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February 23, 2010

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Forced pregnancy = torture.

Torture = also very popular with the party of life. Just sayin'.

Torture = also very popular with the party of life. Just sayin'.

Heh.

More accurately, the above should be:

Forced pregnancy & childbirth = torture.

End of story.

OT - someone still needs to put Charles Bird as an alum on the sidebar.

Abortion is much more serious than killing an adult. An adult may or may not be an innocent, but an unborn child is most definitely innocent. Taking that life cannot be ignored. If a nine-year-old girl repeatedly raped by her stepfather is not an innocent, how can anyone suppose that a 27-year-old woman who has a 10-year-old daughter already could possibly be regarded as most definitely innocent and therefore her life is worthy to be saved? May the Lord bless you for your efforts to defend the unborn. Amalia's 10-year-old daughter is probably not an innocent either.

Very funny Jesurgislac,

Nicaragua used to allow therapeutic abortions to save a woman's life; the law was changed after the case of "Rosita", another 9-yr-old pregnancy case. Rosita was a Nicaraguan living in Costa Rica when she was allegedly raped by a neighbor. After it became apparent that Costa Rica would not allow a therapeutic abortion, women's health activists spirited her and her parents over the border into Nicaragua, where the abortion was performed. This case was the subject of a documentary film (http://rositathemovie.com) Disclosure: I did the animation for this film.

As a sad footnote to rosita's story, several years later she became pregnant again, apparently by her stapfather, and carried the child to term. Even sadder is that in some circles this was held up as reason for not allowing her first abortion.

Jesurgislac may not be aware of it but both Catholic and original Lutheran doctrine (both coming from St.Augustine in this case) states that the unborn is not innocent. That's the very reason why abortions are evil from their point of view. An aborted child goes straight to hell (or at least to limbo but even that thought was heretical most of the time). Up to very recently the RCC demanded that a pregnant woman had to sacrifice her life for the baptism (not the life!!!) of her unborn if there was no other way to get that done (instruments were also developed for emergency pre-natal baptism). In the past there were even laws that women that died during pregnancy could not be buried in hallowed earth unless the (naturally unbaptized) fetus was cut out and buried outside the churchyard.
Personally I think that people coming up with such doctrines should be tortured.

Jesurgislac may not be aware of it but both Catholic and original Lutheran doctrine (both coming from St.Augustine in this case) states that the unborn is not innocent.

No, I did know that. (But you did get that I was quoting the Catholic Archbishop? He's the one who claimed that a fetus is an innocent and a nine-year-old girl "may or may not be".) That's why for many years, infanticide was more common than abortion in Ireland (I don't know about other Catholic countries) - because a woman who was pregnant and couldn't have the baby, preferred to deliver alone, baptize the infant so that baby could go to heaven, then kill it. The baby would go to Heaven, and the mother could always confess/repent/be absolved.

Abortion is still not legal in any part of Ireland, but these days Irish women just go to Belgium or the UK to have abortions (and bloody well should get to have them on the NHS!), since it's become doctrine that unbaptised fetuses are innocent and can go to heaven.

Personally I think that people coming up with such doctrines should be tortured.

Most of them are dead, so it's a bit late for that. Personally I think the best recourse is to make it unacceptable for religious doctrine justifying the denial of human rights to women to have the force of law.

Oops.

FWIW, not everyone who opposes elective abortion as a means of birth control also opposes exceptions, including an exception for the mother's life or serious impairment of her health. I've argued this point before on this site. Eric paints with too broad a brush, to say the least.

McTex,

True that this is a generalization.

FWIW, not everyone who opposes elective abortion as a means of birth control also opposes exceptions

True, but why does that matter? You're really on board with forcing a woman to go through a full pregnancy and childbirth so long as her health is not seriously impaired?

Why should there be any exception at all? Either it's murder, or it isn't.

If you allow exceptions, then you're in the business of making a judgment on a specific set of circumstances.

And since you're allowing this judgment, please tell me in the name of all that's fucking sacred how YOU KNOW BETTER THAN THE MOTHER AND HER DOCTOR what's best for her?

Either you're against all abortions, no exceptions, or you allow the mother and her doctor to decide what an exception would be.

The rest is just sexism and wanking (the bad kind).

McKinneyTexas: Eric paints with too broad a brush, to say the least.

If you don't like being identified with other forced-pregnancy advocates, why not just quit advocating for forced pregnancy? That you're willing to treat women with the respect of a good farmer for a useful breeding animal, rather than simply use-till-broken throwaway incubators, makes you fractionally better than them, but it's not really a difference to be proud of...

What Prattlehorn said.

In other misogyny news:

A bill passed by the Utah House and Senate this week and waiting for the governor's signature, will make it a crime for a woman to have a miscarriage, and make induced abortion a crime in some instances.

According Lynn M. Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, what makes Utah's proposed law unique is that it is specifically designed to be punitive toward pregnant women, not those who might assist or cause an illegal abortion or unintended miscarriage.

The bill passed by legislators amends Utah's criminal statute to allow the state to charge a woman with criminal homicide for inducing a miscarriage or obtaining an illegal abortion. The basis for the law was a recent case in which a 17-year-old girl, who was seven months pregnant, paid a man $150 to beat her in an attempt to cause a miscarriage. Although the girl gave birth to a baby later given up for adoption, she was initially charged with attempted murder. However the charges were dropped because, at the time, under Utah state law a woman could not be prosecuted for attempting to arrange an abortion, lawful or unlawful.

The bill passed by the Utah legislature would change that. While the bill does not affect legally obtained abortions, it criminalizes any actions taken by women to induce a miscarriage or abortion outside of a doctor's care, with penalties including up to life in prison.

"What is really radical and different about this statute is that all of the other states' feticide laws are directed to third party attackers," Paltrow explained. "[Other states' feticide laws] were passed in response to a pregnant woman who has been beaten up by a husband or boyfriend. Utah's law is directed to the woman herself and that's what makes it different and dangerous."

In addition to criminalizing an intentional attempt to induce a miscarriage or abortion, the bill also creates a standard that could make women legally responsible for miscarriages caused by "reckless" behavior.

Using the legal standard of "reckless behavior" all a district attorney needs to show is that a woman behaved in a manner that is thought to cause miscarriage, even if she didn't intend to lose the pregnancy. Drink too much alcohol and have a miscarriage? Under the new law such actions could be cause for prosecution.

"Anti-abortion activists often claim that exemptions [in US law] from abortion bans for life/health of the mother provide too-wide a loophole and allow for de facto legal abortion."

This statement would have been accurate and non strawmanning.

And of course has little to do with Nicaragua.

With accuracy and without the strawman, what degree of health sacrifices are we to expect from pregnant women and what should the government's role be in deciding that on a case-by-case or blanket basis? (I'm thinking small government here.)

"And since you're allowing this judgment, please tell me in the name of all that's fucking sacred how YOU KNOW BETTER THAN THE MOTHER AND HER DOCTOR what's best for her"

I believe that our laws are pretty clear.

Killing a child in the womb is a crime. It is murder. If anyone does that they are considered the most heinous of criminals, with two exceptions. We have exempted the mother and her doctor (and various support staff) from prosecution under these laws, specifically.

