Personhood laws for foetuses - risks for all women of child-bearing age

(284 Posts)
DebrisSlide Thu 06-Feb-14 22:36:30

I can't say much about this in text because I am frothing beyond coherence, but given the muted response in FWR, I thought I'd see what the wider MN community thought about this not a DM article

Rational response (imho) here

LauraBridges Thu 20-Feb-14 10:52:20

Is my description of English law and my support for it "disablist" above. English law allows desctruction of the baby before birth even at 40 weeks if it is disabled but not for children who are not. This is the law and supported by many. It very much discriminates against the disabled of course but it is perfectly lawful. Presumably we are allowed to describe that law and support it.

I wrote
a.."bortion lawful up to any date before birth if the baby disabled etc under English law which many people support"

This sentence is not beyond the pale that someone wrote above

"My position is I'd prefer a few hundred or so dead or damaged foetuses than every woman in the country/the world reduced to the status of a breeding animal with no human rights."

It is a valid view that many of us would support.

JanePurdy Thu 20-Feb-14 08:36:31

Hear hear Cote.

ediblewoman Wed 19-Feb-14 22:21:46

Hear hear Côte

Funnyfoot Wed 19-Feb-14 22:01:45

What Cote said (amazingly I might add)

pointythings Wed 19-Feb-14 21:59:08

Perfectly put, Cote.

CoteDAzur Wed 19-Feb-14 21:56:38

AmyMumsnet - Thanks for replying.

"the talk guidelines do permit deletion for "wording that is truly beyond the pale"

Not really. They permit deletion for swearwords that are 'truly beyond the pale''. Here it is:

_It's not our policy to delete swearwords_ (we are all adults, after all) but we do draw the line at obscenity, racist and disablist language, and wording that is truly beyond the pale. So, if you're not sure which side of that line your swearword of choice may fall, it might be best not to use it.

And let's see SGB's deleted post:

"My position is I'd prefer a few hundred or so dead or damaged foetuses than every woman in the country/the world reduced to the status of a breeding animal with no human rights."

No swearing, 'beyond the pale' or otherwise. No wording 'beyond the pale' either.

It seems to me that the opinion was not unwanted here, and not the wording, since I can't see any other way of talking about dead or damaged foetuses but saying "dead of damaged foetuses".

Iirc you have joined MN several months ago. (Welcome, btw smile) I would like to think that you are not singularly responsible for the increase in deleted posts (and the NY disaster?) but perhaps what is and isn't a deletable offence is a topic that needs to be discussed for a bit for better understanding all around (us and you). It feels like posts are being deleted just because they are reported, and they are sometimes reported because someone doesn't like what is being said. I think it is fair to say that we would like to see MNHQ take a more active role in actually taking the time to evaluate each reported post and leave alone the ones who are someone's opinion, expressed in everyday words.

LauraBridges Wed 19-Feb-14 17:13:36

I have been trying to publicise this case. It is very important for women's rights. I have always been comforted by the fact even in labour I could do what I liked - my own risk, my choice even if XYZ course of action might in the view of a man or a doctor or anyone else not be what they would choose. We must fight this hard.

No need to debate abortion at the same time although I can see the overlap of course - abortion lawful up to any date before birth if the baby disabled etc under English law which many people support.

AmyMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 19-Feb-14 16:50:35

CoteDAzur

I hope MNHQ takes this opportunity to train some of the newer recruits about the meaning of free speech. Posts are being deleted at much higher proportions these days, and not always for deletable offenses.

"Beyond the pale" and "dismissive" are not grounds for deleting posts, unless Talk Guidelines have significantly changed since the last time I looked.

Although we want to allow for freedom of speech as much as possible, the talk guidelines do permit deletion for "wording that is truly beyond the pale"

Overall though, our aim is to allow users to express the spirit of the site rules more than anything else. We want MNers to feel free to say (almost) anything in terms of expressing points of view, but we will step in if things are reported that seem to us to be really beyond the pale or just plain mean.

AuroraRoared Wed 19-Feb-14 16:16:37

Good point Orange

perfectstorm Wed 19-Feb-14 16:10:19

Good post, Duchesse.

Glad SGB's posts have been restored, too.

OrangeFizz99 Wed 19-Feb-14 16:09:34

It is a difficult subject matter and it is the very fact that in society we don't like to push on beyond the initial horror that laws like this can get passed.

