Culture Warriors Resort to Propaganda

Since the first casualty in war is the truth, it is no surprise to see a great deal of deceit in the culture clash over abortion and contraception.

“We are in a war,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius told NARAL Pro-Choice America last October. Since the first casualty in war is the truth, it is no surprise to see a great deal of deceit and dissembling—on both sides—in the culture clash over abortion and contraception.

Exhibit A: The Virginia General Assembly’s passage of bills requiring an ultrasound and waiting period before an abortion. Proponents pretend the measure is merely about medical safety: It is a “precaution for the health and safety of women,” says Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel, sponsor of the Senate bill. It will protect “the safety of the mother,” says the Family Foundation’s Victoria Cobb. It will “enhance women’s health,” according to Del. Mark Cole.

If that were the case, then one would expect physicians to be all for it. You would think groups such as the Medical Society of Virginia and the Richmond Academy of Medicine would chime in, lending the weight of professional expertise to the cause of patient safety. They haven’t.

Who does support the bill? Pro-life groups such as Americans United for Life, the Virginia Society for Human Life, the Virginia Assembly of Independent Baptists. And Del. Todd Gilbert, who during debate denounced abortion as a “lifestyle convenience.” And the Family Foundation, which called an early vote on the bill a “truly historic moment for pro-life Virginians.” Wait—why not a “truly historic moment for women’s health and safety”? Because the statement appeared on the Family Foundation’s website, where the group need not maintain any pretense about its aims.

This reveals the patient-safety argument for what it is: propaganda, the propagation of transparent falsehoods for political ends. There is a lot of that going around. Virginia’s social conservatives should feel uneasy that they share the tactic with their liberal Democratic antagonists—who offered up Exhibit B in the debate over the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate.

Concerns about religious freedom were just an “excuse” to deny women contraception, fumed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The New York Times agreed the whole affair was “a phony crisis over ‘religious liberty,’ ” and insisted that Catholic bishops, Catholic Democrats such as former DNC chief Tim Kaine, and others “aren’t really concerned about religious freedom.” Churches, said The Times, are “free to preach that birth control is immoral, but they have not been given the right to laws that would deprive their followers or employees of the right to disagree with that teaching.”

The liberal ThinkProgress, an arm of the Center for American Progress, echoed the sentiment with a petition urging signers to “tell Congress not to block affordable access to contraception.… Doctors and families, not politicians and pundits, should decide what prescriptions women can access.”

But nobody was proposing to deny women access to contraception, let alone to require agreement with Catholic doctrine about it. Note what was at issue: A new federal mandate that all insurance policies cover contraception. That is precisely what ThinkProgress claimed to object to—politicians making health care decisions. The question was whether the government should grant religious institutions a conscience exemption from that requirement.

Doing so would not “deny” or “block” access to contraception, which would remain readily available and easily affordable even for women who work at Catholic institutions. But the right to choose contraception does not entail a right to have it paid for by someone else, any more than the right to own a firearm under the Second Amendment entails the right to a free Smith & Wesson. And yet The Times insisted, with almost Orwellian flair, that the debate concerned “the freedom to choose birth control.” That freedom was never in peril. The freedom of religious institutions to follow their consciences was.

Similarities are not equivalencies, but they can be instructive. And it is instructive that in each of these cases the parties perverting language for political ends also are the ones seeking to impose their will on others by force. That is not a coincidence. Coercion and deception are each efforts to make an end run around the free will of others. Like war, they happen when we become too impatient with obtaining consent through persuasion and truth—when we decide other people’s consent need no longer concern us. The lies of war are especially handy, because they do double duty. When we tell them to others, we can also tell them to ourselves—thereby easing our consciences for having steamrollered theirs.

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  • Leftist Behavior||

    Reason editor's trolling for page views checklist:

    Ron Paul article (check)
    Abortion article (check)
    Gay marriage article (???)

