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Thread: Abortion.

  1. #11
    The Wax Gentleman's Avatar
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    Guess what?
    Eating meat is murderous.
    Tearing up grass is killing living things.
    Getting a tan kills cells on the outer layer of your body.
    Have you ever killed an annoying horsefly, mosquito, or wasp?
    Those things are more "alive" than any 2 month old fetus is going to be. They can't see anything, they can't hear anything, their brains haven't developed in the slightest... They are these little masses of flesh, that are scientifically "alive," but that raises the question of, when is one alive? When does one experience consciousness? When is one aware of themselves as a person? I don't think a tiny under-developed blob vaguely resembling a baby is going to feel a thing. "Well, no, you're taking away something that could be a life!" Birth control does that as well. Should we take away all means of birth control? Never eat anything again, because all food involves killing another living thing, or raping an animal for it's milk? You could extend your moral values to the nth degree, and then just decide to kill yourself, because you put other "things" in discomfort due to your existence. But then THAT would be killing a thing, wouldn't it?
    If you want to have a child, have a child.
    If you don't, get an abortion.
    It really doesn't matter.

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  3. #12
    R ♥ P E 21Faces's Avatar
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    Late term abortions are sort of a weird occurrence in themselves as it is. They're prohibited in most places, but you have to figure no woman in their right mind would want to have one (as opposed to abortions in the first trimester which account for well over 90% of abortions performed today) because of the invasive nature of the procedure, the risks involved, the expense, etc. So that's sort of a non issue in my mind.

    There is no question that a fetus is "life," I don't think anyone seriously debates that. I'm sure my body is crawling with bacteria right now and that is "life" also, as well as the eggs I had this morning which were also "life." So the issue is not "when does 'life' begin," because we know. At the moment of conception, when a unique genetic pattern is formed following the fertilization of an egg a "new" life begins developing in the womb.

    The real question is at what point should life be considered "human" in a legal and moral sense- at what point is such life entitled by its nature to "human rights?" I think the rational foundation of anti-abortion arguments is that our genetic material- our biological status as human organisms grants us these rights no matter what stage of development we're in- zygote onward. Personally, I'd like to think that being "human" goes a little deeper than the 3% difference of genetic material between us and chimps. What that crucial 3% grants us is more important: a "self-awareness" that separates us to a degree from all other life on the planet. It's a neurological phenomena that fetuses lack, because their nervous systems are not adequately developed enough to appreciate their own existence, fear, pain, love, hope, self-interest, or any of the other qualities that we attribute to human life and experience.

    Some argue that by this definition even born infants do not qualify as "human." I think it is interesting to note that early religious thinking did not traditionally view infants as having "souls" or reaching "the age of reason" until around 3 or 4. So even back then, people recognized that infants lacked "something," emergent "human" behavior until after they had survived infancy. Obviously that kind of thinking is no longer feasibly legal today- infant mortality rates in the first world are much lower than they used to be.

    That said, I think if not by neurological standards, human infants are "covered," if you will, for their humanness through the principle of bodily autonomy. This is illustrated through what you could call "The Rule of Twins." If our status of "human" is bestowed at the moment our genetic uniqueness is established, then what about twins? Since they are identical, why do they get to count as two people out of the womb and not one? Because although they are both genetically identical, they are also separate and autonomous entities. Even in the case of conjoined twins, we can observe separate brains controlling separate limbs to separate ends. As such, we recognize twins as being separate human people.

    Fetuses in the womb are not neurologically self aware, nor are they physically autonomous entities. They are reliant on the body of the mother for their very existence. As such, the rights and interest of the autonomous self-aware mother take precedence over the fetus. Further, because the fetus develops literally INSIDE the body of the mother the issue of her sovereignty over her own person comes into play. If we were reptiles, we might be having a different conversation. As mammals, the rights of a human mother both literally and figuratively eclipse that of any fetus developing inside her. A pregnant woman is well within her rights to drink, smoke, starve herself, or risk her own health to the same legal degree any other non-pregnant person would be. She owes absolutely no legal consideration towards her fetus. This reality is rather messily expressed through the assertion of a person's legal "right to privacy," in the sense that it is nobody else's business whether a woman is even pregnant at all or just fat, or just has a basketball sized tumor growing in her abdomen. Her choice to kill the life inside her is her own. Only she can legally decide what it's worth.

