Hitesh  Paarth

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Is Abortion good or bad???

Plase share your views on this Topic of Abortion.What do you think,are you against it or with it..pls share

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    Feb 24 2012: Abortion has been a practice used since the beginning of humankind. It was originally done with herbal concocktions, sticks, tools and instruments of various kinds, in homes, the lodges of medicine men/women, the woods, the offices of "quacks" in the back street using a metal hanger, etc. etc.

    I do not believe abortion will go away, so it is better, in my perception, to be legal, and done in a safe, sterile environment rather than what has often happened in the past. Women will take charge of their/our bodies, which we have a right to do.

    That being said, education is important when dealing with abortion. For example, I do not think it is a good birth control practice, which is what some women use it for. This practice definetely adversly impacts the health and well being of the woman.

    For those who are against abortion for any reason, I'll tell you about a young woman of 17, who came into the shelter pregnant by her father for the 3rd time. Would you demand that she carry that pregnancy to term and live with the constant reminder of the abuse and violation of her human rights by a person who was supposed to love and cherish her as his daughter?

    I appreciate Jonathan Gronli's comment on this thread...
    " I think the abortion debate itself is bad due to the fact that predominantly it's been held by men who tried to silence the voices of the group who would be directly affected by their decisions - women".
    • Feb 25 2012: Colleen,

      "I do not believe abortion will go away so it is better in my opinion that it be legal..."

      Opponents of abortion often equate it with murder.

      Interestingly, murder does not seem to be a eradicable behavior either.

      Should we legalize it (common law murder) as well?

      The basis of the legal system is how society responds to reoccuring harmful activities. Your reasoning seems faulty here. Not that I necessarily equate abortion with common law murder, but I am interested in hearing why you think your reasoning is sound in one case and not the other.

      In response to your story of the poor girl who was abused and impregnated by her father - I think the difference in opinion on the topic of abortion arises from the same place all disagreements arise from: a difference of perspective.

      When viewing it from the mother's side, it seems awful to make her carry it to term. From the child's side, it seems awful to deny her the gift of life because of the circumstances of her conception. I do not think the life of a baby girl conceived of two consenting adults is any more valuable than that of one conceived by an incestuous rape. Life is a secular miracle that I, for one, can raise a glass and shed a tear for.

      I cannot fathom the emotional stress involved in the type of situation you describe, but I do not think our legal framework ought to be based on an emotional sentiment - or else we would probably legalize the murder in many revenge scenarios (cheating spouse/business partner, etc.), as well as theft by the very poor.

      SEP

      *If abortion were to be criminalized, I think we would have to make it possible for a person in a situation as such as you describe would be able to bring a civil suit against her abuser for emotional distress in carrying said child. Of course, the girl could put the baby up for adoption immediately, and the child could be shielded from knowledge of the civil suit and the circumstances of her biological mother, if so preferred.
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        Feb 25 2012: Seth,
        You are absolutely correct..."The basis of the legal system is how society responds to reoccuring harmful activities". Which is why abortion was legalized.

        You are absolutely right again..."the difference in opinion on the topic of abortion arises from the same place all disagreements arise from: a difference of perspective".

        The topic here is not about cheating spouses, business partners, theft, or civil suits, etc. It is about abortion, which is legal...at least in the state where I reside.
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        Feb 25 2012: Seth,
        Your first question..." OK, so why is murder not legalized?".
        This is an issue you can address with your legislative representatives.

        It appears that you want to talk about domestic violence, homicide resulting.
        You have twice brought this into your comments... "legalize the murder in many revenge scenarios (cheating spouse/business partner, etc.)", "murder in the case of a cheating spouse also seems justified".

        It is not surprising that you do not understand my comments. I am on topic:>)
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          Feb 26 2012: Seth, i know this is emotionally charged, but speaking PURELY on the grounds of debate, you have made an illogical connection with the "make murder legal" thread. We should limit the conversation to abortion only.
          The distiction between abortion and murder is this: the fetus is a part of the woman's body, and until such time as it is viable without that womb, the woman has full decision making rights, imho. We tend to try to paint women with the same brush as Gacy, Colombine, or Islamic extremists, and it is simply an improper comparison.
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        Feb 26 2012: Seth,
        *You miss quoted me again...what I wrote in my first post is:'
        "I do not believe abortion will go away, so it is better, in my perception, to be legal, and done in a safe, sterile environment rather than what has often happened in the past".
        That statement, of course, goes along with my knowledge of what was done in the past, which I clearly express.

        *The question, as presented, does not ask us to compare abortion with murder, and although I realize that some people consider abortion murder, depending on what his/her personal opinions are, that is not the topic question. You apparently think it "should" be the question, and if so, you can start that conversation. You apparently are not content with abortion being legal, and if so, I suggest you talk with your legislative representatives. An argument with me is not going to change the fact that abortion is legal.
        ,
        *My original comment does not defend anything, but rather, offers my perceptions and preferences, based on my life experiences, including, but not limited to, volunteer work wth women and children in shelters, family center, work with offenders of domestic assault/sexual crimes who are incarcerated, and my experience opening my home as a "safe house" for women for years.

        Seth, this conversation with you is finished. It feels, at this point like harrassment because you simply want to say what you want to say without listening. You don't need to try to create an argument with me to express yourself.
  • Feb 25 2012: As a woman I have been giving a lot of thinking on this question… is Abortion good or bad? In any case I think that this decision should be taken by the persons directly involved in the act of pregnancy and not by the church, relatives, etc. Abortion is a serious decision, like any other serious decisions that we might have to take in life, taking in consideration the physical and psychological stress, risks and complications and the commitment that arise from keeping the pregnancy.
    In this respect any person that really wants to avoid the trouble of an abortion or the commitment to an unwanted pregnancy, should really, really take care to avoid this pregnancies! However I understand that nothing in life is 100% safe, and there are other circumstances to get involved in an unwanted pregnancy (i.e. rape) so it’s good to be prepared to face anything…

