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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:04 AM
Original message
Poll question: Has your position on abortion changed over your lifetime?
Edited on Sat Feb-21-04 10:06 AM by Robb
In broad terms, has your personal position on the abortion issue changed over your lifetime? Did you consider yourself pro-"___" and change due to an experience or interaction?

(On edit): And the obvious question of "how?"
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Blue Gardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. Pro-choice
Always have been, always will be.
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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. yep....same here...I've never had the desire to .....
force a woman to give up her right to do what's best in her own mind.
...and never had the unmitigated gall to think I knew otherwise...
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Frank_Person Donating Member (404 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
2. I find it to be more complicated now...
It seems to me that destroying a viable fetus does indeed end a human life. Yet I can't make that a universal claim of fact somehow. I do sometimes wish that being a liberal didn't hinge so much on being accepting of abortion.

It's complicated.
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prodigal_green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
64. Liberation Theologist family
I grew up in a Catholic home where pro-life meant just that: no death penalty, no covert or overt military action against other countries, strong environmental defense, affordable healthcare, viable public education, funded childcare and a strong community service ethic.

As I got older and exposed to more right-wing "religious" nutjobs, I realized it their argument wasn't pro-life, it was anti-woman. Though I personally would not have an abortion (because that is my CHOICE) I strongly support a woman's right to also make that choice.

My mother and my aunt have even managed to come around to seeing what the anti-choice Christian right are trying to do and now support a woman's right to choose while working to create conditions that would enable her to choose birth over abortion (childcare, education, living wage, healthcare, etc.)

The religious right is concerned about the unborn. They've no regard for what happens after the umbilical cord is cut. Same thing with the military. Support the troops when sending them to war, then forget about them once they are there and especially once they come home.
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connecticut yankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
3. Why I've changed
I'm probably a lot older than most of you, so came of age during a different time.

In the 60's when the issue first surfaced, I was against abortion, as I thought it was the taking of a human life.

My consciousness was raised through the Women's Movement, when I realized that a woman should have absolute control over her body. What she does with it is no one's business but her own.

No one should be forced to bear a child if she doesn't want to.
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trumad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Everytime I pee I realize that it's not MY choice,
nor has it ever been.
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Maeve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
6. Yes, it has
I graduated from high school in 1973 and was against legalized abortion.
Since then, I've known women who have had illegal abortions, legal ones, married for the sake of the child, become single mothers and gave their children up for adoption. Also women who knew that their health was endangered or that the child would be at high risk of serious problems. I've also had four kids of my own.
Now I believe it is not my decision to make for someone else and not the government's, either.
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Palacsinta Donating Member (929 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
7. Always pro-choice
Still am.....When I consider the collective reproductive histories of all the females, including me, throughout my life, I have to be pro-choice. An aside.. I also remember the dark days before access to info and Planned Parenthood...... among a zillion other bits of mis-info.....I recall being told that shaking up a Coke bottle and inserting same would absolutely prevent pregnancy. It doesn't.
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DustMolecule Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
8. I'm anti-abortion, but pro-choice
I don't believe that anyone should have an abortion. I believe, like Frank_Person "that destroying a viable fetus does indeed end a human life". HOWEVER, this is just MY opinion - not everyone shares it, and I wouldn't expect them to.

I also believe that this issue and the decision to have (or not have) an abortion rests within an individuals conscience and circumstances surrounding the decision. It should be decided by the individual, and discussed in churches and homes. IT IS NOT AN ISSUE FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO GET INVOLVED WITH.

In reality, historically, women have always chosen to have abortions whether it was legal or not. If abortion were made illegal, abortions would still happen, they would just go back to being done in the dangerous 'dirty back rooms' of decades ago. We shouldn't go back to that. Also, we can't possibly take into account every situation that occurs where someone has an unwanted pregnancy.

People who are anti-abortion should put their energies towards prevention of unwanted pregnancies, rape prevention, mentoring those who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy, etc. That's where the focus should be. Not on trying to get government legislation passed that would make it illegal for everyone. You just can't possibly stand in 'everybody's shoes'.
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brainwashed_youth Donating Member (640 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #8
72. me 2
I find abortion irresponsible and downright sickening and the doctors who perform this procedure must not have a conscience, BUT i do not think the government should have the power over a woman's reproductive rights.
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eileen from OH Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
9. Ha! It's STILL changing!
Or, rather evolving. Really - I get so on-the-fence about this. However, what I DO firmly believe is this:

Abortion is a necessary evil.

Abortion will always be with us as long as there are cases where it is the only answer. And there are.

