/ Catholic Midwives win Abortion Appeal

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TheDrunkenBakers - on 24 Apr 2013
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-22279857

Words fail me yet again.

As an atheist, does this now mean that I have a case to bring against my employer if they fire me because I wish not to deal with Muslims or Jehovah's Witnesses - due to my disagreement with some of the teachings.

Of course it shouldnt! These people are supposed to be professionals where the care of the patient should be uttermost in their thinking.

If I took this stance, I would be fired and rightly so.
IainRUK - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers: Its difficult but it sounds like they had a lawful right to be concientious objectors..

That was specifically mentioned in the law..

So if you can find specific text in UK law which you can base an argument on to not deal with muslims of JW's then you could..

IainRUK - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers: For me, I think they should be allowed to object by not being involved, but not object by putting any influence on the patient.. which seems what it is saying.. they will be removed from contact..
TheDrunkenBakers - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to TheDrunkenBakers) Its difficult but it sounds like they had a lawful right to be concientious objectors..
>
> That was specifically mentioned in the law..
>
> So if you can find specific text in UK law which you can base an argument on to not deal with muslims of JW's then you could..

Then the law should be repealed. These women should view their profession, one which demands a high degree of patient care, before their fairy story nonsense.

Are we in the middle ages here!?

IainRUK - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers: Thats fair enough.. but at the moment our law does allow them that right and the judges role is to ensure the laws are followed.. they went the right way about it.

It seems a very open process.

I do see your point, but what they argued makes sense when you see the wording of the law.. if that law needs changing then thats not their issue.

Right to your MP?
IainRUK - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
>
> Then the law should be repealed. These women should view their profession, one which demands a high degree of patient care, before their fairy story nonsense.
>
> Are we in the middle ages here!?

Their counsel Gerry Moynihan QC told the court that in so far as the women were part of a team, their right to conscientious objection extended to the whole of their duties, save for the provision that there was an obligation to participate in life-saving measures.

So it seems they still care for the patient.. if an abortion was life saving they would help out.. so I don't think there is an argument they are affecting the level of care.
Christheclimber - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

I fail to understand your "outrage". I always thought midfiffery was about bringing people in to the world not terminating life. These midwifes have every right not to be involved in abortion.
Alyson - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers: I see where you're coming from but, despite the slightly inflammatory news headline, the law is separating their religion from their right to be a conscientious objector to abortion. They could be atheists and still object, as no doubt some people do.

I am strongly pro-abortion but I don't think the law as it stands regarding their right to be conscientious objectors is too problematic.
Kemics - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

I'm 100% pro choice. But it's never going to be an easy choice. I completely respect their decision to not want to be part of the process (as long as the patients dont suffer). I know people who are atheist but not comfortable with abortion.

TheDrunkenBakers - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Christheclimber:
> (In reply to TheDrunkenBakers)
>
> I fail to understand your "outrage". I always thought midfiffery was about bringing people in to the world not terminating life. These midwifes have every right not to be involved in abortion.

Midwives are there to support a pregnant woman through her pregnancy, regardless of the ultimate end goal of the woman. Abortions are also 'delivered'.

My 'outrage' as you put it is twofold. Firstly, and this really grates with my atheism, in that these woman can be so selfish as to want to limit their abilities to those people whom they religiously disagree with. What if they disagreed with the principle of red hair, Asians, people with one leg? This is a small but significant example of religious privilege which panders to certain groups on the basis of their beliefs. It is exactly the reverse situation that the bed and breakfast owner who wouldn't allow gay people to stay at their B&B. Why should religion be given such credit.

Secondly, the law is a nonsense. Why should a public servant have the right to select whom they will serve because is doesnt conform to their particular religious leanings. As i said earlier, if I made such rediculous statements (and they do deserve ridicule) in my line of work. I would be fired.

TheDrunkenBakers - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Alyson:
> (In reply to TheDrunkenBakers) I see where you're coming from but, despite the slightly inflammatory news headline, the law is separating their religion from their right to be a conscientious objector to abortion. They could be atheists and still object, as no doubt some people do.
>
> I am strongly pro-abortion but I don't think the law as it stands regarding their right to be conscientious objectors is too problematic.

OK, I see you point for for the sake of exploring this in a religion free context, lets assume for a second that they are atheists and they object to abortion which is part of their job description. In this context, they are in breach of their contract and should be given a warning culminating in dismissal for repeat offence.

