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The Great Big Abortion Debate (READ THE FIRST POST!)

Discussion in 'Debate Forum' started by TheFightingPikachu, Feb 25, 2012.

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  1. TheFightingPikachu

    TheFightingPikachu Smashing!

    It has been quite some time since we had an abortion debate. I'd say we are due for another one. With special thanks to randomspot555 and mattj for reviewing this opening post, which was more than a month in the making, here's The Great Big Abortion Debate!

    I. Pro-Choice Arguments​

    The pro-choice side stands for abortion being basically legal. Though there may be some who would limit abortion, most stand for abortion on demand. In this view, an individual abortion does not need its own justification. Legally, a woman doesn't need to give a reason why she wants an abortion—if she wants it, she gets it. The very label "pro-choice" indicates this, and the fetus does not have any rights. It is fairly safe to say that just about any pro-choice advocate will cite one of the following five arguments in support of abortion being basically legal.

    A. The Main Four Arguments for Abortion
    The first four arguments are used much more commonly than the last one, and the they are also very easy to dismantle when compared to the last one.
    (1) A fetus is not alive
    Let's be clear: it obviously matters whether a fetus is alive. If it were true that a fetus is not alive, it could not be killed. It would be a mistake to object to killing something that isn't alive in the first place.

    But a fetus is alive. This is beyond question. Even before conception, the two reproductive cells are alive. Thus, the argument that a fetus is nonliving may be often repeated—spreading and multiplying in popular discussion—but it is dead wrong. As an argument for abortion being legal, it cannot stand.

    (2) A fetus is not human
    Some admit that a fetus is alive, but do not believe that it is human. Like the previous argument, this would clearly make a difference, because most of us understand that killing a cow is not murder. If the fetus is not human, it cannot be entitled to human rights.

    But, just like the previous objection, it is completely false. When two human reproductive cells unite, the result is a fertilized egg with a full set of human genes. Obviously, the fetus is not fully developed before birth, but it doesn't have to be to be human; neither is a seven-year-old, and seven-year-olds are undoubtedly human. One doesn't need to be an adult to be human.

    (3) A fetus is only a part of the mother
    Some come very close to realizing that a fetus is a human by saying that it is merely part of a human. If a fetus were merely an extension of the mother, abortion would be no different than removing a kidney or an arm. Having one's tonsils out or having an amputation is not killing anyone, only removing a part of the body. The implied right of privacy (first cited in Roe v. Wade) plays prominently in this argument, since a woman has control over her own body, and if she needs an arm or an appendix removed by a surgeon, the government shouldn't be interfering.

    Just like the previous two, it would make sense if it were true, but the fetus is not simply a part of the mother. It has some of the mother's DNA, that's for sure, but it also has some of the father's DNA. Your arm has your DNA (which you inherited from both your parents), not yours mixed with someone else's. A fetus is not part of a human, it is a human.

    (4) A fetus is a parasite
    Some see no problem with getting rid of a fetus because they call it a parasite. It is inside another life form, it gains energy from the mother, and often causes other undesirable effects like morning sickness. Who would argue that a mosquito should be protected?

    Before anything else, I want to point out how it blatantly contradicts two of the previous objections. Since only living things can be parasites, the idea of a nonliving fetus is incompatible with the parasitism argument. Also, a part of your body, like an arm or kidney, can never be a parasite even if it becomes dreadfully diseased. Therefore a fetus cannot simultaneously be a part of the mother and a parasite of the mother.

    Of course, not only do the people who use the parasitism argument need to make up their minds, they also need to get their facts straight. A fetus is not a parasite. Here are the definitions of "parasite" and "parasitism," as defined by Merriam-Webster's dictionary:


    Since a parasitic relationship must be between two organisms of different species, a fetus is not a parasite. Also, parasites usually enter the host from outside, while a fetus is born from reproductive cells—one of which is the mother's own. A fetus isn't taking energy from its host, and in fact the mother's body helps nourish the fetus. The relationship between a parasite and its host is fundamentally different from the one between a mother and offspring. (When parents are frustrated by their teenager eating them out of house and home, they might use the term in a humorous way that we know better than to take literally!) If a mother doesn't want the fetus, that doesn't make it a parasite. The sole purpose of calling a fetus a parasite is to make it sound like it has done something worthy of death, which is self-serving and revisionist. A fetus is offspring, and offspring are not parasites of their mothers.

