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Abortion (again)

ruby sparks

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As an atheist, who doesn't believe in heaven or the equivalent, I have to ask myself, what is in the best interests of an embryo?

It is going to live a life which is at best a mixture of pain and pleasure and it is going to die (most likely in pain or after pain). If it is unwanted or not planned, is it a good thing to force it to face the world? Sure, I might, if I was its mother, change my mind and want it, in fact, that's an option. But maybe its father doesn't want it either and maybe never will. What gives me the right to foist the world onto this potential person without its consent?

I have to be very careful about deciding which is kinder and more responsible (assuming I don't have a time machine and getting unpregnant is not an option). For one thing, I can make sure it never suffers at all, assuming an atheist position and assuming that the abortion is done early (as most are) and that the embryo is incapable of experiencing suffering.

And that's just thinking about the embryo. There are considerations for several people, mother, father, sisters, brothers, society. If we force people to have babies merely because they are pregnant, who wins? It's an open question.

That is my point of view. I realise it's not everyone's.

I'm not saying it's not ending a life. I'm not saying it's not denying a potential person a future. I tend to agree it is both those things. At a pinch, I might even agree it's ending the life of a human being (in that it's human and has being).

There are times when I would feel like arguing that it is morally wrong to have a baby after an unwanted pregnancy and that the most unselfish course of action is to have an abortion. There may even be times when I might wonder, with an open mind, whether or not it is morally right or indeed fundamentally selfish in certain ways to have babies at all. But I'm not necessarily making either of those cases here. I'm only suggesting personal, informed choice. And at the end of the day I would by and large feel that it is the woman's choice.

I do think that there are people out there, probably very well-intentioned people, who are pro-life (aka anti-choice) for a variety of possible reasons, and I tend to fundamentally question their moral stance, whether it's religious or not. At the very least, I think it should be challenged on moral grounds and I think that they should take a long, hard look at their position and what it actually entails and what they are hoping it will actually achieve and what it will achieve.

It goes without saying that I am all for measures which minimises the number of unwanted pregnancies, including good sex education and freely available contraception. I am assuming a situation in which the unwanted pregnancy has happened, for whatever reasons.
 

Tigers!

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As an atheist, who doesn't believe in heaven or the equivalent, I have to ask myself, what is in the best interests of an embryo?

It is going to live a life which is at best a mixture of pain and pleasure and it is going to die (most likely in pain or after pain). If it is unwanted or not planned, is it a good thing to force it to face the world? Sure, I might, if I was its mother, change my mind and want it, in fact, that's an option. But maybe its father doesn't want it either and maybe never will. What gives me the right to foist the world onto this potential person without its consent?

I have to be very careful about deciding which is kinder and more responsible (assuming I don't have a time machine and getting unpregnant is not an option). For one thing, I can make sure it never suffers at all, assuming an atheist position and assuming that the abortion is done early (as most are) and that the embryo is incapable of experiencing suffering.

And that's just thinking about the embryo. There are considerations for several people, mother, father, sisters, brothers, society. If we force people to have babies merely because they are pregnant, who wins? It's an open question.

That is my point of view. I realise it's not everyone's.

I'm not saying it's not ending a life. I'm not saying it's not denying a potential person a future. I tend to agree it is both those things. At a pinch, I might even agree it's ending the life of a human being (in that it's human and has being).

There are times when I would feel like arguing that it is morally wrong to have a baby after an unwanted pregnancy and that the most unselfish course of action is to have an abortion. There may even be times when I might wonder, with an open mind, whether or not it is morally right or indeed fundamentally selfish in certain ways to have babies at all. But I'm not necessarily making either of those cases here. I'm only suggesting personal, informed choice. And at the end of the day I would by and large feel that it is the woman's choice.

I do think that there are people out there, probably very well-intentioned people, who are pro-life (aka anti-choice) for a variety of possible reasons, and I tend to fundamentally question their moral stance, whether it's religious or not. At the very least, I think it should be challenged on moral grounds and I think that they should take a long, hard look at their position and what it actually entails and what they are hoping it will actually achieve.

It goes without saying that I am all for measures which minimises the number of unwanted pregnancies, including good sex education and freely available contraception. I am assuming a situation in which the unwanted pregnancy has happened, for whatever reasons.

Is adoption an option for you?
 

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As an atheist, who doesn't believe in heaven or the equivalent, I have to ask myself, what is in the best interests of an embryo?

It is going to live a life which is at best a mixture of pain and pleasure and it is going to die (most likely in pain or after pain). If it is unwanted or not planned, is it a good thing to force it to face the world? Sure, I might, if I was its mother, change my mind and want it, in fact, that's an option. But maybe its father doesn't want it either and maybe never will. What gives me the right to foist the world onto this potential person without its consent?
By your reason every single child, including yourself, has had the world foisted upon them.
I am not certain what you mean.
 

ruby sparks

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Is adoption an option for you?

Personally, I would tend to think that if you don't want it yourself, then to a certain extent, offering it for adoption is palming off responsibility for what you have chosen to do. My saying this would have to be seen in the light of what I said above.

So that would be people who find themselves pregnant but decide to go ahead with the intention of having the resultant baby adopted.

I'm not against adoption per se. If for whatever reason (often hardship or other problems, or parents' death) a child already born can be adopted, that might be a good thing.

Good question. You have made me think. That is what I like. My answer was spontaneous. I don't mind it being challenged. It may be too general for one thing.
 

ruby sparks

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By your reason every single child, including yourself, has had the world foisted upon them.
I am not certain what you mean.

None of us ever asked for it or gave consent.

Obviously, we couldn't, but that still means we didn't. Often/usually, a parent has decided it for us.
 

Tigers!

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Is adoption an option for you?

Personally, I would tend to think that if you don't want it yourself, then to a certain extent, offering it for adoption is palming off responsibility for what you have chosen to do. My saying this would have to be seen in the light of what I said above.

