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Subject: Pro-choice (my perspective) rss

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Chad Ellis
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It frequently comes up in threads on abortion that people equate pro-choice with pro-abortion, or at the very least a viewpoint that abortion is morally neutral, not a big deal. While there are certainly pro-choice people who hold this view, it is not part of being pro-choice. (Instead I suspect that the converse is what's really going on -- people who see abortion as morally neutral and/or not a big deal will almost inevitably be pro-choice as a result.)

To me, pro-choice (on abortion or on any other issue) is a statement about what the law should be, not about what decisions are morally OK or in the interest of the person making them. A person can be opposed to X, considering it immoral and/or harmful and still be pro-choice regarding X.

I know people who are pro-choice because they worry about the State involving itself in private family matters. I know people who are pro-choice because they think outlawing abortion does more harm than good (the "back alley" argument). I know people who are pro-choice because they don't think that the State is in a position to decide what is a "good enough" reason. In each case, some of these people are quite strongly against abortion.

This is common enough in other issues. Among those pushing for an end to the war on drugs are former police officers who think drugs are a terrible idea but that prohibition is a nightmare that creates new crime, shuts addicts out of help and doesn't prevent drug use. A lot of moral vegetarians don't want their belief that eating meat is immoral to be turned into law sending people to jail for steak or for wearing furs.
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Lynette
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Chad honey... I am hijacking your thread to reply to something from the Goth Kitty thread. It fits in here so much better.

Sorry...

Background discussion starts here...

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/4596994#4596994

perfalbion wrote:


Havoc wrote:
Let's make abortion the last otpion.


Are you of the opinion that those who are pro-choice politically don't agree with this? There's a difference between saying "A woman should be able to choose," and "we advocate abortion."

The pro-choice position generally isn't that. But it is a question of a woman's right to control her own body and what happens to it.


Ken there is a difference between let us make abortion the last possible option and women have a right to chose no matter what because it is their bodies.

A FUNDAMENTAL difference.

Most pro-choice people (Politically pro-choice) fall into category 2. A women has a RIGHT to make the choice because it is her body.

Not because she is in the best position to make a choice about the future life of the baby... but because it is her BODY.

I don't agree with that position. It was her body and usually her choice to have sex. There are risks that go with that decision.

I am on the outlier curve for pro-choice people in that I don't think abortion on demand is an inalible right but instead a nessicary evil because so many people SUCK as human beings.

Most pro-choice people I tell about the person I know who used abortion as repeated default birth control think she is a horrid person but well within her "rights" to do so because it is her body. I think she was a horrid human being who has no right to do what she did... and in an ideal would could be stopped. But had to be allowed to do so because you cannot make laws based only on extreme examples.

Most pro-choice people think like AT 22... that men shouldn't have any say in what a woman does with the baby he helped conceive unless she decides to give birth to it.

I disagree with that.

Abortion is NOT used as a last option in our society. And with each passing decade it seems like more and more women are becoming convinced that it is an acceptable "Choice" rather than a last desperate measure when no good choice is available. An important difference in mental and moral starting points and internal realities.
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pronoblem baalberith
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I am a pro-choice vegetarian. I will only eat animals that choose to be eaten.
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Chad_Ellis wrote:


To me, pro-choice (on abortion or on any other issue) is a statement about what the law should be, not about what decisions are morally OK or in the interest of the person making them. A person can be opposed to X, considering it immoral and/or harmful and still be pro-choice regarding X.

I know people who are pro-choice because they worry about the State involving itself in private family matters. I know people who are pro-choice because they think outlawing abortion does more harm than good (the "back alley" argument). I know people who are pro-choice because they don't think that the State is in a position to decide what is a "good enough" reason. In each case, some of these people are quite strongly against abortion.



Basically your whole post is right on the money. It is for the reasons that you stated that I have trouble imagining why someone can oppose abortion -- especially social conservatives, who are all about privacy except -- paradoxically -- when it comes to the thing they are most private about, their sex lives.
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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If there is a reasonable argument for being pro-choice, I think Meerkat is making it. I just get sick of hearing about supposed women's "rights" to control their body. That line of argument is sickening to me.

