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ellem's Journal: Abortion - What I think and why you should flame me 248

Journal by ellem

I have been engaged in a 2 day (or so) discussion with Pudge & nandorman on the topic of South Dakota's attempt to ban abortion. The conversation twisted and pudge & nandorman seem quite concerned that I am for some abortions and that I do not have an exact date where upon abortions can be performed. They cite logic flaws but the real issue as I perceive it is that pudge & nandorman are fairly religious and believe that life begins at the moment a sperm gets into an egg. Pudge hasn't mentioned religion at all, I simply suspect that is where this comes from. He cites the Civil Rights of the baby.

So my basic thoughts are as follows:

Abortion is the last in a string of bad decisions. While I'd never recommend an abortion - except in the cases of death to the mother, imminent death of the child, rape, and incest - I have no right to tell anyone else not to have an abortion. Lot's of things can be black and white, good and evil, this isn't one of them.

However, that said, partial birth abortions, late term abortions are absolutely positively out. That's murder. You are taking a baby and killing it. Sorry. That's what I think.

OK so when do I think abortion is OK? I'll be the first to admit I have a lot of trouble with this one. Without specifying an exact moment (and I will sort of later) I think when a baby is in the womb and cannot survive on its own outside the womb then it's sort of OK. I'm not really OK with it, but if this must be the decision made then make it when the baby stands no chance without the mother.

So technically I think we can go to about 16 weeks? I was hovering around 8 weeks in the above discussion and said 20-24 weeks but that number is far too high... that's totally a baby. You must remember I am not really for abortion, I just see that making it illegal is worse than making it safe.

My problems with the inception gang (I'm in the first trimester-ish gang) is that they reduce women to vessels for sperm. Walking incubators. Oh we mustn't touch the precious cargo therein. And IT IS precious...

And this is why you should flame me.

I'm on both sides of this issue.

I'm on the side that people need to be able to have abortion (EARLY TERM) on the table as a safe choice for the mother. AND I'm on the side that no one should EVER get an abortion because life and babies are terribly important and amazingly perfect and about the most human thing we can do... making more.

So yeah... I'm on the fence.

I think early term abortions are tragic but should remain legal. I think later term abortions should be banned. /ellem dons fire retardant cloak

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Abortion - What I think and why you should flame me

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  • just a question:
    My problems with the inception gang (I'm in the first trimester-ish gang) is that they reduce women to vessels for sperm. Walking incubators.

    I don't get that. I don't see why one follows the other.

    Now my disclaimer-- I usually avoid discussing this topic because there is so little discourse and so much yelling, etc. I know what I think, and there are tons of people out their fighting for that position, so I focus on other things.

    I also tend to find myself t
    • Well I feel as if the Life At Inception folks begin caring little for the mother and her wants. The LAI people are so focused on the baby that anything but birth is unnacceptable.

      Raped? Too bad, it's life it cannot be terminated that's murder.
      Mother may die? Too bad, it's life it cannot be terminated that's murder.
      Baby horribly deformed [google.com] with little chance to live? Too bad, it's life it cannot be terminated that's murder.
      Mother is a hardcore drug addict claiming intent to harm the baby to terminate the p
      • Admittedly I'm Catholic- but I come to the LAI view from science, my philosophical read of genetics and evolution. In essence, from that point of view, human beings are merely very complex biological robots for the purpose of the survival of 4 billion year old strains of DNA. The method that does this is to mix two individual strands of DNA through RNA to create a new individual. Once that individual is created, it's an individual *regardless* of whether it can survive on it's own or not. Thus, abortio
        • The purpose of human life from this viewpoint is to create and raise the next generation- to create life.

          The problem is, that's a reducto ad absurdum viewpoint. I'm sorry but my purpose as a conscious individual is NOT simply to spray my seed all over the planet. If it were, there'd be little point in monogamy, right?

          • The problem is, that's a reducto ad absurdum viewpoint. I'm sorry but my purpose as a conscious individual is NOT simply to spray my seed all over the planet. If it were, there'd be little point in monogamy, right?

