Prolifers, in what situation is it morally acceptable for a woman to abort pregnancy?

Diogenes, you’re saying a baby isn’t a baby until it’s born, and basing all of your arguments off of that rather facile definition. I can understand why you do so. It certainly simplifies matters and makes the moral lines very clear.

However, this definition id problematic to say the least.

You have kids. I’m guessing you saw them on the ultrasound screen. Did the ultrasound tech point to the screen and invite you to look at your fetus?

When your wife felt kicking, did she say the fetus was doing it?

I’m guessing no, because there’s a common sense definition of “baby” at work here. This definition I’m sure you use IRL, though, is suddenly jettisoned when you have to defend your pro-choice views.

I don’t buy it for a second, and I’m calling you on it.

Unless a viable fetus is a separate human life, in which case you could only kill it for reasons that would equally justify killing a newborn, or a minor child.

If a viable fetus is a separate human life, then the suffering of the mother during a rape-induced pregnancy does not justify killing the fetus - unless other forms of suffering equally justify killing a new born.

If you read the first word of the thread title, you will better understand the parameters of the debate.


You are correct, but is trauma suppose to just dissappear? I’m not saying to take the trauma away, but that we all have trauma’s in our lives, and it is part of who we are. If there is a way to remove all trauma from humanity, would we be better off. I don’t have the answer, but I suspect no.

And it seem like a ancient sacrificial ritual to kill an innocent baby as a result of a crime of another.

We did and do (we have one in the oven right now) refer to the fetuses as a “babies” and speak as if they are children before they are born. That does not mean that intellectually we don’t know that biologically it’s not really a baby yet. It’s an execrcise in preparation for parenting, an expression of anticipation and excitement, etc. It’s an emotional attitude not an intellectual or ideological one.

OK say we have this hypothetical kid. At age 18 we go and tell him that he was concieved due to a rape. We also give him a gun and ask him if he would like to terminate his life at this point. What do you think he will do?

treis, you’re presenting a false dichotomy in which the only two options are for this kid to be fine with the whole thing or commit suicide.

Finding out that he’s the product of a rape and would not exist if the state hadn’t forced his mother into it can completely fuck him up mentally without him killing himself.

How would you feel if you were told today that you were born solely because your mother was forced to carry the pregnancy of her rapist? Would that leave you messed up in the head and emotionally traumatized?

I used to know somebody who was conceived by a rape. He was unbelievably screwed up by it and did attempt suicide multiple times.

It’s not a legitimate question anyway. If the pregnancy is terminated then there never is a person who will have to deal with finding that out.

The rapist is not further victomizing the woman, and besides the biological material he (we’re assuming he here, but this can be flipped w/ some modification) has no claim on that child though he should be finitially responsible for the child. Why do you wish to victomize the baby?

Isn’t killing the baby destruction? Are you infering that this child is somehow ‘bad’ due to the genetics of the rapist?

That last part is speculation, which I would say the child may reply “thank you for not aborting me”. I don’t know and neither do you.

One way I heard the justification is that life begins at the decision of the mother. I don’t buy this, it is putting humans on the same plane of God.

When is it acceptable for a woman to have an abortion?

To save the life of the mother? Yes.

To preserve the health of the mother? Um, I’ll have to give this a qualified yes. The damage caused by carrying the baby to term would have to be severe and permanent.

Rape or incest? I’m with kanicbird on this one. Really, really not a fan of killing children for the crimes of their parents.

Mother simply doesn’t want to have the kid? If you don’t want to have a child, keep your legs crossed. If you don’t feel this is feasible, then use the “Double Dutch” method of birth control- she takes the pill, he uses a condom. Yes, even this can fail, but failure would be extremely rare. Hell, if I got pregnant under those circumstances, I would figure this child was meant to exist, and who am I to say it nay?

Severe health problems in the unborn child? In most cases, no. I would make an exception for anencephaly. In this case, the child would definitely not survive for more than a few hours after birth, and I just can’t see putting a woman through a pregnancy knowing that it will end in either a stillbirth or a child who would not live much beyond drawing its first breath.

No, the state is further victimizing the woman simply to further a purely religious definition of “personhood.”

There is no “child.” There is no “baby.” There is only a pregnancy.

There is no baby.

There is no child.

Unntil you can prove that there is any such thing as a “God” then humans have to take charge of their own lives.

Honestly? I haven’t the slightest clue how I would feel. It personally probably wouldn’t bother me very much, I would rather be alive due to a rape than dead.

