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Pro Choice and Informed Choice

January 8th, 2011

Caution: very graphic content follows. Clicking the links below may result in shock or sadness.

I notice only pro life groups create abortion videos to use in trying to persuade people to their cause. Why don’t pro choice groups create their own videos showing abortions? Is there something biased in the pro life’s abortion videos? If they’re biased, then certainly the pro choice crowd could create something UNbiased still showing actual abortions. After all, they’re the ones defending abortion on demand. Why not show the procedure they value so highly to pregnant women considering it, along with the body of the “mass of cells” after the procedure is over? Clinics could even show different types of abortions depending on the type of abortion the woman is considering. We all agree that the truth is a good thing, yes? Why not show women the truth of what actually happens and the results? This would be a more informed choice than women have now.

I recommend, for anybody pro life OR pro choice, you go to YouTube and watch some abortion videos. There is also a very good one at Catholic.org.

Another enlightening thing is to go to Google Images and search the phrase abortion.

For me, the images often remind me of Holocaust footage, too horrific to grasp. I didn’t want to watch the videos or see the images, but I knew I had to so I could write this post. As I watched them, I cried and I kept wondering, “How could women do this?” but then I thought they must not really know what’s going on, they haven’t seen images of the dismembered bodies or of the actual procedure.

If pregnant women were informed in this way, I wonder how many would still choose abortion.

“… dehumanizing the target provides a release from guilt for the person that scapegoats them, who typically begins to see themselves as a victim of the dehumanized person, rather than as a potential oppressor.” ~from the Dehumanization article on Wikipedia

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  1. Sean
    January 8th, 2011 at 12:43 | #1

    A lot of medical procedures are ugly. Maybe medical procedures shouldn’t be judged by whether they’re pretty or ugly, but rather, by what they accomplish. Ironically, it used to be that men were kept out of the delivery room, because the birth process and the product once it came off the assembly line, were not very appealing to see. Should we discourage birth because it’s ugly?

  2. Mary B.
    January 8th, 2011 at 15:49 | #2

    Hmm. How old are you Sean? Were you actually around in the days that men were “kept out of the delivery room”? And do you know for a fact that it was because the birth process and the resulting product were not very appealing to see?

    I wonder who is spreading this nonsense!

    In the days you are speaking of, many many more of the doctors doing the delivering were men. Obvioulsy, they were in the delivery room. Husbands (yes, couples having babies were usually married!) were not commonly taught how to coach their wives and were thought better off pacing back and forth in the waiting room where he wouldn’t be so concerned about his loved one’s moans of pain.

    Birth is not ugly. Killing and dismembering the unborn is.

  3. nerdygirl
    January 8th, 2011 at 17:55 | #3

    Birth is very ugly. It’s outcome is beautiful, and sometimes (depending on those involved emotions etc) The pain and process is beautiful. But there are plenty of men who claim to be scared seeing their children born.

    It’s very possible for something to be ugly and beautiful at the same time. It’s one of the reasons life is beautiful.

    The human body is a beautiful thing. But I do not want to see it cut open. (Cheesy action scenes involving limbs falling off, sure. Medical dramas though get icky, esp that episode of Grey’s Anatomy where the morbidly obese man was in surgery and the fat started pouring in, nearly lost it there)

  4. Sean
    January 8th, 2011 at 20:20 | #4

    Husbands were kept out of the delivery rooms, in waiting rooms, according to my elderly parents. My father did not witness the births of any of his children. He sat in a waiting room. Birthing was considered ugly and unladylike. No woman wanted her husband to see her in that condition, and probably few men had the appetite for it, either. Some medical procedures are ugly I guess.

  5. Mary B.
    January 8th, 2011 at 21:33 | #5

    I am so sorry your family feels like that, Sean.

    My father-in-law was very proud that he helped to deliver one of their babies–my husband–who was born early at home.

    Perhaps it is a cultural thing.

    I can’t imagine anything more “ladylike” than giving birth! Men can’t do it!

  6. Leland
    January 8th, 2011 at 23:06 | #6

    @Sean
    A lot of medical procedures are ugly. Maybe medical procedures shouldn’t be judged by whether they’re pretty or ugly, but rather, by what they accomplish.

    I agree with you 100%, Sean. However, we should consider whether a particular procedure seems ‘ugly’ to us just because it’s icky, or because it’s morally offensive.

    If you were to post pictures of virtually any medical procedure you can think of around any university campus in America, people’s reaction would range anywhere from incredulous to amused. But you would be extremely unlikely to elicit the enraged (sometimes violent) response that the Genocide Awareness Project has to endure almost every time they do an outreach exhibit on a college campus.

  7. Mark
    January 9th, 2011 at 06:24 | #7

    Mary B., as someone who has delivered a lot of babies, birth is not always the lovely, clean experience portrayed on TV or in the movies. There can be a lot of blood (among other things), and screaming and crying.

    Most medical procedures where blood or body fluids are seen, are seldom pleasant experiences.

  8. Matt
    January 9th, 2011 at 06:24 | #8

    Abortion, killing without cause another human being is what is accomplished…in an ugly way. I was present for the births of all four of my children… never once did ‘ugly’ come to mind as a way to describe it… I’m not sure your argument makes much sense.

  9. Sean
    January 9th, 2011 at 12:37 | #9

    So far as the Genocide exhibit is concerned, it’s offensive, and designed to shock and shame, rather than educate. It’s inappropriately named, as there is no institutionalized efforts to eliminate a race or ethnicity. Abortion is a decision made by individuals, for individual reasons. It probably hurts the anti-abortion cause more than helps it, because it just makes anti-abortionists look nutty and extreme.

  10. Deb
    January 9th, 2011 at 15:21 | #10

    There is too much arguing over the word ugly.

    Childbirth, while unpleasant (for some) to watch, the outcome is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime, genetic-code-has-been-there-since-conception, human person. Makes the blood more palatable.

    Abortion, also unpleasant to watch, is the end of the life of a unique, never-to-be-created-again, human person. Now the blood in this case is just violence in the name of choice.

    So if we are to measure medical procedures by what they accomplish… childbirth wins.

  11. Heidi
    January 9th, 2011 at 16:25 | #11

    I believe abortion is horrific. I have never had one, but I sat with my best friend over 10 years ago and held her hand while she had one. It was awful and sad. We both cried. I am lucky that I only had one surprise pregnancy in my life (she is now almost 18). I cannot imagine what I would have done when my daughter was young if I had gotten pregnant again because I could barely take care of her at the time. Thankfully, I didn’t. This is not an issue with easy answers. I don’t think I could have ever had an abortion, but I didn’t ever feel like I had no other choice but abortion. In fact, because of my religious background, when I was pregnant at 15 I believed that I had no other choice but to have my daughter or burn in hell. Seriously. But if you want less abortion in the world, fight for birth control, responsible procreation, and financial resources for women who find themselves in that impossible situation.

  12. Leland
    January 9th, 2011 at 16:36 | #12

    @Sean
    So far as the Genocide exhibit is concerned, it’s offensive, and designed to shock and shame…

    Yes, but exactly what makes the exhibits offensive and shocking – as opposed to just ‘yucky’, Sean? Think about why such pictures elicit feelings of shame…

  13. RuthRocks
    January 9th, 2011 at 17:41 | #13

    I beg all of you who are dismissing abortion as merely an ugly medical procedure to actually click on the links provided in the article and prayerfully view them. At least momentarily try to see it from the perspective of one who sees it as the murder of a baby.

  14. Mary B.
    January 9th, 2011 at 18:45 | #14

    @Mark–I am not speaking about birth as someone who has only witnessed it as sanitized by TV or movies. I have only assisted in the birth of human babies by being the woman giving birth but I have witnessed a lot of animal births–of both livestock and pets. I have also witnessed the slaughter of livestock. There’s a big difference between the blood of birth and that of slaughter.

    Big difference.

  15. Mark
    January 10th, 2011 at 05:38 | #15

    Mary B., actually there isn’t a big difference, from a visual standpoint. And that’s the point of these videos, to gross people out to assuming abortion is some horrendous procedure when birth can be just as messy.

    But, Heidi makes a great point “But if you want less abortion in the world, fight for birth control, responsible procreation, and financial resources for women who find themselves in that impossible situation.”

  16. Sean
    January 10th, 2011 at 07:57 | #16

    “Think about why such pictures elicit feelings of shame…”

    I didn’t say they make me feel ashamed. Even people who have never had an abortion, whom you evidently feel should be ashamed, find those pictures disgusting and offensive. They just reveal how nutty the anti-abortionists are. So long as they keep doing stuff like this, abortion will remain legal.

  17. Mary B.
    January 10th, 2011 at 09:14 | #17

    @Mark–I have an idea. Why don’t we present videos of actual births and of actual abortions and let people decide for themselves?

    (Why on earth do I find myself discussing this with “male” IDs? Hmmm…)

  18. Mark
    January 10th, 2011 at 13:57 | #18

    Mary B. : “Why don’t we present videos of actual births and of actual abortions and let people decide for themselves?”

    LOL, decide which one is the more gross? A gross out fest? And the purpose is what, exactly. That if more people are grossed out by live births, we make them illegal? This kind of grandstanding is just ridiculous. But, if we can mask which is an abortion and which is a live birth, bring it on.

    Oh, and as a male, I have less of a say on this situation? Or my thoughts are inferior to yours?

  19. Leo
    January 10th, 2011 at 14:05 | #19

    I think Sean doth protest a bit too much. He feels no shame himself (of course, he could never have an abortion), but does he really think that showing, say, the horrors in Darfur eroded support for those who opposed violence in Darfur? That people viewed those who wanted to end the violence as nutty for showing the actual violence? I am not saying that the situations are identical. I am saying that the first step to ending something violent may be to portray it as it actually is.

  20. January 10th, 2011 at 16:34 | #20

    Sean also wants researchers to do experiments creating children for same-sex couples, and he knows that it will involve lots of abortions and miscarriages, but to him, it’s not about the ugliness of the medical procedures, but “what they accomplish.” Apparently, that makes all the abortions and money wasted OK. People who oppose abortion need to start opposing genetic engineering and same-sex procreation, we need to push for a federal law against that.

  21. Leland
    January 10th, 2011 at 16:39 | #21

    @Leo
    …the first step to ending something violent may be to portray it as it actually is.

    Excellent point, Leo. And I think that’s why pro-abortion folks get so angry when the Genocide Awareness Project juxtapositions pictures of aborted babies with pictures of other forms of genocide – it makes the point that abortion is indeed a monstrous form of violence.

    @Sean
    I didn’t say they make me feel ashamed.

    But you did say the GAP is “…designed to shock and shame…”. And I’m asking you to describe for us what it is about those pictures that you think would elicit shame in anyone, and why?

    Even people who have never had an abortion … find those pictures disgusting and offensive.

    But you don’t actually think people become so enraged by those pictures merely because they are “disgusting”, do you? So exactly what does make those exhibits so very offensive to some folks in your opinion, Sean?

  22. Sean
    January 10th, 2011 at 18:05 | #22

    “And I’m asking you to describe for us what it is about those pictures that you think would elicit shame in anyone, and why?”

    I didn’t say they would elicit shame, I said they are intended to elicit shame.

