22 votes

Both sides of the abortion debate want to defend and protect

I have stood on both sides of the abortion debate. I was raised conservative. Most of my family is conservative. But I became more liberal as an adult. In listening to both conservatives and liberals argue their side of the debate they have something fundamental in common: both are motivated by a desire to care and protect. Liberals want to protect the rights, autonomy and health of women. Conservatives want to protect the life of the unborn.

Both sides see the other as monsters out to attack. They think that because the other side works to thwart their efforts to protect, that the other side intends harm. But that's not true. Neither side wants to inflict harm. They may be willing to inflict harm to protect another, but that is not the same as wanting to inflict harm. Those who are pro-choice don't want to kill babies; they want to protect women and sometimes killing the unborn is the unfortunate cost. Similarly those who are pro-life aren't necessarily motivated by a desire to control women*; they want to protect the unborn and limiting some rights of women is the cost.

* This of course comes with some sticky caveats. There is plenty of sexism among many who are pro-life, and plenty of hardliners who think women should be subservient. And those people's sexism does color there views of women's reproductive autonomy. But there are also moderate pro-lifers who otherwise value the rights of women. You don't have to be sexist to be pro-life. Anecdotally the pro-lifers I know personally are in the latter group.

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72 comments

  1. [12]
    FZeroRacer Link
    The fundamental trouble I have with the pro-life stance in the US is that while conservatives say they want to protect the life of the unborn, that protection ironically ends once the baby is...

    The fundamental trouble I have with the pro-life stance in the US is that while conservatives say they want to protect the life of the unborn, that protection ironically ends once the baby is born. They continue to advocate for things that harm single parent families, they continue to attack everything that promotes good sexual well being like contraceptives and they go against measures that would improve the amount of time parents can have with their children. This is without going into the horrid treatment of immigrant children.

    How can someone be pro-life and yet do everything they can to diminish the quality of that child's life once they're out of the womb?

    42 votes
    1. [10]
      Pilgrim Link Parent
      That's because they're not pro-life. That is and always has been a misnomer. They're against a woman's right to choose. That's the only thing that lines up with the other stances they hold. Even...

      How can someone be pro-life and yet do everything they can to diminish the quality of that child's life once they're out of the womb?

      That's because they're not pro-life. That is and always has been a misnomer. They're against a woman's right to choose. That's the only thing that lines up with the other stances they hold. Even OP said it:

      There is plenty of sexism among many who are pro-life, and plenty of hardliners who think women should be subservient.

      I have to imagine that those who view themselves as "Pro-life" either lack the information to hold an informed opinion or lack the fortitude to come to grips with their real motivations.

      12 votes
      1. [9]
        cadadr Link Parent
        Nope. Maybe things are different on my side because I live in a Muslim majority country, but I believe these people are driven with one major thing: fucking selfishness. Let me explain: it is not...

        That's because they're not pro-life. That is and always has been a misnomer. They're against a woman's right to choose.

        Nope. Maybe things are different on my side because I live in a Muslim majority country, but I believe these people are driven with one major thing: fucking selfishness.

        Let me explain: it is not about the rights of women or the life of the unborn (I don't believe the unborn has a life, but whatever). It is about sins and afterlife. They mainly want two things (and this extends to things like homophobia): (1) they worry the "sins" of others will cause them trouble in the afterlife and (2) they don't want their family members, especially kids, to be homosexual or have pre-marital sex, or do other fun stuff, possibly because they are jealous given they've lived under a rock because they believe in some story written in a book and thus avoided all the fun stuff. Now, because they didn't have it, and they can't have it, they subconsciously want that nobody have it.

        I believe all the fury is about this. Hating on those who don't stay virgins outside wedlock is more (2), hating on abortion or the LGBTQ+ is more (1). They don't want to go to hell, and they are jealous when other people have things that they themselves denied themselves because religion.

        11 votes
        1. [4]
          acdw Link Parent
          I also think a lot of hard-line Christians in America want a Christian theocratic government. I think it might have roots in the advice to "create a heaven on Earth," but it's definitely about...

          I also think a lot of hard-line Christians in America want a Christian theocratic government. I think it might have roots in the advice to "create a heaven on Earth," but it's definitely about political power as legitimized by the Church.

          10 votes
          1. [3]
            sqew Link Parent
            Definitely agree with you on that, and I've always found many of the arguments they make to be hilarious, especially the "America was founded as a Christian nation" one. Plus, as someone who was...

            I also think a lot of hard-line Christians in America want a Christian theocratic government.

            Definitely agree with you on that, and I've always found many of the arguments they make to be hilarious, especially the "America was founded as a Christian nation" one. Plus, as someone who was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools, the main message that I've gotten from Jesus' teachings is that we're supposed to take care of and love everyone, especially women, the poor, and the oppressed, which seems to be the opposite of what many conservative Christians in government spend their time trying to do.

            5 votes
            1. [2]
              acdw Link Parent
              YEP. That's my main clue that conservative American Christianity isn't actually about following Jesus (because then they'd be all about welfare programs, social justice, etc.), but about...

              the main message that I've gotten from Jesus' teachings is that we're supposed to take care of and love everyone

              YEP. That's my main clue that conservative American Christianity isn't actually about following Jesus (because then they'd be all about welfare programs, social justice, etc.), but about consolidating power into the hands of one in-group and running the country as they see fit.

              6 votes
              1. [2]
                Comment deleted by author
                Link Parent
                1. acdw Link Parent
                  No, that's not what I was saying at all. I'm saying that the Evangelical Christian leadership have a rhetorical disconnect between what they say they believe in (the teachings of a rabbi who was...

                  Do you think that people who disagree with you politically are inherently evil?

                  No, that's not what I was saying at all. I'm saying that the Evangelical Christian leadership have a rhetorical disconnect between what they say they believe in (the teachings of a rabbi who was killed for saying we should love one another and work to end injustice) and how they act (calling for the harming or death of doctors performing abortions, refusing service to homosexuals, engaging in xenophobia around immigrants, etc.).

                  both sides intend to do what is best for the most people.

                  In a functioning society, I'd agree with you. However, we're outside of that realm. People are calling for the death or imprisonment of immigrants for no other reason than that they're immigrants. There's been a ramping-up of hate speech and terrorism perpetrated by one side of this "debate" (which I put in scare quotes because I don't think a bad-faith actor can participate in a debate, and I think that many of the religious right are bad actors). Tell me, in what way is the Westboro Baptist Church intending to do what is best for the most people? In what way are evangelical mega-church preachers like Joel Osteen, who preach a prosperity gospel while lining their pockets with money conned from their congregations, intending to do what is best for the most people? I'm sorry if this is a little scattered, by the way. I haven't cited any of my arguments because I don't really want to spend all day on this.

                  There is no one political system at the moment which sees the best for everyone - only attempts at such, which inevitably have consequences for small groups of people.

                  I absolutely agree with you on this. I just think we should be looking for a more equitable system, that minimizes the consequences as much as possible. I think most would agree that our current political system is utterly broken in that regard.


