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Elder andersen on abortion


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6 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

You keep stating this as a given conclusion. The problem is what you are saying is exactly what is in dispute. Repeating it over and over doesn't remove the dispute.

Perhaps each time you repeat this as a given conclusion I will respond with my own given conclusion: It is never moral to murder an innocent child.

I keep stating it when asked to clarify my position by different people. Being asked to clarify is not the same as being asked to justify it.

As I said to SMAC earlier, consider the amount of time abortion has been around. It has been around as long as anything in human civilization. We can find laws that continue to today from ancient times until now. But look at abortion: one way or another, the legal question has been neglected. There's nowhere near the legal development of laws pertaining to abortion as there are laws pertaining to self defense or property, for example. 

I would reason that a major factor in all this is the personhood of women. When women are treated more like property or second-class citizens, there is both

1) less concern about protecting their rights, and

2) less need for people who who want to control women to create laws to control them.

But now that women are being treated more like full persons under the law, the protection of their rights is gaining more momentum. Furthermore, if there are people who want to control them, now the need to create new laws to do so is greater.

In that light, it does take time to build legal theory around anything.

That said, I can still say what are compelling things about the importance of reproductive rights regarding pregnancy:

1) Pregnancy presents a direct risk to the health and life of the pregnant person, risk which remains through at the pregnancy and heightens exponentially at the point of delivery. Therefore, compelling a person to continue a pregnancy is compelling them to assume risk to their health and life.  

2) Pregnancy can also present an indirect risk to a the pregnant person's health and life, and also the health and life of her family. It can reduce or eliminate her ability to care for herself and for others already depending on her. Pregnancy can reduce her ability to protect herself and protect those already relying on her for protection.

My position in large part is based on the history of woman's rights. They have been neglected, and it is important to treat women as people, and therefore it it important to not criminalize abortion when it could directly and indirectly help them care for and protect themselves and the people people they already care for and protect.

But that's not the only reason for my position. Ever since Rene Descartes said "I think therefore I am"--man has thought he could figure out the world by dividing it into pieces and building it according to his desires. But this is not always true. As Mary Shelley illustrated in "Frankenstein," life is more than its physical components and we cannot simply force it. The components can be important but it is actually the relationships which are most important. And civilization's relationship with women is just starting to get better by big leaps.

This moment in history, women are being treated more like people, and this is in my opinion a critical advance in history. It is time to continue that, not time to control their bodies. I believe that the net positive is that women will be safer, healthier, and happier. I would implore you to have some faith in women to be guardians of the universes made and unmade inside them. 

 

 

Edited by Meadowchik
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8 hours ago, CV75 said:

You have both made it nonsensical and changed it.

My question is like asking, "Given that the female carrying a human being is part of a proactive societal entity and functions accordingly, at what point is her killing the human being she carries more moral than her member society compelling her to carry them?"

It is always more moral for a woman to make a decision about her own body than it is for the member society to force her to carry a pregnancy. Have some faith in women.

Edited by Meadowchik
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7 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

Im very uncomfortable with this way of thinking and always push back against it in pro-life people. It dehumanizes the child, demonizes the mother and/or father, and skews what parenthood is about

You do realize many men and women view an abortion as a "get out of jail free" option once they find out they're pregnant. 

    What dehumanizes the child is an abortion!! Today, many people view the first 3 stages of human development, zygote, embryo,and fetus as nonhuman. Somehow, through our educational system, a large portion of kids and adults today believe a developing human in the mothers womb isn't a human until it passes through the birth canal. They will refer to the life inside the mother as a clump of cells, or a parasite, that way they don't have to see what's growing inside the mother as a human. It's the same tactic many slave holders used back in the day, they looked at slaves as less than human. Same with the Nazis in in the 1940s, they dehumanized the Jews by saying they were rats, dehumanizing them made it easier to force them into gas chambers. 

  I think you might of misunderstood what I was saying about a "get out of jail free card". I'm not saying I view an abortion that way, but many people do, using an abortion as a form of birth control. Years ago I had a good surfing buddy who convinced two women to have an abortion because he didn't want to be tied down, he paid for both of them. When I was in my early twenties one of my friends parents convinced his girlfriend to have an abortion without her parents even knowing until after the procedure. I know a dancer who had an abortion because she didn't want to stop dancing, the money was to good, if she stopped dancing she would of been looking for a 9to5 probably making just above minimum wage. 

