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What Has the 'Pro-Life' Movement Won?

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Boydstun
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32 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

Then let us say that at some objective stage in development, it is now viable, and it is inside the mother's body. A right of others to a viable fetus means a right to action. What actions do they have a right to? On one hand they don't have a right to the circulatory system of the mother, but they have a right to the fetus. So others have a right to DO what with the fetus?

They have a right to take possession and take guardianship rights when the fetus is delivered. I am assuming here that the woman has decided to terminate the pregnancy, abort the viable fetus, before full term, and as I remarked in the original article, that is not realistic if there are no medical problems going on because you won't find a doctor whose services for such an abortion would be offered (regardless of law, just considering values of medical profession). And this period was not one in which elective abortions were allowed under Roe. So my thinking was at odds in this way with what was the current law. In the alternative situation in which the mother does not want to keep the infant delivered at full term, then we simply have the adoption rights presently in place and those doings with the infant. But suppose medical help was available for performing an abortion of a viable fetus as elective before full term. Then what the new guardians would be doing with the right is requiring, for one thing, (and paying for it) full effort to deliver the infant live. I do not know what all that entails, and I do not know if ever there has been a pregnant woman who decided that late in the term that she wanted an abortion even though everything was going along fine medically.

 

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29 minutes ago, Boydstun said:

Then what the new guardians would be doing with the right is requiring, for one thing, (and paying for it) full effort to deliver the infant live.

The key word here is "requiring". As in, they have a right to require. I was sympathetic to this view at the beginning of the thread, but right now I will argue against it on the grounds that it is an invasion of the body of the mother. It is at odds with her right of ownership of her body. In practice, it will amount to forcibly, using physical force, to cause the mother to give birth … a certain way prescribed by others. It becomes even worse if it was due to rape or incest.

The position is about the rights of others to take care of the viable human life that is at stake. In a sense, it is a right to "love", i.e. to nurture and take care of, that seems to be the center of the conflict.

When a person says you don't have a right to abort, they are saying you are interfering with my right to love the child.

Does a right to love exist? Meaning should it exist? Or is it irrelevant?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

The key word here is "requiring". As in, they have a right to require. I was sympathetic to this view at the beginning of the thread, but right now I will argue against it on the grounds that it is an invasion of the body of the mother. It is at odds with her right of ownership of her body. In practice, it will amount to forcibly, using physical force, to cause the mother to give birth … a certain way prescribed by others. It becomes even worse if it was due to rape or incest.

The position is about the rights of others to take care of the viable human life that is at stake. In a sense, it is a right to "love", i.e. to nurture and take care of, that seems to be the center of the conflict.

When a person says you don't have a right to abort, they are saying you are interfering with my right to love the child.

Does a right to love exist? Meaning should it exist? Or is it irrelevant?

The pregnancy would end when the hypothetical mother wanted it ended. Birth and abortion are a degenerate pair in this situation. On the practical level, she would not really get this termination, for lack of willing doctor, and indeed the situation, so far as I know, has never come up of a pregnant woman seeking an elective termination of pregnancy of a fetus having reached viability. Perhaps it comes up in imagination and political hyperbole and distraction, but the serious moral business is here in the real world, in the case law and in the abortion statistics.

 

Edited by Boydstun
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3 hours ago, Boydstun said:

The pregnancy would end when the hypothetical mother wanted it ended.

Descriptively, that may be the case. If this was a moral statement of how it should be, there would be no political conflict, the issue would be settled, the mother has the right. End of story.

Is this to say that we shouldn't bother debating the issue because the practical issues make it a moot point? In some way, the fact that there is freedom of movement between states also makes this conflict a moot point in that the hypothetical mother can move to a state more sympathetic to her views and that too implies that the mother has the final say.

But in terms of law of the land, if the law was all encompassing for all citizens in this country, viability shouldn't be enforced, not simply because it is impractical, but it is immoral to force a human to use their body in a certain way against their will. The only way that is undisputed is if it is done to defend another person that is a separate entity individuated from a mother, outside of her body. While inside someone's body and dependent on her, she should be the final say (at least) based on her ownership rights of her body and what is inside it.

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Posted (edited)

ET, just to be extra clear: There is no state in the US in which a pregnant woman has a right to procure an elective abortion after the stage of viability has been reached. For example abortion is legally permitted in the State of New York after 24 weeks since fertilization only if the fetus is not viable or the health or life of the mother is at risk.

