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View Diary: My Response to Five Questions on Abortion (72 comments)

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  •  My answers: (15+ / 0-)

    1) I have the same standard for the beginning of life as we do in law for the end of life - higher brain function.  The neurons of the frontal lobes of the brain do not begin to develop connections and thus the capacity for coherent function until beginning in week 25 of pregnancy, and arguably it is a number of week more before those connections develop to the point of even theoretically supporting conscious thought.  Thus there is no basis in my understanding for any human rights for a fetus prior to week 25 and a sliding scale of relative rights between the fetus and mother in the period between week 25 and birth.

    2) The difference here is that eugenics was envisioned as a societal action as opposed to the private decision by a mother.

    3) In my opinion the restrictions on school nurses have reached the point of absurdity (and are based mostly in fear of liability, not in any reasonable view of parental rights).  That said, there is a difficult question here.  In an ideal world, parents would be supportively involved in everything that happens with their children.  But in real life incest and physical abuse of children is all too real and the state must be able to protect children in those situations and sometimes that involves keeping an abortion secret from those parents.

    4) No.  I have no problem with a state choosing to make pregnancy of a victim an aggravating factor to murder, but it isn't double murder.

    5) "Viable" is a moving target.  Quite possible some day soon we will create an artificial uterus capable of bringing an embryo to term.  At that point arguably every fertilized egg will be "viable."  I prefer the answer I gave in question 1, regardless of what technological advances we may see in the future.

    “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

    by jrooth on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 01:54:46 PM PST

    •  Good answers, thanks. (3+ / 0-)

      I think I may include yours on brain development in my final letter if you don't mind.

      As for #5, that's why I said "without advanced technology".  I think that covers artificial wombs.  But I agree on the 25th week.

      My personal belief is that once the fetus can survive on its own without any technology, then the time to choose has past unless the mother is going to die.

      •  Picking a certain week, say 25th, can still be (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jrooth, LadyMiseryAli

        problematic. Sometimes fetal anomalies aren't  apparent earlier. Just because it is a certain age doesn't make it viable.

        Oh for crying out loud!

        by 4mygirls on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 07:10:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  True (0+ / 0-)

          Although to a certain extent I think my "sliding scale of relative rights" deals with that.

          “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

          by jrooth on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:38:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The Sagan-Druyan Argument re brain function (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jrooth

        You and jrooth probably know this, but I'll point it out for others:  this is the position taken in a famous article by the late Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”

        http://2think.org/...

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