    - - -
    The four preceding pro-choice arguments are fundamentally inaccurate. Perhaps that is why some attempt to patch them up by saying that these words have different meanings than their ordinary definitions. Consider the following three statements, especially noting the bold emphasis I've added:
    These quotes, particularly the last one (since when does the law take into account souls?), show people on the pro-choice side reduced to whining about the fact that the oft-repeated "fetus is not human" argument is poorly-reasoned garbage. A "metaphorical sense" of the word "human"? Please forgive me for thinking that this sort of hedging has no place in rational discussion. The ordinary definition should suffice.

    However, those who make these objections often have at the back of their minds a different pro-choice argument entirely, and that introduces us to the personhood argument.

    B. The Personhood Argument
    (5) A fetus is not a person
    Some argue that without certain higher-order thoughts, a fetus is not a person. To be a person, you need self-awareness, rationality, and some specific emotional capabilities. A fetus, it is argued, is neither self-aware, nor rational, nor capable of advanced emotions.

    I will wait to describe why this is supposed to matter. Before that, here are a few important challenges to the non-personhood of the fetus:

    First, note that the personhood argument is stated dogmatically. However, it may be worthwhile to note that the other four arguments are sometimes stated in less-dogmatic versions. For example, "We don't know when life begins," "We don't know when the fetus becomes human," etc. Thus, the personhood argument might be exaggerated, in which case it would be better stated, "We don't know when a fetus becomes a person." This removes a lot of the sting of this argument, since its whole point is that persons have certain rights (including a right to life). If the fetus might be a person, then it might have rights that abortion would violate.

    Second, when does a fetus become a person? Is it a person several days before birth? A few days after the start of the third trimester? Could it be before the third trimester? If a fetus has to become a person, the point at which it does is absolutely crucial to this argument, and the personhood argument itself indicates that no abortions should happen after that point.

    Third, with the fetus in a location that strongly hinders interaction with other persons, it's kinda hard to show that it couldn't start emoting or interacting rationally (on a newborn's level or slightly less) if it were outside its mother. Even a fetus three days before birth hasn't really interacted with the world. Thus this whole argument may reduce to "a fetus is in a location where it can't interact in certain ways." Of itself, it might not really be incapable of interacting using certain emotions.

    Fourth, it is not clear that personhood can be gained or lost. When a child is two hours old, it can't use language, it's reasoning is certainly minimalistic at best, and near-constant crying is not evidence of empathy. (And "self-aware" might be a poor label for some newborns.) I'm not sure a fetus can be excluded from personhood so easily.

    However, since I've already hinted at why the personhood argument is thought to matter to its proponents, I'll explain that with a quote:
    In the bold emphasis I've added, you see the foundation of the personhood argument. You also see its chief flaw. Just about everyone agrees that plenty of non-persons have rights and deserve moral consideration. I know of no one who would argue that a dog is a person, but dog fighting is rightly outlawed. We should have no problem recognizing that a fetus should begiven more consideration than a dog.

    Some argue that the law is species-ist if something like a cow can be killed while a fetus can't. "Why should the law favor humans?" they ask. Yet the laws of just about every nation favor humans, since no nations of which I am aware allow animals to, say, own property or enter into business contracts. The decision in Roe v. Wade was supposed to be based on language in the Constitution; it was not ostensibly an interpretation designed to radically change how we view the relationship between human and animal rights. And it is also significant that no one seems to question the general use of the phrase "human rights" except in an abortion debate.

    Therefore, while the first four pro-choice arguments were completely false, the fifth is uncertain but irrelevant, unless one assumes incorrectly that persons are the only ones who have rights according to the law.

    II. Pro-life Arguments​

    Many pro-life arguments have been distorted by pro-choice debaters. Often the pro-life side is accused of trying to impose a religious viewpoint on the nation. These errors are due in part to some pro-life debaters carelessly stating their arguments and due in part to many pro-choice debaters not paying attention. As you will see, pro-life arguments do not require the acceptance of any religious position. I want to state up-front that my argument is not based on the existence of souls. This was a major issue about which I disagreed with the basic premise of the one past abortion debate. Since when do laws make mention of souls? (As far as I'm aware, none do.) If no law makes mention of souls, and if some people doubt they exist, the debate must proceed on other grounds—and it can.
    A. Abortion is homicide
    Most of the evidence for this position has already been outlined above, in the responses to the main four pro-choice arguments.

