Pregnant? Don’t Fall Down the Stairs


This article contains a correction made at 7:58 a.m. Tuesday, February 17th, 2010 to clarify the law applied to the arrest of Christine Taylor.  An earlier version did not specify the statute applied in this case.

When anti-choice advocates dream up and manage to pass bills in the name of being "pro-life," make no mistake – there is no question they know that these laws have the potential to ruin lives.

In the case of Christine Taylor, an Iowa mother of two girls and pregnant with her third child, a feticide law enacted in that state because of anti-choice efforts has wreaked havoc on her life. 

It all started last month, according to Change.org:

Last month,
after an upsetting phone conversation with her estranged husband, Ms.
Taylor became light-headed and fell down a flight of stairs in her
home. Paramedics rushed to the scene and ultimately declared her
healthy. However, since she was pregnant with her third child at the
time, Taylor thought it would be best to be seen at the local ER to
make sure her fetus was unharmed.

After Taylor was treated by a nurse at the private hospital and deemed fine, she confided to the nurse that she was upset and scared and wasn’t sure she wanted to continue the pregnancy. Her husband recently left her after she told him she was pregnant with their third child:

"I never said I didn’t want my baby, but I admitted that I had been
considering adoption or abortion," she said. "I admit that I said I
wasn’t sure I wanted to continue the pregnancy. My husband sends me
money, but money doesn’t make a parent. I don’t have anybody else to
turn to."

Although Taylor was in the first part of her second trimester, the
nurse noted on her chart that she was in the first week of her third
trimester – the time when, under Iowa’s fetal homicide law, a violent act perpetrated against a pregnant woman could be considered criminal. The nurse called over the doctor who then called the police – which is when Christine Taylor found herself arrested and sent to jail for admitting uncertainty about her pregnancy and fear about raising three children on her own.

Iowa is one of 37 states with a feticide law on the books, a number that has increased in recent years "because of a growing movement by some conservatives to
target providers of late abortion, such as Dr. George Tiller, and to protect "unborn victims of violence,"" a back-door effort to create a status of "personhood" for the fetus separate from its mother before it is viable.

One section of Iowa’s law criminalizes any act by any person who attempts to intentionally
terminate a pregnancy "without
the knowledge and voluntary consent of the pregnant person" at any stage of pregnancy.  

Another makes it a felony to intentionally terminate a pregnancy "with
the knowledge and voluntary consent of the pregnant person after the
end of the second trimester," unless a pregnancy is terminated for the reasons of the life or health of the mother.  In short…a willing effort to terminate a pregnancy.  This is the section of the law under which Christine Taylor was charged.

According to the Des Moines Register, "Bringing a charge of attempted feticide against Taylor would have treaded new legal territory in Iowa, legal experts said."

"I’ve
never seen those facts brought to me in 20 years of prosecuting," said
Corwin Ritchie, coordinator of the Iowa County Attorneys Association.

Robert
Rigg, who teaches at the Drake University Law School, said the unusual
case raises important questions even though Taylor is not being
prosecuted. Among them: "How in the heck did the police get a statement
made by a patient to a medical person during the course of treatment?"
he asked.

Under federal law, health care providers can release
limited information to law enforcement, but not if it was given in the
course of that person’s "treatment related to the propensity to commit
this type of violent act."
Disclosure of some information could be a violation of federal rules protecting personal medical information, Rigg said.

Though some
fetal homicide laws are relics from centuries ago (Washington state’s
1895 law defines fetal homicide as intentionally causing the death of a
"quick child," which is an ancient term for when a pregnant woman can
feel the fetus inside her), most derive from our federal "Unborn
Victims of Violence Act" (UVVA), which allows for the perpetrator of a violent
crime against a pregnant women to be charged for two crimes – one
against the woman and one against her fetus. And while a violent crime perpetrated against a pregnant woman resulting in both her death and the death of her unborn baby during a wanted pregnancy is a heinous crime, the passage of the UVVA law and the resulting state fetal homicide laws are more about blocking access to abortion and keeping women scared and "in line." Re-published on Alternet.org, Jeanne Flavin writes in her book Our Bodies, Our Crimes: The Policing of Women’s Reproduction in America:

 

The Unborn Victims of Violence Act explicitly states that nothing in the  
act "shall be construed to permit the prosecution … of any woman with
respect to her unborn child." But state statutes have used nearly
identical language (often, as noted, only after hard-fought battles to
get the language included in the first place) and then have gone on to
prosecute pregnant women for their drug use in what has been called a
"legislative bait and switch." Fetal protection laws not only represent
a backdoor to abolishing abortion but also they leave open the
possibility that the laws used to prosecute those who assault pregnant
women may be directed against pregnant women themselves. In Missouri,
for example, the state argued that the exception articulated in their
fetus-centered homicide statute applied only to a woman who indirectly
harmed her unborn child, not to a woman whose drug use was claimed to
have directly endangered the child. 

So while these laws were enacted because of intense advocacy by anti-choice forces under the guise of "protecting pregnant women and their unborn babies," they do have the power to be – and have been – wielded like weapons against pregnant women like Christine Taylor. 

Quoted in the Des Moines Register, Lynn Paltrow executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) said of the incident:

"You want women to be able to talk to their doctors without being
accused as a baby killer"…Transforming some mothers’ obviously
difficult and painful circumstances into a crime, she said, "would make
every pregnant woman in this country vulnerable to criminal
prosecution."

The charges against Taylor were dropped ultimately but not because this is a draconian, hateful, anti-woman, anti-family piece of legislation that harms women and families. They were dropped because Taylor’s doctor confirmed that she was in her second trimester at the time of her fall, not the "criminal" third trimester. 

And, as Change.org notes, there is another shocking element to this case – the question of patient confidentiality. The doctor and nurse involved in reporting this to the police seem to be in serious breach of the law:

Christine Taylor came to them emotionally vulnerable in order to seek
help for her unborn child. She thought she was in a safe place talking
to professionals in whom she could confide. Oops, her bad. As Robert
Rigg, professor at the Drake University Law School, said, "How in the heck did the police get a statement made by a patient to a medical person during the course of treatment?"

This is not about "protecting the life of the unborn." Protecting the life of the unborn for women who want to be pregnant means ensuring access to high quality prenatal care. It means ensuring pay equity– that women are paid on par with their male counterparts – so they are able to support a family. It means ensuring paid family leave and fair breastfeeding policies. It means making sure that pregnant women are safe from perpetators of violence – most often their boyfriends or husbands. 

This is about innocent lives being trampled upon though. This is about the lives of the women and children who are here now: living, breathing, laughing, struggling, nurturing, being. It’s about making sure families like Christine Taylor and her two children have the means to live safely, free to make the best decisions they can about their health and lives, without fear of prosecution or retribution from anti-choice advocates aiming to criminalize pregnant women’s choices. 

What kind of messages are we sending to pregnant women? Either ask for or seek help and risk being persecuted, maybe even jailed, for reaching out or remain fearful and do not seek out medical attention or services. These aren’t choices at all. These are dangerous scenarios that risk both mothers’ and babies’ health and lives. 

Christine Taylor is not "collateral damage" in the war against women, perpetrated by anti-choice advocates. She is an exact target.  

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  • sertelt

    Nice try, but actually Iowa state law prevents a pregnant woman from ever being charged under the statute.

    First, Section 707.8 of the Iowa state code specifically defines the crime as “Nonconsensual termination” which directly implies that this is the ending of the pregnancy without the mother’s consent.

    But, more specifically, the statute prohibits the strawman you set up.

    “12. As used in this section, actions which cause the termination of or serious injury to a pregnancy do not apply to any of the following:
    a. An act or omission of the pregnant person.”

    You can look it up yourself at http://search.legis.state.ia.us/nxt/gateway.dll/ic/2009code/1/26554/26555/26720/26729?f=templates&fn=default.htm

    And the feticide statute covers people acting in concert with the pregnant woman (such as the Utah case where the teen hired someone to beat her to induce a miscarriage) and doesn’t cover the pregnant woman herself.

    Don’t just take my word for it. From the National Council of State Legislatures: “Iowa Code §707.8 provides penalties for the nonconsensual termination or serious injury to a human pregnancy. Specifically, the law defines penalties for a person who terminates a human pregnancy without the consent of the pregnant person under specified circumstances.”

    We’re taking about someone else here, not the mother herself.

    Blame the hospital staff for taking the law into their own hands but don’t blame the law itself – especially when it does the opposite of what you claim.

    Also, most states in their Unborn Victims laws have clear exceptions for the pregnant woman, abortion and doctors operating under the standard practice of care.

    Calling the law a “draconian, hateful, anti-woman, anti-family piece of legislation that harms women and families” proves just how out of sync you are with women. I guess its better to just let criminals get off without punishment for killing their baby? Where’s the choice in that?

    So instead of creating absurd what if scenarios of prosecuting women who fall down stairs, just admit the truth. Even outside the context of abortion, you can’t stand that any section of the law recognizes an unborn child as a human being worthy of protection. At least that would be intellectually honest.

  • ahunt

    Absurd scenarios…? Review. It happened!

  • sertelt

    What happened was that hospital staff and local police misunderstand the law, not that the law prosecutes pregnant women for falling down the stairs or any other such accident, as Newman wants us to believe.

  • amie-newman

    If you’re going to comment on these issues, please please please do your homework.

    It is difficult to continue to (so easily) counter your false claims and incorrect information. 

    In fact, if you actually read my post in its entirety, you’d see that I did counter your claims knowing that this is exactly what anti-choice advocates try and use as an excuse.

    Okay, so here it goes: While most fetal homicide laws in fact do note that the pregnant women cannot be prosecuted, this means NOTHING because it happens. As ahunt wrote below, this is the entire reason for the post (!). The laws are written – anti-choice advocates and legislators pretend this is all about the fetus – when in fact they know what can and does happen. 

    Christine Taylor was jailed for two days because of this law. Absurd? Well, you might want to tell Christine and her two daughters that their horrific experiences of the last two months were just "absurd." 

    Secondly (and again, please please read my post) women are not only jailed but prosecuted BECAUSE of these laws. From my post above:

    The Unborn Victims of Violence Act explicitly states that nothing in the  
    act "shall be construed to permit the prosecution … of any woman with
    respect to her unborn child." But state statutes have used nearly
    identical language (often, as noted, only after hard-fought battles to
    get the language included in the first place) and then have gone on to
    prosecute pregnant women for their drug use in what has been called a
    "legislative bait and switch." Fetal protection laws not only represent
    a backdoor to abolishing abortion but also they leave open the
    possibility that the laws used to prosecute those who assault pregnant
    women may be directed against pregnant women themselves. In Missouri,
    for example, the state argued that the exception articulated in their
    fetus-centered homicide statute applied only to a woman who indirectly
    harmed her unborn child, not to a woman whose drug use was claimed to
    have directly endangered the child.  

    Don’t feel like reading my articles? Okay, fine. How about the fact that in states with these Unborn Victims of Violence laws, "pregnant women…are more likely to be punished
    for behaviors and conditions that are not criminally sanctioned for
    other members of society."

    Or how about the fact that no research has been done to see if these laws actually have any effect whatsoever on reducing violence against pregnant women and their fetuses? 

    I’m sorry but your reasoning is not sound in the least. You restate Iowa’s law in your comment as the reasoning for why Taylor was not prosecuted when its very existence is the reason why she was jailed. Yes, the medical personnel were at fault, undeniably. But it’s laws like these that serve no other purpose than to rally an anti-choice base against abortion that target innocent pregnant women and their families. 

    If you want to truly make a difference, work to make sure all women have adequte prenatal care. Work to protect women from domestic violence. Ensure all children have access to high quality health care. I see not one of these priorities on any anti-choice organization’s wish list. 

    Amie Newman

    Managing Editor, RH Reality Check

  • amie-newman

    I want you to believe the facts, Steven. I know that’s a stretch but it is what I want. 

