Patterico's Pontifications

3/23/2006

Kevin Drum Praises False Dichotomies Regarding Abortion

Filed under: Abortion,General — Patterico @ 9:35 pm

The often sensible Kevin Drum had this silly post the other day:

OPPOSING ABORTION….Are hardcore abortion opponents genuinely motivated by a belief that abortion is murder? Or are they driven more by a simple desire to punish women who have sex?

I’d say the latter, but since this is a matter of divining underlying motivations it’s a hard case to prove. Still, you can produce a lot of evidence in its favor, and today Ampersand does exactly that using the table format so characteristic of my own blogging habits.

You can probably argue with a couple of items in Amp’s list, but not with his overall conclusion. The fact is that the behavior of hardcore abortion opponents just doesn’t correspond very well with a genuine belief that fetuses are babies. But punishing women who have sex? Oh yeah.

If you follow the link, you’ll see that the post Kevin links is arrant nonsense. The poster claims, “I really like to assume the best of everyone, even people I disagree with.” But, he says,

A lot of people who favor forced childbirth for pregnant women say that they believe that an abortion, even early in pregnancy, is identical to child murder. Have an abortion, shoot a four-year-old in the head; morally, it’s the same. Or, anyhow, that’s what they claim to believe.

In contrast, pro-choicers tend to think that the abortion criminalization movement is motivated by a desire – perhaps an unconscious desire – to punish women for having sex.

The guy then analyzes numerous policies supported by pro-lifers and purports to show how these policies are inconsistent with a belief that abortion is murder, but consistent with wanting to punish women for having sex.

The rest of the post is devoted to pursuing this false dichotomy. Any policy that does not treat all abortions as the absolute equivalent of murder of a live human being is ridiculed as hypocrisy, and then shown to be (supposedly) a mere effort to punish women.

Even when the policy is expressly designed to accomplish the exact opposite of punishing women, this guy employs sophistry to make the policy appear to be designed to punish women. For example, in his very first example, he argues that abortion bans which protect the mother from any legal consequences are designed to punish women, even though they are expressly designed to protect women from punishment. Meanwhile, they are inconsistent with equating abortion with murder, because you wouldn’t punish a contract killer and not the person who hired them.

Of course, the guy misses the fact that sensible people would rather not haul women into court and prosecute them for abortions. Morally blameworthy or not, these women are often more pathetic and desperate than the doctors who kill dozens or hundreds of babies a year. Given that juries may well nullify if forced to judge the guilt of such women, it makes perfect practical sense to pass a law targeting the doctors but not the women.

The more you look at this guy’s arguments, the more you see that they are claptrap.

First, not all abortion opponents strictly see abortion as murder. Many of us who are uncomfortable with abortion become more so as the fetus advances in age — something my commenters and I discussed at length in a recent series of posts debating abortion (see Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and Six). We can’t be termed hypocrites for not strictly treating abortions as murder, because we don’t see it that way. That doesn’t mean that we are happy about abortion. We would like to see fewer of them. We would like women to be better informed. We would like to prevent the killing of fetuses as a method of birth control. And many of the regulations discussed by the chap in the post linked above would accomplish some of these goals.

By the way, while we see a tension between the imposition that pregnancy places on a woman and the moral obligation we believe she should feel to try to bring the baby to term, we also see a role for personal responsibility in the mix. The imposition on the woman looms larger in our minds if the woman took no voluntary action to cause it. Hence, we generally support exceptions for rape. (By the way, I have never understood why people always say they support abortions for “rape and incest.” If the incest was nonconsensual, it was rape. If it was consensual, then why should that lead to an automatic sanction of an abortion?)

You can call this a desire to punish women for having sex, but I see that as an unnecessarily dismissive and contemptuous label to slap on a very common-sense idea. It recognizes the need for personal responsibility — a concept that somehow seems more intuitive to conservatives than to liberals like Drum and the poster he linked to.

There is another category of people who do indeed see abortion as akin to murder. But most of these people are also realistic. For example, the poster says it is hypocritical for these people to morally condemn the bombing of abortion clinics, because if abortion is truly murder, then such bombers should be praised.

But people who see abortion as murder understand that not everybody agrees with them. Under these circumstances, they believe that they have a lot more to gain through persuasion, education, and peaceful protest; bombings of abortion clinics are, in their view, counterproductive at best.

