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The abortion debate

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libertygrl
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#26 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/16/12 - 6:13 PM:

How often does rape result in pregnancy? I reckon it is extremely rare.

Why do you reckon that? Is it that rape seems like a great fiction? Women don't really get raped that often? Or is it that you imagine that the only women who ever get raped are ones that can't conceive. Are rapists super selective that way?

How rare or common it is does not change whether it should be a valid justification for abortion. An exception is an exception, I've never heard of things being a "good exception" or "poor exception". I'm guessing you're talking about the legality of it whereas I'm talking about the ethics. On the other hand, you said abortion shouldn't be outlawed, so I'm a little confused here.

Monk wrote:
any opportunity to bring another such life into the world is a cause for celebration and something to be protected.

You're against contraception, I take it?

I don't see what sort of value system could reasonably make such a judgment.

If the opportunity to create a unique life is to be valued so much more highly than the quality of existing life, then I should think contraception would be entirely illegal.
libertygrl
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#27 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/16/12 - 6:25 PM:

thedoc wrote:
You have my sympathy for your experience.

Thank you doc. It was such a long time ago and I've worked through so many things that I'm surprised talking about it now that it still makes me feel upset. This is one reason that I am adamant about this rape/abortion correlation. Men have the luxury of never having to carry a child in pregnancy, and most men have the luxury of never having been raped. It's a horrible experience that no man nor woman should ever have to suffer. It is, in my opinion, a valid call for consideration in the abortion debate.
libertygrl
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#28 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/16/12 - 6:35 PM:

thedoc wrote:
Sorry but this argument is a bit empty, many of the plants eaten are the part of the plant specifically grown by the plant to be eaten by an animal. Many fruits and vegitables are just that, bait for an animal to spread the seed away from the parent plant. Necter is produced by flowers to attract insects to aid in fertalization and provides food ofr the insects as a reward. Eating many parts of a plant in no way shape or form is in any way comparable to killing an animal.

These are good points. We chop trees down for wood, though. I could probably come up with some more ways that we injure or kill plants but the point that I'm trying to make is that the degree of consciousness that plants have makes it so that we don't feel we are causing them emotional harm.

The primary argument against abortion is that we are terminating the potential for human life, whereas contraception does exactly that as well. It's grey area and people can draw the lines every which way trying to decide where life begins exactly and what should be protected and what shouldn't, and of course, you will find hordes who disagree with where the lines are being drawn no matter where they are being drawn. It's problematic.
thedoc
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#29 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/16/12 - 8:19 PM:

libertygrl wrote:

These are good points. We chop trees down for wood, though. I could probably come up with some more ways that we injure or kill plants but the point that I'm trying to make is that the degree of consciousness that plants have makes it so that we don't feel we are causing them emotional harm.

The primary argument against abortion is that we are terminating the potential for human life, whereas contraception does exactly that as well. It's grey area and people can draw the lines every which way trying to decide where life begins exactly and what should be protected and what shouldn't, and of course, you will find hordes who disagree with where the lines are being drawn no matter where they are being drawn. It's problematic.


Every living thing has a natural cycle, many are interupted before completing that cycle, this is the way it is, accept it or not, you will not change it.

Contraception is not comparable to abortion, if you prevent an individual from coming into being it is not the same as ending the life of an existing being. Sperm and Ovum are produced in abundence to be wasted, each one is not special or an individual, just potential. With abortion you are ending an existing human life it's not just pontential.
libertygrl
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#30 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/16/12 - 8:44 PM:

Well, I certainly don't see contraception as being the same as abortion. But if the potential to create human life is to be valued above all else, then contraception should be thrown out the window.
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#31 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/16/12 - 9:14 PM:

Here's some links with some numbers. Rape resulting in conception is rare compared to the number of rapes committed. Rape-related abortions are even rarer still relative to the number of abortions committed.

Abortion numbers: Suggests upwards of 1 million abortions per yer in the USA. Of these, rape related pregnancy counts for around 1%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_States#Statistics



Rape related pregnancies: Suggests 5% of rapes result in conception.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8765248

Approximately 200 000 women are raped in the USA every year. Which means about 10 000 result in conception.



And look at the studies on the Wiki page listing reasons why abortions are done. Usually it is because people do not want to take responsibility for their actions in getting pregnant in the first place. We KNOW this is the case. Even if you allow that rape is a justifiable excuse for abortion, and add it to 'health concerns', that will still only account for around 12-15% of all abortions committed yearly.

Can anyone honestly say that this is justified?

