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Terryl Givens Weighs in on Ethics of Abortion


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39 minutes ago, Jared Livesey said:

To be sure, truth is not popular.

One person's absurdity may well be another's straightfoward deduction.  It is self-contradictory to assert that property rights in bodies gets one only abortion and not also slavery, organ harvesting, prostitution, recreational drug use, tattoos, and so on.  Abortion and slavery and organ harvesting and prostitution and recreational drug use and tattoos and so on are the price of property rights in one's body - if one is consistent.

And if one sees those things as bad, all one has to do is turn others into property by coercing them into doing what they do not wish to do, or coercing them away from doing what they do wish to do.  We might call this exercise of coercive power to convert people into property "government" sometimes, but it is simply slavery under a different name.  But coercive power applied against others to to control them does not refute the fact that people are property - resources monopolized by coercive power - but merely demonstrates its truth.

The lens we are looking through is power.

And that is the real argument with respect to abortion: who has power over whom; that is, who owns whom, and what narrative best preserves the illusion that the winners in that contest are good people.  Thus generalized, both sides seem alike in principle.

 

What is obvious to one may well be absurd to another.

For example, to one it may be obvious that property is naught but resources monopolized by coercive power.

To another, on the other hand, it is obvious that one first claims resources as property (and there are competing theories on how, precisely, resources get converted into property, but the end result is always the same:) then one defends one's property by coercive power.

To the first, it is obvious that the second is merely reframing aggression as defense, and that property claims straightforwardly violate the Golden Rule.

And to the second, it is obvious that property and its perhaps unfortunate and necessarily attendant inequality and violence is "the only game in town" when it comes to the allocation of scarce resources, which is apparently at best a zero-sum game.  Even if property were evil, are not all guilty?  Doesn't every political ideology presuppose property, disagreeing only in what form the owner of last resort should take and why?  How could it be possible all of them are wrong?  Our entire society and all its marvellous works rest upon the foundation of property!  What else should we be doing?

Well, what did Jesus say we should be doing?

And behold, it is written:
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say unto you that ye shall not resist evil,
but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek,
turn to him the other also.
And if any man will sue thee at the law and take away thy coat,
let him have thy cloak also.
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile,
go with him twain.
Give to him that asketh thee,
and from him that would borrow of thee turn thou not away.

He said give it up.

Well, at least we might agree on something. If abortion is not preferable, or even if it is evil, I do not see Christ's words advocating an enforcement against it to stop it. I believe that the Christ of scripture would have us all look at the human situation of pregnancy and call upon us to give up some of our cares, time, resources, and even opinions and simply help women. Help them prevent abortions, help them be safe and healthy. Support them, and abortions will decrease. All the rhetoric and good intention in the world matters not if it results in more harm.

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12 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Well, at least we might agree on something. If abortion is not preferable, or even if it is evil, I do not see Christ's words advocating an enforcement against it to stop it. I believe that the Christ of scripture would have us all look at the human situation of pregnancy and call upon us to give up some of our cares, time, resources, and even opinions and simply help women. Help them prevent abortions, help them be safe and healthy. Support them, and abortions will decrease. All the rhetoric and good intention in the world matters not if it results in more harm.

Your statements make it seem that women have zero support. Exactly what are you talking about? How would it be different? The vast majority of abortions are strictly chosen for personal convenience and nothing else. 

If you are asking for others to make decisions for women - which I would find outlandish - it will not work. We have a world of birth control alternatives for women to use. We even have the morning after pill. Most health insurance appears to cover female birth control, but not male birth control. 

So exactly, how is society failing women? What harm are you talking about and exactly where are your getting your projections?  All that abortion has succeeded in doing is dramatically increase the number of abortions.

As an aside, did you read Givens' article?

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1 hour ago, Storm Rider said:

Your statements make it seem that women have zero support. Exactly what are you talking about? How would it be different? The vast majority of abortions are strictly chosen for personal convenience and nothing else. 

If you are asking for others to make decisions for women - which I would find outlandish - it will not work. We have a world of birth control alternatives for women to use. We even have the morning after pill. Most health insurance appears to cover female birth control, but not male birth control. 

So exactly, how is society failing women? What harm are you talking about and exactly where are your getting your projections?  All that abortion has succeeded in doing is dramatically increase the number of abortions.