By the way, I could turn the poster’s logic on its head and simply argue that the pro-abortion rights crowd is more interesting in creating carnage than it is in promoting women’s rights and health. For example:

Is partial-birth abortion really a procedure that promotes women’s health? Even accepting for the sake of argument the views of doctors who say it’s a safer abortion procedure (and I don’t), it can’t possibly be safer than simply giving birth to a live baby. How is delivering a baby in an unusual feet-first manner, and then sticking a sharp instrument into the skull (and into the mother, where the baby’s skull is) safer than simply delivering the baby? Delivering the baby relieves the physical burden on the mother and must be safer. Only if you accept the concept that it is critical to create more fetal carnage would you support partial-birth abortion over delivery.

Thus, I have used that example to prove that this particular pro-choice policy has nothing to do with women’s health and privacy, and everything to do with killing more babies.

That’s much less of a false dichotomy than the one this guy is peddling.

28 Responses to “Kevin Drum Praises False Dichotomies Regarding Abortion”

  1. The kind of sophistry that Drum and Ampersand are peddling indicate that they have bright futures ahead of them at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard or the Institute of Human Development at UC Berkeley.

    JVW (d667c9)

  2. Your dissection (pun intended) of the partial birth abortion argument was excellent. It was the PBA debate which lead me to become pro-life. I just couldn’t logically argue that PBA was done for any other reason than to kill the baby because it, in fact, puts the mother at greater risk for future miscarriages. From there, it wasn’t a huge leap to begin looking at most, if not all, abortions in a similar light. It’s not about “punishing” a woman. It’s about not murdering the innocent. At least the woman had a choice.

    sharon (fecb65)

  3. (By the way, I have never understood why people always say they support abortions for “rape and incest.” If the incest was nonconsensual, it was rape. If it was consensual, then why should that lead to an automatic sanction of an abortion?)
    Rape: non consensual, in fact or in law . No sanguinity issue . Non consensual in statutory rape.

    Incest : consensual or non consensual . Prohibited on sanguinity issue. Consensual , willing parties, but prohibited sanguinity. Non consensual and also the prohibited sanguinity issue.

    Rape: The child born, the mother [ single or in a marriage] may not be able to emotionally accept the child born from rape of an aggressor who she hates. The trauma of rape, may emotionally influence her usual maternal instincts for her child. Her husband , esp if of different ethnic group, may not be able to accept the child forced on him. Her other children may not be able to accept the child born from rape. Every time she looks at the child, she flashes back to the rapist and the violence. Even a child born of an affair known to her husband, would cause family conflict, even if the marriage is not dissolved; the emotional strain is there for her husband and her other children.

    Incest: sanguinity laws are concerned of genetic and birth defects that could arise because of close blood relationship. Incest between parent-child, father-daughter are more likely to raise genetic birth defect concerns that first cousins or second cousin marriages, where different states take different positions on 1st and 2nd cousins marriages[ thus sexual relationship and likely pregnancies] . If sanguinity is an issue, consent or not, is irrelevant as it is like statutory rape.

    One position as you have noted is all abortions are outlawed. Thus it does not matter whether the pregnancy is occasioned by rape or incest.

    The other position is not so absolute, that being so, they might consider additional factors peculiar to rape and incest, and thus permit abortion for rape and incest categories.

    To the extent those additional factors are taken into consideration, issues of the consenting parties aside, then there could be some who support abortion for rape and incest.

    *If the additional factors are considered by the legislature, then there could be a statutory leeway for abortion for rape and incest.

    *If the additional factors are rejected by the legislature, or if the absolute position is taken with no room for any exception, then there will be no leeway for abortion for rape and incest.

    Rape, “additional factors’ : If the position is not so absolute, then considerations of [1] the rape victim mother’s emotional psychological ability to accept and raise the child spanning maybe 20 years or more, [2] husband or boy friend or fiancé of the rape victim’s emotional psychological ability to accept and raise the child spanning maybe 20 years or more; and if he cannot accept the child, it could lead to a breakdown of the relationship, resulting in termination of the relationship [boy friend], engagement [ fiancé ] or marriage [ husband] [3] the rape victim’s other children , past and future , emotional psychological ability to accept and live with the child born of the rape [4] if the rapist is married , then to consider the psychology of the rapist spouse [5] if the rapist has other children, then to consider the psychology of the rapist other children to the child born from the rape with their father [6] if the rapist has other children, then to consider the psychology of the child/ren of the victim’s other child/ren now or in the future. Her other children who are yet to be born if she becomes pregnant again.

