You appear to be getting a hard time from some of the posters here. And while reading over your posts I think you have brought the majority of that on yourself by arguing near irrelevant minutia as if they are some kind of "gotcha" arguments.... I wonder if I can still step in to treat you a little more fairly. Much of the heat you are getting appears to be because you are playing devils advocate to positions you do not actually hold and attempting to "Steel Man" the position of the opposition. Which is a great thing to do! I just feel you are doing it rather poorly and are attracting needless ire as a result.
You are not unique in this. Just about every pro choice campaigner and voter seemed to have SOME limits in their mind as to when abortion should no longer be elective.
In fact I struggle to think back and remember all but ONE SINGLE poster on boards who actually spoke for allowing abortion up to the moment of birth. But magically that poster changed their position to a very anti abortion position somewhere around the time the referendum started to become a reality. So I leave it up to others to decide whether that was a "WUM" or someone trying to "Poe" the pro-choice side they are actually against by espousing ridiculous extremist positions to make that side look bad.
But "illegal" is a strong term to use. While it should not be elective after a certain point.... I wonder if it should not be illegal anywhere in the world as there are medical situations where termination is required to save the life of the mother for example.
However in general we attempt to terminate the pregnancy not the baby in those cases. Which is a good thing. And if a viable child can result from this then this is wonderful.
But I would have nothing against the concept of self defence in relation to termination of a pregnancy by medical necessity. If we put the life of the child at risk while attempting to protect the life of the mother, then so be it. That should be her choice in that moment.
A very large % of your posts and "points" on this thread appear to be directed at the phrase "my body, my choice". And I think this is the source of much of your treatment as a "WUM" on the thread. You appear to think that your analogies to "theft" and "public masturbation" somehow are "gotcha" arguments that undermine the phrase itself and show it to be problematic.
The failure here however is in the post I quote about where you describe the phrase as "a stupid argument". And in multiple posts you refer to it in this exact way.
Your error is in describing it as an "argument" at all, stupid or otherwise. It is not an argument. It is a slogan. And slogans are by their nature and definition incomplete bare representations of the positions behind them. In fact I can think of few placard slogans that are not on the face of themselves ridiculous if you move to take them at nothing more than face value in the way you have moved to do so on this thread.
So trying to attack a slogan as if it is an argument is likely to impress no one but A) Yourself and B) the user who basically goes around thanking any even remotely anti abortion posts across all of boards because they have either been able to espouse any of their own or, quite often, have simply gotten themselves thread banned from threads on the subject. (I see he has not failed to systematically cheer lead your posts in this way either :) ).
Slogans are hollow proxy representations of the arguments behind them. So trying to undermine a slogan by treatment of it as an argument is just going to make you look bad. Not the slogan.
Further many of your analogies are straight fails. For example the attempt to show people do not have bodily autonomy if they can not masturbate in public. This is not a useful 1:1 analogy because the people who seek bodily autonomy in abortion also are not seeking to, nor would they be allowed to, have their abortion carried out in public either. The fact is they are seeking the SAME LEVEL of bodily autonomy with abortion as they have with masturbation. Which is the right to exercise it as a private choice, in private, having at least the public and the law stay out of that choice as much as possible.
Put another way, your points about theft and masturbation are essentially correct. But what they are correct about is not really about abortion or any important aspect of abortion. They are correct if we were here anal retentively arguing over minutia and pedantic linguistic issues. No more. If winning some pedantic linguistic point is your goal or agenda then by all means have at it! Whatever brings you well being, self validation, and self esteem! You will not find me "yuking your yum" as they say.
But let's not pretend at any point that it is anything more than this you are doing?
The word "reasonable" implies that the person holding a given position is capable of adumbrating the reasoning that led them to that position. So while you might wish to declare both conflicting positions "reasonable" it is worth digging down into the arguments, evidence, data, and reasoning that is being employed by each side to reach the positions they espouse.
Unfortunately my experience debating anti choice activists both on line on forums like this, and off line on the ground during the campaigning, and in public on stages in hosted moderated debates....... the "reasoning" being offered by the anti choice side was sorely lacking. In fact the majority of it.... the near totality of it in fact.... was based on misuse of words like "baby" and "life"..... bolstered by appeals to emotion by showing graphics of aborted fetuses. Many of those graphics of course were from fetuses MUCH later in the process than the 12/16 weeks that is the actual majority reality of elective abortion. Because graphics at that stage did not fuel the emotive agenda.
We even had one poster who appears to have left the forum when his favorite US president did not get reelected, who kept posting links to a study for no other reason that it mentioned descriptively the tongue movements of late stage fetuses in an emotive way. That is the level of "reasoning" these people were offering.
