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The Abortion Issue

As many people in the greater atheist community know, Angie the Anti-Theist has just gotten an abortion. She has been blogging and tweeting her experiences during the process.

When I was younger, there was a short period of time in which I considered myself pro-life. But during my early college days I had more than one friend who faced the choice first hand. One of them really respected my opinion and asked me to for advice. At the time it really felt like I was making the choice for my friend and so I felt the weight of that choice. For the record, I was not part of the tango leading to any of these dilemmas. Nevertheless, I am very happy that at this time in America women still have a choice and can make these decisions for themselves.

The thing is that we value life, but we often forget that life carries responsibility. Some people are not ready or do not want that responsibility. In these cases, we have to decide what is best for everyone involved. We have to weigh the potential quality of life vs. the potential quantity of life. There are many choices available and people ought to be free to make those choices for themselves depending on their particular situation.

One philosophical question dealing with this topic has always been the question of when exactly does life begin. Now, I don’t want to state the obvious, but I have always thought that life begins at birth. No one says that a baby is minus 2 years old. That would just be silly. But we can say that a fetus is a potential human life in that it is not yet a baby.

When fundamentalist Christians talk about being pro-life they don’t seem to understand the difference between actual human life and potential human life. To these particular Christians God created all life before it was born. They view potential life as actual life in God’s mind. What they forget is that if everything is part of their God’s divine plan, then the choices that people make concerning life and death must also be part of God’s plan.

Of course their God isn’t real, so that doesn’t really make any difference. However the idea that these people are some how preserving life is just silly. Human life does not begin at conception. Every sperm and every egg are not sacred. The closer a fetus comes to being actually born the more rights society gives to the fetus. But until it is born, it is not yet a human life.

When we measure our age, we don’t tack on 9 months for the time we lived inside the womb. We measure our age and our life by the time spent… alive. Still, I think it is better for fetus to have the chance to actualize their potential in many circumstances. But decisions like this have to be made on a case by case basis and so that is why abortion must be kept legal and the decision must be made by the people involved.

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  • http://dogmaticatheist.wordpress.com A-Dizzle

    I’m definitely pro-choice, however I think the question of when life “begins” is the wrong question. I heard a good argument once to the stance that “life begins at conception”. A doctor essentially said that to say that life begins at conception is to say that the sperm and the egg are dead. Life is a cycle and is continuous. There is no point during reproduction where there is no “life”.

    I think the real question to ask is, when is a fetus considered a fully formed human being? I’m definitely not against first trimester abortions, but l’m not sure I agree with late term abortions. By the last couple of months of gestation, babies are pretty much fully formed and can also survive outside the womb if they are born early. And so by this point I think you are essentially killing a human being and I don’t think that should be legal.

  • PRG

    A-Dizzle: late term abortions are not common, and they are usually not done by women with healthy babies who procrastinated or suddenly changed their mind. They are usually severely deformed fetuses, or health danger to the mother.

    • http://dogmaticatheist.wordpress.com A-Dizzle

      PRG:

      Yes, I realize that. I’m definitely not against late term abortion to save the life of the mother or prevent the birth of a severely deformed fetus. And in those cases it should be legal. But perfectly health babies that do not pose a danger to the mother should be protected at that point.

      • Katherine Heicksen

        with you on this one too

  • Jim

    But perfectly health babies that do not pose a danger to the mother should be protected at that point.

    No they shouldn’t. The rights of the living trump the rights of the unborn. If protection is to be granted then it has to be by the choice of the mother. Only then will it be legal and not a violation of her rights. Then, the only legal thing that can really happen is if someone else causes the woman damage in such a way as to cause a late term abortion and it was not by the choice of the mother, she (the mother) has the right to prosecute for a charge of murder.

    i would, however, argue that a woman who has a late term abortion of an otherwise healthy child, may need psychological help.

    I simply have a problem with telling any human being what they can and cannot do with their own body. To me, it’s unnatural and intrusive.

