New Abortion Debate
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capitalist pig

Beckley, WV

#1 Jan 29, 2013
Has the abortion debate changed? Is the pro-abortion crowd about to admit that a fetus is human life? Below are excerpts from an article written by Mary Elizabeth Williams, a staff writer for Salon.com you can google the article at Salon.com so no one thinks I just picked the bad parts of the article. The article is actually a very brutally honest and bold assessment. It will be interesting to see if her point of view catches on.

Yet I know that throughout my own pregnancies, I never wavered for a moment in the belief that I was carrying a human life inside of me. I believe that’s what a fetus is: a human life. And that doesn’t make me one iota less solidly pro-choice.

Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-pre cious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.

Why can’t we agree that how they felt about their pregnancies was vastly different, but that it’s pretty silly to pretend that what was growing inside of them wasn’t the same? Fetuses aren’t selective like that. They don’t qualify as human life only if they’re intended to be born.
capitalist pig

Beckley, WV

#2 Jan 29, 2013
BTW, I am not interested in debating abortion, been there done that. I just found this point of view new and suprising. I may have to start reading Salon.com more oftern.
capitalist pig

Lubbock, TX

#3 Jan 30, 2013
I am suprised that no one else found this interesting. Or is not something new. First time that I had read something like this.
further point

Beckley, WV

#4 Jan 30, 2013
Quoted from the article:

It’s a move whose time is long overdue. It’s important, because when we don’t look at the complexities of reproduction, we give far too much semantic power to those who’d try to control it. And we play into the sneaky, dirty tricks of the anti-choice lobby when we on the pro-choice side squirm so uncomfortably at the ways in which they’ve repeatedly appropriated the concept of “life.”

Unquote

It does have a lot to do with semantics. Whatever terms you use, you can't convince me that a just fertilized egg is equivalent to a new born baby you cuddle in your arms. Calling both "human life" doesn't change the debate that much, just semantics. Of course as time progresses past the stage of a just fertilized egg, the "life" becomes closer and closer like the born baby, which makes the debate more and more contentious for many. By the same token, finding during late term that a wanted pregnancy will kill the mother if continued is another facet of a many faceted debate. It's too complicated for me to tell any woman what she can and cannot do in any of the many complicated situations she may encounter with a pregnancy, and fortunately I'm not required to decide since it's none of my business. The best I can do is be sympathetic to her predicament and advise her not to be intimidated by wild rhetoric from anti-abortion folks.
Mountaineer

Beckley, WV

#5 Jan 30, 2013
Salon.com has some great articles. I read it frequently.
capitalist pig

Beckley, WV

#6 Jan 30, 2013
further point wrote:
Quoted from the article:
It’s a move whose time is long overdue. It’s important, because when we don’t look at the complexities of reproduction, we give far too much semantic power to those who’d try to control it. And we play into the sneaky, dirty tricks of the anti-choice lobby when we on the pro-choice side squirm so uncomfortably at the ways in which they’ve repeatedly appropriated the concept of “life.”
Unquote
It does have a lot to do with semantics. Whatever terms you use, you can't convince me that a just fertilized egg is equivalent to a new born baby you cuddle in your arms. Calling both "human life" doesn't change the debate that much, just semantics. Of course as time progresses past the stage of a just fertilized egg, the "life" becomes closer and closer like the born baby, which makes the debate more and more contentious for many. By the same token, finding during late term that a wanted pregnancy will kill the mother if continued is another facet of a many faceted debate. It's too complicated for me to tell any woman what she can and cannot do in any of the many complicated situations she may encounter with a pregnancy, and fortunately I'm not required to decide since it's none of my business. The best I can do is be sympathetic to her predicament and advise her not to be intimidated by wild rhetoric from anti-abortion folks.
so you agree with the author, that all life is not equal? Becasue the author was saying that a fertilized egg is human life, just not an equal life to that of the mother. She moved the fetus beyond being a blob of cells. Not many people willing to come out and say that.
capitalist pig

Beckley, WV

#7 Jan 30, 2013
Mountaineer wrote:
Salon.com has some great articles. I read it frequently.
I read it from time to time. Have to keep up with what the other side is doing. LOL I like Joan Walsh, even though I rarely agree with her. I find her to be an honest liberal. Kind of like you. But you are a little more middle of the road. LOL

