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Abortion is natural

Abortion is natural

  • I agree

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  • I disagree

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nonpareil

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I know we take it for granted that abortion is wrong, and it will still be wrong even if it's "natural". But here's the case: quite a number of animal mothers kill (or be the cause of death of) the weakest of their youngs (cat, dogs, pigs etc). And then there are animal mothers that watch their youngs get killed by the new alpha male (lion, some primates etc). The act of killing the youngs is not particular to human, it surpasses human civilization and morality. It's mother nature. Let's forget the moral of it for a second, and be intellectually honest about this.

Of course, the thing that make humans different from other animals is our consciousness which gives us morality, but again morality is human, not nature. So it might be "wrong", but doesn't mean it can't be natural.
 
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molten_dragon

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No, abortion is not natural. For one, I'm not sure if killing off our young is something that humans did back before the rise of civilization. Even a couple million years ago, I'm not sure if it happened (I'm not saying it didn't, just that we don't know).

Secondly, the method(s) by which we practice abortion are not natural. In all the cases you talked about above, animals are killing their young after they have been born. I don't know of any species that kill off their young while in the womb.

And finally, the reasons that humans practice abortion are unnatural. In all the cases you mentioned above, the reasons for the animals killing their young are driven by the need to pass along their genes. Mothers kill the weakest of their young so that the strongest have a better chance of surviving. A pack leader may kill the young of other pack members so that his/her own offspring have a better chance of survival. Human abortions have nothing to do with that. Our reasons are unnatural, and only due to our higher thought processes.
 

OKgrannie

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No, abortion is not natural. For one, I'm not sure if killing off our young is something that humans did back before the rise of civilization. Even a couple million years ago, I'm not sure if it happened (I'm not saying it didn't, just that we don't know).

We do know.

History of Infanticide
Infanticide has been practiced on every continent and by people on every level of cultural complexity, from hunters and gatherers to high civilization, including our own ancestors. Rather than being an exception, then, it has been the rule.

There is ample historical evidence to document the incredible propensity of parents to murder their children under an assortment of stressful situations. ....Infanticide has pervaded almost every society of mankind from the Golden Age of Greece to the splendor of the Persian Empire. While there are many diverse reasons for this wanton destruction, two of the most statistically important are poverty and population control. Since prehistoric times, the supply of food has been a constant check on human population growth


And finally, the reasons that humans practice abortion are unnatural. In all the cases you mentioned above, the reasons for the animals killing their young are driven by the need to pass along their genes. Mothers kill the weakest of their young so that the strongest have a better chance of surviving. A pack leader may kill the young of other pack members so that his/her own offspring have a better chance of survival. Human abortions have nothing to do with that. Our reasons are unnatural, and only due to our higher thought processes.

Most of our reasons coincide with providing the strong a better chance of survival, maybe we don't know why we are really doing it. For instance, very young or very old women are at higher risk for fetal anomalies. They are also at higher risk for their own life. Young have better chance of survival if they are not born too close together or too many to one woman. Many women choose abortion considering the children they already have, maybe subconsciously she is giving them a better chance of survival.
 

MKULTRABOY

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No, abortion is not natural. For one, I'm not sure if killing off our young is something that humans did back before the rise of civilization. Even a couple million years ago, I'm not sure if it happened (I'm not saying it didn't, just that we don't know).

Of course its happened. Abortion itself is newer, but people have been tossing babies of cliffs and burying them alive for millenia.
 

RamFel

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"Let's forget the moral of it for a second"

That says it all...
 

molten_dragon

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Of course its happened. Abortion itself is newer, but people have been tossing babies of cliffs and burying them alive for millenia.

I'm not talking about timescales in terms of millenia. I'm talking about hundreds of thousands or millions of years ago. Back when we were still 'feral' so to speak, and more affected by the forces of evolution. The point I'm trying to make is that when animals kill their young, it's not a conscious decision. They do it because they are driven by instinct to do so. And some species have that instinct and others don't. My thoughts are on whether or not humanity ever had that instinct.

