Abortion

  • Thread starter Danoff
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I think you're not really understanding what I'm asking. You're saying it's "a human". My question is what, meaningfully, does that mean exactly? Because a single cell with human DNA does not strike me as fundamentally "a human".
Ah got it.

I think you answer the question here:

To me, it can only meaningfully be called "a cell", or a human zygote, or a human embryo. Does that cell become a baby?
They are all humans, just at different stages of development:

A human zygote
A human foetus
A human baby
A human adolescent
etc

Where there is a difference is who we define as a person, which is more of a philosophical question, and how much value we put on each thing. While it's not really relevant in the abortion debate with regards to a pregnant person's choice, I think definitions will play a key role when discussing the ethics around partial ectogenesis and the development of embryos past the current limit.

Danoff
It is not the case that everything else divides from this starting point. When you have a 4-cell embryo, at a minimum, 1 of those cells did not divide from the first cell.
My fault for the poor wording.

Every cell can trace its lineage to Cell A in your example. If we knocked out Cell G you get rid of the daughter cells of that cell, but maybe don't kill the organism; knockout Cell A and bye-bye human.
I might be more inclined to really think hard about and answer this question if you gave me a reason. So far in this discussion I'm not sure why my opinion on whether human fetuses and rats should be allowed to experience pain during experimentation is really important.
It goes to seeing what we are fine to experiment on.
Strictly morally speaking? Yes. Pragmatically? No.
Thanks for answering, as I find it a hard question.

How should the law reflect this? Morally speaking, what makes it different from a 24 week gestation infant that is being ventilated in the NICU, as I presume you would find it morally wrong to terminate their life. Is it only the technology used that accounts for the difference, or is it because it hasn't taken its first breath?

The appropriate term is control. Empathy, sympathy, compassion, morality...they all exist in the absence of religion. Religion exists as a means of control.
I get that the majority of people will have that as a reason, but what about the few who do have genuine sympathy/whatever? Is it always misguided....
 
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Ah got it.

I think you answer the question here:


They are all humans, just at different stages of development:

A human zygote
A human foetus
A human baby
A human adolescent
etc

Where there is a difference is who we define as a person, which is more of a philosophical question, and how much value we put on each thing. While it's not really relevant in the abortion debate with regards to a pregnant person's choice, I think definitions will play a key role when discussing the ethics around partial ectogenesis and the development of embryos past the current limit.

A human heart. A human lung.

You're kinda hiding behind semantics with this. There are an awful lot of characteristics that make a baby "a human" that aren't shared by a human zygote. Just because it has "human" in front of it, "human feces", doesn't mean it is "a human".

Every cell can trace its lineage to Cell A in your example.

Same for sperm and egg. It's irrelevant. You can trace your "lineage" to your great grandparents' cells too.

It goes to seeing what we are fine to experiment on.

I'm not feeling the motivation yet.

How should the law reflect this? Morally speaking, what makes it different from a 24 week gestation infant that is being ventilated in the NICU, as I presume you would find it morally wrong to terminate their life. Is it only the technology used that accounts for the difference, or is it because it hasn't taken its first breath?

No, I'm saying strictly morally speaking, a 24 week infant in the NICU isn't something we have to protect.

Pragmatically though, once it is physically separated, the law recognizes it as a person with legal personhood. At that point, it's legally not ok to terminate.
 
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No, I'm saying strictly morally speaking, a 24 week infant in the NICU isn't something we have to protect.
austin-powers-stare.gif


Before addressing the rest of the post, can you expand on that a bit?
 
austin-powers-stare.gif


Before addressing the rest of the post, can you expand on that a bit?

Consider what kind of organism a 24-week infant in the NICU is. At 24 weeks, the fetal brain has only just started to control bodily functions - like heart rate, blood pressure, movements, or receiving sense input. This is something a mouse or fish can do. The development of a fetus to this point is less than many, many animals which we do not protect. There is a reason we don't have to protect these animals, and part of that reason is that they cannot recognize and understand those basic concepts in any way.

During the 3rd trimester, the brain undergoes a lot of development. That continues to be the case after birth. In terms of cognition, which is what rights are based on, fetuses essentially have none in 2nd trimester. They develop in that area a lot in the 3rd and "4th" trimesters. This is why I say that morally speaking we're not required to protect this organism. It hasn't sufficiently developed a brain to the point where it morally requires protecting.

Full term birth is an early line to draw. It occurs before the baby's brain really starts to take on significant development in ways that require moral consideration. From the perspective of rights (which I'm using as a surrogate for morality because I assume we're not just talking about anyone's personal potentially insane vision of morals), it's early to draw the line there. But it is convenient to draw the line there precisely because it is early and because the baby is a separable individual that can be legally recognized.
 
