Should Women Who Have Had an Abortion Feel Guilty About It?

The (non-graphic) video above follows a woman named Emily Letts having an early-term abortion (according to Letts, she was only a few weeks pregnant when she had the procedure). The video was produced for the Abortion Care Network's "Abortion Stigma Busting Competition."

Writing in Cosmopolitan, Letts, who works as a counselor at a birth-control and abortion clinice, says

I know there are women who feel great remorse. I have seen the tears. Grieving is an important part of a woman’s process, but what I really wanted to address in my video is guilt.

Our society breeds this guilt. We inhale it from all directions. Even women who come to the clinic completely solid in their decision to have an abortion say they feel guilty for not feeling guilty. Even though they know 110 percent that this is the best decision for them, they pressure themselves to feel bad about it.

I didn’t feel bad. I do feel a little irresponsible and embarrassed about not using birth control. I mean, Emily, wake up! What are you doing? I was going against the advice I give to patients all the time. So I had them put an IUD in after the abortion. I was able to learn and move forward. And I am grateful that I can share my story and inspire other women to stop the guilt.

Read more.

According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, there were slightly more than 1 million abortions performed in the U.S. in 2012, and virtually all of them (89 percent to 92 percent, depending on the source) were done at 12 weeks of gestation or earlier. Abortion rates are trending down, mostly due to an increase in the use of and effectiveness of birth control.

Letts' video is certainly provocative and it likely generates the broadly ambivalent feelings that abortion itself inspires in Americans. For all the political discussions about abortion, few voters (18 percent, according to Gallup) say that candidates must share their views on abortion to win their vote. About equal percentages (in the mid-40s) call themselves "pro-choice" and "pro-life." While there is widespread agreement that later-term abortions should be banned except in cases involving the life of the woman, there is very strong agreement that abortion should be legal in the first three months of pregnancy, with 61 percent saying yes and 31 percent saying no. Those percentages essentially flip when it comes to the second trimester. For all the stats above and more, see Gallup.

It seems to me that there is wisdom in that split reaction. We understand that a fetus at, say, 10 weeks is very different than one at 20 or 30 weeks. While strict opponents of abortion talk about life beginning at the moment of conception (exactly what that means is often difficult to define precisely) and strict proponents of abortion say that anything goes until delivery, most of us follow a less stark, less Manichean line.

That sliding approval scale also comports with the levels of grief that mothers and fathers feel in real life: We grieve a baby that dies hours after birth in a very different way than we do a miscarriage that happens at eight weeks, 20 weeks, or even later in a pregnancy.

While I find something vaguely unseemly in Letts' presentation (she's an actress by trade and there's a lurking sense of exhibitionism in it all), I think she is right not to feel guilty about her abortion. While the exact definition of personhood will always ultimately be somewhat arbitrary and socially constructed, she certainly didn't commit infanticide. Rather, she exercised control over her body.

For people interested in a truly enaging social history of abortion, I highly recommend Marvin Olasky's Abortion Rites. A strong social conservative and opponent of abortion, Olasky nevertheless provides a comprehensive and meticulous examination of the changing status and practice of abortion in American culture from the colonial period through the early 1990s, when the book was published. Independent of your position on abortion, you will walk away with a much-richer and, I suspect, a much greater understanding for the complexity of the issue.

Last year, Reason hosted a powerful discussion about libertarian perspectives on abortion with Ronald Bailey, Mollie Hemingway, and Katherine Mangu-Ward. Watch it now:

More links and resources here.

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  • UnCivilServant||

    You're murdering a child, the very least you should do is feel guilty about it.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    If not, someone like you will be their to call them a baby-killer.

  • ||

    That's right. What she should really feel guilty about is that she doesn't pay a higher tax rate. The true moral issue of our time.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Hey Weigel.

  • Warren's Strapon||

    For all the political discussions about abortion, few voters (18 percent, according to Gallup) say that candidates must share their views on abortion to win their vote.

    In related news, 80% of voters refuse to admit they are single-issue voters.

  • Old Bull Lee||

    For a certain loud segment of the voter base (crazy Christians and crazy feminists) it is the only thing that matters.

    Well actually, the crazy feminists also care about "access" to birth control and any policies they can get to give them an unfair advantage.

  • trutherator||

    Unless it is a fellow control-freak ideologue like Bill Clinton and the rapist-accessory wife.

  • Swiss Servator, CH yeah!||

    Someone is fishing for 500+ comments...

  • ||

    It was actually a pretty sensible article, and I agree that if she didn't think it is a person then she shouldn't feel guilty.

    The only problem was this line:

    While the exact definition of personhood will always ultimately be somewhat arbitrary and socially constructed, she certainly didn't commit infanticide. Rather, she exercised control over her body.

    If the exact definition is arbitrary the how can it be "certain"?

  • Tony||

    There was no infant involved.

  • ||

    This is actually technically correct. It is not an infant until it is born. It's human, though. So she did murder a human. It just can't be called infanticide due to the definition of the term.

  • ||

    Yes, its technically correct, but the next line shows Nick's meaning, i.e. "even though I just wrote an article stating that people vehemently disagree on the subject and just once sentence before I said it was arbitrary, I'm going to beg the question anyways."

  • ||

    That wouldn't be a bad summary of the attached video, or Reason's editorial stance on the issue more generally. The libertarian tent is plenty big enough for a dunce section where all the prolifers can sit with their dunce hats and we can all celebrate the diversity of opinions on the issue.

  • gimmeasammich||

    Someone is fishing for 500+ comments...

    Hey, those sweet leather duds aren't going to buy themselves!

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "Our society breeds this guilt."

    This is quite a collectivist, responsibility-shifting remark.

    And she didn't use birth control? I suppose we can't blame *that* on abstinence education!

  • ||

    Even though they know 110 percent that this is the best decision for them, they pressure themselves to feel bad about it.

    Maybe, just mayby, this guilt is self-induced because of, say, at least one decision in recent history that didn't end up the way the woman expected it.

  • ||

    Also, fuck anyone who says 110%.

  • ||

    I agree with this 111%

  • MJGreen||

    I guess it's true that "society" "breeds" guilt about abortion. Just as it "breeds" guilt about murder, theft, dishonesty. That something is the best decision for you does not mean you shouldn't feel guilt. Sometimes you're left with only bad options. She said she did feel embarrassed and irresponsible, so... why not feel some guilt about being irresponsible and finding yourself in this position?

  • ||

    One could argue she doubled down on irresponsibility by murdering a human being instead of caring for it or putting it up for adoption. Perhaps she's a sociopath for not feeling guilty about it.

  • KPres||

    Society breeds guilt by definition...all societies, everywhere. A "society", after all, is nothing but a set laws, norms and customs that individuals are pressured to adopt in order to unify expected behavior in interpersonal relationships. If you adopt those norms and customs, then don't adhere to them, you feel guilty. That's how it works.

    That's not to say that society is the root of guilt, though. An individuals own value system is the root of guilt. If somebody says "I don't feel guilty about having an abortion, but I do feel guilty about not feeling guilty", that means they don't have any personal problem with abortion, but they do believe they should adopt societies norms, which currently lean anti-abortion.

    What bugs me is that people like Emily Letts haven't grasped this simple relationship (clearly, since she's bemoaning that our society breeds guilt as if this is somehow an unexpected or useful revelation), yet somehow they end up counseling people and writing in a major publication. How do such stupid people end up in these positions?

  • trutherator||

    Yeah, blame the guilt on society. We used to laugh at Flip Wilson's line on this: "The Devil made me do it!"

  • John||

    You don't have much control over whether you feel bad about something. You feel bad whether you like it or not. Clearly, many women who do have abortions feel bad about it later. Whether they have something to feel bad about or not is a totally subjective question. The fact that so many of them do feel bad is at least some evidence that perhaps abortion isn't just like any other medical procedure to remove a useless lump of cells.

    That said, rationally, if you honestly believe life does not begin until the magic trip down the birth canal, then women should not feel bad about having an abortion or having a miscarriage for that matter. There isn't a person there yet. So really having a miscarriage is no different than any other month that a woman tries to get pregnant but doesn't. The only difference is that she got a little closer to having a child this time. Women who have had miscarriages don't seem to view it that way, but perhaps they are just being irrational.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm trying to imagine a woman who isn't irrational.

