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Abortion Poll For Members


JosephM
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Abortion Poll for members  

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George,

 

Technically a fetus in humans is defined as " the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after conception to the moment of birth, as distinguished from the earlier embryo. (though that time may be arguably different) The word living is used in contrast to a dead fetus that is no longer a living organism. I used the word fetus to exclude the period of time from fertilization to the point that it is recognizable as a human to science. (in respect to having a basic structural resemblance to the adult.

 

But don't get too technical on me :) as this could open up a "bag of worms" to my Poll.

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I think whoever is insisting on the baby being born should be fully responsible for raising it. :)

Beyond that I would like to see "living" fetuses be protected somehow after the age of viability outside the womb (not the minimum possible but age at which the life time negative impacts are reduced.

 

Dutch

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I support the right to have an abortion until the point it becomes a late term abortion though even with late term abortions, it depends on the situation and motivations behind having the late term abortion.

 

Very good observation. If you were a doctor, how would you handle a choice between saving the mother or a fetus with the possibilty of primary consciousness?

 

Myron

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It would depend on a number of factors, like how likely it is the mother would survive versus how likely the child would survive but ultimately I think the decision should be left up to the mother to make.

 

What if the mother isn't in a condition to make a reasonable decision (unconscious, coma, etc) or her decision making powers are otherwise not up to standard (brain damage, perhaps serious autism, mental health issues etc)?

Edited by PaulS
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I feel a bit uneasy with the wording of the question, as I don't consider myself as "for" abortion. What I am for is a woman's right to choose an abortion. This is a decision between her, her doctor and her conscious or G-d.

 

I don't think these decisions are entered into lightly in most situations.

 

A book I read many years ago informed my opinion on this issue: John Irving's, The Cider House Rules.

 

We ought to seek a society where bringing a new life into the world is welcomed with joy and anticipation rather than fear and hardship.

 

NORM

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What if the mother isn't in a condition to make a reasonable decision (unconscious, coma, etc) or her decision making powers are otherwise not up to standard (brain damage, perhaps serious autism, mental health issues etc)?

Then whoever is next of kin or if she had specified someone else to take care of the issues in emergencies like that should make the decision. This is why you should plan these issues out in advance like through a living will.
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Then whoever is next of kin or if she had specified someone else to take care of the issues in emergencies like that should make the decision. This is why you should plan these issues out in advance like through a living will.

 

What if there is no next of kin, or they are not contactable, and nobody else is specified in case of emergencies? What if the person didn't plan issues out in advance (especially the pregnancy!).

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Very good observation. If you were a doctor, how would you handle a choice between saving the mother or a fetus with the possibilty of primary consciousness?

 

Of course the relative risk to each would be a factor but, in all cases, I think the mother's life should have priority.

 

George

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We ought to seek a society where bringing a new life into the world is welcomed with joy and anticipation rather than fear and hardship.

 

NORM

 

I totally agree. Learning about the circumstances of one woman's choice to have an abortion made me realise how complicated the issue is. In brief, her husband had become abusive and she had extremely little social or economic power. I can not say I am 'for' killing any human, including a foetus, but I am definitely against the social factors that led her to make this decision. Had I known before rather than after the procedure, I wonder what I would have and should have done. Condemnation without practical offers of help adds cruelty to an already cruel situation.

 

I'm glad people are discussing the topic rather than simply voting.

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Below is an opinion piece that was in my Sunday paper this morning:

 

Why a baby isn't always a great gift

  • by: Mia Freedman

 

 

 

 

 

A baby is sometimes not always a great gift for some people. Source: Supplied

 

WHAT'S the difference between a scented candle and an unwanted pregnancy? There isn't one! They're both gifts and should be accepted with smiling gratitude.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Republican US presidential candidate Rick Santorum was asked earlier this year how he'd feel if his daughter was raped and became pregnant, he insisted he wouldn't want her to have an abortion and would instead encourage her to see the pregnancy as "a gift".

This word is often used by people opposed to abortion and, at first, it seems like a reasonable one.

Babies are a gift, aren't they?

Many new parents use that exact word, especially if they've struggled with infertility.

But what about the ones who don't choose - or want - to be pregnant?

A candle and an unwanted pregnancy do have this in common; neither "gift" was chosen by the recipient. That's where the similarities end. Because lives aren't plunged into poverty and emotional, mental and physical hardship by a candle that smells like figs.