As an aside, did you read Givens' article?

I've already brought up specifics earlier in this thread if you really want to know them.

I read all three.

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10 hours ago, sweetpotatoh said:

I have a question. If abortion isn’t murder and the baby not human, why is a person who murders a pregnant woman, charged with 2 murders? 

It looks like that is not always the case, and it varies among states.

It looks to me like such laws, where killing a fetus except when it is a legal abortion, are a negotiation between advocates for the unborn and advocates for women, who both can at least agree that a person should be held responsible for it.

Quote

 

State Laws on Fetal Homicide and Penalty-enhancement for Crimes Against Pregnant Women

5/1/2018

The debate over fetal rights is not new to the legislative arena. Every session, pro-life and pro-choice advocates garner support for policies around this issue. The debate concerning “fetal homicide” hinges on the issue of fetuses killed by violent acts against pregnant women. Pro-life advocates typically support legislation that defines the fetus as a person under fetal homicide laws, or otherwise confers rights or protections upon the fetus or unborn child. Common references to such laws include the Fetal Protection Act, the Preborn Victims of Violence Act and the Unborn Victim of Violence Act. Those supporting these laws say that both the lives of the pregnant woman and the fetus should be explicitly protected. They assert that fetal homicide laws justly criminalize these cases and address both unborn children and their mothers.

Pro-choice advocates typically focus on the harm done to a pregnant woman and the subsequent loss of her pregnancy, but not on the rights of the fetus. They tend to support policies that do not confer rights or personhood status upon a fetus. Such advocates focus on enhancing penalties for an assault on a pregnant woman and recognizing her as the victim. For the purposes of this webpage, NCSL describes these types of legislation as “penalty-enhancement for crimes against pregnant women.” These are described and listed towards the bottom of this webpage. This webpage is intended to include a range of legislation on this issue and is not intended to serve as a source for legal definitions.

State Fetal Homicide Laws

Currently, at least 38 states have fetal homicide laws: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. At least 29 states have fetal homicide laws that apply to the earliest stages of pregnancy ("any state of gestation/development," "conception," "fertilization" or "post-fertilization"); these are indicated below with an asterisk (*).

https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/fetal-homicide-state-laws.aspx 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

It looks to me like such laws, where killing a fetus except when it is a legal abortion, are a negotiation between advocates for the unborn and advocates for women, who both can at least agree that a person should be held responsible for it.

Do you believe that a person who intentionally kills a fetus against the mother's wishes should be charged with murder?   Lets say a mother carries the baby to full term and the boyfriend intentionally kills the fetus by hitting her abdomen with a bat repeatedly.  Should the perpetrator only be charged with assault and battery against the woman only, or should there be additional charges for crimes against the fetus?  

Edited by pogi
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3 minutes ago, pogi said:

Do you believe that a person who intentionally kills a fetus against the mother's wishes should be charged with murder?   Lets say a mother carries the baby to full term and the boyfriend intentionally kills the fetus by hitting her abdomen with a bat repeatedly.  Should the perpetrator only be charged with assault and battery against the woman only, or should there be additional charges for crimes against the fetus?  

I don't know about murder, but I agree that it is a criminal act. In addition to the assault on her, they have no right to intentionally induce an abortion without her consent.

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55 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

I don't know about murder, but I agree that it is a criminal act. In addition to the assault on her, they have no right to intentionally induce an abortion without her consent.

By "in addition to..." are you suggesting it should not only be a criminal act against the mother, but also a criminal act against the fetus (murder or not)? 

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

By "in addition to..." are you suggesting it should not only be a criminal act against the mother, but also a criminal act against the fetus (murder or not)? 

I mean that in addition to assaulting the mother, it is criminal to induce an abortion against her consent.

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1 hour ago, Meadowchik said:

I mean that in addition to assaulting the mother, it is criminal to induce an abortion against her consent.

Not because it is a crime against the fetus, but because it was performed without her consent?  All legal damages are on the mother, no legal damages on the baby in her womb that had a name, fingers and toes, and a face etc. - that baby could hear with his/her own ears the thump of the bat and could feel every swing as consciousness was knocked out of it - the baby that she will mourn the rest of her life and visit his /her grave side annually?  No damages against him/her, just the mother?  He/she was not a legal victim to a brutal crime against him/her?