CoteDAzur Wed 19-Feb-14 16:03:41

I hope MNHQ takes this opportunity to train some of the newer recruits about the meaning of free speech. Posts are being deleted at much higher proportions these days, and not always for deletable offenses.

"Beyond the pale" and "dismissive" are not grounds for deleting posts, unless Talk Guidelines have significantly changed since the last time I looked.

minipie Wed 19-Feb-14 15:59:16

Right call MN. SGB's post was stark but not dismissive IMO. Much better to have posters who openly acknowledge the logical consequences of their position, however unpalatable, than posters who wrap things up in clean linen.

pointythings Wed 19-Feb-14 15:56:02

Well done, MNHQ. flowers This is a huge and difficult issue, but it really needs discussion - especially because it does not seem to be happening in the mainstream media. Sleepwalking into a situation where we put women in prison because their lives don't conform to the ideal of happy pregnancy would be a disaster.

AuroraRoared Wed 19-Feb-14 15:50:14

I think that is the right decision too. These things need to be discussed openly and without censorship of people's views.

While some mnetters will of course be upset by discussions about prematurity, abortion etc, that doesn't mean we shouldn't have them. It is fairly obvious from the thread title what sorts of topics are likely to be being discussed.

Life doesn't always work out the way that we want it to - I want to have a baby and so far it isn't going exactly to plan hmm but that doesn't mean that I think posters should just not post about unwanted pregnancies etc because I might be upset. (Fwiw, I wouldn't be - what upsets me is women being denied bodily autonomy!)

Glad to see the posts back.

I just want to add that in my view this wasn't something said for the sake of it, but an important point that needed making in response to arguments that the reverse should be true.

NumptyNameChange Wed 19-Feb-14 15:16:13

that's the right call.

of course it's important to be sensitive to people's feelings however issues still need to be discussed and i think the nature of the topic makes pretty clear that it could be triggering for someone such as you describe.

AmyMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 19-Feb-14 14:59:25

Hi all,

Thanks for flagging SGB's posts to us. The first one in particular looked a bit beyond the pale to the person on duty - many MNers, of course, have suffered the tragedy of losing a baby pre-term, and SGB's words about 'a few hundred dead or damaged foetuses' were reported by a few people as being dismissive. But on reflection we can see that that was probably the wrong call, so we've reinstated it now. We would be grateful, though, if posters could remain sensitive to the feelings of other MNers whose feelings about pre-term pregnancies are understandably very raw.

Apols for any confusion in the interim.

OrangeFizz99 Wed 19-Feb-14 14:32:44

Nice sum up duchesse!

AuroraRoared Wed 19-Feb-14 14:18:49

(And sorry, I do accept it was a bit of a thread derail, but these questions are all linked aren't they?)

AuroraRoared Wed 19-Feb-14 14:16:33

Numpty - definitely as the law currently stands, abortion of pregnancy leading to premature (live) birth would not be possible. But we don't have abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy in this country, so to a certain extent it is a moot point I think! I was just musing on the different ways in which we can look at the question of abortion of pregnancy until the point of birth, that's all.

And I completely, totally disagree with a child or local authority or anyone else being able to sue a mother for harm done to the child while it was in utero.

My point was more looking at what sort of system we could have if we reformed current abortion laws significantly, and as part of that we would have to accept more fully than we do at the moment I think, that a mother is not legally responsible for the wellbeing of a foetus in utero.

I think we're pretty much on the same page on the whole FAS question.

all this obsession with hopping, skipping and jumping!

good post duchesse. It's a short jump to restricting women's life further. Maybe I shouldn't have had children as I didn't stay home with them for the first five year's of their lives?

minipie Wed 19-Feb-14 14:11:37

Oh we wouldn't be skipping anywhere duchesse, that would be too risky, we might trip and hurt the foetus.

grin

duchesse Wed 19-Feb-14 14:07:45

The woman has legal status, the foetus does not. The foetus cannot exist without its mother. That automatically makes it more vulnerable if the mother is not hellbent on protecting it.

Does that mean the foetus gains rights before birth over its less than careful mother? Of course not.

In an ideal world, expectant mothers would all be skipping through the daisies about being pregnant and nothing would ever go wrong in their lives.

We do not live in an ideal world. I am perfectly at ease with the woman having all the rights and the foetus none because the alternative is frankly fucking scary.

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