Abortion

Public Funding and Abortions

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Now that the Supreme Court has upheld a ban on late-term abortions, pro-lifers in Maine are going after Vacationland's public funding of the procedure, regardless of when in the pregnancy it occurs. From the Portland Press-Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram's account:

Abortion foes in Maine celebrated Wednesday as the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a federal prohibition on so-called "partial-birth" abortions, but they also remained focused on their next priority: defeating a state measure that would provide public financing for abortions….

[Abortion opponents] hoped the victory would inspire people opposed to the funding bill sponsored by Senate President Beth Edmonds. Edmonds, D-Freeport, said she was disappointed in the court ruling but didn't think it would affect her bill. The measure, she said, is not about whether a woman should have an abortion but about helping those who would have to suffer financial hardship to have the procedure. "It's a fairness issue," she said.

The paper reports that about 2,500 abortions get done in Maine each year. More here.

I'm pro-choice but opposed to public funding of abortions–and indeed, public funding for most things, from the arts to the zoos. That's not (simply) because I'm stingy. Public funding inherently politicizes whatever activity is in question, forcing electoral minorities to subsidize the preferences of majorities (or, more accurately, well-connected interest groups who can work the system). Apart from any and all issues raised by abortion (or anything else), that sort of thing ups the level of societal acrimony tremendously.

As with schools and so much more, I'd prefer to see the state's reach reduced to as small a share as possible, with private funding sources, including for-profits, nonprofits, and charities, doling out money donated by folks who are politically and ideologically simpatico with whatever they're funding. This wouldn't reduce arguments about what is good, moral, and effective (whether the topic is abortion, school curricula, or religion), but it would be far more preferable than, say, forcing anti-drug war types to fund DARE programs or social cons to pony up their tax dollars for sex ed programs they deem wrong.

Bonus irony in the SCOTUS decision, especially given how often conservatives rail against Roe v. Wade and, more generally, judges who create legislation via judicial fiat rather than enforce the will of the people: 

The court decision accomplished what Maine abortion opponents were unable to do in the state. In 1999, Maine voters rejected a ban on the "partial-birth" procedure, with 56 percent opposed. Since then, similar proposals have been among the unsuccessful measures submitted in the Legislature to restrict abortion.

On the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I surveyed the uneasy status quo regarding abortion rights here.

Damon Root made the libertarian case for judicial activism here.

NEXT: Please, Won't Somebody Think of the Clintons?

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  1. Congress to repeal ban in 5… 4… 3…

  2. ah, yes, old bean. do you well, mightn’t you be so kind as to manoeuvre over to the centre and have this delightful coloured, tiny American flag instead?

  3. Regulation under the commerce clause, and “judicial activism” come with a price. For both sides.

    First the medical marijuana case and now this.

    I am very curious to see what happens next now that the shoe is on the other foot. BTW I’m pro-choice as well.

  4. Can some one please explain why partial-birth abortions are being considered separately from any other late-term abortion. What functional, legal, moral difference does it make wether the fetus is still compltely inside or partialy extracted before its termindated? Why did those few inches go to the supreme court?

  5. “Why did those few inches go to the supreme court?”

    cuz Enzyte is overrated and doesn’t work, despite the temptation, sweet, lovely temptation from Smilin Bob… hrumph.

    /kicks ground. stoopid (sic) hockey-stick shaped growth curves. hrumph.

  6. I’m pro-choice but opposed to public funding of abortions–and indeed, public funding for most things, from the arts to the zoos.

    You! Off the internet! Who do you think developed this, anyway?

  7. I am against abortion, but if I were in favor of it, and if I found free abortions to be such a fundamental fairness issue, I would set up an endowment to pay for such things whenever financial hardship could be proven.

  8. Can some one please explain why partial-birth abortions are being considered separately from any other late-term abortion. What functional, legal, moral difference does it make wether the fetus is still compltely inside or partialy extracted before its termindated? Why did those few inches go to the supreme court?
    ===============================================
    When people can actually see the baby in question, they naturally have pity on it and view the doctor who kills it the same way they’d view a cashier who would do the same thing. Human nature, really.

  9. You! Off the internet! Who do you think developed this, anyway?

    Aliens?

  10. When people can actually see the baby in question, they naturally have pity on it and view the doctor who kills it the same way they’d view a cashier who would do the same thing. Human nature, really.

    Allowing the mother to see the fetus in any abortion later-term or not is just flat out sloppy bedside procedure and pretty cruel.

  11. I am ambivalent about abortion.

    But I think that Roe vs Wade is bogus. If the pro-choicers would have not insisted in that, then abortion would be a thing of the states (as it should be) and would thus be legal.

    It being a thing of the Feds, and the supreme court, it becomes legal or illegal depending on who gets to pick supreme court justices.

    I hope that this and ID in schools clues liberals that maybe choice is better at the individual level not at the government level.

    I don’t think they will get the clue though. I think they will though.

    If only we could get the right people in charge all the oppressive laws would be good oppressive laws

  12. Yeah, what Matt said. Do you know what is actually involved in a partial birth abortion procedure val? I would look into it if you don’t; I’m not going to describe it here.

  13. “Human nature, really.”

    Very true. It’s the same reason we eat cows yet ban horse meat.

  14. I’m pro choice with limits. Partial birth abortions creep me out. I don’t know when the fetus becomes a human being (who does) but this seems to be at least skirting the edge.

    It seems that both sides of this issue continually take the “all or nothing” position. As I understand it, this prohibition does not take into account the health of the mother. I can’t imagine any law that would force a woman to die in the effort to save her baby. That part seems to set the law up for eventual repeal.

    Or am I misunderstanding the law?

  15. MP | April 19, 2007, 10:07am
    You! Off the internet! Who do you think developed this, anyway?
    Aliens?

    Insert appropriate Al Gore joke here.

