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comfort care

Peter Lyons
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Joined: Sep 12, 2000
Posts: 202
Looks like everyone is kinda burned out on the heavy stuff; I don't blame you. If you're up for it, here's another. http://www.house.gov/judiciary/stanek_071201.htm
The hospital is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
I think that I will go cry for a while now . . . .
HOW can people do that??


"JavaRanch, where the deer and the Certified play" - David O'Meara
Angela Poynton
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Joined: Mar 02, 2000
Posts: 3143
I had absolutely no idea this was going on ... while I do believe in the right to choose when it comes ot abortions, this makes me sick ... if the baby is alive, then it should be treated as a live human, not left to die.


Pounding at a thick stone wall won't move it, sometimes, you need to step back to see the way around.
Peter Lyons
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2000
Posts: 202
Well, if this bill gets its day on the floor in the House and Senate, it will almost certainly pass by wide margins. The same hospitals will kill the same babies, but they will be sure the killing takes place inside the mother, where it's protected by law. Business as usual.
Matthew Phillips
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Joined: Mar 09, 2001
Posts: 2676
That was very disturbing. I have always been pro-choice, but I cannot support the neglect of a living baby, which results in death. That's murder.
Matthew Phillips


Matthew Phillips
John Bateman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 09, 2000
Posts: 320
Hi
Know what, I always beleived that people should be able to choose. I wasn't really PRO abortion as I do not think I would be the one to want to have my GF / Fiance / Wife go through one. But I did beleive that people should be able to choose for themselves. I just don't like the fact that some people will ABUSE that choice and abort over and over again.
Recently my stand on this issue took a total about face. When I saw one single sign/poster it said.
"The Baby chooses Life".
Weird, but it hit me right in the heart!

[This message has been edited by John Bateman (edited July 25, 2001).]


SOURCE CODE should be SURROUNDED by "code" tags.
Peter Lyons
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Joined: Sep 12, 2000
Posts: 202
"Pro-Choice" sure sounds like a good idea until we take a hard look at what is being chosen. Why are people offended that a hosptial lets a baby die unaided, but not when the same hospital chops up or poisons the same baby when he or she is inside the mother? In my opinion it's because we react emotionally to what we can see. When the child is inside, we can talk about the lack of "personhood" or use terms like "embryo" or "fetus" to make it seem like we're not talking about a human being. But once the child is out, everybody can see it's a baby, and to kill it or let it die is unspeakable for most of us. I humbly submit that if we apply reason to the matter, we should feel as obligated to protect the child inside as we would the child outside.
Jane Griscti
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Joined: Aug 30, 2000
Posts: 3141
Women have been having abortions since time began; making them illegal won't stop them from occurring. As early as the turn of the century live infants were being abandoned to the elements in the UK and European countries and the practice probably still continues today in many areas of the world. It's ugly, it's cruel, and it's part of human nature.
Westerners find it even more repulsive because we've been fed the myth that women are naturally protective of their children; that such feelings are instinctive. History shows this is hog-wash.
As a society, we would do more good trying to find workable solutions in dealing with those who do not want their children: through education, improving the adoption process and legalizing and enforcing humane abortion practices.
Telling women they can't have an abortion is no more a fix than "Just say No to drugs."


Jane Griscti
SCJP, Co-author Mike Meyers' Java 2 Certification Passport
Shama Khan
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Joined: Aug 14, 2000
Posts: 185
I just can't be logical as some above. I could just be emotional and cry for the the poor little souls who have no say in any of this.
By the way, just because some practice has existed for ages doesn't make it right. Someone's got to speak for the ones who can't speak.
Shama


Shama
Jane Griscti
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 30, 2000
Posts: 3141
Shama,
I didn't mean to imply I thought the practice was 'right'. Each individual must decide, for themselves, whether it's wrong or right for them.
I was trying to point out that trying to pretend it's 'abnormal' for women to not want babies in the hope that if we don't admit it's true, and force people to behave as if it isn't all will be well.
It is not abnormal; it's a quite common reaction to pregnancy and has been for eons. It would be healthier for all concerned to deal with the reality.
Wringing your hands and crying about it won't stop it and neither will publicly condemning women who choose to abort.
For centuries the Catholic church demanded women bear children, as many as they could, as often as they could; it didn't stop abortions even when women thought they might be risking their eternal souls! What makes anyone believe the practice will be stopped just because a few men and women rant against it and pass a law forbidding it?