    • Katherine Heicksen

      “The rights of the living trump the rights of the unborn”

      This implies that the unborn are not living – which is absurd. The unborn have beating hearts, functional and interactive brains. They have hands and feet, eyes and ears that work. They dream, they swim, they kick, they react to light, sound and touch. They are most certainly alive. They just happen to be on an organic life support system. Often times they can be removed from that life support system long before their due date and survive just fine. Some need a bit of help from medical life support systems for a little while, but others don’t even need that.

      Our society lies to women about what is going on inside them when they are pregnant. If women really understood, if they were accurately educated, most of them would not choose to kill their unborn children. An embryo is just a clump of cells. A fetus, however, is a real living human being.

      Development is not complete at birth. Bodies continue to form until the late teens and the brains specifically are still forming on into people’s 20′s. If we base a right to life on whether or not someone is completely developed and/or independent, then parents should be able to kill their dependents up until they are about twenty-five.

      Most of us were accidents.

      Just because something is legal or common or worded in such a way, does not make it right.

    • http://dogmaticatheist.wordpress.com A-Dizzle

      I fail to find the distinction between prosecuting a person who does harm to a mother that results in the loss of an unborn child and the mother causing the loss of the child herself.

      “I simply have a problem with telling any human being what they can and cannot do with their own body. To me, it’s unnatural and intrusive.”

      You’ll find no bigger defender of individual rights than myself, but to say that a fully formed unborn child that could survive on it’s own but has not crossed the birth canal is not a human being is just absurd. If a woman has an abortion the day before a child would have been born, that’s not murder, but if the child is born and the mother throws it in the trash can to die than we consider that murder. That makes no logical sense whatsoever.

      • Katherine Heicksen

        Exactly – there is no logic, reason or compassion inherent in that view.

        • Jim

          Exactly – there is no logic, reason or compassion inherent in that view.

          Because you’re allowing emotion into a legal issue. I think that what you are actually saying is that because there is not compassion in my view, then it must be illogical and unreasonable. That is not the case.

          First, I am not pro-killing anyone or anything and if you assume that from what I said then you’re not actually thinking at all.

          You’ll find no bigger defender of individual rights than myself, but to say that a fully formed unborn child that could survive on it’s own but has not crossed the birth canal is not a human being is just absurd.

          You first say you’re for individual rights and then you contradict that statement in the same sentence.

          When it comes to granting rights, you cannot grant an unborn child rights without violating the individual rights of the mother. Like those russian dolls within a doll. You cant get to the smallest one without first opening the others.

          The issue is not complex, it is very simple. You are either for telling woman what they can and cannot do with their bodies or you are not. Pretty simple.

          • http://dogmaticatheist.wordpress.com A-Dizzle

            You failed to address any of the counter points and just repeated yourself. Argumentum ad nauseum, a very creationist tactic.

            When it comes to granting rights, you cannot grant an unborn child rights without violating the individual rights of the mother. Like those russian dolls within a doll. You cant get to the smallest one without first opening the others.

            That’s a completely irrelevant and silly comparison.

            The issue is not complex, it is very simple. You are either for telling woman what they can and cannot do with their bodies or you are not. Pretty simple.

            No, it’s not simple. You’re completely ignoring the fact that late in the gestation period we are not talking about “potential humans”, we are talking about fully formed human beings with brains capable of feeling pain and suffering, and capable of surviving on their own.

            You’re merely attempting to simplify a very complicated issue to fit your black and white point of view on the entire subject.

            Secondly, when a baby is involved there is responsibility to the unborn child. By your logic, we shouldn’t care if pregnant women smoke and drink and do drugs, because after all it’s *only* their body that is affected.

            • Jim

              I repeated myself because the point I made was ignored and instead spawned a tirade that meant nothing at all to the argument I made.

              and this

              a very creationist tactic.

              is almost enough to make me respond with the same stupid emotion that seems to be flailing about this very simple issue.

              The very simple issue is, Do you think you have the right to tell anyone what they can and cannot do with their own body?

              If you think you do have that right then you are not in support of individual rights beyond your own point of view and are only happy enough to over-ride the rights of someone else for your own belief.

              If you do not think you have that right then you are indeed in support of individual rights and stand for the right of all individuals to do what they wish with their own body.

