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Post 20

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 7:13amSanction this postReply
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Marcus, that is the second part of my dilemma with forcing a woman to have the child at a certain point.



Post 21

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 8:25amSanction this postReply
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It’s not that big a problem. Her crapping out days before delivery is similar from doing so days after. If she kills it days after, punish her. If she hands it to the Catholic Missionary days after, it becomes their problem. If she kills it days before, punish her. If she decides she doesn’t want it days before, call the Catholic Missionary. Force her to allow the removal of the baby? Horrors!

Jon




Post 22

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 8:41amSanction this postReply
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Jon,

 

Are you saying that the state paying the medical costs of a woman in order that she deliver the baby would be just part of the costs of arresting her for the crime of abortion?

 

If she is suspected of attempting an abortion, would she placed in a hospital while under armed guard?

 

Of course, we are heading into tricky territory.

 

For example, if a women unobserved, decided to perform her own abortion - could she not just claim that she was trying to deliver it herself?

 

I mean, who could prove what her intention was?










Post 23

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 9:13amSanction this postReply
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Morally, I absolutely agree there should be some sort of distinction between abortion in the early months of pregnancy and the later stages. Barring risk to mother's life or some other very exceptional circumstance, I'm not sure I could ever morally approve of a late term abortion. I would regard anyone wanting a "convenience" abortion as late as the final trimester to be downright irresponsible. From a legal perspective on the other hand I see a number of problems.

Firstly is precisely when to set the limit - the conceptual ability standard (if I may call it that) which Lindsay described seems pretty logical, but so does a viability standard i.e. the point at which the fetus is capable of surviving outside the body, which I gather is at some point mid second trimester (please correct me I'm wrong there). The big problem with using this standard is that as medical technology improves, premature babies can be saved at ever earlier points in the pregnancy - which led to a big circus in the UK a few months ago when efforts were made to reduce the abortion limit to 18.

Secondly, even assuming some legal limit is set in legislation, further problems arise: There is as Marcus points out a huge problem of enforceability. Doctors or others who disagreed with whatever limit was set could easily carry out illegal abortions in secret and use fake information to avoid any checks that were in place. And if a law is unenforceable, as I was recently reminded, Objectively it oughtn't to be made law. On top of that, let's say a fetus in the final trimester has a right to life on the basis of conceptual ability. What happens if a medical emergency develops threatening the mother's life, and it becomes necessary to make a choice between her and the fetus? If the fetus already has a right to life, seem to me there is one major problem.

MH

Edited - switched last two sentences of first paragraph around so it makes more sense. :-[

(Edited by Matthew Humphreys on 1/21, 9:56am)




Post 24

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 9:35amSanction this postReply
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Marcus, you ask: “Are you saying that the state paying the medical costs of a woman in order that she deliver the baby would be just part of the costs of arresting her for the crime of abortion?”

No. I am saying let’s make Catholics pay. They’re the ones against all abortion.

And: “If she is suspected of attempting an abortion, would she placed in a hospital while under armed guard? Of course, we are heading into tricky territory.

How is it tricky? If she tried to kill her day-old, the baby would go to the hospital and she would be arrested and kept under guard, so what?

And: “For example, if a women unobserved, decided to perform her own abortion - could she not just claim that she was trying to deliver it herself? I mean, who could prove what her intention was?”

I could decide to try and strangle you, unobserved—I could claim I thought you had something in your throat. It would be up to the prosecutors to try and prove what I did and a jury to decide.

The argument that we can’t, that we mustn’t, have laws that protect individual rights because ambiguous scenarios can be dreamed up is a silly, dead-end argument.

As I said before, the restrictions and their timing are debatable. Linz likes the “potential for conceptualization” line. I like the natural viability line. What to do about would-be mothers who kill the would-be babies that Linz and I would like to protect is a fair question. Saying that there are no solutions to it, that it’s impossible to work out, is false. You seem (and so does MH) interested in finding the pitfalls and their implications. I am not.

