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Abortion (and maybe a little bit of Welfare and Father's Rights)

Discussion in 'Perspectives' started by EvilMoogle, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. EvilMoogle Supporting Staff

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    It comes up in almost every right-vs.-left debate so I thought I'd find an area to focus on it. But this is a rather large topic so I'm going to define a few different areas so we can be more specific in our debates.

    My intent is to keep this mostly to questions of Morals, but feel free to bring in whatever you want.

    Abortion(I): In cases where the mother's life, or other fetus' life is at risk (I'll lump fetal reduction in here as well though most don't really consider this abortion).

    Abortion(II): In cases of rape that resulted in pregnancy.

    Abortion(III): In cases where the mother (and father as applies) cannot afford the pregnancy. Especially in cases where it was a planned pregnancy and the financial situation changes (loss of insurance, loss of employment, etc), but generally in cases where the choice of abortion would result in substantial quality-of-life differences in the family even over adoption.

    Abortion(IV): In cases of abortion-as-reactive-birth-control (but not the "morning after pill" as this is a different concept).

    Generally this is in order of most-acceptable to least-acceptable in my opinion, though again this is a matter of debate. I'm somewhat rushed so I won't go into detail as of yet but I would like to point out that an argument against (II) and (III) (especially (II)) situations runs into interesting questions of is it right to require a mother to pay for a pregnancy that would cause 9 months of suffering to her?

    I'll come back and elaborate more on this in a bit, but I have to run for now (and I have no doubt this will be on page 8 or 9 when I get back ;) ).
     
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  2. explicitkarma

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    Morally, I agree with I-III and disagree with IV.

    Also, if a mother cannot affoard a child and doesn't want to put a child into the harsh adoption system, I agree with the abortion. Because it's not for the sake of birth-control as much as it is looking out for the well being of the child. It would most likely have a horrible life under the poor financial situation of the mother and has the possibility to suffer in the adoption system as well.
     
  3. Scorpio3.14

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    Personally, I feel that in cases such as (I) and maybe (II), It should be a women's choice to abort. I would personally hope that the women would greatly consider every other option before aborting, but there should atleast be the option. For case (II) I would strongly recommend adoption though.

    As far as (III) and (IV) go, I am strongly against it. (IV) is just beyond irresponsible and (III) is something that definatly makes it more dificult on the parents but isnt enough to warrent abortion. Put it up for adoption if you really must but dont kill it just because you dont want it.
     
  4. akuma no omoigakenai saku

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    I vote yes on all 4.

    But with (VI), I think it's only okay if it isn't the primary method of birth control. Frequently having unprotected sex and having abortions every time you get pregnant is just ridiculous. I think that, after a while, those people should be deemed criminally retarded and locked up/forced to work as roadies for washed up hair-metal bands from the 80s.

    If they just forgot their pill and got pregnant, took one dumb chance, or didn't know anything about proper birth control (e.g. were dumb enough to trust the rhythm method), then I have no problem with it.
     
  5. baconbits Retired Staff

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    I only agree with number one, mainly just because I'm a hardliner, lol.

    In all seriousness, though, only number one makes moral sense to me. My reasoning is as follows. In case one there is really only a choice between two lives. You either take one or the other. Now I don't think this case is very realistic, but if it should occur, I am morally ambigious about it.

    In case two I feel it is wrong to abort because the baby did nothing wrong to deserve the penalty of the crime of the rapist. Even though we all acknowledge rape as a horrible thing that most victims do not bring on themselves and all do not deserve (I even more so since I believe in a death penalty for rapists) it has nothing to do with whether the baby should live or die.

    Cases three through four would merely be a repetition of Scorpio's brilliant points.
     
  6. DragonHeart52

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    Yes to all four, but not necessarily because they would be the choices I would make, but that I recognize the right of others to make their own choices. I am going to elaborate on a few points and then I'm done.

    Abortion as a method of birth control is an idea that is repellent to me (that is, rather than using barrier methods, etc.). I cannot picture having unprotected sex and then having abortions regularly; it is a surgical procedure, after all.

