Fetal heartbeat and the abortion fight - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15005010
Fetal heartbeat and the abortion fight

The battles over abortion — focused on a Georgia bill that many say would effectively ban the procedure, and now an explicit total ban in Alabama — have reached such a pitch that actress and activist Alyssa Milano has urged women to stop having sex “until we get bodily autonomy back.”

While the “sex strike” is a silly idea, the issue is extremely serious; but it sorely needs accurate reporting and fact-based discussion.

The Georgia law, signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp last week, bans abortions after “fetal cardiac activity” can be detected — as early as six weeks’ gestation, when many women do not know they are pregnant. It also grants full personhood to unborn children. Critics claim that as a result, women could be charged with homicide for having an abortion (even out of state) after heartbeat detection, or for a miscarriage due to negligence.

The operative word is “could.” Experts disagree on whether other Georgia statutes exempting patients from prosecution for illegal abortion would extend to the new bill, which contains no such language. Georgia appellate attorney Andrew Fleischman believes that women could face prosecution; Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, argues they would not, though they could be forced to testify against doctors.

Some coverage has been downright misleading. In the past few days, a Chicago Tribune column and an online CBS News story strongly implied that a pregnant 11-year-old rape victim in Ohio would be denied an abortion under that state’s “heartbeat law” — disclosing only far down in the text that the law is not yet in effect and the victim is not affected, though others could be eventually.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Alabama legislature took abortion restrictions to a new extreme, voting to criminalize all abortion after embryonic implantation with no rape/incest exceptions. Yet the bill’s backers admit that they don’t expect it to ever take effect and that their goal is to force a fight over Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that made abortion access a constitutional right.

There is no doubt the Alabama, Georgia and Ohio measures will be blocked by federal courts. It’s early to tell whether the Supreme Court will agree to hear these cases; but it’s very unlikely to uphold an Alabama-type ban. Restrictions that scale back Roe but don’t overturn it are far more likely to survive. A Roe reversal is possible, but it would shock the nation and change the political landscape in ways we can’t predict.


As a pro-choice feminist, I share concerns about the threat to women’s autonomy. But I also believe it’s essential to talk about this issue without demonizing the two sides as baby-killers or woman-haters. One often-ignored fact is that there is no gender gap on abortion. In some polls, conservative women are the most passionate pro-life constituency, while liberal women are most strongly pro-choice. The heartbeat law was crafted by a female activist; the Alabama measure was signed by a female governor. This is not about men vs. women, but about competing values.

Abortion pits bodily autonomy against the protection of potential (or, to many, actual) human life. More effective early-abortion drugs might create more pro-choice momentum; technology allowing early observation of fetal life shifts it the pro-life way. Interestingly, polls show that compared with the 1990s, many more Americans call themselves pro-life — but the same majority as before favors allowing most first-trimester abortions.

We’ll live with the ambivalence for years. But unenforceable draconian laws intended to provoke “the enemy” and mobilize supporters are the worst way forward.

I can't make any predictions about the outcome of the legal battles but would be interested what people on here think.
#15005014
@Kaiserschmarrn Are you happy that Alabama made all abortions illegal, or is that a strike against women's rights?

A 16 year old can't adopt, but she can certainly have a unwanted baby... :roll:

USA... 2 steps forward, and 3 steps back.
#15005018
It seems there are no compromises.
Maybe if they kept abortion restricted to the first trimester ?
But no, the feminists came up with that crazy "bodily integrity" thing meaning that they should be able to get an abortion up to the last day of the pregnancy, just like in crazy Canada.
Nobody should be surprised that there is a backlash against this feminist shit.
Aborting a pregnancy in the third trimester is in my opinion infanticide, and I am not alone in this.
#15005022
:roll: Yeah, crazy Canada where abortions don't mean killing babies, and where the fears of late-term abortionists is just a myth. Where women have a right to choose what they do with their bodies.
#15005026
This is more about a legal challenge than the actual quite draconian bans, especially that in Alabama, as pointed out in the article.

Ter wrote:Aborting a pregnancy in the third trimester is in my opinion infanticide, and I am not alone in this.

Understanding that there might be a different point of view such as yours above is no longer considered a virtue, at least among self-styled thought leaders. The thing to do is to give you the most uncharitable motives, e.g. you have an unnatural need to "control women's bodies".

Godstud wrote:the fears of late-term abortionists is just a myth

I can find no evidence that a person from Taiwan was ever murdered in Austria. It's clearly a myth that Austrians would ever take the life of Taiwanese people, so let's make it legal.
#15005027
If I had to guess I would say that the SCOTUS will eventually throw a bone to the anti-abortion crowd by allowing some state limits on abortion though not a ban.