              I shed a tear for all those poor children that will never be born because they were aborted. I also have compassion for the woman that make such a decision, no matter what it is. And because you quite clearly missed the significance of it, I will say it once again, any woman who has a late term abortion probably needs to have some psychological help – (with the added caveat) before she actually does toss her newborn child into a trash can.

              • http://dogmaticatheist.wordpress.com A-Dizzle

                Jim,

                You’re completely ignoring the very heart of my argument. Is a baby that is nearing the end of a pregnancy that has a fully formed brain and body that is capable of thinking, feeling, and suffering, and also surviving on it’s own outside the womb an actual human being or not. If you agree that it is an actual human being, than you have to agree that this human being has the same exact rights as the mother. If you disagree, you haven’t even attempted to make a cogent argument to support your position.

                Individual rights end when they intrude on the rights of another human being. A woman has the right to do with her own body as she pleases, as does any person (which is why I support legalization of drugs and prostitution). But the reason why your argument fails is because when a woman is pregnant with a baby that has been fully developed, her actions no longer affect only her own body but the body of another human being.

                No one is saying that you don’t have compassion for women who have abortions or don’t feel for babies who were aborted. The problem is you are providing an argument that is not based on sound logic, and you are oversimplifying a complex issue to fit your black-and-white moral stance.

                Now, once you actually address my the core issue of whether a late term baby is a human being, maybe we can move forward.

                • Jim

                  Ok, me personally, I think that the mother is carrying a human being. Yes, i find late term abortion, hell, any abortion disturbing. I personally and of my own opinion don’t like the idea of killing children. I have the right to share this opinion but I do not have the right to act on my opinion.

                  While I did state that the mother is carrying a human being in her womb, that human being does not have rights of it’s own unless they are granted by the mother herself. Again, i stated this before.

                  I understand what you are saying but I quite obviously totally disagree with it. You cannot grant rights to that child without the consent of the mother. To do so is being forcefully intrusive upon her body and her mind. The mother lives in a world where living and breathing people matter and have an affect on her. The baby only has the world that is being offered by the mother, no other. Not you, not me, not the entirety of the pro-life movement in the entire universe, just her.

                  If the mother then chooses to abide by a belief that she should not have an abortion, then fine, that is her choice but in no way should she ever feel like she is being forced into making a specific choice based on yours or my opinion.

                  • Jim

                    I will add one more thing:

                    It’s not that I am personally making this issue a black and white one in order to push my idea… the issue is black and white. It is the many varied and quite emotional opinions that muddy the topic to the point of it being absurdly complex. It’s why it’s still a damn argument, because of the emotional baggage it carries.

                    • Jim

                      and one last piece:

                      Who grants us rights in the first place? Where do these rights come from? (and no, I’m not eluding to a creator or a god(s)) I’d really like to know from where these rights are coming.

                  • Katherine Heicksen

                    The principal disagreement here seems to be this. I think a right to life should be granted to all living human beings. I think that right to life supersedes all other rights. That right should only be forfeit when one has stolen someone elses.

                    You seem to think that it is more important for a woman to have the right to comfort because she has already been born and that that right is more important and supersedes a right for an innocent human just to continue to live.

                    I don’t understand how people can think this way. Living is just so much more valuable than being comfortable. How can it not be of primary importance? Women can be comfortable again in a relatively short period of time That child never gets to have their life back.

                    I mean, when it is a choice of either the child dying or the mother dying, I think, of course the mother should have the right to defend her own life. But when her life is not at risk, its just her comfort we are talking about!

                    A fetus cannot help where they are. They have no choice in the matter at all. A woman has a choice about getting pregnant the majority of the time. We do not need the choice to kill our children to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Abortion is an unnecessary cruelty with utter finality.

                    • Jim

                      You seem to think that it is more important for a woman to have the right to comfort because she has already been born and that that right is more important and supersedes a right for an innocent human just to continue to live.

                      The born and breathing and living are the only creatures that even have the ability to define what a right is. Therefore those rights are only applicable to those who are born and breathing and living.

                      I mean, when it is a choice of either the child dying or the mother dying, I think, of course the mother should have the right to defend her own life.

