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Terryl Givens Weighs in on Ethics of Abortion


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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

You are assuming a certain collection of cells is a human with rights and privileges. 

First, it's not an assumption.  It's a conclusion.

Second, it's a conclusion based on both biology and morality.  We are all at risk of being dehumanized as you do here.  We can all be described as a "collection of cells."

Third, it's a conclusion quite similar to the one reached regarding chattel slaves in antebellum America: they were "human{s} with rights and privileges."

1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

If a collection of cells known as a fetus is simply a growing seed and is not a person that changes things. 

"If."

Again, denying the personhood of slaves was integral to the justification of slavery, and denying the personhood of fetuses - as you do here - is integral to the justification of elective abortion.

1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

I'm certainly not a free for all abortion advocate, but I also can imagine why this issue is far more complicated than the way you wish to paint it.  

I agree there are some factors that complicate the discussion.  But there are also factors that simplify it.

Thanks,

-Smac

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On 11/18/2020 at 12:27 PM, pogi said:

I suppose if killing babies is good, killing anyone is good, since God allows for natural death and accidents in all stages of life!  Why stop at legalizing killing babies?

I know I'm repeating myself, but Roe v Wade ought to be overturned on state's rights grounds.  Abortion is a heinous offense but it ought to be left up to the states.  I don't think it is necessarily a crime but i would support a state that said it was.  And most certainly I oppose public subsidies for abortion.  The way congress does it -- gives money to Planned Parenthood but not for abortion -- is just absurd game-playing and shuffling of money.  Planned Parenthood should not be federally subsidized.  Put these women into ObamaCare and do away with the absurdity.

Edited by Bob Crockett
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52 minutes ago, pogi said:

Neither is a newborn baby. 

On the contrary. Fetuses at different gestations and newborns have vastly different abilities to survive alone. Newborns can survive for days without intervention, and of course they can survive outside of their mother's bodies. The same cannot be said about fetuses in general.

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11 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

I know I'm repeating myself, but Roe v Wade ought to be overturned on state's rights grounds.  Abortion is a heinous offense but it ought to be left up to the states.  I don't think it is necessarily a crime but i would support a state that said it was.

Why? Do women not inherently have rights via the US Constitution protecting them from violations of their medical privacy?

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10 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

I know I'm repeating myself, but Roe v Wade ought to be overturned on state's rights grounds.  Abortion is a heinous offense but it ought to be left up to the states.  I don't think it is necessarily a crime but i would support a state that said it was.

I look at it in terms of human rights rather than state rights.  I think that is more fundamental.  I don't think the federal or state government should be allowed to dictate who is deserving of fundamental, "natural" and inalienable "human" rights and who is not.   Government dictated definitions of personhood on the federal or state level, which have nothing to do with science and everything to do with politics, should have nothing to do with human rights or ethics.  They are, after all, natural "human rights" not "person rights".  Natural human beings are endowed with natural human rights that no government should have power to restrict based on unnatural definitions of personhood, which are not even supported by the natural sciences.   What defines a "person" is nothing more than a semantic legal game with no scientific or ethical reason.      

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Among these fundamental natural rights, Locke said, are "life, liberty, and property.

 The stage of development of a human being is a scientifically trivial and frivolous matter when it comes to humanhood.  Personhood is inconsequential when it comes to ethics and science.  Only politicians care about that. 

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43 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Why? Do women not inherently have rights via the US Constitution protecting them from violations of their medical privacy?

Inherent right to medical privacy?  Somehow I missed that in Hume's natural rights.  HIPPA is a relatively new law, it is not "inherent".  What does medical privacy have to do with killing babies anyway? 

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46 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

On the contrary. Fetuses at different gestations and newborns have vastly different abilities to survive alone. Newborns can survive for days without intervention, and of course they can survive outside of their mother's bodies. The same cannot be said about fetuses in general.

Nope.  Sorry, newborns cannot survive alone.  They will die within days as you acknowledge.  They are totally and completely dependent on others.  Many fetus's can live just as long as newborns on their own, by the way.  I wouldn't say they are capable of surviving on their own though.  That is ridiculous!   Why should the level of dependence dictate the level of moral protection?  

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31 minutes ago, pogi said:

Inherent right to medical privacy?  Somehow I missed that in Hume's natural rights.  HIPPA is a relatively new law, it is not "inherent".  What does medical privacy have to do with killing babies anyway? 

I thought it is fairly common knowledge that Roe v Wade held that the right to privacy as protected by the 14th Amendment means that the act of criminalizing abortion is a violation of a woman's privacy.

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2 hours ago, smac97 said:

First, it's not an assumption.  It's a conclusion.

Second, it's a conclusion based on both biology and morality.  We are all at risk of being dehumanized as you do here.  We can all be described as a "collection of cells."

