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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:14 pm Reply with quote  
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  Cerrinea
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Actually the rate of spontaneous abortion (miscarriage to the layperson) is probably pretty high, with the highest incidence occurring within the first 4 to 8 weeks of fertilization, but definitely before the second trimester begins. It's hard to track the actual number because often the spontaneous abortion occurs before or shortly after the female misses her period. Often a spontaneous abortion is mistaken for a late period.

However, there are exceptions to this. In my own case, I had two back to back spontaneous abortions (miscarriages). One was in the second trimester and one was at 10 weeks. These were both situations where anomalies were present -- which is usually the reason for spontaneous abortion, but not always. There's no clear understanding why I didn't abort in the first trimester with the one pregnancy, which is the norm in cases where the presence of anomalies make life unsustainable.

I can only speak for myself, but losing those pregnancies was a heartbreaking experience. However, I also felt relief that while I was faced with one traumatic situation, nature had prevented an equally heartbreaking and traumatic situation.
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:18 pm Reply with quote  
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  Autobon
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Taral-DLOS wrote:
Before I get into my position in the debate, as a biologist, I want to clarify something: DNA does not decide gender. The expression of DNA decides gender.


Though is not DNA then still responsible for determining which sex you will end up as? If it is simply potentiality, does that not still turn this debate into an argument of deriving personhood from development? Clearly no matter what the gender is at a specific point in time, the unborn will develop its own unique gender as it grows. Which gets back to my original point anyways, however minor it was to begin with; the gender is unique to that of the mother.

I will note though, I could care less what the gender is. It is a living being's designation to the human species that gives it personhood. Its biological makeup, both actual and potential, are genetically determined. This is the only logical starting point from which we can derive the idea of personhood. As such, the unborn ought to have human rights since the moment of conception.

Quote:
I am pro-choice. A woman should have every right to end a pregnancy if she feels it is the right choice. She should never be forced to have one or to not have one. Choice is key.


Every civilized society puts restrictions on an individuals freedom to choose, when that choice would harm an innocent person. If I were to say that I was pro-choice and therefore supported a man's right to rape a women, since it is his own body and carnal desires, you would think me insane. If I were to say he is free to choose, and we have no business imposing our morals on him, you would think me to be evil.

This is because you would correctly realize that a person's right to choose does not include the right to harm others. You also would admit that the right to life supersedes anybody's right to choose. There is a hierarchy of rights: Life , liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

So lets be a bit more clear when we use the word "choice." I most certainly am pro-choice, however when it comes to the murder of innocent human beings, I am most certainly pro-life first.

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Ergo, as a man, I almost feel that being anything other than Pro-Choice is wrong. It is not my place to decide what a woman should do with her body.


So to continue on from my last point, the argument then is not about women's rights, but about human rights. If it is about human rights, then I as a male most certainly have a right, even an obligation to speak out on the subject. If the unborn are humans, and therefore require human rights, then all other discussion on the topic becomes secondary. Economics, right to choose, politics etc. The unborn would be treated like any other child or human in those discussions.

Quote:
putting a baby up adoption is not necessarily a reasonable alternative, if there is a chance that they could be stuck in an uncaring "system" for 18 years.


There are so many good people that want children. I can tell you about it first hand. Our family is in the process of adopting four children and there are so many people we know attempting to do so as well. The process is time consuming and expensive though, which pretty much eliminates almost everyone without disposable income. The laws and bureaucratic crap that impedes adoptions ought to be fixed. Yes, our system does suck, so lets fix it! If not for the sake of all the children that are in there to begin with. Killing an unwanted child though, is whats truly the most unfair course of action.

Quote:
And then there's Rick Santorum, who thinks that a rape baby is a gift from God.


Why is it wrong to say that a baby is a gift from God? A politician that respects life should be celebrated not condemned. You are twisting his words to mean "rape is a gift from God," which he most certainly is not saying.

Quote:
In conclusion, it is my opinion that the abortion issue is not about murder, or the life of an unborn baby, but an issue about women's health.


But if we agree that the baby is truly its own unique person and part of human society, then why can we deny it rights? Why would the discussion of the unborn differ at all from the discussion of a 1 month old baby? Whats the difference if not development stage?

Quote:
I would add real quick one important point: outlawing abortion will not eliminate abortion. All it will do is drive it underground (not unlike alcohol prohibition in the 1920s). Women will still get abortions, but it will be unregulated and dangerous. The number of women who get sick or die from having abortions in unlicensd, unregulated, unmaintained facilities will skyrocket.