There is a rational discussion as to whether there are instances, just as specific, where we don't exempt them from these laws.

"The rest is just sexism and wanking (the bad kind)."

Not really, it is a discussion of the rights of two people who are both recognized by law as having rights.

The language employed by my fellow abortion rights supporters unfortunately illustrates George Orwell's observation that when there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as if instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink.

War is peace
Freedom is slavery
Ignorance is strength
Abortion rights--the right to avoid reproduction--means "reproductive rights"

The horrid phrase, "forced pregnancy", should properly be reserved for pregnancy resulting from rape. Force ordinarily indicates the application of power or compulsion--most often in the sense of overcoming resistance or inertia. Where sex, resulting in conception, is unforced, the development of the fetus to term results naturally from the absence of force. The termination of a pregnancy by abortion necessarily involves some measure of force.

Let's be honest in our use of language. There is no need to be squeamish about calling abortion by its name. Let's leave twisting the Queen's English into the shape of a pretzel to those who glibly call themselves "pro-life" but don't give a damn about post-natal life.

Abortion rights--the right to avoid reproduction--means "reproductive rights"

This isn't Newspeak. The right to avoid reproduction is as much a reproductive right as the right not to go to church on Sunday is a religious right.

I don't mind calling abortion abortion, and I am not a fan of the "forced pregnancy" phrase either. But "reproductive rights" is a good label for the idea that the state should not tell us what to do with our own bodies. Reproductive rights cut both ways: the state cannot compel me and my wife to bear children, nor can it prevent me from doing so. It's none of the state's goddamn business what happens inside our own bodies. If there is one realm in which we ought to be sovereign, it is that.

John: . Force ordinarily indicates the application of power or compulsion--most often in the sense of overcoming resistance or inertia.

Yes: that would include the legislation - and the terrorist activity - intended to force a woman away from having an abortion, into continuing her pregnancy against her will.

Where sex, resulting in conception, is unforced, the development of the fetus to term results naturally from the absence of force.

Unless the woman has decided to have an abortion. Abortion is - in early-stage pregnancy - a simple and cheap operation. It can be performed as an out-patient procedure: a chemical abortion can even be carried out largely at home, providing the woman has quick access to medical services if anything goes wrong. To prevent doctors and nurses from feeling able to perform abortions, the application of force - as we see with the terrorist wing of the pro-life movement, or the jail sentences handed down by pro-life governments - is very much required.

The termination of a pregnancy by abortion necessarily involves some measure of force.

Not unless the woman is being forced to have an abortion, which I oppose as strongly as I would if she were being forced to have the baby. Women who want abortions don't have to be "forced" into having an abortion, and no woman who doesn't want to have an abortion should be forced. The same is true for continuing the pregnancy.

Where sex, resulting in conception, is unforced

The notion that the decision to have sex is completely equivalent to the decision to have a baby is ludicrously false.

Marty: Killing a child in the womb is a crime. It is murder

Huh? Marty, if you attempt to stuff a child back into a woman's uterus, no matter how young the child is - even a newborn baby - the child will die. So will the woman, probably. You can't "kill a child in the womb", because children don't fit into wombs - the image is as absurd as the idea John was proposing that for a woman the decision to have sex is exactly the same as the decision to have a baby.

We have exempted the mother and her doctor (and various support staff) from prosecution under these laws, specifically.

No, it's still illegal fro a mother or her doctor or any support staff to kill a child, whether by stuffing the child into the mother's womb or by any other horror movie or saner method.

What is not illegal is performing an abortion, which will either kill or result indirectly in the death of the fetus the woman is carrying. But as anyone who knows anything about human development knows - a fetus is not a baby...

An addendum to the 'infanticide (of baptized child) better than abortion (of unbaptized fetus)': Since contraception is equaled by the church to abortion, Polish women preferred the latter (at least during the pontificate of John Paul II who stated the doctrine explicitly) because contraception has to be done (and confessed) on a regular base while abortions are far more rare. The sum of sin would therefore be smaller.
It's just another example of insane outcomes by logical conclusions from mad axioms (like making suicide a crime punishable by death).
But what if Mary had aborted Christ? No joke, that argument has been made and is still used by some though most now talk about all the potential geniuses that could fall victim to abortion (but never about the potential Hitlers).

But what if Mary had aborted Christ? No joke, that argument has been made and is still used by some

The version I used to be told by pro-life educators is "but then you would have murdered Beethoven"... since in the UK, I guess, even pro-lifers realized there's just too much temptation for blasphemous jokes if you suggest that Mary could have responded to Gabriel's "You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus" with anything other than "May it be to me as you have said".

Actually, if you're a Catholic and believe Mary was specially blessed and chosen from conception, it's equally blasphemous to suppose that Mary's mother could have decided to have an abortion... though possibly, like Slayerness, God had a bunch of teenage girls all ready to be the Divine Mom, and it just happened that Mary was the only one who reacted with "Okay, if you say so God" rather than "Where is the local wise woman, I'm getting this thing OUT of me before I get stoned to death for having sex before I got married!"

Now suppose there had been two of them, would they both have been named Jesus? Or would one of them have been JesusSpare? Or Neville?

Jesurgislac: “Huh? Marty, if you attempt to stuff a child back into a woman's uterus, no matter how young the child is - even a newborn baby - the child will die. So will the woman, probably. You can't "kill a child in the womb", because children don't fit into wombs - the image is as absurd as the idea John was proposing that for a woman the decision to have sex is exactly the same as the decision to have a baby.?”

You know what he’s talking about, don’t be an idiot.

Jesurgislac: But as anyone who knows anything about human development knows - a fetus is not a baby...

A fetus is a human being with a unique DNA code, who, just like a baby, an eight year old, or a sixteen year old, will grow up and develop into a member of a society. Which is why killing a pregnant woman usually results in a double murder charge, and is why abortion should be considered the same, regardless of the initial intent of the parents. What kind of society kills people they don’t want.

don't kill people. simple rule: You know what he’s talking about

Yes, I understand that Marty is trying to use the language of the pro-lifer movement that justifies forced pregnancy, by pretending that fetuses are children. That language is both evilly intended and scientifically inaccurate, and I challenge it wherever it's used.

A fetus is a human being with a unique DNA code, who, just like a baby, an eight year old, or a sixteen year old, will grow up and develop into a member of a society.

Unlike a baby, however, a fetus can only "grow up" if a woman is willing and able to provide the necessary life-support - the use of her uterus.

In every country in the world, it is understood that a person has sovereign right over their own body, and may decide for themselves whether to provide the use of one or more of their organs - even to save another person's life. Even exceptions such as in China where the bodies of condemned criminals are used for organ "donation" are condemned, and rightly so. Only the uterus - an organ which no man can be required to "donate" the use of against his will - is regarded as even arguable - and invariably by people who do not regard women as meriting the same degree of human or civil rights as men.

Which is why pro-choice is the only moral option.

What kind of society kills people they don’t want.

Nicaragua - an example of which is in this post. The pro-life movement in the US, for which eight murders haven't been enough. Worldwide, about 70,000 women a year die because the pro-life movement doesn't really regard them as "people" at all - mere objects to be disposed of in the pro-life cause.