The goal should be not to criminalize abortion again, but to work as hard as possible to make it unnecessary. Working for the former impedes any progress on the latter. In other words, as long as focus, energy, and resources are directed towards overturning Roe V Wade, actually PREVENTING unwanted pregnancies takes a back burner. Things like education, cheap & accessible birth control, and support for single mothers, etc.

I see overturning Roe V Wade not only wrong, but counterproductive towards helping woman avoid unwanted pregnancies.

If that makes any sense at all.

eileen from OH
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liberalnurse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
10. I have assisted with abortions ........
Edited on Sat Feb-21-04 11:08 AM by liberalnurse
Its a great community service area for liberal nurses. One needs to recognize there is so much more client education involved.....a whole lot more......Chapters worth.!!1!1


Prevention is intensely emphasized coupled with the utmost quality of a Womens Health focus.
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nuxvomica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
11. Oh my gosh, has it changed
The first crack in my parochial-schooled armor was in my Catholic high school sociology class, where I was given the task of defending abortion rights in a debate despite my opposition to it. While researching points for the debate, I learned much that gave me doubts.
I wasn't completely turned around till years later when a series of angry discussions with a co-worker made me see the light. (I also turned her around on the death penalty issue.)
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
12. I have always believed that the govt. shouldn't have this level of control
over a woman's body. I believe it is possible for the door to swing the other way, and if they can tell you that you can't, they can tell you when you must. One of my "pro-life" friends in CA has even expressed such an opinion that maybe some women should have abortions (or at least get sterilized) if they are dependant on the state for living assistance.
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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Good grief.
Well, tell her you have an online friend who feels abortion should be an option until the fetus is 18 years old. ;)
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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #12
44. Forced sterilization was common in the USA, not so long ago...
Edited on Sun Feb-22-04 07:02 PM by amen1234
it was used mostly against people with disabilities...

women with diabetes were sterilized to prevent an inherited genetic disease from being passed on....

once in a while, you still hear of the practice...forced sterilization against people who are mentally challenged....

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shimmergal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
13. Changed, yes, but not totally.
Way back when I was in college--pre-Roe--I'd try to talk my friends out of having abortions. My reason wasn't because I was "pro-life" in the sense that I considered a fetus equivalent to a fully human being. I've never thought that. But illegal abortions--even those available to middle class college women--were dangerous then. Besides,other things being equal, few other actions, can equal creating a new human being for sheer life-affirming and positive power.

I changed. Neither logic nor law could keep these desperate friends from getting an abortion. Some of these women had severe injuries to their reproductive systems when they went to incompetent abortionists. Even so, they were all glad they'd had the abortion; it was the only tolerable choice in their situation.

This turned me into a total advocate of legal abortion and pro-choice.
This belief was only strengthened by my own pregnancies.
Although I know that women differ in this, the future babies didn't become "real" to me until about the fourth month. Subjective? Yes, but no more subjective than all the male pronouncements about "when life begins."
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
15. I grew up in a family that was anti-choice
so it was easy for me to follow along with my mother and grandmother's position, which, as I look back, was based on the notion that sex outside of marriage was evil and that pregnancy was a just punishment for it.

What happened was that

1) I became sexually active

2) I had friends who became pregnant with wanted children who confessed that there were days when they wished they could roll back the clock because the impending responsibility seemed almost unbearable, even though they were married and economically secure.

3) My brother, a doctor, told me of an incident during his residency in which he assisted at the delivery of the child of a 13-year-old girl. The family was clearly dysfunctional, because all the time the girl was in labor, her mother was snarling at her and calling her filthy names. (Later, when I worked with street kids, I found out how many of these early teen pregnancies were the result of rape by a relative or Mom's boyfriend.)

Other incidents chipped away at my certainty, until one day I realized that I found anti-choice activists tiresome and out of touch.

I still have a gut-level distaste for abortion, and if I had become pregnant during my younger years, I truly do not know what I would have done. But I came to realize that I couldn't make the decision for anyone else.

BTW, when people slam Dennis Kucinich for changing his views, I simply shrug, because I changed my views, too.
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hyphenate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
16. For me, as well, the matter is one of personal
choice.

I have always been opposed to the government being involved in what I've always considered a "personal choice" and I think it's still very much true. That's why certain issues are so volatile, like gay marriage, abortion, marijuana and such--it's because these issues are really none of the government's business. They should stay the hell out of our personal lives.

I think that's one of the things I despise the most about the radical religious right--they try to tell the rest of us how to think and live. It's just plain wrong--what I do in the sanctity of my own home is really no one's business, as long as I'm not harming anyone else. I was raised a Catholic, but as I became an adult, I realized that what I thought was totally my own, and no one should be able to take away what is my unique viewpoint on the world.

