Abortion

I got this in an email today - from parts unknown. Yes, it's a bit technically incorrect, but the message is what counts, so here it is:

Month One: Mommy, I am only 8 inches long, but I have all my organs. I love the sound of your voice. Every time I hear it, I wave my arms and legs. The sound of your heart beat is my favorite lullaby.

Month Two: Mommy, today I learned how to suck my thumb. If you could see me, you could definitely tell that I am a baby. I'm not big enough to survive outside my home though. It is so nice and warm in here.

Month Three: You know what Mommy, I'm a girl!! I hope that makes you happy. I always want you to be happy. I don't like it when you cry. You sound so sad. It makes me sad too, and I cry with you even though you can't hear me.

Month Four: Mommy, my hair is starting to grow. It is very short and fine, but I will have a lot of it. I spend a lot of my time exercising. I can turn my head and curl my fingers and toes, and stretch my arms and legs. I am becoming quite good at it too.

Month Five: You went to the doctor today. Mommy, he lied to you. He said that I'm not a baby. I am a baby Mommy, your baby. I think and feel. Mommy, what's abortion?

Month Six: I can hear that doctor again. I don't like him. He seems cold and heartless. Something is intruding my home. The doctor called it a needle. Mommy what is it? It burns! Please make him stop! I can't get away from it! Mommy!! HELP me!! No...

Month Seven: Mommy, I am okay. I am in Jesus' arms. He is holding me. He told me about abortion. Why didn't you want me Mommy? We would have been so happy together.

.........................
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

       
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Posted on Jan 30, 2011 12:32 am by Samson in: | 99 comment(s) [Closed]
Comments
Samson said:

Yes, it's a bit technically incorrect, but the message is what counts

Are you endorsing that "message" then?

       
I would have thought that was obvious, but yes.

       
:sigh: :sad:

       
As a mother, I find this extremely offensive.

       
So exactly what am I missing here that seems to be so offensive?

       
While I happen to not believe in abortion for my own offspring, as being the father of multiple children might attest, I happen to be pro-choice. You see, I believe that god alone has the right to give or take life, but I also believe that a woman has the right to make such a choice for herself and it's neither the right of any government or even spiritual leader to decide for her. But even with that particular issue set entirely aside, as a parent I find this particular form of "protest" to be a disgusting use of portrayal. This, to me, qualifies as what you were calling "emotional trolling" over at Dwip's blog. It's taking the role of an unborn child and depicting abortion as something brutal and painful and arbitrarily assigning awareness to an unborn child of circumstances that it cannot possibly fathom in order to twist the emotions of the reader. In the closing, the tale not only twists the knife one last time, but also attempts to portray Christianity as the one true religion while portraying Jesus as so cruel as to tell an infant in no uncertainty that his mother "didn't want" him. Never mind that there are valid reasons why one might get an abortion that would otherwise entirely preclude any chance of the child and mother ever being happy together if the child had lived. Never mind that the mother's life might have required the child's death. Never mind.... oh, why am I bothering. If you didn't find it offensive then you're obviously on the side of the fence that finds the mere idea of abortion so abhorrent as to completely cast aside any possibility of acceptance anyway. :headbang:

       
Ah. Well I figured it might be something like that. See, I don't have issue with there being exceptions for legitimate issues like medical necessity (and I doubt God would either) to save the mother. The message clearly isn't aimed at those people. It's aimed at the ones using abortion as a form of casual birth control. I object to that in no uncertain terms as murder. It's not something I've generally discussed here because, well, as your post indicates it's a highly charged issue. I suppose the "emotional trolling" argument is valid, but with this particular issue it's almost unavoidable.

"Because I decided I didn't want it" wouldn't fly if you killed the baby after having given birth. So I fail to see why still being inside the womb would change that, especially given our state of medical technology. Babies can be born as early as 5 months and still survive. Unwanted babies can also be offered up for adoption if the mother AND father truly don't want them.

Which brings up the next issue you alluded to. What of the wishes of the father? If the mother decides she wants to have the baby killed, doesn't the father who helped conceive it get any sort of say? How extraordinarily cruel is that to deny a father's rights?

There's also the small matter of personal responsibility that plays into this. If you're not willing to accept the responsibilities that come with having a baby, then why did you have sex in the first place?

