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February 06, 2011

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The application of that knowledge outside the classroom has more potential severe negative consequences for children than, say, subtraction (I'd say division but if they try to start to divide by zero it's all over)?

Just to be clear, are you suggesting that there exists some group of children who, because they take a sex-ed class will engage in sex but would not have engaged in sex for several years in the absence of that class? Am I reading you correctly? Is the idea here that the kids are ignorant of the mechanics and as soon as someone explains that, they're off to the races? Or is it that they understand the mechanics just fine, but because they don't know how to do it safely, they refuse to try? Or something else?

Perhaps I'm mistaken but I think the basic mechanics of sex aren't necessarily why sex-ed classes are helpful; teenagers can figure out mechanics on their own or from movies. The problem is that when they do, they'll believe that they can prevent pregnancy and STD transmission by douching with bleach or some other insane thing that a friend told them.


In front of children, in a bedroom, on film?

I have no idea, none at all, about what you're talking about. You're going to need to write in more detail if you want me to comprehend.

"I mean, did you think that putting a condom on a banana in front of children was illegal?"

In front of children, in a bedroom, on film?

yep.

Pretty specific questsion, pretty specific answer, what confuses you. If you filmed some guy putting a condom on a banana in front of a fifth grade girl sitting on his bed and posted it on the internet it would be considered porn. Not very hard core but...probably illegal.

Pretty specific questsion, pretty specific answer, what confuses you. If you filmed some guy putting a condom on a banana in front of a fifth grade girl sitting on his bed and posted it on the internet it would be considered porn. Not very hard core but...probably illegal.

What does this have to do with sex-ed classes in school?

I mean, this is kind of creepy...we're not talking about porn. So why are you bringing it up? Is the distinction between education policy and porn that confusing?

If you're teaching K-12 classes in your bedroom, you're not doing it right.

"I mean, this is kind of creepy...we're not talking about porn. So why are you bringing it up? Is the distinction between education policy and porn that confusing?"

Seems only to you. I didn't bring up putting condoms on bananas. A visual I don't want my fifth grade daughter to have provided by a stranger even in a classroom.

Sex-ed thread, everyone. Move along.

If you filmed some guy putting a condom on a banana in front of a fifth grade girl sitting on his bed and posted it on the internet it would be considered porn. Not very hard core but...probably illegal.

I cannot think of a single jurisdiction in the United States where this is true.

Hsh, fine with me, I joined late and will gladly move along. But, after raising four kids I am certain that some subjects don't lend themselves to a cookie cutter approach to teaching or parenting and this is one.

What I meant was the Doc Sci put a separate post up about sex ed, so we wouldn't have to discuss it on a post about abortion.

If you're going to move over to that one, I'd be interested to know how schools should approach sex education, if at all, in your opinion, given what you say about the cookie-cutter approach being inappropriate.

that Doc Sci, not the Doc Sci...sheesh.

Marty:

I think that abortion is the taking of a life. So, I am against it. That means that there are few reasons I think it is a good idea. There are some(life of the mother, rape). None of them include the convenience of an adult woman who had consentual sex.

Let me unpack here, because I think you're saying things that many, MANY Americans also say and agree with, so you're, in a way, standing in for at least 40% of the country.

First of all, a heart transplant also ends a human life. We all (I think) agree that heart transplants are an unambiguous good, because we recognize that the issue isn't whether a medical procedure ends "life" or "human life", but whether it ends a human person.

So by saying abortion is about "human life", you have already let yourself get away from the track of the actual issue, which is about *personhood*, not life.

Do you think abortion kills a human person?

Second, you refer to the convenience of an adult woman who had consentual sex

It's nonsense to call the issues involved in deciding whether to carry a pregnancy to term matters of "convenience". Do you really mean to say that labor is an "inconvenience"? Well, that's what your words mean, and frankly I think you know better.

Even the easiest pregnancy, birth, and parenthood involve permanent changes in one's body and mind. I honestly don't know what you're thinking, to lump all these things under "convenience".

Doc,

I am very clear that in supporting a woman's right to make this choice that I believe she also has the responsibility to take all precautions to not create the life she will be taking.

Abortion as contraception for poor planning on the part of an adult is a matter of convenience. Or would you describe it differently?

Forgive me if I don't play the personhood/ human life game. I am not off track, you are obfuscating by playing word games. A fetus is alive, then it is dead. Call it a human being or a person or a life or whatever, you know what I mean by the words.

