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August 12, 2008

Comments

Well, at least he is consistent here ;-()
Now, if we could make the potential voters realizing that...

He voted, for instance, with only one-fifth of the Senate to remove family-planning grants from a 1988 spending bill and with only 18 senators that same year against allowing Medicaid to pay for abortions in cases of rape or incest.

I know having children is some great and wonderful thing for women (or so I hear), but stuff like this is one of the reasons I'm really glad that I don't have a uterus. Being raped and carrying around a piece of the rapist for 9mos and caring for it for perhaps the rest of my life? If that isn't punishing the victim, I don't know what is.

...and, though he didn't want to talk to the press about it, he's voted against requiring insurance companies to cover birth control.

Being against abortion I can understand, even if I think you're wrong and doing harm to women. But opposing the things that probably prevent more abortions than any act of Congress? I have no doubt, however, that McCain fully supports Viagra coverage and probably government funded penile enhancements.

I honestly can't see any real reason for opposing birth control other than having a problem of some sort with female sexuality.

As someone who tries to be pro-life in everything, the issues matter greatly to me. However, the George W. Bush administration shows that the potential for a reckless and malicious President to destroy human life. In my view, "pro-life" doesn't just apply to fetal life. It encompasses a series of policies that involve erring on the side of valuing all life.

The notion that John McCain is "pro-life" is laughable.

"McCain has consistently backed rights for the unborn, voting to cover fetuses under the State Children's Health Insurance Program and supporting the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which allowed a "child in utero" to be recognized as a legal victim of a crime."

The fact that these count as anti-choice votes in any meaningful sense only shows how hardened the political positions are.

In a normal world, it wouldn't be considered a bad thing to allow states to consider a fetus a separate victim for the purposes of murder statutes in instances where someone was attempting to kill the fetus against the mother's will, or as an additional victim if the mother and fetus are both killed.

That might even be considered progressive.

In a normal world extending health coverage to a fetus doubling the potential for many services wouldn't be portrayed as anti-choice. It might even be considered progressive.

Obama's position in support of passive infanticide is far more disturbing than McCain's vacilliation on "choice."

Obama has yet to adequately address why he voted against a bill, and later killed in committee a 2nd bill, that would have required life-saving and/or palliative care to be administered to infants who survived a botched abortion attempt? As it stood at the time the bills were debated, infants who survived abortions were discarded as medical waste.

Obama's explanation thus far is that he wanted certain language added to the bills so that roe would not be imperiled. I'm sure the former con law professor understands that when a statute conflicts with a supreme court precedent, the STATUTE, not the precedent, is stricken.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/08/a_catholic_case_against_barack.html

In a normal world, it wouldn't be considered a bad thing to allow states to consider a fetus a separate victim for the purposes of murder statutes in instances where someone was attempting to kill the fetus against the mother's will, or as an additional victim if the mother and fetus are both killed.

As soon as a fetus is considered a "separate victim" when it is killed against the mother's will, it will be considered as a "separate victim" when it is killed in accordance with the mother's will. Abortion will legally be murder.

No thanks.

MeDrew: Being against abortion I can understand, even if I think you're wrong and doing harm to women. But opposing the things that probably prevent more abortions than any act of Congress?

Because, like most pro-lifers, McCain is indifferent or actively hostile to policies that prevent abortion.

The point of being pro-life is not to prevent abortions - if it were, pro-life organizations would rival Planned Parenthood in free (and freely available) provision of contraception: and would be big campaigners of federally-mandated support to mothers and babies - including free provision of health care.

I've yet to meet a pro-lifer, either in real life or online, who actually appeared to have any concern for babies once born or for pregnant women, on whose welfare the welfare of the fetus profoundly depends: their passionate concern is always, exclusively, for the fetus.

It follows that while pro-lifers invariably claim a concern for human life is their motivation, they either don't consider women and babies to be human lives... or else they're lying.

Jeff wrote:
As soon as a fetus is considered a "separate victim" when it is killed against the mother's will, it will be considered as a "separate victim" when it is killed in accordance with the mother's will. Abortion will legally be murder.
----
This is the standard NARAL/NOW response, and it ignores the fact that these laws usually include an express exception for abortions. If these laws didn't have such an exception, they would be invalidated as an "undue burden" on the right to abortion.

The NARAL/NOW response is a fundraising tactic. Nothing more.

The NARAL/NOW response is a fundraising tactic. Nothing more.

Sure, because statutory caveats are usually good enough to overcome rhetorical arguments that appeal to emotion and the general legal framework.

"But there was an exception made..." usually doesn't convince that many people.

""But there was an exception made..." usually doesn't convince that many people."

I don't understand your argument. Isn't making an exception they typical and appropriate response to negotiation in the legislative process when one side raises the issue that the law may be too broad?

Jes-It follows that while pro-lifers invariably claim a concern for human life is their motivation, they either don't consider women and babies to be human lives... or else they're lying.

I'd be hard pressed to say which it is. Women and babies not being (fully) human is plausible because there's plenty of tradition backing up the view that women aren't smart/logical/whatever. (I'd go with roughly the same argument for babies until they grow up into intelligent men or irrational women.)

If they're lying, what are they really trying to accomplish? This possibility scares me more since it ties into the pro-life leaders having some fundamental problem with women. I listen to James Dobson or Bill Donohue and they nearly scream that female sexuality is evil. If that doesn't equal a problem with women, I don't know what does.

I've yet to meet a pro-lifer, either in real life or online, who actually appeared to have any concern for babies once born or for pregnant women, on whose welfare the welfare of the fetus profoundly depends: their passionate concern is always, exclusively, for the fetus.

It follows that...

Nothing follows because your alleged premise isn't factually correct on a general level (nor even at the "I've never met level" I would suspect). Your problem is that you don't count anything as concern for babies once born or for pregnant women unless it matches explicitly and in every detail with your poltical program.

For example the fact that a large number of adoption services are run by Catholics seems to have completely escaped your attention. You also fail to notice the large number of Catholic charities for the homeless and the enormous number of Catholic charities for the poor. You don't count any of that.

I don't understand your argument. Isn't making an exception they typical and appropriate response to negotiation in the legislative process when one side raises the issue that the law may be too broad?

Only if that were the only objection. Not so much if you understand the underlying strategy of creating a legal framework that will interact with moral norms to push opinion in a certain direction.

In other words, the "normal world" that you keep pining for would, to me, be a world in which only a fringe few were pushing for a repeal of reproductive rights.

If that were, in fact, the state of the world, then these laws would indeed be embraced by progressives.

But a trojan horse is a gift that should be met with skepticism.

