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Roe v. Wade Thirty-Nine Years Later

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This week marks a very special anniversary. It is not one that pertains to a specific couple, but it most certainly does to society as a whole. Thirty-nine years ago, the United States Supreme Court ruled in its landmark Roe v. Wade decision that women had the freedom to choose whether to carry a pregnancy to full term. Since that time, an endless stream of controversy has swiftly flowed through America’s political arena and does not seem likely to stop at any point in the near future.

We each have our own opinions about the ethics and legality of women’s reproductive rights. Anyone who reads my column on a regular basis surely knows that I am a staunch supporter of said rights. As a male, I could not imagine telling a woman what she should do in a matter so monumental as pregnancy. This is a result of the very simple fact that I will never walk even a millisecond in her shoes. What business of mine is it what she does with her own body?

From a bioethical standpoint, I find it almost impossible to see how one could possibly define an embryo or pre-viability fetus as a full-fledged, objectively living human being. Keeping this in mind, how is it then appropriate to ask any woman fundamentally to alter the course of her life, an actuality, for the sake of a potential? I fully understand that for many, religion comes into play here, but we have no right to impose our views on others. Like reproductive rights, religion is a deeply personal matter best not thrown in peoples’ faces.

As public opinion regarding pregnancy cessation in the United States is spilt almost evenly, I know there’s an equal chance those reading this will agree or disagree with me. Whatever the case, I would only ask that we respect one another’s opinions adequately. Incendiary rhetoric is shamelessly thrown around by the political left and right alike, and this never fails to obfuscate reality. In the reproductive rights debate, this is one thing seldom mentioned, and our nation’s dialogue pays the price in dividends.

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About Joseph F. Cotto

  • http://rwno.limewebs.com Warren Beatty

    Joseph, in your article you state, “What business of mine is it what she does with her own body?” But that did not stop you from expressing your opinion. I guess, ultimately, the question of when life begins must be answered. To those of us who believe life begins at conception, any abortion is murder.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    I don’t really get why this is such an issue in the so called land of the free.

    If you don’t believe abortion is right, don’t have one when the choice has to be made; if you do, go for it.

    The land of the free is turning into the land of the interfering busybody.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Oh, Warren –

    That’s the problem with rigid idealism – the ideologue never completely thinks through his position.

    So if the embryo is a human being at conception, then that means that anything – anything – the prospective mother eats, drinks, or does that might in any way be harmful to that embryo, then she’s guilty of child abuse. That means that it would be against the law for pregnant women to smoke – because they’re forcing the child to smoke along with her (and it DOES have a measured effect). It means that if a woman who doesn’t know she’s pregnant (and they often don’t for two weeks or more) anything they do that might harm that embryo is child abuse or worse.

    So where do you draw the line, Warren? When does government intrusion into what a woman does with her body become too much government intrusion? When do YOU go back to believing in small government, because ‘small government’ doesn’t mean telling a woman what she can and can’t do with her body.

  • http://cinemasentries.com/ El Bicho

    since when did a fertilized egg become viable outside the womb?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    El B –

    That doesn’t matter in Warren World. But once that child is out of the womb, he’s on his own! That’s why they want to slash education funding to the bone, all the way down to Head Start. Oh, except for “for-profit” universities and charter schools – THOSE are okay, see, but not the public schools serving poor kids. They’re not embryos anymore, so since when should we waste taxpayer dollars on them?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/joseph-cotto/ Joseph Cotto

    Warren,

    My opinion has no bearing whatsoever on the ability of women to choose what is best for them as individuals in the event of an unwanted pregnancy. As far as your perspective on post-conception abortion is concerned, I respect it, as I would hope you do mine. Speaking in terms of bioethics, though, I honestly fail to see how one could deem an embryo or pre-viability fetus as a human being. It is like, from my standpoint, comparing apples to oranges.

    Christopher,

    I agree on all counts.