So that would be people who find themselves pregnant but decide to go ahead with the intention of having the resultant baby adopted.

I'm not against adoption per se. If for whatever reason (often hardship or other problems, or parents' death) a child already born can be adopted, that might be a good thing.

Good question. You have made me think. That is what I like. My answer was spontaneous. I don't mind it being challenged. It may be too general for one thing.

I would not call giving a baby up for adoption to be palming off responsibility. Their are times in our lives when we have to acknowledgement that we are not capable of fulfilling our responsibilities.In thsi case the child is given the chance to have alife and grow up. That is a wise action.
My brother is adopted. Without him my life would be so much different. I thank God often for the wisdom, and yes compassion, of his natural mother who did not leave him to die as she could have.

- - - Updated - - -

By your reason every single child, including yourself, has had the world foisted upon them.
I am not certain what you mean.

None of us ever asked for it or gave consent.

Obviously, we couldn't, but that still means we didn't. Often/usually, a parent has decided it for us.

Yes the parents did. I can count on one hand the number of people I have met who are not glad of teh life they have been given by their parents.
 

ruby sparks

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I would not call giving a baby up for adoption to be palming off responsibility.

Ok, I would tend to disagree for reasons given.

Their are times in our lives when we have to acknowledgement that we are not capable of fulfilling our responsibilities.

I might say that if that's the case, and the pregnancy is still early, that abortion is the more moral, responsible, unselfish and kindest option. That is, however, it has to be said, the strong version of my position, and a higher bar. My general position is pro-choice. woman's choice, in the main. In cases of disagreement, woman's choice without caveat. I can't think of many exceptions (in fact right now I can't think of any) but it's always possible there are exceptions.

In thsi case the child is given the chance to have alife and grow up.

And suffer and die (probably after or during pain). Which the adult/parent will unequivocally have decided to cause (in the circumstances of an early pregnancy and not availing of readily available/safe abortion). As for whether it's more happy than unhappy in between, there are lots and lots of unhappy, and suffering people. Life is hard.

That is a wise action.

In your opinion. I'm questioning that.


My brother is adopted. Without him my life would be so much different.

That tells me that you feel you benefitted. Wouldn't that be a selfish reason, of itself?

I thank God often for the wisdom, and yes compassion, of his natural mother who did not leave him to die as she could have.

I do not know the particular circumstances. I am basing my view on an early pregnancy being detected and good quality abortion being readily available at that point. Or by 'leave him to die' do you mean abort in the circumstances I'm talking about? I read what you said as him being already or almost born at the time of the decision/intention to have him adopted.
 
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ruby sparks

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Yes the parents did. I can count on one hand the number of people I have met who are not glad of teh life they have been given by their parents.

Many people suffer. Sometimes a lot. It's not uncommon at all. And data suggests that having been an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy increases the risk in a variety of ways.

That said, many are glad.

But, do they really have a choice? It is true that we are 'hard wired' (and often culturally dissuaded) away from taking the 'get out' clause, and by and large it is not only frowned upon, it is difficult and/or painful, physically. To most people, it is actually terrifying (death that is, and suicide in particular). I think that once you're born you may have to just get on with it and try to make the best of it. My point partly is, what gives anyone the moral right to foist that situation, which is at the very least uncertain regarding outcome (apart from death which is pretty much guaranteed), on anyone else? Assuming atheism.
 

ruby sparks

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It probably will never be 'wrapped up nicely' That's accepted. Hopefully we can at least avoid it (the discussion) going up in flames. :)
 

Tigers!

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An embryo is 100% dependent on the mother. It is her choice. Only her opinion counts.

End of discussion.

Thank you for your reasoned and concise opinion.

- - - Updated - - -

I can see we are going to wrap up this issue nicely.

No reason what that cannot be the case. we can agree to disagree civilly.
 

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By your reason every single child, including yourself, has had the world foisted upon them.
I am not certain what you mean.

None of us ever asked for it or gave consent.

Obviously, we couldn't, but that still means we didn't. Often/usually, a parent has decided it for us.

Yes the parents did. I can count on one hand the number of people I have met who are not glad of teh life they have been given by their parents.

Your comment treats the reports of people who are already alive and have an interest in continuing to exist as retroactive consent for starting to exist. Those are two separate concerns. We know for a fact that nobody has an interest in starting to exist, by definition. We also know that there are strong non-cognitive, irrational, instinctual compulsions in human biology that compel us to seek survival at all costs--and these compulsions are among the constraints imposed on us at birth! It's clearly fallacious to appeal to them to show that imposing them in the first place was not so bad; if I slipped escalating amounts of a highly addictive drug into your morning coffee until you were hooked on it, I wouldn't be able to use your craving for more to justify getting you hooked. That, in large part, is what the clinging-to-life of most people amounts to, a pre-reflective, unconscious, socially reinforced urge we received along with the object of our clinging.

Also, not everybody turns out to be like the people you know. What number of people who have overcome the intrinsic desire to go on living and genuinely wish for death is acceptable, especially given that there is no way for any parent to predict whether their child will have such a fate? Would needing two hands to count that number constitute enough of a risk, while just one hand means it's a fine gamble to make? Isn't any potential at all for the kind of misery that leads someone to suicide enough to make procreation a moral hazard, since not procreating poses no harm to the unborn?
 

ruby sparks

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One more thing. To be 'pro-life' usually entails something extra, namely being 'anti-choice' which can arguably involve an additional moral question, which is whether anyone should have the 'right' to deny the choices of others (I mean the parents, as well as foisting life in the world onto the future/potential person who never asked for it). I'm not suggesting we should outlaw protests or lobbying or voting against legalising abortion.
 

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An embryo is 100% dependent on the mother. It is her choice. Only her opinion counts.

End of discussion.

Thank you for your reasoned and concise opinion.

- - - Updated - - -

I can see we are going to wrap up this issue nicely.

No reason what that cannot be the case. we can agree to disagree civilly.

