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More trivial excuses for the anti-choicers

Oh gob, the stupidity. The latest wave of anti-choice legislation is based on one trivial premise: it’s got a heartbeat! You can’t kill it if its heart is beating! So stupid bills have been flitting about in the Ohio, Mississippi, Wyoming, Arkansas, and North Dakota legislatures trying to redefine human life as beginning at the instant that a heartbeat can be detected. Here’s Wyoming’s story, for instance:

About two weeks ago, state Rep. Kendell Kroeker (R) introduced a measure to supersede the medical definition of viability. Current state law says abortions are prohibited after a fetus has “reached viability,” and Kroeker sought to replace those words with “a detectable fetal heartbeat.” The Republican lawmaker said the idea for his heartbeat bill just came to him one day because “it became clear that if a baby had a heartbeat, that seemed simple to me that it’s wrong to kill it.” On Monday, a House panel struck down Kroeker’s bill because it was too medically vague. But if Ohio and Mississippi are any indication, this likely won’t be the last time that fetal heartbeat legislation shows up in Wyoming.

It’s a step back from the inanity of declaring that life begins at conception — you can’t detect the heartbeat until 5-6 weeks of gestation — but still, it’s an arbitrary and ridiculous definition that relies entirely on folk knowledge about living things. If we’re going to do that, though, I propose that we go to the One True Source of knowledge and accept the Biblical definition of living creatures: they have breath in their nostrils. Therefore, abortion is legal right up to the instant that the baby draws its first breath.

Don’t argue with me! It’s in the Bible! Do you want to go to hell?

But the heart thing? Nonsense. Here’s what I routinely see:

Zebrafish embryos have a heartbeat one day after fertilization. That one above is a two-day embryo, and it’s even more special and sacred because it carries a heart-specific GFP, so it’s heart glows green. We don’t suddenly think of the organism as complete and inviolate because cardiac cells are twitching.

Or even better, you can dissociate the heart tissue of just about any animal, including humans, and culture single cells in a dish…and look! They beat!

If that were a human cell, does that means we could never throw that petri dish away? Speaking of human, let’s jack up the consequences. Here’s a clump of induced pluripotent stem cells, adult cells forced into an embryonic state by transfection with a few genes that reprogrammed this population into a cardiac cell state. It’s the religious right’s nightmare, transformed by the hand of scientists into living embryonic tissues, growing in a lab under a microscope…and it’s alive! IT’S ALIVE!

Is anyone seriously going to decide that that is human and deserving of all of the rights and protections we accord to adult people?

I suppose it depends on whether those cells are derived from a female or not.

Comments

  1. dianne says

    I wonder if the “pro-life” movement is aware that every day people rip the beating* hearts out of “living” people? It’s called organ donation and happens on brain death**. The brain, not the heart, is the organ used to assess for the presence or absence of life in a person. No brain, no person.

    *Actually, they’re artificially paused first, but that sounds less dramatic.

    **And agreement of the next of kin.

  2. Nepenthe says

    The thing in the last video does not deserve all the rights of an adult human. It deserves to be flamethrowered. I’ve seen “The Thing”; you’ve got to stop these, uh, things before they get bigger.

    *shudder*

  3. says

    Ugh, that heartbeat nonsense has a big presence here in ND, those billboards are all over the place. The less emphasis placed on education, the more this stuff sprouts up. The more anti-science people are, the more you see it.

    It’s…disheartening.

  4. Gregory Greenwood says

    So, life is defined by a vaguely twitching muscle tissue now, but an adult woman with dreams and aspirations of her own may be denied her bodily autonomy and left to die needlessly at the drop of a mitre?

    It really is transparently the case that they are throwing out any ridiculous excuse they can think of to treat women as incubators.

  5. crayzz says

    It’s…disheartening.

    So was that.

    If I remember correctly, the last time something like this was tried, the anti-choicers were unable to even demonstrate the heartbeat in court.

  6. megs226 says

    So… if a criminal on death row has a heartbeat, is it still OK to “abort” them in the name of “justice”?

    Your move, GOP.

  7. says

    This makes me wonder if there are still people who think the heart is the seat of consciousness in the US. Oh, wait, I’m an internet skeptic who’s been watching a wild world of woo going on. Of course they’re around. I guess I’m really wondering about prevalence.

  8. jeffsutter says

    I don’t know when life begins. I mean, I suppose it begins with conception, because thats a beginning. I see the whole argument as irrelevant, though, as it requires a human host. I don’t think anyone should be committed to carrying a child for 9 months without their consent (and sex is not consent to having a child or paying for that child to live for 18 years. Consenting to sex is consenting to sex only. Well, I guess it might also be consenting to some awkward breakfast in some situations).

  9. Gregory Greenwood says

    Nepenthe @ 2;

    The thing in the last video does not deserve all the rights of an adult human. It deserves to be flamethrowered. I’ve seen “The Thing”; you’ve got to stop these, uh, things before they get bigger.

    *shudder*

    To quote Dr. Blair:-

    *smashes up the radio room* “You guys think I’M crazy! Well, that’s fine! Most of you don’t know what’s going on around here, but I’m damn well sure SOME of you do! You think that thing wanted to be an animal? No dogs make it a thousand miles through the cold! No, you don’t understand! That thing wanted to be US!”

    ;-P

  10. megs226 says

    @jeffsutter – Agreed. I don’t know when life begins, and frankly, I don’t care. Because I care more about the woman carrying the Z/E/F than the clump of cells itself. Of course, “human host” is assuming that a woman is also a human, which for the GOP is a stretch.

    (I usually lurk but not only did I finally reset my WordPress password to something I actually remember, but this topic gets me all riled up so I might be commenting today for once…)

  11. flek says

    I don’t suppose this realization became clear to Mr. Kroeker somewhere around the middle of last November?

  12. says

    Or even better, you can dissociate the heart tissue of just about any animal, including humans, and culture single cells in a dish…and look! They beat!

    Then why not simply do that? Remove the heart tissue, flush the rest of the fetus. The pro-lifers can’t claim that the life was ended, because the heart is still beating.

  13. Draken says

    Is anyone seriously going to decide that that is human and deserving of all of the rights and protections we accord to adult people?

    Replace ‘decide’ by ‘propose’ and I’m afraid the answer is ‘yes’.

  14. md says

    Good time as any to ask: When does life begin? When should that mass of tissue and nerve cells be accorded the rights and protections of adult people? Or how about just people?

  15. EvoMonkey says

    The Republican lawmaker said the idea for his heartbeat bill just came to him one day because “it became clear that if a baby had a heartbeat, that seemed simple to me that it’s wrong to kill it.”

    This is the problem, laws just don’t come to you one day. Those thoughts that suddenly pop into our heads need to be followed up with deeper analytical thought (and then you also realize the overwhelming majority of those instantaneous “inspirations” really aren’t that good).

  16. Randomfactor says

    Those billboards proclaiming that “abortion stops a beating heart” always prompted me to think “big deal–fishing stops FIVE beating hearts, six if you actually catch something.”

  17. says

    Even if we stipulate that life begins at conception, or at heartbeat, or what the fuck ever, how is that relevant?

    If someone is using my body against my will, I get to stop them with whatever force I feel is necessary, up to and including lethal.

    Any argument against abortion is an argument in support of rape.

  18. Kees says

    So life is now defined as a function of how good your measurement tools are and how well you know where to look for a heartbeat? That essentially has little to do with the candidate for the ‘alive’ attribute and more with the person who measures it.

  19. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    When does life begin?

    This is why you are considered a fool. What life are you talking about? Imprecision is the tool of fools. All life, Dianne is right. Humans, a few million year ago. A single human, depends on how being fully human is defined. I go with being born. That gets rid of the problem deciding why the fetus takes precidence over the woman, as it never does. Which can only be done by debasing the worth of the woman.

  20. says

    @dianne:

    Well said. Sometime around the boundary between the Early Imbrian and the Eoarchean, to be more precise. The Precambrian is insufficiently specific, since it covers over 80% of the history of the Earth.

    The Early Imbrian covers the last part of the Hadean Era, when the Earth was still getting hit by large enough impactors to keep the crust molten, up to about 3.8 billion years ago. It was followed by the Eoarchean, when the last of the Late Heavy Bombardment had ended and the crust had largely soldified and cooled enough that the oceans condensed out.

    The first life appeared within a couple of hundred million years after the bombardment lightened up.

  21. beccamauch says

    According to Wikipedia, an absolutly irrefutable source, even a spider has a beating organ that pumps fluids through its circulatory system. You could almost consider it as a type of primative beating heart. Does that mean that we will now be protecting the life and souls of spider fetuses?

  22. says

    and on a different note, one time I was escorting at the clinic here in town, an anti-choicer was trying to use the “beating heart” as an argument that there is a functioning brain, and therefore there’s a thinking person present at 5 weeks. she was shocked and absolutely refused to believe me when I told her a heart can beat without there being a brain, and in fact there isn’t really one at 5 weeks.

  23. Alverant says

    If a heartbeat = life then what does that say about plants, sponges, uni-cellular organisms, etc?

  24. burgundy says

    Does anyone with more legal expertise than I have (i.e. any) know how constitutional this would be without overturning Roe? My understanding of Roe (and Planned Parenthood v Casey) is that state protection of the fetus doesn’t outweigh the woman’s rights until viability. But that’s memory + 10 minutes on Wikipedia, so I could easily be wrong.

    Legislators proposing unconstitutional laws is nothing new, or rare. (I live in Texas, and my boyfriend is a bill analyst for the legislature. He has many stories.) I’m just really hoping that a) it won’t pass, and b) if it does, there’s a limit to how much harm it will actually inflict on women.

    Even if it doesn’t go anywhere, there’s harm in just having this kind of “reasoning” be part of our national discourse. It rests on the assumption that pregnant women forfeit basic human rights.

  25. says

    If a heartbeat = life then what does that say about plants, sponges, uni-cellular organisms, etc?

    haven’t you read your bible? plants aren’t alive. Or did you see noah collecting any of them on the arc?

  26. yubal says

    I propose that we go to the One True Source of knowledge and accept the Biblical definition of living creatures: they have breath in their nostrils.

    It was Bryan Fisher, I think, who once openly admitted that there is no biblical reference to abortion whatsoever….but it still would be wrong because of *enter weird construction here*, praise sweet baby Jesus!

    But yes, they never talk about the lungs.

  27. ChasCPeterson says

    relies entirely on folk knowledge

    And that’s the thing. It’s as if we still thought the heart was the seat of human emotiona and the soul*. Why not pick a different organ? Life begins with the first squirt of bicarb from the pancreas, say, or the first drop of urine from a functioning nephron. A nice ripe spleen.

    *(of course, we’ve known since Descartes that it’s actually the pineal.)

  28. stevem says

    When should that mass of tissue and nerve cells be accorded the rights and protections of adult people?

    What adult has the RIGHT to force another to be a life support mechanism for even a moment, much less 9 months. Whenever “pro-lifers” use the argument that a fetus should be afforded the same rights as adults, they seem to completely miss the point that they are giving the fetus many MORE rights than any adult. Also complete misinterpretation of the “right to life”. Does my “right to life” mean I can force some one to donate a pint of blood if I need it? If my liver is failing, can I force someone to donate me a piece of theirs? … or their “spare” kidney? The “right to life” is not supreme above all other rights. It’s important, true, but not supreme.

  29. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Detectable by what means? And by what person?

    Somebody could develop a “heart-beat detecting” device that is actually an abortion machine—say an X-ray or an over-powered ultrasound—or simply pull the fetus out to listen to it ….

    There’s a joke somewhere that one ethnic group regards a fetus as fully human only after it graduates from medical school. I wouldn’t go that far, but I’d not regard as human something with only a heartbeat. It sounds like another one of those pseudo-religious stances taken by someone who has never read their own book—as has been said, the Bible babbles about breath (heck, “spirit” is related to “respire”).

  30. says

    @Jadehawk:

    There is actually some argument if the first things we could call biochemistry arose on Earth appeared during the Archean (after the end of the bombardment c. 3800 million years ago) or during the Hadean (while bombardment was still happening). The problem is that there are very few rocks, or even individual grains embedded in older rocks, that are so old, so there is only so much geochemical evidence available.

    The rapid appearance of the earliest microfossils after the end of the bombardment suggests that there may have been many separate appearances of some sort of self-replicating and evolving chemical system before that, which were destroyed shortly thereafter when the environment they were in was cooked by the next heat pulse. But that is a hard idea to test.

  31. tbp1 says

    Several people have said similar things, but for me, it’s completely irrelevant when the fetus becomes a person. Even if, for the sake of argument, I stipulated that a fertilized egg is, from the very moment of penetration, a fully human being, with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities thereunto appertaining (and I don’t really believe this), I would be still be pro choice, on the grounds that one human being doesn’t get to occupy another human being’s body without permission. Not for a single second, let alone nine months.

    For me, it really is that simple.

  32. says

    I used to see a lot of bumper stickers on vehicles around here that read, “Abortion stops a beating heart.” And I would always think to myself, “I don’t see how you can stop a non-beating heart unless maybe it’s rolling down a hill.”

  33. md says

    —I go with being born.

    May I infer from this statement you support abortion for any reason up until the moment the baby is born.

    May I infer that you have absolutely no moral qualms about aborting a pregnancy for any reason at, say 8 months and 3 weeks, as is currently legal in New Jersey?

  34. says

    heck, “spirit” is related to “respire”

    ‘course it is, since they both come from the latin word spiritus, which means breath, life, and ghost/spirit (spiritus sancti=the holy ghost).

    OTOH, soul or mind or consciousness was usually anima, which I’m sure made sense 2000 years ago, but with modern knowledge it would mean that things could be conscious before they were alive :-p

  35. says

    May I infer that you have absolutely no moral qualms about aborting a pregnancy for any reason at, say 8 months and 3 weeks, as is currently legal in New Jersey?

    why should there be “moral qualms”?
    Do you also have “moral qualms” about whether it should be legal for a marrow donor to change their mind after it’s too late to find a new donor for a dying patient?

  36. says

    Is md playing the joey game now?

    they all do. stupid “yeah but what about 3 minutes before birth” hypotheticals are anti-choicers’ favorite game.

  37. M, Supreme Anarch of the Queer Illuminati says

    I think this discussion is overlooking the really important part here — that last video!

    Seriously — is this a step towards being able to grow organs in vitro? Because we’ve been waiting for that since science fiction was invented. And it would rather reduce the complications with rejection, one would think…and transplants could be saved for the emergency situations, which should reduce waiting-list mortality dramatically.

  38. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    There is a difference between punt and dismiss. And you have been dismissed.

  39. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Let me put it to you this way, md. Why the fuck do you think that women are so blase about pregnancy that you think that a woman will wait until she is almost ready to give birth before she decides; “Hey! Time to abort!”?

    This have been debated endlessly here and other blog and everywhere else for decades now.

    You have not asked a challenging question.

  40. md says

    Janine, if it is not a challenging question, please respond with the easy answer. Is the New Jersey law problematic to you, or not?

  41. says

    May I infer from this statement you support abortion for any reason up until the moment the baby is born.

    May I infer that you have absolutely no moral qualms about aborting a pregnancy for any reason at, say 8 months and 3 weeks, as is currently legal in New Jersey?

    I have moral qualms about substituting the judgment of a legislature for that of a doctor. It’s pretty well established that doctors know more about the circumstances of individual pregnant women than legislatures, and that allowing legislatures to dictate when women may or may not get abortions costs lives. Mostly women’s lives.

  42. burgundy says

    md – please provide evidence of women who were previously ok with their pregnancies deciding at the last minute to terminate, in the absence of a threat to their health or a serious problem with the fetus.

  43. says

    @md

    We’re all clear on the fact that an abortion doesn’t necessarily mean that the child dies, right?

    My position is that the woman has the right to end the pregnancy whenever she chooses, for whatever reason she personally deems sufficient. Whether or not the child/fetus/unrecognizable lump of cells can survive the procedure is a completely separate matter.

    I think an argument could certainly be made that if it can sustain its own life without the mother, then after it has been removed, it should be treated as any other born child. However, since no adult has the right to use another person’s body for their own advantage against the wishes of that person, I don’t see why a fetus, human or not, should have that right.

    If the mother wishes to withhold the use of her body, she can do that, at any time, for any reason.

  44. md says

    Recently Amanda Marcotte, a writer I know admiringly read around these parts, said the following thing in an article I, incidentally, largely agreed with.

    “Most women, even super pro-choice women, feel much differently about a seven-month pregnancy than an eight-week pregnancy, even if the Catholic Church doesn’t seem to see any difference at all.”

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/01/25/st_thomas_more_hospital_lawsuit_a_fetus_is_not_a_person_when_we_re_being.html

    No one here is required to speak for her, obviously, but I wondered if someone would take a shot.

    Why would ‘super pro-choice’ women feel differently about a seven month pregnancy than an 8 week pregnancy? Is this stance something Marcotte is critical of, in agreement with, or indifferent to? Do any super pro choice women, or men, here feel the same way? Can you elaborate on your moral reasoning?

  45. md says

    burgundy,

    If Marcottes statistics are correct in the link in #51, it doesnt look like it happens often.

    But should it be legal to happen at all? What do you think, and why?

  46. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Brave, brave md bursts through to ask the challenging question about women having abortions just before they are due to give birth.

    *yawn*

  47. md says

    Lykex,

    No I wasnt clear on that. I thought the point of an abortion was to terminate a pregnancy without intention of the fetus surviving, though on rare occasion, yes, the abortion procedure fails in its intention and the fetus is still alive afterwards.. Are you telling me that the definition of abortion would include, say, a C-section at 6 months an into an incubator?

  48. nightshadequeen says

    Why would ‘super pro-choice’ women feel differently about a seven month pregnancy than an 8 week pregnancy? Is this stance something Marcotte is critical of, in agreement with, or indifferent to? Do any super pro choice women, or men, here feel the same way? Can you elaborate on your moral reasoning?

    I don’t know, why don’t you ask Marcotte?

  49. md says

    Poor, poor Janine can’t even answer the least challenging question. I suspect this is because she knows its more challenging than she lets on and does not want to answer the follow up.

    Best strategy for you is to dismiss and ignore, Janine. Have a fine day.

  50. nightshadequeen says

    MD, people like you make sick.

    You prize your mental wankery more than, say, Savita‘s life.

    Fix your fucking priorities.

  51. dianne says

    Abortions at 8 months 3 weeks are not entirely unknown. For example, in places where c-section is not a practical option, abortion of the fetus can be the only way to end an obstructed labor that has any chance of the pregnant woman surviving. I have no moral qualms about this sort of abortion.

  52. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Md, you do realize that advocates for abortion also think it is best to get an abortion as early as possible. Which is why they are against all of the nuisance laws that the anti-choosers keep passing, those laws that make women wait before they an end an abortion.

    And that women who have an actual choose in the matter, when they get to the seven months or later, want to have the fetus they are carrying go to full term.

    But, hey, lets us ignore that actual lives of real women and ask if a woman can or should have an abort jut at the point the water breaks.

    It is oh so fascinating to watch an authoritarian JAQ off.

  53. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Poor, poor Janine can’t even answer the least challenging question. I suspect this is because she knows its more challenging than she lets on and does not want to answer the follow up.

    Best strategy for you is to dismiss and ignore, Janine. Have a fine day.

    Bless your heartt, md.

    You have been a long time troll yet you seem to have missed all of the threads and comment about this issue.

    You you are so fucking special that you just have to demand everybody’s time yet again.

    Lazy little schmuck.

  54. says

    Once again we have a person who is OH SO CONCERNED–CONCERNED I say!!–about women getting abortions at 8 months 3 weeks, without any urgent medical emergency triggering the abortion, in the absolute absence of any evidence that such women exist.

    There is no evidence that these women exist.

