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Dec 27 2011

Post-born children don’t matter so much

There’s a thing called Personhood USA.

The Primary Mission of Personhood USA is to serve Jesus by being an Advocate for those who can not speak for themselves, the pre-born child. We serve by starting / coordinating efforts to establish legal “personhood” for pre-born children through peaceful activism, legislative efforts and ballot-access petition initiatives.

By “pre-born child” of course it means the embryo; by “pre-born” it means “inside the body of a woman whose wishes are entirely beside the point.” By “personhood” it means “usurping the rights of the woman who is gestating the embryo.”

 

It is pleased that Ron Paul signed the “Personhood Pledge” but it is also suspicious.

Upon receiving the signed pledge with the addendum, Personhood USA requested clarification from the Paul campaign for inconsistencies between the accompanying statement and the pledge language.

The pledge requires that the candidates “stand…with the Republican Party platform in affirming that [they] “support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and endorse legislation to make clear that the 14th Amendment protections apply to unborn children.”

Regarding the latter, Rep. Paul stated that “The Fourteenth Amendment was never intended to cancel out the Tenth Amendment. This means that I can’t agree that the Fourteenth Amendment has a role to play here, or otherwise we would end up with a ‘Federal Department of Abortion.’”

Uh oh. Could be problems ahead. But don’t worry; I’m sure between them they’ll be able to figure out a way to remove women’s rights over their own bodies.

91 comments

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  1. 1
    Jason Thibeault

    The opposite of post-born is pre-born, right? So this amendment only covers Bene Gesserit abominations that have full consciousness and historical memory in the womb. And they want to PROTECT those abominations? Proof positive that anti-abortionists are evil.

  2. 2
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    George Carlin was right.

    If you’re pre-born, you’re fine.

    If you’re pre-school, you’re fucked. (At least until you reach military age…)

  3. 3
    Erin

    Just how many of those “pre-born” children are going to wind living in poverty? Instead of giving rights to unborn children, they really should consider meeting the needs of the ones who are already here…and the women who carry them. But then, there’s no arguing with pro-lifers. I’ve found that most will only ever see things from their point of view.

  4. 4
    Bill

    As an atheist who believes that this is the one and only life that he will get, I am grateful I got to escape the “ovarian bastille” and get to the point of being post-born. Honestly it baffles me that so many atheists are pro-choice. Do you fail to take this into consideration, or are you only looking arguments against abortion from religious people?

  5. 5
    ambulocetacean

    Bill, I don’t like abortion — I don’t think anybody does — but I do think it should be, as they say, safe, legal and rare.

    As to why so many atheists are pro-choice, I imagine it’s because they think the rights of a real, live woman (or impregnanted child) outweigh those of a tiny clump of cells.

    But I don’t know shit and I don’t speak for anyone else. I just personally don’t think it’s my place to be telling women what to do with their bodies. Especially since I’m a man.

  6. 6
    Ophelia Benson

    Fail to take what into consideration? That once we’re born and have been alive for a few years we’re glad we exist? No, I don’t take that into consideration, because if “I” had been aborted there never would have been an “I” to know what I was missing. Same goes for you, and everyone. Do you take that into consideration?

    Sheesh.

  7. 7
    Yakamoz

    What about the other victims of the Ovarian Bastille that your mother’s pregnancy doomed never to ovulate, just so you could live? Nine months of pregnancy means nine eggs that never matured and nine other potential embryos that never formed. Did you ever take that into consideration?

  8. 8
    ...

    Someone remind me, what’s the scientifically established point at which someone is counted as human?

    ..oh, that’s right, there isn’t one. I’m opposed to the death penalty in practice, because the potential for abuse and for mistakes is so high. It seems to me that a similar thought might, just possibly, be taken into consideration here.

    Bill, I don’t like abortion — I don’t think anybody does

    ambulocetan, you are quite wrong. Go and look at P.Z. Myers saying he’s happy to be called pro-abortion and would encourage people to have an abortion. Go and look at Black Skeptics blog where some female says that abortion should be celebrated.

    There was a time, not so far off, that eugenic sterilization and even killing was merrily discussed by all the OK people. Don’t be so sure that your position is unassailable just because all the OK people have signed off on’t.

  9. 9
    Rumtopf

    some female
    Oh do go away, misogynist asshole.

    Pro abortion doesn’t mean forced abortions for people who don’t want them, genius. And yes, the legality of abortion should be celebrated – women have bodily autonomy and don’t have to risk their lives in dangerous backstreet clinics, because legal or fucking not, abortions are needed and they happen. But I suppose you wouldn’t care if “some female” died after an illegal, botched abortion, would you.

  10. 10
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    I don’t know why they use the term “personhood”… not only because it doesn’t apply to a fetus IMO, but because they don’t really mean it either. They don’t see a fetus as a human being, they see it as either a potential tool for their religious cult, or as a punishment for unsanctioned sexual activity. There’s NOTHING in their actions or really in their rhetoric that points to their acceptance of a fetus as a person.

  11. 11
    Darwin Harmless

    I don’t like abortion. I would much rather that loving people bring a child they want into this world and do their very best to raise a loving human being. But when this is not what is happening, it is not my right to tell a woman how to deal with her own body. It is not my body, it is hers.
    I don’t get how so many men think they have the right to dictate to woman how to treat their own body, and until that embryo is out of the woman’s body it is not a baby, it is not a human being, it is an embryo. Okay, I’ll grant that late term abortions are getting close to infanticide, but early term abortions are nothing to get moralistic about. Especially if you are a man.
    You ask how atheists can have this position. Well, it’s only logical, and atheists tend to be logical people. Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose. The right of men to dictate to women ends at their bodies. What is so hard to understand about this? Who the fuck made all those anti-choice asshole men captain of the world?

  12. 12
    steve oberski

    Bill, if men could get pregnant there would be drive through abortion clinics.

    And you would be very relieved that there were.

    It’s still a male dominated world but it remains surprising that so many males can empathize with a small blob of largely undifferentiated cells somewhat less complex than the brain of a fly than they can with a living, thinking, feeling human being.

  13. 13
    LMM

    As an atheist who believes that this is the one and only life that he will get, I am grateful I got to escape the “ovarian bastille” and get to the point of being post-born.

    As an atheist who believes that this is the one and only life she will get, *I* would like to know why I should waste nine months of it carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term, especially since I’m in a career (chemistry) which is not particularly compatible with gestation and on medications which are suspected to be tetragenic.

    The “one and only life” line cuts both ways, you know. Except, I suppose, if you’re selfish and male.

  14. 14
    Appalachian Australian

    Erin said: Just how many of those “pre-born” children are going to wind living in poverty? Instead of giving rights to unborn children, they really should consider meeting the needs of the ones who are already here…and the women who carry them.

    There are some of us who do choose to concentrate our efforts and our advocacy on the myriads of kids in trouble who are already born; that’s why I chose to became a foster parent and to engage in some (limited) advocacy to try to improve that system. I feel that’s a much better way to live a pro-life lifestyle than, for example, to try to ban morning-after pills. As Ron Paul put it, “These very early pregnancies could never be policed, regardless. Such circumstances would be dealt with by each individual making his or her own moral choice.” (And for which he got crucified by the abolitionist pro-life lobby.)

    You just don’t hear from people like us very often since we don’t like to spend our time arguing on blogs about our point of view. I’d rather be prepping my new home for an emergency infant foster placement, for example, than holding signs in front of a Planned Parenthood.

    But then, there’s no arguing with pro-lifers. I’ve found that most will only ever see things from their point of view.

    Unfortunately, pro-life people (at least ones I’ve talked to) feel the same way about pro-choice people.

  15. 15
    Ophelia Benson

    Please let’s not use “pro-life” as if it were a meaningful term. I’m not “pro-death” so I don’t take “pro-life” to describe a disagreement with me about abortion.

  16. 16
    sailor1031

    “…The Primary Mission of Personhood USA is to serve Jesus by being an Advocate for those who can not speak for themselves, the pre-born child.”

