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Subject: Evolving attitudes on Abortion rss

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Chad
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First off, I would have posted this in the other thread - but the level of vitriol is well... a lot. So I wanted my post not to get lost in the muck.

I would have considered myself pro-choice or pro-abortion (my inner libertarian coming out) depending what semantics you would use - but the Gosnell trial and its details are causing a significant re-evaluation of that position.

I strongly suspect that most people consider the idea that once a baby is outside the womb, it has a right to life and the idea of "snipping" the spines is murder (hence why Gosnell is getting charged with murder for some of the counts).

So far so good.

However, when I did a little research on partial birth abortions - it is effectively the same thing - but only inside the womb (either through snipping/suction or other similar mechanism making the baby "non-viable).

Slightly troubling...until

You actually start to think about the developmental stage of the baby. Why is it OK for a baby to have a right to life when it is outside the mothers body - but when it is at the EXACT SAME developmental stage inside the body, the baby/fetus has no rights.

The more I think about that one, the more I accept, I can't drink that cool aide anymore.

So, that leads to the the very uncomfortable discussion of when is abortion OK vs. the rights of the baby/fetus. Science clearly gets a play here because the idea that a zygote is a viable human being is a non-starter in my book - but by three months (12 weeks) - the baby/fetus has very distinguishable elements (unique fingerprints for example).

So, I believe I am solidifying around first tri-mester abortions are OK - but anything that is well...... murder given the development of the baby/fetus. and I have to admit that this has been a rather large shock/difficult analysis (the details/images/actions here truly suck).

I am even having difficulty with incest and rape - because the idea that one's rights trumps another (i.e. the raped vs. the baby/fetus) gets really muddled and the idea of the baby/fetus paying the ultimate price seems grossly unfair to the baby/fetus who has no one to advocate for it. Classic case of conflicting rights - but what causes me to err on the side of the baby/fetus is the fact that death is what awaits it.

Finally, mothers life is in danger - this one sucks for another reason - basically pick who gets to live - but in this case, there is no guarantee if the baby/fetus will make it (and in fact the odds are stacked against) - not sure on this one - but would probably accept an exception here....and thank god I have never been in that situation.

Edit - taking the reference to Planned Parenthood Senior Leadership out.
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The term "partial-birth" is not a medical term; it is anti-choice propaganda. This tells me something about the source of your information. If you really want to make an informed decision, I recommend you find a less biased source.

Quote:
I strongly suspect that most people (outside of Planned Parenthood Senior Leadership) consider the idea that once a baby is outside the womb, it has a right to life and the idea of "snipping" the spines is murder...

Your demonizing of Planned Parenthood is an excellent indication of your lack of objectivity.

In these male-dominated RSP discussions there is an alarming shortage of attention to women's autonomy. The question everyone should ask themselves is when government belongs in a woman's uterus.
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This is partially why I an neither pro-death nor anti-choice.

It seems to me odd that when a 'child' in in the womb it is regarded as (little more, at least from some quarters of the pro-death lobby) as a cancerous growth (I will also admit to feeling uncomfortable with that degree of callousness over life), but once outside the womb it has rights . At the same time any time limit on abortion is largely arbitrary.

My attitude is I do not like it (abortion), but am not convinced there is a better solution. Thus I lean towards limited 'abortion rights'.
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Partial birth abortions have been banned for a decade now.
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robigo wrote:
The term "partial-birth" is not a medical term; it is anti-choice propaganda. This tells me something about the source of your information. If you really want to make an informed decision, I recommend you find a less biased source.


I think you are getting hung up on a term and losing sight of the forest for the trees - but perhaps it is the written medium/my communication capabilities.

Honestly, the mechanism is less important to me - it could be a pill, it could be an injection, it could be magic - the important element is the fact that baby/fetus' who are aborted late in the pregnancy are viable and developmentally the same as live births and the idea that one has a different set of rights does not play well with me.

Quote:
Quote:
I strongly suspect that most people (outside of Planned Parenthood Senior Leadership) consider the idea that once a baby is outside the womb, it has a right to life and the idea of "snipping" the spines is murder...

Your demonizing of Planned Parenthood is an excellent indication of your lack of objectivity.


Again, I think you are reading waaay to much into a statement - I am by no means demonizing Planned Parenthood - I am demonizing their senior leadership who have on several occasions pushed for the women's right to choose to extend beyond the birth canal to include the delivery room. If you would like, I would happily provide you with quotes.

Planned Parenthood is an organization like many others - does lots of good, has a few questionable positions - and I see no reason for them to go away. Hopefully, this puts your concern about my lack of objectivity to rest.


