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Comment #2102655 by Patrick Varley

Patrick Varley Feb 9th 2014, 12:33 AM #

The pro-life side is crippled by the dominance the religious groups hold in conveying its message. The perfectly reasonable argument of protecting life is left open to ridicule when its defenders say “God says it’s wrong”. Slogans like “keep your ovaries off my ovaries” spring to mind.

Secularism is growing and will continue to grow in modern societies and when people (young people especially) see bible bashing, crucifix toting believers, preaching at pro-life rallies they are alienated from the idea.

Both sides of the debate have their extremists but the difference is the pro-choice side doesn’t allow their extremists to dominate their message. If the pro-life argument is to have a future and a chance of defending life then they need to speak up and take center stage in the debate.

To the religious pro-lifers, It is great that you believe in the sanctity for life but keep the preaching to your place of worship. The argument that life is precious and must be protected is perfectly valid without divine justification. Your dogma only speaks to other religious people and only serves to alienate people in the middle.

(This is not me arguing against religion, It is the opinion that a majority of people do no not take their moral beliefs from religious dogma anymore and that using religious belief to prove your argument only serves to alienate those people. By all means continue to support pro-life causes but stop using religious belief as an argument in favour of life)

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Read the article where this comment appeared:

Pics: Pro-choice activists protest Spanish abortion plans at embassy in Dublin

Pics: Pro-choice activists protest Spanish abortion plans at embassy in Dublin

Draft legislation published by the Spanish government would make access to abortion more restricted in the country, with groups saying it will force women to go abroad for terminations.

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    Favourite Patrick Varley
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    Feb 9th 2014, 12:42 AM

    Third paragraph should read “If the pro-life argument is to have a future and a chance of defending life then Secular pro-lifers need to speak up and take center stage in the debate”.

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    Favourite Shanti
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    Feb 9th 2014, 12:49 AM

    I respect what you are trying to say, and I also agree, religious beliefs have no place in this discussion, as they are relevant only to those who share those beliefs.

    However – while life is certainly precious, the belief that abortion is wrong is also not universal.

    Now, to say that it is not wrong does not imply the opposite – no one has ever implied that abortion was “good”. No woman ever thinks “yippee I get to have an abortion!”, and no one thinks it’s great. It’s just that sometimes all of the options are bad for some reason and the abortion seems like the least bad of all of them.
    Most women take the decision to abort very seriously indeed, and there’s a false notion that it is ever an easy thing to do. It’s a difficult decision *precisely* because life is precious, but it is a decision that really should be made by the person who stands to suffer the consequences of whatever action is taken – it has no effect on you or I, and as the foetus is not even remotely capable of realising it exists until week 16, it will never be aware of any pain or loss. The woman however – will have to decide whether it is the best of some bad options for her or not, because she will be the one living with it on her conscience.

    For this reason I don’t think it’s any of anyone else’s business other than those directly involved.

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    Favourite Patrick Varley
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    Feb 9th 2014, 1:09 AM

    Hey Shanti, you might not remember, we had a lengthy discussion about this before so I fear we will just be repeating ourselves.

    In any case, the my opinion on a foetus is that regardless of whether it is aware of its existence or able to feel pain, it is still a human life and as such should be afforded the same protection any other human receives from the state, regardless of their age or level of consciousness. For that reason I feel it is the business of our society.

    I think we said the whole abortion argument boils down to where we decide life life begins. I think you said viability. I said implantation.

    My original comment was more directed at pro-lifers. Secular people who share my opinion are drowned out in the debate. What I was trying to say is that newcomers to the discussion could be forgiven for thinking that secular reasoning is exclusive to the pro choice side. Our argument is overshadowed by those who equate issues like contraception with abortion. I think it does more damage to the pro-life than any argument put forward in opposition.

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    Favourite Shanti
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    Feb 9th 2014, 1:18 AM

    And ultimately as there is a lack of consensus over when life begins, there will never be a right or wrong answer to that question. That’s why I would argue that the choice belongs to the individual – as it will be them who lives with their decision.
    There are actually quite a few people on the pro choice side who personally disagree with abortion, I know it’s not something I would ever like to do (but if my contraception were to fail and I did not miscarry I may have to, hence why I do my best to avoid that scenario!!) but I don’t think I have the right to reduce a woman’s life to the role of incubator against her will. Ultimately she is being asked to undertake one of the more personally strenuous tasks that anyone can undertake – it can come with risks, and I don’t think it’s mine or societies place to force that upon anyone, same way I would strongly oppose forced abortion.

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    Favourite Patrick Varley
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    Feb 9th 2014, 1:54 AM

    Ya, that is where we disagreed before. I think our society does have the right to take away certain choices from the individual, mainly because their choices harm other members of the society.

