Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Abortion : anti-choice, quasi-choice and pro-choice

We had a show about abortion recently on the Hellbound Alleee Show, and Aaron has a discussion going on about abortion on his blog Kill the Antithesis. This prompts me to notice how many people are not PRO-choice but QUASI-choice - "sure, the woman can choose, up to a certain arbitrary date I have decided because...". Usually consciousness. And yet consciousness is NOT a criteria for protection in any other area (certainly not for the death penalty, animal slaughtering, hunting or fishing, or anything of that nature). So why should we make an exception for abortion ?

I'm not quasi-choice advocate - I think a woman should be free to abort at any time up to the actual birth of the person. Am I the only real pro-choice person out there ?

PS If you're going to comment, I reserve the right to slap anyone who uses the "yuck!" argument. That applies to you too, Blacksun. ;)

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At 4/02/2006 2:54 PM, Blogger SUZANNE declaimed...

So let me get this straight: if the umbilical cord is still attached to the baby, it's okay to kill a nine-month fetus?


At 4/02/2006 4:08 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Please go ahead and explain it to me. Why is it ridiculous ?

At 4/02/2006 5:48 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Suzanne, what is your definition of the word "abortion"?

My definition of the word abortion coincides with the definition: "Termination of pregnancy and expulsion of an embryo or of a fetus that is incapable of survival."

A nine month old fetus is capable of surviving outside the womb. It is, by (my) definition, not possible to abort a 9 month old fetus.

Having said that, a woman has the right to empty her womb of any entities at any time she sees fit.

Susanne, for a nine-month-old fetus to be "killed" as you put it, would involve not an act of abortion, but two distinct acts: an act of inducing labor to expel the baby, and then an act of killing the baby that is fully capable of survival outside the womb.

Suzanne, abortion and killing are two seperate, distinct acts. You are confused because you equate the two as the same, when in fact they are not.

Regardless, the whole issue here is about self-ownership. No fetus, no politician, no religious leader, no God, can claim legitimate ownership of a womans own womb. And nobody can tell that woman what to do with her womb. Period. Self-ownership is a non-negotiable principle.

To deny 100% self-ownership at all times, is to endorse slavery.

So Suzanne, who owns your womb?

At 4/02/2006 8:18 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

I'm serious. I'm ready to listen to any argument anyone may have.

Then I will destroy them.

At 4/02/2006 9:00 PM, Blogger Mike declaimed...

Well, any statements made about when human life begins are fundementally arbitrary. Anybody that puts a date on it is just making shit up.

At 4/03/2006 1:15 AM, Blogger TheJollyNihilist declaimed...

I'm as pro-choice as anybody on the planet, I'd say. If a woman was going to have the baby on the evening of March 30, then I would allow abortion up to the afternoon of March 30.

No parental consent.
No parental notification.
No "term limits."
No mandatory counseling.
No mandatory waiting period.

I view it as a rather absolute right.

At 4/03/2006 3:46 AM, Blogger menachem declaimed...

What if the baby's out, but the umbilial cord hasn't been cut yet? What if the baby's born a preemie at seven months - can you kill it for another two months? What about a purely test tube baby, one who isn't in any womb, but is incubated in a lab (something that will probably be feasible soon). Until when can you pull the plug on it?

At 4/03/2006 7:27 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Since no one's answering, I will.

"What if the baby's out, but the umbilial cord hasn't been cut yet? "

Kill it.

"What if the baby's born a preemie at seven months - can you kill it for another two months?"


"What about a purely test tube baby, one who isn't in any womb, but is incubated in a lab (something that will probably be feasible soon). Until when can you pull the plug on it?"

I don't know. I don't know enough about the science behind it. Just use the self-ownership principle and the answer should be obvious.

At 4/04/2006 5:58 AM, Blogger menachem declaimed...

i want to challenge the self ownership principle in a different way. would you defend a woman's right to do something to her fetus that would cause it to be born deformed, and suffer throughout its life?

i'm playing devil's advocate here... i'm not totaly against abortion (i'm what you like to call quasi-choice), but i just don't like your self-ownership theory.

At 4/04/2006 6:08 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"Would you defend a woman's right to do something to her fetus that would cause it to be born deformed, and suffer throughout its life?"

It's a bit laoded. Your question assumes that the deformation and suffering can be objectively determined, doesn't it ?

At 4/04/2006 10:55 AM, Blogger Daniel declaimed...

