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  1. #501  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    If I look at the highest percentage of total abortions by age group I have to take into account the percentage of overall population each age group is. Your logic is not including this.
    Good point. That could be a factor. Especially since the practice of abortion itself would slow the rate of growth of the under 25's in comparison to the over 25's.
  2. #502  
    (I wade into this topic with much trepidation - so much emotion)

    Everyone seems to agree that fewer abortions is a good goal (if not, why argue over credit for the decline). Why?

    I understand why I feel that way, and I think I understand why Shopharim feels that way (almost certainly the same reason). What I don't understand is why anyone who supports legal, unrestricted abortion would feel that way. I may be mischaracterizing dathomas' position. Perhaps he does not support legal or unrestricted abortion.

    Clearly partial birth (extreme late term, pick your label) abortion and abortions performed on the very young (say 12-14 years) without parental consent could reasonably be legally restricted without outlawing all instances of the practice. If abortion in general is a negative and reducing its occurrence is a positive goal, why are reasonable restrictions opposed?

    I'm genuinely curious about this as the logic completely escapes me.
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  3. #503  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    Really, when you have a few minutes read this article
    http://www.smw.ch/pdf200x/2003/15/smw-10105.PDF

    Even though you had one of the most restricitve laws on abortion. The law required procedure to be performed by physician, written consent, required a 2nd opinon, or it was an unavoidable life threatening condition, if these requirements were not followed both the woman and operator faced jail time. An estimated 8.9 per 1000 women aged 14-49 had an abortion, I wonder how high it would have been if there was no fear of jail? And, the gov't does not keep statistics so they can only use estimates. I guess you can estimate whatever number you like to make your point.
    You quote papers which actually disprove your point. Quoted from the above article:
    Conclusions: Although Swiss law only permitted
    abortion under strict conditions, this procedure
    was widely available in Vaud
    , which nevertheless
    has one of the lowest rates worldwide.
    Efforts must
    be intensified to ensure universal access to family
    planning services, especially for foreign women
    and adolescents. Professionals should also target
    “repeaters” to provide personalised counselling.
    If you read the article carefully, you will notice that "The main reason for requesting termination of pregnancy was psychosocial (93%)" Psychosocial can mean just about anything. If somebody REALLY wants an abortion, it is considered psychosocial. Still, it is true that not anybody can have an abortion just like that, and certainly not very late in pregnancy. There has to be medical consulting before that. Also note that a large proportion of abortions were from women who had come to Switzerland recently from far away countries, meaning they did not grow up in Switzerland.

    The main point is that the abortion rate is among the lowest worldwide because we have very few if any unwanted and/or teenage pregnancies - And this obviously is not because of religion, but because we have open access to information (and contraceptives, if needed), and no ideological abstinence only programs.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  4. #504  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    (I wade into this topic with much trepidation - so much emotion)

    Everyone seems to agree that fewer abortions is a good goal (if not, why argue over credit for the decline). Why?

    I understand why I feel that way, and I think I understand why Shopharim feels that way (almost certainly the same reason). What I don't understand is why anyone who supports legal, unrestricted abortion would feel that way. I may be mischaracterizing dathomas' position. Perhaps he does not support legal or unrestricted abortion.

    Clearly partial birth (extreme late term, pick your label) abortion and abortions performed on the very young (say 12-14 years) without parental consent could reasonably be legally restricted without outlawing all instances of the practice. If abortion in general is a negative and reducing its occurrence is a positive goal, why are reasonable restrictions opposed?

    I'm genuinely curious about this as the logic completely escapes me.
    I don't think abortion is a good thing, but maybe sometimes the best solution. However that may be, avoiding unwanted pregnancy is undoubtedly the preferred solution.

    According to the teenage pregnancy rates in the US, you are doing an exceptionally bad job in preventing teenage pregnacies. You have about 10 times the number of teenage pregnacies per capita when compared to secular countries such as Switzerland, the Netherlands or Sweden, and still more than twice the number of relatively religious European countries such as Poland: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/...pre_cap&int=-1
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  5. #505  
    By chance I found an interesting scientific article about possible influence of strong religious beliefs on life in the respective society: http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html

    The results pretty much reflect the impression I got and tried to express here, too. Countries with strong religious convitions apparently tend to score HIGHER (not lower) regarding some negative social factors such as homicide rate, abortion rate, and others. The article contains interesting comparisons between different countries.
    In all secular developing democracies a centuries long-term trend has seen homicide rates drop to historical lows (Figure 2). ... Despite a significant decline from a recent peak in the 1980s (Rosenfeld), the U.S. is the only prosperous democracy that retains high homicide rates, making it a strong outlier in this regard (Beeghley; Doyle, 2000). Similarly, theistic Portugal also has rates of homicides well above the secular developing democracy norm. ...