There are not many threads where, Jes having turned it up to 11, I can still say I am 100% onboard, but this would be one of them.

Things inside my body belong to me. Unless I am incapable, I reserve the right to control what goes on inside my body. End of story. The state does not get to dictate what goes into it or comes out of it. That is the most fundamental right any human being has.

This pretense that there is citizen A on the outside and citizen B on the inside is garbage. If & when a fetus makes it to independent existence not inside some other person, with the assistance of its mother, it is citizen B. Until then, it ain't people.

You want to reduce abortions? Condoms. The pill. The morning-after pill. They work. When they are freely available to every kid in America who could possibly make use of them, then we can talk about about abortion.

Jesurgislac: Unlike a baby, however, a fetus can only "grow up" if a woman is willing and able to provide the necessary life-support - the use of her uterus.

This is ridiculous. Unlike a baby? Right, because babies everywhere survive outside the uterus without assistance from their parents. If a mother neglects a newborn, they go to jail. No one challenges this. Our lives are full of examples where we are dependent on others, or others on us, for existence. But in no other case does anyone excuse the provider for killing their dependent.

This entire argument always boils down to how one defines a human being. How about you try a little harder. Use your self-righteous crap to explain why someone with human DNA who, given time will develop into you, isn't human and doesn't have rights.

Jesurgislac: "(me) What kind of society kills people they don’t want."
"Nicaragua - an example of which is in this post. The pro-life movement in the US, for which eight murders haven't been enough. Worldwide, about 70,000 women a year die because the pro-life movement doesn't really regard them as "people" at all - mere objects to be disposed of in the pro-life cause."

?? Nicaragua isn't an example of this. I don't recall anyone saying they don't "want" cancer patients. And please, you think I'm advocating the murder of pro-choice supporters? I thought you were responsible enough to have a rational discussion. I expected better of this readership. I am not the "pro-life" movement. Respond to the statements I make; don't randomly ascribe positions to me that I do not advocate.

Jacob Davies: This pretense that there is citizen A on the outside and citizen B on the inside is garbage. If & when a fetus makes it to independent existence not inside some other person, with the assistance of its mother, it is citizen B. Until then, it ain't people.

Again, so, born babies aren't people? See above.

Jacob Davies "You want to reduce abortions? Condoms. The pill. The morning-after pill. They work. When they are freely available to every kid in America who could possibly make use of them, then we can talk about about abortion."

So...let me get this straight -- your moral definition of life is dependent on the availability of some consumer good? No free condoms? unborns aren't people. Free condoms? Oh, I guess they count as people now!

I have no problem with birth control, but how about we think more carefully about the consequence of our actions before changing the definition of humanity when it's convenient for us.

The anonymous idiot above: Right, because babies everywhere survive outside the uterus without assistance from their parents.

Um.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orphanage

I think awareness of the existence of external reality ought to be a precondition for posting comments on blogs. It's not a very high bar.

"Killing a child in the womb is a crime. It is murder. If anyone does that they are considered the most heinous of criminals, with two exceptions. We have exempted the mother and her doctor (and various support staff) from prosecution under these laws, specifically."

So, Marty, do you favor the death penalty for women who obtain abortions?

Right, because babies everywhere survive outside the uterus without assistance from their parents.

Yes, they do. Otherwise, adoption would be a non-starter. Babies need to be cared for and fed - but babies everywhere survive without that care coming from their mother.

Whereas if a pregnant woman dies, the fetus dies with her.

I don't recall anyone saying they don't "want" cancer patients.

They are letting a woman who has cancer die slowly without treatment, in a hospital where treatment to save her life is immediately available. The pro-life government is killing this woman.

And please, you think I'm advocating the murder of pro-choice supporters?

Yes, I do. Why else would you go around claiming you think that doctors who perform abortions are "killing babies"? That is the language of the pro-lifer terrorists who advocate the murder of doctors who perform abortions. If you don't want to be associated with murder and terrorism, stop using their language.

Jacob Davies: Christ on a pogo stick, the existence of orphanages doesn't disprove my point -- orphanages TAKE CARE OF BABIES. babies are not independent.

Let me try this again, maybe I can think of smaller words for you. Trying to say it's ok to kill unborn babies because they are still dependent on their mothers is stupid, because babies, children, hell, college students, are all dependent on a mother/orphanage/terminator-style caretaker for their existence. If "ability to exist without assistance" was a prerequisite for the right to live, like you say, then we should be allowed to kill anyone under the age of 16 and over the age of 80. This is how foolish your chain of logic is.

Jes: "Yes, they do. Otherwise, adoption would be a non-starter. Babies need to be cared for and fed - but babies everywhere survive without that care coming from their mother."

No-they don't. I can't believe I even have to argue this. newborn humans cannot survive without some form of care, and it is pretty much universally agreed that if the responsible agent fails to provide that care, it is called murder.

Jes: "(me) I don't recall anyone saying they don't "want" cancer patients."
"They are letting a woman who has cancer die slowly without treatment, in a hospital where treatment to save her life is immediately available. The pro-life government is killing this woman."

You're not reading clearly. the Nicaraguan government isn't advocating the death of cancer patients, they're advocating a policy that will kill this woman. I have, and most rational pro-life individuals, have no problem with abortions in cases where the mother's life is in danger. That is an entirely separate issue than what we are discussing between us.


Jes: And please, you think I'm advocating the murder of pro-choice supporters?"
"Yes, I do. Why else would you go around claiming you think that doctors who perform abortions are "killing babies"? That is the language of the pro-lifer terrorists who advocate the murder of doctors who perform abortions. If you don't want to be associated with murder and terrorism, stop using their language."

Then you are really, really, dense. Pol Pot used the words "communism" and "proletariat." Does that mean everyone who now uses those words is a Pol Pot-style communist?
If I think unborn humans are human, then I'm not going to apologize for calling their deliberate death by someone else "murder." That's what it is, by definition.

I'm always hearing pro-choice liberals disparage pro-life supporters as being stupid, ideologically-blinded hicks. I was expecting better responses from the so called "enlightened" pro-choicers here. I've now been called an idiot, and a terrorist, for trying to have a rational discussion. Way to go.

The rest is just sexism and wanking (the bad kind).

Oooh, FORCIBLY excluded middle! Well done!

dkpsr: I've now been called an idiot, and a terrorist, for trying to have a rational discussion.

Samples illustrating dkpsr's idea of rational discussion:

You know what he’s talking about, don’t be an idiot.

How about you try a little harder. Use your self-righteous crap to explain why someone with human DNA who, given time will develop into you, isn't human and doesn't have rights.

Christ on a pogo stick, the existence of orphanages doesn't disprove my point

Let me try this again, maybe I can think of smaller words for you.

Then you are really, really, dense.

SoV was banned for (I assume) a persistent attitude problem that was far less inflammatory, on average, than this.

Are there not posting rules?

Or: DNFTT.

Duly noted. Please adhere peeps.

i don't think abortion is the solution, even she made abortion, the cancer are yet still there, in the philippines, we do not tolerate abortion.

Having a bad morning for wild reactions. Sorry.

Let's see: Right, because babies everywhere survive outside the uterus without assistance from their parents.
That would mean that, since babies do OK without any parents, there is no problem (for children) if they do not have a family consisting of a mother and a father, e.g. if they are raised by a homosexual couple. Got it.

