Whose Body Is It?

Abortion-rights advocates favor a highly selective form of self-ownership.

Abortion-rights advocates were understandably cheesed off this week when Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed a bill imposing hospital-like regulations on abortion clinics. "The governor, along with the attorney general and their like-minded allies in the legislature, are intent on using the government to further interfere in our personal, private decisions," said Tarina Keene, the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia.

Across the country, advocates for reproductive choice have been decrying what they call a "war on women." At the group's Power of Choice luncheon in San Francisco on Monday, NARAL president Nancy Keenan termed the current contention over abortion, contraception, and reproductive services "the fight of our lives. ... Republicans are not only going into the personal lives of women and families—they're overstepping into the private sector," she said.

From comments such as those, one might infer that NARAL opposes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare—which not only steps into the private sector but jumps up and down on it with hobnail boots. To the contrary: On the one-year anniversary of ObamaCare, NARAL's Blog for Choice lamented, "sadly, the very first thing the new anti-choice leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives did when it convened in January was vote to repeal the health-reform law entirely!"

This makes for some rather startling cognitive dissonance. Because if you're opposed to government interference, then ObamaCare is the last thing you should want. The law dictates who must buy health insurance (everyone), what "essential benefits" must be covered (regulators are working that out now), how much profit insurers may earn (85 cents of every premium dollar must go to reimbursements), what kinds of policies they may offer (no "mini-meds"), and so on. The law might not hand over ownership of hospitals and insurance companies to the government—but telling them what services to provide and what prices to charge amounts to almost the same thing.

Pro-choice activists contend a woman has the right to choose what to do with her own body and the government should not overrule her. This is a very appealing argument—and if you agree with it then it settles the abortion question (so long as you also agree that the fetus is part of the woman's body and not a distinct being with rights of its own).

But not many people agree with it. Not even many abortion-rights advocates agree with it. Take Karen Finney, who recently excoriated "The War on Women" in The Hill. "Here in Washington," she wrote, "we're fighting the 'let women die' provision, which says a doctor can refuse to treat a pregnant woman, even if an abortion is the only way to save her life."

But wait. Allowing a doctor to refuse to treat someone is allowing that doctor to decide what to do with his or her own body. The "let women die" act just as easily could be called the "let doctors decide whom they will treat without government interference" act.

Now, one can think up reasons why government should deprive doctors of such a choice. But having reasons does not change the fact that you are still taking away the choice—still compelling a doctor to do something she would not freely choose to do. NARAL and the ACLU agree that doctors should not have such a choice, at least in life-threatening circumstances.

It's not just doctors, though. The government tells all sorts of people what to do with their bodies in all sorts of ways. Mandatory seatbelt and motorcycle helmet laws make obvious examples. So do drug laws, mandatory registration for the Selective Service (i.e., the draft), laws forbidding prostitution, and ObamaCare's individual mandate requiring people to buy health insurance.

And except for a small minority of libertarians, most Americans are perfectly fine with all of that. In each of those examples most Americans—including most progressive supporters of abortion rights—think individual freedom and autonomy ought to give way before the demands of the collective good. The rationale is that activities such as drug use, driving without a seatbelt, failing to buy health insurance, and so on are not merely private, personal decisions—they have social consequences. And society has legitimate grounds to make collective decisions about activities that affect the collective good.

But the same can be said of decisions about abortion, contraception, and family planning. Indeed, this is precisely the justification abortion-rights advocates use when they argue for continued funding of Planned Parenthood: The funding serves the general welfare. If that is the case, then there is no reason to carve out an exception for abortion and treat it as an inalienable right. Choices about reproduction also affect the collective good, after all, and therefore may be decided collectively.

Pro-choice advocates are quite right to upbraid Republicans for opposing big government everywhere except the uterus: Do they really believe their own rhetoric about government and individual rights? It's a fair question. It's also a question abortion-rights advocates might want to ask themselves.

A. Barton Hinkle is a columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. This article originally appeared at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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  • ||

    No one but libertarians respect self-ownership as an absolute principle. This is why abortion is a useful and productive argument to have among libertarians. Anyone else is arguing over what part of the body you own and what part belongs to everyone else. Fractional slavery is crap, no matter what fraction is enslaved.

  • Tim||

    Like teenage boys being enslaved by their dicks? Who speaks for them?

  • ||

    Even if dicks could speak, little of what they have to say is interesting.

  • Tim||

    The internet is proof of that.

  • ||

    You're proof of that.

  • Tim||

    I am proof of that.

  • ChicagoSucks||

    "BRUNO!"

  • ||

    Even if dicks could speak, little of what they have to say is interesting

    They'd just be spewing their nonsense in everyone's face.

  • Almanian||

    *facepalmtowel*

  • ||

    Even if dicks could speak, little of what they have to say is interesting.

    It's even worse when they have blogs.

  • ||

    It's productive only in the sense that it exposes which "libertarians" actually don't believe that a woman owns her own body. And then it just gets stupider from there.

    Anti-abortionists haven't the slightest compunction against dictating what a woman can do with her body. Scratch them, and the slaver is exposed. What's the next thing they will decide isn't yours? Your kidneys?

  • ||

    The question often breaks along pre-existing divisions.

  • ||

    You're being evasive. It's like when I asked you which Heather was better, Heather Locklear or Heather Thomas, and you refused to answer. WHAT ARE YOU HIDING?!?

  • ||

    I'm not hiding anything. Except a throbbing erection for the truth!

  • ||

    I'm still waiting. The only correct answer is Heather Thomas, Mr. Fall Guy.

  • ||

    I might fall from a tall building,
    I might roll a brand new car.
    'Cause I'm the unknown stuntman that made Redford such a star.

  • ||

    I never spend much time in school
    But I taught ladies plenty.
    It's true I hire my body out for pay, Hey Hey.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I'm B.J. McCabe and this is my best friend, Bear!

    Oops, wrong shitty series.

  • Au H20||

    Actually, the hottest Heather ever was Heather O'Leary, a 1920s burlesque dancer I met in Paris.

    God, did that dame have gams!

  • ||

    Why aren't we talking about Heather Graham?

  • ||

    Because we shouldn't be attracted to dead women you necrophiliac.

  • ||

    My mistake, I was thinking of Brittany Murphy.

  • Tim||

    "All rulers in all ages have tried to impose a false view of the world upon their followers."
    --Orwell

  • ||

    i am pro-choice, but the idea that being so is some kind of libertarian litmus test is silly imo. abortion is NOT solely about a woman's body. it's about competing rights, the right of a woman to abort over the right of a fetus not to be aborted.

    that's why, for example, i don't support (nor does the law) abortion "on demand" in the third trimester and certainly not in 8th month, for instance. if it was SOLELY about a woman;'s body, there would be no legal difference between a 8th month abortion and a first trimester one.

    *if* one believes at a given point, that the right of the fetus not to be terminated outweighs the right of the woman to terminate it (and thus not be saddled with "caring for it" inside their body), then at that point, the rules change.

    drug use, prostitution, even organ sales are all stuff that truly only references an individual's body or the bodies of two consenting adults. abortion is qualitatively different.

    i note that NARAL and many alleged "it's a woman's body, her choice" people DON'T make the same argument when it comes to abortion, legalized prostitution, or even pornography etc. iow, they are intellectually inconsistent.

  • mgd||

    +1

    Convince me that a fetus has no right to continue to exist and I will be 100% pro-choice.

    I am not convinced at this point. I understand that bringing a fetus to term and giving birth is an imposition. I think being destroyed is a bigger imposition. That can *really* ruin your weekend.

  • Nick||

    Well said MGD. Who is to speak for the rights of the fetus? At what point do we not care about an unborn child?

  • ||

    I have come out in support of morning after pill... Typically by the time a woman knows she's pregnant (misses her period) the fetus is 2-3 weeks grown already and has a brain stem, heartbeat, etc. At that point I say it's too late to have an abortion because the fetus contains many of the same elements of other "living things" that we say have rights.

    The argument that always skips past pro-choicers is that they already MADE the choice to have sex. Abortion should remain legal as an option in certain circumstances, but it shouldn't be used simply as a 3rd chance at birth control (after abstinence and contraceptives have both apparently failed or been disregarded)

  • Metazoan||

    at 2-3 weeks it is not a fetus, it is still an embryo. It has likely just finished gastrulation, and is quite a long way off from being anything recognizably human.

  • ||

    Sorry, this is what I was thinking of:
    6th week of pregnancy, 4th week after conception

    Although it doesn't look like anything recognizable, it is pumping blood and has a developing spinal column, so that's where I personally draw the line.

    Realistically, though, I think by the end of the first trimester and the fetus begins to take the full shape of a human form the time for an abortion has already passed. I mean, it has genitals for goodness' sake! That's just cruel.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    As I understand it, pregnancy begins with conception. Or did the rules stop making sense since I took bio?

  • Dello||

    I use the sustainable-life rule: At whatever point the child (or whatever you want to call it) can pop out and be fully formed enough to continue functioning, THEN it is alive. Before then it's simply a parasite.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Another valid point. The same argument could be used for children who still depend on their parents. I'm going to have to expore this issue further.

  • Vinny||

    I don't think that's satisfactory. If you put a full term baby out into the wilderness it cannot sustain itself. If you put an ADULT out in the wilderness it will likely not be able to sustain itself.

    With your test you are still forced to make a compromise. Every position on abortion I've ever heard has been a compromise of some kind. Even the most adamant pro-lifer will begin to look sheepish if you ask them whether a raped woman should be forced to take a baby to full term.

    The reason abortion is so difficult is because everyone argues concretes rather than principles. I still have yet to see someone answer the abortion question in a principled manner. Until someone does so, I remain in favor of states having the right to choose their position.

  • Bo||

    Question: Do two wrongs make a right? If a young woman is raped and becomes pregnant does killing the product of the rape, the child in this case, cancel out the injustice created by the rape? No, of course it does not. Should the rape victim be forced to keep and raise the child? Another obvious no. Should the rights of the unborn be discredited by the circumstance of their conception?... I find it to be attrocious that so many libertarians excuse abortion as a way of securing personal freedom for the mother when it comes with the direct rejection of the right to life of the child. People can argue until they are blue in the face that rights to life do not begin until the life in question is "self sustaining," but if that is your reasoning then the right to life should also be rejected to anyone that becomes too sick or injured to support himself. In my estimation those who are in favor of the murder of one who relies on another for sustainment must also be in favor of euthanasia for all those who become unable to succesfully contribute to society. Of course, for those who willingly engage in sexual activities and become pregnant as a result should have to carry full term as this was a KNOWN possibility of the sexual act and no one can argue that an unborn child should be murdered for causing an inconvenience any more than one can argue that a born child can be murdered for being expensive.

  • wjv||

    I think should be the guiding principle should come from an idea in the philosophy of sentientism. Sentientism claims that all beings that can suffer have intrinsic moral worth and rights. So the moment at which a fetus gains the capacity to suffer should be the moment that abortion should be disallowed.

    I don't think scientists have identified such a moment yet, however, this is a question that can be empirically answered.

  • ||

    This seems weird to me because it conditionalizes (I know not a word, whatever) ones right to live upon that person being able to survive in a certain environment. Sherpas can live at an altitude that I would die at if I did not give me body time to prepare for the change in altitude, by your reasoning, that would give a sherpa the right to kill me.

  • slowburnaz||

    Except that, you know, if allowed to continue uninterrupted by death-by-suction, it inevitably becomes a human.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    If a woman was determined not to dedicate any part of her life to motherhood, according to pro-life morality, she would have to remain a virgin until she completed menopause or else she is playing russian roulette. If your idea of life involves forcing people with fully functioning human brains with goals and plans to sacrifice their lives to pre-functional partial brainstems they are growing in their own stomachs, I question whether you think reason really has anything to do with rights.

  • STDs||

    She should have consequence free sex? Ha!

  • Fiscal Meth||

    She should deal with the consequences as she sees fit and with any medical treatment she wants, provided someone is willing to provide the medical treatment for a price she is willing to pay. Whether it's Herpes or a pregnancy. You may want her to suffer for her sins(what you consider a sin), but Valtrex and modern medicine and myself would like to say fuck you.

  • Vinny||

    By your reasoning, can I kill anyone mentally incompetent because I decide by some arbitrary standard that they inconvenience me?

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Does this mentally incompetent person live inside you? If so yes. Besides, I didn't say feti have learning disabilities. They don't have cognition yet. That's quite different.

  • ||

    Or she could have her tubes tied. Simple.

  • DLM||

    Neither the mother nor the father should have chosen to engage in an activity for which there was risk of pregnancy in the first place, unless they were prepared for the result.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    So you agree that the only way for a person who does not want a kid to act morally is lifelong celibacy?

  • iamtheeviltwin||

    or perhaps use several layers of contraception (pill & condom) or more permanent methods (vasectomy or tubes tied).

    There are many ways to engage in an activity and make it relatively safe and harmless. People limit all sorts of behaviors because of the negative consequences. I don't see why suddenly because we are talking about sex that the concept of personal responsibility changes.

    Even remaining a virgin is not 100% guarantee against pregnancy...just ask Mary.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Personal responsibility to whom? An abortion IS personal responsibility applied to accidental pregnancy by a woman who does not wish to have a baby. She has a right to take personal responsibility for the direction of her life. She is the only one who can, by right, decide her future pursuits regardless of the fact that you and the other vegetable fetus union bosses want to gain the legal authority to put a gun to her head and make her choose between motherhood and death.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Of course, that whole divine intervention story could have been cooked up to cover something much different.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    "or perhaps use several layers of contraception (pill & condom) or more permanent methods (vasectomy or tubes tied)."

