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Ethics of Abortion


chilled_fluorine
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Would you care to show exactly where I said there was a plot to subjugate women?

I do apologise.. you said...

 

anti birth control people have long used abortion as a smokescreen for their real agenda

 

...which immediately followed Imatfaal's...

 

It is truly worrying that it all makes much more sense if you remove the propaganda and view it as a huge conspiracy to subjugate half the population, "keep women in their place", and exert control through the regulation of sex. There is a concerted movement towards the demonization of female sexual liberation, and re-establishment of the male ownership of sex

 

I just assumed you were attaching yourself to this view.

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I do apologise.. you said...

 

 

 

...which immediately followed Imatfaal's...

 

 

 

I just assumed you were attaching yourself to this view.

 

 

My point and what I said was that the so called pro life people are actually anti birth control. I'm not sure that the true agenda is to subjugate women, I don't think that you could find any of the pro lifers who would assert that but I think a pretty good case could be made that the result of their politics is just that...

 

Pro life is at it's core a religious agenda that believes that all acts of sex should at least be capable of resulting in pregnancy, God's will be done...

 

I'm sure they don't have anything against women, I'm sure they would agree everyone should own at least one... <_<

 

If you are wondering how I can assert this just look at what the religious object to, They seem to object very strongly to birth control being provided for but no one is protesting hard on pills...

 

I guess a good BJ is out of the question now... :lol:

Edited by Moontanman
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Woss goin' on? :blink:

 

Anyway, you say "The result of their politics is just that..."

 

I konw this is just a 'makes sense' argument, but i see traditional homosocial culture as a control of male sexual jealosy and mate guarding rather than female sexuality. The problem has been stood on it's head throughout history for convenience; female sexuality is easier to control.

 

And with reliable contraception these male instincts (?) are obsolete.

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Is it really feasible to talk about abortion as part of an agenda to subjugate women? A quick perusal of the GSS shows women to be about 50:50 on abortion. ESDS (UK general social survey) unfortunately requires registration from an institution (which says it all about the UK). Anyway, you guys are treating the underclasses as pets, as is usual with social lefties.

 

Wow - nice sweeping statement about my motivations there! You wanna see how many more fallacies and inaccuracies you can cram into one sentence?

 

On the meat of your objection - I was echoing the conclusion of the original blog poster

It’s not about babies. It’s about controlling women. It’s about making sure they have consequences for having unapproved sex.

 

I started a thread on this several months ago - http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/65102-how-far-do-the-religious-right-intend-to-go/ I simply it to be find the simplest explanation for the current spate of, what I consider to be, anti-woman legislation and propaganda; reduction and stigmatization of contraception, humiliating pre-abortion procedures under the banner of a women's right to know, the protection of physicians who lie to female patients to protect a fetus... the list goes on. I cannot find a self-consistent religious argument that fits all the bills in the pipeline and acts on the statute books.

 

You seem to have mistakenly thought that this topic was about something other than American politics. Just read it again with that in mind and it will start making sense.

Desperately sad but true - and it will be a better day for religion and America when a discussion of politics can ignore religion and concomitantly religion has little effect on politics. But until that day to sensibly discuss one whilst ignoring the other is impossible.
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OK. randomc, I'm a bit confused by this statement:

 

Look, the blog post argues against the pro-life movement very succesfully, my point is merely that to take this as an indication of an agenda to subjugate women is ridiculous.

 

I think the original blog post does make a good case that the leaders of the pro-life movement do want to subjugate women. If you read it all, you would know that she makes this argument. Here is where she lays it down:

 

The reality is that so-called pro-life movement is not about saving babies. It's about regulating sex. That's why they oppose birth control. That's why they want to ban abortion even though doing so will simply drive women to have dangerous back alley abortions. That's why they want to penalize women who take public assistance and then dare to have sex, leaving an exemption for those who become pregnant from rape. It's not about babies. If it were about babies, they would be making access to birth control widespread and free and creating a comprehensive social safety net so that no woman finds herself with a pregnancy she can't afford. They would be raising money for research on why half of all zygotes fail to implant and working to prevent miscarriages. It's not about babies. It's about controlling women. It's about making sure they have consequences for having unapproved sex.

