All right, I am sure this has been done many times before and will be done many times again but I am new here so bear with me. A LOT of the debates here are being hijacked by abortion/anti abortion sentiments (some of which I am guilty of myself). I think this deserves its own thread. I know it will be difficult but at least try to keep the flaming down as that is where these arguments tend to boil down to. My personal settlements on this issue are that abortion should be allowed within the first three months of pregnancy and no later than that. I do not prescribe to the right of a woman to do with her body as she pleases at the expense of an unborn child. I believe this, the paramount argument for abortionists, is insanely flawed as it does not take into account any of the right the child has. The first issue I take is the definition that seems to be the norm. The word fetus is largely used by abortionists to separate an unborn child from being human. Ending the life of a fetus is somehow not the same as ending the life of a unborn child. This is ridiculous. The question rises, when does life begin? It always makes me incredibly angry when abortionists claim that the fetus is not human until the umbilical cord is cut or the child takes their first breath. Both of these assertions are insane and have no bearing on whether or not the child deserves full rights. We can and SHOULD all agree that neither of these are good definitions of when life begins though they are good black and white lines in a legal definition sense. As I stated in another thread, we define human by terms such as self-awareness, consciousness, feelings and terms such as those, not by the fact we can breathe. A child certainly has those characteristics long before birth except for self-awareness and that usually does not come for several months after birth. The second issue I have is with personal responsibility. I know that here is where a lot of people get angry but the fact is a child is NOT a surprise. We know why it happens and how it occurs and there are MANY ways to avoid this outcome. Condoms, birth control, surgery (if you are done with children), the day after pill, spermicidal creams and there is even a male birth control pill that is coming next year. Before you scream at how the pill is not 100% effective realize that you CAN use more than 1 type at a time and they are all EXTREMLY effective if used properly. If you fail to educate yourself on the proper use then that goes right back to personal responsibility. If you fool around then you have to pay the consequences. This is not a hard concept and is the reason our society is falling into ruin. I want to do as I please without working for it, paying for it or living with the consequences of it is a sign of this generation and the very thing that will bring this entire country to ruin. The idea that you do not have to pay the piper for practicing unsafe sex falls into that same attitude, the attitude of entitlement. Then there is also the point that if the woman can give up her responsibility to bring the child into this world then why cant the father have the right to give up his finical responsibility after it is born? If you have a right to decide what happens to your body, I should have the right to decide what happens to my livelihood! On the other side of the issue, I believe that abortion should be allowed within the first trimester because I still believe that there are times when the lesser of two evils must be addressed. Abortions are going to occur and I prefer them happening in a safe and clean environment of a hospital. It is also the best way to educate and council those undergoing an abortion and take statistical data. Mandatory counseling (much the same as many states death with dignity laws require) should be part of the process. Brain activity starts mid to late in the first trimester and to me that defines when the mass of cells begins is journey from a growth to a full blown human. There is no actual line in the sand that can be scientifically drawn but I believe that the first trimester gives enough safe room that real brain activity has not begun and a woman has plenty of time go through the abortion. Of course, abortion must be allowed for extreme circumstances such as threat to life. Also, the argument that life begins at conception is somewhat flawed as well. Certainly, the potential for life has begun but a single fertilized embryonic egg holds absolutely no similarity with human life. The sentiment that life starts there is wholly religious to me. If a woman fails to abort in the first trimester, then the child should be given protection. At that point, an abortion should be considered manslaughter at the least. I know there will be doctors that would circumvent the law and women that will try as well but with charges that high it would limit it. There is a large gray aria here for problems like substance addiction but I will not get into that now as this post is long enough and I am tired. Please give me your thoughts.