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Twenty-six 9/11s Every Year: The Toll of Man-made Law on Abortion

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The International Planned Parenthood Federation estimates 19 million women worldwide will have an unsafe abortion in 2006; a similar number took this risky step last year – 70,000 died. This accounts for 13 per cent of the 500,000 maternal deaths each year, the federation’s report, Death and Denial: Unsafe Abortion and Poverty, released today, says.

Just meditate on that number of a minute – 70,000 women a year, every year. That’s twenty-six 9/11s, every year. Man-made and man-dictated laws are killing that many women every year. You might call it a gender war. Of course the victims are poor, almost all in poor countries, hence this is an almost invisible war.

And of course the toll goes further, in illnesses, disability and infertility. Take just one example from the federation report:

Sarawati, a 37 year old health care worker from India said: “I wish this method [medical abortion] was available when I was young and had an unwanted pregnancy. I went to a Dai [traditional healer] because I did not want to have surgery done by the male doctor; I had pain and fever for many days. I never could get pregnant after that, and my husband left me.”

But, the so-called pro-lifers will say, the laws are saving “babies”. Well actually what they are acting on are bundles of cells or fetuses, but anyway, they are not “saving” them. For as the federation report says:

Punitive legal measures and restricting access to safe abortion do not reduce the incidence of abortion; they just make it more dangerous. The result is that more women suffer. Not surprisingly, it is the poorest women – women least able to pay for any minimal level of care – who end up paying the highest price.

… Colombia, which prohibits abortion even to save a woman’s life, averages one abortion per woman throughout her reproductive years. In Peru, this rises to an average of two abortions per woman.”

The US government is complicit in many of the deaths worldwide, having forced the closure of clinics and forced others to avoid all mention of safe abortion options. This “global gag” rule, imposed by Bush in 2001, requires any organisation wanting US funds to sign an undertaking not to counsel women on abortion – other than advising against it – or provide abortion services.

Of course the other institution most responsible is the Catholic Church, both through the successive Popes’ attitude to birth control – which makes a good number of these abortions necessary in the first place – and its refusal to coutenance abortion.

There is, however, some good news. Tony Blair has for once managed to detach himself from Bush’s lead and the Guardian reports that the British government is to provide the IPPF with funds to at least partially replace the lost US money and increase the availability of safe abortions.

The Department for International Development will contribute £3m over two years. DFID and the IPPF – whose clinics across the world have suffered badly – hope that others, particularly the Scandinavians, Dutch and Canadians, will be emboldened to put money in too.

“I think the UK is being very brave and very progressive in making this commitment,” said Steven Sinding, director general of the IPPF. “We’re deeply grateful for this gesture not only financially but also politically.”

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About Natalie Bennett

Natalie blogs at Philobiblon, on books, history and all things feminist. In her public life she's the leader of the Green Party of England and Wales.
  • KYS

    Great article. Bush reinstated the global gag rule on his second day in office. Guess we know where his priorities are. Agencies getting US funds aren’t even allowed to refer patients anywhere for abortion information/services. It’s short sighted and foolish. Good for Blair.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Dammit, where are the fundies saying that abortions cause 200 9/11s every year, or whatever?

    Dave

  • Nancy

    I think they’re all busy screaming at the muslims about the cartoon thing.

  • Unknown

    Yeah, what a great idea! Let’s make “safe” abortion available everywhere so Americans can kill even more of their own.

  • http://www.euphoricreality.net Kit Jarrell

    You forget, we conservatives aren’t the ones “screaming” about the cartoons. Or rioting, or burning things, or burning flags, or calling for death to infidels. I might, however, start saying “Holy Fucking Mohammed” just so it’s fair. “Jesus Fucking Christ” has been around a while, you know.

    As for the abortion issue, I think it’s almost pointless to discuss. No one really changes their mind about abortion. You either believe it’s a baby, or you don’t. I’ve found that even when civil discourse on the subject is attempted, sooner or later pro-choice folks drag out the epithets and namecalling. By the way, I’m not a “fundie,” although I am very pro-life.

    Roe v. Wade has been around a long time. I doubt it’ll be overturned tomorrow. Then again, if you want it secure, you might want to think about getting some of your folks elected. All due respect and no offense intended here, but hey. Majorities help.

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett

    I agree that those fixed in their views will not have them changed by contemplating the bodies of 70,000 women. (What would it take?)

    But I hope that a few of those unsure about their view on the issue, or prepared to change them, might be swayed by these facts.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    70K sure is a large statistic, and complications from pregnancy sure are overlooked in death statistics.

    But that whole AIDS thing is a trifle bigger problem. What is it, something like a million estimated deaths a year?

    (And while one aborted child is probably not equal to one dead adult, the statistics are pertinent somehow.)

    It’s all related, because they stem from unsafe sex. So can we string these two numbers and issues together as one mondo issue?

    1. Don’t hump so much.
    2. Underdeveloped countries are.

  • Rotti123

    Stats like this are BS 92.8% of the time.

  • RogerMDillon

    “1. Don’t hump so much.”

    That my be easy advice for someone with your looks, but how about real solutions like education and medicine.

  • http://euphoricreality.net Kit Jarrell

    70,000 really isn’t comparable to 47 million, which is the number of babies killed since Roe.

    Then again, as I said earlier, it all depends on whether or not you consider it a baby or “bundles of cells.”

    Personally, I tend to think if you tear recognizable limbs off of it, or jam a scissors in its head to kill it, you can’t really call it a “bundle of cells.” But that’s me.

    By the way, comment #9 is a prime example of my earlier point.

    “That my [sic] be easy advice for someone with your looks, but how about real solutions like education and medicine.”

    I’m not being argumentative here, but come on. Can’t we debate the facts of an issue just once without stooping to personal insults?

  • Jesse

    I think… you should always have the choice. after all, your choice to do something is always there.

    if you don’t get an abortion, and can’t afford the adoption fee, then you’ll be stuck with a child you won’t be able to care for?

    what’s better? an aborted fetus, or a child that’s slowly starving to death?

  • http://bacalar.blogspot.com Howard Dratch

    Fine post and good thoughts, as always, Natalie. And good for Blair. It would be unthinkable for the civilized world to follow the lead of George W. Bush down the prickly path toward clandestine medicine, unwanted babies and abused children. This matter should have been settled with Roe v. Wade and the country and the world totally permeated with sufficient education and contraception to have made abortion a rare and last ditch option.

    But then they also promised us universal medical care and an end to dependence on foreign oil. You might think that politicians didn’t keep their promises.

  • Baronius

    “clandestine medicine, unwanted babies and abused children”

    Is there any evidence supporting the “abused children” claim? I’ve heard the argument made, but I’ve never seen it backed up.

  • Jane Doe

    As usual everyone has once again missed the whole point of the real debate surrounding abortion. The question is not whether you think a glob of pre-sentient cells constitutes a human life, it’s whether the government, or any other entity, has the right to make that decision for you. There is no such thing as the “pro life” movement. Many, although certainly not all, of these people are pro-fetus, nothing more. Once the baby is born you’re on your own. If you can’t feed him or provide medicare for him then sucks to be you. You should’ve kept your legs closed you whore. And I won’t even go into how many of these individuals absolutely love the death penalty. Where’s their “pro-life” stance on that one? Anyway, I would sincerely love it if someone would answer the simple question of why when it comes to this issue, they feel it’s right for a total stranger to make this decision and not the pregnant woman. And remember many of these people are the ones who go on forever about how they’re sick and tired of those “east coast liberals” forcing their views on them.

  • Dave Nalle

    if you don’t get an abortion, and can’t afford the adoption fee, then you’ll be stuck with a child you won’t be able to care for?

    Adoption fee? From what I’ve seen the adoptors pay heftily to get healthy babies and the mothers pay nothing to give them up. Quite often they get free medical care out of the deal.

    Is there any evidence supporting the “abused children” claim? I’ve heard the argument made, but I’ve never seen it backed up.

    How hard is this to back up? Rates of child abuse are far higher in single-parent households and in families with teen parents. If those unwanted children born to parents not ready to handle them had been aborted then they certainly wouldn’t have been abused.

    Dave

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Wow, great piece, Natalie. I had no clue about the Bush initiative or the mortality stats–makes me furious.

    Condoms, anyone?

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett

    Thanks Elvira.

    Addressing the “constructive” “don’t hump so much” comments early on, the IFPP report addresses the fact that many of the girls and women forced into these unsafe abortions have also been forced, or coerced, into sex. The report contains examples of the IFPPs work. One is about a 14yo Nepalese girl, pregnant to a relative. Now she is the victim of child abuse, but in a society that doesn’t recognise even the existence of the crime. Telling her “don’t hump so much” isn’t going to help.

    And in Africa, girls sleep with their teachers so they can continue to get an education, in America (and everywhere) women sleep with abusive men because they know otherwise they’ll get raped, etc etc ….

    Certainly empowering women and giving them choices and income and power would reduce the number of abortions. What are the “pro-lifers” doing about that?

  • metal head

    If more women died in unsafe abortions it might just scare enough women away to end that barbaric practice. Having sympathy for women who kill their unborn child is like having sympathy for Hitler. Nuff said.

  • Jez

    70,000 women die each year trying to kill their unborn children. You don’t have to believe that a fetus is human life to take a look at the issue from the pro-life perspective. All you have to do is understand that, whether you agree or not, pro-lifers don’t make a distinction between a child that has been born, and a child that is developing and will be born if not killed in the womb.

    Suppose we decided that a child was not really a person until it was at least a year old. What would a pro-abortion advocate think of a statistic that tried to suggest we should allow parents to kill the child at 9 months old simply to avoid any unfortunate repercussions for their actions? It is extremely sad that so many women and so many children need to die each year simply for the sake of convienance as opposed to acting responsibility.

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett

    A sentient, feeling, thinking, suffering grown woman, versus a three-month-old bundle of cells that does none of those things. There is a very, very clear difference between the two, and where societies’ priorities should lie are clear. The bundle of cells does not suffer; an unwanted, unfed, uncared-for child (not necessarily through want of will but through want of resources) brought into the world certainly will.

  • Nathan

    I agree with Jez in comment #19. A child in the womb is the same as a 9 month old child in that they are both human beings. And don’t try to justify the killing unborn babies by saying that they would lead pitiful lives. That argument just doesn’t hold water. It’s like a dictator of a poor third world country killing all of his subjects because he knew that most of them would die of starvation anyway. This leads into the topic of euthanasia, which also is wrong.

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett

    How you think a cluster of two, or four, or 16, or 32 etc cells is a “human being” is beyond me, but if you do, why stop there? You are missing out on “saving” all those millions of sperm, and hundreds of thousands of eggs wasted all around the world every day. You must immediately start a campaign to save their lives.

    And you’d really better get on to God, since “He” aborts thousands of fetuses every day …

  • Nathan

    It’s only when the eggs and sperm are joined that you have a human being. By themselves you are right, sperm and eggs are just a bunch of cells. But studies have shown and I was taught this in college, that nothing is added to the fertilized egg, only that it need time and nutrition to grow. Therefore, a fertilized egg is as much of a human as you and me.

  • Nathan

    What I’m saying is, is that an unborn baby doesn’t become more human after it is born. It already has the genetic makeup for a human being.

  • Emma

    This is what I was taught at University. Up until it is 14 days old, a fertilized egg can twin. Therefore it is not reasonable to call the fertilized egg _a_ potential human being before that time. That an egg needs time and nutrition is a very simple summary of the myriad of things that need to go right if this brand new, never tried before genetic blueprint is to become a human being. Indeed, so many things can go wrong that only two thirds of fertilized eggs will survive past the first trimester of pregnancy. With those odds, it is a human being only if luck is very much on its side.

    There is one more thing that the fertilized egg needs on its side in order to emerge at the end of pregnancy as a human being – the mother. The mother provides the nutrients and time you speak of in your post. Without the mother your fertilized egg is no more a human being than a fertilized chicken egg is a fully grown chicken.

  • Baronius

    “How hard is this [abortion reduces child abuse] to back up? Rates of child abuse are far higher in single-parent households and in families with teen parents. If those unwanted children born to parents not ready to handle them had been aborted then they certainly wouldn’t have been abused.”

    Dave, many young people have children deliberately. One could argue that in a society with legal abortion and “safe haven” laws, most people raising children opted to.

    But more than that, you are describing conditions where the rates of abortion and child abuse are high. Why would they coincide? Many reasons. The burden of an extra child for example, or lack of sound judgement. But also, might abortion desensitize people to life and death, and devalue children? Abortion could encourage child abuse.

  • Baronius

    “Anyway, I would sincerely love it if someone would answer the simple question of why when it comes to this issue, they feel it’s right for a total stranger to make this decision and not the pregnant woman.” Jane, I’d like to try to answer this one.

    Government has the obligation to protect the helpless. We may argue over who is helpless, and how to protect them, but the basic duty of government is to protect those who can’t protect themselves. That may in fact be government’s only duty. Slavery, child pornography, and unregulated pollution are all rightly illegal.

    What about adult pornography? That’s less clear, because it may be constitutional, and it may be harmless, and society doesn’t agree on their point. But if a law is passed, and it is constitutional, then it’s binding. I may hate it; I may protest it; I’m bound by it. No one has the individual right to excempt out of a law.

    Both these ideas are straightforward. Maybe an anarchist or an extreeeme libertarian would argue against them. That only leaves one question, does the fetus count as a helpless human. But maybe that isn’t a question. If a law is passed, and it’s not unconstitutional, it doesn’t matter if it’s wrong or stupid. We could legally grant muskrats personhood, couldn’t we? But that’s not where I want to make my stand.

    So let’s try this: in any situation where life is on the line, we err on the side of life. If a death row prisoner might be innocent, we grant an appeal. If a bomb would kill mostly enemy combatants, we don’t drop it. If a patient might be revived, we try to bring him back. So if a collection of cells might be human, it is consistent for us to grant some legal protection to it.

  • td

    If abortion was illegal, how would you pay for the tens of thousands of new single mothers and orphans that this would create?

    Paying for this means taking money from somewhere else. This is how social spending works. And this probably means that someone dies instead. You reduce abortions, increase the budget for orphanages, and reduce the budget for what? Health care, homelessness, military equipment, etc, etc

    So who do you want to kill instead?

    I have no problem with the ideals of Pro-Life. But for once I would like to hear one of them say:

    “The concequences of a pro-life law will be……”

    “We will pay for these concequences using money from…..”

    Most Pro-lifers seem to live in a fantasy land where making abortion illegal just means middle-class families will have a few more kids and they will all be easily supported.

    But we all know this is not the case. Many, not all, but many of the women who have abortions do so because they cannot provide the child with a stable environment because they are broke, homeless, on drugs, on welfare, too young, etc. etc.

    Right now when one of the above does have a child it often ends up in an orphanage. If abortion was illegal the number of orphans would skyrocket. All of which would become wards of the state, since there are already 10 times the number of orphans to parents looking to adopt.

    So what is the plan Pro-lifers?

    You say “Thou shalt not kill”

    Well I say “Everyone shalt have free health care and a $15/hour minimum wage”

    Unfortunately saying it doesn’t make it feasable.

    60% of the world lives in an area where women can have abortions without giving a reason. The other 40% live in areas where they can only have an abortion if their is a valid medical reason. Some areas not under any reason.

    20 million of the 45 million abortions are performed illegally.

    In other words, even though Abortion is not allowed or highly discouraged in 40% of the world, those women still trying to have unplanned pregnancies aborted. The difference, in some areas 25% of illegal abortions end in death for the mother.

    Why do women abort, even if it means they might die? Because they know that they, or the powers that be, cannot provide an above poverty standard of living for the children.

    Abortion is legal in china. Some of the major countries where abortion is illegal are: Brazil, Argentina, Australia (with some exceptions), Mexico, most of southern Africa and south-east asia.

    I agree that corruptions is more prevelant in a lot of these countries, but usually those that are most corrupt are also the poorest, and with the fewest doctors able to perform the surgery. In most of these countries the child is carried to term and then killed.

    The majority of Illegal abortions that make up the 20 million figure come from countries like Argentina where the stats can be somewhat verified.

    In argentina 500,000 illegal abortions are performed each year. Those who causes an abortion are punished with detention or prison from three to ten years. It is no slap on the wrist and if they are to poor to care for the child then where are they getting the money to pay off officials to overlook the offence.

    Columbia is the same. 450,000 abortions, punishment is 4-12 years.

    800,000 in the Philippines, punishment is very severe, including the possibility of the death penalty. The philipines is very tough on abortion. The reason why Abortion is still illegal in the phillipines is due to a very rich pro-life lobby group. Because of the pressure and influence this lobby group has on the government, underground abortion clinics are regularily raided and their operators jailed. Also, because of the prevalence of religion throughout the country many women who undergo ‘backyard’ abortions are reported by they’re own families.

    If your argument is that if abortion were illegal then unplanned pregnancies would go down. Well, all you have shown to back this up is your own personal assumptions. Back it up with some statistics or describe how the government plans to support non-aborted babies.

    Basically, how do you enforce this? Currently only 70% of murders are solved each year. Where does the money come from to investigate these new ‘abortion’ murders. You are living in a fantasy land if you think all you have to do is say that Abortion is illegal by punishment of life in jail and all of a sudden everyone will practice abstinance.

    So while some women may be more careful, many will still get pregnant because: contraception and the pill are still not 100% effective, people are careless (ie: get drunk), rapes, etc.

    So you are still going to see an increase in births. Some of which will be supported fully by their parents, some of which will become wards of the state ($$$$), and some of which will be partially supported by their parents or in many cases parent in which case the government will pick up the rest of the tab ($$$$).

    I might be okay with making abortion illegal if the population is willing to spend the money needed to provide an above poverty standard of living to all children, plannedor unplanned.

    BUT the fact is that:

    If their is not enough political will to save millions of lives by instituting Universal Health care, then where is the political will going to come from to pay for the children of unplanned pregnancies.

    Saving lives means spending tax dollars. We can save more lives right now if we had more tax dollars to spend. So before you respond again with “Killing is wrong!”.

    Go check who you voted for in the last election, and how much they have raised taxes in order to spend on programs that will save lives.

    Shootings would go down if guns were made illegal. DUI deaths would go down if alcohol was made illegal. However, the majority of the population believes that guns should be legal, and alcohol should be served. And the majority still believe in the right to choose.

    The funny thing about this debate is that usually it is the right trying to explain to the left that we do not have enough money to pay for liberal ideolism when it comes to Health Care, Social Services, the Environment, etc. etc.

    Everytime the left brings up one of these topics the right says…

    “Well, who is going to pay for it?”

    And the left responds…

    “It’s not about the money, it’s about doing what’s right”

    So tell me. How does the other shoe fit?

  • Nancy

    Thanks, TD; I never can marshal the calm to discuss this issue w/so-called “pro-lifers” in a rational manner. Yeah, what TD says.

  • Baronius

    TD, I really don’t follow your argument. Are you replying to something I said?

  • td

    I was just offering the alternative perspective.

    “So if a collection of cells might be human, it is consistent for us to grant some legal protection to it.”

    Because your statement on it’s own has a lot of validity.

    However, when considering the concequences of your statement in practice, the political reality is that it actually refers to the following:

    “So if a collection of cells might be human, it is consistent for us to grant some legal protection to it. Even if this means reducing funding for other federal departments that are responcible for saving the lives of cells that are already human.”

    This is the reality of our world. If money wasn’t the issue then why do people starve to death on the streets, or die from inadequate medical treatment. Money is always part of the issue.

    Making abortion illegal would require increased funding to orphanages, medical assistance for those who endure complications due to illegal abortions,and law enforcment.

    So the question I raise is the same that the right wing always shoves in the face of the left….

    Where does the money come from? What other program do you cut to pay for this policy.

    As far as your under 1 year old argument goes, I think that this approach is a bit extreme and akin to me worrying that the right wants to send a conseption officer out with any young married couple to ensure they don’t use contraception. Because every oportunity to have sex is a chance for eggs and sperm to become a human. And it is consistent for us to grant some legal protection to this possible human.

  • RedTard

    If abortion stays legal who will be there to pay for your SS benefits?

    Abortion is the slaughter of human babies for the sake of convenience only. Babies with arms and legs and brainwaves and heartbeats, not tiny blobs of cells. Pro-babykilling advocates will use all kinds of bullshit incest, rape, etc. arguments when they know full well that does not apply to the vast majority of abortions.

    A monstrous society who would slaughter millions for convenience sake is capable of anything. I hope I don’t become “unwanted” in my lifetime.

    They ask who wants to take care of a baby, I say who wants to take care of the handicapped? If we’re killing for convenience lets go ahead and take them out too.

    Is a retard really a ‘sentient’ human being? My plan would also serve to free up those valuable close-up parking spaces.

  • Emma

    Baronius,
    I had no trouble following td’s argument. td was, as far as I could see, responding to your claim that a collection of cells ought to have legal protection. The consequence of that legal protection would be to make abortion illegal (I assume), and td’s commentary flows from this assumption.

    As far as arguments go, I was far more interested in the slide in your argument for the legal protection of a collection of cells.

    “So let’s try this: in any situation where life is on the line, we err on the side of life. If a death row prisoner might be innocent, we grant an appeal. If a bomb would kill mostly enemy combatants, we don’t drop it. If a patient might be revived, we try to bring him back. So if a collection of cells might be human, it is consistent for us to grant some legal protection to it.”

    Your argument commits an informal fallacy Ignoratio Elenchi (ignorance of the proof). Briefly, (i.e. without the tediousness of laying out the argument formally), the premises all contain examples of persons that are unquestionably human beings. To then conclude from these premises: “something that _might_ be human should be protected” is not as consistent as you would have it. There are good arguments around for the legal protection of a collection of cells, but I’m afraid this is not one of them. Better luck next time.

