Weird, twisted anti-choice poll »« There we go again, jibber-jabbering

Abortion rights are human rights

I’ve tried very hard to see abortion from the perspective of the anti-choicers. The only way I can get even close is by assuming that a fetus is fully, 100% equivalent to a child or adult human being — that there is absolutely nothing to distinguish the fetus from its mother on a moral level. In that case, you could make an argument that the rights and happiness of the fetus deserve consideration — although even in this most optimistic case the best solution you can arrive at is a compromise, not an absolute prohibition of all abortion.

However, the equivalence of mother and fetus is an untenable proposition. A mouse has more complexity and autonomy than a fetus, and we don’t even hesitate when the choice is between the life of a mouse and a human being. We don’t even argue about it. And to argue that a single-celled zygote or even an embryo with a few dozen cells at implantation is anything but a negligible component of any moral equation is utterly absurd. It’s a fantasy of the deeply ignorant, the kind of people who think the babies on Pro-Life Across America billboards are actually accurate representations of the age-specific fetus, to think that there’s something cute, adorable, personable about a self-organizing mass of cells.

So I have to agree, and think the only reasonable conclusion, is reflected in this memorial to Dr George Tiller, the man murdered by an anti-choice fanatic.

Dr. Tiller listened to his patients, he trusted their decisions, and he knew that the people he was helping deserved his ear and his trust. He treated his patients like people (which really shouldn’t be such a radical position but, because of how anti-choicers have shaped the narrative around abortion, it is). He believed that those he helped were more important than the fetus inside of them. That is not a morally-bankrupt position. THAT IS THE MORAL SIDE.

Trusting patients, seeing them as individuals, believing in their abilities to make decisions for their own specific lives: THAT IS THE MORAL SIDE.

Thank you for everything you did, Dr. Tiller. Thank you for everything and everyone you championed. Thank you for risking your life to provide your patients with a safe and legal medical procedure. Thank you for doing so with no regrets, no animosity, no judgement, and no apologies.

You, sir, were a moral man on a moral mission. And I won’t forget it. WE ARE THE MORAL SIDE.

That’s not enough for you? Read the story of Henlek Morgentaler, the man who fought to secure women’s reproductive rights in Canada, and who just recently died.

Or read the stories of doctors who had to deal with the aftermath of illegal abortions.

“The worst, God, I’ll never forget. She was one of our gynecology floor nurses. She’d cared for these girls before and she knew what could happen. She was beautiful, and smart, and kind. One of our best nurses. I was on call when she arrived. She was grey, had a low blood pressure, and a rigid belly. She must have known what that meant as we wheeled her back to the operating room. She was full of pus and so we cleaned her out as best we could. I was the one who called her family. Her father hung up on me.”

He paused and wiped his eyes. “You know Jen, we all took turns sitting with her as she died.”

Oh, hell yes, we are the moral side. Don’t ever forget that when dealing with the amoral side.

Comments

  1. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I’ve tried very hard to see abortion from the perspective of the anti-choicers. The only way I can get even close is by assuming that a fetus is fully, 100% equivalent to a child or adult human being — that there is absolutely nothing to distinguish the fetus from its mother on a moral level. In that case, you could make an argument that the rights and happiness of the fetus deserve consideration — although even in this most optimistic case the best solution you can arrive at

    …is that a fetus has no more right to have a woman forced to donate her uterus for its well-being than a born person has to have her forced to donate her kidney for it’s well being.

    FIFY.

  2. chrisv says

    For a wonderful perspective, read John Irving’s “The Cider House Rules”.

  3. says

    Trusting patients, seeing them as individuals, believing in their abilities to make decisions for their own specific lives

    A million times over, this. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say again, that I am always so very grateful that when I had an abortion, no one cared, in the sense that it was simply not thought to be more than a medical decision made by a woman and carried out by her doctor. (I had mine in 1975.) Back then, no one thought it was anyone else’s business and that was the right way of thinking. If I had been unable to obtain a safe abortion, I would have been one of those women at high risk of dying, because there simply was no circumstance in which I would have been willing to remain pregnant.

  4. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’ve yet so see any anti-choice argument since Roe v. Wade where the woman is considered fully human with bodily integrity. It all comes down to the presupposition that the fetus is more worthy than the woman who carries it. And I just can’t wrap my head around that hypocrisy.

  5. sprocket says

    Dr. Henry Morgentaler was a truly great Canadian. We all need more heroes like him.

  6. llewelly says

    I was raised with an anti-choice perspective.

    I don’t think most of them believe women deserve bodily autonomy.

  7. DBP says

    I’ve been thinking about this question for a while:
    Is it possible to be opposed to abortion rights and/or gay marriage and still be a decent person?

    Personally I come down on the side that those who opposes these rights cannot be good people, but I’m interested in other opinions.

  8. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Is it possible to be opposed to abortion rights and/or gay marriage and still be a decent person?

    No.

  9. says

    Nerd:

    It all comes down to the presupposition that the fetus is more worthy than the woman who carries it.

    A legacy of misogynistic thought and rationale. If you believe that a woman’s purpose is to bear children, such presupposition makes perfect sense. If you believe that women have purpose outside of having children, believe that women do have the right to autonomy, then it makes no sense at all.

  10. markbrown says

    DBP #7

    I like to think so, in that some of these people might just hold the same opinions as their peers, and haven’t put much thought into the issues beyond that. Call me an optimist.

    That said, it’d be hard for me to stay friends with a person who felt that way after reasoned discussion.

  11. unclefrogy says

    I have tried also to put myself in the anti position but it only works a little in the abstract world of thoughts and absolutes and falls apart completely once it is put into the real world of real human life and real women and autonomy.
    If slavery were legal and moral and women had no or very limited rights it might not be to much. Even then why would any man in “position of a good wife” agree with anything that would threaten said wife’s health or life or his control of her, so it even falls apart there. It is only the religious argument that is sustainable because the religious argument does not give a fig about life at all it is primarily concerned with the life after death which they have no proof exists in any case!

    uncle frogy

  12. Eristae says

    “The worst, God, I’ll never forget. She was one of our gynecology floor nurses. She’d cared for these girls before and she knew what could happen. She was beautiful, and smart, and kind. One of our best nurses. I was on call when she arrived. She was grey, had a low blood pressure, and a rigid belly. She must have known what that meant as we wheeled her back to the operating room. She was full of pus and so we cleaned her out as best we could. I was the one who called her family. Her father hung up on me.”

    He paused and wiped his eyes. “You know Jen, we all took turns sitting with her as she died.”

    And it is at this point where my sneer-resistant dam gives out and spews scorn everywhere.

    A sizable portion of the “pro-life” community simply does not care about dead women. A good chunk of them will out and out say it, too. “She deserved it.” “She should have thought about that before she had sex,” “She should have kept her legs shut” . . .

    It’s not about life to these people. It never has been. It’s been about punishing women, degrading them, dehumanizing them. It’s about making them into objects that are to be used towards and end, and if they break on the path to that end, eh.

    These people have my contempt.

  13. says

    DBP:

    Is it possible to be opposed to abortion rights and/or gay marriage and still be a decent person?

    I think you are wielding a very broad brush. I think it’s highly possible (and probable!) that many people who are currently opposed to abortion rights and/or gay marriage are decent people. In my 55 years on the planet, I’ve encountered a good many people who once embraced such opposition and changed their minds and stances. Just because a person may hold such views doesn’t mean they are evil incarnate or incapable of coming to a different point of view.

  14. omnicrom says

    It depends entirely on how you define “Good”. The sad saps who have successfully been made ignorant of the real pro-choice position by the Anti-Choicers are not necessarily “Bad” people in my mind. Those people who really do believe that the Anti-Choice movement is the only thing stopping modern society and Gomorrah are wrong and harmful, but their foolish passivity means I can’t think of them as “Bad”. Those people have my pity and I hope they open their eyes.

    On the other hand our favorite tiresome Thunderdome troll who rolls in every week or so to spew Anti-Choice bile and Bear False Witness is someone I would consider “Bad”. The people promulgating the idea that Pro-choice activists want the right to kill born children indiscriminately are actively harmful, those people I think are bad people.

    Sadly it feels like the ignorant Anti-choicers always fall over into being Bad people when pressed and start lying up a storm. Maybe I’m too kind, but it doesn’t personally sit well with me to presume an Anti-Choicer is a Bad person instead of an ignorant, tribal person. Innocent until proven Douchebag I suppose.

  15. Eristae says

    It all comes down to the presupposition that the fetus is more worthy than the woman who carries it.

    A legacy of misogynistic thought and rationale. If you believe that a woman’s purpose is to bear children, such presupposition makes perfect sense. If you believe that women have purpose outside of having children, believe that women do have the right to autonomy, then it makes no sense at all.

    I’ve been mulling this over in my head a bit in wake the recent spate of Catholic Church induced “No abortions are ever okay” tragedies, and I actually don’t think these people care about the fetus at all. These people aren’t running around making sure that women have access to prenatal healthcare, prenatal vitamins, safe housing, etc etc. A baby dies from spinal bifida after being born to a woman who couldn’t access the necessary amounts of folic acid? Eh. They don’t even care if a woman can bear children; a woman can’t bear children if she’s dead, and they don’t care if they kill a woman in the name of a good as dead fetus.

    Spend a thousand dollars to travel across the nation to protest legal abortion? No amount of money is too much to spend in order to stop the holocaust that is abortion! Spend a thousand dollars to help a woman give birth to a healthy child, a child she wants to bear? Not my responsibility!

    This is about something else, something even more openly hostile then viewing women as possessions or inferiors.

  16. says

    It all comes down to this notion that humans are special because of “souls” – which we supposedly have, though nobody knows what one is or how they work.

  17. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If you believe that women have purpose outside of having children, believe that women do have the right to autonomy, then it makes no sense at all.

    Amen. Which is why when I stepped back and looked at a woman’s life, only a small amount was involved in what I would call “basic child care”; less if she had clued in partner. It doesn’t require a full time hominid of either sex under those conditions.

  18. cactusren says

    Is it possible to be opposed to abortion rights and/or gay marriage and still be a decent person?

    I think that depends on what aspect of one’s life you’re talking about, or how you weight the different aspects of people’s lives. I have several cousins who are completely opposed to abortion and to gay rights. I vehemently disagree with them on these points, and consider them to be bigots in certain respects. But they all care deeply about helping other people–they all have careers in nursing/med tech or health related non-profits. They work hard. They love their kids. They drove over to Moore, OK with clothes and supplies after the tornado. And, related to the abortion issue, one of them has at least put her time/money where her mouth is and adopted two children in need of a home. That doesn’t erase or balance out the fact that they are bigoted towards the LGBTQ community, and don’t think women have bodily autonomy.

    People are complex, and calling someone “decent” or not is a multifaceted thing. Someone can be good in one way, and completely evil in another. I don’t know what to call that aside from complicated.

    On the whole, I wouldn’t say that my complicated cousins are bad people (in the sense of being consciously malicious or unethical). Nor would I call them good people simply because they do some good things. Their religious beliefs cause them to hold amoral views on certain issues, and hold them back from fully thinking through all the ethical considerations involved. Maybe someday I’ll get through to them.

  19. says

    @Eristae – thank you for that comment. I was just sitting here thinking that maybe it’s got to do with the foolish belief in “souls” but your observations rather decisively crushed that idea. Clearly, as you say, it’s political control aimed at 50% of the population.

  20. says

    Eristae:

    This is about something else, something even more openly hostile then viewing women as possessions or inferiors.

    Oh, it’s not about something else, though. It’s about the same old school of thought, literally. Historically, autonomy has always been the special gift of men. It’s women who were tossed into the blissful autonomy of men by gods as the evil who would permanently fuck up that state of bliss men had prior to their arrival. (Whether or not one subscribes to the Eve model or the Pandora model, comes down to the same thing, although the Pandora model is somewhat more honest in that it posits that woman was created with malicious intent by Zeus.)

    Throughout history, the way women have been viewed is most interesting. For the most part, though, women have been viewed as wild, as in wild animals, therefor the strictest of control was required:

    Woman is a violent and uncontrolled animal, and it is no good giving her the reins and expecting her not to kick over the traces. No, you have got to keep the reins firmly in your own hands…Suppose you allow them to acquire or extort one right after another, and in the end to achieve complete equality with men, do you think that you will find them bearable? Nonsense. Once they have achieved equality, they will be your masters…

    Cato the elder, 305 BCE

    As long as women could be tied to what was considered inevitable, pregnancy and childbirth and child rearing, there was the ability to control most women. Women are no longer easily controlled and stomped on by those things, which causes the same fear and anxiety it has always caused. As much as some things have changed, other things have changed very little.

  21. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I think you are wielding a very broad brush. I think it’s highly possible (and probable!) that many people who are currently opposed to abortion rights and/or gay marriage are decent people. In my 55 years on the planet, I’ve encountered a good many people who once embraced such opposition and changed their minds and stances. Just because a person may hold such views doesn’t mean they are evil incarnate or incapable of coming to a different point of view.

    This suggests you’re defining “decent person” as a matter of fundamental essence, rather than operationally.

    Why?

  22. says

    As long as women could be tied to what was considered inevitable, pregnancy and childbirth and child rearing, there was the ability to control most women.

    It sounds almost like a basic “divide and conquer” strategy. If men and women (most of whom, throughout history, by bloody tyrants) can be set in opposition, religion blunts the danger represented by an alliance between mates. If you can teach the men of the tribe that half their children don’t count, and their mates are worthless, you’ve made it that much easier for the tyrant to sell really stupid ideas like wars of conquest or holy wars. Add to that the incestuous and evil partnership between shaman and tyrant in which the shaman ratifies (with divine right of kings) the rule of the tyrant in return for protection under the sheltering wing of the state.. If I’m even a wee bit right about some of what I wrote above, it says that “traditional marriage” is a mighty scam, utterly overshadowing “dulce et decorum est…”

  23. says

    Azkyroth:

    Why?

    I’m not defining “decent person” at all, simply acknowledging that people are capable of changing their viewpoint. Why did you provide a No as your answer? Your answer means that people like Llewelly or Carlie or many others here are not decent people, because at one time they held other views on matters such as abortion.

    I don’t think people are a black and white proposition, and it’s a dicey matter to assign “decency” and “indecency”, after all, there are many people in the world who would happily assign me to the “indecent person” camp, due to my being an atheist, or being bisexual or being pro-abortion, having had an abortion, and so on.

  24. Eristae says

    @Eristae – thank you for that comment. I was just sitting here thinking that maybe it’s got to do with the foolish belief in “souls” but your observations rather decisively crushed that idea. Clearly, as you say, it’s political control aimed at 50% of the population.

    It makes me sad. I used to think it was about viewing fetuses as babies, too. I spent many years discussing abortion with anti-choicers as if this was the case. But what I found was that when you push anti-choicers into a corner, they don’t respond with, “But it’s a baby!” Instead, they respond with “She should have known the risks/she should have kept her legs shut/she should face the consequences of her actions/blah blah blah.”

    “Fetuses are babies” is simply a talking point that they use in public. When they get upset, when they’re under pressure, when they’re challenged and not allowed to claim the moral high ground, things get ugly.

    Example: I was reading the comments section of some article about Savita Halappanavar (the woman who died recently in Ireland because the “pro-lifers” wouldn’t give her an abortion) and–I kid you not–at least one person was going off about how she chose to get pregnant and how she knew the risks. The Catholic Church may like to flutter about with their whole “Good outcomes do not excuse evil actions!” justifications, but when push comes to shove, she made a choice to have sex and knew the risks of being pregnant so if she dies, well, it’s her fault.

    I need to stop reading comments sections.

    Oh, it’s not about something else, though. It’s about the same old school of thought, literally.

    I’m sorry, I think perhaps I wasn’t clear. When I said, “This is about something else,” I meant, “This is about something other than the fetus.”

    And yes, history has not been kind to women. It’s terrible to look at. It’s worse to know that we’re still not past it.

  25. says

    Marcus:

    If I’m even a wee bit right about some of what I wrote above, it says that “traditional marriage” is a mighty scam

    Historically speaking, marriage had little to do with love, and what is now considered to be “traditional” marriage bears small resemblance to marriage of the past. Again, I highly recommend reading Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice, by Jack Holland.

  26. Amphiox says

    I think it’s highly possible (and probable!) that many people who are currently opposed to abortion rights and/or gay marriage are decent people.

    Otherwise decent people perhaps. It is certainly possible for otherwise decent people to hold amoral views on one or more issues, assuming such views constitute a minority of their overall attitudes.

    But on this issue, they would not be decent people. You cannot hold an amoral view on an issue and still qualify as a decent person on that issue.

    I’ve encountered a good many people who once embraced such opposition and changed their minds and stances. Just because a person may hold such views doesn’t mean they are evil incarnate or incapable of coming to a different point of view.

    Then, when they do change their minds, they become decent people on this issue. But until then, they are not decent people on this issue.

  27. says

    Again, I highly recommend reading Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice, by Jack Holland.

    Me too. I read it last week on a long flight and it’s very good.

  28. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Your answer means that people like Llewelly or Carlie or many others here are not decent people, because at one time they held other views on matters such as abortion.

    No, it implies that they were at one point not, but subsequently, became decent people.

    This more or less illustrates my point.

    after all, there are many people in the world who would happily assign me to the “indecent person” camp, due to my being an atheist, or being bisexual or being pro-abortion, having had an abortion, and so on.

    Yes, and there are people whose answer to any math problem you put in front of them will be “ugh, who CARES, four-eyes?! When are we ever gonna use THIS?” That doesn’t mean there isn’t a right answer.

  29. DLC says

    [I suppose I should leave my oar out of these waters but what the fuck. you only go ’round once.]
    Back in the day when I still counted Jesus as one of my Imaginary Friends I spent several hours contemplating the issue, and finally arrived at this conclusion: If the all-knowing all powerful deity wants person X to come into existence then that person will so exist, regardless of abortions. They may have different parents or come to be sooner or later than otherwise, but they will exist and no mere mortal power can stop this. Therefore, if a given woman has an abortion this was meant to happen and so is within God’s plans. {Godbottery Ends Here } Later, after I put childish things like Gods behind me and moved on, I actually stopped thinking about if abortion should be legal or not and just assumed that anyone rational would realize that it’s the woman’s body to do with as she pleases (within some legal limits. )

  30. anchor says

    As long as religion perpetuates the idiotic and pernicious myth that people possess a ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’, the moral abomination of anti-choice will continue to sicken society.

    We cut out cancerous tumors in order to save the life of an individual. To be at all consistent, the ‘right to life’ stance would require us to regard a tumor as having a soul and a right to life.

    If we wish to see humanity live a long and fruitful life into the far future it is imperative we cut the cancer and its cause out of the body of our culture. That is our collective choice and responsibility as members of society.

  31. says

    anchor:

    As long as religion perpetuates the idiotic and pernicious myth that people possess a ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’, the moral abomination of anti-choice will continue to sicken society.

    Except for that pesky fact that not all people who are anti-choice are religious.

  32. anchor says

    Caine: True. Yet a disquieting proportion of the non-religious remain glued to the idea that they possess something like a ‘spirit’.

  33. mythbri says

    PZ has even written about anti-choice atheist groups before. And we’ve certainly seen plenty of commenters here that have made the same anti-choice arguments. Most of those are of the “I’m pro-choice, but” types, but a not-insignificant number are practically indistinguishable from religious anti-choice com enters.

    Hell, there are even so-called “feminist” groups that are anti-choice.

  34. anchor says

    addendum: something lies behind their conviction. Widespread misogyny is also at least partially attributable to that constant inflammation.

  35. sundiver says

    My problem with the anti-choicers is the simple fact that they do not regard women as anything but baby factories. And Caine, some anti-choicers may indeed not be religious; I would not be too surprised if their moral compass was skewed in other ways. Molly Ivins once remarked that one who can’t see the difference between a first trimester fetus and grown woman is incapable of making moral distinctions.

  36. sundiver says

    Anchor, I can’t but wonder if the misogyny to which you refer isn’t to some extant informed by religious “morality”.

  37. mildlymagnificent says

    Historically speaking, marriage had little to do with love, and what is now considered to be “traditional” marriage bears small resemblance to marriage of the past.

    For a different perspective on this issue, I can’t recommend Ferdinand Mount’s The Subversive Family: An Alternative History of Love and Marriage highly enough.

    Like Holland, he’s not a professional historian and he takes obvious pleasure sometimes in coming to conclusions unlike many of the standard works in this area. Occasionally his previous role as editor of the very conservative The Spectator magazine shows through. But it’s a good read and the first chapter is an absolutely blistering indictment of the role of the church in oppressing women and dismissing family life – a better example of the passion of the converted or the recently quit smoker would be hard to find. (He apparently started out with the conventional view that the church was a long term supporter of women and families. The rage and disappointment leaps off the page.)

  38. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Except for that pesky fact that not all people who are anti-choice are religious.

    And that referring to opposing groups as “cancer” has an…unfortunate history…

  39. Akira MacKenzie says

    I’ve tried very hard to see abortion from the perspective of the anti-

    Growing up the anti-choice Catholic side of the issue, I was raised to think “Awwwwww… Look at the cute widdle baby. What kind of monster would want to kill a cute widdle baby?”

    The idea that their was absolutely no difference between a zygote, fetus, or fully developed infant had been drummed into our (i.e. my sister and I) heads since childhood and reinforced with the bloody photos of the alleged results of abortion (on such student-made anti-abortion poster featuring dismembered fetuses hung in our health classroom, and I went to a public school). The desires and rights adult woman, with skills, memories, hopes, and aspiration was eclipsed by the “cute widdle baby.” If a woman was raped, why should the “cute widdle baby” be snuffed out for the father’s crime? If the woman’s life was in danger… Well, it’s sad she has to die, but at least she would be rewarded in heaven for her sacrifice her life so that the “cute widdle baby” would live. The existence of the “cute widdle baby” was all we supposed to think about.

    While I would abandon the ideological upbringing, my sister wouldn’t. It the only reason she still votes Republican and her having children of her own has strengthened her beliefs. One day, when the topic somehow came up, she picked up her infant daughter and quipped “Who would want to abort this beautiful little girl?”

  40. anchor says

    @#37 sundiver: Yes indeed, just so. There is, after all, that constant streak of
    patriarchal divinity pounded incessantly into our culture. It must have an affect.

  41. anchor says

    “Opposing groups as cancer”? No. The cancer is the supernatural basis of the idea an individual or group harbors. Religion promotes and maintains the fester.

  42. Eristae says

    For a different perspective on this issue, I can’t recommend Ferdinand Mount’s The Subversive Family: An Alternative History of Love and Marriage highly enough.

    I’m taking a peek at this book via Amazon (woo previews) and I have really mixed feelings about it. It looks really interesting and I think many of his ideas are novel and have insight that many would prefer to ignore (the hostility of Christianity towards the family) but ho shiznit does he flop of the end of “OMFG, are you kidding me? Citation please!” sometimes (there was a “relative indifference” towards homosexuality in the middle ages? Bwah?).

    It looks like a fascinating read if one is interested on how someone on the other end of the pool can try to work his way through some of these issues. I might see if I can get it through the library or something, but I’d be leery about the factual claims that he’s making.

  43. Jupiter9 says

    cactusren:

    I have several cousins who are completely opposed to abortion and to gay rights. I vehemently disagree with them on these points, and consider them to be bigots in certain respects. But they all care deeply about helping other people–they all have careers in nursing/med tech or health related non-profits. They work hard. They love their kids. They drove over to Moore, OK with clothes and supplies after the tornado. And, related to the abortion issue, one of them has at least put her time/money where her mouth is and adopted two children in need of a home.

    Where did these children come from?

    I ask because infants in good health are very much in demand. Part of the whole forced-birth plan is to have as many births as possible so that all the “right” women whose bodies aren’t cooperating with the whole populate the earth deal can have children of their “own.”

    You hear over and over, how can these women “selfishly” throw away their babies when there are other women crying themselves to sleep every night because they can’t have a child?

    International adoption is an industry catering to this market and there are a lot of lies told to the living relatives of these children (yes, usually these children do have relatives, sometimes even still have one parent) to get them to relinquish them into a system which is nothing like adoption in their home country.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/witw/articles/2013/04/24/kathryn-joyce-s-the-child-catchers-inside-the-shadowy-world-of-adoption-trafficking.html

  44. Eristae says

    Oh, but I did particularly enjoy this passage, for all that I’m not sure about the soundness of its foundations:

    Above all, having children involves planning. Parents have to take thought for the marrow and lay up treasure on earth, not only in the material sense but also in the sense of devoting time and emotion to the upbringing of children. Love, attention, and forethought have to be invested in huge quantities. The Christian message that faith will free us from worry about the future does not fit in with the parental message that it is right to worry, that our children cannot be left to look after themselves.

    The irreducible, ultimate element in religious faith is the insistence that we are created things; male and female He created them; without God we are nothing. And yet, when men and women have children and become parents, they unmistakably become creators, incompetent, accidental and partial creators, no doubt, but creators none the less. It is their inescapable duty, and, with luck, their occasional delight to care and watch over their creations; even if this creative power is partly illusory because chromosomes and chance decide the whole business, parents cannot act as if it is illusory; they cannot sincerely believe in their ultimate helplessness. They must behave like shepherds, however clumsy, and not like sheep, however well trained.

    The Sermon on the Mount is a wonderful, intoxicating sermon. But it is a sermon for bachelors.”

    I love this kind of stuff; the opposite is why I get so pissy at Buddhist men who are all, “Hey! I want to reach enlightenment. To do that, I need to become a monk and separate myself from the world and sever earthly attachments. Bye bye, wife and kids! Have fun trying to take care of yourself.” It is here that I go, “Skreeeeee!” and grow wings and talons.

  45. Ragutis says

    Is it possible to be opposed to abortion rights and/or gay marriage and still be a decent person?

    Sure. One just has to be ignorant of the other side of the issue. Lots of selfless, caring, compassionate people take these positions because their perspective is one-sided, compartmentalized, or poisoned.

    As PZ notes above, morality is on our side: that of the empathetic, the understanding. There are plenty of good people that simply need to be shown how to understand and empathize with the pregnant woman in an unforeseen/unfortunate circumstance or the loving same-sex couple. They have to be shown that their icky feelings or superstitious hang-ups create real tragedy and pain when imposed on others. Hell, they don’t even need to change their personal views on either, just be taught to understand that compelling others to conform to their personal prejudices does real harm.

    However, I’m sure there are plenty that get off on just that. They’re just fucking evil and their flag, their cross, their crescent is more important to them than any human or humanity itself. I just hope that the former, the teachable, outnumber the unreachable, the amoral, the inhuman.

  46. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Azkyroth:

    No, it implies that they were at one point not, but subsequently, became decent people.

    I disagree. My mother is the kindest, most decent person I have ever met. She is all of this despite her religion (she’s Catholic) and her anti-abortion stance.* If her general modesty permitted her to brag about it, she would say it is because of her religion. (Truth be told, the older she has gotten, the more liberal most of her beliefs have become, so I hope she might come round to our side in the abortion debate eventually.)

    *That said, she has never protested in front of any clinic and never will.

  47. mildlymagnificent says

    Oh, but I did particularly enjoy this passage,

    That just follows (or precedes) one of my favourite insights. His criticism of the words attributed to Jesus “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me“.

    You can see that, with his new perspective, he finds this utterly repugnant.

  48. Eristae says

    I ask because infants in good health are very much in demand.

    Oh! I totally want to make a point on this:

    Pro-lifers act like there is some kind of shortage of children in this country. Setting aside for the moment the immorality of forcing a woman to produce a baby for other people to adopt because there is a “shortage” of babies, the simple fact is that there is not a shortage of children; there is a shortage of healthy white infants. Of these three categories, “white” is the one that is most likely to be set aside as not important (hence the explosion of international adoptions) but good luck getting a sick and/or older child adopted. Hell, that’s one of the big reasons people want international adoptions (I want a baby!) but also get nervous about international adoption (but what if they give me a sick kid?!)

    So if a women is pregnant with a fetus that has something like fetal alcohol syndrome or downs syndrome, she’s fucked. She can’t abort because “OMFG eugenics!” But if she places her kid for adoption, that kid will almost certainly get tossed from foster home to foster home and will be more likely to be abused because individuals with disabilities are especially vulnerable.

    For all that some people want to act like babies are products (so many women can’t have babies but want them! You can have a baby but don’t want one, so give it to the first couple!) that the producer doesn’t get paid for (You want MONEY for spending months growing a child in your body for someone else?), they all want to ignore the fact that biology has dictated that women continue popping out “defective” “merchandise.” What happens to this merchandice *cough cough,* I mean these children, *cough cough*? Eh, who cares, right? They weren’t part of the plan, so they can be shuffled off into the night and we don’t need to worry about them. I mean, at least they were born, right? So we did them a favor, even if we don’t care about the actual quality of their lives! Who knows, maybe some Truly Giving family will display their self-sacrificing virtuousness by being willing to take on this Undesirable and Unworth Child . . . but not gay adoptive parents. Letting gays adopt is not good. Of course, if the merchandise is so defective that we can’t even get foster parents to take the kid (The kid has AIDS! AIDS! AIDS! OMFG I’ll catch it from being in the same room as the kid!) THEN we might deign to let the “faggots” pick up what no one else wanted. But only in foster care, not adoption. Letting them adopt would be a blow to the family; simply allowing them to live together with no guarantee of stability is much better. Heck, we all know that Teh Gays are child molesters, right? So much so that they can’t be allowed to adopt kids, even kids that we have given them despite the fact that all gays are Kiddie Rapers, right? Only foster children for those child rapists.

    Okay, my bitter, angry rant went on longer than I thought it would. Sorry about that, and sorry if there are typos. I find that I lack the energy to go back to check. My fury at the adoption industry (the adoption industry, not adoption in and of itself) is pretty intense and this rant took a lot out of me. I’m also sorry if it’s unclear where I was being searingly sarcastic (poe’s law and all that). This is one of my rage buttons, and when it gets pounded on, everything turns red.

  49. Eristae says

    That just follows (or precedes) one of my favourite insights. His criticism of the words attributed to Jesus “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me“.

    You can see that, with his new perspective, he finds this utterly repugnant.

    I think I know what passage you’re referring to:

    If the two alternatives [being a kind and loving member of a family vs being a disciple of Christ] were of equal value, we would expect to find corresponding eulogies of marriage and family in the Gospels.

    There are none. ‘Suffer the little children to come unto ME,’ –not unto their parents–is the message.

  50. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I disagree. My mother is the kindest, most decent person I have ever met. She is all of this despite her religion (she’s Catholic) and her anti-abortion stance.* If her general modesty permitted her to brag about it, she would say it is because of her religion. (Truth be told, the older she has gotten, the more liberal most of her beliefs have become, so I hope she might come round to our side in the abortion debate eventually.)

    *That said, she has never protested in front of any clinic and never will.

    People who personally have Sad Panda feelings about abortion but don’t attempt to infringe the bodily autonomy of pregnant or potentially-pregnant aren’t “anti-choice” for our purposes.

  51. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Err, “pregnant or potentially-pregnant women”

    On an unrelated note, holy shit Old Viscosity is good O.o

  52. Eristae says

    People who personally have Sad Panda feelings about abortion but don’t attempt to infringe the bodily autonomy of pregnant or potentially-pregnant aren’t “anti-choice” for our purposes.

    ^This. I have absolutely no desire to go after people who don’t like abortion but aren’t going to be hurtful about. Abortion makes you* sad and that’s the end of it? We’re good. You would never have an abortion yourself? We’re still good. You want to offer truthful, helpful, and non-judgement assistance to women who want to continue their pregnancy but can’t due to lack of support? We’re golden; after all, being “pro-choice” means being able to continue the pregnancy if you want, not just the right to end it. You start throwing up legal barriers, lying, making either cover or overt threats, and/or publicly shame women? We’re no longer good.

    Ultimately (to me at least), it’s not about what someone believes in the privacy of their own head. It’s about the actions that they take due to those beliefs.

    And now it’s time for bed for me. Yaaaaaaaawn.

    *”You” being non-specific and not being meant to refer to anyone in particular.

  53. consciousness razor says

    People who personally have Sad Panda feelings about abortion but don’t attempt to infringe the bodily autonomy of pregnant or potentially-pregnant [women] aren’t “anti-choice” for our purposes.

    What’s an “attempt to infringe”? If they vote Republican, because they haven’t thought about the issue beyond accepting the bullshit they’ve been indoctrinated with, isn’t the end result the same for our purposes? They’re not “pro-choice,” and if they share some responsibility for what their representatives do, they are to that extent “anti-choice.” They don’t have to personally go out and stop abortions, or be adamantly opposed to every last bit of mildly pro-choice legislation they ever hear about, or else the definition just keeps being deflated to mean nothing at all. It stops referring to the vast majority of people who actually give the anti-choice side its weight.

  54. Ragutis says

    Searched with no luck. Anyone that can point me to numbers of children available for adoption in the U.S.? I keep coming up with #’s for those that have been adopted..

  55. consciousness razor says

    You start throwing up legal barriers, lying, making either cover or overt threats, and/or publicly shame women? We’re no longer good.

    But that’s exactly where this started: whether or not someone who is “opposed to abortion rights” can be “a decent person.” It wasn’t simply if you personally don’t like abortion, but if you oppose rights. And that can be based on ignorance (delusion, etc.), not simply malice or indecency.

  56. coldthinker says

    For all practical purposes, I am very much pro-choice, since I accept that I have no right to decide what any given woman does with her body, whatever the situation. My respect for female bodily autonomy is perhaps even emphasized because I am male, so I consider myself having less insight on the matter than women. Furthermore, however pro-life one wishes to be, there are millions of innocent fully developed sentient human lives being destroyed on this planet every day, so any decent person should help them first before worrying about insentient fetuses.

    I also live in a country, where abortion is not a political issue. The first medical routine question for any pregnant woman is whether she has decided to keep the baby. And after that, the system pretty efficiently takes care that her wishes are met whatever they are. The future father’s opinion is not asked at this point, and I think that’s the way it should be.

    However, I actually do find it easy to sympathize with some of the ethical thinking of the more moderate “pro-life”/anti-choice people, as long as they keep religion out of it.

    The idea is that the fetus, if healthy, is developing into a human child. And an abortion will end this future life, which otherwise would come to be. Of course the woman’s life should be prioritized and her choice should be accepted. But I do think it is not ethically a black-and-white issue.

    After a successful conception, the embryo starts developing into a fetus and eventually into a human being. To put it into a crude scale, it is developing from a 0% human into a newborn baby, a 100% human being (Peter Singer wouldn’t say that about a newborn, but legally it surely is so).

    So, in my view, it is a grey area. An abortion means ending some percentage of a human life. My ethics do find it acceptable to a point, but much less morally palatable later on during the pregnancy, unless there is a danger to the mother of course.

    I have never encountered this situation personally and probably never will at my age, but if a woman were pregnant by me, I would probably try to persuade her not to have an abortion, even if that were her initial choice. I would eventually accept her choice whatever it is, but probably it would be a deal-breaker in the future relationship.

    I would welcome opposing arguments, my mind is not set on this issue.

  57. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    I have never encountered this situation personally and probably never will at my age, but if a woman were pregnant by me, I would probably try to persuade her not to have an abortion, even if that were her initial choice. I would eventually accept her choice whatever it is, but probably it would be a deal-breaker in the future relationship.

    You don’t mention asking her why she wants the abortion before trying to persuade her not to do it, you are just against it no matter what. That doesn’t seem like a very compassionate or loving position to have towards one’s partner.

  58. consciousness razor says

    So, in my view, it is a grey area. An abortion means ending some percentage of a human life. My ethics do find it acceptable to a point, but much less morally palatable later on during the pregnancy, unless there is a danger to the mother of course.

    I have never encountered this situation personally and probably never will at my age, but if a woman were pregnant by me, I would probably try to persuade her not to have an abortion, even if that were her initial choice. I would eventually accept her choice whatever it is, but probably it would be a deal-breaker in the future relationship.

    You’re not saying anything about an ethical “grey area.” If you accept her choice, you accept there is no ethical basis for denying her that choice, legally or otherwise.

    If you end the relationship after that, it’s your problem and it’s about your expectations in a relationship. (I would ask you what kind of “deal” you think would be broken, but I don’t really care.) It has nothing to do with whether or not she should have the choice of an abortion, which is the ethical issue.

  59. coldthinker says

    Beatrice,

    You don’t mention asking her why she wants the abortion before trying to persuade her not to do it, you are just against it no matter what. That doesn’t seem like a very compassionate or loving position to have towards one’s partner.

    The act of persuasion here obviously includes a meaningful conversation, which obviously entails listening to the other person’s side on the issue. I didn’t think it necessary to mention all such twists and turns in such a situation.

    My character, being loving or compassionate isn’t really the issue here. It is my human responsibility to help and respect other people, but it is not my responsibility to love them forever in form of a sexual relationship. In this case, the relationship I would have initially seeked would have been someone to also have children with. Not wishing to have children with me would amount to a deal-breaker. Perhaps something like “not loving me the way I wish to be loved”. Needless to say, she would have the freedom to walk away for similar reasons.

  60. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    The act of persuasion here obviously includes a meaningful conversation, which obviously entails listening to the other person’s side on the issue. I didn’t think it necessary to mention all such twists and turns in such a situation.

    But it’s the act of persuasion, not a conversation about her desires before you decide whether you are going to try to persuade her or not. Your mind is already made, you are just trying tactics to change hers.
    That’s not good.

    My character, being loving or compassionate isn’t really the issue here.

    If you claim that you would be against your girlfriend’s abortion without even trying to hear her reasons, that has implications against your character.

    It is my human responsibility to help and respect other people, but it is not my responsibility to love them forever in form of a sexual relationship.

    Of course you are not obliged to love her forever, but it is rather telling that you have a relationship where you aren’t even interesting in your partner’s reasons for doing something before you condemn it.

    Not wishing to have children with me would amount to a deal-breaker.

    That’s fine, that’s a perfectly valid reasons to end a relationship.
    It’s not a valid reason to want to convince a woman who doesn’t want children (with you or ever) to have one. That sounds more like a recipe for a partner who resents you convincing her to commit herself to something she didn’t want, and future custody battles.

    What I’m saying is, that’s one hell of an unhealthy relationship you are suggesting.

  61. unclefrogy says

    I am not sure I believe it that there are anti-choice people who are none believers.
    none of the ones I remember here completely convinced me they did not base their objections on very none rational beliefs about fetuses/babies.
    hold overs from religious training and the religious sentiment that pervades American and western culture.
    while not believing in gods or attending church is one thing basing your thoughts on similar roots and drawing the same conclusions is another.
    if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…………….

    uncle frogy

  62. coldthinker says

    C razor,

    I mostly agree with you. Legally, I would not trespass on nor limit her rights to the autonomy of her body. If I were pregnant myself, it would enrage me if someone tried to tell me what I should do with my own body.

    My “grey area” is about consequentialist ethics, about how to answer if my daughter or my female friends come to me asking for an opinion. As they sometimes do. The broad “just do whatever you feel is best” isn’t going to cut it. Having the right to do something and feeling all good about it afterwards are not the same thing. Most of the friends who have had an abortion, are perfectly fine with it, which is nice. Some of them still sometimes think, what would have become of the possible child. Somehow saying “come on, it was just a bunch of cells” doesn’t feel right.

    My thoughs about my personal relationships were there just to shed some light on my emotional side of the issue, and of course had nothing to do with the general ethics of it.

