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Oct 21 2012

Bad argument #3: Science says what?

(This is part of a list of bad arguments I heard at the Texas Freethought Convention.)

I save the worst for last: the pro-choice (Matt Dillahunty) vs. “pro-life” (Kristine Kruszelnicki) debate on Saturday. Poor Ms Kruszelnicki, a recently declared atheist who opposes abortion, was hopelessly outclassed and outgunned at every point, and relied entirely on bad arguments.

Dillahunty went first, and he staked out a clear and narrowly focused position: that the personhood or “human” status of the embryo/fetus were totally irrelevant to his argument, and that he was building his case entirely on the right to bodily autonomy of the woman. Even if the fetus was judged entirely deserving of consideration as a person (a point he personally does not accept), it would not matter: a woman must retain the right to control her own body.

So what does Kruszelnicki do? Announce right at the beginning that her entire argument was that the embryo is fully human from the instant of conception, and therefore abortion is wrong. She made it clear that she opposes a whole gamut of basic rights: birth control methods that prevent implantation are wrong, because that’s just like strangling or starving a baby; no abortion in cases of rape or incest, because the baby doesn’t deserve punishment; she did allow for abortion in cases that threaten the life of the mother at times before fetal viability, simply because in that case two fully human lives would be lost.

So right from the beginning she was building an argument that entirely ignored anything Dillahunty would say, while Dillahunty would spend the next hour and a half directly refuting the relevance of her case. It was a humiliating rout.

What made it worse, though, was the quality of Kruszelnicki’s arguments. Would you believe that at one point she showed us a grisly video of the outcomes of abortions? Bloody severed body parts, slack gooey limp bodies, puddles of blood with twitching bits of flesh, that sort of thing. There were several different reactions from people I talked to afterwards. Many were just repulsed, and had closed their eyes or walked out of the room when it was shown (oh, yeah, that was an effective tactic in a debate: disgust the audience). Everyone was appalled that such a blatant and logically irrelevant emotional appeal was being made; that’s another brilliant move, insult the intelligence of the audience by assuming that they won’t be able to detect the patent emotional manipulation being practiced.

I had a somewhat different response. I’ve seen surgeries (and done surgeries on animals), and let me tell you, they are unspeakably violent: bodies being cut into and violated, bones broken and cut, torsos cracked and wrenched open — from a naive perspective, every surgery, no matter how benevolent, is terrifyingly brutal. I was unimpressed by a movie that showed the reality of our biological condition. We are full of blood and slime and squirming guts and twitchy tissues, and you aren’t going to sway me by telling me that an invasive surgical procedure is messy and gross.

But the part that really annoyed me is that she repeatedly announced that SCIENCE had declared the conceptus at the moment of fertilization to be fully human. To demonstrate this, she cited several familiar names: O’Rahilly and Moore, for instance. These are people who have authored descriptive embryological texts that take a phenomenological approach, describing the different stages of development. They are not sources that are good for understanding mechanisms or processes, and they definitely do not represent a deep modern understanding of the progressive and emergent properties of development. What she was relying on is that these kinds of texts will state simple facts, like that fertilization produces a zygote with the complete human genetic complement, which they’ll summarize with some shorthand statement that it is a human embryo (rather than a mouse, or a frog, or a fish). From this, the anti-choicers have spun out unwarranted extensions of reductionist statements to claim that they are making definitive statements about personhood or that they’re discussing something as complex as humanity rather than a minimalist statement about genetics.

And they’ve been doing this for decades. That Kruszelnicki is an atheist does not change the fact that she’s using a ridiculous canard that has similarly been used by religious anti-abortionist zealots; she was basically lying about what deveopmental biologists say, and trying to use an unfounded argument from authority as the basis of her debate performance. Bad move.

I actually got to ask her about that. I told her that she was using old descriptive sources and inappropriately extending the implications; I asked her if she had more modern sources with a little more depth, and she waffled and told me that she had lots of recent papers on the subject and that embryologists all agreed on this point (obviously, no they don’t) and she waved a few papers in my direction.

I went up to her after the debate and asked if I could see those sources she waved at me. Suddenly, she couldn’t find them any more. She mumbled something about a “white paper” by an author whose name was unclear, and that she’d find it for me later. She never did, although she and I were both there at the conference for at least 3 more hours. I also mentioned that a “white paper” is not the same thing as a scientific reference; it would be an advocacy statement from an organization with an agenda, and would have very little weight with me.

Here’s the truth: SCIENCE does not make a definitive statement about the moment at which personhood is acquired. It is a product of a complex process with multiple inputs and interactions and no sharply defined transitions that can be pinned to anything as difficult to define as consciousness, identity, and independence. All we can say is that none of those things are there at conception, and all of them are there are sometime after birth, and that anyone who tries to tell you that they are all there unambiguously at some discrete instant in development is lying to you.

481 comments

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  1. 1
    elronxenu

    I hope the talk was videoed. I’d like to hear Dillahunty’s arguments. He is phenomenally effective against theists.

  2. 2
    elronxenu

    talk, shmalk. Debate.

  3. 3
    Aratina Cage

    I’ve seen surgeries (and done surgeries on animals), and let me tell you, they are unspeakably violent: bodies being cut into and violated, bones broken and cut, torsos cracked and wrenched open — from a naive perspective, every surgery, no matter how benevolent, is terrifyingly brutal.

    Heck, you don’t even have to go that far. According to Kruszelnicki’s line of thought, births themselves shouldn’t happen because they can be repulsive and scary.

  4. 4
    Rey Fox

    Sigh. There are so many worthy causes that one can champion and devote energy to, there are so many things that can and should be saved. More mouths to feed should not be your crusade.

  5. 5
    Kausik Datta

    To demonstrate this, she cited several familiar names: O’Rahilly and Moore, for instance. These are people who have authored descriptive embryological texts that take a phenomenological approach, describing the different stages of development. They are not sources that are good for understanding mechanisms or processes, and they definitely do not represent a deep modern understanding of the progressive and emergent properties of development.

    I really, really don’t get this part of the anti-choice argument. Even if the zygote has the full complement of genetic material, so what? Is that all that defines a person to the anti-choicers?

  6. 6
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    According to Kruszelnicki’s line of thought, births themselves shouldn’t happen because they can be repulsive and scary.

    Aratina cage beat me to it! Watching a live birth where everything goes well is terrifying– I’d hate to see one where something goes wrong. It can’t be any worse that the anti-abortion propaganda, in any case.

  7. 7
    michaeld

    I wonder what would happen if you took a video of a different operation appendectomy or something and said it was an abortion how people would react….

  8. 8
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    This disgusts me:

    … she did allow for abortion in cases that threaten the life of the mother at times before fetal viability, simply because in that case two fully human lives would be lost.

    A friend of mine who is 5½ months pregnant has just found out that her fetus has heterotaxia– basically the major organs in the abdominal cavity are malformed. The causes are unknown and there is no cure or therapy. The experts that she has talked to don’t think she’ll carry to viability and if she does, her baby’s life span will be measured in months and that is only with extensive surgeries.

    One of her options is to have a D&X– should she be denied the opportunity to terminate her pregnancy to save her (potential) baby from having a short, painful life and to save herself from being emotionally wrecked waiting around to either have a stillbirth or a baby who is doomed to die because some fucking jackass feels squicky about late abortion? Fuck that.

  9. 9
    kosk11348

    I wonder what would happen if you took a video of a different operation appendectomy or something and said it was an abortion how people would react….

    Heck, you could probably just throw up a photo of a normal birth and half the audience look away.

  10. 10
    Patricia, OM

    For fucks sake. Where do these people come from? One of my nieces had a pregnancy with a child that had no brain stem developing. The child was planned and wanted, we all cried for days. But in the end, how the hell could she, and the family continue the pregnancy knowing it was doomed?

    This would have caused me to stand up and shout at the dumbass. There are good reasons for abortions. Nobody does it just for fun. *grrrr*

  11. 11
    willow2054

    Like Patricia, above, says, nobody does it just for fun. I personally think that the number of abortions should be minimized because they’re often a source of emotional strain for the woman (in part because so many members of society say abortion is wrong). I think the most reasonable method of decreasing the number of abortions is to require students to learn comprehensive sex education. In many other states, we teach abstinence-only sex ed. If you want fewer abortions, then work toward fewer pregnancies! Why does it always seem that those who want to ban a woman’s right to choose abortion also want to ban comprehensive education about preventing unwanted pregnancies?! *Sigh*

  12. 12
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    But Patricia, think of the valuable life lessons that the mother could have gotten if she gave birth to a baby lacking a brain stem.

    There are times when sarcasm really is the most vile tasting thing.

    Except there are people who seriously espouse what I just said with great bitterness.

  13. 13
    gallussapien

    I still felt bad watching her. I understand her perspective to an extent. If she really believes CHILDREN are being murdered en mass, then showing the fruits of those “killings” is meant to “wake people up” to what she sees as the reality. I think that those of us who are pro-choice should see this kind of thing so we/they know what the grisly bussiness of the whole ordeal is.

    *zips flame suit*

    Okay burn me.

  14. 14
    Ysanne

    Audley,
    incredibly, I’ve heard a theologian specialising in ethics and a couple of other academics working on medical ethics endorse exactly this: Denying not only a late-term abortion in such a cases, but also earlier ones, and actually even the checking IVF embryos before implantation for such conditions.
    Their basic assumption was that any non-zero length of life, no matter how short and miserable, is better than one not begun. When this was successfully challenged, their argument turned into “this suffering is necessary to help us healthy people develop our conscience and compassion for our less fortunate fellow humans”. They failed to understand the cruelty and selfishness of this (or at least the irony) even when it was pointed out to them.
    I wish your friend all the best!

  15. 15
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Get down off that cross, gallussapien. It is so fucking tiring when someone “offers” them self up to abuse.

    You do know that showing those pictures is highly inaccurate. Most abortions do not have all of those body parts.

    Get your facts straight.

    (Refuses to light a match for the person who thought that gasoline was on their body.)

  16. 16
    One Day Soon I Shall Invent A Funny Login

    What do those who insist on personhood from conception say to the fact that at least a third of conceptions either fail to implant or spontaneously abort, usually before the woman knows she is pregnant? (summary and refs)

    When the advocate is religious, this seems a perfect counter: if they were human, would god let 1/3 of them die? In this case the advocate claims to be an atheist, yet the point must still have some force. Clearly “nature” nor “evolution” places any high value on conceptions; why should we?

  17. 17
    gallussapien

    “Get down off that cross, gallussapien. It is so fucking tiring when someone “offers” them self up to abuse”
    Fair enough. I haven’t done this in a while.

    “You do know that showing those pictures is highly inaccurate. Most abortions do not have all of those body parts.”
    Well the really horrible videos looked like late term, which is something in my infinite ignorance I am against so far. I’m also not saying what she did was right. I am saying I understand why she did it.
    “Get your facts straight.”
    I dont think much of what I said even pertains to “facts”. I gave a perspective and an opinion. Nothing was anti-fact. I also wasnt crucifying myself. I was just preparing for what I expected to be some very sharp responses.

  18. 18
    andrew

    You’re right, this is the same dumb ol’ crap we get from the religious “pro” “life”-ers. Science can’t show that a fertilized egg is a human being because the definition of human being is ambiguous. We know that at the beginning of the process (sperm and egg), we are not dealing with a human being. We know that at the end of the process (birth, let’s say), we usually are. But the in-between is a process of assembly that happens by degrees, and there is no consensus at what degree we should declare that “here is a human being and not before”; indeed, there are no particularly clear lines in the process at all. It’s a qualitative question rather than a quantitative one.

  19. 19
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    gallussapien, everyone with a brain in their head can think of the fact that surgical procedures are gory. We don’t make a practice of ‘educating’ ourselves on what wisdom tooth removal looks like, or heart surgery, or even the simple lancing of a boil. Why are we obligated to be informed about what this one surgical procedure/family of surgical procedures looks like? Oh, right, because it’s controversial, and therefore we have to give lip service to accommodating the controversy.

    Fuck that. How’s that for a sharp reply?

  20. 20
    Charlie Foxtrot

    Random thought – do scientologists say “Get out of that volcano!”?

  21. 21
    Scarina

    @5 Kausik Datta: I’ve never understood that argument. By their logic, my fingernail clippings are people. I mean, they have all of my genes in them. I don’t see anyone marching to save my nails.

  22. 22
    kirikasena

    “Clearly ‘nature’ nor ‘evolution’ places any high value on conceptions; why should we?”

    TriffidPruner:

    Wouldn’t this point be based on the naturalistic fallacy? Couldn’t the same thing be said about human life? 100% of humans die, nature doesn’t care, so why should we care if humans die?

    Obviously, I’m not arguing against abortion (hell no), but your point doesn’t seem to work, unless I’m confused (which is possible, as it’s late).

  23. 23
    ibyea

    @galussapien
    Well, your comment was whatever until that last sentence where you think we should see those kind of things. While I myself don’t think much of watching surgeries and I think they are kind of cool, many people don’t like it. Why should people be obligated to watch something when they are used as stupid emotional manipulation tactics and you know, many people don’t like seeing organs and stuff? So people should be advised to watch heart surgeries just so they know how grisly it all is before it is performed on them or someone they love? That’s stupid, and you deserve the sharp responses.

  24. 24
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I don’t see anyone marching to save my nails.

    Someone needs to meet the goblins of Discworld.

  25. 25
    Scarina

    That’s a Terry Pratchet reference, right? I’ve only ever read Good Omens. :/

  26. 26
    ema

    @ gallussapien

    How many spontaneous/operative deliveries should we see so we/they 1) know what the grisly business of the whole ordeal is, and 2) magnanimously permit pregnant patients to make their own medical decisions?

    And if you really want to see POC pathological specimens, as Janine: Hallucinating Liar points out, as a rule, those pics/videos are performance art, not actual specimens. You need to find a reality-based source (not an easy task, of course, because of HIPAA).

  27. 27
    Scarina

    Apologies for the blockquote failure. My last post was @24 Janine.

  28. 28
    ema

    Well the really horrible videos looked like late term, which is something in my infinite ignorance I am against so far.

    I haven’t seen the videos and, while a quick description of what you saw would be enough to orient me, I don’t know if you’d want to do that or if others here would want to read it. So, let’s approach it a different way.

    What do you mean by “late term” and what exactly are you against (the indication, the technique, etc.)?

  29. 29
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Yes, Scarina, that was a Terry Pratchett reference. Goblins save every bodily secretion.

    Most of the members of the Horde are Discworld fans. Lots of references are made. Just one of the many odd things about this blog.

  30. 30
    gmacs

    So, if a complete and unique genome, I always wonder what that line of thought entails. It’s even on the Iowa Republican party’s platform. Does this mean they’re going to make it the legal basis for identity? If these kind of people are allowed their way, are we going to have to register our genomes at birth? What about monozygotic twins? does that make them each technically one half of a person? Or are we counting possible epigenetic aspects as part of “personhood” as well?

  31. 31
    bad Jim

    How about tumors with their unique but unmistakably human genetic identity? Where is the love for tumors?

  32. 32
    cactuswren

    Audrey #8: I’m a veteran of years on the old Usenet talk.abortion newsfroup so have dealt fairly extensively with pro-liars. They’d refer to forcing your friend (to whom all sympathies) to give birth to a child that could only survive for a few weeks or months as “giving the baby a chance”. Another pro-lie convention is “The doctors TOLD me I HAD to have an abortion but THE DOCTORS WERE WRONG!” (On whatever planet it is these people inhabit, doctors routinely command pregnant women to abort based on the results of a single test which invariably is proven false.) And of course there’s describing an eighteen-week neonate, surviving for a few hours in the ICU, with such phrases as “But the baby lived didn’t she?” (Meaning she didn’t die instantly, but took several hours to die.)

  33. 33
    Patricia, OM

    gallussapien -

    I think you have no idea of what you are talking about. Have you ever worked in the veterinary business? I did for 13 years. Do you know how we conduct horse and cow autopsies? Axes and chainsaws. Do you seriously think the owners of the animals should see that? I puked for the first few years I worked in the trade. So don’t tell me that people should have to watch horror shows made just to sicken them.

    Women don’t choose abortions for fun! Get the fuck over yourself.

  34. 34
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Even if women did “choose abortions for fun,” it doesn’t matter. There’s nothing morally wrong with terminating a fetus (yes, no matter how “far along”).

  35. 35
    Patricia, OM

    This topic really burns me up. I am childless by choice. When I got married in 1975 my husband & I took a few years (5) to decide for good that we wouldn’t have children. We took full advantage of birth control methods. After five years of reflection and consideration of whether we would be good parents, we decided hell no. So he got a vasectomy. Guess what folks – atheists can be monogamous. For the 35 years that he survived we had no children & we were fine.

    But this doesn’t work for everyone! If my birth control methods had failed I would have been the first one in line at the abortion clinic. And to hell with every damned christian that says childbirth is my curse as a woman.

  36. 36
    Patricia, OM

    When PZ is talking about surgeries on animals being grafic he’s not kidding.
    You wanna see something ugly – watch a spaying of a cat that has six kittens in her, and the owner swears he didn’t know she was old enough to get pregnant.
    How about a hit-by-car dog that has a broken back, and it’s colon out a foot beyond it’s anus?
    Thanks jesus.

  37. 37
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Ysanne and cactuswren:
    It never fails to amaze me how fucking ghoulish people can be.

    Going back to the OP:

    … her entire argument was that the embryo is fully human from the instant of conception, and therefore abortion is wrong. She made it clear that she opposes a whole gamut of basic rights: birth control methods that prevent implantation are wrong, because that’s just like strangling or starving a baby; no abortion in cases of rape or incest, because the baby doesn’t deserve punishment; she did allow for abortion in cases that threaten the life of the mother at times before fetal viability, simply because in that case two fully human lives would be lost.

    If it were to be accepted that blastocyst = person, not only would everything that a pregnant woman does be subject to legal scrutiny, but so would everything that any sexually active woman of childbearing age does. Virtually every woman would have her rights curtailed, no matter how careful she was about birth control. Everything from what a woman eats and drinks, to the drugs (legal or otherwise) she uses and activities she engages in are suddenly all weighed against the fact that she could be pregnant at any time. That’s a hell of a scary rabbit hole to go down.

    I have still yet to have this question answered: Under the assumption that an embryo/fetus is a person, is a pregnant woman committing sexual abuse if she masturbates or has sex?

  38. 38
    Patricia, OM

    Audley – I love you for how you are able to be objective. It is a marvel to me.

  39. 39
    clastum3

    ….the right to bodily autonomy of the woman. Even if the fetus was judged entirely deserving of consideration as a person ……it would not matter: a woman must retain the right to control her own body.

    As I understand it, this is not the teaching of Roe & Wade. It defined limits to a woman’s “absolute autonomy over her own body” in the case of late-term abortions. If this had been made clear, it might have disarmed many of the objections of the anti-brigade.

    Taking ideological stances shouldn’t be the hallmark of the atheist.

  40. 40
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Dillahunty:

    a woman must retain the right to control her own body.

    clastum3:

    Taking ideological stances shouldn’t be the hallmark of the atheist.

  41. 41
    zoebrain

    1. Identical twins – may even (rarely) be of different sexes, yet gentically identical.
    2. Chimeras – whose bodies include 2 or rarely more cell lines from different conceptions
    3. Foetiform Teeratomas – cancers rarely resulting from conceptions, though most are congenital.

    So a single conception may result in 0, 1/2, 1, or 2 (rarely more) people.

  42. 42
    Maureen Brian

    gallussapien,

    When I see an article from an archaeological dig I get a measuring rod, in centimetres or inches, in the photo and later, in the museum, a reference or a caption which gets me to where, when, why it was found and often by whom. This holds whether it’s the most amazing piece of Anglo-Saxon cloisonne ever or one of 200 cowrie shells found in grave 47.

    The scientist treats me with respect. The anti-abortionist does not.

    If people are determined to wave gory pictures at me – pretty pointless as I’m not very squeamish – then I should be able to insist on the measuring device i.e. not a 2 cm object blown up to enormous, plus confirmation that it is human and the circumstances under which it came to be like that.

    If the poster waver will not tell me whether this bloody mess is a spontaneous abortion at 10 weeks, the surgical removal of an anencephalic foetus or a foetus already dead after getting stuck in the birth canal at term which was extracted in pieces for speed and to save the mother’s life, then why the hell should I take seriously anything that person says?

    People who use your potential squeamishness against you are manipulative bastards without a case. People who do the same to me as a woman are trying to control me. Don’t, please, play into their hands.

  43. 43
    rorschach

    Not so long ago I was called to a pregnant woman having a spontaneous miscarriage, or abortion, at 16 weeks gestation. Lots of bleeding, lots of crying people, lots of pain and blood clots, a little thing with arms and legs eventually being expulsed, but the placenta wouldn’t come out, so the lady had to undergo emergency surgery on top of all that.

    The one thing that I would always like the religious pro-life wankers to explain to me in a situation like that is why exactly they think their god decided to kill this “person”(while trying his best to kill the mother at the same time, by the way).

    The other thing is, as mentioned above, the emotional blackmail these fuckers attempt everytime they show off their gory pictures.

    I am not quite clear on what mental gymnastics this person who is described as an atheist by PZ would have to go through to arrive at the position she is said to be taking. The mind somewhat boggles.

  44. 44
    Maureen Brian

    clastum3 @ 39,

    No. Roe vs Wade is much more subtle than you seem capable of being this morning.

    Here is what the relevant section says …

    3. State criminal abortion laws, like those involved here, that except from criminality only a life-saving procedure on the mother’s behalf without regard to the stage of her pregnancy and other interests involved violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which protects against state action the right to privacy, including a woman’s qualified right to terminate her pregnancy. Though the State cannot override that right, it has legitimate interests in protecting both the pregnant woman’s health and the potentiality of human life, each of which interests grows and reaches a “compelling” point at various stages of the woman’s approach to term. Pp. 147-164.

    (a) For the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision and its effectuation must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman’s attending physician. Pp. 163, 164.

    (b) For the stage subsequent to approximately the end of the first trimester, the State, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health. Pp. 163, 164.

    (c) For the stage subsequent to viability the State, in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life, may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother. Pp. 163-164; 164-165.

    Source is: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0410_0113_ZS.html

    Note the “State cannot override that right” notion in the first paragraph. The State may have an opinion and set standards but it can only insist that its interests are brought into play, along with everything else, after viability.

    How come so few people know what it actually says? It’s been there for 40 years plus, fergawdsake!

  45. 45
    LykeX

    @Ysanne

    “this suffering is necessary to help us healthy people develop our conscience and compassion for our less fortunate fellow humans”

    Was this person on any kind of medication at the time? In order to be compassionate, we have to deliberately inflict unnecessary pain and suffering on others? Couldn’t we just run over a hobo or kick a toddler? Wouldn’t that amount to the same thing?

    Why isn’t the suffering of these “less fortunate fellow humans” enough to inspire compassion on its own? And if their suffering doesn’t do the trick, why would you think that creating more suffering would?

    If you meet this person again, feel free to knee him in the balls. If he complains, simply say that you’ve been lacking in compassion lately and you felt that his suffering would help you get it back.

  46. 46
    Nick Gotts

    Taking ideological stances shouldn’t be the hallmark of the atheist. – clastum3

    A perfect example of the self-sabotaging pronouncement.

  47. 47
    Ysanne

    LykeX,
    they didn’t think they were inflicting the suffering, only letting nature/god have its way in teaching humanity a valuable lesson. Yes, it’s a disgusting combination of callousness, hypocrisy and cowardice, not to speak about the dehumanisation of said “less fortunate” people by reducing them from individuals whose well-being matters to inspirations for compassion…
    Since we’re talking about panelists at a semi-public debate organised by a reputable academic foundation, they probably weren’t high, and there was no opportunity for ball-kicking either (also, one of them was female). It was an extremely frustrating experience to feel like the only one who dared to point out the callous BS for what it was, and it’s scary to know that it’s these people who are called upon as “experts” for decisions involving bioethics.

  48. 48
    Matt Penfold

    As I understand it, this is not the teaching of Roe & Wade. It defined limits to a woman’s “absolute autonomy over her own body” in the case of late-term abortions. If this had been made clear, it might have disarmed many of the objections of the anti-brigade.

    What does a court ruling in the US have to do with the morality and ethics of abortion ?

  49. 49
    Koshka

    Their basic assumption was that any non-zero length of life, no matter how short and miserable, is better than one not begun. When this was successfully challenged, their argument turned into “this suffering is necessary to help us healthy people develop our conscience and compassion for our less fortunate fellow humans”.

    My son died just over 2 years ago at 7 weeks old. He was by all appearances perfectly healthy one day and dead the next. For 3 months my partner and I were complete wrecks. For 6 months our 5 year daughter had to deal with parents who often in tears. We struggled to interact with anyone else, and were often shut out of social circles because we tended to drag the mood down.
    It would have been better if my son was never born. I regularly am triggered by things to remember that most horrible day. I still feel a sense of guilt when I feel happy.

    The suffering my family went through was not necessary. The suffering I have experienced has not made me more compassionate. It has made me wary of people.

    To knowingly force a person to go through this is a monstrous act.

  50. 50
    Koshka

    Willow2054 #11

    I personally think that the number of abortions should be minimized because they’re often a source of emotional strain for the woman (in part because so many members of society say abortion is wrong)

    Have you considered that you are in fact joining with society to say abortion is wrong by saying you personally think that the number of abortions should be minimized? Have you considered your personal feelings mean fuck all to a women who wants an abortion?

    Josh #34

    Even if women did “choose abortions for fun,” it doesn’t matter. There’s nothing morally wrong with terminating a fetus (yes, no matter how “far along”).

    Yes. The only reason a woman should need to have an abortion is that she wants one.

  51. 51
    terryg

    Koshka #49 *hugs*
    I’ve been avoiding people for that reason. Its been exactly one month since my darling Ruth died, and I see no end in sight for the crying. I made myself go to our family reunion this weekend, and was pleased to see just how much my cousins care about me. I was also disappointed to find out my brother is a waste of perfectly viable organs. fucking empathy, how does that work? couldn’t have got through it without the hugs. OT, but I ended up writing a blog post about it, and de-anonymising myself:
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/2012/10/11/guest-post-ruths-story/

    Koshka #49, Josh #34 – you’re dead fucking right. pun intentional. turns out these asshats are raising their thought-free heads her in little ole new Zealand too *sigh*

  52. 52
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I don’t like the “minimizing the number of abortions” track. It’s too close to the abortion is bad territory.

    Does anyone ever talk about minimizing the number of heart surgeries? No, we recognize those as beneficial. What we want to minimize are heart diseases.

  53. 53
    yankonamac

    @45 LykeX,

    I think Mother Theresa would have gotten behind that–as someone who seemed to relish in the suffering of the sick, the starving and the impoverished, who’s personal style of “compassion” was to encourage them to ask for help from a sky fairy, remind them of the evils of contraception and divorce, and stand by mumbling about god’s plan when a woman endures an agonizing childbirth (or dies from it) I’m confident that in her universe suffering is a Good thing. Not only in itself, but especially if you have the ability to ameliorate it but you don’t. Sure, you could end and prevent a great deal of suffering if you allowed people to prevent unwanted, dangerous or excessive pregnancies, escape abusive spouses, and stand up against tyrannical regimes, but if you actually Avoided suffering, what place would the church have in society?

    They should really team up with Philip Morris to strengthen their corporate development strategies–locking in new customers when they’re young and impressionable, hiding from lawsuits when the product causes visible harm, and above all, maintaining the socioeconomic, educational and governance systems that allow the product to remain prevalent and appear beneficial.

  54. 54
    dianne

    Quite apart from the sheer lunacy of the blastulocyte=person argument, if we accept that it is a person and then the “pro-life” argument boils down to the argument that it is acceptable for one person to use another person’s body against their will if the first person will die without that intervention. That argument takes us all sorts of places that I doubt the “pro-life” movement wants to go. The most obvious is compulsory organ and tissue donation, but one could take it further than that. Murder one person for their organs and you can save 6+ lives (2 kidneys, 1 heart, 1 liver, 2 lungs, unspecified amount of marrow and blood) and improve the quality of 2+ more lives (cornea, intestines, pancreas, etc). According to the most radical form of the “pro-life” argument, this would be absolutely fine. Pushing one person on the train track to avoid killing the 5 already on it, and so on. Does anyone really want the society implied in the “pro-life” argument? I doubt it, but legal precedents are legal precedents and I don’t see any way to stop the above from being allowed if one accepts and codifies into law the basic premise that one person is allowed to use another’s body.

  55. 55
    Koshka

    terryg,
    I remember reading your story recently. It made me cry. It has also made seriously consider donating my body when I am dead.
    In both our circumstances I feel forced birthers have devalued the life of people we have lost.

  56. 56
    Ray Ingles

    I just don’t know.

    I mean, on the one hand, it seems pretty clear you can’t force someone to risk their life for another. Abortion for medical necessity seems a total given, no matter the stage of pregnancy.

    And on the other hand, it seems pretty damn clear that the distinction of moral significance is between a subject that can think and feel and be aware, and an object that is just, well… stuff. (You can damage an object, but you can’t hurt an object.) And a blastocyst just is not aware on any level whatsoever. I mean, it seems that 20 weeks or so is the earliest one could argue that a fetus is aware of something even as basic as pain. Abortion before that can’t possibly be argued to be hurting a person. A potential person at most… and potential persons only have potential rights.

    But legally, nobody has absolute autonomy over their own bodies. Or even over things like property – if you find a trespasser on your land you can’t kill them; indeed, you have a legal obligation to protect them at least to the extent of warning them from any dangers around.

    ‘Slippery slope’ arguments are usually bad ones… but we do have a long history of people deciding other people aren’t human and don’t count. (E.g. women, slaves, etc.) We can prove there’s no person there before 20 weeks; until we crack the consciousness problem I don’t see how we can be sure there’s ‘nobody home’ after 20 weeks. (Except for something like anencephaly, obviously.) (And it probably varies a lot and there’s no sharp dividing line. It’s like night and day – twilight is arguable, but there are definitely some times we can unambiguously label ‘night’ or ‘day’.) It seems that we ought to be careful about the ‘nonhuman’ classification.

    I find it hard to muster up objections to a regime like “Unrestricted abortion up to 20 weeks, then abortion when medically indicated.” Very few women aren’t aware they’re pregnant before five months – the vast majority of present abortions happen before that point already. And it would seem the large majority of the ones after that point do indeed happen because of medical problems.

    (And yes, certainly, the best way to deal with abortion is to prevent unwanted pregnancy in the first place. Comprehensive sex education is a big first step. Better birth control options would be nice, too.)