    To cut the story short, to me the bottom line is that you (and your partner, if there is one) will have to decide if you will take the life of a child or not? So therefore the question would be, is killing good or bad? Society have answered already to this question, it depends very much of the circumstances! In a self defense act in most countries I think you don’t go to jail but you get to live with the consciousness that you have killed a person and the stress that may involve the process. So I take the abortion that equals to an unwanted pregnancy as a human right, a self defense right to an unwanted/ unable/ unqualified/ impossible to undertake a long term commitment. And as long as it’s your decision, you will live with it, not the church, not the relatives, nobody else but you!
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      • Feb 28 2012: Thank you Roy. It’s strange how this obvious matter is debated mainly by men.
        I would never say that men don’t have a word in this decision, they are directly involved in the pregnancy act, however I wonder do really men like spreading children around the world? Do they really protect themselves from the unwanted pregnancies in the first place, and secondly are they really so relaxed with the idea of having children with any woman that maybe accidentally they left pregnant? Or maybe we are just talking words here, and the reality is that is ever the case of unwanted pregnancy the partner is the first one to send the woman for abortion?
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      Mar 1 2012: In addition to all this I have to quote a fictional TV character, as it reflects my opinion about this topic:
      Patient: I don't know what to do.
      Doctor: I can't tell you what to do. I can only tell you that it is your choice.
      Patient: Maybe it shouldn't be.
      Doctor: But it has to be. When it comes to abortion, everybody has an opinion. Everybody is going to want to tell you what to do. If this were 1972 - you wouldn't have a choice. Now you do. But it's still hard. And even after you've made the most difficult and personal decision that there is, it's still not safe because you have some fanatic who claims to value life and can walk into an abortion clinic and blow it up. You are the only one who know if you're ready to have a child. Everybody else's opinion is just background noise. So, if you want to keep the baby - I'll support you. You want to give it up for adoption, I'll help. You want an abortion, I'll do it. I am not here to judge you. I just need you to know that whatever decision you make is for you - not for me or anybody else - but for you.

      This is how the conversation between every doctor and woman thinking about an abortion should go.
  • Feb 24 2012: Abortion is morally neutral. It all depends on the reasons for an abortion. And ultimately, being male, I'm not properly equipped to make meaningful distinctions regarding the topic. If anything, I think the abortion debate itself is bad due to the fact that predominantly it's been held by men who tried to silence the voices of the group who would be directly affected by their decisions - women. This is even true in modern day America where a differing female opinion from that of the Church in a debate that had anything to do with birth control, let alone, abortions was labeled as inappropriate and irrelevant.
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    Feb 24 2012: First of all there really isn't a black-and-white answer to this so we're more reliant on situation and pre-determined positions on what does and does not constitute as 'life'; So what could you really expect as an answer when you haven't provided either?..

    The only real response I can provide is the one you presented in a follow up comment, which is as follows:
    '..But it's a con because she is taking the life of an innocent baby'

    An abortion in a number of the earler stages provide a situation where there is no 'child' as yet.
    What exists is unformed and lacks all ability to think, does not have developed senses and cannot exist independently from the mother. To simplify : An abortion in such stages is not an abortion of a child, it is the prevention of one, so there are even variations with the con-position you presented.
    (As I said, its not black-and-white).

    I could go into a long and drawn out response to all pro-life positions (primarily on the hypocrisy from many pro-lifers who have an outright aversion to funding the requirements of the child that they 'saved', which is often the pivotal point for the abortion in the first place), but because we're on TED I think most people can already determine what I would say.
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    Feb 27 2012: My answer to your question may be made clearer by translation into an equivalent.
    Is war good or bad? I would say that war is always "bad" but it is still sometimes the only way forward out of a bad situation when you have been attacked. Some people would say that there are good wars. Hard for me to believe if you insist on something being purely good. Essentially it is the same with abortion in that in fact everyone loses to some extent. In abortion however the woman is virtually never the warmonger. So far as I have heard NO woman ever used artificial insemination with the express purpose of having an abortion. The evidence shows that a man is "usually" involved as instigator. If, as some have recently insisted, every fertilized egg is given full human rights and the protection of the law and then we investigate every miscarriage as a possible homicide, how will you prosecute God? Since He who is all powerful allows the majority of such " persons" to die before birth. If the termination of any pregnancy is murder and the majority of such single celled "humans" never implant or die later without human intervention would that not make Him the biggest abortionist of all? Which is really weird since pro lifers insist that He intends every fetus to be born. If you carry the silly idea to its extreme pseudo-logical conclusion shouldn't we jail someone for every onanic loss of sperm? Or are we only protecting those sperm who have accomplished their mission by whatever means, including rape? I fully agree with Colleen and would further suggest that until such time as men get a womb then only real womben should have the veto. Or alternatively if you can make men incapable of rape or deceit, then I would support some form of penalty for those few women who may actually use abortion as their main form of birth control. Isn't it strange that so many pro-lifers also wish to curtail ANY form of birth control when they say it is the "baby killing' they want to stop?
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      Feb 27 2012: Good points Chad,
      Isn't it also strange that those who are against abortion, even when legal, kill innocent people when bombing clinics and shooting OB/GYN doctors and nurses who are not only performing legal abortions, but also providing many other health care services to women? Unfortunately, innocent women who are seeking health care services other than abortion are also the victims of the protesters. Killing people to stop killing is their justification? Doesn't make much sense does it! It seems very hypocritial and contradictory to me.
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    Feb 26 2012: Hitesh,

    Firstly I'm a male and this subject should be weighted to female voices - not exclusively, but they are the ones facing reproductive situations/challenges/choices and consequences. The voice of the fetus should also be represented. Thirdly fathers. Lastly other commentators especially male priests, immans etc.

    At some point it comes down to the rights of the mother versus the rights of the unborn baby.

    I suggest most situations where abortion is being contemplated are undesirable situations - but they happen.

    Not all are the same from an ethical perspective.
    A severely formed baby is a different scenario to being irresponsible about contraception.
    A child of rape. A mother who may die from birth.
    There is also a continuum of development. A fertilised egg is not the same as a 9 month old unborn baby - in my view.

    Speaking controversially, does a 3 week old fetus have more or less consciousness and ability to suffer than a cow, dolphin or dog. I acknowledge the potentials are different. Just offering a different paradigm.

