Concerning Abortion: Pro-Choice - Discussion
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17-09-2014, 08:55 AM
RE: Concerning Abortion: Pro-Choice - Discussion
(16-09-2014 09:34 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(16-09-2014 05:26 AM)Chas Wrote:  I don't see anyone making that argument. Consider

It's a thought experiment.

Postmortem organ donation is almost universally approved of, even if not everyone signs up for it. I've yet to see someone argue against the principle of donating your own organs after you die, if at all possible. Knowing this, it leads to an interesting paradox.

When you sign up to become an organ donor (typically when you get your first driver's license here in the United States), you are giving other people consent to take your organs after you die. Likewise if you do not consent, nobody can take your organs against your wishes, no matter how much someone else might need them. Your bodily autonomy is respected, regardless of your decision, even after you are dead.

So the question to ask next is: Why do anti-choice advocates not grant pregnant women as much bodily autonomy as a corpse?

The anti-abortion advocates (if that is what you actually mean) by and large believe that the fetus is a person from fertilized egg on. They are advocating protection for that 'person'.

I don't know if there are any actual pro-choice advocates who support a woman's right to abortion right up to the point of birth, but that sounds like what you are advocating.

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17-09-2014, 09:16 AM (This post was last modified: 17-09-2014 09:23 AM by cjlr.)
RE: Concerning Abortion: Pro-Choice - Discussion
(16-09-2014 05:12 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I have an opinion on things, but when implementing law, I want law to be largely independant of my opinions, independant of the prime minister/president's opinion on things.

I do not see how matters of inherent subjectivity can be considered independent of opinion.

(16-09-2014 05:12 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I want law to be based on something more substantial. i.e. a defined purpose for government and law. If that defined purpose is to make society safe and stable then laws need to be justified against that standard.
I am open to a better standard than "make society safe and stable".

Sure - but what's your proposed alternative?

(16-09-2014 05:12 PM)Stevil Wrote:  But from my perspective, where is the incentive for me to support such a standard?
If you want to include a "protection of all people" clause to that standard then how are we as a collective to define "person"? Catholics have their opinion, Chas has his. Do they fight over it? Does it become a majority numbers game?

Subjectivity means you can't please all of the people all of the time.

(16-09-2014 05:12 PM)Stevil Wrote:  If we open up legislation to a numbers game then what is to stop gay marriage being outlawed? What is to stop polygamy being outlawed? What is to stop heavy metal music being outlawed?

What indeed. Perhaps we might employ some standard against which to judge such arguments? Safety and stability, maybe?

It's still a matter of human beings. There are not and will never be objective standards to judge against.

This is barely better than the old theist canard: "but how can you say Nazis are wrong if there's no objective way to disagree..."

(16-09-2014 05:12 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Don't we need some kind of standard that makes laws less arbitrary, less aligned with opinions of individuals or majority and more tied into something real and measurable, such as impact on society?

"Impact on society" is an incredibly vague term.

(16-09-2014 05:12 PM)Stevil Wrote:  We don't need government to be another Mum. We don't need to be told how to behave. We are adults and are capable of making choices.

The point of the law is to cover those cases where one's choices impact another or impact society.

Which happens all the time. So there's that.

(16-09-2014 05:12 PM)Stevil Wrote:  What I struggle to see in this "person" argument is the link to me. Why is an unborn any of my business? What is my incentive to interfere in the lives of others?

I will repeat a question you did not answer: what of infanticide? How is a newborn any of your business? Or a child?

How do you draw the distinction?

Because once again - you are drawing a distinction, between " thing whose death affects me" and "thing whose death does not". Your opinion is probably as valid as anyone's. It is just your opinion.

(16-09-2014 05:12 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(16-09-2014 02:41 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Yes. Subjective judgements.

Understandings of "dangerous" or "stable" are not universal.
Sure, we can document a clear definition of "danger" and "stable" as it pertains to society.

Can we?

(16-09-2014 05:12 PM)Stevil Wrote:  But if we have this definition and purpose clearly defined and also tied into the impact on society, the impact on me living within society, then don't you think it makes it difficult for a government to then justify a law against things such as gay marriage?

