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Nov 02 2012

A better recording of the Matt Dillahunty vs. Kristine Kruszelnicki debate

I’m not sure why you’d want a higher quality recording of that beat-down, but here’s the official Texas Freethought Convention recording of the abortion debate.

135 comments

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  1. 1
    billygutter01

    I don’t think I could handle a better quality version of the abortion porn images in that debate.

    *shudder*

  2. 2
    mythbri

    Better quality video won’t make Kruszelnicki’s argument less stupid.

  3. 3
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    She should convert to Christianity. At least then I’d understand her arguments. As an atheist, she makes even less sense than the average pro-life person (who is religious, as far as I know).

    That wouldn’t make her right, but still…

  4. 4
    Deanna Joy Lyons - Mentioner of Patriarchy

    Thanks so much for posting this. I tried to watch the other video and the audio quality was just too poor. It drove me a bit crazy (although I will readily admit to being a bit anal when it comes to that). :)

  5. 5
    philisyssis

    To clarify off the bat, I am pro-choice.

    But there’s something I always wondered. Pro-lifers always use the emotional argument that women have gotten an abortion and regretted it. It is just an appeal to emotion, but it is no doubt true.

    I’m wondering if anyone who had a safe pregnancy with a healthy baby has ever regretted NOT getting an abortion?

  6. 6
    mythbri

    @philisyssis

    I know plenty of women who wish that they had waited to have children. I doubt they’d frame it in terms of regretting not having an abortion if you were to ask them directly.

    But if it were a safe pregnancy with a healthy baby, I can imagine many family scenarios in which abuse and manipulation figure prominently which would make me regret bringing a child into that situation. I can’t speak for all women, though.

  7. 7
    Jadehawk

    I’m wondering if anyone who had a safe pregnancy with a healthy baby has ever regretted NOT getting an abortion?

    anecdotally, i know of one woman who said that she “apologized to her baby daily” because she felt regret that she hadn’t chosen to abort instead (she hadn’t left her RCC brainwashing behind sufficiently when she found herself pregnant)

    you won’t find such sentiments expressed a lot, because it’s taboo for women to regret motherhood, since that would mean there’s something “wrong” with you. consequently, I bet most of such feelings of regret are accompanied by shame and guilt for having such a “horrible” emotion

  8. 8
    philisyssis

    @mythbri

    Fair enough. I suppose now we would get into the philosophy of whether it’s better to not exist at all than to exist and suffer. I find this to be a gray area. There isn’t a difinitive place to draw the line here, and there are many people who suffered abuse as a kid who rose to be extraordinary citizens. And at the same time there are some that committed suicide.

    I wonder what would happen if we asked a large sample of abused kids if they think their mother should have gotten an abortion. I know that’s a horrible thing to ask, which is why no one will actually ask it, but it’s one of those areas of moral philosophy where tough questions come out.

  9. 9
    philisyssis

    @Jadehawk,

    Your second paragraph is very well put. That you for saying it, that’s a good way of putting it.

  10. 10
    siveambrai

    @philisyssis yes absolutely. But you will almost never hear women state it because there is such an intense social pressure on women not only to desire motherhood but to be the best mothers ever that women who regret childbearing are silenced through shame and guilt. Even mild complaints are often harshly responded to by others in hearing range. There is a great book recent published by a woman in the skeptic or feminist blogosphere (I want to say Elyse Anders or one of the Valentti sisters but I can’t find the reference on my tablet sorry!) discussing modern motherhood and the need for a more honest discussion of it.

  11. 11
    joey

    siveambrai:

    But you will almost never hear women state it because there is such an intense social pressure on women not only to desire motherhood but to be the best mothers ever that women who regret childbearing are silenced through shame and guilt.

    Or maybe the mother simply wants to avoid her own children from knowing that their own mother wishes they had never been born. I think that’s a noble enough reason to remain silent, don’t you think?

  12. 12
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I heard that Matt Dillahunty was banned from FtB.

  13. 13
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Joey, if the mother feels strongly that she regrets not aborting, it is a fair bet that the child will learn that (and learn it young) whether or not the mother says so bluntly in front of the kid.

  14. 14
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    And joey shows up yet again in a discussion about abortion just to spout unsubstantiated shit.

    Joey, you do realize that most of the people here know that you are a liar.

  15. 15
    philisyssis

    Janine,

    Matt wasn’t banned according to PZ Myers: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/10/31/why-i-dont-bother-with-youtube-comments-part-eleventymillion/

    Also, it seems Joey is offering a fair suggestion. Maybe he’s incorrect and Esteleth is right, or maybe the truth lies somewhere in between and eash case is different, but in what way is he lying here? (Maybe I missed a previous discussion that makes you say that)

  16. 16
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Janine @12:
    Not only was he banned,I heard PZ banned him, just like he banned Thunderf00t!

    Preserve Freeze Peach.

  17. 17
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    philisyssis:

    Janine knows. She’s making with the funny.

  18. 18
    philisyssis

    @Tony

    Ah, sarcasm, often misunderstood in the written word…

  19. 19
    chigau (違う)

    philisyssis
    Janine was joking about Dillahunty.
    She wasn’t joking about joey, who has a history here.

  20. 20
    chigau (違う)

    Note to self: refresh before submitting comment.

  21. 21
    mythbri

    @joey

    Or maybe the mother simply wants to avoid her own children from knowing that their own mother wishes they had never been born. I think that’s a noble enough reason to remain silent, don’t you think?

    Yes, that’s right. Women are noble when they lie to themselves and their children, when they stifle their emotions, when they hold in legitimate feelings so that everyone else around them feels good.

    Women are also noble when they become pregnant through rape and decide to have the baby anyway, regardless of her feelings. Right?

    Women are also noble when their birth control fails and a pregnancy would have serious lifetime consequences, but she decides to have the baby anyway, regardless of her feelings. Right?

    Women are also noble when they have life-threatening illnesses when they’re pregnant, and aren’t allowed to get an abortion because they live in a Catholic-controlled country, and end up dying (oh, and the fetus dies, too). Right?

    In conclusion, women are noble when they don’t act like they’re real people with legitimate feelings.

    Right?

  22. 22
    philisyssis

    Yes, that’s right. Women are noble when they lie to themselves and their children, when they stifle their emotions, when they hold in legitimate feelings so that everyone else around them feels good.

    Everyone does this. If kids have a below average intelligence child, who says to them “I feel that you’re stupid”? Even if the parent really thinks that, sometimes it’s better to hold it in. The rest of your post was just a red herring.

    But I’m not completely agreeing with Joey here, I think that on a case by case basis we may find that his thoughts on this are true some of the time, while other times what others have mentioned is true. And yet other times it may even be a mix.

  23. 23
    mythbri

    @philisyssis

    You are the one who brought up the point that it is possible (indeed, probable) that there are women who regret not having had an abortion. You’re right when you say this is complex, but joey’s comment was indicative of the attitude that the feelings of women take a backseat to the feeling of everyone else around them.

    Women are socialized to be accommodating, to be nice, to be kind at the expense of their own feelings and comfort level. This is an unreasonable standard that disproportionately affects women.

    People with gender-essentialist ideas, particularly conservative ones, have a lot of ideas about what women need to do to be considered “noble”, or a “good mother” or a “good woman.” The rest of my post was not a red herring, but rather an attempt to illustrate the other logical conclusions of the so-called nobility that women are expected to achieve.

  24. 24
    demonhype

    mythbri @21: Yes, women are only noble when they accept their place as disposable livestock through whom Actual Humans and sometimes fresh livestock are produced. When we pretend we have brains or desires other than to reproduce, or otherwise act outside our status as baby factories, we do ourselves and everyone else a disservice and our pathetic attempt at pretending we’re people is a threat to the Future of the huMan race, dontchaknow?

    My mom had three kids she wanted, but she never had any qualms about telling us how nice her life could have been if she hadn’t had us, and that we’d better never have kids if we’re not prepared to sacrifice for them, that if you don’t want kids you shouldn’t have them–and that there’s nothing wrong with not having kids, but that there is something deeply wrong with having kids if you haven’t really gone over every pro and con and made an informed decision about whether you can afford it, not only financially but emotionally, psychologically, etc. She portrayed it as one of the primary responsibilities of parenthood, to understand what it entails before you agree to it, because if you don’t there will be a child who will suffer probably more than you will from that oversight. She made it clear that, though she did choose to have kids and that we were all planned, if she hadn’t had kids she would have been fine that way too, because she never had any burning desire to reproduce. I never felt my mom didn’t love me, even in the rare occasions when she seemed regretful of having kids. And no, I don’t think she ever said that outright, but it’s clear she did feel it at times and kids do pick up on that. The only one of us three kids who ever took all that personally was my brother, who was being psychologically manipulated by a baby-hungry mombie spouse coaching him that he “should” feel upset that He was not the Light and Joy in her life without which there would be nothing, and that if she hadn’t ever had him she should spend the rest of her life in sackcloth and ashes bewailing the fact that she never had a little boy. Us two girls had considerably less sense of self-importance.

