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Quite simple: Practicability.

 

How can you ensure a pregnant woman isn't drinking, or prevent her from drinking, any more than you can another person? What justification and limitation is there to stopping said woman drinking dangerous amounts; post a 24/7 guard on all pregnant women? How can you ensure she isn't abusing drugs any more than another person? And how can you prove that the physical damage done to a child was carried out by a mother while she was carrying it?

 

And yes, a baby can be taken into care from the moment of birth as required. If it is justifiably feared that the mother is unsuitable, Social Services can take the child into protection and remove the mother's rights from the child totally.

 

 

A child's safety is paramount over all other concerns. This is in part because a child has even less chance, methods and ability to protect itself.

Yes. Thank you for saying this -- I hadn't really thought it through before, but you're right. A law needs to be enforceable. This is the same reason why numerous laws in the past were untenable (usually laws about various sexual practices) -- unless you plan to have police surveillance peeking in people's windows all night long, certain things are simply unpoliceable, as well as unprovable.

 

So while it's absolutely, irrefutably harmful to the child to drink, smoke, or do other drugs while pregnant, there's no use in passing *laws* about the fact. People simply need to make good choices.

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Quite simple: Practicability.

 

How can you ensure a pregnant woman isn't drinking, or prevent her from drinking, any more than you can another person? What justification and limitation is there to stopping said woman drinking dangerous amounts; post a 24/7 guard on all pregnant women? How can you ensure she isn't abusing drugs any more than another person? And how can you prove that the physical damage done to a child was carried out by a mother while she was carrying it?

 

And yes, a baby can be taken into care from the moment of birth as required. If it is justifiably feared that the mother is unsuitable, Social Services can take the child into protection and remove the mother's rights from the child totally.

Two or three years ago, here in the city where I live, three children were found dead in an apartment. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the mother simply locked them up and let them starve to death. Once this was found to be the case, the mother was charged with child endangerment, neglect, manslaughter, etc. If a child is found to have fetal alcohol syndrome, or to be suffering the effects of the mother's drug use, how likely is it that she'll face charges for any of these things? I'd be willing to bet that it's not very likely, but please correct me if I'm wrong about that.

 

The thing about Social Services is that they don't usually get involved unless somebody reports abuse or neglect. They don't have the resources to go and investigate every single home with a child in it any more than they have the ability to go snooping around clubs for pregnant mothers who are drinking. The discrepancy comes when you look at the law books. While criminal charges can be brought against women who abuse their children after birth, I'm not aware of any laws that can be used to prosecute women who abuse their children before birth. So, if we're willing to begin protecting the child from death the moment it's conceived, shouldn't we be willing to extend all the protective laws instead of just that one?

 

@ diannethegeek and Kelkelen: Yes, Kelkelen has the gist of it. I would think that the father would have more rights to prevent an abortion than the government, who has only a financial/moral/ethical interest. If Daddy can't veto an abortion, why should a group of strangers have that power? I wouldn't give a man that right over my body, but if anyone at all should have a say, it'd be him.

 

@ xhunter: LoL test tube baby. Unfortunately, once the umbilical cord is attached to the mother, it's not possible to remove the embryo without killing it. Unless there's been some breakthrough I'm not aware of...

Edited by MindsEye

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The thing about Social Services is that they don't usually get involved unless somebody reports abuse or neglect. They don't have the resources to go and investigate every single home with a child in it any more than they have the ability to go snooping around clubs for pregnant mothers who are drinking. The discrepancy comes when you look at the law books. While criminal charges can be brought against women who abuse their children after birth, I'm not aware of any laws that can be used to prosecute women who abuse their children before birth. So, if we're willing to begin protecting the child from death the moment it's conceived, shouldn't we be willing to extend all the protective laws instead of just that one?

And therein the problems begin. What do you report? A mother hitting a child on the street, or a child coming to school smelly in dirty clothes, or comes up and confides in you that daddy has been touching him in wrong places is easy.