(I think the condition of not being viable at that stage in a pregnancy means further that it is not going to become viable as additional time passes; I don't know the examples that have come up. My Mom had three live births and one miscarriage. That fetus was known to be dead prior to its removal. [The main thing I remember that was salient to her when telling me of this occurrence decades later was how terribly sad she was on leaving the hospital amid all the other women carrying a baby.] This had occurred in the 1940's. I don't know what law if any was applicable in whatever state they lived at that time, definitely before my time.) 

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Edited by Boydstun
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Why don't democratic and left leaning medical/health "experts" come out definitively against (or for) infanticide? 

Why all the wiggling and refusing to answer?   Aside from obvious lack of conviction or pride one must have to skirt direct questions about important moral questions... which many on the left suffer from...I think a refusal to answer such an important moral question is a clear indication of some support for the idea of a right for mothers to kill live babies AND they are simply afraid or ashamed of admitting it.

The republican here is very clumsy and its excruciatingly cringeworthy how he asks, but he is asking for a direct answer about the morality of infanticide, and yes he is clearly is religious and pro-life (not just outside the womb) but the evasion by the witnesses to claim their OWN moral convictions is stunning.

 

 

So California is one of the states ushering in the brave new world to come:

https://www.californiafamily.org/2022/05/infanticide-bill-amended-after-huge-public-outcry-but-serious-problems-remain/

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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52 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Why don't democratic and left leaning medical/health "experts" come out definitively against (or for) infanticide? 

It's very politically incorrect and career ending.

There are other things that can be asked like, why are you okay with eating "veal" when you know how the animal has been treated all it's life. Vegans have the most integrity in that regard. I am not  completely vegan, although I know it is very healthy.

Or shooting frogs for sport, or any other animal. There are things that will cause some people to cringe that will not cause others to cringe. And there are things that one does, that are cringeworthy, but they are done anyway. So a principle has to be used rather than the emotional response.

There are also nuances to the question as in infanticide via commission (killing it) vs. omission (not taking care of it). Are they the same crime in your mind?

I am interested in finding out if you are taking the position that the infant has a right to NOT be omitted/ignored/not cared for? Which I am sympathetic to, but I still don't have a principle that I can rely on. Like the child has a right to be taken care of. Does that moral right exist?

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22 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

It's very politically incorrect and career ending.

There are other things that can be asked like, why are you okay with eating "veal" when you know how the animal has been treated all it's life. Vegans have the most integrity in that regard. I am not  completely vegan, although I know it is very healthy.

Or shooting frogs for sport, or any other animal. There are things that will cause some people to cringe that will not cause others to cringe. And there are things that one does, that are cringeworthy, but they are done anyway. So a principle has to be used rather than the emotional response.

There are also nuances to the question as in infanticide via commission (killing it) vs. omission (not taking care of it). Are they the same crime in your mind?

I am interested in finding out if you are taking the position that the infant has a right to NOT be omitted/ignored/not cared for? Which I am sympathetic to, but I still don't have a principle that I can rely on. Like the child has a right to be taken care of. Does that moral right exist?

I believe a live human being in the position of a child has a right to life, and a right to the positive responsibility and duty of care by the child's parent, and in lieu of that (for whatever reason, ... death, disability etc), by family, friends, local authorities etc. (including a doctor or hospital) until a person willing to take on that responsibility officially and permanently can be found.

A human is born with an unchosen absolute dependency upon those who caused its existence, including the doctor and hospital.

 

Whatever part of leaving a helpless baby to die on a hospital room floor leads to flourishing and not its opposite, is not worthy of discussion IMHO. 

 

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40 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

It's very politically incorrect and career ending.

There are other things that can be asked like, why are you okay with eating "veal" when you know how the animal has been treated all it's life. Vegans have the most integrity in that regard. I am not  completely vegan, although I know it is very healthy.

Or shooting frogs for sport, or any other animal. There are things that will cause some people to cringe that will not cause others to cringe. And there are things that one does, that are cringeworthy, but they are done anyway. So a principle has to be used rather than the emotional response.

There are also nuances to the question as in infanticide via commission (killing it) vs. omission (not taking care of it). Are they the same crime in your mind?

I am interested in finding out if you are taking the position that the infant has a right to NOT be omitted/ignored/not cared for? Which I am sympathetic to, but I still don't have a principle that I can rely on. Like the child has a right to be taken care of. Does that moral right exist?

ET

Are you taking a position that 'rights' only confer to individuals capable of defending themselves against violations of their rights?

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34 minutes ago, tadmjones said:

Are you taking a position that 'rights' only confer to individuals capable of defending themselves against violations of their rights?