  • Swiss Servator, CH yeah!||

    TIWTANLW?

  • Sudden||

    Exactly. Libertarians are rational, hence the low numbers of true Scotswomen

  • ||

  • ||

    (It's a joke. From a movie)

  • Soros' Wank-noose||

    The only thing that would make this even more apropos would be if the secretary's name were a variation of "Tony"

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I'm trying to imagine a HUMAN who isn't irrational sometimes. The picture isn't a pretty one.

  • Sudden||

    John, I agree completely with your sentiments but I think you're missing one central and disturbing point here:

    Those women who are adamantly pro-choice, have an abortion, and then feel guilty about it but maintain the "rightness" of their decision and their commitment to abortion rights do so precisely because they think their "independence" is more valuable than the life of another, even their own child.

    Some will, like the woman in the article above, attempt to rationalize their guilt and deflect blame and deceive themselves into believing that the guilt they feel isn't because of some intrinsic connection to the humanity of the discarded fetus but rather the result of societal programming or the hormones associated with pregnancy. But if they continue to support their decision specifically or actively work within the abortion lobby, its pretty much an indication that they view their "independent" lives as more important than the lives of their own genetic offspring.

  • Sudden||

    Its the same reason I've never understood those who say abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. If it's just another medical procedure, the frequency of it should be unimportant. The same way that if it's just another medical procedure, there should be no guilt about having one.

    Any recognition of guilt or statement that it should be rare (I've heard Hillary use that term a number of times back in the 08 campaign trail) is a recognition that it indeed IS different from a simple medical procedure and that there are issues of bioethics to contend with.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    If people truly want it to be both legal and rare, then societal guilt is a control method which can be used towards those ends.

    But as others have said - even those who claim they want it legal and rare - also want to not feel bad and for everyone to agree with their decision.

    As usual - they are trying to have it both ways and few if any will question them on this very fact.

  • toolkien||

    The rarity should stem from the fact that an abortion is an invasive medical procedure that, no matter how much care is taken, can result in harm. There are so many ways to prevent pregnancy that an abortion should be a last resort for a woman who does not want a child for whatever reason. It should not be the default option for carelessness.

  • trutherator||

    Maybe they don't know what causes pregnancy?

  • John||

    While the exact definition of personhood will always ultimately be somewhat arbitrary and socially constructed, she certainly didn't commit infanticide. Rather, she exercised control over her body.

    Way to beg the question Nick. It is amazing how easy argument is when you just assume the facts support your argument.

  • tarran||

  • trutherator||

    He simply presumed the conclusion to support it.

    There is only one scientific, rational, objective way to determine whether the zygote or embryo or fetus is part of the mother's body or can be scientifcally defined as a separate human body. Forensics labs do it all the time as a matter of life and death.

  • Drake||

    Can we just ban elective 3rd trimester abortions and move on to other things?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    No. Some are medically necessary.

  • Warren's Strapon||

    He said "elective", dipshit.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    They are all elective except natural/spontaneous abortions.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Go look up the definition of "elective surgery" you dumb piece of shit.

  • TANSTaaFL||

    And thus, buttplug demonstrates why no rational discussion on abortion is possible.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Hey Weigel.

  • ||

    , there is very strong agreement that abortion should be legal in the first three months of pregnancy, with 61 percent saying yes and 31 percent saying no. Those percentages essentially flip when it comes to the second trimester. For all the stats above and more, see Gallup.

    Apparently not, I'm guessing a ban on 2nd trimester (or somewhere in the middle of the 2nd) would put the issue on the back burner.

  • Tony||

    I think they should feel more guilty when they carry the little creatures to term.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yes, we know your mother regrets not having an abortion. We regret it as well.

  • Drake||

    Is it really too late?

  • General Butt Naked||

    Quick! Someone get a coat hanger.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

  • General Butt Naked||

    I'm tempted to send 'em the ten clams for one of those things.

    I don't know if everyone would get it though.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I'd be willing to make an exception for an EXTREMELY late term abortion in this particular case.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    My father was adopted. To his dying say he had nothing good to say about people who wanted to meet their "real" parents. In his view your parents were the people who raised you.

    For myself, I feel that the movement to force the unsealing of adoption papers is a mistake because it is ALWAYS a mistake to encourage the government, on any level, to go back on its word.

    With all the organizations around to bring birth-mother and child together voluntarily, if your birth-mother isn't on any such registry, there is no happy ending. She doesn't want you to know, or doesn't want someone else to know, and forcing the issue is going to end in pain all around.

    For those who can't see this, I propose the following bargain; we go to your birth-mother, tell her that the records are about to be forced open, and ask if she regrets not having an abortion. If the answer is "yes" we come back and shoot you in the face with a double barreled shotgun.

    And revise your birth records to show "extreme late term abortion"

    Which is why I thought of all this here.

  • ||

    I can think of at least one woman who should.

  • tarran||

    I think they should feel more guilty when they carry the little creatures to term.

    And people doubt the proposition that Tony is a sockpuppet trying to push people's buttons to get a rise out of them.

  • Swiss Servator, CH yeah!||

    Yeah, that is really a clincher there, tarran.

  • Tony||

    I'm making a sincere moral point. Having a child is perhaps the single most selfish act a human can commit. They may look cute (rarely), but they're really just little walking carbon footprints. Abortions should not only be sanctioned and subsidized, women who have them should be celebrated in annual parades.

  • From the Tundra||

    Why are you still here if you feel that way?

    (Yes, Tarran, I know)

    Honestly, if you truly believe human life is a blight on the planet, couldn't you do your part? Y'know, for the betterment of society?

  • Swiss Servator, CH yeah!||

    +1 pour encourager les autres (progs)

  • Tony||

    Are we talking about the planet or society? Once you're born there's not a whole lot that can be done. You're a part of humanity. Not to say that the rest of the biosphere wouldn't benefit greatly by our absence, but I really only care about us and myself specifically.

  • From the Tundra||

    Once you're born there's not a whole lot that can be done.

    Like hell there's not.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    And you are willing to kill others to your own benefit.

    You are the epitome of morality.

  • Sudden||

    It's almost like a living, breathing reminder of the derp that is someone who feels guilt for having an abortion but continues to work at an abortion clinic counseling women to have abortions.

    The guilt is the recognition that what they've done is indeed murder. But they continue to rationalize that murder because they believe their lives more important than others.

  • Tony||

    So was Dagny Taggart. In fact she considered it the height of morality.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Dagny Taggart proposed killing people with differing opinions?

    Please cite chapter and verse.

  • Tony||

    When she refused to accept the very rational concerns about the safety of a completely high-speed train on rails made of a brand-new substance. She felt entitled to risk the lives of others because of her gut feeling.

    Objectivity!

  • Tony||

    Shit... completely *untested

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    You mean the politically contrived concerns to keep the competitor in business? And how many customers were on the train for it's test run?

    So you didn't read the book.

    You are a mendacious pig.

  • gimmeasammich||

    Yes, I seem to remember a certain quote from our own Resident Retard that mentioned exactly this...

  • MJGreen||

    "Having a child is perhaps the single most selfish act a human can commit."

    "I really only care about us and myself specifically."

  • Soros' Wank-noose||

    There's nothing like the slip of a mask, eh?

  • gimmeasammich||

    There's nothing like the slip of a mask, eh?

    It's not so much a slip as it is just purposefully lifting the mask for a few seconds to yell "BOO!"

  • Soros' Wank-noose||

    Touche`

    But, that just brings to light even more issues. Or, something like that.

    The dude's fucked up. What can I say?

  • sarcasmic||

    If you're so worried about carbon footprints, do the world a favor and kill yourself. We'll have a parade for you. I promise.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    I am interested, how will his parade not leave a carbon footprint?

  • sarcasmic||

    It will leave less of a footprint than the rest of his life would.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Following your logic then, keeping you alive is also a moral burden because you too are a walking carbon footprint, and an asshole to boot.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Tony has no problem killing for the cause.

