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Author Topic: Partial Birth Abortion Ban Ruled Unconstitutional
RickyB
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I'm not at all sure yo're right, Dan. Are you a medical professional or otherwise unusually well versed in these issues? I'm not, but from what I understand, this procedure is carried out sometimes when the head is abnormally large (which is why collapsing it becomes necessary).

If there is no medical necessity, why is it done? Are so many doctors really that evil? I find that unlikely.

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OhPuhLeez
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http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Intact-dilation-and-extraction

Some more information on the specifics.

A friend, at 24 weeks pregnant, found out that her baby was severely deformed - the skull wasn't closing, brain exposed, head growing so slowly the baby wouldn't live. And for the few hours or days it *might* live, experience has told her doctors that this baby will be in severe pain.

This woman is pro-life, against abortion in any case, even in the event that it might cause her OWN death.

She and her husband chose to terminate the pregnancy because EVERYONE she spoke to - parents who've gone through it, doctors who've dealt with it, high-risk ob/gyns and pediatricians - confirmed that it would be a few hours or a day of severe pain, dulled by morphine - and then death. I have never seen someone in such agony as this woman.

She was able to go through the procedure is because the baby's head stopped growing at 22 weeks, so they went by the head size, not the term of the pregnancy.

My spouse and I cannot speak to what we would have done in her shoes.

What would you have done?

This is not a challenge to anyone's views, I am truly curious.

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Kherlen
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I said I wouldn't come back to this thread. So I lied. I just want to say something in response to OhPuhLeez.

I met a woman who found out that her baby was going to be deformed, have multiple malformities, and die within days after birth. She wound up having the baby prematurely. She refused to abort the child because she felt it was her duty as a mother to bring the child she was carrying into the world, regardless of the condition it would be in. The child did indeed die within, I believe, a day of being born. The mother didn't want her child to be deprived of even the short amount of time it had.

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OhPuhLeez
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Then that woman and her spouse/partner made the decision that was right for them, based on being completely informed of all options, issues, etc.

And our friend and her husband did the same for themselves.

And THAT is as it should be - they got all the facts, opinions, etc. laid out for them from every available resource, and then acted accordingly, from their own hearts.

For the government to intervene and make a blanket decision without having ALL of the facts is irresponsible at best, and...all the other words people here have used at worst.

On a side note, my condolences to your acquaintance.

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LetterRip
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Ok,

here is the info on intact D&X,

Intact D&X

For those who have claimed there is no medically sound reasoning for it - a fetus that has died with hydrocephaly is a fairly clear medically sound reason.

It constitutes roughly 1 in 500 abortions. (.02 percent).

I would be interested in how the statistics under what circumstances it is used, and at what stage in the pregnancy.

Hmmm... found an interesting article by 'religious tolerance',

http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_pba1.htm

Some of the information is a duplicate from the first link.

LetterRip

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TomDavidson
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A fetus that has already died from hydrocephaly is not, by definition, an abortion.
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drewmie
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I heard the AMA supported banning it. If so, why? Is there EVER a case where the medical community would generally accept it as the best alternative? If not, why not ban it? And if there are situations where it's the best alternative, wouldn't the use of it as an elective procedure still be banned by bans on late-term abortions?

I just have questions, and most arguments around this issue have little actual objective information. It's frustrating.

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Zyne
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Wow, what a thread.

I heard the AMA opposed banning it, because it's just not performed when it's not the best medical alternative. This makes sense to me--If doctors are going around performing d&x when it's not the safest, best procedure, then they ought to have their licenses revoked.

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FIJC
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What did the judge say again? That fetal pain was totally "irrelevant" to the issue of PBA? Gee, what a compassionate person.
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LetterRip
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Tom D.

Intact D&X under ANY circumstances is by definition not an abortion. However, in common parlance it is refered to as a "Partial Birth Abortion". Intact D&X on a dead fetus is in fact an abortion as far as abortion statistics are concerned.

FJIC,

well, the only word in quotes is irrelevant. So we really have no idea what she said.

The other two federal courts have also declared it unconstitutional.

Zyne,

quote:
heard the AMA opposed banning it, because it's just not performed when it's not the best medical alternative. This makes sense to me--If doctors are going around performing d&x when it's not the safest, best procedure, then they ought to have their licenses revoked.
Completely agreed.