I am not "off track". If you prefer personhood, then ok.

Marty:

Abortion as contraception for poor planning on the part of an adult is a matter of convenience. Or would you describe it differently?

Yes, I would. Actually, I have no idea what you mean by "a matter of convenience", here.

I'd say that (non-insane) women do not use abortions as contraception because abortions are "more convenient" than other methods, unless those other methods have been made unnecessarily expensive (or difficult to obtain) by outside forces. For instance, by governments that limit access to contraception, or by men who refuse to use the only kind available.

Abortion is, by its medical nature, a lot of trouble, physical discomfort, and expense. I don't understand what you mean by using a dismissive term like "convenience" for it.

I am not off track, you are obfuscating by playing word games. A fetus is alive, then it is dead. Call it a human being or a person or a life or whatever, you know what I mean by the words.

No I don't, that's why I'm asking!

I don't think I'm obfuscating, I'm trying to make a philosophical and logical argument to show that the way we generally talk about "fetal life" is a mish-mash. And I think it's a smokescreen, a fog of incoherent muddy concepts and buzz phrases squirted out like a metaphor collision cloud of squid-ink, to conceal what's really bothering people.

Let me clear the fog for you, when people say that a fetus is a human life, a person, or any other description when describing abortion as killing a human being they all mean the same thing. It is not philosophically complex.

They mean the fetus is a person like you or me only smaller and less mature.

The people who make it a mish mash are the ones who are trying to define some arbitrary line post conception that it suddenly gets one more cell of a particular type that then qualifies it for personhood.

It would be easier to discuss it if the pro choice people would quit trying to redefine the instant of personhood and just say that they believe killing a fetus is acceptable no matter when that instant happens. No more mish mash.

Doctor Science, in some countries it is indeed more 'convenient' to get an abortion somehow than contraception. Ireland was such a case for many years when contraceptives were illegal but the state did not require a pregancy test for crossing over to Britain (for a short period the state tried to establish a de facto travel ban for pregnant women but iirc it got shot down by the European Human Rigths Court). In Poland the state visit by the late JP2 had the perverse effect that catholic girls decided that abortion was more convenient because the pope preached that contraception=abortion => if one does one of these in any case it is better to choose the rarer one.
The 'convenience' was not in the procedure but in adverse effects connected to the other choice.

Let me clear the fog for you, when people say that a fetus is a human life, a person, or any other description when describing abortion as killing a human being they all mean the same thing. It is not philosophically complex.

For whom are you speaking besides yourself, here, and when did they appoint you?

I'd note for everyone reading here, also, that you've made multiple references to women "failing to plan properly," but not a single reference to men bothering to put on a fricking rubber. All the easier to cast women who get abortions as moral monsters, I suppose -- I mean, first they don't even bother to take the pill or get an IUD, then they just run off and kill the fetus as a matter of convenience! Can you believe it?!

Phil,

If men had any choice in the matter I would dscuss their responsibilities in this context. Mens responsibilities for the same lack of responsible sex all kick in after the woman makes the decision. Other than their responsibility to provide emotional support through a difficult decision.

If men had any choice in the matter I would dscuss their responsibilities in this context.

But they DO have a choice in the matter: Wear a condom, every single time, no matter what, regardless of what you think or know your sexual partner is doing, until you and your sexual partner are absolutely, positively sure you want to attempt to have children.

If you expect me to join in some "Men don't get to decide about the abortion so it's not their responsibility to use birth control properly" kick, I hope you brought a book, because it's going to be a long wait.

In fact, if all men would do that one simple thing, we wouldn't even be having this discussion, because accidental pregnancies would be a statistical blip, and non-medically-necessary abortions would be rarer than dodo birds.

Turb: Just to be clear, are you suggesting that there exists some group of children who, because they take a sex-ed class will engage in sex but would not have engaged in sex for several years in the absence of that class? Am I reading you correctly? Is the idea here that the kids are ignorant of the mechanics and as soon as someone explains that, they're off to the races? Or is it that they understand the mechanics just fine, but because they don't know how to do it safely, they refuse to try? Or something else?

Perhaps I'm mistaken but I think the basic mechanics of sex aren't necessarily why sex-ed classes are helpful; teenagers can figure out mechanics on their own or from movies. The problem is that when they do, they'll believe that they can prevent pregnancy and STD transmission by douching with bleach or some other insane thing that a friend told them.

