So....another abortion thread.

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broca:
But if you say "my body, my choices", shouldn't that also apply to other aspects of the life of the parents ("my life, my choice"), so that parents should have the right to completely abandon all personal, financial, legal,... responsibilities they have?

As I seem to end up pointing out routinely. Nope. It doesn't work like that.

If I have cancer and I decide not to have chemotherapy and to simply enjoy the time I have left, my spouse or family doesn't get to walk in and say "well, that decision affects me too, so I should be involved in the choice and I want you to be alive as long as possible."

If I am an injured child and express a wish wish to have a life saving blood transfusion but my family are Jehovas witnesses, they don't get to walk in and say "well, that decision would affect us as your carers, so we should be involved in that choice and we want you to die because doing otherwise violates our religious beliefs".

When we say "my body, my choice" we actually mean something very specific. We mean the right to medical autonomy. Unless you are in some way unable to make informed decisions for yourself, then the only people who have any input into your medical treatment are yourself and trained medical professionals operating on a strict code of medical ethics. It doesn't matter if someone else will indirectly bear a financial or emotional cost because of your decision. Pregnancy is a medical issue, it has real medical consequences for the person who undergoes it, therefore the right to determine whether they wish to terminate it rests solely with them.

Once a child is born, then the medical question ceases to be relevant. The child exists, it is not longer a medical condition affecting a specific person, but a person who legally must be accommodated and provided for to the standard we expect of a child. It now falls to the courts, using an entirely separate system of logic, to determine the specifics of how that should be accomplished.

The only way to imagine that these issues are the same is to phrase them in the pro-life logic of "responsibility", that both parties should have a right to avoid the "responsibility" of parenthood. In reality, abortion and decisions about abortion aren't taken on the basis of "responsibility" at all, because having an abortion is taking responsibility for the condition of pregnancy. It's making a choice about your own medical care, which is all there is in that case. It has nothing to do with deferring legal responsibility because there is no legal responsibility to provide your womb to a fetus who is not able to survive outside of that environment.

Agema:

Responsibility starts at the point you decided to have sex. If you had sex without thinking about the potential for creating children including knowing accidents occur, then you're grossly negligent and that's no defence either.

That's one of the main "pro-life" arguments >.> Now, except if we assume that the man is the only active participant in the intercourse and the woman had no choice in the matter; but we're not assuming that, are we?

I don't know about you, but I am rather averse to using arguments to make my case when said arguments can also be made to support something I strongly disagree with (in this case, anti-abortionism). I don't know if I'm wrong on this, but if I need to accept the argument in both cases, I need to either scrap it from supporting my stance, or accept that it also supports the stance I oppose. I prefer not to do the latter.

And the "shouldn't have had sex then" argument applies to both genders, as long as we assume that both participants in an intercourse are participating willingly and by their own choice, so for the sake of consistency, I think one needs to accept both applications thereof, or neither application.

Oh and before anyone (not you, but there are people around who would) pulls that "witty" line about "A man can get an abortion too if he gets pregnant thus he has the same rights as the woman", I'll just say that sounds the same to me as "A gay person can get married too if they want to marry a person of the opposite sex thus they have the same rights as a straight person" and again it's one of those arguments one needs to accept neither or both as valid for the sake of consistency; especially since if we're playing "the letter of the law" card, everyone does have the exact same rights unless specifically stated otherwise in the legislation itself.

Unlike your hypothetical violinist, a child is its parents creation. It is dependent on material, emotional and intellectual support until it is an adult. Parents, as creators with cause and effect and all, are the people primarily responsible for providing that.

The day parent(s) get to not be primarily responsible is only when some other entity or entities is capable of providing good quality, comprehensive childcare needs. That's the day the child gets turned over to new legal guardians, or wider society and the state decides to stump up the requisite funds from the public purse.

Actually, allow me to ask a tangential question here. How much do you think that "parent roles" and "gender roles" are connected. Yes, I know we can have stay-at-home fathers and career mothers, I'm not talking about that. I'm talking more about how it looks to me that parenthood does somehow seem to foster "traditional gender roles" in spite of that, and that, now this is anecdotal observation on my part, mothers do seem to be more attached to their children than fathers are.

Vegosiux:

Agema:

Responsibility starts at the point you decided to have sex. If you had sex without thinking about the potential for creating children including knowing accidents occur, then you're grossly negligent and that's no defence either.

That's one of the main "pro-life" arguments >.> Now, except if we assume that the man is the only active participant in the intercourse and the woman had no choice in the matter; but we're not assuming that, are we?

The problem with the comparison to the pro-life argument is that that alone is not their full argument. Their argument also relies on thinking that it is irresponsible to abort. So that comparison simply doesn't work. You can say that one is responsible from that point on without coming to the conclusion that abortion should be disallowed. You can't just say "They say something similar!" without checking all the details. It's rather important *why* pro-choicers say that pro-life argument is wrong. Because the why doesn't particularly translate to this example as well.

Vegosiux:

Agema:

Responsibility starts at the point you decided to have sex. If you had sex without thinking about the potential for creating children including knowing accidents occur, then you're grossly negligent and that's no defence either.

That's one of the main "pro-life" arguments >.> Now, except if we assume that the man is the only active participant in the intercourse and the woman had no choice in the matter; but we're not assuming that, are we?

I don't know about you, but I am rather averse to using arguments to make my case when said arguments can also be made to support something I strongly disagree with (in this case, anti-abortionism). I don't know if I'm wrong on this, but if I need to accept the argument in both cases, I need to either scrap it from supporting my stance, or accept that it also supports the stance I oppose. I prefer not to do the latter.

Well, it's a pro-life argument only if you believe that the only way to assume responsibility for a pregnancy is to carry it to term. If you don't ascribe to that belief, having an abortion easily qualifies as taking responsibility, because the woman has taken action to resolve the situation.

Oh and before anyone (not you, but there are people around who would) pulls that "witty" line about "A man can get an abortion too if he gets pregnant thus he has the same rights as the woman", I'll just say that sounds the same to me as "A gay person can get married too if they want to marry a person of the opposite sex thus they have the same rights as a straight person" and again it's one of those arguments one needs to accept neither or both as valid for the sake of consistency; especially since if we're playing "the letter of the law" card, everyone does have the exact same rights unless specifically stated otherwise in the legislation itself.