Quote:

In these male-dominated RSP discussions there is an alarming shortage of attention to women's autonomy. The question everyone should ask themselves is when government belongs in a woman's uterus.


I get what you are saying - but again, you have a situation of conflicting rights - the right to life of the baby vs. the right of the woman to control her uterus. I would be MUCH more inclined to side with the woman if there was the unfortunate fact that a baby/fetus' life ends with an abortion decision. Which leads me to the (admittedly) arbitrary first trimester it is OK.
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Good OP. That's exactly the same issue for me as well. Those who want to focus entirely on the 'rights' of women don't want to seriously look at that. I wonder if those people actually know what a late term 'abortion' is like? Essentially labour is induced, but the baby has to be killed before it comes out, so that it's 'legal'. Part of the problem with trying to debate in support of a "middle" option, is that it puts you on a "slippery slope". When exactly is viability reached? It seems as though any specific set point in time is going to be arbitrary. The "extremes" of either conception or birth being THE point are easier to argue. However, I can't accept a mass of undifferentiated cells being a "human being" any more than I can accept a fully formed 38 week baby still inside the mother not being a "human being".
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b a n j o wrote:
robigo wrote:
The term "partial-birth" is not a medical term; it is anti-choice propaganda. This tells me something about the source of your information. If you really want to make an informed decision, I recommend you find a less biased source.

Quote:
I strongly suspect that most people (outside of Planned Parenthood Senior Leadership) consider the idea that once a baby is outside the womb, it has a right to life and the idea of "snipping" the spines is murder...

Your demonizing of Planned Parenthood is an excellent indication of your lack of objectivity.

In these male-dominated RSP discussions there is an alarming shortage of attention to women's autonomy. The question everyone should ask themselves is when government belongs in a woman's uterus.


+1


When people start murdering the babies in there.
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deadkenny wrote:
Good OP. That's exactly the same issue for me as well. Those who want to focus entirely on the 'rights' of women don't want to seriously look at that. I wonder if those people actually know what a late term 'abortion' is like? Essentially labour is induced, but the baby has to be killed before it comes out, so that it's 'legal'. Part of the problem with trying to debate in support of a "middle" option, is that it puts you on a "slippery slope". When exactly is viability reached? It seems as though any specific set point in time is going to be arbitrary. The "extremes" of either conception or birth being THE point are easier to argue. However, I can't accept a mass of undifferentiated cells being a "human being" any more than I can accept a fully formed 38 week baby still inside the mother not being a "human being".

I know in Jewish law that when the baby is viable, its rights must be taken into account but push come to shove, if both mother and baby cannot be saved or possibly cannot be, the default goes with the mother.
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b a n j o wrote:
Utrecht wrote:
First off, I would have posted this in the other thread - but the level of vitriol is well... a lot. So I wanted my post not to get lost in the muck.

I strongly suspect that most people (outside of Planned Parenthood Senior Leadership) consider the idea that once a baby is outside the womb, it has a right to life...


If you don't want the post to get lost in the muck, perhaps you should stop throwing the muck around, no?


Comparing that (factually based) swipe at Planned Parenthood's senior leadership to the insults being hurled in the other thread is disingenuous.

However, I will remove it because I don't want it to be the focus of the thread.
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whac3 wrote:
I know if Jewish law that when the baby is viable, its rights must be taken into account but push come to shove, if both mother and baby cannot be saved or possibly cannot be, the default goes with the mother.


That seems to be about as well as it can practically be handled. I suppose, in theory, there might possibly be an instance where the baby is in a better position to be saved. Popular media has used the "gut wrenching decision" dramatic technique of, often the husband / father, having to make a choice.
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Chad, your big "evolution" here just seems to make you agree with what 99% of the pro-choice people in the world already thought. Congratulations, I guess?
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Chad - nicely said. My "evolving" position was similar. Mostly based on becoming an adult, then a responsible adult, then an adult who realized he needed to learn before his opinions had value and finally, a parent.

Not being religious I wasn't indoctrinated by that "side". Not being a fawning liberal I wasn't indoctrinated by that "side". But being a young adult (even a teen) I knew people who got abortions and eventually I realized one person I knew had received several abortions. That really set an alarm off and it's what started me on the path to actually learning rather than politicizing.

You won't get a lot of understanding here in RSP from the Left. I look at them this way... the RSP Left... over on Jarred's thread with the poll almost a third of the respondents (currently 105) felt it was just fine to essentially kill babies any time up "until birth". Think about it Chad. You are a member of a group of educated and often successful, literate, urbane and self-satisfied human beings, one third of whom believe it's perfectly fine to murder another human being so long as that human being is still inside the womb.

