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O’Reilly and the talking fetus opposition to abortion

Blowhard Bill has a bizarre argument against abortion. He’s speaking for the babies, he claims, and knows what the babies would say.

There comes a time when a human being has to either face evil or admit to allowing it. Abortion is legal in the United States, but it should not be celebrated or used as a political tool. Viable babies are human beings. If they could talk, they would tell Williams and other pro-choice zealots that their lives should not be marginalized by someone who thinks she’s the boss. That’s what the babies would say.

Gosh, well, my shoes were talking to me the other day, or they would have if they had voices, and they told me they’d really like to kick Bill O’Reilly’s ass. Aghast, I told them that violence was never the answer. Then my dining room table spoke up and said it agreed with me, but O’Reilly was still an odious human being. And then there was a regular cacophony as all of my furniture and appliances and even the cockroaches under the floorboards had to chime in and groan about that horrible creature, and then my television had the final say and wanted to refuse to every tune in to Fox News ever again, because it made her circuits itch. Then she told me that all the other televisions on our cable system were saying the same thing, and that we ought to abort “The O’Reilly Factor”.

That’s what they would have said, if they could talk, that is. And I think I’m the authority on what inanimate objects in my house would say.

Comments

  1. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Now I’m picturing you in that scene with the singing furniture in Beauty and the Beast.

    I bet a song about how they despise Bill O’Reilly would be epic.

  2. says

    If they could talk, they would tell Williams and other pro-choice zealots that their lives should not be marginalized by someone who thinks she’s the boss.

    Oh, the horror, thinking I’m the boss of my body! Golly. Someone needs to send out an alert that we are our bodies.

  3. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, those few abortions done on viable feti to save the life of the woman? Pretending they are done at the whim of the woman.. Gee, what a humanitarian. Ignores the real human to try to protect a would be human. Not my kind of guy.

  4. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    If they could talk it would sound like, “bbrrrllleerrgle feubbb. Bairtttblllb!”

  5. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I am picturing Billo talking with a gathering of fetuses. I am also picturing a bunch of pissed off women who are being ignored in the process.

  6. Trebuchet says

    PZ, I notice you didn’t mention any empty chairs chiming in. Because after the Republican convention, we all know which side they’re on!

  7. says

    Fetuses would demand not to be marginalized†? That’s novel.

    If my (already born, real life) three month old baby could talk, here’s what’d she say:
    “I’M HUNGRY”
    “I SHIT MY PANTS”
    “I’M YELLING FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER”

    Fetuses must be magic!

    †Somebody learned a big word.

  8. raym says

    Well, he’s right on one thing: abortion should certainly not be used as a political tool. But I suspect he ‘misspoke’ when he said that.

  9. raven says

    O’Reilly:

    Viable babies are human beings. If they could talk,….

    What would women say, if they could talk?

  10. mythbri says

    @raym #13

    Well, he’s right on one thing: abortion should certainly not be used as a political tool. But I suspect he ‘misspoke’ when he said that.

    But how are the poor little Republican politicians supposed to con votes out of people if they can’t use abortion as a political issue?

  11. unclefrogy says

    well who prey tell is the “boss” billO speaks of .

    I think he gave himself an out with his use of viability, in case the “vast majority” of his audience should disagree with what he said. popularity is very important after all, honesty not so much.

    uncle frogy

  12. says

    If they could talk it would sound like, “bbrrrllleerrgle feubbb. Bairtttblllb!”

    I don’t think you’d even get that much out of them. I’m pretty sure human vocal chords won’t work while the lungs are filled with amniotic fluid.

    Perhaps they could tap out a message in Morse code against the uterine wall?

    (But wait — Morse code has been officially retired! Clearly it’s a government attempt to silence our fetal brethren. It goes that deep.)

  13. robro says

    I’ve always wondered what language Wee Willie Wanker was speaking, and now I know: It’s pre-natal baby blather. Perhaps his pre-natalness explains his apparent perpetual desire to get inside someone else’s vagina.

  14. ChasCPeterson says

    so, human fetus = inanimate-object-like-PZ-Myers’s-dining-room-table?

    *glances around*

    srsly?

