Abortion Watch

Poll: 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%
This discussion is closed.
yawn
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#501
Report 11 years ago
#501
(Original post by GregoryJL)
Correction: The conceptus is alive. Adding 'human' potentially equivocates between its species (which is, duh, human) and 'human' the moral quantity we tend to apply to people. As I'm sure a seasoned debator like yourself is aware, a distinction is commonly drawn between the two. Unless you would consider chemotherapy killing human life?
The conceptus has everything necessary that qualifies him as human life, except for time.

I have to clarify the misconception that until a babe is born into the world, he is not a human life but rather, potential human life. Pedantic maybe, but necessary certainly.

You are getting confused methinks, between human life and human value which is subjective.
GregoryJL
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#502
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#502
Except that it requires more than just time - it requires time and a rather specific environment in the womb and all the various stuff that goes on therein. Even then it is hardly foolproof, and of course at a very early stage there is an indeterminate number of human lives that can go on to be formed.

I think it is you who is confused. You can't at the same time hold that 'The conceptus has everything that qualifies as a human life, except for time.' and 'The conceptus is a human life.' The former statement implies that the conceptus doesn't qualify for life - because you suggest 'time' is a relevant qualification (otherwise it would need not be excluded.)

On what grounds does it qualify as a human life? It certainly is a living object that is of the same species of us. I suspect (but you are welcome to correct me) that you are driving at that the conceptus is a new individual, although this still runs into problems of the notion of 'individuality' pre-supposing independant human worth - it seems a bit strange to apply to what can be a single cell with a novel genetic code.

Human value might well be subjective (although I never knew you were moral irrealist) but playing the language game around the word 'human' doesn't really help much. Whilst it can have some sort of 'scientific' use, it is also used expressively to refer to another person. So when someone is saying 'a potential human life', I assume they are expressing the opinion that the fetus/zygote/baby/whatever only assumes the quality of personhood at some stage - and thus only has the potential to do so at whatever prior stage is being talked about. But what do I know, eh?
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yawn
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#503
Report 11 years ago
#503
When someone says that the conceived in the uterus is not a human life, we need to challenge that on the basis that he is not a blueprint of a human being. He is not a part of a human being. He is a human being.

Physicians, biologists and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being - a being that is alive and is a member of the human species.

I am not going to get into the circular debate of at what point a human being assumes validity (because that is subjective and hence the explanation why I believe that validity extends from conception to natural death) - rather, I was countering a poster's opinion that abortion does not kill a human life...because it undoubtedly does...no more or less.
Dionysus
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#504
Report 11 years ago
#504
I would reduce the limit. I believe strongly in women's rights, but I also believe in the rights of the baby. 12 weeks for abortion without any good reason, 20 weeks when there are unusual circumstances. Abortions later than that should be reserved for extreme situations, such as when the mother's life is in danger.
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ForumFreak
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#505
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#505
While thats pretty much what I think the law should be, what do you guys think about situations where a woman doesnt realize that she is pregnant until the second or even third trimester but still wants an abortion?
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Tufts
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#506
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#506
(Original post by Dionysus)
I would reduce the limit. I believe strongly in women's rights, but I also believe in the rights of the baby. 12 weeks for abortion without any good reason, 20 weeks when there are unusual circumstances. Abortions later than that should be reserved for extreme situations, such as when the mother's life is in danger.
It is not a baby. It is a mass of cells with potential. Nothing more.

Enough with the emotionally charged language.
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UniOfLife
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#507
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#507
(Original post by Tufts)
It is not a baby. It is a mass of cells with potential. Nothing more.

Enough with the emotionally charged language.
At what point does the mass of cells become a baby then? Aren't we all just a mass of cells? To draw a line seems arbitrary to me.
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yawn
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#508
Report 11 years ago
#508
(Original post by UniOfLife)
At what point does the mass of cells become a baby then? Aren't we all just a mass of cells? To draw a line seems arbitrary to me.
Indeed...this particular aspect has been debated with Tufts who refuses to accept any opinion other than her own (or those who mirror hers) as having any validity.

