to the debate. Sorry.

So, back to the subject. Was randomly looking at related websites and found a site calling for abortion on demand in Britain (http://www.vfc.mailbox.co.uk/). The current situation here is that two doctors need to approve the abortion, and they have to beleive that continuing the pregnancy would damage the womans physical or mental health, that of her family, or that the child would be born seriously handicapped. How does this compare to where you are from? What do you think of this?


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Longshanks
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I tried to join this discussion about 10 days ago. Unfortunately my internet access was cut off JUST as I was posting, and I only just got it back. I missed broadband so much.

Anyway, for a really incredible discussion of this topic, I highly recommend "In A Different Voice" by Carol Gilligan. As a man, reading this book was eye-opening. The study explores the difference between the point of view of men and women, and a large part uses the experience of women considering abortion to examine the differences between the way men and women think. I could try and summarize the argument, but you'd be a lot better off reading it yourself. Should be available in most libraries.


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Heather
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(I don't suppose Longshanks that you're reading that at Shimer College in Waukegan, are you?

I knmow Barb Stone there used that in her Soc. courses, and it's my alma mater, so was curious enough to ask.)

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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andorian99
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There are also a number of cases of women committing suicide when they couldn't get abortions.logic grrl

Actually two studies - one from California and one from Finland -- have shown that suicide is higher among women who abort. they found that in the first year after an abortion women are more likely to die from a suicide , accident , abuse, or natural causes.

http://www.afterabortion.org/PAR/V8/n2/finland.html is the Finland study. I actually found the original study online, but it was not in English..LOL..this one is.

Reardon DC, Ney PG , Scheuren FJ, Cougle JR, Coleman, PK, Strahan T. "Deaths associated with pregnancy outcome: a record linkage study of low income women." Southern Medical Journal, August 2002, 95(8):834-841.

To read the article click on this pdf file- [URL] http://www.afterabortion.org/research/DeathsAssociatedWithAbortion.pdf [/URL]

Researchers examined death records linked to Medi-Cal payments for births and abortions for approximately 173,000 low income Californian women. They discovered that women who had abortions were almost twice as likely to die in the following two years. Over the eight year period studied, women who aborted had a 154 percent higher risk of death from suicide, an 82 percent higher risk of death from accidents, and a 44 percent higher risk of death from natural causes

[URL]http://www.afterabortion.org/News/depressionbmj.html [/URL] for British Medical Journal report


This week's prestigious British Medical Journal reports that women who abort a first pregnancy are at greater risk of subsequent long term clinical depression compared to women who carry an unintended first pregnancy to term.

[URL] http://www.afterabortion.org/News/outpatient1.html [/URL]
A study published in the most recent issue the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry reveals that both the early and delayed psychiatric episodes, experienced by some women who have aborted , are significant risks associated with abortion.

Women were 63 percent more likely to receive mental care within 90 days of an abortion compared to delivery. In addition, significantly higher rates of subsequent mental health treatment persisted over the entire four years of data examined.

So be careful what you read and think you know. The facts support more suicide and mental health problems afte abortion.

carol



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UKgirl
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quote:
Originally posted by andorian99:
[B
Actually two studies - one from California and one from Finland -- have shown that suicide is higher among women who abort. they found that in the first year after an abortion women are more likely to die from a suicide , accident , abuse, or natural causes.
[/B]

these studies were carried out in countries with legal abortion, therefore they prove that women who choose to abort are more likely die than those who chose not to abort. That is not the issue. The issue is what happens to women who are forced not to abort in places where abortion is illegal.


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logic_grrl
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quote:
"A zygote is the beginning of a new human being." ... Keith L. Moore, T.V.N. Persaud, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology (Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders Co., 1993),

That is why we say it. Sceince and Medicine say it. Can you disprove that text book? carol


What this textbook is stating is that genetically, a zygote is capable of becoming a genetically-distinct human being. This does not state anything about its rights, moral or legal status.

And many people believe that a tiny bundle of a few cells is not equivalent to a sentient, conscious human being in terms of rights.


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logic_grrl
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quote:
The facts support more suicide and mental health problems afte abortion.

Actually, they don't, and you are the one passing on false information, I'm afraid.

In the late 1980s, after reviewing all the studies that have been done on this subject, former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, M.D. (who is "pro-life", incidentally), concluded that the emotional problems following abortion are "miniscule from a public health perspective." And a study published in the Journal of the American Psychological Association, which analyzed data from almost 10,000 women, found that having an abortion had no effect on women's psychological well-being.


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emsily0
Activist
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i just want to remind people that this is a pro-choice site. it is not a public site but a private one, and so we are allowed to limit the politics of the discussions in certain ways. furthermore, keep the flames to a minimum! we don't need personal attacks here.

while it's perfectly OK to oppose abortion, it is not OK to oppose its legality on these boards. we're trying to be able to maintain calm, civilized discussion about this, and i know ti's difficult because it's an emotionally charged issue.

em

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Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk - real straight talk about souls - for life is holy and every moment is precious. I heard the Denver and Rio Grande locamotive howling off in the mountains. I wanted to pursue my star further. -Kerouac

[This message has been edited by emsily0 (edited 01-26-2003).]


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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Another reminder: NUMEROUS posts tossed up in this thread by one user here have been deleted. Not only is spamming the boards not acceptable within the user guidelines, as noted on several pages of the site, outlinking to numerous antichoice organizations, which house gross misinformation, is also not acceptable.

Scarleteen is a prochoice site, as stated clearly on our front page. Discussion of personal choices and feelings regarding all of our personal choices is totally acceptable. Using Scarleteen as a soapbox for antichoice canvassing is not.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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truedespoena
Neophyte
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Miz Scarlet wrote: While certainly it's not required to have an opinion on the topic, I think it's very important to really listen and hear the voices and perspectives of women who have actually EXPERIENCED abortion, adoption and/or childbirth and child-rearing.

....I had an abortion. A year ago. I wrote up what was happening to me at the time. It's on a nice anonymous geocities site with no names or email. It is less graphic than most stuff on TV, but it is a bit icky in places. It's quite short though. Would it be inappropriate to give a link to it?
~TD


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lemming
Scarleteen Volunteer
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I think that would be best mailed to boardmom@scarleteen.com or to one of the moderators first (you can find moderators' emails on forum pages), just to be certain, but I'm sure your story would be helpful to many readers.

It might be best if you just wrote it out here, as well, so that users could find everything on one page here. That's what this thread is for.
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Laurel Lemming
Scarleteen Advocate

"Maypole/The ties that bind you will unwind/To free me one day/And everything decays..." - XTC, "The Wheel and the Maypole"

[This message has been edited by lemming (edited 01-27-2003).]


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