Now, a thought experiment. Suppose our growing understanding of genetics reaches the point where we know which gene (or genes) results in homosexuality. And, in addition to determining the gender of an unborn child, we can determine if the child will be homosexual. Now is is acceptable to get an abortion, to avoid another "embodiment of evil" from coming into the world? And if now, how do we justify allowing more evil???

As I say, my mind is running amok this morning.

So the basic question that everyone has avoided so far is: If someone kills a fetus and a mother are there two murders comitted? That is certainly my understanding of the law in many places.

If you believe that then see my previous comment. If not we should be railing to change the law so it would not be a second murder.

So the basic question that everyone has avoided so far is: If someone kills a fetus and a mother are there two murders comitted? That is certainly my understanding of the law in many places.

It is not the law in many places. That is a state law question. And where it is, the passage of said laws were highly controversial because people recognized them as a way of pushing anti-abortion policies in an indirect way, using the law itself as proof in a circular way that begs the question. As you did on this very thread.

Personally, I do not believe it is two murders.

If someone kills a fetus and a mother are there two murders comitted?

I don't know, depnding on the facts and the law, there might not be even a single murder.

wj, of course not. Homosexuality shouldn't be selectively weeded out. It sounds like you think pro-life supporters are exclusively religious conservatives, and are trying to catch them in a trap. Many pro-life supporters, like myself, are not religious, have no problem with homosexuality, and have no problem with standard contraceptives either, for that matter.

wj: "(me:) Let's see: Right, because babies everywhere survive outside the uterus without assistance from their parents."
"That would mean that, since babies do OK without any parents, there is no problem (for children) if they do not have a family consisting of a mother and a father, e.g. if they are raised by a homosexual couple. Got it."

I think you misunderstood me here. I said that statement as sarcasm. Given the responses from several people, I guess there needs to be better explanation of what is meant by "parents." I am simply saying, uncontroversially, that babies, or children, are dependents. they depend on someone -- their natural parents, a guardian, an orphanage, someone, to keep living. Exposed to the elements, without a keeper, children die. Thus, if you argue that unborn babies don't count as alive because they can't live on their own, then you, by definition, have to believe the same thing regarding born children.

Thus, if you argue that unborn babies don't count as alive because they can't live on their own, then you, by definition, have to believe the same thing regarding born children.

So you can't see a distinction between 1: needing the constant use of a specific person's internal organs to survive and 2: needing some amount of assistance from just about anyone some of the time to survive?

dkpsr: If I have two kidneys and my brother needs a kidney transplant, and I'm the only person who can supply that kidney to him or he'll die, should I have a legal duty to give up my kidney? If not, please explain the difference.

Things inside my body belong to me.

Right. So if you hit me with a shrink ray and then put me in your body then you have the right to kill me? If a small sapient being is put into my mouth then I have the right to eat it alive? Fascinating. (And for the record, I'm in favour of making e.g. the MMR vaccine legally mandatory - or would be but for the backlash and precident; I don't believe people should have the right to incubate diseases that would later infect others if there is an easy and practical alternative.)

And for the record, anyone who claims to oppose abortion and at the same time opposes trivial access to contraception (including the morning after pill) is contemptable scum. And I don't consider a ball of cells without a functional brain to be a person anyway.

online doctor: Given the Philippines bans government-funded clinics from distributing contraception, I wouldn't appeal to their social policies on women's health or rights.

Additionally, in this case, doctors presumably would be able to treat the cancer if she were not pregnant.

Nobody suggests that an abortion would cure her cancer, but if they performed an abortion, they would be able to try.

So if you hit me with a shrink ray and then put me in your body then you have the right to kill me?

What if someone else hits you with a shrink ray and puts you into my body?

What if after someone hit you with a shrink ray and put you into my body, you run amok with a weeny light saber?

What if you hit yourself with a shrink ray and put yourself into my body?

What if I get hit by a shrink ray when you're in my body and you get shrunk down to subatomic size and you can either know who you are or where you are but not both?

What if I get hit by a cloning ray and there are suddenly two of me and we have identical but mirror-image organs, which one of us is the real Jesurgislac and which one is the mirror, and is the real Jesurgislac entitled to make use of the clone-Jes's organs against her will?

If a small sapient being is put into my mouth then I have the right to eat it alive?

UGH! No. Kill it, dip it in batter, deep-fry it, and serve. That's what civilised people do with small sapient beings. Nothing with the sapience level above an oyster should be served alive.

Jes has a point.

hairshirthedonist: no, why should there be a distinction? dependence is dependence if the situation is such that without regular care, the individual dies. What does it matter if it's constant care, or just several times a day? Why should the definition of a human be dependent on the relative amount of help you need from others to live? Are you comfortable with saying that newborn babies are less human than one-year olds, because one-year olds can at least chew food?

francis d: And I don't consider a ball of cells without a functional brain to be a person anyway.

why is a functional brain a requirement to be considered human? Are you going to classify the mentally retarded, newborns, or patients in comas as non-humans, because their brains are relatively less functional than an adult brain?

Also, to be clear, I don't think anyone ever aborts a zygote. we aren't discussing "bunches of cells."

sapient: the scenario with the kidney is similar to the scenario of the pregnant woman with cancer: no one is saying that a person should be compelled to risk their own death to save another person's life. Morally, should they? Maybe. But certainly not compelled to.

I have no problem with abortion in cases where the mother's life is endangered. I'm taking issue with the commenters on this thread who 1) support abortion in non-life threatening situations or 2) broadly label pro-life supporters as religious zealots who are against abortion no matter the case or have no logical basis for their beliefs.

Also, to be clear, I don't think anyone ever aborts a zygote. we aren't discussing "bunches of cells."

What do you mean by this?

Some birth control pills and devices do, in fact, "abort" zygotes (prevent implantation of fertilized eggs and slightly more developed cell clusters). These methods include, but are not limited to, the morning after pill (which I believe can work even after implantation).

Which raises a good question for you: should we outlaw such forms of birth control? Are those humans? Why not?

Otherwise, are you arguing that medical procedure abortions are only performed at such late states that the fetus is past the cluster of cell stage? Do you have links to back that up (not that such an suggestion is outrageous, I just want to see the evidence)?

I don't think anyone ever aborts a zygote.

Have you heard of the so-called "morning after" pill? Roundly denounced by anti-abortion folks exactly because it is intended to abort a zygote.

in the philippines, we do not tolerate abortion.

That's not what Tim Tebow's mother said. She claims that she was urged to abort.

What, you mean a pro-lifer lied about something? Quelle surprise.

I have no problem with abortion in cases where the mother's life is endangered.

That's mighty white of ya!

I have no problem with abortion in cases where the mother's life is endangered.

What if it's not endangered, but her health will be seriously compromised? Where is the line to be drawn?

Perhaps we can turn to the torture memos for guidance on an acceptable level of pain...(ok, that was a cheap shot)

Actually Janie, "You know what he is talking about, don't be an idiot" (and the other comments with respect to Jes completely going off the rails) *is* the rational response to Jes's rant about stuffing already born infants into the womb as if that was being proposed by anyone. She doing her intentional misrepresentation shtick.