    The day is still young to get that last one.

  • perverting language 4 POLItics||

    Pervert language for politics? That's the way the POLI roll, including the consummate city-Statists, the libertarians and market fundamentalists.

    Polis is often translated as "city-state." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polis

  • anon||

    including the consummate city-Statists, the libertarians and market fundamentalists.

    Strike out the "the" before Libertarians; also, don't forget to use proper capitalization.

  • fuck you, anon||

    Dimwit libertards think they can protect their brains from unapproved ideas by wanking to their English teachers.

  • Jesus||

    *Calling Culture Warrior Episiarch! Culture Warrior Episiarch, please report to the holier-than-thou righteous indignation terminal immediately!*

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    If [the bill increasing safety] were the case, then one would expect physicians to be all for it... lending the weight of professional expertise to the cause of patient safety. They haven’t.

    When you start off with a premise that fallacious, there is no need to continue reading the article.

  • Sparky||

    Can you help me play spot the fallacy? I seem to be a bit off today.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    There are a few. The first is the premise that physician groups always support any policy that increases patient "safety" (which is dubious to say the least). The second is that physicians, through what they do not say or do (that is, express support) must therefore believe the inverse, instead of thinking they may just want to sidestep a controversial issue and remain neutral.

  • Britt||

    Yeah Hinkle can be a bit hacky sometimes.

  • Sparky||

    OK, I see where you're coming from. I guess that third paragraph could have been left out without doing any damage to the rest of the article.

  • Loki||

    You could argue that physicians groups should be for it for another reason. More ultrasound procedures performed = more ultrasound procedures charged to insurance companies = more money in physician's pockets.

  • Randy||

    Everyone has an agenda. Unfortunately, the truth usually isn't at the top of the agenda, if it's even on the agenda at all.

  • Newt Paul||

    We truly read everything we sign, from marriage vows to newsletters, even if we don't really. Things happen, ya know.

  • ||

    Ah, the first of the trainwreck weekend articles. You guys have fun feeding the troll.

  • Herding Behavior||

    Do as I say.

  • Britt||

    I live in Richmond. Having a great deal of fun watching my Facebook today. Lot of liberal women putting up some kind of grassroots Facebook thing. Apparently we're waging a war on women now. Or something. You know, because that's how the Japanese opened up on Pearl Harbor...mandatory ultrasounds.

    Meanwhile these women continue to support Obamacare fully. But don't you dare call them hypocrites.

  • Gojira||

    Hmm...how can I enlist so I too can take part in this "War on Women"?

  • ||

    You know, of course, if they didn't have a cooter there'd be a bounty on them all.

  • Sovereign Citizen||

    True, that. I heard on the radio that in Texas, over 85% of the women who have ultrasounds prior to killing their baby changer their minds. Hmmm...

  • Sovereign Citizen||

    "change" their minds. man, I'm useless before my afternoon ganja.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I bet it's hearing the heart beat that does it.

  • ||

    Funny, at the 6 week ultrasound I went to, we didn't "hear" anything. What we saw was a small blob and a flicker that was a heartbeat.

    We were also warned that that because it was so early, we might not see anything.

    One usually uses a Doppler to listen for a heartbeat, not an ultrasound machine.

  • Ves||

    Emotional Blackmail will do that

  • Sovereign Citizen||

    I say science and facts, you say emotional blackmail.

  • Loki||

    ...Can't live with them, can't kill enough to make a difference.

  • White Man speak...||

    ...with forked tongue.

    "Simply put, we lie because it works."

    Lying Is Good For You
    Forbes Magazine
    www.forbes.com/2005/10/19/lyin.....24lie.html

    Any bullshit market fundamentalists want to claim how honest they are? If ya are, you're poor.

  • Sparky||

    Son of a BITCH! Well, so much for staying here.

  • anon||

    Any bullshit market fundamentalists

    You needed to write that as "Any bullshit *that* market fundamentalists..."

