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Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often thought?

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With which statement do you agree?

I want it to be illegal for a very poor teenager who was impregnated from being raped by an immediate family member to get an abortion even in the first week of pregnancy even if the doctors can and did detect the baby has severe genetic disorders and that the pregnancy if taken to term would have complications greatly risking the life of both the mother and would-be baby.
4
11%
I want it to be legal for a wealthy woman who is 5 days past her due date (of birth) to get an abortion even though doctors are sure that the healthy baby would be delivered safely and relatively easily otherwise and even though many safe, healthy, loving families are willing to adopt the would-be newborn immediately and even pay the woman significantly for that.
7
19%
I do not agree fully with either one of the above statements.
26
70%
 
Total votes : 37

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Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often thought?

Post Number:#1  PostDecember 29th, 2011, 8:57 pm

It seems to me the issue of abortion has become the epitome of a wedge issue. Common thinking seems to be that everybody jumps into one of two camps and the most everyone holds passionately and relatively extremely to that camp. In other words, the common public perception is that almost everybody is polarized on a one-dimensional scale. The thinking is: either you are pro-choice or you are pro-life.

Of course, this issue so complicated with so many possible variables that it cannot reasonably be viewed one-dimensionally. But more to the point, I maintain that despite public opinion and common perception it is actually quite obvious that almost everybody does NOT hold to a polar extreme on this issue. Rather I maintain that the opposite is clearly the case: almost everybody plainly disagrees with BOTH polar extremes and lay at various middle-points, thus disagreeing mostly on where to practically draw the line between our own internally conflicting ideals not disagreeing on such a fundamental, philosophical level.

I will attempt to help make this evidence with a little unscientific poll. Let's look at the two extremes:

  • Choice A: I want it to be illegal for a very poor teenager who was impregnated from being raped by an immediate family member to get an abortion even in the first week of pregnancy even if the doctors can and did detect the baby has severe genetic disorders and that the pregnancy if taken to term would have complication greatly risking the life of the mother and baby.
  • Choice B: I want it to be legal for a wealthy woman who is 5 days past her due date to get an abortion even though doctors are sure that the healthy baby would be delivered safely and relatively easily otherwise and even though many safe, healthy, loving families are willing to adopt the would-be newborn immediately and even pay the woman significantly for it.
  • Choice C: I do not agree fully with either one of the above statements.

With which do you agree and why? I think the obvious reality is that almost all of us agree that the issue of criminalizing the taking of potential human life isn't so black and white that it just comes down to one arbitrary point in time as conception OR birth. As a result, I predict that most people will choose option C.

Please note, this topic is NOT for talking about abortion in general. There are many, many, many topics on this forum about abortion. Just do a search to find one if you wish to talk about more moderate views of abortion. This is for only talking about the two extreme polar positions: the most extreme pro-life position and the most extreme pro-choice position, both described above.

Update: I have also added two similar statements reflecting the opposite of Choice A and B to the Agree or Disagree Activity.
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Re: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often though

Post Number:#2  PostDecember 29th, 2011, 9:12 pm

Choice C.

As you said, both are extremes that I cannot totally agree with. Again, as you said, the issue is too complex to be hefted into either of the one-dimensional extremes you posed, nor does life itself reflect these extremes in the majority of cases. There's not a great deal more I can add for fear of straying down the "is abortion morally right?" path.
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Re: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often though

Post Number:#3  PostJanuary 29th, 2012, 12:18 am

Thanks for your reply Hypeduptrutle!

As of now 83.5% of the people on Agree or Disagree? agree with my statement: "I want it to be legal for a poor teenager who was impregnated from being raped by an immediate family member to abort one-week after conception, if carrying to term is unsafe and a genetic disorder is detected."

That's roughly what I would have expected. But I was shocked to find out that most people disagree with this statement: "I want it to be illegal for a wealthy woman who is 5 days past her due date to get an abortion if doctors are sure that the healthy baby would be delivered safely and relatively easily and adoption is available."

I thought the vast majority would also agree with that one. Not only was not the case, but most actually disagree. That's only as of now, and it's not a scientific poll.

