Author Topic: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?  (Read 22664 times)

Fenring

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #250 on: October 03, 2022, 07:51:43 PM »
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Then again, 81% of women have been found to suffer from depression after having an abortion as well, so be careful about championing the right to an abortion because of depression, because you might also be arguing that abortions should be withheld because they might foreseeably cause depression and make the clinic responsible for damages.

And it is a balancing act, isn't it?  Pregnancy can cause depression; abortion can cause depression.  How can anyone decide which would be better for any individual?  Especially for one who is severely depressed.

But more importantly, who should decide for an individual?  ;)

Your argument is already that an individual (the mother) should be deciding for another individual (the baby). So that line seems to go right out the window. Again this point becomes trivially apparent if you already think the fetus is a baby, and can become invisible if you don't.

But the TheDrake's point seems to stand, which is that if you are specifically using the possibility of suicidal ideation as justification for the mother's needs to override the baby/fetus, you would need to somehow demonstrate that the depression during the pregnancy is greater than or equal to the depression that might follow. Naturally this is a ridiculous condition since you can't demonstrate something that hasn't happened yet, which is precisely the trouble with arguing that one person's rights vanish because another person might get themselves into trouble. And indeed, not only do you enter a quagmire when reasons such as emotional pain become justification for abortion, but you open up an entire world of connections that you would need to allow into the conversation. For instance, what if a mother's choice to have an abortion causes depression and suicidal ideation in people who believe that babies are being killed? Does the risk now present in this depressed pro-lifer nullify the rights of the mother whose choice is causing the depression? And I'd like to note that once we're admitting in concepts like "is causing depression" you would much more easily be able to demonstrate that a person becoming depressed because (in their view) a murder is happening is directly caused by the murder; contrast with depression in a pregnant woman, where even if the physical pregnancy was a contributing factor it would not be obvious at all how to show that the fetus itself is the cause and therefore its removal is a necessary medical solution. I'm not so much rehashing the same point I made above, but rather pointing to the fact that once you allow supposed causes of emotional pain then you will find the world is full of causes of emotional pain. I mean, maybe GOP politicians should lose their rights if their presence and actions cause crippling depression in Democrat constituents. As appealing as that might be, I don't see it as being quite what you want to argue, but fundamentally what you are arguing is that if a person is very very upset about someone else then any steps necessary can be taken to rectify that.

Tom

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #251 on: October 03, 2022, 07:54:23 PM »
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Your argument is already that an individual (the mother) should be deciding for another individual (the baby).
I'm not sure that's the argument. I think the argument is two-fold: 1) that a zygote/fetus is a lower level of "human" that is not deserving of full personhood; 2) even if you grant a zygote personhood, that no individual should be required to contribute their body to another individual's survival.

Fenring

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #252 on: October 03, 2022, 08:00:26 PM »
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Your argument is already that an individual (the mother) should be deciding for another individual (the baby).
I'm not sure that's the argument. I think the argument is two-fold: 1) that a zygote/fetus is a lower level of "human" that is not deserving of full personhood; 2) even if you grant a zygote personhood, that no individual should be required to contribute their body to another individual's survival.

Well those are some arguments, but not the argument we're discussing :)

TheDrake

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #253 on: October 03, 2022, 08:01:27 PM »
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Then again, 81% of women have been found to suffer from depression after having an abortion as well, so be careful about championing the right to an abortion because of depression, because you might also be arguing that abortions should be withheld because they might foreseeably cause depression and make the clinic responsible for damages.

And it is a balancing act, isn't it?  Pregnancy can cause depression; abortion can cause depression.  How can anyone decide which would be better for any individual?  Especially for one who is severely depressed.

But more importantly, who should decide for an individual?  ;)

100% it should be between a doctor and the woman with the fetus inside her. And possibly a parent if we're dealing with a minor. It shouldn't require a reason. That's a distraction. The entire willingness to carve out exceptional cases is accepting the loss of the main battle. Oh, well, if it threatens her health because of a potential complication, that's not good enough, even when there's no amniotic fluid. Let's fix that one little exception. When we start fighting over which carve outs are "okay", we have already conceded the battle that a woman and doctor can decide for any reason, or no reason at all.

To Fenring, I reiterate my known position that the fetus is in fact NOT an individual in any meaningful sense prior to a certain point of development, and therefore deciding about it is equivalent to deciding if someone can remove a gallbladder. Nobody needs to look out for the gallbladder's rights, nor provide any justification other than whether a doctor agrees it ought to come out.

I would be highly conflicted about aborting a fetus after it develops an actual brain for the sake of the mother's health if the fetus could be viable. At that point, I think those arguments ought to hold.

I think you have to be assuming that a doctor is highly unethical if she's winking and nodding at a patient who is just "upset" so they can have a late abortion. I don't think you'd see much of it, but it certainly could happen. Doctors like any other persons can fail to follow norms, look at how some of them throw prescriptions around like candy at a parade.

Fenring

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #254 on: October 03, 2022, 08:07:24 PM »
To Fenring, I reiterate my known position that the fetus is in fact NOT an individual in any meaningful sense prior to a certain point of development, and therefore deciding about it is equivalent to deciding if someone can remove a gallbladder. Nobody needs to look out for the gallbladder's rights, nor provide any justification other than whether a doctor agrees it ought to come out.

Noted. But it is far more important to map out the logic on both sides of that assumption than to dwell on your take, regardless of what you personally think the reality is. What would the arguments be if the fetus was a full individual? That is what I'm discussing. I've not brought up (nor do I intend to at this time) any points to try to convince you that a fetus is a person. It is especially important to assess the validity of someone else's claims, based on their own premises. If the premise disagrees with yours but their logic is sound you'll probably do fine talking to them about stuff. You can't always sue for total agreement.

msquared

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #255 on: October 04, 2022, 03:58:20 PM »
Looks like Herschel Walker paid for a girlfriends abortion by check and wrote her a nice card.

Besides lying about it (but Herschel is in the Trump School of telling the truth) the hypocrisy stands out.  It would not surprise me that Trump paid for a girlfriend abortion back in the day but was smart enough to give her cash.

TheDrake

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #256 on: October 04, 2022, 04:48:35 PM »
Sorry, I'm not taking an uncorroborated report from "The Daily Beast" as a legitimately researched claim. The Daily Beast's evidence? A generic get well card is in their article. The other items? Not published. I have to wonder when the woman in question decided to come forward, why she chose that publication and if others turned down her evidence. It doesn't sound like the first outlet you would call if you had decided to try to derail your abortion daddy's campaign.

Wayward Son

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #257 on: October 05, 2022, 04:47:15 PM »
But the TheDrake's point seems to stand, which is that if you are specifically using the possibility of suicidal ideation as justification for the mother's needs to override the baby/fetus, you would need to somehow demonstrate that the depression during the pregnancy is greater than or equal to the depression that might follow.

Actually, I don't believe I do have to demonstrate that.

If the depression is severe enough that the doctor believes the mother will take her life, and all other methods of treatment won't help, then abortion would be the treatment of last resort, whether the abortion itself would or would not also cause depression.  Because if the mother takes her life, then the fetus will die anyway.  And even if she still takes her life after the abortion, there was at least a chance that she wouldn't.

The outcome for the fetus is the same either way. :(

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Naturally this is a ridiculous condition since you can't demonstrate something that hasn't happened yet, which is precisely the trouble with arguing that one person's rights vanish because another person might get themselves into trouble.

When that "get themselves into trouble" means slashing of wrists or serious attempts, then the probability goes way up. Then the question becomes not "might get into trouble," but "might succeed." :(

And, once again, if the doctor's experience says a person like the mother will try to kill herself, who are you, or anyone else, to overrule him? 

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And indeed, not only do you enter a quagmire when reasons such as emotional pain become justification for abortion, but you open up an entire world of connections that you would need to allow into the conversation. For instance, what if a mother's choice to have an abortion causes depression and suicidal ideation in people who believe that babies are being killed? Does the risk now present in this depressed pro-lifer nullify the rights of the mother whose choice is causing the depression? And I'd like to note that once we're admitting in concepts like "is causing depression" you would much more easily be able to demonstrate that a person becoming depressed because (in their view) a murder is happening is directly caused by the murder; contrast with depression in a pregnant woman, where even if the physical pregnancy was a contributing factor it would not be obvious at all how to show that the fetus itself is the cause and therefore its removal is a necessary medical solution.