As long as we greatly limit opinion we can do that.

Some see it as murder and froth at the mouth. They claim to be in communication with the gods.

They are the problem, not the issue itself.
 

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The main problem with this debate is that the point of life starting is arbitrary. There's good philosophical arguments to pin it at any point in that embryo's development. I've read articles that show that, technically, plants have feelings. You can argue pretty much any point here, and you'd be right.

In a situation like that it's pointless to discuss whether it's life or not. It's better to move the focus onto purely social matters. What is the social impact from moving the chosen point of life to any particular number of weeks. And just talk about that.

I've supported enough women through abortions to know, for a fact, that it's not a decision any woman will take lightly. It's very traumatic for them. It has it's own inbuilt natural "punishment". So I vote for letting nature sort this out. If a woman wants an abortion... regardless of the trimester... then we know that she has very strong and well thought out reasons for doing it.
 

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As an atheist, who doesn't believe in heaven or the equivalent, I have to ask myself, what is in the best interests of an embryo?

It is going to live a life which is at best a mixture of pain and pleasure and it is going to die (most likely in pain or after pain). If it is unwanted or not planned, is it a good thing to force it to face the world? Sure, I might, if I was its mother, change my mind and want it, in fact, that's an option. But maybe its father doesn't want it either and maybe never will. What gives me the right to foist the world onto this potential person without its consent?

I have to be very careful about deciding which is kinder and more responsible (assuming I don't have a time machine and getting unpregnant is not an option). For one thing, I can make sure it never suffers at all, assuming an atheist position and assuming that the abortion is done early (as most are) and that the embryo is incapable of experiencing suffering.

And that's just thinking about the embryo. There are considerations for several people, mother, father, sisters, brothers, society. If we force people to have babies merely because they are pregnant, who wins? It's an open question.

That is my point of view. I realise it's not everyone's.

I'm not saying it's not ending a life. I'm not saying it's not denying a potential person a future. I tend to agree it is both those things. At a pinch, I might even agree it's ending the life of a human being (in that it's human and has being).

There are times when I would feel like arguing that it is morally wrong to have a baby after an unwanted pregnancy and that the most unselfish course of action is to have an abortion. There may even be times when I might wonder, with an open mind, whether or not it is morally right or indeed fundamentally selfish in certain ways to have babies at all. But I'm not necessarily making either of those cases here. I'm only suggesting personal, informed choice. And at the end of the day I would by and large feel that it is the woman's choice.

I do think that there are people out there, probably very well-intentioned people, who are pro-life (aka anti-choice) for a variety of possible reasons, and I tend to fundamentally question their moral stance, whether it's religious or not. At the very least, I think it should be challenged on moral grounds and I think that they should take a long, hard look at their position and what it actually entails and what they are hoping it will actually achieve and what it will achieve.

It goes without saying that I am all for measures which minimises the number of unwanted pregnancies, including good sex education and freely available contraception. I am assuming a situation in which the unwanted pregnancy has happened, for whatever reasons.

Well ruby sparks along with being on the cynical side you open up a main point of the anti abortionists.

The slippery slope. What keeps abortion from slipping into eugenics? Parents find the fetus when advanced has genes that are not necessarily debilitating or limiting, but undesirable? Brown Eyes instead of blue. Gees that may be statistically corelated to violence and so on.

A new master race? Genetics is to the point where that may be possible for those that can afford it.

As to abortion itself far from any religious concern I find late term abortion grotesque. At some [pint the fetus is functioning and sensing.

When birth control and abortion opened up there was a statisicall correlation with the decline of crime. I doubt many would argue that kids born into lousy situations are more likely to take a bad term.

Do we sterilize people who have a risk of bad parenting or drug addiction or have a high probability of birth defects? Why not prevent the need for abortion in the first place?

Abortion is not a simple issue of rights.

The height of cynicism is viewing a fetus as noting but a bunch of cells and chemicals.
 

DrZoidberg

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As an atheist, who doesn't believe in heaven or the equivalent, I have to ask myself, what is in the best interests of an embryo?

It is going to live a life which is at best a mixture of pain and pleasure and it is going to die (most likely in pain or after pain). If it is unwanted or not planned, is it a good thing to force it to face the world? Sure, I might, if I was its mother, change my mind and want it, in fact, that's an option. But maybe its father doesn't want it either and maybe never will. What gives me the right to foist the world onto this potential person without its consent?

I have to be very careful about deciding which is kinder and more responsible (assuming I don't have a time machine and getting unpregnant is not an option). For one thing, I can make sure it never suffers at all, assuming an atheist position and assuming that the abortion is done early (as most are) and that the embryo is incapable of experiencing suffering.

And that's just thinking about the embryo. There are considerations for several people, mother, father, sisters, brothers, society. If we force people to have babies merely because they are pregnant, who wins? It's an open question.

That is my point of view. I realise it's not everyone's.

I'm not saying it's not ending a life. I'm not saying it's not denying a potential person a future. I tend to agree it is both those things. At a pinch, I might even agree it's ending the life of a human being (in that it's human and has being).

There are times when I would feel like arguing that it is morally wrong to have a baby after an unwanted pregnancy and that the most unselfish course of action is to have an abortion. There may even be times when I might wonder, with an open mind, whether or not it is morally right or indeed fundamentally selfish in certain ways to have babies at all. But I'm not necessarily making either of those cases here. I'm only suggesting personal, informed choice. And at the end of the day I would by and large feel that it is the woman's choice.

I do think that there are people out there, probably very well-intentioned people, who are pro-life (aka anti-choice) for a variety of possible reasons, and I tend to fundamentally question their moral stance, whether it's religious or not. At the very least, I think it should be challenged on moral grounds and I think that they should take a long, hard look at their position and what it actually entails and what they are hoping it will actually achieve and what it will achieve.

It goes without saying that I am all for measures which minimises the number of unwanted pregnancies, including good sex education and freely available contraception. I am assuming a situation in which the unwanted pregnancy has happened, for whatever reasons.

