Abortion Debate Skewers Political Pieties

In addition to terminating pregnancies, abortion can inflict considerable collateral damage by puncturing the pieties of contemporary liberalism.

In addition to terminating pregnancies, abortion can inflict considerable collateral damage—principally, by puncturing the smug pieties of contemporary liberalism.

Consider, as Exhibit A, Rosemary Codding. According to a sympathetic piece in The Washington Post, Codding has “tried for months” to “scrape together” enough money for a “costly renovation” of her Falls Church abortion clinic—and she is still short by nearly $1 million. Wherever shall the money come from? Gail France is frustrated as well. “I don’t understand or begin to see how this serves any purpose,” gripes the owner of another abortion clinic in Northern Virginia.

Like Codding, Frances resents new regulations the state has imposed on her business that govern everything from hallway widths to parking spaces. So does a coalition of women’s advocates, which blasted Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli—“and their right-wing partners”—all of whom will “stop at nothing in their crusade to take away the rights of Virginia women.”

This is not, to put it mildly, the standard progressive posture regarding the regulation of business. To the contrary: When any other industry is being discussed, most liberals believe the correct level of regulation, always, is: more.

The establishment media certainly agree. Just look at the focus of much investigative journalism today. Investigative journalism is driven not by events—i.e., news—but by newsroom sensibilities. And those sensibilities have given us a seemingly endless train of special investigative series aimed at demonstrating how dangerously under-regulated we are: “Toxic Waters” (The New York Times);  “The Hidden Life of Guns” (The Washington Post); “Dialysis: High Costs and Hidden Perils” (ProPublica); “Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities” (NPR); “Pharmwater” (the AP); “Aging Nukes” (the AP, again); and too many others to list.

Has there ever been any investigative series suggesting there might sometimes be too much regulation—or even recognizing that as a theoretical possibility? When I asked earlier this summer, the AP could not come up with a single example.

Virginia’s abortion-clinic rules therefore might provide a useful service. But not because they will make abortions safer, mind you. Judging from all the available evidence, the state’s clinics boast an excellent safety record. Ninety-six percent of the abortions performed in Virginia are carried out during the first trimester, and nationwide, only one-half of 1 percent of such abortions result in complications requiring follow-up surgery or hospitalization. As women’s groups around the state correctly insist, more regulation will cost a lot—but have little effect on safety.

To which every other industry in America could respond by quoting Kipling: “Ye need not stop work to inform us—we knew it ten seasons before.”

A 1997 article in the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty included a table listing the cost per life saved from a variety of regulations, in constant 1990 dollars. At the lower end: a 1967 standard for car steering columns, which cost only $100,000 per life saved. Given that most regulatory agencies set the value of a statistical life at a few million dollars, that rule was highly cost-effective. Not so a 1986 restriction on arsenic emissions from glass plants, estimated to cost $16 million per life—or a 1991 rule governing atrazine in drinking water, which cost a whopping $109 million per life saved...assuming that it saved any lives at all. Rules such as those are abstruse, but many others are not. Ask your friendly neighborhood building contractor about the EPA’s rules for clearing dust off a windowsill. Seriously.

Women’s advocates protest that Virginia’s abortion-clinic rules are motivated by ideology. And? That merely puts them in the same boat as payday and car-title lenders (along with gun makers, breast-implant manufacturers, and so on). A lot of people view the storefront loan sharks as morally suspect beneficiaries of an unseemly business that gets a disproportionate share of its revenue from poor minorities. A lot of people view the abortion industry the same way. It’s no surprise some critics of each have tried to regulate the industries out of existence. That people with agendas exploit government power for political ends is not exactly news. The best way to keep that from happening is to limit government power in the first place—then it won’t matter who’s in charge.

And thanks to the state’s new clinic rules, progressives are discovering regulations really do cost real people real money. This too is a far cry from their usual stance, which entails hostile skepticism toward any claim that complying with a government rule might enfeeble business. Indeed, the public is often fed disingenuous drivel about what a great economic boon the new rules will be: If a factory has to install new equipment or a power company has to meet a higher green-energy standard, why, just think of all the new jobs that will create! The same nonsense could apply to the new clinic requirements, which are creating a lot of business for the construction trade. Funny how this argument hasn’t shown up in the abortion debate. (To understand why it’s nonsense, read Bastiat on the seen and the unseen.)

And yes, there is certainly a flip side to all of this. Conservative knees usually jerk in reflexive opposition to any new government regulation. The standard Republican line holds that most new regulations have little to do with health and safety and much more to do with anti-business atttitudes. In this case, conservatives happen to be right—yet they vehemently insist otherwise.

What’s more, conservatives say, liberals have no idea just how ruinously expensive new rules will be. Yet listen to Victoria Cobb, the executive director of the Family Foundation of Virginia. The other day she told The Washington Post, “I continue to believe a $1 billion industry can come up with the costs needed to be safe and can find the funds to do whatever is needed to operate.”

EPA administrator Lisa Jackson couldn’t have said it better herself.

This article originally appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. 

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  • Caleb Turberville||

    In addition to terminating pregnancies, abortion can inflict considerable collateral damage—principally, by puncturing the smug pieties of contemporary liberalism."

    Finally, Reason gets poetic.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I'm remembering from my high school con ec class that "loan shark" referred to black market lenders with, shall we say, coercive techniques of encouraging repayment. But according to Wikipedia it now refers to payday lenders too, which strikes me as bonkers. Everything they do is legal and nonviolent. More evidence of how leftists warp language to suit their purposes.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Which is why you're a Nazi.

