Thursday, April 7, 2011

Odds and ends **UPDATED

The conversation here is still ongoing, but I wanted to address a few things in the meantime.

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This week is designated Coerced Abortion Awareness Week. What abortion advocates won't tell you is that most abortions involve some form of coercion, from subtle pressure all the way to threats and violence. This hardly constitutes a "free choice". Coerced abortion is the ugly, dirty little secret that the abortion industry doesn't want you to think about.

On a personal note, my thoughts and prayers go out to a young woman named Gina whom I met by chance (or Providence) years ago. I intend to post about her tragic story one day, but today I'm just remembering the unbearable pain she suffered in the devastating aftermath of a coerced abortion.

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I love it when I find a Catholic blog that covers all the stuff that is over my head. Especially in the realm of science. Thanks to our wonderful commenter Giuseppe Ambrose, I have found Mary Meets Dolly, A Catholic's Guide to Genetics, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, written by a young scientist named Rebecca Taylor. She makes things clear enough for even me to understand! Be sure to check out her blog!

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I have a major pet peeve with Blogger. I have this little issue with Blogger that is a great opportunity for sanctification: Once a post hits 200 comments, subsequent comments go to a new page. However, this is not always clear to the reader. Even I have gotten fooled into thinking a conversation has ended, when it really just moved on to a new page. So please keep that fact in mind, especially if you do not subscribe to the comments via email (which I strongly suggest, if you don't want to miss a thing).

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One of our regular commenters, Maggie, has a message for Bubble readers, and I think it's worthy of sharing. She says:

In my diocese next fall we are having a Marian Conference Oct 7-8, 2011. It will be held in Green Bay and at the Shrine of our Lady of Good Help (recently approved as worthy of belief by the bishop!). The speakers include Immaculee Ilibagiza, Mother Assumpta of the DMMEs, George Weigel, and others. It would be great to have people from all over the Midwest and the rest of the country come too. 

Now, that is a line-up of Catholic rock stars! Hope some of you can make it and represent the Bubble, ha ha ha!


**UPDATE from reader Fidelio: in case you aren't in the Green Bay area to hear the amazing Immaculee Ilibagiza speak, she will be in Pennsylvania in May:

A Story of Faith, Hope and Forgiveness: Immaculee Ilibagiza, author of the New York Times bestseller,  Left to Tell, will speak at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in State College, PA, on Wednesday, May 4, from 7:30pm to 8:45pm. Immaculee is a living example of faith put into action. Her life was transformed dramatically during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, when she and seven other women spent ninety-one days huddled silently together in the cramped bathroom of a local pastor’s house. Please contact Karen Bord at rjbord@verizon.net or Sue Clement at sueseitzclement@hotmail.com for additional information.

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Every now and then, I'm going to direct you to a worthy Bubble post from the past. Today, that post is:


We are surrounded by Catholics who justify their rebellion from Church teaching with appeals to "conscience", so you really need to understand this. (The post touches on the issue of Natural Law that we have been discussing in comments recently, though I didn't explicitly use the term). 

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There's a new way to promote and pray the Rosary for you techies out there. I got an email from the developer of the Scriptural Rosary iPhone app, asking if I would be willing to test it out. Since I don't own an iPhone and I don't know an app from a hole in the wall, I couldn't test it, but I have looked it over and it looks great! For those of you with iPhones, you should check it out here and here. (I get no kickbacks, so just pray a Hail Mary for me if you get the app because of this PSA!! :))

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Final thought: I have done a lot of posts which challenge the secular worldview. Increasingly, I have felt called to post about more specifically Christian things, such as the Person of Jesus Himself, and also to dive into the Protestant/Catholic divide. I hope you'll all stick with me, as these topics are as important and compelling as the "culture war" issues we've been talking about. Of course I will continue with those as well.


**Update: I just noticed it's almost Friday here, AND I have seven thoughts on this post.... like SEVEN QUICK TAKES? I didn't plan that. I don't do the Quick Takes Fridays because I am not disciplined enough to do it consistently, and yet look what just happened. Ha!

103 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness! So many things to pray for!
    And, wow! Thanks for the heads up about the happenings at the shrine. I live in the diocese of GB! Would love for a Catholic blogger meet up at this event! I've been to the shrine before and really believed at that time (a few years ago) that there was something extra special there. And, my prayers were answered. :)

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  2. Holly, that is awesome! I hope you can go, and then post pictures! It sounds amazing!!

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  3. Leila, I'll be meeting Imaculee at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in State College, PA, on May 4th. If anyone lives in central Pennsylvania and can't make it to Green Bay ;) they're welcome to join us instead! (Can't figure out how to make a link to the announcement work...oops.)

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  4. How far is GB from me?? I really want to go! ;) When I read your blog I don't feel like I'm wasting time. :) Love you L! :)

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  5. Goodness, even this "old chick" has an iphone! ;-) I enjoy this techie toy and there are some great catholic apps!!! It makes for great envagilazation at the workplace coffee table with my coworkers. Thankyou for all of your links, it provides such scope for learning.

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  6. Oooh, Green Bay...I only live a few hours from there! I'm actually planning on visiting the shrine this summer, which I'm very excited about. I'll have to see how that October weekend works out though...

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  7. Ha! An accidental quick takes! I do them whenever I feel like it- like last night! I'm definitely not consistent.

    I hate it when blogger blocks my 200+ comments! Oh wait...that's never happened to me! :) You rock, Leila. I'm so glad your discussions are going so well!!!

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  8. I'd love to see posts on the Protestant/Catholic divide. That's my world, pretty much. :) And dh uses an iphone rosary app... it's great to use when driving at night (with a passenger - not the driver - manning the app, obviously!).

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  9. I can't believe it's Coerced Abortion Awareness Week. Yesterday I got word of a local high school freshman whose parents are forcing her to have an abortion. She doesn't want it and is considering running away. Please pray! Supposedly she had a doctors appointment yesterday, but I don't know what doctor or what type of appointment. It could be too late.

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  10. If you get a chance to go hear Imaculee, TAKE IT!!!! She is incredible. Leila, I would love a series of posts on the Protestant/Catholic divide. As a convert, I am still flummoxed by the lack of understanding (and unwillingness to even TRY to understand) most Protestants have of the Church. As the only Catholic in my family, I don't know what to say when my sweet mother says "He grew up Catholic, but got saved when he started going to our church!" Thanks for the tip on the rosary app!

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  11. That sounds like an amazing conference, but since my baby is due on October 5th, I'll have to pass on this one :)

    I wish I had an iPhone just so I could download that app!

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  12. Leila, I had NO idea that there were so many differences between protestantism and catholisism, and you have helped me realize this through your blog, I await your future post on the subject!

    @ Complicated Life, my heart goes out to that family. I really don't know how I feel about something like that. A high school freshman is only 14, SOO young. I think theres something wrong about parents trying to make their daughter have an abortion just as I think its wrong for them to try to make her have a baby...but is a girl that age really old enough to make a decision my herself either way? I just don't know.... sad stuff either way

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  13. I'll have to check out that iPhone app! I have the iRosary one already.

