Abortion

  • The Master

    The Master (15)

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    kafka.:
    Yeah, it's a bioethics and law paper published by The Journal of Medical Ethics which is owned by the British Medical Journal group - it's not like it's a cheap ezine, it's a very prestigious journal which engages with many contemporary debates regarding medicine, ethics and laws - not just abortion, but things like euthanasia or stem cell research. The editors started getting random abuse and threats after they published that article so they wrote a blog post about why they did it.

    The newspaper article is so inflammatory and childish (because you have to be extremely naive or malicious to think that medical ethics are one of the 'world's most unnecessary occupations' - medical ethics dictates what kind of medical treatment you and the rest of humanity gets, it's extremely important) I'm having a hard time taking it seriously, but the original article raises some interesting questions, of course.
    It does, particularly about late term abortions which I think is good that it is being discussed but it's not like it's being "Let's do it!". Hell, my interpretation of this is that they want us to really rethink the validity of late term abortions and stuff. It seems that if you don't take it on absolute face value (which a lot of people are) then it seems to go like...

    abortion = infanticide, foetus=baby therefore if you support abortion then you have to support the murder of babies!

    It does seem like the ultimate pro-life argument in a sense.
    March 14th, 2012 at 10:49am
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

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    The Master.:
    It does, particularly about late term abortions which I think is good that it is being discussed but it's not like it's being "Let's do it!". Hell, my interpretation of this is that they want us to really rethink the validity of late term abortions and stuff. It seems that if you don't take it on absolute face value (which a lot of people are) then it seems to go like...

    abortion = infanticide, foetus=baby therefore if you support abortion then you have to support the murder of babies!

    It does seem like the ultimate pro-life argument in a sense.
    To me, what the article questions most strongly is the tendency some people have of arguing that abortion should be legal in all cases because in some special cases it's a moral necessity (moral not medical and only in some special cases). How many times have we heard about how abortions are necessary to heal rape victims (although no rape victims ever come forward to talk about their experience with abortion and pregnancy, strangely enough) or to save children from a horrible life in state care? If being in care is really so horrible that we have a moral duty to kill the fetus to prevent it from going into care, it would only make sense to argue that we have the same moral duty to kill newborns destined to go into care. The newborn's ability to feel pain doesn't change the horribleness of living in state care, does it?
    March 14th, 2012 at 06:28pm
  • The Master

    The Master (15)

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    kafka.:
    To me, what the article questions most strongly is the tendency some people have of arguing that abortion should be legal in all cases because in some special cases it's a moral necessity (moral not medical and only in some special cases). How many times have we heard about how abortions are necessary to heal rape victims (although no rape victims ever come forward to talk about their experience with abortion and pregnancy, strangely enough) or to save children from a horrible life in state care? If being in care is really so horrible that we have a moral duty to kill the fetus to prevent it from going into care, it would only make sense to argue that we have the same moral duty to kill newborns destined to go into care. The newborn's ability to feel pain doesn't change the horribleness of living in state care, does it?
    There is a level of personal morality though, isn't there? And individual differences. Some people could "cope perfectly well" (I don't mean fully but you know what I mean, right?) with raising a child conceived against their will, some couldn't. I know I personally couldn't since the thought of even carrying a child is all levels of terrifying and disgusting to me. I mean, Christ, I've had rather severe breakdowns due to exams or even just arguments in the house. The whole concept is abhorrent to me on a personal level. I know I wouldn't be fully responsible for my actions should anything like that happen to me. Even if abortion was illegal in the UK I would simply take it with me. Of course, it is all conjecture at the moment, I don't think you could know what you would do until you get in that moment.

    I can see where they are coming from but I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all approach to this. I do know that I can only support late term abortions if there is a severe medical emergency and nothing can be done to save the foetus or the foetus is dead (although does that even count as abortion?). I only really support first term abortions since the probability of miscarriage anyway is high and the foetus cannot feel. I'm a bit dubious about second term ones, they could be prevented if better information was given at an earlier stage...probably, I don't know.

    I do think there is significant issues with the care system. Their heart's in the right place but I don't think it's doing as well as it could for kids. It's why I really want to adopt when I'm older and a bit more sane. I have nothing against it but it does need fundamental restructuring.