    There are many societies that don’t allow the mother to choose to terminate a foetus after a certain stage eg. first trimester. (Except in perhaps threats to mothers life). So there are situations where many pro choice advocates would also limit the mothers choice over her foetus. They have this opinion because they feel that a foetus has the protection of the law at a certain stage of development.

    I’m sure you also have a stage of development that you would feel the choice to abort no longer applies. What stage you feel this should be enforced depends on what stage of development you see a foetus as human life. We think it begins at different stages, hence the disagreement

    As with any contentious issue, there will be a lack of consensus at which stage this should be enforced but societies can still take a decision on the issue through democratic means.

    I don’t feel like arguing out where life begins again. My original comment was directed at pro-lifers style of argument, not a comment on abortion itself.

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    Favourite Shanti
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    Feb 9th 2014, 4:28 AM

    No problem, I appreciate what you were trying to say. And apologies for trying to suck you into a debate, I respect the fact that you do not wish to go around in circles, that’s totally fair enough. Each of is has a stance and we are entitled to it.
    I just hope that as a society we will be given the chance to actually vote on the issue. This would be the best option all around, all this endless talking doesn’t really do much to advance anything except fatigue.
    All the best to you, and I think our previous encounter is coming back to me again (your name did not stick out in my memory initially, they have never been my strong point!). If I remember last time correctly I may have said that it was a pleasure to chat to you, as you were saying in your original post – there are far more constructive ways to engage in debate. A pleasure to speak with you.

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    Favourite Florence Nightingale
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    Feb 9th 2014, 11:02 AM

    @Patrick

    “Ya, that is where we disagreed before. I think our society does have the right to take away certain choices from the individual, mainly because their choices harm other members of the society. ”

    I really appreciate the comments and points you’re making, Patrick. And I fully support the notion that those who are anti abortion can alienate the people they’re trying to reach by using religious wording in their propaganda.

    However, when you say that you think “society does have the right to take away certain choices from the individual…” I feel I must counteract that statement. I’ve found that many people who believe that society should prevent women from “harming” others via abortion don’t apply the same rules to other situations.

    If society must protect life at any cost, if society has an obligation to prevent humans from doing harm to others, then it must be taken that society can harvest the bodies of any person it likes to save the life of another.

    So if a person is dying, specifically a young child, and your kidney was the only kidney on the planet that could save that child’s life, by your reasoning it’s perfectly fine for society to force you to donate your kidney to save this child. Even if it’s against your will. Even if it means your life may be at risk during the operation and your health may be at risk afterwards.

    This scenario is no different to forcing a woman to carry a foetus to term against her will. By society enforcing this as a rule, she is being put in a situation by others where she must risk her life and health, against her will, to ensure this foetus reaches full development.

    Actually, there is one difference. In the sick child scenario, the child has already made it to birth and is now alive and self-supporting (at least for now). But a foetus is not yet a child (in the eyes of society at least). So if anything, society has more of a responsibility to ensure all sick people survive by harvesting blood, organs, bone marrow from unwilling participants.

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    Favourite Patrick Varley
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    Feb 9th 2014, 11:29 AM

    Interesting comparison but I would disagree. You have highlighted the difference between doing harm and allowing harm. In a termination active action is taken to sever the lifeline between mother and foetus. Refusing to donate an organ is different in that you don’t take action to harm a child.

    A more accurate comparison I feel would be the morning after pill where the life saving organ is not donated in the first place. To me abortion would be more like donating a kidney and then asking for it back.

    Societies can take action to prevent people doing harm, it’s extremely difficult however to prevent and punish allowing harm.

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    Favourite hdfsjkah
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    Feb 9th 2014, 1:03 PM

    yes Patrick is correct

    Refusing to donate a kidney doesn’t cause death rather the pathology leading to kidney failure causes death

    Tearing a fetus apart in utero is the primary means of death in abortion or drugs that do the same

    In reality the correct analogy for kidney donation would be asking a the recipient for the donated kidney back after donation

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    Favourite Florence Nightingale
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    Feb 9th 2014, 1:20 PM

    @ahdofgasd

    “Tearing a fetus apart in utero is the primary means of death in abortion or drugs that do the same…”

    For someone who claims to work in science, you don’t really understand the nature or different types of abortion.

    92% of abortions take place before 9 weeks gestation. That means any time between the moment the woman discovers she’s pregnant to 9 weeks.

    These abortions are done using medication which kills the foetus and which is then expelled by the body in something resembling a heavy period. So the foetus is not “torn apart”. Medical abortions can be carried out up to 63 days gestation after which the surgical option is carried out.

    The vast majority of abortions after 11 weeks are carried out before 20 weeks gestation. And those nearing the 20 week stage are usually carried out because of health risks to the woman, because the foetus is incapable of surviving birth or because the woman did not have enough money to get one done earlier.

    Some surgical procedures involve the destruction of the foetus so it can be removed.