[This message has been edited by Jane Griscti (edited July 28, 2001).]
[This message has been edited by Jane Griscti (edited July 28, 2001).]
Peter Lyons
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Joined: Sep 12, 2000
Posts: 202
Jane,
I think we need to do better than letting individuals decide whether abortion is wrong or right for them. There is a moral absolute here; that is, it is always wrong to kill an innocent human being. When someone says "I'm personally opposed to abortion, but I wouldn't want to impose my beliefs on someone else", it's like saying "I'm personally against child abuse, but I wouldn't want to impose my beliefs on someone else." In the words of author Randy Alcorn:
"If abortion doesn't kill children, why would someone be opposed to it? If it does kill children, why would someone defend another's right to do it? Being personally against abortion but favoring another's right to abortion is self-contradictory and morally baffling."
Your call for "humane abortion procedures" suggests that you, like me, know the unborn child is a human being and is even capable suffering pain at a point no later than 13.5 weeks after conception. (I hasten to add that a person's inability to feel pain would not excuse bringing harm to that person). You have not believed the lies that a fetus is merely an inanimate mass of tissue or a part of the mother's body. (dependent on the mother, yes - to a point. part of the mother's body, no.) In the sense that you parallel abortion and infanticide, it seems you even agree that abortion is a tragedy.
So, unless I'm completely misreading you, I don't understand why you would support such a thing merely because the practice of abortion has long been part of human history. The same could be said of slavery and rape, but certainly you wouldn't defend those!
No doubt an unwanted pregnancy is a real crisis for a woman. I understand that. My own sister has faced two; the first time, in her teenage years, she was pressured into an abortion which she mourns to this day. The second one is a six-year-old boy. I myself am the product of such a pregnancy, and was adopted as an infant by the parents who raised me. Incidentally, for every one child given up for adoption, another 30 are aborted. What a tragedy! I myself volunteer with a crisis pregnancy center, which helps women learn about the options they have which will not only save the life of their child, but will leave that woman with a peace of mind that a woman who chooses abortion will likely never find. We also provide counseling for women who have had abortions in the past, and only when it is too late have come to realize that the abortion killed their living child.
Lastly, let me point out the fact that the laws of the land do have a significant impact on the public perception regarding abortion. A 1998 study noted:
"Public attitudes toward abortion were found to be positively and significantly correlated with abortion statutes. Those countries that had the most restrictive statutes vis-a-vis abortion reported the lowest approval ratings for abortion and those countries that permitted abortion on demand reported the highest approval ratings for abortion."
In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., "Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless."
Respectfully,
Peter Lyons
[This message has been edited by Peter Lyons (edited July 28, 2001).]
Manku Thimma
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Joined: Jul 18, 2001
Posts: 108
What's the big deal about human life? It's the same spark of life that was in the chicken you ate for breakfast, and in the cow you ate for lunch. You didn't cry over that, so why cry over a human baby? It's just another hapless critter on the planet that wasn't destined to live on.
So why have this rule that human life is more precious than an animal's? Treat all life as divine.
Thinking about the grief suffered by a little cute calf that just had it's mother killed to satiate your hunger moves me more than thinking about some baby that was abandoned to die. After all, if the parents didn't care about what they had lustily conceived, why should anyone else?

NN's new avatar.
Greg Harris
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Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 1012
good grief! i just read peter's post and was going to say how well he put into words what i can only think... (i am also adopted and the product of a "mistake"...)
but then i read that last post... what a completely opposing opinion that is! the way i see it, animals (cows, fish...) were put here for us (humans) to survive. if they were not for our nurishment, then they would have four fingers, a thumb, and the ability to send rockets to the moon.
i do not see how you can try to equate a human to a cow as far as the "right" to live is concerned. as for the parents of the child (married or not) they knew what the possibilities of their passion were. so if they are not prepared to accept that responsibility, then perhaps they should consider allowing another family (who cannot have children of their own) adopt their "mistake."
i certainly am glad i was adopted and not left to die!


what?
Jane Griscti
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Joined: Aug 30, 2000
Posts: 3141
Hi Peter,

I think we need to do better than letting individuals decide whether abortion is wrong or right for them. There is a moral absolute here ...

Whose morals?? This is my main problem with the issue. You use the word absolute as if there is only one true set of morals in the Universe. When our society threw people in jail for life for stealing a loaf of bread, that too was based on the moral that stealing, in any form, was wrong.
I'm afraid I don't believe in absolutes; moral or otherwise. They change to often. It is easy to rationalize any position, any behaviour, if we claim it to be based on a moral absolute. Witness the Spanish Inquisition, the manner in which First Nations people have been treated, slavery, etc. All of these behaviours have been committed by groups claiming to have special knowledge of a 'moral absolute'.

Being personally against abortion but favoring another's right to abortion is self-contradictory and morally baffling."


It is only baffling to someone who believes they are right; that the world is painted in blacks and whites, instead of many colours.

Your call for "humane abortion procedures" suggests that you, like me, know the unborn child is a human being and is even capable suffering pain at a point no later than 13.5 weeks after
conception.


Honestly, I don't know that an unborn child is a human being; I'm still trying to figure out what makes us 'human': our form, our consciousness, our opposible thumbs? I would have used the term regardless; whether discussing a human being or any other life form.
In the sense that you parallel abortion and infanticide, it seems you even agree that abortion is a tragedy.


The circumstances can be tragic, sometimes being born can be tragic but the act itself? No.
I don't understand why you would support such a thing merely because the practice of abortion has long been part of human history. The same could be said of slavery and rape, but certainly you wouldn't defend those!


It is not a matter of suport or non-support. It's what happens, has been happening and will continue to happen, regardless. Wouldn't it be more prudent to look at the circumstances under which it happens; discover why it happens, what would cause a woman to not want her child? Are there factors that we, as a society, can correct? And if there aren't, if there will always be women who will never want children do we have the right to tell them they must have them if they become pregnant?
You asked me if I would defend slavery and rape because there have always been slavers and rapists. No. I'm not arguing that because some actions are human they are right; I'm trying to make the point that the actions are human and need to be viewed in that context. In some countries there are laws against both slavery and rape, yet both practices continue to exist within in those countries. Often, perpetrators get off scott free. Society can be very hypocritical. Laws allow citizens to publicly claim moral superiority while private behaviours continue as before.

Public attitudes toward abortion were found to be positively and significantly correlated with abortion statutes. Those countries that had the most restrictive statutes vis-a-vis abortion reported the lowest approval ratings for abortion and those countries that permitted abortion on demand reported the highest approval ratings for abortion.