  • RedTard

    It took us decades to realize that negroes were human in this country. I see how frustrating it must have been for those who new they were humans who needed protection.

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett

    What I find really depressing is that none of the anti-abortion commenters here has shown one speck of humanity in engaging with the fate of those 70,000 thinking, feeling, suffering women who died in agony, in terror, and utterly unnecessarily. Where is your humanity? If you think there is a God and an afterlife, don’t you think S/He mightn’t ask you about that?

  • RedTard

    What I find really depressing is that you bemoan the few who die while murdering their children and exhibit total disregard for the millions of babies who are successfully killed every year.

    Don’t you think God would be more interested in millions of innocents who were murdered over the few thousand who died trying to commit those crimes?

    Your disregard for human life is no less than those with whom you disagree.

  • Dave Nalle

    Damn, RedTard. People are killing cuddly little babies? Tell me where. Those folks ought to have been offered the opportunity to get an abortion before they had those babies, thereby avoiding the danger that they might go nuts and kill the little tykes.

    Dave

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett

    I wasn’t talking about lives, RedTard. I was talking about pain, suffering, the knowledge that you are dying, that there is hours, days or agony to come. That is what 70,000! women and girls a year are suffering … Can’t you even for a second empathise with that?

  • RedTard

    Dave,

    I didn’t know you were one of those who believed that magically as the babies head slides through the birth canal that it specaial human status it didn’t have 10 seconds earlier. Next time my wife says ‘come, feel the baby kick’ I’ll be sure to tell her that it is not a baby and it’s not even human. She must be kicking herself in the stomach because their is no one else there.

    I’ll also be sure to scold the ultrasound technician if the unhuman fetus extension thing happens to have a penis. Since it is not a seperate person but simply an extension of her body then by default my wife must have a penis making her a hermaphrodite. I’m not sure whether I should be disgusted or turned on.

  • Druxxx

    td brings up a perfectly good argument that for the most part avoids the pitfalls of whether or not the thing in a woman’s womb is a person.

    He asks a tough question, and so far all the pro-life people are avoiding. I would like someone to answer his question.

    And RedTard, I have a feeling all those unwanted babies eventually becoming adults won’t solve our Social Security problem. Their early life burden won’t be made up when they finnally become adults and start paying taxes.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I didn’t know you were one of those who believed that magically as the babies head slides through the birth canal that it specaial human status it didn’t have 10 seconds earlier.

    Oh certainly not. I don’t believe it’s truly human until it can sit up and order a drink at a bar.

    Next time my wife says ‘come, feel the baby kick’ I’ll be sure to tell her that it is not a baby and it’s not even human. She must be kicking herself in the stomach because their is no one else there.

    It’s what you want it to be, RedTard. You own it so long as it’s in her body. If the two of you want it to be a baby then it will be. If you and your wife want it to not be a baby then it won’t be. No one else should get a vote in that decision.

    I’ll also be sure to scold the ultrasound technician if the unhuman fetus extension thing happens to have a penis. Since it is not a seperate person but simply an extension of her body then by default my wife must have a penis making her a hermaphrodite. I’m not sure whether I should be disgusted or turned on.

    Well, that’s entirely up to you. But if you like the penis for sexual reasons you’re going to have a damned hard time getting to it in that location.

    Dave

  • td

    16,000 – Number of people under the age of 65 that die each year while waiting for their Medicare coverage to begin. This is due to a 24 month waiting period that medicare companies are granted before signing of on coverage. These lives could be saved by removing the waiting period. The net cost to the government of passing the proposed legistlation to end this waiting period is approx. 6.2 billion.

    18,000 – Number of deaths each year in US due to Lack of health insurance. 41 million in the US do not have health insurance. The estimated cost of providing these people with basic health insurance is approx. 45 billion a year.

    13,000 – Number of people who died in speed related car crashes. The majority of research shows that decreasing speed limits would save lives. Economic loss resulting from lowering the speed limit from 65 to 55 mph, approx 2.5 billion.

    Does spending 53.7 billion guarantee that we will save all 47,000 lives? No. But it would save a lot of them.

    Why don’t we do it? Because goverment does not have enough money to pay for every program or law that would save lives.

    You want to argue for the implement an Abortion law fine. But please tell me where the money to pay for this law will come from because 47,000 other people who would like to know too.

  • Bing

    70K sounds more like a ficticious stat created by Planned Abortionhood than reality.

  • td

    20 million of the 45 million yearly abortions world wide are performed illegally. Most in sub-standard facilities.

    I don’t think a fatality rate of 0.35% is unrealistic.

  • RedTard

    Those are interesting stats. You claim 40% of the world cannot have legal abortions and credit them with 44% of the total abortions. I suspect that number might be slightly flawed. If abortion is deemed illegal it should decrease the number of abortions somewhat, even if just for fear of dying from the procedure.

  • Mark

    I’ve heard this debate over and over and it always spins out of control and gets down into legality, and “what’s-the-nice-thing-to-do-ery” but seems to drift away from what lies at its very core. When is it a human being?

    RedTard makes some great points, is it a human ten seconds before its born? Is it a human 14 days after the egg and sperm meet? Is it a human being after the mother sneezes for the first time with her left foot in the air and her thumb in her nostril?

    Science shows us that it has all the genetic makeup of a human being, so it has the same essential ingredients as all of us non-uteran human beings. It breathes, not air, but amniotic fluid, and I dont like to think thats enough of a reason to kill it. It has brainwaves and so do I.

    Sure it may not make it to become a fully developed human. Sure the mother may miscarry. Sure a thousand little things have to go right in order for it to KEEP ON LIVING. But the same goes for me. I have to remember to breathe. I have to have all my organs work perfectly, my heart, my brain, my lungs, my kidneys. Unless a thousand little things go right inside my body, and outside my body (car crashes, bombs, guns, knives) I wont be able to keep on living.

    Concerning TD’s argument that we cant afford to have more people around. One question needs to be addressed first, “Do you feel abortion is murder?” Unless your answer to that question is No, then you’re entire argument doesnt make sense.” You’re not suggesting we make murder allowable just so that we can reduce the number of people the government needs to support? And who ever said that we must rely on the government to support us? Why is it that all of these people must rely on the government? I’m sure some of them can support themselves. Can go out and get jobs and housing and health care. But should we say its okay to kill others, just so the government wont have to pay their Social Security checks?

    The problem with the “abortion to prevent over-population/crowding” argument is that it suggests the world is a zero sum game. More people doesnt simply just mean more mouths to feed. It also means more hands to work, and more minds to invent. There is more than enough food to feed the world and its only through the interference of oppressive governments that people go hungry.

  • Bing

    The ghastly group that runs the baby killing mills in this nation and thier supporters are certainly not above twisting numbers into outright lies to further thier agenda.

    If there were 70,000 deaths last year from self performed and illegal abortions you’d expect that at least a few thousand of them were in this country. Why then didn’t any of the stories make the news? HMMMM.. maybe because it’s not true?

  • gonzo marx

    Bing sez…
    *The ghastly group that runs the baby killing mills in this nation and thier supporters are certainly not above twisting numbers into outright lies to further thier agenda.*

    ummm..you do realize Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist and his family own a shitload of these businesses (they are the ones he is under investigation for with the SEC)

    just sharing

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Bing: “Why then didn’t any of the stories make the news?”

    By this logic I could say Darfur is a myth.

  • Bing

    Well Matthew knowing the left wing in this country…they do tend to seize on any event that helps them and publisize the heck out of it until it doesn’t help them anymore ie Cindy Sheehan.

    Darfur didn’t beneifit them. Talking about women dying of back alley abortions in this country by the thousand would yet they haven’t put forth a single case of this happening that the general public is aware of.

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    Talk about Ted Kennedy, Bing.

  • Baronius

    Emma, of course I’m familiar with Ignoratio Elenchi, especially his earlier albums. But his duet with Gloria Estefan really stank, and I just haven’t followed him since.

    Some of my examples involved uncertainty about a life being lost. Like random bombings versus targeting, and attempting to revive a patient who may already be dead. The best example I’ve heard is the demolition expert who thinks he sees movement in a supposedly-evacuated building. It could be a curtain. It shouldn’t be a person; they’ve already checked for people. But the demolition man won’t implode the building without checking again, because he won’t risk a possible life.

    Natalie, you’re assuming that I don’t feel bad about 70,000 deaths. I do.

    TD, my not understanding you wasn’t meant as an insult; if the blame falls on anyone, it’s me.

    There is a problem in this ongoing debate, a failure to distinguish between conditions in the developed and underdeveloped countries. A child born in Nigeria doesn’t affect Nigerian social spending; he is much more likely to die of starvation than a US child. This isn’t a pro or con argument, just a note that we are all being imprecise in this debate.

    Anyway, as Mark notes, this isn’t a zero-sum game. An extra person is a heck of a gain to society. An extra mouth, yes, but a brain that could improve village irrigation, win a Nobel Prize, or even revolutionize football graphics.

    And, without heading too far into Bill Bennett country, even if an extra person weren’t a benefit, “thou shalt not kill” is still a valid point.

  • Liz

    oh Natalie, what were you thinking starting this discussion? The alleged “pro-lifers” don’t give a crap about women, their lives, health or anything else – they are simply incubators. & they certainly don’t give a rat’s ass about the “miracle of life” once it’s out of the incubator, unless it carries their own DNA – sometimes not even then.

    It is all about control, about imposing one’s will on the uppity bitches who mistakenly believe they own their own bodies. There is truly no point in discussing the issue because the rabid stupidity is just frustrating.

    Most of the ones heard from here think that the 70 thousand dead women got exactly what they deserved because they dared to evict some Man’s sperm – regardless how it got there (incest, rape, accident – irrelevant).

    And because the “pro-lifers” are such humanitarians, they probably hope that those women died a horrible & painful death, because that’s just what humanitarians wish for, isn’t it?

    (just in case sarcasm does not carry, please don’t offer dictionary definitions of ‘humanitarianism’)

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett

    Yes, Liz, the misogyny is very evident, and living in the UK I’m happily not usually exposed to this level of sheer inhumanity. Nonetheless, what I was trying to do was reach people who hadn’t had the chance to read these figures or think about them, and from a couple of the comments here I feel I did reach some people with open minds, so it was worth the depression aroused by the rest.

  • Bing

    LIZ yeah you’re right we pro-lifers don’t care about women at all. I guess we should be more like planned abortionhood, an organization who has refused to provide the names of men in their 20’s and 30’s who have had sex with underage girls just so they could give those girls abortion. An organization who would do anything in thier power to keep a young girl’s family from knowing about her having an abortion because if the family knew ahead of time perhaps the girl would decide not to have an abortion.

    Yup to pro-lifers they’re incubators (because every pro-life poster on this post used the terms uppity bitches and got what they deserved right?) and to the fine people working at Planned Abortionhood they’re just dollar signs.

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    Did anyone watch the Daily show last night? They aired a segment about a pharmacist who refused to fill the morning after pill. Freaking hilarious.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I have to agree Scott, it was one of the funniest I’ve seen. The governor was one of the first people I’ve seen interviewed on The Dialy Show who seemed to actually have absolutely NO clue what was going on.

    Dave

  • Scott Butki

    That was classic, especially the woman.

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    Yeah…the Daily Show definitely makes it tough for people who have a serious point of view and message…I don’t think they know just what’s going on. It seemed Blagojevich wised up to it at some point but he had to ask “Is he being serious?”

    The funniest part to me was when he was talking to the pharmacist about the law that was passed that makes the pharmacy’s fill those prescriptions and the pharmacist said something like “The governor is forcing our hand” and the interviewer said something like “It’s like he’s deciding what’s moral. That’s your job”

    Me laugh.

  • Mark

    Oh Liz, don’t you see the irony? You are saying pro-lifers are the one’s who are not humanitarians but you are the one denying people’s humanity. I am pro-life and I care about women so much that I dont want to see their unalienable rights infringed upon, even while they are still in the womb. What these women are “evicting” is not simply some man’s sperm, it is a human being. I respect you’re right to choose, but if you choose to kill someone else, I’m going to push to see you suffer the consequences of their actions.

    I have yet to hear one pro-life person use the term “uppity bitches” ever in my entire life, and for the most part I hear it from pro-choice people telling me what pro-life people “always” say.

    I also dont understand where this whole “pro-lifers dont care about children after they are born” thing. I want human life to be respected in every stage of life. I can only think they are referring to being uncaring for the women who are hurt each year during abortions. I care for these people, sure, but it doesnt mean I approve of their actions. I care for convicted murderers too, I want to see them repent of their actions and make reparation, but I dont necessarily want to see them walking the streets two days later, free as a bird. Actions have consequences, and this is what our modern world denies, eat too much? take laxatives or get your stomach stapled, have sex? just get an abortion if you get pregnant.

  • Liz

    I care about women so much that I dont want to see their unalienable rights infringed upon, even while they are still in the womb

    How about caring about the rights of “actual women” rather than a cell bundle? That is such a insanely circuitous argument – are you concerned about one day running out of strippers if enough of these “potential women” are aborted? Look at how women are treated in most of the world – from abandoning newborn girls in ditches, to selling them into prostitution at ten years old, to throwing widows into the fire with the dead husbands (it may be illegal, but it still happens) and then there is the execution of young women because they were raped by their uncle? What the fuck?

    I think that in most cases the dicision to terminate a pregnancy is a very difficult one. Perhaps the pro-life movement should direct it’s considerable energies towards improving the lives of women in the world, so that they would not feel that they are visiting the misery of their own lives on another generation.

    Problem is that the pro-lifers don’t care about women, only their wombs.

  • Nancy

    No, you hit it the first time: this is, and has always been, a control issue. What easier way to keep women subjugated and in a perpetual state of 2nd-class citizen, unable to truly compete, if they are classified as breeding stock first, and people only afterwards, without the self-determination that males enjoy without contest. I’ve said before, no MALE on the face of this earth would ever even briefly consider allowing a 2nd party to dictate to HIM how he should use/control his body, yet men have no hesitation in using this straw issue in trying to claim that women, therefore, are not equally entitled. This is bullshit. Worse, it’s hypocritical bullshit.

  • Mark

    Basically the problem lies in the fact that you think that a human being is a bundle of cells one moment and an “actual” human being the next. You are upset that women are not being treated as human beings should be, I am taking the same argument and simply arguing for both males and females.

    I think all human beings should be treated with the utmost respect, and in America, which is where I live, and in many other countries there are laws which allow abortion, which denies innocent children the right to life. There are many ways through which women are treated with disrespect and callus, but in America, which is the only place where I have a vote and therefore and possibly affect policy changes, the only way women are legally disrespected is through being aborted.

    If women are being treated as 2nd class citizens it is wrong, but we cant really affect a change through law. It is a mindset which gradually needs to be changed. However, remember that it is not disrespectful to suggest that a woman’s place is in the home. Nature has placed strong physical and psycological assets in the woman’s nature which predispose her to childrearing, so if you’re going to blame someone blame nature. I personally dont think there is any greater gift than to be a mother.

  • Mark

    Look Liz, argue one point and one point only for me. When does that bundle of cells become a human being?

  • Liz

    Look Liz, argue one point and one point only for me. When does that bundle of cells become a human being?

    When it is wanted, cherished and eagerly anticipated.

  • Mark

    So what makes a human being a human being isnt anything other than it being expected? Come, seriously give me an answer.

  • td

    Mark/Baronius – Your not getting my point.

    Society chooses that some people (alive or unborn) do not get to live because we don’t want to spend the money necessary for them to survive.

    I pointed out 3 non-abortion examples of this. I can find many more. You say that a value cannot be placed on a human life yet society does it all the time.

    Here’s another one.

    Over 600 children died last year from accidental gunfire. We could buy trigger locks for all of these guns and give them out to the gun owners. Or gun cabinets. Etc. Probably cost a couple billion.

    Why don’t we? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    This isn’t about changing Gun Laws, or Second Ammendment rights. The government supplies the trigger locks and using them is completely voluntary. Maybe a lot of the gun owners still won’t use them. But some would, and some of these children who might grow up to be “a brain that could improve village irrigation, win a Nobel Prize, or even revolutionize football graphics.”

    Plain and simple….Spend some money, save some kids lives.

    ——————–

    The argument that more people = more economic production and increased GDP is not valid. There are many countries that have larger populations but the US is still by far the economic leader.

    Further, by abolishing abortions what kind of ‘economic producers’ are we creating. How many abortions are by people who don’t want kids and would end up giving away there children to the state? How many are prostitutes or drug addicts? Is a single income family of 5 that is below the poverty line and needs social assistance to get by better than a single income family of 2 that can put money into savings, which is used by the bank to invest in business.

    Is it cruel to reduce Human life to economics? Yes.

    But society does this every day. Therefore the decision is not whether we protect life or don’t protect life.

    The question becomes, what are peoples economic priorities. Do we want to invest in A) Space Programs, Wars, and Tax breaks, which all have a very low dollar/save life ratio.

    Or, do we want to invest in B) public health care, free medical drugs, social services for the poor, homeless shelters, and maybe illegal abortion, which have a high dollar/save life ratio.

    “I want human life to be respected in every stage of life.”

    So do I. But I say we start first with the living and if we still have money left over when it comes to the unborn then we can resume this discussion.

  • Liz

    I am serious, that is the criteria. Legally it should be when it can survive outside of the womb (even with extreme medical intervention i.e. very premature babies).

    Case in point, premature babies that are wanted & cherished have parents who will insist that everything possible be done to keep them alive. However, if continuation of your pregnancy is merely a political weapon to a lobby group, you might view the thing inside you as a hostile alien. Is that any way to “welcome” a child into the world?

    I don’t believe in having a baby just to give it up for adoption. Very bad things sometimes happen to those children & the universe holds you responsible for your DNA. Besides, it would make me insane to spend my life wondering if my baby is being used as a punching bag by someone.

    There are more than enough people in the world already. If you want to adopt, rescue an existing child from an orphanage.

  • Druxxx

    How about looking at this like property rights.
    A woman’s womb is her property just like a house is her property. If an intruder, another human, breaks in the house, the woman can use all necessary force to remove that intruder. Maybe even killing the intruder.

    The new human in the womb is infringing on a woman’s property rights so the women can remove this person. If they die in the process its there own fault for invading in the first place.

    Remember, your rights end when mine begin. You cannot have it both ways. Either the mother of the unborn person rights are absolute. I side with the mother. She is for sure a human and always will be.

  • http://www.thebluesmokeband.com Brian Sorrell

    Fantastic post Natalie. I have taught many ethical theory classes that treated the topic of abortion. Though it is the case that many remain firmly tethered to one side of what is a false dilemma (should it be legal or not), there are those in the middle who are actually looking for solutions to the more pertinent question: “how should we deal with unwanted pregnancies?” Your contribution to that discussion is not lost on me anyway.

    Most interestingly, I’m happy that you raise the following:

    “Of course the victims are poor, almost all in poor countries, hence this is an almost invisible war.”

    I was suprised that no one has mentioned yet the film Vera Drake, which I thought did an excellent job of portraying economics as one of the fundamental reasons that 1) many women seek abortions, and 2) that many women die as a result. However, I digress before this becomes a film review.

    It’s a complicated case, and you have done well in letting it remain so.

    Cheers!

    Brian.

  • Mark

    Again….it all comes down to whether or not you believe it is a child in the womb or just a bundle of cells which just happens to grow into a fully-recognizable human being.

    People here keep dodging the basic question of the whole argument, “Is it a human being?” They tangent off into emotions and economics and various other things.

    If you think its a human being, then I would hope you wouldnt want to kill it just for “invading a womans womb” (she invited it there by having sex) or because it isnt economically feasible TD. (very creepy post by the way)

    We oppose murder because it isnt fair for one person to infringe upon another person’s right to live. Therefore murder is universally known in every society as wrong. So if you identify the child within a mother’s womb as a child then it is murder and therefore wrong. So the only thing there really is to argue about is whether or not you feel it is a human being in the mother’s womb.

    TD, please dont respond with economic arguments, this is a matter of simple morality. I would not want to do something morally wrong for an economic good, because that is barbaric. Feel free to chime in with you feelings about whether or not the child in the womb is a human being

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    Are you trying to say that there is never an economic reason or reasons for a woman to seek an abortion, Mark?

  • Mark

    Liz, about your definition of human life. Why do you only define a human being as those able to survive on their own. You argue that pro-life people are callus because they dont consider the feelings of the mothers who they want to “force to have children”, but isnt it more callus to deny a child its humanity simply because its lungs might not be fully developed? Why is it that something which has all the same essential ingredients to it, has a heartbeat and brainwaves and everything, suddenly becomes a human being because it has developed to the degree where it can survive in a different climate?

    As far as your arguement against adoption goes, I’m just not feeling it. You say “Very bad things sometimes happen to those children.” SOMETIMES. Why do you want to get rid of all the children born to the unwilling or unprepared just because SOME of them might be abused or suffer. It doesnt make sense to say that a person would be better off if they were never born, because that is THEIR choice. In every life there are good times and bad times. SOMETIMES the bad outnumber the good and SOMETIMES these people learn to overcome their struggles and rise to a new level. I’m not saying these things like abuse or drug addiction or anything are good, but I am saying people can overcome them and go on to lead good lives which they are glad they were given. You also say, “Besides, it would make me insane to spend my life wondering if my baby is being used as a punching bag by someone.” The key words here are “it would make ME.” No one is saying adoption might not be just as hard as choosing to raise the child on your own. Like it or not, the mother developes an emotional connection to her child and that is difficult to sever when they give the child up for adoption. Don’t cause the child to suffer because it would be to tough for you to worry about whether or not they were suffering.