    Those pictures are disgusting because they look gross. They also represent a small minority of abortions, late-term abortions. So if your point is, if it looks too much like a real baby, then it’s wrong, then most abortions aren’t wrong.

  23. RuthRocks
    January 11th, 2011 at 08:58 | #23

    Sean, the pictures don’t just show late term abortions. You are proving that you have not actually fully engaged yourself in the realities JThieme GAP, or all supporters of life are trying to present; you are displaying incorrect assumptions in your comments. Have you seen the pictures of aborted babies next to a quarter, or layed out in pieces on an adult’s fingertips? Perhaps their undeniable human form at 12 weeks (and earlier) lead people to believe those are late-term abortions.

    Also, OBs, Midwives, pregnant mothers, fathers, doulas, etc are very well versed in the realities and facts of birth – including it’s supposed ‘ugliness’. Yet all these people joyously continue in their field, and most parents continue to have more children. Many women, including myself, count giving birth as one of the most exhilarating and beautiful experiences of their lives – even in spite of the immense pain! Some women even ask for a mirror during pushing so they can see it (I bet this has never been requested or allowed for an abortion). Some women are scared of the pain of birth, but I’ve never heard of someone deciding not to have a baby because birth is ‘ugly’.

    Now compare this with the abortion field. The most important information is intentionally withheld from women inquiring about abortion. The point that JThieme, and myself, are trying to make, is that pregnant women considering abortion are lied to. Period.

  24. Emma
    January 11th, 2011 at 12:38 | #24

    @RuthRocks

    You are correct, pregnant women are lied to. By pregnancy crisis centers run by right to life organizations who pretend that they offer a full array of services in the way that Planned Parenthood does. These centers lie so much, and so consistently, in fact, that the city of Baltimore recently passed legislation stating that they must post signs telling the truth about the services they offer.

    http://www.womensenews.org/story/abortion/091201/baltimore-puts-heat-crisis-pregnancy-centers

    Pregnant women are also lied to about any number of other things at these places. That abortion leads to cancer. That abortion leads to depression. That abortion leads to infertility.

    It’s time pregnant women stop being lied to by those who claim to have their best interests at heart when their ONLY interest is stopping an abortion.

  25. Mark
    January 11th, 2011 at 16:45 | #25

    Ruth Rocks: “Now compare this with the abortion field. ”

    Gee, when was the last time I read about an OB or midwife being gunned down in their church? When was the last time I read of someone throwing a brick through the window of a birthing center? When was the last time I heard of a pregnant woman being yelled at, called all sorts of evil names, as she entered the hospital?

    Your right Ruth Rocks, I guess the abortion field is different from your little world of puppies and kittens. But it’s due to people such as you, not the people in the field.

  26. Sean
    January 11th, 2011 at 20:04 | #26

    “…pregnant women considering abortion are lied to”

    What are they lied to about? How does showing gruesome pictures of a medical procedure?

    I like sex but I bet if you showed me pictures of morbidly obese people naked and doing it, I’d lose my interest in sex, at least in any immediate sense. Does that make sex bad?

    I think women know that an abortion stops the pregnancy, and prevents ultimately having a baby. How does playing to their emotions with gruesome pictures change that?

  27. Chairm
    January 12th, 2011 at 07:46 | #27

    Sean said: “Maybe medical procedures shouldn’t be judged by whether they’re pretty or ugly, but rather, by what they accomplish.”

    The compare what is accomplished by different outcomes in the termination of pregnancy?

    Birth is a termination of pregnancy but it is far more than a medical procedure. Destruction of the child is another type of termination of pregnancy but it is far more than a medical procedure. The child is a child whether wanted for her own sake and dignity or rejected as a thing to be destroyed. The accomplishment is either a birthed child or a destroyed child.

    ‘Pretty versus ugly’ does not begin to measure the grave difference in such terminations of pregnancy.

  28. Mark
    January 12th, 2011 at 13:42 | #28

    Chairm, when do you feel a child becomes a child?

  29. Deb
    January 12th, 2011 at 16:45 | #29

    @Mark

    When do you “feel a child becomes a child?

  30. Mark
    January 13th, 2011 at 07:19 | #30

    @Deb
    When he or she is viable (around 25 weeks)..

    So Deb, when do you “feel a child becomes a child?

  31. Mary B.
    January 13th, 2011 at 11:05 | #31

    I “felt” all my children move within me well before I was 25 weeks along.

    But no use arguing with people who will never be able to experience this.

    This quickening is also not the first indication that the little being is alive and has a soul.

  32. January 13th, 2011 at 16:25 | #32

    Children become children when someone imagines their existence. Sometimes people plan for a child, paint the nursery, pick out names, practice teaching them how to hit a baseball, etc, but no child ever comes to fulfill those dreams. Does that mean there was no child? How do you explain them having names, a nursery, and loving parents teaching them stuff, if there is no child?

  33. Chairm
    January 13th, 2011 at 17:17 | #33

    Mark, your proffered question asks what is felt rather than reasoned. Whether you feel that this or that human being is “viable”, the fact is that she is a human being first and foremost. And that fact is a stubborn thing while your feelings might vascillate depending on your subjective assessment of this or that individual’s viability.

  34. Mark
    January 14th, 2011 at 05:56 | #34

    @Chairm
    “Whether you feel that this or that human being is “viable”, the fact is that she is a human being first and foremost.”

    LOL, no, it is not on what is “felt”, it’s based on a study of the science and ethics regarding this definition of life / human being. You do realize that, in the past, that a fetus wasn’t considered a person until birth or even until one year of age (due to high infant moratlity)?

    How do you define it?

  35. Chairm
    January 14th, 2011 at 14:05 | #35

    If it is not based on what is felt, then, why did you ask how others felt about it? Because you had feelings mind, of course.

    But, now that you have eschewed feelings, you will offer your own objective definition of “life / human being” or somesuch, right?

    A child is a child; you asked when does the child become a child. I will note that you used the word, become, and that you imagine that the child was something other than a child first. Please proceed with your definition.

  36. Deb
    January 14th, 2011 at 14:07 | #36

    @Mark

    OK, you “feel” life begins at 25 weeks gestation. What about 24 weeks 6 days gestation? What is different about fetus/baby at 24 weeks 6 days than 25 weeks that a mother would be justified to destroy it?

    Did you know that those weeks of gestation measurements are an estimation? Every woman gestates for different lengths of time. This makes it tricky to assign when one “feels” life begins by the weeks gestation measurement.

    For the record I know life begins at conception.

  37. Mark
    January 14th, 2011 at 15:23 | #37

    @Deb
    Thanks you for your response. However, I don’t “feel” life begins at 25 weeks gestation, it’s based on viability.

    But I can ask similar questions of you: if you were raped, would you keep the baby? What if you needed a life saving medical treatment that would result in the loss of the fetus?

    And because you “feel” life begins at conception: since as many as 50% of pregnancies miscarry before implantation in the womb occurs, of those that do implant 30% are loss before pregnancy is recognized and about 25% will miscarry after pregnancy is recognized, doesn’t that make God (or nature) the largest abortionist?

  38. Deb
    January 14th, 2011 at 17:10 | #38

    @Mark

    First, please answer my question: what is the difference between 24 weeks 6 days gestation and 25 weeks gestation? This distinction is very important because, according to you, any abortion done before 25 weeks is legal, any abortion done afterward is the taking the life of a child – murder. Please don’t use the term ‘viable’ vaguely, because this distinction is the difference between life and death, literally. By the way, I’m not viable if you take away my food or drink or air.

    To die of natural causes, whether in the womb or not, is part of life. A miscarriage is part of this natural life and death process. Bringing God into the discussion of death is a theological issue I would be happy to talk about, but totally irrelevant to the topic of abortion and here is why: miscarriages in the womb of natural causes is very different than abortion. The abortion procedure is when a woman’s cervix is forcibly dilated, then a rod is inserted into the uterus and used to break the child into pieces and then these pieces are sucked out with a vacuum. This is like saying hacking up a four year old with an ax is equivalent to a four year old dying of leukemia. By your logic we would call God a murderer because of the leukemia. If that is what you are saying, then that is a theological issue.

    Yes, if I were raped, I would carry the child to term and if faced with a (truly) life and death situation, I would keep carrying the child. You realize, though, both of these situations account for less than 1% of abortions.

  39. Chairm
    January 14th, 2011 at 23:36 | #39

    Good comments, Deb.

    I anticipate that we will wait and wait and wait for Mark to respond directly to the very questions that his own declaratory comments have raised.

    Such as the questions that I asked of him and that you asked of him at the getgo. Perhaps, since he might feel himself an expert on this subject, Mark will surprise us with well-reasoned and well-articulated answers.

  40. Chairm
    January 14th, 2011 at 23:43 | #40

    Readers will note that Deb said, “For the record I know life begins at conception”; and Mark immediately misrepresented her as having said instead, “you ‘feel’ that life begins at conception”.

    Note that I had observed that Mark asked about feelings because that is what he had in mind. He has confirmed this by translating what Deb said she thinks into what Deb supposedly feels.

    Meanwhile, Mark claimed that his own opinion is not based on “what is ‘felt’” but rather on “a study of the science and ethics”. He clearly hopes to misrepresent those who disagree with him as being unscientific or somesuch while he stands above feelings with some objective criteria for determing when a child has become a child (as he put it).

    Please keep that in mind, dear readers, as you follow the exchange here.

  41. Mark
    January 15th, 2011 at 07:27 | #41

    @Deb
    “what is the difference between 24 weeks 6 days gestation and 25 weeks gestation? ”

    One day.

    First off, I will tell you, I am a man. One who was once pro-life/anti-choice. In my years of study, I took a medical ethics course. When we began the discussion on abortion, I was one of 3 or 4 people in the class to raise their hand stating they were pro-life. The woman sitting next to me was did not. When the professor asked how many women in the room would consider an abortion, the woman next to me did not put her hand up. I called her a hypocrite for approving of abortion but not doing it herself. We had a great discussion later on in the student center. That was when I realized the complexity of this decision. In my career, I have counseled women both for and against abortion. I have tried to help them with their decision as best I can. As a man, the decision doesn’t affect me in the same way. If I could carry a baby, I personally don’t know what I would do.

    The sentence (I remember to this day) the woman said to me (I can’t even remember her name) was “I may not believe in abortion but would want to be able to make that decision on my own when the time comes”.

    And, I would feel sorry for any children and family you left behind, not to mention the child that would probably die, by your decision to carry that baby to term. But I would support YOUR RIGHT to make that decision. It is TOO personal a decision for anyone else to make.

  42. Mary B.
    January 15th, 2011 at 09:11 | #42

    @ Mark– “You do realize that, in the past, that a fetus wasn’t considered a person until birth or even until one year of age (due to high infant moratlity)?”

    I am always interested in learning about cultures. Can you give a citation for your comment? Which cultures? Ancient? Modern? Was it a belief that was generally held across all cultures?

    Just because many died in infancy in the past doesn’t mean the parents didn’t consider their babies human.

  43. Mark
    January 15th, 2011 at 12:10 | #43

    @Mary B.
    I will look for the reference as I was rather surprised by it too. I want to say it was African or Indian but I cannot recall. But, there is difference between a entity being a “human” and a “person”.

  44. Deb
    January 15th, 2011 at 15:30 | #44

    @Mark

    “One day”

    That was an incredibly flippant response to a life or death question. The distinction of when viability begins, according to you, means the difference between a legal procedure and the murder of a child.

