Abortion - Legacy thread

Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
Here is a link to the "Cleft Lip etc" thread on the old website.

Feel free to add to this thread or create a new thread on a subset of the topic.

Comments

  • LouiseLouise Dead Horses Host
    Bumping this thread up for anyone who wants to discuss this issue in general.
  • Anglican BratAnglican Brat Shipmate
    edited May 22
    "You can't be prochoice if you believe in the Incarnation"

    I heard this argument that states that denying that the fetus is a human life, risks denying that Our Lord Jesus Christ was divine and human in the womb of his Mother, Mary, and thus it is a heresy in the eyes of the church.

    I am prochoice, but I wonder how orthodox Christians who are prochoice handle that argument.
  • I think that argument pre-supposes that being pro-choice means that you think all the available choices are morally right, or indeed that the exercise of that choice will be prevented by illegality rather than just made more dangerous.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    I think the argument is based on several strawmen ...


    1. Mary's title of 'God-bearer' only implies that God was incarnate in her womb at some point, not that he was incarnate from the moment of conception. IME, most people who describe themselves as 'pro-choice' do believe that life begins at some point in the womb earlier than birth - such as viability - but deny that it begins at conception.

    Historically, the idea that life begins at conception is an innovation. Medieval theologians and jurists mostly believed in a point of 'quickening', before which abortion was still sinful but was not homicide. I suspect the question of whether the incarnation happened at the point of conception or the point of quickening has never been answered for the simple reason that it has never been asked.


    2. Some pro-choice people argue that even if a foetus is a human life, there's still no moral obligation on the mother's part to bring it to term.


    3. I used to think that 'pro-choice' meant you thought abortion was mostly licit and 'pro-life' meant you thought it was mostly or always illicit. I've since learnt that that some people use the terms to refer to morality and some people use them for legality. So there are people who think that abortion is nearly always a sin but that nevertheless it should not be criminalised, and IME some of these people call themselves 'pro-choice' and some 'pro-life'.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    "life begins" is a bit of an odd concept to me - life is continuous. Sperm are alive. Ova are alive. Zygotes are alive. The blood cells which escape when you cut yourself are alive. Sperm are young but Ova already exist in a baby's ovaries when they are born.

    Life develops and changes. When sperm meets ova, two haploid living cells become a single diploid one. When the zygote starts to divide, a single-celled entity becomes multicellular. That multicellular entity becomes one with differentiated tissues in time. There is no point in all this where life begins. A unique genotype (barring identical twins) exists in each sperm and ova, and in each combination thereof. These are all the potential for a new individual.

    Perhaps what people mean by "life beginning" is "an individual coming to exist". But again there is no point where this occurs. It's a gradual process. Of course if you believe in souls as separate things which exist inside people, then you can argue that there's a point of ensoulment, but that's purely a religious idea with little to definitively say when even within a given religious frame of reference. It's not something one can obviously impose on a population who do not all share that belief. Individuals exist in potentio in every theoretical combination of sperm and ovum; I'm not convinced that a particular genetic combination has somehow become an individual simply because it has happened to physically exist in a particular cell, or indeed blastocyst. But this is where the bait and switch seems to me to occur; that a developing embryo exists, and it's human, is not the same thing as saying that a new human being (with all we understand by that term) exists, but they are presented as the same thing. I could slake of some skin cells, irradiate them and so create unique genetic combinations, but it would not thereby follow that new human beings had been created. In due course cloning technology might make it possible to use existing cells to be used to create human beings - would it then suddenly be mass slaughter every time one has a good exfoliation?

    A 24 week foetus is clearly a different thing both to a full-term baby and an embryo, and that a different thing from a zygote. I don't think it aids the debate to try to make these just two things - a human being and a not human being, and pretend there is a definite point where the one becomes the other. One of my hobbies is comparative linguistics; doing the above seems to me a bit like insisting that the history of the French Language consists only of Latin and French, and that on 1st October 750 AD everyone suddenly started speaking French instead of the previous Latin.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Ricardus wrote: »
    I think the argument is based on several strawmen ...

    1. Mary's title of 'God-bearer' only implies that God was incarnate in her womb at some point, not that he was incarnate from the moment of conception...

    As Jesus was conceived by the Holy Ghost, at what point in His neural development did the divine nature begin to have an effect?

  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    edited May 26
    @KarlLB - all of that is a fair comment, and I am over-simplifying - and by extension, I've implied there is a fixed point at which the incarnation happened, but if you ask what that means, I don't think I can tell you.