Also, back to Chad's point about pro-choice assumptions (which I agree with), I think there are also assumptions that anyone that is pro-life would force people to have an abortion, even if it was not their choice to get pregnant, their life was in grave danger, or the child was deformed, etc. This is often not the case. Yes, there are absolutely those out there who believe that a woman should have no option, but I believe them to be in the minority based on my conversations on the subject with fellow pro-lifers.
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Hmm we have like 4 threads on abortions now...
Quote:
Abortion is NOT used as a last option in our society. And with each passing decade it seems like more and more women are becoming convinced that it is an acceptable "Choice" rather than a last desperate measure when no good choice is available.

Well my twisted mind allows me to agree with you and with AT22.
As long as that last option is always available, except in extremes examples like using abortion as a contraceptive method (ie repeatedly).

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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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pronoblem wrote:
I am a pro-choice vegetarian. I will only eat animals that choose to be eaten.


Does that include animals that choose to walk into a trap?
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Chad Ellis
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Meerkat wrote:
Ken there is a difference between let us make abortion the last possible option and women have a right to chose no matter what because it is their bodies.

A FUNDAMENTAL difference.


I agree that they are different but they are certainly not mutually exclusive. I agree with you that most pro-choice people fall into category two, but I'd say that a large number of them are also category one.

Quote:
I don't agree with that position. It was her body and usually her choice to have sex. There are risks that go with that decision.


There are risks with all sorts of other decisions, but sex is one of the very few (the only one I can think of offhand) where we think it's wrong for people to try to mitigate any unintended consequences.

Quote:
Most pro-choice people think like AT 22... that men shouldn't have any say in what a woman does with the baby he helped conceive unless she decides to give birth to it.


This reminds me of a line in Parenthood. Steve Martin's character is asked by his wife, "You want me to have an abortion, don't you?" when he's clearly ambivalent about learning she's pregnant. He replies something like, "That's a decision only a woman can make," to which she says, "You're not running for office, you're my husband!"

Legally, I can't see an alternative to saying that the man has no legal right to prevent a woman from aborting a pregnancy. I certainly don't think the law can grant him veto rights on the decision.

Morally I think it depends on the situation. If my wife got pregnant she would have to make the final call on whether or not to keep the baby but I would absolutely be involved in that decision. Neither one of us would accept me being excluded from it.

If a woman has an anonymous one night stand and gets pregnant, I honestly don't think she owes the guy anything.

Quote:
Abortion is NOT used as a last option in our society. And with each passing decade it seems like more and more women are becoming convinced that it is an acceptable "Choice" rather than a last desperate measure when no good choice is available. An important difference in mental and moral starting points and internal realities.


I think this is too sweeping a statement. There are certainly people who use abortion as birth control but they are surely at the fringe. Even assuming you put no moral weight on having an abortion it's a LOT more unpleasant and expensive than alternatives.
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Chad Ellis
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ejmowrer wrote:
If there is a reasonable argument for being pro-choice, I think Meerkat is making it. I just get sick of hearing about supposed women's "rights" to control their body. That line of argument is sickening to me.


What is sickening about it?
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DarthXaos wrote:

Ultimately though, what you have to face if you believe it is immoral, is WHY do you believe it is immoral.

I do not agree, and you do not, neither.
Quote:

It's not about morality.

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SpaceGhost wrote:
It is for the reasons that you stated that I have trouble imagining why someone can oppose abortion -- especially social conservatives, who are all about privacy except -- paradoxically -- when it comes to the thing they are most private about, their sex lives.


Since when have social conservatives, as such, been in favor of privacy or personal choice, at least in a modern context? To be sure, there are conservatives of a more libertarian bent, strict federalists, or other small-government pro-privacy sorts. But social conservatives?

Social conservatives are among the first to demonize and legislate against sex, sure, but also drug use of any kind, religious minorities, and other personal choice issues that they don't approve of. They're also quick to throw government (read: our tax) money at religious and social causes, such as creationism in schools or the Boy Scouts, who discriminate against gays and atheists.
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Chad Ellis
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DarthXaos wrote:
In most cases of things that a person might believe is "Immoral but should not be illegal" that thing is something that only affects the person doing the thing.


That's a very good point. It's not always true but it's certainly the majority of cases.

Quote:
It's not about morality. It's about rights, who or what gets them, and who or what doesn't.


Most people would say that the decision of who gets rights is at least in part a moral question.

Quote:
Animals are either resources, or they're people. They either have rights or they don't. If they have rights, we shouldn't be able to eat them. If they don't, whatever we use them for is morally neutral. Whether it's eating them or doing a Michael Vick.

