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Stem cell breakthrough avoids 'moral' issue

Original post made on Nov 21, 2007

Stanford University researchers are cheering a breakthrough in stem cell research announced today by teams of scientists from Wisconsin and Japan. Scientists used adult stem cells to generate new cells that can act like embryonic stem cells -- avoiding the "moral" issue of getting such cells from fetuses.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 20, 2007, 6:32 PM

Comments (42)

Posted by Gratitude, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2007 at 7:02 am

I am so happy that slowly, but surely, more and more people are learning that killing human life,no matter how young it is, is completely unnecessary to stem cell research.


Posted by gratitude, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2007 at 7:03 am

BTW, would moral be "moral" in the title if this were about killing already born life?

C'mon guys, your bias is showing.


Posted by Life, a resident of another community
on Nov 21, 2007 at 8:04 am

Life begins at birth. Period end of story.
ANd if you believe that life begins at conception then shouldn;t a woman who has an abortion be charged with murder. Now, the born-agains only want the doctor punished.


Posted by explanation please., a resident of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2007 at 8:42 am

So, anything before birth is not life? So,the day before a baby is born it is ok to abort?

Ok, of course you are going to say that is insane. So, at what age of pregnancy does the fetus become "alive"?

Have you learned any developmental biology? Have you seen the heartbeat or brainwaves of an 8 week old "embryo"? Have you ever seen the "fetus" withdraw from touch during a medical procedure? Did you know that we spend millions of dollars every year doing in-utero surgery on "not-life" to save their "not-lives"?

Did you know that at the moment of conception, when the sperm and egg unite, all the genetic information for that human is set..nothing can change it. If left alone, that embryo grows into a 100 year old man or woman. Not a tree, not a cat. S/he only stops growing if something interferes, like illness, genetic incompatibility with life, or abortion.

Please define what day life begins and is worthy of protection of a civilized society, and what the difference is in that collection of cells the day before which makes it "not life'.

All this notwithstanding, it is possible to know that life begins at conception, acknowledge this as fact, and STILL also acknowledge that killing in self-defense is legitimate. We already acknowledge that in our legal system. We don't acknowledge convenience murder as acceptable, but we do acknowledge self-defense killing. When abortion is seen as self-defense, then the debate will make progress toward clarification..instead of this almost over silliness of "any abortion at any time for any reason" versus "no abortion ever". These 2 sides are extreme and ridiculous.

Anyway, please inform us when life begins for you, Life, and by what parameters you define it. If it is truly at birth...then please tell me if it is only natural birth which produces life, or if C-section counts.


Posted by Life, a resident of another community
on Nov 21, 2007 at 9:04 am

You did not read my statement above--life begins at birth. Period. End of Story.

Also there is no "any abortion at any time for any reason"--abortion is limited to certain periods of pregnancy.


Posted by No Thinking Required, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2007 at 9:16 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by ???, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2007 at 9:42 am

How about the surgeon operating on a "fetus" in the uterus when the fetus stretched out its hand and held the doctor's finger. If that isn't a definition of life, then I am not sure what is.


Posted by R Wray, a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 21, 2007 at 9:54 am

The question is not when life begins; it's when does a human being exist? A cockroach has life, but it does not have rights. Only human beings have rights. In order to be a human being, it has to be an entity. Before delivery when the umbilical cord is cut, the fetus is a growth in the mother. It is a potential human being but not an actual human being. Only actual human beings have rights.


Posted by clarify your thinking, please, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2007 at 10:53 am

So, R Way, killing that life as long as it is connected to the biological host by an umbilical cord is ok?


Posted by R Wray, a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 21, 2007 at 2:39 pm

Not sure what technicality you're getting at. I'm not a doctor, but I believe a baby is normally delivered and the umbilical cord cut at about the same time. If you have some other case in mind, spell it out.
As long as the fetus is alive because it is physically connected to the mother, then it is parasitic and the mother's rights prevail.


Posted by Winslow Arbenaugh, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 21, 2007 at 3:32 pm

I want to see where the "right to life" crowd's logic takes it, if pushed. Personally, I wish there were solutions other than abortion available, but for some people abortion is a necessary choice, so we permit this.

the 'right to life" philosophy now states that life begins at conception. Why stop at conception? Because this is all we can see, on a petri dish?