The issue for me is that if we want to appeal to ethics and morality and rights when considering the philosophical position of pro/anti choice on abortion..... the main question that comes into view is whether the fetus is deserving of any of those things. And if so, at what stage would that become relevant and..... more importantly.... why.
And the answers to that have been extremely arbitrary from many anti choice debaters. They will simply declare, without any descriptive validation as to why, things like "when the heart beat starts" or "life begins at conception".... or like yourself they will pluck something like 12 weeks out of the air without reason why 12 is somehow superior to 4 8 16 or 20.
However the reality that we live in is a useful one to acknowledge too. And that reality is that the vast majority (into the 90%s) of elective abortion does actually occur in the first 12 weeks. The near totality occur by week 16. So there is no real utility in taking the arbitrary "stop it at 12 weeks" people to task much of the time. But if they still wish their positions to be considered "reasonable" then I would hear their reasoning. Were they to finally present any.
My own reasoning? There is no basis I can discern to afford rights, or moral and ethical concern, to an entity that not just slightly but ENTIRELY lacks the faculty of consciousness. This is a basic enough position but has been misrepresented in some very comical ways over the past few years. The issue however is that we have zero evidence of any nature to suggest any level of that faculty is online at 12 or 16 weeks. In fact there is good evidence to suggest it does not even come on line at 20 or 24 weeks either. But since very few.... statistically we are even safe saying none........ elective abortions are sought after week 16 anyway the exact point it comes into question is rendered moot.
So you will get no argument from me when you point out "Morals are subjective" in the same way as if you pointlessly stated anything patently and blatantly obvious like "Water is wet" for example. But the moment you describe a moral position as "reasonable", I am all ears to hear the reasoning in question. Because all too often what you declare as "reasonable" was never actually reached by any process of actual reasoning. Because often... too often... the people shouting that morals are subjective are actually trying to get an automatic equivalence established between moral positions based on arguments, evidence, data and actual reasoning....... and moral positions held "just because".
For example you used the phrase "In my view, the moral equation balances somewhere around 12 weeks.". Great. So what were the exact variables and their values within that equation then? I saw none so far. Just decree and fiat so far.
Since you enjoy making entire debates out of pedantic linguistic issues I would point out that I have never found anyone identifying with the phrase "Pro Abortion" that you use here. In fact I find it a misleading and harmful phrase. I also find the term "Pro Life" misleading and damaging because it implies the other side is somehow against life when it is anything but.
What I do find is that many people on the "no" side were not actually against abortion either. They were against elective abortion. So for me the only phrases that were representative and accurate and not harmful was calling one side "pro choice" and the other side "anti choice" as that is exactly what was being debated in most cases.
The reason I think this is important? Well I think COMMON GROUND is important in any debate. Especially the most divisive of subjects. We need to always find, acknowledge, and protect common ground. Otherwise we become too polarised to ever make progress in discourse.
And the common ground that phrases like "Pro life" and "Pro abortion" ignore..... if not positively seek to napalm and destroy.... is that pretty much everyone on every side of the debate want there to be less (ideally no) abortions ever actually happening. And we should never lose sight of that fact. It is monumentally important to recognize that where you are pro choice or anti choice that we are all "in it together" when it comes to the universal agenda of minimising or even eliminating abortions entirely.
The only point we disagree with then is whether we believe that making elective abortion illegal is a useful move in that agenda. And time and again reality has proven it not to be as women obtain illegal and possibly harmful pills to perform their abortions at home without medical oversight.... the resort to coat hangers and bloody disasters........ or they leave the country to travel to other jurisdictions to obtain their abortions.
The anti choice people who wish to get rid of abortion need to recognize that if they really are against abortions.... rather than being for controlling women or some kind of "Not in my back yard" level of thinking....... then taking the route of making abortions illegal has simply failed their cause. So they would be better off realising they lost the referendum and the debate.... lost it badly.... and coming to join us on the pro choice side so we can all work together to find and implement policies that actually do result in a reduction of abortion rates in our country, society, and the world.
That for me really has to be what the entire abortion argument comes down to. If the fetus has a right to life at any given point then a lot of the rest of the debate falls away and is resolved by proxy. At that point I do not think we have a right to terminate the fetus. Though the concept of whether we have the right to terminate the PREGNANCY is another debate also worth then having.