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#8 Jan 30, 2013
How is it possible that we both like Joan Walsh? How do you account for that? I like her uncommon common sense but evidently that is what you don't like about her. Amazing!
capitalist pig

Beckley, WV

#9 Jan 30, 2013
Lesson Learned wrote:
How is it possible that we both like Joan Walsh? How do you account for that? I like her uncommon common sense but evidently that is what you don't like about her. Amazing!
to start with, she is a liberal who does not lecture (hard to find) and she appears to be honest. She is also very smart. She is also very much a lady, unlike most liberal women that you see on tv. Obviously I dont agree with her very often.
further point

Beckley, WV

#10 Jan 30, 2013
capitalist pig wrote:
<quoted text>
so you agree with the author, that all life is not equal? Becasue the author was saying that a fertilized egg is human life, just not an equal life to that of the mother. She moved the fetus beyond being a blob of cells. Not many people willing to come out and say that.
"It’s a move whose time is long overdue. It’s important, because when we don’t look at the complexities of reproduction, we give far too much semantic power to those who’d try to control it. And we play into the sneaky, dirty tricks of the anti-choice lobby when we on the pro-choice side squirm so uncomfortably at the ways in which they’ve repeatedly appropriated the concept of “life.”.."

The author is not allowing you to appropriate the concept of "life" and is insisting the subject be viewed in light of the complexities of reproduction. I think you would agree with her that all life is not equal, if you call a fertilized egg and a just born baby both by the same term "life". To reinforce that would a fetus and a mother who would die if she continued to carry that fetus be equal? And if equal, will the fetus decide or the mother decide which one will have life ended?

I'm open to allowing a semantic discussion as long as those involved know that's the extent of it.
capitalist pig

Beckley, WV

#11 Jan 30, 2013
further point wrote:
<quoted text>
"It’s a move whose time is long overdue. It’s important, because when we don’t look at the complexities of reproduction, we give far too much semantic power to those who’d try to control it. And we play into the sneaky, dirty tricks of the anti-choice lobby when we on the pro-choice side squirm so uncomfortably at the ways in which they’ve repeatedly appropriated the concept of “life.”.."
The author is not allowing you to appropriate the concept of "life" and is insisting the subject be viewed in light of the complexities of reproduction. I think you would agree with her that all life is not equal, if you call a fertilized egg and a just born baby both by the same term "life". To reinforce that would a fetus and a mother who would die if she continued to carry that fetus be equal? And if equal, will the fetus decide or the mother decide which one will have life ended?
I'm open to allowing a semantic discussion as long as those involved know that's the extent of it.
No, I dont agree that all life is not equal. That simply is not a road that I will travel down. That road begs the question "who gets to decide which life is more worthy" Does this lead to then killing off the elderly and critically ill? Are we going to make Planned Parenthood one stop shopping where you can get rid of an unwanted child or drop off your parents to be put to sleep. That may sound a little harsh, but chosing which life has more value can lead to that kind of thing. And yes, I realize that I took it to the extreme. You seem to want to have it both ways. Not really acknowledging the fetus as life, but moving to all life is not equal. And for this discussion, lets leave out the red herring of the mother's health. We both know that most abortions are not done for the health of the mother. I know there are cases where that is true, but I cant even contemplate the horror of chosing between your own life and that of your unborn child; especially when in most of those cases the mother has probably carried that child for seveal months.

“One fish... Two fish... ”

Level 8

Since: Jan 11

Opportunity is everywhere

#12 Jan 30, 2013
capitalist pig wrote:
<quoted text>
No, I dont agree that all life is not equal. That simply is not a road that I will travel down. That road begs the question "who gets to decide which life is more worthy" Does this lead to then killing off the elderly and critically ill? Are we going to make Planned Parenthood one stop shopping where you can get rid of an unwanted child or drop off your parents to be put to sleep. That may sound a little harsh, but chosing which life has more value can lead to that kind of thing. And yes, I realize that I took it to the extreme. You seem to want to have it both ways. Not really acknowledging the fetus as life, but moving to all life is not equal. And for this discussion, lets leave out the red herring of the mother's health. We both know that most abortions are not done for the health of the mother. I know there are cases where that is true, but I cant even contemplate the horror of chosing between your own life and that of your unborn child; especially when in most of those cases the mother has probably carried that child for seveal months.
So... if you believe all life is equal, then what is your position of prolonged life support for someone who has extensive and irreversible brain death? What about someone who is in a persistent vegetative state? If all life is equal, then what are the legal responsibilities of the medical profession--given that modern medical equipment can sustain bodily functions indefinitely.
capitalist pig

