Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by BLD, Aug 18, 2004.
AN ABORTION STORY
Do those of you on the pro-choice side think this is okay?
Yes, I'm just fine with the choice she made.
On the other hand, I do not think that I would have been able to make that choice, and thank God I will never be in a position to have to decide in an instant whether I want to sacrifice everything in my life because of the chance of having triplets, and to have to decide to abort two in order to just have one.
Clearly there is some rationalization going on here on the part of the woman.
But who are you conservatives to throw stones at her? Who are you to say that what is right for some is right for all? I pity the woman in the article and the choice she was given - life was simpler when we kept women completely under the thumbs of a male dominated society, wasn't it? That's not the case now, though, and when women make choices about their own bodies, regardless of our own discomfort with some of those decisions, we need to respect that.
In fact that's what the Supreme Court says, and I thought conservatives generally respected the law? They sure do when it comes to locking up pot smokers.... But I guess bombing abortion clinics is somehow allowed because of the "God inspired" thing y'all believe in.
The abortion issue is an emotionally charged one, (duh) both from the pro-choice and the pro-life camps.
I generally don't get involved in discussions about it, but recently was encouraged to give it some thought. I present my thoughts here, with no hope of other than scorn and derision (OK, maybe I harbor a glimmer of hope for some clarification.) They represent an attempt to reconcile, to the farthest extent I consider possible, the liberal and conservative views on the issue. I use the term "fetus" rather loosely throughout, to represent an unborn human - be it zygote, embryo, whatever.
Pro-Choice advocates represent the liberal position on abortion. Whether they see abortion as a moral issue or not, they also see it as an issue of rights - that a woman has a right to have an abortion, and that doctors have the right to provide her with one.
Pro-Life advocates represent the conservative position. Many may allow for abortions in the event of ectopic pregnancy or other conditions that threaten the life of the mother. Some make allowances for rape and incest pregnancies. Beyond that the conservative holds that no woman has a right to an abortion, and no one has the right to perform an abortion on her.
The philosopher Mary Anne Warren holds a liberal position on abortion. Warren says that destroying a baby after it is born is like destroying a work of art, and thus should not be done (although she holds there's nothing intrinsically wrong with killing a child before it reaches a certain level of sentience that Warren claims is one of the requirements for "personhood"), but that before the baby is born, it's not ok to force women to not have abortions.
I think, for the sake of argument, a moderate conservative could grant her that. (the non-parenthetical part)
I think a moderate conservative could hold the view that the mother has a right to seek an abortion...but no doctor has a right to provide it.
This is the middle ground, and this is where I come in.
I think the women need to end the fetus' life themselves, if it is to be done, even if it requires the development of new technology to facilitate the act. Doctors can be on hand to remove the fetus, but I think it is morally wrong for them to kill the fetus, and should be seen as a crime except in cases where the fetus poses a threat to the mother.
Rape and incest pregnancies would for the most part, if so chosen, be terminated by a "morning after pill", as would countless other pregnancies, no doubt. Late term abortions would presumably require a doctor on hand to remove the dead fetus, but the mother would have to terminate the pregnancy herself. That would leave the moral responsibility with the mother (the only one with a right to seek an abortion, and the only one I believe morally entitled to give her one, if anyone is) This would, I guess, cause the abortion clinics to become assisted abortion centers.
Although the idea of a business that touts "You kill your fetus, we'll do the rest" might be somewhat morally repugnant, it is less repugnant than the thought of doctors (and other staff) actively being in the business of killing fetuses, for whatever reason.
Negative - it is a form of domestic terrorism.
Presumably only if perpetrated by a domestic agent.
I don't think that abortion clinics are high up on bin-Laden's target list.
You can't hold a whole group responsible for the acts of it's extremists. Well, you can, but you shouldn't.
I've always been a proponent of a woman's right to choose but I am adamantly against abortion.
In this case, it should have been a parent's decision not just the woman's. It seems unfair that the father's decision was not taken into consideration by this selfish woman.
To me, abortion should be made possible if the mother or the child is at risk or if the mother is very young/raped. If my daughter got pregnant at 16 (God forbid) I would not encourage abortion. I would make her take responsibility for the creation of a life.
On the other hand, there are alot of selfish wackos that do not deserve a child and this lady fits the bill. Who knows if those kids would have grown up neglected or abused because of her career.
My wife and I have two girls (6 and 9 months) - It's been a hell of a time because we are both in under paying jobs and I was unemployed most of last year. We are also both attending Nova Southeastern online for the MIBA program. Even though we struggle through payments (bounced checks galore - thank the banks for overdraft protection), I could never have seen myself giving up on my babies.