From conservatives, on this particular blog, Jes's level of willful point-missing wouldn't go un-noted by her own side. At the very least, Slarti would point out that the conservative comment missed the point. And rebuking responses to it certainly wouldn't be characterized as beyond the pale non-rational discussion.

As for the actual topic: "With accuracy and without the strawman, what degree of health sacrifices are we to expect from pregnant women and what should the government's role be in deciding that on a case-by-case or blanket basis?"

That is kind of tough as the straw is already so thick in this thread, but as a tentative guideline if an abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother, it should of course be permitted. And that isn't even slightly confusing under the 'pro-life' rubric--as actual self defense protecting your own life from imminent extinguishment is allowable in even the most liberal of criminal punishment statutes in the US.

And in my view your thoughts in that area really should guide your thought in this one. If you are the kind of person who believes that killing a burglar in one's house is almost never permissible unless it can be shown that the burglar was just about to murder the occupant, you should probably also believe that a very strict showing of immediate medical necessity should be documented for a late term abortion. If you believe that pretty much any burglar in your house can be shot to death with impunity, the showing of immediate medical necessity should probably track along that scale. Interestingly enough, I strongly suspect that most liberals on self-defense are also permissive on medical necessity, and that most conservatives on self-defense are more stringent on it. Which is counter-intuitive to me.

(I know that is true of me, which has caused me to re-evaluate downward somewhat the level medical necessity I think is needed.)

In any case, I'm certain that the above formulation on self defense would be accepted by at least 3/4 (and if forced to put a significant amount of money on a guess, I would guess at least 90%) of pro-lifers.

So starting the conversation with "Anti-abortion activists often claim that exemptions from abortion bans for life/health of the mother provide too-wide a loophole and allow for de facto legal abortion. However, this is what abortion bans without such exemptions look like" is either not about US pro-lifers at all, or blatantly strawmanning in the linkage.

So if you want to just talk about Nicaragua, fine. But as a springboard into a discussion about US pro-life views, it sucked.

Eric: These methods include, but are not limited to, the morning after pill (which I believe can work even after implantation).

There's no evidence whatsoever for that, aside from pro-life claims that it COULD HAPPEN.

The morning-after pill works by preventing ovulation and by thickening the mucus at the neck of the cervix to reduce the likelihood of sperm getting in. It is arguable that, as it also tends to thin the lining of the womb, it may prevent implantation - assuming that the woman's already ovulated (bad luck) and an energetic sperm cluster gets past the thickened mucus and manages to fertilise the egg.

There's no scientific reason whatsoever to suppose that if a woman takes the morning-after pill after the zygote has implanted on the lining, it will somehow shake the zygote loose. But it is hugely convenient to pro-lifers who want to prevent women having access to contraception, to claim they believe that it will.

dkp.sr: why is a functional brain a requirement to be considered human? Are you going to classify the mentally retarded, newborns, or patients in comas as non-humans, because their brains are relatively less functional than an adult brain?

No, of course not. But we're not going to force women to provide them with parts of their bodies to save their lives, either. Just because a human is in a coma doesn't give coma-human a special right to a lobe of your liver, not even if coma-human is going to die without a functional liver and you're the only possible donor.

I'm taking issue with the commenters on this thread who 1) support abortion in non-life threatening situations...

One needn't support abortion in non-life threatening situations to oppose government restrictions on it. I don't support beauty pageants for little girls. I think their strange and wrong, but I wouldn't support a legal ban on them.

or "they're" (stupid fingers)

Eric Martin: What if it's not endangered, but her health will be seriously compromised? Where is the line to be drawn?


Um, how are you defining "endangered" vs. "seriously compromised." How am I supposed to tell you where the line is when your alternative term is so ambigious. To me, those phrases mean the same thing.

Perhaps we can turn to the torture memos for guidance on an acceptable level of pain...(ok, that was a cheap shot)

Sigh. I know you meant this in jest, but it highlights my point about liberal commentators misidentifying and libeling individuals who are against abortion rather than muscling the strength to debate them honestly.

So I'm pro-life. Clearly that means I support torturing alleged terrorists, and blow up abortion clinics on weekends for fun. Oh, and I forgot, according to earlier I hate gays too. :P


In any case, I'm certain that the above formulation on self defense would be accepted by at least 3/4 (and if forced to put a significant amount of money on a guess, I would guess at least 90%) of pro-lifers.

That may, indeed, be the case. Do you have any evidence to back it up?

So if you want to just talk about Nicaragua, fine. But as a springboard into a discussion about US pro-life views, it sucked.

Seb, last time I checked, you had posting privileges. Build your own springboards.

Well, I will just weigh in that when my first child died, due to someone else physically assaulting my wife who was 4 months pregnant, I considered it murder.

Hands, feet, pretty much fully formed body, a name.....

It is the strangest of all discussions that women, and their spouses, who would be absolutely devastated with a second term miscarriage would be violently opposed to discussions that discuss the fetus as being a person. Although I have had the discussion many times, never with acrimony, it just seeems odd to me.

It is the very essence of the abortion debate to be able to use those two terms fetus/baby to differentiate.

But, I have never had a conversation with someone who asked "How's the fetus doing?" about any of my five (four who were born) children or four grandchildren in the womb.

I actually believe in abortion rights under a number of scenarios, but I don't think it is wrong to discuss if there are scenarios where it isn't right.

Sigh. I know you meant this in jest, but it highlights my point about liberal commentators misidentifying and libeling individuals who are against abortion rather than muscling the strength to debate them honestly.

Wow. Great. So a joke obviously identified as such is evidence of insinuations about which weren't even suggested by the joke. Awesome.

Um, how are you defining "endangered" vs. "seriously compromised." How am I supposed to tell you where the line is when your alternative term is so ambigious. To me, those phrases mean the same thing.

Ambiguous? Welcome to the real world. You're the one proposing outlawing abortion but in certain rare exceptions, so maybe you should try thinking of the bright line test for health of the mother short of life threatening.

If you really can't think of any on your own, let's start with anemia. Or an exacerbation of a pre-existing condition like epilepsy.

What would you do?

It is the strangest of all discussions that women, and their spouses, who would be absolutely devastated with a second term miscarriage would be violently opposed to discussions that discuss the fetus as being a person. Although I have had the discussion many times, never with acrimony, it just seeems odd to me.[...]

I actually believe in abortion rights under a number of scenarios, but I don't think it is wrong to discuss if there are scenarios where it isn't right.

Marty, I'm with you: I believe in abortion rights, but can conceive of scenarios where it wouldn't be right.

And I'm more than willing to discuss those.

However, your question begging reference to certain state laws that were passed with cynical intentions was not a great way to start that conversation.

Marty: Well, I will just weigh in that when my first child died, due to someone else physically assaulting my wife who was 4 months pregnant, I considered it murder.

Jesus Christ: I am not surprised, and I am so, so sorry. That is an appalling thing to happen.

Bringing the personal level in: while scientifically and legally speaking, a fetus is not a baby or a child, on a personal level of course anyone has a right to speak of their loss as they themselves feel about it: I oppose the equation of "child" with "fetus" in general terms, and if your initial comment on this thread was a reference to this horrific loss, I apologize for any personal hurt my response caused you. It was unintended.

