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Tags abortion issues , abortion laws , Texas issues

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Old 15th October 2014, 09:21 AM   #201
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
There is nothing in Texas law that prevents OB-Gyns from performing abortions in a hospital setting. Why don't more doctors do that? Even before this law, any doctor could have performed abortions in their offices. Why didn't they? The answer to both questions is the same: Mostly because doctors have a moral objection to it. Abortions have never been easily available in Texas.
I hate to sound like a broken record but do you have a cite for that? Now you're arguing the real problem here is that "doctors have a moral objection" to abortion. How do you know that? And doesn't that actually discredit your previous arguments that it would be easy for clinics to gain hospital admitting privileges if only they'd do a few "relatively minor" facility upgrades?

Originally Posted by cosmicaug View Post
Hospital administrators have no say in the matter?
What I have seen is, the anti-abortion demonstrations and picketing have been very effective. What hospitals -- especially small community-based hospitals -- want to avoid is becoming embroiled in the abortion controversy. From the news article linked earlier, about the very clinic xjx388 has referred to:
Quote:
Today, after weeks of failed negotiations with nearby hospitals, Hagstrom Miller announced that both clinics are closing their doors.
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Old 17th October 2014, 12:03 PM   #202
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Originally Posted by cosmicaug View Post
Hospital administrators have no say in the matter?
Well, sure they do. But that has nothing to do with the law. And abortions already happen in hospitals and are paid for by insurance when they are medically necessary. The question revolves around elective abortions; that's where people draw moral lines -which they have every right to do. You can't force people to perform services they find morally objectionable.
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Old 17th October 2014, 12:22 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
I hate to sound like a broken record but do you have a cite for that?
Sure. Why don't more OB-GYNS perform abortions as part of their services? Why is it limited to a handful of specialty clinics even where it's completely legal like New York State? Because most doctors don't want to do them.
Quote:
Now you're arguing the real problem here is that "doctors have a moral objection" to abortion. How do you know that?
Because I know quite a few myself and have spoken with them. And I pay attention to polls like the one I linked to above. And I observe that, for such an easy and safe (other than the death of the fetus, natch) procedure, there sure aren't a lot of docs who provide the service.
Quote:
And doesn't that actually discredit your previous arguments that it would be easy for clinics to gain hospital admitting privileges if only they'd do a few "relatively minor" facility upgrades?
There is nothing in law stopping hospitals from giving admitting privileges to abortion docs. My wife has admitting privileges right now. If she wanted to start doing abortions today in that clinic that faces closure, she easily could, as could any of the docs in our community. When you understand why none of them have done so, then maybe you'll start to truly understand my point. Since you can't force doctors to perform any procedure they find objectionable, abortion remains a service offered by a very few doctors.

Quote:
What I have seen is, the anti-abortion demonstrations and picketing have been very effective. What hospitals -- especially small community-based hospitals -- want to avoid is becoming embroiled in the abortion controversy. From the news article linked earlier, about the very clinic xjx388 has referred to:
You are correct but I don't see the problem. Do you think that every community should be forced to have an abortion clinic in it's midst? How would you accomplish that without restricting free-speech, free-association, etc?
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Old 17th October 2014, 02:00 PM   #204
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
What I have seen is, the anti-abortion demonstrations and picketing have been very effective. What hospitals -- especially small community-based hospitals -- want to avoid is becoming embroiled in the abortion controversy. From the news article linked earlier, about the very clinic xjx388 has referred to:
You are correct but I don't see the problem. Do you think that every community should be forced to have an abortion clinic in it's midst? How would you accomplish that without restricting free-speech, free-association, etc?
Are you trying to simultaneously say that he is correct (and that you do not see the problem) and that these abortion providers could get admission privileges if they really tried hard enough? If not, your writing might lack in clarity.
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Old 17th October 2014, 02:12 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
There is nothing in law stopping hospitals from giving admitting privileges to abortion docs. My wife has admitting privileges right now. If she wanted to start doing abortions today in that clinic that faces closure, she easily could, as could any of the docs in our community.
The problem here, in Texas, is that most hospitals are related to a church of some sort. You may have heard of out Presbyterian hospital in Dallas, known for its ebola expertise. Because of that your wife does not have such free choices. If she starts doing abortions her privileges will be revoked.

I don't care to delve into your wife's business, but I bet it would be a bit trickier to run her practice if her privileges were pulled.
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Old 17th October 2014, 07:34 PM   #206
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Originally Posted by cosmicaug View Post
Are you trying to simultaneously say that he is correct (and that you do not see the problem) and that these abortion providers could get admission privileges if they really tried hard enough? If not, your writing might lack in clarity.
I may not be clear . . .

