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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"Against Abortion but For Choice" is a Cop-Out

[Today's guest post by Todd Pettigrew is part of our paid blogging program.]

In today’s often polarized abortion debates, one common middle position is the stance that says “I’m not in favor of abortion, but I think people should have the right to choose.” At first, this sounds like admirably enlightened  and judicious. It sounds like it finds a reasonable middle ground.

But it’s really just a cop out.

For one thing, it assumes that pro-choice advocates are, in general, in favor of abortion as a positive good. But with the possible exception of countries like China where abortion may be encouraged for the sake of population control, few would be positively in favor of abortion for its own sake. Indeed, China’s policies have frequently been denounced as “barbaric.”

In short, no woman deliberately gets pregnant to experience the joy of abortion.

The real debate, then, is over the legal and moral status of abortion. And here is where the tough ethical calls have to be made. If you believe that abortion is an immoral killing of a human being then you must, as a moral person (perhaps with a few exceptions) conclude that abortions should be illegal.

To claim that you oppose abortion but think others should have the choice is as ludicrous as saying that you personally oppose rape, but think that men should be able to rape women if they choose to do it. That’s obviously wrong. If you think people should have the right to choose to do something then you are, in effect, in favor of it. That you yourself might not choose it, is not the same as being against it.

Consider a more realistic parallel: the legalization of marijuana. I don’t smoke pot. I never have, and I have no intention of doing so. But I do think people should have the choice. So, yes, I am pro-pot as far as the legal and ethical debate is concerned. We should all be equally forthright on the question of abortion.

The anti-abortion-but-pro-choice position is tempting, but it must be resisted because it allows people to avoid the essential questions. It allows for a pro-choice position that doesn’t have to answer the hardest questions: Why isn’t a fetus a distinct human life? And if it is a distinct human life, why doesn’t it deserve legal protections? If you can answer these questions, we can have a debate. If not, you’ll have to change your position. Either way, the issue is too important for people to hide behind an easy rhetorical trick.

81 comments:

Janet Susan said...

I think *all* of those questions are still valid for the pro-abortion-for-thee-but-not-me position. And even more valid: "*Why* will you not get an abortion?"

Ralph Horque said...

I don't do this cop-out. I am pro choice. The bible says life begins at first breath. Gen 2:7. Nowhere does it say that life begins at conception. If anti-choicers (most of them Christiam) are going to ignore that part of the bible, who is to decide which parts they can pick and choose?

Bob C said...

- I have found this blog to be very helpful, and I reference it many times. What I like about it is that it promotes a pro life perspective and at the same time does not talk down to people of faith, any faith. It is too bad, Ralph, that as a follower of this blog you cannot apparently follow their lead. There is enough division in the world, and especially on this subject, that I would have hoped people could focus on the things we have in common, here, without insulting one another.

Gary said...

Actually the prooftext is Psalm 139. Genesis 2:7 is only a prooftext of first breath as the point when *inorganic matter becomes alive* and does not refer to when life starts in the human procreative cycle because, as the surrounding context clarifies, God fashions out of clay. That is a different thing from natural human procreation. You cannot take an exceptional corcumstance and make that normative just to suit your (un)ethical tastes.

Elisabet said...

This is why I can't take Joe Biden seriously. He said he believes that abortion kills a human being but he's not prepared to impose this view on others. This is moral relativism at it's finest!

Elisabet said...

You realise this is a secular blog, right?
No biblical arguments to be made here.

frankbellamy said...

As a pro-choice person, I completely agree with this post.

Clinton said...

You biblical hermeneutic is lousy. Using your logic, life doesn't begin until we're in our 30's (whichis approximately how old Adam was when he was created).
Plus, we take in oxygen in the womb through the umbilical cord. As Scott Klusendorf wrote in his book The Case for Life, only the method, not the fact, of breathing changes at birth. It's like switching from AC to DC power.
Adam was alive because he "became a living soul." We are alive from fertilization, so we have a soul at fertilization. The soul is created when we are.

Clinton said...

Yeah, all Genesis 2:7 tells us is that everyone that God fashions from the dust of the earth becomes alive when God breathes the breath of life into him. That says nothing about when human life actually begins through the procreative process.

Em said...

Hi Ralph.

Like Gary pointed out, the creation of Adam was an exceptional circumstance, and you can't logically apply the same criteria for "life" to other humans naturally conceived.

Also, what about babies who are born but not breathing yet? What if the cord is wrapped around the neck or there's "gunk" obstructing the throat or something, and it's a few moments before the newborn takes his first breath? Clearly we can't kill those babies.


And speaking of picking and choosing, how can we in good conscience reasonably say that some humans get to be people and some don't? That's nothing more than discrimination. Over and over throughout history we've justified causing harm to our fellow humans by saying "of course they aren't really people like us!" We've been wrong every time, but that hasn't stopped us from doing it again. Abortion is simply following the sad pattern of history.

Coyote said...

Yep, and yet apparently he has no problem in imposing his view that men should pay child support on other men.

Coyote said...

"*Why* will you not get an abortion?"

The pro-abortion choice response to this question would probably be that it is emotionally unpleasant for me to get an abortion and/or because I always use contraception correctly beforehand and thus will likely never accidentally get pregnant.

Em said...

Also, here's some other verses, in case you're interested :)

Concerning John the Baptist in Luke 1:15: "He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before he is born."