And that's the point, many of these women have the means and opportunity to take care of these "unwanted" pregnancies but they give up on themselves and they give up on their babies without even giving the struggle a chance.
The best part of life, sometimes, is the struggle.
My favorite priest once told me: Be suspicious of any moral conviction you have that only applies to other people; it's easy to condemn choices you'll never have to make. I share his suspicion. Right now I see a bunch of threads where men are explaining why women should be arrested for having abortions and heterosexuals are explaining why gays and lesbians shouldn't be allowed to marry--an improvement over old threads where Americans were explaining why the French are self-centered, irrational twits and conservative Christians were explaining why Islam is an evil religion, but still safely in the realm of condemning the outsider. I find this sort of appeal to my pack instinct irresistable, but I don't really see what we're accomplishing here.
That was a sad story. The baby that was chosen to survive was robbed of two siblings.. Very sad indeed.
"So what's the solution?", you liberals may ask. Adoption. Do you know how many Americans go to places like Russia, China, Southeast Asia, and South America to adopt babies? Lots of good hearted Americans do.. Those babies were Americans and under the Constitution of the United States, they had an inalienable right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness. But those unborn kids will not be able to do that, now will they? Of course not! They're dead!
In an age of utter moral relativism, it's actually pretty easy to excuse choices you'll never have to make, since the social consensus appears to be that being "judgmental" is bad, un-Christian, or just the sort of thing that those vicious conservatives do, you know, not our class, dear.
What the old ironist notices on these threads is that the left is every bit as rigid, morally self-anointed, lockstep in an array of positions, etc., as the right. The right (my set) just uses the language of morality ("perverts", z.B.) and the left (your set) that of psychology ("homophobia", z.B.). It sounds a lot more like ritual reinforcement of in-group sense of superiority than like actual attempts to persuade folks to change their minds.
Conor Cruise O'Brien once said that the problem with Ireland was that it was full of two sets of imaginary Hebrews disputing over who would get the promised land. What we got here are two sets of real wowsers (the diversitarians being by far the haughtier of the two, since moralizing psychobabble is "realer" in our society than naked moralizing) disputing over an imagined promontory of exclusive moral excellence.
Having actually changed my views over the years on abortion and the homosexuality issues, I oughta gape in wonder at those whose convictions afford them such purity of heart, what with me being "by nature sinful and unclean." I do not hold my current views with the zeal of the convert. I was not persuaded to them by folks looking down their noses at me, either, or by screaming, or by picketing gay funerals, or by jockstrap brigades. Are they, now, settled convictions? Yes--no thanks to any set of zealots.
I'm with Bruce on a very critical aspect of all of this, one on which I'm dead serious.
A society in which privacy is abolished is a totalitarian society. A society without shame is a society without restraints on violence. Private epiphanies may be maturer than public displays. Modulating the volume is not necessarily repressing the spirit. A society in which anything goes easily becomes a society in which everything is gone--including the things valued by liberationists of whatever stripe--at the random turn of fortune's wheel. Intruding upon me, whether by "are yew saved?" or by jockstrapped asswaggling, may be a nice way for you to obviate your own sense of inadequacy and shame, but it neither persuades nor improves me, nor does it bolster that civility without which being liberal or conservative, hetero or homo, religionist or secularist, just isn't pleasant or profitable at all.
These discussions are interesting. Tom Head, I disagree with you on everything but I appreciate your civility. Now I've gotta sign off this complex of threads as far as posting is concerned. Too much time. But keep up the civil discussion, guys. Maybe some good can come of it.
My Personal Account
That is a sad story…injecting chemicals into the baby’s heart seems barbaric...but here's my story how I can relate on some level. (Yes, it’s a true story)
My wife and I have been married for 6 years. We're both in our 30's and we have a 2 year old girl. All is swell now, but I'm haunted by one thing in my life...
When my wife and I first met, she became pregnant only after a few months of dating. We certainly didn't know each other well enough to realize that we'd one day be married, so we decided to have an abortion. The only thing that made this decision somewhat easier (for me at least) was that it was -very- early in the pregnancy....I know this doesn't matter for some - but for me, a cluster of cells does not feel pain.
Even though our lives are great to this day, and we are truly soul mates, and have a wonderful daughter - I am still haunted by what we did. I believe it was wrong...period.
Ones mind tries to justify it - "well, if we had a baby back then, we might not be together today"....or "we just weren't ready"....but no matter what excuses I try to come up with - it was still wrong. The excuses only provide temporary comfort at best.