Well that witty line can't necessarily be compared to the "gays can have a straight marriage" line, since an abortion is something that is pretty much impossible for men to have at this time, whereas homosexuals, as many of them have eagerly displayed, are very capable of getting married.

Vegosiux:

Agema:

Responsibility starts at the point you decided to have sex. If you had sex without thinking about the potential for creating children including knowing accidents occur, then you're grossly negligent and that's no defence either.

That's one of the main "pro-life" arguments >.> Now, except if we assume that the man is the only active participant in the intercourse and the woman had no choice in the matter; but we're not assuming that, are we?

I don't know about you, but I am rather averse to using arguments to make my case when said arguments can also be made to support something I strongly disagree with (in this case, anti-abortionism). I don't know if I'm wrong on this, but if I need to accept the argument in both cases, I need to either scrap it from supporting my stance, or accept that it also supports the stance I oppose. I prefer not to do the latter.

And the "shouldn't have had sex then" argument applies to both genders, as long as we assume that both participants in an intercourse are participating willingly and by their own choice, so for the sake of consistency, I think one needs to accept both applications thereof, or neither application.

Hardly.

"Responsible for the pregnancy" is in conjunction with the right to bodily autonomy. Both men and women are responsible for a pregnancy; both men and women have rights over their own body in the medical sense. This allows women options that men don't have, because it also confers responsibilities that men can't have. The cases can only be considered equivalent if one willfully ignores the details of the argument--and details matter.

Kaulen Fuhs:

Hardly.

"Responsible for the pregnancy" is in conjunction with the right to bodily autonomy. Both men and women are responsible for a pregnancy; both men and women have rights over their own body in the medical sense. This allows women options that men don't have, because it also confers responsibilities that men can't have. The cases can only be considered equivalent if one willfully ignores the details of the argument--and details matter.

If we accept that, then we need to accept that there's no such thing as universal gender equality, though. Or rather, that biological differences indeed need to be considered before talking about gender equality. And that takes us to a rather...well interesting course of discussions. When do we consider such differences? We've had threads about sports, and military, where the biological differences were dismissed. Why are they relevant here? Where do we draw the line, and why do we draw it there?

That's my issue here. Are we going for equality of opportunity or equality of outcome? Or, on the other hand, where do we draw the line on whether or not the biological differences are relevant; and, to show it's not an arbitrary line, why do we draw it there?

Vegosiux:

Kaulen Fuhs:

Hardly.

"Responsible for the pregnancy" is in conjunction with the right to bodily autonomy. Both men and women are responsible for a pregnancy; both men and women have rights over their own body in the medical sense. This allows women options that men don't have, because it also confers responsibilities that men can't have. The cases can only be considered equivalent if one willfully ignores the details of the argument--and details matter.

If we accept that, then we need to accept that there's no such thing as universal gender equality, though. Or rather, that biological differences indeed need to be considered before talking about gender equality. And that takes us to a rather...well interesting course of discussions. When do we consider such differences? We've had threads about sports, and military, where the biological differences were dismissed. Why are they relevant here? Where do we draw the line, and why do we draw it there?

That's my issue here. Are we going for equality of opportunity or equality of outcome?

I would say they are relevant when they cannot be ignored. Women have stalls in bathrooms, but no urinals. This is inequality in the strictest sense, but it is necessary, because biology makes it difficult for women to pee standing up. As far as I'm concerned, biological limitations to equality are the only ones we need to consider; all others or social relics from a less enlightened age.

evilthecat:

When we say "my body, my choice" we actually mean something very specific. We mean the right to medical autonomy. Unless you are in some way unable to make informed decisions for yourself, then the only people who have any input into your medical treatment are yourself and trained medical professionals operating on a strict code of medical ethics. It doesn't matter if someone else will indirectly bear a financial or emotional cost because of your decision. Pregnancy is a medical issue, it has real medical consequences for the person who undergoes it, therefore the right to determine whether they wish to terminate it rests solely with them.

But the right to medical autonomy exists in conflict to other rights, as it is the case for most rights. Just saying the right of medical autonomy trumps other rights (mainly the rights of the father and the rights of the unborn child) without even making an argument for this position isn't enough. While i don't think the rights of the father trump the right of the mother, the right of the child to no be killed should at least be taken into serious consideration. Now for having this discussion we would have to decide from which point on a embryo is considered a human being, which is of course up to debate. It is also entirely possible that at the end of serious consideration of both rights one comes to the decision that the mothers rights trump the childs right, but just saying "medical autonomy" without even acknowledging the unborn child existence and rights is not convincing.

evilthecat:

Once a child is born, then the medical question ceases to be relevant. The child exists, it is not longer a medical condition affecting a specific person, but a person who legally must be accommodated and provided for to the standard we expect of a child. It now falls to the courts, using an entirely separate system of logic, to determine the specifics of how that should be accomplished.

And once again you only take into account the mothers rights, but not the childs rights. You even seem to imply that the child doesn't exist before it is born, which seems to me like a position that is really not support by the development stages the child reaches at the end of pregnancy.

evilthecat:
The only way to imagine that these issues are the same is to phrase them in the pro-life logic of "responsibility", that both parties should have a right to avoid the "responsibility" of parenthood. In reality, abortion and decisions about abortion aren't taken on the basis of "responsibility" at all, because having an abortion is taking responsibility for the condition of pregnancy. It's making a choice about your own medical care, which is all there is in that case.

I brought up the question of responsibility in relation to the analogy Asita brought up. I wasn't making a point about abortion in general but about the possible implications of the argument he/she presented in favor of abortion. But just because i find your position so strange: you really believe that until the moment of birth, the mothers rights always trump the right of the unborn child, even as the child is a fully developed human being at the end of pregnancy?

evilthecat:
It has nothing to do with deferring legal responsibility because there is no legal responsibility to provide your womb to a fetus who is not able to survive outside of that environment.

Children have a realistic chance of survival from week 24-25 of the pregnancy. If you base your argument on survivability, you should be against not medically necessary abortions after this point, which would go against your argument of medical autonomy as the only thing that is important.

Vegosiux:

Kaulen Fuhs:

Hardly.

"Responsible for the pregnancy" is in conjunction with the right to bodily autonomy. Both men and women are responsible for a pregnancy; both men and women have rights over their own body in the medical sense. This allows women options that men don't have, because it also confers responsibilities that men can't have. The cases can only be considered equivalent if one willfully ignores the details of the argument--and details matter.