I would say that "emotion pain" caused by events is actually different than those caused by chemical imbalance and such inside a person.

One has to do with the personal reaction to an event or circumstance.

The other has to do with the chemistry of the brain, causing the brain to misfunction, leading to possible depression, psychosis and loss of inhibition.

I would say they are actually very different diseases, since they have different causes and often require different treatments.

If the pregnancy is causing a chemical imbalance, no amount of talk therapy will sufficiently help.  You have to go directly to the cause of the imbalance and treat that.  And pregnancy can limit the types of medications available to the mother, since some of them are proscribed because they can affect the fetus.  (Sure, you could give it to the mother anyway, but, depending on the medication, it could create birth defects, or worse, induce an abortion--which you're trying to avoid.)

And I'll say again, the pregnancy doesn't have to be the main cause of this imbalance, if it increases the problem until it is life-threatening, and no other treatment is available. :(

And again, while the fetus is not the cause of the chemical imbalances, the presence of the fetus in the womb is.  If there is a way to safely remove the fetus and stop the pregnancy, I'm all for it.  But that is the problem with banning abortions--you can't separate the fetus' body from the mother's body.  Her body is the only incubator for the fetus.  Which means that you are taking away the sovereignty of the mother over her own body--even if it kills her. :(

Fenring

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #258 on: October 05, 2022, 04:58:22 PM »
By hanging your hat on it being a chemical imbalance 'causing' the suicidal ideation, rather than it being a 'personal reaction to an event', you are inadvertently demonstrating my earlier point, which is that you are literally defining the problem as being biochemical, but are avoiding even the hint of a discussion of a biochemical solution. For instance if you really believed your own argument, you'd think the first response to a suicidal pregnant woman would be "ok, we'd better insist on a varied treatment plan to help deal with this problem, including medications, anti-depressants, etc, prior to a surgical solution. As I've mentioned elsewhere in the thread, denying a pregnant woman medical treatment is not concordant with a 'proper' pro-life position (we may distinguish between people who care deeply about both the mother and the fetus, as between people who secretly want to punish the mother and have little to no concern for her). But I think you will find the pro-choicers scarce who would agree that it should be required to attempt an alternative to abortion in the case of a suicidal mother prior to, as you put it, using the treatment of last resort. It sounds an awful lot like the "last" resort is in fact the first solution you and others would advocate for, which means that the argument itself is a fig leaf for the fundamental belief that there is really no reason to try to prevent abortions in the first place.

TheDrake

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #259 on: October 06, 2022, 11:44:13 AM »
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If the depression is severe enough that the doctor believes the mother will take her life, and all other methods of treatment won't help

I thought when people were suicidal they will be placed into involuntary commitment. That is, in fact, a method of treatment.

How Involuntary Hospitalization for Depression Works

You keep acting as though there's no other option but abortion to save a depressed mother's life. I'm not saying this is preferable, but you have to acknowledge that once you confer personhood on a fetus, this sort of thing is inevitable to not only save the mother but also the child.

Ouija Nightmare

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #260 on: October 06, 2022, 12:22:52 PM »
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If the depression is severe enough that the doctor believes the mother will take her life, and all other methods of treatment won't help

I thought when people were suicidal they will be placed into involuntary commitment. That is, in fact, a method of treatment.

How Involuntary Hospitalization for Depression Works

You keep acting as though there's no other option but abortion to save a depressed mother's life. I'm not saying this is preferable, but you have to acknowledge that once you confer personhood on a fetus, this sort of thing is inevitable to not only save the mother but also the child.

So your solution is to establish women of childbearing years in farrowing crates?

That is a solution of sorts although not one I’d have devised.

Fenring

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #261 on: October 06, 2022, 12:24:54 PM »
So your solution is to establish women of childbearing years in farrowing crates?

That is a solution of sorts although not one I’d have devised.

It is not his solution. It is a solution, being presented as an alternative to above arguments suggesting that abortion is the only possible solution to a suicidal mother.

NobleHunter

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #262 on: October 06, 2022, 12:34:20 PM »
I'm pretty sure acute suicidal ideation (i.e. when someone is at actually at noticeable risk of killing themselves) is a transitory state. I know people who've survived jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge began to regret their choice on their way down. Likewise, reducing access to means of suicide--the removal of gas ovens for instance--correlates with a lower incidence of suicide.

Which implies that temporary involuntary commitment is a reasonable means of treating acute suicidal ideation.  Though it's very easy to do it badly, that's a different issue.

Wayward Son

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #263 on: October 06, 2022, 01:33:56 PM »
By hanging your hat on it being a chemical imbalance 'causing' the suicidal ideation, rather than it being a 'personal reaction to an event', you are inadvertently demonstrating my earlier point, which is that you are literally defining the problem as being biochemical, but are avoiding even the hint of a discussion of a biochemical solution. For instance if you really believed your own argument, you'd think the first response to a suicidal pregnant woman would be "ok, we'd better insist on a varied treatment plan to help deal with this problem, including medications, anti-depressants, etc, prior to a surgical solution. As I've mentioned elsewhere in the thread, denying a pregnant woman medical treatment is not concordant with a 'proper' pro-life position (we may distinguish between people who care deeply about both the mother and the fetus, as between people who secretly want to punish the mother and have little to no concern for her). But I think you will find the pro-choicers scarce who would agree that it should be required to attempt an alternative to abortion in the case of a suicidal mother prior to, as you put it, using the treatment of last resort. It sounds an awful lot like the "last" resort is in fact the first solution you and others would advocate for, which means that the argument itself is a fig leaf for the fundamental belief that there is really no reason to try to prevent abortions in the first place.

I can accept that treatment, medical and psychological, for suicidal tendencies and psychosis be required before an abortion is permitted.  But will you accept that:

1. If treatment is not successful, that an abortion is a treatment of last resort.

2. That the mother and the mother's doctor, who know the case best, should be the ones who decides if it is necessary to use the last resort, and not some other group who are not nearly as familiar with the particular case.

3. Neither the doctor, medical facility, or mother will bear any punishment or blame if, in their opinion, this last resort procedure was necessary.

Sometimes it is necessary to end a person's life in order to save another person's life.  And a person is not obligated to provide their body or parts thereof to save another person's life.  Even if that life is a child growing in a person's body.

TheDrake

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #264 on: October 06, 2022, 02:44:10 PM »
I'm pretty sure acute suicidal ideation (i.e. when someone is at actually at noticeable risk of killing themselves) is a transitory state. I know people who've survived jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge began to regret their choice on their way down. Likewise, reducing access to means of suicide--the removal of gas ovens for instance--correlates with a lower incidence of suicide.

Which implies that temporary involuntary commitment is a reasonable means of treating acute suicidal ideation.  Though it's very easy to do it badly, that's a different issue.

See linked article. Absolutely extended commitment also exists. As Fenring said, it is not my solution. My solution is that a doctor and her patient can abort a brainless fetus at any time and for any reason. As for a depression that occurs too late? There are typically many levels of intervention for that, and they'd look a lot like post-partum depression. If we found out that killing the infant cured post-partum depression, would we kill the infant to save the mother? I mean, that's the implication of the statement "sometimes it is necessary to end a person's life in order to save another person's life".

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Extended Commitment
The third type of hospitalization, extended commitment, is a bit more difficult to obtain. Generally, it requires one or more persons from a specific group of people—such as friends, relatives, guardians, public officials, and hospital personnel—to apply for one.

Often a certificate or affidavit from one or more physicians or mental health professionals describing the patient's diagnosis and treatment must accompany the application.

In virtually all states a hearing must be held, with a judge or jury making the final decision about whether the person can be held.

A typical length for extended commitment is up to six months. At the end of the initial period, an application can be made for the time to be extended, generally for one to two times longer than the original commitment. Requests can be made for further commitment when each period expires, as long as the patient continues to meet the legal criteria.

