I’m in love with PZ

OMG, I just love it when men say stuff like this:

The only thing you need to read today: the first hand account of an doctor, explaining why he does abortions: it’s because someone has to give those oppressed by circumstance a choice.

By 1967 I was a third year medical student, still with no visible means of support, and we were pregnant with our third child. It was the spring of that year and I was ending my rotation in the Ob-Gyn Service clinic. I was assigned a 40 plus year old, poverty stricken mother of several children. I think she was unmarried but I am not sure of that now. This care worn mother-of-several had a large abdominal mass that I rapidly determined to be a well advanced pregnancy. I asked my resident to come and break the news to this woman; it was very obvious to me that she was not going to be happy about the news of another pregnancy. When told that she – already unable to adequately feed and clothe her family – was again pregnant, she looked up at me and the resident. There we stood, two white males, well clothed, well feed young men with superior educations. We were, in her eyes, stunningly blessed and obviously going places in the world. She began to weep silently. She must have assumed, for good reason, that there was no way that we would understand her problems; she knew also that there was nothing that we could or would do to relieve her lacerating misery.

“Oh God, doctor,” she said quietly, “I was hoping it was cancer.”

It’s powerful stuff. Remember, the people who want to end abortion aren’t really pro-life—they are out to control women, nothing more.


Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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  1. I know I’m probably going to get hammered for this, but what the heck…

    I have a lot of respect for PZ Myers. He has a lot of good and useful ideas. But sometimes he veers off into blowhard land, and this is one of those times. Absolutist statements like the one he makes at the end of his blog post are absurd, and he damages his own argument when he takes such an intellectually lazy approach to things. Are some who wish to end all abortions just trying to control women? Undeniably, yes! Do most anti-abortion/anti-choice/pro-lifers fall into this category? I doubt it. And to state that they’re ALL like that is absurd on its face! It’s almost infantile in its simplistic worldview. I know PZ is smarter than that. I just wish he would act like it more often.

    My own views on abortion have changed significantly since my two daughters were born. I used to think of the developing fetus as nothing more than a bunch of cells (albeit complicated ones), with no more moral significance than a liver, or fingernail, and so on. Given the likely lack of any conscious thoughts in the fetus prior to birth, abortion was roughly on the same level as cutting one’s fingernails or getting one’s tonsils removed. And yet watching my daughters develop has shown me how much of who we are as people begins to develop in-utero. Personality traits quite clearly start to develop before a child even takes its first breath. So while a fetus is clearly not a “person” yet, it is also not just a bunch of cells. It is, in my opinion, a “potential person.” So I have found myself parting company with those who have no moral qualms about abortion. Had my wife and I opted for abortion for our second child (a choice we briefly considered due to erroneous blood test results) a wonderful, beautiful, brilliant proto-skepchick would not have been born.

    That having been said, I also recognize that horrible reality of unwanted children, born into circumstances I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Would I vote to ban abortions? No, I understand the need for them, especially for people who don’t lead the life of privilege that I do. I don’t have the right to make those kinds of decisions for anyone else (even including my wife!). And so, in the end, I am left in a quandary. I wouldn’t deny someone the right to an abortion, but I will always be troubled by what the fetus in question might have become if given the chance to live.

    So, writerdd, do you think that all someone like me wants to do is control women?

    P.S. I totally agree with you, wright. Those opposed to abortion have the absolute moral responsibility to work to prevent unwanted, unplanned pregnancies.

  2. I think its one to thing to be uncomfortable with abortion and another to say you want to actually ban it. One is personal ethics and the other is where the word 'control' has to be used. It might be argued its justifiable control, but it cant be seriously argued that it isnt a desire to control a womens choices, in this particular area at least – banning is by definition an act of control.

    I think its more the associated beliefs that get attached to that 'control women' meme is where its a bit of a longer bow, ie that if they are against abortion, they clearly also want them in the home, barefoot and pregant, etc. While there might be associated beliefs with an anti-abortion position, its not quite that clearcut in my view.

    I sometimes wonder how much of an effect ultrasounds and the like have also had on these views, given the increased level of identification that results. The whole area is incredibly emotional in my view, regardless of ones particular position.


  3. I've met many people who could best be described as anti-abortion but pro-choice – ie they are against abortion themselves but think that individual women should have the right to make their own choices/decisions. I think this is a very defensible position and quite a common one, although I myself fall more into the "just pro-choice" camp.