    First, a fetus is a separate human. It has a full set of human genes and it is not a part of its mother.

    Second, the intentional killing of a human is homicide. Homicide is illegal except in those cases where it has sufficient justification. One example of justifiable homicide would be self-defense.

    A few aspects of this argument must be noted immediately. (1) Note that I use the term "fetus." This term applies to an unborn child from about two months after conception (until birth). Other words, like "zygote" or "embryo," could have been used, but I wasn't attempting to limit my argument to early-term abortions. And though some may argue that it doesn't happen (as we'll discuss later on), there is apparently no law stating that abortions must be performed early. It seems quite a few of them are performed (perfectly legally under Roe v. wade) long after the unborn child reaches the stage of development where it is called a fetus.
    (2) Note that I described abortion as "intentional killing." Though some pro-choice debaters have tried to apply pro-life arguments to spontaneously-aborted fetuses, obviously no one can make it illegal for them to die naturally! Intent differentiates types of homicide and degrees of murder. Intent matters.
    (3) Note that I described the fetus as "a separate human." As discussed above, a fetus is not part of the mother. Even some generally reasonable debaters seem unable to see this distinction, thinking that pro-life arguments would prohibit the killing of each of our individual cells. Yet there is a difference between something being human (i.e., a human arm, a human cell), and being a separate human. A fetus is separate. An arm is not. Furthermore, as discussed above, a fetus obviously doesn't have to be an adult human in order to be a human.
    (4) Since I'm sure some will be thinking this because of what I just said, note that I didn't say a fetus was "a human being." As I found out, many pro-choice debaters take the term "human being" to mean "human person." The use of the term "human being" seems to be the whole reason that people objected to the new Missouri law that we discussed in our previous abortion debate (at least as far as the Huffington Post article indicated). However, the word "being" is not quite so specific, as some dictionary entries should demonstrate. In my opinion, the different uses of "human being" make the phrase ambiguous and thus not useful for this debate.

    B. Potential justifications for abortion
    Even though few seem to acknowledge that abortion is homicide, some seem subconsciously aware that individual abortions may need independent justification, so they offer reasons applying to individual cases. However, it is often assumed that almost all abortions are requested for essentially good reasons. For example, as one user has said,
    This makes a straw man out of the pro-life position; homicide is no laughing matter. Few if any would argue that women are actually getting abortions just for fun, but that doesn't prove that the reasons offered justify the abortion, nor that all or even most abortions are requested by women who are truly desperate. It matters whether homicide is justified, not whether the women think they need it.

    I do not hesitate to say that in cases where it is certain that neither the mother nor the fetus will survive delivery, abortion is justifiable homicide. This self-defense may be a sad matter, but it is clearly justified. In cases where the fetus can survive delivery, but the mother will not, this is still self-defense even if it is a difficult choice to make.

    Other reasons may not be quite so clear, but I still have a great deal of sympathy for them. If a woman is raped, I do not think killing the fetus is so clearly the right answer, but I don't seek to criminalize abortion in such a case. She is a victim, so I do not argue that the law should require her to carry the baby. However, I never could understand why people cite incest alongside rape as a reason for abortion. (It seems almost an automatic response for some.) Could they possibly mean, "A couple, married despite being too closely related by their state’s laws, should be allowed to get an abortion whenever they want"? Most likely, they mean "incestuous rape," so they should probably just say "rape." Some also argue that a mother has the right to abort a fetus that would be born with birth defects. In such cases, I think caution would be better, for it is certainly possible for technology to help overcome difficulties for baby's continued living. In sum, potential justifications for abortion are part of a continuum from "clearly sufficient" to "clearly insufficient."

    There are other commonly cited reasons that are quite clearly insufficient grounds for homicide. For example, is a performing artist who gets pregnant by her own carelessness justified in getting an abortion because she or her managers believe it would ruin her career? Is a woman justified in getting an abortion because she doesn't want people to find out that she had sex with someone? That's not what "justifiable" means. Nor should the father be able to pressure the woman into getting an abortion just because he doesn't want to take care of a child that's partly his responsibility, as we previously discussed. Also, I have anticipated some other reasons that will likely be offered, but I prefer to wait for people to bring these up. Some of these could turn into very interesting sub-debates.