  63. microraptor says

    I’ve tried to see abortion from the perspective of the anti-choicers… but I can’t fit my head that far up my ass.

  64. imthegenieicandoanything says

    Like many issues over the last thirty years, it’s become horribly clear to me that the opposition to abortion rights is entirely irrational and almost always flatly, openly inhumane. Their BEST basic position is one where their vague disappointment about some unknown stranger’s decision trumps that person’s right to live their on life. The worst is that their own imagined purity and righteousness is worth the lives of everyone on earth, and perhaps all alien life as well – just ‘cos!

    I’ll treat the issue as debatable when every single person on the other side doesn’t turn into a blithering, mean-spirited lying monster as soon as debate begins.

    ALL “conservatives” now are stupid, ignorant, insane and/or evil.

  65. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Oy, Coldthinker, what if it’s not an issue of wanting or not wanting kids? What if you and her already HAD kids and she would absolutely NOT consent to parenting another? Or what if she just doesn’t want kids RIGHT NOW, at the time of the pregnancy, maybe before she finishes her degree or achieved what she wanted?

    My husband use to take that hard-line “If you have an abortion, I’ll leave you” shit. I still married him because, hey, I do want kids. Right? I’d never need an abortion!

    Right?

    We had three kids, he lost his job, we were in poverty, and then I got pregnant again. His attitude he took before our marriage, the only time we talked about it, almost destroyed our marriage, because he never told me AFTER we had the kids that his views changed. I almost committed suicide because of thoughtless, selfish positions like yours.

    So congratulations. No matter how much you may protest, it DOES reflect upon your character that you had decided that any girlfriend/wife of yours who considers an abortion is WRONG and needs to be persuaded to bear the child.

    God damn it, how would the kid feel if it comes out in 10 or 20 years that you had to “persuade” its mother to risk her body and give up 20 years of her life to raise it? Do you think that that fact, of having been “persuaded” instead of choosing motherhood freely, wouldn’t reflect in her interactions with the kid, no matter how much she may try to hide it or avoid letting it affect the kid?

    I am that kid and I fucking promise you: I would rather never have been born in the first place (see my note earlier re: almost committing suicide).

  66. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Gen,
    *hugs*
    I’m so sorry about what you went through.

  67. =8)-DX says

    Is it possible to be opposed to abortion rights and/or gay marriage and still be a decent person?

    Definitely. I’d however add the caveat: “except in circumstances where one is in direct contact with a pregnant woman (whether or not she wants the baby) or LGBTQ people, or able to influence SSM with ones vote, if one acts out on that opposition.”

    In those cases people say harmful things, pressure women just by their opinion and make LGBTQ people feel unwelcome I guess.

    But then I don’t think “decent person” means “never hurting anyone ever and never doing anything wrong”. Many people with these opinions just don’t express them in actual life unless asked and I guess don’t cause much harm.

  68. carlie says

    Is it possible to be opposed to abortion rights and/or gay marriage and still be a decent person?

    I think there are some comparisons here to accidental atheism v. considered atheism, which we’ve talked about a lot before. There is a difference in holding an opinion because you haven’t thought about it or don’t know all the facts v. coming to a conclusion after doing a great deal of research on it. My views changed as I learned more about all of the reasons abortions need to be performed, the variety of life situations people find themselves in, the philosophical and logical arguments about autonomy and the ways we entrench autonomy in all areas but this one, the history of women as objects rather than sentient beings, etc. I can easily think of an abortion opponent as a “decent person” (which itself is a vague term) if they are in opposition just because they’ve taken in the line fed to them and haven’t learned anything about it; however, if that person has really looked at all of that and still come to that conclusion, I wouldn’t think of them as decent at all. And from the other side, I’d be more likely to think of someone as “decent” if they are against abortion but hold women in high regard otherwise than someone who is pro-choice but because they think women always trick men into child support by getting pregnant so there ought to be a way around that, or because they think women are shit and don’t matter enough to bother with legislating about, etc. That person is not a decent person even though they hold a good viewk because it’s for an awful reason. I think the initial question itself might need to be split up – the results of a person’s actions can be a lot more indecent than the person’s beliefs and motivation in the first place, and it’s not easy to draw a straight causal line all of the time.

  69. Eristae says

    While I would abandon the ideological upbringing, my sister wouldn’t. It the only reason she still votes Republican and her having children of her own has strengthened her beliefs. One day, when the topic somehow came up, she picked up her infant daughter and quipped “Who would want to abort this beautiful little girl?”

    I find this mentality to be teeth grounding irritating.

    My mother had me when she was 39 years old. She’d hadn’t planned to have children for most of her life, but she changed her mind. After having me for a while, she decided to have another baby. Despite all of the “ack, ack, you’re too old!” freaking out that some people must have done, she went and got herself pregnant a second time.

    Only this time something was wrong with the fetus, something really wrong. The doctors conclused that the fetus had spinal bifida so badly that the fluid that should have been forming its service system had leaking out the back of the neck.

    The condition was fatal. Not living child could come from that pregnancy. I won’t go into more details than that unless there is someone who has specific questions (I’m drugged out on anti-anxiety pills and am not making as much sense as I might like), but suffice to say that she had an abortion. I don’t know exactly how far along the pregnancy was, but it was early, like maybe three months. However, my mother was not terribly effected by this loss (she’s told me this repeatedly, and we both agree that I mourn the fetus more than she does), and she soon decided to try again. The third time around there was nothing wrong with the pregnancy and my sister was born.

    The striking point to this story is the fact that my mother’s second pregnancy (the one after me) would have lasted past the beginning of her third pregnancy (the one that resulted in my sister). To stress this, my sister could never have been conceived if my mothers failed pregnancy had continued because my mother’s pregnancy would have lasted past the time of her conception.

    So you get all these people who are eager to get children to be angry at their mothers for having abortions, ad I want to reach out, shake the anti-choicers and scream, “You want to talk about my “missing siblings” that my mother supposedly killed and thus deprived me of? Well, guess what: if you had your way, my sister would ever have been born.” You’re not just asking me to morn this anonymous, blog of cells at the expense of my living sister? You want me to say that it would be better if she’d never been born?

    No. I will not have that. My sister exists today because my mother had modern medical care that granted her the legal right to abortion. She didn’t have idiots running around making laws that insisted that cows naturally expelled non-viable fetuses, so why couldn’t she? No, she lived in a world that was at least marginally sane (I say marginally because she was an upper-middle class, educated, white woman who had privileges that others would not), a world that let her the pregnancy before the fetus went gangrene on her.

    There are countless people who are born each day. We have to make decisions about who will be born and who will not. Are we going to force women to give birth to children that they don’t want, that they can’t take care of, and that may very well have serious health issues? Or are we going to allow them to pick the time and situation in which they have babies?

    The answer to me is clear.

    Once again: I’ll include a warning that I’m drugged out and exhausted and may not be making as much sense as I would like.

  70. says

    Nobody WANTS abortions. It’s not that simple. If you’ll look around, I think you’ll find that the value of human life is NOT absolute. As a whole, we willingly kill: enemy combatants, death-row prisoners, brain-dead patients, dangerous despots, armed attackers and yes, unwanted fetuses (if you consider them human).

    We need to acknowledge that ideals of “should be” are, by definition, NOT the reality of “what is”. There should be no wars, vicious criminals, terminal disease, dangerous despots and unwanted fetuses. But the reality is: there are.

    When it comes to abortion, I believe the U.S. Supreme Court has struck a reasonable balance between the opposing camps. The “dividing line” is fetal viability. Other criteria may be debatable but most of us can agree that intentional killing of a viable fetus is murder. Of course there are those who would disagree with ANY prohibition on abortion but how can a democracy acknowledge only them but not the rest of us?

    It’s an imperfect world. You can’t please everybody. The pro-lifers lost: big time. Women have plenty of time to receive abortions, if desired. Fortunately, late-term abortions are rare. My personal opinion is that the courts have gotten it right: fetal viability is a reasonable criteria for prohibiting abortions.

  71. carlie says

    Women have plenty of time to receive abortions, if desired.

    No, they absolutely don’t. In many states, 20 weeks is the absolute limit. That’s at 4-5 months. Many women do not even realize they are pregnant until three months – if a woman’s periods are irregular, the first missed one is not even noticed, the second one possibly a “hm, that’s a bit concerning…”, and not until the third one does she find out what’s actually happening. At that point there is a maximum of 8 weeks left. Then she has to find a provider. 87% of women do not have an abortion provider in their own county. At least three states have only one abortion provider in the entire state. After she finds a provider, she has to get an appointment – with so few providers, getting one on short notice is difficult. On top of that, 26 states have a waiting period of 24-72 hours, meaning two appointments on different days.

    She also has to be able to work that in with her work schedule, and be able to take that much time off without getting fired. That’s at least a half a day for each appointment, more if she has to travel far to get there. And that doesn’t even bring in the cost – she has to have the money for the visit, be able to afford to take the time off of work (as most jobs are without pay for sick leave), if it’s far away she has to be able to afford to get there and to stay overnight for the waiting period restriction and then probably overnight again for recuperation after. Many people don’t have credit cards, so have to somehow gather that money together before they can get to the appointment.

    And we’re still talking about an 8 week window max. 8 weeks in which to somehow get a few hundred extra dollars, get the appointments, get the time off of work, get child care for her other kids if she has them, and spend a few days getting it all done.

    And you think that’s plenty of time?

  72. says

    8 weeks? Well . . . yeah. And scraping up the money? Planned Parenthood states that “a variety of low and no-cost programs to ensure you are able to receive the health care you deserve”.

  73. consciousness razor says

    And you think that’s plenty of time?

    Well, you know, getting an abortion is like waging a war, committing a violent crime, spreading a terminal disease, or being a despot. Nobody WANTS that. (By that, I simply mean jimashby doesn’t WANT that.)

    So, we have to strike a balance somehow.

  74. coldthinker says

    Gen, Uppity Ingrate,

    I’m sorry about your ordeal. I thought I made it clear I have no absolute opinion on this matter. In a situation you describe, I surely would not oppose an abortion. If you’ve both had kids, even from my selfish point of view, it would not be a marital deal breaker.

    I sympathize with you even more as I realize how very different our situations are. Here we have free abortions, as well as free hospitals, medical supervision, child support and start-up packages for parents, practically free kindergartens and reasonably long paid maternity and paternity leaves. So an abortion is seldom a drastic financial issue and I’ve never heard the right to have an abortion being questioned. It’s usually more about weighing your studies, career plans etc against the burden of parenthood.

    In my own case, I had wanted a child of my own for a long, long time, but didn’t find the right woman, who’d want the same things at the same time as me. Then again, in my youth, one girlfriend actually dumped me because it was me who didn’t want a child at that time. So the love affair ended, but we remained friends. Fair enough. But I think I have also the right to end a relationship that isn’t going where I wish it to go.

    My point has been the idea that an abortion is a human right, but it is not a desirable thing to do. Perhaps unlike PZ in his Op, I see this as a grey area. I do think that the fetus, at certain later stage of the pregnancy, does have some rights to life, although they should not outweigh the rights of the mother.

    So I emphasize that I’m not questioning anyone’s rights to abortion. I’m looking for intellectual tools for how to react, if such a situation touched me personally in the future, eg. if my daughter one day asked me for advice. We both cry over the mice we have to kill in our cellar, even if we think it’s our ethical right to do so. I wish to anticipate and help her future feelings in more serious matters too, if things come to that.

  75. says

    I spent some of my yesterday tangling on Twitter with some anti-choicers who were taking exception to a bunch of liberals mucking up their #exposePP hashtag with facts and shit, and I noticed a trend that now makes me say “Duh”

    Not only do these people have serious moral issues with sex (i.e. it should only happen if you want kids. Period. That’s all) and/or assume any woman supporting abortion is some kind of immoral slut (some backed off when I told them I was partnered, but boy does that not matter), they don’t want a single thin dime of theirs to go towards caring for any of these babies they want to force women to have. They really are all about punishing women for having sex they don’t approve of. They also don’t seem to give a fuck about kids already wasting away in foster care that weren’t cute enough to be snatched up at birth.

    And WE’RE the monsters?

  76. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Perhaps unlike PZ in his Op, I see this as a grey area.

    So you have told us repeatedly. You are entitled to your opinion, just as I am entitled to my opinion you over mental wank the problem that is black and white. It isn’t your body, you don’t make the decision, nor should you attempt to influence the decision. End of story.

  77. says

    I think it germane to note that no law is perfect. Criminals sometimes get away with crimes. Innocents sometimes are wrongly convicted. The legal concern of abortion is, of course, murder. When does (if at all) abortion cross into murder. I agree with the courts: the dividing line is and should be fetal viability.

    Taking all this into consideration, then choosing and completing an abortion by the 19th or 20th week of pregnancy is ample time to comply with the law. Once again, nobody says it’s perfect, so I have no problem with judges making exceptions for extenuating circumstances. The elasticity of the law should allow for judges to decide exceptional cases.

  78. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says

    Perhaps unlike PZ in his Op, I see this as a grey area.

    You think that human rights, the right to bodily autonomy, is a grey area? How sad.

  79. carlie says

    And scraping up the money? Planned Parenthood states that “a variety of low and no-cost programs to ensure you are able to receive the health care you deserve”.

    And there has been a concerted effort to defund and shut down Planned Parenthood for several years now. There are only two locations now in Louisiana and only one in Mississippi, for instance. And it’s not just the cost of the procedure, it’s the cost of time off of work, and transportation, and overnight accommodations if necessary, and child care if necessary.

    That gets at the point I was trying to make in my earlier comment. Sure, a decent person could easily say that a 20 week limit sounds reasonable – if they make an awful lot of assumptions. If they think that women know they’re pregnant as soon as it happens. If they think all women have job security and can just take time off whenever they want to. If they think all women can just call up their neighborhood doctor and make a same-day appointment for an abortion. If they think all women have reliable transportation to wherever they want to go. If they think all women have a good social support network and someone to drive them home after. Sure, that sounds reasonable. It just isn’t true. It’s the people who know it isn’t true and still think it’s reasonable who I have a problem with.

  80. says

    8 weeks? Well . . . yeah. And scraping up the money? Planned Parenthood states that “a variety of low and no-cost programs to ensure you are able to receive the health care you deserve”.

    Please don’t do this. That doesn’t automatically mean “free”, and there’s always the chance the woman might not be eligible for those programs, or not have enough money on hand to cover the “low” negotiated price, and more often than not, won’t know what that is until she gets there.

  81. consciousness razor says

    8 weeks? Well . . . yeah. And scraping up the money? Planned Parenthood states that “a variety of low and no-cost programs to ensure you are able to receive the health care you deserve”.

    Like carlie said, paying for the abortion isn’t the only cost. Assuming you can keep your job after losing a day or two or more of work…. Here’s a map showing the distances to the nearest provider, which you can see thins out even more depending on how late it is in the pregnancy. Having to travel several hundred miles (assuming you even have transportation) isn’t free. Nobody should be satisfied with this.

  82. carlie says

    Once again, nobody says it’s perfect, so I have no problem with judges making exceptions for extenuating circumstances. The elasticity of the law should allow for judges to decide exceptional cases.

    Because if there’s anything that works quickly and efficiently in the way that such a time-constrained situation as pregnancy requires, it’s the legal system. *eyeroll*

  83. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    I wish to anticipate and help her future feelings in more serious matters too, if things come to that.

    Hopefully not while you’re trying to persuade her not to have an abortion.

  84. carlie says

    Thanks for that link, consciousness razor! I was looking for something like that.

  85. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says

    8 weeks? Well . . . yeah. And scraping up the money? Planned Parenthood states that “a variety of low and no-cost programs to ensure you are able to receive the health care you deserve”.

    The actual medical procedure is only part of it. Some women have to travel hundreds of miles just to get to a clinic (and the theoGOP is working as hard as they can to shut down even more through illegal bills of attainder). Transportation, food, lodging, all cost money. It costs about 50 cents a mile to operated a car (fuel, maintenance, insurance, depreciation) to a 500 mile roundtrip costs $250 right off the top. Lodging is usually in the $50 to $150 range. Food for two days in restaurants? Add another $25 minimum. So, right there, you have $325 or more. Which, at various points in Wife and I’s life, would have been an insurmountable financial obstacle.

  86. consciousness razor says

    Once again, nobody says it’s perfect, so I have no problem with judges making exceptions for extenuating circumstances. The elasticity of the law should allow for judges to decide exceptional cases.

    What the fuck makes you think women should be taken to court for this in the first place? We need better health services for women, period, not some ignorant jackass’s opinion about how many fucking legal hoops women should have to jump through, in the hope that some equally ignorant jackass of a judge gives a fuck about their “exceptional circumstances.”

  87. says

    Okay, what’s getting my goat right now is the supposed “logic” coming from people who will never have to endure the choice of continuing a pregnancy or choosing an abortion, i.e. those lacking a uterus.

    Of course a 20 week time frame sounds reasonable to you, or letting judges ruminate and decide on whether this abortion is okay for this particular woman. I mean, it’s just a pregnancy, right? No big deal, that’s nothing, right? Nothing dangerous or life alerting about that. What are we silly ladies fretting about?

    Please get several clues.

    (and for the record, getting an abortion ain’t exactly a picnic either. It’s less dangerous than a pregnancy, but still no picnic)

  88. says

    @consciousness razor,

    You asked: “What the fuck makes you think women should be taken to court for this in the first place?”

    I don’t.

    I think that women should be able to appeal to the court when extenuating circumstances prevent them from complying with the law. The judge, at that time, can rule on any remedy he deems necessary.

  89. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says

    Once again, nobody says it’s perfect, so I have no problem with judges making exceptions for extenuating circumstances. The elasticity of the law should allow for judges to decide exceptional cases.

    Yeah. Look how well that worked in El Salvador.

  90. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Americans and taking everyone to court for everything. *shakes head*
    Seriously, if a law sucks so hard people have to bring cases to the court all the damn time because the law is infringing on their basic rights , then something is wrong with the law.

  91. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says

    I think that women should be able to appeal to the court when extenuating circumstances prevent them from complying with the law. The judge, at that time, can rule on any remedy he deems necessary.

    Yeah. that really worked well El Salvador. The supreme court condemned her to death rather than allow her to abort her pregnancy — a non-viable foetus.

  92. consciousness razor says

    You asked: “What the fuck makes you think women should be taken to court for this in the first place?”

    I don’t.

    So you think the laws should be changed, so that courts (and their expenses) don’t enter the picture at all?

    I think that women should be able to appeal to the court when extenuating circumstances prevent them from complying with the law. The judge, at that time, can rule on any remedy he deems necessary.

    *facepalm*

  93. says

    Taking all this into consideration, then choosing and completing an abortion by the 19th or 20th week of pregnancy is ample time to comply with the law.

    Needing a abortion after the 20th week is ALL the extenuating circumstances a woman needs. Also, late term abortions aren’t exactly done for the hell of it. In those cases, it’s usually a matter of a mother’s health and the longer it takes judges to wank about the “rightness” of it, the more difficult it is for the woman.

  94. says

    I agree with the law, on abortion, and want to see every reasonable measure taken to accommodate special cases. I know that infuriates some of you because it stops short of allowing late-term abortions but that’s a given with such a controversial topic. We’ll have to agree to disagree.

    It should be noted that (as far as I know) fetal viability is the litmus test for abortion in ALL countries that allow abortion. You may disagree with ANY litmus test. But you’re not going to have your way any time soon.

  95. says

    Oops . . . it occurs to me that China may not have any prohibition against late-term abortion. I’ll have to research that one.

  96. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It should be noted that (as far as I know) fetal viability is the litmus test for abortion in ALL countries that allow abortion. You may disagree with ANY litmus test. But you’re not going to have your way any time soon.

    Why should the government be allowed to degrade the human status of its women? It shouldn’t. You haven’t shown otherwise, and the way it is, is no reason to keep it that way. Step aside and let those who want progress get one with it. You are part of the problem, since you aren’t part of the solution.

  97. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says

    jimashby:

    Down in El Salvador, a woman is pregnant. The foetus is anencephalic. The foetus is completely and totally non-viable. The woman is severely ill. The pregnancy may kill her. Probably will kill her. She took it to court, all the way to the supreme court of El Salvador. And the court said no. This was about as perfect a set of ‘extenuating circumstance’ anyone could want. And the court said no. Think on that. The court condemned her to death — a horrible and painful death. If all abortions after x weeks are against the law in the US, as you seem to desire, and a woman has ‘extenuating circumstances,’ you are willing to guarantee that a judge appointed by a social fundamentalist governor in, say, Georgia, or Alabama, or the Dakotas, or any of the other states in which the prevailing majority view is that women are breeding vessels and not full humans, will not condemn her to death?

  98. says

    According to Wikipedia:

    Some countries, like Canada, China (Mainland only) and Vietnam have no legal limit on when an abortion can be performed.

  99. consciousness razor says

    I agree with the law, on abortion,

    Which laws? As long as it’s The Law™, you obviously don’t need to think about it any more after that.

    It should be noted that (as far as I know) fetal viability is the litmus test for abortion in ALL countries that allow abortion. You may disagree with ANY litmus test.

    20 weeks sure as shit isn’t the same thing as fetal viability. Can you count?

    But you’re not going to have your way any time soon.

    And you already get your way by being an ignorant, uncaring dipshit, who’s satisfied with The Law™, whatever the hell it might say, because as you’ve made abundantly clear don’t want people having abortions in the first place. Congratulations.

  100. carlie says

    I think that women should be able to appeal to the court when extenuating circumstances prevent them from complying with the law. The judge, at that time, can rule on any remedy he deems necessary.

    Notice that the judge in your mind is a “he”. Just sayin’.

    How long do you think a court appeal takes? It’s usually at least 4-6 weeks before a case can come before a judge at all. And what amount of paperwork and cost do you think is involved? Even if she doesn’t choose to use a lawyer, there are filing fees, and that’s another day off of work. You honestly don’t seem to understand what is involved in such things. Again, she can’t just call up her friendly neighborhood judge and ask for a same-day hearing.

  101. says

    @ Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom!

    Do you suggest we have no laws if they can’t be perfectly enforced?

    Like I said, nobody said it’s perfect. Injustice will be done. No question about it. But that doesn’t mean we simply do away with the law. The law has decided that killing a viable fetus is (tantamount to) murder. I agree. On the scales of justice, I believe the law on abortion is necessary. Murder trumps most other concerns. The law may create some difficulties for some people but these special cases can be individually evaluated and ruled upon. If injustice still results anyway, that is indeed tragic but not as tragic as allowing the murder of viable fetuses as a matter of course. I consider that MORE immoral. I know many of you disagree. I can’t do anything about that.

  102. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Again, she can’t just call up her friendly neighborhood judge and ask for a same-day hearing.

    I’m always amazed at the naivety of the forced birth thinking. Total presuppositional thinking. No basis in reality.

  103. consciousness razor says

    Again, she can’t just call up her friendly neighborhood judge and ask for a same-day hearing.

    I really don’t get it.

    Does jimashby expect women (and clinics) to break the law so they can get an abortion as early as possible? Or does he expect them to go through some legal process first, so a judge gets to decide the case (while relying testimony from medical experts, presumably… but what happened to the doctors in the clinic?), which will either mean having an abortion much later than it would be otherwise or forcing someone to have the pregnancy anyway?

    And then what happens if they break the law? They’re charged with murder?

  104. markbrown says

    I would like to know, jimashby, why you believe it is any business of yours – or the courts, or the government – what a woman does to her own body? Exactly what are you trying to achieve by interfering in a decision that should rightly only be between a woman and her doctor?

  105. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The law has decided that killing a viable fetus is (tantamount to) murder. I agree.

    It isn’t your body, your opinion on this is irrelevant. What part of that don’t you understand? Oh, the part were you can’t forcibly degrade a woman to walking uterus status for the fetus you consider a baby. Which it is legally only after the fetus is born and given a certificate by the state. Checkmate.

  106. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says

    Like I said, nobody said it’s perfect. Injustice will be done

    Setting up a law in such way that gaurantees that it will kill innocent people is evil. But, they are just women, right? So why should you care?

    Why should a judge get to decide is an adult human being has the right to bodily autonomy? Why should you get to tell another human being what they can, or cannot, do with something that is inside her body?

    Keep writing. You are showing your evil side more and more.

  107. carlie says

    If injustice still results anyway, that is indeed tragic but not as tragic as allowing the murder of viable fetuses as a matter of course.

    That “injustice” would be allowing the deaths of women as a matter of course. Not as tragic?

    And why is the word of a judge whether a specific abortion should be allowed better than the word of the doctor treating the patient whether that specific abortion should be allowed?

  108. coldthinker says

    Ogvorbis,

    You think that human rights, the right to bodily autonomy, is a grey area? How sad.

    Abortion is a sad and undesirable thing, even if it is a human right. Nobody wants it, but sometimes after weighing the choices, it’s what the woman wants to do. But I’m sure the choice isn’t always all black or white for her.

    Wherever there are rights of two entities opposed to each other, it certainly is a grey area. I do believe that gradually, the fetus begins to have certain human rights too, even if they should not outweigh those of the mother. An embryo and a sentient grown woman, yes, black and white, no contest. 12 weeks, no problems. An abortion well after 21st week of pregnancy, pretty fucking grey to me. And an abortion at 35th week isn’t even grey to any more, unless the mother’s life is at risk. If your moral absolutism can’t handle that in a serious discussion, too bad for you.

    I know this is a polarizing issue in the US and it’s the American way to be aggressive about everything, but… whatever. Thanks for your contribution.

  109. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says

    If your moral absolutism can’t handle that in a serious discussion, too bad for you.

    At what point in a pregnancy does a woman cease to be a human being?

  110. says

    @ Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    You said: “I’m always amazed at the naivety of the forced birth thinking. Total presuppositional thinking. No basis in reality.”

    Have you never heard of injunctions or TROs (temporary restraining orders). Now who’s thinking presuppositinally and without basis in reality?

  111. says

    Am I allowed to disagree? Or do I have to conform? Can we agree to disagree or are you set on twisting my pro-legal-abortion stance into “forced birth thinking”.

    If you take it so personally, it raises the scepter of bias.

  112. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    coldthinker

    Abortion is a sad and undesirable thing, even if it is a human right.

    I know at least one woman for whom an abortion was a very very happy thing. Having that baby on the other hand, would have been devastating. Caine even mentioned that in this very thread.

    Yeah, no one gets pregnant just so that she could go and get an abortion because it’s so much fun. But it is not a sad tragic thing for all women either.

  113. carlie says

    You know, let’s go back to that viability thing for a minute.

    So, jimashby, if I’m reading you correctly, you don’t want to allow any abortions beyond “viability”, and you’re content with the fact that a majority of states define that viability at 20 weeks.

    Are you saying you’d be ok with allowing women to have voluntary c-sections on demand at 20 weeks, then? Let’s go through the possible answers.

    1) Yes, that allows for both autonomy and fetal viability.

    Ok, but then you have to also agree to having newborns who weigh about a half a pound, have little lung surfactant so they can’t breathe on their own, and who are in for 4-5 months in a NICU, quite possibly with severe defects and/or lifelong medical conditions, and you have to also agree to pay the increased costs of health care resulting from it – we’re talking at least a million dollars per baby.

    2) No, even though it’s viable it still needs nutrition from its mother.

    Um, that’s not actually the definition of “viable”, then.

    3). Fine. No, it’s not quite viable yet, but would be with more input from the mother.

    Ok, then you really don’t agree with the 20 week mark. But that aside, then you’d have to also agree that anyone who needs, say, a blood or tissue or organ transplant can demand it of anyone who is a match, and the donor would have to do it whether or not they wanted to. Because, after all, that person is viable once it gets some input from the other person, which is the same argument you just made for the other situation.

    If you think it’s somehow different, WHY? Try to answer without somehow saying that pregnancy “is her fault”, because once you get there, you lose entirely.

  114. coldthinker says

    Beatrice (looking for a happy thought)

    Hopefully not while you’re trying to persuade her not to have an abortion.

    It’s her life, so it’s not my job as a father to persuade her one way or another. If that’s what you took away from my longish pro-choice post, I’m at a loss with you.

    It is my job as a father to help her reach a decision, which in the long run will make her happier. There are things to ponder, pros and cons, and in our family we talk about those things. Certainly just saying “it’s none of my fucking business, do whatever you feel like” isn’t my idea of good parenting.

  115. carlie says

    Am I allowed to disagree?

    Sure, you’re allowed to disagree. We just want to make sure you understand exactly what your position is, and how it affects actual women. (See my comment @ 70).

    Also, we are allowed to think you’re an asshole for having that opinion.

  116. says

    Nobody wants it, but sometimes after weighing the choices, it’s what the woman wants to do.

    Actually, in reality, a lot of women have already weighed the choices before getting pregnant.

    For example, if I ever get pregnant, I will want an abortion. I’ve this as long as I’ve been certain that I never wanted to be a mother. I take my precautions, and I’m mature enough to know that there’s a risk those precautions might fail. I accept that. It took no ruminating to get there.

    I know I’m not the only woman who feels this way, so please don’t patronize us by telling us what “nobody” wants.

  117. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    coldthinker,

    You started by giving a personal example in which you admitted you wouldn’t be interested in your girlfriend’s desires, and would try to persuade her to have a child she doesn’t want. You keep talking about how sad and terrible abortion is.
    You know what is sad and terrible? Being pregnant when you don’t want to. Giving birth when you don’t want to. Raising a child you didn’t want to have.

    So no, I didn’t get the impression you wouldn’t try to persuade your daughter to have kid even if she didn’t want it, because you felt like you wanted to play with grandchildren.
    You are selfish and you obviously don’t approve of abortion. It is not very difficult to draw conclusions.

  118. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It is my job as a father to help her reach a decision, w

    No, it is you job to shut the fuck up, and support whatever decision SHE makes. Your opinions are irrelevant.

    Certainly just saying “it’s none of my fucking business, do whatever you feel like” isn’t my idea of good parenting.

    Gee, you think you can tell another adult what to do with unsolicited advice? What an egomaniac.

  119. patrickna says

    If someone would come to me and ask, we have this 6 year old child who needs your blood, and we need to keep you hooked up with her for 9 months to save her life, and it can only be your blood, can you please help?

    And if I said yes, I’d still say, even if it ment the childs death, I have the right to change my mind and say, No, I don’t want to be hooked up to this kid for any more time. Sure it might make me a dick, but it shouldn’t be against the law.

    So IMO, the fetus can be the next Einstein with an emotional apperatus of a proud gay man, it should still be up to me whether I want this person to live off of my body.

    So the whole personhood argument falls flat imo.

  120. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Certainly just saying “it’s none of my fucking business, do whatever you feel like” isn’t my idea of good parenting.

    “You have legal right to abort, but that is so sad and terrible and wouldn’t you want an itsy bitsy little human running around, who I can play with, and show to neighbors as my grandchild… ” would be so much better.

    How about listening to her, and telling her that you love her and will support her in whatever she decides to do?

  121. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Am I allowed to disagree?

    You can disagree. But you need to remember that nobody has to agree with you, and those of us here certainly don’t. It also means you need to listen, otherwise you preach. You haven’t said anything new, and I’ve debated abortion since Roe v. Wade. You were refuted before you even voiced your opinion.

  122. markbrown says

    Abortion is a sad and undesirable thing, even if it is a human right.

    I know at least one woman for whom an abortion was a very very happy thing. Having that baby on the other hand, would have been devastating. Caine even mentioned that in this very thread.

    Yeah, no one gets pregnant just so that she could go and get an abortion because it’s so much fun. But it is not a sad tragic thing for all women either.

    Exactly this.

    What is sad and tragic is women being forced to have children they do not want, or are unable to support.
    What is sad and tragic is women being forced to abandon their education or career in order to have a child.
    What is sad and tragic is women dying due to complications during pregnancy, and medical staff being unable to intervene for fear of prosecution.
    What is sad and tragic is women and young girls being forced to birth babies conceived through rape or incest.
    What is sad and tragic is women being forced to carry a dead babies to term instead of undergoing relatively minor medical procedures.

  123. says

    @carlie,

    Yes, medical technology does cloud things a bit. Once again, I have to side with the law: fetal viability includes commonly available post-natal care (i.e. for premature babies). It’s not as if we can pretend the technology is not readily available.

    It would be much “cleaner”, of course, if fetal viability were defined as external viability WITHOUT the aid of technology. I can foresee the technology getting better over the years and the onset of viability getting lowered accordingly. This is troublesome, I admit. But the solution, in my personal opinion, is NOT to ignore viability. If the future unfolds as I foresee, there might come a time when something might need to change.

    Also: fetal viability does not guarantee fetal survivability: just reasonable odds of survival. I recognize the problems with drawing a line for viability but have no better alternative to offer. Nobody said it’s easy or perfect . . . which is why the issue will always be controversial.

  124. coldthinker says

    Beatrice,

    I know at least one woman for whom an abortion was a very very happy thing. Having that baby on the other hand, would have been devastating. Caine even mentioned that in this very thread.

    I’m sure it sometimes is the lesser of two undesirable things, and as things were for her at the time, it must have been a great relief. That’s fine, no argument there — her life, her body, her choice. But I doubt it was the happiest of things to do. Her contraception failed, she had to go through all kinds of trouble, and a medical procedure, a certain burden for her as well as the society. Being less of a burden than an unwanted child, I’m sure she made the right decision.

    As I said earlier, it is totally ok for some women, but sad and even somewhat tragic to others. Among my friends, there have been several abortions, and I’ve encountered both afterfeelings — without anyone blaming them for a second nor never even remotely questioning their choice. They all are entitled to their particular feelings, and I consider this experience, if my daughter chooses to come to me for my opinion.

  125. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    coldthinker,

    But I doubt it was the happiest of things to do.

    You just don’t get it.

    Yeah, it sucks when contraception fails, or when you have to have a medical procedure, but when it’s a medical procedure to help you with a problem then it is a good thing.

    Why aren’t you arguing about how sad and undesirable open heart operations are? Or doing a root canal? Why is it abortion that makes you so sad about the woman having to do the procedure? Maybe think about that.

  126. coldthinker says

    Nerd of redhead,

    No, it is you job to shut the fuck up, and support whatever decision SHE makes. Your opinions are irrelevant.

    Gee, you think you can tell another adult what to do with unsolicited advice? What an egomaniac.

    What on earth is this bullshit about? If I’m asked, how is my answer unsolicited? And really, the situation, when a person really doesn’t know what she/he wants and what decision to make and asks for friends and family to talk about it — is this completely unfamiliar to you? On what planet do you live?

    Yes, after she has reached her decision, it is my job to support her whatever her decision is. But if she doesn’t know and asks for my rational help, it certainly — yeah, let’s shout like you do — BLOODY HELL CERTAINLY is NOT to shut the fuck up! That’s your part when it comes to my daughter.

  127. omnicrom says

    coldthinker: The problem is that you never phrased it as your hypothetical wife asking you for input on whether to have an abortion or not. You merely said that you would try to convince her not to have an abortion. Those are 2 different things. Your initial comment that you would try to convince her not to have an abortion is something people here have a problem with because the phrasing implies that you would try to force your opinions onto the woman. Your new tact, that you would provide input only if she asked for it is much more reasonable. It’s just strange and frustrating it took you so long to unequivocally say something like that.

    Jimashby: Why should fetal viability matter? The right to bodily autonomy is such that it DOESN’T MATTER whether the fetus is viable, the woman should have the right to get an abortion at any time for any reason. Anything less marginalizes the woman’s right to control her own body. The fact that you wield the anti-choice canard of “Fetal Viability” seems to explain why you’re so happy to accept the law as it is, even though you yourself say its broken and could be much better.

    Start again jimashby: Why does Fetal Viability matter? When do the rights of the fetus trump the rights of the woman? They must at some point, otherwise you should have no problem with a woman getting an abortion at anytime. The only way fetal viability and the rights of the fetus could matter in an abortion is if they eventually become more important than the woman’s human rights. So when do they fetus’ rights become that important? Why do they become that important at that point? If they don’t become more important than the woman’s rights then why are you only conditionally Pro-Choice?

  128. carlie says

    coldthinker – yes, if your daughter asks for your opinion, you can give it, of course. However, it is also good parenting to decide to give advice on the basis of what would be good for her, not what would be good for you, certainly not something that is designed to heap guilt onto her.

    So “it’s a baby and you should be doing what the father wants” – no.
    “It’s a baby and I want a grandchild and will hold it against you if you do this” – no.
    “If you were to have it, what would your concerns be?” – yes
    “If you were to have it, what would your plans be on how to support yourselves?” – yes
    “Would this change your career path and how?” – yes
    “What would you need your mother and I to do for you if you were to have it? – yes
    “What do you think about adoption?” – yes
    “Why don’t you talk to some other women who have been through pregnancies?” – yes

  129. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    128
    coldthinker

    Nerd of redhead,

    No, it is you job to shut the fuck up, and support whatever decision SHE makes. Your opinions are irrelevant.

    Gee, you think you can tell another adult what to do with unsolicited advice? What an egomaniac.

    What on earth is this bullshit about? If I’m asked, how is my answer unsolicited? And really, the situation, when a person really doesn’t know what she/he wants and what decision to make and asks for friends and family to talk about it — is this completely unfamiliar to you? On what planet do you live?

    Yes, after she has reached her decision, it is my job to support her whatever her decision is. But if she doesn’t know and asks for my rational help, it certainly — yeah, let’s shout like you do — BLOODY HELL CERTAINLY is NOT to shut the fuck up! That’s your part when it comes to my daughter.

    1. You’re not being rational now and you won’t be rational if this scenario ever pops up. You’re already projecting this “it’s a sad and terrible thing” shit, which clearly isn’t fucking rational due to EVIDENCE to the contrary. You want to be rational and helpful? Then give her just the FACTS like the links and information about abortion providers in her area, whether or not you can go with or help pay for it, you know shit like that. If you’re REALLY supportive of what ever decision she would make, you’d shut the fuck up and let her make it herself, without offering an opinion like “sad and terrible thing”.

    2. Considering all the pressure women face regarding sexuality and abortion, the best thing is to shut up and listen instead of forcing more guilt and pressure on her. Telling someone it’s a “sad and terrible thing” clearly sends the message of disapproval.

  130. coldthinker says

    Beatrice,

    “You have legal right to abort, but that is so sad and terrible and wouldn’t you want an itsy bitsy little human running around, who I can play with, and show to neighbors as my grandchild… ” would be so much better.

    How about listening to her, and telling her that you love her and will support her in whatever she decides to do?

    This is getting frustrating. I thought it was made clear that she has the love and support whatever she decides to do. You’re apparently talking to some mr Strawman in your neighborhood instead of me, since I’ve never said anything about not supporting her possible decision of an abortion. You’re getting odiously presumptious.

    How do you know I wouldn’t actually help her reach a decision of having an abortion? It is quite a conceivable possibility that she is not sure about having a kid, but perhaps her otherwise nice husband might be talking her into having one. She has trouble making up her mind, and comes to her parents for rational pros and cons. It is very likely I would actually be happier if she decided to prioritize other parts of her other life, her career or whatever else it entails. It is very arrogant of you to suppose you know my future thoughts better than I do, and somewhat illiterate to claim my previous posts were about persuading her into having an unwanted child. Your assuming that I’d prioritize my thoughts over hers and that I wouldn’t support her decision in this matter is beyond presumption.

    I very much like this site and I’d appreciate the rational feedback you might have, so I could adjust or clarify my own thinking. But it seems it’s not happening today. The way you’re attacking me tells me you’re falsely assuming I’m somehow part of your pernicious American pro-life-pro-choice civil war, and it’s quite tiresome.

