Abortion and Disability Watch

Poll: Should we have the option to abort potentially disabled foetuses?
Yes, it should remain legal (18)
75%
No, it should be made illegal (4)
16.67%
Unsure (2)
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ijamess
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#1
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In this age of equal rights agendas, improving conditions in society for disabled people but also feminism, should we still be allowing abortion on the grounds that a child could be born with a disability?

Any thoughts welcome.
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limetang
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#2
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No. Those grounds simply aren't enough. Either abortion is a moral travesty or it's not. The idea that abortion is acceptable if a child is going to be born with a disability but unacceptable if it isn't (which I believe is what the question here entails, because we are framing disability as some sort of special case here) is simply ridiculous, and that's because if that is what we are saying then we are saying that it is okay to abort human persons if they are disabled it follows that we are saying that it is acceptable to commit infanticide on disabled humans, it is acceptable to commit murder on disabled adult humans.
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MrKappa
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(Original post by limetang)
No. Those grounds simply aren't enough. Either abortion is a moral travesty or it's not. The idea that abortion is acceptable if a child is going to be born with a disability but unacceptable if it isn't (which I believe is what the question here entails, because we are framing disability as some sort of special case here) is simply ridiculous, and that's because if that is what we are saying then we are saying that it is okay to abort human persons if they are disabled it follows that we are saying that it is acceptable to commit infanticide on disabled humans, it is acceptable to commit murder on disabled adult humans.
No one's saying that you crazy *******. There's a difference between preventing life, and ending an already established one.
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King Leonidas
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(Original post by MrKappa)
No one's saying that you crazy *******. There's a difference between preventing life, and ending an already established one.
Tell that to all those girls that are killed/abandoned in China/India for being born without a penis.Sex-selective and disability selective abortions are closely linked because they are both concerned with aborting undesirable traits.
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Mankytoes
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Um, I don't think the limit should be any different just because the child is disabled, unless it's the case that they aren't going to make it to term.
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limetang
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(Original post by MrKappa)
No one's saying that you crazy *******. There's a difference between preventing life, and ending an already established one.
Oh most definitely, and perhaps it wasn't clear what I was trying to say. If abortion is acceptable. If there's nothing wrong with it then there really is no difference between aborting because the child would be born disabled or aborting for any other reason (morally speaking the action is the same because the act isn't ending the life of another person).

What I'm framing my response in is in the context of abortion of disabled foetuses as being some sort of special case (which I believe is implied in the question here) wheee we are saying hypothetically there is a point where we think that abortion is wrong for a certain degree of development for healthy foetuses but not for disabled ones, and I say hypothetical, this is enshrined in law in fact. What are we saying here? We are saying that at this point foetuses are to be considered people, who have the right not to be killed... Unless they're disabled. There is dissonance here because there is no other situation where we would establish that there is a human person and that it is unacceptable to end their life if they're 'normal' but acceptable if they are disabled,

Have I made myself clear?

Also responses like yours are the reason why debate on abortiion is next to impossible, it simply becomes shouting match full of ad hominems. It's not helpful and it's not constructive. Rethink how you respond next time please.
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Origami Bullets
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I don't think you understand the sort of disability that we're very often talking about here. Often, it's the sort of birth defect that is unsurvivable, or will cause incurable pain, of the sort that you wouldn't allow an animal to live through.

For instance, anencephaly, pulmonary aplasia, conjoined twins (in some cases), holoprosencephaly, and Patau syndrome (NB graphic medical pics in some).

This is not about cleft palates and club feet.

I really don't think that anyone should be dictating that someone has to carry a baby to full term when it will not survive the birth, or will live a short and miserable life.
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limetang
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(Original post by Origami Bullets)
I don't think you understand the sort of disability that we're very often talking about here. Often, it's the sort of birth defect that is unsurvivable, or will cause incurable pain, of the sort that you wouldn't allow an animal to live through.

For instance, anencephaly, pulmonary aplasia, conjoined twins (in some cases), holoprosencephaly, and Patau syndrome (NB graphic medical pics in some).

This is not about cleft palates and club feet.

I really don't think that anyone should be dictating that someone has to carry a baby to full term when it will not survive the birth, or will live a short and miserable life.
Agreed, and I think it would be helpful to frame the argument here more in terms of would it be acceptable to euthanasia infants born with such conditions, because in my opinion that's more in line with the debate at hand. We have established that this is a human person, but have also established that born or not the kindest thing to do is to end this persons life.
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Origami Bullets
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#9
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(Original post by limetang)
Agreed, and I think it would be helpful to frame the argument here more in terms of would it be acceptable to euthanasia infants born with such conditions, because in my opinion that's more in line with the debate at hand. We have established that this is a human person, but have also established that born or not the kindest thing to do is to end this persons life.
I don't agree. If it's going to end up being euthanased at birth, then what is the objective benefit in forcing the woman to go through the trauma of pregnancy and birth when she knows that there will never be a baby to take home? The hormones involved are very powerful, and women who suffer stillbirths and neonatal death often suffer tremendously.
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limetang
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(Original post by Origami Bullets)
I don't agree. If it's going to end up being euthanased at birth, then what is the objective benefit in forcing the woman to go through the trauma of pregnancy and birth when she knows that there will never be a baby to take home? The hormones involved are very powerful, and women who suffer stillbirths and neonatal death often suffer tremendously.
That's not what I was saying, and I don't think what I wrote really suggested that either, I'd have preferred that if was unclear what I mean that you asked me to clarify it. I was saying that's where you frame the argument upon whether it's right or wrong. The question is are late term abortions acceptable for foetuses with these horrific conditions, the answer is yes if we have established that euthanasia would also be acceptable for born infants with such conditions. (Ignore where the law is at with it the law and morality are not mutually inclusive)