Third, it's a conclusion quite similar to the one reached regarding chattel slaves in antebellum America: they were "human{s} with rights and privileges."

No one argued that zygotes are a collection of cells therefore it's okay to enslave black people.  That's silly.  My only point is to call attention to the difference of opinion here.  Can we call them person if outside the womb they simply wouldn't survive?  As God set it up, most pregnancies would end in death.  That's how he wanted it, apparently.  

 

2 hours ago, smac97 said:

"If."

Again, denying the personhood of slaves was integral to the justification of slavery, and denying the personhood of fetuses - as you do here - is integral to the justification of elective abortion.

That is one absurd argument to hold.  Fetus' can't survive outside the womb.  They aren't even people, on a naturalist take.  You are comparing apples and oranges again.  

2 hours ago, smac97 said:

I agree there are some factors that complicate the discussion.  But there are also factors that simplify it.

Thanks,

-Smac

 

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9 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

I thought it is fairly common knowledge that Roe v Wade held that the right to privacy as protected by the 14th Amendment means that the act of criminalizing abortion is a violation of a woman's privacy.

That's true.  

But the question is not a federal one. 

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24 minutes ago, pogi said:

Nope.  Sorry, newborns cannot survive alone.  They will die within days as you acknowledge.  They are totally and completely dependent on others.  Many fetus's can live just as long as newborns on their own, by the way.  I wouldn't say they are capable of surviving on their own though.  That is ridiculous!   Why should the level of dependence dictate the level of moral protection?  

In general, newborns can survive outside their mother's womb for a considerable amount of time, up to several days. This is why in some natural disasters, newborn babies will be discovered alive beneath the rubble. For fetuses, this is not generally the case. Most fetuses at any given moment of time cannot survive outside the mother's womb without considerable intervention. 

The difference that makes is what you are requiring of another human being to keep the helpless human being alive. Do we pull random people off the streets and put another human inside them to keep them alive? Does a woman have to put a newborn inside her body to keep him alive? No. What you're demanding is that one human being be forced to keep another human being inside their body.

 

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7 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

That's true.  

But the question is not a federal one. 

On the contrary, the United States Constitution is a federal document. Rights flow from it protecting individuals from undue violations by the states.

Edited by Meadowchik
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50 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

I thought it is fairly common knowledge that Roe v Wade held that the right to privacy as protected by the 14th Amendment means that the act of criminalizing abortion is a violation of a woman's privacy.

You are confusing medical privacy (which didn't exist before HIPPA - and definitely didn't exists during Roe v Wade) and the "privacy" referenced in Roe v Wade, which is about bodily autonomy rather than medical privacy. 

I obviously disagree with Roe v Wade.  Life, liberty, and property.  Those are the most fundamental.  We should not give anyone "autonomy" to kill another human life.  That should not be a protected right or use of bodily autonomy. 

 

Edited by pogi
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36 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

In general, newborns can survive outside their mother's womb for a considerable amount of time, up to several days. This is why in some natural disasters, newborn babies will be discovered alive beneath the rubble. For fetuses, this is not generally the case. Most fetuses at any given moment of time cannot survive outside the mother's womb without considerable intervention. 

If it can survive hours or 1 day or 2 days, or 3 days...that is trivial.  It is still dependent upon others for survival.  If a mother neglects their baby to death, she will be charged with murder, because it CAN'T survive on its own.  " 

I can imagine the counter argument now, "no judge, this is not a case of murder, newborns can survive for up to several days, they are therefore not completely dependent."  To which any sane person would respond, "who the crap do you think you are?...this is a totally dependent baby that you are legally bound to protect....it doesn't matter how many days or minutes it could survive without you!" 

As I said, many fetuses can survive outside the womb just as long as newborns, despite your attempt at a polemical diversion from this truth. 

36 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

The difference that makes is what you are requiring of another human being to keep the helpless human being alive. Do we pull random people off the streets and put another human inside them to keep them alive? Does a woman have to put a newborn inside her body to keep him alive? No. What you're demanding is that one human being be forced to keep another human being inside their body.

This is nonsense.  We "require" mothers to sacrifice to keep their children alive, or we charge them with neglect, and murder if they die from neglect.  It shouldn't matter where that baby is.  More trivial nonsense that values convenience over human life.   

  

 

Edited by pogi
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10 minutes ago, pogi said:

You are confusing medical privacy (which didn't exist before HIPPA) and the "privacy" referenced in Roe v Wade, which is more about bodily autonomy rather than medical privacy. 

I obviously disagree with Roe v Wade.  Life, liberty, and property.  Those are the most fundamental.  We should not give anyone "autonomy" to kill another human life.  That should not be a protected right or use of bodily autonomy. 