    If you have time, please explain how you come to the conclusion that pro life people dehumanize the child.

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4 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

It is always more moral for a woman to make a decision about her own body than it is for the member society to force her to carry a pregnancy. Have some faith in women.

But that is not the subject of the question. Neverminded.

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6 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

It is always more moral for a woman to make a decision about her own body than it is for the member society to force her to carry a pregnancy. Have some faith in women.

Women aren't the only humans who can give birth now, maybe we should have faith in men also.

Screenshot_20210414-094731.png

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3 hours ago, AtlanticMike said:

You do realize many men and women view an abortion as a "get out of jail free" option once they find out they're pregnant. 

    What dehumanizes the child is an abortion!! Today, many people view the first 3 stages of human development, zygote, embryo,and fetus as nonhuman. Somehow, through our educational system, a large portion of kids and adults today believe a developing human in the mothers womb isn't a human until it passes through the birth canal. They will refer to the life inside the mother as a clump of cells, or a parasite, that way they don't have to see what's growing inside the mother as a human.

I'm reminded of this quote from an episode of Frasier (which, oddly enough, was generally celebratory about the birth of a child) :

Quote

Daphne : So I guess you've had some excitement tonight.

Niles : [quickly]  No, I haven't.

Daphne : Well, your father sure made it sound exciting on the phone... delivering a baby in a taxi.

Niles : Oh, that. I don't think of that as excitement as much as my sworn duty to use those skills I honed in medical school.

Frasier : Yes, Niles ran down to a falafel stand for a pot of hot water.

Martin : What I can't get over is that feeling of being there right when a person's life begins. One minute, it's just this blob in some lady's stomach. Next minute, it's a person. Blob...

[snaps his fingers] 

Martin : ...person.

Frasier : The miracle of birth summed up in one poetic phrase.

Thanks,

-Smac

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24 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I'm reminded of this quote from an episode of Frasier (which, oddly enough, was generally celebratory about the birth of a child) :

Last year I took my youngest daughter surfing with me, just me and her. As we were getting out of the water to have a bite to eat, a Mennonite family comes walking down from the dune, a mom, dad and 4 or 5 kids, can't remember. As my daughter and I are sitting there on the sand eating our snack, she's watching the dad play in the water with his youngest child and asked me when did we form a close relationship. I told her the day I found out her mom was pregnant was the day I started forming our relationship. I sang to her, I talked to her, I pushed on her mother's stomach to see if I could get her to push back. 

 When we go to the Outer Banks in Carolina we will drive on the beach. Sometimes the entrance ramps will be blocked off because they've shut down the entire section of Beach. It's almost always because a bird's nest or two have been spotted on the beach and they don't want people to disturb the birds. They will rope off 100s of feet around the nest so people can't even walk to the nest. And I agree with blocking off the nesting site, I can always drive to the next ramp and go fishing there. My point being, to bad we don't try to protect and care for our unborn children as much as we try to protect the eggs of certain bird species. I'll never understand that. 

 

PS.   Just thought I would throw this in. One of the coolest things to see while at the beach is when a Mennonite family comes to play in the water. The boys and girls will get in fully clothed, the girls will wear their dresses home completely soaked to the bone. I even formed a friendship with one of the dad's while at the beach and he will contact me sometimes to see when I'm going next so he can meet me down there so I can take his son out on my long board. I also work with a few and they are some of the most honest, hard working people I've ever met.

    

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22 hours ago, CV75 said:

My question is: at what point is killing the carried human being more moral than compelling their carriage?

The thing I see with this question is how does Elder Andersen's talk help in determining where the dividing line/range is? The Church officially acknowledges the existence of these gray areas:

1) When life and health of mother/baby are at risk. As noted in the link I shared earlier as, and Elder Andersen's talk follows the same pattern, all anecdotes shared by GAs that illustrate risk to the mother and/or baby illustrate/promote "accept the risk and see if you are as fortunate as the examples we share" choice. I'm not aware of any positive examples of "mom balanced the risks of keeping/terminating the pregnancy and chose to terminate". If/when those examples are shared -- as Elder Andersen does -- it is to highlight the regret that comes from committing this sin and to highlight the grace of God in being willing to forgive this sin. Because of the imbalance, I'm not sure exactly how one would actually make the choice when faced with a risky pregnancy.