Journalist Caitlin Moran argued against the idea of unwanted pregnancies being "gifts" in a recent column, where she said: "From the shop floor of pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood, here's what that gift can entail: tearing, bleeding, weeping, exhaustion, hallucination, despair, rage, anaemia, stitches, incontinence, unemployment, depression, infection, loneliness. Death. Women still die in childbirth. Not as many as used to - but notably more die while receiving any other 'gifts', such as scented candles, or minibreaks."

Last week I watched Mitt Romney's wife, Anne, on The View face questions about her husband's strong anti-abortion views. She said it was "a very tender issue" and segued towards less emotive ground. "What most women are saying to me when I talk to them is, 'Help'," she said, "because they're in terrible financial strife."

I had a shouting-at-the-TV moment: "Can't you see the connection between those two things, Anne? Forcing women to have babies they don't want and can't afford to look after pushes them into poverty!"

Nobody wants the abortion rate to be high. Not pro-lifers. Not pro-choicers.

On that much, we agree. I believe in "safe, affordable and rare". But when it comes to reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies, consensus evaporates. Poof. Gone.

The idea that prevention is better than cure is a no-brainer and relevant in Australia, where our rate of abortion (19.7 per 1000 women) and teen pregnancy (17.3 per 1000 women) is high compared with other Western countries. One strategy to lower those numbers was to make emergency contraception (the morning-after pill) available over the counter without a prescription. Has it worked? Kind of.

A recently published Australian study of more than 600 women aged 16 to 35 found that just under half (48 per cent) knew they could get it over the counter and up to 60 per cent of women didn't understand how it worked.

What if all contraception was free? Fact: free contraception would dramatically lower the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions in Australia.

The Contraceptive Choice Project, conducted by researchers at Washington University proved this. In 2007, they gave 9256 women aged 14 to 45 access to free contraception for two years. The results were dramatic.

The annual birth rate among teen girls dropped by more than 80 per cent and the abortion rate among women of all ages dropped by about 70 per cent.

How bizarre then that the groups and people most vehemently opposed to abortion are the same ones who don't want to make contraception (or sex education) more widely available. "It seems illogical," says Australian ethicist Leslie Cannold, "but it makes perfect sense if your real problem is the idea of women having sex outside of marriage for reasons other than childbearing." Ka-ching. Now I understand. Hello, Catholic Church.

"While the majority of religious people in Australia are pro-choice, nearly all anti-choicers are religious," Cannold adds.

Here's a thought: why aren't we considering free contraception as a way to reduce abortions? Because that would be a true gift to women, men and society.

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Abortion on demand would be on every street corner in America were men the ones biology chose to bear children. Do you think a person like Mitt Romney would allow the birth of a child to come between him and maximizing profits?

 

NORM

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  • 4 weeks later...

This topic is getting out of hand. Every case is different and still requires a judgement by the mother and doctor and often the father too.. Modern medicine now can save babies who would die if it were left up to God to make the decision. I have seen doctors work to save babies which should not have been worked on but the Doctors ego made the choice and so we have extremely handicapped .children and adults who cause marital breakups and suffering for other members in their families no matter how much they are loved. Margaret

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I'm tired of this debate - not here on the site, I mean just in general. I can't believe that a woman's right to control her own reproductivity is still an issue.

 

There are many, many reasons why a woman (and her partner) may elect to have an abortion. Maybe she was raped, or was the victim of incest. Maybe she found out about the pregnancy after the relationship/marriage ended, and she is not prepared to be a single mother. Maybe specific illnesses/disabilities run in her family or her partner's family, and she does not want to pass on those genes. Maybe the form(s) of contraception failed. Maybe the family already has children and can't afford another one. The list goes on and on.

 

A couple of ideas come to mind here:

 

1) It's unfortunate that the focus by pro-lifers is often on "single mothers" and "women having abortions." These women are not getting pregnant by themselves, but they bear the brunt of the judgment and disdain. Where are the men? Perhaps if we put the same shame on the men who help get these women pregnant and then leave, men might look at the situation differently.

 

2) If women had better access to birth control and other aspects of family planning, the abortion rate would likely decrease. (Nevermind about reducing the risks of STIs as well...)

