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Abortion watch

  • 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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    (Original post by yawn)
    No, you've got me wrong, riux.

    I believe that all human life is sacred and should be protected. Once we start making judgement over whose life is valuable and whose is not, we lose sight of our humanity and start to dismiss the value of those who are most vulnerable...as indeed we do now with the Mental Incapacity Act and attempts to introduce euthanasia.

    We treat human life as expendable and the strong cease to protect the weak.

    Despite abortion being anathema to me for the above reasons, I can still feel compassion for those who procure abortions and who live to regret it. Why, I even feel compassion for those who use abortion as a contraceptive because they are so misguided and entrenched within their own selfishness.
    well, this is where i believe that religion gets in the way of the law (or people's ideas of how the law should work). You're a Christian I take it, yes? (correct me if I'm wrong, but i just wanted to see if you have religious views). your personal belief that all human life is sacred should not be reflected on people who do not follow the same religious or spiritual path as you.

    and perhaps there is a divergence in what we define as 'weak'. i do not define an organism whose consciousness/body has not developed as 'weak' because, imo, there's nothing there to define. removing POTENTIAL life is not remotely close to killing an existing person. it's a weak line of argument that's like saying 'it should be a law that all people have sex because if they don't then they're removing the potential for life'

    i get the impression that your religious views are blinding you from the feelings of women who didn't choose to be in their unfortunate position at all. many of them want to get back to normal life as soon as possible and you don't sympathise with that. now THAT, in my opinion, is selfish.
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    (Original post by riux)
    well, this is where i believe that religion gets in the way of the law (or people's ideas of how the law should work). You're a Christian I take it, yes? (correct me if I'm wrong, but i just wanted to see if you have religious views). your personal belief that all human life is sacred should not be reflected on people who do not follow the same religious or spiritual path as you.
    I used the term sacred (in relation to human life) in its meaning of safeguarding human life as required by tradition. It has been traditionally regarded as inviolable. If you are implying that one who has no faith beliefs would not want to protect human life in the same way as I do, you are undermining their moral principles. Being pro-life has no bearing on whether one follows a 'spiritual' path or not. To say otherwise is tantamount to saying that you would not have moral principles unless you have faith belief...and that is insulting to those who you categorise in this manner.

    and perhaps there is a divergence in what we define as 'weak'. i do not define an organism whose consciousness/body has not developed as 'weak' because, imo, there's nothing there to define. removing POTENTIAL life is not remotely close to killing an existing person. it's a weak line of argument that's like saying 'it should be a law that all people have sex because if they don't then they're removing the potential for life'
    When we talk of the unborn, we define them as human life. When we kill human life we kill human life, regardless of the condition of that human life. Until conception, there is no potential for life. Human life requires the joining of two single cells - the spermatozoon and the ovum.

    i get the impression that your religious views are blinding you from the feelings of women who didn't choose to be in their unfortunate position at all. many of them want to get back to normal life as soon as possible and you don't sympathise with that. now THAT, in my opinion, is selfish.
    Regarding your first sentence, see my comments in the first part of my response ^.

    Life never returns to normal for the woman who has agonised over an abortion. I know that because I have been involved in helping them cope with post-abortion trauma...and believe me, a more compassionate counsellor you could not meet. I give up my time for free to help these poor women, in addition to helping those who choose to continue their pregnancies despite disadvantaged circumstances. I'm there if they need me - are you?
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    (Original post by yawn)

    When we talk of the unborn, we define them as human life.
    Define 'we'.
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    (Original post by Tufts)
    Define 'we'.
    Society, encompassing the scientific world - including embryologists.

    Obviously, you are excluding yourself from "we" (since you ask for definition) for some reason that is incomprehensible, since you do not accept that the conceived is human life. :confused:
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    (Original post by yawn)
    Society, encompassing the scientific world - including embryologists.

    Obviously, you are excluding yourself from "we" (since you ask for definition) for some reason that is incomprehensible, since you do not accept that the conceived is human life. :confused:
    Certainly the scientific world would agree that a zygote has the capability of becoming a human being, but the first stages of development are remarkably similar independent of species - or even phyllum. (its part of that whole heathen evolution thingummy).
    But its all rather irrelevant isn't it. Religious people like yourself will decry all human life is sacred. All potential human life is human life. Therefore all life from the moment of conception is sacred. Sacred because it has a soul.
    Non-religious people like me don't believe in souls. Instead its a matter of our own personal beliefs - and education as to whether we are pro life or choice.

    I choose...
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    (Original post by Jamie)
    Certainly the scientific world would agree that a zygote has the capability of becoming a human being, but the first stages of development are remarkably similar independent of species - or even phyllum. (its part of that whole heathen evolution thingummy).
    But its all rather irrelevant isn't it. Religious people like yourself will decry all human life is sacred. All potential human life is human life. Therefore all life from the moment of conception is sacred. Sacred because it has a soul.
    Non-religious people like me don't believe in souls. Instead its a matter of our own personal beliefs - and education as to whether we are pro life or choice.

