Abortion Laws, Pro Life or Pro Chice?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by sultan_of_agrabah, Jun 7, 2002.

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  1. Terr_Mys Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    Yes, in fact all members of the animal kingdom (including humans) are dependent upon other organisms to survive - but does that mean we're not living beings? Certainly not. Dependency and life are two completely different things. Humans are considered 'dependent' upon their parents until age 10 or so, I believe.
  2. womberty Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    Darth_SnowDog:

    How can you compare a fetus, which in its entirety comprises an individual human life, with an organ or tissue? An organ is not an individual, nor is it really "alive" in the sense that a human is alive. Life can go on without a kidney, or with half a liver, etc., but a life cannot go on when the entire body is destroyed. We apparently mean different things when we talk about "life".

    Compare a second-trimester fetus with a prematurely born baby (say, around 5 months?) on life support. It would be very easy to cut off the child's life support and simply let it die. However, I and many others might accuse the person who did so of killing that child. Is it murder? It doesn't seem much different from an abortion.

    Regardless of what you personally think on that matter, I think in general there is a problem with people's perception of abortion. If you were to ask pro-choicers whether it's okay to let preemies die, what do you think the response would be? They can no longer say "it's the woman's body", because indeed, in this case it is clear that the child is completely separate from its mother's body. Would they still allow the mother to simply let the child die?

    I think most people after considering that situation would say there is no reason for the mother to let the child die (assuming a case where there is a reasonable chance the child will survive and go on to be a healthy baby). However, when faced with a fetus at the same stage while still in the womb, these pro-choicers will insist that the mother has a right to terminate the the child's life. But where is the difference?
  3. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Pro-choice and pro-life are both humanist movements. They seek specifically to advance the human race in different ways, all of which are selfish motivations.

    Ultimately the desire to propagate is a selfish one. Of course, I'm not attaching a value to selfishness, positive or negative... but let's face it... pro-choicers want the choice for their own ends, and pro-lifers want to restrict or prohibit choice for their own ends.

    Would the same pro-lifers be willing to accept that I can come into their house and tell them they can no longer preach religion to their children because it robs them of the freedom to choose as they will? Would the same pro-lifers allow me to promote sexuality because sexuality also promotes potential life? Would the same pro-lifers allow me to come into their house and preach Hinduism which teaches respect for all forms of life?

    Pro-lifers, in my opinion, are not concerned with the preservation of anything but their own genes. This is a completely natural endeavor... but then, ironically, most pro-lifers would refuse to see it this way. Why? Because to acknowledge this would mean they are no more advanced or primitive in their instincts than any other animal... and to be an equal amongst all other animals on earth is a thought that the conservative right finds rather repulsive.

    Pro-choicers are also not concerned with anything but the preservation of their own rights. The difference being, they make no pretense about for whom they are actually fighting.

    Let me clearly state again, I am neither pro-life nor pro-choice. I am simply a person who believes that if you don't like the idea of abortion, fine, don't do it. No one put a gun to your head telling you to. If you like the idea of abortion, go ahead and do it... but be aware of the responsibilities and consequences that come along with sexuality.

    We in America are preaching an extremist mentality either way. On the one side you have people saying everything is their right, on the other hand you have people trying to tell everyone else what they can and cannot do.

    America has turned into a multiple-choice nation... either A or B or C... as if there's no gray area in the universe. With power comes responsibility. Yes we have the power to terminate a life. It is a fact... as much as some want that power to simply vanish. (If I polled pro-lifers how many of them support banning firearms, I wonder what the response would be...). As much as we want to believe we can completely eradicate abortion, we cannot... we are faced with the grim reality of having to actually think through life, ladies and gentlemen. Yes, that's right... imagine that... a world where you actually have to make choices for yourself... instead of having institutions make them for you.