Can anyone provide any support for this position? I'm assuming that you all still want infanticide to be illegal; am I wrong about that? What argument is there for legally allowing a wealthy woman who is 5 days past her due date to get an abortion (i.e. kill the fetus in the womb) if doctors are sure that the healthy baby would otherwise be delivered safely and relatively easily and adoption is available when infanticide is illegal?
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Re: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often though

Post Number:#4  PostJanuary 29th, 2012, 1:25 am

The problem I have is that the position to allow abortion does not affect the right to choose for the people who choose not to abort. No one is for forcing anyone to have an abortion against their will.

The position which denies abortion does affect the right to choose for those who choose to abort. Some one IS attempting to force that person to bring the pregnancy to term.

No one has proven that a fetus has rights independently of the mother. I don't think we get to appeal to the big man in the sky as the basis for law.
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Re: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often though

Post Number:#5  PostJanuary 29th, 2012, 9:56 am

I voted C cause I found both options extreme and immoral. I think the decision regardless of any for and against argument depends on the merits of the mother as well.
A woman's selfishness not to take care of an already living human may lead her to abortion. In this case I think abortion is immoral.
But in cases when the birth threatens the life of the woman we are placed at a moral dilemma. Should we save the life of the woman or the baby? One might say that the woman as a full-grown human being has the right to save her life by aborting a child that occupies her stomach. But another might argue that how can we place more value on the life of the mother than her baby? shouldn't the baby be given the chance to live to experience the blessings of life as her mother did?

I think ultimately it depends on the merits of the mother. A mother might be so generous to allow her baby to be born even at a risk of her life. A mother might selfishly go for abortion because she finds a kid as troublesome for her own pursuits (career, eduction etc). In cases of rape I think the mother totally reserves the right to choose without any moral blame.
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Re: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often though

Post Number:#6  PostFebruary 17th, 2012, 2:16 am

Scottie wrote:The problem I have is that the position to allow abortion does not affect the right to choose for the people who choose not to abort. No one is for forcing anyone to have an abortion against their will.

The position which denies abortion does affect the right to choose for those who choose to abort. Some one IS attempting to force that person to bring the pregnancy to term.

No one has proven that a fetus has rights independently of the mother. I don't think we get to appeal to the big man in the sky as the basis for law.

Those are good points, I think. With that said, you would still say choice C best reflects your views, right?
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Re: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often though

Post Number:#7  PostFebruary 24th, 2012, 1:23 pm

Hello Scott.

In answer to your question regarding B, I think that most posters do not like extremes.
I would think that B is seen as dehumanizing, as I do.
Having had a fair number of cats, it has happened a number times that one should be euthanized to end its suffering, and that I have agreed, but I have become aware of how difficult this procedure is for the veteranarian.
So I can only assume the degree of difficulty this would present to the medical staff.
And this does not even touch the irresponsibility of the woman in question, who I am sure was aware of being pregnant for quite some time prior.
I think that society has some rights also, not just the individual, and that there is a median that can be reached.

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Re: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often though

Post Number:#8  PostMarch 30th, 2012, 10:19 am

I think that until the baby leaves the mother's body, it is up to the mother to decide wether or not to keep it. It is a matter of a woman's right to do what she wants with her body. If you want to outlaw abortion, you had might as well outlaw the removal of cancerous tumors. They are the same thing, a mass of cells inside the mother which has different DNA than that of her own. For that reason, I choose choice B.
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Re: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often though

Post Number:#9  PostMarch 30th, 2012, 10:31 pm

Kingkool,

Kingkool wrote:If you want to outlaw abortion, you had might as well outlaw the removal of cancerous tumors. They are the same thing, a mass of cells inside the mother which has different DNA than that of her own.
This argument doesn't follow. It's not illegal to destroy a mass of cancerous cells kept alive in a Petri dish or test tube, but it is illegal to kill a newborn infant. So assuming you do not want to legalize actual infanticide (do you?) then the above does not follow since the OP makes it clear we are talking about a fetus that is 5-days past its due date (older measuring from conception than most newborns) that would be delivered safely. (If we were talking about a mere embryo, then your comparison to an unconscious blob of cancer cells might be somewhat apt, but we're not.)