It's worth noting that she does clarify in a following post:

In my post I continually spoke of the goals and policies of "the pro-life movement." I do know that the pro-life movement is a diverse thing made up of diverse organizations and individuals. When I spoke of the pro-life movement as a whole, I was referring to the chief organizations, leaders, and political rhetoric. In other words, the dominant narrative. I am aware that there are both individuals and organizations who claim the title "pro-life" and yet do work to promote birth control and improve the social safety net so that every women can afford to raise children. I am also aware that there are some who call themselves "pro-life" and yet don't want to see abortion banned. My purpose was not to speak of every person or organization claiming the title "pro-life," but rather to indict the dominant voices, organizations, and narratives that are currently so much a part of our politics today.

And yes, this is about American politics.

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That's an interesting point. How do you measure gender dominance amongst the working classes? Does anybody even bother to do it - i would say not, maybe it's been done. Anyway ,the gender equality discussion seems to me very much focused on the elite.

 

This is perhaps a bit off topic, but there is plenty of research and development work that explicitly focuses on gender equality in lower income communities, and plenty of discussion on the intersection between class and abortion. All you have to do is google "gender inequality" and "socio-economics".

 

Here's your start:

Gender equality and socio-economic class:

http://www.worldbank.org/mdgs/gender.html

http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/topic/home/tags/gender

Overall, the neglect of women’s needs and rights undermines the potential of entire communities to grow and develop. Poverty is therefore deeply rooted in the glaring imbalance between what women do and what they have – in terms of both assets and rights. As women’s status increases, so do the benefits to society. Studies have shown, for instance, that the major contributing factor to improved child nutrition is women’s socio-economic status, particularly their educational levels. In addition, the countries that have closed the gender gap in education the fastest have experienced the fastest economic growth.

 

 

Example of a study on the intersection between class and abortion:

Of the women in the structured survey who indicated that they would have preferred to have had the abortion earlier than they did, three fifths said that this was because it took them a long time to make arrangements (Table 1). The most common arrangement was raising money; 26% of women said they needed time to do this. As expected, due to their later gestations and lower incomes, the IDI respondents commonly said that a reason for their delay in obtaining an abortion was the need to raise the money for the abortion or to get insurance to cover the abortion...
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Anyway, you guys are treating the underclasses as pets, as is usual with social lefties.

"You guys" who? Considering we're mostly from different countries, different genders, different ages and different social status background, I am having a bit of trouble identifying who "you guys" are.

 

That and, of course, the lovely ad hom. But we'll skip that one 'till we identify who exactly you're trying to attack.

 

Woss goin' on? :blink:

 

Anyway, you say "The result of their politics is just that..."

 

I konw this is just a 'makes sense' argument, but i see traditional homosocial culture as a control of male sexual jealosy and mate guarding rather than female sexuality. The problem has been stood on it's head throughout history for convenience; female sexuality is easier to control.

 

And with reliable contraception these male instincts (?) are obsolete.

 

 

Female sexuality is easier to contol...? I beg your pardon? do you mean that women are easier to control in a patriarchal male-dominated society and in a patriarchal male-dominated households? That might make a bit more sense, but works against your argument.

 

Then again, abortions have nothing to do with sexuality, or the "control thereof" of sexuality of women. Last I checked, both men and women contribute to the event that might necessitate abortion, but I might have to review my biology booklet.

 

Whatever male 'instincts' you're refering to, I am hopign they're not some reference to rape, seeing as rape was longlong proven to have nothng to do with sex and everything to do with control.

 

So, in short, wtf are you talking about?

 

 

As for the subjucation of women, well, let's think what would happen if MEN would be in this place instead of women..

if-men-could-get-pregnant.jpg

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You seem to have mistakenly thought that this topic was about something other than American politics. Just read it again with that in mind and it will start making sense.

And yes, this is about American politics.

 

The implication being that a meaningful discussion about abortion in the US is not possible if taken as a stand alone issue. It's neccesary to consider wider agendas. Well OK; for some of you the important frame here is a wider plot to subjugate women. I pointed out that according to the GSS women seem split about 50:50 on the issue and Jeskill has pointed out that 80% of American women do not identify as feminist.

 

Given that, and assuming the objective here is a fair and balanced discussion, i think i'm perfectly justified in questioning the massive slant this discussion has taken. American women do not, as the GSS indicates, see a plot to subjugate women as being the right context for this discussion.

 

I think the original blog post does make a good case that the leaders of the pro-life movement do want to subjugate women. If you read it all, you would know that she makes this argument.