  57. 57
    dianne

    Does anyone ever talk about minimizing the number of heart surgeries?

    Well, maybe interventional cardiologists. They make their money stealing patients from the surgeons and doing less invasive but (sometimes) just as effective stenting instead. But when the situation isn’t right for that, if they have any ethics at all, they send the patient to the cardiothoracic surgeon.

    I’m all for prevention and stealing patients from the surgeons-surgery really is barbaric, if often necessary-but only when the situation is medically appropriate. If the surgeon doesn’t get the case because of some social problem-say, laws preventing that surgery from occurring or lack of insurance-that’s a major problem. Lives are lost and damaged that way. Forcing women to carry to term damages their lives and, sometimes, kills them. IUDs and condoms for everyone who wants them so the abortion rate goes down? Great! Limit access to abortion so the abortion rate goes down? Bad.

  58. 58
    dianne

    Abortion for medical necessity seems a total given, no matter the stage of pregnancy.

    What do you mean by “medical necessity”? How high does the risk need to be before you’ll allow a woman to end a life threatening pregnancy? What about a pregnancy that’s as dangerous as having a plane ticket dated “9/11/01″ on 9/10/01? Is that a pregnancy that can be acceptably ended?

  59. 59
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Oh come on, dianne, you’re ruining my heart disease analogy. ;)

  60. 60
    Nick Gotts

    I just don’t know. – Ray Ingles

    That’s abundantly obvious.

    I mean, on the one hand, it seems pretty clear you can’t force someone to risk their life for another.

    Which, since abortion is safer than continuing the pregnancy at all points, means abortion on demand is the only acceptable policy.

    until we crack the consciousness problem I don’t see how we can be sure there’s ‘nobody home’ after 20 weeks.

    What “problem” would that be? Levels of oxygen perfusion pre-birth are always below what is compatible with consciousness.

    I find it hard to muster up objections to a regime like “Unrestricted abortion up to 20 weeks, then abortion when medically indicated.”

    Then you’re clearly indifferent if not hostile to women’s bodily autonomy.

  61. 61
    Ray Ingles

    dianne –

    How high does the risk need to be before you’ll allow a woman to end a life threatening pregnancy?

    Threat to life, or permanent injury to the mother, or nonviable pregnancy. Basically, a doctor’s signoff that the abortion’s medically indicated. (I imagine there’d be some (mostly Christian) doctors that would refuse to sign any, and others that would sign any paper put in front of them.)

    If a woman can’t convince any doctor that there’s a medical problem, then maybe there isn’t one. Sure, no profession’s perfect, least of all the medical profession. But we still require prescriptions for a wide range of drugs, even for less-than-life-threatening conditions.

  62. 62
    Koshka

    (And yes, certainly, the best way to deal with abortion is to prevent unwanted pregnancy in the first place. Comprehensive sex education is a big first step. Better birth control options would be nice, too.)

    I can only assume that because you think we need to ‘deal with abortion’, you have a problem with it. I find your comments judgemental.
    Better birth controls includes access to abortion. Condoms, the pill and similar birth control are not 100% effective and to ensure birth control is available to all women, abortions will always be required.

  63. 63
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    And yes, certainly, the best way to deal with abortion is to prevent unwanted pregnancy in the first place.

    Funny, I see it the other way around. What I want to “deal with” are unwanted pregnancies.

  64. 64
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Women aren’t total idiots.

    (I just wanted to throw that in there, since we’re now obviously going to discuss how and why a woman might desire a late term abortion)

  65. 65
    Koshka

    If a woman can’t convince any doctor that there’s a medical problem, then maybe there isn’t one

    You appear to think that all women have an option of going to another doctor to get another opinion. You also give the impression that you think there are women who are getting late term abortions for no good reason.

  66. 66
    LykeX

    And yes, certainly, the best way to deal with abortion is to prevent unwanted pregnancy in the first place.

    Funny, I see it the other way around. What I want to “deal with” are unwanted pregnancies.

    This. Abortions aren’t a problem. They just indicate that there is a problem; unwanted pregnancies. Focusing on the abortion itself is very much like focusing on the heart surgery instead of the heart disease.

    until we crack the consciousness problem I don’t see how we can be sure there’s ‘nobody home’ after 20 weeks

    It doesn’t matter whether there’s anybody home. It’s completely irrelevant. We wouldn’t allow a fully grown human to make that kind of demand on another person’s body, so why should we allow it for fetuses?
    A blood transfusion, if properly done, is completely harmless to the donor. Yet, we don’t forcibly take people’s blood, even if it could save someone’s life.

    Banning abortions doesn’t give fetuses the same rights as adults, it gives them more rights than adults.

  67. 67
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    You also give the impression that you think there are women who are getting late term abortions for no good reason.

    Doesn’t every woman have an abortion on a whim (TM) every now and then?

  68. 68
    Ray Ingles

    Nick Gotts (formerly KG) –

    Which, since abortion is safer than continuing the pregnancy at all points, means abortion on demand is the only acceptable policy.

    Shooting all intruders is safer than fleeing, too.

    What “problem” would that be?

    We don’t know exactly what consciousness is yet. We don’t know some of the necessary but not all of the sufficient conditions for it. (That’s okay, though. We don’t need to postulate a soul, any more than it made sense to say before the 1700′s that lightning was caused by Thor or Seth or the Thunderbirds or God.) Once we have a good handle on consciousness, then it’ll probably be obvious when or if preterm infants are aware of anything. Right now, I don’t see how that can be rule out.

    Levels of oxygen perfusion pre-birth are always below what is compatible with consciousness.

    Do you lose your ‘right to life’ when sleeping? Or anesthetized? (BTW, where can I learn more about that?)

    Then you’re clearly indifferent if not hostile to women’s bodily autonomy.

    “Indifferent” and “not thinking bodily autonomy is absolute” are not coextensive.

  69. 69
    dianne

    Threat to life, or permanent injury to the mother, or nonviable pregnancy.

    That doesn’t answer the question: How severe does the threat have to be? Not every high risk pregnancy will end in death. For example, some babies born after exposure to thalidomide were perfectly normal in every way. Does that mean that it’s perfectly acceptable to use thalidomide in pregnancy because the risk of birth defects is not 100%? Where are you drawing the line? Because you should realize that every pregnancy threatens the mother’s life and health. A pregnancy can become “non-viable” (i.e. the fetus die) during delivery. If you’re going to argue for any restriction other than the desire of the person who is pregnant, you’ll have to draw a line somewhere. Where is yours?

  70. 70
    Matt Penfold

    You know the best ways of reducing late term abortions ?

    1. Make it easier to get abortions.
    2. Improve sex education.
    3. Improve the nutrition of women who want to become pregnant.
    4. Ensure timely access to pre-natal screenings.
    5. Ensure measures to support women at high-risk are available. If appropriate, admit the woman to hospital for the last months of the pregnancy.
    6. Continue medical research to improve screening.
    7. Ensure funds are available for all of above, so that ability to pay is not an issue.

  71. 71
    melissamccurley

    I was a witness to the debate & was frustrated as were most of you that she kept repeating herself & failing to rebut any of Matt’s arguments.

    I personally was not bothered in the least by her pictures. I have had an abortion & it did not incite any type of guilt in me.

    I am going to look into her background a bit, because her value for the ‘sanctity of human life’ (not a term she used, but one that well describes her views) appears to be like that of religous people.

  72. 72
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    What part of “a woman’s body is her own and no other being, regardless of the level of sentience, is entitled to occupy it, draw from it, or endanger its well-being” do you not understand, Ray? Seriously? Answer the question of why you think a fetus should have this right when an adult (think of the violinist analogy) doesn’t. Stop avoiding that.

  73. 73
    dianne

    If a woman can’t convince any doctor that there’s a medical problem, then maybe there isn’t one.

    Excuse me, I had to take a moment to get over the hysterical laughter at the naivety implied in this statement. Sorry, I’m better now.

    In many places, there is a shortage of obstetricians and even fewer OBs who will perform abortions. So the woman in question may have no more than one person to whom she can go for an abortion and if s/he doesn’t agree, is simply out of luck, no matter what the risk or reason. Not to mention that there have been the occasional cases in history of women’s problems getting ignored or blown off my doctors who thought that they knew women’s bodies better than the women themselves did.

  74. 74
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Matt, at #70—it’s so weird. All those actions seem to contemplate and further the well-being of an actual woman. It’s almost as if that were the thing that was actually important.

  75. 75
    Ray Ingles

    I can only assume that because you think we need to ‘deal with abortion’, you have a problem with it.

    Well, it’s an indication that there’s either an unwanted pregnancy, or else a medical problem. To that extent, yes, there’s a problem. I wish heart surgeries and traumatic amputations and radical hemispherectomies weren’t necessary either. Presumably we’ll develop better medical techniques, even nanotechnology, to deal with those problems, too, eventually.

    Condoms, the pill and similar birth control are not 100% effective and to ensure birth control is available to all women, abortions will always be required.

    Sure. I (a) explicitly wished for even better birth control options, and (b) think most women who find that their birth control failed can probably arrange an abortion before the sixth month of pregnancy.

    (I’ve also taken advantage of a more permanent form of birth control myself to ensure I and my wife don’t have to worry about unwanted pregnancy.)

  76. 76
    The Mellow Monkey

    Their basic assumption was that any non-zero length of life, no matter how short and miserable, is better than one not begun. When this was successfully challenged, their argument turned into “this suffering is necessary to help us healthy people develop our conscience and compassion for our less fortunate fellow humans”.

    That argument…it sounds so familiar.

    “They all know it is there, all the people of Omelas. Some of them have come to see it, others are content merely to know it is there. They all know that it has to be there. Some of them understand why, and some do not, but they all understand that their happiness, the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships, the health of their children, the wisdom of their scholars, the skill of their makers, even the abundance of their harvest and the kindly weathers of their skies, depend wholly on this child’s abominable misery.” – Ursula K LeGuin

    Pretty sure that story wasn’t meant as an instruction manual.

  77. 77
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Anyone remember that story from a couple of weeks back about an acquaintance of mine who was told that the fetus was severely disfigured and abortion was advised, but when she went before the commission (because her pregnancy had advanced over the limit where she could just ask for an abortion) she was suddenly told that what her doctor had said (and was confirmed by a second opinion) was a mistake and the fetus was fine? And then she had a stillborn.

    Didn’t sound like a coincidence then and it still doesn’t. But yeah, doctors aren’t biased at all and will totally grant a woman the right to abort if she really needs it. Right.

  78. 78
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    most women who find that their birth control failed can probably arrange an abortion before the sixth month of pregnancy.

    …and fuck the rest.

  79. 79
    Koshka

    Sure. I (a) explicitly wished for even better birth control options, and (b) think most women who find that their birth control failed can probably arrange an abortion before the sixth month of pregnancy.

    I don’t get your point. By ‘can probably arrange an abortion before the sixth month of pregnancy’ you must realise that in some instances there are some that can’t. What about them?

    I still can only read your comments to imply that there are women getting late term aborting on a whim.

    (I’ve also taken advantage of a more permanent form of birth control myself to ensure I and my wife don’t have to worry about unwanted pregnancy.)

    Have a cookie.

  80. 80
    Ray Ingles

    LykeX –

    We wouldn’t allow a fully grown human to make that kind of demand on another person’s body, so why should we allow it for fetuses?
    A blood transfusion, if properly done, is completely harmless to the donor. Yet, we don’t forcibly take people’s blood, even if it could save someone’s life.

    If you can see the transfusion coming for five months, and don’t take steps before then to head it off, then maybe consent can be presumed.

    It’s okay, I’m used to the abuse. The anti-abortion types hate the idea because I don’t agree a zygote is a human being and I don’t think all, or even most, abortions should be restricted. The pro-choice types hate the idea because I think a small fraction of abortions should require medical signoff. Sorry if it seems to me they are both partially right and both partially wrong.

  81. 81
    LykeX

    Which, since abortion is safer than continuing the pregnancy at all points, means abortion on demand is the only acceptable policy.

    Shooting all intruders is safer than fleeing, too.

    Are you seriously suggesting that that’s a reasonable comparison? If so, I’d love to hear you explain it in more detail.

    First of all, it’s not clear to me that shooting the intruder is necessarily safer than running away and calling the police from the neighbors’ house. In fact, unless the intruder is in the path of escape, I’d say running was probably the safer option.

    More to the point, the situations are completely different. Fleeing doesn’t require us to accept the very personal and ongoing violation of bodily autonomy. In no way is “running away” equivalent to “carry a child within your body for nine months, with all the resulting physical changes and risks.”

    A better (but still lacking) comparison would be “shoot or be raped.” In such a case, I don’t think I’d blame a woman for pulling the trigger. It would reasonably fall under the category of self-defense.

  82. 82
    Ray Ingles

    dianne –

    That doesn’t answer the question: How severe does the threat have to be?

    Severe enough in the judgment of a doctor. That’s the standard we use for other surgeries, isn’t it?

    So the woman in question may have no more than one person to whom she can go for an abortion and if s/he doesn’t agree, is simply out of luck, no matter what the risk or reason. Not to mention that there have been the occasional cases in history of women’s problems getting ignored or blown off my doctors who thought that they knew women’s bodies better than the women themselves did.

    Just like the ultimate ‘solution to abortion’ is preventing unwanted pregnancies in the first place, wouldn’t the solution to the above problems be insuring better medical care for everyone?

  83. 83
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    It’s okay, I’m used to the abuse. The anti-abortion types hate the idea because I don’t agree a zygote is a human being and I don’t think all, or even most, abortions should be restricted. The pro-choice types hate the idea because I think a small fraction of abortions should require medical signoff. Sorry if it seems to me they are both partially right and both partially wrong.

    *hands Ray Ingles a stepladder so that he can get off that cross*

    And take those fake nails from your palms, you look ridiculous!

    (I’ll let someone else link the obligatory xkcd)

  84. 84
    Matt Penfold

    It also needs to be noted that women are are poor or black are more likely to have late abortions than the general population.

    http://www.livescience.com/17529-trimester-abortions.html

  85. 85
    dianne

    If you can see the transfusion coming for five months, and don’t take steps before then to head it off, then maybe consent can be presumed.

    Because nothing ever changes in five months and a plan to donate blood made five months before is always reasonable. Never mind that you were in a car accident a month ago and now have a hemoglobin of 7. (Normal about 12-15 for women, 14-16 for men.)

  86. 86
    Matt Penfold

    Some more data on why women have late abortions.

    http://www.holysmoke.org/fem/fem0543.htm

  87. 87
    LykeX

    @Ray Ingles

    Take your fence-sitting, self-pitying crap and shove it. I don’t care. Stick to the point.

    If you can see the transfusion coming for five months, and don’t take steps before then to head it off, then maybe consent can be presumed.

    1) Consent can be presumed? For a person who’s right there, fully conscious, completely sane and saying “no”, you think consent can be presumed?

    I’ll just let that stand for a second.

    2) Are you saying that if you know that a person has to get regular blood transfusions and you’ve once consented to give a transfusion, you’re now obligated by law to continue transfusions for as long as they need them?
    You have to say no the first time, or you’re in for the duration? If you’ve once given permission, you can’t ever retract it? No matter how the circumstances may change, once you’ve said yes, your consent is “presumed”?

  88. 88
    dianne

    Severe enough in the judgment of a doctor. That’s the standard we use for other surgeries, isn’t it?

    Not really. In fact, not at all. The standard for most medical decisions is what the patient wants. But perhaps that part of the statement was a “it goes without saying” moment for you and you meant that it is a decision best left to the doctor and patient. In that case, no further laws are needed with regard to abortion except those already in place to prevent or redress malpractice. I agree. Thank you for your support.

  89. 89
    Matt Penfold

    If you can see the transfusion coming for five months, and don’t take steps before then to head it off, then maybe consent can be presumed.

    A pregnancy can start of perfectly fine, with no indication of an abnormality with the foetus or of a risk to the woman’s health. Some abnormalities can be picked up early, but there are some that do not become apparent until after the 20 week scan. Also, there are conditions that can arise that put the women’s health at risk at any time during the pregnancy.

    You also seem to think that being able to tell how far advanced a pregnancy is, is a simple task. It is not.

  90. 90
    Ray Ingles

    Koshka –

    I still can only read your comments to imply that there are women getting late term aborting on a whim.

    The anti-abortion types claim that. Like you, I doubt it’s anything like what they allege. But people are weird. Seems likely there are some.

    The good news is, if we’re right, then requiring a doctor’s signoff after 20 weeks won’t have any appreciable effect on the number of late-term abortions.

  91. 91
    Ray Ingles

    Matt Penfold –

    Some abnormalities can be picked up early, but there are some that do not become apparent until after the 20 week scan. Also, there are conditions that can arise that put the women’s health at risk at any time during the pregnancy.

    Um… at which point, the doctor signs off and they get an abortion. Before 20 weeks, no restrictions at all.

  92. 92
    Matt Penfold

    The good news is, if we’re right, then requiring a doctor’s signoff after 20 weeks won’t have any appreciable effect on the number of late-term abortions.

    Abortions are not DIY procedures. To be safe they require the supervision of a doctor no matter what stage the pregnancy is at.

    So your talk of a doctor’s “signoff” is just silly.

  93. 93
    nms

    I find it hard to muster up objections to a regime like “Unrestricted abortion up to 20 weeks, then abortion when medically indicated.”

    I really don’t understand this position at all. “Abortion is usually fine but we should still have a rule that will massively inconvenience a tiny minority of people who want abortions”. It seems like some kind of concession, but I’m not sure to whom or why.

  94. 94
    Nepenthe

    The good news is, if we’re right, then requiring a doctor’s signoff after 20 weeks won’t have any appreciable effect on the number of late-term abortions.

    Are you living on a planet where a significant number of USian women find it difficult to access birth control because of doctors’ and pharmacists’ refusal to provide appropriate medical care? Where rape victims are denied emergency contraception? Where a significant proportion of hospitals are explicitly Catholic? Because this is the only explanation I can find for your naive assumption that doctors and hospital administrators won’t railroad women into risky births on a regular basis.

    Must be nice there.

  95. 95
    Ray Ingles

    Beatrice –

    hands Ray Ingles a stepladder so that he can get off that cross

    Nah, just saying I only care about the arguments. The point is, the abuse doesn’t cause any suffering. It doesn’t make an argument any stronger, though.

  96. 96
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    So… doctors will always do what is right, but women are callous idiots.

    (It’s not like there have been cases of anti-abortionist doctors denying a woman abortion even when she was dying)

  97. 97
    nms

    The good news is, if we’re right, then requiring a doctor’s signoff after 20 weeks won’t have any appreciable effect on the number of late-term abortions

    If I were 20 weeks pregnant and I needed an abortion for some reason, and I couldn’t get a doctor to “sign-off” on it, I would call that an appreciable effect.

  98. 98
    LykeX

    The good news is, if we’re right, then requiring a doctor’s signoff after 20 weeks won’t have any appreciable effect on the number of late-term abortions.

    So why do it, other than to give fundy doctors a chance to say no? There’s already a problem with a lack of clinics in certain areas of the US. While abortions are legal, nobody performs them.

    Sure this could be solved by having abortions widely and easily available, but that’s not even remotely the case right now. A demand for a doctor’s signature would effectively be a ban in some areas.

    Also, there are conditions that can arise that put the women’s health at risk at any time during the pregnancy

    And of course, this is not limited to health risks. Economy, home situation, marital status… a lot of things can happen in nine months, any of which are a good reason for a woman to change her mind about having a baby.

  99. 99
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/sfaa/north_dakota.html

    In 2008, there were 1 abortion providers in North Dakota. This represents no change from 2005, when there were 1 abortion providers.

    • In 2008, 87% of U.S. counties had no abortion provider. 1/3 of American women lived in these counties, which meant they would have to travel outside their county to obtain an abortion. Of women obtaining abortions in 2006, nonhospital providers estimate that 27% traveled at least 50 miles.

    • In 2008, 98% of North Dakota counties had no abortion provider. 74% of North Dakota women lived in these counties.

  100. 100
    dianne

    How is “a doctor signed off on it” different from “a doctor discussed the options with the patient who decided, after listening to the options and recommendation, to have a D and X for severe pre-eclampsia at 20 weeks, and the doctor then performed the procedure as agreed”? Are you looking for a second doctor’s agreement? Why? We don’t demand a second opinion for every mastectomy or orchiectomy performed, for example. Why should abortion be different?

  101. 101
    Ray Ingles

    dianne –

    Never mind that you were in a car accident a month ago and now have a hemoglobin of 7. (Normal about 12-15 for women, 14-16 for men.)

    Medical necessity. And therefore…

  102. 102
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    You can look state by state here: link

    And if an unfortunate woman living in one of those places with no abortion access finally finds some place to get an abortion, but it’s already too late to get it “on a whim”… oh well, fuck her.

  103. 103
    Nick Gotts

    Ray Ingles

    I mean, on the one hand, it seems pretty clear you can’t force someone to risk their life for another.

    Which, since abortion is safer than continuing the pregnancy at all points, means abortion on demand is the only acceptable policy.

    Shooting all intruders is safer than fleeing, too.

    It was you who said that “it seems pretty clear you can’t force someone to risk their life for another”. Then, when I point out that this means abortion on demand is the only valid option, you want to row back from it. Which makes it completely clear that you are not arguing in good faith.

    Once we have a good handle on consciousness, then it’ll probably be obvious when or if preterm infants are aware of anything. Right now, I don’t see how that can be rule out.

    Because oxygen perfusion is at a level incompatible with consciousness, as I’ve already explained.

    Do you lose your ‘right to life’ when sleeping? Or anesthetized?

    Again, it’s quite clear you are not arguing in good faith. It was you who implied it was important whether the fetus is conscious; when given evidence that it isn’t, you move the goalposts. The difference, of course, is that the fetus has never been conscious, and hence has never had any preference for remaining alive.

    I find it hard to muster up objections to a regime like “Unrestricted abortion up to 20 weeks, then abortion when medically indicated.”

    Then you’re clearly indifferent if not hostile to women’s bodily autonomy.

    “Indifferent” and “not thinking bodily autonomy is absolute” are not coextensive.

    You said you find it “hard to muster up objections” to forced pregnancy after 20 weeks; but if you had the slightest concern for women’s bodily autonomy, that obvious objection would immediately have come to mind.

    Notice that three times, I have had to restore the context of my points – the statements by you that they were responses to, and which you had omitted – so that it can be seen what I was responding to, and hence, how dishonest your replies are.

    It’s okay, I’m used to the abuse.

    Climb down off that cross, Jesus, or someone might actually nail you to it.

  104. 104
    nms

    Medical necessity. And therefore…

    And therefore what? Have you read these posts?

  105. 105
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Medical necessity. And therefore…

    Are you a medical doctor? If not, your OPINION doesn’t matter.

  106. 106
    mythbri

    *Tenderly and lovingly gathers thorns and brambles and weaves them into crowns for people like Willow and Ray Ingles and gallusssapien*

    Here you go, you brave, brave souls who would dare to speak up against the women who are exercising their right to self-determination and bodily autonomy. Are your crosses uncomfortable? Feeling sufficiently noble, are we? Hmm? Good.

    Abortion is exactly as moral as the pregnant person in question believes it to be. It is her decision, full stop. It has nothing to do with the potential for fetal consciousness. It has nothing to do with potential fetal personhood. It has nothing to do with anything outside what the woman wants and the recommendations of her physician.

    You know what concerns about fetal consciousness result in when you try to legislate them? Dead and/or deformed women, and dead fetuses or babies (if the woman was forced to give birth to a baby with severe and life-ending medical problems).

    You know what concerns about fetal personhood result in when you try to legislate them? Reduced access to healthcare for women, including contraception, screening tests, and information that women have the right to know, so that they can make informed decisions about their own bodies.

    I don’t want to have children. I take precautions to guard against unwanted pregnancy (which, just because I consent to sex does not mean I consent to a blastocyst taking up residence inside me. If I could hang a “No Trespassing” sign in my womb that was legible to blastocysts, I would), but I’m also VERY aware that any of those precautions could fail at any moment. Should the situation ever arise, I will not be carrying that pregnancy.

    That’s my right. You are morally repugnant if you think you can take it away from me.

  107. 107
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Even if the fetus was judged entirely deserving of consideration as a person (a point he personally does not accept), it would not matter: a woman must retain the right to control her own body.

    I just thought this should be repeated.

    Can anyone remind me… Does Canada have a plague of cases where women wait the whole pregnancy just for the delight of having an abortion a week before term? No? How strange.

  108. 108
    Nick Gotts

    The point is, the abuse doesn’t cause any suffering. – Ray Ingles

    Whereas advocating forced pregnancy, as you are doing, undoubtedly does cause immense suffering. But clearly, you don’t give a shit about that.

  109. 109
    Matt Penfold

    Here in the UK (except Northern Ireland) ALL abortions require two doctors to agree that one is necessary. Up until 24 weeks this can be on the grounds that continuing with the pregnancy would be detrimental to the women or her family.

    In effect, this allows for abortion on demand. Most abortions are carried out before 12 weeks (87% in 2004). 95% of all abortions are carried out under this provision (2004).

    For cases where there is a risk of significant harm to the women, or there is a significant abnormality with the foetus there is no time limit. In effect, the upper limit is around 28 weeks since after that it starts becoming feasible to deliver early. Only 1.6% of abortions in 2004 took place after 20 weeks.

    Ingles is getting all upset over a non-issue. Women simply don’t have late abortions simply because they do not want to be pregnant.

  110. 110
    raven

    Announce right at the beginning that her entire argument was that the embryo is fully human from the instant of conception, and therefore abortion is wrong.

    This is wrong. You could say the same thing about eggs, sperm, cancers, or a plate of WI-38 diploid fibroblasts.

    It would be a win win if this woman went back to the christofascists. She isn’t going to make a good atheist. She isn’t even going to make a good human being.

    It’s not even in the bible. Babies are considered human one month after birth. This BTW, is common in primitive societies and even some today. The chance of a neonate dying was so high, they wouldn’t name it until it had lived a few months.

  111. 111
    dianne

    I’d like to see the following changes to abortion law occur:
    1. Birth control including “plan B” would be 100% covered by all insurance plans. Increased access to birth control is proven to reduce the incidence of abortion. Get it out there!
    2. All ob/gyn residents would be required to learn how to perform all accepted abortion techniques. They may not include abortion in their practice when they complete residency, but they need to know how to perform abortions. An OB not willing to perform an abortion makes as much sense as a Jehovah’s witness blood bank specialist. If you aren’t willing to go there, go into something else where you won’t be required to do so.
    3. All family practice residents would be trained in basic abortion techniques. FPs may be the only doctor for miles around in some rural areas. They need to know what to do in emergencies. Again, there are other options for medical specialty if you are unwilling to ever be involved in an abortion.
    4. Get rid of the idiotic laws restricting specific techniques. The technique used should be the safest and most effective one. Regardless of how “icky” some idiot legislator thinks it sounds.
    5. No “counseling”, “waiting periods”, required ultrasounds or other barriers beyond those necessary for the safety of the patient. Routine counseling into the risks, benefits, and alternatives to the procedure should, of course, be given. In the case of an elective abortion, the alternatives listed should include giving birth and what might happen next (i.e. adoption or raising the baby.) It should be explicitly mentioned that giving birth is at at least 10x more dangerous than having an abortion and that giving a baby up for adoption usually, perhaps always, poses a grave risk to the mother’s mental health.
    In short, let’s treat abortion like any other medical procedure. If the laws covering consent aren’t adequate for abortion then they’re not adequate for any other procedure and the problem is far bigger than abortion. If they are adequate then what’s the problem? Either way, specific legislation for a single procedure seems silly and counterproductive.

  112. 112
    LykeX

    @Ray Inlges

    Maybe it would be helpful if you described a situation in which a woman desiring an abortion should not be allowed to have one. What criteria would you go by? What would, to you, justify this course of action?
    You’re very busy describing all the instances where a woman would be allowed to get an abortion and pointing out how little you would really want to change.
    Do us the favor of explaining when you would say to a woman: “No, you can’t get an abortion, you have to carry the baby to term and give birth, whether you like it or not.”

    Bonus points if you can describe a situation that’s halfway realistic.

  113. 113
    nms

    Can anyone remind me… Does Canada have a plague of cases where women wait the whole pregnancy just for the delight of having an abortion a week before term? No? How strange.

    (We’re just laying low until the Conservatives lose their majority. But don’t tell them I said that.)

  114. 114
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Can anyone remind me… Does Canada have a plague of cases where women wait the whole pregnancy just for the delight of having an abortion a week before term? No? How strange.

    Thank you, Beatrice. Now I am flashing back to jim and his argument that women might give birth to a baby and have the baby killed while still attached to the cord, making it an abortion because of sticks sharp.

    What a bloody stupid git.

  115. 115
    Gregory Greenwood

    Ray Ingles @ 56;

    I just don’t know.

    I mean, on the one hand, it seems pretty clear you can’t force someone to risk their life for another. Abortion for medical necessity seems a total given, no matter the stage of pregnancy.

    Setting the bar for abortion at ‘medical necessity’ is problematic. Firstly, because the term itself is too vague – does medical necessity only mean when the woman’s life is in danger? What level of risk to life is sufficient? What about permanent injury? If so, what level of injury? What about psychological trauma caused where the pregnancy is the product of rape or incest? Should women be forced to give birth when the risk of physical harm may be relatively small, but the psychological damage will be vast? What about the state of the foetus? What if, when the born, the child will have a severly foreshortened or pain afflicted life? Should the prospective mother still be forced to undertake the risks associated with birth? What should the threshold be there?

    Secondly, bodily autonomy is a far broader concept than simply the right not to have one’s life or health imperiled – bodily autonomy deals with the fundamental concept that one has final authority over one’s own flesh. That no one else can claim rights in your body. It is a fundamental component of a person’s humanity, and the denial of a woman’s bodily autonomy in the name of preventing the abortion of a foetus amounts to the outright denial of her personhood. If the bodily autonomy of women is a right that can be causally abrogated when they become pregnant, then society is effectively saying that women are ambulatory incubators rather than people. It is nothing less than a declaration of procreative slavery for half our species.

    And on the other hand, it seems pretty damn clear that the distinction of moral significance is between a subject that can think and feel and be aware, and an object that is just, well… stuff. (You can damage an object, but you can’t hurt an object.) And a blastocyst just is not aware on any level whatsoever. I mean, it seems that 20 weeks or so is the earliest one could argue that a fetus is aware of something even as basic as pain. Abortion before that can’t possibly be argued to be hurting a person. A potential person at most… and potential persons only have potential rights.

