US-style anti-abortion protesters

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Re: US-style anti-abortion protesters

Post by Guest on Sat Oct 30, 2010 6:35 am

cable2 wrote:yup I do say that and I also say.. bad laws need to be questioned and opposed.. and for me any law which denies a woman the right over her own body is a bad law.

The issue that matters here most (AFAIC) is when does a "person" begin, we have laws preventing abortion over a certain limit because that foetus is a this point a conscious thinking being with a right to a life. If a woman who is over 24 weeks pregnant and wishes to terminate the pregnancy at this point, it IS murder.

Also, no one "owns" their body, we ARE our body; what logical sense is it to say something owns itself?

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Re: US-style anti-abortion protesters

Post by dblboggie on Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:42 pm

merkwurdigliebe wrote:
dblboggie wrote:I only mention the point a fetus can viably exist outside the womb (sans vats) because at this point, not only has mental development reached an advanced stage, but the lungs have also developed to the point where the fetus can live outside the womb with some help (and sometimes with none).

I don't understand why should "lungs" or being able to live "without help" (whatever that may mean, no healthy baby or even child would live long without someone to care for them) should matter. A person who relies upon a mechanical set of lungs is no less a human being, someone who requires upon any number of electrical devices to keep their hearts working isn't any less more worthy then you or me. On the other hand, a person whose organs all work, but exists in vegetative state - isn't a "person", in the sense they are entitled to the same moral rights.

Morally, I feel "personhood" should only be reduced to one criteria, that being a wholly mental one.

In that case, and I'm not disagreeing with you here as you raise a very valid point, that would put the cut off point much earlier than 24 or 22 weeks. Well before the body has fully developed, the fetus starts displaying remarkably human behaviors in the womb, by week 18 we know that the baby can hear and be startled by loud noises. In week 16, the fetus is already displaying facial movements like frowning or squinting and is making sucking motions with the mouth.

Now the question is, how do you define that "mental" criteria? What mental standard achieves personhood?
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Re: US-style anti-abortion protesters

Post by Guest on Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:44 pm

dblboggie wrote:Now the question is, how do you define that "mental" criteria? What mental standard achieves personhood?

The same that we use to decide when someone has become "brain-dead" or vegatitve, conciousness. When Terri Schiavo lost her sense of self, she no longer became Terri Schaivo, she was good as dead. We have some idea when it begins to develop in the foetus, which isn't necessarily the same as developing a nervous system (feeling pain and hearing sounds).

Our Parliament's Science and Technology Committee in 2007 looked reviewed the medical and scientific arguments made for abortion when it was first legal in 1967, concerning especially with the claims that scientists got it wrong about how quickly the foetus develops. Whilst what you say is true, that they do indeed feel and respond to external stimuli roughly at that time you specified - but there isn't any proof that they "understand" it or are conscious of it until much later.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/1045i.pdf

Also the issue of viability outside the womb isn't actually helped much by technology. The most premature baby that survived it's birth (I believe is now a healthy 20 year old Canadian male who was born almost 20 weeks premature) isn't likely to have technology to thank for much. Despite advances in medical care, there is no evidence that we (developed nations) are necessarily any more prepared for to save the lives of extremely immature babies today then ten years ago.

http://www.bmj.com/content/336/7655/1221.full

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Re: US-style anti-abortion protesters

Post by dblboggie on Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:52 pm

merkwurdigliebe wrote:
dblboggie wrote:Now the question is, how do you define that "mental" criteria? What mental standard achieves personhood?

The same that we use to decide when someone has become "brain-dead" or vegatitve, conciousness. When Terri Schiavo lost her sense of self, she no longer became Terri Schaivo, she was good as dead. We have some idea when it begins to develop in the foetus, which isn't necessarily the same as developing a nervous system (feeling pain and hearing sounds).