    Vasectomies can be botched, pill plus condom can, and has, failed. If I were to cite a specific case where this happened, you would say the guy should have used two condoms and if I said he did, you would say he should have used three. If we could all know the future outcome and add condoms accordingly(this time it's gonna take two), abortions would not exist.
    The consistant and logical conclusion of the pro-life position is as DLM said:

    "Neither the mother nor the father should have chosen to engage in an activity for which there was risk of pregnancy in the first place, unless they were prepared for the result."

    This means that only women who have accepted their proper role as baby factories and given up on those other aspirations may have sex without fear or guilt. Which makes sense since you lot talk about non-reproductive sex like you were discussing people plotting a murder.

  • Carol||

    If abortion weren't used as a substitute for contraception the number of abortions would plummet. People can and do have sex on a regular basis without producing children. Lifelong celibacy is not necessary. Not being a total moron is.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Nope. If you are 100% sure that you do not want to have a baby any time soon, but you might want one later, your choices are as follows:

    1. Remain a virgin

    2. Trust contraceptives(which are not yet 100% effective) and be prepared to have an abortion if the contraceptives fail.

    That's it. Even if you call them all morons to make yourself feel better, some will get pregnant even after having taken all reasonable precautions and, according to you, she should have remained a virgin if she had really wanted to successfully reach her goals. In other words, any woman with any aspirations other than to give birth to babies, is only acting responsibly to the degree that she is sexless.

  • Vinny||

    If my understanding of risk was as poor as yours, I wouldn't waste my time on abortion. Instead, I would try to make driving 100% risk free.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Depends on the source of rights. If rights are God given, then it depends on the point at which God bestows them. If rights derive from man's nature as a rational animal, then the full, actual, conscious human should use reason(reason being the faculty she possesses which makes the concept of rights apply to her) to decide what she wants to do about a potential human which would not become an actual human without her body as the incubator, without her proper dietary changes, without her money for all the medical treatment and check-ups, her endurance of the pain and risks involved in labor, career interruption and that's all before you even have to change a diaper. You guys always act as if pregnancy is just an inconvenience and will take care of itself as long as the woman doesn't commission some bad man to come attack it with a knife. It takes work and research and training and reason in order to bring a pregnancy to term without serious risk of injury or death to herself or the baby. It is the fruit of the woman's reason and labor and an extreme risk to her well being if she is not diligent. It is not a "miricle" or a "gift". It is *gasp* her property.

  • DLM||

    1. You need to define "human being". You are rationalizing what that is. Everything else you say then follows from the rationalization.

    2. The resources committed to the mitigation of risk in a pregnancy successfully coming to term is irrelevant.

    3. We should at least be consistent and designate *any* dependent as property.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    1.The Human is a rational animal. He is the only rational animal. Yes, everything else does follow from there.

    2.Why? Because you say so?

    3.Sure. *Any* dependent who lives inside your body.

  • ||

    People sure do like to split hairs over when a fetus is a person, everywhere from life begins at arousal to I can do what I want to him until he's 18. I think I have a more sensible solution. Regardless of when life begins, rights begin at birth. This has already been established in immigration law, as in citizenship is conferred at birth.

  • ||

    this post is really a masterful example of broad brush false smears, baseless rhetoric, red herrings, and well... just pure rubbish.

    one can be pro-choice and recognize that many anti-choicers do not at all fit the stereotypical rubbish criticisms you throw out there

  • ||

    calling people who aren't comfortable with abortion "anti-choicers" is playing into that stereotypical rubbish.

  • ||

    Surely you are not suggesting you can only legitimately call yourself a libertarians if you have no misgivings about any abortion at any stage? At the one end of the spectrum you have the "It's a human being the moment it is conceived!" crowd and at the other you have the "It about nothing except a woman's ownership of her own body up until the moment she gives birth!" crowd. Surely, there are some people dedicated to liberty who recognize that the issue is not that simple or obvious. It is no more rational to say a baby is not a baby until the moment it is born than it is to claim it is a baby the moment a zygote is formed.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    The single compunction anti-abortionists have is one that is against the practice of allowing women to kill unborn children inside of them.

  • ||

    (so long as you also agree that the fetus is part of the woman's body and not a distinct being with rights of its own

    Exactly, this is where a lot of libertarians miss it, is that the child is a distinct being with his own rights.

    At the libertarian papers there is a good back and forth between Walter Block and Jacob Wisniewski......

    here is one link......

    http://libertarianpapers.org/2.....und-three/

  • ||

    Few if any "miss" that. The argument is over when the fetus owns itself.

  • Warty||

    I own the fetus. I own all the fetuses.

  • ||

    You mean "ate", not "own", right?

  • Warty||

    Well, I make some of them into ladies' handbags.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    and the really little ones into wallets?

  • Warty||

    No, those become General Tso's chicken.

  • ||

    You bread and fry them?!? Dude, Kung Pao chicken would be much better.

  • Warty||

    The breading hides the sponginess. I use the unwanted puppies for the Kung Pao.

  • Ska||

    Like Popplers?

  • General Tso||

    Hey, I no want those gross fucking things. They just ball of cells!

  • ||

    So the "fetus (merely another name for a human)" is the property of someone else? Yeah, you're missing it.

  • ||

    15% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. How many women a year do you want investigated for involuntary manslaughter, Len?

  • ||

    It's not manslaughter when Jeebus kills it, NutraSweet. Don't you understand anything?

  • Tim||

    Now who's being a dick?

  • ||

    NutraSweet. And Warty.

  • ||

    Now who's being a dick?

    Now?

  • Derp||

    You should call him Splenda instead. However, NutraSweet has a nice ring to it.

  • ||

    what an absurd argument. involuntary manslaughter - look it up - it still requires an overt act by the defendant to charge.

    involuntary manslaughter is manslaughter w/o malice aforethought, but still falls under either constructive act manslaughter (with an underlying unlawful act) or criminally negligent manslaughter (requiring gross negligence in an area where one has a duty)...

    taking massive amounts of cocaine during a known pregnancy could be thus prosecuted as involuntary manslaughter given proper penal code reference to personhood at point of viability etc.

    an "act of god/evolution" miscarriage is no more manslaughter than a heart attack is murder.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Well if it's god's will, then god must be charged with man's laughter.

  • ||

    again, this is a silly argument, whether or not one believes in god, or gods.

  • ||

    How do we know if an overt act has taken place without an investigation? You find a guy dead in a woman's apartment without no obvious signs of foul play, you going to take her word for it that it "just happened"?

  • ||

    you answered your own question. you do realize that sometimes people are found in proximity of dead bodies, and there is not evidence to charger, let alone convict. you don't take people's "word" for stuff. you compare people's "word" if and when they decide to give one (since they have the right not to under the 5th) with physical evidence, circumstances, etc. and if there is enough to arrest, you arrest, enough to charge, you charge, and then it ultimately comes down to the finder of fact - the jury.

    that's how criminal investigations work

    all death investigations where i work are initally investigated by the police. i've done scores. most, if no evidence of foul play is found work this way...

    i call the ME and advise them of what i have found, they issue a NJA (notice that they decline jurisdiction), at which point the body is released to relatives. that's how EVERY death investigation that is unattended by a physician happens. the police investigate. if there are signs of foul play etc. then instead of the NJA process, the investigation continues, and ultimately a determination is made as to whether there is probable cause to believe a homicide occurred, and if a homicide (death at another's hand) occurred, was it
    1) excusable
    2) justifiable
    3) criminal

    those are the only three options for homicide under our law. the only other way somebody can die is suicide (which is not a crime, assuming nobody assisted it unlawfully), accident, or other natural/biological cause (heart failure, etc.)

    it is of course a grossly imperfect process, but it's all we have.

    but in brief, no - you don't take somebody's word for it - you investigate.

    we had an (apparent ) suicide the other day, where we did just that. it turned out that all the physical evidence corroborated the kid's account (that he found mom deceased apparently by her own hand and her own gun) and pending something in the autopsy that conflict, the case will be closed thusly.

  • ||

    Thanks for proving my point, dunphy. Hopefully you'll get to head the Uterus Taskforce.

  • Jim||

    Yeah but he's saying every miscarriage would have to be investigated, just like every not-old dead body that turns up. If you find a 20-something face down in the canal, you have to try and figure out why. So what they're saying, is that every single miscarriage would have to be investigated to ensure the mother did all prescribed gov't prenatal care correctly, that she did not over-exert herself according to some gov't established standard, that she did not smoke a cig, drink a drink...oh wait, now we've just brought back statism.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    So what they're saying, is that every single miscarriage would have to be investigated to ensure the mother did all prescribed gov't prenatal care correctly, that she did not over-exert herself according to some gov't established standard, that she did not smoke a cig, drink a drink...oh wait, now we've just brought back statism.


    The problem is, there would be no way to detect very-early term miscarriages (like when the fetus is smaller than the head of a pin).

  • ||

    i'm not saying that AT ALL, but if that strawman makes you feel better, have at it.

  • Jim||

    I was adding to what SF was saying, not you Duphy.

  • ||

    the threading in here gets confusing as fuck. if i responded to the wrong person, my bad

  • Jim||

    Agreed, I get messed up in here a lot also.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    again, this is a silly argument, whether or not one believes in god, or gods.

    I might characterize the entire abortion debate as such as well. Neither side ever, ever will convince the other to change; nobody anywhere has *the* convincing, conclusive, dispositive argument, and more heat will be shed than light.

  • ||

    that's simply false. i was an atheist anti-choicer when i was younger. the superior arguments of the pro-choice side got me to change my pov such that i am now pro-choice.

    i certainly agree that many enter this debate, heck almost any internet debate - with their mind completely closed to opposing viewpoints such that they will completely ignore, evade, misinterpret, etc. ANY argument that goes against their prejudices.

    that's hardly unique to the abortion debate. here, and elsewhere, it's practically internet creed

    regardless, i was changed to a pro-choice stance because of intelligent argumentation.

    when it comes to being pro-RKBA, i also changed my mind (i am very pro-RKBA) but that was as much due to experience as a firefighter and cop, as it was to argumentation. in that case, it was a combination

  • Tim||

    Man's laughter?

  • Almanian||

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

    Wait, what?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    What if the fetus dies because mom didn't take her prenatals, and it would have pulled through if she had. (Suppose for the sake of argument that doctors had confirmed this, and were correct.) Then would it be an act of manslaughter?

  • slowburnaz||

    @Doktor Kapitalism:
    Sorry, but there would be no way to determine if the fetus would have survived otherwise. However, having an abortion is pretty clear-cut in it's outcome, and must willingly be undertaken.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    This is more directed towards the miscarraige = or =/= manslaughter argument. Not intended for application on the abortion issue.

  • Warty||

    I'm inclined to believe the fetus owns itself quite early on. Maybe, say, when it has a heartbeat.

    "fetus (merely another name for a human)"

    But come on now.

  • ||

    The heartbeat standard could push legal abortion back to 1-2 months. Women with irregular periods might not even know they are pregnant at that point.

    I'm on record as advocating viability as the cut-off point.

  • Warty||

    That's probably a better one, but it has the problem of being a gradient rather than a strict standard. So I dunno. I'm fucking glad I don't have a uterus.

  • Brett L||

    As long as we're talking, say, 75%+ viability and statistics are recompiled every 5 years. (Under this formulation, I could have been aborted the day before my birth being 11 weeks premature. Now that is no problem.)

  • ||

    I'd probably go with average fetus size at 24 weeks.

  • ||

    This determination is absolutely arbitrary. WTF does 24 weeks mean?

    Does the woman own her body or not?

  • ||

    24 weeks after conception, which is usually determined by the size of the fetus with ultrasound.

  • ||

    You didn't answer my question.

  • ||

    After the woman withdrawals consent to host the fetus, I think she has remedies for six months of that situation. But after a certain point of doing nothing to remove them, I think it's moral to assume that the unwelcomed houseguest is implicitly welcome.

    Of course, viability is never certain until viability is proven. That's pretty much after birth and the first breath. And fetus must gain self-ownership rights at some point. Statistical viability is not an unreasonable line to draw.

  • Anonymous Regular Poster||

    Being discreet here, a relative by marriage just found out on Monday she's pregnant. She's due in May. May! I fucking know, right? She's more than 6 months along. She does not want this baby, never has. Took precautions that failed, had regular periods, never wants kids. There is no implicit welcoming here. She would have gotten an abortion earlier had she known. Apply your muddy standard here please.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Seems pretty clear - have the kid and then put it up for adoption. If it's a healthy white baby, you'll find about 9 million people clamoring for it.

  • ||

    Anonymous Regular Poster,

    I'm just trying to hash out a compromise between the competing interests in the abstract. If you think birth is the dividing line, then you disagree with me, obviously.

  • Anonymous Regular Poster||

    No, I didn't make a stance one way or the other. Just trying to understand how you'd handle the unique scenario given that her anecdote messes with your moral implication of "welcoming the houseguest."

  • ||

    when a woman presents with abdominal pain/issues ER personnel are trained to always first consider pregnancy.

    it's pretty fucking sad that women have actually been 8 or 9 months pregnant and not had any inkling of it, but it happens. that shows such an amazing lack of body awareness that it boggles my mind.

    some women obsess over every ounce of bw change, and others can be 9 months pregnant and not even realize it. boggles the mind

  • ||

    "had regular periods"

    Gotta call bullshit on this one. A prego woman may experience menstruation early in her pregnancy, but not for six months. She may experience spotting, or bleeding, but not a regular period.

  • Monty||

    Adverse possession sounds fair.

  • ||

    arbitrary bright lines are not prima facie unreasonable in the law. if they were , we could not have age of consent law, or a minimum age to get a driver's license, etc.

    of course it's arbitrary , in the cosmic sense (to give a nod to sowell), but that says nothing about the reasonableness of the law.

  • ||

    again, begging the question by defining the fetus as "her body"

  • DLM||

    I'm on record as advocating viability as the cut-off point.

