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Letters to the Editor

Fetal rights

June 22, 2012

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To the editor:

In the June 9 Journal-World, there was a commentary about abortion rights.  As usual, when a person is arguing for abortion rights, he or she refers to the choice of the woman. However, the real problem with abortion as a choice is that abortion always pits the rights of a woman to choose with the rights of her unborn child to live.

I contend that the rights of the unborn child should supersede those of the woman simply because the woman does have the ability to choose whereas the child does not. The only time when the woman should be allowed to kill her unborn child is when she is raped.  That is because rape takes away her right to choose. So, the only kind and civil decision and action when a woman chooses to have sex and becomes pregnant is to carry the child to delivery.

Comments

Katara 2 years, 3 months ago

So, Mr. Wentz, what do you suggest should happen when a woman has an ectopic pregnancy? Or a molar pregnancy? Should we force a woman to carry a pregnancy to birth even though the outcome is not a live birth? That is not a kind and civil decision and action.

Does the unborn's right to life mean that it must be granted even though it means a short life of only pain? That is not a kind and civil decision and action.

Mr. Wentz, your thinking is incredibly simplistic and assumes a positive outcome for every pregnancy. If only it worked that way...

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Katara 2 years, 3 months ago

You do understand that ectopic and molar pregnancies will never result in a child being born even if those pregnancies were allowed to go on without interference?

You do also understand that there are many pregnancies that will not have a child as the natural result due to the nature of the complications?

If you do understand the two things above, perhaps you will understand how asinine your comment is.

It appears that you assume, as Mr. Wentz does, that every pregnancy will have a positive outcome if we just ban abortion.

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Katara 2 years, 3 months ago

You do understand that those being my examples doesn't make your response any less asinine.

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somedude20 2 years, 3 months ago

how in the hell did this get past the moderator? if you are going to sit on every post while you judge what was written, then you should at least keep the same standards for ALL

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rtwngr 2 years, 3 months ago

A surgical procedure to save a person's life that results in the death of the child, is not an act against the child.

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pusscanthropus 2 years, 3 months ago

Another man after control of women's bodies. Question, Mr Wentz: how many unwanted, abused, or neglected children have you adopted? Or are you uninterested after the child is born?

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progressive_thinker 2 years, 3 months ago

The day that social conservatives agree to take care of all of the unwanted, likely to be abused, and neglected children in the US is the day that pigs will fly.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

If it were certain that those children would be raised in loving, financially stable homes by reasonable adults, I'd prefer that the children be born and then adopted.

However, you are aware that our foster care system is overloaded as it is, and not very good at actually helping those unwanted children we currently are dealing with, who often wind up in very negative situations, right?

So, first we'd need to get all of those kids into loving adoptive families.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Also, of course, somebody would have to help those low income women who can't afford much of the costs of carrying a pregnancy to term and giving birth - would the "social conservatives" do that as well?

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rtwngr 2 years, 3 months ago

For the record, it is the killing of a baby. I can prove it by producing any one of a number of first year medical books that declare a new life is formed the moment the sperm fertilizes the egg. Secondly, does a person on life support have less rights than a person who is not? Who are you to decide who's rights are superior to another's? Does a child one day before birth have less rights than that same child the next day after birth?

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rtwngr 2 years, 3 months ago

So your argument is that because a child is abused or neglected they would be better off dead. Does that sum it up?

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kuguardgrl13 2 years, 3 months ago

Knowing formerly abused children as adults, I would say yes. Some of them wish they had been aborted so they would not have been subjected to the childhood they were born into. Like it or not, not every kid is born into a supportive, loving family. That's not the way the world works.

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Michael LoBurgio 2 years, 3 months ago

We really need to get over this love affair with the fetus and start worrying about children.

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jonas_opines 2 years, 3 months ago

But then it wouldn't really be about control anymore

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rtwngr 2 years, 3 months ago

So you are saying the fetus is not a child? How do you come to that conclusion?

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Armored_One 2 years, 3 months ago

If it is a viable lifeform, then cut the umbilical cord. If it is viable, then it should have no problems continuing to develop...

And yes, I fully expect this comment to be deleted, simply because it's a cold, hard truth and very few people truly enjoy the truth...

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Mercy 2 years, 3 months ago

Why should the crime of a person committing rape, justify the commission of another act of violence by their victim? While the first crime is indeed a tragedy, two wrongs don't make it right to kill.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 3 months ago

Then blame the rapist who set up the circumstances for that necessity in the first place and charge him with murder. Perhaps that will make people think twice before committing such a violation. Forcing a woman to carry a rapist's baby is a double violation of a woman's body and neither act has anything to do with sex and reproduction and everything to do with control. It would also help to not so much teach women to not get raped but to teach men not to rape, n'cest pas?

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SnakeFist 2 years, 3 months ago

I agree. IF the fetus has a right to life (and that's a big IF), then it doesn't lose that right just because it's father committed a crime. Punish the rapist, not the fetus.