That's not surprising. How often do you hear people publicly disagreeing with the preceived 'norm'? Rarely.
In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., "Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless."

Well, I hate to contradict Martin Luther King but morality has been legislated. White slavers thought they were morally superior to blacks and legalized slavery based on that 'moral absolute'
You can attempt to regulate behaviour, but that doesn't change behaviour or eradicate it, instead it forces it underground and produces sub-cultures where the behaviour tends to become more extreme.
Personally, I think it's better to acknowledge the behaviour and deal with it openly, compassionately and humanely.
[This message has been edited by Jane Griscti (edited July 29, 2001).]
Peter Lyons
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Joined: Sep 12, 2000
Posts: 202
Manku,
With all due respect, nobody here has said they don't care about animals. If you do as you admonish: "Treat all life as divine", you should stand firmly with those who are trying to defend unborn human beings just as you might defend a cow. I wonder, though, why you would say something like "the grief suffered by a little cute calf that just had it's mother killed to satiate your hunger moves me more than thinking about some baby that was abandoned to die." If you really believe the human baby is divine, why would you say something so callous? It sounds like you value the motherless calf far more than the child left to die.
[This message has been edited by Peter Lyons (edited July 29, 2001).]
Peter Lyons
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2000
Posts: 202
Jane,
Thanks for your clarifying your point of view! I will have a few more things to say in response, but I want to write something worthy of the effort you put forth... so it'll have to wait until tomorrow night! It's definetely my bedtime.
Peter
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
If to develop your idea, contraceptives should be prohibited too: they probably prevented more children from being born than abortions did.


Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
Angela Poynton
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Joined: Mar 02, 2000
Posts: 3143
Originally posted by Greg Harris:

i do not see how you can try to equate a human to a cow as far as the "right" to live is concerned. as for the parents of the child (married or not) they knew what the possibilities of their passion were. so if they are not prepared to accept that responsibility, then perhaps they should consider allowing another family (who cannot have children of their own) adopt their "mistake."

An what about a woman who becomes pregnant as a result of being raped?? There was no control there, no passion. Why should she have to take responsibility for something which she really had no conscious part in creating?
Or a woman who may die if she continues her preganacy??
Do you draw a line? If so where.
Ultimatly I agree that abortion should not be seen as a form of birth control, but the right to choose must exist. In countries where it illegal, so many women (often very young) die or are irrepairably damaged as a result of "backstreet abortions". If it must be done I would rather it was done in very controlled conditions by people who know what they are doing.
Peter Lyons
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2000
Posts: 202
Mapraputa,
A true contraceptive does not end a life, it prevents conception. In other words, the life never begins at all. What I am so strongly opposed to is the destruction of a living human being. Abortion brings a violent death to an innocent pre-birth human being who is given absolutely no "choice" in the matter.
I'll address Angela's rape question tonight.
Greg Harris
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Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 1012
Originally posted by Angela Poynton:
An what about a woman who becomes pregnant as a result of being raped?? There was no control there, no passion. Why should she have to take responsibility for something which she really had no conscious part in creating?
Or a woman who may die if she continues her preganacy??
Do you draw a line? If so where.

i definitely draw the line there. i am strongly in favor of abortion in the case of rape... the woman has already been through enough trauma, so she certainly does not deserve to carry and deliver the spawn of such a horrible act.
and as for a mother who faces death if she continues the pregnancy; that is totally up to her... if she wants to take the chance and deliver, then more power to her... but, if she decides to abort the child to save her own life, i can understand.
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Peter, thanks for being so patient . My remark was a bit provocative and I was afaraid that a new holy war will start here. (Though, myself is a little disappointed it did not )
Peter Lyons
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2000
Posts: 202
Hey, Mapraputa, no problem! The least I can do is behave myself!
As for the questions of rape and life of the mother:
Stated simply, human life begins at the moment of conception. From that point forward, we should treat any human life with the same respect and dignity that each of the rest of us expect. If a six year old child is a financial burden on his parents, can his parents have him killed? Of course not. In the same way, I stand staunchly opposed to an abortion for the same justification. If a 22 year old woman is the product of rape, does that nullify her right to live? Absolutely not! Why, then, would we allow the same life to be snuffed out in the womb? Killing the child conceived in rape will not un-rape the woman! Randy Alcorn writes "Women often think that a child conceived by such a vile act will be a constant reminder of their pain. On the contrary, the innocence of the child often has a healing effect. But in any case, the woman is free to give up the child for adoption, which may be the best alternative. Aborting the child is an attempt to deny what happened, and denial is never good therapy." Feminists for Life states "Some women have reported suffering from the trauma of abortion long after the rape trauma has faded."
(Feminists for Life has produced several posters for display on college campuses; one of them deals directly with the issue of rape: http://www.feministsforlife.org/img/cop/ads_PDF/DeathPenalty.pdf
To view all the ads, see: http://www.feministsforlife.org/cop/ads.htm)
As for circumstances where the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother, of course I favor doing everything required to preserve the lives of both mother and child. If there were ever truly a situation where the mother would certainly die to carry her baby any longer, I would favor removing the child... not an abortion, per se, but rather an emergency effort to save the child, as paramedics have done before in successful efforts to save an unborn child when a pregnant woman is killed in an accident. What I don't want to see is people reasoning "I have a very small frame... giving birth could be dangerous to me." or "Actually, a first trimester abortion is safer than childbirth." There is a continuum of risk, and I would wish to see every effort made to preserve both lives, rather than see the fetus' life forfeit at the slightest hint of danger.
Manku Thimma
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Joined: Jul 18, 2001
Posts: 108
>the way i see it, animals were put here for us to survive
That's a pretty selfish thought; I would have to disagree; simply because meat is not essential for "survival". There are millions of people on this planet who haven't eaten any meat, ever, and have been leading healthy lives, often healthier than meat-eaters. So just because you need meat doesn't mean mankind needs it. Right?
>they should consider allowing another family adopt their "mistake."
I agree. I am not saying that irresponsibly conceived infants should be abandoned - far from it - because the "mistake" is not in the conception, people are driven by such passions all the time. The real mistake is in how the parents eventually deal with it... especially when they opt to kill life. I am fully in support of adoption; or even consigning the baby to an orphanage. But please don't kill it.
>why would you say something so callous?
Peter, like you'd have read in my response to Greg above, I am fully, from the depths of my heart, in support of life. My statements, were simply to bring attention to this stark hypocrisy that exists amongst us... we take for granted the routine killing of animals in the slaughterhouses; but care so much about much rarer human infant deaths occurring due to abortion or abandonment. Why the bias? I would like to see an universal love for life, be it human, or be it animal.

