Skip to main content

View Diary: My Moral Choice (257 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  No. Because they're not. (0+ / 0-)

    Doing something wrong does not make someone bad.  Often,  the best thing you can do in life is something that isn't morally right.  That's just life.  People don't need to go to jail for doing the best they could with the hand they had.

    Here's what may have been the most effective public discouragement of abortion: Bill Clinton, 1992, "Safe, legal, and rare." That's all.  Without accusing anyone of being immoral, he assertively implied that abortion is not a good thing and should be avoided if possible.

    That stands in direct contrast to what moiv has been trying to do in the last couple of days by getting people to talk about how abortion is a "moral decision."  As I've cited before, that's a pretty fringe point of view, and I think it's good thing it is for preventing unnecessary abortions.

    •  But for some women, and in some cases (6+ / 0-)

      like the woman Docswede introduces us to  in this diary it is a good thing.

      Unequivocably the best thing.

      Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

      by boadicea on Fri Jun 01, 2007 at 09:46:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't agree it's necessarily the best thing (0+ / 0-)

        the way he presented it.  If it's a case of getting in the way of her treatment, yes, it probably is.  But he presented it as if it was more a case of being a relief to her and the aborted child to not have to be born into difficult circumstances.  That's where someone isn't making a decision about her own best interests, but is instead allowing despair to limit the futures of others.  

        •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tryptamine, sberel

          Let's recap (going from memory here, so I might miss something):

          1. Diagnosis of cancer-treatment required being surgery with followup via either chemo or radiation.  IIRC, prognosis even then of long term survival about 50/50.
          1. Unreliable spouse and no familial support system at hand.  
          1. 18 month old child for whom she did not have even the most basic child care at hand.

          Of course she was relieved that she didn't have to deal with the additional burden of pregnancy and another child under these circumstances.

          Your assumption that she is "letting despair to limit the futures of others" instead of making the best choice in desperately constrained circumstances is the most appalling piece of judgemental crap you've peddled in this argument so far.

          Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

          by boadicea on Fri Jun 01, 2007 at 12:56:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Number 1, in your comment (0+ / 0-)

            appears necessary.  2 and 3 are , in fact, successfully managed by the vast majority of situations where children who were not wanted are born.  How many mothers have you ever met who really regretted having given birth?  There are undoubtedly some, but not enough, I suspect, to ever say that it's an outcome with a high enough probability with which a doctor, using an evidence-based methodology, could ever provide an honest recommendation.

        •  Actually she had the abortion for both reasons (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ahianne, sberel

          She did not want to risk dying during the pregnancy because the oncologists would not treat her while she was pregnant.  The only way she could reasonably extend her life was to terminate the pregnancy, and then get treated.  To top it off, the pregnancy was unintended to begin with.  As with all patients' stories, they are never as straightforward as they seem.

    •  Morality is a judgement on someones value (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe Bob, taylormattd, Strabo, megaera

      as a human being. Deciding someone is making a bad or good moral choice is tricky.

      I understand why you're trying to back off from the implications of that-because it's pretty ugly.

      But that is the judgement you're making.

      Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

      by boadicea on Fri Jun 01, 2007 at 09:52:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right, (0+ / 0-)

        it is something that one should really make for herself. However, consciences, like minds, are always educated. There's no such thing as a blank conscience. Right now the vast majority of people in America do not think that abortion is a morally right choice.  I object to any effort to change that, but that is what I think moiv and her friends have been up to here in the last few days.

        •  So you don't object to information (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tryptamine, sberel

          from the one side, just information from the other?

          What Moiv and the physician's who've diaried here have been up to is illuminating what a difficult and necessary-yes, even moral-choice the decision to abort a pregnancy can be.

          It's a counterweight to the years and years of slams, slights, and organized "PR",  to use your term, from anti-choice  forces who've sought not just to constrain access to reproductive choices (not simply abortion, but birth control in general) but to cut off any suggestion that there are cases when abortion is the best and most appropriate decision a woman can make.

          And that it is up to her and her medical providers to make that medical and moral choice.

          That's the discussion you're objecting to, and that objection undermines even the best argument that you've been able to come up with. Because at the heart of it all, you don't think the discussion should have more than one side at all.

          Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

          by boadicea on Fri Jun 01, 2007 at 01:08:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Information is one thing, (0+ / 0-)

            but all information happens within a context of a community's values and norms.  Right now, the community's values indicate that abortion is, if not morally wrong, at least not morally right. (According to the Pew surveys that I've cited elsewhere.) That's something that should not be changed with a competing philosophy of life.  I would feel threatened living in a society that had much different values, so that's why I argue this side.  Those who advocate for moral indifference in an abortion decision are threatening me, my civil rights, and ultimately my life and those of people I care about, I believe.  So that's why I oppose them so.