    That's life. Life is not multiple choice... it's not fill-in-the-blanks, either. Life is one big essay question... to which there is no one right answer.
  4. Dacks Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2001
    star 2
    StarFire:
    This is where you bring up an argument, instead of this ad hominem stuff ...
    Yeah, I believe I did say why I didn't think your focal point was "the" focal point. I just don't like seeing people saying "your moral issues are irrelevant" because you're simply dismissing the opinions of people who don't agree with you, which makes you the worst type of debater.
    So you agree that abortion in the Third Trimester should be outlawed?
    I think it's a little ridiculous that someone would wait that long before an abortion. But that's a secondary point relative to the fact that I am pro-choice.

    I am wondering, do pro-lifers think it is okay to EVER have an abortion? Morally, that is, irregarldess of what the constitution or law may say. Frankly, when it comes to moral issues, I'm not really concerned about laws at all. Why? Because laws should reflect the moral opinion of the people, not the other way around.

    Anyway, so, especially StarFire, if a woman is in a situation where there was no possible way she could prevent becoming pregnant, do you believe she should be able to get an abortion?
  5. sultan_of_agrabah Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2002
    star 1
    No, if in fact she knew that she would become pregnant prior to having sex. then no. It's her fault, and if she is selfish enough to sacrifice her baby just for sex? she deserves the repurcussions.
  6. Kit' Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 1999
    star 5
    How is she sacrificing her baby just for sex?

    Abortion is a HUGE event in someone's life (I know someone who eventually went through with one after much soul searching). It is something that is going to effect them for the rest of their lives and definitely quite badly in the short term. They feel they are doing the right thing and the best thing for themselves and for the baby.

    After reading this debate over the last couple of weeks or so, I have really come down on the pro-choice side of the fence. Granted the pro-life people have a point about the baby, conciousness, and human rights (after the third trimester). But until that time I still believe that the woman in question should have the final choice.

    Kit
  7. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    Womberty, if you aren't religous, (I never said YOU specifically were or meant to imply you were stupid,) then why do you think a cluster of random cells is a human? I mean, it's like tinier than a pin. You really believe that a week old fertalized embryo/fetus whatever is a human being with the same rights as you and me?

    I do not. It's how you define life. There is no set in stone definition for anything, it is up to us to decide. And since a fetus has no brain and it's got less soveregnty than a freaking ANT, why consider it a life? Don't think in terms of grand philisophical truths and government's right to protect life, (I would be somewhat ok with ending abortion if we also ended the death penalty.) But in any true sense, a fetus cannot think, live on its own, it is not yet sentient (sp?), and I believe a mother has a right to decide if she wants a child growing inside her.

    Even if you can't get past the idea that a fetus is not a human, think about this. If a 25 year old man needs a kidney transplant or he'll die, and his 44 year old father is the only match, the father does not HAVE TO BY LAW give him his extra kidney. The law CANNOT force him to. Sure, it's abhorrant and morally questionable, but under the law it is not enforcable. Similar to abortion.

    In addition, who says that because you had or have sex you MUST accept the responsibility? Where is that law written? It isn't, and you would like it written I know, but why is it when a women consents to sexual intercourse, she is accepting a baby if she gets pregnant? I mean, if she gets the CLAP, does that mean that since she had sex, and got the clap, now she has to live with the clap forever because its a consequence of having sex? NO!!! Because it's not! You can get rid of the clap! You can get rid of the fertalized embryo, no harm, no foul.

    Well, perhaps it is morally repugnant, but it is NOT illegal, nor should it ever be. You can't stop people by making crazy laws. I feel like the anti-choice movement has made a grave mistake in trying to force their overzealous beliefs on EVERYONE by trying to make it LAW. If you ever read the Supreme Court Decision in RoeVWade, I think you'd have a better understanding of why this decision is BEYOND the scope of our laws.
  8. womberty Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    Obi-Wan McCartney:

    I do understand why you think that the pro-life movement is mostly comprised of religious people who believe abortion is morally wrong. It's because that's the only face you are ever shown, by the media, of the pro-life movement. Any time there's a debate, they'll bring in a radical feminist woman to represent the pro-choice viewpoint, and a religious figure (the last one I saw, they brought on Jerry Falwell) to represent the pro-life viewpoint. That's probably a misrepresentation of both sides.