I'm not sure how anyone arrives at that depraved and vile a place while simultaneously spouting compassionate and caring thoughts for other humans who differ only in that they were allowed to draw breath.
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damiangerous wrote:
Partial birth abortions have been banned for a decade now.


Thankfully this is true. Unfortunately, our current President would like to see this law overturned. In 2007 in Gonzales v. Carhart, the Supreme Court upheld the ban and (then Senator) Obama spoke against this decision.

I posted awhile back about the ridiculousness of late-term and partial-birth abortion from a legal standpoint. I'll quote myself from that thread:

Quote:
There are times (such as death of the mother) when you have to make a horrible choice. PBA is probably the safest late-term procedure (for the mother, obviously). I am not a doctor, but I really can't get my head around what situation could possibly come up where neither a vaginal nor cesarean birth is a safe option, but you can quite safely deliver most of the baby and then crush its skull and suck its brain out without risk to the mother. You are talking about a viable fetus (can we just agree to say baby in this case?) who is already partially born (all but the head) and could survive on its own. More than any other type of abortion, PBA really puts the definition of personhood as "only if the mother wants it to be a person". In what other case can someone's human rights be correctly determined by the will of one other person? What happens if the drugs dilate the mother farther than anticipated and the baby's head accidentally makes it out of the birth canal? Quick, smash it on the hospital floor! It isn't WANTED!


It's scary to me to read that now in light of the Gosnell case as my over-the-top final sentence doesn't seem so over-the-top anymore.

EDIT: My source for Mr. Obama's position was Snopes.com. At the time I posted the thing quoted above, jmilium linked to a transcript where Mr. Obama explained that he has only voted no to bills that don't have an exception for health of the mother. It's not totally clear to me at this point. Sources:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/blackwell.asp

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,352785,00.html
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I fully recognize this as an extreme position but I tend to think that life begins at birth. "Personhood" is not merely a bio-physical status but a social condition defined by relationships and experience. The implication is that we become more fully human over time.

This is only tangentially germane to the present discussion, however.
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deadkenny wrote:
whac3 wrote:
I know if Jewish law that when the baby is viable, its rights must be taken into account but push come to shove, if both mother and baby cannot be saved or possibly cannot be, the default goes with the mother.


That seems to be about as well as it can practically be handled. I suppose, in theory, there might possibly be an instance where the baby is in a better position to be saved. Popular media has used the "gut wrenching decision" dramatic technique of, often the husband / father, having to make a choice.

That's why it has to be handled on a case by case basis but the woman always has the default. The only case I can personally imagine where the life of the child would take precedence is if beyond doubt the mother could not be saved and then one would see if the child could be saved.
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
Chad, your big "evolution" here just seems to make you agree with what 99% of the pro-choice people in the world already thought. Congratulations, I guess?


No congrats really needed.... Nor was I really looking for them.

Up until a month ago, I would have considered myself extremely pro-choice (i.e. late term abortions are OK). - and I guess in that 1% (suspect your number is off a bit ). But given the recent Gosnell information - actually spent time actually thinking about it.

So, I guess part of what I was doing was trying to move RSP back away from the juvenile and into more of a thoughtful discussion and using my personal experience as that vehicle.
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Utrecht wrote:


So, I guess part of what I was doing was trying to move RSP back away from the juvenile and into more of a thoughtful discussion and using my personal experience as that vehicle.


Tripp ruined that for you before you even got out of page 1. Drew finished the job. Sorry about that.
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Elfbane wrote:
I fully recognize this as an extreme position but I tend to think that life begins at birth. "Personhood" is not merely a bio-physical status but a social condition defined by relationships and experience. The implication is that we become more fully human over time.

This is only tangentially germane to the present discussion, however.


However, it does touch on the arbitrary nature of where "personhood" is defined - and it also helps explain to many of the rabidly pro-choice folks out there that this is not really a matter of taking right away from the mother - but advocating for the rights of the baby/fetus - and I believe that get lost many times (especially if religious elements are brought into it - which you are not doing here to be very clear)
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
Utrecht wrote:


So, I guess part of what I was doing was trying to move RSP back away from the juvenile and into more of a thoughtful discussion and using my personal experience as that vehicle.


Tripp ruined that for you before you even got out of page 1. Drew finished the job. Sorry about that.


well, I did get "male dominated RSP" and "questioning my objectivity" in the second post.... devil

That being said - as the song goes - "dream the impossible dream"
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Utrecht wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
Utrecht wrote:


So, I guess part of what I was doing was trying to move RSP back away from the juvenile and into more of a thoughtful discussion and using my personal experience as that vehicle.


