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Abortion Debate

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  #1  
November 28th, 2009, 04:25 PM
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I've been thinking about this ever since the thread about "the definition of a baby."

If you were to talk to a mother who had had a stillbirth, you would NEVER, EVER refer to the baby that she had given birth to as a 'fetus,' regardless of how far along she was when the baby was born. You would refer to it as a baby, and you would mourn its loss.

This seems to imply that the mother's will - her intentions -- actually MAKE the baby into what it is. It's a baby if she wants it to be a baby, it's a fetus if she wants it to be a fetus.

To me, that's not possible. How could a mother's will make something into either a human or not one? No human being can have the power to define something in that way.

That is why, to me, a baby is a baby once conceived, regardless of the mother's will. I'm still not sure of how I feel with regards to abortion-related policy, but that is how I define it.
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  #2  
November 28th, 2009, 06:46 PM
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When I first came to the abortion debates, I didn't understand why women who had miscarriages were so offended when I called them abortions. They are abortions.. spontaneous abortions. It came down to be respectful to the feelings of mother. (And to me all women who have lost a baby, even through abortion, are moms.) In a time of distress, abortion by choice or not, you have to meet the mother where they are at. That's why these people call it fetus, and others can call it baby. (An abortion doctor wouldn't say baby to the mom and the same for a mom who just had a spontaneous abortion ~ we'd never call it fetus.)

Last edited by (.Y.)mom2dd(.Y.); November 28th, 2009 at 06:49 PM.
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  #3  
November 29th, 2009, 01:42 PM
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I would never call a stillbirth a fetus because it's not tactful, not because it's inaccurate.

Think about the words "house" and "home." In most cases, they can be used interchangeably, like "fetus" and "baby." However, a house can be just an unfurnished structure than no one has lived in yet, while a home implies someone lives there. A builder can proclaim the house he is building a "home" based on his visions of what it will eventually become, but that doesn't change the fact that until someone moves into it, it's just a house.
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  #4  
November 29th, 2009, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess is Write View Post
I would never call a stillbirth a fetus because it's not tactful, not because it's inaccurate.

Think about the words "house" and "home." In most cases, they can be used interchangeably, like "fetus" and "baby." However, a house can be just an unfurnished structure than no one has lived in yet, while a home implies someone lives there. A builder can proclaim the house he is building a "home" based on his visions of what it will eventually become, but that doesn't change the fact that until someone moves into it, it's just a house.
1. I'm sure that most architects would refer to their creations as houses, never homes, until they were actually occupied.

2. "House" and "home" are far closer to synonymous than "fetus" and "baby" are.

3. The implications of the linguistic distinction are far more important in the case of a pregnancy than in the case of real estate. Here, we're discussing whether or not something is actually a person -- whether or not it has a soul -- and therefore, whether or not we're free to choose to have it destroyed. The language here matters tremendously. It's within our power as humans to choose whether something is a house or a home, because those things are, after all, human creations. A baby is not a human creation. We don't get to choose what it is. It is what it is. So what is it?
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  #5  
November 29th, 2009, 02:56 PM
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I thought it was a decent metaphor. And what do you mean a baby isn't a human creation? If humans don't create it, then what does?
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  #6  
November 29th, 2009, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Jess is Write View Post
I thought it was a decent metaphor. And what do you mean a baby isn't a human creation? If humans don't create it, then what does?
I should be more specific. It's not a human invention -- not something that we can consciously design (at least not yet, anyway). Also, it's alive. A house isn't.
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  #7  
November 29th, 2009, 03:27 PM
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A house is just a house until a family moves into it, then it's a home. A fetus is just a fetus until it is born, then it's a baby. A house has the potential to become a home. A fetus has the potential to become a baby.

ETA: I'm not even really sure what we're arguing. Are you just trying to discount my metaphor? I can find another way to explain my reasoning if you're getting tripped up on it.
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  #8  
November 29th, 2009, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess is Write View Post
A house is just a house until a family moves into it, then it's a home. A fetus is just a fetus until it is born, then it's a baby. A house has the potential to become a home. A fetus has the potential to become a baby.