    I agree with you that we can't base laws on religious and moral beliefs. We can't outlaw labor on Sundays, or premarital sex, or the eating of certain types of foods, because those are only "wrong" from a religious standpoint.

    The things that can be regulated by law are the actions that affect people's ability to exercise their rights. We base our laws on the protection of indivividual rights to life, liberty, and property. This is why we can outlaw theft and murder. Therefore, we can also outlaw abortion, if it is murder.

    So the focal question from a legal standpoint really is whether or not a fetus is a living human being with the same rights as everyone else.

    So the question you asked was, why do I consider a clump of cells to be a human life? Because technically, scientifically, it is. There's no moral beliefs involved. In fact, some people who believe abortion is morally wrong late in pregnancy might be convinced that it's okay in the early stages because maybe the child doesn't have a consciousness and therefore isn't what they believe to be a human life.


    a fetus cannot think, live on its own, it is not yet sentient

    If we could determine a point at which the fetus can think (have brain activity, for example), would you support a ban on abortions after that point?

    Do you really think a child is sentient at the time of birth? I don't think most comprehend their ability to think & reason until a few years later... but that's no reason to deny them their life.


    I believe a mother has a right to decide if she wants a child growing inside her.

    I believe the same, which is why I would like to see more education on the general public on the use of birth control. I don't believe that this choice supercedes a child's right to live once the mother has already made her choice. Yes, I understand that many woman (mostly young girls, probably) are not thinking about pregnancy when they engage in sex. That is one of the basic problems here, and if we could overcome that, abortions would be virtually unnecessary.


    Even if you can't get past the idea that a fetus is not a human, think about this. If a 25 year old man needs a kidney transplant or he'll die, and his 44 year old father is the only match, the father does not HAVE TO BY LAW give him his extra kidney. The law CANNOT force him to. Sure, it's abhorrant and morally questionable, but under the law it is not enforcable. Similar to abortion.

    This isn't exactly the same thing. You see, during an abortion, they don't just deliver the baby and see whether it will live or die. They kill it in the womb -- after all, you wouldn't want the mother to have to deal with any nasty scars.

    Perhaps it would be a more accurate analogy if the man had a 10 year old son, and didn't want to be financially responsible for him any more, and decided to kill the boy to relieve himself of the responsibility. He has no right to do that, does he?


    In addition, who says that because you had or have sex you MUST accept the responsibility?

    Many of our laws are about taking responsibility for one's actions. That's why we prosecute things like negligent homicide.

    We also hold fathers responsible for sex if the mother decides to keep the child. Do you think we should stop making men pay child support?
  9. Aanix_Durray Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2001
    star 4
    I'm Pro-life, but I do not base my opinions on religion.

    A human embryo is pluripotent (having full potential for developement) and should be treated as a future human with all the rights that that entails. This doesn't apply to sperm or eggs because they will not develope into humans unless they are combined.

    I don't see how anyone could say that abortion is ever 'best for everyone,' death isn't beneficial to the child. I don't think you would think it was best if you were the child.

    I also appose the methods of abortion, which are entirely inhuman.

    ~~~Aanix
  10. Rebecca191 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 1999
    star 6
    I don't see how anyone could say that abortion is ever 'best for everyone,' death isn't beneficial to the child. I don't think you would think it was best if you were the child.

    But that's exactly the issue here. An embryo can't think!
  11. womberty Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    An embryo can't think!

    So, at what point can a child think? Are then suddenly given this ability at birth??

    Should we be also able to euthanize people with low IQs because they "can't think"?

    This is exactly why unborn children need the protection of the law -- because they don't yet have the capacity to protest in their defense. You don't have the right to kill anyone simply because they can't form the words to tell you not to do so.

    You say an embryo can't think. What about a fetus? What about a newborn child, who only acts in instinctive response to his or her environment? I could argue that a newborn has no capacity for reason, but that gives me no right to take its life. Now, explain to me the difference between that newborn and a fetus in the third trimester. Then, explain to me the difference between the third-trimester fetus and one in the second trimester. Then in the first. Can you honestly find a definitive line to be drawn between "embryo" and "human life"? If not, how can you defend a practice that could very well be terminating what you consider to be an individual human life?