  • ||

    Except he's too pussified to even look upon a gun. No, he would rather have someone do his bidding for him. Actually confronting the genocidal implications of his masturbatory fantasies is uncomfortable. Or at least unfashoinable.

  • ||

    You're a walking carbon footprint. Why not kill yourself? Or are you too selfish to want your own life to continue when no one else does? At least you have the choice, unlike the human fetuses that are murdered by their own mothers.

    Or perhaps we should put it to a vote. Democracy!

  • Tony||

    Fetuses don't have a choice because they lack all rational capacity, which is the same reason it's ok to abort them.

    Don't knock majority vote too soon. We could see abortions outlawed again, and it will be done by 5 out of 9 people. Majority vote. Let's see you bitch then.

  • ||

    Infants lack all rational capacity as well, and many elderly people I've come into contact with at a nearby nursing home. Should they be murdered and is it only permissible if done so by their mother?

  • Tony||

    Some room must be made for common standards of decency, alas.

  • KPres||

    I would say not murdering a baby falls under "common standards of decency".

  • General Butt Naked||

    Fetuses don't have a choice because they lack all rational capacity, which is the same reason it's ok to abort them.

    What about retards? They don't seem to rational. Can we kill them too? You know, for the betterment of society, or whatever.

  • General Butt Naked||

    to = too

    Gawd, just abort me now.

  • From the Tundra||

    Fuck no, General. The world would truly be a sad place without your insights and nakedness.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Hey now. I'm only half-retarded (on the mother's side).

    To prove it, I will now bag these groceries in under 10 minutes.

    *squashed bread, sobs, rage*

  • tarran||

    What about retards? They don't seem to rational. Can we kill them too?

    +1 T-4 Program

  • ||

    Fetuses don't have a choice because they lack all rational capacity, which is the same reason it's ok to abort them.

    The implications of this statement on your own life are profound, friendo.

  • sarcasmic||

    The implications of this statement on your own life are profound, friendo.

    I was thinking the same thing.

  • Sudden||

    Don't knock majority vote too soon. We could see abortions outlawed again, and it will be done by 5 out of 9 people. Majority vote. Let's see you bitch then

    Why do you display your ignorance so often?

    Roe v. Wade prevents state-level limitations on abortions. If the court ever revises abortion precedent, it will almost certainly be returning the decision of abortion legislation to the state level. So a state like South Dakota may indeed ban the procedure, however States like California and Massachusetts will remain jurisdictions in which an abortion can be obtained legally.

  • Tony||

    Antonin Scalia and his minions have demonstrated quite clearly that they have given up on all pretense of respect for precedent or judicial restraint.

  • Sudden||

    Go back and re-read my comment with a little extra attention to detail.

    The comment recognizes that there may indeed be a point at which the court breaks with the ruling precedent from Roe, but at the point that occurs, abortion doesn't become recognized as a crime on the federal level. Rather, the legal regime governing abortion is returned to the states to decide independentky.

  • Tony||

    If the court can make corporations people it can make fetuses people too.

  • Sudden||

    YOu must think irony is defined as the condition of not being wrinkled.

    The Supreme Court has, ironically, only waded into the field of defining personhood in two instances of which I'm aware and Roe v Wade was one of them (Dred Scott being the other... pretty telling company).

    In Roe, Blackmun essentially conceived of the third trimester as the point at which restrictions can be placed because the personhood may indeed be there.

    Citizens United of course has nothing to do with the personhood of corporations. It has to do with the inherent rights of individuals not being compromised by joining free associations of other individuals for the express purpose of exercising those rights through pooling of resources.

    But I sometimes vacillate between thinking you already know that and are being disingenuous and not having the basic mental faculties to recognize nuanced arguments rooted in abstract concepts.

  • Tony||

    This is an abortion thread. Of course I'm not being serious. It's not like we're going to solve the abortion question here.

  • sarcasmic||

    Sudden, the truth doesn't matter. It is accepted among leftists that a conservative Supreme Court will make abortions illegal for everyone, everywhere. Because Bush, Koch brothers and FOX news.

  • ||

    Antonin Scalia and his minions have demonstrated quite clearly that they have given up on all pretense of respect for precedent or judicial restraint.

    Tony has enough respect for the institution though not to cite any references that would embarrass the justices.

  • Tony||

    They just made Christianity the de facto state religion in a lot of places.

  • ||

    They just made Christianity the de facto state religion in a lot of places.

    Lol.

    Not even you could torture logic to that degree. Sometimes you have to read more than the thread titles at DU, bro.

  • MWG||

    ^^^Ladies and gentlemen, the mind of a psychopath.

  • Calidissident||

    Tony, do you not see the irony in chastising others for valuing the lives of fetuses so highly, when you place such a ridiculous value on the "well-being" of the biosphere and "Mother Earth?"

  • Curtisls87||

    You've really been on a roll, lately, with some of the most absurd comments I've ever seen. What is selfish about providing for another life for 18-21 years? What is selfish about doing a job you may not like or want so that another being can grow and thrive?

    You must live a very sad life.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Tony, did you MEAN to descend into brutal parody of everything the Left pretends it doesn't stand for, but does?

  • trutherator||

    It's the other way around. Abortions are selfish.

  • KPres||

    I would feel guilty if I carried you to term.

  • Hyperion||

    This is my one post to this thread. Good luck.

  • Swiss Servator, CH yeah!||

    "I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you."

  • flye||

    Don't you tell me which zone is for loading, and which zone is for stopping!

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Oh really, Vernon, why pretend, we both know perfectly
    well what it is you're talking about. You want me to
    have an abortion.

  • gimmeasammich||

    "And don't call me Shirley!"

  • Doctor Whom||

    How could you take such a horrible position, you heartless monster?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Why 'should'?

    Some do, some don't.

    'Should' is for those who want to control others.

  • Sudden||

    This. But if one does feel guilt, its incumbent upon them to re-examine their commitment to the legality of such a procedure.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I'm far from convinced this is the case. If I shoot somebody in self defense, I think I should feel guilt over ending a life. Not enough guilt to not defend myself from attack, not enough to join the gun-haters, but guilt.

  • Old Bull Lee||

    Sounds like it's much easier to be pro-choice when you don't actually have to make the choice.

  • Mr. Soul||

    winner.

    No matter what choice anyone ever makes, 2nd guessing yourself and feeling guilty comes with the freedom to choose.

  • LoudGuitr||

    They should feel any way they wish, and it's none of your freaking business.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Is this the, don't like abortion, don't have one argument?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I took it as the you are responsible for your own actions argument.

  • gimmeasammich||

    Yes, the "You made your bed, now lie in it" argument.

  • NL_||

    In the fullness of time, there will be a method to pluck gestating kids from the mom and either plant them in a dedicated incubator or in somebody else as a surrogate. Which seems less distant in a lot of ways than the Singularity.

    At that time, the conflict between women who don't want to be pregnant and the kids developing inside them. So I imagine there will be a lot less sympathy for abortion once it's largely unnecessary.

  • NL_||

    At that time, there's no conflict*

  • ||

    Yes, artificial womb technology should be the goal of pro-lifers not the political process (especially the Federal one).

  • ||

    Unless you view the pro-life movement as containing or as the extension of a personal-responsibility ethos.

    Artificial womb technology bursts on to the scene tomorrow. Are women suddenly allowed to conceive 30+ undesired children? Does Obamacare cover artificial wombs for undesired children? Do the taxes to pay for orphans and their wombs get passed off solely onto the orphans or do we roll it into the national debt and pass it to all our children?

  • ||

    The surrounding welfare environment is irrelevant to whether or not someone should have life just like it is irrelevant to whether or not people should have freedom of movement across borders. Does it create additional complexities, sure. But freedom does that all the time. We could work toward life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and also work toward ending the welfare state.

    We could penaltax anyone who gets pregnant, with a refund (not to exceed the tax) for those that actually care for their own kids or find a willing adoptive parent. Or my preference, charities finance the operation because taxes are coercive and that's bad.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    We could penaltax anyone who gets pregnant

    AWESOME! The hilarity that would ensue would be completely worth it.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Do the taxes to pay for orphans and their wombs get passed off solely onto the orphans

    You make it sound like there is no market for orphans.