    /leftist

  • Tulpa Doom||

    No, I'm a Nazi from living next to a yeshiva for four years in grad school and having to deal with their constant monopolizing of street parking.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    So it WAS the Jooz

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Jews. They control the parking, too?

  • Pip||

    They control EVERYTHING!

  • Paul.||

    That's not true. They only control 80% of everything.

  • Anomalous||

    We would control 100% of everything, but we know everyone likes a discount. It's like circumcision, you take 20% off the top.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Conservative knees usually jerk in reflexive opposition to any new government regulation. The standard Republican line holds that most new regulations have little to do with health and safety and much more to do with anti-business atttitudes. In this case, conservatives happen to be right—yet they vehemently insist otherwise.

    Actually, this regulation is only bringing abortion clinics in line with what hospitals are already required to do. If they're claiming to provide a "medical service" then that's perfectly legit. Maybe they should clamor for looser hospital regulation.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Because it's perfectly reasonable to treat completely different businesses with completely different safety records exactly the same.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    But according to the abortionists they're not different businesses.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Hey, where are the goalposts? They were here just minutes ago!

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I said the same thing in the post you originally responded to. So there's no moving of goalposts going on.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Sure you did.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Gotta agree with Tulip on this one - no moving goalposts. Except by the abortion clinics that want to be "medical service facilities", except when they don't.

    Their salty tears are delicious.

    Also, fried chicken.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Problem is, next year the ham tears are going to be yours (and mine).

    If you think they're actually going to close or stop abortions from happening in semi-anonymous clinics you're fucking deluded.

    All that's going to happen is they're going to pass some kind of law to take either more money from you (or shuffle it from some other program) to fund this.

  • wareagle||

    but that's the way this always works. Nothing is a problem until your, or my, ox is gored. Then it's the worst thing ever. Barton makes a great point about the left - they love regulation for everyone else, but it's a right wing conspiracy when applied to them.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I'm with Twin and Tulpa.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    And of course, hospitals are dealing with people who are sick and injured, while abortionists aren't. So of course the hospitals' safety records are not going to be as good.

  • Adam330||

    I'm sure hospitals have similar safety records for minimally invasive surgeries.

  • Rhino||

    actually. YES. it is reasonable. that's called the rule of law or equality under the law.

  • R C Dean||

    Actually, this regulation is only bringing abortion clinics in line with what hospitals are already required to do.

    Hospitals are subject to volumes of regulation that do not apply to ambulatory surgical centers or to doctor's offices where "procedures" of various kinds are done. Hospital regs are ludicrous overkill for those settings.

  • ||

    They're probably overkill for the hospital too.

    The point is that there is a previously legitimized rationale for such regulations. So they're not manufactured out of thin air simply to target a politically disfavored group.

  • Fluffy||

    There's virtually no way that the actual intent of the regulations is not to "simply to target a politically disfavored group".

    The fact that the regulations existed before for different entities really has no impact one way or the other on the intent of the application of the regulations now.

    It makes it easier to get away with using regulation as a pretext for abuse, but you know and I know and everyone knows what the intent of the Virginia GOP was here. Sorry.

  • Paul.||

    I'm wondering if liberals will ever internalize the irony?

    *crickets*

    No, I didn't think so either.

    Regulate away, liberals. Today, people you hate, tomorrow, you.

  • Adam330||

    Thanks to 80 years of liberal jurisprudence, it doesn't matter what the Virginia GOP's intent was. A court just has to say that the regulations could plausibly be related safety, and they are constitutional. No hard thinking is required about whether the regulation actually accompishes those goals or could be written more narrowly and still serve its purpose.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Rational basis scrutiny was liberal jurisprudence?

  • Adam330||

    Yes.

  • Pip||

    Really? I'm not GOP. I am pro-choice, but after that shit that went on in that clinic in Philly, I would like -- for the safety of the female patients -- a little bit of oversight. It wouldn't even have to be government regulators. Maybe just a team of people that already work work in hospital acting as mentors.

  • ||

    Oh clearly the intent is to impose regulatory costs on abortion clinics in order to minimize their existence. I was not arguing to the contrary. Just saying that the regulations are not prima facie irrational.

  • R C Dean||

    The point being that hospitals and abortion clinics are apples and oranges. Just because they're both fruit doesn't mean they are interchangeable.

    There's no question this was done as an attempt to shut down abortion providers, not fix some loophole in the regs.

  • Adam330||

    I don't think anyone is arguing otherwise. The issue is that liberals love of regulation, and their defense of it in the courts, means that courts don't care if: 1) the regs are overbroad, 2) the regs are unlikely to actually improve safety, 3) the regs will cost a ton of money and put some providers out of business.

  • ||

    Hospital regs are ludicrous overkill for those settings.

    and having the government draft regulations telling hospitals how to design hospitals is not ludicrous enough?

    What the fuck is some zoning planner going to know about designing a hospital that a hospital would not know a million times better?

  • robc||

    Tulpa is being consistent here, just like he thinks BM restaurants and food trucks and street carts should have the same regulations, even though they are clearly different business models.

  • Randian||

    What do you expect academics to know about business anyway? :P

  • Robert||

    The ampersand squirrel played a mean trick up there.

  • SIV||

    “scrape together”

    ISWYDT

  • Caleb Turberville||

    "skewers"

    ISWYDT

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Oh please, we all know where they're going to get the money to renovate or replace the clinics.

  • R C Dean||

    Wherever shall the money come from?

    Kickstarter?

    Seriously. I bet they could raise a million bucks there.

    Good opportunity for pro-choicers to put their own money (as opposed to the government's money) where their mouths are.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I'm sure they can shake down Sue Komen's people for another million.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    It would be, but that's not what is going to happen.

