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August 01, 2005

Comments

bmmg39

"We also know we lose gestations (aka "spontaneous abortion" in medical terminology) all the time, including ones sufficiently developed to not give one the willies looking at it. Approximately one-third to two-thirds of all conceptuses fail, generally very early and more often than not before women recognise their pregnancy."

In other words, embryos sometimes die of natural causes. Well, so do most of us born folks, eventually. But that doesn't mean we aren't human beings, or that it's all right to kill one another.

NancyP

I still haven't heard any concern about loss of gestations due to avoidable causes. Heck, we can't even get prenatal care adequately funded and distributed in this country, and the USA ranks somewhere between 17th and 20th in the world in perinatal/infant mortality. If considered as a country, the South Bronx neighborhood, in a city (NYC) with huge numbers of doctors and some of the best medical care in the world, would rank about 60th in infant mortality - slightly better than average for a developing country, and below several countries with average annual income under $1,000.00.

NYMOM

"Were we to take Amanda’s point of view, then e.g., only racists would be able to define racism – everyone else would be “overriding” their definition."

NYMOM said: As usual you missed the point. Her point was NOT that only racists could define racism; but that only the actual VICTIMS OF RACISM should be legitimately allowed to define racism.

mythago

Well before this a baby could survive with some medical assistance.

It never fails to astonish me when self-described pro-lifers fall all over themselves to minimize the realities of pregnancy and childbearing in order to wail about abortion. Very premature babies need more than 'some medical assistance.'

Jennifer

I agree that we should follow more than one policy initiative at a time. But when you wrote that without abortion you can imagine the classified ads going back to "women wanted" and "men wanted," that seems to be saying we need abortion so that won't happen, and that's what I object to.

I also agree that we should be very concerned with the lack of prenatal care that poor women receive.

As for making the best decisions we can with the reality we have, I see your point, but I also hold a consistent life ethic and too often that argument is used to justify violence and silence pacifists, as if we have ideals that are too difficult to put into practice in "the real world." Or that the best we have to offer the women you mentioned above, who are poor and don't have proper health care, is abortion. I think we can do more right now, and it's not pie in the sky to think so. One of the programs at the non profit I work for helps pregnant women and parenting women with infants by providing baby items (diapers, cribs, etc.), resources for proper healthcare, for job training, etc. I hope we can agree that caring for women in this way should be a top priority.

Mr. Bad

NancyP said: "True, women haven't been sufficiently politicized to go on a general strike a la Lysistrata - possibly the only thing that might wake up men - but perhaps abortion IS a part of that general strike - no reproduction until the men get off their lazy asses and actually care for, as opposed to occasionally "babysit", their offspring. The declining fertility in industrialized countries is pretty universal."

NancyP, men have awakened - we hear you loud and clear.

You acknowledge that we're stakeholders and have responsibilities, but at the same time refuse to give us any rights re. decisions about post-conception parenthood other than to be your personal ATMs and walking wallets. Further, you call us "lazy," etc., when it suits your need to be snotty.

Right, gotcha. That's why men are saying "f*ck you" and turning our backs on the likes of you and walking away. And thus, viola - fertility rates decline.

Men are on a marriage and parenting strike a la Lysistrata, and frankly, I don't blame them. With women with your attitude for men to choose mates, you all are going to be left with is the sperm bank as your only option for parenthood real soon. And just try get it to pay you all that child support you know you deserve.

You reap what you sow.

Mr. Bad

NYMOM said: "As usual you missed the point. Her point was NOT that only racists could define racism; but that only the actual VICTIMS OF RACISM should be legitimately allowed to define racism."

And as usual, you clearly didn't read the thread and are clueless. Amanda argued that women, particularly feminists, should be the ones to define feminism. However, not all feminists - and certainly not all women - have been victims of sexism. In fact, in our modern society most women are not victims of sexism, and indeed more men are victims of sexism than women.

NancyP

I hope Jennifer and her co-workers and her clients all vote Democratic, in order to keep the safety net intact. Our "pro-life" governer is determined to gut Medicaid and foster care programs.

davejones

I'm still waiting for the vegans to come in and denounce abortion. I guess the killing of unborn babies (remember, the do have faces) is okay with you.

