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Figure THIS abortion poll out

Abortion Fetal Rights 2003

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#1 Delvo

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 10:04 AM

According to a poll of Americans that I just saw reported in the news on TV...

82% say human life begins at conception, thus a zygote is a person. But only 53% say a fetus has the same rights as those of us walking around breathing air. So at least 29% would deny basic human rights to a given group of what they themselves claim to believe are human beings. (It could be more than 29 if some of those 53 weren't among the 82; each person saying a fetus has rights despite not being human would "mask" the presence of another saying they don't even though they are, so we can only "see" that the difference between these two camps is 29, which means that 29% or more call fetuses humans without human rights.)

OK, so we've got people saying that some human beings who've done nothing wrong yet don't have rights at all. But it gets odder. Only 44% are pro-life. That leaves at least 9% who said that the fetus does have human rights, but the right to live isn't one of them! What are the others that can possibly apply?!

#2 Rov Judicata

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 11:13 AM


That does sound a bit wacky. Did you, by chance, catch the name of the organization behind the poll?
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#3 clairseach

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 11:39 AM


Edited by clairseach, 07 September 2004 - 10:44 AM.

#4 Bad Wolf

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 11:55 AM


I more or less agree with Clairseach.
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#5 QueenTiye


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Posted 03 August 2003 - 12:27 PM

A newborn infant's life is not the same comparably to the life of a 7 year old child.  

So why isn't infanticide o.k. for mothers who forgot to do it earlier?

(sorry - I KNOW that was inflammatory... but I couldn't think of a nicer way to say that.)

Editing after thinking a bit more:

Ok. Ready to be a bit more sensible.

Considering the qualitative distinctions being made -

An ectopic pregnancy is a lose-lose situation.  It endangers the life of the mother, which in turn endangers the life of the baby (or ends it.  Miracles of modern medicine - I'm not sure if an ectopic pregnancy has to end in death of the fetus!).  So - there is no choice here, but the choice to preserve life - somebody's - and in any case like this - the choice is to save the life you CAN.  

Beyond that - the qualitative aspects of life are really very iffy.   I actually can't endorse an idea that says that some human life is more valuable than other human life, unless that human life has done something to devalue it's own existence - an occurance which can't be said of a child, born or unborn.  Even that statement is questionable - because it invalidates the eye for an eye law - a person who takes a life loses one - which inherently means that we view even the life of a murderer as equal to the life of the murdered.  (I know that we don't agree all with the eye-for-an-eye theory - I'm just using it as a well known tenet.)


Edited by QueenTiye, 03 August 2003 - 12:43 PM.

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#6 G1223


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Posted 03 August 2003 - 12:43 PM

I got to say I have a feeling the data has been played with. I just have not seen such data played out in other polls both prolife and pro choice. So I think something is less than honest here.
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#7 clairseach

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 01:07 PM


Edited by clairseach, 07 September 2004 - 10:43 AM.

#8 Delvo

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 05:15 PM

A threat to the life of the mother is not a useful hypethetical situation to look at what different values for different human lives really means, because killing the fetus then is self-defense, which is pretty well accepted in the world of the walking and breathing as well. In other words, "I killed him because he was otherwise going to kill me" would have worked for any human anyway, as well as it works for animals. To really see the results of considering fetal human life not to have the right to live, you have to compare it to a situation where killing the walking and breathing would NOT be acceptable.

"I killed him because I wanted to hide my own actions"?

"I killed him because I didn't have enough money"?

"I killed him because he wasn't serving the purpose I wanted him to serve"?

"I killed him because I couldn't wait 7 months for that huge inconvenience to my lifestyle that he caused to end on its own"?

Anything you can kill that easily, for reasons that would not be compelling justifiable reasons to kill a born person, does not have basic human rights and is not a person. If it is a person and has them, then you can not possibly consider killing it for the (relatively, compared to LIFE AND DEATH) trivial reasons for which 96% of abortions are done (self-defense being 1% of them). If you say it has human rights but then say it's OK to kill it for those kinds of reasons, then you're disagreeing with yourself, because the right to life is a basic human right and precludes casual killing. If you say it's a human but it has no rights, then willingness to kill it for minor reasons would be consistent, but then you've made yourself one of those people who has no trouble deciding which humans have rights, including the right to live at all, and which ones don't.

There's just no way around these facts; using an example based on self-defense, which is off the subject because it wouldn't be a DIFFERENCE between the fetus and a born person, is just a distraction to avoid them.

I don't think most people really are this self-conflicted or hypocritical or whatever. I think the explanation lies in flaws with the survey itself and/or the behavior of the respondents to it (if it was actually ever even done, which I swear some surveys I've seen couldn't have been). But I won't go into that, at least for now, to avoid leaping off topic.

#9 clairseach

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 05:51 PM


Edited by clairseach, 07 September 2004 - 10:42 AM.

#10 Delvo

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 07:30 PM

clairseach, on Aug 3 2003, 04:51 PM, said:

If you like, I can pump out scenarios all day long which illustrate that human existence, whether adult or fetus, is not a black/white, on/off matter.
Scenarios in which respecting another person's right to life could place one in danger are still the same thing as your previous reference to self-defense. They still deal only with imaginary problems in the application of the right to life for people who we already know have it, not the question of whether or not they even have it. Replace "me" in your scenarios with a turnip, and then the real difference is illustrated; I have the basic human right to live, and the turnip doesn't, so those scenarios designed to be morally troublesome and ambiguous suddenly aren't. The fact that moral dilemmas can exist under certain circumstances even when people's rights are already a given is not to be confused with or distract from the difference between having and not having such rights.


anyone who can refer in passing to "the (relatively, compared to LIFE AND DEATH) trivial reasons for which 96% of abortions are done ", and use a series of hypotheticals reducing the dilemmas faced by women seeking abortion to a series of selfish and frivolous for instances is, simply, someone speaking from a position of profoundly limited experience on this topic.
No, I was dealing with the facts instead of the pro-abortion rhetoric you're trying to infuse to confuse and distract from what I started off talking about.