Another question that I see posed is if this risk to health of the mother exception includes risks to mental health.

2) When the pregnancy was a result of rape/incest. Again, anecdotes shared by GAs universally seem to point to choosing to keep the pregnancy -- the the point that I wonder if we are serious about this exception.

In all cases, the Church's official policy suggests (insists?) that the prospective mother counsel with her bishop. What information/training does the bishop have beyond what is mentioned above? My impression is that a bishop has the same information as the mother with the same biases mentioned above, so that the bishop's counsel will be, "keep the pregnancy and hope for the best." This is also where leadership roulette comes in, because the counsel given by each bishop in the same scenario could be very different.

As I said, I think this is a good question. I just don't see how Elder Andersen's talk (or those of other Church leaders) really help navigate the gray area. Because of the real difficulties of navigating the gray area, I find myself defaulting to @Meadowchik's point -- if we are not going to really help women make the choice, then we have to defer judgement and let each woman make the best choice she can. That means that some (many?) women will make a choice that we don't agree with, but we have to leave them the choice.

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12 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

The thing I see with this question is how does Elder Andersen's talk help in determining where the dividing line/range is? The Church officially acknowledges the existence of these gray areas:

1) When life and health of mother/baby are at risk. As noted in the link I shared earlier as, and Elder Andersen's talk follows the same pattern, all anecdotes shared by GAs that illustrate risk to the mother and/or baby illustrate/promote "accept the risk and see if you are as fortunate as the examples we share" choice. I'm not aware of any positive examples of "mom balanced the risks of keeping/terminating the pregnancy and chose to terminate". If/when those examples are shared -- as Elder Andersen does -- it is to highlight the regret that comes from committing this sin and to highlight the grace of God in being willing to forgive this sin. Because of the imbalance, I'm not sure exactly how one would actually make the choice when faced with a risky pregnancy.

Another question that I see posed is if this risk to health of the mother exception includes risks to mental health.

2) When the pregnancy was a result of rape/incest. Again, anecdotes shared by GAs universally seem to point to choosing to keep the pregnancy -- the the point that I wonder if we are serious about this exception.

In all cases, the Church's official policy suggests (insists?) that the prospective mother counsel with her bishop. What information/training does the bishop have beyond what is mentioned above? My impression is that a bishop has the same information as the mother with the same biases mentioned above, so that the bishop's counsel will be, "keep the pregnancy and hope for the best." This is also where leadership roulette comes in, because the counsel given by each bishop in the same scenario could be very different.

As I said, I think this is a good question. I just don't see how Elder Andersen's talk (or those of other Church leaders) really help navigate the gray area. Because of the real difficulties of navigating the gray area, I find myself defaulting to @Meadowchik's point -- if we are not going to really help women make the choice, then we have to defer judgement and let each woman make the best choice she can. That means that some (many?) women will make a choice that we don't agree with, but we have to leave them the choice.

But my question is about individually exercising agency to settle gray areas that straddle both individual and societal morality (the talk covers that). This is why the black-and-white default, “It is always more moral for a woman to make a decision about her own body than it is for society to force her to carry a pregnancy” is faulty. It also ignores that the moral-defining individual and societal agents are interdependent operators. I also think "force" and "compel" are the wrong words to use to describe how things are set up in our society, including the talk, but I've been letting that go for the sake of discussion.

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8 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

I keep stating it when asked to clarify my position by different people. Being asked to clarify is not the same as being asked to justify it.

As I said to SMAC earlier, consider the amount of time abortion has been around. It has been around as long as anything in human civilization. We can find laws that continue to today from ancient times until now. But look at abortion: one way or another, the legal question has been neglected. There's nowhere near the legal development of laws pertaining to abortion as there are laws pertaining to self defense or property, for example. 

I would reason that a major factor in all this is the personhood of women. When women are treated more like property or second-class citizens, there is both

1) less concern about protecting their rights, and

2) less need for people who who want to control women to create laws to control them.

But now that women are being treated more like full persons under the law, the protection of their rights is gaining more momentum. Furthermore, if there are people who want to control them, now the need to create new laws to do so is greater.

In that light, it does take time to build legal theory around anything.