    Personally, I think that the legal protection of women's control over their own reproductive processess through abortion and contraception is one of the greatest accomplishments of civilized human society on par with the abolition of slavery as an institution after the civil war. Many people are ignorant of how the history of women's legal rights over their own bodies have been so central to the sustainment of patriarchal societies. When we look at the (agrarian) societies of antiquity we see women treated as property because they were seen as property, traded like livestock between families. Your marriage to a woman was as much a purchase made from her father. You needed her to produce children to work your land as much as you needed livestock. An autonomous women who has sovereignty over her own body throws a wrench in the whole system. If a woman can decide on her own when and under what circumstances she will become pregnant or even choose to end a pregnancy in process, then you lose control over the means of production in an agrarian society. Prostitution was also a fundamental threat to the established patriarchal system in that women would dare assert the right to sell themselves on their own terms for their own profit rather than be sold by their fathers.

    So that is what is really behind most anti-abortion arguments. It's not about the life of the fetus (exemplified by the exactly ZERO shits anti-abortion proponents generally give about fetuses out of the womb), it's about keeping things the way they are- keeping people (women and minorities, mainly) "in their place." Abortion and contraception are key issues that are linked and liberative. They are a threat to the holdouts of patriarchy and privilege that have been in place for thousands of years.

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  5. #13
    cold blows the wind Golden Eel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisusernameisnowinuse View Post
    Guess what?
    Eating meat is murderous.
    Tearing up grass is killing living things.
    Getting a tan kills cells on the outer layer of your body.
    Have you ever killed an annoying horsefly, mosquito, or wasp?
    Those things are more "alive" than any 2 month old fetus is going to be. They can't see anything, they can't hear anything, their brains haven't developed in the slightest... They are these little masses of flesh, that are scientifically "alive," but that raises the question of, when is one alive? When does one experience consciousness? When is one aware of themselves as a person? I don't think a tiny under-developed blob vaguely resembling a baby is going to feel a thing. "Well, no, you're taking away something that could be a life!" Birth control does that as well. Should we take away all means of birth control? Never eat anything again, because all food involves killing another living thing, or raping an animal for it's milk? You could extend your moral values to the nth degree, and then just decide to kill yourself, because you put other "things" in discomfort due to your existence. But then THAT would be killing a thing, wouldn't it?
    If you want to have a child, have a child.
    If you don't, get an abortion.
    It really doesn't matter.
    Who are you arguing with?
         

    and with just one faint glance back into the sea
    the mollusk lingers with its wandering eye
      
      

  6. #14
    The Wax Gentleman's Avatar
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    Myself, I suppose. I'm trying to tackle all of the possible arguments.

  7. #15
    Improbability Blotter sayyosin's Avatar
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    That was a very insightful post, 21Faces. I agree 100%.

  8. #16
    I am another yourself. Dronepool's Avatar
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    • For instance, at what point, if any, is too late (in your opinion) to get an abortion?
    I guess it should be taken care of within about 1-6 weeks.. at least? Got pregnant by mistake, have it taken care of. Got raped, have it taken care of. Decided that you're too broke to support a kid, have it taken care of.
    • Like Favenris touched on, would you be for or against killing a freshly born child if you knew it would have a terrible life floating around foster homes or something equally (or more) bad?
    That's a bit different. Having a child and saying "OOPS NEVER MIND LOL KILL IT" isn't cool. They should have a chance. It's a 50/50 shot at a potentially DECENT life without knowing the give away parents.
    • Basically, at what point do you consider a life 'sacred', if you do at all? Would you swat a mosquito? Where is your line drawn?
    I kill mosquitos with no remorse.



  9. #17
    Administrator
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    S.D.'s Avatar
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    I often wonder why, if Anti-Abortion campaigners are so concerned about the preservation of life, they waste so much of their own stood around in front of medical facilities holding picket signs.
    If you're Pro-Life, go and make amazing use of your own; read a book, write a book, make love, go somewhere you've never been, sing a song, write a song, watch a film, build something, do anything more constructive than waiting outside the Doctor's doorway so you can tell other people what's so wrong with their existence.

    By that definition, Anti-Abortion campaigners waste as much 'life' as people who undergo the procedure apparently do. Swings and roundabouts.
    "the Serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which
    the LORD god had made
    "

    m e m e n t o m o r i . p o s t m o r t e m


  10. #18

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    For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

  11. #19
    Improbability Blotter sayyosin's Avatar
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    Personally, I think many people who are pro-life are simply just anti-woman.

  12. #20
    R ♥ P E 21Faces's Avatar
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    ^exactly that. My mother likes to say that if men could get pregnant you'd be able to buy oral contraceptives- particularly "Plan B" in vending machines.

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