  4. Most of the comments on the Pharyngula post have said this far better than I, particularly those by Kyra: if those opposed to abortion truly cared about the fetus and its mother, they would work to prevent unwanted, unplanned pregnancies.

    “You will know them by their fruits.”
    –Matthew 7:16

  5. SteveT, your story is nice but it just confirms my view that if you don't have a uterus, you have no say about abortion. Period. You even admit that yourself. So, you and your wife decided to have another baby. So what? That doesn't mean anything in a general sense. I don't sew what that point has to do with anything.

    Your point reminds me of a bumber sticker that I see at a car in town quite often. It says, "Smile, your mother chose life." So what if she hadn't? Then I wouldn't exist and I wouldn't know anything about it. It just doesn't matter. The real irony is that the person who has that sticker is probably a Christian, so if their belief is true, the aborted baby would go straight to heaven and be spared a life on this earth. I am so amazed by Christians who supposedly believe they are going to heaven are always the ones who seem to be most afraid of death.

    You may not want to face it, but the anti-abortion crowd is all about religious bullshit. And what it boils down to, regardless of ther superstitous trappings about zygotes having souls, is that the patriarchal leaders want women to be wombs and nothing else.

  6. There's a definite difference between (for lack of a better distinction) atheists and religious folk when it comes to the what-ifs in life. I've seen that bumper sticker, writerdd, and I've always had the same exact thought as you. The same concept also comes up with the topic of (not) wanting children of my own. The question, "What if your mother had decided she didn't want to have children?" has only one acceptable answer in my mind: "I would have been spared this encounter (but wouldn't be able to realize how lucky I was)."

    My view is that I wouldn't realize it if I didn't exist (and that I won't realize it the instant I cease to exist, either). It's kind of hard to worry about the alternatives that involve me not even existing and thus not caring. It's also hard to worry about suddenly ceasing to exist – it's a temporary worry anyway.

    I can't help but extend that world-view onto other people. I'm ok with someone dying, whether that be through abortion, assisted suicide, or the death penalty. Yes, I understand the idea of robbing someone of the potential of life – and what comes along with that – but the fact it ceases to matter for the person involved the instant they cease to be makes it hard for me to be too worried about it. The needs of the living far outweigh the needs of the nonexistent (no matter how much they were yelling "I'm not dead yet!" only seconds before).

    That said, I'm not exactly pro-abortion. Despite my atheistic ways (heathen! sinner!), I actually do think people should get a chance to live out the life they managed to achieve. They beat out all of the odds against them even coming into existence – they should have a chance to go play the lottery or something, too…

    Abortion and suicide should both be legal options and doctors should be able to assist people with both. I'd prefer the alternatives be readily available (birth-control, education, medicine) – but the hoops to go the termination route be large and few.

  7. I actually think abortion will someday disappear and be considred barbaric, but at that time unwanted pregnancy will be a thing of the past, so the need for abortion will be gone.

    What really pisses me off is, as others have noted, that so many anti-abortion people are also anti-contraception, which is what, in very large part, leads me to my conclusion that they just want women to be walking-wombs. Ok, maybe they also want free maids and nannies, too. And yes, women can buy into this same garbage worldview even though they on on the victim end of the stick.

  8. Speaking of "potential" in a tiny clump of cells is just a bad argument already very far down the slippery slope and picking up speed. Every potentially procreative act has this potential. Maybe we should form a religion where sex=baby … wait I think there already is one.

    What will happen to this discussion once cloning is simple, and safe? What about the possibility of men carrying a baby to term? Do we do transplants of unwanted fetuses into the "pro-life" folks?


  9. There's a bumper sticker around my town that reads, "Ya Mama was pro-life dawlin'!" And I just want to stop them and tell them my "Mama" was and is pro-choice. And then maybe spit on them or something.

    I learned many years ago that my mother actually did consider abortion with me. My parents already had two kids and really didn't want a third. But she had me, obviously, and now I'm her favorite. ;) As writerdd pointed out, if I was never born, so what? Nobody would ever know the difference. You can't argue potential. Yeah, a fetus could grow up to be the next Carl Sagan or James Randi, but of course it could also grow up to be the next Jeffry Dahmer or Silvia Browne.

    I really don't think anti-abortionism has too much to do with controlling women, though. There are an awful lot of female pro-lifers. I think it's much more religion-based.