I actually believe in abortion rights under a number of scenarios, but I don't think it is wrong to discuss if there are scenarios where it isn't right.

So, which scenarios are you willing to discuss when it would be right to force your wife through pregnancy and childbirth against her will?

Who gets to decide, on behalf of your wife, whether she will or will not terminate or continue a pregnancy, if you are willing to discuss scenarios in which your wife has no legal right to decide that?

Who gets to decide, overriding both your wife and her doctor, what health risks she ought to have to put herself through, to carry a fetus to term?

What scenarios are you willing to discuss where you feel it's right to take away your wife's right to make decisions about her own body?

"However, your question begging reference to certain state laws that were passed with cynical intentions was not a great way to start that conversation."

IANAL but I am pretty sure that not all of these laws postdated Roe v Wade and I think many people of good conscience would disagree with your characterization of the cynicism involved.

Mostly, I think the question as an example of how it is reasonable for people to have a moral conflict here is legitimate.

dkpr,sr: if you hit me with a shrink ray and then put me in your body then you have the right to kill me?

I dunno, are you Teriyaki-style?

Sebastian: in my view...If you are the kind of person who believes that killing a burglar in one's house is almost never permissible unless it can be shown that the burglar was just about to murder the occupant, you should probably also believe that a very strict showing of immediate medical necessity should be documented for a late term abortion.

Small but important difference, unless you are a cannibal armed with a shrink ray: the burglar is unlikely to be inside anyone's body at the time of the burglary.

For the record, I think late-term purely-elective abortions would be abhorrent, although it is far from clear that they ever actually happen. Not everything that is abhorrent should actually be illegal. Lots of things that are disgusting or immoral are legal.

Lots of things that are disgusting or immoral are legal.

I imagine I partake in a few myself ;)


Eric Martin and everyone else: “””Some birth control pills and devices do, in fact, "abort" zygotes (prevent implantation of fertilized eggs and slightly more developed cell clusters). These methods include, but are not limited to, the morning after pill (which I believe can work even after implantation).

Which raises a good question for you: should we outlaw such forms of birth control? Are those humans? Why not?

Otherwise, are you arguing that medical procedure abortions are only performed at such late states that the fetus is past the cluster of cell stage? Do you have links to back that up (not that such an suggestion is outrageous, I just want to see the evidence)?”””

I don’t know how prevalent the use of the morning-after pill is relative to other contraceptives, but my point was that most women, I would assume, don’t have an abortion during the first two weeks of pregnancy. That seems pretty fast to 1) find out, 2) make a decision and schedule an appointment and then 3) have the operation. I don’t actually know, but given that according to census records here, http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/births_deaths_marriages_divorces/family_planning_abortions.html , a little less than half of abortions occur after 9 weeks (the % after week 5, when heart, brain, and spine appear, is unknown), I feel that talking about “bunches of cells with no brains” is a gross mischaracterization of what actually happens.

All that though doesn’t really matter, because yes, I would consider zygotes humans. If you don’t consider them humans, then you have to define human as something beyond unique human DNA, and in my discussions with pro-choicers, most people say that extra something is “life experience,” or brain function. But both of these ideas are deeply flawed, because both concepts exist at a variable range among people that pro-choice advocates would never hesitate to consider human. You can’t use continuous-variable concepts to define a binary idea: human, not human.

If you argue that life experience + human DNA = human, where is the line? Are 3 year olds more human than 1 year olds because they’ve been alive longer? I don’t remember my life before 4 years old – do those first years not count?

If you argue the formula is brain function + human DNA = human, then what about individuals who no one questions their humanity, that have lower levels of brain function than you: mentally retarded patients, coma patients, brain dead patients, really old guys, really young (newborn) guys. Why should they count as humans when fetuses don’t, particularly since healthy normal fetuses have the near guaranteed likelihood of higher brain function than many of the other categories, if you just give them a few weeks time.

These are problems that pro-choice advocates never seem to address. I always argue my stance on abortion from the definition of human life. Pro-choice advocates, at least as demonstrated here, never seem to care.

Jes,

I believe it is a reasonable discussion to have that a healthy, adult woman who conceives a child because she simply did not take the proper precaution to prevent that bears significantly more responsibility to weigh the rights of the child.

There can be a million what ifs, and I am not sure if we can "legally" ever sort through language that would be abused.

So, in practice, I try to change the discussion in personal conversations to how we can change the cultural sense of responsibility to go with abortion rights. Perhaps it is not legitimately a legal question.

If that is not enough waffling, bear in mind I believe the solution to many of our problems is to stop talking about them legally, where everyone has to take a firm side. I think we have long stopped having discussions about how we want to define ourselves culturally, where acceptance and support goes along with disagreement more readily.

So, dkpsr, you are then in favor of outlawing all birth control pills that affect zygotes or fertilized eggs?

Also, out of curiosity, do you think that murder sentences would be appropriate in all such settings?

IE: If abortion is outlawed, as well as birth control that prevents zygotes from implanting, that a woman taking such birth control would be charged with murder if taking that pill ended up in the destruction of a zygote?

Marty: Mostly, I think the question as an example of how it is reasonable for people to have a moral conflict here is legitimate.

The moral conflict for me here:

Suppose that there were an actual genetic test for "being gay". (I consider this highly improbable, but just suppose it for the sake of argument.) Suppose that it could be carried out in utero, within the time limits for an elective abortion. (Effectively 20 weeks in the UK: after 20 weeks abortions will only be carried out for medical necessity.)

Suppose that some women start getting tested for "gay fetuses", and aborting the fetus.

Do I support their reasons for having an abortion? No, of course not.

Do I support their right to have an abortion for reasons I consider to be appallingly bigoted?

Yes, of course. It would be morally wrong to force them to have a baby they don't want, whatever I think of their reasons for not wanting. Just as it would be morally wrong to override the woman and her doctor, at any stage in pregnancy, if the doctor says it would be unsafe to continue the pregnancy and the woman agrees that she wants to terminate.

Not only would it be morally wrong, the known result from so overriding women's decisions is simply, directly: dead women.

Women dying because because their pregnancy has become hazardous to their health and their doctor is not allowed to provide or even recommend an abortion. Women dying because if access to safe legal abortion is denied, women who have decided against having a baby will go for a less-safe illegal abortion.

You cannot prevent abortions by making them illegal or otherwise inaccessible: you can only ensure that more women die.

You cannot ethically take the decision for someone else whether she will terminate or continue the pregnancy: it's her right to do so for her own reasons, regardless of what your personal view is of her reasons.

When you live in a country where terrorists try to prevent women having safe legal access to abortion, and politicians pass laws to decrease access to abortion, trying to place your right to have an abstract argument about whether you agree with the reasons why women decide to have abortions, above the right of women to stay alive. Life and health are more important than your abstract thinking about whether women can really be trusted with important decisions.

Um, how are you defining "endangered" vs. "seriously compromised."

Here's a radical idea: How about individual women, in consultation with their doctors, make that determination, rather than you and Eric?

I believe it is a reasonable discussion to have that a healthy, adult woman who conceives a child because she simply did not take the proper precaution to prevent that bears significantly more responsibility to weigh the rights of the child.