    Incest, “additional factors’ : If the position is not so absolute, then considerations of [1] the rape victim mother’s emotional psychological ability to accept and raise the child spanning maybe 20 years or more, [2] if father daughter incest, then consider the father’s emotional psychological ability to accept his child born out of incest, is his child, as the victim is his child and the woman with whom he had consensual or non consensual incestuous sex. [3] if father daughter incest, then consider the spouse of the father’s emotional psychological ability to accept his child born out of incest, where her daughter is the victim of incest and the child born of incest is her husband’s child and the woman with whom her husband had consensual or non consensual incestuous sex, is her daughter . [4] if father daughter incest, then consider the siblings of the incest victim, and their emotional psychological ability to accept their father’s child born out of incest, with one of their siblings, their sister. [5] if father daughter incest, then consider the children and grandchildren of the siblings of the incest victim, and their emotional psychological ability to accept their grandfather or great grandfather’s child born out of incest.

    Yi-Ling (dd0828)

  4. Its consanguinity and not sanguinity. Sorry.

    While on this, I thought of point [6] for
    Incest, “additional factors’ : If the position is not so absolute, then considerations of …….

    [6] the boy friend, fiancé, spouse of the child of the family [ consider them ] where there is another sibling who had incestuous sexual relationship with a parent, and how it affects the relationship opportunities of the child [ innocent], and how the future in laws of the spouse of the child [ not the incest victim, but the sibling of the incest victim] can accept the family skeleton in the cupboard, made open, if the pregnancy is birthed.

    Having checked that, I also saw some things of interest. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incest

    1] Incestous relationships are grounds of annulment for the Roman Catholic Church. I recall a RC who was very upset when he found out his wife was a distant 2nd cousin and it was a big strain in his relationship. He advised others to check out the degrees of consanguinity before getting married.

    In the Catholic Church, unwittingly marrying a closely-consanguinious blood relative is grounds for an annulment.

    2] On the general observation of different states treatment of prohibited consanguinity relationships . With Wikipedia, one should check as it is a do it yourself , free, online enclyclopedia, ….

    Twenty-four states prohibit marriages between first cousins, and another seven permit them only under special circumstances. Utah, for example, permits first cousins to marry only provided both spouses are over age 65, or at least 55 with evidence of sterility. North Carolina permits first cousins to marry unless they are “double first cousins” (cousins through more than one line). Maine permits first cousins to marry only upon presentation of a certificate of genetic counseling. The remaining nineteen states and the District of Columbia permit first-cousin marriages without restriction.

    Yi-Ling (dd0828)

  5. Yi-Link, I may be wrong, but I don’t think that the rape exception for abortion is usually motivated by the concerns you expressed.

    To the extent that I would want to outlaw abortion but make an exception in the case of rape, my motivation for the exception would be that the mother has been inflicted with a burden against her will, so she arguably shouldn’t have a legal responsibility for the child’s welfare. By contrast, in almost all consensual sex, the mother has accepted responsibility by positive action and therefore her responsibility for the welfare of the child should be enforced by the law.

    By comparison, suppose a woman was accidentally impregnated while being examined by a doctor who has just been handling sperm samples. It would be hard to credit the sort of emotion distress in this case that one sees in the rape case, but I’d say that there is an argument for an abortion exception here, on the grounds that the woman did nothing that could be taken as an implicit acceptance of responsibility for the child.

    Doc Rampage (47be8d)

  6. To the extent that I would want to outlaw abortion but make an exception in the case of rape, my motivation for the exception would be that the mother has been inflicted with a burden against her will, so she arguably shouldn’t have a legal responsibility for the child’s welfare. By contrast, in almost all consensual sex, the mother has accepted responsibility by positive action and therefore her responsibility for the welfare of the child should be enforced by the law.

    Doc,
    Yes I did go on a shopping spree. It is probably and not just possibly true, that, most people would just think of the woman and her legal right to choice if she had not been a willing party. It could be the western discourse on woman’s rights or individual rights. I was looking at factors beyond her right , her life, but also how other lives are affected. I am not saying, we should consider the rights of others intimately connected to the rape victim, like her spouse, her children , her future children, the rapists’ spouse, the rapists’ children, but, could such factors be intuitive even if unsaid?

    There is a rally to collect signatures, as I just saw and heard on Fox News, about the state where abortion for rape and incest is outlawed, because some people think that’s going too far. If they collect enough signatures, then the state law that prohibits abortion for rape and incest, would be suspended and then decided at election.