    As a woman, I have to disagree with those who oppose abortion as a result of impregnation by rape. That should be the choice of the woman since she is the one who has been the victim of a vicious crime. To now require her to run the risks of an unwanted pregnancy and a constant reminder of the attack is punishing the victim. (It is also a not-so-subtle way to try to control all women through the threat of rape and possible impregnation and a forced pregnancy.) Under the stress of an unwanted pregnancy, a woman is at higher risk for developing pre-eclampsia; even under the best of circumstances, our theoretical rape victim would still have to undergo the pain of delivering the baby, either vaginally or surgically (another "punishment" for being the victim of a crime).

    The best that can be hoped for a rape victim is that she get rapid access to medical care that includes dosing with the "morning after" pill to prevent implantation, making pregnancy one less issue for her to deal with. She'll have enough to worry about with STDS, AIDS, and learning to feel safe in her own body again. My one experience with a hysterical woman who was raped and then shot in the back by a "friend" was enough of a glimpse into that hell for me. He didn't hit her heart (which was probably the original target), but he did manage to destroy one of her kidneys and leave her paralyzed from the waist down. Should she now have been required to carry through with a pregnancy if he had managed to impregnant her in the attack? Morally, I can't justify that.
     
  7. baconbits Retired Staff

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    We agree on this one.

    The fact that rape is a vicious crime I agree on. My concern here is that there is an innocent individual who is being victimized by being killed here. The baby had no choice in the method of its conception, it merely was brought to be. It had no responsiblity for the attack, so it should not be punished for the attack.

    Well the fact that you would have to deal with the effects of the crime committed is tragic, but in no way is it wrong. Every evil crime has its long term effects, and having to deal with them is simply a part of life. In no way does the fact that the kid may remind her of the crime, justify the death of the kid.

    Well no. You can't control a woman if you're in jail, or in my laws, put to death. You can threaten that way, but then you should be put in jail for threatening personal harm, so there is no real way to control through rape in our society.

    I think I can. We both admit the evil of the crime. I'm merely suggesting that the rapist be punished and not the child. Is it difficult on the victim? There is no doubt that what you say on this subject is true. It will be extremely difficult. But let's not forget that the child had nothing to do with the rape. The child is the victim as well.
     
  8. YamiB.

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    I'll say yes to all four. On the fourth one I would say it's wrong if they haven't been using other birth control methods as opposed to a situation where birth control was already used and it happened to fail.
     
  9. ReaperCatGirl

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    i think abortion is TOTALLY pro-choice
    wut if a girl is pregnant and she wants to go to school and stuff and get a degree. well she cant really do that with a baby so...............ABORTION!!!
    i mean dont get me wrong im happy totally happy about it cuz ive watched done on TV b4 and its looks SOOOOOOOO painful, but its really helps people stay on tarck and focus on their lives.
     
  10. sadated_peon

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    I agree with (I) at all times.

    I agree with (II,III,IV) only up to the 20th week.
     
  11. explicitkarma

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    @bb: I see your point with Abortion(II), that the baby shouldn't be punished for the crime of the rapist. However, we can't simply fit abortion into four different categories. It all depends on the individual situation. What if this woman was living in the slums and two months behind on her house payment. Her husband slams a brick over her head and rapes her. She gets pregnant from the rape. She cannot affoard to birth the child into the world. If she took the child home with her, it will be another life in poverty. The kid will probaby starve to death before it reaches age one. She could put the child up for adoption, but she sees how tough she had it as a child when she was raised in an orphanage. Nobody wants ugly babies. So she doesn't want to make the gamble.

    While I prefer that she would put the child up for adoption, the medical procedure of giving birth would literally make her lose her house. That is why I believe the choice should still be there in that case.
     
  12. DragonHeart52

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    I realize that you see things only as black and white, bb. It saddens me when people make blanket statements without ever dealing with the aftermath. I was with her right after the attack. She had been sent to our area to determine whether the kidney could be saved. I heard her screaming from across the exam bay because a male technologist had approached her. I intervened and took over the exam because she was terrified of any male even approaching her. I was the person she held onto while she wept on my shoulders for the betrayal of someone she thought was a friend and the fact that she would never walk again. Having to stay strong for her instead of crying with her was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

    Maybe you've never really had to deal with rape at that level. I have, including a friend, and it has certainly shaped my outlook on that crime and its victims. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one. My concentration is on the innocent victim in front of me and her need to take control of her body once again, including its reproductive functions. I'm not about to place a burden on her that could have physical, emotional, and financial implications just to satisfy someone else's idea of what is moral.
     