I am saying that yes, picketing and anti-abortion demonstrations have been very effective. If that stops hospitals in certain communities from giving out privileges to abortionists, then I don't see a problem with that -you can't force hospitals to privilege doctors they don't want to associate with.
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Old 17th October 2014, 08:16 PM   #207
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
The problem here, in Texas, is that most hospitals are related to a church of some sort. You may have heard of out Presbyterian hospital in Dallas, known for its ebola expertise.
Lol, yeah. But Dallas has a few hospitals that are not religiously affiliated and further, there are still abortion clinics open there.
Quote:
Because of that your wife does not have such free choices. If she starts doing abortions her privileges will be revoked.
There are 4 non-religiously affiliated hospitals within 10 miles of her. She is a partner at one of them and I don't see them revoking her privileges for that. I'd have to double-check the bylaws to be sure, but there's nothing in the partnership agreement that would bar her from having privileges while being an abortionist. A huge group of OB-GYNs are also partners (and a large contingent of FPs who do OB) and if they all decided to open an abortion clinic, I don't think the hospital would stop them. But I know most of them personally and the ones I know well would not perform abortions. One even refuses to refer out.
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Old 18th October 2014, 09:25 AM   #208
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Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
<snip> Now you're arguing the real problem here is that "doctors have a moral objection" to abortion. How do you know that?
Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Sure. Why don't more OB-GYNS perform abortions as part of their services? Why is it limited to a handful of specialty clinics even where it's completely legal like New York State? Because most doctors don't want to do them.
From your link:
Quote:
A new study released by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, from main author Debra Stulberg, surveys 1,144 ob-gyns (1,800 were initially approached) to see how many provide abortion services. Though legal, abortion is much harder to come by than one might expect: while 97% of ob-gyns reported having encountered women seeking an abortion, only 14% said they were willing to perform the service.
It doesn't say why they are unwilling. It could be a good percentage of the doctors may refuse to perform them because they fear being targeted by anti-abortionists.


Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Do you think that every community should be forced to have an abortion clinic in it's midst? How would you accomplish that without restricting free-speech, free-association, etc?
Do I think every community should be forced to have an abortion clinic in it's midst? You make it sound like they're strip joints.


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How does establishing an abortion clinic interfere with someone's right to free-speech, free-association or etc? I don't get that.
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Old 18th October 2014, 09:39 AM   #209
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
I'll ask again in another way . . . Why are philosophical differences not enough to base laws on? The only reason Texas has to have a "sham law" is because SCOTUS made it impossible for them to make a law based on the real rationale: valuing the human fetus as much as a human infant. You don't even need religion to have that rationale.
And valuing the woman as zero.
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Old 18th October 2014, 09:44 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Sure. Why don't more OB-GYNS perform abortions as part of their services? Why is it limited to a handful of specialty clinics even where it's completely legal like New York State? Because most doctors don't want to do them.
Because I know quite a few myself and have spoken with them. And I pay attention to polls like the one I linked to above. And I observe that, for such an easy and safe (other than the death of the fetus, natch) procedure, there sure aren't a lot of docs who provide the service.There is nothing in law stopping hospitals from giving admitting privileges to abortion docs. My wife has admitting privileges right now. If she wanted to start doing abortions today in that clinic that faces closure, she easily could, as could any of the docs in our community. When you understand why none of them have done so, then maybe you'll start to truly understand my point. Since you can't force doctors to perform any procedure they find objectionable, abortion remains a service offered by a very few doctors.


You are correct but I don't see the problem. Do you think that every community should be forced to have an abortion clinic in it's midst? How would you accomplish that without restricting free-speech, free-association, etc?
True, but there is something in rabid mobs which make hospitals wish to avoid them.
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Old 18th October 2014, 09:46 AM   #211
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Mississippi only has one abortion clinic although it may be gone by now too.
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Old 18th October 2014, 10:19 AM   #212
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Instead of the Freakonomics cite addressing the question of doctors refusing to perform abortion, I think a better source is the Journal of Medical Ethics. The Journal doesn't agree with the notion doctors should have the right to pick and choose what procedures they're willing to perform. Specifically they address the California Conscience legislation which grants the legal right to any medical person -- doctors or nurses -- to opt-out of performing or assisting in an abortion procedure. The Journal sees three flaws in the reasoning behind this legislation.

Quote:
The first is that the clause does not acknowledge physicians' obligations to provide abortion services. Rather, it appears to be grounded in the sort of "free agent" myth discussed in the previous section, ie, that physicians should be able to do whatever they wish.

The clause's second flaw is that it makes the process of declaring conscientious objection so simplistic as to trivialise moral decision-making. Recall the requirements of the law: If a health care worker wishes to declare conscientious objection she need only sign a form stating "a moral, ethical, or religious objection" to the procedure. She does not have to give reasons...

Third, in part because of the state licensing process, physicians have been granted a monopoly on most types of medical care. With such a monopoly comes an enhanced obligation to provide those services society has deemed valuable. In the case of abortion, as our example acutely reveals, women have no alternative source for treatment should physicians succeed in acquiring exemption.
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Old 18th October 2014, 01:45 PM   #213
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
And valuing the woman as zero.
I don't want her to be killed either. I value them equally in that regard.
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Old 18th October 2014, 03:48 PM   #214
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Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
Instead of the Freakonomics cite addressing the question of doctors refusing to perform abortion, I think a better source is the Journal of Medical Ethics. The Journal doesn't agree with the notion doctors should have the right to pick and choose what procedures they're willing to perform. Specifically they address the California Conscience legislation which grants the legal right to any medical person -- doctors or nurses -- to opt-out of performing or assisting in an abortion procedure. The Journal sees three flaws in the reasoning behind this legislation.
First, let's be precise, the Journal of Medical Ethics doesn't have a position. The authors of the paper in question have an opinion that they present for argument. That doesn't mean they are right or that JME is now advocating that position. The JME is a forum for these kinds of important medical ethics arguments, much like this forum is. It's not like the JREF ISF now advocates either of our positions as the official position.