LetterRip

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WarrsawPact
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Gonig back a ways:
quote:
So what is the big difference between a human being and a cow?

I say it's the capacity for higher thought, the more developed CNS, the ability to think and conceptualize and basically that *something* that makes us different from the other animals roaming the earth.

We're sentient. Or so we seem.

Actually, both cows and humns are sentient (sentient means you have senses, like pain, or hat you're conscious) and humans are sentient quite early in the womb.
But, as you said, this wasn't a perfect definition.

quote:
n your quote, WP, you mentioned that the "neural tube" is starting to develop as early as four weeks into a pregnancy- is that the time? I think not, because animals have neural tubes and the ability to react to pain.

The quote is quite correct. The neural tube, which develops further and further as you grow, is exactly what you think it is. As the development continues, the unborn becomes more and more sensitive to pain and other such things.
If you'll read the entire quote, it says that fetuses show distinct chemical evidence of pain.

quote:
Like many others, my comfort level with abortion goes down as the pregnancy progresses. I believe this is because as the pregnancy furthers, I recognize the creature being killed as being "more human".

I can understand that to some people, that's a fairly repugnant viewpoint; they think that ANY human life (even the eight-cell blob of stem cells) is a human being. That's fine.

I think they're wrong, and as I've said, striking the compromise ground between that outlook and the "abort them right up until they're born" outlook is what's key.

Again, as you know I disagree. You can't place personhood on a sliding scale. At some point, you need to draw a line that is supported by logic. It can be either one attribute or a set of attributes that distinguishes person from non-person.
For example, should a person who can't feel pain be waived of his or her rights?
Does an unconscious person become an unperson?
Does a person's size reflect their most basic rights in our society? Does their level of development change their right to life? A child who has developed sexual organs is no more or less entitled to life than one who does not. Same goes for self-consciousness and problem-solving ability.
Surely we don't use a sliding scale of "right to life" after birth, though people everywhere are at varying degrees of development (both physical and mental); we need a compelling reason to apply one before birth. Something that truly delineates between "has the right to continue normal biological processes" and "does not."

quote:
Frankly, men's biological imperative to have as much sex with as many women as possible leads us to this unfair situation; it sucks, and it's just how life is.
This made sense to me too at one point, but the truth is women are out having just as much sex as men. It's not limited to a couple sluts in an ocean of women who want a stable, strong commitment right out of the gate.
Please take a quick look at this article written by Cathy Young.

Ivan -
quote:
I simply believe that there is more to the human condition than a set of genes. So no, I do not believe the man necessarily has rights equivalent to other humans. But note that this is only the case in certain extreme situations where a person's mental growth has been retarded to the point where speech is not possible on any level. People with Down's syndrom can still communicate at a higher level than the animals. The mental retardation would have to be an extreme case.
The man in the coma, on life support, does not enjoy all the rights and responsibilities of other humans. However, even without the reasonable expectation that he will coem out of his coma in the enxt nine months, a man will have the right not to be killed. If we somehow knew medically, for a fact, that the man would be out of he coma within nine (or six) months, there is no way anyone would allow the person paying the bills to kill him. Nor would the doctor be able to.
That's right, even if the guy was going to exit the coma, and we somehow knew he would be mentally retarded for the next 18 years, he still has the right to live.
Even if he's costing someone else dearly... taking a heavy emotional and physical and fiscal toll on his whole family.
Whether he happens to rely on another human being in such an intimate way as being in that person's body, does not matter. We must resolve personhood before the rights of the supporter.

quote:
But what's more important, pregnant women are not in the custody of the state, nor are they deprived of freedom in a way that makes it permissible for the state to invade their lives in usch a way. I find the very comparison extremely troubling, although I'm willing to accept the possibility that it was not meant in the way that troubles me.
You do not need to be in state custody to be restricted from killing other persons. So far as I am aware you are not allowed to kill another human except in explicit self-defense, where he or she has waived his or her right to life by conscious action.
The state has the monopoly on the use of force in this country. They decide when violence can and cannot be used against other persons. Thus it can invade your privacy or life and deny you the freedom to enact violence against another person. You cannot use your body however you see fit.
This is why I always come back to the fundamental limit on freedom: Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose.
Even if my nose is inside you.