This was one of the main arguments brought up around the time abortion was legalized. One of leaders of the pro-abortion movement, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who later became pro-life, said this:

“In NARAL [National Abortion Rights Action League] we generally emphasized the drama of the individual case, not the mass statistics . . . When we spoke of the latter it was always “5,000 to 10,000 deaths a year.” I confess that I knew the figures were totally false, and I suppose the others did too . . . But in the "morality" of the revolution, it was a useful figure . . . The overriding concern was to get the laws eliminated, and anything within reason which had to be done was permissible." (Nathanson, Aborting America, p.197).

After Nathanson admitted this, the CDC looked into it. According to the CDC, only 24 women died from illegal abortions in the year before Roe v. Wade. And interestingly enough, that number got higher following the legalization of abortion!

This argument is also one that has never made much sense to begin with though. We have laws against things like burglary, rape, murder, etc. That these things continue to happen does not mean we should legalize them. Laws are meant to discourage harmful behavior, not encourage.



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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:05 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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@Taral: Okay, I was just wondering how often 'spontaneous abortions' occured. Either way, I don't think it counts as an excuse to terminate a pregnancy. Why would it?

I would consider Plan B on the same plane as abortion morally. So, no, I don't think it should be legal. I reserve the right to change my mind on this, though, because I literally haven't thought about it until today. But, for now, I don't see why not.

Autobon wrote:
This is because you would correctly realize that a person's right to choose does not include the right to harm others. You also would admit that the right to life supersedes anybody's right to choose. There is a hierarchy of rights: Life , liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.


May I echo these words?

Autobon wrote:
Why would the discussion of the unborn differ at all from the discussion of a 1 month old baby? Whats the difference if not development stage?


I was just thinking about this before I got on here! Things like brain function, circulation, breath etc. aren't really what separates Man from foetus. Being human means having hopes, dreams, fears, loves, hates etc. A foetus doesn't have any of these. But then neither does a newborn. Why are people horrified at the killing of a newborn, but not of a foetus when all that is really different is that the baby has taken a few breaths (there might be a few more physical differences, but you get the idea)?
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:19 pm Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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Reepicheep wrote:
@Taral: Okay, I was just wondering how often 'spontaneous abortions' occured. Either way, I don't think it counts as an excuse to terminate a pregnancy. Why would it?


I'm just going to jump in here: I think it would count as a reason to terminate a pregnancy because it isn't voluntary if I've understood things right. It just happens whether you wanted it to or not. No way in heck do you have a chance of outlawing that.

Perhaps I've misunderstood the intent of your statement in which case I apologize.
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:09 pm Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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Salaris Vorn wrote:
Reepicheep wrote:
@Taral: Okay, I was just wondering how often 'spontaneous abortions' occured. Either way, I don't think it counts as an excuse to terminate a pregnancy. Why would it?


I'm just going to jump in here: I think it would count as a reason to terminate a pregnancy because it isn't voluntary if I've understood things right. It just happens whether you wanted it to or not. No way in heck do you have a chance of outlawing that.

Perhaps I've misunderstood the intent of your statement in which case I apologize.


Congratulations, mein freund, you are more intelligent than the legislators in Georgia who wanted to criminalize spontaneous miscarriage. http://www.newser.com/story/112773/georgia-state-rep-bobby-franklin-wants-to-make-miscarriages-abortions-punishable-by-death.html

In brief, if it cannot be proven that human involvement was not the cause of a miscarriage (note: this is both difficult/impossible to prove AND seems to violate the age-old innocent-until-proven-guilt rule), then the woman can be charged with murder.

This is not the first State to do this. Google pointed me to similar laws in Utah. My wife follows www.jezebel.com (celebrity scandal, but also women's health news), and I follow www.thestranger.com/savage. They both rant on proposed laws like this.
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:15 pm Reply with quote  
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I would just like to point out that the overwelming majority of pro-life advocates are debating elective abortions, not miscarriages. This is certainly the mainstream position. It is important we be very clear on that.


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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:28 pm Reply with quote  
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  Cerrinea
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@Salaris: spontaneous abortion is never a choice. It's the result of an inability to carry the pregnancy to term for a variety of factors. Some of them may be on the mother's side such as an Rh factor. Often it's because the pregnancy itself isn't viable. In that case spontaneous abortion is nature's way of dealing a "mistake".

Reproduction is an incredibly complicated process, one where things can naturally go wrong at many stages. It actually amazes me that humans can successfully reproduce at the rates they do considering how complicated the process is. Often what happens is that the cells just don't divide properly. Other times chromosomal abnormalities occur. Sometimes things just go wrong. Nature's not perfect and sometimes it doesn't perfectly take care of things. I used to be a post-partum nurse (after birth), and I witnessed some real tragedies when nature did not function correctly. There's very few things sadder than telling new parents that their newborn child has no chance at life, is going to die soon, and there's nothing that can be done to fix the problem. These occurrences aren't as rare as people think they are.
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:42 pm Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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^True dat.