Until pro-death folks stop thumping around about rape and incest and start acknowledging that the vast majority of abortion is 'cosmetic' based on a failure to take personal responsibility for sexual activity, there will never be any real ground gained in the discussion. (This is such a common tactic that inevitably arises in this discussion. Pro-death folks immediate start in with the rape and incest clause. It is almost a non-sequitor, given its relative obscurity in the real world. Yes, its a tragic event, but should we be making decisions for the masses based on something that occurs 1% of the time?)

As I said, I think abortion might be justified in some cases--those where physical harm will result from carrying a child full term. For any other excuse, abortion is not a solution, just a negation of personal and social responsibility.

And for me personally, I don't see how the value of one woman's suffering,due to a traumatic incident, which can be overcome/healed, is superior to the value of a whole human life, filled with possibility.

8)
Monk2400
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#32 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/16/12 - 9:22 PM:

libertygrl wrote:

Why do you reckon that? Is it that rape seems like a great fiction? Women don't really get raped that often? Or is it that you imagine that the only women who ever get raped are ones that can't conceive. Are rapists super selective that way?


I never suggested any of this fiction. You're projecting a whole lot of nonsense on me.

My thought was because rape is generally a crime of violence not lust that few result in ejaculation, and fewer still in conception. The numbers bear it out. 5%.


libertygrl wrote:

How rare or common it is does not change whether it should be a valid justification for abortion.


Sure it does. We can't go around making exceptions in law or morality for every possible human tragedy. You can't/shouldn't make laws to satisfy the minority.


libertygrl wrote:

You're against contraception, I take it?


There's a massive difference between terminating an existing life and never creating the life in the first place. I don't see sperm/egg as sacred beings, because they aren't and never will be independent existences. Contraception is the same as not having sex at all. It is in no way equivalent to willful termination of the life of a human being.

8)
Monk2400
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#33 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/16/12 - 9:26 PM:

Monk2400 wrote:

And for me personally, I don't see how the value of one woman's suffering,due to a traumatic incident, which can be overcome/healed, is superior to the value of a whole human life, filled with possibility.


But that's just me, my personal values and opinion, and yalls can take it or leave as it is. There's naught more I can add to this discussion.

cheers,

8)
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#34 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/16/12 - 9:39 PM:

Monk wrote:
You're projecting a whole lot of nonsense on me.

I was asking, not projecting. There's a big difference.

Thanks for sharing those stats, I was trying to dig some up and not having as much luck.

Note, 3.3% risk to fetal health, 2.8% risk to maternal health. Those are significant numbers and definitely worth addressing, even if you feel that 1% of rape victims aren't. Keep in mind, too, that 1% is a small number in terms of ratio but still a large number in terms of actual people who have dealt with this problem.

Monk wrote:
We can't go around making exceptions in law or morality for every possible human tragedy. You can't/shouldn't make laws to satisfy the minority.

Well, the majority of people in the U.S. believe abortion should be legal and freely available for any reason the mother sees fit, before the fetus becomes viable. So do you still see the minority view as inconsequential?

As I said to doc, I don't think contraception and abortion are the same thing. But if you are valuing the potential for creating human life above all else, including the quality of human life, then it seems like contraception should be frowned upon.
thedoc
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#35 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/17/12 - 12:36 AM:

libertygrl wrote:

Well, the majority of people in the U.S. believe abortion should be legal and freely available for any reason the mother sees fit, before the fetus becomes viable. So do you still see the minority view as inconsequential?



I would seriously question that the 'majority' favor abortion. What statistics or data do you base this on? Most of the people I know do not believe it should be freely available but believe it should be severly restricted or eliminated.
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#36 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/17/12 - 12:44 AM:

thedoc wrote:
What statistics or data do you base this on?

I'm basing it on the fact that it's legal.
smokinpristiformis
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#37 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/17/12 - 1:44 AM:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0kJHQpvgB8
henry quirk
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#38 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/17/12 - 9:35 AM:

"I'm basing it on the fact that it's legal."

Which could mean the American 'powers that be' do as they always have: cater to vocal segments of a population, giving those segments exactly what they want in exchange for votes.

Legality is not evidence the 'majority' supports anything.
libertygrl
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#39 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/17/12 - 10:18 AM:


thumb up
libertygrl
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#40 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/17/12 - 10:32 AM:

henry quirk wrote:
Which could mean the American 'powers that be' do as they always have: cater to vocal segments of a population, giving those segments exactly what they want in exchange for votes.

Sure, it could mean that. But when the majority of people feels that a certain law is seriously wrong, you see a lot of visible movement toward overturning that law. For example, gay marriage is illegal in a lot of states, but is becoming legalized now in one state after another. There is a lot of movement toward legalizing pot as well.

