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Why is Abortion an Issue in the Presidential Race?

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Abortion is a highly charged emotional issue. Many people oppose abortion, under any circumstances. Others think it is just fine in all circumstances. Still others think it is OK in some, but not all circumstances. These, I submit, are "givens." What I don't understand is why abortion is a major issue in the Presidential race, since there is very little the President can do to grant the wish of any group vis a vis abortion.

Much attention has been paid to the answers of Senators McCain and Obama at the Saddleback event, to the question

at what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?

OBAMA: Well, you know, I think that whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade. . . . But let me just speak more generally about the issue of abortion, because this is something obviously the country wrestles with. One thing that I’m absolutely convinced of is that there is a moral and ethical element to this issue. And so I think anybody who tries to deny the moral difficulties and gravity of the abortion issue, I think, is not paying attention. So that would be point number one.

But point number two, I am pro-choice. I believe in Roe v. Wade, and I come to that conclusion not because I’m pro-abortion, but because, ultimately, I don’t think women make these decisions casually. I think they — they wrestle with these things in profound ways, in consultation with their pastors or their spouses or their doctors or their family members. And so, for me, the goal right now should be — and this is where I think we can find common ground. And by the way, I’ve now inserted this into the Democratic party platform, is how do we reduce the number of abortions? The fact is that although we have had a president who is opposed to abortion over the last eight years, abortions have not gone down and that is something we have to address.

MCCAIN: At the moment of conception. (APPLAUSE).

To me, the question was not a very good one, since "human rights" has many different meanings in many different contexts, possibly including the right to citizenship.* Nevertheless, both candidates seemed to respond to it as though it had been "At what point does abortion cease to be a viable option, if it ever is a viable option?" Senator Obama expressed his agreement with Roe v. Wade . Senator McCain seems — almost but not quite — to have said that abortion should be unlawful, period.

As I read Roe v. Wade, a State (as distinguished from the Federal Government) has two legitimate interests in abortion.

1. During early pregnancy, a State can regulate the medical conditions under which abortions are performed, solely in the interest of the safety of the pregnant woman. It can, therefore, prohibit "coat hanger" abortions, require that abortions be performed only by licensed physicians, only in certified medical facilities, and the like. This decision was based on the then existing state of medical practice, it being felt that prior to the end of the first trimester, abortion presents insufficient State interest to justify intervention for reasons transcending the health of the pregnant woman. Hence, prior to the end of the first trimester, any pregnant woman who so desires can have an abortion performed for whatever reason she wishes, subject only to the State's interest that the procedure be performed safely for the woman.

2. "For the stage subsequent to viability, the State in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother." Viability is rather a fuzzy concept. According to the Court, "viability is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks." Viability was intended to mean "potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid." The Court expressly did not delve into the question of when life begins. "The word 'person,' as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn. . . . We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer."

It has been a long time (more than thirty years) since Roe v. Wade was decided; although I have not studied the subject, it seems likely that, with modern technology, a fetus might legitimately be considered viable much earlier than it was in 1973. Were the Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade, it might and possibly should take into account whatever impact current technology may have on these questions and decide that abortion may be prohibited, except when necessary for the "preservation of the life or health of the mother" even during the first trimester.

There is nothing I can find in Roe v. Wade which would permit a State to prohibit even very late term abortions, where medically necessary for the "preservation of the life or health of the mother."

The reasons articulated in Roe v. Wade seem to me to apply not only to the States but to the Federal Government as well, founded as they are on the Constitution as applied to State actions via the Fourteenth Amendment. Hence, any Federal effort to ban abortion prior to the end of the first trimester and prior to "viability," regardless of the medical consequences to the pregnant woman, would probably fail muster. So would any Federal effort to ban even very late term abortions, medically necessary for the "preservation of the life or health of the mother."

It seems to me that the Federal Government (unlike a State Government) has no legitimate interest in abortions, or even infanticide. I agree that very late term abortions and infanticide are bad things, and that the States should ban them, criminally, unless (once again) necessary for the "preservation of the life or health of the mother." I can think of no circumstances in which infanticide — killing a child whose abortion failed and who survived the experience — would be necessary for those reasons.

Most criminal matters are quite properly left up to the States. If I murder someone in California, it is an offense against the laws of California and it is under the laws of California that I should be tried. Federal criminal law applies to murder only in very limited circumstances, where there is a substantial Federal interest transcending the murder itself. True, transcendent Federal interests are being found these days where they had never previously been thought to exist; I think that is a pernicious trend.

My position is that the question of whether to have an abortion should be left up to the pregnant woman during the first trimester (subject to the question of "viability" being revisited), and that it should not be prohibited later in the pregnancy, even after "viability," if necessary for the "preservation of the life or health of the mother."

This is a very emotional issue about which many people feel quite strongly. Were I pregnant with an unwanted child, I don't know what I would do. Fortunately, it is extraordinarily unlikely that I (a sixty-seven year old male) shall ever be in that position. Were my wife, girl friend or daughter to be in that situation, I would offer whatever poor advice I could, but in the final analysis think the decision should be up to her, not to me, subject to the precept that violation of State laws compliant with the U.S. Constitution is not a valid option.

In the light of Roe v. Wade, there is very little for a President to do about abortion. He cannot enact State laws. While he can offer Federal legislation, he cannot enact it. That's up to the Congress. Should the Congress enact Federal legislation banning abortion, there would be at least two problems. It would intrude impermissibly on the prerogative of the States to pass or not to pass such laws. Second, it would eventually need to pass Constitutional muster at the Supreme Court. Any such legislation would, almost certainly, wind up there for review. Both the question of permissible Federal intrusion on the rights of the States and the questions answered in Roe v. Wade would need to be resolved.

True, the President can nominate Supreme Court justices, and they can become Justices with the advice and consent of the Senate. During the next Presidential term of office, it seems likely that there will be one or more Supreme Court vacancies to fill. Even assuming nomination of an anti-abortion nominee and a compliant Senate, no Supreme Court nominee worth a bucket of warm piss spit would prejudge cases likely to come before him by testifying in a confirmation hearing that he "believes" that life begins at conception, at birth, or when the dogs die and the kids move out of the house. Nor should such questions even be asked: they are theological questions, and have no place in such proceedings.

Moreover, Supreme Court justices sometimes do not behave as either the President or the Senate contemplated that they would. They tend, in most cases, to look to the unique facts, the procedural context of the case, and the U.S. Constitution to make up their minds; when they don't, they should. That is their job.

The Presidency has limits, and that is a good thing. On the abortion issue, about the only potentially effective thing a President can do is to use his "bully pulpit" to express his views. Whether those views are accepted is up to the people, and to the individual States charged with enacting laws impacting on the issue of abortion.

On a probably somewhat tangential question, I find it puzzling that many "conservatives" who lament the demise of States' rights and infringement on individual freedoms feel so strongly that the President should "do something" to prevent abortion. There seems, to me, to be rather a substantial contradiction there.

* Human rights is a very broad term. One of the "Human rights" which seems to exist in the United States is to become a U.S. citizen if born in the United States, regardless of the citizenship of one's parents. In this case, we can infer that Senator McCain did not intend to suggest that a child born outside the United States to, for example, French parents, should become a citizen of the U.S. simply because conceived in the United States but born in France. There are many other similar examples of why "human rights" was not a good question, but I think this will suffice to illustrate the point.