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A human heart. A human lung.
Are organs.
You're kinda hiding behind semantics with this. There are an awful lot of characteristics that make a baby "a human" that aren't shared by a human zygote. Just because it has "human" in front of it, "human feces", doesn't mean it is "a human".
Is it really though? I'm trying to be consistent with terms which I believe will be important once our capabilities for sustaining/creating life evolve. So far you're giving examples of parts of the organism and saying that you shouldn't therefore treat the whole entity as something different. Human faeces in this case is the product of the digestive system.
Same for sperm and egg. It's irrelevant. You can trace your "lineage" to your great grandparents' cells too.
Of course you can....but that human started at the zygote - the others you listed are, respectively, cells from your parents and another organism entirely.

I don't think it's a particularly difficult concept to grasp. What I'm getting from your posts is that we should think of it as "a life" once its brain has sufficiently developed - more specifically its grey matter.
I'm not feeling the motivation yet
For answering, or for developing such foetuses?
Consider what kind of organism a 24-week infant in the NICU is. At 24 weeks, the fetal brain has only just started to control bodily functions - like heart rate, blood pressure, movements, or receiving sense input. This is something a mouse or fish can do. The development of a fetus to this point is less than many, many animals which we do not protect. There is a reason we don't have to protect these animals, and part of that reason is that they cannot recognize and understand those basic concepts in any way.

During the 3rd trimester, the brain undergoes a lot of development. That continues to be the case after birth. In terms of cognition, which is what rights are based on, fetuses essentially have none in 2nd trimester. They develop in that area a lot in the 3rd and "4th" trimesters. This is why I say that morally speaking we're not required to protect this organism. It hasn't sufficiently developed a brain to the point where it morally requires protecting.

Full term birth is an early line to draw. It occurs before the baby's brain really starts to take on significant development in ways that require moral consideration. From the perspective of rights (which I'm using as a surrogate for morality because I assume we're not just talking about anyone's personal potentially insane vision of morals), it's early to draw the line there. But it is convenient to draw the line there precisely because it is early and because the baby is a separable individual that can be legally recognized.
Wouldn't that logically mean a lot of humans wouldn't qualify as worthy of protection from a moral viewpoint?
 
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Anti-choicers simply have no regard for others' right to ownership of self. That's why it's wholly unsurprising when Christians, as the largest group of anti-choicers, are outed as child sexual predators--indeed sexual predators in general.
 
Are organs.

Are cells. Are organs. Are zygotes, are embryos, are fetuses. Whatever. The phrasing does not make it significant, which is what your argument was.

Is it really though? I'm trying to be consistent with terms which I believe will be important once our capabilities for sustaining/creating life evolve. So far you're giving examples of parts of the organism and saying that you shouldn't therefore treat the whole entity as something different. Human faeces in this case is the product of the digestive system.

Of course you can....but that human started at the zygote - the others you listed are, respectively, cells from your parents and another organism entirely.

Circular. The cell is a human because the human is a human when it's a cell. A zygote doesn't become a human, it becomes an embryo if the chemical conditions are right. There is some meaningful significance in these terms too.

What I'm getting from your posts is that we should think of it as "a life" once its brain has sufficiently developed - more specifically its grey matter.

No. A human zygote is "a life". So is arguably a sperm and even a white blood cell. All of those are living. I wouldn't say that it's only "a life" when it develops a brain. A fish is "a life" and a tree. You can come up with criteria that makes it "a human" but where is the meaning? It's all convention or features that are picked as being easily identifiable but not for moral significance.

I honestly do not care if you want to call a zygote "a human". If that's your convention, great, I think it causes moral confusion but it's all labels. In terms of moral significance, yes the brain is what makes us morally significant.

For answering, or for developing such foetuses?

For answering the question. I don't have an answer for you off the top of my head, it would take a while to really formulate a coherent position on that, and I don't see how it would do anything but muddy this conversation.

Wouldn't that logically mean a lot of humans wouldn't qualify as worthy of protection from a moral viewpoint?

Depends on what you mean by "a human". If you're talking about human cells, yes that's the whole point of what I was writing. But it also applies to other entities as well. Some people that we would both easily consider "a human" don't qualify as worthy of protection from a moral viewpoint - especially many people that we incarcerate. If someone is brain dead and living on life support, is that "a human" in a non-arbitrary way? I honestly am not sure about my position on that. But presuming that it is, it also doesn't qualify as worthy of protection - the plug is ok to pull.
 
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Federal Judge effectively bans mifepristone nationwide by upending its FDA approval after 23 years of use. Mifepristone is one of two drugs used in combination for early-term abortions. The other drug is misoprostol. The two act together to achieve abortion at early stages of gestation. It's worth noting that they're also used to assist in cases of natural pregnancy loss. They can be used up to 25 weeks (although after 10 it's no longer at home). Early stage abortion is nearly all abortion. Less than one percent of abortions take place after 21 weeks.

