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In: Understanding the new politics of abortion, edited by Malcolm L. Goggin. Newbury Park, California, Sage Publications, 1993. 89-103.This chapter in a book which provides a framework for considering the "new" politics of abortion in the US (created when the Supreme Court gave states more leeway in regulating access to abortion) is the fifth and final chapter in a section dealing with conflict; in this case, conflicting values and attitudes among anti-abortion and pro-choice supporters presented with adoption as an alternative to abortion. It is hypothesized that it is relatively easy to have an opinion supporting adoption as an alternative for abortion but that this support lessens when it is linked to government financing for adoption. The analysis first examines the structure of support for adoption and public funding separately and then links the issues through a four-part typology showing support for adoption and public funding of it, rejection of both options, and support for one option but not the other. It is found that the most support for adoption as a solution to abortion comes from the socially conservative predisposed against abortion. The strongest predictor of adoption funding support is support for funding abortion (social welfare spending). Other predictors are opposition to abortion (positively related) and age (negatively related). While supporters of adoption as an alternative are generally opposed to public spending on social welfare, dedicated supporters of adoption appear willing to lessen their resistance to government spending to pursue their favored alternative to abortion. Abortion supporters generally already favor social welfare spending and have nothing to offer a compromise on financing. It is concluded that policy alternatives to abortion for unwanted pregnancy would be difficult to fashion and that potential compromise would more likely be successful if it were directed towards contraception.
MEDICINE AND LAW. 1989 Jan; 7(5):483-503.South African law, as many other law systems do, has exercised a strong measure of control over the fertility of its citizens via the sanction of illegitimacy and the prohibition of marriage (and thus legitimate children) between certain individuals (those who are among the prohibited). Until last year, when the Mixed Marriages Act was abolished, marriage across the color line was prohibited in South Africa. The requirement of a valid consent by both prospective spouses in order to enter into the marriage further excludes certain categories of people from procreating legitimate children (the insane, the mentally feeble), while the requirement of consummation will exclude certain categories of paraplegics from solemnizing a valid marriage. Age restrictions on marriages and the requirements of parental consent for minors are further factors limiting the individual's freedom to procreate. These restrictions have a well-established historical basis extending over a long period of time. They can be categorized as attempting to preserve the family unit. The above provisions were formulated at a time when the law never contemplated the amazing advances in human biology which have produced conception artificially; e.g., AID, IVF, and surrogacy. The legislature, both in South Africa and elsewhere, adopted a neutral approach to this fertility revolution at first and watched the legal system struggle to adapt outmoded principles to the new technology. Legislation relating to AID and IVF eventually appeared in many jurisdictions and as a result of its delayed introduction, public opinion has now been educated to accept these new techniques and the legislation looks favorably on these new techniques. This is not the case insofar as surrogacy is concerned. South Africa, England, and Australia have produced essentially negative legislation. Certain American states, however, have adopted progressive legislation which acknowledges and accepts surrogacy. The merits of this are discussed and it is felt that it should be condoned by the South African legislature under certain conditions, as it can now be considered as furthering the interests of the family unit. (author's modified)
[The unclear status of the fetus is an ethical dilemma. Neonatal care can save the fetus when abortion is still legally possible] Fostrets oklara status ett etiskt dilemma. Neonatalvard raddar foster vid abortgransen.
LAKARTIDNINGEN. 1990 May 9; 87(19):1689-90.A striking situation occasionally occurs in Swedish hospitals: a fetus survives late abortion and then all available intensive care resources are employed to keep it alive. The law permits free abortion through the 18th week of pregnancy, but with permission from the social service authorities, the limit for abortion can be stretched to the end of the 22nd week. At the same time it is possible to save the life of a premature birth down to the 23rd or 24th week. The development of a neonatal advanced care is based upon the assumption that it is desirable to save the life of a human fetus no matter how young it may be. At the same time, legislation which legitimizes free abortion up to a certain period of time expresses the view that the life of the fetus up through that time possesses little or no real value. A recent report by a government commission on the individuality of the pregnant woman and the fetus should have dealt with this ambivalence but did not. One possible way out of this dilemma is for society to take an active role in offering the woman economic compensation for bearing the child to term with a view toward giving it up for adoption. The commission's report compromised in not presenting this alternative as an official suggestion because it is too unpopular politically. The result is that tens of thousands of humans in Sweden every year are denied a chance for normal life because the public allows itself to be represented by politicians who lack the courage or the insight to accept the moral consequences of this decision.