Do people have a right to sex-selective abortion?

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LKL
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19 Oct 2013, 5:58 pm

91 wrote:
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@91 - personally, I think it's foul too. But I don't think that I have a right to tell any woman whether she should, or should not, give up her body for 9 months to any given zef. Furthermore, I think that I probably can't quite comprehend the suffering and stress that women in these countries must go through to make them choose such a thing relatively late in a pregnancy (gender can't be determined for a while).

Perhaps you need to reason outside your view to find the solution to the problem? I understand why you hold to the values you do and can respect that. However, those states where sex-selective abortion is illegal are far better places for women to live than where it is legal and practiced. The amount of pressure on a women to abort could be taken off of the table or minimalized through legislation. This could be one area where our two sets of values overlap rather than collide.

Sex-selective abortion is technically illegal in India, to the degree that ultrasound techs aren't permitted to tell parents the gender of their fetus - but they often slip hints ('Oh, you're going to have to buy lots of little saris,') or leave the room and let the parents see the display screens. The women in these countries often don't need external pressure to abort female fetuses - they look at the suffering in their own lives, and would rather not inflict it on their offspring. Some of these women literally feel that they would have been better off dead - I've read interviews where they say this - and that being female amounts to a horrible birth defect that only causes suffering in the child.
http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/so ... heir-names
In some parts of the world, female infanticide or abandonment is the alternative to female abortions.
http://www.gendercide.org/case_infanticide.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE-U_Pq8 ... C3&index=1



91
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19 Oct 2013, 9:49 pm

LKL wrote:
Sex-selective abortion is technically illegal in India, to the degree that ultrasound techs aren't permitted to tell parents the gender of their fetus - but they often slip hints ('Oh, you're going to have to buy lots of little saris,') or leave the room and let the parents see the display screens. The women in these countries often don't need external pressure to abort female fetuses - they look at the suffering in their own lives, and would rather not inflict it on their offspring. Some of these women literally feel that they would have been better off dead - I've read interviews where they say this - and that being female amounts to a horrible birth defect that only causes suffering in the child.
http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/so ... heir-names
In some parts of the world, female infanticide or abandonment is the alternative to female abortions.
http://www.gendercide.org/case_infanticide.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE-U_Pq8 ... C3&index=1


The situation in India would seem to be one of actual enforcement. As for infanticide or abandonment, if someone wants to actually kill a child, we have laws for that and police to try and find them. In the third world, lots of things happen that should not but I don't see them as grounds for doing nothing. It seems you are circling the wagons on an absolute right to have an abortion at the will of the mother. I would suggest that the doctrine you are putting forward has run against it's own logical absolute, to the point where it supplies no answer to the question. What if she wants a blonde blue eyed baby? Does choice extend to that to. The increasing interaction between technology and parental preference is going to make this sort of thing the front line in bioethics. I just cannot see proponents of that position being able to hold their ground going forward. A vast number, I fear will repeat the mistakes of the conservatives, who chose to defend propositions even when falling back to defend other grounds would have preserved their credibility and allowed less of a revolutionary change. Instead they defended the absolute and became irrelevant and lost more than they ought to.

trollcatman wrote:
So how exactly would that work? Like Fnord said, a woman can simply give another reason than sex selection.


There are many laws that can and are evaded but that does not make them good structures to build upon going forward. Another good idea would be to provide legal protection to doctors that refuse to provide sex-selection abortions on moral grounds.


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LKL
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20 Oct 2013, 4:04 am

I'm not quite the absolutist you make me out to be. I think that abortion should be available without restriction in the first trimester, and only allowed for life/health of the mother or fetal abnormalities in the third: limitations that are based on objective standards that third parties can vouch for. When you start to place limitations based on the motivation of the mother, how far are you willing to take that? Is finishing school a sufficient motive? Having more time to study? Wanting to spend the money on tuition rather than diapers? Is disliking the father, and not wanting to blend herself with him, a sufficient motive? What if he beat her? What if he was a just a good-for-nothing surfer bum?

