Comrade Lee sent in a rather hefty comment on the subject which got me thinking, and although this isn't a direct reply it will cover some thinks he talked about. I had already seen his blog entry on the subject and expected this. :-)
I do agree that discussion about lowering the limit at which an abortion can be carried out is not necessarily "bronze-age thinking", however the move to get it lowered was undoubtedly led by religious fundamentalists who want to see it banned. I think where we draw the line is a valid area of discussion - as long as it is not influenced by mythology from a time when women were the property of men.
I supported the 24 week limit in that I didn't want to see the limit reduced. Citing evidence that some pre-mature babies born at 24 weeks can survive is weak at best, no doubt in a few decades we'll have the technology to develop an embryo right the way through to "birth" without a woman required (not that something like that would ever be allowed), should that end abortion, or reduce the limit to a few weeks? I don't think so.
However, if you step back and see what we're doing here. We're passing legislation saying what a woman can or cannot do with her own body, it doesn't effect anybody else outside her body, just her. This isn't a huge corporation we need to control because they're screwing over hundreds of thousands of workers and buggering up society. Do we really need the state poking its nose into something like this?
No. Let the woman decide along with a doctor.
Women do have a concious and if any limits were scrapped they wouldn't all be having abortions later in the pregnancy. We don't need laws for every moral thing that goes on in society especially when it concerns the actions of an individual which doesn't have an effect upon anyone else, society and the individuals within it are perfectly capable of knowing what is acceptable at the time and what isn't.
No woman goes into an abortion willy nilly like its just a contraceptive I totally reject the argument that it is used this way. If it was we would see the average woman having something like 8 abortions - like we did in the Soviet Union when it was the only form of family planning available. We don't see abortions at anywhere near those sort of figures.
And one last thing on a slightly lighter note, on your vegetarian and all life is sacred remark. :-)
Well sacred is a bit of a strong term for me, I don't believe all life is sacred, if there's a wasp buzzing around near me annoying me or a spider creeping around - they won't last very long if I have my way. Nor do the millions of other life forms we kill everyday because they're messing about inside of us. Long may we continue to wipe out diseases and drive those pesky viruses and bacteria who don't mix very well with our insides into virtual extinction.
I'm also a vegetarian but not out of any moral concern for the animals, after all those animals (and plants too) have been genetically engineered by us for thousands of years for a specific purpose, those animals are given life by us - because they are useful to us, other wise you might find the odd wild cow here and there in the remote parts of the country. We create those millions of cows, sheep and other domesticated animals and plants, feed them and keep them alive and yes in payment, we sometimes like to eat them. Seems like a good deal to me - you get to live, we get to eat you, and we'll ensure your species survival for as long as we like to eat you.