Abortion

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Dannyalcatraz

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an aborted baby tends to get born later by the same mom. A woman who always wanted 3 kids, but gets pregnant in college accidentally, and terminates, will later be found to have 3 kids.

WHOA! Let's be careful here, because that is a factually incorrect statement, and a tad warped because children are not fungible.

An aborted baby will never be born. His/her mother may have other children, but the unique genetic combination and potential of THAT child is forever erased.
 

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innerdude

Legend
And, of course, I do not share the general conception that human life is something necessarily wonderful to be treasured. In fact, I think the planet would benefit greatly from a drastic reduction in human population. Say, down to half in the next 30 years?

You just demonstrated it is not a person, as it is not one yet. Like the egg has the potential to become a chicken, but it isn't a chicken, its an egg. Potentiality is meaningless. It is only killing actual people that is problematic. And event then...

I think this demonstrates some of what I was trying to get at.

Have we really lost the sense of wonder of what it means to even POTENTIALLY bring another human being into the world? Even if I accept that an unborn child is not a "person" until 24 weeks post-conception (a notion I reject), is there truly no sense of wonder that the genetic material growing in a womb will, given enough time, grow into a sentient being like ourselves?

Are we really so privileged, having been blessed by fate and good fortune to have grown into human adulthood, to dismiss off-hand the "potentiality" of a sentient life yet un-lived?

I guess I'm just suggesting that this is something to be seriously considered.

I also think the "chicken and egg" comparison is something of a straw man argument. Do we really want to make comparisons of the relative "potentiality" of personal thought, experience, creativity, and animus of a chicken versus a human being?

However, as it appears that arguments for or against either side are unlikely to result in dialogue other than re-entrenching into existing positions, I personally am going to respectfully drop out of the conversation.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
WHOA! Let's be careful here, because that is a factually incorrect statement, and a tad warped because children are not fungible.

An aborted baby will never be born. His/her mother may have other children, but the unique genetic combination and potential of THAT child is forever erased.

True, but the statement, I think, talks more to the question of population size and control. I see posts on Facebook from a SuperCatholic friend of mine (he's a relatively recent convert after seeking a way to control an alcohol problem, I'm sure many of us know the type) lamenting that the US has x million fewer people because of abortion. Any finding that a woman will typically raise the same number of kids regardless of having a history of abortion undermines the population size aspect of that lament.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
I get that, but this is an area of discussion already filled with all kinds of rhetorical land mines. Best not to add to the total.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
I think this demonstrates some of what I was trying to get at.

Have we really lost the sense of wonder of what it means to even POTENTIALLY bring another human being into the world? Even if I accept that an unborn child is not a "person" until 24 weeks post-conception (a notion I reject), is there truly no sense of wonder that the genetic material growing in a womb will, given enough time, grow into a sentient being like ourselves?

Are we really so privileged, having been blessed by fate and good fortune to have grown into human adulthood, to dismiss off-hand the "potentiality" of a sentient life yet un-lived?

I guess I'm just suggesting that this is something to be seriously considered.

I think we all have to keep in mind that there frequently are trade-offs involved. What must the mother endure, depending on her circumstances, in order for that potentiality to be realized, particularly if the abortion she would otherwise seek is denied or unavailable? An abusive household? Life- or health-threatening complications? Poor health care? Emotional damage? All of these are possible costs of that potentiality and that's without considering the effect on the mother's psyche of society subjecting her to these conditions in favor of that potentiality should abortion be banned.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Have we really lost the sense of wonder of what it means to even POTENTIALLY bring another human being into the world?

Perhaps. That there are already *seven billion* of us probably figures into that. While you are focused on this big thing of "potential", many others are probably focused on "likely reality". The kid is going to be.. another person. Not Mozart. Not Einstein. Just another person, with a middle-management job (or less, for many of the folks who are in the position of considering an abortion). Yes, they would be unique, but the level of actual differences from other people on the planet isn't large - we are not a genetically diverse species, you know.