I do think that whilst the splitting of religion and law may be accurate here, I am as confident as night follows day that if they were fired, they would be pretty speedy in bringing the hospital to court for descrimination on religious grounds.

Coel Hellier - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> Then the law should be repealed.

Hmm, not convinced. When it comes to deliberately killing a proto-human-being I think a conscientious objection clause is sensible.
EeeByGum - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> As an atheist, does this now mean that I have a case to bring against my employer if they fire me because I wish not to deal with Muslims or Jehovah's Witnesses - due to my disagreement with some of the teachings.

In a word, yes. If you can prove to the courts that the teachings of the atheist religion do not permit you to deal with Muslims or Jehovah's Witnesses, then you would have a case to answer.

I think you are being a bit naive here though. We all know what an emotive topic abortion is regardless of your religious beliefs. It seems reasonable that a health care professional should be allowed to opt out of performing a procedure they feel to be morally objectionable. Their religion in this case isn't really relevant. You could argue that being a midwife is about bringing life into the world, not killing it.
Alyson - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:
> (In reply to Alyson)
> [...]
>
> OK, I see you point for for the sake of exploring this in a religion free context, lets assume for a second that they are atheists and they object to abortion which is part of their job description. In this context, they are in breach of their contract and should be given a warning culminating in dismissal for repeat offence.

I'm pretty sure that their contract would not be legally binding if it contradicted the laws governing abortion in Britain (ie the Abortion Act 1967 (as amended)). That Act allows for conscientious objectors to abortion so their contract couldn't possibly enforce the opposite, surely?
balmybaldwin - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

I obviously read this differently to everyone else.

The BBC article refers to 2 rulings, the first one seems to imply the ruling was as they have no direct involvement then their is no violation of their human rights or the right to concienciously object:

"Mary Doogan, 58, and Concepta Wood, 52, lost a previous case against NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC).

The court ruled that their human rights had not been violated as they were not directly involved in terminations."

Lady Smith said: "Nothing they have to do as part of their duties terminates a woman's pregnancy."

"They are sufficiently removed from direct involvement as, it seems to me, to afford appropriate respect for and accommodation of their beliefs."

The second ruling by the appeal court judges said:

"In our view the right of conscientious objection extends not only to the actual medical or surgical termination but to the whole process of treatment given for that purpose."

So it seems that whilst being a conscientious objector they can as result of this judgment now refuse to do aspects of their work which seem to be purely administrative on the basis of one (or more) patient on the ward receiving a termination? as their jobs seem to be labour ward co-ordinators rather than active midwives treating patients.

Does seem like if they hold these beliefs they will no longer be capable of carrying out the job they are employed to do (at least some of the time).


balmybaldwin - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to TheDrunkenBakers)
>
> [...]
>
> Hmm, not convinced. When it comes to deliberately killing a proto-human-being I think a conscientious objection clause is sensible.

Coel, you are aware that not all abortions in maternity wards are a matter of choice don't you and are in fact necessary to preserve the life of the mother in numerous cases?
Carolyn - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

As in this widely reported case in Ireland, where the law is obviously slightly different:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/14/ireland-abortion-law-woman-death
Coel Hellier - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> Coel, you are aware that not all abortions in maternity wards are a matter of choice don't you
> and are in fact necessary to preserve the life of the mother in numerous cases?

Yes, but I also support the conscientious objection of someone who doesn't wish to deliberately kill a proto-human-being even if it is necessary to preserve the life of the mother.
IainRUK - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:
> (In reply to Coel Hellier)
> [...]
>
> Coel, you are aware that not all abortions in maternity wards are a matter of choice don't you and are in fact necessary to preserve the life of the mother in numerous cases?

And they specifically say they will help with them.
IainRUK - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:
"Their counsel Gerry Moynihan QC told the court that in so far as the women were part of a team, their right to conscientious objection extended to the whole of their duties, save for the provision that there was an obligation to participate in life-saving measures. "
Alyson - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:
>
> So it seems that whilst being a conscientious objector they can as result of this judgment now refuse to do aspects of their work which seem to be purely administrative on the basis of one (or more) patient on the ward receiving a termination? as their jobs seem to be labour ward co-ordinators rather than active midwives treating patients.
>
> Does seem like if they hold these beliefs they will no longer be capable of carrying out the job they are employed to do (at least some of the time).

I tend to agree with you on this point. However (and this is not aimed at you, just bringing it back to the OP and BBC headline) it comes down to legally defining and testing through case law the parameters of 'conscientious objection'. It is still a legal matter which can be, and is being, dealt with as separate from religious doctrine/belief.