    But I think, in general, the spectrum of development from 'zygote' to 'baby' implies a spectrum of moral responses, from 'about as ethically questionable as having your appendix out', and 'equivalent to exposing a newborn baby on a hillside'. And people who describe themselves as pro-choice still tend to see later-term abortions as falling closer to the latter end of the spectrum than the former, even if the point where you draw the line is essentially arbitrary.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Well yes, but that's my point. I don't draw a line. At most, I might be forced to draw a series of lines, much as a linguist would define Vulgar Latin, Gallo-Romance, Proto-French, Old French and so on...

    But there is still a spectrum; it's continuous.
  • Ricardus wrote: »
    @KarlLB - all of that is a fair comment, and I am over-simplifying - and by extension, I've implied there is a fixed point at which the incarnation happened, but if you ask what that means, I don't think I can tell you.

    But I think, in general, the spectrum of development from 'zygote' to 'baby' implies a spectrum of moral responses, from 'about as ethically questionable as having your appendix out', and 'equivalent to exposing a newborn baby on a hillside'. And people who describe themselves as pro-choice still tend to see later-term abortions as falling closer to the latter end of the spectrum than the former, even if the point where you draw the line is essentially arbitrary.

    There's also a huge amount of misunderstanding when it comes to late term abortions - it's almost always because the foetus is so ill that it will not survive more than a few hours after birth (if at all) and often poses a serious risk to the life of the woman in the process. They're also (comparatively) vanishingly rare. The pro-life hate figure of feckless women having healthy babies sliced and diced in their wombs at 35 weeks doesn't really exist.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Well yes, but that's my point. I don't draw a line. At most, I might be forced to draw a series of lines, much as a linguist would define Vulgar Latin, Gallo-Romance, Proto-French, Old French and so on...

    But there is still a spectrum; it's continuous.

    Indeed - sorry, I wasn't really disagreeing with you as such.

    The argument presented by Anglican Brat depends on the idea that anyone pro-choice sees the foetus as just an appendage of the mother right up to birth. This idea is, I think, a strawman, and it's a strawman regardless of whether one believes there is a fixed point at which it ceases to be an appendage and gains all the rights and dignities of a citizen, or if one thinks it's more of a spectrum.
  • Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
    They're also (comparatively) vanishingly rare.

    I'm not convinced it is vanishingly rare. We were offered a late abortion (initially offered at 20 weeks, and still being offered at 34 weeks) but opted for a planned natural stillbirth instead. But, such is the way of things, once you have been in the situation yourself, other people tell you their stories. I know four couples who have had late abortions because their baby would not survive. Three of the couples I know personally, the fourth I've never met but were the daughter and son-in-law of a colleague.

    I suspect it seems more rare than it is because it is a taboo subject. If someone knows that a couple are expecting a much wanted child, and then hear that they have lost the baby, who would be so crass as to ask for the details?

    And while the whole subject remains shrouded in euphemism, the
    pro-life hate figure of feckless women having healthy babies sliced and diced in their wombs at 35 weeks
    can flourish unchallenged.
  • From the National Statistics: Abortions Statistics for England and Wales for 2017 as the most recent available:
    3,314 abortions were due to the risk that the child would be born seriously handicapped
    This represents 2% of the total number of abortions. This is a similar level to 2016 when there were 3,208 (2%) abortions for this reason.

    also
    There has been a continuing increase in the proportion of abortions that are performed under 10 weeks since 2007. In 2017, 77% of abortions were performed under 10 weeks, a decrease of four percentage points since 2016 but increasing from 70% in 2007. In 2017, 13% were performed at 10-12 weeks. This proportion has increased since 2016, but since 2007 the proportion has decreased from 20%. Abortions carried out at 13 weeks or later gestation represented 10% which is an increase from 2016 and unchanged from 2007.

    and
    Abortions where gestation is 24 weeks or over account for a very small number of abortions (0.1% of the total). There were 252 such abortions in 2017
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    I feel I should acknowledge that while the question is kind of an intellectual exercise for me, it isn't for other people, and therefore I am more flippant about it than I should be.
  • A thought occurs: is it possible to coherently maintain the view that an unwanted pregnancy is an appendage of the mother while a wanted one is a human being? It's relatively common to have theology that accords different status to things based on how they are regarded, such as ideas of holy places that acknowledge the universal presence of God but nonetheless recognise the sense of holiness associated with certain locations or buildings.
  • A thought occurs: is it possible to coherently maintain the view that an unwanted pregnancy is an appendage of the mother while a wanted one is a human being? It's relatively common to have theology that accords different status to things based on how they are regarded, such as ideas of holy places that acknowledge the universal presence of God but nonetheless recognise the sense of holiness associated with certain locations or buildings.

