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Pro-choice Article: Debunking the Pro-life Argument (Page 1)

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Fantastic. Brilliantly-written. To the point. Factual. Concise. In fact, what Wendy McElroy says here is why I'm pro-choice without exception (of reason, gestational period etc.). Furthermore, the whole rationale she uses to advocate a pro-choice position is why legal limitations (I must stress that, especially to pro-choicers, as I have done so many times before. Legality is not and should never be personal morality, which McElroy explains) to abortion are illogical, ridiculous, and without a solid basis. I have no problem with personal opposition to abortion - whether completely, partially, or in specific circumstances such as post-viability gestational period - although both my moral and my legal views of abortion do not differ at all.

http://www.zetetics.com/mac/abort.htm
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replied December 29th, 2007
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Exellent article. A snippet I particularily enjoyed:

"...if you admit the idea that the fetus is a human being for whom the woman is legally responsible, then the woman cannot take any action to imperil the life and well-being of the fetus. Almost everything she puts into her system is automatically introduced into the system of the fetus and, if the substance is harmful, it constitutes assault upon the fetus on the same level as strapping me down and forcing drugs into my body. Moreover, life-endangering acts, such as parachute jumping, would place the unconsenting fetus in unreasonable danger. If the woman has no right to kill the fetus, she can have no right to jeopardize its life and well-being. Thus, if the fetus has rights, it is not merely a matter of prohibiting abortion; it means that the woman is criminally liable for harm befalling the fetus on the same level as she would be for harming an infant."
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replied December 31st, 2007
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Birch wrote:
Thus, if the fetus has rights, it is not merely a matter of prohibiting abortion; it means that the woman is criminally liable for harm befalling the fetus on the same level as she would be for harming an infant."

Makes sense to me. I think the idea solution to all the "what if" questions is to simply remove the arbitrary legal distinction between the born and the unborn.
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replied December 31st, 2007
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And then what?
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replied December 31st, 2007
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Birch wrote:
And then what?

And then just enforce existing laws.
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replied December 31st, 2007
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But to what extent? Can you force a gestating woman not to take legal medications? Engage in risky activities such as skydiving and bungee jumping? What about driving a motorcycle? What about driving a car? Wlaking across the street? All of these things are,legal when you are not pregnant, so you are forgetting about a whole slew of legal yet dangerous actions. IS someone going to police a pregnant woman during the 40 weeks of her pregnancy to ensure she doesn't sneak a sip of wine on new years eve?
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replied December 31st, 2007
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yodavater wrote:
Birch wrote:
And then what?

And then just enforce existing laws.


Like kidnapping? Laughing

All pregnant women are jailed for kidnapping their fetus.
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replied January 1st, 2008
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sillyakchick is right. Removing the distinction between the born and the unborn is nonsensical (if not simply for the fact that there is a difference). This means that pregnant women should be jailed for purposely endangering life if they ride a motorcycle or drive a car, since it is illegal to do these activities with a born infant in one's arms; they would be jailed for smoking or drinking alcohol during the pregnancy for endangering life, since it is illegal to force born babies to smoke and drink alcohol; they would have to immediately stop working, as one cannot work with a born child in one's arms; they would be immediately refused entry into a pub after 9.00PM (even if they were not planning to drink alcohol) since it is illegal to do so with a born baby in one's arms; it would be illegal to take two anti-migraine tablets per day for three days as it is detrimental to the foetus's health and it is wrong to force born children to do this activity; women who miscarry must be imprisoned for manslaughter, just as mothers whose bodies accidentally cause the death of born babies would. The list could continue incessantly. If such a law were passed, we would have nearly every pregnant woman imprisoned for attempted murder. The whole idea is logically flawed.

Another interesting point is that most pro-lifers would laugh at this and agree that it is silly, but this in fact shows that they are admitting unborn babies and born babies are most definitely not the same. Either way, their arguments will appear weak: if they disagree with outlawing the above activities then they are highly[b] hypocritical, as disagreement with these things devalues the human nature of the foetus; if they support such implementations, they appear delusional, ridiculous, and more or less holding up a sign saying "Please mock my views on morality". Only a madman with a misogynistic passion would agree with them.

Wendy McElroy so subtly and easily makes the pro-life movement look about as proposterous as making the possession of three or more leather sofas in a colour other than black or brown a criminally punishable offence.

On a different note, I must say that what Wendy McElroy says also underlines the hypocrisy of so-called 'pro-choicers' who want to enforce a legal limit on abortions. I hope my idiosyncratic stance is hitting home. There is absolutely no logic whatsoever behind making late-term abortions for non-therapeutic reasons illegal. Those who still favour such limitations are in the same boat with the hypocritical anti-choicers, in my humble view.

I must stress again that I have no problem with personal opposition to abortion, for whatever reason, and however deep, although I will still debate and attack such ideals here. I am deeply concerned with the attempts to legally impose restrictions on abortions, particularly the will of 'pro-choicers' to do so. All foetuses, however old or young reside in the body of their mother and host, and during this [b]whole
time, I will unapologetically support the right of every woman to enforce her own bodily law on the foetus.