    (I might grant the analogy to the tree(s) they made PZ’s table from. Even a fuckin sponge blastula, or an Amoeba or Paramecium or Euplotes. Kelp, ferns, orchids. A freakin spirochete. But…wow.)

  15. says

    Chas:
    At a guess, I think PZ is saying that a fetus is like an inanimate object in that neither has consciousness or the capacity to feel pain. Yeah, one is a biological entity and the other isn’t, but for the purposes of his argument that isn’t relevant.

  16. John Morales says

    ChasCPeterson, in the sense that fetuses would have something to say about politics or morality if only they could speak, yeah: they’re no different to inanimate objects.

    (How is that problematic to you?)

  17. travisrm89 says

    lol @12 Audrey.

    I agree that it’s absurd to worry about the fate of a zygote or an embryo, but it seems to me that, at some point (albeit a necessarily ill-defined point), the fetus becomes something that we should value as a society. If animals can have limited rights (as they should), then it seems to me that a mature fetus should also have some limited rights. It’s complicated, of course, by the fact that it lives inside of an adult human being, and the well-being of that person must be the first priority, but I don’t think that it’s fair to compare fetuses to furniture.

    If it’s wrong to kill a new-born infant, then we should probably consider it wrong to kill a negative-one-second-year-old infant… so it seems by this logic that there is some time while the fetus is still in the womb after which it would be wrong to kill it.

  18. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If it’s wrong to kill a new-born infant, then we should probably consider it wrong to kill a negative-one-second-year-old infant…

    This absurdity is what the anti-choice fuckwits want you to think. So stop it. In reality, this doesn’t happen, so it is a moot point. Essentially all third trimester abortions are for fetal deformity or to save the life of the woman. There is no “abortion on demand” due to medical ethics.

  19. Pteryxx says

    If it’s wrong to kill a new-born infant, then we should probably consider it wrong to kill a negative-one-second-year-old infant… so it seems by this logic that there is some time while the fetus is still in the womb after which it would be wrong to kill it.

    here we go again…

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

    Either way, the viability position notes that, at some point, a fetus becomes capable of existing outside the womb, even if it currently resides, much more safely and cheaply, still inside the womb. At that point, it should be considered a fully human life and be accorded the rights of any other human being.

    I understand that position. It is at least as logically compelling as any other and far more compelling than many. However, accepting this position is not an argument for outlawing abortion of a viable fetus. It is an argument for when a fetus achieves rights as a human being.

    It is not an argument for when a pregnant person loses their rights.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/08/01/the-only-abortion-argument-that-counts/

    We can make all the philosophical and scientific arguments that anyone might want, but ultimately what it all reduces to is a simple question: do women have autonomous control of their bodies or not?

  20. John Morales says

    [OT]

    travisrm89:

    If it’s wrong to kill a new-born infant, then we should probably consider it wrong to kill a negative-one-second-year-old infant… so it seems by this logic that there is some time while the fetus is still in the womb after which it would be wrong to kill it.

    There is no such thing as a “negative-one-second-year-old infant” — there is only a fetus.

    (A fetus is no more an infant than you are a corpse; by your “logic”, living people near death should be treated as corpses, because soon they will be dead)

    BTW, the topic is the foolishness of ascribing political desires to fetuses.

  21. travisrm89 says

    @ Pteryx 29,

    I don’t completely understand that argument. If a fetus achieves the rights of a human being, how does a woman still have the right to kill it? Sure, a woman has autonomous control her body. You also have control over your own property, but that doesn’t mean you can kill a baby if it happens to crawl into your yard.

  22. rowanvt says

    As a former fetus, one who is currently capable of discourse, I would like to say that I would not be in the least bothered by the idea of my mother having considered aborting me, though she never did. I would also be not in the least bothered by having been aborted, on account of not existing.

    The rights of the fetus, while in utero, cannot trump the rights of the woman whose body it has currently invaded and taken over. If the woman does not wish to be so invaded, it is her right to bodily autonomy that triumphs. Women are so incredibly unlikely to reach the last trimester and suddenly decide they want to abort the fetus ‘because’ that discussions of it are pointless. Just as I might someday develop a fatal allergy to fruit, but that’s no reason to pre-emptively ban peaches for all involved.