I'd like to quote from one of my favourite books, Watchmen:

Dr. Manhattan wrote:
Thermodynamic miracles...events with odds against so astronomical they're effectively impossible, like oxygen spontaneously becoming gold. I long to observe such a thing. And yet, in human coupling, a thousand million sperm vie for a single egg, multiply those odds by countless generations, against the odds of your ancestors being alive; meeting; siring this precise son; that exact daughter...until your mother loves a man she has every reason to hate, and of that union, of the thusand million children competing for fertilization, it was you, only you, that emerged. To distill s specific a form from that chaos of improbability, like turning air to gold...that is the crowning unlikelihood. The thermodynamic miracle.


That was from the ninth issue of Watchmen, and was translated neatly into the movie. Dr. Manhattan was thinking first that miracles are not real, because only things that can happen to happen. Until he realized that he was surrounded by miracles, and that every living person is a miracle. It's thinking like that that keeps my faith.

My position on abortion remains the same, and I don't think there's anything that can be said to make me change that position, but I look forward to further discussions. I don't think that the unborn have rights until they are born, and imposing the morals of one to an entire country isn't right.
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:01 pm Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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Autobon wrote:
Taral-DLOS wrote:
Before I get into my position in the debate, as a biologist, I want to clarify something: DNA does not decide gender. The expression of DNA decides gender.


Though is not DNA then still responsible for determining which sex you will end up as? If it is simply potentiality, does that not still turn this debate into an argument of deriving personhood from development? Clearly no matter what the gender is at a specific point in time, the unborn will develop its own unique gender as it grows. Which gets back to my original point anyways, however minor it was to begin with; the gender is unique to that of the mother.

I will note though, I could care less what the gender is. It is a living being's designation to the human species that gives it personhood. Its biological makeup, both actual and potential, are genetically determined. This is the only logical starting point from which we can derive the idea of personhood. As such, the unborn ought to have human rights since the moment of conception.


I believe you may have missed my point. The presence of DNA and the expression of DNA are not the same. I can genetically turn a male zygote into a female, and vice versa, using genomics.

Determining that an unborn fetus is a person -- or is not a person -- is a moral imposition, which neither you nor I nor the legislators have a right to do.

Autobon wrote:

Quote:
I am pro-choice. A woman should have every right to end a pregnancy if she feels it is the right choice. She should never be forced to have one or to not have one. Choice is key.


Every civilized society puts restrictions on an individuals freedom to choose, when that choice would harm an innocent person. If I were to say that I was pro-choice and therefore supported a man's right to rape a women, since it is his own body and carnal desires, you would think me insane. If I were to say he is free to choose, and we have no business imposing our morals on him, you would think me to be evil.

This is because you would correctly realize that a person's right to choose does not include the right to harm others. You also would admit that the right to life supersedes anybody's right to choose. There is a hierarchy of rights: Life , liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

So lets be a bit more clear when we use the word "choice." I most certainly am pro-choice, however when it comes to the murder of innocent human beings, I am most certainly pro-life first.


I think you're taking my comments to absurd conclusions. In your rape example, the man's health is not in question. It's not as if "the man has the right to choose to rape, and if he doesn't he might die." Conversely, with a woman choosing abortion, her health may be in question.

Autobon wrote:

Quote:
Ergo, as a man, I almost feel that being anything other than Pro-Choice is wrong. It is not my place to decide what a woman should do with her body.


So to continue on from my last point, the argument then is not about women's rights, but about human rights. If it is about human rights, then I as a male most certainly have a right, even an obligation to speak out on the subject. If the unborn are humans, and therefore require human rights, then all other discussion on the topic becomes secondary. Economics, right to choose, politics etc. The unborn would be treated like any other child or human in those discussions.


Again, we're placing human values on the unborn. You believe this should be so. I do not. We've reached an impasse.

Autobon wrote:

Quote:
putting a baby up adoption is not necessarily a reasonable alternative, if there is a chance that they could be stuck in an uncaring "system" for 18 years.


There are so many good people that want children. I can tell you about it first hand. Our family is in the process of adopting four children and there are so many people we know attempting to do so as well. The process is time consuming and expensive though, which pretty much eliminates almost everyone without disposable income. The laws and bureaucratic crap that impedes adoptions ought to be fixed. Yes, our system does suck, so lets fix it! If not for the sake of all the children that are in there to begin with. Killing an unwanted child though, is whats truly the most unfair course of action.


