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Secular Pro-Life lies

Wow. Secular Pro-Life has accused Planned Parenthood of cheating their donors. Why? Because they had an increased budget by 3 million dollars, but they did fewer breast exams. So, yeah, SPL looked at a big, complex budget for an organization offering multiple services, noticed that one number went down, and libelously implied that all the money went to some other mysterious service, hint hint hint.

This year, we cut out meat at the Myers household, and if you looked at our total budget, despite the fact that our income rose very slightly last year, we spent much less in the meat department at the grocery store. Where did the extra money go? FRIVOLOUS ABORTIONS ON DEMAND, of course. All the money we saved by not buying steaks was rerouted into KILLING BABIES.

That’s the game SPL plays. TheTruePooka actually looks at Planned Parenthood’s detailed budget, in a way that SPL should have done if they were honestly evaluating their expenditures, and found that while breast exams were going down, other, related services were going up: for instance, follow-up care with ultrasound and biopsies (you know that breast exams are just one small part of preventing breast cancer, right?), providing educational resources so women can do their own exams, and expanding outreach to Latinas and other countries. To make it short, SPL was distorting the budget and misleading their readers, but Planned Parenthood was honest and accurate.

Follow the link and go read the whole thing, or if you’d prefer, here’s the author reading it to you:

Comments

  1. says

    @Giliell #1 – And tomorrow, the answer will be Tuesday. Then Wednesday. Then… oh, you get the idea. If the name of the day ends in ‘y’, Secular Pro-Life lies.

    And as a side note: have they released any position papers on anything other than abortion? I would think that an honest “pro life” organization would oppose war, capital punishment, and libertarian doctrines that oppose food, medical and housing support just as vigorously as they would oppose abortion, right? Or should they actually be named “Secular Men Who Believe That Women Are Wombs With Legs Too Stupid To Make Their Own Medical Decisions”?

  2. remyporter says

    I really cannot grasp the secular pro-life movement. I recognize that this is a thing which exists, but I cannot process the mechanism that allows it to exist. At least religious idiocy can be explained by a lifetime of indoctrination.

  3. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    At least religious idiocy can be explained by a lifetime of indoctrination.

    What makes you think it’s not the exact same thing?

  4. says

    Copy editing note:

    expanding outreach to Latinas and other countries

    makes it sound like Latinas are countries. Might want to fix that. I.e., Latinas and women in other countries? Not sure what the intent was.

  5. Dunc says

    I really cannot grasp the secular pro-life movement. I recognize that this is a thing which exists, but I cannot process the mechanism that allows it to exist. At least religious idiocy can be explained by a lifetime of indoctrination.

    I can’t help but have my suspicions that their proclaimed secularism might not be entirely on the level either.

  6. vaiyt says

    You mean a pro-life organization is being wilfully dishonest in order to throw shit at an organization that helps women? Say it isn’t so!

  7. Derek Vandivere says

    Geez, when I brought it up in last week’s Thunderdome thread, I assumed that ‘the secular pro-life argument’ was more than this: “Secular pro-lifers find these personhood restrictions aribtrary and inconsistent,” therefore all abortion is murder. Yeesh.

    @Greg #2: Of course not. They’re specifically anti-choice, but that’s all pro-lifers have always been.

  8. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    I can’t help but have my suspicions that their proclaimed secularism might not be entirely on the level either.

    How much are you willing to bet that SPL has a large contingent of I’m not religious, I’m spiritual types?

  9. anteprepro says

    I really cannot grasp the secular pro-life movement. I recognize that this is a thing which exists, but I cannot process the mechanism that allows it to exist. At least religious idiocy can be explained by a lifetime of indoctrination.

    It’s really not that hard to imagine:
    Libertarianism + Sexism
    Atheistic MRAs
    “Moderates” who buy into the emotional blackmail and propaganda
    Milquetoast religious Republicans who want to hide their religious ties
    The non-believer equivalent to Log Cabin Republicans.

    Religious indoctrination isn’t the only kind of illogic in the air.

  10. says

    SPL looks like just another sock-puppet organization whose sole purpose is to divide and neuter the atheist movement. There’s certainly no reason to treat them any different from other anti-woman activists when they parrot the same lies those other activists do.

  11. esmith4102 says

    “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”

    Goldwater’s quote has been perverted by right-wing nuts who interpret the word liberty as their right to defend extremist religious views without regard for truth, integrity, or honesty. There are no greater liars than religious apologists and political ideologues!

  12. Derek Vandivere says

    I really cannot grasp the secular pro-life movement. I recognize that this is a thing which exists, but I cannot process the mechanism that allows it to exist. At least religious idiocy can be explained by a lifetime of indoctrination.

    @remyporter #3: Well, IF one decides that a fetus at some point becomes a ‘person’ worthy of rights, then it MIGHT make sense to weight that against bodily autonomy (personally, I don’t there’s any way you can do that analysis and come up with the result that American laws should be more permissive and not less). But it looks like they mainly argue from the negative: there are inconsistencies if you test based on self-awareness, viability outside the womb, or what have you, so let’s just be ethically safe and say that blastocytes have human rights.