Women and babies not being (fully) human is plausible because there's plenty of tradition backing up the view that women aren't smart/logical/whatever.

Not just that, they wives were considered the "chattel" of their husbands. Meaning, legally, their husband's property. Like a piece of furniture. Not that long ago in fact. In the United States.

"Only if that were the only objection. Not so much if you understand the underlying strategy of creating a legal framework that will interact with moral norms to push opinion in a certain direction."

You need to specific because this sounds like hand-waving.

What moral norms are we talking about that you are otherwise objecting to? The moral norm against killing babies? Oh, noes!

What precisely do you believe the strategy to be? How does that strategy make it such that you are forced to oppose laws that you claim progressives would normally support? How do you believe the legal framework forces you to oppose laws that you would normally support?

The problem you seem to have is that people are going to take the moral intuition that babies who are born alive in a botched abortion attempt should receive medical treatment, or that fetuses might get special protection if they are specially targeted (i.e. if a jealous husband wants to kill a baby conceived in adultery) and apply it in ways that you don’t like.
But since laws are about drawing lines based on moral intuitions, you either need to argue against the moral intuition (and in these cases good luck) or you have to describe why giving in to that intuition automatically takes you too far into something that would be bad.
You don’t seem willing to do either. You seem to buy the NARAL propaganda that this all necessarily leads to a total ban on all abortions. The problem is that the average American doesn’t want a total ban on all abortions, so very little is *likely* to lead to that end point. The average American is not in tune with NARAL on these issues, which is why the pro-life groups can score points on them—because NARAL is so strong in the Democratic Party that it can force the issue even on things that a large majority of Americans disagree with.

"Not just that, they wives were considered the "chattel" of their husbands. "

Department of analogies that don't necessarily help you.

Do you mean exactly like fetuses are to mothers?

EM- don't understand your argument that measures to exact tougher punishments for murderers of pregnant women or to provide potentially life-saving medical care to infants who survive abortion attempts is somehow incompatible with any moral norm, at least in a civilized society.

i suppose if you prize the right to abortion-on-demand above all else, then your argument makes sense.

well put, i defer to sebastian.

You need to specific because this sounds like hand-waving

No, I just need to object to what looks like a trojan horse. That'll do.

What moral norms are we talking about that you are otherwise objecting to? The moral norm against killing babies? Oh, noes!

Well, yeah, oh noes when you start calling a zygote a baby.

Department of analogies that don't necessarily help you.

Do you mean exactly like fetuses are to mothers?

Yeah, I mean, what's the difference between a woman and a fetus anyway!

What precisely do you believe the strategy to be? How does that strategy make it such that you are forced to oppose laws that you claim progressives would normally support? How do you believe the legal framework forces you to oppose laws that you would normally support?

Seb, use your imagination. You're a smart guy. Don't feign ignorance.

But since laws are about drawing lines based on moral intuitions, you either need to argue against the moral intuition (and in these cases good luck) or you have to describe why giving in to that intuition automatically takes you too far into something that would be bad.

Intuition being: fetus is not a human being.

provide potentially life-saving medical care to infants who survive abortion attempts

Are there infants that survive abortion attempts? Can you even attempt to abort an infant?

EM- Is this an attempt to get cute with semantics or a display of breath-taking ignorance?

if it's the latter, by way of background, a federal law was passed (98-0) in 2001 to protect infants who survive abortion attempts. obama has, as of yet, failed to adequately explain why he opposed a similar bill while he was in the illinois legislature. so yes, it's possible for an infant to survive an abortion attempt.

if it's the former, you can change the syntax in whatever manner you see fit. And then you can respond to the substance of the argument.

And then you can respond to the substance of the argument

I did not know about this law. I thought it was clever semantics on your part.

Further, it was not either of the two laws mentioned by Seb upthread that I initially responded to (though he through it in later).

I'd have to look at the particulars of the law, and the reasons for opposition. This is the first I'm hearing of it.

And by through, I mean "threw"...

"obama has, as of yet, failed to adequately explain why he opposed a similar bill while he was in the illinois legislature."

I guess this would be the inadequate explanation...

What precisely do you believe the strategy to be? How does that strategy make it such that you are forced to oppose laws that you claim progressives would normally support? How do you believe the legal framework forces you to oppose laws that you would normally support?

Seb, use your imagination. You're a smart guy. Don't feign ignorance.

What kind of an answer is this? I do not in fact believe that the legal framework is forcing you to oppose laws that you would normally support in this case. I think that if you were to try to specifically articulate it, you would find that the case isn't very strong at all. But you refuse to articulate it, which only increases my suspicion.

"Are there infants that survive abortion attempts? Can you even attempt to abort an infant?"

Yes to both questions. If you are interested in the topic you can google "wrongful life" lawsuits to start. And before the law was passed (strongly opposed by NARAL) if a baby (I use the term because the fetus has at that point exited the womb) was delivered live during an abortion, you could leave it without medical care until it died, even if just of dehydration.

Existing IL statute:

"Sec. 6. (1) (a) Any physician who intentionally performs an abortion when, in his medical judgment based on the particular facts of the case before him, there is a reasonable likelihood of sustained survival of the fetus outside the womb, with or without artificial support, shall utilize that method of abortion which, of those he knows to be available, is in his medical judgment most likely to preserve the life and health of the fetus.

(b) The physician shall certify in writing, on a form prescribed by the Department under Section 10 of this Act, the available methods considered and the reasons for choosing the method employed.

(c) Any physician who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly violates the provisions of Section 6(1)(a) commits a Class 3 felony.

(2) (a) No abortion shall be performed or induced when the fetus is viable unless there is in attendance a physician other than the physician performing or inducing the abortion who shall take control of and provide immediate medical care for any child born alive as a result of the abortion. This requirement shall not apply when, in the medical judgment of the physician performing or inducing the abortion based on the particular facts of the case before him, there exists a medical emergency; in such a case, the physician shall describe the basis of this judgment on the form prescribed by Section 10 of this Act. Any physician who intentionally performs or induces such an abortion and who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly fails to arrange for the attendance of such a second physician in violation of Section 6(2)(a) commits a Class 3 felony.

(b) Subsequent to the abortion, if a child is born alive, the physician required by Section 6(2)(a) to be in attendance shall exercise the same degree of professional skill, care and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as would be required of a physician providing immediate medical care to a child born alive in the course of a pregnancy termination which was not an abortion. Any such physician who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly violates Section 6(2)(b) commits a Class 3 felony."

