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  #151  
Old 02-02-2020, 04:06 PM
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That is ridiculous

BC certainly does not destroy the argument, nor does that sex does not always equal pregnancy. If sex has a probability of pregnancy and the couple take that risk, that is enough.
Looks to me like it's your argument that's ridiculous.

Any time I take a car on the road, no matter how careful I am, there's a non-zero chance of my getting in a car accident. That doesn't mean that by driving to the grocery I'm consenting to get into a car accident.

Any time a child is born, there's a non-zero chance that said child will grow to kill somebody; and also a non-zero chance that the child will die before adulthood. In deciding to give birth to a child, the parents are not consenting to either of those outcomes.

-- having failed to resist pointing that out, I nevertheless note that we're getting pretty off track here. This thread is supposed to be about the narrow question of why pro-choice people don't make a specific argument; or, rather, why pro-choice people don't abjure a specific argument.

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Per the new GD rules, I'm hoping this can be a thread for a narrow focus on just one aspect of the abortion debate, without morphing into the same old abortion debate we've had for decades .
  #152  
Old 02-02-2020, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
-- having failed to resist pointing that out, I nevertheless note that we're getting pretty off track here. This thread is supposed to be about the narrow question of why pro-choice people don't make a specific argument; or, rather, why pro-choice people don't abjure a specific argument.
Thanks - yes, specifically why pro-choice people don't just issue a blanket statement that "Abortion is a woman's choice regardless of fetus personhood."

We do indeed have a few Dopers here who expressed exactly that view, so I'm sure it's a sizable minority within the pro-choice movement overall. Just wondering why it hasn't become the mainstream pro-choice, standard stance yet. It would be far simpler and more concise than delving into an impossibly convoluted debate over when exactly a fetus becomes viable, and whether it's brain waves or a heartbeat that does it, etc.
  #153  
Old 02-02-2020, 05:11 PM
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Just wondering why it hasn't become the mainstream pro-choice, standard stance yet.
I think that's already been answered multiple times in this thread.
  #154  
Old 02-02-2020, 05:19 PM
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Thanks - yes, specifically why pro-choice people don't just issue a blanket statement that "Abortion is a woman's choice regardless of fetus personhood."
....
This is different from what you wrote in your OP. In your OP, you suggested that pro-choicers agree with pro-lifers that fetuses are persons. Here you're saying that the question of fetal personhood is irrelevant. These are different positions -- can you clarify?

Anyway, certainly pro-choicers who live in states that pass fetal personhood will take the position you suggest in the quote above, since it's not like they will suddenly become anti-abortion if the state defines a fetus as a person.
  #155  
Old 02-02-2020, 07:14 PM
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Thanks - yes, specifically why pro-choice people don't just issue a blanket statement that "Abortion is a woman's choice regardless of fetus personhood."

We do indeed have a few Dopers here who expressed exactly that view, so I'm sure it's a sizable minority within the pro-choice movement overall. Just wondering why it hasn't become the mainstream pro-choice, standard stance yet. It would be far simpler and more concise than delving into an impossibly convoluted debate over when exactly a fetus becomes viable, and whether it's brain waves or a heartbeat that does it, etc.
You don't understand the pro-choice position at all, do you? I'd suspect that most people who support abortion rights don't think the fetus is a person. But we support the right of people who do to not have abortions. Just not to enforce their opinions on others.

In other words, every woman makes the choice about personhood for herself. Personhood matters for that woman. Personhood does not matter in the general debate because it is an undecidable problem and we shouldn't enforce our opinions on others.
  #156  
Old 02-02-2020, 07:30 PM
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The woman pays something, but she doesn't have to pay for 18 years, not under current law. She can chose an abortion. She can (in many states) abandon the baby at a police station or emergency room and run away. She can almost always give it up for adoption.

But if she wants to keep it, the father is on the hook.

There's not a great answer. But I'm not convinced this is the best one.
I'm pretty much onboard with a choice window for either prospective parent--women have up to 20 weeks gestation to decide whether or not to take the pregnancy to term. During that same time frame, the prospective father should be allowed a similar choice to either accept paternity and the attendant financial consequences and expectation that they will fully co-parent or alternately to relinquish all rights to the baby in perpetuity. That means NO contact, no coming around later and deciding the kid is actually pretty cool and trying to horn in, is never allowed to even say the kid is theirs under pain of prosecution and imposition of back child support (and that imposition goes to the kid, not to mom, in a trust account and STILL doesn't grant parental rights--it's just a penalty, like violating a restraining order.) Even if mom and dad decide to get together after all later down the road dad MUST pay into an escrow account for the kid's majority the equivalent of all missed child support, plus a healthy bonus for all that time the kid didn't get a dad. Put some teeth into it and I suspect it would work pretty well.

This also neatly covers that one example that was all over Twitter and Facebook, where a guy talked a woman into carrying his child to term, then she handed him the kid and said "There you go, that's all I'm doing for this baby aside from paying child support," which she did and he was PISSED that she left him with the responsibility he insisted she give him. What an asshole. You want it, you might get it, them's the rules.