  13. says

    Well, IF one decides that a fetus at some point becomes a ‘person’ worthy of rights, then it MIGHT make sense to weight that against bodily autonomy

    and it should take a honest person about 5 minutes at the most to realize that person A’s need for person B’s body parts doesn’t override person B’s bodily autonomy in any other circumstance, so it shouldn’t in the case of pregnancy, either. So you’re wrong that this line of reasoning would have to lead to less permissive abortion laws. Quite the opposite, actually.

  14. says

    @esmith4102 #12 – Goldwater?

    Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed. Their mistaken course stems from false notions of equality, ladies and gentlemen. Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences. Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism. — Acceptance speech of Republican presidential nomination, 1964

    My faith in the future rests squarely on the belief that man, if he doesn’t first destroy himself, will find new answers in the universe, new technologies, new disciplines, which will contribute to a vastly different and better world in the twenty-first century. Recalling what has happened in my short lifetime in the fields of communication and transportation and the life sciences, I marvel at the pessimists who tell us that we have reached the end of our productive capacity, who project a future of primarily dividing up what we now have and making do with less. To my mind the single essential element on which all discoveries will be dependent is human freedom. — With No Apologies (1979)

    I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell right in the ass. — July, 1981

    On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.

    I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? — Senate speech, September, 1981

    Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them. — Interview, November, 1991

    When you say “radical right” today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party away from the Republican Party, and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye. — Interview, July 1994

    The scary thing is that the archetype of American Conservatism is to the left of where the Democratic Party is today.

  15. Derek Vandivere says

    So you’re wrong that this line of reasoning would have to lead to less permissive abortion laws. Quite the opposite, actually.

    What I actually said was…oh, crap, I forgot the ‘not’! What I get for alt-tabbing away and doing some real work, I guess. What I meant was indeed exactly the opposite: even if one were to decide that at some point the fetus has rights, that point would almost certainly be later than thirty-odd weeks.

  16. Kevin Kehres says

    Religious people use secular arguments all the time. Just because you’re religious, that does not mean you are not entitled to use secular arguments. I’m quite sure that most of the people who run this “association” probably pray on a regular basis, or at least have this vague “ground of being” sense of “something bigger out there”.

    The religious argument against abortion rights is “dog says it’s wrong [insert bible verse here].”

    The secular argument against abortion rights boils down to “because science tells us zygotes become babies if left in the womb long enough, therefore zygotes are babies. So the person with the womb must not make a private medical decision that interferes with the process.”

    The secular argument against abortion rights is used in 100% of the court pleadings and state laws created to limit it. Because religious arguments can’t be used in court. That doesn’t mean the argument isn’t used by people who ALSO have religious objections to abortion.

    As to the current complaint, the use of annual mammograms in younger women is a point of contention in the healthcare community. Exposure to radiation in annual mammograms is not trivial, and the US Preventive Services just recently changed its guidelines; it now recommends starting at age 50 and repeating every 2 years. Other organizations disagree; but the controversy would naturally and logically mean that every provider of mammograms (not just Planned Parenthood) are probably seeing a decrease in the total number of mammograms performed year-to-year.

    So, seems to me they deliberately and knowingly picked the one area of women’s health care they knew would show a decrease in order to create a false story.

    In short, they’re the worst kind of liars.

  17. says

    Kevin Kehres 17:

    The religious argument against abortion rights is “dog says it’s wrong [insert bible verse here].”

    Abortion is mentioned exactly zero times in the bible. The closest one could probably get to the subject is Ex. 21:22-25:

    If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

    And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth . . .

    The bible orders the death penalty for murdering a human being, but not for the expulsion of a fetus. Their craptastic book does not support their religious argument, and in fact undermines it. IOW, they lie too—just like the SPLs.

  18. consciousness razor says

    What I meant was indeed exactly the opposite: even if one were to decide that at some point the fetus has rights, that point would almost certainly be later than thirty-odd weeks.

    Rights which would somehow outweigh the woman’s autonomy? Not going to happen. Come back to us when it’s no longer a fetus. Then the woman’s autonomy won’t even be a factor, which you think is “almost” something that doesn’t matter. That’s when we could discuss any rights which are actually relevant.

  19. Randomfactor says

    The secular argument against abortion is: “Women should not be considered to be full persons in their own right when pregnancy is present.”

    Kinda wouldn’t be surprised that there’s some support for that idea in the atheo/skeptic “movement.”

  20. twas brillig (stevem) says

    The secular argument against abortion is: “Women should not be considered to be full persons in their own right when pregnancy is present.”