    Maybe when they collect signatures, they could also do another exercise [ sounds like funds are needed and manpower and thus out of the question], of a list of all possibly conceived reasons, and asking people to take 5 minutes to quickly tick it off, and if you list the reasons I gave, maybe they might say, “Hey, that’s an added reason/s”. Just a thought. We often do things we do without really examining our bases.

    Yi-Ling (dd0828)

  7. By comparison, suppose a woman was accidentally impregnated while being examined by a doctor who has just been handling sperm samples. It would be hard to credit the sort of emotion distress in this case that one sees in the rape case, but I’d say that there is an argument for an abortion exception here, on the grounds that the woman did nothing that could be taken as an implicit acceptance of responsibility for the child.

    I am not taking issue with your legal reasoning, but I am laughing [ no offence meant] about the way you structured your example “woman was accidentally impregnated while being examined by a doctor who has just been handling sperm samples” for these reasons :

    The woman is being examined by the doctor, and his gloves [surgical] is contaminated by live sperms and he brushes the gloves against the vagina opening. He could be sued for medical negligence. As far as I personally know he uses a new glove each time he examines the woman. What the heck is he doing where he is using contaminated gloves? Contaminated some more by live sperms?

    I think your example would be where a woman seeking an embryo implantation, an embryo of her egg and her husband’s sperm, is accidentally not implanted with her own embryo, but implanted instead with the embryo of another couple. Does she have the right to abort, as the child is not of her genetic and her husband’s genetic stock and of a stock of another couple she never consented to?

    Not too long ago, 1-2 years ago, there was a real case, where a woman, finding she was never going to get a partner or husband to have a marriage with and then have a child, went to have an anonymous embryo implantation. She conceived. After one or some years of her son’s birth, the doctor went to see her and told her, that they had by mistake, given her another couple’s embryo. That couple had a daughter. The couple: wife not fertile and thus had a donor egg. The man , the husband gave his sperm. Thus the embryo was legally the couple but from a donor egg and the husband’s sperm. The couple now wants the son of the woman who had been accidentally given the embryo [ and now a boy of some years] and the father wants his rights over the boy since it is his sperm. The court ordered visitation rights over the boy! That has been appealed. … Gosh!

    Yi-Ling (dd0828)

  8. Doc, to fill the gap…there could be several operating theatres for the embryo implantations. Thus there could be several women in different operating theatres, on the same floor, and the embryology department takes out the embryos destined for each of these woman and a mistake in delivering the right embryo dish to the right woman causes the mistake above to happen.

    Yi-Ling (dd0828)

  9. Yi-Ling, I realized that my example was farfetched, but it isn’t easy to come up with a circumstance where a woman gets pregnant without any responsibility for the fact. I think your case of getting implanted with the wrong embryo are less clear-cut because the woman did take an action that she new might (in fact, was intended to) make her pregnant.

    I don’t see how this situation is relevantly different from the one where a woman uses an IUD that has a manufacturing defect. Sure, the outcome wasn’t what she intended, but she did take an action that creates responsibility, and I don’t see why the unborn child should bear the consequences if the action didn’t turn out quite like she expected.

    Doc Rampage (47be8d)

  10. I realized that my example was farfetched, but it isn’t easy to come up with a circumstance where a woman gets pregnant without any responsibility for the fact. I think your case of getting implanted with the wrong embryo are less clear-cut because the woman did take an action that she new [sic] might (in fact, was intended to) make her pregnant

    .

    Doc,
    You don’t like my example? Just kidding. OK. Let’s get back to your example.
    However far fetched, it has to be within the setting that is the norm. The doctor is there with his nurse and woman patient. Nurse present to prevent any charges of sexual molestation. There is a container with new surgical gloves.
    Woman on bed and on her back, and with knees bent, and under wear off and a white cloth covering , and doctor takes one new surgical glove. Brand new.

    Contaminated gloves, with live sperms, whether his or another male, would mean, that, he was doing something after he had put on the brand new gloves. ……
    Anyway, even if something happened and she gets pregnant, while the doctor might be sued for malpractice , he might still get his legal right to the child, as it is his sperm, or if the sperm of another man, that man, might also get to have light rights because it is his sperm.