Abortion might not be something I would ever choose for myself (I'm kind of over childbearing age now anyhow!), but I can not deny anyone that fundamental right to choose for themselves. The minute our government declares that all abortion and all other methods of contraception are illegal will be the day that women are reverted back to being second class citizens.
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Scout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
17. used to be anti-choice
then experience, discussion, reading changed my mind.
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ithacan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. same here...
.
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mlawson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 09:40 PM
Response to Original message
18. No change in 35 years. Always pro-choice. n/t
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Indiana_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
20. Always have been pro-choice politically.....
I grew up in a household that believed in pro-choice. I grew up in the 70s during the ERA and women's lib movement era. So I have stuck politically with what I've been taught. However, as I've grown older and especially since I've had a child, I wouldn't choose it as an option PERSONALLY now but I still believe it should be the woman's choice no matter what POLITICALLY and LEGALLY. I became born-again and realized that abortion is harming another not to mention the emotional turmoil the mother has to live with the rest of her life. We all grow and learn at different rates and this should be considered. I don't believe in government funding of abortions, though. It should be strictly left out of funding just as federal funding for religious organizations should be. I don't want to feel responsible for funding someone else's actions that are contrary to my beliefs.

If Roe vs. Wade was ever overturned they better make sure they are ready to take care of these children and their mothers. That's what I don't understand about the religious right, that they don't want to allow abortion yet they want to cut every social and educational program that would help all of the unwanted children that would be born. Utterly ridiculous.
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Alenne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:29 PM
Response to Original message
21. after having 2 kids I am more pro choice
than I was before.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
22. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
revcarol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
23. Always pro-choice.
Saw lives ruined by back room abortions.

a lot more accepting now of teenagers' rights to abortion without parental notification of one or both parents. Saw too many cases where the girl would finally tell her father and he would beat her or kick her in the stomach to make her have a miscarriage because she was such a disgrace to the family, and she would end up in the emergency room, still pregnant.

Other cases, the child was ostracized by relatives after birth, the mother almost dumped in the street. Should have had a free abortion and counseling be an option.

Need a lot more resources for low-income people.
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MrSlayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
24. I'm personally against it but I support Choice.
It's your life and your business.
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BillZBubb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:00 PM
Response to Original message
25. No change--adamantly, enthusiastically pro-choice
The government has ZERO business in this decision.
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DFLforever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:04 PM
Response to Original message
26. I was opposed to abortion; it had been illegal when I was growing up
but now I'm strongly pro-choice.

Women need full control over their reproductive cycle to have control of their own lives.
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Wapsie B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
27. I think all
konservative fundamentalist xians should have them. Pro-abortion I say. Out of the gene pool now!
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AgadorSparticus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
28. I've pretty much been pro choice.
At 20, I didn't have a view on abortion...until some lunatic pro lifer got in my face in the quad while going to class. I instantly became the biggest pro lifer there ever was. But over the years, I milled over my beliefs and why I believe it, and still come up with the same answer: pro-choice. The thing I could never figure out is that in the overall scheme of things, will all the crap we have to deal with in society, it seems to me abortions should be pretty low on the totem pole. There are millions homeless, drugged out, jobless, dying in an unjustified war, etc...Why are we so hung up on abortions?
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:47 PM
Response to Original message
29. I used to be a zealot
now I simply support choice.
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lojasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 12:19 AM
Response to Original message
30. pro choice N/T
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JasonDeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 12:25 AM
Response to Original message
31. The premature death of a baby
not only kills that baby but that baby would grow up and have babies and those babies would grow up and have babies, multiply that by the 10's of millions of babies killed, how many would it take before it was called what it really is: genocide?
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 04:42 AM
Response to Reply #31
36. Dang think of the number of babies you are killing
by not having sex right now!!
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JasonDeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 07:00 AM
Response to Reply #36
39. You obviously have no understanding of what it takes to make a baby.
Its elementary my good man. First the sperm has to fertilize the female's egg. THEN the baby is created. A sperm by itself is NOT a baby. An egg by itself is NOT a baby. Any more questions, I'm here.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #39
41. Take a look at your first statement
You claimed that all the potential babies that will never even be created in the first place as victims of one abortion. Your statement seems to have no understanding of the concept of time. If you decide to count anything that could potentially become a human being in time as a human being now you wind up with extremely twisted logic. By the logic of potential humans every sperm is sacred and every menstration is the loss of another potential human. Protected sex is delibrate murder in those terms. Any missed chance to create a human is the collapse of another potential human. Sorry but your logic seems to make no sense. I understand you may feel very passionately abuot it. But I cannot find any sense in it.
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JasonDeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. Sorry baby, but it takes two to tango.
Thats a convienient twist of reason to justify the abortion of babies. An egg by itself is not a baby. Sperm by itself is not a baby. It takes the sperm fertilizing the egg to make a baby. How hard is that to understand? It is the character of Life to create life, abortion is anti-life.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. There is a difference
Between life and being a human being. A jar of skin cells is not a human being. A cluster of cells that one day may be a human being are not currently a human being. Its really that simple. Potential does not equal actuality. That which is not currently a human being is not a human being. Insisting that because one day it might be (pregnancies sometimes naturally fail) a human being does not make it one now. This is where your logic fails. If you put all the mixing for a cake in pan and claim it is a cake before it is baked you are only fooling yourself.
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JasonDeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. Go to a corner young man and contemplate a oven.
It servers a purpose Az. Its not just for looks. Its not just to partially bake a cake. Contemplate that Az. Once the mixed cake ingrediants are put in the oven you 'expect' a cake. I know its hard to admit if your pro abortion but thems the facts. If you don't want a cake don't put the ingredients into the oven! Take responsibility for the oven! Take responsibility for the cake!
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lapislzi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #47
53. "Pro abortion"??
No, pro CHOICE. Don't do it if it's not right for you, but you do not have that right (especially as a male, which I presume you are) to make that decision for another person, unless you are personally involved in the pregnancy.