    Glenn,

    Perhaps those points that I brought up in my article about the Church of Politics a few days back are playing themselves out here.

    El Bicho,

    I have no idea. Honestly, I cannot follow the rationale of those considering a fertilized egg to be a fully developed human being. It makes no sense at all, speaking reasonably that is.

  • Zingzing

    a fertilized egg does have the potential to become a fully developed human being, and if left to do what it will do, it will become just that most of the time. not to take Warren xenophobe beatty’s side, but I can understand the logic.

    But you have to balance the life of the mother (and father, and those around them) against that of the fertilized egg. Abortion does end a potential life, and while I think that I, personally, would have a mighty struggle with the idea, another person should have the right to make whatever decision they feel they must, as long as they don’t take it too far.

    Santorum’s “make the best of it” bit about rapes resulting in pregnancy needs to be nuked from orbit, but I think all of us who have had pregnancy scares should agree that it’s something that should be left up to the two functioning humans involved. If one of those says “no abortion,” then that wish should be honored. If both want to end it, the rest of the world can butt out.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Warren – how many times have you been pregnant? And was it the result of somebody raping you?

    None and no? Then who are you to tell women what they can and can’t do with their bodies?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    A child born three minutes ago is not a fully developed human being. A child born three years ago is also not a fully developed human being. A fertilized egg is also not a fully developed human being. These three individuals are all human beings, but not fully developed human beings, and all three are completely dependent on the support of the fully developed human beings around them.

    That’s the rationale, Joseph Cotto, “speaking reasonably that is. (#6)”

    “Whatever the case, I would only ask that we respect one another’s opinions adequately. (Last paragraph, second sentence)”

    Indeed.

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    I agree on Roe v. Wade, have been pleased to watch its evolution over the years and will be interested to see how the Supreme Court deals with state laws requiring pre-abortion sonograms.

    I also agree with this thought: I would only ask that we respect one another’s opinions adequately. Where does that leave us on requirements that those religiously (or otherwise) opposed to contraception nevertheless provide contraceptives? Are there insufficient others, not opposed, who can perform that service willingly? I think contraception is a great thing but have no interest in forcing that view on those who think otherwise.

  • Igor

    Why stop at the moment of conception? Isn’t that pretty arbitrary? Why not go back further and say anyone who masturbates is a murderer? Or anyone who refuses intercourse with another person? What about ALL ascetics and celibates?

    Aren’t they all murderers?

    Isn’t your choice of the moment of conception arbitrary?

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    It is arbitrary, Igor, but at least with conception we now have a zygote with a full complement of chromosomes and the potential to develop into a fully paid-up, card-carrying yooman bean. (Although zingzing (#7) is actually wrong: half of all human conceptions fail, usually before the woman even knows she’s pregnant.)

    By your measure, even mothers and fathers who do conceive are all mass murderers, by virtue of the millions of sperm that didn’t succeed in fertilizing the ovum.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    #11. Case in point:

    Incendiary rhetoric is shamelessly thrown around by the political left and right alike, and this never fails to obfuscate reality.[Last paragraph, third sentence.]

    To be fair, the shamelessly reality-obfuscating rhetoric from Igor (in the Left’s Corner of the Ring) is a response to the shamelessly reality-obfuscating rhetoric from the Right’s corner of the Ring.

    “Murderer” is a heavy word to use for a woman who feels helpless and trapped by a pregnancy she doesn’t know how she’ll manage.

    The term might more properly apply to those who take advantage of that helplessness, who profit by withholding from that woman the information that what she is carrying is more than just a blob, instead of making her aware of resources that preserve her dignity and that of her baby. [That, in response to Dan(miller’s) rhetorically responsible comment, thankyou Dan, expressing curiosity about the requirement of ultrasounds as part of pre-abortion counseling, the full disclosure of consequences that is standard operating procedure before any other kind of elective surgery.]