  13. Scorpio3.14

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    That is why I believe that in the case of rape the cost of giving birth to the baby and cost of raising the baby in its early years should be payed for by the state at the expense of the rapist. Even if you have to sell everything the rapist once owned and ganish his future earnings indefinatly, he should be the one who pays and not the child and mother. This is one situation where I would love to see a nice, big welfare check going to this mother every month while the rapist works off the debt in jail.
     
  14. ansuzmannaz

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    Warning: Long. The gist: I believe that abortion in the cases of I and II are most justifiable, that categories II and III could use more clarification but I find abortion justifiable much of the time. For everything else, see paragraphs four through six.

    Ah... this is a difficult one. It is relatively easy to say that one agrees that women should have the choice to abort at any time, even if it is not the choice that one would make or necessarily believes to be the right in any given situation. But to determine for oneself what one considers would be the most moral... that is slightly more difficult to determine.

    I agree with those who say that abortion "type I", when the woman's life is in danger, that at any stage that the option to abort is entirely ethical, and for reasons I shall not go into detail regarding unless the concept is challenged. I also believe that in cases of rape abortion is necessary and ethicallyl justifiable, and I believe that DragonHeart52 makes a far better case for this than I possibly could. She does bring up a salient point which is often less eloquently made: that rape, especially violent rape, is utterly tramautizing and humiliating the victim, and the ensuing pregnancy can act as an extension of the rape itself. It is very easy to believe that damage to the heart is less deadly than damage to the body, and that a potential beautiful life is far more valuable to save than the tattered shards of a victim's self-confidence. But, if madness can drive people to kill themselves without pain or remorse, as if they were already dead inside, would favoring the physical life of the child be tantamount to the spiritual assault and murder of the mother?

    As for abortion types three and four... I think that a somewhat different categorization process could be used, partly because the two categories are rather similar and type IV especially covers a vast variety of nuanced situations. After all, whether or not abortion would be a wise or just decision would depend as well upon the age of those involved, the circumstances of conception (failure of protected sex or wanton tupping?), and so forth. As a general rule, I'd support the Roe vs. Wade decision in both of these cases. Whenever the people involved are sincerely unable to support the child, whether it was planned or no, due to finances or due to young age, I would be most understanding.

    Regardless, even if I see it as ethically justifiable before the third trimester I still do not see it as wholly moral, insofar that one is still taking a human life. Then again, I could change my mind if I were to learn more about exactly how "human" one is at various stages of preganancy... a blastocyst I would feel little sympathy for. Even so, I do not consider it patently immoral, given the extenuating circumstances which inevitably surround it, and that a foetus even has not quite developed the same readiness and potential for life that a newborn has. I do believe it is a decision that people should consider carefully, with respect and responsibility, however I would place no blame on any who chose it even if their economic stature would permit raising a healthy child. Life is not without sorrow: it cannot exist pure. Life must feed on other life, and at times Death must be given its due if we are to live on.

    However, in regards to laws and legislation respecting abortion, I believe that little or no distinctions should be made between any of these circumstances, and that abortion should be legal in all circumstances. The reason is quite simple, in that if women are not granted that sort of control over their own bodies a society that professes equal rights irrespective of sex cannot survive. If women cannot abort in the case of rape or unwanted pregnancy then men will be given undue control over their physical state and lives, and abortion cannot be limited to circumstances of rape or i*c*st as they are difficult to discern with accuracy, and historically the law has always sided with the man. Furthermore, most cases of rape are committed by "friends" of the victim, and very often these are boyfriends or even husbands. Not only may such crime often go unreported because of this, but such closeness to the perpetrator makes it easier for resulting pregancies to control their lives. If women became pregnant whenever men wanted them to, given the sheer amount of time and energy a pregnancy entails, their abiliity to actively pursue their own goals or participate politically would be severelly curtailed to say the least.