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hujiko 2 years, 3 months ago

If you have a Y chromosome your opinion is inconsequential regarding abortion. It's the right of every individual woman to decide if she will bring a pregnancy to term. Forcing pregnancy basically tells women that their right to autonomy means nothing, and in my opinion is akin to slavery.

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SnakeFist 2 years, 3 months ago

You've got to be kidding. It takes two to reproduce. So the man is stuck with the woman's decision? Talk about control issues! I could just as easily argue that forcing a man to support a child he didn't want is "slavery".

Look at it this way, the woman has to carry the fetus for nine months and then care for the child for 18 years, while the man has to care for the child for 18 years. Does that initial nine months make such a big difference that only women should have reproductive freedom?

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Orwell 2 years, 3 months ago

Yes. At least until men become pregnant.

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Katara 2 years, 3 months ago

So you believe that assuming 9 months of physical risk of complications, disabling health issues, possible birthing difficulties (many of which end up with a major surgery) and potential death is not that big of a difference?

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Do you really believe that the legal, financial and emotional responsibilities that fathers have give them no right to be involved in these sorts of decisions?

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Katara 2 years, 3 months ago

Those same responsibilities are also required of the woman with the addition of the physical risk that pregnancy can entail. A woman has way more to lose than a man does in this situation.

That additional 9 months does make a big difference.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

That doesn't really answer my question, though, does it?

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Katara 2 years, 3 months ago

Yes, it does. The man's risk does not come into play until after the woman has assumed all the risk of a pregnancy.

I am not sure why you equate legal, financial & emotional responsibilities of the father after the birth to the actual physical risk of pregnancy and childbirth the woman assumes on top of the legal, financial and emotional responsibilities she also has.

Do you feel that someone has the right to require you to do something that could jeopardize your health (both current and future) or disable you (temporarily or permanently) or even kill you just because they desire the product of your physical risk?

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm not equating those two.

I'm saying that men, if they have responsibilities stemming from a decision made, should have a right to be part of that decision.

Otherwise, they should be absolved of any responsibilities - if a woman wants to have the child regardless of the man's desires, then she should forgo any financial/other support from him.

The other way is trickier, I agree, but the principle is similar - the decision affects the man as well as the woman, and I think they should both be involved in it.

Also, I note that while I talk about "being part" of the decision, you use language like "require" - if you're stuck in the battle of the sexes, in which control and dominance are the way things are seen, you probably won't understand my point.

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Katara 2 years, 3 months ago

I understand what you are saying perfectly fine. You, on the other hand, seem to forget our current political environment where women are now required to have invasive procedures in order to be allowed to make decisions regarding their own bodies (transvaginal unltrasounds ring a bell?). There is no indication to me that "being part of" will not be anything less than required if such decisions regarding a woman's pregnancy.

"Being part" of the decision is rather vague. From the tenor of your posts and others who insist that the man should be a part of the decision, being part of the decision involves more than just stating his opinion on the matter.

The man makes his decision when he decides to engage in sex without birth control. He was part of the decision then when he decided to forgo using a condom or any other type of birth control that is not hormonal (spermicide, female condom, etc.). These are not methods that can be hidden easily for those who believe that women trick men into pregnancy.

There certainly can be allowances for birth control failure as it does happen but that can be addressed when those situations occur.

An additional thought for you... many parents that have legal and financial responsibilities still avoid those. It is called being a deadbeat parent and our current system does not stringently enforce child support. Just saying a parent (because there are deadbeat mothers too) has a legal and financial obligation does not make it an actual reality. Make it not so easy to slip out of those responsibilities first. What good does it do to allow a man to "be a part of the decision" when it is so easy for him to slip out of the responsibilities after the fact?

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Women also make decisions to have sex without bc.

And, you've pointed out numerous times that bc failures occur.

I would support stringently enforcing those responsibilities if men are allowed to be part of the decisions about births, but not otherwise - if a woman wants to have a child that the man doesn't want, and he doesn't get to be part of the decision, why should he be obligated to financially support the child?

Also, I understand our current political climate and don't support it in any way whatsoever - please don't mistake my comments for that.

It is, of course, a bit vague to be "part of" a decision, but that's the way many decisions are made when they involve two people - both people are part of the decision, and make it together.

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rtwngr 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm not of African descent but does that invalidate my opinions on civil rights and equality? Do I not have a right to speak out and proclaim that people of color have equal rights in our society? What does gender have to do with civil rights?

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hujiko 2 years, 3 months ago

Terrible analogy. Everyone is of a given ethnicity, regardless of gender, and should be equally respected as such. You're ignoring a fundamental difference in human physiology between the sexes at the cost of looking foolish.

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grammaddy 2 years, 3 months ago

If you're against abortions, don't have one. It really IS that simple. If you're a man, you don't get to have ANY say over my "lady-parts". Just as I don't want any say over your "manly-parts".

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rtwngr 2 years, 3 months ago

Here's a genius! That's like saying, "If you're against murder, don't commit murder."

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hujiko 2 years, 3 months ago

Here's a genius! That's like saying, "If a woman then wants birth control, go work somewhere else."