Well ruby sparks along with being on the cynical side you open up a main point of the anti abortionists.

The slippery slope. What keeps abortion from slipping into eugenics? Parents find the fetus when advanced has genes that are not necessarily debilitating or limiting, but undesirable? Brown Eyes instead of blue. Gees that may be statistically corelated to violence and so on.

A new master race? Genetics is to the point where that may be possible for those that can afford it.

As to abortion itself far from any religious concern I find late term abortion grotesque. At some [pint the fetus is functioning and sensing.

When birth control and abortion opened up there was a statisicall correlation with the decline of crime. I doubt many would argue that kids born into lousy situations are more likely to take a bad term.

Do we sterilize people who have a risk of bad parenting or drug addiction or have a high probability of birth defects? Why not prevent the need for abortion in the first place?

Abortion is not a simple issue of rights.

The height of cynicism is viewing a fetus as noting but a bunch of cells and chemicals.

I'm for Eugenics. We're already screening for genetic defects. What is considered a defective gene is a question of degree. It's a sliding scale and we're already at the bottom of this slippery slope. The limitation right now is purely technical. If you have money there are labs around the world in countries with zero regulation.

The reason I'm for Eugenics is the same reason I'm for legalisation of drugs, for abortion and for a liberalisation of copyrights. These are all things that it's pointless to ban. Its already super easy to circumvent the regulation. It's pointless to put up any barrier. If we do it'll, as usual, just make life harder for the poor. I don't want to make access to it a class issue. I don't want to live in a world where all the rich are healthy and pretty, and the poor are dying and ugly.
 

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I'm for Eugenics. We're already screening for genetic defects. What is considered a defective gene is a question of degree. It's a sliding scale and we're already at the bottom of this slippery slope. The limitation right now is purely technical. If you have money there are labs around the world in countries with zero regulation.

The reason I'm for Eugenics is the same reason I'm for legalisation of drugs, for abortion and for a liberalisation of copyrights. These are all things that it's pointless to ban. Its already super easy to circumvent the regulation. It's pointless to put up any barrier. If we do it'll, as usual, just make life harder for the poor. I don't want to make access to it a class issue. I don't want to live in a world where all the rich are healthy and pretty, and the poor are dying and ugly.

Eugenics can only ever be a relative term, as there are no good genes. All of our genes are defective, not because of their phenotype being one way or another, but because they are genes, and genes make temporary, vulnerable organisms that inhabit the world at each other's expense. The rich would also be dying and ugly, just less so.

On a practical level you're correct, though. However, it's not so much that we should simply avoid placing barriers in the way of eugenics and watch as everyone partakes of it across economic and social strata. It's not that simple. To avoid it becoming what you fear, we would have to actively provide it for free, such that there would be no advantage to paying for a better version.

So, on the societal level, if we are going to make an informed policy for the future, perhaps that's the way to go. But it's still a conversation about the least bad way to totally and unilaterally manipulate someone from the start of their existence, how to put the best possible spin on an act of terrible disrespect.
 

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. To avoid it becoming what you fear, we would have to actively provide it for free, such that there would be no advantage to paying for a better version.

We already do in Sweden. If you have a genetic disease the state will pay for IVF to screen them for it. All completely free. We've been doing it for over ten years now. It is regulated what the government will fix. But I see an inevitable expansion of that category.

This cat is out of the bag
 

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One more thing. To be 'pro-life' usually entails something extra, namely being 'anti-choice' which can arguably involve an additional moral question, which is whether anyone should have the 'right' to deny the choices of others (I mean the parents, as well as foisting life in the world onto the future/potential person who never asked for it). I'm not suggesting we should outlaw protests or lobbying or voting against legalising abortion.
"Entails" is a term of logic. It is not necessarily the case that I am against the opposite just because I'm for something.

Being in support of a yes vote doesn't entail being against a no vote.
 

ruby sparks

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The slippery slope. What keeps abortion from slipping into eugenics? Parents find the fetus when advanced has genes that are not necessarily debilitating or limiting, but undesirable? Brown Eyes instead of blue. Gees that may be statistically corelated to violence and so on.

First, that has not happened where abortion, contraception and sex education is freely available, as far as I am aware, and in all honesty, I don't see it necessarily happening. Having an abortion is not something that women tend to take lightly. Have an abortion because of brown eyes instead of blue? Why? And then what, get pregnant again to see if they'll be blue? And again if necessary, with all the bodily upset that that entails? I do not know what it's like to get pregnant, but I know second hand from my wife.

As for a hypothetical scenario where something arguably more important is at stake, what do you mean statistically correlated to violence? If, hypothetically, something was identified that was strongly correlated to violence, to the extent that violence was very likely, I would, yes, allow a woman or a couple to abort, early term. But then I would allow anyone to abort early term, whatever their reasons, or at least I would not prevent them. It wouldn't be my business really, imo.

The slippery slope argument is fine, as far as it goes, but unless there is good reason to think that things will slide down it into a mess, then it's difficult to assess. Note that a slippery slope argument can be a form of fallacy if not warranted (if there is not good evidence that the suggested negative consequences of the initial action are likely to occur). In those cases it can effectively be fear-mongering.

As to abortion itself far from any religious concern I find late term abortion grotesque. At some [pint the fetus is functioning and sensing.

I wasn't even talking about late term abortion though.

Do we sterilize people who have a risk of bad parenting or drug addiction or have a high probability of birth defects? Why not prevent the need for abortion in the first place?

Slightly separate question. I would not say that it is inevitable, no.

The height of cynicism is viewing a fetus as noting but a bunch of cells and chemicals.

Do you mean fetus or embryo? Usually embryo is used for 1st term. Certainly it is a bunch of cells early on. It isn't by any reasonable definition a person in 1st term.