Nobody's pro abortion. Most of us, I think, would prefer that this procedure never needed to happen.
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JasonDeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-24-04 02:32 AM
Response to Reply #53
76. Semantics. We're all adults here.
I remember when the terms suddenly started to change. It was when the polls showed the American people were starting to turn on the 'abortion' term showing negativity when they heard THAT word. Suddenly the terms started to reflect a softening and from one day to the next it went from abortion to pro choice. But the effect on the unborn baby was the same...they died.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-24-04 02:57 AM
Response to Reply #76
81. The reason the word changed
Is the antichoice crowd started using emotional arguments and misleading information. They twisted the dialog and loaded everything with appocolyptic terms like murder and genocide. Simply taking their weapons away from them. The rights only weapon is emotional appeal based on misinformed claims.


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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #47
54. Take responsibility for the cake
You see there are people that do not believe the universe was created by god. There are people that do not believe that the universe has a purpose. There are people that do not believe that being forced to create a human being is the appropriate punishment for having sex.

Taking responsibilty means considering all the issues. It does not mean throwing up your hands and claiming the universe has already decided your path. If you determine that you are not ready or willing to make a person then stopping the process before (repeat before) a person is hurt is the responsible thing to do.

It is the height of irresponsibility to just assume that a world already burdened with overpopulation will just take care of your mistake. It is the height of irresponsibility to create a person without deliberately deciding to do so. It is the height of irresponsibility to not take control of the issue and use the choices you have available.

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JasonDeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-24-04 02:37 AM
Response to Reply #54
77. Ultrascan's changed the myth that baby's in the womb
do not react to external stimuli. We now know that untold millions have experienced horror.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-24-04 02:50 AM
Response to Reply #77
80. And just what did they experience
that horror with? Their elbows? No brain, no Horror. Horror is an emotion experienced by the brain.

Ask yourself this. What one organ would you not want to have transplanted?

Any organ transplanted would still result in you being there except your brain. Lose your brain, lose your mind.
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JasonDeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-24-04 03:59 AM
Response to Reply #80
85. I was responding to this phrase in your post,
"create a person"

A person has a brain and can express feeling by reactions and ultrascans have shown baby's in the womb reacting to outside stimuli.
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Jax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-24-04 03:12 AM
Response to Reply #77
84. Right wing talking points
no surprise here.

Jax
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JasonDeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-24-04 04:52 AM
Response to Reply #84
87. The republican party is not a majority in this country.
The republican party is not a majority in this country.
They've just been a little more organized.

A majority of American's are opposed to abortions today.

48% believe abortion is murder.

17% believe that abortion should be illegal under all circumstances.

Another 56% oppose most circumstances of abortion, which means a total of 73% oppose the abortion-on-demand which is the current practice.

Only 26% believe that abortion should be "legal under any circumstances".

1% have "no opinion".

Only 40% of Americans favored legalized abortion in 1969, prior to the US Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.

Few if any women who have abortions are aware of the increased risk of suicide and breast cancer, nor the mortality risk associated with abortion.

December 2003 - Zogby Survey Poll









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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #47
56. Ovens are not human beings
Cakes are not babies. These are inanimate objects. Those are facts. In fact, ovens are generally used only for the purpose of producing cakes (and other fine baked goods). I, for one, would rather not be compared to an oven. I am not solely a baby maker.
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JasonDeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-24-04 02:38 AM
Response to Reply #56
78. Hey, I was just taking the analogy given further
don't blame me!
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #45
49. I Seem To Recall That On Another Thread,
If I recall correctly, Az, you argued the potential human life - or a potential human being -- needed to be protected and valued.