            Depends on the climate. In some areas, there is no point to monogamy- and in those areas, polygamous (Semitic and Pacific Islander cultures spring to mind, but I'm willing to bet just about any native culture in the tropics) or even incestuous (Inuit tribes) sexual groupings are common. The po
      • I'm also curious, say a couple are having some kinky lovemaking. Some li'l bugger slips through the layers of latex, rubber and peanut butter to reach the egg. Then as a result of some action of the loving couple, the now fertalized egg is rejected. Perhaps playing with electrodes and 6 inch nails was just too stressful. Is this involuntary manslaughter when it occurs a few minutes or hours into the pregnancy? Is it different from high risk activities in the third trimester?
  • I'm not torn or on the fence, I know exactly where my view is. Abortion after the point of viability ex-utero should be banned. The one and only exception would be if the mothers life is at risk and emergency c-section isn't a medical option.

    Before that, it should be legal but discouraged except in the cases you listed above, rape, incest, etc.

    Since I've been told this is both hypocritical and a cop-out, I'll join you in the flamefest. Apparently the only two valid views are "no limits on abortions" and "no
    • by ellem (147712) *
      The viablilty factor was much maligned by pudge and nandorman. If technology were to make it so a 4 week old baby (fetus) could survive out of the womb then I would suggest that abortions not be allowed past the 4th week. This was an unacceptable answer.
      • I don't have a problem with that at all. C-sectioning a 4 week old to give them a chance is a hell of a lot better than sucking them out piece by piece. I'm sure that 25 years later they'd be fairly grateful for it.
        • by rk (6314) *

          One of the most interesting arguments I've heard to be pro-choice and yet support a life begins at conception doctrine is thus:

          Axiom: Self-ownership is a natural right for all individuals, including the baby|fetus|embryo and the mother.

          The mother, being an individual and having the right of self-ownership, has the right to remove a trespasser from her property, which includes herself. The doctrine of minimal force applies here, so in much the same way you don't have the right to shoot someone the mome

  • For better or worse, my opinion on abortion has been VERY much informed by my experience of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood, and it is basically this: That life begins at conception.

    I don't know if many people know this, but basically as soon as a woman can find out if she's pregnant (i.e., about a week or so after she's missed her period) -- there's already a heartbeat. There's life there. It's tenuous -- but it's life.

    That said, I believe that abortion should be legal. Period.

    The thing is, any wom
    • ...babies can be gestated entirely under laboratory conditions. When that happens, though, I think we'll have bigger problems to worry about...


      Yeah, Em Emalb's clone army comes to mind... :-)

  • by nizo (81281) *
    I was just thinking about this yesterday on the drive home from work. My apologies in advance if the following is rantish; I am certainly not ranting at you, or anyone in particular :-)

    I can understand your position, since I feel pretty much the same way. I finally decided that even though my feelings on abortion are mixed, I don't feel that I should force my beliefs on anyone else, so regardless of how I might feel personally about abortion, I think the mother (and frankly, no one else) should ultimately b

    • Ah, but if teenagers have contraceptives, they might have sex!

      That ain't gonna work down here.

      Hell, I was in a rest room last week where they had a condom dispenser mounted on the wall. On the face was a big sticker saying that while condoms may help prevent pregnancies and STDs, the only way to avoid STDs was to be in a married, monogamous, relationship.

      WTF?

      Before that I had no idea my wedding ring cured AIDS.
      • *scratches head* So, being in a mutually monogomous relationship isn't enough without the ring? I'll have to let Some Guy know that we're both at serious risk for gonorrhea. Thanks for the heads-up, Iatf! :^o
        • Oh no problem, I think it's important that we all pay attention to lessons learned from The Condom Vending Machine (TCVM for short).

          Be careful though, you may want to consider abstinence as advocated by the wise TCVM. After all, Condoms may (or may not) prevent STDs, apparently science on the issue isn't clear.
    • by elmegil (12001) *
      we just flat out don't know for sure when that bundle of cells turns into a living human being with rights.

      Actually, I think this one is pretty easy. Do we grant rights to "aliens" from outside the USA? Is a fetus in the mother's womb a citizen? I'd argue that you can't be a citizen until birth. After all, that's the word they use in the definition of citizen!

      And ok, I'll concede that I'm playing a little loose. There are some basic human rights that transcend our constitution. But the pudge argument

      • Hah, so if life begins at conception, shouldn't citizenship?

        I can see a whole new boink-on-american-soil-industry forming!
        • Yeah, that's how dirty unwashed darkie foreigners like you get in and drag down a fine country with your godless ways.

          I bet you came in with that load of Swedish boat people that slipped through the Coast Guard.

          Cheers,

          Ethelred

        • Not to mention the tax deduction claims: "Honest, Mr. Auditor, we conceived sextuplets on Christmas Eve, but miscarried on New Year's Day. That counts for both tax years!"
    • by Tet (2721)
      As a side note, if someone thinks that making abortions illegal will stop abortions, they need a reality check. The only thing that outlawing abortions will do is make safe abortions illegal.