 

Do you report any woman who buys wine and looks pregnant? What if she's simply overweight or buying it for a friend? How much wine damages a child - does the mother having a single glass of wine on her 10th anniversary warrant her child being taken from her? If she has a quick fag because her mother just died, is that enough to kill the child inside of her?

 

And again, how do you prove that a physical or mental disability was caused by the alcohol or drug abuse? How can you show it was just bad luck? Sometimes people can display symptoms of said abuse without having done so - a brilliant example was of a patient in our hospital whose blood levels showed him to be permanently over the limit for drinking - and yet he was tee-total (we know this, given he was nil-by-mouth and totally dependent, so no, he wasn't sneaking out to the shops).

 

And then it all boils back down to the base argument; at what point is the fetus recognised as a person and thus the law protects it?

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What about learned medical professionals making snap-decisions in a crisis situation?

Not sure if you're directing this question at me or MindsEye, since I was just summarizing!

 

However, from my POV, those medical professionals need the protection of the law so that they can act as they see fit in extreme circumstances. If the killing of a fetus were ever 100% outlawed, then a doctor could face criminal charges for attempting to save the mother's life in a crisis. Not that such a situation often arises, but if it does, the doctor should not be penalized.

 

On the other hand, unless the parents are completely incapacitated, I would think they have more say than the doctor in whose life to prioritize; that is, some mothers may prefer to have the doctor save the child at all costs, and if they do, it's their choice, not the doctor's.

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Not sure if you're directing this question at me or MindsEye, since I was just summarizing!

 

However, from my POV, those medical professionals need the protection of the law so that they can act as they see fit in extreme circumstances. If the killing of a fetus were ever 100% outlawed, then a doctor could face criminal charges for attempting to save the mother's life in a crisis. Not that such a situation often arises, but if it does, the doctor should not be penalized.

 

On the other hand, unless the parents are completely incapacitated, I would think they have more say than the doctor in whose life to prioritize; that is, some mothers may prefer to have the doctor save the child at all costs, and if they do, it's their choice, not the doctor's.

It was aimed at you - and that was the answer I was looking for.

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Not sure if you're directing this question at me or MindsEye, since I was just summarizing!

 

However, from my POV, those medical professionals need the protection of the law so that they can act as they see fit in extreme circumstances. If the killing of a fetus were ever 100% outlawed, then a doctor could face criminal charges for attempting to save the mother's life in a crisis. Not that such a situation often arises, but if it does, the doctor should not be penalized.

 

On the other hand, unless the parents are completely incapacitated, I would think they have more say than the doctor in whose life to prioritize; that is, some mothers may prefer to have the doctor save the child at all costs, and if they do, it's their choice, not the doctor's.

Some people are so misguided that they'd rather let mom and child die than perform a life-saving abortion.

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Some people are so misguided that they'd rather let mom and child die than perform a life-saving abortion.

Given what Kelkelen said about who gets to say, do you mean to say that some mothers are so misguided that they would rather die than perform an abortion? They are exercising their right to choose. Some people would surely disagree with them, but it is their right to deny medical treatment.

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I read that as meaning "some doctors" would rather let both die than abort the child. I think it's acceptable for a doctor to also refuse to perform an abortion, provided she or he is up front about that fact with the patients. The Hippocratic oath has always been interpreted in a variety of ways, and some doctors take "do no harm" to apply to fetuses, as well.

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Given what Kelkelen said about who gets to say, do you mean to say that some mothers are so misguided that they would rather die than perform an abortion?  They are exercising their right to choose.  Some people would surely disagree with them, but it is their right to deny medical treatment.

I understand and respect their choice if they choose to let the child survive instead of them. I'm going to look at their choice as pure-foolishness if neither will survive and they choose to let that happen. Doctors who would rather let both die also should not be doctors, in my opinion. I'm not saying they have to do abortions for everyone in the world, but in a moment of a medical emergency (ie. mother has no time to find another doctor) a doctor who would chose to do nothing and sacrifice both patients is not a good doctor.

