Catholic Church ‘Punishes’ Hospital for Saving Woman’s Life December 22, 2010

Catholic Church ‘Punishes’ Hospital for Saving Woman’s Life

Do you need any more evidence to be convinced that hospitals should not be affiliated with the Catholic Church?

In 2009, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center admitted a pregnant woman who was at nearly 100% risk of death. In order to save her life, the doctors chose to abort her baby, saving the mother’s life in the process.

What did the church have to say about this?

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix stripped a major hospital of its affiliation with the church Tuesday…

Bishop Thomas Olmsted called the 2009 procedure an abortion and said St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center — recognized internationally for its neurology and neurosurgery practices — violated ethical and religious directives of the national Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“In the decision to abort, the equal dignity of mother and her baby were not both upheld,” Olmsted said at a news conference announcing the decision. “The mother had a disease that needed to be treated. But instead of treating the disease, St. Joseph’s medical staff and ethics committee decided that the healthy, 11-week-old baby should be directly killed.”

Actually, the medical staff and ethics committee decided that the mother’s life needed to be saved. They did what was necessary to make that happen.

You know who they didn’t bother turning to for medical advice? A local Bishop who has no medical training or expertise, but who thinks he should have more authority than he deserves.

There is a bright side to all this: The hospital is no longer affiliated with the church. (*Hemant throws confetti in the air*)

St. Joseph’s does not receive direct funding from the church, but in addition to losing its Catholic endorsement, the 697-bed hospital will no longer be able to celebrate Mass and must remove the Blessed Sacrament from its chapel.

And the problem with that is…?

It’s a hospital. Patient care is what matters most. Not religious rituals. And certainly not the anti-woman dictates of the Catholic Church and Thomas Olmsted.

Maybe the powers-that-be in the hospital can motion to change the name of the hospital, too. The less of a connection to Catholicism, the better.

(via Cynical-C Blog)

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  • The biggest problems for the hospital stemming from this decision will be the donors they lose and the volunteers who no longer serve because they place their religion before helping others.

    Those at the hospital who made the decision should be recognized for their courage. They didn’t ignore the guidelines for catholic hospitals as has been suggested by the bishop, but rather recognized that the guidelines provided room for judgment on the part of the medical specialists.

    One of the hospital team was excommunicated and removed from her post because she refused to be bullied by a narrowminded old man and to their credit the rest of the team has held firm in not apologizing for the decision they made-that shows true integrity and service, two things the bishop doesn’t demonstrate, in spite of his “authority”.

    When they return the communion wafers I hope they suggest some place he can keep them now that they won’t be kept in the hospital chapel!

  • Richard Wade

    So, the Catholic Church already doesn’t give the hospital money, and that non-existent money won’t be coming any more. Damn!

    And the High Mumbo Jumbo can’t be celebrated there. Damn!

    And they’re gonna take away the Magic Crackers and Magic Grape Juice. Damn!

    All this terrible loss because some stupid doctors wanted to do something so trivial as save a woman’s life. Damn!

  • Cabal

    Wait, so we’re atheists and that immediately means that we’re in favour of condoning abortion? No way. This is one moment where I agree with the bishop. Equal rights to life of both mother and child were most certainly NOT considered in this case.
    I honestly can’t say that I’d know what to do during that moment. Abortion moments, per se, such as these leave me ethically ambivalent. I hope at the very least that the decision to abort was not an easy one for those doctors or that mother-to-be.

    Just to throw this out there: if that baby/fetus were outside of the womb, would we think it permissible to kill it in order to save its mother? Or wait, I believe we’d call that murder. It’s bloody arbitrary that we make such a distinction with regard to valuing lives.

  • Spencer

    @Cabal

    So, you’d rather that the woman die rather than the fetus live?

    Grow up. Fetuses aren’t babies. They aren’t humans (yet). The mother has precedence many times over.

  • sarah

    Just to throw this out there: if that baby/fetus were outside of the womb, would we think it permissible to kill it in order to save its mother? Or wait, I believe we’d call that murder. It’s bloody arbitrary that we make such a distinction with regard to valuing lives.

    A fetus wouldn’t be outside the womb since it is a fetus. If the baby was “outside of the womb” that means it was born, it is now a human being.

  • Spencer

    A fetus wouldn’t be outside the womb since it is a fetus. If the baby was “outside of the womb” that means it was born, it is now a human being.

    I think what he meant was that our pro-choice attitudes would be different if babies were somehow made outside of a woman’s womb. And that might be true, for one part of the issue of abortion is the right of woman to her own body. But even with that gone, I would still say that it’s perfectly ethical to kill an unborn baby to save a mother, even if it wasn’t inside of her.

  • Cabal, looking at the report, the woman was 11 weeks pregnant and already in danger. If she’d died, the foetus wouldn’t have come to term anyway. Not aborting would still have led to the death of the foetus, as well as the mother. The foetus was doomed either way; they saved a life by accelerating its destruction. This isn’t condoning abortion, it’s condemning the dogmatic view that as long as the church’s rules are upheld it’s okay to let people suffer and die.

  • DA

    As far as I can tell from the story, it was an issue of letting BOTH of them die, or saving the mother, so any kind of quandry at all seems ludicrous to me.

    And there are some small handful of anti-abortion atheists, along with many trolls claiming to be such online (not to say Cabal is one such, just that the net versions seem to outnumber their real world counterparts by a healthy margin).

  • Richard Wade

    Wait, so we’re atheists and that immediately means that we’re in favour of condoning abortion?

    No, it means that we don’t think that medical decisions should be based on contrived and arbitrary interpretations of ancient books of myths, interpretations designed to control people and to subjugate women. At 11 weeks, the fetus is about 1 1/2 inches long and cannot survive outside the womb. Only one fetus at 21 weeks has been documented surviving outside the womb, and most fetuses 23 weeks old or less die. The 11 week fetus has not breathed a single breath, or from what we can tell, thought a single thought. It is not a human any more than a one third-developed acorn is an oak tree. The mother, on the other hand has a life she has been living and wants to continue to live. She has a family, husband and possibly other children who love her and need her.

  • @ Cabal:

    You’re ignoring something really, really obvious. So did the bishop:

    If you let a women who’s eleven weeks pregnant die, the embryo she’s carrying WILL ALSO DIE.

    Speaking as a medical professional, I would just like to invite people who haven’t yet thought about that distinction to kindly remove their heads from their backsides. The mother could be saved, the embryo could not. There was no decision to make.

  • MutantJedi

    @Cabal,

    The situation was simple: mother lives or both mother and fetus die. The fetus was 11 weeks. Not even close to being viable outside the womb.

    It is a tough call because it is an emotional call. The woman and family will grieve from the loss of what could have been.

    At the same time, it is a very easy call. The woman is a wife, daughter, and mother. It has nothing to do with being an atheist or theist. The human, the compassionate, the ethical, and the right thing to do is to save the woman.

