Tuesday, October 21, 2008
attended a lecture about "when does life begin"
I went to the below lecture last night. All the questions were good. One woman asked what part the mother takes. Dr. Hull answered it beautifully. His answer made her question make sense to me. Another person asked a question about animal rights. I think the discussion could have gone on all night. I think it would be fun to sit and chat with Dr. Hull all night. He raises questions. He makes me think. ________________ I've been pro-choice for a long time...almost rabidly. I will admit that I didn't want to hear the other side. I don't want to see pictures of fetuses. And the talk has me thinking "Is that wrong?" IF you want to desperately hold to a belief no matter what the facts, are you wrong? ____________________ Some months ago, I was at a wedding and somehow I was seated next to a republican and briefly we discussed abortion. He asked me how late in term would I be OK with an abortion. Today, I might have a different answer than I had at that time. ________________ I want to explore my feelings and my thoughts about the subject. ________________ When I was 21 or so I thought it was my boyfriend's job to make sure I didn't get pregnant.....to make sure his sperm didn't make me pregnant. I had tried birth control pills BUT the hormones made me suicidal. In other words, I felt it was better for me if I didn't take them. Sooooo something went wrong and I found myself pregnant. I missed my first period. I went to the doctor. Being the ignorant person that I was and seemingly capable of denial, I relied on the doctor. He told me not to worry and wait and see if I missed another period. I missed another period. I went back to the university clinic. I'm trying to recall all the circumstances. I think I recall that the nurse that I saw the second time was irate that the first guy didn't give me a pregnancy test the month prior. I was pregnant. I rode my bike from the university clinic straight to the clinic that I knew gave abortions. I made my appointment immediately. I was mad at my boyfriend since I thought it was his job to make sure I didn't get pregnant. But that's another topic about responsibility. So anyway...at that time...maybe 1974 or so.....abortions were legal in Florida up until the 3rd month. At the clinic, on the day of your appointment they make sure you're not over 3 months. Because that one guy had made me wait, I barely slipped in under the wire. This next part, I'm vague on how I know this. And it makes me wonder if I just dreamed it. BUT according to my memory, there was a girl at the clinic that was further along than she realized. They could not give her an abortion. She was crying in such agony that I felt that she was suicidal. I felt for her with all my heart and all my being. It seemed so unfair that something that seemed like a cancer could take over her body without her explicit permission and the medical profession (even though they knew how) would not help her. It was in that moment....in that state....that I become rabidly pro-choice. ________________________ According to my memory, the clinic social worker was calming the woman down telling her about her choices. They told her that although Florida didn't allow abortions if the pregnancy was further than 3 months along, other states did allow them. According to my memory, this calmed the woman. I don't know what she ultimately decided. BUT I came to believe that choice is a good thing. I'm not pro-abortion. I don't think I would ever give advise as to adoption or abortion or making use of social services if someone finds herself broke and impregnated against her wishes. It's a personal choice. ____________________________ So I left it at that. I didn't want to contemplate it anymore. I didn't want to think about whether or not the fetus at some point was actually human and had rights. The lecture last night made me rethink that. Do I want to stay blissfully ignorant so that I can maintain my rabid pro-choice stance without muddling up my emotions? _____________________________ And so back to my original question: IF you want to desperately hold to a belief no matter what the facts, are you wrong? __________________________________________________ First Coast Freethought Society monthly meeting presents: Richard T. Hull, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Department of Philosophy SUNY Buffalo; author, editor, bioethics scholar, Humanist. With Dr. Hull, we will explore the ethics of early abortion and stem-cell harvesting. He will try to answer the question, "When do we become persons?" Dr Hull's paper can be found at: http://www.richard-t-hull.com/publications/its_a_baby.pdf
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