    Travis, you mentioned that animals have limited rights, so fetuses should too. Are you really *unaware* that those limited rights do not include prevention of termination of life in a humane fashion? I *personally* euthanised a 10 year old rottweiler yesterday that had bone cancer in both hind limbs. I have *personally* euthanised kittens with pneumonia and a puppy with severe parvo. I have *personally* euthanised unborn kittens STILL IN UTERO during an abort-spay. They were about a week too young to survive on their own, and we hadn’t realised how far along mama-cat was in her pregnancy as she was a stray. I stuck a needle with euthasol through the uterine wall into each of those 6 kittens and killed them so they would not suffocate to death.

  23. rowanvt says

    @ Travis, #32

    Providing arguments that are easy for us to use in our favor:

    You also have control over your own property, but that doesn’t mean you can kill a baby if it happens to crawl into your yard.

    But I can remove the baby from my yard. Abortion is removing the fetus from the woman. If it is before viability is a real option, well then the fetus will die from the removal. If it is 7, 8, 9 months the fetus can be removed and potentially survive without the need for *that* woman specifically. C-sections terminate pregnancies.

  24. says

    Sure, a woman has autonomous control her body.

    I sense a ‘but’ and a stupid scenario coming up.

    You also have control over your own property, but that doesn’t mean you can kill a baby if it happens to crawl into your yard.

    And there it is. FFS, it’s obvious you don’t understand the concept of bodily autonomy at all. If a baby crawls into my yard, I can definitely remove it, what with it being my property and all. However, in the case of woman being pregnant, it’s not a matter of someone else’s baby – it’s not as though a fetus belonging to someone else decamped and decided to implant itself in another woman.

    Please, do not work on tortured analogies which have no bearing whatsoever on the issue of bodily autonomy. We’ve fucking seen them all and it’s both tiring and infuriating to have to keep refuting one fuckwitted analogy after another.

    It’s quite simple – my body, my choice. You don’t get a say as to what I do or don’t do when it comes to medical issues. It’s no one’s business except my own.

  25. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If a fetus achieves the rights of a human being, how does a woman still have the right to kill it?

    Don’t talk nonsense. A fetus isn’t a human being. Only after it is born, and no longer a fetus. Where did you get educated. You don’t understand basic definitions.

  26. travisrm89 says

    @rowanvt,

    Everything you said makes sense, but I guess what I’m struggling with is that it doesn’t seem logical to say that it is always okay to kill a fetus, but never okay to kill an infant. Saying that the cutoff point occurs after the fetus has left the womb seems almost as arbitrary as those who argue that the cutoff point should be when the heart starts beating.

    You say that the woman’s bodily autonomy triumphs over the rights of the fetus, which makes sense. However, if a woman’s bodily autonomy always triumphs over the life of a fetus, it seems reasonable that there could be things which triumph over the life of the infant after it has left the womb, since there is no significant difference between a fully developed fetus and a newborn infant. If, for whatever reason, it is deemed that the well-being of some adult humans will be greatly improved by killing an infant, should they be allowed to do it? And if not, why?

  27. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but I guess what I’m struggling with is that it doesn’t seem logical to say that it is always okay to kill a fetus, but never okay to kill an infant.

    Here’s your problem. All early abortions do kill the fetus. You keep imagining late term abortions when the fetus is viable. What part of medical ethics are you have trouble with? Once the fetus is viable, and not deformed, the only reason to “kill” it is to save the life of the woman. Why are you putting the fetus before the woman? Why are you so callous to the woman in front of you?

  28. rowanvt says

    There are times things triumph over the life of the infant…. such as terminal illnesses and defects. These include massive heart defects and things like anencephalus.

    In cases of healthy infants however, you seem to be missing this really really important bit of information: ANYONE ELSE can take care of it! It no longer *requires* that one specific woman to stay alive. I could raise it. You could raise it. Joe schmoe off the street could raise it. It is no longer invading and taking over a body. It is no longer stealing nutrients and suppressing the immune system to keep the woman’s body from killing it. It is now independent and capable of being kept alive by anyone.