Our Parliament's Science and Technology Committee in 2007 looked reviewed the medical and scientific arguments made for abortion when it was first legal in 1967, concerning especially with the claims that scientists got it wrong about how quickly the foetus develops. Whilst what you say is true, that they do indeed feel and respond to external stimuli roughly at that time you specified - but there isn't any proof that they "understand" it or are conscious of it until much later.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/1045i.pdf

Also the issue of viability outside the womb isn't actually helped much by technology. The most premature baby that survived it's birth (I believe is now a healthy 20 year old Canadian male who was born almost 20 weeks premature) isn't likely to have technology to thank for much. Despite advances in medical care, there is no evidence that we (developed nations) are necessarily any more prepared for to save the lives of extremely immature babies today then ten years ago.

http://www.bmj.com/content/336/7655/1221.full

Interesting... on pages 24-25, the following statement caught my attention: "The fact that foetuses show reflex (not involving the cortex)actions —for example, physically recoiling or scrunching up the face at unpleasant stimuli — does not necessarily mean that foetuses are conscious or that the cerebral cortex is involved."

One could fairly relate the corollary, "it does not necessarily mean that foetuses are unconscious." It would seem that there is much we do not yet know about the consciousness of a fetal life. Were we truly concerned about the unlawful termination of a sentient being, I should think it would not be a bad thing to err on the side of caution. Rather than seeking to push the length of time a pregnancy can go to the very border of absolute certainty (viability is relied on heavily in this study for instance) that an abortion could be considered murder, we should be willing to shave that back a bit, since the science is so uncertain as to this issue of consciousness.

Of course, that's just my opinion of it from a moral/legal stance. I don't believe that such a reduction in the time limit to, say, 20 weeks would seriously inconvenience anyone. What do you think?
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Re: US-style anti-abortion protesters

Post by TexasBlue on Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:59 pm

At least 16 states still have pre-1973 anti-abortion laws on the books even though they are clearly unconstitutional and nullified under Roe v. Wade.

Bull. If it's an unconstitutional law, it wouldn't stand to start with. The states may not pass a law that eclipses federal law.


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Re: US-style anti-abortion protesters

Post by BecMacFeegle on Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:18 pm

for what it's worth, I would say that the difference between a vegetative person and a foetus is that the vegetative person has no chance of regaining their sense of self - whilst the foetus will develop that self awareness.
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Re: US-style anti-abortion protesters

Post by TexasBlue on Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:48 pm

Did a bit of searching in regards to the post that said some states have "unconstitutional" abortion laws. I found that to be false under my own thesis of the pure fact that no state law can eclipse federal law. Then a quick search of Wikipedia shows me to be correct. Yet it speaks of Trigger Laws.

Wikipedia wrote:Several states have enacted so-called trigger laws which "would take effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned."Those states include Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota. Additionally, many states did not repeal pre-1973 statutes that criminalized abortion, and some of those statutes could automatically spring back to life in the event of a reversal of Roe.

Other states have passed laws to maintain the legality of abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Those states include California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Nevada and Washington
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Re: US-style anti-abortion protesters

Post by Guest on Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:54 pm

dblboggie wrote:Of course, that's just my opinion of it from a moral/legal stance. I don't believe that such a reduction in the time limit to, say, 20 weeks would seriously inconvenience anyone. What do you think?

Even after 24 weeks the mind is not fully developed, but 24 weeks was already a safe boundary line IIRC. If there is a need to reduce the abortion term limit (the very same committee finding stated there isn't any "scientific" evidence for lowering it), then I think it fair that "abortion on demand" be available to those who request it.

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Re: US-style anti-abortion protesters

Post by dblboggie on Sat Oct 30, 2010 6:22 pm

BecMacFeegle wrote:for what it's worth, I would say that the difference between a vegetative person and a foetus is that the vegetative person has no chance of regaining their sense of self - whilst the foetus will develop that self awareness.

Another very good reason for erring on the side of the foetus (to use the British spelling).
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Re: US-style anti-abortion protesters

Post by BecMacFeegle on Sun Oct 31, 2010 3:56 am

Even after 24 weeks the mind is not fully developed, but 24 weeks was already a safe boundary line IIRC. If there is a need to reduce the abortion term limit (the very same committee finding stated there isn't any "scientific" evidence for lowering it), then I think it fair that "abortion on demand" be available to those who request it.

Fair enough, if 24 weeks already presents a safe boundary with regards to the development of personhood, then I wouldn't argue for lowering the limit on those grounds.

24 weeks is over halfway through a pregnancy - I can't understand why - barring medical complications - anyone would need to wait that long to to decide to have an abortion. But I do appreciate the potential dangers of restricting access and narrowing the time limit too much with regard to terminations. For that reason I don't object to abortion on demand - though I would prefer that were restricted to the earlier stages of the pregnancy.
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