The irony is that this subject is not even popular with but 1/3 of republicans. Nationwide only about 30% want any limits on abortion at all and most of them are against the ghastly practice of late term abortion. (My is that later term abortion should be universally illegal. I don't care if the mother was raped by an alien life form or her brother. ) I think this is where the SCOTUS will land. Roberts will be the decider. He is still spinning from the realization that he singlehandedly destroyed the concept of one-person-one-vote and sold American democracy to the highest bidder. I have some respect for him and have this belief that he knows that now is the time to put on the brakes. Ironically, affirming Roe V. Wade IS the conservative thing to do. It is settled law and has been for half a century.

POD's notion that because something is rarely done it should be legal is asinine.
#15005030
Kaiserschmarrn wrote:I can find no evidence that a person from Taiwan was ever murdered in Austria. It's clearly a myth that Austrians would ever take the life of Taiwanese people, so let's make it legal.
:roll: One of the biggest fears from pro-birthers is that people will have abortions done a week before the due date. This is one of the big arguments. This has never happened in practice. The fears about really late abortions are not founded in reality. This argument applies to any case related to abortion, and it was not actually aimed at you, but @Ter.

Answer my question.
#15005035
Second trimester abortions are very questionable and third trimester abortions should be criminal.
Canada legally allows it until the day of delivery of the baby.
That means Canada has no right to judge anyone or any country about morals.
(plus the clubbing dead of baby seal babies of course, but that is a different matter. Actually, now that I think about it, it is a related matter :) )
#15005036
Godstud wrote: :roll: One of the biggest fears from pro-birthers is that people will have abortions done a week before the due date. This is one of the big arguments. This has never happened in practice. The fears about really late abortions are not founded in reality. This argument applies to any case related to abortion, and it was not actually aimed at you, but @Ter.

The big argument is that late term abortion is infanticide and that passage through the birth canal isn't a mystical event through which a child attains the right to live. We don't make exceptions to the law if it involves murder no matter how unlikely it is to occur.

Drlee wrote:The irony is that this subject is not even popular with but 1/3 of republicans.

Not sure if popular is the right word, but it is very important to almost half of republicans (and even more democrats). Seems pretty steady too.

Image
#15005044
ill make a few comments here. i agree when you hear a heart beat thats a sign of life .
There really no debate about that in my opnion.

Next Im in no way aginst abortions in the case of rape incest or when giving birth and or carrying the baby would risk the mothers life.
Also if the child would be born with severe mental or physical defects that would limit the childs quality of life and put a huge financial burden on the Family.

As one poster said a 16 year old can have a unwanted baby but cant adopt.
Well a 16 year old has no business adopting a child they are far to imature and financially unable to support a child. As for the unwanted baby lets be real except in the most backward nations of the world a 16 year old knows about sex and birth control.
Where are the parents .

You have kids at 9 and 10 having sex expecially those involved in the sex trade and in more backward areas of all nations.
Birth control pill are avalible world wide as are condoms.so unpland pregnancies really need not happen except in rare events.

Now I know one woman I dated that had 4 or 5 abortions none mine by the way Im firm beliver 8n condoms and other birth contol options.
She used abortions as a O I got drunk or horney and couldnt control myself so stick the hook in and jerk it out. Our relationship didnt last long as I was disgusted by how promiscuous she was .
And her having sex with others while we were together .

Next lets talk mens rights here for a second .
It takes 2 to man one and a mannhas to have a legal standing .
Next when a woman has a baby if the man walks to bad for him he has a legal and moral responsibility to take care of the kid.
By the way I got f8xed 8n my early 30s so it would be no little triggers men 8f you dont want to raose a kid or pay for one then you should get fixed .
Morally 8m aginst most abortions and th8nk there has to be rights for a living being . and yea if its got a heart beat its a living human in my book.

Maybe im old fashioned or of hogh moral aptitude or just think human life is special or it could be my relgious beliefs . I dont know for sure to be honest.
All I know is for the most part I can look in the mirror and know Im a good man who stands by his beliefs and I can live with that . Can all of you
#15005049
I don't think Canada is crazy on allowing abortions up to birth from a legal position. An unborn baby doesn't have legal status like that of her mother. This has been brought up before but usually gets ignored with rants about feminism like now.

So all you are left with is moral judgement. What is right for you. I tend to agree with many that abortions should be restricted up until the 1st trimester and under specific conditions there after. Certainly not up to birth. But that is legally challenging to execute and if people are simply not deciding to doing late term abortions anyway, politically it perhaps is easier to liberate the law as their is limited risk to what people fear could happen.
#15005050
Yes, @B0ycey> That's it, exactly.

