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Terryl Givens Weighs in on Ethics of Abortion


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24 minutes ago, pogi said:

I never said it was.  Neither is anything else.   You asked what would "reduce" abortions.  I suggested a multipronged approach as best.  

What percentage of people do you think have abortions because their safety is at risk?  How many of those people do you think are truly educated about the risks?  Perhaps all they need is an education.  If they feel threatened by their spouse, then they can receive support in other ways. 

To be fair, you first reverted to the tautology, that "not having an abortion would reduce abortions more."

I'm talking about confronting real-life here so as to propose solutions better than criminalization.

I provided links to two studies previously suggesting a significant correlation between domestic violence and abortion. 

And aside from domestic violence, economic safety is another issue, as well as simply the ability to care for one's existing children. Women may choose abortion if they think that they will lose their employment. There are enough people living paycheck to paycheck, that losing your ability to work could be a huge problem including a safety issue. Parents who already have difficulty caring for their existing children may choose abortion because the pregnancy and resulting resource loss from it would endanger the well-being of their family, in terms of housing insecurity, food insecurity, or medical insecurity. 

In my experience speaking to women who have had elective abortions, the "elective" part didn't seem so elective for them, it was honestly their safest option considering their personal circumstances. If we could consider that most if not all women who have elective abortions feel as though they are in a rock and a hard place in the matter, we will in my opinion become much better at preventing abortions. 

 

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11 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

To be fair, you first reverted to the tautology, that "not having an abortion would reduce abortions more."

I'm talking about confronting real-life here so as to propose solutions better than criminalization.

I provided links to two studies previously suggesting a significant correlation between domestic violence and abortion. 

And aside from domestic violence, economic safety is another issue, as well as simply the ability to care for one's existing children. Women may choose abortion if they think that they will lose their employment. There are enough people living paycheck to paycheck, that losing your ability to work could be a huge problem including a safety issue. Parents who already have difficulty caring for their existing children may choose abortion because the pregnancy and resulting resource loss from it would endanger the well-being of their family, in terms of housing insecurity, food insecurity, or medical insecurity. 

In my experience speaking to women who have had elective abortions, the "elective" part didn't seem so elective for them, it was honestly their safest option considering their personal circumstances. If we could consider that most if not all women who have elective abortions feel as though they are in a rock and a hard place in the matter, we will in my opinion become much better at preventing abortions. 

 

The tautology was a joke.

You are setting up a false dichotomy.  You are presenting this issue as either 1) we criminalize, or 2) we use other methods to prevent abortions.  I am suggesting we can do both.  The more motivation, the better. 

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As we know, the law and commandments of God are to be done as they are written, and nobody's opinion or statements about the law are binding on anyone else (Deut 4:2, 12:32; cf. Alma 37:20).

Exodus 21

22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

If abortion is murder in God's sight, then we need to explain in self-consistent terms why the man who causes the miscarriage is not punishable at least for manslaughter.  And we need to explain why, if the woman is unmarried or the husband is the one who causes the miscarriage, he is not punishable at all.  And we need to explain why there is nothing in the law addressing women causing their own miscarriages by, for example, throwing themselves down a flight of stairs, or soliciting men to punch them in the belly until they miscarry.

The next applicable statement is:

D&C 59:6 Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Thou shalt not steal; neither commit adultery, nor kill, nor do anything like unto it.

If someone believes and wishes to obey those words, and if they believe an abortion is like unto killing, they will not perform nor solicit an abortion.

D&C 42

78 And again, every person who belongeth to this church of Christ, shall observe to keep all the commandments and covenants of the church.

79 And it shall come to pass, that if any persons among you shall kill they shall be delivered up and dealt with according to the laws of the land; for remember that he hath no forgiveness; and it shall be proved according to the laws of the land.

Inasmuch as the laws of the land do not regard abortion as killing, then the Church has nothing to do in the case of abortion.

The debate is not over whether believers should terminate pregnancies.  The debate is over whether the believers are authorized to enforce God's commandments upon others.

Is there written, public authority in the word of God to be able to enforce God's commands, whether in our individual capacities (ie, personally) or by assigning agents to do so in our place (ie, by voting and getting the cops to do it)?