Actually NARAL didn't oppose it the final time it came to Congress. Interestingly it did not for reasons you find suspect: that it contained wording saying that it was specifically not intended to undermine Roe. I presume this case would fall under your "Sure, because statutory caveats are usually good enough to overcome rhetorical arguments that appeal to emotion and the general legal framework." concept.

So again, I ask you to explain the framework which forces you to oppose laws that you think progressives would normally support except for "the underlying strategy of creating a legal framework that will interact with moral norms to push opinion in a certain direction."

The problem I have with that is that it suggests that the polity isn't capable of stopping once it starts down a particular road. If we legalize pot we have to legalize heroin. If we put any restrictions on banks, we have to have government ownership on everything. If we want to have the government provide a safety net for health care, it has to provide health care for everyone. That is just lazy thinking.

It is perfectly possible to completely outlaw late term abortions except when carrying the child would seriously endanger the mother and still allow abortions in early cases--and that is in fact the position of most Americans. Moving toward the political position of most people doesn't guarantee that the direction will continue well past the political position of most people. In fact, it suggests the opposite.

"No, I just need to object to what looks like a trojan horse. That'll do."

I'm asking what precisely you think is being smuggled in that causes you to object to things that you would normally support.

And you are asking me to guess. I don't think it is a trojan horse. I think it fits with the moral intuition of most Americans. I think it fits with the moral intuitions of most Americans BETTER than the NARAL positions.

What precisely do you believe the strategy to be? How does that strategy make it such that you are forced to oppose laws that you claim progressives would normally support? How do you believe the legal framework forces you to oppose laws that you would normally support?

Oh crikey Sebastian, here goes (though I, deep down, think that you know this already):

By establishing in law that fetuses deserve the protections of humans, you begin to normalize the concept that fetuses are humans. Even if the initial wave of laws did not push to extend to abortion (and even if those laws contained specific caveats), such laws can begin to shift people's conceptions of the fetus's humanity, or lack thereof.

I mean Seb, do you honestly doubt that anti-abortion activists think strategically, and that this is one manifestation of that strategic thought?

Yes, the explanation on Obama's website is horribly inaccurate.

The Illinois legislation stated:

"A live child born as a result of an abortion shall be fully recognized as a human person and accorded immediate protection under the law."

Given the fact that the infant must be (i) "born," i.e. extracted from the mother, and (ii) "alive," i.e. breathing or with a beating heart, before this protection even applies, there is NO impact on the rights of the child or the mother while the fetus is in utero.

Moreover, Obama was the Chairman of the committee that held hearings on the Illinois bill. He could have advocated that language be added, but he didn't. He voted against the bill to curry favor with his base.

Thanks, Hilzoy. This makes me feel much better about my decision to support McCain. :)

Thanks, Hilzoy. This makes me feel much better about my decision to support McCain.

Hey, who wouldn't want four more years of Bush's policies!

You seem to buy the NARAL propaganda that this all necessarily leads to a total ban on all abortions.

"A majority of Americans oppose [X]" doesn't mean that [X] will stop (see "torture of innocent men"). To me, there's a clear line from "fetus as victim" to "fetus is 'human'" -- and I don't really want to get into that debate again; suffice it to say that many pro-choicers think they have good reson not to call a fetus 'human') to "abortion is murder". This line of reasoning has been rolled out a few times, and it can be hard to refute.

I don't think that pro-choice resources should have to defend against this reasoning, over and over and over.

(echoing Eric)

By establishing in law that fetuses deserve the protections of humans, you begin to normalize the concept that fetuses are humans. Even if the initial wave of laws did not push to extend to abortion (and even if those laws contained specific caveats), such laws can begin to shift people's conceptions of the fetus's humanity, or lack thereof.

And then?

You know about the underpants gnomes and their business plan right?

1. Collect underpants

2. ???

3. Profit!

You are essentially positing:

1. Protect late term fetuses when mother is not in danger.

2. ???

3. Complete ban on abortions

And maybe some pro-lifers believe that too.

But you aren't normalizing any notion that doesn't already have wide acceptance. You are bringing the law in to line with the already normalized concept that late term fetuses are very similar to post-birth babies in terms of how they ought to be treated. That is already what a very large majority of people in America believe. You are essentially positing a political scale from 0-100 (zero being no abortion ever and 100 being NARAL’s maximalist position) where any movement subtracting numbers moves you ‘closer’ to a ‘bad’ position in the sense of your unacceptable position becoming reality.

I’m suggesting that position of the American public is about 70 on that kind of scale. In a situation where the politics hasn’t been short-circuited by the Supreme Court, the law would tend to the 65-75 range (near public opinion). If the current state of the law is not close to public opinion, movement TOWARD the state of public opinion doesn’t imply movement much PAST it. So if we are at 95 now, an actual movement toward 70 doesn’t make a move to 30 any more likely now than it would then.

It may let the public opinion move to 69 or 68 as it settles into an equilibrium that isn’t being pulled by the former NARAL extremists, but it doesn’t make 30 or 20 or 0 more likely.

Now if you are part of the minority who thinks that NARAL’s position is totally correct, of course you will resist movement away from their Court-enabled wins in that area. But then you shouldn’t pretend that you would normally support the 65-75 zone if it weren’t for those nasty pro-lifers who want to take it further.

Now could public opinion shift further on some other basis? Sure. But not by these kind of legal games on an issue like this. It will shift on the basis of something like a truly effective artificial womb or something.

Which is why I wanted you to explain your logic rather than make me guess. So I could see if we had similar concepts about how law and politics work in the face of public opinion on issues like this.

And then?

And then, by beginning to shift the public's concept of fetus/human, help to elect right wing candidates with retrogressive views on abortion rights. And then those politicians appoint more judges with same views. And then, eventually, overturn Roe v. Wade.

It's the long war view.

I know, you couldn't have come up with that in a million years. But I'll let you keep your underpants.

But you aren't normalizing any notion that doesn't already have wide acceptance. You are bringing the law in to line with the already normalized concept that late term fetuses are very similar to post-birth babies in terms of how they ought to be treated.

For the crimes against pregnant mother statutes, are they only applicable to late term fetuses? If not, does this apply to my statement?

Now could public opinion shift further on some other basis? Sure. But not by these kind of legal games on an issue like this.

I like your confidence.

1. Protect late term fetuses when mother is not in danger.

Given that the existing IL statute quoted above by Hilzoy already does this, it sure looks like the point of the legislation Obama opposed is just to smuggle the language about "fully recognized as a human person and accorded immediate protection under the law" into the books. What, exactly, is the flaw in the existing statute that this language was meant to remedy? If it doesn't address an actual problem, then it seems reasonable to label it a trojan horse.