I have never been pregnant, but I've seen a lot of women go through it; I cannot imagine the violation that it must be to endure such a thing against one's will. The body turns against the pregnant woman in favor of the zef, and the entire thing progresses inside her completely out of her control... unless she has the ability to stop it. If she has the ability to stop it, then it becomes a choice, and a gift to the child. I would not presume to tell any woman, or any person, what her motives should be for making that choice while it is still safe for her to do so, and while the zef is unformed enough to not be sentient.



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20 Oct 2013, 4:27 am

LKL wrote:
I'm not quite the absolutist you make me out to be. I think that abortion should be available without restriction in the first trimester, and only allowed for life/health of the mother or fetal abnormalities in the third: limitations that are based on objective standards that third parties can vouch for. When you start to place limitations based on the motivation of the mother, how far are you willing to take that? Is finishing school a sufficient motive? Having more time to study? Wanting to spend the money on tuition rather than diapers? Is disliking the father, and not wanting to blend herself with him, a sufficient motive? What if he beat her? What if he was a just a good-for-nothing surfer bum?


Sorry, it is not my intention to make you out to be an absolutist, I know where you place limitations based on the development of the child. I cannot say that I share those markers but I respect where you stand. My own personal moral compass would not consider many of those reasons sufficient for termination and nor do I suspect, would your own. Where I see you drawing an unnecessary line is over that of choice, even if you place it within the first trimester. We can both of us agree, that if a slippery slope argument is not welcome when discussing these subjects, which I hope you will grant is often invoked by the pro-life crowd, then we can dispense with it here also. Erecting a legal barrier, even if it is both in vain and just to stand by the principle that sex-selection and racial discrimination is wrong, is something I believe is not all that harmful to your position. Choice has no real answer to the problem of a mother that does not want a child of a certain race or a man who does not want his wife to have a girl. It is just a situation where the principle must give way to common sense, just as my own pro-life position cannot tell a women who has been sexually assaulted she must carry a child to term. Logical absolutes have little place in the real world but one we can and ought to defend is the right of women to be born.


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LKL
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20 Oct 2013, 4:44 pm

Slippery slopes are quantitative fallacies: they become more illogical the farther out you pursue the slope. One or two steps in either direction aren't necessarily illogical; for example, decades ago pro-life people said that abortion would lead to a 'devaluing of life, leading to genocide or euthanasia of unwanted people.' I don't know if abortion was the cause of this, but it is true (especially in Europe) that society has been shifting from placing the highest value on quantity of life, to placing it on quality of life.

I think that you showed the difference in our view of this particular issue fairly clearly when you commented about "...a man who does not want his wife to have a girl."
The problem isn't just the man. Often the woman doesn't want to have the girl, either, and their societies and cultures support both of them in that desire. In cultures where women lead horrible lives, and are terribly devalued, the choice to abort a female fetus may be the best one for any given family.

If the culture or the husband are pressuring the wife to have an abortion that she doesn't want (as is said to happen in China), that's another story entirely. Pro-choice means that the mother gets to decide to have the child, too, if she wants to; being forced to abort a wanted child would be at least as bad as being forced to bear an unwanted one. I've heard anecdotes that the late, infamous Dr. Tiller refused several times to perform abortions on teens when the parents wanted the girl to have one and the teen did not.



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20 Oct 2013, 4:50 pm

If you support abortion on demand then you support sex selective abortions.



donnie_darko
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20 Oct 2013, 5:39 pm

91 wrote:
. It is just a situation where the principle must give way to common sense, just as my own pro-life position cannot tell a women who has been sexually assaulted she must carry a child to term. Logical absolutes have little place in the real world but one we can and ought to defend is the right of women to be born.