    There is evidence that laws banning late-term abortions end up being nuisances and impediments to women with wanted pregnancies that go very wrong, and can, as I said, cost lives. As in the case of Savita.

    Therefore I conclude that it is immoral to ban late-term abortion, but not immoral to lift all restrictions on it.

  55. Q.E.D says

    The latest wave of anti-choice legislation is based on one trivial premise: it’s got a heartbeat! You can’t kill it if its heart is beating!

    Because that works so well in Ireland.

  56. madtom1999 says

    Strange why these people dont refer to the bible thingy they keep banging on about – if it aint breathing then it aint alive.

  57. burgundy says

    I agree with SallyStrange. I trust individual women to be able to assess their individual needs better than a legislature can. I trust doctors to be able to make medically and ethically sound decisions appropriate to specific circumstances better than a legislature can. These cases, if they exist at all, are by definition outliers, and outliers make a very bad basis for law.

    And the point of an abortion is to terminate the pregnancy. The bit about “without intention of the fetus surviving” is not inherent to the process.

  58. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    May I infer that you have absolutely no moral qualms about aborting a pregnancy for any reason at, say 8 months and 3 weeks, as is currently legal in New Jersey?

    Since I’m not in on the decision, and it is between a woman and her doctor. Show me your signed letter from your imaginary deity giving you the right to make the decision for anybody else. Put up or shut the fuck up.

  59. madphd says

    @ 37 MD

    I am without a doubt a proponent on choice. But, MD, your comment is hyperbolic. There should be not moral qualms to ending a pregnancy at 8 months 3 weeks, because at 8 months 3 weeks, the fetus is viable and will be delivered.

  60. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    MD fuckwitted forced birther:

    What do you think, and why?

    Fuckwit, you defend your inane idea that women are inferior to the fetus. Put up or shut the fuck up. Foolish.

  61. dianne says

    There should be not moral qualms to ending a pregnancy at 8 months 3 weeks, because at 8 months 3 weeks, the fetus is viable and will be delivered.

    Or the fetus is clearly not viable and will be difficult to deliver via normal means and abortion is being used as the method least damaging to the life, health, and fertility of the pregnant woman and least likely to cause unnecessary suffering in the terminally ill fetus.

  62. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    What if the mother was 8 weeks, 29 days, and 59.75 seconds along but she saw the Orange Julius was having a special and she wanted one but felt too full to have it without an abortion?

  63. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    What if the mother had a chance to be on Say Yes to the Dress but she couldn’t fit into it with her almost formed babby and had an abortion in time for the taping at 8 weeks and 30 days?

  64. chigau (違う) says

    What if, at 8 months 29 days, it was reliably determined that the fetus was the Antichrist?

  65. dianne says

    @71: She should burp and then she’ll find that actually she’s ravenously hungry and could eat everything in the Orange Julius shop.

  66. Nepenthe says

    May I infer that you have absolutely no moral qualms about aborting a pregnancy for any reason at, say 8 months and 3 weeks, as is currently legal in New Jersey?

    This wasn’t asked of me, but I’ll answer anyway.

    Yes.

  67. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    It’s amazing how anti choicers always try to make up the most freakish scenarios in order to push laws that have the sole purpose of putting intrusive regulation in what is up poser to be a patient-doctor decision.

    Somehow the freakish, probably entirely theoretical women who would get off on aborting 7 or 8 months on a whim become reason enough to write coercitive laws.

    Bizarrely, the same crowd has apparently no problem whatsoever with letting families with teenagers pile up guns, even though it does increase the probability of school shootings.

    I guess the lives of real people are much less important than those of potential people.

  68. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    What if the woman was 8 months and 30 days pregnant, went to Disney Land, but they wouldn’t let her on Space Mountain? What if she asked her husband to save her place in line while she nipped over to Planned Parenthood Express?

  69. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Shorter md: WAAAAAAHH no one fell for my misogynist semantics game! Bitches ain’t shit! Imaginary babies are supreme!

  70. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    What if the woman was 8 monthes and 29 days pregnant and she’s just totally sick of not having any Cosmos?

  71. daniellavine says

    I had heard that this was actually the criteria used by Massachusetts Bay puritans to determine how late one could have an abortion.

    That’s right, Christian fundamentalists are only now becoming as modern and open-minded as the seventeenth century witch-hunting, scarlet lettering, buckle-wearing theocrats that founded this country.

  72. says

    So, Jadehawk and Janine have punted.

    do you not understand English? how is “why should there be moral qualms” not an answer?

    what the fuck is it with idiots who can’t recognize a simple answer?

    Why would ‘super pro-choice’ women feel differently about a seven month pregnancy than an 8 week pregnancy?

    because 7-month pregnancies are generally wanted, and an abortion at that stage tends to be the result of danger, fetal death, or severe fetal malformation. of course people would feel different about that. that’s not the same as “moral qualms” about the legality of such a late abortion, however. you really do suck at English, don’t you.

    But should it be legal to happen at all? What do you think, and why?

    of course it should be legal, given that abortions that late are either the result of having extreme roadblocks put into one’s way, or of a pregnancy gone awry. An abortion that late is a decision best left to woman and doctor on an individual case.

    I thought the point of an abortion was to terminate a pregnancy without intention of the fetus surviving,

    no, that’s bullshit. an abortion is the aborting* of a pregnancy. whether after this the result of the pregnancy is alive or not is beside the point. and prematurely ending a late-term abortion is easiest via induction of birth, abortions that result in dead late-term fetuses are the result of a dangerous situation in which induction wasn’t an option.

    *to abort: to terminate before completion; to stop the progress of something

    though on rare occasion, yes, the abortion procedure fails in its intention and the fetus is still alive afterwards..

    [citation needed]

  73. says

    I thought the point of an abortion was to terminate a pregnancy without intention of the fetus surviving

    Usually, it is, but that’s because, usually, abortions are performed either long before viability or because of some serious medical problem. A simple birth is, technically, a pregnancy termination because after the birth, the mother is no longer pregnant.

  74. daniellavine says

    @md:

    The “OMG what about abortions at 8 months?!” question is not new or original or interesting. It’s been discussed into the ground. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you involved in such a discussion.

    It does not seem very plausible that any women are waiting until 8 months in to get an abortion. Moreover, at that point in a pregnancy induced birth will almost always be safer for the pregnant woman let alone the fetus and so I would think pretty much any OB/GYN would recommend induced birth rather than an abortion in such an instance.

    There are exceptions: sometimes there are severe medical problems that occur later in pregnancy that doom the fetus entirely and endanger the life of the mother. If that’s the case than abortion would seem to be a good deal.

    Putting together the last two points, laws against late-term abortions will probably not save any viable fetuses but they could prevent women from receiving life-saving medical care that they need. And yes, there seem to be a lot of people out there — people with political opinions like yours — who would absolutely use such laws as weapons against women whose fetuses are already doomed.

    So my opinion: abortion is a medical procedure. The decision should be between a woman and her reproductive health specialist. No one else should have a say. If you can’t trust women to make the right decisions then trust their doctors — who, after all, know a whole lot more about the subject than you do.

  75. says

    and as a side note: md’s fucktastic definition of “abortion” is a pretty common thing among anti-choicers. That’s why Mrs. Santorum’s abortion somehow doesn’t count, even though that’s precisely what it was: an artificial, premature end to a pregnancy.

    Unfortunately, the anti-choicers have managed to get everyone so used to that redefinition that even non-anti-choicers have begun using it that way.

  76. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    FWIW, I no longer indulge commenters like md who propose bizarre scenarios. The trope is so destructive, in my opinion, that even trying to argue against it helps perpetuate it. That’s why I simply mock it and refuse to engage. Your mileage may vary.

  77. Louis says

    Josh, #80,

    In that case the foetus should be teleported out by wizards and adopted by the Disney Corporation in secret. The mother would, obviously, have her memory altered and get a biscuit. The baby would then be raised until it was old enough to be bored by Mickey Mouse, whereupon it would be post-natally aborted to maintain the Corporation’s bottom line.

    Or something.

    Louis

    P.S. Glad to see quasi-philosophical mental masturbation is still taking priority over concern for real living women’s health in the world. There’s just not enough of that around. Oh wait. There’s actually too much of it. Fuck.

  78. Stacy says

    But should it be legal to happen at all? What do you think, and why?

    md, you’ve asked two separate questions and conflated them. You started out asking if anyone had any moral qualms about extremely late-term abortions–and then you asked whether they should be legal.

    Consider Jadehawk’s point:

    Do you also have “moral qualms” about whether it should be legal for a marrow donor to change their mind after it’s too late to find a new donor for a dying patient?

    It might be reasonable to have moral qualms about somebody backing out of a deal like that, but I can’t imagine making it illegal to do so. The human right to bodily autonomy means another person–or potential person–cannot make use of your entire body even if they need it to survive. That way lies slavery.

  79. jeffsutter says

    Also, this whole business of government getting involved with people’s medical care needs to stop. It is literally no one’s business but the patients and who they choose to confide in/seek treatment from. I’ve never heard of a medical professional speak out against abortion except when speaking from a religious perspective.

    This is lunacy, and this is exactly the reason I do not keep my atheism to myself.

  80. yubal says

    Therefore I conclude that it is immoral to ban late-term abortion, but not immoral to lift all restrictions on it.

    Abortion is an artificial termination of a pregnancy. So is a C-section.

    My wife was there a couple of weeks ago. She had pain, voting, bleeding and fell unconscious with a drop in heart rate one night just in the ninth month. I cleaned out her mouth, woke her up and carried her to the van since the hospital is only 10 minutes away. That night it was less than 5 minutes.

    We got lucky that there was a doctor around and she didn’t even bother to diagnose too much. IV in, monitors on and straight to the surgery room. We had an emergency C-section in less 45 minutes after walking in the hospital. No bullshitting with “daddy cuts the cord” and whatsoever. Just plain and simple: “Cut the baby out or she might die”. All I cared about that night was that my wife will be fine, which she was the next day. The baby is fine too although he had to go to ICU for two days.

    The technology to keep a prematurely delivered baby alive exists and I am yet to see a parent or a doctor who would decide not to keep the early born in such a situation. I mean, that is absurd. Who would remove an almost full term live baby and then kill it instead of putting it in an incubator? If it was still born or doesn’t make it later, well, that happens. Priority is to keep the mother alive and the baby has a plus 80% chance in the last trimester with the current technology.

  81. Pteryxx says

    A simple birth is, technically, a pregnancy termination because after the birth, the mother is no longer pregnant.

    And when the pregnancy itself is an immediate threat to the woman’s life, then inducing labor is one option for ending the pregnancy, though labor might be even more dangerous than the other options of major surgery (caesarian) or somewhat less major surgery (late-term abortion) depending on which threatening medical condition it is. Which is why the choice of those options should remain with the individual woman whose life and health is at stake.

    quoting dianne from one of many such previous discussions:

    HELLP syndrome, pre-eclampsia, ectopic pregnancy, pulmonary hypertension, uterine cancer, severe hydrocephalus with anencephaly, acute hepatitis of pregnancy, DIC, twin pregnancy with demise of one twin (higher order multiples also, of course)…all conditions that may require abortion to save the pregnant woman’s life (and, in some instances, the life of the other fetus or fetuses that are still viable). And that’s just what I came up with by thinking about it for 30 seconds, without consulting any references. And I’m not an OB.

  82. mythbri says

    @md

    Strangely enough, both my sister-in-law and my cousin had abortions late in their pregnancies.

    My sister-in-law chose to induce labor a week early so that when she had my niece, the delivery would still be covered on their insurance. My niece was born June 30th. Their insurance ran out July 1st. My niece is now seven months old and the cutest thing since sliced baby-bread.

    My cousin went into eclampsia during the eighth month of her pregnancy. The only way to save a woman from dying of eclampsia is to remove the fetus immediately – no matter how far it is along. So the doctors performed an emergency C-section, and fortunately the fetus was far enough along that he survived.

    Both of those were late-term abortions, in the sense that they ended pregnancies before the “natural” due date.

    Be more specific in your philosophical wankery, please.

  83. omnicrom says

    md stop playing stupid games.

    If you have some oh-so-clever attack on the right to an abortion come out and say it, don’t do that smug little dance where you try ask leading questions until the other party presumably recognizes your genius thinking and agrees with you. It doesn’t work here, people have seen enough crap to recognize when you’re JAQing off. If you have some great attack on abortion like you seem to think you do then come right out and tell us what it is. The fact you’re playing these games however suggests you know that you don’t have shit.

  84. zmidponk says

    Hmm. Given that work is being done on an artificial heart that doesn’t beat at all, and at least one was even implanted into a human being, Craig Lewis, and worked (though he later died from amyloidosis, which is what damaged his heart in the first place, also causing damage to his liver and kidneys), does this mean that anyone with such an artificial heart would not be human, as they don’t have a heartbeat?

  85. Richard Smith says

    Re the OP, and md’s “contribution”: Another quote from Carpenter’s The Thing:

    You’ve got to be fucking kidding!

  86. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    The right-wing gun nuts say that since some woman on a ranch in Wyoming might NEED a gun, everybody everywhere should be allowed to have all the guns they want, no matter how many people die.

    The right-wing anti-choicers say that since some woman in New Jersey may get an abortion at eight months, nobody should be allowed to get an abortion, anywhere, ever, no matter how many people die.

  87. says

    zmidponk:
    You know, there was a while before his heart transplant that Dick Cheney had no pulse. If only it meant that he wasn’t alive. *sigh*

    Md:
    How about instead of this philosophical wankery, you tell us how many times you’ve been pregnant and how absolutely awesome it was.

  88. embraceyourinnercrone says

    md@15 and just because her comment to a previous similar discussion at Almost Diamonds says what I want to say much more eloquently :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2013/01/26/fetal-viability-and-maternal-rights/#comment-188556

    Quoting this part for truth:
    <blockquote Fine, it gets granted 100% of the rights all other human people have to my body, which is zero.

    Actually, I’m sick and tired of all the hypothetical scenarios people then want to come up with:
    What about women wanting labour induced at 7 months, what about late term abortions, what about Slutty McSlut, what about…
    Stop fucking doing that.

    As someone whose had several miscarriages including a D/C for fetal death without expulsion , if someone wants or needs an abortion for whatever reason, it should be between the person and their doctor, period. My life experience is not a fucking hypothetical.

  89. embraceyourinnercrone says

    I forgot proper attribution, the previous comment I quoted was from Giliell. I hope she doesn’t mind. I thought her replies on that thread were really brilliant. I usually lurk but this subject tends to make me ragefroth. *back beneath invisibility cloak I stole from HP

  90. crayzz says

    May I infer that you have absolutely no moral qualms about aborting a pregnancy for any reason at, say 8 months and 3 weeks, as is currently legal in New Jersey?

    I have no compulsion to donate any part of my body to anyone else for any reason, even if it means they die. I could be on the operating table, and I’d still be allowed to opt out.

    A woman has no compulsion to donate her uterus to anyone for any reason, even if it means they die.

  91. says

    @md Yes.If a woman decides to have an abortion at any time in her pregnancy, for whatever reason, I’m fine with that.I fully support the lack of abortion laws that we have here in Canada. It means that women are making medical decisions with the assistance of their doctors, not immoral religious fuckwits or legislators.

    Life begins before conception. Personhood begins at birth.

  92. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    If Marcottes statistics are correct in the link in #51, it doesnt look like it happens often.

    But should it be legal to happen at all? What do you think, and why?

    …why the fuck would you bother outlawing something people don’t do?

  93. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I thought the point of an abortion was to terminate a pregnancy without intention of the fetus surviving,

    The purpose of an abortion is to remove an organism from the body of a human being who does not want to be its host. All the rest is basically irrelevant.

  94. Pteryxx says

    …why the fuck would you bother outlawing something people don’t do?

    Security Forced-Pregnancy Theater?

  95. daniellavine says

    Of the 1.6 million abortions performed in the U.S. each year, 91 percent are performed during the first trimester (12 or fewer weeks’ gestation); 9 percent are performed in the second trimester (24 or fewer weeks’ gestation); and only about 100 are performed in the third trimester (more than 24 weeks’ gestation), approximately .01 percent of all abortions performed.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,880,00.html#ixzz2JaUERsZa

    No word on whether those abortions were performed out of medical necessity or not. Still, interesting source on that, eh?

    A story from the telegraph on third trimester abortions:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8438261/More-than-120-abortions-after-upper-time-limit.html

    UK seems to have a much higher number of third trimester abortions per capita than the US — by a full order of magnitude. However, all such abortions must be approved by at least two doctors apparently.

    More on UK abortion law:

    http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Abortion/Pages/When-should-it-be-done.aspx

  96. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Also, what if, like, a woman gave birth to a fully formed babby but then she realized she didn’t like getting up in the morning and breastfeeding hurt so she took it to the doctor and asked him to put it back and then do a very late-term abortion? Huh? What about that?

  97. md says

    –Life begins before conception. Personhood begins at birth.

    Ibis3, thanks for the honest answer.

    What is it about the act of birth that conveys personhood? Secondarily, may I assume then that birth means either traditional or C-section?

  98. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Ibis3, thanks for the honest answer.

    So, all of the other answers were not honest.

  99. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What is it about the act of birth that conveys personhood?

    Gee, as anybody should know, except idiotological dumshits like you, several irreversible changes, like breathing air, getting sustance from something other than the placenta, being able to be fed by anyone, and changes in hemoglobin from a fetal form to the normal human form to take advantage of the increased oxygen supply. A big DUH.

    Now, you tell us how a fetus becomes more of a human being than the woman carrying it, thereby taking precidence in the relationship, or shut the fuck up about this. Your questions are ignorant, stupid, and misleading. They, like you, show no real thought.

  100. says

    So, all of the other answers were not honest.

    of course not. because “before conception” can’t mean “in the pre-cambrian”, and the words are similar enough to what md wanted to hear.

  101. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Like, what if a woman was having a baby and the head crowned and the doctors pulled it out but once it got to the shoulders the woman said she changed her mind and wanted an abortion? What about that?

  102. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Josh, you do know that joey made that very same argument the first time he shown up.

  103. Pteryxx says

    What is it about the act of birth that conveys personhood? Secondarily, may I assume then that birth means either traditional or C-section?

    In b4 “what percentage of the baby has to be out” and “does it count if the umbilical’s still attached”.

  104. Lofty says

    #96 zmidponk
    I was going to mention that, was he legally dead without a heatbeat? I think not.
    My cat has a hearbeat. Do I have the right to evict it from my lap?
    Leave the decision of when to abort to the people with expert knowledge in the field, I say.

  105. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Life begins before conception. Personhood begins at birth.

    md, you are appreciating an honest answer, in your usual snarky fashion, and acting like that answer is the position of all pro-choice people.

    I, for one, disagree with Ibis3. Not substantially, perhaps, but enough to not want you playing your games based on that.

    Life doesn’t begin at any one point. The egg and the sperm are both alive (well, the sperm certainly is, even if its gene packet isn’t) in some definitions, they combine genes into the recipe for an new arrangement of life, which needs nurturing to grow into a viable life form. When, exactly, that life form is viable is a matter of debate—you need to define life and viability, both.

    Personhood is hard to define. Myself, personally, I think it starts around age 3, and may not fully develop for years. Again, a matter of debate—what is personhood, exactly, and how can we detect it?

    This nation has decided that human life begins at birth, and, as far as I know, hasn’t dabbled in defining personhood at all. A person born in this country is a citizen, is all I can recall on the subject.

  106. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Josh, you do know that joey made that very same argument the first time he shown up.

    Figures, doesn’t it?

  107. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Collectively, we are not honest enough to deserve md’s thoughtful musings about abortion.

  108. Stacy says

    What is it about the act of birth that conveys personhood? Secondarily, may I assume then that birth means blah blah blah

    Stop it. Address the argument regarding bodily autonomy. And/or say whatever it is you want to say. Your Socratic questioning schtick is pointless and insulting.