The prohibition of alcohol was a federal government decision that created a tremendous public backlash. My point is that if the majority of people don't like a how certain decision is impacting them, for example Roe vs. Wade, they will visibly move to get it appealed, amended, overturned, whatever. Nowadays you see certain movements making efforts to limit abortion in small degrees - for example, not wanting it to be available to teens, or insisting that pregnant mothers have an ultrasound first, that kind of thing. But I definitely don't get the impression that abortion will be illegal anytime soon in the US, and it hasn't been for at least 40 years. That's a long time to leave an extremely unpopular ruling in effect, assuming the majority of US constituents do actually oppose it.
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#41 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/17/12 - 11:16 AM:

Let's take the examples you use, and one of my own...


-"abortion": I see no evidence a majority of Americans are doing squat in favor of, or against, this. Again: it's a vocal segment of the population, not a majority.


-"gay marriage": I see no evidence a majority of Americans are doing squat in favor of, or against, this. Again: it's a vocal segment of the population, not a majority.


-"legalizing pot": I see no evidence a majority of Americans are doing squat in favor of, or against, this. Again: it's a vocal segment of the population, not a majority.


-The 'occupancy' movement: I see no evidence a majority of Americans are doing squat in favor of, or against, this. Again: it's a vocal segment of the population, not a majority.


...the majority is largely indifferent to the above and a whole slew of other things...the majority doesn't care 'cause the above three (and those others things) have no real impact (good or bad) on them.

I, for example, don't give two shits about the above (*I'm not saddled with an unwanted pregnancy, I'm not gay, I don't smoke pot, and I don't give a shit about the uber-rich)...I certainly KNOW about these 'movements'...I just don't CARE.

And, this, "The prohibition of alcohol was a federal government decision that created a tremendous public backlash', is not accurate.

The public (majority) was largely indifferent: some had access to booze (home distillation), some didn't care. The 'backlash' (the result) of prohibition was the explosion in the kind and depth of organized crime. Prohibition was repealed not because the public demanded it but only to take a bite out of crime.







*and: if I were knocked up, if I were gay, If I smoked weed or if I had a belly-full of envy/hate toward the uber-rich, then -- sure as shit -- I'd do whatever the hell it is I'd do in those circumstances without resorting to 'mass movement' and 'public displays' and 'working to change the system'.

Screw the 'law': just 'do' and don't advertise it...whatever
thedoc
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#42 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/17/12 - 11:32 AM:

I gotta go with Henry on this one, the majority is largly indifferent to the law untill it bites them in the ass. On any highway in the US the majority of drivers are giong 5, 10, 15 mph over the posted limit, but I don't see anyone protesting or painting slogans on their cars to raise or eliminate speed limits. At one time Nevada's speed limit was R&P (Reasonable and Proper) there was no numerical posted limit, and had one of the biggest Ferrari dealers in the country because people there could buy a car and run it as fast as they wanted.
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#43 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/17/12 - 11:49 AM:

Fair enough, I find it plausible that a majority are indifferent on it.
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#44 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/17/12 - 12:28 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
Fair enough, I find it plausible that a majority are indifferent on it.


If that's true, it's rather unsettling.
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#45 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/17/12 - 1:07 PM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:
If that's true, it's rather unsettling.

agreed.
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#46 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/17/12 - 1:36 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
Fair enough, I find it plausible that a majority are indifferent on it.


Please don't assume that I think indifference is acceptable or a good thing, but there is a degree of unaccountability with law makers and they 'get away' with many laws that are not supported by the majority. From what I could tell the latest round of 'bail-outs' was not universally well received. The 55 mph speed limit was not very popular among many drivers and they are quite a majority.
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#47 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/17/12 - 2:10 PM:

Well, it's a question too of what you can get away with as a citizen, not just as a lawmaker.

Going 10 miles over the limit is highly unlikely to get you a ticket. If you're gay and you're not allowed to get married, you can still practice gay sex in the privacy of your own home. You can smoke pot in the privacy of your own home, drink alcohol, presuming you can find a supplier of such things when they're against the law.

Abortion is a much more difficult matter. When abortion is illegal, you have hordes of people dying in their homes and back alleys from trying to induce abortion using unsafe methods. So there is reason for a tremendous push there from those who would want to make it legal. Enough pushing to make it happen, and not enough pushing to oppose it. So even if many are indifferent, for those who aren't indifferent the strength is in the number of those in favor. At least at the moment. It's been a controversial topic for many centuries, and not likely to settle in one direction or another anytime soon, I would imagine.

Edited by libertygrl on 02/17/12 - 3:50 PM
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#48 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/20/12 - 7:28 AM:

thedoc wrote:
Please don't assume that I think indifference is acceptable or a good thing, but there is a degree of unaccountability with law makers and they 'get away' with many laws that are not supported by the majority.



Democracy isn't always in the best shape we could hope for. I see many problems, but I'll discuss two here.