                      You can’t have it both ways. Either you think she has the right or you do not.

                    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

                      This is all very silly. Only 1.4 percent of all abortions happen from 20 weeks or later according to the 2003 center for decease control statistics (why they have these statistics I don’t know). These were the latest numbers I could find. It is fairly safe to say that all or most of these cases probably involved a conflict between the life of the mother vs. the life of the fetus.

                      In other words, 98.6 percent of all abortions happen before 20 weeks. So arguing about late term abortions is really just silly especially when you concede that when the mother’s life is in danger she should have the option to abort.

                      Let me spell this out a little further. You are arguing about a situation which probably never happens or happens extremely rarely.

                    • http://dogmaticatheist.wordpress.com A-Dizzle

                      Staks,

                      According to those same statistics, in 2002 there were 854,122 reported legal abortions. 1.4% of that number is 11,957. That’s hardly an insignificant number.

                      Jim:

                      Who grants us rights in the first place? Where do these rights come from? (and no, I’m not eluding to a creator or a god(s)) I’d really like to know from where these rights are coming.

                      Human rights are granted in the same way that we define morality. They are both determined by society. Your rights as a human being aren’t granted to you by your mother, they are granted to you by virtue of being human based on the standards that we set as a society set. I’m pretty sure you will agree that human rights should be given equally to all human beings, so I fail to see why you would exclude an unborn child that has all the physiological and psychological characteristics of a fully form baby that has crossed the birth canal.

                      So if you agree for equal rights for all human beings, and you acknowledge that a late term fetus is in fact defined as a human being, than you would have to agree that these human rights extend to that baby.

                    • Katherine Heicksen

                      No, you can have it both ways. In general, we only have the right to kill others when defending our own lives. This is fair.

  • Katherine Heicksen

    Well, you say over and over that a fetus is nothing but a potential human life, but you do not give any evidence to support this idea. Babies are born and survive these days from about 27 weeks on. Do they need to be 40 weeks to be considered human? What about babies that are born late, at say 43 weeks? Or is it the breathing air thing? Is that what makes them human and alive? Do they have to be born naturally to be considered alive or can they be born by c-section? Why is being born the deciding factor on what constitutes a human life? There has to be a good reason besides, this is what is normal and acceptable in our society.

    How we talk about our age is a reflection of how we have decided to quantify time. and besides, its a birth date, not a beginning of life date. We started this tradition of measuring our lives a long time ago, before we knew much of anything about human development. This tradition does not make it so.

    As you know, I am not a Christian or subscriber to any other religion and I think abortion is in fact the robbing of another human’s life for the sake of the comfort of another. But I don’t think being a human life starts at or before conception. Rather I think it starts when there is a functioning and interactive human brain present, which is at about 9 weeks out of 40 (that’s 6 weeks after conception). This makes more sense than to say a person becomes human when they change location.

    And as far as a woman’s choice goes, we women have lots of options to help us avoid unwanted pregnancy that do not involve the deaths of any humans. We also do not have to raise accidents if we don’t want to. There are long adoption waiting lists. As the gay/lesbian community becomes stronger and more accepted, I am sure that list will get even longer.

    And how can you judge how good a person’s life will be based on where they come from? My own life was pretty damn hellish as a kid, but those experiences have made me relish life as an adult. I value my life and the little beautiful things in it a lot more because of where I came from and the hardships I endured. I value it more than people who had it easy, whose parents were in a good place when they had them.

    A woman’s life may be made a bit harder by an unwanted pregnancy, but an aborted fetus, who is in fact an interactive human, is robbed of their life. The lesser of the two evils is for the woman to suffer an unwanted pregnancy.

    Pro abortion choice people are always talking about the right that a woman has to control their own body. If it were just our own bodies we were talking about, that would be a good point to make. But in the case of abortion it is not just our own bodies that we are controlling. There are two bodies, one of which does not belong to the individual making the “choice.” I do not own my children’s bodies – not even when they were inside me. I do not have the right to kill them now and I didn’t when they were inside me either – at least not morally.