  131. carlie says

    Or another way to put it, coldthinker:

    The way to start the conversation isn’t “Let me tell you what I’d do if I were you.” The conversation starter is “Honey, you’re too old for me to be trying to tell you what to do, but I’ll help you make sure you’ve got all the information you need and are thinking about all the factors you’ve got to weigh.”

    jimashby, you didn’t actually answer the question. Given those realities, are you comfortable with allowing women to have c-sections on demand, even back to 20 weeks, in order to preserve their autonomy?

  132. Akira MacKenzie says

    Eristae:

    Chances are, my sister will probably never be put into a position where she will have to worry about having an abortion. She has a great job that pays well with excellent health coverage and she is in no danger of loosing it. She uses contraception and after two kids has no plans for more. As far as I can tell, her husband is a descent guy and I have no reason to suspect any abuse in the relationship. Sadly, her comfortable white, American, upper middle class privilege along with the “cute widdle baby” indoctrination has blinded her to the plight of anyone else who might need such services.

  133. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    coldthinker,

    Your assuming that I’d prioritize my thoughts over hers and that I wouldn’t support her decision in this matter is beyond presumption.

    Just a conclusion reached from your description of how you would treat the same case if it were your own girlfriend, as well as the way you are focusing on the terrible sadness and tragedy that is abortion (rather than the unwanted pregnancy).

    By the way:
    I’m not American.

  134. consciousness razor says

    You’re apparently talking to some mr Strawman in your neighborhood instead of me, since I’ve never said anything about not supporting her possible decision of an abortion. You’re getting odiously presumptious.

    Sure, you just talked about how it would be a “deal-breaker” in one of your own relationships. How fucking presumptuous of us to assume you’d treat your daughter with the same amount of sensitivity as you do with the (hypothetical?) person who apparently signed some kind of contract to make babies for you.

  135. dianne says

    But I doubt it was the happiest of things to do.

    An appendectomy isn’t the happiest thing to do. But it’s better than dying of peritonitis. A colonscopy isn’t the happiest thing to do. But it’s better than dying of colon cancer. Dialysis is a frigging ugly thing to do and we need better treatments for kidney failure yesterday. But it’s better than dying of uremia, which is just hideous.

    So, yeah, needing an invasive medical is not something people do for fun. I don’t know of any women who get pregnant simply so that they can experience an abortion. I’m sure the average woman with an unintended pregnancy wishes that she’d used better birth control-or that her partner hadn’t sabotaged the birth control or that she hadn’t been raped or that she wasn’t hyperfertile. That doesn’t mean that she won’t be immensely relieved when she is no longer pregnant.

  136. dianne says

    And an abortion at 35th week isn’t even grey to any more, unless the mother’s life is at risk.

    Seriously? You can’t imagine any other situation where an abortion might be desirable at 35 weeks? What if it’s a twin pregnancy with IUGR and one twin has died? What if a severe fetal anomaly incompatible with life has only just been diagnosed? What if that anomaly makes normal delivery impossible and a c-section difficult? Why not allow the woman the option of ending the pregnancy in the way that is most likely to end with her health and fertility intact? What if a woman with a nonviable fetus only just managed to make it to a country with reasonable laws and wants to end the pregnancy as quickly as possible and with as little danger as possible?

    And, ultimately, why should a pregnancy not end when the person who is pregnant wants it to end? If you agreed to donate your kidney to someone, went through all the exams necessary to demonstrate that you were fit, a good match, and able to tolerate the surgery, were admitted to the hospital for the nephrectomy, signed the consent form for the donation, and were on the OR table about to receive anesthesia when you suddenly said, “No, I’m not going through with it,” what do you think would happen? Would you be told, “Sorry, you’ve already gone through most of the donation, you’ll have to complete it now.”? No. You might be asked, “Are you sure?” You might be asked why you changed your mind. But if you said no, your no would be respected. Even if the other person would die without the kidney. Even though you’d already agreed and signed papers stating that you’d agreed. You would be allowed to change your mind because bodily integrity is an important human right. Why is it moral to deny women the same right?

  137. coldthinker says

    JAL,

    Please do me a favor and refer to my opinions using my words, not those of the people arguing against me. I have never said abortion is a “sad and terrible thing”. I said it is undesirable, which I would think any medical procedure is. Necessary perhaps, but needing any medical procedure is undesirable and in this way sad. This distinction is not trivial, nor are my choices of words, unless my English fails me (it’s my 3rd language, so it sometimes does).

    The word terrible implies a strong moral stance against such a procedure, which I certainly don’t have.

    My using “sad and undesirable” refers to the idea that I don’t consider abortion a trivial thing or simply a form of contraception, but an operation that should only be done when the possible child is unwanted and contraception has failed.

  138. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says

    I said it is undesirable, which I would think any medical procedure is.

    Bullshit. Every single medical procedure I have undergone (three teeth removed due to abscesses, 12 (count ‘em, 12!) knee surgeries) has been to correct something that was making it painful, or difficult, or dangerous for me to live. I desired those medical procedures. I know women who have had abortions. In one case, it was a failure of an IUD and the abortion saved her life — desirable. Another woman was a college student who could not afford to be a parent and a student, nor could she fall back on her parents because she had been fucking out of wedlock which means they would have thrown her out — desirable. I don’t think these words mean what you think they mean.

  139. cactusren says

    Jupiter9 @45 and Eristae @50

    I’ve been offline for a while, but I wanted to respond to the adoption point. To answer Jupiter9’s question: my cousin’s adopted kids are from Vietnam (as is her husband). I assume there’s some somewhat racist logic there about the adopted kids “fitting in” with their biological kids.

    And yes, there’s all kinds of problems with the adoption system, both within the US, and with US parents adopting internationally. I wasn’t trying to demonstrate that my cousin’s actions are necessarily helpful, simply that she’s less hypocritical than many forced-birthers who would never go out of their way to help children in need of a home.

    I can’t find the post now, but someone asked about adoption figures: as of 2011, there were around 100,000 children in foster care in the US whose end goal was adoption. So as long as you’re not fixated on a healthy white baby, there’s plenty of children to adopt. link

  140. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but an operation that should only be done when the possible child is unwanted and contraception has failed.

    Gee, why do you keep arguing against, when you say that? It’s called concern trolling, in case you are interested. You are for, but have “concerns”. Your concerns are irrelevant to the bodily autonomy of the woman. Get over the fact that your opinion isn’t wanted by those making the decision.

  141. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    My using “sad and undesirable” refers to the idea that I don’t consider abortion a trivial thing or simply a form of contraception, but an operation that should only be done when the possible child is unwanted and contraception has failed.

    No shit.
    And here I was, advocating for abortion for wanted babies. *eyeroll*

    I am asking you again, why aren’t you railing about how open heart surgeries are sad and undesirable? What makes you think abortion in a case when the woman doesn’t want to have a child is any different than a needed heart surgery?

  142. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Don’t give them ideas. we’re already dealing with fat shaming doctors

  143. cactusren says

    Coldthinker: Let me try an analogy, since you just don’t seem to get this.

    You come to me for advice on whether you should get chocolate or vanilla ice cream. I say, “Well, I recognize that it’s completely up to you, and it’s your choice, but it’s so sad and undesirable that some people eat vanilla ice cream.”

    This is what you are doing. You’re saying that it’s up to the person who is affected by the pregnancy, while at the same time inserting a value judgment about their decision. That is not remaining neutral in their decision–it is pushing them the direction you want them to go in.

    If you actually want advice about how to handle the hypothetical situation with your daughter, see Carlie’s post at 131. That is good advice.

  144. says

    Abortion is a sad and undesirable thing, even if it is a human right.

    The fuck it is, you pathetic Cupcake. Safe, easy abortion is a fabulous, wondrous, great thing! There isn’t the least bit wrong with it, it certainly isn’t undesirable, and for a whole lot of women, it’s the farthest thing from sad. I doubt I will ever again in my life experience the same level of sheer relief as I did on a certain day 38 years ago.

    You’re free to say that the notion of abortion makes *you* all sad and wistful, or even that it makes you queasy. Don’t you dare speak for all women, you asshole. By the way, you might stop acting like abortion is all newfangled – abortion has been around for as long as people have been around. Idiot.

  145. cactusren says

    Abortion is a sad and undesirable thing, even if it is a human right

    So (certain) human rights are undesirable?

  146. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    cactusren,
    You’r correct. Kids age out of the system in “group homes” everyday.

  147. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Oy, Coldthinker (geez, you really are cold, aren’t you?)

    Getting an abortion was not “sad and undesirable”. Not even getting two.

    Falling pregnant at the time I did was “sad and undesirable”. Going through the emotional turmoil I did because of what I thought my husband thought was “sad and undesirable”. Finally realizing that all that emotional turmoil and trauma was actually unnecessary was “sad and undesirable”. Getting lied to, shamed and threatened by a (state) doctor (she said that someone who wanted an abortion couldn’t be a good parent and threatened me with a social worker – I laughed in her face) who was apparently hyper-religious and pro-life when I finally got everything sorted out and managed to go to the public gynecological clinic was VERY “sad and undesirable”. Reporting this doctor to her unit manager only to find the unit manager was pregnant and viewed MY wanting an abortion as somehow some demand that SHE get an abortion was “sad and undesirable”. Having to go to a private provider and pay a LOT of money that we didn’t have at the time was “sad and undesirable”.

    Getting an abortion was unpleasant, but the relief was monumentous.

    (Also, I don’t live in America.)

    As for late-term abortions: Abortion is a termination of pregnancy (pregnancy, not fetus). A TOP at 35 weeks is called “induced pre-term labour” or “pre-term c-section”. Its perfectly possible to have an abortion and have a living baby as a product of the abortion.

    That’s why I don’t understand the testeria about “late-term abortions”.

    If a woman can be sure that she can get the abortion she needs/wants as early as possible without jumping through hoops and having to take many days off work and travel and all that, the only late-term abortions you’ll see will be for when something had gone wrong with the pregnancy. NO woman stays pregnant for seven months just for the hell of it, feeling the baby move and going through all the bad parts of pregnancy, just to say at week thirty-plus “OMG, I need an abortion for absolutely no reason at all!”.

  148. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    I doubt I will ever again in my life experience the same level of sheer relief as I did on a certain day.

    WORD. If there was any crying, either then or afterwards, it was happy tears of sheer relief after the torture that had been being pregnant when I didn’t want to be.

  149. mythbri says

    Does anyone know where coldthinker and jimashby stand on the issue of God? I would make the educated guess that since they’re commenting here, on an atheist blog, they are likely atheists.

    This conversation has been had over and over again with other similar commenters here. Is any further evidence necessary to demonstrate that there are non-religious folk who are still anti-choice (even though both of these commenters seem to be in the “I’m pro-choice, but” category)?

    jimashby

    Here is why I despise “I’m pro-choice, but” people more than people who are just plain anti-choice:

    You are setting arbitrary conditions on my humanity.

    Do you understand this? Do you get that I am a person with bodily autonomy 100% of the time. Not just for 20 weeks. Not just for two trimesters. Not even 99.95% of the time.

    I am a person (with all the rights that entails) 100% of the time.

    That does not magically change when or if I become pregnant, and honestly, it scares the SHIT out of me that anyone thinks that it does.

    You know why the anti-choice and the “I’m pro-choice, but” positions are necessarily misogynistic? Because you are making the assumption that there are women out there that are making choice that you don’t approve of, and that your opinion of their choices is even remotely relevant or worth respecting.

    You think that it’s okay for a woman’s choice about her own body to be irrelevant. You’re okay with the fact that arbitrary “viability” restrictions on abortions DO cause women to have children they don’t want. You’re okay with the fact that these arbitrary restrictions DO cause women to lose their health or their life. And while you’ll probably claim that you’re not “okay” with these things, this is the fucking reality of the situation. Okay? Your wishfulness for a perfect legal solution does not magically make this solution the reality, and if you’re aware of that and are okay with the collateral damage this causes to some women who slip through this imperfect and wrong system, then I’ve got nothing further to say to you.

    You know why I despise you “I’m pro-choice, but” types? Because I don’t see you doing anything to curb the erosion of reproductive rights that we face in the U.S. I see you shrugging your shoulders and saying “That’s plenty of time” or “They can always go somewhere else for an abortion.”

    You know why I despise you “I’m pro-choice, but” types? Because in these discussions, there is barely a smidgen of difference between you and an anti-choice type.

    Deal with it.

  150. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    My using “sad and undesirable” refers to the idea that I don’t consider abortion a trivial thing or simply a form of contraception

    Coldthinker, a first trimester abortion IS a trivial thing. The earlier, the more trivial, in fact. What it isn’t, is any of your fucking business.

    And abortion IS a form of contraception. What, does abortion only become those who can prove contraceptive failure, otherwise “shame on you”?

    Once again, none of your fucking business (for reasons you have amply illustrated in this very thread. Seriously, do you even REALIZE how many unfounded assumptions you make, time after time? You know what they say about assumptions.)

  151. says

    Gen:

    WORD. If there was any crying, either then or afterwards, it was happy tears of sheer relief after the torture that had been being pregnant when I didn’t want to be.

    Yep. One thing I remember well – the day I went to have my abortion, the waiting room was packed, SRO. It was close to overflowing. I didn’t see anyone crying, I didn’t see anyone pacing, I didn’t see anyone wringing their hands. My procedure was fast and easy. Quick exam, 8 weeks confirmed, swallowed a valium, in the OR, done, whisked out to lay down for about 20 minutes. What I saw on other faces when I was waiting to be released was the same as I was feeling, vast relief.

    Quite honestly, nothing infuriates me quite as much as some asshole who not only doesn’t have the slightest fucking idea of what it’s like to be pregnant, said asshole will never know what it’s like to be pregnant, let alone to find out you’re pregnant when you most certainly do not want to be, and still think they ought to have something to say about it all. To them, I toss a hale and hearty “go fuck yourself straight off a cliff!”

  152. says

    Mythbri:

    I see you shrugging your shoulders and saying “That’s plenty of time” or “They can always go somewhere else for an abortion.”

    :spits spits spits: Any fucking douchebag excuse for a human being who says either of those things has their head so firmly lodged up their own rectum, it’s doubtful they will ever get it out.

  153. coldthinker says

    Beatrice & c.razor,

    Ok, I see your point and where that assumption came from. Fair enough. Perhaps I should clarify my position, although that may not change your assumptions all that much:

    My adult relationship with my adult girlfriend/wife is my adult business. She has the moral right to end it whenever she feels like it, as do I. She has the right to her deal-breakers, and I to mine. As I told earlier, my not wanting children at the time was once a deal-breaker, and the woman ended the relationship in amicable terms. Later, a few years ago, I said to my now live-in girlfriend (or whatever you call it in English) that I will eventually want a child, and if she doesn’t, we shouldn’t waste each other’s time, the little we have left. She had no problem with this.

    Also, I have said that hypothetically, if a woman were pregnant by me and decided to abort the fetus for non-medical reasons, it would be her prerogative, and hers alone. However, I have to say that deep down I would find it emotionally quite offensive, much more offensive than say, infidelity. So, I would help her through the abortion, but the amorous relationship would very likely end. The friendship, possibly not.

    That’s me and my love life, which is none of any outsider’s business. I thought I made it very clear that this is my emotional position, not an ethical stance on the abortion issue in general.

    As for my daughter’s future adulthood, love life and other relationships, that’s her business. Her possible pregnancies will also be her business, not mine. But knowing that I sometimes still seek the advide of my parents, although often ignore them, it is likely that my daughter eventually seeks my advice.

    Contrary to what you may think, the deal-brakers of my own private sexual relationships have nothing to do with the future ones of my now 5-year-old daughter. The thought never even crossed my mind.

    However, in case she comes to me seeking my opinion, I have to be able to come up with something. Someone here suggested offering her web links and literature, which I find a very good idea. But it just might be that she wants a more personal opinion from her parents than books and web sites. Perhaps something based on her parents’ feelings and life experience, which she most likely happily ignore.

  154. says

    NO woman stays pregnant for seven months just for the hell of it, feeling the baby move and going through all the bad parts of pregnancy, just to say at week thirty-plus “OMG, I need an abortion for absolutely no reason at all!”.

    But even if there were it’s still none of jimashby’s business. Or a judge’s. It’s infantalizing to think that they are better equipped (by their penises no doubt) to decide or judge what’s best for that woman. I can certainly think of non-medical reasons why, at 7 months, a woman might change her mind about continuing a pregnancy that she’d previously decided to endure.* But to jimashby and his surrogate judge-with-proper-manliness, those reasons might be dismissed as “frivolous”. Despite the fact that pregnancy and giving birth are themselves risks to the woman’s health.

    Her body. She should be able to terminate the pregnancy no matter how “viable” the foetus is.

    *financial loss, loss/death of a supportive partner or spouse, unwillingness to have a child with an abusive partner or spouse, breakup of the relationship with the other parent and not wanting to be tied to them for the next 20 years, loss of employment/health insurance, natural disaster that leaves the family homeless or in unstable living conditions….

  155. says

    Ibis:

    *financial loss, loss/death of a supportive partner or spouse, unwillingness to have a child with an abusive partner or spouse, breakup of the relationship with the other parent and not wanting to be tied to them for the next 20 years, loss of employment/health insurance, natural disaster that leaves the family homeless or in unstable living conditions….

    I’ll add that it’s a small percentage of men who know what it is to have a child and be completely responsible for all aspects of raising that child. It’s women who tend to get stuck with that one.

  156. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Also, I have said that hypothetically, if a woman were pregnant by me and decided to abort the fetus for non-medical reasons, it would be her prerogative, and hers alone. However, I have to say that deep down I would find it emotionally quite offensive, much more offensive than say, infidelity. So, I would help her through the abortion, but the amorous relationship would very likely end. The friendship, possibly not.

    *sigh*. Talking to entitled people acting selfish like this and then getting all OFFENDED when the selfishness if pointed out is like talking to a brick wall, apparently.

    Whatever, Coldthinker. It’s not like I posted to explain why your position may end up being damaging to the woman you (supposedly) will love and commit to in the future. Pshaw, what does it matter that it may be damaging to her in the end, after all!

  157. mythbri says

    However, I have to say that deep down I would find it emotionally quite offensive, much more offensive than say, infidelity.

    Before I started having sex with my boyfriend, we talked about contraception, and I told him that if it ever failed and I found myself pregnant, I would be getting an abortion. And that it was up to me whether or not I would tell him about it.

    He didn’t even know that it was possible for a woman to get pregnant while on the birth control pill, or with an IUD. He was shocked that I would bring up abortion in a conversation about contraception. But it was also a good learning experience for him, since before all of this I’d told him that I never wanted to have children, and this was a way for me to drive that point home.

    I don’t want to get pregnant, and I will not stay pregnant for longer than absolutely possible. If he wants to take that as some kind of deep affront to his manhood or assume that it means that my feelings for him aren’t real, or a rejection of his precious sperm powers, or see it as a worse “offense” than dishonesty about infidelity, then that’s on him. And it will teach me a lot about whether I still want to be in a relationship with him.

  158. says

    However, I have to say that deep down I would find it emotionally quite offensive, much more offensive than say, infidelity. So, I would help her through the abortion, but the amorous relationship would very likely end. The friendship, possibly not.

    If she has a brain, she’d certainly terminate any so-called “friendship” with you. Seriously, if you’re so fucking immature as to have not have had the talk with any potential partner or partner, as in “having children is extremely important to me, I want them, and I have serious problems with the possibility of an abortion” and did not give your partner an opportunity to walk right then and there, you have no business being with anyone else.

    Mister and I had the talk 33 fucking years ago. Me: I do not want sprogs. Ever. I do not want to be pregnant. Ever. Any pregnancy will be aborted. Full stop. Him: Fine with me, I don’t want them either.

  159. cactusren says

    Coldthinker @159.

    What are you hoping to accomplish with your comments here? Basically, your view so far seems to be that abortion is a personal matter for a woman who is pregnant. Great. But you can’t help interjecting all this shit about how it’s a “sad and undesirable” thing, despite several women here telling you that simply is not true. So do you just want everyone to agree with you that it’s sad? That’s not going to happen here.

    As to looking for advice on some hypothetical conversation with your daughter in the future, I will again refer you to Carlie’s advice @131. The important thing to note there is that the good things you should be saying are questions about how SHE feels. In other words, your job is to let her talk it out, and answer any questions she has for you (such as what support you could offer financially or regarding childcare should she have a baby). That’s it. Let her talk, answer her questions. And for fuck’s sake, if you’re in that position, please don’t say how sad abortions are–that will clearly show her that even if you respect her decision to get an abortion, you don’t fully approve. And that will steer her away from what might be the better decision.

  160. says

    And abortion IS a form of contraception. What, does abortion only become those who can prove contraceptive failure, otherwise “shame on you”?

    doesn’t “contraceptive” mean something that prevents pregnancy? pretty sure abortion is a form of birth control, but not a contraceptive.
    – – – – – –
    Coldthinker:

    I have never encountered this situation personally and probably never will at my age, but if a woman were pregnant by me […]

    and

    In this case, the relationship I would have initially seeked would have been someone to also have children with. Not wishing to have children with me would amount to a deal-breaker.

    huh? you only put your penis near the vagina of a woman with whom you want to have children? TBH, I find that hard to believe. Aside from that, one would hope that if you’re in that kind of relationship, the conversation about whether you want to have children would have happened before anyone got knocked up. Or do you decide such things unilaterally? I really don’t understand the scenario here.

    I do think that the fetus, at certain later stage of the pregnancy, does have some rights to life, although they should not outweigh the rights of the mother.

    again, I don’t understand how that’s supposed to work. The only relevant scenario I can come up with is when someone murders a pregnant woman, then they’d be responsible of violating both the woman’s and the fetuses rights. Otherwise, if the fetuses rights never outweigh the rights of the pregnant woman, then effectively they’re ethically irrelevant when discussing the pregnant woman’s choices or behaviors.

    I’m looking for intellectual tools for how to react, if such a situation touched me personally in the future, eg. if my daughter one day asked me for advice

    as above: the advice should be that she has a 100% right of chosing what’s right for her, and that doing so will be an ethical choice regardless of what she choses. And that if she needs help figuring out what that “right for her”, you’ll gladly talk with her about it, but that you will never say that any choice she made was ethically worse than any other choice she could have made. Anything else would be teaching your hypothetical daughter that her body isn’t wholly hers.

    We both cry over the mice we have to kill in our cellar, even if we think it’s our ethical right to do so.

    emotional experience and ethics are two completely separate issues. Don’t link them for no good reason. Feelings are a horrible basis for ethics, and it’s also ok to feel whatever in relation to an ethical decision: happy, sad, ambiguous, relieved, whatever. It’s all a legit feeling about an ethical decision, it doesn’t affect whether it was ethical though.

    How do you know I wouldn’t actually help her reach a decision of having an abortion?

    because your original phrasing was about persuading a woman not to have one. So unless we’re to assume you’d treat your daughter with more sense and respect than a sexual/romantic partner, and/or she’d do it out of spite, “persuading not to” is unlikely to result in “help her reach a decision of having an abortion”.
    Add to that your odd insistence that abortion is “sad and undesireable” (to whom?), and it creates an image of you as someone who would really prefer if the women in his life never decide to have an abortion.
    – – – – – – –
    jimashby:

    Other criteria may be debatable but most of us can agree that intentional killing of a viable fetus is murder.

    except when it’s self-defense.

    Of course there are those who would disagree with ANY prohibition on abortion but how can a democracy acknowledge only them but not the rest of us?

    the same way “democracy” shouldn’t let a bigoted majority chose whether gays are wholly human or not. women are wholly human, and therefore have the right to all human rights, including bodily autonomy.

    Women have plenty of time to receive abortions, if desired.

    bullshit. not when you consider the costs, distance required to travel, assorted hoops that need to be jumped through, and often the need to do so in secrecy.

    Planned Parenthood states that “a variety of low and no-cost programs to ensure you are able to receive the health care you deserve”.

    that’s nice. my state doesn’t have any PP clinics. And even “low cost” is hundreds of dollars sometimes.

    The legal concern of abortion is, of course, murder.

    it shouldn’t. Abortion is, at worst, self-defense from something using and harming your body against your will. The legal concern should be bodily autonomy, since it’s already settled that I’m allowed to kill in self-defense.

    choosing and completing an abortion by the 19th or 20th week of pregnancy is ample time to comply with the law.

    bullshit. maybe in fairytale land with free healthcare and free abortions at your local clinics and hospitals, paid sick-leave, and complete lack of stigma this is true, but in the USA it is not.

    I think that women should be able to appeal to the court when extenuating circumstances prevent them from complying with the law. The judge, at that time, can rule on any remedy he deems necessary.

    because judges are totes experts at medicine, and trials in the U.S. are instantaneous. WTF?

    Can we agree to disagree or are you set on twisting my pro-legal-abortion stance into “forced birth thinking”.

    no twisting necessary, since you do want to force women to give birth past a certain stage of pregnancy, based on the unreasonable assumption that abortions and court hearings are easy and quick to get in the US. Also, wtf does “pro-legal-abortion” even mean? If all abortion were illegal you’d be against all abortions?

    If you take it so personally, it raises the scepter of bias.

    1)learn to English
    2)you sound like those bigots who think gays shouldn’t “Take it so personally” when they’re jut wanting to discuss whether they should have the same rights as other people.

  161. says

    Perhaps something based on her parents’ feelings and life experience, which she most likely happily ignore.

    i dont’ know what universe you live in, but in this one, when your parent tells you that you’re about to do something “undesireable” and that might conflict with the human rights of some other human even if you have the right to do so, you don’t just “happily ignore” it. You might not act on that statement, but it’s one of those things that sticks in you like a rusty nail.

  162. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    And that can be based on ignorance (delusion, etc.), not simply malice or indecency.

    Sufficiently advanced ignorance is indistinguishable from malice.

  163. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    And, frankly, even if it weren’t for my abusive alcoholic ex-wife constantly brandishing it at me, I’d be sick to fucking death of the idea that “I didn’t do it ‘maliciously'” just excuses everything. And even if it weren’t for the fact that a carefully cultivated, entrenched, “accidentally-on-purpose” passive aggressive “unintentional” IS just another form of malice.

  164. coldthinker says

    Gen, mythbri, Caine

    Fine. I never would have thought finding myself this clearly on the conservative side of a conversation. I stand corrected, the difference is not about my being misunderstood. Living in the same country, we would probably vote the exact same way if this issue were on the ballot, but otherwise our opinions part very clearly. So it’s been very educational.

    Gen,
    if abortion is just another form of contraception to you, I suggest you check up the price tags on things like pills and condoms. A lot cheaper for the tax payer and lot less hassle for the woman. So, yeah I’m saying it’s any woman’s legal and ethical right to have a 12th week abortion and with certain legal detail even a later one. But I still think a person, who’s having her 9th tax-paid abortion because she and her men have all been too lazy, stupid or irresponsible to get pills or condoms at some point, shouldn’t be told abortion is just cool as a form of contraception. And I’m very fine with schools telling teenagers that contraception is necessary and even if they can, they shouldn’t let things go to a point where an abortion is necessary.

    How about my exes — do you think ex-girlfriend had the right to end her relationship with me for her personal reasons whatever they were, or should she have asked for your permission in order not to be selfish in your eyes? It is no more or less the same right that I reserve for myself. But hey, I’m apparently just selfish this way. Well, brick wall it is then.

    Caine,
    However can I even see you up there on that moral high ground. Great, you have the basic conversations done. So have I. And if you somehow think that I

    did not give your partner an opportunity to walk right then and there, you have no business being with anyone else.

    you seem to have very strange ideas about relationships, the mutual freedom in them and in ending them.

    Also brush up on reading comprehension, you apparently can’t read what I write or don’t bother to. I’ve twice said my declining from having children together once very respectully and amicably ended one of my relationships with perfect opportunities and freedom for both her and me to walk wherever we chose. And no, at that more tender age the issue didn’t come up during the first weeks, but of course we did have the talk at one point.

    The reasons she gave me, which I’ve now applied for my posts on this thread, were exactly that deep down, she was kind of offended by the idea that I didn’t want to have children with her. I had to admit I understood and sympathized with her feelings. Should I have called her immature?

    For the purpose of this thread, I took her position, since I understood it. I clearly mentioned I was talking hypothetically, as well as admitted not having equal insight with those who’ve had an abortion or women in general.

    mythbri,

    How does your case correlate with mine? Obviously you’ve made it clear with your boyfriend and hammered it in, which is fine. In my hypothetical but quite possible scenario, isn’t it obvious that such a clear deal about not having kids has not been made yet? Is it somehow wrong if my feelings for her — or hers for me — somehow alter over such matters?

    Then again, if your boyfriend had not accepted that deal, don’t you think he had had the right to walk? How about if you wanted kids, but he didn’t? I really can’t see it makes either of you a horrible person to stick to your own life choices, even if it costs a lover.

    My hypothetical offense was to my person, never said a fucking word about manhood nor sperm powers. Don’t you think that snark was a bit gender based abuse, which shouldn’t be cool on this site?

  165. says

    Our side is not any more moral or less moral than the other side; it is simply preferable. I think your parting declaration of anti-choice as “amoral” is a cop-out, PZ. You blanched at calling them “immoral”, because of the cognitive dissonance caused by accepting your own as the “moral” side. Business is amoral, logic is amoral, anti-choice is immoral. Or else it is moral (which I declare it to be!) Still not ethical, still not preferable, but certainly, yes, it is moral. Not that all of their actions in defending it are moral.

    The problem is that although you are supporting a moral act (a woman’s right to choose what happens to or in her own body) with an immoral (or at least amoral) approach, which is ignoring something you know to be true because it is inconvenient to your reasoning. The truth is that however rudimentary a “self-organized mass of cells” might be, not all self-organized masses of cells will eventually grow into something that you admit requires a more serious moral examination: a human being.

    Something pro-choice defenders tend to shy away from owning up to is that in order to be consistent in their reasoning, they must recognize that it doesn’t matter if a woman’s decision to terminate an abortion is IMMORAL, it is STILL her RIGHT to do so. Trying to pretend we are always arguing on the side of “goodness” is a corner the anti-rights advocates repeatedly manage to maneuver us into. We have to learn how to avoid doing that better, and one way is to avoid getting confused about what is moral and whether it matters. Whether anti-choicers are immoral is dependent on their actions, not their beliefs, and they aren’t any less consistent or correct in their reasoning than we are. It is merely that their results are invalid regardless of their consistency or correctness, this isn’t a matter of reasoning, it is a matter of definition. It isn’t, as they repeatedly say (there’s that corner again!) whether it is a baby or a fetus (how often do we fall into that trap?): it is whether it is a woman or a baby-factory.

  166. David Marjanović says

    doesn’t “contraceptive” mean something that prevents pregnancy? pretty sure abortion is a form of birth control, but not a contraceptive.

    A contraceptive prevents conception.

  167. mythbri says

    @coldthinker

    if abortion is just another form of contraception to you, I suggest you check up the price tags on things like pills and condoms. A lot cheaper for the tax payer and lot less hassle for the woman. So, yeah I’m saying it’s any woman’s legal and ethical right to have a 12th week abortion and with certain legal detail even a later one. But I still think a person, who’s having her 9th tax-paid abortion because she and her men have all been too lazy, stupid or irresponsible to get pills or condoms at some point, shouldn’t be told abortion is just cool as a form of contraception. And I’m very fine with schools telling teenagers that contraception is necessary and even if they can, they shouldn’t let things go to a point where an abortion is necessary.

    This is nowhere NEAR the situation in the United States. And I know that you’re not from the U.S. and are therefore coming at this from a different perspective, but maybe you can understand the passion behind the comments that you think are being mean to you and see the desperation of the women who DO happen to live in the U.S., and are seeing their rights slowly but surely chipped away, because even our so-called “liberal” leaders are afraid to touch this vital issue with a 10-foot-pole. There are entire states whose sole abortion providers are teetering on the brink of a judge’s decision. THIS IS BAD.

    If you don’t already know, even contraception has been a hot-button issue within the past few years because of the new laws requiring insurance policies to cover contraception as preventive care. By no means to all or most women in the U.S. have access to contraception at taxpayer cost.

    In my hypothetical but quite possible scenario, isn’t it obvious that such a clear deal about not having kids has not been made yet? Is it somehow wrong if my feelings for her — or hers for me — somehow alter over such matters?

    No, it’s not. Because in your previous comments, you made it clear that you’ve had these conversations with your sexual partners. I would assume that if you had this conversation with your current partner, and she made it clear that abortion would be an option for her if she were to become pregnant, then I think that your “offense” should have manifested itself at the time of that conversation. I’d assume that the relationship would never have gotten to the point of her “offending” you with exercising her rights.

    Then again, if your boyfriend had not accepted that deal, don’t you think he had had the right to walk?

    Damn right he’d have the right, but what I’m saying is that I would have walked first. If I were not satisfied that my boyfriend understood that having an abortion would be MY decision, and MINE alone, then I would never have started a sexual relationship with him. I don’t do the ambiguous “maybe we’ll have kids, maybe we won’t” thing, because I have already made up my mind on the matter.

    My hypothetical offense was to my person, never said a fucking word about manhood nor sperm powers. Don’t you think that snark was a bit gender based abuse, which shouldn’t be cool on this site?

    You think that snark is gender-based abuse, in the context of a discussion in which people think it’s okay, in some circumstances, to force me to keep a pregnancy I don’t want?! Seriously?

    I’m not apologizing for that. Would you be equally offended to find out that your partner had had an abortion after being impregnated by a former lover, before she was with you? Or would you only be offended to know that she wouldn’t carry a pregnancy caused by you, personally?

  168. carlie says

    Something pro-choice defenders tend to shy away from owning up to is that in order to be consistent in their reasoning, they must recognize that it doesn’t matter if a woman’s decision to terminate an abortion is IMMORAL, it is STILL her RIGHT to do so.

    What? No, we don’t recognize that there are any situations in which her decision to terminate is immoral. We don’t see any immorality in choosing to not become or remain pregnant.

  169. coldthinker says

    Beatrice,

    sorry about the assumption of your being American.

    And others who’ve criticized my posts,

    A lot of uncomfortable aggression here, but a couple of good points. Have to review them with more time. (Sorry if this sounds somehow condescending or something).

    Anyway, I’ve been kind of losing these arguments with some moderate limited-choice friends, probably for the lack of experience on my part. As I said, first time for me to genuinely fall on the conservative side of such a conversation, so I’ll have to think things over. Or betray my ideals and start voting right wing.

  170. ButchKitties says

    Just to add another data point, I didn’t feel even the slightest twinge of sadness about my abortion. All I felt was relief.

  171. says

    maxdevlin:

    Something pro-choice defenders tend to shy away from owning up to is that in order to be consistent in their reasoning, they must recognize that it doesn’t matter if a woman’s decision to terminate an abortion is IMMORAL, it is STILL her RIGHT to do so.

    WRONG. Abortion is not immoral. I will not cede that point, either, not then, not now, not ever. The moment someone decides “well, yeah, okay, it is immoral, but…” they are on the wrong side of the issue and they start weighting towards women dying. Ever do any reading at The Only Moral Abortion Is My Abortion? Even among those who claim abortion is immoral do a swift change of mind when it comes to themselves or their own.

    Back in Classical Greece, it was common to expose infants, primarily female infants, as they were nothing more than defective males. They would be left on garbage heaps to die. Now, that would be considered by most to be an immoral act. By embracing the idea that abortion is immoral, you are also embracing the idea that a blastocyst is the equivalent to an infant, and basically embracing the incorrect ideas and values of an anti-choice person.

  172. mythbri says

    @coldthinker

    A lot of the major shifts in my thinking, having been brought up in a conservative religious environment, were due to being made uncomfortable about things that I had not fully thought through, nor sought the perspectives of people directly affected by those things.

    You should welcome this.

    In the U.S., it is illegal to remove the organs of a recently-deceased person’s body unless it can be demonstrated that they gave consent to do so. The bodily autonomy of corpses is more respected than the rights of pregnant female-bodied persons.

    Putting restrictions on abortion is not giving fetuses the same or similar rights as born people.

    It is giving fetuses MORE rights than any born person, because NO ONE has the right to use my body against my will, even if it would save a life.

  173. carlie says

    ome moderate limited-choice friends,

    My issue with this is that they see it as a reasonable middle ground, but it’s not one of those situations that has a middle ground. Either you are controlling a person’s body and telling them what they are allowed to do with it, or you aren’t. Controlling it just a little bit or just in certain circumstances is still controlling it.

    I know we’ve thrown a lot at you, but please read this post, which is a comment by Alethea that got brought up to post level. jimashby, that goes for you too. It is a response specifically to a conversation about when it is ok to restrict abortion.

  174. carlie says

    Also at least skim through the comments – a guy named Ben Goren was making many of the same points you are trying to, and he was responded to at length.

  175. says

    Adding to mine @ 181:

    What is immoral is the insistence on controlling women, in treating them as nothing more than fucking livestock at one or more points. We are not cattle, we are not to be bred against our will, we are not to be forced into gestating and birthing against our will. We are human beings, deserving of the full and same rights as other human beings. It is utterly disgusting to see people casually discussing what rights we deserve and what limits really must be placed on us, for our own good, of course. We not only are not cattle, we are not fucking slaves, either.

  176. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What I find amusing is folks like coldthinker, who obviously hasn’t thought through what is meant by bodily autonomy. There are no cracks in the concept allowing for exceptions. Any cracks come through devaluing the woman and overvaluing whatever you expect the woman’s life forces to care form since the woman never, ever, should be devalued. To state that, even indirectly, is to insult half the human population.

  177. Eristae says

    Okay! This thread kind of exploded but I’m going to put in my 2 cents.

    1) Abortion is not cheep. Let me give you a small idea of how expensive they are. I want you to ask yourself, “Can I afford to go out and buy a laptop today? Not save up for one later, not shop around for deals, but just go out and get one.”

    If you answer “yes” to this question, then you have a level of money that many people do not have. Many people do not have enough money to randomly lose between $550 and $850 dollars.

    However, in my state, abortions cost as much as a laptop (between $550 and $850, depending on the type). To have an abortion, a woman must have this kind of money on hand. If she doesn’t have the money on hand, she’s going to have to hope that she can raise enough money before the system times her out and says she can’t get one. And the longer it takes her to get the money, the more it will cost.

    Painfully enough, there are scholarships that one can apply to with ND’s clinic to help offset the cost, but one has to be able to apply and have the time to have the application looked over before anyone can even figure out if they’ll give the money to her. If there isn’t enough time or money, she’s fucked.

    2) Even assuming that a woman has the money, she need to be able to get to the clinics. There is only one clinic in North Dakota (on the eastern most edge) to serve all of North Dakota and a really sizable chunk of Northwest Minnesota, which also doesn’t have an abortion clinic; from where my home base in Minnesota is, it would take as much time to drive me to an abortion clinic in Minnesota as it would for a person in western North Dakota to travel to theirs. This means that when I’m in Minnesota or when I’m in North Dakota, North Dakota’s one abortion clinic is my option. She screwed if she doesn’t have a car, or have the money to get gas to take her there, or have enough money to get somewhere to stay while she’s hours away from home, or can’t take enough time off from work to go, or is an abusive relationship where the abuser is monitoring her, or . . . well, or many things.

    3) The abortion clinic only operates on some days, and if their appointment book is full until after fetal viability, she’s screwed.

