Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Lowbacca_1977, Oct 9, 2011.
I agree; basing the definition of life on medical technology proves problematic because as technology advances it shifts the line of viability towards the moment of conception. It was this very reason that Justice O'Connor asserted that "The Roe framework, then, is clearly on a collision course with itself." She recognized that a viability test forces courts to act constantly as science review boards even when the bench has little expertise in these matters and the scientific community itself has yet to reach a consensus. It's one of the reasons the Court's minority argued that these questions should be left to the state legislatures since they are better equipped to engage in this type of continual fact finding.
That medical framework is pretty hard and fast at the moment. There are a number of key issues making 20-24 weeks a pretty hard line regarding viability: profound neurological underdevelopment, surfactant levels in the lungs preventing adequate gas exchange, a relative lack of skin integrity, etc., all combine to make the developing fetus pretty nonviable before then.
My problem with this whole "people should get more abortions!" argument is that abortions screw women up. Admittedly, I do not know the science behind the neurological reaction to an abortion, and I do understand that every case is different, etc. But every single woman that I know who has gotten an abortion and has spoken to me about it (upwards of 10) has been emotionally damaged in some form or another. This isn't a religious agenda or argument or anything like that. Some of the women are atheists and some are religious.
So my question would is, are there any studies that have explored this? Am I crazy or atypical in my experiences? What's the data?
Sure, but I know women who have given a child up for adoption who have been emotionally damaged in some form or another by that as well.
An unwanted pregnancy is a traumatic thing, as are all its attendant consequences. I agree completely that the focus for young people should be on STD and pregnancy prevention, but reducing the social trauma and stigma imposed on women would reduce the psychological trauma, although not remove it.
But everyone's different. Promoting wider use of Plan B pills immediately after unprotected sex would help reduce some of that trauma.
As I've argued elsewhere, or maybe earlier in this thread, young people (older people too I assume) use alcohol to facilitate sexual encounters. You have to assume a lot of unplanned pregnancies occur because of impaired judgment at the time of procreation. The only way to really prevent that is, well, there is no way to prevent that. There is a baseline level of unprotected sex and unplanned pregnancies that will never be prevented, for a variety of reasons. For those, we need Plan B pills, and the in-school abortion clinic. Or at the very least, there should be an abortion clinic next to every high school in the same way there is a florist shop and monument company next to big cemeteries and funeral homes.
Exactly my point. Leave the line at "natural" viability, ie, when a fetus can survive without significant medical intervention to sustain life and development. This why, the constantly changing field of scientific development can be left out of it.
Any point that you pick after insemination is arbitrary. I mean, why should viability outside the womb mean anything and viability inside the womb mean nothing?
And i think we need more stigma and shame in society. Permissiveness only makes people stupid and irresponsible.
That's horribly simplistic reasoning and I'd fail you for putting forth such a terrible argument in one of my medical ethics classes.
Viability is very important because it provides an alternative to terminating the pregnancy (at least in principle). "Viability inside the womb" is a meaningless phrase.
The alternative to terminating the pregnancy is continuing with the pregnancy.
I see that the word "viable", when applied to a fetus, means capable of surviving outside the womb, which i guess is the silly point you were trying to make without actually making it.
Obviously, i was using viable in the ordinary every day sense of the word, which just means able to survive. But you knew what I meant...
It's not a silly point, Chuckles. Words mean things, and within an ethical context, it's important that you be specific with your meaning. Your irresponsible argument runs the risk of committing a fallacy of equivocation, in which meaningful differences are elided.
The point is that you are making very simplistic statements for an ethically complex topic, and saying that "anything after insemination is arbitrary" demonstrates profound ignorance about the actual biology involved as well as the nuanced theological and philosophical issues.
Do you really want to go down this road again and be embarrassed like you were in the atheism thread? You know that there's a reason I teach this stuff, right?
Viable has several meanings. Which one did I think was using? That you willfully misinterpret my meaning doesn't make me irresponsible. It just makes you look sort of petty. A normal human being would just say something like, "in this context, there is a very specific meaning for viable that I think we should use." But you don't do that. You just say my posts are meaningless without giving the reason why.
And you are profoundly ignorant of how to constructively interact with people who aren't experts in a field that you have studied. So I guess we're even.
I don't get embarrassed by online discussions. And I wish you would teach more, and troll less.
+10 irony points on accusing others of trolling, wannasee, given your history in the Senate.
If you object to my tenor, then I'm happy to continue in a more civil tone. The reason you got a snarky response isn't that you misused a term, it's that you doubled-down on your usage instead of recognizing that you might be using the term inappropriately (since we are getting into field-specific language). It's very clear that V03 and I were not using the "every day" sense of viability, and we took pains to explain the difference in the reasoning. At that point, you swept in with a generalization and began using the term inappropriately (and, in this context, meaninglessly, since "viability in the womb" doesn't carry any meaning in the abortion discussion, and is entirely encompassed by normal gestation). You were trying to make a rhetorical point, it failed, and then you doubled-down on it to try to score some face points. That gets you snarky responses. If you want to continue the discussion civilly, by all means we can, but it also means you shouldn't make grandiose statements if you object to being corrected.