D&C 98

4 And now, verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the land, it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them.

5 And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.

6 Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;

7 And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.

So believers are justified - doing what was asked of them - in supporting and sustaining and advocating for and advancing the cause of laws that are in accordance with the Constitution, supporting its principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges.  The only real question, then, is what does the Constitution actually say on the subject?

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3 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

And so you should support policies that are better at reducing abortions and which are more moral for all circumstances. 

I already support policies that are intended to reduce abortions. If you mean I should support more abortion, that won’t happen. It will continue to be a problem until people accept the wisdom of God and live the law of chastity. One doesn’t have to be Mormon or Christian or religious at all to do that. 

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5 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

I already support policies that are intended to reduce abortions

Does the data show they actually help reduce abortions or they just have the good intention to do so?

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38 minutes ago, Calm said:

Does the data show they actually help reduce abortions or they just have the good intention to do so?

The most important policies I support are those of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The best way to reduce abortions is to keep the law of chastity. I guess that is called abstinence. Except in forced situations, it is quite effective. I support safe birth control practices. I do not support sex education laws such as that which is being debated here in the State of Washington. I support any program that empowers and educates parents and holds men and women to account for making babies out of wedlock and protects babies once that have been made, before and after birth. I know that is not considered cool, but that is what I support.

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21 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

The ability to stay pregnant safely is not the same for every woman. It's not your place or mine to decide whether a woman should continue a pregnancy, it's hers.

Indeed, it wasn't my place and most assuredly not yours. As indicated in what I said, it was the choice of these three women, no one else. Did you not understand that from what I wrote??

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On 10/28/2020 at 8:18 PM, pogi said:

The tautology was a joke.

You are setting up a false dichotomy.  You are presenting this issue as either 1) we criminalize, or 2) we use other methods to prevent abortions.  I am suggesting we can do both.  The more motivation, the better. 

Hmmm, this is probably not the best conversation for a joke.

We already do both. Do you mean that you support criminalizing abortion further AND support women more? Mkay, let's see your recommendations for both. 

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On 10/29/2020 at 4:09 PM, Derl Sanderson said:

Indeed, it wasn't my place and most assuredly not yours. As indicated in what I said, it was the choice of these three women, no one else. Did you not understand that from what I wrote??

I struggled to see the point when women already have the legal option to choose to give up their children for adoption.  That choice exists and no one has suggested restricting it.

Can you think of any ways for improving adoption as an option? Remember that is takes time and resources to be pregnant, sometimes sickness from pregnancy can be completely debilitating, too. 

What about for making adoption less necessary, since adoption can be very difficult for all parties, and it isn't always successful and can result in children languishing in the system. What can be done to help keep mothers and their babies together, if that's what the mothers would prefer? 

There are lots of ways we can help women have more options. Truly, with pregnancy, a woman can be between a rock and a hard place. I think we need to look at all those possible "rocks" that are pressuring women and try to share that burden.

 

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On 10/28/2020 at 10:13 PM, Bernard Gui said:

I already support policies that are intended to reduce abortions. If you mean I should support more abortion, that won’t happen. It will continue to be a problem until people accept the wisdom of God and live the law of chastity. One doesn’t have to be Mormon or Christian or religious at all to do that. 

The majority of US abortions are sought by unmarried women, yes, but significant numbers are also sought by married women. This suggests to me that chastity is not the solution, and lack of chastity is not necessarily the problem. There are lots of moral concerns involving sexual relations, but marriage shouldn't be seen as an absolute remedy. 

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12 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

sometimes sickness from pregnancy can be completely debilitating, too. 

And there are disorders that may or may not show up or worsen during pregnancies and then continue or disappear.  Diabetes and other autoimmune disorders, neurological disorders such as bipolar and RLS (which is a movement disorder but the issue is in the brain) and many more are triggered by pregnancy.
 

