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View Diary: Open thread for night owls: Roe v. Wade at 38 (376 comments)

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  •  Thanks for responding... (5+ / 0-)

    So, probably the most basic assumption you hold is that abortion is a failure, and a pretty major one, not just a root canal in terms of loss. But that basic assumption is a personal feeling you have. And it informs all your thinking from that point. I agree that medical procedures are best when they aren't necessary (due to cost, inconvenience, poss. complications) but I don't have an ethical issue with abortion as you do. I think that the question for why women have abortions is only important, in terms of public policy, when it helps us reduce frequency of unwanted pregnancy. But we will always have abortions (the need will never go away completely) and I argue that it's a moral good that the option exists.

    And  I would like to see us separate the conversations about 1) why women have unwanted pregnancies that lead to abortions/what we can do to reduce that number and 2) why abortions are a necessary and valuable asset to the comprehensive health care and civil rights of half the adult fertile population.

    Adoption is another related but different conversation that is fraught with a lot of difficulty. Far too many non-white children w/ disabilities who are languishing without care, far too few families seeking to adopt them, far too much pain for many of the women who do give their children up to adoption. Adoption rates dropped precipitously when abortion was legalized, which means that when women weren't coerced by the state into having unwanted babies and stigmatized so badly that they had to give them up, then they stopped having those babies. IOW, choice worked.

    We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.

    by Tookish on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 11:04:45 PM PST

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    •  Hmmm...seems you and I would differ on the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      main point of the moral underpinnings of abortion.  For me, it is not just a medical procedure.  Guess it has to do with (provided we are NOT talking coerced situations) how one views the fetus.  For me, it is a potential human being--say, a potential Einstein.  

      People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring. Rogers Hornsby

      by dizzydean on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 11:19:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, thank you (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bwren, dizzydean, tardis10

        for acknowledging that. And I guess my overarching point is that your feelings, while important to you (rightfully so!) need to be carefully considered in terms of their role in public policy b/c they can make the clarity with which we consider our policies difficult to see. They can make it difficult for us to see the potential woman and her life, her sovereignty, her potential other children she might have, her bodily integrity (or potential loss of integrity).

        I see potential too. I just see it as relative to the person who's carrying it. IOW, the person carrying the potential has the first say in defining that potential. Interesting you should use Einstein as an example. :-)

        Thanks for discussing thoughtfully with me.

        We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.

        by Tookish on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 11:32:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The potential human being (1+ / 0-)
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        idea has a bit of a flaw.  A fetus certainly is, but why draw the line where you did?  Are not an egg and an incoming sperm just before they meet just as much a potential Einstein?  Would it not be just as depriving the world of that Einstein to put a barrier between said egg and sperm?  You are apparently drawing a line at conception after which you have more of an issue with a woman deciding not to maintain the pregnancy that you do with a woman deciding not to conceive at all.  
        I do understand and agree that abortion is a sort of a failure if it was an unintended pregnancy conceived with voluntary sex to begin with.  She meant to avoid getting pregnant and failed to do so.  However, there are rapes and intended pregnancies that turn out to be anomalous enough to warrant termination, or the mother's health takes a nose dive and warrants freeing her of the burden of the pregnancy.  Those are not failures, but tragedies.  

        I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

        by fayea on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 10:11:31 AM PST

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        •  Further, not only is a sperm or a zygote a (1+ / 0-)
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          Pandoras Box

          potential Einstein, but also a potential Jack the Ripper or Hitler or whatever your idea of evil is. It's also a potential naturally miscarried option which happens often enough. Why do you consider only the very best option, and not all the others equally probable, including good old "God took that particular one Home to Him long before the mother even knew he existed."

          It is fundamentally unfair to make an Einstein argument, because it is simply not possible to know looking at a pregnant woman whether that is even remotely possible, or more probable than the Ripper. This Einstein straw argument is like Cheney's One Percent answer to risk, if only one percent chance exists that the one over there might do something to attack you, that's a good enough reason to kill him first. It didn't work for him and it doesn't work for this. This country has 307 million people and through the generations has had many times that number, and none of them have yet been Einstein. He came as an immigrant from another huge pool of not-Einsteins.  

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