Granting rights to a fetus at the cost of the mother

While I, as a physician, would not perform an abortion unless there was an extreme, medical rational, abortion is a choice. It is a woman’s determination of how best to live and manage her life. Also, while the issue of viability is an important medical topic, and while I believe that any life, from the moment of conception, is of supreme value, some women do not. If they are the ones who are pregnant, I do not have a right to impose my value system on them. I do not have the right to require them to sacrifice their values so as to bring a fetus to full term and deliver. I defend, as a basis of moral principle, a person’s right to choose. If after 1 day or 36 weeks, a woman chooses a course for her own body that ultimately leads to the abortion of a fetus, that is her right.

This is not to say that once a fetus is disconnected from a mother, that a physician may do whatever he chooses. On the contrary, a physician has the ethical obligation to protect a life. If a mother chooses to abort, she is choosing to no longer serve the fetus. Once the fetus is apart from the mother, a physician must undertake whatever steps are necessary to preserve that life. The act of doing so will not impinge on the freedoms of the mother.

Again, I reiterate, I am personally against abortion. My wife would not abort a fetus unless her life were in danger, and I would not have married her if she believed otherwise. I do not have the right however, to impose my morality on a woman. I do not have the right to protect a fetus who is not separate from the mother, at the cost of the freedom of the mother. I can stand outside of a clinic and hand out flyers to raise awareness. I can give to charities that do the same. I can stand in front of a camera and implore women to see the value in a child, to them, to potential adopters, and to society. But I cannot support law that, by force, limits the personal choice of a woman.

Granting rights to a fetus, a potential life, at the cost of the mother is a perversion of individual rights. Simply because you disagree with someone’s value system does not give you the right to impose that system on another human being through the use of force.

A fetus becomes a human being when it is no longer attached to the mother. There’s an important reason for that. The progression of fetal develop goes from an embryo, with zero viability, towards a fully developed fetus, with, hopefully, full viability. Along the way, there is a continuum of viability that depends on development, health, genetics, etc. As an example, at around 24 weeks, a fetus has developed lung surfactant, a significant milestone in development, yet legally, 20 weeks is viable, a contentious point in ethical law. Therefore, viability is anything but a simple matter.

Regardless, while viability exists on a continuum, rights are absolutes. A complete, living woman, has absolute rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. She does not lay claim to the efforts of others through requiring their sacrifice, nor may others lay claim to her efforts. This is an absolute. A fetus, in a strictly descriptive term, is a parasite, i.e. it exists at the cost of the mother. She may choose to surrender her values, her effort and energy, to mature this fetus and bring it to term and deliver it, or she may choose to discontinue the support. This is abortion.

Arguing, “well at 36 weeks, the fetus is viable, so it is illegal to abort” raises some interesting ethical concerns. If she cut herself open and clamped the cord, choosing to discontinue support of the potential human, she would not be harming the fetus, but simply choosing to no longer support it. To say that our country has the duty to protect the rights of the fetus that is still attached to another human being is akin to protecting the rights of one person at the harm of another. If the 36 week pregnant mother says, “I want an abortion,” the state does not have the right to say, “Ok, we will cut it out of you, induce labor, or force you to carry that child a little long until your body delivers.”

The reason this is so important is because making the above argument in defense of a potential life at the cost of the rights of another life, the mother, sets a dangerous precedent that it would be foolish to think would not happen. The pro-life (absolutely no abortion) groups believe that a woman has no right to herself once she conceives. They are wrong. To give an inch, to say that a connected fetus has rights that must be protected by infringing upon the rights of the mother, is a compromise and a foothold for those who wish to impose their morality on free men and women.

Mark Ard is a student in an MD/MA ethics program. 

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  • http://twitter.com/ChrisJohnsonMD Christopher Johnson

    Abortion debates on the internet have a way of deteriorating pretty quickly. Good luck with this one.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2LRZNHDZS6DU45WQ567LPQ7CMI ninguem

      “You’re all a bunch of Nazis and you’re no better than Adolf Hitler.”

      There. Godwin’s law invoked, abortion thread is now aborted.

      How’s that for a solution?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Ard/646302001 Mark Ard

      I wrote this article in response to a bioethical debate based on the notion of viability. It quickly deteriorated into a debate on morality. Which always seems to become a debate on how other people should have to adhere to one person or group’s morality. Many people, some doctors included, have a habit of imposing their moral views on other people. I don’t think medical school adequately prepares physicians to accept people’s life choices.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WLANNXG267BDEZS74YSQIQQHXU Gale Routh

        to help prevent this “morality” that’s supports the reproductive slavery write this,

        this is the law:
        ABORTION IS A CIVIL AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT SUPPORTED BY THE RIGHTS TO PRIVACY, THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE OF 14TH AMENDMENT, AND THE 13TH AMENDMENT.

        no human has a right to life or any due process rights by the 14th amendment to use another human’s body or body parts AGAINST their will, civil and constitutional rights: that’s why you are not force to donate your kidney—the human fetus is no exception; this is protected by the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment that makes reproductive slavery unconstitutional.

        consensual sex =/= a legal, binding contract for an unwanted fetus to live.

        these pro-lifers are suppose to be patriot show them that they are supporting reproductive slavery of american citizens, it will cut their argument short and prove that they are fascists.

        • Adam Dean

          You realize you just imposed your version of morality on us by supporting the 14th amendment and thus supporting someone else’s imposing of their morality on us? I’m sorry, I knew there were some people niave enough to believe this kind of “stop imposing morality” hogwash, but I didn’t know this stupidity was this prevalent.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WLANNXG267BDEZS74YSQIQQHXU Gale Routh

         and if you want:

        the bible supported abortion, that was done by a priest, in god’s name, in his holly temple!
        the 1984 niv footnote of numbers 5:11-31 explained what “to thy thigh to rot, thy belly to swell” meant:
        Numbers 5:21 Or causes you to have a miscarrying womb and barrenness” to CAUSE a miscarrying womb IS an abortion.

        the judeo-christian god is a myth and historical evidence proves it.
        3.3.3 Atheism: A History of God (Part 1)
        Evid3nc3

        • Adam Dean

          Actually, what’s funny is you hear atheists say all the time, I don’t believe in God and I’m angry with Him… Hmmm, funny….

      • Adam Dean

        You’re already imposing your views on us, Sir. By claiming that we are imposing ours on you and shouldn’t, you’re imposing your view that we shouldn’t impose our view on you, and are therefore contradicting yourself. And it must come down to morality! What kind of sad, sick people would we be if it didn’t come down to whether it is right or wrong?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Terence-Ivfmd-Lee/1523282856 Terence Ivfmd Lee

      You called it correctly, Dr. J.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Terence-Ivfmd-Lee/1523282856 Terence Ivfmd Lee

    What’s really extreme are the people who claim personhood rights for embryos in a laboratory. In some states, people pushed for legislation controlling what happens when we combine sperm and eggs to form a single-cell embryo. If the couple decide later that they don’t wish to use the surplus embryos, the legislators wanted to make them prosecutable for murder.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Ard/646302001 Mark Ard

      While I would have no problem with this type of research, I can see this being a more debatable topic. It’s less of a violation of bodily rights and more about private property.

  • Anonymous

    (These comments are about the ethical principles rather than about abortion.)

    “I do not have the right[,] however, to impose my morality on a woman.” I don’t think you really believe in this doctrine of the non-imposition of morality. After all, and I do not mean this in an accusatory way, I’m simply observing, you seem to claim the right to impose your morality on people whose morality inspires them to try to change abortion laws. Now, you justify this by saying the fetus is not a human being and the woman is, but this is a legal definition, not an ontological one. Laws and legal definitions are subject to change. Moreover, every law that exists, every new law enacted, every attempt to change the law, every effort to resist changes to existing laws, is an imposition of morality on someone who has a different “life choice.” If the anti-abortion people succeed, then the legal definitions change, a fetus suddenly becomes a human being, and rights are allocated accordingly. But if you defend legalized abortion by saying there are justice and rights that are somehow superior to and above the law, to which the law ought to conform in order to be a good and just law, then you will have to maintain that the fetus is not ontologically (rather than legally) a human being. And this is a much harder argument to support, and one totally not supported by the argument you have given.At any rate, when you say “it’s wrong to impose your morality on someone else,” you immediately violate your own moral principle by imposing it on others.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WLANNXG267BDEZS74YSQIQQHXU Gale Routh

      all laws are man made… in american society slavery is unconstitutional, thus forcing a woman into reproductive slavery to keep her unwanted fetus parasite alive, is also unconstitutional.

      this is the law:
      ABORTION IS A CIVIL AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT SUPPORTED BY THE RIGHTS TO PRIVACY, THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE OF 14TH AMENDMENT, AND THE 13TH AMENDMENT.

      no human has a right to life or any due process rights by the 14th amendment to use another human’s body or body parts AGAINST their will, civil and constitutional rights: that’s why you are not force to donate your kidney—the human fetus is no exception; this is protected by the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment that makes reproductive slavery unconstitutional.

      consensual sex =/= a legal, binding contract for an unwanted fetus to live.

      • Adam Dean

        Sorry, you totally do not understand law or morality. Without a higher being, why should we accept society’s ruling of what is law? I have just as much a right to decide as you, therefore I do not believe in your laws or your point of view. In fact, if all laws are man-made, (therefore presupposing the authority to make those laws), then that means I can do whats right for me, and you know, I feel that what’s right for me is to go find you and stick a knife in your brain. When the rubber meets the road, no-one truly believes that morality is decided by the individual.

  • http://twitter.com/stjohnneumann johnny b

    Law is fundamentally about imposing somebody’s views on somebody else.
    Imposition is the name of the game. It is the very nature of law to
    impose particular views on people who don’t want to have those views
    imposed on them. Car thieves don’t want laws imposed on them which
    prohibit stealing. Drug dealers don’t want laws imposed on them which
    make it illegal to sell drugs. Yet our lawmakers are elected precisely
    to craft and impose such laws all the time. So the question is not
    whether we will impose something on somebody. The question is instead
    whether whatever is going to be imposed by the force of law is
    reasonable, just, and good for society and its members.

    Exploiting the weak and not-yet-born in the interests of the powerful
    and the well-heeled should not be permitted in a civilized society.