    Disclaimer: I’m well aware that Al Gore did not claim to “invent” the internet, only that he “took the initiative in creating” it.

  16. I am ambivalent about abortion.

    But I think that Roe vs Wade is bogus. If the pro-choicers would have not insisted in that, then abortion would be a thing of the states (as it should be) and would thus be legal.

    It would be legal in some states, but not in all. So Roe v. Wade has served the purpose of not making women’s rights subject to the whim of the state she happens to live in.

  17. Everyone here who is pro-choice: What do you mean by pro-choice? Do you think a woman should be able to have an abortion at any time before birth? If not then what is your standard for determining when an abortion is moral or not? If so why do you hate babies?(the last one’s a joke)

  18. Yeah, what Matt said. Do you know what is actually involved in a partial birth abortion procedure val? I would look into it if you don’t; I’m not going to describe it here.

    Yes I do know. And why would you not describe it here? Here I’ll do it for you.

    The cervix is dialated, the fetus is partially extracted using forceps, a scalpel insision is made in the skull, and a suction device is inserted, extracting the brainmatter, the skull is the colapsed and the fetus can be extracted with minimal discomfort to the mother.

    Im sorry to say, but no one but the doctors and nurses actually see the fetus. The partial-birth term is a politicized term which first appeared on a bill trying to ban the procedure. Its no different than any other late-term abortion, except for the few inches difference in the position of the fetus

  19. As with schools and so much more, I’d prefer to see the state’s reach reduced to as small a share as possible, with private funding sources, including for-profits, nonprofits, and charities, doling out money donated by folks who are politically and ideologically simpatico with whatever they’re funding.

    Nick, I think we’d all prefer to see that approach, but what you’re kind of saying here is that you wish people wouldn’t consider certain issues important enough to require government action. But that would preclude having a government at all.

  20. Everyone here who is pro-choice: What do you mean by pro-choice? Do you think a woman should be able to have an abortion at any time before birth?

    Yes.

  21. Everyone here who is pro-choice: What do you mean by pro-choice? Do you think a woman should be able to have an abortion at any time before birth?
    No. Sixth months should be the bright line cut-off point where a woman has forsaken her right to make a choice.

  22. No. Sixth months should be the bright line cut-off point where a woman has forsaken her right to make a choice.

    Why six months? Why not seven or five? Why do you feel that at six month the woman no longer has a choice about what she does with her body?
    Would you rather she stuck to back alley abortions after six months or what?

  23. Most late term abortions are done for health reasons, not because the mother suddenly decided she didn’t want the baby anymore.

    I think that’s the part that is left out of this particular debate. It’s fundamentally dishonest for “partial-birth” opponents to frame the procedure as being a form of birth control.

  24. Holly crap, what is happening with the world, Hooked on Innuendo is making coherent arguments instead of trolling…..

    The sky is falling, the sky is falling….

  25. The irony hit me in the face last night when NPR played a clip of Harry Reid denouncing the decision (no big surprise there), then dryly pointing out that he VOTED FOR THE LEGISLATION.

    I’m really comfortable knowing that the Number 2 (both literally and figuratively) on Capitol Hill apparently votes for legislation he believes to be both unwise and unconstitutional.

  26. Why not require an EEG? If the unborn thingamagig shows the higher brain wave activity which is characteristic of a human, then no abortion. If not, go ahead.

  27. Why six months? Why not seven or five? Why do you feel that at six month the woman no longer has a choice about what she does with her body?
    Would you rather she stuck to back alley abortions after six months or what?

    ’cause a legal system requires that you draw a bright line somewhere. Six months is typically considered the average point where the fetus would be viable as a human outside of the womb.

    The bright line is the line that separates abortion from murder. No one here believes that it should be legal to murder a child after the umbilical cord has been cut. And I simply can’t accept that the bright line should be the umbilical cord severance.

  28. Hooked on innuendo,

    She could always jump in a car.

    If she has to depend on a favorable supreme court, maybe she wouldn’t have that option.

  29. Cain’s Ability,
    That kind of thing is not as easy as it sounds. Human fetuses show brain stem activity at 8 weeks. That’s actually the time limit that I personally would put on what I call optional abortions (abortions that are done not because of health risks but rather simply to end a pregnancy), but I doubt many people will agree with me.

  30. MP,
    I agree that the legal system needs to draw a line somewhere, but I hate the concept of “trimesters”. I think that if we are going to make a deterimination of when “life” begins it should be reflective of actual fetal development and biology, not some arbritrary time period the SC makes up.

  31. Sam B

    Sounds fine to me. Although, isn’t brain stem stem activity pretty primitive? I could see an argument that instinctive and motor functions alone do not constitute human being. Activity from the grey, wrinkly parts of a brain do.

  32. ’cause a legal system requires that you draw a bright line somewhere. ………
    The bright line is the line that separates abortion from murder…..

    Right, fantastic grasp of the legal system you have there. Always nice to see it in black and white, with a bright line in between. So if after six months, a continued pregnancy would consitute a real threat to the mothers health/life, an abortion would be illegal because legally we could never murder one person to save another.

  33. OK…can we please quit asking the question “when life begins”? Or even “when human life begins”?

    My appendix is undoubtedly alive. It is undoubtedly human. It is undoubtedly, therefore, “human life.” Yet I doubt anyone would seriously consider it morally untenable for me to have it removed, even if it’s perfectly healthy.

    The question is, and should always have been, “when does a human being, however dependant on another, come into existence?”

  34. Cain’s Ability,
    It is very primitive and that’s not what I base the 8 week time period on. It is also at this point that all major organs are present including the brain. Furthermore it is after this point that a layman could identify the embryo as a human fetus, beforehand you probably couldn’t tell the difference between a human embryo and any other mammal.
    Further, even if it is only primitive brain activity we still need to have a basic respect for life. It’s illegal to torture and kill animals for no reason, why not a “primitive” human?