I'm just saying that it wouldn't surprise me, especially when we're talking about teaching sex education to 5th graders (as opposed to, say, high school freshmen) if that leads to some, non-de minimis, amount of them to have sex alot earlier than they otherwise would. Is that really that an astonishing a suggestion?

And I think there is a real lack of consideration of general, school-specific social context going on here. By which I mean, to illustrate via an example, the high school I attended was fed by basically two junior high school. The Jr. HS's weren't that far away from another but they were, in turn, fed by separate elementary schools, such that you generally had two sets of kids put together in high school that had never gone to school with one another (I assume this is generally the pattern more broadly in the US, so sorry if everyone knows this already).

Anyway, one group of these former Jr. HS students was shocked that the other group was drinking alcohol in Jr. HS, and the latter group was shocked that the former group was not.* Although less talked about so I'm not as certain about it, it wouldn't surprise me if the same sort of "you didn't/we did" division existed with respect to sex.

And it thus wouldn't surprise me, in that context, if sex ed was taught to the 5th graders** who would be matriculating to the, er, more sober Jr. HS led to a significant increase in sexual activity at that Jr. HS. But maybe not, I just don't think it's some kind of outlandish thought.

*I would guess this situation has probably changed.

**my recollection that real sex ed didn't start where/when I grew up until 7th grade.

It would be easier to discuss it if the pro choice people would quit trying to redefine the instant of personhood and just say that they believe killing a fetus is acceptable no matter when that instant happens.

It might be easier, but not all pro choice people agree with that, so it's not something they would all say.

"Pro choice" people think and/or believe all kinds of things, and exist along at least a broad a spectrum as "pro life" people. Maybe more so.

Hence, a mish mash.

It's not a simple topic, so simple answers are sadly unavailable.

In fact, if all men would do that one simple thing, we wouldn't even be having this discussion, because accidental pregnancies would be a statistical blip, and non-medically-necessary abortions would be rarer than dodo birds.

Although I agree with the spirit of this comment, I'd like to point out that the contraceptive effectiveness of condoms when used correctly is 98%, and of course they're not always used correctly. You always have to factor in pilot error which (according to this, but more thorough treatment here) reduces condom effectiveness to a rather lower value.

Kind of like abstinence: if done incorrectly, pregnancy can result.

"Men don't get to decide about the abortion so it's not their responsibility to use birth control properly"

Never said any such thing, but, I notice that any time the subject of women having responsibilities to go with their rights then suddenly we are talking about men.

Well, women don't get themselves pregnant, do they?

Well men don't get themselves pregnant do they?

I notice that any time the subject of women having responsibilities to go with their rights then suddenly we are talking about men.

This may come us an enormous shock to you, Marty, but biology doesn't care about things like responsibility and fairness. Sometimes, just because of the way the world is built, you're going to have responsibilities without any accompanying rights.

(Furthermore, since I'm not a woman, I'm not about to mansplain to them about their proper responsibilities.)

Although I agree with the spirit of this comment, I'd like to point out that the contraceptive effectiveness of condoms when used correctly is 98%, and of course they're not always used correctly.

Which is a great argument for age-appropriate sex ed classes teaching kids how to use them correctly!

Well, women don't get themselves pregnant, do they?

Hey, some people apparently think they don't have anything to do with it at all!

Marty really is edging uncomfortably close to "If women want to be allowed to have abortions then they have to take all the responsibility for contraception, too" here. Of course, if he'd actually bother making an argument instead of resorting to cryptic one-liners and tiresome tu quoques, maybe we'd be able to discern a position. Or maybe not. Who knows?

Well men don't get themselves pregnant do they?

No, they get women pregnant.

(This is stimulating.)

Phil,

I thought that post and some of the comments on the sperm cake you linked to were a bit overwrought. I mean, I agree with the general cultural discussion around it, but the cake itself just seemed like a harmless goof to me, or, at least, possibly so. The people who bought and/or liked that cake may have been sexist sperm-worshippers. Then again, maybe they just thought it was funny, and the underlying message was nothing more than, "It's great that you're going to be dad. Congratulations."