    I don’t see how this situation is relevantly different from the one where a woman uses an IUD that has a manufacturing defect. Sure, the outcome wasn’t what she intended, but she did take an action that creates responsibility, and I don’t see why the unborn child should bear the consequences if the action didn’t turn out quite like she expected.

    I take it you are referring to my embryo implantation example and the defective IUD and you see NO difference between them. Some differences I see are :

    1. IUD is 99% able to prevent pregnancy . http://www.pregnancy-info.net/QA/answers-IUD_Pregnancy/ Its efficacy or efficiency is never held out to be 100%. No liability on part of manufacturer. I do not think you are talking of another type of defect that perforates the uterus like this http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?citeID=5261 “ 0 Action against manufacturer of an intrauterine contraceptive device for failure to warn consumer appellant of possible perforation of the uterus.” And “ Five years later, after a pregnancy, a miscarriage, a tubal ligation, and during a hysterectomy, it was discovered that the IUD had perforated the uterus and migrated in [648 P.2d 23] the patient’s body which required surgical removal.”

    Every woman who uses IUD knows she ACCEPTS the small risk that IUD like any other contraceptive practice save for abstinence, and has no right to sue, if she is that 1-2% who has a pregnancy despite the use of IUD. The manufacturer is not liable because she gets pregnant. Doctors are liable for improper insertion of IUD. It has to be properly inserted. The IUD. With ALL birth control, save for sexual abstinence or sexual celibacy, there is a RISK of pregnancy.

    2. Every woman who seeks embryo implantation NEVER accepts the risk of being implanted with the wrong embryo, without right of recourse. If a fertility clinic has a clause that says, the woman patient accepts the 1% risk she can get a wrong egg or wrong sperm or wrong donor, she would NEVER use the fertility clinic for fertility treatments. Doctors cannot never disclaim liability for risk of negligence of embryologist or doctor where wrong embryos are inserted.

    Yi-Ling (dd0828)

  11. I don’t see how this situation is relevantly different from the one where a woman uses an IUD that has a manufacturing defect. Sure, the outcome wasn’t what she intended, but she did take an action that creates responsibility, and I don’t see why the unborn child should bear the consequences if the action didn’t turn out quite like she expected.

    Another shot.
    Patient Abby with one kidney and also a defective kidney seeks a kidney transplant. He has been matched for a kidney transplant. There is a plane accident and four people die and so happens two of them are kidney donors matched for two people. Patient Abby is one of them. Another patient is Timmy.

    Patient Abby must match with donor A.
    Patient Timmy must match with donor B.

    Due to some mistake, Patient Abby was matched with kidney from Donor B and that is fatal. Is that a risk that patient Abby accepted that he could get another kidney, any kidney when he consented to the kidney implant?

    Yi-Ling (dd0828)

  12. I got into a short discussion with Ampersand about gay marriage once, and found him to be very intellectually dishonest. Identifying his specific logical failures might be mentally stimulating, but otherwise engaging with him in serious debate is a waste of time.

    Matto Ichiban (59bfb8)

  13. Doc, to fill the gap, the nurse will ask the patient [female] some questions before the doctor implants the embryo, like name, ID, so that they can be sure that the embryo with such labelling of name of woman and ID is correctly matched.
    The embryology dept when they are sending in the embryo also call out the patient’s name, all the ensure the match is correct.

    Gong back to the real case, some one slipped up, and two women there that day had embryo from same source instead of different source, and thus the woman who had the embryo who later became her son and the woman in the couple mentioned had a girl and these two are genetic siblings !

    Same donor egg
    Same sperm from husband in couple mentioned
    Different mothers , two embryos who are to be siblings
    -single woman has the genetic brother
    -married woman has the genetic sister

    Yi-Ling (dd0828)

  14. The failure rate of IUD’s is not relevant. Clearly, there is a non-zero failure rate of getting the right embryo imlanted too, and whoever uses either technology takes their risks and accepts the responsibilities. So the women didn’t know there was a chance she could get the wrong embryo? Plenty of women have gotten pregnant who didn’t understand that their chosen birth-control method could fail. I still don’t see a relevant distinction here.