    This is why I can raise newborn kittens. They don’t *need* mommy-cat anymore. I suffice just fine, though they are not fans of being fed only every 2 hours for the first 2 weeks.

    So please, read this again carefully and learn these important facts. I will restate them for you again.

    The woman’s bodily autonomy triumphs over that of the invading fetus.
    Fetuses really do *invade* the body, causing changes that are life threatening.
    Infants can be raised by anyone. The fetus can only be nurtured by the woman it implanted in.
    Terminating a pregnancy (abortion) does not always cause death of the fetus. C-sections are technically ‘abortions’.
    Women in general are NOT THAT STUPID to stay pregnant for 8 months, 3 weeks, 6 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds and then suddenly decide that then they feel like killing the fetus. And even if we were that stupid, the cases of this happening would be EXTREMELY rare. I have a friend allergic to bananas. We should ban all fruit from the stores, because she might get sick from them! It’s the same sort of logic as “ban abortions because some hypothetical woman might kill a viable fetus because she feels like it!”
    Stop being obtuse.

  29. Forbidden Snowflake says

    travisrm89, I think you should read the discussion in the previous abortion thread* before attempting to ignite a new discussion using the same or similar arguments.

    *http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/31/more-trivial-excuses-for-the-anti-choicers/#comments

  30. Pteryxx says

    If it is 7, 8, 9 months the fetus can be removed and potentially survive without the need for *that* woman specifically. C-sections terminate pregnancies.

    Saving a few steps here… and that means women who for some mysterious reason don’t want to be pregnant any more at 7, 8, 9 months should be, what? Gently nudged to have major surgery? Respectfully educated that their fetus might be viable in case they hadn’t noticed? Persuaded to think of the precious baybeez instead of just choosing abortion because it’s cheaper?

    *pre-emptively spits*

    Even making this argument just shows that you know nothing about the realities of late-term abortions, much less about respecting that women aren’t stupid and have a right to control their bodies – a right that’s so absolute for everyone else that it’s probably never crossed your mind. When was the last time you were coerced to do something as trivial as donating blood to save someone’s life? Even dead people only have their organs harvested if they expressly consented to be donors.

    But the reality is, third-trimester abortions are vanishingly rare – less than 1% of abortions occur after 24 weeks, much less “8 or 9 months” – and happen because of serious medical issues, usually with wanted pregnancies. Even in countries that don’t put restrictions on third-trimester abortion, it’s just as rare.

    Go read the threads I linked; all these arguments have been made in depth, with references.

    Saying that the cutoff point occurs after the fetus has left the womb seems almost as arbitrary as those who argue that the cutoff point should be when the heart starts beating.

    Unless you’ve invented artificial wombs, say what you mean – “has left the pregnant person’s body”. It’s not arbitrary at all.

  31. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    If a fetus achieves the rights of a human being, how does a woman still have the right to kill it? Sure, a woman has autonomous control her body. You also have control over your own property, but that doesn’t mean you can kill a baby if it happens to crawl into your yard.

    If it happens in Florida, you would be Standing Your Ground.

    Make a stupid analogy, get a very sarcastic answer.

  32. rowanvt says

    No. I was not intending to imply major surgery be suggested. Just that abortions at that age do not REQUIRE fetal death as there are OPTIONS that can be chosen by the woman specifically that prevent it. I used the words “can” and “potentially” for real reason.

    Did you not read the rest of my posts AT ALL?

  33. Amphiox says

    Saying that the cutoff point occurs after the fetus has left the womb seems almost as arbitrary as those who argue that the cutoff point should be when the heart starts beating.

    It isn’t arbitrary at all. After the fetus leaves the uterus it is an independent being no longer invading the bodily autonomy of another sentient being.

    there is no significant difference between a fully developed fetus and a newborn infant.

    A newborn infant is not invading the bodily autonomy of sentient human being. A fully developed fetus is. That is a very significant difference.

    That you have failed to notice this simple and obvious point is telling. It demonstrates, perhaps unsurprisingly, that you have not bothered to consider the presence of the woman in your thought processes, at all.

    Perhaps you should reflect as to the reasons why you overlooked something so fundamental.

