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Frank Talk About Abortion

rockwater
Posts: 273
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7/3/2013 12:49:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think both sides of the abortion debate tend to oversimplify things.

Even people who believe that human personhood and all human rights begin at conception have to admit that another rational person, believing in different premises, would not extend human personhood to, at least, a zygote or embryo.

Even people who believe in a mother's absolute right to remove any other life form from her body at any time have to admit that another rational person, believing in different premises, would grant at least a highly developed but non-viable fetus a certain right to life that is independent if its mother's wishes.

We live in a society where people of different faiths and people of no faith all coexist and all expect equal respect from their government. Any laws regarding abortion, therefore, must be based on secular arguments and respect the diversity of opinion regarding the issue. Therefore, the law should acknowledge that when it comes to abortion, two of the fundamental rights in modern liberal democracies, the right of all human persons to life and the right of all human persons to control over their bodies, are in conflict. The law cannot simply choose to emphasize one right while completely ignoring the other, especially when, even when informed by science and philosophy, there is no consensus among rational people as to when full human personhood begins for a new human life.

My conclusion, therefore, is that, barring any new scientific discoveries about the mental and emotional state of early fetuses or technological advances that make fetuses viable at early stages of the pregnancy, abortion law should be open to public debate and voting, either through legislatures or referenda. Given the diversity and intensity of opinions, abortions to save a mother's life or to prevent grievous bodily harm should probably belong in the realm of rights not up for voting (and some might add blanket exceptions for rape and incest to those rights). It is questionable whether or not early term permission if abortions or late term bans on it might not also be elevated to the realm of rights. I would argue, though, that at minimum, abortion in the grey area when fetuses are neither mere clumps of cells or highly neurologically developed must be open to democratic decision making processes, or else one ideological camp is essentially imposing its views on the other without any special right to influence government policy any more than the other.

Finally, lest someone say that people use to argue whether certain races or genders, or even newborn infants, had full personhood and try to paint me as some kind of moral relativist whose arguments could lead us on the path to moral evils equivalent to genocide, let me say that I am fully aware of the passions and legitimate concerns on both sides if the abortion debate but I will not pretend that there is a simple answer. No matter what the laws are regarding abortion, they will lead to deaths that people will blame on the laws. There is no easy way out, and tough decisions have to be made that take into consideration the valid concerns of both sides.
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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7/3/2013 1:25:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/3/2013 12:49:18 PM, rockwater wrote:
I think both sides of the abortion debate tend to oversimplify things.

Even people who believe that human personhood and all human rights begin at conception have to admit that another rational person, believing in different premises, would not extend human personhood to, at least, a zygote or embryo.

Even people who believe in a mother's absolute right to remove any other life form from her body at any time have to admit that another rational person, believing in different premises, would grant at least a highly developed but non-viable fetus a certain right to life that is independent if its mother's wishes.

We live in a society where people of different faiths and people of no faith all coexist and all expect equal respect from their government. Any laws regarding abortion, therefore, must be based on secular arguments and respect the diversity of opinion regarding the issue. Therefore, the law should acknowledge that when it comes to abortion, two of the fundamental rights in modern liberal democracies, the right of all human persons to life and the right of all human persons to control over their bodies, are in conflict. The law cannot simply choose to emphasize one right while completely ignoring the other, especially when, even when informed by science and philosophy, there is no consensus among rational people as to when full human personhood begins for a new human life.

My conclusion, therefore, is that, barring any new scientific discoveries about the mental and emotional state of early fetuses or technological advances that make fetuses viable at early stages of the pregnancy, abortion law should be open to public debate and voting, either through legislatures or referenda. Given the diversity and intensity of opinions, abortions to save a mother's life or to prevent grievous bodily harm should probably belong in the realm of rights not up for voting (and some might add blanket exceptions for rape and incest to those rights). It is questionable whether or not early term permission if abortions or late term bans on it might not also be elevated to the realm of rights. I would argue, though, that at minimum, abortion in the grey area when fetuses are neither mere clumps of cells or highly neurologically developed must be open to democratic decision making processes, or else one ideological camp is essentially imposing its views on the other without any special right to influence government policy any more than the other.