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Mike Ford 2 years, 3 months ago

as the rest of this spectrum goes amuck...what we really need is a total destraction away from real issues because someone is still hating on roe v wade 39 years after the fact. thank you churchlicans for that much needed escape from real issues. now let the rest of the house burn.

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mom_of_three 2 years, 3 months ago

So this letter writer would like to go back to the times when women risked their lives with back alley abortions, putting their lives and future reproductive rights in danger?

"when a woman chooses to have sex? So only a woman is involved? uh huh. He definitely wants to go back to the times when "sex" was just about having children (although it never really has been for hundreds of years). And then men will be back to marrying only the "good" girls and having "fun" with the type "you don't bring home to mother."

Hey, let's outlaw viagra and see where that goes!

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Topple 2 years, 3 months ago

And I was worried there wouldn't be any controversial articles on LJW today...

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classclown 2 years, 3 months ago

Don't want an abortion, don't have one. On the other hand, don't want to be pregnant, don't get yourself knocked up.

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Kendall Simmons 2 years, 3 months ago

Because women get themselves knocked up just so they can have abortions??

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Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 3 months ago

Hugh is frustrated about things outside his realm of control. Poor guy ~ I'd advise that it's a sign of maturity to accept that there are things in this world you cannot control. But make this your sole issue and you'll find you are simply out of step with the fact that a woman's body is her own domain, and there's nothing you can do about it. Control freak men need to realize that women aren't their chattel to lord over, and that when others hear of their agenda they reject it in its entirety ~ not just the abortion part.

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sourpuss 2 years, 3 months ago

I think what the letter-writer does not realize is that a child born into a world that doesn't want it is an unhappy fellow. By forcing a woman to bear a child she does not want, you are not punishing the woman. She dumps the kid in a orphanarium and goes on with her life. The child, on the other hand, gets to roll the dice and hope for a nice family to adopt it. If that doesn't happen... well, good luck to you, kid.

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tomatogrower 2 years, 3 months ago

And if the woman in poverty has the child and is on welfare they consider her a welfare queen and they make sure they cut all the programs to help her.

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rtwngr 2 years, 3 months ago

So we should go from orphanage to orphanage, round up all of those poor unwanted children and execute them? That would be a "final solution", eh, Mein Fuhrer?

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mom_of_three 2 years, 3 months ago

no one advocates abortion. I believe we are advocating freedom of choice over one's own body.

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Frederic Gutknecht IV 2 years, 3 months ago

Evolution is not your slave, weiser. Tough luck... Evolution bites the hands she feeds. We have little say in the matter. You keep feeding that head of yours. Nutrition matters in things physical and mental. Oh, and...dude... dudes can't have abortions. You're being divisively exclusionary!~) Perhaps you meant to say "If everyone advocating abortion rights, would have been aborted themselves, then the world would eventually be more to my liking." That's what I hear you saying...and it's just as ridiculous as it sounds.

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SnakeFist 2 years, 3 months ago

An "absolute" right, i.e., a right without exceptions? Do we not limit prisoners' control over their bodies because of the choices they made? When a person chooses to become a parent, whether expressly or implicitly, do they not voluntarily trade certain freedoms for the responsibilties of parenthood?

These issues are never as simple as you think they are, Liberty_Belle.

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kuguardgrl13 2 years, 3 months ago

CHOOSES to be a parent. Not every woman who gets pregnant is given that choice. Women are raped unwillingly and some are in marriages where the controlling husband forces his wife into pregnancy after pregnancy never giving her the choice. So no, not every woman makes the choice to become a parent, thereby negating your argument.

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voevoda 2 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Wentz's logic is flawed, on several accounts: 1) Why does Mr. Wentz presume that the only inalienable right a woman has is to have or withhold sex from a man? He makes all her other rights, including the right to life, subservient to those of an embryo. 2) If a woman's life is at risk by pregnancy, why shouldn't her life take precedence over that of the unborn fetus? Often, women don't know in advance the pregnancy would be dangerous. 3) If, according to Mr. Wentz, a woman is still entitled to abortion if her "ability to choose" was violated, what if she chose to use birth control but got pregnant anyway? In that case, she made a deliberate choice not to get pregnant, and it happened without her consent and against her will. By Mr. Wentz's logic, then she would be completely justified in reiterating her original choice through abortion. 4) If Mr. Wentz's rules became the law of the land, wouldn't that require that women abstain from sex whenever they did not want to risk an undesired pregnancy (not trusting birth control--see No. 3 above)? No sex except when both parties plan to use it for reproduction. Does Mr. Wentz think that is a logical solution?

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jayhawklawrence 2 years, 3 months ago

No one loves abortion more than Republican politicians and this is a big reason why they will never be able to solve the problem. In fact, their policies greatly increase the problem of poverty and the number of single mothers in this country.

This is a reality that voters probably never consider as they view the propaganda regarding abortion in this country.