Psalm 139:13-14: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

Luke 1:41-44: When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy."

The same word for baby, "brephos," is used here for John as in Luke 2:12, which refers to baby Jesus in the manger, and 1 Peter 2:2, which refers to newborn babies. The same word describes born and pre-born babies.

And of course, the Bible says that mankind is created in the image of God, and a pre-born human at any age is unquestionably, biologically, "mankind," that is, a member of the human species.

ufo42 said...

We can answer your questions. It is a distinct human life, but so is any cell in your body which theoretically could be turned into a clone of you. It doesn't deserve legal protection the same way that you don't deserve the legal protection of being able to appropriate a stranger's kidney to keep yourself alive if you would otherwise die of kidney disease. Letting another individual use parts of your body is a choice that you get to make and that no-one else gets to make for you. If I was dying of kidney disease, would you be ok if there was a low on the books which allowed me to demand and receive one of your kidneys? If you don't think such a law is a good idea, then neither can you argue that a law prohibiting abortions is a good idea.

johno said...

Most "Catholic" politicians use this. Wont have one because against "beliefs" but wont tell someone else not to get one. Catholics like Joe Biden, Pataki, Ridge, Pelosi, etc are many. I doubt that they even understand that in their "religion" it is mortal sin and "they" would be going to hell for it. Now that is for believers who believe in a hell of course.

johno said...

This is why I like Pro-Life Atheists! Not going to the bible as crutch for Pro-Choice Christians.

Coyote said...

"If I was dying of kidney disease, would you be ok with a law which allowed me to demand and receive one of your kidneys"

If it was my fault that this individual needed a new kidney in the first place, and if this kidney removal operation did not (seriously) threaten my life, then Yes, I would support such a law.

Coyote said...

"any cell in your body which theoretically could be turned into a clone of you."

This is a poor analogy, since cells are not human beings (yet), unlike zygotes, embryos, and fetuses.

Human being = A whole individual/entity/organism at a particular stage of human development.

Jameson Graber said...

"so is any cell in your body which theoretically could be turned into a clone of you"
I find this argument perplexing, and what's strange is that I've actually heard a professional philosopher use it, as if it's a good argument.


When we say that any cell of my body could be theoretically turned into a clone of me, what we're talking about is a process which we could theoretically implement to change a single cell into a human organism. This is not some spontaneous occurrence. It is a predictable event based on scientific principles we understand. Thus if any scientist chose to undertake such a cloning experiment, I would hold him morally responsible for the outcome--and in particular for the care of the resulting human being.


Conception is also not a spontaneous occurrence. It is a predictable event based on scientific principles we understand. If two people choose to have intercourse, I hold them morally responsible for the outcome--and in particular for the care of the child who might be conceived in the process.


So what's your argument here?

ufo42 said...

My point is that without heroic efforts and often without the woman knowing she was even pregnant, human life ends all the time. The death of a blastocyst, especially if it is not even noticed, is not a tragedy, just a natural occurance. It is immoral to take away a woman's agency and control over her own body by mandating that she donate her body's resources against her will in support of a potential person. The only possible (and it is horribly flawed) justification for such an attitude is an authoritarian religion based idea that women need to be punished for having sex without intending to start a pregnancy.

ufo42 said...

Yours is the poor analogy. Only the deluded theists who believe there is an immortal soul somehow injected into the fertilized egg at the moment of conception have any reason to equate a zygote or even a pre-viable fetus with a human being. Even more reprehensible is valuing the life of a fetus over that of its potential mother as was done when that Catholic hospital in Ireland murdered that non-catholic dentist by denying her life-saving medical attention until her fetus died naturally and it was too late to save her.

Jameson Graber said...

"The death of a blastocyst, especially if it is not even noticed, is not a tragedy, just a natural occurence." OK, there's something to this, and it's perhaps something pro-lifers don't take deeply enough into account when presenting their arguments. But the fact of the matter is, elective abortion is much more than shedding a single cell. When you seek out and kill something you know to be living, that carries a moral significance far greater than simply allowing something to die unknowingly. You're right, mother nature kills off most of her young. But that is no excuse for us to act in kind.


The most disturbing thing about your point of view is the last part, "the only possible ... justification ... is an authoritarian religion." That is simply a poverty of imagination shaping your opinion. If you think punishing women is the main motivation for being pro-life, how do you even account for the existence of groups like Feminists for Life? Do you sincerely believe they're all just covering up some horrible repressive beliefs about women's role in society?

ufo42 said...

Right, this is what all anti-choice arguments boil down to: It is the woman's fault that she got pregnant and if carrying the pregnancy kills her or ruins her life, she deserved it for being a slut. The only possible justification for such an attitude is religious dogma. Those of us for whom the indoctrination never took, just stare in horror at people who think that it is somehow moral to deny a fellow human of the right to control her own body. If it is ok to force a woman to donate her body's resources and put her life on hold so that an unwanted pregnancy can develop into a baby, then it is also ok to enslave the woman for any purpose because she does not own her own body. Society does.



In fact, you would not support a law for me to appropriate your kidney if you were not responsible for my kidney disease because you're not a slut who deserves punishment in that case. And you, unlike a pregnant woman, own your own body and are free to make our own decisions about whether or not you want to give up your body parts (permanently or temporarily) to save a life. In the case of a fetus, that is not yet another person, but even if you believe it is, that still does not justify taking the decision to abort a pregnancy away from a woman.

ufo42 said...