    However, these reasons are frequently offered as reasons for abortion in general, even though these should only apply to specific cases. It seems a lot of people have a tendency to say things like, "What if the woman were raped?" and then to continue by arguing that abortion shouldn't be illegal. Under the current law, abortion on demand is legal, meaning people are defending abortion on demand even if they don't realize it. Organizations like Planned Parenthood repel any attempt to limit abortions to only certain cases, and this easily furthers media stereotypes that make it seem like an "all or nothing" issue when it isn't. I have seen an appreciable number of people on these Forums argue for abortions being legal before a certain time (often the third trimester), yet they do not seek laws making abortion illegal before that time. Sometimes, they outright state that no one believes abortions should be performed after a certain point, even though it's not clear whether any law makes such limits. Since partial birth abortion had to be banned in a 2003 Congressional act that was fought all the way to the Supreme Court, somebody supports late term abortions.

    In conclusion, my argument here is not that absolutely all abortions should be illegal. Since abortion is homicide, I argue that any given abortion needs to be justified independently, and many are not justified. The mother is not justified in killing a fetus just because she does not want it. My fundamental point in this debate is that abortion is basically legal under our current system when it should not be. One can say that a woman should have control of her own body, yet for a fetus to come into existence (except in cases of rape), she had to give up some of that control over her body to some man (and killing the fetus is exercising control over a different body, too). It can only be made to appear as a matter of a woman's choice by rampant misinformation and fallacious reasoning. Instead, it is really about the rights of the fetus.

    • Be sure to use terms carefully!
      Terms are important, whether you're talking about carrying a fetus to term, or terminating a pregnancy. *Rimshot* Wordplay aside, you need to be careful to say what you mean. If you say that a fetus isn't alive, people won't understand you if you really mean a fetus doesn't have personhood. Also, some definitions of the word "baby" specifically indicate that the term applies only after the child is born, though others even specifically apply the term to a child in the womb. Finally, as I recommended above, you might want to be careful about using the term "human being"--no matter which side you're on.
    • Don't mistake part of someone's argument for their whole argument.
      For example, the fact that a fetus is alive is significant, but it is not intended to be taken on its own! Taking this detail in isolation, some pro-choice debaters ridicule the pro-life view with words like, "You need to quit saying 'all life is sacred!'" Since the status of fetuses as life forms was not the whole argument, and since this puts some Buddhists' words in non-Buddhist mouths, it is an obvious straw man. Also, we can debate whether or at what point a fetus can feel pain (though I probably won't since this sub-debate isn't integral to the issue of homicide), but if this is not someone's whole argument, don't treat it as their whole argument.
    • Don't describe pregnancy or delivery with terms of exaggerated horror.
      I understand that carrying a baby is difficult and that delivery can be very painful for many women. I do not seek to downplay these facts. However, some describe these in terms that approach actual torture, almost as though someone is purposely inflicting pain on the woman. It is also wise to remember that some women actually want to have children. It is not honest to describe pregnancy or delivery in terms that make them sound like things no woman would want to endure. Some also state that abortion can be more painful than delivery, making the whole argument from painful childbirth self-refuting.
    • Don't argue that abortions need to be legal because otherwise women will get illegal (dangerous) abortions.
      Apparently legal organ donation hasn't stopped black-market organ sales.
    • Don't say "What if the baby would be the next Mozart?"
      The obvious—and perceptive—response is, "What if the baby would be the next Hitler?"
    • Don't use overpopulation as a reason why abortion should be allowed.
      Baby "Might-Be-Hitler" could probably help take the population down a bit! (This somewhat-tongue-in-cheek argument shows the important distinction between general and specific.) The idea that the whole earth is overpopulated has been challenged on these Forums on several occasions in the recent past. It is far from certain that there are too many people, and there is also evidence that the human population is not growing as quickly as some fear.
  2. ??????

    ?????? That guy.

    I was going to post something, but you read my mind. I'll post anyway. Taken from a debate I had on Tumblr

    I can't just look at an assault on human life and be quiet about it. As a disclaimer, I consider myself a mix of pro-life and pro-choice, with much more emphasis on the life of the child. A woman can make her choice, but that doesn't make that choice right. Too often people forget about the child involved. Go ahead and read more into my reply. It's a long one too.