    Aborition is the brutal and grotesque killing of living, human person.  As doctors we take the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm.  This crushing of a human skull and sucking out its contents is harm to a living, human person.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WLANNXG267BDEZS74YSQIQQHXU Gale Routh

      this is the law:
      ABORTION IS A CIVIL AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT SUPPORTED BY THE RIGHTS TO PRIVACY, THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE OF 14TH AMENDMENT, AND THE 13TH AMENDMENT.

      no human has a right to life or any due process rights by the 14th amendment to use another human’s body or body parts AGAINST their will, civil and constitutional rights: that’s why you are not force to donate your kidney—the human fetus is no exception; this is protected by the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment that makes reproductive slavery unconstitutional.

      consensual sex =/= a legal, binding contract for an unwanted fetus to live.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Ard/646302001 Mark Ard

        Agreed

      • Adam Dean

        Just because something is the law does not mean it’s ok or desirable.

      • Anonymous

        Abortion is neither a right nor constitutionally protected. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Ard/646302001 Mark Ard

      First, we don’t take the Hippocratic Oath. Seriously, read it. Again, I reiterate, I don’t agree with abortions. It would be amazing if not a single abortion was performed in America. What a glorious day that would be! But that goal cannot be accomplished by violating the personal rights of the mother.

      The analogy of criminals having rights breaks down quickly when you look at the 14th ammendment and compare it to the case of a thief and a fetus. A thief can do whatever he wants, until his actions violate those of another. If a mugger came to you on the street and said, “give me your money” and you actually wanted to (under no coercion or threat) then there’s nothing wrong with that interaction. Go for it. But if you didn’t want to, then the government can and should interact to suspend, under the law, the rights of the mugger because they violate the rights of another. A fetus on the other hand, has no choice but to take from the mother. Again, a mother can choose to give to the fetus, but if she chooses not to, the government cannot defend the innate nature of the fetus.

      • Adam Dean

        I am glad you don’t agree with abortions, now lets get you all the way there.

        I would like to point out that in many cases I do agree with you. It is not ok to do things the government is not given the authority to do even though they may be right and good things. I grant you that. For instance, I believe, as a Christian, that you shouldn’t swear. But it is not the government’s place to make laws against that. But, but, the government IS given the responsibility to protect human life, and therefore, unless we are talking about in cases where it’s either the child or the mother, it’s clearcut that it IS the government’s duty to protect those unborn since, on the one hand they may be draining substance from the woman, on the other it is their entire LIFE in danger.
        As to johnny b’s comments and what you said, I agree that it is a difference of degree, but only of degree, his idea still stands in principle. Lawgiving is by definition the imposition of what someone believes should be upon others. No two ways about it. So, the fact is established that we already do impose our believes, do we have the right to do so here? The bottom line always has to come down to this, if a human life is not human until it’s born, it’s not murder to abort and therefore is ok. But, this obviously has serious issues since who deicdes it’s human then? Why not, as I’ve said, 1 or 5 or 10 or 18? The ONLY differences are those of level of dependency and development. So, if then we believe that a human is a human at conception, it becomes murder to abort, therefore making it wrong in all possible cases.

  • Adam Dean

    Sorry, you’re wrong. A baby becomes a human at conception. It has everything the rest of us have or the information and ability to get there, the only difference is development. If you argue for the above, why stop there? The only difference you’re arguing is that it’s level of development is higher and it’s dependency less than a fetus, but can it survive on its own? Not at all. So, why call a 1 year old a human? Why a 5 year old? How about you’re not human til you’re 18 (an adult), and therefore I can kill you or do whatever else I want to you because you’re not human. Just because you disagree doesn’t give you the right to impose your beliefs on that human and thus take its life cause it can’t do anything about it. And indeed, why stop there? I think I’ll claim that you’re “not human” because you’re less developed intelligently than I am, and therefore I have the right to do to you as I will.

    Also, you claims that you don’t “have the right to ‘impose’ my morality on others”. Well, maybe not. But that’s because you misunderstand what morality is and where it comes from. Morality is NOT a human idea. It was not made by humans, and it cannot be determined by humans. And you’d better be thankful that many people believe as I do because without a higher being who does indeed dictate morality all of society would fall apart. There are no human rights if morality is decided by the individual. Period. A life is a life, and if you truly believed that, you wouldn’t believe that it would be ok to murder one to save another.
    Also, abortion is different than most other similar circumstances for the extremely important reason that we’re talking about pregnancy and new life. Whether the pregnancy was wanted or not is irrelevant, a new life has begun and it has just as much claim to it’s privacy and choice as the woman does. Bottom line, the baby has a right to life. Killing it, for whatever reason, (unless the baby commits a crime worthy of the death penalty and thus forfits its life), is murder, and yes, should be illegal in all circumstances.

    And thank you, johnny b, you hit the nail on the head.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/66NCFAXDWYB7JVNVNLNIUTCUVU Violetta V

      You believe that a baby becomes human at conception. This is your religious belief this isn’t a scientific fact. Unlike a 1-year old, a 1- or 2- months fetus has no brains, no organs, no ability to feel or to think. It’s a clump of cells. Most laws today disallow abortion after the first trimester. During the first trimester the brains aren’t yet develop. And yes a 1-year old can survive without a mother: someone else e.g. an adoptive mother can take care of a 1-year old. One year old has a nervous system and a functioning brain as well.

      The “human becomes human at conception” is a religious belief. You have no rights to impose your religious beliefs on others.

      • naucatrineta

        If it´s not human, what is it, from a scientific viewpoint?

      • Adam Dean

        But you’re still defining what it means to be “human”! Like it or not, you are just a “clump of cells”. Perhaps more developed and organized, but those are the differences. No, no, no, you missed to point. The point was it can’t survive on its own. So, the question still stands, why classify a 1 year old or a 5 year old or a 10 year old as a human? Their brains aren’t fully developed. The haven’t hit puberty yet so their sexual organs aren’t developed. Why does one level of development equal human and another something less? Would you say that an egg is not a chicken?

        And sorry, again, you’ve totally missed the point and obviously don’t understand science or religion. Number one, no, it is not just a “religious” belief, it is based on science. Many doctors and scientists tell us exactly what I am telling you now, a human is a human at conception. Secondly, who says I can’t “impose” my beliefs on you? Do you know what you JUST did to me? You imposed your belief that I can’t impose my belief! You can’t even tell me what you believe without contradicting yourself. Thirdly, religion is defined thus, “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purposeof the universe, especially when considered as the creationof a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involvingdevotional and ritual observances, and often containing amoral code governing the conduct of human affairs.”.I.e., ALL beliefs about human conduct are, by definition, religious! Therefore, it is your religious opinion that a fetus is not a human, and by your own standards, you have no right to impose anything you believe about how humans ought to act on others. The very fact that you support that humans OUGHT to act a certain way begs a higher authority!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Ard/646302001 Mark Ard

      So a few problems here. One, I too believe in a higher power. This does not mean that morality is not formed from fundamental, societal relationships between humans. In fact, I think that many of the most well ingrained moral arguments put forth in the Bible reflect natural morality. As far as conception becoming a the cutoff point, that’s not arbitrary. Before conception, you have to violate the woman’s personal right, her personal space, to sustain the life of the fetus. After, you can take the baby away, and not violate her personal rights (though she might protest). You say, “Whether the pregnancy was wanted or not is irrelevant, a new life has begun and it has just as much claim to it’s privacy and choice as the woman does” but this isn’t true. No other human relationship works this way. You say it has claim to its privacy, but how would you grant that privacy? One person does not exist at the whim of another. That is a master servant relationship. This is the basis of the 14th amendment.

      • Adam Dean

        You’re right, because God made us in His image. Therefore, we have many of the same characteristics and nature as he does. However, if you are willing to believe the Bible, then we have also sinned, and now what is natural for us is to do wrong. Our very nature is against God. Therefore, we must always take all of our concepts about morality back to the Bible to determine whether they are valid.

        Let me ask you this. What about the rights of the unborn females? Don’t they have the same basic right to life and to someday grow up to be able to make choices? By “protecting” the “privacy” and “choice” of women, you actually harming the privacy and life and choices of hundreds of thousands of others! And you make a good point, you’re right, no other human relationship works this way because that of a pregnant woman is unique. It is so special, and so very sacred. Once they have been conceived, they ARE alive, and therefore have just as much right to exist as everyone else. To deny this means that you’re willing to say I have the right to kill you if I am able, or men have the right to snuff out women’s lives or use them as they would please since women are weaker. Once you take that step into the dependency realm you’ve opened up a whole can of worms, take all or none. Again, I ask, if it is not a human before it’s born, the only things that change after are the level of dependency and development, but it is still not able to take care of itself and survive on its own! It hasn’t lost dependency and become completely developed yet. If you go this route, then again, I have the right to kill you if I want to simply because you weren’t able to stop me and therefore are “less developed” in the physical realm. Or, let’s put it another way. I have the right to kill a 5 year old because I deem its not a person because I disagree with you at what level of dependency we determine someone “human”.

        Once we establish that a human is a human at conception, then the “choice” of the woman does, I am afraid, become irrelevant. It has as much claim to LIFE as the woman does, and surely the simple reason that she “doesn’t want it” should DISGUST you. She’s willing to murder her OWN child because she doesn’t want it??? What kind of an age do we live in?

    • Anonymous

      Good grief. Your reasoning is just that your
      reasoning. A clump of cells or for that matter a  blastocyst is not a human being. Are you going to say that
      every sperm is sacred and outlaw masturbation? 
        