With this ruling, this federal judge is trying to effectively ban all abortion (at any stage) nationally.

I'm sure there are ways around this. For one, it's already being appealed (and the ruling has a 1-week stay). For another, the FDA can re-issue approval for this drug. I'm sure the judge in this case thinks he's saving thousands of children between when the ruling might take effect and a new FDA approval. For another, it turns out that misoprostol is actually the more effect drug of the two and can be used by itself (although not quite as effectively). So the abortion pill will soldier on (for now) in a less effective form.

What this judge is attempting is deeply wrong. A nationwide ban on a widely relied-upon drug that has been proven safe for a quarter of a century (I'll give it 2 years on its 23 years of use because there must have been trials beforehand). And why? Because the judge is insane with religion. That's why.
 
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Federal Judge effectively bans mifepristone nationwide by upending its FDA approval after 23 years of use. Mifepristone is one of two drugs used in combination for early-term abortions. The other drug is misoprostol. The two act together to achieve abortion at early stages of gestation. It's worth noting that they're also used to assist in cases of natural pregnancy loss. They can be used up to 25 weeks (although after 10 it's no longer at home). Early stage abortion is nearly all abortion. Less than one percent of abortions take place after 21 weeks.

With this ruling, this federal judge is trying to effectively ban all abortion (at any stage) nationally.

I'm sure there are ways around this. For one, it's already being appealed (and the ruling has a 1-week stay). For another, the FDA can re-issue approval for this drug. I'm sure the judge in this case thinks he's saving thousands of children between when the ruling might take effect and a new FDA approval. For another, it turns out that misoprostol is actually the more effect drug of the two and can be used by itself (although not quite as effectively). So the abortion pill will soldier on (for now) in a less effective form.

What this judge is attempting is deeply wrong. A nationwide ban on a widely relied-upon drug that has been proven safe for a quarter of a century (I'll give it 2 years on its 23 years of use because there must have been trials beforehand). And why? Because the judge is insane with religion. That's why.
And what do these geniuses propose doctors do when dealing with a miscarriage in which they would normally prescribe mifepristone?

EDIT: Should be obvious why the post deserved a poop emoji.
 
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And what do these geniuses propose doctors do when dealing with a miscarriage in which they would normally prescribe mifepristone?
Probably just pray or something.
EDIT: Should be obvious why the post deserved a poop emoji.
I'd like to think that it's because you hate this story and you wish you had a facepalm emoji but there isn't one. There is a small part of me that is wondering whether you just really didn't like my "insane with religion" comment.
 
Probably just pray or something.

I'd like to think that it's because you hate this story and you wish you had a facepalm emoji but there isn't one. There is a small part of me that is wondering whether you just really didn't like my "insane with religion" comment.
Facepalm or an angry emoji would be most welcome.

I was torn between the sad/like/poop but figured with the bat**** insanity displayed in the decision it required my first ever (I believe) poop emoji.
 
It is also possible for the FDA to allow mifepristone to be used unapproved. So there are quite a few avenues here.
  • Misoprostol still works (for now). Albeit at a lower effectiveness (80% instead of 99%) and with greater incidents of side effects.
  • The ruling is being appealed.
  • The FDA can re-approve.
  • The FDA could allow the unapproved use.
The issue is not that the 99% of abortions that rely on this pill combination will suddenly be unavailable. The issue is that religious activists with judicial appointment at the federal level have decided to abuse their authority in FDA rulings to push a religious agenda in a country with separation of church and state. The absolute insanity of overturning a safe drug on false pretenses with the goal being to force religious nonsense on the entire population at the expense of lives and suffering is just absurd to see in 2023.
 
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Sounds like the appeals court overturned the mifepristone ruling in part, but it still can't be mailed to certain states. It's getting appealed to The 9. My totally uninformed take is that a majority of the Supremes might like this compromise. I'm, of course, not a fan.
 
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SCOTUS stays the Kacsmaryk mifeprestone decision pending full appeal, so the drug is presently still accessible. 7-2 decision, and nobody is clueless as to who dissented.
 
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When you prohibit abortion but for cases in which the procedure is medically necessary, you empower politicians, not doctors, to scrutinize medical necessity. How? It boils down to the manner by which prohibition is enforced. Prohibition is enforced by threat of prosecution and ultimately deprivation of the right to property (financial penalty), to physical freedom (incarceration), and to life itself (execution).

When an individual has carried a pregnancy into the third trimester, one has likely made big decisions relevant to the prospect of bringing a new life into the world. One may have made material accommodations at significant expense. The notion of termination is unlikely to be frivolous as "abortion on demand"--rhetoric intended, in bad faith, to play on emotions and cast aspersions. The notion of termination at such a late stage is likely to be one of medical necessity.

