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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Abortion


“Once more into the breach…” Navigating the issue of abortion can be the political equivalent of walking through a Minefield. And that is exactly what I have purposed to do this week. As I have stated in the presentation, advocating abortion requires pushing aside one’s conscience to do so, aided by rigorous rationalizing. I stand by that conviction but could be persuaded by a good argument; will such an argument be forthcoming?

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe in most cases abortion amounts to sacrificing one life for the convenience of another.

January 24, 2008 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...

Anonymous,

Sadly you are right. That was a candid yet truthful summary of what it means to be pro-abortion. Again I don’t think that is too harsh.

January 25, 2008 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...

There is one thought I wanted to explore further; my exception to abortion in addition to one of the more sticky issues surrounding it. How do I feel about Abortions in the case of saving the mother’s life or in the case of rape? In my presentation I stated that I would allow an abortion in the case of saving the mother’s life. I wanted to clarify that this is the only scenario where a compelling case could be made. This is a tough one and I for one am thankful that modern medicine makes this more or less a non issue. A single Mom for example, with existing kids would be such a scenario. Is one kid with its Mom a better situation than two kids in the world alone? I will have to consult my Pastor on that one. Now in the case of rape, another tough scenario, I believe it is easier to navigate this pathway. Let me first say, making the decision to love this child will be quite a bit more difficult than in a normal situation. Yet killing the unborn child is a textbook case of miss-placed anger. The only guilty party here is the rapist; if anyone’s life should be taken it’s his. Perhaps rape that results in a pregnancy should carry the death penalty and a life sentence otherwise. For the parent(s) who are not able to love this child, I really think adoption is a more ethical path to take.

January 25, 2008 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Agent of Change said...

Danian

Great Topic and actually not a bad presentation. I appreciate the fact that you acknowledge the complexity of this issue and won't say summarily that it is wrong. I’m pro-choice myself but after listening to your presentation I certainly do understand the pro-life side even more. Don’t go celebrating just yet, I’m still pro-choice. Good job…

I will have to explore the exception you stated, if the Mom’s life is in jeopardy; I just think it exposes some internal contradictions on your part. I will explore that with you at a later date.

January 25, 2008 at 5:45 PM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...

I remember you Agent of Change,

Coming from you, I take your comment as a complement. You seem to be a very reasonable person I look forward to what you have to say on my, ‘Life of the Mother’ stand. Hope you get around to it.

January 27, 2008 at 1:18 PM  
Anonymous hannah 1 said...

I agree that the life of the mother can be a valid reason for an abortion...but so often we hear about the "life and health" of the mother. I remember back with the ban or partial birth abortion was being debated those against it claimed there was no provision for the health of the mother. However, they were looking for a provision that could have included something like a headache--or perhaps being "depressed" about the pregnancy. I believe it was just a smoke screen for those who believe in abortion on demand...any time and for any reason.

January 27, 2008 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger A.P. said...

Danian,
I always enjoy listening to your blogs... I agree with you, that abortion is a top social issue today, especially in the U.S. However, I don't agree with you on one key issue. I don't believe that a group of cells dividing and growing inside a womb should be considered a human baby. It is the early stages of a fetus, if you were to remove those cells, and place them in the street, I doubt they would be able to cry for help, or do much else... That alone, I believe refutes your argument of the mother choosing to abandon her healthy baby or child, or teenager, for that matter. It's my belief that a human baby isn't a baby until birth. Until that point, it is physically relying on the mother for all life sustenance. And I agree that due to recent advances in medicine, that pre-mature babies are much more likely to survive, however, this does not make a group of a couple hundred liver and heart cells, a baby.
In your intro, you said that, "I stand by that conviction but could be persuaded by a good argument". Considering your belief that life begins at conception, I can't imagine any argument changing your anti-abortion stance. That's right; I said anti-abortion, not pro-life. Everyone is pro-life...

Peace out,
~Andy

January 28, 2008 at 3:18 PM  
Blogger Agent of change said...

Danian,

First of all, I like Andy. He makes some good points, especially his point about a group of cells not being a human baby. I’ll leave that one for you and Andy to settle. Anyway to your Death of the Mother Stand; what your view boils down to is the choice of one innocent human life over that of another innocent human life. How do you square making that choice if you believe that both the mother and a group of say, three cells (right after conception) are both equal human beings under God; I added under God but I don’t think you would disagree with me? Now I know in your earlier blog on exploring this issue further, that this is a difficult issue for you, but the fact that it is difficult doesn’t remove the contradiction now does it?

January 28, 2008 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...

Hannah1,

Indeed “Life of the mother” means different things to different people depending on what your motivation is. I’m talking about unequivocal proof that unless the baby is aborted the Mom will die. And I think for clarity and simplicity we should limit the scope (for now) to that definition. Anyway, that is what I mean by life of the mother; I would not endorse any abortion that does not fall within that narrow scope. Now Agent of Change has laid down a pretty good challenge along this line and I will answer him separately.

Thank you Hannah1

January 28, 2008 at 5:58 PM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...