quote:
Life support or oxygen tanks are not equivalent to the complete unviability of a 0-6 month old fetus. Once a person is actually born, she or he moves into a completely different category as far as rights go.
That's a statement of the current situation, not necessarily how it should be.
And yes, life support and oxygen tanks and various IV tubes and medication are equivalent to the complete unviability of a man in a coma. The subject is completely unable to survive without assistance of all different kinds; he won't last long without oxygen, or food, or medication, or fluids, etc.

quote:
Now, to enlarge on the unfeasability of actually preventing abortions from taking place. I've already made the point that by all available data that I'm aware of, Roe V. Wade did not actually make abortions significantly more prevalent. See, women have been getting abortions since the dawn of time. Like so many other issues, this boils down to harm reduction. The only possible way to prevent women from aborting would be monstrous invasion of privacy.
State-sanctioned and -paid-for abortions are at a higher rate than they would ever be without such state sanctioning. The abortion rate in America is much higher than it would be without such protections: over 1.3 million (that's the newer number, as opposed to 1.2 as I said earlier) abortions in a population of 293 million (in just one year). How many of those 293 million are sexually active, viable women? That's a significant percentage of such women, several of whom are having multiple abortions.
Having multiple abortions, or any at all, is made much more difficult if the abortion must be done without federal funding by untrained people (perhaps not even doctors).
Secondly, it makes a big difference over time in a country when something is made legal or illegal. It changes the cultural viewpoint, perhaps not completely but significantly.

quote:
And another issue: How many people are lining up to adopt the unwanted children of poor minority women? How well is the state set up to provide for 1.2 million children, assuming that abortions are successfully abolished?
Obviously many of those kids won't be followed up with yet more unadopted kids. If you can't abort a pregnancy at will, safely and legally, you won't be having abortions very often.
It's not as if the population will explode. When you can't abort a kid, you're less likely to take a cavalier attitude about using condoms or other contraceptives.
The state doesn't have to take all these kids in; the parents will provide for the kid (especially, if as I hope for, both parents have equal rights and responsibilities with their children) and be a little more careful about sex in the future.

quote:
Like so many other issues, this boils down to harm reduction.
The harm principle can be applied both ways, since an abortion ends one life, often one that can experience pain, and creates significant health difficulties for the other party.

quote:
And another issue: How many people are lining up to adopt the unwanted children of poor minority women? How well is the state set up to provide for 1.2 million children, assuming that abortions are successfully abolished?
Minorities are the ones more liekly now to be carrying their children to term anyway. What you would see is an immediate but temporary rise in the number of middle- and upper-class children carried to term or aborted illicitly. Such a rise would by necessity not last very long.

And finally, this is an issue of persons potentially being murdered at a very high rate.
We were willing to do an insane and lasting amount of damage to the south in the struggle to free slaves, and have often selected the dignity of felow humans over temporary economic gain. Slavery was extremely profitable and formed the entire way of life for millions of people.
But it also denegrated and killed many people who were not considered persons because of a preconcieved bias that held no scientific or logical water.
Is it a straight parallel? No. Is it instructive? We'll see.

I'll answer to the posts on page 3 later. This is enough for now. My Tireless Rebutter skills are coming back, but slowly.

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FIJC
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quote:
"well, the only word in quotes is irrelevant. So we really have no idea what she said."
All I really remember of Hamilton's opinion is her writing something to the effect that because a woman's right to choose is to be considered paramount, the issue of fetal pain is therefore irrelevant. I specifically remember that statement in the ruling because I wanted to vomit after I read it. A fetus can feel pain after 20 weeks, but simply acknowledging this fact would obviously be a serious blow to the legality of the procedure.

And the original PBA bill did specifically allow for this procedure in cases where the mother's life was at risk.

quote:
"The other two federal courts have also declared it unconstitutional."
I know that, but I don't remember any of the other rulings having said something quite so stupid. This woman is seriously off her rocker; what a nut.

Oh, and I also found it amusing that the arguments set forth in Hamilton's opinion and those set forth by Planned Parenthood were nearly identical.

[ June 02, 2004, 10:24 PM: Message edited by: FIJC ]

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Zyne
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WP wrote:

quote:
When you can't abort a kid, you're less likely to take a cavalier attitude about using condoms or other contraceptives.
Is this just "common sense" talking? Or can you back this up with data that shows the legality of abortion causes folks to fail to use contraception when they otherwise would have? Even an (objective) opinion survey would be helpful to your point.