  10. Well, the inconsistencies in fundie thinking are obvious:

    They don't want to teach teenagers where kids come from, they definitely don't want to teach them how to prevent them. If, by sheer luck and peer influence, they actually DO find out what's available to prevent pregnancy, they don't want the kids to have access to it.

    If the obvious logical result follows and teenagers have sex and (almost inevitably) a girl gets pregnant, she's not allowed to get rid of it, and if she finally HAS the baby, she can put it up for adoption, but the one group of people who can't have kids and often want one: homosexual men, are not allowed to raise an unwanted kid, because that would be immoral and degrading family values and all that sh*t.

    And indeed, all this pro-life stuff aside, many fundies seem very insistent on going to war and executing the prison population.

    I guess in their eyes there's no double standard there, you have a right to live if, in their eyes, you are deemed worthy to survive. Never mind all that "judge not, lest ye be judged". That'sjust an annoying biblical detail best ignored for your own peace of mind.

    All that said, I don't think ALL anti-abortionists are like that. In fact, I think many (if not most) of them are following more of a buddhist "respect all living beings" kind of path through life, and will respect three week old clumps of cells as much as the life of the insane psycho-killer on death row.

    But the thing with that last group of people is: while they respect life enough not to want to kill it themselves, they usually have some means of accepting someone else's choice to have an abortion if they want to.

    My martial arts teacher has an interesting approach to vegetarianism:

    While he doesn't wish to harm ANY animals himself, he doesn't mind eating them once they're already dead.

  11. Briarking,

    Isn't it odd (or stupid?) that the pro-lifers think that everyone who is pro-choice hates children and would abort every pregnancy? When in reality, many, many, any moms have had an abortion.

    Just because there are women pro-lifers does not mean that it is not anti-women. You said it is religion based, and the religion in question–namely Christianity (at least in the US)–is patriarchal and mysogynistic.


    You're completely wrong about the so-called "pro-lifers" honoring all life in an buddhist sense. They respect fetuses but not women (they don't care if the mother's life or health is at risk because of the pregnancy, not criminals (many pro-lifers are also pro-death-penalty), not Iraqis and soldiers (many pro-lifers are pro-war), not animals (are all pro-lifers vegitarians? haha)…. so your analogy sounds nice but it doesn't hold water.

  12. writerdd said,

    Isn’t it odd (or stupid?) that the pro-lifers think that everyone who is pro-choice hates children and would abort every pregnancy?

    Yeah, that's the feeling I get. Everything seems to be black or white for them. Like when there was a movement to remove the ten commandments from the courthouse lawn, they thought we were against the commandments themselves, and therefore condone murder and all the rest.

    Still, I grant you that Christianity itself is definitely patriarchal and misogynistic, but I think their fight against abortion has less to do with women than with their own moral agendas to protect a soul.

  13. Briarking said,

    "Everything seems to be black or white for THEM." (emphasis added)

    I'm not targeting you particularly, Briarking, but I think my irony meter just exploded!

    Am I the ONLY one who finds this issue to be complex?

  14. SteveT:

    I would say the idea of terminating something that would otherwise become life is a hard and complex choice but the question of whether abortions should be legal is not. I have my doubts about whether or not I would get an abortion myself but that is where my ability to run other people's lives should end. This is a choice for individual women and the option should be available.

    So I guess I have uncertainties about abortion but still remain firmly pro-choice. Which I think covers you as well reading your first post. So what complexities do you think are being missed?

  15. Ah, Monika, a blessed voice of reason! You have always impressed me with the quality of your comments. I'll do my best to explain what I meant.

    The complexities I was referring to are mostly in the natures of people who would describe themselves as pro-life. What I saw in PZ's original post and in many of the subsequent comments here was this absurdly 2-dimensional caraciture of the universal pro-lifer. They are, apparently without exception, bible-thumping woman-haters!

    What I object to is that any time you convince yourself that everyone on the opposite side of an issue is some kind of irrational, evil, bogeyman, you have effectively given up any hope of thoughtful debate. And abortion, like pretty much every contentious issue of our time, has a wide range of people occupying a broad spectrum of positions. The solution to any kind of problem like this (if there IS one) is going to lie somewhere in between the extremes. The people you need to convince are always the ones in the middle. Describing those who disagree with your position in any way as mindless fanatics isn't going to go far in convincing them of the wisdom of your position. It hasn't worked all that well for Bush, for example. If you demonize your opponents, you may be able to raise more money for your advocacy group, but you're doing real damage to the possibility of of coming up with a "solution" that at least allows us to move forward as a society. Let me be perfectly clear here in saying that I full well realize that the "pro-life" side of this issue is even more guilty of this kind of demonization than what has been shown here. But that's still no excuse! If anything, I get even more upset when people I agree with act like jackasses on an issue than I do when the "other side" does it.