    A great pity that these sanctimonious bastards don’t concern themselves with being advocates for all those others unable to speak for themselves because nobody hears the unprivileged. But that’s not how it works: There are different and draconian rules for the post-born. They are on their own – who cares if they are poor, exploited, unfed, on the street, abused? Apparently not these people who only care about persons who are not actually persons. And disadvantage of the unprivileged is their own fault by rightwing christian rules.

    And if you aren’t allowed to kill a child before it’s born – although it seems to be have been perfectly fine with doG in all those conquerings and genocides he sponsored – you sure as hell can kill a child after it’s born. See the OT rules for disobedient children.

  17. 17
    ...

    And yes, the legality of abortion should be celebrated

    To the vulgarian in this thread, bother to read. She says the act, and not the legality, should be celebrated.

    LMM,

    What I always notice is that people like you dance away from the essential question of whether or not, or at what stage, the inhabitant of the womb is a full human being. That is the issue: we do not kill human beings for the reasons you give. That’s not to say that an unwanted pregancy doesn’t suck. I’d support most any measure to make sure that doesn’t happen. But that does not license the destruction of innocent life. You have to prove that the inhabitant of the womb is not a human being.

    The most intelligent argument I’ve heard is that it is one after two months, beause that’s when brain-wave activity starts, and we judge death by the cessation of brain activity.

    It’s typically a bad sign when you can’t state your opponents case. Case in point:

    It is not my body, it is hers.
    I don’t get how so many men think they have the right to dictate to woman how to treat their own body, and until that embryo is out of the woman’s body it is not a baby, it is not a human being, it is an embryo

    Please prove it. Because this sort of “oh, it’s not really a human being, therefore it’s okay to kill it” has a very ugly history.

    It’s an even worse sign when you hide behind the idea of imputing the worst possible motive to another and then assuming it’s the right one. In this case the effacing acid is “telling a woman what to do with her own body”. No one is saying that in this debate; no one is saying that a woman does not have the right to any surgery, necessary or elective, that she may chose. What is being argued about, however, is the status of the unborn – at what stage is it a human being?

    If you cannot understand that there are very many people who, given the relentless advance of our knowledge in this field, take very anti-abortion views because they are convinced they are defending innocent life – I submit that’s because you don’t dare to. You don’t dare face that possibility, because of the implications it raises about your own position.

    I repeat: Killing the “mentally unfit” was a position of all the OK people not so long ago.

  18. 18
    Nathan

    Am I correct in assuming that everyone who uses phrases like: “remove women’s rights over their own bodies”;
    “I just personally don’t think it’s my place to be telling women what to do with their bodies”; and
    “it is not my right to tell a woman how to deal with her own body. It is not my body, it is hers”

    are complete civil libertarians, in favor of the legalization of prostitution, gambling, all drugs, and every other consensual voluntary activity between two adults?

    I ask this because I am such a civil libertarian, and it irks me to no end to hear people justify their support of abortion rights with such phrases when they clearly don’t actually mean them. I’m not accusing any of the posters of this–it’s possible you really are all civil libertarians. But there are millions of people who proudly chant “My body, my choice” when rallying for abortion rights, but obviously don’t really believe in that general principle.

  19. 19
    Dave

    Complete civil libertarians? Well, I pretty much am, if that helps?

    Consenting adults can do what they dam’ well please in private, frankly; though I do think that the general good requires some careful consideration of acts that should and should not be acceptable in public, or which in other ways impinge on the liberties of third parties. OK?

  20. 20
    Veronica Abbass

    On a positive note, I was pleased to see that Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life,

    “has been suspended from active ministry outside the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas, over financial questions about his operation of Priests for Life.”
    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1103632.htm

    Priests for Life “refers to a very specific effort to galvanize the clergy to preach, teach, and mobilize their people more effectively in the effort to end abortion and euthanasia.”
    See http://www.priestsforlife.org/intro/introbrochure.html

    Pavone and Priests for Life interfered in a high profile medical case in Ontario, Canada and immediately started begging for dollars. See http://www.priestsforlife.org/babyjoseph/

  21. 21
    Ingdigo Jump

    Someone remind me, what’s the scientifically established point at which someone is counted as human?

    genetics determines humanness. The difference between a human and a human cell or tissue seems to be external viability. If it is complete enough that it is self sustaining it is a human animal not human tissue.

    But that’s not the same as PERSON. Person is a philosophical concept

    What’s the scientific established point of a philosophical and legal concept?

    If we’re most generous we can see the start of personhood, awareness, post birth with the increase to brain activity and sensory input.

  22. 22
    Ophelia Benson

    “…says” – you’re ignoring the fact that this putative “full human being” is inside the body of someone else. The person who owns the body has first rights over it.

  23. 23
    ...

    Ophelia, if the unborn is indeed a full human being, as you seem to grudgingly accept, then what you are ignoring is the necessary implication: that this is the deliberate, cold-blooded killing of a child by its mother, every bit as much as unwanted children were (and are) drowed or abandoned.

    Incidentally, nowhere did I ignore that this human being is inside the body of another.

    As regards Ing,

    If we’re most generous we can see the start of personhood, awareness, post birth with the increase to brain activity and sensory input.

    I’ll just note that sensory awareness is present a long time before birth, and here you admit that brain activity is present before birth too.

  24. 24
    Brother Yam

    The pledge requires that the candidates “stand…with the Republican Party platform…

    Can you say, Astroturf?

  25. 25
    SallyStrange

    Bill, I don’t like abortion — I don’t think anybody does —

    Speak for yourself. I very much liked my abortion. What I didn’t like was the fact that my birth control had failed.

  26. 26
    SallyStrange

    If fetuses could survive outside the womb, this wouldn’t be an issue. Woman doesn’t want to be pregnant? Remove the fetus and let it continue its gestation in an artificial womb.

    Children can be taken away from parents who don’t want to care for them and given to someone else.

    Fetuses can’t.

    If you want to “defend” the life of a fetus, you must perforce attack the life of the woman who doesn’t want to be its host.

  27. 27
    Ophelia Benson

    Whoever you are @23 – use a handle. It’s a nuisance not to have one to address.

    No I don’t accept that an embryo “a full human being.” And yes of course you ignored the body of the woman – by not mentioning it or taking it into account.

    It’s not the killing of a child, because an embryo is not a child.

    If you’re just going to use this boring inaccurate trick of renaming the embryo as your “argument,” then don’t bother.

  28. 28
    SallyStrange

    If an embryo were a full human being, it wouldn’t be reliant on access to an adult woman’s blood supply, oxygen, and nutrients in order to survive.

  29. 29
    steve oberski

    @Nathan

    My take on civil libertarianism was articulated by the harm principle as described by John Stuart Mill; that individuals have the right to act as they want to the extent that they don’t harm other individuals.

    For the cowardly anonymous poster, a developing fetus in the body of a woman does not meet the definition of individual. As well, the level of brain activity of a developing fetus has been established by empirically by observation and whether anyone “admits” to this has no bearing on the discussion other than to allow you to present fallacious arguments.

  30. 30
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Bill, I don’t like abortion — I don’t think anybody does — but I do think it should be, as they say, safe, legal and rare.

    I do.
    Actually, the more stupid, selfish and idiotic I deem a reason for having an abortion, the more I’m glad if the woman has one. Because being responsible during pregnancy so you don’t cause harm to what’s going to be a child, and being a responsible parent are damn hard jobs. And I wouldn’t entrust that to women who can’t be bothered to postpone a party.

    As for the personhood: You can define that however you want, I don’t care. Declare each egg and each sperm 1/2 a person, declare the blastocyte a person, I don’t give a fucking shit.
    Because nowhere in sociecty we demand that somebody must sacrifice time and bodily resources for the sake of somebody else, much less do we legally oblige them to. I don’t have to donate blood, or register for bone-marrow transplantation or remove a kidney from their body, so why on earth should I have to donate 9 months and a hell lot of bodily resources for the sake of somebody else? No matter how you’re calling it, as long as that entity is living inside of me, I get the say over it.

