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Thread: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post

    We address the topic.
    What bullshit. More lies. As God is our witness, you lie.
    As Truman said, I donít give them hell, I tell them the truth and they think itís hell.

    Post one sentence from a post where you said you value the unborn and one time you said you understood why a parent wouldnít want a drag performance at a public library.

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    Quote Originally Posted by TFarnon View Post
    They aren't children until they emerge from their mother, and are capable of (physically) living independently of that mother. That means that a lot of preemies are able to survive thanks to medical technology, but not all of them do. And a zygote is not a child. A barely-formed embryo is not a child. A 22-week preemie is barely a child, and then only if it survives. I can feel for the parents of deeply wanted infants when they have to deal with a still birth or non-viable (usually preterm) birth. And I can feel for those fragile preterm infants. But I will always question extreme measures for those frail preemies. We don't know if they feel pain, but I believe they do, and their earliest days, weeks and months have to be horribly painful. It can't be wonderful to have intestinal tissue so thin and fragile that it tears with just normal peristalsis, leading to sepsis, and multiple surgeries. It can't be enjoyable to have a heart that isn't up to the task, and multiple rounds of CPR. It can't be painless to have skin so fragile that even the gentlest of surgical tapes can tear it. And I can't imagine that life on a respirator is less than horrible. There is merely being alive, and living with no quality of life whatsoever.

    I know someone whose child has now been in the ICU for over a month due to genetic issues. This is not that child's first stay. The child is still very much loved, but I feel for both the parents and the child. There is no good prognosis. I honestly don't know what the answer in that case should be, but I do know that it's not easy for the family or the child.

    All I do is supply blood and blood products for patients of all ages, including preemies. Given that those preemies have nervous systems, how can they not experience pain? Just because if they survive, and it's a big if, and don't remember that early pain, doesn't mean they didn't experience pain. The infants are too young to understand anything beyond experiencing that pain. They don't understand, for example, that the pain of open-heart surgery will lead to a normal or near-normal life.

    Given that one in three fertilizations ends in miscarriage, it isn't even a question of "allowing" a hypothetical child to live. I see the evidence of miscarriages and even miscarriages so early they are asymptomatic in antibody screen results of women of childbearing age. Not every woman who becomes pregnant develops those antibodies, but it is an ever-present possibility. I have seen women of childbearing age who have never been transfused or abused IV drugs who nonetheless have antibodies who never even knew they were pregnant in the past. Their blood tells the story. One of those patients did have multiple children with her husband. Unfortunately, her husband had a blood phenotype that couldn't have been any more incompatible, and she had developed antibodies to every single commonly encountered red blood cell antigen (about 20 of them). It was unclear whether she would be able to carry any future pregnancies by her husband to term.

    If we aren't going to mourn every miscarriage, known or unknown, then we shouldn't be mourning the loss of zygotes and embryos.
    Ask would be mothers if they mourn their miscarriages! Youíll change your mind.

    I understand you have an opinion that allows you to be supportive of only the pregnant woman. Iím looking for showing the unborn some value.

    Also, in the 1990ís synthetic surfactant was developed so that children within a week or two of legal late term abortions can be performed. You being a medical professional should know that a 22 week old baby is very much human, just small.

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post

    We address the topic.
    What bullshit. More lies. As God is our witness, you lie.
    As Truman said, I donít give them hell, I tell them the truth and they think itís hell.
    I said that you are a liar when you say that you "post on topic." Your recent lies are all about when you don't post on topic. Which makes this claim another of the (mounting) lies.

    You can call it "truth" all you want, but that doesn't make it so. You can call embryos "babies" or "children" or "images of God" or whatever term you want. That doesn't make them so. You can say all you want that I have no balance (a remark off topic and incorrect factually) or that I "don't care about children" (again off-topic and incorrect). One of your posts recently addressed me by name like 6 times in consecutive sentences (nothing but generalized false aspersions about *me* rather than the topic).

    And, no, I won't "show you" anything about what I have posted in the past. Your charges against me are mostly lies, and I need not respond to them in any way (especially not with any effort) to defend myself. False charges don't deserve much but scorn and ridicule. Demonize me, if you want, if that helps your sense of Christian superiority. The rest of us see it for what it is. I have posted on this topic probably dozens of times, including long before you were a member. Go fucking read them yourself.

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post

    We address the topic.
    What bullshit. More lies. As God is our witness, you lie.
    As Truman said, I donít give them hell, I tell them the truth and they think itís hell.
    I said that you are a liar when you say that you "post on topic." Your recent lies are all about when you don't post on topic. Which makes this claim another of the (mounting) lies.