And on that note, I'm off to eat lunch and give back-to-back lectures, so any further responses will have to wait until much later.
Well, if I do troll people it's with my ideas that differ from theirs (most of the time, although sometimes I slip). I don't troll people by saying things like "your arguments are rubbish" which is the kind of trolling I get from you.
lol Stop inventing. I didn't double down on anything. I made a post and you responded to it in a childish manner.
Actually, you didn't. V03 mentioned "natural" viability, which seems to indicate that he (or she) wasn't even thinking of the specific definition of viable in relation to fetuses. Otherwise, why the "natural".
Meh, I was using plain English to express a simple idea. Maybe I wasn't using English the way you wanted me to, but there was no reason for the snark, other than your own immaturity.
And I don't mind being corrected. Just don't be cryptic or ******* (female hygience product, adjective) about it.
Does everyone have an unqualified right to life? The answer is "no" and that applies to fetuses as well. The killing of a fetus is like the killing of a person, it necessarily falls into a'legal/illegal' dichotomy. I can be killed lawfully by the state or by another person in certain circumstances and so can a fetus.
There is no absolute 'right to life'.
Clearly, feticide laws were introduced as a measure to overcome circumstances where a pregnant woman is bashed or otherwise harmed resulting in the death of the fetus but no violation of criminal law occurs (due to definitions of "person" in the various statutes). The cases Lowie has referenced extend to harm inflicted on the fetus by the mother.
The legal killing of a fetus occurs in a different context to the illegal killing of a fetus, much in the same way as the legal killing of a person occurs in a different conbtext to the illegal killing of a person.
Personally, I believe in the legal right of the mother to chose whether she will terminate a pregnancy but I don't morally believe that abortion should be used as a contraceptive. If you want to be sexually active but do not want to procreate, use an appropriate contraceptive, don't use the legal right to terminate a pregnancy as a 'morning after pill'.
And those are laws I greatly oppose, even when it's from someone causing harm to the pregnant woman, because that should not be representing a life at that point. Yes, it should clearly represent a violation of law, but in the same way that cutting off a woman's arm is a violation of law, not in the way that killing her toddler would be. I hate that my state is one of the ones that considers it some fashion of murder to cause a pregnancy to be terminated.
LostOnHoth, you make an excellent point re. legal and illegal killing, however how can the state identify the fetus as a person for the sake of illegal killing (feticide) but not for the sake of legal killing (abortion). This is absolutely absurd. I agree that unlawfully terminating or harming a pregnancy should be a crime, but how can we afford the fetus the rights of personhood in such instances when the law does not recognise it as such?
What do you think abortion should be used for then? I never looked this up, but I was under the impression that people get abortions because they didn't realize they were pregnant, and by the time they found out it was too late for those really early-term contraceptives.
I think he was responding more to Jabbadabbado, who said girls should be getting regular abortions at their local Walgreen's, which I think/hope he was exaggerating.
Abortion will always be the last line of defense against pregnancy, since it's an invasive surgical procedure. Obviously, a condom is a more cost-effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancies, just as not getting fat is a cost effective way to prevent unwanted diabetes. And yet things go wrong.
Strictly speaking, abstinence is the most cost effective way to prevent pregnancies. Condoms cost money. Abstinence doesn't.
But there is a non financial 'cost' associated with abstinence, namely sanity.
That is true, but clearly having unprotected sex significantly increases the chances of pregnancy (among other things) whilst using a contraceptive significantly decreases the chances of pregancy. The point I am trying to make is that if a person wants to be sexually active but does not want to have children, then use a contraceptive to avoid falling pregnant in the first place rather than rushing off to the doctor for an abortion four times a year.
Except we all know that abstinence generally isn't practiced, especially with teenagers.
The urge to mate, so to speak, is the result of millions of years of evolutionary biology. While certainly the cheapest way to prevent unintended pregnancy, it is probably the most illogical method to promote in terms of public health policy.
My personal beliefs on the topic of Abortion are that it can be a good thing if utilized for good purposes and reasons. For example, if there are severe defects with the fetus which would severely impact the childs quality of life if it can even be entitled to it, ftm, then yes I fully support considering Abortion as a justified decision. Such conditions in which I feel abortion can be justified include (but are not limited to):
-Cystic Fibrosis (despite the many advancements in treating it along with a potential cure, I and no doubt many others would not want to subject a child to suffering from that disease until a definite cure is found)
Note: I could have also put Down's Syndrome in the list but at the same time, there are many cases in which the quality of life for DS patients turned out to be quite good despite the early Dementia and other problems associated with the condition even if Science is making breakthroughs for it, as well.
At the end of the day, though, it's up to the Parents to decide whether or not they are willing to terminate the pregnancy or keep it and take care of the child to the best of their ability.
I agree that the law is inconsistent as to assigning a fetus the status of 'personhood'. All I'm trying to say is that even if the law was applied consistently regarding the status of a fetus as a 'person' then that doesn't necessarily lead to the conclusion that abortion must be deemed illegal because the fetus is a 'person'. People are killed every day under legal protection.
I agree. My personal beliefs are similar.