Beckley, WV

#13 Jan 30, 2013
Natalie_ wrote:
<quoted text>
So... if you believe all life is equal, then what is your position of prolonged life support for someone who has extensive and irreversible brain death? What about someone who is in a persistent vegetative state? If all life is equal, then what are the legal responsibilities of the medical profession--given that modern medical equipment can sustain bodily functions indefinitely.
You just went way above my pay grade. I dont believe in life support when there is no chance of recovery. But I certainly dont want to get into defining quality of life. I dont think you are alive if you dont have brain activity. I just found it interesting and a major change in the debate for abortion advocates to abandon the pro-choice language and to acknowledge that a fetus is a human life. I understand that people make heart wrenching end of life decisions everyday. I try to live in a black and white world as much as possible, but even I have to admit shades of gray from time to time. Not 50 shades of course. LOL
further point

Beckley, WV

#14 Jan 30, 2013
capitalist pig wrote:
<quoted text>
No, I dont agree that all life is not equal. That simply is not a road that I will travel down. That road begs the question "who gets to decide which life is more worthy" Does this lead to then killing off the elderly and critically ill? Are we going to make Planned Parenthood one stop shopping where you can get rid of an unwanted child or drop off your parents to be put to sleep. That may sound a little harsh, but chosing which life has more value can lead to that kind of thing. And yes, I realize that I took it to the extreme. You seem to want to have it both ways. Not really acknowledging the fetus as life, but moving to all life is not equal. And for this discussion, lets leave out the red herring of the mother's health. We both know that most abortions are not done for the health of the mother. I know there are cases where that is true, but I cant even contemplate the horror of chosing between your own life and that of your unborn child; especially when in most of those cases the mother has probably carried that child for seveal months.
But you can't ignore reality, even if an example is a rarity. It is not a red herring, it relates directly to the question.

Your post illustrates what the author wants to disarm you of, your taking for your own the concept of life to the exclusion of her concept and ignoring complex things that happen in reproduction.

As for the elderly and critically ill you mention, are you saying they are equal to a fertilized egg?

In the case of the mother who wants her child but must abort to save her life, although a rare case, what happens to her if Roe v. Wade is overturned, state law bans all abortion, all abortion Drs. are out of practice and she has no where to turn? What if some woman you care about is raped by a wild-eyed liberal, say Al Gore, what is she to do?(This time I'm sure you'll say Al is not an equal life form. lol)

I think in the past you've stated you don't favor overturning Roe v. Wade (correct me if I'm wrong) but your supportive rhetoric lends aid to those who would.
capitalist pig

Beckley, WV

#15 Jan 30, 2013
further point wrote:
<quoted text>
But you can't ignore reality, even if an example is a rarity. It is not a red herring, it relates directly to the question.
Your post illustrates what the author wants to disarm you of, your taking for your own the concept of life to the exclusion of her concept and ignoring complex things that happen in reproduction.
As for the elderly and critically ill you mention, are you saying they are equal to a fertilized egg?
In the case of the mother who wants her child but must abort to save her life, although a rare case, what happens to her if Roe v. Wade is overturned, state law bans all abortion, all abortion Drs. are out of practice and she has no where to turn? What if some woman you care about is raped by a wild-eyed liberal, say Al Gore, what is she to do?(This time I'm sure you'll say Al is not an equal life form. lol)
I think in the past you've stated you don't favor overturning Roe v. Wade (correct me if I'm wrong) but your supportive rhetoric lends aid to those who would.
I said that I think trying to decide which life is more important is a road that I do not want to travel down. My postion on abortion has always been very clear. I personally oppose abortion, but I believe that we can only change hearts and not heads on this issue. There were certainly abortions before Roe V Wade and there would still be abortions if it were overturned. I think it is very sad that so many people have such a cavalier attitude about the unborn, but I also recognize that for many women it is a heart wrenching decision that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. I dont think I support rhetoric that encourages those who want to overturn Roe V Wade. Calling women "baby killers" in front of abortion clinics has probably never saved an unborn child. It probably has scared some young girls as badly as the abortion. Im afraid that we may be slipping into a debate on abortion, when I really just wanted to discuss the change in direction. I have always been in awe of how liberals manage to define the terms in the debate. It is certainly one lesson conservatives could learn from liberals.