    Look, Mark, if you are in the business of counseling women, wouldn’t you want to know exactly when life begins to make sure you are not counseling women to kill their children because they are past 25 weeks (or whatever time you “feel” it is a child)? Wouldn’t you want to know that you are not complicit in the murder of a human?

    “And, I would feel sorry for any children and family you left behind, not to mention the child that would probably die, by your decision to carry that baby to term. But I would support YOUR RIGHT to make that decision. It is TOO personal a decision for anyone else to make.”

    The right you need to support, and the decision that is too personal to make is not whether or not to carry the child. Instead, it is the right to have intercourse and create a child. After the child has been conceived, it is the mother’s responsibility to protect that child, and it’s the law’s job to make sure she does. Everything in life comes with risks. Pregnancy is no different. Getting behind the wheel of a car and driving is riskier than being pregnant. I am aware of this risk and I still drive. So too, every time I become pregnant I realize with it comes risks and responsibilities.

  45. Chairm
    January 15th, 2011 at 19:50 | #45

    Mark said, without objective criteria but revealing that his opinoin is not based on science but on his philosophical sentiments, said that “there is difference between a entity being a ‘human’ and a ‘person’”

    There is no such difference, in scientific fact, however, so the difference he perceives is one that Mark would impose on the science. This is evident when he suggests (hopefully he will clarify) that a child becomes a child when the child transitions from being a human to being a person. Or that the precise time at which this becoming occurs is at 25 weeks after … after what? When does this clock precisely begin?

  46. Mark
    January 16th, 2011 at 13:46 | #46

    @Deb
    My response was a response to your question. If you feel it’s flippant, I’m sorry. I feel it was a stupid and infantile question, but I answered it.

    “Wouldn’t you want to know that you are not complicit in the murder of a human? ”

    I know the law and medicine. That’s all that matters. I don’t force a woman to abort like you are attempting to force her to have a baby. As with everything else, I counsel with the best knowledge available.

    “Instead, it is the right to have intercourse and create a child.”

    Tell that to woman that was raped. Or sexually abused. Or is in a situation that if she refuses her husband sex, he will abandon her and her children. For God sakes! It is NOT such a simple decision! But you anti-choice people are all about blaming the woman for getting pregnant and making sure it’s the WOMAN, not the man, that has to see it through.

  47. Mark
    January 16th, 2011 at 13:48 | #47

    @Chairm
    “There is no such difference, in scientific fact,”

    LOL, when have you EVER shown anything with scientific facts? You only make things up and defy people to disagree. No proof, no references. Sad.

  48. Deb
    January 16th, 2011 at 15:21 | #48

    @Mark

    I can see you won’t answer the question in a straight forward manner. And on the contrary, my question is of extreme relevance to your stance on viability.

    You know the law and medicine, so a pesky thing, such as it could possibly be murder is not worth the time to think about?

    Instead, you are putting words in my mouth, so to speak. You accuse me of “blaming” women. I simply stated that a natural consequence of sex is pregnancy and that every MAN and WOMAN should be aware of that when engaging in the sexual act. After the child is conceived, it is the PARENT’S duty to protect it and the law’s job to make sure that they do. I am not including rape into this scenario. I am speaking of consensual sex.

    If a woman is raped, then the man who raped her should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. If she were to become pregnant, it is not her fault that she would be pregnant, but the child conceived should not be punished to death, either (unless you want to answer the question as to why it should be legal to abort prior to 25 weeks gestation). Again, this scenario accounts for 1% of abortions.

    I am forced to infer from your statements such as: “I don’t force a woman to abort like you are attempting to force her to have a BABY.”(emphasis mine) that you know it is a unique human person, and you are justifying murder by saying “I know the law and medicine. That’s all that matters.” Tell that to the person who never gets a chance to live outside the womb.

    Instead, you would rather accuse me of hatred of women than answer the question.

  49. Deb
    January 16th, 2011 at 15:36 | #49

    @Mark

    By the way, if my question was so “infantile” why did you ask it first of Chairm?

  50. Mark
    January 17th, 2011 at 06:01 | #50

    @Deb
    The question that was infantile was the one you asked about the difference between 24 weeks 6 days gestation and 25 weeks gestation? It’s a classic baited question that anti-choice people use.

  51. Mark
    January 17th, 2011 at 06:10 | #51

    @Deb
    “I can see you won’t answer the question in a straight forward manner.”

    That is because there is no simple, Disneysque answer. Let me ask you a similar question: when does life end? When does it stop being a person or a human?

    Also, your use of the term “murder” is rather inflammatory and meant to rouse emotions. It is not helpful to the discussion. But I do like how you shift things around, now referring to consensual sex and making it the “parents” responsibility when earlier you said it was the mother’s.

    And, I find it rather heartless to force a woman to carry the fetus to term the was the result of a rape, making her relive that attack every day, if she would not want to do that.

    Finally, do you really feel abortion will go away if it is again outlawed? You realize abortion has been going on since time began? How do you justify the deaths of all the women – obviously human beings in any definition – that will result with a return to back alley abortions? And don’t play dumb that there will be less because of today’s emergency care: a woman who has an illegal procedure will not seek aid at an ER.

  52. Jamie
    January 17th, 2011 at 09:45 | #52

    @Heidi

    Amen Heidi, amen to every word you just said.

  53. Deb
    January 17th, 2011 at 10:55 | #53

    @Mark

    “It’s a classic baited question that anti-choice people use.” To which you have no good answer thus far.

    I just want you to explain your vague “viability” answer with a clear answer of when it is a human life to avoid any accidental murders that result from abortions after viability.

    “But I do like how you shift things around, now referring to consensual sex and making it the “parents” responsibility when earlier you said it was the mother’s.” You were right here, and I did mean parents all along. The men involved are just as responsible as the women. It’s a sad state of affairs when men won’t step up and protect their children.

    You refuse to answer a simple question that could have furthered our discussion. If you notice, I wanted to just discuss viability (a discussion you started), and you refused to answer, but instead you chose to expand the discussion to include rape, consensual sex, your expertise about women’s difficulties, etc., all of which I am happy to discuss AFTER we nail down the pesky viability issue.

    So please, define viability at 25 weeks versus 24 weeks 6 days because it is a matter of life or death. If you resort to expanding and/or changing the subject, personal attack, or the kicker… calling me infantile, then I will assume our discussion is over.

    Mark, I truly wish you the best. The truth will march on.

  54. Mark
    January 17th, 2011 at 17:50 | #54

    @Deb
    You want a simple answer to a question that has no simple answer.

    Looking at data: 20 to 35 percent of babies born at 23 weeks of gestation survive, while 50 to 70 percent of babies born at 24 to 25 weeks, and more than 90 percent born at 26 to 27 weeks, survive.
    {Tyson, J.E., Parikh, N.A., Langer, J., Green, C. & Higgins, R.D. (2008). New England Journal of Medicine, 358(16); Luke, B., & Brown, M.B. (2006) Pediatrics, 118(6), 2488-2497; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). (2002). ACOG Practice Bulletin number 38: Perinatal care at the threshold of viability. Washington, D.C.: Author. }

    In these guidelines, NCU care might not even be offered until 26 weeks(but notice how they differentiate between 23 6/7 weeks and 24 0/7 weeks, 24 6/7 weeks and 25 0/7 weeks, 25 6/7 weeks and 26 0/7 weeks):
    {http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content-nw/full/117/1/22/T2}

    SO, we are talking scientifically accepted truth. 25 weeks is usually chosen because that is the age a baby has a better than 50% chance of survival.
    {http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content-nw/full/117/1/22/T1}

    Now, please answer my question.

  55. Deb
    January 17th, 2011 at 20:12 | #55

    @Mark

    Thank you for responding.

    So you base viability on the babies chance for survival? I just want to make sure I understand you.

    I clearly understand how OB/Gyn’s differentiate between 24 6/7 weeks and 25 weeks even, but even they understand that this is an estimate. This weeks gestation measurement isn’t exact. First, the weeks gestation measurement is based on the last menstrual period and assumes a 28 day cycle and ovulation around day 14. Many women vary (sometimes greatly) from the day 14 ovulation and 28 day cycle, which can significantly alter the gestational age of the baby. This throws of a strict 25 weeks cut-off.

    Furthermore, all women gestate for different lengths of time. This weeks gestation measurement is based on 40 weeks. What about the woman who’s body gestates for 38 weeks? Her 24 6/7 weeks gestated child actually looks more like 26 6/7 weeks as far as survival rates go. The doctors have no way of knowing this until the baby is delivered.

    Understanding this, simply going by weeks gestation to have an abortion cut-off at 25 weeks could cause women to abort babies who would survive. This is seen in the fact that 1 in 5 to 1 in 3 babies survive being born at 23 weeks gestation.

    “SO, we are talking scientifically accepted truth. 25 weeks is usually chosen because that is the age a baby has a better than 50% chance of survival.” The science is just talking about survival, not about the human-ness of the survivor. Survival rate data can be given for certain stages of each type of cancer, but that doesn’t make the person with cancer who has 2 months to live any less human.

    The fact is that every stage of being a human has it’s own facets. Young 2 year olds must have food provided for them, diapers changed, and to be watched very closely to be viable. 15 weeks (approximate) gestation require to be hooked up to the placenta of his/her mother to be viable. It doesn’t make either the 2 year old or 15 week gestation age baby any less human.

    You asked me several questions last time, which would you like me to answer?

  56. Mark
    January 18th, 2011 at 06:05 | #56

    @Deb
    You have asked, repeatedly for a definition of “viability”. That is what I provided. Now, we can discuss your introducing the care of 2 year olds as part of a definition of viability, but it is you who is now expanding the debate. However, this discussion began with your question of what I considered is viability and my attempt to show you that it is not conception.

    And, you had asked for a very specific time period. It’s nice to see you have some understanding that the time period is not as simple to determine as you wish.

    And I can debate that that fertilized cell which you refer to then you said: “For the record I know life begins at conception.” does not entirely develop into a person. Many of those cells develop into an amniotic sac and placenta – clearly human, but obvious not a person.

    But the question, which I feel is pertinent to this discussion is, when does life end? I have always felt that understanding both ends of the life cycle are necessary for understanding the whole.

  57. Deb
    January 18th, 2011 at 10:39 | #57

    @Mark

    The comment about the 2 year old was an analogy… not expanding the debate, FYI.

    Life ends when the human ceases to be alive. A person who is alive requires nutrition and oxygen for his/her cells to continue to function (and reproduce if that is the case). When the cells no longer require nutrition/oxygen because they are no longer functioning, then the person dies. This can happen naturally as in cancer (slow shut down of the proper functioning of cells) or a heart attack (rapid shut-down of cells). This can also happen unnaturally, for instance, when someone is forcibly denied oxygen (strangulation) or nutrition (starvation).

    “You have asked, repeatedly for a definition of “viability”. That is what I provided. ”

    So if a child cannot survive outside the womb, then it is justifiable to forcibly remove it from its source of nutrition and oxygen. A human is alive, viable inside the womb because that is the stage of life that requires an umbilical cord and placenta. But, kid-in-womb, you’re out of luck because if we rip you out of here (the womb) you would die, so you are not human.