One of the things we need is a world-wide democracy to tackle world-wide problems. There, for example, a climate law could be passed that limits the impact of one citizen on the ability of another to gain a living. That is to say, if absurdly high energy consumption of one person is directly impacting the fertility of someone else's land (through drought or other signs of a more extreme climate), a world-wide democracy would inevitably do something about that in the long run. A good example is the human rights convention. It's been great up to now, but it's not enough; It needs to be extended and supported by a real democracy so that more people might actually enjoy the human rights that they should have.


Of course, abortion, certainly for now, is an ethical point that is not by definition an issue that needs to be treated on a world-wide scale. Unless the Geneva convention has something to say about a particular instance, but I doubt it. The rules around abortion are usually governed on the level of a country or region. This is of course because this ethical debate is very culturally defined. And even in a time where region/country and culture are less and less strongly related - it's the next best thing to govern culture on a smaller geographical scale. That means, if your abortion debate isn't worth much because your local democracy is underperforming: ie. troubled by indifference, populism, indecisiveness, polarisation, ...

... it's time to take your local political debate to a more civilised level. smiling face
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#49 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/22/12 - 12:17 PM:

The problem with indifference is... indifference. Whether it is a nation-wide democracy or a worldwide one, the impact of indifference would be the same.
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#50 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/25/12 - 6:14 AM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:



Democracy isn't always in the best shape we could hope for. I see many problems, but I'll discuss two here.


One of the things we need is a world-wide democracy to tackle world-wide problems. There, for example, a climate law could be passed that limits the impact of one citizen on the ability of another to gain a living. That is to say, if absurdly high energy consumption of one person is directly impacting the fertility of someone else's land (through drought or other signs of a more extreme climate), a world-wide democracy would inevitably do something about that in the long run. A good example is the human rights convention. It's been great up to now, but it's not enough; It needs to be extended and supported by a real democracy so that more people might actually enjoy the human rights that they should have.


Of course, abortion, certainly for now, is an ethical point that is not by definition an issue that needs to be treated on a world-wide scale. Unless the Geneva convention has something to say about a particular instance, but I doubt it. The rules around abortion are usually governed on the level of a country or region. This is of course because this ethical debate is very culturally defined. And even in a time where region/country and culture are less and less strongly related - it's the next best thing to govern culture on a smaller geographical scale. That means, if your abortion debate isn't worth much because your local democracy is underperforming: ie. troubled by indifference, populism, indecisiveness, polarisation, ...

... it's time to take your local political debate to a more civilised level. smiling face
If only we could [in America]. Perhaps one day.

I enjoyed reading this thread, thanks for the high level of civil debate by all. I experienced a lot of different thoughts while reading.

One thought I had was I found myself wondering whether or not the species would have survived if todays values could have been expressed and enforced tens of thousands or even millions of years ago. I wonder how many pregnancies way back then we'd consider the result of rape and incest. My guess is an awful lot. Did the female members of the species just instinctively do what other mammals do [still] and simply go about doing the best they could to help the offspring survive, or did they, in some cases, walk away from the newborn or kill it? Obviously enough of them cared for their young to the extent of where we find the species today. Are we all descendants of ancestors who engaged in consensual sex? I highly doubt that.

To me there's an interesting division that inevitably takes shape in the abortion debate and that is the seed sowers (males) vs the carriers of offspring (females) on a primal level. Then there are those - some of both genders divided by cultural values occupying the middle and oftentimes meandering between both sides. Then, of course, there's those who are indifferent. I've been in all three camps at different stages of my life.

After having lived now for 56 years, having been the father of 5 and the grandfather of 2, having had abortion very close to me in more instances than I wish, and listening to people I greatly respect on both sides of the issue, I reluctantly come down on the pro-choice side of the argument. Why? Because of where we find ourselves today. You cannot ignore the circumstances in which a person will live IMV. If humans had not engaged in usurping the process of Natural Selection I might think differently on this, but the fact is we have taken matters into our own hands and it's unfair IMO to then tie the hands of some because an argument is swaying one way at a particular date. If we care to permit individual liberty then we should be all in on that and trust the instincts of the female to do whats best.

This marriage thing is an arrangement created by religions to give males authority over the instincts and wishes of females, it is in itself a form of rape.

According the the bible story, even Jesus advocated for abortion:
For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!"
- Matthew 26:24 New World Translation

Of course any person back then would have had no idea what they were insinuating or advocating for from today's perspective, nor would they have thought I'd be quoting them and spinning their words to fit my argument thousands of years later.

The question becomes: did Jesus mean 'conceived' when he supposedly said 'born'? He did say "Born" specifically, and he was The Son Of God. I guess to find out we should consult the Pope?


Edited by cripes on 02/25/12 - 6:22 AM. Reason: punctuation
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