    So there you have it. I hope that was relatively clear.

  16. SteveT, I think you're buying into just what the religious right would want you to believe. Have you studied their history? They weren't even originally concerned about abortion, they picked it up as a wedge issue when their points supporting racism and greed were not powerful enough to get them general support in the poltical arena. They don't care about the weak and infirm, they care about protecting the power of the rich an powerful white men who owned this country for most of its history.

    Here's a post from a blog that pretty much mirrors my own views on this subject:

    Periodically in the comments, we will have someone show up who is “concerned” that I don’t take the cover story of the anti-choice movement about how they’re all about saving babies from the maws of abortion seriously enough, and I’d be better at arguing if I pretended to believe they cared about babies, even though their political stances overwhelmingly point to the fact that anti-choicers are motivated by the desire to control women and punish female sexuality. The concerned folks really need to quit bothering us about it and start contacting the anti-choicers they strive to defend, because said anti-choicers forgot the memo where they’re supposed to hide their misogyny and fear of female sexuality better so that concern not-trolls have more of an argument to shoot down those who support women’s rights.

    Here's one telling quote from a pro-life article, "Given that a) feminists who defend abortion invariably fall back on the “right to control her body” argument and, b) this argument is invariably motivated by nothing more than lust, the following re-definition of feminism is in order: Feminism is a minority social movement, whose members murder innocent children in order to obtain sexual gratification."

    The rest is here:

  17. Yeah, many comments on PZ's blog enbtry are very good, but the main point that's being made is that "pro-life" is a misnomer. It's a name they made up for themselves, but it's not true.

    I'm sure there are a lot of people who are against abortion simply because of a genuine concern for the unborn life. But not the people picketing and bombing abortion clinics. Their stance is decidedly anti-choice. They don't care about life, because as said before, they coulnd't care less about capital punishment or war, or the death of medical staff. They only care about premarital sex. They're against abortion not because they love babies, but because they hate women who have premarital sex, and want them to be punished for their transgression. It's the same reason they're against any kind of sexual education andwhy they're so adamantly opposed to the 100% effective HVP-vaccine.

  18. exarch, you're right on point there.

    There are certainly peons who are against abortion because they feel bad for the cuddly little fetuses. But they are being used as political fodder by people who have a completely different agenda. If the so-called pro-lifers really cared about children, in addition to what you've listed, they would support comprehensive sex education and easy access to contraception to prevent unwanted pregancies, and they would champion universal health care for pregnant women and all children to ensure the health and well being of all babies and children. Since they don't support these things, their true agenda is out in the open for everyone to see.

    With the large numbers of women who have had abortions in this country (about half of American women have experienced an unintended pregnancy, and at current rates more than one-third will have had an abortion by age 45,… one has to wonder how many of them snuck out of abortion clinic picket lines to terminate their own pregnancies and then turned up in the picket line again the next day so their peers would not suspect anything.

  19. …, one has to wonder how many of them snuck out of abortion clinic picket lines to terminate their own pregnancies and then turned up in the picket line again the next day so their peers would not suspect anything.

    As some of the comments illustrate, many a fundie mom has taken her pregnant daughter in the back entrance while her fellow church-ladie-friends picketed the front.

    Then once inside, make a big fuss about how her innocent little girl had the misfortune of getting pregnant on the very first time she strayed from the right path, unlike all those little sluts who're just there to have the baby removed so they can go back out to have more gratuitous premarital sex.

    And two days later, they're back on the front steps, waving signs.


  20. writerdd,

    Let me go on record here as agreeing with you on the general nature of the leadership of the anti-abortion movement. The leaders and extremists are, as far as I can see, a vile lot of fundamentalist women-haters. In all likelihood, they're also probably racial bigots who belong to the NRA and cheat on their taxes!