    Doc Rampage (47be8d)

  15. To the extent that I would want to outlaw abortion but make an exception in the case of rape, my motivation for the exception would be that the mother has been inflicted with a burden against her will, so she arguably shouldn’t have a legal responsibility for the child’s welfare. By contrast, in almost all consensual sex, the mother has accepted responsibility by positive action and therefore her responsibility for the welfare of the child should be enforced by the law.

    that the mother has been inflicted with a burden against her will

    Doc, let me re-work the 6 reasons given for the exception on rape. I realized I can re-work it from the individual’s perspective, the woman’s perspective. I mean she can think, how will my siblings treat me and my child born of rape with a person who is serving jail time for rape and is of a different ethnic, religion, social background. The rape victim can think how she will feel about how others feel. Maybe this might meet your greater concern on women’s rights than of others’ rights.

    Then taking it a step further, these additional factors will affect her inner view whether she is being forced against her will to keep the unborn child.

    IF she felt everyone was going to welcome her child born of rape without prejudice and with open warm arms, it might be ONE factor that makes her feel that it is not being forced on her.

    that the mother has been inflicted with a burden against her will

    If the burden of having to deal with people closely intimately connected to her, is not a burden for the reason given above, that they welcome her child unconditionally; then, she will feel it is less of a burden.

    If there will be a real burden of having to deal with the feelings or rejection of those close to her, then she will feel the burden of dealing with others because of her child born of rape.

    Again, the burden is – threefold at the very least-

    1. a burden in carrying to term the pregnancy with nausea and labor pain and giving birth and lactation.
    2. The burden of child care and financial burden of caring for the child to maturity spanning 2 decades
    3. the burden of coping with the strained emotions from others close to her, whose relationship she values and needs : her siblings, her siblings’ spouse, mates, her siblings’ children, her parents, her parents in law, her spouse.
    [ in lieu of 2 and 3, is the burden of giving the child for adoption and knowing the child is somewhere out there with someone and she cannot see the child to the extent the adoption papers allow. It is a lifetime burden of knowing I gave up my child for adoption and I have lost my child forever to another couple. ]

    So each of these burden would influence her on her view of your point

    that the mother has been inflicted with a burden against her will

    If she is prepared for burden [1] and [2] but not [3] because she thinks she needs support , then she might consider aborting because she thinks she cannot cope without others support and acceptance. If [3] is the situation of ALL accept her child with open and warm arms, then it is not a burden for [3] and if [1] and [2] are not burdens either, then there are no burdens on which to peg or tag the issue of burden against her will in the absence of burden.

    If her family reject the child born of rape, then, they are imposing a burden on her. She would will it they accept her child. If they will not accept her child, is it a burden against her will and desire?

    These are then the “additional factors” I drew to your attention. I hope you could consider them in this re-worked light. I am trying to turn the argument on its head and so may probably have flaws that you can see that I do not see or have yet to see. Tell me the flaws , OK?

    Yi-Ling (dd0828)

  16. The failure rate of IUD’s is not relevant. Clearly, there is a non-zero failure rate of getting the right embryo imlanted too, and whoever uses either technology takes their risks and accepts the responsibilities. So the women didn’t know there was a chance she could get the wrong embryo? Plenty of women have gotten pregnant who didn’t understand that their chosen birth-control method could fail. I still don’t see a relevant distinction here.

    On this, I think my position is we agree to disagree and leave it as that.

    However I would be very interested if you can try to unpick my argument in the post # 15.

    Since this is a live current real issue in South Dakota, it is worth discussing the underlying rationale for outlawing abortion even for rape. OK Doc?

    Yi-Ling (dd0828)

  17. Yi Ling u have done a great job.

    The write up is mind blowing!!!!

    You people have put such a nice debate!!!

    Appreciable!!!!

    emma (21123a)

  18. Thank you emma. I am glad you find the write-up/ debate stimulating and informative. Good night.

    Yi-Ling (9796b0)

  19. Yi-Ling, I’m not going to be persuaded by any argument that focuses on any problems that the mother faces (short of her own life being in danger). No lesser burden can possibly justify the killing of an innocent child (or letting an innocent child die by refusing to carry it to term).

    The question is just whether or not the mother has an enforceable responsibility to carry the child. She always has a moral responsibility to carry the child just as anyone has a moral responsibility to save the life of an innocent if they can.

    Consider an innocent stabbing victim who is bleeding to death; the only way to save him is to drive him to the hospital in my car. I’ve got a pretty nice interior, and I don’t really want to get blood all over. Also, there is a slight but real danger to me from helping him get in the car; I may get a blood-borne disease. So the question is, do I have an obligation to take him to the hospital?