NancyP - not everyone who is against abortion is a Christian. I do not practice any faith. You shouldn't stereotype, it's unbecoming. Regarding infant mortality rates and poor prenatal care, have you considered our national attitude toward unborn babies? It's all about a woman's choice, bodily autonomy, right to privacy, and reproductive rights. It's all about "this is my body so buzz off". I don't see anything focusing on the baby here. Your side does not see, or admit to, the baby as a life that needs to be nurtured along. In fact, many see it as some sort of parasite invading the host or a condition to be "taken care of". Attitudes disregarding a baby in the womb cause us to do just that, disregard babies in the womb.

Mythago - You said in response to my original post: "It never fails to astonish me when self-described pro-lifers fall all over themselves to minimize the realities of pregnancy and childbearing in order to wail about abortion. Very premature babies need more than some medical assistance." On the contrary, I'm maximizing the realities of pregnancy and childbearing. Far from being cavalier, I value and respect it and the baby. As far as the "some medical assistance" statement, I'm not sure what your point is here. Should we just let the baby die or are abortions still OK at this stage because more than some medical assistance would be needed? I'm sure you've seen this article:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/HEALTH/08/02/brain.dead.pregnancy.ap/

So much for bodily autonomy.

Is there any stage of a pregnancy where an otherwise healthy baby should not be aborted?

mythago

On the contrary, I'm maximizing the realities of pregnancy and childbearing.

You're doing exactly the opposite. Premature babies need more than "some" medical care--unless you consider extraordinary, 24/7 intensive care to be "some medical care." My point is that self-described pro-lifers are awfully prone to pooh-pooh the realities of pregnancy and childbirth, as you see their references to pregnancy as a mere inconvenience, or suggesting that women simply carry to term and give the child up for adoption, as if they were dropping clothes off at Goodwill.

The extreme medical care needed to preserve the life of very premature babies says nothing about whether they are or aren't human beings; calling it "some" medical treatment says worlds about your perception of childbearing.

bmmg39

"I'm still waiting for the vegans to come in and denounce abortion. I guess the killing of unborn babies (remember, the do have faces) is okay with you."

There is no "the vegans" just like there is no "the feminists" or "the MRAs." There are some pro-choice vegans and some pro-life vegans. It's unfair to take such a "group" -- ANY "group" -- and expect them all to feel the same way about everything.

davejones

Mythago - You state in reference to my post

"My point is that self-described pro-lifers are awfully prone to pooh-pooh the realities of pregnancy and childbirth, as you see their references to pregnancy as a mere inconvenience, or suggesting that women simply carry to term and give the child up for adoption, as if they were dropping clothes off at Goodwill".

Please show me where I have done this. You are not responding to me, you are responding to your notion of me. That is, a stereotypification of what I must be in your mind. I even acknowledge in my original post that abortion is a painfully difficult decision.

So, again I ask. Is there any stage of a pregnancy where an otherwise healthy baby should not be aborted?

bmmg39 - I'm well aware that vegans are not monolithic. However, I would bet that the majority of them don't have a problem with the killing of unborn babies. What I'd really like to know from them is why this is OK but eating ice cream is not.

BritGirlSF

"bmmg39 - I'm well aware that vegans are not monolithic. However, I would bet that the majority of them don't have a problem with the killing of unborn babies. What I'd really like to know from them is why this is OK but eating ice cream is not."
On what evidence do you base that assumption? I know quite a few vegans (living in the Bay Area it goes with the territory) and as far as I know there is no official vegan policy vis-a-vis abortion. The two issues (abortion and veganism) have very little to do with each other. Indeed, several of the vegans I know are vegans as a result of their devotion to Buddhism, and Buddhism has no official position on abortion either (unsurprisingly given the many disciplines contained within the umbrella term "buddhist").
I think you're getting at the idea that if one is concerned with the suffering of animals one should also be concerned with the suffering of fetuses. I would argue that we don't actually know whether a fetus can suffer prior to about the 16-week stage of development due to its lack of a fully developed cerebral cortex, thus the comparison isn't a very good one. We do however know that cows in a slaughterhouse most definately suffer.
The other thing to bear in mind is that many people become vegans for health reasons rather than ethical reasons. I lack the committment to become vegan myself, but I concede that they have a point about the health advantages. I've never met a significantly overweight vegan.