                  I have one question for you. Why do you detest when people suggest that if Christians were really serious about following the teachings of Jesus, then they'd be about social welfare and social justice and loving their neighbor and helping the poor? What do you read as Jesus' teachings in the Bible, and how do you think Christians should express their faith in a secular nation?

                  5 votes
        2. [4]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. [3]
            cadadr Link Parent
            Also a choice to not be raped, a choice to never be too drunk to have made a mistake, a choice to never have a condom pop, a choice to a contraceptive method to never fail on you. Personally I...

            Also a choice to not be raped, a choice to never be too drunk to have made a mistake, a choice to never have a condom pop, a choice to a contraceptive method to never fail on you.

            Personally I don't care if a fetus is viable or not. One's life starts at birth. Before that, the baby is living inside the mother, as a part of her. Up until the baby is born, abortion is a right. At least logically. Yes I share the gut reaction to a 6 or 8 months old fetus being aborted, but that reaction does not mean anything.

            Having born a child and putting it up for abortion is not better, both for the child and for the parents. The parents have to face a huge moral choice and live with it all their lives no matter what option. The kid has to start its life in this negative situation which is never easy.

            But ultimately, none of these matter. It should be up to the mother to decide if she wants to bear a kid or not, up until birth. Her life is a human life too. And she lacks the gift of not remembering anything, whereas the baby in the womb will not remember anything ever, it won't have a conscience to deal with forever, and a hostile society that will shame it with their ignorance, especially w.r.t. reproductive health and sexually abusive behaviour.

            Your stance is based on the dogma that life of an individual starts when lifelike biological phenomenon starts. It is ignorant in that it assumes contraception is 100% effective and pregnancies only happen out of consensual sex; and that being born as an unwanted kid is somehow better than never being born. It is cruel because it puts the burden of a mistake or an unfortunate event on the victims. It is religious in that, while you day you are an atheist, the argument is based on religious beliefs. That you are an atheist does not preclude that you won't have supertitious beliefs. And you view is self-centered if not selfish in that you propose some vague models as a valid reason to deny parents choice, just because you feel a moral burden when they do choose what you don't want them to.

            9 votes
            1. [3]
              Comment deleted by author
              Link Parent
              1. cadadr Link Parent
                This whole thing is an emotional response to a logical argument, and in a debate that requires logic. You are also actively misrepresenting my words. I will not continue engaging with this debate...

                This whole thing is an emotional response to a logical argument, and in a debate that requires logic. You are also actively misrepresenting my words. I will not continue engaging with this debate given you brought it here.

                But:

                1. You told me you were atheist, and now you tell me you are irreligious. Fine. This does not mean that you (or I, that I'm irreligious too) are free of all forms of dogma. Whether or not you are under the influence of any dogma is a debate I don't want to continue.

                2. I have only debated your stance. But you're making guesses about what I think and what I can or can not understand, that is ad hominem and offensive.

                3. Specifically, when you say

                If you don't feel a moral burden when you end a life, or a potential for a life, I have no words for you.

                This is a horrible abhorrent accusation and I condemn you for that. That is a horrible sentence that you put in my mouth that I never even implied, and you should feel shame for that.

                Also, this is eerily similar to the Onan argument (also, this). "The potential for life" means nothing. Non-reproductive intercourse, masturbation, ejaculation during sleep, menstruation, and even eating a fruit is murder with such argument.

                Then again, you were in favour of late-term abortions, so this doesn't surprise me.

                I am not in favour of them. But I also think that, given its not my body, I don't get to decide. Or, if I was a woman, I'd only get to decide for my own case. I love babies as much as the next guy, but we can't decide on these stuff with our emotions.

                Also, this is a mostly philosophical discussion on this topic, at least the part that I'm engaging. IRL, there should definitely be precautions and education that ensures that if an abortion is going to happen, unless it is really needed, it happens earlier during the pregnancy. It is more logical for the women too: if one got to seven or even six months, despite all the troubles and the pain a pregnancy causes, it is not really likely that such a person will want to terminate their pregnancy. And there are "subtler" cases that need to be handled, like gender-discriminatory abortions (I had read [via Tildes] an article where some parents were requesting abortions because they were going to have girls, but they wanted boys).

                Regardless, the option should be there. The fact is that an unborn baby is in someone's body, and that someone should be able to decide what to do with the baby while the baby is in there.

                4 votes
              2. Rocket_Man Link Parent
                Out of curiosity, I imagine you'd agree there's some moral disagreement about abortion. Therefore, despite your own feelings, do you think it'd be wise for laws to err on the side of personal...

                Out of curiosity, I imagine you'd agree there's some moral disagreement about abortion. Therefore, despite your own feelings, do you think it'd be wise for laws to err on the side of personal freedom? Meaning every individual makes that moral choice to have an abortion themselves?

                2 votes
        3. Pilgrim Link Parent
          Oh I forgot how powerful the concept of sin is at getting people to act against their own interests. Good call.

          Oh I forgot how powerful the concept of sin is at getting people to act against their own interests. Good call.

          3 votes
    2. toly Link Parent
      Pro-life is really a term that comes out of a desire not to be labeled an anti-something which never sounds good. The issues you bring up about conservatives making life difficult for single...

      Pro-life is really a term that comes out of a desire not to be labeled an anti-something which never sounds good. The issues you bring up about conservatives making life difficult for single parents, opposition to contraceptives and immigrant children are valid but ultimately different topics.

      You can call it a pro-life stance but really it's an anti-abortion stance and if a person believes that a child is a child when it's born it's not a stretch to extrapolate that it's a child right before birth and further extrapolate that it's a child all the way back to conception. Drawing a line at some arbitrary point and saying it's not a child is difficult to do.

      4 votes
  2. kfwyre Link
    I read through the comments here, and I think a missing piece of the conversation is the doctrinal perspective of many Christian, pro-life individuals. I grew up in a very strongly Christian...

    I read through the comments here, and I think a missing piece of the conversation is the doctrinal perspective of many Christian, pro-life individuals. I grew up in a very strongly Christian community and still have many strongly Christian friends and family members. While I have my own beliefs on abortion, I very much understand where they are coming from, and I think understanding their perspective will go a long way toward understanding why abortion is and will remain an unresolved debate.

    I should qualify that the following is not reflective of my personal beliefs but merely my attempt to convey the thinking behind many of the pro-life people that I know. I should also qualify that the specific beliefs regarding abortion vary greatly even between Christians themselves, so what I'm addressing here is far from universal.

    For the sake of clarity I am going to paint with some pretty broad brushstrokes. I do this not to make definitive points but to highlight a contour. What I say is true for the people I know and based on my experiences and interactions with them.


    From a pro-lifer's perspective, abortion is genocide. I am not using the term "genocide" as exaggeration--it is genuinely believed to be one. In the United States alone, over 45 million abortions have been performed since 1970. Estimates for the Holocaust peak at about 12 million. The Cambodian genocide was estimated to be about 3 million. Rwanda was 1 million. Comparatively speaking, pro-lifers believe that abortion is the single largest genocide humanity has ever faced.