    You can call it "truth" all you want, but that doesn't make it so. You can call embryos "babies" or "children" or "images of God" or whatever term you want. That doesn't make them so. You can say all you want that I have no balance (a remark off topic and incorrect factually) or that I "don't care about children" (again off-topic and incorrect). One of your posts recently addressed me by name like 6 times in consecutive sentences (nothing but generalized false aspersions about *me* rather than the topic).

    And, no, I won't "show you" anything about what I have posted in the past. Your charges against me are mostly lies, and I need not respond to them in any way (especially not with any effort) to defend myself. False charges don't deserve much but scorn and ridicule. Demonize me, if you want, if that helps your sense of Christian superiority. The rest of us see it for what it is. I have posted on this topic probably dozens of times, including long before you were a member. Go fucking read them yourself.
    Post something that shows me a liar, Ted. There has been enough time since yesterday to modify your position, but nothing has been posted by you.

    You can rant and rave all you want, throw obscenities to the wind, and tie yourself in a knot, but the truth is, you've not been an advocate for children.
    Last edited by Chuck Naill; June 6th, 2023 at 04:41 PM.
    ďHe has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.Ē Micah 6:8

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    ...but the truth is, you've not been an advocate for children.
    Now you're just a trolling liar. Likely born from your sense of Christian exceptionalism (that I have already cited).

    My next thought is, "I wonder how long Chuck will keep repeating this bullshit." We're gonna find out, aren't we.

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    If Ted thinks there is no soul, there is no soul.
    If Ted thinks we suddenly become a person by passing through the birth canal, we are.
    If Ted thinks drag performers are not sex workers, they ain't.
    If Ted thinks a Christain is whatever he thinks, that's who they are.
    If Ted thinks science is the ultimate authority, he must first check with Chip, you know, the cowboy , aka Richard Petty look alike, book writer, whitewater expert, knew about Sam Johson before he was out of diapers, the atheist theologian, the one who knows females have babies, .......

    Never thought I would say it, but @dneal make more sense every day.
    There's one of your most awesomest posts, Chuck. So "on topic" and all. Especially that "cowboy" and "Richard Petty" tripe and the rest of the off topic bullshit here. My sarcasm is my scorn for your lies. Lies don't deserve better. Even that second line, which I have NEVER said nor even believe. You're just making that bullshit up out of your animus.

    So stop fucking lying, Mr. Christian.
    Last edited by TSherbs; June 6th, 2023 at 05:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    Might as well ask a skunk to stop stinking.

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post

    We address the topic.
    What bullshit. More lies. As God is our witness, you lie.
    So, like I said, as God is our witness, you lie. When I say this, I am not wrong, Chuck. I don't say it lightly, and I only say it when the charge is accurate. It's plain as day. Take your Ten Commandments, and keep them to yourself. To utter them as suggestions for others when you can't seem able to hold to them yourself is just another example of that faux exceptionalism that I find so distasteful. It's exactly how sermonizing gives some good ideas such a bad flavor.
    Last edited by TSherbs; June 6th, 2023 at 05:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    The woke have adopted a very strange metaphysics regarding human nature, sexuality, and identity that is immune to empirical falsification.

    ó Geoffrey Miller
    "A truth does not mind being questioned. A lie does not like being challenged."

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    Quote Originally Posted by TFarnon View Post
    They aren't children until they emerge from their mother, and are capable of (physically) living independently of that mother. That means that a lot of preemies are able to survive thanks to medical technology, but not all of them do. And a zygote is not a child. A barely-formed embryo is not a child. A 22-week preemie is barely a child, and then only if it survives.
    You're stating the conclusion, which some may agree with or not. The opposing viewpoint's conclusion is precisely the opposite (which some may agree with, or not).

    This is the crux of the issue, however it is termed. Child, Baby, Zygote, Embryo, Human, Developing Human, etc... The words are mainly important for the emotional argument and propaganda (from both sides), which is a shame. The words are actually important because then society can address the actual ethics instead of shouting their opinions at each other.

    The definition of terms is the beginning of wisdom, and all that. Folks are too busy introducing new terms (euphemisms and dysphemisms) for dishonest purposes.