    Also, it was personal to her: She was an unwanted child herself and even today, in her sixties, can start crying over the memories of being a motherless little girl who lived with a violent drunk and a religious fanatic who only took her in because “Christian duty” and all, who made no secret that they believed she was going to be a “slut” just like her mother, and insists she wishes her mother had aborted her rather than force her to grow up that way, with no one in the world giving a damn about her.* And that’s without the classic abuse situation that a lot of other unwanted kids will have to deal with.

    *She tells one story of going to see Santa with her two cousins. Her aunt paid to get a picture of her cousins with Santa, but would not pay for a picture of my mom with Santa because it wasn’t “her” kid, and her (alcoholic) father hadn’t sent any extra money for it. And she remembers how her aunt put that picture on the mantlepiece in plain sight and how she, just a little girl, was essentially forced to see this constant reminder that she was alone and had no one, that no one in the world gave two shits about her, that even the people who had taken her in were only doing so so they could please Jesus and go to heaven. She’s in her sixties and cries like a baby when she thinks about these memories.

    Yeah, anti-choicers, tell me all about your emotional arguments, or about how a life of suffering is so much better than not existing–when you’re not the one suffering, of course. Notice how noble and enlightened they get when they aren’t the ones in pain? They’re never quite that noble and enlightened when they’re the ones suffering.

  25. 25
    joey

    mythbri:

    Yes, that’s right. Women are noble when they lie to themselves and their children, when they stifle their emotions, when they hold in legitimate feelings so that everyone else around them feels good.

    You don’t think a mother telling her own child “I wish you had never been born” would not adversely affect a child’s emotional/mental well-being?

    But maybe you do think it would have negative effects on the child, but all detrimental effects would be justified since the mother won’t be stifling her emotions? Is there no such thing as verbal child abuse?

  26. 26
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Here’s the other reason why women should be able to be open about their less-that-100%-enthusiastic views on motherhood:

    If they’re suffering, it is a fair bet that the kids are (1) picking up on that and (2) suffering as well.

    The mother being able to get help if she needs it helps her as well as the kid. This “you WILL be happy because you’re a mom, and that’s awesome!!!” hurts everyone.

    Of course, I support mothers being able to be honest because that is good for the mother, but the amount of “the mother must be noble” bullshit makes appealing for the benefit of the kid necessary as well.

  27. 27
    philisyssis

    the amount of “the mother must be noble” bullshit

    I didn’t see anyone on here saying that the mother MUST keep it to herself. We were discussing possible reasons for mothers speaking out, and it came up as a possible reason. I imagine that’s probably true.

    joey’s comment was indicative of the attitude that the feelings of women take a backseat to the feeling of everyone else around them

    I didn’t take it that way. He said that they may not be speaking out because of that reason. In this thread I didn’t see him say that they SHOULDN’T speak out for that reason. But again, maybe there is some history here that I’m missing that would make you think that.

  28. 28
    Jadehawk

    You don’t think a mother telling her own child “I wish you had never been born” would not adversely affect a child’s emotional/mental well-being?

    false dichotomy is false. saying “I wish you had never been born” is in fact not the only alternative to not lying about regrets.

    It is entirely possible to explain to a child that another choice would have been better for a woman way back when she was pregnant, without telling the child that it is unloved and unwanted now.

    and no, demanding that women lie and deny their emotions doesn’t make them “noble”; it makes them victims of emotional abuse.

  29. 29
    Jadehawk

    Everyone does this. If kids have a below average intelligence child, who says to them “I feel that you’re stupid”?

    also a false dichotomy. And what purpose does it serve such a child to pretend it is in fact not below average intelligence?

    You want to communicate the truth, not do so using the most harmful language you can find.

  30. 30
    richardhart

    My my. A crushing defeat indeed. Anti-abortionists have nothing but emotion upon which to base their arguments, and poor Kristine attempts to argue with nothing after Matt shoots down her emotional plays. She fails miserably.

  31. 31
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    There goes joey, making analogies that have nothing to do with abortions in order to make an argument against abortions.

    Anyway to work in stick sharp in this?

  32. 32
    mythbri

    @demonhype #24

    I’m really sorry to hear that your mother went through something like that.

    It really does illustrate the complexity behind this entire issue, and how much unreasonable societal expectations complicate it even further.

  33. 33
    Jamie

    @ philisyssis #8

    I suppose now we would get into the philosophy of whether it’s better to not exist at all than to exist and suffer.

    I’ve had a pretty fortunate life, and I would not have minded if my mother had had an abortion. It’s nice to exist, but if I didn’t, then obviously, it wouldn’t matter. I think that my mom would have been better off and happier if she hadn’t married my dad and had kids, even though it was her choice.

    @ joey # 25

    You don’t think a mother telling her own child “I wish you had never been born” would not adversely affect a child’s emotional/mental well-being?

    Like Jadehawk said, that’s not the only way to communicate it. See demonhype #24: women can acknowledge that they had wanted something else or that they felt unprepared at the time for a child without adversely affecting the child’s well-being. My mom said that she wished she had waited a bit before having children. (She had just immigrated to America and completely unused to and unaware of how things were done.) Besides, if the mother did feel that way, the child could probably already pick up on the sentiment.

  34. 34
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Besides, if the mother did feel that way, the child could probably already pick up on the sentiment.

    And it’s far more helpful to talk with your child about it then to just let that fester. Sure, there are manipulative assholes that use the “your mother never wanted you” to hurt children but that doesn’t mean it always happens like that.

    My child is 5 and her short life has been rocky because I was in an abusive relationship with her father and got pregnant. I had her and ran, still am running. I still love her with all my heart but at the same time I feel terribly guilty for making her life so hard. She’s picked up on how hard our life is, how it’s not exactly normal and she blamed herself, that’s what kids usually do. Obviously, I’ve kept our discussions age appropriate and told her that I loved her, that I’m sorry I wasn’t better prepared and that I would do my best to make it work. That it wasn’t her fault we lived this way and that I’m sorry I didn’t chose a better father. As she gets older, she’ll understand the implications of this and we’ll have to have the conversation over again.

    I know for sure that not talking with her about it would be far, far worse than never admitting anything was wrong and pretending that I’d made the best choices.

  35. 35
    mythbri

    @JAL

    Sending good and safe thoughts your way. What a reasonable and mature way to be honest with your daughter.

  36. 36
    Usernames are smart

    I suppose now we would get into the philosophy of whether it’s better to not exist at all than to exist and suffer.
    — philisyssis #8

    Like Jamie #33, I’m perfectly fine with the possibility of my non-existence, as I woud’ve never known any different.

    I would rather not go through life suffering, but life isn’t one long stretch of pain that continuously ratchets up: there are good days and not so good days. If times are tough, I just need to take care of my business and wait for things to change—they always do.

    One day I won’t exist. In some ways that will suck; I’d sure like to see the kids grow old and (maybe) have kids of their own. I suspect that the state of my body/mind will eventually be such that I’m ready for non-existence.

  37. 37
    firetree

    This is a tired old debate but there is more; let me explain. The second she said in her introduction that a zygote blastula, embryo, fetus, or baby is a human being and if you kill it you commit murder you lost the argument unless you can justify homicide. You can dance around with semantics but a fact is a fact. Murder is a crime. Matt answered the question with his comment about “justifiable homicide”, which means the only time you take legally take a life is to protect your own life. If some dude comes at you with a knife in a dark ally, you can kill him in self-defense. If person is a serial killer, the state has the obligation to kill him in self-defense. If the baby is going to kill the mother, the mother is justified in killing the baby. This may not be tea party conversation but that is the fact.

