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[RD] Thoughts on Abortion (split off from Very Many Questions XXXII)

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Mouthwash, Jan 12, 2018.

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  1. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    The last thing I'm trying to do here is kick off an abortion flamefest, but I am very confused about the behavior of (apparently) intelligent, honest people that I see advocating abortion. Now, both sides have used propagandistic terminology - pro-life doesn't convey the moral ambiguity of killing a nonsentient, and pro-choice suggests that the personal freedom of women is the only issue - but the pro-abortion people have a real fetish for it. I have never (outside of the Andrew Schlafly crowd) heard abortion advocates being called "pro-death," or "pro-baby-murder," while they feel free to label the other side "anti-choice" and recently further relabeled their position to "reproductive rights." And there's one thing I can never understand: whenever I use the term "pro-abortion," they universally respond that they are not, that they are only pro-choice, and then go on to define "pro-abortion" as meaning "thinks that all babies everywhere should be aborted."

    This is not defensible. "Pro-gay-marriage" does not mean "thinks everyone should get married to a person of the same sex." "Pro-torture" does not mean "thinks everyone should be tortured on a daily basis." "Pro-euthanasia" does not mean "thinks all humans should be euthanized immediately." I have a suspicion that the reason is that abortion advocates, while consciously fine with the practice, don't really want to label themselves as such - and so rationalize up a weird definition for the term. Perhaps that's just my biased perspective, but I have no other explanation. Could anyone shed light on the reasons for it?
     
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  2. cardgame

    cardgame Obsessively Opposed to the Typical

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    Abortions are bad news, man. Nobody wants them to happen, they are a last resort. Even pro-choice would prefer birth control - hence their push for it to be covered by insurance. Therefore it's a mischaracterization to call it pro-abortion.

    Also plenty of people feel free to call pro-choice baby murderers. Which is worse than pro-death.

    Maybe this should have its own thread though.
     
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  3. Arwon

    Arwon Show me your moves

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    It's reproductive freedom. That's literally it dude. The argument is about a legislative position, a policy. "Reproductive freedom" or if you prefer, "reproductive autonomy", also covers the gamut of other related positions like eliminating regulatory and financial barriers to contraceptive access, discrimination based on family and reproductive decisions, and paid parental leave.

    "Pro-abortion" sounds silly unless you're arguing about whether a specific person should get a specific abortion. (And don't do that, it's none of your business)

    Pro choice has the unfortunate connotation of sounding super trite and wishy washy American liberal and concedes unnecessary ground to moralistic religious crusaders, but it's essentially accurate.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  4. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    Only because it's more convenient. Never heard of #shoutyourabortion?

    Which kills fetuses, whom a significant portion of the public consider to be persons. Even if you consider that opinion silly, that's not the same as pretending it doesn't exist.

    If half the electorate thinks that higher taxes on the wealthy is wrong, and a Supreme Court judge rules that it is illegal (while defining his position as "pro-freedom") would you perhaps get an impression of bias?

    First time I've heard that. But no, no one thinks that being "pro-euthanasia" means you think that a specific person should be euthanized, either.

    You've failed to make any argument for why this is.
     
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  5. Arwon

    Arwon Show me your moves

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    Only in the US and only after decades of propaganda. It's a settled policy question in much of the developed world. Here, for example, there is zero mainstream political impetus to ban or even restrict abortion, and ordinary people are often incredibly surprised to learn tar most states still have unenforced abortion laws in their criminal codes.
     
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  6. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    Or it suits a liberal lifestyle, so people convinced themselves it is right and ethical. The same way beneficiaries of human suffering always find ways to justify that suffering.

    Now I'm not arguing (right now) that that is the case, only that an appeal to public opinion isn't a good argument.
     
  7. Arwon

    Arwon Show me your moves

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    It's actually an appeal to good public policy, really. State interventions against individual medical decision-making are rarely warranted.

    You're right, I probably wouldn't use the term pro-euthanasia either. It's legalisation of assisted dying, or right to die legislation. For roughly the same reason, too - "pro-abortion" or "pro-euthanasia" make about as much sense as "pro-open heart surgery". It's like... well, not for everyone. We shouldn't just grab people off the streets and cut their chests open, hey.
     
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  8. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Temporary Pattern...still recognizably human...

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    Ugh, abortion discussion is so pointless.
    It all hinges on one single philosophical question.
    Either you believe that"life begins at conception", in which case it is indefensible to allow abortion, or you believe it begins at a much later stage in development, in which case it is indefensible to not allow abortion.
     
  9. Arwon

    Arwon Show me your moves

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    Yeah but one of those is pretty much just incoherent because of twins, and because it makes it not just defensible but damn near required is to kill judges and government officials. So there's that.
     
  10. Yeekim

    Yeekim Chieftain

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    Life is present even before conception.
    Sperms are alive.

