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After some strenuous discussion at school I have decided to transport this topic to the "boards".

The main argument that I heard was "how can you take a childs life away and call this child too young to have known, or to say that because of his/her immaturity this baby is not technically living yet"

An argument that I contributed was that everytime a woman *ahem* "cycles" we are also "technically" cutting off a potential life.

I support abortion as long as the baby is not yet able to move autonomously. If abortion can be avoided safely and with the childs best interests in focus then it definitely should be.

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I don't know caterpillar, this is a sensitive subject for sure.

I generally support a woman's right to choose. Since becoming a father almost 6 years ago though, I think some consideration should be given to the rights of the potential father. How that would work I don't know. It may not even be practical in some cases.

Too complex for me right now.

Maybe tomorrow. :)

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Thankyou for that reply and it's honesty, I agree with a womans right to choose also but for some reason (and I realise how appaling this is) I have never thought about the fathers side, thankyou for that perspective.

If the father in question is still "in the picture" there should be some sort of concensus on the matter.

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I will bite a little.

We should spend a lot more time and money on promoting prevention of unwanted pregnancy.

Abstinence programs, condoms, teaching kids that it is important to be responsible. Everyone should respect the consequences enough not to engage is sex lightly. Culturally we are very casual about sex. Should we aim to restore some of the stigma back to the sexual habits we maintain? I do know that any young person having to make that choice of abortion will affect them for the rest of their lives. Better if they never had to go there.

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i think we have exhausted this topic previously, but of course i believe in a women's right to choose and to choose well and we have in canada elizabeth bagslaw to thank - canada's first medical woman doctor to help with our choices

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Why did this automatically go to "kids"? Why not include the entire demographic? I realize that there are number of younger folk faced with the choice of abortion, but let's not completely forget about the older ones too, and try not to make them seem superior. The supposed "grown-ups" can make stupid mistakes with the best of idiotic youngsters.

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Why did this automatically go to "kids"? Why not include the entire demographic? I realize that there are number of younger folk faced with the choice of abortion, but let's not completely forget about the older ones too, and try not to make them seem superior. The supposed "grown-ups" can make stupid mistakes with the best of idiotic youngsters.

Sure but if I looked it up (Maybe later I will go and find the supporting evidence) those between the ages of 16 and 26 would be the ones that use the service most. They tend to have more partners, less wisdom and are not married. This of course is a generalization but the correlation is likely. I am sure that as with any distribution that those out side of one standard deviation exist.

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Why did this automatically go to "kids"? Why not include the entire demographic? I realize that there are number of younger folk faced with the choice of abortion, but let's not completely forget about the older ones too, and try not to make them seem superior. The supposed "grown-ups" can make stupid mistakes with the best of idiotic youngsters.

Sure but if I looked it up (Maybe later I will go and find the supporting evidence) those between the ages of 16 and 26 would be the ones that use the service most. They tend to have more partners, less wisdom and are not married. This of course is a generalization but the correlation is likely. I am sure that as with any distribution that those out side of one standard deviation exist.

And yet, marriage doesn't guarantee wisdom or any true commitment. Let's continue with the cliches and make reference to a middle-aged couple getting married in Vegas by an Elvis clone, after knocking back a few, and then possibly the dame gets pregnant and has to decide whether or not to get an abortion. A string of stupid, rushed choices lead up to the question of abortion. Moral to the story (however fuzzy it is); everyone has the capacity to make ill informed choices. And the bonds of marriage do not offer the certainty of anything.

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Great Doodler,

I was making a statement about how to encourage less people to have to make a tough decision. You came back with everyone can be stupid. Granted everyone can be stupid, but how does that further any discussion.

My statement was not to blame young people. It was knowing they are more likely to engage in behaviours that are more likely to result in unwanted pregnancy we have an opportunity to influence that behaviour.

What are you saying? Should we not care how many people get abortions? Do we neglect that even if you are pro-choice this is a negative experience that women don't need to experience?

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Sure but if I looked it up (Maybe later I will go and find the supporting evidence) those between the ages of 16 and 26 would be the ones that use the service most. They tend to have more partners, less wisdom and are not married. This of course is a generalization but the correlation is likely. I am sure that as with any distribution that those out side of one standard deviation exist.

Well i recently had a look of the teen’s stats and glad to say they are not the ones having abortions, i mean it is very much lower than previously, and also they are not having children. it might just mean that they are more informed about contraception and actually use the same as i didn't believe the practice of abstinence is likely in such a liberal society.

Significant though an increase on abortion in the 20 - 29 year old - and i don't believe it has much to do with number of sexual partners but a link to whether it is affordable to have the children now or to postpone it

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We should spend a lot more time and money on promoting prevention of unwanted pregnancy.

Abstinence programs, condoms, teaching kids that it is important to be responsible. Everyone should respect the consequences enough not to engage is sex lightly. Culturally we are very casual about sex. Should we aim to restore some of the stigma back to the sexual habits we maintain? I do know that any young person having to make that choice of abortion will affect them for the rest of their lives. Better if they never had to go there.

I agree with most of this but except the stigma part. I am not sure this would be healthy or practical. But I do agree that we need to focus on prevention. I think that families have a major role here.

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After some strenuous discussion at school I have decided to transport this topic to the "boards".

The main argument that I heard was "how can you take a childs life away and call this child too young to have known, or to say that because of his/her immaturity this baby is not technically living yet"

An argument that I contributed was that everytime a woman *ahem* "cycles" we are also "technically" cutting off a potential life.