    Actually, whether or not the foetus can feel is not the ‘distinction of moral significance’ – even when dealing with a fully conscious person, nobody can claim rights in another person’s flesh. Even if the alternative is certain death, no one can demand that another person donates an organ, or even gives blood. Why should a foetus be given rights far beyond those of unambiguously conscious people?

    But legally, nobody has absolute autonomy over their own bodies. Or even over things like property – if you find a trespasser on your land you can’t kill them; indeed, you have a legal obligation to protect them at least to the extent of warning them from any dangers around.

    Your equivalency here is false – your body is not simply another class of property, like a car or a house. Bodily autonomy is not like ownership of an object. As an example, while you cannot simply kill an intruder on your property, even when they endanger it, you are entitled to defend you life (which in practical terms means your body) with lethal force. You can be separated from you property, and while this may harm your interests, the damage will be limited. The same cannot be said of your body.

    ‘Slippery slope’ arguments are usually bad ones… but we do have a long history of people deciding other people aren’t human and don’t count. (E.g. women, slaves, etc.) We can prove there’s no person there before 20 weeks; until we crack the consciousness problem I don’t see how we can be sure there’s ‘nobody home’ after 20 weeks. (Except for something like anencephaly, obviously.) (And it probably varies a lot and there’s no sharp dividing line. It’s like night and day – twilight is arguable, but there are definitely some times we can unambiguously label ‘night’ or ‘day’.) It seems that we ought to be careful about the ‘nonhuman’ classification.

    Even if I accepted the idea that the possibility of foetal consciousness should be granted equal or greater weight than the certainty of the consciousnes of the woman (and, for the record, I don’t), this is still no more than a side issue. Again, the notional ‘personhood’ of a foetus is not relevant to the discussion – no one can claim rights in the flesh of another person for any reason, even if the alternative is their death. Why should a foetus be granted such an extraordinary right that goes so far beyond the rights afforded to everyone else?

    Don’t you see that by engaging in idle philosophising about the danger of not recognising the notional personhood of foetuses, and relating that back to the historical failures to recognise the humanity of dienfranchised groups including women, you are contributing to the ongoing denial of the humanity of women today? In your rush to defend the peronhood of the foetus, you are dismissing women – who we know to be conscious – as nothing more than a delivery vector undeserving of the fundamental and inalienable right to bodily autonomy enjoyed by men.

    I find it hard to muster up objections to a regime like “Unrestricted abortion up to 20 weeks, then abortion when medically indicated.” Very few women aren’t aware they’re pregnant before five months – the vast majority of present abortions happen before that point already. And it would seem the large majority of the ones after that point do indeed happen because of medical problems.

    Why should any woman be denied her bodily autonomy after an arbitrary cut off point? Her body remains her own at all times, whether two weeks, twenty weeks or two minutes before birth – she still has the right to end the pregnancy, it is just the methodology that may change where the easiest and safest way to end the pregnancy in the very late stage may be by caesarean section or another form of induced delivery rather than abortion – the prime concern must remain the woman’s health and wellbeing. Twenty weeks is a point well before the foetus is capable of realistic survival outside the womb. Thus it is a parasite, and it is unreasonable to demand that a woman continue to bear it against her will simply because she happened to miss an arbitrary window, especially when anti-choice groups work so hard to make it difficult for women to access abortion services.

    Take the US as an example – once one takes into account the disinformation campaigns, the paucity of abortion services avaialabe across much of the country requiring costly and time consuming travel that may be beyond the means of many, the requirements for ‘counseling’ and various other hoops that women are forced to jump through before they can access abortion – then a twenty week limit simply functions as a means by which anti-choicers can deny as many women as possible access to abortion by putting enough hurdles in their path that they run out of time.

    (And yes, certainly, the best way to deal with abortion is to prevent unwanted pregnancy in the first place. Comprehensive sex education is a big first step. Better birth control options would be nice, too.)

    Contraception is not 100% effective, and sex education can only mitigate the risk, not eliminate it. Unwanted pregnancies will always occur, aspiring to their total prevention is a pipe dream. Should an unwanted pregnancy come to pass, then women must have access to abortion services so that they can maintain their bodily autonomy. If not, then we arrive back at a society that views women as incubators.

  116. 116
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Janine,

    I don’t remember that one.

    have the baby killed while still attached to the cord

    with a machete?

    *looks hopeful*

  117. 117
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    @Ray Inlges

    Maybe it would be helpful if you described a situation in which a woman desiring an abortion should not be allowed to have one.

    If the only medical facility the woman can get to is own by the RCC. It would be tyrannical to make make the RCC to act against it’s dogma, even if most of the staff and the people it serves are not catholic.

  118. 118
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Beatrice, jim was one of the most dishonest and persistent trolls who ever shit finger painted the walls here. Claims to be an atheist who was concerned that women were having abortions for frivolous reasons. And so came up with improbable situlations in order to “prove” his point.

    Slimy to the core.

  119. 119
    raven

    Ray Ingles lying:

    But legally, nobody has absolute autonomy over their own bodies.

    This is a lie.

    But legally, Ray Ingles has no absolute right to tell me what to do. In fact, he has no right at all. Get lost, Ray.

    Under US law and the US constitution it is close enough to not matter. You can refuse any and all medical care after age 18 if you want and die, for example.

    We aren’t going back to forced birthing and female slavery.

    ‘Slippery slope’ arguments are usually bad ones…

    This is true but Ray Ingles doesn’t understand why it is true.

    Most of life, most of the time is standing on slippery slopes dealing with shades of gray.

    The world isn’t simple and it isn’t black and white. We routinely balance rights because they routinely conflict.

    For one example, free speech rights don’t include death threats. The victim has a right too. The right to stay alive and not be terrorized.

  120. 120
    Gregory Greenwood

    Ray Ingles @ 80;

    If you can see the transfusion coming for five months, and don’t take steps before then to head it off, then maybe consent can be presumed.

    Consent can be ‘presumed’? Even when the person is standing there saying ‘no’?

    I hesitate to ask this, but do you apply a similar… unusual concept of ‘consent’ to other areas of life? For instance, what about rape? Why, the woman consented before, and she must have seen this coming, so her consent can be presumed by the man from here on out. I mean ‘no’ doesn’t really mean ‘no’ if she said ‘yes’ before, right…?

    Or transplant surgery? The prospective donor gave consent months earlier, so it can be presumed now? Even if they change their minds?

    Or in rights of entry? A person agreed to let someone come into their house and take some old belongings five months ago, so their consent can be presumed when that person turns up five months later, even though the house owner has changed their mind because they have fallen on hard times, or they have decided that the items have sentimental value?

    Or is this just a special form of ‘consent’ that applies only to blood transfusions and pregnant women?

    Enquiring minds want to know…

  121. 121
    Ing

    so here’s the thing. What do you do to women who want an abortion after 20 weeks? Let them get it from a Dr. Nick and only go after rogue doctors? That doesn’t fit with it being murder or a violent crime. Force them to term? How far do you go? Do you commit them? Strap them down?/ force c-sections if need be? What do you do with a baby after delivery? Take it away because why would you send it home withsomeone who just days before wanted to kill them? Or force the parent to raise the unwanted kid?

    Ray, what degree of violence and legal force are you comfortable with? Are you willing to have policed strap a rape victim down to a table while a doctor performs an unwanted invassive surgery?

  122. 122
    raven

    Abbott warns of RU486 black market – ABC News (Australian …
    ww.abc. net.au/news/2006-02-06/…ru486-black-market/792702

    6 Feb 2006

  123. 123
    Ray Ingles

    LykeX –

    There’s already a problem with a lack of clinics in certain areas of the US. While abortions are legal, nobody performs them.

    Because the anti-abortion absolutists work at it, and a whole lot of people haven’t made up their minds about abortion – but it bothers them – and they go along with it.

    Dismantling the personhood argument – getting that debate actually going – immediately clears something like 95% abortions from consideration. It does major good – gets that stupid worry about whether the morning after pill actually interferes with implantation or whatever off the table, for example – and disarms most of their arguments.

    But any kind of political compromise or progress is stalled by the anti-abortion absolutists on the one hand, who think anyone who’d allow a signle abortion is a baby-killing Nazi, and the pro-choice absolutists on the other hand who think anyone who’d countenance the slightest restriction on abortion is a chattel slavery enthusiast.

    A world where abortion before 20 weeks is broadly available and covered is a distinct improvement over what we’ve got now. Better still is a world where there aren’t over a million unwanted pregnancies a year, of course.

  124. 124
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Patricia:

    I love you for how you are able to be objective. It is a marvel to me.

    Thanks. Two days out and, trust me, it ain’t easy to stay calm in the face of assholes like Ray Ingles. I think it helps that it was late when I made my last comment– I was tired and more worried about making sense than anything else.

  125. 125
    clastum3

    Abortion is always going to be a difficult one. At one end of pregnancy you have a fertilised cell or two, and at the other you have what most people would no longer describe as a fetus, but a baby, and which is viable outside the mother’s body. And as the judge said, I know what’s day and what’s night, but where one ends and the other begins I do not know.

    Irony has it, I got to read Roe&Wade from a recommendation in pharyngula a couple of years ago: it was the flavour-of-the-month then. I was impressed with the balanced way it dealt with these issues.

    Something’s changed, and it looks like it’s pharyngula: it’s morphed into one of those sects where everyone’s trying to be holier (more pc) than the next guy. Remind you of something?

  126. 126
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    and the pro-choice absolutists on the other hand who think anyone who’d countenance the slightest restriction on abortion is a chattel slavery enthusiast

    Nah, I just think you’re a stupid asshole.

    Btw, “pro-choice absolutist” as an insult? Yeah, I feel women should have full control of their bodies. How extremist of me.

  127. 127
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Audley—well, what would you know? Don’t you have a very late-term abortion scheduled in a day or so? With a mani/pedi, right?

    Beatrice—yes. Amazing, isn’t it? Defending women’s bodily integrity as an extremist position.

  128. 128
    Nick Gotts

    Beatrice, jim was one of the most dishonest and persistent trolls who ever shit finger painted the walls here. – Janine

    Joey, not jim.

  129. 129
    Nepenthe

    A world where abortion before 20 weeks is broadly available and covered is a distinct improvement over what we’ve got now.

    And how, precisely, does a de jure* restriction on abortion post-20 weeks move us toward this world.

    *Since late-term abortions are de facto restricted in most of the US, this is pretty much a formality.

  130. 130
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Something’s changed, and it looks like it’s pharyngula: it’s morphed into one of those sects where everyone’s trying to be holier (more pc) than the next guy. Remind you of something?

    Please, give an example of how this blog has changed in how we collectively view the issue of abortion.

    Or do you think that we are supposed to be shamed to our sense by you insisting that we are pc?

    Tell you what, your false equivalency will only be a true point when pro-abortion people start to target and murdering anti-abortion people.

  131. 131
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    You are right, Nick. Being a person who has a name that starts with a “j”, I should be aware of the difference between “jim” and “joey”.

  132. 132
    Nick Gotts

    Abortion is always going to be a difficult one. At one end of pregnancy you have a fertilised cell or two, and at the other you have what most people would no longer describe as a fetus, but a baby – clastum3

    Medically, the correct term is “fetus” until it’s born. That’s when it becomes a baby.

    Something’s changed, and it looks like it’s pharyngula: it’s morphed into one of those sects where everyone’s trying to be holier (more pc) than the next guy.

    Only fuckwitted bigots without a rational argument resort to whining about “pc”.

  133. 133
    Inaji

    clastum3:

    Something’s changed, and it looks like it’s pharyngula: it’s morphed into one of those sects where everyone’s trying to be holier (more pc) than the next guy. Remind you of something?

    Right now, you remind me of a shallow ass who has no desire to understand anything more than the superficialities of an issue. For a whole hell of a lot of women, legal abortion and bodily autonomy are much more than a ‘hot button issue’ – these are lives on the line, the lives of women, who are being continually told and shown, via legislation, that we’re little more than cattle and often valued much less than cattle.

    Personally, I don’t care if someone views me as being ‘holier than the next guy’. That simply paints you as an asshole who has no idea of just how strongly I feel on this particular subject. My autonomy is paramount and it makes me furious that in this century, women are being subject to incredibly draconian laws and treated like imbecile children who couldn’t possibly know what’s right, let alone what is right for them.

  134. 134
    Matt Penfold

    A world where abortion before 20 weeks is broadly available and covered is a distinct improvement over what we’ve got now.

    I see you have fallen for the 20 week is a reasonable limit argument of the anti-abortionists. Imposing such a limit is just a smoke-screen by the anti-abortionists to limit access to abortions.

    Shame of you for being foolish enough and ignorant enough to fall for it.

  135. 135
    Nick Gotts

    Blockquote fail: the penultimate paragraph of #132 is from the fuckwitted bigot clastum3.

  136. 136
    Matt Penfold

    Oh, and just in case Ingles does not know what is wrong with a 20-week limit I will explain.

    An ultrasound scan is normally carried out between 18 and 20 weeks gestation and it is the first time many foetal abnormalities can be apparent. Thus putting a 20 week limit on terminations effectively denies a women the choice of terminating the pregnancy if the scan shows up an abnormality.

  137. 137
    Gregory Greenwood

    Ray Ingles @ 123;

    … the pro-choice absolutists on the other hand who think anyone who’d countenance the slightest restriction on abortion is a chattel slavery enthusiast.

    Yes, I (and many other people here) think that the personhood and bodily autonomy pof women are non-negotiable. We won’t accept the proposition that women be viewed as ‘just a bit subhuman’ – women are people, and must be afforded the rights of people. First among these is the right to bodily autonomy, without which most other rights are meaningless.

    How very extreme of us.

    A world where abortion before 20 weeks is broadly available and covered is a distinct improvement over what we’ve got now. Better still is a world where there aren’t over a million unwanted pregnancies a year, of course.

    The twenty week limit you propose will improve nothing. It will simply amount to a further concession to the anti-choice brigade that women should not have the final say with regard to their own bodies. And the ebst way to prevent unwanted pregnancy? Better access to birth control and abortion services.

    —————————————————————-

    clastum3 @ 125;

    Something’s changed, and it looks like it’s pharyngula: it’s morphed into one of those sects where everyone’s trying to be holier (more pc) than the next guy. Remind you of something?

    Acknowledging the humanity of women is a religious belief in your eyes?

    So, I take it that in any case where the interests of woman and foetus are at odds, you think that the foetus should come first, and the woman should be relegated to the status of portable uterus?

    You don’t see that as misogynistic?

  138. 138
    LykeX

    @Ray Ingles

    You know, for someone who “only care[s] about the arguments” you sure seem very eager to engage with anything other than the arguments.
    How about you drop your pathetic whining about how anyone who disagrees with you is an extremists and just respond to what we’re saying?

    There are a lot of outstanding arguments and questions (here, here, here, and here, and that’s just from my own posts), yet you prefer to write a long post on your speculations about the political situation.

    While responding to that quote of mine, you’re ignoring the point of it. You may think that:

    A world where abortion before 20 weeks is broadly available and covered is a distinct improvement over what we’ve got now

    But that wasn’t what I was talking about. I was pointing out that if you institute a requirement for a doctor’s signature, you’re effectively banning abortion. That would be the result because, Hey, Newsflash! Abortion is not broadly available!
    I point out a problem with your proposition and your response is “Well, if that problem wasn’t there, I’d be right.”

    WTF, dude?
    Snap out of it, stop playing martyr and start actually engaging in honest discussion.

  139. 139
    Ing

    Please do not confuse better than everyone with better than YOU. Lack of faux humility isn’t arrogance

  140. 140
    mamba24

    I don’t think that the question of personhood, and whether or not the zygote or fetus qualifies as a “human being”…..is irrelevant. In fact, as a pro-choice person, it’s what defines my position. The person-hood or human being status argument contributes more to my view than does the “women has a right to her body” argument. That doesn’t mean I disregard that point, I embrace both arguments, but give a little more weight to the former. In fact, because science shows that a 2 week old zygote isn’t a human being or person, that gives MORE credit to the women’s bodily rights argument.

  141. 141
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Abortion is always going to be a difficult one.

    Not at all. It’s easy if fuckwitted idjits like you would realize not your body; shut the fuck up.

  142. 142
    Matt Penfold

    But that wasn’t what I was talking about. I was pointing out that if you institute a requirement for a doctor’s signature, you’re effectively banning abortion. That would be the result because, Hey, Newsflash! Abortion is not broadly available!

    Actually I am not convinced this need be the case.

    First, an abortion should not be carried out except under a doctor’s supervision. And here in the UK, all abortions require two doctors to agree it is necessary but such a requirement does not pose an obstruction to women obtaining abortions.

    Of course the situation in the UK with regards attitudes towards abortions is rather different, and the medical profession generally is in favour, with gynaecologists being even more in favour than their colleagues.

  143. 143
    indicus

    If I may throw out a thought on the debate between arguing for reproductive rights via A) debating the consideration of person-hood vs. B) whether hypothetically assumed person-hood yields to a woman’s right to retain control over her own body… regardless of how one feels concerning option B, I believe it is a poor argument to use in the larger national dialogue. Remember, abortion is an enormously emotional issue and this plays a role in how the majority of opinions (on both sides) are formed. The majority of the population seems to be middle ground on the issue, at once favoring keeping abortion legal yet also feeling to some degree uncomfortable with it… remember Clinton’s “safe, legal and rare”? (disclaimer: I am NOT arguing for the validity of this position, merely pointing out its prevalence) To simply come out and say “I hypothetically consider that it may be considered a person but even then, I don’t care” is tailor-made to be co-opted and quote-mined by the emotional wing. To say that person-hood is essentially irrelevant in your considerations is a turn-off to a vast segment of the population.

    Now compare this to option A. As with fighting creationism, the best cure has always been to drag their beliefs out into the light of day. Don’t give them any wiggle room or allow them to dictate the manner in which the discussion takes place. Expose it in all its batshittery glory. Much as most evolution-denying mainstream Christians roll their eyes when told T. rex was a vegetarian, the biological “facts” used to support their person-hood argument are typically laughable that they can be digested by many voters. Show the world what a zygote really looks like. Tell the people that the opposition wants to base a nation’s reproductive laws and personal rights on the concept that a clump of two cells deserves all the rights they themselves get. The anti-abortion side fights with emotion and the visual aids they use are as close to development as they can get. If its got arms and legs and a face it can be passed off by them as if it were a child about to enter preschool. If you take their argument and substitute the use of a petri dish specimen, you take that away from them.

  144. 144
    Ray Ingles

    If the bodily autonomy of women is a right that can be causally abrogated when they become pregnant, then society is effectively saying that women are ambulatory incubators rather than people. It is nothing less than a declaration of procreative slavery for half our species.

    I assume you meant ‘casually’ and not ‘causally’. It’s a great term for evoking emotions but it doesn’t really have much actual content. I mean, if the principle is in fact complete autonomy, then a woman having a ‘casual’ abortion wouldn’t matter either.

    Why should any woman be denied her bodily autonomy after an arbitrary cut off point?

    Well, there’s the question of whether or not it’s ‘arbitrary’, but time limits after which things become legally binding are hardly unprecedented. Common-law marriages, limits on the challenging of paternity or wills, etc.

    then a twenty week limit simply functions as a means by which anti-choicers can deny as many women as possible access to abortion by putting enough hurdles in their path that they run out of time

    That’s also a problem, but as I’ve said part of the issue is that a lot of people really are squeamish about abortion – often because of those disinformation campaigns – and a clear legal regime with public debate and justification for it would help battle that disinformation. Anti-abortion absolutists are already worried that just about everyone else accepts abortion in the cases of “rape, incest, and threat to the life of the mother”. Even the disinformation hasn’t budged most religious believers on that.

    But still, personhood is an issue that a lot of people worry about. Pointing out what we can prove about that – and, of course what we can’t – can only clarify that issue for everyone.

    Should an unwanted pregnancy come to pass, then women must have access to abortion services so that they can maintain their bodily autonomy.

    And almost no pregnancies are a surprise at 20 weeks. Quite possibly this could happen sometimes. Getting a perfect system is… what’s the phrase? A “pipe dream”. How about the same kind of system we have for challenging paternity, where the father has to “know or reasonably should have known”? The imperfection of life is only a problem for one side, it appears.

    If not, then we arrive back at a society that views women as incubators.

    Or one that requires women to come to a decision to accept or reject a four-month period of responsibility, absent medical need?

    I acknowledge that pregnancy is a unique condition without a lot of analogues. Do you?

  145. 145
    Matt Penfold

    Ingles,

    Do you want to explain why you keep parroting that 20 week crap ? You cannot claim you are not an anti-abortionist and yet keep using their arguments.

  146. 146
    Ing

    @Ray

    How do you inforce your 4 month reponsability? Are you prepared to detain rape and incest survivors?

  147. 147
    Matt Penfold

    How do you inforce your 4 month reponsability? Are you prepared to detain rape and incest survivors?

    Yeap, we know that rape and incest victims are more likely to present late for a termination.

    Wonder what Ingles has against them.

  148. 148
    Nick Gotts

    Getting a perfect system is… what’s the phrase? A “pipe dream”. – Ray ingles

    Crap. In this case a perfect system is one where any woman can end a pregnancy safely whenever she wants to. The only reason this does not exist, is misogyny such as you demonstrate.

    Or one that requires women to come to a decision to accept or reject a four-month period of responsibility, absent medical need?

    You prove again and again that you are not arguing in good faith, by simply ignoring the facts. As Matt Penfold has already pointed out, many serious fetal abnormalities cannot be detected before 20 weeks.

  149. 149
    Inaji

    Matt:

    And here in the UK, all abortions require two doctors to agree it is necessary but such a requirement does not pose an obstruction to women obtaining abortions.

    It would constitute an obstruction here in the States. A massive one. Pharmacists already have legal ‘right of conscience’ in that they can refuse emergency birth control and doctors and nurses also have legal ‘right of conscience’ in many States and in many hospitals, allowing them to refuse participation in anything they feel is against their god’s will (such as dealing effectively with an ectopic pregnancy.)

    With a majority of clinics closed, and doctors who are willing to perform abortions thin on the ground (and in constant danger), a signature requirement would be a major victory for the lifer contingent.

    I bring up South Dakota a lot in these threads and with good reason – it’s a shining example of what lifers can achieve when going around Roe v. Wade. Obtaining a legal abortion in SD is damn near impossible for most women. Almost all the clinics have been shut down, the one PP clinic is in the ass end of the state, imposing serious travel on a woman, there’s the mandatory 3 day wait, the mandatory ‘counseling’ at a faux-clinic run by rabid xtians, a doctor is only available 3 times a month at the clinic, etc.

    In the case of SD, where a doctor has to fly in every month, how in the fuckety fuck is a signature requirement going to work, let alone two signatures? No, absolutely not. It’s already a fucking nightmare trying to obtain an abortion here.

  150. 150
    Nick Gotts

    I wonder when Ray Ingles will have the rudimentary honesty to tell us exactly how he thinks his desire to coerce women into continuing pregnancies to term when they do not want to, should be enforced. Never, is my guess.

  151. 151
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Hey, Ray Ingles, did you notice those citations about how women in many parts of US can have a hard time finding someone who would perform an abortion? I guess they should just give up if they can’t manage to find a way to get an abortion before those magical 20 weeks of yours pass.

    Hmmm, guess who makes sure women will be in that kind of situation, who you enable by supporting limitations on abortion? Anti-choicers. Congrats. Nice company you got there.

  152. 152
    terryg

    Koshka,

    In both our circumstances I feel forced birthers have devalued the life of people we have lost.

    Indeed. repugnant fuckwads.

    Then I realised Ray Ingles is right, and I am a heartless bastard. Ruths corneas were used to restore the sight of a 34yo woman and a 41yo man. I’ll ignore the woman because bitches aint shit, but Ray Ingles has made me realise it was unconscionable to wait until Ruth died to give that man her cornea. after all, in Rays dystopian universe Ruth had no bodily autonomy, and a MAN needed her cornea, so why not just take it? besides, years earlier Ruth had consented by selecting “organ donor” on her drivers license, and consent once given can never be revoked right? not even with shitty excuses like “I’m noy dead yet”?

    And this asshat thinks he’s helping. here’s a subtle hint Ray: you’re not fucking helping, you’re making it WORSE.

    Fucken thinking, how does that work?

  153. 153
    Amphiox

    Ray Ingles, the most common by far real world reason for abortions after 20 weeks is lack of timely access to abortions before 20 weeks. By the time she has managed to clear all the necessary hurdles both legal and medical it is past 20 weeks. So until abortion before 20 weeks is freely available on demand, none of your arguments are relevant in any way to reality.

    And of course if your system is implemented, the anti-woman crowd will have an easy strategy to follow – simply obstruct, limit, and delay access to abortion so it becomes extremely hard to get one in time to meet to 20 week cut-off.

  154. 154
    Matt Penfold

    In the case of SD, where a doctor has to fly in every month, how in the fuckety fuck is a signature requirement going to work, let alone two signatures? No, absolutely not. It’s already a fucking nightmare trying to obtain an abortion here.

    That’s what I thought would be the case. Which really goes to show that access is what is key.

    And in the case of the requirement of two doctors in the UK, I forgot to mention that only one of them needs to have examined the woman. Quite honestly, if it is intended to put a restriction on access to abortion then it has failed. In fact it should probably be done away with.

  155. 155
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    @ Ray Ingles

    Dismantling the personhood argument – getting that debate actually going – immediately clears something like 95% abortions from consideration.

    I haven’t read past this because the utter inanity of this statement stopped me short.

    How could you possibly think the other forced birth advocates care when there’s the potential for consciousness (as someone pointed out, pre-birth there’s no question of consciousness anyway because of oxygen level regardless of cognitive development)? Anti-choicers by and large don’t give a shit, because A) they believe that what makes a person is a soul, not a functioning brain and B) when it comes down to it, they’re real issue isn’t about foetuses and babies, but about women and sexual/reproductive submission.

    The debate over foetal personhood is a deflection from the real debate over female personhood.

    Oh, and by the way, if you trust the opinions of doctors so much, why are you not in favour of leaving all decisions over medical care to patients and their qualified doctors instead of trying to get the state involved in restrictions and mandates?

    P.S. I don’t see anyone abusing you. I see people arguing with you. There’s a difference. I’m sure there’s a scourge around here somewhere if you need to flagellate yourself.

  156. 156
    mythbri

    @Ray Ingles #144

    Or one that requires women to come to a decision to accept or reject a four-month period of responsibility, absent medical need?

    Emphasis mine.

    I invite you to take your “responsibility”, wad it into a compact unit, and shove it directly up your ass. Nasty tone? Yes. Take it up with the tone-police – you’ve had three posts here.

    Pregnancy is a medical condition. People have the right to make medical decisions for themselves. This is not your choice, unless it is you who happens to be the pregnant person in question.

    Read this link. This is what your “20 weeks” argument can do to real fucking people.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_re_A.C.

  157. 157
    Ray Ingles

    LykeX –

    How about you drop your pathetic whining about how anyone who disagrees with you is an extremists and just respond to what we’re saying?

    One of me, several of you. Only got so much bandwidth. Speaking of which, some quickies, working backward.

    Matt Penfold –

    An ultrasound scan is normally carried out between 18 and 20 weeks gestation and it is the first time many foetal abnormalities can be apparent.

    Already said fetal abnormality is an exception justifying abortion after 20 weeks. (E.g. #61). So whenever the ultrasound shows a problem…

    Ing –

    Ray, what degree of violence and legal force are you comfortable with?

    As Matt Penfold pointed out abortion isn’t DIY so a doctor’s participation is pretty much necessary as-is.

    Beatrice –

    Btw, “pro-choice absolutist” as an insult?

    No, a descriptive term. I’m trying to avoid insults. If you take it that way, that’s on you.

    LykeX –

    Maybe it would be helpful if you described a situation in which a woman desiring an abortion should not be allowed to have one.

    A woman’s who’s known she was pregnant for many months and had the opportunity to come to a decision before the time limit, has no signs of fetal abnormality, or maternal health issues like preeclampsia or gestational diabetes and so forth.

    Abortion is not broadly available!

    Trying to kickstart the debate push some new positions might actually move the middle that indicus points out and change that. The current logjam doesn’t seem to be helping much. Indeed, it’s getting worse.

    Indicus is wrong, though, that talking about zygotes alone will do it, because of the problem that P.Z. points out – people have a strong emotional reaction to the surgical procedure of abortion. So talking about personhood, clearly defining it, and pointing out what we know and don’t know about it is important.

  158. 158
    Inaji

    TerryG:

    Fucken thinking, how does that work?

    In Ray’s case, it doesn’t.

  159. 159
    Matt Penfold

    Ray Ingles, the most common by far real world reason for abortions after 20 weeks is lack of timely access to abortions before 20 weeks. By the time she has managed to clear all the necessary hurdles both legal and medical it is past 20 weeks. So until abortion before 20 weeks is freely available on demand, none of your arguments are relevant in any way to reality.

    Exactly. As I have already pointed out, here in the UK less than 2% of abortions take place after 20 weeks. And doctors report that women deciding to have a termination after 20 weeks for anything other than what even Ingles seems to think would be good reasons simply does not happen.

    He is wanting to prevent something that does not happen.

  160. 160
    Ing

    Many people with heart conditions were told to loose weight by doctors…when do we hold them responsible, what time peroid. Letting them die will divert resources to more responsible and likely to survive patients after all.

    A healer should not be concerned with “responsability” their job is to heal and give the best care for their patient possible.

  161. 161
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    “If they can make you believe absurdities, they can make you commit attrocities.”–Voltaire

    The absurdity here is the existence of “the soul.” We cannot say exactly when it enters the body and makes us human. All we know is that it is likely sometime before the age of 50 and after or during fertilization. We know it cannot be in the sperm, as that would mean men could not jerk off. It cannot be in the egg, because that would mean God is an abortionist every time a woman menstruates (never mind all the pregnancies that terminate spontaneously–pay no attention to the abortionist behind the curtain!!!)

    END Sarcasm tag

    Here’s the thing. If you place limits on a woman’s rights over her body, you have to come up with a reason.

    Examples:
    1)The fetus is “conscious…”

    Dude, have you ever been around a newborn baby?

    2)The fetus feels pain…

    OK, what about if we anesthetize it?

    3)An unwanted pregnancy is wrong?

    As opposed to being unwanted in your childhood.

    No matter what reason you come up with, you will run into the problem that your rights end at your nose…and if your nose is up there with the friggin fetus, you have probably violated a state law if you live in the south.