    There are two distinct cases: I stabbed him myself, either deliberately or carelessly, or I just found him there. If I stabbed him myself, then I have a legal obligation to take him to the hospital (perhaps there isn’t any law that says I have such an obligation, but if he dies, I can be charged with killing him). If I just happened upon him, then I may not have a legal obligation to save his life (it varies from place to place) but I still have a moral obligation.

    In this case, it really doesn’t matter how much trouble the guy is going to cause me; my legal and moral obligations remain the same. If I’m on my way to my wedding and I know that failing to show up will cause my bride to abandon me and my parents to cut me out of their billion-dollar will then my obligations remain the same. It doesn’t matter how it will change my life. (to make the moral part of the analogy more apt, assume the stabbing victim is my own child. What moral responsibilities do I have then?)

    Similarly, it doesn’t matter how pregnancy and giving birth will change a woman’s life. She always has a moral responsibility to give the child life. And if she got pregnant through her own action, then she should also have a legal responsibilty to give the child life. If she was not responsible in any way for the pregnancy, then I think it is arguable what her legal responsibility should be.

    Doc Rampage (f06a6e)

  20. Similarly, it doesn’t matter how pregnancy and giving birth will change a woman’s life. She always has a moral responsibility to give the child life. And if she got pregnant through her own action, then she should also have a legal responsibilty to give the child life. If she was not responsible in any way for the pregnancy, then I think it is arguable what her legal responsibility should be.

    Doc,
    I think it all boils down to our private inner perception of the meaning of life and purpose of our existence. While I personally, if raped, and if pregnant because of the rape, would carry the fetus to term, but that is because of my spiritual outlook of life, where I would be reluctant to have an abortion, and where, I would take it that the fetus had chosen to be my child, this life time , because of some past life debt the child owes me or I owe the child. I am fortunate my husband would leave that decision to me, in those circumstances. But everyone is different, and people have different religious outlook and some have more material outlook [ not equated with unprincipled, for it could be good ethics and principles based on here and now, without reference to after life]. The here and now could consider factors here and there as I have enumerated above posts, six each.

    I think the question I should pose to you, so I can understand the dimension of your thought, is that, are you agreeable to abortion for rape and incest, knowing that you are not agreeable for abortion except for mother’s health being in danger.

    Yi-Ling (285f47)

  21. Right to abortion in Roe v Wade 1973, changed greatly by Planned Parenthood V Casey 1992, where the standard for laws to be passed /passed by the states to restrict abortion was lowered from the highest standard of strict scrutiny to a lower standard of ‘not place undue burden on the woman’s right to abortion’. Arising from the measure of ‘undue burden’ states’ imposition of 24 hours waiting period before proceeding with abortion was allowed. 24 hours waiting period was not undue burden on pregnant woman’s exercise of her right. States’ imposition that abortion be performed by licensed physician was also not considered undue burden on woman in her exercise of her right to abortion. However states imposition of partial birth abortion was considered an undue burden on pregnant woman’s right to abortion. [ I do not know much of this particular form of abortion and so skip it. Its pictures and description makes me squirm and I rather stay away for comfort ]

    After viability, which is about 22 weeks [ over the years it has shifted from 30 weeks to 25 weeks to 22 weeks and still shifting … because of technology] the fetus can have independent survival outside womb with aid of technology, state can prohibit abortion unless abortion is to safeguard woman’s life or health. [ which means before viability, pregnant woman has the constitutional right to abortion]

    With the trend of lowering the level of court’s scrutiny of the laws passed by the states to limit abortion, it is easier for such laws to pass constitutional muster, after 1990 than in 1973-1990 period. Which means, courts are allowing states to make their own laws that suits their citizens and the views of the citizen. Federal court will still scrutinize these state laws, but not on strict scrutiny, but on the ‘not place undue burden’ test in Planned Parenthood v Casey case.

    So Doc,
    back to my question of you, do you agree with abortion for rape and incest, drawing some distinction, maybe 8 situations-
    1. rape by stranger, victim kidnapped and rapist totally unknown to victim
    2. rape by date [date rape] consent to date and kissing and fondling but no consent to sexual intercourse by penetration
    3. rape [ statutory ] , victim is minor under age of 12 ,
    4. rape ] statutory ] victim is 15 ½ and physically very mature
    5. incest between father daughter aged below 18
    6. incest between father unmarried daughter above 18 at initiative of father
    7. incest between father unmarried daughter above 18 at initiative of daughter
    8. incest between father and married daughter above 18 at initiative and by seduction of daughter [ mother reports crime ] …

    I am not sure, how ‘health’ of pregnant woman after viability is measured. Anyone?