    They believe it to be a genocide because they believe not only that life starts at conception, but that each person is lovingly created by God. There is a good amount of biblical precedent for this, but the most used is probably in Psalm 139. Verses 13 to 16 in particular:

    For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
    My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
    Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

    That passage touches on a couple of themes that frame Christian understanding of life. It is not just that life begins at conception, but that a life created by God already comes with a full, Godly plan for that life. When pro-choice people make the argument that pro-lifers value abstract lives over lived ones, they are missing the point. Many pro-lifers see the future lives of individuals according to God's plan as equal in magnitude and importance to the already lived lives of individuals.

    In fact (and things get really messy here) they might see them as more important. This is the absurdity that pro-choice proponents love to point out, which is already present here in this thread. I cannot defend the absurdity, but I would like to point out why it exists in the first place and why rational arguments probably won't have any impact.

    To understand where we're headed, you have to understand some basic tenets of Christian philosophy. Namely, that sin separates humanity from God, and that by accepting salvation through Jesus we can be forgiven for our sins. Separation from God is suffering, and communion with God is the highest, best, richest, most desirable state one can achieve. Upon death, those who have accepted Jesus's salvation will be in communion with God (eternal life), while those who have not will be separate from Him (eternal suffering).

    Even these basic tenets have variations between different believers and denominations, but there's one significant variation in particular that underpins the issue: the idea of "original sin"--that humanity was plunged into a default state of sinfulness following Adam and Eve's transgression in the Garden of Eden.

    This are huge doctrinal debates about this, and I won't go into too much detail here, but basically it breaks down into two camps: there are people who believe that all of human life starts out as sinful, and there are people who believe that humanity is innocent and pure until sin enters.

    Neither one is amenable to the idea of abortion, but for completely different reasons.

    In the first camp--those who believe that humanity is defaulted into sin--abortion is the act of condemning souls to eternal suffering before they ever had a chance at salvation. Why would they value the life of an embryo or infant more than a child or adult? Simple: children and adults have been given the chance of salvation and have turned away. Unborn babies, however, have never had this chance yet they must suffer eternally for it. Someone else made the decision to not simply terminate their life, but condemn their soul. This is unconscionable to many pro-life people. The most abhorrent thing imaginable. Pragmatists can look at the human rights abuses that coincide with genocides and say that at least those who suffered in life finally found peace in death. For pro-lifers, death is not the point of relief but the beginning of suffering. And there is no end to it. Ever.

    In the second camp--those who believe that humanity is innocent--abortion is the act of killing innocents. These are lives, full lives, that have committed no wrongs. Akin to the wholesale slaughtering of puppies. Equally unconscionable. A monstrous act.

    Moreover, in both camps, abortion has the taint of human hubris overriding God's plan. Each act of conception is seen as intentional, each life is seen as valuable, and each future is seen as pre-viewed. Abortion cuts off this life before it even has a chance, and the true horror of that isn't necessarily the loss of the life itself but the intentional and destructive rerouting of God's many plans. It is seen as an uncompromising corruption of His work. Humanity overstepping its bounds to spit in the face of the Almighty. They already believe we live in a fallen world, and abortion shows them just how low we're willing to go. Wholesale, widespread, continued murder of God's children. By the millions.

    When pro-lifers use the words "murder" or "genocide," they are not using it for dramatic effect. They genuinely believe, down to the core of their beings, that it is one of the most significant, widespread evils the world faces today. Quite possibly the most evil.

    Even if you are someone who completely disagrees with their premises, you can at least understand the passion that is inflamed by a sense of grave, outrageous injustice. Many of us have causes that we consider so important, so absolutely vital, that we hold them close to our heart and envelop them into who we are. For many pro-lifers, abortion sits in this innermost circle. It lives not in a place of reason and argument but in a place of justice and injustice--of right and wrong.

    I am gay, and no one will ever be able to sit me down and reason with me about how I should accept homophobia. It's a non-negotiable, because it is an affront to me as an individual and that which I consider right and just. Even if you can provide valid reasoning and arguments, I simply can't abide it. Hatred for me and mine is fundamentally incompatible with my beliefs.

    In the same way, pro-lifers are entrenched in a non-negotiable status on abortion. Reasoning and argumentation will not reach them because it will not fundamentally change their view that abortion is a terrible, evil injustice. Do I necessarily agree with them? No. But I understand the source of their beliefs and the conviction with which they hold them. I also understand that I feel equally strongly about my convictions, and that underpins my most uncompromisable beliefs.

    9 votes
  3. Ellimist Link
    I would be more sympathetic to the Conservative view point on abortion if Conservative ideology and policy didn't also take away the support young mothers often need. George Carlin did a stand up...

    I would be more sympathetic to the Conservative view point on abortion if Conservative ideology and policy didn't also take away the support young mothers often need.

    George Carlin did a stand up and he touched on this.....I don't remember the exact words but Carlin was basically saying that Pro Lifers weren't really Pro Life. They were just Pro Fetus because once the baby was born, they didn't give a fuck anymore. They didn't care about the mother or baby, especially in the minority communities, having food, healthcare, housing, or anything else that a young mother actually needed, things like SNAP and TANF and Medicaid seemingly always being on the chopping block for reducing government spending. The part that really stood to me was "They want live babies to grow up to be dead soldiers" and, given the country's history, I couldn't, and still can't, really argue against it. They don't want to pay to take care of those babies but they have zero issue paying to send them to war.

    To make matters worse, many adoption agencies are "faith based" and won't adopt children out to gay couples who otherwise would make wonderful parents.

    As far as my personal beliefs, I'm a straight white male. I don't feel I should have any say in the matter. It's not my body. My body will not be irrevocably changed by carrying a baby for nine months and if I really want to be an asshole, I can find ways to leave the baby mama hanging. Sure, there are laws against it and legal ways for her to go after me or even send me to jail but I can have as little or as much to do with that kid as I want. Or if it's a one night stand and maybe we don't get phone numbers or necessary contact info. Is she just supposed to have her life forever altered because WE weren't being safe? Nah, that don't sit right with me.

    Do I think the Pro Lifers are inherently wrong? No. As OP pointed out, in their mind, they're just trying to save a life. And a fetus is a life. It may not be sentient or aware but it's a life. It will grow into a human being. But does that mean it should take priority over the mother? Should an unwilling or unprepared young woman be forced to carry a child to term because it satisfies someone else's religious doctrine? I don't think so. Should a rape victim be forced to carry that child? Be an every day reminder of the trauma and horror she went through? If the child is going to have a very low quality of life, is it wrong for a woman to be spared the anguish of trying to raise and take care of a child in that condition? Or wrong to want to spare a child from never knowing the joys of life and childhood?

    19 votes
  4. [5]
    Sahasrahla Link
    Maybe tangential to your point but I've never seen anyone holding this view have moral consistency on it. If life (defined as human life we want to protect the same as any child or adult) starts...