    I choose...
    But Jamie, can I ask, at what point does the child become a human according to you? I'm sure you would not allow a mother to kill her child of say 5 years because she didn't want it anymore. So at some point between conception and 5 years old the child has gained the status of human. Where would you draw that line and why?
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    (Original post by UniOfLife)
    But Jamie, can I ask, at what point does the child become a human according to you? I'm sure you would not allow a mother to kill her child of say 5 years because she didn't want it anymore. So at some point between conception and 5 years old the child has gained the status of human. Where would you draw that line and why?
    I believe somewhere around 24 weeks into conception the child become human. Its hard to draw an exact line because everyone develops differently. For the sake of argument, I believe 24ish weeks is where it gains full human life status. When its first concieved its a collection of cells, not recognisable, when its born its a human. Inbetween that time it changes due to the fact it develops.

    That is why I voted for the current 24 week limit is fine
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    (Original post by BluesMan)
    I believe somewhere around 24 weeks into conception the child become human. Its hard to draw an exact line because everyone develops differently. For the sake of argument, I believe 24ish weeks is where it gains full human life status. When its first concieved its a collection of cells, not recognisable, when its born its a human. Inbetween that time it changes due to the fact it develops.

    That is why I voted for the current 24 week limit is fine
    Ah, but what is present in the collection of cells at 24 weeks that wasn't present at 23 weeks that defines humanity?
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    (Original post by UniOfLife)
    Ah, but what is present in the collection of cells at 24 weeks that wasn't present at 23 weeks that defines humanity?
    Surfactant.

    Makes it capable of independent respiration. And thus independent life.
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    (Original post by Jamie)
    Surfactant.

    Makes it capable of independent respiration. And thus independent life.
    This might sound stupid, biology is not my field, but the child in the womb cannot live independently at 24 weeks, so what difference does it make that it grows this surfactant?
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    (Original post by UniOfLife)
    This might sound stupid, biology is not my field, but the child in the womb cannot live independently at 24 weeks, so what difference does it make that it grows this surfactant?
    Obviously it needs machines etc to help, but this is mainly for heat and humidity purposes.

    the big change that happens at around 24 weeks is the secretion of surfactant that makes the lungs viable. Hence life.
    We are now even pushing this limit back by manufacturing artificial surfactant and making special incubators, but we'll never get very good survival rates pre-24 weeks.
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    Warning: this is another one of my long posts.

    Abortion should be available to women at any time during pregnancy for any reason at all.

    The reason for this is that women have a right to control their own bodies.

    "That does not mean that they don't have a right to kill human bodies which are not theirs but are just living inside of them (foetuses)."

    Yes they do, because these other human bodies who are living inside of them limit their ability to control their own bodies.

    Example: if I find people living on my land, I am perfectly within my rights to tell them to go away. If they then die because they have nowhere else to live, I should not be considered a murderer.

    "The ideas of self-ownership and personal freedom are a load of libertarian rubbish. What is more important is the fact that all human life is sacred."

    Humans, at conception, are just a collection of human DNA molecules. What is sacred about that? Why is it more sacred than a collection of, say, dog DNA molecules?

    Being human –- by which I mean having human DNA -– does not automatically give us any rights. Only people –- by which I mean humans with consciousness, self-awareness, and a capacity to act by choice –- have rights.

    "But what about after the baby is born. Isn't the baby still dependent on its mother for survival, as it doesn't have self-awareness, a capacity to act by choice, etc?"

    Yes, but this is a social dependence, not a physical dependence. If the mother does not wish to raise the baby, there are other options available to her apart from killing it, such as adoption.

    "It is the potential that matters: DNA molecules have the potential to grow into human beings, while dog DNA molecules, which is the comparison you made earlier, only have the potential to grow into dogs."

    It’s likely that some time in future it will be possible to create a clone of somebody from the DNA of small piece of skin taken from their hand (or from any other part of their body). So, by burning their hand, this person would be destroying something –- skin cells in this case -– that have the potential to grow into a human. But, again, nobody would consider this a terrible thing.

    "Abortion is murder!"

    This implies that the abortion of a foetus should be just as saddening for us as the death of self-aware, self-conscious person.

    Surely, therefore, those who believe that foetuses have rights must consider it a great tragedy that such a large number of foetuses are naturally aborted through miscarriage. Since most miscarriages occur just a few days after conception, the number is actually considerably high.

    Does the death of so many foetuses in the womb cause anti-abortionists a great deal of distress? It’s still the destruction of human life, so, if they’re being consistent, it should do.