Last edited by SmartAleq; 02-02-2020 at 07:33 PM.
  #157  
Old 02-03-2020, 09:20 AM
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If we are going to give the fetus the right to use another person's bod without their permission, who else? If I need a kidney transplant and you're the perfect donor, should you be forced to give me your kidney? HELL NO!

An anti-abortion person told me Saturday "The woman does nothing and the baby lives." Uh, pregnancy is nothing? I don't think so.

And of course, if a lesbian gets pregnant by raped, she has only two choices: Give the baby up for adoption or raise the child only if she can stop being a lesbian.
  #158  
Old 02-03-2020, 11:22 AM
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I've posted this essay on abortion by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan before because it actually changed me years ago from being pro-life to pro-choice.
I was already somewhat pro-choice before I read that essay years ago, but it did help gel my thoughts on the matter. And to how it addresses the OP:

Before the end of the second trimester, or thereabouts, I think the fetus does not qualify at all for the rights that we afford to persons. Much of that time, it doesn't even have a functioning brain, and after parts of the brain start functioning, it's not in a way that we would describe as a "person."

And since the vast vast majority of abortions are before this point, I will NOT concede the argument that a fetus is a person. There is nothing even slightly immoral about abortions in the first two trimesters. I'll grant the pregnant woman the right to make the choice, but I might try to make a moral argument to some women that it's more moral to have an abortion, depending on her circumstances.

During the last trimester, the fetus is beginning to have some characteristics of personhood. I will still go with the right of the pregnant woman (with guidance from her doctor) to choose. The vast majority of abortions at this stage are in pretty tragic circumstances and I'll leave it up to them to do what's best.

In the vanishingly small number of the remainder of cases, such as when a nine-month pregnant woman chooses to abort just because she decides she doesn't want it, I'll go with the bodily autonomy argument and allow here to make that choice. I won't advocate for that to be illegal, but I also may have moral disdain for a woman who did that. Again, these situations are extremely rare.
  #159  
Old 02-03-2020, 01:15 PM
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....

In the vanishingly small number of the remainder of cases, such as when a nine-month pregnant woman chooses to abort just because she decides she doesn't want it, I'll go with the bodily autonomy argument and allow here to make that choice. I won't advocate for that to be illegal, but I also may have moral disdain for a woman who did that. Again, these situations are extremely rare.
Just curious, at what point does this entity get protection? I personally place it as first breath, even if that first breath happened during a botched abortion attempt. Sort of like football and breaking the plane, once it's past that point, it's under protection of authorities.
  #160  
Old 02-03-2020, 01:22 PM
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Per the new GD rules, I'm hoping this can be a thread for a narrow focus on just one aspect of the abortion debate, without morphing into the same old abortion debate we've had for decades - hope the mods can clamp down on any hijacking:



For decades, there has been this ongoing war of words over whether a fetus is a person or not, with some saying it is, and some saying "a fetus is just a piece of human tissue," and some holding other views. But surprisingly rarely do you hear the pro-choice side ever just say, "Yes, abortion kills a person, but it's a unique circumstance not fully analogous to anything else."

Because if the pro-choice side ever did use such an argument, it would essentially shut up most pro-life arguments in one fell swoop. It would be acknowledging the pro-life argument (that a fetus is a person) while also brushing it aside at the same time. The pro-life side would then have a hard time making much further argument.

I know that not all pro-choicers argue that "a fetus is just a lump of human tissue, like an appendix;" indeed, many don't. But for the many who do, this claim immediately runs into cognitive dissonance - nobody mourns the surgical removal of a uterine tumor or an appendix, but plenty of women grieve a miscarriage or regretted abortion, because a fetus represents something that a tumor, cyst or appendix doesn't - it represents potential birth, an individual who could have exhibited his/her own personality, lived a life, done things, etc. There is plainly a clear difference.

By saying, "Yes, a fetus is a person, but abortion is a unique circumstance," the pro-choice side would avoid this cognitive-dissonance problem while still justifying abortion at the same time. It is a unique circumstance because the fetus is occupying the mother's body and relies on it for survival and nourishment, etc. Those who would compare abortion to, say, the Holocaust would then be told that Holocaust victims weren't like fetuses in utero.

For the record, I'm pro-life and I'm not suggesting that the pro-choice side actually endorse such an argument as presented above. But it surprises me that few pro-choicers have or do use this argument. Because it would essentially put an end to much of the current ongoing debate.
Because minds are made up. People are coming up with arguments to make themselves right and not to exp[lore whether or not they are actually right.

Pro-lifers think abortion is the murder of innocents and pro-choice folks think that abortion is a fundamental right. An argument, no matter how clever, is ever going to change very many minds.
  #161  
Old 02-03-2020, 01:34 PM
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No, anti-abortion folks use religion to boost their belief, as if it's a fact that God chooses the woman to get pregnant and she has a moral right to let the fetus stay in her body until it is born whereupon it will be adopted and live happily ever after in a straight couple's Christian home.

Only straight married Christians need apply. All Jews, Muslims, atheists and homosexuals are going to hell, and their parenting is "child abuse."
  #162  
Old 02-03-2020, 02:15 PM
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Because minds are made up. People are coming up with arguments to make themselves right and not to exp[lore whether or not they are actually right.