 

Yes she makes the argument. It's not very good. It's a rebuttal of an interpretation of a narrative, just some poorly supported handwaving about peoples motives.

 

I cannot find a self-consistent religious argument that fits all the bills in the pipeline and acts on the statute books.

 

Could that be because you're cherry-picking what you need to support theory?

 

Female sexuality is easier to contol...? I beg your pardon? do you mean that women are easier to control in a patriarchal male-dominated society and in a patriarchal male-dominated households? That might make a bit more sense, but works against your argument.

 

Then again, abortions have nothing to do with sexuality, or the "control thereof" of sexuality of women. Last I checked, both men and women contribute to the event that might necessitate abortion, but I might have to review my biology booklet.

 

Whatever male 'instincts' you're refering to, I am hopign they're not some reference to rape, seeing as rape was longlong proven to have nothng to do with sex and everything to do with control.

 

So, in short, wtf are you talking about?

 

I wandered off topic there. I was just trying to find a cross-cultural explanation for any link between female subjugation and regulation of sex. I thought it would be interesting to know if female subjugation served some functional purpose other than moral regulation of sex.

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Could that be because you're cherry-picking what you need to support theory?

Well, the way to test it is easy: give us an example of a good religious argument for it ;)

 

I wandered off topic there. I was just trying to find a cross-cultural explanation for any link between female subjugation and regulation of sex. I thought it would be interesting to know if female subjugation served some functional purpose other than moral regulation of sex.

I think that point was unclear, then, but regardless, I think that it's probably a mix of both. The subjucation of women probably has a lot to do with the "regulation of sex" but it's not strictly that, seeing as there are societal and religious laws and customs about women staying home to deal with the children and house, while the big manly man has freedom to do as he pleases, for the supposed purpose of being the of the family.

 

~mooey

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The implication being that a meaningful discussion about abortion in the US is not possible if taken as a stand alone issue. It's neccesary to consider wider agendas. Well OK; for some of you the important frame here is a wider plot to subjugate women. I pointed out that according to the GSS women seem split about 50:50 on the issue and Jeskill has pointed out that 80% of American women do not identify as feminist.

 

Abortion has NEVER been a standalone issue. It's always been wrapped up in women's rights issues. Ask anyone you know who's pro-choice why they're pro-choice, I'll bet you any money they'll say that it's because they believe that women have a right to choose what to do with their bodies.

 

Given that, and assuming the objective here is a fair and balanced discussion, i think i'm perfectly justified in questioning the massive slant this discussion has taken. American women do not, as the GSS indicates, see a plot to subjugate women as being the right context for this discussion.

 

It seems you're implying that because a proportion of the population doesn't see a link between the pro-life agenda and the anti-contraception agenda, then there must not be a link. I hope you understand how that thinking may be a tad unscientific.

 

Yes she makes the argument. It's not very good. It's a rebuttal of an interpretation of a narrative, just some poorly supported handwaving about peoples motives.

 

Why is the argument not good? Can you be more specific? What would make you more convinced of her thesis? And just to remind you so, her thesis is that the main actors and organizations in the pro-life agenda are also anti-contraception. She argues that these actors and organizations are more concerned about making sure that women feel the consequences of sex than they are of reducing the abortion rate.

 

I wandered off topic there. I was just trying to find a cross-cultural explanation for any link between female subjugation and regulation of sex. I thought it would be interesting to know if female subjugation served some functional purpose other than moral regulation of sex.

 

It's pretty much all about sex and kids. You can read a great discussion about the effects of contraception on female subjugation here.

An excerpt:

Until the condom, the diaphragm, the Pill, the IUD, and all the subsequent variants of hormonal fertility control came along, anatomy really was destiny — and all of the world’s societies were organized around that central fact. Women were born to bear children; they had no other life options. With a few rebellious or well-born exceptions (and a few outlier cultures that somehow found their way to a more equal footing), the vast majority of women who’ve ever lived on this planet were tied to home, dependent on men, and subject to all kinds of religious and cultural restrictions designed to guarantee that they bore the right kids to the right man at the right time — even if that meant effectively jailing them at home. Our biology reduced us to a kind of chattel, subject to strictures that owed more to property law than the more rights-based laws that applied to men. Becoming literate or mastering a trade or participating in public life wasn’t unheard-of; but unlike the men, the world’s women have always had to fit those extras in around their primary duty to their children and husband — and have usually paid a very stiff price if it was thought that those duties were being neglected.

