Abortion a natural act?


#1

Question: Would you consider abortion a form of ‘Technology’???

I ask because I recently did a paper on technology, and how it can be harmful to our society. My first thought was, okay…abortion. My line of thinking is that abortion doesnt ‘naturally occur’… I mean, women have miscarriages, but thats not the same thing as an ‘abortion’…you need to manipulate that right? A knife used to cut bread is a tool, and at some point that could have been consider the ‘latest technology’…so…even at its most primal stage, abortion, being that its a man made ‘tool’ for destruction, could be considered technology as well??

My teacher said I was dead wrong because abortion has been around for thousands of years. :shrug:

your opinion?? any way I could argue this??? or am I just wrong which could very well be…


#2

So… your teacher says something having existed for “thousands of years” makes it not technology? Absent any other information, your teacher sounds dumb and/or saying things (s)he can’t logically defend to support a position (s)he has a need to support.
Abortion techniques are obviously as much technology as stone spears or the Internet. Perhaps (s)he needs a dictionary?

Edit: The argument here is the definition of technology from any decent dictionary.


#3

Yes, understanding how to possibly terminate a pregnancy is a kind of techmology, just like knowing how to light a fire.

Of course there are also methods that rather stretch the idea, like jumping off a rock, or praying for the pregnancy to end. So perhaps it would be fair to differentiate the desire to end pregnancy with the actual ability to do it. There is also some evidence that under stress, the body will allow itself to abort, not quite the same as the commonly understood idea of a miscarriage. (Technically, “to abort” doesn’t refer to an abortion caused on purpose, just the body expelling the fetus for any reason, including natural reasons.)

And then there is the question of infanticide, rather more rare in the West now, thankfully. It used to be fairly common, and practiced for the same reasons as abortion, but it is not really technology, I’d say.

It could be a difficult essay to write - there would be a lot of subtleties.


#4

“Technology” is a difficult term to work with, but I understand your point.
It’s often associated with the “latest and greatest”, when in reality the scope of the definition is much wider - but using that wider scope of the term won’t help you with your paper because it can just as easily be understood in a beneficial way toward society. :shrug: But that’s not the point of your question.

Often a miscarriage is medically termed as a “spontaneous abortion” - so you’ll need to be careful with your definitions.

Your teacher is right - forms of* artificially induced* abortions have been around for centuries - techniques including tools and folk medicines were used well before modern times. I guess you could consider those as uses of “technology”, but again, those same tools and folk medicines could have been used for good medical treatments.

I completely agree with you that abortion is horrific and wrong… I just think you’re going about the argument in the wrong way. :wink:
“Technology” probably isn’t the main offender to society…


#5

I wasnt trying to term technology as the main offender to society, the prompt for the essay was “How technology can be harmful to society”

My thesis was: “Science is the key to the future of our human race, and technology is seemingly as limitless as our imaginations, but how far is too far? I agree with the use of science and technology, except when it comes to these two things: it consumes people to the point that they detach themselves from society, or if it’s immoral or unethical all together.”

For point 1 I used examples like texting, online computer games, etc. …

For point 2 I used abortion…

She agreed with point 1, but said point 2 was not valid because abortion technically isnt an example of ‘technology’.

Regardless of however else those tool were used, you agree then that abortion is a form of technology then? And while those tools can be used for good, it is indeed immoral for those tools to be used in that way?


#6

Ahhh… now I understand! :smiley:
Instead of using the term “technology” exclusively - stick to your overall thesis and use “science and technology”.
Maybe expand on the idea that scientific medical advances have allowed abortion to become a “routine medical procedure”… using those terms rather than exclusively saying “technology” because medical advances falls more under the “science” side… make sense?

Good thesis! :slight_smile:


#7

I’ve noticed now-a-days some teacher’s just don’t seem to have the want, the drive, the will nor the knowledge to be teachers…for example, my son’s 1st grade teacher whom failed him without realizing he had “learning problems!” Didn’t even give him the chance…2nd grade teacher goes and does the same thing, except this time he was diagnosed as ADD!!! lol… A couple of times we would sneak in to talk to her she would be screaming at kids like if she was going to have a psychotic break down, it was really scary…GOD willing he isn’t having that woman as a teacher again…I brought it up with the school but they didn’t do anything and it is a magnet school so they have really good classes, my daughter is in advanced 6th grade…SO I don’t want to lose that for the other 2 children…But that’s the way this society is becoming, hiring anyone whomever they are not caring about the needs of the student’s really…I had some of the best teacher’s when I was young, and I loved all of them even the stern ones…How times have changed…

Anyhow back to your question, I would consider it technology since pretty much anything that is discovered or found or even developed is a form of technology…Pretty much everything we have learned is technology… If you lock yourself up in the room, and decide to concentrate enough and make something new, that’s technology…

So I think that just because something has been around for thousands of years doesn’t mean it isn’t technology it just means it’s “old” technology, it’s not new-found-technology like the new big bang theory experiment that the scientists created under the ground…:shrug: But still technology…


#8

“Safe abortion” – by which I mean statistically much safer than a knife, but still dangerous – is a form of technology.


#9

Dear Charlotte… The definition of the word “technology” is this: “Technology - the study of mechanical arts and applied sciences”.

I fail to see how the act of ripping a living human fetus OUT of the uterus of it’s mother (or burning it to death, IN the uterus… as in saline abortions), can fall under either of those areas. :shrug:

No, abortion is NOT technology. It is MURDER.

God bless.

(edited… because I misread the original question.).


#10

Huh? Charlotte was claiming abortion was technology, and IMHO she was right. Her teacher said it wasn’t technology. Abortion is also murder, of course.