What about *before* conception? What about the trillions of billions of interactions that take place leading up to the act of intimacy that leads to conception? What part of those actions constitute the "potential for life". What about the subatomic strata of existance? Where does the infinite regress of conrol over the actions of others on their way to creating life, stop?

In a nutshell, although there some valid issues about the 'industrialization of birth' that are suggested by the right to life groups, the entire movement seems more interested in controlling the bodies of women, more than anything else.

Fundamentally, the plea to 'save life', is a cover to deny a woman's right to do with her body, as she pleases.

Before the right to lifers get into a snit, there *is* a deep question about what the responsibiltiies of women *and* men are re: the obatinance of a pregnancy. What should be the responsibilty of the lattter, when it comes to dealing with an unwanted pregnancy?

This is an important question, and one that is not addressed at all in our culture.

Again, I think the right to have an abortion should not be eliminated, but we should at the same time be askigi hard questions about a culture that takes so many women down this path.


Posted by sue, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2007 at 5:02 pm



If you kill a pregnant woman and her baby dies then you are charged with double homicide.

In your will you can leave money and property to an unborn baby ,the unborn baby has property rights.

Therefore in law the unborn are treated as citizens in this civilization




Posted by clear-cut logic, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2007 at 5:11 pm

The "right to life" logic is simple: Life begins when, if left alone, the "cluster of cells" grows into you or me. A sperm can not grow into a human, and neither can an egg. So, the logic is pure.

As for the guy who said that as long as there is an umbilical connection, the being is just a parasite...wow. Scary guy. May as well join Peter Singer who advocates that babies aren't really human until they are 1 year old, and thus infanticide is fine, and by the way, caregivers shouldn't be charged with murder of their of dependent parents or disabled kids,either, since they aren't "productive".

Keep it out of the all or nothing realm, and then you can talk about "when" abortion is moral. And it is, sometimes....


Posted by perspective., a resident of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2007 at 5:14 pm

I didn't complete the thought: as for the "parasite" thought...isn't any dependent, non-productive human a parasite?

Or, if that is too far...the guy on daily dialysis? He has an "umbilical connection" to life..the guy on tube feeding...Stephen Hawkins, dependent for every aspect of sustaining his life on another human...

Better think where you are going with this.


Posted by To Sue, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2007 at 5:16 pm

Sue: I will never forget the front page of the SJ Mercury, about 20 years ago, when exactly your posting was "real life" headlines. In one story was the headline of a guy charged with a double homicide, having killed a pregnant woman...and in another headline was the story about "keeping abortion legal".

I remember looking at that front page and wondering if the Editor had done the irony on purpose.


Posted by more perspective., a resident of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2007 at 5:18 pm

To continue the irony thought: I will also never forget going to work at Stanford one day, and learning that in one OR there was an abortion of a 22 week old happening, and the OR next door there was a battle to save the life of a ...you guessed it...22 week old preemie who was trying to be born.

Schizophrenic society. A life is Human if it is loved, and not if it isn't. Scary definition.


Posted by To Winslow, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2007 at 5:25 pm

Winslow: [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] My right to do with "my body" ends when it interferes with another's "body". We draw the lines in our society all the time. We must, to walk that balance between personal rights and others' rights. I cannot shoot someone dead who is on my lawn, but I can if he is in my house..and even then I have to prove it was reasonable response of self-protection, even if it is 2 am and the guy breaks into my house.

Your rights end when they interfere with mine, and vice versa. Abortion is not a black and white "my body or the baby" argument. I had the right to decide what to do with my body before I got pregnant. After that, there are two bodies.

What will you believe when the day comes, and it is coming quickly, that a woman who doesn't want to be pregnant can simply have the embryo removed, and "grow it" in an incubator to be adopted? Will that woman still have the "right" to kill? Or will the argument be then about who "owns" the human?


Posted by give me a break, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2007 at 5:29 pm

Oh, and Winslow, if the entire pro-lifer mvt is about controlling the bodies of women ( you have been well brainwashed), what is the entire pro-abortion mvt? Against children? For promiscuous sex? C'mon, I won't be absurd if you won't.

Give me a break and don't assume such silliness as that.