    1) First of all let me start out with the obvious. The humanity of the human in the womb. Many people say that the kid isn't human.

    Really then? What is it? A dog in a human womb? A cat in a human womb? Many abortion advocates like to de-humanize the child (yes it is a child, in the sense that a baby, toddler, or even teen is still the mother's child) by calling him or her a "a mass of cells. A fetus." I find it sick. Dehumanization was used for slavery, segregation, the holocaust, against women, and is still used today to promote violence and hatred, calling them illegals, gays, muslims, communists, or slew of other such "undesirables"...all these victims were/are not "human" in the eyes of their attackers. If the child is not human, than what new species is it? If the child is not living, then why is an abortion necessary? Frankly, the fact that the child is at a different stage of life than you or me doesn't make it any more morally acceptable to kill him or her. We are all essentially a mass of cells. Do you go around calling teenagers adolescents? Why must you call a child a fetus? Should a mother have the right to kill her one year old child, but not the right to kill her 10 year old child? Age has no bearing in the abortion debate. Someone's age doesn't determine whether or not he or she is human. Humanity is determined by genetic make-up, something obtained by the child when the male and female gametes meet at conception. It is a scientific fact that a new human being is formed at conception, whether you agree with it or not, or whether you call this new human being a fetus or child.

    Also having to do with the humanity of the child in the womb "It’s not legally considered a child until it passes, living and breathing, out of the mother’s vagina."

    With this statement, you imply that legality determines humanhood, that a government determines who is and who is not a person. There was one a time that I, an African man, was considered 3/5ths of a person legally, as expressed in the US Constitution. There was also a time when women were not considered people as well. According to your standards of humanhood, all blacks were not really people until 1865, when the government passed the 13th Amendment and considered them people. So, by the signing of a simple document, were the blacks suddenly transformed from non-people into people? The definition of humanity lies outside of any government definition, so please do not apply legal standards to humanity. It's faulty.

    Also, what is it to make of cases where a pregnant woman is killed? These are often treated as double homicide cases. In such cases, the government has just forfeited its own definition of a child! This just proves the ridiculousness of defining anybody, whether a black person, woman, or unborn child, by any legal definition.

    2) Seconly, on parental responsibility. People blame a bad man, a State, a condom, or pill for their pregnancy.

    In all your scenarios, everyone except the responsible people get a share of the blame. The government didn't educate a woman? I stand with Democrats in saying that sex education shouldn't be all about just abstinence (by the way, I am a Liberal on almost all other political issues, just as a frame of reference for you), but to say that women are ignorant to what sex is an appeal to mass ignorance and stupidity. Women are not stupid. No one is that stupid. And as for accidents that happen, it is clear that contraception doesn't work 100% of the time. Every woman and man acknowledges these risks and forgoes them when they choose to have sex, protected or not.

    Also, some make the claim that "in the case of young/teen mothers, having a child can ruin life for them." Growing up in poverty, and raising a child at a young age is very hard work, I do concede that. But the fact that a child is raised in a bad situation doesn't mean the child will have a bad life. First of all, its up to a person to determine whether their life is good or not. The mother doesn't determine this, you don't, I don't, the government doesn't. If you feel like aborting a child based on such circumstances is right, then why not go abort the 50 million Americans in or near poverty? The millions of Africans in poverty? Why not put them out of their misery? If the child doesn't like their life, they can work to improve it. It happens all the time, people rise from the ashes of poverty and become very successful people. People like Steve Jobs, who was born to young parents, would be considered by some the ideal candidate for abortion. Tim Tebow (whether you like him or not) was actually a danger to his mother's health in the womb, and her mother's physician advised he be aborted. Upbringing does not determine potential, let each and every child determine whether he or she has a life worth living on their own. If they don't, let them adjust their lives, by themselves, accordingly. I agree that pregnancy and child-rearing is a huge responsibility, and people need to prepare for that choice on their own, but that choice is before going into the bedroom, before the child is formed, not at the abortion clinic, after the child is formed. So yes, the woman and the man need to be held accountable for their actions.