  109. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    What is it about the act of birth that conveys personhood?

    Personhood is quite complex and culture specific. A lot of cultures have had (and some have) a line well after birth.

    Personally I’m reluctant to convey personhood on newborn because of their lacking capabilities for agency. In spite of this: As for a line for when killing a human-to-be is acceptable or not, birth is as good as any. You need a clear defining line, even when there objectively isn’t one.

    And don’t get me started on the western trend of conveying personhood to foetuses…

  110. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Gnumann, I do not think it is a western trend. It is something that was invented by anti-choose activists in order to claim that abortion is murder.

  111. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    Janice:
    Yes and no. The anti-woman-movement certainly utilise it as a tactic. Personally I don’t think it’s the only reason. I blame ultrasound. The foetus is sex, given a name and then the parents gradually convey more personhood to it. This is of course reinforced by the fact that now a days, in western society the parents can reasonably expect the foetus to survive birth. The line between foetus an a neonate is blurred by this. As on the other hand (if half-studied hazy memory serves med right), societies that delay personhood are typically societies with a high mortality rate for children (and/or high rate of deaths related to birth).

  112. omnicrom says

    Yes MD, tell us what you really think. Don’t keep fishing until one person says the ONE THING you’re angling for and then repeat, actually come out and tell us your anti-choice views. Be clear, stop playing stupid games.

  113. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    What is it about the act of birth that conveys personhood?

    Not being inside of another person’s body and dependent on it to live.

    As you well know, you dishonest little shit.

  114. md says

    Other than Ibis3 and maybe LykeX, I didnt get the feeling anyone really wanted to talk about this. Which is cool.

    So, please, the rest of you ignore me and I wont bug you anymore about it.

  115. daniellavine says

    @md:

    No, now you get to address the many salient counterarguments to your “what if the baby is 8 months oh my gosh” nonsense. You made the argument and people responded. If you want to argue in good faith then you should either admit that it is nonsense or rebut the counterarguments.

    I mean, are you capable of admitting you might be wrong about something? Are you capable of changing your mind about anything? Or are you just going to keep spurting non sequitirs in the hope that one of them sticks?

  116. says

    @md
    If you’re going to run away like a little wimp, please don’t use my name as a cover. It’s not that people here aren’t interested in the subject, it’s that you clearly have nothing new to say. You don’t seem willing to make your own position clear You keep asking these leading questions in an attempt to… what exactly? And when people give arguments, you ignore them.

    If you want to be taken seriously, I suggest you address the bodily rights argument. See, as long as that stands, it doesn’t matter what the fetus is, when personhood begins, what rights a child has or any of those things. This one argument renders all these discussions entirely irrelevant.
    So, address that and we might get somewhere. Otherwise, feel free to go away and not come back.

  117. yubal says

    On the question of person hood.

    In the early days of enlightenment/humanism personal rights were defined as god given birth rights. See French Revolution or declaration of independence. Let’s ignore the god statement for sake of the argument and say that this position insists that all humans are born equal and with full inalienable personal human rights and this remains always true.

    Two centuries later, Hannah Arendt pointed out that this is actually not the case. Human rights do not come automatically with birth, they are granted to everyone of us by the society through political decisions. A society can chose not to grant you any rights whatsoever or grant human rights only to a certain group and not the others. Therefore human rights have to be created in a political process and are not something that is automatically present.

    To bring that in the context of the late term abortion discussion I pick an arbitrary line from above. Just to show how absurd this can get. (it was sarcasm I assume?)

    In b4 “what percentage of the baby has to be out” and “does it count if the umbilical’s still attached”

    The vast majority of abortions take place before the third trimester. From the third trimester abortions the vast majority are medically required or a result of legal restrictions that unnecessarily delay an abortion. The later issue can be solved legally. The former is what it is. What is left over is a tiny fraction of overall abortions which may have a variety of reasons.

    You could define person hood as the stage the fetus can develop into a normal human being outside the womb given that all required resources are made available. As a society we are able to define this point. There is no true answer here, it is a question of how we want to define the onset of personal rights and weighting it against how much we as a society are willing to invest to ensure those rights? And I am talking money here.

    A woman can have her pregnancy terminated in the third trimester and the fetus can be developed to a normal human being with routine procedures, given that the fetus is viable.

    ->Both can happen at the same time<- (no rights infringed, the woman gets her full right and the fetus)

    All that is required to realize that is to put up some money, create the infrastructure and pay people to do it. If radical anti-abortion people would really care that much about human life they would raise the money for institutions like that. And volunteer to adopt and raise the babies later. Pay for their food and their education. Invest their own time to bring up a child properly. But no. They don't. They prefer to fight a legal battle against woman rights. If they would actually care about what happens to the babies, I might think about taking some of them serious.

    We are at the peak of our civilization right now. We have amazing opportunities when it comes to medicine. We have a tap in all thinkable resources on this planet. Why not put some more of that aside to make our medical technology available to everyone? And some more money to raise children in general? Spend more on public daycare, education and healthcare instead wasting money on military and luxuries?

  118. omnicrom says

    md you had a LOT of people give you answers besides LykeX and Ibis3. Sallystrange, Janine, Jadehawk, Dianne, Burgundy, Nepenthe, and Jeffsutter all answered your question of “Is it moral” directly. Many more people raised topics against you and explained why you were full of it and talked very clearly about abortion. I’m sorry that only LykeX and Ibis3 gave you answers you felt like arguing against but dismissing everyone else as “Not wanting to really talk about this” is complete bullshit since everyone except the people outright mocking you gave you a serious answer.

    Also can you please extend your promise to not bug people to Pharyngula as a whole and leave? You’re still playing stupid games and it’s pathetic.

  119. fastlane says

    The legislatures were originally going to propose ‘detectable brain activity’ as the cutoff, but then they realized it would make many of the eligible for…uh….early retirement.

  120. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    I’m starting to really wonder if a push to get the procedure formally and vernacularly renamed to “Termination of pregnancy” instead of abortion might not be in order. Then you explain the “whah but what if babby’s half out” argument neatly in the name itself, which clearly states that the pregnancy is what’s terminated, so even IF that should happen, the delivery would simply continue and the babby adopted. Or delivered early and adopted. Or whatever.

    of course, we all know that it’s not *actually* the wording that the death cult objects to, it’s Slutty Mc slut-luts having the freedom (and AUDACITY!) to slut it up and not be punished with childbirth and a lifelong commitment to a child as a result of said slutting.

  121. jefrir says

    md, there is something that you need to bear in mind when you are pontificating : women are not totally fucking stupid.

    A pregnant woman is not going to stay pregnant for 6+ months if she does not want a baby and abortions are available earlier because she isn’t totally fucking stupid.
    A woman who does want a baby will not choose to have an abortion which kills a healthy viable fetus if she has a better option because she isn’t totally fucking stupid.
    Similarly, a pregnant woman’s doctor will not reccomend or sign of on the unnecessary abortion of a healthy viable fetus because they, too, are not totally fucking stupid.

    I know this may be hard for you to grasp, because you apparently are totally fucking stupid, but you should bear it in mind – it cuts through so many bullshit hypotheticals.

  122. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    As for why late term abortions (TOPs) shouldn’t be legislated against, I am perfectly satisfied to accept that if a woman had carried a fetus for 7+ months and then needs an abortion after that period, it’s because CLEARLY something went catastrophically wrong, whether it’s medically, socially, mental-health wise or whatever else.

    I’m more than happy to accept that women don’t just demand late term TOPs on a whim, that when they say they need them, we can believe that they actually do need them, regardless of what we’d personally think we’d do different were we in the same situation as said woman. I

    ‘m mystified by people who don’t see that someone who’d carried a pregnancy for many months, with all the accompanying pains, discomforts and health implications et al. (yes, I know some women make as if being pregnant is nothing while others go to the other extreme, but really, it’s not usually easy to miss), will think seriously and responsibly about the need for a TOP that late. If you can’t trust her to treat this decision with responsibility and seriousness and do what’s best for the budding family, what the FUCK are you thinking forcing her on an an actual living, breathing, feeling child?

  123. md says

    —Myself, personally, I think it starts around age 3, and may not fully develop for years.

    May I infer you are okay with terminating this non-person between birth and passage of your person-test? Thats Peter Singer’s reasoning, I believe.

    LykeX, not running away. That post was unclear on my part, I meant that I was at that point only interested in addressing you and Ibis3 because you all are capable of giving an answer without wrapping it in a thick layer of nastiness. Nastiness is the way here, I know, but there is only so much I have time for and not really why I come. So I tend to ignore it and if the rest of planted something sensible in there I must’ve missed it.

  124. F [nucular nyandrothol] says

    Ha, you went exactly where my mind went: Heart cells beat without a heart. But what I also thought would come after this snippet:

    you can’t detect the heartbeat until 5-6 weeks of gestation

    Yeah, well, we could have another ridiculous medical industry involving the detection of beating heart cells in embryos. Because no expense is spared in creating medical equipment even if relatively few people benefit from it as long as it makes money, and no expense is spared to criminalize people. Its a twofer.

  125. daniellavine says

    LykeX, not running away. That post was unclear on my part, I meant that I was at that point only interested in addressing you and Ibis3 because you all are capable of giving an answer without wrapping it in a thick layer of nastiness. Nastiness is the way here, I know, but there is only so much I have time for and not really why I come. So I tend to ignore it and if the rest of planted something sensible in there I must’ve missed it.

    Well, first of all, you’re ignoring a lot of arguments that weren’t “wrapped in nastiness”. Second of all, the tone of an argument has no effect on its salience or validity.

    If you can’t address the arguments that others are making why should anyone address yours? Why should anyone grant you a shred of credibility when you can’t even acknowledge arguments against your position?

  126. md says

    —- In spite of this: As for a line for when killing a human-to-be is acceptable or not, birth is as good as any. You need a clear defining line, even when there objectively isn’t one.

    Yes, Gnumann, the crux of the matter. But why choose birth?

  127. fastlane says

    Josh@88. I agree, although I like to up the ante.

    For example:
    I support the right to abortion up to and including:
    1) Age of majority (18 years old in most states).
    2) The child leaves the house and actually moves out on thier own.
    3) Whatever age md is…… ;-)

    YMMV.

  128. burgundy says

    md is obviously capable of erasing people who are inconvenient to hir argument – that’s what the anti-choice position is all about, after all.

  129. md says

    Okay Daniel, ignore me. I wont take it personal. I just logistically dont have time to address everyone. Now I gotta run again for a bit.

  130. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nastiness is the way here,

    You supply your share with your attitudes and idiotology.

  131. Pteryxx says

    May I infer you are okay with terminating this non-person between birth and passage of your person-test?

    Totally polite and reasonable therefore rational and good-faith non-railroading question, riiiiight?

    Because the REAL issues are abstract personhood and general morality of killing, never ever pregnant women being persons who might not want to risk their pregnancy killing them.

  132. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But why choose birth?

    What your fuckwitted OPINION? Quit with the questions and you do your answer dance…

  133. allegro says

    md sounds very much like a toddler who has just learned the “why?” game. No actual interest in an answer of any kind, just wants to keep the game going to keep getting attention.

  134. nightshadequeen says

    …and I fail at html.

    Let me try that again.

    <blockquote>

    Your Text Here.

    </blockquote>

  135. says

    I just logistically dont have time to address everyone

    How about addressing anyone? Anyone at all?

    People aren’t nasty because that’s the way it is here. They’re nasty to you because you clearly deserve it. You have yet to say a single thing that we haven’t all heard a hundred times before, you have utterly refused to give any description of your own position and you have now quite clearly ignored my very direct request that you address the specific argument of bodily rights, which would render ALL your previous objections and questions moot.

    In short, you’re acting like a dishonest little shit and people are treating you accordingly.

  136. opposablethumbs says

    Come on, md, don’t be shy. Tell us what you think. Stop pussy-footing about with your dazzlingly clever may-I-infers, and tell us what you think the law should be and why.
    Is that “layer of nastiness” thin enough for you?

  137. F [nucular nyandrothol] says

    So, all of the other answers were not honest.

    No, they just weren’t the answers md wanted. They don’t provide the setup for the next oh-so killer question that will blow your fucking mind and show you how werong you are in his little charade of pseudo-Socratic Method. omnicrom has it at #95.

    It’s like those dumb-ass “jokes” kids do, which start with a leading question, and if you don’t provide the exact answer on which their hilarious bit of work hinges, they just tell you what to say so they can then deride you for providing the answer, to the end of much mirth on their part.

    e.g., remembered from childhood:
    Q: Are you a pro?
    A: No, how could I be a professional anything?
    Q: No, pro, like you’re really good at something.
    A: That’s not what “professional” means.
    Q: No. Just say yes.
    A: Whatever.
    Q: Come on, just say yes.
    A: (Exasperated) OK, yes.
    Q: Then you’re a pre-retarded oddball. (Hahahahahaha.)

    Wow. That example has a little bit of many varieties of wrong in it. Then again, so do the anti-choicer tactics. How similar.

  138. ChasCPeterson says

    Why are you asking md what s/he thinks? S/he came asking simple questions, and deserves a polite and straightforward answer instead of all this snark, abuse, and table-turning.

    md:
    You may infer and assume anything you like. Thanks for asking.

  139. says

    I meant that I was at that point only interested in addressing you and Ibis3 because you all are capable of giving an answer without wrapping it in a thick layer of nastiness.

    let’s review my answer to md:

    why should there be “moral qualms”?
    Do you also have “moral qualms” about whether it should be legal for a marrow donor to change their mind after it’s too late to find a new donor for a dying patient?

    anyone see any “nastiness”?

  140. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    No, they just weren’t the answers md wanted. They don’t provide the setup for the next oh-so killer question that will blow your fucking mind and show you how werong you are in his little charade of pseudo-Socratic Method. omnicrom has it at #95.

    As if this technique hasn’t been used ad nauseum, and it changes nobody’s mind as it avoids the only issue that matters, the bodily autonomy of women...

  141. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Nastiness is the way here, I know, but there is only so much I have time for and not really why I come. So I tend to ignore it and if the rest of planted something sensible in there I must’ve missed it.

    You miss a metric shit ton.

    Also, you better run like hell.

  142. omnicrom says

    LykeX, not running away. That post was unclear on my part, I meant that I was at that point only interested in addressing you and Ibis3 because you all are capable of giving an answer without wrapping it in a thick layer of nastiness. Nastiness is the way here, I know, but there is only so much I have time for and not really why I come. So I tend to ignore it and if the rest of planted something sensible in there I must’ve missed it.

    The irony in this paragraph is approaching lethal levels. md you come here full up on smug and go JAQing off a series of leading questions in order to try and justify harming women across the globe and you talk arrogantly about how everyone here has a “thick layer of nastiness”? You come in here and fish and fish and fish until you get an argument to attack (which is out of context and so full of straw it could feed a herd of cows for years) and you’re the one complaining about a “thick layer of nastiness”? I am being nasty to you now md because you do not deserve politeness or kindness. I am being nasty because you yourself are being nasty even if you don’t use curse words. Now stop JAQing off, if you have a position stake a claim to it and cut the worthless sophistry.

  143. says

    S/he came asking simple questions, and deserves a polite and straightforward answer instead of all this snark, abuse, and table-turning.

    By which you mean, “people asking questions back”?

  144. Maureen Brian says

    Chas,

    md has been here before, asking the same damn fool questions, refusing to state a point of view or define a term, then administering the same ambiguous little pricks until someone mocks or snaps back to provide an excuse for complaining of being all sad and offended by our nastiness,

    md clearly gets off on this sort of thing. Most of us don’t.

  145. zmidponk says

    md:

    But why choose birth?

    Just in case you are actually interested in an answer, and, in your obliviousness and ignorance, have somehow missed the various other people raising points which imply this answer, the answer is that this is the point in time which the organism in question becomes an independent organism, instead of one that has to impose itself on the body of another in order to survive. Yes, this organism still needs caring for, but this does not necessarily need to be done by the mother, which is why you get such things as ‘househusbands’, nannies and the entire concept of adoption.

    Oh, and, to anticipate what many anti-choicers do, please don’t go around the circle again and ask about very late-term abortions, as that has already been addressed further up the thread, unless, of course, you actually have something genuinely new to ask.

  146. says

    Jeezis, Josh – I nearly peed myself laughing at your comments in this thread, especially Space Mountain.

    *snicker*

    *snort*

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Ow! It huuuurts!

  147. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Jeezis, Josh – I nearly peed myself laughing at your comments in this thread, especially Space Mountain.

    *snicker*

    *snort*

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Ow! It huuuurts!

    Already have a line of grog and swill awaiting his arrival at the Pharyngula Saloon and Spanking Parlor (Patricia, Princess of Pullets, Proprietor).

  148. cm's changeable moniker says

    dianne:

    When does life begin?

    The precambrian era.

    Thread won. Game over.

  149. cm's changeable moniker says

    Also, you better run like hell.

    Wow. I think that’s the first time a Janine link has linked to the song I expected. ;-)

  150. vaiyt says

    @md, for the umpteenth time:

    But why choose birth?

    It might come as a surprise to you, but an abortion is the termination of a pregnancy, and once the child is born THE WOMAN IS NO LONGER PREGNANT.

    Are you going to keep asking the same stupid question in every abortion thread?

  151. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    That post was unclear on my part, I meant that I was at that point only interested in addressing you and Ibis3 because you all are capable of giving an answer without wrapping it in a thick layer of nastiness.

    Being surprised that people are being meeeeaaaaan when you keep on looking for reasons to interfere in their medical decisions is like complaining that someone insulted you after you took a crap in the middle of their living room.

    But why choose birth?

    Why don’t you check out what “abortion” means medically ?

    No, it doesn’t mean killing babies for fun.

  152. Pteryxx says

    Are you going to keep asking the same stupid question in every abortion thread?

    …Aw hell, I thought that baited line of BS looked familiar. Here’s joey from last April, dropping the same steaming load right down to invoking Peter Singer.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/04/05/please-do-not-use-science-to-justify-your-superstitious-magical-views/comment-page-2/#comment-306010

    And the half-dozen comments right BEFORE that one identify the gotcha he was fishing for.

  153. cm's changeable moniker says

    you can’t detect the heartbeat until 5-6 weeks of gestation

    Yeah, well, we could have another ridiculous medical industry involving the detection of beating heart cells in embryos. Because no expense is spared in creating medical equipment even if relatively few people benefit from it as long as it makes money

    To be fair, having lost kid #0 to a miscarriage at 6-8 weeks, I’m kind of glad that kid #1 was imaged and demonstrated to be normal at about the same stage. It made for a much calmer first trimester.

    That he’s turned into an argumentative 10-year-old who won’t take no for an answer? Well, I can’t blame that on the ultrasound.

  154. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Why are you asking md what s/he thinks? S/he came asking simple questions, and deserves a polite and straightforward answer instead of all this snark, abuse, and table-turning.

    YOU STUPID SACK OF SHIT!

  155. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    let me clarify. chas is being snarky at md

    …oh.

    Um, never mind. :(

  156. john says

    The heartbeat test is pretty lame, but it is orders of magnitude more reasonable than the unfathomable “life begins at conception” argument. I am tired or pointing out that if that were the case then the leading cause of death would be “failure to implant.”

    “Little Jackie got a social security number but he failed to implant in my uterus, so the funeral will be Friday.”

  157. md says

    As for the snark, I dont really mind it. Just didnt have time to wade through it today to find the various answers.

    MaureenBrian says ive been here before asking the same questions. I dont think so. Have we talked abortion before on another thread? Show me, I honestly don’t remember. Even so, is it wrong to talk about it again?

    Some have accused me of being ‘joey’. Thats a banning offense of which I am not guilty and you all can fuck right off with that.