It struck me as an instance where people who generally think a lot about things (let's call them "the thinkers"), moreso than many others (let's call them "the easy-goers") do, take the outputs of the easy-goers, who don't give a ton of thought to things like the (potential) underlying meaning(s) of a cake's decoration, and construe an intent and/or a meaning to those outputs that would require the level of thought that the thinkers would apply to their everyday choices, but that the easy-goers don't normally bother with. It's a bridge to far by way of tenuous implication.

Just curious what you thought.


I didn't start with cryptic one liners. I started with a well defined position that women have both rights and responsibilities. Men also have rights and responsibilties, we just happened to be talking about womens in this thread.

Keeping in mind that I was asked to clarify my position as anti-abortion and pro-choice as the beginning of this chain of disc ussion.

When people discuss abortion, it almost always (in my experience) quickly devolves to all of the exceptional situations that are clearly (to me) more difficult moral decisions that create a more understandable decision for having an abortion.

It almost always leaves the, much larger, number of abortions by healthy adult women undiscussed.

I believe there is significantly less moral grounds for those abortions than the other reasons.

I still don't believe the law should impose my moral judgement.


"Sometimes, just because of the way the world is built, you're going to have responsibilities without any accompanying rights."

Really? Like when?

a bridge too far, unless far is a place

"Sometimes, just because of the way the world is built, you're going to have responsibilities without any accompanying rights."

Really? Like when?

Like when you're capable of helping to create a baby, but are not able to carry one.

It almost always leaves the, much larger, number of abortions by healthy adult women undiscussed.

I believe there is significantly less moral grounds for those abortions than the other reasons.

How do arrive at this much larger number? Do you have stats?

And are there no reasons for abortion that carry us much (or nearly as much, rather than significanly less) moral justification as the health of the woman? Is that what you mean? How broadly do you define "health?"

I mean, I agree with the general cultural discussion around it, but the cake itself just seemed like a harmless goof to me, or, at least, possibly so.

Lots of things that seem like harmless goofs can be nonetheless indicative of underlying cultural assumptions that are problematic. Here's another one.

I don't disagree that they can be. I'm just not sure that this:

I really just hope this cake was made before the woman who actually had the baby went through labor. But I’m not holding my breath.

Why there are so many female sycophants for this is a topic of another post.

is the appropriate way to discuss the problematic, underlying cultural assumptions (or implications) of that cake.

Why would anyone think that the cake wouldn't likely be presented at a shower or some other event well before the woman went through labor? Why would a woman have to be a sychophant to have some involvement or other (not sure what that meant, really) with the presentation of that cake?

I don't dispute the whole virility/manliness cultural thing that diminishes the role of the woman in producing children. It just seems that the way the cake was used as the springboard for that discussion was overdone, particularly in the assumptions made about anyone who would purchase (or simply fail to be sufficiently offended by) that cake.

You could probably make the case that such a cake would never exist without the underlying cultural assumptions discussed, and I'd probably agree, but I don't see why that requires the condemnation of the individual people who might then buy one.

(Not that it much matters, really, that we agree on this particular topic. I've probably written more about this than was warranted.)

Marty:

They mean the fetus is a person like you or me only smaller and less mature.

And I think this statement is *nonsense*.

A single cell is *not* "a person like me". It does not do any of the things that make me a person -- because, as our law and culture agree, personhood is in our *brains*.

To claim that you think a single cell -- or a blastocyst -- is a person is wildly illogical, and also demeaning to actual persons. And it's particularly demeaning to the actual person whose life is going to be weighed against this so-important cell, a person who is always a woman.


"And I think this statement is *nonsense*."

And I think the 40% you talk about would not agree. So we disagree.

I don't think it is in any way demeaning, particularly to the person who creates the person. You started as a single cell, so did I, we were persons then.

However, it would be reasonably impossible to abort a single cell so you are taking an extreme position we aren't really discussing.

A single cell is *not* "a person like me".

I think Marty used the word "fetus", which is (if I'm not totally mistaken) not compatible with "a single cell".

"because, as our law and culture agree, personhood is in our *brains*."

Just curious, how have we agreed to this? Because, if we are talking about end of life being brain death it is not an equivalence.

If you walked into a hospital room and the doctor declared the patient brain dead, BUT, it was likely that within nine months the brain would again begin to function no one in our society would agree to take away life support barring other health factors.

I think Marty used the word "fetus", which is (if I'm not totally mistaken) not compatible with "a single cell".