    No one is truly 'viable' in the sense of having the ability to exist independent of anything else. It depends on the situation. Everyone requires two things. (1) A friendly environment. You would not survive long 3 miles beneath the ocean or in outer space. (2) nutrition. How long would you be 'viable' without food and water?

    If you could replicate the environment the fetus requires and provide it with the proper nutrition, it would be viable. Merely because we are technologically unable to do that at the moment. I'm not even sure about this.

    The argument really comes down to that the environment and nutrition currently can only be provided by the mother. This doesn't really mean anything, though. Perhaps there is some requirement other than these two specific to a fetus that is not required by an adult human being. Why *must* a fetus exist only in a mother's womb, and hence be consider not viable, even at a very early stage of development apart technology not being quite advanced enough?

  • BigT||

    DLM is right. As science progresses the age at which a fetus can be kept alive outside the womb will move inexorably towards the moment of conception. Thus 'viability' is a moving target.

    For those who favor 'birth' as the line - at what point in the birth? Head out? Shoulders out? etc. Birth is not a single instant.

  • ||

    A fetus has to have self-ownership at some point, otherwise we would have to throw out the concepts of criminal harm of a fetus and inheritance rights.

    If there was some way to determine sentience, I could go with that as a demarcation. Of course, that would leave out some of our trolls as being classified fully developed.

  • Zeb||

    I don't see where inheritance right come into it. An adopted child has the same inheritance rights as one born to it parents. And harm to a fetus could just as well be considered a crime against the mother.

  • ||

    A fetus can inherit. A glimmer in one's eye cannot.

    A woman takes a blow to the abdomen, either through criminal action or negligence on the part of another. She is largely uninjured but it causes death or permanent injury to her fetus. She should have no actionable cause?

  • DLM||

    She should have no actionable cause?

    If a fetus is just 'property', then I wonder how much value would be placed on it. Not much, to some.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Why would a heartbeat matter? What's so important about a hearbeat? This is real life not a Disney movie.

  • Warty||

    Nothing's particularly important about it, but it's an objective standard, at least.

  • Almanian||

    Warty, the important thing is, can you make me a European Shoulder Bag from dead babies? Cause I'm a man, so I don't want a "purse" or handbag, but a "European Shoulder Bag" might work.

    Also, can you get some different skin tones so it looks like a Dalmation or something?

  • Metazoan||

    That's a silly standard. There is little uniquely human about a heartbeat.

  • ||

    i'm sorry, the dept. of silly standards is down the hall. this is the verbal abuse room

  • tarran||

    I should ppoint out that Walter Block views it as a trespassing issue.

    Just as a homeowner can eject me from his property despite the fact that a tsunami is coming, a woman can eject a trespassing fetus from her body.

    His argument does not concern itself about the humanity of the fetus, because its completely orthogonal to it.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    So you can kick your one year old out of your house, and tell him, hey you bum, go get a job?

    I think the problem is that, when it comes to abortion, the NAP just isn't enough to form an "air-tight" libertarian argument on either the pro or con side. You have to bring some other moral rule to the fight, in addition to the NAP. (unless you really do believe you have absolutely no moral obligation to feed your kids).

  • ||

    You can give a child up for adoption at any age. People have even done it to teenagers.

    Parental duties are performed with consent, they cannot be compelled. I couldn't, for example, bring a child over to your house and demand under penalty of law that you feed, clothe, and raise it.

  • Edwin||

    yes but the point is if you leave your baby out in the cold and just leave him there and he dies you killed him, it's still murder even though you didn't actively do anything

    there must be some form of responsibility involved when you create a person or else accept such absurdity

  • ||

    Freeze or starving someone with self-ownership is a form of aggression. NAP kicks in.

  • Edwin||

    no no no

    people die all the time and you libertarians hold that nobody is entitled to save them

    this would be the same thing. Just leave that human being there. He can't walk, or can't understand things? From a libertarian perspective that's his problem. If that 2-year-old human being ends up dying, that's his problem, from a strict libertarian perspective.

    There has to be some sort of parental responsibility or esle you have to accept absurdity.

  • Chinny Chin Chin||

    people die all the time and you libertarians hold that nobody is entitled to save them

    I read many comments to the effect that nobody should be forced to save others.

    But entitled? Please provide an example.

  • ||

    Removing them from the house that they need to live in is murder, but removing them from the womb they need to live in isn't?

  • tarran||

    OK, So your car breaks down in the Oregon wilderness in the depths of winter.

    To get help you have to walk 10 miles through treacherous terrain, meaning that it's impossible to do it while carrying a baby.

    So you leave it in the car where it will freeze to death in 24 hours, and start your desperate hike for help.

    Are you still guilty of murder?

  • Edwin||

    you're changing the situation

    it's disingenuous to try to make yourself not look like a monster by proposing similar but fundamentally different scenarios

    you actually believe that I can leave my baby somewhere deliberately with a high chance of dying, regardless of my situation or motivation. That's fucked up, and you're fucked up if you believe that. You should change your belief as per common sense, but you won't, because you're libertarian, and the grand holy philosophy matters more than common sense.

  • tarran||

    you actually believe that I can leave my baby somewhere deliberately with a high chance of dying, regardless of my situation or motivation.

    Sigh.
    1) Actually, even under the current regime people can and do do that to their children all the time. It's so frequent that Nancy Grace makes a living off of talking about those people on TV.

    2) The question is what to do about it. I advocate using persuasion and freedom-friendly ways of tackling the problem.

    3) You on the other hand think that it's silly and that smart people use a hybrid system where children are chattel (as in property, or slaves) of their parents, but their parents must support them until a certain age or the children will be kidnapped and put in homes selected by the state.

    Hell you probably support child labor laws that force children in abusive homes to choose between staying in the home or running away and becoming child-prostitutes.

    And I'm the crazy one. ;)

    it's disingenuous to try to make yourself not look like a monster by proposing similar but fundamentally different scenarios

    Wow, calling the kettle black now, Mr Pot?

  • ||

    depends. are you a kennedy?

  • George Carlin||

    OK, So your car breaks down in the Oregon wilderness in the depths of winter.

    To get help you have to walk 10 miles through treacherous terrain, meaning that it's impossible to do it while carrying a baby.

    So you leave it in the car where it will freeze to death in 24 hours, and start your desperate hike for help.

    Are you still guilty of murder?

    ... and then you cross the International Date Line! And then a herd of bugling elk run by, followed by Inuit hunters - but they have cell phones and GPS! But you don't speak Inuit, so they just think you're asking for directions, and they point vaguely towards some trees on a hill in the distance, and continue chasing the elk.

    Then...

  • ||

    an inuit hunter would NEVER use GPS.

    indians don't get lost. but sometimes the path wanders... (with props to PJ ORourke)

  • iamtheeviltwin||

    indians don't get lost. but sometimes the path wanders... (with props to PJ ORourke)

    This is so true...my wife is Kiowa and her whole family has the worst sense of direction in the world. However, they are never lost...just taking the long way...

    (and don't get me started on "Indian time"...)

  • Michael Ejercito||

    yes but the point is if you leave your baby out in the cold and just leave him there and he dies you killed him, it's still murder even though you didn't actively do anything

    there must be some form of responsibility involved when you create a person or else accept such absurdity


    And in cases of rape?

  • ||

    "Parental duties are performed with consent, they cannot be compelled."

    Doesn't consent occur when a women chooses not to take preventative measures when engaging in sexual activity? A woman may not have made an affirmative decision to create a child, but she did choose not to take steps to avoid it.

    If I cause a car accident while driving home from a five hour binge drinking session, I am held responsible for the results. I didn't get behind the wheel with the intent of running down an 80 year old grandma, but I creates the circumstances which led to the result.

  • ||

    Consenting to sex is not consenting to a lifetime of parenthood, or even 9 months of forced pregnancy. It's consenting to sex. Most human intercourse, even unprotected intercourse, doesn't result in pregnancy.

    You are in the middle of a three car pile-up. It wouldn't have happened if the guy who stopped short in front of you and the guy following you didn't have you in between them. Is it your fault because you left your house that morning? The accident wouldn't have happened if you didn't leave your house. Should it matter if you safely leaving your house all the time? Did your past actions imply consent of you to get in the wreck? There is a direct chain of causation after all...

  • ||

    Consenting to sex is not consenting to a lifetime of parenthood, or even 9 months of forced pregnancy. It's consenting to sex.

    Try being a man and telling that to a judge in a child support case. See how far that gets you. It got me $800/month for 18 years and zero visitation rights.

  • ||

    "Consenting to sex is not consenting to a lifetime of parenthood"

    In the example you provide, creating a pile up on the freeway is not the primary function of driving an automobile.

    Reproduction is the primary function of reproductive sex organs. Yes, their are secondary benefits, even enjoyable ones, when engaging in sexual activity. This still does not change the fact that your junk was designed for the purpose of coating a womans insides with your baby batter.

  • ||

    Even the youngest of impregnated girls knows that the act of sex can get them pregnant. It's not entirely free of risk. Ever. You can be a libertarian and take responsibility for your actions or you can be someone else and scoff at that responsibility.

    I'd still be guilty of rear-ending the driver in front of me and the car behind me would be responsible for rear-ending me. In either instance staying home/not having sex would free me from either responsibility. I either case, driving/having sex has some risk, both with consequences.

    To stick with the car accident analogy, as sick as this will sound to someone who thinks ALL abortion carries the same moral disgust, if I bump another car at the grocery store parking lot and leave a small scratch on their bumper and take off without even leaving a note, that is like aborting a fetus in the first two weeks. (It's just as likely to be miscarried as it is that wind will push a stray shopping cart into that same car ans scratch the bumper.)

    If I run over a pedestrian from behind at 70 mph hour in a vacant lot staring right at them with plenty of room to stop or alter course but I just don't feel like it so BAM. Dead pedestrian. Yeah, that's murder. Cold-blooded murder. Just like an abortion in month 8 is murder because I don't feel like being inconvenienced with 2 days in the hospital and a sore vag.

  • ||

    You can be a libertarian and take responsibility for your actions or you can be someone else and scoff at that responsibility.

    And getting an abortion is not a responsible action? It's not assuming the consequences of one's actions? Or do only you get to define "responsibility"?

  • ||

    One could argue abortion is a second irresponsible action. I have only stated my position that no one can claim ignorance that when people have sex they know pregnancy is always a possibility, however small. If your action in response to that preventable pregnancy is an action that many people consider murder, that is not just me defining responsibility in a vacuum.

    We can argue all day about other forms of contraception besides abstinence, but not a single one save hysterectomy is fool proof, and even then I'm sure there's a TV special about some freak broad with just a head and right arm getting pregnant who gave birth to a spelling bee champion or some shit like that.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    You can give a child up for adoption at any age. People have even done it to teenagers.

    Yes, that involves an official transfer of obligations to another entity. That doesn't mean the obligation doesn't or didn't exist.

    Up until the time that the parental obligations are transfered, the parent(s) still has them, at least legally speaking. IMO it is also a valid moral obligation, which is completely (mostly?) orthogonal to libertarianism.

    If you think it is moral to kick your one year old out onto the street with out first finding somebody else to take care of him, then I guess we've at least arrived at an irreducible disagreement. That's more than you usually get off the internet.

  • ||

    but UNTIL your child is accepted for adoption etc. by anotehr, you cannot neglect your child, even your teenager, and you can face criminal, as well as civil penalties for abandoning your duty as a parent.

    obviously, one's duties to a 14 yr old are less extensive than one's duties to a 1 yr old, but the concept remains the same.

  • tarran||

    So you can kick your one year old out of your house, and tell him, hey you bum, go get a job?

    Yes. You could.

    I could also, under a libertarian order, abuse crystal meth while pregnant, commit adultery, show German Sheisse porn to 5 year olds.

    With that being said, I can't jail a one year old in my home and deny him food. I can't prevent a one year old from running away and choosing to live with my neighbor.

    Yes, the issues around children give us results that are discomfitting. It's easy to say no adult has an obligation to be another adult's slave. The same is true if the enslaver is a child.

    The libertarian solution to seeing people neglecting or abusing their children in a way that bothers us is for us to persuade them to do a better job or to take over care of the children ourselves rather than forcing them to provide the support and care we want to see.

  • Edwin||

    well then libertarianism is silly then, isn't it?

    does anybody see what I'm tlaking about yet? I keep telling you guys every libertarian believes something sick or weird. Here's your evidence.

  • tarran||

    I guess you must be one of those guys that wants to see people thrown in jail for adultery.

  • ||

    Edwin... here's something not silly or weird: Go fuck yourself, you piece of shit troll.

  • Edwin||

    how about you address the issue that one of your buddies just said it's OK show porn to 5 year old kids or just abandon them in the street

    it's quite a telling trait of libertarianism. Get insanely pissed at anyone proposing something even slightly non-libertarian, but if one of your own wants to fuck little kids or rape dead bodies or something, then that's OK as long as the guy calls himself libertarian.

  • tarran||

    how about you address the issue that one of your buddies just said it's OK show porn to 5 year old kids or just abandon them in the street

    No I didn't. I said it wouldn't be illegal and that we lack the moral right to use force to prevent it.

    I pity you for being so stupid that you can't tell the difference between morality and legality.

  • ||

    it wouldn't be ILLEGAL to abandon YOUR 5 yr old in the street? is that your position, or am i misreading it?

    asking for clarification...

  • tarran||

    It would be reprehensible, but not illegal.

    One other way to look at it: if a person thinks so little of a child that they are willing to abandon it, do we really want to force them to care for the child? The care they will provide will inevitably be abusive.

  • ||

    ok, maybe you are explaining your hypothetical ideal legal system.

    fortunately(imo) our legal system harshly criminalizes abandoning a 5 yr old in the street.

  • tarran||

    Yes, all the children murdered by abusive parents were grateful to you for your policy of forcibly returning the children to owners who don't want them.

  • tarran||

    Of course Edwin believes that it is not only murder, but even that it is socially beneficial to deny children access to lifesaving drugs. But that's not weird.