 

Arguing with me on this one probably won't do much good, this is my opinion on the matter and for me I'm not likely to ever swing around to the other spectrum.

Edited by 7Deadly$ins

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Thanks! I have a couple questions for you. Are you pro-life or pro-choice? (I'm too lazy to scroll through the whole thread to find out if you posted your stance previously.) Second, your answer seems to be largely based on circumstance. True, if the mother and father have a good relationship they are probably likely to discuss it and make a decision together. What if they tried to be careful but failed, say the condom broke and she got pregnant. Dad decides he wants to raise the child, but mom decides she wants an abortion. What then? Aren't we making second-class citizens out of men by telling them that they don't have any rights to their unborn child just because women are the ones carrying it?

 

I'm pro-choice.

 

Yes, what I brought out were examples given as specific circumstances, but as it tends to be, most of what we do or don't do relies on the situation - what might be the best course of action under some conditions might be restrictive or outright harmful in the other, to lesser or greater consequences respectively.

As I already brought out, a couple on good terms is likely going to discuss the matter - if they don't, there is a high probability they do not trust each other or the relationship has some other issues - such as the other side of it being either highly controlling or even abusive. (And mind, especially emotional abuse is extremely hard to prove, at least as long as it is not on tape, meaning that turning to police might not help; sometimes, even a violent relationship might go unreported, since the woman is afraid of reporting it for one reason or another.)

If the woman feels convenient enough telling him, he of course would have a say as long as he stays respectful, but still I think the woman should have the ultimate decision. - It might be hard for a man to evaluate the exact condition of a woman - such as the mental condition and ability to cope with pregnancy can't always be accurately estimated. A forced (not any, mind you!) pregnancy is usually a horrible torment, both physical and mental, and some might not be able to take it without the said leaving behind lasting damage, or, in a few cases, they might not be able to endure it at all.

In any case, there are usually reasons why the woman wants an abortion - carrying to full term, even if the role of both parents might ideally be equal afterwards, has a much greater impact on the woman than on the man. In some cases, the woman might not feel ready for a child or even going through pregnancy, in others, the woman's career or studies might be affected, or financial situation might not be stable enough, etc., etc.

In many cases, it might simply suffice for the man to wait for a few more months or years, till the woman feels ready for a child and wants one - that child will be more loved and likely lead a better life, whereas a reasonable man shouldn't have a problem with waiting just a little longer. If the woman doesn't want a child at all, then perhaps it would be better if the man (who definitely wants children) found himself someone else who wants them too, else the family isn't going to work out in the long run.

I don't find not having the right to determine whether the mother would or would not be able to abort renders the man secondary.

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And therein the problems begin. What do you report? A mother hitting a child on the street, or a child coming to school smelly in dirty clothes, or comes up and confides in you that daddy has been touching him in wrong places is easy.

 

Do you report any woman who buys wine and looks pregnant? What if she's simply overweight or buying it for a friend? How much wine damages a child - does the mother having a single glass of wine on her 10th anniversary warrant her child being taken from her? If she has a quick fag because her mother just died, is that enough to kill the child inside of her?

 

And again, how do you prove that a physical or mental disability was caused by the alcohol or drug abuse? How can you show it was just bad luck? Sometimes people can display symptoms of said abuse without having done so - a brilliant example was of a patient in our hospital whose blood levels showed him to be permanently over the limit for drinking - and yet he was tee-total (we know this, given he was nil-by-mouth and totally dependent, so no, he wasn't sneaking out to the shops).

 

And then it all boils back down to the base argument; at what point is the fetus recognised as a person and thus the law protects it?

It's never easy to diagnose abuse. If the child has a head injury, and both parents believably agree that the child fell down a flight of stairs, how does a doctor tell for sure if the child fell or was struck? It's not 100%, and neither is diagnosing a child with fetal alcohol syndrome. You're right, the bigger issue is when life begins: at conception, or at birth? Different people have different ideas about when life begins, and thus the debate continues...