    Perhaps the consequences of not having legal abortion should also be factored in. Underground abortions and unwanted children etc. I wouldn't make it illegal but am all for people taking responsibility for contraception and no rape.
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    Feb 26 2012: Abortion, in my opinion, is neither good nor bad. Abortion is a decision that must be made by the mother (and father if married). There are many valid reasons to abort. Abortion has become a religious and political issue. It is a personal and medical issue. It is not my place to advise for or against my friends/family members decision. I feel it is my duty to support their decision and to provide all of the comfort I can during a especially tough time in their lives. I agree with Colleen that if the decision to abort is made that it should be done by trained medical professionals.

    Hitesh, I speak as an American with limited knowledge of what the problems of abortion are in the country of India. Could you please advise me of the laws, cultural views, and religious thoughts are in India.
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      Feb 26 2012: Dear Robert,
      Your comment is refreshingly wise, insightful and without judgment. I honestly don't understand how anyone can believe s/he can judge, or decide what a woman "should" and "should not" do regarding this very difficult decision. In the years I worked with women who faced this traumatic decision, I often asked myself if I could ever have an abortion? My conclusion, after facing the question with many women, is....I don't know. Thankfully, I never had to make that decision.

      I am a woman, who knows what it is like to experience a pregnancy to full term and be blessed with children. I also have witnessed and felt the pain, confusion, frustration, anger, and the gamet of emotions felt by women who had an unwanted pregnancy for various reasons.

      I LOVE Jonathan Gronli's comment early on this thread...
      " I think the abortion debate itself is bad due to the fact that predominantly it's been held by men who tried to silence the voices of the group who would be directly affected by their decisions - women".

      It is, as you say Robert, "abortion has become a religious and political issue", and it really is an issue that is personal and medical... a decision to be made by the woman and her partner if there is one. As a woman who has had children, worked with women facing this decision, I could never decide "yes" or "no" for myself, because thankfully, I was never personally faced with the question for myself.

      My perception of those men, who would like to make the decision for women, and who obviously would never have to face the decision for themselves, is that they are simply trying to control something which they cannot ever personally understand.
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      Feb 26 2012: The Reason i put this question in light because i want to present the condition of small towns in india.
      I too belong to a small town. And you won't believe that in here people think that a girl child is a big burden for the family because of some marriage customs here in india.. So what they do,they go through the test "Pre birth sex Determination" and if they figure out that the child is female, they go for abortion.
      This is not only in some parts of india,but prevalent in most parts of india...
      So there are two alternatives either Make Abortion equivalent to murder n who does this should be punished under the trail of murder or To Ban the Pre Birth Sex Determination Test.
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        Feb 26 2012: Hitesh,
        Is abortion legal in India?

        If so, there are reputable doctors who would perform an abortion simply because the developing child was not the prefered sex?
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          Feb 27 2012: @ Colleen
          yes it is legal in india, but the question here is why to murder a girl child only because of her sex.This is bad!!
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        Feb 26 2012: Hitesh, I have heard of this practice and the practice of killing off children in China because of their sex due to family size restrictions. It is difficult for me to see the governments acceptance of this practice. This practice is nationalized and the two alternatives you mentioned will probally not occur. At some point it would seem that the numbers of men would be so much greater than the number of women that whole family lines would be eliminated. In small towns and rural areas tradition and customs are hard to stop. The simple answer is to work to increase the "value" of the women in this society so that they will no longer be considered a burden. In many patriachal societies the value of the women is nil. Through education and communications the world is shrinking and many of the old ideas are dying out. I wish I had a better solution but the odds are against an immediate change. You are soliciting change to a condition I feel is wrong and I wish you all of the best luck in finding a resolution. Bob
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          Feb 27 2012: @Robert
          Yes you are right and May be in some upcoming years,if government take this matter seriously,This practice will be reduced..
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        Feb 27 2012: Hitesh,
        I do not percieve abortion to be murder, nor does the legal system in the USA. I also do not agree that your proposed "two alternatives" are the only solutions.

        If it is legal, and some health care professionals are performing the proceedure ONLY to abort the fetus when confirmed to be female, it sounds like education regarding cultural beliefs, and/or regulations for the health care professionals are needed.
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    Feb 24 2012: My position on this, after thinking for some time on this issue is the following:

    Let's take the entity "abortion" aside for a little moment, let's face pregnancy. Pregnancy is the result of a human interaction, a very specific interaction that can be made at any moment in life, sometimes it is between two well established people that make this choice.

    Very often it's not, it's the result of a lack of reasoning from people too young, too poor, too unadjusted or it could even be forced.

    In the first case, the choice to have offspring (or I like to see it, the full expression of humanity, the reasoning in choosing the moment to procreate), the interruption of this process is a deep and sad trauma for whatever the reason is, so, it's not this kind of pregnancy we have to care about at this moment, right?

    Now, when this result comes from the second hypothesis, what really differentiates this unwanted, unbearable pregnancy from an infection?

    Thinking in a strictly logic way: At this situation we have a foreigner being using this woman's resources to grow. It's not her (half of the genes aren't) and the outcome is not the intended at first.

    I really do believe that in those cases, the situation is of an infection by a potentially highly intelligent life form, but an infection nevertheless as in the sense of an unwanted, detrimental form of life growing from the resources of another being.

    If we let aside any emotional or cultural weight, the decision is somewhat simple. And I know this is not the more popular view around, but as a father, I'm really convinced that any even slightly unwanted pregnancy should not be allowed to go forward for I shiver just imagining one of those little, fragile creatures in the hands of someone who utterly hates them or blames them for their own failure.
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      Feb 24 2012: You present an interesting question Carlos, and one I have faced as a person working with women and children in a shelter. I have "shivered" many times when women have been told by their family that they could not have an abortion because of the family's religious beliefs.

      Are some moral judgements causing the birth of little fragile, vulnerable, children into the hands of someone who utterly hates them and/or blames them for their own situation? Perhaps, and that is sad.

      Research shows us that from the time of conception, babies are influenced by the mother and the environment around them. So, even if the plan is to give the baby up for adoption, the moral judgement imposed on women by moral leaders to NOT have an abortion, is often causing the baby to live for at least 9 months in challenging circumstances, and often they are drug and/or alcohol addicted when they are born.