    Pharyngula prides itself on being a fountainhead of reason. Yet when I ask people how they reasoned their way to a particular stance on this point, the shit starts to fly.

    Personhood must be defined. Some how, some way. A fetus becomes a person at some point, assuming healthy pregnancy etc. Singer at least has the courage of his convictions. Infanticide was practiced by our Athenian intellectual forefathers. Why did we quit that practice? If there were a proposition on the California ballot, that peak of democratic governance, would you vote against it? The few that bothered to answer straight seem like birth is the dividing line. But why then?

    Does this story bother you? Im bothered for mother, father, and child. But to the majority of Pharyngulites, there is no child in this photo, and you all are only bothered because the mother was deprived of her choice. I agree with that strongly, but its not the whole story.

    My point is that I do not believe there is a reasoned endpoint to this discussion. People are separated by temperament. Some believe no one can tell a woman what to do with her body under any circumstances. Some believe you cannot do that to a living body under any circumstances.

    I am Pro-choice/Anti RoeVWade, fwiw. The Constitution doesn’t mention abortion. If its that important to you, get it written in there.

  158. says

    Some have accused me of being ‘joey’.

    not being a sockpuppet of joey; behaving exactly like joey. FFS.

    anyway, I’m not going to bother with the rest, since the concept of bodily autonomy seems to be too complicated for you.

    The Constitution doesn’t mention abortion.

    I hate Americans who think the constitution is the end-all, be-all of all that should or shouldn’t be legal. And let’s face it, a constitution that doesn’t protect bodily autonomy is kinda useless.

  159. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    A fetus becomes a person at some point, assuming healthy pregnancy etc. Singer at least has the courage of his convictions. Infanticide was practiced by our Athenian intellectual forefathers. Why did we quit that practice?

    Who the fuck thinks an idjit like Singer is thought of well around here? YOU, the abject idjit. What is your beliefs? PUT UP OR SHUT THE FUCK UP LIKE THE LOSER YOU ARE SHOULD DO IF THEY ARE INCAPABLE OF MAKING AN ARGUMENT. WHICH YOU ARE.

  160. says

    in fact, aside from the fact that the right to privacy has (and should) be established in the constitution, whining about how a “right” is not enumerated in the constitution is pure dumbassery. it’s almost as if certain constitution worshippers have never heard of the 9th amendment.

  161. Pteryxx says

    While all this theoretical wanking goes on, real women keep on being denied real abortions.

    Latest from the lone clinic left standing in Mississippi, where the climate’s so hostile that their doctors fly in from out of state, and the local hospitals have refused to give them admitting privileges as required by the state’s brand-spanking-new targeted TRAP laws. Some of the hospitals refused to even answer the doctors’ applications.

    To start the process of closing the only public abortion provider in the state of Mississippi, the first step is for the state to do an inspection to see if the practitioners are acting in compliance with the new law mandating abortions only be performed by board-certified OB-GYNs with admitting privileges to a local hospital.

    That first step has now been taken. WJTV reports that the state inspected the clinic on Thursday, January 17th, and that it will send a letter to Jackson Women’s Health Organization stating what their findings were.

    Both the clinic’s owner, Diane Derzis and the Center for Reproductive Rights have been open about the providers’ inability to gain admitting privileges and that inspectors will inevitably find them not in compliance with the TRAP law.

    Once a letter is sent informing the clinic of the state’s decision to revoke the license, the clinic will have 30 days before they can appeal the decision.

    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/01/18/jackson-womens-health-clinic-inspected-by-state

    According to the Associated Press, 2,297 abortions were performed in the state in 2010, 2,251 of these at JWHO. For private doctors to take over this number of terminations and do it within the state’s “less than 10 a month” guidelines would require that at least 20 new OB/Gyns add pregnancy terminations to their practices. This at a time when much of the country—especially Mississippi—is already experiencing a crisis in available, practicing OBs.

    Even if that number of doctors could be recruited, numerous problems remain. How do women without primary care doctors, or even worse without any insurance at all, manage to find a doctor who could perform one? What happens when a doctor has performed up to his or her limit for the month and sees a patient in need?

    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/01/15/mississippi-gives-us-clue-to-life-roe-is-overturned

  162. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And MD, the only people to bring up Singer are anti-choice fuckwits. For some reason, they ignore our bodily autonomy argument and try total idjit sophistry…Look in the mirror…

  163. says

    and then there’s “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” as well as “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”, which establish a right to bodily autonomy

  164. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    MD, name the people here who argue for termination beyond birth other than anti-choice fuckwits like Joey or yourself…Or, shut the fuck up.

  165. says

    “I am Pro-choice/Anti RoeVWade, fwiw. “.

    Greetings from a fellow sufferer of deep depression and slight schizoid tendencies.

    “The Constitution doesn’t mention abortion. If its that important to you, get it written in there.”

    Your precioussssss constitution doesn’t mention YOU either. Neither does it prohibit it. Same as the Bible.

  166. says

    Personhood must be defined

    Why? Personally, I see no need for “personhood” to enter into the discussion at all.

    Here’s what I go by; nobody has the right to use another person’s body for their own benefit without that person’s permission. As such, a mother may terminate a pregnancy at any time, for any reason. The possible personhood of the fetus doesn’t enter into it. Even if it’s a person, the woman has the right to abort, regardless of the consequences to that person.

    Once a child is born, it’s treated as a human being with certain rights. The reason for that is simple; it’s a clear, unambiguous line in the sand and it also denotes the moment at which anybody can take care of the child.
    As such, if the parents are unable or unwilling to care for the child, another guardian can be assigned. Even if the newborn is not technically a person, it’s clear that it likely will become one if given the chance and since anyone can care for it, there’s no need to impose on people who are unwilling to do so.
    Thus, there’s no conflict. There’s simply no downside to keeping the child alive, since the care will be provided by whomever agrees to provide it willingly. There’s no need to impose on anyone.

    So, I don’t see that personhood ever really enters into it. It’s entirely possible to make all the relevant decisions in a simple and rational manner without ever referring to that concept.

    And, of course, it’s worth pointing out that in the VAST majority of cases, this discussion is completely irrelevant. Most abortions take place long before there’s any developed nervous system and the majority of those that take place later are medically necessary.
    In real world terms, these fine distinctions just don’t matter.

  167. omnicrom says

    As for the snark, I dont really mind it. Just didnt have time to wade through it today to find the various answers.

    How about all the people who aren’t being snarky at all and stating quite simply what they believe and why?

    MaureenBrian says ive been here before asking the same questions. I dont think so. Have we talked abortion before on another thread? Show me, I honestly don’t remember. Even so, is it wrong to talk about it again?

    Perhaps Maureen Brian confused you with any number of other pro-life idiots who shamble in here and start JAQing off. You’ve done nothing to demonstrate you are any different from joey or any number of other smug idiots who want to stick it to those mean pro-abortion feminists.

    Some have accused me of being ‘joey’. Thats a banning offense of which I am not guilty and you all can fuck right off with that.

    You have been accused of being LIKE joey. Because you are acting like joey. If you want people to not compare you to joey you should stop acting like joey. QED

    Pharyngula prides itself on being a fountainhead of reason. Yet when I ask people how they reasoned their way to a particular stance on this point, the shit starts to fly.

    Because the right to an abortion allows for the bodily autonomy of pregnant women. Because refusing the right to an abortion denigrates women, makes them inferior to men, and causes undue and pointless harm women. Done. I have reasoned why I am Pro-Choice. I am not the only person in this thread who has explained this either md, you seem to have trouble with reading comprehension.

    Personhood must be defined. Some how, some way. A fetus becomes a person at some point, assuming healthy pregnancy etc. Singer at least has the courage of his convictions. Infanticide was practiced by our Athenian intellectual forefathers. Why did we quit that practice? If there were a proposition on the California ballot, that peak of democratic governance, would you vote against it? The few that bothered to answer straight seem like birth is the dividing line. But why then?

    Does this story bother you? Im bothered for mother, father, and child. But to the majority of Pharyngulites, there is no child in this photo, and you all are only bothered because the mother was deprived of her choice. I agree with that strongly, but its not the whole story.

    You bemoan our mean tones and then JAQ off to tacitly suggest we should support infanticide? No I think meanness is a totally justified in this instance. Again this is why you’re being compared to joey, because asking these idiotic leading questions is what he did in the thread that was linked further up. Until you stop asking stupid leading questions I will continue to be rude to you. Oh and Strawmanning! Almost forgot you strawmanning the Pharyngulites.

    My point is that I do not believe there is a reasoned endpoint to this discussion. People are separated by temperament. Some believe no one can tell a woman what to do with her body under any circumstances. Some believe you cannot do that to a living body under any circumstances.

    What the hell do you mean by “reasoned endpoint”? Are you going to get off your sophistry kick and start explaining YOUR position on anything? All you’ve done all thread is ask stupid leading questions, but you’ve yet to come out and actually state your opinion. You’ve been hand-wringing over how there’s some great important debate, and if you really believe there is a debate step up and make your case.

    I am Pro-choice/Anti RoeVWade, fwiw. The Constitution doesn’t mention abortion. If its that important to you, get it written in there.

    You’re Pro-choice and anti-choice at once? Huh? Define yourself more clearly because through this entire thread you’ve been the epitome of the Pro-life concern troll.

    md, once again I’ll say it: Stop tut-tutting and asking stupid leading questions. If you have a point to make then make it. If you have a case either for or against abortion make it. Don’t play stupid games and stop tone trolling.

  168. yubal says

    @md

    Personhood must be defined. Some how, some way.

    A little further up in this thread i offered a thought how to that.

    Keep in mind that “personhood”, I assume for practicality you mean the state of having rights or as Hannah Arendt, who I quoted, would have said “the right to have rights”, can be quite flexible in its beginning. Today we have a more sophisticated view of personhood than thousands of years ago, when a person was someone useful to the group, hundreds of years ago when a person was someone who survived to adulthood, some years later when a person was someone that was born and today, someone it could be someone that might be alive. We might come up with a consensus when to grant personal rights and we also might have to change that in the future.

    You won’t find anyone here that argues a perfectly healthy baby should be killed because the mother wishes so. Ain’t gonna happen. I would always argue such a baby, and I mean person btw, should always get a fair chance. The same chance you and me and everyone else had. And if that means growing up in an orphanage, let it be it, but make improvements to the orphanages and encourage adoptions. There are much worse fates endured by fellow human beings RIGHT NOW than living without parents in an orphanage.

    There are a few rights that come along with existing. Not because it is so, but because we grew out of the dark ages and chose to do so. You have the right not to be harmed. You have the right to make choices that do not infringe other peoples rights. And some more, I do not go into details on the basics. These are basic human rights that you enjoy because we all agree that you should have them, too.

    Personal rights change during your life. My son will not be able to claim 2nd amendment rights tomorrow just because he is a US citizen. He is a baby. That’s why he won’t get to own a gun, although the 2nd amendment does not specify the age.

  169. says

    Incidentally, for someone who thinks that it’s so critical to define personhood, I note a curious lack of any proposed definition from you.

  170. ckitching says

    LykeX wrote:

    Personhood must be defined

    Why? Personally, I see no need for “personhood” to enter into the discussion at all.

    From what I can tell in the U.S., it seems that personhood starts at age 21. Up until then, you’re merely almost-persons under the law with restricted rights.

  171. zmidponk says

    md, if you really want something shocking, try some statistics, instead of one picture of one tragic event. A report, back in 2009, ‘Abortion Worldwide: A Decade of Uneven Progress’, estimated that around 70,000 women died from an unsafe abortion, somewhere in the world, every year – that’s one every 7.5 minutes, on average. The overwhelming majority of these deaths happened in areas where abortion was either legally restricted, or not legal at all. Overall, in the period 1999-2009, the worldwide rate of abortion had actually dropped – but almost all of that was down to the rate of safe abortions, in regions where contraceptives and abortions were freely available, dropping.

    So, actually, those who want to reduce the rate of abortions should actually be going all out to legalise it where it’s not already legal, and make it as freely available as possible, along with contraception, going by that – and then they really would be ‘pro-life’, as they’d also be cutting the mortality rate amongst pregnant women at the same time.

  172. Anri says

    md:

    You are asking why birth is a reasonable threshold for a change in the status of a child.

    Since you don’t understand the difference between pre-birth and post-birth situations – to wit, the relative position of mother and child – I suggest The Post Experiment.

    Find a large fence post. A wooden 4 x 4 works best, but a chain link support will do.

    Stand next to it. Press against it. Note your relative position.

    Now, find an elevated position, remove any sort of clothing covering your fundament and lower yourself on to the post, until you are able to determine for yourself the difference between the post being Inside You and being Not Inside You.
    You have at this point achieved enlightenment as to why birth is important, as it marks the difference between the really not very hard to distinguish situations of Something Inside Of You and Something Not Inside Of You. Repeat whenever you find the force and impact of the experience fading.

    If you find this experiment a silly idea, please remember you are the one who is questioning the significance of this transition. If you can tell the difference, please stop pretending that you can’t.

    Also:

    Personhood must be defined. Some how, some way.

    Not in the context of this discussion, it doesn’t.
    Regardless of something’s status as a person or not, I cannot force you to grant it use of your organs, or prevent you from halting its use of them if you change your mind.

  173. Anri says

    From what I can tell in the U.S., it seems that personhood starts at age 21. Up until then, you’re merely almost-persons under the law with restricted rights.

    35.
    Can’t be elected President before then.
    *chortle*

  174. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Not in the context of this discussion, it doesn’t.
    Regardless of something’s status as a person or not, I cannot force you to grant it use of your organs, or prevent you from halting its use of them if you change your mind.

    This really the crux of it.

    This remains true even after you, the potential organ donor, die. It doesn’t matter if I, who am still alive, the mother of three young children who depend on my continued living, will die if I do not get your organs when you die. If you did not consent to organ donation while still alive, I die too. Because bodily autonomy really is that important. Yet for some mysterious reason no one’s ever been able to convincingly and reasonably argue, incubating women are the exception.

    And md insist that the position that women not be treated as an exception is the unreasonable one, without even attempting to form a reason, or a reasonable argument, other than (as far as i can tell), some people kill babies… which has nothing to do with termination of pregnancy.

    Wait, maybe I just haven’t had enough coffee yet?

  175. DLC says

    One of the biggest problems I see in the whole Abortion debate is that we allow the opponents to pick the manner in which the debate itself is conducted. The entire “Safe, Legal and Rare” meme needs to go. The rest of the country has no business determining how often a given woman has a pregnancy terminated. It’s a personal choice, that should be entirely private and entirely up to the woman. Another issue we don’t combat nearly enough (and to an extent this is true of all political discussion) — we allow the other side to spew lies and distortions and don’t call them on it.

    (n.b. I am using “we” in the editorial sense. Or perhaps I have a mouse in my pocket.)

  176. yubal says

    LykeX,

    Even if it’s a person, the woman has the right to abort, regardless of the consequences to that person.[…] Once a child is born, it’s treated as a human being with certain rights.

    I would like to challenge you on that

    Thus, there’s no conflict.

    Actually, there is, because this:

    , it’s clear that it likely will become one if given the chance

    also does apply to late trimester fetuses with our current medicinal abilities and the

    unambiguous line in the sand

    is probably more ambiguous than just the birth event.

    There’s simply no downside to keeping the child alive, since the care will be provided by whomever agrees to provide it willingly. There’s no need to impose on anyone.

    Precisely, no need to impose on anyone

    It’s entirely possible to make all the relevant decisions in a simple and rational manner without ever referring to that concept.

    And it is also possible to make all the relevant decisions in a simple and rational manner when applying this concept.

    Again, it is absolutely possible to terminate a late term pregnancy and keep the child alive at the same time. The real debate comes after that has been understood. Like this question:

    Is it ethical to ask a woman to wait with an abortion from week 28 to 3X to improve the chances of the child to survive from 40% to >70%?? (given no medical issues are expected that indicate immediate abortion…remember, we are talking truly exceptional cases here). Is it ethical for the woman to say no and get her abortion three weeks earlier? I have no answer to those questions.

  177. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    The U. S. Constitution says, in article II, section 1, “No Person except a natural born Citizen …”

    md can get snarky all it wants, but that’s pretty clear … by md standards.

    The Bible mentions birthrights many times, BTW.

  178. says

    Wouldn’t that mean that we’ve buried alive an awful lot of folk who donated their hearts, and of course all the recipients are zombies.

  179. jefrir says

    yubal, it sounds like you’re another one who needs to bear in mind that women aren’t totally fucking stupid.

  180. yubal says

    jeffir,

    you are wrong. Read again (from 136) the and tell me if I was unclear about something.

  181. kate_waters says

    Yubal, you most certainly *do* have answers to your questions. They’ve been provided over and over and over again. You just didn’t bother to listen.

    The moment any woman wants to stop being pregnant she ought to be. Able to stop being pregnant. If I can’t hook up to your heart/kidneys/liver to keep myself alive why would you think a fetus would have the right to continue to exist in my body if I didn’t want it to do so?

    …did you forget that women are human? …do you think women are stupid incubators, unable to make decisions?

    Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you?

  182. Stacy says

    md ignored all the responses he got–including those that were not at all “nasty”–that argued for women’s right to bodily autonomy. Instead, he keeps wanting to talk about the “personhood” of the fetus.

    Why, it’s almost as if only fetuses are important, and women’s rights don’t matter.

    But that’s just feminist paranoia. People don’t really think like that, do they?/snark

  183. John Morales says

    kate_waters to yubal:

    Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you?

    The usual; yubal refuses to accept that a woman’s body belongs to her, and to her alone.

  184. says

    yubal

    Is it ethical to ask a woman to wait with an abortion from week 28 to 3X to improve the chances of the child to survive from 40% to >70%?? (given no medical issues are expected that indicate immediate abortion…remember, we are talking truly exceptional cases here). Is it ethical for the woman to say no and get her abortion three weeks earlier? I have no answer to those questions.

    No and Yes. Easy answers to easy questions.
    And why do you think your stupid little scenario is even relevant?
    It’s not like it’s actually something that happens and actually women aren’t stupid idiot on the whole who remain pregnant for 28 weeks and then decide that they don’t want to be anymore.
    Bullshit.
    Safe, legal and none of your business.

    md
    Go away, learn what words like abortion and infanticide (hint: there needs to be an infant) mean.

  185. yubal says

    kate_waters,

    Yubal, you most certainly *do* have answers to your questions. They’ve been provided over and over and over again. You just didn’t bother to listen.

    I do not think so, because

    A) I do listen more often than I speak
    B) The questions I ask are not not asked very often (!) please read again or ask if I was unclear.

    The moment any woman wants to stop being pregnant she ought to be.

    That is absolutely correct.

    …did you forget that women are human?

    LoL! Never. I was born by a woman, treated fairly (mostly) by woman and not by men (roughly), and more importantly, I am a humanist and radical pacifist. Woman rights are ALWAYS human rights. I see feminism as a part of humanism. If you can’t agree with female rights you can’t be a humanist, as simple as that.

    Why, it’s almost as if only fetuses are important, and women’s rights don’t matter.

    To your big relieve, I did not say that. I said that they are, at a certain point of time, not mutually exclusive. You can have both, you know?

    But that’s just feminist paranoia.

    Perhaps. I am not able to tell you what your paranoias are about.

    People don’t really think like that, do they?

    Well, you do. And it is fine to think like you want. I am aware that it is not easy to follow my thoughts, afterall I pay a professional to do so^^. What most people here won’t get is, that this debate is overly polarized in the united states and please do not blame me on that fact. It is a rather simple issue. Abortion is fine and a women gets to do with her body like anyone else (<-make that a male), the issue is that I honestly believe, that the same reason that gives woman the right to have an abortion at any time she wants to also gives the late term fetus a right to develop into an adult if being viable. And that the society should put up the resources to grant both rights. Meaning free abortion and free high quality child care. No compromises on humanism on my part here. I am willing to grant a late term fetus the same basic rights as anyone else. What is wrong with that?