The ruling isn't just applicable to Catholics.

balmybaldwin - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to balmybaldwin)
> [...]
>
> And they specifically say they will help with them.

I didn't say they wouldn't. I was replying Coels comment "deliberately killing a proto-human-being" which he has now clarified.
ThunderCat - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
>
>
> Are we in the middle ages here!?

Yes, sadly. :(
MG - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to balmybaldwin)
>
> [...]
>
> Yes, but I also support the conscientious objection of someone who doesn't wish to deliberately kill a proto-human-being even if it is necessary to preserve the life of the mother.

Is this because you think abortion is uniquely contentious and therefore there should be a unique opt out. Or do you think that in general people should be able to register conscientious objections to aspects of their work they find distasteful?
IainRUK - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Coel Hellier)
> [...]
>
> Is this because you think abortion is uniquely contentious and therefore there should be a unique opt out. Or do you think that in general people should be able to register conscientious objections to aspects of their work they find distasteful?

This by law has been identified as a contentious issue.. there was scope in the law, according to the judge, for people to be objectors.
MG - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to IainRUK: I understand that, I was curious about Coel's motivation for supporting that law.
Coel Hellier - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:

> Or do you think that in general people should be able to register conscientious objections to
> aspects of their work they find distasteful?

Nope, I don't support conscientious objections to any aspects someone dislikes. I do support a conscientious objection to serving in the military, where one might be expected to try to kill other people, so, no, I wouldn't give abortion a "unique" opt out.
MG - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier: That's bit different though isn't it because we don't have conscription (for the army or mid-wifes). You presumably you wouldn't support someone in the army being allowed to opt out of killing people? Which leaves an opt for abortion as special.
dissonance - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Nope, I don't support conscientious objections to any aspects someone dislikes. I do support a conscientious objection to serving in the military

not the same thing though is it? Unless conscription is in use then no one has to join the military.
Someone joining up voluntarily and then objecting to the killing people bit seems on shaky ground.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to Coel Hellier)
>
> [...]
>
> not the same thing though is it? Unless conscription is in use then no one has to join the military.
> Someone joining up voluntarily and then objecting to the killing people bit seems on shaky ground.

As does joining midwifery, which includes a range of roles including abortion, when you fully expect to exclude yourself from treating some patients.

Nutkey on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:
> (In reply to Christheclimber)
> [...]
>
> Midwives are there to support a pregnant woman through her pregnancy, regardless of the ultimate end goal of the woman. Abortions are also 'delivered'.
>
> My 'outrage' as you put it is twofold. Firstly, and this really grates with my atheism, in that these woman can be so selfish as to want to limit their abilities to those people whom they religiously disagree with. What if they disagreed with the principle of red hair, Asians, people with one leg? This is a small but significant example of religious privilege which panders to certain groups on the basis of their beliefs. It is exactly the reverse situation that the bed and breakfast owner who wouldn't allow gay people to stay at their B&B. Why should religion be given such credit.

This case isn't about red hair, nor is it about the woman. It's purely about the baby - "we do not want to help kill babies", as opposed to "we do not want to help red-haired women deliver babies". It's therefore also not the same as the B&B situation.

>
> Secondly, the law is a nonsense. Why should a public servant have the right to select whom they will serve because is doesnt conform to their particular religious leanings. As i said earlier, if I made such rediculous statements (and they do deserve ridicule) in my line of work. I would be fired.

They are not selecting who they will serve, they are selecting what they will do. Your case of "I don't want to serve JWs" is not the same.
dxbyrne - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers: slightly off topic but it would be interesting if student docs and nurses/midwives had to agree to provide abortions as and when required in the course of their career in order to get a college place. Maybe even as part of their training they have to perform/assist in one.

Would certainly reduce the pressure on medical places if the conscientious objectors were weeded out early!
Coel Hellier - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to MG and dissonance:

> Which leaves an opt for abortion as special.

I support the legalisation of doctor-assisted suicide. I'd also support the right of conscientious objection of any doctor.
winhill - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:
> (In reply to TheDrunkenBakers)
>
> I obviously read this differently to everyone else.

> So it seems that whilst being a conscientious objector they can as result of this judgment now refuse to do aspects of their work which seem to be purely administrative on the basis of one (or more) patient on the ward receiving a termination? as their jobs seem to be labour ward co-ordinators rather than active midwives treating patients.