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About Dan Miller

  • Shane

    The answer is simple, and you answer it. Because of the power to nominate Justices to the Supreme Court. Although they are sometimes predictable (and sometimes not), time and time again the Judges do tend to lean the way of the President that appointed them. I like Obama, and voted for him in the primaries, but the only reason I am considering voting for McCain is because of the Supreme Court issue. I prefer Judges that at least attempt to stick to the original intent of the Constitution. Yes, we must adapt for our changing times, but that does not mean we should give way to the whims of judges, which we are now doing all over. We need, as you allude to, leave the law making up to the various states, especially in areas that were Constitutionally meant to remain with the States.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Dan,

    While the difference may be nominal, if memory serves, Warren asked the candidates two different questions on this topic. Obama got the question you quoted above, while McCain got a more direct question: “When does life begin?” While this difference doesn’t impact your discussion, it did make for a bit of a difference in how the two candidates could answer the question. McCain got away with one line, whereas as the question was put to Obama, it required, especially given his pro-choice position, a much more prolonged and painstaking answer.

    Also, I take small issue with your characterization that some people think that abortion is “just fine” under any circumstances. Perhaps some do, but using that particular phrase IMO misses the mark as regards attitudes about abortion.

    Ann Coulter, the harridan bitch slut from hell, has repeatedly stated that “liberals love to kill babies.”

    Even the most ardent pro-choicers hardly “love to kill babies,” or would IMO say that abortions are “just fine.” Most abortion rights supporters understand how difficult such a decision is for many women. They know that for most there will be emotional (and perhaps physical) scars left by termination procedures. They know it is not a happy decision. But they DO feel strongly about the rights of women to make such decisions for themselves, and that it should be none of the government’s business.

    Personally, I don’t believe that any man should have anything to say about it. Men railing against abortion rights are in many respects hypocrites of the first order. Should women have a legal say as to whether a man gets a vasectomy? I know that is not quite the same thing, but nevertheless, it would put women in a position of setting up legal standards regarding a man’s decision whether to remain fertile.

    To me, the issue is not so much a definition of life, or when does life begin, but rather one of a more practical matter. Is it always preferable to bring a life into the world regardless of circumstances? Many women become pregnant without intending to. Of course, there are measures available to prevent or at least to reduce the probability of conception, but they are not always used, and in at least a few instances, they do not work as expected.
    Adding to the mess is the notion of many religious folk that using some type of contraception is a sin or some such rot.

    Should an unwanted or unintended child be brought into the world under such circumstances? Are we so punitive that we think it just that a woman must carry a child to term, give it birth and raise it as just punishment for her lack of discretion one night in the back seat of a car? The puritan ethic that still abounds in this country is in fact hypicritical and ludicrous.

    What I am discussing above of course are emotional and perhaps spiritual issues. You focused upon the legal aspects. Does the state (either at the state or federal level) have a legal interest in the welfare of the unborn? I suppose some type of standard or oversite should be constituted, but such standards or oversite should be very limited in scope. To limit or otherwise control a woman’s right to make a most personal decision should be beyond the purvue of government.

    As you note, it is typically conservatives who hate government intrusion into peoples’ lives – especially into one’s business. Conservatives tend to sing in harmony as one against government regulations, taxing, etc. Yet, many of those same people have no problem with government taking up residence in our bedroom or in a woman’s womb.

    B

  • Clavos

    Should women have a legal say as to whether a man gets a vasectomy?

    If they have a legal “stake” in the man (i.e. wives), yes; not a deciding say, but a say? Yes.

  • Clavos

    Should an unwanted or unintended child be brought into the world under such circumstances? Are we so punitive that we think it just that a woman must carry a child to term, give it birth and raise it as just punishment for her lack of discretion one night in the back seat of a car? The puritan ethic that still abounds in this country is in fact hypicritical and ludicrous.

    Little of the current debate centers around such extremes. Even ardent Pro-Lifers recognize exigent circumstances in the case of rape and incest.

    The extreme that IS still a problem, however, is the decision as to whether or not to kill (there is no other appropriate word) a human infant (not a “fetus”), which having survived attempts at abortion, has emerged.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Or, er, purview.

    I don’t particularly agree with Shane regarding the courts and the supposed “original intent of the Constitution.” Were that the case, we would have NO ammendments. But changes have been found to be necessary. Also, much of the “intent” of the Constitution is open for interpretation. How else can anyone justify the recent SC decision regarding guns? To “interpret” the Constitution is essentially the job description for a judge – especially on the appellate level and above. We live in a far different, and in many ways far more complex world than that of 1789. There are regularly issues brought before the courts that our founding fathers never could have imagined. To assume that a document written over two hundred years ago could stand up without change in that time, and/or that it could adequately address all issues is ludicrous. Our Constitution is truly a great document, but it is not without its flaws and it cannot adequately relate to all circumstances. It must be reviewed, interpreted and reinterpreted, and changed periodically to be relevant in a vastly different, modern world.

    B

  • Arch Conservative

    “Even the most ardent pro-choicers hardly “love to kill babies,” or would IMO say that abortions are “just fine.”

    Hmmm…then what do you make of the fcat that a few years back Planned Parenthood was selling t-shirts that said “I had an abortion?”

  • Arch Conservative

    I guess Planned Parenthood couldn’t find any taxidermists that would stuff the fetus so that the mother could take it home as a memento of her shoing the world that she made a “choice”

    It’s fucking disgusting that the Dems are going to have Cecile Richards, the evil baby killing cunt bride of Satan, speak at the DNC. There is a woman with more blood on her hands than George Bush could ever have on his.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Clav,

    I wasn’t refering to rape or incest, but rather perhaps a moment of passion or lust at the drive-in or in an empty bedroom at a party, or whatever. Regardless, any pregnancy if unintended and unwanted arises out of “five short minutes of love,” or from whatever circumstances, should the price paid be as I noted above? And more often than not, the “penalty” is placed solely upon the woman. Usually, the man goes on blissfully either unaware, or unconcerned about the consequences of his lust. I would bet that if by some means, men could carry a child, all of this talk would disappear in a heartbeat.

    Certainly, some of the late term procedures raise more complex issues. But I do NOT consider the termination of an early term embryo an infant, nor do I consider it murder. As I’ve noted elsewhere, in the absence of any deity, we are the nearest thing we know of to being god. We have the ability and responsibility to make life and death decisions pretty much at all levels of existence.

    As to the vasectomy scenario, there may have been some civil cases involving this decision, but I know of no legislation pertaining to it. As far as I know, from a legal perspective, any man in this country can opt for a vasectomy with no fear or possibility of the law breaking down his door and carting him off to jail for having his tube (or is it tubes?) clipped. The “say” of which you speak that a woman may have in this regard should, in the majority of cases, be handled within the confines of the relationship, or perhaps the extended family, a counselor or doctor. It should IMO not be placed under the perview of any legislative body.

    By extension, either a vasectomy or a woman having her tubes tied could be considered tantamount to killing one or more humans. How many sperm cells does a man produce throughout his lifetime? Aren’t they all “alive?” How many potential humans have died from a one handed love affair?

    Each woman has a finite number of eggs in her ovaries. Would having her tubes tied, or, say having one or both ovaries removed for whatever cause be considered infanticide? There are those on the nutball fringe who would have it so.

    As to the latter issue, yes, as with the aforementioned late term procedures, this all gets quite messy. But a good deal of that should be handled, not by legislatures, but by the medical community. It should be the responsibility of doctors to standardize procedures and clarify just how certain situations should be handled. Of course, I understand that with human beings, no one can anticipate every possibility. There will always have to be on the fly judgment calls made. But even then, that should most often be the stuff of medical review. If, upon, investigation, it is found that one or more individuals were guilty of either gross negligence or intent to do harm, then perhaps the constabulary should be notified. Otherwise, probably not.

    I find this issue even more confounding than the bruhaha surrounding gay rights and same sex marriage.

    B

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I bet if Arch got himself invited to the GOP convention, he’d get kicked out for being too liberal.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Abortion in the context of the presidential election is a political, not a legal, issue, and both McCain and Obama know this very well.

    The comment thread (particularly B-tone and Archie’s contributions) has already demonstrated this very well. Within half a dozen comments we’re talking about whether or not abortion is a Bad Thing, and not about Dan’s legal analysis, which as usual is beyond reproach.