      Are we honestly doing the child a favor by forcing the pregnancy to go to term? Or does this belief feed someone's own moral judgements? I say it is the latter. It is not, in any way a gift to the child.
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      Feb 25 2012: Carlos, there is a serious problem with you reasoning; you refused, maybe unknowingly, to speak of the "subject". You speak only of the circumstances that created the “subject”. I think the real question is how to define abortion. If you agree with me that abortion is taking of human life, then the life in question is the main subject. What if there was no mechanism to terminate pregnancy until birth, then rape victims and all "unwanted pregnancies" will have to kill the 'unwanted child' after birth. Is there really a difference before/after birth? This is another question.

      I wouldn’t call myself religious by any standard. I think religion is an unfortunate distraction in this debate - advocated sometimes mix-up abortion and gay right as one whole moral debate which to me is a huge disservice to this commonsense issue.
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        Feb 25 2012: You're right Ehis...you are trying to address a totally different question.

        You ask..."What if there was no mechanism to terminate pregnancy until birth..."'
        There ARE mechanisms to terminate pregnancy, which have been in use since the beginning of time for humans, so that question does not seem relevant.

        Also, I do not see any connection between abortion and gay rights, so that also seems like a totally different question.
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          Feb 25 2012: No Collen, there is a long history of Infanticide / Neonaticide, (killing within 24 hours of a baby's birth) that abortion replaced. In many past societies, certain forms of infanticide were considered permissible. In some countries, female infanticide is more common than the killing of male offspring.

          I do not doubt that abortion has been around for a long time. In fact there is a long history of abortion that has no starting point . . the knowledge was esoteric hence there was this other practice of Infanticide which disappeared after abortion revolution.

          You are correct that i tried to address a different question, that is because i think the debate is not conducted in the proper manner. If you agree on my definition of abortion then the question of 'unintended pregnancies' will appear more like a fancy term for Unwanted Child. Then we can have a proper debate . . .
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        Feb 25 2012: Ehis,
        I am aware of infanticide. If you do not think the debate is "conducted in the proper manner", I suggest you start your own debate.

        The question, as presented, is simple and uncomplicated.....
        "Is Abortion good or bad???Plase share your views on this Topic of Abortion.What do you think,are you against it or with it..pls share".
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        Feb 27 2012: Ehis,
        I was trying to keep us on topic with the question as presented in our previous exchange. The author/facilitator of this discussion (Hitesh Paarth) has brought your concern into the conversation, and states:
        "The Reason i put this question in light because i want to present the condition of small towns in india...... here people think that a girl child is a big burden for the family because of some marriage customs here in india.. So...,they go through the test "Pre birth sex Determination" and if they figure out that the child is female, they go for abortion".

        I wanted to let you know in case you did not notice that your issue was brought into the conversation by the facilitator, so in my perception, that offers an opportunity to address the issue.
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          Feb 28 2012: YES Colleen and it helps validate MY point. My diversion was to get to the principle involved . . The truth is that there is no simple answer to the question especially without a given context.
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        Feb 29 2012: Good point Ehis.
        We seem to be in agreement with the fact that there is no simple answer to the question, especially without a given context. Those who would like to answer yes/no/good/bad/right/wrong simply do not have all appropriate information, and may be so "stuck" in their own preference that they do not want to have all information.

        While I am aware of infanticide, I was not aware of the use of abortion to terminate a pregnancy when it was determined that it was a female, until Hitesh explained this practice in this thread. Every day....every moment is an education. Thanks for your patience with me Ehis:>)
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    Feb 24 2012: I think we can't say if abortion is good or not generally , the conditions that determine it matter too much ; the best way to avoid the ethical problems that may be created is to ask the persons who want do abortion to evaluate as good as they can everything ; from this perspective the education matters a lot .
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    Feb 24 2012: Aborrtion is never bad nor good but in cases the better alternative. The good thing is to preserve life and under exeptional circumstances this can be served best by abortion.
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    Mar 8 2012: I feel like the debate on abortion is something that ultimately has to be decided from within the individual considering it. Abortion is highly personal and I don't think that it's fair for anyone to tell a woman what to do in the various situations that could have her considering abortion. What any woman needs when attempting to make this decision is support and knowledge of her options.
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    Feb 29 2012: keywords being "good" or "bad" ..very subjective terms,
    but to keep it simple: I believe each woman should have the right to determine whether or not she wants to have an abortion (sad decision, but should ultimately be left up to her and not the law)
    secondly, I feel that with the choice of whether or not to have one, people will abuse it, unfortunately, but I would rather have the power to make my own decisions than have someone make them for me on the basis of a law.
    I think abortion is "bad" for the unborn child. Possibly good for a rape/incest victim, but the act of killing babies is not good.
    I am however glad that my mother did not abort me. but she could have, and she made the right choice.
    • Mar 1 2012: I totally agree that the terms "Good or Bad" are entirely subjective. Every decision in life has consequences, some positive and others negative. Even the resulting consequences could be positive or negative depending on the person or the point of view. What is positive for one women, may be negative for another. Abortion ought to be a personal informed decision.
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    Feb 28 2012: This has been a very insightful thread to read. I agree that it is very difficult to describe abortion as good or bad, and while I accept and understand the moral values on both sides, I am pro-choice. In cases of abuse (rape, physical, mental etc) I believe it is unreasonable to suggest that the mother (and even father in some cases) endure the post traumatic stress that will inevitably ensue. Also in many cases where these factors are considered, the child itself will be unsafe and anguished.

    I don't subscribe to "pro-death" or "anti-life" labels, I advocate for less children in foster homes, women's rights to health and safety, and minimal "backyard abortions".
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    Feb 27 2012: In short, being a Nurse, and assisting ob/gyns perform abortions (laws on education are rather different in my country), talking with girls, women who went through the procedure, their friends and family I heard so many different opinions.
    I, however, think that up to the 3rd month of pregnancy women (and only them) should be allowed to decide what they want to do with their body. It is absolutely their choice - and men never seem to understand that.

    I am appalled when I see all those horrible posters depicting the procedure often used in political and religious propaganda trying to scare women into not having an abortion. As if deciding to go with it is not difficult enough...
  • Feb 26 2012: Everybody on this planet has an impact on the world. We need all kind of minds. Everybody has the right to be alive.