#11

Thank you, “PS” I read it wrong. God bless.


#12

Not a problem. Blessings!


#13

Yes, technology is applied science, that is taking knowledge and applying it to a situation to achive a certian end.

So, if you know that drinking a certain concoction will cause an abortion, that is technology, just like insulin for diabetes is.

I suppose your teacher may just want more resent examples, but her definition is wrong.


#14

While abortion has been around for thousands of years, the technologies used to achieve it have changed over time. It started out with herbal preparations that caused the uterus to contract and expel its contents. There may have been crude physical implements, too, I don’t know.

We’ve now progressed to sophisticated pharmaceuticals, finely honed implements, and ultrasound technology which are used for abortion.

Abortion is not technology, but technology is used to achieve it, whether primitive or modern.

BTW, I hate the over- and mis-use of the word technology. A fork is technology. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything particularly modern. From dictionary.com:

tech⋅nol⋅o⋅gy  /tɛkˈnɒlədʒi/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [tek-nol-uh-jee]

–noun

  1. the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure science.

  2. the sum of the ways in which social groups provide themselves with the material objects of their civilization.

Those two seemed most relevant to the discussion here. The reason the word “technology” has come to indicate something modern is that computers, lasers, and such were deemed “high-technology.” That is true, but Americans are fundamentally linguistically lazy, so eventually it got cut down to just “technology” as a catch all term that distorts the definition of the word.


#15

What she said. :thumbsup:

A knife made by chipping flakes off a rock is technology. The animal skin that was cleaned by that knife is technology. Control of fire is technology. Cooked food is technology. Of course technology has enabled abortion.


#16

And technology…hasn’t?

I mean, really, we’ve been thinking up ingenuitive ways of doing nastly things since, oh…whatever day it was Cain decided to conk Able over the head.


#17

If you talk about technology, you may want to point out that all technology has dual use. Just as an ancient stone spear or stone axe could be used for hunting or murder, so it is with modern technology. Methotrexate is used to treat cancer, but abortionists started using it to induce abortions. This is a case of dual use of our knowledge of pharmaceutical science. Methotrexate is not bad, but the person who uses it to kill the unborn human being is. Another example is the RU-486 (mifepristone) drug.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mifepristone

RU-486 was unfortunately specifically developed with this use in mind, to induce abortions. Nevertheless, if we humans would live according to God’s 6th commandment (Thou shalt not kill), we could ban the use of RU-486 as an abortive drug, and continue to use it for the treatment of cancer. RU-486 showed impressive anti-tumor effects when my colleagues tried it in a brain tumor model.

It’s the same with modern surgical techniques and ultrasound imaging. Good doctors are using these technologies to operate on unborn babies who need surgeries (e.g. spina bifida), inside the womb, but the bad doctors are watching the same babies on their ultrasound screens and use the ultrasound imaging to more precisely direct their murderous surgical tools to kill and dismember the babies inside their mothers’ wombs.

It all boils down to the dual use of technology. Technology in good hands is used to save lives and heal people, and the same technology is used by bad people to commit murder.


#18

and the debate continues…

i confronted my teacher…pretty diplomatically…and she got pretty frustrated…in the end, no agreement, or even recognition of my concern was acheived…lol…
and then this morning i got this email…

Subject: Definitions on Abortion Sent: July 20, 2009 1:28 PM
From: Sara To: Charlotte
CC:

I thought you might find this helpful, since I didn’t do such a good job of trying to explain what “abotion” actually means. It might help in understanding my comments as well:

“abortion, expulsion of the products of conception before the embryo or fetus is viable. Any interruption of human pregnancy prior to the 28th week is known as abortion.”

“Therapeutic abortion is an induced abortion performed to preserve the health or life of the mother.
Spontaneous Abortion (Miscarriage)”

“Also called voluntary abortion. the removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus in order to end a pregnancy.”

So abortion in and of itself is not a product of technology, rather technology has been used to aid in abortion. Hopefully that makes more sense.

Take care,

Sara

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAnd so I wrote her back:

Again, my paper wasnt ON abortion, it was on technology when used to enable things that 1. detach people from society or 2. that are immoral (such online virtual societies or games, or induced abortion-miscarriage is a natural act). TECHNOLOGY is an applied science, that is taking knowledge and applying it to a situation to achieve a certain end- and when you think about how a doctor, picks up a TOOL and SCRAPES a child out of a WOMB to KILL it…the act of performing an abortion seems to fit the description.


#19

Her definition is incorrect. When a pregnancy spontaneously terminates before the baby comes to term, that is a miscarriage. Abortion is the direct and intentional act of doing something that terminates a pregnancy before the baby comes to term.

Using her logic, since fire occurs natureally, one cannot consider the refining of metals or the development of metal alloys as technology because they use fire.

Your response to her was correct, though you should correct her definition of abortion.


#20

Abortion Definition:

  1. the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus: as
    a: spontaneous expulsion of a human fetus during the first 12 weeks of gestation
    b: induced expulsion of a human fetus
    c: expulsion of a fetus by a domestic animal often due to infection at any time before completion of pregnancy

Most people when they say “abortion” are talking about definition 1b.
Your teacher might have been talking about definition 1a, which does occur in nature with no intervention by us.

merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abortion

A miscarriage (in terms of human pregnancy) is the same thing as definition 1a, but for 12 to 28 weeks into a pregnancy instead.

merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miscarriage


Edit: Regards to post #18, I think you’re basically right with what you wrote back. If technology can be used to aid something that wasn’t going to happen naturally (and said thing is viewed as bad), then it could certainly further your argument that “technology can be bad”.

I also think there was honest confusion on the part of your teacher.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.