I'm an atheist. I believe in reproductive rights for women. I believe a woman should be able to abort a pregnancy no questions asked. Why should I have to also believe the nonsense that "life begins at birth"? It seems to me that a human being is created as soon as a sperm fertilizes an egg. The DNA of a human being exists from that point onward. Are we so under the thumbs of the religious right that we can't say, "Yeah, life begins at conception. So what? The woman still has control."?
This is true that parasites are alive.
But babies and young children really wouldn't survive without another person helping them. I was really just putting that out there because someone earlier said something about a person being self sustaining at birth.
I'm really mixed on the abortion issue....I hate the idea of it, because it does seem that there is life in the womb, but I do realize that each situation is unique and there are very good reasons for having them.
I guess where I stand is, I don't judge a person if they have an abortion. But it makes me sad nonetheless. Both for the woman and the unborn. Only because it's my understanding that many women suffer from depression and guilt and other issues after the fact...but if a woman has an abortion and doesn't suffer from it, then that's fine I guess, and I'm glad she doesn't.
My own mother had an abortion about 10 years ago, because she found she had kidney cancer and had to have a kidney removed. The baby wouldn't have survived anyway, so she had it aborted. I know it haunts her to this day, even though it's something she needed to do. And she isn't a Christian. But it's been tough for her.
But I know that many women have abortions and are fine. However, many are not. It's a very complicated issue.
If you read my original post, you'll know I'm for full reproductive rights for women. I also think it's a tactical lie to maintain the "life begins at birth." Babies aren't parasites because they belong in the womb and aren't invaders attempting to suck life from the mother without being detected.
Yeah, I read the original post. Sorry, I go off on tangents.
I know that most people in the world have this issue figured out....but I don't. I see it as a very touchy, very vulnerable subject that may or may not have a definitive answer. But I do agree with you that life begins before birth. I just don't know how much life, and how much control we should have over that life. *shrug*
I think I can respect your point of view. It's a complicated subject. Pretending that life begins at birth or that life must be defended no matter what are attempts to reach a quick and easy solution so that they don't have to think or deal with the complexities. Dealing with the complexities would foster understanding, but holding to these two ridiculous views without questioning them is much easier.
According to the research I've read (that unfortunately I don't have time to hunt down right now), the alleged numbers of women who suffer "abortion trauma syndrome" - which is a made up label, BTW, are pretty unimpressive. There's no amount of women who have issues post-abortion that can be statistically linked to said procedure.
That's all propaganda put out by the "right to lifers" (AKA "forced birthers") to shore up their side of the issue.
If I can find those numbers/sources I'll post them.
In a philosphy course, we had to read a book about the rights and wrongs of abortions. One of the analogies used in the text was something to really think about.
You had to imagine yourself waking up in a hospital bed with another bed beside you. In the bed beside you is a musician that is loved by many. His kidneys have failed so he has been hooked into yours. You never consented to this, you have been captured, and all of this has happened to you while you were not concious. You would have never agreed to this, but now that he is hooked into you and your kidneys are vital for him to live. If you unhook him from your kidneys, he will die. You will have to stay hooked to him in this room for 9 months, allowing him to use your kidneys so that he will be able to get better. Would you unhook him or would you choose to sacrifice 9 months of your life? Sure he deserves a right to life, but you owe him nothing. You never wanted to wake up to this in the first place, so why should you be forced to help him? If you don't help him, his fans will resent you and they will call you a killer because you disconnected him from your kidneys.
Now imagine that allowing this man to use your kidneys will severely weeken them. It could very possibly cause you health problems, and in an extreme case, possibly death. Would you still continue to stay?
We can agree that he is alive but he can't live without the use of your kidneys, much like a fetus cannot survive without the use of your body.
I personally believe that life begins when the baby can live separate from your body. Abortions should be left up to the woman that has to choose, not the government, not the religious god-tards, and not men that don't have to go through the pain of pregnancy and childbirth. Btw, I would unplug myself from this musician. Is that bad?
"I believe that life begins when the baby can live separately from (the mother's) body."
This sounds a lot like a stipulation rather than a fact. What actual facts can you cite to justify this attempted proof by redefinition?
I am not attempting to prove anything. It is my opinion. I didn't say "It is a fact" that life begins when a baby can live separately from the body. I actually stated that the musician was alive but he cannot live separate the body in the analogy. This is only my personal opinion. I PERSONALLY think that abortions should be given up to that point. That is all.
In the UK the law is very clear that legal status of being a human being is when the child can live independently outside it's mother - i.e. the unbilical cord is cut and the child is "reasonably" alive. Therefore you cannot be convicted of murder of an unborn child in the UK if you shoot a pregnant mother and the baby dies. However, you can be convicted of an unlawful act resulting manslaughter if you stabbed a pregnant mum, the child was born prematurely then later died as a result of the injuries received in utero!
I think it's a mistake to get bogged down in competing definitions, which will be settled by either a majority vote or whoever can muster the most political power. Definitions are just that, not facts.
Rather, I believe it's political in a different sense. The state must not be allowed to dictate matters which can result in having the standing to enforce invasive procedures on innocent parties. It seems to me that if the state can tell a woman not to abort a foetus, they've established the standing to force a person to endure invasive procedures. It works both ways.
It's a matter of legal standing.
I think the most unbiased and reasonable way to consider when a fetus deserves state protection at the "beginning" of life may be very similar to how each state legally defines the end of life. In particular, there are considerations of viability without artificial support, brain activity, self-awareness, issues of comfort vs pain, and family considerations.
The most significant difference I see (between definitions of "the beginning of life" vs "the end of life") would be how mothers should have additional rights in each decision of the beginning of life. This will obviously be controversial and would be codified differently between states, but I still think that the cold, scientific baseline definition of "life" itself has already been spelled out to a large extent for end of life judgements.
One difference between the beginning of life vs the end of life is the possibility of future, healthy life. This possibility is high for a fetus, but is usually low by the time end-of-life cases have to be resolved. This should give a fetus more of the benefit of the doubt wrt future life (i.e. not terminating it).
However, another logical consideration (imo) would be the being's awareness of its circumstances, and its own hopes for survival. These thought processes cannot be measured and we can only speculate about them presently, but these (or similar) thoughts may be more scientifically measurable some decades from now.
Meanwhile, I think it's reasonable to assume that a fetus has no memory of past experiences to draw from, no awareness of its current circumstances, and no personally realized hope for its own future. Even if we could assume that a fetus' spirit lives separately from its brain (aka dualism), it seems to me (again just imo) that it's difficult to argue that its spirit actually possesses the body the instant the egg is fertilized, or gradually over time as the brain develops.