    Yi-Ling (285f47)

  22. Hey great blog. If you want some free traffic to your blog or tgp then submit your galleries to me.

    hardcore videos (143ed6)

  23. Here are some facts to consider.

    1. All human beings begin as a single cell (zygote = fertilized egg).
    2. In all abortions a human being dies.
    3. All ‘therapeutic’ abortions involve the intentional death of a human being.
    4. The pro-abortion supporters use euphemisms like clump of cells or fetus to avoid the fact that a human being dies at the hand of another human being.
    5. Not all homicides are murder.
    6. The Constitution left to the States, via the 9th and 10th amendments as well as the text of the original document, to make the decisions about homicide, justifiable homicide, and murder.

    Charles D. Quarles (df82ab)

  24. punishing women who have sex? exuse me but no. i am pro life and that thought never even occured to me. and though perhaps protection would have been a good idea trying to stop murder has nothing to do with punishing women, becouse we are not forcing them to keep the child and we dont care how old she is or how many times shes had sex. we care about the life of an induvidual no matter how small or dependabel. perhaps you should reconsider your prejudices about us pro lifers.

    April (8fc122)

  25. Play at their own game like T-Shirts showing little teary eyed penguins,pandas,seals and such wearing T-Shirts reading SAVE THE BABY HUMANS

    krazy kagu (0a3548)

  26. Something for Pro-choicers and Pro-lifers to concider…..

    World estimations of the number of terminations carried out each year is somewhere between 20 and 88 million.

    3,500 per day / 1.3 million per year in America alone.

    50% of that 1.3 million claimed failed birth control was to blame.

    A further 48% had failed to use any birth control at all.

    And 2% had medical reasons.

    That means a stagering 98% may have been avoided had an effective birth control been used.

    I am a 98% pro-lifer, 2% Pro-choicer, who has no religious convictions at all . I didn’t need the fear of god or anything else to come to my decision, just a good sense of what is right and wrong.
    You see we were all once a fetus. Is it beyond the realm of possibilities that when your mother first learned she was carrying you, she may have considered her options? What if she had decided to terminate? Would that have been OK?
    You would not exist, if you have children they would not exist, and your (husband or wife) would be married to someone else. You would have been deprived of all your experiences and memories. In this day and age with terminations being so readily available and so many being carried out, if you make it to full term you can consider yourself lucky.
    Lucky you had a mother that made the choice of life for you.

    Don’t you think they all deserve the same basic human right, LIFE?

    At the point of conception is when life began for you. This was the start of your existence. Your own personal big bang. Three weeks after conception heart started to beat. First brain waves recorded at six weeks after conception. Seen sucking thumb at seven weeks after conception.

    I am convinced that in the not too distant future, people will look back at many of the practices of today with disbelief and horror.

    ausblog (e22d80)

  27. Australia (with a population of 20 million) terminated over 100 thousand young people last year. I’ve done the figures and Australia do more per head.

    Abortion has got to be by far the Mother of all holicosts, the most extensive crime against humanity the world has ever seen.

    Though it pains me to say it, there may always be a need for the 2% medical reasons and such, but that’s all.

    So how do we get the other 98% to be responsible……………….

    How do we get them to be honest with themselves, about when life begins.

    Everyone knows it starts at conception, egg+sperm = human being

    Sadly many frefer the odd termination over using birth control, they have all kinds of reasons, each of them selfish.

    Then there’s the christian impossition,(all a bit talibanish), and their men in high places.(church and state should never entwine) their stance against b/c has only added to the numbers.

    Sanity must provale, abortions should remain available and safe to the 2% and the rest need to have a good look at themselves and get their act together.

    Have you seen ( HOT OFF THE SHOW! Throw-away babies )

    It’s a blog by Sharon Hughes?

    ausblog (e22d80)

  28. A little off the thread, though I think a valid question;
    Would redistributing reproductive rights equally amongst men and woman change ausblogs percentages? Maybe if we held women to the same standards of responsiblity that we hold men, this wouldn’t happen so often?
    And finally, instead of wringing our hands over the frivolous abortions, we should spend more time and money making contraception readily available, norplant, The pill, iud, hormone rings are just a few of the options available today. How many contraceptive Office visits could the pro-life camp have provided if they used the resources of one law suit, demonstration or one ad campaign?

    paul from fl (967602)


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