  • ||

    Sorry, I meant to make it sound like a government could create a social safety net and/or a general dearth of social responsibility whereby women could reproduce at a rate far in excess of the market demand for orphans. At which point, artificial wombs or not, the choice once again becomes the pill or abortions.

  • KPres||

    You're thinking too much like a libertarian, worrying about resolving conflicts between people and such. The abortion issue is about pro-religion vs anti-religion, with a dose of population control thrown in for good measure.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    NO. Neither side is anti-religion. It's just that one side firmly believes that it doesn't have one, and in spite of this blindly believes a number of things that it cannot prove.

    Atheists have a touching faith in their own lack of faith.

  • trutherator||

  • ||

    If I wanted to voluntarily contract measles, is it my choice to avoid getting vaccinated?

    If vaccinations against unwanted or undesirable diseases are or should be mandatory, why shouldn't treatments against undesirable pregnancies?

  • Ama-Gi Anarchist||

    Okay, I'll bite.

    Guy jizzes in a girl, she should go get an estrogen shot. End of potential pregnancy.

  • ||

    Re-read what I wrote, specifically the word "mandatory".

    Guy jizzes in girl, he, or her parents, or the state (or whomever else would be tasked with or have a stake in raising the child) decide she shouldn't be having children and *force* her to abort.

    There are contributors to this site that regard abortion as a choice that women should be able to make in a nearly unfettered manner but regard vaccinations (even trivial ones) as a mandate that is too important to leave to individuals, who are inherently capricious and stupid.

    I just wonder who the selective wielders of the 'greater good' argument actually are.

  • Ama-Gi Anarchist||

    Hmmm...good point.

  • ||

    Hey guys, sorry I missed the AM Links, busy morning. How's everything go-

    oh.

    *backs away slowly*

  • Marshall Gill||

    While strict opponents of abortion talk about life beginning at the moment of conception (exactly what that means is often difficult to define precisely)

    No, Nick, it is fairly simple and so scientifically understood that it is done regularly in labs. While I realize the whole concept of sexual reproduction in mammals is fairly sciency, it isn't that complicated. A new human being is not began at some time past fertilization. A human being in it's embryonic stage is just as much a human being as you are a human being in his adult stage.

    What is difficult to define precisely is the term "person" and when a known, living human individual doesn't qualify and can therefore be killed. Stick with the emotional "person" and avoid science. It is....inconvenient.

  • Fluffy||

    A human being in it's embryonic stage is just as much a human being as you are a human being in his adult stage.

    Based on what criteria?

    It's certainly not the same size.

    It certainly doesn't have the same appearance.

    So what you're saying is that size and appearance aren't part of "science"?

    You put entirely too much emphasis on genetics.

    How many pieces do I have to cut off a cat before it's no longer a cat?

    The answer can't be "all of them", because then any random thimblefull of tissue with cat DNA can be called a "cat". And that would be absurd.

    So the answer is somewhere between "none" and "all of them".

    How many pieces do I have to cut off a human being before it's no longer a human being?

    Same answer.

  • mapooler||

    You're talking about pieces of a whole scientifically being equal to a whole. And that size and appearance when changed, change the species, and in the case of humans, change their value. It would be better to say "is an infant less human than a toddler? Is a child less human than an adult? Is an elderly person who is senile and child-like less human than an adult?" The answer is no, they are not less human. They are all equal parts human, and their humanity is not determined by what stage of development they are in. In the same way, a fetus in the womb has a unique value to it, and science has helped us to better see the humanity of a fetus, from its DNA, to the growth of its organs, to its language development and ability to recognize its mother's voice in the womb. We cannot fault a human being for developing at the rate in which they are made to develop according to nature. We cannot take away the value of one human being because it is supposedly not wanted, and put equal value and protection on a life in the same stage that supposedly is wanted.

  • trutherator||

    Caterpillar and butterfly. Same species. One juvenile, one adult. And then there's the cocoon. Is the cocoon a butterfly? Does DNA matter? Ask the forensics guy.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    ALL: Birthday I.O.U.

    I.O.U. so many things
    I.O.U. everything
    But I can't repay you
    And it's too late to save you

    There really wasn't a choice
    Seventeen was just too young
    I couldn't hear your voice
    I couldn't feel your living

    I.O.U. so many things
    I.O.U. everything
    But I can't repay you
    And it's too late to save you
    My son, my mistake
    My son, my mistake

    I know you could have been a girl baby,
    Now you can't be anything
    We needed you to prove our love,
    We used you, then we killed you

    I.O.U. so many things
    I.O.U. everything
    But I can't repay you
    And it's too late to save you
    My son, my mistake
    My son, my mistake

    Right to life? Who decides?
    Is there wrong and right?
    When mom and dad treated you so bad

    We made our own decisions,
    No one else's business
    We'll learn to live with our mistakes
    Live by learning from our mistakes
    My mistake

  • From the Tundra||

    Yikes. That's like the complete opposite of dipshit videographer chick.

    Thanks?

  • Sunmonocle Backwards Tophat||

    I prefer the Sex Pistols' version.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I'm calling it right now...

    The video's a fake. She's a faker. It's a put-on. Kinda like those napkins that a server gets with an outpouring of bigotry which in turn leads to an even bigger outpouring of online donations.

    Unless I see a jar filled with whatever they took out of her, I'm calling it a hoax.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Are they now supposed to feel guilty about feeling guilty? How about we just don't tell people how to feel or how they should feel? That would be nice.

  • ||

    Even though they know 110 percent that this is the best decision for them, they pressure themselves to feel bad about it.

    huh?

    How are we so sure it is not biological?

    It would be interesting to do a study on the biochemical changes of a bird's brain when you destroy one of its eggs. or the biochemical change of a cat or dog brain when you destroy one of its new borns.

  • Sudden||

    Well, in the case of human pregnancy, the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy may result in heightened emotional feelings. The same reason women become irrational (read: more irrational) during their periods.

  • Sunmonocle Backwards Tophat||

    It would be interesting to do a study on the biochemical changes of a bird's brain when you destroy one of its eggs.

    Still trying to impress Feeney with your Brit slang, eh?

  • R C Dean||

    That pic of her with the silver hair looks to me like a pic of someone grieving or at least in emotional distress. She may not be as happy about all this as she claims.

  • Fluffy||

    The fact that so many of them do feel bad is at least some evidence that perhaps abortion isn't just like any other medical procedure to remove a useless lump of cells.

    No no no no no no no no no.

    This is a trap, people.

    If emotivism can "prove" that abortion is wrong ("If you feel guilty that must mean something!") then emotivism can also "prove" that we should have a welfare state. ("Only sociopaths don't feel bad for the poor!")

    Your emotional reaction to something (and Letts') has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not it's moral.

  • MJGreen||

    Well, I'd say it can have something to do with it, but it's definitely never sufficient to prove anything. And that welfare argument has a gaping non-sequitur in the middle of it, so I'm not sure how the comparison works.

  • Fluffy||

    Because if having an emotional reaction to something constitutes a valid proof of a moral proposition in the case of abortion, then all emotional reactions are valid proofs of moral propositions.

    And that would mean that the progs could safely decline to discuss the merits of the welfare state any further. They have emotions, you see.

    "Our emotions prove that it's right to force rich people to pay to take care of the poor. Don't you agree that it's sad that people are poor? Don't you feel bad for people when they starve?"

    Non sequiturs are a feature of rational argument only. There is no such thing as a non sequitur in emotivism.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    What if they threw an abortion post and nobody came?

  • MikeyMikey||

    I consider myself a pure libertarian, but this is one of two issues that give me pause because they fall in a sort of gray zone. I err on the side of pro-choice, but empathize with the point of view that says murder is murder. It all depends on when a life is said to have begun, and the fact that there's subjectivity involved depending on who says it means it will forever be gray.

    The other issue is guns. As a fervent believer in the 2nd Amendment, I support your right to own them, yet can't imagine why you'd choose to do so, seeing as even the most conservative of studies has shown that they're 11x more likely to be used to hurt someone you love than to protect them. Free to choose, though...