    Ophelia, if the unborn is indeed a full human being, as you seem to grudgingly accept, then what you are ignoring is the necessary implication: that this is the deliberate, cold-blooded killing of a child by its mother, every bit as much as unwanted children were (and are) drowed or abandoned.

    Can please somebody take the straw-fetus of the healthy fetus that is aborted via late-term abortion for no good reason out of the discussion?
    Thank you.
    Or please somebody could come up with a relevant number of cases where that actually happened.
    Just to bring a bit of data into the discussion: When do women have abortions
    88% take place before 12 weeks of gestation (that’s actually 10 weeks age of the embryo), about 95% take place before 15 weeks (13 weeks age of embryo)
    At week 12, the embryo is 2″ and weighs half an ounce.
    So, if that’s cold-blooded killing of a child, my body is guilty of manslaughter.

  31. 31
    Aquaria

    Ophelia, if the unborn is indeed a full human being, as you seem to grudgingly accept

    She did no such thing, you liar.

    then what you are ignoring is the necessary implication

    Here comes another lie…

    that this is the deliberate, cold-blooded killing of a child by its mother

    It’s not a child. It’s an embryo. I kill biological samples like that every damned month because I refuse to be a brood mare.

    every bit as much as unwanted children were (and are) drowed or abandoned.

    Oh good grief. How do a clump of cells equal an infant? Do you even know embryonic development? At all?

    When they are surviving on their own without help from me, then they are people. Until then, they’re not persons. They’re embryos or fetuses. Or worse.

    If it weren’t for abortion, I would be dead. Or do you think it would have been okay to force me to die with a sort of living fetus that was rotting inside me in pieces, infecting my whole body and causing me to lose pints of blood a day?

    Do you think that was any kind of fucking picnic? Do you think it was any fun for my mother to start making arrangements for me to be taken to Dr. Tiller in Kansas to save my life, because we weren’t sure the hospital board in Texas would approve the abortion I desperately needed in time?

    It wasn’t fun to be dying, and your damned life being argued over because a bunch of woman-hating scumbags like you cared more about the rotting thing inside me than about me.

    Fuck you.

  32. 32
    LMM

    What I always notice is that people like you dance away from the essential question of whether or not, or at what stage, the inhabitant of the womb is a full human being. That is the issue: we do not kill human beings for the reasons you give. That’s not to say that an unwanted pregancy doesn’t suck. I’d support most any measure to make sure that doesn’t happen. But that does not license the destruction of innocent life. You have to prove that the inhabitant of the womb is not a human being.

    Let me be clear here: The reasons I give are my own. They do not apply to anyone else.

    Let me also be clear about another thing: I don’t have to prove anything.

    Seeing as I am the one who would be pregnant, *you* need to prove your case to me.

    The nasty fact that anti-choicers like you ignore is that abortions have always occurred. They will always occur — there are far too many methods to prevent them from occurring. The only thing you can do is make them more dangerous and make those who have them subject to legal punishment. That will not prevent them. There’s good evidence that that won’t even reduce their frequency. All that will do is cause women to go to jail — and to die.

    If you have the time, I would suggest that you take the time to watch a documentary from the 1960s, entitled “Abortion and the Law”. I watched it half a decade ago and — although it didn’t change my position much — it changed the way I thought about the issue forever.

    You see, before Roe v. Wade, women died. There were sepsis wards for women who had abortions in every major hospital. Back alley abortions could be conducted by skilled doctors who had access to modern medical equipment — or they could be conducted by untrained amateurs in restaurant kitchens (as one couple in the documentary recounts). And they could be conducted by women at home using common household equipment — wire coat hangers, knitting needles, and hairpins. (That’s a scene in the documentary too.)

    When you say that we need to prove that a fetus isn’t a human being, what you’re saying is that the lives of those women — the lives of the women in sepsis wards, the women who had emergency hysterectomies or were forced to bear children and then give them up for adoption — don’t matter. What you’re saying is that all that matters is a fetus — a fetus which is unwanted and likely to get aborted anyway. (Remember, banning abortion doesn’t prevent it from happening.)

    There’s another issue to consider here, and that’s that what people like you advocate doesn’t work. The best way to reduce the number of abortions — and this is the strategy that’s followed in countries such as the Netherlands — is to make them safe and readily available, and then to make birth control safe and readily available as well. Sex education is under attack in all parts of the country — largely due to the influence of the religious right.

    As a final note, I’m tempted to argue that maybe you should try to persuade women on an individual level to not have abortions — that is, that the moral argument might succeed if made to individuals rather than if you pitched it to a society that’s going to impose its will on people who don’t agree with you — but, then again, that doesn’t seem to work. Allegedly “pro-life” women have abortions all the time — see this page for a collection of anecdotes, for example. Perhaps the best illustration of this is the abortion rate for fetuses with Downs Syndrome — it’s held constant at about 92% for years.

    Let me emphasize that. Even though studies have shown that about 30% of the population of the US claims to disagree with abortion for any reason, 92% of women who are pregnant with fetuses with Downs Syndrome have abortions. Either the god I don’t believe in has a massive sense of irony (epidemiological study, anyone?) or the vast majority “pro-life” supporters are hypocrites.

    Maybe you should stop trying to advocate your cause on boards that don’t agree with you and start preaching to the choir. Because, as it turns out, most “pro-lifers” don’t believe in their cause at all.

  33. 33
    Veronica Abbass

    To …

    Are you a male or just an ellipsis.

    I suspect you are a male; only a male or a fanatic female pro-lifer would use the word mother when referring to a female who is carrying an unwanted fetus. The word “mother,” when used the way you use it, is an emotive word, designed to marginalize a pregnant female. The apotheosis of pregnancy ignores the reality of carrying a fetus for 9 months and caring for the infant/child for 20+ years.

    Men have no part in carrying a fetus for 9 months; they should have no say in whether or not the fetus is carried to term.

    As my Catholic mother says, “If men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.”

  34. 34
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Is it time for me to mention that there’s good eating on a fetus yet? If not, I’ll wait a bit…

  35. 35
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Oh, and BTW…

    It isn’t fair that men don’t get a say in a woman’s pregnancy. It really isn’t fair, and I have some measure of sympathy for men whose view on the subject contradicts that of the woman carrying the fetus he helped make. And I’m rather unsympathetic towards people who dismiss this unfairness out of hand, especially when they make the sort of comments that would be distasteful when directed at a woman, like “Well, should have kept it in your pants, so too bad.”

    Having said all that, the important point is that life isn’t fair. It is much less fair by several orders of magnitude that a woman should have to be forced by anyone to carry a fetus to term or not based on someone else’s desires. That’s a damned sight less fair, and no one should have that forced on them. And if the man who helped make the fetus doesn’t get a say, then why in seven hells should some complete stranger get a say based on their religious beliefs?

  36. 36
    Ophelia Benson

    The whole arrangement is extremely unfair on both sexes. A loving god in action!

  37. 37
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Hmmmm… thanks Ophelia, maybe we skip past the consumption of embryos and straight to the Bugs Bunny argument for the nonexistence of God? :)

  38. 38
    Ophelia Benson

    Wozzat Joe?

    I missed that one, which is odd considering my warm affection for Warner Brothers cartoons.

  39. 39
    John Morales

    Ophelia, Improbable Joe’s Bugs Bunny argument for the nonexistence of God, not Bugs Bunny’s argument. ;)

  40. 40
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Sorry Ophelia… it is actually an anti-design argument with a specific form that I came up with myself.

    Basically, better design means less moving parts: typewriter to word processor to PC to iPad is an example. The ultimate human version might be a voice/thought-controlled version with a display just a few molecules thick at most. The “God” version would require no moving parts and would go from thought to print with no intermediate steps.

    So, better biological design would start removing bits… say for instance a digestive system that extracts nutrients without having to run 20 or so feet in a twisty pattern. A perfect biological system would contain few or no organs at all… and since you don’t need to keep things inside, might as well drop a dimension and make everything flat. No perfect designer would add extra complexity when he/she/it/they/etc. might have the option not to. So flat it is.