    “It’s nice to see you have some understanding that the time period is not as simple to determine as you wish.”

    This remark is downright condescending, which I find really rich coming from a man who has never carried a child in a womb. Oh, and by the way, this was my point all along… weeks gestation is an estimate of growth in-utero… not a measurement of the child’s humanity. Were you slyly calling me stupid?

    “However, this discussion began with your question of what I considered is viability and my attempt to show you that it is not conception.”

    No, this discussion began when you asked Chairm “When is a CHILD a CHILD?” (emphasis mine). The question answers itself, as Chairm pointed out. I proceeded to explain that it is always a child and one cannot use survival outside of the womb as a set test for a child’s human-ness, by asking you to explain your flimsy “viability”, response. You define life as survivability outside the womb while denying that at that stage of human life nutrition and oxygen are delivered via placenta to an alive child. We are at an impasse because I know a human is a human is a human, and you “feel” that it is a “complicated issue.”

    I will continue this discussion, if you like, but tone down the condescension.

  58. Mark
    January 18th, 2011 at 14:26 | #58

    @Deb
    “Life ends when the human ceases to be alive. ”

    Now whose being flip? Is there a difference between cardiac death and brain death? How do you determine a person “ceases to be alive”?

    “So if a child cannot survive outside the womb, then it is justifiable to forcibly remove it from its source of nutrition and oxygen.”

    If you are mad at what the professional organizations have to say on it, yell at them. You have asked my opinion and, it obviously, is not enough for you.

    “This remark is downright condescending, which I find really rich coming from a man who has never carried a child in a womb.”

    LOL, hypocrisy, they name is Deb. Rich that you would call me condescending and then completely disregard anything I have to say because I can’t carry a child in my womb.

    “by asking you to explain your flimsy “viability”, response.”

    Flimsy to you, but backed by science.

    But, I noticed, you are still not clear on when a CHILD is a CHILD. If a CHILD is that fertilized egg, then how do you rationalize that not all of that egg becomes a person? It is human tissue but not a person.

    “I will continue this discussion, if you like, but tone down the condescension.”

    I will if you will.

  59. Betsy
    January 18th, 2011 at 14:32 | #59

    Mark, catch me up on this whole fertilized egg can become a placenta, etc. business. I’ve never heard of such a thing before.

  60. Mark
    January 18th, 2011 at 15:06 | #60

    @Betsy
    Once the egg is fertilized, it continues down the fallopian tubes and into the uterus where it implants in the wall. The blastocyst has an inner cell mass that develops into the fetus and an outer cell layer that develops into the placenta and other support tissue.

    This sight give a decent time line:
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_fetu.htm

  61. Mark
    January 18th, 2011 at 15:19 | #61

    LOL, wow, been a long day. Meant this “site”.

  62. Betsy
    January 18th, 2011 at 16:23 | #62

    Find me a more balanced site, please. It’s hard to take this one too seriously.

  63. Mark
    January 18th, 2011 at 17:22 | #63

    @Mark
    I am not sure why you find that site suspect but here is another:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prenatal_development

    or this one:
    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002398.htm

  64. Deb
    January 18th, 2011 at 19:33 | #64

    @Mark

    “If you are mad at what the professional organizations have to say on it, yell at them. You have asked my opinion and, it obviously, is not enough for you.”

    I am not “mad” at them at all. I don’t disagree with the data about survival rates by gestational age outside the womb at all… what I disagree with is your statement that because they may not (in the case of about 23 weeks gestation or greater) or cannot (in the case of 22 weeks gestation or less) survive outside the womb, that they are not humans and therefore unworthy of protection by law. That was the point of my question about the difference between 25 weeks gestation and 24 weeks 6 days gestation. The difference between them is indistinguishable because it is a human at 24 and 6/7 weeks gestation as it will also be when the mother wakes up on the next day at 25 weeks gestation. I will point out that you were the one that said:

    “When he or she is viable (around 25 weeks)..
    So Deb, when do you “feel a child becomes a child?”

    You made this arbitrary cut-off for when the child should be considered a person and protected by law, not me. It was a child before 25 weeks and it is a child after.

    “Flimsy to you, but backed by science.”

    If you recall back to the beginning, this quote was used as the initial basis of your argument for being pro abortion:

    “The sentence (I remember to this day) the woman said to me (I can’t even remember her name) was “I may not believe in abortion but would want to be able to make that decision on my own when the time comes”.

    OOoooh the science! (yes that is sarcasm)

    Thus far you have engaged in verbal gymnastics, emoting, and personal attacks to justify the murder of a child because he/she is in the womb. I want to be clear here: I use the term murder because abortion is the forcible removal of a living human (via chopping him/her to bits and then sucking him/her out with a vacuum) from its source of nutrition and oxygen. Just as a note, if a person forcibly removed my food and oxygen, I too would be unable to survive (which science proves) and no longer viable.

  65. Betsy
    January 18th, 2011 at 20:09 | #65

    Mark, sorry, I misunderstood this statement of yours: “Many of those cells develop into an amniotic sac and placenta – clearly human, but obvious not a person. ” I thought you were saying that a fertilized egg can become amniotic fluid or the placenta. Okay, I’m up to speed now. But really, I don’t think what you’re saying is necessarily a good argument. The fertilized egg grows a layer around it that becomes the fluid and placenta, but that doesn’t make it any less a fertilized egg that will grow into a full-grown baby barring miscarriage, etc. If it grows it’s alive. And there’s no question of what that life is.

  66. Mark
    January 19th, 2011 at 05:12 | #66

    @Deb
    “survive outside the womb, that they are not humans and therefore unworthy of protection by law.”

    You asked for a definition of “viability”, not humanity.

    “OOoooh the science! (yes that is sarcasm) ”

    Even for those who may understand the science, when put in the situation they may not be sure of how to decide. (and this was a woman that made this statement, not me)

    “Thus far you have engaged in verbal gymnastics, emoting, and personal attacks to justify the murder of a child because he/she is in the womb. ”

    I’m really sad that that is how you see it because I have honestly attempted to respond to your questions. On the other hand, you continue to use terms such as “murder” which, while you may firmly believe that, is simply appealing to emotions and does not add to a rational discussion. I could counter that you want to legalize slavery (already prohibited by the 13th amendment – “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”) by forcing a woman to carry the baby to term. Whether she willing or unwilling was involved in the conception, you want to FORCE another human being into 9 months of SERVITUDE.

    And I have noticed you have still not told me of how you define end of life (except by saying when a person is not “alive”).

  67. Mark
    January 19th, 2011 at 05:27 | #67

    @Betsy
    There seems to be a few discussions going on here. One about definition of human, one of person hood, and one of life. These are all overlapping and difficult terms to define. Some believe life begins at conception but those cells do not all become a human being nor person. Yes, they are alive but I could counter with so is cancer.

    I do feel strongly about this issue. I have studied it for over 30 years. My own beliefs have changed over time as I wrestle with them. And they have been effected by end of life definitions as well. I have also worked with numerous pregnant women. Deciding to have an abortion, for most of them, is not easy.

    It is because of all this that I am an adamant support of age appropriate sex education starting as early as possible, even in first grade. To educate our children, to give them the tools they need, will (as has been shown in other western nations) decrease the number of unwanted pregnancies and therefore abortions.

  68. Chairm
    January 19th, 2011 at 07:20 | #68

    Betsy,

    Upon fusion of sperm and ovum (aka egg) a different entity comes into existence which is neither a sperm nor an ovum. The egg ceases to exist as an ovum; it really is not a fertilized egg but a new entity.

    Think of it this way: you and I might be called fertilized eggs. Heh.

    we have always been what we began as — a human being. We did not cross a threshold at which we changed from a nonhuman-being into a human-being. We began our existence at fusion as a unique entity and at each moment during our maturation we have been a unique human being.

  69. Chairm
    January 19th, 2011 at 07:27 | #69

    As adults, our bodies create skin cells, which we shed. Those cells are human cells. But that does not negate that the body is a human being during adulthood; likewise with the earliest stages of the human body’s existence when our bodies created (and sometimes shed) what we needed to survive.

  70. Chairm
    January 19th, 2011 at 07:41 | #70

    The term, viability, might be defined, variously, by the available scientific knowledge, however, as Deb pointed out, viability does not establish the moment at which the human being became a human being.

    The notion of viability, as per Marki’s sources, is basically the idea that we can assess the survivablity, under this or that circumstance, of human beings. And even that is merely a statistical estimate for the purposes of judging the chances that may not fit this or that particular individual human being. This is about human beings rather than viability of nonhuman beings, right?

    On the other hand, if Mark is pressing onto the science his own philosophic believe system, then, sure, he could assert a distinction between a human being and a person — “person” meaning a subset of immature human beings. And the use of viability as the test of “personhood” depends on a clock having started at some previous point in the life of that “person”.

    When did the clock start ticking on your life, Mark? Were you something other than a human being before that clock’s first tick-tock? The science says that you were not a sperm and you were not an ovum. The coming together of sperm and ovum created you. But when you cited a particular week, and talked of viability, did you not refer to the chances of that human being — one presumed to be alive and at risk of not surviving? Yes, I think that is the clear meaning of what you said.

  71. Mark
    January 19th, 2011 at 13:32 | #71

    @Chairm
    “As adults, our bodies create skin cells, which we shed. Those cells are human cells. ”

    True, as I have said, but those skin cells do not grow into a person.

  72. Deb
    January 19th, 2011 at 15:02 | #72

    @Mark

    ” On the other hand, you continue to use terms such as “murder” which, while you may firmly believe that, is simply appealing to emotions and does not add to a rational discussion. ”

    Webster’s definition of murder: 1. To kill (a human being) with premeditated malice. 2. To kill in a barbarous or inhuman manner.

    Abortion fits both definitions. I was just using the term correctly. I can’t think of anything more barbarous than being burned by saline or cut to pieces and then being sucked away with a vacuum.

    ” I could counter that you want to legalize slavery (already prohibited by the 13th amendment – “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”) by forcing a woman to carry the baby to term. Whether she willing or unwilling was involved in the conception, you want to FORCE another human being into 9 months of SERVITUDE.”

    Wow, that’s a stretch. The last sentence is actually really telling and honestly disturbing. Caring for another human being (you haven’t proven it is not a human being), which in 99% of cases was conceived with consent is servitude? Do you hate children?

    “And I have noticed you have still not told me of how you define end of life (except by saying when a person is not “alive”).”

    Go back and read, I went into detail.

  73. Leland
    January 19th, 2011 at 15:48 | #73

    @Mark
    you want to legalize slavery … by forcing a woman to carry the baby to term. Whether she willing or unwilling was involved in the conception, you want to FORCE another human being into 9 months of SERVITUDE.

    Mark, are you seriously attempting to define the obligations a mother has to protect and care for her own child as ‘servitude’?

    If so, then you have somehow succeeded in finding one form of ‘servitude’ that is a moral imperative.

  74. Leland
    January 19th, 2011 at 16:32 | #74

    @Mark
    But the question, which I feel is pertinent to this discussion is, when does life end? I have always felt that understanding both ends of the life cycle are necessary for understanding the whole.

    If you ask me, it’s probably just the opposite: the better we understand the whole, the better we’ll understand both ends of the cycle.