I'm well aware that infanticide isn't new, but all the examples given were in times when doing so was a conscious decision.
 

molten_dragon

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Most of our reasons coincide with providing the strong a better chance of survival, maybe we don't know why we are really doing it. For instance, very young or very old women are at higher risk for fetal anomalies. They are also at higher risk for their own life. Young have better chance of survival if they are not born too close together or too many to one woman. Many women choose abortion considering the children they already have, maybe subconsciously she is giving them a better chance of survival.

An interesting thought. I never considered before that some abortions could be driven by the instinct to pass on genes. I'm not sure how it could ever be proven, but it's interesting to think about.

I still hold though, that abortion is unnatural. Infanticide possibly, but not abortion.
 

MKULTRABOY

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I'm not talking about timescales in terms of millenia. I'm talking about hundreds of thousands or millions of years ago. Back when we were still 'feral' so to speak, and more affected by the forces of evolution. The point I'm trying to make is that when animals kill their young, it's not a conscious decision. They do it because they are driven by instinct to do so. And some species have that instinct and others don't. My thoughts are on whether or not humanity ever had that instinct.

I'm well aware that infanticide isn't new, but all the examples given were in times when doing so was a conscious decision.

Then in those times we freakin ate our babies.
 

OscarB63

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abortion is not natural. miscarriages are natural. abortion requires the intervention of a force outside the body.

but big freakin whoop. even if abortion were "natural" would that make it right? There are tons of things that are "natural" that human society frowns upon.

In the animal kingdom, incest is a common practice. when a female comes into heat any nearby male will attempt to mate with her, be it brother, father, uncle, son, etc.
Animals routinely engage in cannibalism and infanticide.

Dogs naturally eat their own **** and lick their own genitals. :shrug:

"it's a natural process" is one of the lamest arguements existant...for anything.
 

OscarB63

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some animals do these things.

yeah, not many herbivores engage in cannibalism. but that's not the point now is it? not all humans engage in abortion :shrug:
 

nonpareil

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No, abortion is not natural. For one, I'm not sure if killing off our young is something that humans did back before the rise of civilization. Even a couple million years ago, I'm not sure if it happened (I'm not saying it didn't, just that we don't know).

Our 4500 years of recorded history have shown that human have done it from the time of the ancient Egyptian. To say that you need to know the millinia of unrecorded history before human civilisation, of which we can have no way of knowing, in order to verify this 4500 years of history is just bogus. It's the kind of intellectual dishonesty I was trying to avoid. It's not reasonable to believe that human were more likely to not have practiced infanticide before they became civilised when we have evidence of the practice through out recorded history (and the fact loads of animals pratice it).

Secondly, the method(s) by which we practice abortion are not natural. In all the cases you talked about above, animals are killing their young after they have been born. I don't know of any species that kill off their young while in the womb.

Because animals don't know how to (or so we assume). Some animals may have the ability to self-medicate with plants in their environment, though perhaps they wouldn't be conscious of the fact that they "self-medicate". I don't know of anyone who have studied if animals take plants that induce abortion so I'm willing to accept that they don't do it absence the evidence that they do.

However what you are saying is that killing a baby after it's born is natural, but induced abortion is not. It's correct semantically, because abortion is not infanticide, but you're just avoiding the point that it's an act of killing the young (or the potential to the specie) as a way to natural selection. The mother can't raise the young well, she kills it. Essentially, she's terminating her biological investment. Abortion is a more efficient method of cutting her loses than infanticide.

Of course, pro-lifers would disagree that there is anything different between an abortion and the killing of a born baby. They are both infanticide to them.

And finally, the reasons that humans practice abortion are unnatural. In all the cases you mentioned above, the reasons for the animals killing their young are driven by the need to pass along their genes. Mothers kill the weakest of their young so that the strongest have a better chance of surviving. A pack leader may kill the young of other pack members so that his/her own offspring have a better chance of survival. Human abortions have nothing to do with that. Our reasons are unnatural, and only due to our higher thought processes.

The reason I thought of looking at animal behaviours in relation to abortion is because there are quite a number of women who choose to have abortion after they have a few children. They often feel that they won't be able to raise their existing children well enough if they have more children. Women who have abortion think about their future, often in relation to finding a new mate who would help them raise the new babies and having the life they want. They want a resource rich environment in which to raise their future children, which means those children will have biological advantage to the ones she aborted had she had it and raised it in a poor environment. There are of course women who have abortion just because they never want to have children at all their whole life. Then again there are animal mothers who refuse or kill their young out of aggression. Aberrations like that will happen.