Pro-lifers think abortion is the murder of innocents and pro-choice folks think that abortion is a fundamental right. An argument, no matter how clever, is ever going to change very many minds.
I disagree. Pro-choice are willing to compromise. Anti-abortionists anti-life are not.

The "pro-life" movement is anti-life. "Pro-life" is a oxymoron of sort.
  #163  
Old 02-03-2020, 02:21 PM
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If we are going to give the fetus the right to use another person's bod without their permission, who else? If I need a kidney transplant and you're the perfect donor, should you be forced to give me your kidney? HELL NO!
Of course not ! They should be surgically tied to & crossed with your circulatory system for 9+ months so that their kidneys act as your dialysis machine, obviously. That's the only ethical thing to do. After all, doesn't the sanctity of your life trump their temporary discomfort, complete loss of agency and autonomy and risk to their own life ?
  #164  
Old 02-03-2020, 07:48 PM
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I'm pretty much onboard with a choice window for either prospective parent--women have up to 20 weeks gestation to decide whether or not to take the pregnancy to term. During that same time frame, the prospective father should be allowed a similar choice to either accept paternity and the attendant financial consequences and expectation that they will fully co-parent or alternately to relinquish all rights to the baby in perpetuity.
This proposal doesn't really make sense, because the right to an abortion is about bodily autonomy: i.e., not carrying an unwanted pregnancy. It's not about a right to abdicate responsibility for a future baby. Avoiding that responsibility is a side effect of terminating a pregnancy, not a right in and of itself.

Men (at least, cisgender men) already have complete guaranteed bodily autonomy as far as pregnancy is concerned: they're not even legally required to share the financial costs of pregnancy incurred by a woman they've impregnated. So no, they're not entitled to a legal choice window for rejecting potential future parenthood on top of that.

A woman can choose to terminate her pregnancy during the "choice window" when elective abortion is legal. If she misses that window for any reason, she's on the hook for future parenthood just as much as the father is, however unwanted parenthood may be.


(Mind you, I think it's ethically questionable to deliberately demand child support or any other parental duties, in the case of an unintended pregnancy, from a sex partner who consistently made it clear that they don't want any of the responsibilities or rights of parenthood. But that doesn't mean that the biological parents shouldn't legally be held responsible. As soon as a baby is born, no matter who did or didn't want it, it has to be paid for and cared for. And unless the biological parents both agree to transfer the responsibilities and rights of parenthood to a third party, they're the ones who remain stuck with them, legally speaking.)
  #165  
Old 02-03-2020, 08:01 PM
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Speaking of being unable to carry definitions through consistently, you can't possibly be serious in saying that the fetus is a "child" because the mom says so, or you'd be saying the mugger should be charged with murder.
No, that would be legally treating an early-term fetus as equivalent to a child, which I clearly said I don't advocate and don't think is workable in any consistent sense.

I am in favor, as I said, of socially regarding an early-term fetus as equivalent to a child if the pregnant woman regards it as such.

That means, for example, that when a mom-to-be starts talking about her "baby" as soon as the pee stick shows a positive result, I don't snarkily tell her that actually her blastocyst/embryo doesn't count as a baby yet. If a woman who miscarried in her second month talks about her "departed child" to whom she's given a name and personality characteristics, I don't try to argue that it's unrealistic to regard a six-week fetus as a fully human person. Socially speaking, if a pregnant woman thinks of her embryo/fetus at any stage as a "child", then so do I.

That doesn't mean that I support legally equating an early-term fetus to a born child just because the pregnant woman says so. It sounds as though k9bfriender supports that position, though (judging from their post of 02-01-2020 12:30 PM), so you can argue the point with them.
  #166  
Old 02-03-2020, 09:41 PM
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Men have different rights and choices because they have different bodies. They have to make their peace with reality before sex. Women get to make different choices because the fetus is literally mining their bodies and putting their lives at risk. To give men the same choices as a pregnant woman is give men rights that do not exist because of nature. You can't make the situation equal.
This is one of the rare cases where transgender rights make sex roles clearer. Which is to say, they ain't involved here.

If a man and a woman have sex, but they're both transgender, then it's the man who might get pregnant. If he does, it's the man's decision whether to carry the child in his body.

It's not that women get all the say so about pregnancies. It's that every individual gets the say-so about any pregnancy that occurs in their body. If some people want to have a baby but don't have the necessary reproductive organs to grow one internally, they better find a willing partner. They don't get to force a pregnancy they want on the body of someone who doesn't want it.

Obviously, far greater than 99% of pregnancies occur in women's bodies. But in the rare cases where they don't, it's the body the pregnancy occurs in, not the respective genders of the parents, that determine who gets the say-so over the pregnancy.
  #167  
Old 02-03-2020, 09:50 PM
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That said, I find myself pretty uncomfortable with the bodily autonomy argument--a position that places me outside of the pro-choice mainstream.

Here's my science-fiction scenario explaining my discomfort:

A disease strikes humanity. At the onset of puberty, children develop a wasting illness that, over the course of 2 months, is 100% fatal.

A cure is found. Weekly infusions of blood from one of their parents--hell, let's say their XY parent--will stabilize a child until the illness passes. The illness, coincidentally, takes about 9 months to pass.