    From a Ruthblog post titled The Language of the California Human Rights Amendment:

    …while the biological definition of life is not utterly unequivocal, the list of phenomena associated with a living organism has been very well established by the scientific community for more than a century.

    You can find that list under “Definitions” in wikipedia.com’s article on life:

    Homeostasis: Regulation of the internal environment to maintain a constant state.

    Organization: Being structurally composed of one or more cells, which are the basic units of life.

    Metabolism: Transformation of energy by converting chemicals and energy into cellular components and decomposing organic matter.

    Growth: Maintenance of a higher rate of anabolism than catabolism. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter.

    Adaptation: The ability to change over a period of time in response to the environment.

    Response to stimuli: A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism to external chemicals, to complex reactions involving all the senses of multicellular organisms.

    Reproduction: The ability to produce new individual organisms, either asexually from a single parent organism, or sexually from two parent organisms.

    And by the way, if you possess those capacities now, then you possessed all the attributes listed above (whether fully developed or not) from the moment you were conceived in your mother’s womb …

    According to the wikipedia article “all or most” of these phenomena must be exhibited for life to be present.

  75. Chairm
    January 20th, 2011 at 04:30 | #75

    Leland, very good comments.

    Mark, I did not say that the skin cell grows into human beings. I said something quite different. And you still have yet to state when the clock on your life began to tick-tock.

  76. Mark
    January 20th, 2011 at 05:58 | #76

    @Deb
    Servitude: a condition in which one lacks liberty especially to determine one’s course of action or way of life – it fits as much as murder does, Deb. And, sorry, your second definition of “murder” does not fit an abortion.

    “Do you hate children?”
    No, but why do you hate women so much?

    And, I am sorry, you really have not gone into detail re: death. You started off by saying when someone is not “alive”, a rather silly description. Then you go on about lack of oxygen. Are saying cell death means death? Cells die in a human being every day and the person continues to live.

    If a person has a massive stroke destroying most of their brain, but their heart is still beating (either naturally or by medical equipment) are they still alive? The cells are still working, is that all it is? If an organ is removed from a person, is that organ it’s own person? Is it alive?

  77. Mark
    January 20th, 2011 at 06:00 | #77

    @Leland
    “Mark, are you seriously attempting to define the obligations a mother has to protect and care for her own child as ‘servitude’? ”

    Leland, if that women is FORCED to do it, then it fits the definition of servitude. As much as abortion equals murder.

  78. Mark
    January 20th, 2011 at 06:11 | #78

    @Leland
    Leland, I could debate each and everyone of these lines, if you wish. However, we would be straying away from the point. Suffice it to say, that using this definition, a cell lining the gut is a life, which seems to differentiate it from just living.

    Don’t you see how difficult it is to define? It’s a lot like the judge who said he knows what pron is when he sees it. People have their own concepts of “living”, “a live”, “person”, “human”, etc. However, from a medical perspective, those lines are not crystal clear. And philosophers, religious leaders, scientists have been wrestling with them for years.

    As far as abortion is concerned (and end of life, for that matter), it is not an easy decision as some anti-choice people think it is.

  79. Betsy
    January 20th, 2011 at 14:44 | #79

    It’s possible that people use varying definitions of living, life, person, and human in order to justify their actions. It’s much easier to have an abortion if you tell yourself that your baby isn’t really alive.

  80. Leland
    January 20th, 2011 at 15:10 | #80

    @Mark
    Leland, I could debate each and everyone of these lines, if you wish.
    OK, go ahead and try. But don’t attempt to take each line in isolation – they are part of a whole. (BTW: You won’t be debating me, you’ll be debating well established science…)

    However, we would be straying away from the point. Suffice it to say, that using this definition, a cell lining the gut is a life…
    Yes but, using this definition, it would not be a living organism – whereas a conceptus is. That is the point, isn’t it?

  81. Mark
    January 20th, 2011 at 17:40 | #81

    @Betsy
    “It’s much easier to have an abortion if you tell yourself that your baby isn’t really alive.”

    I do not think it is easy no matter what one believes. Betsy, do you really think it’s that easy for a woman to have an abortion?

  82. Mark
    January 20th, 2011 at 17:51 | #82

    @Leland
    I had asked a question about end of life. You avoid that and bring in an entirely different discussion. You present a list of requirements for life but, oops, neglect to include the beginning sentence: “Since there is no unequivocal definition of life, the current understanding is descriptive, where life is a characteristic of organisms that exhibit all or most of the following phenomena:”. When one goes to the various references, it is clear that it is not clear how to define “life”. See? It isn’t that simple.
    And it is reasonable to debate each of these definitions individually to see if it truly holds up to a necessary aspect of life

    “Yes but, using this definition, it would not be a living organism – whereas a conceptus is. That is the point, isn’t it?”

    Then why does a cell form the GI tract meet the criteria?

  83. Deb
    January 20th, 2011 at 19:28 | #83

    @Mark

    There are two criteria in which physicians may determine death in a human being (who has personhood). The primary method to determine death is cardiopulmonary criteria (the cessation of circulation and respiration). This results in a lack of oxygen to the brain, and all other cells, and therefore, the cells no longer function together to keep the organism (in this case a human) functioning. As you well know, medical advances have lead to cardiopulmonary resuscitation and mechanical means of respiration and circulation even after the brain has been denied enough oxygen such that the brain has irreversibly stopped functioning. To determine that the brain has irreversibly stopped functioning, physicians can use neurological criteria for death. Neurological criteria consist of four key signs: coma or unresponsiveness, absence of cerebral motor responses to pain in all extremities, absence of brain stem reflexes, and apnea. All parts of the brain and neurological system cease to function as a unified whole, including the brain stem, cerebellum, and cerebrum. So, if a person has a stroke and some of the brain stops functioning, but they do not meet the neurological criteria for death, than they are alive, a person, a human being, even if part of their body (cells) have stopped functioning. Same would be true of the person who loses one kidney.

    “There seems to be a few discussions going on here. One about definition of human, one of person hood, and one of life.”

    Verbal gymnastics.

    Mark, what is your definition of alive and worthy of protection under the law? In other words, please answer Chairm’s question. When did the clock start ticking on your life, Mark?

    “As far as abortion is concerned (and end of life, for that matter), it is not an easy decision as some anti-choice people think it is.”

    The pro-death lobby try to make it complicated to justify abortion.

    “Servitude: a condition in which one lacks liberty especially to determine one’s course of action or way of life ”

    Mark, the pregnant woman does not lack liberty. She and the man with whom she had intercourse had all the liberty in the world when they engaged in sexual intercourse. One of the results of sexual intercourse is… tada… pregnancy! Please, do not invoke the exception to the rule: rape. I ask this not because I don’t care about rape victims, but because the vast majority of pregnancies are a result of consensual sexual intercourse. So lets first talk about children conceived via consensual sex. Then, if you want to talk about rape victims separately, fine. Once the man and the woman have exercised their liberty it is their duty to protect their child.

    “No, but why do you hate women so much?”

    I don’t hate women. I want the best for women. Convincing women that they have no duty to protect the children they are carrying (which, quite honestly, goes against their instincts) is not giving women the best. I also want the best for men. Convincing men that they have no obligation to protect the children they helped create, or said children’s mothers, is criminal.

  84. Betsy
    January 20th, 2011 at 20:17 | #84

    Whoopi Goldberg brags about her five abortions. But for those for whom it isn’t easy, they should listen to the part of themselves that is making them uncomfortable and telling them not to kill their child.

  85. Betsy
    January 20th, 2011 at 20:24 | #85

    Geez, what happened to just checking the pulse on a body and calling it from there? :)

  86. Leland
    January 20th, 2011 at 21:36 | #86

    Mark :
    @Leland
    I had asked a question about end of life. You avoid that and bring in an entirely different discussion.

    What part of “According to the wikipedia article “all or most” of these phenomena must be exhibited for life to be present.” do you not understand? (So then if “all or most” of those phenomena are no longer being exhibited, would it not be the case that life is no longer be present?) That sure sounds like an answer to your “question about end of life” to me…

    Mark :
    You present a list of requirements for life but, oops, neglect to include the beginning sentence: “Since there is no unequivocal definition of life, the current understanding is descriptive, where life is a characteristic of organisms that exhibit all or most of the following phenomena:”

    Mark, go back to my comment (@Leland ) and read it again – it’s right there in front of you (immediately after the part that says “From a Ruthblog post titled The Language of the California Human Rights Amendment”):
    …while the biological definition of life is not utterly unequivocal, the list of phenomena associated with a living organism has been very well established by the scientific community for more than a century.

    …and then (once again) the last sentence of my comment:
    According to the wikipedia article “all or most” of these phenomena must be exhibited for life to be present.

    So exactly how did I “oops, neglect to include the beginning sentence”, Mark?

    Mark :
    When one goes to the various references, it is clear that it is not clear how to define “life”. See? It isn’t that simple.

    So now who is attempting to ignore the sentence that prefaces the list of criteria for life in the wikipedia article, Mark? Let’s look at it once again:
    Since there is no unequivocal definition of life, the current understanding is descriptive, where life is a characteristic of organisms that exhibit all or most of the following phenomena:

    What part of “ the current understanding is descriptive” do you not understand, Mark? While scientist and philosophers have not agreed on an utterly unequivocal definition of life, they have in fact agreed on the criteria for what does qualify as a living organism. The phenomena exhibited by living organisms have been very well understood by science for more than a century now.

    Do you actually think it’s appropriate to dismiss what science does tell us about the nature of life, Mark?

    Mark :
    Yes but, using this definition, it would not be a living organism – whereas a conceptus is. That is the point, isn’t it?

    Then why does a cell form the GI tract meet the criteria?

    It meats the criteria for life, Mark, not the criteria for a living organism

  87. Deb
    January 21st, 2011 at 05:08 | #87

    @Betsy,

    You made a great point, checking the pulse and calling it from there is still the main criteria physicians use and is the cardiopulmonary criteria. I felt I had to be really specific for the “end of life is complicated” crowd.

  88. Mark
    January 21st, 2011 at 05:56 | #88

    @Deb
    “Mark, what is your definition of alive and worthy of protection under the law? ”

    Now who is using verbal gymnastics? Two different questions. I have said I believe in the time of viability, I am sorry you cannot accept that. Now, if you are talking about “personhood” laws, you are aware that there are multiple fed, state and local laws that are impacted by this, don’t you? For instance, if a fetus is a “person” at the first indication a woman is pregnant, do the parents get to automatically claim a tax exemption? If the family automatically eligible for additional assistance such as food stamps? So, as far as the law is concerned, you need to stick to birth date.

    “She and the man with whom she had intercourse had all the liberty in the world when they engaged in sexual intercourse. ”

    Tell that to the woman who was raped. I am sorry, but I will not leave women who have been raped (either by a stranger or by date rape) out of the equation. You are all about all or none, that’s obvious. Why carve out this population now? It’s because your arguments don’;t stand up when a woman has no choice in getting pregnant.

    And the whole pro-death language is juvenile name calling. Designed to cause an emotional reaction. Using your own language, verbal gymnastics.

    And I’ll turn your own argument around: “Convincing women that they must carry a pregnancy to term which could kill her and the fetus, leaving a family alone, is not giving women the best.”