Same with plants' rights. Why is it that animal rights people don't defend plants' rights, they make as much sense as animal rights?


You're asserting that rights are binary, but why should they be?

If I chop down a tree, it doesn't suffer (as far as we know). If I chop up a dog, it does. Why is that not sufficient to challenge the notion that there is no middle ground between "person" and "resource"?
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Meerkat wrote:
Most pro-choice people think like AT 22... that men shouldn't have any say in what a woman does with the baby he helped conceive unless she decides to give birth to it.


I'm just being practical from my male point of view. I respect women. Even if I was totally against abortion, what am I supposed to do if my wife tells me she's going to have one? Go taleban on her ass and tie her up until she gives birth?

Husbands can try to talk their wife out of it all they want, that's fine, but ultimately the decision is for the woman to take, people might not like it but that's how it is. And if abortion there's going to be, I'd rather it be in good clean medical conditions than some clandestine crap that could hurt the mother physically and morally.

That some people make an horrible use of their rights is nothing new and doesn't apply just to abortion, but collective punishment was never an acceptable solution to any problem.

So my advice, if you're a man totally against abortion, make sure that you know who you fuck.

By the way wikipedia says that the abortion numbers in the US are constantly dropping since 1994 so apparently people aren't getting dumber and dumber about it over time, pretty cool:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_States#S...
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
If there is a reasonable argument for being pro-choice, I think Meerkat is making it. I just get sick of hearing about supposed women's "rights" to control their body. That line of argument is sickening to me.


What is sickening about it?


Because I believe it's an unborn child, not merely an unwanted tumor, and to trump the right to life of a living being with the "right" to bodily privacy is tragic and terribly misguided.

From your perspective, I imagine something that would have this affect on you would be if I claimed my right to a clean and pleasant environment justified me in rounding up all of the homeless people in the world and putting them down.
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
If I chop down a tree, it doesn't suffer (as far as we know). If I chop up a dog, it does.


Are we going to talk about chopping up fetuses now and whether or not they suffer?
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ejmowrer wrote:
pronoblem wrote:
I am a pro-choice vegetarian. I will only eat animals that choose to be eaten.


Does that include animals that choose to walk into a trap?


Is that a serious question?
 
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ejmowrer wrote:
From your perspective, I imagine something that would have this affect on you would be if I claimed my right to a clean and pleasant environment justified me in rounding up all of the homeless people in the world and putting them down.


Oh yeah, about that...
 
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pronoblem wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
pronoblem wrote:
I am a pro-choice vegetarian. I will only eat animals that choose to be eaten.


Does that include animals that choose to walk into a trap?


Is that a serious question?


No. It was a joke.
 
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Meerkat wrote:
I don't agree with that position. It was her body and usually her choice to have sex. There are risks that go with that decision.


There's also risks that go along with parenting. Are you suggesting that we should somehow decide who can and can't be a parent based on what society defines as being a "good parent?" How is that any different?

You're approaching this as though you can somehow separate the right to control what happens with one's body from the responsibilities that go with them. You can't. Not for parenting. Not for donating a kidney. Not for abortion.

Whether or not abortion is used as de facto birth control, whether the incidence of that is increasing (which I don't happen to believe, by the way, but if you've some reading that shows that I'm all eyes), whether some people "use it wisely" and others don't doesn't matter. If you abridge the individual freedom, then you're abridging individual freedoms.

Flip it around from a negative situation to a positive one. Presume that you're the only person who's a match for a person who needs a kidney. You decide that you don't want to donate your kidney due to the risks to you from surgery, the possibility that you might lose the one that's left, infection, etc. Should the state have the right to force you to donate? If not, how is that different?

Is abortion "too easy?" Maybe. But I don't think that the vast majority of people who ever have one (let alone multiple ones) walk away thinking "that wasn't so bad." I think they're pretty traumatized.
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This is one of those questions that can never be truly resolved because basic premises people start from differ.

If I actually believed that fetuses (or even things like day-old-newborns) are ontologically identical to full fledged human beings I would have great trouble supporting abortion even taking into account all the liberal arguments in favour of it.

As it is, I consider a humanity to be an emergent characteristic that manifests itself in unequivocal ability for self-reflection which human babies do not even begin to develop until they are about 6-9 months old.
(Which is why I am not particularly perturbed even by the classical practice of the infant-killing in sufficiently dire circumstances)

Given that, liberal arguments (privacy, control of one's own body etc..) become overwhelming and I would find any government that restricts women's access to abortion to be unacceptably tyrannical - even considering the moral stance from which such ban originates.