  • Loki||

    Good opportunity for pro-choicers to put their own money (as opposed to the government's money) where their mouths are.

    AHAHAHAHA!!! Like that's going to happen. Lefty's just like the feeling of smug superiority that comes from holding THE RIGHT VIEWS on things like abortion. They'll never spend a dime of their own money, though. They'd rather have those EVUL rich people and CORPORASHUNZ taxed into oblivion in order to pay for their self-satisfaction.

  • JW||

    KEEP ABORTION LEGAL FREE

  • Pip||

    KEEP ABORTION LEGAL CONTRACEPTION FREE

    FREE THE VAGINAS!

  • Randian||

    I'm sure they shouldn't have to.

    Regulations on other businesses is evil. Expanding government even more is more evil.

  • PapayaSF||

    Good article, but the photo needs some alt text. Maybe: "Regulate thee, not me."

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Every photo on reason needs alt-text.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Judging from all the available evidence, the state’s clinics boast an excellent safety record."

    Define "safe." Define the relevant population whose "safety" is in question.

  • tarran||

    Wow!

    I wonder if you would be making such a whiny argument if I told you Browning rifles were safer than Springfields.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Uh, what?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    99.9% of the rounds fired by a rifle are not intended to cause injury, so that's a totally inapposite analogy.

  • Randian||

    Abortions cause injury? To whom?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    To distinct living human individuals?

  • Randian||

    There goes another pro-"lifer" begging the question.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    You asked the question. Let me ask:

    Does abortion injure a living human entity separate from the mother? What do you call this entity? Does this entity have the right to the protection of the law? If not, what other living human beings may be denied the protection of the law?

  • Randian||

    More question begging and compound questions, both of which are fallacies.

  • ||

    It's only question begging if you are claiming that fetuses don't exist. Is that what you are claiming?

  • Marshall Gill||

    No, he is claiming that we aren't really sure what a fetus is.

    He knows for a fact that it is not the mother. He knows for a fact that it isn't a puppy. He knows for a fact that it is a genetically distinct human being.

    He just doesn't care.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    If abortion isn't the initiation of force against an individual, nothing is.

  • o3||

    it means the clinics make it safe for coat hangers to just hang around instead of stretched and put to work

  • $park¥||

    NO MORE WIRE HANGERS!!!!

    /Mommie Dearest

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    We need coathanger safety and labor laws in our lifetime! No more coathanger sweatshops!!

  • T o n y||

    "When any other industry is being discussed, most liberals believe the correct level of regulation, always, is: more."

    Citation? No doubt liberals can go too far, but it's you guys who are the absolutists here. Concordant with belief in a regulatory scheme is belief that regulations must be purposeful. Given that antigovernment absolutists now run an entire political party, it may seem at first glance that liberals do want to regulate everything--since a primary pillar of conservatives' economic platform is getting rid of as many regulations as possible.

    Liberals don't feel government should be telling women they have to give birth against their will. But they also no doubt believe abortion clinics should meet sanitation standards.

  • $park¥||

    it's you guys who are the absolutists here

    Citation needed.

    Given that antigovernment absolutists now run an entire political party

    Citation needed. (Why would antigovernment anything want to run a political party?)

    a primary pillar of conservatives' economic platform is getting rid of as many regulations as possible

    Citation needed.

  • T o n y||

    Why would antigovernment anything want to run a political party?

    Good question.

  • $park¥||

    At least you admit you made one retarded assertion.

  • T o n y||

    What? That Republicans aren't true antigovernment absolutists like you guys?

    Are you saying all the bitching and moaning libertarians do is pointless since you have no plan nor desire to have political power?

  • $park¥||

    That Republicans aren't true antigovernment absolutists like you guys?

    You haven't been outside or turned on the TV lately if you think Republicans are antigovernment. Either that or you have a bizarre definition of antigovernment. Also, I'm not quite sure whom this "you guys" is that you keep referring to.

    Are you saying all the bitching and moaning libertarians do is pointless since they have no plan nor desire to have political power?

    I would say that, sure. But then again I would say that the whole fucking mess is pointless.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    It's not pointless. We would prefer a reduction in political power. A reduction of the State. An increase in personal liberty, and personal responsibility.

    You may, in a few years, start to understand that this is a libertarian website. Not a GOP website.

  • T o n y||

    On economic policy libertarians and the GOP are rhetorically identical. You both believe in things about 95% of economists think are the opposite of reality.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    On economic policy libertarians and the GOP are rhetorically identical.

    No, we are not. Libertarians would have let the banks fall, the GOP tried everything under the sun to prevent that. The GOP likes more regulation, libertarians do not. You have been on this website long enough to know that.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Libertarians advocate for free markets. The GOP advocates for free markets (except in certain chemicals, books, music, certain "personal" services, medical services, between certain countries, or with certain employees, etc.) Frankly, the GOP and your beloved Dems are far closer to each other in economic policies than they are with libertarians. Your continued refusal to understand this means you are either being a twit, or you are learning disabled.

    Stop being a twit.

  • T o n y||

    I said rhetorically. And they're getting closer to you every day with every Tea Party win. In fact the GOP's embrace of libertarian absolutism with respect to fiscal and economic policy is the central reason nothing is getting done--which is why it's curious that you guys bitch so much.

  • Pippers||

    The problem is libertarians often back GOP people that appear to have a lot of their values. Take Scott Walker as an example, he beat down public unions with a bat, but regulated the living daylights out of the state beer industry, and the wind farm industry to the point of it being the most regulated state in the nation. One step forward, 10 steps back. Was it worth it? No. Way too many regulations now.

