Changing the definition of abortion

LobsterMobster wrote:

It is clear that we don't treat zygotes like people, else all abortionists and women who have had abortions would be jailed or executed for murder. While there are clearly some pro-lifers who would like to see that, most I've spoken to do not propose we go quite so far which would suggest they draw a distinction between a fetus and a baby even if they believe the fetus to be a human.

However, that is not a legitimate argument that a fetus does NOT deserve the same rights as a baby (or adult, for that matter). Throughout history, many cultures have treated women as objects, blacks as slaves, Jews as scapegoats, and children as expendable labor. Clearly, just because it's normal to think of X as Y, that doesn't necessarily mean it's right.

I'd have to agree with Lobster, Blacks were once considered to be sub human, and not "morally equivalent to a conscious entity". What if the baby survives the abortion attempt, is outside the mother and is struggling for life, what sort of care does it deserve then? Is it still "not a human" at that point? Could you just watch it die slowly? Should a doctor be required to give it medical aid like it would any other human being?

Edit and back to the original article, I have the feeling that the very broad definition is intentional and designed to be resisted. That way when they scale it back some it gets a pass because it could have been much worse... Ancient sales tactic, start high and let them bargain you down to your actual price.

Nosferatu wrote:

I'd have to agree with Lobster, Blacks were once considered to be sub human, and not "morally equivalent to a conscious entity". What if the baby survives the abortion attempt, is outside the mother and is struggling for life, what sort of care does it deserve then? Is it still "not a human" at that point? Could you just watch it die slowly? Should a doctor be required to give it medical aid like it would any other human being?

Once a baby is capable of surviving outside the womb, it should clearly be placed amongst any other baby when it comes to rights and such. But since the vast, *vast* majority of abortions are carried out before this stage (and indeed are illegal, at least in my country, except in case of a medical emergency), I don't see what this has to do with any reasoned debate on the subject.

Jayhawker wrote:
clover wrote:

Yeah, definitely way too civilized in here. We need more namecalling and maybe some paint-throwing... no wait, that's PETA.

That was definitely not my point. My point was that this debate (until Katerin came to the rescue) really didn't have much to do with abortion at all.

Well, me, i thought the interesting bit was seeing how the Bush administration was trying to circumvent the democratic prcess yet again (as in, we'll redefine commonly acceped definitions so things work the way we want, instead of how people have agreed they worked up until this point), not getting caught up in yet another abortion debate.

I should have know how it would end, really. 8+ years on the internets, and I'm still naive. :/

Got to back up ALG on that, Nos. If the baby is capable of surviving outside the womb long enough for a slow death then it was too far developed to be legally aborted in most states in the US. The states where abortion late enough for that to be a concern is legal (and note that people who want a late-term abortion still have to jump through plenty of hoops to do it legally) require there be an additional doctor on hand specifically to treat the fetus/baby if it survives.

Wikipedia tells me that in the US, only 1.4% of abortions are performed after the 21st week. The last time a baby survived premature birth at 21 weeks (and six days) it made national news. It had never happened before, or since.

LobsterMobster wrote:

Wikipedia tells me that in the US, only 1.4% of abortions are performed after the 21st week. The last time a baby survived premature birth at 21 weeks (and six days) it made national news. It had never happened before, or since.

LobsterMobster, so what about the rest of them that occured after the 22 week mark? Also 36 states ban late term abortions in some form or another, leaving 14 states (or 21 depending upon whom you ask) that allow it, 9 states require that second physician to be present in case the baby is born alive. 9 is definitely less than 14 or 21, meaning there are at least 5 states where your assertation is false. I asked the question because there are cases of attempted abortions where the baby survived the procedure and was not given medical attention afterwards. And there is a candidate running who voted against a bill that would require aid be given to such children, even despite the fact that it explicitly did not affect the status of abortions (in an amendment which he voted for shortly before he voted against the amended bill).