I bet you can't, this data simply does not exist. It is not in a woman's rational self-interest to go out and screw with the attitude that hey, what the heck, I can pull the carrot if need be so why should I insist on a bag for the cuke now. Any woman who is that far along the analysis knows enough to know that abortion is a surgery and as such has grave risks that can't be avoided. Any woman who isn't that far along in the analysis would be indifferent to whether abortion is legal or not.

It's not in a man's rational self-interest to rely on the willingness of his female partner to abort--Afterall, if she decides to continue the pregnancy and have and keep the child, then he's on the hook for child support, etc. If these issues aren't going through a man's head when he does the nasty, then he hasn't considered abortion at all, it's irrelevant to him.

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WarrsawPact
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Zyne -
quote:
Is this just "common sense" talking? Or can you back this up with data that shows the legality of abortion causes folks to fail to use contraception when they otherwise would have? Even an (objective) opinion survey would be helpful to your point.

I bet you can't, this data simply does not exist. It is not in a woman's rational self-interest to go out and screw with the attitude that hey, what the heck, I can pull the carrot if need be so why should I insist on a bag for the cuke now. Any woman who is that far along the analysis knows enough to know that abortion is a surgery and as such has grave risks that can't be avoided. Any woman who isn't that far along in the analysis would be indifferent to whether abortion is legal or not.

That's also not true.

In 1972, according to the CDC, only 39 women died from abortion-related injuries in the whole US.
Even with 90% of those illegal abortions back then being done by physicians (according to The American Journal of Public Health), it's hard to extrapolate anything near the abortion rate of America today.

from the CDC:
quote:
The 1999 total pregnancy count includes about 3.96 million live births, 1.31 million induced abortions, and 1 million fetal losses (miscarriages and stillbirths).
Almost 21% of pregnancies ended in abortion in 1999 (mind you, that number is dropping, thankfully).

Something about having abortion illegal prevented a significant number of women from having them. Think of the cultural change that was enacted since abortion became freer and freer. One used to need a panel of doctors to validate the medical need for an abortion, but no more. Most abortions, statistically, are abortions on demand that are far more about perceived social and fiscal woes than medical ones. I've already stated my view that as long as the fetus is respected as a person, abortions for medical need are permissible. It fits into our current legal code nicely. I am also all for social support structures for women who have had a child they do not want, as well as a streamlining of and government support for the adoption program.
-----------------
You asked how we'd pay for all these new kids. I ask how we're going to pay for all these adults retiring without a tax bvase populous enough to pay for them (via Social Security and Medicare, etc.). The trend in the number of employed people vs. retiring people makes it very clear that the problem is not that we have too many kids for our economic good, we're perhaps having too few (as current programs are constructed).

I think that the above answers to the rest of your paragraphs.

And Zyne - It's not fair that I responded to so many of your points before, and yet you responded to only one sentence of mine. Are you starting to ignore the larger body of text in my replies to you, or are you choosing not to respond to it for some reason?

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RickyB
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WP, if in the late 60's and early 70's the number was around a million, as I have read and you have yet to disprove, and now it's 1.3 million, then obviously the legal issue does not cause an increase in the actual number of abortions.

As for personhood - that's the argument, isn't it? I believe that until deliverable, a fetus is not a person and therefore does not have the same rights under the law. That truly is a philosophical dispute that I see no way of resolving. However, if my sister decided she needed to abort a pregnancy and you tried to forcibly prevent her from doing so, I'd fight you - to the death if need be - with no regard whatsoever to what the law happened to say about abortions at the moment. Would you choose to have that fight?

Again: The point is that abortions will occur with or without legal sanction. Without legal sanction, they will occur with no oversight, with no counseling (and therefore no possibility of persuasion to reconsider), and often with a coat hanger. That's the only difference - but at leat some people will be able to bask in their morality, and pretend that since the law says its illegal, it ain't happening, or at least that the people who are suffering because of the law deserve to.

Also, I'd like to second Zyne. It's been proved that when kids, who've been given abstinence-only sex education, do chooseto have sex - they are less likely to use protection of any kind. Limiting options does not lead to more responsible behavior.

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Zyne
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Only because of the time and space and number of posts, WP; I hate to be out of date (and on a thread like this, everyone hates an out of date poster). You-specific reply coming soon. [Smile]
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Zyne
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WP, we might be too far apart to agree to disagree (or throw anything other than sharp objects).

