Abortion: The Facts

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Re: Abortion: The Facts

Postby Philly » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:03 pm

Southern Dad wrote:
Philly2 wrote:You know in most cases I'd find it easy to believe that someone calling a woman irresponsible for taking the morning after pill might avoid putting any liability on the guy who had sex with her, but not this time. Southern Dad has plenty of judgmental musings for everyone. I'm sure if he sees this post he'll elaborate that the man as well is irresponsible and has likely received some form of government handouts in his life.


Hold on! Remember, it's HER body. The man has no say if she gets a vacuum cleaner to suck out the unborn because it's HER body. Guess what, when it comes to getting pregnant, the same applies... it's HER body.

Wait, so he's not responsible for unprotected sex? I mean normally this line of thinking is the beginning of the argument that concludes "Well it's her choice, so if she wants to keep the baby and he's already told her he doesn't want to be a dad, she made the choice to have it without him". That's a problematic argument, but at least you can follow it from Point A to Point B. Here, she's taking the morning after pill. There's not going to be a pregnancy, not going to be a baby, he won't owe any child support or anything...no kid. We can't at least say he had something to do with getting them to this stage where she's taking the pill?
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Re: Abortion: The Facts

Postby Southern Dad » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:06 pm

Philly2 wrote:Wait, so he's not responsible for unprotected sex? I mean normally this line of thinking is the beginning of the argument that concludes "Well it's her choice, so if she wants to keep the baby and he's already told her he doesn't want to be a dad, she made the choice to have it without him". That's a problematic argument, but at least you can follow it from Point A to Point B. Here, she's taking the morning after pill. There's not going to be a pregnancy, not going to be a baby, he won't owe any child support or anything...no kid. We can't at least say he had something to do with getting them to this stage where she's taking the pill?


It's her body. Remember? I guess maybe she should say, "No." You can't have it both ways. When it comes to killing off the unborn, it's her body therefore, he has no say in it. Guess what, when it comes to pregnancy prevention, again it's her body. Now there is no doubt that the man shouldn't go outdoors without a raincoat when he's not sure about the weather. It could result in eighteen plus years of making payments unless of course, she aborts.
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Re: Abortion: The Facts

Postby Philly » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:08 pm

Southern Dad wrote:
Philly2 wrote:Wait, so he's not responsible for unprotected sex? I mean normally this line of thinking is the beginning of the argument that concludes "Well it's her choice, so if she wants to keep the baby and he's already told her he doesn't want to be a dad, she made the choice to have it without him". That's a problematic argument, but at least you can follow it from Point A to Point B. Here, she's taking the morning after pill. There's not going to be a pregnancy, not going to be a baby, he won't owe any child support or anything...no kid. We can't at least say he had something to do with getting them to this stage where she's taking the pill?


It's her body. Remember? I guess maybe she should say, "No." You can't have it both ways. When it comes to killing off the unborn, it's her body therefore, he has no say in it. Guess what, when it comes to pregnancy prevention, again it's her body. Now there is no doubt that the man shouldn't go outdoors without a raincoat when he's not sure about the weather. It could result in eighteen plus years of making payments unless of course, she aborts.

Yes, it's her body. Shocking as it may be, scientists have yet to invent a morning after pill that men can take to prevent pregnancy. It'll be a great day for professional athletes everywhere when they do.
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Re: Abortion: The Facts

Postby wormwood » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:12 pm

Philly2 wrote:The sperm was separate from my own as soon as it exited my penis, but outside of my body it will either die or fertilize an egg.

Yeah but it is still a part of your body in the same way your spleen is still part of your body once it has been removed. It is a part of the whole that was created using your unique DNA.

The fertilized egg is now inside a woman, and cannot be separated from her and continue to live, therefore, it is not a life of its own, not yet.

I don't want to get into a whole thing with you here about mammalian sexual reproduction, but the location of the blastocyst is pretty standard and doesn't matter. I don't want to assume things about your position but the way you bring this up seems to indicate that you are basing your opinions around the abortion debate instead of the other way around. I know you say that isn't the case, but the types of arguments you use say otherwise.

No, it's not possible that my view on this is based on my view on abortion, as my view on abortion would not be as such in the first place if I thought a fertilized egg was a "life" rather than just "alive".

