Bodily autonomy

New poster Oliver made an insightful comment July 31.

In the interest of developing pro-life apologetics I'd like to spotlight it for us to flesh out his thoughts, since the concept of the right to bodily autonomy is frequently cited pro-abort rationale....

body worlds.jpg

[The photo above is of two preserved human specimens, a female and her eight-month-old preborn baby, in the Body Worlds display. Many bodily autonomy apologists do not deny there is a baby; they simply say the baby does not have the right to usurp his or her mother's bodily autonomy.]

That being said, it seems bodily autonomy is your major talking point so let's discuss the differing factors behind the right to autonomy and the rights to privacy and property.

To begin with, we should approach the issue of parental sacrifice of property and privacy to born children. Why is it that a parent cannot simply withold their rights from their child when they feel lead to? Why is it that parents are obligated directly to the care of their children?

Now you say parents can indeed withold their bodily autonomy from their child, which is true. Why is this possible? The answer is that a parent is never asked to sacrifice any more of their rights to their child than is necesary to care for him. Think, a child cannot demand the master bedroom, but he must be given the shelter of choice by the parent.

So what is the key difference between parents with a born child and a pregnant mother with an unborn fetus? You pointed out the difference perfectly by stating "a born child is also not inside the body of a person, and that too makes a big difference." Yes it makes a huge difference.

A fetus cannot be cared for any other way than to exist in its mother womb. Instead of thinking that a parent must sacrifice X right and Y right to the degree necesary to not neglect their child, streamline it a bit and see that a parent must sacrifice their rights in general to the degree that their child requires. A parent to a born child never has to sacrifice their right to bodily autonomy because it never need occur.


Comments:

Oliver, that was a terrific point!

Posted by: Bethany at August 2, 2007 11:15 AM


It sure looks like a baby to me.

Posted by: Heather4life at August 2, 2007 11:19 AM


I just spotted an even more developed argument by Oliver later in that same post:

*sigh* Doug you completely missed the essence of everything I said to you about autonomy. Do you even know what bodily autonomy means? It means essentially the right to your body.

Now I guess Ill break it down into smaller pieces.

1)All human beings are members of the "human society." All human beings have the right to not be neglected, among many other inherent rights.

2)A parent owes a fraction of their rights to their born child to not neglect them. This is evidenced in that a parent must give up their right to privacy and property by feeding and caring for their child. This responsiblity cannot be ended abruptly. A parent cannot decide one night to toss their child on the street or to starve him. They are required to uphold this responsibility untill a suitable replacement is found.

This responsibility arises from the concept that all indigent humans require care, and for children the parent is the default caretaker. This is witnessed in the law, and is also just plain common sense.

3)Assuming that a fetus is in fact a human person, protected under the same right to not be neglected than at the least the mother of the fetus, being the parent, being the default caretaker untill a suitable replacement is established, owes to her fetus, in part, her right to privacy and property.

Now up till now, I believe we agree for the most part. Where we disagree is on the next part.

4)I would now propose the notion that there is no fundamental differences amongst the right to property, right to privacy, and the right to bodily autonomy. In fact I would propose that bodily autonomy is a derived right, derived from the both the right to privacy and property, and that a derived right cannot be different or greater than its premise. If you should disagree here, provide some points, not just "well its different cuz its in her body."

5)Assuming that the mother owes some basic rights in part to her fetus (which we are still assuming it is a person for the sake of the argument) and assuming that there is no fundamental difference between privacy and property and bodily autonomy (BA for short), we can derive that the mother also owes in part her autonomy to the fetus (again assuming for the sake of the argument that it is a person)

6)Now, also taking into account that a parents obligation to their born child cannot be ended ubruptly, but must be ended with a replacement, we can further derive that a mother cannot end her obligation abruptly as well. Based on that idea, we can derive that abortion is not a viable option for a pregnant mother.

That is the most fleshed out argument I have currently. If you misunderstand this one as well, I will try to be more concise, maybe take each point post by post.

Posted by: Jill Stanek Author Profile Page at August 2, 2007 11:56 AM


"Many bodily autonomy apologists do not deny there is a baby; they simply say the baby does not have the right to usurp his or her mother's bodily autonomy."

There is no right to bodily autonomy. If there was, a Mother could demand to abort or give birth (rid herself of the baby) at 7, 8 or 9 months pregnant, which she cannot.

