Compromising on abortion.

Let’s try to keep this civil, shall we? I’d like people on both sides to offer some ideas other than the all or nothing arguments. I am very pro-choice, but I’ll toss out some concessions I would be willing to see made policy, provided pro-lifers would give a little as well.

I would support a ban on abortions after the second trimester, myself, except when the mother’s life is in danger.

I would support some kind of penalty for exceeding a reasonable number of abortions. Say four. A person might just be extremely unlucky three times, perhaps, but after that, some kind of consequences should kick in, and this should apply to males as well as females.

I would support mandatory counseling before an abortion, if it a: was provided by an unbiased agency, and b: was paired with decent programs to provide real choices, without pressuring women to choose one way or the other.

I would support parental notification requirements for girls under 18, provided that girls had the option of leaving an abusive home for a safe environment.

Let’s hear it, dopers. What would you be willing to give on this issue, if we could stop yelling and hash it out?

While I do not think parental notification is necessary, I would agree to mandatory counciling in cases where a minor did not notify parents. I don’t really have a problem with third trimester abortions. As I cannot have an abortion, being male, I am not in a position to describe what rights I would or would not give up regarding third trimester abortions, though my opinion, absent any information indicating why one might not (apart from general ennui, indecision, planetary alignment, or whatever might affect any decision rather than this particular one), is that one should have a clear idea about what to do about a pregnancy before the third trimester. Still, I must emphasize, it is not my right to have or fail to have an abortion, so my opinion on the matter is not particularly noteworthy, except insofar as I seem to, politically, have a voice in the matter, for reasons that escape me.

I think it’s very difficult to offer concessions when both sides feel fundamental rights are involved.

Counselling seems like a good one to me. I think in practical terms it would be hard to make it unbiased, and there are going to be folk on both sides who will specifically want it to be biased. But in theory i’d agree with it.

The penalty for too many abortions doesn’t sit well with me. I think it probably would help lower the number by making some more likely to use protection. But on the other hand, it might just mean people will have their fourth pregnancy and decide to keep the baby rather than suffer the punishment - at which point you have a mother with a child they didn’t want. Besides, i’m not entirely sure what a viable punishment would be, and speaking as a pro-choicer it would give pro-lifers the ability to say “What are we punishing them for, if they aren’t doing anything wrong?”

Parental notification I honestly am unsure one way or the other. I’m open to being persuaded one way or the other on that one.

Yes, it is, but imo, the only way abortion is ever going to go complete away is if we develop infallible birth control and make it easy to get, then make the human race much, much more intelligent.

I’m not sure what kind of punishment would be appropriate either, but I think it would at least make it feel that people are taking steps to try to be responsible and not abuse the system. I don’t think there are many women who use abortion as a form of birth control, but I have met one, and she disgusted me with her attitude. She didn’t want to be on the pill because she smoked and because she didn’t want to gain weight. I don’t know what the excuse was for the men who knocked her up not wearing a condom.

I think both sides need to concentrate very long and very hard on reducing the need for abortion.

Birth control should be free and widely available.

Sex education should be mandatory and thorough.

Let’s all agree that the goal is to not have any more abortions because we no longer have unwanted pegnancies.

If you really want to reduce abortion:

Free, widespread access to birth control, for adolescents on up, with no ID and no screening. Counseling, of course, but birth control needs to be easily accessible.

Along with the access to birth control, early and comprehensive sex education. Everyone should know the facts and how to prevent pregnancy.

I’d add in free maternity/child healthcare. If you don’t want the woman to abort, cover the pregnancy fully. I never cease to be amazed at how the fetus lose value the moment it’s born. Increase benefits for adopting/fostering children. Increase tax benefits to families, and maximize family leave. Add universal daycare/preschools so that those children have every chance for a bright future.

Well, you asked :slight_smile:

Yeah, yeah. But guys, free birth control and sex education are not compromises to the pro-lifers. They are good ideas, but that would not be our side giving up anything.

Not quite sure what you mean by that sentence. Many of the pro-lifers also seem to oppose freely available birth control and comprehensive sex education. This opposition may not stem directly from their pro-life-ish-ness but it exists in that camp nonetheless. Wouldn’t giving that up be a compromise (and a good idea)?

That’s a classic misrepresentation of the pro-life stance. The vast majority of pro-lifers do NOT oppose either birth control or sex education. They may object to the way these things are taught and the content of the programs, but they do not oppose either one.

Consider birth control, for example. It’s common for people on the SDMB to casually assert that pro-lifers oppose the use of birth control, period. That is simpl untrue. Every single pro-life agency that I know has no problem with the use of birth control within a marriage, for example. Some of them do oppose the use of artificial contraception outside of marriage, but that’s not the same as opposing the use of all manner of birth control.