    I don’t advocate vigilante justice, though, not even against them.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Irene, have either you or Feminists Choosing Life offered an explanation of what Planned Parenthood does with these “profits”? Are there shareholders?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    No, I don’t know what Planned Parenthood does with its profits, though I can’t speak for Feminists for Life. The issue, of course, is with how they make them.

    Yooman bean? Why did you spell it that way in #12, Dr. Dreadful?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    I was under the impression I was in a conversation with people who intended to conduct it with respect toward people who held opposite views.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    But to be fair to you, it was only Joseph Cotto who (however insincerely) expressed an interest in addressing his opponents that way.

  • Costello

    You don’t get to chastise someone for using shamelessly reality-obfuscating rhetoric when you call an egg a human being.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    But I didn’t do that, did I Costello? Call an egg a human being?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    I’d chastise you for using reality-obfuscating rhetoric in #18. But I’m getting tired of delivering that kind of chastisement here, and I’m sure everyone else is getting tired of hearing me deliver it.

    And don’t worry, I won’t let the door smack me as I’m leaving. :)

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    The issue, of course, is with how they make them.

    That may be the issue, Irene, but the question is whether they are, as Feminists Choosing Life (and others) claim, profits at all, and whether Planned Parenthood is motivated solely by the Almighty Dollar in what it does.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Yooman bean? Why did you spell it that way in #12, Dr. Dreadful?

    Just a bit of levity, that’s all.

  • Costello

    Actually you did, Irene. Reread #9.

    A fertilized egg is also not a fully developed human being. These three individuals are all human beings

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Well, since I haven’t made it a habit to leave in a huff over levity (#22) at BC before, and because your question was a fair one…I’m back. Planned Parenthood is a huge organization, and some of the people who work there are volunteers who want to help make general health care (including screenings for cancer) available to poor women.

    However, it wouldn’t be the first non-profit organization, with whom sincere volunteers are affiliated and to which sincere people donate, to come under fire, appropriately, for huge administrative costs(read, executive compensation).

    That’s to answer your question, which was a fair one, so I came back to do that. Now, if you care to, you can speak to the issue that I brought up in #13.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    The unqualified word “egg” or ova, in any gynecological context that I’ve seen it, refers to an unfertilized entity. You didn’t qualify the word “egg” in your #18, Costello. I did. Perhaps you didn’t realize there was a difference, but there is.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    As you can see, Costello (#24), I will respond to intelligent questions in this debate. I corrected your misrepresentation of my words; however, I won’t answer to any more of your insults, though you are free to continue making them, I suppose.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    *sigh*

    Okay, people, here I go again with the same story that should make fiscal conservatives blow their stacks.

    I am a Foster parent of medically-fragile children. We’re down to one right now, but he’s been with us since 1999. He has severe scoliosis and two rods in his back, breathes through a trach tube, receives all nutrition and most meds through a g-tube, has a severe (but now controlled) seizure disorder, has a cleft palate, cannot communicate except through hard-to-understand gestures even though he’s intelligent enough to often follow simple commands – and loves Spongebob. His condition will never, ever improve. He can be kept healthy, but he’ll always, always require daily professional nursing care and all the rest to keep him alive.

    He has Fetal Drug Syndrome. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome has much the same symptoms, and we cared for one such child for about seven years.

    I added up all the numbers, and between the 16 hrs/day professional nursing care and the feeding alone, he costs Washington state taxpayers $300K per year. That’s not counting the cost of the meds, the doctor visits, the additional nurse that the school district had to hire to care for him at school…and, of course, the compensation we receive as Foster parents. All in all, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say he’s probably costing state taxpayers $400K per year just to stay alive.

    The mother lives here in town, but she has never tried to visit him. The sister went to the same school, but did not try to interact with him. We’re literally the only family he has. But we don’t blame the mom. Why? Because medically-fragile kids are a full-time job and then some, and if she doesn’t have the professional training to care for them, all the mother’s love in the world wouldn’t help her keep that child alive. And that’s not even addressing the very real psychological and financial toll that such a child brings to a family.

