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Letters to the Editor: July 8, 2016

Abortion not murder

Susan Paz’s letter equating abortion with murder deserves a response. Her position presupposes a determination of the controversy over when human life begins. The physiology of human reproduction provides reasonable support for an alternative determination.

The view that you have a new person when sperm meets egg is simplistic. In fact, sperm meets egg high in the fallopian tube. The resultant single-cell embryo is called a zygote. Over the next five to seven days, the embryo undergoes multiple cell divisions on its way to the uterus.

By the time it gets there, it is a well-organized mass of cells called a blastocyst. It has now been approximately a week since sperm met egg, and the next critical step must occur before a new human is formed by the implantation of the blastocyst into the uterine wall.

This is the critical point. Under usual conditions “in nature,” it is estimated at least 50 percent of blastocysts fail to implant in the uterine wall and subsequently pass out of the uterus. Were these blastocysts “human babies”? If so, what force murdered them?

As a retired physician, I would argue these blastoctsts are not babies in any sense of the word. Blastocysts that successfully implant in the uterine wall are therefore not babies either — simply potential babies. A potential person should not be treated as an actual person.

I would agree with those who believe personhood is reserved for when the developing embryo/fetus can survive outside the uterus. For me, an abortion prior to viability outside the womb is not murder.

Les Howsden

Amity

 

Awards should include us

An online and in print item in last month’s Salem Statesman Journal says, “Listen. Can you hear it? The buzz is still in the air from the inaugural Mid-Valley Sports Awards. Based on what parents, coaches, athletes and sponsors have been telling us, the event was a smashing success. More than 600 people, including 80-some student athletes, attended the June 7 celebration of local high school sports at Salem Convention Center.”

Congratulations to the Statesman Journal on the success of its awards event. Job well done.

But improvement can be made. While it’s called “Mid-Valley Sports Awards,” the event does not cover all the mid-valley high schools.

Case in point: Are Yamhill County high schools eligible to be honored during the awards event? Amity and Dayton High Schools are eligible. McMinnville High School is not.

In December, I asked a Statesman Journal news executive via e-mail why McMinnville was not among the 36 high schools eligible to be honored in the awards event. The executive’s responded, “We don’t consider McMinnville part of our core circulation area, even as we know we have some loyal subscribers there.”

If you’d like to see McMinnville High teams, athletes and coaches honored in future Mid-Valley Sports Award events, subscribe to the Statesman Journal so the Salem newspaper considers McMinnville part of its core circulation area.

But, even if that’s not successful, be thankful. As a fan of McMinnville High School sports, you benefit from excellent coverage of the Grizzlies in the News-Register.

Tim Marsh

McMinnville

 

It’s not free

For those in need of a helping hand (and I’m not opposed to that), how about a little education with their lunch?

Stop calling it free. For any state and federal program, specify on signs outside schoolyards that it was brought to the individual by the taxpayers of Oregon — just like the signs ODOT puts up with highway construction projects.

Jon Friton

McMinnville

Comments

yamhillbilly2

Jon, Why do you presume those who may take part in the "free lunch" are not tax payers, or do not understand that the food and prepartion of it, is an expense for someone. The "cost" to them is "Free" Why don't you drop in at lunch and ask everyone there to thank you personally, for you generosity? Maybe you could come away enlightened as to who needs to use a program like this to help with an expense they might not be able to cover

Mudstump

Matthew 6:3-4

But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Jon, do you take out an ad in the paper every time you donate something to Goodwill or any charity for that matter to proclaim your good deeds? Helping others should come from your heart with no expectation from the receiver or acknowledgement for the giver. I can assure you that those that have the opportunity to eat a meal are grateful.

Lulu

Dr. Howsden is the voice of reason.

Mudstump

Lulu, the anti-choice crowd doesn't let facts or science get in the way of their efforts to control what women and their families do with their own lives and bodies.

Lulu

I know, Mudstump. They're going to make those hussies pay.

Mudstump

Yeah Lulu...how dare women take control over their own bodies, financial responsibility and the care of their families. These anti-women folks want to punish women for not knowing their place or for being free to live the life they choose....to chart their own course so to speak. They do their best to hide the fact that they would hold women criminally responsible by putting them in jail for having an abortion, but Trump let the cat out of the bag. Btw, women are already being charged with murder and serving time....google Rennie Gibbs in Mississippi....or Bei Bei Shuai or Amanda Kimbrough and the numbers are growing.

kona

mudstump, you seem very opinionated about this. I am curious about your thoughts. When do you feel life begins? At what stage in life do you feel that it is important to protect a life? Does a mother's responsibility begin with birth, or before birth? Is it "murder" one day after birth? What is it one day before birth?