  34. travisrm89 says

    Well, I do appreciate y’all’s feedback. I’m really not trying to be hostile, I’m legitimately looking for answers, and you guys have given me more to think about.

  35. rowanvt says

    Amphiox, I think the reasoning for that is because ‘d’awwwww babies’ or something like that. And because women are all liars, or bitches, or sluts if they even consider abortions. Because women totes aren’t important amiright? At least, that’s the closest I can come for reasons as to why these people tend to entirely erase women out of the equation.

    You know, sometimes I really hate being human. Life would be simpler if I was a snake. Fewer misogynist creepos as well.

  36. Amphiox says

    You know, sometimes I really hate being human. Life would be simpler if I was a snake.

    Not really. Look up King Cobras and Garter Snakes (if you dare).

  37. John Morales says

    travisrm89:

    … since there is no significant difference between a fully developed fetus and a newborn infant.

    Being being unborn, being sustained via an umbilical cord rather than by eating, and not breathing aren’t significant differences?

    (Have you ever cuddled a fetus?)

  38. llewelly says

    Talking furniture? Are you sure this wasn’t a flashback to Peewee Herman’s Playhouse? Perhaps you should talk to your doctor about PTSD.

  39. Pteryxx says

    rowanvt: IMHO, abortion might not be that special a case, because erasure of women and women’s agency is so common in, well, everything.

    travis: I really do recommend searching through the previous threads. A LOT of questions got thrashed out there, with extensive references. For a starting point, look for dianne’s posts – she goes into depth on the medical details and on comparisons with the voluntary nature of organ donation.

  40. microraptor says

    @ Janine: Hallucinating Liar

    If it happens in Florida, you would be “Standing Your Ground”.

    First I laughed. Then I realized that it’s only a matter of time before someone in all seriousness will combine the anti-choice arguments with gun-nut arguments and begin arguing about the need to arm fetuses so they can shoot the woman carrying them in self defense if she tries to get an abortion.

  41. rowanvt says

    @Pteryxx: That is very very true. :/ Must be them fluffy pink lady brains getting to me again.

  42. says

    Nerd

    Oh, those few abortions done on viable feti to save the life of the woman? Pretending they are done at the whim of the woman.. Gee, what a humanitarian. Ignores the real human to try to protect a would be human. Not my kind of guy.

    And most importantly, in those cases the woman usually wishes for nothing more than to stay pregnant, or that the fetus will make it outside of her uterus. It’s a fucking tragedy that happens to people with fully furnitured nurseries. A friend of mine needed an emergency surgery at 25 weeks because she suffered from HELLP. The boy lived for a few weeks until they agreed to stop treatment and only give the poor baby morphium so he wasn’t in pain.
    That’s what “late term abortions of viable fetuses” actually look like.

    Travis
    There’s a very simple difference between something being inside of my body and outside of my body. It’s the reason why somebody isn’t being stabbed when the knife is 10 inches away from them but most definetly stabbed when the knife is 2 inches inside of them.

  43. bradleybetts says

    @Chas C Peterson #22

    You’re overthinking it, and you’re doing it on purpose. P-Zed quite obviously intended that to be satire, in the sense that he is claiming to know the will of something which cannot speak and has no sodding will. “That’s what they would have said, if they could talk…”.

  44. Jim Phynn says

    It’s not uncommon, when teenagers and their parents get into an argument, for the teen to say something to the effect of “I didn’t ask to be born!”

    This is very true: none of us asked to be born. Some of us would probably prefer it if we weren’t. BillO must be completely discounting those people when he speaks for their pre-birth selves.

  45. Anri says

    Saying that the cutoff point occurs after the fetus has left the womb seems almost as arbitrary as those who argue that the cutoff point should be when the heart starts beating.

    *sigh*

    Do I have to explain the Post Experiment yet again?

  46. says

    Jim Phynn

    This is very true: none of us asked to be born. Some of us would probably prefer it if we weren’t. BillO must be completely discounting those people when he speaks for their pre-birth selves.

    Very true.
    Since my mother planned to have me, abortion isn’t really the question, but as her child I think she should have damn well solved her own personal problems before having us instead of trying to solve her problems by having us.