  • Edwin||

    OK now you're just devolving into nonsense

  • tarran||

    OK now you're just devolving into nonsense

    Edwin, when you support bizarre (and immoral IMHO) things as a consequence of your philosophy, and people call you on it, you might want to attempt a defense instead of surrendering so abjectly.

  • ||

    well, yes. his funhouse version of libertarianism is silly. but he doesn't get to decide what libertarians think, thankfully

  • tarran||

    So dunphy, how many black people have you arrested in the past year for having something that makes them think they're as good as a white man?

    Funhouse libertarian indeed.

  • ||

    i haven't arrested ANYBODY in the past year for any offense involving marijuana.

    i did charge (but not custodially) arrest one guy for possession with intent to distribute. he had about a dozen bags, with prices on each, a ,price/customer list on his person, and he admitted to selling it.

    i may not agree with the WOD, but i don't have carte blanche to ignore these kinds of crimes.

    otoh, he was white.

  • tarran||

    i may not agree with the WOD, but i don't have carte blanche to ignore these kinds of crimes.

    Actually, you do. You choose to enforce these rules.

    You could, for example, quit.

    You could join LEAP.

    You could turn a blind eye to it.

    You could inform your superiors that you won't do this anymore.

    But you don't. Moreover, to justify your crime, you cite the quantity of marijuana the guy had, and the fact he had it bagged for sale.

    I could take a cheap shot an point out that the purpose of prohibition is to keep black people from thinking they're just as good as white people, not to prevent black people from selling the stuff. I won't do that. Instead I will point out that you started a process to throw a man in jail for what is a political crime. And other than throwing a weak "I vaz just obeying orderz" line, you actually show no remorse.

    But hey, nothing says "pragmatic libertarian" like intiating the prosecution of a man for trading in a plant that makes black people think they're as good as white people.

    Obviously, if we had more people like you we'd live in a free country.

  • ||

    Just because one libertarian has issues doesn't mean we all do, but you love to generalize so....

    What if I disagree with tarran?

  • ||

    But, Edwin, I bet you can't figure out which part I disagree with.

  • DLM||

    Just as a homeowner can eject me from his property despite the fact that a tsunami is coming, a woman can eject a trespassing fetus from her body.

    Then she shouldn't have invited him in to begin with.

  • ||

    the argument is over competing rights and thus, duties. like many legal arguments, it's about how to balance tradeoffs.

    and as usual, overly simplistic people try to paint the other side with silly broad brush insults as to their motivation (a classic logical fallacy).

    if and when one believes the fetus' right not to be terminated outweighs the woman's right to terminate it (given different reasons - "on demand", risk to mother, etc.) that is when one starts placing restrictions.

    it often has NOTHING to do with NOT respecting women, or their bodies. i note also that many, far from all, pro-choicers don't respect women's (or men's ) right to body autonomy, such that they are against legalized prostitution, organ sales, drug use, and in the cases of many feminists - even pornography

  • hmm||

    Isn't duty to act attached to the institution and not the individual. A medical can refuse to treat someone in the course of their profession when on the clock, but their removal is eminent for doing so. The same person can walk by a dying person when not on the clock and have no duty to act, but if treatment is started they are compelled to follow through. So it's not the choice of the doctor, it's the choice of the institution that is curtailed. Hospitals must act if possible, in theory all the doctors could walk out and have zero liability. (licensing would be an issue for them, but I don't think there could be legal action)

    I'm no longer amazed by the ability, or stupidity of people to espouse completely contradictory points of view. The blinders are on so tight and focused on red or blue so narrowly you can justify anything.

  • ||

    many abortion rights advocates are of course hypocritical - it's a woman's right to "her own body" except when it comes to drug use, prostitution, or organ sales.

    but in brief, - under the law - duties to act attach to individuals based on certain acts they commit or positions they hold, as well as to institutions.

  • hmm||

    Duty to act basically requires payment. If you're not getting paid or have a contract with an institution you have no duty to act. A doctor, cop, medic, easterbunny, whatever can walk by an injured person on their time as many times as they wish. When they are working for an institution they must act, or breach the contractual agreement. You cannot legally force an individual to act in the US, that is called slavery. That's why I can't force the lawn guy to mow my lawn even if I have a contract... I can be paid for his failure to do so and failure to fulfill his contract, but I can't force him to mow my lawn.

  • BigT||

    ...except to purchase health insurance.

  • ||

    GREGGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOO

    Hey Grego, when did you stop beating your wife?

  • ||

    Shouldn't you know, I thought you were his wife?

  • ||

    Uh...was that supposed to be funny? I'm having a little trouble following people with little to no insult skills here. Can someone help me out?

  • Tim||

    Fuck You!
    There, did that help?

  • ||

    Much clearer. Thank you.

  • Tim||

    I'd like to credit but it really is the most all purpose phrase in the English language.

  • hmm||

  • Almanian||

    SHUT UP EPI-LADY DOO DOO HEAD!!!111! YORE A RITARD FUKWAD NBITCH!

  • Almanian||

    Yeah, I didn't know I was being enslaved until AFTER I got married!

    ba-BUMP *crash*

    Thanks! I'll be here all weekend! Try the chicken fingers, they're great...

  • ||

    what's the problem with polygamy? one wife too many, just like conventional marriage...

    (cymbal crash)

  • BigT||

    Does the school system permit the kid to bring porno to school? Probably not. Schools have some rights to maintain a 'proper educational atmosphere'. But the policies must be spelled out clearly, and not be discriminatory.

  • Stretchy||

    I wonder how the pro-choice crowd feels about the interstate commerce justification of Obamacare. After all, the decision to abort a fetus will have massive effects on interstate commerce, therefore congress has the power to regulate it.

    @Len, even if you assume the fetus is a separate human being, with rights of it's own, does it have the right to use your body as a host?

  • Number 2||

    Because the "pro-choice" crowd is only "pro-choice" on their single issue of importance to them. On every other issue they have no problem with pervasive government regulation, or with denying other people their "choices."

  • ||

    Right. I'm on record as being absolutely pro-government regulation all day and night. As an anarchist.

    You're a fucking idiot.

  • tarran||

    The surest way to look like a fool is to overgeneralize about motivations of everyone who takes a certain policy position.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Oh, I see - you're one of those people who believe that bullshit. Every single one of you is a complete idiot, if you believe that.

  • tarran||

    People who disagree with me are motivates solely by their jealousy due to the fact that we Navy vets get all the hot women. Also they are such pussies that they are afraid to fight a real man like me. They can call my cell phone and name the time and place.

  • Seaman||

    And the hot men!

  • Jack On||

    NAVY vets??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. When you stop buggering eachother during those long sea voyages, then join the Marines or the Army to see what actual military service is like, we'll talk. Until then, "It's not gay if you're under way!"

  • ||

    Yeah as a Navy Vet who went on two long deployments to the gulf and the south china sea, I can assure you that port calls are in fact real. There is nothing like hitting Thialand with a month or two of pay in your account (it is mindbendly easy to accure capital underway, you can barely spend money on the ship). I never saw people turn into underway homo's who straightened back out when back from the trip. Then again I served aboard a carrier and there were members of both sexs on board, and a steady trickle of people getting caught having sex (though it was always straight sex, guess the gay population was better at not being caugh, as there were many open homosexuals).

  • ||

    tarran, I'll give you a B+. You would have gotten an A if you somehow could have worked in a "Shit was so cash" into it.

  • tarran||

    I'm glad I got the B+. I copied off of Dondero's homework.

  • Derp||

    Nigga, that was a good, solid, troll.

  • Tony||

    Because subsidizing doctors to treat poor people is exactly like forcing a woman's vagina to explode against her will.

  • Jim||

    Someone is shoving c-4 into women's vaginas and then detonating it? I would oppose that.

  • ||

    Oh noes!!! Not The Snuke!!!

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Well, only if it she's not into it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Tony, why should you give even half a shit about abortion? You're a gay male... you'll never have one.

  • ||

    Please see the above link to the libertarian papers. I will answer in part myself though. Just taking a child as a result of consensual sex, then the women has entered into a contract with the child to be the host, so yes the child has a right.

    Note I'm not addressing every scenario.

  • ||

    Please see the above link to the libertarian papers. I will answer in part myself though. Just taking a child as a result of consensual sex, then the women has entered into a contract with the child to be the host, so yes the child has a right.

    Note I'm not addressing every scenario.

  • ||

    Can you sign a binding legal contract with a comatose person? Can any contract be made with a party that is 100% wholly unaware of the fact that they are entering into a contract?

  • tarran||

    They can't. A contract requires consideration, which a fetus can't give.

  • Tim||

    And a twenty year old can't drink beer.

  • tarran||

    A twenty year old can drink bear. They may not do it legally. All that shows is that the law is an ass

  • More importantly||

    Can a nigga get a table dance?

  • tarran||

    Oh baloney!

    I invite someone into my home and tell him he can live with me for a few weeks. It turns out that they are suffering from ebola. I ask them to leave. They refuse.

    At the point I ask them to leave, they become a trespasser despite the fact I originally invited them into my home to stay.

  • Tim||

    YOu argue with them, but what you really have a problem with is the Ebola. Try arguing with Ebola.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    All right, let's say they're a murderer. Then tarran has a problem with the person.

    Problem solved.

  • Sudden||

    However, the process of abortion actually requires the "killing" of the fetus prior to expulsion from the uterus. So the whole eviction analogy is rendered a non-sequiter. You may evict a person who will starve and die without your shelter, but you may not kill him first in order to evict him (unless upon service of notice of eviction he poses a imminent threat to you). Dismemberment with a vacuum is not a legal means of eviction, and were it, I would likely have been evicted a number of times via that method.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Speaking philosophically rather than legally, if someone (even someone I invited in) refuses to leave, I can kill them to defend my property. If would be preferrable to convince them, or failing that to push them off, or failing that to threaten them off, but if they refuse anything short of being killed, I think that that's my right (an that's probably a run on sentence).

    Not sure if that relates to the abortion matter, but it's worth saying.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    AND that's probably a run on sentence.

  • Free Health Care||

    The infant is completly dependent on the parent for survival, inside the womb and out. It is called "being a parent" not having a prasite. Once the child is born, he doesn't start walking around and making himself dinner.

    No matter what women decide, better pay up fellas. You have zero choice.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

  • ||

    " does it have the right to use your body as a host?"

    Is it acceptable when a parent chooses not to feed their one week old child, or expect them to provide for their own shelter?

    I don't think anyone would argue that, up to a certain age, a parent has the responsibility to provide for their child. When does that responsibility start? Should we only expect a mother to provide for a child after it has left her womb, but not before? How do you make a distinction between a child one week before it is born, vs one week after?

    Humans don't become fully developed until adulthood. The fetal stage and infancy are both stages of development that require the servitude of another human being in order to survive.

    A fetus has the right to use it's mothers body as a host, because the actions of the mother are what brought the fetus into being.

  • Edwin||

    tarran just argued that upthread

    how many times do I have to say that libertarianism always leads to absurdity?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    How many grains of sand are there on all the beaches of all the world?

    How many stars are there in all the universes?

  • ||

    I must have missed it.

    Libertarianism doesn't always lead to absurdity. Abortion is a tough issue, and people will reach different opinions based on whether they view the issue from the perspective of the mother, or from the baby.

    The positions may not be the same, but at least they are always argued from a perspective of individual liberty.

  • DLM||

    ... the decision to abort a fetus will have massive effects on interstate commerce...

    Not to mention the extermination of future taxpayers. (Put in that context, I'd expect both parties to be rabidly anti-abortion.)

  • Edwin||

    there are babies that survived abortions and went on to grow up and live their lives. This means it is undeniable that at after a certain point (in the pregnancy, time-wise) abortion would be killing a baby.

    On the other hand, science shows it's extremely doubtful that a 1 month or 2 month old fetus, the size of kumquat, is in any way yet an entirely new person or has any sort of consciousness

  • ||

    So science shows that at some point the DNA changes? Isn't it DNA that is the determination of what a being is? How does consciousness enter into that?

  • ||

    A drop of my blood contains all my DNA. Do I create thousands of autonomous beings every time I get a nosebleed?

  • T||

    Only if you have MacLeod's fractal spiders in your blood.

  • ||

    And I got those cleared up months ago.

  • Edwin||

    I know you gentlemen've had a long night, but please I'd like to not spend another minute TIED TO THIS FUCKING CHAIR!!!!

  • Tim||

    "A drop of my blood contains all my DNA. Do I create thousands of autonomous beings every time I get a nosebleed?"

    Neat fact: Curt Russell wrestled with that very question in John Carpenter's The Thing.

  • ||

    Maybe we're at war with Norway?

  • Tim||

    +1

  • Sudden||

    And you are free to do to anything that contains your exact DNA sequence whatever you damn well please. But something that has a different DNA sequence than you, well, you gotta respect.

  • ||

    I created millions of autonomous beings in the shower just this morning.

  • ||

    A dead baby from a miscarriage has DNA. What the fuck are you talking about?

  • ||

    On the other hand, science shows it's extremely doubtful that a 1 month or 2 month old fetus, the size of kumquat, is in any way yet an entirely new person or has any sort of consciousness

    I'm responding to the claim above that science doesn't show the child to be an entirely new person. If it is not entirely new, then why does it have distinct DNA? When did the determination of whether someone is a human being become consciousness?

  • ||

    I'm unclear here whether we're actually arguing the same thing or not.

    Every one of your sperm has distinct DNA. You know, that, right? So every time you jerk off, you're "wasting" all those potentially distinct fetuses, assuming you could find a woman who would let you hump her. Even if you don't jerk off, those sperm are broken down, never to be seen again.

    "Distinct DNA" means about as much as "new wave".

  • ||

    Those sperm have my DNA, and unless you know something no scientist has put forward yet cannot become human beings. As they have my DNA they are mine to do with as I please.