If you don't allow legal abortions, then you end up with illegal ones that are at greater risk to the mother.

B0ycey wrote:So all you are left with is moral judgement. What is right for you.
Yes, so make up your own mind, if it's yours but don't try to pressure others to do what YOU would do. What is morally right for one person, isn't for another.
#15005055
Drlee wrote:If I had to guess I would say that the SCOTUS will eventually throw a bone to the anti-abortion crowd by allowing some state limits on abortion though not a ban.

Probably, but I don't see Roberts or Kavanaugh giving anti-abortion people a strong platform by overturning Roe. They've already shown that they are more liberal than the people who appointed them thought. They are snowflakes--they care too much what others think of them.

Drlee wrote:The irony is that this subject is not even popular with but 1/3 of republicans. Nationwide only about 30% want any limits on abortion at all and most of them are against the ghastly practice of late term abortion.

The Bible Belt is where these bans are taking place, and they have bipartisan support. Roe is popular in the populous states, not the rural ones. The issue the courts face is whether Alabama, Missouri, and other states have the power to regulate abortion or whether it is somehow magically enshrined in the 14th Amendment. The Founders of this country did not intend that there would be a uniform set of laws or customs across a territory as vast as the United States. Outlawing abortion in Alabama is at best an inconvenience to someone who wants to get an abortion.

Godstud wrote:This is one of the big arguments. This has never happened in practice. The fears about really late abortions are not founded in reality.

Then there is no harm in outlawing it. If the court were to accept your argument, they would simply reject appeals that the law violates rights because the appeal lacks standing and ripeness, as such situations never happen in practice.
#15005058
blackjack21 wrote:Then there is no harm in outlawing it.
Yes, there is. Criminalising abortion does not stop abortions, it just makes abortion less safe. This is fact.

blackjack21 wrote:If the court were to accept your argument, they would simply reject appeals that the law violates rights because the appeal lacks standing and ripeness, as such situations never happen in practice.
In Canada it's legal because it does not rely on fears, but facts. I forget you're American, sometimes. Those things don't seem to matter much.
#15005068
The only way to hear a foetal heartbeat is to carry out a procedure on the pregnant woman.
Before the twelfth week, that means inserting a medical instrument deep into her vagina.

I think politicians should keep out of what is a private medical decision at all times.

The only question to be asked is whether safe, legal abortions are harmful to society in any way.

Which they aren't.

Then whether unsafe, illegal abortions are harmful to society in any way.

Which they are.

Anything else is down to the individual consciences of those concerned.

Finally, two entities occupying the same body can't have equal rights.

Giving rights to an unborn human entity is giving them rights that no person has - so what next?

Forced organ donations?

That seems logical to me. If a foetus has the right to use a person's body to sustain its life, then why not born humans?

You might not approve of women who choose to abort their unwanted pegnancies, but they don't need your approval and nor should they. That's all it boils down to.
#15005069
Kaiserschmarrn wrote: passage through the birth canal isn't a mystical event through which a child attains the right to live.




When Does Consciousness Arise in Human Babies?
Does sentience appear in the womb, at birth or during early childhood?


The Road to Awareness

But when does the magical journey of consciousness begin? Consciousness requires a sophisticated network of highly interconnected components, nerve cells. Its physical substrate, the thalamo-cortical complex that provides consciousness with its highly elaborate content, begins to be in place between the 24th and 28th week of gestation. Roughly two months later synchrony of the electroencephalographic (EEG) rhythm across both cortical hemispheres signals the onset of global neuronal integration. Thus, many of the circuit elements necessary for consciousness are in place by the third trimester. By this time, preterm infants can survive outside the womb under proper medical care. And as it is so much easier to observe and interact with a preterm baby than with a fetus of the same gestational age in the womb, the fetus is often considered to be like a preterm baby, like an unborn newborn. But this notion disregards the unique uterine environment: suspended in a warm and dark cave, connected to the placenta that pumps blood, nutrients and hormones into its growing body and brain, the fetus is asleep.

The Mother-Baby Bond

Invasive experiments in rat and lamb pups and observational studies using ultrasound and electrical recordings in humans show that the third-trimester fetus is almost always in one of two sleep states. Called active and quiet sleep, these states can be distinguished using electroencephalography. Their different EEG signatures go hand in hand with distinct behaviors: breathing, swallowing, licking, and moving the eyes but no large-scale body movements in active sleep; no breathing, no eye movements and tonic muscle activity in quiet sleep. These stages correspond to rapid-eye-movement (REM) and slow-wave sleep common to all mammals. In late gestation the fetus is in one of these two sleep states 95 percent of the time, separated by brief transitions.

