The Abortion Thread

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Sandy
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Sandy » 26 Jan 2017, 14:03

Hypothetical: if you allowed someone to tie their circulatory system into yours to the point where they were dependent on blood being passed through your body, would severing that connection be murder or withdrawing consent? Or both?

I'm in camp Warren, I think. I think this is fundamentally a values question of whether the active killing of a zygote/fetus is murder of a human or simply removing tissue that might become human one day but isn't yet. And since that's a values question, it's best left to the individual to decide, though I understand why people on the "it's murder" side think that's unacceptable.

Clearly there is a bodily autonomy issue, and possibly an issue of consent (does rape make it nonconsensual? does aborting a Downs Syndrome fetus make it a withdrawal of consent? Does simply not intending to but engaging in activity that could produce a fetus make it consensual or no?) and there's a definition-of-life issue where dependence has already started and is taken away as opposed to being requested.

I'm not sure there's much arguing people out of that, because even the bodily autonomy vs murder issue isn't going to be settled philosophy.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by JasonL » 26 Jan 2017, 14:37

Any line drawn before whenever it is infants can do self aware dot test things and form mental representations is somewhat arbitrary to me, in the sense that mental states aren't the thing that can decide before that point and mental states are kind of what I think are of primary importance to personhood. I think that dot test things are passed at 18 months or so. I'm not comfortable with terminating parenthood between birth and that stage, but I don't really feel like I could ground that repugnance in any philosophically defensible point.

I suspect most people are in the same boat, arguing about the moral instincts they hold pertaining to something that is not self aware per se. It becomes a muddle of rationales where some people find body sovereignty to be the most important factor and others find something like "recognizably human" to matter more.

We'll have the same problem one day with machines I guess. So there's that to look forward to.

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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Andrew » 26 Jan 2017, 15:16

JasonL wrote:We'll have the same problem one day with machines I guess. So there's that to look forward to.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by JasonL » 26 Jan 2017, 15:26

Andrew wrote:
JasonL wrote:We'll have the same problem one day with machines I guess. So there's that to look forward to.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Mo » 26 Jan 2017, 15:30

I think this is a pointless argument to have because it's basically Sorites but with babbys,
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Jennifer » 26 Jan 2017, 15:34

Mo wrote:I think this is a pointless argument to have because it's basically Sorites but with babbys,
If Sorites also entailed "If it's not a heap you have no obligations, but if it is a heap you're legally obligated to haul it around for nine months, whether you want to or not." ;)
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Rachel » 26 Jan 2017, 15:35

Oh good an abortion thread. These always go somewhere.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Andrew » 26 Jan 2017, 15:37

Rachel wrote:Oh good an abortion thread. These always go somewhere.
The biohazard bin?
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Mo » 27 Jan 2017, 20:25

When conservative media spends more time complaining about the March for Life getting less coverage than the Women's March than covering the March for Life itself, it pretty much validates the amount of media coverage it's getting.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Jennifer » 27 Jan 2017, 23:44

Mo wrote:When conservative media spends more time complaining about the March for Life getting less coverage than the Women's March than covering the March for Life itself, it pretty much validates the amount of media coverage it's getting.
People who want the government to force pregnant women to remain so against their will turn out to be self-centered assholes? Imagine my surprise.

I also suspect there's a large overlap between the "pro-lifers" who marched in Washington today, and those who support Trump's revolting ban on Muslim refugees. If only there were some way helping refugees could also entail punishing women for having a sex life ....
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by JasonL » 28 Jan 2017, 09:04

Eh. I'm not sure that's fair. My bookface is full of just regular Christian pro life women. There's a space for those people to be really into their issue without attaching them to all the evils of trump. I think we are in particular danger of making everyone we disagree with on some issues part of a larger evil in an unreasonable way.

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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Jennifer » 28 Jan 2017, 14:03

JasonL wrote:Eh. I'm not sure that's fair. My bookface is full of just regular Christian pro life women.
How many of them went to the march, and how many of those are appalled by the refugee ban? Whether they went to the march or not, how many of them are equally interested in helping/saving babies who are already born, versus how many lose interest in the kid as soon as the mom has finished labor?

Slate had an article today asking "Why do pro-life activists seem only to care about unborn lives?"
The truth is that I want to engage in dialogue with pro-life advocates, but there are some questions that make it difficult for me to do so—and I expect that many other pro-choice advocates have them as well.