Secondly: I wholeheartedly disagree with their argument that doctors have a prima facie obligation to provide services. The gist of their argument is fundamentally a logical fallacy -begging the question: they assume that abortion is a "vital and socially sanctioned," medical service. It is anything but.

But let's assume for a moment that abortion is "vital and socially sanctioned." Does this create an obligation for doctors to perform it? Does every doctor have an obligation to perform brain surgery, an obviously vital and relatively uncontroversial procedure? Of course not. A doctor can choose not to train in such a procedure. A surgeon can limit their practice to only GI surgery. Thus, if a general surgeon is the only surgeon in a small town, she would not have an ethical obligation to perform a brain surgery. The patient would be transferred whatever distance is necessary to find a qualified doctor.

Their whole idea about panels questioning doctors on the consistency of their beliefs is also highly problematic and I suspect would not pass Constitutional muster.

Sorry, not buying it.
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Old 18th October 2014, 05:17 PM   #215
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
I don't want her to be killed either. I value them equally in that regard.
Do you value the quality of the pregnant woman's life? Are you willing to provide the woman resources to care for her child?
  • A woman can feel pain.
  • A woman can suffer stress and worry about her future.
  • A fetus can do neither.
Saying you value her life is absolutely meaningless. Comparing the two is absurd and silly. One will know and appreciate the callousness of your impinging on their rights. The other hasn't the cognitive capabilities to hope for the future or fear for it's existence.
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Old 18th October 2014, 05:21 PM   #216
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
<snip> Their whole idea about panels questioning doctors on the consistency of their beliefs is also highly problematic and I suspect would not pass Constitutional muster. Sorry, not buying it.
You're sticking with Freakonomics? Okay sure.

This is from page 118 of the Journal of Medical Ethics link.

Quote:
The committee heard a variety of justifications given for why the physicians did not wish to perform abortions, none of which, in our minds, satisfy the intent of the law. For example, one physician viewed participation as creating a potential economic conflict for his private practice in fertility; he worried that his private patients would question his commitment to their goal of producing a child if he was at the same time willing to end the life of another. A second physician saw himself, and wished to be perceived, as a specialist in gynecology rather than obstetrics. A third candidly admitted that he did not not wish to be considered an abortion provider since such services are typically not lucrative. The only protest that came close to meeting the law's intent was the comment that second trimester abortions are "complex and frankly ugly. They are most unpleasant for everyone involved". Link
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Old 19th October 2014, 05:14 PM   #217
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Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
You're sticking with Freakonomics? Okay sure.
I don't see how the quoted material indicates that I'm "sticking with Freakonomics." The Freakonomics article I linked to talked about the unwillingness of most doctors to perform abortions. Do you dispute the fact that doctors are unwilling?

The JME article you linked to acknowledges that docs don't want to do them and argues that they should be made to unless their reasons are vetted by a panel. I don't find that argument very persuasive.

Quote:
This is from page 118 of the Journal of Medical Ethics link.
Exactly. Let's pretend that these authors get their way. A doctor's rationale doesn't meet the criteria to be able to refuse abortion. The doctor then actually physically refuses to perform an elective abortion that is referred to him. How are you going to actually make him perform the abortion? I don't think you can without violating his constitutional rights. You could take away his license, but I dont think such a move would hold up on appeal. And many docs would rather give up their license than perform an abortion. I don't see it.

Consider that in other rulings, the Court has already ruled that a person's beliefs don't have to make sense or be consistent in order to be Constitutionally protected. I think the very idea of vetting a person's belief and making a judgement if they are valid enough is a violation of a person's right to have whatever belief they want. I think it's enough to simply refuse without any need for a formal process. If no one desires to provide the service, then there is no service to provide. I cannot imagine a world where a U.S. citizen would be forced to provide a service they find objectionable. That sounds like some Orwellian nightmare to me.

Again, just because a person has a right to a certain service does not mean that the service has to be convenient or even offered at all.
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Old 19th October 2014, 06:14 PM   #218
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
<snip> Let's pretend that these authors get their way. A doctor's rationale doesn't meet the criteria to be able to refuse abortion. The doctor then actually physically refuses to perform an elective abortion that is referred to him. How are you going to actually make him perform the abortion? <snip>
This isn't the really problem though -- doctors refusing to perform abortions -- nor is it the topic of the the thread. The thread is about Texas' restrictions on abortion that have led to most of the clinics closing. The problem I have seen involves doctors who ARE willing to perform abortions being unable to get admitting privileges at hospitals. The problem is the Texas law was proposed -- not to protect women's health as the authors stated -- but to close abortion clinics.