    Quote Originally Posted by TFarnon View Post
    I can feel for the parents of deeply wanted infants when they have to deal with a still birth or non-viable (usually preterm) birth. And I can feel for those fragile preterm infants. But I will always question extreme measures for those frail preemies. We don't know if they feel pain, but I believe they do, and their earliest days, weeks and months have to be horribly painful. It can't be wonderful to have intestinal tissue so thin and fragile that it tears with just normal peristalsis, leading to sepsis, and multiple surgeries. It can't be enjoyable to have a heart that isn't up to the task, and multiple rounds of CPR. It can't be painless to have skin so fragile that even the gentlest of surgical tapes can tear it. And I can't imagine that life on a respirator is less than horrible. There is merely being alive, and living with no quality of life whatsoever.

    I know someone whose child has now been in the ICU for over a month due to genetic issues. This is not that child's first stay. The child is still very much loved, but I feel for both the parents and the child. There is no good prognosis. I honestly don't know what the answer in that case should be, but I do know that it's not easy for the family or the child.

    All I do is supply blood and blood products for patients of all ages, including preemies. Given that those preemies have nervous systems, how can they not experience pain? Just because if they survive, and it's a big if, and don't remember that early pain, doesn't mean they didn't experience pain. The infants are too young to understand anything beyond experiencing that pain. They don't understand, for example, that the pain of open-heart surgery will lead to a normal or near-normal life.

    Given that one in three fertilizations ends in miscarriage, it isn't even a question of "allowing" a hypothetical child to live. I see the evidence of miscarriages and even miscarriages so early they are asymptomatic in antibody screen results of women of childbearing age. Not every woman who becomes pregnant develops those antibodies, but it is an ever-present possibility. I have seen women of childbearing age who have never been transfused or abused IV drugs who nonetheless have antibodies who never even knew they were pregnant in the past. Their blood tells the story. One of those patients did have multiple children with her husband. Unfortunately, her husband had a blood phenotype that couldn't have been any more incompatible, and she had developed antibodies to every single commonly encountered red blood cell antigen (about 20 of them). It was unclear whether she would be able to carry any future pregnancies by her husband to term.

    If we aren't going to mourn every miscarriage, known or unknown, then we shouldn't be mourning the loss of zygotes and embryos.
    Not a bad argument, but the conditional you arrived at as a conclusion is stretching the analogy a bit.

    You mention primarily death from natural causes, which isn't really the topic. Stillbirths and premies and other events tragic for those involved are worthy of mourning, but we're not really talking about mourning either.

    I think the idea you've missed is: intent. Intent is the difference between involuntary manslaughter and first degree murder. Intent is the difference between self-defense, murder, combat and execution. Those are examples of killing. Ending life. That's what abortion is. Intentionally ending life.

    Is the intent to not force a child to live with the consequences of a rape?
    Is the intent to not force a family to suffer through a terminal birth defect that is discovered early?

    Those two examples seem to call for compassion, since one would be hard-pressed to assign any malice.

    That's not what the staunch "pro" side pushed for though. They wanted on-demand abortion for any reason, up to birth; and eventually got that before Roe was overturned. They wanted to kill a distinct individual human (proven by their DNA), at any stage of development short of live birth.

    It's not difficult to assign some malice to that demand.

    Then, it was discovered that some clinics were killing babies that were born alive. The "Partial Birth" debate becomes more heated.

    It's not difficult to assign some malice to that action.

    So the Pro side basically played Sisyphus, and got rolled back down the mountain. Everything they wanted wiped out, to an admittedly draconian "not under any circumstance".
    "A truth does not mind being questioned. A lie does not like being challenged."

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    If Ted thinks there is no soul, there is no soul.
    If Ted thinks we suddenly become a person by passing through the birth canal, we are.
    If Ted thinks drag performers are not sex workers, they ain't.
    If Ted thinks a Christain is whatever he thinks, that's who they are.
    If Ted thinks science is the ultimate authority, he must first check with Chip, you know, the cowboy , aka Richard Petty look alike, book writer, whitewater expert, knew about Sam Johson before he was out of diapers, the atheist theologian, the one who knows females have babies, .......

    Never thought I would say it, but @dneal make more sense every day.
    There's one of your most awesomest posts, Chuck. So "on topic" and all. Especially that "cowboy" and "Richard Petty" tripe and the rest of the off topic bullshit here. My sarcasm is my scorn for your lies. Lies don't deserve better. Even that second line, which I have NEVER said nor even believe. You're just making that bullshit up out of your animus.

    So stop fucking lying, Mr. Christian.
    The ball is in your court, Ted. If you have been an advocate for children where out of work drag performers are hired by public libraries, you should be able to produce. If you have ever shown a bit of value in the unborn, you should be able to take us back to that post. Or forget that and state your support for children and the unborn now.