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WLANNXG267BDEZS74YSQIQQHXU Gale Routh

     also this:

    this is science:
    fetus (NOT A BABY, THEY ARE BORN…GOOGLE THE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT CHART) is a parasite because the classification of the biological relationship that is based on the behavior of one organism (the fetus) and how it relates to the woman’s body:

    as a zygote, it invaded the woman’s uterus using its Trophoblast cells and hijacked her immune system by using Neurokinin B and using HCG—-so her body won’t KILL it, and stole her nutrients to survive and causes her harm or potential DEATH!

    wikipedia org/wiki/Trophoblast
    wikipedia org/wiki/Immune_tolerance_in_pregnancy
    wikipedia org/wiki/Human_chorionic_gonadotropin

    “it is also possible for a symbiotic relationship to exist between two organisms of the same species.”
    answers com/topic/symbiosis —–Gale’s Science of Everyday Things:
    Symbiosis

    “an animal or plant that lives in or on another (the host) from which it obtains nourishment. The host does not benefit from the association and is often harmed by it”
    thefreedictionary com/parasite

    pregnancy causes women harm: thelizlibrary org/liz/004

    if a man can kill his tapeworm at anytime, so should a woman abort her unwanted human parasitic fetus at anytime, too.

    this is science:
    fetus (NOT A BABY, THEY ARE BORN…GOOGLE THE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT CHART) is a parasite because the classification of the biological relationship that is based on the behavior of one organism (the fetus) and how it relates to the woman’s body:

    as a zygote, it invaded the woman’s uterus using its Trophoblast cells and hijacked her immune system by using Neurokinin B and using HCG—-so her body won’t KILL it, and stole her nutrients to survive and causes her harm or potential DEATH!

    wikipedia org/wiki/Trophoblast
    wikipedia org/wiki/Immune_tolerance_in_pregnancy
    wikipedia org/wiki/Human_chorionic_gonadotropin

    “it is also possible for a symbiotic relationship to exist between two organisms of the same species.”
    answers com/topic/symbiosis —–Gale’s Science of Everyday Things:
    Symbiosis

    “an animal or plant that lives in or on another (the host) from which it obtains nourishment. The host does not benefit from the association and is often harmed by it”
    thefreedictionary com/parasite

    pregnancy causes women harm: thelizlibrary org/liz/004

    if a man can kill his tapeworm at anytime, so should a woman abort her unwanted human parasitic fetus at anytime, too.

    • Adam Dean

      So, let’s see, because you were once a fetus, and thereby a parasite, you don’t really have any claim to life or rights, do you? It’s only good luck and somebody’s choice that allowed you to get here, so I think I’ll decide that you aren’t worthy and do the world a favor and get rid of you. See how quickly it degenerates when you believe that you make up what’s right and wrong? And the human development chart is a bunch of evolutionary garbage. No, it’s not science, and no, you can’t prove it. The fetus is a human, it has all the information needed, the only differences between it and again, the 1/5/10/18 year old are development and dependency. If a fetus isn’t a human, why is a 1 year old? They still can’t live on their own…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Ard/646302001 Mark Ard

    To Adam Dean…maybe Judith Thomson at MIT can explain this in more detail. She does an amazing job of starting from the premise that a fetus is a human life (which I agree). She summarizes by purposefully leaving it up to the reader to decide their view.

    http://spot.colorado.edu/~heathwoo/Phil160,Fall02/thomson.htm

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Ard/646302001 Mark Ard

    To Adam Dean…look up the paper by Judith Jarvis Thomson, “A Defense of Abortion”…She is a professor at MIT. It’s worth the read. Perhaps her examples will address your claims

    • Adam Dean

      Thank you for referring me to it, I have done so, and she makes some excellent points, better than most in the camp for abortion here, and she does them far better than most. However, there are still some very significant flaws with her view. I will not attempt to say them all, as that would amount to a paper the same length or longer as hers, but I do believe I will point out a few. 
      #1. Her initial premise is false, that to say that an acorn is an oak tree is not true and that it is a “slippery slope” argument. I understand the concept well, but it is not true in this case. Acorns actually ARE oak trees; it is funny that she uses this example, because it actually does more for my side of the argument than her’s! Acorns are oak trees, they merely do not possess the same level of, again, development and dependency as full grown trees. Now, I suppose one might have to refine ones terms here, for the strict definition of “tree” may not apply to the seed, however, in this case, the similarities are between acorns and trees and fetuses and ADULTS, not fetuses and HUMANS. That is where she is mixed up, she treats tree to mean one kind and acorn to mean another, when in fact they are the same, just at different stages. Ask any botanist, they will tell you this. The same is true for humans, a fetus and an adult human are both adults at different stages, she misuses the terms. Thus, her premise being refined to make it true actually supports my point of view, that fetuses are humans but at a different stage than an adult.#2. I have heard the famous violinist argument used before, and it has some serious flaws. First of which is that the situations are not the same, the violinist is not by nature in need of your support as a unborn baby is of its mother’s. You are under no obligation to help in the same way because of this nature, whereas with an unborn child, the mother is because of the fact that she gave it life. Now, the other thing this overlooks is the simple fact that once again, under the assumption (for the sake of argument) that the fetus IS a human, it is simply murder to abort it, and MURDER is NEVER acceptable. Now, killing often is, but when the killing constitutes murder it is not, no matter what. Let’s put it like this, you’re been kidnapped, and the kidnapper tells you he will kill you if you do not kill someone, someone who has no way to defend themselves. Using your logic, it’s ok to kill them because their life threatens yours, therefore making it permissible. However, the kidnapper cannot force you to kill that person, and thus doing so WOULD be murder, therefore, you cannot.

      #3. Let’s address her rape claim for a moment. In essence, this comes down to how valuable is a life, and does it change based on its circumstances? Bottom line? Very, very, very, and no. Now, first, if someone surrenders THEIR OWN right, that is a completely different story. That is why self-defense killings are 100% ok. The attacker surrendered their own right to life. But in the case of the fetus in a rape, what we’re saying is that the worth can be determined based on its circumstances, and that if it’s unwanted and unplanned, we can decide that that worth is less than our own happiness. Now, do not think for a second that I would be perfectly happy if somebody raped my wife. That is why I am teaching my future wife self defense so that that won’t happen even if someone tries. I would be devastated to learn that someone raped her and that, on top of that, she became pregnant because of him! But, I could not commit murder to get out of the circumstances. Bottom line, again, assuming that the fetus is a human (because her paper primarily addresses the idea from that angle and claims there are flaws in arguments even if this is the case), it is still a valuable human life no matter what and should not be murdered. Also, are you saying that because they’re worth less, it’s ok to murder someone who was born if they were conceived by a rape? That’s where your logic takes you….

      One important thing to keep in mind here is that we do not live in a perfect world, and thus, some will die whom “ought not to” from our human perspective. I do like her points about the “right” to life, she has some good things to say, but, as I have mentioned, I believe that some of her premises are wrong, and thus leads to wrong conclusions. There are many, many depths of logical thought here, and sometimes we just have to come back to the cold hard reality that things aren’t exactly the way we want them, and even though we would like to protect the women’s right to privacy and choice, we have to remember that a human life is more valuable than most things, including their privacy and choice.

      One last thing. As a Christian, EVERYTHING in my life involves God. Those who would claim the name and yet only think about Him on Sunday are no Christians at all. The Bible and who God is determine absolutely EVERYTHING in my life, and therefore, because God IS Sovereign, He IS in charge of it all, we know that it is God who gives life when a woman conceives, and because of this, we know that He does want that life to be in this world until He decides otherwise. The point is, because it is God who has given the life, and it is God who determines the value of life, and we know from the Bible the permissible ways to end life, we know that abortion is not one of those ways, and it is murder. I’m praying for everyone, and I pray that everyone who does not know God will come to know Him, because He is the only thing that truly matters. God bless.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Ard/646302001 Mark Ard

        Well, they’re called fundamental differences for a reason. As I say to most fellow Christians on this matter, we do hold the same personal values, but just different views as to the role of society. And that’s fine because the public forum and the rule of law allow this discussion and others of its magnitude to never be closed. God bless indeed.

        • Adam Dean

          Well said, thank you for your time. :)

          • Anonymous

            Surprise! For atheists your reasoning is balderdash. Keep your religious beliefs to yourself. Keep your Bible and your god off my rights as a citizen of the United States. Our founding fathers feared religion dictating our laws and that is why they separated church and state.

    • Anonymous

      I also read the paper by JJT and have many of the concerns that Adam Dean in his reply captured. I would not be quite so complimentary about the article as he was though.

      Sir, no offense, but you should probably think a little more critically about your instructors in your ethics program and seek out contrary voices just to get a little broader perspective. There is a lot to be desired in any program that puts JJT’s article forward as a voice of reason.

  • http://twitter.com/Hootsbudy John Ballard

    This argument will continue until enough people stop conflating morality and legality.

    After a decade of war the US is opening discussions with the Taliban, another outfit that cannot discern the difference, convinced that morality trumps law.

    • Adam Dean

      Well, my friend, morality does indeed trump HUMAN law. God has told us that “We ought to obey God rather than man”. Now, first, before anyone jumps on me about that quote, God was not giving us license to do whatever we want in the name of God. He says we ought to obey GOD rather than man, therefore, whenever man’s law conflicts God’s law we obey God, not man.

      Now, you’re using a rather common argument tactic called Red Herring, you introduce a seemingly related yet nonetheless off-topic point that you know we all dislike, and then you make an Appeal To Emotion (another logical argument) and try to persuade us that we are wrong because it is like that, and clearly, they are wrong.

      To move on and help you understand, morality (or lack of it) is what makes law. Contrary to your statement, the two are already intertwined and cannot be pulled apart entirely. We all believe in a higher standard of law, (yes, you do, if you don’t believe me, answer this: Have you ever made a statement or had a feeling about the way someone *ought* to have acted? Then you believe in a higher authority), and therefore, we believe that morality is supposed to be the basis of our law. Read the comments of mine below for more clarity about what morality is and how we apply it.

  • Adam Dean

    Did you intend to post that twice? It’s the same paper… :) The main problem with her, though, I would like to point out, is that she’s actually not willing to treat the fetus as a human. She goes through all these logical twists and turns just so she can end up where she wants, which is that she wants abortion to be permissible in some cases where she feels like a tragedy has happened and therefore this outweighs the murder of the unborn. I wonder if she would feel the same if it were her own child…. I wonder, would she be as ok with abortion if she had been aborted and could tell us how that makes her feel? Also, she understands nothing about the Good Samaritan or how we read and understand the Bible. Her confusion is abundant and thus, she ends up believing all sorts of ridiculous things that are simply wrong.

  • http://twitter.com/Hootsbudy John Ballard

    Mr. Dean, having read your previous responses in this thread I have no illusions about changing your mind so I will not try. But before you presume to help me understand morality you should know more about me than you do. I was reared Christian. My mother’s father was a Presbyterian minister, I was brought up as a Southern Baptist and became Episcopalian as an adult, My wife and I have both served on Walk to Emmaus (Cursillo) weekends and in recent years have had close association with both the Charismatic renewal and the Convergence Movement.