As you can tell, I have empathy for the child, not just the mother and feel like he/she should be acknowledged as a victim and should be protected legally, not just the mother.  I can't imagine anything less.  The man brutally killed an innocent child, and deserves the fullest punishment of the law.  Can there be no legal advocacy for the child?  No voice.  No legal recognition or right to life?  None?  A cat or a dog has more legal protections than a human child?  Legally the mother and father could torture the child in the womb, poke its eyes out, and give birth to a blind child and face no legal consequences as long as the mother consented (because that's all that matters legally)?  How can it be that this baby has no legal rights?  It defies moral reason for me personally. 

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

Not because it is a crime against the fetus, but because it was performed without her consent?  All legal damages are on the mother, no legal damages on the baby in her womb that had a name, fingers and toes, and a face etc., that could hear with his/her own ears the thump of the bat and could feel every swing as consciousness was knocked out of it - the baby that she will mourn the rest of her life and visit his /her grave side annually?  No damages against him/her, just the mother?  He/she was not a legal victim to a brutal crime against him/her?

As you can tell, I have empathy for the child, not just the mother and feel like he/she should be acknowledged as a victim and should be protected legally, not just the mother.  I can't imagine anything less.  The man brutally killed an innocent child, and deserves the fullest punishment of the law.  Can there be no legal advocacy for the child?  No voice.  No legal recognition or right to life?  None?  It is legally nonexistent?  A cat or a dog has more legal protections than a human child?  Legally the mother and father could torture without even intending to kill the child in the womb and face no legal consequences as long as the mother consented?  How can it be that this baby has no legal rights?  It defies moral reason for me personally. 

Of course I can understand all of that. I do have empathy for the unborn and have felt the desire to give life and have given much to do so many times.

What we are talking about here, however, is whether you or I have the right to take control of a woman and force her to carry her pregnancy. Regardless of your intent to save a human life, taking control of her body and its functions is not the same as valuing human life. A woman can love her unborn child and seek an abortion. It's really not your nor my business whether she does or why.

Criminalization of abortion is a disjointed, inadequate and often counterproductive way to protect unborn human beings. Because of the unborn human being's absolute dependence and impact on her mother's body, preventing abortions and protecting the unborn should be a holistic agenda that centers the mother's bodily autonomy. 

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5 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Of course I can understand all of that. I do have empathy for the unborn and have felt the desire to give life and have given much to do so many times.

What we are talking about here, however, is whether you or I have the right to take control of a woman and force her to carry her pregnancy. Regardless of your intent to save a human life, taking control of her body and its functions is not the same as valuing human life. A woman can love her unborn child and seek an abortion. It's really not your nor my business whether she does or why.

Criminalization of abortion is a disjointed, inadequate and often counterproductive way to protect unborn human beings. Because of the unborn human being's absolute dependence and impact on her mother's body, preventing abortions and protecting the unborn should be a holistic agenda that centers the mother's bodily autonomy. 

Supervising the functions of someone else's body is something we often do in society with the intent to do good to others in society, so telling a pregnant woman that she must carry her baby to term is not an unreasonable demand.  Ideally some others in society would also do what they could to help her with her baby during that time and after she delivers, but even if she must go it alone she should have enough concern for her own baby to try to take care of it rather than intentionally kill it.

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It would be interesting to see how men's attitudes might change if each time they impregnated a woman, for the next nine months their hair fell out, their chest and stomach muscles stretched out and then went flabby, their back was strained and maybe permanently injured, calcium was drawn out of their bones and teeth unless they were properly nourished, hip muscles went lax increasing the potential for injury (my niece snapped her leg and now has a plate in it just because she had to put extra effort into keeping her balance and her hips didn't cooperate quite as well as they usually do...the doctors said it wasn't that uncommon, I injured my back once with a pregnancy due to a twist that shouldn't have happened...probably already mentioned it, but I saw her hobbling around last week, so my empathy is high right now), suffered mood swings and at times deep depression and anxiety as well as other neurological changes...

And some of these changes didn't reset when the 9 months were done.

Women are among the strongest advocates against abortion, so it might not make much difference at all...but perhaps it would.  Maybe at least better prenatal care so that pregnant women were able to be healthier.

