Jump to content

Elder andersen on abortion


Recommended Posts

I value the importance of life, and also think a woman and her partner should be able to make the decision that is best for them.  The church leaves a very grey area regarding life until the birth of the child.  It is only after birth the infant can qualify for sacred ordinances in the temple.  

Link to post

I think that personhood of women requires pro-choice policy. Personhood of an unborn child does not negate hers, and the situation boils down to the fact that she is carrying another person inside her body. That should not be forced. A woman should be able to consent or not to remaining pregnant.

Furthermore I think that controlling pregnant women via anti-abortion law is also the wrong approach to protecting the unborn. Help women, and we will help babies.

Edited by Meadowchik
  • Upvote 1
Link to post

It’s amazing what morally corrosive, self contradictory nonsense a human mind can conjure when the possessor of that mind no longer believes in the existence of a just God. Once a society justifies the destruction of innocent human life as acceptable and even beneficial, a moral Rubicon is crossed and all bets are off as to how far down the road to ultimate human degradation and ripened iniquity they will travel.

When the ultimate sin of the mass slaughter of over 60 million precious sons and daughters of God is normalized and accepted with callous disregard and indifference, every other sin of lesser gravity becomes much easier to commit. What’s a little lying, cheating, stealing, deceiving, cruelty and sabotage when compared to the ultimate of all sins? A nation whose collective conscience has been seared with a hot iron cannot long survive before in devours itself in an orgy of destruction because nothing remains sacred and inviolate. A society that loses all self respect has nothing left to lose.

Edited by teddyaware
  • Like 1
Link to post
46 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

It’s amazing what morally corrosive, self contradictory nonsense a human mind can conjure when the possessor of that mind no longer believes in the existence of a just God. Once a society justifies the destruction of innocent human life as acceptable and even beneficial, a moral Rubicon is crossed and all bets are off as to how far down the road to ultimate human degradation and ripened iniquity they will travel.

When the ultimate sin of the mass slaughter of over 60 million precious sons and daughters of God is normalized and accepted with callous disregard and indifference, every other sin of lesser gravity becomes much easier to commit. What’s a little lying, cheating, stealing, deceiving, cruelty and sabotage when compared to the ultimate of all sins? A nation whose collective conscience has been seared with a hot iron cannot long survive before in devours itself in an orgy of destruction because nothing remains sacred and inviolate. A society that loses all self respect has nothing left to lose.

Where do you get 60 million from? you are aware that abortion rates are going down right?

Link to post
51 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

It’s amazing what morally corrosive, self contradictory nonsense a human mind can conjure when the possessor of that mind no longer believes in the existence of a just God. Once a society justifies the destruction of innocent human life as acceptable and even beneficial, a moral Rubicon is crossed and all bets are off as to how far down the road to ultimate human degradation and ripened iniquity they will travel.

When the ultimate sin of the mass slaughter of over 60 million precious sons and daughters of God is normalized and accepted with callous disregard and indifference, every other sin of lesser gravity becomes much easier to commit. What’s a little lying, cheating, stealing, deceiving, cruelty and sabotage when compared to the ultimate of all sins? A nation whose collective conscience has been seared with a hot iron cannot long survive before in devours itself in an orgy of destruction because nothing remains sacred and inviolate. A society that loses all self respect has nothing left to lose.

That's all slippery-slope nonsense. 

And what you see as force to "saving innocent life," I see as force that does not respect life: My body has created life but has also almost been destroyed by that process, multiple times. I'm not afraid to trust women, either, to make these decisions without the forcible interference of other people. 

And dude, check out secular humanism.

Penn Jillette said, "The question I get asked by religious people all the time is, without God, what’s to stop me from raping all I want? And my answer is: I do rape all I want. And the amount I want is zero. And I do murder all I want, and the amount I want is zero. The fact that these people think that if they didn’t have this person watching over them that they would go on killing, raping rampages is the most self-damning thing I can imagine. I don't want to do that. "

Teddy, I don't want you or anyone else in charge of a woman's decision about another person living inside her own body. 

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
19 minutes ago, Duncan said:

Where do you get 60 million from?

Here, perhaps? 62,502,904 Babies Have Been Killed in Abortions Since Roe v. Wade in 1973. That is, of course, just data from America.

You can find a more global perspective here:

Quote

According to WHO, every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day.