So, why can she at 1 month. Just because the baby is very little, why should he lose his right to life. Just another lie from the pro-death side.

Posted by: jasper at August 2, 2007 11:56 AM


Where's Diana in all of this? She was our resident prochoice philosopher who would probably be tearing up the keyboard right about now. Parental obligations? She'd scream! A shame you weren't here about a month ago, Oliver. She and John McD could really scholastically hash it out. And then there was Cameron...

Posted by: carder at August 2, 2007 12:21 PM


Hi Jill,

somewhat different than Oliver's:

the words as used would best fit with the philosophic concept of 'will'.

if this route is followed then body-autonomy/will is a contingent-right and not an isolated or primary right. The body autonomy one relies (A) on a conscious being (not comatose) ... intellectual dominance .... and (B) a living being ... the right-to-life is a primary right - (B). Therefore, in abortion a fetus'(B) is under-cut by a contingent and secondary right of the mother.

there is IMO no other way to perceive 'rights' except as legal-values. When asked for the basis of such a value, usually other humans or human society are the source of such (Cam even says intrinsic) value, but (according to Diana and J-P Sartre) individually humans are without value. Two points here: how can anyone have rights (intrinsically) and be without value? The rights begin at birth (Doug). This is the law ... however, the preamble to the US-constitution says that intrinsic rights begin at conception, not birth.

The second problem with this idea is that a human (with value = 0) can yield any value/rights at all to another human. Zero a million or even a billion times is still 0. Therefore, an intrinsic worth/value/right from another human (whose value is inherently nothing) is empty.

The argument over 'rights' in the pro-choice/pro-abort mindset is strictly a domination of will. This is then an appeal for control, not a mission to seek the truth. A stance to have body autonomy is a right to be willful.

Posted by: John McDonell Author Profile Page at August 2, 2007 12:46 PM


I don't get it. Did this woman die attempting to abort at 8 months? Did she invest 8 months of her very life and then just change her mind one day? Is anyone silly enough to believe that this is some kind of common scenario?
It dehumanizes the very real feelings of women that actually do abort in the last trimester and trivilaizes the reasons why.

JIll? What do you mean by 'human society'? Society implies common goals, beliefs etc.....While some societies may believe that every born human being enters the world with some kind of right to 'not be neglected' it certainly doesn't make it universally so. Human rights are not innate. They are attributed by varying societies and change on a daily basis.
Could you explain how you came to the conclusion that all of humanity belongs to the same society and how the whole world has come to the conclusion that no human should be neglected? Thanks!

Posted by: Sally at August 2, 2007 5:23 PM


Sally,

They are attributed by varying societies and change on a daily basis.

If you really believe this then you just blew your own argument. How can you on one hand say that it is your RIGHT to bodily autonomy, and on the other say that RIGHTS are not innate and subject to change according to the whims of society.

Here's to this particular society changing on a whim and outlawing your "RIGHT"!

Valerie, save some rum for the BIG day!

Posted by: MK Author Profile Page at August 2, 2007 7:34 PM


I don't get it. Did this woman die attempting to abort at 8 months? Did she invest 8 months of her very life and then just change her mind one day? Is anyone silly enough to believe that this is some kind of common scenario?
It dehumanizes the very real feelings of women that actually do abort in the last trimester and trivilaizes the reasons why.

From the baby's perspective, why does that make any difference? A baby doesn't deserve to live because they have down's syndrome? Or Spina Bifida?

Would you feel sympathy for a mother, however well intended, if she drowned her spina bifida child, because she realized how much cost and effort was going into taking care of her child, and she didn't feel she could handle it anymore?

Would you feel sympathy for a mother, and consider her reasons, if she threw her Down's syndrome child off a bridge, because she was ashamed of how people looked at her and her child, and she couldn't deal with having a child who was not like everyone else?

Why then should we consider and have sympathy for a mother who chooses to kill her unborn child for the same reasons?

Posted by: Bethany at August 2, 2007 7:45 PM


And if you want to throw in children who are going to die anyway, would you feel sympathy for a mother who killed her child who was dying of childhood leukemia, because she knew death was inevitable anyway? Would you not think that regardless of her intent, her actions were wrong?

Posted by: Bethany at August 2, 2007 7:54 PM


Oliver: *sigh* Doug you completely missed the essence of everything I said to you about autonomy. Do you even know what bodily autonomy means? It means essentially the right to your body.