Well first of all there is really no distinction between "life" and being "alive" except one is a noun and the other is an adjective describing the noun. But the last part of your statement is sort of my point. I don't think as many people would support such policies if they had to call things what they are, so we create all of these weird rationalizations that don't even seem to make sense upon inspection, but that lessen the moral culpability so we roll with them. If this is such a great policy then it seems strange to need the mental gymnastics to justify it. At least Ex admits that he supports taking a human life, even if immoral, for practicality.

But I will concede, my view is not based on any kind of nuanced scientific principle. It just goes to the very basic question of whether or not we are talking about a viable organism or something that will cease to live if not left in the womb. Scientifically we have already agreed the fetus is alive all along, but my distinction is a moral one - I do not equate, morally, terminating something that is able to sustain life of its own and terminating something that can exist only within the confines of the womb.

So if a life can not support itself, it is moral to terminate? So would that same standard apply to small children? Anyone in ICU? What about people on welfare? Is it cool to vacuum out their brains because they have all become a burden to someone else?
This "viability" argument is yet another rationalization. If the same fetus were killed in a mugging, that would be murder. Why?

The only scientific difference is that one is viable while the other is not. This cannot strictly be a scientific discussion about "life", since as you mentioned, life cannot come from the lifeless, so there is no point to identify as the beginning of life. We can instead only when living human cells become a person, or as we've been calling it, "a human life". There is no scientific definition for personhood, but in my view, that begins with viability outside the womb.

There is a point of identifying when a new life (organism) is formed for the purpose of this discussion though. Most of the arguments supporting abortion hinge on some version of the embryo or fetus not being a life. Even your position does, and as you've stated you wouldn't support this policy if you thought this was a living human being, which it clearly is. This is why you've moved the goal post of "life" to some arbitrary abortion friendly standard.
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Re: Abortion: The Facts

Postby Professor » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:30 pm

eynon81 wrote:
Professor wrote:Perhaps it could be that the vast majority of young people are liberal, and the vast majority of old people are conservative. Probably not a lot of demand for abortion services in Greenview Retirement Home.

Interesting question - anyone here every had or been part of an abortion? Since we're mostly guys, I don't mean "you", but your girlfriend, sister, friend, etc.? Probably not a lot of answers to this one . . .



nope. I'm white, middle-class, and college educated. We all just used birth control.


Doesn't always work. Only something like 98% effective.
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Re: Abortion: The Facts

Postby Professor » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:31 pm

wormwood wrote:
Professor wrote:
exploited wrote:To be clear, though, I wasn't trying to rebut your post. In fact I agree with it: in my mind, there is no doubt that a fetus, whether 1 week or 22 weeks, should be considered human life by anybody who wants to be honest about it.

The fact that a fetus changes physically doesn't make it more or less human. Life does start at conception, and over time, transforms. It's like trying to argue that you'd never kill a butterfly, but caterpillars are fair game.

The greater point is that I support abortion rights for pragmatic reasons, which if anything are immoral or amoral. I understand that killing a fetus is ending human life. I also believe ending human life is not necessarily wrong. I further believe that preventing the wrongs associated with abortion introduces an entire new spectrum of wrongs, that are actually more harmful in the aggregate.


Don't equate human life with person. They are not the same.

Would excising an absorbed twin be killing?

People have rights to life. Life has no rights to be people.

I'm not sure I'm following your twin example. Is dying of natural causes the same as being murdered? Doesn't really seem that complicated if you are honest with yourself. At least you are honest about how you feel about taking human life though, so props for that I guess.


Ofttimes an absorbed twin is still living tissue, with blood supplied by the other twin. They may not have all the organs (up to and including a brain), but they're alive. Are they people?
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Re: Abortion: The Facts

Postby Professor » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:36 pm

wormwood wrote:
Professor wrote:Oh, no doubt, and I'm the first to admit, that 21 weeks is 100% arbitrary.

But, unless you follow the belief that a zygote (the very first cell formed when an egg and sperm combine) is a "person", and afforded all of the human and legal rights pertaining to that term, then we have to say that there is a line somewhere. Do you draw it at when the heart first starts beating? When there is detectable brain activity? When it has a 1% chance of surviving outside the womb? 10% chance? 25%? 50%? At this point, it's all about where to draw the line. And, so long as the location of that line is based upon science, then I would probably support it.