Men, of course, bear no responsibility whatsoever in preventing the conception of children.

I mean, of course you think it's a reasonable discussion to have. What fun is being a male conservative if you can't engage in a little slut-blaming and -shaming, amirite guys?

Marty & subsequent discussion happened while I was composing. Marty, I'm very sorry about what happened to your wife. That's terrible.

Allow me to also offer my deepest sympathies. Although it shouldn't take being a parent to feel that pain, it only helps to empathize. And I do.

Eric: are you asking if I'm consistent in my beliefs? Of course I am. If we've defined it as human, and you've just done something deliberate to willfully kill the person, then yes, that would be murder, and murder charges are probably relevant.

I understand the gravity of that, but to say otherwise would imply that killing some humans is "more ok" than killing others. And where's the logic in that?

regarding birth control "jesglghjghkfgjh" suggests the morning-after pill doesn't harm zygotes. I have no idea. If it doesn't than it's fine, and I don't know of any birth control pills that would (affect fertilized eggs).

I would argue that "worker's rights" include the right to quit your job, that is, to cease being a worker, even though the natural consequence of taking a job is to continue to work there. Thus I can't see that reproductive rights wouldn't include the right not to reproduce.

regarding birth control "jesglghjghkfgjh" suggests the morning-after pill doesn't harm zygotes.

You know, if you're too lazy to type her name, you can copy and paste. Nothing about this discussion -- one in which you have asked for "rational discussion" -- requires you to be an asshole.

I understand the gravity of that, but to say otherwise would imply that killing some humans is "more ok" than killing others.

I'm not so sure you do understand the gravity of that or what it implies about what power governments should have over people's lives in free societies. As a practical matter, rather than an abstract philosophical one, you're advocating a rather hellish existence for us all.

Marty: I believe it is a reasonable discussion to have that a healthy, adult woman who conceives a child because she simply did not take the proper precaution to prevent that bears significantly more responsibility to weigh the rights of the child.

So you are willing to discuss taking away your wife's legal right to decide if she does or doesn't want to have another child, if she conceives because she forgot to take her pill one night.

But, you feel it would be wrong to take away your wife's legal right to decide if you used a condom and it broke.

So, in practice, I try to change the discussion in personal conversations to how we can change the cultural sense of responsibility to go with abortion rights.

Fair enough. Feel free to ignore the questions about when you're willing to take away your wife's legal rights.

Well, the major seachange in cultural responsibility happened back about forty years ago, in your country and in mine, when it began to be perceived as a legitimate choice for an unmarried woman to decide to keep her baby. This went along with abortion rights because (I think) once it explicitly became a woman's legal right to decide whether or not to have a baby, as opposed to an illegal necessity surreptitiously claimed, it was culturally acceptable for a woman to take responsibility for the baby she had decided to have.

A responsible woman, discovering that she's pregnant, decides whether or not she wants a baby - and if not, the responsible decision is to have an abortion. Deliberately having an unwanted baby would be extremely irresponsible.

Perhaps it is not legitimately a legal question.

No, it never is. No more than it could be a legal question whether anyone else has a right to take one of your kidneys against your will.

If that is not enough waffling, bear in mind I believe the solution to many of our problems is to stop talking about them legally, where everyone has to take a firm side.

I think it would be great if the pro-lifers would just drop the idea that they can take legal control over a woman's body, and drop the idea that if they harass and terrorize enough clinic staff and patients they can discourage doctors from practicing.

If all pro-lifers ever wanted to do was argue abstractly about whether they agree with the justification for a woman's decisions, that would be a great step forward. (It would still be intolerably arrogant, but it would be an improvement.)

Thus I can't see that reproductive rights wouldn't include the right not to reproduce.

This reminds me something that my con law professor (in the con law course I didn't take from John Yoo) said about Griswold and the right to contraceptives, in that the case wasn't really about you're right to reproduce, but your right to NOT to reproduce, and, more specifically, the method by which you exercise that right. In that vein he said "Suppose I choose not to reproduce by playing flag football, do I have a constitutional right to flag football?" Obviously not quite the same but I thought it was an interesting point nonetheless.

Marty: I believe the solution to many of our problems is to stop talking about them legally

Me too. The legislature is a terrible place to figure out what cultural norms should be. I do not have a particular problem with a cultural norm that says that purely elective late term abortion is abhorrent, as long as we don't drag the law into it. I don't have a problem with the cultural norm that says walking down a city street naked is weird and kind of gross, which is separate from my belief that it should be legal.

The problem is that while you may be willing to avoid talking about things legally, the wider anti-abortion movement is not.

Phil: You know, if you're too lazy to type her name, you can copy and paste. Nothing about this discussion -- one in which you have asked for "rational discussion" -- requires you to be an asshole.

In all fairness, Phil, I decided back when I picked my long and unspellable handle, that under no circumstances would I take offense at how anyone happened to mispell or mistype it. You don't have to be an asshole to mistype "jesurgislac" - just not very good at spelling: so I'm willing to assume honest mistake until proven malice.

"The problem is that while you may be willing to avoid talking about things legally, the wider anti-abortion movement is not."

I think that an even broader set of people would be willing to have these kinds of cultural discussions if they weren't constantly asked by politicians and the media to take sides.

On a different note, I am not sure that any major political race has ever been lost on the issue of abortion. Perhaps a Republican primary or two. We have elected a few anti-abortion Presidents since Roe v wade and i suspect that nowhere near a majoeity would be for overturning it.

I am wondering why either side keeps using this as a key issue, since I think it is not productive for either side. I admit that I might be missing something here.


Jesurgislac: Just as it would be morally wrong to override the woman and her doctor, at any stage in pregnancy, if the doctor says it would be unsafe to continue the pregnancy and the woman agrees that she wants to terminate.

Eric: Ambiguous? Welcome to the real world. You're the one proposing outlawing abortion but in certain rare exceptions, so maybe you should try thinking of the bright line test for health of the mother short of life threatening.

Name one person here who is arguing that abortions in life-threatening situations should be illegal. Or one person who thinks doctors shouldn’t determine what a life-threatening situation is.

A line short of life threatening? Fine. Life threatening or permanent-harm causing. You’re talking about scenarios in which it should be ok to kill a person to prevent harm to yourself.

What JD said.

regarding birth control "jesglghjghkfgjh" suggests the morning-after pill doesn't harm zygotes. I have no idea. If it doesn't than it's fine, and I don't know of any birth control pills that would (affect fertilized eggs).

From Wikipedia:

Birth control methods usually prevent fertilization. This cannot be seen as abortifacient because, by any of the above definitions, pregnancy has not started. However, some methods might have a secondary effect of preventing implantation, thus allowing the zygote to die. Those who define pregnancy from fertilization subsequently may conclude that the agents should be considered abortifacients.

Speculation about post-fertilization mechanisms is widespread, even appearing on patient information inserts for hormonal contraception, but there is no clinical support. One small study, using fourteen women, might be considered as providing evidence of such an effect for IUDs[17] and a study of the combined oral contraceptive pill has been proposed.[18]

Possibly affected methods:

-Hormonal contraception, including emergency contraception, are known to be effective at preventing ovulation. Some scientists believe hormonal methods may have a secondary effect of interfering with implantation of embryos.