I don't think it's right to say that if we consciously act in a certain way, that that act is outside of nature. We construct a lot of rituals around acts like eating or copulating. But at the root there's a very instinctual primitive impulse behind it. We may construct a lot of human reasons around abortion (or infanticide like the Greeks practiced) but it doesn't mean there isn't an instinctual primitive impulse behind it.
 

Orion

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From a biological standpoint, I suppose it's not natural as in the body has no inherent mechanism to dispose of a fetus. On the other hand, the human body cannot do a great number of things and as a species we are generally pretty weak; that is why we have evolved an intelligent brain to compensate with creativity and invention. Abortion is a natural product of this.

If we're talking about history... well, abortion has been universal in all societies throughout recorded history.

There is simply no precedent to stop it now.
 

Demon of Light

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In the animal kingdom, incest is a common practice. when a female comes into heat any nearby male will attempt to mate with her, be it brother, father, uncle, son, etc.

I doubt they ask permission either.
 

molten_dragon

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Our 4500 years of recorded history have shown that human have done it from the time of the ancient Egyptian. To say that you need to know the millinia of unrecorded history before human civilisation, of which we can have no way of knowing, in order to verify this 4500 years of history is just bogus. It's the kind of intellectual dishonesty I was trying to avoid. It's not reasonable to believe that human were more likely to not have practiced infanticide before they became civilised when we have evidence of the practice through out recorded history (and the fact loads of animals pratice it).

For me to consider abortion (or infanticide for that matter) 'natural', one of the criteria it would have to meet is that the desire to commit the act would be driven by instinct and not higher thought processes. And for the most part, it's not.

The reason that I'm discounting the last 4500 years of our history of infanticide is because you would have to go back a lot longer than that to get to a point where human beings were more creatures of instinct than rationality.

Regardless, I don't think the point really matters all that much. There are plenty of things which are 'natural' that are illegal, and plenty of things that are unnatural that are legal. Whether abortion is or isn't natural shouldn't (and doesn't) have any bearing on whether or not it is legal.
 

Chappy

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What is the difference between abortion and miscarriage? There are conditions which prevent impregnated eggs from attaching to the wall of the womb; are women who know they suffer from these conditions and still have sex, murderers? Honestly when I think about these things, anti-choice people come off as such morons.
 

Chappy

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History of Infanticide
Infanticide has been practiced on every continent and by people on every level of cultural complexity, from hunters and gatherers to high civilization, including our own ancestors. Rather than being an exception, then, it has been the rule. …

 

nonpareil

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I'm not talking about timescales in terms of millenia. I'm talking about hundreds of thousands or millions of years ago. Back when we were still 'feral' so to speak, and more affected by the forces of evolution. The point I'm trying to make is that when animals kill their young, it's not a conscious decision. They do it because they are driven by instinct to do so. And some species have that instinct and others don't. My thoughts are on whether or not humanity ever had that instinct.

I'm well aware that infanticide isn't new, but all the examples given were in times when doing so was a conscious decision.

You are caught in a circular argument. The only example of history we can provide to show that human practiced infanticide or abortion or rejection of new borns will be from recorded history. If it's not recorded, how would know it happened? There's no way of telling that a baby's remain that was found was killed by it's mother - unless it's recorded. If it's recorded, that mean the person who acted must have the consciouseness to make the decision to kill the baby since they have the consciouness to record the killing.

And to say that animals don't make conscious decision when they kill young or watch their young get killed is wrong too. Animal mothers select for the strongest babies, and only reject or kill the weakest ones. There's a consciouse decision in that. And then there this monkey. The new male will kill the youngs from the previou male, but sometimes the mother try to save its young by decieving the new male about the baby's parentage.

It's fair to say that human have much greater impulse control and consciouness than other animals, but to say that other animals (especially other mammals) don't have any at all, I think, is incorrect.
 