    Oh, yes! So, what a True Secularists would do, is be totally fair to *everyone* involved. BOTH, the woman, AND the fetus, have EQUAL rights. So, to deny the right to life [RtL] to one (the fetus, BTW), but DEMAND RtL for the Woman, is UNFAIR. _You_KNOW_ that abortion is granting more rights to the woman than the fetus inside her! Allowing abortion is giving someone the right _to_kill an innocent person. Granting abortion rights is just as “religious” as Bible-thumping. [/{PoG & John A} voice]

  21. Derek Vandivere says

    Rights which would somehow outweigh the woman’s autonomy? Not going to happen. Come back to us when it’s no longer a fetus. Then the woman’s autonomy won’t even be a factor, which you think is “almost” something that doesn’t matter. That’s when we could discuss any rights which are actually relevant.

    Again with the complete misquoting, this time from no typo of mine. What I said was that if someone were to decide that a fetus deserves human rights at some point in its development (YES, I KNOW THAT YOU DON’T), then that point would almost certainly be later than current abortion restrictions. I understand your standpoint, but it comes across at least to me as an assertion or a conclusion, not as an argument.

  22. vaiyt says

    Oh, yes! So, what a True Secularists would do, is be totally fair to *everyone* involved. BOTH, the woman, AND the fetus, have EQUAL rights. So, to deny the right to life [RtL] to one (the fetus, BTW), but DEMAND RtL for the Woman, is UNFAIR. _You_KNOW_ that abortion is granting more rights to the woman than the fetus inside her!

    So, the True Secularist argument against abortion rights is a false equivalence? Gotcha.

  23. ajb47 says

    irisvanderpluym @18

    Abortion is mentioned exactly zero times in the bible. The closest one could probably get to the subject is Ex. 21:22-25:

    A long time ago, I had heard that the (or some of the) religious opposition was due to (does some searching) Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” Or something like it. I think the idea was that since their god knows the fetus in the womb, the fetus is a person and aborting the pregnancy is murdering a person. Nowadays, they just jump straight to “fetus == baby, therefore abortion == murder”.

    No, I don’t buy it. I just wanted to share some information I once heard a long time ago. I can’t even remember where, I just remember some preacher of some sort claiming, “god says I knew you in the womb” and that meant abortion was wrong through being a full human being from conception.

    And this is probably off-topic for this post. Sorry.

  24. consciousness razor says

    What I said was that if someone were to decide that a fetus deserves human rights at some point in its development (YES, I KNOW THAT YOU DON’T),

    But you don’t know that. I’m saying that whatever rights a fetus has, there is no such thing as a right to violate someone’s bodily autonomy. I’m a person and a human being with all of the same rights as you, who is also a person and a human being who has all of the same rights as everyone else, and none of us has any such right. Because it is not a right. Violating someone else’s rights is never a right that anyone has.

    then that point would almost certainly be later than current abortion restrictions.

    What is there to be “almost certain” about here? Some believe abortions should always be illegal, no matter how early or late it is in a pregnancy. Are you almost certain they don’t actually think that? Are they almost the sort of “someone” you were hypothetically talking about, but not quite? It isn’t clear what the fuck your point is supposed to be.

  25. atheistblog says

    Sick of anti-abortion christian culture. It doesn’t matter if its says secular group, still it a frigging christian agenda. Just like how everyone says, ahh we just celebrate christmas, but not jesus baby birthday, it is damn christian culture, it has nothing to do with life and suffering, just damn stupid christian cultural agenda.
    Sick and tired of the pseudo secular groups.

  26. raven says

    I can’t help but have my suspicions that their proclaimed secularism might not be entirely on the level either.

    Yeah, me too.

    Given the fundies endless lying, the burden of proof is on them that they aren’t fundie xians pretending to be secular.

    Not that I much care. Female slavers and forced birthers are malevolent anti-humans, no matter what religion they claim.

  27. raven says

    A long time ago, I had heard that the (or some of the) religious opposition was due to (does some searching) Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” Or something like it.

    Which is quote mined and taken out of context. Like most of their bible quotes.

    It refers to one particular person. It’s in Psalms as well and it refers to David, the founder of Judea.

  28. Kevin Kehres says

    @27: Preface: I support a woman’s right to choose.

    Hoping this won’t be misconstrued…but…

    You don’t have a 100% right to personal bodily autonomy. That’s a crap argument in favor of abortion rights, and I wish people here would stop using it.

    For example, the courts can force you to give a blood test to determine paternity of a child.

    You can be forced to give a blood alcohol test by any police officer in the field, or a blood test if one thinks you’re stoned.

    Children are required to be vaccinated against a variety of diseases in order to attend public schools in most states(with some mind-numbingly stupid exceptions).

    The US used to draft entire people (ones without uterii) to serve in the Armed Forces. Almost the entire Vietnam War was fought with personnel whose “personal bodily autonomy” had been violated in the most egregious way possible. And although the US currently does not have a draft, there is nothing in the law and Constitution that forbids it.

    In the US, you do not have the right to personal bodily autonomy to decide to peacefully end your life (except in Oregon under limited circumstances).

    You do not have the right to personal bodily autonomy to use illegal drugs (no matter if you do not violate any other criminal statues while doing so — the ingestion of drugs is the thing that’s prohibited).