By the way, I don't think you've addressed my points. For example, what gives you the right to foist life in the world (and an inevitable mix of happiness and suffering and certain death, probably an unpleasant or painful death) on a future/potential person who never asked for it or consented to it? It's an honest question. What gives you the right to do that? I would genuinely like to know.


Note that this is a question that could in the first instance be asked about all pregnancies, before we ask it when the situation is that you and/or your partner do not want a child (the pregnancy being unintended) because in that instance an anti-abortionist is effectively forcing people, who don't want to have a child, to foist a life in the world on that future person. Not forgetting forcing the woman to go through with what is mostly a traumatic process in order to have it. A related question might be, why do you think that is the best approach?

ps why do you think I'm cynical? :)
 
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An embryo is 100% dependent on the mother. It is her choice. Only her opinion counts.

End of discussion.

You forgot to mention that other playbook argument - they don't feel anything.

So.....
Adults can do non-consensual things to unborn children so long the adult is in a total power position and so long as the child (allegedly) doesn't mind, won't remember.

Hmmm. Sounds like an argument that could be used in many other contexts.
 

ruby sparks

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So.....
Adults can do non-consensual things to unborn children so long the adult is in a total power position and so long as the child (allegedly) doesn't mind, won't remember.

As in having them born? Yes. Adults can do that. Anti-abortionists would say that they must do it in fact.
 

Rhea

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An embryo is 100% dependent on the mother. It is her choice. Only her opinion counts.

End of discussion.

You forgot to mention that other playbook argument - they don't feel anything.

So.....
Adults can do non-consensual things to unborn children so long the adult is in a total power position and so long as the child (allegedly) doesn't mind, won't remember.

Hmmm. Sounds like an argument that could be used in many other contexts.

A human can do anything they want with their own blood and organs at any time, including the refusal to donate them to other beings.

NO one has forced you to donate an eye or a kidney or marrow or a piece of your lung or liver or even just a pint of blood at any time in your life, despite the fact that there are living breathing humans dying without your donation.

That's a constitutional right in our country, maybe not in yours?
 

Rhea

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You can reduce the abortion rate by 88% in 12 weeks.

By making long acting, reversible contraceptives (LARCs) freely available to all women at local clinics and doctor offices.


Think about it. reduce abortions by 88% in twelve weeks. That's before Thanksgiving.
You want that? You can have it.
But not by fighting for legislation to ban abortions, only by reducing unwanted pregnancies.

(88% of abortions occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and these are most likely to be from unwanted pregnancies. The remainder occur later and are from fetal abnormalities)

**IF** and this is the big question, IF reducing abortions is your number one directive.
However, if controlling the sex lives of women is a higher priority for you than reducing abortions, if the idea of women having sex for fun and not getting pregnant flips you out, then you will never reduce abortions. Because even if you make them illegal, they will still happen, ironically killing more often by taking the gestating woman out along with the fetus.

And we will know by your choice, of course, which is actually more important to you; the "sanctity of life" or the control of women's sex lives.

Any person who argues for reducing legal abortions by imposing restrictions and punishments BEFORE agreeing to and promoting and enacting free LARCs has made their position clear: they care more about controlling vaginas than saving the lives of fetuses.

Get your bible out of my vagina.
Colorado’s Effort Against Teenage Pregnancies Is a Startling Success

The results were repeated in St. Louis and Minnesota. Note - the 42% drop in abortions was statewide while the free LARCs were only available in 2 counties, showing an even greater potential if it were a federal program.
WALSENBURG, Colo. — Over the past six years, Colorado has conducted one of the largest experiments with long-acting birth control. If teenagers and poor women were offered free intrauterine devices and implants that prevent pregnancy for years, state officials asked, would those women choose them?

They did in a big way, and the results were startling. The birthrate among teenagers across the state plunged by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013, while their rate of abortions fell by 42 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. There was a similar decline in births for another group particularly vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies: unmarried women under 25 who have not finished high school.

“Our demographer came into my office with a chart and said, ‘Greta, look at this, we’ve never seen this before,’ ” said Greta Klingler, the family planning supervisor for the public health department. “The numbers were plummeting.”

There really is a "pro-life" camp and an "Anti-Choice" camp and they are distinguished between whether the Prime Directive is reducing abortions even if it means women can have sex without getting pregnant versus just wanting to punish women for having sex.
 

Copernicus

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Abortion is such a terrible, personal decision for a pregnant woman. Why is it that so many people seem to want to take that decision out of the hands of the person for whom it has the most serious consequences? None of these do-good meddlers, who put themselves in the shoes of mothers and fetuses, face any consequence whatsoever for making that decision on behalf of a pregnant woman that they do not even know. They understand nothing of the special circumstances that the woman faces regarding health, finances, family, or anything else in that woman's life.

The US Supreme Court asked the right question when they considered Roe v Wade: When does the government have an interest in preserving a pregnancy? What are the consequences for society, not the individual woman, over the outcome of the pregnancy? Because this really is a matter of that woman's personal life and privacy, not her neighbors or legislators or voting public. The court decided that there might be some issues regarding the third term of a pregnancy, although I still don't understand quite what those issues are. Men who debate abortion in late term pregnancies almost always think of such a decision as possibly a frivolous one on the part of the woman. As if she suffered through a pregnancy for six months without seriously wanting a child. Or maybe they have fantasies of a happy short life for fetus with a serious medical condition that was discovered late, so they are just trying to think what they, as an imaginary late term fetus, would want?

The only thing frivolous about a woman's decision to have an abortion is the debate that goes on in the minds of those with no stake in the outcome but still want to second-guess the one person who has the most at stake.
 

southernhybrid

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I may be a little off topic since I'm not going to argue about abortion. I am going to explain something that some of you may not know. Back in the early 80s, I worked as a public health nurse in Greenville, SC and then later in Raleigh NC. At that time, birth control and abortions were just about fully paid by the US government. Oral contraceptives only cost my patients a dollar a month and other forms, like condoms and IUDs were free. We had a nurse, who was a Christian btw, who counseled every woman that wanted an abortion before the procedure was done. In Greenville, the nurses that worked in family planning took turns counseling those who opted for abortion. There was only one nurse who was against abortion and because we all respected each other and worked well together, another nurse would substitute for her, when it was her turn to do pre abortion counseling. The nurse who was against abortion was an older nurse who had raised a child with Down's syndrome.
I was the only nurse who wasn't a Christian.