    4) Waiting periods. “Pro-lifers” looooooove to shove in waiting periods so that rather than having an abortion as soon as possible, she must delay.

    I don’t understand why people seem to think that getting an abortion is like going down to the grocers and getting a packet of cough drops. The barriers that a woman must face to get an abortion are shocking, yet people act like a woman finds out that she’s pregnant the instant implantation occurs and then decides to wait to have an abortion for eight months for no reason. This is just as stupid as insisting that people go out of their way to get heard disease so that they can undergo triple bypass surgery. No one thinks that, but for some reason it is regularly applied to women, as if we are somehow more malicious to our bodies (and yes, getting pregnant, waiting until late in in the pregnancy, and then having an abortion is much harder on a person’s body than either not getting pregnant at all or having an early termination) that the rules which are applied to us don’t apply to anyone else. I mean, can you think of even one procedure that we place waiting periods on when those waiting periods make the procedure to be done more dangerous? Because I can’t, yet we do that with abortion.

  178. says

    @coldthinker

    First, kudos for listening. Perhaps letting what people have said here sink in and percolate for a while might be beneficial.

    I know you were speaking to others in this convo, but I hope you don’t mind my replying. (btw, I live in Canada, where there are no legal restrictions against abortion, it is supposed to be covered by government health care, and where the main obstacles are access and stigma.

    if abortion is just another form of contraception to you, I suggest you check up the price tags on things like pills and condoms. A lot cheaper for the tax payer and lot less hassle for the woman.

    That’s rather nervy and assholish, to be all “my tax payer dollars are funding this” when a woman’s life and health is at stake. Besides which, any avoidance or termination of a pregnancy is less cost to your precious wallet than carrying to term, labour, and a lifetime’s worth of health care for a resulting child, so I see it as an excuse to shame women who choose abortion for birth control, even though the *result* is the same as, say Plan B. I’m sure there are other medical procedures you can protest if you really want to play healthcare judge (start with all those that are shown to have merely a placebo effect, for example), instead of worrying about someone using a safe and relatively inexpensive treatment over another.

    But I still think a person, who’s having her 9th tax-paid abortion because she and her men have all been too lazy, stupid or irresponsible to get pills or condoms at some point, shouldn’t be told abortion is just cool as a form of contraception.

    Why not? Surely you don’t want your hypothetical lazy, stupid, irresponsible slut person to be responsible for looking after a child instead, do you? Aside from which, perhaps she prefers abortions to the side effects of the Pill and is allergic to latex and is not lazy, stupid, or irresponsible at all. What difference does it make to you?

    And I’m very fine with schools telling teenagers that contraception is necessary and even if they can, they shouldn’t let things go to a point where an abortion is necessary.

    Why not? What difference does it make? Most people will choose what’s best and convenient for themselves if you *give them all the options*. To me it sounds like you’re pronouncing judgement on whether some irresponsible teenager ought to be shamed for having their wisdom teeth out, only more incomprehensible.

    Oh, and have you never heard of contraceptive failure? I’m sure the rates for that are higher among the inexperienced (i.e. teenagers). So?

    But hey, I’m apparently just selfish this way. Well, brick wall it is then.

    People aren’t saying you’re selfish for choosing a relationship that works best for you, they’re saying you’re selfish because you’re more worried about being offended for a reason you can’t really explain, than about your hypothetical partner’s health and well-being.

    My hypothetical offense was to my person, never said a fucking word about manhood nor sperm powers. Don’t you think that snark was a bit gender based abuse, which shouldn’t be cool on this site?

    What offence to your person? How is someone else’s decision whether or not to spend 9 months constructing a human being, risking her life to give birth to it, and committing to care for it after that, have anything to do with your person? The most comprehensible answer is that you feel it’s something to do with your manhood or your sperm’s having been involved in the conception, which is why people assumed that. If not that, what is it?

  179. carlie says

    if abortion is just another form of contraception to you, I suggest you check up the price tags on things like pills and condoms. A lot cheaper for the tax payer and lot less hassle for the woman.

    A lot of women get pregnant while on birth control. It happens.

  180. says

    Eristae @ 187, all that and more. With the new laws about to go into effect, it will be worse here (ND). I used to be able to say, “hey, at least we aren’t SD”, but no more. While the laws here aren’t yet as draconian as SD’s, I imagine it won’t be long before they are as bad.

    I donate to Red River’s Fund an Abortion pool as much as I possibly can. As intolerable as the situation already is here, these new laws are intended to shut down our last clinic standing. The only reason there’s one clinic standing in SD is that it’s a PP, and even they have been severely restricted. A doctor flies in to perform abortions 3 days a month. I have no patience for these idiots who think it’s all la-di-da easy. It’s damn near impossible to obtain an abortion here. Between the money, mandatory wait times and travel times, it’s simply not possible for most women. And for those of you who don’t know, it’s not a quick jaunt from one end of the Dakotas to the other.

  181. says

    Carllie@178:

    “What? No, we don’t recognize that there are any situations in which her decision to terminate is immoral. ”

    I don’t care if you recognize it or not, that isn’t the point or the issue. Just imagine that there might be such a situation. If you are pro-CHOICE, then you must accept that she still has the right to do so. Because, again, whether you recognize her choice as moral or immoral isn’t the issue, but whether she has the choice at all. If you insist that there cannot be any such circumstance by definition, then somewhere along the lines you are being inconsistent, and wish that I would stop bothering you about it. First Amendment rights don’t only exist for people who say nice things, and abortion rights aren’t only for people acting with the purest of motivations.

    You aren’t looking for women’s rights, you’re asking for carte blanche. Understandable, even supportable, but not necessarily consistent with what you believe to be your actual morals.

  182. says

    Carlie:

    A lot of women get pregnant while on birth control. It happens.

    Oh yes, it does. Happened to me, and we were using more than one form of birth control. And speaking of birth control, because it seems a whole lot of self righteous men don’t know this, women are often denied the very effective birth control they would choose. Going to a doctor when you’re 18, 20 or 27 and requesting an IUD will generally get you a condescending pat on the head, being told you don’t know your own mind, and to come back after you’ve had the babies and you’re 35 or older. It gets even better if you have the nerve to request sterilisation. After all, we’re just idiot incubators, couldn’t possibly know our own mind. :spits:

  183. carlie says

    Understandable, even supportable, but not necessarily consistent with what you believe to be your actual morals.

    That’s the part I don’t get – why do you think it’s not consistent with my actual morals? What do you know about my morals that I don’t?

  184. mythbri says

    You aren’t looking for women’s rights, you’re asking for carte blanche. Understandable, even supportable, but not necessarily consistent with what you believe to be your actual morals.

    How is “carte blanche” inconsistent with abortion on demand, for any reason?

  185. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Just imagine that there might be such a situation.

    Hypotheticals are for sophists to mental masturbate to. Realists don’t deal with hypotheticals, they deal with reality. If you wish to mentally wank, do so privately, and wash your mind afterwards.

  186. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If you wish to talk hypotheticals, Joey on the Thunderdome thread deals only in inane and improbable hypotheticals. Take them there, and bore each other to death.

  187. says

    Caine@181:
    “WRONG.”

    Rule #1 of ways to avoid getting in an argument with T. Max Devlin (or anyone else, afaik). Don’t start out that way.

    “Abortion is not immoral.”
    Abortions are not innately immoral. To suggest that no abortion could ever be immoral is to exclude from consideration certain obvious examples. Sorry, you can have carte blanche as far as the right to your own body as much as you want, you won’t ever get complete freedom from morality, whatever it is.

    “I will not cede that point, either, not then, not now, not ever.”
    Too bad. You don’t need to, you are mistaken regardless.

    The moment someone decides “well, yeah, okay, it is immoral, but…” they are on the wrong side of the issue and they start weighting towards women dying.

    Woah, there, Nelly, I believe I just got whiplash. What exactly is it that you think “immoral” means? Are you under the impression that all immoral acts should be illegal? Because that’s not the way I’m using the term.

    “Ever do any reading at The Only Moral Abortion Is My Abortion? Even among those who claim abortion is immoral do a swift change of mind when it comes to themselves or their own. ”

    Yes, that’s true, but unrelated to the point. Does immorality require your awareness of it to be immoral? A deep question, I know, but not as unrelated to the point as that web site.

    “Back in Classical Greece, it was common to expose infants, primarily female infants, as they were nothing more than defective males.”

    And now you suddenly bring infanticide into it? I don’t understand the relevance. Is it that abortion is always moral, or is that a man making the decision is always immoral? Because I’m discussing the first; the second seems obvious to me.

    “They would be left on garbage heaps to die. Now, that would be considered by most to be an immoral act. By embracing the idea that abortion is immoral,”

    I never suggested, let alone embraced, such an idea. What I said is that AN abortion CAN BE immoral. Believe it or not, women are free agents morally as much as men, they are entirely free to make an IMMORAL decision to have an abortion. You would rob them of that right and responsibility by proclaiming that any decision to have an abortion must by definition be a (pro)moral one.

    “you are also embracing the idea that a blastocyst is the equivalent to an infant, and basically embracing the incorrect ideas and values of an anti-choice person.”

    I am embracing the FACT that a blastocyst CAN BECOME an infant (it is the only possible way to get one, too.) Pretending that only it’s present condition, not its future potential, can be considered is not a defensible moral argument. That is my point entirely. It doesn’t matter if abortion is murder (though I don’t believe it is) it is still a woman’s right.

  188. mythbri says

    Hey, Mr. Max Devlin:

    Learn to blockquote. It will make your comments easier to read.

    It won’t, however, make them make sense. That’s on you.

  189. carlie says

    Believe it or not, women are free agents morally as much as men, they are entirely free to make an IMMORAL decision to have an abortion. You would rob them of that right and responsibility by proclaiming that any decision to have an abortion must by definition be a (pro)moral one.

    I am seriously not following. You’ll have to give me an example of someone making an immoral decision to have an abortion.

  190. says

    carlie@194: “That’s the part I don’t get – why do you think it’s not consistent with my actual morals? What do you know about my morals that I don’t?”

    I believe you think that killing a human being for your own convenience is immoral, don’t you? So what magic is it that prevents killing a human being in fetus form from being the same thing as killing a human being in child or adult form? Corpses are protected by law from violation, as was noted in another comment. Why do people deserve protection after they’re dead but not before they’ve survived the birth canal?

    All I’m saying is that you have a little blind spot that you’ve taught yourself to ignore so that you can hate the anti-choicers sufficiently to fight them. And that is that it is quite possible for a woman to IMMORALLY decide to prevent a (potential?) human being from living, and society STILL doesn’t have the right to prevent her from doing so. I would think this agrees with your morals, but for some reason you are insisting it isn’t possible. So you tell me, where are you papering over your logic to make your reasoning come out right?

  191. carlie says

    Because a fetus isn’t a human being yet in the sense of having the same rights regarding life and liberty that human beings have. It’s made of human tissue, yes, but so is a teratoma.

  192. David Marjanović says

    It should be noted that (as far as I know) fetal viability is the litmus test for abortion in ALL countries that allow abortion.

    In Austria it’s limited to the first trimester.

    That is… actually, technically, abortion is always illegal unless the fetus is “handicapped”, which is not defined. The trick is that abortion in the first trimester without evidence of a “handicap” is not punishable; there are clinics that do it, and, well, the country is 600 x 300 km (I’m sure there are counties in Texas that are bigger than this), has 8.4 million people, and it’s quite difficult to fire people, so many of the issues explained in comment 73 don’t arise. It’s still expensive, though; it’s not covered by the otherwise universal health insurance.

    Also, I have said that hypothetically, if a woman were pregnant by me and decided to abort the fetus for non-medical reasons, it would be her prerogative, and hers alone. However, I have to say that deep down I would find it emotionally quite offensive, much more offensive than say, infidelity. So, I would help her through the abortion, but the amorous relationship would very likely end. The friendship, possibly not.

    I can imagine a reason why you’d find it offensive: because you think you’d be a good father and could provide, so you can’t see a reason other than spite or something. Well, not every man is a good father; don’t generalize from yourself to everyone. And even when a good father is available, not every woman is a good mother… especially not to an unwanted child.

    But I still think a person, who’s having her 9th tax-paid abortion because she and her men have all been too lazy, stupid or irresponsible to get pills or condoms at some point, shouldn’t be told abortion is just cool as a form of contraception.

    Do such people even exist? If they exist, don’t they have psychological problems that need treatment anyway? And if so, should they really have children?

    Long, long ago I read a Michael Crichton novel where a doctor has provided 2 abortions to a woman and plainy refuses the third – in order to punish her. What an asshole, I thought immediately. My opinion of Crichton dropped… and rightly so, as it later turned out for other reasons.

    Would you be equally offended to find out that your partner had had an abortion after being impregnated by a former lover, before she was with you? Or would you only be offended to know that she wouldn’t carry a pregnancy caused by you, personally?

    I think that’s what’s going on.

  193. mythbri says

    Whoa, Maxy, that is a whole load of assumptions that you’re making there. The first and most crucial one is that you’re assuming that people here secretly believe that fetuses are human beings, and that terminating pregnancies constitutes murder.

    That’s your “logic.” Not mine.

  194. carlie says

    maxdevlin, I assume that you’re now going to ask me “at what point is it a human being, then”, going all the way up to a minute before birth. Before going down that road, I’d like you to go in the opposite direction. Does a 4 month old fetus have all the rights of a human? What about a 3 week old embryo? What about a 5 day old blastocyst? How about a fertilized egg? At what point do you make it into a human?

  195. says

    Mythbri@195:

    “How is ‘carte blanche’ inconsistent with abortion on demand, for any reason?”

    Abortion on demand is concerned with whether it is legal. “Carte blanche” is concerned with whether it is moral. You are arguing they are the same thing, and I am explaining they are not. A woman should have a legal right to an abortion regardless of circumstances: that is supporting women’s rights. But what you seem to be saying is that a woman should have a legal right to an abortion only when it is moral, and all abortions are moral. That is not the right way to do it.

  196. omnicrom says

    So what magic is it that prevents killing a human being in fetus form from being the same thing as killing a human being in child or adult form?

    A fetus is not born yet. That is the difference. Now provide an explanation of an “Immoral” abortion. Until you can, this hypothetical “blind spot” you repeatedly witter on about is without evidence and can therefore be dismissed.

  197. mythbri says

    But what you seem to be saying is that a woman should have a legal right to an abortion only when it is moral, and all abortions are moral. That is not the right way to do it.

    WTF?

    An abortion is exactly as moral as the pregnant person believes it to be.

  198. says

    Hey, mythbri: yeah, sorry, I know how, I just got lazy, didn’t realize I’d be dragged into a whole thing. But I’m really sorry about your inability to actually address my points. Better luck next time.

  199. mythbri says

    @maxdevlin

    I’d certainly believe laziness to be one of your characteristics, based on the comments you’ve made here.

  200. omnicrom says

    Well maxdevlin I’m also really sorry you act like an asshole. I’m also sorry you don’t seem to have any rhetoric that correlates to reality. If you find some let us know.

  201. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    “Carte blanche” is concerned with whether it is moral.

    Fine, show morals are absolute. You can’t, as they aren’t. They are defined by humans, very situation, as have been throughout history.

  202. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But I’m really sorry about your inability to actually address my points. Better luck next time.

    If this is the same MD that posted on the old sciblogs, your points are vacuous and inane, and not worthy of intelligent thought.

  203. consciousness razor says

    maxdevlin, the condescending ass:

    Do you think you could explain to me what the “purest of motivations” are, how (if there are any such things) they’re relevant to what is moral, and more generally what the fuck you’re rambling about?

  204. says

    @maxdevlin

    1. Foetuses are not persons. They aren’t babies until they’re born alive.
    2. Even if that were not the case, a) its right to live would not supersede the pregnant person’s right of bodily autonomy (otherwise it would be a form of slavery) b) its right to live would not supersede the pregnant person’s right to security of person (aka killing it would not be murder but self-defence)
    3. I cannot imagine under what circumstances an abortion freely chosen by the pregnant person could be immoral.
    4. Even if there were such, that would still not abrogate the pregnant person’s right to bodily autonomy and security of person. So, yeah, she has a right to an abortion, moral or not.

  205. says

    I’m hoping I didn’t screw up the posting and accidentally trash the long detailed response that I thought I had just posted, but isn’t showing up. Maybe it is just delayed. But in response to ya’lls desperate insults in place of actual responses, I’m going to post this regardless. It really would be a shame, I thought I’d done a tremendous job of dealing with your difficulties, not at all the “shoot-from-the-hip” style of my solo response to mythbaby, or this one to the ironically-handled “consciousness razor”.

    Anyway, here you go:

    maxdevlin, the condescending ass:

    I’ll consider that evidence I’ve won the argument. Feel free to continue.

    Do you think you could explain to me what the “purest of motivations” are, how (if there are any such things) they’re relevant to what is moral, and more generally what the fuck you’re rambling about?

    How are motives relevant to morality? Well, that doesn’t really matter, they still are, aren’t they? So what I’m “rambling about” is a superior philosophical understanding than your own. It wouldn’t kill you to show a little respect while you seek to improve your consideration.

    Oh, and also to Nerd:

    If this is the same MD that posted on the old sciblogs, your points are vacuous and inane, and not worthy of intelligent thought.”

    Yup, that’s me, and I’m glad to see the level of debate you generate is still consistent, even if it is trivial and silly. Great way to show how open your mind is, particularly given the fact that you failed to address anything at all about my arguments. It must be so easy to feel superior when you simply ignore anyone who’s better than you, eh? Scoffing and dismissing is so much simpler than thinking, you’ve obviously grown comfortable doing it.

  206. says

    @maxdevlin (sorry, no block-quotes for numbered lists)

    1. Foetuses are not persons. They aren’t babies until they’re born alive.

    As I’ve already explained, that is a pedantic (i.e., pathetically weak) argument. “It’s different because we call it something different” isn’t a convincing argument.

    2. Even if that were not the case, a) its right to live would not supersede the pregnant person’s right of bodily autonomy (otherwise it would be a form of slavery) b) its right to live would not supersede the pregnant person’s right to security of person (aka killing it would not be murder but self-defence)

    That is exactly the point I’ve been explaining, but more so. The problem you have is that you refuse to admit that inverting these rights to “bodily autonomy” is also the same form of slavery. What other than being inside someone else’s body prevents the fetus from having a right to continue living? You’re allowed to say the woman’s right overwhelms the fetus’, but only after admitting the fetus has some to be overwhelmed. Killing a person is murder; self-defense is an excuse for it, but not always a contradiction.

    3. I cannot imagine under what circumstances an abortion freely chosen by the pregnant person could be immoral.

    If the pregnant person took no thought or concern for anyone else (including the father as well as the fetus) but only herself, she is committing an immoral act, regardless of what act it is, just like all the rest of us. You see, all I’m saying is that she doesn’t get (or need!) a special exemption just because she’s terminating her pregnancy. Declaring all abortions morally good is every bit as unreasoning as declaring all abortions morally bad, so that might explain why so many women’s rights advocates have such trouble debating when faced with pro-life arguments. And by “trouble” I mean being unsuccessful in changing other’s opinions, not difficulty justifying their own.

    4. Even if there were such, that would still not abrogate the pregnant person’s right to bodily autonomy and security of person. So, yeah, she has a right to an abortion, moral or not.

    That’s what I said, isn’t it?

  207. carlie says

    So what I’m “rambling about” is a superior philosophical understanding than your own. It wouldn’t kill you to show a little respect while you seek to improve your consideration.

    Oh great and superior intellect, whose brain is so big, so very huge, I mean gosh, we’re all really impressed down here, would you deign to give us an example of an immoral abortion that you have been asked for several times but have continued until now to ignore?

  208. Eristae says

    But I still think a person, who’s having her 9th tax-paid abortion because she and her men have all been too lazy, stupid or irresponsible to get pills or condoms at some point, shouldn’t be told abortion is just cool as a form of contraception.

    Examples like this make flames come out of my ears.

    Okay, let’s pretend that your situation is true. There stands before us a woman who has access to free and/or affordable birth control. This birth control is of a type she can use (not latex condoms to a person with latex allergies, etc). The men she’s sleeping with could also access birth control that they can use. The woman is in some circumstances were she can get off from work, go over to a clinic, get an abortion, and endure all of the physical pain and bleeding that goes along with that.

    Do you really think that the preferable choice would be to make this woman into a mother? Do you really think that the response to a woman being so profoundly stupid that she cannot exist in reality should be to give her children?

    The woman you described? I want her to have an abortion. Of all the hypothetical women in the world who might be in a position to need an abortion, this woman is tops the list of the people I want to have access to it.

    Children are not punishments and they are not tools for teaching. If force the woman you described to give birth, you’ll be dumping a freaking baby on top of a woman whom you clearly hold in disdain. Why would you do that? Because I want responsible, thoughtful people to raise children, not people who have issues so severe that they keep having abortion after abortion.

    Bloody hell.

    Abortions are not innately immoral. To suggest that no abortion could ever be immoral is to exclude from consideration certain obvious examples. Sorry, you can have carte blanche as far as the right to your own body as much as you want, you won’t ever get complete freedom from morality, whatever it is.

    Obvious examples like . . . ? And please, have these examples based in reality, not something like “Would abortion be immoral if having the abortion would cause the sun to explode, killing everyone on the planet?”

  209. mythbri says

    Oooh, “mythbaby.” I’ll bet that’s supposed to be me.

    Consider me underwhelmed by your professed philosophical superiority, maxdevlin.

  210. says

    Hmm. Let’s see.

    Step 1: Act like a condescending ass.
    Step 2: When people call you out for being a condescending ass, declare that you consider you’ve won whatever argument you think you’re having.
    Step 3: Walk away flushed with the glow of victory.

    Hahahaha! That’s too funny.

  211. says

    To the truly pathetic “Nerd”:
    ” Funny how anti-choice fuckwits ignore scientific evidence for their presuppositional thinking.”
    I’m not anti-choice, moron. You see how bad you are at actually arguing? Maybe you should just stop trying to confront me and start reading what I actually write? Maybe twice, if you don’t get it the first time?

    Every moment of development is an irreversible process, dummy. What other than your declaration that it is so makes this one any different?

  212. consciousness razor says

    I’ll consider that evidence I’ve won the argument.

    I’m going to infer from this that evaluating evidence isn’t really your forte. Or you’re trolling.

    How are motives relevant to morality? Well, that doesn’t really matter, they still are, aren’t they?

    It’s disappointing that you think this is an answer.

    So what I’m “rambling about” is a superior philosophical understanding than your own. It wouldn’t kill you to show a little respect while you seek to improve your consideration.

    Even if it would kill me, there’d still be nothing of substance to respect. There’s nothing I can do about that.

  213. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So what I’m “rambling about” is a superior philosophical understanding than your own.

    Well, it isn’t in your ramblings. Citation needed to show your ramblings are superior. Until then, the null hypothesis is that you are full of shit.

    As I’ve already explained, that is a pedantic (i.e., pathetically weak) argument.

    Nope, you haven’t shown a damn thing. Your evidenceless assertions can and are dismissed. Where is your evidence? Evidenceless claims are made by bullshitters all the time. Which is why we don’t accept them.

    The problem you have is that you refuse to admit that inverting these rights to “bodily autonomy” is also the same form of slavery.

    Evideneless assertion, bullshit being called.

    What other than being inside someone else’s body prevents the fetus from having a right to continue living?

    There need not be anything else. That is your failure. You have to show this, not just make an evidenceless claim. Which is why philosophy is not looked upon here as anything to solve a problem with. Too much bullshit, too little evidence.

  214. consciousness razor says

    If the pregnant person took no thought or concern for anyone else (including the father as well as the fetus) but only herself, she is committing an immoral act, regardless of what act it is, just like all the rest of us.

    You don’t really get this whole “bodily autonomy” thing, do you?

  215. Eristae says

    That is exactly the point I’ve been explaining, but more so. The problem you have is that you refuse to admit that inverting these rights to “bodily autonomy” is also the same form of slavery. What other than being inside someone else’s body prevents the fetus from having a right to continue living? You’re allowed to say the woman’s right overwhelms the fetus’, but only after admitting the fetus has some to be overwhelmed. Killing a person is murder; self-defense is an excuse for it, but not always a contradiction.

    Why would one need something other than the fact that the fetus is inside of the woman?

    If the pregnant person took no thought or concern for anyone else (including the father as well as the fetus) but only herself, she is committing an immoral act, regardless of what act it is, just like all the rest of us.

    You make this assertion, but I fail to see why I should accept it as true.

    You see, all I’m saying is that she doesn’t get (or need!) a special exemption just because she’s terminating her pregnancy. Declaring all abortions morally good is every bit as unreasoning as declaring all abortions morally bad,

    Unless you have something to back this up, you’re committing the fallacy of the golden mean.

    so that might explain why so many women’s rights advocates have such trouble debating when faced with pro-life arguments. And by “trouble” I mean being unsuccessful in changing other’s opinions, not difficulty justifying their own.

    Are you really arguing that because the other side won’t listen to logic, we should do something other than logic, something that you’ve not defined? Or are you just saying we should give in to them because they won’t accept logic?

  216. carlie says

    If the pregnant person took no thought or concern for anyone else (including the father as well as the fetus) but only herself, she is committing an immoral act, regardless of what act it is, just like all the rest of us.

    Wait, really? Doing something out of thought only for yourself is immoral? Does that mean the frozen yogurt I just ate was an immoral act, because I took no thought or concern for anyone else in my eating of it? Good lord. I was expecting at least something like if she were carrying a super genetically enhanced baby that had cost two million dollars to engineer and that baby was going to somehow save the entire world once it was born but she aborted it just out of spite because she was mad at the government for giving the baby blue eyes instead of green ones, that would be an immoral abortion.

    And instead “thinking about yourself” is the immoral act? How exactly do you define morality?

  217. says

    Oh great and superior intellect, whose brain is so big, so very huge, I mean gosh, we’re all really impressed down here, would you deign to give us an example of an immoral abortion that you have been asked for several times but have continued until now to ignore?

    Why is it always when answering posts like this that I accidentally hit the key that sends yet another long comment into oblivion?

    Yes, Carlie, I already posted the example, or thought I had, at least twice. Any time a woman makes a decision to abort a pregnancy without considering anyone other than herself (such as the father, the fetus, or even society at large) then she is committing an immoral act, just like anyone else would be. Morality requires considering ourselves as something less than absolute authorities. Those of us who do not “believe in God” do need to be careful of the arrogance that the religious accuse us of, even as we realize they are guilty of that same arrogance in believing they know what God has decreed as moral or immoral. We should not simply say “because she always has the right to decide, whatever decision she makes is therefore morally unquestionable.” I recognize that many women’s advocates get nervous because that sounds as if I’m somehow reserving the right to prevent them from getting an abortion. Yet another inconsistency in people’s thinking I’m trying to address, this knee-jerk assumption that anything that is “immoral” (unethical, not nice, whatever you want to call it) should be illegal. What I’m actually saying is that there is simply no reason whatsoever in any circumstances to prevent a woman from aborting a pregnancy. She doesn’t need a reason, but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t have one.

  218. says

    “It’s different because we call it something different” isn’t a convincing argument.

    Duh. You’ve got it backwards. We call it something different because it is something different. A baby is breathing. There’s enough oxygen in the brain to induce consciousness. Also, and most importantly, it’s out there. It is no longer parasitising someone else’s body for survival.

    What other than being inside someone else’s body prevents the fetus from having a right to continue living?

    For someone who struts around belittling everyone else’s intelligence, you sure aren’t very bright are you? The answer is (usually) nothing. That’s why babies (usually) have rights, including a right to live.

    Killing a person is murder; self-defense is an excuse for it, but not always a contradiction.

    Wrong. Killing a person is homicide, not murder. Murder is a specific type of homicide. Killing a person in self-defence is not considered murder in any legal jurisdiction; it’s considered justifiable homicide. Maybe you should look that up before you continue to show your ignorance.

    If the pregnant person took no thought or concern for anyone else (including the father as well as the fetus) but only herself, she is committing an immoral act,

    So…if I have a tooth pulled or a tumor excised or kill a tapeworm or a tick that’s infested my body without giving thought to anyone else, is that immoral? Do you give much thought to every spermatozoon that exits your body? Do you weep over the shower drain, or check in with your sexual partner before you wank off? Tell me why this deserves more consideration.

    All freely undertaken abortions *are moral*–since every reason to have an abortion is a good enough reason not to bring an unwanted child into an overpopulated world. You still have yet to convince anyone here that there’s such a thing as an immoral abortion (aside from those forced or coerced by third parties).

  219. carlie says

    We should not simply say “because she always has the right to decide, whatever decision she makes is therefore morally unquestionable.”

    I don’t know anyone who does. What we say is “because it will affect her by orders of magnitude more than it will affect anyone else, because it will involve vast amounts of pain and carry a very real risk of death or permanent disability, because it is fundamentally tied to her and to no one else, she is the only true expert on her own situation and the decision she makes is the right one for her, and therefore moral.”

  220. says

    Oooh, “mythbaby.” I’ll bet that’s supposed to be me.

    You started it, @204. It isn’t “supposed to be” you, it is you.

    Consider me underwhelmed by your professed philosophical superiority, maxdevlin.

    Actually, I will consider only your inability to actually respond to said philosophy as evidence of its superiority. Thanks for your time. Hope it helps.

  221. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    hose of us who do not “believe in God” do need to be careful of the arrogance that the religious accuse us of, even as we realize they are guilty of that same arrogance in believing they know what God has decreed as moral or immoral.

    Fuck this shit and your arrogance. We don’t have to defend our beliefs to presuppositiosal godbots. They are irrelevant to our morality. And you haven’t shown any morality that is being ignored, only asserted it. This is why your “arguments” are so much bullshit and hot air. You have shown nothing with hypotheticals, other than your inability to think clearly.

  222. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Actually, I will consider only your inability to actually respond to said philosophy as evidence of its superiority. Thanks for your time. Hope it helps.

    Actually, science, a part of philosophy, has advanced the knowledge of mankind. Pure mental wanking, no so much. The difference, in case you are too head in the clouds to notice, is evidence. Science is based in reality, Pure philosophy, only mental wanking. And the pure philosophers do need to clean up after themselves, and then ground themselves with evidence.

  223. mythbri says

    @maxdevlin

    You started it

    Mooooo-ooooommmm! Someone on the Internet told me to learn to blockquote so that my posts would be easier to read, and then implied that my arguments didn’t make sense!

    Actually, I will consider only your inability to actually respond to said philosophy as evidence of its superiority.

    Actually, since you have offered absolutely nothing to support whatever points you think you’re making here, I will continue to put them in my mental “round file.”

  224. Eristae says

    If I get ignored again because I’m not cursing, insulting people’s intelligence, calling people names, and all and all being “rude” and “aggressive,” I’m going to start throwing things. Preferably those things will be trash and I will throw them into the trash, but who knows?

  225. consciousness razor says

    And the pure philosophers do need to clean up after themselves, and then ground themselves with evidence.

    The funny thing is that I was half expecting a long spiel about deontology or some shit. But no, maxdevlin just openly begs the question and declares superiority.

    It’s not wanking. It’s not even wanking.

  226. mythbri says

    @Eristae

    Maybe you’ll even say, “Skreeee!” and grow wings and talons? It made me laugh when you posted it earlier. ;)

  227. says

    But I still think a person, who’s having her 9th tax-paid abortion because she and her men have all been too lazy, stupid or irresponsible to get pills or condoms at some point, shouldn’t be told abortion is just cool as a form of contraception.

    well, that didn’t take long. when it’s not religious whingeing, it always comes down to “lazy, filthy sluts are stealing mah moneyz!!!111!!!” in the end. *sigh*

    I assure, you, it’ll hurt you precious walled one hell of a lot less to pay for every abortion regardless of reason than it is to pay for those pregnancies to come to term and produce children you’ll have to educate etc.

    – – – – – – – –

    all abortions are moral.

    all abortions are moral. defense against infringement of bodily autonomy is always ethically sound, regardless of why the pregnancy is considered an infringement of bodily autonomy

    Well, that doesn’t really matter, they still are, aren’t they?

    outcomes are what matters; motives, not so much.

    What other than being inside someone else’s body prevents the fetus from having a right to continue living?

    the fetus has a right to continue living; what it diesn’t have is the right to use someone else’s body to survive. No one has that right. wtf?

    If the pregnant person took no thought or concern for anyone else (including the father as well as the fetus) but only herself, she is committing an immoral act, regardless of what act it is, just like all the rest of us.

    pure nonsense. by that logic, me buying ice-cream just for myself without regard for whether anyone else wantes some would be “immoral”.

  228. says

    CR:

    I’m going to infer from this that evaluating evidence isn’t really your forte. Or you’re trolling.

    No, actually you’re trolling. I post arguments and discussion, you simply scoff without actually responding to them. But you’ve “been here longer” (not really) so it’s easy for you to get confused and assume that it must be me that’s “trolling”, because I continue to challenge the counter-arguments (what tiny shred of them there actually are). Trolling is like that. A non-trolling response to my arguments would have actually responded to what I said instead of simply pretending as hard as you could that there was no reason to respond.

    How are motives relevant to morality? Well, that doesn’t really matter, they still are, aren’t they?

    It’s disappointing that you think this is an answer.

    So should I assume you believe that motives are not relevant to morality? (See, what’s disappointing is that you think “it’s disappointing that you think this is an answer” is an answer.)

    It wouldn’t kill you to show a little respect while you seek to improve your consideration.

    Even if it would kill me, there’d still be nothing of substance to respect. There’s nothing I can do about that.

    Seriously, you don’t see how childish you sound? It can’t be just me.

  229. says

    But I still think a person, who’s having her 9th tax-paid abortion because she and her men have all been too lazy, stupid or irresponsible to get pills or condoms at some point, shouldn’t be told abortion is just cool as a form of contraception.

    well, that didn’t take long. when it’s not religious whingeing, it always comes down to “lazy, filthy sluts are stealing mah moneyz!!!111!!!” in the end. *sigh*

    Oh, how I hate this fucking argument too. No one how actually uses this argument can go beyond the BS hypothetical – nonexistent – argument of the whores having “too many” abortions. A) No one’s having 9 fucking abortions and B) even if this was true, would you want this person having a child?

  230. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    No, actually you’re trolling. I post arguments and discussion,

    No, you don’t post arguments, which require evidence. You post a series of meaningless assertions and pretend that they are an argument. You haven’t shown anything, and can’t until you find google scholar to back up your assertions.

  231. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Seriously, you don’t see how childish you sound? It can’t be just me.

    It’s just you sounding childish. You haven’t presented a real argument. And you can’t until you post your axioms. There is a huge amount of presuppositions in your inane bullshit.

  232. says

    Parting shot, it’s been fun but I’m done for the night:

    Wrong. Killing a person is homicide, not murder. Murder is a specific type of homicide.

    Seriously, I thought I’d explained already how counter-productive starting a response with “Wrong.” as if it is a full sentence is. Everyone should always avoid doing that, at all costs. It makes you sound defensive and childish, at best. Unless you are enough of an intellectual bully to get away with it even though it makes you sound defensive and childish (a position I realize a large number of pharyngulists aspire to). Just take my advice, abandon it, and re-write whenever you catch yourself using it or any obvious substitutes. You’ll look smarter and more reasonable, even if you aren’t very much either.

    Anyway, as for the “argument” itself, I’ve already dealt with that as well. There is no amount of “it is called something different” argument that is ever going to be convincing. The issue is whether you are killing something, not what you call it. And not even what the “thing” is, but whether you’re killing it, AND YOU ARE. It is part of the moral responsibility of women to know that, even as it is the moral responsibility of society to ensure they have access to the means to control their own body, regardless. Whether they consider that killing on the moral order of squishing a spider or murdering an adult is beside the point, but claiming there isn’t any killing going on is a denial of reality and works against you in your confrontation of this issue, politically.

    tooth pulled or a tumor excised

    Neither have the ability or potential to grow into a self-aware human being with an independent life. Why aren’t you able to recognize how weak your own arguments are?

    Anyway, like I said, TTFN. Thanks for your time. Hope it helps.

  233. carlie says

    The funny thing is that I was half expecting a long spiel about deontology or some shit. But no, maxdevlin just openly begs the question and declares superiority.

    And notice what it all comes down to – his concern is that she’s making the decision on her own, possibly without consulting the father. So really, it’s all down to being angry that the guy involved doesn’t get to force anyone to have a baby for him.

  234. mythbri says

    Hope it helps.

    I guess we poor simple-minded wimminz just don’t grasp how lucky we are to have someone like maxdevlin coming down from high atop his perch of philosophical superiority, to help us with understanding abortion.

    So, so lucky.

  235. says

    Just take my advice, abandon it, and re-write whenever you catch yourself using it or any obvious substitutes. You’ll look smarter and more reasonable, even if you aren’t very much either.

    adorable how maxy thinks he’s got any clout on the topic of sounding smart or reasonable.

    The issue is whether you are killing something, not what you call it. And not even what the “thing” is, but whether you’re killing it, AND YOU ARE.

    what a primitive argument; as if killing were universally unethical somehow.

  236. Amphiox says

    What other than being inside someone else’s body prevents the fetus from having a right to continue living?

    That alone is sufficient.

    Nothing “other” is required.

  237. Eristae says

    mythbri

    @Eristae

    Maybe you’ll even say, “Skreeee!” and grow wings and talons? It made me laugh when you posted it earlier. ;)

    Hahah, thanks! I’ll have to try it! Here we go . . .

    @maxdevlin
    *clears her throat* Skreeeeeeee! *grows wings and flexes her talons*
    Stupid son of a dung beetle’s ignoramus imaginary friend’s brother in law of a festering space nematode! Am I visible yet?!

    B) even if this was true, would you want this person having a child?

    It seems to me that this has been asked this question a minimum of three times in this thread and not once has anyone answered it. As far as I can tell, the whole argument goes like this:

    Police Officer: I can’t believe that you stayed in the museum after closing time. Why would you do something like that.

    Person: I’m so sorry officer. It was a stupid thing to do and I know it. I just lost track of time . . .
    Police Officer: That’s no excuse.

    Person: I know, officer, and I’m sorry. I’ll be more careful; I’ll even pay to make up for the fact that people had to stay at work after hours.

    Police Officer: Not good enough. You’re going to have to become the curator of the museum.

    Person: . . . wait, what?

    Police Officer: You’ve broken in to the museum several times now. The first couple of times we let you off with just making restitution, but now you need to face the consequences of your actions.

    Person: But I’m not qualified to be a curator! I don’t know anything about management!

    Police officer: Well, I guess you should have thought of that before you stayed after hours, eh?

    It makes no goddamned sense!

  238. carlie says

    Neither have the ability or potential to grow into a self-aware human being with an independent life.

    So… it’s worse to eat eggs than to eat chicken? Because the eggs have the potential to grow into a full independent being but the chicken meat doesn’t?

  239. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Just take my advice,

    Why? Your advice, like your arguments, is meaningless drivel. Try harder.

  240. Amphiox says

    Neither have the ability or potential to grow into a self-aware human being with an independent life.

    The woman is an ACTUAL self-aware human being with an independent life.

    When the interests of a potentiality are weighed against those of an actuality, the actuality wins.

    There is no argument that changes this that does not devalue a woman into something less even than a “potential” human being.

    In other words, if women are always human, then abortion freely chosen by the woman is always moral. If freely chosen abortion is immoral, even sometimes, then that means women are, at least sometimes, not human.

    The only immoral abortion is an abortion forced upon a woman against her will when her preference is to continue the pregnancy.