    Conservatives want to protect the life of the unborn.

    Maybe tangential to your point but I've never seen anyone holding this view have moral consistency on it. If life (defined as human life we want to protect the same as any child or adult) starts at conception then we have a profound public health crisis because many fertilized eggs never make it with '50 percent of all fertilized eggs lost before a woman's missed menses.' When activists focus on this as much as they focus on throwing up barriers to abortions then maybe I'll believe their views are solely about being "pro-life".

    18 votes
    1. [4]
      Kenny Link Parent
      What's the actionable item on your statistic? I'm sure if there were actions that people are taking that lead to the 50% loss of fertilized eggs that the pro-life community would be a proponent of...

      What's the actionable item on your statistic? I'm sure if there were actions that people are taking that lead to the 50% loss of fertilized eggs that the pro-life community would be a proponent of changing that action - much like they are proposing changing human action now.

      There are many couples who mourn their child as their body goes through a miscarriage, too.

      Lack of knowledge that it's happening (before missed period, so the couple wouldn't know they're pregnant) and inability to change it (to my knowledge, I'm not knowledgeable in that area) are two key factors as to why that most likely isn't a focus.

      8 votes
      1. [3]
        Sahasrahla Link Parent
        This isn't a miscarriage—it is, like you said, unknown. The actionable item would be to say, "this is a medical crisis, let's make it a priority to research this issue to save these hundreds of...

        This isn't a miscarriage—it is, like you said, unknown. The actionable item would be to say, "this is a medical crisis, let's make it a priority to research this issue to save these hundreds of thousands of children who die each day." People would protest, call their representatives, have media campaigns, churches would make official statements; everything currently done about abortion, but towards research to fix this.

        Lack of knowledge that it's happening

        My position is that if pro-life people really cared about a fertilized egg in a morally consistent way then this knowledge would spread and become widely known and they'd be incensed that nothing was being done about it.

        14 votes
        1. Catt Link Parent
          Agreed and I personally think they would aim for the low hanging fruit of frozen/stored embryos. Those are literally considered property, can literally be tossed in the garbage and doesn't have...

          My position is that if pro-life people really cared about a fertilized egg in a morally consistent way then this knowledge would spread and become widely known and they'd be incensed that nothing was being done about it.

          Agreed and I personally think they would aim for the low hanging fruit of frozen/stored embryos. Those are literally considered property, can literally be tossed in the garbage and doesn't have the have the conflict of the mother's autonomy.

          4 votes
        2. Kenny Link Parent
          That's a good point, perhaps there should be some awareness about it. But I also think that the cause is being strategic in the sense that there is low-hanging fruit that can significantly change...

          That's a good point, perhaps there should be some awareness about it. But I also think that the cause is being strategic in the sense that there is low-hanging fruit that can significantly change the outcome via humans aborting based on non-medical reasons.

          Perhaps an analogy would assist. One that pops into my mind, perhaps not the strongest, is the idea that we can all get behind the idea that cancer is bad and we want to prevent deaths from cancer. We have a bucket of money to use to communicate about this problem and to encourage awareness and a change in action. There are things that are low-hanging fruit that we can focus on that would give us a significant ROI right off the bat. Once we accomplish those feats, we can then transition to the harder cases that require significant research, attitude, and behavior changes.

          3 votes
  5. [16]
    Yugioh_Mishima Link
    I'm sure Doctors David Gunn, Barnett Slepian, George Tiller, and who knows how many others are resting easy knowing their murderers didn't want to inflict harm. I'm not willing to give pro-lifers...

    Neither side wants to inflict harm. They may be willing to inflict harm to protect another, but that is not the same as wanting to inflict harm.

    I'm sure Doctors David Gunn, Barnett Slepian, George Tiller, and who knows how many others are resting easy knowing their murderers didn't want to inflict harm.

    I'm not willing to give pro-lifers any points for supposedly having their hearts in the right place when they've decided lumps of tissue are more worthy of protection than living, breathing humans.

    17 votes
    1. [10]
      Kenny Link Parent
      Don't know who those people are or what they have done, but your language is framing. The idea is that what pro-lifers are protecting isn't just lumps of tissue, but rather life - much like the...

      Don't know who those people are or what they have done, but your language is framing. The idea is that what pro-lifers are protecting isn't just lumps of tissue, but rather life - much like the living, breathing humans. As always, there are people on both sides that are the extremes of those views, let's try to not use them to define all people within that view.

      10 votes
      1. [3]
        Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
        I assume from context that they are doctors who have died in attacks on abortion clinics by pro-life activists.

        Don't know who those people are or what they have done,

        I assume from context that they are doctors who have died in attacks on abortion clinics by pro-life activists.

        12 votes
        1. [2]
          alyaza Link Parent
          you would be correct, although george tiller was--ironically, given the nature of many pro-life activists--assassinated at a church service.

          you would be correct, although george tiller was--ironically, given the nature of many pro-life activists--assassinated at a church service.

          12 votes
          1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
            Thanks for confirming that. I wasn't near a computer at the time, and couldn't check it.

            Thanks for confirming that. I wasn't near a computer at the time, and couldn't check it.

            1 vote
      2. [3]
        FZeroRacer Link Parent
        What would be examples of people on the far left murdering, assaulting, making up false stories etc for the sake of their pro-choice agenda?

        What would be examples of people on the far left murdering, assaulting, making up false stories etc for the sake of their pro-choice agenda?

        7 votes
        1. Eylrid Link Parent
          In the eyes of pro-lifers that would be every abortion.

          In the eyes of pro-lifers that would be every abortion.

          5 votes
        2. Kenny Link Parent
          Replied to another user,

          Replied to another user,

          I don't know, I'm sure there are examples and that we could spend time looking them up, but that doesn't advance the argument one way or another. Even if there were none, isn't this a whataboutism? It does a poor job of supporting the premise and doesn't speak to the root beliefs.

          1 vote
      3. [3]
        dubteedub Link Parent
        How many pro-choice activists have murdered for their cause?

        As always, there are people on both sides that are the extremes of those views, let's try to not use them to define all people within that view.

        How many pro-choice activists have murdered for their cause?

        6 votes
        1. [2]
          Kenny Link Parent
          I don't know, I'm sure there are examples and that we could spend time looking them up, but that doesn't advance the argument one way or another. Even if there were none, isn't this a...

          I don't know, I'm sure there are examples and that we could spend time looking them up, but that doesn't advance the argument one way or another. Even if there were none, isn't this a whataboutism? It does a poor job of supporting the premise and doesn't speak to the root beliefs.

          2 votes
          1. dubteedub Link Parent
            The whataboutism is claiming that there are people on both sides that are extremists.

            The whataboutism is claiming that there are people on both sides that are extremists.

            7 votes
    2. [5]
      Magneto Link Parent
      I feel this post has setup a false cause fallacy. I don't see how being a pro-lifer would imply that you want to kill doctors that preform abortion operations. The actions of a terrible person...