No (although that is a descriptive right i.e. capability), I'm trying to clarify the moral aspect (what should be).

I would argue  'rights' only confer to individuals, emphasizing that they are individuated, not inside another human's body. That is the nuance I am stuck on.

We could examine what rights exist if the fetus is growing outside of the mother's body.

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45 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

I believe a live human being in the position of a child has a right to life, and a right to the positive responsibility and duty of care by the child's parent, and in lieu of that (for whatever reason, ... death, disability etc), by family, friends, local authorities etc. (including a doctor or hospital) until a person willing to take on that responsibility officially and permanently can be found.

So to be clear, you would argue that a society that has no one willing to take care of a child should have laws that would force someone to care for, or to pay for the care of the child. I'm just trying to get the position spelled out so that I can get the principles behind it.

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37 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

No (although that is a descriptive right i.e. capability), I'm trying to clarify the moral aspect (what should be).

I would argue  'rights' only confer to individuals, emphasizing that they are individuated, not inside another human's body. That is the nuance I am stuck on.

We could examine what rights exist if the fetus is growing outside of the mother's body.

Maybe the principle should be based on the fetus as opposed to where it is located ? If 'bodily autonomy' describes a woman's rights as to her individuality , and that a fetus is an aspect or part of 'her' , perhaps we could ask if it is a part or a separate 'thing'?

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14 minutes ago, tadmjones said:

Maybe the principle should be based on the fetus as opposed to where it is located ? If 'bodily autonomy' describes a woman's rights as to her individuality , and that a fetus is an aspect or part of 'her' , perhaps we could ask if it is a part or a separate 'thing'?

Yes, that would be a clearer environment to determine the morality. I think the religious types will make that case, that the fetus should have a right to be taken care of. Meaning if no one wants its, it would be right/okay to force someone to take care of it.

44 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:
57 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

no one willing to take care of a child

Is a straw man hypothetical... like asking what a moral society for psychopaths or cannibals should look like.

There are examples, I believe when the Communist government of Romania fell, there were orphanages of retarded and deformed children that were abandoned. Some will argue that a crime was committed. Some simply let it go.

There are child gangs in Brazil and films of children taking care of each other in North Korea.

SL this is an are that you should make the case that emotions do count sometimes. That what is cringeworthy in fact is worth paying attention too. That it does have a bearing on determining morality and the law.

Now as Objectivists we argue against "you are your brother's keeper". But when it comes to children, something is different. Meaning "we are their keeper". Or are we? If so, let's make the case and say it plainly.

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Posted (edited)

SL, I think the "basis of your question" the woman referred to in response to the question posed by the man in your video was most likely his assumption (and simplifying belief) that the unborn is an infant. That is, the scene was political, which is rife with gotchas in oral argument. This debate requires written debates and readers, because it takes serious thought. Do not trust any sources of the anti-abortionists such as the one you linked on law in CA. They are going to represent any state that is not outlawing all elective abortions as being overrun with Democrats who want to slice up fetuses late in the term, and if then, want to slice up neonates as well, but for salvation by the anti-abortionists. The usual misrepresenting political circus.

Edited by Boydstun
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One of the problems that makes the issue extra difficult is that both in Objectivism and in Libertarianism, the role and place of children is not well defined.

The other issue that you are making a case for "compassion" which on one hand is a behavioral but also an emotional response.

If we go the evolutionary route, we have some monkey traits in us. The natural love of children is one of them.

I have seen Christian apologists argue against atheists by saying "If there was no Christian morality, you would eat your children".
And yet we don't … and we won't. Because, I would agree, it is not our nature.

But why is it not our nature? The answer must be related to evolution. That answer is a "species" survival argument.

Most here don't seem to want to follow that line of thinking and emphasize it, but it all seems to fall into that area. 
We are not ALL cannibals all of the time, because won't survive. We are not all sociopaths because societies can't form in the first place because of the anti social behaviors.

So we have a nature that promotes our species to survive. That desire may be inherent like the desire to eat, and the desire to have sex most likely is part of that.
But that is simply motivation, i.e. we are motivated to do that by nature.
If survival of the species is objectively a human value, then we should take care of children and other humans, every chance we get.

Boydstun brought up that Branden had said something positive about preserving one's species. 
I don't see it as being used as a core argument, while justifying sacrifice for a child may hinge on it.