    Your effort to transform the situation into something completely different is at best misunderstanding the situation or at worse a deliberate attempt to deceive.

  • Jeff

    It’s such an insular institution, concerned primarily with its own perpetuation, that it can’t see how utterly irrelevant it is. As Richard said, they can’t serve crackers and grape juice any longer. Big deal.

    (There are Catholic charities that do really good and important work – feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, etc. Our Catholic charities here in Boston are an excellent example.)

    I wish I could say the Church is running headlong to its own demise, but, unfortunately, it continues to find its support among the poor and downtrodden of the Third World, and, as a result, becomes increasingly conservative and reactionary.

  • MutantJedi

    @Spencer,

    Do you read what you write? 🙂

    If babies were made outside of a woman’s womb… we’d be birds, right? If the unborn baby wasn’t inside of her, it wouldn’t be unborn, right? It would have to have already been born, true?

    If the baby is outside of the mom, what possible scenario could you or Cabal come up with that would link the mother’s survival to the killing of the baby? Hostage crisis? Organ donation? That’s what made Cabal’s shifted situation stupid.

  • Richard Wade

    Bishop Olmstead’s rules are followed, = Mother and fetus both die = Olmstead is happy.

    Bishop Olmstead’s rules are not followed, = Mother lives and fetus dies = Olmstead is angry.

    He doesn’t give a rat’s zinger about the “dignity” of the mother or the baby, or even their lives. He only cares about having his rules followed and keeping his authority intact.

    This is the same bullshit as the Pope forbidding condoms in Africa because using them violates his rules. To hell with saving lives, follow my goddamn rules!

  • Spencer

    @MutantJedi
    I was just talking purely hypothetical there.

  • This:

    “The mother had a disease that needed to be treated. But instead of treating the disease, St. Joseph’s medical staff and ethics committee decided that the healthy, 11-week-old baby should be directly killed.”

    Is wrong. There was no healthy, 11-week-old baby. There was a fetus. When a baby is born we don’t celebrate their birthday after three months. By calling it a baby they are already trying to load the emotional scales in their favour. It is very sad that the woman lost her baby but it is also very good that she survived.

    It would have been tragic if she had died because the medical professionals were limited in the treatment they could deliver because of the opinions of a bunch of superstitious men. I’ll listen to their opinions when they’ve gone through medical school or when they have to face a decision to put their own lives at risk to carry a child to term.

  • Claudia

    I remember this case because the church upon learning about the events inmediately excommunicated those involved in the decision. So, just so we’re clear, the moral priorities of the church are:

    – Save a woman’s life by aborting a fetus: Inmediate excommunication of all involved.

    – Rape small children: Hide the evidence, swear the victims to secrecy, transfer the priest and when confronted with the fact you knew it was happening claim you “needed time” to check on allegations.

    Yes, I can totally see why they see themselves as a moral guiding light.

  • ScottDogg

    Off-topic, but I thought it was cool:

    An anagram for
    “Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger Pope Benedict XVI”

    is
    “Vatican-bred Nazi JC-expert pedophile’s groin.” 😆

  • dartigen

    @Cabal consider it this way – the woman has survived, and she can have another child.
    Dead women don’t get pregnant.
    To me, it’s better to have a woman alive who can get pregnant again and have another baby, than a dead woman and a dead fetus. 11 weeks isn’t even close to viable (and even when a fetus is viable, that doesn’t mean that it’s going to live or going to be healthy).
    Yes, it’s emotional and traumatic for the woman, but she has survived, and she can have another pregnancy (and hopefully it doesn’t go as horribly wrong as it did here).

  • Elena Villarreal

    How are they going to prevent the hospital from practicing Catholicism? They don’t have a copyright on the thing, do they? Can’t anyone just celebrate Mass if they want to?

  • The thing that ruffles my feathers the most is this part of the quote:

    “In the decision to abort, the equal dignity of mother and her baby were not both upheld,”

    The Catholic Church doesn’t hold any dignity towards women. They’re told to stay silent and be baby factories.

    @Elena:

    I don’t think they can. They need an ordained priest, and it’s likely any Catholic priest who would agree to perform a mass at the hospital would be excommunicated for violation of their ethics – just like the nun who agreed it’s better to save a woman’s life than to kill her to support their bronze age beliefs.

  • david

    now if I was a dr could I make demands on what gets said at a sunday morning mass/serivice ? no
    so what gives some old guy in a pointy hat and that wears a frock more say than a dr ?

    at the end of the day the choice comes down to the woman not the dr OR the church

    the woman could have refused treatment

    that being said the church would rather they both died as that would have been ” gods will”

    yet again it allows a double standard b y being fine with church affiliated hospitals doing infertility treatment surely its “gods will” that yhey cant have kids as well or just another case of we make the rules OUR way ?

    abortion at the end of the day is a PERSONAL choice wiether based on thought or religious indoctrenation its still YOUR choice
    what those that want to ban it dont get is that ok say its banned cool they are happy then whats next ? ban gambling as thats bad as well, or ban drink ( oh that worked great last time they tried that one ) if you start banning things based mainly on religious grounds they how are we any different to any of the middle east countries that we complain about daily when another story comes out that the west thinks is a human rights issue yet they see it as ” just following the religious teachings ” ?

    the bishop needs to worry about declining attendance rather than getting involved with matters that are and should never be any of his concern

  • AWayfaringStrainer

    This is a growing problem with conglomerates. Even though there are about 10 hospitals in my medical plan, my daughter was forced to go to the one Catholic hospital in the system for some elective surgery, due to various administrative constraints. I am just glad that no complications arose and was pissed that I had to walk by the Dept of Spiritual Care (or some such quackery) to get to her room. Let priests, ministers, and witch doctors, come and visit patients, if they want it, but do not assign limited resources and space to mumbo-jumbo. We need to isolate all Catholic hospitals until they are willing to treat all patients without clerical oversight.

  • Heidi

    Wait, so we’re atheists and that immediately means that we’re in favour of condoning abortion?

    I sure as hell am. I condone all kinds of things upon which self-righteous, moralistic pricks pass judgment.

  • JD

    Cabal was just a troll, that should be clear. The argument has several obvious anti-abortion talking points wrapped up in one gassy burrito.

    I don’t believe for a moment that hospital physicians would want to perform unnecessary abortions. That’s inviting too many problems politically.

    The “rights” of a fetus are irrelevant if the mother can’t survive long enough to carry the fetus. I am somewhat sympathetic to some arguments against abortion, but if you’re against it to the point of allowing BOTH the mother and fetus to die to satisfy your agenda, when one can survive, then the argument isn’t rational anymore.

  • I agree with lots of comments here.