What is fascinating is the discovery that the fetus is actively sedated by the low oxygen pressure (equivalent to that at the top of Mount Everest), the warm and cushioned uterine environment and a range of neuroinhibitory and sleep-inducing substances produced by the placenta and the fetus itself: adenosine; two steroidal anesthetics, allopregnanolone and pregnanolone; one potent hormone, prostaglandin D2; and others. The role of the placenta in maintaining sedation is revealed when the umbilical cord is closed off while keeping the fetus adequately supplied with oxygen. The lamb embryo now moves and breathes continuously. From all this evidence, neonatologists conclude that the fetus is asleep while its brain matures.

Dreamless Sleep?

One complication ensues. When people awaken during REM sleep, they often report vivid dreams with extensive narratives. Although consciousness during dreams is not the same as during wakefulness—most noticeably insight and self-reflection are absent—dreams are consciously experienced and felt. So does the fetus dream when in REM sleep? This is not known. But what would it dream of?

After birth, dream content is informed by recent and more remote memories. Longitudinal studies of dreaming in children by retired American psychologist David Foulkes suggest that dreaming is a gradual cognitive development that is tightly linked to the capacity to imagine things visually and to visuospatial skills. Thus, preschoolers’ dreams are often static and plain, with no characters that move or act, hardly any feelings and no memories. What would dreaming be like for an organism that spends its time suspended in a sort of isolation tank, with no memories, and no way to imagine anything at all? I wager that the fetus experiences nothing in utero; that it feels the way we do when we are in a deep, dreamless sleep.

The dramatic events attending delivery by natural (vaginal) means cause the brain to abruptly wake up, however. The fetus is forced from its paradisic existence in the protected, aqueous and warm womb into a hostile, aerial and cold world that assaults its senses with utterly foreign sounds, smells and sights, a highly stressful event.

As Hugo Lagercrantz, a pediatrician at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, discovered two decades ago, a massive surge of norepinephrine—more powerful than during any skydive or exposed climb the fetus may undertake in its adult life—as well as the release from anesthesia and sedation that occurs when the fetus disconnects from the maternal placenta, arouses the baby so that it can deal with its new circumstances. It draws its first breath, wakes up and begins to experience life.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... redirect=1


So there is a quickening of sorts that occurs when the fetus passes through the birth canal, it's not magic but it's a good fit for what all the ancient philosophers and theologians claimed was the beginning of a human person.
#15005081
@snapdragon
You have nicely side-stepped the issue of the late-term abortions.
I would be interested to hear your opinion on that.

Also:

snapdragon wrote:You might not approve of women who choose to abort their unwanted pegnancies, but they don't need your approval and nor should they. That's all it boils down to.

If you take the position that the woman by herself can take the decision to abort, then she forgoes the right to ask for child support in case she intends to keep the baby. You can't have it both ways.

Also:

Although I am a male, I have the right to vote people in office who would legislate this issue the way I see it. That is exactly what the people of Alabama have done.
#15005082
Ter wrote:You have nicely side-stepped the issue of the late-term abortions.
They are so absolutely rare as to be a non-issue. When they do occur, even in Canada, it's only because the mother's health is in danger.

Late-term abortions are not happening in Canada without a ‘reason’
No physician in Canada can terminate a pregnancy over 24 weeks without serious indications. The assertion that late-trimester abortions can be performed “for any reason, or no reason at all” is just not true.
While in Canada we do not have a law, we do have very strict professional guidelines. No physician in Canada can terminate a pregnancy over 24 weeks without serious indications that the life of the mother is at risk or that the fetus has very serious malformations. I have sat with these women as they received the terrible news and sat with them throughout the terrible long, tear-drenched process. The assertion that late-term abortions can be performed “for any reason, or no reason at all” is just not true.
I challenge Mr. Kay to find one late-term abortion performed in Canada to a healthy mother with a healthy fetus. I am one of many politicians “willing to tackle” this subject. He needs to be one of many journalists who are prepared to admit when their fine prose may have misled Canadians … in this case that late-trimester abortions are not happening in Canada without “reason.”
Dr. Carolyn Bennett, MP for St. Paul’s, Toronto.

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/letter ... t-a-reason
#15005111
Godstud wrote:Yes, there is. Criminalising abortion does not stop abortions, it just makes abortion less safe. This is fact.

Your claim is that late term abortions do not actually happen anyway, so there is no risk involved. If there is no risk involved, nobody will be harmed by outlawing late term abortions. You don't have to criminalize all abortions to outlaw late term abortions. Likewise, nodbody is compelling anyone to break the law. That breaking the law is unsafe is consistent with the purpose of the law.

Godstud wrote:They are so absolutely rare as to be a non-issue.

That's why outlawing them is also a non-issue.
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