Rights of an Unborn Child?

Dulloldfart

Squirrel Extraordinaire
In another thread Mac recently posted:
Harsh, DC! This is an issue I keep flip-flopping on, myself. And the issue boils down to: when is a fetus/unborn baby/blob of tissue a human being with the right to life and when is it the property of the mother, to be disposed of at her discretion. You'd probably say the baby gains its right to life at birth. I'd say it happens sometime before, but I'm not sure when.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights lays out the subject of rights quite well, I think. Personally I don't believe in any kind of natural rights that one has merely by existing. I consider all of them to be permissions granted (or not) by oneself or other beings, either newly or by tacit agreement, tradition etc.

Hubbard's idea in History of Man was that the being himself (thetan) joined the body around the time of birth, i.e. roughly nine months after conception, although the "genetic entity" — whatever the hell that is — connects up with the embryonic baby around conception. I'm more inclined to go along with the idea that it is the being himself that connects up around conception. There is a difference between killing off a growing body with the final "owner" attached to it and killing off one where the final "owner" has not yet appeared on the scene. But there is also a difference when that being has been involved with the process for nine seconds and when the being has been involved with it for nine months or nine years. How much of a difference? Ah, now, that is the whole point, isn't it?

Politics apart, I think it comes down to the "rights" of the mother to have control over her own life and body parts and the "rights" of the unborn child, as represented by the laws of the nation/jurisdiction concerned. The "rights" of the father to have a say in the matter don't seem to enter into it much. Since all these rights are arbitrary and often in life come down to what those in charge can get away with, the idea of a government having the best interests of a potential future citizen or subject at heart are ludicrous. Especially when those interests would conflict with those of an actual current citizen or subject.

A debate on "pro-life" and "pro-choice" and all the other options excluded from the simplistic emotive labels isn't likely to resolve on this forum, of course. But anyway....

Paul
 

Telepathetic

Gold Meritorious Patron
Interesting post Paul,

I was undecided on this topic but now I think you convinced me to side with "a mothers right." That "baby's body" it seems, is part of her,the mother, until that time when it exits the womb. I also disagree that any goverment or any group should have a say on my person.

But, then again, I could change my views in a minute's notice.At the present, I don't seem to be philosophically bound.:D

TP
 

Iknowtoomuch

Gold Meritorious Patron
This might seem harsh but, if you don't want a child, don't shag.

Other wise be responsible and take responsibility for your actions in getting someone prego.
I'm not saying abortion shouldn't be used but it shouldn't be used as a form of birth control. As it is today.

Sorry if that's a bit off target from what you were asking.
 

Telepathetic

Gold Meritorious Patron
This might seem harsh but, if you don't want a child, don't shag.

Other wise be responsible and take responsibility for your actions in getting someone prego.
I'm not saying abortion shouldn't be used but it shouldn't be used as a form of birth control. As it is today.

Sorry if that's a bit off target from what you were asking.

You are totally correct on this though, I think, this is not what Paul is promoting here;the irresponsible use of abortion. But, I'll let him speak for himself.

TP
 

DCAnon

Silver Meritorious Patron
lol, as long as there's a whole thread dedicated to it...

A fetus is not a human being biologically speaking. It's a collection of developing cells that can't survive when removed from it's host. To be forced to have a child is terrifying and Orwellian beyond almost anything I can put into words. A woman needs to be able to choose to have a family, not have one forced on her or forcibly taken away from her.

There are many examples of a fetus not being considered a human being. For example, fertilized embryos at fertility clinics are often destroyed if they're not used. If life begins at conception in some spiritual beliefs, than these clinics designed to bring life into the world for those desperately wanting a family of their own are guilty of nothing short of mass murder. A fetus used for stem cell research is a tiny mass of cells still encased in the membrane of what used to be an egg that's only a few hours old. A pregnant woman is encouraged not to drink while pregnant, but if she does and loses the child, is she guilty of murder? Is a woman who doesn't take care of themselves physically all that well guilty of murder if they have a miscarriage? Or if a woman is in an accident, are they guilty of second degree murder due to neglegence or neglect?

Abortion is an age old practice going back thousands of years. For those years, women put themselves at risk with unskilled surgeons, drinking dangerous poisons, and subjecting themselves to dangerous home remedies that result in scarring, mutilation, and horrifically painful deaths. A safe, legal form of abortion saves these women's lives. For those who like citing the Bible (which in this case would be old testament Jewish law), a baby isn't considered a human bring in Judiasm and in the Bible until several days after it's actually born. That's why traditionally, newborns weren't given any names.