    You know, like animation.

    Like Bugs Bunny!

    So for the debate on abortion, which requires biology, the appeals to a magical being (who clearly would have created storks and cabbage patches to deliver babies, at least!) can fuck right off.

  41. 41
    Ophelia Benson

    Flatland!

    There’s a Big Bang episode where Raj wants to go out and have fun and Sheldon wants to re-format his hard drive, and he tries to get Raj to have fun by imagining he’s in Flatland. “Oh look, a sexually attractive linear segment.”

  42. 42
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Big Bang episode… I can’t watch TV with a laughtrack. I’m a wretched snob that way.

  43. 43
    Bill

    Appreciate the responses to my initial post, can’t respond to every one but there were some good things in there that has given me something to think about. Hopefully most women will not be in a position where they will need to get an abortion whether it’s legal or not though.

  44. 44
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    BTW, why are all those llegedly atheist anti-choicers showing up at the moment? Anybody blown a whistle or something?

  45. 45
    Darwin Harmless

    @Nathan “Am I correct in assuming that everyone who uses phrases like: “remove women’s rights over their own bodies”;
    “I just personally don’t think it’s my place to be telling women what to do with their bodies”; and
    “it is not my right to tell a woman how to deal with her own body. It is not my body, it is hers”
    are complete civil libertarians, in favor of the legalization of prostitution, gambling, all drugs, and every other consensual voluntary activity between two adults?”

    Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. Been busy. And since your quotes are from my comment, here’s my answer: That is some stupid extrapolation you just did.

    I am actually in favor of everything you list – legalization of prostitution, legalization of all drugs (with controls similar to controls on alcohol), legalization of gambling and every other consensual voluntary activity between two adults. Yes indeed. Am I a complete libertarian? Hell no. I’m all in favor of helmet laws, for example. If people are too stupid to protect their brains, why should we all have to pay for their medical care. I’m totally in favor of seat belt laws, for the same reason. I think we should allow most sensible adults to have guns, but have severe penalties for unsafe storage and handling plus double sentences for carrying a gun in commission of a crime and automatic jail time for threatening another human with a gun. I would also like to see severe penalties for anybody who circumcises an infant. So I would hardly describe myself as a “complete civil libertarian”. Can you see the kind of distinctions I draw? Do whatever the hell you want with your body, with the body of whomever agrees with you. But don’t meddle in somebody else’s business or cause them harm because of your misguided policies.

    The self-labeled “right to life” crowd kill women and would like to sentence many children to lives of squalid poverty. They don’t seem to care about that, because to them a small clump of cells is “a person”. Give me a fucking break.

    I think there are sensible policies for society. Interfering with adults in pursuit of their own private kicks that don’t harm anybody else is for the right wing religious freaks.
    Trying to label those in favor of women having choice and control over their own bodies as “complete civil libertarians” is way off the mark.

  46. 46
    Darwin Harmless

    @Nathan Oh yeah, one more thing. I think allowing corporate money to control government is simply allowing the bandits to take over the police station. You Americans have declared companies to be “persons under the law”. That is just stupid. You need controls on your economy to prevent corruption. So no, I am not a “complete civil libertarian” by any means. I think government has a legitimate role to play in regulating society and protecting the weak from the rapacious and strong. There are many things that should not be run for profit, including health care, utilities, communication systems, fire departments, libraries, postal systems, jails (Do you want to give corporations a vested interest in a high crime rate?), police, the military (Really, do you want to give corporations a vested interest in global conflict. Uh, wait a minute. What did I just say here? That’s what we’ve done.) There are some things the government should regulate for the public good. But the government shouldn’t be controlled by the opinions of any religious group. Religious groups tend to push for very stupid and destructive policies. And laws that take women’s rights to control their own bodies away top the list.

  47. 47
    ...

    I notice, once again, that there are many people who think that a stream of invective is a substitute for rational argument. First, I will deal with the sensible argument:

    The whole arrangement is extremely unfair on both sexes.

    The universe isn’t a fair place. It hasn’t been particularly tailored to our existence. The whole point of ethics, as Huxley noted, is to force something artificial on a system that is having none of it. That is why I freely accept that there’s a huge issue and problem here. LMM is quite right that this is a problem that is made much more difficult by the wretched antics of the religious. However, none of that goes to the question of the status of the unborn.

    Then there’s Veronica, as an example of someone who can’t argue:

    I suspect you are a male

    That old Stalinist standby? Substituting questions of motive for arguments about fact? It’s both cliched and wrong.

    To Ophelia,

    It’s not the killing of a child, because an embryo is not a child

    Those people? Oh, they’re not reaaaallly human beings, they’re [insert whichever group fashionable at the moment]. So you can kill them. They’re not really human.

    All killers dehumanize. It’s the way they function. All I am asking is, where’s your proof that these are not human beings? Or, before what stage aren’t they? As I said, the most intelligent argument I have heard is the one based on brain waves. So, I’m absolutely opposed to it after two months. That at least brings some science to the table.

    I’d like to note that the majority of this thread have engaged in that stupid Stalinist arguing technique; there’s a need to believe the worst of your opponents. For the record, I don’t reciprocate; I think you lot are normal, everyday people. It’s just I know too well the sort of things that normal, everyday people have been willing to approve of.

    If I wanted to play this game, I could and do it much harder than any of you. Case in point, LMM:

    92% of women who are pregnant with fetuses with Downs Syndrome have abortions.

    So, it’s okay to kill a disabled or brain-damaged child? Well, we all know which regime thought that, don’t we?

    See how easy this is?

    LMM, again:

    s a final note, I’m tempted to argue that maybe you should try to persuade women on an individual level to not have abortions — that is, that the moral argument might succeed if made to individuals rather than if you pitched it to a society that’s going to impose its will on people who don’t agree with you

    That’s a compromise position I can understand – the Hitch took it – but the thing is that we have laws, for good reason, against infanticide and child neglect as well. And, while I take your point about the ghastly back-street practices, there is the unfortunate counterargument that banning infanticide doesn’t stop that either. What isn’t really debatable is that, following, abortion’s legalization, the incidence has gone up and up. And the overwhelming majority of that is as a substitute for contraception.

    LMM, to repeat, just so I’m not misunderstood, I entirely agree that this whole thing has been made so much worse by the insufferable meddling of the religious; the Catholic ban on contraception is evil nonsense that makes it certain that far more unwanted pregnancies occur.

    I should note that the one big exception is when a woman’s life is under direct threat. I’ve heard a number of anecdotal references to this, and a whole lot of argument about its veracity, but that’s the situation where there isn’t really a right or wrong choice, because the conflict is so dramatic.

  48. 48
    ...

    Quick addendum:

    I’d be a lot more charitably inclined towards the religious if they’d invest more in underwriting orphanages etc. than in sabotaging sex-ed and gay marriage (and goodness knows what else). I’d be a lot more charitably inclined towards some of the commentators here if they could make the imaginative leap to see that those of us who disagree with them, do so out of a concern for innocent life and a knowledge of human wickedness, rather than for some nefarious reason.

  49. 49
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Those people? Oh, they’re not reaaaallly human beings, they’re [insert whichever group fashionable at the moment]. So you can kill them. They’re not really human.

    Cupcake, first of all, nobody says human embryos aren’t human (what else would they be, piggy-embryos? Not that you could tell one from the other by looking at it), they aren’t people.
    Secondly, if you’re too stupid to realize that there’s a fucking difference between an embryo and a baby/child, there’s no sense in continuing any discussion.
    blastocyte=/=embryo=/=fetus=/=infant
    And it’s not just about size.
    Thirdly, even if they were people, it would not follow that therefore women aren’t anymore and you could just enslave them

  50. 50
    LMM

    Well, “… says”, it seems like you’re not willing to actually address my arguments, so maybe I should make them again:

    (1) If abortion is banned, women will die. Period. End of story. This has been proven time and time again; this has happened in every single country that has ever banned abortion. When you raise moral objections to abortion, what you are saying is that the lives of the women who will die from illegal abortions don’t matter. When you ignore this point — which you did in a (in your words) Stalinist ‘rebuttal’ to my arguments — you are saying that you don’t care about living, breathing human beings if they happen to be female and make choices you don’t agree with.