  • Mark

    No Scott, I’m not saying that. I was simply saying that I was not very interested in hearing the economic rationalizations that people make to allow themselves to feel that killing their unborn child is alright.

  • TA Dodger

    Again….it all comes down to whether or not you believe it is a child in the womb or just a bundle of cells which just happens to grow into a fully-recognizable human being.

    No, it really doesn’t. It comes down to whether a woman has the right to prevent other people from using her body against her will. Can the government force you to donate blood? Can the government force you to donate bone marrow when you’re the only possible donor? I didn’t think so. If someone is using my body and blood as a life support system, I reserve the right to pull the plug. I wouldn’t, of course, but I have the right.

    Obviously, if an early stage fetus is not a “person,” which it almost certainly is not, then the point is moot, but my argument is that even if it is a person it doesn’t get to occupy my uterus against my will.

  • Liz

    The key words here are “it would make ME.”

    Yes, ME – abortion or adoption would be MY choices and MY life. It is all about ME (every women out there has a “ME”). Just as your argument is all about YOU. About imposing your will on women. It is the equivalent to my coming along & saying to you – “ok buddy, I am going to seriously fuck-up YOUR life just because I want to”. I imagine you’d pull out your legally registered pistol & shoot me in the head. Question is, would you bother to enquire first if there is any mitosis going on in my uterus?

    I doubt it.

  • TA Dodger

    Plus, your missing one of the points of the article: making laws against abortion does not decrease the number of abortions!

    You know what might though? Making access to birth control easier. Of course, Bush’s policy does exactly the opposite of that. I really suspect the pro-life movement isn’t as much “pro-life” as it is “anti-sex.”

  • TA Dodger

    Mark,
    Why do you put the phrase “force to have children” in quotes. Do you have any doubt at all that the goal of the anti-abortion laws you support is to force women who don’t want to to go through 40 weeks of pain and discomfort and then risk their lives giving birth to babies?

  • http://www.thebluesmokeband.com Brian Sorrell

    The question of whether the fetus has human status does not take the argument as far as many might think. Consider, there are many cases where we do not extend what some call a “right to life” to humans (persons). Obvious examples are capital punishment, war, and self-defense.

    The point is that if it is agreed that the fetus is a person, it does not immediately follow that it is afforded any rights / obligations BECAUSE of that status.

    Furthermore, there are approaches to the question of what moral obligations are owed to persons that completely avoid talk of “rights”.

    All of this implies that what is at issue is different from “personhood” and different from “rights”. If you frame the debate in those terms, you’re doomed to never come to a resolution. (Of course, the popularity of framing questions in those terms is exactly why so many philosophers and pundits have jobs :) ).

  • Mark

    Okay I’m going to take these one at a time. First Dodger. “my argument is that even if it is a person it doesn’t get to occupy my uterus against my will.” Why not? You invited it into your womb by having sex, its not that person’s decision to stay it your womb, it has no choice whether or not it can leave, its attached to your umbilical cord. Secondly if you honestly thought it was a human being would you really kill it, just because it was in your womb? I’d like to think that you wouldnt want to kill an innocent human being just for your own personal convience.

    In response to post 78, I dont think putting laws in place which extend the present murder laws to cover those who are still in the womb is forcing women to have children. I just think it is protecting a certain segement of the population who is currently being identified as sub-human, like slaves were and woman were and are all over the world. Women who have sex realize that there is a chance that they could become pregnant. If your going to play with fire, you are going to get burned now and then, its just cause and effect.

  • Druxxx

    Good call Liz.

    So if Mark had his way, even if he was totally justified in killing some wacko female, he would still go to jail for killing the human inside her if the wacko was pregnant. The child never provoked you Mark, but you killed it anyway. Does it matter that you didn’t know the woman was pregnant? Maybe you should have taken the time to give your attacker a pregnancy test.

  • Mark

    Now Liz,
    Interesting fact for you, if I were to kill you while you were pregnant I could legally be charged with a double homocide, but thats not what I am trying to argue here. I am trying to impose my will on others, you’re right. But my will is that we treat all human beings with respect and allow them to live, so what exactly is wrong with me imposing my will on you if my will is good? What I am proposing through making abortion illegal is not to FORCE you to make a certain choice. I am simply placing legal ramifications in place for making a choice which kills another human being. By the way I would never hurt you, not only am I very peaceful, I am also very physically weak so there would really be no point.

  • Mark

    Dodger, How would making abortion illegal in the US not reduce the number of abortions? Right now it is incredibly easy to procure an abortion which almost always only kills one of the people involved. If you made abortion illegal it would make it much harder to find someone to perform the operation. Right now 95% of doctors wont perform abortions and its legal, if it became illegal I am SURE that that number would drop dramatically. The fact of the matter is that in the US making abortion illegal would almost certianly reduce the number of abortions.

  • Mark

    Brian, this statement is completely wrong, “The point is that if it is agreed that the fetus is a person, it does not immediately follow that it is afforded any rights / obligations BECAUSE of that status.”

    The reason we as human beings have rights, isnt because the Supreme Court gave them to us, its because these are things which are essential to our nature. It is a universally known fact that it is WRONG to kill another human being if they are innocent. So if we identify the child in the womb of a woman as just that, then it follows that it is wrong to kill it.

    Druxx….so let me see if I follow the little story in your post. A wacko pregnant woman (assuming she early in her pregnancy and I cant tell if shes pregnant or just carrying a little extra weight) does something which justifies my killing her, like she tries to kill me and I end up killing her. I wouldnt be guilty of killing her child because she was the one who provoked my action and she understood that she was endangering her child. Guilt lies in intent, I had no intent to kill her child, but I simply intended to protect my own life which necessitated ending hers. Don’t try to make the whole arguement ridiculous Druxx, I’d like something positive to come out of this.

  • TA Dodger

    You invited it into your womb by having sex

    That’s laughable. So choosing to engage in a behavior INVITES whatever bad thing that behavior increases the chances of?

    So…
    choosing to have sex with your spouse/partner is just asking for AIDS (even though you used a condom / thought he was faithful)?

    choosing to have sex with your spouse/parter is just asking to die in childbirth (even though you were using birth control)? (after all sex creates the possibility of pregnancy, pregnancy creates the possibility of death in childbirth).

    choosing to buy a plane ticket means asking for death in a plane crash (even though you were in your seat with your sea-belt securely fastened)?

    and my favorite
    choosing to walk alone at night means asking for rape?

    I dont think putting laws in place which extend the present murder laws to cover those who are still in the womb is forcing women to have children.

    Sooooo…. you think women who are getting abortions now actually want to have kids but are having abortions because… why exactly????

    Or do you think that there’s a way to keep the baby alive in the womb without forcing the woman to carry it to term? Do you something about medical science that the rest of us don’t?

    So tell me, what do you think women who don’t want to go through pregnancy should have to do to retain control of their uteruses?

    Are our only choices in your world “going our entire lives without sexual contact” and “accepting that we can be forced to give birth when we don’t want to.”

    I just think it is protecting a certain segement of the population who is currently being identified as sub-human, like slaves were and woman were and are all over the world.

    Yeah… just imagine a world where women are treated as sub-human baby making machines. Wait, I think you already are.

  • http://www.thebluesmokeband.com Brian Sorrell

    Mark the statement that I made stands. If you inject “innocence” into the argument, you’ve opened yet another can of squishy worms. You won’t be pleased with the results.

    As far as your rights talk goes, if you attribute “rights” to “essential human nature” and take the hard line that you appear to be taking, then you will not like the consequences, I predict. The consequences include total rejection of war, self-defense, punishments of any sort, denial of medical care under any circumstances, etc. If you want to take “rights”, which we might read as “entitlements” that far, then you are responsible to provide for those rights UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. This will include provision of food, shelter, medicine, and all basic needs to all “innocent” persons. It might also include donating your functioning organs to those who need transplants. Are you willing to go that far? (If so, you’d love reading Peter Singer’s essays on these topics).

    Additionally, you are conflating what it is to have legal status with what it is to have moral status.

    Personally, I find abortion, in most cases, reprehensible. I feel the same about war and capital punishment. I’m ok with self-defense though. Now, those are moral positions that I take. However, I recognize at the same time that there are a whole host of other considerations that make these things “legal”. Those considerations have nothing to do with essential human nature.

    Anyway, about the “innocence” point too: if you want to talk like this, then you need to make clear what it is to be innocent. You will need to provide criteria upon which we can all agree for what counts as “innocent”. (This will be an even stickier point that what constitutes personhood, trust me). If, for example, the mother is sure to be harmed by carrying a baby to term, is the baby innocent? If not, then where do we stand? If so, then what is it about the baby that overrides the mother’s right to life. (Don’t doubt that this is a common case; it happens all to often.)

    So again, I assert that the more pertinent question, and that which is actually answerable, is “what do we do about unwanted pregnancies?”

  • TA Dodger

    It is a universally known fact that it is WRONG to kill another human being if they are innocent. So if we identify the child in the womb of a woman as just that, then it follows that it is wrong to kill it.

    I realize that I didn’t answer this, but I think Brian is making the point above that I would have made. If you think “not killing an innocent” is an absolute that permits forcing people to give up bodily integrity (i.e. give organs against their will, give blood against their will, carry a fetus against their will) to preserve the life of an innocent I disagree strongly, and I don’t think you’ll care for the results if you carry the argument to its logical conclusion.

  • TA Dodger

    So again, I assert that the more pertinent question, and that which is actually answerable, is “what do we do about unwanted pregnancies?”

    That’s one, I think another question invited by the article is

    “Given that anti-abortion laws do not significantly decrease the number of abortions AND

    Given that anti-abortion laws make the abortions that do happen less safe AND

    Given that the international gag rule actually prevents women from getting access to family planning and safe sex information thus INCREASING the rates of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies in the third world

    do we support these policies?”

  • http://www.thebluesmokeband.com Brian Sorrell

    I like what you’re on to in #88 TA Dodger. I would make the slight modification: “what sort of policy should we enact?”

    I only say this because it avoids the “yes” vs. “no” debates that inevitably lead nowhere. Instead, we can invite reasoned discussion about what is the best course of action. For example, in the above case, we could say “we should enact a policy [just like what is in place]”. Or we could say that “we should enact a policy that encourages and expands access to family planning AND retains current abortion laws.” You see what I mean….

    What’s really nice about Natalie’s treatment of the topic is that it does invite these sorts of questions and discussions. So again further kudos to our author :)

  • TA Dodger

    Excellent point Brian,

    Here are a list of policies that I think would reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and thus, abortions. (Many of these suggested policies come from Democrats for Life’s 95-10 Initiative which aims to reduce the number of abortions by 95% in 10 years. I should say that I don’t in any way agree with the list as a whole or Democrats for Life but I thought the 95-10 list might be decent starting point).

    1)Provide grants for universities and colleges to support pregnant women; provide resources and support to help women continue their education if they keep their child or make an adoption plan for their child.

    2)Repeal the sunset on adoption tax credits and make them permanent.

    3)End the discriminatory practices against pregnant women in the health insurance industry by removing pregnancy from all “pre-existing condition” lists in health care.

    4)Require pregnancy centers and women’s health centers that provide pregnancy counseling and that receive federal funding to provide adoption referral information.

    5)Offer additional federal funding for programs that have received grants by the Department of Justice for providing counseling and shelter for pregnant women and children in violent relationships. The leading cause of death against pregnant women is murder.

    6)Fully Fund Federal WIC Program (this would entail an increase of about $300 million in spending)

    7)Provide Grants to States to Help in the Promotion and Implementation of Safe Haven Laws (Safe Haven Laws designate certain places like hospitals and fire stations as “save havens” where new parents can leave newborns – no questions asked. This probably does more to prevent “baby in the dumpster” situations than abortions, but it’s good nonetheless.)

    8) Ban pregnancy discrimination wherever possible.

    I have in mind here the two Kentucky girls kicked out of the National Honors Society for being pregnant back in ’98. That fiasco sure sent the message that “choosing life” would get a woman branded a whore.

    People who want to demonize single mothers and abortion need to realize that they can’t have it both ways. They really aren’t going to convince many people that pre-marital sex is something to be ashamed of (maybe promiscuous sex, maybe sex without love, but not all pre-marital sex).

    9)GIVE PEOPLE AS MUCH INFORMATION ABOUT AND ACCESS TO EFFECTIVE BIRTH CONTROL AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE.

    9.a) Start teaching comprehensive sex-ed in schools That means telling people about all their options including abstinence/condoms/pills/spermacide/etc.etc. and about the risks associated with different sexual behaviors (ranging from total abstinence to promiscuous unprotected anal sex (Seriously, I came from a school where they taught abstinence only, and there was a girl in my year who thought anal sex didn’t “count.” Ah, the wages of ignorance.)

    9.b) Oppose the gag rule, all it does is force women to go to much cheaper and no doubt unqualified “abortion providers” and prevents the women getting the sort of vital information they need to prevent future unwanted pregnancies and avoid CONTRACTING HIV.

    10) Obviouslly I oppose anti-abortion laws. I have already stated my reasons.

    Please forgive any spelling errors in this list. I’m sure there are many.

  • Mark

    Okay, I went to dinner and you’ve managed to completely twist my words into an incomprehesible mishmash.

    Comment 85

    In the first part you say, “That’s laughable. So choosing to engage in a behavior INVITES whatever bad thing that behavior increases the chances of?”

    Pregnancy is not a bad thing. It is a good thing. It makes babies. It is a miracle. When I said that child was invited into your womb by having sex, I simply meant that when a person has sex, they are accepting certian possible outcomes, pregnancy is one, AIDS is another. So when you have sex, you may not be asking for AIDS, but if you happen to contract it, I do think that you are responsible for avoiding sexual contact with others who could possibly contract the disease from you.

    Next you said, “I dont think putting laws in place which extend the present murder laws to cover those who are still in the womb is forcing women to have children.

    Sooooo…. you think women who are getting abortions now actually want to have kids but are having abortions because… why exactly????”

    After I worked for a while to even understand how these two comments even fit together, I realized you didnt understand what I was saying. No one is forcing women to have children because no one is forcing them to have sex. You can have sex if you want to, but I’m not going to let you murder innocent children just because it inconveiences you to give birth. By the way, this isnt the middle ages, not THAT many women die in childbirth these days. People know that engaging in certian activities like sex carry with them some risks, you accept these risks in exchange for the pleasure or excitement.

    Unfortunately you dont seem to be following.

  • Mark

    Brian, your comment in 86 was a little trickier to respond to, because you seemed to have sort of thought process going on behind it.

    First of all, the statement you made about how being a person doesnt automatically give you rights is WRONG. Everyone has the same rights, its what our country was built on, that we all the same inalienable rights.

    It certianly doesnt follow that my argument could spill over into cases like war, capital punishment and self-defense because in all those cases the people involved made a choice to enter into those activites, knowing the risks involved. Soldiers know their is a chance they will die and have placed themselves in the situation of war which involved killing and being killed. Capital punishment involves those who realize that they might be caught a put to death, same with self-defense, the intruder knows that there is a chance they might die. This is why it is different from the child in the womb, they have not made any choice to forfeit their lives.

    You also said I need to clear up what I mean by innocent. A person is innocent when they have no intention of doing harm to another person. It is the intent which provides guilt.

    Also, Brian, you cant shoot down arguments just by saying things would get “sticky” if you took the argument to its conclusion, sometimes its necessary to actually back things up.

  • TA Dodger

    When I said that child was invited into your womb by having sex, I simply meant that when a person has sex, they are accepting certian possible outcomes, pregnancy is one, AIDS is another.

    Yes, and when I walk outside my home without an uzi, rape is a possible outcome. That doesn’t mean the government’s position on sexual assault should be “don’t whine about getting raped, you KNEW when you went outside your house this morning unarmed that it might happen!

    which no doubt brings us to our next point:

    Pregnancy is not a bad thing. It is a good thing. It makes babies. It is a miracle….No one is forcing women to have children because no one is forcing them to have sex.

    No, you clearly are not understanding. As a normal, adult human I am sexually active. I do not want to have children. It is actually possible for both of these things to be true. YOU may think that children are a blessing, but they aren’t to everyone.

    In the status quo, I can CHOOSE to carry a pregnancy to term or not. If an anti-abortion law is passed and I experience an unwanted pregnancy. The government and the laws you support would FORCE ME to carry the fetus to term AGAINST MY WILL. Hear that? AGAINST MY WILL.

    I don’t know why you can’t understand that there are women who want to live normal lives that include physical intimacy with their partners but DON’T WANT CHILDREN.

    By the way, this isnt the middle ages, not THAT many women die in childbirth these days.

    You’re right, there’s only the risk of blood loss, vaginal tearing, permanent incontinence, etc. oh yeah and the mother dies in more than 1 out of 2,000 live births (this number is probably higher among low income women, the women who wouldn’t be able to travel to a country with legalized abortion if America were to band the procedure). She also will invariably miss work for the delivery, recovery, and prenatal care, which might have a permanent effect on her career. Of course (though I’m sure you think it makes women horrible for even considering such a thing) pregnancy has a permanent affect on a woman’s body and can permanenty affect her enjoyment of sexual activity. And 40 weeks of bloated discomfort and limited mobility is nothing to sniff at. It’s nice that you, a man, think that all of these things just amount to inconvenience and that you feel qualified to make a decision for women about whether or not they should have to make that sacrifice for a fetus, but I disagree.

  • Josh

    I once saw one of Planned Parenthood’s commercials – it showed a bunch of women and their children hugging, smiling, and generally looking happy. Anybody else think PP is guilty of false advertisement? Maybe they should put a disclaimer in the beginning: “Children do not actually come with purchase”.

  • Mark

    I think it’s less of an inconvenience than being melted with acid inside your mother’s womb.

  • TA Dodger

    I think it’s less of an inconvenience than being melted with acid inside your mother’s womb.

    That’s fine, and I sympathize. But if women’s only options in life are “live a life completely without intimacy” and “accept the fact that you must have children whehter you want to or not” just be willing to say: “The interests of fetuses and adult women are incompatible and I choose fetuses over women.”

    Brian and I tried to start a discussion above about possible policies to limit the number of abortions (as I think everyone believes they are highly undesireable)and unwanted pregnancies. You chose not to contribute. Is there any way you can think of to reduce or eliminate abortion without forcing women to either have children or enter a convent?

  • sr

    THE STORK WEEPS.

  • Mark

    Sex is not the only way to be intimate with someone. In fact, it is intended to be the end result of a process of becoming more and more intimate with someone, but in this day and age it seems like we start with sex and say its intimacy. Intimacy is more than just sex.

  • http://www.thebluesmokeband.com Brian Sorrell

    Mark:

    You refer to our country, however Natalie points out that this is a worldwide problem, especially in countries that do not have an explicit bill of rights. Hence, you must argue a universal morality. You have not done so.

    If you choose to take a hard line on what rights and obligations extend to human agents, then your line DOES extend to cases like punishment and cases like war. If you choose to allow for contextual exceptions to that hard line, then we can easily point to exceptions to your hard line on abortion. For example, when the mother’s life is at stake.

    Your point about what constitutes innocence:

    “A person is innocent when they have no intention of doing harm to another person.”

    Is insufficient, insofar as “intention” and “harm” are similarly STICKY issues. We will need to agree on what constitutes intention and what constitutes harm as well. Furthermore, missing in your simplified account of innocence is an account of WHICH action(s) this applies to. For example, my friends who have a hemophiliac son don’t INTEND to harm him when they have to stick him to give him medications. But “harm” is a side-effect of the action. Yet they intend the action of sticking him, right? So where does the intention apply: to the action or to the outcome or elsewhere?

    If that doesn’t help, how about the executioner? The one who metes out justice certainly intends some kind of harm to the criminal. Are they, then, no longer “innocent”. Or how about the governor who signs the death warrants? Doesn’t he intend the harm of death to the person upon whom the sentence has been passed?

    Yet furthermore, does it follow from a fall from innocence that the person who has fallen has lost his or her status as a person with rights? Or only certain rights?

    This is what I mean by “sticky”. I’m not saying that you’re wrong. Your account is just woefully incomplete — superficial at best.

    TA Dodger:
    I would definitely NOT avoid the chance to voice some opinions on what measures we might consider enacting. (I was torn away from the Internet to prune fruit trees and make lemonade :) ).

    My MORAL position (with respect to governing anyway) is that we owe opportunity to citizens and people whom we represent. Those opportunities come in the forms of (at least):

    Education — we should ramp up our programs to provide (responsible) sex education, including various forms of birth control, and alternatives to abortion — such as the obvious, adoption.

    Resources — we should provide more sources of birth control and be more open about the simple fact that it is necessary if we want to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

    More Resources — I’m sticking to the point that many women turn to abortion because they have no alternatives, financially. If the state takes an interest in the unborn fetus, then they also MUST take an interest in the mother. The state should provide assistance to those who lose work due to the pregnancy, and should continue that compensation until birth, and for a reasonable time thereafter. Teachers have a good program in the US — we could look to that as a model.

    If the government is committed to reducing the number of abortions, then these measure will doubtless help.

    I’ll think more about it — these are rather off the cuff remarks.

    Great discussion so far!! I love it!!

  • TA Dodger

    Mark. Your answer is non responsive. You clearly knew that intimacy meant “sex” in context. So replace all instances of “intimacy” w/ “sex” and then respond. I won’t think you’re twisting my words.

  • TA Dodger

    Brian, I wasn’t saying you were avoiding the discussion. I said you were trying to start the discussion and mark was avoiding it. Sorry for the confusion.