  12. Rebecca191 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 1999
    star 6
    A third trimester fetus has a chance of survival outside of its mother. So I do not think abortions should be allowed at that point. I'm not sure on the second trimester, but during the first trimester, they should most certainly be allowed. I can't see myself ever getting an abortion, except under extreme circumstances. But I support the right to have one early on. To me, an embryo is certainly not the same thing as a living, breathing, newborn.

    And if the fetus has no chance of survival outside the mother, I do not consider it an individual life.
  13. Dacks Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2001
    star 2
    A fetus cannot live if the mother dies.

    A newborn baby can.

    Hence, a fetus is still part of the mother, and she decides its fate.
  14. womberty Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    And if the fetus has no chance of survival outside the mother, I do not consider it an individual life.

    So, your definition of an individual life is one that can survive independently? What about premature babies that need an incubator or life support in order to survive? Are those not individual lives until they can breathe and function on their own?


    A fetus cannot live if the mother dies. A newborn baby can. Hence, a fetus is still part of the mother, and she decides its fate.

    Some premature babies cannot live if they are not on life support. Are they therefore part of the machine that keeps them alive?
  15. Rebecca191 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 1999
    star 6
    They are independent because they are not living in another human being.
  16. Darth_Nemesis Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 3
    I have no opinion, because I'm male I wouldn't know what it's like. But people should realize that after a certain point your killing a person.
  17. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    Quite frankly, I do not see why prosecuters can't bring an abortion doctor to trial for murder. As far as I know, murder is still illegal. Since there is no definition of human life, it is theoritically (sp?) possible for a judge to rule a case of abortion as murder.
  18. Darth_Nemesis Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 3
    Except abortion is legal within the first 3 months I believe, in America that is.
  19. womberty Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    They are independent because they are not living in another human being.

    So your definition of an individual human life is something like, "one that is not living within another human being"? And so, again, effectively drawing the line at birth? You know that a child is alive -- and is an individual life -- sometime before birth. I'm not saying it's necessarily independent, but it's still an individual with rights.


    I have no opinion, because I'm male I wouldn't know what it's like

    Some of the fetuses being aborted are male. And I'm pretty sure there was a male involved in the creation of each fetus. So, it's okay to have an opinion.

    Actually, that's another point where I have a problem with the pro-choice supporters. They insist that abortion has only to do with women's rights. They don't give any consideration to the child's rights or the father's. A father cannot decide to keep his baby if the mother decides to abort it. Of course, if she decides to keep it, she can hold him fully responsible for child support, even if he would have preferred to abort the child. Doesn't anyone else see this as unfair?


  20. Rebecca191 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 1999
    star 6
    My definition of an individual human life is more one that has the ability to survive outside another human. So a fetus just before birth would be included. But an embryo or early fetus certainly wouldn't.
  21. womberty Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    My definition of an individual human life is more one that has the ability to survive outside another human.

    So, even though the child has its own brain, internal organs, etc., it's not an individual life? Does it share a consciousness with its mother? Or does it have no consciousness? (If you say no, how can you be sure?)

    Again, I'd like to go back to the example of prematurely born children. Most of them would probably be unable to survive without the help of today's medical machinery, but that doesn't mean they're not individual lives. Independence and individuality are not the same thing.
  22. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    A hotly debated topic, this is.

    Abortion should never be used as birth control. Abortion is a heart-wrenching decision for most. Abortion should not receive federal funds in the US.

    Neither should faith-based charities.

    The point I am trying to make is that both arguments have merit. Unfortunately, as is common with many issues, the extremists tend to be the ones everyone remembers.

    Those who support the right to choose often get so caught up in 'rights' that they don't stop to think about the consequences of their actions.

    Those who do not support choice often are far too rigid to fit the average moderate.

    There are misperceptions on both sides. The pro-choicers argue that all anti-choicers are religious fanatics, and the pro-lifers argue that a significant number of abortions are performed both late in pregnancy and electively (ie not for medical necessity). Factually, many pro-lifers are absolutely not religious fanatics, whereas the overwhelming majority of abortions are performed within the first twelve weeks of pregnancy-those coming later almost exclusively being for medical reasons.