If we accept that, then we need to accept that there's no such thing as universal gender equality, though. Or rather, that biological differences indeed need to be considered before talking about gender equality. And that takes us to a rather...well interesting course of discussions. When do we consider such differences? We've had threads about sports, and military, where the biological differences were dismissed. Why are they relevant here? Where do we draw the line, and why do we draw it there?

That's my issue here. Are we going for equality of opportunity or equality of outcome? Or, on the other hand, where do we draw the line on whether or not the biological differences are relevant; and, to show it's not an arbitrary line, why do we draw it there?

The question is not whether the two sexes are equal as they are obviously not. Remember, just one disproof is enough to disproof a theory and there are several disproofs of the theory that there aren't any biological differences between males and females (e.g. pregnancy, average height, average body shape, ...). The interesting question is whether certain differences are biological (which can mean that the resulting inequalities can not be addressed) or societal (so that the resulting inequalities in theory always can be ended). In the past (and partly still today) the biological explanation has been used in many cases to excuse inequality which later showed to be (at least partly) to be societal in nature, so many people are wary of such biological explanations. But that doesn't change the fact that there are biological differences between males and females, so that biological explanations can't just be dismissed.

LifeCharacter:

Well, it's a pro-life argument only if you believe that the only way to assume responsibility for a pregnancy is to carry it to term. If you don't ascribe to that belief, having an abortion easily qualifies as taking responsibility, because the woman has taken action to resolve the situation.

So has the deadbeat dad who ran away. He has resolved the situation. Maybe not in a way you'd expect him to, or a way you think he should be obliged to, but he's resolved it in his own way - he's ditched the mother and the kid, and as far as he's concerned, the situation is resolved, he has taken action to resolve it, and he really doesn't and isn't supposed to care about what you or I think about his resolution.

Well that witty line can't necessarily be compared to the "gays can have a straight marriage" line, since an abortion is something that is pretty much impossible for men to have at this time, whereas homosexuals, as many of them have eagerly displayed, are very capable of getting married.

Letter of the law was what I was talking about - literal interpretations. And I doubt gays are arguing that their rights to marry a person of the opposite sex are being infringed. The letter of the law grants them that right, after all.

Vegosiux:

LifeCharacter:

Well, it's a pro-life argument only if you believe that the only way to assume responsibility for a pregnancy is to carry it to term. If you don't ascribe to that belief, having an abortion easily qualifies as taking responsibility, because the woman has taken action to resolve the situation.

So has the deadbeat dad who ran away. He has resolved the situation. Maybe not in a way you'd expect him to, or a way you think he should be obliged to, but he's resolved it in his own way - he's ditched the mother and the kid, and as far as he's concerned, the situation is resolved, he has taken action to resolve it.

Except he hasn't resolved the situation nor taken action to resolve it because the situation is not him being tied to the mother and child, it's the pregnancy, which exists independently of his status and his (legal) actions. Him staying or going, while possibly having an influence on the mother, does not directly affect the pregnancy, leaving it up the mother to resolve it by giving birth or having an abortion. Him running away is in no way comparable to the mother having an abortion.

LifeCharacter:

Except he hasn't resolved the situation nor taken action to resolve it because the situation is not him being tied to the mother and child, it's the pregnancy, which exists independently of his status and his (legal) actions. Him staying or going, while possibly having an influence on the mother, does not directly affect the pregnancy, leaving it up the mother to resolve it by giving birth or having an abortion. Him running away is in no way comparable to the mother having an abortion.

So, the pregnancy and, consequently, child, exists independently from whichever male has sired it? Well, why do we have fathers then, they're obviously only needed to fertilize the female, if whatever happens afterwards exists independently from them, they're not needed at that point anymore. That's kind of what the word "independently" means.

Woman doesn't want to be a mother -> abortion -> doesn't need to take care of a child.
Man doesn't want to be a father -> disappears -> doesn't need to take care of a child.

Looks like equality of outcome to me. Not that I'm in favor of equality of outcome (I'm more of an equality of opportunity guy), but that doesn't look like "in no way comparable" to me.

And, just in case you're burning in fury right now (no offense), I'm not at all supportive of deadbeat dads as it is. My stance is that things need to be discussed, and a compromise reached. So, running away should not be an option. Nether should be "my way or the high way". People really need to communicate more. So, going absolutist doesn't help either.

If a man's responsibility to take care of a child begins with sex, biological differences are the only reason to argue a woman's responsibility doesn't have to start there. But this opens the question of how relevant those differences are in the gender debate. They're not a "get out of jail free" card. They're not the ace you pull out of your sleeve whenever it suits you, and only whenever it suits you. The ace should be on the table all the time. Not in the sleeve.

EDIT: Don't get me wrong. I'm fully supportive of a woman's right to have an abortion if she so chooses. I'm just trying to sort out the "when", "why" and "how" of the relevance of biological differences to gender discussions.

broca:
But the right to medical autonomy exists in conflict to other rights, as it is the case for most rights. Just saying the right of medical autonomy trumps other rights (mainly the rights of the father and the rights of the unborn child) without even making an argument for this position isn't enough.

However, the right to medical autonomy always trumps other rights when it comes to making medical decisions, which is what this is about.

An abortion doesn't mean you wish upon a star and Santa makes your period come back, it's a medical procedure which either involves taking very powerful drugs or having objects inserted into your body. It can also entail enormous personal consequences, both emotional and (albeit rarely) physical. Deciding whether or not to do that is a medical matter, it is a reaction to an actual medical condition. It does not represent a generally applicable legal principle.

broca:
While i don't think the rights of the father trump the right of the mother, the right of the child to no be killed should at least be taken into serious consideration.

Again, this comes down to medical ethics. You can disagree with the way medical ethics currently works, that's fine, ethical principles are inherently difficult to substantiate because they have no referent. My point is that you can't always turn what happens in medicine into hard legal principles, particularly when what they're actually concerned with is quite unrelated.

If a person cannot survive without the physical body of someone else, then the provider has no obligation to provide. Doctors can't just decide to take one of your kidneys one day, even if it will save someone else's life. If someone cannot survive without extensive medical assistance, or without the probability of an extremely impaired quality of life, then it falls to medical professionals, using clear systems of guidelines (many of which will be informed by the known wishes of the patient if such is available) to determine whether or not to provide that care. The power of modern medicine to keep people alive has made the ethics of when and when not to do so extremely complex, but at the end of the day we don't spend millions ventilating corpses to keep their cells alive, because we (correctly in my opinion) don't have to see that as "life", or to mourn it in the same way we would mourn the person who has passed on.