    Ever noticed how its mostly men that support the abortion option? Ever consider why that might be?

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      Babies are born and survive these days from about 27 weeks on.

      As I stated above according to the 2003 statistics only 1.4 percent of abortions occur on or after the 20 week mark.

      • Katherine Heicksen

        but by 9 weeks they have human functioning brains that interact with their environment. This is before many women even realize they are pregnant.

        • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

          So that means you are okay with abortions prior to 9 weeks, right? Or are you going to come up with some other thing which you think qualifies the unborn as being born? At what point can the reproductive process end without you calling it murder?

          • Katherine Heicksen

            I never said anything that I thought qualified someone that is unborn as being born – how silly. I said that the unborn were living human beings deserving of basic human rights.

            But, yep – I think abortions are fine up until 9 weeks. So yes, I think that stem cell research is fine and I think Plan B is fine and I think abortion is fine until that functioning human brain is present Then I still think its fine if the pregnancy is threatening the mother’s life and/or the baby is severely screwed up in some way that would make their life hell after they were born because I think mercy killings are just that – merciful.

            And I also think that women who have trouble avoiding unwanted pregnancies should be highly encouraged to get sterilized or have some semi-permanent form of birth control implanted. I think that sterilization and IUDs should be available to anyone that wants them regardless if they have ever had kids or how old they are. I think this should be publicly funded in some way. I think that sex education should be mandatory, start young and be comprehensive and that birth control should be offered free to minors and the poverty stricken. I think that violent convicted criminals (not like from a bar fight) should be sterilized as soon as they get to prison. I think that society should change in such a way as to better accommodate women with children, such as their being more opportunities to work from home, more professional part time opportunities and/or jobs sharing type situations. Childcare cooperatives and things like that need to become more prevalent and available. I have lots of ideas about how lots of things should change – I know I am a dreamer.

            I think that the best way to discourage abortion is to prevent the situations in which women feel they need them and through education regarding human development.

            Abortion is encouraged in our society as a means to population control, particularly of minorities, and it’s nature is misrepresented to women. Its all just disgusting and tragic.

  • Mike O.

    Excellent points Katherine. This issue is really more complex than the hardcore advocates on either side wish to recognize.

  • http://www.myspace.com/andrewtheatheist Andrew the Atheist

    Life begins at birth. To say otherwise would give “life” to tumors, cancers, and other malignant growths normally removed without regard of the moral concequenses. All rights are reserved for the living, no one else. Life ends at death. The dead have no say in what we the living do.

    • Katherine Heicksen

      This argument is completely invalid because a fetus is not a dead thing, it is a living human being inside of someone elses body. You are making yourself sound like an idiot, calling them dead!

      And guess what – cancers are alive too! But cancer is more like a malfunctioning organ (which are alive too by the way). Being a living human being is what we are talking about here though. A living human being requires a brain. A fetus not only has a living human brain, it has a working one, that interacts with their environment, small though it may be. Tumors don’t think or interact as far as we know, and they certainly don’t qualify as human.

      A fetus can in no way be equated with a tumor, but perhaps your brain can.

      • Jim

        A fetus not only has a living human brain, it has a working one, that interacts with their environment, small though it may be

        Yeah, one that is provided by the mother. Not by you.

        • Katherine Heicksen

          I provide my 4 year old’s environment too.

      • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

        So you are not really pro-life, just pro-life that you think should be alive. Interesting.

        • Katherine Heicksen

          I don’t know what you mean.

          • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

            You just said that Cancer is alive and that you support the murder of cancer. Why are you pro-murder?

            • Katherine Heicksen

              Ha ha – you almost got me there! Except that the concept of murder only applies to humans. Parts within a human don’t count. And I know that a lot of people like to think of a fetus that way, but a fetus does in fact qualify as a human itself, unlike a blob of cancer. Its all about the brain.

      • http://www.myspace.com/andrewtheatheist Andrew the Atheist

        I thought I was being clear. Apparently, I was not. The unborn are neither alive nor dead, but unborn. This is to say that the unborn are not alive in the sense the dead are not alive. Unborn is a non-living state that occurs before birth; dead is a non-living state that occurs after death. The idea was to draw a similarity between the two, which seems to have escaped you. If you are not concerned about the harming the dead, why concern yourself with the unborn?