    All you have ever done is vilify anyone who suggests some restrictions should be in place for these self-described sex show participants suggesting that if anyone disagrees, they are not educated or enlightened.

    The same is with any abortion discussion where you primarily post a link to some place where abortion is being restricted of banned. Never have you said that the unborn has value. As @dneal said and is well understood, the new DNA is present in the early stages.

    Yes, I take the perspective that a person has a body and a spirit/soul from day one. You, on the other hand, being an atheist, think otherwise. By getting rid of God, you can then be your own god. This is why you are so abrasive and then emotional when provided a different perspective. For all you statement against God, I would have great fear to live in a world where you are god.

    You called Seny the most toxic member. You rant and rave in emotional four-letter words storms. You are an angry man, Ted. Anger produces toxicity. Chip is just silly and acts like someone who lives in the past and is insecure. His posts are easy to look over. They are never related to the topic on this and the other thread.

    We have had agreements in the past, but these abortion and religious discussions have provided you with a basis to show who you really are. You don't just disagree; you despise it and want to stamp it our completely based on your posting histories. Well, it is not going anywhere soon. Being an atheist is not a more enlightened or educated position and it doesn't solve the question of how to have a good life. Mostly, it just seems to make people into angry people.
    ďHe has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.Ē Micah 6:8

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill
    All you have ever done is vilify anyone who suggests [anything that conflicts with your smug and irrational worldview].
    There, fixed that for you.
    "A truth does not mind being questioned. A lie does not like being challenged."

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    I hesitate to even weigh in on this, and I hope that at least what I say will either be a point of discussion or completely ignored and not used as a point of contention, especially as I'm going to get a bit personal in this post.

    I was raised in the Southern Baptist Church and call myself a Christian even though my own reading and learning has lead me away from being in complete lock step with the SBC on several issues. Initially, and up until about a year and a half ago, I was completely 100% on the side of abortion of abortion is almost always wrong, and if it can be at all avoided it should be.

    A few things happened that have softened my stance a bit.

    First of all, a good friend from college was 15 weeks pregnant with a very much planned and wanted baby. She found out that she had cancer-the exact type I don't recall-but immediate treatment would likely let her live totally unscathed and delaying treatment(even for another ~17 weeks to get her baby to 32 weeks where survival rates are good) would likely kill her. Unfortunately too, it's in the nature of chemotherapy that it's pretty well incompatible with a growing and developing baby and if the baby were to survive, it would likely be born with horrible birth defects and likely not live long. My friend and her husband made the difficult decision-she says the most difficult she's ever made in her life and I could believe it-to terminate her pregnancy around the time she started treatment. Fortunately, my friend made a complete recovery and has since given birth to a happy, healthy baby.

    The second, again, is more personal. My wife and I also desperately wanted children, and we struggled with fertility issues for a few years. Early last year we started seeing the fertility clinic associated with the local large research university. After both of us went through quite a bit of testing, we sat down with them to discuss options. On the table, although not the first line option, was In-Vitro Fertilization(IVF). For those not familiar with it, the basic procedure is this-the woman has an "egg retrieval" operation that usually removes a dozen or so eggs. Those are then fertilized with sperm and generally frozen. At the right time of the month, one or more fertilized eggs get placed in the woman's uterus with the hope that one will implant and lead to a viable pregnancy.

    We ended having some success with a much less involved and invasive process, and now have a happy and healthy 5 month old baby to show for it.

    With that said, IVF in and of itself actually plays into the abortion discussion in some not immediately obvious ways, especially in states with very restrictive abortion laws. Basically, as I mentioned, the retrieved eggs are fertilized, allowed to grow for ~3 days or so I think, and then frozen until they are ready to be used. One of the reasons for getting so many is that the chances of an egg implanting and being viable in a given IVF cycle are quite low-something like 1 in 5. Many couples women will go through a couple of IVF cycles before they are successful. Still, though, often fertilized eggs will be left over. What do you do with them? Many people do have them stored frozen for years, although some for a variety of reasons will never use them. Under some abortion laws, it could potentially be interpreted that those eggs effectively have to be kept indefinitely.