Lulu

Kona--why don't you answer those questions first?

Mudstump

kona - I would encourage you to contemplate upon your own questions as to when life begins and you should follow what your heart tells you based upon your beliefs. As the law stands right now....you are not obliged to have an abortion and no one is violating your faith or beliefs by having one. My answers won't change what is in your heart and yours won't change mine. That's the freedom we have to believe as we wish. Just don't tell me that I need to adhere to your beliefs...deal?

kona

Mudstump, how do you know what my "beliefs" are? I was trying to understand the basis for your beliefs. Were the questions difficult for you to answer? You must have some basis for your "beliefs"? I would agree with you that abortion serves a sociological value by not bringing unwanted children into our population. I'm not sure that would be a morally acceptable position however. For me this has nothing to do with "faith".

kona

Lulu, I can answer if that would help.
1) When does life begin? My understanding from my biology classes in high school and college was that life begins when the sperm and egg unite starting the life process.

2) At what stage in life do you feel that it is important to protect a life? That would be right after conception. I think most people would agree that protection of the fetus is extremely important, hence the warnings about alcohol and other drugs during pregnancy.

3) Does a mother's responsibility begin with birth, or before birth? I think that is easily accepted in most societies that the responsibility begins at conception.

4) Is it "murder" one day after birth? I think most people think that would be the case.

5) What is it one day before birth? I think it is a very serious offense to kill a fetus one day before birth.

I don't understand why people who are pro-abortion (mudstump, etc.) avoid supporting their beliefs as though it should not be necessary to have any reason for this important subject.

Mudstump


"Mudstump, how do you know what my "beliefs" are?"

That was my point. I don't know what your beliefs are and in the end it shouldn't and doesn't matter to me. I have my own set of beliefs and I try to live my life accordingly. All I'm saying is that you should follow your belief system (whatever it may be) and I will follow mine. You don't have a right to dictate to me what personal healthcare decisions I make anymore than I have a right to impose my beliefs on you.

I agree with Les Howsden in his statement above, "I would agree with those who believe personhood is reserved for when the developing embryo/fetus can survive outside the uterus. For me, an abortion prior to viability outside the womb is not murder."

There are exceptions after viability, but I leave those very difficult decisions to the folks involved. Thank goodness, I never had to make a heart breaking decision like that.

kona

Mudstump, the depth of your thought really has me "stumped". You agreed, "I would agree with those who believe personhood is reserved for when the developing embryo/fetus can survive outside the uterus. For me, an abortion prior to viability outside the womb is not murder."

When would that be? Are you suggesting that a one day-old, or a one year-old can "survive outside the outside the uterus"? I would hope you would agree that an embryo needs as much care as a one day-old or a one-year-old. It should not morally be the mother's choice to abandon any living being once they allow pregnancy (it can be a different set of parameters if the pregnancy wasn't allowed or medical decisions are necessary). There are two separate lives involved.

Unfortunately, there are many people who can't "survive outside the uterus" at any age.

Lulu

Kona--your reverence for pre-life is swell.
Obviously, you wait a few years before you condemn people who don't walk the path your "truths" dictate.

Mudstump

kona - Why do you persist in pressuring me to argue with you? I stated very clearly that if you are against abortion then you should never have one, but that isn't good enough for you is it? You seem to be compelled to strong-arm your set of beliefs on when life begins upon others. The fact that no one is forced to have an abortion just doesn't cut it for some reason. Don't have one....problem solved....your conscience is clear. It doesn't matter what I believe and I won't let you take me down the rabbit hole that is your logic.

kona

Lulu and Mudstump. Why are both of you so defensive about your opinions? I am not trying to convince anyone to change their minds. I could care less what you think. I am just curious what is the basis for your opinion. It shouldn't be that difficult. I am not trying to "argue" with you. I would just like to understand if there is any validity to your opinion. I don't think that I have ever presented the opinion that I am against legal abortions, so why are both of you so defensive about being questioned about your opinions?