    The “what if your mother…” argument is stupid.
    What if my mother had had a headache instead of fucking? What if my dad had been to tired for fucking? What if any of them had had to work that night?
    Well, I wouldn’t be.
    And if she’d had an abortion I wouldn’t be either and I would not be any worse off than in any of the other scenario because I simply wouldn’t be and nobody would miss me.

  47. Ogvorbis says

    I’m legitimately looking for answers, and you guys have given me more to think about.

    Then why (as I read through this thread) have you consistently ignored any idea that doesn’t agree with your thinking?

  48. dianne says

    travis: In most situations in medicine, bodily autonomy trumps everything. Including life. Consider the Shimp vs McFall case which set the precedent that no one is required to donate organs or tissue, even if they preliminarily agreed that they would (i.e. by agreeing to the initial HLA typing) and even if the recipient would die without the donation (no other donors available, fatal illness without transplant.) In fact, donors are specifically counseled in private that they don’t have to go through with it, that a medical excuse can be found if they can’t face the social pressure, etc.

    Additionally, a person can refuse any treatment at any time. Including life saving treatments. Jehovah’s witnesses who are bleeding to death aren’t forced to get blood (pressured, yes; forced, no.) The only exception to this rule is if the person in question is mentally altered in a way that makes it likely that they don’t understand the consequences of their decision and would likely disagree with it if they were in their normal mental state. Even then, the treatments that can be forced are extremely limited-only what will save the person’s life and get them back to their normal mental state (if possible.) If, at that point, they sign a living will saying that they want no further treatment, even if they get back into the life threatening, mind altering state, that’s that. No further treatment.

    So if the fetus is considered a life EQUAL to that of the pregnant woman, the fetus has no right to use the body of the pregnant woman against her will. It can be removed by abortion or by delivery, and, if the rules set in non-pregnancy related cases are followed, first priority should be the desires of the pregnant woman. She is the one whose body is at risk and therefore the one who has the right to make decisions about medical care.

  49. dianne says

    What if my mother had had a headache instead of fucking? What if my dad had been to tired for fucking? What if any of them had had to work that night?

    I’m pretty sure I was conceived right around my sister’s first birthday. What if she’d had too much cake and been fussy that night? I might never have been. GASP! Cake is evil!

    Then there’s my poor little cousin. The poor thing was never born because my aunt evilly remained abstinent and thus never conceived him/her. And s/he’s just as non-existent as if she’d been aborted.

    Even worse, consider the case of an in-law of mine. Her parents met when they were in the resistance in Paris. If the Nazis hadn’t invaded and if they hadn’t had genocide on their mind (forcing both of her parents to hide) her parents would likely never have met, never conceived her, etc. So does that make the holocaust a good thing because it led to her conception? If we follow the anti-choice “logic” (using the word very loosely), I believe it does.

    In short, the “what if your mother could have had an abortion” argument gets very silly very quickly.

  50. says

    I loathe the “what if your mother aborted you?” idiocy. My tour de force post on that very question is lost in the wilds of PharyngulaNatGeo, most likely never to be seen again.

    What if my mother had aborted me? A whole lot of lives would have been better. My mother was pregnant in late 1957 and too scared of dying to get a back alley abortion. So she had me, in spite of the fact that I could not have possibly been less wanted. Not being wanted at all, in any way, is trauma enough for a sprog. It leads nowhere good, believe me. That wasn’t all that happened in my case, though. My life was unrelenting nightmare, filled with abuse. If my mother had obtained an abortion, her life would have been better. As for me? “I” didn’t exist at the time, so it would have been a case of non-existence, which in comparison to what I got, doesn’t sound so bad. Painless.

    I am so damn sick of the magical thinking people indulge in when it comes to abortion. “Oh, but everyone loves a baby!” No, they don’t. “A mother would automagically want her baby once she birthed it!” No, not necessarily. “Isn’t giving it up for adoption better?!” No. Adoption is not a solution to an unwanted pregnancy.

  51. Alex the Pretty Good says

    @ Travis, 37

    [...] but I guess what I’m struggling with is that it doesn’t seem logical to say that it is always okay to kill a fetus, but never okay to kill an infant.