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Josie

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What is the difference between abortion and miscarriage?

What's the difference between you dying of a heart attack and me stabbing you in the heart?
 

nonpareil

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For me to consider abortion (or infanticide for that matter) 'natural', one of the criteria it would have to meet is that the desire to commit the act would be driven by instinct and not higher thought processes. And for the most part, it's not.

The reason that I'm discounting the last 4500 years of our history of infanticide is because you would have to go back a lot longer than that to get to a point where human beings were more creatures of instinct than rationality.

This position is illogical base on the arguements I've made in the above posts to you.

Also

1. "higher thought process" does not preclude it being driven by instinct

2. To say that after recorded civilisation, humans "were more creatures of instinct than rationality" is just wrong, or at the least presumptuous. We find out everyday that certain traits, like aggression, sympathy etc are all a part product of our genes. And we know our genes can mutate as a result of our behaviour. We simply don't know how much of what we are is nature and how much is "rationale". Who's to say that our "rationale" is not a product of nature itself (we select for traits that lead to our morality etc). And personally, in economics, I see a lot of irrational behaviour in modern human.

Regardless, I don't think the point really matters all that much. There are plenty of things which are 'natural' that are illegal, and plenty of things that are unnatural that are legal. Whether abortion is or isn't natural shouldn't (and doesn't) have any bearing on whether or not it is legal.


I never said it does. In fact I prefaced my post with the sentence: it will still be wrong even if it's "natural".

I'm part disgusted with myself that I can argue that infanticide is natural, but in fact it must be because it happens a lot in nature. Right now I believe that's the only interlectually honest position, but I'm willing for others to convince me that I'm wrong. So far no one has.
 
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Abortion is found throughout all forms of nature. Pregnant women all over the world experience their bodies aborting embryos. Artificial abortion (performed by a doctor) is not natural but is a choice.
 

nonpareil

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From a biological standpoint, I suppose it's not natural as in the body has no inherent mechanism to dispose of a fetus. On the other hand, the human body cannot do a great number of things and as a species we are generally pretty weak; that is why we have evolved an intelligent brain to compensate with creativity and invention. Abortion is a natural product of this.

If we're talking about history... well, abortion has been universal in all societies throughout recorded history.

There is simply no precedent to stop it now.

This might derail the discussion, but I don't see why we can't stop something just because it has happened all along. Slavery was quite pravelent across different places and time, doesn't mean it shouldn't be stopped if we deem it to be wrong.

I made this thread not to discuss whether abortion is right or wrong. But to raise a discussion about the fact that abortion (which, I maybe semantically incorrect, I see as the human equivalant to animal infanticide) is not particular to human civilisation and may have an instinctual basis behind it.
 

Orion

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This might derail the discussion, but I don't see why we can't stop something just because it has happened all along. Slavery was quite pravelent across different places and time, doesn't mean it shouldn't be stopped if we deem it to be wrong.

I made this thread not to discuss whether abortion is right or wrong. But to raise a discussion about the fact that abortion (which, I maybe semantically incorrect, I see as the human equivalant to animal infanticide) is not particular to human civilisation and may have an instinctual basis behind it.

I am so tired of the slavery comparison that I'm not even going to bother fighting it. Please see the 10 x infinity threads that already exist on it.

We don't deem it to be wrong. AFAIK, in the U.S. people are fairly split on the matter... 50/50. That is enough for a pro-choice legal system IMO. Pro-choice encompasses the choice to have an abortion and the choice to not have one. Anti-choice legislation relegates women to unsafe procedures and the death rate increases.

Legal abortion is the only sane policy.
 

nonpareil

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I am so tired of the slavery comparison that I'm not even going to bother fighting it. Please see the 10 x infinity threads that already exist on it.

That's as good as a concession.

We don't deem it to be wrong. AFAIK, in the U.S. people are fairly split on the matter... 50/50. That is enough for a pro-choice legal system IMO. Pro-choice encompasses the choice to have an abortion and the choice to not have one. Anti-choice legislation relegates women to unsafe procedures and the death rate increases.

Legal abortion is the only sane policy.

I see I have to repeat myself again: I made this thread not to discuss whether abortion is right or wrong.
 
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