Q for those who are staunchly PL

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2004
Q for those who are staunchly PL
59
Thu, 09-27-2007 - 3:58pm
I have a question for those who feel that abortion is never ok. What is the point of continuing a pregnancy that is going to kill the mother before viability is reached? Once the mother dies the fetus is going to die anyways?? Why is it wrong to try to save at least one person?





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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2007
Thu, 09-27-2007 - 4:17pm

Well, I'm not PL - but I feel like writing something anyway.

I think what a PLer would say would be that it's impossible to be 100% certain that whatever it is would actually kill the mother, and as long as there's an infinitesimal chance that both can be saved, it's wrong to take the action of choice.

This brings to mind some ethics research I heard on This American Life several weeks ago. Large numbers of people are asked about a series of ethical dilemmas, along these lines:
There's a big train full of innocent people zooming along a track which will join another track. You are standing on a bridge over the track and can see that after the join, there's another train zooming the other way, and if the train makes the switch there will be a horrible fiery wreck and many tens - maybe hundreds of people - will die.

In the first scenario, people are asked if they would throw a switch to prevent the trains from running in the same track. Just about everyone answers that they would do this to prevent the accident.

In the next scenario, people are asked if they would release a large suspended piece of furniture from the bridge, causing the train to jump the track and harmlessly lose its momentum in the event terrain (how a bystander is expected to be that certain about physics and trains throws me but accepting that you would know this is part of the set up).
Just about everyone would take action to prevent the crash.

Next, people are told that there's a very large man teetering on the edge of the bridge and you become aware that he will fall unless you catch his hand to restore his balance. You are also quite certain that his body is big enough to make the train jump the track and avert the crash.
A majority of people will stand by and let the man fall to save the hundreds in the train.

Last, people are told that the very large man is not falling - just standing precipitously close to the edge - and that you know his body mass is big enough to make the train jump (but yours is not) and you have the choice of pushing the man to save all the lives of the people on the train, though sacrificing yourself is not a viable option.
Not many people at all in the study were willing to push the man to prevent the crash.

Some 50% of the people studied see a HUGE difference between callously allowing a man to fall and deciding to push him.

I think the whole setup is quite synthetic and bizarre - but the reported results underscore something we all see all the time in real life. We are ridiculously squeamish. As long as we don't have to actually take the action, many of us don't mind being party to atrocity. Whether this is in the case of cruel purebred puppy mills, or inhumane treatment of conventionally raised food animals, or child labor in China producing nearly everything sold at Wal-Mart, or biting the bullet and sacrificing an embryo in order to drastically improve the chances for a living child (or woman) - many people simply can't face actually taking an action. They back away and wash their hands, leaving it all "up to fate " as though it somehow reduces their guilt.

Okay, that last paragraph may have been the harshest thing I've ever written on this board, and I don't mean that people are evil and do this on purpose - I think that unless one is raised to question everything and understand that inaction has the same reponsibility as action, one is essentially in a state of ignorance. So it's not that people are stupid, just that they need to think a little more.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2006
Thu, 09-27-2007 - 4:27pm

""I think that unless one is raised to question everything and understand that inaction has the same reponsibility as action, one is essentially in a state of ignorance. So it's not that people are stupid, just that they need to think a little more.""


I absolutely agree.

Lori
**Navy Wife to Eddie since Dec 2002**

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2007
Thu, 09-27-2007 - 4:47pm
It's not wrong.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-2007
Fri, 09-28-2007 - 10:19am

<<I have a question for those who feel that abortion is never ok. >>


I see you didn't get any responses from prolifers, and that doesn't surprise me at all.


First of all, "abortion" is something that is done with the intent to kill the baby.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2004
Fri, 09-28-2007 - 10:56am

>>Prolifers aren't stupid, your opinion notwithstanding. They know that a dead mother means two dead people.<<

oh some are just like some PCers are. Stupid people can wear all labels. Just because the logic may escape you or me does not mean there are not people who believe that it is not ok to abort to save the mother. There are defiantly people who believe that it goes against gods will and it should never be done.