JoshuaD

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #265 on: October 06, 2022, 03:58:06 PM »
I can accept that treatment, medical and psychological, for suicidal tendencies and psychosis be required before an abortion is permitted.  But will you accept that:

1. If treatment is not successful, that an abortion is a treatment of last resort.

No.

2. That the mother and the mother's doctor, who know the case best, should be the ones who decides if it is necessary to use the last resort, and not some other group who are not nearly as familiar with the particular case.

No.

3. Neither the doctor, medical facility, or mother will bear any punishment or blame if, in their opinion, this last resort procedure was necessary.

No.

Sometimes it is necessary to end a person's life in order to save another person's life.  And a person is not obligated to provide their body or parts thereof to save another person's life.  Even if that life is a child growing in a person's body.

No.  It is never necessary or good to murder an innocent person. If mom legitimately needs chemotherapy to save her life and it is expected it will kill the fetus, mom can get chemotherapy. She can't stab the child in the skull or poison the womb with salt water or rip it apart with forceps. Never.

Tom

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #266 on: October 06, 2022, 04:05:13 PM »
Which is of course one of the many reasons that extending full personhood to a fetus is nonsensical.

Fenring

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #267 on: October 06, 2022, 05:00:58 PM »
Which is of course one of the many reasons that extending full personhood to a fetus is nonsensical.

What it means is that extending full personhood to a fetus is intractably difficult for many people to accept. It's not actually that hard to implement in practice. There are a few edge cases, medically speaking, where one might ask is this treatment really necessary, in order to weigh cost/benefit of doing the treatment and risking the fetus. No doubt at a certain point it would have to come down to a conscientious decision between mother and doctor in certain select cases. But that's not really what the main thrust of the issue here is, and starting with those edge cases is really a red herring to the actual point on the table. That's the thrust of my arguments here.

Tom

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #268 on: October 06, 2022, 05:58:30 PM »
It's intractably difficult, period. Because another tradition codified into law is that no person's bodily autonomy can be sacrificed for another's health without their consent.

These two principles are incompatible with each other when applied to fetal personhood, because it creates a responsibility for the health of a second individual that is reliant on the physical sacrifice of the first.

We do not require that Siamese twins keep each other alive. We do not require that fathers give up their kidneys for their children. We do not mandate that someone donate bone marrow, or even blood. Legally, we cannot; there is ample precedent here.

But in the unique case of fetal personhood, we are telling someone that if she chooses to smoke or drink wine within a specific time period, she is potentially criminally liable for damaging the health of a completely separate person. That if she does not exercise enough, or eat the right food, that person may not develop optimally. That if preserving that person's health requires her to undergo an otherwise optional surgery, or take specific drugs, or even attend classes, she has to do so. For as long as she contains that fetus endowed with full personhood, she is no longer fully a legal person.

Fetal personhood is a legally nonsensical position if you also want to maintain a tradition of bodily autonomy.

Wayward Son

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #269 on: October 06, 2022, 06:39:41 PM »
Tom nails it.

If a mother is required to bring a baby to term that has no chance of viability and might maim or kill her, then:
--why can't we require parents to provide a kidney, lung, eye, or testicle for their child, and accuse them of murder if they don't;
--heck, why not for strangers, too; :)
--why can't we require bone marrow tests for everyone, and require transfers for a match;
--why can't we require bi-monthly blood donations from everyone.  Think of the lives that would save!

Give the mother chemo and kill the fetus?  That's abortion by another name, and one far more dangerous for the mother than an abortion.  (Save the mother from cancer by killing her with a dead fetus in her womb.  ::) )

Either you're going to say the life of the fetus trumps that of the mother or the life of the mother trumps that of the fetus.  If it's the former, then the mother becomes just an incubator for the fetus, with no rights or say in what happens to her or her body.  If the latter, then we recognize that while the fetus is a person, it is not a self-sufficient individual, but part of the mother.

Because before the fetus is self-sufficient,  the mother and the fetus are united, one in the same.  The fetus cannot live without the mother.  It is a part of her.

The closest analogy would be Siamese twins.  And, yes, often doctors remove one twin from the other, especially when they aren't viable together, so that
at least one will live instead of both dying.

It's the same with a mother and a fetus, even if you consider both as persons.

Fenring

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #270 on: October 06, 2022, 06:41:30 PM »
It's intractably difficult, period.

As things stand, yes. But not for the reasons people typically argue about.

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Because another tradition codified into law is that no person's bodily autonomy can be sacrificed for another's health without their consent.

Not being a lawyer, I can't comment on what is or isn't cemented into the law. However "another's health" is a term that is too vague to be helpful. No case other than pregnancy is pregnancy.

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These two principles are incompatible with each other when applied to fetal personhood, because it creates a responsibility for the health of a second individual that is reliant on the physical sacrifice of the first.

I would say (tautologically) that the only incompatible positions in play are that a fetus is a person, and a fetus is not a person. Beyond that I don't personally believe the issues have been explored all that well by most people involved in the conversation. No special philosophical argument is necessary to "create" a responsibility from the mother to her fetus, and frankly I think the majority of people already believe this. What some of them also believe is that some things are more important than that responsibility; and the thing rarely debated is what those things really are.

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We do not require that Siamese twins keep each other alive. We do not require that fathers give up their kidneys for their children. We do not mandate that someone donate bone marrow, or even blood. Legally, we cannot; there is ample precedent here.

It seems somewhat pedestrian for me to say, once again, that nothing other than pregnancy is pregnancy, so these analogies are of no use. And yet I do say it once again, because of the many ways people to try skirt around the real issue here, this is a very widespread one (even on the pro-life side!). I don't think you are trying to skirt around the issue, per se, but too much exposure to common arguments can cause one to be persuaded that they're legitimate (they aren't).

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But in the unique case of fetal personhood, we are telling someone that if she chooses to smoke or drink wine within a specific time period, she is potentially criminally liable for damaging the health of a completely separate person. That if she does not exercise enough, or eat the right food, that person may not develop optimally. That if preserving that person's health requires her to undergo an otherwise optional surgery, or take specific drugs, or even attend classes, she has to do so. For as long as she contains that fetus endowed with full personhood, she is no longer fully a legal person.

In the face of these types of arguments we would need to make a separation between moral and legal arguments, a step I typically don't see in these types of conversations. This is important because it would be necessary to establish that some things can be immoral and yet legal, and I do think there are various types of activities that should be legal while yet being universally regarded as immoral. In discussing personhood, the typical pro-life person is trying to bring the law into alignment with morality in the case of what they see as a murder; but precedent to that should to create recognition of what is going on. The morality should lead to law, not the other way around; and indeed De Tocqueville pointed out (in his opinion) that law typically or even always follows from the public morality and private views of life. So I would be happy to grant that some matters are legally prickly, but this should not serve as some kind of blank check for the entire matter to be deemed irrelevant to the public good and thus deregulated.

Now I could point out, for instance, that I am fully in favor of legal penalties for a parent smoking and drinking within a specific time period; for instance a mother smoking while her young children are home, or a father drinking while driving. So your idea that people should never face penalties for doing certain otherwise legal activities under certain circumstances seems to me to defy basic common sense. We could quibble about 'what if it's in the first two weeks and the mother doesn't know she's pregnant yet' and so forth. Lots of details one could browse here. But I'm not that into this type of sub-thread since my main point, which I'll stress again, is that the abortion debate isn't and never was about edge cases like suicidal mothers and incest.

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Fetal personhood is a legally nonsensical position if you also want to maintain a tradition of bodily autonomy.

Well I guess this dilemma settles itself, then?
« Last Edit: October 06, 2022, 06:49:08 PM by Fenring »

Fenring

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #271 on: October 06, 2022, 06:52:23 PM »
WS, all of the points you just brought up have either all been addressed already, or else fall prey to the typical reductio ad absurdum strategy: to try to reduce the other side's position to a nonsensical one, which is obviously a strawman. I think you can try to do better, and additionally to retain the arguments already presented against certain of your arguments rather than just presenting them again as if they're breaking news. Being able to collect and make 10 arguments at once may qualify as a fire hose, but it doesn't qualify as new ground. And note again I am not even defending a pro-life position in this thread; rather I am defending the sanctity of good logic.