Jon




Post 25

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 10:13amSanction this postReply
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Jon,

 

You do not realize the distinction here.

 

If you try to murder another person without anyone observing you might get away with it. Especially if no one comes looking for that person.

 

However, before the baby is born it is physically attached to the mother. It doesn't even have a birth certificate. Who will come looking for it?

 

Of course she may be seen to be pregnant as well, but one may just assume a miscarriage or a still birth has happened, not necessarily an abortion.

 

The problem I see, is at some level, the illegal abortion of the foetus by the mother is still part of her own body.

 

Now, by putting her under guard, it is as if you are denying her the right to do to her own body as she pleases.

 

After all. If she decides to give birth in the middle of winter in a cold room, and the baby dies as a result, is she guilty of murder then as well?

 

I know what you will say...practical difficulties don't matter.

 

Ok. I am also against abortion being legal after a certain stage of development.

 

I am just thinking through the implications in a Libertarian society, if such a thing would ever occur.

(Edited by Marcus Bachler on 1/21, 10:16am)




Post 26

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 10:17amSanction this postReply
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OK, maybe I could be interested for a little while longer.

MH,

You ask: “What happens if a medical emergency develops threatening the mother's life, and it becomes necessary to make a choice between her and the fetus?”

Linz and others can speak for themselves, but when I talk about drawing a line, I don’t mean full individual rights, no more than I did in the Smacking debate. I mean that restrictions are placed on the right to abort, in recognition of the advancing potentiality of the fetus. So, if her reason is: “I am tired of being pregnant”—no abortion allowed after that line. If the reason is saving her life, I would allow it—because we still have yet to reach birth and the mother has the superior rights, in this case to not be killed by the fetus.

Jon




Post 27

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 10:23amSanction this postReply
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Marcus,

Some people will try and some will succeed in getting away with crime. Some crime is undetectable. Points taken.

Jon

(Edited by Jon Letendre on 1/21, 10:53am)




Post 28

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 10:44amSanction this postReply
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MH,

For context, I’m talking about AFTER the line:
What to do about the fetus threatening the mother’s uterus? What if delivering the fetus will destroy her future fertility? (I believe this is actually occurs, but I’m not sure.) I would come down for no abortion allowed. It’s sad that she will not be able to have more babies, but the argument to kill this almost-baby so that she can have babies seems a little sick to me. Now, obviously (or it’s obvious to me) an early abortion to a pregnancy that will destroy her future fertility should be allowed. (Again, I think this happens—something about the way it attaches, not sure.) What if delivering a late fetus will break the woman’s hips?

In the U.S., from what I know, the current rules seem about right.

Jon




Post 29

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 11:43amSanction this postReply
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MH,

Why are you going by the Christian name "Mark" in other threads?




Post 30

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 12:43pmSanction this postReply
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Jon,

I mean that restrictions are placed on the right to abort, in recognition of the advancing potentiality of the fetus.
Ok. Like I said, I do recognise the distinction in the later stages of pregnancy so, I can live with that.

What to do about the fetus threatening the mother’s uterus? What if delivering the fetus will destroy her future fertility? (I believe this is actually occurs, but I’m not sure.) I would come down for no abortion allowed. It’s sad that she will not be able to have more babies, but the argument to kill this almost-baby so that she can have babies seems a little sick to me.
Here I have a bit more of a problem. I've shifted ground on this issue in the past and may well do so again, but as it stands, assuming that it had to be a choice between the fetus and the mother's fertility (by which I mean that delivery by c-section will do the same damage as natural birth) I'm not sure I would be willing to force the mother to make that sacrifice, though I would have nothing but admiration for a woman who chose to give the baby life.

I'm all for pushing rights to the margins, but ascribing even limited rights to fetuses does raise potentially huge conflicts with the absolute rights of the mother. (Not saying that I'm entirely against the former, just that I think its problematic.)