So what are the factors we should use? I have heard some very arbitrary things thrown out like arms and legs, tongue movements, and heart beats. We also very often see "pain" mentioned which I think is on the right track but is also misleading in many ways. Not least because a fetus can respond to pain stimulus long before it develops any facility of actually experiencing pain. And I have seen people using "pain" as their measure being duped and mislead by this fact. They see autonomic pain response in a fetus from VERY early stages and they think they should be entirely against abortion for this reason.
The simple fact is that even single celled amoeba can respond to the stimulus of a needle being jabbed at them. Response to a pain stimulus and experience of pain are not the same thing. At. All. But many people do not know that. And some people, including one who used to post on this forum, actively try to make sure you do not know that. And even get quite uppity and aggressive when the fact is pointed out.
For me I have struggled over decades of thought on this subject to find anything that suggests a right to life other than the faculty of consciousness itself. I see nothing and nowhere things like rights, ethics and morality originate from other than said faculty (those people who imagine there is a "god" notwithstanding due to their position that such an entity exists being entirely unsubstantiated fantasy at this time). And conversely I see nothing that we are actually assigning it TO either.
The problem for many anti choice debaters then is obvious. Since there is zero evidence of any kind suggesting this faculty is present.... nay even under development..... at the time when the near totality of all elective abortions occur....... it leaves them without a leg to stand on. So they move to cover over the fact where they can. Usually by clinging to misuse of emotive terms like "Unborn" and "Baby" and "life".
On this note I would be curious to see what you would make of the argument (which in fairness I have only ever heard espoused by one SINGLE person ever) that allowing abortion is actually an oppression on lower and working class women :)
The reasoning it seems is that unplanned and unwanted pregnancies would motivate such women to better their situation. And if they are given the option to not be pregnant any more you are by removing that compulsion.... actually oppressing them?
It seems to me now, as it did then, that this position is just the misogynistic ramblings of a privileged middle class white male who sees women as some inferior to be protected and manipulated by male father figures who "know what is best for them" because they can not be trusted to know this for themselves. But as someone who brought poverty and circumstance into the discussion above..... your take might be valuable too.
I think you have been far too kind in your analysis.
Perhaps but I usually like to START a new conversation with a new person assuming the best about them, not the worst, until they directly give me cause to do otherwise. Benefit of the doubt and all that :)
Plus on this topic during the Referendum I got a lot of PMs on boards thanking me for my input and how I treated people during the debates. Even by people who were strongly and entirely against my position. So it seems treating them with that level of respect had very positive results. So I have tried to keep it up, even when instinct suggested doing otherwise.
True, but by "assume the best" I mean I do not jump straight to any conclusion that the person is a wind up merchant and I assume they will be engaging in the conversation in good faith, honestly and with basic decorum. Until given direct rather that vicarious reason to assume otherwise that is generally how I approach people in a conversation if I have never engaged with that person before.
So what exactly are you arguing about then?
You voted to repeal? You agree with abortion.
I'm not sure why you are arguing
But I already gave you reasons why 'my body, my choice' is perfectly reasonable.
And you basically agreed.
Not sure why you would argue on such a strange point, considering you agree with abortion
I guess the key point of difference between us is whether a 'swing back' on this issue over say the next few decades is a realistic possibility. Without at least some hope of that there is no point in engaging in any sort of activism on the issue. Why, fundamentally, did opposition to divorce evaporate entirely after the 1995 referendum passed by a wafer-thin majority? IMO it was because the antis recognised there was no possibility of the Irish people changing their mind on the issue and so there was no point expending any further energy on a lost cause. In most western democracies that have had 'liberal abortion' since the 1960s and 1970s there has been very little pushback on the issue and I don't anticipate Ireland being any different over the half-century after our belated liberalisation.
I'm not sure that there's a huge difference between us on the point of 'swing back'. I'm probably better described as cautious rather than pessimistic. It's not that I think there's a strong likelihood, it's that I think people shouldn't take social liberalism for granted, hence my comment about the need for vigilance. On the question of divorce, it's worth noting that Ireland has a restrictive and conservative legal regime for divorce by international standards.
Yet bodily autonomy and control is a vitally important defence against people who would make abortion unlawful - particularly people who tend to rely on terms like "unborn" and "protection" to justify their views.
It's worth noting that Ireland has a restrictive and conservative legal regime for abortion by international standards...
Make our National Maternity Hospital Public and Secular
Annoy your TDs now!!!
But but but it's led to unconditional and limitless abortions and essentially being used as contraception!!!
Look at them hooers havin' sex all over the place and no baby, it's a scandal Joe.
No matter how much the "pro-life" side dance around it this is what it always comes back to.
In which case Ireland needs to liberalise its legal regime in relation to both abortion and divorce.