    You can have both rights observed , the one of the woman and the one of the viable late term fetus without infringement to each other. (<- I make this line obligatory to challenge for anyone who has a problem with what I say. Otherwise you haven't read/understood what I was trying to communicate here.)

    Let's face it. The predominant reason for a late term abortion is, and will always be, that it has to be done for medical reasons. On the other hand, there is NO REASON whatsoever not to perform the termination of pregnancy in a way that the fetus will develop in a mature human being. Question in that case would be the cost and my answer would be it should be granted by society. Just because we have it and because it is a good idea to have people alive and happy.

    See it the way Anri in @200 posted.

    You can move the pole out but there is no reason to burn it to ashes the same time if it would be otherwise fine.

    Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you?

    Quite a few things…. but in this matter, nothing.

    I hold none of the extreme positions in the abortion question and I DO GET IT that you people are heavily polarized by all the shit you get to hear from the right wing in the US, all I am pleading for is a little decency and and a little common sense. I was not talking about “abortion” in general but rather about those 0.001% of cases that have a realistic ethical implication. Those very few cases that excite the anti-choice movement and noone ever dares to address in a practical way.

    That’s it.

    @ John Morales

    Say something meaningful of fuck off.

  186. John Morales says

    yubal:

    Say something meaningful of fuck off.

    You deny that a woman’s body belongs only to her?

    (That includes the contents of their wombs, you know)

  187. yubal says

    @ Giliell

    And why do you think your stupid little scenario is even relevant?

    Because minority case ARE RELEVANT. Although only in very few cases, that still does not make them irrelevant. Because it involves humans.

    Let me tell you quick the story of my niece. She is the non-biological daughter of my sister who could have only one child and wanted more. She and her husband decided to adopt children and were confronted with a long waiting line. They asked if there is no way to adopt faster and were told “only if you are willing to take a special case”. OK, they said, we want a girl special or not, we take her. They gave them a file of a little girl that had no chance by regular standards. Born prematurely with trisomia 21, prenatal alcohol syndrome, epilepsy and some other issues derived from the above. they took her right away. A decade later they received mail from a lawyer that she was the only living hair to a heritage and asked if she wants to accept it. She can not accept herself since she can’t read, write, hear or talk. Her parents looked through the files and found out who the mother was. Then they refused the heritage to avoid inheriting debts. The biological mother was a notorious drunk. When she gave birth to my niece she had a blood alcohol level of 0.2%. She gave a shit about her and fortunately was not interested in taking her home. She had six life born children in her life and died out of liver cancer later. None of her children besides my niece survived her.

    Now please let us have a look at this statement:

    women aren’t totally fucking stupid.

    and let us note that although it is generally a truism, the exceptions of that rule can cause quite some harm. Not only to themselves.

  188. yubal says

    @ John

    You deny that a woman’s body belongs only to her?

    Since I never said that or made any indication to support that claim to the slightest, could you please explain why you ask me such a ridiculous question ?!?

    Do you actually read what I write?

  189. John Morales says

    yubal, your anecdote is utterly irrelevant and a red herring, since — notorious drunk or not — her body belonged to her and therefore should she have wished for an abortion she should have been entitled to one.

    (You do know the subject is fetuses, not born children, right?)

    Bah.

  190. John Morales says

    yubal:

    Do you actually read what I write?

    Yeah, I do. And everything you write falls down in a heap unless you actually don’t think women’s bodies belong to them.

    (If they want to stop being pregnant, it should be their prerogative)

  191. yubal says

    @ moron

    Ok, you read, but you do not understand what i write. You just fall into throwing out “women’s bodies don’t belong to them” accusations at me although I NEVER said that and would NEVER support such a claim. You probably couldn’t even recapitulate what I said without twisting and bending it into you falsely assumed biploarized US american-style categories.

    Oh, and by the way, I hate it when pseudo-intellectual assholes like you call my precious little niece “irrelevant”.

    good bye.
    Y.

  192. says

    And it is also possible to make all the relevant decisions in a simple and rational manner when applying this concept.

    It’s also possible to make the decisions while referring to the entire dictionary of the English language, but why bother? Ockham’s Razor applies here, too, I think. If we don’t need the concept in order to make the necessary decisions and if that concept is highly disputed, then why use it? It’s a pointless waste of time.

    The moment any woman wants to stop being pregnant she ought to be.

    That is absolutely correct.

    Then, what’s the disagreement? It seems to me that, going by that standard, the answers to your questions are quite obvious.
    The mother gets to sever the connection whenever she wants. Done. If, after severing the connection, the child is alive, then it has, for all intents and purposes, been born and should be treated like any other born child.

    the same reason that gives woman the right to have an abortion at any time she wants to also gives the late term fetus a right to develop into an adult if being viable

    If the fetus is still attached to the woman, it doesn’t matter what rights it has, the woman still gets to sever the connection because her rights in that matter are clear.
    If the fetus is not attached to the woman, then it’s not a fetus anymore, it’s a born child with all the same rights as any other born child. If said child is viable, then it has the right to expect the same medical assistance as anyone else.

    Once again, no need to consider at what point the kid become a person. Whether it happens at conception or at 5 years old, the decisions are not affected, so I’m not sure where the big problem comes in.

    On the other hand, there is NO REASON whatsoever not to perform the termination of pregnancy in a way that the fetus will develop in a mature human being

    I’m not sure if I’m understanding you here. Are you talking about a scenario where a mother wants to abort a viable fetus, using a method that would specifically kill it? If so, I’d like a citation of at least one such case before proceeding with the discussion. No point wasting time on something that never occurs.

  193. says

    yubal

    Because minority case ARE RELEVANT. Although only in very few cases, that still does not make them irrelevant. Because it involves humans.

    A stupid fictional scenario isn’t a minority case. YouR’e like the EU when they wanted to regulate helicopter landings at hospitals to prevent crashes and thereby dramatically reducing the number of life-saving landings for the possibility of an accident that so far has never happened.

    Let me tell you quick the story of my niece. She is the non-biological daughter of my sister who could have only one child and wanted more. She and her husband decided to adopt children and were confronted with a long waiting line. They asked if there is no way to adopt faster and were told “only if you are willing to take a special case”. OK, they said, we want a girl special or not, we take her. They gave them a file of a little girl that had no chance by regular standards. Born prematurely with trisomia 21, prenatal alcohol syndrome, epilepsy and some other issues derived from the above.

    Great that your sister gave the unfortunate girl a loving home. How is your story relevant?

    The biological mother was a notorious drunk. When she gave birth to my niece she had a blood alcohol level of 0.2%

    A) The word is “alcoholic”. That’s a disease. It’s a disease that actually makes people assholes, but a disease nevertheless.
    B) But again, how is this relevant? What’s your solution to prevent such scenarios?
    Regularly test women for pregnancy and then tie them to hospital beds, make them go cold turkey and keep them there because for the benefit of the fetus this is a reasonable “demand”?
    Tie such a woman to an operation table and sterilize her whether she wants or not? Reasonable?
    BTW, 0,2% blood alcohol are absolutely lethal, so I guess you should check your facts.
    The only reason for you to post this story is to establish that women can’t be trusted and therefore need to be regulated by men.

    You of all people should know that a pregnancy can go from healthy to life-threatening within seconds, so how is it reasonable to ask a woman to continue a pregnancy for the sake of another being? Or is that only for good women who get to choose, not evil alcoholic sluts (I guess she somehow also caused the T 21…)

  194. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    May I infer that you have absolutely no moral qualms about aborting a pregnancy for any reason at, say 8 months and 3 weeks, as is currently legal in New Jersey? – md

    It should be entirely between the woman concerned and her medical advisers how best to end the pregnancy, if she wants it ended. Her body, her business, there’s no other person involved apart from her doctors. Why on earth would I have moral qualms about it?

  195. John Morales says

    yubal:

    You just fall into throwing out “women’s bodies don’t belong to them” accusations at me although I NEVER said that and would NEVER support such a claim.

    That claim is implicit in this: Is it ethical to ask a woman to wait with an abortion from week 28 to 3X to improve the chances of the child to survive from 40% to >70%?? (given no medical issues are expected that indicate immediate abortion…remember, we are talking truly exceptional cases here). Is it ethical for the woman to say no and get her abortion three weeks earlier? I have no answer to those questions.

    (The only way it can’t be ethical is if she has no right to her bodily autonomy; if she does, then it is)

    Oh, and by the way, I hate it when pseudo-intellectual assholes like you call my precious little niece “irrelevant”.

    Since it was explicitly your anecdote I called irrelevant, it is pretty foolish of you to imagine it was a reference to your niece and not to your anecdote.

    (But I’m sure she’d be thrilled to know you’re using her as a rhetorical cudgel)

  196. kate_waters says

    Yubal, what part of “bodily autonomy” do you not understand? No one, no one AT ALL, EVER, EVER, EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES HAS THE RIGHT TO ANY OTHER BODY. Since you don’t have a uterus, for you it’s an intellectual exercise. For people who *do* have a uterus it’s FUCKING REALITY, YOU BLINKERED DIPSHIT.

    FUCK OFF and go JAQ off in private you stupid asshole.

  197. says

    Did you read that page at all before posting it? It doesn’t make your point, it makes mine.

    1) This is already covered under existing law
    2) This doctor didn’t care about his patients’ rights, i.e. he wasn’t actually pro-choice
    3) It’s an argument for proper medical practices, including sanitation and standard medical ethics
    4) He killed children after they’d been born, which completely falls under the rules I’ve already outlined

    So, why did you think this was a relevant case to bring up? Am I missing something?

    I asked about a citation of a case where a mother wants to abort a viable fetus and specifically chooses a method of abortion that will kill said fetus, rather than leaving it alive after termination of the pregnancy. And, to be absolutely clear, she does so for no medically valid reason (not because one procedure is safer than another), but simply in order to kill the fetus.

    If that wasn’t the kind of thing you had in mind, then please explain further.

  198. Stacy says

    md ignored all the responses he got….

    Why, it’s almost as if only fetuses are important, and women’s rights don’t matter.

    To your big relieve, I did not say that. I said that they are, at a certain point of time, not mutually exclusive. You can have both, you know?

    @yubal, my comment clearly addressed md’s comments, not yours.

    People don’t really think like that, do they?

    Well, you do. And it is fine to think like you want.

    I clearly don’t; again, I was referring to md’s (apparent) attitude.

    Don’t bother to apologize; just respect the fact that I have no desire to engage you further.

  199. says

    LykeX
    I think that’s yubal’s standard operation mode: Bring up something that is only vaguely related to the actual point but horrible in hopes that people will not notice that he still hasn’t made his point or provided evidence.

  200. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Look yubal, in theory, philosophically, I think I agree with what I think your point is here: yes, if there is a non-medical-emergency type need for a late term abortion and the termination of the pregnancy can be done in such a way as to preserve the fetus with no additional risks to the woman (like actual delivery or c-section, which so late in the pregnancy is usually – barring other complications – the safer way to terminate the pregnancy in any case), then yes, that should be what’s chosen.

    So what? That is what actually happens out there in the real world. Do you want to codify that it MUST be done like that into law? What’s your point beyond this? Do you want to reserve the right to judge women/doctors who do NOT follow this script, for whatever reason? What?

    Once again, you are ignoring the issue that if a woman needs a late term abortion, there’s a VERY good reason for carrying a pregnancy so long and then terminating. That reason could include medical issues, mental health issues, all kinds of issues including lack of access to abortion at an earlier stage – which, if I may bring your anecdote into this, is what sounds like what the situation maybe could have been with your niece.

    If we can fix the last one as a global society, then by definition, when the pregnancy progresses to the late term, it means it’s a wanted pregnancy, in other words the woman, medical team and every one else is very much invested in helping the fetus to survive not just the birth but life into adulthood, that the woman now has to decide to terminate the pregnancy and thus decrease the chance of survival of this wanted fetus, depending on the circumstances.

    This changes the context of asking a woman to delay termination despite (one would assume, minor) risks to herself for the benefit of increased survival of this wanted fetus. I would argue that it’s still ethical in this case for the woman to refuse said delay, since after all, in the end it’s her body, but the emotions and context that go into the scenario really does make a difference.

  201. kate_waters says

    What I keep seeing in the comments are a lot of arguments that don’t adress the most odious question asked by Yubal:

    Is it ethically correct to force a woman to remain pregnant for an unspecified (but short) period in order to ensure that the fetus will be viable?

    In short: Do women deserve to have bodily autonomy? Does anyone who has a uterus deserve bodily autonomy?

    I really don’t see why this is even considered an acceptable question. It’s a ridiculous, disgusting thing to even consider. That others here feel this is a subject worth debating blows my mind.

    …and if you’re wondering about all the cussing thrown at Yubal? I never treat anyone who sees me as a second class citizen with any respect. They donMt deserve it.

  202. Maureen Brian says

    Good one, Gen, Uppity Ingrate! Is it possible that yubal is from the US where there are only four doctors fully trained to deal with late abortions for a population of how many?

    In such circumstances it might be that any number of women and potentially viable foetuses are being inadequately cared for / left to die and then their deaths are recorded as something else entirely? I don’t think that would be a “win” for yubal’s approach. Perhaps he does.

  203. Anri says

    I am willing to grant a late term fetus the same basic rights as anyone else. What is wrong with that?

    They do have the same rights as everybody else.

    Forcing unwilling people into one medical procedure over another because of your interests is not one of those rights.
    If it were, the person being forced would not have bodily autonomy.
    To argue otherwise inescapably argues that the person being forced must surrender their autonomy, however unlikely the circumstance. That’s why people are telling you that you are arguing that there are circumstance under which women should lose their command over their own bodies – because you are.
    The fact that you want this to occur only rarely does not alter that fact.

    You either believe that you have the right to punish a woman based on her decision to terminate a pregnancy, or you don’t. The details of her decision are possibly relevant, but only secondarily to this base belief.
    You either believe that you can say to a woman “You will have an abortion only when I approve of it – I must sign off on timing, frequency, and method,” or you believe she has the right to tell you to fuck right off.
    It really, truly is just that simple.

  204. says

    @kate_waters

    Actually, that has been addressed. As John Morales pointed out in #223, the question carries the implicit assumption that women don’t actually have the right to bodily autonomy. I also, less directly, objected to it by pointing out that if you accept women’s right to bodily autonomy, the question is easily answered (#220).

  205. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What idjits like MD and Yubal ignore is medical ethics. OBG’s recognize that after potential viability, they have two patients to try to keep living. But the woman comes first, the fetus second. Which is why there is no difference in rate of third trimester abortions between Canada, which doesn’t have any laws regulating third trimester abortions, and the US which has laws in almost every state severely regulating the practice.

    The scenario of some woman suddenly deciding to have an “on-demand” abortion late in the pregnancy doesn’t arise in reality, and doctors wouldn’t carry it out if asked. Why they delude themselves into such fuckwitted states to believe that idiocy without checking the real facts says a lot about their head being up their asses for ideological/theological/philosophical reasons.

    Since the facts show conclusively that third trimester abortions are done for fetal deformity/death, or to save the life of the woman. And they haven’t shown otherwise, just mentally/delusionally wanked themselves to pretend it happens. Divorced from reality be they to paraphrase Yoda.

  206. jefrir says

    Even if we are only thinking of the outcomes for the fetus when evaluating a late-term abortion (which should not be the legal standard, but is likely to be high in the pregnant woman’s own criteria), “alive v. dead” does not really cover the full situation – other possibilities might include “alive, but severely brain damaged”, or “alive currently, but likely to die within a few weeks/months/years”; and I can totally understand a woman deciding that it is better to abort and try again in such a situation, rather than go all out to try to save that particular fetus. And this is where rules against late-term abortions can be harmful – by causing legal doubt in heart-wrenching situations, without adding anything useful.
    Abortion should be legal at any point it is requested, and the decision should be left to the pregnant woman, in consultation with her medical team – because it is her body, and she is in the best position to understand her situation, and to evaluate the risks and benefits to her and her fetus.

  207. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Is it ethical to ask a woman to wait with an abortion from week 28 to 3X to improve the chances of the child to survive from 40% to >70%?? (given no medical issues are expected that indicate immediate abortion…remember, we are talking truly exceptional cases here). Is it ethical for the woman to say no and get her abortion three weeks earlier? I have no answer to those questions

    Ah, here we go again. The “How far can I push it till it’s rape?” game, but this time about abortion. Lovely.

    I don’t know, yubal, is it ethical for me to strap you down and hack out a kidney cuz I know someone who needs one? I mean, you don’t need two, you selfish bastard! You’re killing people by not giving them your extra organs! how unethical of you!

    Oh, but that’s different, right? Cuz you have have a penis, which automatically means your body is yours.

  208. says

    I’ll tell you why I hate those hypothetical near-birth abortion scenarios. It’s not that they’re stupid, or that they never happen, or even that there’s a real world problem of them encouraging the antichoicers to think of this nonsense as a real thing. All of which are true, too, and seriously annoying. But not why I get the white-hot HATE.

    The hate is because the hypothesizer is just so damned keen to find some way, some very very special exceptional circumstance, in which it’s OK to remove my bodily autonomy. It’s very much like asking me when is rape OK.

    Never? Really never? Ok, supposing she were the last fertile woman on earth… Or maybe there was a ticking time-bomb nuke and raping this woman would totally prevent it because a secret code has been tattooed on the inside of her vagina by some crazy mad supervillain in invisible ink and only your special semen can reveal the antinuke codes…

    Awww c’mon, pretty please, surely there must be ONE situation in which a woman can be reduced to a piece of livestock?

    NO. FUCK OFF. IT IS NEVER OK.

    Why are you being so meeeeean to me for just asking?

    Why are you so damned insistent on finding that one special circumstance when it’s morally OK for you to do something horrific to me? Why is it so unacceptable to you that I have bodily autonomy in all circumstances? NO, there isn’t a circumstance that makes you the rightful owner and master and torturer of me.

    Just stop it right now.

    Alethea H. “Crocoduck” Dundee — 4 August 2012 at 5:26 am

  209. Maureen Brian says

    Trying to tie everything up in neat legal rules is also grossly unfair on the doctor because what you can achieve with time to think, a fully equipped teaching hospital – except in Galway – and a special care baby unit to hand is vastly different from what can be managed by a doctor who happens to passing when a road accident occurs or is called to help when on holiday half way up the Pyrenees, with only the most basic of equipment.

    The very last thing we want such a doctor to be doing is trying to get a ‘phone connection to his medical insurers or a professor of ethics. We want such doctors to do what most of them already do – make the best job they can of it with the resources available.

  210. Amphiox says

    Is it ethical to ask a woman to wait…

    No, it is not ethical to ASK, if the asking also carries with it the force of coercive law.

    Now, if the law preserves the woman’s right to ignore your misogynist ass, you can go right ahead and ask away. Ask and ask and ask until your throat gives out if that should make you happy.

  211. says

    ” I’ll tell you why I hate those hypothetical near-birth abortion scenarios. It’s not that they’re stupid, or that they never happen, or even that there’s a real world problem of them encouraging the antichoicers to think of this nonsense as a real thing. All of which are true, too, and seriously annoying. But not why I get the white-hot HATE.

    The hate is because the hypothesizer is just so damned keen to find some way, some very very special exceptional circumstance, in which it’s OK to remove my bodily autonomy. It’s very much like asking me when is rape OK.

    Never? Really never? Ok, supposing she were the last fertile woman on earth… Or maybe there was a ticking time-bomb nuke and raping this woman would totally prevent it because a secret code has been tattooed on the inside of her vagina by some crazy mad supervillain in invisible ink and only your special semen can reveal the antinuke codes…

    Awww c’mon, pretty please, surely there must be ONE situation in which a woman can be reduced to a piece of livestock?

