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Old 01-26-2009, 04:10 PM   #196
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and the reality is that there are waiting lists as long as your arm of people who are willing to take those unwanted babies in
You've got to think that many more women would actually take the adoption route if it we made realistic attempts to alleviate the shame and guilt and made it more socially acceptable.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:12 PM   #197
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the practicality of making abortion in the first trimester illegal would be impossible to do. so it seems to me that those who are passionately concerned with the well-being of a fetus above all else would do much more good if they were to work to prevent unwanted pregnancies to begin with -- and, hey, we can start with comprehensive sex education, full funding of birth control, and universal health care -- rather than couching the debate as one of stark choices between life and death.
But giving teenagers condoms and putting your daughters on birth control is evil. Better to teach abstinence and make them wear purity rings.

To be fair there is a contingent of pro-lifers who is not this fundamentalist and believes in sex ed. But by and large, many of them are as adamant about a lack of sex education as they are about abortion.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:22 PM   #198
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But giving teenagers condoms and putting your daughters on birth control is evil. Better to teach abstinence and make them wear purity rings.

i've always been a bigger fan of the purity balls where they dance with their fathers and then their father puts a chastity ring on the daughter and she pledges to remain "pure" until she marries. because that's not medieval at all.


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To be fair there is a contingent of pro-lifers who is not this fundamentalist and believes in sex ed. But by and large, many of them are as adamant about a lack of sex education as they are about abortion.

yes, that is absolutely true, and important to bring up in this thread. i actually do think i understand the pro-life position and i actually am more sympathetic than they'd want me to be to their position. but, again, i have a tough time seeing the world so starkly, and perhaps that's just a fundamental difference in worldview. i get the sense that many who are conservative (and many who are likewise religious) think that there really is an answer out there, that there's a right and a wrong, and that there are things that are true and things that are not, and it is their job to see through it all and arrive at said right conclusion and then to pronounce it to the world, unafraid, sort of shining the light of the truth unto those who are too weak to grapple with the naked, blinding, unsettling truth.

obviously, i don't agree. i think life is a morass of complexities and that the opposite of the above is a more accurate depiction of reality -- that it's much more difficult, and more honest, to live with ambiguity and complexity rather than live with what some view as an uncomfortable truth. some might think that it take courage to call abortion murder, but i think it takes more courage to go beyond that.

but, ultimately, i do respect and have sympathy for both sides in this argument. and i don't really have a dog in the fight, so to speak. i will say, however, that two of my absolute best friends on the planet have had unplanned pregnancies. the first involved my friend and his wife who got pregnant like three days after they got married, which was about 3 years to early. so they had the baby. and these are striving, careerist individuals who didn't even consider an abortion, no matter the inconvenience. the other couple had been together for 4 years and they were careful, but she got pregnant. he had planned to propose within the next year anyway, so, again, it was all just sped along. it's quite inconvenient, as she'll have to postpone some of her graduate studies so he can try and be done with his program in the next year, and then once he gets a teaching position, he'll take on the bulk of the child rearing and she'll go back to work. also, being part of the university system, they'll have great health care and child care. so, yeah, it's a few years too early, but, really, abortion wasn't much of a thought.

so i often feel like we need to take people like those i've outlined above and imagine that these are the people who are getting the abortions, when, in reality, they're not. why? because even though it is unplanned, they are educated and fed and clothed and smart and self-reliant and have been equipped to deal with whatever life throws at them. no everyone is so lucky.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:24 PM   #199
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And there in lies the reason why the pro-life movement in America makes no sense (note "movement," not every individual). The movement in America wants no abortions, but, at the same time, wants abstinence-only sex education, which is flat out stupid.
I'm glad I'm not the only one finding that odd.