[This message has been edited by Manku Thimma (edited July 30, 2001).]
Peter Lyons
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Joined: Sep 12, 2000
Posts: 202
Angela,
I wanted to address your concern for the women injured by "back-alley abortions". I respect your concern for women, and I share it, only not at the expense of the unborn child, half of whom are women too!
Despite the rhetoric dished out by the modern Planned Parenthood, what they were saying in 1960 was something quite different:
"the [Planned Parenthood] conference estimated that 90 percent of all illegal abortions are done by phsyicans. Call them what you will, abortionists or anything else, they are still physicians, trained as such; and many of them are in good standing in their communities.... Whatever trouble arises usually comes after self-induced abortions, which comprise approximately 8 percent, or the very small percentage that go to some kind of non-medical abortionist. Another corollary fact: physicians of impeccable standing are referring their patients for these illegal abortions to the colleagues they know are willing to perform them."
-Dr. Mary Calderone, President, Planned Parenthood
writing for the American Journal of Public Health in 1960
Really, when people talk about women killed by illegal abortions as a reason to legalize them, they are begging the question. They are not addressing the core issue: what is the unborn? If the unborn is fully human (and if it's not, please tell me what it is) we should not make killing them "safe and legal". If the unborn is not fully human, then who cares what we do with them? Why even waste our time trying to make abortion rare if there's nothing wrong with it?
I would go on and say more, but from my perspective, the loss of 40 million unborn babies in the U.S. alone since 1973 absolutely buries any other statistic regarding the number of women injured or killed by illegal abortions in years prior. I know some people say "you care more about a clump of cells than you do about living women." No! I simply recognize that that "clump of cells" is also a living person, like you or I, and I am only pleading that we start treating them as such! Their value is not less, not more, but equal to yours or mine, in exactly the same sense that the value of a one-minute-old infant is equal to that of a two year old child is equal to that of a ten year old is equal to that of a 32 year old is equal to that of a 50 year old is equal to that of a 103 year old.
There are some 30 million abortions per year worldwide. That's 15 million women who were aborted, most assuredly against their will.
[This message has been edited by Peter Lyons (edited July 30, 2001).]
[This message has been edited by Peter Lyons (edited July 30, 2001).]
Peter Lyons
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Joined: Sep 12, 2000
Posts: 202
Manku,
I just misunderstood you in your first post. Thanks for writing back.
Peter
Peter Lyons
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Joined: Sep 12, 2000
Posts: 202
Hello Jane ,
Thanks for engaging in such a civil conversation with me!
One of the reasons you state for your moral relativism is that of slavery. You state that slavers claimed a "special knowledge of a 'moral absolute'", and as such justified their enslavement of another race. By your tone, it sounds like you are convinced that slavery is wrong. What sickens you is that people defended their practice of slavery as a moral right when you can so clearly see it is not right at all. So, in fact, if I have understood you, you do not truly believe in moral relativism after all. You believe slavery is absolutely wrong. (and I agree!)
As for acting on those absolutes, I quote Francis Beckwith:
"What would we think of the convictions of an individual who claimed that he was personally against the genocide of a particular race, but if others thought this race was not humean they were certainly welcome to participate in the genocide if they so choose? The nature of some 'personal' opinions warrant public actions, even if these opinions turn out to be wrong, while other opinions, such as one's personal preference for German chocolate cake, do not.
(continuing quoting Beckwith...)
...the fact that people disagree about something does not mean that there is no truth. For example, if you and I disagree as to whether or not the earth is round, this is certainly not proof that the earth has no shape. In moral discussion, the fact that a skinhead (a type of young Neo-Nazi) and I may disagree as to whether we should treat people equally and with fairness is certainly not sufficient evidence to say that equality and fairness have no objective value. Even if individuals and cultures hold no values in common, it does not follow that nobody is right or wrong about the correct values. That is, there could be a mistaken individual or culture, such as Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany."
On the subject of what makes us human -
I would simply argue that if there is any uncertainly over when human life begins (or even, as you question, what makes us human), we must give the questionably but unverified human life the benefit of the doubt. Really, however, there is no room for such uncertainty, at least not medically. I could quote many sources on this, but I will choose just one statement issued by a U.S. Senate sub-committee in 1982, after eight days of testimony from 57 witnesses: "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."
If, instead, you would choose only to defend life that meets some more subjective quality, then what is that quality? For a moment, let's pretend science doesn't know when an embryo becomes human. Would we then be free to say "since we don't know for sure, let's assume it's not, and do whatever we please with this embryo."? No! We would be obligated to say "since we're not sure whether or not this is a human life, we must treat it as if it is."
You also state "The circumstances [leading to an abortion] can be tragic, sometimes being born can be tragic, but the act itself? No."
In response to that, I can only say that we clearly disagree as to the value of the unborn child killed by an abortion. I don't really know what else to say. Even under the most dire of circumstances, life is a gift. I really can't relate to your point of view that being born may be tragic, while being quietly killed before you ever see the light of day is not tragic at all.
You ask: "Wouldn't it be more prudent to look at the circumstances under which it happens; discover why it happens, what would cause a woman to not want her child?"
Prudent, yes. MORE prudent than acting to at least defend the defenseless unborn from death by abortion, no.
You continue: "Are there factors that we, as a society, can correct?"
Sure! And we should do whatever is possible!
...And you ask still another good question: "...if there will always be women who will never want children do we have the right to tell them they must have them if they become pregnant?"
Yes! If they are pregnant they already have children! We can't just let those be put to death because they aren't wanted!
Returning to the parallel to slavery, you state: "White slavers thought they were morally superior to blacks and legalized slavery based on that 'moral absolute'."
In fact, the United States Supreme Court validated their argument with its 1857 decision in Dredd Scott v. Sanford, calling Africans "...a subordinate and inferior class of beings...". Similarly, in 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that post-birth humans are more worthy of life than human beings in-utero, to such an extent that we may extinguish their lives for virtually any reason at all, or, in fact, for no reason at all.
Jane Griscti
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Joined: Aug 30, 2000
Posts: 3141
Hi Peter,
You've obviously put a lot of thought into your post; but in reading it, I realized we may be talking at cross purposes
One of the reasons you state for your moral relativism is that of slavery ... So, in fact, if I have understood you, you do not truly believe in moral relativism after all. You believe slavery is absolutely wrong. (and I agree!)