            •  They are not arguing moral indifference (0+ / 0-)

              You are assigning moral indifference as the most positive aspect of their choice.

              Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

              by boadicea on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 07:34:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes they are (0+ / 0-)

                They are arguing that whatever each individual woman chooses regarding her pregnancy is the morally right choice for her.  That is moral indifference as it regards the rest of the community.  

                I am arguing that the community, even if it has no legal right to intervene in a woman's private decision regarding her pregnancy, still should maintain a moral position that discourages abortion, just like it discourages -- with better or lesser results -- drinking (and now smoking), adultery, violence, and other "bads."  People do try to conform to community standards, and not having an abortion if at all possible is one current standard I don't want to see changed.

        •  where are your statistics for this? (0+ / 0-)

          Right now the vast majority of people in America do not think that abortion is a morally right choice.

          •  Right here (0+ / 0-)

            The universally respected and independent Pew Center does ongoing surveys to track American opinions and attitudes about almost everything.  Here's what they have on moral attitudes about abortion. 52% of the public (50% of women) think abortion is "morally wrong." 12% of the public (11% of women!) think abortion is "morally acceptable."  That means that people are sophisticated enough to support laws to protect things they personally believe are not right.

            •  From a cultural point of view (0+ / 0-)

              In other words, I believe you are saying that although you believe women should have a choice, you think it's a failure of culture that more women don't choose to continue pregnancies (for instance: someone (like me) whose IUD failed).

              Unfortunately, human female biology is discriminatory against women. I think humans becoming self-aware messed up with nature's natural affinity for sex roles. Personally, since I am aware, I prefer choice. Even when women/families have tools such as Rythym or pills or mechanical birth control methods, when things go wrong, women/girls and families of lesser resources are more affected than men/boys and the rich. It's systemic -- and it's such patterns of discrimination that are used as justification for such things as Affirmative Action.

              The moral aspect of abortion is more complicated than "none of anyone else's business", but it's a necessary compromise, IMO, if women & men can (attempt to) be equal.

              So if you believe that abortion should not be given status as a "morally right" choice, that (to me) is saying you think it appropriate that society have the cultural norm that a fertile woman, because she was born a women should accept the handicap that, statistically, she's more likely to be a servant to the next generation than someone bore a man.

              Argueing for that kind of cultural norm only makes sense to me if you think things happen for a reason. I'd rather have equality.

              If your local service workers don't get a living wage (including healthcare) then your local social contract is broken

              by julifolo on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 02:01:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What you appear to be saying (0+ / 0-)

                is that your own biological femininity is getting in the way of your ability to be equal to men, and you are setting up the male gender as the ideal to which females should aspire to?

                Unfortunately, human female biology is discriminatory against women.

                That's an incredible statement. Something seems wrong about it.  Would it make any sense to say that an African-American's blackness is getting in the way of her ability to be equal to whites?  Doesn't it make more sense to say that racism is what is getting in the way, not the person's skin color?  Why is sexism any different?

                Rather than try to change healthy female biological functions to adapt women to male culture, I think it makes more sense to work to change the culture to accept women as equal to men in homes, workplaces, and societal governance.

                •  Because Nature did it that way. (0+ / 0-)

                  Why is sexism any different?

                  When things go wrong, women/girls are biologically compelled to spend for the next generation while men/boys are not biologically compelled.

                  What would have been less sexist for nature would be if a females had to orgasm to release an egg the way males need to to orgasm to release sperm, though I really wish women had an on/off fertility switch natually, rather than having to use sometimes-faulty birth control.

                  If your local service workers don't get a living wage (including healthcare) then your local social contract is broken

                  by julifolo on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 12:10:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Mallards have something like that, (0+ / 0-)

                    but we're not ducks, and I hope you're glad about that.

                    Even if what you say were true, rather than fighting nature to give women the same biological function as men (which is what you seem to be promoting), why don't you just work for a society in which men are required to spend more of their efforts on the next generation as well? Nature is a given; how we organize our society to deal with that is something achievable.

                    •  Why shouldn't I fight nature's discrimination? (0+ / 0-)

                      Just because it's from nature rather than society (discrimination against race is from society) does that mean I'm supposed to accept that discrimination?

                      Do believe "things happen for a reason"? Since I was born a woman it's natural I should have children, and shouldn't have had an abortion when my IUD failed? It's not as if mankind is in danger of going extinct from underpopulation.

                      If your local service workers don't get a living wage (including healthcare) then your local social contract is broken

                      by julifolo on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 01:53:57 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Discrimination against sex is from society too (0+ / 0-)

                        Discrimination has no meaning outside a context of human society.  Nature doesn't discriminate.  People do.

