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  • View Poll Results: Should we change the current abortion limit of 24 weeks?
    Abortion should be illegal under all circumstances!
    16
    5.08%
    Abortion should be illegal, except in certain cases such as rape, a threat to the mother's life and etc.
    65
    20.63%
    It should be reduced to 12 weeks
    44
    13.97%
    It should be reduced to 20 weeks
    48
    15.24%
    The current 24 week limit is fine!
    91
    28.89%
    Abortion should be legal should up to 28 weeks!
    20
    6.35%
    Abortion should be legal throughout the entire pregnancy!
    27
    8.57%
    Not sure!
    4
    1.27%

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    13
    Lib is saying that students who pay towards their uni fees are paying only a small percentage of the actual cost of educating them.

    The balance is paid by the Treasury, courtesy of the tax payer.

    Anyway, we digress.

    The limit of 24 weeks was reduced from the original gestational age of 28 weeks in 1998 because babies are surviving abortion and being born live and sustaining that life without medical intervention at the time of birth at that stage.

    Now, babies are surviving at 22 weeks, and in the case of multiple births, ie twins and triplets at an even earlier stage of gestation.

    For many medical practitioners, it has become anathema and grosteque for them to abort babies at a stage of gestation when they are viable and able to survive outside of the uterus.

    Hence the debate on lowering the limit at which abortions can be carried out for social convenience.
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    Wtf? I'm not talking about TSR I'm talking about high-up boards of ethics people whose job it is to consider these things and advise the government in their official capacity.
    But that's just it! These people haven't got all the answers. That's why we're having this debate. You can't just rely on "ethics people" [:rolleyes:] to make up your own subjective opinions. That's foolish.
    As Consie put it very well, you need an arbitrary limit and 24 weeks has been decided by people who know far better than us, to be suitable.
    And as I said to Consie:

    Spoiler:
    Show
    Well, precisely. There have to be cut off points. But nobody would be foolish enough to say that a kid actually becomes an adult as soon as they reach 18 therefore there is actually something different between those two states. There isn't, a line just has to be drawn. And to say that the cut-off point has to be there because "a poll told us so" doesn't really cut the mustard. The question is where do we draw the line [if we need to at all - for consistency at least]? It's quite amoral to say, a poll told us that it's wrong so I'll just accept it. The truth is that there is no difference between a pre-24 week foetus and a post-24 week old foetus [provided we don't stray to far away from 24 weeks]. Therefore asserting that a foetus suddenly becomes a baby at 24 weeks [contrary to scientific evidence] just because it says so on a poll which is being disputed, just strikes me to be circular reasoning. It is subjective; which is why blindly asserting 24 weeks when I asked a poster at what point the pregnancy stage ends and the "baby" definition begins without further explanation strikes me as a tad absurd. Would they allow the killing of a 20 week old baby which survived out of the womb, for example? There's so many other questions to consider before claiming 24 weeks is when a foetus becomes a baby. Such a transition is not traceable; so our decision of where the line should be drawn, if at all*, if purely subjective.

    *And when I say if at all I mean that pro-lifers would claim that there is no line and that the foetus is always a baby. Claiming that the "baby" is always a foetus just wouldn't work.

    These "ethics people" don't have any more scientific facts and figures than we have. Make your own decision on the matter; don't just rely on government advisors, who do actually have independent and subjective opinions of their own - not all agreeing on these sort of matters. Suffice it to say, it would be unwise to agree with the governmental advisors who advised Blair of the Iraq War. Blindly following the authority's decision is unwise, especially when it comes to matters of ethics - which are largely personal.

    Foetus' don't suddenly become babies after 24 weeks, therefore your assertion was wrong. However, of course a line may be drawn based on our own subjective opinion on what is "moral".
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    (Original post by Zoecb)
    Eh? Who gets their fees paid for them??? No-one I know does. Except those with REALLY rich parents who don't need loans... (You DO know what a loan is, right? How it's different from a gift?)
    By the state, and everybody gets it.

    Edit: Oh, Yawn already summed it up.
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    (Original post by yawn)
    Lib is saying that students who pay towards their uni fees are paying only a small percentage of the actual cost of educating them.

    The balance is paid by the Treasury, courtesy of the tax payer.
    That's news to me. I thought that was how it used to be before top-up fees. Is a minimum of £3000 per year per person REALLY 'a small percentage'???

    I WISH.

    [/slightly off topic discussion]

    By the time women get to the rather drastic 20-24 week stage, abortions don't tend to be of the choice type, but rather the 'danger and complications' type of abortion. Women eager to fix a mistake tend to do so sooner rather than later.
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    (Original post by yawn)
    It is your choice of words when describing the nutritional needs of the unborn. You describe the unborn as 'leeching' nutrients, implying that this human life is a parasite which is a disturbing analogy...particularly to a mother who is enjoying nurturing her child in her womb.

