Monday, November 24, 2008

An Interesting Hypothetical

I couldn't resist linking this article from Patterico's Pontifications.

One of the readers there posed a hypothetical alternative to the abortion question that I think is very thought provoking. When the question was asked of a pro-choice supporting woman and a pro-life woman, the reactions were interesting and unexpected.

Here is the hypothetical:

Suppose the technology existed to safely remove a fetus from a womb at any gestational stage for incubation elsewhere until birth. If such “no-death abortion” was available to any woman who wanted it, would most abortion rights supporters stand down?

In the case of the pro-choice female, she was still very much against this form of "safe-abortion".

I would like to know what you all think, but I would also like to echo some rules of discussion posted by Patterico:

I’d appreciate it if you could keep the usual stuff about murder and evil and so forth to a minimum. Like zero. I’m more interested in a dispassionate discussion.

Let's keep comments limited to specific concerns raised by the hypothetical itself and not let the conversation devolve into emotionally charged vitriol. I also reserve the right to moderate if things get out of hand.


Patrick M said...

I understand the need for moderation.

The answer of the pro-abortion zealot (as she seemed to have forgotten that choice also includes keeping the baby) reinforces my perception that passions of the two fanatical camps are driven by an utter disregard for the reasonable facades the opposition puts up.

As for the hypothetical, it's the best of all worlds. The mother can get rid of a fetus safely without physical or emotional strings attached (assuming it's a minimally invasive method) and the baby can go to someone who really wants to adopt. And I'm sure the pro-life people would be glad to foot the bill.

Bullfrog said...

It seems like a good solution although I have to admit I still have some thinking to do. It removes the responsibility of the mother to carry the child to term, which some pro-choice folks seem to object to.

It reminds me of the adoption alternative, but the child is removed from the mother before term.

TAO said...

Oh, and all the unintended consequences that would arise from this hypothetical.

Obviously, the bond that develops between a mother and a child in the nine month pregency period is of no value.

I cannot help but imagine a drive thru window where people pull up look at a menu and order the child of their dreams....

Then, you are right there turning life into nothing but a bunch of cells and a petri dish...oh, wait, that is stem cell research.

I am not sure but I always thought "LIFE" meant something more than living and much for bonding.

I think this whole hypothetical is so close to being some Fascist/Nazi throw back that it frightens me to believe that American citizens have nothing better to do but debate this absurd concept.

With fetuses in petri dishes we are only a step away from forced sterilizations and "planned" breedings.

This type of hypothetical is exactly why I sometimes call social conservatives fascists...

Don't have a problem with telling women what to do with their bodies but by God, government better not take your money.....

Patrick M said...

Tao: This type of hypothetical is exactly why I sometimes call social conservatives fascists...

Don't have a problem with telling women what to do with their bodies...


If the woman can have the baby out at any time with no strings attached and the only difference between this and a regular abortion is that the baby doesn't end up in the sink, who's getting told what to do?

Is there no compromise possible?

Or are you that gung-ho that the contents of the woman have to be flushed?

I'll be kind enough to not drop the (other) f-word here, even though you've already done so.

Bullfrog said...

Tao: It is a hypothetical, so you shouldn't assume votes are being cast here. The point is to compare what we currently have as choices: unwanted childbirth, adoption, or abortion and decide if this hypothetical alternative would be acceptable.

You do bring up a good point about the lack of bonding that being incubated would cause, something I believe is an important aspect of pregnancy.

If this were to be a reality I would think education would be an important part of the process.

I am not sure why you assume it would be forced, except all of your "Nazi throwback" "fascism" rhetoric looks silly without that assumption.

Bullfrog said...

Tao: I deleted your last comment for lack of relevance.

You managed to being up what I believe to be a negative about the hypothetical in the bonding issue.

Are there other positives or negatives about the hypothetical?

TAO said...

Sure Patrick, its a fine idea of and by its self. But if you read my blog you will realize that the law of unintended consequences takes over and you have created a big can of worms for society.

Then you have, in effect, made society obiligated for life. I can't go any further on this issue because Bullfrog will delete my response.

The issue of abortion is, first and foremost an issue of responsiblity. If one gets pregnant then one has a RESPONSIBILITY to protect that life. Laws do NOT make people more responsible for their actions it just adds a penalty to irresponsibility.

Which again, I cannot comment further on because Bullfrog will delete my comment.

I cannot help but see the bailouts being announced on a daily basis and the issue of abortion from the same perspective: an escape from personal responsiblity.

Again, I cannot go further on this matter because Bullfrog will delete my comment.

I am not interested in determining whether pro choice folks actually respect life or not any more than I am interested in whether pro lifers are as concerned for the life of newborns as they are of the fetus.

