1. violetwisp on April 5, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Can we meet her mother and father as well please? And see how she’s faring in 20 years’ time?

    • quinersdiner on April 5, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      Sounds like a plan. If the daughter isn’t doing so well 20 years hence, we can just kill her then.

      • violetwisp on April 5, 2013 at 7:35 pm

        “If the daughter isn’t doing so well 20 years hence, we can just kill her then.”

        That’s a rather unpleasant thought. I was just wondering if it’s possible to get a more complete picture of the people involved in and affected by rape. An isolated picture of a beautiful baby stirs many emotions, but I find it a cruel suggestion of ‘happy ending’ for all involved. Life is invariably more complicated than that. If a mother is psychologically able to bear a pregnancy and wishes to go through with it following a rape, then that’s her choice.

        • quinersdiner on April 5, 2013 at 8:36 pm

          Of course it’s an unpleasant thought, Violet, as is abortion. Killing is killing, whether the person is 20 months old or 20 years. That’s the point. Nonetheless, you raise an interesting question. Are victims of rape better to abort the child forced upon them, or better off to bear her to term?

          The issue has been exhaustively studied, the results revealed in the book, “Victims and Victors: Speaking Out About Their Pregnancies, Abortions, and Children Resulting from Sexual Assault,” edited by Dr. David C. Reardon, Julie Makimaa and Amy Sobie. Here’s what Dr. Reardon learned:

          “Many of the women in our sample aborted only because they were pressured to do so, and most reported that the abortion only increased their experience of grief and trauma. In contrast, none of the women who carried to term said they wished they had not given birth or that they had chosen abortion instead. Many of these women said that their children had brought peace and healing to their lives.”

          Irrational, isn’t it? A baby should be a symbol of hate, not love, for victims of rape. That is what our intuition says.

          Dr. Reardon learned from victims themselves that the opposite was true:

          “Abortion increases the woman’s sense of isolation and shame by allowing others to pretend the problem doesn’t exist. By getting rid of the pregnancy, which is a reminder of the sexual assault, it allows other people to ignore the woman’s need for understanding and honest exploration and resolution of what she has been through.”

          I wrote on this subject last year. You can read the full post (Abortion increases the sense of shame in rape victims) here: http://quinersdiner.com/2012/08/21/abortion-increases-the-sense-of-shame-in-rape-victims/

  2. violetwisp on April 5, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    “Killing is killing, whether the person is 20 months old or 20 years.” Agreed. But you’ve said nothing about the point when life actually starts, which, has no definitive moment. People cannot agree on this, and that is why it must be up to the individual.

    The fact that women could even feel shame following a rape is a direct result of the discriminatory society we live in. If abortion increases a woman’s sense of isolation and shame, it’s because people like you, who could never truly understand their individual situation, judge them for their actions. I would never seek to compound someone’s trauma by condescending to tell them what the ‘correct’ actions are. This whole theme is very cruel – seeking to use traumatic situations to make political points is unnecessary.

    • Karen Quiner on April 5, 2013 at 9:17 pm

      Scientifically, life begins at conception.

      Neither Tom nor I would ever judge a women for being raped, or even for having an abortion for that matter. I can’t know her situation or how she feels. But that doesn’t make the killing of another human being right, – ever. To say it is wrong to kill her child is not saying we judge the woman.

      And this is not a political point Tom is making. The point is about right and wrong and the killing of human beings.

      Some people think it is their right to beat the crap out of their children, or to have sex with them. In a civilized society we say, “no, that is not your right.” We do that all the time in this country. We tell people they can’t drink and drive, that they can’t smoke in restaurants, that they can’t throw their trash in the street.

      I know the mothers body is involved, but there is another, smaller, more helpless being involved and it is very uncivilized to say it is ok to kill her.

      I have plenty of sympathy for the victim of rape. But killing the child does not make the pain of the rape go away, it compounds the woman’s suffering. It compounds the evil.