    Although the late twentieth century STD [Sexually Transmitted Diseases] epidemic has been curtailed in all prosperous democracies (Aral and Holmes; Panchaud et al.), rates of adolescent gonorrhea infection remain six to three hundred times higher in the U.S. than in less theistic, pro-evolution secular developing democracies (Figure 6). ...

    The U.S. also suffers from uniquely high adolescent and adult syphilis infection rates, which are starting to rise again as the microbe’s resistance increases (Figure 7). The two main curable STDs have been nearly eliminated in strongly secular Scandinavia. Increasing adolescent abortion rates show positive correlation with increasing belief and worship of a creator, and negative correlation with increasing non-theism and acceptance of evolution; again rates are uniquely high in the U.S.
    I am not saying religion per se is bad, but apparently, one has to be careful and it may lead to unexpected results.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  6. #506  
    Countries with strong religious convitions apparently tend to score HIGHER (not lower) regarding some negative social factors....
    Let's see if I've got this straight: the worldview that advocates following a fixed moral compass is responsible for more negative social factors that humanism which teaches that people can make up their own minds about what is moral? George Orwell would recognize this for what it is.

    I'm mobile and can't read the entire "scientific" paper now. But some initial thoughts:

    What about the middle east theocracies? Shouldn't they be included since we're comparing so-called religious societies with secular ones.

    South Africa has a high murder rate - is it a "theistic" country?

    You seem to have a caricatured view of the U.S.. We're really not the bunch of religious nuts you seem to think we are.

    At the same time that the rates of all of those negative social factors are dropping, conservative, bible-believing churches in the U.S. are experiencing high rates of increase. Do I claim causality? No. The study you cite does however seem to make that fundamental logical error. If you don't believe there's a causal relationship, why post it?
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  7. #507  
    Religion is bad. Avoid it if you can.
    Recognizing that I volunteered...
  8. #508  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    I'm mobile and can't read the entire "scientific" paper now. But some initial thoughts:

    What about the middle east theocracies? Shouldn't they be included since we're comparing so-called religious societies with secular ones.
    Those were not included because they were considered different in too many factors. Indeed it does make more sense to me to compare Western Democracies such as USA, Canada, France, Great Britain, and the like, instead of USA or Europe vs. Iran and Saudi Arabia.
    South Africa has a high murder rate - is it a "theistic" country?
    I think the situation in South Africa is also too difficult to compare with the situation of Western Democracies, I would not say that a direct comparison would make much sense.
    You seem to have a caricatured view of the U.S.. We're really not the bunch of religious nuts you seem to think we are.
    I don't think you are. However, it is not disputed that the US are a much more religious country than most if not all European ones. That has been shown many times, read the paper quoted. That article was written by an American, by the way, and published in the US. I am just quoting it.
    At the same time that the rates of all of those negative social factors are dropping, conservative, bible-believing churches in the U.S. are experiencing high rates of increase. Do I claim causality? No. The study you cite does however seem to make that fundamental logical error. If you don't believe there's a causal relationship, why post it?
    Even if there is there is a slight decrease e.g. in teenage pregnancies, the fact remains that the situation in the US is far different from the one in Europe, also e.g. regarding abortions, homicide, sexually transmitted diseases, etc., by a factor of five to ten and more.

    Again, I don't think all of this is because of religion, but based on the data shown in the article it seems difficult to argue that higher levels of religious belief in the US lead to a "better" society (less homicide, less teenage pregnancy, etc.), contrary to what many claim.

    And also: I just quoted the article, and said it contains interesting data. If you don't agree with the article, quote it and say why, don't attack the messenger (only).
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  9. #509  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    By chance I found an interesting scientific article about possible influence of strong religious beliefs on life in the respective society: http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html
    I'm intrigued by this statement:
    In the twentieth century extensive secularization occurred in western nations, the United States being the only significant exception
    In the microcosm that is TC, we routinely discuss the secular nature versus religious nature of the US. It seems as though the US is branded 'religious' when we're discussing its current societal ills, but 'secular' when we're discussing its government and/or its founding. But, historically, we see that the progression moves from religious to secular.

    To that end, I thought it would be useful to understand the definition of "secularization" as used in the study. In my scanning for clues as to what is meant by secularization, it appears that secularization is viewed as the absence of or decrease in religiosity.