“One fish... Two fish... ”

Level 8

Since: Jan 11

Opportunity is everywhere

#16 Jan 30, 2013
capitalist pig wrote:
<quoted text>
You just went way above my pay grade. I dont believe in life support when there is no chance of recovery. But I certainly dont want to get into defining quality of life. I dont think you are alive if you dont have brain activity. I just found it interesting and a major change in the debate for abortion advocates to abandon the pro-choice language and to acknowledge that a fetus is a human life. I understand that people make heart wrenching end of life decisions everyday. I try to live in a black and white world as much as possible, but even I have to admit shades of gray from time to time. Not 50 shades of course. LOL
"I don't think you are alive if you dont have brain activity".
~~Capitalist Pig

A fertilized egg is a clump of cells with no brain; the processes that begin to form the nervous system don't begin until two weeks later. It isn't until almost six months of gestation that a complex nervous system is in place.

At that point in the developmental sequence of a fetus, if that same level of brain functionality were occurring in an adult human, that adult human would be considered brain dead and a candidate for organ donation. In short, the brain of a five to six month old fetus is not functional enough to meet the moral status of what is commonly accepted as "alive".

So... set aside emotional arguments and beliefs... and consider this question from a logical standpoint using the information noted above with respect to how society currently defines when someone is considered to be "dead": Should a five to six month old fetus be granted the moral and legal rights of a human being?
Mountaineer

Beckley, WV

#17 Jan 30, 2013
capitalist pig wrote:
<quoted text>I read it from time to time. Have to keep up with what the other side is doing. LOL I like Joan Walsh, even though I rarely agree with her. I find her to be an honest liberal. Kind of like you. But you are a little more middle of the road. LOL
A mostly conservative, yet perfectly reasonable columnist I really enjoy reading is Kathleen Parker.
capitalist pig

Beckley, WV

#18 Jan 30, 2013
Natalie_ wrote:
<quoted text>
"I don't think you are alive if you dont have brain activity".
~~Capitalist Pig
A fertilized egg is a clump of cells with no brain; the processes that begin to form the nervous system don't begin until two weeks later. It isn't until almost six months of gestation that a complex nervous system is in place.
At that point in the developmental sequence of a fetus, if that same level of brain functionality were occurring in an adult human, that adult human would be considered brain dead and a candidate for organ donation. In short, the brain of a five to six month old fetus is not functional enough to meet the moral status of what is commonly accepted as "alive".
So... set aside emotional arguments and beliefs... and consider this question from a logical standpoint using the information noted above with respect to how society currently defines when someone is considered to be "dead": Should a five to six month old fetus be granted the moral and legal rights of a human being?
You know that I believe that life begins at conception. As I said, my comments were about abortion advocates assigning life to a fetus, not me. Did you read the article? You are correct, a five to six week old fetus dones not meet the current society standard of life. By established court precedent, you can not refer to a fetus as a human being in court. But it appears that the pro-life crowd is the one changing direction on that front. The term pro-life is going to be phased out. Better get used to it. LOL
capitalist pig

Beckley, WV

#19 Jan 30, 2013
Mountaineer wrote:
<quoted text>
A mostly conservative, yet perfectly reasonable columnist I really enjoy reading is Kathleen Parker.
I would agree. Certainly preferable to David Brooks.

“One fish... Two fish... ”

Level 8

Since: Jan 11

Opportunity is everywhere

#20 Jan 30, 2013
capitalist pig wrote:
<quoted text>
You know that I believe that life begins at conception. As I said, my comments were about abortion advocates assigning life to a fetus, not me. Did you read the article? You are correct, a five to six week old fetus dones not meet the current society standard of life. By established court precedent, you can not refer to a fetus as a human being in court. But it appears that the pro-life crowd is the one changing direction on that front. The term pro-life is going to be phased out. Better get used to it. LOL
I thought you wanted to discuss "semantics"... that process normally begins with establishing the definition of the words being used.

So why is a cell-mass with no brain any more "alive" than a brain dead human? How are you defining "life"?

BTW--I've always considered the "pro-life" crowd to be the anti-abortion crowd, regardless of the "term" they've adopted to call themselves by. But I suppose that too is just a question of semantics.

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