In fact, it is Democrats who have done more to reduce the number of abortions in this country and it is the Republicans who have exploited the issue to benefit the very wealthy who are the ones who benefit the most from the Republican legislative agenda, much of which is crafted by right wing think tanks such as ALEC.

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Patricia Davis 2 years, 3 months ago

I love that republican men seem to think women get pregnant by themselves. In the same manner of Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal, I say we simply castrate republican men. If a republican woman wants to have a baby, she'll have to mate with a democrat. Diversity in the gene pool is a good thing.

The republicans have been brilliant to use these wedge issues to cover up their real slash and burn economic policies which do not work. This is the follow-up to the dixiecrat move that turned southern democrats into republicans because race.

Our brilliant governor is on the fast track to have his name and stupid economic policies that should be banned forever intertwined. Republican theory: ban abortions, make contraception difficult to afford will force poor people not to have sex, not to have children. Biology is a bigger force than ideology.

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Kirk Larson 2 years, 3 months ago

Boy, how many times do we have to go over this? If you are opposed to abortion then promote comprehensive sex education and easy access to contraception. Otherwise, YOU have no right to make reproductive decisions for a woman about HER body. Period.

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labmonkey 2 years, 3 months ago

Gaaaa...

Dear Conservatives... people who aren't married to each other will have sex. There is nothing you can do about that. Birth control should be widely available and cheap. (I would go a step further and say that if your receive a welfare check, you also get a mandatory birth control shot, males and females). The morning after pill should also be available (not OTC but with a doctor's instructions due to the havoc it puts a woman's hormones through). Those who limit birth control negate any argument toward being pro-life as birth control prevents abortions. And beware unattended consequences of rape or incest only abortions... how many men will be wrongly be accused of rape because of this?

Dear Liberals... In the over 90% of abortions that are out of convenience and not rape or mother's life in danger, you are killing another life and it isn't just the woman's right you are talking about but an unborn baby. You are against any reasonable restrictions on abortion such as third trimester and partial birth abortion (and now there is a paper in Europe calling for after birth abortions. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2108433/Doctors-right-kill-unwanted-disabled-babies-birth-real-person-claims-Oxford-academic.html I am sure this will make it into Cait48 arguments in the next few years). And what about a father's rights? Someone very close to me found out about an abortion after the fact and he treated it as losing a child. It was consensual sex and the woman was a willing participant. Why didn't he get the chance to raise that child?

Dear both sides and those in the middle... why not work to make it not so GD hard and expensive to adopt an American baby. The quicker a child makes it to his/her's adoptive parents and out of the foster system, the better off he/she will be. Also, make it very, very hard for a father to be a deadbeat dad.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 3 months ago

Actually, no it won't. But there's a lot of willful (and I emphasize the willful) misunderstanding of my position despite the fact that I'm pretty sure I've made it crystal clear. Well, unless you think that providing hospice services for a congenitally malformed infant is "post birth abortion". I'm sure there are a few crackpots out there that would consider it such.

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funkdog1 2 years, 3 months ago

By the time an abortion happens in the third trimester, something has gone very, very wrong. The vast majority of third term abortions do NOT take place because a woman has changed her mind and suddenly decided to have an abortion. The majority of third trimester abortions happen because 1) the baby is not viable, 2) the mother's life is in danger or 3) some poor teenage girl who was knocked up by her perverted gym teacher finally has to come out of denial and admit that she's pregnant.

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md 2 years, 3 months ago

lab ---- you make more sense than any one here

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pizzapete 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm all for forcing women to have children, but what about the rights of the sperm? Why all this talk about embryos? Let's get to the source and save the sperm. Doesn't the bible say it's a sin to spill ones seed? How many lives are being lost to masturbation?

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Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

Next thread... tapeworm rights.

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 3 months ago

Every sperm has a little, fully formed human being inside that takes up residence in the uterine lining.

Inside that little fully formed human in the sperm are more sperm with little fuly formed humans which in turn are filled with sperm with little fully formed humans.

If this idea of infinite divisibility was good enough for the 17th century, its good enough for today.

Homunulus sperm

Homunulus sperm by yourworstnightmare

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 3 months ago

I was actually going to say something about the "homunculus" theory of reproduction but you beat me to the punch.

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Dignitas 2 years, 3 months ago

Try to change the mind of people that live in the culture of death is like trying to pick up a turd by its clean end. Rape isn't an acceptable reason for abortions either. Every child is conceived with a right to life!!! I cannot comprehend how anyone can put the life of a child in the hands of murders. When you accept that an abortion ( which is killing someone) is ok when do you stop. Especially when the consequences to the women's health are all put into far more danger of cancer alcohol and drug abuse inability to conceive again when the child is wanted etc etc etc..53000000 million people have been murdered since 1973 in America alone by abortions (those that are known about anyway). Who are you missing? Anyone who needs help in healing their heart from loss of motherhood / fatherhood 'Rachel's Vineyard ' is a wonderful program. Also to meet others that no longer can defend their abortion. There is WWW.silentnomore.com We were all once unborn.

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 3 months ago

Not everyone shares your embarrassing opinions on this matter.

