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Pro-choice quandary

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God bless you for your efforts, funscout. Yes, everyone can do something...and it shouldn't take government involvement. My story is much the same as you. We got married as soon as we completed our educations, at age 20. My first "surprise" came at age 23. We were both health professionals so we knew all about the birds and the bees (and how to prevent them), but the GYN who told my wife she was sterile was wrong. Being "sterile", we did not have "family" health insurance that included OB care. It took us years to pay off the hospital bill. The next "surprise" came at age 26, because the IUD didn't work. Then my wife had her tubes tied because that was all the "surprise" we could afford. She quit her RN job and stayed home after the second one and we survived on one salary. It was tough, but we lived within our means, and didn't take a dime of assistance from ANYONE, including the taxpayers. No cable TV, no new cars, no eating out, no fancy house in the burbs...but we made it work. When #2 started school, she went to work as a school nurse at his school, making half what she was making in the Hospital. We since upgraded to a nicer house, where we've been since 1983. "Surprises" are now 30 and 27, and I'm so glad God felt that we could "handle it", even though I wasn't "ready". But in other cases, I do have to wonder what in the world He is thinking.

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TheScout, since you don't seem to want to give us 'your' definition there's little more that can be said about it. It's possible that you have taken the Biblical approach which amounts to little more than magic. Or perhaps you think that fertilization is the moment of conception. Or you are simply ignorant on the subject. Either way you have said nothing about WHY that event, conception, however you attempt to define it, is important to be used in our code of laws.

And you still have not addressed the other questions.


Whether or not human life is a gift from God is irrelevant unless you are proposing that your religious beliefs should be the basis of our government and laws.


Lisabob, I obviously would be fine with allowing women to make their own decisions, free of influence or coercion either by other persons (men included) or big government for that matter.

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packsaddle, I guess I have never really put much thought into the exaxt moment of conception. I didn't know there was such a debate about that I admit.


I follow the Catholic position that any act which interferes with procreation is wrong.


I don't think we should very casually brush off that life is a gift from God.


It may be considered the very basis of our poliitcal order. Recall the Declaration of Independence itself


"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."


It does mean something. Such a theory protects liberty. If our rights were a grant from any piece of paper, king, or legislature, they can be taken away be a single act. But as our rights come from God, no earthly power can take them away.


If you depend on the Congress of Constitution for your rights, that can easily be changed. Jefferson himself once said,


And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? Thomas Jefferson


I don't know what exactly you mean by other questions I have not addressed?


I think our laws our based on the traditions of Christian civilization. We need some basis for morality.

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I have no problem with women making their own choice, either. They can choose to say no. If they say yes & the result is pregnancy & they decide to abort the child, they chose murder & should suffer the consequences.

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Lisa, Yeah I was just being certain about it.


Ed, You are at least consistent. The technology genie is out of the bottle and you're not going to put it back. But I'm pulling for those Steelers.


TheScout, then it's time to put some thought into it.

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Ed, technology is what will ultimately defeat any and every effort to regulate reproductive rights. There is no law that will accomplish the goals of the pro-life movement because, as we already have seen with respect to so many other aspect of bio-technology, legislation cannot be written in sufficiently specific terms to address rapidly changing technological abilities. Moreover, the legislative process is slow and doesn't come close to matching the pace of development of new technologies.


For example, there are a lot of people on the planet who profess to follow the leadership of a guy who wears a funny hat and speaks a dead language. Technology invented 'the pill' and there was no way for mystics and sorcerers a couple thousand years ago to be able to predict that. The funny hat guy said (and still says) that people of his faith must not use 'the pill' and threatens them with punishment if they do. Italy has by percentage a greater proportion of that faith than any other country in Europe. Italy has the lowest birth rate of any country in Europe, actually well below replacement. I suggest that due to the ease of use of this technology, 'the pill' is being used in large quantities in Italy. Or else they are also the most sexually-frustrated people in Europe.

I find this to be very interesting because it indicates to me that not only has this technology (very old technology by now) circumvented control by a church, it has actually demonstrated to the people that if the guy in the funny hat can't even successfully confront something as simple as 'the pill', he may not be all that authoritative in other matters. In this sense, technology is also undermining religious authority.

When you begin to consider all the other technologies that are in use and in development (in vitro fertilization, stem cell technology) it is clear that the old institutions just weren't designed to respond to today's realities of bio-technology.


TheScout, a right is an ability. We tend to think of abilities as 'rights' when someone or something attempts to limit the exercise of those abilities. If you want to credit supernatural magic for those abiliities, that is your 'right'.


Edited for typos(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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I wouuld not dare to call God's work magic.


It is not just me who says that rights come from God. The Declaration of Independence itself does as I quoted above.


It has been the atheistic systems which recognized no human rights independent of government fiat which have committed the greatest abuses on people.

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Your right about the techno genie. The next big issue to be raised for the guy with the pointy hat will be the Post Cardiac Death Donation issue. This is not the same as donations post brain death.


In this scenario, if a patient has a devastating irreversible circumstance. Let's say you have a massive heart attack. The only reason that you are alive is due to life support, ventilator, blood pressure meds, heart assist devices. Once removed from these medications and devices, you will die. It is now becoming practice to talk with the family, and patient if they are conscious and able to make a decision, about what is called Post Cardiac Death Donation.


If agreed to, the family and patient say their farewells. The patient is then taken to the OR. There, all medications are terminated, and devices removed. Once the patient expires and is pronounced (has to be within two hours), organ retrieval starts. If the patient survives past two hours, usually a rarity but has happened, they are sent to the Hospice floor, and the family is contacted that the donation was unsuccessful, and if they wish, they are welcome to be with their loved one.


The patient is not brain dead. The brain is still functional. This is a choice being given, instead of living a couple of days, or a couple of weeks on the life support, dragging out the pain and suffering. it gives the patient or family, the option to help others in their time of crisis.


Where does this fall, PRO-CHOICE, or PRO-LIFE, or ASSISTED SUICIDE?


My employer, a Catholic hospital has been mulling over this controversy over the last year, and is proceeding with this type of retrieval program, once all the moral ethics can be worked out.

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Ed, I hadn't heard about that, it's interesting. I guess the situation you describe falls outside the realm of the living will and power of attorney. But at least with regard to assisted suicide, the states are already answering, I think.


P.S. Pittsburg ahead by 10 so far!

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Where does this fall, PRO-CHOICE, or PRO-LIFE, or ASSISTED SUICIDE?


Yah, can't say as I have an opinion, but AFAIK da Vatican does, eh? (or the "guy with the pointy hat" which even as a non-Catholic I find to be an inappropriate and childish turn of phrase).


I do lunch about once a month with a Jesuit canon lawyer. Kinda fun, and the chap is a good friend though our interests are in very different kinds of law. My understandin', and folks like OGE and TheScout can correct me if I'm wrong, is that there is nothin' which supports or requires usin' extraordinary means to prolong life. Natural death is a part of life, and respectin' life means accepting natural death and the journey home to God.


Which I expect is why your Catholic hospital is willin' to support such choices, providin' it first works out all da potential pitfalls and traps. Make all da jokes yeh want about da Vatican types, but they are intellectually rigorous and consistent.


Yah, and packsaddle, before yeh keep prodding TheScout, perhaps you'd be kind enough to share your well-reasoned and testable position on when life begins and is worthy of protection? Heartbeat? Neural activity? Surely yeh agree natural birth is a ridiculous threshold. Or is there a self-realization threshold? Age of reason perhaps?




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