    Go and watch the documentary I mentioned — “Abortion and the Law”. It’s available for free online last I checked. Watch it. Watch all of it. Then come back here and address that point. I don’t give a crap about any moral arguments that don’t address the very concrete fact that women will die — in fact, if you don’t address that in your next post, I am not going to reply, because I know that you are not acting in good faith.

    (2) Very few people are actually ‘pro-life’. 92% of all Downs syndrome fetuses are aborted. That’s a ridiculously high number — that’s virtually 100%. What that means is that there is a high chance that every single person who ‘agrees’ with you is a hypocrite.

    (3) If you want to make the argument that abortion is immoral, don’t make it to me. I’m not making any decisions here. Make it to women who are pregnant — and not outside of clinics, as that’s just creepy.

    (4) The way to prevent abortion is not to ban it but to make it unnecessary — i.e. to make sure that birth control is widespread. Rates of abortion in the Scandinavian countries are incredibly low, not because people can’t get them but because people don’t need to get them. Your approach doesn’t work.

    (5) Not having abortions means that people are going to suffer. Even if they don’t die. Myself, I have the high likelyhood of giving birth to a genetically damaged infant (I have serious health concerns) that I for one don’t want — at the cost of my career, my financial security, and my mental health. You want to do something about the abortion rate? Make sure that everyone who wants to get sterilized can.

    Do you notice something about these arguments? I don’t care about ultimate moral arguments. I’m pretty close to being a utilitarian. If you can’t come up with utilitarian arguments against abortion — and it doesn’t look like you can, given that you keep harping about the (in my mind) meaningless issue of whether or not fetuses are alive — then don’t bother talking to me, because I don’t care.

  51. 51
    Darwin Harmless

    @Improbably Joe What’s the matter? You don’t like to listen to dead people laughing?

    @…says (comment 47) “What isn’t really debatable is that, following, abortion’s legalization, the incidence has gone up and up. And the overwhelming majority of that is as a substitute for contraception.”
    Abortions that we know about have gone up and up. We have no stats on the ones that no longer happen in back alleys. Also, you’ll notice that crime has gone down and down. This is because underprivileged and disadvantaged children, the children most likely to grow up to be criminals, have not been born, thanks to abortions. The only thing the “get tough on crime” crowd has accomplished is because of abortion, not because of mandatory sentencing or tougher laws. And if an abortion at one or two weeks is a substitute for contraception, so what? It’s the woman’s body and her choice. She is not “killing a baby”, no more than you’re killing half a baby (or half a thousand babies)if you jerk off.

    I think we all are interested in protecting the innocent and the weak. We just differ on who deserves our protection. I prefer to protect sentient adults and viable children, in preference to protecting a lump of cells that has more in common with a fish than a human being.
    You may have read the arguments against laws restricting abortions. A previous commenter did a good job of laying it out for you. Laws do not stop abortions. They only endanger the women who want them.

    Finally, I must ask again, by what right to you assume to take control of a woman’s body and tell her she must bear a child whether she wants to or not? Who elected you to this position? Don’t you think you are maybe a little bit beyond your actual mandate?

  52. 52
    ...

    LMM,

    In reverse order, and if you bother to read my points, I think you will find I have said this before, or covered it…

    You are indeed making a moral argument, and a morally absolute one (else why invoke such things as “rights”?); you are just running away from consistency.

    As I have said, repeatedly, I support most anything to prevent an unwanted pregnancy from happening. Now am I going to have to say this, again?

    I can and I will make this argument to anyone. An arguments validity is not affected by who makes it, nor to by whom it is made to. Logic 101.

    Right and wrong are not decided by majority vote. I repeat and underline my point about the killing off of defectives.

    There are two arguments to the “backroom abortion” argument. In the first instance – since you are a utilitarian – far fewer people die that do from current rates of abortion, with it being over 180,000 per year in the UK alone. In the second instance, you are talking about risks that are concomitant with killing a human life.

    So do you see now why the whole thing rests on the question of the status of the unborn?

    Incidentally, please read a little more carefully. I did not use the term “stalinist” lightly; it is a precisely defined technique, observed by Arendt, that of substituting questions of motive for questions of fact.

    Dealing with Gilell quickly: you first elide the fact that I specifically said “human beings” and then gave and example the same sort of dehumanization I was talking about. Dehumanize first, then you can kill with a clear conscience.

    As regards Harmless,

    In reverse order, any human being is stuck with the responsibility of forming moral judgements. As regards your question, here’s mine: by what right do you make it okay to consign innocent lives, that have not even had a chance, to permanent oblivion?

    As regards the rest of that argument, it is a plain fact that when something is legal and accepted, it happens more often than when it is illegal and abhored. It really is that simple.

    I’ll also thank you to bother to read what I wrote about timespan, brainwaves and development.

    Finally, there is this, which I can scarely believe I have seen written:

    . Also, you’ll notice that crime has gone down and down. This is because underprivileged and disadvantaged children, the children most likely to grow up to be criminals, have not been born, thanks to abortions

    This really is concentration camp stuff. “The lower orders will just grow up to be criminals – kill ‘em off now and save us a power of trouble”. Give me strength.

  53. 53
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-


    Before you go on with your concentration camp/holocaust nonsense*, you still need to make your argument why an embryo is a full human being comparable to a child or adult and if you can demonstrate that point, why that being should be able to enslave another person to its service.

    *On a personal note:
    As a descendant of people who survived the concentration camps and saw their loved ones die there, I take offense at you comparing their suffering to an abortion, the termination of an embryo/fetus that doesn’t have sentience, consciousness, awareness or even a central nervous system yet.

    *footnote*
    G-I-L-I-E-L-L
    Not that complicated. Use copy+paste if you’re not able to remember it.

  54. 54
    Darwin Harmless

    @…says Okay, it’s hard to keep civil with you, because you provoke me severely, sir. If this is your idea of how to argue your points, you are not likely to accomplish much.

    “This really is concentration camp stuff. “The lower orders will just grow up to be criminals – kill ‘em off now and save us a power of trouble”. Give me strength.”

    Oh, such moral dudgeon. Such outrage. Such bullshit. You are presented with a choice here. Allow a cluster of cells to develop into a person who is unwanted, who will be undernourished and underprivileged, to be born into an overpopulated world in which their opportunities will be severely restricted, and who will in many cases grow up to be criminals or allow the woman who is carrying that lump of cells to say no, I don’t want this to happen. And you are telling me that your choice is the more moral? Your moral compass is severely screwed up or else you don’t have one.

    Your attempts to paint me as a child killing monster who wants to do in “the lower orders” is beyond insulting. That is just bullshit and I think you really know it.

    You wrote: “As regards your question, here’s mine: by what right do you make it okay to consign innocent lives, that have not even had a chance, to permanent oblivion?”
    This is not a response to my question. It’s an evasion. You did not answer my question, but I will answer yours: I do NOT have the right to make it okay to consign innocent lives that have not even had a chance, to permanent oblivion. That is not my right. That is the right of the woman in whose body that group of cells (note, a group of cells, not “an innocent life”) is lodged. My rights do not extend to her body, and neither do yours. I personally dislike abortions intensely. If I could talk a woman out of having one, I would do my best to do so. I happen to love babies. But it IS NOT MY RIGHT to tell any woman she can’t control her own body. Is this something you find difficult to understand?

    You keep insisting that an embryo is a human baby. It isn’t. Your brainwave argument might be a good point to decide that this is something worth keeping alive, but it seems very arbitrary to me. Many animals we do not value can produce brain waves. I would accept “viability” as a cut off point. That’s the point where the baby could live outside the mother’s body. But very very few abortions are performed after that point, and those mostly for very serious medical reasons.