I consider myself a bit older and wiser now. And I've come to believe/realize a few things.
1) If you are willing to sleep with someone - you MUST be willing to live with a possible pregnancy (no matter what - my daughter was conceived with my wife on the pill)
2) The shock and fear of realizing your pregnant eventually becomes excitedness and joy - but only if you give it enough time. Don't make rash decisions based on emotions.
3) No matter how bad you think you have it, and no matter how long your list of excuses are to not have the baby - you will –always- be haunted if you have an abortion....
4) No matter how bad you think you have it, you can make it work. Things always seems to work themselves out. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Am I pro-choice? I used to think I am. Now? I believe a woman has the right to terminate a pregnancy only under certain conditions. And even those conditions have to be case by case. But a few are: rape, significant health problems of the baby, significant health risks for the mother, etc.
When it comes down to it - it doesn't matter what anyone believes. Why? Two reasons:
1) You are the one that has to live with it
2) If there is a God, and he doesn't like your choices, you'll have to live with that too.
Re: My Personal Account
I live with the same guilt. Now I oppose abortion in my mind....But I don't usually say anything about it because it is hypocritical. When I was thirteen and had a pregnant girlfriend I sure was glad for the option. I hate this issue...it does haunt me.
I hope you take just a little more time with this thread. I am also troubled by the absolutism on both sides of what may well be the single most divisive issue in American society.
The trouble is, from a strictly logical standpoint, middle ground doesn't seem to exist. You can't have half an abortion and half a legally mandated birth. You COULD mandate that half of all requested abortions will be permitted and half forbidden, but that grotesque result would satisfy no one and would not render the either/or any less stark in the case of any individual woman or pregnancy.
The issue will be resolved only with enitire, or nearly entire, victory of one set of moral absolutists over the other set of moral absolutists and that "victory" will likely not prove enduring.
My two cents:
Legally, the issue is between a woman and the government and concerns the restrictions on the government's right to interefere in her life. Although I feel that the "bright lines" in Roe v. Wade are less supportable in light of medical advances, that decision remains about the best the legal establishment can do, absent a constitutional amendment, which isn't gonna happen in MY lifetime, anyway.
Live with it, folks. Use all the civil and moral persuasion and eloquence at your command to put your ideas across but eschew violence and stop preaching hate.
Of course there's a middle ground.
I provided one conception of it in an earlier post about assisted abortion.
Unfortuantely, it was illegal and self induced abortions that killed and maimed so many young women that led to the abortion rights movement in the first place. This has been tried; the results were tragic.
This has NOT been tried. The abortions in my assisted abortion scenario would not be illegal, and presumably would not be carried out with a coat hanger (or its equivalent.) If you're suggesting that there's no way self-induced abortions could be made safe, I disagree.
And I'd be willing to wager that if was the mother who personally had to end the fetus' life, there would be a drastic decrease in the amount of abortions. I do believe in a woman's right to an abortion - but I don't believe that any doctor has the right to give her one (medical emergencies aside.)
Or... we could just throw our hands up in the air and say there's no middle ground.
Okay, I'll admit it - I haven't read this entire thread - nor the story referenced in the first post (I rarely click on such links).
But just reading the subject line, I was reminded of an old joke:
How do you make a dead baby float?
Two scoops of dead baby in a glass of 7-Up.
Well, maybe not yet.
What about when medical science makes it possible for a fetus at any stage to survive outside the mother's body? At the least, this seems like it should put the mother and father on more equal ground legally. As it is (after the act of conception, which both parties participated in), the woman decides whether or not to have a child with no input (either way) from the man.
Of course, even with medical advances, this doesn't resolve the responsibility issue. If one party wants the child is the other party still financially responsible? Although that is the way it is now (one-sidedly admittedly), perhaps that would need to be changed.
What if neither party wanted the child? Well, maybe the child could be a ward of the state until a qualified party adopted the baby (or presumably still a fetus). With the current waiting lists we currently have (although unfortunately, almost everyone wants a newborn [which isn't a problem at all in this hypothetical, just a problem in real life]) this seems to be a plausible solution, and one that most conservatives shouldn't have too hard of a time justifying paying for.
And if both parties wanted the child. Well, that wouldn't be a problem at all.
Just a thought,
Perhaps you should read the whole thread before making such an insensitive joke. Have you ever heard the phrase "there's a time and place for everything" ?
The womens abortion rights aside, has anyone thought of putting themselves in the place of a doctor who performs abortions? I personally would not be able to stomach it...
(Steve, no need to reply - this thread is obviously for the more mature audience)
Separate names with a comma.