ETA: I'm not even really sure what we're arguing. Are you just trying to discount my metaphor? I can find another way to explain my reasoning if you're getting tripped up on it.
I think the metaphor you wrote up worked beautifully here. It made me understand, essentially, the difference between what is known as baby and fetus. I guess personally I look at a baby being from conception, and I can take this along with the above metaphor. I would consider a house that I am having built as "my home" from day one, before it's finished.

Scientifically and legally speaking, women do have the ability to choose whether they have a fetus or a baby. I myself would never choose to destroy my baby's being but I do not take that away from any woman that needs that right, you know? So I guess I'm trying to say that I look at fetus and baby as a subjective viewpoint; the woman has that right to choose how she sees it.
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  #9  
November 29th, 2009, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess is Write View Post
I would never call a stillbirth a fetus because it's not tactful, not because it's inaccurate.
I agree with this statement. While I think it's life when it's created, and I consider the being growing inside me as a baby, I recognize that it's technically a fetus until it's born. I don't think the terminology really defines what it is, though.

My personal belief, that goes along with my religion, is that not every fetus has a soul immediately. Some do, but not all of them. It's still not okay to get an abortion (except under certain circumstances) because each fetus has the potential to have a soul. And the only people who know for sure when the fetus receives that soul are God and the mother (and probably the fetus, but since we can't ask them we don't know). Only the mother can know if she lost a baby or a fetus. Some women I know who've miscarried never felt like it was an actual BABY, and didn't take the loss as hard as one would expect.

So if you ask me, it doesn't become a baby until it receives a soul, and when it receives a soul isn't the same for every fetus.
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  #10  
November 29th, 2009, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Keskes View Post
I agree with this statement. While I think it's life when it's created, and I consider the being growing inside me as a baby, I recognize that it's technically a fetus until it's born. I don't think the terminology really defines what it is, though.

My personal belief, that goes along with my religion, is that not every fetus has a soul immediately. Some do, but not all of them. It's still not okay to get an abortion (except under certain circumstances) because each fetus has the potential to have a soul. And the only people who know for sure when the fetus receives that soul are God and the mother (and probably the fetus, but since we can't ask them we don't know). Only the mother can know if she lost a baby or a fetus. Some women I know who've miscarried never felt like it was an actual BABY, and didn't take the loss as hard as one would expect.

So if you ask me, it doesn't become a baby until it receives a soul, and when it receives a soul isn't the same for every fetus.
I normally just lurk in here, but this has me really intrigued, so I had to ask: can you explain this part? How does a mom know that?? I've never heard of this aspect of LDS, of only some babies having souls right away?? Is there a sign that would indicate to the mom when it happens?
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  #11  
November 30th, 2009, 05:38 AM
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Will Children Lost in Miscarriages Be Resurrected?

This is link that talks about miscarried children being resurrected, but it talks about the soul.

Quote:
A soul is the united entity of the spirit with the physical body. Several leaders have taught that the spirit enters the body before birth. Once the spirit enters the body, the baby becomes a living soul. {. . .}
President Brigham Young taught that "when the mother feels life come to her infant it is the spirit entering the body" (JD 17:143). Therefore, it would appear that the only ones to know if a particular miscarried child will be resurrected are the child's mother and her Heavenly Father.
So technically, yes.. there's a sign, but it's not something that can really be explained. It doesn't always correlate with hearing the heart beat, or seeing the baby via ultrasound. It just sort of.. comes? It's not like a rushing, sudden feeling - one minute there's not life and the next there is. It's more of a realization. For me anyways. And it's not like lightning strikes at the right time, or any kind of physical sign. It's really very difficult to explain. You ust... know if it's there or not.
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  #12  
November 30th, 2009, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keskes;18127757
So technically, yes.. there's a sign, but it's not something that can really be explained. It doesn't always correlate with hearing the heart beat, or seeing the baby via ultrasound. It just sort of.. comes? It's not like a rushing, sudden feeling - one minute there's not life and the next there is. It's more of a realization. For me anyways. And it's not like lightning strikes at the right time, or any kind of physical sign. It's really very difficult to explain. :blush: You ust... [I
know[/I] if it's there or not.
Wow, you really have a LOT of faith in the intuitive power of prgenant women. I would venture to say that most women who decide to have abortions spend a great deal of time agonizing over the decision ahead of time, and subsequently go through their whole lives never really knowing whether or not it was the right thing to do. This seems like just a rhetorical method of self-appeasement -- a way of saying "well, it's okay that abortive mothers did what they did, since they must have known on some level that their child didn't have a soul." I don't buy it. I certainly never had a moment in my pregnancy when I realized that, and I doubt that most other mothers do, either.