  • Liz

    I am trying to impose my will on others, you’re right. But my will is that we treat all human beings with respect and allow them to live, so what exactly is wrong with me imposing my will on you if my will is good?

    A “benevolent tyrant” then. What the fuck is wrong with you? Saddam Husein claimed he was doing the right thing for the Iraqis. So who the fuck (time for some strong rhetoric in this insane discussion) has the right to decide for anyone else? I am assuming, Mark, that you are an American – you sound like an American. Is this your idea of a free country? of freedom? You neo-con pro-lifers are all such hypocritical frauds – on one hand you have no problem with “carpet bombing” civilian targets and treating women like whores or chattels (by electing the leadership you have), but boo-hoo for every little growth in some woman’s uterus.

    Sanctity of life my ass, you all have no problem with killing real – not potential – people as long as it’s YOUR decision & not some uppity bitch who has no right to make any decisions on her own. Right? Right.

    I am done with you.

  • neocondi

    It is not conservatives in America that are to blame for abortion deaths in third world countries. They don’t have the doctors or facilities to give people proper medical treatment for many conditions. They can’t properly treat cancer, heart disease, etc.

    Why should they take the very limited resources they have, the very few doctors, and perform first rate abortions when people need heart operations and transplants? Abortions are elective, brain tumor surgery is not.

  • neocondi

    Sarawati, a 37 year old health care worker from India said: “I wish this method [medical abortion] was available when I was young and had an unwanted pregnancy. I went to a Dai [traditional healer] because I did not want to have surgery done by the male doctor; I had pain and fever for many days. I never could get pregnant after that, and my husband left me.”

    She said she went to the voodoo quack because she didn’t want a male doctor. Isn’t that being sexist/idiotic?

    Did you actually read these book excerpts before you cut and pasted?

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett

    Neocondi, you’ve just displayed astonishing ignorance of the world. This is not some educated Western woman acting on a whim, but a young woman from a traditional culture, probably with little or no education, who may even never have been allowed to show her face to a male, using a _traditional_ healer – ie the type used for centuries, if not millennium, who is probably using abortifacients or other methods used for equal periods of time. It might have been a bad choice, but it was an entirely understandable one.

  • Emma

    Mark

    “When I said that child was invited into your womb by having sex, I simply meant that when a person has sex, they are accepting certain possible outcomes, pregnancy is one”

    Wow. It’s only been a few days and suddenly every women in the world who ever had sex has done it voluntarily. My my Mark you do have a rose tinted view of the world, don’t you?

    You wanted someone to answer the question of whether the thing in a woman’s uterus is a human being? The answer lies in how human beings are manufactured. Yes, manufactured. Babies do not fall from the sky, they are made, and the primary producer is – women. Without women, there are NO BABIES, period.

    A combination of sperm and egg, containing all the genetic information to make a life, is as much a human being as one of my skin cells which also contains all the genetic information to make a life. DNA alone is not enough to constitute a human being. What makes this sperm and egg human (and different from a skin cell) is a long 9 months or so in a nurturing environment.

    (If you are about to argue that you could put the DNA from a skin cell in a womb and it would not grow into a baby so they ARE different. Time will soon prove you wrong. With cloning technology improving at the pace it is, and with human cloning research legal in some countries, it won’t be long before we will be able to use skin DNA as the genetic blueprint for another person. DNA is just a set of instructions for a human being, it’s not a human being in an of itself.)

    If thing being made from the set of instructions in the fertilised egg cannot survive without the mother, then it is still being made. It is unfinished, it is not human yet and will not be until the mother has finished making it. If the mother dies before the growing sperm and egg can survive outside of her, then no amount of wishful thinking on your part will make it a human being. No mother to complete the process = no new human being.

    So I agree with Liz, until it can survive outside the mother, it doesn’t qualify as a human being.

    And I agree with Natalie (great post btw, sorry I forgot to say so before) that having 70,000 thinking, feeling women with established lives and interests die because some boys think that they matter less than an non-sentient embryo is utterly tragic.

    Yes, 90% of pregnancies that are voluntarily terminated are done when the embryo is not only non-sentient, it doesn’t even look human. You wouldn’t be able to pick the human embryo out of a line up of different species at the same stage. 90% of women who get pregnant know they don’t want to make a new human well before the rather gruesome third trimester stage of ripping recognisable limbs off a foetus. I think many pro-foetus people (no you’re not pro-lifers, eaten any meat lately? voted for anyone who likes to bomb innocent civilians?) think that every abortion involves the shredding of something that looks like a miniature human baby and this is simply not the case, though much of the scary anti-abortion literature would have you think so.

    The scary anti-abortion literature would also have you think that it’s more dangerous to abort than to bring a baby to term. This is also patently untrue of surgical abortions in properly equipped clinics with qualified practitioners.

    Women carry inside them the power to make new people. This scares the shit out of the kinds of boys who like to control things. I’m tired of having boys, who don’t have the power, telling me how to use mine.

    Come to think of it, I’m tired of boys telling me when I can and can’t have sex, and with whom I should have it. People who demand that sex be strictly within the confines of marriage and with procreation in mind are just as guilty of this form of control as the rapist who forces sex upon women.

    I am, to understate things, rather tired of having boys tell me what to do with my body full stop.

    Millions of women around the globe are willing to risk their lives with an unsafe abortion rather than use their power. They do this because they understand two things. They understand the implications of the use of their power at that particular time, and they know that the embryo within them is not human unless they make it so. I’m sorry you don’t appear to share that understanding.

  • Mark

    You people are crazy. Where do you get all this so-called information? Why do you think pro-life people like to carpet bomb cities? Why do you think we like to treat women like whores? Its pro-choice people who treat people like whores. Isnt the whole idea of a whore sex-with-no-consequences? Well I just defined your entire mentality, because you want to have your cake and eat it to. Emma, if I put a skin cell in the womb it would NOT grow into a human being. EVEN in your magical futuristic world of cloning. You see cloning is nothing more than removing the nucleus of a fetilized ovum and replacing it with the nucleus of a fully developed cell. (yes eventually they may even be able to use skin cells to obtain these nuclei) Oh and cloning is immoral too.

    If you people want to murder the innocent children in your wombs and convince yourselves that its just a cluster of cells so you can sleep at night in your empty houses, so be it. I hope you enjoy having all the fruitless sex you want, and I hope that when you finally do feel like there is a good time to have a child and you realize that years of stuffing poision into your body has rendered you infertile that you come around.

  • Emma

    FYI Mark,

    Somatic cell transfer (cloning) does not require a fertilised egg. I might just know what I’m talking about here. I do not have the kind of deontological moral outlook that prevents me from obtaining up to date information. I also have the science degree that aids my understanding of the information.

    I apologise for accusing all pro-foetus people of wanting to carpet bomb cities, that was uncalled for, consider my accusation limited to the pro-foetus people in the US administration who gave the orders.

    Also, I’m currently pregnant with my second, and I think my partner would object to your implying that my entire mentality is that of a whore. I have never accepted money or goods in exchange for sex work. I think you need to check your definition.

    Considering that you wanted the question, “Is it, or is it not a human being” answered, and I gave an answer, (it is not a human being without the mothers dedicated input) I would appreciate a response that was less thoroughly emotive.

  • TA Dodger

    I hope you enjoy having all the fruitless sex you want.

    It’s not “fruitless” unless you think the only purpose of sex is reproduction, but thanks, we do enjoy it.

    hope that when you finally do feel like there is a good time to have a child and you realize that years of stuffing poision into your body has rendered you infertile that you come around.

    And here the truth is finally revealed: you aren’t just anti-abortion, you’re anti birth control. You seem to think the only options women should have are celibacy or childbirth. I suspect that if there were a pill that was 100% effective at preventing STDs and pregnancy you would oppose its distribution because such a medication would encourage people to have “sex with out consequences” (how terrible!).

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I have an ornamental pear tree that doesn’t bear any fruit, but has lovely flowers. Is it a sin against god?

    Dave

  • sr

    How sad this is.

  • Pro-choice by any means necessary

    #2 The fundies are too busy screaming that abortion should be equated with the Holocaust- see #18. This is not the first time I’ve seen this comparison.

    #18 Yeah, because before abortion was legal in the U.S. women NEVER had abortions b/c they were too scared. That worked real well huh? No matter what the law, women will NEVER stop seeking abortions- and they will die or be maimed to seek them if necessary- but it does not seem as if you really care about women’s lives or health with your comments.
    I’m not even going to dignify that Hitler comment.

    #19 Your arguments to not stand up- the issue is not whether a 9 month old existing child can be killed, but rather a preborn one inside a woman’s uterus. Its not really a sound argument to use. Preborn babies(at the stage of the vast majority of when abortions are performed- first & early second trimester) do not have birthdays, names, or any of the other ‘recognizable rights’ as already born children. The fact is, the law & our society indeed make a distinction between a pre-born baby & one that is born. This is why we celebrate a child’s first birthday at exactly one year after she is born, and not 3 months after birth. So we all do make that distinction.
    Further-
    To say that unplanned pregnancy is a matter of personal convenience is to trivialize the bringing of a child into the world & the raising of that child. It is an agonizing decision for any woman or man who has been in that situation, not a matter of mere convenience. I’m sure some do this for convenience- but we do not make laws for based on someone’s reason for doing something, merely their right to do so.

    February 7, 2006
    11:15 AM70,000 women die each year trying to kill their unborn children. You don’t have to believe that a fetus is human life to take a look at the issue from the pro-life perspective. All you have to do is understand that, whether you agree or not, pro-lifers don’t make a distinction between a child that has been born, and a child that is developing and will be born if not killed in the womb.

    I agree with you that it is a sad situation though.

  • pyramidias

    #23 Nothing is needed for a zygote to grow except the willingness & the consent of a woman to allow those cells to grow to viability (ability to survive on its own), not to mention her entire body for an entire 9 months- that is not nothing. Does she automatically give up all rights to self-determination when an egg and sperm unite inside her body, or does she then just become a baby growing machine? I know this sounds harsh- but that is the language of many pro-lifers I have heard.
    She is still her own person & should have all the rights, responsibilities as any other person.

  • pyramidias

    #109
    Where did you get the so-called information that birth control causes infertility? Women using birth control reduces the number of unwanted pregnancies…therefore the number of abortions. Do you get this?! Being anti-birth control is actually a pro-abortion position.

    Not just anti-birth control, but anti-choice. This language of whores, & misinformation, of contraceptives leads to infertility is indicative of the typical anti-choicer & their lack of compassion for women who must make difficult and agonizing choices in life.

    I hope anti-choicers can sleep at night with the anti-abortion laws condemning thousands of women to die because they consider a fetus as more important than a woman. Therein lies the problem.

  • pyramidias

    #96

    No children don’t come with purchase, but what does is well woman & well man exams including screenings for breast & cervical cancer, STD’s, COMPREHENSIVE pregnancy options counseling, mental health counseling, referrals for prenatal care & parenting classes, domestic violence & abuse, etc. All of which make a woman more likely to be smiling and laughing with her wanted & very loved children. I think the billboard is appropriate & demonstrates the complexity of situation rather well.

  • Sign me up

    #15
    [Adoption fee? From what I’ve seen the adoptors pay heftily to get healthy babies and the mothers pay nothing to give them up. Quite often they get free medical care out of the deal.]

    Wow- sounds like a sweet deal! Makes me wanna go out and have unprotected sex, all so I can pay nothing (no emotional pain or regret or stress on my mind and body with carrying the baby for 9 months) and get ‘free’ medical care to give the baby up for adoption. Sounds like a win-win!

    The baby had better be white and healthy though- otherwise it will get stuck in an orphanage or foster care with all the other ‘ethnic’ undesirable babies already in that situation.

    What a deal! But don’t I lose that ‘free’ medical care once the baby is born- b/c I am not worth having it once its born right? But still, sign me up!

  • Unknown

    #22-24

    You could argue that an individual sperm and egg have the genetic makeup of a human being- it just a problem of location. Should we randomly round up a whole bunch of women and force them to carry frozen embryos in labs, because those embryos are in fact full human beings by your standards?

    As a matter of fact, the Catholic Church (and some fundies today) used to consider masterbation as a worse sin than abortion because it was killing many potential lives, rather than just one. This was an actual part of doctrine.

  • unknown

    #55 You are lying about Planned Parenthood- that is absolutely not the fact of what they are fighting for. NO medical provider can give away a patients confidential medical information without a court order, no matter what the circumstances. Its called ‘Patient Confidentiality’ something all of us have a right to. If the government in that case REALLY cared about the finding child molesters, why not go to ALL medical providers of young women- including the ones where the young women carried to term- and not just the ‘abortion’ provider? We all know their true motivations. What a misrepresentation of the facts!

    If the family knew ahead of time, a teenager would decide not to have an abortion? You mean, they would FORCE her to have the baby!

    I don’t think you do care about women- with as much as you are referring to whores in your posts. Mysogyny much?

    [Yup to pro-lifers they’re incubators (because every pro-life poster on this post used the terms uppity bitches and got what they deserved right?)

    Nope- not EVERY pro-life poster, just YOU as evidenced in post #109

  • unknown

    #50
    Actually Cindy Sheehan was in the news just the other day, and has been continuously for awhile. B/c the righties NEVER use & disguard someone for their own agenda- heard of Terry Schiavo lately?

    Actually in TX and other states where parental notification & consent laws are passed, we’ve seen quite a few young women in the emergency rooms due to botched abortions. They also go to Mexico where abortion is illegal and unsafe. These instances do not make the news because of doctor/patient confidentiality. Boy, you really don’t know about that little confidentiality law do ya?

  • Emma

    Ah yes, 500 million lives per go. No wonder monks were prepared to drink bromide with their tea. That is sinful indeed.

  • unknown

    #60
    Actions most defintely do have consequences, but by forcing women to carry to term if they don’t want to, anti-abortioners are making unwanted children bear the brunt of those consequences, especially without the adequate social programs in place to help them deal with the consequences. Not exactly caring.

  • unknown

    [I have yet to hear one pro-life person use the term “uppity bitches” ever in my entire life, and for the most part I hear it from pro-choice people telling me what pro-life people “always” say.]

    And I’m really tired of pro-lifers “always” telling people what to do with their bodies & that their choices are out of convenience and they should face the consequences, when its the unwanted babies who have to deal (excuse me SUFFER) with those consequences.

    By the way, abortion is not a trivial decision such as taking laxatives. You really want people to ‘suffer’ huh? Your words, not mine.

  • unknown

    #71

    It is absolutely NOT about whether someone considers the bundle of cells a human life or not-only to pro-lifers is this the ONLY or most important issue. When faced with the realities, this quickly gets pushed to the back burner for a woman seeking an abortion. After counseling many women who have to deal with this decision, many have said, “I always thought I was pro-life until I had to deal with the actual situation myself.” They absolutely believed the cells were human, but it did not deter them from getting an abortion. Neither do all the anti-abortion laws, parental consent, showing pregnant women fetal pictures, etc.
    I’m sorry, but you are flat out mistaken in your assumption that the argument comes down to this.

  • unknown

    #93

    That is crap b/c people have sex for lots of other reasons than procreating. There are ways in which we reduce our risk of bad consequences, but those consequences can not always be avoided, and if there is a way in which to deal with those consequences, then women will continue to have abortions. I can say, I decided to have an abortion b/c there is not enough financial/emotional, etc support to assist me in rearing a child. So, ONLY those who would want to carry a child to term should be able to have sex b/c ONLY they deserve to? Anyway, this is not really a fair argument b/c NO other activity other than sex can possibly result in the potential creation of life. I think equating an unplanned pregnancy as merely a consequence fails to acknowledge just how awesome a responsiblity bringing life into this world is. An unwanted child is a damn big ‘consequence’.

  • unknown

    Mark- one of those inalienable rights we have is the right to privacy- established by more than just Roe vs. Wade, but by our U.S. constitution, as well as scores of court cases in our history.

    Abortion is a privacy issue- an inalienable right.

  • unknown

    #105 [It is not conservatives in America that are to blame for abortion deaths in third world countries. They don’t have the doctors or facilities to give people proper medical treatment for many conditions. They can’t properly treat cancer, heart disease, etc.

    Why should they take the very limited resources they have, the very few doctors, and perform first rate abortions when people need heart operations and transplants? Abortions are elective, brain tumor surgery is not.]

    It is precisely for these above reasons that people wish to limit the number of children they have (especially in the developing world)- even people in the Western world do not always have access to adequate medical care- including brain surgery & transplants (often not even covered by insurance). It is precisely due to poverty and conditions being so tough that people want to limit their children- yes this also includes, but is not limited to access to LEGAL/SAFE abortion. I’m willing to go out on a limb here and state that all people want to give their existing children, as well as themselves a better life- and many see birth control and safe abortions as one of the ways to do this.

  • Nathan

    I wonder just how divided we Americans are on the issue of abortion. I wonder if it’s the same percentage of division that existed over the issue of slavery right before the Civil War.

  • khatera

    If you are really passionate about this issue, I sugget you read “The Cyder House Rules” by John Irving. A very good book. Don’t settle for the movie, it doesn’t even beging to compare to the book.

  • pyramidias

    Actually, according to polls, when just asked straight up whether abortion should be legal or illegal, 65% of Americans agree it should be legal. Where we disagree is whether and what type of restrictions should be placed on it.

    Cider House Rules is a good book, another is “Behind Every Choice is a Story” by Gloria Feldt. Its great because it dispels this ‘abortion for convenience’ myth.

  • Pro-Life

    I agree with Mark, unknown. The basic question here is whether it is a baby. If it is a baby, no matter how you argue, there is absolutely no way to argue that it should be legal to kill it. Murder is murder.

  • Emma

    That’s fine then, because before it’s viable it’s not a baby. Baby’s look at you, they wail at one end and wet at the other, after 6-8 weeks or so they finally smile at you making the first month of sleepless hell all worthwhile. On the other hand, an embryo just sits in the palm of your hand, about the size of a muscat grape looking for all the world like a traversty of an alien reptile. Even at the foetus stage it’s not a baby – you can’t take a non-viable foetus for a walk in a pram, change its nappies or sooth it when it cries.

    The distinction is not difficult. So really, you’d just be worried about the termination of viable foetuses right? Because they are the ones, once you remove them from the incubator, that cry, smile, and nod off to sleep when you sooth them.

    However, as unknown pointed out, for some women even whether it is or is not a baby fades into insignificance when they are faced with the agonising decision of whether to give up 15-20 years of their lives to pay for an accidental (or forced) pregnancy. Caring for a child you never wanted for that long is a a disproportionate price to pay when your birth control fails (assuming you had access to some).

  • Mark

    Dont you see Emma, that we make convicted murderers give up the rest of their lives for commiting murder, why should it be different for mothers who kill their children? The punishment fits the crime. By the way, you are one of the most negative people I have ever met. You are selfish and ignorant and can only focus on how much of a burden having a child would be. Its shocking a sad and your personality itself diminishes the credibility of your position.

  • Nathan

    Right you are, Mark. I think selfishness and downright ignorance of the dignity of human life are the two the main reasons abortion is legal in this country.

  • pyramidias

    #134 & 135

    So, all the countries in which abortion is legal are selfish and ignorant, but those are the countries which just so happen to have the most laws in favor of human rights and dignity also do not outlaw abortion. We are all completely wrong about this issue, but right about other laws pertaining to human dignity?

    I think it is YOU who are ignorant of the true realities of such a difficult dilemma and situation as unwanted pregnancy & the choices people must make. You see the situation in only black & white, without any compassion for the ‘sufferers’ of your consequences. Go ahead and try to pass your laws- I hope you can live with yourselves as women will be condemned to ‘suffer’ and die for their choices. But no matter what, you will NEVER stop abortion.

  • pyramidias

    #45 [Those are interesting stats. You claim 40% of the world cannot have legal abortions and credit them with 44% of the total abortions. I suspect that number might be slightly flawed. If abortion is deemed illegal it should decrease the number of abortions somewhat, even if just for fear of dying from the procedure.]

    Anti-abortion laws will deter some women from obtaining the procedure, but what is likely the case of the seemingly slightly flawed stats is that often places in which abortion is outright illegal, also tend to be anti-choice and do not have comprehensive education and access to contraception, thereby increasing unwanted pregnancies and unfortunately more abortions.

    Abstinence only education does not work to prevent abortions.

  • Emma

    So far Mark, you have managed to call me names, but you haven’t made the least effort to counter my claims that an embryo is not the same as a baby in a reasonable way. I’m disappointed, you initially sounded like someone who might have an actual argument or something. Never mind.

    I sincerely hope that you do not end up like one of the men from my old church. He got a phone call from the hospital out of the blue to find that his only teenage daughter was in intensive care with life threatening septicemia after a botched back yard abortion.

    This is in my country, where terminations for teenage pregnancies are readily available and private. But she, with her pro-lifer Dad and pretty sheltered church upbringing was terrified of telling ANYONE. She nearly died and I have never since been unfortunate enough to see a father so broken.

    Do you think, in the end, he gave a shit about the embryo she terminated? No, he wanted his much cherished daughter back, alive, and whole and able to trust him again.

    That women would risk their lives not to continue a pregnancy had been a distant fact that happened to immoral people until it happened under his own roof. He has since changed his views.

    I hope this never happens to you Mark.

    I hope you never have to suffer through the trauma of having your teenage daughter forced into sex by a violent perpetrator then nearly die trying to abort the result because she couldn’t tell her own father. Why couldn’t this girl tell her own father? She’d have been labelled a whore and told to have the baby that’s why. It took her near death to give him a sense of perspective.