This site also has a 'clock' at the top tallying global abortions since 1 January this year. The number increases rapidly (more than once per second), but it's currently sitting at about 11.3 million.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
Link to post
2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

I think that personhood of the women requires pro-choice policy.

I'd like to better understand this.

2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Personhood of an unborn child does not negate hers,

Sure.  But carrying a child does not terminate the mother's personhood, whereas aborting the unborn child does negate her personhood.

2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

and the situation boils down to the fact that she is carrying another person inside her body.

I agree.  

2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

That should not be forced.

I hold the concept of bodily autonomy in high regard.  The only reason I think about abortion is because it involves the life of a baby.  

I am curious as to your thoughts about sex-selective abortion.  Are you okay with it?  It almost always occurs in the context of the fetus being female.  We previously discussed this here about a book written by a pro-choice woman who was somehow opposed to sex-selective abortion.  An excerpt:

Quote
Quote

Mara Hvistendahl is worried about girls. Not in any political, moral or cultural sense but as an existential matter. She is right to be. In China, India and numerous other countries (both developing and developed), there are many more men than women, the result of systematic campaigns against baby girls. In "Unnatural Selection," Ms. Hvistendahl reports on this gender imbalance: what it is, how it came to be and what it means for the future.

In nature, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. This ratio is biologically ironclad. Between 104 and 106 is the normal range, and that's as far as the natural window goes. Any other number is the result of unnatural events.

Yet today in India there are 112 boys born for every 100 girls. In China, the number is 121—though plenty of Chinese towns are over the 150 mark. China's and India's populations are mammoth enough that their outlying sex ratios have skewed the global average to a biologically impossible 107. But the imbalance is not only in Asia. Azerbaijan stands at 115, Georgia at 118 and Armenia at 120.

What is causing the skewed ratio: abortion. If the male number in the sex ratio is above 106, it means that couples are having abortions when they find out the mother is carrying a girl. By Ms. Hvistendahl's counting, there have been so many sex-selective abortions in the past three decades that 163 million girls, who by biological averages should have been born, are missing from the world. Moral horror aside, this is likely to be of very large consequence.

The article discusses some of the sociological effects of gender imbalance. 
...

Quote

Ms. Hvistendahl is particularly worried that the "right wing" or the "Christian right"—as she labels those whose politics differ from her own—will use sex-selective abortion as part of a wider war on abortion itself. She believes that something must be done about the purposeful aborting of female babies or it could lead to "feminists' worst nightmare: a ban on all abortions."

It is telling that Ms. Hvistendahl identifies a ban on abortion—and not the killing of tens of millions of unborn girls—as the "worst nightmare" of feminism. Even though 163 million girls have been denied life solely because of their gender, she can't help seeing the problem through the lens of an American political issue.

This is where the discussion gets interesting. The author of the book impliedly concedes that gender-based abortion is bad:

Quote

Yet, while she is not willing to say that something has gone terribly wrong with the pro-abortion movement, she does recognize that two ideas are coming into conflict: "After decades of fighting for a woman's right to choose the outcome of her own pregnancy, it is difficult to turn around and point out that women are abusing that right."

So abortion to avoid having a girl amounts to "abusing" the right to abortion? Why is that? Why is aborting a baby girl "wrong" but aborting for some other non-medically-necessary reason A-Okay?

Quote

Late in "Unnatural Selection," Ms. Hvistendahl makes some suggestions as to how such "abuse" might be curbed without infringing on a woman's right to have an abortion. In attempting to serve these two diametrically opposed ideas, she proposes banning the common practice of revealing the sex of a baby to parents during ultrasound testing. And not just ban it, but have rigorous government enforcement, which would include nationwide sting operations designed to send doctors and ultrasound techs and nurses who reveal the sex of babies to jail. Beyond the police surveillance of obstetrics facilities, doctors would be required to "investigate women carrying female fetuses more thoroughly" when they request abortions, in order to ensure that their motives are not illegal.

Uh, yeah. Good luck with that. Once the idea of abortion-for-any-reason-or-no-reason-at-all takes root, it's kinda hard to backtrack and say "well, unless you want to abort little girls, 'cuz that kind of abortion is morally repugnant."