Anyway the authors of the report aren't proposing legislation to force doctors to perform abortions. They were trying to move the discussion along ethical grounds.
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Old 19th October 2014, 06:18 PM   #219
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It's funny that conservatives want to convince us that the Texas laws aren't trap laws designed to make abortion hard to access.
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Old 20th October 2014, 06:45 AM   #220
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Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
This isn't the really problem though -- doctors refusing to perform abortions -- nor is it the topic of the the thread. The thread is about Texas' restrictions on abortion that have led to most of the clinics closing. The problem I have seen involves doctors who ARE willing to perform abortions being unable to get admitting privileges at hospitals. The problem is the Texas law was proposed -- not to protect women's health as the authors stated -- but to close abortion clinics.
That's not in dispute. You say that's bad, I don't have a problem with it. I'm trying to explain why I don't have a problem with it. You obviously don't agree and that's fine.

Quote:
Anyway the authors of the report aren't proposing legislation to force doctors to perform abortions. They were trying to move the discussion along ethical grounds.
They explicitly state that their scenario would obligate physicians to provide any and all services that are "vital and socially sanctioned," unless they appeared before a panel and were able to convince it that an exemption was justified by a true moral/religious objection. The whole purpose for the article was to propose an alternative to "conscience clauses," like the one in California that meets with their own ethical ideas. So, yeah, they were proposing legislation. Of course, I don't think they have any more chance of getting such changes made than the anti-abortionists have of completely banning abortion.
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Old 20th October 2014, 10:00 AM   #221
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Of course, I don't think they have any more chance of getting such changes made than the anti-abortionists have of completely banning abortion.
The thread title aside, I really don't think that is the point.

If guns were banned everywhere except Fargo North Dakota we could safely say that guns were not completely banned.

It is the effective banning of abortion in many areas that is really the subject of the discussion. Abortion isn't some abstract principle that we need to keep a candle burning somewhere for. It's a fundamental right of all women.

Now, I'll be the first to say that neither guns nor abortion are unfettered rights. I would not argue that there should not be any regulation on abortion or guns. I would say that trap laws and laws with no compelling interest other than to appease religious fundamentalists are antithetical to the constitution.
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Old 20th October 2014, 11:26 AM   #222
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Exactly. Let's pretend that these authors get their way. A doctor's rationale doesn't meet the criteria to be able to refuse abortion. The doctor then actually physically refuses to perform an elective abortion that is referred to him. How are you going to actually make him perform the abortion? I don't think you can without violating his constitutional rights. You could take away his license, but I dont think such a move would hold up on appeal. And many docs would rather give up their license than perform an abortion. I don't see it.

Consider that in other rulings, the Court has already ruled that a person's beliefs don't have to make sense or be consistent in order to be Constitutionally protected. I think the very idea of vetting a person's belief and making a judgement if they are valid enough is a violation of a person's right to have whatever belief they want. I think it's enough to simply refuse without any need for a formal process. If no one desires to provide the service, then there is no service to provide. I cannot imagine a world where a U.S. citizen would be forced to provide a service they find objectionable. That sounds like some Orwellian nightmare to me.

Again, just because a person has a right to a certain service does not mean that the service has to be convenient or even offered at all.
The de jure right to an abortion is meaningless if there is a de facto ban on the procedure. Thatís the whole point of these TRAAP laws.

There already are physicians who are willing to provide abortion services and are willing to jump through the necessary hoops, but the pro-life movement will just keep adding hoops for providers to jump through until the providers give up. Thatís what the debate is about. Arguing about doctors being forced to perform abortions is a red herring.
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Old 20th October 2014, 11:58 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by Random View Post
The de jure right to an abortion is meaningless if there is a de facto ban on the procedure. Thatís the whole point of these TRAAP laws.

There already are physicians who are willing to provide abortion services and are willing to jump through the necessary hoops, but the pro-life movement will just keep adding hoops for providers to jump through until the providers give up. Thatís what the debate is about. Arguing about doctors being forced to perform abortions is a red herring.
It's the same kind of thing they do with voting rights. "we're not banning certain people from voting at all"

Why does the Republican party like to make dishonest laws? Oh, that's right, because they know they are in the wrong.
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Old 20th October 2014, 12:49 PM   #224
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
The thread title aside, I really don't think that is the point.

If guns were banned everywhere except Fargo North Dakota we could safely say that guns were not completely banned.

It is the effective banning of abortion in many areas that is really the subject of the discussion. Abortion isn't some abstract principle that we need to keep a candle burning somewhere for. It's a fundamental right of all women.
No one has a right to murder, though. The line between murder and termination of pregnancy is a philosophical one that will be different for everyone. All I support is the idea that different jurisdictions should be able to define that line for themselves. Granted, under the Roe decision a line can't be drawn at conception. But it can be reasonably be drawn anytime after the 1st trimester and even more reasonably at the limits of viability.

The other prong of my argument is that I don't really have a problem with effective banning, either. The people have a right to demonstrate, boycott and otherwise make their feelings known. They have the right to refuse to associate with abortionists. If that puts social pressure on them not to provide abortions, I'm OK with it because the only way to stop such "effective bans" is to infringe on 1st Amendment rights.