    But yeah. I can see where they are coming from but I'm not quite sure I fully agree since it...it feels a bit black and white and Christ only knows it isn't.

    BTW, there have been a few stories I've seen in those awful "people" magazines like Take A Break (You know, the ones that mix smiley-ness with brutal retelling of rape and murder?) about rape victims who did keep their baby. I've not really seen a story that didn't but I do have a feeling that it might be due to marketing rather than prevalentcy. It's just a feeling, I dunno.
    March 14th, 2012 at 09:09pm
  • the sea

    the sea (100)

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    Did anyone notice the two ads at the top of the page?
    "ABORTION is a tragedy. Do you agree?" *insert photo of a baby* Paid for by Americans United for Life

    Also the "Defund Planned Parenthood" *insert link to sign petition.

    hmmmm......
    March 23rd, 2012 at 03:47am
  • the fiddling imp

    the fiddling imp (150)

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    I'm not really sure what to think about abortion. My gut reaction is that it's wrong, but I've never been in the situation where I may have needed/wanted one, and I don't know if I could, personally, know my true feelings about whether it is right or wrong without being there first hand.

    However, I do believe that abortion is a matter which should be carefully considered before going ahead with it. I also believe that abortion is indeed murder. Mostly because you're taking away the potential of a life. That said, I don't think I would judge anyone for having an abortion, as long as they treated the issue with respect.

    In some cases, I believe that it can be the right thing to do, for instance if someone has been raped, if it is going to hurt the baby or the mother, or if the baby is extremely ill. I just don't know if I could personally go through with it.
    March 25th, 2012 at 11:40pm
  • Alex; periphery.

    Alex; periphery. (140)

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    the fiddling imp:
    I also believe that abortion is indeed murder. Mostly because you're taking away the potential of a life.
    I respect everything you said in your post, but I have to disagree strongly here. Murder is killing a person out of malice, and I don't think mothers who have abortions are doing so with malicious intent. And I don't think it's right to compare taking the life of a person with feelings/emotions with killing a foetus.

    I also disagree that the 'potentiality' of a life should be held as important, because (in my opinion at least) the life of the mother in question is far more so. A real life shouldn't be compromised in favour of a 'potential' life. Also, sperm and eggs are technically potential lives as well, and we let them die all the time. I admit that the following is taken from a "philosiraptor" meme, but it makes a good point; if abortion is murder, isn't masturbation genocide?
    March 26th, 2012 at 12:33am
  • Kurtni

    Kurtni (10075)

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    the sea:
    Did anyone notice the two ads at the top of the page?
    "ABORTION is a tragedy. Do you agree?" *insert photo of a baby* Paid for by Americans United for Life

    Also the "Defund Planned Parenthood" *insert link to sign petition.

    hmmmm......
    The ads are generated by your interests, so since you're posting in an abortion thread, you'll see abortion ads.
    March 26th, 2012 at 02:37am
  • dru is beautiful.

    dru is beautiful. (1270)

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    the fiddling imp:
    I also believe that abortion is indeed murder. Mostly because you're taking away the potential of a life.
    Using that argument, should a woman who falls down the stairs while pregnant be charged with manslaughter?

    Also, unless you have a magic ball, there's no way you can prove or no that fetus will make it to birth and become an infant. I mean, my birth control pill prevents pregnancy; so that's taking away the potential of a life. So does having your period.
    March 26th, 2012 at 04:09pm
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

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    dru saw the light.:
    Using that argument, should a woman who falls down the stairs while pregnant be charged with manslaughter?
    Does a woman who falls down the stairs while carrying her new born baby get charged with manslaughter?

    Abortion debates have been made unnecessarily confusing by language like this "potential of a life" - what does that even mean? A foetus is as much alive as you and I, how can anybody act as though a foetus, unless carried to term, is as dead as if it were already aborted? Or as though talking about foetuses in that way is an unbiased way to approach an abortion debate?
    March 26th, 2012 at 06:15pm
  • Alex; periphery.