    Actually I think that is the strongest argument on the prochoice side, that the moral value of the unborn is dependent on the mother's perspective. Now I know some anti-abortionists would say the following:

    "Saying that it's a baby if the mother wants it, and a fetus if the mother doesn't want to it is grossly inconsistent."

    Well no, technically scientifically speaking, up until birth, the unborn is classified as a 'zygote', 'embryo' and 'fetus'. The mother who chooses to continue her pregnancy may of course call it a baby, but that is a difference between informal language and scientific terminology.

    Incidentally however, prospective parents also use terms such as "we are going to have a baby" suggesting the unborn fetus is not a baby, rather than 'we have a baby'.

    My discomfort with the anti-choice and anti-abortion side, is that when you hear their arguments, the woman always disappear. I heard Rick Santorum wax piously about the value of the unborn fetus the other day, but there is not a mention of the mother whose very body the fetus depends to live. The anti-choice movement reduces women to nothing more than baby incubators, refusing to accord them any sense of dignity, and thus spitting in the face of the God who made them in Her image.

  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Ricardus wrote: »
    I feel I should acknowledge that while the question is kind of an intellectual exercise for me, it isn't for other people, and therefore I am more flippant about it than I should be.

    Could be you should stop that.
  • I don’t participate much in these kinds of threads, because they are massively triggering to me, and I cannot possibly be objective on the subject, but FWIW:

    It was specifically Karl who said it, but there was a general movement in this direction, ISTM – that a 24-week is clearly not the same thing as a full-term baby. I know the hard way that it’s not that clear-cut.

    My son was born at 25 weeks (for reasons unknown - possibly a cervical infection, but in two-thirds of cases of extreme prematurity, you never find out why).

    Fifteen months, much trauma and several hundred thousand euros of the French taxpayer’s money later, he is a completely normal and healthy child, thank God. From the minute he emerged into the big wide world, there was never any suggestion that he was anything other than a baby, albeit a very sick and tiny one. Nor should there have been AFAIC. I grant Karl said “full-term baby”, but a very premature baby is still a baby.

    Like I said, I’m not objective, and I can’t possibly be. But I felt the need to bring this up, because as you’ve noted, for some of us this is anything but an intellectual exercise.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    I think my intention was to point out that in this absolutely nothing is clear-cut.
  • When we discussed this on Ye Olde Shippe™ we got into discussion of personhood and that possibly a way of looking at this is that a foetus is developing personhood during gestation. So we could posit that a zygote of 3-5 week gestation does not have personhood but a foetus at 24 weeks gestation definitely does. 24 weeks the point at which neonatal units will strive to keep a premature baby alive as most babies at that gestation can survive with a reasonable prognosis at 24 weeks.

    One of the things I have pointed out repeatedly in these discussions is that most abortions are carried out very early - 77% of abortions (2017 figures) are carried out before 10 weeks gestation, 90% before 13 weeks gestation (in 2016 that was 93%, iirc). Under 10 weeks means that embryos incapable of supporting life ex-utero are being aborted. Between 10 and 13 weeks this is a foetus. Potential parents are traditionally advised not to tell everyone until after 13 weeks as there is a greater likelihood of spontaneous abortion, otherwise known as miscarriage, before those dates.

    When we discussed abortions later than 13 weeks, it was pointed out that many disabilities are not picked up or not the extent to which the foetus is expected to be affected until 20 or 22 weeks or more. A couple of Shipmates who had given birth to babies with disabilities described how difficult that had been and that they did not feel that they should insist others were forced to take on a severely disabled baby, knowing what they did.

    There have only ever been a tiny number of abortions carried out post 24 weeks gestation, 0.1% of the total number, 252 in 2017 and those grounds will not be allowed unless there is a significant medical reason.
  • amyboamybo Shipmate
    Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
    They're also (comparatively) vanishingly rare.

    I'm not convinced it is vanishingly rare. We were offered a late abortion (initially offered at 20 weeks, and still being offered at 34 weeks) but opted for a planned natural stillbirth instead. But, such is the way of things, once you have been in the situation yourself, other people tell you their stories. I know four couples who have had late abortions because their baby would not survive. Three of the couples I know personally, the fourth I've never met but were the daughter and son-in-law of a colleague.