That said, I can still say what are compelling things about the importance of reproductive rights regarding pregnancy:

1) Pregnancy presents a direct risk to the health and life of the pregnant person, risk which remains through at the pregnancy and heightens exponentially at the point of delivery. Therefore, compelling a person to continue a pregnancy is compelling them to assume risk to their health and life.  

2) Pregnancy can also present an indirect risk to a the pregnant person's health and life, and also the health and life of her family. It can reduce or eliminate her ability to care for herself and for others already depending on her. Pregnancy can reduce her ability to protect herself and protect those already relying on her for protection.

My position in large part is based on the history of woman's rights. They have been neglected, and it is important to treat women as people, and therefore it it important to not criminalize abortion when it could directly and indirectly help them care for and protect themselves and the people people they already care for and protect.

But that's not the only reason for my position. Ever since Rene Descartes said "I think therefore I am"--man has thought he could figure out the world by dividing it into pieces and building it according to his desires. But this is not always true. As Mary Shelley illustrated in "Frankenstein," life is more than its physical components and we cannot simply force it. The components can be important but it is actually the relationships which are most important. And civilization's relationship with women is just starting to get better by big leaps.

This moment in history, women are being treated more like people, and this is in my opinion a critical advance in history. It is time to continue that, not time to control their bodies. I believe that the net positive is that women will be safer, healthier, and happier. I would implore you to have some faith in women to be guardians of the universes made and unmade inside them. 

 

 

You are still begging the question. A rhetoric-laced recitation of the history of the oppression of women does not really address the question of why the destruction of an innocent human life to accommodate the convenience of the short-sighted man and woman who brought it into being is “morally sound” behavior. 

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24 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

The thing I see with this question is how does Elder Andersen's talk help in determining where the dividing line/range is?

I think his remarks help clarify what many members have chosen to construe as vague or ambiguous.  Elective abortion is, with some very few and narrow exceptions, a great moral evil. 

24 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

The Church officially acknowledges the existence of these gray areas:

1) When life and health of mother/baby are at risk. As noted in the link I shared earlier as, and Elder Andersen's talk follows the same pattern, all anecdotes shared by GAs that illustrate risk to the mother and/or baby illustrate/promote "accept the risk and see if you are as fortunate as the examples we share" choice. I'm not aware of any positive examples of "mom balanced the risks of keeping/terminating the pregnancy and chose to terminate". If/when those examples are shared -- as Elder Andersen does -- it is to highlight the regret that comes from committing this sin and to highlight the grace of God in being willing to forgive this sin. Because of the imbalance, I'm not sure exactly how one would actually make the choice when faced with a risky pregnancy.

Another question that I see posed is if this risk to health of the mother exception includes risks to mental health.

2) When the pregnancy was a result of rape/incest. Again, anecdotes shared by GAs universally seem to point to choosing to keep the pregnancy -- the the point that I wonder if we are serious about this exception.

I think we are.  

24 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

In all cases, the Church's official policy suggests (insists?) that the prospective mother counsel with her bishop.

"Insists" seems a bit strong.

24 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

What information/training does the bishop have beyond what is mentioned above?

Moral guidance from the General Authorities, mostly.

24 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

My impression is that a bishop has the same information as the mother with the same biases mentioned above, so that the bishop's counsel will be, "keep the pregnancy and hope for the best."

Except that this is not the Church's counsel, nor is it the province of the bishop to provide such counsel.

I attended a training session some years ago with Elder Bednar.  It was for all the bishops in Provo (except for the bishops of by student wards, who were in a separate meeting with Elder Ballard).  Elder Bednar covered a variety of topics, but one of his principal points was to emphasize that bishops are erring when they do what you propose here: tell the congregant what to do.  He acknowledged all the effort that bishops put into their callings, but he said that bishops are not there to tell an individual what to do.  Instead, he said that a bishop should help the individual, through study and prayer and pondering and pastoral counsel, figure out what the Lord wants her to do.  The bishop should then encourage the individual to do that.

So a bishop shouldn't tell an inquiring married couple when to try for a baby, or how many children to have.  Instead, he should help the couple review what the prophets and apostles have said, and what the scriptures say, and consider their own circumstances, then seek out guidance from the Lord, and then ascertain and follow that guidance.

A bishop shouldn't tell a person struggling in her marriage whether to get a divorce or not.  Instead, he should help her review what the prophets and apostles have said, and what the scriptures say, and consider her own circumstances, and then seek guidance from the Lord, and then ascertain and follow that guidance.