    You're terrible at English.

  • bullshitistic market fundies||

    FIFY

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    You're feeding it already? Are you that bored?

  • anon||

    Yeah, it's lunch time. Besides, correcting it's english really pisses it off.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    No, it doesn't "piss it off". It feeds it. You're just encouraging it to keep going.

  • anon||

    Oh, but how I disagree! See above.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    It's your dime, mac. Trust me, ignoring it works, but if you want to waste your time and your weekend, I'm outta here.

  • tarran||

    correcting it's english

    ?

  • anon||

    Feature, not a bug.

  • An original thought...||

    ...once in a blue moon or so. But not today.

  • anon||

    ...once in a blue moon or so. But not today.

    Original thought, I don't know what the subject matter is that you're referring to. What happens once in a blue moon for you? Sex? Comprehension? 2 brain cells to rub together?

  • ^intellectually bankrupt anon^||

    Can't defend your bullshit market fundamentalism? Just like a creationist.

  • Loki||

    I think it means that it has an original thought once in a blue moon, but unfortunately I don't speak moron, so I'm not sure.

  • ||

    If you are making that claim for "market fundamentalists", I can certainly turn around and make that claim for any group or belief system. You sir are a fucking moron.

  • Correct, Sharon.||

    Go ahead, Sharon, and make the claim of fundamentalism as applied to ANY and ALL of the city-Statist salvationist cults:

    • Communism
    • Christianity
    • Capitalism
    • Scientology
    • Socialism
    • Transhumanism
    • Libertarianism
    • Fascism
    • Etal, ad infinitum.

    Just admit yours is fundamentalism too. Thank you for playing.

  • Civilis||

    ...primitivism, tribalism, gambolism...

    What actually works? City state based civilization. How do we know? History. Amongst city state based civilizations, which grants the most freedom to the most people? Libertarianism.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    Taking others to task for fundamentalism, while practicing fundamentalist thought, is... well, there's a word for that, but I won't use it now.

  • ||

    I find it interesting that not having an abortion could be bad for a woman's mental health but that having an abortion couldn't be bad for her mental health as well.

    How many people who scream "informed choice" think that demanding this information is inappropriate? It is tyranny to not tell me what is in a can of soup and also tyranny to force me to see the object of my "procedure"?

  • anon||

    Dude, you don't understand yet?

    Doing what the government tells you is good for your mental health.

    Doing otherwise is bad for your physical health.

    It's math!

  • Gummit=capitalist middle mg't.||

    Because what the government tells you puts money in investors' pockets.

  • anon||

    Incomplete sentence, Gummit.

  • wrong, anon||

    Government is capitalist middle management.

    Complete sentence, dimwit.

    Government is capitalist middle management.

    Libertard must blank-out this simple fact.

    Government is capitalist middle management.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    You see how that doesn't work, anon? Now, please stop talking to it. Please.

  • ^intellectually bankrupt Rev.^||

    Government is capitalist middle management.

    Make it stop, mommy!

    Government is capitalist middle management.

    Libertard must blank-out this simple fact.

    Government is capitalist middle management.

    George Carlin The real owners of the country
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oBo8CJxatQ

  • anon||

    Hah! Now, you see, he reveals the fundamental of his reasoning: a comedian.

    Folks, you can't make this shit up.

  • Evasion Tactics||

    About out of evasion tactics, anon?

    Government is capitalist middle management.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Exactly.

    In his quest for moral equivalence, Hinkle wants us to believe that prolifers are concealing their prolife views.

    They simply want a law which the federal courts would uphold and which limits abortion. One way to do this is to require actual informed consent before a woman has an abortion - having her look at the "thing" in her womb which she wants to destroy.

    There's nothing hypocritical in invoking women's health. Unless the post-abortive woman I met who said she was haunted by the ghost of her unborn child, was healthy.