    Amie Newman

    Managing Editor, RH Reality Check

  • sertelt

    Amie, I read your article. Maybe you should read it, because then you would title it something other than "Pregnant? Don’t Fall Down the Stairs" because you know that is completely absurd. The solution isn’t to attack pro-woman laws, its for hospital and police attorneys to educate their staff and officers. But thanks for reiterating my point that your anti-woman claim concerning these laws is asinine because they don’t prosecute women.

  • sertelt

    Attacking me personally is the best rebuttal you’ve got? No wonder you guys are losing so much ground in the polls. Between you and NOW’s president, Americans are seeing through the pro-woman charade. LOL

  • sertelt
    Amie quotes: "Fetal protection laws … leave open the possibility that the laws used to prosecute those who assault pregnant women may be directed against pregnant women themselves."

    Amie responds to me: "fetal homicide laws in fact do note that the pregnant women cannot be prosecuted"

    So why quote someone who is clearly lying about them? Read your own articles Amie and quit accusing me of misrepresenting the facts.
  • crowepps

    Although Taylor was in the first part of her second trimester, the nurse noted on her chart that she was in the first week of her third trimester

    Don’t think much of the professional competence of a nurse who can’t tell pretty much by eye the difference between 13 weeks along and 26 weeks along.

     

    Also don’t think much of the competence of the police if they ‘misunderstood the law’ when they made the arrest.

  • colleen

    What happened was that hospital staff and local police misunderstand the law

     Have you any evidence of this? Because it appears that the nurse understood the law well enough to lie about which trimester the pregnancy was in in order to have her patient arrested and hauled off to jail, that the doctor went along with it and that medical personel and police all agreed she wasn’t entitled to any medical privacy rights.

    I hope Christine Taylor sues the sorry lot of them

     

     

    .

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • sertelt

    Planned Parenthood appears to support the law when it opposed making it better by protecting both mother and child.

    “As observed by Governor Vilsack in his veto message, an Iowa law enacted several years ago already addresses this issue.”

    http://www.ppheartland.info/voting_records.asp?issue_id=4D34F5EC2B014B91A9265BAB50C3B190

    If the law were as bad as Newman decribes, why haven’t Planned Parenthood and NARAL filed bills to repeal it? Apparently even they know something Newman doesn’t.

  • ahunt

    I hope Christine Taylor sues the sorry lot of them

     

    I’ll contribute to that legal fund, colleen!

  • moonchild02

    The law was taken out of context by hospital staff and police who didn’t understand it. Section 707.8 of the Iowa state code specifically makes it a criminal offense for someone to kill an unborn child/fetus without the mother’s consent, while especially protecting women from being prosecuted for killing their own fetus.

     

    Therefore, abortion rights are protected by the law in question.

     

    Before saying that pro-lifers take it out of context to criminalize women, realize that pro-lifers want to protect women. That’s why we do what we do. We’ve seen too many women hurt by abortion, and want it to stop for women’s sake, children’s sake, and the world’s sake. We don’t want to criminalize the women. We want to help the women, hence the pregnancy crisis centers that have been opened all over the place. Like you said,

     

    
    
    "Protecting the life of the unborn means ensuring access to high quality prenatal care. It means ensuring pay equity-- that women are paid on par with their male counterparts - so they are able to support a family. It means ensuring paid family leave and fair breastfeeding policies. It means making sure that pregnant women are safe from perpetators of violence - most often their boyfriends or husbands."

     

    Section 707.8 of the Iowa state code was taken out of context by the hospital staff and the police, not pro-lifers. Please do not pin this on us. That law is there to protect women and make sure that people are prosecuted for killing a wanted unborn child. If you were pregnant and wanted that child, and he or she was killed by someone else while in utero without your permission, wouldn’t you want that person prosecuted? That’s what this law does.

  • crowepps

    Go read the article.  If the hospital personnel and the police are that uneducated and inept, the law should be taken off the books.  Better yet, follow the link and read the actual article.

     

    Hours later, however, police entered and began "interrogating" her, she said.

    "I asked Christine if she wanted the child she was pregnant with and she stated, ‘No, I don’t know,’ " the officer wrote.

    Shortly after she was released from the hospital, two squad cars pulled up behind the taxi she was in on her way home to meet her two girls.

    She never told the police that she was going to get an abortion or try to kill the fetus.   She was arrested because she told the police office she didn’t want to be pregnant.  She was arrested for the ‘crime’ of not being, right at that moment, positive about being pregnant.

     

    By the way, she mentioned that she’s infamous because of this — anybody notice anywhere in that long article anyplace where it mentions the name of Mr. I Want To Be Free back in Maryland?  The guy whose lack of support made her so despondent?  I sure couldn’t find it.  Why isn’t he infamous?

  • amie-newman

    again, despite the fact that you want it to be true -  that this was just a simple case of a perfectly innocent law being misused, it’s simply not true. 

    Again, I refer you to my comment above. I am not attacking you personally. I am imploring you to actually read what has happened in other states – and now in Iowa – when laws like these are used in the way that pro-choice and women’s health advocates feared they would be used – as a way to further an anti-woman’s health, anti-family, anti-abortion agenda at the expense of pregnant women and their families.

    When perfectly innocent, pregnant mothers are the victims of a law that does absolutely nothing to reduce the incidents of violent crimes against pregnant women and their babies, why do these laws exist? Again, because you are not answering my questions: where is the evidence these laws have actually improved women’s and children’s lives?

    I’m unclear what you are attempting to prove with the link you offer to the Planned Parenthood information. All that says is that PP opposed the inclusion of defining personhood as being any stage of development from inside the womb or after birth. 

    Again, I ask, if you truly care about fetal health, prenatal care, women’s health, the victims of violence – please, please point me towards anti-choice organizations that support expanded health care for pregnant women, the reduction of infant and maternal mortality rates, and support for victims of domestic violence.

    As for the commenter above who asked me not to "pin this" on anti-choice advocates, I again state – it was anti-choice advocates and legislators who conceived of and pushed these laws knowing that this could (and does) happen. At this stage, it’s more critical to inform and educate and let people know that these laws have the real power to ruin innocent people’s lives, rather than blame. But it is also necessary to pinpoint how and why these bills are developed and passed. 

    Amie Newman

    Managing Editor, RH Reality Check

  • ack

    She wasn’t held under 707.8, she was held under 707.7, which outlaws CONSENSUAL elective third-trimester abortions. The lie about her progress in the pregnancy is the whole reason the statute applied. 707.8 deals with non-consensual termination and was intended to protect victims of violence, and is irrelevant in this case.

    Sorry for my lack of formatting skills:

    707.7 Feticide.
    Any person who intentionally terminates a human pregnancy, with the knowledge and voluntary consent of the pregnant person, after the end of the second trimester of the pregnancy where death of the fetus results commits feticide. Feticide is a class “C” felony.
    Any person who attempts to intentionally terminate a human pregnancy, with the knowledge and voluntary consent of the pregnant person, after the end of the second trimester of the pregnancy where death of the fetus does not result commits attempted feticide. Attempted feticide is a class “D” felony.
    This section shall not apply to the termination of a human pregnancy performed by a physician licensed in this state to practice medicine or surgery when in the best clinical judgment of the physician the termination is performed to preserve the life or health of the pregnant person or of the fetus and every reasonable medical effort not inconsistent with preserving the life of the pregnant person is made to preserve the life of a viable fetus.
    Any person who terminates a human pregnancy, with the knowledge and voluntary consent of the pregnant person, who is not a person licensed to practice medicine and surgery under the provisions of chapter 148, or an osteopathic physician and surgeon licensed to practice osteopathic medicine and surgery under the provisions of chapter 150A,* commits a class “C” felony.

  • ack

    "fetal homicide laws in fact do note that the pregnant women cannot be prosecuted">>

     

    No, they don’t. The statute uses the term "any person" in the feticide law, but does not exclude that the pregnant woman herself could be defined as "any person." Please see Iowa 707.7

  • amanda-marcotte

    To distract from the basic facts of the case: An anti-choicer, when presented with a human woman in a vulnerable position, went on "hurt and destroy" mode, and did everything in her power to punish this woman for having the temerity to suggest that women’s relationship to motherhood is complicated, because women are thinking human beings with responsibilities, not just dogs contentedly suckling pups. God forbid someone admit that life is hard, marriages don’t always work out, and it’s not always the best time to have children.  Toss her in jail!

  • kate-ranieri

    Count me in….

  • pinner

    how disingenuous of the so called "pro-life" community. I don’t care how this law is interpreted; a woman got arrested for insinuating that she didn’t know what to do about her pregnancy. More then 1 of these clowns claims to be "pro-woman." Yep, nothing says support like telling as woman what to do with her own body, even if it might endanger her life. don’t like that hackneyed argument? Sorry, the supreme court did. I want to be there when the law tells you can no longer masturbate. what will you do with yourselves? OMG, LOL! "We’re actually pro-woman!" That takes a special kind of arrogance.

  • crowepps

    By she didn’t commit feticide, attempt to commit feticide, reveal that she had made a plan to commit feticide.  All she did was say emotionally what sums up as ‘I don’t know if I want this baby at all’.  For this she was arrested?

     

    Next time I hear a parent say ‘sometimes I feel like just strangling my teenager’ I’ll call the cops and insist they be arrested for murder.

  • carolyn-marie-fugit

    And if a woman chooses not to go to the doctor (as often?) because she can’t trust her doctor, she risks punishment for child endangerment. And that one is very much happening. A pregnant woman is ordered bedrest by her doctor and before she can get a second opinion, a court gets involved. What’s this about individual rights and not having the government between a patient and their doctor?

  • phylosopher

    Let’s see, if this law so clearly didn’t cover pregnant women, why did it take 48 hours of her incarceration before that got figured out? Most police forces are careful as hell about false arrest, because it can mean a bigtime lawsuit – putting an already stressed out pregnant woman and mother of two in jail is asking for a bad outcome (harm to either mother or fetus and the city having to pay mega comp)?

  • phylosopher

    and the analogy is:

     

    We’ve seen lots of women hurt by marriage, physically and emotionally.  So lets ban marriage for ALL women.  

  • factotum666

    So … lets see obedient people following “THE ONE TRUE GOD” who think that women are inferior and any sex outside of marriage is bad want complete control over womens bodies and lives. Well Duh…

    But wait … there is more. To prevent infanticide, all women traveling out of the country will have to undergo pregnancy tests. And all spontaneous abortions will be investigates as homicides. Welcome to the brave new world of god

  • feminazi

    But I’m guessing that the medical personnel were probably acting according to the law in their minds–the “mistake” about which trimester Taylor was in aside. There are certain situations in which health professionals of all kinds are bound to break confidentiality, and I’m assuming that a situation which the law has defined as some kind of child abuse/endangerment/whatever you want to call it is one of those times. These people probably would have been at risk of losing their licenses to practice if it was discovered that she had confided that she was thinking of having an abortion at a time it is illegal to do so, much in the same way as a therapist is bound by law and ethics to break confidentiality if a patient discloses that they’ve been molesting their child. Doesn’t change the fact that this is a horrible, HORRIBLE law and is helping to steadily erode our reproductive rights as women, but confidentiality isn’t the blanket of immunity a lot of people seem to believe it is–unless, of course, you’re talking to a priest.

  • amberb

    “There are certain situations in which health professionals of all kinds are bound to break confidentiality,”

    This is very true, however, health professionals cannot break confidentiality unless there is a statement made with intent and / or a plan. As a nurse, I cannot break confidentiality of a person who has said they have had thoughts of hurting someone or themselves unless they state they have intent, a plan, or are unable to contract for safety. The same applies to someone voicing thoughts about harming a child. People often times exaggerate their intent, ex. ”I’m going to KILL my daughter when I see her!” is something I have frequently heard from co-workers and friends. The mother does not actually have any intent of hurting anyone at all and is exaggerating to the point of absurdity to make it clear that she is upset about something her child has done. Further questioning usually leads to an understanding that the mother only intends to lay boundaries with her child and that there will be reasonable consequences for the child’s actions.