He also discussed "arbitrary lines post conception", so perhaps folks can be forgiven if they find his precise meaning not quite clear.

For the record, the fetal stage begins approximately 9 weeks after fertilization.

I still don't believe the law should impose my moral judgement.

I think this is a very common pro-choice position.

If you walked into a hospital room and the doctor declared the patient brain dead, BUT, it was likely that within nine months the brain would again begin to function

?

?

?

...........................

I think Marty used the word "fetus", which is (if I'm not totally mistaken) not compatible with "a single cell".

He also just said we were all "persons" when we were single cells, so . . .

russell is right, I took Marty's dismissal of "arbitrary lines post-conception" to mean that he takes conception to be the only appropriate line dividing "human person" from "mere human tissue" -- so logically by his lights, a single cell does count as a human person.

Marty:

And I think the 40% you talk about would not agree. So we disagree.

Yes, but I (at least) am not agreeing to disagree.

As a scientist, I'm used to accepting theories that are, from the POV of common sense, preposterous -- e.g. wave-particle duality. I can accept such wacky, counterintuitive ideas because there's a really solid bridge of logic and observation, getting me from my solid, commonplace experience over the canyon to the ground of quantum physics.

If you're going to convince me that I should think of a single cell as a person, you need to make a bridge of logic to do it. So far you've mostly said that it's obvious and what everyone always used to believe, but clearly (a) it's not obvious to me, and (b) most people used (pre 1850 or even later) to believe that personhood began at quickening (first detectable fetal movements, 3-4 months), at birth, or somewhere in between.

Conversely, you seem very reluctant to follow the logical trail I've laid out -- you find it confusing and suspicious, though I myself always find logic refreshingly simple if not simplistic.

Marty
Just curious, how have we agreed to this? Because, if we are talking about end of life being brain death it is not an equivalence.

Yes, I am talking about brain death.

If you walked into a hospital room and the doctor declared the patient brain dead, BUT, it was likely that within nine months the brain would again begin to function no one in our society would agree to take away life support barring other health factors.

Boy, do I think you are wrong.

In the first place, who's going to pay for this? Just as with a pregnancy, 9 months of life support doesn't come for free. To be comparable to pregnancy, this would have to be happening to 2% of the population per year. The cost would be *boggling*, and might well break many hospitals and even states. People would have to *make choices* about who to save or not.

In the second place, there would have to be all kinds of legal wranglings to make this situation tractable. What is the legal status of the dead/not dead person's property? Can their spouse re-marry? When they come back to life, do they still have custody of their children? Do they still retain any licenses or earned privileges? If the body is disturbed or injured while the person is brain-dead, who is liable?

We have legal mechanisms for answering all these questions for e.g. coma patients right now, but they're clumsy and expensive -- because the situation doesn't arise very often, so each time it can be treated as a special case.

I have a thought game for Marty. If a fetus is human, than a post-birth baby must be human too, right? If the fetus cannot be killed, then the post-birth fetus, now a baby, can't be killed either,surely? I can't imagine an arument that would explain why a child's life was less valuable after birth than before.

So... what are the implications of that in terms of warfare?


Would it be OK to bomb an enemy nation and kiill their cildren post birth but immoral to bomb them with something that caused abortions?

Or is it OK to kill children on the say-so of a politicain in time of war?

If so then why isn't it OK to kill children before birth if a politcians says it's Ok by passing a law?

Because to me the real issue isn't wether or not life has begun. For me the issues is whether or not cognition has begun. Nearly everyone, including most likley you, Marty, can rationalize the killing of children for some purpose. I find the killing of a pre-cognitive bundle of cells far less morally reprehensible than the killing fo a living terrified child in a war.

I have another related question: how come people who claim to be pro-life are so often willing to kill other people for no reason beyond some jingoistic slogans especially when the otehr peole are often children? (This question is not meant to imply anything about Marty. I'm thinking more of your Malkin type who was literally a cheerleader for Bush while claiming to be prolife).

"Conversely, you seem very reluctant to follow the logical trail I've laid out "

I am trying. Perhaps I am missing something. In this thread, or another I missed, did you lay out a logic trail for personhood that is based on a societal concept of a brain being the requirement? Also one that stands up against the simple logic that a brain in progress counts?

First detectable fetal movements seems very arbitrary based on advances in ability to detect movement that moves those goalposts a lot since 1850.