 

 

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Abortion has NEVER been a standalone issue. It's always been wrapped up in women's rights issues. Ask anyone you know who's pro-choice why they're pro-choice, I'll bet you any money they'll say that it's because they believe that women have a right to choose what to do with their bodies.

 

So it's impossible to talk meaningfully about abortion without talking about women's rights? Why so specific? A basic ethical principle is that individuals are full and rightful owners of themselves, so the pro-choice position can be arrived at without special consideration of the particular group it affects.

 

In fact, the pro-life position is best supported by the same argument; at the point at which a foetus can be defined as a person, it has full and rightful ownership of itself, no less than does the women carrying it.

 

It's on the definition of personhood that the entire issue depends, the specific issue of women's rights is peripheral.

 

It seems you're implying that because a proportion of the population doesn't see a link between the pro-life agenda and the anti-contraception agenda, then there must not be a link.

 

Maybe they see a link maybe they don't. What you are implying is they don't see a link and that if they did they would change their minds. I don't think the data we're using allows that conclusion. All than can be said is that women are evenly split on the issue. The figure that 80% don't identify as feminists possibly suggests women's lib may not be the focus of this issue for American women.

 

You are making the positive claim that the conspiracy exists, so the burden of proof is yours, and all you have provided in evidence is an anecdotal blog post.

 

Why is the argument not good? Can you be more specific? What would make you more convinced of her thesis? And just to remind you so, her thesis is that the main actors and organizations in the pro-life agenda are also anti-contraception. She argues that these actors and organizations are more concerned about making sure that women feel the consequences of sex than they are of reducing the abortion rate.

 

Supposing the link exists between these main actors, inferences to motives such as "making women feel the consequences of sex" and "demonising female sexuality" are extremely tenuous, and i'm no less justified in suggesting that the motive for making such inferences is agenda driven, than the agenda suggested by the inference is itself.

 

If there is no consistent religious argument, as imatfaal argues in the thread he linked, that still doesn't necessitate or justify the inferences made.

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If there is no consistent religious argument, as imatfaal argues in the thread he linked, that still doesn't necessitate or justify the inferences made.

 

What are you talking about? The bible is FULL of demeaning rules and regulations about women, from what time of month a man is allowed to touch her (and NOT touch her because she's "dirty" with something supposedly god gave her monthly) and up to the lovely fact that a raped woman is no longer pure, so the rapist must marry her otherwise she won't ever find a husband.

 

The entire bible is about controlling sexual acts, women in specific. Those are quite consistent religious arguments, wouldn't you say?

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What are YOU talking about? I thought that Imatfaal (post 105) was making the point that religion doesn't seem to be the underlying cause of the link between the bills and statutes concerned and therefore must be some other casuse.

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You are making the positive claim that the conspiracy exists, so the burden of proof is yours, and all you have provided in evidence is an anecdotal blog post.

 

Evidence to support the argument that the major pro-life organizations in the US are also anti-contraception:

 

From this article here.

"We see a direct connection between the practice of contraception and the practice of abortion," says Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, an organization that has battled abortion for 27 years but that, like others, now has a larger mission. ... We oppose all forms of contraception."

 

Edward R. Martin Jr., a lawyer for the public-interest law firm Americans United for Life, whose work includes seeking to restrict abortion at the state level and representing pharmacists who have refused to prescribe emergency contraception, told me: "We see contraception and abortion as part of a mind-set that's worrisome in terms of respecting life. If you're trying to build a culture of life, then you have to start from the very beginning of life, from conception, and you have to include how we think and act with regard to sexuality and contraception."

 

There are examples in the above article of leaders in the christian right advocating for pro-life and anti-contraception laws.

 

The Pro-Life America is anti-contraception

Students for life: While they don't actually come out and say they're anti-contraception, this article clearly advocates for NOT using contraception.

Susan B Anthony List : anti-contraception propaganda on website

 

 

An article detailing how the National Right To Life lobbied against a bill that would reduce the rate of abortions by increasing funding for contraception and sex-education.

Also, check out this article which basically describes how a bunch of pro-life organizations (other than NARL) wouldn't sign a bill to reduce abortion via contraception and sex-education.

 

So it's impossible to talk meaningfully about abortion without talking about women's rights? Why so specific? A basic ethical principle is that individuals are full and rightful owners of themselves, so the pro-choice position can be arrived at without special consideration of the particular group it affects.