    Fitting with the topic of parental responsibility, is the notion of an abortion versus giving birth. "I hear this so many times from pro-lifers, but I’d honestly like them to give me even ONE ACCOUNT, one account of a woman who took abortion lightly like that." You are right in your assertion that an abortion isn't taken lightly, but definitely not for the same reasons. Many people who regrettingly choose an abortion value the life and humanity of their child, and are saddled with guilt for the rest of their life after aborting him or her. Getting an abortion is a hard choice. But you can look at the alternative. First of all, the woman has to carry and birth the baby, a tremendous burden and cost already. After that comes the toughest job of all: teaching and rearing a child to be the a responsible, good person. Educating the child, disciplining the child, paying for school and college, teaching and instilling moral values, preparing the child to live independently, these are the real tough burdens of parents. Do you really believe choosing to get an abortion is as hard as bearing these responsibilities? That's a very subjective question, but one every mother must answer for herself.

    3) On the body and inevitability of abortions. "Abortions are going to happen, whether you like it or not. When a woman doesn’t want to have a baby, she’s not going to have a baby." This perhaps is a better argument for having abortions remain legal. But still it does have some implications. Why should the government allow or subsidize a procedure that many people have social, moral, or religious objections to? I personally agree that banning abortion won't resolve the underlying causes for them, but it still doesn't make abortion morally right or absolve the government and societal duty to defend the right to live as the precursor to exercising all other rights.

    As for the argument that a fetus/child is the woman's body, there is less gray in this area. First of all there is a clear distinction between a woman and child. They are different people, they have two different genetic make-ups. Does a woman make herself in her uterus? Does a woman get pregnant on her own? Sometimes the mothers blood may not even be compatible with the child, and the mothers cells may attack the child as an invader. Also, this argument lies upon dependability, some say that because the child is dependent on her, she can do what she pleases to the child. Such dependability can be applied outside the womb as well, giving anyone who depends on anyone else the right to do with them what they please. A child is dependent on their mother for longer than just the 20 weeks an abortion is legal. I do see where the argument comes from though, and I respect a woman's rights. But what I do not respect is misinformation. A woman and child are different entities, different people, regardless of dependability or location.

    4) Coming back to conclusion..."No, f*ck you. What if I was drunk? What if I was just on an emotional high and didn’t think straight? What if I just didn’t care? I know I would be a **** awful mother." This is simply where the crisis of responsibility comes in. It's appalling to think that anyone can go drink or get high and not be held responsible for what happens under the influence. First of all, why would you put yourself in a situation where you could be taken advantage of? You cannot control other people, you can control your own actions (I do not condone or support assault or rape under the influence, those are very different debates from this one). If it is unethical to hold people responsible for intoxicated actions, why do we so fiercely persecute drunk drivers? Why do we so fiercely persecute those who commit crimes under the influence of drugs? And making a bad choice under an emotional high? That's an even worse excuse. Emotional fluctuations don't have anywhere near the effect of drug or alcohol use, and crimes under these actions are vigorously prosecuted. One can easily make decisions in-spite of his or her emotions. One is responsible for their decisions irregardless of their emotional state. Some abortion advocates like to make the notion that a child is somehow a punishment. I doubt you'll see many parents agree with that sentiment. Caring for the child may be a consequence, but a child is a wonderful thing, and their lives are valuable. A child is not a punishment.

    All in all, I feel like the issue of abortion is a tough one. As I've said, I'm a "pro-life" liberal, with reasonable acceptions (rape, incest, health, and other cases). If the political left can defend the black, minority, woman, gay, illegal, and impoverished, why do we turn a blind eye to the unborn? The right to live precedes all other rights. Technically, by exercising a right to an abortion, you take away a child's right to get an abortion in the future as well, as well as speech, religion, assembly, arms, and a slew of other rights.