I don't think it's coincidence that "pro-life" is synonymous with "anti-death". You talk about the "right of the child not to be killed", but who asked the child if it wants to live? Whose fear of death are we appeasing here?

broca:
Now for having this discussion we would have to decide from which point on a embryo is considered a human being, which is of course up to debate.

I don't think that's terribly important. It's always a human being. It's a human being at a particular stage of the life cycle, just like a human being who is braindead and surviving on life support is still a human being. The real boundary is when a person ceases to be governed by the medical ethics with apply to those who are physically dependent upon medicine to survive, and becomes governed by interpersonal law.

broca:
You even seem to imply that the child doesn't exist before it is born, which seems to me like a position that is really not support by the development stages the child reaches at the end of pregnancy.

Existence does not equate to relevance. Again, when does the child express its desire to live?

broca:
But just because i find your position so strange: you really believe that until the moment of birth, the mothers rights always trump the right of the unborn child, even as the child is a fully developed human being at the end of pregnancy?

If that's shocking, I also don't believe that the "right to life" entails a moral responsibility to keep corpses on life support, to force-feed vegetative patients, to forcibly prevent the terminally ill from ending their own lives or to force people with terminal cancer to have endless chemotherapy. Rights apply very differently at different points in the life cycle, the "right to life" does not represent an inherent compulsion to maintain human life at all costs.

broca:
Children have a realistic chance of survival from week 24-25 of the pregnancy.

"Survival" in that case is a somewhat relative term.

A baby born at that point would have to breathe oxygen so pure it physically scars the lungs, it would require constant, constant input of drugs and synthetic hormones to force rapid development of its organs. It will almost certainly need to be resuscitated many, many times, will almost certainly have physical and mental disabilities, and is unlikely to reach adulthood.

The fact that our control over the human body has advanced to this point is wonderful, but it doesn't entail a responsibility to exercise that control at all costs and at all times. A 24 week old fetus isn't in any position to make choices, or indeed to be particularly affected by any choices which are made. Rather than simply guessing or projecting our thoughts onto unborn children, I think the only sensible thing to do is to prioritize the person in this equation who actually has the capacity to make decisions, to feel human emotions or human suffering, to feel pain or fear death.

evilthecat:

broca:
But the right to medical autonomy exists in conflict to other rights, as it is the case for most rights. Just saying the right of medical autonomy trumps other rights (mainly the rights of the father and the rights of the unborn child) without even making an argument for this position isn't enough.

However, the right to medical autonomy always trumps other rights when it comes to making medical decisions, which is what this is about.

An abortion doesn't mean you wish upon a star and Santa makes your period come back, it's a medical procedure which either involves taking very powerful drugs or having objects inserted into your body. It can also entail enormous personal consequences, both emotional and (albeit rarely) physical. Deciding whether or not to do that is a medical matter, it is a reaction to an actual medical condition. It does not represent a generally applicable legal principle.

Actually, you just described the legal principle behind it (personal autonomy in deciding medical decisions regarding oneself being a fundamental right, with the US reinforcing that with an implied right to privacy under the Bill of Rights). Legal principles will generally parallel medical ethics (for example: the Hippocratic Oath will generally shape tort malpractice duty requirements).

Vegosiux:
So, the pregnancy and, consequently, child, exists independently from whichever male has sired it? Well, why do we have fathers then, they're obviously only needed to fertilize the female, if whatever happens afterwards exists independently from them, they're not needed at that point anymore. That's kind of what the word "independently" means.

No, just the pregnancy exists independent of the father, because there's not much he can do to alter it. A child could exist independently of the father, but will likely suffer from the lack of support an extra parent (or paycheck) would provide. Just because a pregnancy leads to a child doesn't mean that every description that applied to the pregnancy carries over to the child.

Woman doesn't want to be a mother -> abortion -> doesn't need to take care of a child.

You're missing a part of the final bit; "no more child."

Man doesn't want to be a father -> disappears -> doesn't need to take care of a child.

Whereas this one has the potential for the opposite in that there is a child, who is now deprived of the support the father could have provided.

Looks like equality of outcome to me. Not that I'm in favor of equality of outcome (I'm more of an equality of opportunity guy), but that doesn't look like "in no way comparable" to me.

Apparently, a living child that requires support is equivalent to an aborted fetus that requires nothing.

And, just in case you're burning in fury right now (no offense), I'm not at all supportive of deadbeat dads as it is. My stance is that things need to be discussed, and a compromise reached. So, running away should not be an option. Nether should be "my way or the high way". People really need to communicate more. So, going absolutist doesn't help either.

The only viable compromise that I've seen suggested was that the father could sign away his rights and responsibilities as a parent at any moment he wanted, possibly providing the money for an abortion, and the government would step in and give the mother additional support. While sounding great (save for the part where men never need to take responsibility for their actions if they pay the pathetic price of about $500) because it would mean every single parent would receive the support they needed and no child would grow up malnourished in poverty, all that money the guy is no longer providing (plus any additional amount needed) has to be paid for by taxpayers, which I'm fine with. The problem is that not everyone is okay with having their taxes increased by such a large amount for the sake of giving deadbeat dads a way to abandon their children with zero consequences.

If you've got a good compromise, please share it.

Vegosiux:

Woman doesn't want to be a mother -> abortion -> doesn't need to take care of a child.
Man doesn't want to be a father -> disappears -> doesn't need to take care of a child.

It's almost as if the child doesn't exist at all after the father disappears. Or as if you somehow think leaving out all the details in a bad faith attempt proves something.

Woman doesn't want to be a mother -> abortion -> no child!
Man doesn't want to be a father -> vanishes -> abandoned child

But sure let's ignore all the details that make the situations different. That's a *great* way to prove things are similar.

Master of the Skies:

It's almost as if the child doesn't exist at all after the father disappears. Or as if you somehow think leaving out all the details in a bad faith attempt proves something.

Woman doesn't want to be a mother -> abortion -> no child!
Man doesn't want to be a father -> vanishes -> abandoned child

But sure let's ignore all the details that make the situations different. That's a *great* way to prove things are similar.