    McCain was tossed a soft ball (could somebody with at least a modicum of baseball knowledge please correct me here by providing the proper idiom) by Warren, but gave a very smart answer. He pleased his audience, and if challenged on it later in the campaign or if he gets to the White House, he can respond, ‘I said when I believed life began. I didn’t say anything about what my views were on terminating it.’

    In contrast, Obama’s long and meandering answer, while in my view perfectly good, gives his opponents far too much ammo for future use.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Baritone,

    According to the cited transcript, the only source I have to go by, the question asked of Senator McCain was “What point is a baby entitled to human rights.” The question asked of Senator Obama was “at what point does a baby get human rights?” (emphasis added in both quotations). I have only the transcript to go by. There is probably a very slight difference in the questions, but both referred to human rights and neither to when life begins.

    As to whether there are many people who think that abortion is “just fine,” I guess I used more poetic license than I should have. it is a surgical procedure, with dramatically more emotional impact than many other medically simple procedures. I know no one who thinks going to the dentist to have a cavity dealt with is “just fine.” We do it to avoid other less desirable consequences, and I suspect that abortion, for many people, is about the same. If a pregnant woman does not want to continue her pregnancy or have a baby, then I think it’s her choice, not mine or that of society in general to make the decision.

    The Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade set some guidelines, based primarily on medical technology back in 1973. Should the case be revisited, I don’t know or feel competent to speculate what the result might be.

    The thrust of the article was intended to be that subject to the Constitution as I read it, and the interpretation placed upon it in Roe v. Wade, abortion is not a Federal question which a President has the authority to decide and upon which he has extremely little ability to have a substantive impact. In the final analysis, the issues of abortion and birth control are theological in nature, and those who adhere to religions which condemn either or both should conform to those proscriptions. The rest of us should make up our own minds

    Dan

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

    “McCain was tossed a soft ball (could somebody with at least a modicum of baseball knowledge please correct me here by providing the proper idiom)”

    Yes. Or, “Kyle Farnsworth was pitching to John McCain.”

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    And while we’re about it, let’s look at those T-shirts, shall we, Archie?

    Planned Parenthood’s purpose in selling them was not to encourage women to brag about having an abortion but to raise awareness of the issue. Your eagerness to characterize PP as an army of baby-killing demons cuts no ice with me.

    If you can achieve some level of emotional detachment for a moment, consider this analogy. In Thatcher’s Britain in the 1980s, one used to see young folk walking around with the legend ‘3 million unemployed’ on their T-shirts. They weren’t proud of the fact. It’s just that sometimes the simplest statement is the most effective. Ask any advertising executive.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Thanks, Matt.

    However, in future I would appreciate jokes that I don’t have to look up Wikipedia in order to get.

    Once again, I am,
    Sincerely,
    Yours truly

  • Baronius

    With the Supreme Court having taken on this issue, you could argue that no elected official has much say about abortion. The reason that both sides are looking at the presidency is that he’s the one who can most directly affect the composition of the Court.

    But curiously, the President has a lot of say about the number of abortions outside the US. His executive orders set the policies for international aid, and allow or forbid abortions at military facilities. With maybe 10% of female soldiers pregnant at any given time, that’s a pretty high tally.

    He also appoints everyone from the Presidential Bioethics Commission and the Surgeon General to the Secretaries of Education and HHS. There are a hundred indirect ways that the President can affect abortion policy.

  • Arch Conservative

    Planned Parenthood’s purpose in selling them was not to encourage women to brag about having an abortion but to raise awareness of the issue.

    Shall I take that to mean that if the pro-life side was all up in your grill with pictures of aborted fetuses you would have the same cavalier attitude toward them?

    You can believe what you want about Planned Parenthood but the truth is they’re in the abortion business above all else. It is their main source of revenue and they geenrate millions in pofit from abortion every year. They oppose every piece fo legislation that would actually reduce the number of abortions and they are very anti family despite their name.

    Maybe you’d like to trot out the old “how can they want more abortions when they provide birth control,” argument. Easy sales of abortions is still sales and we all know that sales is nothing but a numbers game. PP knows that by giving youg people birth control and encouraging them to have lots of sex because they feel safe is actually a good straegy to increase abortions. The more people out there fucking, even with BC, the more unintended pregnancies there are going to be. The more unintended pregnancies there are the more abortions there are going to be. Numerous studies have shown that when a PP clinic comes to an area the number of abortions increases significantly. other studies have also proven that parental consent/notification laws reduce the number of abortions but PP opposes all such measures.

    Please don’t be like Cecile who would piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining Dreadful. Anyone with an ounce of objectity can see that Planned Parenthood’s number one priorirty is turning dead babies into cold hard cash.

  • Franco

    #2 — Baritone

    “Personally, I don’t believe that any man should have anything to say about it. Men railing against abortion rights are in many respects hypocrites of the first order.”

    Speak for yourself pal.

    “To me, the issue is not so much a definition of life, or when does life begin, but rather one of a more practical matter”.

    Definition of “practical matter” – convenience!

    Only those who crouch to avoid the issue of when life begins can look at anything else as being a practical matter

    #8 —Baritone

    “I do NOT consider the termination of an early term embryo an infant, nor do I consider it murder”.

    How dose he come to this conclusion and how dose he support his findings?

    “We are the nearest thing we know of to being god. We have the ability and responsibility to make life and death decisions pretty much at all levels of existence”.

    All of that pompous self-righteous discourse by one how has safely made it out of the womb yet freely denying that same right to those who have not yet. AND WHY?, for the practical matter of convenience, BECAUSE?, we have the ability and responsibility to make life and death decisions pretty much at all levels of existence because we are like God.

    If I had not seen in it print, I would not have believed it.

  • Franco

    #16 — Arch Conservative

    Well said. Spoken for truth.

  • Jordan Richardson

    It should be noted that there were dissenters even within the ranks of PP that opposed the shirts. So it was far from a unified message of empowerment coming from the group. While I support PP for the most part, there’s no question that their ideologies towards abortion can be obnoxious from time to time.

  • Zedd

    Great article.

    I think that the assumption is that the public is dumb. Politicians entertain questions about subjects that they know full well that they have no jurisdiction over. The Republicans tend to do this more. The entire Newt revolution was built on such “stances”. I was a teen at the time and was offended. It bothered me that adults were all in a quiver over matters that were neither here or there. Case in point, “prayer in school” sigh.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    First of all. There is no god. God is not dead. God never was. God is a myth. God is a crutch for all weak willed feeble minded chumps who can’t believe that when they fucking die, they are fucking dead. People who can’t accept that we are not special creations made in the image of some grand omnipotent being, rather than the results of millions of years of evolution.

    Convenience! You consider the task of carrying to term, birthing and then raising a child for 20 years or so merely an inconvenience? Give me a fucking break. What an asinine notion?

    Does anyone in their wildest imaginings think that the world needs more babies that no one wants? The mother doesn’t want them. The father doesn’t even know they exist. Society doesn’t want them. Hey, if you want them, adopt ALL of them! Or would that be “inconvenient” for you?

    People fuck. A lot. The notion that fucking is done primarily for the purpose of propagating the species is, to be kind, idiotic. People fuck because it’s fun. People fuck because it feels good. People only rarely fuck to have a child. All of you puritanical assholes hate the idea that people are actually having fun fucking while your preacher pontificates about how horribly sinful it is.

    Without any evidence that any god actually exists – show me one iota of evidence that there IS a god, go ahead, do it! – we are it. We live in a country that does in fact LOVE to put people to death, especially Texans who seem to revel in it.

    The U.S. is the most punitive society in the free world. We put literally millions of people in jail for every damn thing, and go to great lengths to inject, gas, electrocute or hang as many of them as we can.
    But, talk about killing a glob of cells and wham! It’s a sin against gawd!

    “How dose(sic) he come to this conclusion and how dose(sic)he support his findings?”