    And on and on. Hell, you don’t even have the right to not wear a seat belt. Nor ride a motorcycle without a helmet in most states.

    The argument is a bad one, and I wish people would stop using it.

    The right to abortion, as outlined by the relevant Supreme Court cases, is a limited right to privacy to make a medical decision between a woman and her healthcare provider. It has very little to do with personal bodily autonomy. A right that is 100% the woman’s in the first trimester, less in the second, and limited in the third. And that’s the most liberal interpretation of the right that currently exists.

    If you’re trying to move the Overton window, it’s not likely that you’ll succeed on the “personal bodily autonomy” grounds.

    The right that exists is the right to privacy. Let’s focus on that one, okay?

  29. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You don’t have a 100% right to personal bodily autonomy. That’s a crap argument in favor of abortion rights, and I wish people here would stop using it.

    Citation needed cupcake. Your word alone isn’t enough, and never will be for such an important assertion.

  30. burgundy says

    @31 – there’s a difference between legal rights and human rights. The legal right is based on privacy; that doesn’t mean that’s the only (or best) way to get there. And I think you’ll find that many people here oppose some of the autonomy violations you list. It’s an is/ought distinction.

    There’s a whole argument in there about when it’s appropriate for the state to step in and what the social necessity is for a particular violation (e.g. clear public health benefits for vaccinations.) And in no case can a private citizen make the call – the government can conscript people into the army, but I can’t force someone to be my bodyguard. So to follow that line of reasoning, the frame would be ‘the government is conscripting women to serve as incubators,’ since an embryo/fetus/whatever doesn’t have any more right to infringe on someone’s bodily autonomy than any other individual does.

  31. Kevin Kehres says

    @32. I gave you all the citations needed, buttercup. You obviously didn’t read the rest of the post.

    Seriously, you’re claiming a right that does not exist, not even in the most liberal interpretations of the Constitution.

  32. Pteryxx says

    and last I noticed, the penalty for not wearing a seat belt or helmet was not forced organ donation.

  33. Kevin Kehres says

    @33…

    The problem with the “is/ought” argument is that you’re arguing an “ought” as if it were an “is”.

    Isn’t.

    The current right, as adjudicated by the Supreme Court, the “is” argument, is more than enough to grant women the right to choose.

    Okay?

  34. Kevin Kehres says

    @35…and there’s the strawman. I predicted it would come up within 10 posts.

    I win an internets.

    The state has plenty of authority to disturb your personal bodily autonomy in many different ways.

  35. zenlike says

    2 Gregory in Seattle

    And as a side note: have they released any position papers on anything other than abortion? I would think that an honest “pro life” organization would oppose war, capital punishment, and libertarian doctrines that oppose food, medical and housing support just as vigorously as they would oppose abortion, right? Or should they actually be named “Secular Men Who Believe That Women Are Wombs With Legs Too Stupid To Make Their Own Medical Decisions”?

    2 minutes on their site tells me that no, they really have no different goals besides being anti-abortion. So they are only pro-life-of foetus, at best.

    Also, they believe in the “life begins at conception” shtick. And they are pro-forced-sonogram laws.

    Although they are divided on the abortion-after-rape-issue, they firmly muddy the waters on that issue also. Probably would have been too transparent if they outright stated their opposition against that too.

    Secular they might be, but they are strictly playing by the more traditional anti-abortion playbook.

    On the other hand, tone of their stances is being pro-woman, so there is that. Barf.

  36. burgundy says

    @36 – you’re continuing to conflate legality with ethics. The arguments made here are that people, not just people in the US but people everywhere, have a right to bodily autonomy. That right is not legally recognized in every country in the world. What the Constitution does or does not say is not the only determinant of a right.

  37. tsig says

    Kevin, I’ll give you the same advice my dad gave me many years ago.

    “You’re a man, shut up”.

  38. nich says

    @37:

    The state has plenty of authority to disturb your personal bodily autonomy in many different ways.

    And? The argument here seems to be that it shouldn’t. And the argument from personal bodily autonomy is a perfectly valid argument. I would argue it is what the right to privacy is predicated on. You also may have noticed that the many instances you mentioned of the government intruding on personal bodily autonomy, i.e, drafting people and sending them off to die; denying them safe, medically assisted suicides; or denying them the right to choose what they put into their bodies are also the subject of heated debate and legal action, but those arguments are best made in other threads. And finally, this thread is not a courtroom or the floor of Congress. There is room for arguments here that you might not hear a lawyer make.

    You win nothing.

  39. consciousness razor says

    For example, the courts can force you to give a blood test to determine paternity of a child.

    You can be forced to give a blood alcohol test by any police officer in the field, or a blood test if one thinks you’re stoned.

    Children are required to be vaccinated against a variety of diseases in order to attend public schools in most states(with some mind-numbingly stupid exceptions).

    None of those are violating rights. I don’t have the right to rape people, for example, so the state can use my blood as evidence. Having autonomy doesn’t mean I am not part of the physical world and no part of me could be used as evidence of a crime. And it does not mean I get to make health decisions for other people, without their consent.