Andy,

First, thank you for the compliment. You raise a pretty complicated and good point: how do we look at a group of say four cells (c.f. Agent of Change’s latest comment) and call that a human baby? My question to you Andy is, where is the cut of point? Do 100 cells constitute a human being, how about 5 billion? With all due respect Andy, I believe you are being arbitrary; all human beings from conception to adulthood are fundamentally a collection of cells. Now, try leaving a new born baby by itself for a day and see what happens, I believe we call that murder in this country. Heck, leave a 5 year old unattended and see what happens; parents loose custody of their kids all the time for doing that, because of what could happen to the 5 year old. But Andy, did you get my point about, where does the rubber meets the road? Why go into a woman’s womb just to kill three cells? You can kill three cells just by drinking a glass of wine, why not just do that? I’ll tell you why, because there is something very special about those 3 cells and you know I’m right Andy. And the special thing: The mother (everyone) equates those three cells to the child she doesn’t want. Now I have shown that all the reasons you gave for negating a fetus being an actual human baby, applies to baby after they are born; my question remains, why is killing a 3 year old baby by the mother considered murder by the “pro-abortion” people? Pro-abortion, prochoice, woman’s right to chose, call it what you will, I have no jealousy for the terms just as long as we are talking about the same thing.

January 28, 2008 at 6:40 PM  
Blogger A.P. said...

Danian,
I understand the problem with my basic theory... where do you draw the line... and I suppose for everyone, it's personal. In general, I say you have until the end of the first trimester to decide whether or not you want the baby. I don't know what the current limitation is on having one, or if there is a law on that, but the longer the mom-to-be waits, the harder it will be on her body, and the closer the fetus will be to a fully-cooked-ready-to-be-born-baby, and it gets more wrong the longer you wait...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fetus hater. I have two very beautiful babies of my own. We never considered aborting either one of them; however, I do know that if someone who is, by all concerns, irresponsible enough to get accidentally pregnant, they should have a choice to not see the pregnancy to term. I feel that this world already has enough un-loved and abused children, and adding to the pile, even if you say adoption is a valid substitute, just isn't fair to the child. I've heard my fair share of horror stories about adopted kids, and the parents that abuse them...

Here's where I probably differ from 90% of the population. I believe that a three-strike rule should be applied to women who act so irresponsibly. If they have three voluntary abortions, they should be sterilized, and never allowed to adopt or have a child of their own in any way. Frankly, I'm all for IQ tests, or some sort of mandatory screening before people can have kids, but I know that is WAY out there...

And one more thing... If they do make abortions illegal, you know the very next day you will see an incredible increase in things like abandonded new-borns, botched abortions in illegal clinics, children born into families that just don't want them... and so on... I can't imagine anything worse than a child being abused... in my eyes, it's much worse than the fetus never leaving the womb in the first place.

Peace,
Andy

January 28, 2008 at 10:16 PM  
Anonymous Nic said...

I just have to chime in one this one. I have to say I disagree with Andy a bit here. Being a mother myself I could feel my child(ren) become a part of me and their own life forms way before it would not have been an option to terminate my pregnancies. At my 5 week ultrasound my unborn child had it's own heartbeat seperate from my own. Granted it could not have survived without me but I believe that is why a child has a mother, to nurture and protect it, even before birth. I personally would never terminate a pregnancy.

But I do believe that choice and where that line is, is different and unique to each person and each situation. Do I think you should be forced to have a child you will resent or abuse? Absolutely not. Do I think a woman who knows she will be giving birth to an unviable baby be forced to go full term? Not a chance. Do I think a woman who has become pregnant as the result of rape or incest or BOTH be expected to nuture that child within her body? Come on.. But I do believe wholeheartedly that it is EACH womans/persons right to chose what happens to her body - IN her body.

January 28, 2008 at 10:31 PM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...

Agent of change,

I regret the delay in my responding to your challenge; I was busy preparing my next presentation. Stay tuned…

So what about Abortion in the case of the life of the mother? Well let me start by asking a question: You are aware that there are many starving Children out there in the world, many of whom will die, are dying. If you are a parent with your own young children, would you save the life of a dying child somewhere else in world at the expense of the life of your own? Well I would say that such a parent would be criminally negligent. Yet the life of that starving child is valuable and filled will the same level of dignity of that of your own kids in the sight of God and in mine by the way. Again, only in the case of a single Mom with existing children who need her, would my conscience be freed to ok an Abortion, if carrying the baby to term would cost the mother her life.

January 30, 2008 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...

Andy

My apologies to you as well for not replying in a timely manner. I am hard at work preparing my next presentation; I wanted to do justice to your very thoughtful response.

Reading your three strikes and you’re out position made me laugh. I thought that was very interesting. Please don’t think I am laughing at your position because nothing could be further from the truth, your delivery just struck me funny.