  35. val,
    I think we can have a clear distinction between what is life and not and still take into consideration health risks. Those kind of choices I think should be left to be made between the parents and a doctor with minimal legislation involved.

  36. So if after six months, a continued pregnancy would consitute a real threat to the mothers health/life, an abortion would be illegal because legally we could never murder one person to save another.

    I have no issue with medically necessary abortions at any time. Arbitrary “choice” however, is not a factor in medically necessary abortions.

    I agree that the legal system needs to draw a line somewhere, but I hate the concept of “trimesters”. I think that if we are going to make a deterimination of when “life” begins it should be reflective of actual fetal development and biology, not some arbritrary time period the SC makes up.

    I’m not particularly concerned about the exact medical reasoning used to draw the bright line. High probability viability outside the womb is my determining point. I’ll let the medical profession tell me when that is.

  37. Sam B

    exceptional point. I had no thought of the primitive animal vs stupid animals point.

  38. Further, even if it is only primitive brain activity we still need to have a basic respect for life. It’s illegal to torture and kill animals for no reason, why not a “primitive” human?

    For one thing, an animal is not dependent on a nother human’s bodily functions to stay alive. I’m pro-choice in part because I feel I should not be legally obligated to let my body be used as a life-support system for someone else, same way I’d oppose laws requiring anybody to become a blood, marrow or liver donor against their will.

    And I’m shocked to say I agree with HOI; as I understand it, partial-birth abortions are done to save the mother’s life, not because she at 8.75 months into the pregnancy changed her mind about wanting to be a mommy.

  39. Congress to repeal ban in 5… 4… 3…

    I’ll bet not. The Congressional majority depends on holding seats that are in the red zone. Not to mention that partial birth abortion polls as pretty unpopular in any event.

    So Roe v. Wade has served the purpose of not making women’s rights subject to the whim of the state she happens to live in.

    This begs the question of the extent to which women have a right to abort.

  40. MP,
    I had considered the “viability outside of the womb” argument but I’ve rejected it as being tenuous. That date keeps getting pushed farther and farther back by medical science. There may come a day when a fertilized embryo can be brought to full term totally outside of a woman’s uterus. If we are going to rely on this deterimination then when that day comes if we are intellectually consistent we would have to make any optional abortion illegal and not only that but testing on stem cells as well.

  41. By the way, before anyone mentions it, I do not think any exceptions should ever be made for rape or incest. Wherever we draw the line–if we ever draw one–and I think Sam B’s brain stem activity would be a reasonably good option–that should be it.

    However we define “human being,” we should never fault a human being for his parents’ sins.

  42. But I think that Roe vs Wade is bogus.

    I used to feel that way until I read Roe v. Wade carefully in 2003. Speaking roughly, Roe v. Wade says unrestricted abortion in the first; somewhat regulated abortion in the second trimester (if anyone wants to regulate), and heavy regulation (eg, near prohibition) (again assuming the state or feds want to do this).

    Roe also says that the permissible state/fed regulation can take into account the idea that the 2d or 3d trimester fetus has some intrinsic value, in and of itself, even though this value falls short of making the fetus a full human being.

    Frankly, I think the decision is brilliant. If applied in the spirit in which it was written, it would lead the US to have abortion laws a lot more like Europe’s and this abortion thing would be much less polarizing, and politicians would not be making hay out of the issue for decades, as US politicians have.

    So, to answer some of the objections:

    1. Abortion is a thing of the states to a large degree. States just have not used the Roe framework in a wise way (see next point).

    2. A wise, politically balanced state would say that: (i) first trimester abortion is basically unrestricted; (ii) that a second semester one requires a serious showing to a “court” that there is a physical health issue for the mother/carrier/etc.; and (iii) that third trimester is prohibited except in life or death situations. This puts the responsibility on the woman to figure out she is pregnant quicky and get that abortion when the getting is good. responsibility like this is a healthy thing, I think.

    3. Sadly, instead of doing this, pro-lifers try to draw the lines in stupid places, part for sentimental reasons, and part because they want the issue to remain contentious. Instead of working with Roe’s framework, using words of Roe itself, drawing the lines where Roe explicitly encourages lines to be draw, the pro-lifers make statutes with all kinds of latent defects, leaving out a health of the parent exception here, making a procedure based ban there, drawing the line at the plane of the parent’s body like it is a metaphysical endzone of some sort.

  43. Jennifer,
    That is an interesting point, but I find that slightly disturbing. Women do not get pregnant by accident. If you are going to be having sex you also need to be taking responsibilty for your actions. And if your actions end up creating another human life then that life also becomes your responsibility.

  44. MP,

    You are continuing to try and draw a ‘bright line’ legally. You said six months is the difference between abortion and murder. Obviously there are medical necessities that make your bright line damn near invisible.

    What if the actualy process of birth/c-section if life threatening to the mother? Then its ok again to perform a abortion because of medical necessity even if the fetus could be viable with medical intervention?

    You also havent addressed the fact that the large majority of late term abortion happen because of medical necessity, not as a form of birth control.

    As far as viability outside the womb? What does that mean? The extreme medical intervention that US hospitals can go through to allow a severely premature baby to survive? What happens as technology gets better and better, do abortions become compltely illegal eventually?

  45. Jennifer

    I understand your not wanting to become a “host.” But the fact is, a one-day-old baby is just as dependent on you as the thingamagig inside you, one day before birth. The born child does not literally suck life from you, but it has a legal and moral claim on you for years and years.

    The fact is, parents are hosts for parasites.

  46. Dave W.

    You fail to read the Doe v. Bolton decision released with Roe. Most people ignore it. It clarifies the conditions imposed by Roe.

  47. That is an interesting point, but I find that slightly disturbing. Women do not get pregnant by accident. If you are going to be having sex you also need to be taking responsibilty for your actions. And if your actions end up creating another human life then that life also becomes your responsibility.