Tom

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #272 on: October 06, 2022, 07:10:23 PM »
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No special philosophical argument is necessary to "create" a responsibility from the mother to her fetus...
I disagree.
Does a father owe a responsibility to an unborn fetus that would require him to, say, give up a liver to it? Does a cancer patient owe a responsibility to their cancer? Are we asserting that women, uniquely of all legal persons, can be expected to sacrifice their bodily autonomy if they become pregnant for any reason, with or without intent? The assertion that pregnancy is a special legal condition is one that, I submit, takes its own conclusion as a premise.

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Well I guess this dilemma settles itself, then?
I know you meant this to be tongue-in-cheek, but the answer is "yes." To pro-lifers who've seriously considered the topic, their response is that women do not in fact possess bodily autonomy. That this is an entirely unacceptable position for many people is why this issue keeps getting bumped to courtrooms.

Fenring

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #273 on: October 06, 2022, 07:26:13 PM »
I disagree.
Does a father owe a responsibility to an unborn fetus that would require him to, say, give up a liver to it?

It will be simpler to appeal to your experience of life than to make an abstract argument here: among the married couples you know, did the husbands feel like they owed a responsibility to the fetus? Did they want to take steps to protect it, notwithstanding the fact that the mother is more in a position to do so? If they did, why do you think they did? Again we begin with life-oriented questions prior to legal ones; otherwise we're trying to base a legal battle on nothing.

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Well I guess this dilemma settles itself, then?
I know you meant this to be tongue-in-cheek, but the answer is "yes." To pro-lifers who've seriously considered the topic, their response is that women do not in fact possess bodily autonomy. That this is an entirely unacceptable position for many people is why this issue keeps getting bumped to courtrooms.

Well, haha, not to be flippant about it, but what do you expect? For instance in the Catholic faith it is literally asserted that a person does not own their own body, but rather it belongs to God. Obviously people who believe that would reject as nonsense the idea of individual bodily autonomy. At least, on a moral basis they would. The legal basis is much worse because "law" sounds obvious but I doubt most people can define what law means. It definitely does not mean a 1:1 explication of right and wrong, but at minimum does include what we will hurt, incapacitate, or kill you for doing. What we should decide to hurt someone over is not as simple as discussing what is morally wrong, so that's why I'm appealing to your sense of life rather than to legal minutiae.

Tom

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #274 on: October 06, 2022, 07:36:19 PM »
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Obviously people who believe that would reject as nonsense the idea of individual bodily autonomy.
How many Catholics who obviously reject the idea of bodily autonomy in women nevertheless insisted that the Covid vaccine could not be forced on them?

Fenring

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #275 on: October 06, 2022, 07:49:13 PM »
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Obviously people who believe that would reject as nonsense the idea of individual bodily autonomy.
How many Catholics who obviously reject the idea of bodily autonomy in women nevertheless insisted that the Covid vaccine could not be forced on them?

Phrased in that way you're alluding to chauvinists, in which case I don't know the answer. If you reframed it as Catholics who reject in principle that a person absolutely owns their own body, then I think you would find many Catholics of this sort were fine taking a vaccine. 'Forced on them' is a tough phrase since I assume you mean government requiring it by law; and I also assume you're asking whether they would agree with that law, which maybe some wouldn't. But the Catholic faith is also quite explicit that it is mandatory to obey local laws, so that point is not really in question. There would be an edge case where local laws specifically required a person to violate the faith, for instance requiring murder, or disallowing church attendance (which was actually the contentious Catholic issue during the pandemic, doctrinally speaking).

msquared

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #276 on: October 07, 2022, 10:31:02 AM »
Well whether Walker paid for the abortion or not, Republicans have shown their colors. They do not care if he did. As long as he helps them win the Senate, his personal relationship with abortions, and children out of wedlock, do not matter.  Just winning the Senate. Personal morals be damned.  Walker is a Trumpist dream. A man who wants to push morality on other people that he personally does not have to follow.

JoshuaD

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #277 on: October 08, 2022, 03:22:19 AM »
Does a father owe a responsibility to an unborn fetus that would require him to, say, give up a liver to it?

No. Action is different than inaction. Murdering someone is different than refusing to donate them a life-saving organ.

Does a cancer patient owe a responsibility to their cancer?

No. Cancer is a dysfunctional part of the patient's body. It can be removed for the good of the patient.

Are we asserting that women, uniquely of all legal persons, can be expected to sacrifice their bodily autonomy if they become pregnant for any reason, with or without intent?

Yes. There is no analog to pregnancy; it is its own unique thing. It is the nature of women to have a child inside of them. The woman isn't "sacrificing her own bodily autonomy". The nature of being a woman is that sometimes you get pregnant.

The assertion that pregnancy is a special legal condition is one that, I submit, takes its own conclusion as a premise.

No. It is not a premise; it is a result of other facts of reality:
1. The unborn child is an innocent person.
2. It is never morally permissible to intentionally kill an innocent person.
3. The child is currently gestating inside her mother.

As a result, the mother's body is subject largely to the child's needs until birth.

We do not require that Siamese twins keep each other alive.

We don't allow Siamese twins to stab each other in the skull either. That would be murder.

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What we are talking about is whether doctors can be licensed and paid to murder children at the behest of their mothers. The answer is simple: no.

I would largely not be looking to pursue legal action against mothers who lost a child. I would assume she suffered a tragic miscarriage and would support her right to privacy. Does this mean some woman will murder their own children and get away with it legally? Yes. I don't care. Does this mean that women who want to murder their unborn child will have to do so less safely than is currently available? Yes, and I also don't care.


msquared

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #278 on: October 08, 2022, 08:05:10 AM »
So now Walker admits he knew and had a relationship with the women who claims he paid for her abortion (and is the mother of one of his out of wedlock children). This after claiming for several days that he did not know her.

https://currently.att.yahoo.com/att/herschel-walker-admits-had-relationship-043122394.html?.tsrc=daily_mail&uh_test=1_11

Of course he knew her. In the first day or so Walker said he was going to file a defamation law suit about this case but never did. Why? Because the truth is an absolute defense in those types of cases, and Walker was lying.

Tom

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #279 on: October 08, 2022, 11:22:43 AM »
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It is the nature of women to have a child inside of them.
Perhaps you can understand why so many women find this particular assertion offensive.

Fenring

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #280 on: October 08, 2022, 11:30:27 AM »
Does a father owe a responsibility to an unborn fetus that would require him to, say, give up a liver to it?

No. Action is different than inaction. Murdering someone is different than refusing to donate them a life-saving organ.

Hm, I'm not sure you ought to go so far with this rebuttal. The fact that it is not utterly mandatory in moral terms for a father to donate a liver to an unborn fetus, does not have to imply he doesn't positively owe a responsibility to it. Just as a more general example, I absolutely do owe a responsibility to all of mankind, and if someone is in need, no matter who, it is my business to at least consider what I can do. It may be my weakness, or the frailty of being alive, that I can't fulfill all of the responsibilities I'd like to in life. And it may be I need to do cost/benefit sometimes and decide whether my family or something else needs my energies, but I do actually owe a debt (in my view) to others; in ordinary terms you could call it civic duty, but to me it goes much further than that. How much more, than, must a father owe his unborn child? So I do think there's a positive responsibility there, and moreover (as I suggested to Tom) I think most fathers would instinctively feel this as well. Maybe a given father would choose to give a liver, maybe not, but most would feel bad about if they chose not to.

Grant

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #281 on: October 08, 2022, 02:09:13 PM »
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It is the nature of women to have a child inside of them.
Perhaps you can understand why so many women find this particular assertion offensive.

I don't know how we are defining "so many" here.  I can see how some women may be offended by the proposition that only people that have babies are women, but I think what is being proposed is that only women can become pregnant. 

I know that this is debated in some circles, and that the counter argument is that the argument is circular, but that is the nature of a definition.  But I don't know that "so many women" would find it offensive anymore than men being offended by the proposition that they cannot be pregnant. 

Personally I am pretty flexible on abortion.  It is probably an issue that I have kind of gone back and forth on through the years.  I can see both sides and would probably call myself both pro-life and pro-choice. 