Yes, you're absolutely right, this case isn't about CO itself, but the limits of CO.

As it stands the right to CO extends only to healthcare professionals but there could be other staff involved as part of the team who either should offered the possibility of objection or if denied then healthcare workers should also be denied the right for those tasks.

Except the Act doesn't specify healthcare workers, it specifies treatment.

So if the nutters are part of the treatment team how far does that extend? Medical records, porters, receptionists, cleaners?

Lawyer said

"The administrative convenience of the health board is irrelevant because the right is a balance between facilitating abortion while respecting the genuine conscientious objection of medical, nursing and ancillary staff,"

Judges said

"In our view the right of conscientious objection extends not only to the actual medical or surgical termination but to the whole process of treatment given for that purpose."

What counts as a process of treatment?

icnoble on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to TheDrunkenBakers)
>
> [...]
>
> Hmm, not convinced. When it comes to deliberately killing a proto-human-being I think a conscientious objection clause is sensible.

I totally agree with you.

icnoble on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Alyson:

>
> I am strongly pro-abortion but I don't think the law as it stands regarding their right to be conscientious objectors is too problematic.

You say you are strongly pro-abortion, do you think it is right to abort a foetus that, if born would have a cleft palette?

Jim C - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-22279857
>
> Words fail me yet again.
>
> As an atheist, does this now mean that I have a case to bring against my employer if they fire me because I wish not to deal with Muslims or Jehovah's Witnesses - due to my disagreement with some of the teachings.
>
> Of course it shouldnt! These people are supposed to be professionals where the care of the patient should be uttermost in their thinking.
>
> If I took this stance, I would be fired and rightly so.

You're very sure of yourself on this. You would fire any nurses with a conscience?

We had this debate in the car, even the Rangers supporter who travels to Ireland for the protestant marches surprised me when he took the side of the catholic midwifes .

And myself , who has no religious axe to grind , but have close family all in the caring services, am also able to see the human element, that no one should be forced to help take a Life, whether on religious professional or ethical grounds.

Abortions are generally planned, so not difficult to only match people who want abortions with staff who are prepared to offer their services, and not force people to participate or supports those in taking a life if , for whatever's reason, if they do not want to.

I also cannot think of nothing worse for someone who has perhaps had to make a very difficult decision to abort, having the additional burden of knowing that the staff carrying out the procedure were not personally wanting ton do so, and worse, if they thought that they were morally wrong to request the abortion. I would not fire them.


Alyson - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to icnoble:
> (In reply to Alyson)
>
> You say you are strongly pro-abortion, do you think it is right to abort a foetus that, if born would have a cleft palette?

Do I think it's right? No, not at all. But if you are dealing with parents who would not want a baby for that reason, what is the advantage to forcing them to have one? Imagine being born with a cleft palate to parents who didn't want to continue with the pregnancy.

I know you've deliberately picked an extreme example of a bad 'reason' to try and make a point, but it's not sufficient to undermine my basic belief in the right of someone to choose whether or not to continue with a pregnancy. Especially as the vast majority of reasons - the far more common ones - are ones I would support.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Jim C:
> (In reply to TheDrunkenBakers)
> [...]
>
> You're very sure of yourself on this. You would fire any nurses with a conscience?

No, I would fire nurses who were not performing the duties of their job description. Moreover, I would try to repeal any laws which gave religiosity a special privilege in life at the expense or suffering of those who choose not to follow religion e.g. faith schools, position in the House of Lords, halal meat, etc.

>
> And myself , who has no religious axe to grind , but have close family all in the caring services, am also able to see the human element, that no one should be forced to help take a Life, whether on religious, professional or ethical grounds.

Then this job is not for those who want to enter into midwifery and there are unpleasant elements to every job one undertakes (OK, i know we are talking about lives here so I don't mean to sound flippant, before anyone picks me up on this).

It's like taking a job as a sales person but then not being willing to pick up the phone to try and generate new business because you feel it unethical or immoral to call people in their homes. One should not be able to pick and chose the parts of a job we want to do.

> Abortions are generally planned, so not difficult to only match people who want abortions with staff who are prepared to offer their services, and not force people to participate or supports those in taking a life if for whatever reason, if they do not want to.

I agree and as such, they should not be in the role.

> I also cannot think of nothing worse for someone who has perhaps had to make a very difficult decision to abort, having the additional burden of knowing that the staff carrying out the procedure were not personally wanting ton do so, and worse, if they thought that they were morally wrong to request the abortion. I would not fire them.