Kingkool wrote:I think that until the baby leaves the mother's body, it is up to the mother to decide wether or not to keep it. It is a matter of a woman's right to do what she wants with her body.
Fair enough. Let me ask you some other questions to better understand the underlying philosophy and ensure it can be consistently applied.

Consider adult conjoined twins. Imagine that one twin, Mary, can have an operation that can remove her conjoined twin sister, Jane. For the sake of argument, let's assume that the doctors can separate the twins by cutting more on Mary's side of the body but that it is expected Mary will live and her Jane will die (maybe because they share a blood supply and while Jane's heart does almost as much work as Mary's it isn't quite enough to support her separated body on its own maybe because Jane's side of the body has become fat and non-muscular from disuse because of the angle of their attachment meaning Mary carries most of the weight on her side for all those years.). Let's also assume that Mary wants the operation and Jane doesn't. Do you want it to be illegal for a Mary to hire a doctor and the doctor to perform the operation which leads to Jane's death despite Jane's protests? Yes or no? Yet, that doesn't resemble the abortion situation too much because the mother with the 5-day-late fetus can be surgically separated via c-section from her unborn child such that both mother and baby live just fine. So what if it is possible for the doctor to separate the twins such that they both live but Mary opts for an operation to have her sister killed and then removed, or Mary intentionally opts for a procedure that removes Jane in a a way leads to her dying rather than living?

Consider a landlord whose tenet loses his job and suddenly misses a rent payment. Imagine the tenet wants to walk somewhere safe to stay like a shelter a few towns over or family that lives somewhere else or maybe just down south wear it is warmer. But imagine there is a huge blizzard making it so that if the tenet is evicted and has to leave now with no money, so quickly after his job loss and almost immediately after his missed rent payment that of course he will freeze to death in the blizzard. For the sake of argument, let's assume that the landlord would lose a little money if he lets the tenet stay for a few weeks or month or so until weather conditions soften enough to allow safe travel with no money. We can also assume that the landlord has a few options available to him that will allow the tenet to live, such as maybe the landlord could give him some traveling money or loan him a car with gas and heat or the landlord could drive him where he needs to go such that the landlord could still get him out at slight inconvenience or financial cost. Do you want it to be illegal for the landlord to not take any of those options and instead evict the tenet immediately from the home to the tenets certain death? What if the landlord doesn't merely forcefully evict the tenet but actually shoots the tenet dead inside the house and then removes the dead body? Do you want that to be legal?

Imagine a mother just gave birth to a premature baby. She was just shy of 8-months pregnant let's say. To the midwife or doctor's, she seems happy, eager to be a mother and able to take. At a home a few days later she changes her mind and decides she doesn't want the baby and doesn't want to be a mother. She could bring the baby in to give up for adoption, but it would be somewhat inconvenient and may cost her some money such as the cost of gas to drive the baby or the cost of using her phone minutes to call around about it. So she just takes the baby outside and leaves her behind her backyard just over the property line. Maybe we can say she lives just slightly excluded enough that her neighbors wouldn't notice the crying for a few days while the baby starves to death. Do you want that to be legal? What if instead of leaving the baby to starve to death the mother kills the baby herself by drowning her in the bathtub or hiring a doctor or hitman to euthanize the infant (remember this is baby that has been born but only a few days prior)? Do you want that to be legal?

What about if the baby is being delivered vaginally, she is out and everything is going fine but the umbilical cord is not cut yet and the mother says to kill the baby before cutting the umbilical cord? What if the baby's not fully out yet but her head is half way out and then they kill it before the rest of the head falls out of the vagina and living baby is born? Do you want that to be legal?

