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QotD: Abortion

Question: Abortion: yay or nay?

My Answer: I'm not a fan of convenience abortions - the "oops, the condom broke" variety - but in some situations, I accept that a first-trimester abortion is the best choice.

Several years ago a friend of my mother almost had to make the choice between her own life and her unborn child's. The Catholic Church, it was explained to me then, would rather see the child born than the mother's life saved.

That makes no sense to me. I may have the story wrong, but that's how I remember it, and in a "mother vs. child" situation, I'm probably gonna side with letting the mother live every time.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

10 Responses to "QotD: Abortion"

  1. I don't consider the "Oops, my condom broke" abortion to be convenience. The fact that they were using condoms tells me that they were trying to avoid it.

    Now, if he's not wearing a rubber and doesn't pull out, *THAT* is a convenience abortion, and it's your own damn fault for not using a rubber.

  2. This one-ups the penis name question quite nicely. Me I've always been pro-choice, but I think it would be a tough decision to make if I was in the position to have to make the choice -- or at least be part of the decision.

  3. Just a quick note:

    The Catholic stance would be to hope for, and attempt to save *both* of them.

    There are times when something that would medically be termed an abortion would be morally okay in the Catholic church, as long as the *intent* is to save both the mother and the child. Even if realistically there is no chance of survival (but you do your damnedest to try and save the child's life) it would be morally acceptable (if not horribly, horribly saddening) to perform the procedure.

    Much more so than the means, intent is the value critereon for Catholic moral thought. It should be obvious how we feel about convenience abortions. 😉

  4. I think abortion is wrong in every case except rape and extreme medical conditions. I don't care what kind of birth control fails, if there are two consenting parties to the sexual conduct, then they should both accept the burden of a pregnancy.

    I know that this may not be well received by those that say that my being a male gives me no right to decide that a female has to tolerate all the pain, embarrassment, etc. However, it is very clear that the best way to avoid having an unwanted pregnancy is to not have sex.

  5. I think the oversimplified point of view would be that if God chooses to take the mother's life in childbirth, that's God's business. For man to defy that plan by killing the child to save the mother is blasphemy.

    Of course, life is far more complex than that, and even the Church acknowledges it.

    Basically it all springs forth from this basic precept: God gets to decide who lives and who dies. No human being gets to decide that. But, like I said, it's not very hard to imagine a situation where the ethics become very, very complicated. We all do the best we can with what we've got, even when that means having to choose between two bad alternatives. (Or two sins, if you prefer to look at things in those terms.)

  6. As a former fetus, I oppose abortion.

    That said, if a mother's life is at immeadiate risk, then aborting the baby is most likely the best decision. Better 1 life extinguished then 2.

  7. Jo-Pete: I don't think that being a male makes you more or less inclined to feel one way or the other about abortion. Also, I think that all people have a right to decide and state their opinion. Don't buy into some feminists' sexism about abortion issues.

    I think that the abortion issue is really interesting. One of the most interesting aspects of it to me is the racial and socio-economic correlations with people's different opinions about it.

    Generally, African American women have far fewer abortions and say "nay" for themselves much more often than white women or men. Also, women who grow up in an impoverished family are more likely to keep a child.

    These two correlations make me take a step back from this issue and rethink it again and again. This is a biological issue and a religious issue for sure, but I think it is also just as much a quality of life issue. It seems like an important issue for people who have a certain level of social status. What do you think of that?

  8. Question of the Day

    The question of the day on NSLog(); is an important one, which I shall steal. In Erik's words, "Abortion: yay or nay?"

  9. I support abortion. I seem to be in the minority of responders so far. I believe people have the right to control of their own bodies. Just like people have the right to inject/injest/inhale anything in to their own bodies, women have the right to choose whether or not to carry a fetus/baby/child.

  10. Charles, I disagree. Of course you have the right to decide over your own body. But when it comes to a point where other living is being influenced, you loose some of that freedom to decide. Example: Sitting in a car, you can drive around and basicly noone else is harmed when you willingly crash into a tree on a lonely road to kill yourself. It'd be sad, but your choice. But if there's a good friend/parent/relative/whoever in the car with you not willing to die, you have no moral right to take that person with you when you crash just because you can.

    For that I totaly agree with Jo-Pete Nelson and Tony Hagale some postings above. Befor having sex, it's definitely worth a thought if you would be willing to parent a baby with that girl/man. Even if you take precautions (better both than only condoms) that chance of making a baby is there and and should be considered. (You know like flying a plane basically is save, but some do crash - ahm bad example =). If you think you'd rather not have a child with your potentiual sexual partner, in my opinion it'd be stupid to "do it".