    There lots of kids like this – and they usually come from low-income families where girls are more likely to be less educated about the danger of drugs or alcohol while pregnant. So who pays the price? Not just the girl who watches the state take away her child; not just the child that will never know anything approaching a ‘normal’ life and often winds up with the kind of Foster parent that gives the rest of us bad names; but also the taxpayers who pay tens of millions of dollars over the years to keep this child (and later, adult) alive…this child who will never ever be able to be a productive member of society.

    Would it have been better that we kept this child alive, or should he have been aborted? Only God knows…but I do know this: the only reason we could do so is because of medical advances made within the past thirty years. Before then, he wouldn’t have made it a year, much less the seventeen years of age he is now.

    No one likes abortion – least of all, the women who have to go through it. That’s one of the misunderstandings of the Right, for a lot of them seem to think that women do this on a whim, that to them it’s not much more than a walk in the park. But it was never that way. That’s why there is always abortion regardless of whether it’s illegal or not. The only difference is whether the girl will have it done in a back alley or in a hospital.

  • Costello

    A fertilized egg is still an egg, which is why the word “egg” is used. My meaning seemed clear but if you want to play this ssilly emantic game, insert “fertilized” in my first comment when you read it

  • Clavos

    A fertilized egg is still an egg,…

    Actually, no.

    Once fertilized, the egg is an oocyte and has already undergone its first meiotic division (cell division). An oocyte, is no longer an egg, it is a combination of the egg and the sperm.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Clavos, I thought you were going to catch me for saying ova instead of ovum to translate egg. Thanks for being merciful, this time. :)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    (And for coming to my defense in an argument on which we mostly disagree. That was pretty decent of you.)

  • Clavos

    Actually, Irene, due to my deceased wife and I being unable to have children years ago, I am not entirely pro abortion; I think abortion should be limited to pregnancies in which the either life is endangered, as well as in cases in which it is known to a medical certainty that the child will be born with no ability to ever fend for itself or lead a “normal” life, but even then only if the mother requests the abortion and can care for the child to the extent necessary.

    In general, I do not support taxpayers’ money being used for abortions — there are too many taxpayers who, for a variety of reasons, are opposed to it.

    Let Planned Parenthood or other pro abortion activist organizations/charities pay for them (without government money).

    In re ova/ovum: no problem, just please don’t use phenomena when only speaking of one phenomenon, and vice versa. :-)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    That is a phenomenon I will make every effort to avoid. :)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/joseph-cotto/ Joseph Cotto

    Irene,

    Really now. When I referred to “fully developed human beings”, I was speaking about ones that have reached the all-important point of objective life. What, once again, objectively, is life? Defined, as I said in the article, by use of modern bioethics, it is essentially the ability for a series of self-sustaining actions. While an infant cannot survive without help from others, it is able to self-sustain in an environment not consisting entirely of another individual, namely the mother in question. An embryo or pre-viability fetus, meanwhile, has absolutely no degree of sentience and therefore cannot sustain itself at any level. How, then, could the latter reasonably be defined as living?

    On another note entirely, I do respect the opinions of others, as evidenced by my writings here. Calling my tone insincere is perhaps one of the most curious statements I have read at Blogcritics in a long time. Oh, well. To each their own indeed.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Joseph’s #6: Honestly, I cannot follow the rationale of those considering a fertilized egg to be a fully developed human being. It makes no sense at all, speaking reasonably that is.

    You have shown no interest since the appeal in your last paragraph to follow anyone’s rationale besides your own. What you meant by “fully developed human being” isn’t the point.