        Further, if a brain is required for life, in what state to the comatose reside? If there is no functioning brain, is the person still alive? By my definition, they are, as they have not yet died. By yours it seems they are not, as they no longer have a functioning brian. In my view, the comatose have rights. In yours, they seem to lack them. Why is that?

        • Katherine Heicksen

          Unborn is a non-living state that occurs before birth; ”

          No, that is not true. The unborn are alive – period. This is just an obvious fact. Everything about them qualifies as being alive and human. If they were no alive then they could not die, but they can and they do.

          The comatose are not brain dead. Their brains have lower levels of activity, but they are still active. When a person is brain dead, they are usually pronounced dead and yes, I think this is fair and silly when people artificially keep the rest of their body alive when the brain is flat-lined.

          • http://www.myspace.com/andrewtheatheist Andrew the Atheist

            I’m confused. At what point does the brain grant life, and at what low-functioning point does it remove it? You claim birth is an arbitrary distiction of life. Is the same true for some level of brain function? Can we not agree that any distiction we make is in fact arbitrary?

  • david costa

    Of course Life begins before birth. The sperm is alive. The egg is alive. Life began a very very long time ago. I think the “when does life begin” question is nonsensical.

    Abortions should be Legal and Rare!!!!!

    • Katherine Heicksen

      This is not about a right for life for all creatures – its about a right for a human. Until there is a human brain, its not a human. But that happens pretty early on, by 9 weeks.

      When it comes down to defending the right to life for all living things, this just becomes totally impossible and a philosophical quagmire. Life cannot exist without consuming other life and fending itself off from other life. But that is not what this argument is about. We are talking not just about what is alive, but what is human and alive and functional.

  • Jim

    So if you agree for equal rights for all human beings, and you acknowledge that a late term fetus is in fact defined as a human being, than you would have to agree that these human rights extend to that baby.

    Not without the permission of the mother. Damn, why are you ignoring that very important fact? You cannot grant rights to the unborn without first ignoring the rights of the mother and that’s wrong wrong wrong. It completely goes against the entire definition of Individual Rights.

    • http://dogmaticatheist.wordpress.com A-Dizzle

      Not without the permission of the mother. Damn, why are you ignoring that very important fact? You cannot grant rights to the unborn without first ignoring the rights of the mother and that’s wrong wrong wrong. It completely goes against the entire definition of Individual Rights.

      I’m not ignoring anything. You’re making a fiat declaration that your human rights are granted to you by your mother, and they are not. You’ve already agreed that by the final months of pregnancy, a fetus is now a fully formed human being. Why are you ignoring the rights of that human being? You’re not being consistent.

      • Jim

        Why are you ignoring the rights of that human being?

        Because it is not born – dude, you try to call me out for some ad nauseum fallacy but when you keep asking the same question and I keep giving you the same answer, what do you expect? How is that inconsistent? My stance has not changed, I’m not budging from it. You are wrong to think that YOU have the right to grant rights to the unborn. Only the MOTHER has that ability until it is born. Only then does the born child have the benefits of the rights that have been established by a society of living, breathing, human beings. Now, when the society of unborn human beings start establishing their own rights on their own, then I’ll pay attention to it but until then, not gonna happen.

        • http://dogmaticatheist.wordpress.com A-Dizzle

          Jim, you’re not being consistent. Let’s go through the chain of logic, shall we?

          1. You have already agreed that a child in the later part of pregnancy is an actual human being.
          2. You agree that human beings have what we call basic human rights that are granted by society.
          3. If you agree that human rights should be granted to ALL human beings EQUALLY, than you have to logically agree that a child that is for all intents and purposes an actual human being capable of thinking and feeling and surviving on its own, but has not had the luck of crossing the birth canal yet should deserve the same rights!

          This is why you are not being consistent. If mothers grant your human rights, can they revoke those rights? Human rights are granted by virtue of being human, which is a physiological determination and not an arbitrary determination made by whether a child has crossed the birth canal or not.