What about we treat it much the same as a person in a persistent vegetative state? You get the opinion of 2 doctors that the fetus would not survive if delivered right now, and then you have the legal right to pull the plug, or have an abortion, in this case.


If you want a line based on science, life begins at conception because any other point IS arbitrary. And this is completely different than a vegetative state because the person in question is at a developmental stage, not a dormant stage due to injury or illness. In this thread alone you have compared unborn children to parasites and illnesses. Any attempt to dehumanize this thing to make the tough choices a little easier, or to make your opinion seem a little more decent than it is. If you really believe you are right, why not just call it what it is?


As I've said - we're not talking about "life". You toe is "alive". We're talking about "person". At what point does it become a "person"?

Think about the implications of what you're saying. What if a woman who doesn't even know she's pregnant (screwed at a college party) decides to move to another state. She has a baby. According to you, that fertilized egg was a person at that college party, and most certainly while she was packing the next day. She could be put in jail for kidnapping because she did not tell the father she was taking his child across state lines.
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Re: Abortion: The Facts

Postby Professor » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:37 pm

wormwood wrote:
Philly2 wrote:See the reply I just made to exploited. I don't view an early term fetus as human life in the same way at all as an actual person. It's something with the potential to become a human life, which is why I initially brought up sperm cells. They too have the potential to become human life, but they aren't human life until they reach that point.

Yeah I get that. But WHY do you view it that way? Did you get it from a text book or scientific paper? Or did you just make a decision to rationalize what you already wanted to believe before looking at the subject closely? Again, I'm not attempting to attack or make you the bad guy or whatever, just asking questions. Your view is a popular one to be sure, but it doesn't seem to be based in anything other than appeal to consequence fallacy.
This is what a few text books say about it:


"Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed.... The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. Thus the diploid number is restored and the embryonic genome is formed. The embryo now exists as a genetic unity."
[O'Rahilly, Ronan and M�ller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996, pp. 8, 29

"Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote)... The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual."
[Carlson, Bruce M. Patten's Foundations of Embryology. 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996, p. 3]

"Zygote. This cell, formed by the union of an ovum and a sperm (Gr. zyg tos, yoked together), represents the beginning of a human being. The common expression 'fertilized ovum' refers to the zygote."
[Moore, Keith L. and Persaud, T.V.N. Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects. 4th edition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1993, p. 1]

Doesn't seem to be a lot of grey area for scientists who study the subject for a living.


Life =/= person.
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Re: Abortion: The Facts

Postby Professor » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:39 pm

Southern Dad wrote:
exploited wrote:Actually, whether or not there'd be a baby is completely unknown, and depends entirely on the individual. Are we assuming optimal health, a guaranteed fertilization, etc.?


As I've said, I'm 100% on board with abortion, the morning after pill, etc. but call it what it is... It's ending the life of the unborn. Don't try and make it sound like it's less than it is. What it is, is someone failed to make the responsible choice before having sex and now is taking steps afterward to make sure the baby isn't born.


Ending the life of an unborn "what", though?
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Re: Abortion: The Facts

Postby exploited » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:46 pm

wormwood wrote:At least Ex admits that he supports taking a human life, even if immoral, for practicality.


...I like my second statement to you better:

The greater point is that I support abortion rights for pragmatic reasons, which if anything are immoral or amoral. I understand that killing a fetus is ending human life. I also believe ending human life is not necessarily wrong. I further believe that preventing the wrongs associated with abortion introduces an entire new spectrum of wrongs, that are actually more harmful in the aggregate.


I think people have this idea that morality is about themselves, when morality is by definition the rules regulating your conduct with others. How you feel about something isn't the total moral content of a decision. So in the case of abortion, I feel that it is ending human life, for reasons we've been trying to pound into Philly's stupid horrible face for like a day now. But I understand that ending human life in particular circumstances is worth it to prevent the moral degradation that would follow from trying to guarantee it's life. I mean what do you do with a pregnant woman who doesn't want her child and will go through extreme lengths to be rid of it? Do you put them in a hospital and then stick them with a bill? Do you take them into custody if they get an abortion, throw them in jail? I just don't understand how any law could possibly be put in place preventing or punishing abortion that isn't a gross travesty of justice, objectively more so since the victim is conscious to experience it.

So the individual reasoning I've applied is immoral or amoral, yes, but when applied in a group dynamic it becomes beneficial. That's my argument and I'm sticking to it.
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