                        You were born a woman.  Do you really hate the fact you are female, or do you just hate the way you feel limited in power or status by your community? If it's the former, that's an issue that needs to be addressed by you, personally, not your community.  But if it's the latter, you can, and many do, work to change laws and standards that allow women to share power and status with men without having to modify or adapt your female biology.  That's true equality.

                        •  Why do you say nature doesn't discriminate? (0+ / 0-)

                          Nature doesn't discriminate.

                          How do you base that?

                          I base my opinion on the fact that women are biologically forced to expend resources for the next generation, and men aren't. I hate the fact that my biology made me vulnerable to unwanted pregnancy, so I had to use birth control (which failed) and then I had to have my tubes tied. I'm now going through menopause, which also has it's issues. I'm fine with my sexuality.

                          Pragmatically, women & the poor are second class citizens. TRAP laws and pro-rich laws codify that into law. I don't like being a second class citizen. I am politically active about that.

                          I believe reproductive choice necessary both for women's equality and abotion access is necessary for families who don't have the resources to overcome TRAP laws.

                          If your local service workers don't get a living wage (including healthcare) then your local social contract is broken

                          by julifolo on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 02:55:28 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Discrimination is not a biological concept (0+ / 0-)

                            It's a social concept. Nature does not think nor decide; it just is, and it changes based on the laws of evolution -- trial, error, survivial, and thereby passing on the traits of success to future generations of offspring.  

                            Discrimination only means something to us humans that have determined to aspire to equality in our particular social system.  There still is a lot of gender discrimination regarding power and position in our society, but such discrimination starts from holding the male position in our society to be the ultimate achievement.  That's what you do when you complain about your perceived weaknesses due to your reporductive biology that apply only to females.  Other women and men can just as rightly hold that what you perceive as weakness is, in fact, a unique strength and blessing, and they can work toward a society that recognizes those feminine strengths and adapts to them, rather than adapting females to a male societal standard, which is what you appear to be doing.

                          •  Discrimination doesn't have to be intentional to (0+ / 0-)

                            have discriminatory effects.

                            I don't believe being born a fertile woman is reason enough to continue an unwanted pregnancy. (And me being born nearsighted isn't a reason for me not to wear glasses.) Pregnancy/parenthood would have been a burden to me, and my husband, not to mention one more burden for Earth's environment.

                            Children can be a blessing to good parents who want to be parents. Parenthood isn't for everyone.

                            There are males who don't want to be parents either, so I don't know why not wanting children makes my wishes "a male societal standard".

                            The way you write about "blessing" and "unique strength", remind me of what I read in John Paul II's Letter to Women:

                            In this perspective of "service"-which, when it is carried out with freedom, reciprocity and love, expresses the truly "royal" nature of mankind-one can also appreciate that the presence of a certain diversity of roles is in no way prejudicial to women, provided that this diversity is not the result of an arbitrary imposition, but is rather an expression of what is specific to being male and female. This issue also has a particular application within the Church. If Christ-by his free and sovereign choice, clearly attested to by the Gospel and by the Church's constant Tradition-entrusted only to men the task of being an "icon" of his countenance as "shepherd" and "bridegroom" of the Church through the exercise of the ministerial priesthood, this in no way detracts from the role of women, or for that matter from the role of the other members of the Church who are not ordained to the sacred ministry, since all share equally in the dignity proper to the "common priesthood" based on Baptism. These role distinctions should not be viewed in accordance with the criteria of functionality typical in human societies. Rather they must be understood according to the particular criteria of the sacramental economy, i.e. the economy of "signs" which God freely chooses in order to become present in the midst of humanity.  [emphasis added]

                            ... an attitude that each gender should accept his or her specific expression sounds a lot like "separate but equal" to me. If catholics and other like-minded religions and philosophies want to go along with that, fine with me.

                            I don't want to go with that program. Ditto my husband.

                            If your local service workers don't get a living wage (including healthcare) then your local social contract is broken

                            by julifolo on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 08:39:29 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Not wanting kids is one thing (0+ / 0-)

                            But blaming your own nature/fate/whatever for discriminating against you just because you don't want them is something else entirely. It's even more radically revisionist than blaming men or a patriarchal legacy. So trying recruit the rest of us to join you in your own personal war against your nature, is something I won't support.

                          •  My personal war against your nature (0+ / 0-)

                            Is not just me. There's a lot of other women complain about being treated second class or (in some cultures) as property. The nature of our reproductive biology makes it easier for the patriarchy take advantage.

                            I know "discrimination" is an emotionally charged word that can get a strong reaction. But I do feel that laws and social pressures that seek to enforce gender roles are discrimination, and naming it "discrimination" is the best way I know to explain.