I TOTALLY agree with you here. I'm just saying that it's an imperfect system. If a woman is considering aborting a fetus in City A, and City A's adoption system is wrought with corruption and abuse, then that might come into her decision.

Autobon wrote:

Quote:
And then there's Rick Santorum, who thinks that a rape baby is a gift from God.


Why is it wrong to say that a baby is a gift from God? A politician that respects life should be celebrated not condemned. You are twisting his words to mean "rape is a gift from God," which he most certainly is not saying.


I know you didn't mean to, but you struck a nerve. Never tell me I twisted that man's words. This is the man who wants to deny basic rights to 10% of the US population, whom he compares to child molesters and animal rapists.

And I am not saying "rape is a gift from God." It isn't. It's a terrible affront to life. But he's saying that women should be forced to keep a daily reminder of the horrors to which they were subjected. And that's wrong too.

Autobon wrote:

Quote:
In conclusion, it is my opinion that the abortion issue is not about murder, or the life of an unborn baby, but an issue about women's health.


But if we agree that the baby is truly its own unique person and part of human society, then why can we deny it rights? Why would the discussion of the unborn differ at all from the discussion of a 1 month old baby? Whats the difference if not development stage?


It is difficult-to-impossible to draw firm lines, except at the moment of birth. To me, the baby becomes a person as of birth. Until then, it is part of the mother, fully integrated, and can be removed if need be. That's my opinion. Yours differs. That's cool.

Autobon wrote:

Quote:
I would add real quick one important point: outlawing abortion will not eliminate abortion. All it will do is drive it underground (not unlike alcohol prohibition in the 1920s). Women will still get abortions, but it will be unregulated and dangerous. The number of women who get sick or die from having abortions in unlicensd, unregulated, unmaintained facilities will skyrocket.


This was one of the main arguments brought up around the time abortion was legalized. One of leaders of the pro-abortion movement, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who later became pro-life, said this:

“In NARAL [National Abortion Rights Action League] we generally emphasized the drama of the individual case, not the mass statistics . . . When we spoke of the latter it was always “5,000 to 10,000 deaths a year.” I confess that I knew the figures were totally false, and I suppose the others did too . . . But in the "morality" of the revolution, it was a useful figure . . . The overriding concern was to get the laws eliminated, and anything within reason which had to be done was permissible." (Nathanson, Aborting America, p.197).

After Nathanson admitted this, the CDC looked into it. According to the CDC, only 24 women died from illegal abortions in the year before Roe v. Wade. And interestingly enough, that number got higher following the legalization of abortion!

This argument is also one that has never made much sense to begin with though. We have laws against things like burglary, rape, murder, etc. That these things continue to happen does not mean we should legalize them. Laws are meant to discourage harmful behavior, not encourage.
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You are making some assumptions here. First, that abortion is "harmful behaviour". I don't think that it is. I think that it can be, if done wrong, but isn't in and of itself. If it were widely considered "harmful behaviour" then I might agree. But it isn't. This same debate is also used when debating legalizing prostitution. Significantly fewer women are harmed in fully regulated brothels than by pimps on the streets.

Even in the absence of statistics, my point is sound. A medical procedure done by doctors with the support of their College is better than being done in an alley by a dude with a coathanger.

Yay fun debates!

Please let me know if/when I offend though.

Thankfully this debate isn't common in Canada. It's legal here, and the existing Conservative government doesn't seem to want to cancel it. Indeed, the man who made it safe for women to get healthy abortions was given the Order Of Canada a few years back.
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:15 pm Reply with quote  
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  Autobon
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EDIT: I have incorporated my responses in my post below


Last edited by Autobon on Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:50 pm; edited 2 times in total


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Taral-DLOS wrote:
I believe you may have missed my point. The presence of DNA and the expression of DNA are not the same. I can genetically turn a male zygote into a female, and vice versa, using genomics.


I want to point out that I made it very clear I was concerned with the humanity of the child, not the gender. As for your point on genomics, it requires you to impede on the natural development of the child. I have been very consistent in pointing out that DNA determines both the actual and potential biological characteristics of a human being. That DNA, once complete, assures that the child will be a human person. This is true in 100% of cases.

Quote:
Determining that an unborn fetus is a person -- or is not a person -- is a moral imposition, which neither you nor I nor the legislators have a right to do.


If we determine the fetus to be a person, granting it human rights, and then kill it, we have broken the most important moral right of all human beings: the right to life. It is one thing to believe removing a lump of cells is amoral, but quite another to believe this to be the case in regards to a human life. Maybe I misread what you posted, but it seems as though regardless of what is determined of the unborn, human or not, you would not grant them human rights (which are rights based on morals).