  162. 162
    Ing

    @Ray

    An abortion isn’t DIY? are you that ignorant of what people did pre Roe?

    You also didn’t answer my question, what legal force are you comfortable with

  163. 163
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    He is wanting to prevent something that does not happen.

    Typical of anti-choice idjits and just plain idjits who fail to look at reailty, and are caught up in silly and circular sophistry.

  164. 164
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Ray, you’re a lying fucker (spare me the, “I’m sad to see you sink to the level of name-calling”). You’re incredibly dishonest and everyone here can see that you are deliberately ignoring very reasonable questions. Questions about your own position that really do require clarification. We see you doing it.

    You pretend as if you’re answering certain select questions with non-sequiturs. Example:

    Question:Why should any woman be denied her bodily autonomy after an arbitrary cut off point?

    Ray’s response: Well, there’s the question of whether or not it’s ‘arbitrary’, but time limits after which things become legally binding are hardly unprecedented. Common-law marriages, limits on the challenging of paternity or wills, etc.

    No. Unresponsive. You didn’t answer the question. You evaded and equivocated. You do realize we can see this, right?

    Basically, though, fuck right off you bastard.

  165. 165
    LykeX

    As Matt Penfold pointed out abortion isn’t DIY so a doctor’s participation is pretty much necessary as-is.

    Not a big student of history, are you?

  166. 166
    Inaji

    A woman’s who’s known she was pregnant for many months and had the opportunity to come to a decision before the time limit, has no signs of fetal abnormality, or maternal health issues like preeclampsia or gestational diabetes and so forth.

    So, as far as you’re concerned, this woman should not be able to obtain an abortion. Why? What is it, exactly, that makes you smugly happy to make such a pronouncement? Do you magically know exactly what is going in this woman’s mind? Do you magically know every itty bitty detail of her life? Is her life not allowed to change in a matter of months?

    First of all, a majority of women don’t know they are pregnant until two months gone. That cuts rather seriously into your idiot ’4 month’ scenario. In my case, I kept testing *not* pregnant past two months. When I finally did test positive, I had an abortion – no fuss, no muss, no hassle. That was back in the ’70s, when women’s autonomy was actually respected.

    Secondly, let’s say the woman in question has indeed arrived at a decision – she wants to terminate. She doesn’t particularly want everyone to know her business, however, which is troublesome, as she has to arrange for a considerable amount of time off from work, in order to travel both ways and deal with that mandatory 3 day wait. There’s also that pesky matter of money. Abortion is very expensive these days. It’s not always magically easy to come up with that money. For that matter, it’s not always easy to work out the travel situation, either. Then there’s that super pesky “getting one week or more off work” business.

    Once all that is dealt with, there’s availability of a doctor, which can add to a woman’s wait. Along with the mandatory 3 day wait, many states have a mandatory ‘counseling’ law, said counseling provided by a bogus womens’ health clinic, a cover for evangelistic xtians, who will do whatever they can to delay said mandatory counseling. Now many states have a mandatory invasive ultrasound requirement as well. This can also be subject to delays.

    The list of problems goes on and on, Ray. It’s obvious you’re an idiot, however, your idiocy is now digging holes for you. An abortion is not at all easy to obtain, especially with a fucktonne of laws in place impeding access. By the time a woman can get everything arranged, two more months have often easily passed.

  167. 167
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Ray Ingles: “As Matt Penfold pointed out abortion isn’t DIY so a doctor’s participation is pretty much necessary as-is.”

    What

    the

    Fuck!?

    Ray, do you really think women are incapable of wielding a coathanger if they get desperate enough? Have you not heard of the use of hot stones to induce abortion used by South Sea Islanders?

    Look, Ray, I trust that you aren’t a bad person. I trust that you don’t want to enslave women. I really do. But do you really think you’ve thought this through all the way to its consequences? ‘Cause it kind of sounds like you’re winging it, and that really isn’t going to present your intellect or intentions in the best light when you are talking about coercing women into carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term.

  168. 168
    terryg

    Ing, are you subtly saying I shouldnt be prejudiced against fat people? what, are they human or something? [engages brain at long last] Oh, shit, yes they are. Sorry for having been such a douchebag.

  169. 169
    Ing

    The talks about responsability with health care (deny access to women, obese or smokers or not too long ago gays and drug users) reminds me of the Seinfeld where Jerrys mechanic stole his car because Jerry was mistreating the equipment. Its absurd in that scenario with an inanimate possesion…but for some reason we accept the judgemental reasoining when it comes to welfare and health?

  170. 170
    LykeX

    @Ray

    Incidentally, are we to understand that the doctor’s signature basically just amount to whether he’s willing to do the abortion or not? Will there not be any objective criteria? Each doctor decides what they’ll accept as a good enough reason to do the abortion?

    If no criteria exist, then your personal opinions (as described in #157) don’t count for shit.
    If there are such criteria, then your answer is non-responsive. You still have to answer what you’d do if a doctor performs an abortion is in violation of the rules.

  171. 171
    Inaji

    abortion isn’t DIY so a doctor’s participation is pretty much necessary as-is.

    Unholy cow, you really are stupid, aren’t you? What in the fuck do think was going on prior to Roe? The women of Jane were performing abortions, safely. They weren’t doctors.

  172. 172
    Ing

    Ray apparently never saw Dirty Dancing (that’s the one with a coat hanger abortion in it right?)

  173. 173
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Caine, I have a question. I thought that Jane had access to doctors and other medical personnel who would provide the abortions. I thought the idea behind Jane was to provide something better than a potentially dangerous operation done by shady people preying on desperate women.

  174. 174
    Inaji

    Ing:

    (that’s the one with a coat hanger abortion in it right?)

    Never saw that movie, but there’s no excuse for such an abysmal lack of knowledge, especially of recent abortion history. Abortions have been going on since…forever.

  175. 175
    Inaji

    Janine:

    I thought the idea behind Jane was to provide something better than a potentially dangerous operation done by shady people preying on desperate women.

    Jane did bring in doctors in the beginning (and continued to do so when possible), however, the need was greater than the amount of doctors – many were reluctant because of the legal consequences if they were caught. A safe setup for D&C can be done for a couple of grand and the technique is easily taught. That’s what Jane eventually did to deal with the needs at the time.

  176. 176
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Never saw that movie, but there’s no excuse for such an abysmal lack of knowledge, especially of recent abortion history. Abortions have been going on since…forever.

    Also, it is not that difficult to look up accounts about women who bleed out or got infected because of self induced or back alley abortions in the US before Roe V Wade. Or from any place that does not have safe and legal abortions.

  177. 177
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    So what does Kruszelnicki do? Announce right at the beginning that her entire argument was that the embryo is fully human from the instant of conception, and therefore abortion is wrong.

    She needs to define “fully human” and explain why and how she thinks it ethically relevant here.

  178. 178
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Thank you, Caine. I was but a child when Roe V Wade happened and did not know about Jane until sometime in the late eighties/early nineties when groups like Operation Rescue started to fuck shit up.

  179. 179
    willow2054

    Ok, I guess I didn’t make my position clear here. I do not believe that a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion should be restricted.

    What I’m saying is that most woman do not have abortion in mind as their go-to method for birth control when they first become sexually active. I work with teenagers, and at least once a year, a girl will tell me she’s pregnant and doesn’t know what to do about it. In the discussion, it always comes out that she wished she had made her boyfriend use a condom. I have actually had girls tell me that they “did it standing up because they thought you couldn’t get pregnant that way.” When we discuss other options like pills, they say they didn’t get them because they didn’t want the doctor to tell their parents they were sexually active. When we discuss Planned Parenthood, the morning after pill, and medical confidentiality, the girls are clueless. At this point, their lack of education makes abortion, adoption, or being a young, single mother the only options. Because these girls have grown up in a town where abortion is considered to be a terrible thing, and most don’t really understand how adoption works, they almost always end up dropping out of school and having the baby.

    I think young people should have easy access to a variety of forms of birth control. When unwanted pregnancies occur, they should have access to abortion. My issue is that I would think the religious right would appreciate the reduction in numbers of abortions that comprehensive sex ed would afford… but it seems like what they really want is control over women’s bodies. Their push for abstinence-only sex ed AND anti-abortion legislation makes it clear that they aren’t interested in logic or what’s good for women, but just want to control and oppress women.

    There, see, I don’t need a crown of thorns.

  180. 180
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    A safe setup for D&C can be done for a couple of grand and the technique is easily taught. That’s what Jane eventually did to deal with the needs at the time.

    You know what would be really cool? A situation where people could be trained and legally licensed just to provide abortions, much as we currently have midwifery licensing. Anything complex could be referred or the procedure transferred to a hospital (as midwives do for complex births). As we know, abortions are far less risky than labour and birth. Such a programme would make abortions so much more accessible, and accessibility is a problem even here in Canada where we have no abortion law and provinces are required to fund them.

  181. 181
    mythbri

    @willow #179

    Before you remove that crown of thorns, can I ask you if you have similar talks with the male teenagers you work with?

    Contraception is not only a “woman thing”.

  182. 182
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Ray apparently never saw Dirty Dancing (that’s the one with a coat hanger abortion in it right?)

    No, she goes to a hack doctor (allegedly) for a backroom abortion. Any other Dirty Dancing trivia questions may be referred to me.

  183. 183
    macrophage

    I’ve been undergoing fertility treatments for the last 3 years. So far it’s only resulted in miscarriages and thousands of dollars spent. One thing I learned, more than anything, is that it’s not a child until it’s born, no matter how badly it’s wanted. There are so many little checkpoints that a developing embryo/fetus have to pass through that many never make it through. Any single missed or failed checkpoint results in loss of pregnancy. This is very basic developmental biology that’s completely forgotten by the “human at fertilization” crowd.

    I get the impression that many of the people making these arguments have absolutely no knowledge or memory of anyone ever having a miscarriage. [I've personally seen convenient amnesia among several pro-life people whom I know have had them.] Because then they’d know that not every pregnancy that starts will end up with a viable birth. The entire argument of “human at fertilization” assumes every fertilized egg will become a fully developed child at birth. If that was the case I’d have several children by now. Instead I’ve got heaps of medical bills….

  184. 184
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I am assuming, willow2054, that you know that the same people who are working at ending access to abortions are also against sex education and the easy access to birth control.

    Pregnant teen aged girls are features, not bugs, for these people; they are moral object lessons. They are what the theocrats can point at to “prove” that their way is the only way.

  185. 185
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    @Ray If a woman doesn’t need a doctor’s note to get pregnant, undergo labour, give birth, and raise a child, why should she need one to have a simple medical procedure that leaves her in the same condition she was in a few months before?

  186. 186
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    No, she goes to a hack doctor (allegedly) for a backroom abortion. Any other Dirty Dancing trivia questions may be referred to me.

    Nobody puts Baby in a binder.

  187. 187
    Gregory Greenwood

    Ray Ingles @ 144;

    I assume you meant ‘casually’ and not ‘causally’.

    Just a little letter transposition error. It is one of rather too many you will likely find scattered throughout my posts. Just consider it my offering to Tpyos.

    It’s a great term for evoking emotions but it doesn’t really have much actual content. I mean, if the principle is in fact complete autonomy, then a woman having a ‘casual’ abortion wouldn’t matter either.

    You misunderstand me – I am not talking about the abortion itself being ‘casual’, I am talking about society being prepared to abrogate the bodily autonomy of women on such a casual basis. If society is prepared to throw away the idea that women’s bodies are their own and no one else’s on such a flimsy premise, then it is hardly unreasonable to say that women are being treated as second class citizens at best.

    Well, there’s the question of whether or not it’s ‘arbitrary’, but time limits after which things become legally binding are hardly unprecedented. Common-law marriages, limits on the challenging of paternity or wills, etc.

    The limit is arbitrary once you realise that the issue under discussion should be the bodily autonomy of the woman, at which point whether or not the foetus has any claim to personhood becomes moot. Also, I don’t think that legal limits pertaining to wills or marriage contracts can realistically be compared to the forced pregnancy of a woman and the health risks and bodily violation that entails. This is another false equivalency on your part, much like your earlier attempt to liken one’s body to an object one owns.

    That’s also a problem, but as I’ve said part of the issue is that a lot of people really are squeamish about abortion – often because of those disinformation campaigns – and a clear legal regime with public debate and justification for it would help battle that disinformation. Anti-abortion absolutists are already worried that just about everyone else accepts abortion in the cases of “rape, incest, and threat to the life of the mother”. Even the disinformation hasn’t budged most religious believers on that.

    Pandering to popular squeamishness will serve only to advance the cause of the anti-choicers. Whether or not Joe Public finds a particular procedure ‘icky’ is no basis on which to determine the limits on the bodily autonomy of women, unless one wants to live in a popular tyranny.

    Furthermore, religious believers who put the notional will of their alleged deity above the health and wellbeing of their fellow humans will never be allies of the pro-choice movement, because they have already decided that the lives of women are of less worth than their own delusions.

    But still, personhood is an issue that a lot of people worry about. Pointing out what we can prove about that – and, of course what we can’t – can only clarify that issue for everyone.

    Again, whether a foetus has any claim to ‘personhood’ has zero impact on the woman’s right to bodily autonomy, unless you care to assert that foetuses should have an unprecedented right at law in the flesh of others.

    And almost no pregnancies are a surprise at 20 weeks. Quite possibly this could happen sometimes.

    And for those women to whom it does happen… what? Is it just too bad for them? Simply collateral damage in the world according to Ray Ingles.

    I am not so callous as that.

    Getting a perfect system is… what’s the phrase? A “pipe dream”.

    The point I was making with the term you reference here is that perfect contraception is not possible, that is why abortion must be available. Conversely, I am not demanding a perfect system of abortion; merely that abortion should be available to those women who need it without the unnecessary hurdles that anti-choicers and false ‘allies’ to the pro-choice movement like yourself would seek to put in their way.

    How about the same kind of system we have for challenging paternity, where the father has to “know or reasonably should have known”? The imperfection of life is only a problem for one side, it appears.

    Because not knowing whether the woman you had sex with is pregnant or not is exactly the same thing as the serious health risks associated with pregnancy…

    This stuff about the poor menz and their unacknowledged problems with regard to pregnancy… you wouldn’t happen to be an MRA, would you?

    Or one that requires women to come to a decision to accept or reject a four-month period of responsibility, absent medical need?

    I acknowledge that pregnancy is a unique condition without a lot of analogues. Do you?

    I acknowledge that pregnancy and birth are high risk events that even today can and do regularly result in the deaths and severe injury of actual women. Do you?

    You may be so privilged that this is an empty intellectual exercise for you. I assume from your nym that you are male (apologies if this is in error). I am also a man, and that means that we are both privileged in so far as these issues will never directly effect our own bodies. The same cannot be said of the women who face the realities of that which you so idly pontificate upon. The difference between us is that I have empathy for the women who have to navigate our society’s backward and irrational attitude toward pregnancy, something which you seem to lack.

  188. 188
    Inaji

    Ibis:

    You know what would be really cool? A situation where people could be trained and legally licensed just to provide abortions, much as we currently have midwifery licensing.

    I agree, it would be good. It’s also not gonna happen.

  189. 189
    LykeX

    I am not so callous causal as that.

    FIFY ;)

  190. 190
    willow2054

    @mythbri #181

    Girls seeking advice like this typically will talk to a trusted adult who does not know the boy involved. I would definitely talk to boys about this, and have on very rare occasion when boys have come to me about their concerns. It is disturbing the number of boys who see an unwanted pregnancy as “her problem”, and also the number of girls who see a baby as a way to “make him stay with me”. I am not a health teacher (I teach chemistry), so birth control is not part of my curriculum, but I do teach another class that frequently touches on human population growth. In that class, we have frank, open discussions of all forms of birth control. This probably goes against my state DOE’s policy, but it is supposed to be a college-level class, and I teach it that way.

    @Janine #184, I do realize that. I’d use those same girls as proof that abstinence-only sex ed is useless.

  191. 191
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    But the part that really annoyed me is that she repeatedly announced that SCIENCE had declared the conceptus at the moment of fertilization to be fully human.

    Well, what did she thik we think it was? A unicorn?

    clastum 3

    Taking ideological stances shouldn’t be the hallmark of the atheist.

    Huh?
    But, yes, we know, being an atheist just means you don’t believe in god. You can be an asshole as much as you want. Nothing in atheism says you’re against slavery…

    Something’s changed, and it looks like it’s pharyngula: it’s morphed into one of those sects where everyone’s trying to be holier (more pc) than the next guy. treat women like full human beings

    FIFY

    Ray Ingles

    I find it hard to muster up objections to a regime like “Unrestricted abortion up to 20 weeks, then abortion when medically indicated.” Very few women aren’t aware they’re pregnant before five months – the vast majority of present abortions happen before that point already. And it would seem the large majority of the ones after that point do indeed happen because of medical problems.

    So, your whole legislation thingy is just to show the women that bitches ain’t shit.
    No, we don’t have “absolute control” over our bodies, although most people here would argue that the majority of the other restrictions are also not OK.
    But you have the right to decide who does stuff to your body. No blood donation without your consent. Hell, bone-marrow donations are quick and easy compared to a pregnancy and safe lives of actual people, still you have to consent to them.

    If a woman can’t convince any doctor that there’s a medical problem, then maybe there isn’t one

    Spoken as a run-off-the-mill clueless on the medical realities of pregnancy and childbirth guy.

    If you can see the transfusion coming for five months, and don’t take steps before then to head it off, then maybe consent can be presumed.

    Yes, because women are just stupid. They perfectly know they’re pregnant and they could just get a pill, or a small surgery easily, but, duh, that’s no fun. Just keep on puking, be uncomfortable, be bloated and wait until week 22 because abortions are just much more fun that way

    Or one that requires women to come to a decision to accept or reject a four-month period of responsibility, absent medical need?

    I was kind of waiting when you’d come up with the “the sluts have to take responsibility for what they did” argument.
    You have no clue what those 4 months entail, especially when every miserable minute of those 4 months was forced on you by some ignorant asshole like you.

    dianne

    How is “a doctor signed off on it” different from “a doctor discussed the options with the patient who decided, after listening to the options and recommendation, to have a D and X for severe pre-eclampsia at 20 weeks, and the doctor then performed the procedure as agreed”?

    Duh, because the latter version has the patient aka woman involved. Ray doesn’t need the opinions of stinky pregnant women.

    +++

    An ultrasound scan is normally carried out between 18 and 20 weeks gestation and it is the first time many foetal abnormalities can be apparent. Thus putting a 20 week limit on terminations effectively denies a women the choice of terminating the pregnancy if the scan shows up an abnormality.

    The little one has only one kidney. This was suspected first at around 20 weeks and confirmed some 4 weeks later because kidneys are about the last thing to really develop. Now, 1 healthy kidney is not a problem, but no kidney is incompatible with life. If they survive birth the babies horribly suffocate because their lungs can’t develop.
    So, to cut the line at 20 weeks means that women who carry a fetus with Potter-syndrome (no kidneys) are force to carry a pregnancy they know is doomed for 4 more months and then give birth and watch their baby die…

    +++

    Ray, do you really think women are incapable of wielding a coathanger if they get desperate enough? Have you not heard of the use of hot stones to induce abortion used by South Sea Islanders?

    Apparently lots of parsley will do the trick, too

  192. 192
    daniellavine

    @Ray Ingles:

    You’ve failed to make any arguments that would convince someone not already part of this argument who skews towards the “bodily autonomy for women” side that your 20 week sign-off would be either pragmatic or moral. I’ve not seen you give a single argument that this policy would result in better outcomes for anyone, nor have I seen you make a coherent argument that it would be more moral than the alternative (legal abortions). I’ve seen you dodge a lot of arguments that such a limit would be abused for the sake of limiting the bodily autonomy of women.

    Why don’t you make abundantly clear:
    -If you’re making a pragmatic argument, what are the practical benefits?
    -If you’re making a moral argument, what is the moral basis for this argument?

  193. 193
    dianne

    If anyone wants to play with a serious “not even when the mother and fetus will both die without an abortion” fanatic, here’s a link: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2012/10/blob-of-cells.html#comment-42585

    Poor man’s a priest and is invoking “science” to support his ill considered views. Personally, I think he’d be better off just sticking with “God said so”, but no one asked me.

  194. 194
    Inaji

    Also, in case anyone needs it or wants it, the Molly Saves The Day post of 2006 (from when SD banned abortion) can still be found here.

  195. 195
    skepticalmothering

    Ray already implicitly accepted full access to abortion, since he’s OK with it if the alternative is a threat of permanent injury to the mother. EVERY birth has a significant threat of permanent injury to the mother!

    I invite any doubters to insert a softball into their orifice of choice, and/or experience non-laparoscopic abdominal surgery.

    Mothers routinely experience scarring of their genitals, long-term incontinence issues, and permanent disfigurement of their abdomens. That’s not even going into the less common injuries such as fistulas, fertility impairment and so forth.

  196. 196
    dianne

    Something that’s been bothering me about this time limit at 20 weeks thing: We just don’t do that in medicine. Ever. If you notice a lump in your testicle but don’t do anything about it for 5 months because you’re too scared, too busy, or too broke to deal with it earlier, you won’t be told, “Too bad. You had your chance. No surgery for you!” If, in the mean time, you develop metastatic disease-still treatable (testicular cancer dies off very nicely with chemo) but more expensive to treat you won’t be told, “Too late. You’ve let it get out of hand and we can’t be bothered to pay for chemo for slackers.” No, it’ll be taken care of to the best of the doctors’ ability and your willingness to agree to admittedly unpleasant treatments. (The person who calls a first trimester abortion “violent” has never seen a transabdominal orchiectomy and retroperitoneal lymph node dissection followed by cisplatin based chemotherapy. It’s curative, but…not fun.)

    Again, why is abortion different? Why not treat it like any other medical procedure? Conversely, if there are not enough protections in place to prevent patients from being exploited when they consider abortion, are there really enough protections for other procedures? A person with cancer is scared and vulnerable too-should there be waiting periods before one agrees to an orchiectomy? Should the patient be required to take a last look at the poor innocent testicle before it goes? Should a transrectal ultrasound be required for good measure…

  197. 197
    Inaji

    Dianne:

    (The person who calls a first trimester abortion “violent” has never seen a transabdominal orchiectomy and retroperitoneal lymph node dissection followed by cisplatin based chemotherapy. It’s curative, but…not fun.)

    Last year, I had a routine gall bladder removal. Keyhole surgery, supposed to be easier, yada, yada, yada. I had an absolutely miserable and long recovery time. My abortion, in comparison, was smooth, easy, no general anesthetic needed and a very quick and painless recovery. How I wish other surgical procedures were like that.

  198. 198
    LykeX

    Ray already implicitly accepted full access to abortion, since he’s OK with it if the alternative is a threat of permanent injury to the mother. EVERY birth has a significant threat of permanent injury to the mother!

    Yes, but as he already argued eloquently here, that’s the same as saying that we should shoot random people in the street.

    Sure, this was completely dismantled both here and here, but it’s still a strong point, worthy of consideration.

  199. 199
    Nick Gotts

    A woman’s who’s known she was pregnant for many months and had the opportunity to come to a decision before the time limit, has no signs of fetal abnormality, or maternal health issues like preeclampsia or gestational diabetes and so forth. – Ray Ingles

    Right, so in those circumstances, you want women to be forced to continue with a pregnancy. You want to treat them simply as incubators, as brood mares, without the right to bodily autonomy. In what way is this less vile than imposing chattel slavery?

  200. 200
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Good for Matt! I came to the same point of view in the eighties by doing what all honest intellectuals do: considering what it would mean if my opponents were correct. What if the fetus is a person? Answer: So what? No one gets to use my body against my will. Case closed.

    Arguing the rest of her straw fetus is just extra. “It’s a person!” So what? “It’s human!”: So what? “Scientists say it’s a human embryo!” So what? “It has little hands and feet!” So what? “It contains blood!” So what? Ad nauseam.

  201. 201
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    From the memoirs of a doctor, circa 1930s:

    The next Sunday the conversation happened to turn to the suicide of Katherine J–.

    “The poor girl,” my mother said. “Sounds like she was in the family way.”

    She clucked her tongue sympathetically. “I wish you had seen her,” she said. “If she’d come to you, you could have sent her to old Ma Gooding, the one folks call Feather Sally, because she uses a goose feather. Lots of good doctor’s send patients to Feather Sally, and she’s never lost a one. Good money she makes, too.”

    I was shocked.

    “She did come to me,” I said indignantly, “waving her money in my face as if I were a quack she could buy with a few hundred dollars. But I refused to have anything to do with it. That’s a prison offense.”

    My mother looked at me queerly. “And it’s no prison offense to drive a girl to suicide?” she asked.

  202. 202
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Josh:

    well, what would you know? Don’t you have a very late-term abortion scheduled in a day or so? With a mani/pedi, right?

    Ha! I did, but I had to cancel both the late term abortion and the pedi. God damn it.

  203. 203
    Inaji

    Audley:

    I did, but I had to cancel both the late term abortion and the pedi. God damn it.

    Oh, great. So much for the partial birth abortion surprise party…

  204. 204
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    “…if you find a trespasser on your land you can’t kill them; indeed you are obliged to protect them….” Tell that to the fucker in Florida who shot a Japanese student for knocking on their door to ask for directions when he was lost and committing the additional sin of going around to knock on the side door when the homeowners didn’t answer the front door.

    “He’s a home invader! Blow him away!” And they got away with it because it’s reasonable to think that any non-white stranger is a deadly threat.

  205. 205
    daniellavine

    @Ray Ingles:

    Still really interested in hearing the premises of your argument — whether it’s pragmatic or moral and the fundamental basis for it. In the above you seem to assume that the 20 week deadline is obviously a good idea and don’t seem to go out of your way to defend it — you’ve spent most of your time trying to bat away objections (in my view, the easier objections; you seem to be ignoring the more salient ones).

    I think you can make this easier just by spelling out clearly why you think it’s a good idea. I really don’t see where you’ve done this yet.

  206. 206
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    I *really* want the same rules applied to everyone. You want a three-day waiting period and a gory video before someone can have an abortion? OK, but someone waiting for heart surgery has to wait too and watch the gory video. I wonder how many people will refuse life-saving surgery because it’s too gory? You want extreme regulation suitable for hospitals on abortion clinics? OK, but your dentist has to follow them too. Oh, andd don’t forget the tooth-extraction video and the three-day waiting period. We will wait to see how long those rules last.

  207. 207
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    And the hotels just positively gouge you on abortions these days. I can’t tell you my shock when my Westin bill has come. I can see a mark up for in-house spa services, but 300%? Outrageous.

  208. 208
    dianne

    I know the “pro-life” position is primarily insulting to women, but I can’t help but feel that they must think that doctors are pretty stupid too. I’m trying to picture the scenario they think occurs in the “late term” elective abortion they are so worried about…

    Patient walks into OB’s office. She’s 39 weeks pregnant and was chatting last week about getting the baby’s room ready.

    Patient: “I want an abortion.”

    Doctor: “Okey-dokey. Let me just get my scalpel.”

    No. Just not happening. Not likely behavior on either side.

  209. 209
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    SC,

    You should have checked the “abortion on a whim” field! I hear you get a day at the spa for free, massage included, with that one.

  210. 210
    joey

    Nick Gotts:

    Right, so in those circumstances, you want women to be forced to continue with a pregnancy. You want to treat them simply as incubators, as brood mares, without the right to bodily autonomy. In what way is this less vile than imposing chattel slavery?

    What about “forcing” parents to provide nourishment/care for their children? Do you agree with laws against child neglect? In what way is this (child neglect laws) less vile than imposing chattel slavery?

  211. 211
    Inaji

    SC:

    And the hotels just positively gouge you on abortions these days. I can’t tell you my shock when my Westin bill has come. I can see a mark up for in-house spa services, but 300%? Outrageous.

    They get away with that due to the Frivolous Abortion Clause. That happens when you do stuff just for fun.

  212. 212
    daniellavine

    What about “forcing” parents to provide nourishment/care for their children? Do you agree with laws against child neglect? In what way is this (child neglect laws) less vile than imposing chattel slavery?

    In the case of abortion, you’re protecting someone’s bodily autonomy. In the case of child neglect laws, you’re protecting someone’s bodily autonomy. Not getting your argument here.

  213. 213
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    What about “forcing” parents to provide nourishment/care for their children? Do you agree with laws against child neglect? In what way is this (child neglect laws) less vile than imposing chattel slavery?

    Hey, guess what! A fetus isn’t a child!

    A better analogy: If you don’t like abortion, we should force you to give blood/plasma/marrow/organs to whoever needs them ‘cos that’s obviously all you’re good for.

  214. 214
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Ooooh, that must be joey who was mentioned by Janine and KG. I thought that kind of specimen would be in a deep dungeon by now.

  215. 215
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    SC,

    You should have checked the “abortion on a whim” field! I hear you get a day at the spa for free, massage included, with that one.

    Damn. I always forget to check out the options and packages. I see I’ve also missed the infanti-side offer.

  216. 216
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    In what way is this (child neglect laws) less vile than imposing chattel slavery?Still as stupid and inane as ever Joey, the village idjit. Only a total presuppositionalist fool would say what you did.

  217. 217
    Ing

    Oh look its joey, joey why did you feel the need to lie again?

  218. 218
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    As for Ray’s stupid 20 week argument, I will refer back to my post at #8. Shorter: At 5.5 months (ie 22 weeks) pregnant, a good friend of mine found out that her fetus has developmental abnormalities of its major organs. My friend’s life isn’t endangered any more than if she was carrying a healthy fetus, so should she be forced to carry until she delivers or has a stillbirth?

  219. 219
    Inaji

    Beatrice:

    I thought that kind of specimen would be in a deep dungeon by now.

    He was confined to Thunderdome at one point. At any rate, he’s been making the same stupid “arguments” for fucking ages on end. A true blue idiot, that one.

  220. 220
    joey

    daniellavine:

    In the case of abortion, you’re protecting someone’s bodily autonomy. In the case of child neglect laws, you’re protecting someone’s bodily autonomy. Not getting your argument here.

    But given the premise that the fetus is a person (what the thread is about), laws against abortion should also be considered as protecting someone’s bodily autonomy…the bodily autonomy of the fetus.

  221. 221
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Thanks, Caine (and Janine and KG before).
    I’m forgetful. And I keep mixing up joey and joed.

  222. 222
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Dang borked the blockquote in #216. The first sentence is Joey.

  223. 223
    daniellavine

    But given the premise that the fetus is a person (what the thread is about), laws against abortion should also be considered as protecting someone’s bodily autonomy…the bodily autonomy of the fetus.

    Why should I grant such a premise?