    NO. FUCK OFF. IT IS NEVER OK.

    Why are you being so meeeeean to me for just asking?

    Why are you so damned insistent on finding that one special circumstance when it’s morally OK for you to do something horrific to me? Why is it so unacceptable to you that I have bodily autonomy in all circumstances? NO, there isn’t a circumstance that makes you the rightful owner and master and torturer of me.

    Just stop it right now. ”

    This is pure truth delivered expertly.

  212. says

    @Amphiox
    Incidentally, is it just me or are these discussions often subject to this annoying conflation of ethics and law? I can’t help but suspect it’s an attempt by the anti-choice goons to get their personal feelings accepted as relevant evidence. I.e. “I think it’s unethical, therefore it should be illegal.”

    Even if you think that the ethical thing to do would be to delay the abortion until the fetus was viable, it doesn’t at all follow that this should be a legal requirement. Plenty of things are ethically murky, or even downright wrong, while still being entirely legal.

    And, of course, the whole “delay until viable” is just a set-up for a slippery slope down to “you should always carry to term, for the good of the unborn child”.

  213. dianne says

    I don’t know, yubal, is it ethical for me to strap you down and hack out a kidney cuz I know someone who needs one? I mean, you don’t need two, you selfish bastard! You’re killing people by not giving them your extra organs! how unethical of you!

    Just to point out, kidney donation and pregnancy have near equivalent mortality. Bone marrow donation is far safer than either. So you’d definitely be putting yubal through less risk by forcing him/her to donate marrow than by forcing him/her to continue a pregnancy (if relevant.) Yet this is illegal under McFall vs Shimp. Almost as though bodily integrity matters.

  214. zmidponk says

    Yubal, unless someone else here is using your name, this was written by yourself:

    My wife was there a couple of weeks ago. She had pain, voting, bleeding and fell unconscious with a drop in heart rate one night just in the ninth month. I cleaned out her mouth, woke her up and carried her to the van since the hospital is only 10 minutes away. That night it was less than 5 minutes.

    We got lucky that there was a doctor around and she didn’t even bother to diagnose too much. IV in, monitors on and straight to the surgery room. We had an emergency C-section in less 45 minutes after walking in the hospital. No bullshitting with “daddy cuts the cord” and whatsoever. Just plain and simple: “Cut the baby out or she might die”. All I cared about that night was that my wife will be fine, which she was the next day.

    The number one priority there was the mother – even to yourself. In your proposed scenario, where abortion is regulated and controlled, with the rights of the foetus being put on a level with that of the mother, the doctor would have had to spend time and effort trying to diagnose the exact problem, and possibly also have to call lawyers, so that they could ascertain whether or not actually having that emergency C-section would get them charged with aggravated assault and/or attempted murder of the foetus. If it was as serious as it sounded, that could have meant your wife died whilst the doctor was trying to figure that out. Is that what you really want?

  215. zmidponk says

    In your proposed scenario, where abortion is regulated and controlled, with the rights of the foetus being put on a level with that of the mother

    Actually, correcting myself here – that’s not entirely accurate. In your scenario, the foetus actually has MORE rights than that of the mother – as the foetus has the right to impose itself on another living organism, and use them as a life-support system, but the mother has no such right.

  216. says

    In your scenario, the foetus actually has MORE rights than that of the mother

    That’s the central point of the bodily rights argument and I’ve yet to hear any half-decent objection to it. Actually, most anti-choicers seem quite happy to simply not acknowledge the argument at all, as demonstrated by md, earlier.
    Add to that that this argument completely side-steps the entire discussion on personhood, beginning of life, fetal rights, etc., it has become my go-to argument for this sort of thing.

    Credit to the Godless Bitches for introducing me to it.

  217. md says

    So in this bodily rights forced kidney donation scenario, sustaining one’s own offspring is equivalent to helping a stranger? I don’t think so. Your potential offspring is right where it should be after conception.

    If you choose not to give a kidney to a stranger, he or she may find another replacement kidney.

    Does this bodily rights arguement allow for a law that says everything possible must be done to keep a viable fetus alive, after the health of the mother has been assured?

  218. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    What if, like, a woman has a baby and it needs help breathing so they put it in a respirator but then she’s like, “Oh, I’ve decided I don’t want to have offspring and anyway I signed up to donate a kidney so I won’t have time to take care of a babby,” and tells the doctor to abort by shutting off the respirator?

    Well?

  219. md says

    If a woman has complete autonomy over a fetus, is smoking crack while pregnant wrong? Where is the harm?

  220. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    What if a woman goes bungee jumping while pregnant and takes up competitive throwing-self-down-stairs-on-stomach racing?

    Well?

  221. dianne says

    MD: Does that mean you’re ok with forcing people to donate a kidney as long as the recipient is their child? And you really need to look up the immunology of organ donation a little more. It’s not simple to find an organ for a particular person. Marrow is even worse. As far as I know, McFall died.

  222. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    MD: Does that mean you’re ok with forcing people to donate a kidney as long as the recipient is their child?

    I, too, would like a clear answer to this.

  223. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Does this bodily rights arguement allow for a law that says everything possible must be done to keep a viable fetus alive, after the health of the mother has been assured?

    Citation needed that this ever comes up. This is where your argument, such as it is, has a disconnect from reality. Show it is real..Or shut the fuck up. Welcome to science, not blather.

  224. md says

    LykeX said

    From what I can tell in the U.S., it seems that personhood starts at age 21. Up until then, you’re merely almost-persons under the law with restricted rights.

    Almost persons with the restricted right not to be killed, yes?

  225. dianne says

    @259: “Almost persons” with no right to use the body of another for their own benefit, even if they would die without that use. Again, how do you stand on forcing parents to donate organs and/or tissue to their children?

  226. md says

    MD: Does that mean you’re ok with forcing people to donate a kidney as long as the recipient is their child?

    Withholding a kidney is not equal to poisoning or crushing a fetus.

  227. mythbri says

    @md

    I’m sorry – are you now saying that a woman’s bodily autonomy should be granted on a sliding scale based on her behavior?

    You probably missed it, as you missed a lot of replies to you in this thread, but I mentioned my cousin earlier. I also mentioned her in Thunderdome when she nearly died. I think I will mention her again:

    On the off-chance that there are any “I’m pro-choice, BUT I feel the need to qualify this position so that I can cast judgment on women who make choices I don’t approve of”, I’d like to say the following:

    Dear “I’m pro-choice, BUT I feel the need to qualify this position so that I can cast judgment on women who make choices I don’t approve of”:

    Fuck off.

    Wait, I should probably make it a little more clear about what kinds of people I’m talking about, so that they know that this message is for them.

    You might be a “I’m pro-choice, BUT I feel the need to qualify this position so that I can cast judgment on women who make choices I don’t approve of” person IF:

    1. You think that, in some cases, women need to “take responsibility” for their actions. By this, you mean that women choose to have sex, and therefore they cannot choose NOT to be pregnant as a result of that sex. You think, or at least your attitude displays, that women who choose to have sex, women who choose to have a lot of sex, women who don’t always have safe sex, women who have sex in circumstances that you consider “iffy”, are “sluts”, and therefore need to be “taught” something so that they can mend their slutty, wicked ways.

    2. You think that some women make the “right” choice for them, but that other women make the “selfish” choice. By this, you mean that you feel you are qualified to judge the appropriateness of someone else’s decision about a potentially life-changing situation, without actually being that person. A woman who chooses to have an abortion so that she can keep barely feeding her existing children – sad, but the “right” thing to do. A woman who is young, sexually promiscuous (for whatever “promiscuous” means to you), and seems more “care-free” than you think she should be – not sad, well-deserved, and the selfish bitch could use some “settling down”.

    3. You think that some women might carry a pregnancy almost to term and then randomly decide to have an abortion. By this, you mean that a woman who has endured eight months, three weeks, six days and twenty-three hours of pregnancy has the potential to be flighty and impulsive enough to demand that someone kill her fetus.

    Are we all clear on who I’m talking about now? Yes? Good.

    I say again, fuck off.

    My cousin nearly died last night. She went into eclampsia, in the last month of her pregnancy. She’s nineteen. She’s not married. She takes drugs. She’s unemployed. She’s had multiple sexual partners in her life.

    In short, she is exactly the kind of person that people talk about (but never actually KNOW) when they say, “I’m pro-choice, BUT”.

    You think she’s sexually promiscuous. Let me tell you that it’s hard to develop a healthy sexual attitude when your 20-year-old “boyfriend” coerced you into having sex when you were fourteen.

    You think she’s irresponsible. Yeah, not having a firm support structure will do that to you. Not being allowed to grieve the death of your mother will do that to you. Being told of your mother’s sudden death due to side-effects of medication and then being told, “Okay, now go do your homework” will do that to you. Having your father emotionally abuse you and practically abandon you will do that to you. Being passed around from extended relative to extended relative, not having a stable home for more than a couple of years will do that to you. Being the youngest child in a family where all of your siblings are living far away, leaving you alone in a small, impossible-to-leave-town will do that to you. Living in a town that is mostly white, while you’re an adopted woman of color, will do that to you (along with all the judgments that go along with the “hypersexuality” of women of color). Having your own mother, before she passed, speak of adopting black children as if they were litters of puppies, will do that do you.

    You might even try to seek comfort in bad places. You might accept the friendship of bad people, just so you won’t be alone. You might try to make some of your pain go away by taking drugs.

    You might do that.

    But you know what? “Sluts” die from pregnancy, too. Drug addicts die from pregnancy, too. Pregnancy is a medical condition. It doesn’t care what your circumstances are. It sure as hell doesn’t mete out “justice” or “punishment” for your actions and decisions. It kills “good” women as well as “bad” women.

    But my cousin never had a choice. Not a real choice. She had no money for an abortion. She had no family that would help her if she did. It was all arranged – they would find an adoptive couple, and she would give the baby up. There was no discussion. My cousin didn’t have a say – after all, she brought this on herself, didn’t she? She can’t make choices about what happens to her own body when she depends on other people, can she?

    No real choice for her, and she very nearly paid with her life. She started having seizures. The doctors did an emergency C-section (the baby is small, but should be fine) and continued surgery to try to save my cousin’s life. We don’t know yet if she will have brain damage as a result of those seizures.

    So, to all of you “I’m pro-choice, BUT”:

    Fuck off.

    Who’s the one placing a value judgment on human life, here? Is it me (unequivocally pro-choice, abortion on demand)? Or is it you (I’m pro-choice, BUT)?

    Link for convenience:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/24/thunderdome-13/comment-page-1/#comment-524714

  228. Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just a radfem with a shotgun) says

    Almost persons with the restricted right not to be killed, yes?

    Personhood is a continuum, not a absolute. You can have both full personhood or no personhood at all – but those are not the only options.

    That LykeX isn’t aware all the details of personhood (which is a rather advanced analytical concept after all) doesn’t legitimize your fuckwittery.

    Go donate a kidney or something.

  229. md says

    Nerd

    Citation needed that this ever comes up.

    It is needed here. She didnt want a scar, you see.

    And since a fetus has no rights, she was perfectly within hers.

  230. says

    So in this bodily rights forced kidney donation scenario, sustaining one’s own offspring is equivalent to helping a stranger?

    As far as your right to refuse is concerned, YES!

    Your potential offspring is right where it should be after conception.

    Dangerously close to a naturalistic fallacy. The only thing that saves you is that you’re being too vague to be sure what you’re really saying.

    Also, the responsibility angle is pointless. If I were to stab you in the kidneys, you couldn’t legally force me to donate a kidney as a replacement. Even if I’m deliberately, intentionally, fully and completely responsible for the situation, that still doesn’t void my rights to bodily autonomy.

    If you choose not to give a kidney to a stranger, he or she may find another replacement kidney.

    What if he couldn’t? What if you’re stuck in antarctica with no help coming for six month and you’re the only tissue match? Are you then legally required to have you kidney removed? At what point do we no longer have to ask you before removing your organs?

    Does this bodily rights arguement allow for a law that says everything possible must be done to keep a viable fetus alive, after the health of the mother has been assured?

    It’s not just about her health. Even if there was no risk to her health at all, you still couldn’t force her. And, <b<newsflash, pregnancy is never risk free.
    You can do whatever you want to save the fetus, except infringing on the rights of the mother.

    If a woman has complete autonomy over a fetus, is smoking crack while pregnant wrong?

    Legally or ethically? Or are you still trying to blur that line?
    Besides, it’s not that the woman has autonomy over the fetus. She has autonomy over herself. The fact that the fetus is in the unfortunate position to be entirely dependent on the mother doesn’t magically make her rights go away.

  231. Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just a radfem with a shotgun) says

    It is needed here. She didnt want a scar, you see.

    And since a fetus has no rights, she was perfectly within hers.

    Yes.

    And what a fucked up place Utah is.

  232. Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just a radfem with a shotgun) says

    Id like to know where Turley is wrong.

    I’d like to know when you will stop asking new questions and start clarifying your own position.

  233. says

    And since a fetus has no rights, she was perfectly within hers.

    She was within her rights, whether the fetus had any or not. No matter wha t rights the fetus might have, they don’t include the right to force other people to have potentially dangerous medical procedures against their will.
    Nobody has such a right. I don’t, you don’t, a newborn child doesn’t. Why should a fetus?

    Once again, this is a case of you arguing for a fetus to have more rights than anybody else, at the expense of the woman. It’s almost as if there’s a pattern, here.

  234. says

    md’s Utah case cite is another case of them being dishonest, throwing out a specifically-worded question just so they can come back with their gotcha!
    Pathetic.

    Also, that is a case where a woman refused to have a cesarian. She wasn’t trying to abort, which is what’s actually under discussion here.

  235. mythbri says

    @md

    I repeat myself:

    Are you now saying that a woman’s bodily autonomy should be granted on a sliding scale based on her behavior?

  236. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Id like to know where Turley is wrong.

    And we would like you to present outside evidence Turley is right. You never show you are right. You keep trying to have us show you are wrong. Showing you are right is how science, and scientific blogs like this, works. Claiming you are right until shown wrong is a religious argument. In which case, invoke your imaginary deity to show you speak for it….

  237. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It is needed here. She didnt want a scar, you see.

    And since a fetus has no rights, she was perfectly within hers.

    To deny treatment for anything, yes tahe woman is within her rights. But it wasn’t what you needed to prove, which was abortion on demand of the woman for a viable late term fetus. You failed, as usual for idjit presuppositional fuckwits like yourself, to provide the asked for evidence, and pulled a non-sequitor. And you still haven’t shown where the fetus takes precidence over the woman. You have shown nothing. Typical lies and bullshit from the anti-choice side.

  238. dianne says

    Apparently, MD didn’t read his/her own links. The Rowland case was not about the scar.

    From the article MD linked to: “Various reports alleged that she had declined the cesarean section because of the scarring it would leave, although Mrs. Rowland has denied this.” “Mrs. Rowland refused to consent to a procedure that had substantial risks for her and no benefits…” Much like refusing to have a surgical procedure in which one kidney is removed…

  239. dianne says

    Um…removal of one healthy kidney for implantation into another person, I should have said. Nephrectomy for kidney cancer or other pathology of the kidney has substantial potential benefit to the person undergoing the operation.

  240. Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just a radfem with a shotgun) says

    Um…removal of one healthy kidney for implantation into another person, I should have said. Nephrectomy for kidney cancer or other pathology of the kidney has substantial potential benefit to the person undergoing the operation.

    Yes and no. Unless you accept the opinion of fuckwits and anti-woman activists, a caesarean isn’t for the benefit of a person. Of the benefit of a potential person, yes, but not a person. Potentiality hasn’t got the same rights as actuality.

  241. md says

    I’d like to know when you will stop asking new questions and start clarifying your own position.

    Gnumann, honestly, Im not ethically comfortable with my position. The questions I pose here are the ones I ask myself. This is the most ive thought about it in years after a thing happened which, If you’re really interested, I’ll share. Nothing gruesome, just a small story between people. My position has always been pro-choice. When I start to think about it intellectually, I find myself stepping on that escalator of logic and being carried towards the pro-life camp, which I emotionally don’t want to go to, so I step off and turn the tv on. My conscious nags thats a childish dodge, but perhaps wisdom allows that my ambiguity and hypocrisy are indespensible in a modern democracy. So, anti RoeVWade, pro choice at the state level for me. The only thing I am sure of is that my opinions on this issue arent worth any more, or less, than anyone elses, religious in origin they may be.

  242. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The only thing I am sure of is that my opinions on this issue arent worth any more, or less, than anyone elses, religious in origin they may be.

    If they are religious in origin, they are lesser than everybody elses, since you are attempting to force your religious beliefs on others who are not members of your faith. We look at evidence, which doesn’t have a religious background. That makes our opinions and conclusions stronger than those reached by presuppositionalists who believe in imaginary deities, and mythical/fictional holy books. It isn’t a case of your opinion negates our opinion. Which is the problem you are having.

  243. says

    a caesarean isn’t for the benefit of a person

    Even if it was, the woman still has the right to refuse it. The donation of a kidney benefits another person, yet you have the right to refuse that. The personhood of the woman is what determines things. She’s a person, she has the right to decide what medical procedures she will undergo. Case closed.

    Whether or not the fetus is a person simply doesn’t matter, just like the personhood of the recipient of the kidney doesn’t matter. The right to get an abortion or refuse a cesarean stem entirely from the rights of the woman, not the supposed absence of fetal rights.

    @md

    I’m sensing a certain problem here. It’s as if you think that in this situation, somebody has to have more rights than another. Either the woman has right and the fetus has none or the fetus has right and the mother has none. That’s not how it goes.

    Even if we assume that the fetus and the mother both have full, complete rights, equally respected, abortion should still be legal and unrestricted. The right to refuse access to your body is not up for debate.
    The mother asserting her right doesn’t take away any rights from the fetus. It may well result in its death, but despite the catch-phrases and slogans, there is no right to life. No such thing.
    Specifically, other people are not required to sacrifice their own life, health or rights in order to keep you alive.

    When a pregnant woman refuses to allow the fetus the use of her womb, she’s not violating the fetus’ rights (assuming it has any), anymore than if I refuse to chop off my arm for you to eat if you’re starving. Even if I’m the one who forgot to pack the food, I’m still not legally obligated to feed you with my flesh.

  244. mythbri says

    @md

    So, anti RoeVWade, pro choice at the state level for me.

    So, you’re okay with condemning women in conservative states, who are too poor or who are legally barred from crossing state borders while pregnant (a scenario I have no difficulty in believing would be attempted at the very least), to bear children against their will? You’re okay that a certain percentage of those women will die of complications related to pregnancy?

    You’re okay with states stripping women of their right to self-determination just because you feel icky?

  245. mythbri says

    @md

    Aren’t you a libertarian? This seems an odd position to take if that is indeed your ideology.

  246. Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just a radfem with a shotgun) says

    When I start to think about it intellectually, I find myself stepping on that escalator of logic and being carried towards the pro-life camp

    Stop right there.

    If you want to think about it intellectually and evidence-based, you can’t really accept their chosen nomenclature. They are not pro life. They are anti woman.

    Abortions are more common in countries with anti-abortion laws.

    If you want to prevent abortions, you give access to preventative measures and make sure the kids get good sex ed early. Those are the evidence-based measures.

    For the moral aspect, as far as I can tell you haven’t answered the crucial ethical question posed to you several times: What gives the foetus the right to use another’s body – for it’s own ends and to the detriment of the body’s owner?

    It’s not a coincidence that people are talking about kidney transplant. The risk and detriment posed by donating a kidney is less than the risk and detriment of giving birth.

  247. md says

    just because you feel icky?