    Well, even ignoring the rape/incest cases, whether or not women get pregnant “by accident” sounds like a semantic/pedantic argument, doesn’t it? Women rarely have sex by accident (“Whoops! How the hell did that get in there?”), but “having sex” is often, maybe even usually, completely distinct from “wanting to make a baby.”

    I have never been pregnant, but if I’d ever been, it would indeed have been an “accident” even though the actions leading up to it were not.

    Also, saying that having sex “creates a human life” begs the question and assumes that a one-day-old fetus is indeed a human life. I view it as a potential one. Big difference.

  48. Dave W,
    I think the reason many people feel as though Roe v Wade is bogus is not because of the political nature of the decision but rather because it is political to begin with. Do you honestly believe that the 14th amendment guarantees a woman’s right to an abortion?

  49. My appendix is undoubtedly alive. It is undoubtedly human. It is undoubtedly, therefore, “human life.” Yet I doubt anyone would seriously consider it morally untenable for me to have it removed, even if it’s perfectly healthy.

    A fetus isn’t the mother. Duh.

    – Josh

  50. “I had considered the “viability outside of the womb” argument but I’ve rejected it as being tenuous. That date keeps getting pushed farther and farther back by medical science.”

    I think you have to take the advances of medical science out of the viability argument. At some point, we’ll be able to make babies in a fake womb. At that point, all ova and sperm not going into making babies will represent the death of a viable life. Menstruation and bating would be a crime. Perhaps we should reference the base state of nature in the viability argument. After all, we’re discussing issues of when life starts. It seems natural, even if you are religious, to speak in terms of nature or God rather than medical miracles.

  51. If you are going to be having sex you also need to be taking responsibilty for your actions

    Awsome! Because women who get abortions, arent taking responsibility at all? Those whores just fuck anything that moves and then get the abortion cause it would leave stretch marks?
    I mean no thought goes into a huge decission like getting an abortion at all.

  52. Josh

    Idiot, it is 100% human, and living, tissue. Different from mother, but human.

  53. But the fact is, a one-day-old baby is just as dependent on you as the thingamagig inside you, one day before birth.

    Don’t confuse financial with biological dependence. I agree, for example, that parents should be legally responsible for a baby’s financial well-being. That’s very different from, for example, “I believe parents should be legally obligated to donate a kidney to their child who needs it.”

  54. Jennifer,
    My point is though that even if you get pregnant by accident you are still taking that risk. Every action has risks and every intelligent person needs to be responsible for the actions they take. Many people here argue against drunk driving laws but I don’t think anyone would say that if you drive drunk and kill someone that you shouldn’t be responsible.

    As to your last comment, I completely agree. Life most certainly does NOT begin at conception and to say it does is to denegrate actual human life. However, my point is that at some point that embryo DOES become life and it is certainly not the instant it is born either.

  55. I had considered the “viability outside of the womb” argument but I’ve rejected it as being tenuous. That date keeps getting pushed farther and farther back by medical science. There may come a day when a fertilized embryo can be brought to full term totally outside of a woman’s uterus. If we are going to rely on this deterimination then when that day comes if we are intellectually consistent we would have to make any optional abortion illegal and not only that but testing on stem cells as well.

    I don’t consider viability to be a function of the technological ability to survive outside of the womb. I consider it a function of the natural ability to survive outside of the womb with minimal technical support. Unfortunately, that’s a statistical feature. Who knows about the viability of each individual case? So you’re still stuck creating a bright line that will satisfy everyone and no one.

    And val, I already clearly stated a medically necessary exception at any time. I’m not sure what else I need to say.

  56. My point is though that even if you get pregnant by accident you are still taking that risk.

    Yes, and when I climb a tree I run the risk of breaking my arm, but I doubt anyone would say that if my arm gets broken I should simply let it grow back crooked rather than seek readily available medical help to mitigate or even undo the damage. (And yes, I know that my arm bone lacks the potential to become a full-fledged independent human being, but I can’t think of a perfect metaphor in this case.)

  57. Lamar,
    I agree, and that is another reason why viability outside of the womb arguments are tenuous. I am certainly not religious but I do have a profound respect for life, and intelligent human life in particular.

    val,
    I never said anything like that, please calm down. There is certainly a time period where it is a morally responsible action for parents to have an abortion. Also, you seem to be focused on the woman, I’m also talking about the man involved when I talk about responsibility.

  58. It comes down to this: when is a human being a human being a human being? For me, it matters not what that human’s condition of independence.

    Barring capital punishment…

    (1)If the human requires no support from any other human, it cannot be killed.
    (2)If the human requires financial support from any other human, it cannot be killed.
    (3)If the human requires biological support from any other human, it cannot be killed.
    (4)The human’s requirement of support may be unfair to the supporter, may even be actionable, but the human cannot be killed.

    Again, when is a human a human? Answer that, and all else follows.

  59. Jennifer, the one-day-old IS biologically dependent!

  60. Jennifer,
    As to your tree-climbing metaphor: of course you should seek medical attention but it would be morally repugnant if you tried to force anyone else to pay for the operation when it was you climbing the tree.

  61. (And–another topic altogether, so let’s not get too bogged down in it–but why shouldn’t a parent be obligated to donate a kidney to a child? Just a question…not sure I’d agree)

  62. Jennifer, the one-day-old IS biologically dependent!

    No. It is socially dependent.

  63. (3)If the human requires biological support from any other human, it cannot be killed.

    Unless that’s a typo, it sounds like it would support the notion that one can, in fact, be forced to become a blood or liver donor against their will. Let’s say Joe Blow has some liver-destroying problem like cirrhosis or hepatitis C. It so happens that the only way he can survive is with a liver transplant, and furthermore I happen to be the only person found who is compatible.