"And then, by beginning to shift the public's concept of fetus/human, help to elect right wing candidates with retrogressive views on abortion rights. And then those politicians appoint more judges with same views. And then, eventually, overturn Roe v. Wade."

So you think that trying to maintain and out-of-step maximalist view is a better protection (even if you disagree with it) than trying to fashion laws that agree with the large majority position?

Because from where I sit it is much easier to argue "elect me or you get judges who have the ridiculous 100 view that almost no one agrees with" and get a crap shoot with judges on the other side than it would be to argue "the law agrees with you in almost every particular, elect me so I can move it from 70 all the way to 30 which isn't anywhere near where you want it."

Yes, if you build a dam and it breaks, things can get washed away. But if you build with how the river actually flows in mind, you won't have a big problem.

The flaw in the existing statute is that it requires that the physician act with at least a reckless state of mind... difficult to prove.

Also, there was testimony that, in spite of the statute, infants born alive were not given medical care.

"intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly". Less hard. Certainly not impossible. And better than criminalizing accidental misconduct.

Plus, it's not clear why the fact that (as you say) people were not obeying the existing statute means that we should pass a different statute for them to disregard.

So you think that trying to maintain and out-of-step maximalist view is a better protection (even if you disagree with it) than trying to fashion laws that agree with the large majority position?

No. Re-read what I wrote. And then re-read Obama's position on the federal vs. state legislation. I really don't think that the difference is massively out of step. As to the pregnant mother statutes, is their a late term requirement?

"there"...yeaarrggggghhhh

it's typo day or something...

I'm sorry. I was talking mostly about "McCain has consistently backed rights for the unborn, voting to cover fetuses under the State Children's Health Insurance Program and supporting the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which allowed a "child in utero" to be recognized as a legal victim of a crime." and not about Obama at all. I thought you were too. As far as I can tell Obama didn't come into the discussion at all until the very end.

So, do you believe that allowing states to designate the fetus as a separate victim in some cases ushers in a near-inevitable slide toward a total abortion ban?

"intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly". Less hard. Certainly not impossible. And better than criminalizing accidental misconduct.
--------
No. A reckless state of mind would be the easiest of the three to prove, and in that case, all the doctor has to prove (if even a case were to be brought) would be that he was merely negligent and not acting with reckless disregard for the life of the infant. A more stringent law was needed.

As for the point that doctors may have ignored the born alive law, maybe so, and more robust enforcement would have been preferable. But obama, as a member of the legislature, was able only to MAKE laws to solve problems. Obama chose to pretend that the problem didn't exist.

Furthermore, had obama made any of these arguments against the bill at the time he actually voted, then maybe your point would have some salience as opposed to being merely a post hoc rationalization for a bad vote. A vote that speaks to Obama's legislative priorities and the type of issues on which he chooses to negotiate.

So, do you believe that allowing states to designate the fetus as a separate victim in some cases ushers in a near-inevitable slide toward a total abortion ban?
------------

No. with due respect, i think slippery slope arguments are crap.

Seb,

Early on, you mentioned pregnant woman criminal statutes and health coverage for fetuses, and then complained about progressives not supporting them. By progressives, I assumed that you were including Obama. Certainly, other commenters on the thread were discussing Obama. Were you excluding him from the progressives?

General rule:

To the extent that the statutes are narrowly crafted, and do not create sweeping definitions of fetuses as humans, then I would be amenable in certain situations. It would be case-by-case, taking in the various opposition voices.

But generally, I am wary of these laws as trojan horses - and for good reason. Some anti-abortion activists have actually described them thusly. So, yeah, I'll take their word for it.

As for the pregnant woman/fetus victim statutes, I generally oppose those because most iterations do not contain provisions that only protect late term fetuses, but rather all. From zygote on.

That is part of what I was mentioning upthread, which you studiously ignored.

No. with due respect, i think slippery slope arguments are crap

Mine is not actually a slippery slope argument. That is, if you don't create a caricature of it the way Seb has.

"But generally, I am wary of these laws as trojan horses - and for good reason."

You keep saying that, but won't explain what the good reason is.

You seem to believe that these 'trojan horses' are likely to cause damage somehow. But you aren't being clear about what the alleged damage is, and how you are going to get there.

You seem to think that the

???

in the underpants gnomes' plan is obvious. It isn't.

How does one get from, for example, punishing people who kill wanted fetuses, to banning early abortions (the ill I think you want to avoid, though you never actually bother saying so) *without* running up against the fact that a huge majority of Americans don't want early abortions banned? How do you forsee that happening?

Hilzoy: I guess this would be the inadequate explanation...

NRLC is claiming they have proof that Obama himself was involved with adding the clause:

The documents prove that in March 2003, state Senator Obama, then the chairman of the Illinois state Senate Health and Human Services Committee, presided over a committee meeting in which the "neutrality clause" (copied verbatim from the federal bill) was added to the state BAIPA, with Obama voting in support of adding the revision. Yet, immediately afterwards, Obama led the committee Democrats in voting against the amended bill, and it was killed, 6-4.

I’m not going to touch the whole abortion issue here (I’m generally pro-choice but this is getting pretty far out there for me), but if NRLC is correct (and it does appear they have the documents) then I just lost faith in Obama’s “fact-check” site.

How do you forsee that happening?

Obfuscation, "framing", lying, "activist" judges (such as Scalia). The same way that the Right has managed to legalise any number of things that any sane person should be against (see also "death penalty").

if NRLC is correct

The odds on NRLC being correct on anything is about the same as a BushCo spokesperson being correct on anything.

sebastian yes
EM no

That might be a first for me.

The problem I have with that is that it suggests that the polity isn't capable of stopping once it starts down a particular road.

Jesus, someone bookmark this for when Sebastian finds himself on the other side of this type of argument.

Anyway, since apparently nobody else is as evil as I am, I'll be the guy to go on record and say that, in my opinion, a baby delivered alive in the course of a botched abortion should be quietly euthanized.

If the horse had used a Trojan in the first place, we wouldn't be in this mess.

Those troublesome little homunculi wouldn't have found their way into the horse in the first place and we wouldn't have to kill them when they burst out looking for mother Helen.

Funny that the Trojans, of all people, couldn't figure all of this out.

I want an accounting of John McCain's fnkung schedule while in the military, at the very least, before I get a lecture on abstinence and defunding family planning efforts.

Word is he voted for for poontang before he voted against it.

Phil:

If you're going on the record, why keep the euthanization quiet?