 

I am referring to personal privacy referenced by Roe V Wade, which in its case involved a woman's medical situation. HIPPA laws are another thing and it sounds like you're confusing the general point with newer laws.

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28 minutes ago, stemelbow said:
Quote

First, it's not an assumption.  It's a conclusion.

Second, it's a conclusion based on both biology and morality.  We are all at risk of being dehumanized as you do here.  We can all be described as a "collection of cells."

Third, it's a conclusion quite similar to the one reached regarding chattel slaves in antebellum America: they were "human{s} with rights and privileges."

No one argued that zygotes are a collection of cells therefore it's okay to enslave black people.  That's silly. 

What you are doing is denying the personhood of a fetus by characterizing it as something other than a "person."  Your postulation is explicit: "If a collection of cells known as a fetus is simply a growing seed and is not a person..."

I find this quite similar to the arguments advanced in support of slavery, arguments that denied the personhood of black African slaves by characterizing them as something other than "persons" (as "chattel," for example).

Now, nobody is going to come out and actually admit to this correlation.  Sure.  But the correlation is there.  And it's not silly.  You seek to justify elective abortion by denying the humanity of a fetus, the same denial of humanity that slaveholders used to justify their position.  

28 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

My only point is to call attention to the difference of opinion here. 

Your point was to deny the personhood of fetuses.  You were quite explicit on that point.

28 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Can we call them person if outside the womb they simply wouldn't survive? 

Yes.

Can we call a comatose hospital patient a "person" if they "simply wouldn't survive" without a ventilator?

Again, my son was born in February.  As of March of that year he was still 100% dependent on others to care for him.  Does this mean he was not a "person" in March?

28 minutes ago, stemelbow said:
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Again, denying the personhood of slaves was integral to the justification of slavery, and denying the personhood of fetuses - as you do here - is integral to the justification of elective abortion.

That is one absurd argument to hold. 

I think it's quite apt.  The issue, I think, is that it cuts close to the bone for the pro-abortion crowd.

28 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Fetus' can't survive outside the womb. 

Actually, many fetuses can survive outside the womb.

But so what?  A comatose person can't survive on his own either, but that doesn't mean he is not a "person."

28 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

They aren't even people, on a naturalist take.  You are comparing apples and oranges again.  

You are only proving my point.  Slaveholders thought their chattel property weren't "even people," either.  Except . . . they were.

Thanks,

-Smac

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33 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

In general, newborns can survive outside their mother's womb for a considerable amount of time, up to several days. This is why in some natural disasters, newborn babies will be discovered alive beneath the rubble. For fetuses, this is not generally the case. Most fetuses at any given moment of time cannot survive outside the mother's womb without considerable intervention. 

So by your reasoning, a comatose patient is not a "person," since they "cannot survive ... without considerable intervention."

And yet surely you don't deny the humanity of a comatose patient.  So "cannot survive ... without considerable intervention," in and of itself, cannot be the metric by which we measure personhood.

33 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

The difference that makes is what you are requiring of another human being to keep the helpless human being alive.

Well, yes.  A parent has legal responsibilities relative to his/her children.  The law can and does punish parents who abuse or neglect their children.

The reliance of a "helpless human" on others does not mean that the "helpless human" is not . . . human.

33 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Do we pull random people off the streets and put another human inside them to keep them alive?

The relationship between a mother and the child is not "random."

33 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Does a woman have to put a newborn inside her body to keep him alive? No. What you're demanding is that one human being be forced to keep another human being inside their body.

Again, parents are "forced" under the law to care for their children.

Thanks,

-Smac

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5 minutes ago, pogi said:

If it can survive hours or 1 day or 2 days, or 3 days...that is trivial.  It is still dependent upon others for survival.  If a mother neglects their baby to death, she will be charged with murder, because it CAN'T survive on its own.  " 

I can imagine the counter argument now, "no judge, this is not a case of murder, newborns can survive for up to several days, they are therefore not completely dependent."

As I said, many fetuses can survive outside the womb just as long as newborns, despite your attempt at a polemical diversion from this truth. 

This is nonsense.  We "require" mothers to sacrifice to keep their children alive, or we charge them with neglect, and murder if they die from neglect.  It shouldn't matter where that baby is.  More trivial nonsense that values convenience over human life.   

  

 

No, it is a substantial difference in what you are demanding and not at all nonsense.

If any person cannot care for a newborn, it is possible for another person to take over that care. Parents are expected to care for their children, to feed and shelter them. However, there are limits to what is required of them. You are not required by law to donate your blood or your kidney if your child needed it. I would happily donate either for any of my children, but I would not demand that the state forces all parents to do it.

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4 minutes ago, smac97 said:

So by your reasoning, a comatose patient is not a "person," since they "cannot survive ... without considerable intervention."

And yet surely you don't deny the humanity of a comatose patient.  So "cannot survive ... without considerable intervention," in and of itself, cannot be the metric by which we measure personhood.