What I also don't get is how people automatically assume when you're pro abortion it means you're pro abortion anytime during the pregnancy.
In Europe it's legal the first.. 32?weeks? That's the time it takes for a bunch of cells to grow into a foetus who has functions like a human being.
Ofcourse I don't think a full grown baby should be aborted.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:31 PM   #200
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In Europe it's legal the first.. 32?weeks?
do you mean "12 weeks"?? 32 weeks is pretty close to term... i was born at 28 weeks...

think it's legal up to 24 weeks in England...

in France it's legal up to 14 weeks (used to be up to 12 weeks til recently)
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:40 PM   #201
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I'm glad I'm not the only one finding that odd.

What I also don't get is how people automatically assume when you're pro abortion it means you're pro abortion anytime during the pregnancy.
In Europe it's legal the first.. 32?weeks? That's the time it takes for a bunch of cells to grow into a foetus who has functions like a human being.
Ofcourse I don't think a full grown baby should be aborted.
I think that 32 may be a bit off. That's practically a full term.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:42 PM   #202
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do you mean "12 weeks"?? 32 weeks is pretty close to term...

think it's up to 24 weeks in England...

in France it's legal up to 14 weeks (used to be up to 12 weeks til recently)
woops! I meant 12 yes! Sorry for the confusion!
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:56 PM   #203
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You've got to think that many more women would actually take the adoption route if it we made realistic attempts to alleviate the shame and guilt and made it more socially acceptable.
That's what's always amazed me. It's considered perfectly acceptable to adopt a child, but also considered very selfish -- even despicable -- to give a child up for adoption. If we want to increase the numbers of children given up for adoption rather than aborted we, as a society, have to be far less judgemental about women who choose not to keep their babies. Giving a child up for adoption -- even if because you just don't want to be bothered with it -- has to be considered a socially acceptable choice and not something to be ashamed of as it is now.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:26 PM   #204
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These are practical questions, nobody wants to talk about them.

Just like nobody wants to talk about sentences for doctors and husbands for aiding and abetting their patients and wives in getting illegal abortions. Or what about the women themselves?
This is true; it calls into question the sincerity of the claim that abortion is morally equivalent to murder if the usual harsh punishments for murder are not then advocated. Or if exceptions are inconsistently made in cases of rape or incest.
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(and the reality is that there are waiting lists as long as your arm of people who are willing to take those unwanted babies in)
I already mentioned the problem with this line of argument earlier:
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The infant relinquishment rate has held steady at around 13,000 infants per year for several decades now, despite abortion rates, net birthrates and single motherhood rates having fluctuated considerably during that same time period. And infants are almost always successfully placed for adoption within several months, maximum; it's the swelling numbers of older children in the foster care system that's the problem: most prospective adoptive parents strongly prefer a baby, while few are interested in, say, a 9-year-old with 'developmental issues' resulting from neglect or abuse in his or her birth family. Bottom line is, the data simply don't support the assumption that reducing abortion in itself means more women choosing to give up their babies for adoption--on the contrary, it seems much more likely that criminalizing abortion would only leave us with far more single mothers than we already have; that very few women would choose to relinquish their infants if they're going to have to go through carrying and bearing them in the first place.
Forcing women to bear children against their will is wrong; it is a form of slavery, of claiming entitlement to an innocent person's labor without their consent. Like many others, I would support a compromise position of limiting unrestricted access to abortion to the first trimester, in recognition of the state's interest in procuring future citizens. But not an absolute ban. The state has an interest in protecting the dignity of existing citizens as well.
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You've got to think that many more women would actually take the adoption route if it we made realistic attempts to alleviate the shame and guilt and made it more socially acceptable.
That may be true, but you can't "alleviate the shame and guilt" in the presence of an absolute ban on abortion. Being forced to go through a pregnancy against one's will is inherently shaming; if you have the option not to but choose to anyway, that's different. While it's difficult for me to imagine a situation in which I personally wouldn't choose to remain pregnant--rape, perhaps--I'd have to say that if I were in such a situation, but denied that choice, then I think I'd be very unlikely to seriously consider relinquishing the infant for adoption. Because why, after going through all that, should I allow a complete stranger who suffered none of it to take the one thing left in my life that I still have the dignity of some control over the destiny of? Is that attitude a good foundation for parenthood, no, but as an emotional reaction I find it understandable. I think this is partly why, even in the 1950s when the stigma against single parenting was much stronger than it is now, fewer than 1 in 10 single mothers chose to relinquish their infants. And frankly I'd be reluctant to say that a shift towards regarding pregnancy as something which should always be welcomed and celebrated by the mother and everyone in her life, no matter what her circumstances--which I'd imagine would be necessary to "alleviate the shame" surrounding single pregnancy--would result in some kind of all-around 'win-win.' That only takes us farther from maintaining the ideal of a committed relationship as the best environment for both having and raising a baby.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:27 PM   #205
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If we want to increase the numbers of children given up for adoption rather than aborted we, as a society, have to be far less judgemental about women who choose not to keep their babies.
I'm not familiar with any particular stigma involved with adoption (perhaps because I know so many people who have done it), but I agree with this. I also think that the cost of adoptions should go down. For many people it's not an option simply because it's so ridiculously expensive. There are companies out there that offer financial assistance if their employees want to adopt -- it's a nice idea that might bear more support.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:28 PM   #206
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you realize, of course, that i'm going to do the right thing and not bring up adoption laws in Florida and Arkansas and the fact that a loving, committed, married lesbian couple i know and love can't adopt from Vietnam (my friend's mother is Vietnamese).