    Now that we are on the slippery slope of abortion, we can enter into the next step, which is even more slippery. Let’s enter the world of called fetal monsters. Have you ever heard of the dozens of different developmental anomalies that result in baby that will die within minutes of birth? Don’t feel bad, apparently most politicians have never heard of these things either. If a physician detects one of these conditions in the first trimester of pregency, is abortion justifiable? The alternative is to make the mother wait until the baby she delivers the monster and it dies naturally. Now let’s go to the next step. Medical tests can detect several types of disease in fetuses that compromised life up to and in some cases including adult hood. These things do no only compromise the life of the baby but the life of the mother. In some cases, the affected individual outlives the parent so the state steps in to take care of the individual. This introduces the concept of quality of life. We know why these things happen.

    The nonsense that “God willed it” is just that, it is nonsense. Yes, but are we fully prepared to say a poor quality of life can justify a homicide. I can honestly say I do not know to how low the quality of life has to go before I would kill someone. I do not know how badly one life would have to affect another life to justify taking one life but not the other. I do not have the burden of some man made religions or make believe God telling me what to do or not to do. All I have is the biologically mediated sense that life is important but not sacred. Survival is important. To abort or not to abort is just the tip of the infanticide debate. Maybe we should grow up and stop talking trash and start talking about some of the real problems to a depth they should be debated.

  38. 38
    Ichthyic

    Preserve Freeze Peach.

    Freeze Peach Preserves!

  39. 39
    Ichthyic

    Yes, but are we fully prepared to say a poor quality of life can justify a homicide

    this of course, entirely based on the presupposition that you have already decided for yourself where to assign rights such that you can even consider using the term “homicide”.

    frankly, I don’t see your justification, other than arbitrarily making the decision that unborn fetus is a PERSON.

    I myself choose to arbitrarily assign those rights post partum.

    the rest of your argument is entirely useless until you decide where rights are applied to begin with.

    otherwise, every time I jack off you can claim I murdered a potential “person”.

  40. 40
    Ichthyic

    Maybe we should grow up and stop talking trash

    despite what you might think, I see much trash in your post.

  41. 41
    Rutee Katreya

    This is a tired old debate but there is more; let me explain. The second she said in her introduction that a zygote blastula, embryo, fetus, or baby is a human being and if you kill it you commit murder you lost the argument unless you can justify homicide.

    I don’t have to justify homicide. I only have to justify not letting another human being use my internal organs, even under pain of death. Seeing as we don’t forcibly harvest kidneys, liver tissue, or blood, I think I got this one.

    As a society, we’ve already decided that bodily autonomy ranks higher than human life. We certainly haven’t changed that for babies in any other sense; why is it women’s bodies don’t get the same consideration dudes’ do?

  42. 42
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    joey:

    Is there no such thing as verbal child abuse?

    Yes.
    It’s called religious indoctrination.

  43. 43
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    firetree @37:
    There is no slippery slope of abortion.
    Have you heard of bodily autonomy and the right to self determination?

  44. 44
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    philisyssis
    Many women differenciate between their children now and here and the fact that a pregnancy/having children at that point was not the best idea.

  45. 45
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    But maybe you do think it would have negative effects on the child, but all detrimental effects would be justified since the mother won’t be stifling her emotions? Is there no such thing as verbal child abuse?

    Clearly, there can’t be a conflict of interests here because joey is always keen on telling us that women don’t have legitimate interests anyway.
    As Jadehawk says, that’s not a dichotomy.
    Every parent who tells their child that they were the result of contraception failure tell them, in effect, that they indeed had chosen not to have them by using contracaption. Funny how that isn’t child abuse…
    “I should have waited if times were better before I had you so life would be better for all of us” is clearly an alternative.

    +++

    Maybe we should grow up and stop talking trash and start talking about some of the real problems to a depth they should be debated.

    Having a kid with a birth defect, let me kindly tell you: fuck you
    The real problem is that you want to force women to donate their body to somebody else.
    There is no “slippery slope”. There’s only the question whether women have the same right to bodily autonomy men have or not.

  46. 46
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    BTW, my mother once told me she wished I hadn’t been born. It was cruel and abusive. What made it cruel and abusive was that she threw it at me in the middle of an argument, to let me know that I was such a disappointment that she really wished she hadn’t had me. It was about me nor being good enough as her child, because for her, having children was never about creating independent people but about satisfying her needs.
    Which leads me to the conclusion that she actually shouldn’t have had kids in the first place.

  47. 47
    dianne

    The second she said in her introduction that a zygote blastula, embryo, fetus, or baby is a human being and if you kill it you commit murder you lost the argument unless you can justify homicide.

    Really? I say that apples are human. You’ve now lost the debate about whether eating apples is moral.

  48. 48
    dianne

    Of course, there are other crimes one can commit against people besides murder. Consider the rhythm method. How does it really work? One way, of course, is that ovulation only happens about once a month and if you think you know when it is then avoiding sex during that time period reduces the chance of conception greatly. However, even the most “regular” cycle can produce a random early or late ovulation once in a while. That brings us to the second part of the rhythm method: the uterine environment is less than ideal when the conception occurs off phase (i.e. through an early or late ovulation) and so there is a higher chance that it will fail to implant or be aborted (spontaneously) in the next menstrual cycle because it hasn’t gotten enough resources to make the proper signals to prevent the menses or hasn’t had time to do so.

    In short, if the zygote is a person, rhythm method is reckless disregard for human life and putting a minor in danger. Sex, certainly sex without a reliable method of contraception, should be banned at any time apart from the peak fertile times. If one really believes the zygote is a person. The very fact that this “dangerous” method is the one advocated by at least one prominent “pro-life” group suggests that they don’t believe it either.

  49. 49
    anteprepro

    The second she said in her introduction that a zygote blastula, embryo, fetus, or baby is a human being and if you kill it you commit murder you lost the argument unless you can justify homicide.

    Because we HAVE to accept pro-lifers nonsensical definitions and assumptions. Right. Why don’t we also just assume that there is no justification for homicide as well, and, because we can’t debate the merits of assumptions in a debate, Matt should have just walked off stage and wept because Kristine had defined and assumed her way into VICTORY.

  50. 50
    firetree

    In reference to several of your comments, I can justify homicide (infanticide) as I did in the Firetree blog #37. There are a number or reasons a woman can choose to abort and should have the right to make such choices. However, there is a slippery slope in the abortion argument as a previous blogger so elegantly made the poignant argument with a question, Is there a difference between a mother going to the newborn nursery and killing here kid verses a late term abortion. If the kid has no brain, she should have the right to kill it if she wants to kill it. Secular law defines murder in certain ways but unfortunately not free of religious driven cultural sensitivities. My point is that religious ideas screw up the biological definition of morality—God decided the baby should be born without a brain; therefore, God should decide when the brainless child should die. This is equivalent to the stupidity of a politician saying pregnancy from rape is Gods will. I modify basic morality, which is survival of the fittest, by including expanded consideration of the quality of survival as in an example a woman with 10 kids might decide that a new baby would compromise the quality of life her life and the life of her ten kids. The needed debate should deal with these questions and not just the morality of killing an unborn child accompanied with pictures of parts fetuses as seen in the video shown during the debate.

  51. 51
    Kagehi

    My own thought of questions she should have been asked, since I suspect she would have stammered and stuttered over them would be:

    1. Are there no circumstances where a child, precisely because of age, would either be mis-categorized as “more important” than the adult, since she seems to be arguing that its some sort of age thing that lets them be defined as less important, and we, you know, shouldn’t be taking that into account, or something. Or where the child could legitimately be considered more expendable than an adult. I can certainly think of some hypotheticals where for example, trying to save a child might result both the adult and child, or even several adults, *and* the child, all being disadvantaged for survival, but where the completely irrational presumption of that child’s “greater value” would doom them all anyway.

    2. You have a woman who is, for example, a humanists/atheist. They are, for some reason, stuck in some back woods place, during the pregnancy, and not in a financial, psychological, or physical condition to support said child, so, if required to give birth to it, it **would** end up being adopted. As a rules, such adoptions, even if the parent has some say in who does so, are out of the parents hands, once the kid is in the hands of the adoption agency. There is a known issues with several local foster homes, the local people are all highly religious, and there are several right wing wackos, who have caught wind of the fact that this person has a child that is **going** to be up for adoption, due to this, “You must give birth to the child.”, law. This presents obvious, and nearly certain, risks that said child will end up in an environment, and indoctrinated, or even abused.

    By what right can the state, or a doctor, make the determination that said child **should be** placed into such an environment, purely on the basis that the actual parent is *unable* to help them escape it? In other words, if you know the resulting adoption/foster homes will be dangerous, unacceptable, involve indoctrination into things that you strongly disagree with, etc., why, purely based on the rule, “The child must be born, and then adopted, since you can’t take care of them.”, justify intentionally placing said child **into** such an environment.