    But don’t let science get in the way of your use of emotive language ;)

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    Favourite hdfsjkah
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    Feb 9th 2014, 1:23 PM

    If you didn’t selectively quote you would notice I also mention medication that induce abortion
    You know a D and C is a common method of abortion right

    The effect is the same its like arguing that there is a difference between injecting poison into someone is ok because it better than cutting there head off

    Please be honest

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    Favourite Shanti
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    Feb 9th 2014, 2:13 PM

    Lol. Now we KNOW you aren’t in this field..
    A D&C is not an abortion. The D&C is the procedure that happens AFTER an abortion, whether that abortion was induced or spontaneous. They perform D&Cs in Irish hospitals, a large number of women who have miscarried have had a D&C. Because to leave anything behind in the womb would cause sepsis.

    The D&C is frequently used by those who are anti choice as misleading vividness http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/misleading-vividness.html
    It’s a great example because you get to say horrific emotionally manipulative things like “ripping limb from limb” or “beheading” or “tearing apart”, what they fail to mention is that this all happens AFTER the foetus has been killed, and is a medical necessity following this death, one many women who would never even have dreamed of seeking abortion will have had performed on them.

    For you to use this argument makes a mockery of your stance, your claims of expertise and is offensive to all those anti choice women who have miscarried and had a D&C.

    Patricks other point where he is very much correct is that it’s capable to have a measured, reasoned and respectful debate – but to trade in fallacies and emotionally manipulative language is not it..

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    Favourite Florence Nightingale
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    Feb 9th 2014, 2:23 PM

    @Hdfs

    I didn’t selectively quote anything. See my comment above. The quote of yours I used was this:

    “Tearing a fetus apart in utero is the primary means of death in abortion or drugs that do the same…”

    I will take it as read that the word “drugs” refers to the drugs used in a medical abortion. So I’m perfectly aware that you mentioned medication.

    But you’re the one who said that “tearing a foetus apart is the primary means of death in abortion”. It’s not. 92% of abortions use medication that destroys the foetus by creating an environment within the womb that the foetus cannot survive in. The body then expels the foetus. There is no “tearing”. The foetus cannot feel anything. The foetus has no awareness. The foetus is human, in that it has DNA, but it cannot survive on its own outside the woman’s body.

    You believe that all abortion is wrong, whether done at 2 weeks or 24. That is your right to believe that. But you do not have the right to prevent someone else from making their own choice about whether to have an abortion or not. You may not like that fact but it doesn’t make it any less true.

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    Favourite hdfsjkah
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    Feb 9th 2014, 2:46 PM

    D and C stand gor dilation and curretage it is a common surgical method in gynaecology and is part of a surgical abortion
    Just to educate you once again

    Yes you did florence you did and ignored my reference to meds

    92% reference please???

    Again see my blog for why you are wrong on the genetics point

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    Favourite Florence Nightingale
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    Feb 9th 2014, 3:05 PM

    @hdfs

    “Yes you did florence you did and ignored my reference to meds”

    I fear you may be delusional. It’s in black and white in my previous two comments. If you refuse to see what I wrote, then there is nothing I can do to help you.

    “92% reference please???”

    A two second Google search reveals this document from a UK government study:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/213386/Commentary1.pdf

    From the report: “91% of abortions were carried out at under 13 weeks gestation. 78% were at under 10 weeks compared to 77% in 2010 and 58% in 2001.”

    So it’s 91% rather than 92%.

    “Again see my blog for why you are wrong on the genetics point…”

    You ask other people again and again for facts and proof and yet all you can provide yourself is your own blog. You appear delusional.

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    Favourite Shanti
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    Feb 9th 2014, 3:06 PM

    “91% of abortions were carried out at under 13 weeks gestation. 78% were at under 10 weeks compared to 77% in 2010 and 58% in 2001.”

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/211790/2012_Abortion_Statistics.pdf

    And the D&C is a medically necessary procedure used to remove an incomplete abortion and prevent sepsis. If you object to them, then may I suggest you take yourself to your local maternity hospital and protest against them performing this vital procedure.

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    Favourite hdfsjkah
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    Feb 9th 2014, 3:17 PM

    yes thats the uk ahnd the USA has different rates

    but this is truely irrelevant to the deebate

    If you want to get technical shanti its called an ERPC
    see this article to see how ignornant you are
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dilation_and_curettage

    #ignornantandangry

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    Favourite Florence Nightingale
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    Feb 9th 2014, 4:12 PM

    @hdfs

    “Yes that’s the uk and the USA has different rates but this is truely irrelevant to the debate”

    Um… no, it’s really not. I don’t see how you can say that. It’s COMPLETELY relevant. The UK figure in particular, because that’s where the majority of women living in Ireland go for their abortions. You can’t just dismiss a fact because it doesn’t fit in with your own agenda.