so i'll let that go, because i know it would be totally and wildly hypocritical of you to call abortion murder, and yet think that the thousands of gay couples who want nothing more than to adopt are somehow unfit to raise a child.
Do you really think you'll get an answer to that question?
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:37 PM   #207
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I'm not familiar with any particular stigma involved with adoption (perhaps because I know so many people who have done it), but I agree with this. I also think that the cost of adoptions should go down. For many people it's not an option simply because it's so ridiculously expensive. There are companies out there that offer financial assistance if their employees want to adopt -- it's a nice idea that might bear more support.


what about incentives for adopting older children?




as an aside, a gay male couple i know are actually looking for an older child.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:40 PM   #208
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I'm not familiar with any particular stigma involved with adoption (perhaps because I know so many people who have done it), but I agree with this. I also think that the cost of adoptions should go down. For many people it's not an option simply because it's so ridiculously expensive. There are companies out there that offer financial assistance if their employees want to adopt -- it's a nice idea that might bear more support.
She was talking about those giving up their children to adoption. You seem to be talking about those doing the adopting.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:03 PM   #209
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And ShipOfFools' post above should give us all pause. Because if we're even remotely close to entertaining the notion of killing people because it's easier than taking care of them, that opens a serious Pandora's box.
Abortion isn't murder. Abortion usually has a reason behind it, whether it's that a 13 year old girl got pregnant and can't raise the child, or a druggie got pregnant and can't raise the child, or some other reason that someone got pregnant and can't mother a child. Plus, if they were raped, they wouldn't want to keep the child. Or if that baby was shown to have some sort of birth defect. There's a million reasons why someone would have an abortion, and it's not because that person is a cold blooded murderer. It's usually in the best interests of the child and the mother to have the procedure done.

One of my cousins got pregnant at age 12, and because their parents don't believe in abortion, she was forced to keep the baby. She had to drop out of school and raise it by herself. Because she was forced to keep it, she'll never go to college, much less finish middle school.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:25 PM   #210
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That may be true, but you can't "alleviate the shame and guilt" in the presence of an absolute ban on abortion.
Just to be clear, when I said I was anti-abortion, I didn't say that it should be banned. I am also pro-choice.

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And frankly I'd be reluctant to say that a shift towards regarding pregnancy as something which should always be welcomed and celebrated by the mother and everyone in her life, no matter what her circumstances--which I'd imagine would be necessary to "alleviate the shame" surrounding single pregnancy--would result in some kind of all-around 'win-win.' That only takes us farther from maintaining the ideal of a committed relationship as the best environment for both having and raising a baby.
Um, the idea is to provide more adoptive parents in committed relationships with babies. Not ideal, but better than abortion due to shame and inconvenience.
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