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voevoda 2 years, 3 months ago

You are entitled to your view that abortion is immoral, dignitas. But don't advocate that US law impose your particular view upon the rest of the population, given that many religious traditions hold different views on the subject. And you're not entitled to make up your own "facts" about the medical consequences of abortion.

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Frederic Gutknecht IV 2 years, 3 months ago

I see you're "trying to pick up a turd by its clean end."

Only god and the apple of god's eye can do that.

Live with your dirty fingers.

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Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

"Abortion exists largely to preserve lifestyles... by those who would end a life to preserve their style."

And that is a problem, why?

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SnakeFist 2 years, 3 months ago

The notion that men should have no say on the issue of abortion is ridiculous. It takes a man and a woman to reproduce, and both men and women should have reproductive rights (and if you say simply that the man's choice ends when he has sex and conceives a child, then I reply equally simply that the woman's does as well).

Yes, the woman has to carry the fetus in her body for 9 months, but the man is legally and morally obligated to support the resulting child for the next 18 years. So it is irrational to suggest that the man is unaffected by the pregnancy and therefore should have no say in whether it continues or ends - men are equal stakeholders in reproduction.

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grammaddy 2 years, 3 months ago

So you think ONLY the man is legally and morally obligated to support the resulting child for the next 18 years? Until a man can get pregnant and carry that child to term, the only rights he has are the ones given to him by the one doing all the work. If you're against abortions, don't have one.

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SnakeFist 2 years, 3 months ago

"...the only rights he has are the ones given to him by the one doing all the work."

Sounds to me like the issue is about women controlling men, not the other way around.

And, of course, I resent your assertion that men do none of the work. Again, feminists seem to relish asserting sexist stereotypes about men. How would you like it if I said something like "the only rights she has are the ones given to her by the one doing all the thinking"? Not nice, is it?

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hujiko 2 years, 3 months ago

"Sounds to me like the issue is about women controlling men, not the other way around."

This has nothing to do with women seeking control over men. It has everything to do with women seeking control over their individual bodies.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Yes, but it may involve denying men a part of the decision, when it may be reasonable for them to be involved in it, since it affects them as well.

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hujiko 2 years, 3 months ago

There's no denying men a decision they cannot physically have to begin with. No one can force a woman to complete a pregnancy if she wishes to terminate. Yes, the man that impregnated the woman may have some stake in the outcome, but because the gestation is occurring within the woman, men have no recourse.

It's really that simple. Autonomy.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

I completely disagree.

It takes two to make the baby, and it will take two to support it if born. How is it that the decision about whether or not to have it is only one person's decision?

If women want the complete autonomy to have a child the father doesn't want, then they should give up any claim on him to support the child.

And, if the potential father really wants to raise the child, and would forgo support from the woman if she doesn't want it, why shouldn't they talk about that and decide together?

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hujiko 2 years, 3 months ago

"It takes two to make the baby" This is half true, it takes several passionate minutes for the male to do his part, while it takes 3/4 of a year and hours of intensely painful labor at higher risk for the female. There is really no comparing the burden between the sexes.

"and it will take two to support it if born." False.

I'm not exactly sure of the figure, but I would venture to guess there are more deadbeat fathers than mothers. Anyway, your scenario(s) seem less than prevalent (your usage of "if" gives it away). I think you're splitting hairs for the sake of argument, but we all do that from time to time.

I think the reasonable approach for either of your situations would be for the couple in question to discuss these possibilities before engaging in sex, so that each party understands each others expectations given a pregnancy. Fewer hurt feelings this way.

"If women want the complete autonomy to have a child the father doesn't want, then they should give up any claim on him to support the child."

Child Support does not equal Abortion. If you want those laws amended, you'll have to go somewhere else.

"And, if the potential father really wants to raise the child, and would forgo support from the woman if she doesn't want it, why shouldn't they talk about that and decide together?"

Sounds reasonable, but if the guy wants to raise a child so badly, why doesn't he adopt one of the millions of kids already in America without parents? Having one specifically for himself seems rather selfish.

This whole argument would be moot if males could get pregnant. We can go on about this ad infinitum, but it really comes down to respecting everybody's right to their individual autonomy.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

If men don't have the right to be involved in the decision, then they shouldn't be legally responsible if the woman decides to carry the child to term - but, of course, they are.

And, on the other hand, if the man wants very much to raise the child, and would do so without the woman if she doesn't want to do that, why shouldn't he be allowed to be part of the decision?

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Katara 2 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps then you should invest in research and technology that will allow a man to gestate.

Why should a woman be forced to assume a physical risk to her body & health because the man desires the child but is unable to physically assume the risk himself?

And what do you do if the pregnancy harms the woman in some way or even kills her?

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Why should a man be forced to assume legal financial obligations because a woman wants the child he doesn't want?

Why should a man be denied the experience of raising a child he wants to raise because the woman doesn't want that?

Obviously, normal precautions would apply - I'd never try to convince anybody to carry a dangerous pregnancy to term.

