This topic was generated from an email discussion about the topic.
What is the "Strong Family Model"?
The "Strong Family Model" promotes the idea that families are strong and rational, and the government should get out of important and difficult family decisions. End of life decisions should not be dictated by government. Pregnancy termination is the choice of the woman. Sexual orientation of partners is not a matter for governmental control. These are difficult decisions that can’t be dictated by bureaucrats.
For those people who make decisions based on religious principles, ("It says it's wrong in the Bible, and so that's why it should be illegal"), you can use the argument that this can also be called the "Strong God" model. If you believe in a strong god, you don't have to make laws about every possible sin. It is just fine to allow people to sin and make mistakes -- God will handle it in the end. If, on the other hand, you believe God exists but is a weak and inept god, then we need to pass laws and punish people here because God can't handle those sins on his own. Indeed, even if you believe in no god at all, it is better to let the family make those decisions than to allow the government to do it for them.
The Strong Family Model encourages families to be strong and should be left to decide these difficult decisions on their own. You cannot pretend to know all the details surrounding the situations that produce the need to terminate life, whether it is at the end, or in the beginning. This model also allows families to choose what race and gender will be included.
"Defend the Unborn" makes no sense.
The "defend the unborn" position does not make any sense, if you really think it through.
1. First, criminalizing abortion does not decrease its prevalence. In Europe, abortion is legal and easy to obtain in virtually every country. In Africa, abortion is illegal in nearly all countries. The abortion rates are virtually the same in both Europe and in Africa. (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_IAW.html
) In the countries that have the most severe laws against it, the abortion rates are the highest, and unwanted pregnancies are the highest. Under this information alone, if you would like to decrease abortions, you would opt to have them legal, and increase family planning education.
2. If we "protect the 9 months of the unborn" then self-terminating a pregnancy with a coat hanger, for example, would be considered premeditated, first-degree murder. Would you prefer to give the mother life in prison, or is execution a better form of punishment for the crime? If you say you do not want to punish the mother for "murder", then it should not be called murder at all, which is my point of view. However, if you want to call it murder, then self-terminating a pregnancy is murder, and the mother must be therefore executed. Quite ridiculous and why the position of protecting the unborn philosophy is inconsistent.
A friend of mine described how his sister did it, coming back into the house in tears, "I took care of it," she said. The question is, did she injure herself so she can never have a family?
Now, do you want to execute her for this "terrible deed"?
Family Decisions makes sense
I prefer to place the entire question into the hands of the family. Their decision, whatever it might be, is final. Natural birth
is the point when the baby becomes a person and at that point, the baby would be protected by law. As a result, I disagree with the idea that a double-murder occurs if the mother is killed by someone and she happens to be one-day pregnant at the time. I would also be willing to allow the family to euthanize any child that is hideously deformed within 24 hours of the birth. The family would have the sole discretion to decide whether that was the case.
I also support doctor assisted suicide, as this falls into the same model that the family member get to decide what they do in terms of life and death. Far too often I hear about a hospital run amok, forcing a person to continue on life-support systems for far longer than any natural life would allow, and with no option for the family members to stop that lunacy, even when the patient has no brainwaves at all.
The Public Supports Pro-Choice
The Field Poll provides evidence that an overwhelming majority accept this view:
There has been little change in Californians’ consistently pro-choice position about abortion laws
over the past twenty years. Currently, 64% of this state’s adults and 70% of its voters either
believe there should be no change in existing abortion laws or feel that laws should be changed to
make it easier for a woman to obtain an abortion.
Illegal Abortions are Dangerous for the Mother
The fact is that if we criminalize pregnancy termination, this will not stop unintended pregnancies and illegal terminations, either in the back alley, by rogue doctors, or in Mexico. But they are far more dangerous for the mother.
Still, the evidence is incontrovertible that the surest way to reduce the death and disability associated with unsafe abortion is to legalize it and bring it into the open. The history of abortion in the United States provides a case in point. The number of abortion-related complications dropped markedly in the United States between 1970 and 1977, with a particularly steep decline in 1973, coinciding with the year the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide. Recent data indicate that less than 0.3% of women having abortions in the United States experience complications requiring hospitalization. In addition, an estimated 400 women died from abortion-related causes in 1960; today, death from abortion is an extremely rare event.
The experiences of South Africa and Nepal offer contemporaneous case examples of the difference that legality and increasingly open provision of abortion services can make. With the fall of apartheid and the adoption of a new constitution, South Africa liberalized its abortion law in 1996. By 2000, according to a study published by the United Kingdom's Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the infection rate attributable to unsafe abortion had already fallen by half compared with 1994. Moreover, the same study reports that maternal deaths plummeted by 91% during this same period. Similarly, Nepal legalized abortion in 2002 in the face of one of the highest maternal death rates in the world. Even though establishing safe abortion services and making them widely available is proving to be a slow process, government hospitals already are reporting a measurable decline in hospitalizations from postabortion complications and in the severity of the complications that do occur.
