Monday, November 29, 2010

My Views (more like ramblings) on Abortion

Here are my thoughts on abortion. As you will see, my position is not solidifed (the general slant of it is, the details are not) and the issue is, for me, a difficult one, but not for the usual reasons. The difficulty for me lies in the fact that formulating an opinion which is not borne (pun intended?) of assertions based on arbitrary delineations is rather difficult.

I believe that abortion should be completely legal, up until a point. Where that point is exactly is the tricky part. I mean, clearly, to me, aborting at 9 months is wrong. Aborting at 5 weeks is not. What it is that makes it right/wrong is hard to nail down.

Is it sentience? Are unborn babies sentient in the first place? Is it when they develop a fully functional CNS? So is pain the issue? Pain doesn't stop people from killing non human animals. Clearly pain cannot be the issue.

Is it okay to abort a zygote? What about a blastocyst? At what stages is it okay?

Some people say that it's wrong at any time because it's a human. How do you define human? Is this a human:

What about this:

Or this:

This brings to light a fundamental question:

What make something a human?

At what point do you draw such a distinction? The problem inherent within this conundrum is that any point at which you pace that line is going to be completely arbitrary.

Here's an uncomfortable question: What makes killing a human inherently more wrong than killing any other animal?

Really, what? Try to answer this without resorting to the "cause they're just animals" defense. Can you come up with an answer that isn't just anthropocentric in nature and actually has an objective basis?

This is why I don't know. Establishing a position on this will require medical and philosophical knowledge, some of which, to my knowledge at least, we do not currently possess. There is no established objective truth in this matter, and as such, the public discource on this issue is basically a big fucking joke. It's a cesspool of red herrings, rhetoric, emotional outburtsts and rhetorical, then again, so is most of the public discource, so why should this be any different, right?

I do know that I belive that the choice should be the woman's, but I also believe that this choice should only be limited to a certain period. Something like a live birth abortion, or later term abortion, is just crazy, because I don't see how that's any different than killing the kid once it's born. However, this does not apply to those cases in which it's medically necessary. 100% I believe it is prudent to save the woman.

Of course, this brings us back to the original set of questions......

To end this, here's what I know:

1) The moment of conception being the start of ''life'' is a silly notion, that brings with it a whole set of problems.

2) The issue is a scientifc and philosophical one, not a religious one.

3) The woman's body, the woman's choice. But to a point (don't need to go there again).

4) As to where that point lies, I don't know, but I am sure we can work that out scientifically and philosophically (with some honest introspection) and not by making unsubstantiated religious claims like it's murder because god breathes life into the womb at conception or whatever.

5) The ''pro life/pro choice'' labels were ascribed to people disingenuously, in the favour of the ''pro life'' camp.

I feel that abortion is a viable option for a multitude of reasons, and it's pretty fucking clear cut that, at least in the earlier stages, all you're terminating is a grouping of fuckng cells, which I just did a moment ago when I scratched my ass. Where that grouping of cells becomes "human".....that's the problem. The fuck of it is, we cannot even define human.......

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