                            At the start of this thread and elsewhere in this diary, you believe that abortion is "morally wrong", in a similar way to adultery being "morally wrong". I don't think you want to believe that you're treating me like a second class citizen, but when you say "morally wrong" and I'm "warring against my nature", but that's how it feels to me.

                            If your local service workers don't get a living wage (including healthcare) then your local social contract is broken

                            by julifolo on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 10:37:38 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  My prersonal war against *my* nature (0+ / 0-)

                            preview is my friend, sigh.

                            Actually, I'm fine with my brain & healthy lungs, etc.

                            If your local service workers don't get a living wage (including healthcare) then your local social contract is broken

                            by julifolo on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 10:48:15 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That's what I thought (0+ / 0-)

                            It's really societal discrimination that's got you down -- not nature.  It's not the fact that you are a woman -- it's how women who don't want to bear children are treated relative to men who don't want to bear children.  But when you say "nature discriminates" that takes the responsibility away from people responsible for sexist standards and blames it on God, fate, nature or something for which none of us is responsible.  That's a way of avoiding the issue, not speaking directly to it.

                            Why is it so necessary to your personal sense of worth to always be considered  "morally right?"  I've never met anyone yet who is morally right all the time, and I personally would have a hard time trusting someone who claimed to be so.

                          •  Nature and Society have me down. (0+ / 0-)

                            Why is it so necessary to your personal sense of worth to always be considered  "morally right?"

                            It's not my sense of worth so much as personal liberty. When society thinks "abortion is immoral" then TRAP laws happen, legal abortion access is reduced or unavailable, and many women/girls and poor families suffer great harm.

                            Societal sexism takes advantage of nature's sexism. Women can die of childbirth or miscarriage; that doesn't happen to men -- which is nature, not society. Women can get prenant from rape -- which is nature, not society. Women are biologically forced to expend resources toward the next generation while men are not. Discrimination is a summation of systemic effects.

                            But when you say "nature discriminates" that takes the responsibility away from people responsible for sexist standards and blames it on God, fate, nature or something for which none of us is responsible.

                            Human reshape nature all the time -- I'm surrounded by technology that means I can live differently from how nature made me. Birth control, abortion are medical technologies that can help women and families a choice about how they spend their resources. -- This become more important in proportion to how much resources are available.

                            If your local service workers don't get a living wage (including healthcare) then your local social contract is broken

                            by julifolo on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 03:10:42 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  We're not going to agree, (0+ / 0-)

                            but you've got a long way to go to convince 89% of American women who don't agree with you that abortion is "morally acceptable."  I think it might help if you rethink your thesis on natural sexism and natural discrimination.

                          •  Yes, it's an uphill battle (0+ / 0-)

                            But the wording of some polls can lead to ambigious results. I don't remember if you clarified this earlier: was it all abortions, or some abortions?

                            You disagree with my "thesis" about natural sexism, but you didn't respond to my examples that were "biology" not "society". Is that because you feel that to say nature is sexist is to imply god is sexist?

                            If your local service workers don't get a living wage (including healthcare) then your local social contract is broken

                            by julifolo on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 11:00:33 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Here's the link (0+ / 0-)

                            it's the Pew survey of moral attitudes, not a poll.

                            50% of women - the overwhelming plurality answer -- believe that abortion is "morally wrong", compared to only 11% of women (or 13% of men) who think it's "morally acceptable." 24% of women believe it is "not a moral issue" and 12% say "it depends."

                          •  on your thesis (0+ / 0-)

                            Your examples of biology are not simply not examples of sexism.  They are rather examples of different biological functions for male and females of the species -- something that is given, based on the laws of evolution and that we can adapt to based on other values and goals, but not something we can systematically change.

                            Sexism is what we bring to the picture ourselves as we create roles, expectations, and divisions of labor in the complex societies that we've very successfully created to propagate our genes and insure our survival. I personally wouldn't care if you'd implied that God is sexist, except that it is a meaningless accusation, because God's sexism, if it were so, is not something you we could do anything about -- man's (and woman's) sexism is.

                          •  It's sexist in effect = sexist to me (0+ / 0-)

                            Especially when you wrote earlier that I was fighting against my nature. Medical technology is one of many technologies we use to modify nature.

                            something that is given, based on the laws of evolution

                            Right now, evoluction needs some help -- I don't think evolution can work fast enough to slow down how fast we're overpopulation. Even before Earth was overpopulated with human, there always was abortion, of one kind or another. Our current technology, used correctly, is safer. Accessible and reliable birth control also helps a lot.

                            God might be sexist. Or some churches have sexist doctrines, and try to say they're natural moral law.

                            If your local service workers don't get a living wage (including healthcare) then your local social contract is broken

                            by julifolo on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 02:21:29 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site