According to my subjective understanding, yes.

According to others, no.

So what?

(16-09-2014 05:12 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Sure they can put a case forth and suggest that god will get angry and destroy the country/state. But then they need to come up will some evidence to that effect.
Maybe they put a case forth and suggest that a child needs a mum and a dad, but again that can be countered by evidence on how well kids have done with a solo parent or with same gender parents.
They could cite the "sanctity of marriage" argument but they would need to tie that into the safety of society somehow.
Do you see how this approach forces the government to justify the laws to a higher standard than simply "because we don't like abortions, that is murdering people and that is not OK!"

Uh, guy? That isn't the justification anyone in this thread has provided.

(16-09-2014 05:12 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(16-09-2014 02:41 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Do you draw a distinction between abortion and infanticide? If yes, why? If no, what is your age limit?
The problem with this question is that you are again asking me for my opinion.

I fail to see why that's a problem.

(16-09-2014 05:12 PM)Stevil Wrote:  The question should instead tie back into the purpose of government and law.
i.e.
1. Does abortion make society unsafe and unstable?
2. Does infanticide make society unsafe and unstable?
Clearly for early term abortion society functions quite safetly and is stable. There are many countries which have survived peacefully for a long time allowing abortion.

Yes. And?

(16-09-2014 05:12 PM)Stevil Wrote:  With regards to infanticide, I don't know what the answer is. A case would need to be build on its merits and its problems. There have been instances in past civilisations where this was allowed, but most of those civilisations have changed. Why did they change? Did society become unstable? There is a society in the amazon that currently practices this. What conflict and violence does this parctice cause within that society?

Indeed.

I suggest, however, that you will find no society which condones murder.

(16-09-2014 05:12 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(16-09-2014 02:41 PM)cjlr Wrote:  If we allow "people" to be killed, society will "devolve" (or "become a mess") - that is your premise. Okay; sure. But you haven't defined "people". Nor "devolve".
Sure, I was being lax with my language.
What do you think will happen if there are no laws against murder?
Could this make society unsafe for you?
If your have a car crash and kill some guy's wife, what is to stop him coming over to your place and killing your wife in return? Then you and your mates will go after this person, then he and his mates will go after you.

We don't have these complications with abortion.

Once again: if we are in agreement that at some point another human life is no longer socially permissible to terminate, the following arises.

Does there need to be a line drawn between the two for the purposes of the law? Yes.

Can there be a consistent, non-arbitrary distinction drawn between the two? I do not think so.

And yet we have to come up with one somehow.

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17-09-2014, 12:52 PM
RE: Concerning Abortion: Pro-Choice - Discussion
(16-09-2014 12:02 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(16-09-2014 09:04 AM)Impulse Wrote:  How so?

She just wants an abortion, but the procedure required would be induced labor or a c-section to meet your criteria.

That's not what she wants.
That wasn't what I had in mind. My thoughts were to allow the woman to abort up until such time as the fetus is physically separated from her body by her choosing. Normally, that would be birth, but there may be cases when it would be her choice to have induced labor or a c-section too.

However, you do have me thinking further about this. I have to admit that I don't see a difference between a new-born baby and a baby 1 day before birth. Therefore, aborting the baby 1 day before birth would be killing the baby. On the other hand, if there is serious reason to believe that having the baby will result in death for the mother, even if this isn't identified until 1 day before birth, I think the mother has the right to save her own life. She is already an independent person with relationships and obligations and this baby is only coming into existence because of her (and obviously the father too). That baby doesn't have the right to take her life in the process and, as awful as it sounds, I think the mother has the right to terminate the pregnancy to save her own life.

So perhaps the solution lies in conditions. First "personhood" needs a definition as you have pointed out. Let's say for discussion, that is 6 months. Abortions would not be allowed after 6 months unless a new situation has arisen that could not have been previously known. Anything previously known could have been addressed before 6 months. But if, for example, there seem to be no life and death issues for the mother, but complications develop in that regard only after the 6 months, abortion could still be allowed. The exact conditions for when abortion would be allowed after 6 months would need specific definitions, but I think life and death matters should qualify.