Most dads flock to the new blood transfusion centers, because they want to save their kids.

A tremendous number of kids die, because their dads are dead, or unknown, or for some other reason are unable to make the donation.

But there is a third group of kids. These kids know who their dad is, and their dad could make the donation. But for a variety of reasons--maybe a fear of needles, maybe some super-bitter hatred of their ex-wives, maybe general uselessness, maybe membership in a religion that forbids blood transfusions--these fathers openly refuse to make the donations.

Each year, there are more than one million children in this third group, children who will die because of their dad's decision.

A law is proposed: fathers with sick children must submit to weekly blood transfusions, and a failure to do so will be treated as homicide.

And I support the shit out of that law.

****

There are of course a lot of differences between this scenario and pregnancy, natch, not least of which is that pregnancy is way more of an interference in life than a blood draw. But the relevant difference for me is that the children are actual people, not potential people; and actual people have actual rights that potential people do not.

Velocity et al treat this sort of distinction as "tortured logic." On the contrary, I think it's key to the issue. There are not other areas of life where we treat a potential thing as the actual thing. This confusion only seems to happen in the highly specific area of legislating abortion.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 02-03-2020 at 09:50 PM.
  #168  
Old 02-03-2020, 10:07 PM
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That said, I find myself pretty uncomfortable with the bodily autonomy argument--a position that places me outside of the pro-choice mainstream.

Here's my science-fiction scenario explaining my discomfort:
Bodily autonomy doesn't automatically outweigh every other factor in a situation. We can support a right to abortion in early pregnancy on the principle of bodily autonomy without thereby being impelled onto a slippery slope that would take us as far as your frankly silly paternal blood-donation scenario.
  #169  
Old 02-03-2020, 10:25 PM
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Bodily autonomy doesn't automatically outweigh every other factor in a situation.
Ah. I've heard people argue exactly the opposite, on this board I think. When a person is saying that bodily autonomy is super important, I agree with that. I just don't think it outweighs every other factor, as you say.
  #170  
Old 02-03-2020, 11:34 PM
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There is a moral concern that doesn't exist so much at the individual level but at the aggregate level. If abortion isn't available, and the social arrangement is such that individually pregnant people aren't viable parents minus the financial clout to raise a child alone, and such clout comes far later in life (generally speaking) than puberty, sex ends up polarizing the boys against the girls. The threat of pregnancy makes girls who are otherwise horny and curious and sexual quite alienated from their sexuality and explorations thereof. It makes parents inclined to try to keep their girl-children ignorant of sex aside from instilling fear of boys and things boys do. It makes boys predatory, manipulative, inclined to see girls as adversaries as well as goals but not as people like themselves with appetites like their own. And if all this sounds more than vaguely familiar, yeah, we've already done this, we know the results, and they aren't good.

Sexual equality is a good thing.

As I said, the outcome affects society in the aggregate. It shapes what it means to be a boy or a girl.

Patriarchy is sinful. It's an abomination in the eyes of God. In ancient pre-agrarian times we didn't have medical abortions but we also didn't have individual parental responsibility for the raising of a child, we didn't have the stoning of fornicating women in the village square or the application of scarlet letters; puberty's onset was later and a person biologically ready to become pregnant was generally socially ready to have and raise a child and to be supported within the community as someone doing a normal non-deviant thing. Patriarchy as we knew it isn't how things always were until the pill and abortion changed everything -- it emerged, and now it is dying and may it rest in peace ASAP.

Last edited by AHunter3; 02-03-2020 at 11:36 PM.
  #171  
Old 02-04-2020, 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
A law is proposed: fathers with sick children must submit to weekly blood transfusions, and a failure to do so will be treated as homicide.

And I support the shit out of that law.

****
Would you feel the same if instead of a blood transfusion the child
needed one thyroid, or a piece of liver, requiring an operation with a significant (say 5%) chance of killing the father?
  #172  
Old 02-04-2020, 03:33 AM
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A law is proposed: fathers with sick children must submit to weekly blood transfusions, and a failure to do so will be treated as homicide.

And I support the shit out of that law.
I would not. I would support any and all non-violent social measures directed at those dads, including public naming-and-shaming, social ostracism, economic boycotts, civil lawsuits etc.

But forced blood donation is beyond the pale to me, for exactly the same bodily autonomy reason I support abortion rights.

Last edited by MrDibble; 02-04-2020 at 03:33 AM.
  #173  
Old 02-04-2020, 05:57 AM
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As I said, the outcome affects society in the aggregate. It shapes what it means to be a boy or a girl.

Patriarchy is sinful. It's an abomination in the eyes of God. In ancient pre-agrarian times we didn't have medical abortions but we also didn't have individual parental responsibility for the raising of a child, we didn't have the stoning of fornicating women in the village square or the application of scarlet letters; puberty's onset was later and a person biologically ready to become pregnant was generally socially ready to have and raise a child and to be supported within the community as someone doing a normal non-deviant thing. Patriarchy as we knew it isn't how things always were until the pill and abortion changed everything -- it emerged, and now it is dying and may it rest in peace ASAP.
That makes sense because back in the day, so many people died young leaving so many children as orphans that many were raised either by their "village" or by relatives.