      I feel this post has setup a false cause fallacy.

      I don't see how being a pro-lifer would imply that you want to kill doctors that preform abortion operations. The actions of a terrible person that is involved with a given group does not mean that everyone that is involved in that group wants to commit the actions of that terrible person.

      I would see those murderers as radical pro-lifers that resorted to violence to make their political change.

      6 votes
      1. [3]
        Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
        I disagree. The OP states that “Neither side wants to inflict harm.” This comment points out (albeit snarkily) that some people on one side have inflicted harm. That does not imply that all...

        I feel this post has setup a false cause fallacy.

        I disagree. The OP states that “Neither side wants to inflict harm.” This comment points out (albeit snarkily) that some people on one side have inflicted harm. That does not imply that all pro-life activists want to inflict harm, but does demonstrate that some do, thus calling into question at least part of the claim in the OP.

        13 votes
        1. [2]
          Kenny (edited ) Link Parent
          Haven't we learned that arguments with "all" and "none" are weak to begin with? Why don't we edit the post to say the majority of both sides off the abortion debate want to defend and protect....

          Haven't we learned that arguments with "all" and "none" are weak to begin with? Why don't we edit the post to say the majority of both sides off the abortion debate want to defend and protect.

          one side

          Again, one side inflicting harm while asserting that the other side has not transgressed in anyway is ludicrous. We're dealing with highly charged subject matter and humans. Pro-choicers have, in the name of that belief, caused harm to others who have not held that same belief.

          This whole portion of the argument doesn't do anything though. Instead of dealing with the core issues we're doing the very thing that 90% of the site hates the Trump administration for doing (me included) and that's a whataboutism.

          I do think that both sides of the abortion debate want to defend and protect. We just hold different definitions and world views.

          Edit: week -> weak, long day.

          2 votes
          1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
            Well... some of us have. Some of us obviously haven't. I can't see where this comment we're discussing does assert that the other side has not transgressed in any way. It's not "whataboutism"....

            Haven't we learned that arguments with "all" and "none" are week to begin with?

            Well... some of us have. Some of us obviously haven't.

            Again, one side inflicting harm while asserting that the other side has not transgressed in anyway is ludicrous.

            I can't see where this comment we're discussing does assert that the other side has not transgressed in any way.

            that's a whataboutism.

            It's not "whataboutism". It's pointing out a flaw in @Eylrid's opening statement, where they make an assertion which is demonstrably false, in their misguided attempt to demonstrate that both sides are just as good or bad as each other.

            3 votes
      2. Yugioh_Mishima Link Parent
        Killing doctors is an extreme example of harm, but it's not the only one. Harm is harassing and threatening their patients on the street. It's giving false medical information under the guise of...

        Killing doctors is an extreme example of harm, but it's not the only one. Harm is harassing and threatening their patients on the street. It's giving false medical information under the guise of "crisis pregnancy centers". It's defunding clinics that provide essential medical services because they also provide abortion services. It's trying to overturn Roe v. Wade. These are all ipso facto bad things. If pro-lifers want to avoid causing harm, they need to stop being pro-lifers.

        7 votes
  6. [6]
    acdw Link
    I agree with what many of the others have said about Pro-Lifers debating in bad faith, but I also want to talk about the problem with even good-faith debates about abortion. A big problem with...

    I agree with what many of the others have said about Pro-Lifers debating in bad faith, but I also want to talk about the problem with even good-faith debates about abortion.

    A big problem with debating abortion is that we're not even having the same conversation. Almost anyone would agree with the blanket statement, "Murder is wrong," or "Ending a life without consent is wrong" (I'm speaking in broad strokes here). The problem becomes one of where do we define life? Pro-lifers define life as beginning at conception, pro-choicers define it as beginning at birth. That central disagreement is where the rest of the debate comes from, and since life and death are so emotionally charged, it becomes an emotional thing.

    I remember reading somewhere about how gun control is a similar issue to the left as abortion is to the right, and I was astounded to discover that it's true, at least for me. I am pro-gun-control because I have an emotional reaction to guns: I fear them, I don't ever want one, I don't understand people who do. It's that emotionality that underpins pro-lifers' (the good-faith ones, of which I think there are at least some) stance on abortion as well, and it comes from a different definition of the beginning of life than pro-choicers'. There won't be an end to the debate because there's no common terms to the debate.

    11 votes
    1. [5]
      Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      There is another school of thought which argues that even born babies are not entitled to the rights of personhood until such time as they're developed enough to recognise their own selfhood -...

      Pro-lifers define life as beginning at conception, pro-choicers define it as beginning at birth.

      There is another school of thought which argues that even born babies are not entitled to the rights of personhood until such time as they're developed enough to recognise their own selfhood - which often doesn't happen until about 18-24 months after birth. Before then, they're not people. In this school of thought, a "person" is that which recognises its own identity, and is self-conscious, and has wishes and desires - but babies don't become self-conscious until they're nearly 2 years old.

      Infants are sentient beings who are neither rational nor self- conscious. So if we turn to consider the infants in themselves, independently of the attitudes of their parents, since their species is not relevant to their moral status, the principles that govern the wrongness of killing non-human animals who are sentient but not rational or self-conscious must apply here too. As we saw, the most plausible arguments for attributing a right to life to a being apply only if there is some awareness of oneself as a being existing over time, or as a continuing mental self. Nor can respect for autonomy apply where there is no capacity for autonomy.

      Taking Life by Professor Peter Singer

      5 votes
      1. [4]
        acdw Link Parent
        I've heard of Singer, and his views. I think that for the purposes of abortion, his argument is firmly in the pro-choice camp. Just in terms of the argument, I also have some issues with it,...

        I've heard of Singer, and his views. I think that for the purposes of abortion, his argument is firmly in the pro-choice camp.

        Just in terms of the argument, I also have some issues with it, namely that we don't kill newborns because they hold the potential for becoming a human -- which I suppose is the same argument pro-lifers generally make related to the unmorality of abortion. Hm.

        3 votes
        1. [3]
          Algernon_Asimov (edited ) Link Parent
          Considering that he advocates infanticide in some circumstances, I think we can take it as given that he's in favour of abortion. "Hm", indeed. It's difficult to draw the line between "group of...

          I think that for the purposes of abortion, his argument is firmly in the pro-choice camp.

          Considering that he advocates infanticide in some circumstances, I think we can take it as given that he's in favour of abortion.

          which I suppose is the same argument pro-lifers generally make related to the unmorality of abortion. Hm.

          "Hm", indeed. It's difficult to draw the line between "group of non-sentient cells with no rights" and "human being with the rights of personhood" - and Singer's argument only highlights just how difficult it is.

          I find that I agree with him in theory, because his argument is reasonable, but I disagree with him emotionally and would never be able to actually recommend killing a baby.

          4 votes
          1. cadadr Link Parent
            I think "living in someone else's body" is quite a good line between a human baby and a life form that could become one. A baby that is born can be adopted by someone else, and may no longer cause...