    Thank you about the info regarding Coerced Abortion Awareness Week. So, so sad. Just think what would happen if PP could put half the energy they expend on defending "choice" into making sure that women actually HAD one.

    College Student, what about the baby? Should it be killed because the circumstances of its conception weren't convenient or ideal?

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  14. I seriously love that rosary app!!! I'm gonna recommend it on my blog too! ;)

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  15. College Student, my heart goes out to the family too. I know the parents are just trying to do what they think is best. They're ashamed and want to keep the whole thing a secret, for their daughter's sake, but for their own reputation as well. Fourteen is young (she's 15 now, but same difference), but not as young as it sounds. Many kids that age can have really good heads on their shoulders; plus a situation like this often makes someone grow up quickly.

    She doesn't have to make the decision by herself, but shouldn't she be a part of the decision? She shouldn't be forced; no woman should. Where is the "choice" in that? Really, from a neutral point of view, her and her parents would work this out together, whether they choose to raise the child, make an adoption plan or have an abortion.

    And besides that, I'm pretty sure it's not legal to force her into this, even though she's a minor.

    The whole situation is sad. Hopefully good can come out of this. I will update if I hear any news.

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  16. Complicated Life,
    Of course she should be a part of the decision! No doctor can force surgery on a patient so regardless of what her parents what she has the final say as she should.

    I was just saying, and it sounds like you're agreeing, that her parents think they are doing what is best for their daughter. As you said, ideally, her and her parents would be able to agree on an option. While she's clearly old enough to get pregnant, she just seems so heartbreakingly young to have to deal with something like this, and either way it just makes me sad...

    Joanna,
    Without going into this too deep. I think he girl has a right to determine what is best for HER life. if she thinks having the baby is best for HER life. She should have it. If not she shouldn't

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  17. College Student - I too hear what you are saying, but some of the worst cases of post-abortive trauma are related to these cases where the teen or young adult felt forced. They mourn the loss greatly and often grow bitter towards their parents. They feel like victims and they are truly victims. And although she may not decide to parent (15 *is* very young to be a single mom), adoption is a beautiful option for these difficult situations.

    Also, I think on some level, a "child" being forced to abort by her own parents just goes against our basic sense of nature... like, one can't help but wonder if your parents would have aborted you if you had been conceived under less than ideal circumstances. All in all, forcing her to abort could create some serious parent/child wounds between the teen and her parents.

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  18. Sarah, I couldn't agree more. I have heard case after case of young girls forced to abort by their parents (usually it's the mother) and it pretty much destroys the mother/daughter relationship for decades. Very, very, very tragic.

    College student, remember, once a new life is created, there is not one life to consider, but two lives. Both lives are precious and inviolable. We cannot kill an innocent person, even if we think it will bring about a good.

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  19. college student, by the way, I am so glad to know that you are interested in the Protestant/Catholic divide. Yes, there's a lot there, and it's all very fascinating! Many Protestants (not all) are as anti-Catholic as the atheists! :) We are disliked/despised all across the board, as Jesus predicted. :)

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  20. we are not at all disagreeing on the coercion issue. Although it is difficult to decipher where having an opinion ends and coercion begins, but I digress.

    I am sure her parents are doing what they think is best for their daughter. What is actually best for her daughter? i dunno. Unlike you I certainly don't think its best to always have a baby. Every situation is different and I hope the family is able to do what is the best for them, and that there are no regrets either way.

    Again, Leila, this is really just something we disagree on. I do not think the two "lives" are equal. The girl has the right to do whatever is best for her life, if that means having a baby well thats what she should do,if she doesn't think its best than she shouldn't, but of course you already knew i thought these things :)

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  21. Immaculee spoke at my church a few years ago...she is such an example of walking forgiveness and grace!

    A

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  22. College student,

    I have to respectfully challenge you on your second paragraph. We are talking about human life, so you have to have more than just a feeling or opinion on it. You have to know that the baby in her womb is not human, or that some humans have no rights. The following post has all the points laid out (I was responding to a pro-"choicer"), and I would absolutely love for you to read it and give your response. (Christa never responded at all....)

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/07/responding-to-christa.html

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  23. College Student,

    Here's a hypothetical situation. Let's say this girl kept her pregnancy a secret, and gave birth to the baby in her bedroom one night. The parents come in to her room shortly thereafter and find their daughter with a newborn. They decide that it's best for their daughter not to have a baby, so they smother the newborn and bury him/her in the backyard.

    Would this be acceptable, in your view? Why or why not?

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  24. Leila, I can honestly say my abortion of 40 yrs ago was very coerced by folks who should've known better but whom I've long ago forgiven.

    Also, I tagged you in the Why I Love Jesus meme:
    http://www.zealforyourhouseconsumesme.com/2011/04/why-i-love-jesus-meme.html

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  25. therese rita, I am so sorry for what happened to you. You are so good to forgive.

    I have not been good about doing memes, but thank you! I will tell you that I love Jesus for 1) being the safest place to rest my head, 2) never wavering in the truth (obviously, since He is the Truth!), 3) his mercy and compassion, 4) being a real man, and 5) saving my sorry soul and taking me to His Father and Mother in Heaven.

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  26. I must say this seems a little like a fruitless argument, as I will never be convinced that abortion is wrong as you will never be convinced it is right...

    Leila, I did read the dialogue. I do not disagree that upon conception the embryo is alive. I do not disagree that an egg and sperm separately are alive. I do not dispute all proven scientific facts on the subject. But I do see differences ( as there are salient differences) between a 4 hour old embro and the grown sentient being carrying it. What something has the potential to be is not what it is. My egg which will be fertilized does not deserve the same rights and protections as 1 year old because while fertilization may occur it hasnt occured yet, a lot of variable things must occur before my egg can be deemed a person, the same goes for an embryo. Same goes for why I can't get social security, I will be 65 but I am not there yet...

    But the life, issue isnt really relevent to my feelings on abortion, even if it is a life, a human person, I believe abortion is still justified. If an embryo/fetus is a person it can only be given equal rights as a person it cannot get more rights than a person. People don't have rights to use other people's bodies without their continued consent. Ever. My views on it are really that simple.

    Joanna, The parents never had a right to get rid of the baby ( without the mother's permission) while she was pregnant, so why would they get that ability after the baby was born? They never had that 'right' thus giving birth to the baby wouldn't change that..

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  27. college student,
    You see no salient difference between an egg and an embryo? You say you believe the science that the textbook present (that a new human life is begun upon fertilization), but then you say that an egg is "alive" in the same way that an embryo is "alive". I guess a germ is "alive" in the same way you are "alive" too, but I can morally kill a germ and yet not morally kill you. Killing innocent people is never moral.

    There is NO human person more innocent and vulnerable and defenseless than an unborn person.