  • Brutus||

    Oh yes, the Republicans are anti-government absolutists. That's why both the budget and CFR both shrunk enormously under the watch of Chimpy Katrinaburton.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    These regulations seem purposeful, do they not?

    Oh, you mean purposeful in the sense of "serving Tony's purposes".

  • Fluffy||

    Actually, they serve the same purpose.

    The regulations here are intended to make a legal activity more difficult in the hope that the activity will be done less or not at all.

    That's the purpose behind literally every environmental regulation that I can think of.

  • Paul.||

    The way I see this is that if the regulations are applicable to the abortion clinic, then whether they're being used to target a politically favored group is irrelevant. They must be followed.

    If the regulations are not followed, then relief of the rules for the abortion clinic is a naked political favor.

    Applicable regulations must be observed equally. Otherwise the regulations are invalid and serve no other purpose than to either favor or disfavor groups or individuals.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Woman dies after botched 2nd trimester abortion:

    http://www.lifenews.com/2012/0.....arenthood/

  • Pip||

    Philadelphia Abortion Doctor Charged With 8 Counts Of Murder

    http://philadelphia.cbslocal.c.....of-murder/

  • Paul.||

    Philadelphia Abortion Doctor Charged With 8 Counts Of Murder

    Wouldn't that be 8 counts of "choice"?

    *rimshot*

    I am here all ze veek.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 69, faces eight counts of murder in the deaths of a woman following a botched abortion at his office, along with the deaths of seven other babies who, prosecutors allege, were born alive following illegal late-term abortions and then were killed by severing their spinal cords with a pair of scissors.

    He had determined that while living, human, individuals these were not yet "persons" so you can't really kill/murder them.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Given that antigovernment absolutists now run an entire political party[...]


    You haven't taken your Thorazine, Tony. You're having delusions again.

    If there's ONE thing neither party is or ever was, is being hostile to regulations in an absolute way. Conservatives love regulations just like their Progressive brethren. It is just that they do not love the sort of regulations YOU love, but nevertheless regulations they are.

  • wareagle||

    yup; the only difference is the areas where left and right would use govt force to get their way. But each is willing to use govt force.

  • robc||

    Antigovernment absolutists dont even run the LP.

  • WhatAboutBob||

    Tony is just being normal dishonest self.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    it may seem at first glance that liberals do want to regulate everything--since a primary pillar of conservatives' economic platform is getting rid of as many regulations as possible.

    Really? Maybe you should read this.

    Overall, the final outcome of this Republican regulation has been a significant increase in regulatory activity and cost since 2001. The number of pages added to the Federal Register, which lists all new regulations, reached an all-time high of 78,090 in 2007, up from 64,438 in 2001.
  • Whiterun Guard||

    Well just because the Republicans do it doesn't mean the Demos wouldn't have done more.

    I think by liberal, he meant statist, but since most liberals won't admit they're statists, they would ignore whatever follows. I mean they'll ignore it anyway, but it forces a different kind of ignoring.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Well just because the Republicans do it doesn't mean the Demos wouldn't have done more.

    Oh, I know they would. He seems to think the conservatives will deregulate everything. I tried to show that is not the case. R and D are both statists. They simply regulate different things.

    They found that, under President Obama, there have been 106 new “major regulations” during his first three years in office. The GAO showed that President Bush only implemented 28 new “major regulations” during his first three years in the White House.

    from Here

  • T o n y||

    If all you're saying is that libertarians would be even more radical than Republicans, then fine, you guys are even more dangerous than they are, and they are pretty fucking dangerous.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Dangerous how? I think the non-aggression principle is an excellent way to organize society. Nothing dangerous in that. Except to your sacred cows.

  • T o n y||

    How do you organize such a society? Ask everyone nicely?

  • Adam330||

    "But they also no doubt believe abortion clinics should meet sanitation standards."

    Well then, they should no problem with these rules, since they're only meant to ensure patient safety. Ken Cuccinelli says so, and liberals say the courts have no business second guessing politicians that say their regulations are all about safety (or consumer protection, public health, the children, etc.) See Carolene Products (since you like citations).

  • Fluffy||

    Concordant with belief in a regulatory scheme is belief that regulations must be purposeful.

    That doesn't follow.

  • Old Mexican||

    And thanks to the state’s new clinic rules, progressives are discovering regulations really do cost real people real money.


    "HA! In your face, liberal! Now YOU know what it feels like!"

    ... while the rest of the country simply falls apart.

    Conservative knees usually jerk in reflexive opposition to any new government regulation.


    Not usually enough, unfortunately - Conservatives are just as enthusiastically fascistic as their Progressive brethren.

  • Tim||

    Renovation work for public buildings can be shockingly expensive. In addition to things that must be removed only by EPA licensedcontractors(asbestos, lead paint) there are all the amenities which must be added to make the building "accessible" such as ramps, curbs and elevators.
    Cleaning dust off a windowsill? Is this a pre-1978 windowsill? If it is you can't just clean it. No, you have to have a trained tech, in protective gear, use a Hepa vacuum to remove the dust, double bag it and dispose of it in a hazardous waste landfill.

    http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    This.

    When we do renovations, install new lines, etc. I marvel that we ever make a nickel, much less billions, given how much shit we install and the money we spend just to comply with the ZOMG SOMEONE MIGHT EAT THE LEAD PAINT!!111!

    It's a fucking FACTORY! We don't allow children in here...well, except to drink their blood, of course.

    Anyhoo...