    Said that, i am paradoxically NOT AGAINST abortion. I do celebrate life. But at least before a fetus is viable, (if not weeks before, this is another subject) I believe women should have the right to abort.

    There are many different reasons for abortion, and I will only look at a few and on the babie's side.

    First of all, to reply to some previous comments, incestuous relationships often has a very negative impact genetically and psychologically on the baby. In some cases, life for the baby will be extremely challenging (with high risk of heavy handicap) and sad.

    Second, In some countries, where only one child is the norm, i think people abuse from the right they have to abort. However, I have visited an orphanage in those kind of countries and I can tell you that some sick and handicapped kids have really a very miserable life there. They are imprisoned in their own body and lack of love. Even thus, healthy children often are ok once they are adopted.

    I hope society will evolve to the point that every child, who ever he is, and every women (who ever she is) with an unwanted pregnancy can be sure they will find social support, plus love and understanding around them. Also, better education will, I think contribute to diminish the number of unwanted pregnancies. I believe the choice should belong to the woman and no judgement should be done. If the society evolves in a positive way, i believe abortion should decrease.

    So, as a conclusion, I would say:

    We need to analyze why women in societies find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy. And then ask ourselves how society can change, to contribute to decreasing the number of unwanted pregnancies and the number of abortion WITHOUT causing violence on women, violence on children and without increasing issues with over population.
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    Feb 25 2012: When my daughter was at college she had to do a debate on this. She was very much pro, probably because Mum & Dad were anti. It took about a fortnight for her to change her mind. Her portfolio would turn any stomach, there was absolutely no doubt where she stood.

    I remember the bill being passed in the uk many years ago. It was designed to help women in real need & it was a popular bill. It has degenerated into a contraceptive. Apparently there is a 911 type body count every single day among pre-birth children. The mother's womb is the most dangerous place a child can be; quite the opposite of the way things should be.
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      Feb 26 2012: Good point Peter,
      A mother's womb CAN be the most dangerous place a child can be. Because of the very close connection between mother and child, if the mother does not feel "safe", then the child probably will not be safe either. A woman, enduring an unwanted pregnancy, usually does not feel safe or content, which is why, in some instances, abortion may be the appropriate choice, made by that particular woman....the one and only person who has that choice....unless there is a partner who is also sharing that choice.

      Before abortion was legal, it was not unusual for women to perform abortions on themselves, or have it done by questionable people under dangerous, unsanitary conditions. It was not unusaul for women to become very ill, and/or die from hemorraging and/or infections. It was not unusual for women to abort after being beaten by the man who fathered the child.

      There are many circumstances Peter, that may "turn any stomach", and there are many scenarios that cause the womb to be unsafe for a developing child. Each and every scenario needs to be evaluated with an open heart and mind for the health and safety of all participants. That is why it is a personal/medical decision, rather than dictated by anyone's personal religious or political beliefs.
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      Feb 27 2012: Peter you use the pejorative term "pre-birth" children. Are you supporting the misinformation that a meaningful percentage of abortions are done after the fetus might be viable? If not say so. If you do intend to pass on that miss-perception you would do well to stop as that and other similar exaggerations seem like lies and ultimately hurt your case. If you really want to do something to decrease unintended pregnancies and therefore lower the "body count" then I would hope you contribute to planned parenthood and support better anti-conception education for young people in the schools. I have yet to even hear of a credible case in which a woman with a committed caring partner used abortion as her preferred contraceptive. The few single women I have met who had abortions all had been abandoned by the sperm donor who had promised devotion. Until such time as men are held equally responsible for any unwanted pregnancy I will continue to prefer to give ALL women the benefit of the doubt.and let them keep their veto. Besides if these unnatural mothers are evil monsters as portrayed why would anyone want to entrust them with raising a child?
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        Feb 27 2012: Hi Chad.

        You seem to be saying that if a feutus is not viable it is not a child, I beg to disagree. It is pretty much all there at 6-weeks, it just grows after that. A full time pregnancy isn't viable without a lot of attention; feeding, changing, warmth etc. You wouldn't be viable if thrown overboard at sea; this does not make you any less human.
        I am just trying to speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves, & to be honest it makes me sick that this case has to be made in our so-called civilised society. Of course there are special cases, & great compassion is needed, all I say is that the child should get the benefit of any doubt.
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          Feb 27 2012: Peter,

          Viable:
          "capable of living;born alive with such form and development of organs as to be normally capable of living; capable of growing or developing; capable of working, functioning, or developing adequately; capable of existence and development as an independent unit".

          What about the viability of very young women, children really, who have been raped Peter? Have you ever seen 10-12 year old girls carrying a child because they were impregnated by an unknown rapist, or a relative rapist? You want to talk about something that makes you sick Peter? Which "child" (the mother or unborn child) would you deny the right to grow and live naturally to be "viable"?