     

    In the case of Mrs. Taylor, she voiced to a health care provider that she did not know what she was going to do and that she was considering alternative options to keeping her child. If a woman is putting forward the option of adoption as well as abortion and voicing hesitancy to both, she does not have clear intent or a plan and should be referred to a provider who can give her the information she would need to determine her best options, not be held for police questioning. The role of a nurse or doctor, if they do see that as intent, is not to report to law authorities, but to either refer to a person who would be able to help her or to a child protective services if they felt that was the best course of action legally. There is always an “on-call” social worker for those cases, even if that person is only available  via telephone.

     

    The only time a health care provider should ever call the police is if a person is stating that they have full intent to harm a person and that nothing will stop them and they are threatening to leave the medical facility or if the person is threatening and posturing toward staff in the hospital (In which case the police are called and the person they are threatening to harm is also informed or security is called to restrain the patient until they can be sedated.) If the person is not threatening to leave the facility, but only voicing intent and a plan, then an emergency mental health evaluation is the immediate course of action and the person may be placed on a 72 hour mental health hold (or the state equivalent.) They are NOT taken into custody.

     

    All hospital and health care professionals, emergency room personnel especially, whether they are the cleaning guy buffing the floor or a doctor, are all given orientation upon being hired regarding the proper procedures to take and there are ALWAYS Standard Operating Procedures outlined for ALL of the above situations that should be referred to and reviewed periodically.

     

    Regardless of whether the nurse and doctor thought they were doing the right thing in calling the police, they most likely did not follow their SOPs and also breached patient confidentiality as universally acknowledged by HIPPA laws. At the very least a review of the practices at that hospital should be initiated and new steps taken to protect all patients and their rights and to make sure every patient is given the proper care and referred to people who can help them most. After all, that is what is most important-every patient be treated equally and helped to make the right choice for them and their family, which always should include a full disclosure of all options available to the patient.

  • wooly

    I know this is a tangent, and for that I apologize. Just a quick question about a term that many people on this site use- “anti-choice.”

    Why is that term used? Is it the belief of those who use the term that the “other side” is primarily concerned with taking away the choice to have an abortion? In your view, are they more concerned with taking away this choice than they are concerned with stopping abortions?

     

    I am not asking this to make a stink. It is a genuine question. I am interested in clarity here regarding this point of view, that is all.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts. I appreciate it.

  • julie-watkins

    and there are anti-abortion pickets at PP clinics that don’t perform abortions. Many people (especially politicians) say they are “anti-abortion” but then vote & legislate against things that would reduce unwanted pregnancies (contraception, comprehensive sex-ed, etc.) or the need for abortion (job security, healthcare).

    <blockquote>Is it the belief of those who use the term that the “other side” is primarily concerned with taking away the choice to have an abortion? In your view, are they more concerned with taking away this choice than they are concerned with stopping abortions?</blocquote>

    Yes, because of the above. I feel the actions above are contradictory if the prime motivation of people who say they are “anti-abortion”, but those actions are not contridictory if the motivation is “anti-choice”. So I think “anti-choice” is a better description than “anti-abortion”.

    Also, pro-choice people get called “pro-death” & “proaborts” when we don’t want to force a pregant woman to have an abortion, we trust women to make their own choices (abortion, adoption or parenting). I think “pro-choice” is a more accurate description than “pro-abortion”. People who we call “anti-choice” want to remove the choice of abortion (&, often, contraception).

  • wooly

     Thank you so much Julie for your response. I really appreciate your thoughts and reasoning.

    You prompted a question in my mind: do you think it might be more accurate/helpful to label the other side as “anti-abortion choice” rather than just “anti-choice” because they actually would agree with you on the choices of adoption, having the baby, etc.?

    Both sides seem to agree on trusting women with those choices (adoption, having baby), among others (e.g. both think that killing children outside the womb wrong, child abuse wrong, etc.). By using that label (anti-abortion choice) it might help to focus the argumentation on the specific issue in question rather than get mired in rhetoric, in my view. What do you think?

    Thanks again for any thoughts you might have.

  • crowepps

    Both sides seem to agree on trusting women with those choices (adoption, having baby), among others (e.g. both think that killing children outside the womb wrong, child abuse wrong, etc.). By using that label (anti-abortion choice) it might help to focus the argumentation on the specific issue in question rather than get mired in rhetoric, in my view. What do you think?

    First, a disclaimer – I don’t think “both sides” are monolythic blocks that all have the same opinions, so I’d like to make it clear I’m speaking to the extreme position.

     

    The ProLife side does not believe women can be trusted to decide when to have sex, can be trusted with the use of birth control, does not believe that single women ‘should’ keep and raise their children but that instead they ‘should’ give them up for adoption, does not believe decisions about medically necessary abortions can be left up to those involved because they are an ‘excuse’ for abortion – intervention never really being necessary to save a woman’s life because “that never happens”, and don’t believe those actually involved can be trusted to weigh the costs/benefits to fetus of continuing a pregnancy in cases of malformed/nonviable fetus.

     

    I would say those of the most extreme position aren’t ‘anti-abortion choice’ but just plain and simple anti-abortion in all circumstances as they themselves state in response to polls, and also plain and simple anti-choice for women overall because they assume anyone permitted a choice will more likely make a bad choice. I do not think they trust men more than women though, but instead insist that there is only one valid life for men and one valid life for women, and that everyone has to behave and look and act identically in line with their rigid ideal.

    According to Adorno’s theory, the elements of the Authoritarian personality type are: ■Blind allegiance to conventional beliefs about right and wrong ■Respect for submission to acknowledged authority ■Belief in aggression toward those who do not subscribe to conventional thinking, or who are different ■A negative view of people in general – i.e. the belief that people would all lie, cheat or steal if given the opportunity ■A need for strong leadership which displays uncompromising power ■A belief in simple answers and polemics – i.e. The media controls us all or The source of all our problems is the loss of morals these days. ■Resistance to creative, dangerous ideas. A black and white worldview. ■A tendency to project one’s own feelings of inadequacy, rage and fear onto a scapegoated group ■A preoccupation with violence and sex” http://www.psychologistworld.com/influence_personality/authoritarian_personality.php

  • julie-watkins

    Thanks for your reply. crowepps has useful things to say about “Authoritarian personality” sorts I would definately consider “anti-choice”. Since you would rather call yourself and be called “anti-abortion choice”, I would accept this for accurate for you if you don’t object to contraception and the morning-after pill (which prevents ovulation, not implantation) and want social nets funded so pregnant women can get pre-natal care (job support, etc.) and comprehensive sex ed. There are a lot politicians that are more “anti-choice”, as I outline above — they vote against programs that would reduce abortion and unintended pregnancy.

     

  • wooly

    Thanks to you both for your thoughts. It is helpful.

    I wasn’t planning on bringing my view into the mix, but Julie you assumed that I was from the “anti abortion choice” side and you are correct-I am not trying to hide the fact, but it wasn’t my intention to bring it up. I am mainly just seeking to gain some clarity on what the pro-choice side believes.

    I think that it is so easy to get lost in the passion around topics such as this one that we fail to connect and talk constructively about the relevant points. That is why I am seeking to understand better, that is all.

    That said, if there is ever a need to chat with a reasonable, charitable person (I make every effort) on the “other side” for clarity on my views, I am more than happy to be a resource.

    Thanks again. I may have some more questions in the future if that is allright.

    Respectfully-

  • bj-survivor

    Will you please answer the questions Julie posed to you above? The answers would help us to determine whether you really are simply “anti abortion choice” or whether you are as hypocritical as all the rest of the forced-gestation brigade – oh, sorry, “pro-lifers” – in their zeal to remove contraception and social safety nets and thus just make life a living hell for women and only women.

  • crowepps

    I am mainly just seeking to gain some clarity on what the pro-choice side believes.

     

    There are literally hundreds of articles and diaries and commentaries on this site that explain “what the pro-choice side believes”.  Instead of using the extremely nice little internal search engine, this poster put together an argument which he/she attributed to someone else, posted it with a query as to what response we would recommend he/she use to disprove it, and then disavowed it altogether when it became clear how extremely lame it was.  At that point he/she revealed the ploy and drifted away without ever risking answering a question or stating an honest opinion.

    That said, if there is ever a need to chat with a reasonable, charitable person (I make every effort) on the “other side” for clarity on my views, I am more than happy to be a resource.

    I do find this amusing — that this person then offers to be a resource if any of us want to discuss things with someone ‘reasonable’.  I mean, hey, there we were chatting away right, but I guess the phone rang or there was someone at the door and they had to go.

     

    There are a number of ProLife participants here who have taken the risk of putting their argument out there for discussion.  I may not agree with their positions, but I admire their willingness to take that risk and clearly, publicly state and defend their opinions.

     

    ‘What would your defense be against an argument which I won’t take the risk of connecting to my anonymous internet pseudonym’ is really pathetic.

  • wooly

    I am not sure what caused such a concern.

    Crowepps, you are mistaken in your summary of my postings above. I wasn’t putting together an argument and attributing it to someone else (who? why?), nor was I running away from an argument.

    This may seem unbelievable to you, but I seriously asked my questions wanting to see what people thought. I am more than aware of the “official” positions on the pro-choice side, but wanted a more personal take on things. And I get attacked personally? I am not sure why you chose to do that.

    I have been nothing but charitable and genuine.

     

    BJ Survivor, I am more than happy to answer Julie’s questions though I don’t think they are helpful for more than putting a label by your definition on me. But here goes: I am all for supporting mothers (and fathers) before, during and after a pregnancy. I am all for the use of contraception (including the morning after pill assuming it only prevents ovulation as Julie said), and social safety nets as well as sexual education. As a matter of fact, my wife and I have personally offered to adopt a child we knew that was going to be aborted by a co-worker (and we did so as genuinely as a couple who couldn’t get pregnant and wanted to provide a loving home to a child). We may all draw somewhat different lines on how those positions cash out in terms of public policy, etc. Perhaps that is helpful for you.

     

    Whatever label might be affixed to me, I am more than willing to share the reason I am against abortion. It simply comes from one question- the most important question in this issue- and it is this: What is the nature of the unborn? If the unborn is not human, there is no rationale necessary to take its life. If the unborn is human, then there is no rationale sufficient (even suffering and pain of other humans- including the mother) to take its life.

    I would make my case that the unborn is a human being solely from philosophy and science. I am more than happy to cash out that evidence if you are interested.

    All that said, I think that abortion is reasonable to use in any case where the life of the mother is in jeapardy from the pregnancy.

    I could be wrong, but my impression is that noone thinks that abortion is a great thing, all by itself. On the pro-choice side (please correct me if I am wrong) it seems that most would prefer an abortion not take place, but want that option available to the mother who may undergo hardship with a pregnancy going all the way to birth.

    Even though I would support a mother in hardship with many means, I don’t think that the hardship ever warrants taking the life of a little girl or boy.

    So, Crowepps, there is the basic reason for my view. I wasn’t intending to share it because I wasn’t trying to have an argument here (not that that is a bad thing). But perhaps it will be a helpful thing to share to spur more discussion. If so, I thank you for prompting me for it.

    Respectfully-

     

     

  • crowepps

    I seriously asked my questions wanting to see what people thought. I am more than aware of the “official” positions on the pro-choice side, but wanted a more personal take on things. And I get attacked personally?

    Well, you wanted a “personal take on things” and if you’re going to ask for that, you take the risk that you might get it.  This is probably the hundredth time that someone new has hit this board and started out by saying something along the line of, ‘I’M here now – let’s rewind all the discussions back to the beginning and you guys who have been here all along now have to start over at the beginning and convince ME that you’re right.’

    The information in your post is actually quite helpful.  You are a man, with no children, who has never been and never will be pregnant, who has no clue what is involved in the commitment to raise an actual, real child, and who thinks that confirmation of ‘human’ is the only identifier necessary to justify forcing the woman to tolerate the fetus inflicting suffering and pain.