    Even if I did grant such a premise, you’d have to acknowledge that the bodily autonomy of two different human beings is at stake. Why does the fetus automatically get more consideration than the woman?

  224. 224
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Nick Gotts @60
    “abortion is safer than continuing the pregnancy at all points, means abortion on demand is the only acceptable policy.”

    Your premise is incorrect. Overall, as practised, abortion is many times safer than childbirth. Legal, sterile abortion is safer than pregnancy up until about sixteen weeks (see graph). After that, the danger of abortion i greater, though still not large, perhaps because of blood loss from a larger placenta.

    By the way, official pregnancy starts on the first day of the last menstrual period [LMP] so you’re “two weeks pregnant” at conception. Anti-choice folks use this to muddy the waters about gestation time and development.

  225. 225
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    But given the premise that the fetus is a person (what the thread is about), laws against abortion should also be considered as protecting someone’s bodily autonomy…the bodily autonomy of the fetus.

    Dude, this ground has been covered before. Read the fucking comments, I addressed this way back at #37:

    If it were to be accepted that blastocyst = person, not only would everything that a pregnant woman does be subject to legal scrutiny, but so would everything that any sexually active woman of childbearing age does. Virtually every woman would have her rights curtailed, no matter how careful she was about birth control. Everything from what a woman eats and drinks, to the drugs (legal or otherwise) she uses and activities she engages in are suddenly all weighed against the fact that she could be pregnant at any time. That’s a hell of a scary rabbit hole to go down.

    Fetal personhood laws do not only restrict a pregnant woman’s actions; all women (of childbearing age) would be subject to care for a embryo/fetus/whatever that might not even exist just in case she was pregnant.

    I wish you smug motherfuckers would admit that’s what you want.

  226. 226
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    Joey, the thread is about the premise that the fetus is NOT a person, do try to keep up.

    Maybe we should all be ignoring joey anyway. He’s like a 13-year-old making fart noises while the grownups try to talk.

  227. 227
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    All miscarriages prosecuted as possible murders. That sounds fun.

  228. 228
    joey

    daniellavine:

    Why should I grant such a premise?

    You don’t have to. I was just trying to stay on subject because that was the premise given by Matt Dillahunty at the debate.

    Even if I did grant such a premise, you’d have to acknowledge that the bodily autonomy of two different human beings is at stake. Why does the fetus automatically get more consideration than the woman?

    Why does the fetus of a child automatically get more consideration than the parents? Can’t the parents simply choose not to take care of their own children, at any time? Don’t they have the bodily autonomy not to be slaves to their own children?

  229. 229
    joey

    Ooops, meant to say…”Why does a child automatically get more consideration than the parents?”

  230. 230
    A. Noyd

    Ray Ingles (#61)

    If a woman can’t convince any doctor that there’s a medical problem, then maybe there isn’t one.

    If I’m pregnant and I don’t want to be, that’s a medical problem.

  231. 231
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    A. Noyd ,

    If I’m pregnant and I don’t want to be, that’s a medical problem.

    This.

  232. 232
    D

    Markita Lynda—threadrupt @ 224.
    That sort of comparison is misleading. Later term abortions are rare and done mainly because of complications. Comparing the death rate of those to pregnancy in general is a false comparison. You’d have to compare them to pregnancies not aborted after similar complication. I don’t know of any study having done so, but I’d wager Nick Gott’s statement is accurate.

  233. 233
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Why does the fetus of a child automatically get more consideration than the parents?

    1) “Fetus of a child” is nonsensical bullshit.

    2) When was the last time you were forced to donate an organ? You prolly have an extra kidney in there…

    3) A child has its own bodily autonomy when it becomes a child and is not dependent on another’s organs for its very survival. Pop quiz, dumbass: when does this happen?

  234. 234
    Inaji

    Markita Lynda:

    By the way, official pregnancy starts on the first day of the last menstrual period [LMP] so you’re “two weeks pregnant” at conception. Anti-choice folks use this to muddy the waters about gestation time and development.

    No, the reason for attempts to establish that as law is yet more delay in the case of women who would want an abortion.

  235. 235
    Inaji

    A. Noyd:

    If I’m pregnant and I don’t want to be, that’s a medical problem.

    QFMFT.

  236. 236
    dianne

    @224: I think your graph has some old data in it. The average risk of pregnancy related mortality in the US is 14 per 100,000, putting it somewhat higher than abortion after 16 weeks. It should also be noted that abortions after 16 weeks are rarely elective so the women undergoing them are usually high risk and the number 14 per 100,000 is probably an underestimate for this patient group.

  237. 237
    daniellavine

    You don’t have to. I was just trying to stay on subject because that was the premise given by Matt Dillahunty at the debate.

    It very explicitly was not. Dillahunty said that premise was tangential to his argument, which was true. Dillahunty did not argue from that premise.

    Why does the fetus of a child automatically get more consideration than the parents? Can’t the parents simply choose not to take care of their own children, at any time? Don’t they have the bodily autonomy not to be slaves to their own children?

    “Fetus of a child”? Never mind, I think I see what you’re saying.

    Parents are not the least bit slaves to their children. As far as I know, all jurisdictions have laws by which parents who believe they are unfit can cede responsibility of their children to the state or to other people better capable of dealing with that responsibility. Besides that, children are not typically capable of feeding and housing themselves until at least age 16 or so, so if you’re going to have children then you do have a certain responsibility to be prepared to feed and house them at least that long.

    You’re predictable enough that I know your next argument. “But people who get pregnant have a responsibility!” One can get pregnant without the intention of getting pregnant — it’s much more difficult to have children without the intention of having children. Besides that, one way to avoid “being a slave to your children” is to have an abortion, so if you’re serious about that argument presumably you should be in favor of abortion.

  238. 238
    daniellavine

    Shorter: in terms of legal rights, parents have more than the child does. ”Why does a child automatically get more consideration than the parents?” is the opposite of how it is in the real world.

  239. 239
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Ray, it’s none of your god-damned business, so butt the fuck out!

  240. 240
    Inaji

    daniellavine, if you’re going to insist on interaction with joey, would you please consider taking it to Thunderdome? The rest of us are all too familiar with joey’s crap and it simply won’t stop if he’s given any encouragement.

  241. 241
    joey

    Audley:

    1) “Fetus of a child” is nonsensical bullshit.

    Typo. Sorry.

    2) When was the last time you were forced to donate an organ?

    Never. But the state “forces” me to provide basic care to my children every day.

    3) A child has its own bodily autonomy when it becomes a child and is not dependent on another’s organs for its very survival.

    But a newborn infant is still very dependent on people to nourish/care for it. It can’t do that by itself. So how much “autonomy” does an infant really have? Not significantly much more than a fetus in the womb.

  242. 242
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Joey:
    I’m done with you. You’ve proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are by far the stupidest person here.

    You can continue to spew; I’m going to look for something more interesting to snack on.

  243. 243
    joey

    Markita:

    abortion is safer than continuing the pregnancy at all points, means abortion on demand is the only acceptable policy. -Nick Gotts

    Your premise is incorrect. Overall, as practised, abortion is many times safer than childbirth. Legal, sterile abortion is safer than pregnancy up until about sixteen weeks (see graph). After that, the danger of abortion i greater, though still not large, perhaps because of blood loss from a larger placenta.

    Helpful information Markita. Thanks.

  244. 244
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    SC, I realize Westin is way over-priced but you gotta admit the complimentary scoop of Abor-sherbet™ is really nice finish to a weekend of luxury terminations.

  245. 245
    LykeX

    laws against abortion should also be considered as protecting someone’s bodily autonomy…the bodily autonomy of the fetus.

    At the expense of the bodily autonomy of the mother. Child neglect laws, however, do not violate the bodily autonomy of anyone. Gee, that almost sounds like a relevant different. How about that.

  246. 246
    LykeX

    ”Why does a child automatically get more consideration than the parents?”

    It doesn’t. In the case of child neglect laws, it’s the bodily autonomy of the child vs. the economic autonomy of the parents. Not an equivalent comparison.

  247. 247
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Some U.S. states have even passed laws allowing anti-choice medical personnel to lie to women, e.g. tell them they’re not pregnant, they’re not in danger, or their fetus is fine, avoiding their responsibility without danger of being reprimanded, fired, or sued for malpractice. They are allowed to do this so that women’s access to abortion can be delayed past arbitrary cutoff dates. It causes both more danger to the women, greater expense, and greater suffering. It makes recovery times longer. Unlike a woman with an acknowledged pregnancy, a single woman has to undergo an abortion without showing any signs of pain or distress when she goes back to her normal life. Delaying abortion makes that harder.

    In Canada the only laws concerning abortion are those governing good medical practice and arguments about who pays for abortions in clinics. (One province is still refusing to fund clinic abortions in spite of federal regulations, because of anti-choice political sentiment.) Nevertheless, pregnancy tests are getting better and legal abortion is getting earlier and safer. That is all. No abortiplexes, no dead fetuses in the gutter.

  248. 248
    Ichthyic

    Helpful information Markita. Thanks.

    translation:

    “This is stuff I can misrepresent to support my position!”

    slimy.

    So how much “autonomy” does an infant really have? Not significantly much more than a fetus in the womb.

    except for the fact that POST natal care can be provided easily by ANYONE.

    if you can’t see the difference there, you’re bugfuck nuts.

  249. 249
    joey

    daniellavine:

    It very explicitly was not. Dillahunty said that premise was tangential to his argument, which was true. Dillahunty did not argue from that premise.

    I understand that. But he argued that even if the fetus is considered a person, then abortion would still be justifiable. I’m refuting that argument, simply because a mother providing care for a fetus is not really distinguishable from a parent providing care for a child, given the premise that the fetus and child are considered persons. If parents are already “forced” to provide basic care to their children, why would it matter if their children are in utero?

    As far as I know, all jurisdictions have laws by which parents who believe they are unfit can cede responsibility of their children to the state or to other people better capable of dealing with that responsibility.

    That is also why there is state-funded adoption.

  250. 250
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    if you can’t see the difference there, you’re bugfuck nuts.

    That was a proven conclusion months ago.

  251. 251
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Mythbri @156, you missed a period! Try “In re A.C.“.

    In re A.C. was a 1987 D.C. Circuit reproductive rights case. It was the first appellate court decision to “take a stand against” forced caesarean sections.[1] Angela Carder (née Stoner) was forced to undergo a life-threatening Caesarean section in an unsuccessful attempt to save the life of her fetus. The case stands as a landmark in United States case law establishing the rights of pregnant women to determine their own health care.

  252. 252
    dianne

    Markita: I apologize for my regionalism: Your data was probably for Canada. So late second trimester and third trimester abortions are less dangerous than completing an average risk pregnancy in Canada. Good to know, but the same is not true in the US where the risk is about double that of Canada’s. And why that should be…is a complete mystery (cough health insurance cough).

  253. 253
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    SC, I realize Westin is way over-priced but you gotta admit the complimentary scoop of Abor-sherbet™ is really nice finish to a weekend of luxury terminations.

    Well, that’s true. And the peachy flesh-tone is a stunning contrast to my champagne and black robe.

    Elegant.

  254. 254
    LykeX

    a mother providing care for a fetus is not really distinguishable from a parent providing care for a child

    It’s not? Are you insane or just stupid?

    How about this for a difference:
    If the child is born, the care can be transferred to another person, temporarily or permanently. This cannot be done with a fetus.
    I.e. the care of the child doesn’t impact the bodily autonomy of the mother once the child is born.

  255. 255
    Ichthyic

    That was a proven conclusion months ago.

    fair enough.

  256. 256
    Ichthyic

    I’m refuting that argument

    well, actually you just think you are.

    It’s readily apparent to anyone with half a brain you’re just flailing about.

  257. 257
    LykeX

    If parents are already “forced” to provide basic care to their children, why would it matter if their children are in utero?

    It’s the same difference as paying for dialysis treatment and donating a kidney.

  258. 258
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    a mother providing care for a fetus is not really distinguishable from a parent providing care for a child

    Right. That’s exactly why, when I was 8 months pregnant and wanted a chance to stretch my bladder or roll over in bed without feeling like a beluga whale, I was able to hand the pregnancy over to my husband and say “I’ve had her all day, now you take fetus duty”.

    OH WAIT.

  259. 259
    LykeX

    I’m not sure if it’s quite rational, but I always feel that I’m on the right side of an argument when the opposing side starts talking complete crap.

    Needless to say, I’m quite astonishingly certain that I’m right on this particular matter.

  260. 260
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    kristinc:

    “I’ve had her all day, now you take fetus duty”

    Wait! You mean to say that people don’t lay eggs?

    Bummer.

  261. 261
    PatrickG

    @ Ray Ingles:

    Nah, just saying I only care about the arguments.

    While you said this to indicate your own emotional integrity in the face of oppobrium, this is quite descriptive of your general attitude. You clearly value the arguments over the people involved.

    Otherwise, you wouldn’t be basing your strategy on solutions on foundations like:

    But still, personhood is an issue that a lot of people worry about.

    a lot of people really are squeamish about abortion

    people have a strong emotional reaction to the surgical procedure of abortion. So talking about personhood, clearly defining it, and pointing out what we know and don’t know about it is important.

    I implore you to stop saying that we need to violate the principle of bodily autonomy because people have emotional reactions to abortion. While consideration of emotion is quite useful in framing debates and changing public opinion, it is emphatically not a basis for restricting rights. So please, just stop doing it.

    A ludicrous example to illustrate just how completely irrational you’re being: people have emotional reactions to homosexuals — in fact, they’re quite squeamish about that nasty gaybuttsex. So how about we grant them the right to be openly gay as long as they sign papers affirming they’ll never engage in non-hetero sexual activity? Compromise!

    You’re quite obsessed with the concept of personhood. However, the person in question here is the woman. Why is this so difficult for you to grasp? Why do you have to continually engage in this argument on terms that explicitly deny the personhood of the woman.

    As Matt Penfold pointed out abortion isn’t DIY so a doctor’s participation is pretty much necessary as-is.

    Um, really? Matt Penfold pointed out that abortion shouldn’t be DIY, because medical procedures tend to go better when handled by professionals.

    The only thing that’s “necessary” for an abortion is a desperation (usually accompanied by induced trauma, e.g. use of a coat hanger or repeated blows to the abdomen). Being willing to ignore history is not a substitute for an actual argument.

    [Note: I made it to #164 before I just had to respond. I'm sure others have responded to these points. I just got tired of not commenting because other people do it well!]

  262. 262
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    Audley, I really would have thought you’d noticed by now. Due to, you know, REASONS. And also FACTORS.

  263. 263
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Care is different from life support. The entire point of gestation is that it is can be provided only by the pregnant woman and is therefore in her gift.

    D., you may well be right about why late abortions are more dangerous but those are the figures as they stand now.

    In the previous graph, take extra-special note of the tall red bar on the far right. That’s how much illegal abortion is more dangerous than childbirth. Banning abortion forces women to risk their lives, not only because childbirth is more dangerous but also because illegal abortion is more dangerous. Look at the graph here where maternal and infant deaths both fell by 75% after abortion was legalized.

    Caine, you are right. I was particularly disgusted that legislatures were taking the opportunity to force people to use the LMP as the beginning of pregnancy instead of the actual estimated start, knowing that it would distort previously established legislation about when abortions can be done.

  264. 264
    Amphiox

    Hey, isn’t gooey the tyrant slavemaster of women and doctors already confined to Thunderdome? What’s it doing here?

  265. 265
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    kristinc:

    Audley, I really would have thought you’d noticed by now. Due to, you know, REASONS. And also FACTORS.

    You mean this Buddha belly didn’t come about because of my love of french fries? Huh. Explains why it’s been moving around so much.

  266. 266
    Ichthyic

    Wait! You mean to say that people don’t lay eggs?

    I’m betting you’re now considering serious pain reduction methods…

    :)

    on the more personal note:

    Wish you all the best with your spawning!

  267. 267
    Amphiox

    I.e. the care of the child doesn’t impact the bodily autonomy of the mother once the child is born.

    gooey doesn’t grok the concept of individual bodily autonomy.

    Never has.

    Except, of course, for its own.

  268. 268
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Thanks, Ichthy!

  269. 269
    Inaji

    Audley:

    You mean this Buddha belly didn’t come about because of my love of french fries?

    It was the evil tobacco, Audley. I know this, ’cause I was watching one of those silly cop shows the other day, and a man called for paramedics, saying he had abdominal pain and he was pregnant. He explained that he got pregnant from tobacco – smoking, you know, because tobacco has thoughts and it wants to be a person.

    Now you know.

  270. 270
    Ichthyic

    people have emotional reactions to [a particular subset of] homosexuals — in fact, they’re quite squeamish about that nasty gaybuttsex.

    ftfy.

    gay bashers rarely seem to have a problem with same sex relationships of the female variety.

    I’ve always found that interesting. I know why it is, really, but I still find it interesting.

  271. 271
    Amphiox

    If parents are already “forced” to provide basic care to their children, why would it matter if their children are in utero?

    The “requirement” of course (as gooey deliberately ignores) ENDS with bodily autonomy.

    That care which parents are expected to provide to their children is such care as can be provided without endangerment of their own life and limb.

    Parents are NOT expected to provide basic care to their children when doing so puts their own lives and health at jeopardy.

    They are celebrated and lauded when they do so, praised as heroes even if the cases are sufficiently extreme, but they are NOT REQUIRED.

    Pregnancy, of course, even the most routine, puts the woman’s life and health at jeopardy.

  272. 272
    Ichthyic

    was watching one of those silly cop shows the other day, and a man called for paramedics, saying he had abdominal pain and he was pregnant. He explained that he got pregnant from tobacco – smoking, you know, because tobacco has thoughts and it wants to be a person.

    O.o

    lolwut??

    please can has link to comedy?

    was this NTSF:SD:SUV?

  273. 273
    LykeX

    So, have the nitwits given up or are they just resting? Pining for the fjords, perhaps?

  274. 274
    Koshka

    But the state “forces” me to provide basic care to my children every day.

    A good reason you should not have had children.

    Amongst others.

  275. 275
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    In Daily Kos, William F. Harrison tells “Why I provide abortions.”
    I provide abortions for my patients and for any other girl or woman who feels this her best option…

    “I learned [to be pro-choice]… by seeing the repercussions of desperation walk, and crawl, and be carried through our emergency room door three, four, five times, every night for four years. Each night we would admit to the wards of University Hospital in Little Rock (a fairly small hospital, as metropolitan hospitals go) girls and women with raging fevers, extraordinary uterine and pelvic infections, enormous blood loss, and a multitude of serious injuries of the pelvic and intra-abdominal organs as a result of illegal and self-induced abortions.”

    The figures for the first graph are probably not from Canada but from either the WHO or the Guttmacher Institute. I will poke around and try to find the reference.

  276. 276
    Ichthyic

    So, have the nitwits given up or are they just resting?

    my guess?

    dumbass has gone off to take the data that Markita posted and spin it to a more favorable audience.

    then it will return, much inflated with ego.

  277. 277
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Caine:

    He explained that he got pregnant from tobacco – smoking, you know, because tobacco has thoughts and it wants to be a person.

    So, wait. I shouldn’t have quit since I’m having a lil’ ‘bacco behbeh?

    God damn it!

  278. 278
    Amphiox

    But a newborn infant is still very dependent on people to nourish/care for it.

    Not BODILY autonomy.

    It can’t do that by itself.

    NOT bodily autonomy.

    So how much “autonomy” does an infant really have?

    Full bodily AUTONOMY.

    Not significantly much more than a fetus in the womb.

    The ability to breath independently being something in the gooey’s understanding to be “not significant”.

  279. 279
    Ichthyic

    So, wait. I shouldn’t have quit since I’m having a lil’ ‘bacco behbeh?

    hey, you’ve learned a lot today!

    ;)

  280. 280
    Nepenthe

    So, have the nitwits given up or are they just resting?

    Reading goes much slower when you have to sound out each word. Be patient.

  281. 281
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    This also turned up, again without a citation.

    Risk of death per year:

    In an accident: 1 in 2 900
    In a car accident: 1 in 5 000
    Childbirth: 1 in 8 700
    From a fall: 1 in 20 000
    Using contraceptives: about 1 in 60 000
    Riding a bicycle: 1 in 130 000
    Surgical abortion: about 1 in 500 000

    And here’s a relevant cartoon.

  282. 282
    Inaji

    Ichthyic:

    lolwut??

    please can has link to comedy?

    No comedy, for real. I found the clip though – in my previous post, I left out the T-rex eggs and magicians. You can see for yourself, have fun!

  283. 283
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Well, you can browse, too. Various snippets can be found here: Pro-Choice Canada.

  284. 284
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    My docs are gonna be so surprised!

  285. 285
    Inaji

    Audley:

    So, wait. I shouldn’t have quit since I’m having a lil’ ‘bacco behbeh?

    God damn it!

    Apparently so. Wait…you weren’t a T-rex in a previous life, were you?

  286. 286
    Ichthyic

    whoah.

    “did you smoke anything tonight?”

    “Just cigarettes.”

    well, there you have it. another reason not to smoke:

    YOU WILL BE INFESTED WITH TREX EGGS!!!

  287. 287
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Caine:
    *sigh* Now I need to find a past-life regression therapist or whateverthefuck they call themselves.

    *rawr!*

  288. 288
    Ichthyic

    *rawr!*

    hey, say it like you mean it!

  289. 289
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    [meta]

    Ray Ingles (whom I suspect is a Brit) seems to be arguing for the UK’s policy of accessible, free, legal, and safe abortions up to a term limit. He (I presume; I could be wrong) seems to be advocating a term limit of 20 weeks, versus the UK’s current 24 weeks. We could argue the exact number.

    That said, if putting a term limit for accessible, free, legal, and safe abortions ensures that free, legal, and safe abortions remain accessible, maybe that’s a compromise most people would accept?

    Matt Penfold @#159:

    He is wanting to prevent something that does not happen.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/sep/17/woman-jailed-taking-drugs-to-abort-child

    (The sentence was shockingly harsh, but …)

  290. 290
    Rutee Katreya

    But given the premise that the fetus is a person (what the thread is about), laws against abortion should also be considered as protecting someone’s bodily autonomy…the bodily autonomy of the fetus.

    Meaningless until society decides that it’s time to harvest organs from people forcibly. You’ve got two kidneys, presumably. People need one of them.

  291. 291
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    hey, say it like you mean it!

    *rawr?*

  292. 292
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    From the “relative risks” research:

    The risk of death from pregnancy and delivery is about 1 in 8700, lower than the annual risk of death from an automobile accident but higher than the annual risk of death from use of combined oral contraceptives (OCs) for all women except those aged 35–44 years who smoke and higher than the risk of death from abortion, even at gestational ages ≥21 weeks.

    So that seems to contradict my earlier graph.

    Also,

    The risk of death is about the same from medication abortion and from surgical abortion; however, the risk of death from surgical abortion is greatest for higher gestational ages where medication abortion is not used. Nevertheless, induced abortion is safer than continuing pregnancy and entails about the same risk as spontaneous abortion.

  293. 293
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    The annoying thing about Ray is that he seems to be discussing this from a point of lofty noninvolvement, an amusing topic to throw around and consider philosophically at his debating club, instead of as an issue that affects our lives and health. It reeks of male privilege.

  294. 294
    anat

    To Ray Ingles,

    Just FYI, because you are naive enough to believe the current US situation enables any woman who is endangered by her pregnancy access to abortion, see When a politician decides if the life of the mother is at risk.

    Makes you happy?

  295. 295
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    @cm’s changeable moniker

    That said, if putting a term limit for accessible, free, legal, and safe abortions ensures that free, legal, and safe abortions remain accessible, maybe that’s a compromise most people would accept?

    No. First, we know that the anti-choice people will not accept that. They don’t want any abortions taking place at all, since pregnancy is God’s punishment for being a slut woman. It says so in the Bible. They will do whatever it takes to make sure that God gets his way: obstruction, propaganda, shame, lies, harassment, rape, and murder.

    Second, those who believe that women are persons and not chattel shouldn’t compromise by condoning anyone be forced to remain pregnant for any longer than they consent to it.

  296. 296
    Inaji

    That said, if putting a term limit for accessible, free, legal, and safe abortions ensures that free, legal, and safe abortions remain accessible, maybe that’s a compromise most people would accept?

    What on earth makes you think that? Lifers gave up on getting Roe rescinded some time ago, as it’s proven much more effective to enact laws which skirt it, effectively banning legal abortion for the majority of women. Every single limit is one more way to erode access, which is why lifers work so damn hard for any fucking limit they think they can get into law.

  297. 297
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Ray Ingles,

    A “moderate” right-to-lifer is one who has run low on ammunition. Remember, these folks believe that “the soul” is what makes one human, whether one is 30 or a zygote.

  298. 298
    Amphiox

    Ray Ingles (whom I suspect is a Brit) seems to be arguing for the UK’s policy of accessible, free, legal, and safe abortions up to a term limit. He (I presume; I could be wrong) seems to be advocating a term limit of 20 weeks, versus the UK’s current 24 weeks. We could argue the exact number.

    24 weeks at least is not a wholly arbitrary number, and actually has real world relevance. 24 weeks is the current absolute minimum age, with maximum modern medical intervention, after which a preemie infant has a chance of some sort of long term survival. In other words it is the age of current-maximum-medically-supported-viability. And the UK, having a universal access public single payer health system, at least in theory, would not be requiring the woman to pay for that extremely expensive medical care out of her own pocket.

    Ray’s 20 weeks though, has absolutely zero real-world relevance as a threshold for anything. It is an arbitrary number pulled out of an arbitrary ass.

  299. 299
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Bollocks. I forgot to add the requisite: This healthcare policy does not apply in the US.

    (“the UK’s policy of accessible, free, legal, and safe abortions up to a term limit [etc.]“)

    Sorry.

  300. 300
    Inaji

    This healthcare policy does not apply in the US.

    Why do you think such a restriction is a good idea in the UK? It’s not as though you don’t have anti-abortion people there. You don’t have the same amount of rabid lifers, but neither did we, at one point.

  301. 301
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)
    This healthcare policy does not apply in the US.

    Why do you think such a restriction is a good idea in the UK?

    I don’t.

    I mean: while I consider this to be a good healthcare policy, I appreciate that the realities of American politics mean that it may not be attainable.

    Sorry.

  302. 302
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    @cm’s changeable moniker

    Why do you think this is “a good healthcare policy” anywhere?

  303. 303
    anteprepro

    Here’s the thing about the “but child neglect laws!” argument against abortion: Abortion isn’t about death. It is about ending the pregnancy; removing something from another’s body. Because no-one should be forced to provide their body to another. Death is incidental to ending the pregnancy. When the child is autonomous, viable, alive and independent biologically , it is still independent economically. So the anti-choicer says “A-ha, your argument means that you shouldn’t be forced to support them, and therefore you are allowed to let them starve to death!”. But letting the child die due to lack of support isn’t analogous to abortion, because in abortion there is no other source of support available . In real life, with a biologically independent child, you have the option of adoption if you don’t want to support it. Just like in real life, you can’t just move a biologically dependent to someone else’s body in order to let someone else finish the pregnancy.

    The analogy simply doesn’t stand. And the fact that this would be obvious if the anti-choicers happened to remember the existence of adoption when it doesn’t help their arguments is the icing on the cake.

  304. 304
    Ing

    Joey has violated his banishment and should be abortabanned.

    @303

    Joey knows this because I know I at least explained to him that at a certain stage the procedure for aborting a pregnancy is delivery. So he’s full of shit

  305. 305
    Ing

    Hey how’s that for a compromise, when the pregnancy is far enough along that the risk of abortion >>> delivery we will induce delivery to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Sound fair?

    Goddamn squeamish dillards, clearly everyone not just bio majors need to spend a class castrating pigs and removing mummified piglet fetuses in order to get some perspective on gooey issues

  306. 306
    Amphiox

    Joey knows this because I know I at least explained to him that at a certain stage the procedure for aborting a pregnancy is delivery. So he’s full of shit

    As did I.

    The gooey of course ignores it because if it didn’t, it would have had nothing left to say months ago.

  307. 307
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Patient walks into OB’s office. She’s 39 weeks pregnant and was chatting last week about getting the baby’s room ready.

    I’m always wondering what pro-lifers imagine an abortion would look like at that point…
    Apart from the dreaded “partial birth abortion”, of course…

    joey

    What about “forcing” parents to provide nourishment/care for their children?

    Well, unless the babes are literally vampires that literally suck the blood from your veins I don’t see how that has anything to do with the topic at hand.

    But given the premise that the fetus is a person (what the thread is about), laws against abortion should also be considered as protecting someone’s bodily autonomy…the bodily autonomy of the fetus.

    Yeah, and in case of an ongoing violent assault you mustn’t protect yourself ’cause of the bodily autonomy of the attacker. Idiot.

    Can’t the parents simply choose not to take care of their own children, at any time?

    There’s something called Child Protection Services. If I really think I cannot deal with the critter anymore, I can go tehre and get help for the kid.

    Don’t they have the bodily autonomy not to be slaves to their own children?

    Apparently you don’t understand what bodily autonomy means.

  308. 308
    Old At Heart

    Gentlefolks of all four gender persuasions, I propose a solution: We kill all living beings. Now, hear me out, I think this is a valid solution:

    Most pro-lifers are very anti-life once it’s free of its non-person-no-rights-sustenance-pod, so they can agree with this.

    Most pro-choicers are very big on the whole abortion on whims and mass murder of billions eugenics hitler ate sugar Marxofascist thing, so they can agree with this too.

    Of course, we wouldn’t want the pro-lifers to feel bad that they’re possibly killing prospective future lives in the indeterminate future by killing the neutrals and pro-choicers, so pro-lifers can have the glory of dying first. Might I suggest by viking funeral, to cover as many religious bases as possible?

    …They gone? Okay, I think we can skip step two.

    [Translation for the humour impaired: Those proporting to be pro-life but are really just anti-choice? Go die in a fire.]

  309. 309
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I’m refuting that argument, simply because a mother providing care for a fetus is not really distinguishable from a parent providing care for a child, given the premise that the fetus and child are considered persons.

    Says the guy who has gone thrpugh pregnancy and childbirth 10 times already…
    Oh, wait…

  310. 310
    Ing

    Gentlefolks of all four gender persuasions, I propose a solution: We kill all living beings. Now, hear me out, I think this is a valid solution:

    Most pro-lifers are very anti-life once it’s free of its non-person-no-rights-sustenance-pod, so they can agree with this.

    Most pro-choicers are very big on the whole abortion on whims and mass murder of billions eugenics hitler ate sugar Marxofascist thing, so they can agree with this too.