It is also correct to say:

Woman doesn't want to be a mother -> abortion -> dead human offspring
Man doesn't want to be a father -> vanishes -> alive offspring

If you maintain that the fetus has no inherent right to life during pregnancy and this means that killing the fetus is morally acceptable, then the issue is very clear. If the fetus can be killed during the pregnancy, the father should be able to abandon the fetus as long as abortion is still permissible. That way you can't really say that the father has abandoned a child - he didn't. He bailed even before the said child ''came into being.'' Therefore, he has not abandoned anyone - he merely abandoned a clump of cells.

To abandon implies that I'm taking away my support, my company or my presence from someone or something. I can't abandon something or someone who never had my support, my company or my presence in the first place. Since the fetus has no rights at all (doesn't have the right not to be abandoned or even killed for that matter), I'm abandoning the fetus, not the child.

al4674:

Master of the Skies:

It's almost as if the child doesn't exist at all after the father disappears. Or as if you somehow think leaving out all the details in a bad faith attempt proves something.

Woman doesn't want to be a mother -> abortion -> no child!
Man doesn't want to be a father -> vanishes -> abandoned child

But sure let's ignore all the details that make the situations different. That's a *great* way to prove things are similar.

It is also correct to say:

Woman doesn't want to be a mother -> abortion -> dead human offspring
Man doesn't want to be a father -> vanishes -> alive offspring

Congratulations, that's as relevant as ending it in 'sun rises in the morning'.

If you maintain that the fetus has no inherent right to life during pregnancy and this means that killing the fetus is morally acceptable, then the issue is very clear. If the fetus can be killed during the pregnancy, the father should be able to abandon the fetus as long as abortion is still permissible.

He has no duty to the fetus. When it's born is a different matter. There is no logic that leads from it being fine to kill it and not recognizing it as a person to then meaning there is no LATER duty once it becomes a person, or suggesting one can abdicate duty that comes along later.

That way you can't really say that the father has abandoned a child - he didn't. He bailed even before the said child ''came into being.'' Therefore, he has not abandoned anyone - he merely abandoned a clump of cells.

Except of course he can't 'abandon' it before it is born. Failing to recognize that a change occurs later and that he is responsible later isn't an argument, it's failing to understand the situation. And once it is born he is abandoning it. It's rather simple that way. Besides, the use of the word 'abandon' isn't the issue. You can play semantics with it all you want, and fail regardless. The point is that he fathered a child and as one of the parents it is his responsibility to take care of it. Making empty phrases about how he abandoned it before it was born doesn't change that.

To abandon implies that I'm taking away my support, my company or my presence from someone or something. I can't abandon something or someone who never had my support, my company or my presence in the first place.

Lovely attempt at semantics, but the law doesn't operate on the definition of 'abandon' so in the end irrelevant.

Since the fetus has no rights at all (doesn't have the right not to be abandoned or even killed for that matter), I'm abandoning the fetus, not the child.

You can't abandon it you said. I mean here you are, one sentence saying you can't abandon it because you never supported it, the next claiming that you abandoned it as a fetus. Shoot yourself in the foot with your semantics all you like, it won't change that once the child is born the parents are expected to provide and meaningless phrases prior to its birth do not somehow mean that people need to accept refusal to provide for it as justification.

Master of the Skies:
Congratulations, that's as relevant as ending it in 'sun rises in the morning'.

What was factually incorrect about my statement?

Master of the Skies:

He has no duty to the fetus. When it's born is a different matter. There is no logic that leads from it being fine to kill it and not recognizing it as a person to then meaning there is no LATER duty once it becomes a person, or suggesting one can abdicate duty that comes along later.

Why is that? The man left the family before the child even existed. There was no child when he left, there were no obligations when he left. You're essentially saying that the child coming into existence somehow retroactively puts the man back into family? You need to justify this position, you can't assert that now the man suddenly has obligations.

Also, when it comes to abortion survivors who are born with injuries or deformities - should the mothers then be retroactively charged with attempted murder or assault, or is it the doctor or both who should be charged? After all, if it is okay to retroactively impose obligations by the mere existence of the child, why should the mother or the doctor be exempt from that?

Master of the Skies:

Except of course he can't 'abandon' it before it is born. Failing to recognize that a change occurs later and that he is responsible later isn't an argument, it's failing to understand the situation. And once it is born he is abandoning it. It's rather simple that way. Besides, the use of the word 'abandon' isn't the issue. You can play semantics with it all you want, and fail regardless. The point is that he fathered a child and as one of the parents it is his responsibility to take care of it. Making empty phrases about how he abandoned it before it was born doesn't change that.

Terms are everything. How can you have a meaningful discussion if you don't even know what you're talking about.

Saying that I can ''abandon'' a child with whom I've had no prior contact with is sort of like saying that I can de-friend someone who has never been my friend in the first place. It makes no sense.

Master of the Skies:

Lovely attempt at semantics, but the law doesn't operate on the definition of 'abandon' so in the end irrelevant.

Neither does the law take into account the real world. The law is filled with fiction.

Master of the Skies:

You can't abandon it you said. I mean here you are, one sentence saying you can't abandon it because you never supported it, the next claiming that you abandoned it as a fetus. Shoot yourself in the foot with your semantics all you like, it won't change that once the child is born the parents are expected to provide and meaningless phrases prior to its birth do not somehow mean that people need to accept refusal to provide for it as justification.

I'm abandoning a separate entity - the fetus. I'm not abandoning the child. The pro-choice crowd maintains that the fetus is not a human being with rights, instead it's just a ''clump of cells.'' I'm merely entertaining that distinction and saying that the father abandons the blob of cells, he doesn't abandon any child.

Merely asserting that the parents have any obligations to their children is not obvious at all. The violinist argument can actually be used to argue that I can very well abandon my child when I decide I do not want them leeching off of my body, my resources, my property.

al4674:

Master of the Skies:
Congratulations, that's as relevant as ending it in 'sun rises in the morning'.

What was factually incorrect about my statement?

I think this response of yours about sums up why I don't think it's worth replying to you.

I say something is not relevant and then you ask me how it's factually incorrect. I don't think it takes a genius to see you're not actually trying for any honest dialogue here.