One of the things that bothers me a great deal are the fence-sitters who like to dictate morality in the most personal and life-changing choice a woman can make. The people who condemn and ridicule a woman who can't raise a child and chooses not to bring that child into the world, but justify someone who was raped or a victim of incest or someone who needs an abortion for medical reasons. I don't feel morality should mix with medicine. People don't get to have treatement or care if they're deemed "worthy" or if other people approve of their private motives. A person's medical treatment is no one else's business, it's completely confidential.

Like I said, I understand why someone disagrees with when life starts and may see a fetus as a human being, but I find that the vast majority of those arguments are motivated by religious beliefs. Especially when a "soul" or "spirit" is involved. However, I don't believe that exists so I have a difficult time justifying a religious belief I don't even share as proof over actual scientific evidence. :confused2: I also acknowledge the adoption arguement, but to force a woman, including young teens, to be pregnant is a damaging, scarring, and cruel experience.

I am a big supporter of choice, it's another branch of activisim I'm involved with. No one should ever be forced to have an abortion and likewise, no one should ever be forced to be pregnant. I think that the best way to prevent abortions isn't to make them illegal and force women's reproductive rights to be dictated by old white men in the government, but to provide viable alternatives like education and birth control so people can choose to have a family when they're ready. :yes:
 

Iknowtoomuch

Gold Meritorious Patron
Interesting post Paul,

I was undecided on this topic but now I think you convinced me to side with "a mothers right." That "baby's body" it seems, is part of her,the mother, until that time when it exits the womb. I also disagree that any goverment or any group should have a say on my person.

But, then again, I could change my views in a minute's notice.At the present, I don't seem to be philosophically bound.:D

TP



I'll play devil's advocate on you here. Have you seen pictures of late term abortions? I can get them for you if you like.
It's killing a child at this point imo.
 

Dulloldfart

Squirrel Extraordinaire
Abstinence as a general method of birth control is not known to be very effective. In an absolute sense of course it is, but although the spirit may be willing the flesh is weak and all that.

I'm not promoting any particular view. I'm interested in other viewpoints.

Paul
 

DCAnon

Silver Meritorious Patron
I'll play devil's advocate on you here. Have you seen pictures of late term abortions? I can get them for you if you like.
It's killing a child at this point imo.

Late term abortions have traditionally only been used in extreme cases where the mother's life is in jeopardy. It's definitely not a common practice and wasn't used in cases unless there was a significant health need. :< But it's moot since it's illegal in the US now.
 

Iknowtoomuch

Gold Meritorious Patron
Late term abortions have traditionally only been used in extreme cases where the mother's life is in jeopardy. It's definitely not a common practice and wasn't used in cases unless there was a significant health need. :< But it's moot since it's illegal in the US now.



There has never been a case where the baby had to be aborted to save the mother. Late term anyways. Plus that whole idea doesn't even make sense regarding late term abortions. That's an idea trumped up by doctors who were justifying the abortion.
 

DCAnon

Silver Meritorious Patron
There has never been a case where the baby had to be aborted to save the mother. Late term anyways. Plus that whole idea doesn't even make sense regarding late term abortions. That's an idea trumped up by doctors who were justifying the abortion.

I don't see that abortion needs justifying. I don't believe in a soul, so I don't recognize the religious aspect or moral implications in a medical procedure. There have also been many cases where abortion has been performed for the health of the mother. There's a ton of medical cases where this has happened on google if you look. :) "Late term" just means someone who is three months pregnant. I think you're mixing late term with partial-birth which is actually the more controversial procedure.
 

Telepathetic

Gold Meritorious Patron
I'll play devil's advocate on you here. Have you seen pictures of late term abortions? I can get them for you if you like.
It's killing a child at this point imo.


Thanks, but I'd rather not see any:) pictures. In my opinion the emotional factor should not be employed here.
We are just throwing ideas around, right?

Like I said, you make a good point and it is a very valid one. Individuals should be responsible. One would then have to,also, look at this society which in certain ways requires an individual to be responsible and in other ways undermines the possibilities for him/her to be so; income tax, public schools,a manipulated economy and a controlled media to name a few.

I think that to honestly look at all the influencing factors is the proper thing to do, not just "ones" responsibility. This,"you are solely responsible" idea, I know, was ingrained into us while in the cult.