    Please try to use logic.

  • ||

    Uh, you don't know what a clone is?

    Please try to not be a fucking moron when telling other people to use logic.

  • ||

    Not so fast there. Every sperm is sacred, after all. When you jerk off it's the moral equivalent of auschwitz. You do get a pass on nocturnal emmissions because they're involuntary. But no cheating - God knows the difference between your being asleep and "asleep."

  • ||

    I like to think that all the sperm I've jerked off go to heaven

  • Edwin||

    sperm heaven:

    eggs everywhere, with thin skins that are easily swum through

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I like to think that all the sperm I've jerked off go to heaven

    If you assume that the drain to the municipal sewer is "heaven," then well, yes.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Let the heathen spill them
    On the dusty ground
    They will have to answer
    For every sperm that can't be found

  • ||

    Damn, you beat me to it, BSR. Anyone know why my post appears upthread of yours even though it has a later date?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    It depends on which "reply to this" you clicked.

  • ||

    You're acting like sperm have completely different DNA from the man. And if that were true rape-test kits wouldn't work because you wouldn't be able to determine whose sperm is whose.

    Sperm might have different DNA, but it's probably just minor encoding mistakes. Not a different entity entirely.

    Also I'm not sure if sperm actually fullfill the characteristics of life. It can't really produce fertile offspring. It is just a building block of another human.

  • ||

    Epi, don't sperm have RNA that join with the egg's to form the new DNA? Just curious.

    Well, you guys know where I stand on abortion, so I'm not gonna jump into this one with people I usually agree with disagree with vehemently on the abortion issue.

    One thing's for certain, in Libertopia our biggest political difficulties would stem from the abortion debate. I'm curious how our two-party system would look.

  • Jim||

    Clearly ongoing massacres are the only way to settle this once and for all in Libertopia.

  • BigT||

    Epi must have flunked bio. Each sperm has HALF of your DNA and can never become viable. Not the same as a fertilized egg, which has a full complement, half from each parent.

  • ||

    many believe a baby, even after leaving the birth canal does not have consciousness at that point. iirc, prof. singer believes that. he also believes it's ok to "abort" a newly born baby.

    at some point, you gotta just call shenanigans on the absurdity.

  • ||

    How is an accident of nature, or just call it nature if you want, the same as murder? If my child stops breathing in her sleep and dies it's not murder any more than a miscarriage is murder. But if she stops breathing because I strangle her to death, it's murder.

  • ||

    right. as we learned in that classic of modern moviemaking, "legally blonde", it's all about mens rea.

    and perms

  • Edwin||

    an enirely new person not as in a new configuration for a potential person but an actual new person

    DNA is not a person. It's the protein code for a person/organism.

  • DLM||

    So what the hell is this metaphysical construction called a 'person'? It seems to keep changing. Is there some scientific test? Blue your a person; yellow not so much.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    there are babies that survived abortions and went on to grow up and live their lives.

    Well that explains Anthony Weiner (D-NY). He's an abortion of an abortion.

  • ||

    Here lies the horrible truth.

  • T||

    I'll go with my fallback position: the 51% of you with uteri (uteruses?) hash this out and get back to me with a decision.

    Me and my Y chromosome will be at the bar in the meantime.

  • ||

    Is it a fair compromise for men to stay out of this issue if women will stay out of the conscription issue? They don't ever get drafted, we don't ever have to be pregnant. I can't stand seeing 60 year old women arguing for 18 year old boys to be sent to war.

    (Disclosure: I have an interest in the abortion debate, mostly because it's really the only issue with competing rights and libertarians can't agree on it.)

  • ||

    exactly, and yet that doesn't prevent some "libertarians" from believing that their answer on abortion is the "one and only acceptable" answer for a libertarian.

  • JoshINHB||

    I have an interest in the abortion debate, mostly because it's really the only issue with competing rights and libertarians can't agree on it.

    What about IP?

  • Warty||

    Let's just make like King Solomon and cut all fetuses in half. The anti-life people can have the dead halves, and the anti-choice people can have the live halves. Will that make everyone happy?

  • ||

    The only thing that will make me happy is the assassination of Michael Bay. If you can't deliver that, then...no.

  • Warty||

    We could build a time machine and abort him, couldn't we?

    "Everybody kills Michael Bay on their first trip."

  • ||

    Was abortion legal when he was born? He's pretty old, dude. Like, Satan old.

  • Tim||

    He sprang full grown from Kurt Russel's nose in 1981

  • ||

    I first read this as "He's pretty old, dude. Like, Santa old."

    Which is a superior metaphore.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    There are the same letters in Santa as there are in Satan. Both wear red. Have you ever seen them together?

    Coincidence?

    I think not.

  • DLM||

    Let's just make like King Solomon and cut all fetuses in half.

    That would certainly put a dent in population growth.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    I should point out that Solomon didn't actually cut the baby in half. He threatened to do so, with no actual intention of fufilling his threat.

  • ||

    Thanks, Bart, for taking the heat off us. We were getting beat up pretty bad for our seemingly inconsistent policies.

  • Zeb||

    It is the mind, not the DNA that makes one human.

  • Tim||

    Soul

  • Zeb||

    Same thing.

  • ||

    ah, the eternal question: ghost in the machine?

  • ||

    You know who else said that?

  • Tim||

    Ray Charles?

  • ||

    God is Love
    Love is Blind
    Ray Charles is Blind
    Ray Charles is God?

  • asdf||

    Agreed, sentience should be respected, fuck notions of "humanity".

  • Chimps, dolphins, orcas||

    Sweet!

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Running with this...so abortions become bad when the baby knows it exists. This could means anywhere from when the brain starts developing to when it turns two.

    This would be a lot easier if we did brain scans on fetuses...

  • tadcf||

    As with all anti-abortion rhetoric, the author of this article assumes the human fetus to be a complete human being--probably because of a belief in the immediate integration with the 'soul'--at the moment of conception (not necessarily a universal accepted religious notion)which is primarily a Fundamentalist Christian idea--only represented by less that 30% of the American population.

  • Tim||

    If less than 30% believe it, it must be wrong and uncool.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Read it again - it's not necessarily anti-abortion rhetoric.

  • ||

    Your right. The arguments made simply point out the hypocrisy of the collectivist, pro-choice crowd when comparing their arguments for "the right to choose", vs other issues that deal with the right to ones own body, such as other areas of health care, or what foods we can eat.

    Pro-choice libertarians aren't arguing for the government to fund or support abortions. They just want the government to stay the hell out all together.

  • Sudden||

    This is what pisses me off to the Nth fucking degree.

    Can you assholes just get the fuck over the SKY DADDY/FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER!11!!1! hated and realize that some of us hold a completely rationality-based view of humanity of the fetus and do not believe in the goddamned christian deity (or any other similar superstition).

    Argue with the bible-thumpers however you damn well please. But when presented with an atheist argument based on a scientific understanding of life, respond in kind. Don't treat Richard Dawkins the way you treat Pat Robertson, fuckers.

  • ||

    Full on atheist, or just agnostic?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I'm not sure...

  • ||

    Declaring to be an atheist is a pretty big statement. I've always considered the concept of "god" as way for people to try to wrap their heads around a moment, or event, that set the creation of our universe into motion.

    I have difficulty making a full commitment to atheism. We have such a limited view on the size and scope of the universe, and what is beyond our universe, that it is difficult for me to fully close the door on the possibility of something like a creator existing.

    If you consider the difference between the sub-atomic world, and our, the scale is immense. If it were possible for something, with some sort of consciousness to exist in the sub-atomic world, would it be capable of being aware of the universe from our perspective? Through science we have developed the ability to create matter from energy, wouldn't that make us "gods" in our own right? Extrapolate that idea out beyond our universe, and it becomes difficult to rule out the concept of "god", albeit in a non-biblical, non-religious sense of the term.

    Then again, maybe I've had one beer to many and have completely over thought this to death.

  • Sudden||

    In the sense that I have certainty there is no God-as-designer, God-as-agent-of-providence, God-as-being-with-will/selfawareness/benevolence, I am an atheist.

    Logic can only take me to the necessary being/unmoved mover, and nothing iniherent in that transcends the physical world (energy/matter have always existed). Ergo, I think atheist is the best descriptor of what I am.

  • ||

    this is false. it comes down to this. anti-abortionists believe that the right of the fetus to survive (and thus the duty of the woman to bring it to term) outweighs her right to terminate it, and for various causes (risk to health, risk of death/serious injury, risk to mental health, on demand, etc.)

    one does not have to believe in any religious dogma whatsoever to believe that at a given point in a pregnancy, a fetus' 'right' outweighs the woman's right to terminate it.

    i believe, for instance that in the first trimester, a woman's right to terminate is absolute. no justification needed.

    i do not believe that that right for ANY reason extends to the 3rd trimester (and the law agrees with me).

    this has exactly ZERO to do with religion or the soul or any such.

    for some people, it may, but religious belief is neither sufficient nor necessary for believing in restrictions on abortion, given that it is strongly correlated.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    If I remember correctly, Muslims believe the fetus is "insouled" (or some word about that) after 120 days of pregnancy. Then no abortions.

  • Tony||

    Anti-choice advocates are straining to fit a religious-patriarchal restriction into the frame of civil rights.

    Sort of how like Hinkle is trying to force liberal thought into a libertarian frame, as if being against one thing government does means you have to be against everything it does.

    Liberals are consistent in a way that Hinkle disingenuously ignores. They care about individual rights in addition to increasing the equality of access to these rights. That might mean abortion rights and even government subsidy so that poor women have the same reproductive choices as wealthy women. That might mean government subsidized healthcare for a broader but similar reason.

  • Zeb||

    "being against one thing government does means you have to be against everything it does."

    I agree that that is not a true statement. But being opposed to government interference in healthcare decisions should mean that you are opposed to government interference in healthcare decisions.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Being opposed to any government involvement in healthcare does not mean you are opposed to government prevention and punishment of theft and murder (between adults, to avoid bringing back the abortion thing).

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Liberals only want government-paid abortions because it fits into their misguided "government needs to pay for all health care" model.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    That's probably true.

  • ||

    some are. some aren't. one can be a strong atheist, and oppose all abortions. i know this is true, because i know somebody who takes this position.

    simply put, it comes down to when, if at any time, does one believe the right of the fetus/conceptus to survive outweigh the right of the carrier to abort?

    period.

    the law, for example, recognizes the right to abort "on demand" (with no justification) in 1st trimester, but not in third trimester.

    b

  • Tony||

    Right, and this is a question of law that can't be informed by science but only by legal tradition/community standards. I think a practical and fair balance can be achieved by examining social reality. Injecting god into it, of course, gets us nowhere--that includes attempts to reconcile biology with belief in the human soul.

  • ||

    Tony, what the fuck would you know about reproduction?

  • Tony||

    By all evidence, it's not rocket science.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Of which you are living proof.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Rocket engineering. Rocket scientists don't exist.

    Yes, I care enough about this to comment on it.

  • ||

    i think it can be INFORMED by science, but it is not like one can look to science and know what is the right answer - legally speaking, as in self-evident. SCIENCE BE DAMNED!

    certainly, science can help with question like - viability

  • Tony||

    Oh sure--I've argued on these threads that morality can be scientifically determined, so I am uncomfortable with anything that can't at least be informed by worldly facts.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Liberals are consistent in a way that Hinkle disingenuously ignores. They care about individual rights in addition to increasing the equality of access to these rights.

    [Sigh...]

    Buuuuuullllllll SHIT. Liberals care about only those select individual rights that they view as desirable for the greater good of society as a whole. Thus their inconsistency. In their disingenuous claim to be the great and benificent protector of individual rights, they often argue in favor of denying individuals certain rights, "for the greater good," or so that others "less fortunate" or "disadvantaged" can have their "rights."

    Everyone has equal "access" to the fundamental rights. What might not be equal - and it is in no way a legitimate function of government to ensure that it is - is the outcome; i.e., what the individuals do with that access.

    Where liberals are inconsistent with the protection of individual rights is in defining what things they claim are "rights." Like a "right" to have a doctor treat you for free. If "health care" is a "right," then why aren't food and shelter "rights" that the government also has to provide? They're more immediately important - if I'm not healthy, it's one thing, but if I'm out in the cold and rain with nothing to eat, that's a much more pressing need than a visit to the doctor for psoriasis or whatever.

  • Tim||

    "I tell you Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the party holds to be truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party."

    -1984

  • Tony||

    Liberals care about only those select individual rights that they view as desirable for the greater good of society as a whole.

    Exactly like libertarians. We just believe in more of them.

    If "health care" is a "right," then why aren't food and shelter "rights" that the government also has to provide?

    But government does subsidize food and shelter for poor people to an extent. Ever heard of food stamps and public housing?

  • ||

    If you're arguing that it's a right then it can't be subsidized, it must be provided.

    Yes, when you say things you have to follow through on them.

    So IF food and housing is a right then all houses and food is provided by the government.

    So go get on it. "Subsidizing" rights is the stupidest thing I've read today.

  • Tony||

    So IF food and housing is a right then all houses and food is provided by the government.

    Why? Can't there be a right to a certain minimum standard of living? That's what progressivism has been all about for decades, to the betterment of us all.

  • ||

    Who sets the minimum standard of living? That's the problem with progressivism, is that they always have to raise the bar about what the minimum that every human being should be entitled to is.

    Whatever's there isn't good enough, not until it's paid for by all of the people for a fraction of the people.

  • Tony||

    Being able to raise the bar is what's good about progressivism! Better than having all generations of all people chained to a quasi-mystical standard of abstract rights that may or may not be actually available to most people.

    When it's good enough, I'll let you know.

  • Fetus||

    I'd like to propose a minimum standard of living, Tony, oh ye of the pro-choice crowd.

  • Tony||

    Says the ultimate moocher.

