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Blue Lion's Lair

Hunting for Answers and Devouring the Issues

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Tag: abortion

OK.  I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but somehow I got very distracted and haven’t written a blog in 4 months.  To me, it only feels like about three weeks, but each day I put off writing just makes it that much longer until I get back.  When I left off I was planning on finishing my discussion on abortion and how to go about reducing the number of them.  After rereading my previous post, I see I already said most of what I really wanted to talk about on abortions.

The only aspects of the subject I wanted to touch on were the rights of the women who find themselves pregnant.  Of course, one of the reasons I haven’t written in four months is that I’ve been avoiding writing about this subject since it’s a delicate one.  Do women have the right to control what happens to their own bodies?  Clearly, the Blue Lion would say that they do.  The problem I have is that, as discussed in the last post, it’s not only the woman’s life that is affected.  By the time a woman determines she’s pregnant, due to the uncertainties of personhood of the fetus growing inside her, that life has to be treated as if it has the rights of personhood (i.e. a right to live).  I know many people don’t like this and believe it’s unfair to women, and I understand that.  However, fair or not, women have the responsibility of caring for a life that isn’t their own.  We all know that life is not fair, but it’s even more unfair for women of child bearing age.

Where does that leave us?  Well, as we all know, to paraphrase Spiderman, with all powers, freedoms, rights and privileges comes additional responsibilities.  Women have the absolute right to control what happens to their own bodies.  With this right comes the responsibility to make sure they don’t become pregnant before they are able to care for a child or be able to give that child up for adoption.  I know it’s easy for me to say this since I’m not a woman and I know that there is no perfect solution to this problem.

However, we as a society need to start teaching our children that there are consequences to their actions from the time they are born.  They need to know when they make mistakes, and that although we still love them, they have erred.  The way we have been brining up our children to believe they can do anything they want and everything will be OK has hampered our evolution as a society.  Yes, every child should be taught to lead their life the way they choose, but they also need to know which choices are rational.  They need to learn how to make decisions that are in their rational self interest.   The notion that if if feels good to them they should do it, is anathema to living a happy successful life in the long run.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t subscribe to the notion that all sex outside of marriage is wrong.  But adolescents/young adults that understand that there are consequences to their actions at least have a chance of stopping for a few seconds or minutes to make sure they are protecting themselves in one of the many ways available to them.  Of course this won’t eliminate unwanted pregnancies since the relevant demographic of humans is wired to think they are invulnerable to consequences.  This is probably and evolutionary strategy to ensure the continuance of the genetic code.  However, as thinking humans we need to work at overcoming this drive.  It will take generations, but at least it will move us in the right direction.

There is also the larger issue of the growing population of the planet and possible stresses this puts on the survival of the species, due to large, but finite resources.  That’s an interesting issue that the Blue Lion doesn’t really have an answer for.  Yes, increased population requires more use of resources, but the increased population itself is a resource.  Every person born adds to the chance that new technologies and resources will be discovered that will make the planet able to support more people.  Clearly, at some point, the pressure on resources might outweigh the ability of people to innovate solutions.  However, that has not happened yet and that point may be quite some time in the future.  At any rate, rational use of technology to limit the number of unwanted pregnancies and slow the population growth in many places may not be a bad thing.  The days of needing large families of children to ensure the survival of the family are gone in the industrialized world.  We don’t however, need to brutally limit the number of children a couple can have via forced sterilizations and abortions as they do in China.  In this case, a middle way that emphasizes freedom and responsibility of the individuals needs to be found.

There, as usual, I’ve said more than I planned when I started.  Until next time, live well.

Sorry for the break in posts.  It’s been a busy couple of weeks.  Too much Halloween decorating, doctor appointments, scouting activities and work.   Today’s subject is something a little more concrete then some of my other posts, but definitely controversial.

Let me start off by reminding my readers about what I said in the post “Who Am I”.  I stated that “Above all, I believe that life, everyone’s, life is unique and important.”  Everyone has a right to their own life.  The ending of a life, for any reason is a terrible thing.  In my mind, there is only one legitimate allowable reason to kill someone.  Only if an individual has forfeited their lives by deciding to take someone else’s life.  This same standard applies in the case of abortion as well.  In simple terms, abortion, in my mind, is a horrible and terrible wrong.

I know.  Many readers will say that a fetus is not a person and therefore they should not be granted the same rights as a fully developed human being.  Do you know what the difference between a baby and a fetus is?  It’s whether it’s wanted or not.  Think about it.  For a baby wanted by the parents, we will even go to the extent of performing corrective surgery to a fetus as young as 20 weeks in utero.  These people are thinking of this child as a baby.  Conversely and although in the minority of abortions, people will abort a baby that’s over 21 weeks in utero.  These people think of the baby as a fetus.  Both babies are at the same level of development.  Those people who want to have a baby will tend to think of the child as a baby from the day they find out they are having a baby.  Those who don’t want to be pregnant and pursue an abortion, will tend to dehumanize the child they want to abort and call it a fetus.

OK.  That describes the emotional definition of a fetus and a baby, but the Blue Lion strives to bring rational thought to all discussions.  For those who don’t believe in a soul, my argument is a little weaker than it is for those who do.  To those who don’t believe in a soul, all I’ll say is that left alone, the fetus/baby will, with a high percentage of success, grow into a fully viable human with all the rights to live their lives that this entails.  Since we don’t know exactly when the “experience” of life really begins, a conservative determination is called for.  Clearly at some point, fairly early in development (around 4 weeks after conception), brain cells start to form and interact.  This, to me, is the most conservative stance that can be taken from a purely biological standpoint.  Ironically, this is about the same time that women start to find out that the are pregnant.

For those who believe in a soul, the argument is even stronger.  I have a real problem with people who believe that we have souls and then turn around and have an abortion because the fetus isn’t a person.  No one can determine just when a person gets a soul.  Clearly, it would have to be some time between or at conception and when the child is born.  Most people would say this happens much earlier than half way through the pregnancy.  In fact, since we can’t determine the “when”, the only logical stance to take is that the child has a soul at conception.  This, to the believer would make abortion the killing of a person in all cases.  However, for even the non-believer, the logical determination is that the fetus is a baby after only 4 or 5 weeks.

So, now that we can see that almost every abortion performed should be considered killing a person, we need to think outside of the box to actually make any progress in reducing the number of abortions to a very small number.  You see, as my title suggests, abortion is not the problem.  As horrible a thing as abortion it, it’s only a symptom of the problem.  The problem, is unwanted pregnancies.  If every pregnancy was one that was wanted by the man and woman involved, there would not be any need for abortions.  Sadly, this will never happen.  However, we can and should do much more than we currently do to help prevent unwanted pregnancies.  Technology has provided us with a plethora of methods to avoid pregnancies.  None of them are perfect, but most work very well.  The pill, condoms, tubal ligation, vasectomies and even Natural Family Planning (which is NOT the rhythm method) have been proven to be very effective means of birth control, if used correctly.  Unfortunately, many religions teach that the only acceptable method of birth control is abstinence if not married and Natural Family Planning if married.  The biggest problem with both of these methods is they require a large amount of discipline.  Something lacking from the vast majority of people.

What about the rights of the woman?  Shouldn’t they come into this discussion?  What exactly should we do to reduce abortions?  I’ll discuss those parts of the issue and that fact that while the Blue Lion is pro-choice, I believe the “choice” needs to happen before the sexual activity occurs. Until then, be well.