          You are correct Peter..."compassiion is needed". When are you actually going to start feeling compassion, rather than following blindly behind some dogma?
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          Feb 27 2012: I get the impression Peter that you are sincere. Believe it or not I also am absolutely against abortion just as I am against war as I said in another comment. However I would serve in a war to defend my country under certain circumstances. I would still feel terrible about having to kill even an enemy soldier much less being involved in so called collateral damage. In my opinion those extremists who will hear of virtually no circumstance justifying abortion in effect are defending sperm rights not babies. Rape is commonly used in war as a terror weapon and is also a half measure toward genocide. Unfortunately women are usually not as strong as men and can also be deceived by a mans lies. When men are made incapable or rape or deceit I will vote to outlaw abortion even before your 6 week period if every "father" is also made to pay ample child and maternal support. Alternatively you could get the 5th amendment repealed and require every man to be given a battery of lie detector tests periodically.. Any man who has sex outside of a committed relationship could be made to pay for a vasectomy. The operation could be reversed should a woman vouch for him. If you will support that then I could support similar tests for women to see if they really were using other forms of birth control and not just abortion as their only form of contraceptive. The other issue is you may be willing to allow six weeks but many others who are pro-life will not. For many, like R. Santorum they also wish to deny women access to most types of birth control. You will, I think, admit this is often a religious issue. How can we decide on a fair boundary? A billion+ Hindus and Buddhists and others would like to insist that you treat all sentient beings like babies, sounds very moral to me. Perhaps a billion Muslims would vote for many things to which you or I might object. Ultimately since no one yet has been able to prove which God is best hadn't we better leave all Gods out of it?
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          Feb 27 2012: Peter I will also put it to you that those pro lifers who oppose all abortion, and often most forms of birth control, are to a large extent responsible for abortions after the first trimester. I reason it so, since the vast majority of those who are pro choice would gladly support 12 weeks as a limit with only exceptions for rape of a child or the health of the mother. I and many if not most pro choice supporters feel forced to resist the extremists by defending the "goal posts" as you put it further back than our preference because It is undeniable that much of the driving force behind the other side really does wish to impose their moral certainties on all mankind. You are apparently certain that you are right, perhaps I have had direct spiritual experience that the soul does not fully inhabit the fetus until well after 12 weeks. I would be as certain if not more so than you. Would that give me the right to impose in others lives? Since God does not take away our freedom of conscience why are so many who say they believe in him so willing to do so? Again where is the boundary? Most civilizations have agreed that our skin is our boundary. I am willing to go beyond that ancient boundary if the playing field is first leveled and mothers are given reasonable protection and support. If they really were and if men were held equally responsible then there would be very few women trying to abort.
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        Feb 27 2012: http://m.youtube.com/?rdm=4phc78cbo&reload=3#/watch?v=i6ZD8KpPv3k. At 3.30

        I hope this is out of context; if not then we are further down the slope than I thought.
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          Feb 27 2012: Peter,
          The topic is abortion:
          "the expulsion of a nonviable fetus; spontaneous expulsion of a human fetus during the first 12 weeks of gestation".
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        Feb 27 2012: Colleen

        If you believe that, then you are naive . The goalposts have moved considerably in the last couple of decades & continue to do so. Any way this is why I think abortion is 'generally' a bad idea.
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          Feb 27 2012: I understand you think it's a bad idea Peter, and thankfully, you've never had to make the decision for yourself. Each and every person has a right to decide how his/her body will be used, and none of us has the right to dictate to others how his/her body will be used.
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        Feb 28 2012: Hi Chad.

        Birth control. :- in a perfect world it would probably not be necessary, but that isn't where we live. Sex is for building a bond between mums & dads to strengthen the family unit, as well as procreating. Personally I have no issue with birth control.

        It is true that my Christian commitment colours my opinions, however on this issue we can leave that aside if you like. I agree that the woman has the right to decide what to do with her body. What rights then does the child have ? The child doesn't get a vote. As the damage inflicted on the child is immeasurably more serious than that on the woman, this seems unfair.
        Colleen makes the valid point that I am a man. I have no control over that; however by far the majority of my close friends are women, I relate to them better than men & they are the majority in church around here. I feel I am sympathetic; many men today are a complete disgrace. Even among my friends there are many in relationships which are soured by the men, to a greater or lesser extent.
        It is now very easy to follow the gestation of the human child in the womb. Year on year the age of viability is being lowered. Almost before the woman realises she is pregnant the feutus is a little person. We really have to get to grips with this, it is not bible thumping, it is reality. If you want to abort, then you have to destroy a child. Probably with a lot of pain. These are the facts no-one wants to admit. We try & dress it up in order to make it more palatable, but the child loses out. Someone needs to make the case for the child. I have a wee pal called Eve. Her mum was deserted when she was conceived. Abortion was one option, thank god it was rejected. She's the light of many lives.

        :-)
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          Feb 28 2012: Peter,
          You say in the above comment that your christian commitment colours" your opinions, and "on this issue we can leave that aside"? In case you haven't noticed, you have not left it aside.

          You agree that the woman "has the right to decide what to do with her body"...that is real progress Peter...Kudos to you my friend!!!

          If you are genuinely concerned about the children Peter, it would be helpful to consider what happens to an unwanted child who is born because of incorrect information and religious presure. These are the children I often met at the shelter and as a case reviewer for SRS (the agengy that oversees children in state custody). These were the children I met after they grew up and landed in jail. The damage "inflicted on the child" who is born of a woman because of any external presure is far greater than the trauma of an abortion Peter.....rest assured.

          Those men you speak of Peter (your friends), who are "a complete disgrace" and who "sour relationships"...how do you think/feel they are with children they fathered? If they are a disgrace and sour relationships how do you think that is impacting their children?

          You are right Peter...I make a valid point that you are a man. I will make another valid point, that as a man, you cannot dictate how a woman's body will be used. There is definitely something to "get to grips with" here Peter...good luck with that. The only one here "trying to "dress it up", to support your own beliefs, is you Peter.
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      Feb 27 2012: Wow - I have heard many arguments for and against abortion - and regardless of my stance, your last phrase,

      "the mother's womb is the most dangerous place a child can be;"

      ... is SO powerful. I haven't thought of it from that perspective before. If abortion methods are used a simply as birth control - unborn children are definitely the most at risk people in the world. Wow.
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        Feb 27 2012: Hi Allison,
        I agree that it is a very powerful statement, and I'm sure Peter wrote it for that reason. Thankfully, any health care professionals, shelter staff, rape crisis center staff, councelers, family center staff, social services staff, etc. etc., that I have ever worked with DO NOT advocate abortion as birth control. Everything I have ever heard, or seen in writing, including all educational/informational materials, discourage the use of abortion as a birth control.

        In my experience, every single woman who is considering abortion is counceled extensively. Are there women who have more than one abortion? Yes...occasionally. We cannot follow them around and try to protect them in every moment of their lives. We can only offer information.
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          Feb 27 2012: Colleen - I am glad to hear that your experience with moms who choose abortion has been in the context of intentional serious conversations. It is thrown around publicly that is easy and a decision anyone can make, that I think the serious side of the act of choosing is sometimes lost.

          Colleen, would you take a look at this and tell me what you think?
          http://www.ted.com/conversations/9596/for_pro_lifers_out_there_do.html
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        Feb 27 2012: Allison,
        I KNOW that the issue is "thrown around", often with very little understanding of how traumatic it is for women/girls, and how traumatic the on-going ramifications are. In your comment above Allison, you write..."experience with "moms" who choose abortion...". Many of those who came into the shelter pregnant are "little girs" in my perception...they are NOT moms.