    Having been brought up in the South, however, I have seen the contradictions of faith and law up close and personal. Those of us spoon-fed racism from childhood truly believed that integration was anathema to God’s will. My parents were dismayed when I became active in the civil rights movement and got evicted from my apartment in college for picketing a segregated restaurant, but by then my understanding of faith had taken a new direction. Like many children of the Sixties I also had serious misgivings about the Vietnam conflict, the nuclear arms race and a laundry list of issues that by now is old news. The touchstones of my faith included the Amish, Koinonia Community and the Catholic Worker and I was drafted and served two years in the Army Medical Service Corps as a Conscious Objector.

    My point is not to blow a trumpet but to let you know that there can be legitimate disagreements among people of faith about many issues including this one. Personally I find abortion to be both morally reprehensible and sub-Christian. I feel the same way about capital punishment and excusing “collateral damage” that takes the lives of non-combatants during war as well as the “peacetime” casualties caused by landmines and still-dangerous ordnance left over when combat comes to an end. (I once helped x-ray a Korean child about seven years old injured by a left-over shell from the conflict there.) The list of ongoing evils can be very long indeed.

    That said, my understanding of the faith is that we come to it by way of free will. As a Christian my mission is to persuade, discuss and lead by example. I draw the line, however, at criminalizing the issue even further than it has already been criminalized. I see the role of a concerned Christian as being the voice of reason and reconciliation between conflicted extremes with a view of leading, not forcing, one side or the other to a truly moral place. I am in complete agreement with the author when he says “I am personally against abortion. My wife would not abort a fetus unless
    her life were in danger, and I would not have married her if she
    believed otherwise.”

    It is no mistake that he uses the word “viability” more than once. That language is lifted from the original Roe decision which basically sought to bring clarity to when legal constraints on abortion can legally be enacted. From a legal, civil standpoint the states (not the federal government, incidentally) have the final say, and viability is that point in a pregnancy after which the state can be argued to be protecting a future citizen and potential taxpayer. Prior to that the rights of the pregnant woman legally outweigh those of the unborn child. You and I may not either like or approve of that construction of the law, finding it immoral, but I, for one, am able to grasp the legal basis on which it rests. From where I stand as a Christian the abortion issue is alienating many people in need of the faith. There are more constructive methods than legal cudgels to lead people to Christ.

  • http://twitter.com/Hootsbudy John Ballard

    Mr. Dean, having read your previous responses in this thread I have no illusions about changing your mind so I will not try. But before you presume to help me understand morality you should know more about me than you do. I was reared Christian. My mother’s father was a Presbyterian minister, I was brought up as a Southern Baptist and became Episcopalian as an adult, My wife and I have both served on Walk to Emmaus (Cursillo) weekends and in recent years have had close association with both the Charismatic renewal and the Convergence Movement.

    Having been brought up in the South, however, I have seen the contradictions of faith and law up close and personal. Those of us spoon-fed racism from childhood truly believed that integration was anathema to God’s will. My parents were dismayed when I became active in the civil rights movement and got evicted from my apartment in college for picketing a segregated restaurant, but by then my understanding of faith had taken a new direction. Like many children of the Sixties I also had serious misgivings about the Vietnam conflict, the nuclear arms race and a laundry list of issues that by now is old news. The touchstones of my faith included the Amish, Koinonia Community and the Catholic Worker and I was drafted and served two years in the Army Medical Service Corps as a Conscious Objector.

    My point is not to blow a trumpet but to let you know that there can be legitimate disagreements among people of faith about many issues including this one. Personally I find abortion to be both morally reprehensible and sub-Christian. I feel the same way about capital punishment and excusing “collateral damage” that takes the lives of non-combatants during war as well as the “peacetime” casualties caused by landmines and still-dangerous ordnance left over when combat comes to an end. (I once helped x-ray a Korean child about seven years old injured by a left-over shell from the conflict there.) The list of ongoing evils can be very long indeed.

    That said, my understanding of the faith is that we come to it by way of free will. As a Christian my mission is to persuade, discuss and lead by example. I draw the line, however, at criminalizing the issue even further than it has already been criminalized. I see the role of a concerned Christian as being the voice of reason and reconciliation between conflicted extremes with a view of leading, not forcing, one side or the other to a truly moral place. I am in complete agreement with the author when he says “I am personally against abortion. My wife would not abort a fetus unless
    her life were in danger, and I would not have married her if she
    believed otherwise.”

    It is no mistake that he uses the word “viability” more than once. That language is lifted from the original Roe decision which basically sought to bring clarity to when legal constraints on abortion can legally be enacted. From a legal, civil standpoint the states (not the federal government, incidentally) have the final say, and viability is that point in a pregnancy after which the state can be argued to be protecting a future citizen and potential taxpayer. Prior to that the rights of the pregnant woman legally outweigh those of the unborn child. You and I may not either like or approve of that construction of the law, finding it immoral, but I, for one, am able to grasp the legal basis on which it rests. From where I stand as a Christian the abortion issue is alienating many people in need of the faith. There are more constructive methods than legal cudgels to lead people to Christ.

  • Anonymous

    As a mother and grandmother I find it hard to comprehend that a mother wants to kill her baby, that’s what it is.. a baby…not any other name, a baby…not a growth..not a cancer.. a baby.  Most are formed before the mother knows she is pregnant.  It is not going to grow into a carrot. It is another human being.  In the uk when the abortion law was imposed it was said never would there be abortion on demand, it was only for the mental or physical health of the mohter. That has now become abortion on demand.  Apart from killing a child, there is very often emotional trauma on the mother afterwards that goes on for life.  Especially if she for some reason is unable to have another child.  Can we walk up to a baby in a pram and kill it..no..but because the baby is small and in the womb it is ok to kill it? No.   ‘It’s my body and I say what happens to it?  Well having sex unprotected will possibly lead to pregnancy…say no to the sex act without protection.  Once a woman is pregnant she is carrying the most wonderful thing in the world..another life.  Who knows what that person may become.A most wonderful precious gift…another life.  Society should be ready and willing to help mothers who may face financial hardship or other problems.  Its too easy to say get rid of the problem.  I guess at 67 as I now am it won’t be long before someone says get rid of me I am a burden to society.  So poorly do we value life these days.
    My mother had me in 1944, a 5th child during a horrible war..I am so glad she didn’t abort me because it was inconvenient to have a child then. Where has love of fellow humans gone?

  • Anonymous

    As a mother and grandmother I find it hard to comprehend that a mother wants to kill her baby, that’s what it is.. a baby…not any other name, a baby…not a growth..not a cancer.. a baby.  Most are formed before the mother knows she is pregnant.  It is not going to grow into a carrot. It is another human being.  In the uk when the abortion law was imposed it was said never would there be abortion on demand, it was only for the mental or physical health of the mohter. That has now become abortion on demand.  Apart from killing a child, there is very often emotional trauma on the mother afterwards that goes on for life.  Especially if she for some reason is unable to have another child.  Can we walk up to a baby in a pram and kill it..no..but because the baby is small and in the womb it is ok to kill it? No.   ‘It’s my body and I say what happens to it?  Well having sex unprotected will possibly lead to pregnancy…say no to the sex act without protection.  Once a woman is pregnant she is carrying the most wonderful thing in the world..another life.  Who knows what that person may become.A most wonderful precious gift…another life.  Society should be ready and willing to help mothers who may face financial hardship or other problems.  Its too easy to say get rid of the problem.  I guess at 67 as I now am it won’t be long before someone says get rid of me I am a burden to society.  So poorly do we value life these days.
    My mother had me in 1944, a 5th child during a horrible war..I am so glad she didn’t abort me because it was inconvenient to have a child then. Where has love of fellow humans gone?

  • Anonymous

    As a mother and grandmother I find it hard to comprehend that a mother wants to kill her baby, that’s what it is.. a baby…not any other name, a baby…not a growth..not a cancer.. a baby.  Most are formed before the mother knows she is pregnant.  It is not going to grow into a carrot. It is another human being.  In the uk when the abortion law was imposed it was said never would there be abortion on demand, it was only for the mental or physical health of the mohter. That has now become abortion on demand.  Apart from killing a child, there is very often emotional trauma on the mother afterwards that goes on for life.  Especially if she for some reason is unable to have another child.  Can we walk up to a baby in a pram and kill it..no..but because the baby is small and in the womb it is ok to kill it? No.   ‘It’s my body and I say what happens to it?  Well having sex unprotected will possibly lead to pregnancy…say no to the sex act without protection.  Once a woman is pregnant she is carrying the most wonderful thing in the world..another life.  Who knows what that person may become.A most wonderful precious gift…another life.  Society should be ready and willing to help mothers who may face financial hardship or other problems.  Its too easy to say get rid of the problem.  I guess at 67 as I now am it won’t be long before someone says get rid of me I am a burden to society.  So poorly do we value life these days.
    My mother had me in 1944, a 5th child during a horrible war..I am so glad she didn’t abort me because it was inconvenient to have a child then. Where has love of fellow humans gone?

  • Anonymous

    As a mother and grandmother I find it hard to comprehend that a mother wants to kill her baby, that’s what it is.. a baby…not any other name, a baby…not a growth..not a cancer.. a baby.  Most are formed before the mother knows she is pregnant.  It is not going to grow into a carrot. It is another human being.  In the uk when the abortion law was imposed it was said never would there be abortion on demand, it was only for the mental or physical health of the mohter. That has now become abortion on demand.  Apart from killing a child, there is very often emotional trauma on the mother afterwards that goes on for life.  Especially if she for some reason is unable to have another child.  Can we walk up to a baby in a pram and kill it..no..but because the baby is small and in the womb it is ok to kill it? No.   ‘It’s my body and I say what happens to it?  Well having sex unprotected will possibly lead to pregnancy…say no to the sex act without protection.  Once a woman is pregnant she is carrying the most wonderful thing in the world..another life.  Who knows what that person may become.A most wonderful precious gift…another life.  Society should be ready and willing to help mothers who may face financial hardship or other problems.  Its too easy to say get rid of the problem.  I guess at 67 as I now am it won’t be long before someone says get rid of me I am a burden to society.  So poorly do we value life these days.
    My mother had me in 1944, a 5th child during a horrible war..I am so glad she didn’t abort me because it was inconvenient to have a child then. Where has love of fellow humans gone?

