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Abortion

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Niall001
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Abortion

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I'd be interested in finding out what people's opinions on abortions are, whether they support it or not and more importantly, what the basis of their opinions are.Go.
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Abortion

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NialI support a women's right to decide for herself when and where she will become a mother. As stated in the Roe vs. Wade ruling, forcing a women to have an unwanted child is like imposing upon her a "distressful life and future" as well as "psychological harm," along with risks to her "mental and physical health" and "additional difficulties and continuing stigma of unwed motherhood."Looking at abortion from a purely naturalistic vantage point I cannot help but conclude that nature doesn't seem to have a problem with destroying life. 2/3 of all sperm - egg cell unions are terminated naturally...so why should humans care so much about doing it artificially. The only reason I can see would be if you throw religious beliefs into the mix, which some of us aren't willing to do.Personally, I begin to take issue with abortion as you move into the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. But we can discuss this after I get reamed for being a baby killer. Chris "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them"
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Abortion

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Am I the only BookTalk member with an opinion on abortion? I see a boatload of people have viewed this thread...Chris "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them"
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Re: Abortion

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Women and men should be able to make their own choices of what to do with their bodies and lives. What is your position Niall?
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Re: Abortion

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Quote:Am I the only BookTalk member with an opinion on abortion? I see a boatload of people have viewed this thread...Abortion is a very touchy subject for many people. Usually heated debates arise from such topics, which could be why some have viewed the topic but did not respond. I love a good debate. I once supported abortion, when I was younger. Now that I am older, a mother of two, and IMO wiser.I can see a woman who's been raped or victimized with incest having an abortion, but as far as a form of birth control, it really angers me with the excuse..."It's the womans body". She'll have to carry that baby for nine months. I know three women who've had abortions, and all three of them regret it. They used excuses like, "the father didn't want me to have the baby" "I have all the kids I want" and one was only 16 and her parents made her do it. A woman who ends up with an unwanted pregnancy will have to endure 9 months of her life in that state. I am a mother of two and I can tell you, while being pregnant isn't always plesant, it's not a permanent condition. Nine months is nothing to the life time of guilt she may have later after the excuse she used to justify the abortion is no longer valid. There are other options such as adoption. It's true there are many kids out there waiting to be adopted, the system is flooded with older children, disabled children, and children with behavioral problems, but they will grow up, they have a chance at living a life that every adult has the right to live. Newborn infants are usually adopted within the first few months.
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Re: Abortion

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Abortion becomes a political issue for those who wish to distract the Public from far more pressing concerns; and, pregnant women serve as easy targets with very little political clout.In other words, the real crimes of Corporate Capitalism and its accompanying Military Industrial System are far less easy a target...or, more precisely, they fight back, and with tremendous power. Whereas, pregnant women put up very little fight, and are extremely disadvantaged in any battle.Distract the Public with problems that are none of their business, while taking total advantage of the Public in areas where they should have complete participation.Abortion is a perfect ploy in this battle, better, war...Class War.As I see it, the aborted Fetus is a victim of Class War, and the mother is, more often than not, an unwilling participant.An abortion is always killing a human life, but not always murder...when it is murder, you can almost be certain the root of the crime involves a deeper poison unleashed by the larger Class War.
Niall001
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Abortion

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Me. Well to summarise (its the middle of RAG week and I have certain obligations to meet )What makes us human is our DNA. No dolphin, chimp, bonobo, gorilla or monkey, no matter how smart, is ever going to be human, because its not in their genes.I believe that Individual life begins with conception by the union of a couple's gametes. The 23 chromosomes of the sperm fuses with the 23 chromosomes of the oocyte and a new, unique, individual genetic code is formed in a zygote. THe zygote is not the mother. It is not the father. It is a new genetic identity. And that genetic code does not change. Furthermore, there are certain criteria that define all biological life: taking in food, processing it and excreting waste, reacting to stimuli, growing etc. The zygote fits all those criteria. Sperm and eggs do not. Any micro-organism which posessed its complete genetic code and displayed those characteristics would be considered alive.Let me emphasise this. It has human DNA and it displays the characteristics of all living beings. It is alive and it is human. However, it is not a viable life. It cannot exist outside of the mother (unless of course its a test-tube kid, in which case it can't survive without the tech). Also, it is not capable of complex higher mental functions. But so what? Are sick people considered any less human than those who are healthy? Are those who require machines or medicine to live any less human because of it? As for mental functioning, is a fully developed adult considered more human than a teenager, a child, a toddler, a neonate or even an OAP? So if we recognise that it is human and alive, can we kill it? If you recognise that all humans are equal and that all posess a right to life, then you cannot argue that abortion is justified. One's right to comfort and their reproductive rights are superceded by the child's right to life.If you disagree with that last statement, then you probably won't mind being raped. After all its the rapists body, he can do what he wants with it. What good does a right to happiness, or a right to choose do if you are not allowed to life your own life, free from the threat that others can take your life. If my right to liberty or happiness trumps other's right to life, then could I not just kill anyone who happens to infringe on my happiness or liberty?If you argue that the fetus is not human because it isn't viable or doesn't hold the capacity for complex higher mental functioning, then thats fine. All I ask is that you be consistent. At this point, I'll just add the following:In 1981 (April 23-24) a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee held hearings on the very question before us here: When does human life begin? Appearing to speak on behalf of the scientific community was a group of internationally-known geneticists and biologists who had the same story to tell, namely, that human life begins at conception - and they told their story with a profound absence of opposing testimony.Dr. Micheline M. Mathews-Roth, Harvard medical School, gave confirming testimony, supported by references from over 20 embryology and other medical textbooks that human life began at conception.* "Father of Modern Genetics" Dr. Jerome Lejeune told the lawmakers: "To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion ... it is plain experimental evidence."The Senate's report stated: "Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being -- a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings."* Dr. Hymie Gordon, Chairman, Department of Genetics at the Mayo Clinic, added: "By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception."* Dr. McCarthy de Mere, medical doctor and law professor, University of Tennessee, testified: "The exact moment of the beginning of personhood and of the human body is at the moment of conception."* Dr. Alfred Bongiovanni, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, concluded, "I am no more prepared to say that these early stages represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty ... is not a human being."* Dr. Richard V. Jaynes: "To say that the beginning of human life cannot be determined scientifically is utterly ridiculous."* Dr. Landrum Shettles, sometimes called the "Father of In Vitro Fertilization" notes, "Conception confers life and makes that life one of a kind." And on the Supreme Court ruling _Roe v. Wade_, "To deny a truth [about when life begins] should not be made a basis for legalizing abortion."* Professor Eugene Diamond: "...either the justices were fed a backwoods biology or they were pretending ignorance about a scientific certainty."
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tarav