The article ends with a bang:

Quote

Despite the author's intentions, "Unnatural Selection" might be one of the most consequential books ever written in the campaign against abortion. It is aimed, like a heat-seeking missile, against the entire intellectual framework of "choice." For if "choice" is the moral imperative guiding abortion, then there is no way to take a stand against "gendercide." Aborting a baby because she is a girl is no different from aborting a baby because she has Down syndrome or because the mother's "mental health" requires it. Choice is choice. One Indian abortionist tells Ms. Hvistendahl: "I have patients who come and say 'I want to abort because if this baby is born it will be a Gemini, but I want a Libra.' "

This is where choice leads. This is where choice has already led. Ms. Hvistendahl may wish the matter otherwise, but there are only two alternatives: Restrict abortion or accept the slaughter of millions of baby girls and the calamities that are likely to come with it.

 

What are your thoughts?  How can the pro-choice folks stake out a "choice is paramount" position with a caveat of "unless you want to abort the child because it's a girl, in which case that's not acceptable?"  

2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

A woman should be able to consent or not to remaining pregnant.

Is there a limiting principle to what you are saying here?  Or is abortion right up to the moment of delivery is, for you, acceptable?

2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Furthermore I think that controlling pregnant women via anti-abortion law is also the wrong approach to protecting the unborn. Help women, and we will help babies.

I agree that education and persuasion is better in the abstract (and prior to pregnancy), but once the baby is in utero, we have to make a legal and moral decision about whether the mother can kill it for any reason or no reason at all.  

Thanks,

-Smac

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Here, perhaps? 62,502,904 Babies Have Been Killed in Abortions Since Roe v. Wade in 1973. That is, of course, just data from America.

You can find a more global perspective here:

This site also has a 'clock' at the top tallying global abortions since 1 January this year. The number increases rapidly (more than once per second), but it's currently sitting at about 11.3 million.

okay, worldwide, abortions in the US are going on though

Link to post

I've seen it said elsewhere and I agree with the sentiment that the church would be wise to lean into the idea of being both pro-life and pro-choice. I think they straddle that line now but the rhetoric focuses on the pro-life element as if there's a large population who simply wants to kill. I mean, who is anti-life? Really? No one I've ever met. It seems like a false choice. I'm pro-life yet I am also anti-government telling people how and when they should be able to have abortions. The question of who gets to decide is at the center of this. Although people will NEVER agree on the when and how and why questions, I think we could realistically come to some level of agreement on the "who" question.

If the church is willing to allow for exceptions (quite a few in fact) and leave the choice to the individual after seeking guidance from God, then I think that is a very pro-choice position. Not everyone will make a decision I agree with but I do agree the individual/family should be making the decision. Not the government. Not the church.

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 2
Link to post
20 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

If the church is willing to allow for exceptions (quite a few in fact)

How do you figure? It seems to me that the allowed exceptions are still very small in number. Unless one considers "having this baby will wreak havoc on my mental health and well-being, and in this way, it is justified as 'saving the life of the mother.'" Even then, I don't think there would be very many of these among Mormons. 

The number who actually consult with their bishop, as per the policy, is probably even smaller than that. 

Children resulting from rape or incest is a tiny number, and bona fide situations where it's a matter of choosing between the mother's or the baby's life are also very rare (my wife was unflinchingly willing to place a baby's life over her own, but I was very empathetic for the mother when we thought we were facing that choice).

I don't think the Church's policy is actually "willing to allow for quite a few exceptions" in spirit or in practice.   

Edited by rongo
Link to post
2 minutes ago, rongo said:

How do you figure? It seems to me that the allowed exceptions are still very small in number. Unless one considers "having this baby will wreak havoc on my mental health and well-being, and in this way, it is justified as 'saving the life of the mother.'" Even then, I don't think there would be very many of these among Mormons. 

The number who actually consult with their bishop, as per the policy, is probably even smaller than that. 

Children resulting from rape or incest is a tiny number, and bona fide situations where it's a matter of choosing between the mother's or the baby's life are also very rare (my wife was unflinchingly willing to place a baby's life over her own, but I was very empathetic for the mother when we thought we were facing that choice).

I don't think the Church's policy is actually "willing to allow for quite a few exceptions" in spirit or in practice.   

 

The listed exceptions include...

Quote
  • Pregnancy resulted from forcible rape or incest.

  • A competent physician determines that the life or health of the mother is in serious jeopardy.

  • A competent physician determines that the fetus has severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.

But whether you believe this is super narrow in impact or that it could affect quite a few situations, it doesn't really matter. The church has identified these areas. Can an individual have very justifiable reasons as well? Does the government? Who decides? The only reasonable answer would be the individual. Why would anyone want to cede such an important choice that could affect their life and well-being forever to a bureaucrat or any other person or group? What if government doesn't agree with the church's list of exceptions?