    Answer: Common sense.

    Planned Parenthood provides a service that otherwise would be unavailable to many women and couples. That the organization earns a profit simply helps guarantee its continued existence. PP councils literally thousands of people without steering them toward termination.

    How many companies exist for the sole purpose of producing implements of death? How many companies exist for the sole purpose of waging and supporting war?

    Arch is one of those GUYS pontificating about what women should or should not do with their bodies and their lives.

    B

  • Clavos

    While I support PP for the most part, there’s no question that their ideologies towards abortion can be obnoxious from time to time.

    Good observation, Jordan; just didn’t carry it far enough:

    …all ideologies are obnoxious most of the time.

  • Franco

    “There is no god. God is not dead. God never was. God is a myth. God is a crutch for all weak willed feeble minded chumps who can’t believe that when they fucking die, they are fucking dead. People who can’t accept that we are not special creations made in the image of some grand omnipotent being, rather than the results of millions of years of evolution.”

    The antichrist has spoken!

    “Without any evidence that any god actually exists – show me one iota of evidence that there IS a god, go ahead, do it!”

    Without any evidence that God does not actually exist – show me one iota of evidence that there IS NOT a God, go ahead, do it!

  • Dan

    “The U.S. is the most punitive society in the free world. We put literally millions of people in jail for every damn thing, and go to great lengths to inject, gas, electrocute or hang as many of them as we can.
    But, talk about killing a glob of cells and wham! It’s a sin against gawd!”

    Silly atheist, embryo’s are innocent, defenseless victims. Death row criminals are hideous abominations to humanity. Most of the time anyway.

    If men shouldn’t have a say in abortion, then they shouldn’t be under any sort of obligation to the welfare of non-aborted embryo’s.

    See how easy this stuff is when you reason logically?

    Here’s another one: If a medical advancement would allow, through minimal invasiveness, the transfer of a fetus from a stupid womans womb to an artificial environment where time and nurturing would enable it to eventually make the decision of whether it wants to die or not, stupid women still wouldn’t go for it. Not most anyway. Their goal is total escape from their idiocy. That means no chance of pathetic orphans running around questioning their virtue.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Without any evidence that God does not actually exist – show me one iota of evidence that there IS NOT a God, go ahead, do it!

    Can’t prove a negative, Franco…

    If a medical advancement would allow, through minimal invasiveness, the transfer of a fetus from a stupid womans womb to an artificial environment where time and nurturing would enable it to eventually make the decision of whether it wants to die or not, stupid women still wouldn’t go for it. Not most anyway. Their goal is total escape from their idiocy.

    Not all women who get accidentally pregnant are stupid, Dan. Nice misogynism there.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    All right, let me take a stab at reconstructing the response I wrote to Arch’s #16, and which I had sitting in preview when the other site I was trying to view at the time (dratted tabbed browsing!) decided it would be fun to crash my browser…

    Shall I take that to mean that if the pro-life side was all up in your grill with pictures of aborted fetuses you would have the same cavalier attitude toward them?

    But the PP shirts didn’t have pictures of aborted fetuses on them. Nevertheless, such tactics certainly do get one’s attention.

    You can believe what you want about Planned Parenthood but the truth is they’re in the abortion business above all else. It is their main source of revenue and they geenrate millions in pofit from abortion every year.

    All right then – I want to believe the facts and figures which are freely available. First of all, though, would you care to explain how a non-profit organization makes a profit?

    In fact, according to the most recent available (2005) IRS form 990, they actually had a net operating loss that year.

    Second, according to their last annual report, most women who used PP did so for advice and treatment for contraception and STDs. Only 3% received abortion services. So to say that ‘they’re in the abortion business above all else’ is simply false.

    (I’d have provided links to the two above, but Akismet thought they were spam and they’re freely available on the PP website anyway.)

    Numerous studies have shown that when a PP clinic comes to an area the number of abortions increases significantly.

    Usually because there wasn’t previously an abortion clinic in the area. That’s the whole point.

    Anyone with an ounce of objectity can see that Planned Parenthood’s number one priorirty is turning dead babies into cold hard cash.

    Ironically, this may be the least objective sentence I’ve ever read.

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

    “show me one iota of evidence that there IS NOT a God, go ahead, do it!”

    Caddyshack II.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Matthew,

    I would have said Rob Schneider, or the existence of phlegm, but the reasoning is essentially the same.

    Dan, etal,

    If any god existed and had the stones to reveal him or her self, all of this talk would be moot. While there are some things I will accept on faith, one of them is NOT the existence of a god.
    Unfortunately, no deity has stepped forward to take responsibility for this mess we call humanity.

    I don’t consider faith in god to be a virtue. It is a waste of time, energy, emotions and thought. So much more could be accomplished in this world if hundreds of millions of people did not spend perhaps billions of their waking hours worshiping or otherwise genuflecting to some mythical god.

    By the way Doc, nice rebuttal to Dan with the misogynist observation. Again, all the self-righteous anti-abortion rhetoric here is coming from men.

    Dan, your last paragraph is quite unlike you. It is all born of an emotional response, not from the cool, logical head of a litigator. It is full of unprovable assumptions. As Doc notes, not all pregnant women who seek abortions are “stupid.” There is no evidence that a majority or even a significant number of them are stupid. And just how does one go about measuring such things? Should every woman who seeks an abortion be required to take a comprehensive IQ test? Are any “stupid” guys involved? Might there be a way to measure their “duh” factor?

    I know I struck some nerves with my comment above, as I intended. Manning the controls of human life is nothing to be taken lightly. It does require, IMO, that god be removed from the equation before any real progress can be made. Otherwise, we remain stuck in the muck of superstition and fear. If god exists, and doesn’t like it, I’m sure he or she could make his or her displeasure known to us, being omnipotent and all.

    B

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Dan, your last paragraph is quite unlike you. It is all born of an emotional response, not from the cool, logical head of a litigator.

    A different Dan, I think, B-tone.

    Although I can see how you could be confused. This is almost as brain-scrambling as the ongoing Baritone-Baronius debacle.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    @ my #25:

    Before Clavos (G.S.N.) chimes in, I’d like to make it a matter of record that I’ve just realized the correct word is misogyny.

  • Arch Conservative

    First B-tone then Dreadful….

    “God is a crutch for all weak willed feeble minded chumps who can’t believe that when they fucking die, they are fucking dead. People who can’t accept that we are not special creations made in the image of some grand omnipotent being, rather than the results of millions of years of evolution.”

    Yeah god is for weak minded people but atheists who believe in federal government entitlements that provide for every last minute aspect of their welfare are A-ok right Baritone?

    “Does anyone in their wildest imaginings think that the world needs more babies that no one wants?”

    Yeah you’re right Baritone. Despite the fact that there are no guarantees for any of us as we come into this world we should play god and not allow certain babies to be born because you and the other abortion lobbies perceive that these babies will be born to a life not worth living. Why don’t you tell us exactly what the criteria should be to determine which babies lives would be worth it and which wouldn’t.

    “Arch is one of those GUYS pontificating about what women should or should not do with their bodies and their lives”

    You got me there… myself and most other pro-lifers are always voicing our opinions about what women that AREN’T pregnant should do… it has absolutely nothing to do with concern for the life of the baby… there is no such thing as a pro-life woman… pro-lifers are only men who want to control women because we hate them….

    Now dreadful…

    But the PP shirts didn’t have pictures of aborted fetuses on them. Nevertheless, such tactics certainly do get one’s attention.

    The point was that the t-shirts were very offensive to many just as pictures of aborted fetuses would be.

    “All right then – I want to believe the facts and figures which are freely available. First of all, though, would you care to explain how a non-profit organization makes a profit?”