    Given that the higher rates of "negatives" are found in the secularizing US, while lower rates are found in the already secular other nations, if there is any causuality, perhaps what we're observing is the effect of the internal struggle for the "soul" of the US is what is at issue. After all, we know that a house divided against itself can not stand.

    Another gray area worth observing is is religious adherence as compared to religous "beliefs." This could help address phurth's question.
  10. #510  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    .......What I don't understand is why anyone who supports legal, unrestricted abortion would feel that way. I may be mischaracterizing dathomas' position. Perhaps he does not support legal or unrestricted abortion.....
    It is clear that you do not understand. I do not expect you to appreciate my position. However, I am not prepared to leave unchallenged the idea that resisting the intrusion of the state into the most intimate decisions in our lives is the same thing as supporting abortion. I resent the inference that dathomas is in favor of what he does not want the state to punish or the church to condemn.

    I do not support abortion. I do not know anyone who supports abortion. I believe that abortion is morally wrong under almost all circumstances. As a matter of routine birth control, it is outrageous.

    That said, I do not trust the state to intervene between a patient and her doctor. I do not trust the state to say whether or not a pregnancy must go to term. I do not trust the state, having mandated that a woman must carry a pregnancy to term, to care for the pregnant mother. I do not trust the state to succor the child; God knows it is not doing so now.

    I dislike what I see as the punitive attitude of Christians toward sex. I despise the idea that carrying a child to term and condemning it to a life of deprivation is just punishment to the mother for illicit sex. I despise the idea that the punishment for illicit sex should fall on only the mother, rarely on the father, but it is much worse that any of that penalty should fall on the innocent child. I despise the idea that the punishment for most of the things that society wishes to discourage falls disproportionately on the poor.

    I have no problem with Christians promoting abstinence. I have a real problem with the idea that the state should promote abstinence by restricting access to alternative forms of birth control. I have no problem with Christians discouraging fornication but I have a problem with their discouraging all forms of sexual expression as a means of doing so. I have a problem with their promoting ignorance in children as though ignorance is the equivalent of innocence. I have a real problem with Christians, or others, using the coercive power of the state to accomplish what they are unable to accomplish by persuasion. I have a problem with any minority using the state to enforce their moral view on those that they cannot persuade, however much I may agree with the view.

    Needless to say, I have a real problem with those who are prepared to condemn me, let alone kill me, because I resist consigning indiivdual life and death decisions to the one institution in our society that takes lives wholesale. I distrust any alliance between religion and the state; individual life and death decisions are merely the most extreme example. And that takes us back to the beginning of the thread.

    As I said at the opening of this post, I do not expect to convince true-believers on either side of this issue. Rather I write for people of good will in the middle. Now that we have dispensed with slavery, prohibition, and Jim Crow, the proper role of the state in matters of reproduction, medical treatment, and end-of-life is the most troubling and divisive issue in our society. Like those other issues, it will take generations to resolve.
  11. #511  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    It is clear that you do not understand. I do not expect you to appreciate my position. However, I am not prepared to leave unchallenged the idea that resisting the intrusion of the state into the most intimate decisions in our lives is the same thing as supporting abortion. I resent the inference that dathomas is in favor of what he does not want the state to punish or the church to condemn.

    I do not support abortion. I do not know anyone who supports abortion. I believe that abortion is morally wrong under almost all circumstances. As a matter of routine birth control, it is outrageous.

    That said, I do not trust the state to intervene between a patient and her doctor. I do not trust the state to say whether or not a pregnancy must go to term. I do not trust the state, having mandated that a woman must carry a pregnancy to term, to care for the pregnant mother. I do not trust the state to succor the child; God knows it is not doing so now.

    I dislike what I see as the punitive attitude of Christians toward sex. I despise the idea that carrying a child to term and condemning it to a life of deprivation is just punishment to the mother for illicit sex. I despise the idea that the punishment for illicit sex should fall on only the mother, rarely on the father, but it is much worse that any of that penalty should fall on the innocent child. I despise the idea that the punishment for most of the things that society wishes to discourage falls disproportionately on the poor.

    I have no problem with Christians promoting abstinence. I have a real problem with the idea that the state should promote abstinence by restricting access to alternative forms of birth control. I have no problem with Christians discouraging fornication but I have a problem with their discouraging all forms of sexual expression as a means of doing so. I have a problem with their promoting ignorance in children as though ignorance is the equivalent of innocence. I have a real problem with Christians, or others, using the coercive power of the state to accomplish what they are unable to accomplish by persuasion. I have a problem with any minority using the state to enforce their moral view on those that they cannot persuade, however much I may agree with the view.