Why, as I look out on the sea of signs at today’s the March for Life, do I see nothing about maternity leave, much less paternity leave? Why aren’t expansive parental leave policies front and center on every pro-life website, and on the lips of every pro-life politician?

Why does every speaker fail to mention contraception? Why isn’t sex education front and center on every pro-life website, and on the lips of every pro-life politician?

Why is adoption mentioned only in passing, if it is mentioned at all? As of this writing, MarchForLife.org’s “adoption” page still has “lorem ipsum” placeholder text.

Why, if your movement “welcomes everyone,” as Ted Cruz and Cardinal Timothy Dolan both emphasized, do you focus so much on the Christian God? How do you expect to win over people like me if prayerful protest is more important to you than funding health services? (No. 1 on this website.)

To anyone looking in from the outside, the movement seems to be more about making public declarations of pious conservatism than advocating for life. It is, at heart, a religious movement, which explains the absence of contraception and sex education from the platform. It is also a politically conservative movement, which values small government more than the souls of unborn children and seeks to do little for them once they are born. In the (viral) words of Sister Joan Chittister:
I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.
At the National Review, David French argues this angle is just a ploy to raise taxes and mocks those who share Chittister’s position. “The true concern,” he writes, “isn’t for child welfare but for transient notions of adult fulfillment, and no level of taxation will cure the selfishness of the human heart.”

But French is missing the point. The real argument is simply about the movement’s hypocrisy. If pro-life advocates genuinely saw saving unborn children as their top priority, then a significant number of them would also fight for a world in which all women and men can be confident that their children’s future will include education, food, and housing. Many would reject a political platform that cheers taxpayer funding of the military while simultaneously trying to cut health care funding—health care that might allow women to feel secure enough to bring a baby to term. And many would make contraception a central issue, instead of allowing religious prudery to take precedence over the unborn babies they are fighting for.

As with any large movement, there are exceptions to these generalizations—notably secular pro-life activists. But listening to the speeches at the March for Life earlier Friday and reading through pro-life websites, I have no doubt that overall they hold true. And so, as I watch pro-lifers shout about defunding Planned Parenthood without proposing practical alternatives, I cannot yet sympathize with their cause.

Instead, I think of Matthew 6:5, where Jesus condemns the hypocrites who “love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen.”
Any self-identified "pro-lifer" who says "You had a choice; you could choose to keep your legs together, hyuk hyuk!" cares more about punishing women for sex than in helping that woman's kids.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by JasonL » 28 Jan 2017, 14:46

Some of them went to the march. Some of them are appalled by other trump things.

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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by tr0g » 28 Jan 2017, 14:58

Oh, yay, another Slate article demonstrating a lack of understanding. Gosh, if these people really believed what I think they believe, they'd be socialist just like me! But they aren't! They must be stupid/misguided/hypocritical! That should be your first clue that maybe you don't understand their beliefs. The concept that some of us legitimately think housing, feeding, and educating your children is not the government's business is alien to Slate.

As I pointed out elsewhere today in a different context, this seems apropos:
Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.
The reason people turn out for anti-abortion protests is because abortion is the only thing Slate is bitching about that is primarily driven by public policy on a national level. (Side note: the following applies to the Catholic Church, I can't speak to other denominations) Worried about education? The Church runs schools. Worried about healthcare? Yeah, they do that too. Worried about homelessness and poverty and all that jazz? Hey, the Church has programs for all that stuff. They run adoption services, foster care, just about everything Slate writer is bitching that abortion protesters don't do. The fact that she is apparently clueless about the existence of all these programs kind of gives the lie to the Matthew 6:5 reference, doesn't it?

Yup, some of these people are incensed about the refugee ban. They aren't hard to find. I mean, as much as I disagree with the Jesuits on a lot, they're pretty squarely in the mainstream of Catholic thought and they're out there complaining. Again, we're back to the demonstrated fact that way too many media types live in a bubble that doesn't involve interacting with any overtly religious types.