You're also contradicting your own argument. You say "god alone has the right to give or take life" then immediately argue that the woman has the right to decide that.
So given the religious angle to that argument, you are aware you're essentially saying she'd go to hell for that, aren't you? The existence of free will carries with it certain responsibilities. If God alone has the right to give and take life, the woman clearly has no such right, and the consequences of violating the right to life should be expected.

Since the message is in wide circulation from Christian groups, one should not be entirely surprised that the 7th month mentions Jesus. It's not cruel to tell someone the truth about why the ended up in Heaven either. Jesus cannot lie, and according to most understandings of what happens when your soul is in Heaven, you're no longer a "baby" or an "adult" you just ... are.

       
It's aimed at the ones using abortion as a form of casual birth control. I object to that in no uncertain terms as murder.

While I do support pro-choice, I also agree with this. There are many other options out there for unwanted babies.

But I also entirely agree with Conner, advocating it this way is emotional trolling. That's the offensive part.

       
There's also one thing I'd like to see: Honesty from the majority of people who identify as "pro-choice". Not saying this applies to either of you, speaking generally. Whenever I hear that, it's generally being advocated by those who are in reality "pro-abortion" because their "choice" is only ever about being able to terminate pregnancies and they NEVER discuss or mention adoption or actually having the baby. Choice should be exactly that, a decision between options. Not the advocacy of only one possible solution to the problem.

And point taken about the emotional trolling. I do still think it's nearly impossible to discuss the issue without there being emotions involved though.

       
Edited by Samson on Jan 30, 2011 2:27 pm
Ok, fair enough. When I say "pro-choice" I mean I support women's rights to do with her body how she feels fit.
While I personally would never have an abortion and feel it's murder, I recognize that others don't feel that way and who am I to say they can't. The same would apply to my daughter, if she was ever in this situation of an accidental pregnancy. If she wanted an abortion, I wouldn't like it, but it's her right.

And yes, it is an emotionally charged issue.

       
I agree entirely with Hanaisse, but I'll explain my responses to your questions because you did ask them and they sound like pretty reasonable questions despite the issue being difficult to discuss calmly.

Yes, using abortion as casual birth control can hardly be anything other than murder.

The wishes of the father are a sticky point, to say the least. In my own case, I've exerted such father's rights on one occasion myself and found that the law agreed that the mother could not get an abortion in Virginia (nor put the child up for adoption) without my consent because it was not a case of rape and I was willing to take on full legal and physical custody of the child solely before it was born without so much as knowing it's gender. The laws have since changed, but they, in my opinion, shouldn't have. Had we both wanted not to have the child, she should have had every right to get an abortion, though I still would've felt it was morally wrong. So, I guess, while I say it's a woman's right to control her own body, I really mean that it's her right if the father is directly involved. If she's married or pregnant from a consensual relationship with a man who does want the baby or who is going to be staying with her to weather the ramifications of the decision then it really needs to be decided by them both. The problem comes in when you get a case similar to mine where she still should've had the right to say "no, I won't have my body used this way by/for him" even though I actually took her to court to assert my rights. The difference being that, in my own case, she really didn't want to go through with the abortion either, she just didn't want the child. When the courts granted my injunction to prevent her getting an abortion she tried to argue for adoption instead and I went back to court to argue that if the child was to be adopted by anyone it would be me.

The argument of why have sex if you're not responsible enough to deal with the child that resulted from it is a fractious one too. The problem is that, while that might reasonably apply for mature and responsible adults, it doesn't work so well for teens (nor, in many cases, even younger adults) nor those mentally challenged who really just didn't think about (or possibly even realize) what the consequences might be. Also, it doesn't work at all for irresponsible parties in the case of a rape. Frankly, given that pregnancy can be a bit like Russian Roulette of sex for some folks, the argument itself becomes a touch irascible. It also begs emotionally charged responses like: "have you never had sex without actively thinking about the possibility of pregnancy?" (in fact, if we're honest, is this really something you've ever actively thought about during sex at all?) or "Hey, how was I to know she'd get pregnant? We'd used protection." (which could mean even several forms of birth control being actively and correctly employed at the same time, at this stage, medically, there are no absolutely effective birth control methods out there, even sterilization has a small percentage of reversing itself.)

