Abortion (v5) Now Discussing: Wrongful Life

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Lowbacca_1977, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. Autonomous Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2010
    star 1
    I've been thinking a lot about my views on abortion recently. I personally find it repulsive (as in, when I watch abortion scenes in movies such as Cider House Rules, I get physically ill), and as a Christian, I do believe it is wrong. However, I would stop short of calling it murder or homicide, except perhaps in the case of 3rd trimester abortions, however often they may or may not occur.

    My biggest question was whether US law should necessarily mirror Christian doctrine. I started with the Ten Commandments, which are arguably the most famous Biblical mandates. Some thou-shalt-nots, such as murder and stealing, are law (albeit with caveats). Some, such as adultery, are generally considered to be morally wrong and a good way to end a career in politics, but are not illegal. Others, such as using God's name in vain, are so common I'd venture to guess that most Christians are numb to it or even disregard it entirely.

    Of course we're never ever going to have anti-adultery or anti-"Jesus-Christ-as-a-curse" laws (heck the latter isn't even a JC rule anymore), so what about abortion? It's not even a Biblical issue; it's more of a debate as to when life actually begins - one that could be made on purely philosophical and scientific grounds in the absence of religion. I'm still internally debating my beliefs on that one, but I don't think a ball of cells, and especially a single fertilized cell that isn't even attached to the uterus, should be considered a legit person with full legal rights.

    To summarize, I don't believe that Christian doctrine should dictate US laws. And as I've thought about abortion, I've realized that I am probably pro-choice, in that the law legalizing abortions exists, and is therefore a right in the United States. While I am personally against abortion, if a woman feels that is her only option, it's her decision to make and it's perfectly legal, and I'm okay with that.

    Now about Mississippi, I read in this article:
    The idea for personhood was born during Roe v. Wade's oral arguments, when Justice Potter Stewart said, "If it were established that an unborn fetus is a person, you would have an impossible case here." Now, Personhood USA is trying to use the amendment to establish "personhood" as a direct challenge to the Roe v. Wade ruling.
    And here's my biggest problem with the personhood law. AFAIK scientifically, philosophically and legally, it hasn't been established when the unborn are treated as a separate person. (Correct me if I'm wrong. I know nothing about how legal charges work when a pregnant woman is killed or somehow endangers herself and her unborn child.) Regardless, Personhood USA is a Christian ministry forcing the general populace* to comply with a very specific set of religious beliefs under the guise of the law. It's reprehensible.


    *I realize it will pass if a majority of citizens vote for it, but my point still stands.
  2. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Southerners are really that stupid. And yes, it's a generalization, but from all of the decisions that have been accepted down there, they're well on their way to the bottom of the trash-heap.
  3. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    Autonomous,

    In answer to your query regarding what happens legally if a pregnant woman is killed and her unborn child dies with her, the murderer is charged with 2 counts of murder, the woman's death and her unborn child's.

    If she tries to commit suicide or takes drugs and loses the baby, there are very few states that make that a crime that I know of at the present time, unless this law in Mississippi passes. I am really sure it will be declared unconstitutional, tho.

    And I am one of those women who would not have an abortion unless I were sure the baby would be born with serious handicaps. And with the DNA testing that we have available today, that surety is pretty much guaranteed.

    I very strongly believe that these types of issues are medical issues that should only be between the woman and her doctor and the government can butt out, except to make sure that the procedures used are safe.

    One thing the Roe vs. Wade attorneys found out was that there was really no pressing moral issue with the anti-abortion laws, it was because the procedure used for legal abortions was not safe.

    If this law in Mississippi passes, we will be seeing more "No more wire hangers" posters.

    And the state I live in will have this issue on its ballots next November. I will be voting "no."

    Speaking of the "Cider House Rules," the only abortion scene I had trouble with was the one where the girl had used a 'foreign object' to abort herself and had damaged herself to the point that she either died (I can't remember) or had to have a hysterectomy to repair the damage and thus could no longer have any children.

  4. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Because the former is a crime, the latter is also a crime, even though it's only occasionally enforced. That said, there are women right now facing charges for suicide attempts that resulted in a termination of a pregnancy.
  5. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    Lowbacca,

    I've heard of only a few states that have such proceedings. I don't think the state has any business prosecuting a woman for a miscarriage that resulted from an unsuccessful suicide attempt. I can only hope that the jury in said case has more brains/common sense than the prosecutors.

    On the other hand, if a woman really wants to have a baby and loses it because of a traffic accident that is the fault of say, a drunk driver, then that drunk driver should face murder charges because the woman really wanted the baby.

    Or if it was an attempted or actual murder of the pregnant woman.

    It falls under the rubric of 'choice.'

    Unfortunately, as my ex-husband, a former law student said, "Law isn't based on logic or common sense, it's the law."
  6. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I think that part is absolutely wrong, because that absolutely isn't a person. Murder is the killing of a person with malice aforethought. I don't care if "she really wanted the baby", it's not a person yet, it's not murder yet. That would be like saying if someone caused someone else to be infertile, so that they couldn't have children in the future, that that's murder because they really wanted to have a baby.

    It either has the rights of a person or it doesn't. A woman causing a miscarriage and a drunk driver causing a car crash are both violating those rights if they exist. I would strongly contend that they don't, but if they do, then it should be across the board.
  7. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    It's been defeated by ~55-60% (still being counted)... that's a (pleasant) surprise!


    When a clear majority in Mississippi says a zygote is not a legal person, then the pro-life movement is effectively over.