  • Carston||

    "They simply want a law which the federal courts would uphold and which limits abortion"

    Its not just that, its that they dont want money taken from them via taxes or insurance to pay for the abortions or birth control of others.

    I could care less about the abortion debate, if a mother wants to end her child's life, she will find a way, laws aren't going to make too much of a difference. What I do not want, is to be forced to pay for these peoples' poor choices.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    How many people who scream "informed choice" think that demanding this information is inappropriate? It is tyranny to not tell me what is in a can of soup and also tyranny to force me to see the object of my "procedure"?

    It is kind of ridiculous to think that you have to see an ultrasound to have informed consent. It's like saying you have to show a patient the mammogram to consent them to have a breast biopsy. People already know what being pregnant means, and what use is an ultrasound image to someone who's not trained to read it? I can never see anything in them. They look like a 1940's television tuned to a bad chanel.

  • ||

    If there is no use for it, then what is the problem (other than the cost and who is paying, of course)? If there is no use to it, why do women who see the ultrasounds so often chose to carry the baby to term?

    Yes, the pro-life people are counting on this. Those who are outraged know that the pro-life people are right that women may well decide to keep what they had to look at. And a person has to wonder, what do they care? Why are they personally invested in some other woman's abortion?

  • ||

    Because in theory, at least, pro-choice is happy with *either* decision, to abort or not abort.

    And we were assured, ASSURED!, that abortions were necessary for serious terrible reasons and that no woman would EVER make that decision lightly.

    Legal, Safe and Rare.

    But do something that encourages women who are not in a desperate situation to think maybe the "rare" part is a good idea and then it's so very awful that someone decided not to have the abortion?

    This is why pro-life people insist that it's pro-abortion and not and never has been pro-choice.

  • JohnD||

    It's pretty simple Synova. They care because the murder of the not yet born is a crime agsainst the child and against humanity. Of course, to understand this you have to have at least a smattering of humanity, which in your case is questionable.

  • ||

    Ah... I was unclear about who was the "they" that were caring and what they were caring about.

    The "they" who "care" are the pro-abortionists who oppose the sonograms because mothers might decide not to abort what they've seen.

    But if they were pro-choice, then supposedly the decision not to get an abortion is equally desirable in their minds. That it's not equally desirable to "chose" not to get an abortion having seen what is being aborted, means they are not pro-choice, they are pro-abortion.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Oh great. And so it begins.

  • ||

    Yeah. Hopefully this manic phase is a mild one. See everyone inf a few days, I guess.

  • Murdering the earth is maniac||

    So run off, pusscakes Warty, if you can't compete in the free market of ideas.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    The earth is not a living being; therefore, it cannot be "murdered".

    Never mind the scale of humans to planet, size-wise. We are far tinier in comparison.

  • Realist||

    Ricky Scrotum will lead this war.

  • anon||

    Holy shit.

    Picture it:

    Debate between White Idiot and Santorum.

    The amount of stupid would be enough to cause me to suffer a stroke.

  • tarran||

    Naaah. Who would televise it - when they could carry Most Extreme Elimination Challenge.

  • Loki||

    I know I would much rather watch Most Extreme Elimination Challenge* than white idiot debate whiter idiot.

    *and I'm even assuming that's a reference to something akin to Who Poop Last?.

  • ||

    Is the waiting period 9 months?

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Um Mr. Hinkle, so you're telling me that there's a cultural war goin' on? I thought that was just low-brow right wing propaganda.

  • ||

    Of course the Abortion debate is full of propaganda;

    The anti-abortion forces genuinely believe that abortion is infanticide, and I don't think that anybody can disprove that it is without forcing them to accept 'given's that the wouldn't normally accept.

    The pro-choice forces are largely politically Liberal-Left, accustomed to people agreeing with their perceptions of their own moral superiority. They aren't used to being called moral degenerates, and it infuriates them.

    The two sides aren't going to agree on anything soon.