Sorry, I couldn't resist. ;)

"I'll be the guy to go on record and say that, in my opinion, a baby delivered alive in the course of a botched abortion should be quietly euthanized."

Seriously? Why?

What would you like to have done with them, Sebastian? Do you suppose the woman, having had her abortion botched, is going to say, "Whoopsie! Guess I'll just take the little nipper home after all?"

Perhaps a good compromise would be to allow women to have partial birth abortions, but before doing so, they must give legal assent that they can be euthanized when they become frail and cannot survive without the assistance of other people. Old people do compromise the resources and well being of our productive members of society when we have to spend our money to support the geezers. A simple one-to-one abortion to old-and-in-the-way quota system could determine the number of old ladies to be given the needle.

Sebastian: Your problem is that you don't count anything as concern for babies once born or for pregnant women unless it matches explicitly and in every detail with your poltical program.

Heh. No, Sebastian, not nearly. My "political program" - you know, the one I'm going to implement when I'm Dictator of the World - isn't being touched on here.

What I'm talking about is simple, direct concern for pregnant women and children: for example:

- The right not to be fired for being pregnant (happened to a pregnant teacher in a Catholic school not that long ago, and did pro-life organizations rise up and defend her? Did they hell):

- The right to paid maternity leave and a guaranteed return to work at the end of it (are pro-life organizations anywhere involved in campaigning for this? Are they hell)

- The right for mothers and children to receive free healthcare (are pro-life organizations anywhere involved in campaigning even for a single-payer solution? the hell they are).

You also fail to notice the large number of Catholic charities for the homeless and the enormous number of Catholic charities for the poor. You don't count any of that.

Why should I? It has long been shown that if you want to end poverty in a country, you don't want a patchwork system of religious charities that help some and leave others unhelped, you want a universal system that is funded by all who can to provide support for all who need. Pro-life politicians have a consistent record of voting against funding for such programs, and you are a good example of a pro-lifer who shows a vast indifference to and ignorance of how people have to live below the poverty line. (For me "Why don't they buy a rice-cooker!" is now the 21st-century equivalent of "Let them eat cake!")

For example the fact that a large number of adoption services are run by Catholics seems to have completely escaped your attention.

Adoption agencies have no relevance in any debate on abortion, because only in the minds of people who believe it's OK to force women through pregnancy and childbirth against their will, then take newborn babies away from their mothers by force, is adoption a "solution". The kind of people who run adoption agencies generally have too much acquaintance with maternal feeling and human pain and the needs of children to advocate any such thing. Only pro-lifers do that.

Phil: Anyway, since apparently nobody else is as evil as I am, I'll be the guy to go on record and say that, in my opinion, a baby delivered alive in the course of a botched abortion should be quietly euthanized.

Sebastian: Seriously? Why?

I'll go on record as saying that if a unicorn shows up in a maternity ward it should be shot and the horn and hooves used to make a medicine that will cure cancer.

One is as likely as the other.

"What would you like to have done with them, Sebastian? Do you suppose the woman, having had her abortion botched, is going to say, "Whoopsie! Guess I'll just take the little nipper home after all?""

This is why the good Lord created adoption.

Phil: Anyway, since apparently nobody else is as evil as I am, I'll be the guy to go on record and say that, in my opinion, a baby delivered alive in the course of a botched abortion should be quietly euthanized.
----

Then Obama is your man. Maybe you can make bumperstickers:

Pro-infanticide, Pro-Obama

I guess Obama is for pink unicorns, too.

You keep saying that, but won't explain what the good reason is.

I have provided two reasons several times. Reasons that I would consider good:

1. Anti-abortion activists describe them as trojan horse legislation. I take them at their word. You might think that unwise of me, but I persist.

2. The laws equate fetuses, to the level of zygotes, with humans in terms of providing legal protection. I believe this will begin to shift the public's consciousness with regard to perceiving zygotes and fetuses as the equivalent of human life - despite the error in this thinking. This has the potential to help the GOP win elections based on this flawed outlook, appoint likeminded judges and, eventually, further infringe on reproductive rights.

That is the anti-abortionist plan. I'll give them enough respect to concede that it might have merit, and therefore oppose it.

I have stated the above several times in this thread. Please don't make me repeat it again by arguing that I have not, actually, stated it. Again. It grows tiresome.

I'll go on record as saying that if a unicorn shows up in a maternity ward it should be shot and the horn and hooves used to make a medicine that will cure cancer.

"It is a monstrous thing, to slay a unicorn. Only one who has nothing to lose, and everything to gain, would commit such a crime. The blood of a unicorn will keep you alive, even if you are an inch from death, but at a terrible price. You have slain something pure and defenseless to save yourself, and you will have but a half-life, a cursed life, from the moment the blood touches your lips.
Firenze the Centaur (PS15)"

To clarify, lest we go around and around again, the pregnant mother criminal statutes consider any fetus (not just late term) to be protected...

Jesurgislac wrote:
I guess Obama is for pink unicorns, too.

At the risk of legitimizing your failed attempt at wit, I will say this:

1) The instances of infants surviving abortions are rare, but I'm sure you'll agree that one living infant discarded as medical waste and left to die in a closet is one too many. Maybe you're for euthanasia here, but if so, please explain.

Obama's post hoc excuse that the bill lacked adequate protections for abortion is both wrong on the facts and law and illustrates awful priorities. It shows that obama cared less about protecting the infants born alive, rare though they may be, and more about the off-chance that the legislation may be used, at some point in the future, to advocate additional restrictions on abortion.

2) Catholic organizations have been heavily involved in the civil rights movement, the u.s. anti-war movement since vietnam and they continue to build schools, bridges, sewer systems and provide access to clean water for the poor across africa, the carribean, south and central america and beyond. Your policy prescriptions have noble goals, but would be nearly impossible to implement absent a mammoth, across-the-board tax increase and spending cuts elsewhere in the budget. These so-called pro-life organizations may not agree with each and every one of your policy recommendations, but the good ought not to be condemned for not being perfect.

"I believe this will begin to shift the public's consciousness with regard to perceiving zygotes and fetuses as the equivalent of human life - despite the error in this thinking."

Ok, but you haven't even attempted to engage my discussion about the MAGNITUDE of the change. You seem to be positing a shift from my estimate of 70 to something in the 0-10 range but you don't offer any reasons why you think that is LIKELY. I'm getting hammered with unicorns, when you are the one assuming them.

Yes it is possible that there will be an incredibly subtle shift, but you are acting as if there will be a dramatic revolution in thinking over things like this.

"That is the anti-abortionist plan. I'll give them enough respect to concede that it might have merit, and therefore oppose it.