I agree again. These people should not be in the role if abortion is part of the job description.
Alyson - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers: But the point is that abortion is a procedure governed by statutory legislation. That legislation allows for conscientious objection. You cannot have a 'job description' which is legally unenforceable, therefore the job description of midwives allows for conscientious objection to abortion! You keep on about them not doing their job properly without acknowledging that the role is subject to existing statute. This is NOT a special priviledge for religion, it is applicable to anybody.
IainRUK - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers: But the argument is they aren't suffering physically.

If they were they'd help out.
Alyson - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Alyson: *privilege
Coel Hellier - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Alyson:

> You keep on about them not doing their job properly without acknowledging that the role is subject to existing statute.

Well he has explicitly stated that he wants to repeal that law.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to TheDrunkenBakers) But the argument is they aren't suffering physically.
>
> If they were they'd help out.

To clarify, this particular point widened my point about religiosity and its position and wasnt specific to this case as I appreciate that the aborting women wouldnt be epexcted to do this on their own.

Alyson - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier: I know, but he then refers to it as religious privilege (which it isn't, but he seems to want to repeal it on the basis that it is) and saying the midwives aren't doing the job they're contracted to do (which they are).
TheDrunkenBakers - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to Alyson)
>
> [...]
>
> Well he has explicitly stated that he wants to repeal that law.

Correct. I am opposing their position, which despite the legal framework, is most likely underpinned by their religious tendencies. I also think that the law is improper too.

To be clear, I think that religion and profession should be kept separate - unless your profession is religion i.e. vicar, professor of divinity (hahaha, professor of divinity, really), pope etc.

I should have no more right to self remove my care of an abortive women as I do a homosexual woman.

Lets assume for a second that the abortion is as a consequence of rape, is it not hard enough for the woman already knowing how she was impregnated to also be made to feel that what she is doing is immoral?

Think about the religious loons in the states who picket abortion clinics and harass these poor women.

Alyson - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers: But it is not a religious privilege, and objection to abortion is not the sole preserve of Catholics. You say religion and profession should be kept separate as if you still think the law is there purely to suit the religiously inclined.
MG - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Alyson:
law is there purely to suit the religiously inclined.

The distinction is clear in principle but in practice the law was framed that way by religous lobbying and probably 95% of the objections to abortion originate in religous thinking. While pragmatically it is probably fine, it does seem rather out of line to me. Are there other examples of a statutory right to opt out of aspects of a job?
Coel Hellier - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:

> Are there other examples of a statutory right to opt out of aspects of a job?

I can think of one: a teacher can opt-out of taking religious school assemblies. Now there's another whole can of worms.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier: Oh lordy, i wish you hadnt told me that.


Anyway, apply my above points to this new situation and the argument is still the same.
Nutkey on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Alyson)
> law is there purely to suit the religiously inclined.
>
> The distinction is clear in principle but in practice the law was framed that way by religous lobbying and probably 95% of the objections to abortion originate in religous thinking. While pragmatically it is probably fine, it does seem rather out of line to me. Are there other examples of a statutory right to opt out of aspects of a job?

Working on Sundays.
Religious education at school (ok, not a job, and also the pupil can't opt out, only the parent). Not sure if that one is statutory though.
Milesy - on 25 Apr 2013
Many Doctors already exclude themself from prescribing birth controls.

The Hippocratic Oath has existed for thousands of years, and for thousands of years Health Care professionals have objected to abortive procedures.
simon c on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Alyson:

When I qualified as a Nurse in the 80's you could opt out of abortions as part of the student clinical practice and still qualify, in Mental Health though you couldn't opt out of the E.C.T procedures using the same caveat. Some Student Nurses felt as strongly about the use of that procedure and would have wanted the same opt out. I have no idea if thats still current policy though in the Schools of Nursing.
Uluru on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Milesy:
> Many Doctors already exclude themself from prescribing birth controls.
>
> The Hippocratic Oath has existed for thousands of years, and for thousands of years Health Care professionals have objected to abortive procedures.


I had a doctor in Wales refused to prescribe me birth control pills even though I needed them for other reasons. Needless to say I requested not to see her again but it was very frustrating to have to wait another week to get an appointment to see someone who would prescribe them!
MG - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Nutkey:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
> Working on Sundays.