I see a gradual,unyeilding and though not always readily detectable, plot by "those" who work behind the scene, to degrade and thus enslave humanity. Our former and additionally all those other well known cults (including all major religions) are not the only mind f'ing groups that exist on earth today. You also have the military,police, political parties and even in many instances science etc. which I view no differently than those,formerly mentioned, brainwashing institutions.

To tell you the truth, I see the world in which we live, on varying degrees, as one big CULT:melodramatic: Paranoid? Maybe:yes:

I just see any effort to impose such(abortion) laws as a means of extending more control over the population. Save an unborn child in the US or another developed nation yet it's OK to kill and maim children elsewhere..! Sorry but, these double standards ,coming form goverments,confuse me. :confused2:

But like I said before...I could be convinced otherwise:wink2:

TP
 

Zinjifar

Silver Meritorious Sponsor
My position is that, whatever my or anyone else's opinion of abortion, they *will* happen. People were having abortions long before they became legal and if they become illegal again then they will still continue. With disasterous consequences.

There are legitimate differences of opinion on abortion, which, for me means that it's something the person thinking of having one should decide. On their own conscience.

And *coerced* abortions are an abomination in any case.

Zinj
 

Moonchild

Patron with Honors
Personally I don't believe in any kind of natural rights that one has merely by existing. I consider all of them to be permissions granted (or not) by oneself or other beings, either newly or by tacit agreement, tradition etc.

(snip)

Sorry if I'm mis-reading you here Paul; I would ask by what "right" does "oneself" or "other beings" presume to determine the "rights" of another, if natural rights are not a given?

Whence the "authority" that permits this?
 

cantsay

Patron Meritorious
I was reading the other day (verbal info, sorry) that of all births in Aus, 60% were to mothers who were using contraception at the time.

I personally believe its up to the mother. I sometimes wish those who bring a child into the world with heroin-withdrawal symptoms, alcohol-syndrome, who will neglect a child or abuse it, had chosen abortion instead of subjecting another to that sort of life. I know that is a controversial view, but if a mother is intelligent enough to realise that bringing a child into her life would cause misery to that child, then she should be able to do something about it.
 

Carmel

Crusader
A biased female perspective

I don't consider that an embryo is an unborn child and I don't know at what stage that I'd consider a foetus to become one.

In saying that though, I think it is a shocker of a situation when some women use abortion as a method of contraception, but I believe that the harm done from an abortion has more effect on the woman having it than on anyone or anything else. For me, it is something that I don't think I could have ever been able to come to terms with. In the past I could never see myself ever having an abortion. Thankfully I have never been in a position where I have had to make a choice - I've never had to contemplate it (despite others pressuring me to do so). I feel for those who are or have been in that position where they've had to make a "choice".

I wouldn't or couldn't judge whether an abortion was right or not for another. An unborn baby may have rights, but so does a child who is born. A child being born into some situations with certain circumstances, may well have more "rights" violated than if their growth as an embryo or foetus was terminated. I personally would rather see a child not born, than see a child negleted and abused - in saying that though, the consequences of an abortion to a woman can be and/or are dire, IMO.

It's not black or white. I think one has to look at the whole picture and choose the lesser evil considering all "rights" (present and future) and 'effects' of those concerned. Not an easy call, whichever way ya look at it, IMO.
 
There has never been a case where the baby had to be aborted to save the mother. Late term anyways. Plus that whole idea doesn't even make sense regarding late term abortions. That's an idea trumped up by doctors who were justifying the abortion.


Abortions performed late in term are normally done to prevent further medical complications for the mother, or due to severe malformation of the fetus. Any pregnancy constitutes a physical risk to the mother. That is a sufficient justification in itself for the right to medical assistance when terminating a pregnancy. Since the mother or her legal guardian has to make the, often difficult, determination to end the pregnancy, no more is ethically required.

Better to have a successful medically supervised abortion than to put a woman's health at further risk by denying access to trained medical assistance. No one has a right to coerce a woman into becoming a mother, whatever their personal reasons for disapproval of her choice.


Mark A. Baker
 

EP - Ethics Particle

Gold Meritorious Patron
Weighing in!

Abortions performed late in term are normally done to prevent further medical complications for the mother, or due to severe malformation of the fetus. Any pregnancy constitutes a physical risk to the mother. That is a sufficient justification in itself for the right to medical assistance when terminating a pregnancy. Since the mother or her legal guardian has to make the, often difficult, determination to end the pregnancy, no more is ethically required.