I have stated the above several times in this thread. Please don't make me repeat it again by arguing that I have not, actually, stated it. Again. It grows tiresome."

Hooray, you get call me naive earlier, and now you think that stated plans that have little or no relation to reality should stop you from doing otherwise progressive things. You have now *stated* reasons, but they are essentially "I don't want to think about it so I just trust pro-life rhetoric". Which is a rather interesting position for someone who rather studiously does not trust pro-life rhetoric as to their stated reasons for other things. So it just sounds like you don't want to *discuss*, merely *state*. Which is of course your right.

But if we are merely *stating* our positions.

1) The actual abortion positions of the average American are more pro-life than the current state of the law.

2) The actual abortion positions of the average American are not even close to as pro-life as the pro-life activists you worry about.

2a) For the purposes of discussion I estimated that point at about 70 on a 100 point scale.

3) Movement toward the actual abortion positions of the average American does not make it likely that they will suddenly have a dramatic move to the pro-life activist position for any definition of "likely" that is more "likely" than them waking up and adopting it now.

4) Worries about scary Republican judges would be totally unneccessary if your side hadn't constructed a political situation where movement toward the position of the average American was almost impossible in the normal political process. Welcome to the dangers of creating super-rigid systems that don't allow for outside input.

And as a more general comment about how you state political positions here: you seem not to care much about magnitude concerns when you make your baseline assumptions--this shows up whenever you talk about economic concerns as well. Saying something like "it will move general public opinion [cue scary music] *toward* the pro-life position" is a great emotional argument for people who already agree with you. But it isn't actually a good logical argument if 'toward' is really at most an incredibly small movement and more likely no movement.

The cases we are talking about here AT MOST could push the general equilibrium a very small amount. I would suspect they wouldn't do so at all, because they ALREADY represent the general understanding.

At no point have you discussed or even stated how these particular laws would effect the magic trick of shifting the general public opinion to the radical pro-life position. Your only statement appears to be that some pro-life strategists hope it will be so.

But that isn't a good argument for why we should actually believe that is the effect of an otherwise good proposal. Perhaps they are deluded on that point.

The instances of infants surviving abortions are rare

Tell me of one.

A fetus at 22 weeks or less cannot be born alive: although a pro-life fraudster from the UK was claiming not long ago that fetuses aborted at 18 weeks were "breathing and crying" he was, not to put too fine a point on it, lying. Below 22 weeks, fetal lungs are not developed: the fetus cannot breathe on its own, and therefore cannot survive abortion.

1.9% of the total number of abortions in the US are carried out later than 21 weeks - in 2002, that was a total of 12,962 abortions. (CDC data)

If infant survival after 21> week abortion is anything that happens on a measurable basis, you should have no difficulty in finding a medically documented example.

Incidentally, most of those abortions are carried out because of an extreme medical emergency: those that are not, result from the American practice of forcing women on a low income to delay and delay having an abortion until they can afford to pay for it. (An absurd pro-life practice, I'm sure you'll agree.)

but I'm sure you'll agree that one living infant discarded as medical waste and left to die in a closet is one too many

This "one dead infant is one too many" is often used by pro-lifers: I notice, however, that the corollary - one dead woman is one too many - is not one they ever use. (Nor do they appear too concerned by the dead infants abandoned by mentally ill mothers who were forced against their will through pregnancy and childbirth.)

Higher rates of infanticide and maternal mortality are the only inevitable and unavoidable results of making safe legal abortion - especially late-term abortion - harder to get. (Lower abortion rates are not one of the results achieved by making abortion harder to get.)

This is known: that pro-lifers advocate for restrictions on late-term abortion despite this demonstrates that either they are wilfully ignorant of the results of the policies they advocate, or they like the idea of dead women and dead babies far more than they like the idea of preventing abortions.

Catholic organizations have been heavily involved in the civil rights movement, the u.s. anti-war movement since vietnam and they continue to build schools, bridges, sewer systems and provide access to clean water for the poor across africa, the carribean, south and central america and beyond.

How many of the Catholics involved in these worthy goals are pro forced-pregnancy? Some Catholics certainly are part of the forced pregnancy movement: many are not. (Catholic women are as likely to abort unwanted pregnancies as women of any other religion or none.)

Your policy prescriptions have noble goals, but would be nearly impossible to implement absent a mammoth, across-the-board tax increase and spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.

Yeah, because the US is such a Third World country it can't afford to pay for basic needs that every other developed country in the world can afford. I've heard this one from Americans before, and it always amazes me how willing Americans are to cry poormouth as an explanation for why their country provides such inferior services.

These so-called pro-life organizations may not agree with each and every one of your policy recommendations, but the good ought not to be condemned for not being perfect.

Huh? Now you're claiming that organizations that oppose contraception and do not support basic maternal needs, ought to be called "the good"?

On the other side of the coin, there's this:

The Baptist Children's Hospital in Miami, Florida, said Amillia Sonja Taylor was born at 21 weeks and six days on 24 October 2006, making her possibly the most premature baby on record to survive.

[/obtained after five seconds of googling]

Just data. Carry on.

Catholic organizations have been heavily involved in the civil rights movement, the u.s. anti-war movement since vietnam

That is certainly very true. Remember when the Vatican said that the Iraq war was morally wrong and that Catholics could not support it in good conscience? Probably not since that never happened. Remember when Catholic politicians were denied communion by Catholic priests and bishops because they supported a war that killed a million people for no reason whatsoever? I mean, even if they weren't denied communion before the war started, years later when we learned what a sham the whole enterprise was, there was all sorts of ecclesiastal punishment for those politicians who didn't publicly admit their deception and repent, right? Of course not. Being pro-war will not hurt anyone's relations with the catholic church. Supporting a war of aggression based on nothing but lies will not do so either.

The cases we are talking about here AT MOST could push the general equilibrium a very small amount. I would suspect they wouldn't do so at all, because they ALREADY represent the general understanding.

Seb, can I recommend to you a review of the careful use of language and other rhetorical frames by the GOP in order to marshall public opinion?

Review the work of Frank Luntz and others that craft such poli-speak. Start with the "Death Tax" and wend your way through.

We don't need massive shifts in voting patterns to change the outcomes of elections. Even slight shifts in outlook can contribute to the small shift in preferences that swing many elections. A few percentage points really.

And, yes, it is part of a cumulative effort. I don't look at it alone in a vacuum.

Which was your blind spot in our previous economic discussion - and part of your problem with my broader view. You want to look at each little piece individually, as if it is not part of a larger framework. Like, say, the way high union membership interacts with income equality.