    I didn’t see anyone, on either side of the issue, trying to make the claim that a fertilized egg is a “fully developed human being,” any more than they were trying to make the claim that a three-year-old child was a “fully developed human being.” So your dismissive remark was not just an insult, but also a misrepresentation.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    All I see here are people splitting hairs over when it’s life and when it’s not and when it’s human and when it’s not.

    If the fetus is not viable outside the womb without extraordinary measures, I see zero reason to not allow the woman to have total choice in the matter.

    If the fetus is viable but is obviously going to be malformed or disabled, again, the mother should have total choice.

    If the fetus is viable but is a result of rape (whether forced or statutory) or incest, then the woman should have total choice.

    If the fetus is viable but presents a documented danger to the life of the mother, the woman should have total choice in the matter.

    But why the heck is this even an issue among the “small-government” conservatives? If they believe in “small government”, shouldn’t they be keeping their laws off a woman’s body and out of the bedroom?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Well…maybe you are not guilty of a misrepresentation, an intentional one anyway, since viability outside the womb is the way you define, and are accustomed to using, the phrase “fully developed human being.”

    Your owning up to the insulting tenor of the remark, though, would go a long way towards convincing me that you were sincere about playing host in a civil debate on the issue.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Not you Glenn, I meant Joseph. Until you admit you were wrong about the history and original use of Welch’s Grape juice on the other thread, and your accusations against me concerning them, I’m afraid I can trust your desire for civil and fair debate even less than I trust Joseph’s at present.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I would be far more convinced about the Christian brand of concern for the other if it were equally resounding when it comes to concern for the living and social justice. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, especially that’s not the case when it comes to the Christian Right. So until someone is going to bridge this dichotomy for me, I’m afraid I’m going to remain rather skeptical about the motivation of the “pro-life” folk, especially if they happen to be men.

    (This is not a comment concerning Irene, whom I regard an exception.)

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Now, if you care to, you can speak to the issue that I brought up in #13.

    The issue, as I understand it, is the claim that women are being systematically misled, or are having information withheld from them, that would equip them to make an informed decision about whether or not to abort.

    Your link, to Feminists Choosing Life, provides no objective data whatsoever to support this claim. Even the citations they give are little more than anecdotal evidence.

    I don’t really find this sort of rhetoric helpful because of the level it tends to sink to. Glenn is right: nobody LIKES abortions. The portrayal of abortion practitioners by some segments of the pro-life movement as some sort of gleeful celebratory trophy club is as obscene as the industry they claim to deplore.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Fortunately, I’m not an exception, Roger, but the tribe needs to increase, that’s for sure. I don’t want to make this a Christian nation, I just want to have a voice in it. (I like this guy, Greg Boyd.)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Dr. Dreadful. The “obscene” (POW!) “portrayal of abortionists as a gleeful celebratory trophy club” (POW! POW!) is warranted by those who have been a participant in such, as providers. To dismiss all providers as belonging to such a club is wrong, to expose the errors of those that are members of such a club is appropriate, to describe the whistle-blowing of the latter as obscene is hardly an element of reasoned and civil debate.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Oh, OK, you said “SOME” segments. You get a pass then, Dr. Dreadful. I guess.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #42

    So do I, on both counts. Wouldn’t a greater community’s involvement in embracing the troubled lives of the unfortunate women be a more positive approach than a mere legalistic one?

    The tribe definitely needs to increase. Thus far, there is only the three of us.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Let me reciprocate:

    Mark of the Hawk.

    “Filmed on location in Africa, Mark of the Hawk stars Sidney Poitier as a London-educated African who returns to his homeland to take a political post. Poitier’s brother Clinton Macklin is in charge of a rebel organization, determine to topple the white-dominated government. Poitier must choose between seeking out racial equality through peaceful means, or casting his lot with Macklin: it is (at least in this film) a struggle of Right against Right. Eartha Kitt is top-billed, but her role is decidedly secondary to Poitier’s. Released in Britain as Accused, Mark of the Hawk has been retitled Shaka Zulu on video, though it should not be confused with the 1985 TV miniseries of the same name.”