The same concept, I think, would apply to a congregant considering an abortion.

24 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

This is also where leadership roulette comes in, because the counsel given by each bishop in the same scenario could be very different.

If Elder Bednar's counsel is followed, the so-called "leadership roulette" thing becomes mostly moot.

24 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

As I said, I think this is a good question. I just don't see how Elder Andersen's talk (or those of other Church leaders) really help navigate the gray area.

I do.  It helps members understand that "the gray area" is actually pretty small.  And to the extent an individual woman falls within that area, she should not have someone else - a bishop or anyone - make the decision for her.  She should instead seek counsel from her bishop, who would ostensibly help her review what the prophets and apostles have said about the matter, and what the scriptures say, and consider her own circumstances, and then seek guidance from the Lord, and then ascertain and follow that guidance.

24 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

Because of the real difficulties of navigating the gray area, I find myself defaulting to @Meadowchik's point -- if we are not going to really help women make the choice, then we have to defer judgement and let each woman make the best choice she can.

I reject the "if."

You are correct that this is not really a matter for "us" to judge.  But it is a matter for prophets and apostles, speaking on behalf of Jesus Christ, to provide clear and wise counsel.  The Church has done so for quite a while, and Elder Andersen did just a few days ago.

24 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

That means that some (many?) women will make a choice that we don't agree with, but we have to leave them the choice.

Well, not precisely.  The rights of the child merit attention and protection.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

But my question is about individually exercising agency to settle gray areas that straddle both individual and societal morality (the talk covers that). This is why the black-and-white default, “It is always more moral for a woman to make a decision about her own body than it is for society to force her to carry a pregnancy” is faulty. It also ignores that the moral-defining individual and societal agents are interdependent operators. I also think "force" and "compel" are the wrong words to use to describe how things are set up in our society, including the talk, but I've been letting that go for the sake of discussion.

But isn't the criminalization of abortion already reducing it to a binary? While non-criminalization keeps wombs out of the state jurisdiction while still of course allowing for ample opportunity for society to find ways to help prevent abortion and help women. My assertion gives power back to women where it belongs. If women have power over their own bodies, I think society will have more incentive to help improve the overall health of women and form and maintain good relationships with women. And that can lead to lower maternal mortality and fetal mortality rates, lower unplanned pregnancies, better overall infant and maternal health, and less abortions. Empowering women can lead to better educated women and children, better quality of life for women and children, safer women and children, and less abortions.

 

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32 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

But isn't the criminalization of abortion already reducing it to a binary? While non-criminalization keeps wombs out of the state jurisdiction while still of course allowing for ample opportunity for society to find ways to help prevent abortion and help women. My assertion gives power back to women where it belongs. If women have power over their own bodies, I think society will have more incentive to help improve the overall health of women and form and maintain good relationships with women. And that can lead to lower maternal mortality and fetal mortality rates, lower unplanned pregnancies, better overall infant and maternal health, and less abortions. Empowering women can lead to better educated women and children, better quality of life for women and children, safer women and children, and less abortions.

 

No, I do not take it as binary. I am sure you can see where abortion is criminalized and where it is not in consideration of various degrees and circumstances of decision-making in the society in which you operate. I would say your lack of empowerment within the dynamic between  individual and group powers has a much more fundamental cause and application than those laws dealing with the body at various stages of development and condition.

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3 hours ago, CV75 said:

No, I do not take it as binary. 

It is a binary in the real life circumstances. A woman cannot make the decision based on the complexities of her life and health, but is forced to choose between complying or not with the law.

3 hours ago, CV75 said:

I would say your lack of empowerment within the dynamic between  individual and group powers has a much more fundamental cause and application than those laws dealing with the body at various stages of development and condition.

Could you rephrase? I'm not sure what you're trying to say here.

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29 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

It is a binary in the real life circumstances. A woman cannot make the decision based on the complexities of her life and health, but is forced to choose between complying or not with the law.

Could you rephrase? I'm not sure what you're trying to say here.

We all make decisions about complying with the law, which represents society's (typically most individuals, depending on the government but let's say we're talking about the USA) morals and mores.

Whether women are empowered to make laws (as part of a society) and decisions about compliance (as individuals operating within our society) has a much more fundamental  cause than those laws dealing with the body at various stages of development and condition and our decisions about compliance. I think everyone agrees that the more people are empowered in a democratic republic, the better things go. But that has nothing to do with my original question, which given your false binary, I gather is too non-binary to deal with and that's OK hence the "never mind."