Don't think that's right
http://www.findlaw.co.uk/law/employment/pay_and_work_rights/working_hours/8383.html
johncoxmysteriously - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Uluru:

>I had a doctor in Wales refused to prescribe me birth control pills even though I needed them for other reasons

Other reasons than what?

jcm
Alyson - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: Other reasons than birth control I'd presume! They can help control heavy, painful periods and teenage acne for example.
Eric9Points - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Anyone got any idea who paid their legal fees?

Nigel Thomson - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to TheDrunkenBakers)
>
> Anyone got any idea who paid their legal fees?

Prolife. Raging tarriers!

MargieB - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to IainRUK: There could be nothing worse than having an abortion feeling knowing there was a female who fundamentally objected to it- so,in a way, it suits all round.
wercat on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

It's not words that fail you. It might be your ability to allow other people to hold to principles other than prescribed by you.
wercat on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

and does your job involve the taking of life? If not then I think you have no analogy
Eric9Points - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to wercat:

The issue is not with holding principles, it's a free country, it's a question of whether or not you can take up a job which requires you to do something against your principles and then decide not to do those things.

Eric9Points - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to wercat:
> (In reply to TheDrunkenBakers)
>
> and does your job involve the taking of life?

Sorry but you're not getting away with that.

After much debate and research the time limit n abortions was set a point, before which the foetus could not be considered to be a sentient being. Except in exceptional circumstances where the mother's life is in danger, life is not taken.
thomasadixon - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:

That's not true. After much debate a time limit was set which the majority of people would agree to, based largely on whether we currently have the medical technology to keep the foetus/baby alive outside of the womb. It's nonsense to claim that at 24 weeks the foetus isn't sentient (and so can't be killed) and at 24 weeks and 1 hour it is. The cut off point is pragmatic, nothing more.

Further, babies have survived that have been born before the 24 week limit, are you seriously claiming that they were not alive when they were born? If so when did they become alive?

Abortion is a unique issue and an extremely controversial topic, what we've done is taken a pragmatic approach which doesn't take either side. Requiring those who want to go into the profession to carry out an abortion (in their eyes to murder a person) would be the state coming down on one side - it's divisive and unnecessary. What we've got allows those who think abortion is okay to have them (up to a point), and doesn't force those who think it's not okay to be involved. It's a decent solution.
Tim Chappell - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to wercat)
> [...]
>
> Except in exceptional circumstances where the mother's life is in danger, life is not taken.

Sorry, but you're not getting away with that. It's a criterion for a successful abortion that the foetus should end up dead: if it doesn't, then the 'procedure' has failed.

The life of an early foetus may not be a life that you care about; it may be a life that you want to pretend isn't there; it is nonetheless a life.
MG - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell: Its a progression from not at all a life (egg plus sperm) to full life ( new born). Draw a line somewhere pragmatic as thomasdixon says.
Tim Chappell - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:

No, it is a life from conception on. That's a simple matter of biological fact.

If the proponents of abortion were better at facing up to the simple matters of fact that are involved in this issue, I might have a little more confidence in their attempts to deal with the complex matters of ethics that the issue also involves.
MG - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell: Assertion doesnt make it true. The phrase about chickens amd eggs is relevant here. Eggs are not chickens. Foetuses are not humans
marsbar - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Eric9Points: That is a load of rubbish. At some point the foetus becomes sentient. We don't actually know enough to say exactly when. Before then it isn't dead though, its alive and therefore a life. The 24 week limit is one of those lines that had to be drawn somewhere.

If you want further proof, this little one survived and thrived, http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/feb/21/health.lifeandhealth

FWIW I'm pro choice, but my choice would be not to have an abortion, and I'm not religious but I wouldn't want to perform one either.
marsbar - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Tim Chappell) Assertion doesnt make it true. The phrase about chickens amd eggs is relevant here. Eggs are not chickens. Foetuses are not humans

That doesn't mean they are not alive though. As Coel said above, proto-human
Tim Chappell - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:

Of course they're humans. A foetus is an individual human being. Not a proto-human, not an egg... a human being. When did you start having the unique DNA you have now? At conception, that's when. Conception is the creation of an individual animal. That's what conception is across all species that have it at all. So in the case of the human species, conception is the creation of the individual human animal.

That isn't assertion, that's argument. Though I hesitate to dignify with that name the simple reminder of facts you can find in any biology textbook.