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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-2007
Fri, 09-28-2007 - 11:19am

<>


Did you miss the significance I attached to the word "abort", as opposed to "early delivery"?


I don't know of any prolifers who oppose early delivery when a mother's life is threatened, and if there are any I'm sure they are a tiny, tiny minority....... so why would you focus on such a fringe element of prolifers?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2007
Fri, 09-28-2007 - 11:26am

"I see you didn't get any responses from prolifers, and that doesn't surprise me at all."

Actually, little_s is PL.

melissajune21.jpg picture by ambersspace


&nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2004
Fri, 09-28-2007 - 12:40pm

I previously ignored the early delivery part because it has nothing to do with what I was discussing. I was discussing abortion and if it is ok to save the mothers life. Many times early delivery is not an option. In cases like ectopic pg, maternal hemorrhaging, certain cancers, uterine ruptures ect. Also early deliver comes with it's own set of problems. The earliest most doctors will allow you to deliver (and attempt to keep the baby alive) is 24 weeks. For many women a 60% chance of watching your child die over a period of days,weeks, or months is not an attractive option. Also even if the baby survives there is no guarantee of QUALITY of life. So a purposeful micro preemie brings in a whole nother set of moral questions. If you want to get into them fine let me know.

As for my reasons for starting this thread it was partly because of a statement another made that they later clarified and partly because I was wondering if any regulars felt that way and partly because maybe a lurker who shared that view would explain the logic to me ....

as for fringe PCers well I am not sure what their views are as none of them post here that I am aware of but if you would like to share some views you have heard from them over the years I would be happy to think on them






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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-2007
Fri, 09-28-2007 - 1:09pm

<>

If you're going to settle for "most doctors", then you're probably not prolife anyway. A prolife OB-GYN will deliver an embryo/fetus at any stage of pregnancy, in such a way as to give the baby the best chance of survival. And that is a far cry from an "abortion", the purpose of which is to "get rid of" the baby. If you can't see the difference between giving a baby a chance to beat the odds and survive, and intentionally killing it, then I'm wasting my time.

<>

It sounds like you see no moral difference between a natural death and being killed intentionally. Is that the case?

<>

Oh, so everything that the PCers here say is okay with you? Is that why you spend most of your time challenging prolifers instead?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2004
Fri, 09-28-2007 - 2:53pm

>>If you're going to settle for "most doctors", then you're probably not prolife anyway. A prolife OB-GYN will deliver an embryo/fetus at any stage of pregnancy, in such a way as to give the baby the best chance of survival. And that is a far cry from an "abortion", the purpose of which is to "get rid of" the baby. If you can't see the difference between giving a baby a chance to beat the odds and survive, and intentionally killing it, then I'm wasting my time.<<

you obviously know nothing about preemies. The reason a doctor wont deliver a baby before 24 weeks and put it on life support (unless it is showing some crazy advanced development) is because it is a lost cause. Even at 24 weeks (which is just barely viable) you have to deal with NEC (when parts of the intestine die) IVH (bleeding in the brain which depending on the severity can cause massive brain damage) ROP (eye problems which is not properly treated can lead to blindness) PDA (when a valve in the heart that normally closes at birth remains open and causes too much blood flow to the lungs) RDS (breathing issues that can be compounded by ventilators tearing the lungs) type 2 jaundice (caused by long term IV feeding) Liver failure (also caused by long term IV feeding) FTT (failure to thrive where the child does not grow properly) Also long term you have a high risk of learning disorders, improper growth, cystic fibrosis, and many more (can you help me here wobbit?)

also that doesn't even touch on the test they have to endure daily. Being touched minimally because their skin will tear, chronic infections.

Please don't preach to me about the morality of delivering a baby that early (or ever earlier if you can find a quack willing to do it) I have seen it many times over.






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