For the same reason, I am not going to entertain a rehearsal of pros and cons of abortion laws.

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6 hours ago, CV75 said:

We all make decisions about complying with the law, which represents society's (typically most individuals, depending on the government but let's say we're talking about the USA) morals and mores.

Except when else does the law directly control how we can treat a medical problem? Laws are not an answer to every problem.

6 hours ago, CV75 said:

Whether women are empowered to make laws (as part of a society) and decisions about compliance (as individuals operating within our society) has a much more fundamental  cause than those laws dealing with the body at various stages of development and condition and our decisions about compliance.

This sentence is again really unclear. 

6 hours ago, CV75 said:

I think everyone agrees that the more people are empowered in a democratic republic, the better things go. But that has nothing to do with my original question, which given your false binary, I gather is too non-binary to deal with and that's OK hence the "never mind."

 

My issue with your original question (nothing to do with a binary) is that you were trying to compare two levels of morality under two different measurement systems: the woman's judgment of morality in her individual situation, compared to the morality of state interference. The methods for measuring each is not the same and there is no "conversion chart." 

The only way a comparison can be made is if one is always zero. That's how I was able to eventually answer it. 

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On 4/14/2021 at 3:45 AM, MiserereNobis said:

I'm very uncomfortable with this way of thinking and always push back against it in pro-life people. It dehumanizes the child, demonizes the mother and/or father, and skews what parenthood is about.

Viewing a pregnancy as a punishment for a mistake or bad decision means that the child is a negative consequence. That goes contrary to the premise of pro-life. An innocent child is just that, an innocent child. She is not a punishment. She is not a jail cell. She is a beautiful life to be celebrated.

Of course this doesn't mean that a pregnancy in a difficult situation is to be glossed over as being simple and easy. Society needs to step up (I'm looking at you, pro-life conservatives) and offer the mother all the resources she needs to get through this hard time. Help her raise the child. Help her give the child to adoption. Help the mother and you help the child!

But we should never equate pregnancy with punishment. The mother shouldn't look at her child and think that this is her punishment. Pro-life people should know better than to further this narrative.

Yet the criminalization of abortion does this, effectively. 

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On 4/14/2021 at 3:40 AM, Meadowchik said:

Have some faith in women

I do, I trust this woman.

I trust this woman

I trust this woman

I trust this woman

 

Edited by AtlanticMike
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I just finished measuring a roof on a section 8 apartment complex so I could give them a price on a new roof install.  While riding through the neighborhood I probably passed 40 or 50 people, all but one was black. When I was done and got back out to the main road to the interstate, I passed planned Parenthood, it reminded me of this video.

  

 

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8 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Except when else does the law directly control how we can treat a medical problem? Laws are not an answer to every problem.

This sentence is again really unclear. 

My issue with your original question (nothing to do with a binary) is that you were trying to compare two levels of morality under two different measurement systems: the woman's judgment of morality in her individual situation, compared to the morality of state interference. The methods for measuring each is not the same and there is no "conversion chart." 

The only way a comparison can be made is if one is always zero. That's how I was able to eventually answer it. 

The USA has many laws that directly control how we can treat medical problems. This is why we have the Right to Try Act (2018) to access certain unapproved treatments. On the other end of the spectrum, the state can act as a surrogate parent when a parent fails to provide or consent to the necessary medical care for their child.

As a democratic republic, we see a balance of power between the individual, other individuals, and the society in which we live. That balance plays out in the laws dealing with the body at various stages of development and condition and decisions about compliance (in this case, abortion laws). The people inherently have the power to create the laws, not vice-versa (only to serve the people once they are created). I am OK if that remains unclear; not everyone is familiar with this form of government.

My question is not about individual, situational morality vs. state-defined or mandated morality. It is about moral decision-making where, at some point, some moral decisions take priority over others. Individuals and society are faced with the same decisions. Law reflects the joint morality of the people, so it is a convenient way to discuss it. I shan’t repeat the question.

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On 4/14/2021 at 1:33 AM, Meadowchik said:

I keep stating it when asked to clarify my position by different people. Being asked to clarify is not the same as being asked to justify it.