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Now, I'll be the first to say that neither guns nor abortion are unfettered rights. I would not argue that there should not be any regulation on abortion or guns. I would say that trap laws and laws with no compelling interest other than to appease religious fundamentalists are antithetical to the constitution.
If a State decided to declare that a fetus deserved the protection that any person has after 12 weeks gestation, it would become a compelling interest to prevent abortion after 12 weeks.
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Old 20th October 2014, 01:00 PM   #225
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Abortion is not murder. It is the termination of a medical condition called pregnancy.
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Old 20th October 2014, 01:18 PM   #226
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Originally Posted by Random View Post
The de jure right to an abortion is meaningless if there is a de facto ban on the procedure. Thatís the whole point of these TRAAP laws.

There already are physicians who are willing to provide abortion services and are willing to jump through the necessary hoops, but the pro-life movement will just keep adding hoops for providers to jump through until the providers give up. Thatís what the debate is about. Arguing about doctors being forced to perform abortions is a red herring.
OK, let's pretend that a law is passed or a ruling is made that legalizes any and all abortions through birth. If people want to demonstrate about that law and boycott doctors that provide those abortions, that is their right. If doctors refuse to provide the abortions, that is their right.

How do you take those rights away? You can't infringe on the rights of the people to have free speech and you can't force doctors to perform a procedure they don't want to do.

Even if such a law was passed tomorrow in Texas, there are pockets of Texas where abortion would be socially frowned upon. In those communities, there would still be difficult access to abortion because of those mechanisms. It would mainly be available in major urban areas as it is now and as it always has been.
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Old 20th October 2014, 01:25 PM   #227
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
Abortion is not murder. It is the termination of a medical condition called pregnancy.
You are making a philosophical argument predicated on the idea that the fetus is not a person. To someone who considers the fetus a person, abortion is murder.
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Old 20th October 2014, 01:39 PM   #228
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
OK, let's pretend that a law is passed or a ruling is made that legalizes any and all abortions through birth. If people want to demonstrate about that law and boycott doctors that provide those abortions, that is their right.
People who are oppossed to abortion are already free to not visit an abortion provider. Not sure how effective a boycott would be however.
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If doctors refuse to provide the abortions, that is their right.
There are plenty of doctors who refuse to perform abortions, but they are not relevant to the discussion of banning abortion. Doctors who are willing to perform the procedure and are being prevented from doing so are far more relevant.
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How do you take those rights away? You can't infringe on the rights of the people to have free speech and you can't force doctors to perform a procedure they don't want to do.
We infringe on free speach all the time. I never see hardcore pornography on broadcast TV, yelling fire in a crowded theatre is still forbidden, and if I start accusing someone of being a child molester when I know he isn't, I will be sued. And if some doctors are willing to perform abortions, we do not need to force others to perform the procedure.
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Even if such a law was passed tomorrow in Texas, there are pockets of Texas where abortion would be socially frowned upon. In those communities, there would still be difficult access to abortion because of those mechanisms. It would mainly be available in major urban areas as it is now and as it always has been.
The availability of abortion in some areas of Texas is not really a justification for banning abortion in others. Its not like rural pro-lifers are not trying to shut the urban abortion clinics down as well.
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Old 20th October 2014, 01:51 PM   #229
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Originally Posted by Random View Post
People who are oppossed to abortion are already free to not visit an abortion provider. Not sure how effective a boycott would be however.
People who are opposed to contract killing are already free not to engage the services of a professional hit man.

And yet somehow that doesn't strike them as a sufficient remedy...
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Old 20th October 2014, 04:15 PM   #230
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Time for George Carlin to weigh in. The Sanctity of Life
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Old 20th October 2014, 05:19 PM   #231
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Hospitals were free not to associate with abortion clinics prior to these laws passing. Free speech is neither here nor there.

What's different now is that the state has effectively delegated the power to permit abortion clinics to hospitals, knowing that few hospitals will invite the controversy that comes along with allowing an abortion clinic to continue to operate by admitting its doctors. Where a public institution grants public powers to a private entity, that entity takes on the color of authority, which means (or at least should mean) that the private entity is no longer free to act as it pleases.

If you genuinely care about freedom of association, you should oppose these laws, because they threaten the independence of hospitals.

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Old 20th October 2014, 05:37 PM   #232
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
You are making a philosophical argument predicated on the idea that the fetus is not a person. To someone who considers the fetus a person, abortion is murder.
No, I'm making an argument based on fact. A fetus is not a person, it has no sapience.
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Old 20th October 2014, 06:16 PM   #233
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
No one has a right to murder, though. The line between murder and termination of pregnancy is a philosophical one that will be different for everyone.
No it's not. Masturbation isn't murder and neither is a 1st trimester abortion.

If someone people think masturbation is murder it doesn't make it difficult for "everyone".

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All I support is the idea that different jurisdictions should be able to define that line for themselves. Granted, under the Roe decision a line can't be drawn at conception. But it can be reasonably be drawn anytime after the 1st trimester and even more reasonably at the limits of viability.