  89. Mark
    January 21st, 2011 at 06:13 | #89

    @Betsy
    “they should listen to the part of themselves that is making them uncomfortable”

    Betsy, I agree but there may be other circumstances that enter in and I feel it is up to the woman to make that decision.

  90. Mark
    January 21st, 2011 at 06:27 | #90

    @Betsy
    “Geez, what happened to just checking the pulse on a body and calling it from there?”

    LOL, I wish it was that easy, Betsy! The wrist pulse is very unreliable as it can become very weak and thready. The carotid pulse is best. Then there is a sternal rub as well as listening for heartbeat and respiration.

    Of course, with the brain death, most of what Deb says above is accurate.

  91. Deb
    January 21st, 2011 at 10:08 | #91

    @Mark

    “LOL, I wish it was that easy, Betsy! The wrist pulse is very unreliable as it can become very weak and thready. The carotid pulse is best. Then there is a sternal rub as well as listening for heartbeat and respiration.”

    I addressed this in my post, please read it again and we can discuss.

    Having life must be complicated or how else can there be gray area and complication? Without the pro-death/pro-abortion group declaring the determination of who is alive being a “complicated issue”, society would, by default, take care of those in the womb and those near death. But instead, “it’s complicated” justifies a new default setting, dispose of life when it is inconvenient.

    ” Why carve out this population now? It’s because your arguments don’;t stand up when a woman has no choice in getting pregnant.”

    Again, I am more than happy to discuss pregnancy caused by rape (which is less than 1% of women desiring abortions) when you are willing to discuss consensual sex first… which you won’t because, how did you say it? “It’s because your arguments don’;t stand up ” when a woman and man chose to have sex.

    “And the whole pro-death language is juvenile name calling. Designed to cause an emotional reaction. Using your own language, verbal gymnastics.”

    Fine, I’ll stop using pro-death when you stop using the term anti-choice. I am pro-life for those who are viable in the womb. Again, Mark, I am not viable if you forcibly take away my air, which is what happens when a child in the womb is forcibly removed from his/her source of oxygen, the placenta. How do you answer that?

    Also, please answer Chairm’s question, when did the clock start ticking on your life?

  92. Betsy
    January 21st, 2011 at 10:10 | #92

    Mark, of course there are other circumstances involved; otherwise, a woman would not be considering an abortion. However, no matter how dire the situation of having the child must be, killing him is not the solution. “We dispose of our cell phones, Christmas lights, etc. at the first sign of problems.” and our children too, apparently, when it suits us.

    My mother had an ectopic pregnancy. Either the baby was removed or they would both die. I don’t blame my mother for having the baby removed. In fact, if she hadn’t, I would never have come along, and where would this blog be without me?!

    Now, rape victims, although they are 1% of abortions, if you insist, fine, we can talk about them now. I cannot imagine anything worse than being raped. Actually, having my children tortured and killed in front of me would definitely be worse, come to think of it. (Kind of like what an abortionist does only without the mother watching. Perhaps they should, if they could.) Even though I feel being raped would be beyond horrible, if a child resulted from that crime, having him or her killed would not be the answer. As Deb said, the father should be punished, not the innocent baby. Would carrying that baby be difficult? Hell yes, but it would be the right thing to do. No matter how disturbed her father must be, she is still half me, and a human being deserving a chance at life, perhaps growing up to be something awesome.

    Would I keep her after she was born? Perhaps not, but undoubtedly there would be loving parents waiting eagerly to adopt her. Who am I to deny either party what they want and deserve for my own sake? Yes, it would be serious self-sacrifice, but that’s what builds character and creates saints. If I had to go through it in order to be a witness and example for other women to not kill their children, so much the better. And who knows, if that baby comes out looking as heart-breakingly adorable as my other children, I might just decide to hang on to her. And she would be loved just as much as and by the other members of our family, perhaps even more due to her special circumstances. It won’t be easy for her once she learns of her origins, but wouldn’t she thank me for her life? Maybe she would grow up to be a great spokesman and champion for the unborn. Okay, I admit I’m getting ahead of myself.

    Alright, that being said, let’s get back to the other 99%: teenagers, women whose husbands or boyfriends abandoned them, severely poor parents, abused women, women who selfishly want to put their careers first, people like my old coworker who callously and dismissively say “We weren’t ready to be parents”–no excuses. You created that life, you bring it to fruition. Whether you keep the baby after he is born is up to you. THAT is the tough decision you should be making. Ending the child’s life should not even be an option. Carrying a baby you don’t want is not servitude, it’s responsibility. No one has told them they MUST keep the baby. In fact, I’m sure there are people waiting in the wings hoping they won’t. These biological parents need to stop putting themselves first and start thinking about what’s best for their child.

  93. Betsy
    January 21st, 2011 at 10:13 | #93

    Oh, and for the record, pregnant women qualify for government assistance such as WIC. All you need is proof of pregnancy from your doctor. How about that–if you’re pregnant it means you have a baby inside of you. End of story.

  94. Mark
    January 21st, 2011 at 10:26 | #94

    @Betsy
    Betsy, it’s the all or none aspect with pro-life people. Such procedures as what your mother had might be outlawed if abortion were, once again, outlawed.

    My cousin was date raped in the 1970′s. Her parents had to take her to another state to have an abortion. Today, there are laws against transporting women across state lines for abortions (I have heard of people driving to the state line, letting the woman walk across and then pick her up on the other side). Pro-life people would say that she should have had the baby and put it up for adoption. Or,she could charge the guy and wait until he was convected to be granted a divorce (course, by that time the baby would be in HS).

    I agree with you – it’s not easy to hear a woman say “it’s not a good time” but how do you legislate that? I don’t think you can. But the harm done to women in the other situations outweighs what would use as a convenience.

    Lastly, a doc was doing abortions in my small town in the 1920′s. Abortions will NOT go away, just more women will die.

  95. Betsy
    January 21st, 2011 at 11:01 | #95

    “Such procedures as what your mother had might be outlawed if abortion were, once again, outlawed.” I highly doubt that.

    To your second paragraph: “Pro-life people would say that she should have had the baby and put it up for adoption.” Yes. What’s wrong with that?

    3rd para–”harm done to women”? What about the harm done to babies?

    Last para–abortions will not go away–I agree. More women will die. Possibly, but less children will die, too. Less lives will be lost on the whole.

  96. Deb
    January 21st, 2011 at 13:24 | #96

    @Mark

    “Abortions will NOT go away, just more women will die.”

    Abortion is legal in India and China and still more women are dying. In countries such as these, where male children are more favored than female, sex selective abortions are all too common.

    In China there are 120 boys for every 100 girls born, and the orphanages are filled with predominately girls. India already bans (or is contemplating banning) determining sex through ultrasounds.

    Here’s the solution: the left-leaning folks of the US should go over to China and explain to them why they should value girls as much as boys, all the while still allowing abortions so that more women don’t die (funny thing is, this was the exact solution suggested by the author at msnbc.com). Oh, wait, telling the Chinese that their current culture is wrong is a sin against multiculturalism. That’s a quandary. Or maybe China and India should ban ultrasounds altogether- this would kill to birds with one stone. First, the women who are forced into servitude and give birth won’t know what they are having and some more females can be born, and secondly, no one will see the ultrasound image of their child’s heart beating as he/she moves his/her perfectly formed hand from face to foot and therefore won’t think that abortion is taking the life of an innocent.

    Mark, what do you think?

  97. Deb
    January 21st, 2011 at 13:44 | #97

    @Mark

    “Abortions will NOT go away, just more women will die.”

    “How do you justify the deaths of all the women – obviously human beings in any definition – that will result with a return to back alley abortions?”

    In light of these quotes of yours, explain Dr. Kermit Gosnell.

  98. Mark
    January 21st, 2011 at 13:49 | #98

    @Betsy
    “Pro-life people would say that she should have had the baby and put it up for adoption.” Yes. What’s wrong with that?”

    I am sorry, to me, that is inhuman to force a woman to go through that.

    “Less lives will be lost on the whole.”

    No, there won’t be. You will have aborted babies AND their dead mothers.

    I know we will never agree on this nor convince the other. But I do thank you, Betsy. You present your beliefs and feelings logically and, in, what I sense, is a sincere way.

  99. Mark
    January 21st, 2011 at 13:52 | #99

    @Deb
    “Mark, what do you think?”

    LOL, what do I think? You bring in ANOTHER variation to the discussion that has NOTHING to do with a discussion regarding the state of abortion in the US and you ask me what I think? I think it’s completely irrelevant to this discussion.

    But, if they could isolate a gay gene, would you allow abortion of those babies?

  100. Betsy
    January 21st, 2011 at 14:10 | #100

    Mark, “I am sorry, to me, that is inhuman to force a woman to go through that.” How about forcing a baby to go through an abortion? Talk about inhumane. At least the woman has a choice in the matter.

    “You will have aborted babies AND their dead mothers.” You don’t think abortions will go down on the whole if abortion is illegal? Really? Every mother contemplating abortion will then turn to the alleyway? Really? And even then, all those mothers will die? But look at that, at least you admitted that babies die during abortions. That’s something at least. But let me ask you this: Why do you place so much more value on the life of the mother? Why do the babies not factor into the equation at all? How are they any less important or valuable?

    Ah, and now I read your last comment. Well, thank you for the compliment. I would also like to point out, my dear debating partner, that as a physician advising mothers contemplating abortion, you have a great responsibility. These women trust your opinion, I should think, and therefore what you advise there’s a good chance they will do. That makes them slightly less culpable for their actions. You, on the other hand, are responsible for helping them form those decisions. You are in a position to do a great deal of harm or of good not just for the unborn but for their mothers. I speak here of the possibility of depression and cancer, which you may or may not agree is a real consequence. For your sake, I could only hope/wish you are right.

  101. Deb
    January 21st, 2011 at 14:52 | #101

    @Mark

    “But, if they could isolate a gay gene, would you allow abortion of those babies?”

    No.

    Mark, are you going to acknowledge that I was less flippant (according to you) about death? Are we going to have that discussion?

    Are you EVER going to answer Chairm’s question?

    Are we ever going to discuss consensual sex and how carrying the children from that union is not servitude by your definition?

  102. Deb
    January 21st, 2011 at 15:01 | #102

    @Mark

    You also should respond to the Dr. Kermit Gosnell question, because you are always the first to make an exception the rule… unless, of course, you don’t want to.

    For the readers that don’t know, Dr. Kermit Gosnell was an abortion doctor who ran a clinic that had horrible conditions, to say the least, and is facing 8 counts of murder. The rest can be read here:

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700102795/Details-emerge-in-abortion-clinic-case.html

    or here:

    http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2011/01/19/philly-doctor-facing-8-counts-of-murder/

  103. Deb
    January 21st, 2011 at 15:11 | #103

    @Mark

    I know I’ve asked you a lot of questions, and I am willing to wait for your answers and discuss them with you, but I would like to ask just one more.

    You have defined personhood as at the time of viability and you also said that this was at 25 weeks gestation. You then cited data showing that 1 in 2 babies survive outside the womb at this time and this is the basis for viability. We both agreed that weeks gestation is not an exact number.

    Under this, your definition of when a person has personhood, are you troubled when you counsel to have an abortion in the 24th week of pregnancy, knowing that there is a 30-50% chance of said aborted child surviving outside the womb? This is just following your definition of viability.