  • Anonymous

    As a mother and grandmother I find it hard to comprehend that a mother wants to kill her baby, that’s what it is.. a baby…not any other name, a baby…not a growth..not a cancer.. a baby.  Most are formed before the mother knows she is pregnant.  It is not going to grow into a carrot. It is another human being.  In the uk when the abortion law was imposed it was said never would there be abortion on demand, it was only for the mental or physical health of the mohter. That has now become abortion on demand.  Apart from killing a child, there is very often emotional trauma on the mother afterwards that goes on for life.  Especially if she for some reason is unable to have another child.  Can we walk up to a baby in a pram and kill it..no..but because the baby is small and in the womb it is ok to kill it? No.   ‘It’s my body and I say what happens to it?  Well having sex unprotected will possibly lead to pregnancy…say no to the sex act without protection.  Once a woman is pregnant she is carrying the most wonderful thing in the world..another life.  Who knows what that person may become.A most wonderful precious gift…another life.  Society should be ready and willing to help mothers who may face financial hardship or other problems.  Its too easy to say get rid of the problem.  I guess at 67 as I now am it won’t be long before someone says get rid of me I am a burden to society.  So poorly do we value life these days.
    My mother had me in 1944, a 5th child during a horrible war..I am so glad she didn’t abort me because it was inconvenient to have a child then. Where has love of fellow humans gone?

    • Anonymous

      No, it is not a baby and my own mother would support and did support my decision to have an abortion. Her own child took precedence over any other entity including an unwanted parasite that could kill her precious child. I feel the same way. There is nothing and no one more precious to me than the existing person. No “potential” would ever take the place of this existing one. I was a “well-thought out” child born during “dificult times”. I wouldn’t blame my parents one bit for not having me because I wouldn’t have been here to care. I would not have been sentient! Do not try to guilt people into believing your opinion, for that is all it really is. You are not me.You do not live our lives.

    • Anonymous

      You’ve said it yourself. It’s hard to comprehend that a mother wants to kill her baby. Do you really think all the women who have abortions are capable of murder? And murdering their own children no less? No. They know, instinctively, that it’s not murder because it’s not a person yet. Do you doubt there are millions of impoverished women who feel relief at the news of an early-term miscarriage? Are they, too, murderous souls? Where do we draw the line?

      • Anonymous

        Every single one of us is capable of murder under a certain set of circumstances. We are all flawed and react to all sorts of things in different ways. I know personally people who have murdered a wife and they were respected people ..’would never hurt a fly’ etc.. One was a surgeon who had saved countless lives..a gynaecologist! We have to constantly review our behaviour and consciences to live as we should…helping others and not selfishly. If mothers are hoodwinked into believing that their babies are not babies then that leads to getting rid of unwanted pregnancies. Incidentally the definition of a fetus is..(from Wikipedia)…The word foetus (pluralfoetuses) is from the Latin foētus(“offspring”, “bringing forth”, “hatching of young”).[3]It has Indo-European roots related to sucking or suckling, from the Aryanprefix bheu-, meaning “To come into being”.[4]Not a parasite a baby… I wonder how little Samuel is who was operated on in the womb in 1999 to repair a spina bifida. Wikipedia only mentions him to 3 yrs old. He must be 12 now.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a pro-choice, former labor and delivery and nurse and there are two things that have always bothered me about this issue.

    1) Many people lose sight of the fact that if you don’t have a functioning maternal environment, you may not have a baby to worry about. Where I used to work, the Emergency Department left skid marks trying to get pregnant women up to L&D, because all they saw was the belly. The case that stands out is a lady who was 32 weeks pregnant (the ED had given us a vague description of her complaint). The first words out of her mouth were, “I’m having an asthma attack.” I listened to her lungs, and guess what? She was having an asthma attack. If momma can’t breathe, baby can’t breathe. I called the ED charge nurse and got her fast tracked to the back. After she had a couple of treatments, she came back to us for further evaluation and was sent home.

    2) This is just an informal observation but I think there’s a degree of racism involved. It seems to me that many of the anti-choice groups (remember, they also want to take away our access to contraception) are headed by white men and the clinics they choose to protest at have a primarily white client base. They don’t seem all that concerned about clinics whose clients are primarily women of color.

    • AuthenticBioethics

      The abortion industry targets minorities. This map of abortion rates by neighborhood in NYC shows that minority neighborhoods have a much higher abortion rate. http://nyc41percent.com/

      I do not have statistics about the gender breakdown in the pro-life movement nor the neighborhood clinics they target. But in my state, the state right-to-life organization has nothing but women in its leadership.

  • Anonymous

    I am pro-choice and it is a fetus until it is born. I believe that if you are opposed to abortions then don’t have one, but do not foist your religion and/or beliefs on someone else. Funny how many anti-choice people are pro execution of prisoners and have no trouble with the killing that happens during war. Women will be second class citizens if we cannot control our own bodies. Medical abortions are safe and should be a matter between the woman and her physician. To have fewer abortions make contraception free and readily available including the morning after pill or plan B without prescription. Fewer unwanted pregnancies mean fewer abortions. Sex is as natural as breathing and people will have unprotected sex not because they are evil or stupid but because they are caught up in the moment. “Ye without sin cast the first stone.”

    • Anonymous

      How sad I am that you lost your baby for that’s what it was
      and society needs to know that you grieve for a lost child.  I do hope in time your grief will ease.

      The issue is not medical or mental health problems in
      pregnancy for if there is a medical problem in pregnancy that would endanger
      the mother’s life, then it would also mean the child is unlikely to
      survive.  In these sad cases it is the
      doctor and the parents who have to make decisions about continuing the
      pregnancy.    I am a retired Macmillan
      Nurse and in the UK.  I used to care for the
      terminally ill and some women would be found to have advanced aggressive cancer
      of the cervix when presenting for their first appointment and examination.   In those cases the woman’s body could not
      sustain any pregnancy and the mothers died before they would have come to term.

      Those mothers grieved for their lost babies even though they
      knew they were to lose their own lives soon.

      The issue is the
      killing of a child merely because it is not wanted.

      If we make our thoughts known publicly then anyone has the
      right to comment and I state the belief of countless billions of not only Christians
      but other religions and none, over the centuries.

      I express the opinion of Jesus Christ our Lord.

      The 5th Commandment is …thou shalt not kill.

      THE DIDACHE APOSTOLORUM (90 A.D.):
      “You shall not kill by abortion the fruit of the womb and you shall
      not murder the infant already born.”

      That is but one of thousands of comments ..note the year..

      We don’t kill those guilty of murder ..well in the UK we don’t, but the
      innocent unborn are killed.

      A baby it is!  Not a
      parasite.  Planting daffodil bulbs in the
      garden one does not say I have planted bulbs..one says I have planted daffodils
      for that is what they are. 
      A foetus is merely a medical description of the baby in its early formation.

      No one says I am pregnant with a foetus (UK spelling), Everyone
      says I am expecting a baby and if there is a miscarriage the mother is
      grief-stricken and this distress often remains for years into old age.  I was the 5th child born in a
      World war at a time when everyone was poor, bombs were falling daily yet my
      mother at 42 years old was desperate to make sure I survived.   She
      had had several miscarriages and always wondered what each child would have
      been.  My own daughter’s first baby died
      because of a problem at birth and though she has another child she grieves for
      that precious lost life, as do we all..
      Pretending something is not human when it clearly is denies a fundamental fact
      and is an effort to justify the unjustifiable.   

       

       

      • Anonymous

        You expressed your religious beliefs and my response is then do not have an abortion. I do not believe in your god or any god and I do not see things the same way as you do. In the United States we have separation of church and state so you can believe anything you want to as long as you do not impose your religious beliefs on others. Personally I prefer contraception to abortion, but feel that it is up to the individual woman to determine if she wants a pregnancy or not. I also am a pacifist and oppose capital punishment. I am a firm believer in protecting life after birth including even those with whom I am in conflict with. The women that you speak of with advanced cervical cancer were grieving because they wanted to have the pregnancy continue to term and have a baby. Not the same as a woman raped or pregnant do to incest or a woman who doesn’t want to be pregnant; it was a bad analogy.
        Again, if you are opposed to abortion than don’t have one, but do not impose your religious beliefs on others.

        • Anonymous

          You oppose capital punishment..except for innocent babies. A baby is a baby not a religious belief.   It is often the case that women say they don’t want a baby didn’t plan for it but when the baby arrives it brings its love with it.  I have heard this so many times over the years since I had my first baby.  I will end the correspondence now as we totally differ and I will just pray for you.  God believes in you even if you don’t believe in him. God bless you. 

          • Anonymous

            Sorry but that is only your opinion and not a medical or legal fact. Please keep your prayers to yourself. I don’t believe in an invisible friend that you can confide in. There is no god so you are wasting your time. How does it feel to have my beliefs rammed down your throat?

          • Guest

            Actually i don’t mind you stating your non belief.
            free speech allows you to state what you believe. The fact that you are getting angry shows that perhaps you don’t beleieve all you say. But research erad the bible and other books..history books on many of the religions and you may learn to be more understanding. if millions of people over thousands of years beleiev in God, why should you be right and they wrong? Sorry my prayers are already being said for you, I have the freedom to pray for whom I wish. Jesus said ‘don’t worry if the world hates you, it hated me first and you are not of this world.’ So I am accepting of your derision. God bless and goodbye.

          • Anonymous

            There is a difference between belief and fact. Abortion is legal and safe. I am not angry just tired of religion being forced on others who do not believe that specific religion. Our founding fathers were very aware of the damage done by religion when it is codified in government and gave us freedom or and from religion. All of your beliefs don’t change that. I think you are the angry one, because you are so self righteous about your beliefs.

      • Marilyn Pearson

        How on earth do you presume to express the opinion of Jesus Christ our Lord. Nothing in the Bible was recorded until at least 30+ years after his death. At the very least what is written is what people thought of what He would have said.