IMO- health of the mother can cover many situations. If my wife was having difficulties with her pregnancy (which she has) I don't want anyone else making decisions that could affect her life or my family. This seems like a very fundamental right to self-govern.

I'd be curious how a libertarian or a small-government conservative could argue for Government decision making in these cases.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Just now, HappyJackWagon said:

I'd be curious how a libertarian or a small-government conservative could argue for Government decision making in these cases.

I don't think most LDS libertarians or small-government conservatives are "purists" in applying that across the board to absolutely everything, no matter what. I think that abortion and perhaps drug enforcement are two issues that many support government regulation/prohibition for, even while being generally libertarian or small-government conservative in most other things. There might be other areas as well where they aren't "purist" consistent.  

Link to post
3 minutes ago, rongo said:

I don't think most LDS libertarians or small-government conservatives are "purists" in applying that across the board to absolutely everything, no matter what. I think that abortion and perhaps drug enforcement are two issues that many support government regulation/prohibition for, even while being generally libertarian or small-government conservative in most other things. There might be other areas as well where they aren't "purist" consistent.  

So aside from just cherry-picking what they don't want to be libertarian about, it sounds like the people you describe don't have much of a trust in the concept. What you are describing is "don't tell me what to do, but I want to be able to tell you what to do when I think it's important."  Not a very inspiring philosophy.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
20 hours ago, Zeniff said:

You would need to ask the individual Church leaders for their own statements.  There isn't a unified statement from all Church leaders stating what all of them think about this issue, or any other issue, as far as I know.

Statements from the First Presidency represent what those 3 people think and believe, and statements from The Quorum of Twelve Apostles represent what those 12 people think and believe. 

I don't know the total number of Church leaders but there are a lot more than only those 15 men.

Are you sure you're not Ahab?

Link to post
19 hours ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

However the fruits of Rape and Incest, allow those already brutalized, to be harmed even more, than the original act of barbarism. 

But the "fruit" is an innocent child! Imagine telling a child that she needs to die because she would cause more harm to her mother than the man who raped her mother.

I have a real problem with this kind of thinking.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
8 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Furthermore I think that controlling pregnant women via anti-abortion law is also the wrong approach to protecting the unborn. Help women, and we will help babies.

I do agree with this, but I don't think it is an either/or situation. Let's have anti-abortion law AND provide as much help to women as we can. I get frustrated at those in my religion who spends considerable time advocating for anti-abortion laws (a good thing), but THEN, because of some supposed conservative principle, argue against laws that would help women, relieve poverty, and do things that would make abortion less likely to happen in the first place.

Link to post
4 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

But the "fruit" is an innocent child! Imagine telling a child that she needs to die because she would cause more harm to her mother than the man who raped her mother.

I have a real problem with this kind of thinking.

I can see and agree with Papa's point of view.  A child that results from rape is a reproduction of the rapist and the victim combined in a wholly separate body, so the mere existence of that child is a reminder to both mortal parents of that rape and those fruits.

It is true that the act of rape could be forgiven and it could then be possible for both parents to love that child but even then, as long as both parents remained aware of how that child was produced, there would be that reminder of what had been done.

Link to post
24 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I'd be curious how a libertarian or a small-government conservative could argue for Government decision making in these cases.

I think the majority of Libertarians are pro-choice, but that doesn't mean Libertarian pro-life arguments don't exist.

Here's one such argument from Libertarians for Life (founded in 1976):

  1. Human offspring are human beings, persons from conception, whether that takes place as natural or artificial fertilization, by cloning, or by any other means.
  2. Abortion is homicide -- the killing of one person by another.
  3. One's right to control one's own body does not allow violating the obligation not to aggress. There is never a right to kill an innocent person. Prenatally, we are all innocent persons.
  4. A prenatal child has the right to be in the mother's body. Parents have no right to evict their children from the crib or from the womb and let them die. Instead both parents, the father as well as the mother, owe them support and protection from harm.
  5. No government, nor any individual, has a just power to legally "de-person" any one of us, born or preborn.
  6. The proper purpose of the law is to side with the innocent, not against them.