An awful lot of 'pro-choice' argument (if, again, that's the word) seems to consist precisely in avoiding clear thought about these matters. As I say, this makes me uneasy. I am not entirely dogmatic one way or the other about abortion--I don't think it's always an easy or clear-cut issue-- but there is a strong whiff of bullshit about a lot of the stuff that pro-choicers say about what foetuses are and aren't. As I say, that makes me wonder about the rest of their arguments.
MG - on 01 May 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> Of course they're humans. A foetus is an individual human being. Not a proto-human, not an egg... a human being. When did you start having the unique DNA you have now?
>

So one of my hairs is alive? And my corpse? Unique DNA doesn't equal life, lrt alone a human life. And you talk about bullshit!
MG - on 01 May 2013
In reply to MG: And you are wrong about textbooks too There is no simple definition that neatly fits a religious (sorry philosophical) position on abortion.
IainRUK - on 01 May 2013
In reply to MG:
I thought we are now at a point where a baby can be born, viable and surviving at the same stage as the latest legal abortions.. so if so your point is wrong.
MG - on 01 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK: which point?
IainRUK - on 01 May 2013
In reply to MG: That a foetus isn't a human. Isn't the murder of an unborn child a crime if the mother is say stabbed? Thats the law then deciding that the foetus is human. I'm still pro-choice, but can totally understand objections, within reason, like the midwives here practiced.
MG - on 01 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to MG) That a foetus isn't a human.

I don't think so because there is no possibility of survival without medical intervention. In any case, as above, it's not a black and white divide but a progression from not-alive to alive (or possibly not-human to human) over time. Otherwise you have to argue the patently absurd position that an egg immediately after fertilisation is a human.

Isn't the murder of an unborn child a crime if the mother is say stabbed? Thats the law then deciding that the foetus is human.

I don't know - the law being inconsistent or wrong-headed is hardly unheard of!
MargieB - on 01 May 2013
In reply to MG: There is another reason for avoiding abortion if posssible -and that is the psychological effects. Hence my comment about not being surounded by opinion when one has already agonised to get to the operating table. There is nothing light in this procedure, certainly not casual, and yet occurances occur for various reasons. Best to avoid if possible and respect other bodies and minds but I agree it is a right, but a long, long way from being a preferable one.
IainRUK - on 01 May 2013
In reply to MG: I think I'm wrong actually.. I think thats a US law..
Nutkey on 01 May 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
>
> I don't think so because there is no possibility of survival without medical intervention. In any case, as above, it's not a black and white divide but a progression from not-alive to alive (or possibly not-human to human) over time. Otherwise you have to argue the patently absurd position that an egg immediately after fertilisation is a human.
>
> Isn't the murder of an unborn child a crime if the mother is say stabbed? Thats the law then deciding that the foetus is human.

Before birth - Child Destruction (or GBH if there is no intent to kill the foetus as a separate entity, but only to cause damage to the mother).
After birth - Murder, or Infanticide (if killed by a mentally disturbed mother), or Manslaughter.


IainRUK - on 01 May 2013
In reply to Nutkey: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unborn_Victims_of_Violence_Act

Yeah I was confusing it with the USA..
tlm - on 02 May 2013
In reply to MG:

> a progression from not-alive to alive (or possibly not-human to human) over time.

I think a foetus is always alive and always human, just as your skin, sperm or appendix is always alive and always human. I think it is the ability to live independently that varies over time...
tlm - on 02 May 2013
In reply to MargieB:
> (In reply to MG) There is another reason for avoiding abortion if posssible -and that is the psychological effects.

There are quite a lot of psychological effects in having a child too. I would think it was the unwanted pregnancy that it is best to try to avoid if as all possible.
tlm - on 02 May 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Tim Chappell) Assertion doesnt make it true. The phrase about chickens amd eggs is relevant here. Eggs are not chickens. Foetuses are not humans

Eggs are eggs.

Foetuses are a combination of an egg and a sperm. I think they are human, in the same way that any part of you is human. But I don't think human life is the most important thing there is (and neither do most people, as can be seen by armies, willingness to kill criminals, tolerance of killing in self defence etc)

tlm - on 02 May 2013
In reply to marsbar:

> FWIW I'm pro choice, but my choice would be not to have an abortion, and I'm not religious but I wouldn't want to perform one either.

Under any circumstances? Even if having the child would kill you?

MG - on 02 May 2013
In reply to tlm:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
> Eggs are eggs.
>
> Foetuses are a combination of an egg and a sperm.