If I recall your argument, it was that a "clump of human cells" became a human being when a mind capable of self-awareness and thoughts came into existence.

But you had no way of determining when a mind begins.

All you could say was that you knew that a mind could not exist without a brain, and from that you said that in order to be on the safe side, we need to protect human clumps of cells when the develop a fully formed brain.

But doing that protects not an "actual" human being -- because there can be a brain without a mind. Rather, it protects -- to be on the safe side -- a potential human being.

Do I have your argument correct here, Az?
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #49
61. Semantics can cloud issues
To be specific.

A human being is a creature of human descent with a fully functional brain that has given rise to a sentient mind that recognises itself.

The mind arises from the brain. We may not know the exact moment when this takes place but we can determine that the bare minimum is a functional brain.

Since we cannot pin down the moment we move to that which we can measure. That is we know the minimum requirement is a brain. Thus we can state that when the brain develops the mind could potentially exist within it.

This is not a case of the brain will eventually develop a mind. It states that at this given moment there may be a mind present in the brain.

The usual argument that makes use of the word potential uses it in a measure of eventuality. That is left to its own a fetus would eventually become a human being.

F=Fetus
B=Baby
T=Time till brain develops

F+T=B F=B if T=0 If T>0 then F<>B

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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #61
63. Unless You Can Say...
I'm really sorry to do this to you, Az, because I know how you must simply hate finding yourself, of all people, defending potential human beings.

But unless you can say that a pfully formed brain IS the same thing as a mind, then all you are doing, when when you say that we must, to be on the safe side, protect and value pre-human beings with fully formed brains, is to say that potential human being must be protected.

Look again at your own definition of a human being: "A human being is a creature of human descent with a fully functional brain that has given rise to a sentient mind that recognises itself."

By your own definition, a "thing", of human descent, does not become a "human being" until three things have happened -- and ALL of them must happen in order to the human "thing" to become a "human being".

First, the human "thing" must develop a fully formed brain.

But at that point -- when it develops a fully formed brain, it is STILL NOT a human being.

That is because the second event must happen -- and that is that the fully formed brain must give rise to a sentient mind. Even when thus event takes place, the collection of human cells is still not a HUMAN BEING.

And that i s because the third and final event -- the sentient mind recognizing itself -- must also take place. It is only at this point -- a point, I might add, long after birth -- that the collection of "human cells" becomes a human being.

By your own definiton, a fetus is still a fetus when its brain becomes fully developed.

At that point, it is only a potential human life. Left to itself, the fetus will further develop after its brain becomes fully formed (unless, of course, the mother chooses to abort the fetus with the fully formed brain or there is some sort of spontaneous abortion), and will eventually develop a sentient mind. And eventually the sentient mind will recognize itself.

You can try to dress it up all you want, but in the end, you are making -- and making it quite well -- one of the pro-life arguments against abortion.

That argument goes something like this: A human being arises from a developing collection of human cells which has its own unique DNA and which will, if left on its own, deveop into a child. We may not know the exact moment when this takes place but we can determine that the bare minimum is a collection of human cells within the womb of a woman.

Youi want to protect fetuses with fully formed brains because you think the might contain a mind. Many pro-life folks want to protect developing human life at an early point because they believe that the just might be a human being within those earlier collection of human cells. After all, at an earlier stage of development, something (and certainly not a mind) is experience pain.

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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #63
65. Morality vs Legality
The argument I posit has nothing to do with the legal argument for choice. That argument is based squarely and properly on the womans right to choose the path her body takes.

My comments are based on a couple of issues. One is that because we do not face the moral issues the religious right champions we are ill suited to debate them or take the moral highground.

Secondly (and perhaps more importantly) is the very real issue of helping women understand the implications of what they are doing. The morality if the issue is not well defined in the public. It is based primarily on emotional pleas. Examining the morality of the issue is important to enable women to clearly see the issues before them.

The issue is contrained by what we can know. We cannot know the moment but we have learned much and are able to determine a minimum required for a mind to arise. Thus a fetus with a fully developed brain may or may not have a mind. But for the purposes of trying to determine the paths we take we can begin to presume that our choices may affect an existing individual.