  • Romulus Augustus||

    Sorta depends. My employer recently went to the mat with the school district over the property tax assessment. The fact that the building used to house a tenant that made an asbestos containing product cut no ice with the judge. We couldn't reduce our value by the remediation cost or the school would suffer loss of tax revenue. Wanta bet that when it comes time to sell the property, however,that
    the govmint will demand the asbestos dust be removed before issuing an occupancy permit??

  • Tim||

    Another consequence of this hyper regulation is that in many areas industry that doesn't outright move abroad decamps to new suburban industrial parks and leaves vast swathes of Cities in ruins. (COUGH) DETROIT(COUGH)

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Although, in fairness, the "brownfield" laws in MI were an attempt to help with this, and actually worked to a degree.

    I know, I know - government fixing problems it created by creating MORE LAWSZZ!!

    But it did help a bit for some redevelopment of old mfg sites into NEW mfg sites without the "I'd better not since I'll be held liable 2000 years from now for some EPA bullshit that happened 6000 years before I even OWNED the fucking place..."

    But, yeah, fuck govt overregulation. I hate OSHA. And EPA. And NLRB. And...

  • Tim||

    "Contractors who perform renovation, repairs, and painting jobs should also:

    Provide a copy of your EPA or state lead training certificate to your client.
    Tell your client what lead-safe methods you will use to perform the job.
    Learn the lead laws that apply to you regarding certification and lead-safe work practices.
    Ask your client to share the results of any previously conducted lead tests.
    Provide your client with references from at least three recent jobs involving homes built before 1978.
    Keep records to demonstrate that you and your workers have been trained in lead-safe work practices and that you follow lead-safe work practices on the job. To make recordkeeping easier, you may use the sample recordkeeping checklist (PDF) (1 pg, 141K) that EPA has developed to help contractors comply with the renovation recordkeeping requirements.
    Read about how to comply with EPA's rule in the EPA Small Entity Compliance Guide to Renovate Right (PDF) (32 pp, 5.5MB).
    Contractors should also read the EPA Enforcement Alert newsletter titled Compliance with New Federal Lead-Based Paint Requirements (PDF) (4 pp, 120K)."

  • Old Mexican||

    Ninety-six percent of the abortions performed in Virginia are carried out during the first trimester


    Yes, sounds less awful to some of the moral cowards than saying "ninety six percent of puppies are drowned in rivers before being three months old."

  • $park¥||

    Because a puppy that has been alive for three months is the same a a bundle of cells that hasn't even been developing for three months?

  • ||

    Well a human child in the womb is alive and has been developing for three months so I don't see how your "bundle of cells" is relevant here.

    Argue that a fetus isn't a person with rights,ok, but argue that it isn't alive or developing and you are just as retarded on the science as a creationist.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Sparky,

    Because a puppy that has been alive for three months is the same a a bundle of cells that hasn't even been developing for three months?


    No, the puppy's life is much LESS. A HUMAN life, even underdeveloped (a baby is underdeveloped compared to a toddler, and a toddler compared to a teenager) is infinitively more valuable than a puppy's, IF you pretend to value your OWN life more than a puppy's.

    Do you want to make argument that your life is just as valuable as a puppy's? And if not, then why would an underdeveloped human being's life be LESS valuable than a puppy's? Whose decision was that, yours? Your mommy's?

  • R C Dean||

    A HUMAN life, even underdeveloped (a baby is underdeveloped compared to a toddler, and a toddler compared to a teenager) is infinitively more valuable than a puppy's,

    I would say it depends on the HUMAN. And the puppy.

  • Tim||

    Some puppies are really adorable...

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: R C Dean,

    I would say it depends on the HUMAN. And the puppy.


    Would you risk your life with such a notion? If I was living surrounded by people with such moral ambiguity, I would REALLY need to pack heat.

  • R C Dean||

    Come now, OM. There are people you would kill (or at least, not object to being killed) even without a puppy in the mix.

    I'm not risking my life with such a notion, because I try not to be somebody who needs killin'.

  • Loki||

    If I was living surrounded by people with such moral ambiguity, I would REALLY need to pack heat.

    You probably are, and have been for quite some time without realizing it. People are bastard coated bastards with a bastard filling. So I would recomend that if you don't already; yes, start packing heat.

  • $park¥||

    ^This. Not everyone believes what you believe, Old Mex. Sounds like your answer to this fact is to pack a gun just in case you need to shoot someone that doesn't agree with you.

  • Randian||

    OM's kind of stupid, guys. This isn't a mystery to anyone, is it?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Sparky,

    Sounds like your answer to this fact is to pack a gun just in case you need to shoot someone that doesn't agree with you.


    You missed the point, Sparky - I am challenging RC's assertion that the value of a human life is contingent to people's perception of a person's likability.

    I would not make that one my primary defense in a murder case: "Your honor, the victim was ugly, so I didn't really murder him!"

  • Fluffy||

    The problem with this is that I demand something recognizably like a human being be present before I'm going to call it a human being.

    A fertilized egg is in one sense an "underdeveloped human being". But it's no more valuable or special as a thing-in-itself than a handful of flaked-off skin cells. Under a microscope you'd have to be a technician or specialist to even be able to tell them apart. Hell, it might as well be some sort of multi-celled plankton.

  • Tim||

    You're obviously leaning puppy, but that's merely what one should expect from a guy named "Fluffy".

  • ||

    A fertilized egg is in one sense an "underdeveloped human being".

    It isn't underdeveloped. It is exactly what every human being is like at that age.

    The problem with this is that I demand something recognizably like a human being be present before I'm going to call it a human being.

    Again it is perfectly recognizable for a human being at that stage of development, it isn't an abnormality or deformity.

  • Fluffy||

    No, it's not.