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    ...seeing as even the most conservative of studies has shown that they're 11x more likely to be used to hurt someone you love than to protect them.

    Citation please. Don't make an assertion like that without providing a link.

  • MikeyMikey||

    You're right. Forgive me.

    http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/.....0/929.full
    Even if the actual multiple isn't as high as 11, but still greater than one, isn't that sufficient to make the case? And isn't it intuitive that it would be greater than one?

  • tarran||

    God. I hate that bullshit study.

    Here is what it says. If someone in your household dies violently, the likelihood that it was by gunfire is higher if you own a gun than if you don't.

    Just like, if you die accidentally, the likelihood that it is behind the wheel of a car is much higher if you own a fucking car.

    No shit sherlock! If I think I need a gun to protect myself, it's pretty likely that I am at an elevated risk of dying from gunfire from the guys I want to protect myself from!

    It's a free country; you're welcome to disarm yourself because of your superstitious fears that vaccines cause autism guns cause violence. I do, however, think you are being an idiot in choosing to do so.

  • MikeyMikey||

    I get your point. 90% of accidents happen within a few miles of your home… simply because 90% of driving is done within a few miles of it. But this study says more than that, and isn't just twisting numbers. Add up all the scenarios in which a gun helps you (multiplied by their respective probabilities), and do the same for the hurts-you side of the ledger. Compare the very low actual incidence of guns used against armed robbers vs. scenarios like: a domestic spat gone awry, especially when alcohol is involved; gun goes off while cleaning it; little boy accidentally shoots his sister; one Libertarian shoots another because he's mad about not being able to convince him that guns are good. LOL!

    Funny you should mention vaccines. My son is autistic. While clearly not the lone cause of autism, vaccines may exacerbate an already weakened immune system. I'm convinced from the data that vaccines do more good than harm, but if your baby may be at greater risk for autism (e.g. if it's a boy; autism runs in family; older than average parents), then you can stage the vaccines so that the auto-immune system isn't walloped with them all at once.

  • tarran||

    one Libertarian shoots another because he's mad about not being able to convince him that guns are good. LOL!

    You, sir, are a fucking moron.

    Here's why.... Are *you* likely to shoot your girlfriend because she makes you mad? Are you dating a girl who is likely to shoot you if she doesn't get her way?

    If not, how is firearm usage in domestic violence at all relevant to your decision?

    Are you the sort of person who shoots someone because he thinks you are full of shit? Then how are the actions of people who do shoot people who disagree with them at all relevant?

    Your entire analysis is seriously flawed. Guns are inanimate objects. They do not act on their own. And how they are used and misused is entirely predicated on the behaviors of the individuals who get hold of them.

    Your argument could be used to 'prove' all sorts of silly ideas:

    1) Owning bathing suits is bad: correlates with a higher risk of death by drowning.

    2) Karate lessons are bad: you are far more likely to be injured during practice than ever to defend yourself against an attacker

    3) Owning a car is bad: you are far more likely to die in a car accident

    4) Owning a bike is bad: you are far more likely to die in a bicycling accident

    5) Taking public transportation is bad: you are far more likely to suffer a life threatening contagious illness or be the victim of crime.

    6) Walking is bad: you are far more likely to suffer an injury per mile travelled.

  • ace_m82||

    I'm so screwed; I own bathing suits, taken martial arts, own a car, ride bike 6 days a week, have used public transportation several times, have walked (every day!), and own guns.

    It's a wonder I'm still alive!

  • tarran||

    Life: A sexually transmitted, terminal disease.

  • MikeyMikey||

    Your analogies are imperfect. In each scenario, risks accompany the benefits. So far, so good. But in the case of guns, the benefit is in fact a risk. You own a gun ostensibly for safety reasons, but it's a false sense of security because it's more likely to cause you harm than give you help.

    So your examples, more aptly stated, would become:

    1) Owning a bathing suit made of lead is bad because it's more likely to MAKE you drown.
    2) Karate lessons are bad because more people are killed by their instructors than are saved via self defense.
    3) Etc...

    And, no, I'm not the type of person who would kill in either of the circumstances you mentioned. But if it's true for even one other person, then I've met the burden of proof required to legitimize my argument. And I think I've found that one person; you sound like the type of hothead I had in mind.

    Oh, well. Darwinian law helps cull the herd.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    & owning firearms have no benefits?

    Maybe you ought to do this analysis - how many firearms are in US homes and how often do they actually kill a family member outside of suicide?

    I'll help - 3 million or so firearms - 18K or so suicides by gun.

    Add to that the number of rounds fired in practice, hunting, or other such legal activities versus the number of rounds fired which injure or kill a family member (sans suicide).

    That would be like comparing traffic deaths to miles driven, wouldn't it?

    & I don't know the number there - but assume on average each firearm fire only 5 rounds (as many weapons will fire many more and many will fire none), you're now at 15 million rounds or so fired annually against very few deaths.

    But since you don't see a reason why any normal person would own a gun or hunt or like to shoot - then you should ignore all the evidence that it exists.

    & just keep telling yourself that stopping private individuals for owning and using firearms is within your rights - because after all you just know, by the feeling you get, how wrong it is.

    You'll have to forgive me though - as while you do that, I, and many others, will continue the moral path of supporting the right of every individual to be able to defend themselves - without asking for permission from others.

    Side note - Darwin never used the phrase "survival of the fittest", but if that were the true state of things, I'd vote on those willing to arm themselves over those scared of icky guns.

  • kbolino||

    Simpson's Paradox.

    Let's introduce a third variable: local crime rate.

    Suppose people in high-crime areas were more likely to own guns, and independently also more likely to die by guns.

    Yet if you took a cross-sectional view, you might find that people who owned guns in high-crime areas were less likely to die by guns than people who lived in the same areas but didn't own guns.

    At one level of aggregation, owning a gun seems like a bad idea, but at another level of aggregation, owning a gun seems like a good idea.

    Don't read more into studies than what they say, which is typically very little if anything at all.

  • Sudden||

    It all depends on when a life is said to have begun, and the fact that there's subjectivity involved depending on who says it means it will forever be gray.

    And this is precisely why Roe is such atrocious case law. It is the only opinion other than Dred Scott which sought to define personhood. I have my own scientifically-rooted views on the point at which humanity is evident, and I at times have doubts about those views. But the central fact remains that that is a question that is for the time being beyond our ken.

    In light of that, allowing the states to decide through the will of their voters as expressed via initiatives or elected representation what the abortion laws within their jurisdiction will be seems the best strategy for recognition of the complexity of this issue.

  • Tony||

    that is a question that is for the time being beyond our ken.

    It's not really. There is no "right" answer to it. It's entirely a legal matter, and sometimes you just have to pick a reasonable definition. It's only beyond achieving a consensus at the moment.

    But when personhood begins is not the only important question. The other is about the rights of women (who most people agree are persons), and that involves the reality that prohibition on abortion leads to pretty awful outcomes.

  • 21044||

    What about the rights of the father not to have his child killed?

  • KPres||

    Exactly. Like Tony says, we all agree that women are persons, but when the sperm becomes a part of "her body" is just as much an arbitrary "legal" matter as when the fetus becomes a person.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    It's not really. There is no "right" answer to it. It's entirely a legal matter.


    No, you're wrong. It is a moral matter, entirely. Laws cannot and should not trump moral arguments. You can legislate in evil or legislate out the good.

  • Tony||

    You're weird.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    You're weird.


    I understand why would you reply with such a stupid thing, because I made a typographical error. It should've read:

    "You CAN'T legislate in evil or legislate out the good.

  • Tony||

    I know what you meant and you're still weird. Get your morality off my body. I want a say in what rules are applied to me.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    But when personhood begins is not the only important question.


    It IS the only question. You can't murder a person, or can you?

    The other is about the rights of women (who most people agree are persons), and that involves the reality that prohibition on abortion leads to pretty awful outcomes.