Now I'm going to go back to something more productive than posting in an abortion thread, like hitting myself in the head with a 2x4.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Shem » 28 Jan 2017, 15:11

tr0g wrote: The reason people turn out for anti-abortion protests is because abortion is the only thing Slate is bitching about that is primarily driven by public policy on a national level. (Side note: the following applies to the Catholic Church, I can't speak to other denominations) Worried about education? The Church runs schools. Worried about healthcare? Yeah, they do that too. Worried about homelessness and poverty and all that jazz? Hey, the Church has programs for all that stuff. They run adoption services, foster care, just about everything Slate writer is bitching that abortion protesters don't do. The fact that she is apparently clueless about the existence of all these programs kind of gives the lie to the Matthew 6:5 reference, doesn't it?
I give Catholics a lot of respect for that. Evangelicals, however, do almost none of that, and even the stuff they do is usually less for the benefit of the individual receiving the care and more about ensuring that their worldview is unchallenged. Compare Georgetown to Liberty University for an example of what I'm saying. The article is way too broad, but there's more than a fair bit of truth in there.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Jennifer » 28 Jan 2017, 15:19

tr0g wrote:Oh, yay, another Slate article demonstrating a lack of understanding. Gosh, if these people really believed what I think they believe, they'd be socialist just like me! But they aren't! They must be stupid/misguided/hypocritical! That should be your first clue that maybe you don't understand their beliefs. The concept that some of us legitimately think housing, feeding, and educating your children is not the government's business is alien to Slate.
The problem is with those who do think it's the government's business to force women to bear children, supposedly out of concern for those children, yet have no interest in the children's well-being once they're actually born.

During primary season, Marco Rubio said he opposed allowing abortion even for rape victims. I wish someone had asked him the follow-up question: if he wants the government force rape victims to bear their rapists' offspring to term, will the government at least cover those women's medical costs and lost wages? Or is the rape victim completely on her own in this regard?

Not to mention, I have yet to see an explanation of how such an abortion ban would actually work on a day-to-day level. Given that the War on Drugs has harmed plenty of people who aren't even illicit-drug users (such as the people arrested for buying allergy medication which has the potential to be used to make meth), how likely is it that a war on abortion would only hurt women who get abortions, and the doctors who perform them? What -- is every miscarriage to result in a criminal investigation just in case it was actually an abortion?
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Jennifer » 28 Jan 2017, 15:21

trog wrote:The fact that she is apparently clueless about the existence of all these programs
Not that it matters, but: the writer is a "he," not a "she."
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Eric the .5b » 28 Jan 2017, 16:25

I respect the Catholic angle, there, though I'd also note there are a number of Catholics who are perfectly fine with a welfare state. They've built these institutions to get things done, not because they really object to the government doing it.

When it comes to the Evangelical side of things, though, there's not only a lot less help being offered, there's no small-government angle. They only parrot small-government ideas when it comes to the government affecting churches; if it comes to getting the government to respect their religious dogma and restrict the rights of everyone else, they're as big-government as anyone else.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by lunchstealer » 29 Jan 2017, 15:21

Jennifer wrote:force women to be "more personally responsible" for their sexual behavior.
I believe that this is at least 40% of anti-abortion motivation. I think there are a lot of people whose initial visceral reaction is, "Those women want to have sex and get out of the consequences, and they should have to bear the shame of everyone knowing that they've let themselves get pregnant."

That's not everyone. Many have an immediate visceral reaction of sympathy for the fetus. But the puritanical animosity towards a woman relieving herself of the burden of her sin is strong, and this guy is a perfect example of that. These women who want abortions are dirty and transgressive and that must be punished. For this guy, any potential suffering on the part of the wee babbys is secondary at best.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Warren » 29 Jan 2017, 16:43

lunchstealer wrote:
Jennifer wrote:force women to be "more personally responsible" for their sexual behavior.
I believe that this is at least 40% of anti-abortion motivation. I think there are a lot of people whose initial visceral reaction is, "Those women want to have sex and get out of the consequences, and they should have to bear the shame of everyone knowing that they've let themselves get pregnant."

That's not everyone. Many have an immediate visceral reaction of sympathy for the fetus. But the puritanical animosity towards a woman relieving herself of the burden of her sin is strong, and this guy is a perfect example of that. These women who want abortions are dirty and transgressive and that must be punished. For this guy, any potential suffering on the part of the wee babbys is secondary at best.
Of the hundreds of Pro-Life people I've spoken to, 0.0% of them want to shame the mothers and 100.0% of them think the fetus is and innocent human life. To be sure, there is contempt for women who kill their children out of convenience.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by JasonL » 30 Jan 2017, 10:36

I don't think the two instincts are unrelated. If you start with the fetus being a person who is being killed, it is a very quick jump to the motive for the crime, as it were. For some it may be sin, but for others it's like responsibility. Neither of those seems right to me, but I have to acknowledge that a large part of the reason for that is I don't think a fetus is a person so there's no shocking crime for which we need to seek motive.