    Obviously you don’t understand the IRS definition of what it means to be a 410c not for profit organization so I will explain it to you. Being designated a not for profit 401 c does not mean that an organization is not allowed to make a profit. It means that the organization must provide some public good/service and that any profit made be completely reinvested in the organization rather than used for anything else outside of the operation of the organization such paying stock holders.

    Lots of not for profits make a profit. As long as they reinvest that profit in the operations of the business they are allowed to keep their not for profit status.

    PP is obviously in direct violation of this code when one observes them using some of the profit they make to fund political ads rather than reinvesting it in the operations of PP. They used some of that profit to lobby against Sam Alito for the supreme court in 2005. They should have their 401c status revoked.

    Not only that but most of the truly altruistic not for profit organizations that seek to provide a public good or service are made up of volunteers or people making very paltry salaries. Gloria Feldt, who was president of PP before Cecile Richards took over made just under 100K in 2005. Since Cecile Richards has succeeded her as CEO PP has not publicly disclosed Richards salary. I guarantee you that is because she is making well over 100K. PP wants to maintain their image of being the compassionate champion of women’s rights but admitting that their leader makes about 150K of year, most of which comes from abortion revenues doesn’t really help.

    “In fact, according to the most recent available (2005) IRS form 990, they actually had a net operating loss that year.”

    That’s quite simple a blatant lie.

    PP profits, like Exxon’s have been increasing every year.

    “Second, according to their last annual report, most women who used PP did so for advice and treatment for contraception and STDs. Only 3% received abortion services. So to say that ‘they’re in the abortion business above all else’ is simply false.”

    I see that you insist regurgitating the lies that you’ve read on PP’s own website. The fact is that they are the nation’s largest abortion provider by far and their largest source of revenue and profit is based on abortions. You repeat their lies all day long but that is the reality of the situation.

    “Usually because there wasn’t previously an abortion clinic in the area. That’s the whole point.”

    Not really the studies took into account the abortions at the closest clinics that had already been there and the number of abortions went up independent of those.

    Here’s a freebie for you Dread… your boy Obama claimed abortions have risen under Bush… that’s a lie…

    One last thing… if you want dread we can get into how PP has been caught on tape numerous times lying to underage girls about state laws… or how PP has accepted donations from people claiming they wanted their donations specifically used to perform abortions on black babies…

    I’ll go all day long with you on this one… I have the truth on my side and you have little propaganda snippets that you read on their website…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Baritone,

    Dan, your last paragraph is quite unlike you. It is all born of an emotional response, not from the cool, logical head of a litigator.

    As Doc correctly noted, you have me confused with the other Dan who occasionally posts on this board. My name, Dan Miller, is always included in the header to my comments.

    Incidentally, I find his comments on this topic as offensive as you seem to.

    Dan (Miller)

  • troll

    …I just went to post the link to PP’s ’06 financial filing available through GuideStar – not allowed by Askimet naturally

    …muttering ‘fuck it’ as he wanders off

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Dan (Miller)

    Sorry. I obviously didn’t note the name difference. I guess since I’ve been thought to be Baronius a number of times, I’m just trying to even the score.

    B

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

    Troll, try posting it as a raw link and I’ll tidy it up for you. If that fails, email me the link and I’ll add it to your comment.

  • Zedd

    “You can believe what you want about Planned Parenthood but the truth is they’re in the abortion business above all else. It is their main source of revenue and they generate millions in profit from abortion every year.”

    What? In my region there are 28 Planned Parenthood clinics. In this area which covers 57 counties (Texas is big), there are only two (2) offices which perform abortions. What are you on about? Planned Parenthood’s waiting rooms are full everyday. People are there for physical exams and birth control pills. When women talk about PP they talk about the inexpensive birth control pills and the comfortable environment for annual visits. Never had one conversation about PP and abortions. It’s a really nice doctor’s office that deals with ALL matters relating to the reproductive system. Abortion is legal so YES, they deal with that too. It’s not their primary function.

    A quick goggle on PP and it becomes clear that all of the Earth’s conspiracy theorists and mentally deranged have globed on to the anti-PP campaigned. Arch’s folks. Off course there’s nothing you can say to redirect these people. They love attaching to an “evil empire” (sound familiar?) and playing Justice League to stamp out destruction all over the universe. It’s too exciting and they wont let it go. They feel a part of something bigger.

    side note: American politicians have discovered this need in Americans and have exploited it going possibly too far. Perhaps if Bush wasn’t so wobbley (no word to describe) they could exploit it for at least another century.

  • troll

    …they could exploit it for at least another century.

    or another election cycle anyway

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Arch doesn’t bother to tell us that his data source is a site dedicated in whole or in part to opposing PP and abortions in general. It couldn’t possibly be that their figures are either outright lies or at best, skewed to support their positions? Naw. They wouldn’t do that, would they?

    Arch says: “Yeah god is for weak minded people but atheists who believe in federal government entitlements that provide for every last minute aspect of their welfare are A-ok right Baritone?”

    First: I’ve never made any particular statements about entitlements, but the point here is what does the first thing have to do with the other?

    Further Arch asks: “Why don’t you tell us exactly what the criteria should be to determine which babies lives would be worth it and which wouldn’t.”

    Well, gosh, that’s the whole point, isn’t it? It is in each case the mother’s choice to make. Who has a better perspective than the mother-to-be? Or does a state legislature – largely made up of men – sitting comfortably in their chambers making blanket decisions that affect every woman regardless of the circumstances?

    As to whether you and your supposed “pro-life” brethren “hate women,” I guess you’ll have to figure that out for yourself.

    B

  • Clavos

    Before Clavos (G.S.N.) chimes in, I’d like to make it a matter of record that I’ve just realized the correct word is misogyny.

    Spoilsport…

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose
  • Franco

    “Can’t prove a negative, Franco…”

    My point exactly.

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

    “I would have said Rob Schneider, or the existence of phlegm, but the reasoning is essentially the same.”

    Odd. It says here on my Verizon Wireless astral chart that if Rob Schneider ever receives an honorary doctorate, that it is proof “God hates us.”

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

    Franco, that is commendable, that you are willing to concede that there is in fact the existence of an army of highly-intelligent purple robot pandas who can breathe fire and shit Twizzlers.

    Unless, of course, you can prove it doesn’t exist.

  • troll

    (…quiet about the pandas – loose lips and all)

  • Franco

    “If any god existed and had the stones to reveal him or her self, all of this talk would be moot. Unfortunately, no deity has stepped forward to take responsibility for this mess we call humanity.”

    It can not get anymore antichrist then that.

    “Manning the controls of human life is nothing to be taken lightly. It does require however that god be removed from the equation before any real progress can be made.”

    Almost verbatim from the Wannsee Conference of 1942.

  • Franco

    Comment #43 — Matthew T. Sussman

    Represents the chummy self-satisfaction of a mind that mistakes the efficiency of short phrases for depth of meaning.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Ah. Now I’m the anti-christ, a bleeding heart, baby killing, liberal, AND a fascist. Interesting array. So, if I succeed in my quest, I’ll have defeated Jesus and his minions at Armageddon, killed all the babies, and the fucking trains will run on time!

    Damn! I wish we had some trains.

    B

  • Clavos

    …And those are your good points, B-tone! :>)

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Well, I don’t like to brag, but…

    B

  • jamminsue

    To all you extremists:

    The rhetorical language – language not based on fact, but on emotion or the intent to incite emotion is getting too deep. On issues where man is now able to interfere with life process or creation of life the facts have been buried, there seems to be nothing but emotion.
    Emotion does not change things, facts and circumstances do.

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

    Franco, then I just have one thing to say:

    “Sneakers.”

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    @ #40: Thanks, troll, that is in fact the tax filing that I had been trying to link to (the one Akismet decided to exorcise) and that Archie obviously doesn’t want to look at. Even if he did, he’d undoubtedly conclude that PP is lying to the IRS as well. For those with an open mind, Line 18 is the pertinent number here.