Posted by R Wray, a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 22, 2007 at 11:33 am

"more perspective": Your experience at Stanford is an illustration of different women having different perspectives. (You didn't mention why one waited waited for 22 weeks for an abortion. There was probably some medical condition with the fetus or the prospective mother.) You undoubtedly want a rigid law applicable to everyone overriding individual needs or desires by enforcing your arbitrary whims.
What's scary are religious zealots wanting to impose their dogma on everyone by law. Save us from another Inquisition like 15th century Spain.


Posted by Winslow Arbenaugh, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 22, 2007 at 11:42 pm

"if the entire pro-lifer mvt is about controlling the bodies of women ( you have been well brainwashed), what is the entire pro-abortion mvt? Against children? For promiscuous sex?"
**********


I'm glad you brought this up, because I don't see the so-called "pro-life movement doing *anything* to educate women about preventing pregnancy (except for the lame belief that everyone can practice abstinence - tell me, *when, EVER IN HUMAN CULTURE, since women have had individual rights* was abstinence a way of keeping from pregnancy? Give me a break!

Where is the "pro-life" movement on sex education (mentioned above)? Where is the "pro-life" movement in the war against AIDS? Let me tell you; it's MISSING IN ACTION.

This holier-than-thou claptrap espoused by the "pro-life" movement (what an ironic moniker) is full of so many hypocritical holes that I don't know where to begin.

What about pre-natal care, and early postpartum care? Where is the "pro-life" movement in supporting that? How about Head Start? This is a proven program that several minikin "pro-life" organizations have tried to legislate out of existence.

You talk about the eventual day when we have artificial wombs to keep fetuses alive. Really? I'll bet hard cash that when that day arrives the "pro-lifers" will be the first group to try to legislate that technology out of existence, because they will see it as a "threat to the family". I wonder what you're going to do when near universal *access* to pregnancy is made available by simple technology.

How about storing sperm and ovum in labs for eventual impregnation, when the parents are ready to procreate? I'll bet that makes your "pro-life" pals sweat bullets. Guess what? It's gonna happen.

How about cloning humans? THAT will happen, too. It's premature technology right now (and should be carefully monitored), but this WILL happen. What then? It's going to be interesting when you don't have the abortion issue to kick around any longer, but when you don't, the core, driving agenda of your group will go after these technologies because they give people freedom to do what they want with their bodies.


Further, you didn't answer my hypothetical, because you KNOW that the horizon of that hypothetical will someday be reached. How far back into infinite regress is the "pro-life" movement willing to reach to claim ownership of our bodies?

I ask this question because THAT'S what the entire "pro-life" movement is all about.

The whacky "pro-life" movement operates its real agenda under cover of the fetus. The fetus, and the life that comes out of the born fetus, is secondary.

Why aren't the "pro-lifers" adopting babies at record rates? Where is all the support for mothers who have decided to keep their babies, and struggle to keep them physically and psychologically healthy under almost impossible circumstances?

Where are the "pro-lifers" in stem cell research, where their resistance has caused unmentionable human suffering, and cost our nation THOUSANDS of researchers who have moved offshore to do stem cell research?

Here's some news for you. Little-by-little, women are going to be enabled with medications (like the "morning after" pill) that keep them from having to endure the hard question of abortion. Women (and men) are going to become better educated about birth control.

What really makes me ill, when I see nutcase sign bearers and shouters at abortion clinics, trying to stress out an already overstressed pregnant woman (and sometimes her partner), is that more charity isn't present.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

What's REALLY ironic, is that the end result of the "pro-life" movements ENTIRE spectrum of action (only the tip of the iceberg is described, above), has done more to HURT children, than any one or two babies that their efforts may have saved.

Seriously, these people need to get a clue, and think hard about the core of what they propose. I feel sorry for them, because they're captive to a meme that is essentially retrograde, and without balance.

There *are* legitimate differences about abortion, but I see little legitimacy coming from a group that on the one hand is constantly calling women who abort "murderers", when on the other hand they do everything they can to make sure that as many as women as possible end up pregnant.





Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 23, 2007 at 1:31 pm

WA

Your view of pro-lifers seems to wrap many different groups of people under one heading.

Personally, I am pro-life. I am against abortion, but I would never dream of making it illegal. I would like to tighten up the laws about how and when. I believe in educating all young people in abstinence, contraception, safe sex and sexual responsibility. I believe the biology of how a baby (or fetus) grows in the womb and also what the different procedures of abortion involve should be part of living skills classes in high school.