If something is 'moral' it conforms to a code of behaviour that is sanctioned by a group, society, community, etc. How can any moral behaviour be other than 'relative'?? The topic of slavery came up in response to one of your earlier posts. It was a form of control, imposed by one group on another. Abortion is another form of control: one group attempting to enforce their set of values on another. This was the point I was trying to make.
As for acting on those absolutes ...
the fact that people disagree about something does not mean that there is no truth.


I gather from this that you believe a 'moral absolute' is a 'truth' as in an underlying, concrete, fact that exists and can be discovered or known. If I'm not misunderstanding you, you believe that your view is supported by the 'truth' that abortion, under any circumstances, is murder because 'life begins at conception' and you consider this to be another 'truth'. What if life exists before conception and after death? What if 'human' life is just a small fraction of that life and when we're born we just take on the temporary form of a human body? You quote some scientific findings that say 'life begins at conception' but no one knows, beyond a doubt, when life begins, or ends for that matter.
If you want to limit the discussion of 'life' as being defined by 'existance in the human form', can a society come to a decision on which behaviour it chooses to support when dealing with human life? Yes, it can. And it will base it's decision on it's commonly held beliefs. The underlying problem in the abortion issue is the chasm that exists between the belief structures of those who support abortion and those who don't. In an earlier post you said,
I think we need to do better than letting individuals decide whether abortion is wrong or right

Who better than the individual? Do we not have the freedom, as individuals, to choose which belief system we support? In another time and age how would you feel if society demanded abortions as a means of controlling a population explosion? From your posts I gather you would find such a situation repugnant. And I would argue just as hard with anyone who insisted you must conform to that moral behaviour.
Ronnie Johnson
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Joined: Jul 28, 2001
Posts: 106
hi
Peter Lyons
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Joined: Sep 12, 2000
Posts: 202
Jane,
just a quick lunchtime message...
In your latest message, you say: "The topic of slavery came up in response to one of your earlier posts. It was a form of control, imposed by one group on another. Abortion is another form of control: one group attempting to enforce their set of values on another."
...yeah, just like anti-slavery laws are one group of people attempting to enforce their set of values on another. If slavery is right for some people, why can't we just leave them alone? If some people think (whomever) are not human, and choose to use them to do forced labor, what's so wrong with that? If you disagree, don't own slaves, but don't force other people to conform to your morals. Slavery has been going on forever and ever; it's part of human nature to oppress other people. Why fight it? In your own words: "I think it's better to acknowledge the behaviour and deal with it openly, compassionately and humanely."
Jane, I swear I'm not trying to mock you, so please don't take it that way. The problem with moral relativism is that the only absolute becomes TOLERANCE.
Jane Griscti
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 30, 2000
Posts: 3141
Hi Peter,
Well, it was a decent discussion
You appear determined to respond to my posts with your own interpretations vs answering them. So, assuming you don't object, I'll respond to your last post with my interpretation of something you wrote earlier:

I humbly submit that if we apply reason to the matter..


It appears you only wish to apply your own reasoning to the matter and speciously deal with any other form.
Oh well, at least you chose ridicule over vilification.

Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065

Jane, I read Peter's last post several times to understand what upset you, but his comparison of our attitudes to slavery and abortions still looks like valid (in abstract and theoretical sense ) operation for me. Of course, using your words against you was not very nice , but in general his post doesn't look like ridiculing. Or may be I studied too much math when a student, so now any abstract operation looks OK for me...
Peter, I think Jane doesn't object your attempts to persuade others that abortions should not be done, she objects only the idea of prohibiting them by a law. Is it what you suggest - that society should prohibit abortions?