I'm agitating the pot slightly here, but given that the "consensus" seems to be that birth control should be available because people, especially teens, are not capable of controlling their baser urges to procreate. And that by having access to birth control it frees society and the people fromt he burden of an unwanted pregnancy and all the financial and social burdens that entails. Why then do I see no demands for mandatory implanted birth control? When you can afford to have it removed you have proven yourself at elast nominally capable of paying for the inceased demands a child would bring. It would also eliminate virtually all of the potential pitfalls of an irresponsible teen forgetting to take the pill because they would get the dosage regardless of their actions.

When you make it about the other person, you've failed at P&C. - Certis

Nosferatu wrote:

Why then do I see no demands for mandatory implanted birth control? When you can afford to have it removed you have proven yourself at elast nominally capable of paying for the inceased demands a child would bring. It would also eliminate virtually all of the potential pitfalls of an irresponsible teen forgetting to take the pill because they would get the dosage regardless of their actions.

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing this, as it would at least make shopping at Wal-Mart bearable. However, people under 18 can't legally consent, and there's the whole choice aspect. If someone wants to f*ck up their life, it's their choice, just don't ask me to pay for it, and don't insist I make the same choice in similar circumstances.

Nosferatu wrote:

I'm agitating the pot slightly here, but given that the "consensus" seems to be that birth control should be available because people, especially teens, are not capable of controlling their baser urges to procreate. And that by having access to birth control it frees society and the people fromt he burden of an unwanted pregnancy and all the financial and social burdens that entails. Why then do I see no demands for mandatory implanted birth control? When you can afford to have it removed you have proven yourself at elast nominally capable of paying for the inceased demands a child would bring. It would also eliminate virtually all of the potential pitfalls of an irresponsible teen forgetting to take the pill because they would get the dosage regardless of their actions.

Actually, the "consensus" would seem to be for much better sex education coupled with easier access to contraceptives. I'd argue that the education be extended to parents to make them understand the biology of puberty so they don't classify normal development as "baser urges" or "sin".

Unfortunately, that's not going to happen when the parents themselves are calling for religious-based "abstinence only" sex ed and when treatments for cervical cancer are viewed by many as a license for teenage girls to get their whore on.

Mandatory birth control is a twitchy topic. When Norplant became available back in the early 90s there were calls to make it a requirement for any women receiving welfare and several abusive mothers were implanted by court order. Demanding mandatory implanted birth control today would raise the ire of a lot of people. Minorities would call the program racist, poor classist, and good luck getting religious groups to participate since some consider birth control to be a mortal sin.

You'd also get some great combos of dissent, like race AND religion. Nearly three quarters of Hispanics are Catholic, meaning they would refuse birth control. The Republican Primaries revealed a lot of middle America's feelings towards Hispanics: they don't like them. Now layer on the fact that the birth rate for Hispanics is double that of whites (they're the only reason we're not in Europe's and Japan's negative population growth shoes). Whites would target Hispanics because of their high birth rate (and what it meant about the future racial composition of America) and Hispanics would claim religious exemptions.

Mandatory birth control would never fly here, which means the only real thing you can fall back on is education and access.

Nosferatu wrote:

I'm agitating the pot slightly here, but given that the "consensus" seems to be that birth control should be available because people, especially teens, are not capable of controlling their baser urges to procreate.

I know this is a side topic and has already been mentioned by Katerin But everyone seems to get lost in this debate over teenage/premarital sex. People that are married also have the need for birth control. It would be extremely unrealistic, not to mention odd, to expect a married couple to abstain from sex except for purposes of procreation unless they do so on their own for religious reasons. So if birth control were classified as abortion or otherwise restricted, we'd be making it extremely difficult for a married woman to do anything but create children. That's an obvious problem for a woman's potential to have a career. And that is why I would see an attempt to classify birth control this way as a huge, and ridiculous, step backwards.

I'm with one of the earlier posters. I'd feel a lot better about responding to some people if I felt there was more to their points than carefully worded bashing and smirking playing of both sides with pretend detachment covering for outright mean spirits. We need to have at least basic respect for each other, and that includes not continuously yanking chains and wasting people's time by pretending to hold positions so that other people get wrapped around the axle trying to deal with arcane minutiae, while the main point lies choked by the vines of detail.