    Alex; periphery. (140)

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    kafka.:
    Abortion debates have been made unnecessarily confusing by language like this "potential of a life" - what does that even mean? A foetus is as much alive as you and I, how can anybody act as though a foetus, unless carried to term, is as dead as if it were already aborted? Or as though talking about foetuses in that way is an unbiased way to approach an abortion debate?
    I think the phrase "potential life" tends to come from the (ridiculous) argument that "abortion is wrong because that child might have been the next Mozart, or found the cure for cancer". The two seem to have gone hand in hand in my experience of abortion debates.
    March 26th, 2012 at 06:35pm
  • Kurtni

    Kurtni (10075)

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    dru saw the light.:
    Using that argument, should a woman who falls down the stairs while pregnant be charged with manslaughter?
    No, because it's an accident, abortion isn't an accident.

    Legally speaking, you don't need a magic ball to charge fetal homicide, because according most state laws, the developmental progress of the fetus isn't relevant. Only about a third of states take that into consideration, and the federal laws don't at all.

    The "born alive" rule that people discuss is really a misused term, because the case it hails from literally involved an infant who was born alive and died shortly after because of a crime. With the enactment of the Unborn Victims of Violence act, and most state laws, you don't have to meet that requirement to be prosecuted for fetal homicide.
    March 26th, 2012 at 10:26pm
  • dru is beautiful.

    dru is beautiful. (1270)

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    ^
    I'll pose a different question then. Should a woman who has a glass of wine while pregnant be sent to jail for child abuse/endangerment?

    If, yes, what if the woman is unaware she's pregnant?
    March 28th, 2012 at 12:27am
  • A Drop On the Window

    A Drop On the Window (100)

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    dru saw the light.:
    ^
    I'll pose a different question then. Should a woman who has a glass of wine while pregnant be sent to jail for child abuse/endangerment?

    If, yes, what if the woman is unaware she's pregnant?
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a little alcohol while pregnant okay, like your example, because it only reaches the fetus in such a minuscule amount.
    So it would be a massive over reaction to jail her even if she was aware she was indeed pregnant.

    In my opinion, Abortion should remain an option for women up to a point. Suck as, I don't know, the end of the first trimesta, and once that point is reach abortion is no longer a free option.
    March 28th, 2012 at 12:58am
  • dru is beautiful.

    dru is beautiful. (1270)

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    ^
    One drink has the potential to cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. It doesn't mean it will, but it can. A lot of factors do matter, but one drink can cause FAS.
    March 29th, 2012 at 02:31am
  • Kurtni

    Kurtni (10075)

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    dru saw the light.:
    ^
    I'll pose a different question then. Should a woman who has a glass of wine while pregnant be sent to jail for child abuse/endangerment?

    If, yes, what if the woman is unaware she's pregnant?
    Of course not, because a glass of wine occasionally isn't abusive to a child or dangerous, in fact in later trimesters doctor's say a glass of wine can actually be beneficial as a stress reliever.

    I don't think your claim that one drink can cause fetal alcohol syndrome is supported by current medical research. 10-20 years ago, that was the belief, but in any of my BMS books, fetal alcohol syndrome is said to be caused by "excessive and consistent" exposure to alcohol. Fetal alcohol syndrome is a very severe disorder- more often than not, moderate drinking will cause low birth weight before fetal alcohol syndrome.

    I see the point you're trying to make- if a woman does something deliberate and intentional to harm a fetus, should she be punished, and does it matter if she doesn't know, and I would say absolutely, if the fetus is past the first trimester.

    If she doesn't know she's pregnant, I don't think that would be any different than say, accidentally killing someone. You can't be charged with murder without intent, and I think "fetal" abuse would be the same.
    March 30th, 2012 at 12:24am
  • The Master

    The Master (15)

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    Kurtni:
    If she doesn't know she's pregnant, I don't think that would be any different than say, accidentally killing someone. You can't be charged with murder without intent, and I think "fetal" abuse would be the same.
    Are people given sentences for involuntary manslaughter?

    Just a little enquiry since there seems to be many shades of grey to this manslaughter thing which might make this a bit...well, interesting to discuss.
    March 30th, 2012 at 02:06am
  • Kurtni

    Kurtni (10075)

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    The Master.:
    Are people given sentences for involuntary manslaughter?