You may not find such arguments persuasive, but they certainly exist. 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
2 minutes ago, Zeniff said:

A child that results from rape is a reproduction of the rapist and the victim combined in a wholly separate body

What about children whose fathers are murderers? Alcoholic abusers? Molesters? Genocidal dictators? Are those children lesser because of the sins of their fathers?

5 minutes ago, Zeniff said:

so the mere existence of that child is a reminder to both mortal parents of that rape and those fruits.

The "fruit" is the innocent child! The mother-victim can give up the child at birth. She doesn't even have to see the child after it's born if she doesn't want to. She never has to know about the child's life if she doesn't want to. And I am in no way trivializing how hard those 9 months of pregnancy would be. But killing the child isn't the answer. Helping the mother to the utmost of society's ability is the answer.

10 minutes ago, Zeniff said:

It is true that the act of rape could be forgiven

I don't think whether or not the mother-victim has forgiven the rapist plays much of a role in whether or not she should abort the baby. I think it might play a role in how difficult carrying the baby to term might be.

 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
1 minute ago, MiserereNobis said:

What about children whose fathers are murderers? Alcoholic abusers? Molesters? Genocidal dictators? Are those children lesser because of the sins of their fathers?

The "fruit" is the innocent child! The mother-victim can give up the child at birth. She doesn't even have to see the child after it's born if she doesn't want to. She never has to know about the child's life if she doesn't want to. And I am in no way trivializing how hard those 9 months of pregnancy would be. But killing the child isn't the answer. Helping the mother to the utmost of society's ability is the answer.

I don't think whether or not the mother-victim has forgiven the rapist plays much of a role in whether or not she should abort the baby. I think it might play a role in how difficult carrying the baby to term might be.

 

As long as some exceptions are made there can always be arguments for other exceptions. So then we all get fighting about which exceptions are legitimate and which aren't. And reasonable people can disagree. But when laws are passed about which exceptions are justified and which aren't, and individuals are forced to do something they don't agree with, then we get bigger problems. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
7 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

As long as some exceptions are made there can always be arguments for other exceptions. So then we all get fighting about which exceptions are legitimate and which aren't. And reasonable people can disagree. But when laws are passed about which exceptions are justified and which aren't, and individuals are forced to do something they don't agree with, then we get bigger problems. 

Yes, this is a reasonable analysis. I suppose Catholicism avoids the issue by having no exceptions for abortion.

I will point out thought that pretty much all laws force someone out there to do something they don't agree with, rare though that may be with some laws.

  • Like 1
Link to post
42 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

But the "fruit" is an innocent child! Imagine telling a child that she needs to die because she would cause more harm to her mother than the man who raped her mother.

I have a real problem with this kind of thinking.

I would take that up with God for allowing it to happen at all.

Link to post
12 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

What about children whose fathers are murderers? Alcoholic abusers? Molesters? Genocidal dictators? Are those children lesser because of the sins of their fathers?

The "fruit" is the innocent child! The mother-victim can give up the child at birth. She doesn't even have to see the child after it's born if she doesn't want to. She never has to know about the child's life if she doesn't want to. And I am in no way trivializing how hard those 9 months of pregnancy would be. But killing the child isn't the answer. Helping the mother to the utmost of society's ability is the answer.

I don't think whether or not the mother-victim has forgiven the rapist plays much of a role in whether or not she should abort the baby. I think it might play a role in how difficult carrying the baby to term might be.

 

It does now appear that you see some of the challenge it would be for a woman to continually choose to nurture her rapist's baby to full term.  Do you also see that baby as a reproduction of him, the rapist, within her?  It is what it is.  It is still him, within her.

A combination of him and her which will result in a completely new version of him if she allows herself to continue to nurture that baby within her until that baby is born.  Would you like to experience that?  Do you think she should be forced to endure it?

Comparing some other type of criminal to a rapist who inseminates a woman with his sperm against her will which results in her becoming pregnant with a new version of him and her is a bit ridiculous, don't you think?  Even for you?

Link to post
30 minutes ago, Amulek said:

Here's one such argument from Libertarians for Life (founded in 1976):

  1. Human offspring are human beings, persons from conception, whether that takes place as natural or artificial fertilization, by cloning, or by any other means.

 

Then you hit the problem that if conception creates human life than spontaneous miscarriages constitute genocide and we should really do something about that.

  • Like 1
Link to post
2 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I would take that up with God for allowing it to happen at all.

Do you mind explaining? God allows all sorts of evil to occur. How does that relate to this issue?

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...