One last one: Imagine Joe's brother Fred needs a kidney transplant to live. Imagine Joe agrees verbally to give the transplant, but does not sign any kind of written contract, even though he could have said no. Let's assume if Joe had said no from the get-go, Fred could have found a different donor and probably lived that way. Imagine the time is fast approaching hat Fred needs the transplant surgery to occur or he will die. Imagine they are getting ready for the surgery. For the sake of argument, let's assume the doctors have already started cutting open Fred's weak dying body to prepare to put the desperately needed kidney in there but at the very last second Joe changes his mind and refuses to let doctor's finish taking out his kidney. Doctor's advise him that if he doesn't do this it is too late to find another donor in time and his Fred will certainly die. For the sake of argument, we will assume Joe never explicitly stated that he would definitely go through with the surgery and not change his mind after he got this far, but he was offered opportunities to back out earlier when he said he would do it and declined to back out (which could be argued to be an implicit promise that he wouldn't change his mind). Do you want that to be legal for Joe to back out and thus let his brother die? What if they don't just let his brother die, what if Joe actually kills his brother before his brother regains consciousness from the unfinished surgery? What if Joe hires the doctor to chemically inject Fred's unconscious body with poison (maybe because Joe doesn't want the inconvenience of explaining to Fred about how he didn't go through with surgery and he would die soon when Fred wakes up or because there is some minor expense or other inconvenience Fred would avoid by allowing Fred to wake up)? Do you want that to be legal?

Anyway, thanks for your reply and your time, and I look forward to your answers to all these questions!
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Re: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often though

Post Number:#10  PostApril 2nd, 2012, 10:50 am

Once the baby is out, you cannot kill it because it is now a person. A tumor is not ever a person.

1)It is up to the doctors to do their best to keep both alive during the surgery. It is a inconvenience to Mary to have another person attached to her. So if the possibility of Jane dying is not 100%, then it is Mary's right to be separated. So any procedure where it is possible for them both to live is viable if Mary wants it. Assuming both people are 18 or older, you cannot force them to live together for the sake of living together, but you can force them to be apart for the sake of being apart.

2)Disputes over property do not warrant murder in any way, shape, or form. If the tenet was a threat to the health or life of the landlord, or any other tenets, then he has the right to kick him out. Otherwise, the tenet can stay, and just be arrested and taken to prison where he will be kept alive.

3)She must put the baby up for adoption.

4)Like with the conjoined twins, you can have the baby separated form the mother (cut the umbilical cord) but not killed.

5)Unfortunately, if there was no contract, it is Joe's body, and he can do what he wants with it, even if it means indirectly killing his brother. He cannot have the doctor kill Fred.
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Re: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often though

Post Number:#11  PostApril 4th, 2012, 12:06 am

Kingkool wrote:Once the baby is out, you cannot kill it because it is now a person. A tumor is not ever a person.
Why isn't the baby a person 1 minute earlier when it is inside it's mother but ready to be born safely? What is it that makes it person?

Kingkool wrote:1)It is up to the doctors to do their best to keep both alive during the surgery. It is a inconvenience to Mary to have another person attached to her. So if the possibility of Jane dying is not 100%, then it is Mary's right to be separated. So any procedure where it is possible for them both to live is viable if Mary wants it. Assuming both people are 18 or older, you cannot force them to live together for the sake of living together, but you can force them to be apart for the sake of being apart.
What if the possibility of Jane dying is 100%? What if the possibility of Jane dying is 99.9%?


In any case, this doesn't seem to add up with your position on the mother who is 5 days past her due date choosing to get an abortion when she could easily deliver the baby in just a few days naturally or immediately through c-section. Why does the doctor in the case of Jane and Mary have to do his best to keep both alive when separating them but in the case of separating a mother from her fetus -- which being 5-days past due is easily capable of surviving on its own after a c-section -- the doctor can intentionally kill the viable fetus in the uterus before separating it? Remember, we are not talking about any old partially developed fetus; we are talking about one that is 5-days past due, is predicted to be able to be delivered safely for mother and child and is older than most newborn babies measuring from time of conception.

Kingkool wrote:2)Disputes over property do not warrant murder in any way, shape, or form. If the tenet was a threat to the health or life of the landlord, or any other tenets, then he has the right to kick him out. Otherwise, the tenet can stay, and just be arrested and taken to prison where he will be kept alive.
But why would the police/landlord not be allowed to just kill the tenet who refuses to leave before separating him from the house?

Kingkool wrote:3)She must put the baby up for adoption.
Why? Why must she inconvenience herself by putting the baby for adoption rather than letting it die? Why doesn't the mother whose 5 days past her due date not have to have her baby removed alive via c-section (which can be performed immediately on her demand) or vaginal birth have to do that as opposed to rushing to actively kill it while it is still in the womb?