It is one of those instances where questions of ontology pose insurmountable problem because no rational discussion is possible by which I could un-convince someone who believe that fetus is "essentially" human nor is there any argument which I could conceive of that would convince me that it is. Such arguments inevitably end at both parties shaking their heads in hostility and proclaiming that they "just do not understand" the other.

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DarthXaos wrote:
As long as the man assumes all financial responsibility, and financially compensates her for all medical expenses, why should he not have a right?


'cuz he's not the one who has to cope with the physical ramifications of being pregnant, which aren't insignificant.

Despite our best efforts, mothers do still die due to complications from pregnancy and/or childbirth. Why should he get to impose that risk?
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Chad Ellis
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ejmowrer wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
If there is a reasonable argument for being pro-choice, I think Meerkat is making it. I just get sick of hearing about supposed women's "rights" to control their body. That line of argument is sickening to me.


What is sickening about it?


Because I believe it's an unborn child, not merely an unwanted tumor, and to trump the right to life of a living being with the "right" to bodily privacy is tragic and terribly misguided.

From your perspective, I imagine something that would have this affect on you would be if I claimed my right to a clean and pleasant environment justified me in rounding up all of the homeless people in the world and putting them down.


Thanks for the answer. I get where you're coming from -- I just wanted to understand it more clearly.

It may not be worth debating, but the reason I find the bodily autonomy argument compelling is that this is a widely-recognized legal right. The state can't compel me to donate blood or bone marrow even if it would save another person's life. In the (admittedly hypothetical) case that I was attached through a life support system to another person and he could only live if I stayed on it, the state could not compel me to do so. Thus, saying that an embryo/fetus has a right to life that trumps the mother's right to bodily autonomy gives the embryo/fetus rights no person has.
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DarthXaos wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:

If I chop down a tree, it doesn't suffer (as far as we know). If I chop up a dog, it does.


How do you know this? What makes you so sure a tree does not suffer?

Because it does not bark.
*proud*
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Chad Ellis
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DarthXaos wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:

If I chop down a tree, it doesn't suffer (as far as we know). If I chop up a dog, it does.


How do you know this? What makes you so sure a tree does not suffer?


As I said, "(as far as we know)". Of course it's possible that trees suffer, it's possible that rocks suffer, it's possible that every time I sneeze there are cold germs thinking, "Oh why is God so cruel to us that He makes our homes expel us in so painful a manner."

The fact remains we have no particular reason to think that trees do suffer and every reason to think that dogs do.
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Meerkat wrote:

Most pro-choice people think like AT 22... that men shouldn't have any say in what a woman does with the baby he helped conceive unless she decides to give birth to it.

I disagree with that.


Lynette, where do you come up with your numbers for this? I've been pro-choice for as long as I've been aware of the debate, and never once has it, or would it occur to me that men shouldn't have a say. It seems fundamentally obvious to me that it takes two to tango, and while there's nothing a man can reasonably bring to bear against his mate to compel her to give birth to their child other than his opinions, desires, and reasoning, there's just as equally nothing reasonable the woman can do to prevent her mate from holding said opinions, desires, and reasons. (Although obviously there are any number of ways to avoid having to deal with them.)

The simple fact that it is a woman's body whose function is being overwhelmed by pregnancy and not the man's should always tip the scales in favor of the woman as the arbiter of birth. That's clearly at the heart of pro-choice: Who has the ultimate choice. But I don't know of any intelligent pro-choice male who seriously believes we should just abrogate his gender's influence in the process.

If a woman goes to a sperm bank and self-impregnates and subsequently decides upon an abortion, then great. She can bear almost the entire burden of the pregnancy, abortion, and aftermath on her own shoulders. The minute she allows (and yes, I'm talking here only of willing participation in the process) a penis into her vagina, she has given tacit consent to at least pretend to take into consideration the feelings of her partner should a pregnancy ensue.

This is why I plan to start "prenatal-contract-law.com" and make a fortune with my downloadable, heat of the moment quitclaims and other documents which confer right of first refusal to give birth to the woman, irrespective of the man's wishes. I think that in the heat of passion, most men would sign anything anyway, and they'd be too busy looking for more women with "documentation" to fight over the baby later.
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