I also worked for a year in the small rural maternity clinic in the same district as Greenville. Only one of my patients opted for an abortion and only one opted to give up her baby for adoption. The others, regardless of age, wanted to keep and raise their babies. I have to admit that there were a few that I wish would have given up their babies as it was obvious there were going to be a lot of problems for any infant raised in those homes. All of my maternity patients were poor, but not quite poor enough for Medicaid, which was why the clinic was started. The government also paid for sterilization at that time, if you had at least four pregnancies or at least one high risk pregnancy. You also had to be at least 21. I will never forget the 19 year old who had four children, who sat and cried in my office because she couldn't have a tubal. It seemed stupid and cruel to deny this young woman a tubal ligation. She wasn't very educated and had failed at using various methods of abortion. I called some local doctors and begged them consider making an exception for her, but they all refused. I also knew a very compassionate doctor who did abortions for free before they were legal because he cared so much about women and didn't want them to be harmed by an unqualified abortionist.

These programs were wonderful for women, especially poor women. The family planning clinic was open to all women. Then during the Reagan administration, funds for that type of program were drastically reduced and due to strong lobbying on the part of the religious right, the government stopped paying for abortions for poor women and as things went on, abortions became more difficult to access, as you all know. Sadly, we now have extremists who don't even want women to have affordable or easy access to birth control. I've worked with many very poor women prior to my retirement. Many of them have children that they can barely support and have to depend on other government programs such a SNAP and subsidized housing to feed and house their children. So, it seems in retrospect, that making it difficult to access abortions and birth control has just added to the issue of poverty. A lot of this is due to far right religious zealots inflicting their own beliefs and values on the rest of us.

If you believe that a zygote or early stage embryo is the same as a fully developed human, then don't have an abortion, but not everyone believes that. I fully support the autonomy of a woman to control her own body. Despite what some think, late term abortions are extremely rare. I doubt one would be performed unless the mother's life was in danger or the fetus was not viable. It's sad that we've allowed the minority to control the majority. The last time I checked, which was very recently, the majority of people in the country continue to support Roe v. Wade. Excuse me for rambling but what has happened to women's reproductive choices in the US has become insane.
 

Loren Pechtel

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You can reduce the abortion rate by 88% in 12 weeks.

By making long acting, reversible contraceptives (LARCs) freely available to all women at local clinics and doctor offices.


Think about it. reduce abortions by 88% in twelve weeks. That's before Thanksgiving.
You want that? You can have it.
But not by fighting for legislation to ban abortions, only by reducing unwanted pregnancies.

(88% of abortions occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and these are most likely to be from unwanted pregnancies. The remainder occur later and are from fetal abnormalities)

1) It's about making recreational sex dangerous. You're not doing that thus it's a total fail.

2) You won't get the 88% because LARCs aren't 100% and not all women can use them.

3) Not all the abortions past 12 weeks are fetal defect. Some are because the woman had a hard time coming up with the money or didn't detect the pregnancy right away. (If one already has an irregular period it's disappearance might not be noticed.)
 

Rhea

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You can reduce the abortion rate by 88% in 12 weeks.

1) It's about making recreational sex dangerous. You're not doing that thus it's a total fail.
Yes. My whole point. We agree. The zealots don’t actually care about abortions when there is danger to be added to recreational sex instead.
2) You won't get the 88% because LARCs aren't 100% and not all women can use them.
Splitting hairs. You have no idea what percentage would be remaining, nor whether the presence of better distribution of birth control would also increase the methods that these women need. Not a reason to not take action. So maybe you get 86% instead of 88%? What’s the point in arguing that? Do it and find out if there are any remaining unwanted pregnancies left to address.


3) Not all the abortions past 12 weeks are fetal defect. Some are because the woman had a hard time coming up with the money or didn't detect the pregnancy right away. (If one already has an irregular period it's disappearance might not be noticed.)

A. They don’t need to come up with money if they aren’t pregnant in teh first place.
B. They won’t detect a pregnancy they don’t have.


So yes, the immediate structure to make LARCs available to all women as easily as possible remains a viable course to reduce abortions by up to 88% by Thanksgiving.
 

Rhea

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And yes. To emhasize:

The ONLY people who are for abortion restrictions are those for whom creating risk for sex and thereby controlling the sexuality of women is the highest priority.
All others want to actually reduce abortions and know that the only way to do that is to reduce unwanted pregnancies.
 

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Oh, if only people would keep abortion and contraception as separate issues.
But the words have become synonymous.
 

Copernicus

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Oh, if only people would keep abortion and contraception as separate issues.
But the words have become synonymous.

Zygotes are protected, but no rights for gametes!? It just seems hypocritical to me.
 
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Loren Pechtel

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Yes. My whole point. We agree. The zealots don’t actually care about abortions when there is danger to be added to recreational sex instead.
2) You won't get the 88% because LARCs aren't 100% and not all women can use them.
Splitting hairs. You have no idea what percentage would be remaining, nor whether the presence of better distribution of birth control would also increase the methods that these women need. Not a reason to not take action. So maybe you get 86% instead of 88%? What’s the point in arguing that? Do it and find out if there are any remaining unwanted pregnancies left to address.


3) Not all the abortions past 12 weeks are fetal defect. Some are because the woman had a hard time coming up with the money or didn't detect the pregnancy right away. (If one already has an irregular period it's disappearance might not be noticed.)

A. They don’t need to come up with money if they aren’t pregnant in teh first place.
B. They won’t detect a pregnancy they don’t have.