The main problem I have with this though is the slippery slope. Because it's so difficult for people as a whole to agree on this subject, I would be concerned that the final legislation would be too limiting for women if abortion is outlawed for any situations. That's why I tend to favor complete choice throughout the pregnancy. I think most women would abort before 6 months anyway unless something significant changed after that time, but of course there are always exceptions. I'm not sure it's worth legislating for those exceptions. The harm to all women overall by legislation that reaches too far may be worse than the harm to the babies that are aborted from the exceptions.

That said, I don't know of any threats to the mother's life that don't involve carrying the baby to term. So, if the mother had intended to have the baby anyway up until the 6 months, then she could instead have a c-section as opposed to an abortion and at least give the baby a chance to survive. (I think induced labor probably wouldn't circumvent the threat.) But, of course, that also brings increased risk of having a baby with serious birth defects that might not have happened had the baby been born at the normal 9 months. So that might be a reason for the mother to want to abort and not have the c-section.

I realize I haven't taken a firm stance in this post. I'm just throwing out some thoughts for discussion on a complicated issue. I have always stood firmly on complete choice throughout the entire pregnancy, but I'm rethinking whether that might need to be qualified somewhat.

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17-09-2014, 01:19 PM (This post was last modified: 17-09-2014 02:28 PM by Stevil.)
RE: Concerning Abortion: Pro-Choice - Discussion
(17-09-2014 09:16 AM)cjlr Wrote:  I suggest, however, that you will find no society which condones murder.
This is circular.
The term murder means killing that is against the law.
If the society has created the law then this means it doesn't condone.

(17-09-2014 09:16 AM)cjlr Wrote:  Once again: if we are in agreement that at some point another human life is no longer socially permissible to terminate, the following arises.

Does there need to be a line drawn between the two for the purposes of the law? Yes.

Can there be a consistent, non-arbitrary distinction drawn between the two? I do not think so.

And yet we have to come up with one somehow.
I have already articulated a much less arbitrary point than what you guys have presented.
The point where it becomes unsafe for society, the point where much conflict and danger arises. This way there is a clear tie in to my own interests. I am not merely sticking my nose into someone else's business.
I haven't started off with my end point, only a definition of it. We could use this definition to debate exactly where that point is with regards to human development of the unborn, (or born)
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17-09-2014, 02:36 PM
RE: Concerning Abortion: Pro-Choice - Discussion
(17-09-2014 12:52 PM)Impulse Wrote:  
(16-09-2014 12:02 PM)Chas Wrote:  She just wants an abortion, but the procedure required would be induced labor or a c-section to meet your criteria.

That's not what she wants.
That wasn't what I had in mind. My thoughts were to allow the woman to abort up until such time as the fetus is physically separated from her body by her choosing. Normally, that would be birth, but there may be cases when it would be her choice to have induced labor or a c-section too.

However, you do have me thinking further about this. I have to admit that I don't see a difference between a new-born baby and a baby 1 day before birth. Therefore, aborting the baby 1 day before birth would be killing the baby. On the other hand, if there is serious reason to believe that having the baby will result in death for the mother, even if this isn't identified until 1 day before birth, I think the mother has the right to save her own life. She is already an independent person with relationships and obligations and this baby is only coming into existence because of her (and obviously the father too). That baby doesn't have the right to take her life in the process and, as awful as it sounds, I think the mother has the right to terminate the pregnancy to save her own life.

So perhaps the solution lies in conditions. First "personhood" needs a definition as you have pointed out. Let's say for discussion, that is 6 months. Abortions would not be allowed after 6 months unless a new situation has arisen that could not have been previously known. Anything previously known could have been addressed before 6 months. But if, for example, there seem to be no life and death issues for the mother, but complications develop in that regard only after the 6 months, abortion could still be allowed. The exact conditions for when abortion would be allowed after 6 months would need specific definitions, but I think life and death matters should qualify.

