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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • They are no more pro-life than anyone else. Those who favour reproductive rights don't want people to die either. The so-called "pro-life" crowd who would remove reproductive rights are far better described as being anti-choice and anti-human-rights.
    • If you start calling pro-lifers anti-choice, expect to be called an anti-life : that's how doublespeak works. Rhetoric battles aren't won this way, and bad advocacy is worse than no advocacy at all. If you want to argue against pro-lifers, analyze their arguments and demonstrate fairly and confidently why they're built on wind. Don't get lost on sterile disputes about the exact moment of the pregnancy where a foetus becomes a baby.

      The main (only?) argument of the rabid pro-lifers is that killing early foetuses is evil, and that there's no excuse for it. It's thus based on the belief that absolute good and absolute evil exist, and can be defined ; this belief being fundamentally of religious nature, pro-lifers are often (but not always) associated to the religious right. But there's no such thing as absolute good or absolute evil ; the reality is more complex, and complex problems can't be solved by simplistic solutions or by unbalanced affirmations : but by a careful analysis of the factors involved, leading to the choice of a solution which will cause the less harm for the lesser people. That's what ethics is about.

      Now let's just ask what's best. Medicalized abortions, or clandestine ones ? Mandatory courses about sexuality and contraception in schools, or a flood of teenage pregnancies ? Psychological support and proposals of alternatives for women that want to abort, or their rejection in the infamous zone of criminality ? Facilities for giving birth anonymously, or The Scarlet Letter [bartleby.com] ? You said it. And that's why the current form of abortion, in our current civilization, is considered ethically acceptable and harmless.

      • > The main (only?) argument of the rabid pro-lifers is that killing early foetuses is evil, and that there's no excuse for it.

        You're picking up the religious right argument. Evil vs Good is certainly not the basis of my position. I think one must be able to define murder, or at the very least manslaughter, as it could be argued that abortion does not involve malice aforethought in the traditional sense. So perhaps abortion is "killing" but not "murder"? To me the difference is moot, however.

        >D

        • That's why I included words like "rabid" and "not always" in my rant above. Good advocacy, while using every rhetoric trick to prove its point, must not oversimplify the adversaries position. I got that from the old Jesuit fathers :)

          And yes, for me the very significative difference between a 2 day old and a 250 day old foetus is that the former can't survive without a womb. I'm surprised noone mentioned this yet.

          That said, if you go back in time to the centuries where half of the children used to die before

          • I have often thought about why the women are rarely mentioned in the viability of the unborn among the pro-lifers and my conjecture is that most organised religions still view women as property, a maid, and something to give birth to male children to continue the bloodline. Why would you mention something you take for granted much like air and indoor plumbing?

            It often reminds me of the old idea that male sperm contained the fetus, the 'seed', which was planted into the woman. Of course, it was also though

            • I wouldn't say "the most organised religions", I'd say "the patriarcal religions", the ones where the unique or supreme god is typically an omnipotent Father, and which appear in patriarcal societies (like the ancient Hebrews for example). There are religions that treat women like human beings. Usually their supreme god is an omnipotent Mother :) But leading to less bellicose behaviours, they tend to disappear, of course.

              An interesting side-effect of patriarcal religions is that they always consider the wom

            • Final point (and I'll shut up) : yes, I think that abortion is a last chance solution, and that's why I think that people who oppose abortion should also, to be consistent, approve teenage sex education etc. (rafael)

              That would not be "consistent," as one does not logically follow from the other. For example, I am in favor of sex education, but against sex education in public schools, because I think the govenment has no business teaching kids about sex, any more than they have a business in teaching kids
      • Now let's just ask what's best. Medicalized abortions, or clandestine ones ?

        What's best: that armed robbery should be legal, or illegal? That question makes as much sense as yours. If abortion is the unethical taking of an innocent human life, then it should be, under most circumstances, illegal. That's only logical.

        And that's why the current form of abortion, in our current civilization, is considered ethically acceptable and harmless.

        Not in my current civilization. In the US, most people think a