We have an excellent community here for the exchange of views. However, that means we are susceptible to game-playing and passive-aggressive amusements. We are maybe more vulnerable to trolling than other sites, because many of us presume that others are interested in actually thinking about views other than our usual ones, rather than poking people with rhetorical sticks until they give up in frustration. So when someone decides to take a rhetorical dump in as many discussions as possible, thinking that clever wording and protestations of innocence will fool the credulous, after a while it becomes obvious that on certain topics, the discussions quickly become full of... well, what you'd expect. I'm tired of assembling careful responses to cherry-picked hair-splits only to learn that I'm a confused liberal who hates freedom.

Go back and look at the tradition of American political debates. You'll find that good faith in the exchange of ideas is paramount. Without that, it's just sniping and trying to embarrass people who don't think like you. That's a shame to see, it wastes time, and it's personally frustrating to those of us acting with that good faith. We should be able to sit down after one of these discussions and have a beer or a game of TF2, and it just seems like some people have lost that part of the understanding of this community.

I just hate to see discussions go from "here's what I honestly think, or wonder about" to "let's see which line of argument will most embarrass and antagonize the people I disagree with". Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but that's what I think.

BTW, I use the term "some people" in the same sense it's used against me and others who could not be directly attacked, but still have to sit through slanders and smears. Sauce for the goose. I just wish it tasted better, you know?

Generally speaking, I agree with Robear. I've been lurking in P&C for a few weeks but have been reluctant to post, without being able to put my finger on why. Now I realize it's the "good faith" issue, which goes for posters on both the right AND left, as far as I can tell.

Take that for what it's worth, from a new reader of this board.

I only wonder how this would affect woman who use birth control for reasons other than birth control.

Adolescent girls and young women are frequently prescribed oral contraceptive pills for irregular or absent menstrual periods, menstrual cramps, acne, PMS, endometriosis, and hormone replacement therapy.

Would these women have to carry their medical records around to prove that they aren't "murderers"?

Mystic Violet wrote:

I only wonder how this would affect woman who use birth control for reasons other than birth control.

Adolescent girls and young women are frequently prescribed oral contraceptive pills for irregular or absent menstrual periods, menstrual cramps, acne, PMS, endometriosis, and hormone replacement therapy.

Would these women have to carry their medical records around to prove that they aren't "murderers"?

They would technically only be "manslaughterers" since they didn't intend to kill their "babies", but did so out of reckless action. The difference would be about 10 years.

Robear is right. This thread has gotten a tad ridiculous. Do any of you know someone who has gotten pregnant as a teen and how life can be rough for the kid? (hint, I'm that kid and my mom had a promising life turned very very hard). Do any of you know someone who was adopted? My best friend was. Do any of you know someone who has had to choose? I think the cool detachment and smart-ass way some of you are speaking is not only disrespectful, but it's completely antithetical to the way Gamerswithjobs.com is supposed to run. Abortion is a hot-button issue for a reason. And both sides have valid points of view. But the kind of debate taking place right now ("abortion is all about controlling sluts" or "abortion is murder") is so f-ing pointless. Is there a forum category worse than P & C where we can move this?

LobsterMobster wrote:

you're making an excellent point about Obama's being a Muslim terrorist who can't count

Wow no snark there, I've never called him a Muslim terrorist, and its not like the "Iraq-Pakistan" border thing has never been mentioned.

In the interest of full disclosure:
As I recently told Staats, ChrisGwinn and Al13nz at the MN get together, I'll argue any point regardless of whether I agree with it or not. It's also why I find it highly amusing when *I* get accused of being something simply because I'm willing to argue that viewpoint. Personally I'm both pro choice and pro life, I find Roe v Wade to be a bad decision because I do not feel that the choices that an individual makes are in the scope of the powers of the federal government. I believe that abortion could very well be the termination of a human life, but since I am not a woman and cannot become pregnant that is not an issue I personally have to deal with. If asked would I tell a woman my feeling yes, but would I demand that she not take the action, no. I don't believe that the government or government sponsored entities (i.e. schools) have the right to overrule the parental decisions of a minors parents. Birth control is readily accessible in this country, virtually any store you go into offers contraceptive devices. If you aren't mature enough to buy them yourself, you probably are not mature enough to be having sex. If parents choose not to teach there children about them, then they have to deal with the consequences of their children become young parents, not society.
I also fully admit that I will use someones argument against them, challenging them on every point if need be. I know where I stand, because I've generally thought out my positions on the issue, this is not always the case with other people. I question my own assumptions constantly, I try to make others do the same. Even if they reach a different conclusion than I do at least they understand why they feel that way and how they came to that decision, rather than repeating what it is they've been told was the truth. Here at GWJ more often than not it means I play the ultra conservative role, other places other roles.