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Re: Abortion

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I am for women's rights to abortion. The following is an article written by Peter Singer. I found it to be a very logical approach to discussing the morality of abortion. Those who defend women's rights to abortion often refer to themselves as 'pro-choice' rather than as 'pro-abortion'. In this way they seek to bypass the issue of the moral status of the foetus, and instead make the right to abortion a question of individual liberty. But it cannot simply be assumed that a woman's right to have an abortion is a question of individual liberty, for it must first be established that the aborted foetus is not a being worthy of protection. If the foetus is worthy of protection, then laws against abortion do not create 'victimless crimes' as laws against homosexual relations between consenting adults do. So the question of the moral status of the foetus cannot be avoided.The central argument against abortion may be put like this: It is wrong to kill an innocent human being. A human foetus is an innocent human being. Therefore it is wrong to kill a human foetus.Defenders of abortion usually deny the second premiss of this argument. The dispute about abortion then becomes a dispute about whether a foetus is a human being, or, in other words, when a human life begins. Opponents of abortion challenge others to point to any stage in the gradual process of human development that marks a morally significant dividing-line. Unless there is such a line, they say, we must either upgrade the status of the earliest embryo to that of the child, or downgrade the status of the child to that of the foetus; and no one advocates the latter course.The most commonly suggested dividing-lines between the fertilized egg and the child are birth and viability. Both are open to objection. A prematurely born infant may well be less developed in these respects than a foetus nearing the end of its normal term, and it seems peculiar to hold that we may not kill the premature infant, but may kill the more developed foetus. The point of viability varies according to the state of medical technology, and, again, it is odd to hold that a foetus has a right to life if the pregnant woman lives in London, but not if she lives in New Guinea.Those who wish to deny the foetus a right to life may be on stronger ground if they challenge the first, rather than the second, premiss of the argument set out above. To describe a being as 'human' is to use a term that straddles two distinct notions: membership of the species Homo sapiens, and being a person, in the sense of a rational or self-conscious being. If 'human' is taken as equivalent to 'person', the second premiss of the argument, which asserts that the foetus is a human being, is clearly false; for one cannot plausibly argue that a foetus is either rational or self-conscious. If, on the other hand, 'human' is taken to mean no more than 'member of the species Homo sapiens', then it needs to be shown why mere membership of a given biological species should be a sufficient basis for a right to life. Rather, the defender of abortion may wish to argue, we should look at the foetus for what it is - the actual characteristics it possesses - and value its life accordingly.BibliographyRosalind Hursthouse, Beginning Lives (Oxford, 1987).Judith Jarvis Thomson, 'A Defense of Abortion', in Peter Singer (ed.), Applied Ethics (Oxford, 1986).Michael Tooley, Abortion and Infanticide (Oxford, 1983).
Niall001
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Quck note

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Tarav, what do you think about Singer's extension of the argument. (I have only heard of it second hand so I offer my apoligies if I'm attributing views to Singer that are not his own)He argues that infanticide is wrong only because persons' (the parents) interests have been violated and that infanticide is OK if the child is unwanted and of no use to anyone.So is it a lesser crime to kill a neonate than to kill a toddler? Which is worse, to kill an adult or to kill a teenager? Doesn't Singer's argument seem to suggest that an intelligent person who is living a 'good' life has a greater right to life than some stupid slob who's idea of fun involves smashing two stones together?
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tarav

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Re: Quck note

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Niall, The article I read does not discuss the argument you are referring to. I have not read everything Singer has written on the topic of abortion. I would need to read the extension of the argument you mentioned before responding to your questions.
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