          • Jim

            So what you’re saying, quite clearly is that the day or week or weeks before a woman has a child, that woman has no human rights whatsoever, instead you grant only rights to the unborn human being that is being held inside her womb, which belongs to you and is subject to your opinion. Right?

            • Jim

              This is why you are not being consistent. If mothers grant your human rights, can they revoke those rights? Human rights are granted by virtue of being human, which is a physiological determination and not an arbitrary determination made by whether a child has crossed the birth canal or not.

              At this point I think you are purposefully twisting what I said to say something I did not.

              What situation did I clearly say that the mother grants the rights to her unborn child? When the child is unborn.

              When the child is born, that child then is granted the same rights that are afforded the mother.

              After the child is born, the mother has no right whatsoever to decide if the child has rights or not, it is not her place to make that distinction anymore. Just like you do not have the right to grant rights to the human being that is currently growing inside the womb of a woman.

  • Sefirosu200x

    I agree. My philosophy is that people should do what they want unless it harms someone else. Now, like you said, we can debate whether abortion harms a fetus or not, but I believe that it’s not alive until birth, just as you do so unless it’s a partial birth abortion I see nothing wrong with it.

    • Katherine Heicksen

      This whole “not alive until birth” thing is just STUPID! Being alive has absolutely nothing to do with location. The location or previous experiences of an individual (such as the birth process) have no impact whatsoever in qualifying someone as either alive or human – a fetus is just that, human and alive!!!!! An embryo, on the other hand is alive but not human, yet, though they are comprised of human cells.

      Your philosophy and/or beliefs do not impact absolute fact. You life deniers are worse than Christians when it comes to this issue! Dogma, pure dogma.

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    A-Dizzle – Am I to understand that you are fine with 98.6 percent of all abortions and that you are just quibbling over that 1.4 percent?

    • http://dogmaticatheist.wordpress.com A-Dizzle

      Staks,

      I’m fine with the 98.6% of abortions that occur before the fetus develops into an actual human being.

      I’m not fine with the 12,000 fully formed babies (32 a day) that are aborted each year.

      So you’re statement would be correct, except for your attempt to trivialize my reasoning behind it. The issue isn’t black and white as many here are suggesting.

      • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

        Yes, I realize that. I’m definitely not against late term abortion to save the life of the mother or prevent the birth of a severely deformed fetus.

        How many late term abortions do you think occur that are not for those reasons? It seems to me that the 1.4 percent has just shrunk to almost nothing if not completely nothing. If that is the case, then you are just arguing over a situation which does not in reality exist.

        • http://dogmaticatheist.wordpress.com A-Dizzle

          I’m curious as to why you are dismissing my arguments based on what you consider to be an inconsequential number rather than addressing my arguments directly based on their own merits.

          • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

            Because you are discussing a situation which either doesn’t exist or exists in extremely rare cases and trying to pass that situation off as the norm. It’s a bait and switch.

            If anyone wants to have an abortion the day before they deliver a baby, when both mother and potential baby appear healthy than I would probably agree with you that is probably immoral. But that just doesn’t happen.

            As I stated the closer to becoming an actual human the fetus gets the more rights they ought to be afforded. But the rights of the actualized person should almost always trump those of the potential person. So if the mother is at risk and she decides to abort, I side with her.

            • Jim

              when both mother and potential baby appear healthy

              And what is this definition of ‘appear healthy’ ?

              Does that mean that if the child is born with a genetic defect that causes gross deformity but is otherwise healthy, does that disqualify her ability to make that choice?

  • Katherine Heicksen

    Besides the rights of the child:

    “When a man steals to satisfy hunger, we may safely conclude that there is something wrong in society – so when a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is an evidence that either by education or circumstances she has been greatly wronged.” – Mattie Brinkerhoff

    “Every woman knows that if she were free, she would never bear an unwished-for child, nor think of murdering one before its birth.” – Victoria Woodhull

  • http://myspace.com/sarahdactylmusic billdo

    such a fun issue…

    i personally believe that there are indeed a few unborn babies that should NOT be aborted…

    but it’s very rare…