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Old 2012-02-03, 06:15   #34
cheesehead
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeta-Flux View Post
(1) Reduce the number of abortions for convenience, and thus save innocent lives. (2) Reduce the number of abortions for convenience, and thus save innocent lives.
So, what would the other effects be?
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Old 2012-02-08, 22:17   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeta-Flux View Post
(1) Reduce the number of abortions for convenience, and thus save innocent lives. (2) Reduce the number of abortions for convenience, and thus save innocent lives.
What about all the people convicted of murder because they performed an abortion on themself or others?
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Old 2012-02-09, 01:04   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
What about all the people convicted of murder because they performed an abortion on themself or others?
What about them?
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Old 2012-02-09, 01:09   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeta-Flux View Post
What about them?
Well, assuming we incarcerate them (or even kill them, after all, you tell us it is murder), is that not a side effect of making abortion illegal?

**************
Again, this makes my original point about simplification quite clearly: Mr Zeta-Flux doesn't seem to want to include the cost of classifying a certain number of people as murderers into his calculations, even though I (and cheesehead, and doubtless Xilman) promise that said cost is significant and non-trivial, and not too difficult to measure.
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Old 2012-02-09, 01:20   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christenson View Post
Well, assuming we incarcerate them (or even kill them,... [emphasis added]
?

Quote:
... after all, you tell us it is murder), is that not a side effect of making abortion illegal?
Christenson,

If you hit a woman in the stomach, and her child dies, you can be charged with murder.

That said, before abortion was made legal it was not classified as murder in many places.

Quote:
Again, this makes my original point about simplification quite clearly: Mr Zeta-Flux doesn't seem to want to include the cost of classifying a certain number of people as murderers into his calculations...
This is incorrect. (1) The act does not need to be equated to murder. It could have lesser (but still serious) punishments. (2) I do include such costs. I figure that protecting life is more important than protecting life-takers.
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Old 2012-02-09, 02:08   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeta-Flux View Post
?

Christenson,

If you hit a woman in the stomach, and her child dies, you can be charged with murder.

That said, before abortion was made legal it was not classified as murder in many places.

This is incorrect. (1) The act does not need to be equated to murder. It could have lesser (but still serious) punishments. (2) I do include such costs. I figure that protecting life is more important than protecting life-takers.
what he's saying is it could come down to a life for a life which ones more valuable. the life of the aborted foetus or the person doing the abortion.
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Old 2012-02-09, 03:35   #40
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what he's saying is it could come down to a life for a life which ones more valuable. the life of the aborted foetus or the person doing the abortion.
I already made it clear that if it comes down to that for health related reasons, we err on the side of the mother. But we are talking about abortions for convenience. Respecting life is not an onerous burden, neither morally nor fiscally nor societally. Devaluing life, on the other hand, has huge costs. The main one being the innocent lives taken for trivial reasons.
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Old 2012-02-09, 06:31   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeta-Flux View Post
(1) The act does not need to be equated to murder. It could have lesser (but still serious) punishments.
I've seen that response before, in discussions about abortion.

It's kind of strange when people who previously maintained that abortion was "the killing of innocent human life" become squeamish when asked about specific consequences of putting that into law (as murder) and enforcing that. It reveals that the abortion opponent seems to think that life before birth is not really as precious as life after birth, since he thinks a murderer of the former should not face as serious a consequence as a murderer of the latter ... and that's a slippery slope, isn't it?

If the act is not equated to murder, then attorneys for the folks who murder people who'd already been born will start raising the objection that their clients are not being given equal treatment under the law, compared to folks who murder people who hadn't yet been born.

Will the personhood amendment also amend the equal protection clause of the constitution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeta-Flux View Post
I already made it clear that if it comes down to that for health related reasons, we err on the side of the mother. But we are talking about abortions for convenience.
... and the legal definitions of "health related reasons" and "convenience", in this context, shall be ...?