        Not only has my experience been in the context of intentional serious conversations, but I volunteered in a shelter, and a family center for over 3 years. In that time, we were interacting with many women/girls, the rape crisis center, and various other social service agencies. I then volunteered with the dept. of corrections for 6 years, working mostly with offenders of rape and domestic violence.

        I wrote what I think about your new topic at that site...I've thought a LOT about it:>)
        If those who want to insist that every pregnant woman/girl, carry the pregnancy to term REGARDLESS of the circumstances, we should be seeing these people "out there" working with these women/girls and their children, and/or working with the men who raped and impregnated them!!!
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    Feb 25 2012: It's impossible to say for me. I have never been pregnant. I have never been a women. I have never had or considered an actual abortion. Moving on.
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      Feb 25 2012: Well said Jacob,
      Unless one is faced with this decision personally, or as a partner, It is very difficult to understand and even more difficult to decide. Those who judge, would simply like to be in control of someone else's life.
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    Feb 25 2012: About a year ago there was a radio story (NPR, most likely) about two clinics across the street from each other: an abortion clinic and a Christian Crisis Counseling Center. The heads of each clinic never spoke to each other, although the abortion clinic head had offered the other head to come see their facilities. The Counseling clinic would often try to talk women out of the abortion clinic.

    I heard, in this story, one call that the Counseling Center made. She called a woman who had been considering abortion: she said, "I was just checking to see if you made your decision . . . oh . . . you went ahead with it? OK, then." and hung up. I was shocked by the utter disregard, the casting aside of this person who just made this difficult and painful decision.

    That conversation is an example of a society is too emotionally immature to discuss abortion with any sort of logic or composure. Christ calls us to love - even those who make choices we don't like. I wish in my heart of hearts that person would have said, "Can you make sure to have some follow up care? Do you need someone to talk to? We're here to listen."

    Yety, we are incapable of reconciling the fact that abortion, while a termination of life, is still a fundemental right of a person's control over their own body. Until we mature enough to love, and not condemn, we can never build a society in which women would never see abortion as a viable choice. However, as for now and in the foreseeable future, it is.
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      Feb 25 2012: Dear Verble,
      I appreciate your wise and non judgemental words. I would like to remind us that those facilities called "abortion clinics", usually are full service OB/GYN clinics, meaning that they provide all services including pre natal care, counceling services, cancer diagnosis and treatment, etc. etc. They do not simply do abortions, and I bristle a little at that label because there are MANY woman going to those clinics for other health services.

      In fact, many years ago, when there were protests, picketers, and doctors being shot in and around these OB/GYN clinics, I had cancer, and was trying to attend a follow-up visit with my doctor after a surgical proceedure. Because her office was in the same building as planned parenthood, I, and many other women could not get to our appointments. It didn't make any difference to the protesters that we older women were seeking medical attention.

      I have friends who councel women in the OB/GYN clinics, rape crisis center, and I have done that myself in the shelter. We give them ALL information, support them with their decision, and provide follow-up counceling regardless of their decision. It IS a very difficult and painful decision Verble, which you insightfully recognize. It is not taken lightly by anyone that I am aware of.

      I would like to see those people who judge women for having an abortion, spend their time and effort working with the men who impregnate women without regard for their mental or physical safety and well being. I would like to see those people who judge, spend some time volunteering in a rape crisis center or shelter.

      I think you know Verble that I do not practice a religiion, but I am somewhat familier with the bible:>) As I recall, it says something like...."judge not lest you shall be judged"? And there's something else about people who live in glass houses should not throw stones, or something like that?

      Again Verble, I appreciate your wise insight...thank you for that:>)
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        Feb 26 2012: Very right to point out that these truly should not be classed simply as "abortion" clinics. They do provide other reproductive services as well. Very true. It is time to emphasize the positive.

        Personally, i think we have the debate all backwards: if we truly want a world where there is no abortion, then we have to create a society in which every pregnancy is wanted, expected, and is a happy occasion. And no I'm not saying that can be legislated, but I will say that it starts by teaching our young men that young women are to be cherished and respected, not used and left.
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    Feb 24 2012: It's like murder, I suppose : neither good nor bad.
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    Feb 24 2012: Abortion can only be justified to save the life of the mother. Spiritually we are human at conception, but even materially we are pretty much there at 6 - 8 weeks.

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=feutus&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CEgQtwIwAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DaR-Qa_LD2m4&ei=lZBHT5e3JoTu8QOF_py4Dg&usg=AFQjCNFpfVZtichIIE6Fuu-_Jy_1FjGqug

    :-)
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      Feb 24 2012: the term conception is ambiguous however. when would you define conception? because the debate is still ongoing on how to scientifically define the moment of conception, it is close to impossible. fertilisation takes a while, as does attachment to the endometrium. Fair enough, this conversation is more about abortion of a foetus and is therefore already conceived, but i just thought id jump in. As for human, again thats arguable. we look the same at 24hours in-utero as every other mammal, the only thing that differs later on is the dna combinations that are transcribed, again though - most mammals follow the same route. we just change at the end.

      we must also consider that if you have had sex without a condom then there is every chance the body undergoes a spontaneous abortion which people often do not notice. this occurs when the conditions are not right for the fertilized ovum to attatch (or stay attatched), zygote to form and embryo to develop. this occurs after 'the moment of conception', so abortions happen all the time. indeed some contraceptive drugs work by stopping implantation.

      In terms of clinical abortion, i believe that if a foetus has nociceptive responses ie. it responds to pain because its nervous system is fully connected and functioning then it is too late for abortion (around 26 weeks i think). in the uk the latest date is 24 weeks, i believe one reason for this is because babies born at 25 weeks have been known to survive.