    It doesn't matter to me one way or the other on the abortion issue, because I wouldn't grant it womb occupancy rights even if you could convince me it was actually a human being.

    But just on general principles, "having the correct genetic material to some day develop into a human being" is not the same as "human being". With the right technology, the skin cells have the same developmental potential. But they aren't a human being, either.

    You want me to think you're a human being? You better have a brain. At a minimum. No brain, you're just a pile of hamburger.

  • Tim||

    Point of order! A pile of hamburger is a cow.

  • ||

    A fetus won't some day develop into a human being, it already is a human being. Every adult human goes went through that stage of development just like every adult was a baby at some point.

    If you used technology to develop skin cells into a fetus then that product would also be a human being.

    You can argue that a brain is necessary for being a person but it is irrelevant to whether something is a living human being or not.

  • Marshall Gill||

    The problem with this is that I demand something recognizably like a human being be present before I'm going to call it a human being.

    You mean like unique DNA? Seems quite recognizable to as intelligent a person as yourself. Now, if you were so ignorant as to not be able to understand the science behind sexual reproduction and genetics you might not be able to recognize it. You simply choose not to do so.

  • Fluffy||

    There's DNA in my shit.

  • ||

    Which makes it human shit.

  • Marshall Gill||

    And the DNA in your shit is directly associated with an individual human being.

    Do you shit DNA that isn't yours?

    Again, dude, you are smarter than that. Your post above is much better where you simply admit that you don't care that it is an individual, living, human being.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Fluffy, is in one sense an "underdeveloped human being". But it's no more valuable or special as a thing-in-itself than a handful of flaked-off skin cells.

    Yes, humanity is determined by how much value Fluffy applies.

    Perhaps you should switch to the term "person". Nothing makes the murder of human being easier than declaring them non-persons.

  • Randian||

    And if not, then why would an underdeveloped human being's life be LESS valuable than a puppy's?

    Because a clump of cells is just a clump of cells. All you're trying to do is steal the argument by saying that the embryo is an "underdeveloped human beings". Even underdeveloped human beings deserve protection and rights; however, clumps of cells don't.

    See how easy it is to win an argument when you just beg the question?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Randian,

    Because a clump of cells is just a clump of cells.


    A human is a "clump of cells." You're obfuscating.

    Even underdeveloped human beings deserve protection and rights; however, clumps of cells don't.


    Again, you're obfuscating.

    See how easy it is to win an argument when you just beg the question?


    No shit, Mr. Petitio.

  • Randian||

    No, dude, you have failed in any way to demonstrate that something that does not walk, talk, act, think, look, or behave as a human being does is a human being.

    You make your case first.

  • ||

    something that does not walk, talk, act, think, look, or behave as a human being

    Newborns don't do at least two of those things and the rest is arguable.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Because a clump of cells is just a clump of cells

    So you are not a human being, only a potential one? I can believe this.

  • T o n y||

    If there were some 9-month-long physically exhausting biological process men had to occasionally undertake, would you support government forcing you to do it?

    Odd the few places you think government should stick its hands.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    If there were some 9-month-long physically exhausting biological process men had to occasionally undertake[...]


    I guess you fit the profile of a moral coward perfectly. You're assinging a value to a human life according to how much of a hassle it provides, and not value it for the life itself.

    Odd the few places you think government should stick its hands.


    I prefer shunning and banishment myself, thank you very much. Government already decided that initiating naked aggression against an innocent being is justified, so I am not advocating for action from government, I am advocating for INaction from them bastards.

  • Fluffy||

    You're assinging a value to a human life according to how much of a hassle it provides, and not value it for the life itself.

    Absolutely.

    If I could save some African kid right now by clicking a link to add grains of rice to a bowl, I might take three seconds and do it.

    If to save some African kid's life right now I'd have to push rocks up a hill for a year with no pay, fuck you African kid.

    See what I did there? I just assigned a different value to human lives based on how much imposition on me saving them would require. That's because I own my time.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Fluffy,

    See what I did there? I just assigned a different value to human lives


    Don't be an idiot. You valued your time, not the kid's life. An African kid that does not receive grain from you is no worse off for it. A fetus on his last leg of the first trimester is DEAD if aborted. To me, hungry beats KILLED anytime of the day.

  • Fluffy||

    You're assinging a value to a human life according to how much of a hassle it provides

    I assigned a value to a human life according to how much of a hassle it was to me.

    OF COURSE when you compare the value of "a hassle" to "a human life" you have to value your time. There's no other way to do the math.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Fluffy,

    I assigned a value to a human life according to how much of a hassle it was to me.


    That's false. You assigned value to your time - you simply left the life ALONE, so you valued it ENOUGH not to kill the African kid. Your INACTION does not constitute evidence that you do not value his life.

  • Fluffy||

    Since I talked about "saving" some African kid, the alternative being posited here is that if I don't do the action the kid is dead.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Fluffy,

    Since I talked about "saving" some African kid


    You're equivocating, Fluffy. "Saving" is not the same as "not killing." You valued the life enough not to kill him, you simply did not provide nourishment. But the kid is not worse off because of your INaction than if you didn't exist.

    Abortion IS action.

  • Fluffy||

    The distinction between action and inaction has moral relevance, but not in the context of the point you made.

    You made a single point: that valuing human life based on the effort that life cost you made you a moral coward.

    That straightforwardly means that if you value human life enough to devote a little bit of effort to save it, but draw the line at devoting a huge amount of effort, you're a moral coward. You're valuing that life in terms of how much of a hassle it is to you to save it.