    Now, Archie @ #31:

    The point was that the t-shirts were very offensive to many just as pictures of aborted fetuses would be.

    About the only point on which I agree with you, albeit not for the same reason. I have a T-shirt which I picked up in Australia that says “no fcukin’ worries” on it that offends quite a few people. Quite frankly, if the T-shirt had been a picture of a rosy-cheeked mother and child prancing happily around in a field of daffodils and daisies it would have offended some people, simply because it was a PP shirt.

    Lots of not for profits make a profit. As long as they reinvest that profit in the operations of the business they are allowed to keep their not for profit status.

    PP is obviously in direct violation of this code when one observes them using some of the profit they make to fund political ads rather than reinvesting it in the operations of PP.

    I understand the concept, Arch – thanks anyway for the Taxation 101 lesson. Unfortunately, you’re talking bollocks. Such ads are germane to the operation of PP, which is an organization concerned with women’s reproductive freedom. It is perfectly legal for nonprofits to do political lobbying – they’re just not allowed to endorse or give money to specific candidates. I’d have a bit more time for your argument if you could demonstrate that you’re just as upset about the activities of, for example, James Dobson’s Focus on the Family.

    Not only that but most of the truly altruistic not for profit organizations that seek to provide a public good or service are made up of volunteers or people making very paltry salaries. Gloria Feldt, who was president of PP before Cecile Richards took over made just under 100K in 2005.

    Actually, according to this report, the median salary for a nonprofit CEO is (or was, in 2005) more than $327,000. Which makes the pay of Ms Richards and even her successor paltry indeed by comparison.

    I see that you insist regurgitating the lies that you’ve read on PP’s own website. The fact is that they are the nation’s largest abortion provider by far and their largest source of revenue and profit is based on abortions. You repeat their lies all day long but that is the reality of the situation.

    I really don’t see why I should believe PP’s annual report any less than I should believe your agenda-laden sources. It is extremely difficult to find anything objective on the subject, since a Google search invariably brings up a plethora of pro-life sites, many of which distort the data in a crassly obvious way.

    if you want dread we can get into how PP has been caught on tape numerous times lying to underage girls about state laws…

    Oh NO!! A person in a position of trust gave wrong or misleading information?!?! That never happens! No, wait – now I think about it, the nurse at my local travel clinic gave me the wrong instructions last week on how to take the malaria medication I’ll need for my upcoming trip – sic her, Archie!!!

    Seriously, though. A lot of those cases involved doctor-patient confidentiality issues which conflicted with statutory requirements to report child rape. I would have thought the reasons were bloody obvious and pretty damn sound, but I guess it depends on whether or not you think the Hippocratic oath overrides state law. These instances (of entrapment, in many cases) do add grist to the mill of those who think that pro-lifers don’t actually give a flying fuck about the welfare of the women and girls in such a predicament.

    or how PP has accepted donations from people claiming they wanted their donations specifically used to perform abortions on black babies…

    More entrapment.

    I have the truth on my side and you have little propaganda snippets that you read on their website…

    Citation please.

    Zedd hit the nail on the head in her response to you. As I said before, the vast majority of Planned Parenthood’s clients do not go there to get abortions. That includes my wife and sister-in-law, both of whom credit PP’s contraception services for them not becoming unmarried young mothers.

    And frankly, I don’t think Zedd’s too far off the mark in her assessment of your mindset on this issue either.

  • Zedd

    Baritone,

    I’m confused. Do you believe in god?

    (… quietly packing bags and moving to an undisclosed location, feeling slightly guilty for unleashing atomic rage and oceans of spittle and froth unto the land.)

  • Ruvy

    First of all. There is no god. God is not dead. God never was. God is a myth. God is a crutch for all weak willed feeble minded chumps who can’t believe that when they fucking die, they are fucking dead.

    Baritone,

    Don’t ever make the arrogant assumption that you know what brings a person to have faith in anything. You don’t.

    I started my “religious” belief as an atheist. I didn’t have the nasty presumptiousness of assuming what others thought or what others feared. I simply made the logical assumption that any 10 or 11 year old would make based on what I could see around me.

    My neat world got challenged here and there, but belief – real belief – came when I read the last section of the Book of Deuteronomy in detail and saw the history of my people staring me in the face, revealed as prophecy thirty three centuries earlier. There is a G-d, Baritone, and there is Destiny, and there is Revelation, and for now, there is Free Will. And there will be Redemption. And you will, like all of us, be judged for your actions and intents during your life. What standards you will be held to, I do not know; I can guess that they will be the Seven Laws of Noah. But I do not know.

    How do I know this? The serenity I prayed for when I had my heart attack at the end of 2003 had never left me; a Gift granted by a G-d Who knew I was willing to face what was coming to me in return for that serenity. With time, I have begin to understand what i think my mission may be in life: another Gift by a G-d Who has rudely pushed me from ignorance to wisdom, from economic security in economic insecurity, all that I might understand that the universe exists by His Will, Word and Thought alone.

    shavua tov – have a good week,
    Ruvy

  • Clavos

    I have a T-shirt which I picked up in Australia that says “no fcukin’ worries”

    So, Doc, the Aussies are also lousy spellers, eh?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    They’re fine spellers, Clav. But, like you Seppos, they are also lousy panderers to crass commercialism.

  • Dan

    Dr. D: “Not all women who get accidentally pregnant are stupid, Dan. Nice misogynism there.”

    Setting aside the fact that I never claimed “all” women who get accidentally pregnant are stupid, and that otherwise intelligent people can sometimes do stupid things, unwanted pregnancy is easily avoided. You don’t even have to be a “good girl”. Clearly there is stupidity at work.

    Drunk driving is thought to be an act of stupidity. Many drunks reach their destinations safely all the time, just as many women have unprotected sex without pregnancy. When the drunk does mess up we call them stupid. When a female drunk driver messes up we also think them stupid.

    You can see from the example that misogyny doesn’t apply. So, it seems you’re wrong on both counts.

    Baritone: “I don’t consider faith in god to be a virtue. It is a waste of time, energy, emotions and thought. So much more could be accomplished in this world if hundreds of millions of people did not spend perhaps billions of their waking hours worshiping or otherwise genuflecting to some mythical god.”

    I consider the vast majority of humanitarian endeavors by people in service of their faith to be a very positive thing. Whether they are justified in their worship matters not.

    “I know I struck some nerves with my comment above, as I intended.”

    The nerve that leads to my funny bone tingles every time a pompous atheist unintentionally reveals their lack of appreciation for irony by ridiculing others faith while simultaneously promoting their own.

    Of course, it is true that you can’t prove a negative. So…what is it again that compels you to believe in this unproven negative?

    Dan Miller: “Incidentally, I find his comments on this topic as offensive as you seem to.”

    Well Dan, unlike Baritone admits above, I don’t intentionally set out to commit gratuitous offense. I’m not easily offended myself, so I kind of set my standard at that level, and render my considered opinions in a frank, honest way.

    No one has commented on my hypothetical. I think that unfortunate, because it goes to underlying motivations for abortion. Not a lot of people want to think deeply on the subject I guess.

  • http://www.radiocoach.biz Sam weaver

    An election should never be about one issue. The last time I checked, I can not remember anything that a president did to inhibit abortion or increase or decrease anything for the religious right or left. Reality, too many people get hung up on one issue themes. The whole point is to persuade the electorate and that is the sport of politics.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “You can see from the example that misogyny doesn’t apply.”

    Then why no mention of the man who got the woman pregnant?

  • Zedd

    El B

    You can’t have it all ways. It’s a woman’s choice so she needs to buckle up and take the criticism. Yes most of the time the pregnancies are because of stupidity. If she knows that SHE will get pregnant and does, she made a stupid mistake.

    Doesn’t mean they have to incubate the embryo, have the the baby and be responsible for it for 50yrs because they were stupid.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    I don’t know what happened between today and yesterday, but I like the new Arch.