    Women have the exact same rights as everybody else in the realm of humanity: Life, Liberty and Property. What they don't have is special dispensation to commit a murder. Just because the outcomes of bad decisions (like seeking a back-alley abortion) are ugly does not mean that the State should provide easier solutions. If the standard for the morality of an act is the comfort of a woman, then women should be able to ask the State for permission to kill their husbands (instead of simply divorce them) whenever the consequences of staying with them turn "ugly".

  • Tony||

    I deem cannabis evil. Thus we should spare no expense on the drug war and completely ignore the consequences of it.

    You're a fire-breathing moral absolutist at heart. Absolutely no different from a common radical religionist except in the details of the faith. All things must be considered in terms of balancing goods and appreciating outcomes. Murder is always bad but we don't put everyone in straightjackets with feeding tubes in order to prevent it.

    The reality is we can't treat embryos as people with full rights because doing so results in unacceptable retrograde and horrific consequences for women. It's a trade-off, if you insist, but so is everything else.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I deem cannabis evil.


    You deem a thing evil?

    Thus we should spare no expense on the drug war and completely ignore the consequences of it.


    Learn to argue, Tony. You're talking to the big boys here.

    You're begging the question when justifying the drug war by assuming cannabis (a thing) evil. Only ACTS can be evil, not things.

    The reality is we can't treat embryos as people with full rights because doing so results in unacceptable retrograde and horrific consequences for women.


    That's a stupid argument, not unlike justifying murdering Native Americans lest we have horrible consequences for American farmers.

    It's a trade-off, if you insist, but so is everything else.


    It's not a trade-off when one of the parties gets murdered. What are you talking about, anyway?

  • Tony||

    You're talking to the big boys here.

    You're so fucking delusional I can't decide whether to cry or laugh at you.

    Only ACTS can be evil, not things.

    Fine, you fucking pedant. Smoking cannabis is evil. I didn't intend to feast the DEA on plants alone.

    That's a stupid argument, not unlike justifying murdering Native Americans lest we have horrible consequences for American farmers.

    Only if you beg the question and assume that embryos are people with rights.

  • Knutsack||

    Isn't everything you own more likely to affect a person you know and/or love? I mean, doesn't that seem obvious by the fact that it's in close proximity to you? Is my chainsaw, lawn mower, pruning shears, kitchen knife more likely to hurt me and/or someone I know rather than the guy 5 miles away that I don't know?

  • Knutsack||

    Fuck. This was meant for MikeyMikey.

  • tarran||

    I'm waiting for the oxford study showing that owning a bathing suit correlates with increased risk of one's accidental death being due to drowning.

  • MikeyMikey||

    Knut, you're absolutely right. But a gun is different in two important ways: 1) Its sole purpose is to kill another person (or threaten the same). 2) It's very effective at doing so. Unlike an accident involving any of the household items you cite, it's very likely to result in death vs. an "Oops. Better go get me some stitches."

  • OldMexican||

    Re: MikeyMikey,

    Knut, you're absolutely right. But a gun is different in two important ways: 1) Its sole purpose is to kill another person (or threaten the same).


    That's not true. The sole purpose of a gun is to propel a small, high-density projectile at 950 FT/S or more, depending on the model. The fact that people find this threatening or scary ends up being helpful for a person who is interested in self-defense.

    2) It's very effective at doing so.


    Not at all. In fact, not even close. The most effective method of killing a person, anywhere, is poison - considering the required level of skill and ability. Using a gun requires a lot of skill precisely because so many things happen the moment a gun is fired which affects accuracy a great deal: the pull of the trigger, the recoil, the shooter's muscle reaction, the movement of the target, etc. Instead, poison is very easy to handle, to set and to apply.

  • MikeyMikey||

    The fact that another method of killing is more effective doesn't make handguns ineffective at the task.

    And you've inadvertently bolstered my point: It is precisely because of handguns' ubiquity that they so often end up in the hands of the inexperienced and become a health hazard to those around them. Examples are the drunkard; the terrified housewife who mistakes her husband for a robber; their child who thinks he can clean a gun as well as Dad… and so on.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    You have zero clue of what you're talking about - if owning a gun made people effective at killing then there would be zero reason to train people to shoot.

    Not to mention there are constant stories about the cops shooting dozens of times, yet only wounding people who were in a car less than 50 feet away.

    Or search youtube and see encounters with actual shootouts - one has a guy next to an old blue truck with a camper shell - he and his passenger start a gun fight, several shoots fired from both sides, both individuals out in the open, both firing directly at each other, both less than 20 feet apart - several shots fired - no one hit.

    Sorry - but every point you've had has been refuted.

    Now will you rethink this?

    I didn't think so - after all, when you have that feeling, you just know. Am I right?

  • Knutsack||

    That's the sole purpose? I'm sure animals will be surprised.

    Anyway, you probably already have, but I would suggest reading the limitations of the study, and also looking at some of the charts--like the one that lists the No. of Decedents (490), No. of firearms in the home (188), and No. of Method: Firearm (339). So simply having a firearm in the home is necessarily related to homicide by a firearm. There are plenty of other factors that are involved.

  • Knutsack||

    Fuck me again.
    That should be:

    ...*not* necessarily related to homicide by a firearm.

  • MikeyMikey||

    You're cute, Knut, but I'm not ready to take that step in our relationship. LOL!

    I thought we'd established the context of the discussion as handguns, not rifles. If not, my bad.

    I will take another look at the factors you cite, but my point is a broader one: in the long run, and across all potential scenarios, I believe that a gun is more likely to cause you harm than bring you help. We're each free to choose is the bottom line.

  • Knutsack||

    We hadn't. But it doesn't really matter.

    From the study:

    "There were no significant differences between those with only handguns in the home and those with only long guns or both handguns and long guns,..."

    As for the harm thing, you might want to people rather than guns. They are the ones that are more likely to do the harm, because, as OM pointed out, shooting someone is an action that requires a person to pull the trigger.

    Anyway, you can't imagine a reason why a person wants to own a gun, well, I say it's because of people.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    [a gun's] sole purpose is to kill another person (or threaten the same).

    lol

  • Knutsack||

    All of those items I mentioned are more likely to result in death if you own them, as opposed to not owning them, right?

  • MikeyMikey||

    True. But it gets back to the original question of NET benefit vs. harm. Owning any one of those things is almost certainly more likely to provide more benefit than harm, and the probability of the ultimate harm (death) is infinitesimal. I don't believe the same is true for guns, which is why I will never own one. You disagree, and I fully support your right to do so.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Yes - but what you don't understand is that moral people don't believe human liberties should be left to some test about net benefit.

    Also - rational people don't believe that because a lot of people, including yourself, really, really, really feel very strongly that there is no benefit in owning firearms doesn't make it so.

    I would guess right now that you own at least one item that a fair percentage of the population would say gives you no net benefit to the point that you should own it.

    Does that mean you're stupid or wrong for owning it?

    Of course not - you're stupid because you believe people shouldn't have a right to defend themselves.

    Not because you own an item or two others think are unnecessary.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: MikeyMikey,

    I consider myself a pure libertarian, but this is one of two issues that give me pause because they fall in a sort of gray zone.


    A pure libertarian would be concerned with a violation of the NAP, not with people's preferences.

    I err on the side of pro-choice,


    You can't choose to commit a murder. This is not a question of choice as if being presented with equally-good options. This is a good vs. evil discussion.

    It all depends on when a life is said to have begun,


    Not at all. An egg is always alive. The real question is at what point is an embryo or a fetus a person, with rights.

    My personhood argument - which hasn't been refuted by anyone yet - is that the moment YOU negate the personhood of another human being, then you negate your own personhood. If you think you have the right to negate someone's personhood, then ipso facto you allow anybody to negate YOURS. You commit a contradiction. Then, you don't have the right to negate someone else's personhood. That includes unborn human embryos and fetuses.

    yet can't imagine why you'd choose to [own a gun],


    MYOB - Mind Your Own Business.

  • MikeyMikey||

    "The real question is at what point is an embryo or a fetus a person, with rights."

    In acknowledging this as a question, how are you advancing the argument beyond the gray zone in which both sides have valid points of view?