Actually, I'm not contradicting myself as clearly as you might think in this case. I feel that God is the only one with the right to give or take life. However, I also feel that a women has the right to determine what happens to her own body and how it's used rather than some government or spiritual leader. That is to say that, while God may be the only one I feel really has the right to give or take a life, I also don't feel that a government or a religious leader, whether of that person's chosen faith or not, has the right to tell a woman what she can allow to happen to her own body. I do feel that a man, in direct connection with his own offspring, should have a say, but ultimately the woman gets to make the choice. But ultimately, God has given that woman (or couple) the choice to make, therefore they should be allowed to make it. I don't know anything about hell or perdition, but yes, there are absolutely consequences to the choice regardless of which choice is made.

I suppose if the message is coming from a Christian group, then it's reasonable enough to expect the inclusion of Jesus, though why he couldn't lie is beyond my ken. Personally, I think there are few things one could tell another person, regardless of truth or intent, which would be more cruel than that their mother didn't want them. I know my children would certainly think so. Even just to imply it is cruel, to say it with authority though... and, I'm sorry, it doesn't really matter whether you're an adult or not, even in life, we're all still little kids when it comes to our relationship with out parents at the emotional bond levels.

Yes, I do agree, and I also get tired of hearing the lobbyists prattle on about being "Pro-Choice" when they're really only talking about abortion being legal or not and they're not even considering any aspects of child rearing nor the plausibility of adoption. Perhaps worse yet are the ones who, in their religious fervor and zealotry to promote "Pro-Life", act like not only is abortion simply not an option to even consider but that adoption is the only solution because the world's already over-populated and we should all just elect to fully abstain from sex forever more and instead go on adoption sprees.. it can be very hard to qualify to become an adoptive parent in many cases, and adopting can be even harder than raising your own children in many ways. Adoption is a wonderful blessing for those who can't have their own children and for those children who are orphans, but to the child is it really much better than abortion if the original parents are both still alive and simply didn't want the child? (Note that I'm not talking about adoption within one's own family (such as an aunt or uncle or grandparent adopting a child that it's birth parents couldn't raise for whatever reason) in this context, that's an entirely separate option which I see as being completely different.) But yes, you're absolutely correct, being "Pro-Choice" should be about being in favor of giving the mother/parents choices, not just about making abortion legal.

As Hanaisse said, I could never bring myself to allow my own child to be aborted, and if my unborn child's mother elected to do so without my consent I could never not see her as a murderess, but I also wouldn't ever get someone pregnant through rape or molestation and would be the one to tell a doctor myself that my wife's life is more valuable than my child's if I had to choose between them because with my wife I might be able to make another child but I can't guarantee that a child without a mother would even survive (though I would certainly try my hardest to ensure that it not only survived by thrived if I had no choice). I also can't consciously deny others the right to their own choices either though. If it were my own daughter, I would certainly discourage abortion, even if it meant offering to adopt the child myself from her, but I wouldn't disown her if she chose to get an abortion, especially if it was in the case of a rape or other unintended and unavoidable pregnancy. But my religion provides for all of that, whereas to Christians it seems to be a much more black and white choice all about hell. :shrug:

       
The_Fury [Anon] said:
Comment #12 Jan 30, 2011 4:09 pm
a woman has the right to make such a choice for herself and it's neither the right of any government or even spiritual leader to decide for her.


THIS:

       
Wow, Fury agrees with me too... ;)

       
Not to have this come across harshly, but you do realize that in a case of rape, generally you aren't the father and so you wouldn't have rights to assert there. You'd already be in jail for having committed the rape if you raped your wife/lover. Other than that minor point, it sounds like the courts in Virginia have some common sense in them.

On the subject of teens. Would you agree that they aren't in a position to consent to have a medical procedure performed on them without parental consent? Would you also not agree that the mentally handicapped are also unable to give informed consent for a medical procedure? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then logic follows that teens and/or the mentally handicapped should not be allowed to obtain abortions either without parental consent.

As far as competent adults, you'll have an awfully hard time convincing me that there's any justifiable case for not realizing having sex would produce a child. If you don't know the person you're screwing well enough to know if she's in the fertile part of the month, you probably shouldn't be screwing her at all. Irresponsible actions do not excuse the mother from later deciding to murder the child just because she doesn't want it. There's a reason we expect people to behave in responsible ways in this country. If that means keeping it in your pants, then so be it.