My line--contrary to what I earlier implied--for personhood is when biology says we ought to be persons. If we're ought to have been parasites until 9 months gestation, then we're not humans until that time has elapsed. This position does not slide, and is supported by 'best practices' science.

When gestation is complete, and after birth occurs, then the potential is real and a full human exists.

On agreeing to disagree--I will not back down from 9 months. I don't care how far along it is, or whether it could live on its own; it would be biologically programmed to live in me, and whether it could ought to be my choice.

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WarrsawPact
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Zyne - I always try to see it from my opponent's point of view, and I'm doing that now.

Biology does not dictate that we must respect the life of other humans. That's our ethics, and to a certain degree our inherent wish not to harm things that are "like us."

But to hold that a baby recently birthed is a person but that a baby just before birthed is not is to claim that breathing unaided determines personhood. I'm fairly sure you don't hold this position philosophically.

To hold that a boy who relies on another human very intimately deserves the right not to be killed, but that a boy who relies on a specific human very intimately does not, is to say that one human's desires (choices) override a reliant human's right to live simply because that human does not have the option to hand over custody to someone else yet. I don't think you really hold this position, because it can be applied to other situations. If you can't give up a baby boy for adoption immediately, and will have to feed that boy for a few more weeks or even a couple months before the state can assist in safe transfer of custody, and it taxes you emotionally and fiscally and physically, that still does not give you the right to kill that child. We don't allow that in this country. That ought not to be your choice, though the child is still very much a parasite. The one difference is that the child is barely more developed and in a different location than he was near the end of the pregnancy.

Or perhaps you could explain how one kind of parasitism renders one's basic human rights null and void, but another very taxing kind of parasitism does not. I understand it seems easy for me, a guy, to ask that, but please explain.
We're only discussing the unborn child's rights, not the pregnant mother's yet. If the child's rights are not resolved properly, your choice in the matter cannot logically be determined.

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LetterRip
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FIJC,

quote:
A fetus can feel pain after 20 weeks, but simply acknowledging this fact would obviously be a serious blow to the legality of the procedure.
Well, feel is sort of a strange word - if you mean feel as in have a non reflexive response to a noxious stimulus, then I don't believe you are correct. If you mean a reflex response to a noxious stimulus than you are correct. The noe-cortex only just begins hooking up at the 20th week. Claiming the ability to 'feel' in any meaningful sense of the word for this stage of development is incorrect.

This site gives a decent overview of fetal development

http://www.cbctrust.com/PRENATAL.html

Basically 26th week is about when the thalmic penetration of the neo-cortex is adequetate for the fetus to 'feel' pain.

http://www.ampainsoc.org/pub/bulletin/jul03/article1.htm

However, it probably can only do so when it has stable brainwaves (the common component between assorted anesthesias, appears to be their ability to interfere with specific 'brainwave' patterns. Humans don't feel pain without stable brainwaves).

Warsaw,

quote:
Something about having abortion illegal prevented a significant number of women from having them.
There used to be widespread knowledge about how to chemically induce an abortion, and many other widely used methods (ie starvation, physical trauma).

While I am certain that there are more induced abortions now, I don't think the number is nearly as much greater than what you believe it is.

Actually this individual runs some math and estimates roughly 1,000,000 abortions per year for that time period. From my breif read, it is a fairly convincing arguement.

http://eileen.undonet.com/GerriS/numbers_sykes.htm

Given the large population growth over the past thirty years, this suggests a substantial decline in induced abortions per capita.

LetterRip

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FIJC
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quote:
"Well, feel is sort of a strange word - if you mean feel as in have a non reflexive response to a noxious stimulus, then I don't believe you are correct...The noe-cortex only just begins hooking up at the 20th week. Claiming the ability to 'feel' in any meaningful sense of the word for this stage of development is incorrect.
...Basically 26th week is about when the thalmic penetration of the neo-cortex is adequetate for the fetus to 'feel' pain."

http://www.journalstar.com/articles/2004/04/07/local/10047806.txt

http://www.nrlc.org/news/2004/NRL04/a_pain_too_awful_to_imagine.htm

http://www.catholic.net/rcc/loveboth/chapter14.html

[ June 03, 2004, 01:04 AM: Message edited by: FIJC ]

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WarrsawPact
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LetterRip -

A reasoned analysis. Good deal.
It doesn't include the changing difficulty in obtaining an abortion since 1973, which would explain to some degree a reason why increased legal abortions weren't helping bring down the birthrate (the birthrate among women age 20-24 had been dropping at incredible speed leading up the Roe v Wade, just as the baby boomer's kids started hitting reproductive age and then the number stabilized and even rose despite increasing abortions and contraceptive use). It doesn't account for the need for less abortions due to the uses of other contraceptives that have been introduced and dropped in price and difficulty of use (especially since sex ed became popular and everyone got the info whether they asked for it or not) -- and become easier to obtain for all sorts of reasons -- since that time, but it's still fairly well reasoned.