Yes, I do believe that people who support anti-abortion laws are motivated by at the very least residual effects of the God Virus. First of all, the effect of anti-abortion laws is to delay women who need to have an abortion for whatever reason until the death of the fetus happens at a later stage when the fetus is closer to being a separate person, thereby increasing the danger to the woman's physical and mental health. Second, no one has a compelling counter-argument to my analogy between "forced heroism" kidney donation laws and anti-abortion laws. Having a child is a huge commitment of a woman's resources. To force her to make that commitment against her will is clearly analogous to the kidney donation law idea, and clearly just as immoral. Kidney donation presents comparable risks to the life and health of the donor as pregnancy does to the life and health of the potential mother.

Coyote said...

Did you even read the definition of human being which I used? You can disagree with it, but then it's simply an issue of semantics, since I can simply use another word to describe it. That said, you did not rebuke my point that a prenatal human being (using my definition of human being) is different from someone's cells, which are a part of their body.

Also, the woman is not merely a potential mother, but rather an actual mother:

child:

2 an unborn or recently born human being; fetus; neonate; infant.

Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.

Also, I don't view the fetus's life as superior to the life of the mother. In fact, I view the mother's life as superior, since I support a maternal life exception for abortion. In addition, I want to point out that I lean in support of giving legal personhood to prenatal human beings for the same reason that I consider (already born) human infants to be persons while I don't consider some/many non-human animals which currently have equal mental abilities to human infants to be persons.

ufo42 said...

I read that definition many times in debates like this. I don't agree with it, but even if I did, you still haven't refuted the forced kidney donation argument. Heroism should not be mandated by the state. Once it is, we are all slaves.

Jameson Graber said...

The "forced heroism" argument has been answered already, but to reiterate: your analogy only works if I'm directly responsible for the person needing the kidney donation, i.e. I'm the reason the person needs a kidney. Since parents are, in fact, directly responsible for the existence of their children, it stands to reason that they would need exceptional reasons for killing their children.


I admit there are some reasons. To address your first point, I think that there are certain cases in which it is legitimate to abort: saving the life of the mother is an example we can agree on. Another instance in which I will concede is the case of rape--then your "forced heroism" argument works, and you're right, there are good reasons why we would want the abortion to happen earlier rather than later.


But for all of that, I feel like your dismissal of the pro-life position as the product of delusions is making it difficult to have a reasonable debate on this.

Coyote said...

OK, but even if you use another definition of human being, then I will simply come up with another word to use here to describe what I mean.

Also, I do not consider taking responsibility for one's willing actions and decisions to be heroism.

Finally, do you support allowing men to opt-out of paying child support?

Coyote said...

I agree with your arguments here, Jameson. I am trying to state the same arguments here as you stated.

ufo42 said...

"If you intend on having a civil debate, you might actually try making a
serious effort to listen to the other side instead of simply dismissing
it."



Interesting that you back up this false accusation of incivility with gratuitous insults.



Yes people should be responsible, but mandating responsibility by laws which take away the most fundamental right of all humans, the right to own and control their own body, is, IMHO, abhorrent.


I disagree with the War on Drugs laws for the same reason.



Speaking of dismissing arguments, I have rebuked/disredited/debunked your claims. No one has come up with any argument not blatantly based on religious dogma to refute the forced kidney-donation analogy. You support my case by your bald assertion that it is a woman's fault if she has consensual sex and becomes pregnant. That is a clearly religious argument based on the idea that it is somehow shameful and immoral for a woman to have sex without the intent of having a baby.



You support my case that your moral outrage is religious dogma based by your intemperate comments above.


Have a nice day. :)

ufo42 said...

Wonderful, you're not in favor of murdering women by denying them a life-saving abortion, nor in favor of making them the slaves of their sex partner in the case of rape. In those respects, you're miles ahead of the christian taliban, but you still seem to think that (by the kidney donation law analogy) that if you accidentally shot me in the kidney, I should have the right to appropriate one of yours. What if you owed me a bunch of money? Should you not be allowed to go bankrupt so that I can't take your house or your kidney? Anti-abortion laws are like that. Even if somehow you think the life of a fetus which has yet to pass the viability test of actually being born is just as valuable as the life of the potential mother and should have the same rights, you have not shown how it is moral to give anyone the rights that such a fetus would enjoy if there were anti-abortion laws. Either a person owns her own body or she doesn't. Anti-abortion laws give ownership of women's bodies to the courts.


I'm saying that your arguments only make sense in the context of the religious dogma that somehow having sex without intending to procreate is immoral. It is not. It is natural. Just as natural as is childbirth itself.

Jameson Graber said...

There are lots of things which are not immoral to do, but which nevertheless carry with them certain moral responsibilities. Guns are actually a good example. Let's say I did accidentally shoot you in the kidney. I believe there are situations in which I would be morally culpable for that, on the grounds that I should have been more careful with my gun, and that therefore I do owe you something. Maybe my kidney would not be unreasonably demanded of me in that case. It's difficult to say.

It is not immoral to have consensual sex whenever you want, but that comes with certain responsibilities. One thing that's clear with sex is that it can result in pregnancy. It's not necessarily fair to compare sex to using a gun, but in this one sense there is an analogy: if I refuse to take responsibility for the consequences, I shouldn't be doing it.

ufo42 said...