    Abortion may require a positive act, while letting the African kid die doesn't. But that distinction is beyond the scope of your original bitch. Your original complaint "valuing human life less when it is a hassle = monstrous" applies equally to both situations.

  • Randian||

    Let me show you how shocked I am that OM is incapable of arguing a difficult and intellectually nuanced position:

    Here.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Randian,

    difficult and intellectually nuanced position:


    Otherwise known as "equivocation" for those of us that know how to argue. Randian prefers to see it as "nuanced positions."

  • Randian||

    Right, dude. I am not the one who is saying "Embryos are people. ARGUMENT OVER!"

  • Pip||

    All this African kid stuff sounds racist. Why not a kid in Belfast?

  • Randian||

    Aren't there enough gingers in the world already?

  • R C Dean||

    I'm with Fluffy on this one.

    The hypothetical is that, if Fluffy doesn't do X, the kid will die.

    As we all know, the value of something is what someone will exchange for it.

    Fluffy is pointing out the kid's life has a value somewhere between a mouse click and a year of hard labor, for him.

    Leaving aside the contentious distinction between action and inaction/ not saving and killing, of course.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: RC Dean,

    The hypothetical is that, if Fluffy doesn't do X, the kid will die.


    Oh? So his INaction made the kid die?

    Leaving aside the contentious distinction between action and inaction/ not saving and killing, of course.


    No shit, RC.

  • T o n y||

    Clearly the nature of childbearing causes rights claims to conflict. The right of women not to be forced to carry a pregnancy to term against her will vs. the right of a fetus to be born. There is no resolving this empirically, though I do wonder what your natural rights gods have to say on the matter.

    You can't get around the fact, though, that if abortion is to be considered the same as murder, then government (or some similar entity) will have to force women to give birth against their will. That's a hell of a lot more intrusive than taxing your income, that's for sure.

  • ||

    Even Tony is arguing from a more honest position than some of you. The debate is over the conflict of rights not whether the fetus is human or alive because it is both.

  • T o n y||

    The question is to what extent the fetus has rights as a person. This is not a question science can answer, so we have to appeal to social norms and practicality.

    Considering an embryo or fetus a full person entails forcing pregnant rape victims to give birth to an unwanted child--and otherwise forcing unwanted births.

    (So clearly this attitude must coincide with a belief in a strong social safety net to care for all these unwanted children.)

    It's just better all around not to consider the unborn full persons and go with the historical practice of treating them as lower on the scale of entities that can claim rights. Banning abortion creates all sorts of bad outcomes for women, especially poor women who can't fly to the nearest abortion-friendly country. And, obviously, lecturing on personal responsibility doesn't work--except perhaps to absolve pro-lifers of any feeling of responsibility for the outcomes.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    The question is to what extent the fetus has rights as a person.


    To what extent do you?

    A fetus is a person, just like a newborn baby is a person.

  • Randian||

    OM,

    Define "person" and quit stealing arguments.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Randian,

    Define "person" and quit stealing arguments.


    A person is whoever can make choices or has the capability of making choices.

    If you want to obfuscate, I am one step ahead of you: Animals do NOT make choices, they are bound by instinct. And computers do not make choices, they follow a program created by a person.

  • Randian||

    Animals do NOT make choices, they are bound by instinct.

    No proof of that. They don't talk, so we don't know.

    Do you have any evidence that a fetus is capable of making choices? How about an embryo?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Randian,

    No proof of that. They don't talk, so we don't know.


    You don't need to TALK to SHOW your preferences, R.

    Do you have any evidence that a fetus is capable of making choices?


    Sure - give it a little time.

    How about an embryo?


    Of course I can show you - just have patience.

    My wife makes choices all the time, except when she's sound asleep. I would not think she stopped being a person during that time, so I guess I am less of a sociopath than you, R.

  • T o n y||

    OM you just, in fact, defined some animals as more person-like than a fetus.

  • $park¥||

    not whether the fetus is human or alive because it is both

    And you can prove that right? You can remove a one month old fetus from its mother's womb and prove without question that it is human and alive? I'd be willing to grant you that the cells are alive in the same sense that blood is alive or a tumor is alive.

  • ||

    Prove what Sparky? You are completely wrong on the science. A fetus is an alive human being at a certain stage of development. You can argue it isn't a person with rights or that the mother's rights take precedent but any other argument is ignorant or deliberately dishonest.

  • $park¥||

    I say a fetus is not a person. You say that a fetus is a person and I can make the argument that a fetus isn't a person. I say again that a fetus isn't a person. You say I can't argue that a fetus isn't a person because a fetus is a person.

    If I say again that a fetus isn't a person, will you again tell me that I can only argue over the personhood of a fetus? Or will you tell me that I can't argue over the personhood of a fetus? Or will you just call me ignorant and dishonest because that's all you have left?

  • ||

    I have NEVER in this entire argument said a fetus is a person (though I in fact do think so). I have repeatedly said that a fetus is a living human being, not a tumor, not a collection of cells and not something that isn't human yet. That is the science half. The debate over personhood is not a scientific one.

  • Marshall Gill||

    I love it when people attempt to conflate "person" with "alive, human, and individual".

    You know who else believed in classifying living human beings as "non-persons"? Fetus today, Jews tomorrow?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Clearly the nature of childbearing causes rights claims to conflict.


    Why? What's so difficult about "You Shall Not Kill"?

    You can't get around the fact, though, that if abortion is to be considered the same as murder, then government (or some similar entity) will have to force women to give birth against their will.


    Just like government can make me not kill a tenant of mine, against my will. The fetus did not choose to reside on the mother's womb, there's no naked aggression by the fetus, so there's no real conflict of rights here.