  • ||

    That's actually clever.

    I'm not a Tony fan. But he's kinda right.

    If you take Epi's tackt, then any fetus can be aborted and any child can be expelled from the home at any point.

    I'm not in love with this solution, but it does seem to be logically consistent.

    Polar bears sometimes expel their young (as was the case with Knut). So maybe it's just a natural thing for some babies to not have an automatic home with their parents.

    I think in Libertopia though, that I would donate to the orphanage.

  • Tony||

    This whole issue is moot, as in libertopia there are no childre, just rational adults fully grown in pods.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    In Libertopia, as anywhere else, there is a large demand for contraceptives. Market forces (supply and demand, competition*) ensure than pharmaceutical companies (who do not provide abortions, so no conflict of interest) create better and better contraceptives, until their effectiveness is greater than 98%. Similar forces act upon the manufactureres of pregnacy tests, and before too long these two are very accurate and easy to use. The combination of these two things means that there are very few unwanted pregnacies, and most of those are terminated within the first half-trimester.

    Ergo, very very few unwanted pregnacies. This means that almost all children are intended, and the parents are fully aware of what they're getting into when they have kids. These children are raised to be responsible adults by responsible parents. The few unwanted pregnacies that occur and are not aborted extremely early on (morning after pill or while its still an embryo) will be most likely within the capacity of adoption agencies to handle.

    Children in libertopia will mostly be raised by parents who want them, to be good citizens of a libertarian nations (which means they won't be criminals or frauds, and precious few more promises). Your pod people problem is solved.

    *Competition is ensured by antimonopoly laws that target bad (fraud, ripping off customers)monopolies, rather than all. By ensuring competition, prices will reduce until everyone has access to contraceptives.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Your one to talk...if you're the real Tony.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    We just believe in more of them.

    You make me want to alternatively laugh my ass off or puke - I just can't decide which right now.

    If you honestly believe that modern liberals believe in more fundamental, individual rights as protected against government infringement or intrusion than libertarians or any other particular group, then you're even more deluded and stupider than you seem to be based on what you post here. And THAT would be a remarkable accomplishment indeed.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    But government does subsidize food and shelter for poor people to an extent. Ever heard of food stamps and public housing?

    Sure. But is that right? Are those things subsidized because they are a fundamental, inherent "right" of humans? Or because government likes being charitable with other people's money?

    And taking my money, which I earned through my diligent and honest efforts and exertion, away from me, using threat of the force of government, and then giving it to others who do not make any such similar effort, is a denial by the government of my fundamental rights.

  • Tony||

    I hate to break it to you, but never in the history of civilization has there been a fundamental right not to be taxed.

    Whether a minimum standard of living is a right depends on whether it is actually there.

  • iamtheeviltwin||

    I hate to break it to you, but never in the history of civilization has there been a fundamental right not to be taxed.

    There have been many people who have had the right not to be taxed throughout history. Usually they are the people whom the taxes are being levied for.

    Just because in modern society we have replaced 'Monarch' with 'Party' doesn't mean that at one time there were individuals and families who had the 'right' not to be taxed.

  • Tony||

    That's true.

  • Middle Age Crazy||

    I hate to break it to you, but never in the history of civilization has there been a fundamental right not to be taxed.

    That's not the right he asserted. The welfare state hasn't been with us all that long, and it may not last much longer.

  • Tony||

    So you have a fundamental right not to have taxes pay for things you don't like?

  • Middle Age Crazy||

    So you have a fundamental right not to have taxes pay for things you don't like?

    No easy answer.

    I can readily see the justice of being taxed for things that benefit us all, e.g. national defense, particularly when no market mechanism exists to match costs with benefits. Even when those things don't work very well, e.g. national defense. But it's my impression that Libertarianism has (necessarily) addressed the free rider problem far more seriously than any other political philosophy. I have little to add.

    On the other hand, if I lived in Nazi Germany circa 1939, then yes, I might assert a fundamental right not to be taxed for insane purposes, most likely by leaving the country. Wouldn't you?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    "Comrades, I beg of you — do not resort to compulsory taxation. There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him."

    Robert A. Heinlein
    The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Hey Tony -

    If people who can't afford to provide themselves with things that you claim to be fundamental rights - such as abortions, health care, food, shelter, etc., then what about those fundamental rights that the Constitution expressly identifies and protects?

    It's becoming more important these days to have a computer and internet access in order to keep up with societal and political issues, be educated and engage in discourse and debate. One almost could articulate an argument that internet access is a First Amendment right. So should the government provide all poor people with computers and internet access?

    And the SCOTUS rightly held that the Second Amendment actually means what we all knew it has meant for over 200 years - i.e., that it protects an individual right to own firearms, for purposes of self-defense. Some of those poor people live in the worst areas and could use guns for self-defense much more than us suburban, upper-middle-class types. So I guess the government had better get going on providing them with pistolas, no?

  • Tony||

    I frankly don't care what the constitution says. It is not a holy text.

    Internet access plausibly could become a universal right. We are already moving in that direction. I think a right to own fireams is a mistake, so I don't have to defend that one.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Why the fuck should the internet be a right, but not self-protection?

  • Tony||

    You only need a gun to exercise the right of self-defense if the other guy is likely to have a gun too.

  • ||

    "You only need a gun to exercise the right of self-defense if the other guy is likely to have a gun too."

    No, I only need a gun to exercise my right to self-defense. If another person wishes to harm me, his weapon of choice is of no relevance.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Better ban ALL weapons, then, Tony. Including beating the shit out of someone with bare fists.

  • Tony||

    That is illegal FIFY. That it's legal to defend yourself with violence is an exception to the rule against violence. You don't have the liberty to do violence, you have permission in select circumstances. One must draw the line somewhere because we can't let everyone have WMD, so why do you get to decide where that line is?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Shooting someone is also illegal. Doesn't stop them from doing so.

    Better to be prepared and carry a gun. That way, you don't have to:

    1. Call 911
    2. Tell them where you are and whats happening
    3. Survive / wait for them to arrive
    4. Get helped

    With a firearm, it's more like this:

    1. Shoot your attacker
    2. Call 911 so he can be arrested

  • Tony||

    That's some comfort to a 90 year old with arthritis I'm sure.

    Just how many types of people don't exist in libertopia?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Well...pulling a trigger is a lot easier than dialing 911 on a cell phone. And no 90 year old is running to a pay phone and then messing around with change while being mugged.

    And how is your system (muggings for everyone) better than this?

  • ||

    Tony, once again you are bringing false arguments into the debate. When it comes to self-defense, an arthritic 90 year old stands a much better chance with a firearm than with out.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    Owning a WMD isn't the equivalent of owning a gun - it's the equivalent of pointing a gun at every one of your neighbours within the radius of the bomb. That is, it's an implicit death threat. So there's where the line is, and the reason why.

  • DLM||

    But government does subsidize food and shelter for poor people to an extent.

    Don't confuse the possession of a 'right' with benefiting from public policy.

  • ||

    Liberals are inconsistent because they view civil rights as collective rights that are granted by society, or the government. Those who believe in natural rights, view rights as individual and inalienable.

    I think the meaning of "civil rights" is being transformed, just as the meaning of "liberal" has changed. When ever I hear the left use terms like "civil rights" and "democracy", it sounds as if it is being used as code for collectivism.

  • Tony||

    They were transformed decades ago. Modernity has taught us that abstract theoretical rights aren't good enough to make a decent society. And anyone who's not a mystic realizes that any right is something that must be actualized to mean anything--meaning secured by a government. That's not inconsistency, it's rationality.

    Why should anyone agree with you on what constitutes the set of unalienable individual rights? Why can't I pose more? Who decides?

  • ||

    For an activity to be considered a "right", it must be able to exist in the absence of government, and not infringe of the rights of another.

    I have the right to free speech, because I have the ability to speak. If government ceased to exist, my ability to speak would not die with it. A person, or government can attempt to infringe upon my right to speech, or punish me for speaking, but they can't take away my ability to speak.

    An activity that requires the resources of another individual in order to engage in that activity, cannot be considered a right, because it would infringe upon someone else's right to their property.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Reality decides.

    The constitution lists some natural rights: rights possessed by any individual no matter who is in charge.

  • Translator||

    We care about your individual rights, until we rob you to support someone else's exercise of hers.

  • ||

    that poor women have the same reproductive choices as wealthy women

    All women except rape victims have the same reproductive choices. You're suggesting subsidy so they can have the same termination choices. Given that they have the same reproductive choice to not have sperm inside their person, free decision, subsidy for termination is not required.

    If you don't buy a house you can't afford, you don't need a bailout.

  • Tony||

    If you want to quibble about semantics, fine, why should rich women have more termination choices than poor women?

  • ||

    I didn't say they should.

    In any event, I was not quibbling about semantics. I was offering the idea that they should make better choices regardless of what rich women do, or can do. A rape victim's rights were denied. Some girl who got pregnant by having consensual sex has not had her rights violated just because a rich woman can have an abortion. A poor girl can have an abortion, Tony. Pay for it with your own money since you have some to give to her, or ask some doctor to do it for free. Don't steal from me by gun-toting proxy to pay for it.

  • Tony||

    I'm not sure how we got onto government paying for abortions. I think it was my fault. That's a different question than the right itself, which regardless of how restrictive the laws are, rich women will always have (since they can just go to another country). Abortion has a prohibition effect--banning it creates more social problems than it solves.

  • ||

    Not more choices, only greater means to access those choices.

  • Tony||

    So rich people have rights, poor people have theoretical rights. I'm sure that's enough for them. There poor, after all.

  • ||

    Right, and because I can't afford to acquire my own media company, I only have a theoretical right to free speech.

    Their is no "right" to have an abortion. Their is a right to privacy to the extent that the individual is free from overly burdensome regulations that would restrict an individuals ability to acquire an abortion.

    A persons economic means to acquire an abortion do not come as a result of regulations by the state.

  • Tony||

    Government subsidy for abortion falls under a broader discussion of government subsidy for healthcare.

    Abortion is a specific instance of when affordability is the difference between quality care and life-threatening alternatives. The same could be said for giving birth.

  • Tony||

    Which raises the interesting question, do the rights against injury that offspring have extend beyond the womb to not being born in a life-threatening situation? Or is taking the tax money to pay for equitable childbirth care a greater wrong than forcing life-and-death risk on a child for the crime of being unlucky?

  • ||

    Are you asking if their should be consequences for harming a child? If that is the question, why should that be any different than causing harm to a person in general?

    As in my other answer, a society can make decisions on what societal issues it feels would be best served by government, as long as this does not infringe on the rights of others.

    I would also argue that if the issue you described is one that society truly felt was important, they could devise another way of addressing the issue. For example, establishing a public or private fund, or clinic that provides assistance to low income mothers, based off of donations. If an entity established for this purpose, is unable to raise enough money to provide it's function, then we would have to question how much society truly values providing assistance to the poor.

  • Tony||

    Why can't a society indicate its concern for the poor by democratically enacting policies that assist them? It has the benefit of not being merely a charity, but a form of social insurance. If you could possibly be poor, you have a stake in such a system. If you are rich, you do as well. Paying taxes is a small price for social stability. Nobody's rights are being infringed upon, because nobody has a right not to pay taxes.

  • ||

    That is a separate argument from your earlier statement, "So rich people have rights, poor people have theoretical rights."

    Government is an extension of society, and their right to associate freely. Free people can certainly decide that certain activities should be delegated to the state. You may be able to make a convincing argument as to why, as a society, we should help poor people pay for an abortion, but that does not make subsidized abortion a right.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Tony ALWAYS brings wealth-envy into the conversation, one way or the other.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Anti-choice advocates are straining to fit a religious-patriarchal restriction into the frame of civil rights.


    "When in doubt, rely on double-speak"

    Old statist proverb.

    It's not "anti-choice" advocacy, it's anti-abortion. Just like anti-death penalty advocacy is not "anti-choice."

    Dumb-dum.

  • Tony||

    I'm pretty sure either framing is distracting in its own way. Like how it distracted you from my actual point.

    Do you know anyone who's pro-abortion?

  • ||

    There should be a lot of pro-abortion people if its no big deal. Population control and whatnot.

  • Most Feminists||

    WE are, Tony.

    And we only like you because you're gay.

  • Matt||

    The framing doesn't change much, but for my part, if someone advocated for the legalization of muder, I would call them "pro-murder."

  • Tom X. Tobin||

    Since I already donate to the NRA (gun rights) and HRC (gay rights), I recently went looking for an abortion/reproductive rights organization to donate to.

    I was quite upset when I discovered that Planned Parenthood supports ObamaCare, and refused to donate to them. I then looked up NARAL Pro-Choice America ... and found the same thing. The Center for Reproductive Rights supports public funding, too. Ugh.

    Are there *any* groups that stick purely to supporting freedom from government interference in seeking abortion, contraception, and the like?

  • ||

    Sounds like an unfulfilled niche in the political ecology, good opportunity to make your mark if you're so inclined. But a cautionary tale: the gay and atheist anti-abortion groups are mostly shunned by the more mainstream anti-abortion groups. Since the pro-abortion cause is very much a creature of the left, look to receive the same treatment. Case in point GOProud.

  • Abdul ||

    You can stand outside the clinic and write a check to the first chick you see with a baby bump.

  • ||

    By googling "salt solutions in abortion", I learned that some abortions use a salt solution to slowly poison the baby, which takes up to 24 hours to die, while eroding the skin. Torture in the womb.

    To oppose torture, there is no need to debate "when life begins".

    Please, why can't we all oppose all cruelty, whether to animals (there is immense cruelty in the food industries), to unborn babies, to prisoners in the War on Terror, or to anyone?

  • ||

    There are only two answers that make any sense to me.