Abortion is much more than just a legal argument. This is why the prochoice camp keeps losing the moral highground to the religious right. We allow them to field the moral argument unchallenged. We tuck in and hope that our claim of rights will hold off their attacks. But they will not. It is a seige. And if we do not ride out to take back the high ground they sill simply increase their numbers and continue to pound on our rights until they crumble. We will be left with nothing other than some scraps of paper in place of our rights.
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lapislzi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #39
52. Neither is a zygote, or an embryo
if you want to talk about viable human beings, then you have to go beyond the sixth month of pregnancy, where the fetus can survive ex utero.

Anything else regarding "souls" and the like is pure speculation, and nobody's business but that of the individuals involved.
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #31
71. excuse me all to hell here
how many would it take before it
was called what it really is: genocide?


... but have you just called, oh, several hundred (probably several thousand) women who are members of DU perpetrators of genocide?

I suggest that you contemplate the meaning of that word as defined in international legal instruments; try Article 6 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court:

For the purpose of this Statute, "genocide" means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
And then I suggest that you not engage in vicious demagoguery, the targets of which are members of DU. (I'd suggest that you not engage in vicious demagoguery regardless of who the targets are, but that's a bit of a different kettle of fish.)

And ... I know that responding to the demagoguery gets tiresome, but I'd thought I might see a little more outrage at this one ...

.

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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 01:04 AM
Response to Original message
32. Always pro-choice
What really gets me to see red is to see a house of representatives - Florida in 1989 or 1990 (shortly after Webster); South Dakota now - full of men making decisions about women's body.

It has never been about "killing a baby." It was always been about controlling women. About the impotence that men feel when they realize that they need women for their sexual fulfillment and for creating heirs.

I have no doubt that had pregnancy not resulted from sexual intercourse, that it would not have been such an issue for so many men.
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Woodstock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 03:34 AM
Response to Original message
33. I've been pro-choice ever since I realized I was a woman
No brainer of a decision. It's called the rights of citizenship.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 03:56 AM
Response to Original message
34. When I was growing up it was illegal and dangerous...
...extremely illegal and dangerous. Contraceptives were illegal for girls under 21, and hard to obtain if you were unmarried even after 21. Boys and men could buy condoms, but in small towns the word got around about their girlfriends if they did. Unmarried women gave birth not to babies but to illegitimate bastards, who in many states had their status stamped on their birth certicates so that information could follow them all their days. High school girls who got themselves pregnant could count on surrendering their first born child for adoption or getting married in a hurry. Women in dire straits might find themselves pressured into an illegal abortion by parents or lovers, or might seek one out alone. Their punishment for that was being a felon, sterility by infection, or death by infection or hemorrhage.

God, it sounds like the Puritan colonies and the Scarlet Letter, but it was just the 1950s and 1960s. Thank the Goddess some things have changed.

I was well into college when contraceptives became readily available -- there wouldn't have been a sexual revolution without the Pill, I'm pretty sure, and almost through college when abortion became legal.

Never had one myself, too old now anyhow.

But also never been raped, never had my contraception fail, never almost died miscarrying or giving birth, never got pg again straight after giving birth, never was too broke to feed my already-born kids, never got beaten for getting pg...

I figured out a long long time ago that SO much of that is LUCK. I can't judge another woman's circumstances. I completely respect the freely made decision of any woman who carries a fetus to term, and I hope that no woman will ever be coerced into either abortion or continued pregnancy against her will. Women are moral agents and have the capacity to decide for themselves and live with whatever relief or heartache follows.

Bush and his wingnut cohorts want us to go back to the good old days. Re-read my first paragraph and tell me how good that was. It was ALL about controlling the behavior and thoughts and bodies of girls and women, and punishing them for getting out of line. Somehow I am not convinced of concern for the welfare of the unborn when society wants to stamp birth certificates Illegitimate.

Hekate

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kaitykaity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 04:01 AM
Response to Original message
35. I'm still pro-choice,
Edited on Sun Feb-22-04 04:03 AM by kaitykaity
but I'm not as angry about it. When I was younger (late 20s, early 30s) I was rabidly
anti-male, anti-man, a disciple of Katherine MacKinnon, Andrea Dworkin, and Mary
Daly. Being that angry got very tiring, and my family almost disowned me over it.

:scared:

Besides, I discovered that I actually like men. Who knew?



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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 06:43 AM
Response to Reply #35
37. We're not that bad
When you get to know us. :D

I used to be pro-life. Used to confuse the hell out of people. A liberal atheist pro-lifer.

Now I'm pro-choice, although I still don't like the idea of abortion. I like Clinton's idea. Let's do everything we can to eliminate the need for abortions.
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kaitykaity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 06:56 AM
Response to Reply #37
38. A 'confused' liberal athiest pro-lifer is right!
Edited on Sun Feb-22-04 07:16 AM by kaitykaity
I'm sorry you are uncomfortable with the pro-choice position. I don't much 'like' abortion either, I just hate the idea of the roving slobberhounds of the religious Right making the choice, instead of a woman and her family.