    I could write an entire essay about this; others have before me. However, I might as well say, for the record, that this is a guy saying this. I thought I should throw that out there in case anyone's forming preconceptions about who I am. :p
     
  15. EvilMoogle Supporting Staff

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    Aha, this is exactly where I was hoping we'd get with this while I was gone, quite good, thanks Scorpio3.14 and explicitkarma (and everyone else). Allow me a moment to conjecture where my (III) comes from now.

    Everyone I've seen has been okay with the (I) case as it quite reasonably is a situation where it is the mother's life and well being vs. the child's (though it would be quite rare that the child would live if the mother's life is in danger we'll ignore that for now).

    Scorpio3.14 supports the public funding the medical expenses in cases of rape as surmised in (II), on the promise that the convicted father would work to repay it as best possible.

    Let me give you a hypothetical for (III) now. Take a given married couple, wife works part time and manages the home, husband works full time. Between them they have a collected income that just manages to pay the bills plus a little extra. They consider themselves in a comfortable place to have a child together.

    Wife gets pregnant, goes to her first of many prenatel checkups and all is well in the world. Then the tragic happens, the father loses his job. With it, goes his medical insurance and the vast majority of their income. In this situation they do not know if they are going to make their house payment/rent payment, if they are going to be able to afford electricity next month, and quite possibly they don't even know if they are going to be eating dog food in a week.

    The good news is those problems largly go away when the husband finds another job. The bad new is, they now have a "previously known condition" that makes it impossible for them to get medical insurance that will cover the cost of the prenatel checkups.

    At the moment, that would give them the choice of an abortion, which is a one-time cost that will also kill their child, versus condeming themselves to poverty for what might end up being the rest of their lives to pay for the pregnancy, then giving up the child they can't afford for adoption.

    Now, if you were to offer the option that the state/federal government would pay for all prenatel visits this would seem to be a good resolution for this, but at the moment it makes for a very poor situation.

    I'll talk more about (II) cases later, then I'll move on to the rather vague (IV) cases where we can get into some of the questions of the rights of the father more easily.
     
  16. EvilMoogle Supporting Staff

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    And great, this is the cue I was waiting for for my last area of focus in this topic, good timing :)

    The last touch in my subject that I wanted to get into is the rights of the Father (which vary from state to state, but in general are about "none").

    I'm using the (IV) as my general ground for this as I don't want to confuse the issue unduly with excess factors. So this would be a situation where a couple consentually had sex (though not explicitly trying to get pregnant). Now for the sake of this example, let's assume they get divorced during the early stages of pregnancy (first trimester). This puts us in a situation where there are a number of different options:

    Case 1: The mother and father both want the child. All things the same they'll get joint custody where the mother has the child about 4/5ths of the time and the father will pay some percentage of his income in child support.

    Case 2: Neither the mother nor the father want the child. They'll either get an abortion or give it up for adoption. This case is included for completeness.

    Case 3: The mother wants the child and the father doesn't. The mother will get full custody of the child, the father will pay some percentage of his income in child support (assuming the mother asks/fights for it).

    Case 4a: The mother doesn't want the child and the father does. The mother is willing to carry the child to term and then the father gets full custody. The mother will pay some percentage of her income (assuming the father asks/fights for it).

    Case 4b: The mother doesn't want the child and the father does. The mother doesn't want to carry the child to term. In most states (perhaps all) the mother can get an abortion without the father's consent and the father loses any chance to care for the offspring.

    Now, Case 3 and Case 4a above are essentially the same, the real interest comes in looking at the choice the mother gets to make in 4a/4b. If she doesn't want the child not only is she spared the remaining pregnancy she also doesn't have to pay child support on a child she never wanted. The father has no such option, if he wants or does not want the child he still is responsable for the child support.

    I understand that if the mother doesn't want to be pregnant it's not fair to have her pay the costs associated with it, but if the father were willing/able to pay for it (and perhaps a stipend for the duress caused by pregnancy) shouldn't he get a say in if a child that is half his biological materal exists?
     
  17. NeophyteNihilist

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    I definantly agree on 1 through 3 but the fourth I feel is just irresponsible. Unless theres a reason, like the parent being too young or has too many kids, if you are stupid enough not to get the morning after pill after unprotected sex then at least be responsible enough to accept the consequence. If for some reason the morning after pill didn't work I guess I'm for it. Its just not an operation that should be taken casually. It can cause the woman to become steril and cause psycological problems (although that seems to be mainly among religious would be mothers).
     