        I appreciate your caring for the grief of a pregnant woman over her loss at a miscarriage; that is quite different from the grief of a woman who has been impregnated as the result of a rape or incest. It is also different from the grief of a woman who faces a Hobson’s choice – lose her own life or lose her fetus; sounds glib, right, except she’s got 2 or 3 kids at home already and no one else to raise them; or a husband who works really hard and can’t be both mom and dad if she dies in childbirth. And, gee, the Church told them they couldn’t use the Pill. Or they did and it didn’t work. Or the condom broke.

        It really isn’t quite as simple as … I had sex and I just don’t want the baby so, WTF, I’ll have an abortion. A little compassion goes a long way.

    • http://profiles.google.com/reesie22 Reesie 22

      Fetus is Greek for “baby”. Who are you to decide that other human beings be killed?

      • Anonymous

        In medical terms it is not the same as a live
        born baby. Do you support war? Even a so called just war? Do you support
        capital punishment? Even a murderer? Who are you to decide that other human
        beings be killed? A fetus is medically and legally in the United States not a
        baby and not equivalent to a human being.

  • Doug Capra

    “A fetus becomes a human being when it is no longer attached to the mother.”
    Setting aside the debate, what’s right and wrong, what’s moral or immoral, the above is a remarkable statement. Might I assume the author has some quantitive evidence to support that as a fact? Can I assume the author has some “absolute” definition of a human being?
    If the author can support that statement, that assertion, with evidence, please do so to enlighten us all. This issue can be debated with all kinds of opinions, but if there are definite facts to back that statement up, let’s have them.

    • Anonymous

      It’s the technical definition. You’re not a human being until you’re born, plain and simple. It’s like, you can’t kill a caterpillar and say you killed a butterfly. You killed the thing that would have turned into a butterfly, but the butterfly technically never existed in the first place. So you can’t give the caterpillar the same civil rights you’d give to a butterfly. At least not in a butterfly-governed society.

      • http://www.facebook.com/beverly.nuckols Beverly Nuckols

        In fact, the Endangered Species laws would protect the caterpillar if the species is on the list as endangered. Break the egg of a bird on the endangered species list – or cause the miscarriage of a mammal on that list – and it won’t matter whether the embryo or fetus was “viable.”  We recognize the species as minimum criteria for butterflies http://www.prairiefrontier.com/pages/butterflies/endangered.html , why not Homo sapiens?

      • Anonymous

        It does not follow that in butterfly nation civil rights would not be granted to caterpillars. There is also a difference between natural rights and civil rights. In other words, a natural right like the right to life is something prior to any law, whereas a civil right like the right to vote is conferred and restricted vis-a-vis the ability to exercise the right. So, in butterfly country it is conceivable that the right to life of a butterfly be recognized (for it cannot be granted in the proper sense) also of caterpillars, but not the right to fly freely.

        Also, there is no ontological change–one organism that is the caterpillar continues to exist through the development process. And you can say this is a monarch caterpillar as well as a monarch butterfly. A human baby is not an adult. But to say it’s not a human requires a little more support than the mere assertion. Actually, it is way more “plain and simple” to see that a baby prior to birth is no different from a baby after birth, except for its location, and that conception is the origin of a new and unique human individual. Denial of the name “human being” prior to birth appears arbitrary and legislative rather than an attempt at an accurate description of the thing in the womb.

  • Anonymous

    When you use the term “pro life”, defining it as absolutely no abortion, that is a mischaracterization.  What about the pregnant woman’s life in the “absolutely no abortion” scenario?   Who advocates/cares for her life?   Who is pro woman’s life?  

    • Anonymous

      I am….

    • jessienobot

      One cannot advocate one live over another. Our goal must be to protect all life to the best of our abilities, the baby’s and the mother’s. Babies do die by no willful fault of the mothers, mothers can die to by no willful fault of the baby. Yes, their connection can be life threatening but that doesn’t make it our place to determine who lives.

      • Anonymous

        May you never be raped and pregnant from the rape.

      • Anonymous

        You are not talking from real world experience where terminating a pregnancy can save the mother’s life. Those instances do occur in the real world. 

  • saireygamp62

    I fully agree, that abortion is something to be held to the extreme situations.  I would not pursue that option myself.  However, those who would eliminate all abortions, need to step  up to the plate offering to pay medical, and wage loss and all other expenses related to an unwanted pregnancy.  They also need to teach their sons sexual responsibility.  Generally when there is an unwanted pregnancy, they entire burden falls on the woman.  She is not alone in responsibility for pregnancy prevention. 

     A group of inner city girls in high school a number of years ago were approaching 45% pregnancy, and many were dropping out.  A CEO of a hospital there, alarmed at the lost potential among the girls, met with school officials and the girls themselves.  Seems the boys had frozen out all who were inactive sexually, in terms of dating, hanging out etc. The girls felt ostracized because they were not sexually active.  With a little help, the girls came up with their own solution when the CEO asked them about all saying no or other collective action.  After sometime to think about it, the girls came up with the mantra”  “No Glove, No Love” and pregnancy rates crashed. 

    Abstinence in kids is preferable until they are older, but the reality is we will not change what is happening with out greater parental involvement.  So prevention  for kids and adults should be the focus.  Even adult women could learn to say:  No Glove, No Love, and the unwanted pregnancy rates and STD’s could be dramatiically reduced.

    This discussion always deteriorates in other areas to pro life, pro choice, if both sides joined together without advocating their position, and focused on prevention, neither would have to remain in existence.  The anger and  hatred for each other, the attempt to control each other and to legislate pregnancy management, doomed to failure and continued escalation of differences.  Why not try something new?

  • saireygamp62

    I fully agree, that abortion is something to be held to the extreme situations.  I would not pursue that option myself.  However, those who would eliminate all abortions, need to step  up to the plate offering to pay medical, and wage loss and all other expenses related to an unwanted pregnancy.  They also need to teach their sons sexual responsibility.  Generally when there is an unwanted pregnancy, they entire burden falls on the woman.  She is not alone in responsibility for pregnancy prevention. 

     A group of inner city girls in high school a number of years ago were approaching 45% pregnancy, and many were dropping out.  A CEO of a hospital there, alarmed at the lost potential among the girls, met with school officials and the girls themselves.  Seems the boys had frozen out all who were inactive sexually, in terms of dating, hanging out etc. The girls felt ostracized because they were not sexually active.  With a little help, the girls came up with their own solution when the CEO asked them about all saying no or other collective action.  After sometime to think about it, the girls came up with the mantra”  “No Glove, No Love” and pregnancy rates crashed. 

    Abstinence in kids is preferable until they are older, but the reality is we will not change what is happening with out greater parental involvement.  So prevention  for kids and adults should be the focus.  Even adult women could learn to say:  No Glove, No Love, and the unwanted pregnancy rates and STD’s could be dramatiically reduced.

    This discussion always deteriorates in other areas to pro life, pro choice, if both sides joined together without advocating their position, and focused on prevention, neither would have to remain in existence.  The anger and  hatred for each other, the attempt to control each other and to legislate pregnancy management, doomed to failure and continued escalation of differences.  Why not try something new?

  • saireygamp62

    I fully agree, that abortion is something to be held to the extreme situations.  I would not pursue that option myself.  However, those who would eliminate all abortions, need to step  up to the plate offering to pay medical, and wage loss and all other expenses related to an unwanted pregnancy.  They also need to teach their sons sexual responsibility.  Generally when there is an unwanted pregnancy, they entire burden falls on the woman.  She is not alone in responsibility for pregnancy prevention. 

     A group of inner city girls in high school a number of years ago were approaching 45% pregnancy, and many were dropping out.  A CEO of a hospital there, alarmed at the lost potential among the girls, met with school officials and the girls themselves.  Seems the boys had frozen out all who were inactive sexually, in terms of dating, hanging out etc. The girls felt ostracized because they were not sexually active.  With a little help, the girls came up with their own solution when the CEO asked them about all saying no or other collective action.  After sometime to think about it, the girls came up with the mantra”  “No Glove, No Love” and pregnancy rates crashed. 

    Abstinence in kids is preferable until they are older, but the reality is we will not change what is happening with out greater parental involvement.  So prevention  for kids and adults should be the focus.  Even adult women could learn to say:  No Glove, No Love, and the unwanted pregnancy rates and STD’s could be dramatiically reduced.

    This discussion always deteriorates in other areas to pro life, pro choice, if both sides joined together without advocating their position, and focused on prevention, neither would have to remain in existence.  The anger and  hatred for each other, the attempt to control each other and to legislate pregnancy management, doomed to failure and continued escalation of differences.  Why not try something new?

  • saireygamp62

    I fully agree, that abortion is something to be held to the extreme situations.  I would not pursue that option myself.  However, those who would eliminate all abortions, need to step  up to the plate offering to pay medical, and wage loss and all other expenses related to an unwanted pregnancy.  They also need to teach their sons sexual responsibility.  Generally when there is an unwanted pregnancy, they entire burden falls on the woman.  She is not alone in responsibility for pregnancy prevention. 

     A group of inner city girls in high school a number of years ago were approaching 45% pregnancy, and many were dropping out.  A CEO of a hospital there, alarmed at the lost potential among the girls, met with school officials and the girls themselves.  Seems the boys had frozen out all who were inactive sexually, in terms of dating, hanging out etc. The girls felt ostracized because they were not sexually active.  With a little help, the girls came up with their own solution when the CEO asked them about all saying no or other collective action.  After sometime to think about it, the girls came up with the mantra”  “No Glove, No Love” and pregnancy rates crashed. 

    Abstinence in kids is preferable until they are older, but the reality is we will not change what is happening with out greater parental involvement.  So prevention  for kids and adults should be the focus.  Even adult women could learn to say:  No Glove, No Love, and the unwanted pregnancy rates and STD’s could be dramatiically reduced.

    This discussion always deteriorates in other areas to pro life, pro choice, if both sides joined together without advocating their position, and focused on prevention, neither would have to remain in existence.  The anger and  hatred for each other, the attempt to control each other and to legislate pregnancy management, doomed to failure and continued escalation of differences.  Why not try something new?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MU5AIPS5AAP6SRJTQTGTNMI35Q havefaith

      Agree!
      Also, remember nothing is full proof protection.  If a pregnancy occurs from failure of the device or medicaions used, I believe a women should have the legal right to an abortion and NOT be forced into a pregnancy and birth of an unwanted child.