  • Clavos

    Zedd #60,

    Well said.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Why is Abortion an Issue in the Presidential Race? Because the GOP desparately needs those church bus loads of preprogrammed voters on their side.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Clav @ #62:

    !

  • Zedd

    @ #62

    Am I being punked? What’s going on Clav? I’m like an abused child who’s gone feral. I don’t know what to do with the at-a-girl. What’s really going on? You missed me didn’t you? And don’t say you didn’t realize that I haven’t been around. I was missed by the Clavster!! Awe….

  • Clavos

    Easy, Doc and Zedd…here, try these smelling salts…that’s it, that’s it…now lean back and relax…easy…easy.

    Zedd, yep, I agree with ya.

    How ’bout them apples?

  • Zedd

    The world is confusing as it is. I’ve got teens, gas prices, food prices, China, Musharraf, LOST won start back until February, now this? The room is spinning. Who am I???

  • Dan

    “Doesn’t mean they have to incubate the embryo, have the the baby and be responsible for it for 50yrs because they were stupid.”

    In the hypothetical, I didn’t mean to imply that they would be responsible for it. It would be the same as before. Only with a better result for the embryo.

    The details of how the infant is cared for aren’t crucial to the point, but typically those despicable Christians would start an orphanage or something. Damn them!

    See, the reason a woman opts for abortion is not just to escape responsibility for a stupid mistake. (that a stupid man was also in on. Happy El Bicho?). No sir, she wants to kill the mistake. Women have a natural instinct that would make them feel guilty of abandonement if the child were allowed to live, even if they are never made to face it.

    Adoption is a courageous choice for more reasons than the obvious. And abortion is a choice that is made for more than the obvious reasons as well.

  • Zedd

    Dan,

    “Only with a better result for the embryo.”

    The embryo doesn’t care. It’s an embryo.

    I certainly hope you don’t masturbate or engage in non reproductive sex. Doing so doesn’t produce a chance for a better result for your little soldiers.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Zedd,

    Just for clarification, I do not agree with the other Dan’s position vis a vis embryos.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Dan

    “The embryo doesn’t care. It’s an embryo.

    I certainly hope you don’t masturbate or engage in non reproductive sex. Doing so doesn’t produce a chance for a better result for your little soldiers.”

    Sorry Zed, you’re not the official spokesperson for embryo’s. You also have no chance of being the official mouth piece for my “little soldiers”.

    ” Just for clarification, I do not agree with the other Dan’s position vis a vis embryos.”

    Ok, I get it. Dan Miller: easily offended *and* disagreeable, yet intriguingly reasonless.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Dan Miller: easily offended *and* disagreeable, yet intriguingly reasonless.

    You got all that from his #70??

    So if I give you a 10-second clip of a John McCain speech, you’ll be able to tell me who his VP pick is, how many electoral votes he will win, and what color boxers he’ll be wearing on election night?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Fergie, 67, and sky blue.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Dan,

    I was simply trying to avoid confusion about who was commenting about what. Occasionally, you and I are mistakenly confused. To avoid that, and since you were posting comments on BC before I came along, I shall try in the future to remember to sign my comments “Dan(Miller).”

    As to who is the official spokesperson for embryos, I wasn’t aware that they had one. If your thesis is correct, they probably have several, with different views.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Dan

    That’s fine Dan. Although signing out with your last name could be considered redundant since the distinction is made at the top and to the right of the comment number.

    It’s also fine to state your offendedness or disagreement without reasoning. Although, that doesn’t do much toward the goal of ending confusion.

    “As to who is the official spokesperson for embryos, I wasn’t aware that they had one. If your thesis is correct, they probably have several, with different views.”

    My only stated thesis relative to embryo’s was that not being killed would seem to be a more positive outcome for the embryo. Since their natural inclination is to continue developement to a full human being if left undisturbed, and virtually all living things capable of communication consider not being killed a positive thing, the logic of this view seems to follow.

  • Zedd

    Dan Miller,

    Oh my goodness you scared me. I thought what happened to Dan? He is so reasonable. Even if he doesn’t agree with you he always has a solid argument.

    Dan,

    “Dan Miller: easily offended *and* disagreeable, yet intriguingly reasonless.”

    Wow, what an assessment. Oh now everything comes together. This is your dumb alter ego. It’s too taxing being sharp all of the time.

  • Clavos

    virtually all living things capable of communication consider not being killed a positive thing

    How, exactly, do embryos communicate?

  • Zedd

    Dan,

    Not sure why I am bothering….

    “virtually all living things capable of communication consider not being killed a positive thing”

    Are you suggesting that embryos ponder things? Every entity does what it does unless there is a malfunction. The embryo has no other function but to evolve into a baby unless there is some sort of malfunction. Much like a seeds function to turn into a plant. A seed is not a plant. A seed does not have a desire to be a plant, it is a seed. At some stage it ceases to be a seed and becomes a plant. When it becomes a plant, it is no longer a seed and cant express what seeds feel because it doesn’t remember, it is a completely different entity. It is a plant. Does that help?

  • Baronius

    I see that Nancy Pelosi went on Meet The Press and misrepresented the Catholic position on abortion. And now we’ve got Biden on the ticket, and the incompatibility between his religion and his politics is sure to come up.

    So there’s another reason for Dan why abortion is an issue: because once something becomes an issue, it’s likely to stay an issue unless we come to a national consensus on it. Do you see a consensus emerging on abortion? ‘Cause I sure don’t.

    Actually, that’s not exactly true. We could probably get 90% of the population to agree to an open season first term, rape/incest/maternal life exceptions for second and third term. But it would be next to impossible to get a vote on such a thing.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Baronius,

    Here is a link to the interview with Speaker Pelosi. Although I claim no solid foundation in Roman Catholic doctrine, she certainly appears to me as well to have misstated it as to both contraception and abortion. It is my understanding that a public person who professes the Roman Catholic faith but nevertheless openly advocates abortion rights is subject to being denied the sacrament of communion. Contraception may be in a different category; I don’t know.

    Personally, I could not remain a member of an organization to the very strongly advocated doctrines of which I did not subscribe; it strikes me as dishonest to do so. However, that has little relevance here, with one exception. I do seriously question the integrity of someone who professes to be a Roman Catholic but nevertheless advocates abortion rights and/or contraception. The Roman Catholic church seems, however, to be rather more pragmatic — I haven’t heard much about Mafia leaders being excommunicated. I attempted to deal with this situation in an earlier article, and see no point in revisiting the matter further here.

    I agree that abortion rights are an issue in the Presidential race because, well, because they are an issue. My point was that since a president has little more power to change the rules concerning abortion than he has, for example, to prohibit or encourage tornadoes, earthquakes or hurricanes, it should not be an issue, and certainly should not be a decisive issue.

    Were there an overwhelming national consensus on abortion, which seems very unlikely, perhaps a Constitutional amendment might be in order. Without that, or an equally unlikely Roe v. Wade change based on Constitutional reinterpretation (as distinguished from the revisiting of medical technology), I think we are stuck with Roe v. Wade, like it or not. And, were there to be a reinterpretation of Roe v. Wade, I think it would be up to the States to implement the change, not the President or the Congress.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Dan

    Zedd: “Not sure why I am bothering….”

    Probably because you are confused by a logical inference.

    Maybe Dan Miller is right, blogcritics commentors can’t be trusted to identify the commentor by the heading at the top of the comment. He should probably sign off with his last name and perhaps periodically remind readers in the body of the comment as well.

    “I see that Nancy Pelosi went on Meet The Press and misrepresented the Catholic position on abortion.”

    That’s a generous way to phrase it.

    Not Dan Miller

  • Baronius

    Pelosi didn’t lie about church teaching, but she distorted the heck out of it. The Catholic Church doesn’t claim authority about matters of science (such as when life begins) but does about matters of faith and morals (such as whether abortion is morally permissible). The question couldn’t have been phrased better for her. She was able to muddy the question of science, then jump to the Roe decision as a basis for morality.