Definition of FETUS
: an unborn or unhatched vertebrate especially after attaining the basic structural plan of its kind; specifically : a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth Miriam Webster

Throwing definitions around doesn't really help, but I couldn't resist.

I don't support opt-out of child support, I do support personal responsibility. But in the case of an unwanted pregnancy, we're talking about more than just financial resources. We're talking about forcing a woman who agreed to sex but not to pregnancy to devote a significant part of her body to a 9-month long project followed by the emotionally wrenching decision to adopt out or raise the child for the next 20 years and worry about it for the rest of the woman's life. That should not be something mandated by law.

Men can and do opt out of child support too often by murdering the pregnant woman or by forcing her to have an abortion. I support laws which attempt to prevent that kind of behavior. Forcing a woman to have an abortion against her will is, IMHO, even more immoral than forcing her to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. Women are justly rewarded with social approval for the heroic act of carrying a pregnancy to term and then caring for a child. Forcing an abortion on someone is analogous to preventing a heroic individual from donating his kidney to a stranger.

I agree that using abortion as a method of birth control is A Bad Thing. It should be prevented by making morning after pills freely available. Taking away all women's decisions as to when or if to have a child is not an acceptable solution to this problem in a free society.

To suggest that a significant number (or even any) women are using abortion as their preferred method of birth control is an absurd piece of christian taliban propaganda. The harm done by anti-abortion laws far outweighs any possible benefits.

Hmmm if this thread continues through another 3 cycles or so, we're going to be putting 2 or less words on each line.

Coyote said...

"Interesting that you back up this false accusation of incivility with gratuitous insults"

I might have been a little too harsh. I apologize.

"Yes people should be responsible, but mandating responsibility by laws
which take away the most fundamental right of all humans, the right to
own and control their own body, is, IMHO, abhorrent"

Actually, the most fundamental right of all is the right to life, since without it, all other rights are worthless. Also, I would consider the right not to be held responsible for the decisions of others to be a more important right than the right to one's body as well (after all, if we are held responsible for the decisions of others, then we lack liberty and lack sufficient control over out own lives and futures).

"I disagree with the War on Drugs laws for the same reason."

I'm glad to hear this part (and I probably agree with you on this).

"You support my case by your bald assertion that it is a woman's fault
if she has consensual sex and becomes pregnant. That is a clearly
religious argument based on the idea that it is somehow shameful and
immoral for a woman to have sex without the intent of having a baby."


My assertion and argument here is no more "clearly religious" than saying that it is (partially) the man's fault if he has consensual sex and is forced to pay child support afterwards as a result. I never said that it is shameful and immoral for a woman or a man to have sex without the intent of creating a pregnancy and giving birth. However, your statement here can likewise be applied to your views about men who have sex without the intent of paying child support afterwards.

I have no problem with individuals doing certain things, such as sex. I also fully support sex ed and giving everyone old enough to legally consent to sex (in at least some cases) easy access to contraception. Thus, I fail to see why or how my position is religious, considering that I have no problem with fertile opposite-sex couples having sex for pleasure.

Rational Scientist said...

Nobody is pro-abortion, but you can be pro-choice. I think abortion should be legal, safe, and rare. Making abortion illegal won't magically stop abortions, and then you have to ask what you would then do to punish a woman who has an abortion.

Ki said...

"I think abortion should be legal, safe, and rare." Lots on your side say that, and then turn around and do everything in their power to avoid safety standards. If there wasn't such an opposition to inspections, gosnell would have been caught sooner.


Making slavery illegal hasn't stopped slavery. In fact, human trafficking is still very much an issue today. It has been estimated that we have more slavery now than when it was legal. Ironically enough, no one has proposed that we make slavery illegal again as a solution.

Coyote said...

"you have to ask what you would then do to punish a woman who has an abortion."

How about throwing her in prison for 3-10 years, with the opportunity for her to have all charges and punishments/penalties against her dropped if she tells the police/authorities the name of her abortion provider and if she fully cooperates with the police/government investigation in regards to this abortion provider.

"Making abortion illegal won't magically stop abortions"

No, but if all other things (contraception access, sex ed, et cetera) remain equal, it will reduce the number of abortions.

"Nobody is pro-abortion"

I don't know about this. For instance, I've heard some pro-choicers (inaccurately) call embryos and/or fetuses to be the body parts of women. I think that many people are in pro-removal of unwanted and unnecessary body parts (of course, scientifically educated people know that fetuses are not body parts, but unfortunately, not all people are scientifically educated on this).

Coyote said...

"Either a person owns her own body or she doesn't."

Again, the woman owns her own body. She is simply unable to exercise her right to bodily autonomy in certain cases, similar to what I support doing for men in certain cases.

Also, you seem to be conveniently forgetting that being unable to exercise one's bodily autonomy for nine months pales in comparison to the sacrifice of (on average) several decades of life that the innocent embryo/fetus endures if it/he/she is aborted.

Considering said...

As a pro-choice person I can say that yes I think a fetus is a distinct human life but that it doesn't deserve the same legal protections as a born child

Considering said...

:) you have clearly never been pregnant

Coyote said...

No, I haven't, so you are more than welcome to correct me. If you are talking about my part about sacrifice, then I think my point stands in most cases, since nine months of a pregnancy (no matter how hard it might be) pales in comparison to losing decades of one's life.

As a side note, I am very willing (and am in fact eager) to become pregnant when/if medical technology allows it (and if I can be pregnant (relatively) safely).