 

Much as I'd like to continue tossing ideas around with all of you, I've got to shove off for a while. Thanks very much for the intellectual stimulation. wink.gif

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I was looking for a clarification, not an argument.

Alright then. Just wanted to throw some defending for myself out there before I got destroyed by anyone or something. Didn't mean to come off rudely if I did.

 

The issue with debating about it in terms of life is that lots of things are alive -- including tumors. Just because something is alive for me doesn't trump consciousness.

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It's never easy to diagnose abuse. If the child has a head injury, and both parents believably agree that the child fell down a flight of stairs, how does a doctor tell for sure if the child fell or was struck? It's not 100%, and neither is diagnosing a child with fetal alcohol syndrome. You're right, the bigger issue is when life begins: at conception, or at birth? Different people have different ideas about when life begins, and thus the debate continues...

 

Much as I'd like to continue tossing ideas around with all of you, I've got to shove off for a while. Thanks very much for the intellectual stimulation. wink.gif

And that is again the problem - with a talking child it's a hard case, so what about something that may not even be aware of itself?

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One thing confusing me. The real hard core religious ones believe that every life is sacred. And they should know that animals are just as important. As said in the bible. They don't like the excuse of overpopulation with abortions but I know plenty of these types of people that are for euthanizing a litter of pups and kittens or unadopted anytime to keep the numbers down.

 

Rethinking, my friend brought this up.

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Where in the Bible does it say that?

I remember one of the stories where Noah and flood blah blah blah.. the boat was tipping and the father and son put all the animal on the side to where they would keep it straight. Then a mouse ran off to the other side and the son didn't think much of it since it was just a mouse. Then the boat tipped again and he realized all were important. Sounds stupid with me telling because I don't actually have the words in front of me right now.

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Not to mention that they were here first and he loved the animals just as much. I think all animals were vegetarian until the fall of man.

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I remember one of the stories where Noah and flood blah blah blah.. the boat was tipping and the father and son put all the animal on the side to where they would keep it straight. Then a mouse ran off to the other side and the son didn't think much of it since it was just a mouse. Then the boat tipped again and he realized all were important. Sounds stupid with me telling because I don't actually have the words in front of me right now.

That's not in the Bible I read.

 

Where does it say God loves animals just as much as humans and therefore holds them equal? Where does it say anything about animal squatter's rights? I'm not saying you're wrong or right, I'd just like you to back up what you're saying. If you've got evidence, bring it forth, I'd like to see it.

Edited by Princess Artemis

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I'm not sure if it's against the law to endanger your child through drinking, drugs, etc, if the child is born anyway, but there are many women who are in jail because they had a miscarriage and the court found them guilty of acting in a risky way that might cause a miscarriage. One woman right now is fighting against a 10 year sentence because after her miscarriage they accused her of doing drugs while pregnant and causing the miscarriage, even though she says she never did drugs while pregnant and they have no proof of it.

 

So yeah:

 

Endangering your baby's life only enough to screw it up and not kill it: okay

Endangering your baby's life resulting in a miscarriage: jail

Edited by Syaoransbear

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I'm not sure if it's against the law to endanger your child through drinking, drugs, etc, if the child is born anyway, but there are many women who are in jail because they had a miscarriage and the court found them guilty of acting in a risky way that might cause a miscarriage. One woman right now is fighting against a 10 year sentence because after her miscarriage they accused her of doing drugs while pregnant and causing the miscarriage, even though she says she never did drugs while pregnant and they have no proof of it.

 

So yeah:

 

Endangering your baby's life only enough to screw it up and not kill it: okay

Endangering your baby's life resulting in a miscarriage: jail

user posted image

 

This...

 

This is really the only response for that.