Kingkool wrote:4)Like with the conjoined twins, you can have the baby separated form the mother (cut the umbilical cord) but not killed.
Why once the baby is out but still connected by umbilical cord does the mother have to opt for the separation procedure that will keep it alive and not kill it, but 5 minutes earlier when it is inside of her body she can have it killed rather than kept alive by being delivered naturally or removed immediately via c-section? What's the difference? They are still connected and its only been 5 minutes. Also, you didn't answer my question about if the baby was only partially out. What about if it's head was out but the rest of its body was still inside the mothers vagina? What if just it's hair was poking out but almost all the head and the rest of they body was still inside the vagina? At what exact point between right before the umbilical cord is cut and 5-10 minutes earlier when it is still inside the woman or an hour or two before that before she even starts pushing does the doctor and mother have to finish the delivery safely for the baby/fetus and separate them in a surgical procedure that will keep them both alive as opposed to being allowed to intentionally kill the would-be baby?
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Re: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often though

Post Number:#12  PostApril 12th, 2012, 11:17 am

''I want it to be legal for a wealthy woman who is 5 days past her due date to get an abortion even though doctors are sure that the healthy baby would be delivered safely and relatively easily otherwise and even though many safe, healthy, loving families are willing to adopt the would-be newborn immediately and even pay the woman significantly for that.''

I chose this option B. Mind you that in my country 5 days past her due date is 12 weeks and 5 days past her last normal menstruation date.

And it's a fact that anyone from it could go freely to another hospital, in a nearby country and get an abortion, then come back with it being fully legal... (which I think is kinda stupid)

Also, even if I would not want it to happen, I feel that past 12. week, the mother could find plenty of other ways, that wouldn't get her into prison to abort.

But if your talking about a later date than 4 months past pregnancy, feel free to remove my vote on B.

Although I'm of the believe that any sick child should be able to get aborted up to the 7. month. (Depending of how severe it is)

Edit: I'm incredibly stupid... I'm not of English origin and was kinda tired so mistook the due date as being the due date for the latest abortion rather then due date...

On another note, if I were to say with a more objective view what I think on the subject, it would turn into... nah a million things, but yeah she would then be allowed by my objective belief. To have any abortion anytime before birth. After birth getting rid of a baby would simply bring harm to society... (well actually this was more of a purist, none-moralist, or anarchist view... to save my own skin on the wrong statement...)

But in any case I would love it if you could remove my vote... (I am truly sorry for this)
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Re: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often though

Post Number:#13  PostApril 25th, 2012, 6:26 am

Scott wrote:
As of now 83.5% of the people on agree with my statement: "I want it to be legal for a poor teenager who was impregnated from being raped by an immediate family member to abort one-week after conception, if carrying to term is unsafe and a genetic disorder is detected."

That's roughly what I would have expected. But I was shocked to find out that most people disagree with this statement: "I want it to be illegal for a wealthy woman who is 5 days past her due date to get an abortion if doctors are sure that the healthy baby would be delivered safely and relatively easily and adoption is available."


Sorry Scott i wanted to be with peoples like you who are interested in philosophy but because of a my poor English I didn't understood the options given by you at first time in the polling part and get confused because of very lengthy sentence made specialized grammar of separating words between, but now understood the matter fully. The answer is 1) I do not wanted it to be legal for a poor teenager who was impregnated from being raped by an immediate family member to abort one-week after conception, if carrying to term is unsafe and a genetic disorder is detected. 2) I want it to be illegal for a wealthy woman who is 5 days past her due date to gen an abortion if doctors are sure that the healthy baby would be delivered safely and relatively easily and adoption is available.