    This second question, in fact, falls right into a category of “justified” actions, which might be tragic, or, from some people’s perspective, evil, but which might be understandable. Better to kill the child, rather than allow them to be tortured or raped? Better to kill them, rather than let them suffer starvation? Etc.

    Oh, right, and that brings up #3: Is it neglect/manslaughter if the mother is barely able to feed herself, for some reason, and, I don’t know, Mitt got elected and killed the programs that would otherwise have let her get a) health checkups, to make sure the baby stayed healthy, and b) receive additional food, so, again, the baby was actually born, never mind born normal and/or without defects? (This also counts if she is homeless, poorly educated, and maybe unable/unaware of the means to get additional food/resources/health care.) Do you blame the state, or her, or someone else, or do you chalk it up as one of those, “People die all the time, naturally, so that doesn’t count.”, BS dodges of the issue of where you draw the line in what constitutes “intentional” vs. “accidental” death?

    Seriously, how the frak does this twit not see that taking the decision out of the hands of the mother a) doesn’t solve anything, and b) adds more victims, problems, and people, into the equation, which become complicit in what ever happens to the child after the mother is forced to have them? And, as she flat out couldn’t bloody explain, how the hell do you manage to investigate it, at all, in like 90% of all of the cases?

  52. 52
    mythbri

    Firetree, I don’t know how you think you’ve “justified” infanticide, either in #37 or #50, but you really, really haven’t.

    Bringing up infanticide in the context of an abortion discussion just shows how little you understand abortion issues.

    Once a fetus is born, it becomes a baby, and therefore a person with rights. That makes killing that person a crime – murder. That’s not an abortion.

    I have no idea what you’re trying to say, but the way you’re saying it now is disgusting and despicable.

  53. 53
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    However, there is a slippery slope in the abortion argument as a previous blogger so elegantly made the poignant argument with a question

    If there is a slippery slope between abortion and infanticide, there is a slippery slope between killing a chicken and killing a human. Or killing an enemy soldier in a war and killing the local paperboy for the sheer fun of it. Or pulling the plug of a life support machine when further care is futile (a decision that doctors and families of sick and dying people make all the freaking time), and shooting someone dead.

    In the case of abortion, the difference is one of bodily autonomy. Bodily autonomy does not naturally melt into economic autonomy. After birth, a feotus is a child (there is no such thing as an “unborn child”) and does not infringe upon its mother’s bodily autonomy anymore. Your right to harm others in self defense stops when the threat stops, period.

    As a responsible adult, noboby can force you to get medical procedures done to you against your will, nor do they have a right to keep you from getting them if that is your decision.

    Why should ANY fucking law come between a responsible adult and his / her medical decisions ?

  54. 54
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Is there a difference between a mother going to the newborn nursery and killing here kid verses a late term abortion. If the kid has no brain, she should have the right to kill it if she wants to kill it.

    Yawn.
    Late term abortions are either done because of gross malformations to women who would more than have wanted that child and who give you a “fuck you” for coopting their suffering for your bad reasoning, or they’re known as an induced birth.
    After birth the woman’s bodily autonomy is not affected by the child.
    A kid with no brain is dead already. Also, parents are already allowed to make medical decisions to turn off the machines. Where’s the problem.

  55. 55
    Nick Gotts

    firetree,

    Is there a difference between a mother going to the newborn nursery and killing here kid verses a late term abortion.

    Yes, of course there is: it is no longer anatomically and physiologically part of the mother. Next stupid question?

    If the kid has no brain

    It will not have survived birth. Next stupid argument?

    Firetree, I don’t know how you think you’ve “justified” infanticide, either in #37 or #50, but you really, really haven’t.

    Bringing up infanticide in the context of an abortion discussion just shows how little you understand abortion issues. – mythbri

    You may remember that joey the liar used exactly the same arguments when he was pretending to be pro-choice. I suspect firetree is lying in exactly the same way – and indeed, may be joey the liar, who I see has returned in this thread.

  56. 56
    anteprepro

    Is there a difference between a mother going to the newborn nursery and killing here kid verses a late term abortion.

    Ugh, yes. There are quite a few differences between even a late-term fetus and an infant. Even accepting that late-term abortion is relevant to abortion as it actually exists, given that late-term abortions are often used to save the mother’s life . The big one is difference is that the fetus is still in the mother’s body . If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t need to be aborted. Because abortion is about ending pregnancy, not killing shit for the lulz.

    If the kid has no brain, she should have the right to kill it if she wants to kill it.

    A “kid” without a brain is dead. What the fuck are you talking about?

    In Soviet Union, salads word you?

  57. 57
    dianne

    A “kid without a brain” aka an anencephalic infant, is legally and morally dead and is considered a candidate for organ donation if the parents choose that route.

  58. 58
    firetree

    Congress is full of radial pro-life politicians who claim abortion is murder but agree that abortion to save the life of the mother is justified. All I am trying to do is put that in perspective, in the sense of calling it what it is. In other words, when you put them between a rock and a hard place and they are hypocrites. I am 100% pro-choice; the mother should control her own body, etc. However,that does not make me feel entirely comfortable with my decision to put the unborn in a different moral group. I hope the readers understand what a “moral group” is. By the way, spare me the trouble of reading about how you think all politicians are stupid, and the like.

  59. 59
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    However,that does not make me feel entirely comfortable with my decision to put the unborn in a different moral group.

    Why are you using the term “unborn”, which is an anti-choice tell. Why should we believe your pro-choice claims. Any pro-choice person here uses fetus, not “unborn”.

  60. 60
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Congress is full of radial pro-life politicians who claim abortion is murder but agree that abortion to save the life of the mother is justified.

    Sorry, there cannot be any compromises with these people. It has been compromises and concessions to these people that has moved the US to the point that both Roe V Wade can be overturned and states are allowed to ignore the ruling.

    By the way, spare me the trouble of reading about how you think all politicians are stupid, and the like.

    Ending with a preemptive strawperson. Lovely.

    Sorry, these types of argument are stupid. Especially when rights have been progressively lost in the US during the thirty years. In many states, is it very difficult for a woman to get a safe abortion.

  61. 61
    Nick Gotts

    spare me the trouble of reading about how you think all politicians are stupid, and the like. – firtree

    What makes you think you have any right to tell other people to write on someone else’s blog?

  62. 62
    Nick Gotts

    what to write

  63. 63
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Well, Nerd, we could wait to see if firetree refers to women who have yet to go through menopause as pre-pregnant.

  64. 64
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Firetree, we get a lot of concern trolls on abortion threads. Folks who pretend to be pro-choice, but have “concerns” and the like to try to start to sway us to the anti-choice side. Hence the skepticism.

  65. 65
    Ing

    I am 100% pro-choice; the mother should control her own body, etc. However,that does not make me feel entirely comfortable with my decision to put the unborn in a different moral group.

    Liar.

    Has anyone else ever heard the term “unborn” from an actual pro-choice thing?

  66. 66
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Google “preborn” and see the results. The only links that does not lead to an anti-abortion site is for Frank Herbert’s Dune.

  67. 67
    anteprepro

    Has anyone else ever heard the term “unborn” from an actual pro-choice thing?

    About as frequently as I’ve heard handwringing about “well, maybe we should also allow killing infants” from actual pro-choicers.

  68. 68
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I am 100% pro-choice; the mother should control her own body, etc. However,that does not make me feel entirely comfortable with my decision to put the unborn in a different moral group.

    If you claim to be 100% pro-choice but then follow up that statement with a qualifier (such as ‘however’) you are not 100% pro-choice. Impressive self-contradiction within two sentences. To me, that shows either concern trolling or a level of cognitive dissonance that requires a great deal of energy to maintain.

  69. 69
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    firetree:

    I hope the readers understand what a “moral group” is.

    This reader does not.
    Would you care to explain in greater detail?
    (and possibly address any of the points directed your way in previous comments)

  70. 70
    sharculese

    I am 100% pro-choice; the mother should control her own body,

    That’s pretty cool. I mean, anyone who manages to be 100% pro-choice despite accepting every assumption of the most radical forced-birther has to be pretty strong in their commitment to reproductive rights.

    Right?

  71. 71
    Inaji

    Janine:

    Well, Nerd, we could wait to see if firetree refers to women who have yet to go through menopause as pre-pregnant.

    :Snortle: +8

    Ah, unborn. Gotta love the “Oh, I am pro-choice! It’s just that abortion makes me queasy and there’s gotta be a better way to kinda ease those antis over and well, there is the unborn…” idiots.