That's not true. The permissibility of abortions does not equal a requirement for abortions. If all abortions were legal, each person would have the right to make their own moral choice on the subject. Any limitation IS one ideological camp imposing its views on the other. Now, they may be able to justify that, I suppose, but it's worth bearing in mind.
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Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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7/3/2013 1:57:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/3/2013 12:49:18 PM, rockwater wrote:
I think both sides of the abortion debate tend to oversimplify things.

I think the same could be said about any advocate's argument.
My work here is, finally, done.
rockwater
Posts: 273
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7/3/2013 3:13:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/3/2013 1:25:30 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 7/3/2013 12:49:18 PM, rockwater wrote:
I think both sides of the abortion debate tend to oversimplify things.

Even people who believe that human personhood and all human rights begin at conception have to admit that another rational person, believing in different premises, would not extend human personhood to, at least, a zygote or embryo.

Even people who believe in a mother's absolute right to remove any other life form from her body at any time have to admit that another rational person, believing in different premises, would grant at least a highly developed but non-viable fetus a certain right to life that is independent if its mother's wishes.

We live in a society where people of different faiths and people of no faith all coexist and all expect equal respect from their government. Any laws regarding abortion, therefore, must be based on secular arguments and respect the diversity of opinion regarding the issue. Therefore, the law should acknowledge that when it comes to abortion, two of the fundamental rights in modern liberal democracies, the right of all human persons to life and the right of all human persons to control over their bodies, are in conflict. The law cannot simply choose to emphasize one right while completely ignoring the other, especially when, even when informed by science and philosophy, there is no consensus among rational people as to when full human personhood begins for a new human life.

My conclusion, therefore, is that, barring any new scientific discoveries about the mental and emotional state of early fetuses or technological advances that make fetuses viable at early stages of the pregnancy, abortion law should be open to public debate and voting, either through legislatures or referenda. Given the diversity and intensity of opinions, abortions to save a mother's life or to prevent grievous bodily harm should probably belong in the realm of rights not up for voting (and some might add blanket exceptions for rape and incest to those rights). It is questionable whether or not early term permission if abortions or late term bans on it might not also be elevated to the realm of rights. I would argue, though, that at minimum, abortion in the grey area when fetuses are neither mere clumps of cells or highly neurologically developed must be open to democratic decision making processes, or else one ideological camp is essentially imposing its views on the other without any special right to influence government policy any more than the other.

That's not true. The permissibility of abortions does not equal a requirement for abortions. If all abortions were legal, each person would have the right to make their own moral choice on the subject. Any limitation IS one ideological camp imposing its views on the other. Now, they may be able to justify that, I suppose, but it's worth bearing in mind.

I agree that I used a poor choice of words. I guess in the case of all abortions being permitted, it is the implementation of a certain belief regarding rights (a woman has complete control to remove a separate life from from her body; a fetus has none of the rights of human personhood because it lives inside another human being) to the exclusion of other beliefs regarding human rights that are rational but rely on different premises (a highly developed but non-viable fetus, at least, has some if not all of the rights of human personhood). Rather than saying that one group's birds are being imposed on the other in either extreme, I should have said that one group's beliefs were being implemented to the exclusion of the others.

My argument is that there is no morally convenient answer to the abortion issue. Any law will leave a significant part of the population feel that human rights are being violated in some way. I think that absent any consensus on when and how human personhood begins, both extremes, either a blanket ban or a blanket allowance of abortions, are infeasible.

But policy recommendations are not the thrust of what I want to discuss. Even if all my policy suggestions are wrong, is it not possible to get the vast majority of
people to agree that a rational person in good faith can believe that a zygote or embryo, at the very least, is not a human person, while another rational person in good faith can believe that a highly developed but non-viable fetus, at the very least, is a human person with at least some of the accompanying legal rights? That is the starting point is like to see. As to whether any abortion laws should take the above starting point consensus into account, that is more debatable.
CanWeKnow
Posts: 217
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7/3/2013 3:47:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
But policy recommendations are not the thrust of what I want to discuss. Even if all my policy suggestions are wrong, is it not possible to get the vast majority of
people to agree that a rational person in good faith can believe that a zygote or embryo, at the very least, is not a human person, while another rational person in good faith can believe that a highly developed but non-viable fetus, at the very least, is a human person with at least some of the accompanying legal rights? That is the starting point is like to see. As to whether any abortion laws should take the above starting point consensus into account, that is more debatable.