            I think "living in someone else's body" is quite a good line between a human baby and a life form that could become one. A baby that is born can be adopted by someone else, and may no longer cause the mom any physiological harm, like poisoning, pain, or complications during birth.

            2 votes
          2. acdw Link Parent
            Absolutely agree. I think that Singer fails to account for (maybe purposefully, to make a point) the biological imperative to propagate the species. We have complex brain chemistry that screams at...

            I find that I agree with him in theory, because his argument is reasonable, but I disagree with him emotionally and would never be able to actually recommend killing a baby.

            Absolutely agree. I think that Singer fails to account for (maybe purposefully, to make a point) the biological imperative to propagate the species. We have complex brain chemistry that screams at us not to harm human children, and that's going to trump any argument to the contrary, no matter how well-reasoned.

            2 votes
  7. [10]
    Rocket_Man Link
    One question I run into is why pro-life individuals want to restrict the freedom of people who choose to get an abortion. Even if they see it as murder, shouldn't they focus more on convincing...

    One question I run into is why pro-life individuals want to restrict the freedom of people who choose to get an abortion. Even if they see it as murder, shouldn't they focus more on convincing people to not have abortions? Basically I don't see why you should restrict someone else's freedom when you don't have a large majority of people on your side.

    8 votes
    1. [8]
      Griffith Link Parent
      What I've noticed with pro-lifers is that they don't care about personal freedoms nor rational arguments. A lot of them are religious so anything that won't conform to their religious ideals won't...

      What I've noticed with pro-lifers is that they don't care about personal freedoms nor rational arguments. A lot of them are religious so anything that won't conform to their religious ideals won't fly with them. Increase in safe sex education? Their answer would be no because you shouldn't be having sex outside of marriage and you shouldn't be using contraceptives because the only purpose of sex is to reproduce.

      I see it as mostly a religious issue. It's the church and highly mobilized church groups that are pushing the pro life agenda. It's these church groups that sponsored and shared the fake abortion picture where it showed a fake abortion with a fake dead baby. It's these groups that are pressuring its members on how to vote. These groups are keeping their politicians in line.

      Honestly I don't know if there is anything anyone can do about it. If you don't go to church in the south you are the strange one, you are the other. You aren't going to convince the preacher to change his mind and thus you aren't going to change the community's mind. I'm sure there is a lot of people who aren't religious that you could change their mind but in the end it's one group that is driving the issue and it is the church.

      10 votes
      1. [7]
        Ellimist Link Parent
        I have a very conservative friend. He was my college roommate and a devout Christian, studying to be a Baptist minister. Shortly after Trump was elected, I shot him a quick text message. "Hey bro,...

        I have a very conservative friend. He was my college roommate and a devout Christian, studying to be a Baptist minister.

        Shortly after Trump was elected, I shot him a quick text message. "Hey bro, question.....Donald Trump is pretty much the antithesis of Jesus. Why does he have such strong support with the Christian community?"

        His response? "He ran as a Republican. Republicans are anti abortion and that's probably the single biggest issue many Christians will vote on. Doesn't matter how shitty of a human being he is if he promises to outlaw it. If he had run as a Democrat that was pro life, he probably would've won still."

        So I asked him how Christians can be so single minded on it. Would they elect Hitler if he promised to end abortion? He said probably not but he wouldn't bet against Hitler putting up a strong showing. That the Bible was clear about the sanctity of life, that any pregnancy was God's Will, whether the persons involved wanted it or not so abortion was not just ending a life but going against what God obviously wanted for that person.

        It absolutely astounded me. It shouldn't have. But it did. Christians voted for a man that's violated most of the Ten Commandments all because he had a R next to his name and said he'd outlaw something that's been decided 1973

        8 votes
        1. [6]
          papasquat Link Parent
          It's really not that astounding. Imagine for a minute that you live in a world where something you find ridiculously morally repugnant is perfectly legal; say, child porn. Child porn was legalized...

          It's really not that astounding.
          Imagine for a minute that you live in a world where something you find ridiculously morally repugnant is perfectly legal; say, child porn.
          Child porn was legalized in the 70s by people that you don't understand at all with the logic that people should be free to film whatever they want.
          You've been living in a world where people are molesting children constantly, and the rates are only going up.

          Wouldn't you vote for the candidate that vowed to make it illegal, against all other considerations? That's the world that pro-lifers live in, only it's even worse. The bible never had a commandment against child porn after all.

          6 votes
          1. [4]
            Rocket_Man Link Parent
            I understand the point you're making, but even if something they see as morally repugnant is allowed. Surely they recognize that even philosophically there's no clear answer. This doesn't apply to...

            I understand the point you're making, but even if something they see as morally repugnant is allowed. Surely they recognize that even philosophically there's no clear answer. This doesn't apply to child porn at all, but abortion doesn't have a clear answer because the value of a potential life is uncertain. I don't understand why this uncertainly isn't respected. Why jump straight to trying to make and enforce laws instead of getting the majority of people on your side?

            2 votes
            1. [3]
              papasquat Link Parent
              Philosophically to me, the abortion debate does have a clear answer. No human being, alive, or dead, conscious or not is entitled to another person's body. That includes fetuses. Currently there's...

              Philosophically to me, the abortion debate does have a clear answer. No human being, alive, or dead, conscious or not is entitled to another person's body. That includes fetuses. Currently there's no practical way to remove a fetus without killing it before the third trimester, so outlawing abortion is a violation of women's bodily integrity. It seems absolutely cut and dry to me, and I don't really see how anyone could argue otherwise.

              Hardcore pro lifers feel the same about their stance. It's as cut and dry to them as child porn is to most people. They think that killing fetuses is always wrong no matter what.

              8 votes
              1. Diet_Coke Link Parent
                One major difference is that most people would support policies that are shown to reduce the production of child porn. Again and again, anti-choicers have shown resistance to sex ed that is proven...

                Hardcore pro lifers feel the same about their stance. It's as cut and dry to them as child porn is to most people. They think that killing fetuses is always wrong no matter what.

                One major difference is that most people would support policies that are shown to reduce the production of child porn. Again and again, anti-choicers have shown resistance to sex ed that is proven to reduce unwanted pregnancy, access to birth control, access to contraceptives, and funding for neonatal health care. That's why I think it's overly simplistic to say that they just believe killing fetuses is wrong.

                5 votes
              2. Rocket_Man Link Parent
                Sure you can think that, but that conclusion is based on your value of a persons autonomy. Not everyone agrees with that and them valuing a potential life over a persons autonomy when they chose...

                Sure you can think that, but that conclusion is based on your value of a persons autonomy. Not everyone agrees with that and them valuing a potential life over a persons autonomy when they chose to put themselves in that position is equally valid. That's why I'm saying there's no clear answer.

                1 vote
          2. Ellimist Link Parent
            To use your example, no. As morally repugnant as child molestation is, if the law allowed it, I'd have to cast my votes based on other factors. A candidate who made it a priority would certainly...