Legalized Abortions = Fewer and Safer Abortions
Europe, where abortion is legal, has the lowest abortion rates:
The lowest abortion rate in the world is in Western Europe (12 per 1,000 women aged 15–44). The rate is 17 in Northern Europe and 21 in Northern America (Canada and the United States of America)
And, abortion-related deaths are highest where the procedure is not legal:
Almost all abortion-related deaths occur in developing countries. They are highest in Africa, where there were an estimated 650 deaths per 100,000 unsafe abortions in 2003, compared with 10 per 100,000 in developed regions.
Therefore, the data clearly shows that to minimize abortions, you must make them legal. To make them safe, you must make them legal. Making abortions illegal increases both the prevalence and danger of abortions. Indeed, if you find abortions absolutely repugnant, then you should be with me on this.
SAFE ABORTIONS occur when they are legal. Criminalizing them DOES NOT DECREASE THE RATE. In fact, the countries with the HIGHEST ABORTION RATES are in Africa, where they are ILLEGAL IN ALL COUNTRIES. It mainly comes down to education.
See U.S. ABORTION RATE CONTINUES LONG-TERM DECLINE, FALLING TO LOWEST LEVEL SINCE 1974; MORE EFFORT STILL NEEDED TO REDUCE UNINTENDED PREGNANCY http://www.guttmacher.org/media/nr/2008/01/17/index.html
And from http://www.guttmacher.org/in-the-know/index.html
, we read:
Does making abortion illegal stop it from occurring?
No. Abortion rates are much less related to legal status than they are to levels of unintended pregnancy. In many countries in which abortion is illegal but unintended pregnancy is widespread—for example, Chile, Peru, Nigeria and the Philippines—the abortion rate is higher than in the United States. Some of the world’s lowest abortion rates are in Western European countries, where abortion is legal and covered by national health insurance systems, but where levels of unintended pregnancy are very low.
This is the main reason I am FOR allowing abortions to remain LEGAL, and to provide education to avoid unintended pregnancy. That is the key.
Strong Family = Choice & Autonomy
Although the strong family model allows pregnancy termination at any time, and even allows the parents to euthanize a deformed child after birth, I don't mind sticking with the present laws for now (first-trimester abortions). In the end, we will have to embrace family planning as our world population is our biggest problem. Especially in undeveloped countries, birth rates are sky high because they don't have contraceptives and access to safe pregnancy termination.
The strong family model also does not support the idea that we intrude into the family with other micro-management type laws. For example, the proposed law against spanking, which was one (Democratic) proposal in California. The problem is that it is really impossible to enforce such laws (unless you allow 24/7 surveillance) and passing yet another law that no one is aware of does no good. It would be a better use of our money to spend more time educating families in terms of how to discipline children than to pass laws that no one follows. This same paradigm matches that of pregnancy termination. Educating people to use contraceptives and avoid unwanted pregnancies is the right way to go.
Abortion Choice = Fewer, Safer Abortions
Abortion rates have been falling for the past decade. And countries that have the strongest laws against the procedure have the highest rates, such as in Nigeria. The key point is that if you make abortion illegal, abortion rates will not change appreciably, but abortions become less safe, and many more complications from the procedure then are the fact. You can't stop a woman from terminating her pregnancy. She will either go to a doctor and get a safe procedure, if it is legal, or take a one-hour drive to TJ or Tecate and have it done there, I daresay slightly less safely, or grab a coat hanger and take care of it herself. Do you care about the health of the mother? Only if you support abortion choice.
Death is not always wrong
The reality is that death exists and is unavoidable. It is very difficult for people to explain how a very loving God ever came up with the concept, but it is reality, and we all must die. Now, if you believe in a God, you must somehow explain how a all-powerful being can allow such an evil as death and how suffering can exist at all.
Anti-Choice advocates seem to think that something designed into the system (death) is somehow wrong and disgusting. Instead, I suggest that you embrace this God-given fact. Allowing death to occur is not always wrong. Inducing death to allow a person to avoid pain is not automatically wrong. Death can be much more compassionate than allowing a being to struggle in pain and to extend their life with machines. Terminating a pregnancy may save a child from a life of neglect and poverty. Euthanizing an infant that is a vegetable may be the "right" thing to do. I'm for allowing the family to make that call -- including yours. If you want to keep a baby that is deformed and hardly a human, then you can make that decision and I won't challenge you on it. On the other hand, if someone decides that it is best to have another baby and allow that one to return to "heaven," then I support that as well.
Laws at present do not allow compassionate euthanasia, doctor assisted suicide is not allowed. What is wrong with suicide at any time? Why not allow anyone (as long a they are at least 25, let's say) to take their own life, at will? Will you make it a crime and then kill them if they do it? You need to try to make sense of your position on this. Why not leave it a "sin" and let God deal with it??