    What concerns me (I'm pro-abortion) is that my 'side' is blundering badly. Support for late term abortion and opposition to parental notification are both political poison. You'd be better off running as an Orange candidate in Dublin.

  • ThomasL||

    Thoughtful comment.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Deception and propaganda in politics? Shut the fuck up. And to think I just accused Baily of going after low hanging fruit. Everyone must want to get out early on Friday. Can't say I blame them. Party on bitches.

  • Loki||

    All I want to know is where can buy that He can't do it alone Darth Vader poster used as the picture on the homepage. I really want that poster for my man-cave.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Dude, I wanna know where I sign up.

  • ||

    here ya go AlmightJB

    TROOPS!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ature=fvst

  • Loki||

    I was going to post a link to that but you beat me to it.

    Apparently you just go down to your local recruitment center and sign up. Just hope you don't get assigned to the "ass end of space".

  • ||

    An oldie, but a goodie.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Funny stuff. I'm suprised that I haven't seen that before.

  • ||

    i have little doubt that (most of those) supporting this proposed law are more interested in the possibility that arming women with increased knowledge/data (which is what ultrasounds do) and having a waiting period as well might mean - less women choose abortion

    i mean, let's get real ... that's their INTENT

    however, i have little doubt the intent of many, if not most medical MJ proponents is the eventual legalization of MJ

    so what?

    both issues need to be assessed on their own merit, NOT based on the alleged motives of (some) proponents

    i also find it ironic that the same libs that find a waiting period necessary for purchasing a gun, and don't find such a waiting period obstructs an ACTUAL ENUMERATED CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT that "shall not be infringed' are all up in arms (pun intended) over a waiting period for abortion, which isn't even mentioned in the constitution

    disclaimer: i am pro-choice, but i hate intellectual dishonesty and inconsistency

    especially in the case of ultrasound, ALL it does is arm women with INFORMATION, specifically completely unbiased information. an ultrasound isn't opinion, political commentary, or rhetoric about abortion. it is simply an unbiased record of what is about to be aborted

    iow, an ultrasound itself has no political agenda and no bias. it's the difference between watching floor debate on CSPAN (no network bias) vs. a commentary ON political debate on Fox news.

    i'm not saying i agree with this legislation, but much of the opposition to it strikes me as a bit disingenuous

  • Sovereign Citizen||

    Heard on the radio this morning that in Texas, over 85% of the women who saw ultrasounds of the baby they wanted to kill changed their minds. I'd like to see the hard data on this, but it sounds plausible. Calling a baby "just a bunch of cells" before killing it probably isn't so easy after watching it move, it's beating heart, etc. Dunphy, I'd like to be there when you tell God he's wrong about babies.

  • ||

    fwiw, when i saw the ultrasound of our baby, there is just no way on the face of the earth i would have even considered aborting it. not that i was considering it BEFORE, but whether it's an emotional. visceral , or intellectual response (or a combination of the above), it did have a profound effect on me

    i'm a firm believer in arming people with information. heck, i'm one of the few here who does not get upset about mandatory govt. required labeling of food. i would never consider ANY sort of ban, trans-fat, or whatever, but mere labels don't bother me, although i think an argument could be made that GOVT. should be forced to pay for the cost of the research into macronutrient ratios, etc. IF they are going to mandate it.

    not that i want to go down that bunny trail, just saying whatever EFFECT arming people with info results in, i will always lean towards the idea that limiting choice = bad, improving access to info = good

  • AHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAHA||

    "Heard on the radio this morning that in Texas, over 85% of the women who saw ultrasounds of the baby they wanted to kill changed their minds. "

    On a jesus rock station that didn't give sources, or a propagandist religious station that also didn't give sources.

  • mgd||

    wtf is a "jesus rock station"?

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    It's a derogatory term used by people who hate anything even remotely connected to any religion.