    If you have a penis and a set of testicles you should shut the fuck up about what women should do. You embarrass my gender here. It’s not your business. It’s not your right. You are out of line. And if you don’t see this, then you think you somehow have rights you don’t have, and I call that crazy arrogance.

  55. 55
    Ophelia Benson

    Hey, … person? I said use a name, dammit. Any name. … is not a name. Use a name or don’t comment.

  56. 56
    elipsis

    Again then,

    As a descendant of people who survived the concentration camps and saw their loved ones die there

    Why is it that everyone nowadays seems to prefer to “think with the blood” rather than actually think? Or have I just answered my own question?

    One of the very few things that’s good about internet arguments is that it shows how daft this method of argument is, since anyone can sprout a relevant lineage, at a very reasonable rate.

    Harmless,

    Now, as you have noticed, my argument as to why I consider the concept “unborn child” to be an accurate description, rests on the study of embryology. I will repair to my reason for the finding of brainwaves: it’s the means by which we specify whether or not someone is alive or dead already. The “viability” position works only so far; we still consider parnets monstrous who abandon their children to death after birth. In a very real way, we hold them responsible for providing the welfare of the child.

    I repeat and restate what I said about the death penalty: the potential for mistakes are just too high. Again, you have to prove your your case very thoroughly before it’s okay to take human life. What I would like to know is, where’s your proof that this is not a human life?

    Now, to the outrage department, there has been a repeated argument that the presence of birth defects sanctions this. You said, in so many words, that it had the advantage that it cut down the ranks of the submerged. Those are the exact arguments that the eugenecists used. Can you seriously not see that? Those arguments were very widespread and endorsed in their time.

    There is a very real reason why many of us are deeply suspicious of the “pro-choicers”.

  57. 57
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Darwin Harmless

    I happen to love babies.

    So do I, but that’s why I’m in favour of women who don’t want to have them getting abortions.
    I can feel sad if a woman who’d love to be a loving, responsible mother says she needs an abortion because having a child now would fuck up both their lives because society gives shit about women and children who have actually been born.
    That’s why I focus my attention on decent prenatal and maternal care, on childcare, on jobs that allow parents to combine economic activity and parenting.
    I’m not saying you don’t do those things.
    Loving babies and children so much means that I don’t give a shit about a lump of cells. If there’s no place in this world for the child that they may become, they should not be allowed to grow.

  58. 58
    Ophelia Benson

    Brain waves don’t transform an embryo into a child.

  59. 59
    Josh Slocum

    You’re a dishonest shit, elipsis.

  60. 60
    Helen

    Are post-borns entitled to use the bodies of other post-borns? Do we have compulsory blood, bone marrow and organ donations? Do people who by accident cause damage to somebody else have to atone for this by letting someone use their bodies? If you happen to hit someone with only one kidney with your car and he loses his only kindey, do you have to give him yours? No? Then why on earth do some people think a pre-born has rights over their mothers bodies?? Forbidding abortion means giving not the same but _more_ rights to the pre-born than a post-born has!

    I do hope that medical progress will make it possible soon to transfer an embryo from one woman to another. As soon as adoption can take place pre-birth, the question of abortion will disappear, and the women protesting in front of abortion clinics will have to go on to be full-time pregnant…

  61. 61
    shelleyblondeau

    I agree with the commenter who stated it’s impossible to argue with people who don’t believe women have rights to their own bodies. I don’t know how they got so screwy but there it is.

  62. 62
    elipsis

    Harmless,

    I cordially request that you repeat your point about congeniality and how one argues and so forth, for the benefit of Josh, Gilly etc.

  63. 63
    LMM

    @ elipses:

    There are two arguments to the “backroom abortion” argument. In the first instance – since you are a utilitarian – far fewer people die that do from current rates of abortion, with it being over 180,000 per year in the UK alone. In the second instance, you are talking about risks that are concomitant with killing a human life.

    And now we come to the heart of the matter: women, to you, don’t matter. The women dying in back-alley abortions have lives that are meaningless and deserve to die. This woman deserved to die. The terrified teenager who died during a back-alley abortion — she didn’t want to tell her parents she was pregnant — in my hometown a few years back deserved to die.

    I’m a utilitarian. That means that, as far as I’m concerned, a fetus — human or not — in which we’ve invested a few weeks or months of resources is far less valuable to society than someone in whom we’ve invested decades. What you’re saying is that we should throw away those lives — the ones which have families who love and care for them, the ones who may have other children and friends and coworkers and careers, the ones who may have things in their lives that are more important than a single fetus — in exchange for fetuses which, by definition, are unwanted. But what you’re saying is worse than that: what you’re saying is that we shouldn’t value someone because they happened to make a decision that you would disagree with — a decision which 92% of all female Americans would make, given a halfway decent reason. What you’re saying is that those people — unlike the so-called “innocents” you claim to care about — don’t matter.

    But you’re also saying something else: that evidence doesn’t matter. Because — as I’ve pointed out time and time again — banning abortion doesn’t work. The rate of abortion in Scandinavian countries is far lower than it is in countries that have banned abortions — and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. You keep giving token acknowledgement to this fact, but I don’t think you actually get it — people like me are doing far better at preventing abortions than people like you ever will be. You can argue abortion politics until you’re blue in the face, but if you want to make a difference, you ought to be out there campaigning for sex ed and free birth control.

    And, in the process, you’re attempting to poison the well. Acknowledgement that children who are unwanted will probably not turn out well amounts to “eugenics”. We’ve been compared to the Nazis and to Stalinists thus far. (Somewhere out there, there’s a Bingo card that’s being filled fast.) All because we’re defending people who make a choice that the vast majority of Americans would make.

    I keep emphasizing the 92% statistic not because I approve of it — that’s irrelevant — but to point out that you’re fighting a pointless battle. You’re not part of a group of morally upright individuals who are campaigning against a bunch of barbarians — you’re part of a group of alcoholics arguing for prohibition even as you get drunk given the tiniest of excuses. If aborting fetuses with Downs syndrome is eugenics, virtually every single American is a eugenicist. It’s just that some of us aren’t hypocrites.

  64. 64
    elipsis

    And now we come to the heart of the matter: women, to you, don’t matter.

    I will restrict myelf to the following observation: when you cannot answer anothers argument, but have to substitute your own, then it’s because you can’t.

    Incidentally, in most of the world, abortion and infanticide mean the killing of unwanted little girls. Who, exactly, doesn’t care about women if you take that fact into consideration?

    The rate of abortion in Scandinavian countries is far lower than it is in countries that have banned abortions

    You have to compare like with like. Scandinavia does not have a large population of religious nutbags fighting against contraception.

    Acknowledgement that children who are unwanted will probably not turn out well amounts to “eugenics”.

    No, it doesn’t. Saying that, therefore, it’s a good thing if they are killed, does. In the same way that saying that the advantage of abortion is that it allows the killing of the defective, also qualifies. I also think that these are signs of bad faith on the part of the arguer. If you can make the thorough case that the unborn is not a human being, then these arguments are irrelevant. It’s if you have your doubts, that you start citing this stuff.

    In case you really still don’t get my point, from a brute numbers perspect, if it is the case that the unborn is a human being then even the toll of innocent lives of backstreet abortions will be a lot less than that if abortion is legal. Now that’s a brutal and cold conclusion, but the universe is not tailored to human wishes. That is why the status of the unborn is the beginning and the end of the argument here.

    I repeat and restate, I can understand abortion before the two month cut-off. After that, however… There is a lot of cases performed (committed?) today that are nothing other than infanticide.

  65. 65
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    By definition, abortion is NOT infanticide. You have to be born to be an infant.

    And, because a fetus isn’t a person, I don’t much care what the woman carrying it wants to do with it short of pull it out and use it as a piñata… and that’s just an aesthetic preference on my part. I’m a person, my wife is a person, my friends and family are people, the folks posting comments are people. By my definition, my dog is a person, my cats are people, and even the pet rats I had were people of a sort. A fetus is NOT a person. No consciousness, no personality, no autonomy, not a person.