    The reality: it does not. What motivates the anti-abortionists is not a concern for "innocent human life", but a hatred of sexually promiscuous women.

    "I bet you're glad that you weren't aborted!"

    A ridiculous argument.

    For one thing, the chances of each of us being born is literally one over infinite. What were the chances of my parents meeting and marrying, and producing a child with my exact DNA combination? And what are the chances of this happening for each of their parents, and so on, right back to the beginning of my family line. If just one tiny thing in human history had been different, the world may have become a completely different place. Am I therefore to say that everything that has happened in human history was good, because it led, indirectly, to me being born? Clearly, nobody would suggest anything so absurd.

    Furthermore, this argument isn’t always logical. For example, if a woman who intends to have just one child falls pregnant as a teenager, but doesn’t feel ready at that age to have a child so gets an abortion, but then has another child later in her life, what is this child to think? If she had not had the abortion while a teenager, she wouldn’t have had any more children, so he would not have been born.

    "Most women regret having abortions!"

    I’m sure there are some women who regret having an abortion, just as there are clearly some who do not. The point is that women should have the right to choose.

    The idea that refusing a woman a right to an abortion is likely to be a benefit to her health and happiness is not one which I accept; the "evidence" collected by anti-abortion groups is obviously biased, and, in my opinion, is unreliable.

    However, even if this was the case, the harm to the health and happiness of the woman would be a good punishment for choosing to have an abortion.

    That’s the great thing about giving people a high degree of individual freedom -– they get what they deserve. It’s why I believe in allowing people to make their own decisions.

    I really can’t stand people who say "I’m forcing you to do this for your own good." This is, in every case, the primary justification for tyranny.

    "You could have just aborted a future Einstein!"

    This is an absurd argument. By the same reasoning, one could suggest that women should have as many children as is physically possible, as this would increase the chances of a baby being born who will greatly benefit society. While we may encourage successful women to have large families for this reason, should we force them to do so? Nobody would ever suggest such a thing, but we’re still told that pregnant women should be forced to have babies that they don’t want.

    Furthermore, the reality is that the vast majority of foetuses aborted are simply genetic trash. It has been proven that the mother who has an abortion is vastly more likely to be of low IQ, of poor education, living on welfare, carry genes which cause criminality, of poor morals (something the Christians won't dispute!) and generally inferior.
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    (Original post by Jamie)
    Obviously it needs machines etc to help, but this is mainly for heat and humidity purposes.

    the big change that happens at around 24 weeks is the secretion of surfactant that makes the lungs viable. Hence life.
    We are now even pushing this limit back by manufacturing artificial surfactant and making special incubators, but we'll never get very good survival rates pre-24 weeks.
    Hmm, I don't see how you can single this out. The life would not be possible without a heart also. And could a child born at 24 weeks live?
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    (Original post by UniOfLife)
    Hmm, I don't see how you can single this out. The life would not be possible without a heart also. And could a child born at 24 weeks live?
    We digress if we change the parameters of what constitutes humanity by comparing what is different between say, a 24 week old foetus and a full-term foetus and insisting on judging humanity on independent survival chances.
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    We digress if we change the parameters of what constitutes humanity by comparing what is different between say, a 24 week old foetus and a full-term foetus and insisting on judging humanity on independent survival chances.
    Essentially though, humanity is based on independant survival, no? If we cannot live through our own means, we die.
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    (Original post by ssk2)
    Essentially though, humanity is based on independant survival, no? If we cannot live through our own means, we die.
    If you argue that, then a child of whatever age must be abortable because they cannot survive on their own for many years. And also, anyone on a life-support machine or who is paraplegic should be killable as they are not alive in your view.
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    (Original post by Simon Rigelsford)
    Warning: this is another one of my long posts.

    Abortion should be available to women at any time during pregnancy for any reason at all.

    The reason for this is that women have a right to control their own bodies.

    "That does not mean that they don't have a right to kill human bodies which are not theirs but are just living inside of them, i.e. foetuses?"

    Yes they do, because these other human bodies who are living inside of them limit their ability to control their own bodies.

    Example: if I find people living on my land, I am perfectly within my rights to tell them to go away. If they then die because they have nowhere else to live, I should not be considered a murderer.

    "The ideas of self-ownership and personal freedom are a load of libertarian rubbish. What is more important is the fact that all human life is sacred."

    Humans, at conception, are just a collection of human DNA molecules. What is sacred about that? Why is it more sacred than a collection of, say, dog DNA molecules?

    Being human –- by which I mean having human DNA -– does not automatically give us any rights. Only people –- by which I mean humans with consciousness, self-awareness, and a capacity to act by choice –- have rights.

    "It is the potential that matters: DNA molecules have the potential to grow into human beings, while dog DNA molecules only have the potential to grow into dogs."