If men are responsible for the children once born, then it seems to me only reasonable that they should be allowed to be part of the decision about whether or not they're born.

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Katara 2 years, 3 months ago

And again, biology (for now) prevents men from gestating. You must assume that all pregnancies are easy. They are not and a woman may not know that a pregnancy is dangerous until well into it. For example, testing for gestational diabetes does not occur until approximately 4 months into the pregnancy. At that point, if the woman is diagnosed with gestational diabetes, the damage to her body has already begun.

If the woman has a difficult birth and it ends up with a C-section (major surgery), what do you do about that?

Assuming the pregnancy goes full term and a relatively healthy baby is the result. How are the postpartum needs of the woman covered? Birth does require a recovery time, particularly if one has a C-section. You are even prohibited from driving for 6 weeks after one.

Or if the pregnancy is difficult and the woman is ordered to bed rest, who is going to care for her needs there? What about her financial needs? If she is on bed rest, she can't work.

I am not able to understand why you believe a man should have a say in a decision that does not impact his health or presents him a risk of disability or death. Would you want another person requiring that you assume those risks?

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Why would anybody ever have a child, if pregnancy is really so dangerous for all women?

Biology also prevents women from having babies on their own, without some involvement from men (even if it's just in the form of sperm donation).

My point is just that men are involved in the creation, and the support of children, and so it makes sense for them to be involved in the decision about whether or not to have them.

Just as it makes sense for them to be involved in birth control, rather than just leaving that up to the women.

Are you ok with requiring men to support children they didn't want to have? If the woman wants the child and the man doesn't, is it fair to require him to assume financial and other support for it?

And, you keep translating "having a say" to "requiring" - is there really no space in your world view for joint decisions, made after discussion? Let's say I impregnated somebody, and she got pregnant. I would think we would/should talk about it in depth before deciding how to proceed - that would include how much we each did or didn't want a child, what kind of health risks existed, etc.

In your world, do people just make decisions like that on their own, without discussion?

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Katara 2 years, 3 months ago

That's great that you are willing to discuss with the woman you knocked up the outcome.

I guess you haven't heard of one night stands or relationships that end poorly before the pregnancy is discovered. Abusive relationships don't exist to you and rape must not happen.

It is interesting that you seem to think that pregnancy and childbirth are without risk. You seem to be unwilling to acknowledge that pregnancy and childbirth can be dangerous for women. I am not sure why. Perhaps you've not met someone who has had a high risk pregnancy or perhaps you've never known someone who died in childbirth.

As much as we like to think we are awesome in the medical field here in the U.S., women still do die from pregnancy and childbirth.

Men's involvement in the creation incurs none of the risks of pregnancy and childbirth. It is severely unequal in risk taking but you want men to a have a say in a decision that has no consequences for them physically. A man will not have his health compromised, will not be disabled, and will not die due to the pregnancy and birth. Having to be legally and financially responsible (of which the woman is too) does not incur any physical risk to the man.

Do you want someone who has no risk whatsoever being part of the decision for something that affects your physically?

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps people shouldn't have sex with people that they're not prepared to have this sort of discussion with, since no forms of bc are 100% effective.

Things like rape, and abusive relationships would obviously be factors against involvement of the men - that's really a bit insulting, that you would assume I'd support any sort of involvement of a rapist in the decision.

I never said it was "without risk" - I simply questioned your view that it's extremely risky for all women, in all states of health.

And, with all of our technology, it seems to me that it's a good possibility that we can assess health risks early on, and detect problems in time to do something about them. We know, for example, that women over a certain age incur more risks of various sorts of things.

Really, given your view, why would any women ever want to have children? It sounds incredibly dangerous, and life threatening. You should probably get your tubes tied if you haven't, and take up the cause to convince other women to do the same.

Or, are you just exaggerating a little to try to make a point?

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Katara 2 years, 3 months ago

It is obvious that you are pretty clueless about prenatal and postnatal care. It is also obvious that you seem believe that most pregnancy problems occur with some advance notice. It is also obvious that you are not willing to educate yourself about pregnancy complications and how common they are.

I would encourage you to do some research before you further engage in discussion on this topic. I'll even be so kind as to help you find some information.

http://bit.ly/Ln7yCl

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Ok - I'll stop responding now.

I think we've reached the end of any usefulness of this discussion.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

And, as far as your question about physical risk, men have traditionally had higher rates of high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, etc. much of which can be traced to the stress of the workplace.

As women have entered into that in greater numbers, their health risks have increased.

If a couple has a child, and the woman wants to be a stay at home mom, should that not be allowed into the conversation because it will probably result in health risks for the man?

I believe in equality between the sexes - that means both get to participate in decisions and actions that are taken.

It doesn't mean, of course, that men and women are identical, that pregnancy is the same for a woman the father of the child, etc. In addition to that, women who breast feed almost certainly have an experience of deeper bonding and connection than men will ever be able to have.