    I’m surprised that she joined the fray on contraception. That’s the Dems’ new strategy: present any opposition to abortion as a slippery slope toward the abolition of contraception. First of all, the argument is false. But secondly, there are people who believe that contraception is wrong. It’s like trying to convince a Southern Baptist that marijuana should be legal, because consistency would demand that alcohol be illegal too. He’ll say “fine”.

    You should know this as a lawyer. It used to be that the idea of suing tobacco companies was ridiculed, becuase that would mean we could sue fast food restaurants for making us fat. In a sane society, that would be the end of the argument. Nowadays, we’re suing both.

  • Baronius

    Darn. I forgot I was going to sign that last comment:

    Baronius (Miller)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Baronius and Dan, I’m not sure that she did misrepresent it. Popes and other Church luminaries including, as Pelosi rightly pointed out, St Augustine, have decreed or suggested various benchmarks over the years.

    I’m certain, however, that she did misrepresent the GOP’s position on contraception. That was pure grandstanding.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Baronius,

    In a sane society, that would be the end of the argument. Nowadays, we’re suing both. Yep. There is lots of lunacy around. It probably has to do with the chemtrails.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Dan (Miller), would you happen to know if an abortion can be induced by the wearing of a tinfoil hat?

    Dr (Dreadful)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Dr (Dreadful),

    I think it has a lot to do with how and where you (probably not you, but a pregnant female) wear it. Perhaps if used in a rhythmic fashion it might work. And, of course, wearing a tinfoil hat in the anatomically correct place might well prevent conception. There should be a Federally funded study of these weighty issues.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Baronius

    Dread – Pelosi didn’t technically lie, but she presented the varying opinions about when life begins as if they represented varying opinions about the immorality of abortion. The Catholic Church has always treated abortion as a sin. The only diffences of opinion are whether or not it is equivalent to homicide, and whether or not it automatically excommunicates the recipient and practitioner.

    Would you have gotten that from Pelosi’s statement? I sure wouldn’t have.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I saw it as a fair attempt to reconcile her faith with her secular ideology. I agree that the Church’s position today is, as Brokaw reminded her, pretty unequivocal. Historically, however, that has by no means been the case.

    How harshly you want to judge her depends, I suppose, on whether you think a Catholic should embrace all the articles of their faith, or that it’s OK if they disagree with a few of them and still call themselves Catholic.

  • Baronius

    Dread – You’re wrong. It simply isn’t the case that the Church has changed its position on abortion, ever. And the Church claims teaching authority, so if you deny any of its teachings, you are denying the authority by which it declares all its teachings. You cease to be a Catholic.

    Now, as Dan(Miller) correctly points out, the Church doesn’t go around stamping “HERETIC” on everyone’s foreheads, because it would take too long, and hardly persuade people. Sometimes people drift in and out of orthodoxy, as I did in my youth. But the Church has very specific teachings, and has the right to excommunicate members who deny those teachings.

  • Baronius

    Let me be more specific, Doc. That site you linked to pointed out that the Church has always condemned abortion as evil. It discussed the question of ensoulment, which is what Pelosi alluded to, and discussed the question of automatic excommunication. (Actually, the site did a pretty comprehensive job.) The one item which it represents as allowing abortion is the Apostolic Constitutions (of 400AD). The truth is, the Constitutions were not official teaching, and it was far more harsh about abortion than the Church has ever been.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    According to the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, Speaker Pelosi was wrong.

    “We respect the right of elected officials such as Speaker Pelosi to address matters of public policy that are before them, but the interpretation of Catholic faith has rightfully been entrusted to the Catholic bishops. Given this responsibility to teach, it is important to make this correction for the record.”

    Wuerl pointed out that the Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear, and has been clear for 2,000 years. He cited Catechism language that reads, “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception … Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.”

    Speaker Pelosi had not responded to the Archbishop’s comments when the linked article was published.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “The Catholic Church doesn’t claim authority about matters of science (such as when life begins) but does about matters of faith and morals”

    After the exposure of their handling of sex scandals with priests, why anyone would continue to grant them such authority in morals is beyond me.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Baronius – can you tell me wher I can get one of those heretic stamps? Or at least where I can get stamped?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Baronius, I’m not claiming that the Church hasn’t always opposed abortion. But the article I linked to does point out that there has been debate in the past as to when life begins. In particular, there was a prevailing view during the Middle Ages that it began at the quickening – the first time the mother felt the child stir in her womb. As I said, I think this is where Pelosi was coming from in the interview with Brokaw.

    Personally, I must say that I don’t give a monkey’s what the Catholic Church says about it – it is, as Dan (Miller) argues, something of a red herring.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Uh… Guys, we’re talking about a woman’s right that is protected under the U.S. Constitution… aren’t we?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Now the Roman Catholic archbishop of Denver has rather strongly suggested that pro-choice VP candidate Biden refrain from taking communion:

    Archbishop Chaput, who was scheduled to lead a pro-life candlelight vigil Monday night here in front of Planned Parenthood, called Mr. Biden’s support for abortion rights “seriously wrong,” said archdiocese spokeswoman Jeanette De Melo.

    “I certainly presume his good will and integrity,” said the archbishop, “and I presume that his integrity will lead him to refrain from presenting himself for Communion if he supports a false ‘right’ to abortion.”

    It must be difficult to have one leg on one side of a river and the other leg on the other side. Oh well, ain’t my problem.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Jet,

    That’s my understanding.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    This is the same Holy Catholic Church that condemned Galileo with all of his ingenuity and intellect in 1616 for heresy by the learned and sacred Pope for merely suggesting that the Earth wasn’t God’s intended center of the universe and in fact we orbited the Sun instead of it orbiting us– a “fact” backed up by a religion that only after more than three hundred and fifty years of careful consideration, has finally and just recently admitted that it was wrong about the long-dead astronomer.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Jet,

    Ah, yes. But that was then and this is now. Cf Obama-Ayers connection. Besides, it probably doesn’t matter what the Roman Catholic Church did almost four hundred years ago, or who Senator Obama’s rather more recent associates may have been. Let us all go forward, not backward, together. Peace be upon you and yours.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Uh… Dan the Catholic church only recently admited it was wrong about Galiled. The point was that they take hundreds of years to admit they’re wrong.

  • Clavos

    The point was that they take hundreds of years to admit they’re wrong.

    A valid point, but relevant only to Catholics, since no one else in the world is bound by their dogma.

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

    Other people may not be bound by their dogma, Clavos, but there are secondary effects, such as the drag on society as a whole caused by these cults.

  • Clavos

    Too bad. They have a right to them, at least in this country.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Good point Chris, I’ve always suspected that southern baptists didn’t really object to abortion until they needed the Catholic’s support in the “Religious Right” political movement.

    I mean the south does have a well-deserved reputation for cousins dating each other.

    Whoops was that a stereotype?

    I’m so ashamed!

  • Baronius

    Dread and Dan – Let me try this one more time. Pelosi didn’t lie about the Catholic position about when life begins. That was correct. Then she stated the Democratic position on the need to keep abortion legal. That directly conflicts with her church.

    Jet – The Catholic Church doesn’t claim teaching authority on matters of science. Galileo wasn’t charged with scientific error. He was charged with denying the Church’s authority on a matter of faith. There was some bogus evidence in the trial, and that’s why the Church has apologized.

    Bicho – There’s a difference between having authority to teach about morals and being a good person. Sometimes, a huge difference.

    Andy – It sounds like Chaput has dusted off his heresy stamp. But you can only get stamped if you’re a Catholic. A lot of the recent comments are right that this stuff is an internal matter, and shouldn’t affect non-Catholics. It does show hypocrisy though. And when people misrepresent the teachings of the Church in the public square, it’s fair to call them on it.