But here I have time to burn to waste replying to you one last time.

al4674:

Master of the Skies:

He has no duty to the fetus. When it's born is a different matter. There is no logic that leads from it being fine to kill it and not recognizing it as a person to then meaning there is no LATER duty once it becomes a person, or suggesting one can abdicate duty that comes along later.

Why is that? The man left the family before the child even existed. There was no child when he left, there were no obligations when he left. You're essentially saying that the child coming into existence somehow retroactively puts the man back into family? You need to justify this position, you can't assert that now the man suddenly has obligations.

No, I did not say it 'retroactively puts the man back into the family'. Ergo I don't need to justify crap you came up with for me.

He doesn't need to be part of the family to be the father biologically. And it is his role as being the biological father that is the grounds for expecting him to pay for the child. He was never the biological father to a person prior to it being born, so nothing retroactive there.

Also, when it comes to abortion survivors who are born with injuries or deformities - should the mothers then be retroactively charged with attempted murder or assault, or is it the doctor or both who should be charged? After all, if it is okay to retroactively impose obligations by the mere existence of the child, why should the mother or the doctor be exempt from that?

There is nothing retroactive about it, the child is born. That's a new event not an old one.

Master of the Skies:

Except of course he can't 'abandon' it before it is born. Failing to recognize that a change occurs later and that he is responsible later isn't an argument, it's failing to understand the situation. And once it is born he is abandoning it. It's rather simple that way. Besides, the use of the word 'abandon' isn't the issue. You can play semantics with it all you want, and fail regardless. The point is that he fathered a child and as one of the parents it is his responsibility to take care of it. Making empty phrases about how he abandoned it before it was born doesn't change that.

Terms are everything. How can you have a meaningful discussion if you don't even know what you're talking about.

And yet I shoot down your talk and you still try. But I suppose from the start it's apparent you're not trying for meaningful.

Saying that I can ''abandon'' a child with whom I've had no prior contact with is sort of like saying that I can de-friend someone who has never been my friend in the first place. It makes no sense.

Oh so in other words you're picky about a non-essential word. Great. Of course most reasonable people can see that the debate doesn't hinge on the word 'abandon'. No great point requires the use of the word. At best you can complain it is misused. Amazingly enough that only changes how the argument gets phrased. And funnily enough, you seem to be the only one who can't understand the use of the word 'abandon' there. It's almost as if it does make enough sense, you just aren't being honest here. Anyway, let's just say the father is failing to fulfill his duty for having created a child.

Master of the Skies:

Lovely attempt at semantics, but the law doesn't operate on the definition of 'abandon' so in the end irrelevant.

Neither does the law take into account the real world. The law is filled with fiction.

No, it does. But of course you'll ignore the point that the word 'abandon' isn't important. If you were the type to actually pay attention to that sort of thing your reply wouldn't have started off with such a non sequitur.

Master of the Skies:

You can't abandon it you said. I mean here you are, one sentence saying you can't abandon it because you never supported it, the next claiming that you abandoned it as a fetus. Shoot yourself in the foot with your semantics all you like, it won't change that once the child is born the parents are expected to provide and meaningless phrases prior to its birth do not somehow mean that people need to accept refusal to provide for it as justification.

I'm abandoning a separate entity - the fetus.

According to your logic, no you aren't. You weren't supporting it in the first place, how can you abandon it?

I'm not abandoning the child. The pro-choice crowd maintains that the fetus is not a human being with rights, instead it's just a ''clump of cells.'' I'm merely entertaining that distinction and saying that the father abandons the blob of cells, he doesn't abandon any child.

Or you're just making a bad faith attempt at looking at the distinction. Just because the fetus has no rights does not mean that once the dude's a father he has no responsibilities. Funny thing about abandoning and your semantic crusade, you can't abandon responsibilities before you have them.

Merely asserting that the parents have any obligations to their children is not obvious at all. The violinist argument can actually be used to argue that I can very well abandon my child when I decide I do not want them leeching off of my body, my resources, my property.

Yes, it is. They created it, they have to deal with it. Children need foot and shelter. The most obvious one to provide is the one who made it so they exist.

And you can claim the violinist argument does that, but I really don't care about you claiming incorrect things. You might as well say "The violinist argument means I own the sun" for all that you've actually done to show yourself to be correct.

LifeCharacter:

No, just the pregnancy exists independent of the father, because there's not much he can do to alter it. A child could exist independently of the father, but will likely suffer from the lack of support an extra parent (or paycheck) would provide. Just because a pregnancy leads to a child doesn't mean that every description that applied to the pregnancy carries over to the child.

One could argue that a woman's life while pregnant would also be easier if she has the man around, actually. My point was that it's a bit odd to claim that the pregnancy exists independently from the father. Biologically, maybe, but biologically, so does the child. While on the other hand, the presence of the man can make both the pregnancy, and as you said yourself, the kid's life, easier.

You're missing a part of the final bit; "no more child."

Whereas this one has the potential for the opposite in that there is a child, who is now deprived of the support the father could have provided.

From the perspective of the person making the decision, there is no difference. It's a bit Machiavellian, I know.

Apparently, a living child that requires support is equivalent to an aborted fetus that requires nothing.

We started on "comparable", how did we get to "equivalent"? Okay, so I did claim "equality of outcome", which I clarified just now (shoulda been more clear there). But I never actually called the two processes equivalent. I did compare them though.

The only viable compromise that I've seen suggested was that the father could sign away his rights and responsibilities as a parent at any moment he wanted, possibly providing the money for an abortion, and the government would step in and give the mother additional support. While sounding great (save for the part where men never need to take responsibility for their actions if they pay the pathetic price of about $500) because it would mean every single parent would receive the support they needed and no child would grow up malnourished in poverty, all that money the guy is no longer providing (plus any additional amount needed) has to be paid for by taxpayers, which I'm fine with. The problem is that not everyone is okay with having their taxes increased by such a large amount for the sake of giving deadbeat dads a way to abandon their children with zero consequences.

I wouldn't call the loss of rights that come with parenthood "zero consequences". Of course, you might be assuming that the father who gets his responsibilities abolished generally doesn't care about his rights at all, and while such an assumption is convenient, I'd want a citation for that actually being the case.

I am also a bit averse to reducing a child's purpose to "consequences" but I suppose there's no way around that in such debates.

If you've got a good compromise, please share it.