    (I specifically chose the liver because it is possible for a living donor to donate a piece of liver, by the way.) So can I be legally forced to submit to surgery to let some of my liver be given to Joe Blow? Bear in mind that if I don’t give up a piece of it, Joe will die. Which makes him biologically dependent on me, and according to you, being biologically dependent on another human being is not grounds for Joe to die.

    Or let’s try a less-extreme example: Joe needs monthly blood transfusions, and I am the only one found whose blood is compatible with his. Can I be legally forced to give blood regularly? He’ll die if I don’t.

  64. “the one-day-old IS biologically dependent.”

    If this is true, then mother’s who give their babies up for adoption are actually killing their babies, right? None of those babies live? They all die?

  65. 1. A one-day baby does not have to “be taken care of” by the mother. . It is physically separate. Anyone can feed it.

    2. Many later abortions are due to gross deformities (intestines of the fetus being outside the fetus’s body) or the fact that the fetus has in fact, died.

    3. Other later abortions are due to increasing health risks to the mother–very high blood pressure is a relatively common complication.

    4. Anyone who argues “well, you had sex, you are thus responsible for getting pregnant” has obviously not realized the possibility of rape. Nor has he realized that birth control sometimes fails. Interactions between antibiotics and birth control bills may mean that the latter is not effective. Diaphrams fail. Condoms break. Even surgical operations such as tubal ligation is not 100% effective.

    5. Belief that “a new life is created” when the sperm and the egg meet is a belief only of particular branches of particular religions. Even the Catholic Church did not hold this belief until relatively recently–“quickening”, when the movements of the fetus were felt by the pregnant woman, was considered the dividing line. I would argue that if we wished to create a “black-white” line, we could return to that tradition.

  66. Sam B,

    My appologies, but maybe you should re-read your post.

    Women do not get pregnant by accident. If you are going to be having sex you also need to be taking responsibilty for your actions. And if your actions end up creating another human life then that life also becomes your responsibility.

    You were talking, to Jennifer (probably a woman, but never know on the intertubes).And you refered to women having sex and taking responsibility.

    Also me thinks that saying that the male should take responsibility is all good and well, but the level of commitement to the forthcoming hardships, compared to that of a woman, is negligible.

  67. MP

    No, biologically. Just because our tech has evolved to the point that we can substitute a mother’s care, food, and protection, does not change biological dependence.

    Also, socially. But biologically first.

  68. Where the hell is that annoying Warren when you need him?

    I admit I hate the thought of abortion. I believe that life truly begins at conception.
    But I get real conflicted when thinkin about pregnant rape victims or young incest victims or where the pregnancy has become an iminent threat to the life of the mother due to unforeseen medical circumstance.
    Warren accused someone of being anti-abortion because they dont like the use of abortion as birth control. I am certainly against it as birth control.
    But if pregnancy is a Gift from God, how does that jibe with the rape/incest/mortal health threat danger pregnancy? I get where the bible humpers are comin from as I am kinda one myself.But in a small number of cases, abortion is a viable or maybe necessary(OMG) medical procedure. In those cases I cant make an argument against whatever funding the patient has at their command. I cant see where medicaid should deny service based upon an emotional judgement.
    But as a form of birth control? nope
    at some point us humans, even us Amercans, have to learn to be responsible for our actions.

  69. Women do not get pregnant by accident. If you are going to be having sex you also need to be taking responsibilty for your actions.

    Sounds rather punitive. How does that differ from “don’t have sex unless you’re willing to undergo nine months of pregnancy?” Why can’t getting an abortion be considered taking responsibility as well? You equate “taking responsibility” with “suffering through a pregnancy.”

    Taking responsibility, in your eyes, means being unable to do my job because I keep throwing up AND I’m too exhausted to write well because I have to wake up every hour to go to the bathroom. Taking responsibility means suffering backaches, developing hemorrhoids, and having my body transform into something unrecognizable to me. Taking responsibility means suffering through the agony of labor (which would likely be extra-agonizing for me, given my small size).

    No–taking responsibility means always using contraception. I have been lucky in that it’s never failed me. If it did, I’ll take responsibility by getting an abortion, and if the man did not help pay for it I can afford to do so myself. Very responsible of me.

  70. Just because our tech has evolved to the point that we can substitute a mother’s care, food, and protection, does not change biological dependence.

    So back in the Stone Age, before we had fancy technology, only the biological mother could care for an infant?

  71. Jennifer,

    A fair parsing. The response is that the claim applies to those who caused the dependence. (I know you’ll jump on that!)

    Lamar

    Either you’re trying to trick me into some set-up for what you imagine is a brilliant point, or you’re just brain-dead. Mothers who give up their children for adoption are making a conscious decision to forego biological/social/financial provision by themselves in hopes of superior provision by others.

  72. val and grumpy realist,
    I feel like I should clarify my point about responsibility. Anybody participating in vaginal sex act, male or female, is taking a risk that a pregnancy may occur as a result. I didn’t like Jennifers reasoning that she should not be made to be a biological “slave” as it were because it ignores this fact. This does not mean, again, that there is not a time period where it is a perfectly moral action to have an abortion performed, because the cells being destroyed are not a life and only represent a potential life. However, after that developing embryo DOES become a life then the responsibility for it kicks in. Your actions created a life, you can’t ignore that.
    As far as in cases of rape, this is very difficult and I would not be opposed to special considerations being made for such a woman (ie. an extension of the deadline so to speak).

  73. Jennifer

    If you’re so keen on the Stone Age, then abortion should be illegal.

    Sorry, babe, when all other arguments fail, I can always fall back on “When is a Human being human?” Once human tissue becomes human being, it has a right to life, even if it costs you pain and money.

  74. Abortion foes in Maine celebrated Wednesday as the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a federal prohibition on so-called “partial-birth” abortions, but they also remained focused on their next priority:

    Never satisfied. Anyone wonder where slippery slope issues come from?

    Can some one please explain why partial-birth abortions are being considered separately from any other late-term abortion.