Say your in a medieval village where fathers are often called up to go to war where there was a good chance he wouldnt return.

or the father worked on a whaling ship which could be gone for over a year and often 10% of the crew didnt return.

Or if said village was raided and plundered by an invading army and often all adult men and women were killed but they would take away the children to be slaves.
  #174  
Old 02-04-2020, 07:53 AM
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...

Patriarchy is sinful. It's an abomination in the eyes of God. In ancient pre-agrarian times we didn't have medical abortions but we also didn't have individual parental responsibility for the raising of a child, we didn't have the stoning of fornicating women in the village square or the application of scarlet letters; puberty's onset was later and a person biologically ready to become pregnant was generally socially ready to have and raise a child and to be supported within the community as someone doing a normal non-deviant thing. Patriarchy as we knew it isn't how things always were until the pill and abortion changed everything -- it emerged, and now it is dying and may it rest in peace ASAP.
Interesting. However there are/were a few matriarchal societies, how do they handle that? and would you say they are also a abomination in the eyes of God?

Also sexual equally has some issues such as it is only people who God have given a womb who can get pregnant, and thus have to deal with this issue. I could accept that they are both souls who are suppose to be doing the work of God's kingdom on earth, be loving and serving beings, in their current positions and bodies. In the service to God there is equality as they both serve the King, in their bodies there are differences, in their tasks for the Kingdom there are differences in their roles there are differences. Some will have to deal with issues in life while others do not, pregnancy is just one of many.
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Old 02-04-2020, 09:39 AM
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Thomas Beatie the first married man to give birth. I read his first book, and he got a lot of hate mail from the "pro-life" movement, stating that he and his legally wedded wife should not be allowed to raise the child, as that would be child abbue.
  #176  
Old 02-04-2020, 11:34 AM
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No, anti-abortion folks use religion to boost their belief, as if it's a fact that God chooses the woman to get pregnant and she has a moral right to let the fetus stay in her body until it is born whereupon it will be adopted and live happily ever after in a straight couple's Christian home.

Only straight married Christians need apply. All Jews, Muslims, atheists and homosexuals are going to hell, and their parenting is "child abuse."
I am pro-life, as it were, and the government says its okay to kill your future child, then that's the law. I do think women will have to answer to God for that, but that has nothing to do with the law. And count me as an exception to "those" people who say adoptive parents have to be straight, or differing sexes.
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  #177  
Old 02-04-2020, 12:15 PM
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I disagree. Pro-choice are willing to compromise. Anti-abortionists anti-life are not.
Those with strong feelings on either side tend to be equally rigid in not giving an inch, believing that compromise equals slavery or eternal damnation. They're powerful forces in the debate, but not all-powerful.

I think everyone is "anti-abortionist", given the historic connotations of that word.
  #178  
Old 02-04-2020, 12:51 PM
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.. In ancient pre-agrarian times we didn't have medical abortions but we also didn't have individual parental responsibility for the raising of a child, we didn't have the stoning of fornicating women in the village square or the application of scarlet letters; puberty's onset was later and a person biologically ready to become pregnant was generally socially ready to have and raise a child and to be supported within the community as someone doing a normal non-deviant thing. ...
Nice hypothesis , but there's nothing to back it up. Gorillas are run by the silverbacks.

The idea there was some Eden-like Matriarchal paradise pre-history has nothing to back it up.
  #179  
Old 02-04-2020, 02:59 PM
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Nice hypothesis , but there's nothing to back it up. Gorillas are run by the silverbacks.

The idea there was some Eden-like Matriarchal paradise pre-history has nothing to back it up.
Nice rejoinder, but there's nothing to back it up.

Bonobos are not run by the silverbacks.

The notion that I proclaimed an Eden-like Matriarchal paradise in prehistory is not supported by the content of my actual post.
  #180  
Old 02-04-2020, 03:17 PM
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Ah. I've heard people argue exactly the opposite, on this board I think.
As an example:

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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
I would not. I would support any and all non-violent social measures directed at those dads, including public naming-and-shaming, social ostracism, economic boycotts, civil lawsuits etc.

But forced blood donation is beyond the pale to me, for exactly the same bodily autonomy reason I support abortion rights.
To address another point:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Would you feel the same if instead of a blood transfusion the child
needed one thyroid, or a piece of liver, requiring an operation with a significant (say 5%) chance of killing the father?
As I said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by me
When a person is saying that bodily autonomy is super important, I agree with that. I just don't think it outweighs every other factor, as you say.
Eventually you can increase the inconvenience/suffering/risk-to-life/loss of freedom to such a degree that it becomes a tricky question for me; and you can continue increasing those factors until they're no longer a tricky question for me. If every father has a 5% risk of death from the action of saving his kid, I would be a lot less likely to support a law coercing fathers to take this risk. If the risk of death becomes 90%, no way would I support such a law.

The point of my scenario is not that I'm equating weekly blood donations to pregnancy. I explicitly said as much. The point of the scenario is to distinguish my moral conclusion from that of bodily autonomy absolutists (or at least more absolutist than me, and yes I know there's an oxymoron there) like MrDibble.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 02-04-2020 at 03:19 PM.
  #181  
Old 02-04-2020, 04:25 PM
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This proposal doesn't really make sense, because the right to an abortion is about bodily autonomy: i.e., not carrying an unwanted pregnancy. It's not about a right to abdicate responsibility for a future baby. Avoiding that responsibility is a side effect of terminating a pregnancy, not a right in and of itself.