My premise is simple -- the value of human life is directly proportional to the development of consciousness, in particular, to its cognizance of pain. That is, entities which are not self-aware, such as the zygote at month 1, are much less valuable than a near-term fetus, which is quite cognizant of pain and discomfort.

In my ethical premises, causing unnecessary pain and suffering to a conscious and sentinent creature is unethical.

It was rightly pointed out that defining when "human life begins" is ambiguous and arbitrary. I would simply err on the side of caution by correlating to scientifically-known markers in CNS development. Most (emphasize most) researchers agree that prior to four months, there is literally no capacity for pain response. If you are not causing it pain, it isn't unethical.

Since there is some dispute about the exact timing, I err on the side of caution with three months. In this sense, I consider abortions past the first trimester as unethical.

Does that mean, though, that I think they should be unlawful? Of course not. This does, indeed, go back to the rights to privacy and property. If it is inside your body, it's yours. Pretty simple.

That comment below about "after born, but still attached via umbilicus", by my definition above, makes it murder to kill a child which is totally outside your body, but just attached with a cord. Seems pretty obvious to me.

At 4/04/2006 5:32 PM, Blogger menachem declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4/04/2006 5:34 PM, Blogger menachem declaimed...

no need to go into specifics of how deformed and how much suffering. the point is, does the deformed baby, (having been born and is now an intelligent adult,) have a claim against his mother for making him so terribly deformed and causing him so much suffering?

can she just answer him with your "hey, at the time you were my body, and i have a right to do whatever i want to my body" answer?

At 4/04/2006 10:56 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

You fully missed my point. I was not questioning the AMOUNT of suffering. I was questioning the NATURE of your criteria. Are we talking about normality here ? Is Vicki Lucas, who has cherubism, "suffering" ? She says she's pretty damn happy, and she doesn't want to try to have it corrected.

Let's be honest here... people do suffer of horrible deformities and illnesses. But it's a completely unrealistic criteria to use suffering. I prefer to simply say : the reduction of possibilities (freedom).

Should we use genetic engineering to eradicate that which gives human beings less possibilities in life ? YES. But that doesn't mean you can claim a woman's body.

At 4/05/2006 7:00 AM, Blogger Mike declaimed...

It was rightly pointed out that defining when "human life begins" is ambiguous and arbitrary. I would simply err on the side of caution by correlating to scientifically-known markers in CNS development. Most (emphasize most) researchers agree that prior to four months, there is literally no capacity for pain response.

Brother Danny, unless you want to suggest that the ability to feel pain is the fundemental qualifier for "life," you're still left with a totally arbitrary marker of when life begins. Which of course you acknowledge.

There are two issues that the morality of abortion revolves around. One is the self ownership issue, the other is the issue of homocide. When do we confer the title of "human-ness" upon ourselves? As several have said here, any benchmark is arbitrary.

Also thorny is how one chooses to value these two issues. Is the issue of homocide more important, or is self-ownership? Any answer given is based on one's own value system, and therefore subjective.

So abortion is a difficult topic, fraught with arbitrary and subjective issues.

My thoughts: Since our markers for human life are arbitrary, I do think we should err on the side of caution and move the date all the way back to conception. The homocide issue can then be avoided altogether.

But is self-ownership more important? How you answer the homocide question will probably have a great impact here. If, after date X, abortion becomes murder, does this become the over riding principle? If abortion is never murder, i.e. if you arbitrarily state that life only begins at birth,* then the homocide issue ceases to exist for you entirely.

So for the sake of discussion, let's say abortion becomes homocide after date X but before birth. Does self-ownership still trump homocide?

Well, there are three other situations in which our society can conceivably condone the intentional killing of a human. War, capital punishment, and self-defense. Does a post-X abortion share characteristics with war, punishment, or self-defense? Or is it an entirely seperate issue? That's not a rhetorical question, I'd really like to know.

*The choice of birth as a date for defining one as "human" is so uniquely arbitrary that it could only be a political decision, not a scientific or moral one.

At 5/16/2006 2:50 PM, Blogger Faith declaimed...

Pro-Abortion is NOT Pro-Choice. Choice means that a woman can choose to not have an abortion, but every person that I have encountered who favours "choice" does not support a woman's right to choose to have her baby. Not only are they reluctant to support adoption rights or provide economic support to women in difficult situations, they also reject the basic right of "informed consent". I know many women who have had abortions and they sufferred dearly for their "choice" because of the decision of their medical practitioners to withhold basic information that might have altered their decision to have the abortion. Sometimes, the information might have only made the abortion process safer, but it was not deemed important to the abortion provider that the "silly" woman know the little details like how to care for yourself after a second or third trimester abortion. I nearly lost a friend because the hospital staff didn't consider it important to teach her how to prevent an infection after the abortion, nor what signs to watch for should there be complications - she owes her life to two pro-life friends with first-aid training, including one who served as an army medic.