As I said to SMAC earlier, consider the amount of time abortion has been around. It has been around as long as anything in human civilization. We can find laws that continue to today from ancient times until now. But look at abortion: one way or another, the legal question has been neglected. There's nowhere near the legal development of laws pertaining to abortion as there are laws pertaining to self defense or property, for example. 

I would reason that a major factor in all this is the personhood of women. When women are treated more like property or second-class citizens, there is both

1) less concern about protecting their rights, and

2) less need for people who who want to control women to create laws to control them.

But now that women are being treated more like full persons under the law, the protection of their rights is gaining more momentum. Furthermore, if there are people who want to control them, now the need to create new laws to do so is greater.

In that light, it does take time to build legal theory around anything.

That said, I can still say what are compelling things about the importance of reproductive rights regarding pregnancy:

1) Pregnancy presents a direct risk to the health and life of the pregnant person, risk which remains through at the pregnancy and heightens exponentially at the point of delivery. Therefore, compelling a person to continue a pregnancy is compelling them to assume risk to their health and life.  

2) Pregnancy can also present an indirect risk to a the pregnant person's health and life, and also the health and life of her family. It can reduce or eliminate her ability to care for herself and for others already depending on her. Pregnancy can reduce her ability to protect herself and protect those already relying on her for protection.

My position in large part is based on the history of woman's rights. They have been neglected, and it is important to treat women as people, and therefore it it important to not criminalize abortion when it could directly and indirectly help them care for and protect themselves and the people people they already care for and protect.

But that's not the only reason for my position. Ever since Rene Descartes said "I think therefore I am"--man has thought he could figure out the world by dividing it into pieces and building it according to his desires. But this is not always true. As Mary Shelley illustrated in "Frankenstein," life is more than its physical components and we cannot simply force it. The components can be important but it is actually the relationships which are most important. And civilization's relationship with women is just starting to get better by big leaps.

This moment in history, women are being treated more like people, and this is in my opinion a critical advance in history. It is time to continue that, not time to control their bodies. I believe that the net positive is that women will be safer, healthier, and happier. I would implore you to have some faith in women to be guardians of the universes made and unmade inside them. 

 

 

I know I mentioned prior that I’m not pro-choice or Life. But because I was talking to someone largely pro-life in contrast I looked pretty dang pro-choice :P . So I assume this may seem the opposite here when I’m discussing this with you. But just as a reminder part of me agree with you. I felt in my gut on a relatively “normal” pregnancy minus the last week that as much as possible, even if I think this journey is worth it, I couldn’t force every woman to choose this and insist they go through the same thing. But I think there are limits based on the viability of autonomous life outside the womb and overall community health that makes me pause on pro-choice idealism.  

I was curious after this post to look up the countries with the highest scores for gender parity and compare it to their laws on abortion access. For the top 10 countries they all had different allowances on access and different gestational limits (most were either around 20 or 12 weeks depending). One country was very restrictive. To be fair, there is some correlation. The worst countries all had regulations, some were extremely restricted and needed permission from parents or husbands. But in the middle there was a wide range and you couldn’t really see a correlation off hand to how well they were doing on gender parity by their abortion laws. Some were more permissive than the top 10. Some more restricted. but either way there wasn’t a complete and solid line that tied women’s status as fully and equal people to whether or not abortion was permitted no matter the circumstances or week of gestation. Especially once you hit a base line for basic women’s rights.

You’ve mentioned more than once “have some faith in women”...but I think that may oversimplify the moral balance at play in most countries around this. To a degree you’re right. Many countries with extremely restricted abortion laws likely don’t have a lot of faith in women and see them as less than. Yet when you hit a certain degree of parity it gets more complicated. It’s not just about women’s rights over their bodies. Any more than this is simply a concern of personhood and innocence of the child. Rather it’s finding a reasonable balance between moral principles and human value that the community as a whole, including women who are generally empowered in their life, can be okay with. 
I think part of the problem at play here is that in the US we never found that balance. Instead we keep vacillating and pushing for our moral absolutes. The catch all that either allows all abortions no matter what or condemns all but the very few. This tension in our current place of polarization maintains super unhealthy social trends. We have states that are reactively pushing for more and more restrictive abortion rights, women caught in ideological conflicts, people who vote solely based on this issue and nothing else even if there are other concerns that are extremely important for child and family health that are left effectively ignored (that ironically would likely reduce the abortion rate naturally as pressures on women force decisions they wouldn’t naturally take), and it leaves us with 50+ different rules about abortion that women in difficult circumstances and pressing times have to navigate. All of this is unhealthy and destabilizing...just because we insist on laws that fit perfectly into our own moral code. Instead of having reasonable middle ground laws that allow good access to abortion within a gestational limit and medical care and then focusing our energy on women and children’s health to reduce poverty and expand social/economic opportunities and promote good sex education. Instead so much energy gets sucked into this ONE issue at the cost of so many others that leaves us around the levels of several lower income countries in terms of gender equality. This isn’t my idea of empowerment for women. If anything it leads realistically to a net loss. 
 

