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The Forum > Article Comments > Women and couples first > Comments

Women and couples first : Comments

By Judith Troeth, published 2/6/2008

Women and couplesí decisions about their fertility, and the number and spacing of their children must be their own decision.

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This article asks for too much.

You cannot ask for a moral stance to be taken and then argue in favour of moral relativism.

You cannot remove all references to abortion and child destruction from the Crimes Act. Law-making governments are there to make laws that protect people. These laws are particularly crucial when they protect the vulnerable: commonly the extremely young and extremely old. Courts see the need to protect the unborn when they are threatened, for example when pregnant women are attacked with the intention of harming the unborn child.

A morally relative stance argues in favour of protecting the unborn in such a situation, but argues in favour of abortion in many other cases. The difference is simply how we feel about the unborn child, not any intrinsic worth of the unborn individual.

If Judith wants courageous and moral decisions to be made, she cannot opt for a morally relative stance.

A courageous stance is one that acts on a moral ideal in all situations; being consistent even when it is hard. Arguing in favour of the right to abortion sounds like a courageous stance, but it is one that hides its face from the reality that the unborn child is disposed of. It is not courageous at all.

Furthermore, abortion has been achievable on demand in most states of Australia due to common law side-stepping of legislation. To ask legislation to fall in line with practice in the way that Judith requests will disallow crucial rights to the unborn that are currently protected in most jurisdictions, such as protection in the example given above.
Posted by stop&think, Monday, 2 June 2008 9:48:26 AM
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I agree with Stop&think

A courageous decision would be to carry the pregnancy to full term, and then adopt the child out.

There has been almost no research undertaken into abortion in Australia, (which has not been very courageous), and while abortion rates have remained at high levels, the adoption rate has declined. This has occurred while the demand for IVF has increased.

Perhaps society needs to reevaluate.
Posted by HRS, Monday, 2 June 2008 12:20:47 PM
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I applaud Judith Troeth's clearly argued position. Its time to assume that women and their partners are moral beings capable of making the right decisions for their own fertility and life choices.
Posted by billie, Monday, 2 June 2008 1:15:48 PM
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"A courageous decision would be to carry the pregnancy to full term, and then adopt the child out."

Yes, it is a courageous, and fraught, decision -

Something that HRS will never, ever have to face.

Easy to be glib when you don't have to deal.
Posted by Fractelle, Monday, 2 June 2008 1:20:33 PM
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Yes, a clear and succinct article from Judith Troeth. Any reference to abortion in the Crimes Act should be removed, and should only be included under Health legislation where needed for regulatory reasons.

The unborn don't have rights - they are not people.
Posted by CJ Morgan, Monday, 2 June 2008 1:35:06 PM
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At least CJMorgan adpots a clear point of view. I may disagree with it, but the stance is clear: "The unborn don't have rights - they are not people."

But in reponse to that point: so a premature baby at 22 weeks is a person:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11222-worlds-most-premature-baby-set-to-leave-hospital.html

but an unborn baby at any stage of pregnancy is not a person.

There, in a nutshell, is moral relativism for you. And not just moral relativism, but a sheer lack of logic.

The author on the other hand pretends to make a clear statement and to take a moral stance, but totally neglects a huge moral implication in any abortion - the rights of the unborn.

It's also interesting that advocates of abortion like the author use this argument: "the choice to have an abortion is not made flippantly by women but is always a serious moral decision." As if it would ever be a flippant decision! This stance further justifies moral relativism. Essentially it is saying, "If I acknowledge it to be a moral decision and think long and hard, it doesn't matter which way I decide. I can terminate a living being as long as I ponder my decision for a while." I bet the dying child is appreciative that the mother acknowledges it is a hard decision.

Certain acts have certain consequences, and necesitate courageous decisions. A decision to abort is of course always hard to make, but it is not courageous. There are plenty of good examples of courageous people, including victims of rape, who coureagously take the pregnancy to term and deal with the consequences. They are the ones who understand the moral principle that the unborn are people, no matter how we feel about them.
Posted by stop&think, Monday, 2 June 2008 2:41:55 PM
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