It was never about "choice", it was always about "money", and I am tired of women being victimized by this ancient and barbaric practice known as abortion.

At 5/29/2006 7:29 PM, Blogger Faith declaimed...

Here's a thought. We always talk about "my body, my choice" and a woman's right to determine who may or may not "occupy" her womb. I have lived in areas where it is illegal for tennants to be evicted from their place of residence for any reason, during periods of time where the outside conditions (weather, temperature, etc.) might cause the death of the tennants. Landlords must wait until suitable weather arrives before evicting undesirable (unpaying, etc.) tennants. The basic biological function of sex is to create new life. When any two persons of opposite gender engage in an act whereby a baby may be created, they have extended an invitation to that person - it's not like the baby just dropped in of its own accord. Just how and when did it become a "right" for any human being to murder another human being for any reason? Regardless of when philosophers think that life might begin (biologically it begins at conception), whether at forty years, birth, when the heart starts beating, etc.; we are still talking about a human being.

Given the direction that our culture is heading in, I fear that soon, we won't just be knocking off our babies. How long before we start putting a "value" on everyone's life, and pulling the plug on any who do not measure up?

At 5/31/2006 3:13 PM, Blogger Faith declaimed...

How low have we fallen. I know that there are some who would like to believe that babies do not feel pain in the womb, and I have seem some studies that seem to support that, if only I were ignorant enough to believe them. Whether a baby feels pain has more to do with whether the child is wanted and/or if the doctor supports the abortion industry. For example, if your baby was planned and precious and long awaited by all parties and something goes wrong, requiring in-utero surgery to fix it - you will want to sign that little document that allows the medical team of crack surgeons to use top of the line anaesthetics to ensure an improved medical outcome (the survival of your little bundle of joy). Now maybe you can be fooled into thinking that this young child lacks the specific structural developments to "feel" the pain or, more precisely, "recognise" the pain it feels on an intellectual level (apparently it isn't smart enough yet to recognise why it is writhing in agony). But the child fares much better if it is not exposed to the pain it is not supposed to be able to feel yet. That is practical medical reality, not wishful theory.

Of course, if the child is unwanted and a royal inconvenience to your plans to go to where-ever to do whatever, then any abortionist will tell you - of course it can't feel pain - everything is there (the brain, the nerves, etc.), but the brain just isn't developed enough to recognise the pain for what it is.

Bull!!!! This arrogance was behind the practice not only of performing in-utero surgeries without pain relief measures, but also performing circumcisions on young boys without pain relief measures. After all, those very studies that suggest that babies do not feel pain until after 29 weeks, also say that we really don't develop the cognitive ability to recognise pain until well after we are born. Yet, an experiment designed to test baby boy's and their response to circumcisions under various methods of pain relief had to be stopped very early in the testing stage because it became immediatly apparent that the babies did feel pain to a much greater degree than adults do. The remaining patients were given their circumcisions with the maximum pain relief measures. And modern in-utero surgeries do make use of pain relief measures for the baby.

The mistake was that "everyone" assumed that the developing brain lacked the ability to feel pain until it was older, that all the parts weren't all working together yet; when the reality is that developing brain lacks the ability to deal with the pain - the brain can't shut it down. The Baby may not be able to identify what the pain is the way that we can as adults - but, the pain is not only present but much more intense in developing babies.

I don't know exactly when babies do begin to feel, but I would not touch a fetus after seven weeks gestation - after 12 weeks, your doctor would have to be a cruel, sadistic SOB to proceed with an abortion (either that, or just old and out of touch with modern medicine). I would even wonder about babies as early as seven days when the neural tube begins to form, but I can at least hope that one week is too soon.

We try to protect animals because they lack our intelligence and understanding. But, we recognise that they feel pain. Why do we assume for humans that it doesn't really hurt until it can be identified and labelled.

At 6/05/2006 2:52 PM, Blogger Faith declaimed...