    I suspect it seems more rare than it is because it is a taboo subject. If someone knows that a couple are expecting a much wanted child, and then hear that they have lost the baby, who would be so crass as to ask for the details?

    And while the whole subject remains shrouded in euphemism, the
    pro-life hate figure of feckless women having healthy babies sliced and diced in their wombs at 35 weeks
    can flourish unchallenged.

    I'm so sorry for your loss. The conversations around abortion gloss over miscarriage and stillbirth so much, and become so crass towards the mother, and it really is frightening to see that level of misogyny.

    I've talked about my one miscarriage elsewhere on the ship, and it makes me very angry to think Indiana has an opinion on what I should have done with it. (I flushed it, per the doc's recommendation.)
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    There have only ever been a tiny number of abortions carried out post 24 weeks gestation, 0.1% of the total number, 252 in 2017 and those grounds will not be allowed unless there is a significant medical reason.

    The reason for that is that if a woman is still carrying at that stage, she intends to bear the child through to birth and it's only some medical reason that changes that intention.
  • Yes. When we discussed this before towards the end of this thread, my mind was changed on late abortions because they are the result of incredibly hard decisions made by parents who wanted that child. @"North East Quine", who started posting at this point and birdie changed my mind.
  • stonespringstonespring Shipmate
    Maybe this has been hashed out in the ship before, but can we talk about the very, very rare, possibly only
    hypothetical instance when, where it is legal to do so, a healthy, viable fetus is aborted very late in a pregnancy not because of severe fetal defects or risk to the mother’s physical health but because of rape, incest, the effect on the mother’s mental health of continuing the pregnancy, or for some other reason? Where is this legal or where are there laws under consideration that would make this legal? I have heard discussion of this regarding some law or some real life case in New York State but I do not know the details. Maybe it has nothing to do with what I am talking about.

    In a situation like this, what would the abortion be like? Would it simply be induced labor with the strong possibility that the baby would survive and, I assume, be put up for adoption if the mother wishes? Or would it possibly or even necessarily involve killing the fetus while still in the womb or in the process of delivering it before it is actually “born”?

    Sorry if I am insensitive in asking these questions. I don’t think these hypotheticals are very useful in determining policy because they are so rare and it probably makes sense to just leave things up to women and their doctors knowing full well that no matter what anti abortion activists may say infanticide is still illegal.

    But, irrespective of policy, I am just wondering if anyone is aware of cases like this that have actually occurred or that are legally possible in some places or in legislation that has been proposed somewhere.

  • In the UK it is allowable grounds to abort a foetus after 24 weeks or:
    With no time limits:

    the termination is necessary to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman (Ground A)
    there is a risk to the life of the pregnant woman, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated ( Ground B )
    there is substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped. (Ground E) source 1 source 2 (pdf)

    In 2017, 180 abortions were carried out under Grounds A and B in England and Wales, 3,314 abortions under Ground E out of 197,533 abortions in total in the same period. Source (pdf) para 2.13 and 2.1

    This is about as far as my knowledge goes from teaching the topic. So digging for more:

    There's a BBC 3 article here looking at a clinic in the USA that carries out late terminations.

    Very late terminations usually require foeticide and followed by induced labour source (pdf)
  • stonespringstonespring Shipmate
    Ok so it seems the NY State law is only codifying what is already law under Roe v Wade (although other states don't necessarily recognize this), and its late term exceptions are for health of the mother and fetal inviability.

    I guess my main question now is this - when a late term abortion is allowed, the fetus is healthy and viable, and continuing the pregnancy is no greater risk to the mother's physical health than it would be for any other mother, why does the fetus need to be killed? Is it usually less risky for a healthy mother's physical health to kill a viable fetus than it is to try to remove it from her body in a way that gives it a chance of surviving? Is the main reason to kill the fetus in such a (probably very very rare) scenario because it would be more damaging to the mother's mental health to have her baby survive the not-intended-to-kill procedure and be put up for adoption than it would be to have the fetus killed?

    More broadly, for those people who go beyond maternal health and fetal viability exceptions and argue that abortion at any stage of pregnancy is a private healthcare decision between a woman and her physician and a matter of any human being's control over her body and that the state should just butt out of it -

    For these particular proponents of abortion rights (who in the liberal bubble I live in are most of the people I would talk to about abortion, if I talked to people about abortion, which I usually don't), does this right mean not just the right to have a separate living being removed from one's body, but also the right, regardless of one's physical or mental health, to have that other living being killed, even if it is able to survive outside of one's body?