Now I guess Ill break it down into smaller pieces.

1)All human beings are members of the "human society." All human beings have the right to not be neglected, among many other inherent rights.

2)A parent owes a fraction of their rights to their born child to not neglect them. This is evidenced in that a parent must give up their right to privacy and property by feeding and caring for their child. This responsiblity cannot be ended abruptly. A parent cannot decide one night to toss their child on the street or to starve him. They are required to uphold this responsibility untill a suitable replacement is found.

This responsibility arises from the concept that all indigent humans require care, and for children the parent is the default caretaker. This is witnessed in the law, and is also just plain common sense.

3)Assuming that a fetus is in fact a human person, protected under the same right to not be neglected than at the least the mother of the fetus, being the parent, being the default caretaker untill a suitable replacement is established, owes to her fetus, in part, her right to privacy and property.

Now up till now, I believe we agree for the most part. Where we disagree is on the next part.

4)I would now propose the notion that there is no fundamental differences amongst the right to property, right to privacy, and the right to bodily autonomy. In fact I would propose that bodily autonomy is a derived right, derived from the both the right to privacy and property, and that a derived right cannot be different or greater than its premise. If you should disagree here, provide some points, not just "well its different cuz its in her body."

5)Assuming that the mother owes some basic rights in part to her fetus (which we are still assuming it is a person for the sake of the argument) and assuming that there is no fundamental difference between privacy and property and bodily autonomy (BA for short), we can derive that the mother also owes in part her autonomy to the fetus (again assuming for the sake of the argument that it is a person)

6)Now, also taking into account that a parents obligation to their born child cannot be ended ubruptly, but must be ended with a replacement, we can further derive that a mother cannot end her obligation abruptly as well. Based on that idea, we can derive that abortion is not a viable option for a pregnant mother.

That is the most fleshed out argument I have currently. If you misunderstand this one as well, I will try to be more concise, maybe take each point post by post.


Actually, we do disagree to a large extent, all along there. I don't see the unborn as members of "human society." They are human, yes, and alive, yes, but until after birth they're not in "society." Even as born infants we are hardly social, i.e. we're not aware of others as being in a social group with us, don't have memories in that way, aren't aware of ourselves as we have to be to truly be in any type of "society."

On rights, there is nothing "inherent" there. There are popular and in some cases exceedingly prevalent feelings about them, right-to-life after birth being a good example, but they are a concept of the mind. They don't exist beyond the mental conception of them, there's no external existence. As with laws, all it takes is sufficient opinion and they can be said to exist, be that opinion from a monarch, oligarchy, majority, etc. Without the attribution of any right, however, it does not exist.

The fetus is most certainly not a human person. That is a big disagreement between you and me. If we all felt the same way about things, the abortion debate wouldn't exist. Full, actual personhood, i.e. the right to life being granted (among other things) is not there for the fetus. Even in the third trimester it can be killed if there are deficiencies severe enough and/or enough danger to the woman. I am not saying it is impossible that personhood would ever be granted, but it is not so, nor has it ever been, even when abortion was pretty much illegal. Granting personhood to the unborn would be a huge deal, with so many ramifications I shudder to think.... I also don't think the fetus is "protected under the same right to not be neglected." A pregnant woman can legally drink, etc., can she not? I am not at all saying it's a good thing, and I hope that nobody does anything harmful to wanted fetuses. Fetal alcohol syndrome, etc. = very bad stuff. I don't know where I would draw the line, i.e. would I make it illegal for a pregnant woman to have one drink, two, etc.?

Agreed that there are no fundamental differences between rights. But I don't think the mother owes some basic rights to the fetus. Personally, if a pregnancy is going to be continued I hope she does what is necessary for the best possible development, but I don't think there's any law on that. Is there? And if the pregnancy is unwanted then I don't see the fetus as being owed anything, to the point of viability, anyway. If we assume that personhood has been granted, it'd be a whole different deal. Born kids are supposed to be taken care of - there's no practical disagreement with that. But with the unborn it's a different deal. There, there's lots of disagreement, at the least.

This is a great argument, IMO because it takes us all down to the unprovable assumptions we all make.