Men (at least, cisgender men) already have complete guaranteed bodily autonomy as far as pregnancy is concerned: they're not even legally required to share the financial costs of pregnancy incurred by a woman they've impregnated. So no, they're not entitled to a legal choice window for rejecting potential future parenthood on top of that.

A woman can choose to terminate her pregnancy during the "choice window" when elective abortion is legal. If she misses that window for any reason, she's on the hook for future parenthood just as much as the father is, however unwanted parenthood may be.


(Mind you, I think it's ethically questionable to deliberately demand child support or any other parental duties, in the case of an unintended pregnancy, from a sex partner who consistently made it clear that they don't want any of the responsibilities or rights of parenthood. But that doesn't mean that the biological parents shouldn't legally be held responsible. As soon as a baby is born, no matter who did or didn't want it, it has to be paid for and cared for. And unless the biological parents both agree to transfer the responsibilities and rights of parenthood to a third party, they're the ones who remain stuck with them, legally speaking.)
No, a woman has several options for her pregnancy. She can abort, that's 100% bodily autonomy. She can have the baby and put it up for adoption, or leave the baby at a safe surrender location which means she's elected to give up bodily autonomy but is rejecting parenthood and this is the closest analog to what a male DNA contributor should also be granted, minus the bodily autonomy part. Or she can have the baby and parent it, with or without a coparent simply by refusing to name a father or allow a DNA test--of course once the kid is out in the world she can't keep refusing on her own say-so, if the father decides to sue for parental rights she can be ordered to allow DNA testing of the baby to establish paternity and the father can assert parental rights at that point.

Basically, I'm just saying that either genetics donor should have roughly equivalent say in what happens with the baby--after, of course, the mother has exercised her absolute right to bodily autonomy by declining an abortion. Seems fair to me.
  #182  
Old 02-04-2020, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post

Eventually you can increase the inconvenience/suffering/risk-to-life/loss of freedom to such a degree that it becomes a tricky question for me; and you can continue increasing those factors until they're no longer a tricky question for me. If every father has a 5% risk of death from the action of saving his kid, I would be a lot less likely to support a law coercing fathers to take this risk. If the risk of death becomes 90%, no way would I support such a law.

The point of my scenario is not that I'm equating weekly blood donations to pregnancy. I explicitly said as much. The point of the scenario is to distinguish my moral conclusion from that of bodily autonomy absolutists (or at least more absolutist than me, and yes I know there's an oxymoron there) like MrDibble.
If we're going to relate this to abortion, the risks should be similar, or the argument is invalid. I gave blood from the moment I turned 18 until they wouldn't take me any longer, and it is nothing like what my wife and daughters went through when they were pregnant - even the daughter who breezed through it.
If we could beam the fetus out of the womb and have the state take care of it, I doubt many would object to that alternative. But lets not compare pricking your finger with carrying a child for 9 months.
  #183  
Old 02-04-2020, 10:56 PM
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If an unborn fetus is a person, then logically an undead person is a corpse. Or they are only potential - a fetus is potentially a person after being born, and a live human is potentially a corpse after they discorporate. Is almost-born equal to almost-dead?

If a fetus is a person, shouldn't it be taxed? Does an obviously pregnant woman on a bus or elevator count as one passenger or more? (Extra fares for unborn triplets.)

But what if not obvious? How can a fetus be legally protected if we don't know it exists? Solution: implant each human female of child-bearing age (now ~6-80) with a pregnancy monitor. If an anti-choicer truly wants to protect embryos, they MUST support mandatory pregnancy monitoring and intensive prenatal care. Any other position is hypocrisy.
  #184  
Old 02-05-2020, 07:27 AM
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If an unborn fetus is a person, then logically an undead person is a corpse....
F on logic class grade I see. The moment of a person's death is defined as the ceasing of brain activity. If you want to be logical about it the moment of a person's life is the start of brain activity, which happens inside the womb. Does it matter that a fetus is in a different state then a adult? No as we pass through several states including childhood. Additionally one could die in any state.




Quote:
If a fetus is a person, shouldn't it be taxed?
Here in the US the parent(s) would perhaps qualify for the child tax credit and a additional deduction for a dependent. Now a fetus may or may not be a 'child' as a child could be it's own state of development separate from fetus, but it should qualify as a dependent. There is no person tax in the way you state.



Quote:
Does an obviously pregnant woman on a bus or elevator count as one passenger or more? (Extra fares for unborn triplets.)
Does the woman get to drive in the HOV lane when pregnant?

Quote:
But what if not obvious? How can a fetus be legally protected if we don't know it exists? Solution: implant each human female of child-bearing age (now ~6-80) with a pregnancy monitor. If an anti-choicer truly wants to protect embryos, they MUST support mandatory pregnancy monitoring and intensive prenatal care. Any other position is hypocrisy.
You build in respect for women and human life generationally. Yes there will be some that slip by, but greatly honoring pregnant women is obviously the answer.