Why are you pro life at all then? If you consider the fetus a full human being, why should the mother be allowed to kill him/her just because the father attacked her? That sounds like an honor killing to me. You are punishing what you perceive as a sentient being for someone else's mistake.



Last edited by donnie_darko on 21 Oct 2013, 5:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

LKL
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20 Oct 2013, 7:12 pm

^please fix your quote tags, DD.



91
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20 Oct 2013, 9:54 pm

LKL wrote:
Slippery slopes are quantitative fallacies: they become more illogical the farther out you pursue the slope. One or two steps in either direction aren't necessarily illogical; for example, decades ago pro-life people said that abortion would lead to a 'devaluing of life, leading to genocide or euthanasia of unwanted people.' I don't know if abortion was the cause of this, but it is true (especially in Europe) that society has been shifting from placing the highest value on quantity of life, to placing it on quality of life.


At issue is the logical barrier around choice that has been set up by those in the pro-choice camp. It is a rather extreme position that, like most extreme positions either forces a person to compromise or to accept an absurd conclusion. In your last post you practically tied yourself in knots, during which you crafted a situation where a woman, facing a terrible life herself and for her potential offspring, because they are female could be morally upright can kill the girl? Can you see how silly that proposition is? The correct answer, at least if it were my child growing up in such a society would be revolution if they dared to say she was worth less than what she is. Instead you make your stand on choice, because if that barrier cracks on one particular exception, you fear that it might open women's choices up to further scrutiny. Germany and France have banned sex selection and so far the pro-choice position has not collapsed.

LKL wrote:
I think that you showed the difference in our view of this particular issue fairly clearly when you commented about "...a man who does not want his wife to have a girl."
The problem isn't just the man. Often the woman doesn't want to have the girl, either, and their societies and cultures support both of them in that desire. In cultures where women lead horrible lives, and are terribly devalued, the choice to abort a female fetus may be the best one for any given family.


Please do not read into my position. My view is that the majority of oppression against women, comes from men. Taking the option off of the table is the best way to keep the pressure off of the woman. Sex-selection in abortion requires a quite advanced pregnancy in order for the gender to be detected, so a ban on abortion past that point would seem to be the best way to ensure that a woman is not subject to those pressures. Given the advanced state of development, I cannot imagine you would have too much of an issue with that.

donnie_darko wrote:
Why are you pro life at all then? If you consider the fetus a full human being, why should the mother be allowed to kill him/her just because the father attacked her? That sounds like an honor killing to me. You are punishing what you perceive as a sentient being for someone else's mistake.


I believe that it is an individual life worthy of protection but I don't think I could bring myself to tell someone that they had to keep the child in those circumstances. That being said, if the only abortions that occurred happened for that reason and to save the life of the mother, then we would probably not be having this conversation in the first place.


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20 Oct 2013, 10:33 pm

I think no, but to me, as long as the embryo is a zygote or less, it should be allowed to exit the body. After that, I am against abortion, with the exception of medicine on grounds that you have a right to ingest into your body what you so please, although it ill produce a fatality in the process. But as for a select abortion, no.



LKL
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21 Oct 2013, 12:27 am

91 wrote:
LKL wrote:
Slippery slopes are quantitative fallacies: they become more illogical the farther out you pursue the slope. One or two steps in either direction aren't necessarily illogical; for example, decades ago pro-life people said that abortion would lead to a 'devaluing of life, leading to genocide or euthanasia of unwanted people.' I don't know if abortion was the cause of this, but it is true (especially in Europe) that society has been shifting from placing the highest value on quantity of life, to placing it on quality of life.


At issue is the logical barrier around choice that has been set up by those in the pro-choice camp. It is a rather extreme position that, like most extreme positions either forces a person to compromise or to accept an absurd conclusion. In your last post you practically tied yourself in knots, during which you crafted a situation where a woman, facing a terrible life herself and for her potential offspring, because they are female could be morally upright can kill the girl? Can you see how silly that proposition is? The correct answer, at least if it were my child growing up in such a society would be revolution if they dared to say she was worth less than what she is. Instead you make your stand on choice, because if that barrier cracks on one particular exception, you fear that it might open women's choices up to further scrutiny. Germany and France have banned sex selection and so far the pro-choice position has not collapsed.