As far as getting the message out, there is an excellent Crisis Pregnancy Center near Target in Mountain View where all types of counselling and very practical prenatal help are given to anyone in a crisis pregnancy situation. They will help with giving advice on adoption, keeping the baby, and also termination, but only after counselling. They also help with the after effects of termination, both recent and long past cases and do not judge.

So, you see, there are lots of different ways we can be pro life and mean it without being the kind of people who protest outside abortion clinics and threaten those who work or visit there.

By the way, I have nothing to do with the Crisis Pregnancy Center other than donating maternity clothes and a few other volunteer or fundraising activities.


Posted by Winslow Arbenaugh, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 23, 2007 at 2:14 pm

Parent..."Your view of pro-lifers seems to wrap many different groups of people under one heading."

Not at all.

My words were intended for the core of the "pro-life" movement; the movement that sees no compromise, and condemns women (and men) for making choices about to do with their bodies.

Your stance is, in fact, somewhat similar to my own - with the main difference that I would consider abortion only as a last possible resort. That's a personal stance, and it in no way should be projected to women who have different reasons (not to mention different lives and circumstances) for making whatever choices they deem necessary at certain points in time, as those decisions impact their respective lives, personal well-being, etc. etc.


Posted by Life, a resident of another community
on Nov 23, 2007 at 2:48 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by geez, Winslow, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 24, 2007 at 12:14 pm

Winslow, your post reveals you believe in an extremist caricature of pro-lifers, that has no basis in reality, with absolutely no data to support any of your assertions. It beyond the pale. We could make the same claims about "pro-abortionists" that you make about "pro-lifers" and it would be just as credible. You come off sounding like the fanatic you accuse others of being.

It is like drawing conclusions about all religions from a few fanatic nutcases who kill innocent people.

You lost all credibility with me.




Posted by Winslow Arbenaugh, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 24, 2007 at 10:03 pm

geez,

It's unfortunate that you seem unaware of what the *core* "pro-life" groups have been doing in our culture, and to our individual rights to control our own bodies. I suggest you do the research.

Following that, re-read my position about abortion in my last post. I wouldn't call that extremist.

That said, those "pro-lifers" that comprise the core group we're discussing, deserve the most extreme rejection from thinking people.

It's about time that we see the main underlying principal of the pro-life movement - i.e. the desire to have one group of people, with a certain belief of what is right for themselves, impose that right on others, especially as those rights pertain to control over one's body.

I wish I had more time, because a very nice deconstructive argument against the main pro-life position could be built on what I just wrote.

Rather than calling me an extremist, how about answering some of my (accurate) descriptions of the failure of those who say they are "pro-life", to actually support life.

btw, the group I'm speaking of is mostly populated by modern Evangelicals, and others who have religious points of view that they want to impose on others.


Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2007 at 10:07 pm

WA

You are the one discussing the hard core pro-lifers. Others are just discussing many other positions, some inbetween. Why do you want to discuss just the extremists?


Posted by Winslow Arbenaugh, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 24, 2007 at 10:40 pm

Because the extremists drive the legislative agenda, and get most of the press. Because the extremists are in larger numbers than moderates on this issue.

What I find interesting on this thread is that those who claim they are moderates haven't said a word against the core extremists? How about it? What do you think of that position, and the hypocrisy that is part and parcel of their varied positions?


Posted by moderate, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 25, 2007 at 11:24 am

Hi, Winslow, I'm a moderate. I think there are more moderates than extremists on this issue.

I'll try to express opinions on topics in the order in which you introduced them.

Re: Sex education.
Sex education is a good thing. The problem is it typically becomes propaganda and pushes an agenda that appears to essentially destroy the morality that our current civilization is based on. True, it may be time to do that, but call it what it is, not "education."

Re: AIDS
Help for AIDS is as important as help for other diseases that take as many lives. But such requests for help often are presented as an "in your face gay is good" activity. Be gay, but why must it be in my face? What would you expect the reaction of people who believe gay behavior is bad behavior to be in this situation? Do you require that they change their belief structure to align with yours?

Re: Hypocrisy of pro-lifers.
Note that liberal democrats are also fundamentally hypocritical at deep levels. Logical consistency doesn't measure how right a thing is to do. I agree it can help point out errors in data or assumptions, or conclusions.

Re: Headstart, baby care:
I support pre-natal care, and early postpartum care. Head Start is a diversion from real problems around family roles in early education, and has been shown to have an impact lasting a few years. I don't see it related to pro-life issues at all.