            To use your example, no. As morally repugnant as child molestation is, if the law allowed it, I'd have to cast my votes based on other factors. A candidate who made it a priority would certainly peak my interest and be at the top of my list but I'd have to weigh that against the other factors. I'm not looking to burn the forest to save a tree. But that just may be me.

            1 vote
    2. cadadr Link Parent
      They are religious and they don't want to live in a "sinful" community. They also fear their kids and loved ones having access to these things, abortion or otherwise. This is why I called this...

      They are religious and they don't want to live in a "sinful" community. They also fear their kids and loved ones having access to these things, abortion or otherwise. This is why I called this selfish in another comment. Allowing people do whatever they want is not an option for them because they want to control others and to not have to repent whay they've blocked themselves off of because religion.

  8. Hypersapien Link
    While I'm sure that most of the actual anti-abortion "foot soldiers" are genuine true believers who see abortion as evil, it's important to note the real reasons that abortion became a central...

    While I'm sure that most of the actual anti-abortion "foot soldiers" are genuine true believers who see abortion as evil, it's important to note the real reasons that abortion became a central pillar of right-wing politics. The real reason was to punish certain politicians for not being racist enough.

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/religious-right-real-origins-107133

    8 votes
  9. [6]
    Eva Link
    This thread is fairly terrible—it's really as if a lot of people have never actually talked to Conservatives—they aren't non-human or something, Christ. Yeah, Conservatives tend to be hypocrites....

    This thread is fairly terrible—it's really as if a lot of people have never actually talked to Conservatives—they aren't non-human or something, Christ.

    Yeah, Conservatives tend to be hypocrites. But under the same view, the majority of liberals (and leftists) are, minus say, Elizabeth Bruenig.

    There, at the very least, has to be some line where it becomes a human life. I'd personally say around first brain-activity, which if I'm remembering correctly is at like two weeks?

    With this in mind we should also hand out birth control like candy and revitalise America's welfare systems.

    7 votes
    1. [5]
      alyaza (edited ) Link Parent
      just a note, but if this means two weeks after development begins and not two weeks after birth (and i don't see why it'd mean the latter), i'm pretty sure that would make it literally impossible...

      There, at the very least, has to be some line where it becomes a human life. I'd personally say around first brain-activity, which if I'm remembering correctly is at like two weeks?

      just a note, but if this means two weeks after development begins and not two weeks after birth (and i don't see why it'd mean the latter), i'm pretty sure that would make it literally impossible to actually have an abortion before the fetus is treated as human life and--if you're going to legislate that as a line--therefore means people who want an abortion are either going to be in violation of the law or are going to have to bear a child they might not want.

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        Eva Link Parent
        Correct, after development. This is difficult, yes, but I wouldn't think impossible? If that's what people are optimising for (I can't imagine there's much research on that early a termination,...

        Correct, after development. This is difficult, yes, but I wouldn't think impossible? If that's what people are optimising for (I can't imagine there's much research on that early a termination, but I've only browsed a bit), then science will head that way as well.

        Ideally, most if not all people would have Plan B on hand - that'd solve a lot of ethical quandaries here.

        I think it's one of those "Better Safe Than Sorry" situations - you can always put a child up for adoption (granted, that system really needs to be revamped substantially), but you can't resurrect the dead.

        1. [3]
          alyaza Link Parent
          the earliest you can detect pregnancy as far as i'm aware is 12-15 days after the fact which would make it exceedingly difficult in a majority of cases to tell before that threshold is met, much...

          Correct, after development. This is difficult, yes, but I wouldn't think impossible?

          the earliest you can detect pregnancy as far as i'm aware is 12-15 days after the fact which would make it exceedingly difficult in a majority of cases to tell before that threshold is met, much less get an abortion. having looked it up in the process of checking though, the whole point is moot because electrical activity doesn't begin until five to six weeks in, and conscious thought does not develop until later:

          Electrical brain activity is first detected between the fifth and sixth week of gestation. It is considered primitive neural activity rather than the beginning of conscious thought. Synapses begin forming at 17 weeks, and begin to multiply quickly at week 28 until 3 to 4 months after birth.[38]

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            Eva Link Parent
            Perfect! My memory was off (it's been a long while since the last time I was reading on this topic, and I'm not at a computer with my bookmark suite at the moment). Six weeks is more than enough...

            Perfect! My memory was off (it's been a long while since the last time I was reading on this topic, and I'm not at a computer with my bookmark suite at the moment). Six weeks is more than enough time, wouldn't you say?

            1 vote
            1. alyaza Link Parent
              no, because at a fundamental level i don't really care how far along development is. if someone wants to get an abortion, i don't see why the state or another individual has a right to tell them...

              no, because at a fundamental level i don't really care how far along development is. if someone wants to get an abortion, i don't see why the state or another individual has a right to tell them they can't at any point, other than because in the view of some people it is morally wrong to abort a fetus since they see it as equivalent to a living child. should we encourage more people to not get abortions? sure, i'm fine with that, as long as it's not coercive or manipulative. go hog wild with encouraging people to follow through and then put their children up for adoption or promoting the use of condoms. but at the end of the day, a fetus is dependent on a mother to become viable, and if a mother decides that they don't want to carry that fetus to term and raise a child, i just don't see how it's my place or anyone else's to step in and force them to bear it anyways, especially not once some arbitrary threshold of time or development has been met.

              2 votes
  10. [4]
    Magneto Link
    Conservatives would support the individualist viewpoint that the unborn child has the right to liberty. This ideology pairs well with religious conservatism where they believe abortion is murder...

    Conservatives would support the individualist viewpoint that the unborn child has the right to liberty. This ideology pairs well with religious conservatism where they believe abortion is murder and thus against the commandment "Thou shalt not kill". And the idea that most women with unwanted pregnancies had sexual intercourse out of wedlock and it's not the child who should face the punishment but the mother/family. In general, they see abortion as immoral/savage.

    Whereas liberals would support a collectivist viewpoint that the unwanted, unborn child is a burden on society. Specifically this burden lies mostly on poor women. Also it's a women's rights issue because women would like to have full control of their body. If a woman doesn't want to grow a human, they shouldn't be forced to. This idea pairs well with a more secular/atheist ideology that puts no significance on the unborn. In general, they see the ability to have an abortion as a opportunity for women/families (in general) to raise their socioeconomic status.

    Then you have more centrist viewpoints on the issue where they support abortion in the cases of rape or if the mother's life is in danger from the pregnancy. ie: Abortion shouldn't be used as birth control.

    So if you're the kind of person to be more about individual rights and patriarchal traditionalism (ie: Christianity/Islam/etc) then you would probably be against abortion. If you care about society as a whole, you're probably the kind of person to be pro-choice. These people see morality in different (but each being noble) lenses and that might cause them to demonize each other.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      Sahasrahla Link Parent
      I don't see this in terms of individualism vs collectivism. It's definitely not about an unborn child potentially being a burden on society; personally, I don't think it's any of our business why...