Thank you.
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replied January 1st, 2008
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sillyakchick wrote:
But to what extent? Can you force a gestating woman not to take legal medications? Engage in risky activities such as skydiving and bungee jumping? What about driving a motorcycle? What about driving a car? Wlaking across the street?

I don't know of any laws which prevent a nursing mother from doing any of those things, do you? What I suggest would not cause the writing of any new laws, so if there are no such laws on the books now, there wouldn't be any.
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replied January 1st, 2008
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Birch wrote:
yodavater wrote:
Birch wrote:
And then what?

And then just enforce existing laws.

Like kidnapping? Laughing
All pregnant women are jailed for kidnapping their fetus.

Is there a law now that says a mother is guilty of kidnapping for keeping her child with her?
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replied January 1st, 2008
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Kypros wrote:
sillyakchick is right. Removing the distinction between the born and the unborn is nonsensical (if not simply for the fact that there is a difference).

Morally, there is no more "difference" between an unborn child and a newborn child than between a two year old and a three year old. It is the same "critter", born and unborn.

Kypros wrote:

This means that pregnant women should be jailed for purposely endangering life if they ride a motorcycle or drive a car, since it is illegal to do these activities with a born infant in one's arms;.

But not illegal to do those things with a baby inside you, right?
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replied January 1st, 2008
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yodavater wrote:
Kypros wrote:
sillyakchick is right. Removing the distinction between the born and the unborn is nonsensical (if not simply for the fact that there is a difference).

Morally, there is no more "difference" between an unborn child and a newborn child than between a two year old and a three year old. It is the same "critter", born and unborn.

Kypros wrote:

This means that pregnant women should be jailed for purposely endangering life if they ride a motorcycle or drive a car, since it is illegal to do these activities with a born infant in one's arms;.

But not illegal to do those things with a baby inside you, right?


Just like abortion.

See, I can be obtuse, too. yes
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replied January 2nd, 2008
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yodavater wrote:
Kypros wrote:
sillyakchick is right. Removing the distinction between the born and the unborn is nonsensical (if not simply for the fact that there is a difference).

Morally, there is no more "difference" between an unborn child and a newborn child than between a two year old and a three year old. It is the same "critter", born and unborn.


Actually, morally the value of the born and the unborn is down to the individual. That's why they're called morals. I feel, personally, that there is a massive difference between the worth of a foetus and a born infant. One is parasitic, one isn't; one occupies someone else's body, the other doesn't; one is, therefore, rightly subject to its mother's bodily law, the other isn't. Those are my morals. Morals are not facts, they are opinions.

yodavater wrote:
Kypros wrote:

This means that pregnant women should be jailed for purposely endangering life if they ride a motorcycle or drive a car, since it is illegal to do these activities with a born infant in one's arms;.

But not illegal to do those things with a baby inside you, right?


No. And that's my point. There aren't laws against a pregnant woman driving a vehicle, drinking alcohol, going into a pub after 9.00, consuming two anti-migraine tablets per day for three days. There are laws against a woman doing all these things to a born baby (she would be arrested for seriously and purposely endangering his/her life) because there is a vast difference between the unborn and theborn.

So, what I ask you, a pro-lifer, is: do you thus think, since the unborn and the born are of the same worth, that women should be imprisoned for doing these things? If you say no, you are a hypocrite, because this means that you are admitting the born and unborn are not of the same worth; if you say yes, you will be made a laughing stock and never taken seriously again. To regulate such activities is impossible, not to mention utterly foolish and authoritarian. So, what's it to be?
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replied January 2nd, 2008
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Absolutely brilliantly argued. I love logical consistency.
The anti-choicers here are failing to address the central point that prohibiting abortion is equivalent to enslaving the pregnant female.

My view has always been that if you believe the fetus has equivalent rights, then the only solution is rather than aborting, to induce delivery and allow someone else to be responsible for keeping the fetus alive.
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replied January 2nd, 2008
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poopoopoo wrote:
Absolutely brilliantly argued. I love logical consistency.
The anti-choicers here are failing to address the central point that prohibiting abortion is equivalent to enslaving the pregnant female.


Hi. Sorry, but who were you addressing that to?
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replied January 2nd, 2008
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Kypros wrote:
poopoopoo wrote:
Absolutely brilliantly argued. I love logical consistency.
The anti-choicers here are failing to address the central point that prohibiting abortion is equivalent to enslaving the pregnant female.


Hi. Sorry, but who were you addressing that to?


To clarify: I just thought the article was beautifully written and well-argued, whereas none of those (so-called pro-lifers) commenting here who disagreed with it seemed to understand the central point.
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replied January 3rd, 2008
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Kypros wrote:

I feel, personally, that there is a massive difference between the worth of a foetus and a born infant. One is parasitic, one isn't; one occupies someone else's body, the other doesn't; one is, therefore, rightly subject to its mother's bodily law, the other isn't. Those are my morals. Morals are not facts, they are opinions.