Last edited by kanicbird; 02-05-2020 at 07:29 AM.
  #185  
Old 02-05-2020, 09:29 AM
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So if a pregnant woman has a miscarriage, has she killed another human being? If she had a drink, took an aspirin or "thought bad thoughts" about the baby, should she be given the death penalty?

I once went to a coffee bar with an obviously pregnant friend, and they would not serve her a triple latte!
  #186  
Old 02-05-2020, 10:03 AM
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If we're going to relate this to abortion, the risks should be similar, or the argument is invalid.
Once more: I'm addressing a specific principle that has implications for abortion. MrDibble's absolute take on bodily autonomy is what I'm talking about. According to his take, if I understand it, I couldn't be coerced to have a single blood draw in order to save all humanity, because to do so would be to violate bodily autonomy, and that's an absolute principle.

I'm not addressing the paritculars of abortion, but rather a principle with implications for abortion, so I don't feel a particular need to make the risks similar in the scenarios.
  #187  
Old 02-05-2020, 10:20 AM
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So if a pregnant woman has a miscarriage, has she killed another human being?
That seems cruel and heartless thinking for someone who just lost her unsprung offspring.



Quote:
If she had a drink, took an aspirin or "thought bad thoughts" about the baby, should she be given the death penalty?
I'm not a believer in the death penalty, but if I were and she was guilty of such a crime to deserve the death penalty, doing those other things you mentioned would not absolve her from that. Though perhaps it should be on hold till she delivers the baby, unless the baby also was convicted and sentenced to death.

Quote:
I once went to a coffee bar with an obviously pregnant friend, and they would not serve her a triple latte!
What's the problem here, it is obvious that the fetus didn't want a triple latte then. Now if it was medicine or something like that you could force it, but you wouldn't want someone to force feed you a triple latte you didn't want.
  #188  
Old 02-05-2020, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Once more: I'm addressing a specific principle that has implications for abortion. MrDibble's absolute take on bodily autonomy is what I'm talking about. According to his take, if I understand it, I couldn't be coerced to have a single blood draw in order to save all humanity, because to do so would be to violate bodily autonomy, and that's an absolute principle.

I'm not addressing the paritculars of abortion, but rather a principle with implications for abortion, so I don't feel a particular need to make the risks similar in the scenarios.
You've already admitted that those for whom the taking of blood is significant would be excused. Thus even you admit that bodily autonomy is in some way absolute.
If it is not absolute, then we need to figure out boundaries. I assume you agree that it would not be proper to force kidney donations, right? I know this is slippery slope, but you need to explain why this is absolutely wrong and the forced donation of blood is absolutely right.
I'd be all for incentives and social pressure - but not the forced taking of blood.
  #189  
Old 02-05-2020, 04:36 PM
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F on logic class grade I see. The moment of a person's death is defined as the ceasing of brain activity. If you want to be logical about it the moment of a person's life is the start of brain activity, which happens inside the womb. Does it matter that a fetus is in a different state then a adult? No as we pass through several states including childhood. Additionally one could die in any state.
You've never heard the argument that abortion even at an early stage is wrong because the fetus is a potential person?

My only quibble with RioRico's argument is that there is a probability the fetus will not become a person even if there is no abortion, but each of us will absolutely someday become a corpse.
  #190  
Old 02-05-2020, 09:02 PM
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F on logic class grade I see. The moment of a person's death is defined as the ceasing of brain activity. If you want to be logical about it the moment of a person's life is the start of brain activity, which happens inside the womb.
Q: If you define a tail as a leg, how many legs has a dog?
A: Four. Defining a tail as a leg doesn't make it so.

If you define brain activity as life, aren't all bacteria dead?

In reality, "life" is continuous. Sperm and ova are not dead before they join, and brain-dead bodies can be sustained, cloned, or infectious. Life and personhood aren't the same. In Genesis, "soul" means "breath". Your gain a soul (personhood) when you first take a breath. Stop breathing, and your soul goes away, as does your personhood - except in jurisdictions where corpses cast votes. The US Constitution refers to a "person born". Define "person" any way you want. Grant personhood to orang-utans, redwood trees, orcas, and corporations. See how that works.

Quote:
Here in the US the parent(s) would perhaps qualify for the child tax credit and a additional deduction for a dependent. Now a fetus may or may not be a 'child' as a child could be it's own state of development separate from fetus, but it should qualify as a dependent. There is no person tax in the way you state.
Don't expect tax policies to remain static. The US formerly had poll taxes but no income tax. If a jurisdiction sees benefit in taxing embryos, they'll do it. Watch for the mandatory pregnancy monitors I mentioned upthread.

Quote:
Does the woman get to drive in the HOV lane when pregnant?
Only if her passenger seat contains a mannequin or skeleton wearing a hat.

Quote:
You build in respect for women and human life generationally. Yes there will be some that slip by, but greatly honoring pregnant women is obviously the answer.
Respect all women to make decisions. Oh wait, women can't make rational decisions about their bodies - they must be guided. Unwilling incubators? Too bad. And if women can't be trusted with their bodies, how can they be trusted to vote?
  #191  
Old 02-05-2020, 09:11 PM
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But I'm pretty sure you think abortion is morally wrong, so I'm not sure you contribute to the consensus of pro-choice thought.
Morally wrong is not synonymous with 'just as bad as murder'. Additionally, the degree of moral wrongness is not inherently restricted to be exactly equal for the abortion of a blastocyst and of a third-trimester pregnancy.