    The US used to draft entire people (ones without uterii) to serve in the Armed Forces. Almost the entire Vietnam War was fought with personnel whose “personal bodily autonomy” had been violated in the most egregious way possible. And although the US currently does not have a draft, there is nothing in the law and Constitution that forbids it.

    That the US did it doesn’t mean it was justifiable. This is at best an argument that we need laws which forbid it.

    In the US, you do not have the right to personal bodily autonomy to decide to peacefully end your life (except in Oregon under limited circumstances).

    Same as above. You should have a right to die. This is irrelevant.

    You do not have the right to personal bodily autonomy to use illegal drugs (no matter if you do not violate any other criminal statues while doing so — the ingestion of drugs is the thing that’s prohibited).

    Same as above. Most drug use should not be illegal. Minors using it and other specific cases (while operating vehicles, for example) are a different subject and have nothing to do with whether someone’s autonomy is being violated.

    The right to abortion, as outlined by the relevant Supreme Court cases, is a limited right to privacy to make a medical decision between a woman and her healthcare provider.

    If I were giving an outline of what the laws are now, while saying nothing whatsoever about what they ought to be or determining whether they are a coherent and enforceable set of laws, I would’ve made that clear. But I’m not a lawyer, and that isn’t what I was doing.

  40. Kevin Kehres says

    BTW and FWIW, as long as false equivalence fallacies are in play…

    Why shouldn’t the state get into the business of forced kidney donation? The need is great. The long-term benefits to society are tremendous. The surgery itself is safe as can be (I have never personally heard of someone dying from kidney donation; but I’m sure it’s happened, because it’s surgery and that happens). But the long-term damage to the donor is WAY less than the long-term consequences of forced pregnancy.

    Instead, you should be focusing on the anti-vax argument.

    OMG! THe State is FORCING me to inject POISON into my child!!! Mercury!!! Alum!1eleventy!!! Injecting DISEASES into my BABY’s ARM!!!!

    The ‘personal bodily autonomy’ argument is the anti-vaxxers’ argument.

    Quit it.

  41. nich says

    BTW and FWIW, as long as false equivalence fallacies are in play…

    The irony, it burns.

  42. Kevin Kehres says

    @42…and again, you’re arguing what you wish, not what is.

    If you’re claiming that you wish you had personal bodily autonomy, then that’s what you should say. Instead, you and others here continue to claim that you have it.

    You don’t. Not 100%. You are an agent of the state, and the law decides what portion of personal bodily autonomy you are to be granted. Otherwise, the courts wouldn’t need the whole habeus corpus thing to protect you from the state illegally interfering with your personal bodily autonomy.

    That’s why abortion rights restrictions with vaginal ultrasounds and waiting periods and the like have continued to pass Constitutional muster. As abhorrent as those restrictions are, they’re nothing more and nothing less than a demonstration that the state can and does have a lot to say about your personal bodily autonomy.

    So when you claim as a fact a right that in fact you don’t have, it aggravates me.

    It’s a meaningless claim and one that is without foundation under the Constitution. The state has the right to do with you pretty much what it will, with enough votes in the appropriate legislative bodies. Heck, the majority of states declare themselves to have the absolute right to kill you if you’re found guilty of a capital crime–doesn’t matter what you want, nor whether or not you’re actually guilty of the crime. Doesn’t get any more personal and bodily than that.

  43. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    There is difference between getting a shot giving immunity to a disease, and being required to be an incubator for nine months. Evidently KK can’t tell the difference. Doesn’t say much for their thinking.

  44. Kevin Kehres says

    @46.

    That’s why I prefaced my original post with “I support a woman’s right to choose”.

    But when you continue to use a crap argument in support of those rights, I think it’s perfectly within my rights to point that out. Because sometimes a man can suss out a bad argument just as well as a woman can. And the right being(wrongly) claimed isn’t just relevant to people with uteruses.

    So, do you have anything that’s relevant to say?

  45. vaiyt says

    The ‘personal bodily autonomy’ argument is the anti-vaxxers’ argument.

    No, it’s not.

    Their argument is that vaccines are harmful. They do, indeed, have the right to refuse to vaccinate, and many exercise that right.

  46. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Frankly, KK is acting a bit like a concern troll. Trying to agree, but has concerns, and those concerns weaken, not strengthen, the argument for abortions at any time during pregnancy. This happens frequently on abortion threads.

  47. consciousness razor says

    You are an agent of the state, and the law decides what portion of personal bodily autonomy you are to be granted.

    You wish. Why should that be the law?

    That’s why abortion rights restrictions with vaginal ultrasounds and waiting periods and the like have continued to pass Constitutional muster.

    Because the law is what it is, and it can’t be anything other than what it is? What an excellent legal theory you have. Tell me you have some reason why we shouldn’t talk about whether the law is coherent or enforceable. I predict it’s going to be “because there’s a law that says so.”

    So when you claim as a fact a right that in fact you don’t have, it aggravates me.

    You aggravate yourself.