  241. Eristae says

    Neither have the ability or potential to grow into a self-aware human being with an independent life. Why aren’t you able to recognize how weak your own arguments are?

    I have the potential to become the president of the United States. Please start sending me a salary equal to the presidents. I would also like the president’s health care and bodyguards.

    But remember: anyone not born in the USA can’t become president, so they can’t get these things like I can.

    PS: You do realize that we’re getting better and better at growing organs and even bodies from non-reproductive cells? So what happens when we can turn a cheek cell into a fully grown human being? I mean, every cell in our body has the DNA needed to create a whole new person.

  242. Eristae says

    So… it’s worse to eat eggs than to eat chicken? Because the eggs have the potential to grow into a full independent being but the chicken meat doesn’t?

    *hides the soft boiled eggs she’s eating*

  243. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Why aren’t you able to recognize how weak your own arguments are?

    Sorry Max, your projection is screaming. You presented no arguments. Inane philosophical bullshit isn’t an argument. An argument has “this is what I believe, and this [link to evidence] is what back up my opinion”. Your opinions, which is all you presented per Chritopher Hitchens, can be dismissed as you presented no evidence. Try harder next time. Actually present an argument, not just make inane and easily dismissable claims.

  244. vaiyt says

    @maxdevlin

    The issue is whether you are killing something, not what you call it. And not even what the “thing” is, but whether you’re killing it, AND YOU ARE.

    Tell me, if abortion is murder, is a miscarriage involuntary manslaughter?

    even as it is the moral responsibility of society to ensure they have access to the means to control their own body, regardless.

    They won’t be able to, as long as assholes like you think they have to give up their personhood in favor of a fetus.

  245. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I thought maxdevlin was a banned troll. No?

    IIRC, he was on SciBlogs. Freed as part of the new blog amnesty program.

  246. Amphiox says

    Tell me, if abortion is murder, is a miscarriage involuntary manslaughter?

    Perhaps maxdevlin actually supports that proposed state law that would require every woman who has had a miscarriage report it to police within 24h….

  247. omnicrom says

    Wow maxdevlin, I have to say that your ego goes above and beyond the call of duty. I have met my fair share of complete assholes frequenting Pharyngula, but you take the cake. Your amazing smugness is breathtaking, in the future when the next asshole troll wanders in here to espouse of gospel of Misogyny I’ll remind myself that they can’t hold a candle to you.

    Now to the case at hand max: My question is still up in the air, if you say that some Abortions are “Immoral” then provide an example. A REAL example as well, not a hypothetical you pulled out of your ass. Then go on and explain WHY that abortion is immoral, you’re going to need to show that it’s somehow immoral in this one circumstance for a woman to have a right to bodily autonomy.

    By the way if your answer is along the well-trodden lines of “I’ve already explained this you silly pillock, bow before my superior logic and worship my mental masturbation” then I will take it as evidence that you’ve got nothing and copy a page from your own book by declaring you’ve lost the argument. The only difference is that if you actually just continue with your smug masturbation you actually will have shown you’ve got nothing and that you’re lost the argument by showing you can safely be ignored. And it will be the first piece of evidence that will have come out of you.

  248. Eristae says

    Eristae @ 187, all that and more. With the new laws about to go into effect, it will be worse here (ND). I used to be able to say, “hey, at least we aren’t SD”, but no more. While the laws here aren’t yet as draconian as SD’s, I imagine it won’t be long before they are as bad.

    I donate to Red River’s Fund an Abortion pool as much as I possibly can. As intolerable as the situation already is here, these new laws are intended to shut down our last clinic standing. The only reason there’s one clinic standing in SD is that it’s a PP, and even they have been severely restricted. A doctor flies in to perform abortions 3 days a month. I have no patience for these idiots who think it’s all la-di-da easy. It’s damn near impossible to obtain an abortion here. Between the money, mandatory wait times and travel times, it’s simply not possible for most women. And for those of you who don’t know, it’s not a quick jaunt from one end of the Dakotas to the other

    It drives me up the freaking wall. We get all these people coming in and piping, “What if you have this woman who had access to free birth control but didn’t use it, had easy access to free early term abortions and didn’t use it, repeatedly has abortions (because abortions aren’t a serious and often extremely painful medical procedures), but then want to have an abortion after they’ve gone into labor and the baby’s head is out but the body isn’t! What then?!” and I want to beat them on the head with a stick.

    If these nits ever manage to get us to a place where women have free access to birth control and abortion, then we can talk about whatever alternative universe they are living it. Even if they managed to get that to happen, things still wouldn’t be that simple (see abusive men sabotaging their partner’s birth control to get her pregnant and then preventing her from getting an abortion), but at least we wouldn’t be operating in a la la land where we were pretending that we, as a society, were acting to help women prevent late term abortions. We’re not. We take elaborate and active steps to keep a woman from having an abortion as long as we can in hopes that she’ll time out and then we can wave our hands and titter, “Oh, she can’t have an abortion now! If she wanted to have one, she should have gotten one EARLIER!”

    To hell with that. I am not interested in engaging in some weird thought experiment where a woman is pregnant with a fetus that will kill her but will solve global warming through its magical powers. I am not interested in blathering on about whether or not hypothetical magical babies outweigh the interest of actual women. I am not interested in watching real women be maimed and/or die because not only does her doctor need to decide that she needs an abortion, but so does some uninvolved, overworked, and possibly hostile judge. I am not interested in reading that a woman died because they couldn’t reach the judge in time or because the judge either a) didn’t believe it was serious b) didn’t care that it was serious because “abortion is always wrong.” No, no, no. Our healthcare system is fucked up enough without some ninny making it worse.

  249. says

    Eristae:

    To hell with that.

    I’m right there with you. This is the only reasonable response, given what’s going on. And for those people in places where it isn’t as draconian when it comes to obtaining an abortion, they best keep a sharp eye. Once the anti-abortion people here realized that attempting to overturn Roe v Wade was a waste of time and effort, they found what works just as well – chipping away here, chipping away there, restrict, restrict, restrict, add this requirement, add that requirement, toss in this requirement too, and voila!, abortion is as good as illegal. Add on top of that mountain of shit granting pharmacists and medical personnel the “right to conscience” and you go a long way in preventing women from obtaining birth control of all types. Then there’s the religious buy outs of hospitals all over the place.

    In short, even if you think you live in a more enlightened place, don’t think it can’t happen.

  250. says

    Wow.
    After reading maxdevlin’s #230, I don’t think there is any hope of this condescending arrogant dude understanding bodily autonomy. I can’t even wrap my brain around someone thinking that women have the right to decide what to do with their bodies, but they should take into consideration other people or even society before they have an abortion.
    In case there are any lurkers out there, a woman has no one she needs to consider before having an abortion. Her decision to have an abortion is hers and hers alone and she is not immoral for choosing not to consider anyone else.

  251. says

    Tony:

    Her decision to have an abortion is hers and hers alone and she is not immoral for choosing not to consider anyone else.

    Of course she isn’t. It’s interesting to note that every time a man shows up in a thread about abortion (not necessarily tmax, who is just a garden variety troll, but people like jim ashby and coldthinker), whining about women actually having bodily autonomy, the one thing you never hear is something along the lines of “well, if he really wanted to be a father/have a baby, he should have kept it in his pants until he was in a stable relationship with someone who wanted them.” There’s never the slightest hint of castigation or shaming or whining about how casually men whip it out to have sex, never bothering to consider the possibility of a pregnancy until one happens, and then they start whining about their rights and feelings.

    Always talk about the possibility and what would happen, even in casual sexual relationships? “Oh, no, I couldn’t do that.” Take responsibility for your own fertility, as in get a vasectomy if you don’t want them, carry your own condoms (properly), use them, and dispose of them properly? “Oh, don’t be silly, contraception, that’s the chick’s responsibility.” Seriously against abortion and prone to whine and moan and cry that a woman might make a decision you don’t like? Don’t have sex until you are in a relationship in which your partner would be enthusiastically knocked up. “Don’t have sex? Are you crazy?” Yeah…

  252. Eristae says

    *nods in agreement with Caine, Fleur du mal*

    Tony! The Virtual Queer Shoop

    I can’t even wrap my brain around someone thinking that women have the right to decide what to do with their bodies, but they should take into consideration other people or even society before they have an abortion.

    What really irks me is that they don’t even mean that the woman should consider other people or society or whatever before she has an abortion when they make that statement. Instead, they’re actually speaking in code for, “She should do what other people/society tells her to.” It is entirely possible for a woman to consider the thoughts/feelings/etc of other and still act against their wishes. There’s nothing contradictory about saying, “I know he will be sad if I have an abortion, I know he doesn’t want me to have an abortion, I know he is disgusted by abortion, I know he wants to [raise the kid himself/try to work our relationship out/blah],” and still say, “I’m going to have an abortion.” Taking someone’s feelings/etc into consideration doesn’t mean making yourself subordinate to them. I have never, in my entire life, encountered a woman who had an abortion and never thought about how it would impact her partner, her parents, her siblings, her children, etc etc etc. But whatever their reactions would have been, she decided that having the abortion was what needed to be done. It’s not a lack of consideration, it’s a commitment to the fact that she’s the only one who can properly make decisions for and about herself. It’s the knowledge that she’s the one who is pregnant, not them. It’s acceptance of the fact that she’s going to have to live with the decision for the rest of her life, so it had better be the best decision that she can come up with, not some something that she lets someone else decide for her.

    However, I would like to offer a counterpoint to what maxdevlin said in 230:

    If a woman becomes pregnant and her partner, parents, friends, etc, all want her to have an abortion and she does not want to have one, just how much consideration do you think she owes to her partner, parents, friends, etc? Is she immoral for refusing to put abortion on the table?

    And in regards to the “She doesn’t need a reason [to have an abortion], but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t have one,” for the love of hell, maxdevlin! No one has an abortion without a reason! No one! Even if she had a stupid reason (I flipped a coin and it came up tails, so abortion it is!), it would still be a reason. What you’re really going on about is whether or not she has a reason that you would find satisfactory, and I don’t understand why you or anyone else is so interested in deciding whether o rnot you approve of some random woman’s reason for having an abortion, and I don’t see why you think she should care about your approval or lack thereof.

  253. says

    Judging by many replies, above, mentioning me, it would seem that many of you think that righteous indignation is a form of logic and that lack of civility is a virtue. The fact is, my position has been carefully thought out and AGREES WITH ABORTION RULINGS FROM COURTS AROUND THE WORLD where abortions are legal. Out of the 152 countries that allow abortions, only a handful allow late-term abortions.

    Abortion might be an emotional issue but it’s a matter of law. We won. Abortions are legal, as they should be, until fetal viability. Those who tout women’s reproductive rights over the rights of viable fetuses are defending AN OPINION with no more intrinsic worth than my opinion.

    The legal issue with abortion concerns personhood because killing a person is murder. And murder trumps reproductive rights in most civilized societies. Heartbeat, brain activity, the ability to feel pain, etc. . . . these criteria fail to clearly establish personhood. However, fetal viability, makes it pretty hard to deny personhood (for MOST people). Those of you who disagree are in the minority: not just with people in general but with courts around the civilized world. Get used to it. You’ve won but you’re still not happy about it because you didn’t get everything you wanted.

    My bottom line is a matter of morality. The older the viable fetus, the harder it is to defend killing it. Certainly, a FULLY viable fetus (requiring only normal post-natal care) is a human being. I’ve heard the ridiculous arguments that attempt to deny this fact (yes, it’s a fact to me) and all I can say is that people can justify ANYTHING they want to. That doesn’t mean I have to agree. You’re wrong and wrong-headed as far as I’m concerned. The only difference between a premature baby and a viable fetus is just a few inches of mother’s flesh. Would you kill a premature baby? If so, you’re a monster to me. Killing a viable fetus is no different.

    That’s my honest, heart-felt, soberly considered, opinion. I don’t care if you disagree. The thing about morality — it’s subjective; a human construct by humans for humans. But it’s not absolutely relative, logically speaking, because morality can’t ignore reality (facts) and remain valid. True morality is confined to human reality. If killing a person is murder, then killing a premature baby is murder and if killing a premature baby is murder, so is killing a viable fetus. It might die anyway but, as long as it’s alive, killing it is murder. Period. You disagree? Tell it to the judge.

    You can rationalize your position any way you want. I’ve heard it all. But I can point to almost 150 countries that allow abortions but not late-term abortions. That’s not proof that I’m right . . . just an indication that fetal viability is a difficult criteria to deny.

  254. mythbri says

    @jimashby

    How many late-term abortions of viable fetuses do you think happen in countries with no restrictions?

    Perhaps you should research that question before assuming that restrictions are necessary to prevent something that doesn’t happen.

    What kind of person would go through eight months, three weeks, six days and twenty-three hours of pregnancy knowing that she wants to abort and is simply waiting until the last second to do so? Does this person even exist?

    Most women who get abortions want to get them as soon as possible. They are safer, less costly, and less intrusive earlier in the pregnancy.

    Anti-choice fuckwits and “I’m pro-choice, BUT” people like you throw up obstacles in their way to prevent them from getting pregnancies, by restricting available funding, providers, enforcing ridiculous and unnecessary waiting periods, requiring non-medically indicated ultrasounds before and after the procedure, etc. Anti-choice fuckwits CAUSE more unwanted pregnancies by lobbying against increased access to contraception and comprehensive sex education in our public schools.

    So fine. Wrap yourself up in your comfy blanket of ignorance of these real world situations. Console yourself with the idea that because the LAW says so, it’s okay to force women to bear children they don’t want. Sleep easy at night by blaming poor women, women with health problems, women in abusive situations, desperate women for not navigating the system fast enough to make decisions about their own body.

    In short, jimashby, wise up or fuck right off. And fuck civility.

  255. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You can rationalize your position any way you want. I’ve heard it all.

    Likewise, I have heard it all. I don’t have to please you, and have no intention of even trying to do so. Your arrogance and ignorance shines through, turning me off from any civility. Reality will continue without your approval.

  256. mythbri says

    @me #271

    prevent them from getting pregnancies,

    I meant “abortions” when I said “pregnancies” here.

    And just one more thing:

    What kind of social safety net programs do you support, jimashby, that might allow a woman to keep a pregnancy that she can’t afford, and raise a child she can’t afford? What kind of measures do you support that would allow women to make different choices, if she had childcare and healthcare and financial stability of some kind?

    you’re a monster to me

    You know what’s monstrous to me? Requiring a child to be born into an overpopulated world to a parent who either didn’t want it, couldn’t afford to support it, or couldn’t provide it with a loving, supportive home.

    Demonstrate that you can back up your words with your actions by giving a fuck about children that aren’t yours, that you’ll never meet, after they’re born.

  257. Maureen Brian says

    So, jimashby, if it is all about foetal viability how come that various US states have enacted legislation saying that the line is drawn at 20 weeks well before viability? How come some are trying draw the line at 12 weeks? How come that when an attempt was made in the UK parliament not long ago to reduce the limit below 24 weeks the change was rejected ON THE BASIS OF MEDICAL EVIDENCE?

    Does the term “personhood” appear anywhere in the Roe v Wade judgement? No it does not and I just looked it up again to be sure. Is this a term to which medical textbooks pay any attention or which has an agreed definition? No and no again. So you really ought to be asking yourself where that term is coming from. My first guess would be religion but even then we have different denominations of the same religion disagreeing on all aspects of this so it can’t be a stratightforward copy across. It’s amazingly popular with certain politicians, though!

    You tried to imply there that almost all of the countries which have abortion have an absolute ban on late abortion. Not true. Canada, a very civilised country, has no laws at all on the subject and seems not yet to have fallen wholesale into the pit of hell. Many of the others permit late abortion for a variety of reasons, including factors like menopause or mental illness which might delay the initial request.

    If the late abortion is prescribed to protect the health of the mother and the foetus is healthy then every effort will be made to deliver the infant alive and get it to the paediatric intensive care unit if it is very premature or in any distress.

    You are perfectly entitled to work out what is right for you, jimashby, by way of morality. You may not, though, if you are being moral, attempt to impose your decision(s) on someone who will be much more affected while you can just walk away.

    Nor is it moral to insist – as you have done repeatedly – that yours is the only possible way of of looking at the matter and yours the only possible conclusion.

    Neither of those is rational, either, and on the whole I prefer rationality.

  258. dianne says

    The legal issue with abortion concerns personhood because killing a person is murder.

    The fundamental problem with this framing of abortion at any stage of pregnancy is that it erases the woman who is pregnant. Under no circumstances EXCEPT pregnancy is any one person required to put their body on the line for another person, even if that second person requires the aid of the first to live. Donation of organs, bone marrow, and blood is not mandatory, even if the potential donor is the only person who could save the recipient. If a person collapses on the street from V fib, passers by are not required to give him or her CPR even if they know how. They simply aren’t required to put themselves at risk by doing mouth to mouth on a person of unknown infectious status. Why should pregnancy be different? Why should a pregnant woman not have the right to have the fetus removed in the way that is safest for her at any moment? The fetus’s safety should be considered distinctly secondary in this situation in the same way that a potential organ donor is allowed–indeed, encouraged–to ask him or herself whether the donation is safe for him/her before asking whether it is necessary for the recipient.

  259. says

    I’m satisfied that I’ve made my position clear. I don’t expect to change anybody’s mind. As I stated up front. Late term abortions are rare but if there are valid extenuating circumstances then the woman should be able to petition the court for relief.

    Women’s reproductive rights are all about women being empowered with responsibility for their own bodies. That responsibility cuts both ways: responsibility is not a one-way street. Without a valid extenuating circumstance, the woman should be legally bound by the law and her petition should be denied because murder trumps reproductive rights. Murder trumps inconvenience or increased difficulties and struggles. Can these things be a burden for the mother and father? Yes. It’s very unfortunate for them, assuming things turn out as bad as (or worse than) they fear. But that doesn’t trump murder.

    You can be that heartless if you want. But not me. People endure hardships and tragedy all the time and overcome them. Most are stronger for it. We can’t commit murder to prevent potential hardships. Nor should we. It’s part of the human condition. The law can’t please everybody.Life isn’t always fair.

  260. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    People endure hardships and tragedy all the time and overcome them. Most are stronger for it.

    You’re a dick.

  261. Ichthyic says

    Women’s reproductive rights are all about women being empowered with responsibility for their own bodies. That responsibility cuts both ways: responsibility is not a one-way street.

    this is utter bullshit. even the analogy is flawed. not a one way street? what the fuck does that even mean?

    women are either allowed to choose for themselves, or they are not.

    you’re not offering them responsibility, you’re offering them chains, the links of which are personally forged by you.

  262. mythbri says

    You can be that heartless if you want.

    Says the guy who’s completely in favor of making the humanity of pregnant persons conditional, to be decided by lengthy court proceedings.

    People endure hardships and tragedy all the time and overcome them. Most are stronger for it.

    You sound like a Catholic.

    You know what children are NOT, jimashby?

    Children are not punishments.

    Children are not teaching tools.

    Children are not “consequences.”

    You’re the one who’s fucking heartless.

  263. anteprepro says

    I’m satisfied that I’ve made my position clear.

    What an adorably low threshold for satisfaction.

    That responsibility cuts both ways: responsibility is not a one-way street. Without a valid extenuating circumstance, the woman should be legally bound by the law and her petition should be denied because murder trumps reproductive rights. Murder trumps inconvenience or increased difficulties and struggles.

    “It’s murder because I say it is!”
    You really do not quite grasp the idea of bodily autonomy, do you?

    You can be that heartless if you want. But not me. People endure hardships and tragedy all the time and overcome them….The law can’t please everybody.Life isn’t always fair.

    “You people are so insensitive and cruel. Now watch as I dismiss other’s suffering and throw the idea of fairness out the window”

    The Fetus Rights brigade never get any less absurd.

  264. Nepenthe says

    If killing a person is murder, then killing a premature baby is murder and if killing a premature baby is murder, so is killing a viable fetus. It might die anyway but, as long as it’s alive, killing it is murder.

    Killing a person isn’t always murder. And anyway, we’ve only agreed that a fetus is a human being. Why do you think that a viable fetus is a person? “It’s cute” and “it can live on its own” are not answers. The same applies to rats, but killing them isn’t considered murder.

  265. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    you’re right, jimashby, you’re aren’t going to change my mind. I will never be the heartless, cruel, self-indulgent, narcissistic, misogynistic sick fuck as you are.

  266. says

    I think that seasoned commenters recognize that shrill responses and name-calling are not signs of superior arguments. To those of you who can’t control yourselves, keep it coming.

    As for the rest, I see a lot of strawman arguments. The “Fetus Rights brigade” should be the “viable fetus rights brigade. It’s easy to present a weakened version of what was actually written, then argue against that. But don’t forget, our words are preserved in pixels for all to see. And then there are those who argue against things I never even mentioned. LoL. You’re not arguing with me . . . you’re arguing with yourself! Why not just get some lipstick and an eyebrow pencil and draw a hand puppet on your hand? Then you and your hand puppet and argue all you like.

  267. mythbri says

    And then there are those who argue against things I never even mentioned.

    Look, everybody! jimashby is “winning” with secret arguments! How amazing he must be, to “win” in a debate without even pulling out the big guns.

    I give him, oh, two or three more comments before he devolves into “You guys are so mean to me that I’m not going to support even limited abortion rights any more! So there!”

  268. dianne says

    Late term abortions are rare but if there are valid extenuating circumstances then the woman should be able to petition the court for relief.

    Because it’s always a good idea to make a woman dying of sepsis with a dying fetus in her abdomen go through a court procedure before her life can be saved. It certainly worked out so well for the Halappanavar family. And Beatriz certainly has had a lot of luck getting the courts to be sane and rational in her case.

    A lot of people who oppose third trimester abortion do so because, well, because they don’t know any better. They haven’t thought through why it happens or what banning it would mean. You, OTOH, have had explicit descriptions of why banning the rare third trimester abortion is a bad idea put in front of you and are still saying that it’s fine with you if women are put at risk of dying. I find that problematic. How do you maintain a view of yourself as a good person while at the same time knowing that you are encouraging the deaths of young women such as Savita Halappanavar? Not to mention advocating the threat of enslavement for every fertile woman in the country you live in. I don’t see how anyone could advocate those things knowingly and see themselves as a good person. Maybe it’s just about making sure that you never see women as real people with human rights.

  269. anteprepro says

    I think that seasoned commenters recognize that shrill responses and name-calling are not signs of superior arguments.

    “Shrill”? Whining about “name-calling”? In lieu of actually addressing the substance of criticisms? What an amazingly novel tactic.

    The “Fetus Rights brigade” should be the “viable fetus rights brigade. It’s easy to present a weakened version of what was actually written, then argue against that.

    Is this absolutely hilarious to anyone else, or is it just me?
    He actually thought that this was a defense! That’s a knee-slapper!

  270. David Marjanović says

    Seriously, I thought I’d explained already how counter-productive starting a response with “Wrong.” as if it is a full sentence is. Everyone should always avoid doing that, at all costs. It makes you sound defensive and childish, at best.

    But you, being smart, can see beyond this stylistic fauxpas and engage with the actual argument that follows it.

    Right?

    Right??

    anyone not born in the USA can’t become president

    Not true if at least one of their parents was a citizen at the time. That’s what qualified John McCain, born in Panama.

    Judging by many replies, above, mentioning me, it would seem that many of you think that righteous indignation is a form of logic and that lack of civility is a virtue.

    Lack of bullshitting around the point is a virtue, yes.

    If this puts such a fog in front of your eyes that you can’t tell why we engage in righteous indignation (hint: it’s additional to our logic), that… says something about your intellect, frankly.

    The fact is, my position has been carefully thought out

    Then why can’t you argue for it any better?

    and AGREES WITH ABORTION RULINGS FROM COURTS AROUND THE WORLD where abortions are legal. Out of the 152 countries that allow abortions, only a handful allow late-term abortions.

    Argumentum ad populum.

  271. says

    I guess there’s no way to get a response that acknowledges what I’ve written without cherry-picking. Quote mining is the first resort of the desperate. You guys are incorrigible.

    The best the law can do is TRY to anticipate potential problems. It can also build in elasticity to allow a judge to decide on a case-by-case basis. I’ve already explained this. Will injustices occur? Of course. They always have and always will. But trying to base your arguments on the exceptions is ludicrous and dodgy, at best.

  272. Ichthyic says

    10 years ago, I’m sure Jimmy Boy was certain those homosex’ls warn’t gonna RUIN marriage.

    you lost that battle, Jimmy, and now you’re gonna sit there and fucking take it, while the ridiculous attempts at morality passed by various US states are overturned one by fucking one, and you forced birther bigots will just shake your fists madly while we fucking laugh at you.

    laugh.

    at.

    you.

  273. says

    Okay. Well, I see there’s not much point in engaging you guys. This could continue indefinitely.

    You all can commiserate and justify the killing of “internal” premature babies if you like. But I won’t be joining the club. I’m sure that’s just dandy with you.

    Unbelievable.

  274. Ichthyic says

    But trying to base your arguments on the exceptions is ludicrous and dodg

    you clueless dolt. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT YOU’RE DOING.

    jesus fuck, how do you people get so stupid?

  275. Ichthyic says

    Well, I see there’s not much point in engaging you guys.

    losers always say such things.

    always.

  276. mythbri says

    They always have and always will.

    SO easy to say when YOU will never, ever have to petition a court to get permission for a medical procedure.

    You all can commiserate and justify the killing of “internal” premature babies if you like.

    No material difference between this statement and one made by an anti-choicer.

  277. anteprepro says

    Okay. Well, I see there’s not much point in engaging you guys. This could continue indefinitely….

    You all can commiserate and justify the killing of “internal” premature babies if you like.

    Yes, this could continue indefinitely. But not for the reasons you imply. Don’t for a second pretend that you were “engaging” us (implying that we are the non-engaging, dogmatic, stubborn, blinkered ones) while continuing to spew out pro-fetus code phrases.

  278. says

    Okay. Well, I see there’s not much point in engaging you guys.

    Sure there is. Keep doing it and eventually you’ll figure out why you’re wrong.

  279. emilybites says

    What’s that, jimashby? *FLOUNCE* you say? Quite.

    Just wanted to add my shrill, high-pitched, hysterical shrieking to those who have done a brilliant job (your heads must be hurting from all the wall-banging, though) trying to get that deeply, deeply, deeply stupid guy to understand the concept of bodily autonomy. We all have it, or we don’t! If we do, then I can’t be forced to stay pregnant against my will any more than a doctor doing a routine blood test on jimashby can realise he’s a rare type and there’s a kid dying upstairs who needs one of his kidneys, knock ol’ jim out, cut out his organ without his consent and give it to someone else who needs it to live.

    And if you’re honestly arguing for one rule for pregnant people and one for everybody else, jimashby, that is fucked up. There is no answer to why women shouldn’t have bodily autonomy and men should that doesn’t rhyme with ‘purest, evillest flissogyny’.

  280. Nepenthe says

    justify the killing of “internal” premature babies if you like.

    Care to share why you believe it’s wrong?

    Note: “I can’t believe you would ask that” and “It’s obvious” are not answers.

  281. emilybites says

    Also, (to all the decent humans here) I am particularly sick of all this theoretical wanking from the male ‘pro-choice BUT’ brigade. Don’t they understand how scary it is to be a person who could literally be forced to carry a fetus for most of a year against their will?

    Why can’t they understand that some women feel about forced pregnancy and birth the way some people feel about ‘The Human Centipede’??? EMPATHY. Come on!

  282. says

    jimashby:

    People endure hardships and tragedy all the time and overcome them….The law can’t please everybody.Life isn’t always fair.

    No, life isn’t fair, you vile, rancid douchebag. However, compassionate, ethical people do everything in their power to make life better for all people. I’m one of those people who is a poster child for abortion. My mother was pregnant with me in 1957. Abortion was illegal. She wanted one but was too scared of dying to go through with a back alley abortion.

    It would have been much, much better for all involved if she’d been able to abort without fear of dying. Certainly would have been better for me, ‘I’ simply wouldn’t have existed. That way, I wouldn’t have ended up unwanted and thrust into an absolute nightmare which will be something I get to deal with until the day I fucking die. This is the sort of thing which happens when society is filled with judgmental assholes like you, jimashby. People who value their particular morals and their squeamishness over the quality and value of other people’s lives. This is why you get nothing more than a Fuck off, Cupcake from me – because you value your idiocy more than the lives of women everywhere.

  283. Amphiox says

    And if you’re honestly arguing for one rule for pregnant people and one for everybody else, jimashby, that is fucked up.

    That is exactly what he is arguing for. A different rule for pregnant women because embryos and fetuses are special. Because, for him, the autonomous humanity of women is contingent, and not innate, like it is with men.

  284. Amphiox says

    justify the killing of “internal” premature babies if you like.

    An. Embryo. Is. Not. A. Baby.

    End. Of. Story.

  285. carlie says

    So, jimashby, if a woman is pregnant but wants an abortion, and she is denied the ability to have one, and then dies in childbirth, who serves the life sentence for her death: whoever denied her the abortion, or the baby?

  286. Amphiox says

    People endure hardships and tragedy all the time and overcome them. Most are stronger for it.

    If they CHOOSE those hardships and overcome, good for them.
    If those hardships come unchosen and cannot be avoided, and they overcome, good for them.

    If those hardships are FORCED on them AGAINST THEIR WILL, then it is unjust.
    If those hardships could be ameliorated, but such amelioration is DELIBERATELY withheld from them, then it is unjust.

    The world is unjust. But DECENT people strive to make it less so. Only immoral and indecent people actively try to make it more so, or on seeing it, shrug and say “that is just the way it is” and twiddle their thumbs.

  287. Amphiox says

    lack of civility is a virtue.

    When that which it responds to does not deserve civility, civility is a vice and the lack thereof indeed a virtue.

  288. Amphiox says

    Women’s reproductive rights are all about women being empowered with responsibility for their own bodies.

    If it is a responsibility then it is not a right.

  289. carlie says

    The best the law can do is TRY to anticipate potential problems. It can also build in elasticity to allow a judge to decide on a case-by-case basis. I’ve already explained this. Will injustices occur? Of course. They always have and always will. But trying to base your arguments on the exceptions is ludicrous and dodgy, at best.

    And we’re trying to tell you that you’ve got it the wrong way around. The majority of cases would be lost to injustice, to catch a very few women who are… I’m not even sure what, choosing to go through major surgery on a whim, I guess? And those are hypothetical women who possibly don’t exist, because no one has ever found an actual example of one. When a law causes severe hardship to the majority of people it affects and solves a nonexistent problem, that’s a bad law.

  290. emilybites says

    @Amphiox

    That’s the irritating missing rung on the rotten ladder of his rancid Swiss cheese argument, though! He won’t actually come out and SAY ‘Yes, I believe there is one rule for women and one rule for men.’ Like all ‘viability is the right criteria’-fence-sitters, he is too cowardly to just admit what he is saying because he KNOWS it’s indefensible.

    His position is that the law cannot force a man to use his body to help another person live, but it can force a woman to do that. (And we’re generously conceding there that fetuses be people, for the sake of creating absolute parity in the argument). All his sputtering, squirming and obfuscation lets him off the hook for actually saying those words, which are ugly and incompatible with the concept of human rights.

    I have just lost patience with debating ‘exception’ pro-choicers, because what they are saying boils down to one rule for women, one for men. I want to pin that on them immediately and make them deny it, if they can.

  291. Amphiox says

    Late term abortions are rare but if there are valid extenuating circumstances then the woman should be able to petition the court for relief.

    Should a man have to petition a court for relief before being granted the right to defend his home from an intruder?

    Should a man have to petition a court for permission before being granted the right to speak against the government?

    Should a man have to petition a court for permission before being granted the right to alter his body with plastic surgery?

    Rights are not rights if they must be petitioned for.

    Indeed it is the removal of a right in a specific case that is what requires special petitioning for, and the extenuating circumstances that justify it must be extremely stringent.

  292. Amphiox says

    He won’t actually come out and SAY ‘Yes, I believe there is one rule for women and one rule for men.’

    Maybe he’ll come out and say “but no! I don’t believe there is a separate rule for women and men, I believe in one rule for all! I believe ALL rights of autonomous humanity are contingent on pregnancy, for everyone, men and women. It’s not MY fault that the unfair biology of the real world only has women becoming pregnant!”

  293. anteprepro says

    The best the law can do is TRY to anticipate potential problems. It can also build in elasticity to allow a judge to decide on a case-by-case basis. I’ve already explained this. Will injustices occur? Of course. They always have and always will. But trying to base your arguments on the exceptions is ludicrous and dodgy, at best.

    “The law can try to anticipate potential problems, but fuck you guys for hoping that the law will anticipate a specific potential problem”

    Seriously, if we have mountains of lawyers and judges and legislators, with tons of laws with all sorts of nuances and caveats and conditions and exceptions built in, such that those lawyers and judges and legislators are necessary in the first place…why is expecting them to think about how blanket bans on third trimester abortions affect women with medical complications so ridiculous to Mr. Ashby? Is it just abortion that requires an utter lack of nuance? Is it just women’s issues where there aren’t any exceptions? Is it just concerns of pregnancy that require utter simplicity in regards to the laws, in the face of other laws so utterly convoluted and overcomplicated that it justifies the continued existence of the entire legal profession?

    Mr. Ashby is arguing out of both sides of his mouth. The law is perfect enough for us to not bother changing ever, and for us to rely on legal precedent. The law is imperfect enough that you have to accept unfairness and have to ignore exceptions that should exist but don’t. It’s clever. Combining idealism and defeatism and hoping that the mixture will result in an incoherence so potent he will automatically win any argument.

  294. dianne says

    The best the law can do is TRY to anticipate potential problems. It can also build in elasticity to allow a judge to decide on a case-by-case basis.

    Let’s apply this reasoning elsewhere…Suppose you agreed to give me a kidney transplant. No, I’m not going to say you backed out later on. Actually, you were enthused about the possibility of saving a life and quite thrilled to have the opportunity. You go into the OR smiling and the procedure starts. Unfortunately, you have an undiagnosed factor deficiency and start to bleed profusely on the table. Should the surgeons:
    a. terminate the procedure and concentrate on making sure you’re ok?
    b. say “he knew the risks going in” and continue it anyway (with the knowledge that it’s pretty shaky whether or not the kidney will be usable given that it’s going to come out of a hypoperfused body)?
    c. call a judge and wait for an opinion to be given while you’re bleeding to death?

    Apparently, you pick option c. Me, I’d like option a to be the default. Especially knowing that people who agree to give an organ for transplant planning to back out at the last minute just to play with the emotions of the recipient are rare. But probably not as rare as women who decide, for no good reason, to have an abortion at 35 weeks.

    Will injustices occur? Of course. They always have and always will.

    I don’t know why you think this argument works in your favor. Women who suddenly decide to abort at 35 weeks are rare. Far rarer than women who have problems that necessitate immediate delivery at 35 weeks and far, far fewer than fetuses whose non-viability is discovered only that late. So the lowest number of injustices and the fewest unnecessary deaths-even counting every third trimester fetus as a baby-will occur if there is no restriction and the decision is left to the woman and her doctor. If injustice is inevitable, why not go with the method that at least minimizes it?

  295. dianne says

    People endure hardships and tragedy all the time and overcome them. Most are stronger for it.

    Except, of course, that it’s perfectly right and appropriate for you to run away when faced with the fact that your arguments make no sense rather than suffer the hardship of having to face having been wrong. Come on, Nietzche, surely reevaluating your views will only make you stronger.

  296. David Marjanović says

    It’s clever. Combining idealism and defeatism and hoping that the mixture will result in an incoherence so potent he will automatically win any argument.

    Day saved!

  297. Eristae says

    People endure hardships and tragedy all the time and overcome them….The law can’t please everybody.Life isn’t always fair.

    This is such a load of bullshit that I can’t even properly articulate it.

    People experience hardship and tragedy all the time and are broken by it. They come out with lifelong scars. They kill themselves. They never recover. They become shells of who they were.

    I write this to you at a moment when I am so searingly depressed that I can barely get my fingers to move. It actually physically hurts to move my fingers. I need to go talk to my major professor, but I can’t even stand up. I need to go give notice on my apartment, but I can’t even get dressed. Why? Because some kinds of trauma (and no, I’m not particularly interested in sharing exactly what trauma I suffered with you) leaves a person maimed and crippled.

    Overcome tragedy? That’s something that only the fortunate do, and even they often only overcome it to certain degrees in certain areas.

    You have no right to be playing dismissive games with someone else’s well being. You have no right to decide that a woman’s life just isn’t worth as much as forcing her to remain pregnant. And oh yes, I can hear you saying, “Of course I’d let her get an abortion if her life is in danger!” But I ask you, what kind of life is it to be unable to get out of bed, to be unable to go buy groceries, to be unable to take a shower? To do this to a person is to rob them of their life but let their heart keep beating.

    Of course, it is entirely possible that you’ll handwave my pain just like you’re willing to handwave the pain of the women you are consigning to hell in favor of a fetus. I’m used to it, so it won’t be new. But I am so sick of it. I am so very sick of women being made into some kind of object that can be used without regard to their wellbeing. I’m so sick of women being viewed as some kind of non-issue, non-concern. We’re people and you’re fucking with our lives. Our only lives; we don’t get a do over if you fuck this up badly enough. You’re demanding that we give up everything that we have so that you can grow a new human being to replace us.

    I’m so upset.

  298. embraceyourinnercrone says

    I do so love these people who play “hypothetical thought experiment” with a situation they will never have to deal with, also it is eye-opening to see what some people think is “inexpensive”. For example, at one of the Planned Parenthood’s in my state abortions are available only up to 16 weeks and 6 days, after that they will try to get you a referral but its more difficult. And here is the cost scale(from their website):

    Price ranges for our abortion services are:

    abortion pill (medication abortion) – $576-$662
    in-clinic abortion
    5-11 weeks – $613-$701
    12-13 weeks – $708-$796
    14-15 weeks – $808-$896
    16 weeks – $908-$996

    If you are working poor and have no insurance or your insurance doesn’t cover abortion, that’s a lot of money. Also the cost of lab work and a dating ultrasound is extra. And you can probably get a payment plan but when you are living week to week it’s still no small thing.

    As several commenters have said, that’s not even taking into account transportation, and taking time off work.

  299. says

    The fact is, my position has been carefully thought out and AGREES WITH ABORTION RULINGS FROM COURTS AROUND THE WORLD where abortions are legal.

    you know, combining two logical fallacies doesn’t make them not fallacies. The argument from popularity AND authority is still not a valid argument.

    killing a person is murder.

    nope. killing a person in specific circumstances is murder. not all killings of a person are.

    And murder trumps reproductive rights in most civilized societies.

    that’s begging the question. you haven’t established yet that killing a fetus, even if its personhood is granted, is in fact murder. not all killings of a person are murder. also, it’s not “reproductive rights”, it’s the right to bodily autonomy, which is the most basic human right there is.

    Those of you who disagree are in the minority

    being an atheist, I’m used to that.

    Certainly, a FULLY viable fetus (requiring only normal post-natal care) is a human being.

    so? I have the legal and moral right to kill any adult human person trying to use my organs against my will. why shouldnt’ the same apply to fetal “persons”?

    If killing a person is murder

    it isn’t. not all killings of persons are murder.

    just an indication that fetal viability is a difficult criteria to deny.

    actually, it’s an indication that women still aren’t considered as fully human as men.

    women being empowered with responsibility for their own bodies.

    i dont’ have a “responisbility” for my body, I have a right to it. and even that’s shitty framing, since i don’t “own” my body, i am my body.

    murder trumps reproductive rights

    begging the question again. killing in self-defense trumps the right to life of the one trying to use my body against my will.