    1. Yes it is dangerous for medical service institutions to take instruction from theocratic institutions. (It would also be ineffective for research institutions to take instruction from theocratic institutions). In both cases, the moral decisions on how to perform the job should be based on a better morality than what any fossilized theocratic system (with its “holy” books) could offer.

    2. It is possible for an atheist to be against abortion in general. (I’m pro-choice, though). The decision for everybody should be based on secular reasons, though – not what some guy in a pointed hat says (or a slick-talking guy with a hairpiece on television or up on the pulpit).

    3. I find it hard to believe that anyone who thought about it rationally would conclude that it would be better for both mother and fetus to die than just the fetus alone. It takes irrational adherence to religion to come to that conclusion.

  • stogoe

    healthy, 11-week-old baby

    This is some gigantic bullshit right here. This is not a ‘baby’. It was 11 weeks out from conception. That is not a baby. It’s a mass of undifferentiated cells. For all intents and purposes, it’s a tumor.

    Somebody says to you ’11-week-old baby’, you think diapers and all-night screaming. They’re using factually incorrect language to shame and guilt people into thinking that ‘removing a tumor to save a woman’s life’ is equal to ‘smothering that cutesty wootsy oochie goochie widdle infant precious baby umpkins to death’.

  • Erp

    I wonder if the bishop had found out about the decision ahead of time and managed to block the necessary abortion whether he could have been charged with a crime when the woman died? I wonder what other retaliation he is planning (forbid Catholics to donate?).

    I assume also for the sake of the catholic patients within the hospital that priests will be allowed to take the sacraments to them (it is superstition but it can provide some mental comfort to the patients) even if they can’t perform masses on site for them.

  • @Elena Villarreal

    How are they going to prevent the hospital from practicing Catholicism? They don’t have a copyright on the thing, do they? Can’t anyone just celebrate Mass if they want to?

    I don’t think so. They need a catholic priest to do catholic mass. This is pretty basic catholic doctrine. You need to go through a priest to get to God.
    I am sure any priest holding mass there would risk punishment, since the church is basically his employer. I suppose excommunication would be possible. Being defrocked I think would be likely.
    I do not think a catholic would consider it mass if an actual priest did not observe it.
    I think priests could still visit individuals, do communion, and take confession and such, just like they would at any other hospital.
    This is one of the things that causes me to be especially disturbed by the catholic church. Devout Catholics feel that they are bound to an organization whether they like the organization or not. If the church says it, they have no real say in the matter. If the catholic church says “jump” the best they can do is gripe about “how high”. You can’t get into heaven without following the church, according to Catholics. You cannot have mass without a certain church-certified guy there. It strikes me as a sort of dictatorship of conscience.
    If someone knows more about this, please correct me. I get all this second-hand from my uncle and wife’s aunt.
    Off-topic: I get all kinds of giggles from the fact that my uncle is a Greek Orthodox Irish Catholic. However, nobody else thinks it is funny. 🙂

  • Burf

    They should rename it to just “Joe’s Hospital”.

  • Sonia

    Shame on the Catholic Church, Shame on your institution ! The Catholic Church does not represent all believer’s on earth. They cover up their homosexual activities arrowed the globe. They cover up the fact that they have to allow all their sexual activities to take place behind the curtains, from abusing young boys and fornicating behind the curtains.
    I believe God is not the God that the Catholic Church portrays to people.
    God gave humans a brain to use it. That why we have Doctors, God also allow science to exist.
    Perhaps the hospital hire the Bishop as a physician, he will probably harm more patients than the ones the hospital can save in an hour !
    I believe the live of the mother it’s more important in this case. Protecting her life and what she can do for the other little ones it’s more important. She can try to have another baby later down the road if her health allows that to happen. Biblically a human is not human until comes out of the mother’ s and not human until he/she can bread.
    Science and the Bible define “fetus or embryos” very well. Bishop you are an ignorant and an embarrassment for the Catholic Church.
    I am not Catholic, but her live, her motherhood, her duties on earth as mother of other children it’s more important than a fetus.
    The Hospital is going to open doors to other Churches other denominations. It’s okay for the hospital to let you guys go “Catholic Church”, you guys can leave the hospital, because if you cannot practice what you believe with ethics then PLEASE LEAVE.
    The hospital is leaving millions of people out by just having your ridiculous and corrupt Catholic practices within their boundaries any way.

  • He only cares about having his rules followed and keeping his authority intact.

    Richard has just made a rather concise description of the last thousand years of history of the Catholic Church.

  • Just to throw this out there: if that baby/fetus were outside of the womb, would we think it permissible to kill it in order to save its mother?

    Um, hello, moron, if it’s outside her body, it ain’t endangering her health!!! Ain’t that fucking obvious?

    As others have said, you couldn’t save the fetus anyway in this scenario but even if it did come down to mother or baby, where would you even get off choosing the unborn over the born? Way to fucking dismiss women as meaningless baby machines asshole.

    So, just so we’re clear, the moral priorities of the church are:

    – Save a woman’s life by aborting a fetus: Inmediate excommunication of all involved.

    – Rape small children: Hide the evidence, swear the victims to secrecy, transfer the priest and when confronted with the fact you knew it was happening claim you “needed time” to check on allegations

    Claudia, once again, I am applauding one of your comments. Fucked up priorities for sure.

    I’m wondering if they had stopped the abortion and mother and child both died if the woman’s husband could have sued the hospital. I would hope so but, these days, you never know when religion is going to be let off the hook where others wouldn’t be.

  • AWayfaringStrainer

    The director of the center is Linda Hunt, who gave a strong, clear, and rational statement at this site – video #2 about the case.

    So while the Catholic Hierarchy is all unmarried males, the hospital is headed by a woman. It reinforces the notion that nothing will change in church until the gender barrier is brought down.

  • Sonia

    Bishop, let me ask you a couple of questions:

    – So you spoke with God, and your Catholic Institution.
    And they told you to just leave the hospital and deprive all current patients from spiritual counseling.
    – So, Bishop, are you depriving all ill patients at the hospital from the right to hear from God, is that what the Catholic Dioceses’ decided to do?
    – So, if someone doesn’t agree with your obsolete and ignorant practices, you deprive them from the right to hear and now about God and to have Church service this Christmas ?
    What about the “Love of God” we all should Practice. Did you and your Catholic Church forgot about this part of the Christian character.
    What about the compassionate love of God, that is part of the Christian character.
    So everyone else at the Hospital (s) can be punish because your Institution doesn’t agree with a medical decision.
    I keep believing you are making a favor to this Hospital by leaving the premises, and they may attract more patients in the future (including myself).
    I am sorry Bishop and Catholic Church, once more you have made a huge mistake.
    PLEASE LEAVE THE HOSPITAL YOU GUYS ARE A DISGRACE NOT ONLY FOR THE HOSPITAL, BUT FOR THE DIFFERENT BELIEVER’S ON EARCH.

    YOU DO NOT REPRESENT ME.