    This is a largely theoretical discussion for me, because I don't think I should be making these decisions for anyone else. But I think about it a lot, which maybe isn't healthy. Sorry if anyone is upset by my asking these questions.
  • I have no more idea than you on the questions you are asking, so am looking up the answers. According to Wikipedia the
    International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics states that abortions "after 22 weeks [gestation] must be preceded by feticide." If medical staff observe signs of life, they may be required to provide care: emergency medical care if the child has a good chance of survival and palliative care if not.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Late term abortion is generally not performed when the fetus is viable and healthy.
  • Don't forget that most women in their third trimester want to be pregnant.

    In the event of a healthy foetus and a life-threatening complication to the mother, the baby is often delivered early by caesarian. (I speak as a veteran of the NICU.)
  • I don't know the answers to your questions, but, having had two straightforward live births with fairly minimal pain relief I was warned that having David would be far more painful, whether the pregnancy was terminated (fatal injection followed by induction) or came to its natural conclusion (natural cessation of heartbeat followed by induction). Something to do with the drugs they give you to induce labour, and the fact that there are no movements from the baby to help stimulate labour.

    And I can confirm that it was absolute agony, with the positive twist that I was in so much pain I was pretty much out of it, no sense of time etc, etc, and no memories, which was a Good Thing.

    So I can't see there would be any advantage to a woman in having labour preceded by foeticide, though to be honest I think your are asking about a scenario that just doesn't exist.
  • The guidelines say that any live baby born in those situations would need to have palliative care or life saving medical care.

    The statistics say that women having late terminations for mental or physical health reasons are rare as hen''s teeth, but late terminations under Ground E: "there is substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped" happen slightly more often
  • Wow, just wow! This story came up in my Twitter feed. It's of a woman who is being charged with manslaughter for the death of her unborn child after she was shot in the stomach at five months pregnant. The shooter has been acquitted as apparently the victim provoked the fight. So therefore, the victim is guilty of manslaughter of the foetus.
  • stonespringstonespring Shipmate
    Wow, just wow! This story came up in my Twitter feed. It's of a woman who is being charged with manslaughter for the death of her unborn child after she was shot in the stomach at five months pregnant. The shooter has been acquitted as apparently the victim provoked the fight. So therefore, the victim is guilty of manslaughter of the foetus.

    Now, in addition to walking while black, driving while black, barbecuing while black, etc., it is apparently a crime to be pregnant while black.

    Speaking more broadly about fetal homicide laws, here is an article about how these laws can target pregnant women or make their fetuses, rather than themselves, the victims that prosecutors seek to defend when women are attacked.
    This January, her organization released a study that documents over 600 cases in which pregnant woman were arrested or detained for attempting or committing feticide. They include a number who attempted suicide; one who accidentally fell down the stairs; and one who was arrested when one of her twins was stillborn, with the state claiming she killed her child by delaying caesarian surgery.

    A combination of feticide laws and abstracted “child endangerment” legislation has been turned on women who make medical decisions that privilege their own safety over their fetus,’ including one woman in the District of Columbia whom the courts forced into having a C-section even though her doctor predicted—correctly—that it would kill her. (The baby also died.) Paltrow says feticide laws’ are used to frequently target women who use drugs and alcohol, or, in general, low-income women whose life styles could, rightly or wrongly, be construed as harmful to their unborn children. In a recent article in the American Journal of Public Health, she labels this racial and socioeconomic disparity “the new Jane Crow.”
  • The stupid policy started by Ronald Regan of not funding family planning clinics in the Third World means that there is less access to contraception. And this had led directly to increases in abortion. I've no idea what it what it will take for anti-abortionists to see the light. And stop trying to fix things that they only make worse. And Ronald Regan - what a bad man he was.

    "...curbing US assistance to family planning organisations, especially those that consider abortion as a method of family planning, increases abortion prevalence in sub-Saharan African countries most affected by the policy."