    Oddly enough, most of those people who use such phrases, treat government as an idol worthy of worship.

  • ||

    And if it's not true, then why not the ultra-sounds? It will make the religious propagandists happy and all the babies will still die.

    Win-effing-win.

  • Tired Scientist||

    And if it's not true, then why not the ultra-sounds?

    You already alluded to the reason in an earlier post.

    Who has to pay for the additional procedure? How much do ultrasounds cost?

  • JohnD||

    AHAHAHAAA is a fool. Making unsupported assumptions is what the left normally does. I don't expect to see it on Reason's site.

  • nicole||

    One interesting little tidbit I didn't learn until this morning—yes, on feministing—is that it doesn't just require an ultrasound, but an invasive one. Democrats offered an amendment to allow non-vaginal ultrasounds which was shot down by the Republican backers of the bill. I wonder why that would be.

    And for all those so interested in "informed consent," I hope you also think that women should have to be informed by their doctors with visceral pictures about all the morbidity and mortality associated with carrying a pregnancy to term as well as with aborting it.

  • ||

    I would imagine that one of the reasons to not allow a trans-vaginal ultrasound is because when you are very early in a pregnancy a non-vaginal one will be unlikely to yield much. The size of the embryo can make it very hard to locate.

  • DK||

    Not even close to true. Remote ultrasound is an extremely relevant medical procedure. How do I know? I work in the MRI field. Ultrasound is a competitor. Believe me - I wish this weren't possible. :-)

  • DK||

    Also, if you recognize a fetus' right to life, this right almost certainly trumps other concerns such as a soon-to-be mother's emotional devastation. You can't have it both ways. Either the fetus has a right to life and the rape/incest distinction is irrelevant or there is no initial right to life. Pick one.

  • DK||

    Wow. Sorry. That was supposed to appear down-thread.

  • ||

    I think the informed consent angle is a bit of a false flag. Would you support the mandated "informed consent" of every possible dangerous activity?

    Skydiving cannot take place unless a person views photos of those whose shoots did not open.

    Fatty foods could not be purchased without first having viewed photos of hearts filled with plaque.

    Cars could not be purchased without first having viewed photos of that model in an accident.

    One could go on and on with potential mandates. It's ridiculously condescending to presume that we need to "teach" these individuals what they are about to do as though they are incapable of doing any research on their own.

  • ||

    ^This. And there's a difference between making this available and mandating that this be available.

  • ||

    And there's a difference between making this available and mandating that this be available must happen.

    Weekend come too slow.

  • Carston||

    If you are skydiving, you made that choice.

    If you are eating fatty foods, you are making that choice.

    Buying a car, you decided to do that.

    Getting aborted, you had NO choice in that matter. Your life was ended at its most innocent and vulnerable point in existence.

  • ||

    exactly. those other things are self regarding acts. abortion is not

    it necessarily involves a third part. personally, i don't think it should be a crime ot abort that third party "on demand" in the 1st trimester. that's why i'm pro choice

    but i will NEVER draw an equivalency between self regarding acts and other regarding acts because... they are not equivalent

    those who say (and i am pro choice, but still...) that abortion is a private decision about a woman's own body are full of shit

    drug use is.

    abortion is not

  • ||

    Don't pretend like driving isn't filled with far more externalities than abortion.

    First of all, all those other drivers and pedestrians possess rights which no one questions.

    There is definitely a gray area regarding the rights possessed by an unborn zygote/embryo/fetus. Those who wish to recognize full rights and citizenship to the unborn fail to actively discuss what the implications such an act would involve. Every miscarriage becomes a potential crime, and every pregnant mother's actions come under scrutiny. The amount of government intrusion that would occur would be large, and frankly onerous.