      • jessienobot

        I can’t understand why one has to have sex if one is not ready to have children! This is the height of selfishness of those involved… wanting to enjoy each other’s body but not wanting anything thing to do with each other either… almost sounds like hatred to me. In the end we kill humanity because we don’t want to conceive it… “device or medications”!!

        • Anonymous

          Hmmm, then why is sex so enjoyable…to make us want to procreate? I guess at 68 and post child bearing age, I should give up sex…..and that means all of you older guys too.

          • Jeanine Pisciotta

            Molly, you gave me a good laugh, you go girl!!!! . 

    • http://www.facebook.com/beverly.nuckols Beverly Nuckols

      I’m against family violence, but there’s no ethical or legal justification for allowing family violence if I don’t want to support – much less marry or adopt – every woman, man, and child who is a victim.

  • Michael Boyes

    So there is a lot of debate here. That’s a wonderful thing. The one matter that I have not seen discussed is the fallacy that we ought not impose our view of morality on others. A view of morality is, in  fact, what criminal law and much of civil law is based upon.  It is what holds society’s together.  Law is codified morality.  This is basic political science and sociology. 

    I have never heard anyone say, well I don’t steal and I wouldn’t advocate it, but who am I to tell a person what she should do with her own hands. Or I don’t personally believe that it is okay to assault someone, but I won’t impose that belief on the man who is beating my kid.

    If you wouldn’t impose your view of abortion on someone, then you simply do not believe it is wrong.

    Western society is falling apart because it is trying to separate its laws from morality and  religious ties. When this happens there can be no consensus, no agreement to follow a moral code.  In this scenario some (many) fall back on saying, I will not impose my morality on you.  So in the end their is no morality, not agreement about what is right and wrong. And when wrong is not punished, people get the message that it must be right.  So wrong becomes right, and right becomes wrong.

    We are obliged to impose morality on others.  What’s more, we do it all the time (still).  So those who use this argument regarding abortion are being duplicitous – whether they realize it or not.

    BTW, our friends second child was born at 21 weeks. She fit in less than the father’s hand.  Faith is now not 7 years old and is thriving, intelligent kid – with a a few minor medical issues  (like many of us).  How many Faiths were snuffed out because they were not yet people.  Other children I know were pulled from their mother’s uterus – and sat upon their bellies before their umbilical cord was cut. Were they children as they lay on their mother or not.  Were my daughter not my live children before I snipped their cords.

    The reasoning fails me… and when I see failing reason I look for the irrational thinking or fear behind it.

    What is the fear?

    • Anonymous

      Just because reasoning fails you doesn’t mean it isn’t perfectly valid. You simply do not understand it. 

      You can’t impose your morality on others when it does nothing to protect the greater good, that is to safeguard against one person committing a violation (murder, theft, rape, assault etc.) against another person. 

      Therefore, the issue is not “Western society falling apart because it is trying to separate its laws from morality.” The issue is (and always has been) whether or not a fetus is a person. It is an issue of belief, not a definable fact. Just because YOU believe a fetus is a person doesn’t mean it is one, and to force that belief upon others (especially at the sacrifice of the mother’s rights) is just plain wrong.And let’s not even discuss how many “Faiths were snuffed out because they were not yet people”–let’s instead discuss the millions upon millions of “Faiths” who WERE born into an unbelievably overpopulated world that has no place for them. The “Faiths” whose ”morally-righteous”-but-not-so-financially-physically-or-emotionally-well-equipped-as-you mothers were unable to provide even the most basic support for their offspring. Or perhaps we can address how many (exponentially) more millions of “Faiths” were born to THOSE “Faiths”–and so on, and so on, and so on.

      Who are you to condemn millions to a life of poverty and hardship just because it suits your personal beliefs, unsupported by scientific fact or logic? You are taking a stand based on emotions alone–and, although you have every right to those emotions, they are not a basis for legislative action.

      • Anonymous

        Sorry but the reasoning fails. The human fetus is an objective reality with its own objective existence. What one believes about it is irrelevant. The question is, what is it? If it is not a living human individual, then what is it? All relevant data point to it being alive and human, so it is incumbent upon those who say it’s not a human being to offer some evidence of it.

        If we say some living humans are not persons, then we need objective criteria as to how and why that is. It cannot be because it’s convenient or advantageous, but because those humans we deem to be nonpersons are in fact, and not just in opinion, not persons.

        Lives hang in the balance. It has to come down to more than beliefs. A fetus can’t be a person one minute, then not then next when the woman changes her mind, then becomes a person again if she changes her mind again. One fetus can’t be a person and another of the same gestational age a nonperson because of the choice of someone else.

        If the fetus is in reality a nonperson, for bona fide, objective, verifiable reasons, then there is no argument against abortion. So far, after decades of debate, all the pro-abortion side has been able to say is “you can’t force your beliefs on others.” And in saying it, they do what they prohibit.

        Adding “when it does nothing to protect the greater good” does not help because it depends on one’s beliefs about what the greater good is.

        • Anonymous

          “The human fetus is an objective reality with its own objective existence. What one believes about it is irrelevant.” -Interesting that literally the first thing you do is sweep under the rug the entire reason this issue is an issue.

          What I mean (and what I think we all mean) by “Do you believe a fetus a person?” is “At what point does the consciousness, or soul, enter the body? When does a human being become a person, with perception, perspective, emotion, logic and all the other things that distinguish us as individuals?”

          If you believe that it is at the moment of conception, then you likely believe that abortion is murder. If you believe, on the other hand, that it happens much farther down the road, like at birth, then there is no such moral risk involved. In this case, belief is everything, because science is (as of yet) incapable of collecting that data.

          In addition…

          “So far, after decades of debate, all the pro-abortion side has been able to say is “you can’t force your beliefs on others.”" -1. The label “pro-abortion” is inaccurate. I personally find it offensive. Are you “anti-civil-rights”? -2. Even if that were all they’d had to say, that’s all they need to say. Period. 3. They’ve had plenty more to say than that. You just choose not to listen.

          • Anonymous

            What is the difference between “a person” and “a human being”? Are you saying there are human beings that are non persons? No I am not anti-civil-rights, precisely because I hold (not “believe”) that there are no human non-persons. At any rate, if you deny knowing “when” a developing human being “becomes” a person, that is not a justification for abortion in the period of doubt. Science, which largely denies the existence of the soul, and which could not measure its presence even if it does exist (if being alive is not adequate evidence), is not a reliable source of guidance on this.

            Regarding your point 2), I disagree. When someone says, “you can’t force your belief on others,” it is a) violated by the person who says it and therefore b) it is self-contradictory and therefore logically absurd and c) the person who says it is basically claiming the right to force his/her beliefs on everyone else. With regard to abortion, those who support abortion rights, in saying this, forces all of society to accept their view. I cannot hold that a fetus is a person with rights because I must legally, constitutionally, and in terms of social politeness agree that someone else decides when a fetus becomes a person.

            Sorry for offending you, by the way. What term do you prefer? Pro-choice? I would think that term is less accurate even if you like it better. Still, sorry.

    • Anonymous

      Well said, thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Can you please explain the following term, complete, living woman.  would you include a disabled woman with a healthy procreation potential?  What do you mean by ethical law?  Is ethical law compatible with laws that regulate abortion?  Please elaborate on the unregulated practice of in vitro fertilization.  Is a fertilized oocyte that is not implanted, according to the medical knowledge of obstetrics, considered an abortion?

  • saireygamp62

    Yes, I did fail to note that a double birth control method is more likely to prevent accidental pregnancy but in the presences of casual sex, a condom is critical, as the barrier will also protect again std’s.  HPV the virus linked to cervical cancer is now the leading cause of new oral cancers, so protection , protection, protection,

    And it should not be lost on us, that the virus is not spread by women, so perhaps vaccines programs should also include boys

  • Jeanine Pisciotta

    Here it is, if men could get pregnant, no one would ever question abortions. They would just be.
    I may not agree with abortions as a personal choice, but when you take away the rights of women, you make them less than a man. And I do find it odd that more men debate over this then women do. Also have you ever seen an unwanted child in the ER, suffering from the injuries at the hands of people that didn’t want him in the first place? or ones that were DOA and went directly to the morgue? Think about that or better yet, take care of them. You may see that Roe vs. Wade was a “neccesary evil”.

    • Anonymous

      ummm… if men could get pregnant they’d be women, and then your argument goes back to square one… Also, as a man, I find the comment offensive and sexist.

      By the way, abortion makes women more exploitable by men. Men get rich performing abortions. Men can pressure their wives, daughters, mistresses, girlfriends, employers, etc., into getting abortions so they don’t have to care for the kid. A lot of women get abortions because they feel they have no choice. Ironic, but true. Abortion is an exploitive man’s best friend.

      …and so you’re saying it’s better if the kid is aborted before birth rather than after? It’s all the same thing. Peter Singer in Princeton (Chair of the Ethics Dept) says as much, he’s famous for advocating infanticide for the very same reasons as for abortion. Don’t you realize that abortion enables child abuse? If people look upon a baby as something that should have been aborted, they will have no compunction about mistreating her. The problem in both cases is the lack of love for the child, and that is the real problem, whether the abortion comes before birth or after.

      • Anonymous

        When men can get pregnant then you can comment. Men, if you are against abortions, then don’t have one. And leave us women alone with our choices over our own bodies.

        • Anonymous

          If the choice was only between you and  your own body then there would be no problem. Its not.

          • Anonymous

            If I do not have the right to control my own body than I am a slave.

          • Anonymous

            If you do not have the compassion to nurture the life inside you, then you are worse than a slave.

          • Anonymous

            What about the responsibilities of the “father” of the fetus? He seems to have no responsibilities and can do as he will. It takes two to tango.

      • Jeanine Pisciotta

        Thank You for pointing out the obvious, and as a woman my whole life, I believe my perspective is correct. I am also sorry you found my comment offensive but again it really goes back to being in someone else’s shoes. As much as you would like to see it through a woman’s eyes, you cannot.
        Most women I have met who have had abortions, did so because they chose to. And not because they were pressured to by anyone. Truth is women may lie to men about why they have had one, so they don’t look bad. Now the reasons vary, and some are related to the men in their lives, but a majority are decided by the woman alone.I have two teenagers, one 16 and one 19, and with my personal feelings about abortion aside, I wouldn’t want the right of my child to choose to be taken away. Again, I believe any law that takes away the rights of a woman is invalid. Yes, I might be one sided on this because of my DNA, but I am being logical too.