  66. 66
    Hertta (Herttainen)

    elipsis,
    So you think I’m a cold blooded killer. Given that I don’t even feel any remorse, you probably think I’m a sociopath that should be locked up for life. That’s a hard case to make to me. Or my family and friends, or basically anyone who knows me. But that’s what you are saying.

    I think your moral compass is fucked up beyond belief.

  67. 67
    Ophelia Benson

    elipsis, stop it. Nobody is denying that the fetus is human. It’s a human and it’s alive; that’s not the issue.

  68. 68
    elipsis

    Given that I don’t even feel any remorse, you probably think I’m a sociopath that should be locked up for life.

    Not even slightly. I restate my point about normal people. You can be perfectly normal and advocate, and practice, the killing of fellow human beings. It can even be a day job, and you can come home as a perfectly normal family man, feed the dog, play with the kids etc. That is why I am so leery of this: it is the horrors carried out by normal people that have made the last century so ghastly.

    Ophelia if that statement means anything, it is that the unborn is human, is a human life, and you’re okay with killing it.

  69. 69
    LMM

    Given that I don’t even feel any remorse, you probably think I’m a sociopath that should be locked up for life. That’s a hard case to make to me. Or my family and friends, or basically anyone who knows me. But that’s what you are saying.

    Let’s not put words in elipses’s mouth. Elipses doesn’t think you should be locked up for life. Elipses thinks you should die. There’s a difference.

    One final note:

    Scandinavia does not have a large population of religious nutbags fighting against contraception.

    Yes, then for fuck’s sake, go off and do something about that. You clearly care more about preventing abortion than I do, so why don’t you get off of this website and go attack the people who are against preventing pregnancy — i.e. the so-called ‘pro-life’ crowd?

    Staying on this website leads me to one inevitable conclusion: you don’t care about fetuses at all. If you did, you’d be advocating for universal free birth control — because that’s been proven to lower the abortion rate. If you did, you’d be advocating for universal effective sex ed. You’re not. You’re on the wrong website for that.

  70. 70
    Hertta (Herttainen)

    Me:

    Given that I don’t even feel any remorse, you probably think I’m a sociopath that should be locked up for life.

    elipsis:

    Not even slightly.

    Then what do you think should be done to cold blooded murderers? I happen to think they should be sentenced to prison and if they show signs that they are indeed sociopaths or psychopaths who do not feel any remorse for taking someones life, I think the their chances to do more harm should be severely limited. I just don’t think I’m one of them for having had an abortion.

  71. 71
    Ophelia Benson

    elipsis, the embryo is a human embryo. It’s alive. I’m ok with ending the process by which it would become what you called “a full human being.” It’s not a full human being when it’s an embryo. You want to insist that it is, but it isn’t.

  72. 72
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Dunno who this “ellipsis” fuckknuckle is, but he’s proving George Carlin right…

  73. 73
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Hey, elipsis
    Care to prove the two assumptions your whole argument relies on, something I’ve asked you to do several times now?

    A) Give evidence that a human embryo or fetus is a human person

    B) If A is somewhat acceptable, give arguments why said fetus should be allowed to enslave a woman into its service.

    Unless you can give good evidence for both, and by good evidence I mean real evidence, not just constantly calling the child, baby etc and claiming that abortion is killing, murder, genocide, fascist, Stalinist etc.
    That’s not arguments that’s an atempt at being emotionally manipulative.

    Oh, and since we’re at it, how about:

    C: Since you think that an abortion is the killing of an innocent human being, what punishment would you seem fit?

  74. 74
    elipsis

    For the benefit of Gilly, over here, a quick lesson in reading comprehension.

    I used the term “stalinist” not about abortion, but about the method of argument that substitutes questions of motive for questions of fact. Likewise, I characterized arguments about birth defects or reducing the crime rate as one’s redolent of eugenics and similar. That is a comment on the arguments, not the practice.

    Please learn to read.

    I have stated, repeatedly, my reasons for considering a post 2 month foetus a human being, by the standards we already uphold elsewhere. That you don’t care to address them is your problem, not mine. In any case, even those who do support the death penalty demand strong proof before killing can be carried out; that seems a sound principle that, again, places the burden on yourself.

    I can expand this. Any normal person would be sicked to see a woman kicked in the stomach, but they would be far more so if she were pregnant. Such an act would also draw far harsher legal condemnation. Now why would that be, unless people do know what the inhabitant of the womb is a human being? I’ll add something else I have noticed: many pro-choicers scream blue murder at any suggestion of showing people what an abortion entails. That’s another giveaway right there.

  75. 75
    LMM

    Now why would that be, unless people do know what the inhabitant of the womb is a human being?

    By that logic, these are some other things which are human beings (as in, I would support punishing someone more if they kicked someone who was carrying them in the stomach): puppies, kittens, fishbowls containing endangered fish, antique vases, and laptops which contain valuable information.

    Here’s the reason why I would object to kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach: because she *wants* to be pregnant. Because she’s invested in that pregnancy, and you’re now threatening it. Whether or not it’s a ‘human being’ (whether or not that concept has any meaning whatsoever) is beside the point.

    You’ve said you’re fine with abortion before two months. Are you okay with kicking a woman in the stomach who is, say, nine weeks pregnant? How about two weeks pregnant?

    I’ll add something else I have noticed: many pro-choicers scream blue murder at any suggestion of showing people what an abortion entails. That’s another giveaway right there.

    Have you bothered to go look at that picture of Gerri Santoros? Here, I’ll make it easy for you: here’s another link to it. Have you bothered to go watch that documentary I mentioned? It was created in the 1960s; it *had* to be objective. Most ‘pro-lifers’ haven’t bothered to see either.

    Most anti-choicers shut their eyes to the consequences of what they advocate. They’re fine with pictures of bloody fetuses (even when those fetuses are products of miscarriage or much much older than their alleged gestational period) but when it comes to pictures of dead women, suddenly they get squeemish. Why is that?

  76. 76
    Hertta

    Elipsis,
    You didn’t answer me. I’d like to know if you think I’m a cold blooded killer and a monster of a mother who murdered her own child. Say it to me straight.

  77. 77
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    For the benefit of Gilly, over here, a quick lesson in reading comprehension.

    Who’s that?

    I used the term “stalinist” not about abortion, but about the method of argument that substitutes questions of motive for questions of fact. Likewise, I characterized arguments about birth defects or reducing the crime rate as one’s redolent of eugenics and similar. That is a comment on the arguments, not the practice.

    Demonstrably wrong.
    You are as dishonest as you are misogynistic
    To quote you:

    This really is concentration camp stuff. “The lower orders will just grow up to be criminals – kill ‘em off now and save us a power of trouble”. Give me strength.

    THAT clearly refers to the practice of concentration camps, not an argument. BTW, concentration camps = Hitler. Stalin = Gulag.
    Learn some history before you throw around words you don’t understand.

    I have stated, repeatedly, my reasons for considering a post 2 month foetus a human being, by the standards we already uphold elsewhere. That you don’t care to address them is your problem, not mine. In any case, even those who do support the death penalty demand strong proof before killing can be carried out; that seems a sound principle that, again, places the burden on yourself.

    Wrong again. You mentioned brainwaves. This has been debunked since “brainwaves” alone don’t qualify, especially since they are not an indicator of being a human person. They are only an established criterium that something is alive.
    Just because you think that brainwaves make a full human being, it isn’t so.

    Of course, you still haven’t answered the more important question:
    Even if it were a person, why should it be allowed to enslave a woman?

    I can expand this. Any normal person would be sicked to see a woman kicked in the stomach, but they would be far more so if she were pregnant. Such an act would also draw far harsher legal condemnation. Now why would that be, unless people do know what the inhabitant of the womb is a human being?