  • ||

    and driving is also filled with MASSIVE regulation, literally a substantial %age of every state's penal code, civil code, regulatory power etc. all is related to driving

    so, yea. i agree

  • DK||

    Yep. That's because we recognize the right of another (arguably :-)) fully developed human being to life. This is an ethical viewpoint which is supported by just about everyone in existence. There is no such ethical consensus for zygotes/embryos/fetuses (feti?). Until such a consensus exists (not likely in the near term), dunphy's point is irrelevant.

  • Tired Scientist||

    The first consequence of recognizing full human rights for fertilized eggs, is that the only legally valid abortions would be those that protect the mother's life.

    That is, there can be no rational basis for allowing abortions in cases of rape or incest.

    The secondary consequence is larger government. There's nothing easier to sell to the public than more government to protect the children.

    In fact, I'm quite certain that this is the basis of this new Virginia mandate.

  • ||

    Most people understand that in cases of rape or incest (usually also rape) that it may be particularly traumatic to carry the baby to term, so they're unwilling to say that a woman must do so.

    It's also a very different situation than one where the woman is pregnant because of her own actions. There is a conflict of interests, the rights of a woman vs. the rights of the child. If a woman's life is at risk, we figure that the scale is tipped to favor the right of the mother to live. One might hope that a raped woman find the strength to carry the baby, since it is innocent, but it's not irrational to figure that the scale is tipped in favor of the woman when her self was violated and her choice to be responsible was taken from her when she was raped.

    In other words... yes, there is a rational basis for continuing to allow abortions in case of rape or incest even if fertilized eggs have human status.

    Not everyone has to come to the same conclusion, but it is a *rational* conclusion to make.

  • DK||

    Lol. It may be particularly traumatic? How about the trauma in the case of raising the child in poverty? Abortions are overwhelmingly performed on poor Americans and disproportionately performed on minority races. >40% of all abortions in the U.S. are performed on African-Americans (the numbers go to >60% in some areas of the South).

    Are you saying it's a great idea for a 15 year old black woman in poverty in Mobile, AL to have a child? It won't be traumatic for her to carry the fetus (FIFY) to term? Or is the hardship of poverty (caused at least in party by the force of the state) not worthy of your sympathies?

    Take a logically consistent stance that pays attention to the facts.

  • DK||

    Also, if you recognize a fetus' right to life, this right almost certainly trumps other concerns such as a soon-to-be mother's emotional devastation. You can't have it both ways. Either the fetus has a right to life and the rape/incest distinction is irrelevant or there is no initial right to life. Pick one.

  • ||

    I don't have to pick one because you say so.

    Two individuals are involved who have conflicting interests. I do not have to *pick one*.

  • Tired Scientist||

    If a fetus has full human rights, then its right to live automatically trumps the right of the mother to not be (further) traumatized.

    What legal basis can there be to justify taking the life of a third party that had no part in committing the crime in the first place?

    You might not have to pick between the competing interests, but the law must.

  • ||

    This is certainly true. The rape/incest exception is horrifically invidious. The argument here is not that concenting to sex is a crime, for which pregnancy is the punishment; it's that the fetus has interests or rights that merit protection. How that fetus came into being is irrelevant.

  • ||

    The trauma of raising a child in poverty? How about the trauma of living with a disability?

    Is being DEAD really better than being alive but uncomfortable?

    Why is "better off dead" always an argument made by healthy, wealthy, living people? Why are not poor people offing themselves left and right? Maybe they have a different understanding of the value of their life than you do.

  • JohnD||

    I beleive that CuriousGeorge is making a false analogy. Typical tactic of the deceitful. Or the ignorant.

  • BHORK$ failedjailedspectrum ||

    spectrum, the "drug program" along others whos people even went to jail, I remember: acussed of manipulating adicts to vote bhorK

  • ||

    Those hospitals are run, in part, by tax dollars. Those benefits, aren't handouts, they are part of a payment package. This issue isn't about religious freedom of the Catholic church, it is about what private organizations can expect when they take public funds. Taking public funding opens you up to following rules set by the public, and the government is the way the public sets rules. I don't feel the government is being overreaching in this issue, I feel the Catholic Church is being hypocritical and overreaching their hands into my tax dollars, and expecting me to remain silent while they demand special treatment--and they want it because they think birth control is EVIL? That's so illogical it makes the brain hurt.