      This is an answer from a more scientific side than moral or ethical, but theres a difference between chance of survival when it comes to life. taking a life isnt actually taking a life if the foetus cannot survive without the host mother. heartbeats are just cells that spontaneously contract, not because the foetus is 'alive'. you can get heart muscle cells to beat in dishes so just because you see a heart beat does not mean it is alive.
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    Feb 24 2012: It seems to me that the real question is how do you define abortion? If we can agree on the definition then the answer to your question is simple - even in cases of rape. Some people see abortion as 'not killing babies' others think differently. I happen to be in the camp of those who see it as direct killing.
  • Mar 4 2012: Abortion is not good. At least, it is not good for the person in the womb. People may do it and it may be legal, but that does not make it good. How long it has been practiced, or how widely, makes a fallacious argument. Many will say they are for it because of incest, rape, etc., but that is still a person in the womb that had no choice. Many will assume that everyone has some right to do what they want with their own body. That is not true. I don't have a right to kill myself, even though I have the ability. I don't have the right to enslave myself. I don't have the right to sell my organs upon death (or even before). I can't rightfully be a drug addict. The only way to truly answer this question Hitesh, is to get to the basic issue: is the unborn baby a human person or not? The unborn are indeed human people. One other reliable touchstone of morality is to ask yourself the simple question: Can you wish that all people, at all times, and all places engage in abortion? No, you can't. Take any moral act that you think is clearly wrong. Why is it wrong? Because it isn't something that you (or anyone else) could wish that all people would do. Theft. Murder. Deceit. Abortion isn't universalizable, just like these other crimes. People can still choose to do any of them, for we are free moral agents. But having the ability to do them, even when the law or enforcement is lax, does not make them good or right. Lastly, people can do any of these things and perhaps escape punishments, but they must live with their selves. And there are millions of people who will not sleep well tonight because of an abortion, not because of a guilt trip laid on them by religious or moral people. Many can't sleep because their soul and their conscience echoes through the hollowness. It is sad. But no amount of tired dogma from abortion doctors and clinic workers that the fetus is just a bundle of tissues will quench that nihilistic feeling. May they find some peace and forgiveness in God.
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    Feb 27 2012: A little bit of a new take on the issue - how much of the repercussions of our choice to be pro-life or pro-choice is our responsibility?

    http://www.ted.com/conversations/9596/for_pro_lifers_out_there_do.html
  • Feb 27 2012: Abortion isn't good no, but the use of it depends on the person, the circumstance, the religion etc. Having to take away a potential life is never good but there are understandings for certain circumstances underlying the issue of the mother.
  • Feb 25 2012: what causes the abortion? I think we should not make any decision of the debate.
  • Feb 25 2012: It is like morality for it is relative.
  • Comment deleted

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      Feb 24 2012: Yes...
      "...a woman made a choice...No one, no one except her can make that choice".
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      Feb 27 2012: Roy in practice it may be possible soon to take any cell of your body and make a clone. Is that then still you? By your definition it should be since the fertilized egg which is a single cell containing all the information that every other full cell in your body has, was. Before those two half human cells met in your mothers fallopian tubes where were you? Was half of you in the sperm and half in the egg? If so, shouldn't we prosecute every imitator of Onan from the BIble for half -homicide? . If you are religious do you believe you had a soul that attached to the egg at whichever moment you call conception? If so then weren't you you before then? If you believe you only have an imortal soul immediately after conception (assuming again you are religious) then since it is "immortal" YOU can not truly die since you say you were complete in some ethical sense. Since our creator apparently desinged our bodies to infallibly die at some point before 125 years is He aborting all who die before age? If you believe you did have an immortal soul before conception as many religions do, would you agree that you chose your mother? If so wouldn't we know that our mothers might not be prepared to carry us to term? And finally many of the religions believe that you would get another chance to be born later. I happen to believe that this is probably true. Should my spiritual assumptions have more weight because a plurality of mankind believes I am right?. Since none of this is provable as of now Don't you think we should let Mothers have the most say in the matter, at least until the fetus is near viable?,
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    Feb 24 2012: Life and death are neither good nor bad. Good is a relative quality, and so is bad. Nothing is inherently good or bad. It is only good or bad within a given set of parameters, and only in reference to a specific target perception during a given period of time.

    Abortion is the ending of a gestational process. It's not the killing of a viable person. If the termination of that gestational process is detrimental to the host organism (woman or dog or cat or whatever) then the termination of that process is bad. If it is physically beneficial to the host, then the termination of that gestational process is good. Humanity hasn't the accuracy or the inalienable right to define what constitutes an objective standard concerning the preservation or termination of any biological process - even life itself. Ultimately, what is agreed upon within a society is what constitutes the relative good and the relative bad in all cases.

    There is no true morality that exists beyond the dictates established by humans who have agreed among themselves and willingly accepted for their own specific cultural community cluster. Imposing such a dictate upon a defined group of people who do not share in that specific cultural agreement is akin to an invasion by the offending community cluster, and is itself a violation of the invaded groups own established morality. War - or armed insurrection - is usually the result of such invasion, depending on the relative strength, one group versus the other. In that case one group's good is the other group's bad, and nothing good comes from what develops from there.
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    Feb 24 2012: A thank you to All of you.. i have conveyed a lot of points from your ideas..
    thanks a lot........
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    Feb 23 2012: They both have pros and cons. For example, abortion can be a pro because if a 13 year old was to be raped and got pregnant, she could abort the baby and continue her life. She wouldn't have to see the outcome of her pain. But it's a con because she is taking the life of an innocent baby
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      Feb 25 2012: She has to live the rest of her life with the knowledge that she has taken the life of her innocent baby. There is a choice; 7-8 months of stress versus a lifetime of regret.
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        Feb 25 2012: Peter,
        You have no idea what "she" has to live with, and until you have walked in "her" shoes, you never will know.

        If you believe that one who is raped has only "7-8 months of stress", you might want to look at some of the testimonies of the men/boys who were raped by catholic priests. You will discover that rape impacts a person's life forever. Sometimes, with support and acceptance, that person's life can be less stressful.
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          Feb 25 2012: Of course the effects of such trauma can last a lifetime. The 7-8 months component only applies to the pregnancy & can both save the life of a child, & dispense with any regrets over the abortion.
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        Feb 25 2012: Peter,
        Until you have walked in "her" shoes, you will never know. Until you have carried a child in your body, you will never know Peter.

        Your theory "applies" to YOUR religious belief, which tries to control the body and the choices of another person, because you believe you are "right".