I support abortion as long as the baby is not yet able to move autonomously. If abortion can be avoided safely and with the childs best interests in focus then it definitely should be.

Awhile ago, we had a long thread on this issue. It's not exactly as if the topic is new.

Your argument seems to turn on the definition of "life". I suppose the implication is that if we can define life, then we can define murder. You seem to opt for "autonomous movement" as a definition of "life". (There are many other definitions, as you note.)

My only "original" thoughts on abortion have come from looking at the question pragmatically.

If abortion were forbidden, what would happen? Many women would seek illegal abortions and no doubt various people of questionable abilities would provide the service. The human cost would be great, as it was in the past.

The State should enact restrictions that are enforceable. If it cannot enforce a rule, it should not have the rule in the first place.

This argument also has the merit of moving the debate away from morality. It also stems from my realization that our laws have no moral basis except what works best.

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There is a sixteen page discussion on abortion here.

Not sure that you can get much on top of that. Perhaps to avoid duplication you should pick up the debate again from that thread if you have new points to make (we are supposed to check for existing threads before beginning new ones).

As a matter of interest did your class reach any kind of consensus?

I support abortion as long as the baby is not yet able to move autonomously.

I'm also curious to know what process led you to that determination. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing - I'm merely curious.

Your argument seems to turn on the definition of "life".

You are correct, August, but I think for many people its not just a question of when life begins but when sentience begins.

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I think that abortion is murder. The only choice the woman had in normal cases was to have the baby in the first place. You shouldn't go back on a decision you made months ago.

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Abstinence programs, condoms, teaching kids that it is important to be responsible. Everyone should respect the consequences enough not to engage is sex lightly. Culturally we are very casual about sex. Should we aim to restore some of the stigma back to the sexual habits we maintain? I do know that any young person having to make that choice of abortion will affect them for the rest of their lives. Better if they never had to go there.

How about, instyead of stigmatizing sex (and thus increasing its mystery and appeal), we normalize it through expanded education and honest depicitions. Sadly, we live in a society where people are more outraged by the display of a woman's breast (ie. janet Jacksonm) than they are by watching countless depictions of violence and death. Is that a recipe for a healthy society?

People need to accept that sex is natural and give kids the knowledge and tools to make healthy choices. And, whemn mistakes are inevitavbly made, we need to ensure women still have the right to choose their reproductive destiny and are not punished for making mistakes.

I think that abortion is murder. The only choice the woman had in normal cases was to have the baby in the first place. You shouldn't go back on a decision you made months ago.

Sometimes its not a decision. Condoms break, birth control pills can fail. Accidents happen. Honestly, BBM, I think you'd sing a differnt tune if you were in a situation where you were facing a life sentence of having a child you didn't want and aren't able to care for.

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You are correct, August, but I think for many people its not just a question of when life begins but when sentience begins.
Sentience? Life? Awareness? Memory? Glint in a father's eye? I have even heard the definition of size. (For the first few days after conception, a foetus is no larger than a grain of sugar.)

The argument that a woman should have the right to control her body seems different but it too is no different. It merely assumes that life commences at birth.

Underneath the question of "when life commences"is the idea that life is "sacred" and we should never condone "murder".

In theory, with a definition of life, we could then define murder. The problem seems to be that we have no common definition of when life begins. Many people view life starting at different moments, and we can argue endlessly about this.

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I suggest we forget this sterile discussion and view the question pragmatically.

Bush Jnr (as did Churchill) ordered soldiers into battle knowing that many would be killed. People die in Canada because medical facilities are not all state of the art. People die in car accidents because roads are badly constructed. When you cross a busy street, you take a risk of being killed.

We accept these deaths (or risk of death) because the alternative, in some sense, is worse.

These are pragmatic choices. I am suggesting that abortion (and for that matter, capital punishment and euthanasia) be viewed pragmatically also.

In the case of abortion, a law forbidding abortion would likely lead to even greater heartache. IMV, the alternative is worse.

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The argument that a woman should have the right to control her body seems different but it too is no different. It merely assumes that life commences at birth.

There's a very blarge differnce between life (in the strict biological sense) and personhoood (as a legal definition). Life does begin at conception. But then, ovums and spermatoza are also "alive" in the biological sense.

The question is whether we can deem a foetus to be human.

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We accept these deaths (or risk of death) because the alternative, in some sense, is worse.

These are pragmatic choices. I am suggesting that abortion (and for that matter, capital punishment and euthanasia) be viewed pragmatically also.

Broadly speaking I agree with you August. I suppose the one thing that distinguishes abortion from the rest of your examples is that it is the only instance in which the individual concerned is not aware (although in cases where euthanasia is indicated mental abilities may well be diminished) of what is happening and, to one extent or another, have experienced life, made choices, loved, laughed and so on and so forth. This is exactly why I think this becomes a difficult question for people - a foetus may be seen as the ultimate victim because it is completely lacking in any power to alter its circumstances and has no experience of life.

Personally I think there are circumstances in which it would be immoral not to offer abortion as an option - such as rape victims who become pregnant. Beyond that things become alot more difficult for me to answer - especially when balanced against the option of giving up babies to adoption. Which is exactly when the pragmatist in me kicks in. Because it won't be my morals and my reasoning making the decisions for others. They must make their own choices. If that choice is abortion and it is illegal we will end up with a mess of backyard abortions. Which is why I find Augusts pragmatism to be realistic.

Ultimately what seems needed is (as stated by BD) good sex ed and availability of contraceptives etc. Reducing the incidence of unexpected/unplanned pregnancy will reduce the number of people who must face this hard choice.

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