    EDIT: I agree with Mouthwash in that it really makes no sense to make the abortion debate about "women's rights" or "reproductive freedom".
    If they were in any way relevant, we'd have to legalize infanticide as well.
    Early-term abortion is permissible, because no third party is harmed. Unlike when the clump of cells has been allowed to grow long enough to develop the ability to feel and suffer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  11. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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  12. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    Though abortion seems like an obvious exception, it's possible to just fold the matter into medical ethics. It has precedent: states have the discretion to legalize assisted suicide. They could just as easily define abortion to be medical malpractice, thereby avoiding the whole issue of 'bodily rights.'

    I do love the smell of cognitive dissonance in the morning. "Pro-Medicare/Medicaid?" You must think everyone should be on it immediately. "Pro-state's-rights?" You must think that every state should be a sovereign entity. "Anti-Semitic?" You must be against, well, actual Semites. Yep, you'll have to replace quite a lot of common terminology to suit your framework.

    Or we could just view each term by what it connotes in context, regardless of what it seems to imply at face value. There's a disagreement over the practice of abortion - so why shouldn't we call each side "pro" and "con?"

    Why is that?

    That is absolutely false. Killing people won't bring us one bit closer to stopping abortion, and will alienate any moderate allies. We can however boycott, shame and protest organizations/individuals that facilitate abortion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  13. Arwon

    Arwon Show me your moves

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    I mean...

    How many unique person lives are created at conception when identical twins are conceived? Who gets the initial soul and when does the other one get put in?
     
  14. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    Why is this relevant? We'd know it's at least one unique person, and (in my opinion) the right of a fetus to live is not based upon it having a soul.
     
  15. Arwon

    Arwon Show me your moves

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    Look all I know is if life begins at conception we should be arresting chimeras for murder, not to mention arresting anyone who has a miscarriage or molar pregnancy, and treating menstrual blood as potential evidence of a crime
     
  16. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    But this is simply untrue, imo.

    The only time that people really consider their stance on euthanasia is when they're confronted with the imminent death of someone. And usually someone close to them, or even their own death.
     
  17. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    I meant that no one thinks that the term "pro-euthanasia" connotes support for euthanizing a specific person. I don't know why Arwon decided "pro-abortion" sounds like it means "wanting a specific woman to get one."
     
  18. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    Advocating abortion I think is a bit of a miss-paraphrase. Since it implies a recommendation. I suspect the option for abortion is advocated. Now this might seem as a nit pick, but I feel it's an important one.

    You will have seen the term anti-life I suspect. And I see my nit pick was indeed important. I am not pro-amputation. But I understand that amputating a limb can be the best option in certain circumstances. In the same regard, I am not pro-abortion, since I feel it should be a last resort.
    Yes it is.

    Sure. You already stated the explanation. You are biased. You don't go looking for the same discrepancies in pro-life for instance. Many pro-lifers eat meat. Some support the death penalty. Anti-choice would also not be a good description, since they only are anti the choice of abortion. Bottomline is, you cannot summarize one's position in this matter in 2 words, and whatever description you pick will be lacking.

    This is about projecting a complicated matter into 2 words for convinience. And choosing the most apt one. Pro-choice covers the sentiment better than pro-abortion. Pro-life covers the sentiment better than anti-choice.Otherwise we would have to start calling people: pro-choice-of-abortion-when-there-are-no-viable-alternatives-present, pro-choice-of-abortion-only-when-life-is-in-danger, pro-abortion-because-abortion-is-awesome, etc etc, I trust you catch my drift.

    These terms are just used to indicate a position. And in both cases the least provocative is used. It's just a label.
     
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  19. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    You're right, assuming we take the word at face value. The very need for the term is driven by the disagreement. It designates a side. "Pro-abortion" cannot be understood outside of context, is my point.

    Ah, I forgot that. But it's not just the terms, it's how often (and in what context) they are used. Usage of the terms "anti-life," and "pro-death" seems drastically lower than the abortion crowd's favorite buzzwords.

    We're not trying to summarize people's positions into precisely two words without ambiguity. We're trying to label two sides of a disagreement (debate is hardly the appropriate word), and anti/pro-abortion is the only term that doesn't skew one way or another.

    Both of them are still slanted (choice and life are very positive associations for most people), and the whole thing is over the permissibility of abortion. I believe most pro-abortion people aren't against life itself, and most anti-abortion people aren't against choices in general.

    Go on communities dominated by either group, and use the opposing group's term to define your position (better yet, try "reproductive rights" or "anti-baby-murder"). Tell me how they react.
     
  20. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    Yes it does, because most pro-choice people are anti-abortion.

    For instance, I am also not pro-amputation.

    edit: Question to you, why does the label matter to you?
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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