    PBA is icky. (You don’t have to physically see the fetus, just imagine what the procedure looks like.) Abortion foes can convince enough people that it’s murder instead of a medical procedure to get it banned. With their foot in the door they can then move to the next step. See above.

    It’s the same reason gun control folks go after “assault rifles” and anti game folks go after GTA.

    but what you’re kind of saying here is that you wish people wouldn’t consider certain issues important enough to require government action. But that would preclude having a government at all.

    Actually, such personal issues are too important for government action. The government can be kept sufficiently busy defending the country and printing currency without involving it in every personal decision individuals make.

    I used to feel that way until I read Roe v. Wade carefully in 2003. … Frankly, I think the decision is brilliant.

    I would say rather that you find the procedure set up by the decision brilliant. (Not everyone does.) The reason RvW is bogus is that the way the decision itself was written stretched the Constitution way out of shape.

    A wise, politically balanced state

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

    Sadly, instead of doing this, pro-lifers try to draw the lines in stupid places, part for sentimental reasons, and part because they want the issue to remain contentious.

    No. True pro-life people believe that any abortion, including most birth control, is immoral. Therefore they want as many procedures as they can get, prohibited. Their ultimate goal is complete prohibition. Just like the committed pro-choice folks believe a woman should control her body and therefore want no prohibitions whatsoever.

    The issue remains controversial because each side commands a large minority of supporters and no compromise will satisfy both factions.

    Women do not get pregnant by accident.

    Tell that to one looking at a busted rubber. Contraception can fail. Also, sexual assault isn’t an “accident,” but neither is it an intentional act on the part of the victim.

    My point is though that even if you get pregnant by accident you are still taking that risk. Every action has risks and every intelligent person needs to be responsible for the actions they take.

    True. But this begs the current question: Should getting an abortion be one of the responsible options, should it be restricted, or should it be prohibited?

  75. Or, what Sam B said…much better!

  76. I think the reason many people feel as though Roe v Wade is bogus is not because of the political nature of the decision but rather because it is political to begin with. Do you honestly believe that the 14th amendment guarantees a woman’s right to an abortion.

    Tough question. here is the moneyquote from the 14th:

    “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, [b]liberty, or property, without due process of law[/b]. . .” (emphasis added)

    If the woman had a chimp, it would be property. If the woman had a corpse it would be property.

    What about a zygote? Is it property or not? I think you can argue that it is property. What is more the text specifies liberty as separate from property. “Liberty” is a pretty vague term, and pretty high falutin’, too. Even if the freedom to have an early term abortion is not depriving the parent of property, I think it is an impingement on liberty, within the meaning of the 14th.

    Of course, this doesn’t end the ananlysis. The fact that due process must be given before a restriction on her abortion liberty merely begs the question of what process is “due.” There is no all-purpose, self-evident answer to that. The law is not a brooding omnipresence in the sky.

    So the Roe decision drew up a three trimester based compromise as to what the due process had to be. They could have erred on the side of allowing more restrictions in the first trimester, but they did not. they accorded a first trimester fetal life substantially no weight against the liberty interest.

    On the other hand, the allowed the state to defend fetal interests somewhat in the 2d and 3d trimester. The balance there is less determinate. States have significant discretion to act (or not) there, too. In that sense, Roe is humble with federal power and the power of the 14th amendment.

    Neither a shrill advocate like Jennifer, nor a Holy Roller like my mother, is happy with the range of compromises permitted to and (to some extent) required by the states. Nevertheless I think it is withing the range of places that the 14th amendment would want SCOTUS adjudicating constitutionally. If they didn’t want SCOTUS there, they would have used less vague words than “liberty” and “due process.” The 14th amendment casts a wide net on its own terms.

  77. Jennifer,
    See my previous post.

  78. An aside,

    please also look at Doe V. Bolton whenever considering Roe v. Wade. If you think the trimester criteria of Roe are reasonable, you should reall, really look at Doe. That decision is the one which essentially allowed “abortion-on-demand.”

  79. If you’re so keen on the Stone Age, then abortion should be illegal.

    When did I say I was “keen” on the Stone Age? Oh, I didn’t. That’s your way of avoiding my questioning your claim that “technology” is the only reason there’s any difference between biological and financial/social dependence.

    Anybody participating in vaginal sex act, male or female, is taking a risk that a pregnancy may occur as a result. I didn’t like Jennifers reasoning that she should not be made to be a biological “slave” as it were because it ignores this fact.

    No, it simply points out that there are safe medical options for ending a pregnancy, yet you imply that “taking responsibility” requires ignoring those options.

  80. Anybody participating in vaginal sex act, male or female, is taking a risk that a pregnancy may occur as a result.

    Sam B,

    However the woman is most likely already weighing the ability to have an abortion in caculating the risk vs return. Jennifer, might take all possilble precations, but she also know that if they happen to fail, she can still get an abortion as a last resort.

    The way I see the second you start bringing up ‘take responisibilty for sex’ argument, you are advancing the view of abstinence (or only oral and anal) until you are ready to have kids.

  81. Cain:
    I’m just pointing out that you’re making things up with no basis in reality. A newborn baby will likely die at some point from starvation, but it isn’t dependent on it’s mother for flowing blood and a regular heart. This isn’t a “brilliant” point. It’s just unvarnished fact. You have an obtuse inability to separate social, biological and medical dependence from each other, ostensibly because you think conflating the three supports your point.

    Worse, you seem to think that the question “when does a clump of goo become a life” automatically leads to the conclusion that clumps of goo are viable human beings with full rights. You don’t even have to answer the question…just posing the question seems to be enough for you.

    Also, you think this Life/Liberty/Property argument is a winner. What you are forgetting is the “due process of law” part. You are out of touch with reality if you think this issue hasn’t been litigated to death 50 billion times over. Regardless of your boner for Jesus, the process of law has settled on some bright lines and filled in the rest with discretion.