  104. Leland
    January 21st, 2011 at 16:10 | #104

    Mark :
    @Leland
    “Mark, are you seriously attempting to define the obligations a mother has to protect and care for her own child as ‘servitude’? ”
    Leland, if that women is FORCED to do it, then it fits the definition of servitude. As much as abortion equals murder.

    Mark, do you feel this to be ‘servitude’ only while the child is still inside the mother, or even after birth? What about forcing a father to support his own child – before or after birth? Under what circumstances, if any, do you think parents should be compelled to protect and care for their own offspring?

  105. Chairm
    January 21st, 2011 at 20:20 | #105

    Perhaps Mark will state his reliable definition of death when it comes to abortion procedures. The purpose of the procedure is death. By what criteria is that goal achievable; and how is death assured — for the attending technicians and for the mother who has made this choice? And, is there 100% guarantee — all or nothing — in the agreement between the clinic and its customer?

  106. Betsy
    January 21st, 2011 at 20:31 | #106

    Then there are those aborted babies who survive, are found by the cleaning crew or a nurse, and grow up to tell their chilling tale. How does one explain that they aren’t really alive and viable when that ends up happening? (Not a question to you, Chairm. Just one in general.)

  107. Mark
    January 22nd, 2011 at 13:10 | #107

    @Betsy
    “You don’t think abortions will go down on the whole if abortion is illegal?”
    Perhaps, but I don’t think by much.

    “And even then, all those mothers will die?”
    No, but I think the death rate will be higher in the poor and indigent.

    “Why do you place so much more value on the life of the mother?”
    I don’t

    “Why do the babies not factor into the equation at all?”
    They do.

    As I have said, I do not see it as an easy decision. I don’t think, if I were a woman, I could make such a decision. But I believe each of us must be allowed to make the best decision we can.

    “For your sake, I could only hope/wish you are right.”

    Betsy, I thank you. I wish the decisions we have to make are simple, and black and white but they are not. I agree there can be depression (either way) but I have not found any scientific data to back up the claims of cancer.

    Many health decisions are not easy ones (choosing a cancer treatment, deciding on a surgery, even which meds to use). And I do hope (and pray) that any advice I give is informational but not persuasive.

  108. Mark
    January 22nd, 2011 at 13:13 | #108

    @Deb
    “Are you EVER going to answer Chairm’s question?”

    With all due respect, Chairm writes pages and pages of dribble I can’t recall his question. Can you refresh me?

  109. Mark
    January 22nd, 2011 at 13:15 | #109

    @Deb
    Dr. Kermit Gosnell committed a crime, violated the law and, from the sounds of it, malpractice. He should be punished. But, I am not sure what you mean by the “Dr. Kermit Gosnell question”?

  110. Mark
    January 22nd, 2011 at 13:16 | #110

    @Deb
    “Under this, your definition of when a person has personhood, are you troubled when you counsel to have an abortion in the 24th week of pregnancy, knowing that there is a 30-50% chance of said aborted child surviving outside the womb?”

    I do not counsel women this far along. They are referred to specialists.

  111. Mark
    January 22nd, 2011 at 13:19 | #111

    @Leland
    “..do you feel this to be ‘servitude’ only while the child is still inside the mother…”

    Yes. Otherwise, a woman could give the child up for adoption.

    “What about forcing a father to support his own child – before or after birth?”

    This is not servitude but I do believe a father (and mother) are responsible for supporting their own children. Again, the child could always be given up for adoption.

  112. Mark
    January 22nd, 2011 at 13:22 | #112

    @Chairm
    Death is a state that has already been defined (and quite well by Deb, the second time). Since I do not run nor have any stake in abortion clinics, I do not know what the regulations are nor what guarantees or agreements are legal or standard.

  113. Betsy
    January 22nd, 2011 at 20:39 | #113

    Alright, Mark. Let’s just shake hands on this one. It’s been fun, though.

  114. Chairm
    January 23rd, 2011 at 08:03 | #114

    Mark, read my comments in this discussion. If you find dribble, point it out and show how it is dribble, or just stop with your ad hom attacks and baseless swipes.

    * * *

    Your raised the question of death. And the criteria for death depends on the prerequisite of life. A human being does not die unless that human being was living previously. This may seem obvious, when stated this way, but on this issue of abortion sometimes reminders of the obvious are needed.

    Before death, life. Simple.

    Here you have been speaking of a procedure intended to assure death of the child. That is the point of it, of course. So you need to dig deeper and come up with the criteria whereby a pregnancy is assessed to have been terminated witby the deliberately induced death of the child.

    I mean, as per the point of the original blogpost at the top, it is incumbent upon you (and all of us) to look at this forthrightly — to look at the death and the means of that death.

    The child’s life is thus acknowledged as a fact of pregnancy prior to viablity, even in the terms you offered early, and, indeed, the child’s life is acknowledged as a fact central to the intention and to the mechanics of the procedure of which the purpose is to end that life.

    The life of the child is a prerequisite for any choice made to have her killed, to do the killing, to advise that the killing be considered and/or undertaken, and to condone the killing even with supposed disinterest. It is a prerequisite for the discussion of abortion here in this comment section.

    The child does not and can not speak for herself. Justice demands that we speak for the child in the way in which we would, as more matured human beings, if we were that child. Each of us began life younger than the child at 25 weeks gestation, obviously. And I have asked you when the clock began to tick on the life of the child — and indeed on your life, Mark, as a more matured human being than the child in before her birth.

    You too can speak on her behalf. Man or woman, justice for the child concerns us all. It concerns all directly involved but not just those directly involved.

    The principle of speaking for those unable to speak for themselves is not limited to the unborn human beings. It applies to the imprisoned, the persecuted, the dispossessed, and so forth. One cannot hide behind some claim that it is preposterous to make the effort, in good conscience, to speak on behalf of the unheard human beings amongst us no matter where they are and no matter how vulnerable they are and no matter how unwanted or close to being discarded their lives might be for those making life and death choices.

    Justice concerns all humankind. It concerns the pregnant and the not pregnant; it concerns men and woman alike; it concerns those able to speak and those unable to speak for themselves; it concerns those alive at this moment and it will concern those yet-to-be as well. When we concern ourselves with procreative justice we aspire to speak for future generations and not just for today’s. If an injustice is occuring, has occurred, or will occur, then we are morally obliged to look it in the eye and not turn away.

  115. Chairm
    January 23rd, 2011 at 08:15 | #115

    Mark said:

    “Since I do not run nor have any stake in abortion clinics, I do not know what the regulations are nor what guarantees or agreements are legal or standard [for the death of the child].”

    I asked for the criteria within the context of the science we have been discussing. Your reply hinted that the criteria for death is no different with abortion procedures. Please confirm.

    And, contrary to your claim, you have expressed a stake in abortion clinices. You have been fairly clear that the agreement is to deliberately induce the death of the child. And, I am almost certain, you pointed at viability because you do have an understanding of the current standard and regulations.

    Do you think that a pregnant woman would be horrified to know that the attempt to induce death had been botched and that the child lives? Would the survival of her child justify her attacking and killing that child? If not with her own hands then with her speaking that intention to the people responsible for doing the deed she had ask of them?

    The agreement is there. Is not the follow through, also? Would you expect that measures be taken to at least comfort the surviving child in some manner or must that child’s individuality be disregarded and her death assured?

    If you don’t know the legalities, that’s fine, but surely you have shown here in this discussion enough imagination to imagine yourself either as the customer or the clinic or, perchance, the child. All involved, including the child, is a a member of humankind and justice is applicable for all.

  116. Mark
    January 23rd, 2011 at 13:23 | #116

    @Betsy
    Betsy, I’ve said it before, I think I would enjoy sitting down and talking with you.

  117. Betsy
    January 23rd, 2011 at 13:55 | #117

    Only if you’re buying!
    Just kidding. (insert juvenile smiley face here)

  118. Mark
    January 24th, 2011 at 06:08 | #118

    @Betsy
    It would be my pleasure!

  119. Chairm
    January 28th, 2011 at 16:08 | #119

    Well, it is clear that Mark’s view of unborn children is not based on principles he can articulate nor on scientfic evidence that supports his opinion.

  120. Mark
    January 29th, 2011 at 10:16 | #120

    @Chairm
    Keep living in your own little dream world. Keep trying to dismiss people who have ideals and are able to prove you wrong EVERY TIME. It’s clear you have nothing credible nor rational to offer when you attempt to attack their character.

  121. Chairm
    January 30th, 2011 at 07:26 | #121

    The comment I made really does not fit your odd description.

    I commented on your view not on your character. I also said that the unborn child has no option; she depend on us to speak for her. I actually made an appeal to your good character when said in response to you, Mark:

    “You too can speak on her behalf. Man or woman, justice for the child concerns us all. It concerns all directly involved but not just those directly involved.

    “The principle of speaking for those unable to speak for themselves is not limited to the unborn human beings. It applies to the imprisoned, the persecuted, the dispossessed, and so forth. One cannot hide behind some claim that it is preposterous to make the effort, in good conscience, to speak on behalf of the unheard human beings amongst us no matter where they are and no matter how vulnerable they are and no matter how unwanted or close to being discarded their lives might be for those making life and death choices.”

    Now, Mark, if you really find that to be dismissive, and if you really can find nothing credible in it, and nothing rational in it, but instead read into that an attack on your character, then, your exagerated assessment of your own performance here might give readers pause for your competence in dealing with the views, and those who hold those views, that differ from your own highly sentimental, subjective, and dogmatic view of abortion.

  122. Mark
    January 31st, 2011 at 08:09 | #122

    @Chairm
    As far as the other comments you made, you can hardly except anyone to trudge through the monotonous diatribes you type here.

    However, you seem determined to dismiss all scientific evidence and other rational discussion on this blog. I have made my principles quite clear. For you to dismissive them by ignoring them, is an attack on my character, although it is more telling of your character than mine.

    And, then, you prove my point by questioning my competence. I don’t need to point out the obvious flaws in your comments, you continue to do it yourself.

  123. Chairm
    January 31st, 2011 at 22:34 | #123

    I welcomed a discussion of the scientific evidence, Mark, and discussed your introduction of the notion of viability. If what I said was irrational, then, you are welcome to demonstrate that, if you can. You have not even bothered to hint at what you imagine to be “obvious flaws” — even when invited to speak up on that score.

    In this discussion I certainly did not ignore your comments, Mark, but responded to them. For example, I responded on viability and on death. If that is what you sought in this discussion, a rational response to your questions and the topics you introduced, well, you got that from me, Mark, and the discussion trail is there for all to see.

    Meanwhile, you ignored that and have issued your dismissive jibes instead.

    Now, if, as you said, that sort of behavior is an attack on a fellow commenter’s character, then, you ought to take a peak in the mirror and reassess the level of competence you displayed in dealing with the views, and those who hold those views, that differ from your own on the issue of abortion.

    As for competence in discussing this subject, I did say the following early in the thread: “Perhaps, since he might feel himself an expert on this subject, Mark will surprise us with well-reasoned and well-articulated answers.”

    I had hoped for better from you, Mark.

  124. Mark
    February 3rd, 2011 at 07:41 | #124

    @Chairm
    “I had hoped for better from you, Mark.”

    You shouldn’t say things you don’t believe.

  125. Chairm
    February 3rd, 2011 at 21:09 | #125

    I believed, and still believe, that you could do better, Mark.