 

In fact, the pro-life position is best supported by the same argument; at the point at which a foetus can be defined as a person, it has full and rightful ownership of itself, no less than does the women carrying it.

 

It's on the definition of personhood that the entire issue depends, the specific issue of women's rights is peripheral.

 

Perhaps women's rights are only peripheral if you happen to be a man. But if you're a woman who has to face negative economic or physical consequences due to carrying a pregnancy to term, the concerns become far more pragmatic than philosophical. This is why people who swear up and down that they're pro-life get abortions.

 

One point: I don't really think you can argue that a baby or child has full and rightful ownership of itself. They are beholden to the (hopefully benevolent) dictatorship of their parents or caretakers. So why would you say that a foetus has the "full and rightful ownership" of itself? Unless I'm misunderstanding what you mean by that?

Edited by jeskill
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None of the articles make the suggestion that it's all about subjugating women, not even the slate one.

 

Rather, the underlying theme, if any, seems to be an aversion to promiscuity and the promotion of "a culture of life".

 

So the inference remains unjustified, and without justification, there is reason to suspect an agenda from those who assert it.

 

Perhaps women's rights are only peripheral if you happen to be a man. But if you're a woman who has to face negative economic or physical consequences due to carrying a pregnancy to term, the concerns become far more pragmatic than philosophical. This is why people who swear up and down that they're pro-life get abortions.

 

Whether the decision is pragmatic is the concern of the individual making it - the point remains that the definition of personhood should be the deciding factor in law.

 

One point: I don't really think you can argue that a baby or child has full and rightful ownership of itself. They are beholden to the (hopefully benevolent) dictatorship of their parents or caretakers. So why would you say that a foetus has the "full and rightful ownership" of itself? Unless I'm misunderstanding what you mean by that?

 

If dependency reduces the legal and moral status of someone's life, it follows that the elderly, disabled, or just temporarily ill have lesser value.

 

I don't think self-ownership can exist on a spectrum, rather, it's a dichotomy.

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None of the articles make the suggestion that it's all about subjugating women, not even the slate one.

 

Rather, the underlying theme, if any, seems to be an aversion to promiscuity and the promotion of "a culture of life".

 

So the inference remains unjustified, and without justification, there is reason to suspect an agenda from those who assert it.

 

DO YOU DISAGREE WITH THE ARGUMENT THAT THE PRO-LIFE ORGANIZATIONS ARE ANTI-CONTRACEPTION? Hala hala! I don't usually yell, but you're moving the goalposts and that's quite annoying.

 

Yes, these links do not explicitly discuss how the anti-contraception movement subjugates women. They show that the pro-life organizations are anti-contraception. There is evidence supporting the argument that the anti-contraception movement is really about controlling women (subjugate means "to bring someone under control"), but it's in other literature. I'd love to get into that, but first, I would implore you to respond to the question at hand, which is, for the 20th time,

 

Do you disagree with the argument that the pro-life organizations are anti-contraception?

 

Whether the decision is pragmatic is the concern of the individual making it - the point remains that the definition of personhood should be the deciding factor in law.

 

If dependency reduces the legal and moral status of someone's life, it follows that the elderly, disabled, or just temporarily ill have lesser value.

 

I don't think self-ownership can exist on a spectrum, rather, it's a dichotomy.

 

I need to think about this some more. I mean, yes, the concept of personhood is important to the abortion debate. I would argue it's more important than the concept of when life began, because from a biological perspective, life does not begin at conception, life just changes from haploid to diploid. (When I say "just", I am in no means trying to diminish the amazing dance of fertilization.)

 

However, when you have multiple groups of people who can't agree about when personhood begins, and you have a situation where a female, who is currently a legal person, can be physically or economically harmed by designating a foetus as a person, then it becomes a women's rights issue.

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DO YOU DISAGREE WITH THE ARGUMENT THAT THE PRO-LIFE ORGANIZATIONS ARE ANTI-CONTRACEPTION? Hala hala! I don't usually yell, but you're moving the goalposts and that's quite annoying.

 

Yes, these links do not explicitly discuss how the anti-contraception movement subjugates women. They show that the pro-life organizations are anti-contraception. There is evidence supporting the argument that the anti-contraception movement is really about controlling women (subjugate means "to bring someone under control"), but it's in other literature. I'd love to get into that, but first, I would implore you to respond to the question at hand, which is, for the 20th time,

 

Do you disagree with the argument that the pro-life organizations are anti-contraception?