The other prong of my argument is that I don't really have a problem with effective banning, either. The people have a right to demonstrate, boycott and otherwise make their feelings known. They have the right to refuse to associate with abortionists. If that puts social pressure on them not to provide abortions, I'm OK with it because the only way to stop such "effective bans" is to infringe on 1st Amendment rights.

If a State decided to declare that a fetus deserved the protection that any person has after 12 weeks gestation, it would become a compelling interest to prevent abortion after 12 weeks.
So long as you don't use the state to effectively ban abortions. Don't confuse laws to infringe rights with freedom of speech.
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Old 20th October 2014, 06:23 PM   #234
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
You are making a philosophical argument predicated on the idea that the fetus is not a person. To someone who considers the fetus a person, abortion is murder.
To someone who considers a spermatozoa a person, masturbation is murder.

This "philosophical" argument about when life begins is a big red herring.

A mass of tissue that has no memories, feelings, hopes, desires, or even the cognitive machinery for such is not a human being. Legally, scientifically or philosophically.

If a fetus prior to viability is a human being then so are skin cells, cancer cells, sperm and ovum.
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Old 21st October 2014, 06:54 AM   #235
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
To someone who considers a spermatozoa a person, masturbation is murder.

This "philosophical" argument about when life begins is a big red herring.

A mass of tissue that has no memories, feelings, hopes, desires, or even the cognitive machinery for such is not a human being. Legally, scientifically or philosophically.

If a fetus prior to viability is a human being then so are skin cells, cancer cells, sperm and ovum.
I think the "fetus = skin cell" is the true red herring. We can draw clear scientific lines between a fetus and a sperm, an ovum, a skin cell etc. A fetus is a complete human being in and of itself that is merely in an early stage of development. You can't say that about a skin cell or even a sperm or ovum. Those are parts of an individual, not complete beings in and of themselves.

I think the whole cognitive argument is also problematic. Newborns and young infants do not have the "cognitive machinery" to feel, hope or desire anymore than do fetuses. Those things develop over the first six months or longer. On the other hand, it isn't true to say that fetuses cannot feel or form memories. They react to external stimuli and form memories of their mothers' voice. Using cognitive development as a yardstick for personhood, it could be argued that newborns, infants, toddlers, people with developmental disorders, people in comas, people with Alzheimer's, people with severe brain injuries -any entity other than a fully developed, normal human adult- are not people either. I don't find emotional and cognitive development a particularly useful concept for finding a line to consider a human being a "person."

There is one definite point where a human being is created: conception. Birth is another definite point when the baby is now detached from the mother and can survive on it's own. But I think most people agree that conception is too early and the moment before birth is too late. In between conception and birth, we find a few milestones we could use (zygote, embryo, fetus, etc) but one seems pretty obvious to me: by the end of the third month, the organs are formed and the body parts are all present; at that point it's all growth. That, the end of the third month, seems like a reasonable line to start valuing the fetus' life equally to the mother's. I could also see a case for drawing a line at "viability," which is around 22 weeks at the upper limit. Thus, I don't have a problem with any line drawn between 12 and 22 weeks. It is then up to the State Legislatures to have the debate and come up with the line that fits the standards of the citizens of the State.
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Old 21st October 2014, 08:38 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
Abortion is not murder. It is the termination of a medical condition called pregnancy.
Regular murder isn't murder either. It's the termination of a medical condition called "being alive."
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Old 21st October 2014, 08:54 AM   #237
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
I think the "fetus = skin cell" is the true red herring.
Skin cells are living human cells (they are human life). They have a full compliment of genes and it is theoretically possible for them to become a human being.

What they lack is cognitive function. No self awareness. No ability to suffer. No hopes and dreams. No memories.

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We can draw clear scientific lines between a fetus and a sperm, an ovum, a skin cell etc.
No we cannot. This is factually incorrect.

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A fetus is a complete human being in and of itself that is merely in an early stage of development.
Again, this is factually incorrect.

You cannot point to a pile of parts and say that is a car. A car has the form and function of a car.
Prior to viability the fetus doesn't even have all of its parts. You are pointing to wheels and a transmission and declaring that it is a car.

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I think the whole cognitive argument is also problematic. Newborns and young infants do not have the "cognitive machinery" to feel, hope or desire anymore than do fetuses.
If there was a compelling interest to address whether or not a newborn met the criteria for person hood then we could have that discussion.