  126. Mark
    February 7th, 2011 at 12:33 | #126

    @Chairm
    Sigh, I am afraid I will never measure up to whatever standards you hold. You have already shown you are not interested in rational discussion and more interested in expressing your bias, in LONG, REPETITIVE postings.

  127. Chairm
    February 7th, 2011 at 20:42 | #127

    Mark, you have not even responded to the remarks I made in response to your own brief comments on this topic. Next to your own comments here, you have used far more pixels than I. If you can’t stick to the substance of the topic, fine, let your whining speak for you instead.

  128. Mark
    February 9th, 2011 at 11:29 | #128

    @Chairm
    “Mark, you have not even responded to the remarks I made in response to your own brief comments on this topic. ”
    Sigh, which remarks have I not responded to, in your opinion? I would be happy to respond to them.

  129. Chairm
    February 9th, 2011 at 20:28 | #129

    None.

    It is not merely an opinion but simply a fact that you have failed to respond. (You boasted as much.) It is a fact that readers can compare with the stated standard you invoked in your own comment @ January 31st, 2011 at 8:09. It amounts to self-criticism authored by yourself.

    Retrace your steps here and judge your own behavior; readers can make the comparison quite readily.

  130. Mark
    February 12th, 2011 at 08:36 | #130

    @Chairm
    LOL, failed again, Chairm. I specifically ask you to point out what I have not responded to, and AGAIN you are unable to show any. Sad. You keep spouting about lack of response and then you fail to show any clear example.

    And readers will be clearly able to see your constant avoidance of facts and baseless accusations.

  131. Chairm
    February 14th, 2011 at 21:32 | #131

    You asked but did not retrace your steps in this thread. With a minimum of effort you would have noticed my comments and your lack of response to those comments.

    Yes, it is too much to ask that you live up to your own stated standards, even those you have recently used to denounce a fellow commentator’s participation here.

  132. Mark
    February 15th, 2011 at 08:00 | #132

    @Chairm
    LOL, FAILED again.

    Please, you are just embarrassing yourself. If you have an issue with something I did not respond to, ask me.

    Until you are clear, or even bring up what is troubling with you, I would ask you to refrain from the accusations. It’s just really pathetic.

  133. Chairm
    February 16th, 2011 at 00:57 | #133

    Mark, read my comments in this discussion. If you find dribble, point it out and show how it is dribble, or just stop with your ad hom attacks and baseless swipes.

    In your comment @ January 31st, 2011 at 08:09 you admitted to not reading nor responding to my previous comments.

    I had welcomed a discussion of the scientific evidence, Mark, and had discussed your introduction of the notion of viability. If what I said was irrational, then, you are welcome to demonstrate that, if you can. You have not even bothered to hint at what you imagine to be “obvious flaws” — even when invited to speak up on that score.

    You have issued your dismissive jibes instead.

    Go ahead, retrace your steps and live up to your own stated standards.

  134. Mark
    February 16th, 2011 at 15:51 | #134

    @Chairm
    “I had welcomed a discussion of the scientific evidence, Mark, and had discussed your introduction of the notion of viability. If what I said was irrational, then, you are welcome to demonstrate that, if you can. ”

    And yet, if you read my post from January 17th, 2011 at 17:50 you would have seen scientific evidence for my notion of viability.

    You last post would be an example of dribble as you are repeating a question that has already been answered. And with more references than found in your page long responses.

    So, it’s kind of hard not to be dismissive to someone who doesn’t read (or is unable to comprehend) postings which answer his or her questions and then gets all defensive.

  135. Chairm
    February 17th, 2011 at 01:47 | #135

    Mark, you cited a list of estimated probabilities that you attempted to dress-up as a scientific truth.

    Inadvertently your remark pointed to the scientific fact that babies can and do survive when birthing occurs before the normal gestational period is completed; the statistics only add the confirmation that as gestation progresses the risks of not surviving generally decreased.

    At best you hinted at a philosophic basis for going about the task of defining something you called “viability” as some sort of threshold for personhood.

    On the other hand, your comment indicated that science informs us that the lives of these babies began sometime before that philosophic threshold would be reached.

    So citing guidelines on ‘viability’ is not really citing a scientific truth.

    You said: “25 weeks is usually chosen because that is the age a baby has a better than 50% chance of survival.”

    But that is transformed willfully into virtually 0% chance when the baby is killed anytime during her life — within or outside of her mother’s body.

    If the clock started ticking 25 weeks earlier than the threshold your philosophy would create, then, what set that clock into motion, Mark? Not a philosophic assertion surely, but rather a scientific fact of human development, right?

  136. Chairm
    February 17th, 2011 at 01:58 | #136

    Mark said: “You last post would be an example of dribble as you are repeating a question”.

    In my last post (before you made that comment) I had not asked a question.

    You said, with unintended irony: “So, it’s kind of hard not to be dismissive to someone who doesn’t read (or is unable to comprehend) postings which answer his or her questions and then gets all defensive.”

    Meanwhile, you have again boasted that you did not deign to respond to my earlier comments. If you had retraced your steps in this thread you would have comprehended that you offered jibes instead of constructive engagement on the issue.

    I don’t really mind, actually, since your personalized attacks miss the mark; but since you made a big deal of stating your standards earlier, I think it is worthwhile to challenge you to live up to those standards in this discussion.

  137. Mark
    February 22nd, 2011 at 16:19 | #137

    @Chairm
    “So citing guidelines on ‘viability’ is not really citing a scientific truth.”

    LOL, then what is is citing exactly? My personal opinion? OK, say that it’s my personal opinion – backed up by COUNTLESS scientists and medical professions. I’ll take that over your made up “facts” any day.

  138. Mark
    February 22nd, 2011 at 16:20 | #138

    @Chairm
    “I think it is worthwhile to challenge you to live up to those standards in this discussion.”

    Oh, but I do live up to my own standards. I will admit I don’t always read the pages and pages of posts you make, mainly because they merely repeat the same thing over and over with no new info or thought.

  139. Chairm
    February 23rd, 2011 at 05:26 | #139

    Mark said:

    “then what is is (sic) citing exactly? My personal opinion? OK, say that it’s my personal opinion – backed up by COUNTLESS scientists and medical professions.”

    Countless, because none of that actually counts as a scientific truth.

    Meanwhile, it does point to the scientific fact that babies can and do survive when birthing occurs before the normal gestational period is completed; the statistics only add the confirmation that as gestation progresses the risks of not surviving generally decreased.

    At best you hinted at a philosophic basis for going about the task of defining something you called “viability” as some sort of threshold for personhood.

    It is not a scientific basis, Mark, but a rather ill-reasoned philosophic basis for your stated opinon — that’s about as generous aa reading that a reasonable reader might read into your various helter skelter remarks.

  140. Mark
    February 23rd, 2011 at 21:04 | #140

    @Chairm
    “Countless, because none of that actually counts as a scientific truth.”

    LOL, OK, what do you consider scientific truth? (up till now, apparently, it’s only stuff you make up)

    “Meanwhile, it does point to the scientific fact that babies can and do survive when birthing occurs before the normal gestational period is completed; the statistics only add the confirmation that as gestation progresses the risks of not surviving generally decreased.”

    CONGRATULATIONS! You finally got something right!!! Which is WHY viability is defined as it is – the chance of survival is negligible early on.

    “It is not a scientific basis, Mark, but a rather ill-reasoned philosophic basis for your stated opinon (sic)”

    Again, what do you consider scientific basis?

  141. Chairm
    February 24th, 2011 at 01:25 | #141

    You cited probabilities, not a scientific truth, and then used those statistics to assert a philosophic basis for your opinion regarding the philosophic notion of personhood. This notion is not a scientific truth.

    However, in the process you conceded a scientific truth that contradicts the certitude of your stated opinion.

    If, for you, a philosophic basis is a scientific truth, then, you are undermining your claim to have studied the science thoroughly.

    You claimed a scientific truth. Now, it is your burden to restate that truth; it appears you are unprepared to define “scientific truth” and so your restatement might serve as an example of what you have in mind. Thusfar, as per your earlier comments, you have asserted a philosophic point in support of your opinion; but even at that it is not a truth, philosophic nor scientific.

    Restate and provide the example of your understanding of ‘scientific truth’.

  142. Mark
    February 25th, 2011 at 11:44 | #142

    @Chairm
    “Restate and provide the example of your understanding of ‘scientific truth’.”

    Only after you answer my question.

  143. February 25th, 2011 at 21:25 | #143

    Probabilities are an example of a scientific basis, Mark, as I said earlier, but you used that to form a philosophic basis for a philosophic opinion; in the meantime you claimed to have proven a scientific truth.

    What is your understanding of a scientific truth, Mark?

    Life before death, is that not a scientific truth? Better yet, use your own examples to illustrate your own understanding of a term you have made decisive in your view of killing unborn children.

  144. Mark
    February 26th, 2011 at 11:34 | #144

    @Chairm
    “What is your understanding of a scientific truth, Mark?”

    Only after you answer my question, sorry.

  145. February 26th, 2011 at 21:03 | #145

    I answered. I gave the example of probabilities as a scientific basis. Your given apology is accepted.

  146. Mark
    February 27th, 2011 at 13:35 | #146

    @Chairm
    LOL, an example is not a definition. Your reading comprehension is seriously lacking.

    And, your lack of comprehension shows itself, again, in your last sentence. That was not an apology.

  147. February 27th, 2011 at 23:50 | #147

    Do you deny that a set of probabilities is a scientific basis? No, it is an apt example and we’d agree on that point.

    Now, did you use a set of probabilities to establish a scientific truth, Mark, in your earlier remarks about viability? Yes, we’d agree that you claimed to have done so.

    With this much agreement, you need to work harder at clarifying the disagreement based on your proposed definition of whatever you think makes the big difference.

  148. February 27th, 2011 at 23:53 | #148

    The context is your objection of the following remark:

    “So citing guidelines on ‘viability’ is not really citing a scientific truth.”

  149. Mark
    February 28th, 2011 at 15:50 | #149

    @Chairm
    “Do you deny that a set of probabilities is a scientific basis?”
    You still haven’t defined “scientific basis” so I can’t answer.

    Again, what do you consider scientific basis?

  150. Chairm
    March 3rd, 2011 at 02:00 | #150

    Earlier in this exchange you offered a set of probabilities. It is the scientific data points that you offered as the basis for viability guidelines. If that is not an example of a scientific basis, then, it is you, Mark, not I, who needs to define scientific basis.

    Your previous example stands as an answer in the affirmative: that set of probablities is a scientific basis.

    We’d agree.

    Perhaps you’d assert that a set of probablities is a scientific truth. Your subsequent remarks suggest that you do.

    We’d disagree.

  151. Mark
    March 3rd, 2011 at 17:24 | #151

    @Chairm
    For all your rantings, you still haven’t defined “scientific basis”. I can not answer if you are unable to define what you are asking. I did list guidelines for viability, yes. But you seem all mixed up and I cannot tell what you are asking. Again, start with simple definitions and then ask your question.

  152. Chairm
    March 3rd, 2011 at 23:30 | #152

    Do you deny that the set of probabilities is based on science? If so, say so without equivocation. If not, proceed from there. That set is the scientific basis for guidelines on viablity, as per your own comments, yes?

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