    You just need to be a bit more sensitive to the feelings of others...and articulate in a less confrontational manner.

    Please keep the debate mature.
    But from a medical viewpoint the baby is a leech - it is a parasite. Heck, some of the biochemical messages, and cellular changes associated with pregnancy are pretty much the same as employed by tapeworms.
    Many miscarriages (remember most go unoticed) do so because the foetus has not managed to trick the mothers defences in time (or the foetus is not viable genetically so is unable to manage it), so the mother reacts against it.

    My other medical annoyance with the anti-abortionists is a refusal to see a fact. That a woman is at great risk of dying if she carries a baby than if she aborts it. You can debate about how high the risk threshold should be before abortion becomes ok all you like, but the fact is the same. [for instance some anti-abortionists think it is is ok if the mother is at immediate peril - such as with some renal/heart patients who get pregnant)

    Anywho, i agree with cutting the limit down to 20 weeks.
    I do so for 2 reasons.
    1) one of the main arguments for abortions and abortion limits is that the limit period reflects the time when the baby can be born and cease being a burden /parasite on the mother. Until the time the baby can't possibly live on its own, but its very presence is a threat to the mothers life.
    Some babies are now surviving being born at 22 weeks. Yawn is wrong, being twins in no way means you can survive in earlier than this!!! and infact its minimal the numbers that do survive at this time. but none the less,a few do.

    2) >95% of all abortions happen before 20 weeks. Don't think this change will drop the abortion rate much, because it won't.
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    But from a medical viewpoint the baby is a leech - it is a parasite. Heck, some of the biochemical messages, and cellular changes associated with pregnancy are pretty much the same as employed by tapeworms.
    This is the sort of semantics habitually employed by those who support the killing of human life.

    Many miscarriages (remember most go unoticed) do so because the foetus has not managed to trick the mothers defences in time (or the foetus is not viable genetically so is unable to manage it), so the mother reacts against it.
    As is this.
    These sorts of emotional descriptions do not aid the mature debate on the question of abortion.

    My other medical annoyance with the anti-abortionists is a refusal to see a fact. That a woman is at great risk of dying if she carries a baby than if she aborts it. You can debate about how high the risk threshold should be before abortion becomes ok all you like, but the fact is the same. [for instance some anti-abortionists think it is is ok if the mother is at immediate peril - such as with some renal/heart patients who get pregnant) Abortion is not safer than full-term pregnancy and childbirth.
    No, you are not correct when you state that the mother is necessarily in immediate peril because of some renal/heart condition of those patients who get pregnant. There is no irrefutable proof that a pregancy for these women will kill them. No one can know...and in fact, there are many chronicled cases that show this not to be true. The women have gone with their own instincts and carried their babies to full-term, culminating in a delivery where both mother and child are fine. The greatest danger for a woman during pregnancy is pre-eclamptic toxaemia...but ever then, this tends to present after 30 weeks gestation when the baby is viable.

    In the extremely rare cases where a mother is going to die if the pregnancy continues, the decison should be taken that the mother's life takes priority...and I don't personally know of any who are pro-life that would not subscribe to this.

    Though the chances of a woman's safe abortion are now greater, the number of suffering women is also greater because of the huge increase in abortions.

    Even if abortion were safer for the mother than childbirth, it would still remain fatal for the innocent child. Abortion can produce many serious medical problems. Abortion significantly raises the rate of breast cancer.

    The statistics on abortion complications and risks are often understated due to the inadequate means of gathering data. The true risks of abortion are rarely explained to women by those who perform abortions.

    Let's face it...the overwhelming number of abortions are carried out for social convenience...not medical. And as an addendum, the Royal College of Psychiatrists say there are no psychiatric grounds for abortion.