Quote:
I think you're taking my comments to absurd conclusions. In your rape example, the man's health is not in question. It's not as if "the man has the right to choose to rape, and if he doesn't he might die."


Oh but clearly a women's health is a red herring argument. Even in 1967, Dr. Alan Guttmacher of Planned Parenthood acknowledged, "Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal illness such as.. leukemia, and, if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save, life." According to Dr. Landrum Shettles (Rites of Life) operations to save a mothers life account for about 1% of all abortions. So if you are for abortions only in the case of serious risk to the mother's life, then I will grant you your position today and abortions will effectively have been eradicated.

Quote:
I TOTALLY agree with you here. I'm just saying that it's an imperfect system. If a woman is considering aborting a fetus in City A, and City A's adoption system is wrought with corruption and abuse, then that might come into her decision.


You cannot improve abortion though. It always ends in death. Surely we can work together to promote adoptions and healthy alternatives. Why don't we remove some of the red tape surrounding the adoption process? Why cant we improve children's services and give aid to unmarried mothers? Why don't we foster an atmosphere of care and love and open our homes to women in need? Why must a women be forced to choose between death or misery?

Would that not be a far better world? Sure, you can take a pessimistic outlook on life and say this can never happen, but we have already seen that when groups of people share a goal they can achieve amazing things. Look at charity's in this country. The United States, and many western countries give unbelievable amounts of time and money to the betterment of mankind. There are still a lot of great people in this world, so lets focus on something positive instead of something negative.

Quote:
I know you didn't mean to, but you struck a nerve. This is the man who wants to deny basic rights to 10% of the US population, whom he compares to child molesters and animal rapists.


I simply think you took that specific quote out of context. I am not hear to argue about gay rights or any of his positions.

Quote:
But he's saying that women should be forced to keep a daily reminder of the horrors to which they were subjected. And that's wrong too.


Since when did the child commit the crime of rape? Is it fair to pin the crime on the innocent unborn and then give it the death sentence, meanwhile the father gets away with little to nothing? This seems to be the case all too often and it is horribly twisted.

I of course do not want to downplay the horror's of rape, which are real, clearly. But if we really want justice for rape victims, lets go after those who are guilty of it, not sentence an innocent person to a punishment that does not even begin to fit the crime. Abortion wont heal the trauma of rape.

Quote:
It is difficult-to-impossible to draw firm lines, except at the moment of birth.


You are on the incredible fringe with that opinion, and for a reason. Is it logical to think that a few inches of skin is what separates a living, breathing, functional human baby from personhood? A line may be difficult to draw for you, but certainly it can not be drawn at or near birth. The most staunch of abortion supporters would find this horrifying, so how can you possibly justify that?

The only line we can draw is at conception. It is at that moment we can logically conclude a life has been initiated. This is not a pro-life position either. There is an overwhelming consensus among scientists that life begins at conception. Dr Patten's textbook, Human Embryology states this, Jp Greenhill and Friedman both agree with this, Potter and Craig in Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant agree with this. Even scientific references such as Encyclopedia Britannica, TIME and Atlas of the Body agree. I could list much more, but clearly, almost everyone agree's that life itself starts at conception.

This seems to be a far more logical line to draw then anywhere else, certainly more logical then at birth. The only problem with life at conception is that it brings with it certain implications that the abortion industry does not like to think about.

Quote:
You are making some assumptions here. First, that abortion is "harmful behaviour". I don't think that it is. I think that it can be, if done wrong, but isn't in and of itself. If it were widely considered "harmful behaviour" then I might agree.


I have explained why the unborn are human, and thus murdering them is harmful. Lets take a look at the issue from a women's point of view though. While I wont go through the various abortion procedures due to their inappropriate graphic descriptions, I will say that they are incredibly discomforting, painful, and many times traumatic to women. Any of the available methods are unnatural and invasive.

Studies also indicate that women who got abortions were seven times more likely to die from suicide (Finland National Research and Development Center for Welfare and Health) are five times more likely to abuse drugs (Elliot Institute) and Women's World reported a study in which 45% of women said they had suicidal thoughts following their pregnancy due to grief, guilt and anguish.

So harmful is a very good description of abortion. In fact, I think its far too polite a word to use.

Quote:
Please let me know if/when I offend though.


You will never offend me, I promise, so you need not apologize for it. I have been called a racist, women hating, bigot, nazi, monster that will burn in hell, etc. I think I can stomach anything you throw at me Razz



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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:52 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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I took the time to read all posts before writing, as to avoid any uncomfortable missteps :D .