    As 91% of abortions happen in the very early stages of pregnancy, there is no need for a D and C in these instances. That leaves 9% which require a different kind of abortion. 9%. And some of those abortions happen because they are necessary for the woman to survive or because the foetus won’t survive.

    A D and C is used in some instances of surgical abortion. But the usual method is by vacuum aspiration

    So those figures are absolutely relevant.

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    Favourite Shanti
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    Feb 9th 2014, 4:20 PM

    From your own link:
    “D&Cs are commonly performed for the diagnosis of gynecological conditions leading to ‘abnormal uterine bleeding’;[5] to resolve abnormal uterine bleeding (too much, too often or too heavy a menstrual flow);[3] to remove the excess uterine lining in women who have conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (which cause a prolonged buildup of tissue with no natural period to remove it);[citation needed] to remove tissue in the uterus that may be causing abnormal vaginal bleeding,[2] including postpartum retained placenta;[6] to remove retained tissue (also known as retained POC or retained products of conception) in the case of a missed or incomplete miscarriage;[4] and as a method of abortion that is now uncommon.[2] In contrast, D&C remains ‘standard care’ for missed and incomplete miscarriage in many countries despite the existence of alternatives currently used for abortions.”

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    Favourite Shanti
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    Feb 9th 2014, 4:25 PM

    Oh FFS journal, where did the rest of my comment go?

    Right – so as you can see the bold section there highlights that this method of abortion is UNCOMMON.
    So, in order to have maximum emotional impact, you describe in vivid detail this procedure that is not commonly used, thereby extrapolating that it is the “primary” method of abortion..

    Yes, you are ignorant and angry – you don’t even read your own sources..

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    Favourite hdfsjkah
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    Feb 9th 2014, 5:04 PM

    Read the whole article shanti

    You missed something important

    Try taking a deep breath your logic is poor there is no need to abuse me for your failings

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    Favourite hdfsjkah
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    Feb 9th 2014, 5:08 PM

    However, some sources use the term D&C to refer more generally to any procedure that involves the processes of dilation and removal of uterine contents, which includes the more common suction curettage procedures of manual and electric vacuum aspiration.[4]

    Missed this did ya F and S
    of course fly off the handle again

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    Favourite Shanti
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    Feb 9th 2014, 6:28 PM

    Oh – when you wrote #ignorantandangry you weren’t referring to yourself?
    Ah, so you were referring to one of us, yet you climb up on your high horse and accuse others of being abusive..

    My apologies, I thought that you were referring to yourself and was merely agreeing..

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    Favourite hdfsjkah
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    Feb 9th 2014, 7:44 PM

    yes very mature again Shanti
    Thing is people like you are the reason that the biggest killer of under 18s is a stupid selfish ideology

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    Favourite Shanti
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    Feb 10th 2014, 1:04 AM

    Actually, no. I’m not. And there you go with your wild accusations again..
    I would advocate factual sex education, and free contraception – to try and ensure that if abortions do happen, it’s as rare as can be.
    No one wants abortions to become commonplace, no one thinks that they’re inherently good – that’s just a straw man those on the pro life side like to build..
    Abortions should be safe, legal and rare. The only reason we advocate choice is because it’s better than what happens when abortion is illegal.
    While you got stuck in your lofty notions of ethics and morals, the rest if us were out here in reality looking at what actually works.
    Seeking restriction of choice is a proven abject failure. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results – so why do you wish to keep on failing?

    If you could get off your high horse maybe you could help prevent unwanted pregnancies rather than heap your judgement upon those who end up with them.

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    Favourite hdfsjkah
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    Feb 10th 2014, 11:15 AM

    Yeah sure you’re really making abortions safe legal and rare campaigning for them to be free and unrestricted

    double think much

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    Favourite Shanti
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    Feb 10th 2014, 5:20 PM

    Er, please point me to where I have ever said that abortions should be free.

    Or are you making wild assumptions and building more straw men to knock the stuffing out of?

    I want free contraception. Including free long acting contraception that has a far lower failure rate than the pill – which is the only form of contraception that one can avail of on the medical card – despite being the most expensive and least effective.
    I want standardised, evidence based and compulsory sexual and relationship education in schools – no worming out of it like the majority do now and failure to vet guest speakers for whether their lecture is evidence based or not.
    There are actually some schools still teaching abstinence only as sex ed – this approach does not work.

    Preventing unwanted pregnancy is a far better way to deal with it than abortion. But abortion should still be there for when all else fails. And no, it shouldn’t be prohibitively expensive as that just discriminates against those on low incomes, but I don’t see why it should be free unless it is for rape, health or medical reasons, in which case it should fall under healthcare.
    If the prevention methods are free but there is a small charge for a medical abortion, then one would be foolish not to use contraception first.

    Now – how exactly is that “doublethink”.

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