    "Many psychiatrsts on both sides of the abortion argument maintain that there are no psychiatric grounds for termination. Those favoring abortion on demand refer all the cases for a social report, and the psychiatrists in many parts of Britain do not see large numbers of applicants for abortion because it is accepted that the operation is performed on social rather than psychiatric grounds."
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    (Original post by Zoecb)
    That's news to me. I thought that was how it used to be before top-up fees. Is a minimum of £3000 per year per person REALLY 'a small percentage'???
    Um, yes. Ever seen what American students pay? They don't do it for fun. Or indeed what international students in Britain pay?
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    (Original post by Jamie)
    But from a medical viewpoint the baby is a leech - it is a parasite.
    Well, leech is a metaphor. 'Parasite' is not a medical term and while I am not certain of the undoubtedly complex definitions parasitologists attach to it (I have a friend who did a course in it, I shall have to ask at the pub tonight) I've certainly never heard of it applied to a child of the 'host'.
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    (Original post by yawn)
    This is the sort of semantics habitually employed by those who support the killing of human life.
    And YOUR use of words like 'killing' and 'human life' are ALSO just semantics so your resorting to picking at choices of words is a pretty pathetic defence.
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    (Original post by Libertin du Nord)
    Um, yes. Ever seen what American students pay? They don't do it for fun. Or indeed what international students in Britain pay?
    I know, they get ripped off the most, I have no idea how they can afford to come here. I assume that they are paying for all of their education and then some (well, a lot) as a sort of tax for being international.
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    So do you think abortion is right Zoecb?
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    I am pro-choice, if that's what you mean. I voted for 'the current law is fine - 24 weeks'.
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    (Original post by Zoecb)
    And YOUR use of words like 'killing' and 'human life' are ALSO just semantics so your resorting to picking at choices of words is a pretty pathetic defence.
    Zoe,

    the difference between me using the definition of abortion as 'killing human life' and you using terms such as leech is that I'm applying the correct descriptors of what happens as a result of abortion, whereas you are not.
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    Well, precisely. There have to be cut off points. But nobody would be foolish enough to say that a kid actually becomes an adult as soon as they reach 18 therefore there is actually something different between those two states. There isn't, a line just has to be drawn. And to say that the cut-off point has to be there because "a poll told us so" doesn't really cut the mustard. The question is where do we draw the line [if we need to at all - for consistency at least]? It's quite amoral to say, a poll told us that it's wrong so I'll just accept it. The truth is that there is no difference between a pre-24 week foetus and a post-24 week old foetus [provided we don't stray to far away from 24 weeks]. Therefore asserting that a foetus suddenly becomes a baby at 24 weeks [contrary to scientific evidence] just because it says so on a poll which is being disputed, just strikes me to be circular reasoning. It is subjective; which is why blindly asserting 24 weeks when I asked a poster at what point the pregnancy stage ends and the "baby" definition begins without further explanation strikes me as a tad absurd. Would they allow the killing of a 20 week old baby which survived out of the womb, for example? There's so many other questions to consider before claiming 24 weeks is when a foetus becomes a baby. Such a transition is not traceable; so our decision of where the line should be drawn, if at all*, if purely subjective.

    *And when I say if at all I mean that pro-lifers would claim that there is no line and that the foetus is always a baby. Claiming that the "baby" is always a foetus just wouldn't work.
    It does cut the mustard though really. You’ve missed my point almost entirely. There is little difference between a a 23 week and 6 day foetus and a 24 week and 1 day foetus, clearly, but in the scheme of things when a foetus passes 24 weeks it starts to enter its higher development stages. So if you want to nail it while its still not really developed enough to be called anything more than a foetus, then you have to do it before this date. As for 18 year olds, of course, biologically a 17 year old and 364 day dude doesn’t suddenly have more hair on his chest and a more nuanced understanding of the universe when he strikes 18, but at the same time after the age of 18 everything kicks off quickly and people do stop being kids in society. You get jobs/go to uni/move out, all that.

    Its not necessarily the date itself that’s the dispute, its what happens immediately after the date and how different that is before that date. The foetus’s development after 24 weeks is clearly along more developed avenues that turn it into a proper baby than it is before 24 weeks when its still messing with the building blocks.

    I also said to the point about a 20 week old baby which could survive out the womb that it proves the whole concept of humanity being absolute and killing it at any stage is BS. Medical advances say when a foetus can survive as a human, and really a 20week old baby that can ‘survive outside the womb’ doesn’t exactly spend his 21st week doing the same things a normally born baby does. They’re basically put in a synthetic womb anyway and continue to develop in the hospital.

    My whole point is that the label of babydom is so dynamic – like being dependant on the state of medicine – that you just have to pick a spot at which the baby isn’t very developed and after which it becomes developed and stick with that. Otherwise there will be no date and no ‘right’ time to abort. The right time is any time the mum wants to abort within a final cut off date at which the foetus is pretty far down the road to being a baby.
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    (Original post by Zoecb)
    I am pro-choice, if that's what you mean. I voted for 'the current law is fine - 24 weeks'.
    So if you're pro-choice, rather than pro-abortion, what alternative choices can you offer someone other than abortion?
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    (Original post by yawn)
    Zoe,

    the difference between me using the definition of abortion as 'killing human life' and you using terms such as leech is that I'm applying the correct descriptors of what happens as a result of abortion, whereas you are not.
    Incorrect.