    You can be that heartless if you want. But not me.

    sex the guy who wants to deny women a basic human right in favor of giving fetuses a right no other human being has.

  300. says

    People endure hardships and tragedy all the time and overcome them….

    how exactly do you overcome dying because the judge didn’t make a decision in your favor/didn’t make a decision fast enough?

  301. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    One of the tells of a dishonest arguer about abortion is their inability to differentiate between fetus and baby. By attempting to conflate the two, they prove they don’t understand basic science and basic definitions, or care about applying them properly. Then I take everything they say as something that needs third party conformation to determine their truthfulness.

    And jimashby the idjit fell directly into that trap, and was unable to evidence himself out. Everything he said was to disguise the fact he was a presuppostitionalist against any abortion, and would say/argue anything not matter how irrelevant and irresponsible in a vain and illogicial attempt to make his point.

    His inability to understand basic bodily autonomy is prima facie evidence of his duplicity. It is a simple concept, easily executed, but it leaves no room bring his questioning of the woman’s decision into the argument. It doesn’t have the result he wants, so he has to wave something (I’ll leave the object up to the imagination of the readers) to dismiss this most powerful argument.

  302. says

    If the pregnant person took no thought or concern for anyone else (including the father as well as the fetus) but only herself, she is committing an immoral act, regardless of what act it is, just like all the rest of us.

    Let’s talk about it, shall we?
    I’m going to be upfront about it: Unless there’s the freak scenario where my fetus will become the only person whose organism produces a certain substance we need to make a vaccine to save humankind I’ll not carry a pregnancy to term.
    So, let’s look at this hypothetical scenario and its implications and variations.
    Now there are several biological entities in this
    1.) Me, myself and I
    -I suffer from a condition that is easy to manage while not pregnant, but hard while pregnant (with a high risk of miscarriage)
    -I worked hard to get my mental health back on track. An unwanted pregnancy would destroy that. Actually, it already stresses me out that my period is irregular.
    -Another baby would definetly end my abitions to a college degree and to having a profession vs having jobs. I would forever depend on my husband.
    So, clearly anybody who has any concern for me would agree that abortion rocks.
    2.) My husband
    -Another baby would not only end his hopes for the very common dream of a little house with garden, it would also burden him with being the sole breadwinner for 5 people for the rest of his working life.
    -He has been working at his limit those last years. He slowly starts to relax now the kids are bigger, no more sleepless nights and such. It would not be good for him either.
    Again: Yay, abortion!
    3.) My already existing children
    – Another baby would vastly diimnsh their chances and happieness. No more holidays, no prospect of each having her own room but another sibling with whom to share. No more nice things and quite a lot less of the necessary things. Sorry, kids, but your college is just filling their diapers.
    -Let’s face it: Children whose primary caregiver, i.e. me is at her wits’ end and constantly unhappy don’t provide much of a loving home
    Once more: Abortion, abortion, abortion!
    4.) Finally, the fetus
    -Sure there’s a biological imperative that says “live, live, live”. But we’re not feral cats who’ll fuck and give birth no matter what. We understand that life isn’t worth having at all cost.
    -This fetus, once a child, would be burdened with having ruined several people’s lives.
    -It would be born to a mother who hated every minute of the pregnancy.
    -It would be born to a mother whose life’s hopes and aspirations it ruined.
    So, for the fetus a quick death while not even being capable of suffering is clearly preferable

    Hey, win-win all around. Abortion is the best for all of us. My very moral abortion.
    So, what if the situation were different?
    I mean, what if my husband were stinkin’ rich and could easily provide for 50 people and hire a nurse for changing poopy diapers and happy to have another child?
    Should then his concerns trump mine and if yes why?
    Or would it then be an immoral abortion?
    Would it be an immoral pregnancy and an immoral baby?
    How come that the only person who has to think very hard about other people’s wishes is the pregnant woman?
    +++

    Eristae
    *big hugs*

    +++
    Dianne

    Let’s apply this reasoning elsewhere…Suppose you agreed to give me a kidney transplant…

    I think that it’s justifiable to call any pro-lifer with two working kidneys a murderer by their own logic. Because hey, people die from lack of transplants…

  303. dianne says

    I would forever depend on my husband.

    Keeping you dependent on your husband is, indeed, a big part of the “pro-life” agenda.

  304. says

    It’s interesting and amusing to see how like-minded people commiserate and support each other’s cluelessness.

    What’s the difference between a VIABLE fetus and a premature baby? An inch of mother’s flesh. The difference is that one is internal and the other is external. That’s it.

    It’s transparently obvious that only a clueless person would claim it’s okay to kill premature babies. And only a clueless person would claim it’s okay to kill a VIABLE fetus . . . without valid extenuating circumstances such as a real and present danger to the mother’s life.

    Should we kill the VIABLE fetus because the mother doesn’t want it? Of course not. Society takes a dim view of murder. Isn’t it a burden on the mother? It can be. Especially if she goes into the relationship with that mindset. My second child was unplanned and came at an inopportune period for the family. But that wasn’t her fault. We just had to suck it up, give up some unnecessary items from the budget and care for her the best way we knew how.

    As far as I’m concerned, anybody who can justify killing a VIABLE fetus has their priorities out of whack. What if you went full term and vaginally delivered a Downs Syndrome baby or otherwise deformed or retarded child? Oops. Now you’re faced with inconvenience and life-long hardship — just like with an unwanted VIABLE fetus. If inconvenience and hardship were valid reasons for killing the VIABLE fetus, are they also valid reasons for killing a deformed child? Inconvenience? Hardship? Suck it up like an adult! The world doesn’t owe you an easy life. A carefree life is not your birthright. These are not valid reasons for murder. Destitution? Psychological imbalance? Some other debilitating factor? Put the child up for adoption.

    Once that fetus is viable, it’s got human rights. You’re not the only one with concerns any more. You can whine about your miserable life or you can face up to it.

    What you can’t do, legally, is resort to murder.

    And that is EXACTLY as it should be.

    Call me all the names you like. I’ll just call you inhuman.

  305. mythbri says

    Oh look. jimashby is back, having failed to stick his flounce and not saying a single thing he hasn’t already said, all of which is just as ridiculous as the first time he said it.

    Once that fetus is viable

    You know what the ultimate test of fetal viability is?

    Surviving the birthing process.

    An inch of mother’s flesh.

    Do you even know how babies are born? It’s not as easy as cutting a woman open and ripping out a bouncing baby. And if you think that there’s no bright line between “not-born” and “born,” then I’ll hope you’ll understand if women prefer doctors to assist them with delivery instead of ignorant fuckwitted commenters.

  306. mythbri says

    Call me all the names you like.

    This from the guy who says, Suck it up, ladies!

  307. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As far as I’m concerned,

    Like we give a shit what a presuppositional fuckwit like you thinks. Nobody her cares about your inane and unrealistic opinions. Get over yourself.

  308. dianne says

    What’s the difference between a VIABLE fetus and a premature baby? An inch of mother’s flesh. The difference is that one is internal and the other is external. That’s it.

    Actually, there are quite a number of differences between a fetus and a newborn. Want me to name a few? The circulation of a fetus is entirely different from that of a newborn. A newborn will quickly die if necessary changes in circulation don’t occur. Fetuses don’t eat or breath. A newborn will die very quickly if they fail to breath and within days if they fail to eat. Fetuses live in a low oxygen environment, possibly so low that a lot of the cranial neurons aren’t functional in it (though this is controversial). Newborns live in a high stimulus, high oxygen environment that promotes rapid activation of the cortex. No biologist would mistake a fetus for a newborn. They are quite, quite different, even at the same gestational age.

    Another point: “An inch of mother’s flesh”–and the most dangerous moment of the fetus’ childhood–separate the fetus from the newborn. Birth is dangerous. It is dangerous to the fetus, it is dangerous to the mother. An average risk birth is more dangerous (to the mother) than flying on 9/11/01. (Truly. I did the math-it’s nearly an order of magnitude more dangerous.) That “inch” is significant and being born is practically the most dangerous thing about being a mammal. Dismissing it as unimportant only reveals how little you actually know about human biology.

  309. anteprepro says

    What’s the difference between a VIABLE fetus and a premature baby? An inch of mother’s flesh. The difference is that one is internal and the other is external. That’s it.

    It’s transparently obvious that only a clueless person would claim it’s okay to kill premature babies.

    You are either a fucking idiot or a fucking monster. It has already been explained that the reason that people abort these VIABLE fetuses is because either the mother’s health is very much at risk (and thus the distinction between “internal” and “external” isn’t some philosophical wank material for asshats like yourself and is the distinction between “a health problem for the mother” and “not”) , or because the supposedly VIABLE fetus actually would not likely survive, or a combination of the two! People don’t get third trimester abortions for trivial reasons, as has been explained to you, and which you have handwaved away as “exceptions”. The fact that the fetus is inside of the woman still is VERY fucking relevant.

    My second child was unplanned and came at an inopportune period for the family. But that wasn’t her fault. We just had to suck it up, give up some unnecessary items from the budget and care for her the best way we knew how.

    Didn’t you supposedly support abortion for non-viable fetuses? How does this lecture actually mesh with that?

    Inconvenience? Hardship? Suck it up like an adult! The world doesn’t owe you an easy life.

    Still a dismissive asshole.

    Once that fetus is viable, it’s got human rights.

    Says fucking who? Once that fetus is viable, it is still another person’s body. When do you start concerning yourself with HER human rights?

    Call me all the names you like. I’ll just call you inhuman.

    Remind me how Mr. Ashby was supposed to be distinct from the run-of-the-mill anti-choicers again?

  310. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What’s the difference between a VIABLE fetus and a premature baby? An inch of mother’s flesh.

    Nope, inside the uterus being a parasite, and outside where anybody can care for it. What an illogical thinker if you don’t understand that basic biology. Nothing you say makes when you tell lies like that. Here’s a clue. I can take a direct picture of a baby. I can’t take a direct picture of a fetus. I can take a picture of the woman. Ergo, she wins 100% of the time. Her personhood is never in doubt, and never reduced by fuckwits like you. You can wave your hands, but you don’t change those facts.

    Irreversible changes to a fetus during birth. So it is much, much more than just placement scientifically. Lies, lies and more lies from JA.

  311. dianne says

    The world doesn’t owe you an easy life.

    Somehow, antis always seem to come around to making a comment like this one. It’s a very revealing little comment. What it says is that you believe pregnancy is-and should be-a punishment. “The world doesn’t owe you an easy life.” In other words, “I am happy that you are miserable with this pregnancy and only angry that you might escape this misery.” Truly, Jimashby, I feel sorry for you. I don’t know how you live with your own hatred.

  312. says

    jimashby

    It’s interesting and amusing to see how like-minded people commiserate and support each other’s cluelessness.

    What’s the difference between a VIABLE fetus and a premature baby? An inch of mother’s flesh. The difference is that one is internal and the other is external. That’s it.

    So I guess it’s OK for you if we simply surgically tied the umbilical cord shut, right? Because the fetus is perfectly fine, hey, it’s still inside the woman. Because obviously her whole metabolism, heart, lungs, kidneys, liver aren’t being used by a fetus the exact same way they aren’t being used by a baby. Because the only difference between a viable fetus and a premie is an inch of the mother’s flesh (which inch exactly? My belly’s more than one…)

  313. anteprepro says

    The Fetus Rights Brigade is consistent: They have a naive, idealized version of how birth works and simply cannot distinguish a fetus from a newborn. They are so uninformed and misinformed on the subject that they are unaware of the biological differences involved and universally view a fetus as some form of “internalized baby”. They view birth as simply an arbitrary movement, changing “in” to “out”, and categorically refuse to acknowledge the medical risk involved in the process. I might argue that this is the very foundation of all of the other arguments that they pile up, but I suppose calling it the “foundation” might be misleading, because I’m sure that this ignorance is itself motivated by other ideologies, ignorances, or prejudices.

  314. Nepenthe says

    It’s transparently obvious that only a clueless person would claim it’s okay to kill premature babies. And only a clueless person would claim it’s okay to kill a VIABLE fetu

    Why?

    And why won’t you answer my question? I even gave you a hint and said “it’s obvious” doesn’t constitute an answer. Atheist antis never want to answer this question for some weird reason.

    So let’s have it. Why is it wrong to kill a viable fetus? And while you’re in the area, why is it wrong to kill premature babies?

    Note again “It’s murder” isn’t an answer. A complete answer details why you consider the act wrong, not the words you choose to use to describe the act.

  315. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Jim Ashby

    It’s transparently obvious that only a clueless person would claim it’s okay to kill premature babies. And only a clueless person would claim it’s okay to kill a VIABLE fetus . . . without valid extenuating circumstances such as a real and present danger to the mother’s life.

    So if, for example, someone held a gun to a woman’s head and told you that if you did not kill some arbitrary, blameless child then he would kill her, would you say that the moral thing to do would be to kill the child?

    Because assuming that you really believe everything you say above and have said beforehand, that’s essentially what you’re doing when you say you would abort a foetus if the mother’s life was in danger due to the birth. After all, that’s hardly the foetus’ fault, is it? So according to your thinking, you would be killing a fully fledged and entirely innocent child in order to save the mother. Sounds real moral.

    This is the problem with “pro-lifers”, your ideas are entirely contradictory. If, however, you truly believe that foetuses are not people, then there is no contradiction.

  316. Amphiox says

    What’s the difference between a VIABLE fetus and a premature baby? An inch of mother’s flesh.

    Even if that were all it was, an inch of mother’s flesh (how nice of you to acknowledge that said flesh actually belongs to the woman) is sufficient.

    Shall I carve a cubic inch of flesh out of your body to feed a starving child? If you are a man, the analogous area would be your scrotum. Hey, don’t worry, you only need one of the pair. We’ll even give you an anesthetic. For free.

    If you refuse and the child dies then you’ve committed murder.

    A. Fetus. Is. Not. A. Baby.
    Abortion. Is. Not. Murder.
    End. Of. Story.

  317. Amphiox says

    The world doesn’t owe you an easy life.

    Every DECENT human being owes every other human being a duty of care not to DELIBERATELY make their lives harder than it needs to be.

    To say otherwise is inhuman.

  318. omnicrom says

    jimashby you are a rather repugnant individual.

    After talking about how logical and reasoned you are you dismiss actions that would ease the lives of women across the country because “They aren’t owed an easy life”. Care to explain the logical process you used to arrive at this this belief? Care to try to justify the raging misogyny inherent in the idea that women deserve extra trauma that men literally can’t receive? You claim to have arrived at your views logically, surely you can explain why the rights of the woman doesn’t matter? And not just by saying platitudes like “It’s Murder”. Everyone in this thread has explained in great logical detail why they are pro-choice, can you do the same without whining about tone, using fallacies about the law and popular opinion, and demonstrating you’re totally lacking sympathy or remorse?

  319. Amphiox says

    It’s been mentioned multiple times on previous threads and probably on this one too, but once a fetus is viable (30 weeks) plus, the preferred medical procedure in nearly all cases for termination of the pregnancy is induced birth. It is generally safer for the woman than the equivalent “abortion” procedure at that stage of pregnancy, and the fetus is preserved.

    Late term abortions are almost always done for non-viable fetuses.

    The circumstances where a late term abortion would be the indicated medical procedure over an induced birth in the case of a viable fetus is exceedingly rare.

    Existing medical malpractice laws already cover the possibility of abuse in such cases, so no special laws are required to specifically cover this circumstance.

    Fetuses 24-30 weeks of age are a medical gray area. While they are technically “viable”, it is only with significant medical intervention, and the likelihood of permanent disability for the resulting child, even if it should survive, is extremely high.

  320. Iain Walker says

    jimashby (#323):

    Should we kill the VIABLE fetus because the mother doesn’t want it? Of course not.

    If its death is an unavoidable consequence of removing it, why not? I don’t think you’ve really explained this.

    You’re also very fond of this word “viable”, I see. I think you need to define it more clearly – and I’m talking medically, not legally, despite the great store you seem to place in legality. Once you’ve defined your terms, maybe then we can start discussing their moral relevance.

    Once that fetus is viable, it’s got human rights.

    How do you work this out? Please, no “that’s what the law says” arguments from authority – just a reasoned justification showing why a “viable” foetus should be considered a bearer of rights.

  321. carlie says

    It’s been mentioned multiple times on previous threads and probably on this one too, but once a fetus is viable (30 weeks) plus, the preferred medical procedure in nearly all cases for termination of the pregnancy is induced birth. It is generally safer for the woman than the equivalent “abortion” procedure at that stage of pregnancy, and the fetus is preserved.

    Repeated for emphasis, and also because it leads into my question – decently viable is 30-32 weeks. Yet legal restrictions for abortions routinely go down to 20 weeks, and some are being proposed that go to 16 or even 12. Can you claim in the face of that fact that legal restrictions are all about the viability of the fetus?

  322. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    We get it, jimmy. You’re a misogynist who likes to whine about tone, while insulting all women on the face of the earth.

    Run along, woman-hating asswipe, you’ve lost. Badly.

  323. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Once that fetus is viable, it’s got human rights.

    Actually once a live birth has happened it has human rights. The states even give it a certificate to show that. There is your legal evidence you are full of presuppositiional excrement, and your arguments are nothing but sophistry, lies and bullshit to back up your excrement.

  324. Amphiox says

    Incidentally (others may disagree with me of course), I don’t actually think it is “ok” to abort a viable fetus. I think it is even less ok to violate an adult woman’s bodily autonomy to force her to carry a viable fetus to term against her will. Since the world is not fair and does not owe us easy decisions, in a situation where we are faced with two irreconcilably bad options, the decent and moral thing to do is to choose the less bad option, and that is to not interfere with the woman’s deeply personal decision on whether or not to abort the fetus.

    The only way the opposite can be justified is by saying that the viable fetus is more important than the adult woman. That either means that the viable fetus must therefore be MORE important than ALL adult humans, or that the pregnant adult woman is LESS human than usual, and her autonomous humanity is thus contingent on her not being pregnant.

    You can argue until the heat death of the universe that a viable fetus is a baby, and it wouldn’t matter. Said argument in no way supports the pro-life position at all. The only way to support the pro-life position is to argue that the viable fetus is MORE than a baby, and deserves MORE rights and considerations.

  325. Rey Fox says

    Abortion might be an emotional issue but it’s a matter of law. We won.

    Who’s “we”? Do you have a turd in your pocket? Don’t try to pretend like you’re on the same team as us, you are most demonstrably not. You are, for all practical purposes, no different from any run-of-the-mill anti-choicer. People like you are the reason that abortions are as hard to get in the USA as they are. Yes, very hard to get, as people have exhaustively explained to you and you don’t seem to care about.

    Late term abortions are rare but if there are valid extenuating circumstances then the woman should be able to petition the court for relief.

    And we’ve explained numerous times to you why this is bullshit. But you don’t seem to care.

    That’s my honest, heart-felt, soberly considered, opinion. I don’t care if you disagree.

    Then let me put this in the most polite terms I can possibly muster: FUCK OFF. We don’t want you here. Your insights are not special. You are ignorant, you don’t care about women, you’re quite happy to sacrifice them for “potential” human beings. Call that “shrill” and “uncivil” if you want, I don’t care, you don’t deserve civility. All I want is to make you aware that you are NOT the nice person you think you are, and your views on this subject are NOT “soberly considered”.

    People endure hardships and tragedy all the time and overcome them. Most are stronger for it.

    Life isn’t a Hallmark card, you miserable piece of shit.

    Inconvenience? Hardship? Suck it up like an adult! The world doesn’t owe you an easy life.

    Spoken like somebody who will never ever ever have to have his very body forcibly co-opted.

    Life isn’t always fair.

    I think I might hate cheerleaders for the status quo even more than those who wish to make the world worse through their ideologies.

  326. Rey Fox says

    Can you claim in the face of that fact that legal restrictions are all about the viability of the fetus?

    But they’re laws that were made in lots of different geographical areas, so they must be right! I don’t know why you ladies gotta keep making an issue of this, you can always go through the various legal systems in the world full of wise men who can render fast decisions. And if not, then life has just given you a lemon, with which you should make lemonade.

    Look, I’m comfortable, so shut up, okay?

  327. mythbri says

    @Rey Fox

    And if not, then life has just given you a lemon, with which you should make lemonade.

    Life hands you a 6 – 12 lb. lemon, for which you actually have to risk your life by pushing it out of your vagina.

  328. dianne says

    What if you went full term and vaginally delivered a Downs Syndrome baby or otherwise deformed or retarded child?

    What if you did? Contrary to the popular image of DS people as happy, healthy, wise (if not too bright) people, many infants with DS are born critically ill. Apart from the mental retardation, DS is associated with multiple cardiac, respiratory, immunologic, and psychologic issues. Some of them can be deadly very early in life.

    Suppose your baby was born not just DS but also severe cardiac anomalies and acute leukemia. (This is a rare, but possible, event.) Under current laws, doctors could advise you that this constellation of issues was so severe that treatment is highly unlikely to result in a meaningful probability of extending the baby’s life for more than a few days or weeks and would make the baby miserable, but that each of the issues involved was, in principle, treatable and you could decide to try for aggressive treatment and hope for the best. You could then decide-make a CHOICE-about whether you wanted to go ahead with treatment and hope that your baby will be that one who beats the odds or keep the baby as comfortable as possible for its short life and let it go.

    If that happened, I’m sure you would be devastated. And I’m sure you would think carefully about the issues and that your course of action would be dictated by what you thought was best for the baby and for your family. Either way, it would not be an easy decision or a comfortable one. If you decided to treat you’d see your baby go through horrible pain and probably die anyway. If you decided not to treat aggressively, you’d definitely watch the baby die. Not a situation anyone would ever want to be in. But would the situation be improved in any way, for anyone, if there were a law in place that stated that you legally MUST take aggressive measures? Would you feel it was right for the state to decide for you, without consideration of your individual circumstances, the right to decide about your child’s medical care? Would you consider it “murder” to treat with comfort care only? Suppose you weren’t bothered by the law because you would opt for aggressive care regardless and maybe even agree that it would be murder not to. Unfortunately, despite everyone’s best efforts, the child dies. But you can’t spend your time mourning your loss because you’re being investigated for murder of the child you tried to save. Who would such an investigation benefit?

    In short, you are currently allowed to decide on the medical care for your child after birth. Without petitioning the court or begging anyone to allow you to do what is right for you and your family. Why should that be any different before birth? Why shouldn’t a woman who is pregnant with a fetus with the problems I described be able to say that she’d rather not put the child through a brief and painful life and have an abortion-even if it is already the 9th month? If she could say no to care for the fetus after it is born, why can’t she refuse care for it (aka the placenta) before birth?

  329. dianne says

    What’s the difference between a VIABLE fetus and a premature baby?

    Also, don’t ask questions like this on the blog of a biology professor, most of whose readers are interested in biology and are often professionals in various areas of biology unless you’re ready to deal with getting an answer to the question. A real answer with more ugly details than you ever wanted. Provoke me further and I’ll start talking about embryonic and fetal hemoglobin.

  330. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    Provoke me further and I’ll start talking about embryonic and fetal hemoglobin.

    Feel free. Ugly details they may be, but it sounds interesting and would be great ammunition when asked that ridiculous question next time. All I can do at the moment is elaborate on how birth is clearly the only sensibble cut off and rights of the mother vs. rights of the foetus.

  331. Valde says

    I am sick of all this bullshit about how a zygote is simply a ‘smaller’ human being. Fuck that.

    From by Jonathon M. Sullivan MD, Ph.D.

    “You and I contain much, much more information, both genetic and otherwise, than a blastocyst. That’s why I can write this column and you can read it, whereas a blastocyst just.. .sits there. Indeed, that is the exactly the point of stem cell research: the stem cells in the blastocyst have not yet acquired the molecular programming required for differentiation, and so they remain pluripotent, awaiting the necessary molecular signals (the information) that will tell them whether to become nerve or muscle, skin or bone.

    Yes, once upon a time we were blastocysts, too. Nothing more than a little clump of cells, each of them a snippet of DNA surrounded by cytoplasm. But that DNA was later transcribed into RNA, and that RNA was translated into proteins. And some of those proteins were transcription factors that told other cells in the blastocyst what to do, when to divide, where to migrate. Transcription factors regulated the expression of still other transcription factors. Genes were turned on and off with clockwork precision. Some genes were methylated, so they could never be turned on again.

    In other words, the genome and the proteome of the blastocyst were changed as the embryo accumulated molecular information that the blastocyst did not have.

    The embryo became a fetus, with complex orientations of tissues–loaded with spatial, genetic, biochemical and mechanical information that simply did not exist in the embryo.

    The fetus became a child with a nervous system, and that nervous system sucked up information about the world, hard-wiring pathways for vision and movement, learning to make subtle distinctions between this and that, accumulating information that simply did not exist in the fetus.

    In other words, the blastocyst launched a genetic program that both extracted and acquired information. It didn’t start out as a human being. It became a human being, with a personality, feelings, attitudes and memories, by accumulating information that was not there before.

    Equating a blastocyst with a human being is like equating a brand new copy of an inexpensive spreadsheet program with the priceless databases that you’ll eventually build up with that program. It’s no less ridiculous than saying that a blueprint has the same value as a skyscraper–that it is the skycraper.

    No. They are not the same.”

    ———————

    And no, every zygote is NOT a tiny baby. In fact, the fate of the zygote is often predetermined up to 3 weeks BEFORE ovulation, when the egg is created.

    http://discovermagazine.com/2004/may/cover#.Ua4qHpxGKHs

    “Scientific study of this phenomenon, known as polarity, could reveal how the fate of a human embryo may be shaped—and predicted—by extremely early biological events that predate conception by days, weeks, or even months. Surprising new research findings by Van Blerkom and others raise the paradoxical possibility that the viability of life may be determined long before fertilization.”

    “They argue that the fate of an embryo depends on the way the egg organizes itself, and that polarity in the egg can ordain either a successful or failed pregnancy before conception. This has profound implications for our understanding of life’s origins, for our understanding of why so many embryos spontaneously abort in the first few days after fertilization, and for our understanding of why some IVF procedures may subtly affect early development, with potential long-term health consequences. ”

    “Nonetheless, the high failure rate begs challenging ethical questions. If life begins at conception, as many believe, why are so many lives immediately taken? If, as some ethicists argue, nascent life must be protected, how do we assess the degree of moral entitlement due a nascent entity that fails to pass nature’s own muster perhaps 80 percent of the time? And if the fate of an organism is indeed inscribed in the earliest biological inklings of an egg, does life begin with the gametes?”

    “Nonetheless, it has become increasingly clear that the fate of an embryo may be cast in the ovarian follicles, where egg cells are built. “Much of the developmental biology and ability of the human embryo is determined even before it’s fertilized,” Van Blerkom said. “This all happens by the one-cell stage, which is when the fate of the embryo is determined.””

  332. says

    Yes, Amphiox, I agree that, “Fetuses 24-30 weeks of age are a medical gray area. While they are technically “viable”, it is only with significant medical intervention, and the likelihood of permanent disability for the resulting child, even if it should survive, is extremely high.”

    The point here centers around who decides who lives and who dies: and why. It’s a moral issue so rife with emotion that it transcends “social norms” and is always decided by law. That’s a simple fact. So the discussion boils down to what we, collectively, decide is morally supportable.

    Unfortunately for the left-leaning folks on this forum, they can’t have their cake and eat it too. They must settle with having won abortion rights UP TO VIABILITY. As you point out, late-term abortions are rare, so what we’re really dealing with here is not an Earth-shattering topic. It’s about what people can morally tolerate.

    With fetal viability as the “line in the sand” around the civilized world, members of this left-leaning forum should understand that that the majority of us overwhelmingly agree that fetal viability is where the line should be drawn.

    I understand that this REALLY digs at your craw (or, at least, the craw of many here). But you guys lost. You can’t have your way. The civilized world resoundingly draws the line for abortion at fetal viability. It’s not changing any time soon.

    Get used to it.

  333. Amphiox says

    The civilized world resoundingly draws the line for abortion at fetal viability. It’s not changing any time soon.

    Get used to it.

    There was a time when the civilized world resoundingly supported slavery. It did not change anytime soon.

    Decent people of good will and good faith REFUSED to get used to it. And, eventually, the world changed for the better.

    Only the inhuman “get used to” frank injustice.

    And inhuman is what you are.

  334. Nepenthe says

    Hey Jim, why won’t you answer my question? Is it because you don’t have an answer? Because that’s what I’ve noticed from atheist antis. Since they can’t fall back on the whole “soul” thing, they have to argue that its wrong to kill a being that is non-sentient, non-sapient, and has no ties to the community because it’s icky, or “murder” or “so obviously wrong”.

  335. dianne says

    late-term abortions are rare, so what we’re really dealing with here is not an Earth-shattering topic.

    Unless it’s you or your wife or daughter or sister who needs one and can’t get it. Try telling Praveen Halappanavar that it’s not an “earth shattering” topic.

  336. microraptor says

    The point here centers around who decides who lives and who dies: and why. It’s a moral issue so rife with emotion that it transcends “social norms” and is always decided by law.

    In other words, silly womenz can’t be expected to have the ability to make decisions about their own bodies for themselves.

  337. Valde says

    I just read Nepenthe’s question.

    Great question!

    I would really like to read your reply, Jim.

  338. dianne says

    But you guys lost…Get used to it.

    The ultimate taunt of those who know that they are in the wrong and that their arguments are invalid-but that they have Might on their side.

  339. mythbri says

    It’s a moral issue so rife with emotion that it transcends “social norms” and is always decided by law.

    Bullshit.

    Do you think abortions never happened before Roe v. Wade?

    Women have been having abortions as long as there have been women. It’s only now, in more modern times, that we’re discussing whether or not these abortions can be done safely (i.e., legally).

    Next time you’re cruising the Intertubes, try a Google-image search for “back alley abortion.”

  340. Amphiox says

    In most jurisdictions in this world, abortion used to be completely illegal. The course of winning abortion rights has been a slow and stepwise one, and regressive forces seeking to once again eliminate all abortions all the time are always at work.

    The present laws with viability cut-offs are COMPROMISE positions. They do NOT represent any grand social consensus. At the present time there ISN’T any grand social consensus on the topic of abortion. They are in fact positions that no majority ideally prefers, but a majority accepts as practical, FOR THE MOMENT, as what is possible to achieve within the CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE.

    And if only all jurisdictions actually DID allow abortions up to fetal viability! Instead of having cut-offs are arbitrary 6-week or 12-week or 20-week timeframes, as so many US states are trying to do. Or have it completely illegal with but the tiniest exceptions.

    If one wants a favorable COMPROMISE, one negotiates from the extreme. Negotiate from “cut-off at viability” and in practice you will achieve at best something like 20-weeks or maybe even 12-weeks. To actually ACHIEVE a cut-off at viability you have to start negotiating from a position more extreme than that. The other side starts from “no abortions for anyone for any reason”. It is only practical sense to start from our side with “abortions freely on request without exception”.

    Your arguments, jimashby, or not only ethically odious, they are PRACTICALLY stupid. All you do is give succor to the forces that want to outlaw abortion entirely.

  341. Amphiox says

    so what we’re really dealing with here is not an Earth-shattering topic.

    Short of Venus colliding with the Earth, no topic is an “Earth-shattering” one.

    Not even genocide.

    That does not make it valid or ethical to simply dismiss as unimportant.

  342. Amphiox says

    It’s a moral issue so rife with emotion that it transcends “social norms” and is always decided by law.

    Nothing humans do transcends social norms. And law is nothing more or less than the codified expression of formalized social norms.

  343. omnicrom says

    The civilized world resoundingly draws the line for abortion at fetal viability. It’s not changing any time soon.

    Get used to it.

    No, fuck that shit. Even if it actually DID draw the line at fetal viability, which it doesn, if your response to a problem is fatalistic apathy then get out, we don’t want you. The current abortion system is a compromise where women get lost in the shuffle, which is the whole point. In America Abortions are readily available only for those who are well off, every other woman else gets to suffer and has no way to choose what happens to their body. This a hatefully misogynistic state of affairs, and if your only response is “Get used to it” then you are endorsing hateful misogyny. Fuck that noise.

    You’re endorsing a self-fulfilling prophecy jimashby, things sure as hell aren’t going to change anytime soon as long as there are people like you who throw up their hands and just tell all the women suffering out there to “get used to it”. Things surely aren’t going to change as long as you and everyone like you accepts a bad, broken system and doesn’t raise a finger to make it good.

  344. says

    If I’ve not answered all objections, it’s because I’ve not read them all. To say that mine is a minority opinion on this forum is an understatement: I’m checking my email (randomly) looking for unemotional, reasonable, replies and responding to those.

    When I posted my first reply, I already knew that this is a world-class forum of political correctitude that routinely shouts down nonconformists. If somebody shows any signs of dissent, they are swarmed.

    But I knew that you guys are an isolated pocket. Big fish in a small pond. You can’t bully me because I know what I’m dealing with.

    It’s funny that so many freethinkers pride themselves on independent thought . . . only to congregate around central themes. Personally, I’ve always found that when it comes to controversies, the truth is nearer to the middle than the extremes. Abortion is a morally complex topic. You guys don’t seem to get it. If reproductive rights is a deciding factor, you wouldn’t be in the position you’re in. You lost for a reason.

    You’re wrong.

  345. Iain Walker says

    jimashby (#351):

    With fetal viability as the “line in the sand” around the civilized world, members of this left-leaning forum should understand that that the majority of us overwhelmingly agree that fetal viability is where the line should be drawn.

    Yet it seems that this is a line you are reluctant to justify on its own merits – you certainly haven’t any offered any cogent arguments in its support. So why should anyone accept that what is basically an arbitrary political compromise is actually a rational and sustainable ethical position?

  346. says

    Abortion is older than slavery. The parallel (whoever raised it) begs the question: Why doesn’t unlimited abortion enjoy the same status as slavery?

    You guessed it . . . because it’s been rejected by the majority. Yes, yes, I know . . . you guys are wiser than the judges who’ve decided this issue. The dissenters are wrong and idiots because you guys are right and geniuses.

    Nothing hurts like the truth. The reality is . . . your arguments are worn out. Most people believe in personal responsibility . . . even when it’s less than desirable. We don’t think in terms of hardship versus murder. We accept that we have to play the hand we’re dealt.

    I think it will be easier for me to just post a blog post (at AtheistExile.com) about this topic and see if I can draw other nonconformist (leftist) opinions. Then I won’t have to deal with you extremists by myself. But it will be at least a day or 2 before I get it posted (I’m not that motivated).

    It’s time you guys left the small pond. Experience the real world.

  347. mythbri says

    If I’ve not answered all objections, it’s because I’ve not read them all.

    This explains much about you.

    I’m checking my email (randomly) looking for unemotional, reasonable, replies and responding to those.

    Women get so emotional when I tell them that in lots of circumstances, I think it’s okay to force them to bear children against their will.

    I already knew that this is a world-class forum of political correctitude that routinely shouts down nonconformists.

    I like to pretend that there’s a comfortable middle ground for every single issue. Join me while I cluck my tongue chidingly at Both Sides.

    But I knew that you guys are an isolated pocket.

    The Internet is isolated.

    Personally, I’ve always found that when it comes to controversies, the truth is nearer to the middle than the extremes.

    If it doesn’t directly affect me, a strong stance either way is “extreme.”

    You lost for a reason.

    Upthread you said “we won.”

    Are you firmly on the anti-choice side of things now? Kind of proves my “I’m pro-choice, but” point, doesn’t it?

  348. mythbri says

    I think it will be easier for me to just post a blog post (at AtheistExile.com)

    Trolling for traffic, now, are we?

  349. mythbri says

    (I’m not that motivated)

    Gee.

    I bet all of those viable fetuses you’re defending are crushed.

  350. Rey Fox says

    As you point out, late-term abortions are rare, so what we’re really dealing with here is not an Earth-shattering topic.

    It’s the thin end of the wedge that they’ve been driving into reproductive rights ever since Roe v. Wade. It’s why that magic dividing line keeps getting nudged back further and further to meet all the women who’ve had their abortions postponed by every other little obstacle put in their way by the force birth brigade, with either the enthusiastic support or indifference of paternalistic fucks like you.

    When I posted my first reply, I already knew that this is a world-class forum of political correctitude that routinely shouts down nonconformists. If somebody shows any signs of dissent, they are swarmed.

    Aw gee, the poor boo-boo is being shouted down. Aww, he just wants to cheerlead for the status quo that privileges him by virtue of gender, why do the rest of you meanies have to be so mean?

    Personally, I’ve always found that when it comes to controversies, the truth is nearer to the middle than the extremes.

    The fact that you’re a lazy thinker has been on display for this entire thread, you don’t have to confirm it again. Anyway, we’re not the extremists, we believe that women should have the right to make their own decisions about their health and their bodies. That’s sane and moderate. Believing that fetuses have rights that no other human being has is extreme.

    You’re wrong.

    Keep on asserting.

    And with regards to Nepenthe’s question, the Jimmy Jim answer is “majority* rules, neener neener neener.”

    * Majority in this case meaning the majority of members of privileged classes, white males mostly.

  351. omnicrom says

    If you really are so unmotivated why did you come back after your flounce? Why do you stick around and crow about what a courageous, wise, non-conformist you are? Why do you still feel the need to tut-tut all those people getting angry at injustice? I’d be much more convinced you didn’t care about this issue if you stopped acting like you cared about this issue.

  352. Rey Fox says

    Most people believe in personal responsibility

    Terminating an unwanted pregnancy is taking responsbility.

    We don’t think in terms of hardship versus murder.

    Abortion isn’t murder.

    Experience the real world.

    People on this thread have been working hard to educate you about the real world of abortion restrictions, the judicial system, and fetal development. All you know of the “real world” is that a lot of assholes agree with you. Which isn’t exactly earth-shattering news.

  353. says

    What’s the difference between a VIABLE fetus and a premature baby? An inch of mother’s flesh. The difference is that one is internal and the other is external. That’s it.

    that’s not actually true, but even if it were, that’s all that would be necessary to make a relevant difference, since only one of these infringes on bodily autonomy.

    It’s transparently obvious that only a clueless person would claim it’s okay to kill premature babies.

    nah. letting newborns with low survival chance die from exposure used to be a form of family resource management and population control in places were both were very important, but no reliable contraceptive/birth control was available.
    You can argue about the ethics of letting such newborns die so that their siblings/their whole community can survive, but that’s the point: it’s arguable, therefore your statement is false and naive.

    And only a clueless person would claim it’s okay to kill a VIABLE fetus . . . without valid extenuating circumstances

    the only “extenuating circumstance” necessary is that the fetus is using someone’s body against their will. It’s ethical to kill adults in defense of one’s bodily autonomy, so why shouldn’t it be ethical to do the same to a fetus?

    Should we kill the VIABLE fetus because the mother doesn’t want it?

    since it would be killing in self-defense, yes.

    As far as I’m concerned, anybody who can justify killing a VIABLE fetus has their priorities out of whack.

    oh, yeah. treating women as full human beings with inalienable human rights is having ones priorities out of whack [/sarc]

    What if you went full term and vaginally delivered a Downs Syndrome baby or otherwise deformed or retarded child?

    what about it? once it’s no longer infringing on bodily autonomy, harm to it wouldn’t fall under defense of bodily autonomy anymore.