-Intrauterine devices have been proven to have strong spermicidal and ovicidal effects;[19][20] the current medical consensus is that this is the only way in which they work.[21] Still, a few physicians have suggested they may have a secondary effect of interfering with the development of pre-implanted embryos;[22] this secondary effect is considered more plausible when the IUD is used as emergency contraception.[23]

-The lactational amenorrhea method works primarily by preventing ovulation, but is also known to cause luteal phase defect (LPD). LPD is believed to interfere with the implantation of embryos.[24]

-Fertility awareness methods are known to work by preventing fertilization. It has been speculated they have a secondary effect of creating embryos incapable of implanting (due to aged gametes at the time of fertilization),[25] although age of gametes at the time of fertilization has been shown to have no effect on miscarriage rates,[26] low birth weight, or preterm delivery.[27]


ME: That last one raise an interesting dilemma don't it. If you're using the rhythm method, can you be charged with murder if it's proven that aged gametes are less likely to implant?

Jesurgislac: In all fairness, Phil, I decided back when I picked my long and unspellable handle, that under no circumstances would I take offense at how anyone happened to mispell or mistype it. You don't have to be an asshole to mistype "jesurgislac" - just not very good at spelling: so I'm willing to assume honest mistake until proven malice.

I was just trying to be funny. It's hard to memorize, its 4am, and I'm the primary poster in a 2 vs. 1,000 debate here. I get tired of spending time going back and forth while keeping up with five other people.

And you already think I'm an idiot so I figured you wouldn't really care. :P

Name one person here who is arguing that abortions in life-threatening situations should be illegal.

Um, I specifically said the opposite. Please double check before accusing me. I said, and I bold:

"You're the one proposing outlawing abortion but in certain rare exceptions..."

A line short of life threatening? Fine. Life threatening or permanent-harm causing. You’re talking about scenarios in which it should be ok to kill a person to prevent harm to yourself.

I asked you about a pregnancy likely to cause anemia, and one that would exacerbate epilepsy. Would that qualify for an exemption?

I am wondering why either side keeps using this as a key issue, since I think it is not productive for either side. I admit that I might be missing something here.

Er... this strikes me as something of a failure of imagination. Or at least empathy.

For "one side", it is the difference between having the right to make medical decisions concerning your own body for yourself on the one hand, or on the other hand having that right taken from you and being forced to endure a life-altering and potentially life-threatening medical condition as a result.

Moreover, the medical procedures and conditions in question exclusively affect women, but the people fighting to outlaw abortions are vastly disproportionately men who are unaffected by the laws they propose.

Is it really that difficult to understand why one of these "sides" might fight tooth and nail against the other? Truly?

Eric: ME: That last one raise an interesting dilemma don't it. If you're using the rhythm method, can you be charged with murder if it's proven that aged gametes are less likely to implant?

what? Of course not. you can't murder something that doesn't exist yet. a gamete is not an embryo. conception hasn't even occurred.

Name one person here who is arguing that abortions in life-threatening situations should be illegal. Or one person who thinks doctors shouldn’t determine what a life-threatening situation is.

You're absolutely arguing for that. If you believe that a woman and her doctor should get to make the decision about whether or not she terminates the pregnancy, why would you be arguing so hard that it's wrong for women to have abortions if you think that the situation is not sufficiently threatening to their life or wellbeing?

Marty: I am wondering why either side keeps using this as a key issue, since I think it is not productive for either side. I admit that I might be missing something here.

You might want to read Fred Clark at Slacktivist. In a number of posts, he argues (as an evangelical Christian) that Republicans keep bringing abortion (and gay marriage) to the table, because they can get people to vote against their own self-interest by making them feel that voting for a "Pro-life" or a "pro-marriage" politician is just the right thing to do.

Regardless of whether you believe that Republican politicians do this cynically in order to get voters to support them against their own best interests, it's a fact that whipping up "moral values" is campaign tactic that right-wing politicians are known for.

Jes: You're absolutely arguing for that. If you believe that a woman and her doctor should get to make the decision about whether or not she terminates the pregnancy, why would you be arguing so hard that it's wrong for women to have abortions if you think that the situation is not sufficiently threatening to their life or wellbeing?

And why do you assume automatically that what I think a "not sufficiently threatening" scenario is, isn't just whatever the doctor thinks?? I have no medical background, or presume to know what a life-threatening or non-lt situation is. Why do commenters here consistently attribute positions to me that I haven't advocated for?

Name one place in my comments where I've argued abortions should be illegal even in cases of permanent physical harm to mothers and I will immediately retract it, because I don't believe that at all.


Jes: (marty)Perhaps it is not legitimately a legal question.
No, it never is. No more than it could be a legal question whether anyone else has a right to take one of your kidneys against your will.

If it involves killing someone, then it’s a legal question. If you contend that fetuses are not humans, then provide a definition of human that isn’t tautological. If your definition relies on “brain activity” or “life experiences,” then respond to my earlier critique of those criteria. That is where the real debate lies.

what? Of course not. you can't murder something that doesn't exist yet. a gamete is not an embryo. conception hasn't even occurred.

dkpsr,

I know it's late where you are, and I don't envy your position against the tide here, but, please, try to read closer. At least, if you can't, think twice before the snark.

The work I cited said this:

Fertility awareness methods are known to work by preventing fertilization. It has been speculated they have a secondary effect of creating embryos incapable of implanting (due to aged gametes at the time of fertilization)

To repeat: "An embryo incapable of implanting."

In that scenario, we're talking about more than a gamete.

When I read your passage I saw a the scenario that involves doing something to a gamete before the embryo is created. So it's doing something to an unfertilized egg. If it's not already an emybro, then I don't see the problem.

I'm sorry. I get snarky because I don't understand why you're asking these things. If it's to try and point out a loophole in my logic, or if you genuinely think there's merit to my position. I cynically assumed the former, but I apologize, sincerely, if I am wrong.

My point is to take your argument to its logical conclusion, which I feel results in some pretty extreme outcomes.

In the example of the rhythm method, aged gametes may produce embryos incapable of implanting. If that's the case, would practicing said method be tantamount to murder if the parents knew about the likelihood (and maybe even if they didn't as, ignorantia juris non excusat)?

dkp.sr: And why do you assume automatically that what I think a "not sufficiently threatening" scenario is, isn't just whatever the doctor thinks??

Because why on earth are you trying to argue this point if in fact you're in total agreement with me that the woman and her doctor should get to decide if a late-term abortion is required for the sake of her continued good health?

If it involves killing someone, then it’s a legal question

So it's okay to pass laws requiring forced kidney, liver, or blood "donation", against the will of the person whose body is thus being used, providing these forced "donations" are being used to save the life of someone who would die if they did not receive them? There is no reason to allow a person who has healthy organs the legal right to decide for herself whether or not to use them to keep another person alive?

If you contend that fetuses are not humans, then provide a definition of human that isn’t tautological.

I've never tried to contend that a human fetus isn't human - that would be a tautological absurdity.

My contention is simply that women are human, and entitled to full human rights, and pro-lifers arguing that women's human rights should be removed from women when pregnant are making an argument that is either evil or stupid.

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