Yeah, I know, I've gotton to know a few of you in the past few years. Once I finally disabled my 'asshole radar', I started to notice some of the nice ones. Like I said, who knew?

:hi:

(Were you as mad as I was about the Survivor boot-off last week? :grr::mad::grr: I am really going to love to HATE Boston Rob.)
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #38
46. LOL
That's why I made the decision to be pro-choice. It's purely pragmatic. In an ideal world, the choice would never need to be made, right? So, let's work together towards that ideal world. We'll never get there, but, in the meantime, allowing that choice is much, much better than not allowing that choice.

And yes, yes I was.
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #35
60. Good.
I'm glad that you've changed your perception of men. I've never hated them, either. The feminist movement is not anti-man. Those may have been your feelings, and I'm glad you don't see things like that anymore. I just don't want people to get the impression that we're all like what you used to be. The only reason I'm interjecting is that there is sometimes a perception here at DU that feminism is a negative thing. I've always been a feminist, and I've never hated men. And, as far as the abortion movement goes, it is possible to be VERY angry and passionate about it, and still love men.
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CRK7376 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 07:12 AM
Response to Original message
40. Pro Choice
for as long as I've been aware of the subject...33+years....
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kodi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
42. yes. i have become aware that all human life is precious, even a fetus
as of yet, human consciousness is the only one we have found in the known universe.

and as such, its uniqueness makes it all the more precious.

to destroy that potential consciousness for any other reason but to save a life itself seems to me to be an unconscionable act of desperation.

i do not support bans on abortion, but i wonder what history will say of this time, when humans can kill off potential humans and call it freedom.
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CO Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
48. I Used to Follow What The Catholic Church Said
But when I turned my back on the church in 1977, I rethought everything - including abortion. I now believe two things:

1 - It's a woman's choice, one that should be made with ehr doctor, her partner, and her priest, rabbi, or pastor (if any).

2 - One penis - no vote.
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truthbetold Donating Member (525 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #48
50. I understand.
CO Liberal, I was brought up as a strict Catholic from a very young age. Luckily, I was able to see how they were deciding issues for me that I knew should come from my own heart.
Pro-choice is better than no choice. I feel no shame about my views.
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skippysmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
51. Still and always pro-choice
The only difference being that if I'd gotten pregnant 10 years ago, I would have considered abortion -- but now I probably wouldn't. But that's mainly a function of where I am in my life.

Which makes me pro-choice. I should be able to make the decision about whether to become a mother.
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
55. Its MY BODY
other peoples opinion on it means nothing to me...i will do with it what i please
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #55
57. Your Body? Really?
Your body to do with as you please.

Really?

What is your position regarding the government's almost fascistic control of a woman's body?

The government, as you probably know, has made silicon breast implants illegal.

I would imagine that you are quite outraged by that.

I think that the government, when it banned silicone breast implants, restricted your ability to do with it what you please.
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #57
58. When the government banned silicone implants.
It did not make them illegal for women to have, it made it illegal for manufacturers to produce and sell because of potential harm it causes. That's what the government is supposed to do. It didn't make it a crime to have the implants. Women weren't forced to go and have them removed. The decision to ban silicone implants did not change any of my fundamental rights as a woman. That analogy simply does not work.
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #58
66. I Guess You're Right
If the government were to ban the manufacture and sale of newsprint, the right of the New York Times or the Washington Post to publish newspapers would not at all be affected. They could still publish newspapers, because the government would not have banned the sale of newspapers -- only the manufacture and sale of newsprint.

Silly me.

The decision to ban silicone implants did not change any of your fundamental rights as a woman. Whatever was I thinking. You are now in the same position with regard to silicone implants that the New York Times would be with regard to newsprint if the government were to ban the manufacture and sale of that.
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #66
68. What?
How do we jump from a woman's right to control her body, to the government banning newspapers? My head is spinning...

A woman's right to have control over her own body and her own health issues is the point here. The government did not tell women they could not choose to have bigger breasts. Women can still get breast augmentation; that never changed. What they did do was take off the market a device that was questionable in its safety, which is something that it often does when a product is known to cause harm. There are questions as to whether or not those implants are really a danger, but that is outside of the scope of this thread.

The government banning newsprint would be a revocation of rights on such a massive scale that there would be serious social implications. Much like restricting a woman's right to choose, for that matter.