    But then, you’re a man, you’ll never have to make the kind of decision that girl did. This alone lessens your credibility in my eyes. But I gather you’d already figured that out from your sterling analysis of my personality ;-)

    Cheers Mark.

  • td

    As Unknown pointed out quite clearly, the state of growth doesn’t really matter.

    Pro-lifers would like to make this an arugment about what stage makes a human. But the fact is that pretty much all woman who have an abortion consider it a human. They aren’t having the abortion because they are worried about having to care for a sac of cells. They don’t want to have to care for a Human.

    Same with contraception. It isn’t used to prevent a bunch of cells haning out together in the womb. It’s used to prevent a Human being born.

    And so the question again, is not about whether or not it is a human life we are choosing not to exist. It is about the morality we use to justify this choice. The choice of preventing a Human from living. And whether this morality is Just.

    Many woman have argued this Just Morality from their own rights perspective. And done so well. They don’t need another man telling them how to fight for this right. I do not ignore this argument, I think it is a very important and valid one.

    My arguement is an economic one. And as much as we wish economics were not a factor when it came to the preservation of Human life, it is. And it will be until someone can answer my question:

    Where does the money come from to pay for Illegal Abortion Laws, Education, Enforcement, and Social Programs to deal with the reprocussions?

    Becuase this question is integral to the point of the article. Many women die or are incarcerated in countires where abortion is illegal because there is not enough resources to, 1) Explain the law to women or defend them adequately in court, 2) Educate them about birth control, 3) Provide the enforcement needed to outlaw back-room abortion clinics, 4) Provide after birth support to low-income families who cannot afford another child.

    These are the reasons why women are having abortions and dying as a result. Not because they do or do not believe that the cells = human. And all of these reasons are tied to economic factors.

    Call me creepy if you want. But I gave several examples of situations right now where Americans are dying because society just doesn’t want to spend the money. So I guess society is pretty creepy too.

  • Druxxx

    Mark, or some other person of pro-life persuasion, please answer this question that came up.

    Should someone be forced to give an organ, bone marrow, blood, or anything else that could save another person’s life? Giving blood is a very minor procedure; nowadays there is pretty much no danger of contracting a disease. How about a kidney? You could get along with one if you had to. Bone marrow? I think most people would enjoy having a long thick needle stuck in them.

    How would forcing people to give up part of themselves to save a life be any different from a pregnant woman giving up her body for a growing life?

    Mark, when should I send someone over to take a few blood tests? I bet you have a perfectly good kidney just waiting to be given to someone who needs it more then you.

    Or would that be just too inconvenient for you?

    Wait, you see pregnancy as a consequence of having sex. So Mark, you have done nothing “wrong” so I can’t come over and harvest your unnecessary organs.

    Then how do you feel about rape, Mark? The woman had no choice. A child has been forced upon her with no choice being made. Maybe then it would be O.K. to abort. But wait again. But that life is innocent and must be protected, even above the mother’s rights to her body. Arrrrrrrgggghhhhh. The big catch 22. Either the mother had her choice and it was made when she decided to have sex or the life is innocent and that initial choice means nothing. The life must be protected.

    Maybe it was G-d’s will for the woman to be raped and have a child. Wait, we are a secular society and g-d’s will should have nothing to do with our laws. Then how about immaculate conception. Wait there was no choice. Ahhhhh!!!

  • Someone

    Well, what about the effects the aborted baby’s life could have had on others? My finace was born out of wedlock in “unfavorable” conditions. I thank God everyday that she was not aborted in her early stages of life. My life has been so much better because of her. So, all you pro-choice people might want to take into consideration the fact that not only are you robbing the child of its life, but you are also robbing many people of the opportunity to lead better lives because of them.

  • Mark

    A few points to start off, the Immaculate Conception was the conception of Mary, not Jesus. If what you meant to reference was the Virgin Birth, then I’m afraid you are still wrong because she was given the choice and accepted Jesus into her womb.

    Anyway, on to your arguments. I think a major sticking point for me in this whole debate is that I dont think the ends justify the means in any case. Now I know thats going to draw a lot of flak, because our society preaches that the ends do in fact justify the means. I dont think two wrongs are going to make a right. I am arguing that abortion is wrong in the moral standpoint. I dont care when the fetus legally becomes a person, when its given a name, viable, social security number, driver’s licence. I am simply saying that what is there from conception is a human being. It is a unique individual, which has DNA and will become a human if allowed to grow in the womb. In philosophy they explore this question of what things are. Aristotle divided things into their substance and their accidents. Substance was that which was essential to that things being, without the substance that thing would no longer be that thing. Accidents on the other hand are things which are associated with that thing, like shape, size, color, consistency. Within the womb we see the very substance of humanity, robbed of all its accidents. It doesnt have the same accidents as humans who are fully developed, but it does have the same essence. Most importantly, it has a soul, a uniquely human characteristic.

    Concerning the whole organ donation argument, it is irrelevant. I made no choice myself which brought about their condition. I didnt steal their kidney or remove their bone marrow, so I have no obligation to correct those situations through donation. If I did do something to cause a situation like that I know that I would donate bone marrow or a kidney in order to remedy that situation without a second’s hesitation. It doesn’t matter if the woman chose to have sex or if she was raped. It is still wrong to kill an unborn child, even if it is extremely inconvenient. I know my life might be much easier if a simply killed certain people, but Im not going to do so, even though the outcome might be years of struggle.

    So there it is…and even though TD thinks its okay to kill children (still creepy bud, sorry) in order to have more money to dedicate elsewhere, I just cant jump on board with that.

  • Druxxx

    So Mark has now removed his choice argument from his pro-life position.

    So even when a woman has no choice before the pregnancy, she gets no choice after. So, a woman is in fact just a future baby carrier to you. Nice to know you hold women in such high regard.

    Here’s the funny thing Mark; you could have said it is all right to abort a fetus from a rape and you still have to take away one of your most important arguments. That innocent life has to have a right to live. Even if a potential child is created from rape, is it still not innocent? It is not the fetus’s fault how it was created.

    Basically what I am getting at is that the pro-life side gets one argument or the other, not both. Abortion should be illegal because the choice was made to have sex=potential baby, or the potential baby deserves all rights just like everyone else so abortion is murder no matter how the woman became pregnant.

    By taking away either one of these arguments, it shows the pro-life side in a true light. They have a moral (religious) agenda they want to impose on the rest of us.

    And by the way Mark. Humans having souls is a religious distinction. No one should be forced to believe in the existence of a soul thanks to freedom of and from religion and the separation of church and state. Thus the existence of a soul could not be an argument taken seriously by any court of law in this country.

  • td

    29,000 – The number of children under the age of five that die every day, mainly from preventable causes.

    0.1% – The percent of GDP that the US donates to foriegn Aid. Almost all other countries give double this figure, and some are above the .07% that the UN has set as a target.

    I never said it is okay to kill children. All I said was that since we are already choosing that some kids die because American’s want lower taxes, then economics is a factor.

    My argument is that the current republican administration, which I assume you are a supporter of, chooses everyday to let children die so that money can be spent elsewhere. On war, lower taxes, etc.

    So you are already “on board with that”.

    You just continually refuse to acknowledge this fact.

  • Mark

    Sigh…

    I’ll start with the last point about the soul. I believe I said in my previous post that I was NOT arguing about the legality, but about the morality. The existence of the human soul is something which philosopher’s both religous and non have agreed on throughout history. So if you want to argue that point, get to work and try to wake up Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Augustine, Moore, and Descartes. I was just trying to illustrate that it is at conception that human life begins, which is where the soul first comes into being.

    Next is this comment, “So even when a woman has no choice before the pregnancy, she gets no choice after. So, a woman is in fact just a future baby carrier to you. Nice to know you hold women in such high regard.” I am not saying this at all. What I am saying is that there is never a situation where it is an acceptable choice to have an abortion. Murder is murder, no matter how you put it. If she was raped, I feel bad for her, but I’m not going to say, “well you got raped so I’ll give you a freebie murder.” Admittedly it is a really crappy situation to be in to become pregnant through rape, but I feel like having an abortion would only increase the number of bad things in her life. Women are not just future baby carriers to true pro-life people. They are a wonderful gender, placed at man’s side by God to support the man and to be his strength, to bear children and raise them. Why is it that for the entirety of human history up to the last forty years it has been considered the greatest of blessings to have a large family and as a woman to raise children and see her family’s legacy multiplied with each new child. I think it is sad to see how far the dignity of motherhood has fallen in today’s society. I see it as the highest of human professions, to share in the creative power of God, while pro-choice people see it as a burden and the worst possible outcome of sex.

  • Mark

    Yes td, I acknowledge the fact that children die all over the world. Yes I understand economics is a factor. But the reason I dont respond is because it is illogical to say that we should kill more children before their born so we dont have to spend money to keep them alive and what about the ones that we can keep alive, wouldnt it have been better if they werent born at all so they wouldnt have had to die?

  • Mark

    Oh…and I dont really like Bush all that much, but he’s the lesser of two evils. I’d rather have an incompetent but well intentioned boob in there than Kerry.

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett

    I’d challenge the anti-abortion writers here to read a blog called Abortion Clinic Days, and understand the real situations of women who have abortions. One example:
    “yesterday i spoke to a woman, age 28, who began her story by telling me all the reasons that she could not continue her pregnancy. she had no doubt that abortion was a better choice for the baby since she felt that it would be neglected and possibly even at risk. her older children had learned to avoid dad, an abusive alcoholic, when he was drunk. and the patient, whom i’ll call rachel, supported the family as sole wage earner. there would be no income when she had to take maternity leave and her job would not permit her to work once she was showing because of the physical hardships of the job. she felt that she could not risk leaving the baby alone with her husband at any time because he was not responsible and had lately been getting worse.”

  • Mark

    Read it.

    These stories really dont have any bearing on the heart of the matter. No one is denying that it is hard to decide to kill your unborn child. I’m glad these women hestitate to end that child’s life. I’m just upset that they didnt stop altogether. I’ll admit, I only read three or four of the stories on that page, but in each one I read I found choices which could have been made but werent. Don’t kill a child because you were abused. That in and of itself is abuse. All to often pro-choice people try to use emotion to argue their point. Yes its sad, but it doesnt make it okay.

  • Mark

    Abortion was supposed to alleviate certain social concerns. Looks like it isnt doing such a great job.

    Social Concern 1970 1990
    Illegitimate Births 10.7% 26.2%
    Children with Single Mothers 11% 22%
    Violent Crime Rate(per 100,000)36.4 2 73.
    Teen Suicide Rate 5.9% 11.3%
    Children on Welfare 8.5% 11.9%

    And this is sixteen years old, I’m betting these numbers havent gotten any better.

  • td

    I agree that it is illogical to say:

    “we should kill more children before their born so we dont have to spend money to keep them alive”

    However, the following statement is what i am really saying:

    “if we spend the amount of tax dollars necessary to provide women contemplating an abortion with enough support to outway the decision to abort, then we will be forced to reduce spending on other programs, resulting in the deaths of children who are already alive”

    So we can enforce that all babies be born, but to do so we might have to stop giving foreign Aid, or reduce public health coverage, or child safety programs, etc, etc, etc and other children will die instead.

    If you argument is that we are able to pay for everything then please take another look at Bush’s annual deficit and the radically increasing national debt.

    The fact is that you can’t say that it is morally wrong to let unborn babies die, and then turn a blind eye to the millions of already born children that die everyday. What, do they not deserve your morality too?

    If so, then you are back at my question once again. If every potential human deserves to live, yet we do not have enough money to support everybody, then who do you pick to die?

  • td

    Violent Crime has actually gone down substantially since the early 90’s. And this while Abortions have increased.

    Would you like to pick another arbitrary statistic that has hundreds of non-abortion factors affecting it, therefore making the elluded allegation that abortion was the reason for these trends ridiculous?

  • Mark

    There are more than enough reasources availible in the world today to provide for those who currently live on it. The only problem is that governments prevent the appropriate distribution of the reasources we have. It is NOT a matter of not having enough now and having less if more children are born. But if you want an answer in your world, why dont we cut government spending? Our country would be run much more efficiently and economically if we turned over the variety of functions the government has presumed to take over to the private sector. The government should be there to protect our borders, and build roads, that is what they are good at. Leave water, sewage, power, law enforcement, garbage and everything else to the private sector. Contracting these services out to the lowest bidder would ensure good service at the lowest price which could free up money to send overseas to feed hungry children. There, now we can feed them (and I’ll say provide medical care for them too just in case) and we dont even have to kill anyone. *brushes hands off in a satisfied manner*

  • Baronius

    Mark, you’ve had the guts to stay in this argument longer than me. I can’t say as I’ve read every word written above, but from what I saw, nice job.

    As for your statistics, they help make the point I tried to make earlier: that the loss of respect for life (and a loss of seriousness about sex) more than offset the supposed societal benefits of abortion. There is no reduction in unwanted children, or in abused children.

    Indeed, if we use the standard that only wanted humans are humans, child abuse is rational. A child becomes worth something when he’s wanted, so if he’s not wanted, beat him.

    That’d be fine as a theoretical argument, but shockingly the evidence seems to support a growing contempt for children. We medicate the natural boyishness out of our boys, sexualize our girls into young women, and abandon them both during divorce. Oops, did I say “both”? You shouldn’t have more than one; even one child is an unnecessary extra burden on the Earth.

    Which brings us back to TD’s point. The idea that a person is a loss to society’s well-being really scares me, although it was apparently a very persuasive argument in its original German. At this point, I don’t know how to debate about means and ends, when both the means and ends seem outright evil.

  • Sentinel

    Good job so far Mark! Keep it up! However, I have to disagree with your idea that we should turn over some aspects of the government to private vectors. The checks and balances in place in our government today would no longer exist, and eventually corrupt individuals would take advantage of the situation for their own evil ends.

  • Troll Alert

    Mark is a troll. Only a troll would make so many contradictory inflamatory statements. Why keep feeding him by responding?

  • Emma

    Re #154
    To state one position over and over without considering counter claims from the other side is not arguing. It’s playing opinion ping-pong. Mark has not been arguing, he’s been playing opinion ping-pong with us.

    To deliberately misinterpret the other side’s position (td’s) then subtly compare it to something universally regarded as reprehensible (Nazism) is a technique commonly used by people who have run out of real objections.

  • Mark

    I am not a Troll, whatever that might be. I haven’t been playing opinion ping-pong (but I wish I were playing real ping-pong). If you can’t follow the subtlties of my arguements go back again and read them over. The only reason I have needed to restate my positio so many times is because people kept trying to purposefully misinterpret it in order to make it seem unfounded, which Emma points out is a technique used by people who are out of objections.

  • td

    Mark, I give you credit, you finally acknowledged the economics. Unfortunately your solution was so pie in the sky absurd that not even the most extreme right idealist could believe in it.

    Just reduce taxes, and the economy will grow, increasing government revenue, and allowing it to spend more money.

    Didn’t quite work for Regan.

    But at least you recognised the moral quandry of our times. Currently in most countries (including the US) there are not enough resources available to save everylife that could be saved.

    However, you are still not grasping, or choosing not to answer, the economic reality surrounding everyday abortion.

    The reality, which I have provided statistics to back up, is that women ackownledge that it is a human life they are ending, yet they still abort.

    Even if they live in a country where abortion is illegal and enforced with jail senteces they still abort.

    Even if they know there is a significant risk they may die as well during the procedure they abort.

    So, simply saying ‘Abortion is now Illegal’ will not change anything if you do not spend the money alleviate the factors that push women to abort.

    Therefore, if you want to end abortion, spend money on programs that will counteract the following reasons for abortion:

    – 25.5% of women deciding to have an abortion want to postpone childbearing.

    – 21.3% of women cannot afford a baby.

    – 14.1% of women have a relationship issue or their partner does not want a child.

    – 12.2% of women are too young (their parents or others object to the pregnancy.)

    – 10.8% of women feel a child will disrupt their education or career.

    – 7.9% of women want no (more) children.

    – 3.3% of women have an abortion due to a risk to fetal health.

    – 2.8% of women have an abortion due to a risk to maternal health.

    While making it illegal might reduce abortion to a degree, most women would still undergo abortions because the above reasons outway the threat of punishment by the courts. This is what the statistics clearly prove.

    So how do we tackle these issues. As i said, spend money on social programs. Provide low-middle income familes with more tax breaks, services, free health care, day-care, etc.

    Improve the current orphanage system so that women are not wary of giving up there children to the state.

    Institute longer maternal leave laws, and tax incentives to businesses that provide better paternal leave salary and benefits.

    Invest in educational institutions to make it easier for mothers to continue or postpone there education while pregnant/new mothers.

    And so on….

    This is the economics I keep trying to explain. And private business has very little to gain from implementing these strategies without incentives from Government. Which means spending. Which means some other program has to get cut if we are going to reverse the current deficit problem.

    I take an honest approach to issues and look for realistic policies to improve upon our situation.

    I know you would rather we all fall like sheep in line with your “this is what I believe is right, so let’s just do it” strategy. But that’s the kind of emotional narrowmindedness that leads to policies based on one persons interpretation of morality, instead of policy that allows for multiple beliefs.

    So, do you really want to start making comparisons to the Nazi’s? Or can we leave that childish bullshit out of the discussion.

  • TA Dodger

    TD, you’re wasting your time. I’ve already tried to discuss with Mark possible policies to reduce the number of abortions.

    It seems that, for him, the only possible solution is for every womean who doesn’t want to have a child to refrain from sex.

  • Mark

    Why does the idea of abstinence seem so ridiculous to everyone?

  • Druxxx

    What drugs are you taking and at what dose.

    I think we need to give every teenager whatever it is you are taking.

    Don’t you remember high school? I sure do. I remember lokking at certain girls and having to carry my books in a way that covered a certain area of my body.

    Its not realistic because it is against nature. Religion has dictated that sex should be reserved for marriage. The problem is nature is screaming in your ear to get it on with any member of the oppisite sex you find attractive.

    Even kids who claim they will wait until marriage often don’t if they are put in the right (or wrong depending on your point of view) situation.

    YOu could make premarital sex a capital offense and people would still be doing it.

  • TA Dodger

    Why does the idea of abstinence seem so ridiculous to everyone?

    Because sex is a normal part of life that people aren’t going to be willing to go without.

    If you care more about saving the unborn than you do about forcing people to accept your ideas about sex then try to come up with solutions that:

    1) help prevent sexually active people from experiencing unwanted pregnancies and

    2) help single mothers care for their children.

  • Mark

    So because we naturally feel certain impulses we should always just blindly follow them? I think as human beings we are given a higher reasoning faculty than animals and can control some of our instincts. Nature also gave us the feelings of anger and we as a society dont condone following those feelings to their natural end. Violence is appropriate in certain circumstances, and so is sex. But certainly it isnt correct to say it is always appropriate to use violence just because you felt anger. We say its okay to feel these feekings, but not to act on them. I think the same can be said of sexual impulses. They are natural and it is a good thing to have sex, as long as it is in the correct context.

    Religion does not dictate the context either, nature does. It is obvious that men are supposed to be with one woman. Just looking at the emotional bond that developes through the act should show you that violating that bond is to be avoided. Looking back throughout history man has been mostly monogamous. Yes I understand there are cases in which this is not true, but those are the exeptions to the rule. The basic reason for this is to preserve the family unit. This is made up of a father, a mother and their children. By abstaining from sexual contact until in the proper context of marriage, it allows for the couple to be open to the prospect of children. The breakdown of the family unit has preceded the fall of almost every major empire.

    I am not advocating laws be put in place to prevent pre-marital sex, but instead I simply hope that by discussing it I might help people to realize the true happiness and freedom abstinence brings. Without sex, the two young people are free to discover who in fact this other person is without the fear of becoming pregnant or contracting an STD or just hurting the other person emotionally. Yes I realize breaking up with someone can be hard even when there hasnt been any sex, but with sex it is even harder, because you have made yourself that much more vulnerable and have been that much more betrayed.

  • Mark

    Dodger, Maybe the fact that nature keeps creating these children against your will and FORCING them on you might clue you in to the actual purpose for sex.

    I do love life and I do want to protect it. I certainly dont think better birth control is going to solve this problem. Its just going to have to occur to people that if you dont want to deal with an unwanted pregnancy, dont have sex until you want to be pregnant. Its simple cause and effect stuff. Do you realize your most common response is, “but I want to.”? Its like arguing with a child.

  • TA Dodger

    Its just going to have to occur to people that if you dont want to deal with an unwanted pregnancy, dont have sex until you want to be pregnant.

    They never will.

  • TA Dodger

    Apolgoies. It never will occur to them.

  • Josh

    Good post, Mark

  • TA Dodger

    Alright, I give up.

    I think that every abortion is a tragedy and would love to see the day when they no longer occur. I tried to find common ground with you and come up with ways to decrease abortion rates, especially in post #90.

    But no political compromise is possible when one of the reasons you oppose abortion is because you want the risk of unwanted pregnancies to scare women into making the *right* sexual choices.

    It’s a shame. Unborn babies will die because of your puritanism.

  • Troll Alert

    Trolls always claim not to know what a troll is.

  • sr

    I dont understand why this discourse concerning abortion is necessary. If we can grasp evolution as a constant why negate the facts.

  • Mark

    Okay I think I know what a troll is. Its someone who just incites people, but I am not, I’m just arguing my position. The fact that it doesnt conform to the pro-choice side is what makes it an argument.

    Dodger, you said, “you want the risk of unwanted pregnancies to scare women into making the *right* sexual choices.” When I first read this I thought it was overly slanted, but actually you did a very good job of summing up my position. If you dont feel you are ready to have a child I think you should be scared of getting pregnant when you are having sex. I think its natural. It like playing with fire, you know there is a chance you are going to get burned and that makes you respect it. Same thing here, although I would get rid of the asterixes around right.