    MYOB? My argument re: guns is no different from yours re: abortion. Both attempt to prevent the senseless loss of life.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: MikeyMikey,

    In acknowledging this as a question, how are you advancing the argument beyond the gray zone in which both sides have valid points of view?


    They can't both have valid points of view. That's my argument. Either a thing IS, or it is NOT. If a human fetus is NOT a person, then NO human can be a person. If ALL humans are persons, then a human fetus IS a person. You can't negate the personhood of a human anymore than anybody else can deny yours; that means, YOU cannot deny a human fetus' personhood.

    MYOB? My argument re: guns is no different from yours re: abortion.


    That's preposterous, MM. A gun is an OBJECT. Abortion is an ACT. They're NOT comparable at all.

    As long as a person does NOT violate the NAP, he or she can have as many guns as he or she wants. A person's motives for possessing guns are NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS precisely because the act of owning something does NOT constitute an act of aggression. Instead, abortion is MURDER. It IS of my business - not that I have a STAKE in it, but I can judge the act and chastise the perpetrator.

  • MikeyMikey||

    OldM, I can't reconcile these two statements of yours:

    1) "The real question is at what point is an embryo or a fetus a person, with rights."
    2) "YOU cannot deny a human fetus' personhood."

    With the first sentence you present it as a question. With the second you state it as an absolute.

    As to that issue's comparability with guns, you make a valid point. I agree that it's people who kill people, and that the act is what's evil as opposed to the gun itself. Therefore, laws prohibiting guns are redundant with those that prohibit murder. Recall my original point above: it's not to prohibit anyone from owning a gun; but rather, beseeching them not to. You're free to disregard the advice, or even mock it.

  • ace_m82||

    "Not at all. An egg is always alive. The real question is at what point is an embryo or a fetus a person, with rights."

    I mostly agree with you, but this is too simplistic. An egg is "alive" (by some definitions), but is not human. It only has half the necessary information to be human. We aren't arguing about killing animals (or other things), but humans.

  • WDATPDIM?!||

    I highly recommend Marvin Olasky's Abortion Rites.

    WhyTF isn't that published as an ebook?

  • Fluffy||

    I do have to say, though, that I liked John's argument from the other day:

    If abortion really is no big deal, if it's just another medical procedure - why aren't all medical procedures equally as privileged as abortion?

    The FDA's rules and all medical regulation should be subject to "undue burden" court review, just like all regulations about abortion are.

  • rogerfgay||

    Bizarre question and point of view presented by Cosmo. "I know there are women who feel great remorse" is states. "I have seen the tears. Grieving is an important part of a woman’s process, but what I really wanted to address in my video is guilt."

    It's easy to think of the "tell me again how" meme when reading further. Tell me again how "Our society breeds this guilt."

    It's a human thing. Humans have feelings. But don't try to tell that to someone who doesn't believe humanity (human nature) is real; that every reaction and feeling has been arbitrarily programmed by really creepy people who just want to hurt women.

  • OldMexican||

    Guys, nobody has been able to refute my argument negating the personhood of a fetus.

    If you have, I would like to hear it.

  • OldMexican||

    Sorry, my argument against negating the personhood of a fetus.

  • Tony||

    Not all things that can be described as "human" are persons. A human liver is not a person. A human corpse is not a person. And a human fetus is not a person.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Not all things that can be described as "human" are persons.


    Who said anything about defining all human things as "persons"?

    I am defining all humans as persons. All of them. Not things. Humans.

    A human corpse is not a person. And a human fetus is not a person.


    And a human Tony is not a person.

    See how easy that was? Don't you feel better?

    A corpse is a corpse. It's dead. It's food for worms. A human fetus is alive and it's HUMAN, because it is not the fetus of a dog or a chicken. You can't deem a human a "non-person" because I can perfectly then deem you a non-person. How about that?

    It is called a Perfunctory Contradiction for a reason, Tony.

  • Tony||

    It's called bullshit tautology actually. We're treating "person" as a legal term, implying certain rights and responsibilities under the law. Whether a fetus fits the definition is not scientifically determinable.

  • KPres||

    She's dumb, but she sounds like she cares, so we need to accept what she says as gospel despite the fact that it doesn't make any fucking sense. Otherwise you're a heartless sociopath.

  • KPres||

    * in reply to rogerfgay

  • OldMexican||

    Writing in Cosmopolitan, Letts, who works as a counselor at a birth-control and abortion clinice[...]


    What seems not to be of concern to most people is the level of competence of a birth-control counselor who did not use birth-control herself to stop what she considered an "unwanted pregnancy". For me, if I were her employer, it would be enough to have her ass thrown to the street.

  • Curtisls87||

    I fully agree with you on this.

  • ||

    Abortion is nothing new, and not going away, and the state shouldn't be stopping people from getting them. And that's fine. This woman gets to choose, and that's great. But I wouldn't let her in my house.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Warty,

    Abortion is nothing new, and not going away, and the state shouldn't be stopping people from getting them. And that's fine. This woman gets to choose, and that's great. But I wouldn't let her in my house.


    People like Tony always ask the same question: Do you want to put all women who commit abortion in jail?

    As a libertarian, I don't want anybody placed in jail. However, a harm has been committed, so I can see courts entertaining lawsuits from potential fathers seeking damages for wrongful death. Banishment and ostracism would also be a fitting recourse against the perpetrators. For instance, I would never employ a woman who committed an abortion or hire a doctor who performed abortions. NONE of these options violate the NAP. Not jail, though.

  • Tony||

    That's a copout. Descend from the libertopian fairyland in your head for a moment, and answer this: should women who get abortions and their doctors be punished exactly the same way murderers are punished? First degree mind you.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    That's a copout [sic].


    Idiot. Doesn't even know what cop-out means or even if it applies here.

    Descend from the libertopian fairyland in your head for a moment, and answer this: should women who get abortions and their doctors be punished exactly the same way murderers are punished?


    The exact same way: banishment, ostracism, reparations. I don't believe in ex post facto retribution, which many times leads to a business-prison complex, prison-guard unionism and big budgets. I only believe in reparations, banishment and ostracism as punishment for evil deeds.

    First degree mind you.


    Who cares? Murder is murder.

  • Tony||

    Fine I take it back, your answer isn't a cop-out (fucking hyphen police), it's a pristinely consistent bit of psychotic daydreaming gobbledygook. Let me know when you're interested in discussing the real world.

    It really boggles the mind that so many of you think it's rhetorically acceptable to completely ignore the real world. Do I get to declare that capitalism is pointless since in my preferred Star-Trek-like world there's unlimited resources?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Let me know when you're interested in discussing the real world.


    I'm always interested in discussing the real world. You, on the other hand, insist in defining it. That's a big difference.

    The answer to the question "Do you want to put all who commit abortion in jail" has only one answer for me: NO. *I* don't want to put anybody in jail. Reparations, ostracism and banishment ought to be the punishments for evil people who commit evil acts and, in fact, that already happens most of the time, or ask an ex-con how easy it is for him or her to obtain a job. That's my answer to what *I* would do.

  • Tony||

    Which I'll confidently translate into: if you believed in the real criminal justice system (at least with respect to its handling of murder), then you'd think aborting women ought to be imprisoned for life or executed, as we do other first-degree murderers.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    If only Bo had shown up here, then this thread would be 5 times as long.

  • AuH20||

    I'm just going to toss out here that Planned Parenthood v Casey is the more relevant precedent than Roe at this time. It overturned Roe in part on things like the bright line around the second trimester etc.

  • AuH20||

    Also, just to toss out, does anyone know of the legal history pf abortion? I'm talking pre 20th century. It's a practice that has been going on for a while, woth herbs and such to induce miscarriage.

    I recall from a religion prof in college, for example, that prior the discovery of sperm, when they were under the homunculus theory, the Catholic Church was cool with abortion pre-quickening(the baby kicking or moving).

    I would just be interested if there was ever a common law standard or something

  • OldMexican||

    Our society breeds this guilt. We inhale it from all directions. Even women who come to the clinic completely solid in their decision to have an abortion say they feel guilty for not feeling guilty. Even though they know 110 percent that this is the best decision for them, they pressure themselves to feel bad about it.


