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Old May 20th, 2006, 08:57 PM   #1
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Prolife Progressives

Is there such a thing as a prolife progressive?

Yes. Progressives are not all pro abortion although most of them are and they sure as hell don't want to let anyone talk if they aren't. Many progressives started out prolife, like Dennis Kucinich and Jesse Jackson, but then caved into the fury from NOW and groups like that.



This is from the site "Left Out".

________________________



A Progressive Argument Against Abortion



What does it mean to be pro-life? Well, at its most basic, two things.



Pro-lifers believe that human beings have human rights from the moment their lives begin, and that this occurs well before birth (usually at conception or implantation.) We further believe that the act of conceiving a child brings with it certain obligations to the child (who did not, after all, ask to be conceived), and that one of these is to allow the child the chance to be born.



That's all. Fetal rights + parental responsibility = a pro-life stand. No need to pass any ideological, religious, sexual, racial, or economic litmus tests.



Now, let's look at these two principles as they relate to liberal philosophy.



Why fetal rights?

The first, fetal rights, is nothing more than an extension of the principle of equality to the youngest members of the human family. It bears close examination, though, because the answer to the question of whether human rights apply to the unborn illuminates the answerer's views of human rights in general.



Ask yourself: is there a difference between a "human being" and a "person"? If so, what is it? Presumably, a "person" is considered a bearer of human rights. The usual criteria currently offered for personhood include sentience, viability, and birth. Each has its merits and demerits, as long as you are willing to accept their common premise; that it's moral for a powerful group of humans to deny fundamental rights to a powerless group based on criteria set by the powerful.



If humanity is thus divisible into rights-bearers and non-rights-bearers, then sexism, racism and other forms of discrimination are not wrong just because they're discrimination. Instead of asserting that all humans are created equal, we must instead prove that gender is the wrong criterion to use for discrimination, that race is the wrong criterion to use for discrimination, etc. The acceptance of discrimination on the basis of age or development poisons the well against those of us who would fight other forms of discrimination by stripping us of the weighty (and properly so) argument that equality is a ideal to strive for.



No conflict with women's rights

Traditionally, social liberals have been on the right (so to speak) side of discrimination questions in this century: the civil rights movement, feminism, disability rights, and gay rights, to name a few. Why are liberals often on the side of discrimination against young humans in the case of abortion? In part, it seems, because they don't think of it as discrimination; but mostly because they equate opposition to abortion with discrimination against women. This is certainly understandable if we look at the subject using the "mother's rights vs. fetal rights" framework. Progressive pro-lifers offer an alternative view, one which is rooted in basic tenets of modern liberalism -- social responsibility, feminism, and the safety net.



First, we hold that parents are responsible for the well-being of their children, by virtue of having created the children's needs in the first place. Few liberals would argue, for example, that a man's right to his property is violated when he is ordered to make child support payments. The reason for this is simple: that child didn't get there by herself. Her mother and father both engaged (usually voluntarily; involuntary intercourse raises some extra issues) in an activity which they knew had a possibility of bringing about reproduction. It is true that they may have tried to prevent reproduction by using birth control, but the fact remains that they willingly took the risks inherent in sex. (A quarterback may try not to be sacked, but he has no right to press assault charges against the opposing tackle should he fail.) Pro-lifers believe that the obligation for support includes the obligation to allow the child the use of her mother's body for the nine months of pregnancy -- except, obviously, when continuing the pregnancy threatens the mother's life, as we do not require anyone to give their lives in payment of a debt. The fact that pregnancy is only experienced by women, although considered extremely unfortunate by some, does not negate the obligation.



There is, however, another reason pro-life progressives reject the mother's rights vs. fetal rights framework. We believe that it represents a false dichotomy, imposed by a patriarchal society in which the public sphere has been traditionally reserved for men, who of course do not bear children. The result is that our public institutions, such as schools and the workplace, are hostile to the needs of children and those who bear them. In addition, the sexual double standard works to punish women, but not men, for having sex when they're not "supposed" to. Therefore, single mothers face much more censure, official and unofficial, than single fathers. We believe that abortion, rather than freeing women from this oppressive structure, helps maintain it by altering women to fit the patriarchy rather than altering (or outright tearing down) the patriarchy to build a society more responsive to women's needs. We do not believe that women and their children are natural enemies; they are made so by a society that exacts an enormously high cost of women who bear children, particularly those outside the structure the patriarchy deems acceptable (i.e., married and financially dependent on a husband).



We want to uphold the rights of both women and children; we don't believe a woman should have to choose between her child and her future. We want a humane welfare system which does not encourage dependence, but which enables poor women to raise their children with dignity. We want family leave, universal health care, and stricter child support enforcement. We want to end discrimination against mothers in employment and education. We want empower women to choose healthy sexual relationships. We want girls to grow up knowing that their worth doesn't depend on the ability to get a man. We're not asking for so much, after all. Just equality and dignity. And life.
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Old May 20th, 2006, 09:21 PM   #2
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Any prolife progressives on this site?
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Old May 20th, 2006, 11:00 PM   #3
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Being prolife is not a progressive ideal. Mostly 3rd world countries hold this belief system in their law. It is a noble sentiment but doesn't work out in the real world as nearly 20 million women worldwide seek illegitimate medical care and risk severe complications due to banning abortion.
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Old May 20th, 2006, 11:18 PM   #4
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It is less a sentiment than a moral requirement to protect the helpless.

What you seem to be saying is, even if it should be a law, some people will hurt themselves violating it, so we can't make it a law.
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Old May 20th, 2006, 11:22 PM   #5
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Also, progressive doesn't just mean the opposite of whatever Third World countries are doing. It once stood for supporting everybody's rights even the weakest.

That is why pro abortion is not consistent with the liberal position, it's more a result of the insistence of some women's mistaken goal of trying to be just like men.
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Old September 25th, 2006, 12:59 PM   #6
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Uh, women who have abortions usually do it for their OWN benefit--right or wrong. The man/patriarchal society benefits second hand. Remember, it is the woman ALONE who goes through the worst of an unwanted pregnancy and/or child..... Pregnancy, if unwanted, is much more oppresive than any man or patriarchal society (US style, not the mideast)..... What does being conservative or liberal/progressive have to do with your abortion beliefs?
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Old September 25th, 2006, 01:05 PM   #7
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I know lots of Dominicans (Dominican Republic) and marrying legally is NOT a priority even though the country is heavily Catholic. Abortion is illegal and the church has a lot of say.... There is PLENTY of free wheeling sex, cheating, and illegal abortion. I did immigration paperwork and a lot of the birth certificates I translated had natural child (illegitimate) with no father listed. If a father doesn't declare his b*stard, the kid has no legal father..... Also the MAN gets most of the rights legally. One guy tried to take his kid from the mother after ignoring and not supporting it for years....and the police were going to let him get away with it. (His mother got stuck with the kid and she returned it and yelled at him.) That is the REAL (3rd) world....
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Old September 25th, 2006, 01:17 PM   #8
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Sad to say, many Dominican women won't have an abortion (good), have several kids, AND many emigrate illegally to the US in search of jobs to support their brood..... Be careful what you wish for......
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