 

No.

 

I need to think about this some more. I mean, yes, the concept of personhood is important to the abortion debate. I would argue it's more important than the concept of when life began, because from a biological perspective, life does not begin at conception, life just changes from haploid to diploid. (When I say "just", I am in no means trying to diminish the amazing dance of fertilization.)

 

I suppose a legal defintion would be better if consistent with end-of-life issues as well. Afaik, cognitive function is the determinant in terminal illness and since there seems to be consensus that cognitive function is absent in the first 12 weeks of development, that would be a consistent time-frame. I think i'm right to say that the vast majority of abortions occur in that time frame anyway, so it's not impracticle.

 

However, when you have multiple groups of people who can't agree about when personhood begins, and you have a situation where a female, who is currently a legal person, can be physically or economically harmed by designating a foetus as a person, then it becomes a women's rights issue.

 

I suppose my point is that framing it in terms of women's rights rather than more general civil rights is not necessary in making a sound argument for abortion, and therefore to do so is nothing but political manoeuvering. Special rights for particular groups is the essence of privelege and so worth avoiding if possible.

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No.

 

Thank you.J Would you like me to discuss why I think the anti-contraception lobby wants to control women? (Subjugation is a fancy word for control, so I'm using the simpler word, if you don't mind.)

 

I suppose a legal defintion would be better if consistent with end-of-life issues as well. Afaik, cognitive function is the determinant in terminal illness and since there seems to be consensus that cognitive function is absent in the first 12 weeks of development, that would be a consistent time-frame. I think i'm right to say that the vast majority of abortions occur in that time frame anyway, so it's not impracticle.

 

Are you implying that a 12 week old fetus displays cognitive function? There are four aspects to cognitive function:

 

  1. The ability to perceive (using the senses)
  2. The ability to recognize (using neural memory structures)
  3. The ability to think/plan before acting and process thoughts (i.e. executive function)
  4. The ability to consciously focus your attention on a task (attention)

A fetus at 12 weeks is probably just starting to have #1,and I know there's evidence that a 30 week old fetus has #2, (although I haven't seen data on when # 2 starts to develop) but I've not seen evidence that a fetus has #3 or #4. I just don't think that would be a good litmus test of personhood.

 

My second concern with the 12 week-limit is practical:

In a functional world, everyone would get comprehensive sex education, everyone would have access to contraception, abortions would be the rare result of a contraceptive failure (or done to protect the health of the mother), and women would have easy access to abortion and thus be able to get it done before the 12 week cut-off.

 

The US is not so functional. A comparison of US with Sweden (where abortion is limited after 18th week, but there is comprehensive sex education and access to contraception /abortion providers) might be helpful:

 

What's the percent of abortions that occur after week 12?

  • Sweden: 4.8%
  • US: 11.9%

Why?

I linked to an article previously that discussed how socio-economically disadvantaged women in the US would like to have abortions sooner, but were stymied by the cost and travel logistics. The cost and travel logistics issue is caused by the anti-abortion lobby, who focus on making it as difficult as possible for women to have abortions by reducing the number of abortion providers. Women often have to travel to different states to have abortions. The time it takes to set that up can delay the abortion.

 

Some insurance providers (assuming the women have insurance) also won't cover abortions, so disadvantaged women have to spend time raising the money for the abortion. It becomes a women's issue because a woman's right to choose to have an early abortion is constrained in many parts of the US.

 

I suppose my point is that framing it in terms of women's rights rather than more general civil rights is not necessary in making a sound argument for abortion, and therefore to do so is nothing but political manoeuvering. Special rights for particular groups is the essence of privelege and so worth avoiding if possible.

 

We'll have to agree to disagree. The goal of a woman's rights activist is not to "privilege" women, it's to even the playing field so that women and men have an equal opportunity to succeed. When a fetus has the same rights as a woman to survive, it actually decreases that woman's opportunity to succeed. It's impossible to have equal opportunity between men and women if a fetus also has rights, because the economic potential of a woman is fundamentally affected by said fetus.

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Woss goin' on? :blink:

 

Anyway, you say "The result of their politics is just that..."

 

I konw this is just a 'makes sense' argument, but i see traditional homosocial culture as a control of male sexual jealosy and mate guarding rather than female sexuality. The problem has been stood on it's head throughout history for convenience; female sexuality is easier to control.