      • Karen Quiner on April 5, 2013 at 9:30 pm

        “That is, in human reproduction, when sperm joins ovum, these two individual cells cease to be, and their union generates a new and distinct organism. This organism is a whole, though in the beginning developmentally immature, member of the human species. Readers need not take our word for this: They can consult any of the standard human-embryology texts, such as Moore and Persaud’s The Developing Human, Larsen’s Human Embryology, Carlson’s Human Embryology & Developmental Biology, and O’Rahilly and Mueller’s Human Embryology & Teratology.” – Dr. Robert George

        “Human embryos, whether they are formed by fertilization (natural or in vitro) or by successful somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT — i.e., cloning), do have the internal resources and active disposition to develop themselves to the mature stage of a human organism, requiring only a suitable environment and nutrition. In fact, scientists distinguish embryos from other cells or clusters of cells precisely by their self-directed, integral functioning — their organismal behavior. Thus, human embryos are what the embryology textbooks say they are, namely, human organisms — living individuals of the human species — at the earliest developmental stage.” – Dr. Robert George

      • violetwisp on April 6, 2013 at 8:20 pm

        Classifications concerning where human life begins:

        The metabolic view: There is no one point when life begins. The sperm cell and egg cell are as alive as any other organism.

        The genetic view: A new individual is created at fertilization. This is when the genes from the two parents combine to form an individual with unique properties.

        The embryological view: In humans, identical twinning can occur as late as day 12 pc. Such twinning produces two individuals with different lives. Even conjoined (“Siamese”) twins can have different personalities. Thus, a single individuality is not fixed earlier than day 12. (In religious terms, the two individuals have different souls). Some medical texts consider the stages before this time as “pre-embryonic.” This view is expressed by scientists such as Renfree (1982) and Grobstein (1988) and has been endorsed theologically by Ford (1988), Shannon and Wolter (1990), and McCormick (1991), among others. (Such a view would allow contraception, “morning-after” pills, and contragestational agents, but not abortion after two weeks.)

        The neurological view: Our society has defined death as the loss of the cerebral EEG (electroencephalogram) pattern. Conversely, some scientists have thought that the acquisition of the human EEG (at about 27 weeks) should be defined as when a human life begins. This view has been put forth most concretely by Morowitz and Trefil (1992). (This view and the ones following would allow mid-trimester abortions).

        The ecological/technological view: This view sees human life as beginning when it can exist separately from its maternal biological environment. The natural limit of viability occurs when the lungs mature, but technological advances can now enable a premature infant to survive at about 25 weeks gestation. (This is the view currently operating in many states. Once a fetus can be potentially independent, it cannot be aborted.)


      • Karen Quiner on April 7, 2013 at 12:01 am

        To say that at 26 weeks, it is not a human life but at 27 weeks it is, is just simply ridiculous and makes no sense.

        And if viability is the measurement, the child can’t even survive on her own even after birth.

        So why not wait until she is born, see if the mother decides whether she wants her then or not, and just do her in then.

  3. Karen Quiner on April 7, 2013 at 12:13 am

    “Let me tell you a story. I once knew a man whose doubts were based in deep fear. For a long time he nearly drowned in fear and doubt. In his soul he was walking the edge of a void.

    Karl Rahner said somewhere that when you come to the void, there is no proof either way. There can be no certainty as to whether the void is absolute emptiness or whether it is the sheer openness of love. You have to make a choice.

    The man’s dear, impoverished self had know only empty echoes for such a long time, but suddenly he remembered Rahner’s dictum. Through grace and circumstance and through being loved, he saw that a choice was possible. Not a bravado choice, not even a very clear one. But still a choice.

    So he asked himself what he did believe. Did he think that a radical deep emptiness and indifference was producing the foundations of the universe, the heart of the world, of everyone and everything he had ever known and loved?

    Or that imperceptible love was nestling gently throughout every particle that exists? Was there to be a speck of dawning light, or was gloom the final word?

    He told me that his choice was surprisingly simple. It was taken in the absence of any proof, since proofs emerge from choice, they do not precede it. His choosing was quiet, like still small spring rain, in spite of his immersion in darkness. He chose light, which is love, which is “like gold to airy thinness beat.” He made a leap of faith.” John Foley

    Choose light.

  4. violetwisp on April 8, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    John Zande has just done a very interesting post on abortion from the Christian point of view and the scientific point of view. I hope you have time to read it.