The one you just talked about is a rather good one if you ask me. The debate about welfare and taxes is out of place here, I believe, but we actually have a thread for it (I'm not dismissing your points, by the way, I'm just saying that it's a different discussion, one we're kinda already having in a different thread). But, the implementation matters, which strings get attached where and all.

Vegosiux:

LifeCharacter:

No, just the pregnancy exists independent of the father, because there's not much he can do to alter it. A child could exist independently of the father, but will likely suffer from the lack of support an extra parent (or paycheck) would provide. Just because a pregnancy leads to a child doesn't mean that every description that applied to the pregnancy carries over to the child.

One could argue that a woman's life while pregnant would also be easier if she has the man around, actually. My point was that it's a bit odd to claim that the pregnancy exists independently from the father. Biologically, maybe, but biologically, so does the child. While on the other hand, the presence of the man can make both the pregnancy, and as you said yourself, the kid's life, easier.

May or may not make the life of the women and/or child easier. No guarantees it will.

The Gentleman:
Actually, you just described the legal principle behind it (personal autonomy in deciding medical decisions regarding oneself being a fundamental right, with the US reinforcing that with an implied right to privacy under the Bill of Rights). Legal principles will generally parallel medical ethics (for example: the Hippocratic Oath will generally shape tort malpractice duty requirements).

Except that the "principle" concerned in this case is the notion that a person has a right to an "abortion" even if they aren't pregnant.

A person who is lying in hospital with severe injuries may be given morphine to help with pain management, that in and of itself does not mean I can go and pick up some morphine and spend all weekend sitting in my underpants shooting up. Now, if I looked at that purely in terms of a simplistic assessment of the effect, I might say that it's so unfair and if people in hospital are allowed to get high then I should be allowed to get high too, but that would be silly. I'm not allowed to shoot morphine because I don't have a pain management problem. I'm also not allowed to have an "abortion" because I'm not pregnant, and the right to choose to have an abortion only applies to people who are pregnant.

In this sense, the right to abortion does not represent a general legal principle that anyone should be allowed to disavow parenthood, it merely entails the right to have a fetus physically removed from your body.

Yea I'm just gonna leave this here.

Sums up my opinion on the matter better than I ever could.

renegade7:
Look, when I said "No flaming" I wasn't kidding. Could some of you guys dial it back a bit please? Thanks.

YOUR the one who opened this can of worms. You said in your OP that you understood that this was a hot-button issue, so it shouldnt have suprised you that when you opened the can, the birds swarmed and started attacking eachother for the worms.

OT: I already am aware this will put me in the minority and I expect to get burnt for this, but screw it, I feel like hitting my head against a wall. Might as well since I am going to make a career out of this sort of stuff.

I can agree with people that complete ban on abortions will only result in more deaths from backalley abortions, which is why I DONT argue for that (as well as it would require challenging the Supreme Court and that is hard enough). Instead, I say ban it after the First Trimester (about 12 weeks/3 months). Not only is that when it starts getting noticeable, but according to recent Gallup Polls, That puts me in the Majority, because while the Majority of Americans say that Abortions should still be legal in the First, Somewhere around 65% say it should be illegal in the second and a massive 87+% say it should be illegal in the 3rd.

To me, banning it after the First (except in the case to save the mothers life) makes sense and gives the best of both worlds. Very few would argue that before this point it would really bring any pain to the child, and can thus be written off as "unfortunate, but preferable" (at least in my eyes) while still leaving room for a time when people who REALLY!!! dont want a child to get that abortion before anything major starts taking place.

Now, I will start prepping to collect the fire people will throw at me. My Troops in Endwar need more napalm.

BOOM headshot65:
Very few would argue that before this point it would really bring any pain to the child, and can thus be written off as "unfortunate, but preferable" (at least in my eyes) while still leaving room for a time when people who REALLY!!! dont want a child to get that abortion before anything major starts taking place.

This would be an acceptable solution if it had any realistic chance of working like that, but unfortunately not all women have the ability to intuitively sense when they are pregnant. Furthermore, even if a woman suspects she is pregnant during that time it can take several weeks to confirm the pregnancy, see a doctor and have the abortion, and this is assumes that abortion providers are guaranteed and relatively easy to get hold of. Realistically, we're talking about detecting a pregnancy within a matter of only a few weeks after conception.

There are several likely consequences to significantly lowering the cut-off point for legal abortion. Large numbers of women will not have any chance of having an abortion, because their symptoms of pregnancy may not be sufficient to make detection in that window possible. If abortions are legal but not realistically available, then the likelihood of illegal abortion remains. Furthermore, people will make bad decisions because they simply cannot afford to consider their actions, and this may have very unfortunate consequences for them.

The idea of a compromise is nice, but sometimes it's less the best of both worlds and more an ineffective attempt to appease both sides. Having abortion be legal is pointless if the ability to access it is purely based on random chance.

I'm late to the discussion, but I just recently saw a GirlWritesWhat (Karen Straughn) video that I think is relevant to the sub-issue of paternal responsibility and whether men and women have comparable rights post-conception (spoiler: no they don't).

It's a 4-part video podcast series which will take you the best part of an hour to watch but the video I'm posting above is possibly the most direct appraisal of the differing rights and responsibilities of the man, woman and child/foetus involved. Basically, the child has no inherent rights beyond those which are chosen for it by the mother, and which align with the mother's, not the child's, best interests. Right to life? Only if that's what the mother wants. Right to parental support? Wholly dependent on the mother's wishes, the child can end up with the support of 2, 1, or zero biological parents. Even without violating the "my body, my choice" principle it's demonstrable that the woman holds power, and benefits from privileges, that aren't extended to the man. If a woman can abdicate financial responsibility for her offspring by choosing legal abandonment or adoption, why aren't similar mechanisms put in place for a man who is unwilling or unable to commit to fatherhood?

Vegosiux:
So has the deadbeat dad who ran away. He has resolved the situation.

Please define "deadbeat dad". Do you mean a guy who got a woman pregnant but never wanted the responsibility or parenthood, or a guy who initially wanted children but partway through the process decided to throw in the towel? Because that's an important distinction. We don't call a woman who has an abortion a "deadbeat mom".

Batou667:

Vegosiux:
So has the deadbeat dad who ran away. He has resolved the situation.

Please define "deadbeat dad". Do you mean a guy who got a woman pregnant but never wanted the responsibility or parenthood, or a guy who initially wanted children but partway through the process decided to throw in the towel? Because that's an important distinction. We don't call a woman who has an abortion a "deadbeat mom".