    They out themselves so easily.

  72. 72
    Amphiox

    The “kid” with no brain would, I suppose, require a new moral category, for post-dead.

  73. 73
    Rutee Katreya

    However,that does not make me feel entirely comfortable with my decision to put the unborn in a different moral group

    You’re totes a pro-choicer.

    But let’s play pretend with you for a moment; what separate category? I just said, even already born humans don’t get to impose on me for my organs… unless that organ is my uterus, according to you- or rather, according to anti-choicers. Who’s making a separate moral category, again?

  74. 74
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    If the kid has no brain, she should have the right to kill it if she wants to kill it.

    Legally, a human with no brain function is called “dead”. Its only value is as an organ donor.

    Tell me how someone can kill something that’s already dead.

    However,that does not make me feel entirely comfortable with my decision to put the unborn in a different moral group

    Again, there is no such thing as an “unborn”.

    And you do seem pretty comfortable putting pregnant women into a different moral group, i.e., the “not-quite-adult-which-does- not-have-a-complete-right-to-bodily-autonomy” group.

  75. 75
    Ing

    I imagine unborn are like a reverse undead?

  76. 76
    Rutee Katreya

    I imagine unborn are like a reverse undead?

    I’m now thinking of the Pokemon that are undead dolls and toys, rather than whatever you had in mind.

  77. 77
    Ing

    @Rutee

    Pretty much half of the Ghost Types are that.

  78. 78
    Ing

    @Rutee

    the last generation also did have a zygote pokemon

  79. 79
    Rutee Katreya

    Most of them are ghosty things that call to mind a particular legend, like the little candles and the will-o-the-wisp. I mean Banette, in particular; the one that’s an actual undead doll. UNBORN, AND YET IT LIVES AGAIN.

    the last generation also did have a zygote pokemon

    It also awakened my love of Ghost Pokemon with the Yamask.

    Each of them carries a mask that used to be its face when it was human. Sometimes they look at it and cry.

    You know. For kids! (Yes. Yes it is for kids. That makes it better.)

  80. 80
    chigau (違う)

    Here.
    I found this a few days ago but deleted it due to nightmares.
    http://belovedvitoria.blogspot.ca/2012_04_01_archive.html
    I found it again by googling “anencephaly survivors”.

  81. 81
    firetree

    Yes, as some of you point out a baby without a brain is dead therefore, you cannot kill it. That is exactly my point. If I can prove that a baby is anencephalic, I still cannot abort it in many places. We have rules in society fashioned by culture because we must. Should we not have rules? Is murder wrong? Of course, it’s wrong, but before we can punish a “wrong-doer” we have to know what is wrong. For the nitpicking parsers, which this series of blogs seems to have brought out of the woodwork in droves, I should have said “he or she” and not just “he”.

    Which one of you will step forward and tell what murder is. Can you write a definition that cannot be refuted? I can’t. Where does murder stop and justifiable homicide begin when it comes to quality of life issues? As biologists, can you tell me what is so magical about the transition thorough the birth canal? I can tell you with a great deal of certainty there is nothing magic about it. The shift from placental blood to independence is just physiological change, nothing magic.

    Although I am uncertain about many things in life, I believe a woman has a right to choose to do with her body as she pleases. Some of you go so far as to say I am lying when I say this because I used the term unborn—which brings us right back to that junk about the birth canal some of you seem to harbor. Worse yet, who do you think you are telling me what I believe or do not believe. About asking that you not bore me by telling me how stupid politicians are because that is so—bandwagon—for people not in government.

    In reference to my remark about moral groups, there are those of us who believe life is precious and can only be taken from those in a different “moral group”. I kill ants and cockroaches and eat beef, pork, and fish so life is precious as long as it serves my purpose. How about controllers of drones and rockets? Our ancestor owned slaves and had the right to kill them if they chose to do just as Nazis could spend the day killing Jews and then go home and act the part of a loving husband and father. I am egotistical enough to think that humans are part of, or should be part of one moral group so, as I asked you to do above with the definition of murder, write a definition of what it means to be human. I would love to read and parse your definitions.

  82. 82
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    For the nitpicking parsers, which this series of blogs seems to have brought out of the woodwork in droves, I should have said “he or she” and not just “he”.

    Funny that you are complaining about that.

    I am egotistical enough to think that humans are part of, or should be part of one moral group so, as I asked you to do above with the definition of murder, write a definition of what it means to be human. I would love to read and parse your definitions.

    So. What do you think of people who murder doctors that provide abortions? What do you think of people who blow up clinics that provide contraceptives? What do you think of politicians that pass nuisance laws that that clinics that provide abortions gets closed down on technicalities? What do you think of pregnant women being forced to pay for ultrasounds before they can get an abortion?

    Firetree, I am egotistical enough to not give a flying fuck about your questions. Because, as it stands in the US, soon, it may be just as easy to get an abortion in the US as any Muslim dominated country.

  83. 83
    Nepenthe

    @chigau

    Whoa nightmare fuel.

    An associate of mine who is a pediatrician had a 16 year old patient come in for a respiratory infection. She had, as far as could be determined in a brief visit, a fully developed cranium but no brain above the brainstem. Could breathe and had a heart beat, but that was pretty much it. The family hadn’t even taken her to the doctor until this infection, so my associate had no chart to work with. She asked the family how they communicated with their daughter, how the could tell if she was uncomfortable or in pain or hungry, etc. They responded that when she was distressed, her pulse would rise. Otherwise, they had no way of communicating with their breathing doll.

    The only thing that makes this story not keep me up at night is the knowledge that it’s virtually impossible that the patient was at all aware of her situation or any pain which she had less ability than a planarian to avoid.

  84. 84
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Nepenthe, in a modern society, how could it be possible for a person to live for that long and not have someone outside of her family question just what was going on with her?

  85. 85
    Nepenthe

    @Janine

    Christian and/or Mormon parallel economy. I doubt the family had had much contact with anyone who would say anything besides how blessed and holy they were.

  86. 86
    sharculese

    We have rules in society fashioned by culture because we must. Should we not have rules?

    I’m confused. Earlier you were arguing that once a forced-birther announces without evidence that life begins at conception, it’s automatically homicide, as if law exists prior to human judgments, but now you’re describing it as something closer to social custom. Can you clear up exactly what the framework that produces the hand-wringing pseudo-moralism you’re using to muddy the waters is, the better to dismiss it out of hand?

    Which one of you will step forward and tell what murder is. Can you write a definition that cannot be refuted? I can’t.

    Murder is the unlawful killing of another human being with malice aforethought. There. Are we done?

    Some of you go so far as to say I am lying when I say this because I used the term unborn

    Yeah, how dare we draw conclusions from the fact that you use all the same terms and dishonest analogies to slavery as an anti-abortion zealot. That is totally a coincidence that should not cause us to be suspicious of what you say at all.

  87. 87
    Nick Gotts

    As biologists, can you tell me what is so magical about the transition thorough the birth canal? – firetree

    Of course there is nothing magical about it. So what? It is a profound change in that the infant, unlike the fetus, is an anatomically and physiologically independent entity, no longer part of the mother’s body. Birth also makes an enormous difference to physiology, and in particular to neurophysiology – the fetal brain has oxygen perfusion below that which is compatible with consciousness.

    I kill ants and cockroaches and eat beef, pork, and fish so life is precious as long as it serves my purpose. How about controllers of drones and rockets? Our ancestor owned slaves and had the right to kill them if they chose to do just as Nazis could spend the day killing Jews and then go home and act the part of a loving husband and father. I am egotistical enough to think that humans are part of, or should be part of one moral group so, as I asked you to do above with the definition of murder, write a definition of what it means to be human.

    What is all this drivel supposed to mean? Only fools think that definitions settle anything of importance.

  88. 88
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Thank you, Nepenthe. It is too easy for me to forget that some of these people actively work at living away from all of this modern “evil”.

  89. 89
    Ing

    Some of you go so far as to say I am lying when I say this because I used the term unborn

    Yes it is called a “tell”

  90. 90
    Ing

    As biologists, can you tell me what is so magical about the transition thorough the birth canal? – firetree

    It severs the biological and physiological connection to the mother.

    Just as the USB port is “magical” to my external harddrive

  91. 91
    Ing

    Removable F Drive Detected -> Drive Not Found

    Fucking magic to people! How can we draw removing the USB plug from the slot as this magical time when the drive is not connected!?