I personally believe that regardless of how you define a fetus or a zygote, if it is a "person" or isn't, which would require concrete definition of "personhood" to begin with, I can most definitely assert that a zygote and a fetus are future persons.  Whatever a person is, a zygote and fetus will one day become a person, unless something like a miscarriage or birth defect or other complication occurs.  Every "person" you have ever met and talked to and had a conversation with was once a fetus and a zygote.  I was.  You were.  As a strict Materialist, Tom, I would think you would appreciate the idea that a "person" was nothing but a group of cells, rather than any mystical connotations of the soul, etc.  There is a direct line between the cell of a zygote and every cell in every "person"'s body.  When you destroy a zygote or a fetus, you destroy a future person. 

I am of the opinion that most morality is generally four dimensional.  That is to say, the reason something is immoral is often not because of the immediate action, but because of its results.  Sometimes the law is less clear on this distinction, but sometimes it is.  If I killed a 2 month old baby, I've taken away it's future.  Were I to poison you by flooding your home with carbon monoxide or other toxic gas, you may slip gently from unconsciousness to non-existance, never knowing the difference.  But you won't be able to wake up again and have another day. 

Because of this I'm generally anti-abortion.  Certainly I don't have a problem with the procedure in the case where the mother's life is in question.  At that point it should be up to her.  But I don't know when we start talking about mental health of a mother.  You can stretch that pretty far. 

The flip side is that I recognize the concept of bodily autonomy in the law, and I recognize it's value.  I recognize the general desire to not have the government be able to tell people what they can do with or to their body or the government take control of someone's body.  If a newborn baby immediately required a blood transfusion and the only person that could provide that transfusion would be the mother or father, I recognize that the law cannot force either the mother or father to give blood.  Or donate an organ.  I recognize that the government cannot force organ donation or blood donation regardless of the recipient is a child of the prospective donor or not.  I recognize the general immorality of the action while recognizing the view that granting the government power to force these things is dangerous. 

What is funny to me though is that Democrats as a whole are really not that libertarian anymore.  They may have been in the 60s and 70s when the sexual revolution occured.  But not so much anymore.  The Democrats and liberals in general are more about preventing harm and preservation of life these days.  Regardless of how it impacts personal freedom.  So if a starving child were to plop itself down on my front yard, the Democrats and liberals would generally proscribe that it was my duty to feed that child, and tax me accordingly.  They would take my food and give it to the child.  A conservative or Republican may see the morality of feeding the child (at least they used to, maybe not anymore, depending on if the child was Mexican or not) while saying that it should not be in the governments power to force me to feed the child. 

In turn if a baby vampire attached itself to my neck and needed to stay attached for 9 months to survive, a Republican might argue that it is within their rights to shoot the little sucker, or have it forcibly removed, while maybe a liberal or Democrat would say otherwise. 

As it has already been pointed out, Republicans are now the party of "don't force me to take a vaccine" while Democrats are the opposite in many cases.  The general layout of the values of the parties does not jive with their positions on abortion and bodily freedom.  Republicans are more libertarian now and more about bodily freedom than Democrats are in many cases.  People like to point out the seeming hypocrisy all the time.  Republicans want to take care of fetuses but not feed children.  Liberals want to force parents to feed their children, vaccinate their children, but don't want to force women to have a child if they are pregnant.   

I think the answer is that when the whole position began, the values were more reversed.  The conservatives of the 60s and 70s were in fact more restrictive on personal freedoms than liberals were.  In some cases they still are (drug use, homosexuality) but conservatism is rapidly evolving and so is liberalism.  Since then, women in general and feminists in particular have been a part of the Democratic Party coalition.  It's a democratic interest group, and I think the Democratic party was basically built around a coalition of interest groups in the 70s and 80s, while the Republicans in the 70s and 80s remained more broad in aims. 

Now, I'd like to close with some observations that have been made that I think are valid.  The first is that motherhood, or pregnancy, is a particular condition.  Yes, only women can get pregnant. Only women can have periods.  Only a woman can fake it.  Only a woman can look sexy while drinking a cosmopolitan. 

This may seem unfair, or unjust, but it just simply is.  This is the maddening aspect for some liberals because I understand that sometimes this is used as an excuse for injustice.  "That's Just The Way It Is".  But in this case, I do not believe it is a matter of justice.  It is simply biological destiny.  You may not like it, but life and nature in general is not just.  This is also infuriating for some liberals, but one of the aspects of conservatism (at least in the past) was to look on the brighter side of life.  I don't believe in forcing women to become pregnant, but I also don't think that it is socially unjust that only women can become pregnant. 

The special aspect of pregnancy makes it a little different than refusing to take a vaccine or not wanting to feed the poor or a vampire baby attached to your neck.  Pregnancy is essential to the survival of the human race.  It is in fact a good thing overall.  It may not be seen as a good thing to a prospective mother, but it is still a public good.  Pregnancy is a miracle.  It is, in my opinion, not a curse, but a special privilege and trust given to women.  This is of course looking on the brighter side of things rather than focusing on how unfair it might be. 

Finally, I would like to point out some of the flaws in the libertarian argument when it pushes into "the government can't" realm.  While it may not be good, or should be limited in general by conservative standards, bodily autonomy has limits.  The government can indeed force you to do things with your body.  The government can draft you and force you to go to war.  They can sit right next to you with a gun pointed at your head and tell you to go march off to the sound of the guns.  It has happened. 

The government can indeed force you to take vaccines.  It has in the past and still does in particular cases.  Military personnel.  Medical personnel.  Travellers.  Immigrants.  School children.  Teachers.  Etc. 

The police in many states can indeed forcibly take your blood if you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI.  The police can forcibly take DNA samples if you are charged with a felony. 

In all of these cases, the general rule is that when the good of the general public is threatened, your bodily autonomy can be sacrificed.  This is not particular to women, only pregnancy is.  In fact, until recently only men could be drafted. 

Tom

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #282 on: October 08, 2022, 02:37:22 PM »
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I can see how some women may be offended by the proposition that only people that have babies are women, but I think what is being proposed is that only women can become pregnant.
Neither of those is the particularly offensive part -- although of course there are people who have reasons for being offended by both of those observations as well.

The offensive part is the assertion that it is the nature of women to be pregnant -- that, in fact, a woman who chooses not to ever become pregnant is rejecting her very nature, and a woman who for whatever reason cannot become pregnant is definitionally less of a woman than one who can.

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I think the answer is that when the whole position began, the values were more reversed.
I don't think so, but that's because there's another axis here that you aren't taking into account. Republicans believe that certain actions have natural consequences that should be borne (even to the extent that they will impose artificial consequences if the natural ones do not sufficiently terrify), whereas Democrats believe that one of the roles of society is to ameliorate undesired consequences. Pregnancy does not have to result in childbirth, to a Democrat; to a Republican, allowing a woman to engage in sex without having to risk childbirth is a grave offense.

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As a Materialist, by the way, I find the idea of "biological destiny" completely nonsensical when used to argue against our ability to apply technology and medicine to alter what biology would otherwise require. Telling someone that it's their "biological destiny" to be deaf or blind when we can fix these conditions is indeed an option, but I would argue that it's not a rational one.

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Pregnancy is a miracle.  It is, in my opinion, not a curse...
I submit that our opinion on this topic is going to consist of uninformed overgeneralizations at best.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2022, 02:46:55 PM by Tom »

Fenring

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #283 on: October 08, 2022, 02:41:22 PM »
What is funny to me though is that Democrats as a whole are really not that libertarian anymore.  They may have been in the 60s and 70s when the sexual revolution occured.  But not so much anymore.  The Democrats and liberals in general are more about preventing harm and preservation of life these days.  Regardless of how it impacts personal freedom.
[...]
As it has already been pointed out, Republicans are now the party of "don't force me to take a vaccine" while Democrats are the opposite in many cases.  The general layout of the values of the parties does not jive with their positions on abortion and bodily freedom.  Republicans are more libertarian now and more about bodily freedom than Democrats are in many cases.  People like to point out the seeming hypocrisy all the time.  Republicans want to take care of fetuses but not feed children.  Liberals want to force parents to feed their children, vaccinate their children, but don't want to force women to have a child if they are pregnant.   