Furthermore, I would put forth the idea that emotions do count in ways that we may not allow (as Objectivists). As in, there is more to do around the question of "where do emotions in fact fit in" within the thought process.
Not that we can feel our way to the truth, but our feelings must have a say in the final conclusion of the next steps we will take in our lives.

So the current argument is something like: it would be disgusting, heinous, to willingly/on purpose, abandon/walk away from a helpless child. That is not natural. Fine. 
But if you see many children being abandoned do you have the right to force someone to take care of them is still the question. Even acknowledging our natural tendencies we don't have that right. Children don't have that positive right, just as adults don't have it. But they do have the negative right, as in, that of not being harmed by force.

Love should not be legislated, as to make it duty. Love is a natural response and what is loved is in the eyes of the beholder. 

At the core of liberty is to not love, or to not respond as if you love someone. Meaning there is a right to indifference. It's just not mentioned very often.
 

Edited by Easy Truth
removed some words
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14 minutes ago, Boydstun said:

SL, I think the "basis of your question" the woman referred to in response to the question posed by the man in your video was most likely his assumption (and simplifying belief) that the unborn is an infant. That is, the scene was political, which is rife with gotchas in oral argument. This debate requires written debates and readers, because it takes serious thought. Do not trust any sources of the anti-abortionists such as the one you linked on law in CA. They are going to represent any state that is not outlawing all elective abortions as being overrun with Democrats who want to slice up fetuses late in the term, and if then, want to slice up neonates as well, but for salvation by the anti-abortionists. The usual political hateful circus.

A person of greater virtue and character would simply say they oppose infanticide if they do.  Denying and repudiating one’s belief in one area out of fear that it might be used in an argument to attack them in another area is cowardly and undignified.

Everyone knows his belief, no matter how much I may agree with him (near conception) at least he is standing on his hill on his principles.. not dodging and evading and trying to hide what hill he is on.

The behaviour of the others is sneaky (as the kids nowadays say sketchy) and it disgusts me and reminds me of the worst kind of politician… the kind who will never give a straight answer… and the answers they give are full of empty misdirecting nothings…

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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5 hours ago, tadmjones said:

Maybe the principle should be based on the fetus as opposed to where it is located ? If 'bodily autonomy' describes a woman's rights as to her individuality , and that a fetus is an aspect or part of 'her' , perhaps we could ask if it is a part or a separate 'thing'?

Tad, I'm not sure it is sensible to hope for it being only one or the other. I mean maybe nature is being inconvenient for such a distinction. If I have a tumor growing in me, it is part of me, and it is also alien. The fetus, thanks to modern medicine, is rarely the death of the mother. But it has had a biologically alien course. The woman's body initially tries to reject the blastomere in an autoimmune response.

Concerning the difference between the fetus the day before it gets born (which is triggered by its own effect on the mother's body) and the live-born, there is a big difference in the kind of adult support required just because afterwards the baby gets oxygen from the air on its own, whereas before, it had to be get oxygen from the mother's blood.

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1 hour ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Everyone knows his belief, no matter how much I may agree with him (near conception) at least he is standing on his hill on his principles

I don't think that the question he asked is principled. No, there isn't anyone that supports infanticide, the question is in the form of "when did you stop beating your wife". It's a question in bad faith, and deserves no response except to say that the question is in bad faith and go on to the actual point under discussion.

 

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Stephen

For a long time I argued , sometimes vehemently, that abortion was wholly moral , a woman’s right. I based my justification in Rand’s argument, or my understanding of it , that an actuality is not the same as a potentiality and in the case of abortion an actuality takes precedence.

Killing babies is immoral and should be illegal. And in this context I identified a baby as separate from the mother , a baby could occupy space in a different room from the mother. 

That a fetus at any stage of gestation was a potential child and at the same time not an actual child so no proscription on stopping its passage from potential to actual was justified. I’m no longer convinced that dichotomy holds for this context.

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5 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

I think there is more to "man qua man" than people who like to philosophize are willing to dive into.  There are certain rational shortcuts and superficial calculus' we like to throw at things like the trolley problem or the definition of a human (recall the story of the throwing of a plucked chicken to ridicule "featherless biped" as the definition of man).

[...]

Letting defenceless babies of our own nature, other individuals, other persons, other ends in themselves whose natural life includes parental or adult care, simply die for the want of it... when each and every one of us was provided... had to be provided with it ourselves... offends our very nature.  It is not simply emotional... nor outside the realm of rational... it is part of what makes  humans what we are.

Man is the "rational animal." An animal lives or dies on its own; it is not connected to other animals. So it is with Man.