    I am in a very awkward position with no real voice for my opinion politically or socially, sadly. I don't stand with republicans in condemning sex, to each his or her own. I don't stand with those who want to limit contraception, I want them to be more accessible to all women (govt. funded or not), so we don't have to discuss this. I don't stand with those who want to limit sex education, we need better education for kids and teens so we have less need for abortions. But what I do stand for is personal responsibility. Each person should bear the consequences of their own decisions. A man should man-up and be a responsible father, through child support or, even better, being there as an actual parent. The mother should be held to the same standard, and shouldn't use her child as a scapegoat for her own mistake. She needs to take responsibility, and also be a parent. Adoption is also an option (adoption is very different from foster care, adoption has actual waiting lists), and finding parents before birth is another way. For those who haven't had a child, there is contraception and protection which work in the overwhelming majority of cases, and there always the option for people not to have sex until they're ready for it, whether financially, emotionally, or even morally. In all, both sides do not like abortion itself or take it lightly, and we can and should work together to curb it need and its causes.

    A woman (and a man) always have a choice, but not all choices are right.
  3. BigLutz

    BigLutz Banned

    Just wanted to throw something into the debate as well, although I really don't take a side on this, I think this could provide a interesting twist to the debate.

    If the gene was found that determined a person's sexuality, should abortion still be allowed for parents that would want to abort the baby if they were not straight?

    If so, it could easily diminish the amount of Gays in the country, to the point of losing alot of their power to effect change at any level.

    If not, why would you allow a family to raise a child that they could either hate, or utterly worry about his or her safety and the pain and pressure they would go through based on their sexuality.
  4. Liberty Defender

    Liberty Defender Well-Known Member

    You brilliantly presented a strong case for protecting all human life, from conception to death. Bravo!
  5. 11DBHK

    11DBHK Banned

    you put quite a bit into that first post.

    ...i don't really have any argument here.
  6. Zevn

    Zevn Lost in Translation

    If I crush an acorn under my heel, is it the same as felling an oak?
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  7. Malanu

    Malanu Est sularus oth mith

    I have long held the belief that abortions are a bad thing. That being said:
    1) I have no right to tell you that you cannot have an abortion if it is your desire.
    2) My wife & I have contemplated having an abortion even though it goes against our beliefs.
    3) I'm very glad I was put up for adoption instead of being aborted.

    So am I a hypocrite, an Oxie Moron (Yes I know what I just typed), or just waffling. Well I'm a father/dad of two lovely children. I could have been a father/dad of 5 if not for the multiple miscarriages we had. So every child's life we lost we miss deeply, even the one we contemplated aborting.

    Speaking as a parent, it is none of your (general populace) business whether a perspective mom has or aborts her child... Unless you want that mom to have a say whether or not you get that kidney transplant you need! That is the way I see the abortion issue. The masses are trying to make decisions for an individual, and that is just wrong.
  8. randomspot555

    randomspot555 Well-Known Member

    In class right now, but here is some interesting polling in regards to abortion from Gallup.

    I think it's interesting in issues such as same-sex marriage and legalization of marijuana, generally seen as more liberal, are trending to 50%+ in support, that the conservative pro-life position is still going strong.

    The second poll shows a 49-45 split between pro-choice and pro-life, but it also says 51% of those surveyed believe abortion is "morally wrong".
  9. TheFightingPikachu

    TheFightingPikachu Smashing!

    To ??????, I believe you had a lot of very good points in your post, especially your emphasis on right to life as a foundation for other rights, and your emphasis on personal responsibility.

    I find that an interesting question, and though I may be forgetting, I think my brother ShinySandshrew made at least one gay rights debater squirm by asking that question. It seems some have trouble defending the woman's right to choose if her choice even looks like it might have politically incorrect motivations.

    (On the other hand, some avoid your question entirely by saying that the state should always raise the children. If someone can't see the limits of what government can or should do, who needs parents?)

    They don't need to be the same. That's basically like asking, "Is killing a puppy the same as killing an adult dog?" Asked and answered:
    I wouldn't consider your view hypocritical, oxymoronic, or waffling. I do, however, think it makes one important mistake. A kidney transplant or kidney removal is not like an abortion. People often say that the woman should have control over her body, which is an accurate way to defend organ transplants/removals. But an abortion involves another body. Like I said, I'm not seeking to criminalize abortion in cases of rape, but in many other cases, the woman had a choice to get pregnant, making "I changed my mind and decided I don't want a child," an invalid reason.

    That's some pretty interesting stuff. I especially liked this, from the second link:
    Pretty surprising, the way people sometimes try to label the pro-life side anti-woman.
  10. GhostAnime

    GhostAnime Searching for her...

    I'll respond later.. don't know why you'd quote only one line from me, though.

