What does being "pro life" mean to you?

Bill Mattocks

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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?

In a representative republic such as ours, voters win, or the legislative branch wins, or the judiciary wins (if it is indeed a constitutional question). Our respective religions inform our opinions, and many of us vote based on our opinions.

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

And that is why I think it should be left to the voters.

I don't think any sane person's first choice of family planning is abortion.

I beg to differ. Seen it.

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.

I agree, and I do.
 

CanuckMA

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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……

Judaism: It is alive as it takes the first breath of air. It is not formally mourned until after the 30th day.
 

Tez3

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Judaism: It is alive as it takes the first breath of air. It is not formally mourned until after the 30th day.

Under British law a foetus cannot be murdered or injured. It does not become a human being until the umbilical cord has been cut and it can breathe independant of the mother. This mirrors Jewish law.

I have heard many gun law arguments where people say that if there's laws to restrict guns people will have them anyway, the same is true of abortion. In an ideal world how lovely it would be if there was never a need for an abortion, a healthy wanted baby every time but that is never going to happen. If there are no safe legal abortions where the law can regulate as our laws do in the UK, the back street abortions will reappear with a shocking cost to life. do it yourself abortions?
Anyone here seen the film Vera Drake?
Whats needed is education, education and more education. Teach children about sex, love and contraception.
 

Tez3

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Seems like I agree with the Brits on this one. It's potential.


Abortion in this country isn't a political issue, abortions have been legal here for many years up to 22 weeks with two doctors signing. Exceptionally later abortions may be performed for medical reasons. There are people who are anti abortion here but they aren't as vocal or as violent as in America. It doesn't come up at elections nor do voters ask about it. Like the death penalty which was abolished here also years ago it simply doesn't come up in public debates, it's a private thing.
 
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Joab

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Well, you never know how a thread will develop once you begin it. I was hoping for a less narrow discussion regarding being "pro life" than merely focusing on abortion. I think the issue gets complicated. For instance, if your "pro life" you would by logical extension be against war because it involves killing people. Than again, in World War II more Jews, gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, and really anybody the Nazi's didn't like would have been killed if we hadn't gone to war against Nazi Germany. Is freedom more valuable than life in some cases? The USA would have not come to be without a violent revolution against Great Britain. And what about animal life, insect life, does being pro life include those groups as well? Should we kill animals so we can eat meat?

While I am pro life, and seek peaceful solutions to problems, I think there are times when war is necessary as horrible as it is. I certainly think lethal force is necessary at times when no other alternatives exist when protecting yourself or loved ones or neighbors from violent, lethal aggression. And what about the quality of life? If someone is suffering from pain, should he be allowed to terminate his life when no cure seems possible? Should doctors be allowed to perform euthanasia if it's the patients' desire?

I think being pro life means far more than merely being against abortion, although that is how the debate seems to be framed these days.
 
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harlan

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As was noted early on in the thread, simply using the term was bound to limit the discussion. ;)
 

rocksham

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I think most The vast majority are opposed to murder, although what constitutes "murder" varies. Do you believe being pro life means being opposed to abortion, opposed to war, helping out some kid in a third world country from starving to death and/or helping his village with health concerns that would help keep them alive, or a combination of the three? When we hear the words "pro life" these days it seems to equate in many minds being opposed to abortion. I think being pro life should mean more than that, it should be being for the sanctity of all life, in this context human life primarily, and should really include all the above and even more. Of course being "pro life" certainly could include animal life, insect life, you name it life. What does being "pro life" mean to you? I think few people are really "pro death?"

abortion is not in the bible, so the context of religion used by the right is invalid in pushing their agenda by calling pro-life.
 

rocksham

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I agree. I chose the term 'killing' advisedly.

Basic agreement.

Yes. Although I will note your use of the term fetus. While accurate, it would also be accurate to say 'human' in front of 'fetus'. The former does not convey humanity - animals have fetuses too.

I agree that this is the important question.

I did not say abortion was murder. I said it was the killing of a human being.

As to when 'personhood' applies, I disagree. Some human beings do not have (due to unfortunate circumstances, such as prenatal conditions and accidents later in life) a brain capable of rational thought, decision making, higher functions, or even consciousness. Such people are not deprived of personhood by law or moral in our society - killing them would indeed be analogous to murder under any example where it would be murder to kill you or me.

By the same token, we continue to discover that some animals are capable of and indeed make use of mental processes which were formerly thought to be reserved to humanity - tools, planning, and the like. If personhood is a function of mental capability, we'd have to grant personhood to some animals as well as human, depending on where we draw the bar - and that bar keeps moving back, apparently.

Therefore, personhood is not strictly a function of brain function or trimester.

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.

1) The word "abortion" is not in the Bible, at all
2) It has not been proven by science where life begins in huamn form in a zygotes developemnt
3) Religion is not a valid measurement in the definition of the "Pro Life" thing as it's a political term.
 

rocksham

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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.