The main problem I have with this though is the slippery slope. Because it's so difficult for people as a whole to agree on this subject, I would be concerned that the final legislation would be too limiting for women if abortion is outlawed for any situations. That's why I tend to favor complete choice throughout the pregnancy. I think most women would abort before 6 months anyway unless something significant changed after that time, but of course there are always exceptions. I'm not sure it's worth legislating for those exceptions. The harm to all women overall by legislation that reaches too far may be worse than the harm to the babies that are aborted from the exceptions.

That said, I don't know of any threats to the mother's life that don't involve carrying the baby to term. So, if the mother had intended to have the baby anyway up until the 6 months, then she could instead have a c-section as opposed to an abortion and at least give the baby a chance to survive. (I think induced labor probably wouldn't circumvent the threat.) But, of course, that also brings increased risk of having a baby with serious birth defects that might not have happened had the baby been born at the normal 9 months. So that might be a reason for the mother to want to abort and not have the c-section.

I realize I haven't taken a firm stance in this post. I'm just throwing out some thoughts for discussion on a complicated issue. I have always stood firmly on complete choice throughout the entire pregnancy, but I'm rethinking whether that might need to be qualified somewhat.

OK, good - you see the argument I am making.

And, thank you, this post is precisely the kind of constructive discussion that I believe is necessary. Thumbsup

I don't know what the right point is, but my opinion is that it is no earlier than the formation of nervous system & brain (~ 6 months), nor later than viability (~7½ months.
Maybe that's an argument for three degrees of rules: no restrictions on abortion up through 6 months, some restrictions between there and ~7½ months, more restrictions (pretty much the life of the mother) after that.

I don't think there is a slippery slope once the rules are defined, however experience dictates that there will be a strong effort to make draconian rules about exceptions; your concern is well-grounded.

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17-09-2014, 03:13 PM
RE: Concerning Abortion: Pro-Choice - Discussion
(17-09-2014 08:50 AM)cjlr Wrote:  Incidentally, that is already the legal reality on every country on Earth...
It's beside the point what law currently is and it is beside the point what law is in various countries.
We are discussing what laws should be imposed. There is no benefit to appealing to current law as the reason why a law should be imposed.
There was a time when all abortion was illegal.
It changed (after Roe Vs Wade, I think), that case was able to change the law. In order to change the law they didn't appeal to the current law and state it should be this way because this is the way that it is.

(17-09-2014 08:50 AM)cjlr Wrote:  
(16-09-2014 05:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Where do we get this "protection of life" from? What underlies this?

It does not strike me as necessary that I should explain to you how a society that does not safeguard its members is unsustainable.
But this is the crucial piece to the puzzle. This is the very reason law is necessary and that use of force is justifiable against society members.

It doesn't benefit open discussion to wave our hands at this and just say "It does not strike me as necessary that I should explain".

The very reason we allow abortion in the first place is because it is sustainable. If it wasn't sustainable then we would need a law against it.

If we are arguing at what point should we not allow abortion we need to appeal to this. Our arguments need to show that society could likely become unstable if abortion is allowed after such and such a point.

But no-one has made this case so far. The people that are saying at the point of brain development in the unborn is the point where we draw the line, they haven't even attempted to show how society would become unstable.

Chas made mention of pain, but of course pain can be controlled with drugs.
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17-09-2014, 03:23 PM
RE: Concerning Abortion: Pro-Choice - Discussion
(17-09-2014 03:13 PM)Stevil Wrote:  If we are arguing at what point should we not allow abortion we need to appeal to this. Our arguments need to show that society could likely become unstable if abortion is allowed after such and such a point.

But no-one has made this case so far. The people that are saying at the point of brain development in the unborn is the point where we draw the line, they haven't even attempted to show how society would become unstable.

I actually have made this case.
The killing of a fetus at 8 months 30 days is not substantively different than killing a newborn. And the killing of a fetus at 8 months 29 days is not substantively different than killing a fetus at 8 months 30 days, and so on.

But there is a point where it is substantively different. My argument is about how to make a rational decision about this.