You are very good at pointing out the union membership alone and in and of itself cannot move mountains. But that is not, and never was, my argument. Ditto here.

I'm talking about the big picture, and a rhetorical, legislative and legal battle fought on myriad fronts, in as many ways.

The GOP is very good at fighting it. I respect them, and choose to fight back. Even if every skirmish is not the battle of the bulge.

Slarti: Just [unconfirmed anecdote]. Carry on.

Fixed that for you. Carry on.


"The instances of infants surviving abortions are rare

Tell me of one."

Here and I read of a case in the UK in 2007 but I don't see it right this second because the googling is being diverted by this case of a woman who started a chemical abortion, tried to reverse it, and had the baby born alive. (Which should at the very least falsify your contention that fetuses are not being aborted at times when they could survive).

Sebastian: Which should at the very least falsify your contention that fetuses are not being aborted at times when they could survive)

How so? My contention was that fetuses aborted under 22 weeks cannot survive. (So far, Slartibartfast has come up with one unconfirmed anecdote of a premature baby claimed to have been born at 1 day under 22 weeks: neither he nor you have found data of fetuses aborted at less than 22 weeks that survived.) No one has yet cited even any anecdotes that show fetuses surviving an abortion at under 22 weeks - the Salford Clinic case is of a baby born at just under 24 weeks. These are certainly radical cases - that make the news around the time new restrictions in access to abortion are being mooted. If the test is "one life is enough", then the need for legal late-term abortions is met: providing the lives of pregnant women are weighed in the balance, not only the lives of fetuses.

Gianna Jessen's claim to have survived an instillation abortion is not backed up by external evidence - it rests solely on Jessen's unsupported word (at least, in all articles I have seen about it) which raises the question: given Jessen was adopted, who told Jessen that her mother tried to have her aborted at 7 months, and when did they tell her?

"Seb, can I recommend to you a review of the careful use of language and other rhetorical frames by the GOP in order to marshall public opinion?"

You can reccommend vague hand-waving in that direction. But you don't get to use it as a catch all for whenever you aren't interested in defending your arguments.

You have provided no reason to believe that on an issue where the American public has shown a great deal of stability which is not well in line with the law as dictated by the Courts, why shifting the law TOWARD the public opinon would suggest a *very* large shift PAST the public opinion.

You haven't engaged that argument at all.

"We don't need massive shifts in voting patterns to change the outcomes of elections. Even slight shifts in outlook can contribute to the small shift in preferences that swing many elections. A few percentage points really."

This has to do with opposing laws, right? Do you for some reason believe that if abortion laws are more in line with public opinion, that will make abortion a more powerful wedge issue? That seems odd. The reason abortion is a wedge issue at all is because the laws are not well in line with public opinion, allowing the precious few percentage points to be drawn away from pro-choic Democrats and toward pro-life Republicans. It is a wedge issue because you can draw moderates with mainstream abortion views into the Republican camp. If you are worried about abortion as it effects voting patterns (which is not what we were discussing before) a shift in line with public opinion diffuses the issue.

"And, yes, it is part of a cumulative effort. I don't look at it alone in a vacuum."

Which implies that there are a raft of hot-button abortion issues available which have just as strong a moral valence as the ones being discussed and which cumulatively will cause a shift that you fear.

Where are these other issues that can resonate as strongly as "give medical care when the abortion delivers a live baby" and "punishment enhancements when someone tries to kill a fetus against the mother's will"? In order to effect the shift that engages your reactionary impulse to avoid otherwise ok laws now, there must be dozens or hundreds of those. Do you honestly believe that?

"I'm talking about the big picture, and a rhetorical, legislative and legal battle fought on myriad fronts, in as many ways."

Yes that does seem to be your mental frame for talking about this issue. The abortion issues that are wedges now, are such because your side has already shifted the legalisms well beyond public opinion. Even these issues don't get us in line with public opinion. Because of that, I don't see any evidence of a raft of valent abortion issues that will get us sailing out of control beyond public opinion.

So in this case, your 'cumulative effect', 'big picture' frame appears to be deceiving you especially considering the fact that abortion remained very much legal even in the years of Republican ascendance. (Which makes sense because a very huge majority of Americans want to keep it legal, just not the NARAL version of legal). You have provided no specific reason (legal, political or otherwise) why a move toward public opinion implicates a noticeable move past it.

It is funny how a man so in tune with the need for flexibility and negotiation in foreign affairs is so completely out of tune with the concept in domestic affairs.

Sebastian: The reason abortion is a wedge issue at all is because

...a small number of pro-life activists have managed to take a great deal of political power.

From 2005:

A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 56 percent of respondents nationwide favored keeping abortion legal in all or most cases. The survey of 1,082 adults, conducted in April 2005, showed that only 14 percent of those surveyed wanted to keep abortion illegal in all cases, with another 27 percent wanting most cases to be illegal.

Voters don’t want the government and politicians involved in their choice about abortion. In a recent survey by The Mellman Group, 62 percent of respondents felt the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. Only 33 percent believe the government should restrict access.

A majority of Americans do not want the government having the power to force women through pregnancy and childbirth against their will. This even after decades of propaganda.

If you consider that many women who identify as anti-choice/pro-life will themselves have abortions, that suggests strongly, too, that the 14% of Americans who claim to believe that women should be forced under all circumstances probably include at least some women who have made a private exception for themselves: they support safe legal access to abortion when (as far as they are concerned) it really matters. They are covertly pro-choice.

(Catholic women are as likely to abort unwanted pregnancies as women of any other religion or none.)

For example, data from 2001 tends to show that women who identify as born-again Protestants are less likely to have abortions that women of other religions (18% of all abortions are done on "Born-again" believers, which category constitutes about 30% of the American adult population) but Catholics are fractionally more likely to have abortions than average (1.01% of all abortions are done on Catholics: but Catholics constitute 1% of the population).

Fixed that for you. Carry on.

This guy seems to be taking it as a given. Although, it must be noted, age is given in the article I linked as age from conception, which is not (apparently) the convention. There's enough information in both links to figure out what it translates to, I think.

I don't subscribe to medical journals, so I have no idea to what degree this has been officially documented. So outside of various news outlets, including some major network or other, I've got nothing. Nor do I particularly care, one way or another, as I've got no point to support with this. As I said, just data. If you want to discount it without checking, I'm fine with that.

I tend to think this sort of thing is just tiny footsteps in the direction of artificial gestation, myself. We're not going to all of a sudden have artificial wombs, possibly; we're going to execute a series of medical advances that gradually get us there.