    This is exactly why Libertarians say health care shouldn't be run by the government? Right? So why are libertarians now not addressing the real issue? Public funding and religious ideals don't mix. Period. I will assert the church's right to not accept this policy as soon as they feel strongly enough about their stance to reject public assistance for their institutions. Until then they can suck it and follow the same rules all the other organizations are forced to follow when they take tax dollars. It's a pretty simple issue.

    And telling women that birth control is cheap, easy to get, free at planned parenthood, blah blah blah--side steps the real issue and is really a straw man argument on both sides. The real story here is; This is what happens when you invite the government in. STOP.

  • mgd||

    What the fuck are you talking about? Where did you get the idea that the mandate only applies to recipients of federal funds?

    The real story here is that this administration believes that it has the power to force citizens to buy products they may not want, to force citizens and institutions to buy services for others which may be in violation of their own religious principles, to define what divisions of a religious institution qualify for First Amendment protections, and to force private enterprises to provide goods and services at no cost.

  • global online||

  • ||

    This is an excellent article. I must say though, that people like Rick Santorum who are very public about their opposition to birth control really make women scared that they might lose this right to their own bodies. I mean, if the Catholic hospital is forced to have contraception on its employee's insurance, those who are morally opposed don't have to use it. In a world of overpopulation, I think that this is an area where it is irresponsible NOT to do everything you can to help unwanted pregnancies.

  • LarryA||

    I mean, if the Catholic hospital is forced to have contraception on its employee's insurance, those who are morally opposed don't have to use it.

    No, but they have to pay for it.

    Even absent the moral issue, why should the government force me to pay for an insurance policy that provides birth control, pediatrics, well-baby care, and childhood innoculations? My wife and I are in our 60s, and have no need of the coverage. I’d also like to get a policy that doesn’t cover a range of other services I’ll never use. But in the name of “protecting” me from getting what I actually need, the government mandates a one-size-fits-all approach to writing policies that raises the cost of everyone’s insurance.

  • ||

    Firstly... if women are such fearful creatures they should wonder if it's their own shortcoming or if they've allowed themselves to listen to the wrong people.

    Secondly... Malthus was a crank who failed utterly to predict the behavior of human systems. Far from a world of overpopulation, the developed world faces negative fertility rates. People aren't breeding at alarming rates.

    Thirdly... It's not the employees who are opposed to contraception, it's the Church. The Church should not be compelled to violate it's conscience by providing services it has a religious objection to.

    Suppose a Muslim pet shop sold pets acceptable to Muslims (I'm not sure which those would be). Would we say that they must be compelled to sell dogs? And if someone simply chose not to buy a dog, then selling the dogs wouldn't violate their religious principles? Maybe instead of selling the dogs they are simply forced by the government to pay for dogs to be purchased elsewhere, for anyone who wanted a dog. Would they really not feel like they, personally, contributed to sin?

    Can you think of something that you, personally, think is severely wrong to use as an example?

    Maybe a vegetarian? So a vegetarian runs a food business and decides that she absolutely can't carry meat products. Should she be forced by the government to carry meat products anyway on the theory that if *she* is not purchasing them then she has no legitimate issue of conscience? And if she doesn't have to directly sell the big bloody slabs of meat, because she employs non-vegetarians and the employees get a big discount on their groceries, is she required to arrange for them and pay that discount for them to buy meat elsewhere?

  • Tony||

    There seems to be a lot of support for the federal government overriding doctors and patients making medical decisions, not to say inserting itself directly into women's orifices. Well, you can't say libertarian's aren't consistent. Freedom for nonwhite nonmales is consistently negotiable.

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