LevelUpPlease said...

Or, they know they probably could not handle it emotionally.

I have a friend who is personally PL, politically PC. She had an unplanned pregnancy and says she understands the fear and the feelings that may lead someone to have an abortion, but she knew that she couldn't go thru with it. She feels she is in no position to tell another woman that she *legally* should not have the right to abort.

She tries to end abortion by changing minds and viewpoints, not laws. She wishes to bring on a societal change in which abortion isn't even thought of as an option, not because you could go to jail, but because there is no perceived need.

Janet Susan said...

Well, to me that reasoning is like saying "I personally am against killing toddlers, and I want to bring societal change in which toddler killing isn't even thought of as an option, not because you could go to jail, but because there is no perceived need."

Considering said...

In the first place the prolife attitude that it's just 9 months and how selfish are women that they wouldn't make that sacrifice is judgmental, it's misguided, and it's dismissive of an event that changes you emotionally, physically, mentally. It is not a blip in your life that you shake off after it's over. The entire process is transformative.


The fact that this is never acknowledged is part of why I'm prochoice.

Considering said...

I understand that you're young, you're at least attempting to understand. But since there is no possibility of you having to face this situation, dismissing pregnancy is some easy little 9 month stint is silly parroting of a standard prolife line

JDC said...

"no one has proposed that we make slavery illegal again as a solution."

Uh, I think you mean "legal" not "illegal".

LevelUpPlease said...

Well, since killing toddlers is illegal and unquestionable immoral, I don't see how it is saying that at all.

Chantel said...

It is especially discriminatory because the vast majority of abortions are of minorities. Black, Hispanic, female and the disabled are who usually ends up in the garbage instead of a bassinet. Why don't we spend our time, energy and money providing these children and their mother's a brighter future instead of killing them?

Chantel said...

Actually you are missing some massive pieces of logic in your tirade. Firstly, you completely ignore the fact that babies in the womb do not need their mother at as young as 22 weeks! They could survive with medical intervention outside the womb. There is zero need for abortion past that point. Yet, when states like Texas try to ban abortions past that point, your crowd cries war on women. Additionally, you insinuate that pro-life people all secretly think women getting abortions are sluts and therefore should be punished by having a child. This might have some ground when you are talking about those who ar pro-life except in cases of rape or incest, but it does not apply to across the board pro-lifers. But then your crowd again attacks us too saying that we hate women and want them to be forced to bear their rapists child. No, I want the women to have never been raped, I want them to get counseling and all the help they can get to heal. They don't have to raise the child. They can give it up for adoption. When does killing equate to healing? All it does is remove the physical burden of the child, not the emotional trauma of the event. The removal of the physical burden results in the death of another human being.

Chantel said...

I have been pregnant. I worked until Wednesday, my water broke Thursday and my son was born at 12:05 Friday. During that time I stopped drinking Diet Coke and tried to eat a healthy diet. I had to pee more frequently and when the time came I had a whole lot of strangers staring at my vagina. I tore and then ripped my stitches. I had morning sickness and yes, I threw up. You know what I call that? A whole lotta inconvenience. I really hate it when women try to pass pregnancy and childbirth off as this 9 month long torture fest that basically chains a woman to her bed, crying out for anyone to save her. No wonder so many women are afraid to have babies.

Chantel said...

It is transformative, in a good way! It's somehow legal to ban sodas more than 16 oz, to ban drugs and for the government to force people through rehab because it's good for them, yet stopping a woman from an abortion is taboo? What about the significant risks of abortion? What about ruptured uteruses, post procedural infections, scar tissue that can prevent future pregnancy and cancer? By your argument we should be allowed to kill our children and anyone that is dependent on us at any stage because the act of raising a child or caring for an elderly family member is transformative. If we boiled the pro-choice vs pro-life argument down to one question it would be if we are human in the womb. Pro-lifers say yes, pro-choicers say no. If you are pro-choice and you say it is a human but you don't care, then that really does make you a monster.

Chantel said...

Sigh. Here is an equal quandry for you on par with your kidney question. Conjoined twins are born. They both have heads, brains, arms, legs etc. the only thing is that they share a heart which is located in one of the twins chest cavity in the usual place. In your opinion does the twin with the heart have the moral or legal right to have surgery to cut off the blood flow or remove the other twin without said twin's consent? If you answer no, then you may begin to have some understanding of why other's are pro-life.

Chantel said...

Why? If a child is 22 weeks gestation and is born, what is the difference between them and one in the womb at the same age? Both can survive outside the womb and have identical development.

Considering said...

I have never heard a single prochoice person advocate killing born children, but prolifers can't see to envision that they could stop themselves


It is transformative in a good way - if you are pregnant and want to be.

Considering said...

One persons personal experience isn't a good basis for setting policy or laws.


Some pregnancies are fine, go well, and women love them. Some go badly. Some have no complications at all Some have a few.


Despite my best laid plans I couldn't work up till my due date, was quite ill, and faced some health issues we never anticipated.


It changed my body, changed my financial situation, changed my life but I wanted to be pregnant and have the baby. That's what makes all the difference.

Considering said...

Well currently there is a legal difference between the status of a child not born and a premature birth

DarkCougar555 said...

That makes no sense because it would be look like this:

*) Both of fetuses/babies are same age, but one must consider which is not a person.

a) 26th week fetus is not person if he/she's not born yet.

b) 26th week premature baby is person if he's/she's born.