    Now you’re faced with inconvenience and life-long hardship

    no i don’t. the ethical thing to do if you don’t feel you can take care of a child with a severe handicap is to give it to someone who can. that’s tough in the US, because the social services here suck, but not so elsewhere.

    just like with an unwanted VIABLE fetus.

    nope. an unwanted fetus infringes on a woman’s bodily autonomy, a completely different issue from not being up to raising a handicapped child.

    Once that fetus is viable, it’s got human rights.

    the right to use someone else’s body against their will is not a right anyone has. why would we grant it to a fetus?

    What you can’t do, legally, is resort to murder.

    killing in defense of one’s bodily autonomy is self-defense, not murder.

    I’ll just call you inhuman.

    we already know you do. you’ve been denying our full humanity throughout this thread.

  354. anteprepro says

    I already knew that this is a world-class forum of political correctitude

    Right-wing meme alert!

    I think it will be easier for me to just post a blog post (at AtheistExile.com) about this topic and see if I can draw other nonconformist (leftist) opinions. Then I won’t have to deal with you extremists by myself.

    Brave Sir Ashby…

    It’s time you guys left the small pond. Experience the real world.

    “Leave the small pond” cries the person retreating to his own personal blog. “Experience the real world” cries the person dismissing the need to provide women with access to third trimester abortions due to very possibility of health complications arising. The hypocrisy of the pro-fetus crowd knows no bounds.

  355. Iain Walker says

    jimashby (#365):

    The reality is . . . your arguments are worn out.

    Says the person who seems to have no arguments, and no answers to the questions that have been put to him asking him to clarify his position. Do you really have nothing more to offer than “Rah! Rah! Go status quo!”?

    Most people believe in personal responsibility . . . even when it’s less than desirable.

    Except, apparently, for women.

    see if I can draw other nonconformist (leftist) opinions.

    So you, the cheerleader for majority opinion, see yourself as a nonconformist? Hmm.

  356. dianne says

    Why do you stick around and crow about what a courageous, wise, non-conformist you are?

    A “non-conformist” whose most recent argument is “The people in power agree with me so I must be right.”

  357. says

    It’s a moral issue so rife with emotion that it transcends “social norms” and is always decided by law.

    ah. another area you are clearly wholly ignorant of. a law is a social norm. (other social norms are folkways, mores, and taboos)

    That’s a simple fact.

    considering that the preceding sentence is wrong, that’s a hilariously clueless thing to say.

    They must settle with having won abortion rights UP TO VIABILITY.

    nope.

    It’s about what people can morally tolerate.

    well then we need to teach people to “morally tolerate” that pregnant women have as much a right to bodily autonomy as anyone else. given that we’ve had to teach people to “morally tolerate” the humanity of people before, I find that an entirely achievable goal.

    With fetal viability as the “line in the sand” around the civilized world, members of this left-leaning forum should understand that that the majority of us overwhelmingly agree that fetal viability is where the line should be drawn.

    watch me not care. such “majorities” have once also thought women shouldn’t have a right to an individual legal identity after getting married.

    But you guys lost. You can’t have your way. The civilized world resoundingly draws the line for abortion at fetal viability. It’s not changing any time soon.

    Get used to it.

    conservatives have been making that claim about every issue, since approximately forever. They were wrong. I see no reason to assume already that this time for some reason they won’t also end up being wrong.

  358. says

    Most people believe in personal responsibility

    most people are also sexist, racist and religious. tell me again why i should take this argumentum ad populum seriously?

  359. says

    Personally, I’ve always found that when it comes to controversies, the truth is nearer to the middle than the extremes.

    i have never found this to be true. the “truth”* didn’t lie halfway between slaveholders and abolitionists; the “truth” didn’t die between the antis and the suffragists; the “truth” doesn’t lie halfway between the theists and the atheists; the “truth” doesn’t lie halfway between anti-gay bigots and gay-rights activists; the “truth” doesn’t lie halfway between transphobes and trans* rights activists; etc. ad nauseam.

    – – – – – – – – –
    *speaking of “truth” lying in the middle, when the conversation is about ethics, betrays the authoritarian mind. ethics have no truth-values, they can be argued on the basis of truth-values though.

  360. says

    hanging your entire argument on an ad populum tied to an argument from authority, and then accusing the other side of conformism is a deeply hilarious level of projection.

  361. David Marjanović says

    Inconvenience? Hardship? Suck it up like an adult!

    Translation: “Hi! I’m a sociopath!”

    If I’ve not answered all objections, it’s because I’ve not read them all.

    You try to participate in a discussion without reading all the other side says?

    If this were my blog, I’d fucking ban you right now.

  362. says

    They must settle with having won abortion rights UP TO VIABILITY.

    Why? Because you say so?
    And your “all people put up with” must mean that you deny the existence of Canada. Or at least not include it in the “civilised world”.
    Oh, and thanks for mentioning slavery again because, you know, that was a question that used to be “settled”, too. Those who thought that black people are people too lost. And later they won a little. But then they had to settle with having won some personal freedom, becuase that was all people would put up with, none of that messy use the same bathroom stuff or interracial marriage. Because clearly those things never ever ever change.
    Why don’t you just be upfront and proclaim loudly that you think that bitches ain’t shit and that you’d rather see them die than have an abortion without your explicit consent?
    Oh, and since we’re at discussing why you’re a heartless piece of shit, why do you hate babies so much that you would inflict them as punishment *cough* consequences on an unwilling woman? Why would you condemn them to being unloved and unwanted and growing up with the burden of being the sole cause of misery in their mother’s life?

  363. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So the discussion boils down to what we, collectively, decide is morally supportable.

    Who gives a shit what your morals are, if they don’t include absolute bodily integrity for women. Anything else is bullshit, and devalues women.

  364. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If I’ve not answered all objections, it’s because I’ve not read them all.

    You haven’t answered objections. You needed to prove your points, and you opinion isn’t and never will be evidence for those points. You can only answer our objections with evidence, or you didn’t answer them. And you didn’t answer them,

  365. omnicrom says

    A “non-conformist” whose most recent argument is “The people in power agree with me so I must be right.”

    I noticed too dianne a little while after I posted. It’s quite ironic that jimashby is loudly trumpetting their non-conformity while engaging in an argument from authority. I also love how jimmy is also puffing up their chest with pride at their intellectual rigor even as they recite the fallacy of the golden mean which is the simplest and easiest way out of any argument.

  366. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Get used to it.

    You get used to the fact you are a sanctimonious evidenceless fuckwit who can and will be ignored.

  367. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m checking my email (randomly) looking for unemotional, reasonable, replies and responding to those.

    Yet your response are emotional, irrational, and unreasonsable hypocrite. NOBODY HAS TO AGREE WITH YOU TO BE REASONABLE. BUT YOU HAVE TO AGREE WITH REALITY, AND YOU DON’T.

  368. dianne says

    Nerd, I suspect that when jimashby says “unemotional, reasonable” he means “someone whose nym and content lead me to believe that they might be male.” “Emotional” is a dog whistle for “female”.

  369. Valde says

    Argumentum ad populum is a logical fallacy jimbo

    You really should answer Nepenthe’s question, other than just saying ‘but the majority says……..’

  370. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    When I posted my first reply, I already knew that this is a world-class forum of political correctitude that routinely shouts down nonconformists.

    Nope, we routinely shout down stupid fuckwits. And your arguments are stupid, inane, and unconvincing to folks who understand the concept of bodily integrity for women. Which you obviously don’t. You need to get a clue. The first one, is that you don’t tell them what to do with their bodies, ever. And there is your problem, as you think you can.

    You can’t bully me because I know what I’m dealing with.

    And you can’t bully/guilt us, since you are a evidenceless presuppositionalist and abject clown using clownish arguments.

    t’s funny that so many freethinkers pride themselves on independent thought . . . only to congregate around central themes.

    Maybe that is because once your presuppositions are thrown to the wind, the logical conclusions of ignoring things like mythical/fictional holy books and imaginary deities leads one to humanistic conclusions.

    Personally, I’ve always found that when it comes to controversies, the truth is nearer to the middle than the extremes.

    You must live a sheltered life. We aren’t extreme. You are.

    You guys don’t seem to get it.

    No, you don’t get it. What part of women have bodily integrity don’t you understand? We’ll explain it to you in words of one syllable or less, as that appears to the be the limit of your comprehension.

    You’re wrong.

    Sorry, still slinging lies and bullshit, as you are wrong. Until you acknowledge women are you equal. So, when do we put you down for a forced kidneys donation….

    I think it will be easier for me to just post a blog post (

    Who gives a shit what you have to say, since what you had to say here was stupider than pig excrement? I sure don’t.

    It’s time you guys left the small pond. Experience the real world.

    We live in reality. You don’t. Your ideas aren’t big world ideas. They are from a small and stifled mind.

  371. Nepenthe says

    Jim, could you please answer my question. It seems like it would be super easy to do, since it’s so obvious to you. Why, exactly, is killing a viable fetus wrong?

    I’ll note that I’ve not called you any names or used any curse words, or even been mildly impolite. I think it’s reasonable to ask you to back up your assertions. So I can’t see why you haven’t answered my question.

  372. Pteryxx says

    I find myself wishing that jimashby would be made to listen to a reading of the OP and every single linked post, then to wait 24 hours (or 48, or 72, etc) before posting here again.

    From the 2012 Tiger Beatdown interview referenced in PZ’s first source above:

    JESSICA: Right. One of the problems with the current pro-choice movement is that we have ceded the moral argument. Therefore, we are always working from the defensive, trying to skirt around the “kill the babies” argument because we are fearful of answering for it. It seems to me that for many former anti-choicers, when they discuss why they moved positions, it involves hearing someone’s personal tale. When someone, like Carolyn Jones, tells their abortion story, it forces the reader/listener to acknowledge that abortion is not uncomplicated or that the people who get them cannot be painted with a broad brush. It is in the telling of these personal stories when the morality of the pro-choice position speaks for itself. Dr. Hopkins talked about that moment in her class when, after showing the Frontline piece about abortion, a young male student said, “I’d never thought about abortion from the woman’s perspective before.”

    GARLAND: I think one of the most important things we could do is to continually find ways to make pro-choice people proud and forthright about their beliefs, to puff them up with moral superiority and FACTS and send them out into the world with the conviction that abortion isn’t shameful, not even a little, that supporting abortion is not merely the right thing to do but opposing abortion is morally obscene, and that anyone who questions these two premises is more invested in self-righteousness than they are in human lives. I think if we could drain the residual shame from the movement and create activists who aren’t simply pro-choice but who understand that being “pro-life” is a symptom of not knowing what the fuck you’re talking about and not giving a damn as long as you can think of yourself as morally superior, we could move this fight toward a decisive victory.

    (source)

  373. Amphiox says

    funny that so many freethinkers pride themselves on independent thought . . . only to congregate around central themes.

    There is only one reality. All honest freethinkers must eventually congregate around that reality.

  374. Amphiox says

    I can just picture jimashby haranguing Roosevelt and Churchill in 1941. “Why are you still fighting? After Pearl Harbor, the Philippines and Hong Kong, the Pacific War is over. You’ve lost. Live with it.”

  375. consciousness razor says

    It’s funny that so many freethinkers pride themselves on independent thought . . . only to congregate around central themes.

    Freethinkers are capable of coming to an agreement about the truth. Thinking freely doesn’t entail that you never come to the same conclusions. It’s not “independent thought” in the sense that we obstinately refuse to reason about others’ views because we’ve settled on what is “obvious,” but in the sense that each of us independently can and should reason about them and be influenced by them if they are reasonable. So it entails that, if we’re doing it well, we are influenced by others and will congregate around the best possible conclusions or otherwise to gravitate toward better ones once they’re available. It’s not a chaotic free-for-all, with no rhyme or reason to it, where everybody believes any fucking thing whatsoever, no matter how absurd or contrary to the facts.

    Abortion is a morally complex topic.

    Which is why you simplified it down to “viability” and accept the law at face value. That’s why you’ve blatantly ignored all sorts of complexities we’ve tried to address. That’s why you appeal to the majority, to the law, to what is “obvious.” You simplify it until your answer for what is moral is the only one possible, then we hear about how narrow-minded we all are for not appreciating (like you obviously do) that morality works in mysterious ways, ways which just so happen to align exactly with your intuition of what is “obvious.”

  376. microraptor says

    I can just picture jimashby haranguing Roosevelt and Churchill in 1941. “Why are you still fighting? After Pearl Harbor, the Philippines and Hong Kong, the Pacific War is over. You’ve lost. Live with it.”

    And telling Dred Scott “sorry, but the courts have spoken and you’re just not a person.”

  377. anteprepro says

    Here’s the gallling thing about the “lol you freethinkers think alike lol” arguments: That’s what a marketplace of ideas looks like when people actually are intellectually honest. When you have people who are actually willing to change their minds, and don’t just flat out deny facts and logic in order to stubbornly maintain refuted hypotheses, and are willing to adopt the positions that are best supported by evidence, willing to accept the most compelling arguments, you will have people reaching agreement.

    The reason why we seem to congregate on the same arguments on some issues is because they are the issues that have already debated. The issues brought up have changed some of our minds . I didn’t always agree that slurs/gendered insults were inherently bad and shouldn’t be used until arguments here persuaded me . I didn’t always support unconditional abortion until arguments here persuaded me . So how about dealing with the actual fucking substance of arguments instead of chortling about the very fact that we have arrived at similar ideas? Because focusing on that is not only tangential, it is stupid. When the same “logic” could be used to dismiss scientists and peer review as a hivemind groupthink echo chamber, you should probably reconsider your logic.

  378. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Abortion is a morally complex topic. You guys don’t seem to get it. If reproductive rights is a deciding factor, you wouldn’t be in the position you’re in. You lost for a reason.

    You’re wrong.

    You know, you actually did not show (or even show your arguments) for any of these statements. Which makes you look kind of ridiculous, but hey.

    This, combined with your admitted refusal to read counter-arguments to your unargued statements, makes me wonder: what are you looking for here? It clearly isn’t to argue your point or to attempt to convince anyone. Are you just here to metaphorically flip the bird and shout “Sucks to be you, ladies!”? Because we kind of already know that.

    So, why are you posting, jim?

  379. vaiyt says

    I’m going to ask again.

    If abortion is murder, is a miscarriage involuntary manslaughter?

  380. carlie says

    They must settle with having won abortion rights UP TO VIABILITY.

    Except that we haven’t. In New York, considered one of those liberal states, there is a sweeping women’s rights bill that is being opposed right now because it would extend abortion rights TO the point of viability.

    Cuomo’s proposal would allow late-term abortions until “viability” or “to protect the health and life of the woman.”

    You keep saying we have abortion rights to the point of viability. 24 weeks isn’t viability. 20 weeks isn’t viability. 16 weeks isn’t viability. 12 weeks isn’t viability. Yet depending on where a person lives, abortion is already limited to those time frames or there are people pushing very hard to get to those time frames.
    You don’t get to chose your own facts.

    I find myself wishing that jimashby would be made to listen to a reading of the OP and every single linked post, then to wait 24 hours (or 48, or 72, etc) before posting here again.

    Thread won. Especially since he won’t understand what even that means.

  381. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Exactly how many times is Misogynist Masnby going to flounce n bounce? We get it, you hate women, think they should be slaves and should have no say in what happens to them. WE GET IT – YOU HATE WOMEN.

    Go away now, useless bigot.

  382. says

    How many replies like this have I received? Why should I commit to a discussion where so many people disrespect the opinions of others? You guys can’t seem to recognize the difference between a fact and an opinion. In many of our countries, abortions, up to viability, are legal: after that, they are not. Those are facts. Some people think late-term abortions should be legal: some don’t. Those are opinions. Morality? A matter of opinion. See the difference?

    Name-calling and insults over matters of opinion is just a childish way of saying I’m right and you’re wrong, so there. Mature, reasonable, people recognize this. The rest of you, I don’t really care about.

    Then there’s your lame logic — such as comparisons to slavery and women’s suffrage. Guess what folks, it was people of conscience who stood up for the rights of the oppressed and defenseless and for their human rights. And it’s people of conscience who now stand up for the human rights of the most defenseless of all — VIABLE human fetuses . . . which I will refer to as “internal preemies” from now on. After all, that’s what they are once they’re VIABLE. I’m sure you’ll LOVE that! LoL

    By the way, if you’ve noticed that I’ve been capitalizing VIABLE (and its variants) lately, it’s because so many of you can’t bring yourselves to include the word in front of the word, “fetus”. What’s the matter? Does the word bother you?

    Political correctitude reigns supreme here. It’s a fascist inclination of the left. Any variance from the politically correct gives you license to abandon civility. You’re never uncivil if you’re politically correct. That way, you can be sure you’re always right and that everybody’s on the same page. For instance. we’ve won the fight for legal abortions. But it’s not good enough to take pride in this victory. No sir. You have to support late-term abortions also. If you don’t, you’re a misogynist. Do you have a problem with killing internal preemies for the sake of the mothers convenience or career plans? Well, you’re a hater. You hate women. Your opinion does not deserve respect and neither do you. Right?

    Fascist all the way.

    But that’s okay. It’s a free country. I may not agree with you but free speech is more important to me.

    Oh yeah, also . . .

    I’ve read posts asking why I won’t explain my position. I’ve done so over and over. I know it’s complicated and difficult to understand for some of you, so do try to pay attention for once, here it comes again:

    1.) In my opinion (and that of the courts of almost 150 countries) is that an internal preemie (a.k.a. a VIABLE fetus) is a human being, a person, and thus it is murder to kill him/her.

    2.) Murder trumps reproductive rights.

    Whew! Did you get all that? I know it’s a lot to absorb, so it might pay to reread it a few dozen times until it sinks in.

    Now, I know how compassionate you politically correct folk are — not only are you passionate about women, LGBTs and minorities, you’re even passionate about the rights of animals. Yes sir, you guys are REALLY compassionate.

    But the rights of internal preemies? Forget about it. Your hearts bleed for the suffering of livestock but when it comes to the most vulnerable of humans, your hearts are as hard and cold as ice.

    To me, that’s the height of hypocrisy and is truly disgusting.

  383. Nepenthe says

    Again Jim, WHY (and I’ll capitalize this because you seem to have overlooked it) do you believe that it’s wrong to kill a viable fetus? Can you not bring yourself to answer? Does it bother you that you don’t know why you think it’s wrong, forcing you to parrot tautologies like “its murder” and logical fallacies like “lots of people think the same way”?

    See, I know why my heart bleeds for the suffering of livestock and why I couldn’t give two shits about “internal preemies”. But I’m getting the idea that you have no idea why you don’t care about pigs being tortured, but when a fetus might die you get all weepy. You’ve never thought very deeply about compassion or ethics; you go by your gut. Otherwise, my question would be simple for you to answer.

    And that, sir, makes you the hypocrite, proclaiming your rationality about a subject you’ve barely thought about at all, and have such limited knowledge of that you can’t answer the most fundamental question about your opinion.

  384. Nepenthe says

    And so you can’t wiggle out of it, my original question was why do you think a viable fetus is a person.

    Do you even know why murder is wrong, Jim? Or do you think that it’s wrong because your Mommy or God or the government say so.

  385. says

    Oh, by the way, guys. I have a job, a wife and 3 kids, so if I can’t keep up with the swarm of hundreds of comments here, you’ll just have to get used to it. I reply when I get the time.

  386. says

    @Nepenthe,

    I can’t help it if you choose to be dense. I couldn’t state it any simpler but, for the clueless among you guys, I’ll try one more time.

    A viable fetus can survive ex utero. It’s an internal preemie :-). Before Roe versus Wade, person-hood was legally granted upon birth. Afterward, according to Wikipedia, the criteria changed:

    ——————————-
    “Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), is a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of abortion. Decided simultaneously with a companion case, Doe v. Bolton, the Court ruled 7–2 that a right to privacy under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion, but that right must be balanced against the state’s two legitimate interests in regulating abortions: protecting prenatal life and protecting women’s health. Arguing that these state interests became stronger over the course of a pregnancy, the Court resolved this balancing test by tying state regulation of abortion to the trimester of pregnancy.

    The Court later rejected Roe’s trimester framework, while affirming Roe’s central holding that a person has a right to abortion until viability. The Roe decision defined “viable” as being “potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid”, adding that viability ‘is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks.'”
    ——————————-

    With improvements in post-natal care, viability has dropped down to about 19 or 20 weeks. But viability means nothing to you guys, right? Of the court’s 2 criteria, it’s all about right to privacy (reproductive rights) with you guys and zero consideration for “protecting prenatal life”.

    In the abstract, these are still matters of opinion. But legally, they’re matters of fact: protecting prenatal life matters regardless of how much you guys hate it. When I cite the majority view or court decisions, I’m not supporting opinions . . . I’m stating facts. They are the reality. Whether or not they are right or logical is a matter of opinion.

    So a viable fetus, in my opinion, is a person and has the same human rights as anybody else. It’s protected, by law, from murder. In my opinion, this is as it should be.

    Is person-hood a matter of fact or opinion? Well, in Nazi Germany, Jews weren’t persons. In colonial plantations, blacks weren’t persons. So I guess that, in actual practice, person-hood is a matter of opinion.

    In my opinion, person-hood is not a matter of an inch of mother’s flesh. It’s a matter of when you can be said to be a human being. There are all kinds of arguments about what constitutes valid criteria: brain activity, heartbeat, the ability to feel pain, etc. But by the time of viability, all those old criteria have already been met. the major remaining issue is lung development.

    But you know what? Even if I said viability should include lung development, you guys would still insist that the fetus should still be subject to abortion at the mother’s whim. Reproductive rights is your ONLY criteria. After considerable deliberation, I still disagree.

    P.S.
    How do you guys justify making this a sole matter of reproductive rights? How do you decide the viable fetus deserves no consideration?

  387. Maureen Brian says

    But you don’t reply, jimashby! You simply repeat the same opinion over and over without giving us any idea how you came by it.

    You don’t define your terms, you don’t bring any facts to the table, you admit that you read the replies to your preaching on a very selective basis and you don’t answer Nepenthe’s question.

    Nor do you explain how you can assert that all these nations allow abortion to viability when Amphiox, who should know, puts viability at 30 weeks. I don’t believe you understand what viability is beyond believing that some magic line in the sand, if dawn by a legislature, just must be right. Why? Because, so there!

    All in all I’d say you get a better quality of argument from us than your own performace justifies. Could you try to raise your game a bit? Thanks.

  388. Valde says

    Extreme neonates may ‘survive’ at 21 weeks, but the majority end up with severe and profound disabilties. Though survival rates have gone up, disability rates have NOT improved in the last 20 years.

    As for your jews vs blacks argument, they are REAL PEOPLE who do not live inside someone else’s body, infringing on that person’s rights.

    And an interesting little tidbit regarding slavery – slave women were treated as livestock, and in fact the slaveowners went so far as to protect your precious widdle fetus when viciously punishing said ‘livestock’.

  389. Maureen Brian says

    My 408 cross-posted with the one before – not by design.

    We are not obsessed with reproductive rights, you know. We can argue with great gusto on all sorts of interesting subjects.

    But when we do come to discuss reproductive rights we tend generally to agree on one simple point. It goes like this – any discussion of rights (actual rights, potential rights, conditional rights, whatever) where the needs of two entities may be in conflict must be decided on the basis that one of those entities is an already existing human being with full rights and that any decision taken may not demote her from that status and should, if at all possible, be taken by her.

    See, it’s not difficult at all.

  390. Amphiox says

    You can write the word VIABLE as many times with as many caps as you want, jimashby, and it doesn’t change the putrid inhumanity of your commentary so far.

  391. Amphiox says

    Quit telling me I have explained myself and tell me what you want explained.

    Do not presume that you have earned the entitlement to the privilege of telling us what to do or say.

  392. says

    So, Maureen Brian, to summarize your post: women’s reproductive rights prevail because women’s reproductive rights prevail.

    You did not explain WHY women’s reproductive rights have a logical priority over other considerations except to say that they are already “existing” human beings . . . thereby implying that internal preemies are not already existing human beings because they are internal.

    So how, exactly, does being internal override viability as a criteria for personhood?

  393. says

    @Amphiox,

    If you guys demand clarification, I can too. Leave imperious edicts for little Caesars.

    Or maybe you are one.

  394. says

    Cone on, folks. Why does being “internal” logically override being viable? Let’s teach them judges a thing or two.

  395. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @jimashby:
    First, viability is not merely a matter of weeks, and viability was originally defined as ability to survive **independently** outside the womb. It is the religious right that has decided that if 5% of fetuses will survive after $1m in care over 3-6 months, that all fetuses of that gestational age are “viable”. It’s ridiculous to say that a fetus is “viable” merely from the information that the fetus has reached 19 weeks.

    Before Roe versus Wade, person-hood was legally granted upon birth. Afterward, according to Wikipedia, the criteria changed:

    Wrong. The criteria for legal personhood did not change. The 14th amendment controls in the US, and the 14th amendment is absolutely clear.

    What the court said, for the clueless, is that the long standing pattern of allowing government to infringe on constitutionally protected rights provided certain conditions are met holds in the arena of abortion just as it holds in the arenas of other rights-violation-constitutionality questions.

    A key criterion is that the government has a compelling interest. The compelling interest in cases of restricting abortion is the compelling interest in protecting **potential** human life. The court is quite clear that a fetus is not a legal person. Your insistence to the contrary shows either ignorance, incompetence or willful deception.

    My confidence in your arguments thus plummets.

    How do you guys justify making this a sole matter of reproductive rights? How do you decide the viable fetus deserves no consideration?

    Of course the fetus gets consideration. We simply argue that the fetus should get consideration from the person actually pregnant in consultation with actual medical professionals knowledgeable about her case.

    We have seen over and over that when politicians and religious leaders feel entitled to make decisions in a broad way for entire classes of pregnant women and fetuses without knowing anything about the individual fetus or pregnant person, we end up with the Halappanavars of the world.

    Thus I argue, and most of the Horde I’ve seen argues, that the laws must be of the least binding nature in order to promote the best good available in an imperfect world.

  396. says

    @Crip Dyke,

    You’ve go to be joking! LoL. NO baby can survive independently. Even normal, full-term, babies can have conditions that require more than mere breastfeeding and a blanket.

  397. yazikus says

    You’ve go to be joking! LoL. NO baby can survive independently.

    It isn’t a joking matter. I have to wonder, jimashby, if you are on other blogs arguing passionately for affordable and accessible birth control & comprehensive sex education. You know, things that prevent abortion.
    This whole thread is an exercise on why people are saying “My human rights are not up for debate”. You’ve been going on for days now, with your repetitive, condesending and dishonest arguments. Please, go devote some time to fighting for things that allow people to have the support, health care access, education to make them feel ready to start a family.

  398. says

    But I do acknowledge that premature babies and viable fetuses suffer from additional risks. However, many of them do just fine or suffer only minor impairments. The point here is that we don’t get to decide, in advance, who lives or dies — who’s quality of life is not acceptable.

    I had a wife who was severely crippled by polio when she was 10 months old. But she was still very intelligent and loved life. She was highly competitive and earned a very nice income as a data analyst.

    I have a nephew who is mentally retarded due to an high fever when just a baby. I love him like a son. He’s a very special person to me. They don’t want to die. They love their lives.

    We are all equally human. And that single trait is more valuable than all the others combined.

  399. Nepenthe says

    You answer my question thus: “A viable fetus can survive ex utero. ”

    So can an adult cow. So can a viable mouse fetus. Is leather murder? Is research on mouse development or genetics murder? If not, what about a viable human fetus makes killing it wrong?

  400. Nepenthe says

    It’s interesting* that you say this: “They don’t want to die. They love their lives.” as an argument against abortion, when it’s one of the things that most clearly distinguishes a fetus from a child of sufficient age. Fetuses are not self-aware. They do not love their lives. They have no desire not to die. So to bring up how an adult enjoys their life is missing the point spectacularly.

    *And by interesting, I mean depressingly revealing of your extremely limited thinking.

  401. consciousness razor says

    NO baby can survive independently.

    So your claims about “viability” are really just a load of bullshit then. Okay.

    I had a wife who was severely crippled by polio when she was 10 months old. But she was still very intelligent and loved life. She was highly competitive and earned a very nice income as a data analyst.

    I have a nephew who is mentally retarded due to an high fever when just a baby. I love him like a son. He’s a very special person to me. They don’t want to die. They love their lives.

    Are either of them being kept alive inside of another person’s body?

  402. Nepenthe says

    Jim, I’ve stopped expecting a serious reply from you. You don’t appear to be capable of it. I’m writing solely for my own amusement and for the lurkers.

    Because that? That was not a quote mine. That was a distillation of your point. All of 421 was you projecting your feelings about your wife and nephew and their feelings onto non-sapient, probably non-sentient beings.

    So, for you is “human DNA” what’s filling in for the theist’s “soul” that makes killing a non-sentient, non-sapient being with no ties to the community wrong? That seems to be pretty common among atheist forced-birthers. Since you can’t come up with a secular reason fetuses should be considered persons, you all have to make human DNA a sort of holy characteristic.

  403. Valde says

    The majority of extreme neonates, 24 weeks and lower, suffer from severe and profound disabilities.

    Blindness. Deafness. All manner of neurological and developmental disorders. It can be very trying – for the family and the child.

    They may have ‘life’, but not quality of life.

    One of these extreme neonates was born quadripalegic. She hates her life and wishes she was dead. So for every disabled neonate who you claim ‘loves life’ there is one whose life is nothing but misery.

    Is it up to us to decide whether or not their lives are worth living? Is it ethical for us to impose suffering on these future people? Because that’s what you’re advocating. Sometimes, ‘life at all costs’ isn’t a life worth living, at all. And certainly, some people are heroic in their efforts to raise disabled neonates, but this is not something that should be FORCED on all people.

    And lastly, a born child can be handed over to literally anyone. A woman can’t simply hand a fetus over to a nurse when she wants a break from constant back pain and vomiting.

  404. vaiyt says

    Cone on, folks. Why does being “internal” logically override being viable?

    Why can’t you fucking consider the rights of the woman carrying the fetus for once, you abominable piece of flotsam?

  405. Valde says

    “So, for you is “human DNA” what’s filling in for the theist’s “soul” that makes killing a non-sentient, non-sapient being with no ties to the community wrong”

    @Nepenthe

    Great point!

    I haven noticed that forced birthers are particularly obsessed with ‘unique human DNA’ but hadn’t thought of it in that way before! You are right!!!

    PS Would someone remind me how to do quotes, I forget, and can’t seem to get it right. Thanks in advance!

  406. yazikus says

    @consciousness razor

    text

    Okay here is my tricky question, how did you do that without it becoming a blockquote?
    Even my quote of your quote ended up quoting it…

  407. says

    Okay, so let me get this straight. All you guys can do is attack? There’s just one of me and so many of you . . . yet none of you can tell me why being “internal” trumps being “viable”?

    So you guys are just full of hot air?

  408. Valde says

    What we’re really saying when we argue that an earlier time limit needs to be imposed is that we don’t trust women’s decisions, and we don’t trust doctor’s decisions.

    Good article on late term abortions, and reasons given: http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/10015/

    Jim seems to think that women have late term abortions for recreational purposes, as do most forced birthers, and that is clearly NOT the case.

  409. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says

    Okay, so let me get this straight: to you, a potential human life automatically trumps an existing human life? What the fuck is wrong with you?

  410. yazikus says

    All you guys can do is attack?

    I asked whether or not you were involved in actual activism to reduce abortion rates (education, health care, fair wages). You didn’t respond.

  411. Nepenthe says

    Internal trumps viable because viable means precisely squat. Dandelions are viable, rotifers are viable, mouse fetuses are viable, bacteria are viable. Being able to survive on your own is not a feat that confers any special moral status.

    A fetus has, at most, a limited capacity to respond to painful stimuli. It gets the same moral consideration as other beings that have, at most, a limited capacity to respond to painful stimuli. An adult woman, on the other hand, can not only respond to painful stimuli, but is self aware, is connected to other beings who are also self aware, has emotions and a psyche and can suffer due to not having the ability to control her future or body. The trivial suffering of a fetus during an abortion doesn’t even register next to the suffering of the woman forced to carry it.

    And when you bring in the reality that abortions of viable fetuses happen only when something goes very wrong, with even greater potential to cause sapient beings to suffer, I can’t see how anyone can weigh “viable” over “internal”.

    Now will you show us your cards, or will you just parrot the same nonsense that you’ve been squawking at us?

  412. says

    I have REPEATEDLY stated that late-term abortions are rare (about 1%, worldwide) and that women should be able to petition the court for relief if they have extenuating circumstances.

    Are you people going to continue wasting time or are you going to tell me why being internal overrides viability where fetuses are concerned? Come one. Put up or shut up.

  413. consciousness razor says

    Okay here is my tricky question, how did you do that without it becoming a blockquote?
    Even my quote of your quote ended up quoting it…

    &lt; (“less than”) = <
    &gt; (“greater than”) = >

    And if you’re wondering how I did those…. &amp; = &

  414. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says

    and that women should be able to petition the court for relief if they have extenuating circumstances.

    And it has been explained, multiple times, why this places an impossible burden on poor and working class women. And it has been explained, multiple times, that this puts a woman’s life in the hands of a judge, likely to be male, who may be a social, religious, or cultural fundamentalist. But you ignored that and continue to repeat, almost verbatim, the same failed argument. Why don’t you try actually responding rather than spouting?

  415. Valde says

    and that women should be able to petition the court for relief if they have extenuating circumstances.

    yeah, that will be really helpful if she’s bleeding to death from the pregnancy and the doctors are afraid to perform an abortion because they might get thrown in jail for muuuuuuuuurderrrrrrrrrrrr

  416. consciousness razor says

    Okay, so let me get this straight. All you guys can do is attack? There’s just one of me and so many of you . . . yet none of you can tell me why being “internal” trumps being “viable”?

    So you guys are just full of hot air?

    My question wasn’t an attack. You can’t answer it?

  417. Nepenthe says

    Okay, that’s not entirely true. I can see how “viable” could trump “internal” in the mind of an asshole. For example, an asshole might add an “innocence” multiplier to the viable side and an “evil slut” penalty to the aware person side. Or if the asshole believes that there’s a soul and that killing something with a soul is infinitely bad because it makes Jesus cry. Or if the asshole doesn’t believe that women really suffer, or thinks they deserve to suffer.

    I can’t see how a rational, compassionate person could side with viable non-sapient being over a aware sapient being, AKA a woman.

  418. Valde says

    I haven’t made any attacks, and Jimbo has consistenly ignored every single thing I have said.

  419. Nepenthe says

    Why don’t you try actually responding rather than spouting?

    I think he responded already with “Inconvenience? Hardship? Suck it up like an adult! The world doesn’t owe you an easy life. A carefree life is not your birthright. These are not valid reasons for murder. Destitution? Psychological imbalance? Some other debilitating factor? Put the child up for adoption.”

    In my list above, he seems to believe that women deserve to suffer.

  420. consciousness razor says

    I can’t see how a rational, compassionate person could side with viable non-sapient being over a aware sapient being, AKA a woman.

    And even if they were sapient and intelligent and beautiful and enjoy life and donate to charity every fucking day, blah blah blah, we should not force someone to act as life support for them. If they want to do so, of course that’s perfectly fine, but they should be able change their minds about it at any time for any reason.

  421. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I reply when I get the time.

    You don’t reply. You just post what you have posted before, like repeating your fuckwittery will impress and convince us. Not unless you supply EVIDENCE, and your opinion isn’t and never will be that evidence.

  422. says

    Jimashby:

    http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a2
    Article 1.

    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

    Article 2.

    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

    Article 3.

    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

    Article 4.

    No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

    Article 5.

    No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

    Article 6

    Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

    Are you familiar with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? These are rights accorded to every human being beginning with birth. Nowhere in said declaration are fetuses even mentioned. it is clear that these basic human rights are accorded at that point when one human being is not living inside and feeding off another human being.

    2. Are you aware of the risks involved in pregnancy?–
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maternity

    Childbirth is an inherently dangerous and risky activity, subject to many complications. The “natural” mortality rate of childbirth—where nothing is done to avert maternal death—has been estimated as being 1500 deaths per 100,000 births. [24] Modern medicine has greatly alleviated the risk of childbirth. In modern Western countries the current maternal mortality rate is around 10 deaths per 100,000 births

    That’s just the maternal death rates.

    Looking at the side effects:

    ” Normal, frequent or expectable temporary side effects of pregnancy:

    exhaustion (weariness common from first weeks) altered appetite and senses of taste and smell nausea and vomiting (50% of women, first trimester) heartburn and indigestion constipation weight gain dizziness and light-headedness bloating, swelling, fluid retention hemmorhoids abdominal cramps yeast infections congested, bloody nose acne and mild skin disorders skin discoloration (chloasma, face and abdomen) mild to severe backache and strain increased headaches difficulty sleeping, and discomfort while sleeping increased urination and incontinence bleeding gums pica breast pain and discharge swelling of joints, leg cramps, joint pain difficulty sitting, standing in later pregnancy inability to take regular medications shortness of breath higher blood pressure hair loss tendency to anemia curtailment of ability to participate in some sports and activities infection including from serious and potentially fatal disease (pregnant women are immune suppressed compared with non-pregnant women, and are more susceptible to fungal and certain other diseases) extreme pain on delivery hormonal mood changes, including normal post-partum depression continued post-partum exhaustion and recovery period (exacerbated if a c-section — major surgery — is required, sometimes taking up to a full year to fully recover)

    http://www.thelizlibrary.org/site-index/site-index-frame.html#soulhttp://www.thelizlibrary.org/liz/004.htm

    If a woman becomes pregnant, and is forced to carry the fetus to term, she has lost many of her rights, including the first 6.

    1- she is no longer free. This applies to those who do want to be pregnant too. The difference is that these women are going through with the choice they want. The pregnant woman not wanting the fetus would be stuck. A slave to the fetus within her.

    2- clearly, because of her gender, a distinction is made by scary big numbers of people to suspend those pesky equal rights that we all possess. Being forced to carry to term against her wishes results in a woman who is slave to the organism within her and she no longer has full human rights.

    3- security of person…the list of side effects of pregnancy shows that pregnant women face a great loss of security when pregnant. Their very body is changing and their health will be at risk.
    So now we have WOMAN: as slave to her fetus which has this 9 month time limit that society has arbirtrarily granted the fetus that makes hir more important than the mother. had her equality suspended, and has lost personal security.

    But wait, there’s more.

    4- ah, slavery again. Supposedly illegal in many countries, for some reason when the discussion turns to pregnant women, its not slavery. Somehow, forcing a woman to carry a fetus to term, against her wishes, with this undesired organism growing inside of you, mooching off your nutrients, and adversely affecting your health is NOT slavery. Whips and chains are not necessary to enslave someone.
    Note too, that slavery is an egregious violation of human rights. Telling someone that they van be owned or that they exist at the whims of another is utterly degrading and dehumanizing.

    5- given the risks of maternal death, as well as the subjugation of their body to a fetus–against their wishes–for 9 months–if you cannot conclude that this is torture, I worry for your moral compass.

    6- Everyone is entitled to be viewed as a person (except pregnant women; I mean, who cares if they lose basic human rights that men will never lose: what matters is the fetus)

    Notice how I didn’t address your howls of viability? Despite your ‘its the law’, period, viability doesnt matter. At some point during a woman’s pregnancy, you ate advocating that she lose multiple rights in tba name of a fetus that doesn’t even qualify for the same rights.