    It’s a meaningless claim and one that is without foundation under the Constitution.

    You’ve effectively being saying the Constitution has no foundation. What good is that supposed to do?

    Why shouldn’t we get rid of the U.S. Constitution? Is it the only conceivable system which grants rights? No, in fact, it isn’t.

  48. Kevin Kehres says

    @47: Well, actually, some of those shots are for LIFE!~! Not just 9 months. LIFE!!!

    Seriously, it’s a very, very, bad argument.

    And one that opens the door to a whole range of unintended consequences. Including the right of parents to pray their children to death instead of getting them treatment for Type I diabetes. Heck, there was just a case where a 13-year-old was ordered by the courts to undergo cancer chemotherapy (no walk in the park) despite his own assertion that he didn’t want it and in direct contravention to the parents’ wishes.

    So, please. Stop.

  49. consciousness razor says

    1) Children are not property.
    2) Children can’t give informed consent.

    These are facts.

  50. burgundy says

    @46 – I think you’re using a definition of rights that is different from the one otherwise in use here. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all people have the right to freedom of religion and expression. That’s predicated on the idea that some rights are inherent to personhood. Plenty of countries don’t recognize those rights. I believe that in those cases you would argue that a statement in line with the UDHR is a wish, rather than a statement of fact, because you’re using a strict, legal definition in which rights only exist to the extent that they are legally enacted. So I understand why our use of the language might be frustrating to you, but it’s not like we’re being stupid or using ‘crap arguments’ – we’re taking a different, and perfectly valid, philosophical approach.

  51. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Well, actually, some of those shots are for LIFE!~! Not just 9 months. LIFE!!!

    Seriously, it’s a very, very, bad argument.

    If you can’t see that the shot is over in a few seconds (typical of my yearly flu shot), compared to being required to be pregnant for 9 months, you have an utterly stupid rebuttal, that is dismissed as fuckwittery.
    You try harder, and lose the attitude that you know best. You don’t.

  52. Kevin Kehres says

    @51: Last time…I think I’ve made myself clear.

    My objection is that people are claiming a right that doesn’t exist. If you wish to extend your right to include 100% personal bodily autonomy (exempting yourself from drug testing, paternity testing, and on and on), then you should state it in those terms. As a desired outcome or a right to be fought for — like the right of gay people to marry.

    Instead, people continue to claim it as a right that they currently have. They don’t. Not men, not women, not parents on behalf of their children, not young people, not old people, not criminals, not the falsely accused, not anybody. The 100% right of personal bodily autonomy does not exist.

    Claiming that you do in fact have that right is putting the cart very very far before the horse.

  53. nich says

    @46: …and AGAIN, what the fuck are you talking about? We all fucking get without your silly condescension that we have certain rights that are specifically enumerated in the Constitution AND that the Supreme Court did not cite a right to personal bodily autonomy in Roe v. Wade. Happy? People HERE, in this thread that is NOT a fucking court of law, and that is NOT the fucking floor of Congress are saying that forced birth, that denying women access to safe, medically assisted abortions, violates a right to personal bodily autonomy that we OUGHT* to have and that I would argue is the very basis of a right to privacy in the first fucking place. We also get that SOMETIMES, just sometimes, your bodily autonomy MIGHT have to be intruded upon in certain instances, like to solve crimes or determine paternity and to ensure your unvaccinated little brats don’t bring measles into my kid’s classroom. We also get that the government has abused that power, like, for example, FORCING WOMEN TO RENT OUT THEIR BODIES IN THE NAME OF THE BABY JESUS.

    Now pretty please, with sugar on top, shut the fuck up.

    *Oh no! I said ought, Nostradamus! You win an internet!

  54. opposablethumbs says

    How about this, maybe: legal infringements of bodily autonomy (vaccinations etc.) affect both sexes equally, and no legal infringement that affects one sex only should be permitted on grounds of discrimination (quite apart from the benefits of vaccination per se). This would of course mean that both abortion restrictions and the draft should be illegal.

  55. Kevin Kehres says

    @55…and if you can’t see satire, then you’re beyond redemption.

    And I guess you didn’t bother to read the rest of the post, either.

    I’m done here — have other things to do that don’t involve you.

  56. says

    #56, Kevin Kehres:

    While there are plenty of examples of having to compromise autonomy for specific purposes, the problem here is that the degree of autonomy allowed varies by sex: women are denied a freedom men do have, and what limited freedom they do have is being constantly pared away. Inequality is the issue. Discrimination is the problem. Telling us that you have to give up autonomy for drug tests is a rather pathetic complaint, legitimate as it is, compared to women being forced to give birth.

  57. consciousness razor says

    @51: Last time…I think I’ve made myself clear.

    You clearly have no point.

    My objection is that people are claiming a right that doesn’t exist.

    It exists. If a particular legal system doesn’t recognize it or enforce it properly, it doesn’t cease to exist. We have rights. Full stop. Those are what they are, no matter who or what wishes to take them from us. States do not precede individuals. They are composed of individuals. We make states what they are. And they are not some superior entity in the chain of being, whether they’re separate from or dependent on individuals. So you can fuck right off without your authoritarian horseshit.