I think the abortion topic is a farce. It's only because of religion that this debate has been going for so long. There were 1.21 million abortions performed in the U.S. in 2009. That is 1.21/316 million successful abortions. Also displayed as 0.0038291139240506 of human life in the U.S. The majority of these abortions went to women who were unmarried, on medicaid, 50% under the age of 25, and 46.3% with one live birth already.

Seriously, we have BIGGER problems going in the U.S. There are much more important things that we should be spending our time and energy on. Specifically, finding Energy Solutions, curing heart disease, curing cancer, etc. Americans need to get off their high horses and get back to what matters.
Izazovnog
Posts: 15
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7/7/2013 6:29:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Many women before abortion could cope with the pain, also in terms of rape, many can easilliy have a medical treatment. But killing is murder. Also, you may think it's the Woman's rights vs. the babies, but it is not true. If you have an abortion the woman gets everything, if we don't have abortion, then both have life. That is true equality. You may wan't to ask yourself, would you wan't to be aborted? The answer is no.
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rockwater
Posts: 273
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7/8/2013 2:49:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'm not sure if I can resurrect this thread at this point, but I would like to have a discussion as to whether pro-lifers can admit that , even if they think embryos have a right to life that is more important than any mother's right to control what happens in her body, pro choice people can reasonably disagree based on the premise that a ball of cells with no nervous system is not a human person. That is saying, can people who believe human personhood begins at conception admit that a reasonable person could disagree with them at least at the earliest stages of pregnancy?

I would also like to discuss a similar question looking from a pro choice point of view. Can pro-choice people admit that, even if they believe in a mother's absolute right to remove a life form from her body at any time regardless of the human personhood of that life, agree that a reasonable person might think that this right to control over one's body stops being absolute either when a fetus is viable or when it reaches a certain stage of neural development that might precede viability. That is, can a person who believes that the right to controlling one's body trumps the personhood of a fetus at all stages of development admit that another can reasonably disagree at least in the late stages of pregnancy?

I am not asking pro-lifers or pro-choices to admit that they are wrong, but I am asking if either side can see that our society did not have a clear consensus as to which of fetal personhood or maternal control of her body is more important - therefore in implementing policy we need to consider all reasonable points of view that respect human rights in general but disagree on which of the two rights mentioned matter more in pregnancy (and whether one right matters more all the time or not).
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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7/8/2013 4:40:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/8/2013 2:49:44 PM, rockwater wrote:
I'm not sure if I can resurrect this thread at this point, but I would like to have a discussion as to whether pro-lifers can admit that , even if they think embryos have a right to life that is more important than any mother's right to control what happens in her body, pro choice people can reasonably disagree based on the premise that a ball of cells with no nervous system is not a human person. That is saying, can people who believe human personhood begins at conception admit that a reasonable person could disagree with them at least at the earliest stages of pregnancy?

I would also like to discuss a similar question looking from a pro choice point of view. Can pro-choice people admit that, even if they believe in a mother's absolute right to remove a life form from her body at any time regardless of the human personhood of that life, agree that a reasonable person might think that this right to control over one's body stops being absolute either when a fetus is viable or when it reaches a certain stage of neural development that might precede viability. That is, can a person who believes that the right to controlling one's body trumps the personhood of a fetus at all stages of development admit that another can reasonably disagree at least in the late stages of pregnancy?

I think most do, although some take a hardline stance, I suspect, in an attempt to bulwark against the constant nipping that the "pro-life" side engages in politically. But perhaps I'm wrong.

I know I, for example, do think that there is a line of neural development.

I am not asking pro-lifers or pro-choices to admit that they are wrong, but I am asking if either side can see that our society did not have a clear consensus as to which of fetal personhood or maternal control of her body is more important - therefore in implementing policy we need to consider all reasonable points of view that respect human rights in general but disagree on which of the two rights mentioned matter more in pregnancy (and whether one right matters more all the time or not).
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