Best,

Doug

Posted by: PorkLoin Author Profile Page at August 4, 2007 4:53 PM


Oliver: To begin with, we should approach the issue of parental sacrifice of property and privacy to born children. Why is it that a parent cannot simply withhold their rights from their child when they feel lead to? Why is it that parents are obligated directly to the care of their children?

It is because society says so. Society does not want children to go uncared for. Society says that parents have the obligations. A parent physically can withhold things from a kid, but society says that is bad, wrong, etc., and has laws and rules aimed at ensuring that kids are taken care of. It boils to enough people wanting a thing - here that parents take care of their kids.

Now you say parents can indeed withhold their bodily autonomy from their child, which is true. Why is this possible? The answer is that a parent is never asked to sacrifice any more of their rights to their child than is necessary to care for him. Think, a child cannot demand the master bedroom, but he must be given the shelter of choice by the parent.

I don't think parents are forced to give up bodily autonomy to take care of kids. They are still secure in their own body with the same rights as if they had no kids. Parents are not "asked to sacrifice their rights" to care for children. For example, there are not "rights" to let kids starve, leave them in hot cars, go on a round-the-world trip while forgetting about the kids, etc. Society expects certain things, but that does not mean the parents have given up any bodily autonomy. Society is saying "you gotta do certain things for your kid," but the parents' bodily autonomy isn't lessened.


So what is the key difference between parents with a born child and a pregnant mother with an unborn fetus? You pointed out the difference perfectly by stating "a born child is also not inside the body of a person, and that too makes a big difference." Yes, it makes a huge difference.

A fetus cannot be cared for any other way than to exist in its mother womb. Instead of thinking that a parent must sacrifice X right and Y right to the degree necessary to not neglect their child, streamline it a bit and see that a parent must sacrifice their rights in general to the degree that their child requires. A parent to a born child never has to sacrifice their right to bodily autonomy because it never need occur.

If we are saying that a "child" has been attributed rights and is deemed by society to have care coming from the parents, then the unborn are not "children." "Child" or not is really just a semantic argument anyway.

Agreed that a parent to a born child never has to sacrifice their right to bodily autonomy. Society says "do so-and-so," but the parents' bodily autonomy and rights remain. As for the fetus in the womb, society does not say, "Take care of the fetus." If the woman wants to end the pregnancy, she can, to a point anyway.


Good discussion.

Doug

Posted by: PorkLoin Author Profile Page at August 4, 2007 5:16 PM


Let me try this one again; still struggling to get the HTML stuff to work right...

Oliver: To begin with, we should approach the issue of parental sacrifice of property and privacy to born children. Why is it that a parent cannot simply withhold their rights from their child when they feel lead to? Why is it that parents are obligated directly to the care of their children?

It is because society says so. Society does not want children to go uncared for. Society says that parents have the obligations. A parent physically can withhold things from a kid, but society says that is bad, wrong, etc., and has laws and rules aimed at ensuring that kids are taken care of. It boils to enough people wanting a thing - here that parents take care of their kids.

Now you say parents can indeed withhold their bodily autonomy from their child, which is true. Why is this possible? The answer is that a parent is never asked to sacrifice any more of their rights to their child than is necessary to care for him. Think, a child cannot demand the master bedroom, but he must be given the shelter of choice by the parent.

I don't think parents are forced to give up bodily autonomy to take care of kids. They are still secure in their own body with the same rights as if they had no kids. Parents are not "asked to sacrifice their rights" to care for children. For example, there are not "rights" to let kids starve, leave them in hot cars, go on a round-the-world trip while forgetting about the kids, etc. Society expects certain things, but that does not mean the parents have given up any bodily autonomy. Society is saying "you gotta do certain things for your kid," but the parents' bodily autonomy isn't lessened.


So what is the key difference between parents with a born child and a pregnant mother with an unborn fetus? You pointed out the difference perfectly by stating "a born child is also not inside the body of a person, and that too makes a big difference." Yes, it makes a huge difference.

A fetus cannot be cared for any other way than to exist in its mother womb. Instead of thinking that a parent must sacrifice X right and Y right to the degree necessary to not neglect their child, streamline it a bit and see that a parent must sacrifice their rights in general to the degree that their child requires. A parent to a born child never has to sacrifice their right to bodily autonomy because it never need occur.

If we are saying that a "child" has been attributed rights and is deemed by society to have care coming from the parents, then the unborn are not "children." "Child" or not is really just a semantic argument anyway.