[This message has been edited by Mapraputa Is (edited July 31, 2001).]
Peter Lyons
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2000
Posts: 202
Mapraputa,
Yes, if I had any say in the matter, abortions would certainly be illegal, just as slavery is, and for essentially the same reasons.
Jane,
I only quoted your words because I saw irony in them. I guess I upset you with that approach. Sorry! That wasn't my intent. I understand that in this forum we could talk about this forever and not convince each other of anything, but I don't think there can be any harm in the discussion. Even if we're both, for today, immovable in our positions, there is a worthwhile exchange of ideas nonetheless.
So, if you'll forgive me for stepping on your toes, and stick around for a while longer, I will get to the questions from your earlier post tonight.
[This message has been edited by Peter Lyons (edited August 01, 2001).]
Ronnie Johnson
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Joined: Jul 28, 2001
Posts: 106

Yes, if I had any say in the matter, abortions would certainly be illegal-
Just be glad you aren't the woman, make her choice for her, because you have just as much right as the woman carrying the baby to decide her fate for the rest of her life. You can control a large part of her life, just vote the right "Pro-life" people into office, then the competent government can make the choice for her. You really have the right idea!
Jane Griscti
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Joined: Aug 30, 2000
Posts: 3141
Hi Map, Peter
I'm sorry, it was late and I found the post ludicrous. I wasn't angry, just annoyed.
The irony is anti-slavery laws were gradually introduced around the globe beginning in the late 1700's as people came to realize that the individual rights of each human being were fundamentally more important than the rights of a group.
Now those who want to make abortions illegal are trying re-instate the rights of a group over the rights of the individual while claiming to support those same rights!
Do the rights of a germinated egg, potentially a seperate individual but currently solely dependant on it's mothers body, take precedence over the rights of the mother?
How would you react if a law was passed that said women could, at most, have one child and must abort all future preganancies? Would you not want the woman to have the right to decide vs complying with the decision of some arbitrary group? Or would you still feel "we can do better than allow an individual to decide what is wrong or right"?
Moral i.e. codified behaviours cut both ways. If you can legalize one behaviour you can also legalize it's opposite.
Conrad Kirby
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Joined: Jun 17, 2001
Posts: 178
Ronnie, sarcasm really sucks up a discussion. Use it less often.
I really can't relate to your point of view that being born may be tragic, while being quietly killed before you ever see the light of day is not tragic at all.
Emotion is only understood by the one who beholds it. It is bound by perspective. It is also built upon contrast. Imagine, for a moment, someone who experienced quite a painful instance, but still survived. That person would probably be able to better appreciate the opposite emotion: pleasure. Now to get to my point. A baby that has only experienced life for a couple of weeks with the same conditions every day will, more than likely not have such a bad time dying. It probably won't feel any emotional distress.
I would assume that being born at all would make a baby experience many emotions, lots of which would not be pleasurable. But the fact is no one remembers the time they were born anyway.
Peter, you do not seem to be willing to see things from every perspective possible without polluting it with your own beliefs. If you are going to "look through the baby's eyes", you should treat the views accordingly so. This is a very touchy matter because it is very hard to understand what a baby is thinking, hence the disagreeing.
I wish this dispute was more than a two person discussion with the occasional third person piping in; it might have been a little more interesting.
Shama Khan
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Joined: Aug 14, 2000
Posts: 185
Peter, you do not seem to be willing to see things from every perspective possible without polluting it with your own beliefs. If you are going to "look through the baby's eyes", you should treat the views accordingly so. This is a very touchy matter because it is very hard to understand what a baby is thinking, hence the disagreeing.
[B]

Well, the person who gets killed in his sleep may not go through any emotions. Should we let the murderer go because he killed in a humane fashion.
I think it's irrelevant whether the baby feels pain due to being aborted. The intent of abortion is to extinguish the life of a human - that's enough!
I personally feel that many women treat an unborn baby as a cancerous tumor that must be removed else their lives will be ruined - their careers incompleted perhaps. I can not imagine what type of situations warrant the abortion of a baby (of course, except the mother's life being in danger).
This may be off the topic but having suffered from two miscarriages, I know what it's like to have an abortion and I carry the pain of losing them but Thank God there's no guilt on my part. Having finally given birth to a healthy girl, I still feel that I have 3 kids, 2 of them just didn't make it. However, I will never forget the silence and iciness I felt overcome my whole being upon realizing that I was alone (in my body). It's the loneliest feeling in the world and many women must suffer from this PLUS the guilt. The laws are just allowing these women to make themselves suffer. Yes, the babies are victims but they are gone. But I feel the victims are also the women who took the abortion route rather than the adoption route and they painfully re-live the act everyday.
I can not imagine women not wanting kids. I do believe it's abnormal not to want kids. I think many do not want kids because the benefits of not having one (having a carefree life where you don't have to be RESPONSIBLE for another being and being able to live your life as planned) outweighs the (so called) disadvantages of having one. But I think one should be responsible enough to first not become pregnant (except of course in case of rape where the women doesn't make the choice) and if become pregnant, at least carry the baby to term even if to give it away.
There has to be a reason that it is women who are the vessels for bringing life into the world and not men! Women by default have a maternal nature - to be tender, loving, sharing and caring. We have to be true to our nature and not bend down to social rules.
I wish more women were vocal about their stand against abortion. I think they are just afraid to go against the norm.
Shama