 

And with reliable contraception these male instincts (?) are obsolete.

 

WOW! off line for three days! It's a republican conspiracy!!!

 

I say that the results of their anti contraception agenda "is just that" because ultimately they oppose birth control for all women, young, old, married, or unmarried. Theirs is not a protect women agenda but a control women agenda. Simply and crudely put, keep women barefoot and pregnant.

 

While I cannot support the assertion that their agenda is actively to subjugate women any more than I can show that that someone who says all nations should have nuclear weapons has the agenda to cause global nuclear war saying the result of all nations having nukes would probably have that result is easier to support.

 

These people are despicable, they lie to promote an agenda that is anti birth control by trying to convince everyone all they really want to do is save foetuses from being aborted. If that was their true agenda they should embrace birth control. I think it's really that simple, they are their own proof...

 

I am going to support Mooey in this 100% as well, the religious do indeed want to control women's sexuality, a great deal of religion seems to revolve around men being powerful and women being controlled by that male power. They truly believe that all women will be happier if they give in to their ingrained biology (well actually theology) and become mens helpers (read that sex slaves and baby makers) instead of full scale rational humans.

 

They honestly believe that all women feel a need inside to be taken care of by men and to have babies for that man. They think women were created by god to feel that way and any woman who doesn't feel that way is defying her very nature as god created human being.

 

The really disturbing angle on this is how many women ascribe to this agenda of being held captive by their very biology as demanded by male oriented theology, not to mention how many men seem to prefer women who are less than intelligent or at least pretend to be that way...

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm still reading the thread, but I wanted to point this out.

 

Let's look at some examples.

 

Does the parent who tells the doctor to separate their conjoined twins, knowing one will die, do so because they want to?

Does the person who has to choose which of the two drowning victims he'll save, do so because they want to?

Did I tell the doctor I wanted him to stop treatment of my mother and instead ease her pain because I wanted to?

Did I punish my children because I wanted to?

Does a jury decide to be responsible for a man's death because they want to?

Does a soldier send his men into certain death because he wants to?

Does my brother still smoke after his heart attack because he wants to?

 

You seem to be incredibly naive.

The parent tells the doctor because they know it is in the twins' best interest, and they want to do what is in their childrens' best interest.

Yes, they would prefer one to be alive to the other. If they had no opinion on it, they would know it was in one's best interest, and they would want to do something to help that person. You knew your mother would suffer less, and you wanted her to suffer less.You punished your children because you knew they needed to learn they did something wrong, and you want your children to know right from wrong.Etc, etc.I must be thinking differently than you. People make tough choices not because they are fun, but because in the end, they know it is what is best. People want what is best, and they are often willing to do a little suffering to obtain it. Of course you didn't want your mother to die. But you knew it was best for her, as she would only die more painfully otherwise, and you definitely didn't want that. If given the choice, I would say I want to jump off a very tall building, as opposed to drowning. If I had to do one or the other, I would very willingly jump off, it would be much more comfortable.

I like your reasoning here. Let me try this out.

The sex itself wasn't very enticing to her, but he told her he wanted to raise a child with her. She wanted to be injected with the sperm of a man who would help raise the child. However, he ran off after they got into a fight. She did not want to be injected with the sperm of a man who would ultimately run off. Thus the sex act was technically rape because she didn't actually want it.

Fetus rights aside, she should be allowed to abort for the same reason we should return money given to a con-artist.

 

While I'm here, I'll drop off a few informative links.

http://www.freakonom...ld-you-believe/ This was mentioned earlier, but only a wikipedia link was given. It's not as long as it looks, those are the comments.

http://jme.bmj.com/c...7.full.pdf+html

Edited by Mondays Assignment: Die
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Ethics of birth and death. Such a bore. If you are non-religious, and therefor a scientist with a head start on your godfearing competition, this should not mean anything to you. Its the religion-lobby, the ones who are afraid to commit suicide, that are whining about abortion, while they have squashed countless ants and other gods creatures under their souls. If humans are the crown on gods evolution, is he wearing it? Or does it feel like a rambo sweatband of cacti around his head?

I think religion should be banned from all science forums for it only delays the cure for aids, the cure for religion, and the cure for stupid religious tendencies in general.