Agreed that a parent to a born child never has to sacrifice their right to bodily autonomy. Society says "do so-and-so," but the parents' bodily autonomy and rights remain. As for the fetus in the womb, society does not say, "Take care of the fetus." If the woman wants to end the pregnancy, she can, to a point anyway.


Good discussion.

Doug

Posted by: PorkLoin Author Profile Page at August 4, 2007 5:19 PM


Heather: It sure looks like a baby to me.

Heather, it does to me too. And I have no problem with saying "unborn baby." It's well-understood and I don't see it as any real argument.

Lots of people don't think it's a baby until birth, and that's another way to look at it. There's no one right answer here - it's in the eye of the beholder.

Likewise, I don't think saying "it's not a baby" or "it's a baby" is any meaningful argument in the abortion debate.

Doug

Posted by: PorkLoin Author Profile Page at August 4, 2007 5:26 PM


John: the words as used would best fit with the philosophic concept of 'will'.

if this route is followed then body-autonomy/will is a contingent-right and not an isolated or primary right. The body autonomy one relies (A) on a conscious being (not comatose) ... intellectual dominance .... and (B) a living being ... the right-to-life is a primary right - (B). Therefore, in abortion a fetus'(B) is under-cut by a contingent and secondary right of the mother.

there is IMO no other way to perceive 'rights' except as legal-values. When asked for the basis of such a value, usually other humans or human society are the source of such (Cam even says intrinsic) value, but (according to Diana and J-P Sartre) individually humans are without value. Two points here: how can anyone have rights (intrinsically) and be without value? The rights begin at birth (Doug). This is the law ... however, the preamble to the US-constitution says that intrinsic rights begin at conception, not birth.

The second problem with this idea is that a human (with value = 0) can yield any value/rights at all to another human. Zero a million or even a billion times is still 0. Therefore, an intrinsic worth/value/right from another human (whose value is inherently nothing) is empty.

The argument over 'rights' in the pro-choice/pro-abort mindset is strictly a domination of will. This is then an appeal for control, not a mission to seek the truth. A stance to have body autonomy is a right to be willful.

John, that is some heavy stuff. This is no intrinsic value, since all valuation is a process of sentient minds. In other words, if "nobody" cared, there would be no such thing in the first place. Same for rights. They don't have external, objective existence. They are concepts of thought, they exist in the mind. I agree that the basis of value is other people and society. If there would be a god, gods, or other "higher" beings than us earthly humans, then they too may have their opinions about such stuff.

As far as "being without value," that is going to be a subjective judgment. No matter what one might think, if somebody else values a thing positively, then it has value to that somebody else. On the intrinsic rights at conception, I think you mean the Declaration of Independence, not the Preamble. Correct me if I'm wrong.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

I know that notions of a creator appeal to many people, but there is no proof of anything such. Rights may not be "unalienable" as far as being given away or transferred to another, but the fact remains that they can be negated or simply not perceived to be there in the first place. "Men" were white landowners at the time, and women, minorities, etc., were not accorded the same rights. The writers were a bunch of guys who wanted to give King George the big kiss-off, and who liked flowery language, but I see nothing germane to the abortion debate there. Moreover, abortion was legal at the time the Declaration was written, to 4 or 5 months in gestation, and there is no reference to the unborn in the statements anyway. The idea of intrinsic rights also appeals to many people, but that is not the way things work in reality.

Bodily autonomy being a right to be willful sounds pretty good to me; well said. A part of why I am Pro-Choice is that the unborn don't have conscious will and don't have the capability to suffer (in the vast majority of abortions). I see Pro-Lifers who want certain things, but I don't see their desires as any compelling reason why we should take away the freedom that women currently have as far as willingly continuing or ending pregnancies.

For Pro-Lifers it boils down to "I want this..." I understand that, and I understand that some people hate abortion, hate the idea of it, etc. But why should we enforce their wishes over that of the woman who is actually pregnant? I'd need to see a demonstrable reason for that.


Doug

Posted by: PorkLoin Author Profile Page at August 4, 2007 5:58 PM


Doug,

this argument can go on and on and not be resolvable ... such is my interpretation of your comments to Heather ... looking human does not = human.