    I could be wrong, but my impression is that noone thinks that abortion is a great thing, all by itself.

    Certainly I don’t know anyone whatsoever on any side of this issue that things it’s an experience everybody ought to try at least once.

    Even though I would support a mother in hardship with many means, I don’t think that the hardship ever warrants taking the life of a little girl or boy.

    Exactly what “hardship” are you talking about?  You allowed that abortion is reasonable in cases where the pregnancy is killing the woman.  How about when she was raped?  How about if it’s a child victim of incest?  How about if the fetus is grossly deformed?  How about if she has a serious mental illness and her medication will deform the fetus?  How about if she has cancer and the chemotherapy and/or radiation will deform the fetus?

     

    See, these are all issues that have been discussed at length on here, with participants stating positions at various places on the spectrum, and with absolutely no pain you can catch up on all of that by using search to read the back files and see all the previous discussions on each issue.

     

    As has the odd habit of referring to the early pregnancy lump on the uterine wall and its tadpole like appendage as ‘a little boy or girl’.

    I wasn’t intending to share it because I wasn’t trying to have an argument here (not that that is a bad thing).

    I apologize if my comments were harsh but I find it a little odd that anybody would come onto a board of this sort and expect us to explain our opinions without sharing or intending to share their own.  I certainly don’t see any utility in having an argument, but ‘convince me you’re right’ is not a discussion.

  • wooly

    First, I actually do know what it takes to raise a child (my wife and I have suffered infertility for many years and have eventually had children). I know what it means to stay up all night to feed my children (my wife wasn’t able to nurse so we both fed our children with formula), take them to the ER for sickness (the last two nights, as a matter of fact), love them unconditionally, etc. I have first hand experience there. However, that is all irrelevant to whether the unborn is a human or not and therefore whether it is morally acceptable to take its life.

    Second, all the other questions about “when it is ok to abort” can easily be answered by where you come down on the “what is the nature of the unborn” question. If the unborn is a human being with the same value as the mother, the only time that it is ok to take the life of one human (other than capital punishment, war, self-defense, etc.) is when you have to choose between the lives of either- either mom lives and fetus dies or both mom and fetus die. I think it is a simple answer, intellectually. Emotionally/existentially, not so simple. Agonizingly difficult at times. As a matter of fact, I know from firsthand experience in this arena as well (my wife and I have had to make decisions regarding medications to take while pregnant for a serious medical condition). But again, firsthand experience is irrelevant to the truth or falsity of the argument.

    Third, Crowepps you need to be fair. It wasn’t me coming to this board asking for a rewind on everything discussed so far. You need to remember that I came here asking a simple question. I only shared my view after your prompting, and I haven’t asked anyone to respond to it. Nor have I said “convince me you are right” – you again have offered an incorrect summary of what I have offered. For the second time. 

    I kind of feel like I am getting the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” sort of treatment here. If I offer my point of view, I am a bad guy for expecting people to respond instead of me just going to the search engine. If I don’t offer my point of view, I am told that it is not right that I don’t offer my own opinions if I am asking for others to share theirs.

     

    All that said, if someone wants to take issue with my argument feel free to. I have confidence in the strength of it, but I could be mistaken. I am not asking anyone to spend any time on it especially if it has been dealt with elsewhere on the site (I will use the search function to look around more, crowepps). I don’t want to take the hospitality I have received so far for granted. ;)

  • ahunt

    Wooly, I think you wil find that many here come down on the side of trusting women to know what is best for them, their lives, their immediate circumstances and their families. This POV includes trusting women with the decision to determine when and how they have children.

     

    Most of us present our position w/o descending into…”You’re a doody-head.”

     

    This should get you up to speed.

  • wooly

    And just anticipating if someone really wants to know what I think about the hardship questions (given the other responses I figured that I just might be asked for this).

    My answer is this: abortion is not justified in any of those hardship cases because those are not sufficient reasons to take human life. If they were, we would be ok with killing grossly deformed people (say, at 35 years old after a car accident), disabled people of any age, etc. And in the case of rape/incest (two horrible evils), those evil actions are moral justification to take justice on the perpetrator not the innocent child that resulted from the act.

    I know, I know…I am not being sensitive enough to the insane amount of emotional turmoil a woman must go through in these cases. Believe me, I am sensitive to it. I just don’t think that emotional turmoil/hardship, regardless of the pain, rises to the level of taking the life of an innocent human.

    And to be clear, I have no desire to control women or the choices women make. That may be true of others, but not of me nor of any “anti abortion choice” person I know. I hope you see that. I trust women, and men, with making any choices they want. There are just some choices that shouldn’t be condoned by law. That isn’t an issue of power; it is an issue of justice.

    We all agree about that. It is just that we draw different lines around the issue of abortion.

     

     

  • ahunt

    I am not being sensitive enough to the insane amount of emotional turmoil a woman must go through in these cases

     

    Yeah, ’cause the physical “turmoil ” is irrelevent?

  • wooly

    Thanks ahunt for your note above.

    In regards to the physical “turmoil”- I don’t mean to exclude that at all. I was just writing quickly. I would include that with the emotional, spiritual, existential, whatever kind of turmoil. I have been with my wife through her pregnancies and I would no means dismiss what she goes through. I have nothing but respect for pregnant women and mothers for that they go through.

  • ahunt

    I appreciate the care and consideration you accorded your wife’s pregnancies, but under no circumstances do I believe that you or anyone else, no matter how caring and considerate, has any business intruding on the business of my pregnancy.

     

    IOW, your sensitivities are not my problem.

  • crowepps

    Grossly deformed fetus are those with no kidneys, no heart, two heads, no esophogus and stomach, no brain.  They remain ‘alive’ so long as they are attached to the woman because her heart, kidneys, lungs, stomach are doing the work but are stillborn or die within minutes after birth.

     

    What possible objection could you have in these cases to the parents involved deciding that there is no point in continuing another four or five months of pregnancy during which the poor thing will only grow larger and harder to deliver?

     

    If you insist there is some benefit to forcing the woman to do this, pick an arbitrary date on which it will suddenly become ‘moral’ to remove it from her uterus and let it die.  The full 40 weeks?  35 weeks?  Force her to carry it all the way to 44 weeks so it can have another month of ‘existence’?

    Believe me, I am sensitive to it.

    I just cannot tell you what a HUGE comfort it will be to the woman and her husband in her suffering that you feel really, REALLY bad that you have to insist she and he remain in torment.

  • wooly

    I agree with you. Further, I think my sensitivities (or lack of) are irrelevant to the issue at hand. I know some do think those sorts of things are relevant, so that is why I included.

    I hear your passion in what you wrote. If you don’t mind me asking, why do you think that pregnant women shouldn’t have laws governing what can be done with their fetuses but you are ok with laws governing what women can do with their born children?

    And I ask that question with respect. I am not offering a tit for tat sort of response here. I genuinely am curious as to your thoughts on that.

    Thank you

  • ahunt

    Anyone else wanna field this? I’m in “bitch mode” right now, irritated as hell…not good for advancing dialogue.

  • wooly

    Here is my answer to that one: I don’t know.

    You have described to me about the most tragic of situations I can imagine for parents to go through. I don’t know how often this happens, maybe you do. Regardless, let’s say for the sake of argument that I say that there might be extreme cases (like this) where the unborn is terminally ill, will not survive past the womb for sure where it would be morally justifiable to end the life early (seems similar to certain euthanasia cases). Would you be willing to only allow abortion for situations like this?

  • prochoiceferret

    I have nothing but respect for pregnant women and mothers for that they go through.

    Unless they (pregnant women) don’t wish to remain pregnant. Then you [a male without a uterus who will never know what it is to be pregnant and will never have to worry about it] are perfectly happy to respect them by forcing them to remain pregnant against their will.

     

    (Hey, even a pimp respects women. So long as they behave the way they should, of course.)

  • ahunt

    Would you be willing to only allow abortion for situations like this?

     

    Crowepps may have hit the sack…

     

    The answer, wooly, is no.

  • julie-watkins

    Hi Wooly, this will probably get lost in so much conversation, but I will reply.

    .

    <blockquote>Even though I would support a mother in hardship with many means, I don’t think that the hardship ever warrants taking the life of a little girl or boy.</blockquote>

    .

    I think we are likely to have the same round and round I have with Paul Bradford, so I will quote to you some of what I’ve written in exchanges with him. We manage mostly to stay civil though it angers me that he insists I was a “parent” before my abortion. To put my reply in context, my abortion was “elective”: my IUD failed; once I discovered I was pregnant I scheduled my abortion ASAP. I would not have lost my job if I not ended the pregnancy – I was in a civil service job (still in the same job, still married to the same man). We could have managed; our probably would have helped. I’m most concerned that abortion remains accessible for women who would lose their jobs and/or risk becoming homeless; but, in my opinion, “pro-choice” is on the side of justice and “anti-abortion choice” would be injustice to women and poor people.
    .
    Here’s some of my riffs: Thinking about what SaltyC http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/comment/reply/12526/35695 and others have written about the low percentage of fertilized eggs that result in a live birth in relation to what I say about Nature’s Sexism … in a way, Nature mitigates the burden of pregnancy. A zygote is much more fragile than a fetus — a lot of things can prevent a pregnancy from progressing. IE, Nature does (somewhat) give pregnant women a choice. If it’s a really bad time (stress, not enough food, woman not healthy enough, bad genetic mix), the pregnancy ends in miscarriage. There’s an evolutionary aspect for this: since pregnancy does take such a high biological toll, having a mechanism (manmade or from nature) to end a pregnancy that happens at a bad time means those resources are preserved for a better time where the mother and child are more likely to survive. So I think the principle of “[attempting to] give birth is a gift” has much a validity as being “natural” as “[attempting to] give birth is an obligation”. Nature is OK with shades of grey, I wish anti-abortion people weren’t so rigid in their expectations.
    .
    I don’t think it’s right to imagine an ethic whereby we disproportionally put obligations on part of a population to the advantage of the ruling oligarchy. The rulers have been massaging these ethics for thousands of years; they have the resources to support the theologians & philosophers who arrive at answers they like. I feel no obligation to sign on to millenia of misogyny, … especially when Nature is less stringent in her demands on women than society’s/law’s rigid gender roles.
    .
    In sum: I believe that the ethical problem of milennia of oppression against women and poor people is greater than the debatable ethical problem of voluntarily ending an unintended pregnancy. If attempting to give birth is considered an obligation rather than a gift that’s the same as saying women and poor people are 2nd class, and I won’t cooperate with that point of view.

  • julie-watkins

    Would you be willing to only allow abortion for situations like this?

    .

    No. I’m also hitting the sack…

    PS: By the time a doctor can “prove” such tragic or dangerous situations, the needed abortion has been delayed so long that  the woman’s health and/or life is at much greater risk. I’d rather trust women … and trust their doctors.

  • wooly

    And I appreciate your honesty, as per your post above. I hope I am not the one bringing irritation into your life this evening. I am trying to keep my questions as focused on the issue as I can. However, I know that this issue is a hard one to discuss without getting the blood flowing. I am off to bed soon too. Good night all.

  • prochoiceferret

    And in the case of rape/incest (two horrible evils), those evil actions are moral justification to take justice on the perpetrator not the innocent child that resulted from the act.

    I’m sure that the pregnant woman who was the victim of either of these crimes will appreciate your commitment to “justice” when you deny her the possibility of terminating a pregnancy that she is so averse to carrying that her backup plan involves herself, a locked bathroom, and a razor blade.

     

    Why don’t you propose ritual human sacrifice of convicted murderers, while you’re at it? The dystopian legal regime that you’re succoring here wouldn’t be any less likely for it. Only the most batcrap-crazy anti-choicers hold that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape/incest, and only because they drop all pretense of giving a damn about women.