Prenates (unborn babies) are sentient with functioning senses by the end of the first trimester, so says Sir William Lily (pioneering father of fetology) and Dr. Arnold Gesell of Yale (both have passed away and did their groundbreaking work prior to the legalization of abortion in North America). Prenates have an awareness of their surroundings and respond to changes in their surroundings (and just like other children, they appear to like sweets). This is born out by modern observations made possible through the use of ultrasound technology. Amniocentesis performed at about 16 weeks gestation is performed with the use of an ultrasound machine in order to locate the fetus, the intent is to draw amniotic fluid, not harm the developing baby. During these procedures, which are done routinely, it has been observed that the baby will deliberately move away from the needle, even though the needle has not touched it, and if the needle does nick the baby (accidently) the baby will respond by swiping at the barrel of the needle with its fist. These actions demonstrate a clear awareness on the part of the baby to its surroundings and, while reflex may play a part in the baby's defensive action against a nick, the responses cannot be attributed to a simple reflex action. There has been the suggestion that the babies cannot feel pain until much later, despite EEG and ECG recordings and other observations during painful events, due to the later maturation of the cortex. Yet, according to Patton et al, Intro to Basic Neurology, W.B. Saunders Co. 1976, p. 178, you can remove the cortex and still feel pain - so long as you have a thalamus which is functioning by eight weeks gestation. There is a difference between organic (physical) pain and psychological pain - they are connected, but it is not necessary to have both components to "feel" pain. For example, if you accidently touch a hot burner on a stove, you will have pulled your hand away before you are cognisant of what has happened. However, if you think back, you will note that you felt the pain first, then the defensive reflex was initiated to pull your hand away from the painful stimulus, then the pain registered in your brain and you became intellectually aware of the pain and then noticed that you had a burn on your hand (probably small) and then you took action to alleviate that pain by putting your hand under cool running water. The reflex was triggered by the pain and the reaction was completed before it registered, but the pain was felt first and if you really think about it, you will remember that the pain was felt first on a physical level, before being "experienced" on a conscious level. You can remove the conscious level, but you will still feel the pain and it will hurt.

Prenates under 30 weeks of age are hypersensitive and so feel pain much more intensely than those with mature brains. Normally, in the womb, there is no need for protective measures that develop later, there should be no safer place for a developing baby. This is born out by our experience with premature babies. Neonates from 22 weeks to 30 weeks are noticably hypersensitive to all stimuli (light, sound, touch) and respond well to measures designed to mute such stimuli, including the use of anaesthetics during invasive procedures. Why does anyone believe that a healthy fetus in the womb is less affected by stimuli than its prematurely born counterpart.

At 6/09/2006 2:37 PM, Blogger Faith declaimed...

Self ownership is important to all humans. We love our freedom and should fight to keep it. No one has the right to remove your kidney without your permission. No one has the right to tell you what to think. No one has the right to kill another human being for any reason, especially not to inherit or otherwise obtain property, or to remove a rival in business, or a rival or impediment for any other kind of success, whether in love, professional, or personal ambitions. In the pursuit of this personal freedom, we have abolished slavery in this country. We have laws to protect us from each other (most of the time). And, to most, it would be unthinkable to allow the death of another for want of money or possessions. Yet, our modern society with all of its social concerns, still thinks it is acceptable to not only allow the death of our youngest members, but to proceed with their termination under the most gruesome of conditions for even the most frivolous of reasons. When a woman becomes pregnant, she conceives a totally new and distinct human being. This person has DNA that is not like the mother or the father, even if there are some similarities. This person will have a distinct personality and appearance, both of which are already determined within the unique DNA that is present at conception - the genotype is set, the phenotype may be somewhat influenced by outside forces, but will not be identical to either parent. The child may be dependent upon the mother for the duration of his or her stay within the womb (and, possibly, for a lengthy period after that); but, the mother does not "own" the child the way she owns her kidneys or heart or limbs, or even her womb. Slavery has been abolished. A mother does not have the moral right to "evict" her tennant in a way that will cause the child to die. Where I come from, landlords of buildings are not legally permitted to evict their tennants if the eviction will harm (or kill) the tennants due to unfavorable weather conditions. Lawyers may say otherwise; however, consider what many people think about a 1000 lawyers at the bottom of lake.

Children do not "invade" their mother's womb - the act of sex invites them. If any sexually mature individual out there does not know that the biological function of sex is to produce offspring should go to their medical doctor and request to be sterilized for the sake of improving our gene pool.

At 3/31/2015 4:07 PM, Blogger Faith declaimed...

A child did not ask to be conceived. Except in the case of rape, the mother made the decision to engage in an action that was biologically designed to create a child, so essentially such an act was an invitation.

The womb may belong to the woman, but the child is a separate individual and to deny that child his or her rights is no different from Slavery when the law determined that some human beings were in some way inferior to others and thus not deserving of protection under the law.



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