We don't extend the concept of "animal" into "unborn animals" and even a chicken's unhatched egg is not an "animal" yet.

It's fine to have compassion and all, but emotions are not tools of cognition.

If you choose to bring a child into the world, you have a responsibility to raise him (or her) to the point where he can fend for himself, and these days that includes a requirement for a good education, but you don't have a responsibility (e.g., toward all the millions of needy children all over the world) if you don't have a choice.

Abortion makes a choice possible where it otherwise might not have been, and in that sense it is a good thing.

Of course, whenever you make a choice possible, you make a wrong choice possible, but in a free country other people's wrong choices are not my problem, and even if they are a problem for "God" or for "society," I disagree with the notion of taking those choices away. That path leads to taking away all choices.

--

p.s. if you think it's wrong to murder your children by having abortions, why is it okay to murder them by not having sex? ... ok, that was a joke... I guess it's interesting that in the religious mindset, giving birth is not important, having sex ("conception") is the important thing, and any time you have sex and it does not end in a childbirth, it's a sin, and, in their minds, a crime tantamount to murder...

p.p.s. Using taxes to pay for someone else's abortion is a bad thing because it takes away their choice of what to do with their money.

Edited by necrovore
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1 hour ago, tadmjones said:

That a fetus at any stage of gestation was a potential child and at the same time not an actual child so no proscription on stopping its passage from potential to actual was justified. I’m no longer convinced that dichotomy holds for this context.

Are we talking:

Fetus inside the womb?

Fetus outside the womb somehow being grown artificially?

How for does one deal with this potential unjustified behavior (abortion etc.)? What kind of force is justified? Is it simply a personal failing kind of immorality or is it up to a criminal level to abort?

 

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9 hours ago, necrovore said:

Man is the "rational animal." An animal lives or dies on its own; it is not connected to other animals. So it is with Man.

We don't extend the concept of "animal" into "unborn animals" and even a chicken's unhatched egg is not an "animal" yet.

It's fine to have compassion and all, but emotions are not tools of cognition.

You must have someone else in mind ... I an not talking about abortion.  I'm raising the absurdity and evil of the left's tacit approval of actual infanticide...  which is the murderous flip side of the anthropomorphising absurdity and mysticism of the right proclaiming a single celled embryo is a person.  The asymmetry here is that of mechanistic murder versus religious tyranny.

After having raised the issue of infanticide, I am now having a discussion whose subject is how a person or society should deal with helpless infants who will die without care.

 

Failing to understand and accept your nature or evading such questions out of fear or pride is precisely what I would call letting emotions stand in the way of cognition.  Man is rational, but man is also emotional, man is social, man is sexual, man is brutal, a man many things far greater and deeper than the single part you single out as important... and it IS incredibly important almost as important as free will.  Do not confuse the definition of the concept of man, relying ONLY on what capability distinguishes us, as some kind of summation of ALL we are.. it is but a thin crinkle of tissue paper compared to the vast depths and breadths of what each of us is.

 

9 hours ago, necrovore said:

If you choose to bring a child into the world, you have a responsibility to raise him (or her) to the point where he can fend for himself, and these days that includes a requirement for a good education, but you don't have a responsibility (e.g., toward all the millions of needy children all over the world) if you don't have a choice.

What are the ramifications of having that responsibility?  Is it merely an admonition to a parent that they will feel bad if they abdicate that responsibility... merely a "you'll be sorry" if you murder or neglect your child and they die.

What does it mean to "have a responsibility" with respect to the ethical;, societal, political (legal) context?  Does reality or anyone in society hold them in any way to that responsibility? How?  On what basis?  

 

9 hours ago, necrovore said:

Abortion makes a choice possible where it otherwise might not have been, and in that sense it is a good thing.

Of course, whenever you make a choice possible, you make a wrong choice possible, but in a free country other people's wrong choices are not my problem, and even if they are a problem for "God" or for "society," I disagree with the notion of taking those choices away. That path leads to taking away all choices.

--

p.s. if you think it's wrong to murder your children by having abortions, why is it okay to murder them by not having sex? ... ok, that was a joke... I guess it's interesting that in the religious mindset, giving birth is not important, having sex ("conception") is the important thing, and any time you have sex and it does not end in a childbirth, it's a sin, and, in their minds, a crime tantamount to murder...

p.p.s. Using taxes to pay for someone else's abortion is a bad thing because it takes away their choice of what to do with their money.

 

Again, I am not talking about abortion in this discussion.  I'm was talking about infanticide and am discussing the care of children.

 

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