With luv, 

BD

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2 hours ago, CV75 said:

The USA has many laws that directly control how we can treat medical problems. This is why we have the Right to Try Act (2018) to access certain unapproved treatments. On the other end of the spectrum, the state can act as a surrogate parent when a parent fails to provide or consent to the necessary medical care for their child.

None of that is the type of control that criminalization of abortion entails, which dictates whether a medical problem can be treated or not.

2 hours ago, CV75 said:

As a democratic republic, we see a balance of power between the individual, other individuals, and the society in which we live. That balance plays out in the laws dealing with the body at various stages of development and condition and decisions about compliance (in this case, abortion laws). The people inherently have the power to create the laws, not vice-versa (only to serve the people once they are created). I am OK if that remains unclear; not everyone is familiar with this form of government.

Of course I am familiar with this form of government, it is your wording that is just unclear to me.

Part of that balance of power is the limits to which a government-by-the-people can collectively intrude upon the lives of individuals. 

2 hours ago, CV75 said:

My question is not about individual, situational morality vs. state-defined or mandated morality. It is about moral decision-making where, at some point, some moral decisions take priority over others. Individuals and society are faced with the same decisions. Law reflects the joint morality of the people, so it is a convenient way to discuss it. I shan’t repeat the question.

I am happy to answer questions, and I understand the all of the reasoning that you have explained behind your question, before you explained it. (I was arguing the pro-life position for many years and am familiar with most arguments.) Yet it is important to remember that not every question is well posed, and questions can bring with them your own assumptions which can be false.

Your attempt to streamline these moral questions into a comparative statement puts both actions in the same sphere, giving the collective the same standing as the pregnant individual in the question and making the individual an agent of the state in the question. I disagree with both of those assumptions.

Our democratic republic is also a constitutional one, and once you make a womb the province of the collective will, you make it vulnerable to other types of control. That in my opinion is a big mistake. Furthermore, I think that encroaching on women's bodily autonomy is the wrong direction. 

 

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This 3d ultrasound picture explains perfectly how all fetuses around the world feel about abortion.

 

Screenshot_20210415-081229~2.png

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2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

None of that is the type of control that criminalization of abortion entails, which dictates whether a medical problem can be treated or not.

Of course I am familiar with this form of government, it is your wording that is just unclear to me.

Part of that balance of power is the limits to which a government-by-the-people can collectively intrude upon the lives of individuals. 

I am happy to answer questions, and I understand the all of the reasoning that you have explained behind your question, before you explained it. (I was arguing the pro-life position for many years and am familiar with most arguments.) Yet it is important to remember that not every question is well posed, and questions can bring with them your own assumptions which can be false.

Your attempt to streamline these moral questions into a comparative statement puts both actions in the same sphere, giving the collective the same standing as the pregnant individual in the question and making the individual an agent of the state in the question. I disagree with both of those assumptions.

Our democratic republic is also a constitutional one, and once you make a womb the province of the collective will, you make it vulnerable to other types of control. That in my opinion is a big mistake. Furthermore, I think that encroaching on women's bodily autonomy is the wrong direction. 

 

Like the other laws, abortion law reflects the people’s attitude toward both medical and moral problems and toward limiting government’s role in funding, regulation, criminalizing, etc.

I understand that I am not always clear and am happy to (try at least) clarify. Or just say “Never mind.” :)

I am not asking which moral action has greater fixed standing, but which action would be taken in a given situation since both are concurrent and in the same sphere. They are virtually one decision and action; action on one principle is a proactive pause on the other. The collective and the individual occupy and feed into the same society which passes the laws for everyone. Their level of participation is where empowerment comes in.

Edited by CV75
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