    Remind me again of your belief: At what precise moment of development does a child in the womb go from being medical waste to a human being with full rights and dignity? We have to get that moment precise, or else you are being utterly arbitrary as to who is a member of the human family and/or which humans are deserving of a right to live.

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  28. College student, I am going to revisit this, because I admit that I am still not totally clear on what your position is. Are you saying that a new human being does not come into existence at conception? Because you said you agree with the science that conception means a brand new human life (unlike an egg or a germ or a skin cell). Is that your position, that a new human life begins at conception? But that that life does not have rights until some point later in the continuum?

    Thanks, I appreciate your clarifying. It really is just my brain and how it works, but I need you to be very precise and clear so that I can understand exactly what you mean.

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  29. Sorry, I realize that I mixed something up and it didn't make sense, above, ha ha! I am tired and should be in bed. But I hope you get my question, college student.

    Thanks!

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  30. Joanna, The parents never had a right to get rid of the baby ( without the mother's permission) while she was pregnant, so why would they get that ability after the baby was born? They never had that 'right' thus giving birth to the baby wouldn't change that..

    Does the teenage mother have the "right" to smother her baby after its birth, if she decides that's what's best for her?

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  31. Leila, I am saying I accept whatever the prevailing scientific opinion is. Science says life begins at conception, fetal heartbeat begins at about 5 weeks and so on and so on. I take these facts as truth.

    I am only saying there are salient differences between an embryo at conception and a born baby. I am assuming you would agree there are salient differences.

    I am also saying that is an embryo at conception is a full person, as you claim it is, like a born baby or even an adult, then by all means treat it like a full person! Take it outside the womb, play with it, cuddle it, let it breathe on its own, and if it is unable to do these things, as some new borns are, use whatever science and medicine is availible to incubate it and keep it alive.

    You are thinking it is absurd to try to cuddle an embryo. Clearly you cannot do any of these things because the embryo at conception is not yet a baby. It still NEEDS something be kept alive.. time and gestation from its mother. As an embryo at conception is not more of a person than any other person it does not garner additional protections and rights. The baby is not entitled to this additional time and gestation. No one has the right to be created. . If so I murder a baby every month. If you think that a human embryo IS already created....well then the mother's work is done. She has created the baby and thus can have it removed at any time because it is already a 'baby.

    JoAnna, no I don't think the girl has the right to smother the baby. She has the right to relinquish her involvement with the baby, now as she did during pregnancy. She has a right to adopt the baby out or leave it at a fire station (if the law in that state allows)

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  32. college student, I don't even know where to begin. You mean that the ability to be cuddled is what makes a human being valuable? I know you don't mean that. That argument and ones like it have so many holes that I don't know where to begin. I can't cuddle with a man who has typhoid fever, but he's still human. I can't cuddle with a child who is in the burn unit on every type of life support, but that is still a human being.

    Murdering every month because an egg is released and passes when not fertilized? How is that a proper analogy to willfully killing an embryo (a new human) in the womb?

    A baby is created, from conception, by God. Every human is created by God and has an inviolable right to that life. No one, no a mother or a father, not a doctor or a politician, has any right to willfully end the life of an innocent human being. I a child in my womb has no right to be sustained by me, then neither does the child outside my womb.

    I think you have given me inspiration for a new post, which is about Jesus, and God, and life itself as the most precious gift we are given. And what our bodies are for.

    Stay tuned.

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  33. You still have not answered the question as to why time and age and size and location make someone less than human. Those are not salient issues. Those are not what makes us essentially human. It doesn't matter my age, my location, my size -- I am human because I am human. Either we are all human or none of us is.

    My head is still reeling from the implications of what you are saying.

    It almost sounds like you are saying: The baby has a right to be alive, but the mother has no obligation to do so. So, it can be kicked out (although most abortions I know of have to do with violent dismemberment or suctioning out). Isn't that similar to a jailer saying to a prisoner: "You certainly have the right to stay alive, but I am not going to care for you because you burden me. You may exit the prison and go out into the frozen tundra with no food or means of survival. God speed and good luck!"

    That is a moral, ethical model? And worse, we are talking about a mother and a child! What have we become if this is our model for morality and ethics? You once told me that your generation is selfish, but that's not a good thing!

    What is your core principle on this? It sounds like it's emotional or selfishly based: "If a mother doesn't want to keep her child alive in her womb, she doesn't have to." Tell me if there is a deeper principle at work here than that. Or is that the moral principle you are operating under? If so, what kind of principle is that?

    Sorry, I just need more...

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  34. I'm confused too, College Student. A woman allows a new creation to be conceived and reside in her womb when she consents to sex. Your argument that the embryo has no inherent rights to a womb is only valid in the case of forced sex on the mother. When a woman consents to sex, she consents to the possibility of becoming a mother and all the responsibilities that motherhood entails. The lie of contraception states otherwise - that sex doesn't produce babies when contraception is used.

    An embryo is a separate life when the sperm and egg unite and become new. Anyone who's taken high school biology learns this. The eggs and sperm contain only half of an individual's DNA map. These two maps unite on fertilization to become a new person. A new person that both mother and father consented to create when they engaged in sex with each other. A new person who is a human being at conception. After all, the baby is a human being, the child is a human being, the adult is a human being, the elderly are human beings. Why are these stages of life allowed to be human but the embryonic stage is not?

    The argument regarding an embryo being unable to exist outside the womb... does this mean that you believe that abortion of a fetus older than 22 weeks is allowable? After all, people have been born alive at 22 weeks and have gone on to grow to adulthood. And there are those who survive their mother's abortion attempts. Were they not allowed the right to live? Should they be killed after a successful birth then?

    I think you need to brush up on your biology. Monthly menstruation is NOT a failed pregnancy. No one dies as the egg is not fertilized. The egg is simply another part of a woman's body and entirely her own. While it contains only half her DNA, it is still ONLY her DNA. Once conception occurs, there is a fusion of the mother's AND the father's DNA creating a whole new person with their own unique DNA.

    The mother has a right to refuse sex. Once she relinquishes that right, she is saying yes to the possibility and responsibilities of motherhood.

    Susan

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  35. Keep coming back to this (thought about it at mass too). What really is so troubling in the way you present this principle, college student, is that there is no love there. No love. No mercy. In other words, no humanity. It's cold.

    I've said before, liberalism is cold. What you're saying, this position of yours, is cold and devoid of what it means to be human. We were made to love and be loved. That is missing completely in what you are proposing. Help me understand why that is okay with you? I don't understand.

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  36. JoAnna, no I don't think the girl has the right to smother the baby. She has the right to relinquish her involvement with the baby, now as she did during pregnancy. She has a right to adopt the baby out or leave it at a fire station (if the law in that state allows)

    Why doesn't she have the right to smother the baby after birth if she had the right to kill the baby at any time prior to birth? What is the difference?

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  37. No of course not, I was not saying that the ability to be cuddled dictates a person's humanity. I was justing using that as one example to demonstrate the differences in salience between an embryo and a born baby.