What .I don't understand is why there isn't as massive or even bigger a protest/drive for pre and postnatal health care as there is an antiabortion movement, so less likely for miscarriages and stillborns as well as less infant death and disability.

If we have a right to insist a woman not kill the fetus, we have a right to push her to take better care of the fetus.

Do a google search on "pre-natal care bill" or its variations like "maternal health bill" and "abortion bill" in news and compare the difference in numbers of reports.  

Edited by Calm
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13 minutes ago, Calm said:

What .I don't understand is why there isn't as massive or even bigger a protest/drive for pre and postnatal health care as there is an antiabortion movement, so less likely for miscarriages and stillborns as well as less infant death and disability.

Do you see all of the trouble we're having just trying to keep some women from killing their babies?  And now you want us to try to get them to keep their babies in perfect health, too, with frequent visits to some doctors?

What do you think we are?  Miracle workers?

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2 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Do you see all of the trouble we're having just trying to keep some women from killing their babies?  And now you want us to try to get them to keep their babies in perfect health, too, with frequent visits to some doctors?

What do you think we are?  Miracle workers?

Ever think if you helped with the health issues, there would be less work/trouble to stop abortions?  

IMO, focusing first on abortions is putting the cart before the horse.

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Just now, Calm said:

Ever think if you helped with the health issues, there would be less abortions?  

Okay.  Sign me up.  How much money do you want from me?  Assuming it's not enough for me to simply advise women to not kill their babies and to try to keep them in good health.  Apparently I also need to be some kind of Sugar Daddy, too. 

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1 hour ago, Meadowchik said:

I do have empathy for the unborn

I felt bad for the cricket too when I pulled it's legs off as a child...but then I grew up and realized what true empathy is all about. 

La cucaracha, la cucaracha, ya no puede caminar!  Kids are kind of morbid.

I know that you feel empathy, but do you feel it enough to advocate for living children to have legal protections?  Enough to fight against pulling its legs off like a cockroach, while still living?  Enough to fight D&E procedures at the very least?  

1 hour ago, Meadowchik said:

What we are talking about here, however, is whether you or I have the right to take control of a woman and force her to carry her pregnancy. Regardless of your intent to save a human life, taking control of her body and its functions is not the same as valuing human life. A woman can love her unborn child and seek an abortion. It's really not your nor my business whether she does or why.

We are talking about more than that.  You are only looking at one side of the scale.

You are advocating for the rights of the woman out of empathy for her, and I understand that, but we have to balance that with considerations of the baby too - or else "love", "value", and "empathy", are just empty words.   We are talking about two different people and that needs to be acknowledged and weighed in the balance. 

Giving legal rights to the baby is not the same as taking control of a woman's body.   She can do whatever she wants with her body, but she (like the rest of us) should not have the right to use her body to kill another human life.  There is that balance issue again.

I am not talking about empty love.  Love is more than feelings. One does not tear the limbs off someone they "love" or "value" until they are dead and in pieces and their brains are gushing out.  That is not love...that is not valuing human life.  That is not true empathy.  Human life is my business actually - that is what I do.  I am in the business of preserving and protecting it from harm, injury, and death. It absolutely is my business,  quite literally.     

There is a medial and moral philosophy that I subscribe to - do the least harm.  Lets take legalities out of it for a minute.  Lets consider harm to human life and weigh it in the balance. 

 

Abortion risk for mother - relatively safe but can be life threatening rarely. 

Abortion risk for the baby - death most likely but permanent disfigurement/disability rarely, if it is a failed abortion.

 

Birthing risk for mother - relatively safe but can be life threatening rarely. 

Birthing risk for baby - relatively safe but can be life threatening (more so than for the mother actually). 

 

In both scenarios, the child is at greatest risk, but when balancing the risk of harm between the mother and the baby, birth is the best moral answer to the moral obligation to do the least harm.  There is no moral way around it if you subscribe to that moral.  And we all should subscribe it in my moral opinion, for what it is worth. 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Calm said:

It would be interesting to see how men's attitudes might change if each time they impregnated a woman, for the next nine months their hair fell out, their chest and stomach muscles stretched out and then went flabby, their back was strained and maybe permanently injured, calcium was drawn out of their bones and teeth unless they were properly nourished, hip muscles went lax increasing the potential for injury (my niece snapped her leg and now has a plate in it just because she had to put extra effort into keeping her balance and her hips didn't cooperate quite as well as they usually do...the doctors said it wasn't that uncommon, I injured my back once with a pregnancy due to a twist that shouldn't have happened...probably already mentioned it, but I saw her hobbling around last week, so my empathy is high right now), suffered mood swings and at times deep depression and anxiety as well as other neurological changes...