  • JoeBuddha

    Seems that this attitude isn’t limited to the church; I’ve noticed it in the Supreme Court and in grade school No Tolerance policies. Adhere to the book and my interpretation, regardless of the consequences. Justice be damned, lives be damned, as long as you follow the book to the letter you’re doing God’s work.

  • SeekerLancer

    The Catholic church never likes to miss a chance to get more blood on its hands.

  • Robert W.

    First let me say I am not defending the Catholic church’s decision in this case. i don’t know the facts well enough however, i will assume that when the hospital’s ethic’s board looked at the situation they determined that the doctors were correct in their judgment that the life of both could not be saved.

    That being said, I am appalled at all of those here who claim that an unborn child is not a human life. Particularly those that call it a ‘tumor” or a “parasite”.

    For people who claim that their sense of morality is not judged by God or His standards, but by humanistic values on the sanctity of human life on its own worth here in Earth, I find it unbelievable that you can have such a caviler attitude towards the unborn life.

    This unborn life has all the characteristics of a human being. By 11 weeks the baby has its own distinct DNA, it has a heartbeat, it has brainwave function, it has blood coursing through its veins, its liver is working, it has facial formation and tooth buds, it has a spleen and other internal organs, its lungs are present and developing. It has a long way to go and of course could not live outside the womb,but to claim it is not a separate human being from the mother is simply not true.

    Now in this case it was a decision between two lives, but that situation is extremely rare and most of the time it is a decision between the baby’s life and the mother’s liberty. In my book, life wins every time in that instance and i can’t imagine how all of you who profess to have a value system to protect the minority and the innocent can view it differently. If you say it isn’t a life, you are not basing that on science, or facts, it is an emotional classification to justify the right to kill that life for the liberty of the mother.

    Now to avoid the obvious comeback on rape, those instances are extremely rare as well and can be handled without allowing abortion on demand. So no need to argue -What about the woman who is raped?

  • Steve

    If it were men who got pregnant, you can bet your life that all the rules about sexuality and pregnancies would be very different.

    Now in this case it was a decision between two lives, but that situation is extremely rare

    No, it’s not that rare. Complications with pregnancies arise all the time.

    A relatively common one are ectopic pregnancies. That’s when the embryo stays in the fallopian tubes and grows there. There are almost always non-viable and potentially deadly. There are only a handful of cases where a live baby was born, yet the Church would not allow proper treatment in any case.

    Now to avoid the obvious comeback on rape, those instances are extremely rare as

    You obviously live in your own universe, where “extremely rare” means something else entirely.

  • Danielle

    Is this hospital in Phoenix, Arizona?

  • BlueRidgeLady

    I love when men jump on the boards, tell women their lives aren’t more valuable than a 2-inch chunk of flesh that has the potential to be a human, and then tell us that pregnancy from rape or pregnancy complications aren’t that common. That or they trivialize the birth experience of women as well. Sanctity of life and all. Except the ladies, of course. You know, the ones already born.

    WAY TO GO, GUYS.

  • Jeff

    For people who claim that their sense of morality is not judged by God or His standards, but by humanistic values on the sanctity of human life on its own worth here in Earth, I find it unbelievable that you can have such a caviler attitude towards the unborn life.

    Why do you even care? You believe the fetus had a soul, which is now in heaven. If it had come to term, and lived a full life, as likely as not, the world being what it is now, it would have wound up in hell.

    By the logic of your warped belief system, you should be aborting fetuses and killing children before the “age of accountability” left and right.

    I know – it isn’t our prerogative to take life, only God’s. There’s always a rationalization. Always. The truth of the matter is that for all of your collective bluster, you people are absolutely terrified of death.

  • Other than the lack of funding from the Catholic church, this stripping of the church’s association from the hospital could be a good thing, in the long run.

  • Richard P.

    I know how we can solve this.
    Let’s hold an inquisition.

    Someone go get some wood the fires.

  • Steve

    Catholics used to believe that baptism is required for people to go to heaven. So babies who died before being baptized wouldn’t go to heaven. Apparently they weren’t quite evil enough to tell the parents that their children are in hell instead, so they made up an undefined state of afterlife called “limbo”.

    Then later of course, they decided – by merely writing a document – that this wasn’t true anymore.

  • BlueRidgeLady

    PS- Muggle, I like you more and more each time I read your posts.

  • maddogdelta

    If the hospital needs a “Saint” for a name, how about “St. Mungo’s”?

  • Deepak Shetty

    I see a lot of people have the view
    Follow Bishop – Mother and Fetus dies.
    This isn’t the view from his perspective right? (miracles, prayer, etc. etc.) .
    This isn’t to say that I agree with his position of course.

  • Deepak Shetty

    In my book, life wins every time

    Please define life. Also please tell us when a fetus achieves babyhood.

    Also I suppose you are vegetarian?

  • As a life-saving abortion recipient, let me just say that the Vatican and Priests for Life are some of the worst organizations out there for setting women up to die.

    Remember, in Brazil the Catholic Church excommunicated a 9 year old girl’s mother for getting HER a life-saving abortion of the twins her step-father rapist had impregnated her with. The Vatican also excommunicated the medical staff who saved the little girl. The pedophile rapist stepfather though? He was never kicked out. Raping kids is TOTALLY Catholic. Saving womens & children lives? That’s apparently evil and secular.

  • Robert W.

    Steve BlueRidge Lady,

    A relatively common one are ectopic pregnancies. That’s when the embryo stays in the fallopian tubes and grows there. There are almost always non-viable and potentially deadly. There are only a handful of cases where a live baby was born, yet the Church would not allow proper treatment in any case.

    Ectoptic pregnancies occur in about 1% of all pregnancies and roughly half of those resolve without any treatment at all.

    So how many abortions are done each year to save the life of the woman? Very few. In fact according to a study done in the UK, only 151 abortions were done for that purpose from 1967-1990 (.004% of all abortions performed).

    How many were done as a result of a woman being raped? One study showed that less then half of one percent were done for this reason as answered by the lady getting the abortion.

    So yes it is rare. The overwhelming majority (99%) are done for other reasons that have nothing to do with the health of the mother or rape or incest.

    I love when men jump on the boards, tell women their lives aren’t more valuable than a 2-inch chunk of flesh that has the potential to be a human,

    2inch chunk of flesh? With a heartbeat, a working brain, its own DNA, working internal organs, limbs that move, etc. All before 12 weeks.

    Jeff,

    Why do you even care? You believe the fetus had a soul, which is now in heaven. If it had come to term, and lived a full life, as likely as not, the world being what it is now, it would have wound up in hell.

    By the logic of your warped belief system, you should be aborting fetuses and killing children before the “age of accountability” left and right.

    If that is what you think of the Christian belief system, then you are ignorant.

    Deepak,

    Please define life. Also please tell us when a fetus achieves babyhood.