  82. Jennifer

    Oh, never mind.

    Just never get pregnant, OK? I wouldn’t want you to have to sacrifice any of your valuable time, money, or effort.

  83. Dave W,
    A couple of points. I REALLY don’t like the designating of a child as “property”. I think it’s better to refer to it as a human life that you are responsible for for it’s first 18 years of life. A person can do anything they wish to their property (as far as I’m concerned), but they certainly can’t do anything they wish with their child.
    Also, I tend to favor intentionalist arguments, so even if section 1 of the 14th amendment does cast a wide net that net was certainly never meant to encompass abortion.

  84. Lamar

    “Boner for Jesus”? WTF?

    Go screw yourself, you asshole! Bother to read before you write such shit!

  85. Just never get pregnant, OK?

    I’m not planning to. But if I do, I promise I’ll do the responsible thing and get an abortion.

  86. please also look at Doe V. Bolton whenever considering Roe v. Wade. If you think the trimester criteria of Roe are reasonable, you should reall, really look at Doe. That decision is the one which essentially allowed “abortion-on-demand.”

    I think they will cut it back to Roe.

    Bolton has not the political resonance of Roe. Nor the good sense.

    Sometimes SCOTUS gets carried away and retreats later. Not unusual.

  87. I’ll do the responsible thing and get an abortion.

    First trimester please, if your schedule permits. Less pain all ’round that way.

  88. First trimester please, if your schedule permits. Less pain all ’round that way.

    Definitely. Otherwise I’d have to waste money buying larger-sized clothes I’d never wear again.

  89. Wait, as a matter of fact, I want an apology from the ignorant fucktard known as “Lamar”?

    I have not ONCE mentioned anything about Jesus, or even Christianity. Where do you get off making such an accusation?

    Idiot! Are you so illiterate that you cannot read my comments? I have taken the time to make decent comments–have argued points, with varying degrees of success and persuasiveness–in a civilized manner. And you just pop up with an evil assumption that I have a “boner for Jesus”?

    I think I am fully justified in called you aq shit-head for such a remark.

  90. Pardon my misspellings.

  91. val and Jennifer,
    I don’t know how many times I need to repeat this, but I’ll do so again: abortion can be a perfectly moral and responsible action if it performed early enough in the terms of a pregnancy.

  92. A couple of points. I REALLY don’t like the designating of a child as “property”. I think it’s better to refer to it as a human life that you are responsible for for it’s first 18 years of life. A person can do anything they wish to their property (as far as I’m concerned), but they certainly can’t do anything they wish with their child.

    we must never forget that this is a Constitution we are expounding. It tries to predict and set down guidelines for disputes that will not come up for a hundred years or more.

    That is why the words are accorded somewhat bigger or different margins than when they are set down. that is why we consider Cho to be part of a “well-regulated” militia, even though he was not in a militia, nor was he particularly well-regulated.

    So, I guess what I am saying is that zygotes should not be considered as property in most, or all, contexts, but perhaps in the context of the 14th am.

    Look at it this way, if I had to pick one violent act to occur out of: (i) descration of a corpse; (ii) killing a chimp; or (iii) flushing a zygote, then I would choose both the corpse desecration and the zygote flush before the chimp killing. (and I don’t even like chimps!)

    Still, the chimp is property.

  93. Cain, can you stop frothing at Lamar long enough to answer my question? You seem to be under the impression that in the Stone Age, before fancy technology, only a biological mother could care for a newborn infant. At what point in our history did that change, so that others could take care of babies as well? I know there existed wet nurses in ancient Rome; did the change occur as part of the Bronze Age revolution? Or was it the Iron Age that made the difference?

  94. Dave W,
    I’m not talking about a zygote though, I’m talking about a fetus, and they aren’t the same thing. If you want to consider a zygote property that’s all fine and well but at some point during development it is a living human being and can therefore be no one’s property (13th Amendment).

  95. I’m not talking about a zygote though, I’m talking about a fetus, and they aren’t the same thing. If you want to consider a zygote property that’s all fine and well but at some point during development it is a living human being and can therefore be no one’s property

    Roe’s explanation on that important point are part of what makes it a good decision and something we should be proud of SCOTUS for.

    Agreed, for sure.

  96. I don’t know how many times I need to repeat this, but I’ll do so again: abortion can be a perfectly moral and responsible action if it performed early enough in the terms of a pregnancy.

    We got it Sam, we got it. What we are trying to say is that abortion can just as perfectly moral and as responsible even if its done later in the pregnancy.

    So the question for you becomes; when is ‘early enough’? I for one dont think that having all organs present (in whatever form) or having a shape recognizable by the layman is a sufficient fence. Nor is brain stem activity. Earlier you said its illegal to kill animals, which is obviously wrong, we kill and eat animals, with higher order brain activity all the time. So for me that argument doensnt hold water.

  97. Sam, maybe it’s just me but I seem to detect a disconnect between your two statements:

    I don’t know how many times I need to repeat this, but I’ll do so again: abortion can be a perfectly moral and responsible action if it performed early enough in the terms of a pregnancy.

    and your critique of my pro-choice argument that:

    Anybody participating in vaginal sex act, male or female, is taking a risk that a pregnancy may occur as a result. I didn’t like Jennifers reasoning [in favor of legalized abortion] that she should not be made to be a biological “slave” as it were because it ignores this fact.

    So: you think early-term abortions are okay, but don’t like my argument that I should be allowed to have one in part because I should not be forced to carry a pregnancy to term if I do not choose to do so?

  98. val,
    I’m going to stick by the 8 weeks argument. The shape is not enough, that’s true, but it has all the elements of “life” as I define it, therefore it is life.
    Also, I said it was illegal to kill (and tortue) animals FOR NO REASON (forgive the caps please, I don’t know how to italicize).