Jesurgislac:
I suppose it's POSSIBLE that 98 senators voted to protect a class of people that doesn't exist, but it's doubtful. note: nancy pelosi's measure to protect unicorns failed to gain a 98 vote supermajority.

Moreover, your concern about women being forced into unsafe abortions is completely unfounded and is a clear indication that this discussion is no longer productive.

abortion is available, essentially, without restriction prior to viability (roughly 25 weeks). thereafter, abortions are available so long as a doctor certifies that it is best for the mother's physical or psychological well-being-- a rather broad exception. fine. pro-choice (1), pro-life (0). your side wins.

but this is all beside the point. the very narrow question before obama, the question i tried to raise, was whether he was going protect the few fetuses who are extracted from the mother but who manage to survive. he chose not to do so, and has not explained this decision to the satisfaction of any objective observer.

he chose not to do so, and has not explained this decision to the satisfaction of any objective observer.
Y'know, you might want to consider the possibility that you aren't actually objective. Just a thought

You still haven't demonstrated that there was actually a problem with the existing statute. You said that the problem was that it made prosecution difficult, but you've conceded that post-viability abortions are very rare, and fetal survival of such abortions even rarer. So in some proportion of these extremely rare cases, in which the doctor performing the abortion acts in violation of the existing statute, it might theoretically be difficult to prosecute him for it. So we need a new law. Can you point to any actual failed prosecutions in cases like this? You've also admitted that even if the problem is that the existing law isn't being properly enforced, well, we still need a new law (to not be enforced). Forgive me if I conclude that you aren't actually terribly interested in enforcement, but rather in 1)getting trojan horse language inserted into the statutes, and 2)bashing Obama as pro-infanticide. Speaking as an objective observer, of course.

I suppose it's POSSIBLE that 98 senators voted to protect a class of people that doesn't exist, but it's doubtful.

It's also POSSIBLE that they recognized an obvious poison pill, diluted the poison as much as possible, then voted for it in order to deny people such as yourself the opportunity to claim they were pro-infanticide.

Sebastian's "argument," if it can be called that, boils down to "Most Americans are pro-choice, therefore recognizing unborn victims of violence cannot lead to restrictive anti-abortion laws."

Nonsense, of course. If you get the right legal hook, and a judge willing to take it seriously, then you can get rulings that are directly counter to popular consensus. Protecting "the unborn" from violence gives them enforceable rights of their own, and yes, that does mean that a judge may well decide that those rights mean fetuses must be protected from their mothers. It also, as Eric points out, encourages people (including legislators and voters) to think of a fetus as a separate entity from its mother. Something that most people have *some* tendency to do already, but pro-choicers have every reason to worry about the tendency being enforced and encouraged. Even if people are already inclined to think that way, putting it in law reinforces it. There is no way to quantify the effects of such reinforcement, let alone do so in such a way as to establish that those effects are insignificant. So pro-choicers are right to be wary.

And again as Eric pointed out, anti-abortion activists are thrilled because of these laws. I see no reason to doubt their political acumen, even if I think their moral views are nonsense. It doesn't matter if most Americans disagree with those activists: they can still win important political victories, and they know it. Passing these laws is part of their game plan. And THEY are the major pushers of such legislation, not the proverbial "average Americans" without a radical anti-choice agenda. Take a look at any campaign against "fetal homicide" and you'll find anti-choicers, and the occasional exploited family like Laci Peterson's. You won't find moderate pro-choicers or people who aren't trying to use the laws to push an anti-abortion agenda. All of this is reason enough for any pro-choice person to fight these laws.

If anyone is actually concerned about preventing violence against pregnant women, they can fight for laws punishing violence against pregnant women. If they're concerned about the health of pregnant women, they can push for better pre-natal care for the woman. The fetus will benefit just as much as if the wording specifically protected the "unborn." And you'll avoid the hassle of getting into a fire-fight about abortion.

But of course, a fire-fight about abortion is exactly what the people behind these laws WANT, and they would have very little interest in protecting pregnant women without pushing that anti-choice agenda.

so_what: Moreover, your concern about women being forced into unsafe abortions is completely unfounded and is a clear indication that this discussion is no longer productive.

Really? If pro-lifers achieve their goal of removing safe legal access to abortion in the United States, while they may assert that what they wanted was to force women through pregnancy and childbirth against their will, but in practical matter of fact, unless they mandate that all women between 14 and 50 report to hospital every 28 days for a police check of their uterus as a potential crime site, and arrest and imprison any woman who does not so report herself, what will happen is what happens in all countries where women do not have access to safe legal abortion: they make use of unsafe illegal abortion.

That you claim that this is "completely unfounded" does demonstrate that you have failed to go do the basic research about what happens when legal abortion is banned, which in turn does make discussion unproductive.

Larv: According to the article below, the Ill AG concluded that the then-existing law did not protect fetuses born alive. I'll admit that national review is anything but unbiased, but that fact checks out. you'll note that in obama's prepared remarks in opposition to the bill, he doesn't mention that he's voting against the bill because the existing statute adequately protects infants, so you can stop trying to use this as an excuse for his vote.

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=N2NmMGNkMTdkZWJkZWRkMjRkNjY5NjllNzZlYjkyNmY=

you are free to conclude whatever you like about my beliefs or my motives, but like most of your "conclusions" (really assertions without basis) you would be wrong. for the record, i'm still undecided, and if you put a gun to my head, probably leaning towards obama, if for no other reason b/c the current adminstration has done so little right that the party deserves to be taught a lesson. so yes, i do consider myself objective. and i'm not particularly interested in bashing anyone as pro-infanticide. however, the fact remains: obama voted against a bill that would have given palliative care to these infants. and he did it to curry favor with the far left of his party. i guess strictly speaking, that doesn't make him PRO-infanticide, it just makes him not opposed to it, so long as it furthers his political career.

LARV/JESURGISLAC: for the last time, abortion is legal. NARAL/NOW is fooling you into thinking that the right to abortion is in danger. if they didn't, fundraising would dry up. abortion will become illegal ONLY IF: a constitutional amendment against it is passed (never happen) or if roe/casey is overturned (which only has 2-3 advocates on current court).

in closing, the plain language of the statute obama voted against applied only to those (1) born (2) alive. if the infant wasn't "born" (i.e. didn't exit the womb), the statute didn't even apply. there was no danger in the protections of this bill seeping into other context.

how i ended up on this site i have no idea.

so_what: for the last time, abortion is legal. NARAL/NOW is fooling you into thinking that the right to abortion is in danger.

Wow, what a measured analysis, so_what. Really makes me think you've studied the politics and thought things through.

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