A fertilized chicken egg is just that too. Do you think it a chicken?
MG - on 02 May 2013
In reply to tlm:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> [...]
>
> I think a foetus is always alive and always human, just as your skin, sperm or appendix is always alive and always human.

My appendix is human??!
Alyson - on 02 May 2013
In reply to MG: Mine passed away in 1996. RIP. (Rest in Pickle - well, formaldehyde)
Sir Chasm - on 02 May 2013
In reply to MG: Yes, unless you're some sort of chimera.
ads.ukclimbing.com
tlm - on 02 May 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to tlm)
> [...]
>
> A fertilized chicken egg is just that too. Do you think it a chicken?


No, the embryo inside the egg is that. The egg is a food supply and protection for the embryonic chicken inside.
IainRUK - on 02 May 2013
In reply to tlm: Did you read the link?

They quite clearly must and will perform abortions for health reasons.
tlm - on 02 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to tlm) Did you read the link?
>
> They quite clearly must and will perform abortions for health reasons.

The Catholic midwives? I didn't see that in the article (and I did a search for health, then reasons). I don't see how, if your faith tells you that killing is wrong, that you can save one person's health by killing a different person (as they would see it)?

IainRUK - on 02 May 2013
In reply to tlm: You might not.. but they do..

Its about freedom of choice..
IainRUK - on 02 May 2013
In reply to tlm: "Their counsel Gerry Moynihan QC told the court that in so far as the women were part of a team, their right to conscientious objection extended to the whole of their duties, save for the provision that there was an obligation to participate in life-saving measures. "

PeterM - on 02 May 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

It is a truy awful decision which I hope is appealed. They should not be working in the NHS.
tlm - on 02 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to tlm) You might not.. but they do..
>
> Its about freedom of choice..

I might not what? I didn't say what I might or might not do????

I'm quite happy for them not to carry out abortions as long as this isn't stopping anyone from having an abortion? It just seems daft to do otherwise?

IainRUK - on 02 May 2013
In reply to tlm: "I don't see how, if your faith tells you that killing is wrong, that you can save one person's health by killing a different person (as they would see it)?"

Maybe they see things differently to you...

Its all about how you interpret things. The law is there for a reason. Noones life is at risk, they do what they can to maintain life but will not participate in abortions for reasons other than health.

Really don't understand the outcry about this..
tlm - on 02 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

How do I see things??!!

I'm finding it hard to understand what you are saying? I don't have a problem with them not carrying out abortions?
IainRUK - on 02 May 2013
In reply to tlm: I just quoted exactly what you said.. which seeing as you used the words... I and see.. I presume is how you see things..
tlm - on 02 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to tlm) I just quoted exactly what you said.. which seeing as you used the words... I and see.. I presume is how you see things..

Ah!

You see how I wrote " (as they would see it)?" at the end?
That was an indication that I was writing what I imagined they would think, rather than writing what I think.

I don't think that myself.
thomasadixon - on 02 May 2013
In reply to tlm:

I don't see why you have a problem understanding this. Saving lives is important and in the case where not aborting will lead to the death of the mother you have to consider two evils - letting them both die or killing one to save the other. It's not really that difficult a decision to make on those facts (although of course in reality things are rarely that clear), you take the lesser evil and save the person you can. It may be wrong to kill but it's also wrong to allow someone to die when you have the ability to save them.

Where there's no risk to the mother and both mother and child will survive with no intervention there's no (life saving) reason to do anything and if you believe the foetus is a person there's a very strong reason not to do anything. It's a very different situation.
tlm - on 02 May 2013
In reply to thomasadixon:

I do understand that and personally have no problem with it...
Eric9Points - on 02 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to tlm) "I don't see how, if your faith tells you that killing is wrong, that you can save one person's health by killing a different person (as they would see it)?"
>
> Maybe they see things differently to you...
>
> Its all about how you interpret things. The law is there for a reason. Noones life is at risk, they do what they can to maintain life but will not participate in abortions for reasons other than health.
>
> Really don't understand the outcry about this..

The issue, for me at least is whether or not someone can take on a job and then decide they don't want to do certain parts of it.

If I were a Rastafarian police officer do you think it reasonable that I should refuse to arrest people who posses cannabis? Or do you think that I shouldn't have taken the job in the first place?
elsewhere on 02 May 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
> The issue, for me at least is whether or not someone can take on a job and then decide they don't want to do certain parts of it.


But that's exactly what Parliament wanted when they made the specific law.

marsbar - on 02 May 2013
In reply to tlm: Hadn't really thought about it to be honest.

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