Personal morals are personal opinions. Societal morals are the majority moral opinions of a society. Some people think there are also "Universal Morals", which could simply be described as "the plain ole truth".

Gestating humans have no say in their location or their situation. And every human alive today went through a gestation stage. Therefore it seems rather arbitrary to me to use those factors to place a lower value on them. But yes, arbitrariness is also an individual opinion.

Kypros wrote:

No. And that's my point. There aren't laws against a pregnant woman driving a vehicle, drinking alcohol, going into a pub after 9.00, consuming two anti-migraine tablets per day for three days. There are laws against a woman doing all these things to a born baby (she would be arrested for seriously and purposely endangering his/her life) because there is a vast difference between the unborn and theborn.

IMO, the absence of those laws has nothing to do with "value", but rather reflect a reluctance to restrict the "freedom" to injure and/or endanger yourself, even when pregnant.

Kypros wrote:

So, what I ask you, a pro-lifer, is: do you thus think, since the unborn and the born are of the same worth, that women should be imprisoned for doing these things?

As I say frequently, I think that the arbitrary laws that impose a legal distinction between the born and the unborn should be repealed. Therefore, if a state has a law against doing something with a born child in the car, it should also apply to a pregnant woman.
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replied January 3rd, 2008
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yodavater wrote:

Morally, there is no more "difference" between an unborn child and a newborn child than between a two year old and a three year old. It is the same "critter", born and unborn.


Since you cut me off earlier, saying it was pointless to argue about morals, shouldn't this fit into your category too?

The thing is this whole argument is about morals. Differences. Thoughts and feelings. You see things differently than I do and I am OK with that, until you start ENFORCING your views upon me. I believe you as a human seperate from me and furthermore as a man who will never have this happen to you are not qualified to tell me if I fit some mystical criteria for abortion or not.
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replied January 3rd, 2008
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yodavater wrote:
Kypros wrote:

I feel, personally, that there is a massive difference between the worth of a foetus and a born infant. One is parasitic, one isn't; one occupies someone else's body, the other doesn't; one is, therefore, rightly subject to its mother's bodily law, the other isn't. Those are my morals. Morals are not facts, they are opinions.

Personal morals are personal opinions. Societal morals are the majority moral opinions of a society. Some people think there are also "Universal Morals", which could simply be described as "the plain ole truth".

Gestating humans have no say in their location or their situation. And every human alive today went through a gestation stage. Therefore it seems rather arbitrary to me to use those factors to place a lower value on them. But yes, arbitrariness is also an individual opinion.


In general, societal morals agree with the pro-choice position, as most people in society favour legal abortion. It is not in the slightest arbitrary to place lower value on the unborn - scientifically they are not entirely the same. If you cannot recognise that, it is pointless debating with you.

yodavater wrote:
Kypros wrote:

No. And that's my point. There aren't laws against a pregnant woman driving a vehicle, drinking alcohol, going into a pub after 9.00, consuming two anti-migraine tablets per day for three days. There are laws against a woman doing all these things to a born baby (she would be arrested for seriously and purposely endangering his/her life) because there is a vast difference between the unborn and theborn.

IMO, the absence of those laws has nothing to do with "value", but rather reflect a reluctance to restrict the "freedom" to injure and/or endanger yourself, even when pregnant.

Kypros wrote:

So, what I ask you, a pro-lifer, is: do you thus think, since the unborn and the born are of the same worth, that women should be imprisoned for doing these things?

As I say frequently, I think that the arbitrary laws that impose a legal distinction between the born and the unborn should be repealed. Therefore, if a state has a law against doing something with a born child in the car, it should also apply to a pregnant woman.


Then you are making yourself an open target for ridicule. You are the first pro-lifer I have ever come across who feels that, since it is illegal to force born babies to drink alcohol, swallow tablets, ride in a car without protection, then it must also be against the law for pregnant women to do the same thing. You will never be taken seriously (or perhaps so, because it is funny Laughing, but you will certainly not be taken credibly) as long as you adhere to such proposterous ideas. How on Earth do you propose this be regulated? Do you not realise that nearly every pregnant woman would be imprisoned for "endangering the life or health of another human being"? Wake up, yoda, please. You are a clever and pensive man. Saying that "laws preventing born children from doing certain things must also apply to pregnant women" undermines your intelligence and insults the work you have done on here. I would like to know how many anti-choicers would agree with this. The answer would be, unsurprisingly, very few.

To think that you would be happy with the imprisonment of a woman who has suffered a miscarriage for manslaughter is laughable, but deeply disturbing. I presume that since accidentally killing a born baby is manslughter, so is miscarrying, which is caused by the woman's body. Pfffff.
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replied January 5th, 2008
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BEAUTIFUL~! I used this as a debate on another forum I think it should start shaking the bridge abit shortly~!
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