    THE CRIME IS LIFE THE SENTENCE IS DEATH!

  311. 311
    Ichthyic

    24 weeks at least is not a wholly arbitrary number

    actually, I would argue that it is.

    as you note, that is the CURRENT value for when artificial systems can potentially make a premie survive.

    next year, it might be 20 weeks.

    next decade, maybe 4 weeks.

    after that? seems probably we will be able to artificially sustain human development from fertilization onwards.

    IOW, 24 weeks as a date is just as arbitrary as natural partum.

    it still doesn’t address autonomy issues. It still opens the door to forced pregnancies, even if the idea is that the child you didn’t want will be raised by the state in a test tube.

    I’ll stick with actual natural birth as being the dividing line where we as a society assign rights to an individual aside from the rights of the mother.

  312. 312
    chigau (違う)

    Old At Heart
    Why only four?
    Who are you excluding?

  313. 313
    Ichthyic

    abortabanned

    stored for future reference!

  314. 314
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    I’ll stick with actual natural birth as being the dividing line where we as a society assign rights to an individual aside from the rights of the mother.

    While I agree with your other sentiments, I would personally substitute “live birth” in the place of “natural birth”.

  315. 315
    carlie

    Oh, wow. The argument “a newborn is just like a fetus in terms of the care it needs from an adult” can ONLY be made by someone who has never been pregnant. Heck, or ever noticed anyone else being pregnant in the near vicinity. Or has dealt with an infant. I get the distinct impression that children in general are simply thought experiments to joey, and that he has never encountered one at any age or any stage of development in the wild before. This is why people like him have no business making any decisions about women and their health care.

  316. 316
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    I love you guys here so much. I got so depressed at the beginning of this thread yet you guys show support, care and humor that kept me off the deep end.

    I really, really hate forced-birthers. You know all those, “but it rarely happens anyways cases? I could easily and if I get pregnant again, would probably become one of those cases.

    I am a poor single mother. I seriously freak out at the chance of becoming pregnant. I had sex once 5 months ago and I still freak out about it. I knew a girl who had her period 6 months into her pregnancy. It could happen. That simple chance scares the fuck out of me.

    Oh and even if I miss my period the very first month of pregnancy, I still worry because I live in Arizona. Do you realize how fucked up Arizona’s laws are on abortion? I have all these loops to jump through and that’s if I could afford it. It could easily take 6 months for me to raise the funds, even with the Horde helping. Then where am I? Begging and searching for a way to have an illegal abortion. And you know what? I bet your fucking ass I’m going to try for one. Because another child? Another pregnancy? Fuck that noise. I don’t want it. I use birth control for that very reason, the 10 year IUD. The only way to get more permanent birth control is to tie my tubes and no doctor will do that for someone so young like me. Yet I’m still scared about having sex because I know if I get pregnant I’m screwed.

    The forced birthers are winning. They want people, specifically young women like me scared and shamed about sex and absolutely screwed if have an unwanted pregnancy. So no, no fucking limits at all on my damn bodily autonomy.

  317. 317
    LykeX

    The only way to get more permanent birth control is to tie my tubes and no doctor will do that for someone so young like me

    Which is a whole other level of WTF. It’s one thing for a doctor to ask a few questions of the patient to make sure they realize that such a procedure could be irreversible, it’s quite another for a doctor to refuse performing it.
    I don’t see why it’s any of their goddamn business. If the patient wants it and is fully informed of the consequences, then shut up and tie those tubes.

    It’s back to the catch-22: If you get pregnant, you can’t get an abortion because you need to take responsibility, but if you try to be responsible and get your tubes tied, they won’t let you do that either.

    I swear, it’s enough to make you sick.

  318. 318
    sonderval

    I have a question conerning the “full bodily autonomy” concept:
    Is this not also violated when I’m required by law to, for example, use mouth-to-mouth ventilation on an unconscious person – this also puts me in danger (from infection, for example), but I might be sued with non-assistance of a person in danger?

    Does this not show that there are limits to bodily autonomy and that the assumption “no one else can claim rights in your body” is false?

  319. 319
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Another level of WTF, I had to find a doctor old enough to remember Roe V Wade to give me an IUD at all. My original doctor refused to give me one. When I asked my first OB/GYN, Did he think it was a good idea for me to use a different less stable less reliable form of birth control and have another child before I hit 20 years old? His response was “That’s not my decision to make.” Damn straight, it’s not. It’s mine, but he was referring to God. Fucking forced birther assholes. He went on to cover up, saying that it was too much of a risk due to the complications that arise if you get an STD while having an IUD. Several offices said that I called, said it wasn’t advisable and wouldn’t give me a straight answer if they would still give me one. I knew all the risks, read up on it. I was willing to take the risk of losing my fertility in order to not worry about birth control for 10 years, especially since I had no idea how I was going to pay for it once I got kicked off the state insurance.

    I mean I know I was young at the time but damn, I knew I didn’t want to have another child. I knew how to be responsible. I am responsible. My body, my risks, my fucking decision. End of story.

    Fuck getting a doctors permission slip signed twice. Doctors are people too; people that are stupid or biased or judgmental or just plain hateful. Doctors are not gods to be assumed to right, especially not in the case of women’s heath where the history is documented to be so inhumane and horrible.

  320. 320
    LykeX

    His response was “That’s not my decision to make.”

    Hell ye…

    …but he was referring to God

    Oh. *sigh*

    He went on to cover up, saying that it was too much of a risk due to…

    Who gets to decide what level of risk is acceptable? The goddamn patient! I guess he slept through the ethics courses in med school.

    @sonderval

    when I’m required by law to, for example, use mouth-to-mouth ventilation on an unconscious person

    Are you required by law to do so? I don’t think that’s true for my own country, but I’m unsure about US law.
    Certainly I would think that if you have a reasonable suspicion of an infectious disease, it’s a legitimate reason to not perform mouth-to-mouth.
    Usually, the rule is that you’re required to do whatever you can to save someone else, except if it puts you in harms way to do so.

  321. 321
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    I have a question conerning the “full bodily autonomy” concept:
    Is this not also violated when I’m required by law to, for example, use mouth-to-mouth ventilation on an unconscious person – this also puts me in danger (from infection, for example), but I might be sued with non-assistance of a person in danger?

    Does this not show that there are limits to bodily autonomy and that the assumption “no one else can claim rights in your body” is false?

    Firstly, are you required to give blood or organs to help people? That’s far more analogous to this than simple mouth to mouth.

    Secondly, laws greatly vary from place to place so get specific.
    Thirdly, You are assuming we agree with such laws. While I think it would be the right thing to at least call for emergency assistance to help, I do not think it should be legally enforced for people to give another assistance. All kinds of things can go wrong, and people could freeze. Not calling for help is the farthest I’m willing to make people go legally. Would it be great for people to go beyond that? Yes, but I’m not okay with legally forcing that on people.

    From Wiki:

    Common law

    In the common law of most anglosphere countries, there is no general duty to come to the rescue of another.[1] Generally, a person cannot be held liable for doing nothing while another person is in peril.[2][3] However, such a duty may arise in two situations:

    A duty to rescue arises where a person creates a hazardous situation. If another person then falls into peril because of this hazardous situation, the creator of the hazard – who may not necessarily have been a negligent tortfeasor – has a duty to rescue the individual in peril.[4]
    Such a duty also arises where a “special relationship” exists. For example:
    Emergency workers (firefighters, emergency medical technicians, etc.) have a general duty to rescue the public within the scope of their employment. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled in Warren v. DC that the police have no duty to protect any citizen not in custody, and cannot be sued for their failure to protect.[5]
    Parents have a duty to rescue their minor children. This duty also applies to those acting in loco parentis, such as schools or babysitters.[6]
    Common carriers have a duty to rescue their patrons.[7]
    Employers have an obligation to rescue employees, under an implied contract theory.[8]
    Property owners have a duty to rescue invitees but not trespassers from all dangers on the property.
    Spouses have a duty to rescue each other in all U.S. jurisdictions.[9]
    In the United States, as of 2009 ten states had laws on the books requiring that people at least notify law enforcement of and/or seek aid for strangers in peril under certain conditions: California,[10][11] Florida,[10][12][13] Hawaii,[10][14] Massachusetts,[10][15] Minnesota,[10][16] Ohio,[10][17] Rhode Island,[10][18] Vermont,[10][19] Washington,[10][20][21] and Wisconsin.[10][22] These laws are also referred to as Good Samaritan laws, despite their difference from laws of the same name that protect individuals that try to help another person.[1] These laws are rarely applied, and are generally ignored by citizens and lawmakers.[1]

    Where a duty to rescue arises, the rescuer must generally act with reasonable care, and can be held liable for injuries caused by a reckless rescue attempt. However, many states have limited or removed liability from rescuers in such circumstances, particularly where the rescuer is an emergency worker. Furthermore, the rescuer need not endanger himself in conducting the rescue.
    U.S. example

    In an 1898 case, the New Hampshire Supreme Court unanimously held that after an eight year-old boy negligently placed his hand in the defendant’s machinery, the boy had no right to be rescued by the defendant. Beyond that, the trespassing boy could be held liable for damages to the defendant’s machine.[23]

  322. 322
    Anri

    So, in essence, this argument is not about exactly when in the course of pregnancy a fetus starts being a human, it’s about when in the course of pregnancy, a woman stops being a human, right?

  323. 323
    sonderval

    @LykeX
    Here in Germany, this is indeed law AFAIK. According to Wikipedia (German, sorry):
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rechtliche_Aspekte_bei_Hilfeleistung#Zumutbarkeit_der_Hilfe
    it is indeed not clear if the fear of, e.g. AIDS, would be a sufficient reason not to help someone because they might be infected, and I might possibly be sued for not helping because of that.

    @JAL
    I am not sure if donating an organ would be comparable, but being forced to give blood is a better comparison to being pregnant – I fully agree. I just wanted to point out that the “bodily autonomy” argument is not as absolute as some here seem to see it. (And I also agree that – since we are not forced to donate blood – no woman should be forced to continue a pregancy if she sees danger to her (physical or mental – which she alone can judge) health. My question was concerned only with the way the bodily autonomy was stated here by some.)

    I admit I never thought that someone could not agree with such a law requiring you to help – where would you put the limit? Giving someone drowning a hand (I might rupture a muscle)?

  324. 324
    dianne

    I am not sure if donating an organ would be comparable, but being forced to give blood is a better comparison to being pregnant

    I disagree. The risk of giving blood is negligible. In 2011, there were two fatalities in blood donors shortly after donation. In one case the donation was definitively ruled out as being implicated in the donor’s death. In the other, there was no evidence to support a causal connection, but the connection couldn’t be disproven. So, no evidence of real risk there. Pregnancy, in contrast, has a 14 per 100,000 case fatality rate in the US (somewhat lower in Germany and other first world countries, but still clearly non-zero risk.)

    Kidney donation, last time I saw numbers, had a risk of something around 30 per 100,000: a little riskier than pregnancy, but same order of magnitude. And, unlike blood donation, pregnancy leaves the body permanently altered, even when everything goes perfectly. Like kidney donation, these changes don’t necessarily affect life expectancy or quality of life, but they can add a small amount of danger. For example, a c-section means abdominal scarring, which makes any subsequent abdominal surgery that much riskier. Pelvic floor changes from vaginal delivery can increase the risk of urinary issues including potentially deadly infections.

    So, all in all, I think kidney donation is the nearer analogy.

  325. 325
    sonderval

    @dianne
    The reason why I did not like the “donating organ”-analogy is because here you lose an organ permanently.
    But you are right – blood donation is too risk-less to provide a good comparison. And, since we are not even forced to do that, forcing someone to a pregnancy seems impossible to defend.

  326. 326
    dianne

    Sonderval: Marrow donation, maybe? It’s about an order of magnitude safer than completing a pregnancy (i.e. about 10x as dangerous as abortion), but it involves only the loss of renewable tissue and does have some risk. Furthermore, the tissue typing has to be a closer match than one can get away with with solid organs (kidneys don’t give you graft versus host disease) so the probability of there being one specific person who is the only person in the world who can save the potential recipient is higher. Not a perfect analogy, but all analogies are imperfect in some way.

  327. 327
    sonderval

    @dianne
    Clever, I think that fits quite well.
    And we are definitely not forced to donate marrow.

    However, thinking about this opens another can of worms: What about parents who have a second child to act as a bone marrow donor for the first child? (Wasn’t there such a case a few years back?) Should they be sued for not acting in the best interest of that second child (forcing it to a needless treatment) to save the first?

    If this is too off-topic, please tell me.

  328. 328
    daniellavine

    I understand that. But he argued that even if the fetus is considered a person, then abortion would still be justifiable. I’m refuting that argument, simply because a mother providing care for a fetus is not really distinguishable from a parent providing care for a child, given the premise that the fetus and child are considered persons. If parents are already “forced” to provide basic care to their children, why would it matter if their children are in utero?

    I think a mother “providing care for a fetus” is absolutely distinguishable from a parent providing care for a child. I don’t see how one could reasonably argue otherwise in fact — they’re quite different. Again, parents are not forced — with or without scare quoted — to provide basic care for their children. They have a legal obligation to make sure that care is provided but there are many cases in which the parent does not provide this care themselves. And in fact it’s physically possible not to care for the child (although this is illegal if the parents don’t find another way to get the child the care he or she needs); however, it’s not physically possible for a woman not to “care for” the fetus. You can see right there a difference that might require the different treatment by law. Note that drinking and smoking while pregnant is not illegal although it is obviously bad for fetuses. By your argument it should count as child abuse.

    But you’re not honestly making this argument and I know you’re not. Because as I already pointed out if you’re really going to maintain that parents shouldn’t be “slaves to their children” as you put it then you should support availability of abortions since it allows parents to avoid being “slaves to their children.”

    I get the sense that you think abortions are what happen when women get pregnant “on a lark” and then decide to end it “on a whim.” I have never heard of a single case like that. Trust people to make the right decision. They don’t always do, but if you don’t give them a choice then they can never make the right decision (because they’re not making one at all).

  329. 329
    dianne

    What about parents who have a second child to act as a bone marrow donor for the first child?

    I have to admit I’ve never thought about it much. It does seem a bit questionable ethically-what if the second child doesn’t want to give marrow but is afraid to say so, for example-but can’t actually think of a way to stop it. Refuse to perform sibling transplants on children? Well, maybe…perhaps a child can’t reasonably consent to being a donor.

    If this is too off-topic, please tell me.

    And all of us soooo good at always staying on topic. (A little history, in case you’re new here: Ever wonder how the lounge came into being? It was originally a topic thread that went badly off topic and ended up being a permanent open thread.)

  330. 330
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I think a mother “providing care for a fetus” is absolutely distinguishable from a parent providing care for a child.

    Then you aren’t thinking. End of story. I can feed a baby/child. I can’t feed a fetus. If you can’t tell the difference, you are an idjit. Which you admit wiht such slopopy thinking.

  331. 331
    LykeX

    @Nerd

    Read that bit again. Note the lack of an “in-” in front the the “distinguishable”.

  332. 332
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Anri:

    So, in essence, this argument is not about exactly when in the course of pregnancy a fetus starts being a human, it’s about when in the course of pregnancy, a woman stops being a human, right?

    This description is so depressingly apt.

  333. 333
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Read that bit again. Note the lack of an “in-” in front the the “distinguishable”.

    You’re right, my wrong. Moar coffee.

  334. 334
    Ing

    Just want to point out we have someone honestly asking a potential bullshit question and that people can tell and distinguish them from assholes like joey based on their response

  335. 335
    joey

    carlie:

    Oh, wow. The argument “a newborn is just like a fetus in terms of the care it needs from an adult” can ONLY be made by someone who has never been pregnant. Heck, or ever noticed anyone else being pregnant in the near vicinity. Or has dealt with an infant. I get the distinct impression that children in general are simply thought experiments to joey, and that he has never encountered one at any age or any stage of development in the wild before.

    My wife and I have four young children all under the age of 8, including an extremely beautiful three-month-old baby girl (explains my sporadic posting). I’ve been by my wife’s side through all four of her pregnancies and deliveries. And in fact, my wife shares the exact same views on this subject as me. So, you are simply incorrect about your assumptions about me, as well as your assumptions about many mothers.

    And for those who don’t think taking care of children could adversely affect one’s health (mentally, emotionally, and physically) the same way that pregnancy does, then please talk to my wife…or any other mother who actually raised a child from infancy.

    Does that mean that my wife and I are allowed to stop providing basic care to our children for own bodily benefit, even in the situation where no one is available or willing to care for our four loud and messy children for us?

  336. 336
    dianne

    And in fact, my wife shares the exact same views on this subject as me.

    Or so you believe. I haven’t seen anyone who even identifies as “joey’s wife” posting her views here. Perhaps because she’s actually taking care of the 4 small children and not just pontificating about it.

    Does that mean that my wife and I are allowed to stop providing basic care to our children for own bodily benefit, even in the situation where no one is available or willing to care for our four loud and messy children for us?

    You are. You can drop the infant off at a fire station if you so choose. You can take the older children to CPS and relinquish parental rights to them and take no further responsibility. Heck, there’s a good chance that if you dropped them off at your parents they’d take care of them for you. For the next 20 years, if need be. (That’s how a couple of cousins of mine got raised.)There are also less extreme options: one can hire a nanny, babysitter, or daycare to help care for one’s children and have a certain amount of time off. There is no option for temporarily or permanently dropping off a fetus to someone else’s care. That’s the basic difference you seem determined to not understand.

  337. 337
    chigau (違う)

    Hands up anyone who thinks joey actually reads anyone else’s comments.

  338. 338
    LykeX

    I’ve been by my wife’s side through all four of her pregnancies and deliveries.

    And you really noticed no difference between the situations before and after birth? Either your wife has been doing all the work for you, or you’re just a lying scumbag.

    And for those who don’t think taking care of children could adversely affect one’s health

    Nobody said that, so stop lying. Of course taking care of a child can be stressful, even to the point of being unhealthy.
    The point is that, once born, it is in fact possible to hand the kid off to someone else. You can hire a babysitter and take a night off. Try doing that if you’re pregnant.

    Does that mean that my wife and I are allowed to stop providing basic care to our children for own bodily benefit

    Yes. It’s called “giving a child up for adoption.”

  339. 339
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    And for those who don’t think taking care of children could adversely affect one’s health (mentally, emotionally, and physically) the same way that pregnancy does, then please talk to my wife…or any other mother who actually raised a child from infancy.

    What a lying loser. The Children can be dropped off with a sitter, grandma, auntie, or any rescue shelter at any time. A pregnant woman doesn’t have that available. She is stuck until birth/abortion. And you know you lie when you compare these dissimilar things. Which makes you a damned liar in Mark Twains categories of liars and the lies they tell.

  340. 340
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    *hands up*

    *reads chigau’s comment*

    Oh, sorry, I thought you asked who wanted some chocolate cake.

  341. 341
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    this argument is not about exactly when in the course of pregnancy a fetus starts being a human, it’s about when in the course of pregnancy, a woman stops being a human, right?

    Goddammit where’s the “like” button?

  342. 342
    Amphiox

    Gooey the dishonest tyrant slavemaster lying with ridiculous false equivalencies yet again.

    Yawn.

  343. 343
    Matt Penfold

    Oh, sorry, I thought you asked who wanted some chocolate cake.

    Audley Z. Darkheart has eaten all the chocolate cake for breakfast.

  344. 344
    anteprepro

    joey is as illiterate and ignorant as ever. Still conveniently forgetting about the existence of adoption.

    So, you are simply incorrect about your assumptions about me, as well as your assumptions about many mothers.

    And he thought that what he responded to, a mockery of his ignorance, was simply a statement of assumptions about him? What a fucking clown.

    Hands up anyone who thinks joey actually reads anyone else’s comments.

    I am trying to put my hand down further than it is right now, but I need to wait for my underlings to finish the shoveling.

  345. 345
    Ray Ingles

    Gregory Greenwood – Been busy, but got a little time at lunch.

    If society is prepared to throw away the idea that women’s bodies are their own and no one else’s on such a flimsy premise, then it is hardly unreasonable to say that women are being treated as second class citizens at best.

    If there’s a person there after a certain point, then a person’s life isn’t flimsy. It still can be argued that that doesn’t outweigh any degree of autonomy, but it’s not the same thing as ‘casual disregard’.

    Also, I don’t think that legal limits pertaining to wills or marriage contracts can realistically be compared to the forced pregnancy of a woman and the health risks and bodily violation that entails.

    You asked about examples of legal time limits after which consent is presumed or mandated. I presented some. The overwhelming majority of women already make that decision before 20 weeks; so far as any data shows, after that point the (at least) large majority of abortions happen because of medical need.

    This stuff about the poor menz and their unacknowledged problems with regard to pregnancy… you wouldn’t happen to be an MRA, would you?

    Not hardly. I didn’t, in fact, claim that time limit on contesting paternity was any kind of hardship – rather the opposite. And, indeed, in the case of contesting paternity it’s possible for the man to challenge by showing that they couldn’t reasonably have known of the pregnancy or the legal action to establish paternity. As I, er, explicitly said in response to your specific question, why can’t a similar regime hold for the (ahem, rare) woman who finds out to her surprise that she’s pregnant in the sixth month? In other words, extending the same rights to the woman that the man has?

    I am also a man, and that means that we are both privileged in so far as these issues will never directly effect our own bodies.

    True, but if my reasoning is wrong my gender won’t make it right, and if my reasoning is right my gender won’t make it wrong. Might as well just stick to reasoning – unless the intent is to paint me as evil, too, and not just wrong.

    The violist analogy that’s been brought up is useful, but no analogy is perfect and leaves off important details. If people came equipped with ports that could cause accidental and unintentional transfusions, we’d have laws covering responsibility and liability for them.

    I think biology is rather unfair here, and it would be great if we could develop something like Lois Bujold’s ‘uterine replicators’ and transfer embryos to environs where they’d face – and cause – less risk. But we don’t have them (yet) and have to deal with the unfairness as it currently is.

    Men have limited ability and windows to challenge paternity because essentially all risk for reproduction falls on women. The burdens are asymmetric. If a fetus becomes a person, then delivery before viability becomes an asymmetric death sentence. Setting up a go/no go window – with appropriate medical exceptions – seems at least thinkable.

    Being able to positively rule out awareness post-20-weeks would pretty much obviate this. To wit…

    Nick Gotts –

    Because oxygen perfusion is at a level incompatible with consciousness, as I’ve already explained.

    To ask again, where can I find some references about this?

    Again, it’s quite clear you are not arguing in good faith. It was you who implied it was important whether the fetus is conscious;

    I actually used the term ‘awareness’ – as in ‘aware of something as basic as pain’. Whether or not mammals in general are conscious, for example, they’re aware of stimuli. And awareness even in humans doesn’t drop to zero even while sleeping. Dreams aren’t limited to just REM sleep.

  346. 346
    Ing

    @Ray

    Are you a vegan Ray?

  347. 347
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    kristinc:

    Goddammit where’s the “like” button?

    Or a squid button! Anyway, I know what comment is being OM NOMed next time ’round.

    Matt:
    There’s still a (rather smallish) piece of cake left!

    Joey:
    Oh man, I know I said I was done with your dumbassitude, but I gots nothin’ better to do today.

    Guess what? I am whoa pregnant at the moment– so pregnant that I’m basically sitting around my apartment waiting for contractions to start. You do not get to tell me what it’s like to be pregnant versus caring for a small child because, unlike you, I’ve experience with both situations.

    Does that mean that my wife and I are allowed to stop providing basic care to our children for own bodily benefit, even in the situation where no one is available or willing to care for our four loud and messy children for us?

    Let me get this straight: you’re saying that should you and your wife die, there’s no one to take you kids? That they die with you, just like if a pregnant woman was to lose her life?

  348. 348
    anteprepro

    That they die with you, just like if a pregnant woman was to lose her life?

    joey and his wife must have a particularly vile last will and testament.

  349. 349
    Matt Penfold

    Something Ingles seems to be unaware of is that when it comes to late term abortions they are overwhelmingly not something the women wants to do. Nearly every women faced with having to have a late term abortion would prefer to to go to term, but cannot. Either because there is such a serious abnormality with the foetus that it will either die before term, or shortly after birth, or the women will not survive if the pregnancy continues.

    These are heart-breaking decisions for the people involved.

  350. 350
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Nearly every women faced with having to have a late term abortion would prefer to to go to term or to have been able to have abortion earlier, but cannot.

  351. 351
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Something Ingles seems to be unaware of is that when it comes to late term abortions they are overwhelmingly not something the women wants to do.

    Do I have to point back to one of my earlier comments at #8 again?

    My friend absolutely does not want to terminate her pregnancy halfway through– this decision is breaking her heart. But fuck it, we’ve got an arbitrary number to defend, amIright?

  352. 352
    LykeX

    @Ray Ingles

    Are you going to address the DIY thing at all or are you just hoping that we forgot about that little blunder of yours?

  353. 353
    LykeX

    I mention it because you don’t have a whole lot of credibility left here and acknowledging a mistake would earn you a much needed point or two.

  354. 354
    daniellavine

    @Ray Ingles:

    Still wondering what the basis for wanting a 20 week cutoff is. Moral or pragmatic? Who does it help and how? For what purpose?

  355. 355
    Matt Penfold

    Nearly every women faced with having to have a late term abortion would prefer to to go to term or to have been able to have abortion earlier, but cannot.

    Yeah, sorry. The privilege of living somewhere where the issue of women not being able to get an earlier abortion is a non-issue came through there.

  356. 356
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Anti-choicers in US making it more and more difficult for women to obtain abortion before the arbitrary time limit… still ignored by Ray Ingles.

  357. 357
    anteprepro

    I have a guess about why Ray chose 20 weeks. But, unless someone desperately wants to know, I’ll just let Ray flail around incompetently for a bit longer to see if he can actually come up with an answer himself. I’m afraid that if I mention why I think he came up with 20, that he’ll just seize onto my answer even if he didn’t actually have one of his own. It is far more entertaining to watch obvious dodges.

  358. 358
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Oh, anteprepro, now I wanna know!

    The only thing I can come up with is that it’s halfway through gestation, which makes the whole 20 weeks thing incredibly arbitrary.

    But let’s see what Ray says first!

  359. 359
    mythbri

    HEY RAY INGLES! HOW ABOUT RESPONDING TO THE THINGS THAT PEOPLE HAVE REPEATEDLY ASKED YOU?

    You are not presenting effective arguments. Your distinctions are arbitrary and misinformed. Your arguments are not right, and your gender has nothing to do with it (although it does inform your lack of empathy).

    @joey

    I was unaware that your wife was elected Spokeswoman Of All Teh Wimminz. Tell her to send out a general memo at the next Super Secret Meeting of the Female Monolith.

  360. 360
    Gregory Greenwood

    Ray Ingles @ 345;

    If there’s a person there after a certain point, then a person’s life isn’t flimsy. It still can be argued that that doesn’t outweigh any degree of autonomy, but it’s not the same thing as ‘casual disregard’.

    This has been covered several times – even if the foetus could be considered a person, it makes no difference because nobody can claim rights in another person’s flesh. That a life may be lost by absence of such a right is neither here nor there. If this were not the case, then it would be possible for a person who needs a kidney transplant to demand that a suitable donor give up one of their kidneys. Oddly enough, no one (not even you) seems to be arguing for manditory organ donation, but forced birth is just fine.

    I refer you to a point I made back @ 187;

    Again, whether a foetus has any claim to ‘personhood’ has zero impact on the woman’s right to bodily autonomy, unless you care to assert that foetuses should have an unprecedented right at law in the flesh of others.

    Why are you asserting that a foetus should possess a right at law in the flesh of another person that goes far beyond any right possessed by anyone else? Why should foetuses have greater rights than people whio are unambiguously conscious and fully capable of independent existence?

    I await your answer with interest.

    You asked about examples of legal time limits after which consent is presumed or mandated. I presented some.

    You are riding that false equivalency horse hard, aren’t you? None of the cases you cite involve risks to health or life or in any way relate to bodily autonomy. I also note that you have avoided answering my point made @ 120 – do you extend this curious concept of ‘consent’ you have manufactured with regard to pregnancy to other situations in life? Since we are talking about issues of bodily autonomy, I would be particularly interested in the issue of rape; are there circumstances were a woman’s consent to sex can be ‘presumed’ as well? If not, why not?

    The overwhelming majority of women already make that decision before 20 weeks; so far as any data shows, after that point the (at least) large majority of abortions happen because of medical need.

    And for those who are unable to do so? They are just out of luck, I take it? And what about the points made upthread by various commneters about the fact that foetal abnormalities often are not detectable at 20 weeks? Then there are the many examples that have been given of the techniques used by US anti-choicers to delay women who seek abortions until the 20 week time limit expires. What about the women who fall foul of such delaying tactics as ‘cooling off’ periods, unneccessary ‘counseling’, obstructive anti-choice doctors, the unavailability of abortion services in their county? Is that all just too bad for them because they failed to get an abortion within an arbitrary cut off point? And no – the inability to absolutely prove the lack of some kind of consciousness past twenty weeks does not render the cut off point any less arbitrary, because as has been pointed out so often no one can claim rights in another’s flesh.

    Not hardly. I didn’t, in fact, claim that time limit on contesting paternity was any kind of hardship – rather the opposite. And, indeed, in the case of contesting paternity it’s possible for the man to challenge by showing that they couldn’t reasonably have known of the pregnancy or the legal action to establish paternity. As I, er, explicitly said in response to your specific question, why can’t a similar regime hold for the (ahem, rare) woman who finds out to her surprise that she’s pregnant in the sixth month? In other words, extending the same rights to the woman that the man has?

    So the whole bit about;

    How about the same kind of system we have for challenging paternity, where the father has to “know or reasonably should have known”? The imperfection of life is only a problem for one side, it appears.

    (Emphasis added)

    Wasn’t a whine about the poor oppressed menz then?

    True, but if my reasoning is wrong my gender won’t make it right, and if my reasoning is right my gender won’t make it wrong. Might as well just stick to reasoning – unless the intent is to paint me as evil, too, and not just wrong.

    Your gender makes you neither wrong nor right automatically, but your oblivious bloviating about an experience that you as a man will never undergo does speak to your unexamined privilege. This may be an empty academic exercise for you, but people like Audley, who actually are pregnant, do not have the luxery of viewing this topic purely in the abstract.

    What is a mere semantic point to you is the reality of their lives, a point you would do well to remember.

  361. 361
    mythbri

    What is a mere semantic point to you is the reality of their lives, a point you would do well to remember.

    QFT. Thank you, Gregory.