Nobody has yet been able to refute the fact that from conception, the life created is a human life - so regardless of how many cells this life has, and at what point the life 'graduates to a baby', he is undeniably human.
kidintheriot
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#509
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#509
Stepping into the debate a little late here but I thought I'd add my thoughts.

Personally I think the woman's rights are more important than the unborn baby's. If she doesn't want to have the child for whatever reason, then it's up to her.
I don't know enough about the medical procedure to give a definite answer to the poll, but keeping it at 24 weeks or a bit longer seems reasonable.
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ForeverIsMyName
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#510
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#510
(Original post by yawn)
Indeed...this particular aspect has been debated with Tufts who refuses to accept any opinion other than her own (or those who mirror hers) as having any validity.
I'm always partial to a good dose of irony, good post.

And I ****ing HATE this new forum layout. It's foul.
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BluesMan
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#511
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#511
(Original post by UniOfLife)
At what point does the mass of cells become a baby then? Aren't we all just a mass of cells? To draw a line seems arbitrary to me.
We draw the line when the baby becomes concious.

We're happy to say computers arnt concious - thats drawing a line. No one ever in the history of the world can remember their experience in the womb. Therefore theres a high chance they wernt concious.
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UniOfLife
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#512
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#512
(Original post by BluesMan)
We draw the line when the baby becomes concious.

We're happy to say computers arnt concious - thats drawing a line. No one ever in the history of the world can remember their experience in the womb. Therefore theres a high chance they wernt concious.
Computers aren't alive so the comparison is wrong.

But if that is your definition does that mean that a man in a coma is not a human because he is not conscious? Or if you're going to say that he was concious at some point, then how about a child born with difficulties who is born into a coma of some sort?

And anyway, since babies in the womb definitely react to external stimuli they must surely be concious. The lack of memory doesn't measure consciousness. I don't remember my first couple of years of life but I was definitely conscious for it.
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Shaun39
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#513
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#513
(Original post by UniOfLife)
And anyway, since babies in the womb definitely react to external stimuli they must surely be concious. The lack of memory doesn't measure consciousness. I don't remember my first couple of years of life but I was definitely conscious for it.
A sample of bacteria in a petri dish can respond to stimuli - that doesn't imply consciousness.

Consciousness is the adaptation of identities and associations of the mind, in order to best fulfil a set of unfulfilled desires. The conceptus has no real unsatisfied desires, and so does not begin to form identities and relationships with which to best fulfil them.

At birth - on cutting of the umbilical cord and removal from the amniotic fluid - desire for feeding and physical comfort become paramount. It is with reference to these desires that consciousness begins to occur, as the mind begins to form identities and relationships, regarding how sensual experiences relate to feeding and comfort, and how motor actions (e.g. crying) can be coordinated to best meet the infant's desires. The relationships and identities that form with reference to these basic desires, combined with the psychological drives of aggression and libido, lead to the development of more complex desires, and a more advanced state of consciousness.

So consciousness really doesn't exist prior to birth; only at birth does human life begin.
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UniOfLife
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#514
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#514
(Original post by Shaun39)
A sample of bacteria in a petri dish can respond to stimuli - that doesn't imply consciousness.

Consciousness is the adaptation of identities and associations of the mind, in order to best fulfil a set of unfulfilled desires. The conceptus has no real unsatisfied desires, and so does not begin to form identities and relationships with which to best fulfil them.

At birth - on cutting of the umbilical cord and removal from the amniotic fluid - desire for feeding and physical comfort become paramount. It is with reference to these desires that consciousness begins to occur, as the mind begins to form identities and relationships, regarding how sensual experiences relate to feeding and comfort, and how motor actions (e.g. crying) can be coordinated to best meet the infant's desires. The relationships and identities that form with reference to these basic desires, combined with the psychological drives of aggression and libido, lead to the development of more complex desires, and a more advanced state of consciousness.