I meant actually "deadbeat", as in, got a woman pregnant and ran away. But, as far as he's concerned, the situation is still resolved; albeit in a very Machiavellian way.

Vegosiux:
I meant actually "deadbeat", as in, got a woman pregnant and ran away. But, as far as he's concerned, the situation is still resolved; albeit in a very Machiavellian way.

I'm afraid that still doesn't clarify things. Are we talking about a guy who consented to sex but not fatherhood, or a guy who promised the woman that he was offering her a relationship and future security but then got cold feet during or after her pregnancy?

Batou667:

Vegosiux:
I meant actually "deadbeat", as in, got a woman pregnant and ran away. But, as far as he's concerned, the situation is still resolved; albeit in a very Machiavellian way.

I'm afraid that still doesn't clarify things. Are we talking about a guy who consented to sex but not fatherhood, or a guy who promised the woman that he was offering her a relationship and future security but then got cold feet during or after her pregnancy?

The outcome is the same either way, really, at least legally. But I was talking about the guy who made it look like he's offering a stable and committed relationship.

Vegosiux:

The outcome is the same either way, really, at least legally. But I was talking about the guy who made it look like he's offering a stable and committed relationship.

Well, the outcome is the same, but the intent is miles apart. The outcome is the same if some guy is screwing around indiscriminately without protection or two hoots about the consequences, or if some guy's condom splits on him the first time he has sex with his long-term girlfriend. The context absolutely matters, because consent to sex isn't consent to parenthood.

Anyway, I agree, in the circumstances you described the guy would be a deadbeat.

Vegosiux:
That's one of the main "pro-life" arguments >.>

It should be a main argument of everyone, because it's true.

Now, except if we assume that the man is the only active participant in the intercourse and the woman had no choice in the matter; but we're not assuming that, are we?

We are assuming the general rule of sexual intercourse, which is mutually consensual intercourse. Exceptions of course exist in various degrees of prevalence, but debating against general rules via exceptions is a load of wank.

I don't know about you, but I am rather averse to using arguments to make my case when said arguments can also be made to support something I strongly disagree with (in this case, anti-abortionism). I don't know if I'm wrong on this, but if I need to accept the argument in both cases, I need to either scrap it from supporting my stance, or accept that it also supports the stance I oppose. I prefer not to do the latter.

I have no problem accepting that people I intensely disagree with can have perfectly good arguments and premises. Only one of the numerous premises and arguments needs to be poor to sustain reaching a very different conclusion.

And the "shouldn't have had sex then" argument applies to both genders, as long as we assume that both participants in an intercourse are participating willingly and by their own choice, so for the sake of consistency, I think one needs to accept both applications thereof, or neither application.

That both sexual partners have responsibility for having sex is one thing. The argument "shouldn't have had sex" is another one requiring different bases.

Oh and before anyone (not you, but there are people around who would) pulls that "witty" line about "A man can get an abortion too if he gets pregnant thus he has the same rights as the woman", I'll just say that sounds the same to me as "A gay person can get married too if they want to marry a person of the opposite sex thus they have the same rights as a straight person" and again it's one of those arguments one needs to accept neither or both as valid for the sake of consistency; especially since if we're playing "the letter of the law" card, everyone does have the exact same rights unless specifically stated otherwise in the legislation itself.

Whilst trite, the "witty" line is in effect valid. All people have independent autonomy over their own bodies, and that is the principle that matters. Anatomy dictates that certain medical procedures are only undergone by one gender, but that's just the way it is.

Actually, allow me to ask a tangential question here. How much do you think that "parent roles" and "gender roles" are connected. Yes, I know we can have stay-at-home fathers and career mothers, I'm not talking about that. I'm talking more about how it looks to me that parenthood does somehow seem to foster "traditional gender roles" in spite of that, and that, now this is anecdotal observation on my part, mothers do seem to be more attached to their children than fathers are.

I could speculate lots, but...

To an extent, I don't really care if or to what extent women have a greater tendency to be attached to children, or to a large degree why that tendency exists. All that matters is that such tendencies do not dictate legal policies that force people who do not conform to the norm to live by the norm, or societally disadvantage them.

Realitycrash:

Whether or not one is responsible for creating a life has nothing to do with whether or not one should have the right to end said life before birth.
Is the causal reaction of a life being created resting upon me and my partners actions? Yes.
Does this mean that abortion is morally wrong? Not necessarily.

I've not really addressed the fundamental issue of whether a woman's right to do with her body exceeds the foetus's right to life. This comes down to issues of subjective moral preference that are hard, if not impossible, to get far on. I am just saying that this question is pretty much the defining moral question, and many others (particularly with regard to spurious gender equality stuff) are so trivial they approach irrelevance.

There are other moral questions, for instance that it may be immoral to use abortion casually, in lieu of proper contraceptive efforts at the popint of sex. On the other hand, I don't really see these "lesser" issues should dictate policy either. Most people think it's immoral to cheat on your lover, but few think that means adultery should be a crime.

It's wthe woman that is pregnant for 9 months. In some cases not of her own choosing. Thus, it should be her decision if she wants to keep it, or not. The issue got a lot more complicated for me, after people started to research into when the Fetus actaully is a human, capable of feeling pain etc., at which point you could make a point that its immoral to kill it. However, it allways made sense to me to allow abortions in the early stages of pregnancy. There is no reason in my eyes, why anyone but the Mother should be able to make that decision. I actually respect women who are able to say they are not ready for a kid, or couldnt support it, and thus want to cancle the pregnancy.

Also, most people i see arguing that Pro-Life Bullcrap are guys. And hey, its terribly easy condemning that shit as a Dude. And its terribly easy taking a morale "high-ground" for an issue that does not impact you as much in most cases.

ERaptor:
Also, most people i see arguing that Pro-Life Bullcrap are guys. And hey, its terribly easy condemning that shit as a Dude. And its terribly easy taking a morale "high-ground" for an issue that does not impact you as much in most cases.

Well...yes, though there are more than a few Pro-life women. Generally those who are assured that they won't need an abortion.

Some time back, there was a news thing posted here, about women protesting abortion clinics who find themselves needing an abortion, who go back to protesting afterwards because it doesn't count when it's them. I remember reading about some of them complaining about having to share the waiting room with other women getting abortions, because they were obviously all dirty sluts.

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