That touchy abortion thang...

I’m sure this has been covered exactly 1,000,000 times, but I have a nagging question(s). First off, I’d like to say that on other issues(health care, environment, sex with interns, etc.), opinions don’t bother me, because everybody’s got 'em.

I am by no means trying to get anybody mad, but I’m just trying to see the other side of this. With that said, at what point does a fetus “become” a baby? Why is it that with a wanted pregnancy it’s a baby, and with an unwanted pregnancy it’s a parasite?

I’m sure I’m coming off the wrong way, I apologize in advance for that. Again, I’m just trying to see the whole issue.

Thanks for your time.

I think it’s legislation, mostly. An abortion can be performed up till three months here (The Netherlands) without any problem, because there’s no baby legally yet. Older phoetuses can be aborted, but are subject to tight controls and possible hearings by the Health Inspection regarding the required two consulting doctors involved.

On an emotional level, I’m sure the legal definition means nothing in most cases. Hey, even Dutchies have morals, you know…


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

Legislation aside, emotionally speaking…

Oh. Uh… dunno. Never had an abortion.


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

When abortion is used as a form of birth control, to me its disgusting… if you are old enough to have sex, you are old enough to have it responsibly. There are times when i think it can be acceptable such as rape.

Here you can have one but you have to go through a medical board, psych evaluation, unless of course you go to a private clinic. Then anything goes

We are, each of us angels with only one wing;
and we can only fly by
embracing one another

It becomes a “baby,” IMHO, when a certain level of brain activity begins. At least enough to discern some brain wave patterns and control autonomous functions. It becomes a “person” after it is born. It is, at all times, human. Or, in any case, homo sapiens. Keep in mind, all these distinctions (person, baby, human) are all somewhat arbitrary but can certainly be decided rationally.

Corollary question: When does a living person become a dead person?

“I love God! He’s so deliciously evil!” - Stewie Griffin, Family Guy

That’s a very philosophical question.

Successfull fertilization of the egg is certainly the beginning of life - from my moral viewpoint anything after that is murder.

But then again I have no problem with justified homicide. It’s all in the justification. I always want the abortion-rights folks to admit that it’s murder, they never do.

The human species is unique in that newly-born infants are still physically in a gestation-state. The head is still forming (allowing for our truly huge craniums choc full 'O brains), leaving us totally at the mercy of our mothers. Other mammals shoot out, hit the ground, and take of walking straightaways; we act like we’re still in the womb for several months.

I have no problem with infanticide right up until the child is fully mobile. Well, there should probably be a good reason to kill the little tyke, though. Like crying in an airplane or something.

Abortion shouldn’t be birth control, but it is, always has been, and should legally remain so.

How long 'til this gets moved to Great Debates?

Leslie Irish Evans

pldennison: You should be declared legally brain-dead when you willfully participate in organized religion.

I can understand the abortion rights side (it’s the woman’s body, after all) and the anti-abortion side (if you consider it a person, then it’s murder), and also the abortion only if the mother’s life is in jeopardy side (if it’s one or the other, it’s a no-win situation).

I can’t understand the position that abortion should be illegal, but allowable in case of rape. If you consider the fetus a person, then it’s murder. The baby didn’t rape the mother. If you don’t consider it a person, then the woman’s rights should take precedence. Otherwise, you’re legislating morality.

It is too clear, and so it is hard to see.

Sake said:

Governor Ventura, is that you?

No, I’m a different professional wrestler.

I LOST my bid to public office. He’s a lucky bastard. Not that I’m bitter. . .

So, when does a baby’s rights supercede or equate that of the mother’s? Disregarding the “born or naturalized” argument(we know the baby is alive), when does a baby(or fetus) have the right to live?

Eh, “murder” has a very specific legal definition apart from the literal definition of its oft-used synonym, “homicide.” Can we stick with “homicide”?

Never. And neither do any of us. Try asserting your right to live to Hurricane Floyd or a wild animal and see where it gets you.

“I love God! He’s so deliciously evil!” - Stewie Griffin, Family Guy

I feel like a broken record…

OK, for the ten thousandth time: my support for abortion rights is not, I repeat not, I said NOT identical or equivalent to believing that the embryo or fetus is not alive or not human (yet).