Some good stuff in your post, Grant, particularly the observations I quoted. But I also don't think it's an accident that these things don't jive correctly; if looked at from the correct axis they would jive more. As I alluded to Tom above, the question is what real issues are on the table, rather than the issues people claim are important. You'll likely find the positions being defended on both sides quite concordant with the real core issues, but the trouble is to plumb them out when no one is willing to say it.

Fenring

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #284 on: October 08, 2022, 02:45:45 PM »
The offensive part is the assertion that it is the nature of women to be pregnant -- that, in fact, a woman who chooses not to ever become pregnant is rejecting her very nature.

I wouldn't ever put things the way Joshua does, but you have to remember the philosophical context of his remarks: he doesn't mean he personally mandates that women do a thing or else violate their nature. It's that their bodies are built the way they are for a purpose, regardless of their particular life choices. You can think of it even as simply as in mechanics: it's the nature of a ball (as massive object) to fall in a gravity well, but that doesn't mean it's 'rejecting its nature' if it happens to be propped up on a shelf. But, being on a shelf also doesn't mean the ball isn't drawn to fall if given the opportunity. It's not about whether a ball should fall, but rather just a matter of stating that it's an object with mass.

Tom

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #285 on: October 08, 2022, 02:48:38 PM »
Oh, I understand that the repugnant and offensive position Joshua holds is a necessary consequence of a specific belief in certain supernatural claims. But I think he understands that not all women are necessarily grateful to be thought of as special factories uniquely capable and explicitly intended to wrap souls in meat for distribution. :)
« Last Edit: October 08, 2022, 02:51:21 PM by Tom »

Fenring

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #286 on: October 08, 2022, 02:51:30 PM »
Now, I'd like to close with some observations that have been made that I think are valid.  The first is that motherhood, or pregnancy, is a particular condition.  Yes, only women can get pregnant. Only women can have periods.  Only a woman can fake it.  Only a woman can look sexy while drinking a cosmopolitan. 

This may seem unfair, or unjust, but it just simply is.  This is the maddening aspect for some liberals because I understand that sometimes this is used as an excuse for injustice.  "That's Just The Way It Is".  But in this case, I do not believe it is a matter of justice.  It is simply biological destiny.  You may not like it, but life and nature in general is not just.  This is also infuriating for some liberals, but one of the aspects of conservatism (at least in the past) was to look on the brighter side of life.  I don't believe in forcing women to become pregnant, but I also don't think that it is socially unjust that only women can become pregnant. 

I wasn't sure whether to throw this point in, but I think I will (sorry for the multiple posts). I think you should keep in mind that there's a very significant strain of transhumanism present in the left, and although it's rarely called that you might be surprised at just how many contemporary left (or maybe far-left) values are actually predicated on - or perhaps lead to - a transhumanist outlook. The general gist of it is that nothing is fixed, changes of all sorts are like a cafeteria for selecting as desired, and that anything currently fixed will cease to be so soon enough. I don't mean to imply that this is the manifesto of liberals or the left in general, but rather than a fairly small sub-section of the left believes something just like this, and that the view of life underlying these kinds of ideas has spread quite far into even mainstream leftist thinking these days without being noticed. So part of why you may be a bit surprised at some people who seem to not be able to accept the way things are, part of it may well be because they are looking forward to the time when there will be no fixed boundaries of this sort, and in fact may view such boundaries as a kind of oppression. Whether it's cosmetic or surgical alteration, or eventually genetic engineering, I think much more of this will be seen in the future.

Tom

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #287 on: October 08, 2022, 02:56:18 PM »
Most congenital deafness has already become a cosmetic option. Skin color, hair color, and eye color will be there within a generation, and I expect sex to be determinable through more than just abortion within 20 years. The American rich already routinely undergo leg-lengthening surgeries and wear veneers on their teeth; the majority of South Koreans now consider it a parental duty to pay for plastic surgery for their children. The idea that we are "destined" by our biology to, say, die of Type 1 diabetes or Lou Gehrig's disease is something that I don't think most people would accept.

Biological limits exist only until we can eliminate them.

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Edited to add: I am not saying that all these things -- especially the things I specifically listed here -- are unalloyed goods. My point is that expecting humans not to transcend biology after we've invented flippers to help us swim and planes to help us fly and special goggles to see in different spectra of light is probably a non-starter.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2022, 03:00:02 PM by Tom »

Fenring

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #288 on: October 08, 2022, 05:08:59 PM »
Tom, I'm not talking about using science to help with disease. I think most people would be happy to at least consider cosmetic surgery for birth-related issues or even injuries such as burns, and although it's contentious to be sure I think many people would consider genetic engineering to remove all chances of developmental disorders. Most people want a chance, and for the kids to have a chance, to live a 'normal' human life. What I am talking about is people who reject human life such as it is, even in its normal form, and want it to change to something else. That might include technological additions, genetic modifications, surgical additions, and cosmetic changes. What you are talking about is not even in the same ballpark. Although I do not doubt that at such a time as genetic engineering is possible to enhance physical and mental attributes, certain Asian cultures will be the first to make such procedures socially mandatory.

Grant

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #289 on: October 08, 2022, 05:26:28 PM »
The offensive part is the assertion that it is the nature of women to be pregnant -- that, in fact, a woman who chooses not to ever become pregnant is rejecting her very nature.

I'm not quite sure if that is what Josh was saying RIGHT THERE.  But I also would not be particularly surprised if he would agree with that general statement, since it is generally in line with Catholic/Scholastic/Neo-Aristotelian thought. 

The general premise being that morality being linked with teleology and purpose or "nature".  It's kind of like every person having a responsibility to be the best person they can be.  To achieve their "best destiny".  This of course being linked somewhat to the ancient greek value of arete, or "excellence".  "Be all you can be".  To eschew your duty to be your best self is a sin and immoral.  Just maybe not as immoral as other forms of immorality, but immoral all the same.  Though Sloth was considered a "deadly sin" by the Scholastics, Dante noticeably leaves the slothful out of his Inferno, instead consigning them to a mid level of his Purgatory Mountain. 

While the thought does not go as far as saying that a woman who choses never to become pregnant is evil, (nuns are not evil, nor are the sterile), it does stress that it is against the nature and telos of womanhood, and is a rejection of it.  The key being that the rejection of purpose can only be moral if the rejection is in favor of a higher purpose (serving the community, serving God).  It would be akin to a man refusing to fight for their country, given the general concept that this was part of a man's telos/nature/purpose.  The whole thing being biologically and socially sound, since you can preserve your community through time by sacrificing men rather than women, since only women can become pregnant and maintain your birth rate.  Throwing your women on the front lines and giving them all the dangerous jobs is bad in a social evolutionary since, while throwing your men on the front line and giving them dangerous jobs while keeping women pregnant is somewhat good from the social evolutionary standpoint.  Not sure if the Scholastics really made the arguments from a social evolutionary standpoint, but I think it was somewhat self-evident to them. 

The rejection of purpose is seen as a rejection of an individual's responsibility towards the creator or to the community.  While modern liberal thought might balk at the concept of responsibility towards a creator, they can certainly understand responsibility towards community.  Yet the rejection is part of what pre-Vatican II Catholicism would see as a turn towards individualism and away from community, or Americanism, individual autonomy, and personal freedom.  Obviously all this concept of responsibility being forced by birth ran contrary to the culture of the 60s, and is basically still with us in many aspects.  Any attribute forced by birth being contrary to extreme self-determination or extreme freedom. 

Whether it is indeed a "best destiny" of women to become mothers or men to become fathers is debatable.  Certainly a society cannot exist without mothers or fathers as of now. Perhaps in the future this might change, though the argument there would be concerning a loss of purpose.  There is again a different outlook between obligation and responsibility to being a burden, or being a joy.  Children and general, and pregnancy in particular, can probably be best seen as a combination of both.  How we handle our burdens and joys is part of our characters. 

Tom

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #290 on: October 08, 2022, 06:12:56 PM »
Quote
people who reject human life such as it is, even in its normal form, and want it to change to something else
I think there is a fuzzier line between this and, say, curing diseases or choosing an eye color than you may think -- to the extent that I would argue that part of being human, as opposed to being animal, is being able to reject human life as it is.