    The mother may feel entitled to an uncumbered life, but a feeling of entitlement is NOT a right, Tony.

  • T o n y||

    All you're saying is that women don't have a right to terminate pregnancies and fetuses have a right to be born. You're not arguing why this is good, you're just asserting it.

  • Tim||

    "9-month-long physically exhausting biological process "
    You didn't do that. Somebody else did that.

  • Pip||

    Obama is toast.

  • Randian||

    I'll take that bet.

  • Pip||

    Okay, Obama wins, I'll donate $50 to Reason as Randian.

  • Randian||

    If Romney wins, I will donate $50 to Reason as Pip.

  • Paul.||

    Fuck that, I want a fine bottle of Whiskey.

  • Randian||

    Pip, you want to switch this to whiskey?

  • Paul.||

    Everyone here knows I'll take that bet as well. Get in line behind John, Pro L and Tulpa.

  • wareagle||

    that's right, Tony; it is always the paternalistic system, conspiring against women. Why, I bet whatever force was behind the creation of humanity said, "hey, let's make the child-bearing process ridiculously uncomfortable, even painful, for one of the genders and make the other gender act like the whole thing is on a par with a headache."

    No one is forced to have children and on one is unaware anymore of the processes required to produce them. Make a better argument.

  • T o n y||

    What about rape victims?

    And people can be stunningly ignorant about these things, especially in the absence of state-mandated comprehensive sex ed. I think the fact that poor rural school districts tend to have higher pregnancy rates is not due to poor rural kids having more sex.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    How do rape victims factor into this?

  • Loki||

    I think the fact that poor rural school districts tend to have higher pregnancy rates is not due to poor rural kids having more sex.

    Actually it is, at least partially. I've lived in rural (maybe not particularly poor, but lower middle class) areas of NE Texas. There's not much to do on a Friday or Saturday night except get drunk and fuck. So that's what a lot of people do.

  • Paul.||

    I think the fact that poor rural school districts tend to have higher pregnancy rates is not due to poor rural kids having more sex.

    It can actually be.

    I happen to work on Western Washington's hot-zone of teen pregnancy. Girls mature fast down here. I would bet that if you could get an honest survey, you'd find girls engaging in sexual activity starting at a much younger age than they do in other surrounding areas.

    And there's plenty of sex education going on in this neighborhood. Free condoms grow on trees around here.

  • ||

    I happen to work on Western Washington's hot-zone of teen pregnancy.

    Did you just tell us you are pimp?

  • Paul.||

    I've never admitted to being pimp.

  • Paul.||

    And trafficking!

  • Pip||

    "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."

    Genesis 3:16

  • ||

    Yes, sounds less awful to some of the moral cowards than saying "ninety six percent of puppies are drowned in rivers before being three months old."

    Wait...

    Are you saying we can't drown puppies?

  • ||

    Judging from all the available evidence, the state’s clinics boast an excellent safety record. Ninety-six percent of the abortions performed in Virginia are carried out during the first trimester, and nationwide, only one-half of 1 percent of such abortions result in complications requiring follow-up surgery or hospitalization.

    Well 100% of abortions are unsafe for at least one party involved.

  • Loki||

    "Regulations for thee but not for me."

    You mean ass clowns with political agendas are massive hypocrits? Here, let me show my shocked face.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Politically, I'm a Crank. My position on abortion is unlikely to make either side very happy. I think that it should be broadly legal, that no tax money of any kind should be spent on it, and that the government should be enjoined from providing abortions to minor children unless it is prepared to go to court for custody of said children.

    I also believe that, unless something about the debate changes, I will live to see abortion widely outlawed once again. The pro-abortion fringes are hysterically against parental notification, so much so that I frankly expect them to flout such laws. That will lead, inexorably, to a series of young girls, illegally transported across state lines, who are then seriously injured or outright die on the operating table. The pro-abortion activists will not have the political sense to be repentant, and state by state they will lose the rights they claim to want by not having the common sense to not be the bad guys.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    On economic policy libertarians and the GOP are rhetorically identical.


    Well, at least you got the rhetorical side correctly, because the GOP people only pay lip service to free markets. They are not sincere about it.

    You both believe in things about 95% of economists think are the opposite of reality.


    Take your Thorazine, Tony. You're hearing voices again.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    On economic policy libertarians and the GOP are rhetorically identical.


    Well, at least you got the rhetorical side correctly, because the GOP people only pay lip service to free markets. They are not sincere about it.

    You both believe in things about 95% of economists think are the opposite of reality.


    Take your Thorazine, Tony. You're hearing voices again.

  • ||

    Judging from all the available evidence, the state’s clinics boast an excellent safety record.

    The fetuses being killed would disagree, if they could.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    This. Now, while we're all debating whether a unique living thing is human or not, Jane Roe's baby is alive and well, as Roe was prevented from exercising her right to privacy and killing the damn thing. I say we gather our torches, pitchforks, and guns, and go hunt this sumbith down for violating Jane Roe's right with every breath she takes! Who's with me???

  • nike free run||

    The treatment is effective

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Ask the nurse who has to reassemble the baby's body if they're not human. Can't leave any fingers, toes, or limbs behind. But pish, they're not human. They can't even type!

  • Heata||

    It's unfortunate that the author made a good point about regulatory hypocracy with the subject of abortion. Now I get to read all of these comments from men about "the woman" and "the fetus" as if they have any concept of what they're talking about.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    As a former fetus and a father of a 1st grader I have some concept. I'm not Jewish but I can still denounce the Holocaust. I'm not black but I can still denounce slavery. Any time an individual is deemed to not be human an atrocity is about to be committed.

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