    1. A baby is a being at conception
    2. A baby is a being at birth

    Any other standard is arbitrary and based on convenience. i.e. 24 week rule. Is the baby not a being at 23 wks, 23 hrs, 59 min? What magical happens in that last minute? What is the accuracy of setting the T-zero of conception?

    I am not an anti-abortionist and do not wish to make them illegal, as the alternative to legal abortions is much worse. But salving your conscience with feminist driven pseudo-science is bullshit. A man has just as much invested in a baby as the woman. My sons are the sum of their mum and me and not just choice of hers.

  • ||

    You're right, it's completely arbitrary. But this illustrates how the perfect is the enemy of the good.

    FWIW infanticide was common in the ancient world, so birth has not always been a qualifier for being fully human.

  • ||

    exactly. well put. the perfect/enemy of the good thang was a point that came to me as well. thus, you must be wicked smaht.

    i like the analogy to age of consent laws. those are also arbitrary, but as long as they are clearly spelled out in the law, the arbitrariness is not such that they lose legal force.

    in one state, a perfectly legal choice (sex with a 14 yr old at the time i lived in hawaii was legal by another of any age) would get one 10 yrs in prison in another state.

    i had some very pissed off parents in a case trying to make a "statutory rape" complaint after their 14 yr old daughter admitted to getting schtupped by two guys in their 40's in their hotel room.

    there was no crime whatsoever. in california, they would probably have gotten some serious prison time

    arbitrary? sure

  • Sudden||

    i had some very pissed off parents in a case trying to make a "statutory rape" complaint after their 14 yr old daughter admitted to getting schtupped by two guys in their 40's in their hotel room.

    Epi and SF still tell stories about that vacation to the Islands....

  • Tony||

    You don't think that since mothers have to carry the thing that might give her somewhat more of a stake?

    I think deciding on when personhood rights start existing is arbitrary no matter where you draw the line. Birth is not the end of a baby's quasi-parasitic relationship to parents. Due to humans' unique physiology, our young are actually born prematurely compared to all other species. You could just as well place the line at 18 years old.

    Common law tradition draws the line at "quickening"--the moment a fetus's movements can be felt by the mother. This is somewhat in line with current restrictions, though modern technology makes this concept more complex.

  • ||

    Not every mother is a single high-school dropout, Tony. What happens in a situation like I'm in where my girlfriend says if she got pregnant she would have an abortion and I disagree with her, saying that it was our mistake for not taking necessary precautions and we have to live with the consequences? She would want an abortion out of convenience and I would want a kid as a reminder that TANSTAAFL.

  • Tony||

    I'm not sure what the law requires in your jurisdiction, but that's definitely not an easy black-and-white issue.

  • ||

    just because it's (somewhat or even completely ) arbitrary, doesn't make it a legal evil, so to speak. see again, age of consent laws. given that you have to draw A line (unless one thinks that one should be able to legally abort on demand up until the moment the baby leaves the uterus), it will necessarily be arbitrary in some respect.

    so what?

  • Tony||

    I agree. But it's not totally arbitrary if all factors are accounted for, such as the social problems that come with abortion restriction.

  • Tony, the fucktard, says:||

    "the thing"?

    What a callous attitude about "the children".

  • Brett L||

    The 24 week rule is just a viability based standard. X% of babies born at or after 24 weeks of gestation survive outside the womb with current medical technology, thus are viable human beings. Why did some societies wait two weeks to declare an infant human? Viability.

  • DLM||

    A baby is a being at birth

    What's so special about 'birth'? Is the kid any different immediately after being born that immediately before?

  • ||

    "What's so special about 'birth'? Is the kid any different immediately after being born that immediately before?"

    I think that is the point GoNavy was trying to make. If one believes that a fetus becomes a baby before leaving the womb, then it must become a baby at conception. Attempting to decide on a point in two would raise the same argument you just made. What is the difference between a fetus at the end of the first trimester and the beginning of the second?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    I'm sorta of the "when it can think school," which means the jury is still out. I would think that, supposing we go by brain activity equal to that of a newborn (as a bench-mark. Others could be used, even a rodent if you want), it stops being okay to abort. Each baby is slightly (or maybe more than slightly) different.

    How to figure this out is quite another matter, and I'm no child psychologist or neurologist.

  • ||

    I agree. It wasn't until I had a similar thought, that I became anti-abortion. I can't make a distinction between a baby a day after it's born compared to a day before. As I began to backtrack with that line of thought, I wasn't able to establish any point in a fetus's development where I could say that the fetus was radically different today than it was the day before. At that point, trying to rationalize a moment in time in which a baby becomes a baby, was purely arbitrary.

  • BigT||

    To be consistent one needs to apply the same standard to the end of life. At what point is grandma no longer capable of coherent thought?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Umbilical cord can come off. Wash off the placenta. Sudden new input.

    Really, the only new thing is a whole lot of exposure to the world, when compared to the warm dark womb.

  • Tim||

    Whew! I'm glad we settled this once and for all.

  • Almanian||

    lulz

    And "word my brutha"

  • Almanian||

    OK, I'm tired of reading all the HURR DURR HURR. What I really came here to say, is:

    A. Barton Hinkle Heimmerschmidt
    His name is my name, too!
    Whenever we go out
    People always shout
    A. Barton Hinkle Heimmerschmidt
    LA LA LA LA LA LA LA....!

    EVERY time I read his name, I'm like Pavlov's dog...except with singing instead of drooling salivating.

    Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

  • ||

    Consenting to sex is not consenting to a lifetime of parenthood, or even 9 months of forced pregnancy. It's consenting to sex.

    Need I point out that:

    Foreseeable consequences are not unintended.

    When you have sex, you are assuming the risk of pregnancy. If you believe in self-ownership, presumably you also believe in taking responsibility for the consequences of your actions. Which can include pregnancy.

    This doesn't settle the issue, although it does explain why you can make a coherent distinction between consensual and non-consensual sex on abortion.

    I think it can also raise problems with the "trespasser" model.

    Just saying: if you claim control over your body, you need to take responsibility as well.

  • Almanian||

    WHATEVER! I'LL DO WHAT I WANT!! I KILLED SIX SENATORS THIS MORNING!! WAHTEVER! I DO WHAT I WANT!

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Someone should have had lunch...

  • Jim||

    Just for the sake of argument, ignoring the 1% of the time that birth control doesn't work, or that condoms break, someone above made an excellent post about this.

    Many times sex does not lead to pregnancy. It's an odds game. And since, as the history of catholicism has shown us, it's damned near impossible for humans to remain voluntarily celibate, the "consequences" argument assumes the ability to radically alter / control some fundamental aspect of human nature. It's no different than socialism trying to correct our "bad" behaviors. The drive to breed is so fundamental, it's akin to saying that someone deserves to get the flu, because they voluntarily took the risk of breathing. Of course that's hyperbole, but I use it to illustrate a point. You can't simply assign responsibility based on "idealized" human behavior, i.e. celibacy. You have to start from the baseline of assuming that humans will sucumb to the reproductive drive.

  • ||

    I disagree. There are numerous methods in which pregnancy can be avoided, abstinence included. There are male and female contraceptives. There are various methods of sexual intercourse that reduce the possibility of pregnancy. I personally don't have a problem with the morning after pill (although I would vote against it should I be a responsible party in a pregnancy).

    So there are additional ways to avoid pregnancy. Abortion just seems like a last ditch effort to shirk responsibility. I agree with RC Dean; self-ownership means responsibility for one's actions.

  • MJ||

    "...it's damned near impossible for humans to remain voluntarily celibate..."

    It is perhaps difficult, but not impossible. But that's not what is being asked. You do not have to remain celibate, but you do have to take responsibility for the consequnces when you choose not to be celibate.

    You are objecting to your duty to be a rational being and accepting the consequences of your actions, especially when the consequences are the creation of a living beng with moral worth.

  • ||

    I think your position loses some credibility when your excuse for it is "humans have a natural drive to breed." Breed! You said yourself nature makes us breed. Nature does not drive us to expel the consequence of it's earlier action.

  • MJ||

    He's saying he has no control over his sexual impulses but does have control over his child rearing impulses. He admits to failing the gom jabbar test in a convenient but spectactcularly silly way.

  • Jim||

    I don't know if any of you take this position, but quite a few libertarians hold to the idea that you cannot perfect, nor change, human nature. If you want to make the argument like generic brand, that there are other ways to prevent pregnancy, I can see that debate. But to deny that humans have always throughout their history had an extremely powerful drive towards intercourse, is denying human nature.

    I agree that abortion seems like a last-ditch effort, and I don't think anyone on here is talking about advocating endless abortions for everyone. The question was directly related to the "responsibility" argument, to which I was replying that it's nearly an impossible impulse to ignore, because it's ingrained in your genes.

  • ||

    Breathing is necessary to survival, sex is not. If a woman doesn't want to risk getting pregnant, in addition to using birth control, she can also abstain from sex around the time of her ovulation cycle.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Well then, that settles it! Let's a pass a law making it illegal for a woman to have sex when she's ovulating!

  • ||

    Going a wee bit to the extreme are we? I don't take issue with anyone who takes a pro-choice stance on abortion. Until recently, I held the same exact same view. I do take issue when people try to paint a picture of women being victims of their vagina's. If a woman truly doesn't want to have a baby, if she is responsible, it can avoided.

  • ||

    make an analogy to DUI. most of the time, DUI does not result in death, and if caught, it's a piddly misdemeanor where one will get a deferred sentence and some fines (at least in my state) if the first offense.

    otoh, if one is unlucky enough to kill somebody while DUI, even if not particularly reckless, one will be... well... "proper fucked" and probably get a couple of years of prison time, even if first offense, and even if there was no recklessness. just the combo of DUI and a struck pedestrian

    file under: roll da dice

  • Tony||

    If we restrict abortion except for rape, then you're saying babies conceived in rape are not persons in the way that babies conceived consensually are. The baby doesn't know any different.

    The issues bring up the other inconsistency problem: women with money will always have access to safe abortions. So you're essentially saying that poor women need to accept a level of responsibility that non-poor women don't.

  • ||

    You're right. The baby doesn't know any different. That's probably why many pro-life folks don't think rape is a valid excuse for abortion.

    Poor people will always need to accept greater responsibility than wealthy people for their negative actions because the cost of dealing with those problems, whether child-rearing, or anything that could cause you to need a lawyer, are always greater for poor people, relative to their wealth. Food costs more. So what? Just because some people are poor, doesn't mean it's right for you to steal from me to provide for them. Convince me to help them, but don't steal from me. That makes you a thief, even if by proxy.

  • Tony||

    Don't distract me with "taxes=theft." That's bullshit and it's evading the issue.

    If something is a basic right, and the right not to be forced against one's will to give birth seems like a pretty good idea to me, then I think it's an injustice for the right to be available only to people who can afford to pay. That goes for a lot of other things.

  • ||

    The right to do something means you should not be disallowed from doing that thing, not that I should be forced to fund you in doing so, Tony. Where do you think this funding would come from? Magic? It has to be taken from someone, denying them the right to their own property.

  • Tony||

    Well I think all legitimate medical services should be publicly funded, including abortion. Because people's right to medical care trumps your right not to pay taxes, because you don't actually have that right.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Right to property = right not to pay taxes, provided I don't use public services.

    Actually, they're the same thing. And why does the government get to take your property without your consent? Because they have the guns. Sounds like a robbery.

  • Tony||

    How do you not use public services? How do you not use national defense?

    If you have a democratic government, your consent is implied. That's only practical in a world where children are born and there aren't enough independent duchies to go around. If you don't buy that, oh well, your only alternative is a system where nobody asks for your consent.

  • ||

    Except for the trifling detail that this "right to medical care" is something that you pulled out of the filthy heat of your own ass.

  • Tony||

    Just like the right to free speech. Good idea, yes, but still pulled from someone's ass.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    No, it's a natural right. Study some rationalist philosophy. (Locke, not Kant and his ilk.)

  • DLM||

    And no one has the right to medical care. So? I don't think 'right' is the word you mean. You're just sloppy in its use.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Tony thinks that right = entitlement.

  • Tony||

    Rights can be either liberties or entitlements.

  • ||

    Under your definition, which entitlements are "rights", and what justification them as such?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Sorry, that's incorrect. Thank you for playing.

    Entitlement is something you're guaranteed to be given. Right is something you're allowed to do.

    Just because you have right to free speech doesn't mean I have to give you a lecture hall to speak in. It means I can't forbid you from speaking on your own property, on your own time, to only those who want to hear you.

  • Tony||

    Entitlement is something you're guaranteed to be given. Right Liberty is something you're allowed to do.

    A right is a liberty or entitlement. Among entitlements are education and police. Some argue that you can't have a so-called negative right without positive enforcement.

  • ||

    "Entitlement is something you're guaranteed to be given"

    Really? Name one entitlement that can't be negated by a simple majority.

  • ||

    Yeah Tony, you're still not getting it, everyone already has a right to purchase medical services. That right has nothing to do with how much money you have.

  • Tony||

    It doesn't? If you have no money, you can't purchase medical services. If you can't speak, do you have the right to free speech? You'd have to say yes, but you might as well be saying people have the right to own a galaxy. It means nothing.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Freedom of communications, Tony. Now we've got our bases covered. Pretty much anyone who isn't in a coma can communicate in one form or another.

  • ||

    Tony, once again, for something to be a right, it has to be able to exist in the absence of government.

    If you were stranded on a deserted island, you would still have the ability to express your thoughts, worship as you choose, keep the fruits of your labor, and so on. None of these rights are granted, they exist as an extension of your humanity.

    Education, healthcare, entitlements, these cannot be rights, because they require others to provide them. In the absence of government, or society, these so called rights would cease to exist.

  • MJ||

    No. People who make such arguments are saying that a woman who consents to sex implicitly consents to the possibility of a child resulting (the same position the man is in). Therefore she has no just basis to remove the fetus and cause the child's death. A woman who is raped has given no such implicit consent and therefore has a just basis to have the fetus removed even if death results.