Unless, of course, you're OK with killing newborns. Then the inductive argument goes in the other direction.
The killing of a newborn is not substantively different that killing a one-day old. The killing of a one-day old is not substantively different that killing a two-day old, and so on.

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17-09-2014, 03:41 PM
RE: Concerning Abortion: Pro-Choice - Discussion
(17-09-2014 03:23 PM)Chas Wrote:  I actually have made this case.
The killing of a fetus at 8 months 30 days is not substantively different than killing a newborn. And the killing of a fetus at 8 months 29 days is not substantively different than killing a fetus at 8 months 30 days, and so on.

But there is a point where it is substantively different. My argument is about how to make a rational decision about this.

Unless, of course, you're OK with killing newborns. Then the inductive argument goes in the other direction.
The killing of a newborn is not substantively different that killing a one-day old. The killing of a one-day old is not substantively different that killing a two-day old, and so on.
My argument is not about whether I am OK with something or not.
It's about what motive I personally have to get involved, to interfere in the choices of others.
If a mother chooses to remove her lineage from the gene pool, then that isn't necessarily my concern.
I too am looking for a rational decision. But I need to know the grounds that these decisions are being proposed on.

If we take the "specialness" of the individual argument, then I am thinking that it is the unique genetics and epigenetics that makes the phenotype special. It is beside the point that it hasn't reached self awareness yet. In many cases there is a rational expectation that the fetus has a reasonable likelihood of making it to this stage if not aborted prior.

If we take the avoidance of pain argument then there are ways to mitigate pain.

I think a compelling point from the "viability" argument is that it would take extra effort to kill the baby once it has been removed from the mother. But I do see issues with this argument.

At the moment I am remaining open minded to the arguments, just wanting to know what they are, what are the arguments against and how does this tie into my own business on the matter.

I am very wary of using law because that does equate to use of force against people. I don't want to support use of force unless it is necessary.
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17-09-2014, 03:53 PM
RE: Concerning Abortion: Pro-Choice - Discussion
(17-09-2014 03:41 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(17-09-2014 03:23 PM)Chas Wrote:  I actually have made this case.
The killing of a fetus at 8 months 30 days is not substantively different than killing a newborn. And the killing of a fetus at 8 months 29 days is not substantively different than killing a fetus at 8 months 30 days, and so on.

But there is a point where it is substantively different. My argument is about how to make a rational decision about this.

Unless, of course, you're OK with killing newborns. Then the inductive argument goes in the other direction.
The killing of a newborn is not substantively different that killing a one-day old. The killing of a one-day old is not substantively different that killing a two-day old, and so on.
My argument is not about whether I am OK with something or not.
It's about what motive I personally have to get involved, to interfere in the choices of others.
If a mother chooses to remove her lineage from the gene pool, then that isn't necessarily my concern.
I too am looking for a rational decision. But I need to know the grounds that these decisions are being proposed on.

If we take the "specialness" of the individual argument, then I am thinking that it is the unique genetics and epigenetics that makes the phenotype special. It is beside the point that it hasn't reached self awareness yet. In many cases there is a rational expectation that the fetus has a reasonable likelihood of making it to this stage if not aborted prior.

If we take the avoidance of pain argument then there are ways to mitigate pain.

I think a compelling point from the "viability" argument is that it would take extra effort to kill the baby once it has been removed from the mother. But I do see issues with this argument.

At the moment I am remaining open minded to the arguments, just wanting to know what they are, what are the arguments against and how does this tie into my own business on the matter.

I am very wary of using law because that does equate to use of force against people. I don't want to support use of force unless it is necessary.

You have already stipulated that killing people is destabilizing to society. Are you retracting that?

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17-09-2014, 07:47 PM
RE: Concerning Abortion: Pro-Choice - Discussion
(17-09-2014 03:53 PM)Chas Wrote:  You have already stipulated that killing people is destabilizing to society. Are you retracting that?
Depends what you mean by "people".
Adults killing adults willy nilly will cause destabilisation.
Mother's killing their own fetus doesn't cause destabilisation.

I an unclear if mother's killing her own 7 month old unborn would cause destabilisation, I think it would probably not.
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