[This message has been edited by Shama Khan (edited August 01, 2001).]
Ling Wu
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Joined: Jul 19, 2000
Posts: 184
It's been interesting to read all of the postings of this thread. So many different levels of beliefs, although some seem to be trying too hard to impose and too quick to judge.
Words such as killing and murdering can be very intimidating. To those who believe it to be true may think that a guilt trip will change matters becaue we all detest intentional killing of human lives. But don't we use words like "killing" and "murdering" only when describing taking a life that has already been in existence? However, aren't there differences of opinion as to when a life begins? To vegetarians who do not believe in killing of animals to satisfy their hunger, is eating a germinated egg killing? There are issues about human race that will always be contraversial and cause for disagreement no matter how hard one side tries to convert the other. This is obvious one of them. Human beliefs are not black and white in most cases. Just because some of us hold black/white opinions won't make it universal reality. We probably have to settle for agreeing to disagree then.

[This message has been edited by Ling Wu (edited August 01, 2001).]
Peter Lyons
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Joined: Sep 12, 2000
Posts: 202
Hello Map, Jane, Conrad, Ronnie, Shama, Ling, and anonymous readers...
There are a lot of questions here. I'll do my best with them.
Shama, I am very sorry to hear about your miscarriages... ...but happy to hear about your precious daughter!
Do the rights of a germinated egg, potentially a seperate individual but currently solely dependant on it's mothers body, take precedence over the rights of the mother?
The right of that germinated egg, as it is a human being, should be granted the same rights as other human beings, the mother among them. No, the unborn does not take precedence OVER the mother, but should be treated with the same respect and dignity. Pregnancy and childbirth, granted, is no minor inconvenience; I've watched my wife go through that three times. However, if that is what is required to preserve the very LIFE of another person, that is what must be done!
It is your right as a licensed driver in the United States to get in your car and drive wherever you please, provided you do so within the rule of the law. Say you're driving along, and a pedestrian is crossing the street in a place where they do not belong. Do they have the right to be there? No. Do you have the right of way? Yes. That pedestrian is infringing on your rights as a driver, bringing upon you any number of inconveniences. You cannot, however, run over the person, because to do so would be to put your right to drive over that person's right to live. One person's right to live takes precedence over someone else's right to many other things.
Ling says: Words such as killing and murdering can be very intimidating. To those who believe it to be true may think that a guilt trip will change matters becaue we all detest intentional killing of human lives. But don't we use words like "killing" and "murdering" only when describing taking a life that has already been in existence?
and Jane says: If I'm not misunderstanding you, you believe that your view is supported by the 'truth' that abortion, under any circumstances, is murder because 'life begins at conception' and you consider this to be another 'truth'. What if life exists before conception and after death? What if 'human' life is just a small fraction of that life and when we're born we just take on the temporary form of a human body? You quote some scientific findings that say 'life begins at conception' but no one knows, beyond a doubt, when life begins, or ends for that matter.

Ling, you're right in what you say. The reason people who believe as I do may use these words is because ABORTION DOES KILL A LIVING HUMAN BEING! EVERY argument to the contrary MUST resort to some definition of "human being" other than the plain biological definition, because there is no scientific doubt whatsoever at what point life begins and ends. Writes Randy Alcorn - "Among those scientists who have no vested interests in the abortion issue, there is an overwhelming consensus that human life begins at conception."
The reason a pro-life advocate will use these words is not to put anyone on a guilt trip. (look in your phone book and find out who offers counseling for women who suffer from post-abortion trauma. You won't find that from abortion providers, who will forever deny there is such a thing. Women will only find that kind of help from crisis pregnancy centers, which are there to offer women alternatives to abortions and to help those who have had abortions or have been indirectly hurt by abortion.) The reason pro-lifers use those words is to confront abortion supporters to confront the harsh reality of the act.
Jane, I know you maintain that nobody knows for sure when life begins, but to support abortion is to say that you, for one, know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it does not begin before birth.
Pro-abortion feminist Naomi Wolf stated, in a 1995 article: "Clinging to a rhetoric about abortion in which there is no life and no death, we entangle our beliefs in a series of self-delusions, fibs and evasions. And we risk becoming precisely what our critics charge us with being: callous, selfish and casually destructive men and women who share a cheapened view of human life."
Moral i.e. codified behaviours cut both ways. If you can legalize one behaviour you can also legalize it's opposite.
...
Do we not have the freedom, as individuals, to choose which belief system we support? In another time and age how would you feel if society demanded abortions as a means of controlling a population explosion? From your posts I gather you would find such a situation repugnant. And I would argue just as hard with anyone who insisted you must conform to that moral behaviour.