    Their last hope has been to declare you become a person at conception, but when Mississippi says that goes too far once they learn of the legal consequences, it's history.

    Inconsistent, part-way, anti-abortion measures will still be around... but if they can't do this, then they'll never be able to win the long war. If it loses in Mississippi, and it wasn't even close, where can it possibly win?



    Prepare for another Romney flip-flop.
  8. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    My faith in red necks just went up a few points. [face_peace]
  9. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Already gearing up for it tonight at the debate! :D
  10. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    As a recovering southerner, I'm moderately proud of the rednecks. It would have been a whole lot better if the proposition had never been on the ballot, but I hope it was a reminder to whatever more moderate political forces remain in those states of the need to participate and stay vigilant.

    Personhood for embryos is legally unworkable. Everyone involved should have known and understood that from the start.
  11. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    Lowbacca,

    I watch a TV show called "I (Almost) Got Away with it" about criminals who manage to escape justice for a time, but then get caught. In one of them, a guy killed his pregnant girlfriend in the state of Illinois and was charged with both her murder and that of her unborn child, which, by the way, she had planned to abort.

    It depends on the circumstances and the state, when a fetus is considered a 'person.'

    But, I think it goes way too far to say that 'personhood' begins at conception, because anything can happen in those intervening months between conception and birth.

    I am glad that the law didn't pass in Mississippi. You can rest easy now, Jabba!

    I think one of my college friends said it best. He said, "The only reason for my mom to have me was because she loved me and really wanted to have me. If she were just forced to carry me to term by law, then she becomes just a machine doing a job and that is a world into which I would rather not be born."
  12. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    So, she could kill the fetus and it's legit, but if he does it, its murder? Either it's protected or it isn't, imo. It's dishonest to do otherwise.
  13. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    Lowie,

    Like I said, the law is not logical or consistent.

  14. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    My point is that you've talked about what should happen, not what happens under the current legal structure.

    "if a woman really wants to have a baby and loses it because of a traffic accident that is the fault of say, a drunk driver, then that drunk driver should face murder charges because the woman really wanted the baby."

    Emphasis mine
  15. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    Sorry, Lowie. Under the current law in California and in Illinois (the two states I am familiar with) the law is that the person responsible for the death of the fetus under the circutmstances of murder or causing a car accident while intoxicated is charged with murder.

    I haven't heard of any cases where the woman was charged with a crime for causing the death of her unborn fetus because she tried to commit suicide. It's only other parties that have been charged.

  16. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    There are no inconsistencies here.

    The laws in question simply act on where they define legal "personhood." In the case of both these states, the charges would be appropriate because a fetus who had attained legal personhood was killed by the intention and/or negligent actions of another individual, against the mother's wishes. It's the same reason why the failed personhood amendment in Mississippi could have been construed to outlaw morning-after pills, IUD's, and certain forms of birth control.

    Seems pretty consistent to me.

    Peace,

    V-03
  17. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    The first post has a link to such an example, where they've expanded it to include the mother. The parallel I view it as, it would be, imo, ridiculous to say that women can kill their kids, but no one else can. And the legal attempts that do the same thing when applied to fetuses seem to be basically that to me. Saying a fetus can be murdered also indicates it's a person. And that is an incorrect step, I think, because of what else that implies.
  18. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    I understand your confusion. It's basically 'choice.' A woman has the choice to not have the baby if she decides she can't continue the pregnancy. A fetus is basically a parasite, in that it depends upon another being for its sustenance. So, the woman has the choice to continue to be the host or not.

    When a pregnancy is ended against the woman's choice, then that is murder in some states.


  19. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Yeah, but that last part is my point. That shouldn't be murder because, as you note, the fetus is basically a parasite, or a part of her body still. If a woman agrees to an amputation, that's a medical procedure. If I cut a woman's arm off, that's a crime certainly, but it's not murder. When we reach murder, we're talking about killing another person, and so to make killing a fetus murder is granting it personhood and removing the mother's right to choose. Because then we're letting her choose to have a person killed that depends on her for it's existence, and a similar argument could be made about a newborn.
  20. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    Not newborns, because they are not exclusively dependent on one human being for sustenance. Their care can be delegated to others like grandparents, aunts, etc. Anybody can take care of a newborn, but only the woman in question can carry the fetus. We haven't been able to transplant a fetus successfully, yet.

    I don't see how calling the unwanted loss of a fetus murder can be compared to the woman choosing to end the pregnancy. They are simply not the same. One is by choice and one is not.

    The law calling the loss of a wanted pregnancy by intervention of an outside source, like a drunk driver or a murderer, does not really confer personhood per se on the lost fetus. It just gives the courts one more count of murder to get that person off the street.

    The key word here is wanted.
  21. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Sorry to complicate things even further, but: by whom?

    It'd be unfair if it's just the mom.
  22. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Well, why don't we count molesting a child as murder to give another murder charge to get people off the streets with?
  23. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    Lowie,

    Apples and oranges. I'm not talking about taking anyone except a murderer off the streets. The guy in Illinois who killed his pregnant girlfriend also killed their unborn child by killing her. The state charged him with double homicide. He also had a long rap sheet of attacking/raping women. He stabbed one of his former girlfriends several times, but she survived.

    He was very violent towards women and would have killed again if he hadn't been stopped.

    Likewise, a drunk driver will likely be arrested again for drunk driving, with the possibility of causing another fatal accident.

    Child molesters are a whole 'nuther class of miscreants.