      Absolutely spot on. I'm glad at least someone can see that.

      My take is likely to get me flamed, but what the hell. I was discussing this with a friend of mine the other day, and she was shocked by my viewpoint. Anyway, I believe:

      1. A human life begins at birth[1].
      2. Abortion should be legal until the point human life be
      • by pudge (3605) *
        If someone thinks that making murder illegal will stop murder, they need a reality check. The only thing that outlawing murder will do is make safe murder illegal.

        A human life begins at birth.

        Prove it.

        Human life has no intrinsic value, and there's nothing immoral about killing a foetus.

        So therefore it should be legal for me to kill you, then?

        I don't think you're very good at thinking.
        • by Tet (2721)
          I don't think you're very good at thinking.

          No, I'm very good at thinking. I just think differently to you. I could expand on this at length, and perhaps I will do at some point. But for now, it's late and tomorrow is the first day at my new job, so I'm going to bed.

          • by pudge (3605) *
            No, I'm very good at thinking. I just think differently to you.

            The fact that you said there is nothing immoral about killing a fetus simply because human life has no intrinsic value, and that this must necessarily apply to people who are born, does support the latter contention, but not the former.
            • You keep confusing a fetus with a human. They have the genes of a human, and the basic blueprints to make a human, but its still not a human. Those of us in the 'other' camp have differing views. Continuing to insult and speak down from the pulpit will not change my view other than making it more steadfast.

              The other side of this is that the only people who will be effected by this are the poor. The rich will wisk themselves away to Canada or Mexico where its still legal, have a holiday and get rid of th
              • by pudge (3605) *
                You keep confusing a fetus with a human.

                You keep confusing me with someone who is confused.

                They have the genes of a human, and the basic blueprints to make a human

                Right.

                but its still not a human.

                Says you. I say differently.

                Continuing to insult and speak down from the pulpit will not change my view other than making it more steadfast.

                I was not speaking to you. I was speaking to someone who said that it is not immoral to kill people. He did not say "a fetus has no intrinsic value, so it is OK to kill a fet
                • The only thing that matters here is whether the child in the womb is deserving of protection of its unalienable human rights. Nothing else has any significant relevance in comparison to that question. If the answer is yes, then we should protect those rights, as it is government's primary responsibility to do so. If the answer is no, then government has no business in the matter. It's that simple.

                  Unfortunately, we can't know what the answer is. I believe one thing, you believe another, and we can't convince
                  • by pudge (3605) *
                    There is no doubt in my mind that its not a person.

                    Then either you believe as ellem does that personhood is dependent on other people, and thus there is no such thing as unalienable rights (rights man can grant, man can take away); or, you believe personhood is an unalienable trait, and that you know the moment at which it exists.

                    The former is nonsense. The latter is not possible.

                    Do you really want to be supporting all of these children on welfare?

                    This is, of course, the logical fallacy of begging the ques
  • The impression I've gotten from the many discussions and arguments I've ever seen about abortion is that "the fence" is actually a much wider space than the fringes on either side. The reason we don't get a conclusive answer to the abortion issue is that most people are somewhere between "free abortions for everyone at any stage of pregnancy" and the "no abortion under any circumstance at any point including pre-conception". In fact, relatively few people take those extremes ... but, they are more likely
  • But one question:

    late term abortions are absolutely positively out. That's murder. You are taking a baby and killing it.

    How do you square this with "life of the mother"? Has anyone provided any statistics demonstrating that "partial birth abortions" occur in any circumstances OTHER than to protect the life of the mother? I haven't seen any if they have.

    Aside from that, I agree completely.

    Now for gratuitous TMI illustrating where I am personally on the issue:

    Right now, we're trying to get pregnant again.

    • at which point we either have to do "selective reduction" (I think you can guess what that is) or leave it to "god" to not kill half of my family,

      People have funny notions about what is, and what is not, God's domain. Their infertility is a Science problem, but having too many embryos to give any of them much of a chance is apparently a God problem. :^/
      • One of the biggest ironies I see is that the same people who claim those who wish to have an abortion are giving up a gift from god, but when they can't concieve themselves, they don't take it as a message from god to the effect of "Hey down there, no kids for you."