So yes, the immediate structure to make LARCs available to all women as easily as possible remains a viable course to reduce abortions by up to 88% by Thanksgiving.

While I think it's a very good idea (while I'm generally opposed to free things as they promote waste in this case the need of a medical provider gets around the problem) I'm just objecting to your 88% number. It would take a big bite out of abortion but I don't think it would be that big. (Not to mention the logistics problem--I seriously doubt the medical system could put in that many that fast.)
 

Rhea

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Oh, if only people would keep abortion and contraception as separate issues.
But the words have become synonymous.

Why on earth would you want them kept as separate issues when contraception is the number one method of reducing abortions!?


unless...


unless your real objective is not to reduce abortions. It's to regulate women's sex lives?
 

fast

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What about competing goals?

Let's say Bob is against the killing of human zygotes. He doesn't care if people have sex anymore than if people drop coins into a drink machine. He warns, however, if you do, a drink may pop out below. And he's fine with that. Do what you want to do, have fun, and enjoy. Just don't kill zygotes, embryos, fetuses, or babies. Gametes, sure; slaughter them at your leisure--since they are not developing to become human individuals yet--as fertilization has not yet occurred.

Bad people that take the lives of others (capital punishment, baby!), trespassers that refuse to stay out (forget the wall, use napalm); want to burn the flag after our veterans got drafted, shot and killed (howitzer up the ass). The theme: Save the innocent; slaughter the bad.

He's also against racism, so he is adamantly opposed to anything regarding FREE contraceptives being given out by subsidizing the costs in racially disgusting ways--even if it reduces abortion. Contraceptives, sure. If they prevent zygote creation, no problem. If they destroy zygotes, problem. Free? Nope!

Now, I won't pretend to understand the link Bob is trying to draw between racism and free contraceptives; strange fellow, that Bob, but nowhere in there did I see some flaming desire to regulate women's sex lives. Let them fuck and fuck and fuck. Furthermore (oh wait), Bob is channeling something else ...

He says he would not vote against abortion. He says that he is very much against it and won't do it, but he will not elicit the help of government to prevent it. He won't vote IN FAVOR of outlawing abortion but also won't vote IN FAVOR of allowing it. He's using some fancy word "abstain"--whatever the hell that means.

I guess that kinda changes things a bit, but he still doesn't want this racist crap going on about providing for "free" contraceptives. It's a moot point now since after all that it seems Bob is NOT going to take a stand to disallow women the right to kill, kill, kill, kill, kill what most likely would grow to become a new human individual.

So, does Bob want to reduce abortions? Sure, but not at all costs. He doesn't want it so bad that he's willing to interfere with women's devil given right to kill, and he damn sure isn't going to stand for free contraceptives; in fact, the message is coming in now, he says he will vote against FREE contraceptives; that, he will not stand for. Adamant about that racism thing. Weird.
 

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I’m not exactly sure what you’re saying in that post.

But I will clarify one thing: Anyone who wants to act/vote in a way that makes it more likely for sex to be risky, that is more likely for unwanted pregnancies to occur, IS trying to create a system where women must abstain from sex if they want to abstain from babies. He is trying to control her behaior by making something very risky that does not have to be risky.

Like saying, you can drive in a car, but you can’t wear a seatbelt, and if there’s an accident and you get hurt - it’s your fault, not mine. Because I want your choices to be drive or don’t drive, not drive-and-live vs drive-and-die. I want your best choice to be not-drive, so I will try to remove drive-and-live choice. And blame you for the risk. Also, I get a seatbelt either way.

Because these are the people who want to close planned parenthoods, eliminate contraceptives from insurance plans, allow companies to provide insurance but dictate what your doctor can tell you, force contraceptives to require extra doctor visits and pharmacy hurdles. These are the people who WANT TO ELIMINATE ACCESS to contraceptives all the while claiming that they are against abortions.

In other words,, these are people who want to do everything they can to ensure sex creates pregnancies that women are then forced to complete. End goal is not reducing abortions, it is controlling sex.
 

Rhea

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As far as “free” is concerned, it only matters if the person “says” they care about reducing abortions. They want to spend money regulating abortions, spend money incarcerating doctors and women who use them, then they complain about a CHEAPER solution that actually reduces abortions?

Doesn’t that make them hypocrites and liars? Because they don’t actually care about the reduction in abortions OR the cost savings. They just want to make sex as risky as possible for women so they can control whether it’s happening.
 

fast

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I’m not exactly sure what you’re saying in that post.
That things are not as clear cut as suggested.

Your clarification and example helps. Thank you. The problem I see reminds me of the slight of hand people use to claim racism when there's genuinely no racist motives but merely racial disparities. Don't tell me what it is I must want simply because my actions result in a certain way.

Sure, I want people to drive and be safe doing so, but no, I'm not going to demand that whites singlehandedly foot 88% of the bill for blacks to have a seatbelt. Yes, the results are consequentially less optimal than if I would, but that's not to say that what I want is less optimal results.

Also, there is another tactic layered in your wording that bothers me. If I give you something, I'm the giver. If I give, give, give, I'm the giver. Don't accuse me of being a taker just because I stopped giving, even if it's linguistically sound to twist it such that it rings true to say I've taken away your allowance. We see it all the time how the givers that give less are somehow vilified when it negatively impacts others. Sex carries inherent risks. We could help decrease risks for others, but saying that not helping increases risks rings as true as calling me a taker.

These nuanced differences might come across as pedantic, but there are fundamental differences behind the driving forces of our real life decisions. Confusing not helping with harming is bad enough, but to further imbue motive is especially egregious. You cannot be correct in all cases about what it is people want; for one, we're not always going to do everything possible to get what we want, especially when there are competing wants. Sacrifices are made.

Now, if the black woman isn't helped by our refusing to subsidize her desire for safer sex with the white mans wallet, the result is not the cause of her predicament.