    Raises similar kind of issues discussed here, concerning the religion-politics connection, all the more in a far sharper relief because we’re talking about apartheid South Africa.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    That’s why a candidate’s claiming he’s “pro-life” doesn’t cut it for me anymore, Roger. How does he (or she) feel about starting unprovoked wars? Does he care about the innocent life that is destroyed overseas? Is he supporting organizations that DO provide alternative help to women in trouble?

    That’s why the invitation to have a rational debate about it at BC seemed so appealing. No name-calling, just trying to figure out solutions, without any other kind of political agenda attached.

    As to the cases of issues of rape and babies with genetic disorders. It is hard to know which way to turn when making a statement about legality in those cases. Either way, you have to turn your face away from a lot of people who would be hurt by your answer. Some people are involved in this debate because they have been the victims of rape…or they are people who are the product of rape, or they were babies who were considered, because of their disabilities, to be unfit to live, and survived the abortion anyway, or had mothers who decided to carry to term. What’s puzzling to me is how people can be OK with able-bodied people being wards of the state, indefinitely, and not disabled people.

    It’s a debate in which one has to tread lightly.

  • Clavos

    Wouldn’t a greater community’s involvement in embracing the troubled lives of the unfortunate women…

    Oh please, Roger, an accountable number of today’s abortions are for convenience and are sought by middle and upper middle class women.

    In any case, I reiterate that, because a significant segment of the population is anti-abortion, government (taxpayer) funds should NOT be used to pay for them.

    Let those who are in favor of abortion pay for them through contributions to Planned Parenthood and charities.

    Put your money where your mouth is, and don’t use Irene’s (tax) money for abortion.

    But it won’t happen, because the GD liberal busybodies are so sure theirs is the only way to save the world, they’ll steamroller anyone who disagrees and gets in their way — on anything.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Everything’s becoming politicized in the modern society, Irene, because we’ve lost our bearings and our grounding in values. Besides, the underlying conception of warring individuals tends to make political and legalistic thinking a virtue, since the express aim is the resolution of conflict. We’ve gotten away from communal mode of thinking whereby the good of all is intertwined with and inseparable from the good of any. And given our loss of connection with moral values, political discourse becomes a refuge and a cheap substitute.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @47

    I wasn’t defending the well-to-do, nor suggesting government subsidy on their behalf. Still, the image we associate with those who resort to abortion, for better or worse, concerns those who are of lesser means, and my remark was directed accordingly.

    As to our liberal busybodies and their all-comprehensive program, no, we don’t disagree.

  • Fr IggyHussein

    Oh My….Lord!

    I didn’t think of that before, but you’re right!

    “…even mothers and fathers who do conceive are all mass murderers, by virtue of the millions of sperm that didn’t succeed in fertilizing the ovum.”

  • Zingzing

    clavos, you do know that federal funds can’t be used for abortions at pp, right? money is money either way, I suppose, but technically…

    Pp can pay for its abortion program, but it can’t hold the rest up without federal funding. 97% of the time, it’s doing other things, but many of those things don’t come with such a high price tag–they’re cheap when they want to be. abortions are expensive at pp (or at least have a price you can’t sneeze at), but many of their other services are free.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    My take on it is that women should have an absolute right to be free to decide whether they want to continue with a pregnancy or not for any reason, although there should be some kind of time limit beyond which it shouldn’t be allowed except in the most unusual of circumstances.

    That said, it should not be paid for by the state as whether to have a child or not is a lifestyle choice. The government shouldn’t be paying for either abortions or children.

    I guess that makes me a social liberal and a fiscal conservative.

  • Clavos

    I guess that makes me a social liberal and a fiscal conservative.

    And, surprisingly, puts us in agreement — at least for this issue, anyway.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    I think we probably agree about a lot of things, Nails; most people do and then we can all get bent out of shape over the details.