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Katara 2 years, 3 months ago

You are really reaching now and I am disappointed that you are choosing to do so. Normally you have fairly well reasoned arguments but this comparison of the physical risks a woman incurs due to pregnancy and childbirth to higher rates of stress related workplace conditions is a joke.

And I am not sure where you are going with the breastfeeding thing at all. Not to mention the slap in the face you deliver to women who are unable to breastfeed or choose not to breastfeed in regarding to bonding and connection.

It is wonderful that you live in an ideal world where all couples who have sex are mature and willing to discuss all options before engaging in it. It is wonderful that you live in an ideal world where pregnancy complications are rare and women do not die in childbirth. It is wonderful that you live in an ideal world where every parent willingly accepts and follows through with their legal, financial, and emotional responsibilities.

Let me know when you decide to engage in the real world. We'll pick up this discussion then.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

I'll stop responding now, since we seem to have reached the end of useful discussion.

It's too bad that you can't understand the points I'm trying to make.

The breastfeeding comment was to point out another difference between men and women when it comes to children - their experiences aren't identical.

That doesn't mean that they shouldn't have equal rights and responsibilities in my book.

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kuguardgrl13 2 years, 3 months ago

Yes, making a child requires both a female and a male. If I were to get pregnant now, I would absolutely discuss the options with my boyfriend. He is the type who would feel a responsibility to that child. Not all men feel that way. A fair number of rapists don't care if the victim gets pregnant and don't want to support the child that would result. Should a woman have to consult her rapist on whether she should have an abortion? That's ridiculous. Should a women in a good relationship where the sex was consensual talk to her boyfriend or husband? Yes. That's what a relationship is. If the woman goes and gets an abortion without talking to her significant other, she really doesn't deserve his emotional support afterwards. Call me an anti-feminist or whatever you want. While it's my body and ultimately my decision, I still want my boyfriend's support in whatever the decision is. I fully expect him to help me support a child if that happens, but I also know he would understand my not wanting to take on that responsibility just yet. So girls, if you have a supportive understanding guy, you should talk to him, preferably before you engage in sex. He may just surprise you with his maturity.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Rapists should have no involvement whatsoever in the decision, and no reasonable person would ever support that sort of involvement on their part.

And, I'm glad that you're in a good relationship.

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Dignitas 2 years, 3 months ago

The Latin word fetus means 'off-spring, little one, child ' I was always wondering the difference between a innocent helpless not born baby and an ax murder... o I think it might be culpablity for own choice or Killing willingly or being killed unwillingly might separate abortions and capital punishment. In 1973 the federal government thru the branch of the supreme court made killing not yet born humans legal. I'm thinking the folks that used the poor women Roe (who is now prolife), to force everyone to support this heinous crime began the governments forcing people to accept the horrors of abortions. The prolife people are only in support of people being allowed to live. Why that is so lost to everyone that is already born I don't understand. Honoring life is much easier then supporting death. Imagine that not yet born but alive human as a sweet little puppy.. maybe you'll care for that life more.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

The idea that "pro life" folks care about life would be more convincing if they cared after the fetuses/embryos/etc. were carried to term and born.

But, the vast majority of them support social policies that generally tend to leave people on their own to struggle without help, unless such help comes with religious overtones and the attempt to convert.

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Frederic Gutknecht IV 2 years, 3 months ago

There are so many sweet, wonderful things in this world, and it seems as if we're doing our best to destroy them all. WE are homo sapiens. WE do not honor life. WE should not honor ourselves. Life is the beautiful thing. Life evolves. WE are not life. WE destroy life as WE destroy diversity. WE should probably not be breeding AT ALL!~) ...but life is messy, and it will continue with or without the arrogant propagation of our destructive species. The bottom line is that life is messy. We can all believe and promote what we have chosen to believe, but it will all be bent, spindled and mutilated.

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verity 2 years, 3 months ago

Since every argument has been stated many times on these threads, all I'm going to say it that---whether legal or not, whether you agree or disagree, women will continue to have abortions. Some women may use them as birth control, I don't know. Some will have them because it's inconvenient to have a baby at that time for whatever reason. Some will have them for medical necessities (yes, I said medical necessity). Some percentage will be because they were having sex outside of marriage (and sex outside of marriage is nobody else's business as far as I am concerned).

If women can't obtain abortions legally, they will have illegal and often dangerous abortions. Many will die.

If you are truly pro-life, you will support thorough sex education and ready access to birth control. This is the only way to lower the number of abortions, not by trying to outlaw them.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 3 months ago

This would be perfectly acceptable were it not for the fact that to many of these extremists even the very act of contraception is considered "abortion". Wearing a condom and preventing a sperm and egg from meeting is considered "anti-life". It's interesting to note that the Catholic Church actually lied to people in certain African countries and told them that wearing condoms would lead to AIDS, not prevent it, thus contributing to the deaths of thousands of people and the orphaning of thousands of children. All in the name of "life". http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3176982.stm

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verity 2 years, 3 months ago

Sometimes I'm righter---in a left sort of way.