I would not assume that I find any of this confusing although I do find it a little simplistic and arbitrary.

And while I did say fetus (thanks Slart) lets work with a single cell assuming you could know that it exists and get to it before it could become two. The discussion is no different.


"Boy, do I think you are wrong."

Having spent the better part of three of the last six years in hospital rooms, 12 months of that time with a relative in an induced coma, I have to strongly disagree with you.

Given a high likelihood of revived brain function no family member would agree to removal of life support and our current system has no enforcement of that without their consent. The cost would be minimized as much a spossible by where that was provided, but it would be provided.


I enter in a bit reluctantly. I'm not sure if any amount of discussion will move anyone, unfortunately, but

First detectable fetal movements seems very arbitrary based on advances in ability to detect movement that moves those goalposts a lot since 1850.

The goalpost only moves if you are talking about outside observers. The quickening is when the woman who is pregnant first feels movement. Blackmun's opinion uses that specific term

"quickening" -- the first recognizable movement of the fetus in utero
link

Now, the observer is not defined, but given that the woman is the one with the ringside seat, it seems silly to assume that it is some other person who is the observer. I'd suggest that semantically, quickening underlines that it is the woman's perception that is paramount. I'd also point out that if you want to argue that quickening is the first motion detectable with the addition of (potentially intrusive) medical machinery, this is a rather interesting twist on conservative notions of privacy and personhood.


The mp3s for the oral arguments for Roe v Wade are here

Interesting input lj. Thanks for the links.

No worries, and apologies if the point about conservative notions was too sharp. Over at Crooked Timber, they have a lot of philosophical thought experiments, which get a bit much IMHO, but when you start invoking the progress of technology, you have to wonder where one draws the line and the gedanken just starts to flow, to the point of invoking The Minority Report and Dickian notions of pre-cogs, which doesn't help so much.

But the whole question of external observer versus the woman is what makes this whole question so difficult. So it leads me to note that in the discussion of sex education, you strongly argued that outside entities should not impose some particular type of education on children without parental consent. But here, you are arguing that the ability to monitor fetal movement on a potentially microscopic level dictates a re-evaluation of the traditional trimester line. This is not to suggest that your whole line of reasoning rests on this, but it seems like an interesting disjunction.

Certainly, this can be turned around and one could argue that it is hypocritical to support the intrusiveness of sex education in schools, yet not have the conviction to apply intrusiveness in the service of life that begins immediately after conception. Still, I feel more comfortable advocating some intrusiveness in terms of education when the impact to society and to other people is great, while not accepting such intrusiveness when it is primarily a question, quite literally, inside the woman.

Lj, (from airport again so short) use of technology doesn't preclude parental input or demand external decision making. It can enhance parental knowledge, down to the single cell level presumably.

Marty,
Don't mean to take advantage of your inability to give more detailed replies, but I don't see how you can argue for more governmental restrictions on abortion because parents have access to more information. You've argued in this thread that abortion is (primarily?) a way for women to avoid taking responsibility for consensual sex. Why would the presence of technology to show us the movement of a blastocyte, or even precisely identify the exact moment when an egg is fertilized justify the government preventing a woman from having an abortion after that point? The opposition to RU-486 (and I wonder what your position is on that) suggests that it is not a question of what parent's know, but the desire to dictate what women can do.

Marty, are a sperm or an ovum "persons?" They're made of exactly the same thing as the persons in which they exist, and carry identical DNA, so if they're not, why not?

lj, (tarmac new airport) I have not once argued for ANY governmental restriction on abortion. Read the thread, my position is anti-abortion, pro-choice.

Marty, I apologize. I missed or forgot the part of the thread where you said you were prochoice.

Sorry Marty, I misread this

I am very clear that in supporting a woman's right to make this choice that I believe she also has the responsibility to take all precautions to not create the life she will be taking.

Abortion as contraception for poor planning on the part of an adult is a matter of convenience. Or would you describe it differently?

While I greatly appreciate the first part, to make the claim that abortion is a byproduct of a lack of responsibility on the part of the woman suggests that there is a need to enforce a woman taking responsibility. I'd suggest that by making the argument in the way you are doing, you are opening the door for others to argue that somehow, something must be done to take responsibility. Being anti-abortion in the first trimester seems to contradict being pro-choice.

Anyway, I'll leave it there, as I said earlier, this is a debate that is very difficult to move people on, myself included.