It would be a bit of a ridiculous stance to take to say that we should force the mother to give birth first before we end the life of her child for grounds of compassion towards the child.
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MrKappa
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#11
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(Original post by King Leonidas)
Tell that to all those girls that are killed/abandoned in China/India for being born without a penis.Sex-selective and disability selective abortions are closely linked because they are both concerned with aborting undesirable traits.
Which is precisely why we have abortion in the uk, to prevent unwanted babies/babies with undesirable traits from being killed/abandoned/neglected.
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King Leonidas
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#12
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(Original post by MrKappa)
Which is precisely why we have abortion in the uk, to prevent unwanted babies/babies with undesirable traits from being killed/abandoned/neglected.
I thought sex-selective abortions are illegal in the UK?
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MrKappa
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(Original post by limetang)
Oh most definitely, and perhaps it wasn't clear what I was trying to say. If abortion is acceptable. If there's nothing wrong with it then there really is no difference between aborting because the child would be born disabled or aborting for any other reason (morally speaking the action is the same because the act isn't ending the life of another person).

What I'm framing my response in is in the context of abortion of disabled foetuses as being some sort of special case (which I believe is implied in the question here) wheee we are saying hypothetically there is a point where we think that abortion is wrong for a certain degree of development for healthy foetuses but not for disabled ones, and I say hypothetical, this is enshrined in law in fact. What are we saying here? We are saying that at this point foetuses are to be considered people, who have the right not to be killed... Unless they're disabled. There is dissonance here because there is no other situation where we would establish that there is a human person and that it is unacceptable to end their life if they're 'normal' but acceptable if they are disabled,

Have I made myself clear?

Also responses like yours are the reason why debate on abortiion is next to impossible, it simply becomes shouting match full of ad hominems. It's not helpful and it's not constructive. Rethink how you respond next time please.
I get what you're saying. Theoretically there should be no difference between aborting a disabled foetus or a female when you want a male (for example). However, I believe that the difference in morality is somewhat affected by:

1) The cost involved of treating and raising disabled children.
2) The perceived lower quality of life that (heavily) disabled children endure.

And I apologise for calling you a crazy *******.
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limetang
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(Original post by King Leonidas)
I thought sex-selective abortions are illegal in the UK?
In theory, not in practice. Abortions are legal if two doctors agree that continuing with pregnancy would be more damaging to a woman's physical or mental health than having an abortion. Fun fact, labour is statistically the most dangerous part of a woman's life, it is always the case that taking a pregnancy to term is more dangerous than an abortion.
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Musie Suzie
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(Original post by limetang)
The idea that abortion is acceptable if a child is going to be born with a disability but unacceptable if it isn't
I've never heard this idea. Ever.

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limetang
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(Original post by Musie Suzie)
I've never heard this idea. Ever.

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That idea is enshrined in law. The legal limit for abortiion of healthy foetuses is 24 weeks, the legal limit for disabled foetuses is 40 weeks.

A slight red herring, it does exist primarily for foetuses with horrendous conditions that they're not going to live through and the life they do have will just be one of immense suffering for the brief perioid they are alive. That said the 40 week limit exists for things like a cleft lip as well.

You say you never here this but it is the argument that is being brought up whenever abortion is tried to be justified on grounds of disability. If abortion is fine then bringing up disability changes nothing. It's fine if the foetus is disabled but it's equally fine if it isn't.
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Musie Suzie
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(Original post by limetang)
That idea is enshrined in law. The legal limit for abortiion of healthy foetuses is 24 weeks, the legal limit for disabled foetuses is 40 weeks.
Perhaps that's because some disabilities aren't detectable until later than 24 weeks?

Also, upon learning that you're carrying a disabled child I'm sure the additional time to consider an abortion is very beneficial.

The difference in time limit doesn't suggest a difference inacceptability to me. Please explain why you think it does?
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Musie Suzie
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(Original post by limetang)
That idea is enshrined in law. The legal limit for abortiion of healthy foetuses is 24 weeks, the legal limit for disabled foetuses is 40 weeks.

A slight red herring, it does exist primarily for foetuses with horrendous conditions that they're not going to live through and the life they do have will just be one of immense suffering for the brief perioid they are alive. That said the 40 week limit exists for things like a cleft lip.
You know that cleft lip varies greatly in severity, right? Especially when combined with a severe cleft palate. Even after surgery children are likely to experience feeding and potentially breathing problems, and struggle psychologically with never looking "normal."

It's probably also difficult to determine which disabilities wouldn't cause "enough" disability to come under the greater time limit, esp when severity can vary, so it probably has to be black and white healthy vs [even perceived as "slight"] defect.

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limetang
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(Original post by Musie Suzie)
Perhaps that's because some disabilities aren't detectable until later than 24 weeks?

Also, upon learning that you're carrying a disabled child I'm sure the additional time to consider an abortion is very beneficial.

The difference in time limit doesn't suggest a difference inacceptability to me. Please explain why you think it does?
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Let's approach this from a different viewpoint then. From what you've said I think I'd be right in concluding that you think that a limit of beyond 24 weeks is acceptable for disabled foetuses. So surely the 24 week limit for healthy foetuses is wrong? Surely that should exactly the same as the disabled limit. Unless you think that the disabled limit is too far for a healthy foetus. In which case what are you saying?
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Ripper-Roo
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Disabled children are still your children.if you don't want a child that may happen to have a disability, don't plan on having any. You should love your children no matter what (this means not stopping their potential entrance to the world), otherwise you're a bad parent.

That said I definitely support full and extended help for parents with disabilities as I recognise how tough it is.
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