    Also I suppose you are vegetarian?

    I believe that life begins at conception. Anything after that is arbitrary.

    No I am not a vegetarian. Animals aren’t humans. Are you a vegetarian in support of abortion?

  • ACN

    I believe that life begins at conception. Anything after that is arbitrary.

    The fertilized egg is a human cell. It is not a human. Pretending that 46 chromosomes in a cell is sufficient to define a person is absurd biological reductionism.

    The truth is that there is no sharp, magical, biological, border at which a fetus becomes a human being. It is grey and fuzzy throughout.

  • Robert W.

    It has a long way to go and of course could not live outside the womb,but to claim it is not a separate human being from the mother is simply not true.

    If it were a separate human being then it would be independent of other human beings. It is not. It is part of the woman.

    i can’t imagine how all of you who profess to have a value system to protect the minority and the innocent can view it differently

    Really? You’re telling a woman what to do with her body and you can’t imagine a way that others might find this offensive?

    Now to avoid the obvious comeback on rape, those instances are extremely rare as well and can be handled without allowing abortion on demand. So no need to argue -What about the woman who is raped?

    Your position is that “life wins every time”. That you make an allowance for victims of rape demonstrates how inconsistent your position is.

  • Kamran

    Childbirth is dangerous, not to mention fetus’ are ugly little things. Have you ever seen one of those posters with the aborted fetuses. They look like some kind of alien thing. If a woman wants to carry that through to term, that’s her decision. But if you want go get that alien looking thing that’s going to hurt you, may damage you, and will be a drain on your resources for a decade or more out, then do it.

  • Deepak Shetty

    I believe that life begins at conception.

    Sorry , was that a definition?
    Also all the other crap of brainwaves, heartbeats, liver was just for show?

    No I am not a vegetarian. Animals aren’t humans.

    We were talking about life were we not?.
    That being said, I am appalled at all of those here who claim that the only life worth discussing is human.

    Are you a vegetarian in support of abortion?

    Im a vegetarian in support of least harm/pain being caused to life that feels pain. Im not for abortion but I fully respect the fact that it must be the parents + doctors decision.

  • Jeff

    If that is what you think of the Christian belief system, then you are ignorant.

    Right. In other words, you don’t have a comeback. Why am I not surprised?

  • Deanna

    Ever seen a 3D ultrasound of a baby? I saw mine. She was sucking her thumb. “Chunk of flesh?” Really!? They also kick, hiccup and cry in the womb. You say we are afraid of death…I say you folks are afraid of life!

  • Steve

    *yawn* What you describe occurs later on. Not in an 11-week old fetus (which is what the original post is about). Let alone in the embryonic stage, during which the vast majority of abortions occur.

    Abortion isn’t abortion. I’m against late-term abortions, but to try to play people’s emotions in cases where they don’t even apply gets you nowhere.

  • Deepak Shetty

    @Deanna
    Does a fetus suck its thumb At 2 weeks? 4 weeks? 6 weeks? This is the central question isn’t it – when does something become human? if you use sucking thumb, kicking hiccuping as your measure then there is clearly a stage where the fetus is not human. If on the other hand you believe something is human as soon as it is conceived then the examples you provide of sucking thumb, kicking etc are just a ploy to appeal emotionally – you are being dishonest.
    So which is it? When does something become human? Clearly a living cell is not sufficient to define something as human.

  • Steve

    @Deepak Shetty
    Technically, it’s not a fetus at two weeks. The fetal stage begins at nine weeks. Before that, it’s called an embryo. And noticeable movement begins at around week 20.

    Judaism has it far more simple than Christianity here. They are far more practical and show actual concern for people. It may not be scientific, but for Jews life begins at 40 days. Before that an embryo is considered literally water. And a baby is only considered a full person after birth. They also have no problems with abortions for the sake of the mother’s life.

  • BlueRidgeLady

    lol Robert W, you and I have sparred on this issue before.
    You are an anti-choice, anti-woman fetus defender and don’t care what actual living breathing people have to get hurt to bring fetuses to term. I would also go out on a limb and guess that you are likely to think “fuck ’em” after that.

    Like I said before, I don’t care if it can play the piano, no one, not even a HUMAN, has the right to another human’s body.

    Shitty existence does not equal life. Parents that didn’t want you and can’t take proper care of you is NOT life. Saying it’s ok for a woman to die over a fetus is NOT a pro-life position, it is an anti-woman one.

    One thing I hate to tell anti-choicers, because they really, really do not seem to get it, is that women are people.

    And you anti-choice women are the fucking worst . I am NOT against life. I am against unnecessary suffering and I am against the idea that a woman’s body should be held hostage for a pregnancy and labor she does not wish to have. Reproductive equality is the first step to global justice- economic and religious. Cry to me about the unborn when you stop eating animals and adopt a couple kids. kthxbai

  • Justin

    I’d still like to see the hospital continue to hold mass and the Catholic Church try to stop it.

  • Phoena

    I hope ignorant misogynists like Robert W never have daughters. I can’t imagine being raised by someone who tells me my only worth is producing sons for a man at ANY cost, and should I die in childbirth, well, good riddance, I’m only a worthless woman, and potential sons are worth far more than my life. Someone PLEASE “accidentally” sterilize him before he has a daughter to emotionally abuse.

  • “The truth is that there is no sharp, magical, biological, border at which a fetus becomes a human being.”

    Yes, there is. It’s called “birth”.

  • Jeff

    Shitty existence does not equal life. Parents that didn’t want you and can’t take proper care of you is NOT life.

    BlueRidgeLady, don’t you get it? If the baby just prays to Jesus, everything will be OK!

  • Robert W.

    There are too many comments to respond individually to all of you but I will comment to address as many as possible.

    The comments you are making in response to my post bear out what I was saying. All of your talk in discussions on this board about the “truth”, how “human life is the only important thing because there is no afterlife so we must treat people here with dignity and respect”, the “truth based upon science is paramount” and how “everyone can do what they want until it affects or harms someone else” evaporate when it comes to trying to justify killing the unborn.

    From the view of genetics, the new life begins from the moment of conception. The heart is beating in the unborn baby by 12 -24 days after conception. There are measurable brainwaves by 6 weeks. A person is considered a separate human being based upon a distinct DNA. When a person that has been born is declared dead, it is when their heart stops beating and they lose brain function measured by an EEG. So if you are saying that life isn’t different or hasn’t begun in the unborn then you are using different standards for life and death to justify your actions.

    To call the unborn at any stage of its development anything other then a living being is a convenient lie to justify killing that innocent human being for the benefit of another. If that is done in any other setting you would rightly be appalled. The only reason you are not is because you have convinced yourself that it isn’t living or that it doesn’t deserve to live because someone else doesn’t want it to.