Of course, it would be "Option A", but that does sound like it's a magic moment once he/she's leaving the womb... which means you suddenly see the baby (Option B) as person when she/he's came out of the womb.



That's something I never understand...

Considering said...

I understand. Part of the problem is that someone's legal status does not always equal someone's human or moral status.


One of the problems with the prolife/prochoice divide is that rarely are the two separated. The law is only a reflection of what a society has decided and is often out of date.


Another problem is that prolife appears to want a blanket rule to cover what is, in reality, a widely varied set of circumstances around the mother, the unborn child, medical status, financial status, mental health status, physical health, family issues etc.

Janet Susan said...

Okay, so, why couldn't she go through with an abortion? What's her specific reason?

LevelUpPlease said...

She said it didn't feel right. Neither did adoption. For her, continuing the pregnancy and becoming a mom just *felt* like the right choice for her. Internally she "knew". She was uncomfortable at the thought of abortion and the thought of someone else raising her child.

Sorry if that's not specific enough, but I've found that after most women are given the unbiased facts about all of their choice, they tend to go with what "feels" right. They follow that voice inside. I'm totally ok with that, because I think when you go against that voice (because of pressure from others, fear, whatever) that's when the trouble can really start.

Janet Susan said...

So, the fate of that tiny human is based on no scientific fact of it's biological humanity, but how the pregnant woman "feels"? That's pretty scary stuff right there. It leaves wide open the opportunity for snuffing out a life at any stage, based on how someone "feels". And this is essentially the part that a lot of pro-aborts and pro-choicers just don't get: that for pro-lifers it's about the reality of and mercy on the life created. It's about our collective attitude of the preciousness--or conversely the cruel disregard for--that life.


In the scheme of things, I suppose, every human has a line drawn on when it's acceptable to take an innocent life. Most pro-lifers believe it should not be taken at all. Especially if you use the argument of fetal development stage, for if that's the case, then children and teens have less right to live than older adults.


All of this brings me to my original position: if you feel that getting an abortion is wrong for you, how can you feel it's okay for someone else? But really, LevelUpPlease, you've just done a great job clarifying what I didn't understand: if getting an abortion only based on a vague "feeling", then it would make sense that you'd champion someone else's right to snuff out that life. I think I was putting that position into too logical of a box. I just substituted the word "toddler" for "fetus" to illustrate how many pro-lifers respond the the defense of taking any small human's (fetus's) life. It's pretty horrifying that people justify the killing in most cases, let alone because they "felt" like it.

LevelUpPlease said...

Where did I say no information was given, or no scientific fact was used or considered? I clearly said when all the unbiased facts are given, women tend to go with what feels rights.

You said that getting an abortion is "only based on a vague feeling", not me. As with most decisions we make, we take in the information, the facts and even the opinions of others. Then, we make a decision as we see fit, and sometimes how we "feel" is the deciding factor.

LN said...

I think the part where you read more than the 5 words which reinforce his worldview is already far beyond his grasp.

LN said...

Haha uh...even the vast majority of pro-choicers don't support abortion all the way up till birth. Congrats on being extremist.

Tonia McBride said...

If you haven't seen a single pro-choice person advocate killing born children, then you aren't paying attention. Viable infants born alive after botched abortion attempts are frequently killed or left to die. A number of people have proposed that parents have the option of a 'fourth trimester abortion' for children born with severe health problems.

Pregnancy isn't an extreme measure. It's the natural process through which every single human being comes into the world. Motherhood isn't prison. It's part of the cycle of human life. What's f####d up is society's insistence that there's something wrong with women getting pregnant and having children. What's wrong is the so called feminist movement that takes the most amazing ability a woman has and treats it like an ugly deformity because it has totally accepted the male assumption that sex should exist outside of love and commitment.

And the flaw with the kidney analogy is so simple. You don't have to do anything for the fetal human to continue living. You have to undergo a complex medical procedure to give a kidney. You might not feel great and you could end up with medical complications (which could be said of almost any activity humans engage in), but you don't have to do ANYTHING for the fetus to grow into a ready-to-be-born infant. In order to stop that you have to KILL it. And if you don't think there's a relevant distinction between killing someone and letting them die, you are the problem.

Considering said...

Do you speak for all prolifers? I don't speak for all prochoicers. just for myself and I have never advocated killing infants, but do support abortion


I agree. Pregnancy isn't an extreme measure, it's natural. That doesn't mean it's always right, or the right time, or healthy.


Motherhood can be made to be a prison if people make it so


I don't think we should take an event that should be beautiful and destroy it


I'd disagree that you don't have to do anything to ensure a healthy pregnancy and infant. Women take care with their health, bodies, what they eat, what they do. To do nothing at all is at the very least indifferent, possibly neglectful. .


But no one should be made to carry a pregnancy against their will. And how else would you insist on it, other than to use force?

Chaoticblu said...

Yeah, I'll never get how someone can claim to be personally pro life but think abortion should still be a legal choice. It's an ethical issue..a human rights issue. Abortion affects the human race as it directly affects the human race and whether a new human being will be born or not. As people we should want to mold the world to our ethical and moral views, make it a world we want to live in. That's why we made slavery illegal, because we realized it was wrong. That's why rape is illegal, because we (human beings )believe sex should be consensual. And that's why murder is illegal. Because generally speaking, we believe that one human being does not have the right to take the life of another (except possibly in cases of self defense, and that's due to the right of self preservation.) This beliefs in what is right and what is wrong and should be illegal are largly based on the populations general moral and ethical views, at least that's my take.