First off, thank you very much, Mara, for your kind words. They made me smile and blush in equal measure. Now I just have to make sure I don't mess it up!

Autobon wrote:

Yes, they pretty much all do. My argument however, was that DNA is the only way to logically draw a line as to whether something is human or not. Once we have established that the baby is human, then we must give it the same human rights endowed to others. Arguing personhood from a basis of development is illogical and impossible. You have demonstrated this when you mentioned "12 to 24 weeks." You clearly have a problem with drawing a line since there is no logical point at which to do so, therefore you give a very broad gap in weeks, as if saying "that should hopefully cover my margin of error."

But when dealing with a human life, this highly fickle boundary simply will not do. If you are not 100% sure as to whether or not you will terminate a life, you need always err on the side of caution. This concept applies to every activity we humans engage in.


I think we can all be certain that the thing growing in a human woman is indeed human, so I don't think that we should be granting human rights solely on that, but rather on when it is alive (or 'actively human') or not. After all, dead bodies contain human DNA, yet we do not afford them the same rights. We grant them rights of decency, but not human rights. I'm also pretty sure that, of the entirety of the DNA strand, only five percent of it is actually useful. Everything else is just leftovers. With that in mind, I put less stock in DNA making the man than thought, expression, and the ability to do so.

Though if you want me to be very exact when talking about the period of 12 to 24 weeks, I can. However, I believe it was best to write it in this way, because it saved me from delivering a long winded explanation. Here's the long-winded explanation (the compact version): At 12 weeks the brain and heart are at a point where they're capable of functioning. However, not all babies grow at the same rate, so that it can be anywhere between 12 to 24 weeks. After 24 weeks, it's almost a certainty that a foetus has these two components, and UK law (and US law, I believe, but I'm not as familiar with that) recognises that this is what gives it life, and thus to do so is wilful murder, though if it can be proven that the unborn baby has these, when an abortion is taking place in this 12 week period, then abortion will not be performed.

Without those components, I have no problem with an abortion being performed, because it is up to the mother, and because at that point it's a comparison between what we know, now, as compared to what might be. I believe that if we were to enact laws on what might be, no matter the level of certainty, and that can be a very dangerous precedent to have in the legal system.


Quote:


If we were to truly define personhood by thoughts, heartbeats, and such, we would get into some very ridiculous complications. There are countless situations in which a vital body part my stop functioning for a period of time. Do the humans in such dilemmas cease to be persons for that amount of time? Why do we try to revive those in cardiac arrest? If we define life by a heartbeat, then clearly they do not possess human rights any longer. Their heart stopped working.


Why would that complicate things? Anyway, I now realise we're not on the same level. I'm trying to determine what makes a human alive (see below for my full explanation: *), you're trying to determine what makes it human. These are not the same thing. I use the word 'personhood' to denote a lifeful human being. If I'm reading you correctly, then you feel personhood is simply the amalgamation of cells and genetic structure that makes us meatbags of water, human; human/human being, etc.

Do the humans in such dilemmas cease to be persons for that amount of time? Why do we try to revive those in cardiac arrest? If we define life by a heartbeat, then clearly they do not possess human rights any longer. Their heart stopped working.

No, they cease to be alive. Those in cardiac arrest can still have a functioning brain, unless it's untreated, in which case clinical death is a certainty, and they then become brain dead. Our capacity to live, to be a person, lives in the brain, the mind, not the heart. The heart gives life to the ability to be a person (ie, the mind), and if that goes, then the brain follows shortly after. Someone can still have a beating heart, yet if they're brain dead, then that's generally when someone is considered to have died, and when the doctors ask us relatives for permission to turn off the life support. I should point out, I'm not a medical professional (as far as I'm aware, the only one here who is is Cerrinea, and I ask her to expand on this, or correct this, should it need it).

* Science tells us that, before 12 weeks, it is just a lump of cells that, while it is on its way to becoming human, is not fully formed into a full-human, and not alive and sentient by legal definition (that stating that they start at the same time). After that, it is to be legally (and perhaps scientifically-I'd have to ask Taral if that is the accepted consensus of the scientific community. I can only state that the scientific community here deemed it so, and thus the law reflected it) thought of as fully human, and alive, and thus to be given human rights, but not before. Though I think the politics over there might be different. Again, I'm not familiar with US law (or Canadian law).

Quote:
And thoughts? What about when your sleeping. You are not a rational and thinking being during deep sleep. Are you less human when sleeping? And what about babies that are born, or those that are mentally handicap? Are they less human because their thoughts might not make it to the same level of logic as yours?