     

    My answer is this: abortion is not justified in any of those hardship cases because those are not sufficient reasons to take human life.

    If a human organism ever attaches itself to you, and drains your bodily resources without your consent, affecting your health and quite possible causing lifelong damage to your body… we’ll remember that. Because cutting off that “parasite” when it is dependent on you is totally the same thing as killing a human being that isn’t physically attached to any other human being.

  • wooly

    I appreciate your thoughts.

  • wooly

    Thank you prochoiceferret,

    A question. What exactly is it about carrying a the child of a rapist (as awful as that is) that justifies taking the life of the innocent baby?

    Is it because the baby constantly reminds the mother of the evil act done to her? If so, then we would have reason to kill anyone who reminds us of evil acts.

    Is it for another reason?

  • ahunt

    PCF…I am restraining myself…please do not go to bed.

  • prochoiceferret

    A question. What exactly is it about carrying a the child of a rapist (as awful as that is) that justifies taking the life of the innocent baby?

    There is nothing about carrying the child of a rapist (as awful as that is) that justifies taking the life of some innocent baby.

     

    However, if a woman is carrying a fetus (whether by rape, incest, or consensual sex), and she doesn’t consent to continue supporting the fetus with her body, the fact that her body belongs to herself and that her reproductive capacity is only a small part of her value as a person justifies her cutting off that support and removing the fetus from her body in the safest possible manner for her.

     

    The fetus does usually die after being removed. But just because it can’t continue living without her support doesn’t give it the right to take that support from the woman without her consent. You could argue that it does, but then you’d be arguing that someone dying of kidney cancer could force you to give up a kidney if it saves their life, and then we’re talking crazy dystopias again.

     

    (Or maybe you are in favor of the forced organ-donation thing? I don’t know; you seem to be hankering for some post-apocalyptic Mad-Max-kind of world to come about so that barbaric laws like these could actually become reality…)

     

    Is it because the baby constantly reminds the mother of the evil act done to her? If so, then we would have reason to kill anyone who reminds us of evil acts.

    We already know that you’re male, and that you’ll never have to worry about becoming pregnant, let alone as a result of rape. You don’t have to remind us.

  • saltyc

    Say, Wooly, you didn’t use IVF fertility treatment did you? You know, the kind that creates more “fully human individuals” (embryos) than can be implanted, did you?

    OMG I hope you are outraged by that rampant murder going on in the name of fertility as you are about calling me a murderer for having had an abortion.

  • saltyc

    Wooly, Do you think that the emotional turmoil of not being able to have children is enough justification of “taking human life” involved in fertility treatment???

     

    (I can’t wait to hear your opinion on THAT.)

     

    PS: this is in reaction to Wooly erroneously calling abortion the taking of a human life, which is not what I believe. I don’t think fertility treatment is the taking of human life either.

  • callah

    Thank you Annie!

    They just dont get it. Probably because most weren’t born in the “Olden days” and haven’t a clue about the way women use to be treated in this country.

    How many people know about the old “Rule of thumb law” which use to exist?

    It was legal for a man to beat his women or children as long as the stick wasn’t bigger than his thumb.

    All these laws, are just a push to go back to those days again.

    Everybody keeps going on about this “woman”……How can you call a 17 year old child a woman when she can’t contract legally or vote? Where were child services when she first got pregnate?

    And what is this crap about having to pay for an ultrasound, so they can f^%$ with you on wheither or not you are going to have a medical proceedure? Here pay for more unnessary expensive medical tests so they can show you a picture to make you change your MIND?

    I’d rather my daughter have an abortion than to make a grandchild suffer hunger, homelessness or the chance to kill or be killed by some of our distant cousins in Pakistan for the United State Government. 

    Or to have to watch her suffer, because she has a child she can’t aford to raise. Or take away from the children she already has with all the unemployment and world political mess we are presently in.

    I want RELIGION out of POLITICS. They are a dangerous situation in a secular country, because they have the exact same agenda as those distant cousins in Pakistan, only insted of Allah it’s God.

  • callah

    Couldn’t have said it better , myself unless I said it in my “grandmothers native tongue…” Praise Allah, they have “Republicans” on their side, only they don’t UNDERSTAND that…That’s why Georgie declared war on them..GET RELIGION OUT OF POLITICS! THE SOONER THE BETTER FOR ALL OF US.

  • crowepps

    I do occasionally leave the office more or less on time. My posting schedule tends to be later than most because I’m a couple time zones later from most of you.

  • crowepps

    let’s say for the sake of argument that I say that there might be extreme cases

    Might be? For the sake of argument? For heaven’s sake, you’re on here participating in a discussion about a moral issue and the public policy which should proceed from it. Do your research.

     

    There are lots and lots of sites that talk about the incidence rates of various gestational malformations and various genetic anomalies and the rate at which they occur. There are sites which provide truly nauseating PHOTOS of the dead fetuses with these malformations. There is serious research going on to investigate their causes and try to prevent them but they still happen on a steady basis in a certain percentage of cases.

     

    I just find it really, really appalling that people would even FORM a moral opinion about abortion without bothering to undertake a little self-education about reproduction, pregnancy and the complications of pregnancy.

     

    Are you even aware that in the United States 600 women a year DIE from pregnancy complications? Are you aware that a TOTAL ban on all abortions would cause that number to skyrocket because 3% of pregnancies are ectopic?  Do you even know what an ectopic pregnancy is?

     

    The point which you seem to miss is that it isn’t MY business to “allow” abortions or to ban abortions depending upon my moral views of any specific cases, but that instead the people actually INVOLVED in the case get to make that moral decision themselves in consultation with their doctor and then effectuate THEIR choice.

     

    Why in heaven’s name would those people have any interest at all in MY opinion?  This isn’t Survivor: Reproduction – we don’t all get to vote on whether we approve of how they handle their personal tragedy.  The moral disapproval of strangers already means that they are forced to run the gauntlet of the screaming, praying crowd of ‘sidewalk counselors’ accusing them of being murderers in hopes that the doctor who is going to bring to an end “the most tragic of situations I can imagine for parents to go through” isn’t shot before their appointment.

  • crowepps

    A woman who is unable or unwilling to care for her born children has the option of walking away from them and letting someone else care for them.

     

    A fetus, being at a stage of development where it is literally being CONSTRUCTED by scavenging materials from HER BODY and shifting the metabolic load of its doing so to HER organs, is a burden that cannot at the present time be shifted to another.  When somebody comes up with some sort of ’uterine replicator’ capable of accepting such a transfer, perhaps I’d change my opinion, but I have a feeling if such a thing were possible, the flood of unwanted children ending up of State support would lead to huge protests against that solution as well.

  • prochoicegoth

    How would you like to have something horrific happen to you, which results in your body being used against your will for 40 weeks or more? A rape is horrific enough, but a pregnancy resulting from that rape can send a victim over the edge. If she would rather abort, then who the hell are you to judge her? Forcing her to carry the seed of her rapist is akin to raping her all over again for 40 or more weeks.

    And pro-lifers accuse US of being heartless?

    • crowepps

      Blame the Victim:  Religious leaflet claims ‘ungodly’ dressed women provoke rape

       

      By Claire Galofaro | Police Beat Reporter

      Bristol Herald Courier

      “Even though nothing is showing, you’re being ungodly,” Canter recalled the woman telling her. “You make men want to be sinful.”

       

      Canter was wearing boots pulled up over jeans, a pink zebra-print shirt with a black jacket zipped up over it. She has blond hair, dark eye make-up and a little red lip ring. “I just asked if she needed any salt, pepper or ketchup,” Canter said. “I mean, how do I respond to that?”

       

      Minutes later, Canter’s mother, Pam Yates, who owns the restaurant, returned from the bank. Canter handed her “Women & Girls” and Yates started reading.

       

      “You may have been given this leaflet because of the way you are dressed,” it begins. “Have you thought about standing before the true and living God to be judged?”

       

      It continues with one essential theme: The sins of men are, in part, the fault of women, specifically women in tight-fitting clothing. Yates was annoyed. Then she got to a section on page two:

       

      “Scripture tells us that when a man looks on a woman to lust for her he has already committed adultery in his heart. If you are dressed in a way that tempts a men to do this secret (or not so secret) sin, you are a participant in the sin,” the leaflet states. “By the way, some rape victims would not have been raped if they had dressed properly. So can we really say they were innocent victims?”

       

      The hand-out is signed “anonymous.”

       

      Yates was angry.  “What if my daughter had been a rape victim?” she said. “I hope that they never handed this to anyone, especially a young person, who’s been through that and struggles with that daily. And then they get handed something that says they are at fault. I cannot believe that a Christian, someone who walks in God’s shoes, would have made this.”

       

      Leaflet in hand, Yates locked eyes with the old man driving the old white car, still parked in the lot, and stormed outside. The car quickly drove away.

       

      Sandra G. Rasnake, the sexual assault program director at Bristol’s Crisis Center, had one eyebrow cocked as she read through the leaflet Thursday morning.

       

      She cocked the other as she read aloud: “some rape victims would not have been raped if they had dressed properly.”

       

      “Wow,” she said. “This idea that men don’t have enough self control – and evidently they shouldn’t have to – plays into all the old myths that we’ve tried for years to overcome: Rape happens to 2-year-olds and 92-year-olds, not just attractive young women. How about we hold the person doing the action accountable, whoever it is going against the will and consent of somebody else?” 

       

      Rasnake said she confronts similar ideas, although not generally printed and distributed in mass, from the women she talks with daily. Victim blaming, she said, is the most prominent reason rapes are so rarely reported and even more rarely taken to trial. Sexual assaults, she said, come in second for the country’s worst conviction rates.

       

      Victims blaming themselves often comes from a religious place, but not always, Rasnake said. It’s become a societal defense mechanism for dealing with issues of sexual assault.

       

      “Blaming victims is the way we who have not been victimized feel safer,” Rasnake said. “If it’s their fault then I’m safer because I wouldn’t do that. If someone steals your purse, can you imagine someone asking why you had a purse? If you are sexually assaulted, it is not because you come with breasts.”

       

      The Rev. Bill Houck, pastor of Northstar Christian Church, shared Rasnake’s concerns about the leaflet.

       

      “It is this type of thinking that would cause a woman not to report being raped and to somehow think it is her fault,” Houck wrote in an e-mail. “As a Christian, a father and a husband, that is a horrific statement. The rapist is wrong period.”

       

      Houck also questioned the leaflet’s interpretation of its occasionally cited Bible passages.

       

      “You must look at the cultural context,” he wrote. “I was surprised the article did not reference Peter 3. Many of the same ideas are put forth. Here, it gets to the crux of the issue where the Bible says that a lady’s lifestyle should be focused more on the inner person than the outward clothing. This is why, while I agree with ‘modest’ dress, there is so much more to this issue.”

       

      Houck said his 19-year-old daughter, a student at King College, asked why the leaflet doesn’t mention how men should dress.

       

      “If I choose to sin, that’s my choice,” Houck wrote.

       

      Rasnake was similarly perplexed by the leaflet’s little faith in mankind.

       

      “It’s insulting to men,” she said. “The men that I know and associate with are not so lust-driven that they cannot control their urges. By this person’s argument, everyone working at Hooters deserves to be raped.” 

       

      http://www2.tricities.com/tri/news/local/article/blame_the_victim_religious_leaflet_claims_ungodly_dressed_women_provoke_rap/42253

       

  • wooly

    I am not saying that abortion takes human life because I believe it to be so. Nor does your belief or non-belief have any bearing on the fact. I am saying that it is scientific fact that abortion takes human life. Life that is clearly of human nature, distinct from the mother, is stopped during an abortion procedure.

    To disagree with that, you have to disagree with philosophy/reason (Liebnitz’ law of identity) and science (biology and embryology). I am happy to cash that out for you, but I am sure crowepps could do so as she has done more research on the issue than anyone else.;)

     

    That said, I don’t think that any amount of pain from infertility warrants utilizing infertility treatments such as certain IVF procedures where embryos would be destroyed.