    Actually, it’s only okay to terminate a fetus’ development if it’s done so at the express desire of the mother carrying the fetus. In all other cases, killing a fetus is certainly not okay.

    Saying that the cutoff point occurs after the fetus has left the womb seems almost as arbitrary as those who argue that the cutoff point should be when the heart starts beating.

    As others have mentioned before, focusing on 3rd trimester pregnancies is very disengenious because nearly all 3rd trimester abortions are of wanted pregnancies but had to be done to prevent extreme suffering of the baby and/or save the mother’s life.

    However, if a woman’s bodily autonomy always triumphs over the life of a fetus, it seems reasonable that there could be things which triumph over the life of the infant after it has left the womb, since there is no significant difference between a fully developed fetus and a newborn infant.

    There is a major difference between a fetus and a newborn infant. The fetus depends on the mother for its continuous existence, constantly taxing the mother’s body. A newborn infant is an autonomous individual and can be fed by anybody.

    No significant changes? Hah! “Physiological changes in a newborn child” was one of the most dreaded exam questions in our 2nd year “Physiology” course at the university. (Here’s a short overview)

    If, for whatever reason, it is deemed that the well-being of some adult humans will be greatly improved by killing an infant, should they be allowed to do it? And if not, why?

    That’s a red herring. We’re not talking about the well-being of some vaguely defined “adult humans” … we’re talking about the well-being of one specific human: the woman who is pregnant. And her well-being, her bodily autonomy does indeed supercede that of an invasive life-form if she does not want to.

    It’s as simple as that. How would you like it if any legislator could tell you “Hey, you’ve got the right blood-type. See you Monday at 8:00 in Hospital X. Joe Q Random needs a new kidney.”
    That’s what forced-birthers are saying to every single woman on Earth.

  52. Caveat Imperator says

    I can’t remember who expressed this view on Pharyngula a while back, but I think it’s worth repeating.
    Restricting abortion is not giving the fetus the same rights as an adult. It is giving the fetus more rights than an adult.

  53. Rich Woods says

    @dianne #63:

    I’m pretty sure I was conceived right around my sister’s first birthday. What if she’d had too much cake and been fussy that night? I might never have been. GASP! Cake is evil!

    When I was 11 and was taught about sex and reproduction, I did the calculation and worked out that I must have been conceived right around the time JFK was assassinated. I never asked my Mum or Dad directly, but from what they’ve said of that period of their lives otherwise, I’m very glad they had neither a television nor central heating…

  54. cyberCMDR says

    So Glenn Beck is speaking (or perhaps channeling) for the unborn. Does that mean he has assumed the fetal position?

    The thing about such people is that they practice rhetoric, focusing on pathos as their appeal to others. The idea is to move people emotionally; facts are not required. Plato defined rhetoric as “the persuasion of ignorant masses within the courts and assemblies.” Still true today.

    This approach is very effective for that part of the population that don’t like facts anyway, dismissing fact checkers as having a liberal agenda.

  55. says

    dianne

    Even worse, consider the case of an in-law of mine. Her parents met when they were in the resistance in Paris. If the Nazis hadn’t invaded and if they hadn’t had genocide on their mind (forcing both of her parents to hide) her parents would likely never have met, never conceived her, etc.

    Ha!
    My grandparents first met when my grandfather and his family were in French emigration and my grandmother and her parents visited gran’s sister, who was also in France in emigration. And then they met again when the Vichy-regime sent my grandfather and his family back to Germany and my great-grandparents were arrested for doing something fucking legal in France and grandpa needed a place to stay near his workplace. So, I am the direct result of Nazi-Genocide, too (and that’s only one half of the family…)
    I suppose that about everybody who lives in a country invloved in WWII owes the circumstance of their conception to that mass-slaughter. And surely more people have been born since than died back then, so it’s a net positive!

  56. kayden says

    Funny how O’Reilly can hear talking fetuses but can’t hear poor children/struggling parents who need government assistance. Look at the Republican budget (Paul Ryan’s granny starver) and you wonder why they can’t hear the voices of children after they leave the womb.