    The second is a bit more of a tricky one, but still happens occasionally. Because the success rate of a transfer is so low(and a transfer is quite expensive-we were told $15,000 per cycle), many people will choose to implant 3-5 eggs in one cycle in the hopes that one will be viable. That's all good and well, but then you get into the what-if situation of if more than one ends up being viable. Even triplets are relatively risky pregnancies, and beyond there things get extremely risky for both the mother and the babies. If that happens, the doctors will often recommend selective reduction, or basically terminating some but not all. That, again, would run afoul of the more restrictive abortion laws.

    What would we have done if we'd found ourselves in that situation? That I don't know. We had that discussion and said we'll cross that bridge if it happens.

    At the end of the day, though, here's where I stand. Complete free-for-all access including very late term abortions feels very wrong to me. At the same time, complete bans with no exceptions are a very dangerous thing. Surely there can be some middle ground in here, but it's unfortunate that essentially there is no room for debate anymore on most any subject. There's no room for nuanced opinions or discussions, but only extremism. Both sides are equally guilty of this...

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    There are some issues in life where both side appear misguided. Having twins born at 27 weeks and later a NICU volunteer holding children born at 23 weeks, Iím not at all conflicted. Men and women should use birth control or abstinence. Adoption should be affordable.

    Yes, there are exceptions and those have always been legal and should remain so, but life isnít defined by extremes. Most of us live our lives in the middle where there is choice. Use a condom or oral contraception or refrain.

    This for me has nothing to do with religious perspectives. It is something most of us learned in biology class.

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post
    ... Surely there can be some middle ground in here, .
    I agree entirely, and have advocated for such in this thread, repeatedly. I actually consider a 15-20 week upper limit for legal abortion to be a good compromise position balancing all the interests and scientific realities around pregnancy, viability, personal freedom, medical rights, right to life, IVF, etc (my brother was an IVF doctor and talked about these legal issues decades ago. His point was that medical procedures change must faster than the law does. The law is continually playing catch-up).

    Thanks for your opinion.

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    The photos are of a 15, 20, and an actual 27 week old real premie. The first two have been legally aborted in the past. Fetus is Latin for little one or young child. Some hide behind the words without seeing what is actually occurring.

    What Pro Choice and Pro Life advocates should be do is screaming for the use of birth control and making birth control free and over the counter, all types.
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    ďHe has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.Ē Micah 6:8

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post
    I hesitate to even weigh in on this, If that happens, the doctors will often recommend selective reduction, or basically terminating some but not all. That, again, would run afoul of the more restrictive abortion laws.
    Indeed. Also from my brother: he never trusted that there would not be some sort of legal conservative change to the regulatory laws around fertilized embryos, so he never disposed of unused specimens if they were abandoned by the client (contact list, etc). He kept them in storage for years because he said that state law was vague on it (playing catch-up). And yes, IVF usually means the creation of multiple embryos and either the acceptable loss of some of them or their intentional destruction.

    If extremists are going to legally label this "murder," then of course the industry and practice will end. And couples struggling with fertility will be set back 50 years.

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    Why is someone an extremist because have another perspective or moral argument ? The pro choice crowd could be similarly labeled, but that ends the possibility of discussion. Notice who usually uses those terms.

    However, this is a good example of how some take an elitist mentality and if you disagree youíre not intelligent.

    Really, people must decide which position represents the greater good while taking into account any biological or moral considerations.

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post
    ... Surely there can be some middle ground in here, .
    I agree entirely, and have advocated for such in this thread, repeatedly. I actually consider a 15-20 week upper limit for legal abortion to be a good compromise position balancing all the interests and scientific realities around pregnancy, viability, personal freedom, medical rights, right to life, IVF, etc (my brother was an IVF doctor and talked about these legal issues decades ago. His point was that medical procedures change must faster than the law does. The law is continually playing catch-up).

    Thanks for your opinion.
    Sorry, my comment on extremism was a more general take on the current political landscape as I see it and not(really) aimed at anyone in particular.

    Aside from that, though, and to the topic at hand I don't disagree with your premise of a compromise position but I'll go out on a limb and say that I'm not sure I'm 100% comfortable with setting a timeline either. Forgive me for being a bit rusty on the extreme crash course I got in some of the more nitty gritty details fertility a year/year and a half ago but I seem to recall that 24 weeks is generally considered the point of viability. I know you'll find exceptions earlier than this, and even at that survival statistics aren't necessarily great.

    I'd agree that 15-20 weeks in theory seems a reasonable timeline, but there are always exceptions. Take my college friend mentioned above who found out about her cancer at 15 weeks pregnant. What if, say, it had been 21 weeks? Could her doctors have been accused of a late term abortion if they'd started chemotherapy that was virtually guaranteed to cause a miscarriage? In her case, I doubt waiting even 3 weeks would have been an option.