    This is the only topic where someone who is an advocate for the innocent is considered a sexist and someone who hates women. Not only is that very wrong in my case, it is wrong for the pro-life movement. Those that are pro life are doing it to protect the rights of the unborn (it goes without saying that half of those are women). The right to life is a protected right not only in our constitution but in society in general. Those that support choice are placing the right of liberty (the right to choice)above the right to life and that is something that those that are pro life are against. It doesn’t make the motives or the basis for the belief anti-women nor does it make us sexist.

    As for Blue Ridge Lady, your justification for killing the unborn so they won’t grow up with a hard life makes no sense. Trying to justify killing the unborn as the best option for the unborn is like trying to say that the best option to protect the unborn from a hard life is to kill it. if a mother who kills her born children does that for that reason, she goes to jail and I’m sure you would agree she should. I bet if you ask anyone who had a hard life would they prefer to have never been born very few would say yes. But you aren’t even giving them that option, you are taking that choice away from them. And of course you are ignoring the real option of adoption which allows the life to continue and hopefully be an improvement over the tough life you are trying to save them from.

    Women have the right to do with their bodies whatever they choose until their is another body that gets effected. Then their rights are necessarily diminished to protect the innocent. Biology dictates that is the women who carry the child to birth and that can’t be changed, however that biological fact doesn’t trump the right to life for the unborn, nor does it give women the exclusive right to determine what happens to the life of the unborn and to argue that men have no place in this discussion is sexist in itself.

    As for Jeff’s comments regarding the Christian faith, yes Jeff you are ignorant. Christianity believes in the sanctity of life here on Earth as well as the eternal consequences of the choices made in our life here. There is nothing about the belief system that would ever justify us killing the unborn or small children.

  • BlueRidgeLady

    Robert, you and I won’t agree on this. I do appreciate that you articulate your point. I just feel that your whole premise is entirely, woefully privileged and wrong.

    Biology dictates a lot of things. Take it up with your god if you are so angry about fetuses dying, because he apparently invented miscarriage which happens in about 1 in 3 pregnancies. The fact that every living thing dies is also an astoundingly poor record for a supposedly pro-life god.

    I agree with the poster that said I hope you never have a daughter.

    I also feel you kind of twisted what I was saying. A lot of people have a “hard life”. I am saying that I value children enough to hold the belief that every child deserves a loving home. Pro-choice ideals are pro-family and for the betterment of the people already struggling in this world. You all seem to forget that mothers with children also have abortions. My partner is adopted and know what? If he had been aborted, he would not be flying and hovering around to mourn his own loss. You cannot apply the physical experiences, emotions, complex thoughts, self-awareness, etc of an adult on what would have been. Because you simply do not know what would have been.

    You also act like prolonged illness, missing work, having your body invaded and drastically changed, and then delivering a baby is a walk in the park. I admire women who are able to do that. That is their CHOICE. Don’t be so dismissive of what is involved in that.

    Warning- Personal medical story ahead, for those of you who are icked out (don’t know why it would bother you since we are debating politics inside vaginas in this very thread)

    I am also angered (in a way that you can never understand) that you still hold these views because you are so entirely clueless about the female experience. It’s from a very personal standpoint. Even though I am a younger person, I had a procedure to remove cancer cells from my cervix a while back. Funnily enough, the part they had to cut off was about the size of the fetus in question in this topic. I am uninsured so I was unable to be put under. The pain medication also didn’t take that well. The pain and emotional trauma from that procedure alone made me empathize in the closest way I can to a woman who had to choose abortion, short of having one myself. The comforting hand the nurse gave was compassionate. You anti-choice folk pretend to cry over these “babies’ but you are NOT compassionate. Your rehetoric does NOT come from love. To save my life, I had to choose that procedure. To save their own lives in their own contexts, some women choose abortion.

    Before you go lambasting us on an atheist board, take a good look at what it means to have to go through picketers and protesters, screams, physical intimidation, etc from “pro life” people just to obtain a medical service (that, oh, by the way, even though you pay insurance premiums, you have to pay for in full for). That is assuming you have a ride and means. That is assuming your children have a babysitter. Compound that with any physical or emotional trauma. Now please tell me women take these decisions lightly.

    Our bodies belong to us and absolutely no one else. We should never have to apologize to people like you for that, and we will not.

  • Deepak Shetty

    @Robert W

    The heart is beating in the unborn baby by 12 -24 days after conception. There are measurable brainwaves by 6 weeks.

    Only introduce these parameters if you are willing to consider what they mean. for e.g. Sagan in an essay essentially argued that what makes us human is our brain so any *life* without a brain cant be called human. If the brain develops at 6 weeks then before that abortion should be permissible. if on the other hand you believe as you state life begins at conception what is the use of mentioning the above ?

    This is the only topic where someone who is an advocate for the innocent is considered a sexist and someone who hates women.

    I personally know of a Catholic who wanted a baby , was pregnant and was told that her baby had some genetic defect which meant it would die soon and suffer as well. Bear in mind this was their first child and they really wanted their baby. They chose to abort – and they subsequently have a healthy baby daughter. Some other people in their place might have chosen to have their baby. Others might even see a miracle and have their child survive(Praise be to science!). I support both choices. Its something the parents decides – its an incredibly tough decision.
    But people like you? First case – the parent were immoral murderers were they not? They wouldn’t do the same if the baby was already born and then developed a disease no? Your religion blinds you to what some people suffer and what makes them choose to abort. That’s why you get accusations of you hate women.

    Women have the right to do with their bodies whatever they choose until their is another body that gets effected.

    Whatever makes you think you have a say in this matter? You have a right to determine what to do with your body – what gives you the right to determine someone elses?

  • Robert W.

    Blue Ridge Lady,

    Biology dictates a lot of things. Take it up with your god if you are so angry about fetuses dying, because he apparently invented miscarriage which happens in about 1 in 3 pregnancies. The fact that every living thing dies is also an astoundingly poor record for a supposedly pro-life god.

    Yes we will disagree on this issue. I don’t understand how you can equate natural death with killing. They are not the same.

    I agree with the poster that said I hope you never have a daughter.

    I do have a daughter and I love her very much and respect her as the wonderful young lady she is. Before you label me you should know more about me and where I come from.

    I also feel you kind of twisted what I was saying. A lot of people have a “hard life”. I am saying that I value children enough to hold the belief that every child deserves a loving home. Pro-choice ideals are pro-family and for the betterment of the people already struggling in this world. You all seem to forget that mothers with children also have abortions. My partner is adopted and know what? If he had been aborted, he would not be flying and hovering around to mourn his own loss. You cannot apply the physical experiences, emotions, complex thoughts, self-awareness, etc of an adult on what would have been. Because you simply do not know what would have been.

    You value children enough to allow people to kill them just because they haven’t been born yet, all in the name of it is better then the life they might have? Are you saying that it is more loving for a woman to kill her child then to allow that child to live just because the child might be born into some hard circumstances? Some of the greatest, brightest, most influential people have come from very humble, hard conditions. And as your partner can profess, adoption is a very loving option. Had he been aborted he would not be here for you to love.