    But these are not the people who matter the most in this kind of debate. They are largely impervious to logical argument, anyway. Sort of a "Don't try to teach a pig to fly" thing, if you know the phrase. No, the people who matter are the folks who occupy the messy middle ground. The quiet ones who aren't sure what the right answer is, but are pretty sure it doesn't lie at either extreme. What I hate to see is when someone (like PZ, and you, in this case) takes a sword of righteous indignation and cuts a sharp line down the middle (defined here as being ANYWHERE between the extremes) of a debate, and then declares anyone on the far side if the line you've just cut to be a willing shill/peon/quisling/sheep/etc of the "bad guys". If you view the entire opposition as being some monolithic, single-opinion entity, you will never be doing anything beyond preaching to the already converted. No one else will be listening! It may feel good to be pure and true to a cause, but it is very rarely effective in influencing political policy. Most of the people in the middle don't think very highly of the extremists, either, and when you publicly equate them with the extremists, you just piss them off and cause them to tune you out.

  21. I know a few people who are 'pro-life' and also secular, want more sex ed and even want free contraception available! Living in a country where contraception is illegal, it's clear that much of the debate is framed from a religious angle. But that said, many of the non-religious (including women who don't hate themselves!) still don't want abortion here.

    (The solution practiced here in Ireland is that it's OK for women to go abroad to the UK and have the abortions done there – which brings up many more problems….)

    So while the roots of anti-abortionism may stem from religious reasoning, I don't think it's entirely fair to say that all pro-lifers just want to control women, even if that is the end result.

  22. SteveT, I guess we agree. I go back and forth in my feelings about the best ways to communicate about issues that are important to me. On the one hand, I think the so-called "militant" (I think true militance infers violence, which I do not see happening on the progressive side of the table) approach and overgeneralizing is often counterproductive, particulary in disucssions with the peons (and I include myself in that group, because I have no economic or political power), but on the other hand, it sure does feel good to say what I really think and propriety be damned. I guess I think there's room for both kinds of approaches to the discussion, and I really enjoy it when people are bold enough to come out and say things that make others squirm. I don't like beating around the bush or trying to temper my ideas to fit in to the acceptable "market-economy of ideas."

  23. I believe in free choice.

    I also believe in making all the information available for people MAKE that free choice.

    I don't think abortion is generally a good thing but I'm not about to tell a rape victim or teenage mother what to do either. Its a personal health and value descision for the mother to make.

    Its not physically easy on the mom and its not emotionally easy either.

  24. "its not emotionally easy either"

    That is basically a fallacy perpetrated by the religious right. Having an early term abortion is no more physically difficult than getting a root canal, maybe not even as bad. Most women who have an abortion feel complete relief afterwards. Those who are brainwashed with bullshit about zygotes having souls and who are told that abortion is murdering babies are the ones who have any serious mental or psychological problems after having an abortion.

    Above I'm talking about those who have early abortions becuse of unplanned pregnancies.

    Anyone who is having serious health issues and has to face the decision of a late-term abortion–perhaps having to choose between their own life and that of a potential baby, or having to guess if they continue the pregnancy if both the mother and the baby might die–after planning to have a baby for however many months they've been pregnant is facing completely different mental and phyiscal issues and incredibly difficult choices. I think late-term abortion is completely horrific, but it's not the government's business to tell me that I have to die or have my health ruined because my potential baby's life is worth more than mine. If I want to make that choice fine. But if I choose to preserve my own life and health, that is also fine. No-one can or should make that choice for anyone else. The idea, in the recent Supreme Court decision over so-called "partial birth abortion" that claims that us poor, stupid, emotionally distraught women need someone to protect us from our own decisions is condescending bullshit that illustrates the mysoginistic reasoning behind the decision. It makes me want to puke all over the justices who had the gall to make such fucked up statements and commit them to paper. These idiots do not belong on the bench. They don't belong anywhere in modern society.

    Sorry for hogging the comments on my own post, but if you can't tell, this topic really pisses me off.

  25. I've missed a bit of the discussion here but thought I would jump back in.

    Thanks for the compliments SteveT. And I think you make an interesting point. But does it matter what individuals motivations are if the effect is to to take away womens choices? I guess maybe it does if you want to talk to those people in the middle of the spectrum. Like writerdd I go back and forth on the best way to dicuss a whole range of issues. Sometimes it seems some people are not worth talking to (teaching pigs to fly as you put it!) and then other times that seems a defeatist attitude.

    Anyway I really wanted to post to agree with Writerdd about the fact that abortion should be an individual decision. And certainly should not be up to a group of old men (ie the Supreme Court).

    This decision seems so out of kilter to me because even if you grant that potential life has some sort of value (and I think that is logical to some degree) how can that conceivably be a higher value that the life of the mother? I don't understand the logic.