One of the reasons I have more severe RLS than one of my sisters is I had two kids.  Often rls first shows up in pregnancy. And it may seem no big deal to lose sleep to some, but it is not only that.  You don’t just lie on your bed tossing and turning, it was for me throwing myself out of bed, slamming against the wall, walking, rocking....trying to be in constant motion when one hasn’t slept for 2 or 3 days is not something easily endured and if you have other kids to care for or a job you need to drive to....enduring those months wondering if by the end of it if the sensations will go away or get worse.  I know people who would cut off their limbs if it would make it go away (it won’t).

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20 minutes ago, Calm said:

And there are disorders that may or may not show up or worsen during pregnancies and then continue or disappear.  Diabetes and other autoimmune disorders, neurological disorders such as bipolar and RLS (which is a movement disorder but the issue is in the brain) and many more are triggered by pregnancy.
 

One of the reasons I have more severe RLS than one of my sisters is I had two kids.  Often rls first shows up in pregnancy. And it may seem no big deal to lose sleep to some, but it is not only that.  You don’t just lie on your bed tossing and turning, it was for me throwing myself out of bed, slamming against the wall, walking, rocking....trying to be in constant motion when one hasn’t slept for 2 or 3 days is not something easily endured and if you have other kids to care for or a job you need to drive to....enduring those months wondering if by the end of it if the sensations will go away or get worse.  I know people who would cut off their limbs if it would make it go away (it won’t).

That sounds excruciating.

Out of my six pregnancies, the first and the last were the most dangerous for me. The first was completely healthy until delivery when there was a placental abruption and I lost too much blood. My OBGYN in Provo did not make it to the delivery because my daughter was born very quickly. No pushing. My last pregnancy was twins, and the pregnancy was very difficult taking care of myself and our five other children. They were born by planned C-section because Baby A was in the breech position. I feel really fortunate that my doctor was the chief OB of the hospital and she took very good care of me.

I look at my pregnancies and recognize how fortunate I was to have relatively good health, a good marriage, a supportive immediate and extended family, access to excellent medical care, relatively healthy children, and the income needed to provide for our needs. However, I also know that a change in any one of those things could have been disastrous for me, my children, and my ability to care for them.

Edited by Meadowchik
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On 10/23/2020 at 4:45 PM, smac97 said:

The personhood of the baby, the impact of abortion on her, often gets short shrift in these discussions, when it should be at the forefront.

Thanks,

-Smac

When does legal personhood begin, and it is correct?

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On 10/25/2020 at 4:45 PM, Jared Livesey said:

Notes on Property, Self-Ownership, and Abortion

Simplified, functional definitions:

"Property" is any resource monopolized by force or threats.  The property "owner" is the "entity" (group or individual) most credibly capable of applying enough force towards all other potential monopolists of a resource to prevent their monopolization of the resource and is making such a threat.  Making such a threat is what it means to "claim" a resource as property.  It is to be noted that the property need not be controlled or even directly affected by the owner; the owner is instead controlling others' behavior by force or threats.

A "right" is defined as an agreement between the property owner and an entity that the entity may undertake an action with respect to the property; the owner may also agree to threaten and apply force to assist the entity in accomplishing its action.  ("Natural" rights do not exist in this schema because nature is not an entity and enters into no agreements.)  "Trespass" is defined as entering property without a right to do so.  Property is "abandoned" if the owner ceases to assert, or is no longer able to credibly enforce, their claim.

=====

Let us assume those definitions for the sake of argument.

Let us assume a human is the owner of her body.

Let us assume that human gives a male the right to enter her body for the purpose of a sexual encounter and gives no other rights thereto.

Let us assume that pursuant to the sexual encounter the male deposits spermatozoa in the female's birth canal.

We note:

  1. The female owns her eggs because they are part of her body.
  2. The female owns the spermatozoa because they are abandoned in her body.
  3. The female owns the potential combination of the spermatozoa and the eggs because that is nothing more than a physical arrangement of her property.
  4. The female owns that property whether inside or outside of her body.
  5. If that combination is considered an entity, it is a trespasser.
  6. Trespass may be remedied by whatever means the owner of the property sees fit.

Thus if it is agreed that humans own their bodies, and bodies are thus property, unlimited abortion and slavery follow.

We suggest that if there are tensions between the implications of this schema and observed practices, they may be resolved by identifying the owners of the resources in question by applying the definitions proffered above rigorously.  We note in passing that Rothbardian libertarianism is rendered incoherent, and that while it may be claimed that "war is the health of the state," property is the state, and economics is war by other means.