  • Emma

    I may have missed it, but I’m actually very interested to hear your arguments defending your position that a fertilised egg should be treated in the same way as a baby.

    I got the impression (and please correct me if I err) that all you did was repeat your position rather than argue for it.

    Arguing in the same sense that Socrates argued for the existence of soul is what I have in mind.

  • td

    Dozens of posts and all you have to show for it is two points.

    – Abortion is not moral.

    – The solution is for women not to have sex unless it is for procreation.

    If this is all you have then it is a very weak position.

    First, morality can be argued endlessly because morality is an individual perception. But nevertheless most of the pro-choice people arguing against you conceed that abortion is not a positive aspect of society and reducing the number of abortions is in our best interest.

    Which brings us to your second point. Abstinence. This is just another fantasy statement akin to making abortion illegal and the problem will just go away. You provide no facts or statistics to back up these statments. You provide no plan for the implementation of such a strategy, nor the feasibility of putting this type of policy in place.

    You say that all the issue requires is talking about it. But you really mean is that there should be an educational campaign concerning abstinence and abortion.

    However, to have the kind of impact on abortion that would satisfy the anti-abortion crowd you would need a campaign on level with that of anti-smoking efforts. A campaign that has cost billions of dollars, over several decades, and which has been backed up by new laws.

    This is what you really mean. Not “let’s just talkt about it”. You mean, let’s spend billions of dollars over the next few decades to promote abstinence.

    Well, at least now you have a plan.

    Of course, it’s not a new plan. Abstinence only programs have been in place throughout the 90’s. Namely the Title V initiative of the Social Security Act. From 1998 to 2003, almost a half a billion dollars in state and federal funds were appropriated to support the Title V initiative.

    However, recent reviews of the programs found that the initiative was largely ineffective. Evaluation of these programs showed few short-term benefits and no lasting, positive impact. A few programs showed mild success at improving attitudes and intentions to abstain. No program was able to demonstrate a positive impact on sexual behavior over time.

    So, any more ideas?

  • TA Dodger

    This is what you really mean. Not “let’s just talkt about it”. You mean, let’s spend billions of dollars over the next few decades to promote abstinence.

    No. I think the idea is that if abortion is banned and women don’t have good access to contraceptives then enough women will experience unwanted pregnancies that others will be scared off of “immoral” sex. The idea is to make sex really dangerous so that people will… um… realize how very dangerous it is.

    He admits this outright in #172.

    you said, “you want the risk of unwanted pregnancies to scare women into making the *right* sexual choices.” When I first read this I thought it was overly slanted, but actually you did a very good job of summing up my position.

    Mark has never once contested the fact that banning abortion wouldn’t save fetuses and would kill women (at least in the short term), but he seems to think its worth the cost if the abortion ban would punish “whores” (a category that seems to include any woman, married or unmarried, that wants to have a sexual relationship but control her fertility).

  • TA Dodger

    And now for something completely different:

    Every sperm is sacred
    Every sperm is great
    If a sperm is wasted
    God gets quite irate.

    Let the pagans spill theirs
    on mountain hill and plain,
    God shall strike them down for
    each sperm that’s spilt in vain!

    [/Monty Python]

  • Mark

    Okay Dodger I’ll contest it. How exactly does making it illegal to kill fetuses NOT save any fetuses? I’m assuming that people obey the law, at least some of the time. By making it more difficult to get an abortion, this reduces the chances that women will get them, thus protecting more babies. As far as killing more women, I’m thinking it will reduce the number of women who are killed. In one instance, which you wont grant me, but I’ll include for fun, if about half the babies you kill in the womb are female then by protecting even a relatively small percent of them you would decrease the number of women who are killed during an abortion. I figure there are 40 million abortions performed a year, of that 40 million, 70,000 women are killed. That is a failure rate of like .00175. So if we were able to reduce the number of abortions each year by 1% that would save almost 700 women’s lives each year who are killed while innocently trying to end the life of their unborn child.

  • Mark

    Again. I dont use the term “whores”, “uppity bitches”, “sluts” or any derivation thereof. It seems to me that you either are trying to put words in my mouth or you have a very low opinion of these women yourselves. In which case you should be ashamed of youself, judging another person, what gives you the right? tisk tisk.

  • TA Dodger

    I dont use the term “whores”, “uppity bitches”, “sluts” or any derivation thereof.

    This is a quote from you in comment #107

    Isnt the whole idea of a whore sex-with-no-consequences? Well I just defined your entire mentality

    You say that women who want to have sex without suffering the consequences (childbirth) are whores. I didn’t put the word in your mouth. This is how you defined it.

    You have a very low opinion of these women yourselves.

    Nope. I would never say there’s anything wrong with a woman who wants to have sex with her boyfriend / husband just because she doesn’t want that sex to result in a child.

  • td

    Mark

    Re-read the beginning of the article.

    It did not say 70,000 women die from abortions. it said 70,000 die from unsafe (ie: illegal) abortions. Hence, these women already live in countries where abortion is illegal. Therefore, banning abortion in the US would not save any of them.

  • Mark

    Interesting Dodger, so you use another post of mine where I’m arguing against the fact that pro-choice people seem to keep thinking that pro-life people think of women who get abortions as whores as an example of where I’ve refered to women as whores. You need to look at context kiddo. The line before that one was about how pro-choice people treat women like prostitutes and not pro-life people. Yes, the idea of a prostitute is to get the pleasure of sex without having to deal with any of the consequences, which is exactly what the pro-choice camp supports. I can only assume that pro-choice people are in favor or prostitution as well, because it is nothing more than two consenting adults engaging in action which is protected by their privacy rights for a small fee. Why would that be wrong? Because its untaxable?

    Regarding the post by TD, yeah I realized that a few minutes after I posted it, but didnt have time to correct myself. I guess I am just not overly sentimental about people who are trying to kill others. How concerned are you about all those burglars who are killed each year by people protecting their homes? If someone dies trying to kill someone else….and succeeds in the process, that just seems like a murder suicide to me. You seem to forget that abortion is an elective surgery. How many people are maimed each year in back-alley nose jobs? breast enlargements? lipsuction?

  • TA Dodger

    I’m fine with context.

    The original post, post, Liz’s # 102 said in part that pro life people call women whores.

    Your respond in comment #107 that, on the contrary, pro-choice people assume women are whores because they assume women want sex without consequences. You say that having sex without consequences is what “the whole idea of a whore.

    The implication of your comment: woman who wants sex without consequences = whore.

    You’re right that pro-choice people think women want to have sex more often than they want to give birth. We don’t think that makes them whores. According to your #107, you think that’s what being a whore is all about.

  • Mark

    This is all kinda off topic since what I was saying in 176 is that I dont commonly refer to women using those terms. Its the terms which i was arguing, to say that I put forward ideas which are linked to certain terms does nothing to dispute the fact that I dont use those terms, nor do I think in those terms. This is minutia….

  • TA Dodger

    One more attempt at common ground :-)

    Look, a person / couple / married couple is only going to want X number of children (let’s say 2). A person / couple / married couple who wants two children is going to want to have sex more than ten times in a lifetime, so to prevent abortion you have to do two things:

    1) increase people’s access to and knowledge of the use of contraceptives and

    2) decrease the burdens associated with parenthood (esp. single parenthood).

    We will never agree about laws banning abortion, but we should be able to agree on laws that decrease the need for abortions:

    a) because even if abortion were illegal a certain number (probably the majority) of women would flout the law, so it would be best if they didn’t become unexpectedly pregnant in the first place and

    b) all things considered it’s much better for pregnancies to be planned than unplanned.

    Abortion law or no abortion law, I think we can both agree that preventing unwanted pregnancies saves lives, since both pregnancy and abortion (legal and illegal) carry health risks.

  • neocondi

    Liberals generally seem to “tolerate” Muslims pretty well. Universities love to teach tolerance of Islam. To “understand” them, to “accept” them.

    Shouldn’t we therefore “understand” that abortion is against Allah in much of the world. Can’t you let these people have their religious beliefs?!

  • Mark

    Dodger I respect the fact that you are searching for common ground. I agree that people are going to want to only have a certain number of children if they are married and that they are going to want to have sex many many times. There are ways to control pregnancy which are natural and safe and fool proof (except when you dont do them right). Natural family planning is a technique which safely (no drugs involved) and is 100% effective (unlike pretty much every contraceptive availible) and would prevent unplanned pregnancies. It works by simply being aware of the woman’s fertile periods and avoiding sexual intercourse during those periods. True, it takes a little more work, but given the positives I would think it would be a welcome mid-point for our two mindsets. The problem for me with your viewpoint is that you are saying that abortion should be availible to eliminate unwanted children, and I am saying it shouldnt be. If natural family planning techniques were taught in our schools it would hopefully reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. It is not a contraceptive and it is approved by the Catholic Church. It is little used because very few people are aware of it. I think this might be a good alternative to providing more contraceptives to children. Fair enough?

  • Mark

    What are you talking about neocondi?

  • TA Dodger

    The problem for me with your viewpoint is that you are saying that abortion should be availible to eliminate unwanted children, and I am saying it shouldnt be.

    Oh, I know that, but I think we’ve pretty well established that we can’t get to an agreement on that point. That said, we both agree that avoiding unwanted pregnancy is a good thing because it will reduce the number of abortions that occur (whether or not abortion is illegal).

    Now to your particular recommendation (teaching natural family planning):

    1) Natural family planning is not anywhere near 100% effective. When it is used perfectly a fertile woman has a 1%-9% chance of becoming pregnanct in one year and when the average woman uses this method she has a 25% chance of becomming pregnant within one year (maybe more education could bring this second number down…).

    2)That doesn’t mean I’m not in favor of teaching it as a method of birth control, I just think we need to tell people how effective / ineffective it is and tell them about it’s other possible benefits (no risk of loss of fertility etc.) and risks (can’t really think of any risks other than pregnancy for NFP).

    3) However it must be taught along side other forms of birth control (the pill, condoms, abstinence, etc.). People should be taught about the effectiveness of these other forms of BC and there potential drawbacks and benefits (condoms, for instance, provide some protection against STDs etc.).

    (And yes, I understand artificial BC is against catholic teachings, but this is not a theocracy.)

    In addition to teaching people about preventing pregnancy, I think we should also support people who choose to carry children to term, thus minimizing their incentives to abort.

  • Troll Alert

    Troll, troll, troll. Dodges, misinterprets, denies, then restates inflamitory positions. Mark is a TROLL. When you respond you are _feeding_ him.

  • fos

    The big mistake was to allow women to vote.

  • Baronius

    Emma, I think we’ve already discussed why unborn children should have legal protection. Please reply with any objections.

    As for abstinence plans’ effectiveness, it depends on the definitions. Abstinence pledges are slightly effective in delaying intercourse, ineffective in reducing sexual behaviour overall. Abstinence education varies in quality and effectiveness. It’s a broad term that is applied to “abstinence-only” and “abstinence plus” education. Abstinence programs (education and support) are effective in reducing sexual activity, pregnancy, and HIV.

    There’s a lot of talk about Uganda’s HIV education program. It’s an “ABC” program, abstinence, being faithful, and condoms. In the US it’d be labeled “abstinence plus”, but it emphasises restraint a lot more than the average African plan. Uganda is a rare example of an African nation with a decline in new HIV cases.

  • pyramidias

    #183 People having belief in whatever religion is not the problem, its when they try to pass laws to force others to follow their interpretation of their religion that is the problem. Its not a Muslim or Christian thing…its a fundies thing.

    #184 Mark, that method is little used because it is ridiculously ineffective. Look at the stats and see for yourself.

    #188 Nobody ‘allowed’ women anything, they FOUGHT for that right.

  • Pro-choice by any means necessary

    #184
    Why is promoting ‘natural family planning’ a mid-point for you? You are not only anti-abortion, you are anti-choice (no choice unless I agree with you choice).

    I am so freakin’ tired of so many men having such a strong opinion on this topic- when they themselves often take no responsibility for using condoms & preventing conception in the first place, beating their wives & girlfriends & often their children, not supporting the children they make via child support, showing up at pro-choice rallies holding horrible signs & yelling at women for exerting their rights. Its just absolutley ridiculous how hateful & controlling they are considering this subject. You make the freakin’ babies, bolt & don’t support your children, yet criticize us for our choice & try to force us to carry them b/c of your fuckin’ conscience. War, fighting, domestic violence…before you so forcefully & guilt-trippingly insist we do what you want- Look in a god-damn mirror if you want to see violence against humans!

  • Pro-choice by any means necessary

    #143
    [They are a wonderful gender, placed at man’s side by God to support the man and to be his strength, to bear children and raise them. Why is it that for the entirety of human history up to the last forty years it has been considered the greatest of blessings to have a large family and as a woman to raise children and see her family’s legacy multiplied with each new child. I think it is sad to see how far the dignity of motherhood has fallen in today’s society. I see it as the highest of human professions, to share in the creative power of God, while pro-choice people see it as a burden and the worst possible outcome of sex.]

    Are you freakin’ kidding me?! I’m really beginning to understand your Madonna/Whore attitude for women. I got news for you…women have been having abortions & limiting their families since the dawn of time- not just since 40 years ago. It is not every woman’s GRANDEST dream or total identity to ‘stand by her man’ or ‘be his strength’ and just pump out kids. Its sad to see you think women have no value beyond their ability to bear children. The dignity of motherhood has absolutley not disappeared- women have just wised up to the fact that it is NOT the best thing for her or her existing children, or society to have a huge family, more than she AND HER HUSBAND can comfortably raise. Its not fair to anyone- even society who, unless the family has tons of money, will wind up supporting them via welfare (which you fucking conservatives don’t support anyway). Its so obvious that you think a woman has little or no value unless she is standing next to a man, continually pumping out his kids & singing praises to god. You are mysogynistic, archaic, and ridiculous & I feel bad for any woman who marries you, or has to be your daughter or daughter in law. BTW- Mary the Virgin only had 2 children, not exactly a large family.

  • Mark

    Technically, even though he was both God and man I can see how you counted Jesus twice, but I think its probably more accurate to say he is one person with two distinct natures.

    Usually when I make statements, I try to capture either the truth, or in cases where history is involved, the majority. Yes there have been women who have been giving themselves abortions before 40 years ago, but it was never the cultural norm as it is now. It used to be that people wanted to have children…and it was strange because with their larger family they were BETTER able to support themselves, and they didnt even have welfare states to support them…AMAZING. Apparently the entirety of human existence has been a miracle. People with large families who werent on welfare and were able to support themselves. We also saw a closer unity of community seen in tribes or even towns and villages which were closely knit. This modern emphasis on self-reliance has as a sad bi-product the effect of making people suspicious of those around them.

    As far as all men being horrible mysoginistic bigoted, sexists…I disagree. I’ve never beat a woman, or child, I have no children…I take responsibility for my own sexual urges and only show up at pro-life rallies…not pro-choice. Not only that, but of all my friends and relatives I have yet to see any instance of any of those. You may want to double check your facts on these things….it may turn out that your just a crazy feminist.

    Incidentally, Mary only had one child…but she made a choice no have no more. She accomplished this by not having sex, not by sleeping around and then getting abortions.

  • Druxxx

    I’m not a thoelogen so please direct me to the passage where it says that Mary and Joseph refrained from sex for the rest of their lives after Jesus was born.

  • Mark

    Mark 19:3.

  • Guppusmaximus

    Sure, make light out of a tragic event in history with your sensationalistic, propaganda bullshit!! Where is this countries’ government to save them from this shit?? First people say the US shouldn’t put our noses into other people’s business then the US should be the saviors!! What about the UN? It just seems to be more Hippie-Bush bashing crap…

  • Pro-choice by any means necessary

    #195 & #193

    Mark- I don’t know what bible you are reading b/c Mark 19:3 does not exist, in fact Mark only has 16 chapters. Maybe you have your own little bible & book of Mark that you live & judge other by. According to Matthew 1:25 & 26 Joseph took Mary home as his wife, But he had no union with her until until she gave birth to a son- Jesus.
    Also, in Matthew 12:46-50 Mark 3:31 & Luke 8:19-21 Then Jesus’ mother & brothers arrived.

    When I said Mary had 2 sons- I meant Jesus & James, not Jesus & God you smart @ss. However, I was wrong, Jesus had a few brothers- all given birth to by Mary- Hmmm maybe other immaculate conceptions?

    You try to capture the truth- truth being the operative word here. Actually I think you just pull facts out of your ass & delude yourself into believing them, then pretend for the sake of your puny lack of sound arguments that they are fact.

    If you think people who had little or no means were better able to support themselves- you are sadly mistaken. They freakin’ starved or were reduced to begging on the streets. This is why the mortality rate (especially infant mortality rates) were so high back in those days, and it was only in this century that the life expectancy rates climbed above 45 years. Get your facts straight.

    Wow- you just quoted Hillary- it takes a village to raise a child- I think hell just froze over!

    I did not say ALL men were horrible mysogynistic, bigoted sexists- I said SOME men (like you). As evidenced by those who hold archaic beliefs about women’s roles, hold such hateful & forceful beliefs on the choices women make to control their own destinies, yet abuse them.
    I don’t know what ‘facts’ you suggest that I check, but I have seen with my own eyes, these hateful anti-choice nuts you so vehemently deny. Incidently, they are the nuts who bomb abortion clinics too.

    Of course you would equate feminism with craziness, due to your insane & archaic beliefs about women’s worth. Check the dictonary definition of feminism- advocacy of political, social, & economic equality of men and women. CRAZY huh?!

    And I love the dismissive tone of ‘just’ a crazy feminist. I am not just anything sweetheart.

    But thank you for the compliment of the label of feminist. I hold my feminism as a badge of honor.

  • Pro-choice by any means necessary

    Keep on showing up at your pathetic anti-choice rallies, crying about your ‘babies’ all the while doing nothing about suffering & starving already born babies. B/c you know why? You are wasting your time- you have no power over women or their bodies & you never will. No matter how much you think you do, you don’t GET to have a say in people’s personal choices. You don’t matter in this debate. You are powerless.

    #187

    I’m beginning to think you are right. I will have no more to say on the matter, b/c honestly it will do no good & it does not matter.

  • Mark

    Your self-righteousness seems to give you the right to anything you want. Interesting. I would think it would be wrong to kill babies. I am not forcing my ideas on anyone, I am just telling my side of the story. Just because most people get so exhausted and exasperated by your over-the-top pro-lifers are the devil and pro-choice people are angles attitude doesnt mean I’m just going to sit here and be quiet and say, you’re right, it’s okay to kill anyone you want, especially babies who might have the gall to want to develope in your womb. The Mark 19:3 thing was a joke about my comment in 193….little over your head. I’m a Catholic we believe that God’s truth is on-going and has been passed to us not only through the truth’s of the Gospel but also through the tradition of the Catholic Church. Our Tradition teaches us of Mary’s perpetual divinity. We dont subscribe to the strict interpretation of the Bible, which takes words which can mean in Greek or Hebrew either “brother” or “follower” and say its brother just so we can add some members to Jesus’s family. Again though…the immaculate conception was Mary and not Jesus, so if she had another son it would have been another Virgin Birth, not another Immaculate Conception….terms people terms!

    Pro-choice people care enough about people to kill them in the womb so they wont have to suffer in the world.

  • td

    Even if your last sentence were true Mark. You have not provided one practical strategy to deal with the issue of abortion. You have no plan other than to call people killers. You don’t use facts, history, or science to back up argument.

    All you have is an opinion of morality based on your personal belief in a Christian God.

    This is not a political position. This is a religious position. Politics is about policy. The question of the morality of abortion is one thing. But proposing actual changes to abortion policy is a completely different question.

    A question which you continue to ignore because you do not want to actually discuss reality. Because when it comes down to it you really aren’t that interested in the welfare of unborn babies. All you seem to care about is calling people killers, because in your twisted christian mindset, this makes you feel superior to the rest of us.

    Well, I too agree with #187. And I won’t indulge your pathetic need for moral self justification anymore.

  • bingobangoboy

    You sound like one of those fundamentalist twats comparing abortion to the Hollocaust. Get some dignity.

  • Nancy

    I suspect #143/Mark is a Mormon; he demonstrates the classic Mormon ‘woman as breeding animal/amusement for Men’ ideology.

  • Josh

    It seems like you guys aren’t giving Mark enough credit. He is arguing against abortion on the base of morality, nothing else. It’s already been said on this post before: it’s all in whether you think the embryo is a child.

    #200
    Science supports 100% that an embryo is a human child. To say that it does not is pretty self-deluded and grossly inaccurate. Also, you cannot separate politics and religion. Both politics and religion deal directly with morality, and one is inevitably affected by the other.

    Mark is proposing change to the abortion policy – to end it. You just don’t like what he is suggesting.

    Quit attacking Mark. I haven’t seen him attack you anywhere (maybe I missed it), but either way it’s pretty damn immature and only shows you can’t come up with any decent arguments to refute him. Is it more “twisted” to kill your own babies or to “force your will” on another to save that baby? Rape is the only gray area. Abortion for the sake of convenience is both disgustingly selfish and irresponsible.

    Mother Theresa had some good words to say on it.

    #201
    How is comparing abortion to the Holocaust undignified? It’s not like it’s a big stretch to see similarities. The only difference there was that rational people couldn’t delude themselves with talk like, “They aren’t really human”.

    #202
    Mark isn’t undervaluing women. You are undervaluing their gift of motherhood.