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Originally Posted by Jess is Write View Post
A house is just a house until a family moves into it, then it's a home. A fetus is just a fetus until it is born, then it's a baby. A house has the potential to become a home. A fetus has the potential to become a baby.
A house becomes a home through human action (moving into the house). A fetus becomes a baby through human inaction (not having an abortion -- biding your time until the baby is born).

I also don't think that the metaphor is at the crux of the debate here. I think we got sidetracked. So let me clarify your position: you would agree that a stillborn baby is actually a fetus, and not a baby, but would never say so for fear of giving offense? Because otherwise, you are agreeing that a mother's intentions -- her love -- actually will a human life into being.

I don't buy it. I don't buy that we women have the power to make something else into either a life or not a life. I think that a baby remains a baby regardless of whether or not it is loved.
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  #13  
November 30th, 2009, 10:09 AM
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What Kes is referring to is the quickening - it's actually what the Catholic Church used to use as well to determine when a fetus had a soul. Just wanted to jump in and say that.
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  #14  
November 30th, 2009, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by irishxrose View Post
What Kes is referring to is the quickening - it's actually what the Catholic Church used to use as well to determine when a fetus had a soul. Just wanted to jump in and say that.
Aah. Well, that's actually a bright line I'm more willing to accept. A fetus turns into a baby once the mom can feel it move. At least there there's an actual means of distinction.
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  #15  
November 30th, 2009, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by brui77 View Post

A house becomes a home through human action (moving into the house). A fetus becomes a baby through human inaction (not having an abortion -- biding your time until the baby is born).

I also don't think that the metaphor is at the crux of the debate here. I think we got sidetracked. So let me clarify your position: you would agree that a stillborn baby is actually a fetus, and not a baby, but would never say so for fear of giving offense? Because otherwise, you are agreeing that a mother's intentions -- her love -- actually will a human life into being.

I don't buy it. I don't buy that we women have the power to make something else into either a life or not a life. I think that a baby remains a baby regardless of whether or not it is loved.
A fetus becomes a baby through human action of giving (live) birth. You lost me on the whole "will a human life into being" thing. I have no idea what you're talking about. I think a fetus remains a fetus regardless of whether or not it is loved. If someone wants to call their fetus a baby, who cares? When I was pregnant, I called my fetus a baby, even though I knew he wasn't a baby yet.
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  #16  
November 30th, 2009, 11:53 AM
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Keskes, I believe that same thing though I'm not LDS.

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I don't buy that we women have the power to make something else into either a life or not a life. I think that a baby remains a baby regardless of whether or not it is loved.
Women who have abortions love their babies too.
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  #17  
November 30th, 2009, 01:00 PM
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Aah. Well, that's actually a bright line I'm more willing to accept. A fetus turns into a baby once the mom can feel it move. At least there there's an actual means of distinction.
No. And that's not what I said. Feeling it move, hearing a heart beat, seeing it via ultrasound are not what determines if it has a soul. It can have a soul before a heart beat, or not have a soul until well after it's moving, and even well after it has gender defining organs, is sucking it's thumb, etc.