So consciousness really doesn't exist prior to birth; only at birth does human life begin.
The child that has just left the womb is physically no different than when it was in the womb. What has changed in that instant? What has changed in the instant of the cutting of the umbilical cord?
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Shaun39
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#515
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#515
(Original post by UniOfLife)
The child that has just left the womb is physically no different than when it was in the womb. What has changed in that instant? What has changed in the instant of the cutting of the umbilical cord?
The child feels hunger. The child feels physical discomfort. Patterns between the satisfaction of these desires and the masses of sensual and motor experiences lead to consciousness - the formation and adaptation of identities and associations.
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Gemz87
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#516
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#516
I voted 12 weeks, but my actual view is 12 weeks on a case of just decided I didn't want the baby, up to 20 weeks for a good reason (child has disease, mother would be at risk if pregnancy continued etc).

After that a baby can survive, so I get a little uncomfortable with the idea of aborting it.
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UniOfLife
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#517
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#517
(Original post by Shaun39)
The child feels hunger. The child feels physical discomfort. Patterns between the satisfaction of these desires and the masses of sensual and motor experiences lead to consciousness - the formation and adaptation of identities and associations.
I have no doubt that a child in the womb can feel hunger and discomfort too.

And let me make sure I understand this - you are saying that a child is conscious only when he is actually receiving sensual stimuli and also experiencing desires?
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Shaun39
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#518
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#518
(Original post by UniOfLife)
I have no doubt that a child in the womb can feel hunger and discomfort too.

And let me make sure I understand this - you are saying that a child is conscious only when he is actually receiving sensual stimuli and also experiencing desires?
Absolutely - experience and desire are both prerequisite to consciousness. Sensual stimuli are the only type of experience possile for an entity that has never before attained consciousness.

And of course hunger is not experienced in the womb! None of the digestive system is functional.

The lack of physical discomfort is less clear cut. Immersion in amniotic fluids provides a constant and comfortable temperature; it provides critical dampening to all motion, making only the sense of balance provided by the semi circular canal meaningful. There may or may not be moments of stress inflicted by loud noise, but any associated desires would be poorly formed, transitory, and lack the wider sensual stimuli required for development of consciousness.
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UniOfLife
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#519
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#519
(Original post by Shaun39)
Absolutely - experience and desire are both prerequisite to consciousness. Sensual stimuli are the only type of experience possile for an entity that has never before attained consciousness.

And of course hunger is not experienced in the womb! None of the digestive system is functional.

The lack of physical discomfort is less clear cut. Immersion in amniotic fluids provides a constant and comfortable temperature; it provides critical dampening to all motion, making only the sense of balance provided by the semi circular canal meaningful. There may or may not be moments of stress inflicted by loud noise, but any associated desires would be poorly formed, transitory, and lack the wider sensual stimuli required for development of consciousness.
Do you not see that you are already drawing arbitrary lines of distinction. You recognise that the foetus can receive stimuli and feel discomfort which are the ingredients for consciousness according to you. Yet in order to deny the foetus consciousness you have to say that those stimuli or feelings of stress and discomfort are not enough to cause consciousness. Since, AFAIK, consciousness is not something you can measure (in this context) isn't your distinction arbitrary?
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Shaun39
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#520
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#520
(Original post by UniOfLife)
Do you not see that you are already drawing arbitrary lines of distinction. You recognise that the foetus can receive stimuli and feel discomfort which are the ingredients for consciousness according to you. Yet in order to deny the foetus consciousness you have to say that those stimuli or feelings of stress and discomfort are not enough to cause consciousness. Since, AFAIK, consciousness is not something you can measure (in this context) isn't your distinction arbitrary?
Not really.

There is no comparison of the magnitude of desires and sensual experience before and after birth.

Prior to birth, there is inadequate relationship between satisfaction of desire, and the motor and sensual experiences of the child, for and level of consciousness worthy of the word to develop.
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