Re; Artificial wombs, storing sperm and ova:
This will probably have a large impact on many aspects of morality, and laws. I predict that most existing political forces will be all over the map on this stuff.

Re: cloning humans
I don't think this will quickly change the fundamental immorality of choosing a specific person to kill in order to provide an advantage to another (outside of self-defense), although it might eventually change it.

Re: Ownership of bodies
This is a very distorted perspective on the matter. Do I have the right, as owner of my body, to grab a knife with it and kill someone? Of course not. The right to control my body is controlled by laws. The pro-life movement is about counting a human life more important than whim. The pro-abortion movement seems to be about allowing anyone (note that this will in the future also include men) to end the life of a fetus for any reason at all, including having a bad day.

Re: Adoption
Adoption is a great thing. Why do you think pro-lifers don't adopt?




Posted by another moderate, a resident of Meadow Park
on Nov 25, 2007 at 1:31 pm

Winslow: Controlling our bodies is not what abortion is about. There is virtually universal support for abortion if the pregnancy happened from circumstances beyond our control, like rape. We control our bodies by our decisions before we get pregnant. This is simply our reality, and it behooves us to realize this and take steps to prevent pregnancy in our bodies.

Abortion has been used too much as a form of "birth control", and as medical science has advanced and human biology is better understood, more and more of us are realizing that abortion is not something to be undertaken lightly, as we were raised to believe. I was taught it was just "a bunch of cells, like your nails"..and when I heard the heartbeat and saw the body of my baby at 8 weeks I was shocked. I had never gone through the logical analysis of walking backward in time from the moment of birth to the moment of conception and asking myself precisely when this "group of cells" became a human life. I felt completely hoodwinked by the pro-abortion group, and was very grateful I had never had an abortion.

I feel sorry for many of my friends who had an abortion in their 20s..and then later had a child and realized what they had done. I have spent many talks telling them that they did the best they could with the information we had. Now, it is our job to make sure that full information is given out to young women today so that they can make a truly informed decision and not have horrible regrets later in life.

To this end I support waiting 3 days before having an abortion, and I support being given a human development chart with photos of the stages of life from conception. Women should know that everything that makes a human is present at conception, that the gender, hair color etc is determined. They should know when the heartbeat and brainwaves can be detected, when the embryo/responds to touch, when hiccups can be detected. If a woman still wants to abort knowing all that, then I can only assume that it must be an act of self-defense, and would support it. I would even support being given well-written arguments pro and con considering the embryo/fetus human life.

I do not want to make abortion illegal, I just want to make it well informed.



Posted by Winslow Arbenaugh, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 25, 2007 at 7:45 pm

"Re: Sex education.
Sex education is a good thing. The problem is it typically becomes propaganda and pushes an agenda that appears to essentially destroy the morality that our current civilization is based on. True, it may be time to do that, but call it what it is, not "education.""

Do you favor sex education, or not? Forget about what you claim is its subterranean rationale. Do you support teaching teens and others about techniques that help keep them from getting pregnant?



"Re: AIDS
Help for AIDS is as important as help for other diseases that take as many lives. But such requests for help often are presented as an "in your face gay is good" activity. Be gay, but why must it be in my face? What would you expect the reaction of people who believe gay behavior is bad behavior to be in this situation? Do you require that they change their belief structure to align with yours?


Do you support funding to educate people about the scourge of AIDS, and how to control it - including the use of condoms and other protective measures, or not?


"Re: Hypocrisy of pro-lifers.
Note that liberal democrats are also fundamentally hypocritical at deep levels. Logical consistency doesn't measure how right a thing is to do. I agree it can help point out errors in data or assumptions, or conclusions."

How is the "pro-abortion" movement hypocritical?



"Re: Headstart, baby care:
I support pre-natal care, and early postpartum care. Head Start is a diversion from real problems around family roles in early education, and has been shown to have an impact lasting a few years. I don't see it related to pro-life issues at all."

Then why does the "pro-life" lobby try to convince legislators to do away with "Head Start"?


"Re: Ownership of bodies
This is a very distorted perspective on the matter. Do I have the right, as owner of my body, to grab a knife with it and kill someone?