davejones

Hi BritGirlSF,

You ask on what evidence I base my assumption (that vegans by-and-large support abortion). Admittedly, it's anecdotal from my experiences. That's why I posited the questions on this site. Pro-life vegans and vegetarians were welcome to respond. I suspect I'll get a response from Santa Claus or a leprechaun first. I'll be waiting for the humorous screen names.

I, too, lived in the Bay Area for a time and knew several vegans and vegetarians. My extended family has various incarnations of vegetarianism as well. Unequivocally, they all support abortion.

I think you are distilling it too far when you use "suffering" as the vegan's pivot point. From Vegan.com: "vegans demonstrate respect for all life". Really? I suppose that depends on what the meaning of "all" is. The fact that there is no public debate or policy within the Veg. community speaks loud and clear. Almost laughably, on vegan.org there is mention of bees and honey production and how they fit into the vegan lifestyle. The logic is that they don't "think" bees feel pain, but even if they did "it's not clear that the production of honey involves any more pain for insects than the production of most vegetables, since the harvesting and transportation of all vegetables involves many 'collateral' insect deaths." I love the 'collateral' insect deaths part.

The collateral deaths caused by the windshield of my car is unbelievable. It's a veritable killing field.

You say that prior to the 16th-week stage of development it is unclear whether a baby can suffer. I agree that the medical community is not entirely certain as to when pain or suffering are felt by a baby in the womb. If we use the 16th week as our jumping off point for the pain/suffering argument why aren't the vegans at the forefront of this debate arguing against abortions from that stage of development on? Why isn't the pro-abortion side questioning its theories and motives if babies are indeed suffering at this stage? Why isn't there outrage that any baby should feel pain during a greusome abortion? Why will virtually nobody from the pro-abortion camp stand up and say abortions are wrong beyond a certain stage of development? And since we don't "know" when babies start to feel pain in the womb, doesn't it behoove us to try to find that out so we can have sensible discussions regarding abortion? But the pro-abortion side will not debate these issues as such. They boil it down to a woman's right to choose, right to privacy, women's reproductive rights, and full bodily autonomy. Zero, zilch, nada attention is given to anything else.


bmmg39

" Pro-life vegans and vegetarians were welcome to respond."

I did.

Also, since pain has been brought up, I must point out that whether an entity (animal, unborn child, born person) can suffer isn't the only thing we must factor in when we consider the chance of that entity being destroyed. If I put poison in somebody's orange juice, ensuring that (s)he will die a peaceful (but completely unnecessary) death that night while asleep, have I not done wrong, simply because the person won't suffer?

Michael Russell

My name's Michael,I'm a pro-life vegan from london,I'd just like to give some links that I've found very informative,the following
www.abortionismurder.com
http://www.priestsforlife.org/resources/abortionimages/
http://www.priestsforlife.org/resources/abortionimages/fetaldevelopment.htm

well I know that I'm a minority with in a minority i.e.being both an ethical vegan and pro-life.
I know that people who do not know about the methods of abortion,
the physical and psychological effects of abortion,
have considered the indepth ethical issues of abortion,
the development of a fertilized egg(zygote) to a full term prenatal baby,
have seen the torn up remains of an aborted embryoes and foetuses,
if u do not know of all of the above in detail then u really are unfit to discuss abortion.
By the way any geneticist,biologist or physician will tell u that a completely unique human life begins at the moment of conception.
If any like minded people wish to contact me please do so,
scarfieandteawee@hotmail.com
or
scarfieplusteawee@hotmail.com
I've found people who are pro-choice know little about abortion as a whole,
equally people who are meat-eater and pro-vivisection know nothing about how cruel ,unhealthy and unscientific it is.
People who are pro-choice or meat-eaters are ultimately ignorant and out of the ignorance comes arrogance.

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