        No offense to those trying. I got lucky with my first, and got him right away. We're now trying to stay on track to make him an only child.
    • So what's so bad about adopting a kid, instead? Then you don't have to worry about this.
      And instead of bringing yet another heart (or more) into the world that needs love, you rescue one that's already out here, lonely, waiting for someone to care.
      • Adoption is not ruled out. Adoption is simply a secondary, less preferred option overall.

        1) flesh of my flesh is a powerful and IMO important connection.
        2) US Adoption has become a nightmare of legal pitfalls, especially if you want to do "ethical" adoption where the adoptive status is not hidden from the child, nor is the child hidden from their bio parents.
        3) International adoption is a different set of nightmares, though I have a friend who has availed herself of that option twice and has offered to hel

  • Abortions are horrible and it would be great if we, as a society, became advanced enough to where they were no longer needed. We're not. Giving the State control over what a woman can and cannot do when it comes to her fetus (and I'm with you on the viability issue, too) is a worse thing.
    • Slavery is horrible and it would be great if we, as a society, became advanced enough to where it was no longer needed. We're not. Giving the State control over what a landowner can and cannot do when it comes to his slaves is a worse thing.
      • Slavery is horrible and it would be great if we, as a society, became advanced enough to where it was no longer needed. We're not. Giving the State control over what a landowner can and cannot do when it comes to his slaves is a worse thing.

        And a century and a half ago this would have been somewhere between a common opinion. Now that our society has grown and matured it is laughable to think that anyone other than the fringe elements would support slavery. I don't think you were intending to prove my po

        • And a century and a half ago this would have been somewhere between a common opinion.

          It was a common opinion, yes, among many Southerners, and Northerners like Stephen Douglas. We normally don't laud those people today. Instead, we look to people like John and Abigail Adams and Abe Lincoln, who were far more concerned with the rights of slaves than the relatively unimportant rights of the slaveowners, who were outspoken about the irreconciliable differences between Thomas Jefferson's declaration of equali
  • I used to be as naive as you (j/k).

    Actually my opinion on the matter is that we all have souls. The question for me is, is it at inception? is it at 2 weeks gestation? 16 weeks? I don't know. Because of this I can't support it, because to me, that is taking the life of an innocent soul.

    I used to support younger than 3 months because of, get this, the baby wouldn't feel any pain because that's when i thought the nerves were developed. I now know it is something closer to 8 weeks. I'm sorry, but if somet
    • by Some Woman (250267) *
      The baby's body is the baby's body.

      Then the baby can feed and nurture its own body.
      • Then the baby can feed and nurture its own body.

        Except that almost every abortion performed in this country is on a woman who got pregnant by her own choice. Almost none (statistically) are because of rape, where a D&C is usually performed and there never is any implantation (and without getting into an argument about it, let's assume that abortions happen after implantation).

        So, stop your whining. Seriously. Take some responsibility for yourself. If you are going to have sex, knowing you might get
  • I'm pro-choice. Choice being the key word.

    I haven't thought about it to the levels people have here in your journal. And I certainly wouldn't engage pudge in any discussion about it (not that I could because he's foe'd me. Thank goodness.)

    I believe in a woman's right to choose an abortion for yourself. And as I said to someone yesterday, I agree with Dennis Miller on the subject - "One dick, no vote."

    I'm also an idiot. I didn't think the Constitution or amendments were laws until I read up and thought

    • I believe in a slaveowner's right to choose slavery for himself. I agree with Stephen Douglas on the subject - "North of the Mason-Dixon, no vote."
      • Women are slaves and men own them?

        Huh?

        Hi pudge. Nice seeing you again.

        • Uh, no. The analogy is that the children in the womb are the slaves, and the women are asserting they can do whatever they wish with them. That wasn't clear to you? Odd.
          • Man, you're dense as...something that's really dense. You chuck some irrelevant analogy out there and I'm supposed to magically know what it is that you're trying to say? Odd.

            How's the family?

            • You chuck some irrelevant analogy out there

              No, I don't.

              and I'm supposed to magically know what it is that you're trying to say?

              I don't consider standard levels of intelligence to be magic, but to someone looking in from the outside, I guess it might appear as such.
              • No, I don't.

                Oh, but you did. You're so cuuuuuute. *pinches cheeks*

                I don't consider standard levels of intelligence to be magic, but to someone looking in from the outside, I guess it might appear as such.

                Thandawd levelth of intelligenth. Oooo..pudgey, you tho thmawt. Bewittwing peopw ith fun, ithn't it? Thmawt pudgey. Big bwain in that big fat head of yours.