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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #57
59. also as an adult person i dont like being treated as a child
i feel like the govt should warn but not necessarily make illegal...so you know silicon can burst and you understand chances are it WILL happen and you WILL DIE...if you still want them and are above a certain age go ahead!
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outinforce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #59
67. Yeah -- The Government Deals WIth Silicone
I guess you're right.

The government should warn but not make illegal. It deals with silicone implants the same way it deals with other things that it warns us about.

Like marijuana.

Like heroin.

Like methamphetamines.

Like esctasy.

The government should educate and warn...but not make illegal.

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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #59
69. I do think
that manufacturers should be held up to certain safety standards, and should not be allowed to manufacture products that cause harm. If these silicone implants leaked and caused health problems, then they needed to be pulled. And doing so did not infringe on anyone's rights. It is a controversial subject because there are questions as to whether silicone implants actually cause illness when they leak. But, I don't think they're infringing on a woman's rights to ban them in quite the same way that outlawing abortion would. One is restricting a product. The other is restricting freedom.
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #69
70. i agree
Edited on Mon Feb-23-04 04:55 PM by lionesspriyanka
since there are REAL alternatives to silicone implants (like saline implants) but not for abortion...i would prefer to abort than to have to give up a child or not be able to properly take care of one..


that REAL was not a pun on implants but emphasizing a real choice vs. no choice
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #69
73. actually
But, I don't think they're infringing on a woman's rights to ban them in quite the same way that outlawing abortion would. One is restricting a product. The other is restricting freedom.

... both are restricting freedoms -- in the one case, the freedom to purchase and use what one wants, and in the other case, the freedom to continue or terminate a pregnancy as one chooses.

The actual difference is this.

In the first case, the government has demonstrated justification for the restriction -- the state (which is really "us") has an interest in the public's health and well-being, and a responsibility to protect the health of members of the public, and the authority to restrict freedom to the minimum extent needed in order to do that. And banning the use of silicon breast implants, to fulfil its responsibility for protecting the health of the public, constitutes only a very minor interference with freedom.

In the second case, it has not demonstrated justification for the restriction. (Well, your Supreme Court said that it had, in respect of approximately the third trimester of pregnancy, but we'll leave that one aside.) And it can't. The government has no significant interest in women's pregnancies, it has no significant responsibility to do anything in respect of women's pregnancies, and it has no authority to restrict freedom to the enormous extent that would be needed in order to protect whatever tiny and unimportant interest it might have in women's pregnancies. And while fulfilling whatever responsibility it might have in respect of women's pregnancies might involve providing pre-natal care, for instance, it would most definitely not involve compelling women to continue pregnancies against their will.

It's perfectly possible to make a convincing, logical argument in favour of banning silicon implants and against compelling the continuation of pregnancies.

The disingenuousness of comparing banning silicon implants and compelling the continuation of pregnancies is indeed obvious on its very bold face, but it never hurts to be able to accurately and effectively out it and demolish it. ;)

.
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #73
75. I know.
The fact that he/she was trying to equate a banning of a particular product with outlawing abortion was what prompted me to argue from the comparison angle. Their implication that one can't have an effective argument for reproductive freedom because the government tells us what kind of implants we can use is just so utterly ridiculous.
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
62. Another ex-Catholic who changed
Being raised in a Catholic anti-choice home, it took a while to see that overturning Roe v. Wade won't solve any problems, it will only create new ones. I think our culture is divided enough, having a second term of Bush will only heighten the antagonism. We're looking at the possibility of three Supreme Court Justices stepping down. I'm afraid to see women forced into the back alley after 31 years of having the right to choose.
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Dob Bole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-23-04 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
74. Pro-Life
But completely pro-life. Against death penalty, euthanasia, and many, but not all, abortion procedures.
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Shadowen Donating Member (742 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-24-04 02:39 AM
Response to Original message
79. Somewhat, yes.
I've never been all-out against abortion. What I have done is change from "abortion whenever the woman feels like it" to "abortion whenever the woman feels like it, but please, let her consider every alternative first!".
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ArwenJade Donating Member (47 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-24-04 03:00 AM
Response to Original message
82. I'm on the fence
I don't like abortion. I think it's the taking of a human life. But I don't believe the government should be involved.

I used to be totally pro-choice, but after I had my son I changed.
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corporatewhore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-24-04 03:04 AM
Response to Original message
83. gone from just pro choice to realizing that it is my RIGHT as a humanbeing
Edited on Tue Feb-24-04 03:19 AM by corporatewhore
to have control over my own body.It really comes down to control and how these antichoice males and this patriarchial society are using it as just another way to have control over us just like denying us education and contraceptives
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ms_splash Donating Member (823 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-24-04 04:14 AM
Response to Original message
86. Prochoice long as I can remember; now that I've had a baby
I'm still prochoice!
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