  • Josh

    Sorry, originally ‘Mother Theresa’ was hyperlinked. Here’s what I was referring to:

    http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/abortion/ab0039.html

  • Nancy

    A question arises: with the world as overpopulated as it is, is it still a ‘gift’, or has it become a curse? And do you view it as a gift or a curse if it keeps women to the status of breeding animals, as some would so clearly prefer?

  • Josh

    The world is definitely not overpopulated. Worldwide, there is enough space and resources to accomodate everyone. Specifically with food, there is definitely enough. Politics and lack of international cooperation is what stands in the way of feeding those starving people.

    Historically, quality of life always increases with greater population growth. Greater population = greater economic output = higher standard of living. Also, before anyone uses China to try and refute me, research the effects of communism.

    That’s a pessimistic view of women’s role. Bearing children does not mean they will cease contributing to society — as long as someone takes care of the child. Father or mother, it doesn’t matter. Stay at home dad’s are fine with me.

  • Mark

    Josh, thanks for your comments and support, I was getting kinda frustrated and was considering just giving up…but I think I’ll hang in there for a little longer and just keep trying to fight the good fight.

  • Druxxx

    Josh/Mark,

    In reality religion and politics do go hand in hand. Religion/morals have a big influence on our systems of law. The thing is that the constitution makes it clear that religion and the law should be separated. I could go and start a new religion that says abortion should be encouraged. My religion and the religions’ of the pro-life crowd deserve no more special treatment then any other religion. This thread IMO was started to take a look at abortion without looking at morals.

    Everyone knows murder is wrong. The thing is there is a difference between murder and killing. Murder cannot be justified, but killing can. And we can scream back and forth until we all blow a vein about what constitutes killing and what constitutes murder.

    For the sake of argument, I’ll let you call the unborn child in the womb a person. With all the rights and privileges that go with it. So here is a hypothetical for ya.

    Lets say its 50 below zero outside. A naked man knocks on your door. It’s cold so you let him in. Well this naked man you invited in starts messing up your house. He’s breaking everything. He’s tossing grandma’s wedding china on the floor smashing it to bits. I have a strange feeling you are going to kick him out of your house and not worry about whether or not he freezes to death outside.

    Even if that unborn baby is a full-fledged human being, it is still in another full-fledged human beings personal space. A woman’s body is her own property, just like a house or a car. I think she should be able to remove any unwanted thing from her body. It shouldn’t be her responsibility what happens to it once removed.

    The unborn baby is occupying someone else’s space. It may do damage to that space if not removed. A woman’s body will never be the same after childbirth.

  • Mark

    The problem with your mindset in this regard is that the child is NOT someone who is delibrately intending to do harm. In fact, after the child leaves during birth, its true the landscape of the woman’s body has changed, but it is not necessarily true that she is permenantly injured by her pregnancy. Murder is the killing of someone who has no intention of killing you and has done you no harm. Killing a child in the womb fits the definition of murder to a T. Murder is wrong, according to religion, morality and legality. Therefore is should not be legally protected.

  • Josh

    No problem, Mark. It’s always nice to find someone of similar views.

    Druxxx, I understand where you’re coming from and I can appreciate your arguments.

    However, the Founding Fathers didn’t intend that religion should have no influence over law, but rather that law couldn’t be used to force a particular religion upon anyone. Things like murder, though, are universal. Even though a particular religion may or may not condone, it should still be legislated against. The same with abortion — most religions, and even many atheists, view it as immoral.

    There is a difference between the man and a baby in a woman’s womb. Your inviting the man in doesn’t necessitate that he should break your house. It is ultimately this man’s decision, and you would be justified in forcing him out of your house. However, the baby has no such choice or control — it is a direct consequence of the woman’s choice that her body should be used and changed, not the baby’s. It’s like punishing a third party because you did not want to suffer the direct consequences of your actions.

  • Baronius

    Josh – True. Africa and Asia have elephants. No continent with elephants can be overpopulated. If the problem were food, those big lumbering meatchunks would be dinner, and the lands they live off of would be growing tomorrow’s breakfast.

    Druxxx – Where’s the line beyond which the unborn baby is doing too much damage to the mother? This has been a point of contention within the law. Some states allowed abortion when the mother’s life was in danger, others the mother’s health. Health expanded to include emotional well-being, which can mean anything from sanity to financial security. You state that the child “may” do damage. This effectively wipes out any protection for the child – but I guess that’s your point.

  • TA Dodger

    Baronius,
    I think you’re point on overpopulation is revealing. I suppose you can think the earth isn’t overpopulated as long as you believe it’s ok to sacrifice every other species to support growing human populations. Of course, even then you have to assume that the only things limiting human population growth are food and land. In light of dwindling supplies of fossil fuels, it’s pretty hard to imagine (a) where we’ll find the energy to keep people from freezing to death etc. and (b) provide the fertilizer necessary to keep farming as productive as it is now.

    On the other hand, this is a little irrelivant since studies show that, at least in the west, having an abortion doesn’t affect the number of children a woman has over her lifetime.

    Where’s the line beyond which the unborn baby is doing too much damage to the mother?

    When the woman says so.

    You state that the child “may” do damage. This effectively wipes out any protection for the child – but I guess that’s your point.

    Unfortunately, yes. A woman should get to decide when to undergo the risks and pain of pregnancy and childbirth. Also, regardless of whether their are laws banning abortion, women will make that decision for themselves (have abortions, legal or not). If pro-life people really cared about saving fetuses they’d be handing out condoms like candy and encouraging every sexually active woman to go on the pill until she’s willing to have children.

  • Josh

    It gets really old to hear pro-choice people saying things like, “Pro-life people would —– if they really cared”. That statement is about the biggest cop-out I’ve ever heard. There ARE programs, pro-life people DO try to help, but it’s time to grow up and accept some responsibility for OURSELVES.

    As for sacrificing every species for the sake of human expansion, that’s what we’ve done from the very beginning of human existence. People eat animals. SO WHAT? Hopefully we’ve advanced far enough to hunt while at the same time maintain a healthy population of the hunted species.

    As for heating, clothing has a nifty function of keeping people warm. Fashion belies its actual purpose.

    Farming-wise, you’re statement is pretty naive. There are many techniques for keeping land fertile. Also, there is such a surplus of food now that population growth isn’t really a problem. Many food from farms in the United States goes unused.

    Abortion does effect the amount of children a woman has over a lifetime. Without an abortion, a woman would have ONE CHILD MORE.

    Medical technology has advanced far enough that severe, permanent damage due to pregnancy can usually be avoided.

    A child should not be killed for shallow, selfish reasons!

  • Mark

    I’m a little tired of the argument that women are going to have abortions anyway so they might as well be legal. Its like saying people are going to murder each other anyway so we might as well make it legal. We cant stop it, let’s join it. They call it being practical. Just confusing logic to me.

  • CC

    #213 Your lack of knowledge with medical technology when it comes to obstetrics & gynocology (especially in the developing world) is naive. Childbirth related complications are a major cause of sterility, disability & dealths to child-bearing women- especially in developing countries. A woman carrying to term when her body or mind is not ready would most definitley limit her want and ability to have healthy children later on. We are not just talking babies being born here- is that your ONLY goal? Just get ‘em out of the womb, then who cares?

    The simple fact is the unused food in the U.S., the land & animal food sources potentially available are NOT getting to the people who need them, consequently people are starving and dying. Do these human beings not deserve your attention? Why not use your energy to feed, clothe, & house such ‘out of womb’ individuals instead of spending so much time trying to force your will on others who do not want to further populate the earth, no matter their silly little reasons. Where is your energy & compassion & hours of messageboard posting for them? It gets really old hearing pro-life people’s bullshit self-deluded rationale for trying to control others reproductive destinies.

    #214
    Not many people would be willing to go out of their way, put their life & health on the line to murder someone, but they would for an abortion. Thereby showing that the logic for abortion is much different than murder. Abortion is quite often an act of desperation & need(not simply shallow & selfish reasons), while murder is not. I can think of scores of reasons to have an abortion (self-survival, etc), but there is almost NO good reason to murder someone (other than self defense.)

  • CC

    [It gets really old to hear pro-choice people saying things like, “Pro-life people would —– if they really cared”. That statement is about the biggest cop-out I’ve ever heard. There ARE programs, pro-life people DO try to help, but it’s time to grow up and accept some responsibility for OURSELVES.]

    Yes, I agree. So if you try to force women to have their unwanted children, are you going to pay for said children? Call me skeptical, but I severly doubt it! As evidenced by countries & states in the U.S.(southern mostly) that most severly restrict abortion rights also have pitiful and vastly underfunded programs to serve those children (Medicaid, CHIP, etc) once they are out of the womb, as compared to places in which reproductive rights aren’t restricted. It is almost a given that people who militantly oppose abortion are probably conservative, and most conservatives oppose adequate funding for social programs that would support these unwanted children. Kinda hypocritical huh?
    So to say pro-lifers are ‘trying’ to help is like saying pissing on a forest fire will put it out.
    Women who have abortions are selfish?! Why don’t YOU (pro-lifers) quite being so G-damned selfish!

  • CC

    Actually I can easily answer that. Its all about deterrance. You see, if social programs are adequately funded, people will BE ENCOURAGED to go out and have more unwanted children for ‘MY tax money’ to support, and we wouldn’t want that, would we? Just like if we pass out condoms or teach people safer sex techniques, they magically realize how slutty they are and how much they want to have sex (b/c you see it NEVER occured to them before), and that would be ENCOURAGING them to have sex (sin, fornicate) and we wouldn’t want that, would we?

    And, if I go out and actually adopt a child, or work with people less fortunate, who my silly little laws would harm- I might actually develop some sort of understanding and compassion for their lives and change my mind about forcing them to have their babies.

    And also, if I can cry & tear out my hair about unborn babies, I can feel self-righteous in front of my other uber-religious fundamentalist buddies & point the finger at others for their selfish actions. Then bitch about how much taxes I have to pay for ‘welfare queens’. Its a very low-maintence way to boost my ego. See- I get to feel superior to EVERYONE then, all without REALLY being part of the solution!

    That was so easy, why did I even bother to ask the question?

  • Josh

    CC, you make some good points. I guess it’s enough to say that everyone is at fault — pro-life people for not helping enough when children are born, and pro-choice people for not adequately respecting human life.

    This is an abortion post, not a “starving people” post. If it were, I’m sure I would spend just as much time arguing for them. The difference is that the fact they need help is universally acknowledged, while some people still feel its OK to kill their offspring.

    Also, your last attack (pro-lifers do it so they can feel superior) is really pitiful. I don’t even feel I need to explain why. Besides, I don’t ‘bitch about paying taxes for the welfare queens’ because they actually need and rely on what I give.

    People should practice some personal responsibility, though, and not have sex until they are in a position when they can take care of the resulting children. Which, btw, is why conservative people think sex should be saved for marriage — to be prepared for children. But let’s not get into that one, because it would just come back to arguing between choosing the intelligent thing and the “BUT I WANNAA!!!!”.

  • Josh

    Please don’t cite “rape”. It’s less than 2% of all abortions and not what we’re talking about.

  • Mark

    CC the difference between helping people now who are starving in the world and choosing to try and stop abortions is very distinct. With abortion, pro-lifers are simply trying to stop something which is objectively wrong. As for people in the world today who go hungry, there are millions in third world countries which go hungry simply because of political reasons in their governments restricting the flow of food and medicine. In the US however, poverty is often a choice. There are many many programs in place which allow under-privledged people to get work, look at Wal-mart greeters for instance. Their whole purpose is to give people jobs. If many of these people wanted food they could find work and earn it. If not there are still many government programs in place to provide them with welfare. There is relatively little we can do for those people in the US and many people contribute to charities which provide relief for poor people overseas. I see very little evidence to support your claim that pro-life people do nothing to try to protect those who are already alive.

  • CC

    Hmmm- lack of respect for human life. I would argue that not doing enough for out of the womb suffering children & their families, and instead mainly focusing on the abortion issue shows a major lack of respect for human life.

    So, this is only an abortion post? I heartily disagree. The fact that poverty & starvation have entered this debate gets to the one of the major cruxes of the issue as to why many choose to limit their family size via family planning. Nobody sane would really need to argue about feeding starving people, rather conservatives tend to not have the guts or compassion to do what is necessary to adequately fund these programs.

    It is obsurd to argue that it is compassionate only those who are willing and able to bear children can have sex- furthermore that only the married should. That is a religious argument & therefore not a good one b/c guess what, not everyone finds their morality in the conservative holy book of whichever religion is most dominant in their area. why do religious conservatives get to be the ones who decide what people do- oh yeah, because they think they have god on their side.

    My so-called ‘pitiful’ argument for pro-lifers using abortion to feel superior is not pitiful at all, b/c I have seen and heard it first hand from their mouths.

    I’m glad you don’t ‘bitch’ about your money going to people on welfare, b/c with your judgemental laws passing, more people are going to need it. Unless of course, abstinence programs begin to magically work. (before you claim they do, look at actual scientific evidence & not the pro-life websites- if in fact you actually think science has any merit- many uber religious conservatives don’t)

    Of course I don’t know you personally have no evidence what you say about your tax dollars, which is why I did not say you, but conservative pro-lifers in general. Please don’t do the ‘typical conservative argument tactic’ and start saying I am personally talking about you by saying conservatives or pro-lifers; get over yourself.

    From what little evidence I have via these posts however, it is pretty clear you feel fully qualified to comment & judge the sexual choices & consequences of others enough to tell them their choices are shallow, selfish, and unintelligent- your words BTW.

    Yes, you indeed do need to explain why you are trying to place judgements on who SHOULD have sex & why you try to force them to deal YOUR WAY with the consequences of their choices. Who the hell are YOU to decide how people should live their lives?! Honestly, not only do you want to eliminate the choice of abortion, but now people can’t even have sex? Absolutely, positively, utterly ridiculous obsurb level of egotism & condescencion involved in how much control you ‘think’ you should have over people’s lives. Yet you do think you should have to explain yourself?! FUCK THAT!

    When did I mention rape? If I did, I make no apologies for it b/c it is ONE of the many legitimate reasons for the need or want of abortion(others being domestic abuse situations, mental illness, etc). I WILL mention rape if I want b/c it is a reality. But thanks for your ‘suggestion’- you are a little control freak huh? What, no arguments for it? Or does rape pass muster as an unshallow, unselfish enough reason to warrant the need for an abortion?
    I know you’d like to try and control (uh steer) where this conversation goes & stick to the only point you pro-lifers like to go- whether the fetus is a human life. Not gonna happen. This illustrates the complexity of the abortion issue, not merely as ‘black & white’ as pro-lifers claim it to be. (for the sake of argument- let’s say we all agree with you on that one- before you feel the need to re-iterate that point)
    From Mark’s past posts aparently rape is STILL no excuse for abortion. Unbelievable. (Mark- Before you ‘trollingly’ restate your position on why you believe this, please spare us- we can read your previous posts.)

  • CC

    OT:
    Yeah- working at Walmart TRUELY has raised ALL our living standards.
    Yeah- at minimum wage or maybe slightly above, it is truly possible to adequately support your family. Right. Have you not been reading the news?!

    The whole purpose of Walmart is to altruistically give people jobs?! Are you freakin’ kidding me?
    Wal-Mart employees at two Central Oregon stores start at $7.50 an hour. A fulltime job at the local Wal-Mart is just 34 hours a week. That’s $13,260 before taxes, which is $2,410 below the federal poverty level for a family of three in 2004 (the most recent data available). A job should lift you out of poverty, not keep you in it. Wal-Mart pays poverty wages.

    Wal-Mart’s claim that it creates new jobs is a myth. Almost every community where Wal-Mart has moved in reports losing one good job for every new low-paying Wal-Mart job. Some communities have lost three jobs for every two Wal-Mart jobs.

    http://walmartwatch.com/

    Poverty in the U.S. is a choice?! Obviously you do not live in the same U.S. that the rest of us do.

    I did not say pro-life people do nothing to the already born, I said they don’t do enough, as compared to the efforts they put into the unborn. If they redirected much of their efforts, they would do wonders to combat the suffering that exists.

    Also, I’m surprised you used the words ‘already alive’ instead of pre-born. Little slip there huh, since pro-lifers militantly argue that fetuses are live human beings.

    Mark- any comments about my #215 rebuttal of your #214 post?

  • Mark

    Love to CC.

    “#214
    Not many people would be willing to go out of their way, put their life & health on the line to murder someone, but they would for an abortion. Thereby showing that the logic for abortion is much different than murder. Abortion is quite often an act of desperation & need(not simply shallow & selfish reasons), while murder is not. I can think of scores of reasons to have an abortion (self-survival, etc), but there is almost NO good reason to murder someone (other than self defense.) ”

    The first thing which jumped out at me here is how apparently most murderer dont commit these crimes out of desperation and need. I’m willing to bet that most murderer are serial murderers and commit their crimes exactly because of desperation and need. Robbing a store to get money to eat, killing a cop to avoid going back to jail, in my opinion most murders are crimes of desperation and need. But here I am getting caught in the argument that every pro-choice person seems to think is legitimate, what is the motivation of the crime. The fact of the matter is that objective reality exists. Some things are wrong no matter how you look at them and murder, in its proper definition, is one of them. It is NEVER right to murder someone else, even if you are desperate or needy. It may be an extenuating circumstance, but this does not completely eliminate the person’s culpability for their actions, but simply reduces their sentence. The SAME applies to abortion. Pro-choice people try their hardest the squirm around the point that abortion is the intentional killing of a human being who has done NOTHING to warrant it. Pro-choice people make every emotional, economic, and self-righteous argument availible to avoid the simple truth that abortion is murder and even go so far as to say that opposing murder (in this sense) neglects the dignity of human life.

  • td

    CC it’s no use. Their only responce is “killing is wrong, your a baby killer”.

    I have granted that abortion is not the right solution for women to want. I agree that any pre-born stage is a potential human, and I believe most women who have abortions agree as well.

    But even if the argument is:

    “Fine, lets ban abortion. But unfortunately this has shown not to have a significant impact and we do not have the police able to enforce the law, so how do we convince women not to kill their babies.”

    Their responce is still:

    “Killing babies is wrong, your a baby killer”

    ANd they’re only solution being:

    “Abstinence, we should all just practice abstinence”

    Who’s programs are innefective at best unless they are part of a larger Sex-Ed Program. And then it is difficult to measure the individual success of abstinence apart from the rest of the Sex-Ed program.

    Anyways, until I see a pro-lifer willing to discuss the reasons why women choose abortion, even when punishable by death, I will reframe from commenting.

    PS Josh, Mark called me a Nazi and compared me to Hitler long before post 200. And I was the first to say this kind of insinuation was childish. It was only after continued attacks by him and his refusal to respond to any of my arguments that I posted #200. Maybe you should go back and actually read the discussion.

  • Josh

    Pro-lifers do act on other issues, but focus more on the abortion issue, like I said, because so many people still think it’s OK to kill their babies.

    How compassion enter into who can have sex? Like I said, its a matter of common sense.

    Definition of intelligent: having the capacity for thought and reason especially to a high degree.
    Example 1: Guns hurt. I do not want my foot to hurt. I will not shoot myself in the foot.
    Example 2: Sex makes babies. I do not want babies. I will not have sex.

    CC, were you able to follow those complex examples of intelligence? That’s reasoning on at LEAST a 4th grade level. Abortion is a question of morality. Sex is a question of economics. Can you economically handle what sex brings (BABIES, for those with critical reading problems)? I’m assuming you know the biology of all this.

    Yes, your ‘pitiful’ argument is, in fact, pitiful. That’s just a misguided generalization. Could it be that pro-lifers actually care about babies? Could those damn villains actually care about something other than their wallets?!

    Abstinence is 100% effective in preventing babies. I can’t remember the last time someone got pregnant after being looked at.

    About the tax thing, that’s what’s wrong with your argument. It’s a generalization. Most pro-lifers have no problem with supporting the poor. Those who DO have problems with this are usually Republicans.

    You’re almost laughable. If sex were harmless, and babies weren’t aborted, then I would say GO FOR IT. But since babies DO come from sex, whether we want them to or not, I say WAIT until you are prepared for one.

    Personally, I don’t care how you live your life. It’s when your decisions start to affect another (like, for instance, in abortion) that I feel the need to state my opinion. You can’t kill ANOTHER HUMAN BEING because YOU made a poor life choice.

    I mentioned rape because inevitably pro-choice people use it to take the argument away from CONSENSUAL sex, and then argue both on the basis of rape. It’s very annoying.

    I’m glad you, even if it’s just for the sake of argument, agree that babies are actually human beings when still in the womb. It’s a start. However, it’s a tad scary that you still don’t give a damn whether they live or die.

  • Josh

    Also, I’m not bashing Republicans. Their social policies are much more economically sound than Democrats. What we need is a Republican program that has some Democratic aspects.

  • Mark

    Jeez, why do people keep saying I’m comparing them to Hitler? I just read all my posts to confirm that I’ve never even mentioned the Holocaust in this thread. Even if I did how would I conceivably connect the intentional brutal murder of an entire segment of the population which the government has identified as sub-human and therefore have no rights or protection under the law. It isnt even similar, because in this case the entire country knows whats going on and sees it happening every day, most German’s didnt find out about the existence of concentration camps until the war ended. But I have never before compared pro-choice people to Nazis td….until now.

  • Mark

    Also, in defense of my argument, the pro-choice side has been equally evasive in answering the simple moral quandry posed by abortion. Personally if something is objectively wrong and violating someone’s rights, I’d like it to be illegal.

  • Druxxx

    Sex, when it is between two consenting adults, not a crime last time I checked. No crime equals no consequence in my book. Some pro-life people know they have no chance of outlawing sex that is not for procreation, so they go after abortion as a way of forcing their morals on others.