    I have to come down, personally, on the pro-choice side. I am not 'comfortable' with abortion the way many people are, but IMHO, the consequences of outlawing would be much worse than they are now. Abortion would continue-illegally. The people who would suffer are those who were poor, as the rich would go elsewhere for them. Society as a whole would shelter the burden of not only unwanted children, but injured mothers who perform septic abortions (or go to others for them).

    From a legal standpoint, whether or not abortion is guaranteed in the preamble's promise of 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' is based on whether or not one strictly interprets the constitution. To a strict interpreter, the right to privacy does not exist, and therefore the government should be allowed to regulate such things as abortion, and even sexual activity (laws banning the use of condoms between married couples existed in connecticut until 1978 when overturned by the US Supreme Court).
    To a liberal interpreter such as myself, the constitution is a living, breathing document whose interpretation must change with the times in order to best serve the people it governs. I'm not saying that one way is better than the other way, simply that I feel that a right to privacy does exist and that abortion falls into that right.

    Another thought here is how one defines life. I support the right to choose because I do not feel that a ball of cells, while potential, is equal to a human being. This is devaluing one and overvaluing the other, in my opinion. To many, life involves synergy-being more than the sum of our parts. A religious person will say that this something is a soul, given by God. Others might believe in a force, like the kind Mace Windu used to open up a can of whup-a$$ on Jango Fett in AOTC. But to some, believing that we are more than the sum of our parts requires a leap of faith that cannot easily be made.

    It is for that kind of thinking that abortion remains legal. Not that our culture doesn't value life, but that faith, in whatever form it takes, is a personal issue, and we haven't yet chosen to elevate it above that. To clarify, the 'idea' that we may be more than the sum of our parts is not a legal reason to take control of a woman's body once conception occurs. We have not chosen to make pregnancy punishment for having sex, in the name of faith of any kind. Let the debate continue.

    End of speech.

    V-03
  23. womberty Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    IMHO, the consequences of outlawing would be much worse than they are now. Abortion would continue-illegally.

    While I understand your reasoning, it makes no sense from a legal standpoint. If abortion is murder, it should be a crime, and there is no reason why we should legalize it to make it easier on the criminals. We don't do that for other crimes; why do so here?


    Another thought here is how one defines life. I support the right to choose because I do not feel that a ball of cells, while potential, is equal to a human being.

    How can you make a legal definition of life based on how you feel?


    This is devaluing one and overvaluing the other, in my opinion.

    Actually, failing to consider a fetus a human life devalues that life, and is precisely what makes abortion acceptable to so many people. You value an adult life over a fetus based on your own perception, but the law should value both the same.


    To clarify, the 'idea' that we may be more than the sum of our parts is not a legal reason to take control of a woman's body once conception occurs.

    The 'idea' that a grown woman is more valuable than an unborn child is not legal reason to deny that child its life.


    We have not chosen to make pregnancy punishment for having sex

    We have made children a form of punishment for having sex, for men at least. We require them to pay child support, whether they intended to have a child or not. I'm not suggesting that parents be relieved of their child support responsibility, I am just suggesting that women should be held just as responsible as men. If a couple has unprotected or poorly protected sex, and it results in a pregnancy, both parents are responsible for that child.
  24. Rebecca191 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 1999
    star 6
    Actually, failing to consider a fetus a human life devalues that life, and is precisely what makes abortion acceptable to so many people. You value an adult life over a fetus based on your own perception, but the law should value both the same.

    I value an infant's life more than I value a fetus, actually. I think children are more valuable than adults in many ways. But I do not believe that a fetus is a child. And I do not think the fetus has the "right" to live for 9 months in the mother if it is unwanted.
  25. womberty Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    And I do not think the fetus has the "right" to live for 9 months in the mother if it is unwanted.

    But then what gives it the "right" to live in its mother's house for the next 18 years if it's unwanted?

    Every human has the basic right to live, and every parent has the basic responsibility to care for their children.
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