Clearly we cannot define human rights by our thoughts, or what parts of our body work or do not work. It is a fickle line to draw. DNA and its designating of you as human is the only stable definition we can use for personhood.


I believe I included thoughts in a previous post, but if I didn't, then my mistake, because I'd intended to. During sleep, we may not be having rational thought, but we are thinking nonetheless. But, then again, some people are awake yet aren't capable of rational thoughts. Living next to an asylum, I'm aware of this very keenly. But I didn't say it's graded on the level of thought that makes us human, merely that we are capable of such thought. Though I do believe that testing with non-invasive medical equipment has recorded higher brain function in babies.

Quote:

This anology is incorrect. DNA is not random words written in a book, it is a novel of the most unimaginable logic. If it were an unintelligible sequence, you would not form as a human being!


Again, only about 5% of that is actually used. Though I do disagree that it's a novel of 'unimaginable logic'. There is a lot of it, very true, but in time I'm confident that we'll be able to make sense of it all. However, I did not say that it's an unintelligible sequence, merely that that's only what makes us human, and only a part of what makes us human beings. For instance, there is a gene, the MAOA gene, which has been found in very many serial killers. It was also found in the very man who discovered this gene, and discovered this link. Yet he's not a serial killer. This is what I mean by that we're more than the sum of our parts. He had very loving parents, and a very happy, good childhood, and he believes that because he had this, and the serial killers didn't, that he didn't become one of them. It's because foetuses after a certain point have a heart, a brain, access to higher cognitive thought, that we cease to be just human, and become more.

Quote:

The number I gave was 50 million over a period of about 40 years. Let me give you a comparison though. About 2.5 million people die in America every year. About 1.3 million babies are aborted every year. That is a ridiculously large number and in every way a big deal.


Technically it's 1.2 million. However, I did a little bit of research and some place called the guttmacher institute stated that 'Each year, two percent of women aged 15–44 have an abortion. Half have had at least one previous abortion'. That's really not a lot, comparatively. A big number, yes, but only two percent. Though a bigger number: Twenty-two percent of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion. Though hose numbers looks a little suspect (I haven't had a time to do the maths on it), I'm willing to accept it as accurate since it was earlier introduced as a factual source.

Quote:
Its DNA is 100% complete before then, dictating what gender it is. You are simply arguing personhood from a development standpoint. But this is like saying that a 2 year old girl is less a person then a fully developed female. It is untrue.


Taral answered this to my satisfaction.
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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:03 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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@Autobon:
I would like to raise that I am not on the extreme fringe when it comes to judging when a human is human. Birth is the legal standard. A person is alive as of birth, according to the law. Otherwise you're right, abortion would be murder. But if a person can have an abortion and not be thrown in jail (as is true in Canada and most US states, I believe), then she is not committing murder. That's fairly black-and-white.

And you can't define a fetus as "living, breathing." Fetuses don't breathe.

Also, "That DNA, once complete, assures that the child will be a human person. This is true in 100% of cases." is untrue. You misunderstand again. The gender argument is merely an example of my larger sentiments. DNA DOES NOT DECIDE ALL. The EXPRESSION OF DNA is important. A significant portion of your DNA is from genetic viruses that implanted themselves into our cells eons ago. That is not to say we are viruses. Only a very small percentage of our DNA is expressed. The expression of DNA is controlled through epigenetics (which happens naturally within cells every day, and can be artificially induced). Proteins which are designed to facilitate the expression of specific genes can go wrong. To say that, because a person's DNA is human, they must become human, is incorrect. They might become a mass of gangly cells (like when people have parasitic twins, which are basically just mass of random cells that resemble specific organs). They might become tumors. They might die in utero. Not a 100% guarantee that they'll be human. Expression of DNA is more important than existence of DNA.

Also, please stop telling me that I'm misinterpreting Santorum quotes. I've been following this case for nine *expletive* years. I know what I'm talking about.

But I think I'm going to step back from this debate for a while. At this stage, we're just destroying each other's points, and it all falls back to one moral distinction: I believe that a woman's right to choose is more important than the potential life inside her, and you believe that the life insider her takes priority. Neither of these are wrong, since they are part of our personal morals.

It's funny, I genuinely assumed that everyone on this board would be pro-choice. But then I realized that we're united by Star Wars. Not by politics or religion or anything else like that. Infinite diversity in infinite combinations, am I right?
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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:08 am Reply with quote  
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  Cerrinea
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Quote:
Those in cardiac arrest can still have a functioning brain, unless it's untreated, in which case clinical death is a certainty, and they then become brain dead. Our capacity to live, to be a person, lives in the brain, the mind, not the heart. The heart gives life to the ability to be a person (ie, the mind), and if that goes, then the brain follows shortly after. Someone can still have a beating heart, yet if they're brain dead, then that's generally when someone is considered to have died, and when the doctors ask us relatives for permission to turn off the life support. I should point out, I'm not a medical professional (as far as I'm aware, the only one here who is is Cerrinea, and I ask her to expand on this, or correct this, should it need it).