    You also act like prolonged illness, missing work, having your body invaded and drastically changed, and then delivering a baby is a walk in the park. I admire women who are able to do that. That is their CHOICE. Don’t be so dismissive of what is involved in that.

    Don’t assume that just because I am a male that I don’t understand or have empathy for the lady who is pregnant. I have far more experience with that then you know, granted not in my own body but as close as you can get otherwise. So I don’t take it lightly. But I also know, without having been killed, that the baby that is killed has it worse then the mother ever will. And I choose to side with the innocent child over an adult women who wants the choice to kill that child because its more convenient for her.

    Our bodies belong to us and absolutely no one else. We should never have to apologize to people like you for that, and we will not.

    By this statement I assume you would support abortion at all stages of the babies development, including partial birth abortions. I simply disagree. Once you become pregnant it is no longer just your body.

    Deepak,

    Only introduce these parameters if you are willing to consider what they mean. for e.g. Sagan in an essay essentially argued that what makes us human is our brain so any *life* without a brain cant be called human. If the brain develops at 6 weeks then before that abortion should be permissible. if on the other hand you believe as you state life begins at conception what is the use of mentioning the above ?

    I didn’t mention these as parameters. I did mention them to show the hypocrisy of those who claim that in any other context the unborn would be considered a life, but when it comes to this issue, it isn’t only to justify killing it. I would certainly hate for Sagan to determine what is a life, because his definition is a very slippery slope.

    But people like you? First case – the parent were immoral murderers were they not? They wouldn’t do the same if the baby was already born and then developed a disease no? Your religion blinds you to what some people suffer and what makes them choose to abort. That’s why you get accusations of you hate women.

    Unbelievably sad and heartwrenching story. But it doesn’t justify abortion on demand. I am sure that this couple understood that they were ending the life of this child and regardless of the good intentions of their motives, yes I do view it as murder. No different then if the baby was born alive with a defect and they decided to end its life. That being said it does not mean I don’t have empathy for their situation and don’t think they should be villifiled. They should be loved and given grace and comfort.

    Whatever makes you think you have a say in this matter? You have a right to determine what to do with your body – what gives you the right to determine someone elses?

    Like I said above, once a lady is pregnant, it is not just her body. In order to protect the innocent I believe we have the right and the obligation to speak out.

  • Deepak Shetty

    @Robert W

    I did mention them to show the hypocrisy

    I can see yours.

    I would certainly hate for Sagan to determine what is a life,

    No he gave a reasonable definition – much better than life begins at conception because somehow an undetectable soul gets magically injected . Clearly no one looks at a fertilized embryo and says “human life” other than religious fundamentalists (who also then don’t understand that their position logically leads to God, if he exists, must be a serial murderer and why they shouldn’t be killing any life including animals).

    yes I do view it as murder.

    Exactly. This is why your claims of empathy , love , grace and comfort are empty. You have no clue what those words actually mean.

    Like I said above, once a lady is pregnant, it is not just her body.

    Sigh.

  • Robert W.

    Deepak,

    I am not being hypocritical in the least. For the sake of argument, use Sagan’s definition. Are you saying that all abortions over 6 weeks are killing a living human being? If so then you are justifying your position that this human being is not worth living due to the inconvenience it will cause someone else. And yet you call yourself loving and moral.

    Clearly no one looks at a fertilized embryo and says “human life” other than religious fundamentalists (who also then don’t understand that their position logically leads to God, if he exists, must be a serial murderer and why they shouldn’t be killing any life including animals).

    Actually this is your opinion. Even abortionists know that they are killing a human life.

    Here are a few examples:

    * “We know that it is killing, but the states permit killing under certain circumstances.” Dr. Neville Sender, founder of Metropolitan Medical Service, an abortion clinic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
    * “If I see a case…after twenty weeks, where it frankly is a child to me, I really agonize over it because the potential is so imminently there…On the other hand, I have another position, which I think is superior in the hierarchy of questions, and that is “who owns this child?” It’s got to be the mother.” Dr. James MacMahon, who performs D&X (also known as Partial Birth) abortions.
    * “When you do a D & C most of the tissue is removed by the Olden forceps or ring clamp and you actually get gross parts of the fetus out. So you can see a miniature person so to speak, and even now I occasionally feel a little peculiar about it because as a physician I’m trained to conserve life and here I am destroying life.” Dr. Benjamin Kalish, abortionist.

    Exactly. This is why your claims of empathy , love , grace and comfort are empty. You have no clue what those words actually mean.

    Actually just the opposite. I have love, empathy, grace and comfort for both the parents and the unborn child.

    Sigh.

    That is your response? Sigh

  • ACN

    From the view of genetics, the new life begins from the moment of conception.

    When you say “from the view of genetics” do you mean “the fertilized cell has 46 chromosones”? That is a true statement, but a human cell or even a group of human cells aren’t the same as a human.

    Fertilized zygotes are not humans. There is more to being a human than being a single cell or even clump of cells with a collection of chromosones.

    Skin cells are human cells. They possess human DNA. They are alive but they are not a human being.

    Liver cells are human cells. They possess human DNA. They are alive but they are not a human being.

    Stem cells are human cells. They possess human DNA. They are alive but they are not a human being.

    Spermatozoa are human cells. They possess human DNA. They are alive but they are not a human being.

    Zygotes, too, are human cells. They possess human DNA. They are alive but they are not a human being.

    Human beings, like most other macroscopic living things, are colonies of living cells. No human cell is a human being. A human being is a colony of cells that has some specific finished characteristics. An embryo is alive, has human DNA, and is even a colony of cells, but it is not fully differentiated, and it is still developing. It may eventually become a human being. In the process of developing, it is fully dependent on the woman who is carrying it, and it has the capacity to do irreparable harm to that woman. The woman, is a full human being who owns her own body and she is vastly more important than all of the potential children she may have. After birth, her children become as important as her.

    That is why I recognize the right for women and their doctors to terminate pregnancies.

  • Anonymous

    Robert W,
    Can you source your quotes please? I only see your quotes repeated ad nauseum in anti-choice forums. I am also unable to identify Metropolitan Medical Service in Milwaukee, and Dr Benjamin Kalish. You wouldn’t be lying for Jesus, would you?

    (The tipoff was the wording “the gross parts” in the description. Medical professionals don’t talk like that)

  • Deepak Shetty

    Are you saying that all abortions over 6 weeks are killing a living human being?

    If I use Sagans definition, yes.
    However note that we still sanction the killing of human beings in some circumstances (e.g. self defence , medical reasons, the army, state executions etc). Similarly I would expect mothers life to still override no matter how many weeks have passed.

    And yet you call yourself loving and moral.