    This is going to be a looooooong debate if you seriously think this can't be used.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  11. Abortions and contraception are two of the greatest advancements in human history.
  12. ebilly99

    ebilly99 Americanreigon champ

    How can it be evil to destroy a life that is has not self awareness (Or a soul for you spiritual folks) yet it is ok to fell a tree or kill a deer. We are only special becuase we know we are (we have the ability to tell) A embryo before the brain forms is no more aware the a tree. When the brain forms it is evil but before it is nothing more then a bunch of cells.
    As for potential life, every sperm cell has potential so what.
  13. Ludwig

    Ludwig Well-Known Member

    I see no reason to forbid it.
  14. Jb

    Jb Tsun in the streets

    I in no way support it. That being said, all my reason are because of personal morals, therefor others will see it different. I really can't think of any sound reasons outside of my personal beliefs that it should be illegal.
  15. Psychic

    Psychic Really and truly

    I have to say that the OP kind of annoys me in that all it does is talk about whether or not something in the womb is human and if killing it is right. What it ignores entirely is does a woman have the right to dictate what happens to he body?

    Personally, I don't care if you consider a zygote or a fetus to be "human." What I beg to question is whether the life of that fetus takes precedence over a woman's right to choose what happens inside her own body.

    Since a huge percentage of people who participate in abortion debates are not female and will never even have to consider what it would be like to be pregnant, let's take a quick look at Judith Jarvis Thomson's A Defense of Abortion.

    The short version is this:
    What do you do? You probably don't want to stay in bed with this guy for nine months, but if you demand to be unplugged, he dies! Now imagine you're told
    You would probably find this ridiculous! Sure, you can let the violinist stay plugged into you for whatever amount of time out of the goodness of your heart, if you're willing to. But are you seriously going to drop your entire life for this? What if you're then forced to take care of the violinist after he's unplugged from you? What if he becomes your responsibility and you have to take care of him for the rest of your life?

    The argument goes on, but this is the basics of it, and I think it's worth thinking about.

    The point of this argument is to say "fine, let's grant a fetus personhood from the moment of conception, or even erection if that's what you want. But just because it's a person now, does that make its life more important than giving you the chance to decide what happens to your own body?"

    Also, in reply to BigLutz, why homosexuality? Why don't we abort a child who will be born with, you know, an actual disease or disability? That is way worse than having an alternate sexual orientation. :/ Anyway, just go watch Gattaca.

    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  16. BigLutz

    BigLutz Banned

    Because disease or a disability is not really considered a alternate life style, its considered a handicap. There would be no debate if the suggestion was to have a disease or disability eradicated. However were we to talk about having homosexuality reduced to the point of extreme minority status through selective abortion. Then there is a actual debate there.
  17. ChedWick

    ChedWick Well-Known Member

    Yea.... well waking up next to said violist wouldn't be some freak occurrence. You would have chose to put yourself in the situation with that potential outcome. It is becoming increasingly sought after to eliminate the mentality that ones actions have consequences and to accept and take responsibility for your actions.

    Anways, this horizon of this thread appears to be a really far off and growing increasing further.

    I find myself being pro-choice to a point. What is that point? Well I often flux on where I feel life begins and where potential is just that, potential. Sometimes I feel its the moment a heart is beating, others when there is cognitive function. Its a very touchy subject and the extremes of both sides annoy the hell out of me.
  18. xDWarrior

    xDWarrior Well-Known Member

    I'm pro-choice. It's the woman's right if she wants to abort an embryo or not. After all it has no consciousness yet, and a cow we kill for meat has more of an ability to feel than the embryo does. It's up to the woman, not the government.
  19. ParaChomp

    ParaChomp be your own guru

    Don't believe in it. It's your fault you got knocked up and it's your responsibility to deal with it.

    As for abortion due to rape, I don't know what to say about that. It was their fault for getting into this kind of situation but still, they couldn't help the fact that they were ganged up on and raped. I wouldn't kill it but maybe that person will lose a lot of financial gain due to having to go on maternity leave. Then comes whenever the rape victim glares into their child's eyes, they remember that awful day...

    We need the technology to allow fetuses to grow and develop in tubes, now!
  20. xDWarrior

    xDWarrior Well-Known Member

    It was their fault they got into the situation in which they were raped? REALLY?!
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