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ljwhirled 2 years, 3 months ago

I think a little levity is in order:

As we all know, every sperm is sacred: http://youtu.be/fUspLVStPbk

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Linda Endicott 2 years, 3 months ago

'You' 'are' 'really' 'annoying'

And what's with the British way of using quotation marks, anyway? In America, we do it "this" way...

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ivalueamerica 2 years, 3 months ago

I will never understand this bizarre and controlling behavior to try and force women to breed against their will.

Then to go to the extreme and force them to do it if their baby will be born dead, if it might kill the mother, if it is the product of rape or incest rape..if the mother is 10 years old...

Nothing Christian, nothing compassionate, nothing American in that.

and while religious arguments are not relevant as they hold no legal standing in US law, even religious arguments are flawed because in Numbers 5 God instructs priests to give bitter herbs to adulterous women to flatten and rot their bellies. It is pretty clearly God endorsed abortion.

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ivalueamerica 2 years, 3 months ago

i am not sure you have ever posted an intelligent or logical response where you actually discuss the facts.

I do not think you are capable.

How pathetic.

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funkdog1 2 years, 3 months ago

Seriously? Wind farms? Wind farms are being "forced" on you? And you are the so-called "normal" public? Wow.

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John Kyle 2 years, 3 months ago

Will you stop with the quotation marks already? Why did you put quotes around 'whatever'? (I put quotes around them because I was referencing what you wrote). Please go back to grammar school and learn to write.

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werekoala 2 years, 3 months ago

I know no one will read this, this late in the game, but I just wanted to say that this letter is a perfect demonstration of the selective morality that anti-abortion activists like to use.

The man starts off by saying that every fetus had a right to life, and that the mom had a choice as to whether or not to have sex, no backsies. While I personally disagree with this opinion, it is a valid and internally consistent belief structure.

But a few sentences later, he says it is okay to revoke that fundamental right to life, if the mom was raped. He justifies this because she didn't have a choice in the conception. WTF? Does not compute!

since you can't have rights if you don't exist, the right to life has got to be paramount. So if you are going to say that an embryo deserves the same exact rights as the mother, then the embryo's right to life outweighs any right the mother may have to not be forced to carry herr rapist's baby to term.

Instead, by admitting that there are certain situations in which abortion is an acceptable decision, the author has accidentally argued the opposite of what he intended. Once he admits that abortion can be justified for reasons other than life-threatening medical conditions, the noble talk about the sanctity of life is exposed for the hyperbole that it is. We are just arguing over the details.

It comes down to the fact that this guy and his ilk don't care about saving fetuses, but about punishing chiices

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 3 months ago

The fact is no one knows when an embryo/fetus becomes a human being.

It is probably some time in the early third trimester.

This is why I support restrictions on late term abortions (there already are, as evidenced by Neuhaus having her license revoked), and also support free an accessible abortion for embryos early in pregnancy.

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Centerville 2 years, 3 months ago

And it's too bad we're still getting so visceral over this. After all, abortion has served it's purpose of funding Pro Kan Do and and the person who benefitted most has moved on to the coctail bars of Washington.

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kuguardgrl13 2 years, 3 months ago

A man and a woman have sex. An egg is present, and is fertilized by one of the millions of sperm.
That fertilized egg begins to divide into more and more cells. That small ball of cells lacks a few crucial elements: a heart, a brain, lungs, all crucial to being alive and human. This is what is considered to be an embryo. A fetus is when the unborn begins to resemble something like a human. Fetuses are not considered viable until about 7 months (that being they have the potential to survive after spending the first few months after birth in NICU. That is how our laws stand. If the fetus is beyond the viability point, in most cases it is too late for an abortion. Before then, there is still a risk of miscarriage (which still happens and is usually an accident). Of course, there is a risk of miscarriage throughout a pregnancy, but it lessens over the course of the 9 months. A baby born at about 7-8 months can usually survive if given the proper care. My own brother was a premie through no fault of my mother's. It happened, and he has been very lucky to be alive. However, an embryo cannot survive on its own. Even a fetus in the early stages has a very slim chance of survival. So an abortion is the death of something that some consider to be a form of a parasite. I've heard that from women after they've had children, so don't jump down my throat. An embryo pulls nutrients from its mother (effectively a host) ,even stripping calcium out of a woman's teeth and bones if she does not have enough on reserve. Unborn children will suck their mothers dry without so much as a tear thanks to nature. You try to protect something that kills without thinking? There is absolutely nothing wrong with pregnancy and having children (I myself plan to be a mother someday in the future), but you have to look at the biological facts. Have no fear that enough children will continue to be born to perpetuate the human race. Abortions have not slowed that, and there's nothing to say that they will. If made illegal, women who are desperate enough will leave the country or go into a back alley. It's ok to abort an animal's pregnancy to save the mother, why shouldn't it be the same for humans? Women also shouldn't have to give birth to children that won't be well cared for and educated. If you don't want abortions, you better be prepared to support welfare and public schools.

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whats_going_on 2 years, 3 months ago

Why do we still argue over this stuff? No one is going to change the minds of others regarding this issue.

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