    Even 20 weeks has its own problems, too, outside admittedly fairly rare circumstances like that. Sometime around 18-20 weeks is when most doctors will order the "anatomy scan", or the long, super-detailed ultrasound that pretty much looks at everything that can be seen. By that time, the major organ systems are all there and formed(and big enough to see). Although it's thankfully not common, the anatomy scan can show birth defects that essentially will not allow the child to survive much past birth(if they even make it full term). I don't think making the decision then is something any parent would ever want to have to make, but do you allow the baby to be born for them to be on the earth for a few days or even a few hours of agony, or do you keep them from being born? A few years ago, I'd have likely said "absolutely let them be born" but increasingly I wonder if the God I believe in would want that when there are ways to prevent it. Regardless of where your personal feelings, religious or otherwise, may lead you for that specific situation, I'm not sure that's something I'm comfortable legislating.

    To the other extreme, though, a lot of recent laws have set the cut-off at 6 weeks. Not that I'm advocating for this, but 6 weeks might as well be an outright abortion ban, especially if politicians and not doctors are writing the laws. The oldest and defacto standard way pregnancy timelines are calculated base everything on the first date of the woman's last menstrual period. That's all good and well, but everything else that follows assumes a "normal" 28 day cycle with ovulation on day 14. The problem with that is that "normal" isn't always, well, normal. That's not something I can pretend to have first hand experience with-maybe at best second hand experience based on seeing what seemed like hundreds of ovulation test strips around the house and just talking rather matter of factly with my wife about that and everything surrounding it-but definitely not something I will ever have the capability of experiencing first hand. It's a little bit weird and twisted to think about this, but using that as a basis for a pregnancy means that it's entirely possible someone who is "6 weeks pregnant" hasn't even yet conceived. The more accurate way to measure progress is measuring gestational age with ultrasound, but to get a really accurate picture it needs to be done as early as possible. My wife's first ultrasound was 6 weeks, 6 days and I remember seeing a range of 6 weeks, 4 days and 6 weeks, 6 days as gestational age depending on the exact view. Most doctors won't even do an ultrasound that early and I'd guess a lot don't even have the proper equipment to do one(nor did it look particularly comfortable from my perspective, and my wife said it wasn't the most pleasant thing she'd ever done). That first one for us was at the fertility clinic.

    My point in that rambling, though, is who makes the "6 weeks" or "12 weeks" or whatever determination and how is it done for purposes of the very early laws? If it's not a medical professional trained in this area of medicine, I'd not trust it.

    Your brother's experience from the other side as an IVF doctor is interesting to hear about, and if laws aren't clear on it that can turn into a real problem. At what point can a frozen embryo be disposed of? Does the clinic need to keep them around for decades or even centuries? I ask that in all seriousness. Wikipedia says that the first successful IVF was in 1978. It's now relatively common, and if I'm not mistaken it's maybe been in the last 25-30 years that it's gone from more experimental to mainstream. That means there are probably plenty of parents out there now who had children by IVF and are now grandparents. I would doubt that someone with grandchildren would want to retrieve and transfer an embryo, although I guess it could happen. At what point can a doctor/clinic reasonably be allowed to dispose of an embryo that will likely never do anything but live frozen in a test tube, stuck at 3 days or so of growth. I also think too about the what-ifs of something unintentional happening to the embryos. I've spent a lot of my adult life, or really even since I was in college, around research labs. I've seen -80ļC freezers go quite literally years without being touched(and that's where something like a frozen embryo will live). I've also somehow or another ended up on the nasty end of cleaning dissected and whole eyeballs out of one that failed and no one realized it until the lab it was in started smelling like death. That was a week that made me rethink my career choices! Frozen eyeballs aside, things like that can happen to freezers storing things like embryos. I'd hope that ones in
    clinics or hospitals get more attention than ones in a packrat's research lab, but then I also don't know that. Could a power outage or failed freezer land a doctor in jail? A prosecutor in a state with restrictive laws might be able to make it happen.

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    Default Re: Can We have a Civil Discussion about Abortion?

    Good questions, bunn. And I don't know the answers.

    My actual cut-off would be 20 weeks, but I offered 15 just for more compromise. And by cut-off, I mean before it abortion can be performed for any reason (without cause). After a cut off, it would be permitted for other medical exceptions (with cause). I agree with you: politicians should stay out of it, especially when they deny access to care that the medical professionals want to provide.

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