In anything a doctor does to/for a patient, there is a desired effect, and there are possible side effects, which might or not be unwelcome.
One that's fairly straightforward is administering pain medication. The goal of the medication is to alleviate the pain. Unwelcome side effects of the medication might include nausea and vomiting. Side effects that might or might not be unwelcome would be sleepiness or giddiness. (Some patients might be desperate for sleep, and others might be fighting to stay awake; some might enjoy the buzz of the giddiness while others might find it annoying because they're trying to be rational.)
Tooth extraction is more complex. The goal might seem simplistic at first. It's to remove the tooth, duh! But nobody goes to a dentist and says, "I do not care for this tooth. Please remove it." The tooth is being extracted for some underlying reason. The patient might be in pain from a large cavity. An abscess at the root of the tooth might be endangering the patient's health. The patient's teeth might be overcrowded, and the tooth is being extracted to make room for orthodontic work. In a dental extraction, the actual loss of the tooth is, when you get right down to it, a side effect. The actual goal of the treatment is the alleviation of pain, the prevention of the expected negative effects of the abscess, or the rearrangement of the teeth for a functional and/or attractive bite.
Abortion, I think, is far more like a tooth extraction than it is like the administration of pain medication. I want people to respond thoughtfully to the questions:
1. What is the goal of an abortion?
2. What side effects are there? Are these side effects welcome or unwelcome?
Once the discussion gets going I'm going to start building new posts and launching new discussions based on the comments I get.
My initial thoughts.
1. What is the goal of an abortion? It depends on the circumstances. Most of the time the goal is to alleviate the woman's distress at the diagnosis of pregnancy. Sometimes, though, the goal is to alleviate a maternal health problem. Sometimes it is to prevent the live birth of a child with a health problem.
2. What are the side effects? Physical pain from the actual procedure. Increased risk of infertility and /or complications with future pregnancies. Distress at the death of the fetus. Possible immediate complications such as damage to internal organs and structures.
Your thoughts? Please, no flippancy.