Again, one more sentence and Bullfrog will delete this comment too.

There is no way to compromise on a hypothetical when the reality is that this hypothetical creates as many nightmares as it proposes to solve. If I was a LIBERAL then I would not trouble myself with the unintended consequences of actions because I would believe that we would just create more laws to fix those problems when they came around to being issues. But as a CONSERVATIVE, I am concerned about the unintended consequences of policies.

So, now lets see if Bullfrog approves of this comment....maybe Bullfrog needs to go back to his post of a couple of days ago and add another point about relevancy...and how he determines that.

Bullfrog said...

Tao: Your righteous indignation at my using my right to moderate has been duly noted, now let's have a look at a couple things you had to say:

"unintended consequences" and "creates as many nightmares as it proposes to solve"
Like? Keeping in mind, it is a hypothetical and not a "policy", so think freely without making assumptions.

Pregnancy is an issue of responsibility, as you implied, so is the hypothetical more responsible than abortion?

As for ANY comments I have made on your blog, I respect your right to delete them as you deem necessary.

I am pretty generous when it comes to allowing off topic commentary and have even allowed it to get personal, if I think there may be some useful bits worth discussing. In light of that, I don't expect any teeth-gnashing because I am enforcing stricter guidelines for ONE post.

This isn't about your views on the general topic of the sanctity of life, or why you think conservatives care about money.

Z-man said...

TAO: "If one gets pregnant then one has a RESPONSIBILITY to protect that life."

On this I think we can all agree. At its core how one feels about abortion is very closely related to how one views sex, you cannot separate the two and I just blogged about this today. Now we may prefer the sexual act to be totally without consequences but it isn't and so for tao to focus on this is a good starting point. So the root cause of abortion is a personal one but liberals don't like you getting personal when it comes to abortion, it's off-limits. I say if a married woman has an affair and then aborts the baby something is very wrong with how she views sex, it's like bad leads to more bad if I may put it in those baby terms.

Bullfrog said...

Z-man: welcome, and thanks for your input. What intrigued me about the hypothetical was it offered a new line of thinking other than abortion or adoption to the whole debate.

I am a strong believer in personal responsibility as well, and thought maybe this alternative may give a woman the opportunity to deal with an unwanted pregnancy with a clearer conscience than abortion or adoption, since a good number of pro-choice folks seem to have a problem with the adoption route.

Bullfrog said...

Tao absconded to his blog and posted a response to the hypothetical which I think merits sharing here.

What about the bonding?

He asserts that allowing a pre-term removal of a baby from mother to finish gestation in an incubator would have 2 negative consequences:

1. Deprive the fetus of important bonding time with mother.
2. Effectively remove personal responsibility from the equation.

He used an analogy of Baby Farms to lend a good visual to what could be. This brings to mind the movie The Matrix, in the scene where Morpheus is explaining to Neo the harsh reality, "where people aren't born, they're grown"

I have often thought this of test tube babies as well, as it just seems like an important necessary building block would be missing of babies were regularly developed apart from the womb.

TAO said...

Z-man...if you actually would read whatever I write about I always start from the premise that we are responsible for our actions and our acts.

It makes no difference whether it is sex or the vows one speaks at an altar....or for that matter an oath of office.

The liberals have so many issues on so many points; its easy for them to worry about the rights of the woman without having to acknowledge when life begins. But the conservatives have just as many issues, such as the one I constantly hammer you on.

The basic is and always has been personal responsibility. I believe we need to reinforce and reestablish the preeminence of the individual and personal responsibility. But conservatives want to legislate morality and the liberals want to make everyone a victim in regards to morality.

I believe that while the morality of the bible is a good beginning the reality is if morality and responsibility is not logical and rational and if people do not understand that responsibility and its acceptance is personally benefitial then it will not be long lasting.

Otherwise everything ends up like that little old lady that but a cup of hot coffee between her legs after buying it from a McDonalds drive thru....

She burned her thighs and sued McDonalds...because the coffee was hot! :)

I believe the coffee was hot when she held it in her hands and no matter coffee is usually served hot.

Is should be no surprise to anyone that sex can lead to pregnancy and or sexually transmitted diseases. If you want to take your chances then so be it but do not expect the world to believe you were the victim when you made the choice.

Sorry, all decisions have unintended consequences and that is why we have brains (or alot of insurance). Old ladies should use a cup holder for their coffee and if they are too stupid to figure that one out then they should not buy coffee through a drive thru window. If you don't want a baby then keep your clothes on.

But no child should be brought into the world unwanted, uncared for, and or unloved....they can be unplanned...but that is where I draw the line. If they are unwanted, uncared for, and unloved...then society will have more issues to deal with in the future.

I do spend alot of time thinking about things and I have never been known for following any one bandwagon....