  92. 92
    Amphiox

    We have rules in society fashioned by culture because we must. Should we not have rules?

    We should have rules that unequivocably state that abortion should be available to any woman who wants or needs one.

  93. 93
    Amphiox

    Yes, as some of you point out a baby without a brain is dead therefore, you cannot kill it. That is exactly my point. If I can prove that a baby is anencephalic, I still cannot abort it in many places.

    An anencephalic BABY cannot be aborted because an anencephalic BABY is NOT IN A WOMAN’S UTERUS and therefore DOES NOT NEED TO BE REMOVED FROM IT.

    Firetree’s use of “baby” in this context is another tell.

  94. 94
    Amphiox

    Legally, a human with no brain function is called “dead”. Its only value is as an organ donor.

    However, I must point out that the legal definition of brain death is absence of brain stem function.

    And some anencephalic infants can retain brain stem function at the time of birth. Though most of the time that function will not last long without significant invasive medical intervention.

  95. 95
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I am 100% pro-choice;

    No.

    the mother

    Whose mother? You mean a pregnant woman?

    should control her own body, etc.

    …and so on and so forth. How grudgingly generous of you. (By the way, women have more than bodies; we have lives.)

    However,that does not make me feel entirely comfortable with my decision to put the unborn in a different moral group.

    …In reference to my remark about moral groups, there are those of us who believe life is precious and can only be taken from those in a different “moral group”. I kill ants and cockroaches and eat beef, pork,

    That would be cows and pigs.

    and fish so life is precious as long as it serves my purpose.

    So “life” isn’t precious to you at all. Your extreme moral categories – one is “precious” and inviolable and the other can be killed at your whim – are defined entirely by your selfish, arrogant wants and ideological presumptions. You’re happy to make suffer and die countless of our fellow sentient animals. You’re unconcerned about the suffering and deaths of women. You have no basis in reality for your “moral groups” or your ethical decisions, and you don’t seem much to care. That’s the opposite of morality.

  96. 96
    Ing

    I was waiting for SC to hit that set up out of the park. It was like a very satisfying slow motion train wreck. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

  97. 97
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Here’s a pro-choice argument I’ve been working out in my head… before I blog on it, I’d like some feedback if y’all don’t mind…

    I believe that a person has the right to do whatever they want as long as they do not violate another person’s right to do whatever they want unless you have their stated, verbal, sober, right-minded consent or you are defending yourself against their attempt to violate your right to do whatever you want.

    Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that person-hood actually does begin at conception. According to the above, that means that the fetus is violating the pregnant woman’s right to bodily autonomy, which the fetus cannot do without her consent. Thus, the woman can either decide to consent to that violation of her bodily autonomy (which probably the vast majority of pregnant women do), or defend herself against the violation of her rights, and thus have an abortion (which I would then class a form of self-defense).

    Thoughts?

  98. 98
    Ing

    @Nateheavens

    Wow never heard that one before

  99. 99
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Ing @ #98…

    Is that good… or bad…?

  100. 100
    Ing

    @Bate

    It’s the standard prolife argument for what 40+ years

  101. 101
    Ing

    prochoice

  102. 102
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    I know. So I’m turning it on its head… using a slightly Libertarian principle, no less…

    :D

  103. 103
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Wait… that’s an old argument? Not one I’ve ever heard, though it is the logical extension of the person-hood argument, so I wouldn’t be surprised…

  104. 104
    dianne

    As biologists, can you tell me what is so magical about the transition thorough the birth canal

    Ok. Here are a few differences between a fetus and a baby:
    1. Let’s start with the big, obvious one: A fetus derives its nutrients through obligate parasitism from its host. All nutrients, including sugars, proteins, folic acid, etc are derived from the host, not ingested directly.
    2. Fetuses may “breath” but they do not obtain oxygen through respiration. They obtain oxygen through exchange with the host. This is why there is such a thing as fetal hemoglobin: it has a higher oxygen affinity than beta-globin and so is able to “steal” oxygen as the maternal blood passes through capillaries in the placenta. Of course, this means that the fetus has a harder time oxygenating tissue.
    3. The fetus exists in a low oxygen environment. I would speculate that therefore it likely has little frontal lobe function and is unlikely to be conscious. This is not, to the best of my knowledge, proven.
    4. The fetus has a very different circulation from the baby. Blood goes from the placenta, through the umbilical vein, to the heart, and is pumped through the foramen ovale to the rest of the body. A baby with a patent FO may be in trouble, a fetus with a closed FO almost certainly is.
    5. The fetus’ intestines are sterile. A baby’s are, very rapidly, not. In fact, a fetus’ entire body should be sterile while a baby very rapidly gains normal bacterial flora on its skin, intestines, etc.
    6. A fetus’ lungs are full of fluid. A baby’s lungs are not, unless something extremely bad has happened.
    7. A fetus is exposed to almost no visual stimuli and to a constant loud auditory stimulus (the blood going through the placenta–sound travels very well through water).
    8. The liver in a fetus doesn’t have much to do. In a newborn, it starts working on a number of digestive and metabolic functions.
    9. Did I already mention hemoglobin? The switch from gamma to beta globin happens around birth, though, it doesn’t change instantly.

    That’s what I can think of right now. Anyone got any additions or corrections?

  105. 105
    Ing

    Wait… that’s an old argument? Not one I’ve ever heard, though it is the logical extension of the person-hood argument, so I wouldn’t be surprised…

    It was the crux of Matt’s argument more or less

  106. 106
    dianne

    In reference to my remark about moral groups, there are those of us who believe life is precious and can only be taken from those in a different “moral group”.

    This is one of my major philosophical concerns about the “pro-life” movement: it fetishizes HUMANITY to the detriment of sentience. A “pro-life” person would likely feel perfectly justified in, for example, killing a non-human but sentient alien or using a Turing test capable AI as a slave. Because they don’t have the sacred 46 chromosomes and that’s the line the “pro-life” movement claims to have drawn in the sand.

    Our ancestor owned slaves and had the right to kill them if they chose to do just as Nazis could spend the day killing Jews and then go home and act the part of a loving husband and father.

    “Our” ancestors? Some of “our” ancestors WERE slaves. The Nazis having been mentioned, I feel compelled to point out that the Nazis were “pro-life”–within their “moral group”. That is, they forbid abortion to (non-Jewish, non-Romany) Germany women. I’m sure they made similar justifications about the sanctity of (Christian) life and the need to control women who might act in an “immoral” way if left to their own devices.

  107. 107
    firetree

    I agree with #92. All I am asking that that we think about it. I like what #97 has to say. It reads as if some serious thought went into the answer. That makes my efforts worth it. As to #104 Of course all of the physiological changes that goes with unplugging the USB are recognized by everyone. I agree with #106 in respect to our ancestors and the Nazis except I do not feel the Turing test has any place in Biology.

    Somehow labeling something a “tell” is intended as a put down but am I suppose to accept it as a argument for something.

    By the way, #93 is what I was talking about when I mentioned nitpickers.

  108. 108
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    @firetree

    Thanks for the compliment. I’m tempted to pt it on my Facebook, but I’m a bit apprehensive about the response, especially from some of my more… erm… conservative family members.

    A for #93 being nitpicking… it really isn’t. There is a difference between a fetus and a baby, and that’s the point. You abort fetuses… not babies.

    Calling a fetus a “baby” is a classic anti-choice (they are not pro-life… they really aren’t) tactic to muddy the issue and make those of us who are pro-choice look bad. That’s why Amphiox calls it a “tell”… because it’s almost always the go-to anti-choice emotionally-manipulative tactic. Kristine used it rather explicitly, in fact, in all but name in her debate against Matt…

    Ing… I watched the debate again, and I think Matt was a bit too… shall we say… vague about it. He should have been more explicit.

    Beyond that, however, you’re right. It’s not an original argument at all. I apologize for acting as if it was… I honestly thought it was. Thanks for letting me know.

  109. 109
    Ing

    Somehow labeling something a “tell” is intended as a put down but am I suppose to accept it as a argument for something.

    Ok so in poker there’s this thing called “bluffing”…

  110. 110
    Ing

    Or in all seriousness imagine someone who went in claiming they do not support gay oppression but then refer to gays as “sodomites”

  111. 111
    SallyStrange

    Beyond that, however, you’re right. It’s not an original argument at all. I apologize for acting as if it was… I honestly thought it was.

    Next time you’re wondering if it’s male privilege, think back to that moment when you were like, “Aha! A new idea!” without pausing to consider that people whose lives were more affected by the whole matter might have been paying more attention and thinking about it longer than you and thus might have already come up with your new-to-you idea. That’s what male privilege feels like.