The analysis is reasoned, but it doesn't take into account many factors affecting the main statistics. Thus, ending the page with "the only explanation is" isn't staisfying for me. I've seen pro-life pages that try the same thing, too.

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WarrsawPact
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LetterRip - On pain:

If there is earlier proof that the unborn is able to respond to stimuli, and has sensation by 15 weeks throughout its torso, it's not unreasonable to say that the chemical evidence of pain (heavily increased hormone levels from the infant's own brain in response to pain-causing stimuli) several weeks later is not, in fact, a response to pain actually felt. If at 14 weeks "fetuses respond in a variety of ways to amniocentesis, from shying away from the needle to kicking at it," and "The variety of responses in different fetuses of the same age to the same experience seems to indicate that these responses are not instinctual, but individual responses of fear, curiosity or aggression," then I call that feeling.

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LetterRip
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FIJC,

notice that my source for the 26th week is a publication of the American Pain Society. It sumarizes the past couple of decades research on pain and physiological development.

Your links are from a 1) a witness in a trial attempting to support a 'partial birth abortion ban' - I'd be fascinated for the source of his opinion, since it is directly contradicted by pretty much the entire literature of prenatal development. I'd be fairly shocked if he can point to a single peer reviewed article that supports his opinion.

2) Dr Ranalli states

quote:
While critics have contended that a fetus at this stage does not possess the consciousness necessary to be aware of pain, at 20 weeks the fetus has the full complement of neurons present in adulthood. Brain waves can be recorded at 20 weeks by a standard electroencephalogram (EEG). These findings were reviewed in Dr. Anand's landmark 1987 article, "Pain and its effects on the human neonate and fetus," in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The actual article states -

quote:
Strictly speaking, nociceptive activity, rather than pain,should be discussed with regard to the neonate, because pain is a sensation with strong emotional associations. The focus on pain perception in neonates and confusion over its differentiation from nociceptive activity and the accompanying physiologic responses have obscured the mounting evidence that nociception is important in the biology of the neonate.
http://www.cirp.org/library/pain/anand/

I'm certain a neurologist should be well aware of the differences between pain and nociception, so his choice to not differentiate between the two is highly suspect.

Also, the mention of the release of hormones is a complete red herring - you can completely cut out the cortex and the hormonal response is present. I'm sure the doctor must be aware of this so again a suspect statement.

quote:
Many of these details are touched upon in Judge Casey's Order to dismiss the ACLU/NAF motion. He also mentions research pointing out that the second-trimester fetus not only feels pain but feels more pain than a full-term newborn, or an adult.
He appears to be deliberately misleading regarding the presence of 'pain receptors' (they are a receptor but pain is only one of the interpreations of their signaling). Without a cortex there is no feeling of pain, there are numerous individuals with tons of pain receptors but with a complete lack of capability to feel pain. A functioning pain receptor is not a sufficient (nor actually even necessary - ie pain from phantom limbs) enough anatomy to allow the feeling of pain.

And 3) another link that confuses pain with nociception, and appears to also not be capable of reading the research they cite, and appears to have quit reading after 1980 (this is especially relevant since the vast majority of our understanding of pain is extremely recent - our understanding of neurology has taken off like a rocket in the past 25 years). They also are negligent in their cites, since Medical Physiology has a number of editions (although the most recent publication appears to have been 1980...).

I'm sorry FIJC, but your sources appear to be very sloppy in their presentation of information - and appear to be highly misleading in the usage of the word pain, and in their presentation of what the literature actually shows.

Hmm.. I just found a group that is doing fetal fMRIs on fetal response to stimulus, I don't see any relevant publications, but I'll ask them if they have any preliminary findings they might be willing to share.