LKL wrote:
I think that you showed the difference in our view of this particular issue fairly clearly when you commented about "...a man who does not want his wife to have a girl."
The problem isn't just the man. Often the woman doesn't want to have the girl, either, and their societies and cultures support both of them in that desire. In cultures where women lead horrible lives, and are terribly devalued, the choice to abort a female fetus may be the best one for any given family.


Please do not read into my position. My view is that the majority of oppression against women, comes from men. Taking the option off of the table is the best way to keep the pressure off of the woman. Sex-selection in abortion requires a quite advanced pregnancy in order for the gender to be detected, so a ban on abortion past that point would seem to be the best way to ensure that a woman is not subject to those pressures. Given the advanced state of development, I cannot imagine you would have too much of an issue with that.

The reason that I'm pro-choice is that I don't feel that I have a right to dictate to other women what a 'good enough' reason is to have an abortion. I wouldn't abort a zef if it was going to be congenitally blind or deaf; some women would. I think I could handle that issue, but it's not my place to tell other women what they can and cannot handle as parents. I don't think that it's 'absurd' or 'extreme' at all for me to also say that I don't have the right to tell a woman in an extremely patriarchal culture - where women commit suicide at very high rates - that she shouldn't abort a female fetus. One would hope that a combination of female scarcity and exposure to outside ideas would increase the status of women enough that neither of these things happen any more.

Wrt the stage of pregnancy, gender can usually be determined by the middle of the 2nd trimester, or earlier; this does make it problematic (but not because of the mother's motivation). My cutoff is the 3rd trimester, when the brain starts to have EEG traces that are recognizable and fewer flatline intervals. I wouldn't ban abortions completely at any stage; as I've previously noted, I think that there should always be exceptions for maternal life/health (pre-ecclampsia only shows up late in a pregnancy, as do some other issues) and for fetal abnormality (many of which are not detectable until fairly late in development).

@zacb: check your terms. An embryo is never 'a zygote or less,' as the two terms are mutually exclusive. Furthermore, a zygote is undetectable anyway, since it hasn't yet implanted in the uterus and doesn't require an abortion, medical or surgical, to be expelled from the woman's body.



91
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21 Oct 2013, 9:50 am

I don't think we will reach common ground LKL, best we leave it as it stands.


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21 Oct 2013, 12:02 pm

Jacoby wrote:
If you support abortion on demand then you support sex selective abortions.

With legalized abortion yes you can definitely select the gender even without telling anyone. It is no different than aborting for other superficial reasons. Truth is, if a woman wants to have an abortion badly enough she will have it nothing will stop her.

If a woman is thinking about having one then she really isn't ready to be a mother anyway. She either needs to abort or put the baby up for adoption once it's born and having it will cause weight gain and other side effects and considering how judgmental and cold our culture is, this kind of judgment influences women in a profound way and ironically, men's cold judgments about their looks and bodies is enough to cause them to want an abortion in some cases.



Last edited by ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo on 21 Oct 2013, 12:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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21 Oct 2013, 12:04 pm

League_Girl wrote:
I assume they are talking about China, they should outlaw sex abortions IMO. There are fewer and fewer girls being born and that is going to make it harder for guys to get a girl to mate and pass their family on. Families will die off due to lack of females.

... thus easing the burden of overpopulation in mainland China ... and this is bad because ... ?


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21 Oct 2013, 12:04 pm

I think women should have the right to get an abortion for whatever reason they want.

If a population ends-up with an over-abundance of males.....well......sucks to be them.

I'm content with letting people dig their own graves.


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