Therefore, I propose that we do some tallying of benefits to detriments ratio .... why live at all, we can all collectively jump-of-a-bridge/commit-suicide ... SCREW SOCIETY! I do not benefit from them, why should they benefit from me? I'll do what I want, when I want!

Sound hostile .... imo, it is precisely the sound of the pro-choice side .... and your words are only to mellow the barrenness. Sorry Doug, folks are dead. A lot are victims who die from starvation, famine, war but these are all still dead. Abortion (SoMG calls this a very safe medical procedure) ... oh yeah, life ends for almost all babies involved. Semantics and debate make us just talking-heads (boring ones too).

Posted by: John McDonell Author Profile Page at August 4, 2007 7:27 PM


John: this argument can go on and on and not be resolvable ... such is my interpretation of your comments to Heather ... looking human does not = human.

That could be, yes, but "human" is not the argument. If you find somebody saying that the unborn in this argument are not human, then they are wrong. Yet "baby" or not really doesn't matter in the abortion debate. The debate boils down to desire and valuation, not terminology. I agree that the argument is not resolvable. It goes to the unprovable assumptions we all make, and where our assumptions diverge is where the arguing begins. It may be as simple as you more wanting the unborn to live and me more wanting women to keep the freedom in the matter they now have.

Therefore, I propose that we do some tallying of benefits to detriments ratio .... why live at all, we can all collectively jump-of-a-bridge/commit-suicide ... SCREW SOCIETY!

Why live at all? Because we want to. Now of course not all people feel that way, but the vast majority do.


I do not benefit from them, why should they benefit from me? I'll do what I want, when I want!

Short of infringing on other people's rights, you can do that now. Even outside the law, you physically can do what you want, when you want, unless you are restrained from it by outside force. If your behavior gets far enough outside what society considers acceptable bahavior, then it will probably bring in that outside force.


Sound hostile .... imo, it is precisely the sound of the pro-choice side .... and your words are only to mellow the barrenness. Sorry Doug, folks are dead. A lot are victims who die from starvation, famine, war but these are all still dead. Abortion (SoMG calls this a very safe medical procedure) ... oh yeah, life ends for almost all babies involved. Semantics and debate make us just talking-heads (boring ones too).

A semantic argument is almost always a silly one, and yes, boring too. But debate in no way makes us just talking heads. Abortion is indeed a very safe procedure. For abortions overall, it's roughly 11 times safer than carrying to term and giving birth, i.e. the mortality with birth is 11 times greater. For early term abortions when about 88% of abortions are done, up to 12 weeks gestation, abortion is some 30-40 times safer. Up to 9 weeks, when the majority of abortions are done, it's roughly 100 times safer.

And yes, people die all the time. Starvation and war are sad things, much suffering involved.

Doug

Posted by: PorkLoin Author Profile Page at August 5, 2007 1:44 AM


Doug,

So why debate? Since you claim, that the majority of humans wish to live and you at the same time say that a pregnant Mom can kill her baby at will ... ie. the woman's desires outdo those (presumed) desires of her baby to live.

Ever wonder why such a large number like 88% are done by week 12? Dr. Patrick Dunn, a New Zealand Ob/gyn, decided to track women's moods during pregnancy ... the first depression lasting from @wk 7 to @wk 11-12 had some 80% of all abortions done. [I always thought depression was contraindicated for any medical surgical procedure.] Then why is abortion THE exception to this rule? Is abortion being used to cure a depression of which her babe is the cause?

[From my own studies, this also is the right time (starting wk 5) when a very high level of zinc is required for the initial development of the optic nerve, etc. The zinc-pool is in qausi-flux at the time being a shared pool. If deficient, than a woman would have a difficult time maintaining emotional stability because the mossy fiber layers of her cerebellum demand high zinc levels too. A compromised cerebellum = an emotional instability.]

Are you ... or is anyone willing to see if this has merit? If not, why not?

Posted by: John McDonell Author Profile Page at August 5, 2007 7:44 AM


John: So why debate? Since you claim, that the majority of humans wish to live and you at the same time say that a pregnant Mom can kill her baby at will ... ie. the woman's desires outdo those (presumed) desires of her baby to live.

Well, it IS a debate, one of the very prevalent ones going, and many people like to argue. I'm not saying the "woman's desires outdo...." There is nothing to "outdo," there. There is no conscious desire on the part of the unborn, period, as far as what we are talking about. Why debate? Well, there are people who want their desire to "outdo" that of the women who are actually pregnant. I certainly don't need more people on earth for the sake of *more,* and I don't want those women to be denied what they want. I rate their desire as more important than that of those who would take away their freedom in the matter.