The main reasons most people give for the justification of abortion if the fetus is presumed to have the basic human right to live are rape and incest, serious deformities of the fetus, and danger to the mother. According to Planned Parenthood, these are 3, 3, and 1 percent of the abortions done.

The others are all done for the mothers to avoid embarassment or financial expense or the annoyance of walking around with the extra weight in an irritating location or some other such inconvenience. Those inconveniences can be substantial of course, and are worth the destruction of a starfish that doesn't have a human's right to life. But killing a person for those reasons is another matter entirely, and they don't come anywhere near the submarine scenarios you mentioned above. Killing for such reasons proves that one does not consider the thing being killed to be a person with a right to life. Thus, the poll results don't add up at all. Of course for one who doesn't think it's a person with human rights, then such a killing is completely consistent and honest, and I'm not arguing against it in this thread. I'm only pointing out what one's actions prove whether one admits it in words or not. And your attempts to distract me from that and confuse me into mistaking one issue for another accomplish nothing but perhaps a demonstration of the self-conflicted nature of certain pro-abortion arguments that don't admit to seriously not thinking of the fetus as a person with human rights.

Edited by Delvo, 03 August 2003 - 11:24 PM.

#11 clairseach

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 08:00 PM


Edited by clairseach, 07 September 2004 - 10:41 AM.

#12 QueenTiye


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Posted 03 August 2003 - 08:14 PM

If Planned Parenthood put out statistics, do we have reasons to debate them?  Delvo... can you provide a link to Planned Parenthood's numbers?

In response to the multiple fetuses issue - I'd like to chime in because I have pretty strong opinions there.  In a world where children are starving, needing to be cared for by someone who can - we create babies by the dozens and discard the unwanted ones.  Because we can.  Because we can afford to (lots of women CAN'T.).  Amazing, our priorities.  We create a problem unthinkingly, and then discard the results, unthinkingly.  I have a problem with the entire process.


Edited by QueenTiye, 03 August 2003 - 08:23 PM.

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#13 Uncle Sid

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 11:17 PM

Honestly, it is most likely invalid to try and draw out a proof of hypocrisy from those statistics.  After all, although the arguments are flawed, clairseach's point could well be the ones that people actually believe.  In terms of this poll, then, it would probably be enough to keep that evaluation of the poll results from being scientific without further study.  It doesn't mean, however, that the explaination offered covers all of those 29% of people either.  So, I think it's valid to point to this and wonder about what it means and develop a hypothesis.

Still, if we turn to the other poll, the Planned Parenthood one, it does illustrate something that bothers me about the rhetoric of the pro-choice stance.  Whenever the debate comes up, invariably, the children with birth defects, the ectopic pregancies and the rape victims get trundled out as if they were 96% of the cases, instead of the small minority.  A small minority that can be easily allowed for or dealt with by more restrictive laws with a narrower scope, I might add.  So, there's really no need for "abortion on demand" to deal with those instances, and yet, they are used as an argument for that stance.    

To my mind, if you put together the troika of embroynic stem cell research, abortion on demnd, and certain fertility practices, you start to see a picture of why those things are legal and considered to be "good".  They benefit the people who are here and have made it.  If you are in the Chosen who can take advantage of that, you may well reap some real benefits.  If you're a parapalegic who got paralyzed while playing a game of polo, stem cell research may help you.  If you're a woman who decided to have sex in college or as a teen and want to go to a good school and have a career, then abortion on demand is for you.  If you're someone who, due to that same career, decided to hold off on getting pregnant and now want to, then fertility treatments are for you as well.  

You can always come up with a reason for killing someone for your own benefit or for the material benefit of people you think are entitled.  Usually, though, the practice of that by individuals in a society on other individual is called murder.  However, abortion is not murder, because murder is a crime, and abortion isn't a crime currently.  It is, however, killing, and it's killing done 90% of the time for reasons that are not life and death to anyone...except the person being killed.  

Every single woman I know of personally (about a half-dozen) who has had an abortion has had the operation performed to terminate an otherwise healthy child who could have been well provided for that was concieved during the practice of sex with consent.  In describing the situation, the reasoning most gave is that they didn't want their lives "ruined", and one even did it to spite her husband (who she still lives with, incidentially).  If these people only waited just until the child was born or even the third trimester and then killed it, at a time it was just as dependent on outside aid to remain alive, then the mothers would have the opportunity to be tried for murder and the very same motive would get them thrown in jail.  

Of course, I'm not denying the existence of the the special cases, and some of them are not easy to decide where to come down on.  I even feel for the people in the no-so-unique, but still emotional situations that many can be placed in.  However, the special cases are not even a large minority of the business of abortion today, and sentiment should not trump consideration for the value of a human life.  

So, in the end, while I can't stand here and prove it with the survey above, the explaination offered by Delvo seems to fit what I've seen if you strip away the self-serving justifications people offer and disperse the smokescreen of special cases.
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