    Ray Ingles, this is not amusing theoretical wankery to me, or to the other women here. What you’re talking about has REAL effects on our REAL lives (by the way, we are all REAL individual, indisputable people).

  362. 362
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Gregory:

    This may be an empty academic exercise for you, but people like Audley, who actually are pregnant, do not have the luxery of viewing this topic purely in the abstract.

    Pffffffft. We all know that I’ve carried DarkFetus for 39.5 weeks so far simply so I can change my mind about being pregnant/having a child and have the most gruesome abortion ever as soon as I go into labor.

    I am a silly woman who can’t be trusted to make rational decisions about her life, family, or medical procedures after all!

  363. 363
    carlie

    And for those who don’t think taking care of children could adversely affect one’s health (mentally, emotionally, and physically) the same way that pregnancy does, then please talk to my wife…or any other mother who actually raised a child from infancy.

    Now who’s making assumptions? Let’s see, differences between my pregnancies and raising my infant children:

    Pregnancy

  364. 364
    carlie

    DAMN IT.

    And for those who don’t think taking care of children could adversely affect one’s health (mentally, emotionally, and physically) the same way that pregnancy does, then please talk to my wife…or any other mother who actually raised a child from infancy.

    Pregnancy
    anything I eat or drink goes directly to their bloodstream
    when they move any body part ever it hurts my body parts
    I haul their weight around every second of every day
    Pre-eclampsia yay!
    Carpel tunnel yay!
    Constant acid indigestion!
    Almost-constant nausea!
    Feet swollen and walking hard!
    Sleeping – no can do! Body in the way!

    Infancy
    Can eat or drink whatever I want
    Can move freely, even into another room away from infant
    Other people can hold it
    Other people can feed it
    Other people can take care of it
    Any sleeping position I want
    No more carpel tunnel
    No more blood pressure problems
    No more indigestion

  365. 365
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Carlie:
    You forgot:
    Hemorrhoids!
    and
    Consstipation!

  366. 366
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    Let’s see, differences between my pregnancies and raising my infant children:

    Pregnancy

    I dunno, carlie, I think this list is completely sufficient as it stands.

  367. 367
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Audley,

    Regarding your questions at #37, Matt (as well a person asking a question later) raises similar points during Q&A and Kristine’s answer is that there are “legistical issues”. Those don’t mean that we should kill the preborn… in other words, she steadily avoids the issue.

  368. 368
    Ichthyic

    I seriously freak out at the chance of becoming pregnant.

    IUD.

    no pills, no muss, no fuss. modern IUDs are not like the IUDs that had risks associated with them 30 years or more ago.

    Just visit your GP once a year to check on it. That’s it.

  369. 369
    Ichthyic

    I use birth control for that very reason, the 10 year IUD.

    missed that first time through. I blame lack of coffee.

  370. 370
    LykeX

    You also missed this part:

    I had to find a doctor old enough to remember Roe V Wade to give me an IUD at all. My original doctor refused to give me one.

  371. 371
    Ichthyic

    Joey:

    in fact, my wife shares the exact same views on this subject as me

    shocker.

  372. 372
    Ichthyic

    You also missed this part:

    you have a point?

    make it.

  373. 373
    LykeX

    I didn’t mean to jump on you. It’s just that, to me, that was the central point of the whole story; what should be a simple matter is greatly complicated by an asshole doctor who don’t seem to know the limits of his authority.

    Yes, an IUD would be great in many cases, but if no doctor will give you one, you’re screwed.

  374. 374
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    The point is probably that it’s not always “no fuss” to get IUD.

  375. 375
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Joey:

    in fact, my wife shares the exact same views on this subject as me

    [looks upthread. holy shit, he really did say that.]

    So, Joey, is your wife allowed to have any opinions that do not agree with yours?

  376. 376
    Ichthyic

    I didn’t mean to jump on you. It’s just that, to me, that was the central point of the whole story; what should be a simple matter is greatly complicated by an asshole doctor who don’t seem to know the limits of his authority.

    thanks… the timing and wording of your original seemed easy to mistake to me.

  377. 377
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Beatrice:

    … in other words, she steadily avoids the issue.

    Well, of course she does. Because babies are all sunshine and rainbows and unicorn farts and they never ever ever suffer from genetic abnormalities that could cause their lives to be short and torturous. *eyeroll!*

  378. 378
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    And I still would like to know if Ray would stick to his 20 week cutoff in such a situation. (Bear in mind, the pregnant woman’s life is not in any additional danger.)

  379. 379
    Ichthyic

    Yes, an IUD would be great in many cases, but if no doctor will give you one, you’re screwed.

    I’d point out that there indeed is a big difference between the doctor attitude described by JAL, and that of the doctors here in NZ, who are fully supportive in that regard.

    BTW, those doctors in JAL’s locale whinging about “increased risks with STDs” apparently left out the word “UNTREATED” in that, which is really where any risks lie, and those even are increased only in very specific, and relatively rare, circumstances.

    Doctors exaggerating the risks of IUDs are doing themselves and their patients a gross disservice.

    and, FWIW, I myself have constantly harped on the fact, on local blogs here in NZ as well as ones that get global viewing like Pharyngula, that it’s effective access to services that are the big problem now in the States. I have seen reasonable studies done that suggest access to abortion, family planning, and those related to just plain sex, are effective LESS now, for the average american, than they were BEFORE Roe V Wade passed.

    As to how to change that? Fighting for not overturning Roe will not stop it. The only way to affect real effective change is to start getting politicians in office that simply refuse to participate in manipulating authoritarian personalities for personal gain, and instead do indeed look at what their jobs are supposed to be: managing conflicting interests for the best overall interests of all involved.

    the best leaders are good managers, not dictators that rely on authoritarian support.

    I have my doubts that the current tide of authoritarianism that has been enabled by politicians on right, and tolerated by those on the left, will change direction or be diffused sufficiently before quite a bit more damage is done to the very concept of freedom itself.

    I hope I’m wrong, but if history is any judge, things are going to get a LOT worse before they get better.

  380. 380
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I shouldn’t have been lazy and should have quoted you, Audley. This was about the issue of miscarriages and whether a woman should be under scrutiny for every moment since (possible) conception. Is smoking while pregnant child abuse, that kind of thing.

    No example similar to your friend’s situation was given, so I don’t know about that.

    But she was awfully determined to avoid saying what kind of health threat (that isn’t life threatening) to a woman would allow for abortion.

  381. 381
    daniellavine

    I hope I’m wrong, but if history is any judge, things are going to get a LOT worse before they get better.

    If I’ve been reading current events right that is actually a feature not a bug.

    The policies of both parties look a lot like “controlled demolition” to me. Just as one example look how quickly petro companies are trying to suck all the natural gas out of the ground. Thirty years from now: “Oops, I guess we’re stuck with cooooaaaal…”

  382. 382
    dianne

    Re STDs, here’s my view, FWIW: Yes, there’s a risk of STDs in a person who is sexually active. Yes, there is a risk that a woman who gets an IUD won’t come back for her annual exam and therefore the STD will go unfound and untreated. So what? She’s an adult. Tell her the recommendations and the risk and let her decide. If she decides to ignore your advice and ends up sterile from an untreated STD, that’s her problem. The doctor’s role is to give appropriate advice and make sure the patient understands the risks and benefits of any given course. The patient’s role is to decide what she or he will actually do. Sorry if that’s a bit on the libertarian side, but I believe in allowing adults to make decisions about their own bodies.

  383. 383
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Beatrice:

    This was about the issue of miscarriages and whether a woman should be under scrutiny for every moment since (possible) conception. Is smoking while pregnant child abuse, that kind of thing.

    Oops, my bad!

    Her point makes no sense, though. I cannot be forced to take drugs against my will and there are legal repercussions if, say, someone jabs me with a needle full of heroine. So, unless you’re willing to extend the same legal protections to a fertilized egg, your argument holds no water.

    (No, I haven’t watched the video yet. For once, my craptacular WiFi is good for something, if only my own peace of mind.)

  384. 384
    skeptifem

    The point is probably that it’s not always “no fuss” to get IUD.

    I would say its never “no fuss” because it involves inserting a device through the cervix. It is not comfortable for the vast majority of women.

  385. 385
    dianne

    Because babies are all sunshine and rainbows and unicorn farts and they never ever ever suffer from genetic abnormalities that could cause their lives to be short and torturous.

    Two words: Tay-Sachs disease. Ever seen it? I have. You don’t want to. At one point it looked like I might be a carrier. If the repeat hadn’t been negative*, I would have gotten a tubal ligation rather than getting pregnant if it meant getting a scalpel and a couple of percocet and doing it myself.

    *I’m still a little unsure about what that was all about. The first test was said to be “equivocal”. That could mean anything from a PCR failure to a dropped tube and technicians too embarrassed to admit it to a mutation that’s not classic TS but is something other than a normal gene. I’m still a little concerned in the back of my mind about the last, though the first two are far more likely.

  386. 386
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Audley,

    Of course her argument holds no water, that’s why she has shuffled it all under the “legalistic issues” carpet. Preborn humans shouldn’t be killed, but what that means for how miscarriages should be legally treated is all *mumble mumble people sometimes die, it happens to fetuses too, but that doesn’t mean we can deliberately kill them mumble legalistic issues*

  387. 387
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    All I want is some damned consistency from the “pro-life” crowd.

  388. 388
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    All I want is some damned consistency from the “pro-life” crowd.

    Wow. Pregnancy really does make women ditzy.

    (that is an attempt at humour. expecting consistency from ‘pro-lifers’ is about as likely as getting it from Rmoney.)

  389. 389
    dianne

    @387: Good luck with that.

  390. 390
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    This particular woman is scarily consistent. No rape or incest exceptions. From the moment sperm meets egg, you have a little human being there and you shouldn’t murder humans!!!

  391. 391
    Gregory Greenwood

    Audley Z. Darkheart (liar and scoundrel) @ 362;

    Pffffffft. We all know that I’ve carried DarkFetus for 39.5 weeks so far simply so I can change my mind about being pregnant/having a child and have the most gruesome abortion ever as soon as I go into labor.

    I am a silly woman who can’t be trusted to make rational decisions about her life, family, or medical procedures after all!

    It scares me that there are misogynists out there who would sagely nod along with this, completey oblivious to its ultra high snark content*.

    —————————————————————-

    * Warning – Side effects of snark include mocking the privileged and hurting fragile man fee-fees. Snark can be harmful to your acceptance by MRA arsehats. Always read the label.

  392. 392
    dianne

    But does she want to save all the little one celled humans who die of disease? Normal people who really believed that they were babies would desperately want to stop the miscarriages that kill the majority of concepti. Pro-lifers…not so much. I’ve never seen a pro-lifer do anything but dismiss the miscarriage rate as unimportant.

  393. 393
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    People (fetuses) die naturally. It’s… natural.

  394. 394
    dianne

    If we’re all cool with people (including babies) dying “naturally” then explain why we spend so much money on medicine, the purpose of which is to prevent “natural” deaths. If we shut everything but the trauma centers down and limited the use of those to people who were attacked violently (saving accident victims being, apparently, not allowed), we’d save a whole lot of money…

  395. 395
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    *shrug*

    My translating idiot-anti-choicer speak only goes that far.

    But I bet her answers would include both “that’s different” and “that doesn’t mean you can kill them.”

  396. 396
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    (first phrase because it’s weaseling out and second because she seems to like repeating it)
    and it’s late, good night

  397. 397
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Oggie:

    Wow. Pregnancy really does make women ditzy.

    :D

    Sorry, I’ve had a rough day of backaches and cramping– I should know better than to expect anything other than RAGE INDUCING ASSHOLERY from the “pro-life” crowd.

  398. 398
    carlie

    There is also the fact that most doctors in the US have traditionally refused IUDs to women who were nulliparous (never had a baby), because of some weird belief about it not working with a uterus that hadn’t been stretched out or something. Then doctors everywhere else started doing it and realized there was no problem, but of course US doctors didn’t catch up, ever.

    It is not comfortable for the vast majority of women.

    No kidding. When I got my first one, I couldn’t get out of bed for two days. Then I spent the next two weeks feeling like there was a carving knife in my back. Then about 6 months later the pain finally all went away.

  399. 399
    Ichthyic

    some weird belief about it not working with a uterus that hadn’t been stretched out or something

    wtf?

    where in hells did that notion come from I wonder?

    When I got my first one, I couldn’t get out of bed for two days. Then I spent the next two weeks feeling like there was a carving knife in my back. Then about 6 months later the pain finally all went away.

    yikes, that seems like a rather extreme response.

    did you report symptoms to the doctor that was responsible? None of my female acquaintances (relatives or friends) have ever reported such an extreme response!

  400. 400
    carlie

    Ing – eh, they said it was within the range. I did have it checked a few weeks later because I had my annual checkup and everything was properly in place. When I got it replaced I barely felt a thing.

    The childbirth thing may have been more about the cervix stretchability, I’m not sure. I suppose looking it up would be good. Ah, here:

    The cervix of a nulliparous woman has a smaller diameter which can lead to more difficult and uncomfortable IUD insertions. Many providers avoid offering IUDs to nulliparas because of fears that the procedure will be more difficult, and may require cervical dilation, placement of a paracervical nerve block, or placement under ultrasound guidance, none of which are standard for parous women.

    source

  401. 401
    Ing

    @carlie

    Apparently I have absorbed more people into my collective.

    Ichthy report to the adjustment chamber for synchronization and happification asap!

  402. 402
    willow2054

    Richard Mourdock is running for senate in my home state. All three candidates are anti-choice. Oh boy! :-/

  403. 403
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Re STDs, here’s my view, FWIW: Yes, there’s a risk of STDs in a person who is sexually active. Yes, there is a risk that a woman who gets an IUD won’t come back for her annual exam and therefore the STD will go unfound and untreated. So what? She’s an adult. Tell her the recommendations and the risk and let her decide. If she decides to ignore your advice and ends up sterile from an untreated STD, that’s her problem. The doctor’s role is to give appropriate advice and make sure the patient understands the risks and benefits of any given course. The patient’s role is to decide what she or he will actually do. Sorry if that’s a bit on the libertarian side, but I believe in allowing adults to make decisions about their own bodies.

    You have no idea how hard it was to not snap at my doctor, “But I want to be sterile!”

    I would never and haven’t gone out for an STD. That’s just stupid. I’ve gotten my regular check ups and went in for testing after finding out my partner wasn’t faithful.

    But it was so, so hard not to tell that doctor I was going to go out for a STD to get sterile with the IUD. I seriously wanted to say that to fuck with him and see the look on his face, to make him realize how serious I was about not having another child. It would have just make things worse for me though, saying that. He’d call or at least make a note in my chart to follow me everywhere.

    It is not comfortable for the vast majority of women.

    Hell, when I got it after my child was born it was still so uncomfortable. Thankfully, it was minor and was fine once the doctor placed it. No problems since and I plan on using IUDs til I can get my tubes tied or menopause. I hate the very idea of getting pregnant again. I feel bad because so many other people want children, want to be able to have children and I hate my fertility so much.

  404. 404
    dianne

    JAL, sterility is only one possible result of an STD. Another is ectopic pregnancy in a state without abortion providers. I suppose suggesting that you go to a different provider is completely futile? What about Uni AZ? If there are any reasonably liberal doctors in AZ they’re probably there.

  405. 405
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Oh, I know dianne, it was just a one off snark remark I wanted to make. I know the risks and currently have an okay doctor. It’s easier once you get the IUD since the next doctors accept that another doctor gave it to me. Funny, how that works.

    Anyways, I’ve kept up on it. My mother has had her fair share of problems that I’ve gone through with her. She had an ectopic pregnancy that was only discovered and treated because she went in for an abortion. Later, she had to have a full hysterectomy at 33 and a host of issues in between time.

    That’s part of what scares me so much, seeing what’s she gone through. It was so scary and the doctors were either complete assholes or really awesome when she was going through all that. My mom is better now though after the hysterectomy. She has a bunch of different medical issues but no more in that area at least.

  406. 406
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    oh, to clarify I only talked about the STD risks because that’s what that doctor harped. Seriously, that’s all I remember him talking about. It was so frustrating and shaming. I wanted to lash out because of it. It wasn’t the regular tell everybody about the risks thing. I swear he was doing it because he was judging me. Why else wouldn’t he mention the ectopic pregnancy risk? It was all “But you don’t have a stable one partner relationship.”

    He said he only gave the IUD to older women in committed relationships with children clearly done making their family.

    I wanted to smack him.

  407. 407
    dianne

    Sigh. Been there, had the same temptation myself. Fortunately, as these things go I’m hypofertile so have been able to make do with condoms. But “accidentally” solving the problem permanently with a little disease is so tempting…especially when you’re being told you’re a silly girl who will regret it later and unable to control your own fertility in the way you’d prefer. I expect if you did get pregnant you’d be accused of looking for a welfare baby or child support or something. There simply is nothing a fertile woman can do with respect to having or not having sex and/or children without being told it’s the wrong thing.

  408. 408
    dianne

    Why is my comment in moderation?

  409. 409
    dianne

    Erm…the “it” in my earlier comment refers to asking for permanent sterilization. Which, as many have already pointed out, is hard to get when you’re young and/or childless. Maybe I was in moderation because the computer was outraged at my poor writing skills.

  410. 410
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Yep, exactly right dianne. I’ve already been told Little One was a welfare/child support baby. Pfffffft. Those people clearly don’t know shit about the system and how little help I’ve gotten through it. Child support? First, they would have to find my ex, then he’d go to prison. End of story. No money there.

    Ugh. Really, there’s no way to win.

    -
    -

    -
    I missed this address to me earlier:

    I admit I never thought that someone could not agree with such a law requiring you to help – where would you put the limit? Giving someone drowning a hand (I might rupture a muscle)?

    What are they drowning in? A river? A flood? Could you fall in while helping? Could you even get the person out of the water? Did you already call for help? Are you alone?

    In my own opinion, I draw the line at walking away and not calling for help. That I don’t think is okay and isn’t right. First responders, rescuers and emergency services are there for a reason. It makes me really uncomfortable to think of someone unknown unskilled person performing CPR and possibly killing someone, when they could have waited for help. Or someone getting themselves in drowning trouble when they try to rescue someone from the river. That just makes it all worse. When someone knows how to do it and is comfortable doing it, like CPR, the Heimlich, is fine. But I don’t think people should be punished for not doing it. People going beyond that and pulling the kid from the river or the car or the fire, are awesome stand up people but not everyone can do that. Not everyone should be expected to in fear of being punished. People and situations are just too different and I think it’s unrealistic to legislate such behavior.

  411. 411
    vaiyt

    @390:

    If abortion is murder, then miscarriage and implantation failure are involuntary manslaughter?

  412. 412
    sonderval

    @JAL
    I was assuming a very simple case where, for example, you sit safely secured in a boat and just need to lend a hand to keep someone from going under (like Frodo did with Sam (in the book, don’t remember how they garbled that scene in the movie)) – from what you write I assume that in this case you would also see at least some moral obligation to help. The cases you mention, where people put themselves in clear and possibly lethal danger are surely different, I agree. As I understand the law hereabouts, you are required to help within the level of your ability and without putting yourself in too much danger (which is not exactly specified).

    @dianne
    I think the child in question was still very young when donating – so it were the parents who made the decision. And yes, I think that is at least problematic.

    (To answer the other question, I’ve read here a lot but commented only seldomly back when it was still on Scienceblogs. But this “bodily autonomy”-question was something I always wanted to ask. And sometimes, questions being too off-topic can be viewed as trying to distract from the main issue.)

    @Ing
    If you meant my question as “possibly bullshit” – yes, I was afraid that it would be taken as such and am impressed quite a bit that it was not.

  413. 413
    terryg

    JAL, Dianne, its really shitty you were both treated that way.

    Access to contraception & abortion in the US is a fucking trainwreck, and the fundie fuckwads are becoming more strident metastasising at an ever increasing rate. *virtual hugs & support*

    I was aghast to see the fundies rearing their ugly heads recently here in little ole NZ. I tried to craft a few analogies but gave up; the disparity is so great in so many areas – numbers, lunacy, power – that by comparison our lot are essentially negligible. Nevertheless the US serves as a stark warning for unceasing vigilance…..

    Would you believe I touched on the same problem you both faced, trying to get a vasectomy when I was 24? One doctor refused to do it in NZ, and three doctors refused in Boston. “you’re too young”, “you might change your mind” and “you’ll eventually meet a woman who wants children” were the trite excuses, with strong undercurrents of silly child and jesus says no. It never occurred to me to just lie and say I already had 5 kids (instead of one awesome daughter, who’s off to Uni next year).

    Eventually I found an excellent Turkish doctor, who treated me like a grown-up and accepted my response, which was that I felt strongly enough I didn’t want more kids that I just wouldn’t have a relationship with someone who did. being prepared to accept the consequences of my decision convinced him. That and a hefty helping of male privilege.

    Hilariously it was during the vasectomy I discovered Novocaine only works on one side (my father & brother found this out with dental surgery). I watched him do the left side – quite interesting. the Right side was a different story. 5 shots extra made no difference, so I crossed my wrists, put them behind my head and an extra nurse held them there, while the doctor finished the job & I screamed blue murder. Didnt want to watch that side….

    compared to childbirth though, that was a doddle *clenched tentacle salute*

  414. 414
    jennifergunter

    The textbook by Moore (we used it in medical school and I have a copy on my desk as well as the latest edition on my Kindle) does not in any way support Ms. Kruszelnicki’s assertion that an embryo is a fully formed life. Wish I had been there as I know the book very well. The textbook is simply an excellent description of embryonic and fetal development and pure science as it contains no opinion.

  415. 415
    Ray Ingles

    Gregory Greenwood –

    If this were not the case, then it would be possible for a person who needs a kidney transplant to demand that a suitable donor give up one of their kidneys. Oddly enough, no one (not even you) seems to be arguing for manditory organ donation, but forced birth is just fine.

    I think this is analogous to the trolley problem. Switching a runaway trolley to kill one person instead of five seems reasonable to most; but pushing someone onto the track to die, in order to save five others, seems unreasonable to most.

    Most people, judging by the polls, seem to see a difference between actively taking an organ vs. interrupting a passively ongoing process. I think we have a case of conflicting intuitions here.

    Since we are talking about issues of bodily autonomy, I would be particularly interested in the issue of rape; are there circumstances were a woman’s consent to sex can be ‘presumed’ as well?

    I’m not religious, and don’t think that men and women actually become ‘one flesh’ when they get busy. I don’t see how anyone dies if someone decides, even in the middle of sex, that they don’t want to do it anymore. In short, no.

    And for those who are unable to do so? They are just out of luck, I take it?

    Wasn’t a whine about the poor oppressed menz then?

    I have to reply to both of these at once, since they are related. When I said “The imperfection of life is only a problem for one side, it appears”, I was speaking of ‘sides’ of the abortion debate, not the gender divide.

    For example, if abortion is allowed entirely at the discretion of the woman (which I remind you we both agree on, at least up to 20 weeks) then – sadly, demonstrably – many women will choose to abort fetuses that are discovered to be female. As genetic testing gets faster and more sophisticated, it seems probable that many women will abort fetuses with the ‘wrong’ genes for height, or eye color, or other cosmetic issues. I assume we both agree that this is (ahem) undesirable, but freedom is the right to be wrong, or else it’s not freedom.

    My point is that the fact that this regime might have undesirable, even unfair consequences in some cases doesn’t automatically invalidate it in principle any more that the present existence of sex-selective abortions invalidates abortion in principle.

    All that, and I even explicitly said I was willing to grant exceptions when it can be shown the woman could not reasonably have known she was pregnant before the sixth month. (Please reread my words in that light and see if you can pick up on that now.)

    And what about the points made upthread by various commneters about the fact that foetal abnormalities often are not detectable at 20 weeks?

    Specifically answered in #157 and #61. In syllogism form:

    1. Abortion after 20 weeks is justified in the case of medical issues.
    2. Fetal abnormality is a medical issue.
    3. Therefore, abortion is justified in the case of fetal abnormality detected after 20 weeks.

    (I grant there’s some question about what counts as a ‘fetal abnormality’, though – ‘shortness’ or ‘green eyes’ or ‘female’? ‘Hare lip’? I’m more or less with Clarence Darrow, in that “We have no knowledge of what kind of man would be better than the one that Nature is evolving to fit into the environment which he cannot escape. We have neither facts nor theories to give us any evidence based on biology or any other branch of science as to how we could breed intelligence, happiness or anything else that would improve the race. We have no idea of the meaning of the word ‘improvement.’ We can imagine no human organization that we could trust with the job, even if eugenists knew what should be done, and the proper way to do it.”)

  416. 416
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Ray Ingles,

    So a woman who wants, but can’t obtain an abortion before the arbitrary time limit because reasons (financial/family pressure/anti-choicers making it damn near impossible to get to an abortion provider/…) is supposed to just suck it up and finish the pregnancy?

  417. 417
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    which I remind you we both agree on, at least up to 20 weeks

    Where do you get this 20 weeks bullshit? Are a a doctor? Or just a fuckwitted idjit with an unevidenced OPINION? Your agreement to 20 weeks is irrelevant. You appear to be concern trolling. You agree, but have inane concerns, which means you don’t agree really.

  418. 418
    LykeX

    I don’t see how anyone dies if someone decides, even in the middle of sex, that they don’t want to do it anymore

    Dodging again, I see. The question wasn’t about sexual consent in isolation, nor was it dependent on anyone’s life being at stake. The question was in the context of you saying that we could presume consent, even if the person is right there saying “no” in a loud voice.

    Please explain under what exact circumstances we can presume consent, despite the active dissent of the individual in question. I’d love to hear you explain it. Of course, I don’t think you ever will. Your lack of honesty is quite well established at this point.

    Oh, while we’re on that subject; DIY? Ring a bell?

    Fetal abnormality is a medical issue…I grant there’s some question about what counts as a ‘fetal abnormality’

    You’re goddamn right there is and you can bet that any vagueness will be jumped on by the forced-birth crowd to ensure that women don’t get permission. Down’s Syndrome? That’s not too serious. Anencephaly? Well, the kid can still have a day or two. Who are we to take that away?

    You will have to be specific. You can’t just shove it off on the doctors. They need guidelines to make their decisions. There are so many things that could be wrong with a fetus, on so many different levels and to so many different degrees, that not having clear definitions is the same as saying “do whatever you feel like.”

    One more thing on the subject of your quote; if we don’t have the knowledge to mandate abortions, how come we have the knowledge to prohibit them? If there’s “no human organization that we could trust” to say a child should be aborted, maybe we can’t trust them to say it shouldn’t, either.

    Maybe we should just leave the decision to the mother?

  419. 419
    Ray Ingles

    Beatrice –

    So a woman who wants, but can’t obtain an abortion before the arbitrary time limit because reasons (financial/family pressure/anti-choicers making it damn near impossible to get to an abortion provider/…) is supposed to just suck it up and finish the pregnancy?

    As noted, given access to abortion, many women will choose to abort daughters and bear sons. Do you believe widespread abortion of females is desirable? If not, do you think the answer is (a) ban abortion, or (b) improve education and alter the culture that fosters sex-selective abortion?

    I agree that the lack of access to abortion is a problem, and needs to be rectified… by ensuring full access to full medical care for everyone. (Comment #82 above.)

    The problem you point out is orthogonal to the problem I’m discussing. One could, for example, consistently believe that convicted felons should not vote while also thinking that far too many crimes are felonies and the application of the law is in practice often manifestly unfair to boot. (I don’t, BTW, think convicted felons should be banned from voting – I’m just using that as an example.) The solution would be to fix the broken justice system. My solution to the problem you point out is to fix the broken health system.

  420. 420
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    As noted, given access to abortion, many women will choose to abort daughters and bear sons. Do you believe widespread abortion of females is desirable? If not, do you think the answer is (a) ban abortion, or (b) improve education and alter the culture that fosters sex-selective abortion?

    This has absolutely nothing to do with what I wrote.

  421. 421
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Ray Ingles,

    Your solution effectively limits women’s choices.

    So, apparently a fetus is more important to you than a woman. Glad we’ve cleared that up.

  422. 422
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    A broken health system should be fixed*. Women should not have to give birth to children they don’t want while they’re waiting for it to be fixed!

    As I said, you obviously value a fetus more than a grown woman, those generous 20 weeks you allow for abortion notwithstanding**.

    *note that for me fixing the health system includes non-limited abortion, but at this point I’m referring to making abortion cheap/free and easily accessible

    **I mean you already say that you don’t like women aborting female fetuses. Since that’s not really a widespread problem in US, maybe you should mind your own goddamned business and not be so eager to discuss which abortions are ok with you and which are not

  423. 423
    LykeX

    Do you believe widespread abortion of females is desirable?

    I think easy access to safe abortions is desirable. If that means that women chose to abort female fetuses, then so be it. I’m not really too concerned about sex-selective abortions. Hell, I’m not too concerned about people aborting red-heads or whatever.
    I suppose it could cause trouble down the line, limited genetic variety and so on, but in general I have no problem with a woman making an informed decision about whether she wants to carry a certain fetus to term. The criteria for that decision are entirely up to her. I don’t see why my opinion should figure into it.

    As it’s been said before, but apparently needs to be said again; her body, her decision.

  424. 424
    Rutee Katreya

    Again, you have no ethical grounds whatsoever* to demand women to carry a pregnancy to term unless you specifically are for the prospect that every. single. human. donate organs as necessary. Any demand – including state power – that you make of a loss of bodily autonomy must be followed through with the same demand of every single human to have even the most remote sense of actual ethics.

    *Well, there’s ‘Bitches ain’t shit’, but I doubt you’re willing to admit to this one.

  425. 425
    Rutee Katreya

    s noted, given access to abortion, many women will choose to abort daughters and bear sons. Do you believe widespread abortion of females is desirable? If not, do you think the answer is (a) ban abortion, or (b) improve education and alter the culture that fosters sex-selective abortion?

    Oh, well, golly fucking gee, as a feminist I absolutely can’t abide by bad things happening disproportionately to women, Lets take away bodily autonomy for women only, everybody!

    Lackwit.

  426. 426
    Jadehawk

    Do you believe widespread abortion of females is desirable? If not, do you think the answer is (a) ban abortion, or (b) improve education and alter the culture that fosters sex-selective abortion?

    what a dumbass question. banning abortions doesn’t end sex-selective abortions. and sex-selective abortions aren’t inherently wrong anyway; rather, they bias against women is a symptom of patriarchy, and that is the part that’s wrong. I’m for ending the patriarchy, not for ending sex-selective abortion.