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Those things develop over the first six months or longer. On the other hand, it isn't true to say that fetuses cannot feel or form memories. They react to external stimuli and form memories of their mothers' voice. Using cognitive development as a yardstick for personhood, it could be argued that newborns, infants, toddlers, people with developmental disorders, people in comas, people with Alzheimer's, people with severe brain injuries -any entity other than a fully developed, normal human adult- are not people either. I don't find emotional and cognitive development a particularly useful concept for finding a line to consider a human being a "person."
A person (for lack of a better term) in a persistent vegetative state does not have the legal rights that other humans have. Again, if there were a compelling need to address the person hood argument as it relates to newborns we could have that discussion. We may very well have the discussion as it relates to others. That's another discussion. It's not a basis to declare that a mass of tissue that is incapable of self awareness, an appreciation of suffering, no memories or hope for the future, should be considered a person or a human being. Like skin cells, sperm and ovum, the fetus does not have what we have come to think of as a human being. Now, that doesn't mean that every human being that doesn't meet the criteria should be or can be legally euthanized. Ethics and law are complex. As a society we believe that a woman has a fundamental right to an abortion because her life matters to us. She can think and feel. She does have memories, hopes and desires, she can suffer. It's this combination of facts that make the delineation of viability and self-awareness so important.

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There is one definite point where a human being is created: conception.
Again, this is factually incorrect. Evolutionary biologists reject this as arbitrary and special pleading. The cessation of a fertilized egg prior to implantation isn't even called abortion. 50% of all fertilized eggs will be lost due to failure to implant.

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Birth is another definite point when the baby is now detached from the mother and can survive on it's own. But I think most people agree that conception is too early and the moment before birth is too late. In between conception and birth, we find a few milestones we could use (zygote, embryo, fetus, etc) but one seems pretty obvious to me: by the end of the third month, the organs are formed and the body parts are all present; at that point it's all growth. That, the end of the third month, seems like a reasonable line to start valuing the fetus' life equally to the mother's. I could also see a case for drawing a line at "viability," which is around 22 weeks at the upper limit. Thus, I don't have a problem with any line drawn between 12 and 22 weeks. It is then up to the State Legislatures to have the debate and come up with the line that fits the standards of the citizens of the State.
This is all fairly reasonable. So let's stop with defending people's feelings about microscopic tissue that cannot think, hear, feel, touch, be self aware or worry about its future.

Let's stop with this "philosophical" argument about when life begins. There is no clear delineation. Ever. Conception does not magically/fundamentally make two cells special. They are no more a human being a millisecond before conception than they are a millisecond after. You are simply choosing an arbitrary line that you think fits some magical criteria. It doesn't. When a woman's quality of life and health is at risk then her wishes trump that of the fetus and other people have no right to interject their pet philosophical valuations into that.
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Old 21st October 2014, 09:11 AM   #238
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Regular murder isn't murder either. It's the termination of a medical condition called "being alive."
That makes no sense at all. As murder is the unlawful killing of a person.
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Old 21st October 2014, 02:30 PM   #239
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
Skin cells are living human cells (they are human life). They have a full compliment of genes and it is theoretically possible for them to become a human being.
That's a whole 'nother ethical argument. But this particular argument isn't about what may or may not be theoretically possible. A skin cell, in it's natural state, will never be anything other than a skin cell.

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What they lack is cognitive function. No self awareness. No ability to suffer. No hopes and dreams. No memories.
And they don't even have the potential to develop that if left to a natural developmental cycle. Skin cells don't have hearts and brains and fingers and lungs. Fetuses do have those things and will develop into a full adult.

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No we cannot. This is factually incorrect.
Huh? A skin cell is a skin cell that will always be a skin cell. It will never be a complete human being. A fetus is a complete human being in an early stage of development. Sperm and Ovum are closer to a fetus than a skin cell, but they are still not complete human beings. Those are plain scientific facts. I'm genuinely confused as to how you feel I might be factually incorrect.

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Again, this is factually incorrect.

You cannot point to a pile of parts and say that is a car. A car has the form and function of a car.
A car is not a human being. It does not develop the way we do. Cars never have rights.
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Prior to viability the fetus doesn't even have all of its parts. You are pointing to wheels and a transmission and declaring that it is a car.
A fetus has all it's parts around the end of the third month. They just aren't fully grown. By that logic, a newborn doesn't have all it's parts either.

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If there was a compelling interest to address whether or not a newborn met the criteria for person hood then we could have that discussion.
We currently do not allow people to kill their newborns. It's considered murder. If newborns are not complete human beings yet, by your own "parts" analogy, then being a complete human being is not a current definition of when it's acceptable to kill someone.