 

3) When do our bodies actually belong to us? How can they belong to us sometimes and not other times? At the end of the day, if my body belongs to me, then when I choose to do with it is my choice. I can submit to a medical exam or procedure; I can consent to sexual activity; I choose what I eat and drink, what medications I take, and how much I exercise. I can get tattoos and piercings. I can consent to all of those things because my body is my business. The hypothetical contents of my uterus, then, ought to also be my business.

 

4) Abortion is a political issue, or at least it should be in a democratic nation. You should not be able to use religious arguments to control a person in a democratic nation.

 

5) I have a sneaky feeling that a lot of the "abortion debate" is really a debate about women's sexuality. A woman's pregnancy is (supposedly) proof of sexual activity, which makes some factions of society really uncomfortable. For some, a "good woman" has sex within her marriage, for the purposes of procreating. If you've had sex outside of your marriage and/or you want to terminate a pregnancy, you mustn't be a "good woman." How on earth are these ideas still valid? Are we living in the dark ages?

 

Yes, this is a topic that stirs me up a great deal. Not to start a gender war, but I'm very tired of men trying to control women's bodies. Yes, I know there are women politicians these days, and that some of them are pro-life too - but historically speaking, these issues have been controlled by men, and in many parts of the world, still are. If men could get pregnant, there would be abortion clinics on every corner and birth control would be available in vending machines.

 

What do pro-lifers think happens to these babies they "save" from being aborted? What happens when the woman is forced to keep a baby she doesn't want, can't afford, can't manage, etc?

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To reply to Tom S re "out of hand"--- I mean it has been talked about so much that I am like Raven and I am tired of listening to the same thoughts over and over It all boils down to a women and her Doctor and hopefully her husband or her family to make the decision after talking over all the pros and cons of an abortion. Some are medically indicated either because of the women's health or the the fetus shows severe abnormalities. While some are for economic reasons. I do not think abortion should be used as birth control or an abortion after the baby is viable but it is still nobody's business but the family concerned.

 

Examine all you have been told and remove all that insults your soul. Walt Whitman Margaret

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To reply to Tom S re "out of hand"--- I mean it has been talked about so much that I am like Raven and I am tired of listening to the same thoughts over and over It all boils down to a women and her Doctor and hopefully her husband or her family to make the decision after talking over all the pros and cons of an abortion. Some are medically indicated either because of the women's health or the the fetus shows severe abnormalities. While some are for economic reasons. I do not think abortion should be used as birth control or an abortion after the baby is viable but it is still nobody's business but the family concerned.

 

Examine all you have been told and remove all that insults your soul. Walt Whitman Margaret

 

I agree pretty much with what you say, although you say you do not thnk abortion should be used afer the baby is viable. I think it is this 'viable' queston that has been receiving much discussion here.

 

I can assure you my defintion of viable differs significantly from that of a pro-lifer.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This issue comes down to definition, and I think that's where the differences become so heated. When does life begin?

 

Does an egg cell become a human being at the moment of conception? This is the official position for a number of Christian denominations, but scientists estimate that as many as 50 percent of fertilized eggs are miscarried, often mistaken for a period.

 

Does a zygote become a human being at implantation? That is the moment when it starts receiving its nutriments, so the belief has merit.

 

Does an embryo become a human being when the heart starts beating? I think there is some credibility to this. The beating of a heart is the first tangible sign of an independently functioning creature in development.

 

Does a fetus become a human being when reaching the age of viability? This term is used frequently, but it worries me a little. We protect those who have been born who cannot fend for themselves, so why do the same protections not extend to the unborn? We have developed artificial hearts and organ transplants that can keep alive people who would otherwise not be considered viable, so why would the ability to survive independently be considered a litmus test for protection in the womb?

 

Does a fetus become a human being at birth? I think it's fair to say that most people do not like the thought of terminating a third-trimester pregnancy. Unless there is some sort of soul-generating process that starts in the birth canal, that baby is a person before he or she emerges. As a practical note, other than those "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" shows, I cannot imagine someone going through six months of pregnancy before deciding not to go through with it. Personal responsibility has to factor in at some point.

 

Are there exceptions that should allow abortions (rape, incest, mother's life in danger)? These are the questions that make the issue so gray. I guess it comes down to what you think are the answers to the above questions. Having never faced any of these situations, I would not even dare try to answer them, except for the third. I believe that only a mother can decide when her own life is in danger.