    In short, yes. Icky feelings, childish though they may be, are the emotional underpinning of many legal debates. Eating horseflesh. Feet nibbling. Necrophagy.

  248. Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just a radfem with a shotgun) says

    Eating horseflesh.

    Fucking great!
    Needs some spice though. Chilli or plenty pepper (it’s sweeter than beef).

  249. md says

    What gives the foetus the right to use another’s body – for it’s own ends and to the detriment of the body’s owner?

    Gnumann, the fetus doesnt invade. The foetus isn’t choosing to use another’s body, it made no choice at all. Look, i am completely sympathetic to all arguments placing womans health above the the foetus. That is the moral prong we must face when these godforsaken situations do occur. We place more value on the life of an adult human female and I am emphatically for that. I am not okay with saying a foetus is nothing. NOW’s position in that Utah case Pro-Choice law professor Turley wrote about, rare though it occurs, says just that. NOW believes that a woman may choose at the last minute to avoid a C-scar, even if that means a non-person foetus dies. Even if the womans negligence up to that point put her in that position. In that situation she bears responsibility for the cumulative effect of her actions to that point and im fine with some kind of prosecution. But the only way prosecution can stand is if the feotus is greater than nothing and has some kind of rights Rowland violated.

  250. Pteryxx says

    The foetus isn’t choosing to use another’s body, it made no choice at all.

    How is this even relevant? How does this concept of choice being made or not made have any relevance to the woman’s rights except to contrast with the woman’s autonomy implying some sort of blame?

  251. md says

    Aren’t you a libertarian? This seems an odd position to take if that is indeed your ideology.

    Ive certainly read some libertarian thought, but no Im not a party member. Ive voted for, oh, 4 different parties in various elections in my lifetime. The only potential pattern is against incumbents.

    Even if, im not sure I follow. Libertarians are concerned with the assignment and limits of individual rights. But when are those rights afforded, when are they withdrawn? Though most libertarian probably do come down in the pro-choice side, there is real debate over the issue. It has parallels in the when to institutionalize/quarantine debate as well.

  252. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Once again, md, you are not grokking the basic concept everyone here is talking about.

    You cannot force anyone to donate anything, including something as trivial as blood, even if they are DEAD. Even if YOU drove the car that crushed the person’s kidneys, ON PURPOSE, you cannot be forced to save the life of the person you’ve harmed.

    That is how important bodily autonomy is considered to be.

    From that it follows logically that regardless of any other considerations, when a woman makes medical decisions, including having/not having a c-section for whatever reason and/or terminating a pregnancy, no matter how many rights the “person” affected by her decisions may or may not have, it doesn’t supersede her own right to make decisions about what happens to her own personal body. The same as if she ran someone down purposefully and she’s the only donor who’s a match and her victim will die if she doesn’t donate – she STILL can not be forced.

    You also seem to imply that it’s the woman’s own fault that a fetus has taken up residence in her own personal uterus, and that’s why she shouldn’t be able to evict said fetus. I hope I don’t need to explain to you how fucked up that reasoning is, but if I do, say the word.

  253. dianne says

    The foetus isn’t choosing to use another’s body, it made no choice at all.

    The cancer doesn’t choose to use another’s body, it made no choice at all. Again, so what?

    I am not okay with saying a foetus is nothing. NOW’s position in that Utah case Pro-Choice law professor Turley wrote about, rare though it occurs, says just that. NOW believes that a woman may choose at the last minute to avoid a C-scar, even if that means a non-person foetus dies.

    Your own link indicates that the scar was not the issue. The issue was whether or not a person can be forced to undergo a surgical procedure that has no benefit to them or not. The ACLU came down on the side of “no”. You’re coming down on the side of “yes”, i.e. supporting bodily invasion and slavery.

  254. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I am not okay with saying a foetus is nothing.

    Who the fuck is saying that? YOU. Your problem. Read what we are saying. It isn’t your presupposition.

  255. Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just a radfem with a shotgun) says

    The foetus isn’t choosing to use another’s body, it made no choice at all.

    Yes, it’s incapable of choosing. That’s not what I said it did though.

    I am not okay with saying a foetus is nothing.

    No-one is saying that.

    NOW believes that a woman may choose at the last minute to avoid a C-scar

    As we have established, there’s more to a caesarean than a scar. And how is this any different than not donating a kidney?

    In that situation she bears responsibility for the cumulative effect of her actions to that point and im fine with some kind of prosecution.

    What responsibility? Legally only transgressions against another person or society at large are penalized. Neither is evident in this case. A potential person has no moral rights over an actual person. You might as well say that you should be penalized for displacing your unborn, unconceived potential younger sibling.

    Or is it that bitches ain’t shit? She asked for it by having sex without the socio-economic prerequisites to employ preventatives?

  256. md says

    Needs some spice though. Chilli or plenty pepper (it’s sweeter than beef).

    Statistically speaking, id bet that you did not grow up in an Anglo-Saxon culture. Nothing wrong with that, we’re in the minority on that issue. But it illustrates disgust, not logic, underpins the law.

  257. says

    Gnumann, the fetus doesnt invade. The foetus isn’t choosing to use another’s body, it made no choice at all

    But since the bodily rights argument is in no way reliant on how the fetus got there, that doesn’t matter. The woman doesn’t have the right to end the pregnancy because the fetus intentionally invaded her body. She has the right because she’s a human being.

    Look, i am completely sympathetic to all arguments placing womans health above the the foetus.

    The bodily rights argument doesn’t have anything to do with placing a woman’s health above a fetus. It doesn’t even, as I’ve said, have anything to do with placing a woman’s rights above a fetus.
    It has everything to do with simply respecting a woman’s right. That’s it.

    I am not okay with saying a foetus is nothing

    Whether the fetus is nothing, a full human being or somewhere in between, the bodily rights argument stands firm.

    a woman may choose at the last minute to avoid a C-scar, even if that means a non-person foetus dies. Even if the womans negligence up to that point put her in that position

    A woman may choose at the last minute to refuse any medical procedure, even if that means that a fully adult, 100% human person dies as a result, even if she’s personally, directly, solely and intentionally responsible for the situation.

    That’s why – see if this sounds familiar – what you’re doing is the equivalent of giving a fetus more rights than any adult human being.

    How long are you going to ignore the challenge to engage with this argument? How long are you going to dance around it? It’s been a hundred and fifty comments since I asked you to address it and so far you’ve not even shown a clear understanding of what the argument is, much less proposed any serious critique.

  258. Galactic Fork says

    Gnumann, the fetus doesnt invade. The foetus isn’t choosing to use another’s body, it made no choice at all. Look, i am completely sympathetic to all arguments placing womans health above the the foetus. That is the moral prong we must face when these godforsaken situations do occur. We place more value on the life of an adult human female and I am emphatically for that. I am not okay with saying a foetus is nothing. NOW’s position in that Utah case Pro-Choice law professor Turley wrote about, rare though it occurs, says just that. NOW believes that a woman may choose at the last minute to avoid a C-scar, even if that means a non-person foetus dies. Even if the womans negligence up to that point put her in that position. In that situation she bears responsibility for the cumulative effect of her actions to that point and im fine with some kind of prosecution. But the only way prosecution can stand is if the feotus is greater than nothing and has some kind of rights Rowland violated.

    The person (or family member) didn’t choose to have a kidney problem. And they didn’t choose to need yours. But you still have a choice on whether or not to give them a kidney. And that case isn’t even about abortion. And the scar thing isn’t true, plus ignores any possible and real dangers of a c-sections.

  259. dianne says

    While we’re discussing scars, though, I would like to point out that a scar is not necessarily a trivial issue. Some scars can overgrow (keloids, adhesions), causing significant morbidity and mortality, i.e. chronic pain, decreased fertility, bowel strangulation, and death. Even a “well behaved” scar makes the next surgery and other procedures more difficult. Avoiding unnecessary surgery is a reasonable goal for any person, pregnant or not.

  260. Amphiox says

    myeck waters is right. The case md is perseverating over has NOTHING to do with abortion at all.

    It occurs in that time frame where abortion is no longer medically indicated, and induced birth is the procedure of choice. The woman’s medical choice in this case was between induced birth via c-section and continuing to carry the pregnancy to term (presumably induced vaginal birth was ruled out medically).

    Abortion was NEVER even in the picture here at all. This is in fact EXACTLY an example of Nerd’s assertion – that abortion at this late stage of viable pregnancies just about never comes up.

    It is a staggering illustration of the sheer audaciousness of md’s intellectual dishonesty in trying to bring this up with respect to abortion, since it has nothing to do with abortion at all.

  261. Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just a radfem with a shotgun) says

    Statistically speaking, id bet that you did not grow up in an Anglo-Saxon culture. Nothing wrong with that, we’re in the minority on that issue. But it illustrates disgust, not logic, underpins the law.

    No, but the same taboo exist in my neck of the woods. And the taboo can be traced back to unjust laws. I’m just the sort of pervert that open all avenues to critical thought though.

  262. Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just a radfem with a shotgun) says

    Dianne:

    @278: Thanks for the clarification. In either case, it does not benefit the donor.

    In no way. I should perhaps have clarified that my point is that the ethical case for forced kidney transplant is far stronger than the case for forced birth. Not that I think it’s strong enough.

  263. burgundy says

    md – feelings of disgust can be linked to moral judgments. Moral judgments can be linked to laws. That doesn’t mean that either of these is a good thing. Some people think gay sex is icky. Does that make anti-sodomy laws ok? Some people think menstruation is icky. Does that mean it would be ok to incorporate biblical restrictions on menstruating women into law? Personal disgust is a terrible basis for law – it’s arbitrary and it has no connection to actual harm that the state has a legitimate interest in preventing.

  264. dianne says

    @303: Agreed. And the ethical case for forced marrow donation is even stronger since the marrow donor is much less likely than the kidney donor or uterus donor to die from the procedure/pregnancy. Yet we don’t force marrow donation. The only way forced pregnancy can be justified is to give the fetus MORE rights than any born person. Including a newborn: If the newborn had, say, acute leukemia at birth* and needed a transplant, one might consider a parent who refused to be a jerk, but no one would pass a law demanding that they donate.

    *Rare, but it happens.

  265. Amphiox says

    With respect to scars, there is also the scar on the uterus. That increases the risk of fatal uterine rupture in future pregnancies and may even completely prevent vaginal delivery entirely, necessitating c-section for all future deliveries.

    It is not just a trivial thing regarding cosmesis, as md so dishonestly tries to imply.

    This also what Turley overlooks.

  266. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Withholding a kidney is not equal to poisoning or crushing a fetus.

    Why is that? Withholding a kidney will KILL someone. An actual, living, breathing human being. Isn’t that wrong, md? Hasn’t that been your point all along? that killing someone is wrong?

    but suddenly, your deliberately killing someone ISN’T wrong. Why is that?

    Because being forced to give a kidney, as you wish to force women to give birth, isn’t fair? Because if YOU have to live by the rules you’d wish to force on women, it’s suddenly and conveniently wrong?

    Thanks for making your illogical, testerical misogyny so very clear.

  267. md says

    Again, we’re back to temperament.

    Dianne, there are conflicting reports about the scar remark. Turley felt that it was witnessed enough to write about it in his op-ed. She apparently also delayed because she needed a smoke.

    But from your POV, so what what she said or did or did not, she needs no reason. None of the decisions she made until that point should accumulate in any responsibility for the health of foetus.

    I fully admit my temperamental opposition to this maximalist position is rooted in emotion and disgust. And your support the NOW maximalist position is because you know once a feotus is granted any kind of right, its a slippery slope from there back to medieval obstetrics. I get it, but that is consequentialist reasoning, not principled in my view.

    Okay, I’ll read the most recent posts, but likely im signing off. I need some mindless tele.

  268. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    We place more value on the life of an adult human female and I am emphatically for that.

    A bald faced lie, given your insistence that the rules for women should be different than the rules for you. For no reason whatsoever, apart from you personsal “icky” feelings.

    FOAD.

  269. md says

    It occurs in that time frame where abortion is no longer medically indicated

    Amphiox, according to LykeX, it is an abortion. Scroll up to post #50 and take it up with LykeX.

  270. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    get it, but that is consequentialist reasoning, not principled in my view.

    Translation: my body is mine, your body is mine.

  271. Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just a radfem with a shotgun) says

    I get it, but that is consequentialist reasoning, not principled in my view.

    That’s rich coming from somebody who wishes harm on women because it feels icky…

  272. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Amphiox, according to LykeX, it is an abortion. Scroll up to post #50 and take it up with LykeX.

    Gee, you don’t get the difference between a woman asking for a pregnancy to be terminated, and the medical team recommending the pregnancy be terminated. This makes your who argument for the last two days nothing but hot air. We have been talking about “abortion on demand” by the woman. You have been talking about ignoring medical recommendations, pretending it was equivalent to “abortion on demand” by the woman. You should apologize for your duplicity, and you should do it quickly if have honesty and integrity…

  273. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    If a woman has complete autonomy over a fetus, is smoking crack while pregnant wrong?

    Whether I find right or wrong is completely irrelevant, and gives me absolutely no right to dictate her conduct.

    It’s her body, she gets to do what she wants with it, and it’s not anybody else’s fucking business.

    The alternative is a nightmarish scenario where someone might be jailed or sued for drinking, practicing pregnancy-adverse sports or smoking tobacco while pregnant, since those things also affect feotal health.

    I am not okay with saying a foetus is nothing.

    Nobody said it’s nothing.

    Even if it is a person, it doesn’t give it the right to somebody’s organs.

    I don’t have the right to your blood, bone marrow, kidney, piece of liver and even sperm without your consent, even though you can give many of those things with no or vanishing risks and side-effects to yourself, contrarily to all the side-effects and medical risks of pregnancy, which go very far beyond “gaining weight” and “scarring” and include death.

    I don’t even gain a right to those things without your consent after you’re dead. Even if my life does depend on it.

    Laws that restrict medical reproductive health choices effectively give less rights to actual, breathing women than they do to dead people.

    In any other setting, medical decisions that include risks to one’s body, even such relatively benign risks as scarring and weight gain, are left between a doctor and his/her patient and that is as it should be. I don’t see why it should be different for pregnant women, unless your requirements for personhood include “having a Y chromosome”.

  274. says

    But from your POV, so what what she said or did or did not, she needs no reason.

    Whatever reason she finds personally sufficient is all that’s required.

    None of the decisions she made until that point should accumulate in any responsibility for the health of foetus.

    You might argue a moral responsibility, but there’s no way to get to a legal responsibility and certainly not one strong enough to forfeit the basic right to bodily autonomy.

    I really wish you’d engage with the actual argument rather than being such a cowardly, little turd.

    It occurs in that time frame where abortion is no longer medically indicated

    Amphiox, according to LykeX, it is an abortion. Scroll up to post #50 and take it up with LykeX.

    Amphiox is clearly distinguishing between what is colloquially referred to as an abortion, i.e. a D&E and a pregnancy termination (technically also an abortion) via induced birth.

    Naturally, you’re well aware of that and this is simply another case of you being a dishonest little shitfaced asshole with more confidence than brains.
    But hey, if scoring a cheap verbal point makes you feel better about the fact that you can’t actually support any of your arguments and that nobody here is falling for your bullshit, go ahead; take a little victory lap and pretend that you said something relevant.

  275. Pteryxx says

    md @287:

    mythbri: You’re okay with states stripping women of their right to self-determination just because you feel icky?

    In short, yes. Icky feelings, childish though they may be, are the emotional underpinning of many legal debates.

    In short, yes.

    Okay… let’s leave out, for the moment, this legalistic-naturalistic fallacy that conflates law with ethics and implies someone’s icky feelings should override other people’s less-icky feelings, let alone trump evidence of real harm. (Also because I’m too disgusted to deal with it immediately with anything less than withering contempt, yay irony.) Supposedly reasonable people should be better than that, and often they ARE as evidenced by recent strides in gay rights, since being gay’s usually conflated with ‘eww icky gay sex’ as a supposed justification for anti-gay laws.

    Why the heck is disgust even considered an acceptable argument as a response to women, specifically, having control over their own bodies? This can’t be about the actual medical procedures, because birth and caesarians and miscarriages are messy and bloody too, as are plenty of unrelated surgeries that go on every day. (PZ even addressed that here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/10/21/bad-argument-3-science-says-what/ )

    No, I’m thinking the disgust is sourced from normative assumptions about what women are socially permitted to do. It’s all very well for women to heroically die in attempted childbirth (and it’s going to be called heroic no matter what the woman in question felt about it). That’s so normalized that it’s a trope in Disney movies. But women showing agency, as in telling men to lay off, or enjoying consensual sex on their own terms, or deciding not to be pregnant anymore, is so wrong and weird that media won’t even touch it. This sounds too much like gay folks being ‘icky’, or trans* folks being worthy of contempt and death because cis people found them ‘icky’, or to go back a generation, PoC being considered ‘filthy’ and thus being restricted to separate fountains. Are those people honestly feeling disgust? Probably, but that’s the result, not the cause, of the ‘wrong’ types of people being dehumanized under normative culture and law.

    md, consider well WHY you presume your icky feelings constitute justification.

  276. Amphiox says

    Amphiox, according to LykeX, it is an abortion. Scroll up to post #50 and take it up with LykeX.

    No, md, I am taking it up with YOU, because YOU are the intellectually dishonest schmuck who thought it fitting to bring that case up.

    Your pathetically dishonest attempt to ignore the ironic manner in which LykeX used the term “abortion” in that post is also noted.

  277. omnicrom says

    md You said that when you think about abortion you start moving towards the anti-choice camp. Why?

    Is it seriously because you think it’s icky? If so get over it. No one has any write to stake a claim on someone else’s body. Any argument against abortion needs to address the right to bodily autonomy as has been brought up repeatedly. Your personal feelings mean nothing. Also even if the court case you brought up HAD been about a scar and presumably you’re implying vanity I’d STILL be behind the woman, her right to bodily autonomy should be completely supported.

  278. mythbri says

    @md

    I repeat myself, AGAIN:

    ARE YOU SAYING THAT A WOMAN’S BODILY AUTONOMY SHOULD BE GRANTED, OR NOT, ON A SLIDING SCALE BASED ON HER BEHAVIOR?

  279. Amphiox says

    Once again it bears repeating. md’s case has nothing at all to do with the question of late-term abortion on demand. Nothing at all.

    The case is about a wanted pregnancy, a wanted child, and the medical decisions made pertaining to when and how to give live birth to that child (children).

    And NOW’s assertion that the woman would likely not have been charged if not for her social class is most likely correct. Had she had the privilege of being in the “right” social class, the worst she would have likely faced is some tut-tutting about not following her physicians’ advice, there’d be some talk about “tragic” mistakes in judgment, and she’d be receiving sympathy for the loss of a child. She would not be facing criminal charges.

  280. Forbidden Snowflake says

    md, the article on feet nibbling that you’ve linked mostly deals with the sanitation aspect of feet nibbling. It hardly says anything about icky feelings, and certainly doesn’t suggest banning feet nibbling over them.

  281. Pteryxx says

    By the way:

    It’s her body, she gets to do what she wants with it, and it’s not anybody else’s fucking business.

    The alternative is a nightmarish scenario where someone might be jailed or sued for drinking, practicing pregnancy-adverse sports or smoking tobacco while pregnant, since those things also affect feotal health.

    That’s not hypothetical.

    Women are being prosecuted for having miscarriages, smoking marijuana or taking medications, or just disagreeing with their doctors, in the USA:

    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/01/14/new-study-reveals-impact-post-roe-v-wade-anti-abortion-measures-on-women

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/magazine/the-criminalization-of-bad-mothers.html

    and elsewhere:

    http://europeanprochoicenetwork.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/el-salvador-woman-jailed-for-30-years-for-miscarriage-has-been-freed/

    The RHReality Check article nicknames it “Jane Crow”.