Quote:
Wow, you really have a LOT of faith in the intuitive power of prgenant women. I would venture to say that most women who decide to have abortions spend a great deal of time agonizing over the decision ahead of time, and subsequently go through their whole lives never really knowing whether or not it was the right thing to do. This seems like just a rhetorical method of self-appeasement -- a way of saying "well, it's okay that abortive mothers did what they did, since they must have known on some level that their child didn't have a soul." I don't buy it. I certainly never had a moment in my pregnancy when I realized that, and I doubt that most other mothers do, either.
I never said it's okay to have an abortion because you can rationalize it as not having a soul! I actually said that it's still not okay to get an abortion (except under certain circumstances) because each fetus has the potential to have a soul. If a mother wants an abortion for the church approved reasons, it doesn't matter if the baby has a soul already or not - the mother can have her abortion, without repercussions. Only SHE (and God of course) will know if she aborted a fetus or a baby, unless she chooses to tell people. I've only known two women in my church who had abortions -- one feels like it was a fetus, and the other feels like it was a baby. Perhaps the first women is rationalizing her decision by telling herself it didn't have a soul - but that's up to her. I have no way of knowing if her baby was a baby or a fetus.

It's more than intuition.. it's faith and religion. It comes from a personal closeness with our Heavenly Father, and being attuned to the message of his spirit. LDS teach that if you are living an upright and moral life (to the best of your ability) then the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost) will be your constant companion. It's the Holy Spirit that lets you know when the baby has life - it's not a tangent feeling. If you don't have the Spirit actively with you, you won't feel it.

For what it's worth, with my first pregnancy I felt it at 17 weeks - before I felt him move. With my second it wasn't until 30 weeks - way after I felt her move. And with my third, it was before I even got a BFP - it's how I knew I was pregnant. It's a very spiritual experience, which I don't expect most people to fully understand.
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  #18  
November 30th, 2009, 01:10 PM
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I also don't think that the metaphor is at the crux of the debate here. I think we got sidetracked. So let me clarify your position: you would agree that a stillborn baby is actually a fetus, and not a baby, but would never say so for fear of giving offense? Because otherwise, you are agreeing that a mother's intentions -- her love -- actually will a human life into being.

I don't buy it. I don't buy that we women have the power to make something else into either a life or not a life. I think that a baby remains a baby regardless of whether or not it is loved.
Calling it a baby out of respect for the mother doesn't MAKE it a baby. Just because she considered it a baby doesn't MAKE it a baby. You can call a grown canine a puppy, and believe that it is still a puppy.. but that doesn't change the fact that it's actually a dog.
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  #19  
November 30th, 2009, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Keskes View Post
No. And that's not what I said. Feeling it move, hearing a heart beat, seeing it via ultrasound are not what determines if it has a soul. It can have a soul before a heart beat, or not have a soul until well after it's moving, and even well after it has gender defining organs, is sucking it's thumb, etc.
You didn't say this, Andrika did. That's what "quickening" means. Quickening - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Originally Posted by (.Y.)mom2dd(.Y.) View Post

Women who have abortions love their babies too.
I don't think you can say this unequivocally. I don't even think all mothers of living children love their babies.

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Originally Posted by Jess is Write View Post
A fetus becomes a baby through human action of giving (live) birth. You lost me on the whole "will a human life into being" thing. I have no idea what you're talking about. I think a fetus remains a fetus regardless of whether or not it is loved. If someone wants to call their fetus a baby, who cares? When I was pregnant, I called my fetus a baby, even though I knew he wasn't a baby yet.
Okay, so just to confirm: in your view, it is the physical act of being born that makes a fetus into a baby? (Of course, I'm assuming you would count C-sections as well). And this transformation also applies to mothers of stillborn babies because they also gave birth?
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  #20  
November 30th, 2009, 01:18 PM
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I don't think you can say this unequivocally. I don't even think all mothers of living children love their babies.
I wasn't saying it unequivocally but replying to your statement that implies women who abort don't love their babies.
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