Grant

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #291 on: October 08, 2022, 06:15:05 PM »
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I don't think so, but that's because there's another axis here that you aren't taking into account. Republicans believe that certain actions have natural consequences that should be borne (even to the extent that they will impose artificial consequences if the natural ones do not sufficiently terrify), whereas Democrats believe that one of the roles of society is to ameliorate undesired consequences. Pregnancy does not have to result in childbirth, to a Democrat; to a Republican, allowing a woman to engage in sex without having to risk childbirth is a grave offense.

I think this is an overgeneralization. Maybe some Republicans believe this, particularly some types of Christian Republicans, but certainly not all do.  For instance, some Republicans may be alright with abortion in the case of rape, when the woman had no choice involved in deciding to have sex.  Other Republicans may believe that choice has nothing to do with it.  Some Republicans may decide that birth control is alright.  Other Republicans are perfectly fine with it.  And I don't think there is a clear majority.  Instead you present a caricature.  A kind of straw-man to stand in for an entire group. 

I could add that even some Democrats think this way about sex and abortion.  Either way.  They're just in a silent minority. 

Regardless, I don't think it has anything to do with what Joshua was alluding to. 

Quote
As a Materialist, by the way, I find the idea of "biological destiny" completely nonsensical when used to argue against our ability to apply technology and medicine to alter what biology would otherwise require. Telling someone that it's their "biological destiny" to be deaf or blind when we can fix these conditions is indeed an option, but I would argue that it's not a rational one.

I don't think anyone here has argued against using science and technology to cure deafness or blindness.  I don't think any Republicans have either. This is basically another straw-man.

The idea of biological destiny is as simple as saying that a seed becomes a tree.  Are they the same object?  A fetus becomes a person.  Are they not the same object?  Metaphysically perhaps not.  Spiritually perhaps not.  In attributes perhaps not.  They are obviously different otherwise we would not different names for them. But in SUBSTANCE, in MATERIAL, they certainly are. 

I don't think that any Republicans have argued against utilizing technology or science or medicine to cure disease or defects.  But the question becomes is pregnancy a disease or defect?  Does pregnancy require a cure?  Or is it simply unwanted? 

Quote
I submit that our opinion on this topic is going to consist of uninformed overgeneralizations at best.

To suggest that a particular piece of knowledge or truth can only be understood and be "informed" if we personally experience them is to limit our ability to understand the world and universe to an extreme degree.  To limit the validity of our opinions to only things that we have personally experienced would generally eliminate most forms of knowledge.  Certainly experience gives a greater understanding and appreciation, but one does not need to be grunt from Charlie Company, 1/20 IN in 1968 to know that massacring women and children are bad.  Nor does one need to be a doctor to understand that healing deafness or blindness is a good. 

Fenring

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #292 on: October 08, 2022, 07:07:38 PM »
Sorry Grant, but whose post was your last reply directed toward? I can't find the original post at the moment.

The idea of biological destiny is as simple as saying that a seed becomes a tree.  Are they the same object?  A fetus becomes a person.  Are they not the same object?  Metaphysically perhaps not.  Spiritually perhaps not.  In attributes perhaps not.  They are obviously different otherwise we would not different names for them. But in SUBSTANCE, in MATERIAL, they certainly are. 

This is going to be a tough argument for anyone who's not looked at the problem of continuity in philosophy. Just to be clear, this is the issue of how we define whether a "thing" is the "same" as the thing it was a moment ago, or a year ago. And the same goes for people. This isn't only just about how you can demonstrate that the material is 'the same' as the material that was there a moment ago, but in the case of a human whose cells and atomic matter are literally not the same stuff as they were made of years before, in what sense is it the "same" person? I bring this up because there's a conceptual thread involved with tracing a continuity of substance and asserting that a continuity implies sameness. Interestingly people do assert this quite readily regarding identity and thingness (an evolutionary necessity) but find the same maneuver actually suspicious when the thing goes through a transformation, such as a fetus into a child.

Grant

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #293 on: October 08, 2022, 07:56:20 PM »
Sorry Grant, but whose post was your last reply directed toward? I can't find the original post at the moment.

Tom.  2:37 PM Central. 

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This is going to be a tough argument for anyone who's not looked at the problem of continuity in philosophy. Just to be clear, this is the issue of how we define whether a "thing" is the "same" as the thing it was a moment ago, or a year ago. And the same goes for people. This isn't only just about how you can demonstrate that the material is 'the same' as the material that was there a moment ago, but in the case of a human whose cells and atomic matter are literally not the same stuff as they were made of years before, in what sense is it the "same" person? I bring this up because there's a conceptual thread involved with tracing a continuity of substance and asserting that a continuity implies sameness. Interestingly people do assert this quite readily regarding identity and thingness (an evolutionary necessity) but find the same maneuver actually suspicious when the thing goes through a transformation, such as a fetus into a child.

Yes, it's related to the Ship of Theseus problem.  Or the Grandfather's Ax problem.  Whichever you like.  But it is also very closely related to the rudimentary physics of Heraclitus.  These concepts of course are matured in the physics and metaphysics of Aristotle (Sorry, Tom. You don't have to read this.). Specifically it deals in the ideas of actuality and potentiality, or dunamis and energeia.

Basically all physical things can change.  Yet they are the same thing.  Water may become steam.  Steam may go back to being water and then turn to ice.  Yet it is all the same physical thing.  But it is subject to change.  Water may become steam, even if it is not at the time.  Becoming steam does not fundamentally change an aspect of the water.  Still the same molecules. 

Likewise, a newborn baby may become a toddler, than a child, than an adolescent, then an mature adult, then finally a geriatric adult.  Some of the molecules change.  Some stay the same.  Personality may change.  Cognition may change.  The geriatric may not even remember anything of who he or she once was.  But there is a continuity between the person, the individual.  This is evident since temporally, if you kill the child, the adult will not exist.  If you cut off the arm of the baby, the child will not have an arm, (or at least the same arm, depending on science and technology). 

The Ship of Theseus experiment of course is specific to the philosophy of the mind, and the challenge it makes is when the physical material changes whether the object is still the same.  But the thought experiment can be extended.  If the object simply changes, due to decay, corrosion, etc, is it still the same?  An ax has become rusted and corroded, it's handle begining to rot.  Is it still the same ax?  Yes, it has gone through a physical transformation, but due to continuity, it is still the same ax. 

A tadpole goes through no greater a transformation, maybe even greater, than a fetus does when transforming into a baby.  A zygote an even greater transformation than either.  But one cannot deny that the tadpole becomes a frog and that the frog was once a tadpole and that it is the same biological entity.  A zygote is a potential human person.  Even if there is distinct material differences in makeup between the zygote, the child, and the elderly man/woman, there is a direct continuity between all three.  You can argue that the old man may be a completely different person than the child.  You can argue that the zygote isn't even a person at all.  But you cannot deny that there is a direct connection and that all three are distinctly the same thing though time.  All persons were once zygotes.  All zygotes have the potential to become persons (debatable, but generally true). 

The same question of material continuity can be applied to the star trek transporter problem.  The transporter copies a person's atomic structure.  Recreates it in another place but with different atoms, but the original disintegrates.  The new person is an exact replica, but the material continuity is broken.  Personally I believe the transporter is murder.  Every time Kirk tells Scotty to beam him up, he is committing suicide.  His body is disintegrated and an exact copy, but not really him, is created.  Die hard trekkies will argue against this.  The person that asked to be beamed up is destroyed.  Poof. 

Fenring

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #294 on: October 08, 2022, 08:12:54 PM »
Die hard trekkies will argue against this.

I am, and I would not. I've been arguing Bones' side of things for years :)

JoshuaD

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #295 on: October 09, 2022, 12:06:47 AM »
Die hard trekkies will argue against this.

I am, and I would not. I've been arguing Bones' side of things for years :)

Same. The episode in TNG with "Thomas" Riker basically proves this theory true.

JoshuaD

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #296 on: October 09, 2022, 12:27:41 AM »
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It is the nature of women to have a child inside of them. The woman isn't "sacrificing her own bodily autonomy". The nature of being a woman is that sometimes you get pregnant.

Perhaps you can understand why so many women find this particular assertion offensive.

Truth doesn't care if someone finds it offensive. Two and two make four; it is part of a woman's nature to bear children. It is her nature, whether she likes it or not.