  282. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Id like to know where Turley is wrong.

    Here are a few things that jumped out at me:
    1. He talks about how there are no absolute rights and it’s all about balancing of interests, but does not offer an example of such balancing in the case of bodily autonomy (as it was noted in this thread, in the most obvious cases of multiple interests related to the body — blood/marrow/organ donation, etc. — bodily autonomy is treated as an absolute right).
    2. His argument appears to rely completely on the question of fetal personhood and a rejection of the issue of bodily autonomy. He doesn’t support her right to refuse to be cut open, because her fetuses (“babies”, as he prefers) are too developed.
    3. It may be nitpicky, but: he says she “withheld” the operation, as though it was something she was supposed to give to her fetuses (but “withheld” at whim), rather than something she was supposed to subject herself to on their behalf.
    4. The paragraph upon paragraph describing her history of child abuse appear to be relevant to nothing but framing her as a Very Bad Woman and emotionally manipulating the reader.

  283. kate_waters says

    @Lyle:

    I see now where that issue was being dealt with by others. I apologize. I was posting from my phone at job #1 during breaks and didn’t catch those posts, then was at job #2 where smartphones are expressly forbidden and have to be turned off and checked in. Now that I’m home again I finally managed to catch up on everything.

    @md:

    You should know by this far into this comment thread that your weasel-like behaviour isn’t going to get you anywhere. Would you care to clearly state your position vis a vis the autonomy of women? Let it all out, man. You’ll feel better and I’ll enjoy watching you get trounced by the regulars.

  284. zmidponk says

    md #308:

    And your support the NOW maximalist position is because you know once a feotus is granted any kind of right, its a slippery slope from there back to medieval obstetrics.

    Actually, as has been explained, several times, in this thread, it’s actually nothing to do with granting rights to the foetus, it’s to do with simply respecting the mother’s right to bodily autonomy. As has been explained, the right of bodily autonomy is considered absolute, even down to and including the right of bodily autonomy of dead people.

    People like yourself seem to think that this right of bodily autonomy goes out of the window when a foetus gets involved, and don’t seem to have a coherent reason as to why, other than a sense of personal disgust. Well, if you really want to argue that someone, or a group of people, finding something disgusting is enough to get something banned, you’ve just, in effect, rescinded large swathes of the US Constitution and eliminated certain things that are considered basic human rights by a large proportion of the world, like freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

  285. vaiyt says

    @md:

    So in this bodily rights forced kidney donation scenario, sustaining one’s own offspring is equivalent to helping a stranger?

    – Yes. In both cases, there is someone who needs your organs to survive. Of course, the “stranger” could be your own son/daughter, negating this stupid attempt at a red herring completely.

    If you choose not to give a kidney to a stranger, he or she may find another replacement kidney.

    – Whether they can find the kidney or not, is irrelevant to whether you have the right to not donate your kidney.

    Does this bodily rights arguement allow for a law that says everything possible must be done to keep a viable fetus alive, after the health of the mother has been assured?

    – No matter how healthy the fetus is, that doesn’t interfere on the woman’s right to terminate the pregnancy, so there goes another red herring.

    The foetus isn’t choosing to use another’s body, it made no choice at all.

    – Abortion is a right of the woman. It doesn’t matter how the fetus got there. Can you stop with the red herrings already

  286. says

    md
    From you own fucking link:

    Mrs. Rowland refused to consent to a procedure that had substantial risks for her and no benefits, but which could have saved her stillborn child’s life.

    Get that thing about substantial risk?
    So, do you think it is OK to force a woman to run a substantial risk?
    How big does risk have to be? 10%? 20% 50%
    As for the “scar” remark: Pretty unlikely given that she was worrying about a scar at her third c-section.
    There have been women in the USA who were forced to undergo a c-section. Yes, women were strapped onto tables and cut open against their will. That’s apparently what yo’re advocating and now tell me that you think that women are full human beings with human rights.

  287. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    The foetus isn’t choosing to use another’s body, it made no choice at all.

    Born. Never asked.

  288. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    There have been women in the USA who were forced to undergo a c-section. Yes, women were strapped onto tables and cut open against their will. That’s apparently what yo’re advocating and now tell me that you think that women are full human beings with human rights.

    That’s exactly what I’m seeing in md’s arguments.

  289. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Pretty unlikely given that she was worrying about a scar at her third c-section. – Giliell

    You don’t need an MD to guess that being cut open three times in the abdominal area is, for purely medical reasons, something you want to avoid if you can.

  290. says

    Why is that? Withholding a kidney will KILL someone. An actual, living, breathing human being. Isn’t that wrong, md? Hasn’t that been your point all along? that killing someone is wrong?

    but suddenly, your deliberately killing someone ISN’T wrong. Why is that?

    Because being forced to give a kidney, as you wish to force women to give birth, isn’t fair? Because if YOU have to live by the rules you’d wish to force on women, it’s suddenly and conveniently wrong?

    Thanks for making your illogical, testerical misogyny so very clear.

    QFT

    Reminds me:

    Hypocrite by Akrobatik:

    Hypocrite, low down dirty belligerent
    Words and actions always different, ignorant
    Everything you say is insignificant
    Soul is old, rhymes dirty, born illegitimate
    Can’t believe a word you say
    What you claim you do tomorrow
    You ain’t doing today
    I bet we’d all be your slaves if you had it your way
    But you wouldn’t follow none of the rules that you lay
    You damn hypocrite!

  291. md says

    Looks like im not the only one who doesnt find it so simple.

    The only moral losers in this argument are those who say that there is no conflict, and nothing to argue about.

  292. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Argument ad vanity fair? Really? How about you answer the questions posed to you instead.

  293. mythbri says

    @md

    ARE YOU SAYING THAT A WOMAN’S BODILY AUTONOMY SHOULD BE GRANTED, OR NOT, ON A SLIDING SCALE BASED ON HER BEHAVIOR?

    or, to put it another way:

    ARE YOU SAYING THAT THE “AMOUNT” OF BODILY AUTONOMY THAT IS GRANTED TO ANY GIVEN WOMAN IS BASED UPON MORAL JUDGMENT OF HER BEHAVIOR?

  294. says

    @md
    How aboutm instead of posting random links, you actually address the questions and arguments that have already been put forth?

    As long as you dodge them, you’ll be considered nothing but a dishonest, little coward.

  295. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I just fucking love it when some assclam pulls out the fucking Saint Christopher “Drunken Arguments For Laughs” Hitchens . Oh, he might have been aborted!

    Well, from where I am sitting, I should have been. Do not get me wrong, I am happy for short amount of awareness I have. But for my mom’s sake, I really should have been aborted. She was eighteen and three months pregnant when she married my father. It was not a pleasant marriage. She should not have been saddled with that man and raising me and the children that followed after me. She should have aborted the fetus that ended becoming me. She should had not ended up with the man that was my father. She should have had a chance to start her adult life with all of the baggage.

    But hey! My glorious live is here. It was worth the wreckage of my mom’s life.

  296. vaiyt says

    Thus, the justification proposed by the “right” for its intrusiveness is that the fetus is also an autonomous individual,

    As long as it’s inside the woman, no it isn’t.

  297. Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just a radfem with a shotgun) says

    Looks like im not the only one who doesnt find it so simple

    Known idiots (albeit an occationally entertaining idiot right about some things) in vanity fair is a rather poor argument from authority.

    And if you actually need to be waterboarded to realise that waterbording is wrong, you haven’t got an ethical compass I deem worthy of following.

  298. zmidponk says

    md:

    Looks like im not the only one who doesnt find it so simple.

    Did you actually read that article? I did. A few choice quotes:

    at least once I found myself in a clinic while “products of conception” were efficiently vacuumed away. I can distinctly remember thinking, on the last such occasion, that under no persuasion of any kind would I ever allow myself to be present at such a moment again….The decision I took was mine and taken for myself alone. If it doesn’t have a moral basis, it does at least have a very strong instinctual one. But can I or should I be able to make it for anyone else?

    In that case, humans are only acting rationally when they seek to achieve control over their reproduction. In poor countries, the ability of women to limit their childbearing is the absolute key to the escape from poverty and ill health.

    In consequence, we have to shoulder decisions that would once have been made by fate. (Shall the terminally ill be taken off the drip-feed? Shall we resuscitate the comatose? Shall we bring the hopeless fetus to full term? Shall we, or can we, push back abortion techniques so that they pre-empt any definition of viability?) It doesn’t seem to me that we have become any less human by confronting these decisions and finally accepting our responsibility for them.

    From that, it seems to me he’s very much advocating that a ‘pro-choice’ position, that people have to take on the responsibility and decide this for themselves. The fact you seem to think differently seems to indicate you’re making the same fundamental error many anti-choicers do – that the pro-choice position is actually ‘all pregnant women MUST have an abortion if their circumstances match [insert list of circumstances here].’ That is not true – the pro-choice position is simply that the option should be there, should the woman in question decide that’s the best thing for her, in her circumstances.

    One fundamental error that Hitchens actually makes in that piece is that he seemingly thinks that, if something is both alive and human, it’s a human life, in the same way that a full-formed, fully functioning human being is. That can be shown to be utter nonsense by simply pointing out this means that, for example, when a man has sex, when he ejaculates, each and every one of his sperm is a fully-fledged human life until it either merges with an egg or dies.

  299. Anri says

    mythbri

    ARE YOU SAYING THAT A WOMAN’S BODILY AUTONOMY SHOULD BE GRANTED, OR NOT, ON A SLIDING SCALE BASED ON HER BEHAVIOR?

    No, md is actually saying that a woman’s bodily autonomy should be granted, or not, on a sliding scale based on how icky md thinks the situation is.

    Not what they are implying, or suggesting, or hinting at.
    Saying.
    Outright.

    The woman’s autonomy, and behavior are both secondary, you see, to md’s emotional state. I think we can all agree that’s the really important issue at stake, right?

    …right?

  300. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    If you choose not to give a kidney to a stranger, he or she may find another replacement kidney.

    With a very high probability, not on time.

    A lot of people die on transplant lists.

    There you go, you just killed someone.

    The foetus isn’t choosing to use another’s body, it made no choice at all.

    Neither did the person born with a defective heart or polycystic kidneys.

  301. rowanvt says

    MD, being stupid and making me annoyed that this person is using my initials @ 289

    the fetus doesnt invade.

    WTF? Yes is does. It *implants* into the uterine lining, creates the placenta which sports all sorts of blood vessels to steal oxygen and nutrients from the woman’s blood, and the hormones of the implantation work to actively suppress her immune system so it doesn’t attack and destroy the fetus like it does other invaders,.

    The foetus isn’t choosing to use another’s body, it made no choice at all.

    Neither do cancers, parasitic twins, ovarian cysts, etc. My appendix didn’t *choose* to become infected. Was I wrong to have it removed before it could kill me?

    And earlier:

    Withholding a kidney is not equal to poisoning or crushing a fetus.

    Aaaaaactually, it is. At least the poisoning part. The kidneys work to filter a lot of toxic waste products from the blood. If these toxins are not removed they… wait for it…. POISON the body! Kidney failure is painful. The toxins build up and especially aggravate the lining of the stomach bringing pain and chronic nausea/vomiting.

  302. Amphiox says

    WTF? Yes is does. It *implants* into the uterine lining, creates the placenta which sports all sorts of blood vessels to steal oxygen and nutrients from the woman’s blood, and the hormones of the implantation work to actively suppress her immune system so it doesn’t attack and destroy the fetus like it does other invaders,.

    Indeed. The placental genes that mediate this invasion and immune escape (which involves enzymes that directly digest maternal tissues) are often the same genes that are reactivated in and mediate tissue invasion, immune escape, and metastatic spread in malignant tumors.

  303. Amphiox says

    Did you actually read that article? I did. A few choice quotes:

    Well, well, look at that. Another deliberately dishonest link drop by the now serial liar, md.

    Quelle surprise!

  304. says

    Looks like im not the only one who doesnt find it so simple.

    tell me, why do you think Hitchens is a valid authority on this topic? And, if he actually agrees with you (and I don’t know if he does; I can’t be assed to read the link), why should we take his flawed arguments any more seriously than yours?

  305. says

    And your support the NOW maximalist position is because you know once a feotus is granted any kind of right, its a slippery slope from there back to medieval obstetrics. I get it, but that is consequentialist reasoning, not principled in my view.

    please take remedial English.

    1) this is not about slippery slopes
    2) “bodily autonomy is absolute” is a principle

    aside from that, “consequentialist reasoning” is the only sensible way to argue ethics; deontological ethics and virtue ethics are crap in actually establishing rules that make people’s lives better.

    Don’t just spout big words you’ve heard somewhere if you don’t know what they mean. Consequentialist reasoning is invalid in empiricism, not in ethics.

  306. md says

    Everyone,

    I have not argued for, nor attempted to persuade anyone to, my POV.

    Go back and look at my first post. I asked a few people how they reasoned to their position. Chaos ensued.

    When I did give my POV, I explicitly said I wasn’t comfortable with it. I think its weak and the best I can do for now. I reserve the right to change my mind. I have changed it on this issue in the past. Few other major political issues vex me the same way. You don’t think im being honest? Okay, think what you want.

    I don’t offer Hitchens as an argument for authority, I dont think his article is the final say. I do think its interesting that a public intellectual who is well regarded around here on some issues and has plenty of political/philosophical overlap, finds himself queasy on the issue. That was news to me before this afternoon.

  307. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    why should we take his flawed arguments any more seriously than yours?

    The flaw in your arguments MD is “who the fuck are you to make decisions for anybody but yourself?”. Who the fuck is the RCC to make decisions for anybody is isn’t a member of their church. And keep in mind pro-choice folks don’t make decisions for other people. They allow them to make their decisions, and as responsible adults, live with with consequences of those decisions. Why are you afraid of women being fully responsible adults?

  308. says

    I asked a few people how they reasoned to their position. Chaos ensued.

    liar. people answered you, and you got pissy because you didn’t like that answers.

    a public intellectual who is well regarded around here

    HAHAHAHAHA

    has plenty of political/philosophical overlap,

    There is no political/philosophical overlap between me and a neocon. wtf?

    and given Hitchens’ previous misogynist outbursts (women have no sense of humor, doncha know), I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he was indeed “queasy” about women’s bodily autonomy.

  309. Amphiox says

    I have not argued for, nor attempted to persuade anyone to, my POV.

    You either do not understand what “argue for”, and “attempt to persuade” mean, or you’re lying. Again.

  310. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And MD, invoking Hitchens in a vain argument from authority shows your religious thinking, not reality thinking, and skepitcally based thinking. You are mere regurgitating what you consider an authority tells you. You can’t and won’t think for yourself. And you expect us to listen to somebody who won’t think for themselves? BWAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHa

  311. mythbri says

    @md

    I’ve never doubted that you’re being honestly icky about this. My contempt for what you’ve written here is not based on my perception of dishonestly, but because you have absolutely failed to argue what you’ve already agreed is a weak argument.

    You want to feel icky? Fine. Feel icky. Feel whatever you want to feel.

    You know what I feel? I feel disgusted by the fact that you’re willing to support state-by-state decisions regarding a woman’s right to choose whether or not to be pregnant because you think it might make you feel a little less icky.

    Tell me: how do you feel about the knowledge that such decisions WILL condemn some women to death – whether it be through pregnancy complications, unsafe abortions, or self-harm? Less icky? Why is that? Who’s the one making a value judgment on human life here?

    What the fuck is wrong with you?

  312. mythbri says

    Silly me – I forgot another way that pregnant women die. They’re killed by their intimate partners, too – usually the same man that impregnated them.

    But at least it’s not icky.

  313. says

    @md

    Chaos ensued because you’ve steadfastly refused to engage with what anybody said in response to your questions. You ask a question, utterly ignore the answer, then ignore the questions asked in return and finally just ask another question. You ignore the arguments made in response to your posts and you toss out links right and left that have little to do with the actual discussion.

    For fucks sake, it’s been over 200 comments and you’ve yet to say anything relevant, interesting or new.
    You’re behaving like a troll and people are treating you like one. If you want people to treat you differently, I strongly encourage you to change your own behavior.

  314. rowanvt says

    Hey MD, want to admit you were wrong about whether or not the embryo invades the mother’s body?

  315. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Funny, I could not give a flying fuck what md believes, don’t believe, what he argues or what he is holding back. The issue of abortion is one issue I have changed my mind about in over thirty years.

    I find myself much concerned about and scared by the lose of rights and the violence used to achieve that.

    Huff and puff all you want, md.

  316. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Funny how MD doesn’t have the guts/integrity to actually say “this is what I believe and this (link) is the evidence to back it up”. But then, real losers can’t make a stand and defend it.

  317. says

    The foetus isn’t choosing to use another’s body, it made no choice at all.

    Neither did the tapeworm whose eggs were consumed with a salad.
    But wait, the person chose to eat salad. That person knew that this could result in a tape worm infection. Why should the poor tapeworm suffer.
    Also, the tapeworm is now evidence in a trial against a restaurant that had poor hygene, you can’t remove it.

  318. zmidponk says

    md:

    Everyone,

    I have not argued for, nor attempted to persuade anyone to, my POV.

    Go back and look at my first post. I asked a few people how they reasoned to their position. Chaos ensued.

    Firstly, if you think that’s ‘chaos’, you aren’t really familiar with the concept of ‘chaos’. Secondly, what you categorise as ‘chaos’ ensued because people actually decided to engage your argument, and, quite frankly, destroy it utterly. You then sidestepped and ignored that this happened and went on a spree of JAQing off and spraying out links which had little, if anything, to do with what was being discussed, other than to basically show that you were ignoring and/or utterly misunderstanding the responses being put to you, as well as actually not understanding what your own links were saying. In other words, the ‘chaos’ was as a result of how YOU behaved, not anyone here.

    When I did give my POV, I explicitly said I wasn’t comfortable with it. I think its weak and the best I can do for now. I reserve the right to change my mind. I have changed it on this issue in the past. Few other major political issues vex me the same way. You don’t think im being honest? Okay, think what you want.

    You’re hardly likely to change your mind if you willfully ignore points and questions being put quite explicitly to you, as has happened in this thread.

    I don’t offer Hitchens as an argument for authority, I dont think his article is the final say. I do think its interesting that a public intellectual who is well regarded around here on some issues and has plenty of political/philosophical overlap, finds himself queasy on the issue. That was news to me before this afternoon.

    He only finds himself ‘queasy’ on the issue because he makes a fundamental error, as I said. The article you linked to, as I pointed out, really argues for a pro-choice position, but, overall, Hitchens tried to find a scientific basis for an anti-abortion argument, but didn’t really succeed, due to making errors like the one in that article. If you actually read the detail of what he’s said, he was more pro-contraceptive than anti-abortion, because he was of the opinion that a woman ‘shouldn’t be forced to choose’, and he had no problem with abortion procedures ‘that will make abortion more like a contraceptive procedure than a surgical one’, to quote him exactly.

  319. says

    I do think its interesting that a public intellectual who is well regarded around here on some issues and has plenty of political/philosophical overlap, finds himself queasy on the issue.

    Why would it be “interesting” that a public intellectual who was not a feminist and who had sexist leanings had squicky feelings about abortion? That’s one of the least interesting and least surprising things I can think of. What’s next? The “interesting’ fact that Penn Gillette thinks public policy is best served by a libertarian approach that minimized regulation of business? Shocker.

  320. says

    OMG, look, Jack Nicholson is anti-choice! (I swear I wasn’t even on the lookout for this.)

    Yess. Veeerrry innnnteresting. *strokes chin thoughtfully* Yes, interesting. Don’t you find this interesting, folks? I’m telling you it’s interesting! (But not why it’s interesting, oh no. That would be telling.)

    I’m taking over your job, md, you can stop posting because I can contribute exactly as much as you do while still writing my own posts.