  26. June 6, 2007 at 12:02 pm, ricky mooseton wrote:

    … and its not emotionally easy either.

    I'll tell you what's much more emotionally difficult to deal with:

    having a kid and spending the next 10-15 years raising it. Having no life, or at least, no time to yourself unless you can find a sitter. Having boyfriends or (potential) future boyfriends scared away by the mere presence of that kid.

    I think a little moral dillema about what might have become of the baby if she didn't get rid of it seems incredibly unimportant by comparison. Perhaps it's a more difficult descision to make than whether or not to have a hole in your tooth fixed, but in the long run, the emotional "scarring" is not that extensive.

  27. Monika,

    I absolutely agree with you. One of the previous posters seemed to jump on my comment about the value of "potential" human life in a way that suggested that he thought I placed an equal level of value on that potential life as I do on the already-born mother. This seems to be true for many pro-life/anti-choice types, but it has never made much sense to me. Perhaps it is my scientific mindset at work, but I have no problem conceptually with a sliding scale of value for this sort of life. A just-fertilized egg cell is on one end of the scale(not really much different from the value attached to the sperm and egg). The other end of the scale is the baby that has just been born. So I have no moral problem with birth control, or the morning-after pill, or VERY early abortions. Those don't raise any red flags for me at all. And I am absolutely opposed to late term abortions, where the fetus is essentially able to live on its own (with a definite medical health exemption for the life of the mother). The challenge, and complexity in this issue (in my own mind – your mileage may vary) is knowing how the sliding value scale applies in the large in-between portion. Is it linear? Is it logarithmic? When is there enough humanity in the developing fetus to trigger my personal moral alarm bells? I don't know enough about the gestation process to be able to make that call. So there you have my thought process, in all its messiness. Along with the recognition that EVERYONE will have a different opinion on how the values scale looks. I just can't accept this as a black-and-white issue, which I suspect is true for most people who are not on the extremist fringe of the debate.

    I also understand the need and desire to vent about frustrations on this and other issues. My main concern in my postings here is that people remember that the 2-D mindless-fanatic-bogeyman they rail against when they vent is not a fair description of the majority of people who are concerned about an issue. Unfortunately, when you allow yourself the luxury of that kind of thinking, it is only too easy to forget the messy realities. After a while, the bogeyman can easily BECOME the reality you see. Look at Falwell/Limbaugh/Coulter as excellent examples of the irrational a-holes that this kind of thinking can lead to. I would hate to see anyone who posts here regularly fall into that kind of trap. PZ Myers is an example of one who I see taking on that mindset more and more often. Hopefully, it's just his blog postings that bring that side of him to the fore, and he has a more balanced perspective in "real life". The net certainly does seem to induce people to go to a more extreme position than they might otherwise express.

    Well, I've blathered on long enough here, and I'm starting to sound like a curmudgeonly old man who mistrusts this "internet-thingy". Time to do some work.

  28. Sorry if I am pointing out the obvious below, but I feel this debate has gotten way too complicated and should be recentered to where the issue of contention really is.

    Look, I have debated this issue long and hard (thats what she said :) and from every angle possible (also what she said :) and essentially the whole thing comes down to personal ideology about when life begins. All of these issues about control, and power, and choice are nothing more than superficial manifestations of the basic question of at what time a fetus can be considered a separate life from the mother.

    For the pro-choice'er, the fetus is simply not a separate life from the mother. There is great evidence to support this, manily that for most of gestation, the child cannot survive independant of the mother. To them the issue is of control over one's body, cause the fetus is seen as belonging to ones-self. They feel they can get rid of it the same way they can get a wart removed.

    As was pointed out before, pro-life'ers concieve of the child being a different person inside. For them it has ntohing to do with control or patriarchy or class warfare or whatever other crazy idea some people think they have. It is simply a matter of human rights.

    Once one accepts the status of a fetus as either a person or not there are certain implications to consider. If one accepts the fetus is a person, it then becomes very difficult to defend abortion based on the rights of the mother or individual choice because technically both of those are not justification for what amounts to the death of a person. If one accepts the fetus is not a person, then the rights of the individual trump any other moral concern.

    Personally I believe if it has different DNA than you, it does not belong ot you and is a separate life altogether. From that you can figure out where I stand, however, I have also learned that debating this issue is pointless as no one ever changes their opinions and the same arguments keep being brought up over and over again.

    Thanks, sorry if the post is a little long.

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