    After reading this and other threads, I realized the reason this debate is often so useless. Pro-Life people will not back off the concept of life at conception. Once egg meets sperm that embryo gets full constitutional protection; End of discussion.

    I get the concept of abortion=murder. If I, as a pro-choice person, am willing to give into the concept of life at conception, then are there any pro-life people willing to say some of the mother’s rights are being taken away to keep that child growing in the womb?

    What other rights are you going to take away from people once you get some of a woman’s rights? I think Mark talked about intent. He dismissed the argument about forcing healthy people to give up part of themselves (blood, non-vital organs) to save others. Abortion has the intent to kill, thus it is murder. You are not intending to kill, by not giving to others to save their life. But what if you were the only one of a rare blood type with an extra healthy kidney. By not giving up your kidney, you could be the direct result of someone else dying of kidney failure. You would know you are this person’s only chance. When you say no, you are signing the death certificate. Sure your direct intent by saying no is to avoid surgery and having to give up the insurance policy of having two kidneys, but the direct result is the death of another human.

    Pro-choice people don’t want to kill anyone. Early in a pregnancy, a fetus is not viable, so we have a very hard time giving it all the rights of a completely viable, already born human. Even if you do consider the fetus equal to the mother; if there is a conflict, one
    has to trump the other. We feel the viable one wins.

  • Mark

    I did respond to your organ donor point Druxx. The key here is that the woman engaged in sex knowing that there is a chance that she might become pregnant. She understood this as a possible outcome and decided to continue anyway. If I did something which caused someone to need a kidney then yes, I would feel it appropriate to give her one of mine. If I had no connection to that other person then there would be no obligation for me to provide them with organs. It is incongruous to liken organ donation to abortion.

    You say that pro-choice people dont want to kill people. You then go on to say that it just doesnt seem to make sense to give “non-viable” fetuses the right to life. If you dont want to kill people, I would hope this means you want to protect them from being killed if possible. Viability is not an argument for murder. If it is a person, viable or not, then it has all the rights that a person has.

    What rights are you speaking about when you say that the mother’s right are being taken away? There are no such things as reproductive rights. These do not exist either in nature or in the Bill of Rights. Privacy rights are not reproductive rights.

  • Druxxx

    Mark you took choice out of this argument when you said rape is not an excuse to allow abortion. I realize it is a small percentage, but your argument is based on the fetus being equal to a born human with all legal distinctions. This is why rape is not an acceptable exception to the rule. Abortion is murder, what happened to create the child is meaningless. I don’t care that you had nothing to do with another person’s kidney failure. The simple fact is by giving up your right to a kidney that you don’t need to live; you will allow another human life to continue.

    Rights? You don’t think a woman is giving up any rights while she is pregnant. Now I know none of these are in the “Bill of Rights” but they are rights in the real world that we all live by. What about the right to a job? I think an expecting mother will find herself in the hospital a day before and a few days after giving birth. I am sure there are a few employers who do not pay a new mother during “maternity leave.” What about the right to be comfortable? What about the right to not be kicked in the ribs? Have you ever tried to go to work after a night spent not sleeping because the thing inside you was not going to allow it? Pregnancy at best is not comfortable. At worst it can be deadly. I would say pregnancy could deny a woman the right to “the pursuit of happiness.” And that one is in the constitution.

    Depending on age and your activity level, I think giving up a kidney would be far easier then pregnancy.

    There are many people who see viability as the point when a human deserves all their “god given” rights; even some pro-lifers. Before viability, the fetus could be technically called a parasite. I think the whole moral question of abortion revolves around viability. Before viability it is easy to have the mother come first. Ever hear of a tubular pregnancy? The embryo implants in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. In that case we have to abort because if not the mother will die, and so will the fetus. I have a feeling if the medical community were to dismiss the mothers life, they could find a way to save the life of the embryo. I think Mark/Josh would allow the abortion in this case. They would speak of intent or some other legal term, even though it was no fault of the embryos. In the case of rape abortion cannot be allowed because the embryo has rights, but they disappear when the mother’s life is in danger.

    I just think it is easier to never give the embryo/fetus those rights until it is viable. That way I never have to take them away when the need arises.

  • Mark

    This is why I said organ donation is incongruous to abortion. A kidney is not an entire human being. Neither is a liver or whatever. Its a confused argument to say that in order to be pro-life I need to be willing to give up my kidney to anyone who wants it at anytime. One is direct and another is indirect.

    As for all those rights which we have but just arn’t ever laid out anywhere, like the right to free chocolate cake and the right to walk on your hands and the right to make ballon animals. You dont just make up rights. We as humans are entitled to certain things in this world. I think they are laid out quite nicely in the constitution and the Bill of Rights. We do have the right to pursue happiness, but not when it conflicts with another person’s right’s. Notice here how it says we have a right to pursue happiness. No one has ever said we have the right to be happy, this implies that anything which might make us unhappy would be in violation of our rights.

    As for viability. Rights, such as life, are granted to us on the basis that we are human beings. I personally dont feel that a human being is less human before it can support itself, nor is it any less human after it can’t. I fail to see the remarkable nature of viability which suddenly transforms a mass of tissue which very much resembles the human form and which has brain waves and breathes, from something strictly parasitic into a human being, thus subject to all the protections afforded to it as a human. What is it about somethings ability to survive in another location which redefines its entire substance?

  • T A Dodger

    This is why I said organ donation is incongruous to abortion. A kidney is not an entire human being. Neither is a liver or whatever.

    I think you’re misunderstanding the analogy, Mark.

    You might have to let someone use your kidney to sustain a life, I might have to let someone use my uterus to sustain what is arguably a life.

    The kidney is not like the fetus. The kidney is like the uterus. If a woman has to let another person use her uterus to save a life, does a person have to let another person use her kidney, her blood?

    Hope that helps.

    We as humans are entitled to certain things in this world.

    One of the things we are entitled to is control over our bodies. After all, it would be ridiculous to say that I have a right to control types of property like my land and money but I have no right to control my bone marrow or knee-caps or whatnot.

  • Druxxx

    Mark you skipped the part about taking away the rights of the fetus if the mothers life is in danger. Is it the fetus’s fault it implanted wrong? It can’t make choices for itself. Remember the whole innocent thing.

    Do you not understand that by taking away the right to abortion, you are making all mothers subservient to the fetus growing inside of them.
    I bet a few of the women getting abortions are married and have had a kid or two. They choose not to have anymore because of the pain and suffering involved.

    This country is very much governed by inferred rights. If we only got the rights listed in the constitution and no more, we might as well shut down the SCOTUS. There would be no need for it.

    BTW, Mark, thanks for the continued responces. We may not have agreed on anything, but the dialog is good. To many times on these threads, they end before I gain any insite from the pro-life side.

  • Mark

    Thank you Druxx, I’m enjoying the dialogue as well.

    As for cases where there is tubular pregnancy, it would be acceptable to dislodge the fetus in order to preserve the life of the mother. In such a case, it presents a threat to both the mother and the child and both will die if nothing is done. Since it has already implanted improperly, the fetus will never be able to be carried to term and will die along with the mother. By preserving the mother’s life it saves the only life which is able to be saved in the situation. The hippocratic oath first says do no harm, in this case that is what is happening, no harm is being done because they will both die if nothing is done.

  • fos

    My comment #188 still stands. Just read this frecking thread. Women biologically need and desire to work in the kitchen, barefoot, pregnant and serving their master. This is a scientific fact in evolutionary theory. Read Dr. Hillerbroten’s book. Master of the giant ape’s.”Nest of the Master”.

  • TA Dodger

    Now that is a troll.

  • troll

    you gotta admire its style

    troll

  • Druxxx

    O.K. Mark and the other pro-lifers out there. What about activities that could be harmful to the unborn child?

    We all know a pregnant woman shouldn’t drink or smoke. Two perfectly legal activites. Are you going to outlaw drinking and smoking for pregnent women? If yes, how would you enforce it? Now this is definatly a right to privacy thing.

    Are you going to demand a pregnancy test before a woman can by a pack of smokes at the gas station? Will a bar tender have to ask for some urine when carding any women aking for a drink?

    I bet a few women has purposly miscarried thanks to excessive drinking.

  • Mark

    Pro-life people for the most part only advocate the banning of legal abortion. Its true there are many things which you can do which are legal, a personal choice and also can result in miscarrying, but I’m not saying we should overly regulate these activities, although it would be interesting to see a woman who miscarried her child be brought up on negligence charges. I havent really given a lot of thought on the issue, but I dont want to immediately say that these things should be illegal. I still think that the child in her womb is a person and her actions are endangering the life of her child, but they arn’t conclusively always going to result in the death or deformation of the child. If the smoking or drinking or drug use resulted in a child with special needs, I think the burden of raising that child or at least the realization that their irresponsibility severely retarded their child’s development would be punishment enough, but it is an intriguing question, whether or not the direct endangerment of a child’s development should be legally protected in the womb. We see mother’s being charged with negligence and there are things like corrupting a minor, maybe there would be room as well for these pre-natal attacks on childhood development. I dont think the burder would fall on those distributing the cigarettes or alcohol (unless the woman was obviously in the late stages of pregnancy) but instead if she was discovered to have used those products with the intent to kill her child, she might recieve something like a manslaughter charge and if she was simply neglegent, then neglegence.

  • Druxxx

    This thread sure has quieted down.

    Anyway, how about some hypothetical? Let’s say there is a case where a pregnant woman has a chance to die if she brings the child to term. Her risks come towards the end of the pregnancy. She will most likely survive until the fetus is viable. The complications arise in the “harvesting” of the child from the womb. She might have a blood-clotting problem for example. There is no danger to the fetus, but only to the mother.

    In this case should the mother be allowed to abort to save her own life, knowing that the fetus could survive if she was willing to take the risk involved with her pregnancy?

    Oh wait, this is every pregnancy. My wife had to have an emergency C-section. Any time someone is put under, there is a chance they may not live. I realize this chance is small in most cases, but it is still there. So at what percentage do we say it is O.K. for a woman to have the abortion to make sure here life is not in danger?

    And what about women who have a known risk of a bad pregnancy? Should they be allowed to get pregnant? We know if they do they would have to abort. Would that mean they couldn’t have sex? We know birth control is not 100% effective. And I have a feeling if a woman could not survive a C-section, no doctor is going to tie her tubes or do any other surgery necessary to make her unfertile.

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett

    And I haven’t seen anyone respond to the theological question: if you believe in a God who controls everything on earth, then S/He is by far the most proficient abortionist, since about 20 per cent of detected pregnancies end in spontaneous abotion, and the rate would be higher if earlier, undetected pregnancies could be included. (See for example here.
    SO it seems God does approve of abortion.

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett

    And I haven’t seen anyone respond to the theological question: if you believe in a God who controls everything on earth, then S/He is by far the most proficient abortionist, since about 20 per cent of detected pregnancies end in spontaneous abotion, and the rate would be higher if earlier, undetected pregnancies could be included. (See for example here.
    SO it seems God does approve of abortion.

  • Josh

    Natalie, that’s actually a very complex question. I’ll start first by saying that humans and God are held to different standards. Because we belong to God (created to creator), it is Its right to end or begin whatever life It has created. It’s not the same with humans — we have no right to end what we have not created. You may say that through sex that you’ve created this baby, but it’s not technically the same. You didn’t create this baby out of nothing, you created this baby out of materials that ultimately belong to God, thus the baby belongs to God as well.

    That’s just my view, maybe Mark has a better answer for you?

    Druxxx, do you mean they would have to abort 100% of the time? Because if you do, having getting their tubes tied wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett

    Well we are getting into deep theological waters here, but if you believe that abortion is simply, in black and white, “evil”, then how can you live with a God committing thousands of evil acts every day? How could you trust or rely on such a God?

  • Josh

    The difference is, if God ends a life, It does so because it is the absolute best option. Can human beings be expected to know what is the best option? I would say no, that either way they would be biased either for or against that life based upon feeling rather than objectivity. I’m expecting that you would say, “But shouldn’t every mother make this decision on an individual basis?” If they can objectively and *unselfishly* make that decision.

  • Josh

    And I’m only conceding that because I would be sure that 98% of the women who abort could have dealt with it another way.

  • Mark

    I’ll take a shot at the theological question first, I need a little time to collect my thoughts about Druxx’s question.

    I think in this instance it would be more appropriate to call it terminating a pregnancy. Death in and of itself is not evil, so when someone dies it is not necessarily evil. Abortion is evil because it is murder. It is not murder when God chooses that it is someone’s time to die because he has the authority to do so. It boils down to a matter of authority. If I tried to arrest someone, it would be considered kidnapping because I dont have any authority to arrest anyone. If a police officer on the other hand arrests someone, it is perfectly acceptable. God has the authority to decide when it is appropriate to end someone’s life, even in the case of children who die in the womb.

  • Josh

    Good answer, Mark.

  • Druxxx

    Josh, the point was that there are women out there who should not get pregnant. And in some of those situations surgury to cause permanent infertility is not an option. These women have to resort to more conventional forms of birth control which we all know is not 100% effective.
    If abortion after conception was not an option, these women would be risking their lives every time they have sex. Would that be fair?

  • Josh

    This is from my own lack of knowledge, but are there certain conditions which prevent this kind of surgery?

  • Druxxx

    I am not an expert, but conditions like hemophelia (the body has a hard time clotting blood) make any surgury very risky. It would also make pregnancy risky for the same reason.

    Women can loose a good amount of blood during child birth or they may have to have a C-section.

    Again the question is at what percentage of risk do you allow for an abortion? Who decides that risk?

  • Druxxx

    Dave Nalle has written a good piece on the SCOTUS taking a case involving a federal ban on partial birth abortion. Check it out if you have not already.

    Here’s the thing; Legislatures at the state and federal level cannot even write a law banning partial birth abortions that passes constitutional mustard. How are they going to write a law that bans early term abortions?

    The problem lies in the exceptions that any abortion law grants. And there has to be exceptions. We can debate those exceptions and come to some common ground, but the problem is enforcing those exceptions. The pro-life side wants them left out because they know they will be taken advantage of. This is true that they will be taken advantage of, but there is no way a partial birth abortion law will stand that won’t allow for an abortion if the mother’s life is in immanent danger. Or if the child has almost zero chance of living past its first few days due to severe birth defects.

    I realize that a partial birth abortion is a gruesome procedure, but I think most women would find it more appealing then giving birth to a dead or dying baby.

    Now the question is how to write a law restricting all abortions. What exceptions will be needed to pass constitutional mustard? Rape? Risk to the mothers life? I have a feeling those two would have to be in there for sure. How do you enforce those exceptions? Does a woman’s doctor have authority to say the risk is to high and allow the abortion? Maybe two or three doctors would have to be in agreement? The pro-life side wouldn’t like pro-choice leaning doctors making that call.

    What about rape? Would the expecting mother have to prove it was rape? Most women take at least a few weeks to realize they are pregnant. Should the rape have to be reported to the authorities? How would a woman be able to prove rape a month or more after the fact?

    I am trying to make it clear that even “outlawing” abortion will not stop many legal abortions from happening. It will just make it more inconvenient. I am sure there would be plenty of sympathetic doctors out there who would take advantage of the exceptions in any abortion ban to perform plenty of legal, safe abortions.

    The pro-life side is engaging in an un-winnable war. Legal abortions will continue to happen because no law will stand that does not have exceptions, which create big loopholes. Unless, of course, we are willing to create the AEA. (abortion enforcement agency) I don’t know about you, but I am not willing to live in a police state.

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett

    And of course those loopholes will be easily exploited by the rich, but very hard for the poor to access. So it is the most vulnerable women who will be forced into dangerous illegal abortions – as was the case when it was illegal in the past.

  • Druxxx

    True, very true

  • Mark

    What is it about not allowing for exceptions which creates a constitutional problem?

  • Mark

    Also, if the woman had a condition which made it very risky for her to undergo surgery, wouldnt an abortion be just as risky? I’ve heard of a lot of different ways an abortion can be botched.

  • Druxxx

    Sure the abortion would be risky, but in many situations it is far less risky then carrying the child until viable, then trying to remove that child.

    And if the pregnancy was found early enough, the child could be aborted with medication rather then surgury.

  • CC

    #224
    Td- I beginning to think you are right. They can only think very simply on such a complex issue. Its like talking to a 4 year old & not a 4th grader. *Sigh*

    I can only console myself in the fact that women & people will do they deem necessary and right to survive, even in the fact of these unjust laws, we can only hope to fight & make it safe and available. I’m glad things are moving in the pro-reproductive rights in much of the world & hopefully will continue to.

    OT: People are now actually saying that giving their child the vaccine against HPV (the wart/cervical cancer virus) will ENCOURAGE & condone them to have sex. Why do many people’s IQ’s drop immediately, when the issue is sex related.

    #229 That is so freakin’ true! (going after abortion as a way of enforcing their morals on others- now its birth control too- they never stop huh?)

    [What rights are you speaking about when you say that the mother’s right are being taken away? There are no such things as reproductive rights. These do not exist either in nature or in the Bill of Rights. Privacy rights are not reproductive rights.]
    No such thing as reproductive rights? Actually the Supreme Court & many state & federal courts disagree with you on that one. That is why people cannot be forcibly sterilized, get fired for being pregnant, etc. Reproductive rights ABSOLUTELY are privacy & Constitutional Rts. I don’t know about your ‘nature’ comment- there are many things humans do that do not exist in nature- therefore a mute point.

    [If the smoking or drinking or drug use resulted in a child with special needs, I think the burden of raising that child or at least the realization that their irresponsibility severely retarded their child’s development would be punishment enough]
    Now where is your compassion for the injured child? I love pro-lifer’s concept of PUNISHING people for their actions, i.e. if you are stuiped enough to get pregnant when you didn’t want to, you should deal with your stuiped choices…all the while its the poor child who suffers.

    Mark- A tubal pregnancy does not involve a fetus-at the point it is an embryo. Also, it is not true that pro-lifers mainly go after legal abortion. As evidenced on this board, they also don’t agree with birth control or other reproductive rights either. Its becoming increasingly common for women to be refused their BC prescriptions b/c the pharmacist doesn’t ‘morally’ agree. Abortion only my butt!
    (yes- I know you said ‘mainly’, but its getting more and more common)
    #257 Abortion(especially early term) is actually a very simple and fairly non-invasive procedure when compared to actual surgery- it usually does not even require anisthetia.

    #241 The U.S. Congress & S.C. already decided that one-a woman who’s life or health is in danger CANNOT get a late-term abortion(partial birth- which is a made up pro-life term BTW) NO MATTER WHAT. Shows how valuable women’s lives are compared to a fetus. Good thing the Supreme Court is revisiting the case- probably won’t go well with anti-choice Scalito on the bench though. Also, Medicaid funds can’t be used for an abortion even to save the woman’s life & health- what the hell is going on in this country?!

  • CC

    #257 Yes there are lots of ways an abortion can be botched- if its ILLEGAL and UNSAFE. This is what you are advocating. Where’s the morality in that?

  • Mark

    Pro-choice people bounce back and forth between how they feel about the child being killed. One second its not a child at all, but some mysterious non-human collection of tissue…the next its a poor child who is doomed to a life of poverty, misery, abuse, and eventual starvation and finally in 259 for CC its a victim of the mother’s stupidity and selfishness for being retarded and deformed by her using cigarette and alcohol during the pregnancy. Make up your mind! If its a baby, why are we killing them?

    The reason pro-life people treat this issue as such an essentially simple one is because it is! Pro-choice people try to complicate it in order to confuse and distract people from the essential truth about abortion. It kills an innocent child. Abortion is never right. A true pro-life abortion law would not allow exceptions for rape, incest or the health of the mother. Those are placed in many pro-life laws in order to make it easier to get them passed. Cases of rape and incest, while sad, do not immediately necessitate the murder of a child. If the mother’s health is at stake and the baby has no way of surviving without her, it makes sense to abort the child. If the baby will survive the birth and the mother will not, I still dont think abortion is the moral choice.

    As far as tubular pregnancies go, I wasnt looking to get bogged down in terms, fetus, embryo, they are both human to me. There is no difference between them and us except time.

    It is a very dangerous precedent to set to classify a certain segment of the population as sub-human. This is what was done with slavery. It is what was done in the Holocaust. It is what has been done with unborn children for the last thirty years.

    I find the arrival of a pro-life majority in the S.C. a blessing. I can only hope they have the courage to follow their consciences.

    Partial birth abortions are exactly what they sound like. The reason pro-lifers call them that is to reveal their true nature. Pro-choice people would much rather replace the term partial birth with something much more innocuous and vague in order to mask the true horror of this procedure. Basically they deliver the babies legs and chest, then jam forceps into the babies brain and chop them up. There have been audio recordings of the babies screams…probably some of the most haunting sounds I will never be able to forget in my life. So yes, we came up with a term which tells people a little bit more closely what “late term abortions” actually are. That is what pro-choice people are defending. Their “reproductive rights” give them the choice to savagely murder their own children. Sorry…am I using terms which are too specific and appropriate for you CC?

  • CC

    #261 Circular logic with the first part of your post. B/c pro-choicers don’t agree with you that a early-term fetus is a human life, they therefore are being hypocritcal when being compassionate about a suffering baby or other post-born human? Talk about hollow and simplist logic.

    no, what you are doing is using unmedical terms to mischaracterize a specific medical procedure. Very dishonest.

    Hey, but who cares about honesty & facts when you can emotionally trick and deceive & LIE to others to bring them to your way of thinking? The ends justify the means right?

  • CC

    Oh boy- we’re back to Abortion=Holocaust

    Fun! This discussion is going nowhere.

    I’m done.