"Someone"? Who is that? You mean an unborn and unnamed fetus that hasn't even taken a breath - that cannot live on its own, outside its mother's womb? How does a fetus get to rank as a person - because you say so?

you said:
"I feel sorry for many of my friends who had an abortion in their 20s..and then later had a child and realized what they had done...Now, it is our job to make sure that full information is given out to young women today so that they can make a truly informed decision and not have horrible regrets later in life."

What about the regrets of the children born to mothers who didn't want them, and have been neglected? What about the regrets of the mothers? What about the *dead* mothers who seek back alley abortions, because services are not available? Who is responsible for those deaths? And please don't tell me that those women had a "choice" in pregnancy and abortion decisions, because their choices are necessarily limited by those who want to control those mother's bodies. THAT's what this is all about. The control of some women's bodies by others.






Posted by question, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 25, 2007 at 8:37 pm

Winslow, you don't understand. There are 40 couples waiting to adopt every baby that goes up for adoption...if there were an "unwanted child" in the US, finding a home is no problem. Abortion did not solve having unwanted children. People have and keep "unwanted" children for many reasons, but a lack of birth control, abortion and adoption alternatives are not 3 of them.

There have been more deaths from abortions SINCE it was federally legalized than there were before...go check your facts.

Lastly, no matter how many times you say it "cannot live outside the mother's womb" is not a factual way of determining whether or not someone is human..many babies born now quite early in the pregnancy survive "outside the mother's womb" well before the time of normal birthing. And, since when does "not named" mean not human? And, also, you mean to say in the millisecond before that "first breath' the "fetus", though outside the womb, is not human? What about those born who do NOT take their "first breath" for a couple days, and are on respirators until they stabilize?

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Are you against assuring that every woman has full information and a 3 day waiting period before aborting? If so, why?


Posted by Winslow Arbenaugh, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 25, 2007 at 9:44 pm

Sure, inform them from the perspective that you mentioned, but don't quibble if they decide to abort anyway. Can you live with that?

But, along with that, would you agree to inform those very same women (and youngsters) about the dangers of AIDS and premarital sex, in addition to giving them access to condoms, in order to keep the number of unwanted pregnancies down? Would you also agree to offering information about appropriate pre- and post-natal care?

I'm interested in your answer.

About facts: Facts are relative to the environment that elicits them.

As for the number of deaths from abortion, it's a FACT that legal abortion has permitted an order of magnitude more abortions than had been the case, prior. Thus, one would expect to see a rise in relative mortality from abortion procedures. That's a *normal* expectation, and not the aberration you try to make it.


Posted by question, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 26, 2007 at 2:42 pm

Wait a second, PA Online...you deleted my sincerely meant apology to Winslow in case she had had an abortion and this was upsetting her? You must be kidding me! Winslow isn't even his/her real name, I have no idea if Winslow is a male or a female, and for certain it is just an alias! My point was to make it clear that this is strictly NOT personal, that it is a discussion about what is and isn't human life and how we might be extremely defensive if we have actually had an abortion, and have a hard time dispassionately discussing the topic rationally and logically!

My point was to sincerely state my compassion for anyone who HAS had an abortion and for whom, therefore, this subject is very, very difficult.

Geez...you guys at PA Online are a little too quick with the delete button if you are deleting APOLOGIES!!!


Posted by Winslow Arbenaugh, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 26, 2007 at 2:54 pm

Wait a second, "question", your "concern" implied that if I had in the past had an abortion, that I would lhave had a difficult time dealing with it. Why do you make that assumption?

I think PA Online made a good call, in this case.

For what it's worth, MANY women who experience abortion don't need your, or anyone else's compassion. They are getting on with their lives, without the burden of an unwanted child.

There are also some women who remain conflicted after an abortion - some of those women are conflicted because of the rather aggressive guilt tripping that is engaged by the "pro-life" movement. That's a darned shame.

Still other women may have regret because they realize that they made a wrong choice, for whatever reason.

The point in all the above is that all those women HAD A CHOICE, which is exactly what theh "pro-life" movement want to take away.

Back to the subject at hand, it's the core of the "pro-choice" movement that has been nmost instrumental in removing American research ability re: stem cells (than goodness for Arnie, in California)

I don't see any "moderate, pro-life" groups making waves against that position.

No matter how one looks at it, the "pro-life" agenda is mainly about the control of someone's body by another, even to the level of the control of medical technology that could benefit millions - all in service to a naive attempt to "save the world" from some evil that ONLY YOUR GROUP thinks is wrong.

