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Poll results & comment, abortion, disability 

This is consistent w/ my previous polling results. As I understand it, the majority objects to discriminating against the human being in the womb based on identity, even though they deny him/her personhood at all.

*In other words, they object to discrimination against someone they themselves regard as a non-person.*

Am I making an unfair characterization here? I feel I am missing something in the logic but despite my probing it remains opaque to me.

Poll results & comment, abortion, disability 

@RobertFrancis think of it like this. Whose rights are being violated when someone writes "I hate black people" in their diary?

No one's.

So what's wrong with doing that?

It's racist. That's what's wrong with it. It's wrong even though there's no second party involved. It's nothing to do with rights.

Poll results & comment, abortion, disability 

@joeld
I think I am starting to understand your position more, though I still disagree. Let me get back to you when I can sit down and process it.

Poll results & comment, abortion, disability 

@joeld @RobertFrancis

Would an accurate representation of your view here be that it's not the act of abortion that's wrong, but rather the motivation behind it? Like nobody was wronged, but it reveals a character flaw within the person on account of *why* they did something?

I don't mean to give my opinion one way or another with this, just hoping to help elucidate your point of view here.

Poll results & comment, abortion, disability 

@thewestislandsystem @RobertFrancis yes I think that’s fair.

Poll results & comment, abortion, disability 

@joeld @thewestislandsystem
I agree that the private action of expressing a racist thought reveals a moral flaw. In that case, the animus is clearly evident in the language of hatred.

I think in the case of choosing to abort because of a disability, the animus is not very clear from a pro-choice perspective, since that perspective often leverages the burdensomeness of undesired motherhood as oppressive, and the freedom to abort as liberating. 1/

Poll results & comment, abortion, disability 

@joeld @thewestislandsystem
Having a child with a disability is often cast as extra burdensome. Indeed, a very high percentage of children with Downs Syndrome are aborted, and the pro-choice movement seems just fine with this. I take you to be an outlier in this regard. 2/

Poll results & comment, abortion, disability 

@joeld @thewestislandsystem
The typical pro-choice stance, as I understand it, says what makes a choice good is that it is freely chosen, whereas I think you would additionally require its indifference to race, sex, ability, etc. But I am still not sure about your commitment to this. 3/

Poll results & comment, abortion, disability 

@joeld @thewestislandsystem
Let’s say a woman is very young, poor and unmarried. She is willing to make the sacrifices necessary to give birth until the child is identified as having Downs Syndrome. She now feels completely overwhelmed and decides to have an abortion instead. Is her decision wrong in your view? 4/

Poll results & comment, abortion, disability 

@joeld @thewestislandsystem
Alternatively, let’s say the woman is 30 yrs old, wealthy and in a stable marriage. She likewise is willing to give birth until she learns about the Downs Syndrome. Would you judge her decision to abort differently? One might claim it creates an extra burden on her, too. Where would you draw the line? 5/5

Poll results & comment, abortion, disability 

@RobertFrancis I support the woman’s authority to make decisions about her body regardless of the motivation, as I support the woman’s authority to write whatever she wants in her journal regardless of the motivation. Her motivations are none of yours or my business. That doesn’t mean they might not be morally suspect.

Poll results & comment, abortion, disability 

@RobertFrancis When a person writes a racist comment in his journal, I don't judge the act of writing itsel based on how it was infected by his good or bad motives. I don’t actually care about the writing at that point one way or the other. How would policing the practice of writing affect his actual motivation?

Poll results & comment, abortion, disability 

@RobertFrancis A person might decide to live far from work and commute in a dirty old truck an hour each way because he actively wants to increase global warming (to “trigger the libs”, let’s say) or he might do it because he’s poor and has no other choices. One is malicious and stupid and the other is just sad. But if you grant that people should be free to live and work where they wish, why attempt to render a moral judgment on each separate choice?

Poll results & comment, abortion, disability 

@joeld I think I agree with you on each of the points you made in your last three posts, but the central disagreement as you identified before remains—that is, the morality of terminating the child in the womb. Thanks for helping me reach this point in understanding. 1/

Poll results & comment, abortion, disability 

@joeld I know many people prefer to avoid identifying the point of time at which the child acquires an absolute right to life (“above my pay grade” as Obama said). I believe refusing to do so is to surrender one’s moral credibility, because it suggests standing firm on a judgement that one is unwilling to take full responsibility for. What is your take on this—if you would be interested in pursuing this conversation further, that is. Thanks. 2/2

Poll results & comment, abortion, disability 

@RobertFrancis too complicated to answer here. For me, at this point, the major milestones are 1) the presence of regular brain activity by whose absence we legally and medically determine death (emerges around week 25) and 2) when the baby takes its first breath. But at no point do I consider a gestating fetus to have an “absolute right” to life independent of the health and autonomy of the mother.

Poll results & comment, abortion, disability 

And to perhaps clarify a bit: I don’t think *anyone* has, or should have, an “absolute right to life” that overrides the bodily autonomy of another person. we do not even require corpses, let alone living persons, to provide life-saving fluids and organs to full-blown human persons whose lives they would otherwise save, unless in life they gave their consent to it.

Poll results & comment, abortion, disability 

@joeld Right, maybe it would be better to speak of a “standard right to life”, odd as it sounds.

If it is not too complicated to address here, do you recognize a relative right to life that kicks in at the first presence of brain activity and increases to a standard right to life upon birth? If so, do you identify a *relative* moral problem with abortion between those two milestones?

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