    Really, all I am saying is that an embryo is not a completed person. I am assuming you will agree with this because if it was completed it wouldnt need to be inside its mother. It NEEDS to be inside its mother to develop into a person because it is not quite a person. People do not have a right to be completed, again if they did all of my wasted eggs would have a case against me...

    You said " a child in my womb has no right to be sustained by me, then neither does the child outside my womb."

    Isnt this already the case? Children to not have a right to be cared for by their mother..mothers are allowed to give their babies up for adoption. Your children do not have a right to be sustained by you. you voluntarily do this because you love them! you would never do this but in the event that you couldnt take care of them you could turn them over to the state. Women with born babies are NOT required to sustain them..why then should pregnant women be required to?

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  38. Also, College Student -

    I have a 6 year old, a 3 year old, and a 1 year old. My 6 year old goes to kindergarten, but my 1 year old does not. Is my 1 year old any less of a person because she cannot attend school, as her big sister does?

    Same difference between an embryo and my 1 year old. Just because they are at different stages of development and are unable to do the same things right now does not mean that either of them are worth less as human beings. You seem to suggest that our abilities determine our personhood as opposed to our inherent worth as human beings.

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  39. Really, all I am saying is that an embryo is not a completed person. I am assuming you will agree with this because if it was completed it wouldnt need to be inside its mother.

    I vehemently disagree with this. An embryo is a complete human being. What it is NOT is a fully-developed human being. My 1-year-old is also not a fully-developed human being but nobody thinks I have the right to kill her. The only difference between an embryo and my 1-year-old is location and level of development.

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  40. Leila,
    I am sorry if I seem cold. I think mother's should love their children. I think husbands should love their wives. But I don't think LEGALLY anyone should have to love another person . I am not talking about what people SHOULD do I am talking about that the law gives ( and should continue to give) them the ability to do.

    I have a very close relationship with my mother, who is an excellent mother. I hope in many years be an excellent mother too. But I will not pretend that we live in a world where everyone can or even wants to be an excellent mother. Motherhood needs to mean something to THE MOTHER.

    The 'coldness' i am exuberating is not mine. I am sincerely trying to explain how people are clearly ( as there are many abortions daily) already feeling. I overheard a girl at a party drunkenly yelling that she when she found she was pregnant she just drank and smoke for three months until she miscarried.

    I am not saying 'women should not love their babies from conception,' I am saying it is clear from the 3000 abortions daily that they dont..

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  41. Love has nothing to do with human rights, College Student. I can't kill my husband if I decide I don't love him anymore, nor can I kill my children if I decide I don't love them any more, either.

    I think you should read this post: http://barefootandpregnantblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/what-woman-in-crisis-really-needs.html

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  42. Joana,
    You said "I vehemently disagree with this. An embryo is a complete human being. What it is NOT is a fully-developed human being.

    Awesome, complete human beings aren't entitled to other people's body's to live. People don't have obligations to let other people develop inside of them without their permission

    Susan, I respectfully disagree that consent to sex is consent to parenthood.

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  43. Awesome, complete human beings aren't entitled to other people's body's to live. People don't have obligations to let other people develop inside of them without their permission.

    Permission was given when the parents in question decided to engage in the biological act that is MEANT to create babies. When sex happens and conception occurs, that means the sex WORKED.

    Why do you disagree that consent to sex is consent to parenthood?

    Do you believe, then, that women have an absolute right to abortion at any time during pregnancy, from weeks 2-40?

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  44. I am not saying 'women should not love their babies from conception,' I am saying it is clear from the 3000 abortions daily that they dont..

    Yes, and that is what Christians call sin. Sin is a lack of love, a lack of virtue. Every child does have the inherent right to life. And a lack of love, or withholding of love from the mother does not negate that right. Our rights come from God, and the laws of the land should uphold those basic human rights.

    A child does have the right to be loved by its mother, but sin denies that right. We cannot force people, by law, to love. But we can protect them from being killed. I hope you can see that.

    What you are seeing all around you is sin, and a lack of love. You should never put yourself in the position of defending it. We are to build a civilization of love, not a Culture of Death. Come over fully to the side of Life and Love, and you will experience something amazing. We've all been on the other side (well, most of us) and the difference is like night and day, like I have told you before. Leave selfishness (and the defense of selfishness) and come to the side of Love. It really is a better place over here, and we could use some more warriors. :)

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  45. Embryos are complete human beings genetically and in human dignity, college student. Where are you getting this principle that children came to the womb without their mothers' permission, and that their mothers have no obligation to care for them? Where does this principle come from?

    The very biggest lie of this era is that consent to sex does not mean consent to children. Sex creates children and we had better start teaching our children this truth. 50+ million dead children attest to the blindingly obvious fact that sex creates children.

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  46. college student, are you defending something that you agree is cold and unloving?

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  47. Children do not have a right to be cared for by their mother..mothers are allowed to give their babies up for adoption.

    No. Children do have a right to be loved by their mothers. If a mother cannot care for her child, the protection of the child is still paramount. So, the child is protected by many laws of society to keep that child safe. Because a child is helpless. A child needs the protection of adults. And if a mother either does not love her child (a sin!) or cannot care for her child (for many different reasons), then the child is (and should be) protected by the law. That is good and loving. It's the exact opposite of abortion: The child is not protected, either by the mother or the law. There is not only no love given to the child, but there is death meted out to the child.

    Completely wrong, completely sinful, completely cold. Don't defend it.

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  48. I don't think LEGALLY anyone should have to love another person

    The law cannot force anyone to love another person, but the law can and must prevent them from killing another person.

    Please tell me you get the distinction.

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  49. I don’t really understand how consent to sex is consent to parenthood because of the nature of consent to sex.

    When a woman has sex, she doesn’t even consent to having sex indefinitely. She can start and three minutes into it withdrawl her consent. She can get tired, bored, realize she has something in the oven. She consents to sex until she says doesn’t Do you believe she has this right, or must she wait until the male has finished?

    I think you are confusing sex with what you think it is meant to be versus what it IS. Sex isn’t de facto consent to love, parenthood, commitment, Sex isn’t even consent to breakfast. If you think sex should be all of these things, well fine. But it in fact ISNT any of these things.

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  50. College student, what you've written is an illustration of how confused everyone is. It reminds me of the ordered vs. disordered post. There is so much disorder around sex today (thank you, sexual "revolution", i.e., sin) that we don't even know the "rules" anymore. I can only imagine what is being workshopped, counseled and discussed by "experts" on a college campus. Makes me so sad.

    Bottom line is that we must tell our children that SEX MAKES BABIES. That's about it. It's that simple. Sex is designed to make babies. That is why sex is for marriage. Because babies come from sex. It doesn't matter how much sin is occurring, or who said what to whom about levels of foreplay, or whether or not we are "just friends" or having an orgy, etc. etc. etc. That is why we are talking about a who paradigm shift back to right order. Because anything less than virtue is vice, and leads to bad things and suffering people and dead babies.