    Needless to say, I have a real problem with those who are prepared to condemn me, let alone kill me, because I resist consigning indiivdual life and death decisions to the one institution in our society that takes lives wholesale. I distrust any alliance between religion and the state; individual life and death decisions are merely the most extreme example. And that takes us back to the beginning of the thread.

    As I said at the opening of this post, I do not expect to convince true-believers on either side of this issue. Rather I write for people of good will in the middle. Now that we have dispensed with slavery, prohibition, and Jim Crow, the proper role of the state in matters of reproduction, medical treatment, and end-of-life is the most troubling and divisive issue in our society. Like those other issues, it will take generations to resolve.
    Wow! Who'da thunk we'd agree so closely? I particularly appreciated this comment:
    I have a real problem with Christians, or others, using the coercive power of the state to accomplish what they are unable to accomplish by persuasion. I have a problem with any minority using the state to enforce their moral view on those that they cannot persuade, however much I may agree with the view.
    You can't legislate morality or faith. Plus, you won't find any scripture to back that up either.

    I can only hope that you can appreciate my earlier comments about the differences between beliefs and actions. Christians (and others) CAN be both pro-choice and anti-abortion.
    Recognizing that I volunteered...
  12. #512  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    (I wade into this topic with much trepidation - so much emotion)

    Everyone seems to agree that fewer abortions is a good goal (if not, why argue over credit for the decline). Why?

    I understand why I feel that way, and I think I understand why Shopharim feels that way (almost certainly the same reason). What I don't understand is why anyone who supports legal, unrestricted abortion would feel that way. I may be mischaracterizing dathomas' position. Perhaps he does not support legal or unrestricted abortion.

    Clearly partial birth (extreme late term, pick your label) abortion and abortions performed on the very young (say 12-14 years) without parental consent could reasonably be legally restricted without outlawing all instances of the practice. If abortion in general is a negative and reducing its occurrence is a positive goal, why are reasonable restrictions opposed?

    I'm genuinely curious about this as the logic completely escapes me.
    Uh, it's an intrusive medical procedure with potential complications which can be easily avoided.
  13. #513  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    Uh, it's an intrusive medical procedure with potential complications which can be easily avoided.
    Agreed. However, not so dangerous as a coathanger.

    With Bill Clinton I say: "Rare, safe, and legal." I think even the Fundamentalists agree with "safe." I do not know why they will not take us at our word when we put rare first but they are clearly not prepared to believe that abortion can be both rare and legal, while I do not believe it can be illegal and safe.
  14. #514  
    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanDad
    Wow! Who'da thunk we'd agree so closely? I particularly appreciated this comment:


    You can't legislate morality or faith. Plus, you won't find any scripture to back that up either.

    I can only hope that you can appreciate my earlier comments about the differences between beliefs and actions. Christians (and others) CAN be both pro-choice and anti-abortion.
    One of the reasons that I bothered is that I think the extremes, not to say extremists, in the debate are arguing past each other.
  15. #515  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    Agreed. However, not so dangerous as a coathanger.

    With Bill Clinton I say: "Rare, safe, and legal." I think even the Fundamentalists agree with "safe." I do not know why they will not take us at our word when we put rare first but they are clearly not prepared to believe that abortion can be both rare and legal, while I do not believe it can be illegal and safe.
    That's gross and definitely something to be avoided.
  16. #516  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    One of the reasons that I bothered is that I think the extremes, not to say extremists, in the debate are arguing past each other.
    Indeed
  17. #517  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    I have a problem with their promoting ignorance in children as though ignorance is the equivalent of innocence.
    Very powerful statement with respect to the sex ed. dabate.
  18. #518  
    <<If you are still trying to blow abstinence's horn, don't bother. We've already seen that it has no impact and possibly leads to more unwanted pregnancies.>>

    I know of only one young lady who was abstinent and got pregnant... and that was about 2,000 years ago. I believe there were unique and spcial circumstances involved.

    Oh, are you are talking about abstinance "policies", which like any policy can be ignored, or actual, 'don't do it even once", abstinence itself?
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  19. #519  
    Quote Originally Posted by duanedude1
    I know of only one young lady who was abstinent and got pregnant... and that was about 2,000 years ago. I believe there were unique and spcial circumstances involved.
  20. #520  
    Quote Originally Posted by duanedude1
    ......I know of only one young lady who was abstinent and got pregnant... and that was about 2,000 years ago. I believe there were unique and spcial circumstances involved........
    And that story may be apocryphal.

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