Yes, that's true, but wouldn't you agree that the law must at least limit personal freedom in cases where that freedom could infringe on someone else's fundamental human rights? Jane, I keep returning to the parallel with slavery for this reason. Anti slavery laws are necessary to prevent one person from forcing another person into slavery merely because he desires to, and is stronger. The government takes that choice away from the would-be slaver, by force if necessary, to protect the would-be slave, who we recognize as a human being deserving of the same rights as any other person, despite the fact that the would-be slaver insists the would-be slave is not fit to be called human. I know that neither one of us has any qualms with the government making slavery a crime. If in fact the unborn is a human being (and in light of my response to the question above, what will you argue that the unborn is?) then we should not let a woman exercise personal autonomy to the degree that the unborn child must die! Your comment about legalizing one behavior making it possible to legalize another is true as well. I'm not aware of any cases of compulsory slave ownership, but there have been documented cases of compulsory abortion in modern-day China. I don't see that your statement to that effect illustrates a good reason not to make such laws. What I mean is, yes, if abortion becomes a subject of law, laws could conceivably be written to either outlaw it or mandate it, just as laws could be written to either outlaw or mandate slavery. Yeah, it could happen, but so what? I'm not trying to be flippant, I just don't get your point there.
A baby that has only experienced life for a couple of weeks with the same conditions every day will, more than likely not have such a bad time dying. It probably won't feel any emotional distress.
Conrad, from your talk about pleasure and pain, it seems you are making an argument that quality of life determines value of life. Since an unborn child has not experienced much, death may not be so bad after all. That's more or less the same way Princeton University bioethicist Peter Singer figures it. Alcorn quotes Singer writing "When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life, the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. The loss of happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. Therefore, if killing the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others, it would, according to the total view, be right to kill him."
I'm not accusing you of such an extreme point of view, but I'd venture to say it would be a slippery slope if we start valuing or devaluing people based on how we perceive their relative level of consciousness or value of life. Which one of us is really worthy to say "this person's life experiences (or quality of life) are (is) so minimal, what is death to them?" Conrad, do you feel worthy of making the decision to either kill or let another human being live?
Well, that's about enough for one night. I hope I didn't make anyone angry this time, despite the emotionally charged topic. I sincerely look forward to your responses.
Peter
Peter Lyons
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2000
Posts: 202
One more thing I want to toss into the discussion. These two men, one a former abortionist and one still a practicing abortionist, have a couple things to say that are certainly food for thought.
Bernard Nathanson, a former abortionist (60,000 abortions), and one of the founders of the National Abortion and Reproductive Right Action League (NARAL), writes in his 1996 book "The Hand of God" -
"At this writing, there are at least fifteen thousand abortions after the twenty-first week every year. Today, at twenty-one weeks, the baby is considered viable. These are not even abortions; they are murdering premature babies. In the mid-seventies, I would be up on one floor, putting the hyper-tonic saline into a woman twenty-three weeks pregnant, and on another floor down, I would have someone in labor at twenty-three weeks, and I would be trying to salvage this baby. The nurses were caught in the same bind, the same moral whipsaw. What were we doing here, were we saving babies or were we killing them?"
Randy Alcorn introduces Dr. Joseph Bruner:
"In 1999, an unborn child named Sarah Marie Switzer, twenty-four weeks after conception, was operated on for spina bifida while still in her mother's womb. The award winning photograph,
( http://www.lifemag.com/Life/yip/1999/12.html )
showing Sarah's extended arm before she was sewn back into her mother, was published in Life magazine.
Sarah was the patient; she was given anesthetics to dull the pain; and doctors acted to preserve and enhance her life. But had her parents decided later that they didn't want her, they could have legally killed her any time in the following months (without anesthetics), right up until her moment of birth. ...
Can anyone honestly believe that this is not a human being? Or that it is morally acceptable to kill such a child? Yet children just like Sarah, invisible only because the womb has no window, are killed every day in the name of 'choice.'
...
Dr. Joseph Bruner is the name of the surgeon who lifted the arm of ... Sarah Marie Switzer. he has performed eighty in utero spina bifida operations. Of all people, he could not be unaware of the humanity of that child grasping his finger. In fact, the April 2000 issue of the Atlanta Journal constitution states, "to ease the strain Dr. Bruner often talks the the unborn children while he works -- to sooth them and keep them quiet, and to let them know what's going on. Sometimes he conveys a message from the parents, 'We love you, We are trying our best to help.'
Yet the fact is, Dr. Bruner aborts children with spina bifida. He is paid to either save or kill children with the same condition, at the same age of development, according to the desires of the parent. He says this is 'an increasingly difficult position to be in.' He adds, 'Because we are performing surgery to improve the lifestyle of fetuses who have spina bifida, it is difficult to justify an operation that could also take that life away. As we walk through this mine field, society is going to have to take a good, hard look at itself, because it is untenable to hold both views.'"

[This message has been edited by Peter Lyons (edited August 02, 2001).]
Jane Griscti
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 30, 2000
Posts: 3141
Hi Shama ...

I can not imagine women not wanting kids. I do believe it's abnormal not to want kids.

Shama, there are many women who do not want children and for a variety of reasons. Yes, some may decide they don't want them for purely selfish reasons, but is 'selfishness' abnormal? You obviously wanted children very much and I'm happy to hear your wish came true. But wasn't your desire for children also a form of selfishness; you wanted the experience of having a child. Some women want other experiences. Why characterize their desires as 'abnormal'. It's just different from the way you feel about motherhood.

But I think one should be responsible enough to first not become pregnant

I agree. And as you pointed out earlier, women who do choose abortion live with the emotional consequences of that decision.

Women by default have a maternal nature - to be tender, loving, sharing and caring. We have to be true to our nature and not bend down to social rules.

Not all women have a 'maternal nature'. There are many who have no interest in being mothers, and mothers who care little, if anything, about their children. Are only women capable of being "tender, loving, sharing and caring"? Or is that just what we've been taught?

I wish more women were vocal about their stand against abortion. I think they are just afraid to go against the norm.

Saying you desire to bear children is the 'norm'; believing such a desire is instinctive is the 'norm'. It's any feelings contrary to that which society deems 'abnormal'. That's one reason why the abortion issue is such a problem. There are some women who have no such desires and society condemns them for it.
 
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