Better to have a successful medically supervised abortion than to put a woman's health at further risk by denying access to trained medical assistance. No one has a right to coerce a woman into becoming a mother, whatever their personal reasons for disapproval of her choice.


Mark A. Baker

Excellent post, Mark. :clap:

"No one has a right to coerce a woman into becoming a mother, whatever their personal reasons for disapproval of her choice."


I might make the following addition:

No one has a right to coerce a women into becoming a mother, or not; whatever their reasons, personal or other, for disapproval of her choice.

The choice IS hers in my universe.


Enough said.

EP
 

Veda

Sponsor
PDC tape #32:

"We mustn't mention this because, God help us, there goes the moral code. Penicillin took out the disease level and now... [a person] can take a couple of beams of energy.... and terminate a pregnancy. Nothing wild or forceful or upsetting or anything like that. Just make sure the tube opens. It's very simple. There are muscles and so forth that contract and expand at a certain period every month, and that sort of thing.

"Pregnancies that have been as much as three months advanced have been terminated that way... Isn't this fascinating? So you've got something like birth control sitting right there in theta clearing... It's just deadly. One, two, three!"
 

Dulloldfart

Squirrel Extraordinaire
(snip)

Sorry if I'm mis-reading you here Paul; I would ask by what "right" does "oneself" or "other beings" presume to determine the "rights" of another, if natural rights are not a given?

Whence the "authority" that permits this?

I'm talking about life here right now. You have the "right" to a fair trial yada yada yada unless someone with the appropriate authority decides you won't get one in which case you won't get one. That doesn't depend on natural law beyond the fact that the biggest gun wins. I grant rights to people I associate with in terms of how I treat them, and they grant rights to me (or not). You could argue that "natural rights" underlie it all if you wish, but that is not my opinion.

Paul
 

anondelmundial

Patron with Honors
This might seem harsh but, if you don't want a child, don't shag.

Other wise be responsible and take responsibility for your actions in getting someone prego.
I'm not saying abortion shouldn't be used but it shouldn't be used as a form of birth control. As it is today.

Sorry if that's a bit off target from what you were asking.

You have the essential argument except that abortion might be the only way for a family to survive.

We historically evolved into protecting and adulating procreation for many reasons. The pregnancy of a human woman 5000 years ago must have been a joyous event for the entire clan, since it signaled another person to help the clan survive, and it signaled that procreation, itself, was alive and well. The pregnant mother was revered, sheltered, and protected. It is no wonder that the earliest human-created figurines are of the mother-god, a pregnant female in all of her swollen unattractive wonder.

In this day, we have all been turned into slaves, indentured to the god of commerce. Our crop is now the strength of our earnings, day to day. Most people on earth are indentured to their paychecks which are designed to be just enough to survive at a given level of "worth" to society.

In this day, there is no advancement of status for a pregnant woman and her family, particularly for a family living on the edge of economic survival.

There is no intrinsic need for the family, the local township, and the country, to have to support another individual who might take 20-30 years to become productive in the capitalist sense. Capitalism requires production right here, right now (just like the cult's premises!). We have become no different than the coal miners in England whose entire family lives were governed by the father's production of coal ready for the boilers of capitalism. If the father died, the family essentially died.

As a practicing Catholic, whose wife is a neonatal nurse practitioner who has dedicated her life to the survival of premature babies, I have come to understand the survival of the current family unit, the last remnant of the clan or tribe of which we were formerly members many centuries ago: A pregnancy can, in many instances, signal the financial death of the family. There no longer is a clan or tribe to take up the slack in the family's economic production while the mother is unable to work. (... at least in the US)

Yes, I appose abortion; but on the other hand, I recognize the economic realities that having a normally delivered baby (or, far worse -economically - a premature baby) instigate on the family for a long period of time in which the mother or father must care for, non-productively, a baby. Unless one has advanced skills and education for which only one parent needs to work, there is no joy for a woman becoming pregnant in many families living on the edge of sustainability. Abortion might be the only salvation for the family, as much as I want no woman to abort. In this day, abortion might be the only salvation for the family that is working for small, survival-level, wages.

We have evolved from the clan/tribe support system,to the personal responsibility support system (at least in the US). I am sad to say that abortion, in the US, might be a survival-level action, no matter what the Catholic Church teaches.

We have become the frog in the slowly-heated pot.
 
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