And some of these changes didn't reset when the 9 months were done.

Women are among the strongest advocates against abortion, so it might not make much difference at all...but perhaps it would.  Maybe at least better prenatal care so that pregnant women were able to be healthier.

What .I don't understand is why there isn't as massive or even bigger a protest/drive for pre and postnatal health care as there is an antiabortion movement, so less likely for miscarriages and stillborns as well as less infant death and disability.

If we have a right to insist a woman not kill the fetus, we have a right to push her to take better care of the fetus.

Do a google search on "pre-natal care bill" or its variations like "maternal health bill" and "abortion bill" in news and compare the difference in numbers of reports.  

Believe it or not, I have tried to place myself in the woman's shoes, and I recognize that my efforts will always fall short, but I do have empathy.  I empathize with the woman, but my empathy for the woman doesn't outweigh my empathy for the child, nor should it.  I can honestly say that if men had to bear children, I would be making the same moral argument.   This is not about men vs women.  Many, many women feel the same way I do, morally speaking.  This is about my moral code to do the least harm to human life.  Abortion just doesn't fit with that moral. 

I totally agree with you about pre/postnatal health care though. 

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7 hours ago, pogi said:

I felt bad for the cricket too when I pulled it's legs off as a child...but then I grew up and realized what true empathy is all about. 

La cucaracha, la cucaracha, ya no puede caminar!  Kids are kind of morbid.

I know that you feel empathy, but do you feel it enough to advocate for living children to have legal protections?  Enough to fight against pulling its legs off like a cockroach, while still living?  Enough to fight D&E procedures at the very least?  

We are talking about more than that.  You are only looking at one side of the scale.

You are advocating for the rights of the woman out of empathy for her, and I understand that, but we have to balance that with considerations of the baby too - or else "love", "value", and "empathy", are just empty words.   We are talking about two different people and that needs to be acknowledged and weighed in the balance. 

Giving legal rights to the baby is not the same as taking control of a woman's body.   She can do whatever she wants with her body, but she (like the rest of us) should not have the right to use her body to kill another human life.  There is that balance issue again.

I am not talking about empty love.  Love is more than feelings. One does not tear the limbs off someone they "love" or "value" until they are dead and in pieces and their brains are gushing out.  That is not love...that is not valuing human life.  That is not true empathy.  Human life is my business actually - that is what I do.  I am in the business of preserving and protecting it from harm, injury, and death. It absolutely is my business,  quite literally.     

There is a medial and moral philosophy that I subscribe to - do the least harm.  Lets take legalities out of it for a minute.  Lets consider harm to human life and weigh it in the balance. 

 

Abortion risk for mother - relatively safe but can be life threatening rarely. 

Abortion risk for the baby - death most likely but permanent disfigurement/disability rarely, if it is a failed abortion.

 

Birthing risk for mother - relatively safe but can be life threatening rarely. 

Birthing risk for baby - relatively safe but can be life threatening (more so than for the mother actually). 

 

In both scenarios, the child is at greatest risk, but when balancing the risk of harm between the mother and the baby, birth is the best moral answer to the moral obligation to do the least harm.  There is no moral way around it if you subscribe to that moral.  And we all should subscribe it in my moral opinion, for what it is worth. 

 

 

 

 

I think I covered the issue. The life is dependent on her body, living inside her body. You nor I have the right to force her to keep another human being in her body. That's a fundamental line you cross when you attempt it. And so when we regard the unborn's life as being of immeasurable value, the moral approach is not to force their mother, but to help their mother.

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10 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

I think I covered the issue. The life is dependent on her body, living inside her body. You nor I have the right to force her to keep another human being in her body. That's a fundamental line you cross when you attempt it. And so when we regard the unborn's life as being of immeasurable value, the moral approach is not to force their mother, but to help their mother.