    It is an ethically dark position, but does address the libertarian concern's about consent.

  • Tony||

    Not if they apply a level of consent to the fetus. Either it's a person with the right to live--even against its mother's wishes--or it's not.

    Your position seems to be in line with what goes unstated for the most part but is the basic motivation of religious anti-choice people: women who are irresponsible need to be taught a lesson.

  • ||

    And is leaving the front door open implicit consent to be robbed?

  • A Serious Man||

    That's not a very good comparison since robbery is a crime while consensual sex is not, but even so, not failing to properly secure your home does, in fact, make you responsible if someone is able to walk in and rob you. Not that the person that robbed you isn't also responsible (he is, just like the guy is responsible financially when he knocks a girl up) but you both contributed to the outcome occurring. So a woman has sex at her own risk because she can, after all, control whether she has sex or not and with who.

  • DLM||

    And is leaving the front door open implicit consent to be robbed?

    It's a pretty dumb thing to do, of course. The big difference is that the robber has the choice of not entering or of leaving afterward. You also don't automatically get a pass on killing him (or her) with no more justification other than it's inconvenient to have him there.

  • ||

    It's not an analogy to abortion, it's an analogy to MJ's argument.

  • A Serious Man||

    Are you suggesting, then, that a woman plays a role in determining whether or not she is raped to the point that she is responsible?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    The reasoning behind the exceptions for cases of rape is because the woman didn't have a choice in the matter. Given any choice whatsoever, she's considered to be facing the consequences of her actions.

    Not taking a side on this one just yet, just stating the facts as I understand them.

  • DLM||

    Exceptions for rape are in large part a compromise, since the vast majority of aborted pregnancies are NOT as a result of rape.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    I'm not arguing that they are. I'm just saying the rationale for abortions in cases of rape. Whether or not that position is correct is yet to be decisively determined.

  • ||

    Just saying: if you claim control over your body, you need to take responsibility as well.

    Getting abortion is taking responsibility. You are exercising your control over your own body. An outcome you don't like is still an outcome.

    We are back to deciding when a fetus is invested with self-ownership. If you want to say it's conception, don't complain when dunphy's in back of your house going through the dumpster to examine your wife's maxi-pad for alarmingly large clots.

  • MJ||

    "We are back to deciding when a fetus is invested with self-ownership."

    No, saying that getting an abortion is "taking responsibility" is denying that the unborn child has a right to self-ownership or denying that child's self-ownership matters at all. If the child hs self-ownership, and that self-ownership matters, then the responsible thing is to prevent the pregnancy before the child exists, not to destroy it after its creation.

  • One Day Old Baby||

    Do I own myself? Cuz my mommy keeps calling me "her" little angel. Fuck her. I'm MY little angel, bitch.

  • ||

    again, with the "your own body" rhetoric. abortion is distinguishable from drug use, prostitution, organ sales, etc in that it does not reference solely one's own body, or the body of two consenting adults.

    there is an additional entity there - the fetus.

    one can be pro-choice (i am) and not play the :"it's about a woman and her own body" rhetorical game. because it isn't. there IS a third party there - a dependant developing (not yet fully developed) human.

    that's what makes it distinguishable.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    If we restrict abortion except for rape, then you're saying babies conceived in rape are not persons in the way that babies conceived consensually are. The baby doesn't know any different.


    Not true.

    They are just as much persons as babies in Dresden and Tokyo.

    And it was morally authorized to kill them all, whether by napalm or stainless steel.

  • Warty||

    I was never sure if you were a real person or someone's elaborate character. Now I know.

  • ||

    to clarify, by "any reason" i am referring to :"on demand". i certainly think 3rd trimester abortion should be legal, just not "on demand" iow just because

  • Old Mexican||

    The "let women die" act just as easily could be called the "let doctors decide whom they will treat without government interference" act.

    Now, one can think up reasons why government should deprive doctors of such a choice.


    No, Barton, you can't. Doctors do not suddenly become slaves just because they passed their licensing test.

  • Jim||

    I find your position interesting, and am would like to ask you about the following scenerio:

    We're talking about a doctor refusing payment for services which would save someone's life. Ambulances take patients to the nearest place to get care, or perhaps to the only place close by if the condition is immediately life threatening, and if the patient is in a delirium, the patient may not have made that choice. What if the only hospital nearby is religiously affiliated and won't perform the procedure? The patient had nothing to do with being brought there, and yet if there is no time to get her to another hospital, she dies (and presumably there's a good chance the fetus dies also). It's admittedly somewhat of an outlandish scenerio, but I just wanted to get your take on it, hypothetically.

  • A Serious Man||

    Morally a doctor may have an obligation to help a person in that situation, but legally is another story. Unless he is contractually obligated to do so, that is he signed up to save people under all circumstances, I don't think the state can force him to render services against his will.

    It's kind of like how liberatarians disagree with the Civil Rights Act forcing private busineses not to discriminate because it violates freedom of asssociation and freedom of contract.

    So hopefully every doctor is caring enough to do so, but the state DOES NOT have a right to force a person to conduct business (which is what medicine is) against his will.

  • Jim||

    Yeah I get the argument, but it seems to me that life-or-death situations in which someone may not have time to seek alternatives may be different. In the civil rights example, the discriminated against party (discriminee?) can always just go somewhere else. Someone who needs help now may not have that option.

    It conflicts me. I don't think doctors should be compelled (unless contractually obligated of course), but I can't help but think that allowing someone, perhaps including the fetus inside them, to die (when they're sitting there in a medical facility and your job ostensibly is to heal people), doesn't really have an equivalent scenerio to any other situation.

  • A Serious Man||

    I'm certainly not comfortable with the proposition either, but ultimately as individuals we get to decide whether or not to act. If you believe in a higher power then you can reason that we ulimately answer for our actions and that should motivate us. If you don't, then what difference does it make?

    It's like the Trolley Question posed in philosophy: if you have the option of preventing a runaway trolley from crushing five people on train track by redirecting it so that it ends up killing only one person on another track, are you obligated to act? There's really no right answer.

  • CE||

    When you decide to end another human life, it's not a "self ownership" issue.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Does a fetus count as a life? An embryo? A zygote? And if you don't abort, that's a hell of a big responsiblity you take on (provided you don't go with the adoption route).

    That's why this is a big issue.

    (And another thought: if the mother is unprepared, might it not be more merciful to have an abortion than to force the child to living in an inadequte home or foster care?)

  • Matt||

    Doktor, do we murder children in bad situations and call it a mercy? Maybe. Should it hold up in court?

  • Just another observer||

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    If we are to take these words at face value then it would presume that the right to life is endowed upon the living at the moment of creation and not one second later.

    A woman and a man have a right to their bodies and if in the course of exercising the free use of their property they produce another life they have a moral obligation to respect the rights of that life as well.

    That life will not grow up to be anything but human and if it can only be human it should follow that as a human regardless of its current condition is has human rights.

    You can choose to not have sex as is your right, you can choose to use contraception which is also your right. I find it illogical that you can choose to terminate another life for no other reason than it can not argue in defense of itself.

    If you do not wish to respect the life of another human being then it would be best to ensure that such a need become a functional impossibility such as castration or radical hysterectomy which again would be your right to do with your body as you see fit.

  • fuck ||

    off

  • Matt||

    This.

    I'm all about government not getting involved in peoples' personal decisions, but a right is not a right if it infringes on the same rights of others. The only conversation of consequence is when a baby acquires its rights, and no one is qualified to determine this. To make the argument that an embryo is not a human being because it is small, underdeveloped, etc. is akin to stabbing an apparently dead man only to find out he was heavily drugged.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Since abortion rights only apply to women, men should get something that applies only to men. Like deeply-discounted scrotum tucks, or something.

  • ||

    Lap dance vouchers

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I got it:

    A voucher which, upon receipt by a hot chick, agrees to fix a man a sandwich of his choice, and give him a blowjob.

  • ||

    Finally, a way for welfare recipients to earn their checks.

    I would have to insist on a strong, no talking provision.

  • rather ||

    men should get something that applies only to men

    Prostate checks-enjoy it :-)

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "equitable childbirth"

    Jesus tapdancing Christ.

  • Michael Moore||

    Like I told Larry King last year, people have a right to food.

    Of course, I have a right to more of it than, say, any rich white pencil-skinny bitch named Kardashian or some shit. Because women like them never give me a blowjob... OR a sandwich.

  • ||

    Michael Moore would eat the woman and bang the sandwich.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Right to food does not mean that I have a responsibility to provide it.

  • open up you wallet||

    bitch

  • open up your wallet||

    bitch

  • open up your wallet||

    bitch

  • Robert Welch||

    (so long as you also agree that the fetus is part of the woman's body and not a distinct being with rights of its own).

    The science is settled on this one you babykillers.

  • ||

    Well, this has been a fun read. I especially enjoyed Tony's usual floundering.

    There's only one thing left to say: Tony, it's only too bad that your mother wasn't as enlightened as you are.

  • ConfederalRepublicBy2030||

    The only legitimate role of government is the enforcement of contracts and the prevention of violence. That's it. Period. Anything else warrants everything from civil disobedience to violent deposition. Abortion shit isn't different in this regard.

  • 453 comments ||

    on a private issue men should have not commented on

  • ||

    Fuck you.

    As long as men are forced to pay one solitary penny to subsidize women's reproductive decisions, either as a taxpayer, or as a hapless father without rights of their own, males have just as much right to offer their opinions on the subject as women.

  • ||

    It's not a "women's" issue. It's a human issue.

  • congrats||

    on your vagina

  • ||

    Thanks. You want me to have her call you later?

  • Adonisus||

    "Never mind the vicious nonsense of claiming that an embryo has a “right to life.” A piece of protoplasm has no rights—and no life in the human sense of the term. One may argue about the later stages of a pregnancy, but the essential issue concerns only the first three months. To equate a potential with an actual, is vicious; to advocate the sacrifice of the latter to the former, is unspeakable. . . . Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living: the right of young people to set the course of their own lives. The task of raising a child is a tremendous, lifelong responsibility, which no one should undertake unwittingly or unwillingly. Procreation is not a duty: human beings are not stock-farm animals. For conscientious persons, an unwanted pregnancy is a disaster; to oppose its termination is to advocate sacrifice, not for the sake of anyone’s benefit, but for the sake of misery qua misery, for the sake of forbidding happiness and fulfillment to living human beings."

    -Ayn Rand

    I disagree with Rand on alot of things, but on this issue I am absolutely in agreement with her.

  • The Hamilton||

    I'm wondering...if you agree with this, why not the rest of her statements, which are all based upon the same axioms?

  • Matt||

    "To equate a potential with an actual is vicious."

    I respect Rand, but I find that statement vicious. A newborn baby is a potential itself, as it is not yet developed. The only thing that has changed is that it is now outside the woman's body. It is the same being it was hours ago. A 30 year-old has the same basic rights as a 10 year-old. A 5 year-old the same as a 5 month-old. Then at roughly 9 months after conception, everything changes, simply because it exits the womb. Nothing changes about the baby, only its surroundings.

    Babies are more aesthetically pleasing than an embryo. They more closely resemble a human now than they did months ago, though they are not a finished product. There is no moment in time where a baby makes such a drastic leap toward humanity that we can draw some sort of line between life and non-life. No moment but conception.

  • ||

    Before birth, the fetus is, for all intents, a parasite. The mother can live without the fetus, the fetus can not. Mother and fetus are one before birth. Our laws are and should be built on the concept of an individuals right to life. We cannot choose between the mother's and fetus' right to life and so it must be left to the mother. God will have to sort it out later.

  • Matt||

    If only we trusted God to solve all our problems for us.

    The problem with this is that the "fetus" cannot live without the mother even after birth. If the baby is left alone, even outside the womb, it will die.

    We cannot choose between the mother's and child's right to life, but fortunately in the vast majority of pregnancies, neither life is in danger.

  • Matt||

    Freeloaders are, for all intents, parasites. Why don't we treat them as such? Because they're humans, and we value human life.

  • Just another observer||

    If the mother and fetus are "one" then it would seem the only logical way to abort the fetus would be to euthanize the mother. God can sort it out later.

    Hey don't get me wrong I am all for cutting parasites off and seeing if they can survive. I would love nothing more than to wake up and read the headline that welfare is over and the Government has stopped making war on the poor.

    So which is it, is the child a separate parasite or an augmented part of the whole?

  • RyanXXX||

    Tony is so fucking stupid

  • ||

    Agreed. This is about my wanting to keep my personal life private and others wanting to take that away from me. "Collective good" is a bullshit copout. And forcing me to breed is barbaric. I bet if men could actually get pregnant and became mostly responsible for rearing children, this would be a very different discussion.

  • Just another observer||

    Forcing you to breed? Who said anything about forcing you to breed. Forcing you to be a responsible person before you breed is more like it.

    There are so many options available to you and so many choices you can make you do have freedom.

    As for Abortion, well Roe v. Wade actually took away your rights. You body is the property of the Government and you have a 13 week lease option after which you will do as you are damn well told with your body. Now off to the kitchen with you and fix your Government some dinner.

    If it is as you say your choice would you be willing to live exclusively with your choice IE no public assistance and no child support from a male unwilling to pay it. Your choice is after all your responsibility and no one else's.

  • Poppin' Caps lock||

    Reason,
    Don't have A. Barton Hinkle right any more articles for you. He's definitely more on the conservative side of things.

  • ||

    sure are a lot of comments when it all comes down to one irreconcilable difference; when an unborn person/fetus has rights.

  • comwenj||

  • mbt discount||

    like it

  • rock crusher||

    We cannot choose between the mother's and child's right to life, but fortunately in the vast majority of pregnancies, neither life is in danger.
    The problem with this is that the "fetus" cannot live without the mother even after birth. If the baby is left alone, even outside the womb, it will die.

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