No problem wonkie. I seem to meet a lot of people that don't think abortion is the right choice but think it is still their choice to make.

They don't speak out a lot about why they think it is the wrong choice because it doesn't fit on either side of the battle lines.

I would like to have more of a discussion in our society about why it is bad (or ok)and when, and no discussion about why it should be legal or illegal.

We have those discussions oddly framed in the legal discussions but they become counterproductive because they are framed as "when the government should intrude".

I am very clear that in supporting a woman's right to make this choice that I believe she also has the responsibility to take all precautions to not create the life she will be taking.

And, see, again, I'm clear that if you're the one that's so anti-abortion, it's your responsibility to prevent unplanned pregnancies.

"to make the claim that abortion is a byproduct of a lack of responsibility on the part of the woman suggests that there is a need to enforce a woman taking responsibility."

lj,

While I have a just a few minutes at a computer. If that is the suggestion you got from it i was completely unclear. I believe that this both a matter of personal choice and personal responsibility. Both partners, Phil being correct, have responsibility to prevent the creation of an unwanted person.

A woman, generally, has the ability to impact that the most through her own birth control methods and ensuring her partner wears protection. He can only ensure he is wearing protection.

An adult pair of humans (any relationship status) having unprotected sex that creates a person incurs a set of responsibilities for both the man and the woman. In the short term, those responsibilities are clearly much greater for the woman, so she has more rights in the short term, and should.

I believe that the set of factors that should be acceptable for having an abortion in this case is very small, in essence, the actual life of the mother. (writing quickly maybe a others that don't come immediately to mind).

BUT, this is a moral and cultural argument I am making. NOT a legal one. *I* believe this and *I* would like it to be a discussion in our society about what WE believe knowing that we will not all agree on those boundaries.

And I will not be angry when someone believes in first trimester abortions or defines the start of life at quickening.

I will be very disappointed when someone defines it at birth(as I look at my twin grandsons who were delivered by C-section at 27 weeks, they are now 11).

But we could have a better discussion if we weren't discussing the law.

He also just said we were all "persons" when we were single cells, so . . .

Fair enough. I can only defend Marty on one point at a time, though, and not every single argument he might have made prior to that point.

Thanks Marty, I appreciate the clarification and my apologies for the misunderstanding. I also know how aggravating it is when you feel like you need to respond to someone, but only have a limited amount of time, so my apologies for keeping at you on this.

lj, no problem, thanks for the discussion.

Just wanted to say thanks to marty for the thoughtful post at 10:18.

I share lj's thought that, at this point, nobody's likely to move off of whatever point of view they currently hold on abortion.

By the time a situation is at the point where abortion is one of the options, it's already a bad situation. It's really never anyone's first choice. It's quite often accompanied by other not-so-great things like poverty, or failed relationships, or regret over reckless behavior.

And even though (as one can readily see by reading the Roe ruling) it's some combination off awkward and ill-advised for the law to weigh in on matters of metaphysics and religious belief, those are all very very real considerations for the actual, concrete people faced with making decisions about whether or not to bring a life they have started to fruition.

Legal issues aside, it's just a freaking hard place for people to be.

I don't think I really have anything useful to contribute to the discussion other than to note that it's a hard, complex, painful issue. There are no simple answers. I don't see any, at least.

"The one thing all humans agree on is that it is Ok to kill other people."

Do you have a cite on that?

It seems to fly in the the face of obvious facts.

Back on Usenet, custom was that the certain subjects never were worth discussing, because all you'd get was flame and no light, but at infinite length, and thus no one interested in productive discussion would go remotely near them were: abortion, gnu control (people grepped in the old days -- hey, I'm sorry Kibo isn't still doing that)), and vi/emacs wars.

If anyone changes their positions as a result of this thread, I'd be curious to know. Otherwise my conclusion would be that things haven't changed.

Also: never argue whether Kirk or Picard were better captains, and which ship could beat which ship.

Meanwhile, anyone want to make.money.fast? Or find an immigration lawyer?

I'm feeling all warm and nostalgic. But these customs evolved -- very quickly -- for good reasons.

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/23/bobby-franklin-miscarriage-naturally/

Awesome. One of them finally took their loony logic to its ultimate conclusion: if you're gonna ban abortion, you're gonna have to investigate every miscarriage, and put women in jail.

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