That's fine if you actually have good information to argue your side. Otherwise it's called trolling.

Urban Dictionary wrote:

Trolling is the act of purposefully antagonizing other people on the internet, generally on message boards. When done in a moderated internet community, this can result in banning. When done to uptight people such as fundies, this can result in hilarity.

I'd say half the time you're making a good argument. Then the other half you seem to get so caught up in things that you just troll.

Nosferatu wrote:

I also fully admit that I will use someones argument against them, challenging them on every point if need be. I know where I stand, because I've generally thought out my positions on the issue, this is not always the case with other people. I question my own assumptions constantly, I try to make others do the same. Even if they reach a different conclusion than I do at least they understand why they feel that way and how they came to that decision, rather than repeating what it is they've been told was the truth. Here at GWJ more often than not it means I play the ultra conservative role, other places other roles.

That is awfully snobbish of you. GWJ is so lucky to have you around to make sure everyone has thought out their opinions as well as you have. Of course, not having to be consistent with your views is just a nice side effect for this service you are providing. How quaint!

I also fully admit that I will use someones argument against them, challenging them on every point if need be. I know where I stand, because I've generally thought out my positions on the issue, this is not always the case with other people. I question my own assumptions constantly, I try to make others do the same. Even if they reach a different conclusion than I do at least they understand why they feel that way and how they came to that decision, rather than repeating what it is they've been told was the truth. Here at GWJ more often than not it means I play the ultra conservative role, other places other roles.

The Socratic method does not include veiled or direct insult. It's great that you feel like you are teaching people, but we students are tired of feeling repeatedly insulted and dragged off on ridiculous tangents rather than dealing with the meat of an issue. For example,

I'm agitating the pot slightly here, but given that the "consensus" seems to be that birth control should be available because people, especially teens, are not capable of controlling their baser urges to procreate.

The technique here is to make up an assertion, then attack it. The problem is that you didn't wait until your opponent said "Oh, teens can't control themselves." You said it for them, then you ask why they don't propose a completely extreme solution, mandatory birth control. But in neither case are you using arguments proposed by your opponents. The subtext, that if they followed their supposed argument to completion they'd have to support mandatory birth control, is distasteful and insulting, not least because it didn't come from the people with whom you are arguing. It makes out those of us disagreeing with you to be either misguided, or fanatical, rather than perhaps just mistaken. It's a trick used to force someone onto the defensive, and it takes away from the points actually being made.

I note you're not apologizing for that sort of thing, or the more direct "Apparently the womens lib movement didn't get very far, because women are still considered inferior to men even by the liberal leaning people on this board." If you don't see the problem with that, well, that's the issue, isn't it? There were a number of non-confrontational ways to make that supposed point, but you chose to put words in people's mouths instead, words that make them look like idiots who then have to defend an indefensible point that they did not make.

Maybe you're using vinegar when honey would do just as well, considering that we all share common interests here and are *interested* in making the arguments. Teaching by abuse is a harsh way to do it, and it often attracts more abuse. Certainly it's frustrating.

I can't imagine you going to a slap and tickle and telling me I think women are inferior. So why do it here?

*snort*

Eh?

That was intended for Jayhakwer's response, sorry. I just found it funny. Your response was more thorough and erudite. I just laughed at Jayhawker's.

I should have known - it's not usually actually about me.

Everybody get back on point and stay there.

Nosferatu wrote:

As I recently told Staats, ChrisGwinn and Al13nz at the MN get together, I'll argue any point regardless of whether I agree with it or not.

That's your last post in P&C, hope you enjoyed it. This is not specifically listed in the Code of Conduct, but it's completely against the spirit of the P&C section. I have zero interest in trying to moderate discussions laced with agitators.