The flip works too. The position "you just want to murder a baby so you can live consequence free" stakes out the position that the fetus is a baby. If it's not, there's nothing to explain. Like overdoing it on a saturday night and taking ibuprofen the next day.

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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by lunchstealer » 30 Jan 2017, 12:01

Warren wrote:
lunchstealer wrote:
Jennifer wrote:force women to be "more personally responsible" for their sexual behavior.
I believe that this is at least 40% of anti-abortion motivation. I think there are a lot of people whose initial visceral reaction is, "Those women want to have sex and get out of the consequences, and they should have to bear the shame of everyone knowing that they've let themselves get pregnant."

That's not everyone. Many have an immediate visceral reaction of sympathy for the fetus. But the puritanical animosity towards a woman relieving herself of the burden of her sin is strong, and this guy is a perfect example of that. These women who want abortions are dirty and transgressive and that must be punished. For this guy, any potential suffering on the part of the wee babbys is secondary at best.
Of the hundreds of Pro-Life people I've spoken to, 0.0% of them want to shame the mothers and 100.0% of them think the fetus is and innocent human life. To be sure, there is contempt for women who kill their children out of convenience.
I'd believe that if they didn't also say things like "Women who want Obamacare to pay for birth control are sluts". 40% may be an exaggeration, but in various discussions I've had, you get some "Well if they'd just keep their legs closed..." sentiment. Not, "Well, if they'd just use two forms of birth control..."

Now, I'm not saying that slut shaming is the argument they'll use or the reason they'll put forward. I think almost anyone would know that's a rhetorical non-starter, especially if you're talking to a pro-choice person. But when you see the rhetorical cues, there are definitely some who give me the idea that they come at it from a very vindictive point of view towards out-of-wedlock pregnancy and towards women who enjoy sex for the sake of sex.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Warren » 30 Jan 2017, 13:55

lunchstealer wrote:'d believe that if they didn't also say things like "Women who want Obamacare to pay for birth control are sluts". 40% may be an exaggeration, but in various discussions I've had, you get some "Well if they'd just keep their legs closed..." sentiment. Not, "Well, if they'd just use two forms of birth control..."
I have never met any of those people. The one's I've spoken too are all "They use abortion as birth control because they're irresponsible sluts". If the number of abortions being performed were reduced to only only rape/incest and failed birth control levels, they'd all go home. To be sure, they'd still wring their hands and pray about it, but they'd stop turning up in numbers, being single issue voters, etc.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Shem » 30 Jan 2017, 15:43

Warren wrote:
lunchstealer wrote:'d believe that if they didn't also say things like "Women who want Obamacare to pay for birth control are sluts". 40% may be an exaggeration, but in various discussions I've had, you get some "Well if they'd just keep their legs closed..." sentiment. Not, "Well, if they'd just use two forms of birth control..."
I have never met any of those people. The one's I've spoken too are all "They use abortion as birth control because they're irresponsible sluts". If the number of abortions being performed were reduced to only only rape/incest and failed birth control levels, they'd all go home. To be sure, they'd still wring their hands and pray about it, but they'd stop turning up in numbers, being single issue voters, etc.
I have. While trying to make the argument that increased birth control would prevent abortions, one of them said to me "what about the consequences of their actions?" This was the granddaughter of a former mike penceesque candidate for governor, who was still plugged into the state's right wing movement, so not some outlier.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Jennifer » 13 Feb 2017, 17:50

Give him points for honesty, if nothing else: an Oklahoma lawmaker proposed a bill that would require women getting abortions to first obtain written consent from their sexual partner. [No mention of exemptions for rape victims, of course.] The lawmaker in question, Justin Humphrey, said that a pregnant woman is merely a "host" -- not in an anti-natal "fetuses are parasites" kind of way, but in a "pregnant women don't deserve rights because they're merely 'hosts'" context.
Justin Humphrey wrote:I believe one of the breakdowns in our society is that we have excluded the man out of all of these types of decisions. I understand that [women] feel like that is their body. I feel like it is a separate — what I call them is, is you’re a ‘host.’ And you know when you enter into a relationship you’re going to be that host and so, you know, if you pre-know that then take all precautions and don’t get pregnant. So that’s where I’m at. I’m like, hey, your body is your body and be responsible with it. But after you’re irresponsible then don’t claim, well, I can just go and do this with another body, when you’re the host and you invited that in.
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