Mudstump

kona says, "I would just like to understand if there is any validity to your opinion."

Bingo! I respect your opinion/belief and I'm asking for the same in return. You may not like my opinion, but I'm entitled to have one. I base my opinion on living 58 years as a woman who has been pregnant, given birth and successfully raised a son to adulthood. The decision to have an abortion is a very personal one and the issue is complicated. Its not just simply black or white or right or wrong. That is why I believe the decision is best left to the woman and her family in consultation with her physician. Its a private and personal matter.

kona

So why can't you answer the questions I asked? You ventured your opinion on this forum as though you had reasons for your opinion. You said, "I base my opinion on living 58 years as a woman who has been pregnant, given birth and successfully raised a son to adulthood". Congratulations, but what does that have to do with abortion?

You agreed, "I would agree with those who believe personhood is reserved for when the developing embryo/fetus can survive outside the uterus".

Then answer this one question, "How old does a person have to be for a person to "survive outside the uterus"? One day, three years old, five years old? Are you trying to suggest that on a baby's first day "out of the uterus" they can survive on their own and they are not "a person" or living being until they leave the womb? I'm trying to understand the reasons for your comments.

Mudstump

kona - Its science not opinion.

vi·a·bil·i·ty (vī'ă-bil'i-tē),
Capability of living; the state of being viable; usually connotes a fetus that has reached 500 g in weight and 20 gestational weeks' development (18 weeks after fertilization).

kona

Thank you, that helps and is an interesting position as it relates to the "letter writer" with whom you agreed.

Les Howsden stated, "I would agree with those who believe personhood is reserved for when the developing embryo/fetus can survive outside the uterus. For me, an abortion prior to viability outside the womb is not murder."

So the question remains, "Is it murder if an abortion takes place after a fetus becomes "viable" outside the womb"? Les Howsden's comments (which you agreed) seem to indicate that it is not "murder" prior to "18 weeks after fertilization" but it is, or could be considered, "murder" after the 18 weeks after fertilization. Am I understanding that correctly? If I am not understanding that correctly then at what age does it become "murder"?

Mudstump

kona - Yes...you got me. Guilty as charged! I could tell you were salivating for that "gotcha" moment and it finally arrived.

kona

You are framing this "discussion" as an argument where there is an attempt at a winner and loser. That is not my focus. My focus is to understand if there is depth to your opinion. And it is not just your opinion, there are millions of people in the United States who when asked about different issues on both sides of many issues revert to, "this is my opinion and that is good enough". When mining for their reasons it is like "pulling teeth". The first reaction is very defensive, "how dare you to question my opinion". Secondly, evasion of supporting reasons for their opinion. And thirdly, "You can have your opinion and I'll have mine and we will agree to disagree". This is followed by "I am not going to discuss this further" then they're gone. The fallout is that we are a divided country on so many issues (and getting worse) because so many people form their 30 second opinions on 30 second sound bites that sound good to them in the moment. I am not saying this fits you, but I am very interested in your reasons more than your opinion. I am completely open to understanding how people arrive at their opinions. I will admit that I have "flip-flopped" on the abortion issue through the years but it is not from setting my opinion in stone.

Mudstump

kona - The bottom line is that I have shared that portion of my "opinion" that I'm willing to share. I believe that I have stated my thoughts clearly and simply. As I mentioned before, abortion is a deeply personal issue and I trust women and their families to chart their own course when it comes to family planning and healthcare.

kona

I completely agree that "abortion is a deeply personal issue". That doesn't answer the question and mostly avoids critical thinking. Pornography, drugs (or any number of issues) are "deeply personal issues" but because they are "personal" does not lend to the validity of the individuals opinion/belief.

You have not "stated your(my) thoughts clearly and simply". I asked questions that you completely avoided. They weren't difficult questions. Lulu asked me for the answers to the questions and I freely gave the answers. You responded, but did not answer the questions. Lulu completely left the scene without any answers. I realize the questions are frustrating. You are not alone in that many (perhaps most) people like to present their opinions without any "blowback". I have always agreed with Emerson that an opinion without reason is just another collection of words without meaning.

Mudstump

kona - I'm sorry if I have disappointed you in this discussion. Have a great Thursday.