Ditto for sex education. Many pro-lifers object to the content of certain sex ed programs, and a considerable number endorse abstinence-only sex education. Once again though, that is not the same as saying that they reject all manner of sex ed.

This is the point at which certain dopers object by saying, “But abstinence teaching doesn’t work!” I think that claim is overly simplistic in the extreme, but that’s ultimately beside the point. Even if we grant that assertion to be correct, it still does not justify the pernicious lie that pro-lifers don’t want sex education at all.

Unfortunately, I know from past experience that a great many people will continue to ignore these distinctions.

a) We agree to narrow the window of opportunity for securing a legal abortion to the first trimester except when continuing pregnancy would be a danger to the mother’s life. That’s conceding a hell of a lot of ground, considering that as far as I’m concerned it should be up until the moment of birth, no questioned ask. So yes this would be a compromise.

b) All hospitals that are allowed to receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursal absolutely must provide abortion services on both an inpatient and outpatient basis.

c) There are to be no waiting periods, no mandatory counseling, and no other obscacles places in front of the performing of abortions in the first trimester.

d) All public schools are mandated to teach sex education which includes how pregnancy is caused and how to prevent it, with all contraception methods current being introduced and discussed, in 4th grade, again in 7th grade, again in 10th grade.

e) Contraceptive devices are to be made freely available to students, including free referrals to clinics for fitting. Free pregnancy testing, too.

f) The sociological component, i.e., discussing teenage pregnancy, premarital sex, social pressures, sex roles and expectations, and things like laws about paternity and child support, become mandated parts of the social studies curriculum.

g) Pregnancy testing, contraception and abortion are established as fully covered under the right to privacy, including privacy from one’s parents and from the government itself. In other words, in exchange for narrowing the window of opportunity for late-term abortions, the right and ability to engage in sex without fear of a pregnancy that one cannot bring to an end and to do so in total anonymity is not to be infringed.

h) Medicaid pays for abortions for people who qualify for Medicaid. Orrin Hatch can go choke.

I strongly support woman having the only say about if the fetus is aborted or not because it’s their body, and guys having to pay child support because it’s their kid. Because child support isn’t a punishment, it’s a responsibility for being part of bringing another dependent life into the world.
but I don’t see how that would be fair at all. The dude has no control of if the chick gets an abortion (and rightfully so), so why should he punished for her choice? How would you even know it was his? Since you can’t punish both parties; why should anyone be punished?

It ain’t like contraceptives are 100%. What of cases where they fail? Cases of deliberate sabotage or deceit? Cases of multiple rapes? Cases of combos of events? Must a woman’s private business be drug out and examined by a public court?
I have an uncomfortable feeling about abortions since my mom almost got one due to severe family pressure, but I firmly believe freedom and power and control of your own body is way more important.

How’s *that *gonna work?

Define “penalty”. Fine? Jail time? Baby, for fuck’s sake?

And how are we counting the boys? I’ve had two abortions. No one ever asked me anything about my partner.

In what world could a program which says “Don’t do it.” be considered as any form of sex-education?

Would you call a program in which students were shown a car and told not to drive it “driver’s education”?

So they believe that only unmarried people should have unprotected sex? *That’s *weird.

I differ from you on mandatory counselling and requiring hospitals to provide it, and potentially medicare.

Abortions are voluntary procedures, they should be treated like any other voluntary procedure as regards the rules of the medical establishment. ie, individual doctors can refuse, but are legally obligated to refer, and whatever medicare’s stance is on voluntary procedures.

As to counselling- I assume you never met a woman who had an abortion as a teen due to pressure and/or fear that later was f’ed up as a result. I know a few. I want mandatory counselling- if not for everyone, certainly for minors, who are most susceptible not only to parental, but also societal pressures in both directions.

Abstinence programs, ideally, are “don’t do it because these are the potential consequences.”

ie, they emphasize the dangers of having sex, especially irresponsibly.

Seeing that that should be an element of all sex ed anyway, I fail to see why thinking that’s the limit of what it’s appropriate to use mandatory schooling to teach is incomprehensible.

My thinking on this is that men too often depend on women to take care of the birth control. Condoms are pretty effective; do you think it’s likely a guy would manage to have more than three of them fail, resulting in pregnancy? There are going to be unfair exceptions to any rules we try to impose. I do think people should control their own bodies, but I don’t think that we should necessarily ignore a callous disregard for even trying to prevent conception and then destroying what a lot of people consider a human life.

I have no idea what the penalty should be, but if it were up to me, it would be a high fine, then jail time if it happened again. Perhaps DNA testing could tell us who the men involved are. I realize that’s a big breach of privacy, but hey, women who have abortions get put into the system and on record, why not men?

Do you think four chances is too few? Do you think any limit at all is unreasonable? How about twelve? Twenty?