    Claiming that you do in fact have that right is putting the cart very very far before the horse.

    If you expect to have a cart without a horse, that’s fine I guess, but it’s not going anywhere. I don’t need to want that kind of cart, even if you honestly believe you want it. So as I said, you can fuck right off with your useless fucking cart.

  58. serena says

    I like that three separate posts basically said “I”m leaving! Watch me leave! I’m gone! Gotta go! Don’t forget I’m done here!”

  59. says

    Kevin Kehres

    The ‘personal bodily autonomy’ argument is the anti-vaxxers’ argument.

    Yeah, the same way “religious freedom” is the Hobby Lobby argument.
    It’s bullshit.
    Children can’t give informed consent, therefore the right to make medical decisions is given to their legal guardians. That right is restricted in the best interest of the child. Jehova’s Witnesses cannot refuse a life-saving blood transfusion for their child. Vaccinations are also in the best interest of the child.
    Actually, if people took children’s right not to be harmed a bit more serious then they would do more in favour of mandatory vaccinations with only medical excemptions.

  60. nich says

    Telling us that you have to give up autonomy for drug tests is a rather pathetic complaint…

    PZ Myers fathered my love child! I demand the guvment draw his blood! All your bodily autonomy are belong to us!

  61. says

    Kevin Kehres #43

    OMG! THe State is FORCING me to inject POISON into my child!!! Mercury!!! Alum!1eleventy!!! Injecting DISEASES into my BABY’s ARM!!!!
    The ‘personal bodily autonomy’ argument is the anti-vaxxers’ argument.

    First, the parents’ bodily autonomy is not an issue here (unless you’d like to argue that a child is still part of the parents’ bodies after being born), so let’s just remove them from the equation.

    Now, the question is who gets to make medical decisions on behalf of the child, given that the child is not yet capable of making those decisions for itself. Usually, we let the parents make such decisions, but we (on many subject) have provisions to allow for the state to overrule the parents, if the parents are clearly not acting in the best interest of the child.

    This is not a violation of any rights, either of the child or the parents. This is actually the state acting to protect the child’s rights against a violation from the parents (or, ideally it should be). Likewise, barring unvaccinated children from public schools doesn’t violate their bodily integrity. It’s a case of the group protecting itself from a danger; it’s a quarantine, basically.

    #46

    It’s a meaningless claim and one that is without foundation under the Constitution.

    Who gives a fuck about the constitution? We’re not arguing in front of the Supreme Court.

    This is a discussion about what the laws should be, not about what they are. It’s not as if the pro-life side will shut up if we simply point out that the law currently allows for abortion. To them, “the constitution says…” is not an argument for abortion rights; it’s an argument for a constitutional amendment.

    This is a discussion about what principles should guide our decisions and the bodily rights argument is an attempt to appeal to an already widely accepted idea, in order to show that this principle, if consistently applied, would make abortion an absolute right.

  62. opposablethumbs says

    @58: Precisely so. You get my point exactly. Thank you.

    Gotta go.

    Ooohhh shit. Why do I feel so … perturbed now.
    .
    Even though I agree that

    the problem here is that the degree of autonomy allowed varies by sex: women are denied a freedom men do have,

    this point stands.

  63. tbtabby says

    I just saw this last night while I was waiting for the Smash Bros. 4 Pic of the Day on Miiverse. (It was Luigi with the Poltergust.) Here’s hoping Mr. Pooka ends up $100 richer.

  64. R Johnston says

    I can’t help but have my suspicions that their proclaimed secularism might not be entirely on the level either.

    Whether or not they are theistic, “secular-pro-lifers” are most emphatically religious and nonsecular. The foundational belief around which they organize is a matter of religious faith, impervious to evidence and logic. You don’t need gods to make that nonsecular.

  65. says

    Whether or not they are theistic, “secular-pro-lifers” are most emphatically religious and nonsecular. The foundational belief around which they organize is a matter of religious faith, impervious to evidence and logic. You don’t need gods to make that nonsecular.

    oh for fucks sake.
    “Secular” didn’t even used to exclude the religious until fairly recently, and I still wish the conflation between atheist and secular didn’t happen, if only because it makes people claiming that a secular state isn’t the same as an atheist state look like liars. To now exclude all other nonsensical beliefs/ideologies by forcing them into a definition of “religious faith” is doing some serious violence to the meaning of words.
    Not all bullshit, dogmatic, ideological beliefs are religious or “faith”; in fact, most aren’t. You can be secular or even atheist or even completely free from any supernatural beliefs, and still hold some amazingly unreasonable, irrational ideas.
    For reference, see: a very loud portion of the Atheist/Skeptic Movement.

  66. Suido says

    @Kevin Kehres:

    I’m going to make it very simple. Yours is a legal argument in an ethical discussion.

    I (and many others on this blog) don’t live in the USA. Your legal argument is useless outside your borders.