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I'm not sure if it's against the law to endanger your child through drinking, drugs, etc, if the child is born anyway, but there are many women who are in jail because they had a miscarriage and the court found them guilty of acting in a risky way that might cause a miscarriage. One woman right now is fighting against a 10 year sentence because after her miscarriage they accused her of doing drugs while pregnant and causing the miscarriage, even though she says she never did drugs while pregnant and they have no proof of it.

 

So yeah:

 

Endangering your baby's life only enough to screw it up and not kill it: okay

Endangering your baby's life resulting in a miscarriage: jail

What country is this, and if in the U.S., what state? I was reading something similar lately, but it was in another country and I can't recall where. This kind of situation is one of the strongest arguments against outlawing abortion; if all abortion is illegal, no matter what, then miscarriages essentially spawn homicide investigations.

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I'm not sure if it's against the law to endanger your child through drinking, drugs, etc, if the child is born anyway, but there are many women who are in jail because they had a miscarriage and the court found them guilty of acting in a risky way that might cause a miscarriage. One woman right now is fighting against a 10 year sentence because after her miscarriage they accused her of doing drugs while pregnant and causing the miscarriage, even though she says she never did drugs while pregnant and they have no proof of it.

 

So yeah:

 

Endangering your baby's life only enough to screw it up and not kill it: okay

Endangering your baby's life resulting in a miscarriage: jail

 

 

I went back and did some more research, and found the following:

 

http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/tgr/03/6/gr030603.html

 

However, these cases are in regards to drugs only, which are illegal, and not legal substances like alcohol and tobacco. Would you happen to have the names, or some source for the case you're referring to? I'd like to research it further. (Not that I doubt you, I'd just like to know.)

 

@ GhostChilli: Pope John Paul the II gave a sermon on animals, stating that "...also the animals possess a soul and that men must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren." He quoted several passages from Genesis and stated that since God created animals, they are no less God's creatures than man is. I don't think I've ever heard the story of Noah's mouse, but that's a profoundly simple little tale.

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What country is this, and if in the U.S., what state?  I was reading something similar lately, but it was in another country and I can't recall where.  This kind of situation is one of the strongest arguments against outlawing abortion; if all abortion is illegal, no matter what, then miscarriages essentially spawn homicide investigations.

US, southern states. Recently, Mississippi tried to pass a law that would ban abortion, any birth control that causes a fertilized egg to not implant(The Pill, to name just one), and that law would also make it a criminal offense if the mother was found guilty of in any way causing her miscarriage. That means that every miscarriage would be followed by an investigation. Since the law sought to give personhood to zygotes, many people also speculated that even if a woman was not found to have caused the death of her fetus by negligence, the father could sue her anyway for the death of his child.

 

The law did not pass, but it was 60-40. That is too close.

 

Here's what I was referring too:

 

Amanda Kimbrough is one of the women who have been ensnared as a result of the law being applied in a wholly different way. During her pregnancy her foetus was diagnosed with possible Down's syndrome and doctors suggested she consider a termination, which Kimbrough declined as she is not in favour of abortion.

 

The baby was delivered by caesarean section prematurely in April 2008 and died 19 minutes after birth.

 

Six months later Kimbrough was arrested at home and charged with "chemical endangerment" of her unborn child on the grounds that she had taken drugs during the pregnancy – a claim she has denied.

 

"That shocked me, it really did," Kimbrough said. "I had lost a child, that was enough."

 

She now awaits an appeal ruling from the higher courts in Alabama, which if she loses will see her begin a 10-year sentence behind bars. "I'm just living one day at a time, looking after my three other kids," she said. "They say I'm a criminal, how do I answer that? I'm a good mother."

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/2...-murder-charges

 

 

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@ GhostChilli: Pope John Paul the II gave a sermon on animals, stating that "...also the animals possess a soul and that men must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren." He quoted several passages from Genesis and stated that since God created animals, they are no less God's creatures than man is. I don't think I've ever heard the story of Noah's mouse, but that's a profoundly simple little tale.

The Pope said it, it must be true? Ipsie dixit?

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