     

  • wooly

    Q1- I wouldn’t like it at all. It would be awful.

    Q2- I am someone who has done quite a bit of thinking about these issues, including getting a graduate degree in ethics. I have taken bioethics courses, read the relevant literature, have talked to people who have had abortions, etc. I am at least as qualified to make a moral judgment on this as you are, I would imagine.

     

    • crowepps

       I am at least as qualified to make a moral judgment on this as you are, I would imagine.

      Oh, absolutely true.  Feel free to make moral judgments and come to any conclusions about your own behavior that you wish.  Feel free to make moral judgments about the way other people behave.  Certainly I do both of those things myself.  I do not, however, believe that either you or I are  qualified to construct laws which govern the moral behavior of other people but instead that in a country founded on freedoms, they themselves are entitled to choose their behavior based in their own moral judgments.

       

      Just out of curiosity, in those bioethics courses, did they ever discuss any subjects which enlightened you as to a moral thought which made a change in the way you yourself behave?  Or was it instead pretty much focused on a bunch of men discussing how women should behave?

  • wooly

    Crowepps, you continue to assume much. And you sure are imflammatory. I wish you would just focus on the argument rather than ad hominem attacks and rhetoric.

    I will assure you that I am quite qualified to form an educated moral opinion on the issue. What appalls you or your opinion is not relevant to the issue.

    We are dealing with the issue of abortion here, not your emotional reactions.  And so I will stay on topic.

    The key question at hand is this: what is the nature of the unborn? If we are talking a human being, then, on principle, we have our general rule to drive our ethics. Special cases such as the life of the mother, the tragic deformity issue you brought up, etc. are dealt with on an issue by issue basis using reason and ethical thought.

    Listen, if the unborn isn’t human, then the whole thing is easy. We don’t need justification to takes its life.

    • crowepps

      I will assure you that I am quite qualified to form an educated moral opinion on the issue. What appalls you or your opinion is not relevant to the issue.

      Your opinion isn’t relevant to the issue either, since obviously it is NOT an educated one.  An educated opinion is one which deals with the facts of the matter, facts with which you apparently are unaquainted.

      The key question at hand is this: what is the nature of the unborn?

      No, that isn’t the key question at all.  The key question is this: what justification is there for burdening woman with an obligation to an unborn human that neither she nor any man has to any other human?  Why would she have an obligation to let it literally subvert her body to its use own in both sustaining and constructing itself when it is to her disadvantage and she is not willing for it to do so?

       

      “Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good
      of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live
      under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.
      The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may
      at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval
      of their own conscience.” C.S. Lewis

  • wooly

    I think that you have given me the most compelling response I have heard (until you got to the imflammatory rhetoric- is that so necessary?). Seriously, some of you don’t have to get so angry at me. I am not angry at you. I am trying to have a dialogue here- passion is fine, but you don’t have to be so caustic (I am thinking mainly about crowepps).

     

    Isn’t this the same argument made with the “violinist” argument? (see crowepps, I have done my research!). I think that the problem with that argument is that it doesn’t recognize that there is some inherent moral obligation a mother has to protect the baby she is carrying and give it the best opportunity to develop. This is the same moral obligation we tap into when we tell mothers to stop drinking and doing drugs when they are pregnant (I am sure crowepps knows how terrible the effects of alcohol on children – fetal alcohol syndrome- see, crowepps I did my research there too). 

    I understand that will probably not be compelling to you though.

     

    And crowepps, I mention you here with a smiley face ;) and good natured humor. Please don’t get bent out of shape for me trying to make this difficult discussion easier. Humor isn’t bad. Neither are all men. ;)

     

     

     

     

    • crowepps

      I think that the problem with that argument is that it doesn’t recognize that there is some inherent moral obligation a mother has to protect the baby she is carrying and give it the best opportunity to develop.

      It does not recognize that “inherent moral obligation” because I don’t believe that such an obligation exists.  As someone who has read widely in history, I am very much aware that the obligation you are referring to was believed to exist only for women and only to cover LEGITIMATE children.  Women who insisted on protecting and developing babies that men didn’t want were harshly punished.  Men had no obligation to “protect” even their own children after they were born, or to allow them to “develop” but instead could reject them and abandon them to die.

       

      It was quite common to encourage women whose pregnancy might saddle their families with an unwanted child to abort, and if that didn’t work a common solution to this ‘burden’ on the family was to send the infant off to a paid wetnurse – it was not considered a ‘crime’ when the child subsequently died, even if it was clear at the outset that the paid wetnurse wasn’t lactating.

       

      If you feel I am unnecessarily ‘caustic’ you might want to consider just how annoying it is to have someone show up here and make pronouncements about this issue as though we are all idiots.

       

      “Don’t you realize there’s an actual BABY in there?”

      “Don’t you realize some people think this is IMMORAL?”

      “Don’t you realize there are people who want to ADOPT (if there’s nothing wrong with it after its born)?”

      “Don’t you realize God made women just for having babies and it’s their DUTY to do so even if they are raped?”

       

      Not having been in a cave somewhere for the last 60 years, I’d already heard all those things.  Obviously, I don’t find any of them convincing and you have not so far produced any new take on them that leads me to believe that you might in future do so.

       

      I don’t think all men are ‘bad’.  If it offends you that I do not reflexively offer you what you believe to be sufficient ‘respect’, you might want to think about just why you feel that involves the fact that you’re male.  I have been equally impatient with women who come on here and believe that posting bumpersticker slogans is ‘debate’.  Do you believe that because you are male you should be given more deference than they?  Why?

       

      On this subject, women are both the experts and the ones whose lives are at risk, and men are only bystanders, some of whom attempt to find an advantage in it for themselves by asserting they are entitled to declare how women should manage the thing.

  • prochoiceferret

    Q1- I wouldn’t like it at all. It would be awful.

    Especially the part where they tell you, “Yes, we could do a little medical procedure and it would all be over. But that would be KILLING A HUMAN LIFE, so… sorry, you’re just going to have to go through with it. Who knows? Maybe you’ll come to enjoy it!”

    Q2- I am someone who has done quite a bit of thinking about these issues, including getting a graduate degree in ethics. I have taken bioethics courses, read the relevant literature, have talked to people who have had abortions, etc. I am at least as qualified to make a moral judgment on this as you are, I would imagine.

    Yes, given that you don’t have a uterus, I’m sure this is all a fascinating academic discussion for you. How about that standard deviation on those suicide statistics, eh? It’s intuitively obvious!

  • wooly

    Again, more rhetoric.

    But I do have one question. Why do you think that having a uterus has anything to do with giving special “insight” on this issue? And it is such a weird position because there are so many women who have uteruses who don’t hold to that view. You would think that if a uterus gives you a special capacity for insight on this issue, then all humans with uteruses would have this special insight. But they don’t. 

  • prochoiceferret

    I think that you have given me the most compelling response I have heard (until you got to the imflammatory rhetoric- is that so necessary?)

    You’re saying that pregnant women should not be allowed an abortion even if they are raped. You deserve a lot worse than “imflammatory rhetoric” for holding such a stone-cold-heartless and yet batcrap-insane opinion. Did a woman put a knife to your penis or something? Is that why you have such a violent hatred of the female sex?

    Seriously, some of you don’t have to get so angry at me. I am not angry at you. I am trying to have a dialogue here- passion is fine, but you don’t have to be so caustic (I am thinking mainly about crowepps).

    People who argue that Blacks had it better under slavery, or that the Holocaust cannot be proved to have happened, often say the same thing.

    I think that the problem with that argument is that it doesn’t recognize that there is some inherent moral obligation a mother has to protect the baby she is carrying and give it the best opportunity to develop.

    But what that argument doesn’t recognize is that this “inherent moral obligation a mother has to protect the baby she is carrying and give it the best opportunity to develop” comes from a view of women that they have no higher purpose than reproduction. What does it matter if she has a career, or insufficient economical resources, or a heavy class schedule, or other responsibilities? None of that matters, because being a mommy is the only thing of real value that she’ll ever do!

    This is the same moral obligation we tap into when we tell mothers to stop drinking and doing drugs when they are pregnant

    No, because that only becomes an issue if she decides to go through with the pregnancy. There’s not much point in telling her to stop drinking and doing drugs if she’s going to have an abortion, now, is there? (Well, aside from the benefits of not being an alcoholic/junkie, but if she’s not pregnant, nobody’s giving a rat’s patootie about her anyway.)

    I understand that will probably not be compelling to you though.

    Not to make abortion illegal, no. Some bits of it can be helpful to encourage use of pre-natal services and the like (actually funding these services helps a bunch, too), but that’s less “Thou shalt not” and more “The More You Know.”

  • prochoiceferret

    Why do you think that having a uterus has anything to do with giving special “insight” on this issue?

    Because if you have a functioning uterus, you have a real stake in the argument—there is a chance that the legal regime you propose might come to bite you in the butt one day. Would you argue for a law that anyone with more than five unpaid parking tickets shall have any external genital appendages summarily sliced off? I’m sure a lot of women would be willing to do so.

    And it is such a weird position because there are so many women who have uteruses who don’t hold to that view.

    Sure, lots of women are in favor of anti-woman policies. (I hear there’s a few Blacks out there against affirmative action, even!) But of course, if these pro-life women happen to find an unwanted growth inside their functioning uterii, many are glad that their advocacy hasn’t been entirely successful yet.

    • wooly

      I guess having a stake in the argument can definitely make you pay attention to the argument closer, you are quite motivated to do so. I give you that for sure. But that provides justification for any one who has a stake in the argument to be interested in it. But, as we know, interest/stake in an argument is not the same as insight or authority or being right.

  • saltyc

    Boy Wooly you sure are insecure about how smart you are, just a clue: nobody’s impressed that you heard about the violinist or Leibnitz.

     

    When I was pregnant I quit everything, including coffee why? for the future child that I was in the process of making. It does not follow from that that all women therefore must make a child just because they are pregnant even when they know they can’t do it.

     

    An embryo is a separate entity exactly as much as a woman’s eggs and gametes are genetically distinct, and living. It does not follow that therefore she is obligated to make as many of them a child as possible.

     

    Check this out from an actual embryologist:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/03/the_fertilized_egg_is_not_a_hu.php

     

    Life does not begin at conception.

    It’s an utterly nonsensical position to take. There is never a “dead” phase — life is continuous. Sperm are alive, eggs are alive; you could even make the argument that since two cells (gametes) enter, but only one cell (a zygote) leaves, fertilization ends a life. Not that I would make that particular claim myself, but it’s definitely true that life is more complicated than the simplistic ideologues of the anti-choice movement would make it.

     

     

    Oh and this little bit for you to mull over in your well-researched and educated mind, from Lewis Wolpert who wrote the introductory textbook on embryology:

     I know that you all think about it perpetually that you come from one single cell of a fertilized egg. I don’t want to get involved in religion but that is not a human being. I’ve spoken to these eggs many times and they make it quite clear … they are not a human being.

     

    And I’ll believe that you are against fertility treatment using IVF when you go to forums dedicated to parents seeking fertility and engage in a “philosophical/ethical” challenge to their “taking of human life.”

     

    What you call ethical actually makes my stomach turn because it is truly unethical to tell a woman she does not have the right to control her own reproduction. That is about as low as it goes.

     

    Crowepps has lived, as have I, and listened and doesn’t wave degrees in ethics around, the problem is someone with your level of ignorance should listen for a while before talking more than you know.

    • wooly

      Again, “damned if I do, damned if I don’t.”

      Crowepps demands I show that I have studied every aspect of this debate so that I have legitate grounds to form an opinion, otherwise she gets appalled. And then someone else above asks who I am to make a moral judgment. I answer your questions, and I get reamed for it. Can’t I just get a reasonable response?

       

      Those embryologist quotes are not relevant to my position. I am not saying that eggs, sperm, etc. are not alive until conception and then- boom- we have an “alive” thing. I am saying that once conception happens, we have a separate (not identical to the mother) living being that can only be classified as human.