    The ethical argument regarding human right to bodily autonomy transcends borders, and is applicable everywhere. Yes, it’s an ought argument, but if there were never any ought arguments, civilizations would never have progressed. Women never would have got to vote, because no one said they ought to. Orphans would still work in factories, because no one said they ought to have an education. Vehicles would still run on leaded petrol, because no one said they ought to use a safer product.

    And yet there you stand, making the case that ought arguments are weak because they aren’t yet reflected in the laws today. Good on you for opposing progress.

  67. Suido says

    The High Court of Australia (equivalent to SCOTUS) ruled in 1992 on the legality of sterilising children, specifically disabled girls being sterilised by doctors at the request of their parents.

    An excerpt from an analysis of the decision:

    From a disability perspective the most significant aspect of Marion is the articulation that children with disabilities have a right to bodily integrity. The right to bodily integrity is a fundamental principle of common law and by proclaiming that girls and young women with disabilities are entitled to personal inviolability the law treats them as having equal value as other children, and in this way affirms the inclusion of people with disabilities as citizens in the life of the community.

    Right there. The right to bodily integrity is a fundamental principle of common law.

    So, Kevin, please unstick that flounce and explain why the High Court of Australia shouldn’t have used this “weak” argument?

  68. says

    Anyone who uses the stupid “that right isn’t mentioned in the Constitution!” should be sent back to grade school for some remedial American History lessons.
    They need to learn not only the bill of rights, but the reason it exists, the arguments there were against it and who made them, and why – and how those who were against a bill of rights have their argument proven accurate by those same people who make that claim of “it’s not in the constitution!”

    Even after the concerns of those against the bill were addressed via the 9th and 10th amendments, those who felt specifically enumerating rights would backfire STILL turned out to be correct, in part.

    Usually it’s the “small government conservatives” who argue that our only rights people have are those specifically mentioned in the Constitution – the only rights we have are those few listed and apparently granted by government…. a fact I get a laugh out of every time I see it.

  69. idahogie says

    Learning more about Secular Pro Life leads me to the following correlation:

    Secular Pro Life : biology : : teabaggers : Constitution

  70. John Horstman says

    @nich #44: Heh, that was my EXACT response. I said it out loud at my computer screen.

  71. John Horstman says

    @Kevin Kehres #56: Your objection is that your predicating your entire point on you being an ignorant asshat who apparently thinks the only definition of “right” is “legal right”. Check a fucking dictionary (do I need to point out that “fucking” is a idiom here and doesn’t literally mean “copulating”?), or simply realize this is self-evidently wrong from the fact that I can modify “right” with “legal” to clarify exactly what I mean. You’re the one misrepresenting your desire (that “right” mean only “legal right”) as fact. GTFO.

  72. says

    Kevin:

    People here are addressing human rights, not rights granted to American citizens under the Constitution. Moreover, the right to personal autonomy with regard to a woman’s right to choose is a right in the US:

    Personal Autonomy
    right of privacy: personal autonomy

    The right of privacy has evolved to protect the freedom of individuals to choose whether or not to perform certain acts or subject themselves to certain experiences. This personal autonomy has grown into a ‘liberty’ protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. However, this liberty is narrowly defined and generally only protects privacy of family, marriage, motherhood, procreation, and child rearing. There have been attempts to further extend the right of privacy under the 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution; however, a general right to personal autonomy has yet to take hold beyond limited circumstances.

    The personal autonomy dimension of the right of privacy has been overwhelmingly developed in cases dealing with reproductive rights. The Supreme Court first recognized an independent right of privacy within the ‘penumbra’ (fringe area) of the Bill of Rights in Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965). In this case, a right of marital privacy was invoked to void a law prohibiting contraception. Later cases expanded upon this fundamental right, and in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), the right of privacy was firmly established under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. The court classified this right as fundamental, thus requiring any governmental infringement to be justified by a compelling state interest. Roe held that the state’s compelling interest in preventing abortion and protecting the life of the mother outweighs a mother’s personal autonomy only after viability. Before viability, it was held, the mother’s liberty of personal privacy limits state interference due to the lack of a compelling state interest.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/personal_autonomy

  73. Anri says

    PZ:

    While there are plenty of examples of having to compromise autonomy for specific purposes, the problem here is that the degree of autonomy allowed varies by sex: women are denied a freedom men do have, and what limited freedom they do have is being constantly pared away. Inequality is the issue. Discrimination is the problem. Telling us that you have to give up autonomy for drug tests is a rather pathetic complaint, legitimate as it is, compared to women being forced to give birth.

    The point being that the discussion of people having or not having 100% bodily autonomy is separable from the discussion of men and women having different levels of bodily autonomy.

    In the most charitable reading, that may have been what Kevin was trying to say – that if we focus on the absolutes of bodily autonomy, counterexamples are not hard to come by. Focusing instead on inequality of bodily autonomy (regardless of the absolute amount) gives a better rhetorical lever.

    I dunno, I might be giving Kevin too much credit.