My personal peeve witha bortion in general is the blatant hypocricy on BOTH sides of the argument:

Pro Lifers want to hide behind religion to make their point, and if that offends too bad

Pro Choicers often dont want to explore the need for indivdiual responsibility, as in if you don't want kids, then keep your legs shut to at least take preventitive measures.

End rant.
 

Bill Mattocks

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1) The word "abortion" is not in the Bible, at all

It is the Catholic Church which forbids it, not the Bible. As a practicing Catholic, I go along with my Church.

2) It has not been proven by science where life begins in huamn form in a zygotes developemnt

Nonsense. A fertilized human egg will not become anything but a human baby, assuming it is carried to term.

3) Religion is not a valid measurement in the definition of the "Pro Life" thing as it's a political term.

You can say that, but it does not make it so. I say religion is a valid measurement, so there.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Pro Lifers want to hide behind religion to make their point, and if that offends too bad

I'm not hiding behind anything. I'm willing to go against my Church's laws on some things, but I engage my brain and make up my own mind before I do that. In the case of abortion, I agree with my Church. I'm not hiding behind anything - I've been very clear about it.

As to 'if it offends too bad,' I don't know how my anti-abortion opinion offends anyone. But I'll agree - if my opinion about abortion offends you, then yes, it sucks to be you. I'd be a coward and a punk if I changed my opinions to avoid giving offense.
 

Bill Mattocks

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abortion is not in the bible, so the context of religion used by the right is invalid in pushing their agenda by calling pro-life.

There are many biblical references used by anti-abortion Christians, and I'm sure you're aware of it. In any case, they're unlikely to abandon their opinions because you say they're 'invalid'.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Well, you never know how a thread will develop once you begin it. I was hoping for a less narrow discussion regarding being "pro life" than merely focusing on abortion.

The term has a very specific meaning in common parlance. Pointing out that the words themselves are generic and could apply to any life and any circumstances doesn't change anything - people in the USA (especially) hear 'pro life' or 'pro choice' and they know what you are referring to - and it's not your stance on capital punishment.

I think being pro life means far more than merely being against abortion, although that is how the debate seems to be framed these days.

That happens sometimes. Being a wobbly once meant something other than you felt dizzy and might fall down.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I have heard many gun law arguments where people say that if there's laws to restrict guns people will have them anyway, the same is true of abortion.

Yes, abortion was once illegal in the USA, and some women went out of the country to have abortions or had them performed by unlicensed providers or by doctors who refused to obey the law clandestinely.

I have never believed in the argument that laws should be changed just because some people ignore them.

We have laws against DUI, but DUI is a huge problem anyway. So by your logic, I guess we should just give up and make driving drunk legal.

In an ideal world how lovely it would be if there was never a need for an abortion, a healthy wanted baby every time but that is never going to happen.

Define 'need'. If it is a medical necessity for the health of the mother, then I'd agree. Otherwise, I question if there is a 'need' for the abortion.

If there are no safe legal abortions where the law can regulate as our laws do in the UK, the back street abortions will reappear with a shocking cost to life. do it yourself abortions?

People break the law at their own risk. You suggest we should make things easier for lawbreakers?

Anyone here seen the film Vera Drake?

No, sorry.

Whats needed is education, education and more education. Teach children about sex, love and contraception.

And give them abortions on demand when they (gasp) refuse to listen to advice. Sorry, I disagree.
 

Phoenix44

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A couple of thoughts:

I'm an advocate of birth control, but even the best form of birth control, sterilization, has a failure rate of maybe half a percent within the first year of use. Other forms of birth control have much higher failure rate. So "educate, educate, educate" is a great idea, but not the whole picture.

Another thing to consider is that, according to the NIH, 15-20% of pregnancies are miscarried--probably more, because that's only among the women who actually KNOW they're pregnant. So, in fact, a zygote does not always turn into a human person, not by a long shot.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Yeah, and you crap out everything you eat, doesn't mean the food is crap, just has the potential to be. Just like an embryo.

A fertilized human egg is a new, unique, human life. It will become a human baby if brought to term and delivered. So yes, it is a potential baby. But it already a new, unique, human, life.

We are all potential fertilizer. But right now, we are living, unique, human beings. And so is a child in its mother's womb.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Another thing to consider is that, according to the NIH, 15-20% of pregnancies are miscarried--probably more, because that's only among the women who actually KNOW they're pregnant. So, in fact, a zygote does not always turn into a human person, not by a long shot.

I believe the rate of spontaneous miscarriages are higher, as you do.

A zygote does not always survive to be delivered as a baby, true, and if you check, you will find I have not said otherwise. I said that if carried to term, it will be a human baby.

However, it will also not become any other type of baby. It won't become a baboon, or a chimpanzee, or a cockroach. It is a new, unique, human, life.
 
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