What does being "pro life" mean to you?

Bill Mattocks

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In self defense situations, sure.

So by that argument, you would be OK with killing an unborn fetus if it involved self defense (not your business) but not OK with killing an unborn fetus if self defense was not involved?
 

harlan

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Ignore the bystander.

Ignore the one day old fertilized egg.

What about a female's right to make decisions about what she does with her body? Is everyone okay with the idea that being pregnant strips a woman of her rights?
 

Bill Mattocks

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What about a female's right to make decisions about what she does with her body? Is everyone okay with the idea that being pregnant strips a woman of her rights?

We place restrictions on what people do with their bodies all the time; most are uncontroversial. In most locations, laws prohibit putting certain drugs into our bodies. Prostitution is illegal in many places. Suicide is illegal, even though seldom prosecuted. There are many things we cannot do with our own bodies as members of society.

Why would this be any different? In the above restrictions, the lives that are at risk are presumably aware of the risks. In cases of abortion, the life that is lost was not consulted.
 

elder999

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My religion teaches that personhood is bestowed by a Creator, not a process. I'm willing to go with that. A human fetus is a person. Ending that life is killing a person. Murder? I'm not ready to make that statement.

Religious prohibitions against abortion are rather flexible.The Catholic Church has hardly been consistent in its teaching in this regard; in fact, for the Church, the equation of all abortions with murder is relatively new.

The Roman Catholic Church first adopted the beliefs of Aristotle, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas that ensoulment occurs several weeks after conception. Pope Innocent III, who ruled at the turn of the 13th Century, made that belief part of Church doctrine, allowing abortion until fetal "animation"-when the mother could feel the fetus moving and kicking, generally between 12 and 22 weeks of development (though the fetus actually starts to move at around 6 weeks). It was not until 1869 that the Church prohibited abortion at any time and for any reason.

Thomas Aquinas (13th century) preached that the souls of humans were planted, by God, at day 90 for girls and day 40 for boys. Therefore Catholics had believed that, as long as abortion was carried out before the soul was present in the fetus, it was not morally wrong.

Without getting into all the complications of the Old Testament and the Talmudic law therein, I’ll just say that the Jewish viewpoint has largely been fairly equivalent to the old Roman Catholic viepoint-that is, that abortion was not murder-in fact, in practical terms, a baby isn’t “alive” under jewish law until it’s been alive for the 13th day after being born……

Under Islam, abortion is only punishable when done without the father’s consent; it also holds that abortion is permissible until between 40 and 120 days after conception.

The only ancient religions that appear to have specific penalties for abortion are Buddhism, and Hinduism.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Religious prohibitions against abortion are rather flexible.The Catholic Church has hardly been consistent in its teaching in this regard; in fact, for the Church, the equation of all abortions with murder is relatively new.

I'm sure you're right, but not sure how it is relevant. Are you suggesting that I should not abide by the rules of my faith because they changed them? Or that no one should cite religious values for being anti-abortion because not all religions agree with them?

Laws may change, but the current Canonical law is what applies to me. It so happens that I am willing to go along with the current prohibition on abortion as well the reasoning given by the Church for it. If Canon law were to change, I'd consider it at that time.
 

elder999

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I'm sure you're right, but not sure how it is relevant. Are you suggesting that I should not abide by the rules of my faith because they changed them? Or that no one should cite religious values for being anti-abortion because not all religions agree with them?

Laws may change, but the current Canonical law is what applies to me. It so happens that I am willing to go along with the current prohibition on abortion as well the reasoning given by the Church for it. If Canon law were to change, I'd consider it at that time.


nah, I don't care if your religion tells you abortion is wrong becuase Xenu says so.

I'm just saying it hasn't always been that way-not even close.
 

JadecloudAlchemist

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The words used for "breath," and "human" in Hebrew are related-both imply breathing air. The same could be said for Biblical (koine) Greek....I don't know abobut the Chinese

Breathe would translate like:Bi xi ( 鼻息) (nose breathing)
there is also Embryo breathing called Tai xi(胎 息 but it does not mean the same thing as this thread and is a Qigong exercise.
 

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When I hear the term "pro-life" I obviously think of the abortion debate.

To me "pro-life" means a staunch refusal to accept death. I mean no offense to those who consider themselves pro-life advocates. Cells die. Organisms die. A human fetus in the first trimester cannot survive outside the womb, nor does it have the nervous ability to "feel" pain. To me, the death of the cells of the fetus is obviously not like the death of some skin cells, but is also not like the death of a newborn child. I think if a woman chooses to abort the fetus early in the pregnancy then that is her choice and it will not harm humanity for such to happen. What will harm humanity is if another child is brought into this world without the parent's having the ability to provide for them or make rational decisions which include thoughts of the child.

I kind of stress the first trimester for pregnancy, because, though I am a "pro-choice" advocate, I am against late term abortions. The second trimester I'm "iffy" on, but I don't like the idea of a woman carrying a fetus for 7 or 8 months before making a decision. At that point the nervous system has been developed to a point that just feels wrong to destroy (that's right! I said it. And I meant it. It "feels" wrong. I'm not saying it is or is not. It just feels wrong to me.) Being pro-choice, I support a woman's choice to abort. I hope she, and hopefully the father,too, will have taken the time to think through the decision, as well.

Here's a personal story for you.

My son will be 8 years old next month. I've spoken to him once since he was born. He was adopted three days after his birth.