When medical necessity may be scrutinized by prosecutors--and don't doubt for a second that prosecutors are politicians--those tasked with rendering medical aid are put into a position where they may be compelled to weigh medical necessity against the threat of prosecution and deprivation of rights. When faced with the threat of prosecution on a political whim, one tasked with rendering medical aid may hesitate, thereby imperiling an individual in need of aid, possibly to the detriment of the capacity for reproduction or even life itself.

 
So an ectopic pregnancy, that has zero chance of ever resulting in a birth, but will 100% kill the mother, shouldn't be treated medically?

That's 1 in 50 pregnancies!

Your position is morally abhorrent, that's all there is to it.
If there's no foetus involved then it's not murder. I shall say no more on the matter.
 
If there's no foetus involved then it's not murder. I shall say no more on the matter.
What is it you understand by the terms "ectopic pregnancy" and "foetus"? The former certainly can involve the latter...
 
What is it you understand by the terms "ectopic pregnancy" and "foetus"? The former certainly can involve the latter...
Then to me, that would constitute taking a life, an unborn one maybe but one nonetheless and I perceive that as murder.
So an ectopic pregnancy, that has zero chance of ever resulting in a birth, but will 100% kill the mother, shouldn't be treated medically?

That's 1 in 50 pregnancies!
 
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I shall say no more on the matter.
Then to me, that would constitute taking a life, an unborn one maybe but one nonetheless and I perceive that as murder.
Oops.

Still, no individual has a natural right to another's body. An individual may consent to giving of oneself to another, but that consent must be continuous, and the moment one ceases to give consent, the other is violating one's rights. An act to cease that rights violation constitutes self-defense, itself a natural right founded upon the right to self-ownership and bodily integrity, the latter referring to the inviolability of the physical body.

If you, as an individual, endeavor to seize my physical body or any part thereof, I, as an individual, am going to put you down, as is my natural right. Pregnant individuals have the exact same right.
 
Then to me, that would constitute taking a life, an unborn one maybe but one nonetheless and I perceive that as murder.
Again I ask what it you understand by the term "ectopic pregnancy", because it is not something which either the foetus or its living, breathing host will survive.

You're advocating for them both to die.
 

Despite a plea for leniency from medical bodies and charities who wrote to the judge, Foster was jailed for two years and four months at Stoke Crown Court yesterday.

Sentencing her, Mr Justice Pepperall said she was 'plagued by nightmares and flashbacks to seeing your dead child's face' and accepted she was a 'good mother' to her three children.

Today, the case sparked a major row involving abortion providers, MPs and pro-life campaigners - amid calls for Parliament to consider overhauling 'out-of-date' laws, and others highlighting 'inadequacy of the safeguards for this regime of abortion'.
 
BBC: Republican senator Tommy Turberville has been heavily criticised by people on both sides of the political divide and accused of jeopardising US national security, after his one man boycott of the USMC nomination process - due to the Pentagon's policy of allowing travel allowances and time off for military personnel having abortions - has indefinitely delayed hundreds of leadership positions from being filled.
 
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Not abortion, but it's now a bit easier to prevent abortions in the first place:
Hmmmmm.

While it's (usually) always good to see increased access to birth control, going OTC with a mini-pill might lead to some negative outcomes in certain populations


I also want to know what happens if an 11 or 12 year old asks for it....

It is reassuring, however, that the ACOG supports the move.
 
I also want to know what happens if an 11 or 12 year old asks for it....
They likely won't be able to buy it. In the US when you go to buy certain meds, you need to scan your ID. This is for things like cough medicine, allergy meds, and anything you can make meth with. I suspect this will be treated the same way and will likely be behind the counter at the pharmacy and you'll need to ask for it.
 
"'Plaintiffs simply do not like Texas' restrictions on abortion,' Cindy Fletcher, a representative for the state in the lawsuit, said."

Not human. Vermin. Parasites whose singular purpose for existence is to deny individual sovereignty and to cause pain and suffering to members of disfavored groups.

Plaintiffs testifying at the hearings include Amanda Zurawski, who developed sepsis and nearly died after being refused an abortion when her water broke at 18 weeks; Ashley Brandt, who was forced to leave the state for abortion care after one of the twins she was carrying was diagnosed with a fatal condition; Samantha Casiano, who was forced to carry a nonviable pregnancy to term and give birth to a baby who died four hours later and Dr. Damla Karsan, a Houston-based OB-GYN representing her patients. A fifth plaintiff -- Dr. Austin Dennard, an OB-GYN who had to travel out of state to receive abortion care for a nonviable pregnancy -- will testify Thursday.
 
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