  18. Scorpio3.14

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    Most adoption agencies will provide financial assistance to people who want to put their baby up for adoption. It can include living expenses, cost of doctor's visits, check ups, delivery cost, and legal fees. There are also plenty of non-profit organizations out there with the specific purpose of helping people who want to put their baby up for adoption as opposed to aborting it. There is even sometimes state sponsored aid that people can receive.

    Also, I grew up in a similar situation to your hypothetical (III) situation. When I was born, my parents were only married for a few years, my dad was in and out of employment and my parents often times didn?t know how they were going to make rent let alone pay for food and such. It wasn?t until years after my birth that our financial situation stabilized and even then it wasn?t much. I can?t say I?ve had the easiest childhood around because of this, but I?m glad I was given the chance to live it.

    As to your next post, I think it?s sad that fathers have basically no rights to their children before they are born. I realize that it?s the women?s body, but as long as it was consensual sex the father should have some say on what happens to his child. As a person who some day plans to be a father, it would kill me emotionally to know that my unborn child could be killed (in my opinion) legally without my consent or even knowledge. However, when it comes to sex and children, men are highly discriminated against in our legal system today and I think it?s sad.
     
  19. baconbits Retired Staff

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    I'm not going to lie here, I see things as mostly black and white but you also have to realize that I was merely trying to strike up a debate with you. Even though I realize it was a painful situation, I can't just stop believing what I believe because of it. In no way was I trying to make light of your situation.

    I never doubted that you were a great person for doing that. The only thing I'm saying is lets not make a terrible situation worse by also killing an innocent child who had no responsiblity in creating the terrible situation. Maybe we should pull a Jkingler and debate this one one-on-one.

    I'm not trying to make people suffer for what I think is right, I'm merely saying that even in this difficult situation, my line of thinking still stands. When I look at things like that, it makes me glad about my position that rapists should be killed, but at the same time I also realize that the baby had little to do with the rape.

    Maybe the girl doesn't want the kid. Why not just give it up for adoption? Why do we just discard what we don't want even if its a human life? This would also be a tragedy.
     
  20. explicitkarma

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    The first few weeks after the rape, exactly how much has that baby developed?

    In fact, when exactly is it life in the womb? When is it aware? Is it wrong to have an abortion when it's in pre-developed stages when it's not aware and not even remotely human?

    Or is abortion wrong because of the "potential" of life? In that case, shouldn't masturbation be a crime, especially for males? In fact, shouldn't all sex that is not for the purpose of procreation be illegal, since we're wasting the "potential" of life?
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2005
  21. baconbits Retired Staff

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    The answer is that we don't know for sure and that's why I'm cautiously against early abortions. If you don't know whether you are killing a person or not, why not err on the side of life?

    Getting rid of the potential of life is not wrong, but getting rid of a human life is. Now if we all agree that none of us know for sure when the human part of the baby begins to exist then we would all agree that it is possible that by aborting it you are killing it. If that's a possiblity of abortion why not simply take the safe route and keep the baby?
     
  22. Nerwyn

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    I'm going to try to define "potential" here using an analogy. Let's say that you're baking some bread. At first, the ingredients are separately packaged, and you have to mix them together to create a dough which can then be baked in an oven. Before you mix the ingredients together, the ingredients themselves have only the potential to become a loaf of bread. However, after you place it in the oven, the dough will become a fully-baked loaf of bread if left undisturbed...and at any moment after being placed in the oven, it doesn't matter to what degree the bread has already been baked - it's still bread.

    Therefore, the "ingredients" for a human being indeed have this potential, but only under certain conditions. Once the "ingredients" are combined in the womb, if left alone they will form a human being. As a result, the "potential" to form a human has already been realized...the fetus, no matter how incredibly tiny, is already a human.


    Note: I know this analogy doesn't fit perfectly...can anyone think of a more suitable one, or improve my argument?