There exist people who believe marital infidelity is morally wrong, but would be adamantly opposed to the government making it illegal and intervening in individuals' right to make that moral choice.

There also exist people who believe abortion is morally wrong, but are adamantly opposed to the government making it illegal and intervening to forbid women from making that moral choice(generally with some qualifiers such as forbidding after viability) Do you not think such people should be labelled pro-choice?

Last edited by Some Call Me... Tim; 02-05-2020 at 09:15 PM.
  #192  
Old 02-06-2020, 07:02 AM
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You've already admitted that those for whom the taking of blood is significant would be excused. Thus even you admit that bodily autonomy is in some way absolute.
That's not correct. I don't think either sentence represents my views accurately, but I'm not sure what I said that you're interpreting in this way. Maybe you left out the word "not"?
  #193  
Old 02-06-2020, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
MrDibble's absolute take on bodily autonomy is what I'm talking about. According to his take, if I understand it, I couldn't be coerced to have a single blood draw in order to save all humanity, because to do so would be to violate bodily autonomy, and that's an absolute principle.
Woah there!

I said I don't agree with violating bodily autonomy on a constant, weekly basis to save 1 person. I know I phrased it bluntly as " forced blood donation is beyond the pale to me" but that was within the context of your hypothetical of a weekly violation of autonomy.

A one-time draw to save all humanity? Strap that sucker down. I'm not an absolutist, I just draw the line different to you.

For instance, if you'd phrased your hypothetical as a one-time draw to save the kid, I'd be OK with that as well, just like I'm OK with mandatory blood alcohol testing if you fail a breathalyzer test.
  #194  
Old 02-06-2020, 07:54 AM
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I oppose torturing babies, without exception. At the same time, if aliens ever come to Earth with the Death Star, and tell me I must torture babies or the Earth will be destroyed, then I'd probably consider violating my opposition to baby-torture.

Strong principles don't require exceptions to be brought up for absurd hypotheticals. I endorse MrDibble's views on bodily autonomy. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't consider violating my ideals if all-powerful aliens came to Earth with absurd and sadistic demands.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 02-06-2020 at 07:54 AM.
  #195  
Old 02-06-2020, 10:12 AM
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A Jehovah's Witness gets pregnant via rape. The church hierarchy tell her she cannot have an abortion. She gives birth, but the baby needs a blood transfusion to stay alive. The church hierarchy tells her the baby cannot have a transfusion and it dies.

Who is to blame on that one?
  #196  
Old 02-06-2020, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
Woah there!

I said I don't agree with violating bodily autonomy on a constant, weekly basis to save 1 person. I know I phrased it bluntly as " forced blood donation is beyond the pale to me" but that was within the context of your hypothetical of a weekly violation of autonomy.

A one-time draw to save all humanity? Strap that sucker down. I'm not an absolutist, I just draw the line different to you.

For instance, if you'd phrased your hypothetical as a one-time draw to save the kid, I'd be OK with that as well, just like I'm OK with mandatory blood alcohol testing if you fail a breathalyzer test.
Oh--my apologies, then. I genuinely thought you were an absolutist on this issue.

If you're not--and if nobody else here is--then I've inadvertently raised a straw man, and I withdraw my hesitation.
  #197  
Old 02-06-2020, 12:27 PM
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A Jehovah's Witness gets pregnant via rape. The church hierarchy tell her she cannot have an abortion. She gives birth, but the baby needs a blood transfusion to stay alive. The church hierarchy tells her the baby cannot have a transfusion and it dies.

Who is to blame on that one?
That would be Satan.
  #198  
Old 02-06-2020, 12:33 PM
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You've never heard the argument that abortion even at an early stage is wrong because the fetus is a potential person?
As far as i can remember the SDMB is the only place I've heard the term 'potential person'.


Quote:
My only quibble with RioRico's argument is that there is a probability the fetus will not become a person even if there is no abortion, but each of us will absolutely someday become a corpse.
It would seem you can have a corpse of a potential person.
  #199  
Old 02-06-2020, 01:44 PM
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Its a tough subject. On one hand, if she wasn't raped, she chose to have sex, so its not the baby went commando and took over her uterus in a coup. So its not a real person but it is if she wants it. Hm.
Let's see, a parallel view on the male's position would be to say, "He got the clap but chose to have sex, so he should leave it untreated and eventually die because it was a consequence of his choice. He shouldn't have control over his own body and choose to treat the unwanted condition because his first choice gave him the unwanted condition."

Not buying it. Our position is clear. "Our bodies, our choice."
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  #200  
Old 02-06-2020, 01:50 PM
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He chose to rape her, she got pregnant, so he should have paternal rights because the baby didn't do anything wrong and needs a father.

It amazes me that the pro-life crowd does not see anything wrong with typing a woman to her rapist for the rest of her life. I guess they think SHE cause the rape by walking alone, wearing provocative clothing, or sending out signals.
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