There is no doubt that giving equal rights and thus (equal value) to people restrains personal liberties.  The more rights people have, the less liberty.  The more liberty, the less rights.  Rights restrain liberty, but liberty restrains rights.  That is the balance.  The question is, what is of greater value - total liberty over one's own body or the equal right to life for all?  What do you value more?   Total unfettered liberty is not something we enjoy in society.  We don't have total liberties over our bodies.  We can't legally use our bodies to violate the rights of others. According to you, that is being "forced".  I don't view it that way, but whatever...it is a restraint on liberty, I will give you that. 

You are demanding liberty without restraint when it comes to killing or preserving another human life when it is in the woman's body.  I am suggesting that would morally cross the line too far the other way when we compare the suffering/harm of the mother vs the suffering/harm of the child.  It is an unacceptable human child sacrifice in the name of liberty. 

We have a moral obligation to protect our children (wherever they are), even if that means they are a burden and restraint on personal liberty.  It is a burden on our physical bodies to raise children, period.  It is a huge restraint on personal liberty.  We don't have total liberty to kill them when they are perceived as a burden on our physical bodies and personal liberties.  They are protected by rights because we morally value them more than total personal liberties over our bodies.  Raising a child to maturity is much more of a burden than 9 months of pregnancy, yet we can't kill them just because they are a perceived burden.  We all agree that would be immoral.  We all agree that killing children because they are a burden on our bodies, or because they restrict personal liberties, is an unthinkable and despicable immorality - the lowest of the lows.  But for some reason unfathomable to me, if the child is in the mother's womb or in the mother's home, makes all the difference.  It turns the deepest darkest immorality into an acceptable choice with no shade of wrongness. 

I honestly believe the only reason that we perceive one as immoral and not the other, is because we can't see it - we haven't bonded with it.   If that baby was out of the womb where we could see it, and feel its fingers and toes and face, and see it react to sound and light and touch, we would all view the D&E procedure as a deep deep immorality.   Imagine watching this reactive human baby as its limbs are torn off one at a time on a table in front of you.  Let yourself go there.  It is immoral.  It is unthinkable. Period. There is absolutely no way that the moral harm done to the woman from the 9 month burden of pregnancy outweighs the moral harm done to the reactive, feeling child.  There is simply no comparison.   Do the least harm!  Both morally and physically, the greatest harm is done to the child.  There is no way to avoid it.  It is immoral. 

I understand that you think you have covered this issue.  But you haven't.  Even if we help the mother as you suggest, that still doesn't give equal legal protection to all children.  We would still be devaluing their life without giving it equal rights. That is not right.  It is not equal.  It is less-than.

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5 minutes ago, pogi said:

There is no doubt that giving equal rights and thus (equal value) to people restrains personal liberties.  The more rights people have, the less liberty.  The more liberty, the less rights.  Rights restrain liberty, but liberty restrains rights.  That is the balance.  The question is, what is of greater value - total liberty over one's own body or the equal right to life for all?  What do you value more?   Total unfettered liberty is not something we enjoy in society.  We don't have total liberties over our bodies.  We can't legally use our bodies to violate the rights of others. According to you, that is being "forced".  I don't view it that way, but whatever...it is a restraint on liberty, I will give you that. 

You are demanding liberty without restraint when it comes to killing or preserving another human life when it is in the woman's body.  I am suggesting that would morally cross the line too far the other way when we compare the suffering/harm of the mother vs the suffering/harm of the child.  It is an unacceptable human child sacrifice in the name of liberty. 

We have a moral obligation to protect our children (wherever they are), even if that means they are a burden and restraint on personal liberty.  It is a burden on our physical bodies to raise children, period.  It is a huge restraint on personal liberty.  We don't have total liberty to kill them when they are perceived as a burden on our physical bodies and personal liberties.  They are protected by rights because we morally value them more than total personal liberties over our bodies.  Raising a child to maturity is much more of a burden than 9 months of pregnancy, yet we can't kill them just because they are a perceived burden.  We all agree that would be immoral.  We all agree that killing children because they are a burden on our bodies, or because they restrict personal liberties, is an unthinkable and despicable immorality - the lowest of the lows.  But for some reason unfathomable to me, if the child is in the mother's womb or in the mother's home, makes all the difference.  It turns the deepest darkest immorality into an acceptable choice with no shade of wrongness. 