    You really don’t understand shit about the concept of a woman’s bodily autonomy.
    Oh, right, you don’t think we have…
    It’s because just like other people have zero right to force her to continue with a pregnancy, they have also zero right to force her to terminate a pregnancy. And since she is much more in danger of severe damage while pregnant, the perp is prosecuted more harshly because they inflicted greater damage. And if they inflicted damage to the point that she has a miscarriage, they are prosecuted for an illegal abortion against the will of the woman whose body hosted the pregnancy.
    Easy concept:
    The woman decides, and who acts against her will and inflicts their will on her body is a criminal asshole.

  78. 78
    elipsis

    Gilly, what did I say about learning to read?

    THAT clearly refers to the practice of concentration camps, not an argument

    It was in reference to an argument made. Can you seriously say that that argument was not redolent of the age of eugenics?

    I think I can skip over the rest of what passes for Gilly’s argument, as I am tired of explaining things three times. Like everyone else here, she’s adopted the creationist line of argument: no evidence of their own, merely pick, pick, pick. None of you provide any evidence that the entity is not a human life (what else could it be?), you just try to complain about the evidence that goes against your own case.

    LMM

    Short answer: like any morally normal person I would never kick a woman in the stomach, and I would be even more horrified if it was done to a pregnant woman. I did indeed look at your link. In response, will you look at the pictures of an abortion? In short searching, I found the following:

    http://blackgenocide.org/photos.html

    Look pretty human to me.

  79. 79
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    elipsis, cupcake

    None of you provide any evidence that the entity is not a human life (what else could it be?), you just try to complain about the evidence that goes against your own case.

    Well, why should I need evidence for a position I don’t hold. It’s human, it’s alive, it isn’t a person.
    Evidence I’ve given enough:
    no sentience, no central nervous system, not even an own metabolism…
    But I see that you fail again to answer my question:
    Even if it were a person, why should it be allowed to enslave the woman into its service?
    Oh, you can’t, I see…

    Look pretty human to me.

    So does this
    And this.
    Only that one is a dog and the other one a chimp.

    And since you’re dodging questions:
    Hertta asked you one, too.

    You didn’t answer me. I’d like to know if you think I’m a cold blooded killer and a monster of a mother who murdered her own child. Say it to me straight.

    BTW, I still don’t know whi Gilly is supposed to be.

  80. 80
    Ophelia Benson

    elipsis – don’t alter people’s names by way of insulting them. If you do it again I’ll put you back in moderation.

  81. 81
    Ophelia Benson

    And as for this – “None of you provide any evidence that the entity is not a human life” – we’re not saying it’s not a human life. On the contrary, some of us have stipulated that it is. We’re saying it’s not a person. Less of the lecturing about not reading, please.

  82. 82
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Ophelia@#81: HAH!

    I noticed that our punctuated friend avoids/ignores all the statements about personhood and other arguments, and then complains that we’re only making the arguments that elipsis chooses to focus on.

  83. 83
    Aimee

    Body autonomy is considered more important than right to life where those two conflict. Case in point: no forced blood donation, organ transplant or any other such thing. Only when it comes to pregnancy do people seem to forget this (I can only assume it is because it is a woman thing).

    Right now at about 20-24 weeks, “elective” abortions are not done in most places. This is mostly the result of ideas about fetal pain, but most people who seek “elective” abortions do so much earlier than this anyway. Abortions done after this point are therefore done because the health of the pregnant person is at stake. Or because the fetus is dead, dying or otherwise nonviable anyhow. If abortion is readily available for women who do not want to be pregnant, and affordable to obtain, then virtually all abortions would be done within the first 2-3 months of pregnancy except in cases of health issues (this is very close to the reality now even with all the bullshit women have to go through to get an abortion). And all of this is really only necessary to be discussed by pregnant people and their doctors. It is absolutely none of anyone else’s business.

  84. 84
    San Ban

    And here we go:
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_MD_ABORTION_DOCTORS_CHARGED?SITE=WILAC&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

    How long before the women are also charged?

    Ophelia, it would be great if you’d highlight this case on your blog. I’m sending it to Greta, too.

  85. 85
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    FTA (bolding mine)

    “The state law allows for murder or manslaughter charges to be brought against a person who intends to kill or seriously injure a fetus or who wantonly disregards the safety of a fetus. It does not apply to doctors administering lawful medical care and does not impinge on a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.

    Assuming the pregnant women were willing participants, I see no case for murder here. I’d love to see the persecutor’s “justification” of the charges.

  86. 86
    elipsis

    Okay, Ophelia, you concede it’s a human life, you just deny it’s a person. That’s a twist of logic beyond the twist at Gordia. And Gilly has said that it’s okay to kill an innocent life for convenience. I’d say, live with that if you can, but killers always can.

  87. 87
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I’d say, live with that if you can, but killers always can.

    Yeah, it’s only sad that they usually don’t let you take home the remains for making stew.

  88. 88
    LMM

    And Gilly has said that it’s okay to kill an innocent life for convenience. I’d say, live with that if you can, but killers always can.

    And that’s what bugs you. Most people can live with that. 92% (there’s that statistic again) of people can live with that. Basically, no one agrees with you.

    Myself, I think we’re killing innocent lives for convenience all the time. All those people starving to death in Africa could easily be saved, if we cared to. All those people we’ve killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Change our foreign policy and we could save millions of post-born children a year.

    Except that that doesn’t matter to you. Because those lives — for whatever reason — aren’t ‘innocent’ enough. Or maybe they’re not American enough. Or white enough.

    Or maybe it’s just easier to shame individual women than it is to shame the men — and they are primarily men — who make foreign policy decisions and political decisions. Maybe it’s easier to pretend that all the little babies are anything other than props.

    How many children have you adopted from foreign countries? (My parents have adopted five, so it’s very possible.) How many foster children — many of whom are the sorts of unwanted children you want more of — have you taken in? How many times have you lobbied to provide Americans with universal free birth control so that we can lower the abortion rate effectively (you claim to be in favor of this, although it’s not like one can Google your name for evidence)?

    You’re not doing anything effective when you argue about whether or not fetuses are people. I could stipulate that fetuses were people, and that still wouldn’t change my overall assessment of the situation — that abortion is better for many women than the alternatives that are available, that making abortion illegal will result in dead women, and that there aren’t worthwhile resources available for those fetuses if they were born (foster care in the US is terrible, and our support systems for poor — and, for that matter, middle-class — children are only better by comparison). Calling me a Nazi or a eugenicist isn’t going to change my opinion, nor, I think, will it change anyone else’s. So why are you bothering trying to fight us here? It seems like a waste of time when there are lives that could be saved — from your point of view — by ensuring that Planned Parenthood has funding in all fifty states and by petitioning the FDA to approve new forms of birth control.

  89. 89
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    by ensuring that Planned Parenthood has funding in all fifty states

    But, but, but… they are baby-killers! You can’t expect him to support the 90-95% of their work that isn’t abortions.

    Coming back to elipsis’ picks of aborted fetuses: One might wonder (in case one has given the matter some thought and bothered to learn a bit about the subject) what the reason was those fetuses that were aborted by late term abortion were aborted for.
    Simply because late term abortions are usually not avaible on demand.
    With my third pregnancy, I was well into week 25 until some of the top notch specialists with the most advanced high tech in my state could tell whether the fetus had at least one working kidney.
    Thankfully, the answer was yes.
    Had it been no, our compassionate friend here would have me had to go through 15 more weeks of pregnancy in order to give birth to a child who’d have suffocated miserably within minutes after delivery.
    Yes, that truely is care for innocent life: let it suffer as much as possible instead of allowing the woman to end it at a time when any suffering would have been entirely her own.

  90. 90
    Ophelia Benson

    elipsis – I don’t “concede” anything. I’ve never said or implied a human embryo was not human or that it was not alive. That would be absurd. The fact remains that it’s not yet a person, and has never been considered or treated as such until the anti-abortion maniacs hove into view.

    I told you not to alter people’s names by way of sneering at them. You’re back in moderation.

  91. 91
    Ophelia Benson

    # 84…yikes…

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