  112. 112
    SallyStrange

    Or in all seriousness imagine someone who went in claiming they do not support gay oppression but then refer to gays as “sodomites”

    “I fully support affirmative action! Them coloreds need all the help they can get.”

  113. 113
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Dianne

    That’s what I can think of right now. Anyone got any additions or corrections?

    Kidneys. Fetal kidneys do not “cleanse” the blood in the way a baby’s kidneys do. Instead they produce the water.
    What didn’t I learn about fetal kidneys I never wanted to know…

  114. 114
    Jadehawk

    Is there a difference between a mother going to the newborn nursery and killing here kid verses a late term abortion.

    yes. bodily autonomy.

  115. 115
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    Yes, as some of you point out a baby without a brain is dead therefore, you cannot kill it. That is exactly my point.

    So, what’s the point of this beyond a vague sense of ickiness?

    Such babies will die if they don’t have access to extreme invasive care. One does not have to actively kill them, but just to unplug the machine. Which every parent of such children eventually does all the freaking time, with the counsel of their doctor. I have a cousin who did just that, not so many years ago, as this was agreed to be, by the couple and their doctor, for the best.

    Who the freaking fuck would want or need to actively kill such an infant? When you know it’s going to die anyway, that it was the result of a wanted pregancy, and they’re already wrecked with grief ?

    This is the kind of crappy hypothetical scenario that has absolutely fuck-all to do with real-world abortion put forth by pro-forced-birth idiots to justify robbing living, concious women of their rights.

    No stupid law is needed, or wanted, between a doctor and his/her patient. Neither to force a woman to carry on a pregancy or to force medical care on sick and dying people, including a neonate that has no chance of having any meaningful existence. Such laws only produce incredible suffering in actual living people for the sake of appeasing your queasy feelings of ickiness.

    If I can prove that a baby is anencephalic, I still cannot abort it in many places.

    How many times do we need to explain that the goal of an abortion is to end a fucking pregancy, and not to kill things ’cause we get off on it? And that by definition, if something is born, ergo there is no pregnancy anymore, and therefore nothing can be “aborted”?

  116. 116
    Amphiox

    The difference between a fetus and a baby is one of the CORE issues of the abortion question. That firetree would dismiss it as a “nitpick” is another tell.

  117. 117
    Amphiox

    re 111;

    That’s what all privilege feels like.

  118. 118
    Amphiox

    It is the sudden rise in oxygen tension in the fetal circulation that triggers most of the physiologic changes that turn a fetus into a baby, such as the closing of the ductus arteriosus and the foramen ovale, the alterations of the kidney. That increase comes from the first breath, which also inflates the lungs and drains the fluid from them.

    Once these changes are initiated, one could justifiably say that the fetus has successfully turned itself into a baby. Even if the umbilical is not actively cut after this point, the alteration in circulation will result in it closing off, drying out, and falling off on its own if left to its own devices.

    That’s why the first breath (the first cry) has always had such cultural significance in the process of birth.

    The first breath is the baby’s first independent self initiated life support action – the demonstration that it is an independent individual capable of sustaining its own continued existence, and no longer part of another individual’s body.

  119. 119
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    The first breath is the baby’s first independent self initiated life support action – the demonstration that it is an independent individual capable of sustaining its own continued existence, and no longer part of another individual’s body.

    Oh, no, what have you done !?!?!?!

    Now joey will come back with a what if the mother decides to kill the baby just one plank time before it takes its first breath !!11!!!eleventy!!111

  120. 120
    Ing

    @kemist

    Well yeah who wouldn’t. That way she wont have needles put up her

  121. 121
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    @Ing

    I believe the expression from our first-grade-level-geometry-challenged friend was “stick sharp”.

    Something so horribly painful it makes an episiotomy look like a picnic, one would think, from the way he obsessed on it.

  122. 122
    firetree

    Re:# 115
    Yes, as some of you point out a baby without a brain is dead therefore, you cannot kill it. That is exactly my point.

    So, what’s the point of this beyond a vague sense of ickiness?

    The point is that if a baby is diagnosed as being without a brain in the first trimester of pregnancy(oh hell, there I did it again. I apologize, It is a sin or a “tell” to call a fetus a baby). The Doctor said, Your baby does not have a brain but I am sorry you are going to have to wait six more months then go through labor BECAUSE IT IS AGAINST THE LAW FOR ME TO PREFORM AN ABORTION. I could go to prison or get shot or lose my licence to practice, etc. How many Doctors call tell the pregnant woman the sex of her “fetus” is,or show her the beating heart of her “fetus”. The point for Kemist is this: Get real. Playing with words gets us no where. If you can not get serious and face the challenge, Roe v. Wade is going to be overturned by a bunch of clowns huddled around a video screen in some church basement. They call fetuses baby and accuse abortion doctors of murder and the only thing you can say is NO THEY ARE NOT BABIES THEY ARE FETUSES. If you do not like my argument in #37,#50, etc then use your brain to come up with a better one . . then post it. Start by voting against Romney, Ryan, Akin, etc.

  123. 123
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    (oh hell, there I did it again. I apologize, It is a sin or a “tell” to call a fetus a baby)

    You are a blastula.

  124. 124
    John Morales

    firetree:

    The point is that if a baby is diagnosed as being without a brain in the first trimester of pregnancy(oh hell, there I did it again. I apologize, It is a sin or a “tell” to call a fetus a baby).

    It’s not a sin, it’s merely flat out wrong.

    (You don’t call an acorn an oak, do you?)

  125. 125
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Playing with words gets us no where. If you can not get serious and face the challenge, Roe v. Wade is going to be overturned by a bunch of clowns huddled around a video screen in some church basement. They call fetuses baby and accuse abortion doctors of murder and the only thing you can say is NO THEY ARE NOT BABIES THEY ARE FETUSES. If you do not like my argument in #37,#50, etc then use your brain to come up with a better one . . then post it. Start by voting against Romney, Ryan, Akin, etc.

    Funny, you are the one who wants people to present their ethical defense of abortion so that you can nitpick. You also use terms used by the forced birth patrol. And you cannot understand why most of us are suspicious?

    While you may not know it, a lot of your tactics were used by one troll by the name of “joey”. He claimed to be pro-choice and an atheist. He was not smart enough to keep his story straight.

    He is who we are referencing when we talk about stick sharp.

  126. 126
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    The point for Kemist is this: Get real. Playing with words gets us no where.

    It is not a word play. Zygotes, blastula or feotuses are not children or even babies. Conceding this is to accept the crappy lies the pro-forced-birthers use to sway oversensitive people – people who have no freaking idea of what the human body looks from the inside or what the different stages of development look like, and think the most incapacitating things that might result from a pregnancy is weight gain, weird culinary experiences and a sudden and insatiable need for tiny clothes.

    This is not the truth, and it needs to be told, loudly and repeatedly.

    If you can not get serious and face the challenge, Roe v. Wade is going to be overturned by a bunch of clowns huddled around a video screen in some church basement. They call fetuses baby and accuse abortion doctors of murder and the only thing you can say is NO THEY ARE NOT BABIES THEY ARE FETUSES.

    This is not the only argument that has been presented so far, and to state so is particularly desingenous.

    In fact, I believe that the personhood of feotuses is completely irrelevant to the abortion debate. No person has the right to infringe on another person’s body, even if the latter’s dead.

    If not, will you please present yourself for a kidney donation because you don’t need the two of them and the life of another human being is at stake. It’s not any more risky or painful or generally inconveniencing as pregnancy. In fact you get off easy, since you don’t get to experience massive hormonal changes with more or less disastrous effects on your body and mental health for the next year or so.

    If you do not like my argument in #37,#50, etc then use your brain to come up with a better one . . then post it. Start by voting against Romney, Ryan, Akin, etc.

    I am from canuckistan and can only desperately hope that you guys will make the right choice.

  127. 127
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    They call fetuses baby and accuse abortion doctors of murder and the only thing you can say is NO THEY ARE NOT BABIES THEY ARE FETUSES. I

    You haven’t shown otherwise. Makes you a liar and bullshitter to claim otherwise. Mental masturbation (philosophy) won’t win this argument here. Pure science where it is defined as a fetus until birth will. Why are you so stupid? Concern trolling?

  128. 128
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    ‘Baby Killer’ Spray-Painted On Campaign Office Of Wayne Powell, Eric Cantor’s Opponent

    (oh hell, there I did it again. I apologize, It is a sin or a “tell” to call a fetus a baby)

  129. 129
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I know that is a cheap shot. But I think it is warranted.