Anyway let me address you point by point:
Andy you wrote, “I understand the problem with my basic theory... where do you draw the line... and I suppose for everyone, it's personal. In general, I say…” Precisely Andy, for everyone it’s Arbitrary. You can say whatever you want about when you believe life starts but then you have to grant another person making up there own rule also, for example, life begins at puberty. Again, I still maintain that mothers or couples seeking abortion are not thinking in terms of cell count and when life begins, they are thinking, I don’t want to have a child. Our discussion about where life begins is peripheral and a smoke screen. You talk about cell count and third trimester yet in the end you concluded that abortions are necessary to avoid the problem of unwanted or abused CHILDREN. You see Andy all the while you were arguing for abortion you were unconsciously presupposing my position and denying your own.

You again Wrote, “And one more thing... If they do make abortions illegal, you know the very next day you will see an incredible increase in things like abandoned new-borns, botched abortions in illegal clinics, children born into families that just don't want them... and so on...” You and I agree on one thing there are some pretty messed up people out there and people will, until the end of time, continue to do bad things but again the answer is not to make provisions for bad behavior but to change them. As a father yourself you have unique perspective into what I’m talking about: You don’t make speaking disrespectfully to you ok because you know your kids are going to do that anyway, no, you spank their little butts (if that’s your method) and you set them straight.

I suspect you and I have a lot more in common, if you would just open your eyes and stop being so liberal. :) That was a joke

January 30, 2008 at 11:53 AM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...

Nic,

Before I respond to your comments, which I am very grateful for, let me first speak to you (all of you) as a person. I think it is terrible to be raped, as a guy sitting here safely at my computer; I could never even begin to understand what that must be like. Then to add insult to injury, she becomes pregnant. And believe me I know that I ask no small thing here when I ask a woman who has been raped to carry that baby to term. My heart goes out to such a woman, to such a family. Believe me that this is not just a matter of debate for me. But let me say that even with the terrible evil surrounding that child’s existence, the child along with the Mom, are the innocent parties here. That is where I ultimately rest in all that evil, even if this happened to my own wife. If the mom wants to give it up for adoption that’s fine, there is no shortage of people wanting to adopt children and love them. To Andy, what we need is less red tape in the adoption process, a lot of families are waiting to bring a child into their families but can’t because of cost and red tape. I mean it will cost a family approximately $15,000 to $20,000 to adopt a child, that’s just insane.

I thought you made a great point about the role of a mother being that of protection of her child; that is a great point. I know you assign this conviction to yourself but why? Can anyone ever say to another person, I think you are wrong? There are some moral standards that are universal, for example murder (not in self defense). I think that I should not commit murder, should I be able to say to another person, I don’t think you should commit murder either? Or should we all be allowed to arbitrarily set our own standard of right and wrong?

January 30, 2008 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger A.P. said...

Keeping my eyes wide open is what makes me so liberal...

January 30, 2008 at 4:35 PM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...

Nicely done Andy, nicely done...

January 30, 2008 at 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Gail said...

I have to respond to the comment that was made by nic suggesting abortion was something that happens to or in a woman's body exclusively. First, it obviously takes two to make a baby. Second, it ignores the most important fact that the baby is a life also. This person acknowledges herself that she felt her baby was a life long before it was viable--but suggests that this is true only because she thinks it is. That's incredibly arrogent. It's not life because of a feeling or opinion. A life is a life. "Pro-choicers" can call it "reproductive rights" all they want. It has nothing to do with women's rights. It's a moral decision--whatever side you fall on. In fact, I wonder if this person knows how incredibly damaging abortion can be on a woman who chooses to have one--emotionally and possibly physically. We never hear about that in our generally liberal media--but I can assure you it's true. From the mental anguish to the higher risk of breat cancer that women who have had abortions have Bottom line, we will all believe what we want about this issue...but please...and I'm saying this especially to my fellow females--let's not hide this important debate under women's rights. REAL Women's rights issue are too important.

January 31, 2008 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...

Gail,

Thank you Gail. I was starting to wonder if I had any allies out there. The new Pope, Pope Benedict was asked once, what is the greatest threat to the world? He answered,"moral relativism." Right then I knew this man was a thoughtful person. This is one of the main monster's we pro-lifers fight, moral relativism. People holding a liberal worldview are a moving target and so they are hard to pin down. We conservatives do have a standard which serves us well but makes us vulnerable in other ways, for example to the charge of being hypocritical and cold. I don't know If I was able to convince anyone to change their views but perhaps in the quiet recesses of the minds of my opponents, something I said will resonate.

Thank you all for taking the time to comment.

February 1, 2008 at 3:44 PM  
Blogger A.P. said...

So then everyone in the world should abide by the morals of the catholic church? Does that include the part where it's okay to move child molesting priests from Parish to parish, and pay millions in retribution settlements, in order to avoid scandal??

February 1, 2008 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...

No argument there Andy,I think the Catholic Church has some serious issues as it pertains to that issue and really people need to be going to jail for those crimes. I don't even thing the office of the Pope is a valid one. Believe me, I have serious problems with the Catholic Church and I mean deep problems, just ask my girlfriend (who is more sympathetic to the Catholic church). Nevertheless, the Pope showed great insight there even if there are abuses within his organization.

February 1, 2008 at 5:26 PM  

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