Incidentally, what's the name of that logical fallacy I'm thinking of? I don't think it's the fallacy of accentuation. It's the one where the woman goes into the store demanding to speak with the manager and says she wants to speak with whoever is in charge --and the manager is in charge. Come to find out, what she said is not actually true because unbeknownst to her, her exhusband is now the manager--and she definitely doesn't want to talk to him.
 

Rhea

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If no one, especially you, is trying to ban abortions, then you don’t need to pay anything. This is equation is _if_ you claim to be against abortions, and if you simultaneously act in a way that increases them, THEN you are not actually against abortions, you have some other, higher priority goal. (Which, by the way, costs you a shitload more in public care for unplanned children. Contraception cheaper than abortions. Abortions cheaper than poor/unplanned children. Elementary math)

I have no idea why you are talking about black women.
 

fast

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If no one, especially you, is trying to ban abortions, then you don’t need to pay anything. This is equation is _if_ you claim to be against abortions, and if you simultaneously act in a way that increases them, THEN you are not actually against abortions, you have some other, higher priority goal. (Which, by the way, costs you a shitload more in public care for unplanned children. Contraception cheaper than abortions. Abortions cheaper than poor/unplanned children. Elementary math)

I have no idea why you are talking about black women.

This mimics the idea that if one acts contrary to how one claims to believe, then one doesnt actually believe what one claims to. Is that where you're at with this?
 

Copernicus

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If no one, especially you, is trying to ban abortions, then you don’t need to pay anything. This is equation is _if_ you claim to be against abortions, and if you simultaneously act in a way that increases them, THEN you are not actually against abortions, you have some other, higher priority goal. (Which, by the way, costs you a shitload more in public care for unplanned children. Contraception cheaper than abortions. Abortions cheaper than poor/unplanned children. Elementary math)

I have no idea why you are talking about black women.

This mimics the idea that if one acts contrary to how one claims to believe, then one doesnt actually believe what one claims to. Is that where you're at with this?

Like Rhea, I could not make sense out of your statement:

Now, if the black woman isn't helped by our refusing to subsidize her desire for safer sex with the white mans wallet, the result is not the cause of her predicament.

How are the racial references relative to the discussion about abortion?
 

fast

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Like Rhea, I could not make sense out of your statement:

Now, if the black woman isn't helped by our refusing to subsidize her desire for safer sex with the white mans wallet, the result is not the cause of her predicament.

How are the racial references relative to the discussion about abortion?

I think the explanation would be more distracting than what was said. After my previous post, I began having reservations about having said anything at all; I hadn't recognized the ole saying for what it was. I still think it's deductively unsound but has some inductive merit.

I wish I had a concise way of explaining why "not decreasing risk" is not "increasing risk."
 

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Oh, if only people would keep abortion and contraception as separate issues.
But the words have become synonymous.

I think they are synonymous. They solve the same problem. And condoms also protect against AIDS. I think the Catholic church's stance on condoms is so immoral its evil. I think it's a shame there is no hell, because I would have aproved the justice of knowing the last popes will burn in it, for all the suffering they have caused.

That policy and the child rapes makes the Catholic church tainted for all eternity.
 

Rhea

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This mimics the idea that if one acts contrary to how one claims to believe, then one doesnt actually believe what one claims to. Is that where you're at with this?

IF one is acting contrary to how one claims to believe,
THEN one is not furthering the cause of one’s beliefs by one’s actions.
IF one is not concerned with that,
THEN perhaps one needs to examine whether their beliefs include something they have not yet articulated, but are clearly acting to promote.

Outsiders can often see clearly what one is actually achieving because they are not blinded by one’s self-delusion.
Sometimes - it can help to have an outsider clarify: This is what you say you want, and this is what you are acheiving. Do you know there is actually a way to achieve what you say you want?

Then we watch to see if you care.

Obviously this doesn’t work for those under the influence of addiction. We are assuming the two parties are rational. Some may claim that anti-abortionists are not rational and are driven by addiction to outrage and self-righteousness. There is some evidentiary support for this claim.
 

fast

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This mimics the idea that if one acts contrary to how one claims to believe, then one doesnt actually believe what one claims to. Is that where you're at with this?

IF one is acting contrary to how one claims to believe,
THEN one is not furthering the cause of one’s beliefs by one’s actions.
IF one is not concerned with that,
THEN perhaps one needs to examine whether their beliefs include something they have not yet articulated, but are clearly acting to promote.

Outsiders can often see clearly what one is actually achieving because they are not blinded by one’s self-delusion.
Sometimes - it can help to have an outsider clarify: This is what you say you want, and this is what you are acheiving. Do you know there is actually a way to achieve what you say you want?

Then we watch to see if you care.

Obviously this doesn’t work for those under the influence of addiction. We are assuming the two parties are rational. Some may claim that anti-abortionists are not rational and are driven by addiction to outrage and self-righteousness. There is some evidentiary support for this claim.

Got it. Sounds reasonable.
 

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I was also confused by your post, fast. I still am. I also am wondering what race has to do with any of this. And, btw, the majority of my former public health patients were white, when I was working in the small health department in rural SC. Race shouldn't have a thing to do with any of this. This is about women being able to access both birth control and abortions. And yes, the two are related. They both concern reproductive choices.

Off topic, but why do so many people, primarily conservatives, get their panties in a wad when the poor get a little help from the government, but are perfectly fine with welfare for the wealthy, especially when it comes to tax deductions that they receive?

If abortions for poor women were federally subsidized, there would be less need for other forms of government assistance. I'm not suggesting that abortions should ever be encouraged, but for those who feel they need this service, it's more cost effective than forcing all poor women to continue unwanted or high risk pregnancies in the long run. Shouldn't conservatives be more conservative in how public funds are spent?

I've said this before but I'll say it again. Women have always had abortions, especially before we had many effective means of birth control. It's just that they used to be illegal so they were performed in unsafe conditions. Back in the early 20th Century, women stood in line for cheap abortions which were done by non medical people, often in unsanitary conditions. Is that what people want?
 
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