You don't want a woman to have an abortion? Why should I go with your wish there, over hers? What real need does society have to enforce your will over hers, there?

Ever wonder why such a large number like 88% are done by week 12? Dr. Patrick Dunn, a New Zealand Ob/gyn, decided to track women's moods during pregnancy ... the first depression lasting from @wk 7 to @wk 11-12 had some 80% of all abortions done. [I always thought depression was contraindicated for any medical surgical procedure.] Then why is abortion THE exception to this rule? Is abortion being used to cure a depression of which her babe is the cause?

[From my own studies, this also is the right time (starting wk 5) when a very high level of zinc is required for the initial development of the optic nerve, etc. The zinc-pool is in qausi-flux at the time being a shared pool. If deficient, than a woman would have a difficult time maintaining emotional stability because the mossy fiber layers of her cerebellum demand high zinc levels too. A compromised cerebellum = an emotional instability.]

Are you ... or is anyone willing to see if this has merit? If not, why not?

Well you bet I am. : )

First, of all women having abortions in that time frame, many did not want to be pregnant, would have told us that, and that they would choose abortion - all before they were pregnant. For them to have abortions is no surprise nor attributable to "depression" in the first trimester. Of course, what percentage could be due to depression is a question.

Around 59% of abortions are done earlier than 9 weeks. Some of those will overlap with the period of depression you mention, some will not. Last I saw on this was from the CDC - 23% of abortions were before 6 weeks, so it'd be a little more for before 7. Still, your question is valid for some pregnancies.

In searching around I see almost nothing on Dunn's findings. What you say makes sense to me in that it could be the reason for, or a contributing factor, in some abortions. How many is a good question. I know that in the US roughly 75% of pregnancies are being continued willingly, and roughly 25% are ended by abortion.

So, most pregnancies are continued. Even among unintended pregnancies, it's only 47% that are aborted. Regardless of any depression, lots of women are still going all the way to birth. So how do we boil down the numbers? I don't think it's possible given the lack in what we know. If pregnant women are "depressed" from 7 weeks to 11/12 weeks, how "depressed" is that? How many women are thusly affected?

Since all in all it's usually a lot better to abort early versus late, what would you propose - wait until after 12 weeks to decide? You can imagine peoples' responses there. Seems to me that case-by-case the pregnant woman and those around her should be aware of the potential for depression, but do we classify the women as "insane" or something during those weeks of gestation? If a woman was 50/50 on pregnancy and continuing it, then during weeks 7 - 12 decides to keep going, do we consider her decision faulty?

So, I guess there could be some merit in what you say. I wish there was more information available on it.


Best,

Doug


Posted by: PorkLoin Author Profile Page at August 5, 2007 12:53 PM


me too, Doug .............me TOO!

There are other contributing factors to this scenario ... the second period of pregnancy-related depressions is the 3rd trimester; then there is a glitch at birth of euphoria [probably endorphin-release]; and, then it returns to the exact point that the 3rd trimester depression ends - what follows is the deepest depression - the famous postpartum one.

There is one other period marked by many things - emotional-stability and PMS being documented. This is the period of puberty. Every single one of these periods is a stage of development marked with a unusually large need for zinc - for instance, the pancreas kicks in only a few days before birth producing insulin (even though the insulin-molecule is without zinc, its production is highly zinc dependent). [An adolescent is a shoe-in for a zinc deficit unless specifically supplemented to avoid such ... and very few are.]

Instead of any form of accusation, I think it helpful to treat all-in-need of nutrients and fulfillment. However, it is best to supplement with taurine when supplementing with zinc. These two are in essence a duality and both contribute immensely to membrane stability. Taurine is also very inexpensive and very little is needed.

The results, will be a very large drop in abortions ... for one thing ... expect also that there will be as well a huge decline in male criminality. I think this is worth pursuing.

re. Dunn - his work is now several decades old (4-6?) and has likely been dropped as being without merit. The sole contact I had was with his son - same name. He is an RC bishop there and I got the impression his Dad was now deceased.

Posted by: John McDonell Author Profile Page at August 5, 2007 3:08 PM