LetterRip

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LetterRip
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Warsaw,

quote:
f there is earlier proof that the unborn is able to respond to stimuli, and has sensation by 15 weeks throughout its torso, it's not unreasonable to say that the chemical evidence of pain (heavily increased hormone levels from the infant's own brain in response to pain-causing stimuli) several weeks later is not, in fact, a response to pain actually felt.
You should quote your sources - ie

http://www.abortiontv.com/HowUnbornBabiesThink.htm

Hormonal responses are a reflex, that is why we differentiate between nociception and pain. Even individuals who are brain dead still have those responses. The authors references a non peer reviewed paper by a psychologist - who apparently doesn't know jack about fetal physiology. (Gee, mommy has an orgasm - gosh wonder what that will do to her blood stream - any chance it could dump a ton of hormones into her blood stream - any chance that the fetus heart and other organs have receptors that will result in strong physiological responses? Gee, what happens when you pump adrenaline into a brain dead adult - gosh they have a massively accelerated heart rate - clearly they are having a conscious response....) I can't believe the idiocy that people constantly confuse the mothers hormonal responses triggering a physiological response in the fetus with consciousness on behalf of the fetus. The 'response' to needles is a particularly poignant case in point. (Mommy watches needle approach the fetus - the anticipation sends her adrenalin level through the roof which dumps into the fetus - the fetus body reacts to the adrenalin surge, which results in spastic motion - golly gosh gee - the baby must have seen the needle coming and swerved to avoid it - or gee the fetus detected the needle and was angy and attacked it). So, other than demonstrating the inadequacy of training about basic physiology, there isn't much there...

LetterRip

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Paul C
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This thread is quite interesting! I appreciate all of your positions. Please allow me one more "what if"...

Man and woman have consensual sex. Woman becomes pregnant. Both say, "OH CRAP!!!". Woman says, "I want nothing to do with this baby, I will abort." [Frown] ...Man says, "If you have this baby, I will take custody and provide for the rest of its life without ANY more input from you". [Big Grin] (what a guy!)

Now, If both agree with this scenario...no problem.

But... If the woman disagrees, there is no redress for the man. The woman holds ALL the cards. I cannot agree with this.

With the above situation, IMHO, It seems a very fair price for both parties to pay for their initial "poor choice". If you're going to play, you must pay.

Paul C

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Omega M.
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Zyne, you think that we're persons "when biology says we ought to be persons." In my opinion, persons deserve respect and have certain rights (to life, etc.). Do you think that biology by itself can tell us when a life form deserves respect and has rights? Certainly biology can tell us what a life form is made of and what it does, but is it obvious from these characteristics alone how we should treat a life form?
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TomDavidson
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"Mommy watches needle approach the fetus - the anticipation sends her adrenalin level through the roof which dumps into the fetus - the fetus body reacts to the adrenalin surge, which results in spastic motion..."

Except that this did not in fact happen. Christy did not watch the monitor, for example, and there was no sign of fetal motion until the needle appeared on the monitor. Now, sure, there could be some coincidence; some stress from the actual "poke" could have triggered a lot of activity that just coincidentally happened to be uniformly in a direction away from the needle.

But I think you're trying rather hard to prove "instinct" and therefore the lack of thought.

---------

"Intact D&X on a dead fetus is in fact an abortion as far as abortion statistics are concerned."

Except that there is, in my opinion, a fairly huge moral distinction between dismembering and extracting a dead baby that has died of some natural cause and dismembering and extracting a dead baby that you have moments before killed for the specific purpose of "extracting." Do you not see this distinction?

------

BTW, Zyne, why do you insist on nine months? What is it about the moment of birth that suddenly makes the baby less "yours" to dispose of as you see fit?

[ June 03, 2004, 09:34 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Omega M.
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So Zyne, are you saying that if (just to speculate) a baby growing inside you could talk to you with the intelligence and sophistication of any normal adult, you wouldn't think there was necessarily anything wrong in killing him or her, because he or she was a "parasite"?
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RickyB
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Tom, the moment of birth is the defining moment. That's the gift of life. However, as I've stated, the possibility of birth is enough for me.
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Paul C
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Zyne
quote:
My line--contrary to what I earlier implied--for personhood is when biology says we ought to be persons. If we're ought to have been parasites until 9 months gestation, then we're not humans until that time has elapsed. This position does not slide, and is supported by 'best practices' science
[Confused]

After the full gestation and birth of a child, they are still quite parasitical for MANY years. Maybe the "right to choose" should go until the child can actually support themselves. So, as parents, we can exercise this right until they graduate college...no wiat...until they have a job. AND THEN, our children can exercise their "right to choice" after we are OLD and have to move in with them...