    Yes, there will always be sin. But we don't facilitate it! We speak of goodness, truth and beauty. Of virtue and love.

    I want to know the truth, college student, has anyone on campus told you of these things? Did you learn them in high school or growing up? I am so sorrowful for everyone who is living according to this utilitarian, hollow existence. And I don't mean you, because I think you see a glimpse of something better, of what could be. I really hope you know that there is a whole other world out here that is not like what you are seeing on campus. It's such an artificial world there, and not very diverse (as we are led to believe), because all the things we talk about here are scoffed at there, I fear.

    So, long story, long rambling, but yes, people need to always remember that sex makes babies and if they are going to get on that train in the first place, they had better be prepared that they might reach their logical destination.

    If a sperm meets an egg and makes a baby, it's because something sexual was happening. Don't want a baby? Don't have sex. Kissing doesn't make babies. Getting naked? Better be prepared because this could end in a baby whether wanted or not. Babies don't just appear out of nowhere.

    I'm just babbling now. Sorry, but it can be discouraging to see how far afield we are. Not you, college student, but the culture. :(

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  51. When I said: I want to know the truth, college student, has anyone on campus told you of these things? Did you learn them in high school or growing up?

    I meant did you learn of truth, goodness, beauty and virtue?

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  52. College Student, sex is the biological act that causes conception. This is a scientific, biological fact. Of course a woman has the right to refuse consent to sex at any point, but after the act is completed, both patrners must accept responsibility for the fact that they may have created a new life. That's what sex is primarily meant to DO. This is simple biology.

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  53. I DO defend it Leila. I am sorry but even in theory I don’t think I want the world you want. The motherhood you describe seems like a burden. That any woman who desires the love or the touch of a man should accept her place as a mother, that her body owns her, and obligates her, that a woman shouldn’t have an orgasm if she doesn’t want 9 months of painful gestation, if she doesn’t want to wake up in the middle of the night to a crying baby or go see kindergarten plays. Sometimes an orgasm is just an orgasm and you shouldn’t have to choose between one and a child.

    I don’t want to love my children because that’s what mother’s do. I want to choose to love them. I want to define what motherhood means to me.

    I DON’T want a man to lie to himself and me and say ‘oh well your pregnant now’ I’ll take care of you if that’s not really what he wants. He has to want to be with me he has to want to be a father. I don’t want someone to feel trapped and that he owes something to me eternally just because we had sex.

    Parenthood is beautiful. It deserves reverence. But it requires consent.

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  54. College Student,

    You seem to be saying that one's desire to have sexual pleasure on demand supersedes both the biconical purpose of sex as well as the lives of any children that are created when that biological act works as intended.

    Is that accurate?

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  55. College Student,

    I have a long way to go to catch up, but two quick points here that stand out to me:

    1. You said, "Children to not have a right to be cared for by their mother..mothers are allowed to give their babies up for adoption."

    Right. Give them up for adoption. Not kill them. Someone has the obligation to care for those children. It's illegal for anyone to neglect those children and allow them to suffer.

    2. You said, "I don't think LEGALLY anyone should have to love another person."

    Even Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "I can't make people like me, but I can keep them from lynching me." As pro-lifers we're not trying to force anyone to love anyone else (although I agree with everything Leila is saying about love), but that doesn't mean we can't make laws to stop people from killing innocents.

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  56. "I meant did you learn of truth, goodness, beauty and virtue?"

    Most formally from Plato, Socrates, some Aristotle, we did some St. Augustine...but I don't think that's what you were asking.

    Most on the topic of truth, and goodness, came from my parents with a some supplement from philosophy classes.

    Were u asking in relationship to my instruction on sex? I'm sure my parents used a lot of words like virtue, beauty, and pregnant when I was about 14. High school said: Don't have sex you will get pregnant, don't have sex don't have sex, but if you do use a condom! And College said even if you arent having sex you should be sexually aware , sex is awesome, have kinky sex, (there's a whole sex week where porn stars come talk and they give how to's on anal, and they raffle out vibrators) but always always use condoms/bc/ emergency contraception


    Hope that answered your question

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  57. I don’t want someone to feel trapped and that he owes something to me eternally just because we had sex.

    But sex if used as designed is a reflection of eternity. And it creates souls who live for eternity. It is something transcendent, not merely a means to an orgasm.

    The motherhood I described seems like a burden in this culture, yes. But we are a culture disconnected from what is real and true. The Christian view is that sacrifice and love are intimately connected, and that we take on sacrifice for others out of love. Only today's society sees self-donative, self-giving love (putting the other first) as a burden. That is why people are so miserable, so broken, so empty, so alone, so hopeless. And it's why we kill our unborn children by the millions, divorce our spouses when they don't make us "feel good" anymore, and keep God at arm's length. We are a lost people. All because we see our own biology as oppression, and we see our loving obligation to others as a burden.

    We are selfish.

    That is sin.

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  58. One thing that I think about the coercion thing is, don't all parents tell their kids what to do? I know just today, my mother told me "don't drive so fast, slow down, stop the car, put the dishes in the dish washer, go to math tutoring, bring your books, turn the TV down, watch your sister" and many more (obviously, some have to do with driving). As much as I would love to drive 80 mph on the street (I got it from my dad...) she told me not to, because I would probably crash into a tree (or maybe not, now we will never know).

    All parents tell their kids what to do, because of what they do not know. Most teens do not know what parenting is completely about, and I have heard many act like it would be all fun and games, and dressing up little girls in pretty costumes. Mothers know that it is not all fun and games, and want to prevent their kids from having to go through all that so young, which would not be the best situation for either.

    Sometimes it also includes our bodies (a few include, eating vegetables, getting shots, not doing drugs, exercising). And they include big decisions (trying to encourage them to go to a good collage rather thing a well-known party school)

    Parents "coerce" their kids to do thing all the time. And we do not always (ever...) agree. (And you wonder why we want to move far away for collage...). Those mothers think that they are doing what is best for their daughters.

    If we were to have complete control over ourselves and our decisions (I mean as teenagers) I think we would be just fine. But I am sure many adults here would not agree with me...

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  59. Chelsea, parents are supposed to steer and guide and correct their children into doing good.

    If I tell my daughter to clean her room or eat her vegetables or she will be grounded, that is not the same as if I told my daughter she must kill her unborn child against her own will.

    Different on about ten different levels.

    Coercing abortion on a teen will harm the teen, possibly irreparably, not to mention the death to the child. Coercing a teen to clean her room? That encourages virtue.

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  60. Leila,

    I'm kind of at a loss for words. I really do understand what your saying...but I don't know how to adjust what ur saying for a secular society. You say it is sin, but that isnt really meaningful to a lot of people...