    This makes you a total douchebag.
    ****

    Not enough?
    Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but even if you have, it failed to sink in:
    Many countries around the world allow the taking of a life in self defense. Given the harmful, potentially deadly nature of pregnancy, self defense should always be legally on the table. That it isnt is sad commentary on our collective struggle for equality.

    ****
    Still not enough?
    Let’s make a pact, I need a kidney and you have to remain attached to me for 9 months. Under your view, to treat men and women equally, you must stay hooked up to me the entire time, with all the health risks associated. You don’t like it? Tough luck. You are advocating that one human being (fetuses are human beings. But they are not persons.) must provide the use of their body to another.

    Of course you might say “no one can forcf that, but pregnancy is different.”
    To which I would say WHY?
    Why is pregnancy that super extra super condition that results in loss of bodily autonomy for nine months or until the pregnancy is over, at which point the former fetus loses the Magick Superceding The Mother Rights, and is now equal to her (note, no one can force mom to give her child a blood transfusion or a kidney once the child is autonomous).

  423. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    How do you decide the viable fetus deserves no consideration?

    Viable fetus is your code word for baby. Babies are are born, showing your fuckwittery. Also, here’s your problem. Prove viable feti are actually killed, instead of being delivered early. Viable meaning growing up normally. You make the claim, you supply the evidence, or you shut the fuck up if you have honesty and integrity. You don’t.

  424. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Are you people going to continue wasting time or are you going to tell me why being internal overrides viability where fetuses are concerned? Come one. Put up or shut up.

    What part of a human being, the woman, has total bodily integrity don’t you understand. YOU PUT OR SHUT UP ON A WOMAN NOT BEING TOTALLY HUMAN WITH FULL HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUDING BODILY INTEGRITY.

  425. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I have REPEATEDLY stated that late-term abortions are rare (about 1%, worldwide) and that women should be able to petition the court for relief if they have extenuating circumstances.

    Who cares about the opinion of fuckwit without redeeming intellect to acknowledge the practical difficulty of this. And why should a woman need permission to do anything she wants with her body. YOU NEVER DISCUSS A WOMAN’S BODILY INTEGRITY. Until you do, and grant her the same autonomy you want, you have nothing intelligent to say.

  426. vaiyt says

    women should be able to petition the court for relief if they have extenuating circumstances.

    Women who need a late-term abortion are precisely the ones who have the LEAST need of waiting for a judge to pontificate on whether they’re allowed to have bodily autonomy. Late term complications require quick medical intervention. Nobody should have to start a court procedure to get their basic right to live.

    why being “internal” trumps being “viable”?

    It’s not “internal” versus “viable” you dipshit. It’s the bodily autonomy of the woman vs. the right of the fetus to use her body to live. A right which NO BORN HUMAN BEING HAS, and yet you seem to think a fetus has rights that supercede that of anyone else before being born. This has been explained over and over to you. You’re unable to comprehend that because the rights of the woman don’t even go through your mind.

  427. anteprepro says

    Political correctitude reigns supreme here. It’s a fascist inclination of the left. Any variance from the politically correct gives you license to abandon civility. You’re never uncivil if you’re politically correct. That way, you can be sure you’re always right and that everybody’s on the same page. For instance. we’ve won the fight for legal abortions. But it’s not good enough to take pride in this victory. No sir. You have to support late-term abortions also. If you don’t, you’re a misogynist. Do you have a problem with killing internal preemies for the sake of the mothers convenience or career plans? Well, you’re a hater. You hate women. Your opinion does not deserve respect and neither do you. Right?

    Fascist all the way.

    I really don’t know what to say to the above. Wasn’t jimmy pretending to be a nice abortion supporting gentleman who juuuuust happened to not approve of third trimester abortions? I feel like the above gave the game away on that one. He is pure wingnut, and clearly begrudges legal abortions even while claiming to support them. He is only adamantly against third trimester because they are currently illegal and therefore is a status quo for him to support. Only choosing sides based on opportunistic legalism, basing a political and ethical “ought” from a present legal “is”. Fucking inane.

  428. mildlymagnificent says

    jimashby

    So a viable fetus, in my opinion, is a person and has the same human rights as anybody else.

    You said it and we agree with you – except it’s too silly a thing to say.

    Name one person or class of persons who has the “human right” to use my blood, kidneys, joints, bone marrow, liver, pancreas, uterus, thyroid or any other body part or bodily function as of right and right alone. Name one. Just one.

    I can withhold that “right” from every person in the world, even after I’m dead in many places, even if I am the only instance of a rare blood or tissue type that will save one or many lives.

    If this applies to everybody everywhere during my lifetime and in most places after I’m dead, what value is this “same human right” you proclaim so loudly for a foetus I might be carrying?

  429. Dhorvath, OM says

    Viable is a state that one organism has, internal is a state that two organisms have.

  430. Jessa says

    jimashby:

    “Viable fetus” ≠ “internal preemie”. For one thing, fetuses and preemies take in food and oxygen by entirely different mechanisms. To argue that they’re the same thing would be to argue that you could put a preemie back into a uterus and have them survive until they reached the equivalent of a term pregnancy. In reality, even if that were possible, the preemie would soon die of suffocation. So no, they’re not synonymous, and stop pretending that they are.

  431. omnicrom says

    I think you have it right antepepro (455). It would certainly explain why jimassby describes themselves as a freethinker and yet armors himself with an argument from authority. That’s what jimmy opened with if you recall “It’s illegal all over the world” and therefore jimmy sees no reason to lift a finger because apparently something being in the laws automatically makes it right. Or possibly automatically makes it right when it punishes women, after all it’s their fault for being born without a Y chromosome and they should just suck it up and get back in the kitchen because life isn’t fair and jim wouldn’t lift a finger to make it more fair.

    Hey jimashby, if you haven’t been driven off by my disgust at your morals could you go ahead and explain why the rights of the fetus somehow trump the rights of the woman? Despite your bluster you haven’t given any answers that weren’t arguments from authority which is a logical fallacy.

  432. vaiyt says

    So a viable fetus, in my opinion, is a person and has the same human rights as anybody else.

    Exactly. Therefore, you should recognize that, since no person has the right to use somebody else’s body for their own benefit, neither does the “viable fetus”. Game, set and match.

  433. bargearse says

    Women who need a late-term abortion are precisely the ones who have the LEAST need of waiting for a judge to pontificate on whether they’re allowed to have bodily autonomy. Late term complications require quick medical intervention. Nobody should have to start a court procedure to get their basic right to live.

    Can you imagine the army of anti-abortion lawyers who’d descend on the courts if a court order was required for every late term abortion? They wouldn’t care if they won or not just as long as they slowed things down until the woman gave birth and/or died.

  434. Amphiox says

    and that women should be able to petition the court for relief if they have extenuating circumstances.

    The extenuating circumstances are medical EMERGENCIES.

    Requiring any human being to have to petition a court in the event of an EMERGENCY is an inhuman act.

    You have REPEATED demonstrated yourself to be inhuman, jimashby.

  435. Amphiox says

    So a viable fetus, in my opinion, is a person and has the same human rights as anybody else.

    No human being has the right to violate the BODILY AUTONOMY of another human being.

    No viable fetus has the right to violate the BODILY AUTONOMY of any woman against her will.

    No viable fetus has the right to deny any woman an abortion if she wants one by the argument of having the SAME human rights as anyone else.

    To deny any woman the right to an abortion on demand is to give the viable fetus MORE human right than ANY other human being, or to give a pregnant woman LESS.

    And that is why your position, jimashby, is INHUMAN.

  436. Amphiox says

    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

    The key word here is BORN.

    yet none of you can tell me why being “internal” trumps being “viable”

    You have been told MULTIPLE TIMES why, you pathetic inhuman liar.

    You actually have the nerve to say the above with a straight face.

    You are pitiful.

  437. Amphiox says

    There two and only two exceptions recognized in the legal codes of all civilized nations that allow the violation of the BODILY AUTONOMY of a human being against his or her will.

    The first is mental incompetence, where the individual is presumed unable to choose for himself or herself what is best for himself or herself, such that his or her personal objections are not made of sound mind, and thus the law recognizes the duty of a third party to choose for him or her.

    The second is when an individual is punished for a criminal act.

    So into which group are you placing pregnant women, jimashby? The mentally incompetent? Or the criminals?

    Your are inhuman, jimashby.

  438. oaksterdam says

    Hi Jimashby! Thanks for popping up with your wrongness that’s been refuted repeatedly here and elsewhere. Seriously. I love watching The Horde do their thing and this has been fulfilling. But I think at this point the thing to do might be to admit you were a bit of an asshole and/or idiot about this and, you know, “put up or shut up” as you say. Unless you have a reasonable argument that hasn’t been addressed countless times already? Because “nuh-uh!!! viable!!!!!1!!1!!” is losing it’s entertainment value quickly and the lurkers kinda like to watch reasoned arguments with facts and citations and whatnot. Also, if you could start from the assumption that women are people I would personally feel less stabby. Thank you ever so much!

  439. says

    @466:
    You have to be delicate with the fee fees of some men. Fits of testeria have been documented. Gnashing of the teeth, uncontrollable urge to whinge about Freeze Peach. Tear jerker stories of how being told to shut up and listen caused unspeakable horrors to befall them. Occassionally, some brave hero will stand up amid the oppression that kicked them off Pharyngula, thus leaving only 99.8% of the Internet to tirelessly fight for the right to gnaw on ankles without permission. If you’re lucky, you won’t cause this one to run away, terrified of the feminazis in the closet.

  440. says

    Sooo, being godless heathens, we are supposed to care more for the fetus than the mother…WHY exactly?

    I also love the cries of fascism coming from a guy who advocates making half the human population into slaves, subservient to a fetus for nine months.
    With such care and concern for a fetus’right to life this guy must also be anti-death penalty.

    I wonder how long it will take jimashby to read the UDHC in my earlier link so that he may learn what rights we humans have.

  441. says

    How do you guys justify making this a sole matter of reproductive rights? How do you decide the viable fetus deserves no consideration?

    this question relates to nothing anyone said, and has been refuted multiple times. therefore, jim fails the turing test. he’s an forced-birther spambot in human form.

  442. says

    yet none of you can tell me why being “internal” trumps being “viable”?

    why do you lie and make things up, jim?

  443. says

    I have REPEATEDLY stated that late-term abortions are rare (about 1%, worldwide) and that women should be able to petition the court for relief if they have extenuating circumstances.

    and you’ve repeatedly had it explained to you why the first part is irrelevant, and the second is basically condemning women to death/severe permanent injury. why do you pretend none of that happened, jim? are you afraid of those answers?

    are you going to tell me why being internal overrides viability where fetuses are concerned?

    you have had this explained to you already. why do you pretend that’s not the case? are you afraid to actually engage with those answers?

  444. oaksterdam says

    Damn it. I was shooting for delicate, sweartagawd. My ability to tip-toe around fee-fees ain’t what it used to be..That’s probably RW’s fault.

  445. coldthinker says

    Good to see this thread still seems to be alive. The last time I took part, I had trouble expressing where I’m coming from, so the conversation quickly took a wrong turn and it became a bit offensive both ways. I’ll try to steer away from that this time.

    Since PZ’s op ed was about the ethics and morality of this issue, I’m looking for opinions to help my own thinking, unsettled at this time. I’m not trying to change anyone else’s mind.

    I’m male, pro-choice and support the right of women to have autonomy over their own bodies and make their own decisions about whether or not to have a baby.
    The abortion has never been a personal issue for me in my relationships.

    However, I do have a daughter, and it is not inconceivable that she might face such a situation in ten years or so. Whatever she decides to do, I will help her and support her decision. I will not offer her my opinion unless she specifically asks for it.

    But my dilemma is, what if she can’t decide? What if she has for some reason not talked beforehand about this possibility at all with her hypothetical boyfriend? What if she’s being offered a variety of opinions from left and right, friends, neighbours, teachers, books, newspapers, television, internet? I’m an atheist, so is her mother and our families are not religious. But she might be interested in religion herself. And she might be receiving all kind of ethical advice, quite possibly against the morality of abortion.

    Then, she perhaps comes to her parents, asking for their opinion and help to reach her decision. We can tell her it’s her decision and hers only, and that we’ll love, help and support her no matter what. She has her life to live, and should do what’s best for her at this time.

    But then, she says she of course wants to be a good, moral person. She wants to do the right thing. Sadly, she has friends and people, perhaps even her boyfriend is one of them, telling her that having the baby is the moral thing to do, and abortion is unethical.

    If she’s young and in the midst of her studies, I’d probably disagree. I’d probably think she’s better off not having a baby at that time in her life. I can tell her to leave a boyfriend that’s pressuring her into something and her friends to shove it.

    But what if she keeps coming back to quote the opinions of her anti-abortion friends, who keep talking about the ethics and morality? They say having the baby is the moral choice, having an abortion is just the convenient thing for a priviledged person of a rich European country. (This is what some of my friends actually think, even if they are not anti-choice in practice.)

    In my daughters hypothetical case, she will have financial security either way. The abortions are free and easily available. If she decides to have the baby, she and the baby will be provided for. There will be day-care and other kind of help with the baby. The baby will be a big burden on her, but it probably won’t ruin her other plans, most likely just delay them.

    At this time, I would have little tools for arguing against these anti-abortion friends. I haven’t thought about this enough. If I do and say nothing, she might be pressured into having an unwanted baby.

    So, any opinions, advice? I know the scenario is hypothetical, but quite possible, and I’ve had similar conversations and kept losing the ethical argument against catholics and other ”pro-life”-people.

  446. carlie says

    jimashby, why should a judge be able to give her the leeway for a late-term abortion, but not her doctor? Stop and really think about it for a moment – you’re talking about allowing the opinion of a single person to decide whether or not she gets to have the surgery she needs, but you want that decision, a medical decision about what is physically best for her body, to be made by someone with expertise in the law rather than someone who has expertise in medicine. Why?

  447. carlie says

    coldthinker – well, in that case, you could ask her if she’s ready to be a mom. You can tell her the realities of parenting, the good and the bad. You can tell her about how it’s not about focusing on having a baby, it’s having a baby who will be a toddler who will be an elementary school child who will be a teenager – it’s a whole life change. You could try to get her to see the whole picture of what it’s like to have a child beyond the “it’s a cute baby and you just get up a few times a night to care for it” scenario, get her to really think about hard real plans – how exactly will she finish school, who will take care of the child, how much it will cost, if she’s prepared to do that alone if the father leaves. And then, if she does decide this is really what she wants, then you’d have to adjust your thinking so that you don’t see it as her “ruining her life” or the like, that you don’t from then on think “oh, what a shame, she could have done…” about her.

  448. Maureen Brian says

    coldthinker,

    I endorse what carlie says but I hope you are bringing up your daughter to routinely make decisions for herself, to have confidence in her ability to examine facts and to express what she wishes for herself. There’s nothing like a bit of practice in being “bolshie” to equip a woman for the slightly more difficult choices she’ll face as a young adult.

    You don’t say how old your daughter is but but as she gets to her mid-teens she should be taking on for herself a good knowledge of what the law is where you are, who provides abortions and how to contact them but also all the arguments, many spurious, which others may use. She needs the full complement of facts before she runs into zealots and before it becomes an emergency for her.

    You’re a caring Dad. As soon as she’s old enough get into the habit of talking to her about consent, autonomy, contraception and current political arguments about these. Then she’ll know for sure she can turn to you in a crisis.

  449. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Jim Ashby

    Ok this waaaaay upthread, but it’s so egregiously stupid I just can’t let it go

    Why should I commit to a discussion where so many people disrespect the opinions of others?

    People are disrespecting your opinion because your opinion is bullshit, you idiot.

    What the hell does “respecting an opinion” even mean? “I disagree with you intensely, but I respect your opinion so I won’t argue with you”? Fuck that. You’re wrong. You’re wrong and you’re a horrible person and people here are quite rightly pointing that out. You don’t get to declare over half the population has less than the full quota of human rights and then moan about other people not being “respectful” enough. How about you show some fucking respect for women and acknowledge that this is a situation you will never have to deal with and that therefore your opinions on the subject are meaningless?

  450. coldthinker says

    Carlie, Maureen.

    Thank you, good points. She still has plenty of time to figure things out, and it’s quite possible that she’s going to have a well formed opinion about these things by the time she’s 15, easily surpassing her father’s insight.

    Still, I would like to find some convincing counter-arguments against the arrogant moral high ground the anti-abortion side usually takes. Frankly, I’m not certain what I would think or want to do, if I were a young pregnant woman, and it was all unplanned, after the contraception had failed. So some busybody pro-life neighbour could easily send me on a guilt trip.

  451. Maureen Brian says

    coldthinker,

    I’ve asked a contact with better experience for ideas. I’ll report back on what she says.

  452. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Coldthinker:

    Don’t have much time, just wanted to note something.

    Those who take the “moral highground” on the immorality of abortion… based on WHAT do they take this high groun? IME it’s on faulty premises (It’s a HUMAN BAYBEE – So what, human rights do most explicitly NOT include using someone else’s body for your own gain, regardless of whether you’re a fetus or an adult). So if you can provide some of those premises of WHY abortion is immoral, maybe I can help some.

  453. Iain Walker says

    jimashby (#403):

    In my opinion (and that of the courts of almost 150 countries) is that an internal preemie (a.k.a. a VIABLE fetus) is a human being, a person

    You use the terms human being and person as if they were interchangeable. They are not. A person is a self-aware agent, and as such, it is simply false to suggest that (say) a 28 week foetus is a person, since it is neither self-aware nor an agent. “Human being” is an ambiguous term, which may mean “person” or “human organism” or “human agent”, and is in fact the bane of sensible discussion of abortion because anti-abortionists will willfully exploit that ambiguity, shifting from one sense to another as it suits their purpose.

    So if your argument is based on the premise that a VIABLE foetus is a person, your argument is based on a falsehood, and you will have to find some other reason for why bringing about the death of a VIABLE foetus is wrong.

    thus it is murder to kill him/her.

    As as been pointed out several times in this thread, causing the death of a person is not always murder. Simply asserting that removing a viable foetus from a woman’s body in a manner that results in its death counts as murder does not make it so, whether it is a person or not.

    (#407):

    In my opinion, person-hood is not a matter of an inch of mother’s flesh. It’s a matter of when you can be said to be a human being. There are all kinds of arguments about what constitutes valid criteria: brain activity, heartbeat, the ability to feel pain, etc. But by the time of viability, all those old criteria have already been met.

    By these criteria most reasonably complex vertebrates and some of the more complex invertebrates are persons too. Unfortunately, the meaning of the term is actually fairly well established – it refers to self-aware agents, entities with the capacity to reflect on their own beliefs and desires and to act upon them. A VIABLE foetus falls way, way short of this – unlike Jews, black people etc who demonstrably are persons. So your Nazi Germany and antebellum slavery comparisons fall flat – those ideologies were about denying rights to a certain class of person, and yes, treating them as if they were not persons. But to the (actually quite limited) extent that they denied that they were in fact persons, they were simply factually wrong.

    (#415):

    So how, exactly, does being internal override viability as a criteria for personhood?

    Neither of them are relevant as criteria for personhood. Cognitive capacity is the primary criterion.

  454. Iain Walker says

    jimashby (#421):

    We are all equally human. And that single trait is more valuable than all the others combined.

    So membership of a biological species (which is basically a matter of sharing DNA within distinguishable range) is a morally significant fact that trumps all other considerations? Including the capacity for suffering? Including self-awareness? Including the ability to look to the future and plan one’s own life?

    In any case, why cast your net so wide? Why not make possession of a particular haplotype the most valuable single common trait? That would be just as arbitrary. Or why not possession of a Y-chromosome? Oh, wait – that’s exactly what you’re doing.

    (#434):

    yet none of you can tell me why being “internal” trumps being “viable”

    I’ve seen several commenters explain to you precisely where the moral difference lies, but let’s try once more: A foetus, at any stage of its development, exists in a quasi-parasitical relationship with a person, the woman carrying it. It is using her body as a life-support mechanism, no matter how unwittingly or unintentionally, something to which no entity, person or otherwise, has a right. Consequently, if the woman does not consent to this usage, the woman has a right to remove said foetus. A premature neonate does not stand in the same quasi-parasitical relationship to anyone. Consequently, the issue of consent to the use of a person’s body does not arise.

    This is really not the ethical equivalent of rocket science.

  455. Amphiox says

    It is of course richly laughable how jimashby started out with the argument that “the whole civilized world has laws that conform with my way of thinking” and then turns around and starts crying about being piled on by a majority here.

    It seems he only applies the “majority must be right on moral issues” when he thinks the majority agrees with him.

    See, every social group has its own conventions with respect to morality, but guess what, this blog is a social group too. And by jimashby’s own hypocritical arguments, so long as he remains a member of this social group by participating in this blog thread, he must either accept the majority opinion on the moral issue, conform, and deal with it. Or he can leave the social group and go away.

    Of course, luckily for jimashby, WE, the majority, do not cleave to his conformity-is-a-virtue morality, so he had still spout his dissenting opinions here.

  456. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    This is really not the ethical equivalent of rocket science.

    Hell, this isn’t even the ethical equivalent of LEGO.

  457. Amphiox says

    We can also at jimashby’s position on a purely legal/practical basis, ignoring loftier ethical/moral considerations:

    Since jimashby agrees that abortions before viability are fine, we can exclude all those from discussion, and look only at the situation of fetal viability.

    The vast majority of pregnancies past the time of fetal viability are terminated, if early termination is done, by induced birth, which preserves the fetus.

    Abortion is the alternative if induced birth is not possible. There are only two medical circumstances wherein this could be the case.

    One, the fetus suffers from a condition that makes it unable to endure induced birth, of any kind. This of course means the fetus is not viable, so we can ignore these as not relevant to the discussion here.

    Two, the mother suffers from a condition that makes her unable to endure induced birth. In other words, maternal life is threatened.

    And there you have it in a nutshell. The vast majority of abortions involving a viable fetus (which itself is already a rare circumstance) occur because of the need to preserve the woman’s life. These are medical emergencies, and they are agonizing for the women and families involved. These are almost always wanted pregnancies. A woman generally does not go through 30 weeks of pregnancy and all the attendent suffering that entails unless she wants the baby, in jurisdictions where abortion before viability is freely available (which is of course the scenario we are talking about). By viability at 30 weeks, the family may have already picked a name, painted the nursery. Not infrequently the women faced with this situation will choose to continue the pregnancy and risk their lives. Those who do not, or cannot because the medical situation is even more dire, often have to deal, for years, with guilt and regret. Some may even feel as if they had failed as women, by failing, physically, at the task of carrying a baby to term (since that remains, for good or ill, one of the things our societies still consider to be a woman’s duty/job/purpose in life).

    And into this scene of tragedy, jimashby wants to inject the added burden of having to seek a special dispensation from a court before proceeding? Even if you had a legal system that could get such a thing approved in a timeframe that does not interfere with the medical emergency and increase the woman’s likelihood of a bad outcome (which, depending on the case, could be anywhere between weeks to minutes), burdening women and families in such circumstances with the need to jump through bureaucratic red tape of this sort is the very definition of overburdensome government intrusion.

    And for what practical reason? To deter the even tinier minority of woman from aborting a viable fetus for convenience reasons? When existing laws concerning medical malpractice already covers this situation (since induced birth is the preferred medical procedure in nearly all cases)?

    Even if you concede that the above is actually a wrong that society should discourage, to place a burden on a majority of people in extremis just to deter such a tiny hypothetical minority is the very definition of overburdensome government intrusion into individual lives.

    It is tyrannical.

    It is inhuman.

    It is should be noted that very few jurisdictions in the civilized world actually have what jimashby argues for. Among those that allow abortions up to viability and disallow them afterwards, very few actually require someone to seek special legal dispensation to proceed with such an abortion. Most simply make an exception and allow it when the doctor involved judges that it is necessary for medical reasons, to preserve the woman’s life. Physicians who lie or make such a decision incompetently are already subject to sanction through medical malpractice laws and their own professional regulations.

    Like Thunderdome resident joey before him, jimashby is a wannabe tyrant slavemaster. He wishes to enslave, with the heavy hammer of burdensome laws, not only pregnant women, but the physicians who care for them as well.

  458. Nick Gotts says

    There are all kinds of arguments about what constitutes valid criteria: brain activity, heartbeat, the ability to feel pain, etc. But by the time of viability, all those old criteria have already been met. – jimashby

    Even if this were so, you’d be wrong about a woman’s right to an abortion, as others have explained, but in fact, it’s quite likely no foetus can feel pain – reflex reactions notwithstanding – because levels of oxygen perfusion in the blood (around 60%) are below what is compatible with normal awareness post-birth. Birth, whether vaginal or by caesarian, is a time of immense physiological change as the neonate starts breathing. It takes some 10 minutes post-birth in normal cases for oxygen perfusion levels to rise to 90%.

  459. says

    @coldthinker

    If you want to counteract the stigma abortion has, start now (for other readers, he stated above that his daughter was 4) teaching her about her right to autonomy (e.g. when she says stop, don’t touch me etc. acknowledge her authority over her own body by doing what she says; teach her to do the same for others). As she gets older you can talk about other related matters, like organ donation (e.g. when she’s around 9 or 10 and you go to renew your licence and sign your organ donation card, explain how it’s voluntary and no one can force another person to donate, even if they’re dead), foetal development, the history of human rights and what a “person” is in the law. When she’s about 11 or 12, you could start telling her about the history of abortion rights and how horrible it used to be when women didn’t have the choices they have now. Explain how anti-choice advocacy is really about punishing women who don’t behave, not about saving babies.

    Talk about how when she starts having sex, she should use contraception, and that Plan B and medical & surgical abortions are all options if she gets pregnant by accident. That you won’t be mad at her no matter what. That having sex or getting pregnant is nothing to be ashamed of, but they are big decisions so she should do her best to make sure she’s ready for sexual intimacy/pregnancy before undertaking them. That you, her parents, will always be available to talk to about it if she needs to *without judgement*. That if she doesn’t want to talk to you, but she needs to talk to someone, that’s okay too, and provide her with resources (health centres, crisis lines, support groups, guidance counsellors, etc.). If you don’t stigmatise abortion and lie about foetuses being babies, and instead bolster her confidence and ability to make decisions about her own body, she’ll probably see through the anti-choice rhetoric from the start.

  460. Amphiox says

    There are all kinds of arguments about what constitutes valid criteria: brain activity, heartbeat, the ability to feel pain, etc. But by the time of viability, all those old criteria have already been met.

    Point of fact, many of the supposed criteria for “humanity” aren’t met even by healthy newborns. Quite a number aren’t definitively met until at least 1 year of age (there are quite a number of traditional cultures that did not regard an infant as human until it was over 1 year old. Some of them did not even name a newborn baby until it was 1 year old). And many of the criteria are actually on a gradient, such that even teenagers do not fulfill them to the same degree that adults do.

    People may talk about the criteria for “humanity”, and debate the fuzzy borders back and forth, but in practical reality, the criteria used to define personhood is biological autonomy. That is why a comatose adult is considered a person and a fetus, even a viable one, is not, even in the legal jurisdictions where abortion of a viable fetus is prohibited.

    Conjoined twins are one of the very few instances where this practical rule runs into difficulties.

  461. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Jimashby keeps yelling “VIABILITY” without considering what it means.

    For example,while it is possible to pull a 600gram premmie through with lots of (expensive) medical intervention, here in my country’s public health sector (which services something like 75% plus of the population), premmies under 1kg are not given that care. No incubators, no nothing, because that 950g baby could be using an incubator that a 1.05kg baby delivered just 10 minutes later need will need, and there simply are not enough resources to care for both so the one with the better prospect (the >1kg) gets the care.

    In the private sector (which costs MUCHO $$$), that is not the situation. Any premmie will be given any care if you can afford it.

    So yes, jimashby, there are actually limits and choices on who gets to live, and those limits become more stringy and harsh the less money there is available.

    So what does that mean for the VIABILITY argument?

    The 600g premmie born in a private hospital to rich parents who can afford the care it will need is not more viable than the same 600g premmie born to poorer parents in the public health care system, after all.

    That’s why I keep scratching my head about the VIABILITY argument that he seems to feel is so very, very conclusive.

  462. says

    Correction: Yes, I know Plan B is emergency contraception, not an abortifacient. I mis-worded that sentence. I meant teach her about Plan B as an emergency contraception as an option in the appropriate circumstances, as well as medical and surgical abortions.

  463. says

    @coldthinker

    And another thing. Don’t go about bemoaning how sad and undesirable abortions are. A safe, clean abortion is a solution, not a problem. It is a boon and a blessing of medical science. How perverse would it be to sigh and mope about wheelchairs? How sad and undesirable wheelchairs are! Yes, sure it would be fantastic if no one needed them, but for all those people who do need them, they are the means to a better, more fulfilling life. They are the opposite of sad and undesirable. To tut-tut and shake your head and shed tears at all the wheelchairs you see stigmatises the people using them.

  464. mildlymagnificent says

    I realise that jimashby doesn’t much care about women dicing with death late in pregnancy, but does he want to be the one paying higher insurance or taxes for the health system to deal with even more burned out or stressed out personnel than they now have. This nonsense about referring late abortions for judicial solomonic pronouncements about which women will certainly or probably die is one thing if you think about a courtroom. It’s a different picture if you think about the hospital ward for a moment.

    I know a few doctors and a daughter is a nurse. I know what it’s like for them when patients die or suffer needlessly. I really can’t imagine what it would be like if you have a patient on the verge of eclampsia seizures or risking heart attack or stroke or organ failure from the various conditions that can kill pregnant women. Because whether he likes it or not, it’s not a matter of “convenience” or “comfort” for women to need a late term abortion. It’s often life or death of the woman – the foetus will die anyway when her organs fail, or the foetus is already failing and could kill the mother as well.

    Imposing an obligation to withhold the only guaranteed life-saving treatment until some judge somewhere can interrupt a busy schedule for an “emergency” hearing like this, and then facing the possibility of going through the same heart-stopping, heart-breaking process again at any time a woman shows signs of diabetes or pre-eclampsia or other conditions not being well controlled. Medical personnel need to be pretty robust and resilient anyway, but everyone has a breaking point. This kind of unnecessary interference in straightforward emergency treatment just means that more people will leave the professions rather than have to face it again.

  465. Rey Fox says

    Why should I commit to a discussion where so many people disrespect the opinions of others?

    Opinions do not automatically deserve respect. Nor do they deserve civility. “Civility” is just another cudgel wielded by the privileged classes to keep the underprivileged down. Grind people down into the dirt, and then condemn them for reacting with anger. You can trumpet civility because it’s not your bodily autonomy that’s under attack.

    In many of our countries, abortions, up to viability, are legal: after that, they are not. Those are facts.

    It is up to you to argue why these facts are relevant to the discussion. You have failed to do so.

    Political correctitude reigns supreme here.

    Good thing. I’ve come to learn that “political correctitude” means having empathy for others and listening to their concerns. I consider those to be admirable traits, particularly for anyone going into politics.

    And being correct is nice too. Certainly better than being wrong.

    It’s a fascist inclination of the left.

    Your equation of people outnumbering and outarguing you on an internet forum with actual political oppression is noted. Now you just need to stop being so uncivil and name-cally about it, you big meanie.

    For instance. we’ve won the fight for legal abortions.

    First off, stop saying “we”. You do not have the right to claim association with us. Your views are directly opposed to ours. And second, “we” won maybe a few major battles in the war, but the tide has been turning for dozens of years now.

    I could elaborate, but by your own admission, you don’t read all of our arguments anyway, which would certainly explain why you keep missing every repetition of every refutation of every one of your arguments, such as they are. So it would probably be pointless.

    And I don’t really know what your endgame is here, anyway. You’re callous, ignorant, and boring. You’d probably be better off running back to your own blog where you could receive back pats from the other Pat Condell fans in your club for how much a crusader you are for teh babby. Teh white babby in particular, I suspect.

  466. Nepenthe says

    @Iain Walker

    You said what I was trying to say much more eloquently. Combine that with your male nym and perhaps Jimmy here will listen to you!

  467. coldthinker says

    Ibis3,

    About #487 — Fortunately, there seems to be much less social stigma about abortion here than in most other parts of the world. If you’re close enough with a friend for her to open up about her medical or relationship history, she will very likely tell you about her abortions, too. And can have a reasonable expectation not to encounter any criticism whatsoever. Perhaps it’s mostly about the Scandinavian, very utilitarian attitude about life: very few people are that interested about ethical philosophy and even less about other people’s private choices. It’s the same as with religion, most people just don’t care about it.

    What I see as a possibility is the influence of the few, usually religiously motivated individual busybodies, who have arrogantly and unfairly monopolized the concepts of ethics and morality. The general claim in this case being, “even if a fetus is not a human being, it is going to be one”. Or something like that. That’s what I need arguments against.

    Otherwise, what you say is pretty much the plan we have about her upbringing. But thanks for the detailed advice anyway, it is all welcome and helpful.

    about #491 — Your wheelchair point is pretty good. It wasn’t, earlier on this thread, my intention to bemoan about the sadness and undesirability of abortions. Bad choice of words. Perhaps they give a more sinister echo in English than I meant to. I suppose my local culture is also somewhat different, since things like sex, nudity, contraception, homosexuality, pregnancy or abortion aren’t really all that shameful here. So I didn’t realize the weight of those words and how they could stigmatize those commonplace things or the people concerned.

    Most of my conversations about abortion have been with people who are in some philosophical way anti-abortion. As free and easily available abortions are the default here, the issue never really comes up with pro-choice people. It’s always with those who have an argument against it. I’m not very confrontational a person, so with a more conservative person, I have used those words as a way of saying ”Come on, it’s nobody’s particular desire to have an abortion, but don’t you agree we need it as a plan C after normal contraception and EC failed”. Usually this is considered a reasonable consensus and we move on to other topics. In practice, the pro-choice position is never really challenged as the law of the land. Any actual law limiting abortion rights has zero chance of passing in the parliament.

  468. says

    The general claim in this case being, “even if a fetus is not a human being, it is going to be one”. Or something like that. That’s what I need arguments against.

    The answer to this is: No. There is no guarantee of that. It certainly won’t unless the woman’s body feeds it, grows it, constructs it *into* a human being. There’s an actual process there that’s being overlooked and waved away as though it occurs by magic. Rather, it is a process that completely involves a woman’s body: her blood, her hormones, her nutritional intake, her oxygen supply etc. etc.– all at risk to her own health and welfare, at risk to her very life. There is no moral or ethical reasoning that can compel her to undergo that process against her will. To take any other position is to believe that women are not persons with human rights but are slaves, chattel, incubating machines.

  469. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    It certainly won’t unless the woman’s body feeds it, grows it, constructs it *into* a human being. There’s an actual process there that’s being overlooked and waved away as though it occurs by magic. Rather, it is a process that completely involves a woman’s body: her blood, her hormones, her nutritional intake, her oxygen supply etc. etc.– all at risk to her own health and welfare, at risk to her very life. There is no moral or ethical reasoning that can compel her to undergo that process against her will. To take any other position is to believe that women are not persons with human rights but are slaves, chattel, incubating machines.

    Exactly. To take this a bit slower:

    1.) IN ORDER for the fetus to grow into a human and have a chance to survive, it must use the woman’s body.

    This step can not be ignored. It’s vital. There is currently no other way to grow a human.

    2.) No one, born or alive or dead, baby or adult, has the right to use someone else’s body and organs (EVEN THEIR OWN PARENTS! EVEN AFTER THEY’RE DEAD!) without the organ donor’s explicit consent.
    3.) Consent for organ donation can be withdrawn at ANY time up to where the organ is separated from the body, even if the other person’s survival depended absolutely on the organ donor’s donation. This withdrawal of consent is allowed without repercussion.
    4.) So why the exception for fetuses?

    The arguments I’ve heard for 4 have all been completely worthless. “But it’s an innocent!” “But it deserves to have a chance to live!” (Why? Why more so than a genius violin player with already existing self-awareness, people who love her, and contributions to the community, who can only be saved by YOUR specific kidney, which you cannot be forced to donate?) “But it’s a BAYBEE!” “But VIABILITY!”

    So unless someone can come up with a good answer to question 4, one which does not rely on religious concepts such as “sin” or emotional manipulation such as “BAYBEE!”, I don’t see how the position is even challenged, let alone challenged convincingly.

  470. microraptor says

    I have REPEATEDLY stated that late-term abortions are rare (about 1%, worldwide) and that women should be able to petition the court for relief if they have extenuating circumstances.

    Give ONE FUCKING REASON why an operation of any kind that’s deemed medically necessary for a living, breathing person’s health and survival should require the approval, petition, or signature of anyone other than that individual and their doctor. That’s what we’re talking about here and that’s what you seem completely incapable of comprehending.

  471. says

    @microraptor,

    You, and so many others, keep going over ground we’ve already covered. A “breathing person’s health and survival” does not require a judges approval, at all. It’s a non-issue. Of course that’s okay. This, like so many other replies, is a strawman fallacy: you substitute weakened version of my position then argue against your version instead of mine. I only respond to you because you were randomly chosen as an example of strawman argumentation. I’m not wasting time answering every fallacious argument. It’s a sneaky, dishonest, tactic used by those who don’t have a REAL argument.

    Otherwise, the consensus response to “internal versus viable” seems to be that a woman’s reproductive rights is the sole consideration for late-term abortions.

    Your reproductive rights mantra is an OPINION . . . a minority value judgment. Once again, the word “minority” is used here as a fact to banish your baseless edicts. You can proclaim anything you like. You can treat it as a fact. But it’s just another (minority) opinion. Period.

    Well, we all have opinions. In my (majority) opinion, a viable fetus is every bit as human as a premature baby. The older the fetus, the more obvious its humanity. As such, it is protect by the same laws as you and I. It has the same rights as you and I. You can’t murder your neighbor for convenience or hardship, so you can’t murder a viable fetus for those reasons either.

    Also, you can’t murder disabled people because their quality of life is less than yours (by your own perception). If a preemie develops disabilities, you can’t murder them . . . and you CERTAINLY can’t murder them because they might develop a disability. Disabled people love life just as much as anybody else. I’d be interested to contrast the percentages of suicides among the disabled and the able-bodied.

    I know it’s very popular here to pretend that convenience, comfort, and easy living is our birthright. But that’s just an illusion you suffer from living spoiled lives in rich countries. These are NOT your birthright. Your birthright is THE PURSUIT of happiness. You have the right to opportunities but you don’t have a right against hardship.

    It’s called life. You make of it what you will. You roll with the punches. You’re subject to the laws of the land. You pay your taxes or risk the consequences. You follow the speed limit or risk the consequences. You get your abortions before fetal viablity or risk the consequences. And if you find yourself facing the consequences of your (in)actions, you face them like an adult . . . whining about it won’t help.

    Late term abortions are rare. The deaths of mothers from complications of pregnancy are even more rare in technologically advanced societies. Late-term abortions, as I’ve noted, is not really a major issue, relatively speaking.

    It’s has been revealed in this discussion that the controversy boils down to women’s reproductive rights versus the human rights of a viable fetus. In my opinion, the human rights of a viable fetus trumps the reproductive rights of women. It’s murder versus convenience.

    No contest.

  472. mildlymagnificent says

    You get your abortions before fetal viablity or risk the consequences.

    Hang on a minute. I think you misunderstand something here.

    Late term terminations are nearly always of wanted pregnancies. The idea that women carry an unwanted pregnancy for seven months or more and then have a termination on a whim is just silly.