I honestly believe the only reason that we perceive one as immoral and not the other, is because we can't see it - we haven't bonded with it.   If that baby was out of the womb where we could see it, and feel its fingers and toes and face, and see it react to sound and light and touch, we would all view the D&E procedure as a deep deep immorality.   Imagine watching this reactive human baby as its limbs are torn off one at a time on a table in front of you.  Let yourself go there.  It is immoral.  It is unthinkable. Period. There is absolutely no way that the moral harm done to the woman from the 9 month burden of pregnancy outweighs the moral harm done to the reactive, feeling child.  There is simply no comparison.   Do the least harm!  Both morally and physically, the greatest harm is done to the child.  There is no way to avoid it.  It is immoral. 

I understand that you think you have covered this issue.  But you haven't.  Even if we help the mother as you suggest, that still doesn't give equal legal protection to all children.  We would still be devaluing their life without giving it equal rights. That is not right.  It is not equal.  It is less-than.

If you don't understand the significant difference between being inside and outside the womb, that's a problem. That is the essence of the issue. Law has its limits. It does not have the right to extend into a woman's womb. It is her province and not ours. Uncountable things can happen to a woman because of a pregnancy. And it is happening inside her body, therefore, she should be able to decide to carry it or not. 

Deal with the inside versus outside difference. That cannot be glossed over.

 

 

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Just now, Meadowchik said:

If you don't understand the significant difference between being inside and outside the womb, that's a problem. That is the essence of the issue. Law has its limits. It does not have the right to extend into a woman's womb. It is her province and not ours. Uncountable things can happen to a woman because of a pregnancy. And it is happening inside her body, therefore, she should be able to decide to carry it or not. 

Deal with the inside versus outside difference. That cannot be glossed over.

I agree that there is a "significant difference between being inside and outside the womb."

But I am not sure the issue is so clear-cut.  When does personhood attach to the child, for example?

Thanks,

-Smac

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10 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

I think I covered the issue. The life is dependent on her body, living inside her body. You nor I have the right to force her to keep another human being in her body. That's a fundamental line you cross when you attempt it. And so when we regard the unborn's life as being of immeasurable value, the moral approach is not to force their mother, but to help their mother.

If you did not want the child, then why get pregnant? Surely, you get the idea that if you have unprotected sex there is a probability that a child - a new life - may be the result? How many different types of birth control are available for women? 

You cross the line when you get pregnant and you bear the consequences of that life. You kill it, then you should go to prison in the same way a man should go to prison for killing the child in the womb. 

How did human life become so meaningless? How is it that women can be so irresponsible and the only one that bears the consequences is the child in the womb?  

Yup, we will never comprehend each other on this issue. You demean life to the point that it has no value IF that life inconveniences the life of the mother. The convenience of the mother is the primary, all important "right" and children should die or be sacrificed so that she is never inconvenienced. No ethics there that I understand or want in a moral society.

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4 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I agree that there is a "significant difference between being inside and outside the womb."

But I am not sure the issue is so clear-cut.  When does personhood attach to the child, for example?

Thanks,

-Smac

Yup, I asked you that question previously in this thread. Can't remember if you answered. That said, does personhood change the issue? Does a person have a protected right to live inside another person?

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10 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

If you don't understand the significant difference between being inside and outside the womb, that's a problem. That is the essence of the issue. Law has its limits. It does not have the right to extend into a woman's womb. It is her province and not ours. Uncountable things can happen to a woman because of a pregnancy. And it is happening inside her body, therefore, she should be able to decide to carry it or not. 

Deal with the inside versus outside difference. That cannot be glossed over.

 

 

I understand the difference.  I don't understand the significance in terms of the child.  It doesn't make the life any less human and worthy of any less value.  Why should the womb devalue the life of the child?  Whether it was inside the womb or outside the womb, it would still be immoral to tear the baby apart limb by limb.  Why should the law be restricted to the outside of the skin?  (It doesn't, by the way.)  The law reaches into your body.  It does not stop at your skin. 

You refuse to view this in terms of the child.  I understand why though.  Because the second you do, D&E becomes unacceptable.   I am trying to balance the rights and liberties and harms done to the woman and the child, you are looking purely through the lens of the woman. 

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