When I was 17 years old my ex-girlfriend broke the news to me that she was pregnant. She was 16 at the time. I was a young drug-addict who had been kicked out of high school and whose only source of income at that time was dealing (don't worry things changed a lot after that. Feel free to ask me about it sometime.) We spent that first month taking a lot of long drives and walks to talk about our choices. Abortion was always an option for us (and I'm very glad it was). We looked at a few important things: we had contraception available in our society but had not used it, my ex felt she was strong enough to carry the fetus to term and was scared but very brave at the same time, and we knew that if we worked together to keep each other sane we could consider adoption. I'm proud of the decision we made, but, like I said, I am so very glad that abortion was still one of the options. It sounded bleak, but that child deserved better than what we had to offer him at that time.

(BTW, his name is Mitchell, he has some awesome parents who seem to love him very much, and I've seen him around a few times and he always looks very happy. He was a munchkin in the Wizard of Oz musical at the old high school last year, so cute.)

People often try to draw a line for where life begins for a fetus. It is very hard to draw such a line. This is because life is always occuring for that fetus. Even before conception. The parents are alive and their cells are alive, this includes their gametes.
 

Omar B

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I'm in the pro-choice camp, my rational is that rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn).

Ok, I've said my bit.
 

elder999

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And I'm still asking why that matters. If it doesn't matter, what is the point of bringing it up?

Inasmuch as "pro-life" in re abortion is a modern concept, including to the Catholic church and other religious organizations, protestations from others notwithstanding, it's relevant. The point being that the Catholic Church taught that abortion was okay, and not a mortal sin, right up until 140 years ago....ditto just about everyone else.
 

blindsage

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I'm about as pro women's rights as one gets, but it's always struck me as odd that the only way people seem to have to defend a woman's right to choose is by de-humanizing the life in the womb. If you say it's human people seem to say it's not okay, if you say it's not people seem to find abortion acceptable. I have never been able to say the life in a womb is not human and none of the rationale's for it have ever been convincing to me.

I'm for the option of abortion in the contexts of medical concerns, incest or rape because of the significant other factors involved, but for just about any other reason I can only see it as birth control, and not really acceptable to me. And a D&C is not an abortion, it is a medical necessity to remove already dead tissue.

Now, in terms of an encroachment on a woman's rights, this is only the case if you believe the life growing in the womb is not human or not alive. If you say it is a human life, then it has rights as well. There are people that use this issue as a continuing method to subjegate and control women, I am not one of those people. But I cannot in good conscience (my good conscience) condone abortion in a general sense.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I'm in the pro-choice camp, my rational is that rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being.

A fetus is a being. It is a new life, unique, and human.

A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born.

That's a statement, not an argument. In any case, in some cases, a child apparently does have rights before it is born.

http://www.nrlc.org/Unborn_Victims/Statehomicidelaws092302.html

One cannot 'murder' a being that has no rights. Conversely if one can 'murder' an unborn child (in many states according to the link above), then the unborn child, ipso facto, has rights.

The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn).

This is, I presume, your opinion. Fair enough.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Inasmuch as "pro-life" in re abortion is a modern concept, including to the Catholic church and other religious organizations, protestations from others notwithstanding, it's relevant. The point being that the Catholic Church taught that abortion was okay, and not a mortal sin, right up until 140 years ago....ditto just about everyone else.

You appear to be attempting to undermine any claim to religious belief as a valid reason to choose to be pro-life by showing that religion wasn't always that way. I'm not sure how to respond - if a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his butt on the ground when he hopped, I guess. Yes, it wasn't always that way. It is now.
 

elder999

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You appear to be attempting to undermine any claim to religious belief as a valid reason to choose to be pro-life by showing that religion wasn't always that way. I'm not sure how to respond - if a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his butt on the ground when he hopped, I guess. Yes, it wasn't always that way. It is now.


Actually, I'm attempting to show how something as variable as "belief" simply cannot, and should not have the force of law. If, for more than 1400 years, the Catholic Church had no injunction against abortion whatsoever, why should its current viewpoint have any impact at all upon a legal question?

Granted, the law is also variable-at one time, duels were permitted in a variety of places-and more's the pity.
 

Carol

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When I was 17 years old my ex-girlfriend broke the news to me that she was pregnant. She was 16 at the time. I was a young drug-addict who had been kicked out of high school and whose only source of income at that time was dealing (don't worry things changed a lot after that. Feel free to ask me about it sometime.)

Hearty congratulations to you for the way you stopped making mistakes, got an education, and turned your life around. :asian:
 

Marginal

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I'm about as pro women's rights as one gets, but it's always struck me as odd that the only way people seem to have to defend a woman's right to choose is by de-humanizing the life in the womb. If you say it's human people seem to say it's not okay, if you say it's not people seem to find abortion acceptable. I have never been able to say the life in a womb is not human and none of the rationale's for it have ever been convincing to me.
If it comes down the the mother's life or the fetus, it's not that hard of a choice to everyone involved. They aren't weighted the same. One has years of experience and knowledge. The other one's blank and can only be weighed on potential.
 

Phoenix44

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I respect Bill Mattocks' absolute right to practice his religion as he sees fit, and I respect his viewpoint.

Here's the catch: MY religion defines human life at birth, not at conception.

So does Bill's religion "win"? Does my religion "win"? Or should we respect each other's religious beliefs?

That's why I think it has to be left to the individual.

I don't think any sane person's first choice of family planning is abortion. I wish that those opposed to abortion would support birth control education and availability; adoption; day care and other options (and of course, many do). That would certainly decrease the demand for abortion.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Actually, I'm attempting to show how something as variable as "belief" simply cannot, and should not have the force of law. If, for more than 1400 years, the Catholic Church had no injunction against abortion whatsoever, why should its current viewpoint have any impact at all upon a legal question?

Granted, the law is also variable-at one time, duels were permitted in a variety of places-and more's the pity.

I agree, it should have no force of law, and no impact upon a legal question. It has an impact upon Canon Law, to which I bind myself as a willing Catholic, and to my opinion, which I hold regardless of what the zeitgeist regarding abortion happens to be.
 

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