    I think people know that when they are having sex for pleasure they are being selfish, same with abortion. But being selfish while 'sinful' isnt illegal nor in most cases should it be. You have a right to put yourself first, and through your relationships you choose in your own time to put others first, but this cannt be forced

    I really don't know where to go from

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  61. I think people know that when they are having sex for pleasure they are being selfish, same with abortion. But being selfish while 'sinful' isnt illegal nor in most cases should it be. [b]You have a right to put yourself first[/b], and through your relationships you choose in your own time to put others first, but this cannt be forced

    From where does this "right" originate?

    How do you know that we have a "right" to put ourselves first?

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  62. college student, I think that we have to draw the legal line when killing is involved, for sure. We have no right to kill the innocent. Not ever.

    As far as the rest.... It has become a secular society. People freak when we say that America is (was?) a Christian nation, but with a secular government. But what that means is that our nation was built on the premise of Judeo-Christian values. Even the Founding Fathers knew that the nation could not stand if the moral fiber of the individual citizens was not there. The Founders expected citizens would be a moral people. So, we are sort of degenerating into a moral chaos, which is not great for the nation.

    We never would have to "force" any morality (i.e., we wouldn't need any laws) if people acted in virtuous, moral ways. Laws and police and prisons are only needed because there is sin, right?

    But no one is proposing arresting people for having sinful sex. We are proposing that life is better when we live in dignity, according to God's design. We are saying that abortion should be illegal because society must protect the weakest citizens. All humans must have equal protection under the law. Humans are not medical waste.

    What to do from here? Well, there is only one thing God ever expects an individual to do: Turn from sin and live a virtuous life. Love God. Expect good things from others. Be a light in a dark world. Influence others in a positive way. Never, ever lead others to sin. Never accept sin as normal or good. It may seem an impossible task, but as Mother Teresa said: God doesn't call us to be successful, only faithful. And we can't make excuses that "everyone else is doing it" when we have figured out what is right and good. We have to change our lives. Watch how many people will follow you if you start to live that life of love and selflessness. Yes, some will reject you, but God cannot be outdone in generosity. Ask anyone here who has left a sinful life behind and embraced goodness and love and virtue. It's astounding what God can do when we simply give him our "yes". That is what you do from here: You give him your "yes" and mean it. Then, sit back and watch. :)

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  63. Joanna,

    Do i really need to answer that? I need to find some statute or line in the constitution that says I am allowed to keep both of my good kidneys even though I could go without one and save someone's life? Or that I am allowed to pass a homeless man outside of the mall and go inside and spend $400 on a dress? Do i need to explain why I am legally allowed to do these things Or do you already accept and understand that while selfish, I am under no legal obligation to help these people...

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  64. Do i really need to answer that?

    No, it but would be nice to continue the discussion.

    I need to find some statute or line in the constitution that says I am allowed to keep both of my good kidneys even though I could go without one and save someone's life?


    I don't know why you ask, as that wasn't my question.

    Or that I am allowed to pass a homeless man outside of the mall and go inside and spend $400 on a dress?

    Again, not my question.

    Do i need to explain why I am legally allowed to do these things Or do you already accept and understand that while selfish, I am under no legal obligation to help these people...

    You're answering a question I didn't ask.

    You state that people have the right to be selfish. Okay, let's say that's true. From where does this right originate? Does it come from the Constitution? Does it predate the Constitution? How do you know that you have this right?

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  65. You are right, I misunderstood

    As citizen's of the United State's we get that right from our government and common law

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  66. @ College Student

    You said:

    Do i really need to answer that? I need to find some statute or line in the constitution that says I am allowed to keep both of my good kidneys even though I could go without one and save someone's life? Or that I am allowed to pass a homeless man outside of the mall and go inside and spend $400 on a dress? Do i need to explain why I am legally allowed to do these things Or do you already accept and understand that while selfish, I am under no legal obligation to help these people...

    Did you cause the other woman's kidney problems? No? Of course you have no responsibility to donate one of your own.

    Did you force that man out of his own? No? Of course you have no responsibility to donate one of your own.

    If you became pregnant, would that child not be a direct result of an action you and someone else took?

    You ‘cursed’ that spermatozoa and egg with life, and just like when someone commits arson, wounds another person through battery, rescues someone from death, or accidentally kills someone through negligence (driving too fast), you have a real responsibility for the consequences of that act.

    I set a house on fire, I am responsible for the fact of that fire, and because I did the wrong thing, justice would have me punished. I save someone’s life, I am now responsible for the fact that he lives, I did something right, justice would reward you for this action. You conceive a child, you are responsible for the fact that he/she lives, justice would have you care for this child, whether it be to raise it, or put it up for adoption that it might be raised.

    Sex is a natural act with two natural side effects, life and pleasure. Considering that the sperm and the egg don't give the pleasure, but the act of bringing them into contact does, you'd almost say that arranging the meeting is the final natural end of sex, even if it doesn't occur every time. When it does occur as a result of sex, it was a result of sex, a result of an action you willingly partook in. (The final end of a baseball bat is to hit a baseball, sometimes you practice your swing with the air).

    Yes, you have a right to choose what you want so long as it does not positively infringe on another person’s right to live. For example, you don’t give a beggar money, he doesn’t eat. That’s not your fault. You take money away from the beggar so he doesn’t eat, that’s your fault. Selfish is an attitude and motivation, it is not a choice itself, though you can say “I choose to be selfish.” What that really means is, “I choose to do things for myself, for the sake of myself, at the exclusion of others.” Meaning, you can't say, "I choose to be selfish" without there being an accompanying act that makes that selfishness real.

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  67. Soooooo, what I mean to say is, that baby has a right to life and care. You put him there, you either accept responsibility, and satisfy that right, or you deny him that right and act with grave injustice.

    It isn't about the right to be selfish, or not. It isn't about what is legal or not. It is about what is just, and what is unjust. All cultures and societies have had a code that equate responsbility with action, justice being meted out to those responsible according the nature of the act (good or bad).

    Justice is a real, natural reality that deals with responsibility and consequence. Simple, basic cause and effect.

    If you want to deny what is natural and live in an artificial world, do that, deny the natural realities of your humanity, and strive for something different. Don't be content to excel as a human, attempt to excel as a creature whose acts don't have consequences, but remember, you'll always be bound to your biology, .no matter how you try to skirt it!

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  68. Giuseppe Ambrose,

    "Did you cause the other woman's kidney problems? No? Of course you have no responsibility to donate one of your own.

    Did you force that man out of his own? No? Of course you have no responsibility to donate one of your own."

    My point is even if you DID cause the man to need kidney's legally you still don't have to give him one. If you drive drunk and cause someone to be in a state that they will die if they do not get your kidneys. YOU ARE NOT LEGALLY OBLIGATED TO GIVE HIM YOUR KIDNEY. I

    The law might require you go to jail it might require you to pay the family lots and lots of money. The law never requires that you are required to donate peices of your body to sustain another person. Ever.

    "It isn't about what is legal or not. It is about what is just, and what is unjust."

    No actually it IS about what is legal and not about what is moral. There are many many immoral actions that remain legal. Legally if you cause something bad to happen to another person, you go to jail or pay damages you don't have to donate your body to them....