Chaoticblu said...

True, this will not always be the case. The pot example is a good one. Some things you can be personally against but still think they should be legal. But as far as abortion, it is a very different issue. Issues need to be dealt with on a case by case basis. Pot smoking only possibly hurts the person doing it. Abortion hurts the unborn and possibly the woman having it as well. Abortion concerns something big: the human race as I said earlier. It concerns life, our right to life. A person MUST have an opinion on that, an opinion on how they think the world should be regarding life. Life is..it's fundamental. It's what we are.

Chaoticblu said...

It's understandable to not feel you can tell someone not to do something that is currently legal. It can be difficult being pro life when you're surrounded by so many pro choice people , and when the law isn't even on your side. I think your friend needs to know though, that it's OKAY to have a personal opinion on whether something should be legal or not, that it's OKAY to be against something that is legal and to fight for it to be illegal. I'm just wondering..if she really is politically PC or if she's just afraid of saying otherwise. I'm not trying to put my views on her, just offer another perspective. And to again assure her and anyone that it's OKAY to take a moral stance on something. Abortion isn't a woman's right only issue. It's a human rights issue. We need to get that message out more, loud and clear. Because abortion affects us as a society. It shows where our priorities like and how we want our society to be, what's important and what isn't. What has value and what doesn't. Or who.

Chaoticblu said...

This "kidney" or "body invader" argument always astounds me in it's absurdity and I actually find it funny in a way that pro choicers use it, like it's rational. Any person who engages in consensual intercourse, (meaning NOT little children) know where babies come from. Any remotely educated person knows that woman are the ones who carry children. Babies are not strangers, they are not parasites. They are not some other species who has invaded your womb.If a person consents to sex, they do so knowing there is a chance they may become pregnant. If you ABSOLUTELY cannot handle that you should abstain. I enjoy sex. I enjoy it responsibly with condoms and had a pregnancy scare when it slipped and would NOT have aborted. I flat out told my partner that.



The only case the "invader" argument remotely works is with rape, and to that I say my heart goes out to anyone who has suffered rape.But AGAIN, a new life is biologically supposed to form when a sperm and egg meet. Even if it's against your will. As of right now we don't have a safe way of removing an implanted embryo and allowing it to grow somewhere else , but I hope we do in the future. I think we need to research that, as well as rape prevention and possibly new types of contraception that are guaranteed to kill sperm or stop ovulation, as the types we have out now don't necessarily do those 100% of the time. Counseling and assistance should be provided to rape victims as well. And ideally the rapist would be caught and in my opinion castrated.

Chaoticblu said...

. " Having a child is a huge commitment of a woman's resources. To
force her to make that commitment against her will is clearly analogous
to the kidney donation law idea, and clearly just as immoral."

Aside from rape, no one is forcing the woman to have sex and create a life. If you're gonna do the deed, be responsible about it. In cases OF rape, compassion is needed definitely but I believe in adoption if the woman doesn't want to raise the child (which really is understandable, though I'm not sure I'd chose adoption over rearing them myself.)

Chaoticblu said...

Hear Hear! If someone doesn't want to take responsibility or does not understand the possible result of sex, they shouldn't be having it because they clearly are not responsible or mature enough to handle it.

LevelUpPlease said...

I understand what you are trying to convey, but she doesn't not relate with the either movement (PL OR PC) because she doesn't actively endorse abortion rights, but neither does she want to see abortion illegal. That is how she truly feels.

I'm not sure why she would be afraid to say she was politically PL. If anything, I think she probably gets more flak for her current position than if she were to identify with PL or PC...for the very reason this post was written.

Chaoticblu said...

Alright thank you for clarifying. I just know I'm surrounded by pro choice people (friends and family) in my life and I find it intimidating because they are people I care for and I'm a non confrontational person (though if someone starts something I WILL speak up), so I don't want to risk starting a fight with them or offending them (even though I will tell them I think they are wrong and are hurting someone if they ask). That's what I mean about being afraid. I may get scolded from other Prolfiers for saying that, about not wanting to 'offend" a pro choicer but I mean I don't throw my beliefs in their face personally. I will discuss on blogs like this and debate with others (I try and be civil unless someone is clearly trolling or saying very outrages inaccurate things),and sign petitions and donate to pro life causes when I can, I just don't post things on FB about it or if I do I make sure to only post to people it will be of interest too.


I have to agree on your friend probably getting 'flak' because her stance is probably seen as confusing or not making sense, or hypocritical. I can understand being ok with the choice to abort and not choosing that yourself, that is what "pro choice" means correct? The right to choose either way.



Why I find your friend's position (and I mean the position in general too) confusing is because I view the subject of abortion as being bigger than just an individual, personal issue. I view it as a social, human rights issue. So besides not understanding how anyone can be ok with hurting an unborn developing human (especially at the point when they have a nervous system)
I don't really get how someone can not be ok doing it personally but not want to save other lives. If I could help it, I wouldn't let a child get run over by a car, even if it wasn't my child for example.



That's why I find it confusing but your friend and everyone holding that position has their own views on the whole thing, which is why she feels how she feels I guess.


Thanks for sharing your friend's thoughts.

Chaoticblu said...