You basically got it right, Life. Because of the advances in medical treatment in the last half of the 20th Century, and as a result of a significant medical/legal case in this country (Karen Quinlan), lack of or significantly reduced brain function is the criteria used to establish non-viability of life.

Just to complicate things, though, you can live without any brain function except for your brain stem. The brain stem is also called the lizard brain or primitive brain. The brain stem basically keeps your alive because it controls your autonomic functions (breathing, etc), but with only a brain stem you'd basically be synonymous to, say, a shark. There is no higher functioning by the brain stem; no thought process that would distinguish us from a primitive life form.

Also, when it comes to fetal development, there's a defect that occurs in every one in 1,000 live births (which is a lot statistically speaking). It's called neural tube defect where the neural tube does not close. One result of ntds is anencephaly which is an absence of a large portion of the brain, the cerebrum. Infants born with this condition are almost always blind, deaf and unconscious. They will die, usually within days of birth. It is a terminal condition.
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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:55 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Shocked It's hard to keep up with this thread...

Let me first clarify what I meant by
I wrote:
@Taral: Okay, I was just wondering how often 'spontaneous abortions' occured. Either way, I don't think it counts as an excuse to terminate a pregnancy. Why would it?


I was in no way implying that the mother (or father) is guilty of a ‘spontaneous abortion’ or that they should be punished if said event occurs. That would be absurd. All I meant is that the fact that there is such a thing as a miscarriage is a red herring. Most foetus’s become human beings, the miscarried ones are the exceptions to the rule.

Dr. Manhattan wrote:
Thermodynamic miracles...events with odds against so astronomical they're effectively impossible, like oxygen spontaneously becoming gold. I long to observe such a thing. And yet, in human coupling, a thousand million sperm vie for a single egg, multiply those odds by countless generations, against the odds of your ancestors being alive; meeting; siring this precise son; that exact daughter...until your mother loves a man she has every reason to hate, and of that union, of the thousand million children competing for fertilization, it was you, only you, that emerged. To distill s specific a form from that chaos of improbability, like turning air to gold...that is the crowning unlikelihood. The thermodynamic miracle.


I love that part of Watchmen! I think it’s interesting that you brought that up though, because I think that quote is a pretty good argument for pro-life. Re-read the quote and think of the foetus that’s being aborted. There has never been an organism like it and there never will be again. Terminating it is a tragedy.

Taral-DLOS wrote:
Conversely, with a woman choosing abortion, her health may be in question.


I know this was addressed to Autobon, but I’ll restate my position on this. If being pregnant/having a baby is dangerous to the mother’s health, I agree that the state cannot tell the mother not to have an abortion simply because the state cannot force someone to give up their life or choose between two lives. That said, I will always commend a mother who puts her baby before her personal health as a hero.

Taral-DLOS" wrote:
And I am not saying "rape is a gift from God." It isn't. It's a terrible affront to life. But he's saying that women should be forced to keep a daily reminder of the horrors to which they were subjected. And that's wrong too.

As a Christian, here’s my response to the statement ‘a baby is a gift from God’. Rape is not a gift from God. Saying that would be absurd. However Christianity teaches that God can turn a bad situation on its head and make good come from it. The baby can be blessing in that sense. Hopefully that makes sense.

Taral-DLOS wrote:
It is difficult-to-impossible to draw firm lines, except at the moment of birth. To me, the baby becomes a person as of birth.


Why is that though? There is really very little difference between a baby that’s just about to come out of the womb and a baby that has just come out of the womb.

Taral-DLOS wrote:
Thankfully this debate isn't common in Canada.


Not of Steven Woodworth has his way. Wink

Now there’s a politician I might actually vote for…

Taral-DLOS wrote:
Neither of these are wrong, since they are part of our personal morals.


No. Either pro-choice or pro-life is right. If neither are right, one is closer to the mark than the other. If you don't believe this there's no point in debating.

Taral-DLOS wrote:
At this stage, we're just destroying each other's points, and it all falls back to one moral distinction: I believe that a woman's right to choose is more important than the potential life inside her, and you believe that the life insider her takes priority.


I'll agree with this. Should we wipe the slate clean and start with the question of whether a woman's right to choose or an unborn baby is more important?
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Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.


Last edited by Reepicheep on Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:11 pm; edited 1 time in total


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