    The callousness and complete disregard for human life of this person is frightening to me. She is clearly blaming "society" (whatever that is supposed to mean) for the feeling of guilt that many women feel before or after having an abortion. Never crosses her mind that it could be possible that she's a sociopath and the rest of us are simply NOT.

  • ejpoleii||

    The question is whether a woman should feel guilt. Guilt is a personal emotion. This is not a political question nor one amenable to "Reason." If one feels guilty it is due to actions in conflict with one's personal beliefs otherwise other's opinions are irrelevant. Perhaps Reason should ask a different question?

  • Sharon Presley||

    The American Psychological Association has done 2 meta-analyses of studies on this subject showing that the majority of women do not regret their abortions. The few that do were often pushed against their will. It's all about choice.

  • ||

    You must be a woman, or 12 yrs. old.

    No man would point to a scientific study saying that men don't feel guilty about such-and-such. But then, a man wouldn't make a video to convince other men not to fee guilty about something. Tell other men they shouldn't feel guilty about something, maybe, make a video and post it on youtube? No.

  • Sharon Presley||

    And those of who who claim it is murder--you do not have the right to force your religious views on others. Because for most of you, that's what it is. Some of us believe that living women (and their already born children) are more important to humanity than entities that have no consciousness. You can call it "murder" all you want. But those of us who care about the already living will never be impressed by your demands.

  • SlV||

    And those of who who claim it is murder--you do not have the right to force your religious views on others

    Fuck you, Sharon. Abortion is the ending of a human life. That is a matter of fact, not opinion and religion has nothing to do with it.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    And those of who who claim it is murder--you do not have the right to force your religious views on others.

    What a silly, childish way to avoid any discussion at all.

    I know you likely this that was somehow evolved or would strike a nerve, but it only shows you have no clue where you are.

    For fun those - please show 1 or 2 comments on this very thread where even one individual invoked religion for their reasoning.

  • ||

    Some of us believe that living women (and their already born children) are more important to humanity than entities that have no consciousness.

    This sounds like a religious belief. Because, from a rational standpoint, choosing a conscious being that makes bad choices over one that doesn't make any choice is pretty shaky ground.

    And when I say bad choices, I mean bad in the amoral, planning, design, and economic sense. The kind of bright contributors to society that make 'good choices' like continually foregoing freely available ounces of prevention to burden themselves and the rest of us with pounds (and pounds) of cure.

  • Sharon Presley||

    I do so like your undogmatic attitude, SIV. Your argument is ever so convincing, with your persuasive choice of words. Funny thing, millions of Americans disagree with you. I guess we are all terrible sinful evil people. Right. Uh-huh.

  • SlV||

    You're not evil for however many scrapejobs you've had Sharon. You're evil for pretending you're not destroying human life. I might respectfully disagree with your opinion if you argued it is OK to kill your unborn child when carrying to term is inconvenient for you.

  • ||

    Lol, Sharon Presley, ever the professional, is back to offer us her insight and even-tempered analysis.

    It really doesn't represent feminism or whatever other bullshit you shovel that terribly well when you engage in every negative stereotype that exists about people who share your viewpoint, and women more generally. You are literally like a caricature of the hysterical, emotional fembot. It'd be hilarious if were parody.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "While the exact definition of personhood will always ultimately be somewhat arbitrary and socially constructed,..."

    Which ultimately means any application of the NAP is somewhat arbitrary and socially constructed. For abortion, social left libertarians will undermine the principle their supposedly central principle rests on.

  • mapooler||

    "Rather, she exercised control over her body."

    Ok, so by that logic it would be completely defend-able if she decided to take a medication while pregnant that would create deformities in her child. Because she's not creating deformities in her child, she's exercising control over her body. And also, if Emily decided to punish a boyfriend by purposely having an abortion and harassing him over it, that would also be defend-able because she's exercising control over her body and free speech. Because in the end, men don't deserve rights to human beings that carry half their DNA and would not be possible without their contribution.

    This article is the biggest piece of crap ever. I came here hoping to find "reason." Instead I found the same pathos arguments using common rhetorical fuel like "empowerment" and "exercising control" and "her body" and "reproductive rights." Abortion is the greatest human rights violation of our era, and if you're gonna say all this crap and keep the camera focused on her face instead of the bloody puddle of unique human DNA and body parts that have been destroyed by her abortion, if you're not going to recognize the rights of the child that is separate and unique in its existence and is exactly where it's supposed to be, then there is no "reason" in this. How about you write an article on what's not being shown in that video?

  • toolkien||

    Should women who don't take care of themselves - so that miscarriages result - be charged with murder? Unique DNA and all the rest still apply. Taking some sort of chemical that doesn't allow a fertilized egg to attach to the uterine wall is murder (again, unique human DNA)? Cancerous cells are human in origin and have unique (if broken) DNA, so technological attacks on them must not be moral. We need to be careful to not paint ourselves into corners or turn females into agents of the State with regard to a fetus. We can have arguments over the semantics of the value of a fetus between the time it is the womb to the time it is birthed, but we can also have bright lines just as axiomatic if a female turns from an individual with rights of her own into a baby making machine for the State, with the time frame of fertilization that magical moment.

    The fetus is a result of a single cell from a male and the remainder comes from the value decisions and behaviors of the female as to what the final outcome will be. If at some point, she decides to end the function, it is her choice. She has to live with it and if she didn't factor in societal attitudes that might make her regret her decision, then she didn't think the entire process through - from the behaviors that gave rise to the pregnancy to its termination.

  • toolkien||

    Cont.

    Without direct interest in the matter, then I am disinterested in the whole affair. That does assume that I am not placed on the hook to pay for pre-natal care for her darling-baby-to-be one day, and on the hook to pay to have those cancer-like cells scraped/chopped out the next day. So much of "interest" in such matters are dictated by those who have beliefs shaped by ghosts and fairies one way or eco-nazis the other way, and everything in between - and the collectivist policies put into place by such people. I can see some validity in all points of view, but in the end all the tensions of push and pull of opinions there stands an individual pregnant female who has to make her own value judgments on what is going inside her body at point X. But she shouldn't look at my disinterested self for support unless I am the provider of the one cell or she is my daughter. It's her own battle to fight against the tide of value judgments from the Commons.

  • foodscientist||

    Ironically, the societal "guilt train" also extends to ADOPTION. The proposal of adoption as a potential option for unwanted pregnancy typically yields comments of "I could never do that." Unfortunately, the country is economically burdened with children whose parents cannot afford them while relevant choices such as adoption and abortion aren't presented, and certainly not encouraged.

  • Edwin||

    we can be 95%-99% sure that a fetus below 12 weeks of age is not a person or human being by any reasonable definition. It may have the potential to be eventually, but at the moment, it isn't, anymore than an egg is a form of poultry. That people confuse it is similar to the sand/pile paradox. Right now it's just developing tissues

    we are 100% sure that after 7 months it most certainly is a baby, and hence, a human, because of simple semantics. Unles you want to conditionally redact the definition of the word "baby" or "human", which no one person can actually do. At 7 months or so you've got a fully formed mini human.

  • trutherator||

    If you do 24-hour frames backwards from 20 weeks to 10, it's the SAME human being. Is not a caterpillar just the earlier stage of a butterfly?

    Take DNA from the tiny pre-tyke. Only HALF is from the mother, HALF the father. Sometimes the baby's and mother's blood types are even incompatible. How is that the same "body"?

    Shame on those who say it's okay to kill a certain class of human being by declaring them not human.

    As much as pro-abortion defenders want to deny it, there's a natural reason mothers feel guilty when they let their fathers and their boyfriends hustle them into doing what the maternal instinct screams out at them is wrong.

    You don't have to be a Christian to oppose prenatal infanticide. Most Christian arguments on this are even "secular":
    http://www.godlessprolifers.org
    http://www.positiveatheism.org/mail/eml9546.htm

    It's just easier for one who believes they must give account to a just God, to see more clearly on issues like those of life and death.

    Christ offers the guilt-free answer to post-abortion syndrome. He said, "I came not to condemn the world". There's Isaiah 1:18: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

  • PregnantMom||

    This is more like murdering a child, so I am totally against it.

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