I am not saying there is not a god, i am just saying he/she is not any of the ones written in any human book known so far. And do not go so far that the bible is not a selection by humans creating as they did, apocryphal sideburns to rust into the limbo oblivion. Wake up and read books outside the koran bible and torah the indian vedas, etc. It is all bullshid

Edited by STeve555
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Who here is getting their ideas from books? I thought the idea that the soul should be infused at conception was decided by Pope Pius, not any book.

Edited by Mondays Assignment: Die
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from a biological perspective, life does not begin at conception, life just changes from haploid to diploid.

I thought that was a biological fact, but it would be believable that I was misinformed.

Either way, it's still irrelevant.

 

  1. The ability to perceive (using the senses)
  2. The ability to recognize (using neural memory structures)
  3. The ability to think/plan before acting and process thoughts (i.e. executive function)
  4. The ability to consciously focus your attention on a task (attention)

A fetus at 12 weeks is probably just starting to have #1,and I know there's evidence that a 30 week old fetus has #2, (although I haven't seen data on when # 2 starts to develop) but I've not seen evidence that a fetus has #3 or #4. I just don't think that would be a good litmus test of personhood.

I'll post the link again. http://jme.bmj.com/c...7.full.pdf+html

It was published in 1998. I don't know what has changed since then. The section titled "Brain Birth" gives some very good information.

 

evidence that the subcortical brain comes into being as an organized unit at five weeks, with cerebral hemispheres differentiating at seven weeks, and EEG activity commencing at eight weeks. According to the brain-life theory, a human being is alive whenever a functioning human brain is present.
The earliest very localized EEG activity appears at ten weeks,29 with more generalized activity at 22-23 weeks gestation. This activity, however, is discontinuous, with long periods of electrocerebral silence, a characteristic of the immature nervous system.30 31 Premature infants with gestational ages less than eight months have long periods during which the EEG shows no activity.
Gertler20 proposed 22-24 weeks gestation, on the basis that the neocortex begins producing EEG waves at this time. Underlying this proposal is the view that human cognition is the beginning of cognitive capability [...]
[Fetal awareness] has been placed at not earlier than 26 weeks gestation by a 1997 working party of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.32 According to this working party, this is the minimum stage of structural development necessary to confer awareness upon the developing fetus, with structural integration of peripheral nerves, spinal cord, brain stem, thalamus, and cerebral cortex.

 

 

EDIT:

 

The personhood debate goes to a core issue in morality. When we follow moral obligations to respect others, what are we actually respecting? Is it the body, the mind, the wants, the pleasures, etc.? These things don't exist in unison.

 

We can anticipate the wants and pleasures of future generations even if they don't exist yet. Likewise, we can anticipate the wants and pleasures of that potential person inside a woman's womb.

 

Unlike pleasures, wants can remain relevant beyond the lifetime of the body. This explains why we respect coma patients and the recently deceased, but it doesn't explain why people respect preconscious fetuses.

Also unlike pleasures, wants can be fulfilled deceptively or honestly. Since many wants involve rational thought, the capacity for contemplation could be relevant. It depends on how you define "want." ;D

 

However, a want-based morality would have problems to work through. Wants often contradict one another, especially if they remain relevant long after death. A maximum pleasure principle would be more straight-forward. Someone aiming for pleasure would focus on the baby's ability to feel pain, not its ability to want.

 

Aside from those issues, many people claim that the presence of a body is relevant. They claim that there is no body until conception has occurred. However, I really don't see how this argument can be made to work. I think they would be better off comparing abortion to consented necrophilia. In both cases, everybody is happy, but a body is treated in a way that people consider to be grotesque.

 

 

I think it is the wants that are relevant. If a fetus cannot want yet, the fetus has no more right to life than a sperm swimming up a fallopian tube.

 

 

FURTHER EDIT: Chilled flourine's argument that it would develop without human interference was something I haven't seen yet, but I'm not sure about how well it could be upheld. It doesn't seem to rule out unfertilized eggs and sperm. Each egg or sperm has some chance of beginning development into a human child. Let's apply this to real people. I think it's still murder even if there was only a 1/20 chance that somebody would die.

It could be argued that the coitus, which will grant the egg and sperm that potential, is an instance of human interference. Now we're getting into the issue of killing versus letting die. Let's suppose a tree toppled onto Mark. John could call 911, but John just watches Mark die instead. John didn't interfere, but John is still guilty. If it's accepted that John is guilty, it should be accepted that a woman who isn't engaging in coitus is guilty. Thus the argument is reduced to absurdity.

Edited by Mondays Assignment: Die
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