If God is the only one with the right to give or take life, then logic follows that nobody else has that right unless God explicitly gives it to us. That means that a woman has no right to kill their baby. God gave us free will to choose to obey him or not, and this logic makes the act of abortion a direct disobedience to God's will. It has nothing to do with governments or priests in the church because neither of them has the authority to grant or revoke the right to life.

Now before someone tries to trump me by claiming the death penalty violates the right to life, consider for a moment that God has granted the right of execution for a number of crimes for which we no longer execute people. One of the few we still do is for murder. The fundamental difference between an execution and a murder is that the accused also has an opportunity to provide a defense against the charges and is generally granted several appeals before the courts of man in order to make his case before said execution is carried out. A fetus has no such opportunity for defense under our current laws.

Jesus cannot lie because lying is a sin, and Jesus is without sin. You're also equating Jesus telling a soul in Heaven why they are there to the cruelty of an Earthly parent telling a child they don't want them. The two concepts are so fundamentally different that the comparison is invalid. Your soul/spirit has no defined age btw. It just is. I'm hardly the one to try and explain the theological constructs behind this though.

The difference between the falsehood of the general "pro choice" movement is fairly apparent. If they called themselves what they were, "pro-abortion" or "pro-death", then you might be surprised at how many folks wouldn't be quite so up in their faces about it. You have to give credit to the "pro-life" people because their position is fairly up front and usually not accompanied by outright deception.

That said, pro-lifers are not so far to the extreme as you're trying to make them out to be. They aren't all running around saying everyone must abstain from sex all the time. The very notion of that is absurd because the species would be long dead if this were true. It would also be impossible to adopt if nobody was having sex. There have to be babies to adopt first. Just like it's impossible to adopt if the pro-death people get their way.

I fail to see how adoption is as bad as abortion for a child who is adopted. Assuming the child is placed in a loving home, I think that's clearly far better than killing them before they ever had a chance. Nothing says you have to tell the child they were adopted. Though I will grant that the possibility of them finding out is high in today's techno-society. But so what? They find out that their biological parents either couldn't afford to raise them or were too flaky to care at the time. There should be at least some comfort in knowing that the parents chose life and gave them up to a loving family instead.

Once more, you're back into cases of medical necessity. Provided it's a genuine necessity and not just one of these "I have back aches" type of abortions (they happen, look it up) then I'm in agreement with you. The decision has to be between the mother and her doctor. The father should get some input, but ultimately it's not his life that's at stake.

You may note I've deliberately avoided the issue of rape and it's because that aspect of it is a grey area for me and I'd rather just err on the side of caution and not get into that.

@Fury: As usual, you've utterly missed the point. Not much else I can say to that.

       
Mohammed [Anon] said:
Comment #15 Jan 31, 2011 12:18 am
a woman has the right to make such a choice for herself and it's neither the right of any government or even spiritual leader to decide for her.


In my opinion, the big mistake here was claiming abortion as a women's rights issue. Contraception is a women's rights issue. Abortion primarily involves the rights of a child.

Now I don't believe in any deity or immortal soul, so I'm willing to accept that a 24 hour old embryo is just a clump of 2 to 4 cells. On the other hand, I also consider it obvious that at 40 weeks it's no less a human child just before birth than it is just after. There is no rational cutoff point in between where you can say: before this point it's just a clump of cells, and after this point it's a baby, so it's completely obvious to me that one should err on the side of definitely not killing a baby. Viability outside the womb is not a rational cutoff point. By that same rationale you could justify killing toddlers, as they won't survive suddenly being deprived of proper care either.

I recognize that in some tragic cases, not killing the baby may be the worse choice that killing it, but don't try to disguise it underneath medical and political euphemisms. 'I don't want a child' is not a good enough reason to end a life.

In my opinion, in a few centuries time our descendants will look back on this practice the way we look back on witch burning, human sacrifices and pogroms today.

An unwanted pregnancy is easy to prevent. Using birth control is a choice and a women's right.

I can't believe I agree with Samson on something.

       
I won't get too involved on this because its not really an area I've ever had too much interest in. However...