I think from the above statement you will understand in both cases i didn't wanted the abortion initially as it is illegal. Secondly i wanted to say that law is designed according to the last possible that is the ultimate effect of the deed on the society as a whole. I think in law priority is given to the ultimate effect of the deed on the society. That is why it generally found correct though law is not also free from the emotional desires and motivation because of the involvement of humans in law making. For the first case why i wanted it to be illegal for teenager to abort. The opinion is all the person involved in the case including the teenager who is victim of rape by a family member, are criminals. What is going to happen with them according to the nature is a punishment of breaking the moral law. The abortion which is set to be operated is actually doing the wrong by letting them away from the trap of natural punishment mainly to the family members. It is not good for the society because this law can make people careless for committing this moral and social crime. In my opinion whatever disorder the would be newborn may contain, it is almost out of the matter. The children though not a criminal and may take birth with severe disorders but they have the right to come to the world. I think that because of the hate of disorder one cannot want to end their life and i think that those children cannot want to end their life whatever the disorder may be and whatever crime is committed by their parent. They are not at all responsible for that and they will still enjoy the beautiful world with their disorders. They will not get any inferiority complex instead they will make their parents feel inferior according to the natural law. For the second case i do not want to legalize that the wealthy women to abort even the doctors are saying there would be a healthy and safe delivery. The answer is the same as of first case. firstly it is illegal to abort, secondly it is illegal according to the natural law. why she is wanted to abort, it is not mentioned. When she is going to abort a birth then why she didn't taken care for not to have pregnant, i think so. Thirdly the child wanted and like to come to the world. there is some more reason that she could not have to abort is that those families wanted to adopt a child immediately after birth. Then why she is going to abort a child i didn't got the clue. Also time is very crucial element for the humans and the time had gone over 5 days to permit an abortion whatever the doctor says that there would be a safe and healthy delivery. I think it have to be mentioned earlier that why that wealthy woman is opted for abortion.

I think all the peoples in the society has to judge the matter according to the judicial point of view and not the humanitarian point of view because the people actually could not understand the matter thoroughly. They give opinion according to their emotions and emotions are actually not a perfect base to draw opinions. By the judging the matter according to the legal point of view, I think is the only we can reduce evil in the society. Otherwise we can't reduce social evils. It is my opinion. Please do not judge my psychology. whatever you want to say, say perfectly about the opinion itself or question or topic given, and not about me. I found some people here are actually interested in judging the psychology rather judging the opinion.

I think anybody could do right or wrong by analyzing the opinion, there is no need to analyzing the psychology of the opinion maker under the discussion I think this is foolishness generally exhibited by the psychologists. Psychologist has to understand they can even cross the points of psycho if he is wrong and if they have the ability to give a valid logic. Sir Scott you are from the administration that is why I am saying it to you. You didn’t did anything wrong. I only not bound to follow the rules of the forum. Raising the question about anyone's psychology is abusive, I think.
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Re: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often though

Post Number:#14  PostApril 25th, 2012, 2:31 pm

Okisites wrote:For the first case why i wanted it to be illegal for teenager to abort. The opinion is all the person involved in the case including the teenager who is victim of rape by a family member, are criminals. What is going to happen with them according to the nature is a punishment of breaking the moral law. The abortion which is set to be operated is actually doing the wrong by letting them away from the trap of natural punishment mainly to the family members. It is not good for the society because this law can make people careless for committing this moral and social crime.

This reasoning seems circular to me. Are you saying you want it to be illegal because it is criminal?

Why would you want the government to force a poor young raped girl to risk her life to create a baby? Remember, the embryo was put inside her against her will. So why wouldn't you let her have the nerveless, brainless, non-sentient embryo removed from her body within a week of conception?
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Re: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often though

Post Number:#15  PostApril 25th, 2012, 7:35 pm

Okisites wrote: For the first case why i wanted it to be illegal for teenager to abort. The opinion is all the person involved in the case including the teenager who is victim of rape by a family member, are criminals. What is going to happen with them according to the nature is a punishment of breaking the moral law. The abortion which is set to be operated is actually doing the wrong by letting them away from the trap of natural punishment mainly to the family members. It is not good for the society because this law can make people careless for committing this moral and social crime.


In the above scenario the teenager when raped by a relative would be punished by having to carry an unwanted baby by her, in addition it would be unwanted by her family, and then it would be used as a weapon to punish. I think it would be far more moral and compassionate to end that pregnancy. One more thing, morals depend on time and place and are not written in stone.

Regards, John.
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