  130. 130
    mythbri

    @firetree

    I’m going to assume that you are not native to the U.S., nor is English your first language. Neither of these things are wrong or bad in any way, but I’m saying it because this is the context in which this discussion is taking place. Because otherwise I cannot accept your lack of comprehension in this thread.

    Your positions are fuzzy and not even close to well-thought out, which is why people are suspicious of your motivation for posting, and your true beliefs.

    I suggest you read and lurk more than you comment, because then you should be able to understand what people are telling you.

  131. 131
    firetree

    OK, Mythbri, you have convinces yourself that you know more about what I think than I do.

    Refer to #128 the posting on a wall of a political office, “Baby Killer”. Get together with people in your “moral group” and cross out “baby” and write in “fetus”—my point is that it gets you nowhere. I want to win the prochoice argument. I think that the way to do that is to use a diplomatic approach and not to insult them. Find something both sides agree on and go from there.

    I saw weakness in the pro-life argument when most of them concede that abortion was permissible to save the life of the mother (#37). In addition, some pro-lifers conceded that pregnancy from rape was justification for abortion. I know, your position is that no one needs justification for abortion but your job should be not to just tell him or her that but to convince them of that. Both of the things I mentioned provided opening to argue that there is justification for abortion. There is agreement on these things. What I hear from many of you is that either prolife people agree with you or they are stupid or retarded. That is like Rachael Meadow of MSNBC being on FOX News, which represents two different moral groups that cannot talk to one another; it is like erasing the word “baby” on the wall and replacing it with “fetus”.

    The electorate in this country might elect a president who will appoint Supreme Court Justices that will overturn Roe v. Wade. Even if the people do not elect Romney, almost half the people in the country will vote for him. I take this to mean, your approach is not working.

    By the way, does the fact that you bring up the question of my “first language” or my country of origin is a “tell” suggesting you hate foreigners, of course not. It only means you do not think I understand your side of the argument.

  132. 132
    dianne

    How many Doctors call tell the pregnant woman the sex of her “fetus” is,or show her the beating heart of her “fetus”.

    Sigh. Sometimes doctors use non-technical terms or even terms which are, biologically, incorrect to patients to make them more comfortable. If a doctor tells a patient that his “growth” is shrinking after use of chemotherapy because she knows that he freaks out at the word “cancer”, does that mean it’s not really a cancer?

    A woman who is, say, 6 months pregnant will be thinking of the fetus as a baby. If something goes dreadfully wrong and she chooses to have an abortion for medical reasons, she is likely to want the doctor to treat the fetus with respect and acknowledge her feeling that she is losing a baby. But that doesn’t change the biological reality: it’s a fetus not a baby until it’s born.

  133. 133
    Kagehi

    That is like Rachael Meadow of MSNBC being on FOX News, which represents two different moral groups that cannot talk to one another; it is like erasing the word “baby” on the wall and replacing it with “fetus”.

    Uh… Bit of a nitpick here, but, sorry, those are not too different moral groups. One of them has a political bias they admit to, but are willing to attack even there own side for failing, but, admittedly, is a bit too “newish”, when the consequences of, say, certain elections, should have them breaking out in tears, not calmly reporting the possible implications. The other.. Has been caught on camera admitting:

    1. Some of their people have been specifically chosen due to their controversial positions, not their fact checking, 2. admitting to outright making things up on camera, and 3. being, for all practical purposes, payed shills for their boss, who would, at the drop of a hat, change sides and tell them to praise Democrats instead, if not for the fact that its currently the Republicans that are all Gung Ho for giving out free favors to corporations, and their owners, while screwing everyone else.

    The stance, “I defend this position because my boss tells me too, and who gives a damn if that means lying.”, is not a moral stance, its pure propaganda.

  134. 134
    mythbri

    @firetree #131

    I haven’t convinced myself of anything, firetree, and neither have you, for that matter. My best guess is that you have no idea what you’re talking about, and I feel comfortable with that assessment.

    Refer to #128 the posting on a wall of a political office, “Baby Killer”. Get together with people in your “moral group” and cross out “baby” and write in “fetus”—my point is that it gets you nowhere.

    Your term “moral group” is completely meaningless to me. You haven not defined it to my satisfaction, and indeed you seem to be using the term too fluidly to get an accurate picture of what you mean by it.

    There are lots of terms that are not interchangeable – for example, “fetus”, “baby” and “child”. My sister-in-law, when pregnant with my niece, referred to her fetus as “baby”, but she was not being scientifically accurate. She was indicating that this was a wanted pregnancy, not being pedantic.

    When you’re having a discussion about basic human rights, however, accuracy is key. Appropriate terms are vital. Honesty and truth are of great importance.

    I want to win the prochoice argument. I think that the way to do that is to use a diplomatic approach and not to insult them. Find something both sides agree on and go from there.

    No. Diplomacy has gotten us to where we are now, in the U.S. Diplomacy has allowed religious conservatives to slowly but surely chip away at the rights of pregnant persons to decide whether or not they want to remain pregnant. I will cede no ground to anti-choice people because they believe in nonsense and do not respect the bodily autonomy of others. I will cede no ground to people who call themselves “pro-choice BUT”, who believe in choice, in theory, but they feel icky about it. We only lose ground that way. Our argument is based on principles of privacy, bodily autonomy, self-determination, and scientific accuracy. That is all we need.

    I saw weakness in the pro-life argument when most of them concede that abortion was permissible to save the life of the mother (#37). In addition, some pro-lifers conceded that pregnancy from rape was justification for abortion.

    I sure hope that wasn’t the only weakness you saw in the “pro-life” argument, because their argument contains very little substance. Saying that abortion is acceptable to save the life of the pregnant person is the BARE MINIMUM HUMAN DECENCY. How magnanimous of them to allow someone to undergo a life-saving procedure.

    If you think that all “pro-lifers” agree that abortion can be justified in the cases of pregnancy resulting from rape, then clearly you have not been paying attention. No less than twelve Republican politicians in the last few months have made appalling comments, ranging anywhere from blindingly stupid “scientific” misconceptions to blathering on that pregnancy – all pregnancies – are gifts from God, regardless of how they came about.

    What I hear from many of you is that either prolife people agree with you or they are stupid or retarded.

    You would be hard-pressed to find many people at Pharyngula who would characterize anyone as being “retarded”. That is an ableist slur that hurts real people with real conditions.

    The electorate in this country might elect a president who will appoint Supreme Court Justices that will overturn Roe v. Wade. Even if the people do not elect Romney, almost half the people in the country will vote for him. I take this to mean, your approach is not working.

    All it means is confirmation bias. People are more willing to believe that abortion is wrong because they hear the anti-choice propaganda that confirms their feelings of “ickiness”. All it means is that anti-choice people are really good at lying, and getting people to believe them.

    By the way, does the fact that you bring up the question of my “first language” or my country of origin is a “tell” suggesting you hate foreigners, of course not. It only means you do not think I understand your side of the argument.

    I brought it up because I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps your terms were so muddled because you were searching for the appropriate words. Perhaps your knowledge of the abortion discussion in the U.S. is so thin and wavery because it’s not your country of origin. I don’t care whether you think I “hate foreigners” or not. I’m having this discussion in the context of people in my government working hard to take my rights away, to relegate me to the status of second-class citizen and walking womb. I have no idea what context you think you’re having this discussion in.

  135. 135
    Anri

    It’s from a while back, but…

    As biologists, can you tell me what is so magical about the transition thorough the birth canal?

    There’s nothing magical about it, but there is something important about it: one end is inside of a person, the other one… isn’t.

    If you’re in some way struggling with the distinction between something being inside of a person or not, and how it might be significant, I can suggest the Fence Post Experiment. Find a fence post in your neighborhood. Preferably a 4×4, but really anything will do. Walk over to it. Press your cheek against it. This is the not inside your body situation.
    Then, remove your lower garments, and sit upon said fence post, and allow yourself to slide down until you have grasped, fully and without reservation, the distinction between something that is not inside your body and something that is.

    Then – and this may require a substantial leap of imagination, so be prepared – understand that even mere women, feeble as their sensory and reasoning powers may be, can make a similar distinction.

    You’re welcome.

    (It would be possible to admit to understanding this difference without the Fence Post Experiment – but that might expose a certain level of hypocrisy. A fair number of people apparently find the Fence Post Experiment less painful.)

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