It is a legitimate question. If you feel that a fetus is a human life than you cannot end that life without its consent. Age 18 is the age in this country that we deem people to become adults. If this hypothetical adult feels so horrific about his conception that he doesn’t wish to be alive than so be it let him end his life. I will not make that decision for him.

[Following along behind the lead of AHunter3 in GQ mode]

What if, say the woman has long since decided that she doesn’t want children due to what she can/will pass on to them (IE: in my case, a very extensive family history of mental illness), yet is then raped?

In this instance, as far as I can tell, part (or most) of her dilemma is due to concern for the life of the child after it’s born and what it will face, even in adoption by a loving, desirous family. To me, choosing to terminate the pregnancy, no matter how difficult, would be an act of love and mercy (and I know, because I would have preferred this as a fetus versus my life, but obviously, YMMV). Saving the baby from growing up with an already attached stigma, dealing with something that may be untreatable or far beyond their abilities (resulting in being disowned, suicide, etc.) and/or then eventually passing it on to their offspring in a view of apathy, disdain for the condition (or being traumatized/numbed against it) or not understanding the nature of the beast.

This is what I would do. Could someone help by explaining to me what is expected of a woman when she already has the best interests of the baby in mind, yet is usurped by horrible, unforeseeable circumstances? I’m just not sure I see the break-down of logic applied here.

[/end of AH3 GQ mode]


You are debating from the position that abortion is moral, life doesn’t begin at conception and that a fetus has no status as personhood. This debate is about pro-lifers and if any situation is acceptable for abortion. We are debating under the assumption that abortion is wrong, life begins at conception and the fetus is a person.

You’re right. The OP was directed at pro-lifers. I shouldn’t have inserted myself into a debate I wasn’t invited into. I will withdraw from the thread.

Dio I disagree with you on a lot of issues, sometimes violently, but I gotta say that was the most graceful bow-out from a thread that I’ve ever read.

Kudos to you for being a gentleman.

Same here, Diogenes. Best of luck with your new baby.

Could you say how long after conception a pregnant woman has a baby (or “child”)? I mean say she was raped and within a week she took a pregnancy test (or whatever the minimum time those tests work) and she found that she was pregnant, does she have a baby inside of her?

Just to add to the original post, a scenario which involves “conception” and abortion that many support (which some pro-lifers might also support) involves scientists making a sperm and an egg get together in a laboratory, then screening it for severe disabilities (there could be tradition of life-threatening hereditary problems in that family)… if the scientists found it they could kill the fertilized egg. I wonder if pro-lifers would think that is killing a human baby… - or if it is morally acceptable…

Last of all, why is there a presumption that everyone would have chosen life versus abortion if given the opportunity in the womb? I know I wouldn’t have. But it doesn’t matter, because saying that if they feel “… so horrific about his conception that he doesn’t wish to be alive than so be it let him end his life.” is naive at best. Perhaps they’ve been raised with a moral ideology that prevents them from suicide. Or they just can’t bring themselves to go through with it, much like you saying that you “will not make that decision for him.” Or any of a thousand different scenarios that we can’t fathom unless we know after the fact about the circumstances surrounding what happened before our mother became pregnant.

I just don’t see how one can claim that this side is ‘playing God’ by choosing termination and not feel that they are doing exactly the same thing, but only after birth and for the rest of this person’s existence. It confounds me and sometimes I loathe/detest/resent/can’t fathom why over the long term that my mother for picking the option that she did. It was the easy way out for her and I pay the penalty. I’m not in the least appreciative. But there you go. Another side to the coin that’s very rarely mentioned.

Whoops. Upon preview I see that someone has pointed out this was a Pro-Life debate only. My apologies as well. I, too, will take myself out of this thread and my big ol’ mouth elsewhere. Again, I’m so sorry.

Yes Thanks DtC, for a bow out, but I must address this as it is important to clarify. The OP is about morality, not legality. We as have free will and are able of doing immoral actions.

I have to say I don’t know. I have come up with several theories, such as since life ends w/ the stop of brain activity, so life begins w/ it. Life begins the moment the sperm and egg combine, or at the 1st cell division, life has begun before the woman’s body recognizes the pregnancy.

All are separate theories I hold, and I don’t know which one is the true one, but I personally think I am on safe ground is that human life begins or has already begun at the point that brain activity begins. I also feel pretty safe to say that when sperm and egg are not combined there is no separate human life.

So somewhere between conception and brainwaves, including the limits.

again this is how I see it, and feel it in my heart.