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A person (for lack of a better term) in a persistent vegetative state does not have the legal rights that other humans have.
That's another issue that is murky at best and should be left for another thread.
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Again, if there were a compelling need to address the person hood argument as it relates to newborns we could have that discussion. We may very well have the discussion as it relates to others. That's another discussion.
...that is intimately related to this one. It also serves to illustrate the flaws in any definition based on having a complete set of "parts." A newborn doesn't have significantly more "parts" than it did the day before birth. In fact, all the parts were present from much earlier in the pregnancy. If it's an issue of having all the parts, fetuses have them.
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It's not a basis to declare that a mass of tissue that is incapable of self awareness, an appreciation of suffering, no memories or hope for the future, should be considered a person or a human being.
So by that definition, you don't consider a baby under 6 months a human being? They don't have memories, hope for the future or self-awareness.
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Like skin cells, sperm and ovum, the fetus does not have what we have come to think of as a human being.
Exactly, and neither does a newborn. Yet we protect newborns.
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Now, that doesn't mean that every human being that doesn't meet the criteria should be or can be legally euthanized. Ethics and law are complex.
That is also my argument. My solution to the complexity is to allow local communities (States, Counties, Cities) to draw those lines where they feel comfortable with them.
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As a society we believe that a woman has a fundamental right to an abortion because her life matters to us.
That is not a universal belief. And that does not mean that we all think the fetus' life is worth nothing. As you indicated, it's a complex balance between the woman's rights and the unborn's rights. The argument is over where the fulcrum is.
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She can think and feel. She does have memories, hopes and desires, she can suffer. It's this combination of facts that make the delineation of viability and self-awareness so important.
Important to you. I value all humans the same, even if they don't all have the same capacity to form memories, hopes, desires or experience suffering.
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Again, this is factually incorrect. Evolutionary biologists reject this as arbitrary and special pleading.
Any evolutionary biologist would admit that a zygote is the earliest stage at which a mammal could be considered to be a complete individual. Immediately before that, the mammal did not exist.
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The cessation of a fertilized egg prior to implantation isn't even called abortion. 50% of all fertilized eggs will be lost due to failure to implant.
Yes. That part is true. And if a woman had certain kinds of BC, implantation would be near impossible. There's no problem with this, for me.

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This is all fairly reasonable. So let's stop with defending people's feelings about microscopic tissue that cannot think, hear, feel, touch, be self aware or worry about its future.
But that's what the argument is all about. You see microscopic tissue, they see a human being. You are not any more objectively right than they are.

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Let's stop with this "philosophical" argument about when life begins. There is no clear delineation. Ever. Conception does not magically/fundamentally make two cells special.
OK. So when does it become special? You must understand that some line is crossed at some point where we decide to give a human being protection.
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They are no more a human being a millisecond before conception than they are a millisecond after. You are simply choosing an arbitrary line that you think fits some magical criteria. It doesn't.
By your arguments, there is really nothing special about a human being at all. We are all just lumps of cells and fluids. There is never a magical moment when the Blue Fairy makes us into real boys and girls. Why can't we just freely kill each other since there really isn't any intrinsic magical value? Because that isn't the actual philosophy we live by. There is a line, as arbitrary as it is, that we philosophically draw at which point we value a human life. You have one personally, even if you won't share it here. Most people have a line close to 1st trimester or maybe a little past it. Very few people have a line in the 3rd trimester.
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When a woman's quality of life and health is at risk then her wishes trump that of the fetus and other people have no right to interject their pet philosophical valuations into that.
What makes the woman so special? What makes a newborn special? They are both just aggregations of cells. What actually makes them different is that we all agree to a philosophical construct of the value of human life. If different communities have different constructs, that should be up to them to set.
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Old 21st October 2014, 03:26 PM   #240
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
1That's a whole 'nother ethical argument. But this particular argument isn't about what may or may not be theoretically possible. A skin cell, in it's natural state, will never be anything other than a skin cell.

2And they don't even have the potential to develop that if left to a natural developmental cycle. Skin cells don't have hearts and brains and fingers and lungs. Fetuses do have those things and will develop into a full adult.

3Huh? A skin cell is a skin cell that will always be a skin cell. It will never be a complete human being. A fetus is a complete human being in an early stage of development. Sperm and Ovum are closer to a fetus than a skin cell, but they are still not complete human beings. Those are plain scientific facts. I'm genuinely confused as to how you feel I might be factually incorrect.

4A car is not a human being. It does not develop the way we do. Cars never have rights.
A fetus has all it's parts around the end of the third month. They just aren't fully grown. By that logic, a newborn doesn't have all it's parts either.

5We currently do not allow people to kill their newborns. It's considered murder. If newborns are not complete human beings yet, by your own "parts" analogy, then being a complete human being is not a current definition of when it's acceptable to kill someone.

6That's another issue that is murky at best and should be left for another thread

7But that's what the argument is all about. You see microscopic tissue, they see a human being. You are not any more objectively right than they are.

8OK. So when does it become special? You must understand that some line is crossed at some point where we decide to give a human being protection.

9What makes the woman so special?

10What makes a newborn special?
  1. You are the one that places importance in potential and a full compliment of genes. Sperm and egg in a petri dish have the potential to become a human being. You are not being morally consistent.
  2. Might The body can abort the fetus at any time. There is nothing special about having a brain and heart. All mammals and many other animals have that.
  3. That's not true at all. A skin cell can become something else.
  4. It's called reason by analogy. That something has the parts and potential to be something doesn't make it that thing.
  5. There is no compelling reason to kill newborns. Besides, unlike fetuses prior to viability they are autonomous and self aware.
  6. It's critical to this discussion. What we deem as human is memories, self awareness, plans for the future, the ability to suffer.
  7. (see car example) Just because the see a pile of parts and call it a car doesn't make it a cr.
  8. Viability and the capability to suffer and be aware of existence at least a rudimentary level. There is no precise moment (see Xenus paradox).
  9. Memories, self awareness, the ability to feel pain, the ability to suffer, the ability to plan for the future, the instinct to survive.
  10. Viability, self awareness, the ability to feel pain, the ability to suffer.
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