Marcus,
Why are you going by the Christian name "Mark" in other threads?
My initial response on reading that was "huh?" ;-)

For the record: I have no idea who the poster "Mark Humphrey" is and to my knowledge have never met him.

MH





Post 31

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 12:56pmSanction this postReply
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The question that has to be asked is; can the baby (fetus) survive at a particular point in time? Until a child can be considered a self-sufficient entity then it should be considered a parasite (dependant) and that the mother can abort at any time.

How I see it is that in the dependant stage it is the mother's prerogative to terminate (cease sustaining the child) or to care for the child. Human children take time to be self-sustaining. Until the point where they can be self-sustaining then it is the mother’s decision. Any other way would be indentured servitude of the mother by the child.



Post 32

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 1:04pmSanction this postReply
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MH,

“Here I have a bit more of a problem.”

Fair enough. Very debatable issues.

Assuming we are still discussing late pregnancy—after the line, whether that be potential for conceptualization or something else—If I were she, and baby making were my priority, I’d have the baby. By aborting it, anything can still happen to my fertility, and I risk never having ANY babies.

Jon




Post 33

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 1:55pmSanction this postReply
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It seems to me that when it comes to an "invited guest" I have the right to kick it off my property at any time for any reason. The mental faculties of the guest are irrelevant.  And whether or not the entity is "viable" is irrelevant also. 

If I invite a vagrant into my home, and then change my mind and decide I want him off my property, I have the right to throw him out.  If the vagrant explains that outside my door there is certain death that awaits him, I can be sympathetic to his plight and continue to provide him lodging.  Or I can be ruthless and toss him out.  But it's my decision because it's my property. 

A woman's body is her property, and she has no obligation at any time to be host to a parasite. 

(Edited by Eric Scott on 1/21, 3:00pm)




Post 34

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 2:01pmSanction this postReply
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Eric, I think you are agreeing with me but I'm not quite sure based on that lsat post.



Post 35

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 2:02pmSanction this postReply
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Eric, I think you are agreeing with me but I'm not quite sure based on that lsat post.



Post 36

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 2:14pmSanction this postReply
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Eric,

Your argument hinges on dropping the context of the meaning of “parasite”. If nothing more is required than a steak knife to the cord to change it into a separate, independent biological entity called a human being, then “it” is not a parasite, but merely an affliction that she can be easily cured of.

Jon




Post 37

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 2:15pmSanction this postReply
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Eric,

 

If a parent were suddenly to decide they didn't want their child anymore they would normally hand it over to another guardian.

 

But imagine if the parent said, "I am sick and tired of you! Vacate my house at once! Out onto the street with you!"

 

That would be breaking the law through endangering the child’s life.

 

However, if a Mother said after about 7 months pregnancy. "OK. I don't want it anymore. Yank the baby out of me now and I don't give a shit if the little fucker lives or dies."

 

That would be analogous to breaking the law in the above situation, wouldn't it?

(Edited by Marcus Bachler on 1/21, 2:16pm)




Post 38

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 2:21pmSanction this postReply
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Yes, Jeremy,  I agree with you. 

The question with abortion is actually "At what point must I be forced to sacrifice my life for the sake of another?" 

The answer to that, I believe, is "Never."




Post 39

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 8:01amSanction this postReply
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M. Pergio

Although new to this forum, I am not new to Objectivism, and do not need a lesson in intrincism. However, the point I was making is that it is the job of philosophers' to come up with the answers, to come up with the goods. Saying "This is the best we can do for now" DOES imply that you think we can do better, and if you think we can do better, then we need to find what better is. That was my main point. I guess what I am asking is, what context are you using to say that this solution you have posited is perfect? At a certain point, a question usually becomes answered.

M. Bachler

I believe the solution lies in holding the individual mother responsible for foisting her unwanted progeny on society. Although this could be problematic, perhaps we should have some kind of "sex insurance" (This is just theorizing), where people pay to cover the risks of sex. I can immediately think of a million problems with it already, but they're no different than those that regular insurance already introduce (i.e. economic moral hazard and system abuse).



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