    (Original post by Oxford English Dictionary)
    leech, v.2

    2. intr. Const. on (to). To attach oneself like a leech; to be parasitic on. Also const. off.
    Perfectly accurate. An embryo attaches itself to the womb lining and takes nutrients from the placenta (or something with more science jargon to the same effect).

    By pro-choice, I mean go through pregnancy and give birth OR have an abortion. Choice, right there.
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    It does cut the mustard though really. You’ve missed my point almost entirely. There is little difference between a a 23 week and 6 day foetus and a 24 week and 1 day foetus, clearly, but in the scheme of things when a foetus passes 24 weeks it starts to enter its higher development stages. So if you want to nail it while its still not really developed enough to be called anything more than a foetus, then you have to do it before this date
    Given that a baby can still survive at 20 weeks then surely a re-examination of where this line should be drawn is in order? I think you've actually missed my point rather than me missing yours.
    As for 18 year olds, of course, biologically a 17 year old and 364 day dude doesn’t suddenly have more hair on his chest and a more nuanced understanding of the universe when he strikes 18, but at the same time after the age of 18 everything kicks off quickly and people do stop being kids in society. You get jobs/go to uni/move out, all that.
    Agreed, a line is drawn; but it is not obvious where the line is drawn separating foetus' from babies, if a line needs to be drawn, that is. It's largely a subjective issue, and I deem 24 weeks to be too late.

    However even in your example there are fatal flaws. For example, a 16 year old may be considered an adult when travelling with a travel company, but not an adult in a pub.
    Its not necessarily the date itself that’s the dispute, its what happens immediately after the date and how different that is before that date. The foetus’s development after 24 weeks is clearly along more developed avenues that turn it into a proper baby than it is before 24 weeks when its still messing with the building blocks.
    But it isn't though, is it? A 20 week old foetus can have all the necessary equipment to survive.
    I also said to the point about a 20 week old baby which could survive out the womb that it proves the whole concept of humanity being absolute and killing it at any stage is BS.
    I'm glad you agree, then why did you challenge me when I dealt that precise view you said you disagree with?
    Medical advances say when a foetus can survive as a human, and really a 20week old baby that can ‘survive outside the womb’ doesn’t exactly spend his 21st week doing the same things a normally born baby does. They’re basically put in a synthetic womb anyway and continue to develop in the hospital.
    A lot like other babies which are born after 24 weeks, yet still live fulfilling lives.
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    By pro-choice, I mean go through pregnancy and give birth OR have an abortion. Choice, right there.
    I make no pretence at being anything other than pro-life.

    You say you are pro-choice when in fact, you are pro-abortion, since you have offered no other stance but abortion on this debate.

    No one, other than those who are pro-abortion refer to the human life in the uterus as a 'leech' or 'parasite' since a leech is a boold-sucking worm or a person who sponges off another and a parasite is an 'organism' not a human life. Your choice of those words indicates your absolute dismissal of human life. And to those who are pro-abortion, it is another way of demeaning human life...if the unborn's value can be compared to that of non-human life, there is no reason not to also compare the value of born people to non-human life.
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    One can skirt around the issues by talking of what a human life is capable of at different stages, whether human life can feel pain before that life emerges from the uterus etc...but it is all meaningless.

    What one has to debate is not whether the unborn is a human life, which she/he undoubtedly is but rather, when does human personhood begin?

    And there is no consensus over that question.
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    (Original post by yawn)
    I make no pretence at being anything other than pro-life.

    You say you are pro-choice when in fact, you are pro-abortion, since you have offered no other stance but abortion on this debate.
    Well no, surely pro-abortion means you think all pregnancies should be aborted? Not some. Otherwise it would logically follow that pro-life only applies to some cases...

    If the unborn's value can be compared to that of non-human life, there is no reason not to also compare the value of born people to non-human life.
    That's a completely wrong statement. Completely unlogical, unfounded, and basically, you making it up ie. total libel/slander.

    There IS a reason not to compare the value of 'born people' (or as they are commonly known, PEOPLE) to non-human life - they're ALIIIIVE and have fully functioning brains and nervous systems and can feel pain and have a right to live, cos hello, I'd object to someone killing me.

    My parents told me that I was at risk of severe disability as a foetus and they had a scan of some sort and if I'd been found to have something like that they would have aborted me. I totally agreed - I wouldn't have minded being aborted when I was a foetus - d'you know why? Because I (the entity, me, the important bits that make me me) didn't actually exist and it was their business, not mine, what with me not being a person yet and all.
 
 
 
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