                You're *so* cute. *shivers*

                Why don't you go try this crap on bethanie? Or call Some Woman a bitch again, that'd be fun for you, wouldn't it?

                • Oh, but you did.

                  Heh. Anyone who thinks the analogy between slavery and abortion is irrelevant simply knows nothing about the issue. You don't have to agree with the analogy to recognize that it demonstrates almost perfectly why so many people are against abortion: because it denies the unalienable rights of a whole class of people, just as slavery did.

                  But hey, you started this by saying you're an idiot who doesn't really know much about these things, so I guess I should have taken you at your word on that
                  • awww dude... you brought up NAZI. You just lost.
                    • And it's totally not true! I like to think of myself as more Al-Quaeda-esque in my baby-killing.
                    • First of all, there's no rule that says if you bring up Nazis you lose. Second of all, I brought it up only as an example of something I could have said. I wasn't actually saying it.
                    • Godwin's Law [wikipedia.org] states:
                      There is a tradition in many Usenet newsgroups that once such a comparison is made, the thread in which the comment was posted is over and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress.

                      But OK, you only _said_ you could say it.
                    • Ahem. No. :-) Godwin's Law does not state that. This is a common misconception. Godwin's Law states only, "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." What you quoted is not part of Godwin's Law, but part of Usenet tradition.
                  • But hey, you started this by saying you're an idiot who doesn't really know much about these things, so I guess I should have taken you at your word on that.

                    Duh.

                    Uh, huh? Why would I do that? What, I should just go make replies to random people?

                    You randomly replied to me. Her answer was further up in the thread. You didn't answer everyone in the thread, so I assume your reply to me was random.

                    It's not hard to stand by: she literally said it is OK to murder if the flipside is people making you feel ba

                    • Ad hominem.

                      No. An ad hominem is when you attack the man for the purpose of winning the argument. For example: "SamTheButcher is wrong because he's an idiot." Mere name-calling is not ad hominem. Read a book.
                    • Read a book.

                      You know, I just did. It's called The Good Earth [amazon.com]. A very good story (from pre-revolutionary China) about a man who makes some mistakes, lives through hardship, but comes to wealth through his hard work and farming of the land. His sons know not of such hardship and grow to be irritating men, wanting either money or status or wanderlust in search of glory. Now I'm reading Seven Habits of Highly Effective People [amazon.com]. It's also pretty interesting, very early on. I've learned, not through the text dir

  • No, not hellfire. I mean I'm not going to flame you.

    You're right on. I totally concur.

    Abortion stills a beating heart. Yep. Abortion kills. Yep. Abortion should be safe and legal. Mostly, yeah. As you say, it's the last choice in a string of bad decisions (or circumstances). It's a tragic choice, and no one should deny that. But it is not my choice to make... it's the mother's.

    Few laws are sufficient to cover all circumstances. Some theft is justifiable, some homicide is justifiable, and some abortions are
    • I'm going to ask a serious question. No trolling, no flaming, I'm just curious...

      If the fetus is past the point of medical viability, and, therefore, not abortable, should the woman be allowed to induce labor or otherwise have it removed and relinquish her rights to the baby?
      • Yes. Probably. It depends. :-/

        If there's a bright line between viability and non-viability, then yes for sure. (Who would pay for the neonatal care is another matter entirely, of course.) But every week in the womb is precious... the difference in likely medical outcomes between a 24 weeker and a 34 weeker is huge. There is no easy way to say that a fetus of this gestational age is viable and one of that gestational age is not. The bright line doesn't really exist.

        My proposal above just shifts the ground to
        • The very interesting point of your proposal is that it would force the hand of the hard-liners on the Pro-Life side and Pro-Choice side to put up or shut up.
        • Well, it makes sense. People are money-driven. You probably would get at least a few more weeks out of a lot of people.
  • My take [slashdot.org] on this issue. Yeah, it's a journal entry unto itself.
  • I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of churn as far as friends/foes go in this thread. :-)
  • I'm more in the 2nd / 3rdish trimester, but then again, I think life begins when you think, and ends when you stop.

    I think therefore I am.
  • I don't really have a comment on my stance... but I read a book recently that raised an interesting point. The book was Hope by Aaron Zelman and L. Neil Smith.

    The main character states at one point that abortion is the issue that the left relies on to keep the freedom movement divided. And that makes a whole lot of sense... if you take a look at the people out there who are really in support of smaller government (not what calls itself the Republican party, let's look at people who actually SUPPORT the

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