      Here is the quick proof, in a nutshell.

      The fertilized egg has a separate genetic code than the mother, perhaps a separate gender (which through Liebniz’ law of identity makes it 100% certain we are talking about a separate, distinct, entity), etc. There is no question among embryologists and geneticists that this is true.

      The second step is to figure out what “kind” of a thing this is. Is it a “plant” thing, an animal “thing” or somethign else. Biology tells us that species reproduce after their own kind. A cat gives birth to a cat, etc. So, if this is a human mother, we are talking about a human fertilized egg.

      You can find all kinds of quotes from embryologists that are irrelevant to the argument, but you aren’t going to find one that disagrees with what I have stated above. Unless they deny settled science and clear reason.

       

      We are talking a separate, distinct, human life here folks. It is just in a very early stage of development. You and me, obviously, were once a fertilized egg.

       

      Oftentimes, people want to deny this truth and say that the unborn is not human because it isn’t the right size, hasn’t hit an arbitrary level of development, is dependent upon mother, or isn’t located in the right place. Each and every one of these categories is unsuccessful because anywhere you draw the line is going to be arbitrary and ends up making it possible to kill humans in similar situations (e.g. if you say that a human can be killed because it is dependent upon another for life then you have to admit that it is ok to kill anyone who becomes dependent upon another for life, etc.).

  • colleen

    I will assure you that I am quite qualified to form an educated moral opinion on the issue.

    I cannot begin to express the extent of my disbelief.

  • wooly

    Three things:

    1) I don’t doubt that those observations from history happened. You appear to be taking a relativist approach to morality, as I take from your comments. We differ there; I actually think there are objective moral facts and obligations.

    2) The only reason I brought up the comment about men is that other posters initally brought it into the issue. I don’t find it relevant, but others seem to.

    3) Women who have had been pregnant and had children certainly are experts on the experience of being pregnant and having children. Men are bystanders for that, you are sure. But that is different than having insight into the moral issues related to pregnancy, children, etc. Men and women are on the same level there as both have equal access to moral and rational intuition.

  • crowepps

    We differ there; I actually think there are objective moral facts and obligations.

    1) I am aware of a number of different sets of ‘objective moral facts and obligations’ with most of them sharing a core of simularity and differences in the details. Which particular set are you using, on what is it based, and why did you choose that rather another set?

     

    2) If you’re not interested in it and I’m not interested in it, there’s doesn’t seem much point in wasting time there.

     

    Men and women are on the same level there as both have equal access to moral and rational intuition.

     

    3) Oh, heaven’s, I agree with you there. Every single individual has equal access to moral and rational intuition. That’s why I let each individual choose their behavior based on their own unique conclusions. Obviously then, the fair and rational thing to do is to let the actual person involved, the woman, make the decision herself based on her own moral intuition.

     

    “Too many moralists begin with a dislike of reality”  Clarence Day

  • crowepps

    But, as we know, interest/stake in an argument is not the same as insight or authority or being right.

    That’s very true – the difference being that when you argue that abortion should be made illegal, you are guaranteed that it will have no impact on your longevity.  We and our daughters are the ones who are going to die.  You will likely survive a long time to enjoy your smug certainty that all those deaths don’t matter compared to the priniciple of ‘life’ for which they will be sacrificed.

    “When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” Samuel Johnson

  • wooly

    Your first paragraph. What do you think about laws against murder or rape? I think that we should have laws in place to govern the moral behavior of people who want to do those things with their bodies. Think of the current example of the monster who just raped and killed the 17 year old girl in San Diego (near where I live). People around here can’t wait for justice to be served on that guy (assuming he is the guilty one) through the laws we have in place.

     

    Re your question. I actually have made changes to my life based on what I studied and considered. It wasn’t at all a gender thing.

  • crowepps

    See, the problem with failing to study the actual SUBJECT that you are debating about is that all too often it causes your ‘logic’ to fail spectacularly.

     

    Sometimes through failure in mitosis or meiosis that ”separate genetic code than the mother” does not result in a zygote which might form a ’human person’ but instead one which will form a ‘human cancer’.  Let me bring to your attention a rare complication of pregnancy called ‘gestational trophoblastic disease’.

    Most often, a hydatidiform mole is an abnormal fertilized egg that develops into a hydatidiform mole rather than a fetus (a condition called molar pregnancy). However, a hydatidiform mole can develop from cells that remain in the uterus after a miscarriage or a full-term pregnancy. Rarely, a hydatidiform mole develops when there is a living fetus. In such cases, the fetus typically dies, and a miscarriage often occurs.

    Hydatidiform moles are most common among women under 17 or over 35. In the United States, they occur in about 1 in 2000 pregnancies in the United States. For unknown reasons, moles are almost 10 times more common in Asian countries.

    About 80% of hydatidiform moles are not cancerous. About 15 to 20% invade the surrounding tissue and tend to persist. About 2 to 3% become cancerous and spread throughout the body; they are then called choriocarcinomas. Choriocarcinomas can spread quickly through the lymphatic vessels or bloodstream. Hydatidiform moles and choriocarcinomas are types of gestational trophoblastic disease.

    http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec22/ch252/ch252h.html

     

    If your argument rests on our being startled by your revelation that the fertilized egg is HUMAN then I’m afraid it’s not very impressive.  We have heard all this before.  I believe some of your classmates have already been here impressing us with their references to Liebniz’ law of identity.

     

    I don’t think anybody is denying that the zygote has human genetic material.  Our counterargument is not that it isn’t human, but that instead it is not yet a PERSON while the woman in which it exists undeniably is exactly that.  A person who can be killed by complications of her pregnancy.  An absolute which asserted it was moral to require pregnant women, and ONLY pregnant women, to die for the sake of others when it was possible to save their lives would obviously be wrong.

     

    Now you might say that this is rare, and indeed it is, but by your own logic, moral conclusions must be absolute and cover all cases, and trying to weasle out by saying that something happens very rarely or that you might be willing to make an exception for particular cases won’t do.  That argument will be “unsuccessful, because anywhere you draw the line is going to be arbitrary and ends up making it possible” to leave women in similar but slightly less alarming situations to die.

     

    If people are going to be required to die for others, then it seems to me it would be only logical to start off by requiring parents to donate a kidney, liver or bone marrow to their own children when necessary.  Heck, require everybody in the country to get themselves down to the agency and get a donor profile drawn and require ALL of them to go under the knife.  After all, it’s ‘for the lives of innocent children’.

  • crowepps

    I have no problem with laws that keep public order and prevent one person from hurting another.  I just don’t agree with you that reproductive germ cells are ‘persons’ at every point in their existence.

     

    I’m glad to hear that the courses were valuable for you personally.  Knowledge is good, although “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” 

  • wooly

    You say:

    See, the problem with failing to study the actual SUBJECT that you are debating about is that all too often it causes your ‘logic’ to fail spectacularly.

    Sometimes through failure in mitosis or meiosis that ”separate genetic code than the mother” does not result in a zygote which might form a ’human person’ but instead one which will form a ‘human cancer’.  Let me bring to your attention a rare complication of pregnancy called ‘gestational trophoblastic disease’.

    ——-

    You may be misunderstanding my argument, or I may have misstated something. I don’t get what you are saying above: how does the existence of moral pregnancies show my logic to fail spectacularly?

    Thanks in advance for the clarification.

  • saltyc

    The fertilized egg has a separate genetic code than the mother,

     

    So do all of a woman’s eggs have a separate genetic code from her, I already said that. They are genetically distinct, a man’s spermatozoa have a separate genetic code from him,  yawn.

    How bout taking a break to reflect for a while and decide to defer your opinions on a woman’s right to control her own business after listening to women tell you about why they had abortions.

  • ahunt

    (e.g. if you say that a human can be killed because it is dependent upon another for life then you have to admit that it is ok to kill anyone who becomes dependent upon another for life, etc.).

     

    Give us any other scenario where dependency which involves a parasitical relationship between people can be legally and morally enforced.

  • saltyc

    Wooly:

    Those embryologist quotes are not relevant to my position.

    Wooly (previously):

    I am saying that it is scientific fact that abortion takes human life. Life that is clearly of human nature, distinct from the mother, is stopped during an abortion procedure. To disagree with that, you have to disagree with philosophy/reason (Liebnitz’ law of identity) and science (biology and embryology).

    I would think you were saying that, to disagree that abortion is the same as taking a human life, is to disagree with Embryology. I quoted from two Embryologists who, if you had read the link, do not think that abortion is the same as taking a human life. Why can’t you at least concede that?

     

  • crowepps

    As I understand the basis of your argument it is:

    We are talking a separate, distinct, human life here folks. It is just in a very early stage of development. You and me, obviously, were once a fertilized egg.

    In the case of molar pregnancy, we are not talking a “separate, distinct, human life” but instead a “separate, distinct, human cancer”.

     

    It cannot be a ‘universal moral truth’ unless it applies to all cases.

     

    In the case of molar pregnancy, the zygote DNA is dangerous junk. Actually, in approximately 25% of cases, failures in separating and recombining the DNA lead to fertilized eggs which cannot divide and there is a percentage of maybe another 10% which do initially divide but cannot implant, so in all of THOSE cases we also do not have “a separate, distinct, human life” but instead a failed germ cell in which the DNA does not comprise the correct recipe to make a human.

     

    In an ADDITIONAL 15% of cases there will be a spontaneous miscarriage, most often because of genetic problems which lead the fertilized egg to be unable to progress to “a separate, distinct, human life” and in an additional percentage there will be a gross malformation or other problem which lead to a stillbirth or immediate death after birth.

     

    The DNA is not a guarantee of a successful outcome, but instead a recipe which COULD, if there is no outside teratogenic to impact its growth, and if the resources of the woman’s body are sufficient, and if the woman’s metabolism can deal successfully with the toxins it produces, result in a live birth IF everything goes well during the delivery.

     

    You’re already pointed out that no ‘arbitrary lines’ can be drawn stating that a thing at one stage is ‘human’ and at another it is not. Since more than half of fertilized eggs aren’t able to progress all the way to live birth, it doesn’t seem to me like a less than 50% natural chance of reaching official ‘personhood’ puts a huge moral obligation on the woman at all.

     

    Any particular zygote will more likely than not fail. 15% of those aborted would have miscarried anyway. A woman deciding to increase that failure rate from 51% to 63.5% just doesn’t seem as important to me as you seem to think it is.

     

    Yes, we were all fertilized eggs once.  Why is that important?  So were all those fertilized eggs that failed.  We were all individual eggs and sperm, and the fact that a particuliar egg was the one that ripened and that a particular sperm was the one that succeeded in fertilizing it is purely a matter of chance.  If our particular zygote hadn’t been lucky, we wouldn’t been born, and our parents would probably have had other, different children, and nobody would have known the difference.

  • saltyc

    Wooly you almost had it right, don’t you mean:

    Women are resposible and sovereign over their own bodies. people want to deny this truth and say that the unborn is human because it’s the right size, has hit an arbitrary level of development, is dependent upon mother, or is located in the right place. Each and every one of these categories is unsuccessful because anywhere you draw the line is going to be arbitrary and ends up making it possible to control women in similar situations (e.g. if you say that a woman can be controlled because another life is wholy dependent upon her then you have to admit that it is ok to control anyone who has someone else wholy dependent on him/her.

  • wooly

    I read the blog post on the other side of the link and again, what the scientist is saying is not relevant to my position because I am not saying that “before conception there is no life in the sperm and egg.” Clearly, the egg and sperm are alive, in a sense of the word. When we are talking about the fertilized egg, we are talking about another thing that is alive (this scientist would say “it is still alive”), but the point is that this is a distinct, alive, human entity. It is not “part” of the mother’s body in terms of identity.