Lulu

It's like the AK 47 staccato line of questioning. Very Third World. Or being surrounded by a million mosquitoes. So tiresome. Apparently, there is the Kona way and the wrong way.
Abortion is legal. Period.
Personally, looking around at this world, I think there should have been substantially more.

tagup

Kona---Interesting that you are so concerned about Mudstump's justification for her opinion.....Your judgement of the "validity" of her opinion is just a masked attempt to discredit her point of view.

I think your condescending "avoids critical thinking" comment proves your true motive.

kona

I am still waiting for some reasoning. I didn't realize that the questions were that difficult. Any of you are free to answer or entering the discussion rather than presenting remarks that aren't relevant.

The innocent questions were, "mudstump, you seem very opinionated about this. I am curious about your thoughts. When do you feel life begins? At what stage in life do you feel that it is important to protect a life? Does a mother's responsibility begin with birth, or before birth? Is it "murder" one day after birth? What is it one day before birth?"

The statement that started this from the "letter to the editor" was "I would agree with those who believe personhood is reserved for when the developing embryo/fetus can survive outside the uterus. For me, an abortion prior to viability outside the womb is not murder". Mudstump explained the definition of viability. So is it murder (or what) when an abortion occurs post viability and when "personhood" is established? Is it legal to abuse a fetus?

kona

Tagup, I'm curious? What is "my true motive"? I really don't have a "motive". If there is a perceived "motive" it might be an attempt to understand (what is the basis) why someone has a strong opinion about this.

Lulu

One sure way to clear out a party is to invite Kona.
Condescending, disingenuous, stilted.
Your constant use of quotation marks is silly. Yes, that is my opinion.

Mudstump

kona - You may think you are the best critical thinking cat around, but this mouse won't bite at your cheese. Like a cat you lurk and wait to pounce in an attempt to make the other person wrong. That's not a healthy discussion imo and its not enjoyable either. Does twisting the discussion in a way that makes the other person wrong make you feel more right? You mentioned a pattern in that many of your discussions often end with the other party giving up or refusing to continue the discussion.....now that may be a little food or cheese for thought.

tagup

Your motive appears to be hounding people to argue the point of viability of life and the definition of murder (for which there is no right answer)........then critiquing their reasons to determine if they meet your definition of "valid".

Not sure anybody wants to play that game.....

kona

How difficult is it to explain your position about an important situation? I would have finished this a long time ago if any of you presented logical support for the strong opinions instead of total evasion and criticism. Were the questions really that difficult to answer? Lulu, you were true to form.

Tagup, what is "hounding" about asking a person about the reasons for their opinions that they posted posted on the forum? When people post on a forum are you just suppose to ignore their comments?

kona

Mudstump you said, "You mentioned a pattern in that many of your discussions often end with the other party giving up or refusing to continue the discussion.....now that may be a little food or cheese for thought."

Can you copy and paste when I said that. Are you just making that up, or what? ...... "now that may be a little food or cheese for thought."

Mudstump

"And it is not just your opinion, there are millions of people in the United States who when asked about different issues on both sides of many issues revert to, "this is my opinion and that is good enough". When mining for their reasons it is like "pulling teeth". The first reaction is very defensive, "how dare you to question my opinion". Secondly, evasion of supporting reasons for their opinion. And thirdly, "You can have your opinion and I'll have mine and we will agree to disagree". This is followed by "I am not going to discuss this further" then they're gone. "

Now...all of the reasons I am wrong in...3,...2,...1...

kona

Mudstump, this all started with you and Lulu having fun castigating a group you referred to as the " anti-choice crowd". You took turns berating these people who have differing opinions. You two instigated the conversation and quickly phrased the discussion as an "argument" when I asked what seemingly were basic questions about your opinion. What was the purpose of your initial derisive comments? Why were both of you so defensive about supporting your position? You appeared to be amused with each other's cutting comments. I probably should have let the two of you continue to see the depth of your remarks.

You said, "You mentioned a pattern in that many of your discussions often end with the other party giving up or refusing to continue the discussion". No, I did not mention any pattern of "my" discussions ending "with the other party giving up or refusing to continue the discussion". That was made up on your part.

Lulu

I'm "waiting" for the "Super" Jeopardy installment "pitting" Kona against "God".
An "opinion" is an "opinion" and your "validity" conditions, once again, are "irrelevant".

Lulu

One final point: I don't believe I've ever witnessed someone who parodies himself so perfectly.

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