Quote

It is my position that if it is agreed that humans own their bodies as defined in my post, then unlimited abortion and slavery follow ineluctably.

 

Isn't the above a straightforward example of a strawman fallacy? Your framing of the unborn and abortion is not the only way to look at the situation, therefore it does not definitively resolve any question arising from it.

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2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

The majority of US abortions are sought by unmarried women, yes, but significant numbers are also sought by married women. This suggests to me that chastity is not the solution, and lack of chastity is not necessarily the problem. There are lots of moral concerns involving sexual relations, but marriage shouldn't be seen as an absolute remedy. 

If the majority of abortions could be prevented by observing the law of chastity, how is that not a solution? 

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34 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

If the majority of abortions could be prevented by observing the law of chastity, how is that not a solution? 

I said that it's not "the" solution. 

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4 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

If the majority of abortions could be prevented by observing the law of chastity, how is that not a solution? 

I agree and if you don't want a baby use multiple forms of birth control or don't have sex. No baby should pay for their parents mistakes with their lives.. 

I will never understand having my baby killed because it doesn't fit the timing. 

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18 minutes ago, cherryTreez said:

I agree and if you don't want a baby use multiple forms of birth control or don't have sex. No baby should pay for their parents mistakes with their lives.. 

I will never understand having my baby killed because it doesn't fit the timing. 

If no baby should pay with their lives, then shouldn't what actually helps be the focus, instead of simply enforcing your idea of how things should be?

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3 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

If no baby should pay with their lives, then shouldn't what actually helps be the focus, instead of simply enforcing your idea of how things should be?

Birth control works. Two forms of you don't want a baby. Seems pretty easy to stop a pregnancy instead of killing a baby.   

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49 minutes ago, cherryTreez said:

Birth control works. Two forms of you don't want a baby. Seems pretty easy to stop a pregnancy instead of killing a baby.   

Helping expand birth control can help, then. Also encouraging male use of birth control can help reduce the burden which frequently falls on women, and with typically greater health risks.

Also you should know that some induced abortions are chosen for wanted pregnancies. And some women choose abortions to minimise the suffering of their babies.

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4 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Helping expand birth control can help, then. Also encouraging male use of birth control can help reduce the burden which frequently falls on women, and with typically greater health risks.

Also you should know that some induced abortions are chosen for wanted pregnancies. And some women choose abortions to minimise the suffering of their babies.

Women carry babies. Therefore we are responsible for birth control. I wish we had more birth control options for men. I do think our birth rate would drop massively if men had better birth control options. There is a shot like one over seas. Works for 15 years and works like a vasectomy. It's easy to reverse it.  I heard it was starting testing in the us a while ago. How great would that be for men to have control like that?

Abortion should be rare. Like ectopic pregnancies and other rare cases.   

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13 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

I said that it's not "the" solution. 

I said it was a solution. Reducing the majority of abortions is a huge step in the right direction and would free up time and resources to help the minority. The numbers would be significant. 

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3 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

I said it was a solution. Reducing the majority of abortions is a huge step in the right direction and would free up time and resources to help the minority. The numbers would be significant. 

It is only a theoretical solution, though. If we're talking about abortion as a moral issue and a public health issue, and if you want the real-life result of less abortions, then solutions need to be more than theoretical.

Human beings will engage in premarital sex, and at high rates. And those who have only been taught to wait until marriage will be much less prepared to take precautions when they do.

 

 

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4 hours ago, cherryTreez said:

Women carry babies. Therefore we are responsible for birth control. I wish we had more birth control options for men. I do think our birth rate would drop massively if men had better birth control options. There is a shot like one over seas. Works for 15 years and works like a vasectomy. It's easy to reverse it.  I heard it was starting testing in the us a while ago. How great would that be for men to have control like that?

Abortion should be rare. Like ectopic pregnancies and other rare cases.   

I agree that it should be rare, but I disagree that only women are responsible for birth control. Men need to be just as responsible for their sperm reaching an egg as a woman is for it happening. 

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