    EDIT: Aha! I realized my error. You see, once the ingredients are mixed together, you still have bread, even if it's raw dough. I unintentionally excluded from my argument a great number of human beings who haven't reached the "oven" yet.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2005
  23. EvilMoogle Supporting Staff

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    I think this is a reasonably good analogy. The main issue I would bring up to correct it is it would take 3 months of minor inconvience, 3 months of major attention and 3 months of almost total dedication in order to bake this hypothetical bread. And only one cook is allowed to work on it.

    Which I guess would raise the question of why they'd want to get rid of the baking bread rather than allow it to finish cooking.

    I think the conflict mainly comes from the pro-choice view that life is valued less by potential and more by experience (whereas the pro-life view is the opposite). Pro-choice sees a 3-week old fetus as an investment of a small amount of time of the mother's, and little experiences in the world. Thus little is "lost" if it is aborted compaired to the suffering the mother may go through during the pregnancy.

    A pro-life argument would be that this 3-week old fetus could grow up to be potentially anything, eg a great scientist or artist or what have you. And that the mother spending 9 months on this potential is little to ask of her.

    Personally I'm somewhere in the middle. But that gives me a good excuse to poke at both sides in this thread ;)
     
  24. bigbird

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    I read that we are no different from the embryos we used to be, except that we are more developed. Genetically we are exactly the same. So let's say I go to another reality where anything that happens in that reality affects me. If I was an embryo and then mom got an abortion, I would cease to exist. Does that show how killing an embryo is like killing a life?
     
  25. explicitkarma

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    Actually, heartbeat, movements, and basic brain activity begin after a few weeks, a little time after the woman's first period is skipped. So, without a heartbeat, the ability to move, and basic brain functions, would the fetus be alive or just a collection of tissue and DNA?

    Around fourteen weeks the lungs start to function and the fetus can practice breathing. Only around twenty weeks can the fetus live outside of the womb.
     
  26. Scorpio3.14

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    But should be define people by their functions?

    I want to see what people think about this hypothetical situation. There is a person who was in a bad accident, he basically has little to no brain function, he is only being kept "alive" by machines. But, lets say all the doctors say that this person will regain consciousness sometime in the next, oh lets say 9 months. Then after a few years of rehab, the person will become a fully functional human being that can re-enter the world. Should the doctors unplug the machine because no one really wants him? (I am not talking about Terri Shaivo in case someone wants to bring that up -__- in this situation the person WILL recover and all the doctors say so).
     
  27. Rougtan

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    K this is one of the worst analogies i have ever heard since it doesn't factor conciousness into the equation. See everything we think, do, say is controlled by our brain, so the moment the brain enter's is concious state the fetus is a human. Anytime before that i agree with type I,II, III, and IV with conditons. -> We give criminals a 3 strikes your out advantage, why not pregnency? 3 abortions outside of the 3 given instances and you lose your right to an abortion, if i had it my way she would have a her tubes tied off before she left the clinic after the 3rd abortion. That procedure can be reversed after all.

    On father's rights, I think we should have every right a given to our fairer gender since, the Embryo/Fetus is 50% ours. It gets iffy here im some respects. Like lets say it was concensual, unprotected sex on both sides. Wel dude, your ShatOuttaLuck since you agreed to it, but if the comdom breaks and she gets pregnent, i didn't consent to that so why should i have to pay?

    Also, did you know that at any time before the child turns 18 in the state of California (not sure about others), she can walk into the office that runs child support (CPS i think), make a random claim of who the father is and, without any notice, they can start deducting back owed child support from his paycheck. That ain't right!
     
  28. sadated_peon

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    Since when can you put a 1 week old fetus on machines and have it become a person?
    Being able to recover by yourself is pivotal point, which a fetus lacks.

    but anyway.
    If this guy has little to no brain function he is dead, until such time as he might recover. While brain dead he is no longer responsible for his person, that change is moved to the legal guardian.
    The decision over that mans fate is left up to guardian, as the fetus is left up to the woman.
     
  29. HyugaHinata

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    It seems that the bible isn't so averse to abortion after all:

    Numbers 5 v16-28

    Drink the bitter water and if you are pregnant with another mans child "her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot".

    Surely a pro-life god would value the life of all fetuses, even those from another man.
     
  30. Aldredian_Sahn

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    I'm not stating anything here, I just wanted to write down part of that verse so people have something to look at:

    27And when [the preist] hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.
    28And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed.
     
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