    Social liberalism – or tolerance, to use a word that most socio-political control freaks avoid because it shows them up – and fiscal conservatism go together very naturally.

  • Reverend Hussein Hussein

    48-roger: good points!

  • Igor

    We, the US taxpayers, pay for corporate helicopters, corporate whores, corporate bribes, and all kinds of other corporate privilege, so why not pay for abortions for distressed women?

    Free and easily available abortions are key to women’s freedom.

  • Cannonshop

    Ideology always leaves huge ethical gaps. ON questions like Abortion, there’s so many complexities involved that the ONLY solution is to raise your own family to deal with the issue on a personal/internal level, whether that means a lassaiz-faire upbringing, or strict religious upbringing.

    the issue isn’t whether or not the foetus is a human, it’s whether it has rights to the resources of the mother-that’s not a place the State has any real grounds to judge when we lack the technology to make the point of live/die moot.

    The BEST we can manage, is to toss the spiritual ramifications and work to guarantee the survival and PHYSICAL health of the mother-whether she has the kid, or an abortion. The mental scars of the procedure are pretty well known, The conditions that drive it are also well known, but both are outside the range of where Government has a legitimate interest.

    Frankly, further, until the kid IS born, the father has no rights, and that’s the right thing there-it’s not his body, barring a means of MAKING his body carry the unborn, he only has responsibilities before the birth, he got his say when he stuck it in her-that’s where his privelages end prior to birth…but not his responsibility.

    Sadly, where Unplanned pregnancies happen that result in Abortion, there’s not much owning up of responsibilies on the part of ‘dad’, and the state really can’t do anything (legitimately) about shifting those. I suppose if the “Father” is identifiable he should probably be held financially liable for the outcome, whether it winds up being born, or in a plastic Hazmat bucket, but that’s asking a lot of someone who couldn’t be bothered to wear a rubber.

    On the whole, Roe vs. Wade was, by today’s standards, a pretty mild ruling-it’s good law, it stabilized things nationwide and set baseline standards, which is what a Supreme Court ruling SHOULD do, in situations where the nanny-god-statists won’t leave well enough alone.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cannonshop –

    If you feel, then, that Roe is “good law”, you do realize of course that any of the current crop of GOP candidates supports the overturn of Roe and would load the Supreme Court in just such a way to make that happen. Would that be enough for you to reconsider voting for any of them in the general election?

  • Cannonshop

    #58 Glenn, there was a HELL of a lot more traction to getting Roe overturned twenty years ago-note that it is still in place.

    In terms of how I vote, generally I steer AWAY from the Abortion argument (it’s not actually rational or dignified enough to really be a debate), because it’s mostly a red-herring used by god-botherers (on the right) and freakshow Leftists to divide people and distract them from other, more pressing concerns that impact EVERYONE, rather than a small but shifting demographic.

    I’m generally more concerned about issues regarding fiscal policy, a candidate’s record on liberty issues, (or lack thereof), and economic issues-Things that, for the major part, can be addressed rationally regardless of one’s gender.

    Abortion is not something that can be addressed rationally by men, It’s a women’s issue and any man who says otherwise is putting on airs. (AND maybe his wife’s underwear when she’s out…)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Exactly, my man. Why should we males weigh in on this debate as strongly as we do is still beyond me. Must be the shadow of the past when we still considered women our private property or chattel.

  • Cannonshop

    #60 Maybe, Roger, or it could just be that it IS a life-or-death question, but not one that permits easy answers that can be applied evenly and fairly across ALL people.

    People get loudest over the things they can’t really control, where the consequences of bad thinking won’t perceptibly impact them. It’s very hard to divorce yourself from wanting to be heard on something you damn well KNOW is important-even if you have nothing of value to contribute-which is what Abortion IS. It’s significant, it’s important, it’s life-or-death…and there’s really nothing a man can say about it worth hearing.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s called vicarious living.