Well, yes.  A parent has legal responsibilities relative to his/her children.  The law can and does punish parents who abuse or neglect their children.

The reliance of a "helpless human" on others does not mean that the "helpless human" is not . . . human.

The relationship between a mother and the child is not "random."

Again, parents are "forced" under the law to care for their children.

Thanks,

-Smac

No, that's not my argument. I did not reply in order to delineate personhood, and that's fairly evident in the context of my remarks.

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9 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

I am referring to personal privacy referenced by Roe V Wade, which in its case involved a woman's medical situation. HIPPA laws are another thing and it sounds like you're confusing the general point with newer laws.

As I said:

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The right to privacy often means the right to personal autonomy, or the right to choose whether or not to engage in certain acts or have certain experiences. 

https://www.livescience.com/37398-right-to-privacy.html#:~:text=The right to privacy often means the right to personal,acts or have certain experiences.&text=The Fourth Amendment protects privacy against unreasonable searches

Such was the case in Roe v Wade.

Are you disagreeing with this? 

If that is what you meant by "medical privacy", then we are in agreement.  You can understand the confusion with HIPPA.

Quote

Prior to HIPAA, there was no national health privacy law, and there were no federal limits on how health care providers, employers or insurers collected and shared health information, both within and outside of the healthcare system. There was no federal right granting people access to their health information.

https://cdt.org/wp-content/uploads/healthprivacy/20090109mythsfacts2.pdf

Either way, there is much more dispute and speculation about the interpretation of "privacy" in the constitution, then there is about what "life" is.  Life is more fundamental than privacy. 

Not only is one violating another's right to life by killing a baby in utero, but they are violating the baby's right to privacy and bodily autonomy too.  Those who hold up the female privacy shrine, unwittingly violate the life and privacy of other living females in utero.  If one truly cared about medical privacy for ALL females, they would be against abortion of females, at least.  

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6 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:
Quote

 

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In general, newborns can survive outside their mother's womb for a considerable amount of time, up to several days. This is why in some natural disasters, newborn babies will be discovered alive beneath the rubble. For fetuses, this is not generally the case. Most fetuses at any given moment of time cannot survive outside the mother's womb without considerable intervention. 

So by your reasoning, a comatose patient is not a "person," since they "cannot survive ... without considerable intervention."

And yet surely you don't deny the humanity of a comatose patient.  So "cannot survive ... without considerable intervention," in and of itself, cannot be the metric by which we measure personhood.

Well, yes.  A parent has legal responsibilities relative to his/her children.  The law can and does punish parents who abuse or neglect their children.

The reliance of a "helpless human" on others does not mean that the "helpless human" is not . . . human.

The relationship between a mother and the child is not "random."

Again, parents are "forced" under the law to care for their children.

 

No, that's not my argument. I did not reply in order to delineate personhood, and that's fairly evident in the context of my remarks.

Okay.  So what is the relevance of noting that a fetus "cannot survive outside the mother's womb without considerable intervention"?  It sounded like A) an attempt to deny the personhood of a fetus (because it "cannot survive..."), B) a justification for elective abortion (because the fetus "cannot survive" and is therefore not a person with a right to live), or C) a combination of A and B.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 minute ago, pogi said:

Not only is one violating another's right to life by killing a baby in utero, but they are violating the baby's right to privacy and bodily autonomy too.  Those who hold up the female privacy shrine, unwittingly violate the life and privacy of other living females in utero.  If one truly cared about medical privacy for ALL females, they would be against abortion of females, at least.  

This is not about women's rights because they are female. It is about whether the government can be allowed to force ANY person to help another human being stay alive by keeping them inside their bodies. 

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12 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

No, it is a substantial difference in what you are demanding and not at all nonsense.

If any person cannot care for a newborn, it is possible for another person to take over that care.

It is also possible for a comatose patient to be transferred from one hospital to another.  

And in any event, the reliance of that patient on the assistance/care of others does not negate the humanity of the patient.

12 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Parents are expected to care for their children, to feed and shelter them.

Required, actually.  Not just "expected."

12 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

However, there are limits to what is required of them.

Sure.  

12 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

You are not required by law to donate your blood or your kidney if your child needed it.

That's actually a fair point.  But you are required to refrain from killing your child.

12 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

I would happily donate either for any of my children, but I would not demand that the state forces all parents to do it.

The state also forces all parents to not kill their children.  Because the child is a person and has rights, even if those rights impose obligations on the parents.

Thanks,

-Smac

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3 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

This is not about women's rights because they are female. It is about whether the government can be allowed to force ANY person to help another human being stay alive by keeping them inside their bodies. 

The answer is yes, the government can do that.  There are constraints, but the power to do it is there.

Thanks,

-Smac

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