    It’s likely that some time in future it will be possible to create a clone of somebody from the DNA of small piece of skin taken from their hand (or from any other part of their body). So, by burning their hand, this person would be destroying something –- skin cells in this case -– that have the potential to grow into a human. But, again, nobody would consider this a terrible thing.

    "But what about after the baby is born. Isn't the baby still dependent on its mother for survival?"

    Yes, but this is a social dependence, not a physical dependence. If the mother does not wish to raise the baby, there are other options available to her apart from killing it, such as adoption.

    "Abortion is murder!"

    This implies that the abortion of a foetus should be just as saddening for us as the death of self-aware, self-conscious person.

    Surely, therefore, those who believe that foetuses have rights must consider it a great tragedy that such a large number of foetuses are naturally aborted through miscarriage. Since most miscarriages occur just a few days after conception, the number is actually considerably high.

    Does the death of so many foetuses in the womb cause anti-abortionists a great deal of distress? It’s still the destruction of human life, so, if they’re being consistent, it should do.

    The reality: it does not. What motivates the anti-abortionists is not a concern for "innocent human life", but a hatred of sexually promiscuous women.

    "I bet you're glad that you weren't abortion!"

    Anti-abortionists are at their most ridiculous when they ask us all to consider what we would think of abortion if we had been aborted. For one thing, the chances of each of us being born is literally one over infinite. What were the chances of my parents meeting and marrying, and producing a child with my exact DNA combination? And what are the chances of this happening for each of their parents, and so on, right back to the beginning of my family line. If just one tiny thing in human history had been different, the world may have become a completely different place. Am I therefore to say that everything that has happened in human history was good, because it led, indirectly, to me being born? Clearly, nobody would suggest anything so absurd.

    Furthermore, this argument isn’t always logical. For example, if a woman who intends to have just one child falls pregnant as a teenager, but doesn’t feel ready at that age to have a child so gets an abortion, but then has another child later in her life, what is this child to think? If she had not had the abortion while a teenager, she wouldn’t have had any more children, so he would not have been born.

    "Most women regret having abortions!"

    I have strong reservations regarding the methodology of how such information is collected, especially if it is collected by anti-abortion groups.

    However, I’m sure there are some women who regret having an abortion, just as there are clearly some who do not. The point is that women should have the right to choose.

    The idea that refusing a woman a right to an abortion is likely to be a benefit to her health and happiness is not one which I accept.

    However, even if this was the case, the harm to the health and happiness of the woman would be a good punishment for choosing to have an abortion.

    That’s the great thing about giving people a high degree of individual freedom -– they get what they deserve. It’s why I believe in allowing people to make their own decisions. I really can’t stand people who say "I’m forcing you to do this for your own good." This is, in every case, the primary justification for tyranny.

    "You could have just aborted a future Einstein!"

    This is an absurd argument. By the same reasoning, one could suggest that women should have as many children as is physically possible, as this would increase the chances of a baby being born who will greatly benefit society. While we may encourage successful women to have large families for this reason, should we force them to do so? Nobody would ever suggest such a thing, but we’re still told that pregnant women should be forced to have babies that they don’t want.

    Furthermore, the reality is that the vast majority of foetuses aborted are simply genetic trash. It has been proven that the mother who has an abortion is vastly more likely to be of low IQ, of poor education, living on welfare, carry genes which cause criminality, of poor morals (something the Christians won't dispute!) and generally inferior.
    exactly. :yy: :yy:
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    Meh... I'd say probably the 24 week limit is fine, or maybe a bit less. I'd leave that mainly up to the doctors to decide what's a reasonable limit, as I don't know much about biology.

    But I'd go for at whatever stage it's likely that it could survive outside the womb.

    I don't think abortion is a good thing in itself, but it's a choice that should remain open to people.
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    I don't think abortion is a good thing in itself, but it's a choice that should remain open to people.
    Those who embrace this particular 'pro-choice' position are guilty of ignoring their own conscience ("I'm personally opposed") by allowing for the killing of human life ("but everyone has a right to choose").
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    (Original post by yawn)
    Those who embrace this particular 'pro-choice' position are guilty of ignoring their own conscience ("I'm personally opposed") by allowing for the killing of human life ("but everyone has a right to choose").
    Those who support this position are simply opposed to using state power to enforce their morality on everyone else.

    I gave an example of this earlier:

    "That does not mean that they don't have a right to kill human bodies which are not theirs but are just living inside of them, i.e. foetuses?"

    Yes they do, because these other human bodies who are living inside of them limit their ability to control their own bodies.

    Example: if I find people living on my land, I am perfectly within my rights to tell them to go away. If they then die because they have nowhere else to live, I should not be considered a murderer.
    In a case such as this example, I would personally prefer to just let them live on my land than to leave them to die.

    However, if property rights are to mean anything at all, we cannot force others to do so.

    It's the same principle with abortion.
 
 
 
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