It’s alive. Under some circumstances, it is alive and human. Abortion is killing. Not all killing is murder. Pregnant women should have the right and the easy affordable access to abortion whenever they find that in their particular circumstance abortion is necessary.

To have the authority to make such life-and-death decisions is to possess a great power, and it is a heavy responsibility. This power, and the responsibility of weiding it wisely and appropriately, belongs to women, who get PMS and the hassles of tampons and a host of other little annoyances as part of the package of being female.

Get over it. The authority is generally in good hands that way, and when it is not (the apocryphal woman who uses abortion for birth control in a most casual manner), it usually means that the individual submoral unadmirable female is not reproducing, which is the next best thing.

I would die to defend my mom’s right to an abortion.

Designated Optional Signature at Bottom of Post

AHunter3: For the ten thousandth time? I fail to have seen you make even ONE other post on this thread. Who exactly in this thread are you accusing of not listening to you, and which of your nonexistant posts is being ignored?

What do you mean by this statement?

No they shouldn’t. I don’t want a single one of my tax dollars going towards some woman’s abortion. Pay for it or perform it yourself. Stop asking for handouts to fund your homicides.

On the Princeton University website

is a superb discussion by two ethicists, Peter Singer and Adrienne Asch. Singer’s position is that there are times when killing a neonate is as justified as aborting a fetus. Specifically, he speaks of those neonates that are born with abnormalities that would interfere with a high quality of life. He argues that neither fetus nor neonate are aware of their surroundings or understand the concept of a future. He goes on to justify his views. Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a debate if the other person didn’t have another view, so the Dr. Asch did not agree with Dr. Singer at all. The whole debate is available for viewing form the internet if you have Realplayer, or whatever its called.

Anyway, for those who consider termination of a zygote murder, I imagine you’d be great to invite to a party at Dr. Singer’s house. For those who, like me, consider termination of a pregnancy a woman’s choice, I wonder what IS the distinction between a fetus within the womb and a neonate outside the womb?

Check out the first 20 minutes or so of the debate (after the introductions) to see what you think of Singer’s justification.


[devil’s advocate]Interesting point, Sake Samurai. Have you considered that many successfully fertilized eggs die anyway, because they never implant in the uterine lining? Are we obligated to make certain that the little tadpole sticks to the wall after fertilization? Is the failure to implant to be considered a suicide by the fetus, or a negligent homicide by the mother for not douching with Krazy Glue? What about ectopic pregnancy – when implantation occurs in the fallopian tubes or some other inconvenient area? Would that (necessary) abortion be justifiable homicide, with self-defense as the reason?[/devil’s advocate]

I’m aware that most women think it’s none of my business, save for intelligent discussion. If I had to define an absolute cutoff date after which no pregnancy could be legally terminated, I would choose age 18. Since that wouldn’t go over too well in most jurisdictions though, I’d be more likely to pick 6 months – the point at which the lungs have formed. After this point, it’s all a matter of growth and development.

Am I saying that casual abortion of a 5 1/2-month old fetus should be allowed without controls? Not really. But to me, 6 months marks the point at which the fetus has a chance to survive on its own outside of the mother and eventually not need an incubator and constant medical attention, and is thus viable.

On a broader, but related, subject: If we were a bit less concerned with rights and more concerned with reason and public safety, we wouldn’t need to debate abortion, the death penalty, etc. Nobody wants to live in a police state, but it’s the best place to live if you follow the rules. I’m not advocating this plan either. I’m just saying.

–Da Cap’n

Ever since I had an opinion on the issue, I’ve been pro-choice.

But ever since my wife and I have been trying to have a baby, we both get a little maudlin when we hear of some baby being abandoned by its parents.

And ever since she’s been pregnant (and we’ve been getting regular ultra-sound pictures), I’ve been a little conflicted about the whole abortion issue. Even when it was a not-even-human-looking critter with just a fluttering heartbeat, I know I would’ve been crushed if something had gone wrong and it died.

IMO, it’s unfortunate that abortion exists. But if it weren’t provided in a medically-safe environment, the dreaded back-street type would arise in its place. (A little like Prohibition: it didn’t work 'cause alcohol is so easy to make.)

That’s funny.

Finally, I hear(or see) a pro-choice person admit that.

You could call blindness an abnormality.

Any parent would laugh at this. My two kids still can’t live on their own.