 

Should the government have any say in whether or not abortions take place? That all comes down to your definitions of human life and the role of government. There is a standard that government takes in protecting our health and safety, but how far does it go? Legal questions need to be answered, such as: Why is the murder of a pregnant woman is treated as a double murder when the mother can legally terminate that same fetus?

 

There are a ton of unknowns, but there are two things that I do know:

 

1. As long as the pro-life side dismisses its opponents as do-what-I-want feminazis, and as long as the pro-choice side dismisses its opponents as Bible-thumping woman-haters, there is no way our country is going to make any progress on this issue.

 

2. Nearly six years ago, my wife suffered a miscarriage (I call it a stillbirth) at 18 weeks. Our son Ben died of a blood clot in the uterus that was not seen on ultrasound. It was a freak occurrence, with nobody deserving of blame. I do know that I what I saw pass into this world, lifeless, was a baby, though the laws of the state of New Jersey regarded him as tissue. I was too far in shock to hold him - a decision that I will regret for the rest of my life - and instead of being buried, Ben ended up in the hospital lab to be dissected.

 

I'm no constitutional scholar, and I don't have any clue where life begins, but I believe that the idea that an 18-week-old unborn baby can be legally terminated is disturbing.

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Dave, Thank you for your thoughts. As you suggest, this is not a clear, unambiguous issue even though many try to make it so.

 

Welcome to the forum. We usually ask new members to introduce themselves in the "Introduce Yourself" thread and give a brief overview of their background and how they came to this forum. I look forward to your participation in the discussions here.

 

George

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Hello Dave, and welcome to the Forum. Your thoughts are well stated. Let me respond to your last two comments:

 

1. As long as the pro-life side dismisses its opponents as do-what-I-want feminazis, and as long as the pro-choice side dismisses its opponents as Bible-thumping woman-haters, there is no way our country is going to make any progress on this issue.

 

I think that, for the most part, these two extremes represent only a tiny, tiny segment of the debate these days. I was on the Pro-Life side during the Moral Majority days when Jerry Falwell mailed millions of photos of freshly aborted fetuses to random households.

 

Over the years, I've moderated my views significantly to where I am now fully supportive of a woman's right to choose. Reading the book The Cider House Rules weighed heavily in my decision process, as did a couple of personal experiences of which I will share in a moment.

 

Also, greater access to birth control (thanks to organizations like Planned Parenthood), sex education in schools and among the general public (you can't see a modern film these days where the use of a condom is not prevalent in sex scenes) have led to SIGNIFICANT reductions in the amount of unwanted pregnancies overall.

 

Unfortunately, the rate is climbing for poor women - possibly the result of political attacks on Planned Parenthood by conservative groups. Unwanted pregnancies are down, however, by 30% among wealthier women.

 

 

 

2. Nearly six years ago, my wife suffered a miscarriage (I call it a stillbirth) at 18 weeks. Our son Ben died of a blood clot in the uterus that was not seen on ultrasound. It was a freak occurrence, with nobody deserving of blame. I do know that I what I saw pass into this world, lifeless, was a baby, though the laws of the state of New Jersey regarded him as tissue. I was too far in shock to hold him - a decision that I will regret for the rest of my life - and instead of being buried, Ben ended up in the hospital lab to be dissected.

 

I'm no constitutional scholar, and I don't have any clue where life begins, but I believe that the idea that an 18-week-old unborn baby can be legally terminated is disturbing.

 

I am sympathetic of your experience. I lost two children - one to a miscarriage and one to an abortion. I was opposed to the abortion and was willing to support the mother and child financially, but the mother wished to continue her education and didn't want the responsibility of a child. We were very young and were not using birth control at the time.

 

I share your concern for protecting the life of the unborn, but I don't think this is a simple issue, as you have already pointed out. We must not decide this issue based on when we personally feel the life of a fetus is "viable." I don't think that anyone on either side of this issue would disagree that any fetus is potential human life worthy of the highest level of consideration.

 

I think that consideration for what kind of life / world the child is being born into is a valid concern - equally as valid as the question of biology. A child born to an unwed mother is more than likely going to live in poverty and constant struggle. Most of the fathers of these children are long gone.

 

A local woman murdered her 3 year old child recently because of the immense pressure she faced as a single parent. She just snapped under the pressure.

 

These are the types of realities we face when we place ALL of the burden of parenting on women. This is why they value the freedom of choice.

 

As someone once said; if MEN bore children, abortion would be legal, free and available on every street corner.

 

NORM

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