Tripp ruined that for you before you even got out of page 1. Drew finished the job. Sorry about that.


well, I did get "male dominated RSP" and "questioning my objectivity" in the second post.... devil

That being said - as the song goes - "dream the impossible dream"

I've always been a fan of Sancho Panza. He wasn't delusional but he went along anyway using what sense he could.
 
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happyjosiah wrote:
damiangerous wrote:
Partial birth abortions have been banned for a decade now.


Thankfully this is true. Unfortunately, our current President would like to see this law overturned. In 2007 in Gonzales v. Carhart, the Supreme Court upheld the ban and (then Senator) Obama spoke against this decision.

I posted awhile back about the ridiculousness of late-term and partial-birth abortion from a legal standpoint. I'll quote myself from that thread:

Quote:
There are times (such as death of the mother) when you have to make a horrible choice. PBA is probably the safest late-term procedure (for the mother, obviously). I am not a doctor, but I really can't get my head around what situation could possibly come up where neither a vaginal nor cesarean birth is a safe option, but you can quite safely deliver most of the baby and then crush its skull and suck its brain out without risk to the mother. You are talking about a viable fetus (can we just agree to say baby in this case?) who is already partially born (all but the head) and could survive on its own. More than any other type of abortion, PBA really puts the definition of personhood as "only if the mother wants it to be a person". In what other case can someone's human rights be correctly determined by the will of one other person? What happens if the drugs dilate the mother farther than anticipated and the baby's head accidentally makes it out of the birth canal? Quick, smash it on the hospital floor! It isn't WANTED!


It's scary to me to read that now in light of the Gosnell case as my over-the-top final sentence doesn't seem so over-the-top anymore.


But it is totally over the top. The Gosnell case points out how horrendously over the top it is and how horrific it is when someone - Gosnell - actually takes that attitude.

As far as I know, as Dave said, nearly all people who consider themselves pro-choice are also opposed to late term abortion except in the case of a serious threat to the health of the woman in question. And I've yet to hear of anybody anywhere who approves of Gosnell's crimes or wants to see his actions made legal.
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Golux13 wrote:

As far as I know, as Dave said, nearly all people who consider themselves pro-choice are also opposed to late term abortion except in the case of a serious threat to the health of the woman in question. And I've yet to hear of anybody anywhere who approves of Gosnell's crimes or wants to see his actions made legal.


If only my post had cited some high-ranking official who ISN'T opposed to late-term abortions.
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happyjosiah wrote:
Golux13 wrote:

As far as I know, as Dave said, nearly all people who consider themselves pro-choice are also opposed to late term abortion except in the case of a serious threat to the health of the woman in question. And I've yet to hear of anybody anywhere who approves of Gosnell's crimes or wants to see his actions made legal.


If only my post had cited some high-ranking official who ISN'T opposed to late-term abortions.


Even the sources you posted showed the President making reference to the health of the mother. Is your call-back to it supposed to demonstrate that I'm wrong? Because I don't see it.
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Golux13 wrote:
happyjosiah wrote:
Golux13 wrote:

As far as I know, as Dave said, nearly all people who consider themselves pro-choice are also opposed to late term abortion except in the case of a serious threat to the health of the woman in question. And I've yet to hear of anybody anywhere who approves of Gosnell's crimes or wants to see his actions made legal.


If only my post had cited some high-ranking official who ISN'T opposed to late-term abortions.


Even the sources you posted showed the President making reference to the health of the mother. Is your call-back to it supposed to demonstrate that I'm wrong? Because I don't see it.


His statement:

"I strongly disagree with today's Supreme Court ruling, which dramatically departs from previous precedents safeguarding the health of pregnant women. As Justice Ginsburg emphasized in her dissenting opinion, this ruling signals an alarming willingness on the part of the conservative majority to disregard its prior rulings respecting a woman's medical concerns and the very personal decisions between a doctor and patient. I am extremely concerned that this ruling will embolden state legislatures to enact further measures to restrict a woman's right to choose, and that the conservative Supreme Court justices will look for other opportunities to erode Roe v. Wade, which is established federal law and a matter of equal rights for women" (Obama campaign statement, April 18, 2007).

It sounds to me like he's as much concerned about a woman's right to choose as he is about corner cases involving serious threats to her health.
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The problem is that if the criterion is that the woman's life is in danger, who decides? How much threat is needed? What if the woman disagrees with the doctor or other official who decides?

Ultimately the person responsible for judging the danger to a person's life is that person him- or herself. In other words, it's the woman's decision or should be whether her life is in danger and to what degree.
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