    Just a little enquiry since there seems to be many shades of grey to this manslaughter thing which might make this a bit...well, interesting to discuss.
    I'm reading the legal descriptions of involuntary manslaughter and I'm not sure either of the two types (criminally negligent or constructive) would fit the bill, because in both cases you knowingly break a law, which leads to someone unintentionally dying. (Ie, you run a red light, and run someone over) If you're drinking/smoking and don't know you're pregnant, you're not knowingly breaking a law.

    I feel like in the summertime here, there is always unfortunate deaths of kids either camping or swimming and things like that, and even in cases where more parental supervision could have helped, or wearing a life jacket would have saved them, the parents are never charged because the death was accidental. It may be illegal on the books, but in practice, nothing comes of it.

    Though, this may be a bit of a moot point because if a woman doesn't know she is pregnant, and is drinking/smoking, how would anyone else know she is pregnant?
    I actually just assumed for some reason that this was an eniterly hypothetical discussion, but fetal abuse is prosecuted in some states.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=93022&page=1#.T3T_uzGGqzI
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    Even during her pregnancy, Brenda Peppers, an addict, smoked crack. Her daughter was eventually stillborn...

    Peppers never went back to drugs, but two years later, prosecutors in her home state of South Carolina slapped her with charges of abusing her unborn child by taking the cocaine....

    Peppers became one of about 200 women in 30 states who have been prosecuted in recent years for "fetal abuse."
    http://www.crlp.org/pdf/pub_bp_punishingwomen.pdf

    From what I've gathered- these aren't specifically fetal abuse laws, they use existing laws
    Quote
    Although no state has enacted a law that specifically criminalizes conduct during pregnancy, prosecutors have used statutes prohibiting abuse or neglect of children to charge women for actions that potentially harm the fetus.6 Some have also argued that pregnant women “delivered” drugs to “minor” children — fetuses — through the umbilical cord.7 In addition, a mother’s or newborn’s positive drug test has led to charges of assault with a deadly weapon (cocaine), contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and possession of a controlled substance.8 In cases in which infants tested positive and died soon after birth, women have been charged with homicide or feticide.9 Some women have even been prosecuted for drinking alcohol10 or failing to follow a doctor’s order to get bed rest or refrain from sexual intercourse during pregnancy.11
    The second source is obviously not a neutral source (center for reproductive rights) but it has some really interesting information.
    March 30th, 2012 at 02:28am
  • Skittlemeister.

    Skittlemeister. (150)

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    Since the last time I was here, I have slightly changed my opinion. I myself still don't one hundred percent support abortion, but I'm not one to damn every woman who gets one. I would never get an abortion, no matter the circumstances.

    What I think needs to be done are two things: regulate abortion and make birth control more accessible. If birth control was more accessible, there would probably be less abortions performed, and educate women on how to properly use birth control. What I mean by regulating abortions is that after a certain number of abortions in a certain amount of time, the woman should be advised to get her tubes tied/hysterectomy, doesn't mean she has to, just advised.

    In my opinion, that is the only way to appease both sides. But I know that there would be people out there condemning the easy access to birth control calling people sluts when they should be grateful that women would be trying to take better care of themselves instead of having to raise unwanted children.
    March 31st, 2012 at 09:07pm
  • Kurtni

    Kurtni (10075)

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    Skittlemeister.:
    What I mean by regulating abortions is that after a certain number of abortions in a certain amount of time, the woman should be advised to get her tubes tied/hysterectomy, doesn't mean she has to, just advised.
    That sounds like a horrible abuse of government power to even suggest sterilization to anyone, and like you buy into the stereotype that women who have abortions are sluts and get them flippantly.

    Do you realize this stereotype of a woman who gets an abortion every other month is not a real person nor a legitimate concern? That's pro-life propaganda at its finest.
    April 1st, 2012 at 04:12pm
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

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    ^ Not to mention that such an attitude assumes doctors are complete idiots - repeated abortions can pose very serious health risks, of course your doctor will mention this and offer to give you additional information on your birth control options. One imagines that with how widely accepted shaming women for having abortions is, if you're "lucky" enough to have an especially preachy doctor who assumes you're an idiot, you might even get a whole lecture on how to properly use birth control / why you should get sterilized.
    April 1st, 2012 at 09:23pm