From my understanding of "Pro Choice", it means you support both abortion and carrying a child to term to either care for or adopt as options when faced with pregnancy. Therefor one who is "Pro Choice" is FOR abortion (meaning supports it) as an acceptable response to pregnancy.

Chaoticblu said...

I consider "Pro Choice" and "Pro Abortion" synonymous with each other personally.Anyone may correct me if I'm mistaken.

Tonia McBride said...

Do I speak for all pro-lifers? No, but I've yet to meet any who don't share those basic views. You talk about carrying a pregnancy, but you don't carrying a pregnancy. You carry a tiny human being.


For decades the pro-abortion crowd talked about how you couldn't restrict abortion because you couldn't prove that the fetus was alive or human. Now that science has given us a good look inside the womb and we have images of the developing baby, you try to pretend it's not even there. You refuse to acknowledge the question because you don't like the answer.



Do you hear yourself saying that is is neglect for a woman to just go about her normal life while pregnant (which women did for the vast majority of human history) but acceptable for her to use chemicals to intentionally kill her child?


As for stopping a women from killing their own sons and daughters, yes, force might be required. Just like it is required to stop people with murderous intent from killing you or me. Taking the life of an innocent human being is illegal once it's born. Nobody complains murder laws covering the rest of your life are excessive use of government force.

Considering said...

"Do I speak for all pro-lifers? No, but I've yet to meet any who don't share those basic views. You talk about carrying a pregnancy, but you don't carrying a pregnancy. You carry a tiny human being."

What I meant was carrying a pregenecy to term but given space issues, I shortened it, I can understand how you might misunderstand what I was saying. The pregnancy is something that, for many women, is a separate issue than the baby it could be. Again, I understand you feel it's the same. Not everyone feels the same way you yo

"For decades the pro-abortion crowd talked about how you couldn't restrict abortion because you couldn't prove that the fetus was alive or human. Now that science has given us a good look inside the womb and we have images of the developing baby, you try to pretend it's not even there. You refuse to acknowledge the question because you don't like the answer."

Did I refuse to acknowledge a question that you asked me?

"Do you hear yourself saying that is is neglect for a woman to just go about her normal life while pregnant (which women did for the vast majority of human history) but acceptable for her to use chemicals to intentionally kill her child?"

I never said it was neglect for a woman to go about her daily life while pregnant, but that women generally take precautions, make an effort to eat right, avoid certain foods, chemicals, smokers, becasue we know the effects things can have on a pregnant woman and the child she is carrying. At the same time, a woman does not need to have that child, and has the choice to terminate the pregnancy

"As for stopping a women from killing their own sons and daughters, yes, force might be required. Just like it is required to stop people with murderous intent from killing you or me. Taking the life of an innocent human being is illegal once it's born. Nobody complains murder laws covering the rest of your life are excessive use of government force."

I'd love to discuss this with you because it's an issue that most prolifers shy away from. What force do you see using? and at what point in the pregnancy? and how would you see it being enforced? Do you jail women? Do you monitor them? How you do determine when it simply been a miscarriage? What if she works in a toxic enviroment, do you force her to quit her job? How do the bills get paid? So many questions. I'd love to hear your answers and thank you for being someone who is willing to consider the impacts

LevelUpPlease said...

You know your friends and family much better than I, but I would urge you not to be so silent or afraid to let others know your position. You don't have to be confrontational.

And, this is only my inference, I think what sets Political PLers apart from Personal PLers is their view on the gravity of abortion. I don't think Personal PLers see abortion as murder; perhaps still morally rehensible, but not on the same level as murder. Again, that is only my guess based on what I've observed.

Now, what I do know is that Personal PLers do want to save the unborn. They typically don't agree that illegalization is the best way to save them. For example, you see *some* countries with abortion regulations much more lax than the US, but with much lower rates. The main difference is a) sex education b)support given to pregnant women and mothers.

Then, you will see *some* countries were abortion is illegal in ALL cases and they actually have higher rates of abortion than places where it is legal.The reasons vary, but can be boiled down to the low social status of women.
I know some feel that illegalization will not necessarily save more lives than changing attitudes and the notion that abortion is the "only" option in some cases. They see no value in making women criminals.

I hope the helps further. Good luck.

LevelUpPlease said...

Pro-Abortion carries the connotation that abortion is the only acceptable choice the same why Pro-Life conveys giving birth is the only acceptable choice. As you pointed out, Pro-Choice means one feels both choices are acceptable, not just one.

Antalya said...

I'm a vegetarian but I don't think meat eating should be banned- better that people should choose over time for themselves not to eat meat than create an economical and civil crisis than ban meat eating altogether. I believe one should care for elderly parents- it seems neglectful to put your own parents in a home and visit them once a month, but I don't think it should be the LAW to care for your parents- it would lead to more elder abuse, and it violates the rights of each person to make choices about their own life, their own future. I think enforcing women to continue pregnancies they may not want infringes on the right to make decisions for their own bodies- it would cause civil unrest- it would cause women to feel as though their own bodies are government vessels under government control. It would be impossible to govern how women should conduct themselves while pregnant with this unwanted child that NOONE else has the ability to keep alive but that mother. I'm against abortion, but I'm also prochoice, and I don't feel my stance is a cop out at ALL. I am a moral person- but I don't think one should be *forced* to carry a pregnancy to save a life any more than one should be *forced* to donate a kidney to save a life.