Even if I accept that an unborn child is not a "person" until 24 weeks post-conception (a notion I reject), is there truly no sense of wonder that the genetic material growing in a womb will, given enough time, grow into a sentient being like ourselves?

It is difficult to see the everyday as wondrous. Seven billion times recently. Headed to ten billion, and possibly more than the planet can sustain within one or two more lifetimes, with attendant crash and misery if we go too far. More on this in a moment...

Are we really so privileged, having been blessed by fate and good fortune to have grown into human adulthood, to dismiss off-hand the "potentiality" of a sentient life yet un-lived?

Oh, now you have to be careful. You are, in effect, asking a young woman to give up much of *her* "life yet un-lived" to bring this kid into the world and support it. It is not by any means clear that the potential life yet un-lived is a greater thing than her real and current life yet un-lived.

I guess I'm just suggesting that this is something to be seriously considered.

Yes, but there is another, just as serious consideration. To steal from Thoreau, most folks live lives not of "potential", but of quiet desperation. A child at the wrong time increases that desperation, and, whatever "potential" it has, the child will also feel that desperation. You ask if it is fair to waste the potential. You should also ask if it is fair to knowingly let it have that potential, only to have it squashed by already-known circumstance.

To be brutally honest - it seems inappropriate for us as a society to *force* people (either by law, or shame and societal pressure) to bring kids into the world but then take squat-all responsibility for that kid's life. That's very much like being a dead-beat dad, isn't it? Society must take responsibility for it's actions, just like the father.

Give us universal living wages, universal healthcare, and universal education opportunities, and then we can talk about forcing or pressuring people to bring kids into the world. Until then, the choice should rest on the people who *do* take responsibility for that kid.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
Give us universal living wages, universal healthcare, and universal education opportunities, and then we can talk about forcing or pressuring people to bring kids into the world. Until then, the choice should rest on the people who *do* take responsibility for that kid.

At the very least, if someone is forced to carry to term by the state, there has to be some kind of corresponding societal duty to help that person with the burden of raising that child OR a reasonable system of adoption/state-supported child care that doesn't treat the kids like puppies in a mill.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
At the very least, if someone is forced to carry to term by the state, there has to be some kind of corresponding societal duty to help that person with the burden of raising that child OR a reasonable system of adoption/state-supported child care that doesn't treat the kids like puppies in a mill.

Not "OR". AND. She who is forced to bring it to term should be allowed to raise the child or not. The child gets support whichever way the mother chooses.
 

Janx

Hero
WHOA! Let's be careful here, because that is a factually incorrect statement, and a tad warped because children are not fungible.

An aborted baby will never be born. His/her mother may have other children, but the unique genetic combination and potential of THAT child is forever erased.

true, but from the perspective of the planet and the tax base, the overall headcount of born people increase is the same.
 

Janx

Hero
I think we all have to keep in mind that there frequently are trade-offs involved. What must the mother endure, depending on her circumstances, in order for that potentiality to be realized, particularly if the abortion she would otherwise seek is denied or unavailable? An abusive household? Life- or health-threatening complications? Poor health care? Emotional damage? All of these are possible costs of that potentiality and that's without considering the effect on the mother's psyche of society subjecting her to these conditions in favor of that potentiality should abortion be banned.

Yup.

Would it force an aspiring college student to drop out? Or a high school student? Teen moms have a bad track record for finishing school and succeeding in life.

InnerDude's not wrong in that a new fetus has potential. But it also has probability based on the conditions surrounding it. And the as a society, we have to do math and science to make decisions.

Otherwise we end up with politics that deny the teen the abortion, shame her, block her from getting pre-natal support, try to shut down government assistance programs for the poor, etc. That's not logical nor compassionate, which is the ironic thing about deciding to terminate a pregnancy. There are a lot of big and small factors and having been there, I can tell you, it's not a decision made out of cruelty or pure cold calculation.
 

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