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  69. As citizen's of the United State's we get that right from our government and common law

    First, a quick punctuation tip... that should say "as citizens of the United States..." as thise nouns are plural and not possessive. I realize that autocorrect can sometimes get wonky, but just FYI. :)

    My answer is twofold: 1. Where does the government, and/or where in common law, is this right to selfishness enshrined? In what document or documents does it appear? 2. Would you agree that just because something is legally permissible, that does not automatically mean that it is moral? Put another way, do you acknowledge that legality and morality are not always synonymous?

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  70. Giuseppe, I am glad to have a philosopher on board! I love the talk of justice and injustice. Laws come and go, but justice and injustice are constants.

    college student, I will tell you that on this blog and in Catholicism, we are talking about universal morality, which trumps any and all unjust laws. There was once a law that said that black people were less than human. It was an illegitimate law. Thankfully, on that subject, the law caught up with universal moral truths.

    As to this idea that a mother is somehow "donating pieces of her body" to her unborn child is just bizarre to me, who has carried nine children in my womb. A child is naturally conceived in the womb. It is expected that children result when a man and woman engage in sex. Pregnancy is not a disease, or a pathology, or a parasitic relationship. It is by design. It's not analogous to a car accident.

    Legally, there should be no laws which allow a mother to attack and kill her child, no matter where the child is located.

    Yes, it's legal now to go into the sanctuary of the womb and kill the child within. But legal does not mean moral or just. An unjust law is an illegitimate law. I hope you agree that there are millions of unjust illegitimate laws in every society all around the world, even as we speak. Always have been, always will be. The worst of those are the ones which deny humans their very right to life.

    I'm not sure if you are arguing that the laws for abortion are just because they exist, or that they exist because they are just. Are you defending the law just because it's the law, or because you think it's good and just law?

    I guess I cannot figure it out.

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  71. @ College Student

    No actually it IS about what is legal and not about what is moral.

    I just want to understand where you are coming from. You are saying what you have a right to do or not do is based on legal code?

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  72. Collage Student,

    "The law never requires that you (use your) body to sustain another."

    I think your point is logical and consistent and difficult to dispute. Earlier you said,

    "...children do not have a right to be cared for by their mother...children do not have a right to be sustained by you."

    I think the issue here is not rights. We humans live by caring for one another. Small children must be given not just food, water, and shelter, but also affection, guidance, gentle concern, etc. Without these things they will die; even if they do physically survive they will likely be malformed and incapable of contributing to the society in which they live.

    Remember: love is not primarily an emotion; it even has a physical basis. When we care for one another, when we meet one's physical needs we are showing them love. If we do not care for someone (refuse to meet their physical needs) neither do we love them.

    I know this from experience. I learned to love my little children (I am the happy father of six) by changing their diapers. It was by meeting their physical needs (not by "choosing to love them") that my heart was attached to their helpless little selves. I have also found that my capacity to love has grown with each child and continues to grow with them. I can truly say my children mean more to me than everything else in the world put together.

    The health and continued existence of our society requires that we care for and love one another. Our own personal growth and happiness requires the same thing. When we refuse to care, to love; when we "choose to be selfish" the result is death.

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  73. @ College Student

    YOU ARE NOT LEGALLY OBLIGATED TO GIVE HIM YOUR KIDNEY.

    Actually, you are, but society allows an out so you don't have to have your body cut up. That out is equating the worth of that kidney with something else. But this is a moot point, my point about using your examples was simply that consequences follow acts, and the actor is responsible for the existence of those consequences. Like Miss Leila says: [Pregnancy] is not analogous to a car accident.

    Though I would've said 'not equivelant', not to
    split hairs or anything ;^). Car accident = unnatural consequence, undesigned, pregnancy = natural consequence, designed.

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  74. This also shows the problem of promiscuity. The sex act is not just an opportunity to experience pleasure, it is one of the principle ways i show my love for her and it bonds my heart to her. Promiscuity requires that we harden our hearts; it severs the connection between caring (meeting physical needs) and love; probably damaging our ability to love at all.

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  75. Oops! By "her" I meant to say, "my wife."

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  76. Mr. Fordyce, this is well said:

    Promiscuity requires that we harden our hearts; it severs the connection between caring (meeting physical needs) and love; probably damaging our ability to love at all.

    And Giuseppe, I don't mind you splitting hairs. In fact, I encourage it! I love clarity after all, and I know my limits. I don't have formal training in philosophy, so please step in to correct me at any time. :)

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  77. Consenting to sex is consenting to parenthood because of what sex can create. It's very simple and very basic whether you agree with it or not. Sex is how babies are created for the most part. A woman can make any excuse she wants but, unless she is unaware of where babies come from, she knows what can happen as a result of sex. That is why consenting to sex is consenting to the possibility of parenthood. Contraception is NOT full-proof, only abstinence is.

    The law states that a person can be incarcerated for harming another person or property. That means that a person is left with little to no control over how they spend their day or where they will spend their time. We, as a society, say this is a just thing. An expectant mother has quite a lot of control over how she spends her day and her time. And, regardless of whether she carries the pregnancy to term or aborts it, she will require some medical intervention and go through some pain. She can choose to allow someone else to raise the child once he/she is born. And, in fact in this day and age of surrogate motherhood, I anticipate that one could transplant an embryo to a willing mother in the near future if we, as a society, had a willingness to pursue it.

    I'm going to leave this note with a final thought. A lot is made of the trouble it causes a woman to endure a pregnancy for nine months. Pregnancy is generally not fun. I certainly don't enjoy it. But, it is such a SMALL part of motherhood and, in the great scheme of life, a very small unit of time. Why is it not worth this small price to save the life of another human being?

    Susan

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  78. Why is it not worth this small price to save the life of another human being?

    Go, Susan! So true!

    A

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  79. A question:

    Right now I have eggs in my ovaries that are capable of being fertilized. This month, my boyfriend and I have not had sex. If we did have sex, one of those eggs could be fertilized and a life would result. By not having sex, we are denying that embryo a chance at life.

    Is that a sin?

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  80. rarara, nope, not a sin. :)

    You are not required to have babies whenever you physically can.

    You are not denying an embryo a right to life, because there is no embryo.

    Killing an embryo that exists would be denying him/her of his/her life.

    Hope that helps!

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  81. So:

    Egg and sperm side-by-side: not an embryo, and doesn't have a right to life.

    Sperm breaks the surface of the embryo: suddenly sacred, and to be protected by any means possible.

    The continuum just doesn't seem as clear-cut to me as it seems to be to so many of you. Any clarification? What is it that makes something living and sacred...46 chromosomes?

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  82. Why is a zygote (a fertilzed egg) different than an egg?
    46 chromosomes is part of it. When the sperm and egg combine, they have created a unique individual whose identity will never be repeated. Contained within those 46 chromosomes is the genetic blueprint no one else has. The 23 of the egg and 23 of the sperm are not people. They don't have all the ingredients for a person. only when they combine does a person exists.