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Tom:  Does a father owe a responsibility to an unborn fetus that would require him to, say, give up a liver to it?
Josh: No. Action is different than inaction. Murdering someone is different than refusing to donate them a life-saving organ.
Fenring: Hm, I'm not sure you ought to go so far with this rebuttal. The fact that it is not utterly mandatory in moral terms for a father to donate a liver to an unborn fetus, does not have to imply he doesn't positively owe a responsibility to it.

I'm not going "so far" with this rebuttal. I'm responding to Tom's specific question. A parent is not morally required to sacrifice an organ to prevent her child from dying. A parent is not morally permitted to murder their child (or hire someone else to murder their child).

Quote from: Tom
The offensive part is the assertion that it is the nature of women to be pregnant -- that, in fact, a woman who chooses not to ever become pregnant is rejecting her very nature, and a woman who for whatever reason cannot become pregnant is definitionally less of a woman than one who can.

No. It is human nature to have vision. Some people are born unable to see or lose their sight in an accident. That does not make them less human.

Quote from: Tom
Republicans believe that certain actions have natural consequences that should be borne (even to the extent that they will impose artificial consequences if the natural ones do not sufficiently terrify), whereas Democrats believe that one of the roles of society is to ameliorate undesired consequences.

I don't have any interest in talking about "Republicans". I will talk about my views if you'd like.

I am happy to do everything we can do to save people from undesired consequences, as long as in doing so we don't do something evil. Murdering children is deeply evil.

It's my nature that I have to eat to survive. As a consequence, I have to work. We've developed technology which has reduced the need for me to work, and I love that. But I can't go murder my neighbor's child to save myself from the unpleasant business of working. It has nothing to do with "bodily autonomy". We can't murder innocent children.

Oh, I understand that the repugnant and offensive position ... But I think [Joshua] understands that not all women are necessarily grateful to be thought of as special factories uniquely capable and explicitly intended to wrap souls in meat for distribution. :)

It is telling that you call things "offensive" and "repugnant", because your framework of thinking about morality is entirely void of any appeal to truth. Your entire set of beliefs appears to be a negotiation of social pressures and your gut instincts. It has no meaning and no authority.

[The position] Joshua holds is a necessary consequence of a specific belief in certain supernatural claims.

My views on abortion predate my belief in God, and they do not rely upon any supernatural claim aside from the very simple idea that we can know reality through our senses.

It is the nature of woman (among other things) to conceive and carry children. You might think that it would be better if reality were another way. It's not another way. It's this way. Women join with men to procreate and the child lives inside the mother until it is born.

We cannot murder unborn children just because they can't cry out in their own defense. It's evil. Deeply, horrifyingly evil.

JoshuaD

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #297 on: October 09, 2022, 12:31:11 AM »
Quote from: Grant
The general premise being that morality being linked with teleology and purpose or "nature".  It's kind of like every person having a responsibility to be the best person they can be.  To achieve their "best destiny".  This of course being linked somewhat to the ancient greek value of arete, or "excellence".  "Be all you can be".  To eschew your duty to be your best self is a sin and immoral.  Just maybe not as immoral as other forms of immorality, but immoral all the same.  Though Sloth was considered a "deadly sin" by the Scholastics, Dante noticeably leaves the slothful out of his Inferno, instead consigning them to a mid level of his Purgatory Mountain.

While I agree with those views, I am not invoking them here. I am not making any sort of teleological claim. Fenring understood me: it is the nature of a ball to have mass and roll. It is the nature of a tree to grow. It is the nature of the sun to shine. It is the nature of oxygen to aggressively claim electrons. It is the nature of dogs to see and smell. It is the nature of women to conceive and carry children until birth.

It is one of the most banal assertions one could make, and it would be entirely unobjectionable if it weren't for the context.

Fenring

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #298 on: October 09, 2022, 02:41:45 AM »
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Tom:  Does a father owe a responsibility to an unborn fetus that would require him to, say, give up a liver to it?
Josh: No. Action is different than inaction. Murdering someone is different than refusing to donate them a life-saving organ.
Fenring: Hm, I'm not sure you ought to go so far with this rebuttal. The fact that it is not utterly mandatory in moral terms for a father to donate a liver to an unborn fetus, does not have to imply he doesn't positively owe a responsibility to it.

I'm not going "so far" with this rebuttal. I'm responding to Tom's specific question. A parent is not morally required to sacrifice an organ to prevent her child from dying. A parent is not morally permitted to murder their child (or hire someone else to murder their child).

Tom's question wasn't really a single question, but two questions lumped into one. I would say, given your view, the best answer would be a soft no rather than a hard no. That's because Tom was drawing a distinction between a mother and a father's responsibilities (to try to show a hypocrisy in giving unfair burdens to women), and I believe the correct answer to that in context is that they don't really have different levels of responsibility, just different situations. Both should do what they can (in a pro-life context) to protect the unborn. They are, in fact, compelled to try to do so (by morality, not by the government). That part of Tom's question should actually have the answer of "Yes, a father does owe a responsibility that is not optional." It's the second part, where he's asking if the father specifically must give up a liver, which is a hard no; that particular action is not compelled. Some kind of action is compelled, but morality can't spell out what that is. He should do his best for all of his family, of which the unborn child is a part. We don't have the eternal calculus to know which solution is best, so we can decide how best we can. Maybe that means giving a liver, maybe not. That's why I pushed back a bit against your rebuttal; Tom's supposition that the father strictly speaking needs do nothing, while the mother needs to do everything and has no choice, wouldn't be a good reading of a decent pro-life position. But I do agree with your separation of direct action versus declining to do an action.

Grant

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Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« Reply #299 on: October 09, 2022, 10:04:48 AM »


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As a Materialist, by the way, I find the idea of "biological destiny" completely nonsensical when used to argue against our ability to apply technology and medicine to alter what biology would otherwise require. Telling someone that it's their "biological destiny" to be deaf or blind when we can fix these conditions is indeed an option, but I would argue that it's not a rational one.

I don't think anyone here has argued against using science and technology to cure deafness or blindness...

Ugghhh.  I realize now that I responded to the wrong portion of the OP.  Sorry, Tom.  I realize now this was in response to my quote that, to paraphrase, it was a woman's biological destiny to become pregnant. 

I understand now the issue with that statement, especially as compared to my using "biological destiny" to describe an automatic biological process, like a seed becoming a tree.  So I think I used the wrong term here and it's proper to point it out.  Because it is not "biological destiny", in the way I use the term, for a woman to become pregnant.  It is not "inevitable", sans interference (death, disease, environment, etc).  It is in fact not inevitable that any woman becomes pregnant.  It is not even automatically considered immoral if a woman choses not to have children according to the Scholastic POV. 

Instead I probably should have used the term "biological determinism".  That is, the ability to become pregnant is determined by biology, which is outside the realm of justice as traditionally seen.  It is no different than an individual who is born short, or tall, or with any number of other attributes either greater or lesser than others in terms of being just.  There are of course the ability of modern science and medicine to make changes to an individual's body and biological processes.  A short individual can have limb extension surgery.  There are all kinds of cosmetic surgeries.  A woman can take birth control or have a tubal ligation.  Men can have vasectomies.  Children can have cleft palates corrected.  While there are differing views of the morality of these surgeries, my basic assertion that the ability of women to become pregnant being just or unjust stands. 


Josh said:
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While I agree with those views, I am not invoking them here. I am not making any sort of teleological claim. Fenring understood me: it is the nature of a ball to have mass and roll. It is the nature of a tree to grow. It is the nature of the sun to shine. It is the nature of oxygen to aggressively claim electrons. It is the nature of dogs to see and smell. It is the nature of women to conceive and carry children until birth.

If what you are stating here is your exact position, then I personally don't really agree with it, and it seems there is a difference in your examples.  Gravity, the growth of a tree, the sun shining, chemical reactions, are all automatic processes.  It is not automatic that a woman becomes pregnant.  It is automatic that a zygote becomes a fetus and a fetus becomes a baby and a baby becomes an adult etc (given correct conditions).  The ABILITY to become pregnant is in the nature of women, but not the actuality itself.  I think this creates confusion.