Frankly, IMO, the right to choice occurs before conception...not after.

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Omega M.
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Let's be clear here: even when an unborn human is just one or a few cells (with genetic structure distinct from the parents'), all of its cells are working together to grow and take in nutrition. It seems pretty alive to me at any stage.
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Zyne
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Good morning all you ornery people.

The problem with setting the bar for humanness at viability is that it the consensus on where viability is constantly changes, and that it lends itself to fringe views. Biology has decided that a normal human pregnancy lasts 9 months; at the end of 9 months there is a baby that is a separate and separated living being.

You're right WP, this is my legal position, not my philosophical position. We need a clear legal rule that harbors no superstition and that people can follow. To say that a fetus becomes a human when born is logical and based in science. To say that a fetus becomes a human at conception is illegal, unfair, unworkable. To say that a fetus becoems a human at any point between conception and birth is too arbitrary and the issue would never be settled.

Actually, I'm not discussing the rights of a so-called "unborn child" because I don't recognize that thing as a legal entity. I don't think we should recognize it as such.

Paul--How horribly invasive. Better to allow the man to forfeit parenthood shortly after learning of the pregnancy.

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TomDavidson
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"To say that a fetus becomes a human when born is logical and based in science."

In what way, beyond pure semantics, is that based on "science?" Insofar that our definition of "fetus" is "something that has not yet been born," this would seem to be a tautology -- except, of course, that a human fetus is ALWAYS human. It ceases to be a fetus once it is born, of course (by definition), which I suspect is what you mean.

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Paul C
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Zyne

quote:
Paul--How horribly invasive. Better to allow the man to forfeit parenthood shortly after learning of the pregnancy
To which post are you referring? [Confused]
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Zyne
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TD--Yes, there needs to be a "being" or "entity" inserted in there.

PC--One up there on this thread, of yours, where you lament the fact that women hold all the cards on abortion. You say 'if you're going to play, you must pay' which apparently means that a man ought to be able to force a woman to stay pregnant, for fairness' sake. Notwithstanding the fact that your proposed solution is invasive, oppressive, and hateful, you do have a point. The better soultion IMO is to allow a man to denounce parenthood. This would be done with a reasonable window after he learns of the pregnancy, without regard to how far along it is when he learns of it.

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Paul C
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Z -

Until the burden of carrying a child can be transferred to the perpetrating male, I see no other way of ensuring the child be born and passed on to said male.

Once again, there is a price to pay. In my COOL [Cool] scenario, the female pays by carrying and bearing the child, and the male pays forever more! [Eek!]

Paul C

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OhPuhLeez
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And if the woman gets gestational diabetes, is paralyzed during a c-section, gets pre-eclampsia, etc. etc., then she too pays for the rest of her life, with her OWN life.
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Paul C
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quote:
Originally posted by OhPuhLeez:
And if the woman gets gestational diabetes, is paralyzed during a c-section, gets pre-eclampsia, etc. etc., then she too pays for the rest of her life, with her OWN life.

[Frown]

I hate to think of this happening, but she could also get hit by a truck after her abortion and be paralyzed. Talk about a double negative. [Eek!]

Paul C

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OhPuhLeez
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Okay, I feel SO strongly on this topic, but I must take a break and admit I just laughed my butt off at that, Paul C.
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FIJC
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quote:
"I'm sorry FIJC, but your sources appear to be very sloppy in their presentation of information - and appear to be highly misleading in the usage of the word pain, and in their presentation of what the literature actually shows."
I found them to be useful, but thanks for pointing out some of the perceived flaws in his congressional testimony. Several Republicans in Congress are doctors and have said very much similar sentiments--I believe them. Perhaps I am too gullible, but all the doctors in Congress also happen to be the most considerate and gentlemanly, so I tend to believe what they say. I don't believe that they would be deliberately deceiving.

I suppose that either way, PBA proponents could argue that a doctor could administer pain-killers to the fetus prior to the abortion, thus eliminating the "pain" factor.

[ June 03, 2004, 01:48 PM: Message edited by: FIJC ]

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