    Hmm? I must have missed this. Me I try to do the best I can based on what looks reasonable or logical – I don’t know how far I succeed. Its the religious who claim that their religions teaching are both moral and loving with absolute certainty.

    I have love, empathy, grace and comfort for both the parents and the unborn child.

    Like I said you don’t know what the above means. It is not love,empathy,grace, comfort to call someone a murderer.

    That is your response? Sigh

    Yes. You have just repeated what you have said without any attempt to explain why a woman’s body is not her own when pregnant. Its stupid too – Can a woman claim two tax exemptions when pregnant? Does she have to book two tickets to the movie? What happens if there is a miscarriage – is she guilty of manslaughter? If she’s working does that constitute child labor?

  • Deepak Shetty

    @Steve
    Didnt see your comment. yes agreed. its just tough to remember zygote, embryo,fetus etc etc. yeah it looks like the Jews atleast were somewhat ahead of their time.

  • Robert W.

    Anon,

    The quotes came from this website which lists where they got them.

    http://clinicquotes.com/site/category.php?id=3

    ACN,

    We profoundly disagree but at least you are honest about the fact that you recognize that you are allowing the murder of another human being for the convenience of another.

  • Anonymous

    Your source is an anti-choice propagandist site. Clinic Quotes shows no author or organization backing it up. (meaning: your source is trash) The quotes are not supported elsewhere. Dox or GTFO.

  • ACN

    I respect the fact that we can discuss this civilly, but I don’t think that was the point I was making.

  • Robert W.

    Anon,

    The quotes first were attributed to a 1976 book by Dr. Magda Denes, “In Necessity and Sorrow”. This is on the Clinic Quotes site as the source so you are not telling the truth. Do you have proof they were not made or these doctors were not quoted correctly?

    ACN,

    It may eventually become a human being. In the process of developing, it is fully dependent on the woman who is carrying it, and it has the capacity to do irreparable harm to that woman. The woman, is a full human being who owns her own body and she is vastly more important than all of the potential children she may have. After birth, her children become as important as her.

    That is why I recognize the right for women and their doctors to terminate pregnancies.

    That is where I got that implication. If I am mistaken and your position is different let me know. From the idea that the mother has superior rights up until birth then I assumed you would allow her to kill what you recognize is at least a developing human being for any reason including her convenience.

    Deepak,

    If I use Sagans definition, yes.
    However note that we still sanction the killing of human beings in some circumstances (e.g. self defence , medical reasons, the army, state executions etc). Similarly I would expect mothers life to still override no matter how many weeks have passed.

    So where else in our society to we allow the arbitrary killing of another innocent human being just because another person wants to kill him or her?

    Like I said you don’t know what the above means. It is not love,empathy,grace, comfort to call someone a murderer.

    Coming from someone who apparently basis his life on being reasonable and logical I understand why you would have a hard time believing that i can and do have love, empathy and grace for people even if they do things that I view as morally wrong. By the way, how far along was the pregnancy we have been discussing?

    Yes. You have just repeated what you have said without any attempt to explain why a woman’s body is not her own when pregnant. Its stupid too – Can a woman claim two tax exemptions when pregnant? Does she have to book two tickets to the movie? What happens if there is a miscarriage – is she guilty of manslaughter? If she’s working does that constitute child labor?

    How hard is it to understand that a lady who is pregnant is carrying a separate human being and as such has responsibilities to that growing human being. That is why lady’s who want to keep their babies take care of themselves, quit smoking on occasion, take pre natal vitamins, seek pre natal care, sometimes have surgeries on their babies in the womb, etc… Legally there are timelines that begin at birth but that doesn’t negate the truth that the growing baby is a separate human being and as such, the pregnant lady has obligations towards it. However, even legally people have been held criminally responsible for killing the unborn if the lady didn’t want it killed through abortion. The only time people don’t want to call the growing child in the womb a separate human being is those that are pro-choice.

    Have you ever looked at pictures of what an unborn baby looks like at 6 or 9 weeks? Can you honestly look at those images and not see a developing baby?

  • Deepak Shetty

    So where else in our society to we allow the arbitrary killing of another innocent human

    War?
    Again I said before a particular criterion (e.g. development of brains) abortion should be allowed. After that it should be allowed in special cases – The health of the mother for instance – this really is a no brainer the life of the fetus can never have more consideration than the life of the mother.

    If you want thought exercises when the killing of an innocent may be morally ok , you can choose what you would do in the runaway train type of questions – Do nothing people on the train die – Do something train kills an innocent but people on the train survive. What is morally right?

    To me an analogy of the pregnancy case is the one which I read in God delusion. Say there are 5 people – One needs a kidney transplant , another a liver, another bone marrow and so on otherwise they die. In walks a perfectly healthy person – Should he be forced to give up his organs to save the 5 ? If your answer is yes – then please walk into the nearest hospital and donate a kidney. if the answer is no then note that you have said it’s ok for an innocent to die and you aren’t morally obligated to help them when it means the quality of your life can decrease.

    By the way, how far along was the pregnancy we have been discussing?

    Which one? My friends? Im not sure since I wasnt in the country at that time – I think it was towards the end of the first trimester.

    why you would have a hard time believing that i can and do have love, empathy and grace for people

    Well speak to women who have had abortions. Then tell them I feel sorry , I have empathy but by the way I think your actions constitute murder. See if they think thats what you demonstrate. Your words are empty without actions to back them up. You see whether you have empathy or not will be judged by people who you have shown that empathy to. Stating that i have empathy, I am loving has no value.

    who is pregnant is carrying a separate human being

    In which case the question of when does an embryo become a human being is important. There is no reason to think a fertilized embryo is a human being. Scientifically you have no standing. Religiously, not all religions accept your definition.

    Have you ever looked at pictures of what an unborn baby looks like at 6 or 9 weeks? Can you honestly look at those images and not see a developing baby?

    By the same token have you looked at a fertilized embryo? Do you see a baby?

    In any case most people who are pro choice are actually ok with not allowing abortion(with exceptions for health of the mother) after a certain time. Its people like you who brook no compromise.

    In any case Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  • LaurenF

    BlueRidgeLady, I think I love you for including that comment about adoption!

    It seems to me that most of the vehemently anti-choicers I know are equally vehement about not helping to support suffering children after their born, because “their parents should be doing it.” If their parents can’t/aren’t there? Too bad, so sad!

    And they refuse to see the hypocrisy in this.

  • Robert W.

    Deepak,

    Merry Christmas to you and your family as well. I do enjoy that we can have a civil discussion about this issue.

  • Robert W.

    Lauren,

    It seems to me that most of the vehemently anti-choicers I know are equally vehement about not helping to support suffering children after their born, because “their parents should be doing it.” If their parents can’t/aren’t there? Too bad, so sad!

    I agree with you. I don’t think you can be pro-life and then not support alternatives.