The issue with abortion being used as a casual contraceptive amongst certain parts of society comes at root from social issues, an I have doubts getting rid of abortion will help with this problem. If fact, it will more likely simply drive abortion underground, which isn't a great thing either.

Also, I think to a point abortion is a woman's rights issue, and, with respects for the child, removing it is in many ways restrictive to women, and that is a very much negative thing towards society.

       
Mohammed [Anon] said:
Comment #17 Jan 31, 2011 12:55 am
The issue with abortion being used as a casual contraceptive amongst certain parts of society comes at root from social issues, an I have doubts getting rid of abortion will help with this problem. If fact, it will more likely simply drive abortion underground, which isn't a great thing either.


Violent crime amongst certain parts of society comes at root from social issues, an I have doubts more law enforcement will help with this problem. If fact, it will more likely simply drive violent crime underground, which isn't a great thing either.

Banning murder leads to a lot of messy back alley shootings. Banning murder is not the solution.

       
No, by that I mean that leaving a whole heap of lower class mothers with a heap of children they can't support isn't exactly a great thing is it? Unless you're country wants to become like Australia and support them through the taxpayer dollar (which is one law I want changed down here).

       
Mohammed [Anon] said:
Comment #19 Jan 31, 2011 11:51 am
Babies cost you money, so... get rid of them? Think about that again, I'm sure that's not really what you meant to say.

       
Perhaps those lower class mothers shouldn't have become mothers to begin with if they weren't prepared to accept responsibility for the children? Especially if the knew they couldn't support them. That seems far more cruel in some ways than exterminating them instead.

       
The_Fury [Anon] said:
Comment #21 Jan 31, 2011 3:01 pm
you'll have an awfully hard time convincing me that there's any justifiable case for not realizing having sex would produce a child.


I have sex with my wife X number of times per Y period of time (not telling you clowns anymore than that :)) but that sex rarely produces a child.

See, sex and child production is a bit like speeding, we all do it, but rarely get caught, so people become complacent, and trivialise the risk associated with sex, in the same way speeding might mean a head on wreck with an 18 wheeler.

Further more, when you are about to have sex there is only one thing on your mind, PLEASURE, pleasure trumps risk, thus, saying people should think about the risks before having sex is like asking a pig to fly, it might sound like a great idea, but the physical limitations do not allow for it to happen. Sleo, when you are younger the pull of pleasure is much stronger than when you are older and have learned some self control, which is why young guys go hard for the ejaculatiuon and older guys want to extend the pleasure zone for as long as they can, but even when older, pleasure still trumps risk, but you might be more likely to reach for that condom, or have turned getting that condom on into some sort of game which makes the whole sexual experience more enjoyable.

       
Of course they shouldn't become mothers, but simply saying that they shouldn't have children isn't going to fix that issue. Education does, and the better educated these people are the more likely they are to make good decision's and therefore the less abortions are going to be required.

But you seem to have a bone to pick with free education, don't you Samson?

       
The_Fury [Anon] said:
Comment #23 Jan 31, 2011 3:02 pm
Wow, Fury agrees with me too...


I know, and i cannot even play devils advocate on this subject, because the pull of "the rights of an individual" are just too stong in this case.

       
But you seem to have a bone to pick with free education, don't you Samson?

Not entirely. I have a bone to pick with progressive education that claims to know what's best but invariably is proven to be dead wrong. What you call education, I call indoctrination. There is a huge difference.

I know plenty of "educated" people by your standard who are the most reckless and irresponsible people I've ever met. So you can hide behind the rhetoric all you want but it won't fix what is really a fundamental character flaw in irresponsible people.

@Fury: Spare me. The rights of the individual also includes the rights of the unborn child. To cast that aside is to betray that you really aren't a supporter of true individual rights.

       
The_Fury [Anon] said:
Comment #25 Jan 31, 2011 3:59 pm
@Fury: Spare me. The rights of the individual also includes the rights of the unborn child. To cast that aside is to betray that you really aren't a supporter of true individual rights.


An fetus has no rights, remove it from the mother and it will die, without the mother it has no life, no rights and no future. In this context a fetus is nothing more than a parasite within the mothers body, thus the mother has the right to determine what happens within her own body, and this trumps the rights of a bunch of cells that cannot sustain life.

       
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