      I don't see this in terms of individualism vs collectivism. It's definitely not about an unborn child potentially being a burden on society; personally, I don't think it's any of our business why someone gets an abortion, and the usual pro-choice argument is about personal liberty anyway (i.e. the right of a woman to her own body).

      The core of the issue is about the personhood of a fetus: if a fetus is morally equivalent to a person then abortion would be a bit like allowing one conjoined twin to kill another. If the fetus is not morally equivalent to a person then abortion would be as morally complex as getting a wisdom tooth removed. The problem, mostly, is that there's no real obvious place to draw the line, no moment where we can say "one second it's not a person the next it is." Religious fundamentalists draw the line at conception, some more extreme pro-choice people might draw the line at birth, but mostly western society has drawn the line somewhat arbitrarily in the middle somewhere. The arguments on both sides are usually framed as "protecting a child's life vs protecting a woman's rights" but the question of when a fetus becomes "human" enough to afford it rights is, I would say, the real issue of contention.

      Then you have more centrist viewpoints on the issue where they support abortion in the cases of rape or if the mother's life is in danger from the pregnancy. ie: Abortion shouldn't be used as birth control.

      In the US maybe this would be considered centrist. Here in Canada (and I'm sure in many Tilders respective nations) this would be a far right position beyond the official stance of any viable conservative party.

      9 votes
      1. Magneto Link Parent
        The core of the issue is exactly as you describe with the person-hood of the fetus. I was describing why you would "pick a side" in the first place. Obviously there's many variables at play, but...

        The core of the issue is exactly as you describe with the person-hood of the fetus. I was describing why you would "pick a side" in the first place. Obviously there's many variables at play, but if you were to tell me that you voted for Trump (in an American context), odds are I will correctly predict you are pro-life. (According to pew research

        I'm a Canadian too, and I'm pretty sure the whole abortion debate is dead in this country (They have local protests at universities but that's really it, I personally found these protests to be annoying when I was at uni). I was just describing centralism from an American context.

        4 votes
    2. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      There's also the collectivist viewpoint that the unborn child will make contributions to society, and may even be the hypothetical person who cures the common cold or discovers the theory of...

      Conservatives would support the individualist viewpoint that the unborn child has the right to liberty.

      There's also the collectivist viewpoint that the unborn child will make contributions to society, and may even be the hypothetical person who cures the common cold or discovers the theory of everything.

      Whereas liberals would support a collectivist viewpoint that the unwanted, unborn child is a burden on society.

      There's also the individualist viewpoint that the mother's life and well-being are important. The unwanted, unborn child is going to be much more of a burden on its mother than on society.

      I don't think you can break this down into individualism versus collectivism. That's simplistic and misleading.

      7 votes
  11. Archimedes Link
    I do believe most pro-life advocates are sincere and fundamentally want to protect human life. The thing that really frustrates me is that they also tend to oppose programs and legislation that...

    I do believe most pro-life advocates are sincere and fundamentally want to protect human life. The thing that really frustrates me is that they also tend to oppose programs and legislation that would reduce the number of abortions, usually because it doesn't fit their views surrounding human sexuality.

    If you truly want to reduce abortions, then pragmatically you should advocate things like subsidized birth control, comprehensive sexual education, greater availability of (real) women's health centers, and financial/social support for new moms. Most pro-life advocates shy away from these sort of things demonstrating that their concerns about how sex ed is taught or whether some of their tax dollars go to someone else's birth control (or other women's programs) are more important than unborn lives. They are in effect actually sacrificing babies (under their understanding) for things like abstinence-only sex ed and anti-socialist dogma.

    5 votes
  12. [4]
    Hypersapien Link
    The difference is that one side wants to protect actual people, self-aware beings with a life that they've lived and a personal history. The other side wants to protect non-entities at the expense...

    The difference is that one side wants to protect actual people, self-aware beings with a life that they've lived and a personal history. The other side wants to protect non-entities at the expense of actual people.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      From the point of view of pro-lifers, embryos are people. They became people as soon as the spermatazoon merged with the ovum to form a zygote. That cell, containing all the DNA necessary to make...

      From the point of view of pro-lifers, embryos are people. They became people as soon as the spermatazoon merged with the ovum to form a zygote. That cell, containing all the DNA necessary to make a human being, is a human being, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto - including the right to life.

      The base issue between the two sides of this argument is a difference in the definition of what is and is not a human being, and what human rights an embryo is entitled to.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        Hypersapien Link Parent
        Also, do "person" and "human being" mean the same thing? What sort of things to we ascribe rights to, and why?

        Also, do "person" and "human being" mean the same thing?

        What sort of things to we ascribe rights to, and why?

        1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
          Have you ever read Peter Singer's writings about infanticide? He argues that babies are human beings, not yet persons - and, as such, not entitled to the rights of personhood. It's an extremely...

          Have you ever read Peter Singer's writings about infanticide? He argues that babies are human beings, not yet persons - and, as such, not entitled to the rights of personhood. It's an extremely controversial view, but difficult to argue against.

          1 vote
  13. Arshan Link
    I was also raised in a conservative family, and as I grow up, I have liberalized most of my beliefs. The abortion debate is still a hard one for me, but at least I am pretty certain where my...

    I was also raised in a conservative family, and as I grow up, I have liberalized most of my beliefs. The abortion debate is still a hard one for me, but at least I am pretty certain where my conflict rests. The core question of the debate is when does human life begin: at conception or at birth? At conception, abortion is killing a human person. At birth, abortion is the removal of the possibility of a human person. I don't know which is most accurate.

    3 votes
  14. StellarTabi Link
    So long as women are still unduely burdened by laws written by old, misogynistic, racist, religious, and majorly non-female lawmakers over my bodily autonomy, not a single inch should be given to...

    So long as women are still unduely burdened by laws written by old, misogynistic, racist, religious, and majorly non-female lawmakers over my bodily autonomy, not a single inch should be given to the child birth enforcers. So long as people claiming to be "Pro life" are against Medicare for All, I will consider them liars and misogynists, because are they one of those for sure. There isn't room for debate, just point this out and move on.

    3 votes
  15. Deimos (edited ) Link
    Locked for a bit (maybe permanently) until I have some time to sort out what went wrong in here this morning.

    Locked for a bit (maybe permanently) until I have some time to sort out what went wrong in here this morning.

    3 votes
  16. [2]
    alyaza Link
    meta point: i'm not entirely clear on what the point of this thread is, to be honest. is this supposed to be a discussion of these views and their merit or their validity, or a thread that just...

    meta point: i'm not entirely clear on what the point of this thread is, to be honest. is this supposed to be a discussion of these views and their merit or their validity, or a thread that just shares some observations, or is this just one of those high-and-mighty posts about how awesome the center is, or... what? it's a little ambiguous, and i think it somewhat obstructs peoples' ability to contribute to this thread in some way.

    28 votes
    1. acdw Link Parent
      I agree with this. The OP would've done well to better ask what they want to discuss.

      I agree with this. The OP would've done well to better ask what they want to discuss.

      4 votes
  17. Comment removed by site admin
    Link