    Oh, and I concede that you are going to find lots of embryologists (and scientists of every subdiscipline) who are of the opinion that abortion is not the killing of human life. You will find thousands. I not only concede it, I would upp the ante and say that there are maybe tens of thousands or more?

    My point is not that all embryologists agree that abortion is wrong. My point is that the field of embryology recognizes that the fertilized egg is a distinct, alive, entity. That isn’t a bold claim. I actually think that most/all people on this board would believe that. You are just going to add more necessary properties (e.g. personhood) a zygote/fetus/etc must have in order to qualify as human.

  • wooly

    You imported the “parasitic” concept to it. I don’t buy that. Here is an example that fits your criteria. There are many more.

     

    One example: my daughter who is 8 months old. She is dependent upon me to feed her (tonight it was peas sweetened with some apple and pear baby food). If I left her in her room to die I would be held morally and legally responsible.

  • saltyc

    Embryologists also recognize that gametes are genetically distinct from the body. they are also alive and human. IS THIS THING ON????

  • saltyc

    It was awesome when I was pregnant to be able to drop the fetus off at my mom’s house when my heart rate started getting too high and to give my blood sugar a break. And the pears and apples I could get in a jar and shove in through my bellybutton, really made it easier to take antibiotics when I got a MRA infection cause I could take a break from feeding her with my own blood.

  • crowepps

    The difference, of course, is that in order to be a close analogy, you would have to be feeding her YOURSELF.

     

    Obviously, in the case of an 8-month old, lots of other people could have fed her those peas.

  • ahunt

    crowepps’ daily vocabulary lesson:

     

     

    Teratogenic: Able to disturb the growth and development of an embryo or fetus. See also: Teratogen and Teratogenic drugs.

     

    wooly…just because you haven’t been around long…there is increasing evidence to suggest that a natural spontaneous abortion mechanism evolved to protect women, existing offspring and future fertility. Go here:

     

    http://sitemaker.umich.edu/snre-faculty-bobbilow/files/nepomnaschy_et_al_pnas_20061.pdf

     

    If the research bears out, and I suspect it will…all kinds of intersting questions arise.

     

     

  • wooly

    You write:

    In the case of molar pregnancy, we are not talking a “separate, distinct, human life” but instead a “separate, distinct, human cancer”.

    It cannot be a ‘universal moral truth’ unless it applies to all cases.

    ——— (I can’t get this cut/paste feature to work in firefox)

    I am not claiming that it is a “universal moral truth” that the unborn is separate, distince, human life from conception. That is not a moral claim; it is a factual claim.

     

    Further, and this is an aside/tangent, it is not true that “universal moral truths” apply to all cases. An example: “It is wrong to tell lies.” Most people would agree that it is an objective feature of reality that it is wrong to lie. But, this moral principle/law/obligation does not apply in every circumstance. We have moral dilemmas where one moral principle bangs up against another (e.g. the obligation not to lie verses the saving lives obligation with the example of the nazis at the door asking if Jews are in the house).

     

    Ok, back to your claim that the existence of moral pregnancies destroys my logic. The simple answer is that it is irrelevant, and therefore doesn’t have any impact on my argument.

     

    Just because some fertilized eggs end up as molar pregnancies, miscarriages, anencephalic (sp?) babies, or what have you- this doesn’t mean that the fertilized egg isn’t human, distinct, and alive. It just means that in these cases (and many more we could list), something has gone terribly wrong and things are not as they ought to develop.

     

    No problem for my view here.

     

    And you are the one adding “personhood” to the necessary properties to give a human in early stages of development the label of human being. So that doesn’t have any bearing on my argument either.

     

    I guess my logic survives, for now at least! ;) [And please take comments such as these as they are intended- as good natured dialogue. I am not arrogant in this, I actually think I could be wrong.]

  • wooly

    That is clever!

  • wooly

    A gamete is not a distinct entity from the male or female. It is part of the male or female, and as such doesn’t have the capacity to grow into a separate, distinct, living being. Only a fertilized egg has that capacity.

    But you are right about the genetic information. It is not identical to the male or female who produces the sperm or ovum.

    • saltyc

      How is a gamete part of the person whereas a zygote is not? Will the person be affected if they go away, other than not being able to reproduce? No. It DOES have the capacity, if fused with the opposite gamete and under the right conditions, to develop into a person or 12 people, and a fertilized egg does not by itself have the same capacity unless all the many many conditions are met, including that the woman is willing to make it into a human being or eight. So the fertilized egg only has one thing checked off compared to the gamete: it has fused, that’s it, and no less arbitrary than saying after it has voluntary movement that the mother can feel, or 30 weeks or after first breath it’s a human being. It’s all arbitrary, what is a human (noun, as opposed to the adjective human as in human hair) is not determined by embryology, it’s up to debate, sir. It’s not that embryologists are pro-choice, it’s that they do not say that a zygote or embryo is a human being, the ones I quoted say that it is NOT a human being. God you’re tiring!!!! TEDIOUS! YAWN!

       

       

  • ahunt

    But you are arguing for a moral position: we cannot arbitrarily determine the time when human life is awarded the rights of personhood…therefore the mere ‘existance” is all it takes.

     

    crowepps has pointed out that such is not the case.

  • wooly

    Thanks ahunt.

    Crowepps does have a working vocabulary. She is clearly intelligent and she is a reader!

    I will check out that link. But for now, I am off to dinner/bed. You all are tiring me out with your challenges and questions.

    I wonder if my participation is helpful at all. Are we moving forward at all in our dialogue? Or at least are others getting something out of my comments- is it helpful to understand my point of view? I don’t expect any converts. On my behalf, I am getting a better feel for your points of view so it it worth it from my end. But I am not sure I can keep up the pace of responding to questions.

    Let me know if my participation is more bother than help and I will stop.

    But I actually think that crowepps likes the back and forth. I think she actually likes me. ;)

  • wooly

    That is true. But moral claims and different than factual claims. At least in terms of how we justify those claims and how they might apply.

     

    I guess I am not understanding the point you are making above. Can you clarify?

  • wooly

    I am not saying that this example of dependency is the same as pregnancy. I am saying that many people will deny the label of human being to a fetus because they are dependent upon the mother for life (because if you are dependent, you aren’t yet a person- or something like that). If you are saying that a fetus isn’t a person because they are dependent upon the mother, that is totally arbitrary.

    • saltyc

      And when you say that once two genetically-distinct-from-their-parent-cell-and-according-to-your-interpretation-of-Leibniz-separate-entity-living human gametes fuse that now -poof- it’s a human being even though I quoted embryologists who say that it’s not a human being and THAT’s not arbitrary? It is arbitrary, you are arbitrary and you are slippery, have missed every single point I have made. You say I miss a point when I nail it because you refuse to concede it, that’s how arrogant you are. And you are a clown if you think giving your daughter jarred apples is anything like being a 100% life support system for a developing embryo/fetus.

  • crowepps

    Further, and this is an aside/tangent, it is not true that “universal moral truths” apply to all cases.

    Okay, in that case surely you’ll grant that when the woman’s life is at stake, when the fetus is dead, when the fetus is grossly malformed, when the fetus has implanted in the wrong location, when the woman’s health is at stake, abortions are perfectly moral, because in weighing the two equally distinct human lives involved it just isn’t right to endanger the woman’s existing human life for the sake of a potential human life.

    Just because some fertilized eggs end up as molar pregnancies, miscarriages, anencephalic (sp?) babies, or what have you- this doesn’t mean that the fertilized egg isn’t human, distinct, and alive.

    It does mean, however, that it isn’t likely to STAY alive long enough to separate from the woman and survive successfully on its own, which makes that human life less valuable than that of the woman herself, who has, by being born and growing up, established by her status as a survivor so far that she is indeed a “separate, distinct, human life”.

    It just means that in these cases (and many more we could list), something has gone terribly wrong and things are not as they ought to develop.

    Nature is certainly wasteful and messy, isn’t it? Too bad it can’t be as simple as ‘knock woman down, insert sperm, lock her up until she produces guaranteed healthy baby’. But of course that isn’t what happens at all, so why try to establish a ‘universal moral truth’ based on how things SHOULD be instead of attempting to come to discern some ‘truth’ that is more closely aligned with how things actually work in reality?

     

    I’m sure we could sit around for endless hours after ethics class making up universal moral truths about what rights people should have if it was possible to freeze humans while growing the cloned organs to cure their diseases, and whether a couple would be “married” when one of them was frozen, and whether or not the children could ‘morally’ be obligated for support of the corpscicle,  but since none of that is possible, why waste our time?

  • wooly

    on a deserted island with my daughter and the only one who can feed her.

  • ahunt

    At least in terms of how we justify those claims and how they might apply.

     

    And crowepps has given you an example of how the moral claim that the rights of personhood exist at the fact of the of moment of conception is invalid.

     

  • crowepps

    we cannot arbitrarily determine the time when human life is awarded the rights of personhood…therefore the mere ‘existance” is all it takes.

    Everybody got along fine for thousands of years using ‘took first breath’ as the arbitrary time at which personhood (and the soul) were assumed.

     

    I sure don’t understand why we can’t follow THAT ‘tradition’.  It at least has the advantage of being REAL.

     

     

  • ahunt

    In which case…to perpetuate the species…

     

    Spare us, wooly

  • crowepps

    The difference is that the fetus is LITERALLY highjacking the woman’s organs to its own use and cannibalizing the woman’s body for raw materials from which to construct itself.

     

    Nobody is saying that the fetus isn’t HUMAN because it is doing this.

     

    They are saying that the woman is not OBLIGATED to allow this to continue when she doesn’t want to, because in no other instance, ever, is one person REQUIRED to provide another with the use of their organs or the substance of their body.

     

    Yes, there are dependent people, people who need assistance in all kinds of ways, and yet NONE of those people get to EAT UP other people’s very bodies, and those who are caring for those dependent people (like you in caring for your daughter) are free to make arrangements to pass their responsibility over to someone else and walk away.

  • crowepps

    Okay, you’re on the deserted island and the only one who can feed her and you’re never allowed to set her down because the sand is icky AND you don’t have any food!  Now you’re approaching the state of a pregnant woman!  Chop off a toe and roast it for her and you’ll ‘really get it’.

  • prochoiceferret

    1) I don’t doubt that those observations from history happened. You appear to be taking a relativist approach to morality, as I take from your comments. We differ there; I actually think there are objective moral facts and obligations.

    Of course you do. Virtually all human cultures have their own set of objective, universal, self-evident moral facts and obligations.

    Women who have had been pregnant and had children certainly are experts on the experience of being pregnant and having children. Men are bystanders for that, you are sure. But that is different than having insight into the moral issues related to pregnancy, children, etc. Men and women are on the same level there as both have equal access to moral and rational intuition.

    In theory, yes. In practice, men tend to make boneheaded and empathy-free statements like “pregnancy is just a temporary inconvenience” and “a fertilized egg is every bit as valuable as the full-grown woman in whose body it resides.” So you’ll have to excuse us if we find your moral and rational intuition on this matter a wee bit uninformed.

  • prochoiceferret

    My point is that the field of embryology recognizes that the fertilized egg is a distinct, alive, entity. That isn’t a bold claim. I actually think that most/all people on this board would believe that. You are just going to add more necessary properties (e.g. personhood) a zygote/fetus/etc must have in order to qualify as human.

    Not that it matters. The fetus may be distinct, alive, human, heart beating, thinking, feeling, and 100% a person in the legal and moral sense. None of that gives it the right to take life support from an unwilling woman. If you could find a way to crawl into a woman’s uterus and take up residence there (*shudder*), taking sustenance from her body and refusing to leave, she would have the right to abort you.

     

    If you seriously want to argue that some people should have the right to use the bodily resources of others without their consent, then I know someone who needs your left kidney.

  • prochoiceferret

    Your first paragraph. What do you think about laws against murder or rape?

    Well, I personally don’t want to be murdered or raped (though I can’t speak for everyone here) and no one really has a good reason to do either to me, so I’m in favor of those laws.