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2012-02-09 at 07:08
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Old 2012-02-09, 08:52   #42
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A quick look at NOW (http://www.now.org/issues/abortion/r...foreafter.html)
[QUOTE]
Estimates of the annual number of illegal abortions in the 1950s and 60s range from 200,000 to 1.2 million, even though abortion procedures were unsafe and often life-threatening, in addition to being illegal
[\QUOTE]

HOW are you planning on punishing 200,000 per year, plus their assistants, AT A MINIMUM? (More courts and prisons, anyone? -- we already have more per capita in jail, mostly black men, than the rest of the industrialised world, mostly for basically trivial drug offenses that arise from general non-functioning, and I can't exactly call the functioning of our justice system speedy -- there's a trial on in Charlottesville right now for a murder that took place nearly two years ago, with only a trivial chance of the defendant proving innocence -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Yeardley_Love)

Note that the official population (from the census) has grown from 203M in 1970 to 309M in 2010, so multiply your numbers by 1.5 to get estimates for today.

The reality is significantly complex....when this was illegal, there were STILL an awful lot of abortions....just much more dangerous, and only available to a select few. Those serious about reducing the numbers work on the education end and on making effective birth control available...do you know there were at least 4 separate incidents of babies being found in trash cans in 2011 in the US? What went wrong there? Will there be more if abortion becomes illegal?
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Old 2012-02-09, 14:49   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeta-Flux View Post
I already made it clear that if it comes down to that for health related reasons, we err on the side of the mother. But we are talking about abortions for convenience. Respecting life is not an onerous burden, neither morally nor fiscally nor societally. Devaluing life, on the other hand, has huge costs. The main one being the innocent lives taken for trivial reasons.
I'm not talking about that part I'm saying a doctor commits abortion (like murder) with help from an assistant( also guilty under Canadian law at least through aiding and abetting) so 2 people go up for murder charges. in some places this may lead to a death penalty ( another murder so who's life is more valuable ?) if the executioner got murder charges that's a possibly never ending cycle.
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Old 2012-02-10, 02:34   #44
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I'll try to organize my response to your three posts by topic, as I see the relevant issues.

Topic 1: Is the value of life measured by the amount of punishment we put into law for taking said life, or lack of such punishment?

It can be, but it doesn't necessarily need to be. As a simple example, if someone is accidentally killed, our laws take that into account. The lives of those murdered in cold blood and of those killed accidentally when they drown in the pool in their backyards are equally valuable. Yet, our laws are not designed to measure that value. Rather, they are designed to discourage the voluntary taking of life. There are even degrees to murder, depending on the circumstances.

When deciding what should or should not be legal/illegal, and the corresponding benefits/penalties, there are a large number of factors to take into consideration. To give some examples: Will the law reflect the ideological purity of the idea, or will some concessions need to be made in order to convince a majority to pass the law? Does it help or hinder the fundamental function of government, which is to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

I've been accused of not considering the ramifications of making abortion (in most cases) illegal. However, I've measured the costs to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness on both sides, and I come down on the side of the intelligent life inside the womb. But that doesn't mean that this makes all of the questions easy.

Should a mother who commits an abortion be incarcerated? What about the doctor who performed the abortion? Does it matter when the abortion was performed? Is there some point at which the fetus becomes a "person" or does that only occur after birth? Or is it dependent on our technology, and they are only a person so long as our technology allows them to be viable outside the womb? Should we judge the fetus on degrees of development, or on its potential?

Whatever the answers, what is clear to me is that the culture we have created with our current laws is intolerable. Life is precious. Intelligent life especially. These children are innocent lives, worthy of protection under the law. Should we punish those who take these lives with incarceration? Or should we be merciful, since these lives are not yet developed? Or, should we treat all abortions as we do in the case a man punches a woman in the stomach and kills the child--murder? I think incarceration is appropriate.

Topic 2: How valuable is life?

The question is asked how we will punish those who commit abortion, if the rates continue at, say, 200,000 per year. First, let me say that this number would be a huge improvement over what is currently happening. I would consider even that much a success.

Second, if I'm reading the question correctly, the implicit argument is that the cost of dealing with a large number of law-breakers makes it infeasible to protect life. I think this is a valid question to ask. I even understand the feeling behind it. The prohibition, in my opinion, was a good idea in principle. Alcohol has a very negative impact on society. Yet, the prohibition did not turn out to be a positive. The social costs outweighed the benefits.

In the case of abortions, the outcome we want is less abortions (except in the exceptional cases). We want children to be given the chance at life. If we are overly harsh in the laws, the social costs may indeed be too great, since the practice of abortion seems to be a disgusting and common aspect of behavior in our country. I'm pragmatic enough to simply target the most egregious cases, and specifically target the doctors who provide them. If, over time, our culture concerning abortion improves, we could make further improvements in the law.
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