    That's the science. Now the theology.

    Christians believe that human begins are made in the image and likeness of God and that each person has dignity and value and worth. We also believe that each human being has an immortal soul that will exist for all eternity. The moment at which a person receives their soul from God has been the subject of debate by theologians (many of whom, especially in the middle ages, didn't understand the process of conception or pregnancy because science hadn't made things clear yet). But when those two separate gametes combine into a unique combination of 46 chromosomes, a human being is formed, and we believe that human being has a soul, human dignity, and human rights.

    That's why. Does that help?

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  83. rarara, yes, conception begins a new person. Yep. Conception... meaning, the beginning.

    Go to the third red section in this post. Look at the answer and the link. Then tell me what you think:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/07/responding-to-christa.html

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  84. Rarara, at the moment of conception a new, unique, genetically distinct human being comes into existence. What makes the new human life living and sacred is just that: he or she is a brand-new human being!

    In a Catholic context, we also believe that the moment of conception is also the moment of ensoulment, when God imbues the new human life with an immortal soul.

    But purely scientifically speaking, fertilization is the existence of a new life that has never existed before and will never exist again. Age or level of development makes no difference; it is a living, growing, developing human being with unique and distinct DNA from the moment of conception. It is a miracle. :)

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  85. This all makes a great deal of sense to me, and thoroughly explains why none of you will ever have an abortion and will never encourage someone else to have one. But what happens when someone does not believe that God imbues this human life with an immortal soul? If someone does not believe that human life is sacred? There are certainly people in this world who would fall into that category. Why can't they have an abortion?

    Sorry to pick your brains. I'm in the process of figuring out where I stand with all this, and find it very helpful to hear opinions from both sides!

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  86. But what happens when someone does not believe that God imbues this human life with an immortal soul? If someone does not believe that human life is sacred? There are certainly people in this world who would fall into that category. Why can't they have an abortion?

    Because the fact that human life has dignity and value from the moment of conception is an objective truth. Just because they don't believe it doesn't mean it's not true.

    If someone believed that a 3-month-old baby didn't have worth or value as a human being, should they be allowed to kill him/her?

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  87. Also, Rarara, abortion is not a religious issue; it's a human rights issue. There are many people who advocate against abortion who do not have any religious faith. See, for example, www.SecularProLife.org.

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  88. I'm sorry, my linking got messed up, but you can get to their site by typing the URL into a browser window.

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  89. rarara, science says that human life begins at conception. We can use natural law principles (what we all know, even atheists) to understand that killing an innocent person is wrong. If we open it up to "some humans are more human than others", then we start opening it up to things like slavery, genocide, etc.

    Either we are all human, or none of us is.

    There are atheists who are pro-life. It's not a religious issue, it's a civil rights issue.

    God bless you for trying to work this all out!

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  90. Thanks for your viewpoints everyone!

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  91. Hi All,

    I have a few very random questions for you about abortion, I hope you won't mind answering as they will help me with a paper I am working on. Thank you!,

    Do you think it should be illegal for a woman to drink or smoke during her pregnancy?

    Do you think it should be illegal for a woman to take medicine prescribed to her that would hurt her child during her pregnancy

    Basically if we recognize fetuses as children to what extent should society regulate the unhealthy behavior of the mother?

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  92. Good questions, College student.

    I think the legalities of those situations are matters of prudential judgment and not hard and fast principles such as "we may never directly kill an innocent person". I personally would say that to the extent that the law regulates such thing between mothers and children after they are born, the same general thoughts should be applied.

    I think drinking and smoking during pregnancy can be immoral depending on the amount, the gestational age, knowledge of the mother (i.e., is she culpable? How much does she understand?) etc. However, should there be a law against smoking while pregnant? I don't think so. I also don't agree with laws against smoking in one's own home (even if there are children present in the home). That doesn't mean I think it's moral, but again, that is a prudential judgment call.

    My husband's mom smoked all through her pregnancy with him (like most moms in that era). He is fine, thank God. If she had had an abortion (which she contemplated, as a single teen), then he would not have been fine. He would have been dead. (I am glad abortion was illegal in 1966.)

    Medicine prescribed for pregnant ladies that could be harmful: It depends on what it's for? No legit doctor would prescribe harmful drugs for a mom unless the benefits outweighed the risks. I had to have Class C drugs when I was pregnant with #4. I had pneumonia. Technically, the drugs could have hurt him. But if they had, it would have been an unintended side effect of legitimately curing a pathology. It would have been the principle of double effect. There are so many different scenarios and circumstances to that question that it's hard to put in a combox. But it certainly is licit to use medicines to cure pathologies of a pregnant woman, even if it could harm the fetus (as a foreseen but unintended side effect).

    I hope that helps!

    I'm interested in others' opinions.

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  93. Thanks Leila!
    the issue came up that pro-lifers might want to monitor everything pregnant women do because of the life of the baby, thank you for clearing that up.

    Also I thought you'd find this article interesting. Its very short and very relavent to what you have said about the pill

    http://collegecandy.com/2011/04/12/he-saidshe-said-the-birth-control-issue/#more-98040

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  94. college student, thanks for the link! I'm glad she was so honest. Maybe somehow, someway, young women will say "enough"!

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  95. College student,

    I've answered that question before too, about drinking and smoking and pregnancy. I compare it to what we do with born children. We don't arrest mothers for smoking around children or drinking while nursing. We do arrest mothers for dismembering their children and killing them intentionally.

    Those questions come up because some people portray the pro-life position as one of controlling other people, but that's false. We don't want to control other people. Killing someone who is helpless is controlling.

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  96. rarara,

    When I'm trying to figure out how I feel about something I find it helps to use logical substitution, kind of like Joanna did.

    Take your sentence:

    "But what happens when someone does not believe that God imbues this human life with an immortal soul? If someone does not believe that human life is sacred? There are certainly people in this world who would fall into that category. Why can't they [have an abortion]?"

    Change the words in brackets to some other group of humans.

    "But what happens when someone does not believe that God imbues this human life with an immortal soul? If someone does not believe that human life is sacred? There are certainly people in this world who would fall into that category. Why can't they [shoot kids in a mall]?"

    That's how I check to see if my reasoning is consistent and clear.

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  97. College student,

    I'm holding a newborn and being a little lazy, but if you jump over to my blog and click on the "Bright Maidens" button, I think you'll find what three young college women have written about sex and dating very interesting. They are writing a series for the last five weeks, and they are, like you, clear and articulate writers.

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  98. The comparison to what is considered safe parenting is a good one. A mother who uses illegal drugs during pregnancy does not automatically lose custody, but social services will look hard at the home environment before letting the baby come home ~ just as the home would be investigated if drugs are found in a home where children live.

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  99. Wow! Yet again, an awesome post. Your writing and the reader comments are such a gift and I am a happy recipient. Thanks, Leila!

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