  427. 427
    vaiyt

    @Ray Ingles

    Most people, judging by the polls, seem to see a difference between actively taking an organ vs. interrupting a passively ongoing process. I think we have a case of conflicting intuitions here.

    If you’re trying to convince us with an argument by popular opinion, just don’t. If I gave a shit about popular opinion, I’d still be a Catholic.

    I don’t see how anyone dies if someone decides, even in the middle of sex, that they don’t want to do it anymore.

    Rape. Self-defence. Ball’s in your court now.

    For example, if abortion is allowed entirely at the discretion of the woman (which I remind you we both agree on, at least up to 20 weeks)

    If it’s “up to 20 weeks”, then it’s not at her discretion. You’re still reserving yourself the right to decide what’s best for women.

    then – sadly, demonstrably – many women will choose to abort fetuses that are discovered to be female.

    Making it more difficult for women to get a safe abortion on demand won’t solve the problem.

    How do you know that? It already happens in China, where the one-child law combined with the cultural need for a male heir makes female children undesirable. Many women carry the pregnancy to term, then abandon the child to die if they’re found to be female. Wow, that sure helped a lot.

    All that, and I even explicitly said I was willing to grant exceptions when it can be shown the woman could not reasonably have known she was pregnant before the sixth month. (Please reread my words in that light and see if you can pick up on that now.)

    Good luck for the woman who wants to prove it, right? Oh, that sure will work.

  428. 428
    Jadehawk

    As genetic testing gets faster and more sophisticated, it seems probable that many women will abort fetuses with the ‘wrong’ genes for height, or eye color, or other cosmetic issues. I assume we both agree that this is (ahem) undesirable

    wait, why is that supposed to be undesirable? I get that when it’s a symptom of something that is actually undesirable (colorism, sexism, homophobia, etc.), but what arguments are there about it being inherently undesirable? Are you against “designer babies” too, or just against achieving the same effect with abortions?

  429. 429
    vaiyt

    As noted, given access to abortion, many women will choose to abort daughters and bear sons. Do you believe widespread abortion of females is desirable? If not, do you think the answer is (a) ban abortion, or (b) improve education and alter the culture that fosters sex-selective abortion?

    You, of course, chose c) ban abortions unless the woman proves to YOUR satisfaction that she really, really needs it.

  430. 430
    A. Noyd

    Ray Ingles (#415)

    Fetal abnormality is a medical issue.

    As I said before, being pregnant against my will is a medical issue. So why don’t you think it’s a sufficient reason for getting an abortion?

  431. 431
    Amphiox

    Before abortion or sex determination was easily available, in cultures where female infants were not desired, they were abandoned after birth, exposed to the elements and wild animals, dropped down wells, and otherwise disposed of.

    The only difference access to abortion makes on this front is to reduce the rate of female infanticide, and the number of women dying from childbirth complications.

    Ray Ingles, whether he realizes this or not, apparently thinks these are bad things.

    Ray, your point is ridiculous.

  432. 432
    Gregory Greenwood

    Ray Ingles @ 415;

    I think this is analogous to the trolley problem. Switching a runaway trolley to kill one person instead of five seems reasonable to most; but pushing someone onto the track to die, in order to save five others, seems unreasonable to most.

    Your anology is severely flawed – even if we accept that the foetus can be considered a person, your ‘trollies’ hypothetical ignores thge fact that in forced pregnancy a woman’s body is being used against her will. I ask you again (not that I expect to get any kind of answer) – why are you asserting that a foetus should have a right at law in the flesh of another human being that goes far beyond the rights of any one else? Why should foetuses be accorded greater rights than unambiguously conscious people capable of independent existance?

    Most people, judging by the polls, seem to see a difference between actively taking an organ vs. interrupting a passively ongoing process. I think we have a case of conflicting intuitions here.

    Reality is not ratified by polls, and the argumentum ad populum is a recognised logical fallacy. Whether you care to acknowledge it or not, forcing a woman to continue with a pregnancy against her will denies her bodily autonomy and thus her humanity. It treats her as a living incubator – as a thing – rather than as a person. Perhaps you should ask yourself why you are so OK with that, and what it says about you as a person.

    I’m not religious, and don’t think that men and women actually become ‘one flesh’ when they get busy. I don’t see how anyone dies if someone decides, even in the middle of sex, that they don’t want to do it anymore. In short, no.

    So, a woman’s consent to sex cannot be ‘presumed’ in cases of rape, but her consent to another kind of violation of her bodily autonomy can because of the foetal life? Here’s a thought – I don’t believe that it is ever acceptable to treat a woman as either an ambulatory incubator or a sex toy. Before the foetus is capable of independent life outside the woman’s body it is a parasite, and she has every right to have that parasite removed if she so chooses. Unlike you, I don’t need to apply a double standard in this case because I believe that women remain people when they are pregnant.

    I have to reply to both of these at once, since they are related. When I said “The imperfection of life is only a problem for one side, it appears”, I was speaking of ‘sides’ of the abortion debate, not the gender divide.

    Thank you, that helps to clarify matters. Though I would point out that the pro-choice side accepts the ‘unpredictability of life’ – that’s why we want abortion services to be readily available; because we know that contraception is not 100% efficacious. It is the anti-choice side that chooses to ignore reality and act as if women should be able to magically avoid unwanted pregnancies, and that if they fall pregnant without wishing to then they are automatically irresponsible sluts underserving of help.

    For example, if abortion is allowed entirely at the discretion of the woman (which I remind you we both agree on, at least up to 20 weeks)

    There is this 20 week limit thing again – it makes no medical sense and is clearly arbitrary.

    then – sadly, demonstrably – many women will choose to abort fetuses that are discovered to be female. As genetic testing gets faster and more sophisticated, it seems probable that many women will abort fetuses with the ‘wrong’ genes for height, or eye color, or other cosmetic issues. I assume we both agree that this is (ahem) undesirable, but freedom is the right to be wrong, or else it’s not freedom.

    ‘Demonstrably’? Really? Not in specific culturers that privilege male over female children, but worldwide? Well, if that is true, you should have no difficulty providing a citation, should you?

    I also can’t help but note that your hypothetical that women will start aborting foetuses over minor cosmetic factors as soon as the genetic testing is good enough attempts to paint women as irresponsible, shallow and flighty creatures looking to abort on a whim.

    Don’t you think that this attitude isn’t a bit patronising to women? Even misogynistic? You didn’t say ‘parents’ afterall, just women. And oversight, or a Freudian Slip?

    Specifically answered in #157 and #61. In syllogism form:

    1. Abortion after 20 weeks is justified in the case of medical issues.
    2. Fetal abnormality is a medical issue.
    3. Therefore, abortion is justified in the case of fetal abnormality detected after 20 weeks.

    (I grant there’s some question about what counts as a ‘fetal abnormality’, though…

    I notice that you have avoided dealing with the issue of the deliberate delaying tactics employed by anti-choicers to cause women to run out of time to get an abortion? What should be done about that in your view?

    And of course it is not up to the woman to decide whether any foetal abnormality detected past 20 weeks is such that she wants a termination, because women and their pink fuzzy ladybrains can’t be trusted with big decisions like that, right Ray? And of course, her own bodily autonomy is a non-issue because of the notional personhood of the foetus that you can’t even demonstrate (not that it would matter if you could, see my point about the illegitimacy of asserting rights in other people’s flesh), but this is no way a form of procreative slavery because… er…

    Help me out here – how exactly is denying a woman her own bodily autonomy by means of granting a foetus rights over her flesh not a form of slavery?

  433. 433
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    As noted, given access to abortion, many women will choose to abort daughters and bear sons.

    Citation need for these here United States, not Asian countries. Or a bullshit statement that can be *POOF* dismissed as self-serving fuckwitery, like most of your pontifications.

    Who are you to make decisions for other people? You haven’t answered that question, which is the most important one on the table. And the one you avoid. Your ability to tell other people what decision they must make.

  434. 434
    dianne

    Since Down Syndrome has come up, I’d like to point out that the DS children that everyone knows at least one of are not the entire range of DS. Many DS fetuses are miscarried and more DS newborns die of cardiac problems that can’t be repaired. Still more die in childhood of various complications of their disease, including infections, more cardiac problems, neurologic issues, etc. Many more are institutionalized because their brains are so profoundly affected that they can never learn to walk, talk or feed themselves. The happy relatively intact DS person who lives with his/her family and goes to school you’re probably thinking of when you say DS is the most functional end of the spectrum.

  435. 435
    dianne

    With respect to sex selective abortion, I fail to see how limiting women’s choices and endangering their lives will encourage women to be happy to bear girl children. Perhaps you might concentrate on acts that increase equality between men and women so that girl children will be welcome and fewer women will be inclined to have a sex selective abortion.

  436. 436
    Gregory Greenwood

    Has anyone else noticed the curious approach to gender equality Ray Ingles has? Women engage in sex selective abortion in some cultures -> sex selective abortion is undesireable because it treats women as less valuable than men -> therefore, in the name of fighting gender inequality and protecting women, pregnant women should be denied their bodily autonomy.

    It’s condescending paternalism all the way down:-

    *Snark*

    There there, girls. Don’t hurt your inadequate pink fuzzy ladybrains by trying to make your own decisions. That is what men are for. I will nobly protect you from discriminating against yourselves with all this personal freedom you clearly aren’t smart enough to handle. Now, if you’re really good, we can have ice cream tonight…

    */Snark*

  437. 437
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Heh, I think that, the first time I braved making a comment here, it was about how sex selective abortion is misogynist and it was dianne who answered* first.

    *note: my memory is shit**
    **note2: I think that at the time I wasn’t Beatrice. After making that stupid comment (or *horror* possibly another one or two in the same thread), I lurked for some time and then came back as Beatrice***
    ***sorry for sockpuppeting, but considering *, I’m not entirely sure if things even happened like this

  438. 438
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Note three four: It wasn’t just that it’s misogynist, but an argument very similar to Ray Ingles’; that it’s wrong and not desirable and that I’m pro choice, but there’s just something about sex selective abortion that makes me talk bullshit.

    I got better.

  439. 439
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    given access to abortion, many women will choose to abort daughters and bear sons. Do you believe widespread abortion of females is desirable? If not, do you think the answer is (a) ban abortion

    You’re an idiot. As jadehawk noted, banning abortions won’t remove the underlying cause of women aborting pregnancies with female fetuses*. All it will do is drive desperate women underground to unsafe abortions. Congratulations, you yo-ho, you’ve just endangered an adult woman ON TOP OF her female fetus.

    Look, this is not a math-major level calculation.

    *you don’t abort a fetus, btw, you abort a process.

  440. 440
    sonderval

    I think this little philosophical quiz sums things up nicely (probably many here know it already?):
    http://www.philosophyexperiments.com/whosebody/Default.aspx

  441. 441
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    sonderval,

    I went through the questions and the result was that I always think abortion is morally justified and my views were consistent throughout.

    Notice now the part where various medical conditions should be ranked. Since it was said that they should be ranked considering how many deaths they cause, I put miscarriage at the bottom.

    I get this later:

    Nevertheless, you ranked the issue below cancer and heart disease in terms of its seriousness, and indeed not even in the top three medical problems, which suggests that you do not consider it to be a particularly serious issue.

    um, no. I consider miscarriage a serious issue. For the pregnant woman, if she wanted that pregnancy.

    This response actually makes sense (if, as per your instructions, you didn’t take into account the upset caused to those people who suffer miscarriages when determining how to rank the various issues).

    As it was instructed, yes.

    No miscarriages occur when the fetus is a person, since the fetus is never a person. Therefore, in your terms, there is no tragedy in the loss of its life beyond the unhappiness caused to those who care about it (which of course is morally significant, but not relevant from the point of view of this activity).

    Partly mollified by this, but what the fuck is with that first “which suggests that you do not consider it to be a particularly serious issue”!? Someone should consider rephrasing that part.

  442. 442
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    sonderval:
    Thanks for the philosophy experiment.
    My results:
    Your responses during this activity indicate that you should think abortion is always morally justified and that you should not have any significant moral qualms about the practice. This is in line with your stated position on abortion, which is precisely that it is always justified. In general, your position on abortion seems coherent and well thought out (which, of course, is not the same as saying it is right).

  443. 443
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Beatrice:
    I placed miscarriage at the bottom too. Got the same result as you. I find it odd that the implication is that I don’t feel miscarriages are serious.

  444. 444
    Jadehawk

    I was willing to grant exceptions when it can be shown the woman could not reasonably have known she was pregnant before the sixth month.

    shades of “legitimate rape”; basically, women are guilty and sentenced to forced birth unless they can prove themselves innocent.

    disgusting.

  445. 445
    dianne

    I put miscarriage at the bottom because the test specifically said to consider only mortality when ranking seriousness of condition, not pain and suffering. Miscarriages can result in death, but it’s rare. (Though, really, I’m not at all confident about which causes more deaths: miscarriage or housemaid’s knee. Both can, but rarely do, result in death.)

  446. 446
    anteprepro

    Well that was enough obvious dodging. Looking back at 56, I think Ray may have already alluded to it, but it is still stupid and it is still rather telling that he couldn’t be arsed to bring it up again: The “20 weeks” designation was about fetal pain. But the fucker couldn’t even get that right, because it is generally accepted, medically, that fetal pain is only conceivably possible at week 24 onward. The abstract he linked to also said as much . Even without that stupid rounding to the nearest 10, he managed to take a few leaps. Watch his process (you can go to post 56 to see his original wording instead of my mocking paraphrase):

    There is obviously no capacity for a fetus to feel pain before “20″ weeks.
    Ergo, a fetus cannot be fully conscious or a person before “20″ weeks.
    Ergo, a fetus might be conscious or a person after “20″ weeks.
    Ergo, you should not be free to have an abortion after “20″ weeks.

    Apparently the mere capacity to maybe feel pain 4 weeks in the future was sufficient for Ray Ingles to say that 20 weeks is the line in the sand; the point where abortions can only be performed to save the mother’s life. And he also has a throw-away line there about how complete bodily autonomy isn’t a thing, and gives some example about property rights to illustrate what he imagines to be that point. But he’s an ally !

  447. 447
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    But he’s an ally !*snicker* But with concerns…

  448. 448
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Ibis3 asked a question which deserved a reply. By way of introduction, me @#289:

    if putting a term limit for accessible, free, legal, and safe abortions ensures that free, legal, and safe abortions remain accessible, maybe that’s a compromise most people would accept?

    Caine:

    Why do you think such a restriction is a good idea in the UK?

    … which, somewhat drunk, I misread as “US”, posted #301 and then realised I should shut up. But Ibis3 asked (sensing the mis-
    interpretation?):

    Why do you think this is “a good healthcare policy” anywhere?

    I think, two days ago, I’d have gone with something along the lines of:

    If ensuring that society will tax people and spend the money ensuring that doctors are available to provide free, safe, and accessible abortions, then it’s reasonable to ask women to avail themselves of them before the point where the public as a whole gets squicky about dead baby-like messes, revolts, and says “no more”.

    This seemed to me to be a reasonable compromise, and (as in the UK) politically-achievable, with the result that most abortions are before 12 weeks, most pregnancies are wanted, and the late abortions are all due to medical complications.

    But.

    As Ibis3 pointed out in response to #289, this is a wedge issue. And the 28-week limit of the 1967 Abortion Act already got watered down to 24 weeks, based on “current-maximum-medically-supported-viability” (Amphiox’s awesome term). And Nadine Dorries is angling for 20 weeks, and Jeremy Hunt is in favour of 12. And Caine’s:

    You don’t have the same amount of rabid lifers, but neither did we, at one point.

    … is salient, and worrying.

    And it’s an arbitrary wedge issue: the case I linked to in #289 came about because a woman changed her mind at 29 weeks (which I’d consider acceptable–a limit closer to natural rather than maximally-supported viability).

    And there’s everything everyone else said.

    So, yeah, that grinding sound you might have heard is the sound of my mind being changed. I still think that a viable foetus should have some rights, but I do think I shouldn’t be quite so comfortable with the status quo.

    So, um, thanks for that. The mind-changing has been painful. ;-)

  449. 449
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    cm:

    I still think that a viable foetus should have some rights, but I do think I shouldn’t be quite so comfortable with the status quo.

    What rights would those be though?
    Do those rights matter as long as the fetus is dwelling inside the pregnant woman? Her bodily autonomy trumps the fetus’ rights.

  450. 450
  451. 451
    sonderval

    @Beatrice, Tony, dianne
    I agree, that is phrased not too well.
    Still, I think this is a nice way of confronting people with the issue (I would change the number of 9 months in the plant experiment to avoid being too obvious, though).

    BTW, my result was similar to yours, although I felt an ethical obligation of living with that funny plant for a week since that would not be too bad…

  452. 452
    Ray Ingles

    Gregory Greenwood –

    why are you asserting that a foetus should have a right at law in the flesh of another human being that goes far beyond the rights of any one else?

    Because a fetus – particularly by 20 weeks – has a unique, ongoing, established interest “in the flesh of another human being that goes far beyond” that “of any one else”? (Note: bodily integrity is not considered absolute now in the case of “danger to oneself or others”. So the question of whether there’s an ‘other’ there is of practical and not merely academic interest.)

    Whether you care to acknowledge it or not, forcing a woman to continue with a pregnancy against her will denies her bodily autonomy and thus her humanity.

    Are mentally ill people forced to take medication considered less than human?

    So, a woman’s consent to sex cannot be ‘presumed’ in cases of rape, but her consent to another kind of violation of her bodily autonomy can because of the foetal life?

    Some men have been demonstrably on the hook, legally, for providing for children that aren’t theirs – because they didn’t take advantage of the window of opportunity to challenge paternity. Their consent to paternity is presumed at that point, no matter how much they may protest afterward. Men and women have objected to common law marriages before, but after the window passes they must divorce, not simply break up. Again – presumed consent to accepting responsibilities and duties, after the window to do something about it has passed, is far from unprecedented.

    It is the anti-choice side that chooses to ignore reality and act as if women should be able to magically avoid unwanted pregnancies, and that if they fall pregnant without wishing to then they are automatically irresponsible sluts underserving of help.

    That might well address a lot of people’s positions. It doesn’t address my position.

    There is this 20 week limit thing again – it makes no medical sense and is clearly arbitrary.

    Are you able to describe why I proposed that? You don’t have to agree with the case, but are you able to accurately summarize it?

    (BTW – Is the BAC limit of 0.08 while driving based on solid medical evidence that applies in all cases? Or is it entirely arbitrary? Or does it contain elements of both?)

    Not in specific culturers that privilege male over female children, but worldwide?

    Why is that a requirement? Is there no such thing as emigration? I’m willing to admit that there exist a handful women who suddenly discover they are pregnant after six months or more of incubation – and proposed a legal framework that acknowledges that and works with it. Are you willing to admit that even in, say, the United States, at least some sex-selective abortion happens? It’s pretty clear that there’s a demand for sex-selection in the U.S. already.

    I also can’t help but note that your hypothetical that women will start aborting foetuses over minor cosmetic factors as soon as the genetic testing is good enough attempts to paint women as irresponsible, shallow and flighty creatures looking to abort on a whim.

    Saying that some women will be ‘irresponsible’ is a truism – and it doesn’t mean that all (or even most) women will be. The same applies to men – even more so, really, given the actuarial tables. We don’t ban men from driving, or owning guns, even though they are vastly more likely to cause problems with cars or guns. We just prohibit driving irresponsibly, or using guns negligently. Humans make shallow, even terrible decisions all the time.

    (Can you explain why people seem to think there’s money to be had in selecting for eye color?)

    I think people who abort ‘on a whim’ after 20 weeks must be extremely rare – if there are any. From what available evidence there is, it’s (almost?) exclusively for medical reasons after that point. So this change in principle makes (almost?) no difference in practice. But it puts current practice on a defensible ground.

  453. 453
    dianne

    We don’t ban men from driving, or owning guns, even though they are vastly more likely to cause problems with cars or guns.

    But by your argument we should. In fact, we should remove men’s fingers so that they aren’t capable of firing a gun. Because we know men make bad decisions about guns and that those decisions may actively end the life of another person. Therefore, we should prevent them from doing so. Isn’t that more or less the argument you’re making about third trimester abortion?

  454. 454
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    RI still wanking on? He hasn’t proven that there is a problem with “for convenience” third trimester abortions, pretends he isn’t presupposing the answer, and makes idiotic analogies with holes so large that they make a leaky goalie look rock solid. Failure writ large over his insipid efforts.

  455. 455
    LykeX

    Are mentally ill people forced to take medication considered less than human?

    Some mentally ill people, after having been evaluated by a doctor, will be considered unfit to decide for themselves what is in their own best interest and as a result, their medication will be administered disregarding their protests.

    Are you suggesting that women in general are not fit to decide whether or not it’s in their best interest to be pregnant? If not, this is simply yet another attempt to drag a red herring across the trail.

    Again – presumed consent to accepting responsibilities and duties, after the window to do something about it has passed, is far from unprecedented.

    I note that all the examples you mention relate essentially to economic responsibilities. Do you have an example that involves bodily autonomy? You know, the subject we’re actually discussing?

  456. 456
    LykeX

    Oh, and Ray? DIY?
    Anything on that yet? Anything at all?

  457. 457
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Someone could possibly make a decision Ray Ingles don’t like so let’s curtail all women’s rights, just in case!

    Quoting myself:

    A broken health system should be fixed*. Women should not have to give birth to children they don’t want while they’re waiting for it to be fixed!

    *note that for me fixing the health system includes non-limited abortion, but at this point I’m referring to making abortion cheap/free and easily accessible

    So, while we’re waiting for the health system to get better, why again are we making decisions that give more rights to a fetus than a woman?

  458. 458
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    don’t doesn’t

  459. 459
    ars5

    Saying that the personhood of the fetus is irrelevant to the woman’s bodily autonomy is a bad argument too. Bodily autonomy does not go so far as to allow us to harm other people. That’s why such simplistic arguments are ineffective.

  460. 460
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Bodily autonomy does not go so far as to allow us to harm other people.

    I someone is hurting you or trying to cause you harm by damaging your bodily integrity, you have the ability to use deadly force to stop it. Yes, it is a valid argument. Your simplistic dismissal is weak bullshit, not a valid argument.

  461. 461
    ars5

    won’t let me reply

  462. 462
    ars5

    Sorry, I’ll amend my statement to include “unless someone is trying to harm us.”

  463. 463
    Ichthyic

    Sorry, I’ll amend my statement to include “unless someone is trying to harm us.”

    which then means you agree the bodily autonomy position is a reasonable one.

    thanks.

  464. 464
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Sorry, I’ll amend my statement to include “unless someone is trying to harm us.”

    Amend it to “I am wrong, sorry”, then we can talk.

  465. 465
    ars5

    No thanks, I’ll just elaborate. If people have bodily autonomy and a fetus is a person, then a fetus has bodily autonomy. Just because a fetus can’t defend itself, doesn’t make it okay to kill it, just as it’s not okay to kill babies. That’s why it’s necessary to include in the argument that a fetus is not a person. Calling my comment weak bullshit is not effective either.

  466. 466
    LykeX

    @ars5

    Did you bother reading the thread so far? I ask because you’ve advanced three positions so far, all of which have already been dealt with earlier.

    It’s almost as if you’re just talking out of your ass.

  467. 467
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    You’re forgetting about the bodily autonomy of the women in question. You know, the one carrying the fetus.

    As it has been explained already, personhood of the fetus is irrelevant since no person has a right to take possession of another’s whole or part of the body without the other person’s permission.

  468. 468
    Ichthyic

    If people have bodily autonomy and a fetus is a person, then a fetus has bodily autonomy.

    only if you deem it has those rights, which again, means that you agree that the bodily autonomy argument works.

    so glad to see you’re coming around.

  469. 469
    Ichthyic

    It’s almost as if you’re just talking out of your ass.

    it does appear that way.

  470. 470
    Koshka

    Are you willing to admit that even in, say, the United States, at least some sex-selective abortion happens? It’s pretty clear that there’s a demand for sex-selection in the U.S. already.

    So what if it is?

    Using the issue of gender selection to argue against abortion is just another way to make judgement on a woman and her choices.

    I personally wouldn’t want to choose the sex of my children. But I see no problem with people doing it.

    In Australia gender selection is illegal but I know that doctors will do it where certain inheritable diseases go with gender. That is you are lucky enough to be able to afford a private doctor of you choice.

    Also you will have some people who have lost a child and desperately want the next one to be of the same gender, or perhaps of the opposite gender.

    Choosing the gender of your child is selfish. But then having a child is selfish regardless.

  471. 471
    Ichthyic

    But then having a child is selfish regardless.

    It’s the absolute, most selfish thing one can do.

    that’s not a value judgement, that’s just a fact.

  472. 472
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Just because a fetus can’t defend itself, doesn’t make it okay to kill it, just as it’s not okay to kill babies.

    What a loser, as a fetus is not a baby. KILLING BABIES IS CODE WORDS FOR I’M A PRESUPPOSITIONAL FUCKWITTED IDJIT WHO DOESN’T HAVE A RATIONAL ARGUMENT AND MUST RESORT TO EMOTIONAL FUCKWITTERY.

    If you want an honest discussion, you must accept fetus =/= baby. It’s only a baby after the fetus is born.

  473. 473
    ars5

    “If you want an honest discussion, you must accept fetus =/= baby. It’s only a baby after the fetus is born.”

    That’s what I’m saying. It’s relevant.

    But I’ll take the hint and take my “fuckwittery” elsewhere.

  474. 474
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    That’s what I’m saying. It’s relevant.

    Relevant only in the sense you are wrong….

  475. 475
    Amphiox

    Bodily autonomy does not go so far as to allow us to harm other people.

    It does if the other person is posing a direct and immediate threat to our bodily well-being, which the fetus, in the case of even the most routine pregnancy, does to the woman.

  476. 476
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Funny how Ray Ingles clings to the twenty weeks argue and ignores the fact that in many parts of the US, many women are not capable of getting an early abortion because of all the legal, economical and logistical barriers put in place.

    It is almost like Ray Ingles is ignoring how difficult life is for many women. I think I will call him, “joey”.

  477. 477
    LykeX

    I think we’re in danger of a miscommunication here, so let me just clarify. We’re talking about two separate things: First, whether the fetus is a person; second, whether the answer to the first question actually matters to the question of the legality of abortion. These are completely separate topics. We should not confuse them.
    @ars5 I think Nerd reacted to your use of language, interpreting it as a defense of the idea that the fetus is equivalent to a baby, not as an argument for why the question of personhood matters.

    Personally, I very much doubt that the fetus can be called a person and certainly it could never be called so until the relevant developments of the nervous system had occurred. The idea that the fetus is a person from conception is downright ludicrous.

    Secondly, I don’t think it much matters. As has been argued already, we wouldn’t let an adult, who is undeniably a person with full rights of a human being, use another person’s body in the manner and to the extent that a fetus does, even if his life depended on it. As a result, we shouldn’t allow a fetus to do this either, even if said fetus is accepted as a person.

  478. 478
    ars5

    Thanks @LykeX. I wasn’t trying to equate a fetus to a baby. It was an analogy.

    I am starting to see how personhood of the fetus is not as relevant as I initially thought. I guess my issue with a lot of the comments was that they seemed to portray fetuses as malicious things that spring up in uteri without permission, which they do, but they lack the ability to ask permission. They don’t choose to be there. Also, except in cases of rape, the woman does play a role in putting that fetus there. That might not be her intent, but she does play a role. That’s why I’ve had a hard time seeing pregnancy as an example of using someone’s body without consent. But I do understand the limitations presented by inadequate sex education, lack of access to birth control, and incomplete effectiveness of birth control. So I get why my argument was flawed. Sorry if my comments were redundant, and thanks for humoring me.

  479. 479
    LykeX

    I guess my issue with a lot of the comments was that they seemed to portray fetuses as malicious things that spring up in uteri without permission, which they do, but they lack the ability to ask permission. They don’t choose to be there

    The agency of the fetus is irrelevant for whether it’s legitimate to remove it. The bodily autonomy argument isn’t reliant on the intent of the fetus.

    Also, except in cases of rape, the woman does play a role in putting that fetus there. That might not be her intent, but she does play a role

    Also irrelevant. Just like with sex, an initial yes doesn’t overrule a later no. A person is allowed to, at any moment, change their minds about what permissions they’re willing to give to others. We are not bound by our past decisions. What matters is not what she said, but what is saying right now.

    As such, even if the woman was intentionally trying to get pregnant and perhaps even received fertility treatment, this would not invalidate a later decision to have an abortion.

    For a comparison consider that even if you once donate blood, you’re not required to keep donating for the rest of your life. Indeed, you can change your mind at any point during the procedure. You can say “stop” and the staff have to stop tapping your blood, even if the needle is already in your arm.

    That’s why I’ve had a hard time seeing pregnancy as an example of using someone’s body without consent

    But the fetus is factually using the woman’s body without her consent. That’s undeniably true. The fact that the fetus is not doing so intentionally does not change the situation for the woman or reduce her rights in any way.

    And remember, that is what we’re talking about: a reduction in the rights of women. Taking away their ability to decide what happens with their own bodies. This isn’t a philosophical debate on the nature of consciousness. It’s a question of whether one half of the population get the same rights as the other half.

  480. 480
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    That’s why I’ve had a hard time seeing pregnancy as an example of using someone’s body without consent.

    Ah, slut shaming at its finest. Unless the woman wanted to get pregnant and not just have sex, your argument is flawed. Express permission wasn’t given for the fetus to occupy her womb.

  481. 481
    atheistfem4life

    “she repeatedly announced that SCIENCE had declared the conceptus at the moment of fertilization to be fully human.”
    but she’s not lying. she is right. science has. and yes it’s a simple cut and dry declaration. more detailed descriptions of the complexity of early human development is ,of course, also available to academians, but none exist that refutes the very basic foundational consensus that the human embryo is not only an embryo which has human genes as you accurately asserted but further that that human entity is a human organism, a developing human being, in it’s earliest stage of development. the woman above cited textbook quotes from as recent as 2008. i’m not sure why that isn’t modern enough for you. it’s not as if the last few years has seen some dramatic countering evidence that upturned all our understanding of the life cycle of the human being .
    But no worry or annoyance is necessarily warranted because of the fact ;-) to be “fully human” in the scientific sense is clearly not what you are talking about when you use those words. what you are talking about is the moral relevance of the human being in the single-celled state and not the factual existence/nature of that organism, and the value- relevance etc isn’t defined by science but has been up to debate since before Roe. You are 100% right that “SCIENCE does not make a definitive statement about the moment at which personhood is acquired”. Just when a human being begins.

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