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(19)30267-0/fulltext
  • It makes a lot more sense if you understand that their morality is primarily about punishing women for having sex.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    The other day I heard on BBC Women's Hour a piece about FGM being carried out, in the USA, on white Christian girls until quite recently. I only heard part of the piece so am not sure if it has stopped. One woman was in pain until her menopause, and when she was in labour (how did that happen?) the doctor had no idea how to proceed without a very large episiotomy. As a teenager, once she could drive, she went to a clinic to seek help with her pain, only to be handed a pamphlet about the dangers of female masturbation. It was the clinic, it transpired, where she had been cut.
    Apart from bringing to mind an episode of the Handmaid's Tale, which I had regarded as extending things unrealistically, and causing my blood pressure to rise, this does confirm what Arethosemyfeet has posted above.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    Question: Is anyone in the various pro-life campaign groups saying 'Hang on guys, some of these fetal homicide laws are going a bit far, we might be looking a bit crazy here'?

    I can understand how someone could believe that a foetus has human rights from conception, and how they could further conclude that access to abortion should be restricted. But fetal homicide laws, as reported, are a whole wagon-load of crazy. I thought at first they were proposing deliberately crazy laws in an attempt to force a Supreme Court case, which though it might strike down the laws themselves would nevertheless re-evaluate Roe vs Wade, but apparently they are serious.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Am I right in thinking that those laws are in States where the death penalty is not only imposed (a judge often has no discretion about that) but carried out (where the Governor has power to commute)? And that those proposing the foetal homicide laws also support the death penalty?
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited July 7
    Ricardus wrote: »
    Question: Is anyone in the various pro-life campaign groups saying 'Hang on guys, some of these fetal homicide laws are going a bit far, we might be looking a bit crazy here'?

    I can understand how someone could believe that a foetus has human rights from conception, and how they could further conclude that access to abortion should be restricted. But fetal homicide laws, as reported, are a whole wagon-load of crazy. I thought at first they were proposing deliberately crazy laws in an attempt to force a Supreme Court case, which though it might strike down the laws themselves would nevertheless re-evaluate Roe vs Wade, but apparently they are serious.
    ISTM, they are serious and think that the current Supreme Court will eventually support them in their quest.

    The crazy is that making abortions illegal doesn't end abortions and they will not listen to the measure that are proven effective in reducing abortion.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    What lilbuddha said.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    So I thought of a protest, which probably wouldn't work but might draw attention to the sheer stupidity involved here.

    For me, setting aside the status of the foetus, what pushes these cases into 'psychopathic killer clown cart' territory, especially the Marshae Jones case, is the bizarre notion of moral causality. We are talking about a woman who has made an unwise decision, and if she hadn't made that decision then the foetus would probably have survived, but the bad decision wasn't in any way the direct cause of the death, nor was the death obviously predictable, and other factors had to be in place for the death to happen - and yet she is being prosecuted as though her actions were the direct and deliberate cause of death.

    So I read that Alabama has an infant mortality rate of 7.4 per 1,000. In the US as a whole it is 5.9, in the UK it's 3.8, in Slovenia it's 2.0, and in Iceland it's 0.7 (source). However you slice those numbers, Alabama's infant mortality rate is higher than it could be, and that's a lot of children's deaths that could have been prevented. And since the State of Alabama has some degree of oversight over healthcare, therefore the State is partly responsible.

    Now a person who prides themself on their nuance and balance would say the solution isn't as simple as just passing a few laws, and so the State can't be held directly responsible for those deaths. But on the standards of the Marshae Jones case, we don't need to plot out the exact sequence of events that led to those deaths, all that matters is that some decisions of the State exists somewhere within the causal chain, and the State can be prosecuted for those deaths.

    So here is the protest: start a campaign for the State of Alabama to be prosecuted for the manslaughter of children, using the logic of their own laws.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    The whole thing makes no sense. Abortion is terrible but mother and baby dying through lack of medical insurance - that's apparently fine.

    I sure as hell don't take lessons in morality from people who make health care dependent on wealth. Hypocritical sociopaths.
  • stonespringstonespring Shipmate
    I think someone said this above?

    The law in Alabama was intentionally drafted to not cover the deaths of embryos that occur as a result of in-vitro fertilization, probably because the lawmakers knew that couples with fertility issues on all sides of the debate except perhaps the most strongly anti-abortion among them would strongly oppose the bill if it did not include the exemption.

    Clyde Chambliss, the sponsor of the bill in the Alabama senate, when asked about the exemption, said, “The egg in the lab doesn’t apply. It’s not in a woman. She’s not pregnant.” (he meant the fertilized egg).

    So the abortion bill is solely about criminalizing killing an embryo in the womb and not anywhere else. This is precisely why the abortion rights movement argues that anti-abortion laws are more about controlling women's bodies than they are about protecting an embryo's right to life.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    I don't know if anybody's said it, @stonespring, but it's spot on.
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