        I also pointed out that more men debate over this, and as you can see in this thread and your own references in your post, I am correct.

        In a perfect world, everybody would be loved, wanted and cared for, but that is not reality.
        Children who suffer over and over again at the hands of people who hate them is a far worse fate, then before they are ever out of the womb. You asked the question, I’ve seen it, and it kills my heart a million times, but this is the kind of world we live in.

        • Anonymous

          Would it matter if everything I’ve said about abortion is stuff I’ve heard my wife and daughters say and/or agree with? Take it from them, then, not from me.

          I hear what you’re saying about another person’s eyes, and I appreciate it.

          That said, though, honestly, your original comment and one from someone else below come off as just plain nasty–now, I am NOT saying you were, just that it is not unreasonable for someone to take it that way.

          Also, my wife and daughters would say that men are affected by abortion, too. Maybe you can try to see this issue through a man’s eyes.

          The man is the slave of the woman in this case. The man cannot (legally) force his choice on the woman, but she has autocratic power to force her choice on him. If she wants an abortion but he doesn’t, she can deprive him of a child whom he would love and care for. If she doesn’t want an abortion and he does, she can force him to pay child support against his will. Men have no say in this because they’re men? What about men’s First Amendment rights? Is the First Amendment, which specifically mentions the right to express oneself on any matter whatever — and that would include men speaking about abortion — to be invalidated by a circuitous legal machination to extend the constitution to abortion?

          Abortion affects men in other ways. In many countries, way more females are aborted, and there is now a generation where people of a certain age are more than 60% male (like in China). Millions of men are being deprived of wives because of the right to choose. Just google Canada sex selection.

          Either way, abortion does affect men, and right now men have no legal power in the matter whatsoever and now some people want us to shut up about it, too. Some people might think that’s the way it ought to be, but when seen through other people’s eyes, it’s totally unjust. And those who believe what the author of the main article says, that it’s wrong to push one’s morality on others, then you’ll leave men alone when they speak about abortion.

      • A Kazen

        These are excellent points, and I’m a woman. 

      • Anonymous

        If men wore little “rubber rain coats” in the first place, women wouldn’t get pregnant and there would be no need for abortions.

        • Anonymous

          I hear what you’re saying and it’s a good point. But another way to look at it is this: If abortion weren’t legal, and if the men knew they couldn’t pressure women into it, maybe they would. Abortion makes it possible to say, “So what if you get pregnant (you could always get an abortion).” And that rationale justifies not only “unprotected” sex, but sex to begin with.
          Another if… If men actually loved the women they were with… Another if… If women said No unless their men committed their whole lives to them… if if if…. Lots of if’s are possible. The most fundamental problem it seems to me is the reduction of others to mere toys in the area of intimacy.

          (Oh, and for the record… “rubber rain coats” will result in about 15% of couples using them getting pregnant unintentionally.)

          • Anonymous

            All forms of contraception can fail. All the more reason to keep abortions safe and available to all who need them.

    • Anonymous

      Why don’t those of you opposed to abortion adopt unwanted children? They deserve love and a home.

  • jessienobot

    I bet, Gale, that you haven’t realised that having sex is an OFFERING of oneself to reproduction! This, therefore, couldn’t apply to one being ‘forced’ to use “body or body parts AGAINST their will”. Instead, it is against the will of the fetus to live. I don’t see why unborn children should be punished for the recklessness of their parents.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beverly.nuckols Beverly Nuckols

    I appreciate that Dr Ard is trying to find the common ground between polar opposites. It is especially significant – and unique in these discussions – that he notes that the ending of the pregnancy for the mother shouldn’t mean that the child should be killed. I’m glad that he approaches the topic as one of conflicting rights.

    The rights in question are the right not to be killed or endangered of the child and the right to liberty and self-determination of the mother. The infringement would entail a restraint of action to prohibit (the use of State and Federally licensed personnel and devices in) the abortion  and permission to act in the commission of the abortion. The right to life trumps the right to liberty and it is more ethically and legally appropriate – and requires much less interference by laws and regulations – to prohibit an act than to determine when, how and under what circumstances a given act can be performed.

    Unfortunately, the purpose of most abortions – and the legal definition
    -  is to permit the mother to choose to enlist the aide of others to
    kill the child. The easy anti-abortion statement is that Mama will still
    be a mother after the abortion; it’s just that she’ll be the mother of a
    dead child. (G1,P0)

  • jessienobot

    I think, Mark, that you have to decide, as Cjask commented, whether it is bulbs you have planted or whether daffodils. You probably have to decide at what point your plants became daffodils.

  • Anonymous

    I would like to wholehearterdly thank everyone here who posted incisive and respectful comments-I actually learned something today and will think long and hard on them (especially some comments on bioethics and legal definitions).
     

  • LV

    Mark Ard, your wife’s beliefs about abortion could change and your opinion would mean nothing.  Abortion does happen in marriage and a father may never know about the pregnancy.  The effects of abortion on fathers are only beginning to be studied.

    http://www.menandabortion.info

  • Jeanine Pisciotta

    I’ve been reading all the comments and this article has sure stirred up some very valid opinions. Most pregnancies are miscarried before a woman even knows she’s pregnant, and most abortions happen before 8 weeks. I think what most people have issue with is “late term” ones. Years ago, MD’s performed D&C’s for bleeding, or “other female” problems without being specific as to why it was done. Maybe as I get older I just like burying my head in the sand and don’t like things spelled out for me.

  • Anonymous

    Men:  Man up.  State what’s right.  Don’t compromise.  You know a baby is a baby no matter the size or the location.  In the womb, in the crib, tiny or large - human life is human life. 

    Women:  Get over the idea that you want to be as “free” as men.  You are different.  You can nurture and nourish human life inside your body.  Don’t treat that gift like trash.  Glory in it.  You can do what no man can do!

    • Anonymous

      I hope this was tongue in cheek. Otherwise
      it is nonsense.

  • Anonymous

    Mostly I just have observations …..

    What is Mr Ard using to establish right and wrong?  ”I do not have a right to impose my value system on them.”    Why not?     There are many areas where one imposes one’s value system.   I
    would not allow others to rape means Im imposing my value system on the rapist.

    What is a ”connected fetus?”     When science is able to create artificial wombs what will this mean?
    The term has no relevance to the issues he is trying to raise.

    What does the mother serving the fetus have to do with a physician’s obligations?    If the mother
    doesnt want the child but nevertheless is carrying it to term, and the fetus has a problem which requires
    intrauterine intervention, does the mother’s negative attitude change what the physician should do?  

    Why is life defined as beginning at conception and what does “supreme value” of this
    resultant zygote mean?   If “potential” is the same as a fully developed being then most every cell in my body has the potential – through the magic of science – to develop into a person.   Every time I sneeze there goes a billion “lives.”    (I guess that makes an argument for Allegra).   Beginning at conception has no logical basis as resulting in some sort of “supreme value”  or definition of life – it just sounds nice. 
    One functioning cell has as much “life” as any blastocyst. 

    If Mr Ard wants to be an ethicist he needs to work within a defined system which has first principals and
    resultant corollaries.   And if he wants to be a medical ethicist he needs to incorporate science into
    his approach.

    • Anonymous

      I tracked along with you until your paragraph on the beginning of human life. What you say is true from a certain perspective but false from another. The phrase “as much ‘life’” can be taken in several ways, and you consider only one. So, from a standpoint of metabolism and sheer biological processes, two human-derived cells are much a like and pretty similar in terms of how “much” life they have.

      But there is another way of considering the relationship of a somatic cell and a zygote to quantity of life. A somatic cell left on its own or even an optimal nurturing environment cannot grow into an adult human being. The “magic of science” is not there yet, and even if it were, it would be an induced potential that the cell, considered on its own, does not have. In contrast, a zygote will grow and develop eventually (if all goes well) into an adult, all on its own. Indeed, abortion exists precisely because it’s the only way to stop the natural development of the zygote. The zygote thus has “more” life than a somatic cell because it has its own unique existence as an individual of the species “human being” — this is not an ideological statement but a biological one.

  • http://twitter.com/catsidhe Katrina

    I can’t say whether or not I’d have had an abortion until the time came to make that decision (it is out of my hands now, as I have had an hysterectomy for medical reasons). My mother was faced with that decision when she found herself at 24, pregnant and with my biological father refusing to take responsibility. Doctors recommended she abort rather than give birth to and raise me, and she wouldn’t. That was her conviction. Those who say “Oh, but what if she had decided otherwise?” aren’t considering the fact that had she decided otherwise, I wouldn’t know. I wouldn’t exist.

    Absolutely I believe that women ought to have the right to choose to abort in the first trimester without having to justify it. A woman’s life is entirely co-opted during pregnancy; she becomes a walking incubator, with all her food/energy/attention directed at the little parasite inside her (and it is indeed a parasite; it gives nothing in return during gestation except potentially diabetes and other gestational issues). People have little to no interest in her as a person. “How’s the baby?” they start asking as soon as she starts showing, and it goes downhill from there. She ceases to be a person, and falls into the shadow of the foetus (and eventually the child if she gives birth). Some women don’t mind. Some mind it very much.

    That said I would still prefer women take precautions where possible, than abort a foetus recklessly conceived.

  • Mike Jones

    “To give an inch, to say that a connected fetus has rights that must be protected by infringing upon the rights of the mother, is a compromise and a foothold for those who wish to impose their morality on free men and women.”
     How is the born child any less of a “parasite”? By your own model the born child is just as much a “parasite”?  Babies do not stop relying on their mother the moment she/he is born, so even after birth the child is infringing on the mother’s rights by still being a “parasite”.  If the mother chooses to stop supporting the “parasite” after birth, she would go to jail for murder. Should we change that law too?

    Why should Fathers have to pay child support?
    By your logic that would be a “parasite” infringing on that fathers rights.

    Clearly in America there are plenty of laws which “infringe upon the rights” of one individual to protect the right of others, especially when they are children.  And yes, that is imposing morality on free men and women, who apparently like you were lacking it. “Free” is not some slogan that means you get to do whatever you want. 

    -Dan G
    Medical student.

    • Anonymous

      Once they are born someone else can take care of them; that is a huge difference.

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