This is a democracy, and long term, backwards ideas like those put forward by the "pro-life" sector are bound to sink into obscurity and/or be overridden by accessible technology.



Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2007 at 3:21 pm

Winslow

The point is, you say that those women had a choice and made it. They had control over their bodies.

Unfortunately, the unborn fetus as you would choose to call it, had no choice. It had a beating heart and the potential of a full and active life. It had no choice. Maybe if the mother had been better informed before making her choice, she would have chosen otherwise. Maybe if she had been made aware of the many willing families that would have chosen to raise her child by adoption, she would have chosen otherwise. Maybe she is now better informed and is regretting her choice. Maybe not.

As I said, the unborn have no choice. The preborn have no choice.


Posted by Winslow Arbenaugh, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 26, 2007 at 5:40 pm

You haven't answered even one of my queries. This does not surprise.

Instead, you have continued to spout dogma, including the pro-life "re-classification" of an unborn fetus as a "person".

Your side has now gone back to the zygote stage, and called THAT a person. Absurd.

How much further back to you want to regress? Answer that.

Essentially, you want to have SOMEONE else make the choice about abortion, other than the mother.

This battle will be fought in the courts, and through the invention of new medical interventions and medications that will FOREVER remove ANY possibility of the "pro-life" movement interfering in the choice that every woman should be permitted to make, once she has sufficient *basic* information (and if it's a life or death scenario, that alone should qualify).

I fully expect the "pro-life" movement to continue beyond the day when they can no longer control the decision to abort; they will move on to other arenas that have to do with the control of others bodies, based on subjective dogmatic judgments.

Here's a kind directive: Get off women's backs! One way or the other, women will prevail in this battle, whether or not your side continues to malinform, and guilt trip those who are in need *before* and *after* pregnancy.

The hypocrisy of the core of the pro-life movement is transparent, and spews ignorance and suffering among innocents - even those innocents that are claimed to be "saved" God help them all, and save them from the sick dogmas of outmoded and useless religious guilt - and invented draconian concepts, like sin.


Posted by Gonzalez, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 27, 2007 at 12:45 pm

Winslow: At what stage of development does the "person" you talk about develop enough rights that you'd interfere with a woman's "choice" to kill (or terminate) it? If not zygote, then perhaps at 1 week? One month? One trimester? Viability? Any time before birth? One minute after birth? One year? At puberty?...When?


Posted by Life, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2007 at 1:06 pm

According to the law of our land abortion is permitted during the first trimester and under certain circumstances afterwards.
However our government recognizes that life begins at birth--hence the day you are born is considerd your birthdate, notthe date you are conceived.
So as I said previously, life begins at birth--which is the opposite of what many pro-lifers believe--for them life begins at conception and ends at birth (in other words once the fetus is out of the woman's body many of these pro-lifers do not care any more--witness their opposition to social programs to help young children)


Posted by Gonzalez, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 27, 2007 at 1:13 pm

Life, that is an intellectually defensible position: it has a firm and logical point (birth) at which "life" begins - not subject to all the "trimester" uncertainty and confusion that is a part of current legal theory. So I have a question for you. Would you permit abortion of an (unborn) fetus at 8 3/4 months of pregancy, after the mother has perhaps started labor, but before actyak "birth"?


Posted by Life, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2007 at 1:23 pm

Personally, i would not permit abortion at the stage that you mention, however I would not try to tell a woman who wanted to do that (though it would really be illegal here except for some kind of extreme medical issue) that she should not.


Posted by Gonzalez, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 27, 2007 at 1:31 pm

sorry for the confusion: I meant would you make it illegal for a woman with an 8 3/4 month pregancy who already is in labor to have an abortion.


Posted by sar ita morlen, a resident of Nixon School
on Jan 15, 2008 at 2:02 am

I believe a baby is normally delivered and life begine when you birth acctionlly i agree 100% with those who said that teathing sex education is an ecouraging for an ill community as farencouraging for others why not ..most teens are involving in this kind of things and 80%of them bearn AIDSviruse and researches had shown that there is a new kind of AIDS tottally deffirently about the old famous one.......what do you think yes or no for sex relations with my pre-opinions no i am not with it!!!!
pleas answer
my e-mail:shakira_sara3@hotmail.com


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