  99. What a terrific week! We can argue gun control and abortion all at once!

    woo hoo!

    ooh! and the “Pipe Test” thread! drugs, too!

    this is really too much fun to pass up. oh yeah.

    *reaches for the cheetos

  100. So: you think early-term abortions are okay, but don’t like my argument that I should be allowed to have one in part because I should not be forced to carry a pregnancy to term if I do not choose to do so?

    And one more question, Sam: what IS an acceptable pro-choice argument, do you think, if “I shouldn’t be forced to carry a pregnancy to term” doesn’t sit well with you?

  101. Jennifer,
    I didn’t like your argument because it doesn’t just apply to early term abortions but to the ending of a pregnancy at any stage immediately before birth.
    To sum up: abortions are fine, murder is not. The ending of a human life is murder, therefore ending a pregnancy when that developing fetus can be defined as a human life is murder.(I’m ignoring here medical neccesity but I’ve covered that already).
    I’m willing to debate WHEN an embryo become a human life, but not that it is ok to end a pregnancy whenever you wish on any terms because it is some form of biological slavery.

  102. Jennifer,
    The only valid pro-choice argument to me is “this developing embryo is not a human life because…”

  103. The only valid pro-choice argument to me is “this developing embryo is not a human life because…”

    All right; I see your point but disagree with it, because I still oppose the idea “You are REQUIRED BY LAW to allow your body to become a life-support system for someone else.”

  104. “I have not ONCE mentioned anything about Jesus, or even Christianity. Where do you get off making such an accusation?”

    Let me refer you to your own words: “The questions for me are not why evil exists, but rather why did Lucifer succumb to it, and why was God not more persuasive?”

    I will now entertain your apology to me for the Ftard-bomb.

  105. Jennifer

    As for my frothing at that sad bastard….never. I still want an apology.

    But to address your points. They are fair. I was trying to funny about the Stone Age. (failed) What I am trying to get at is that, whenever that mass of tissue becomes a human being, it has a right to continue living.

    If, through no fault of its own, it must depend on someone else–however intimate that dependence may be–however intrusive that dependence may be, then whoever is TIED to it, no matter what she may want, must give that support. Before birth, it must have you. After birth, it must have you, or someone you designate. It cannot help its dependence, and you, or your substitute, are responsible. (I should also add that, thanks to our no longer being in the Stone Age, we can assign equal financial and sociial responsibility to the man involved, as we should.)

    I can appreciate your not wanting to be parasitized; I wouldn’t want that either. But, if the parasite is a human being–and I’ll leave that question open–should you really be able to remove, and therefore kill, it?

  106. Jennifer,
    Fair enough, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  107. Lamar

    when did I say Jesus?

    I quoted common Western Civ mythology.

  108. Also Jennifer, I think you’re better off debating Cain’s Ability. He is clearly taking the opposing view from your own, while me and you are approaching the argument from different takes.

  109. I will not bother to address the idiot called “Lamar” further.

    I have been civil up until I was insulted and mischaracterized by a fool. If anyone here disagrees, then feel free to join with this twit.

  110. All right; I see your point but disagree with it, because I still oppose the idea “You are REQUIRED BY LAW to allow your body to become a life-support system for someone else.”

    Which is why the six month bright line is so effective. The pro-choice side can look at the six month period as an “opt out” period, whereby afterwards, they are required by law to care for the child except under exceptional medical circumstances. The pro-life side can then hang their hats on the viability argument as a compromise to “life starts at conception”.

  111. Cain’s Ability: First, I’ll disregard your lame “I never said Jesus” defense. The vast majority of that “common Western Civ mythology” you talk about recognizes Jesus and God as one.

    I just noticed the irony of you accusing me of not reading your posts. I read ALL of your posts, not just on this topic. By the way, I am working under the presumption that your handle refers to Dean Cain’s acting ability.

    I apologize for saying “boner for Jesus.” I do not apologize for lampooning your erratic use of the God card. As Han Solo said, “I must have hit pretty close to the mark to get her all riled up like that, huh, kid….”

  112. I quoted common Western Civ mythology.

    You must be joking.

  113. Whoa, whoa, Sam B!

    I am not completely opposed to Jennifer’s argument.

    I am all in favor of abortion-on-demand up until a certain point. I confess I am not sure what that point should be. 3 days pregnant? Sure! Three weeks? sure! Three months? Not sure! 8 months! No way! Where to draw the line in between? Don’t know.

    I just don’t agree that, because the unborn what’s-it cannot survive by itself, it should be abortable/killable. I’m sorry if I’ve not made that clear. Perhaps I’ve used bad examples.

  114. Ok, Cain’s Ability, sorry then.

  115. MP, no.

    English/West European/American lit refs are invariably biblical. Observant people might note my preference for the so-called “Old Testament.”

    Duh, indeed.

  116. Sam B,

    NP. I may not have written my arguments as well I would have liked. As indeed Jennifer rightly called me–that Stone Age thing, and all.

  117. Not that I care, but just to instruct the stupid and rude:

    Cain & Able

  118. Sam B, it occurs to me that when you are arguing that people have to take responsibility for having sex and not get an abortion. You are actually arguing that if people choose to have sex, and get pregnant they should take responsibility for their actions and have an abortion with in two months of conception. So that a person is who is morally reprehensible and irresponsible to you is the person who got an abortion after 2 months not just any person who got an abortion.
    Thay way your position would be much clearer.

    I still completely disagree with you on this. We would be making murderers out of people for missed appointments. But atleast that way we would know where you are comming from.

    One question for you. Since you havent really raised any objection to first 2 month abortions, do you feel its moraly ok to use them as birth control?

    P.S. for italics type text here

  119. FYI: I’m no biblical scholar, but Lucifer is generally a Christian construct. We can argue about Isaiah or Ezekial, but Lucifer is not really an Old Testament character. More importantly, why shouldn’t the viability test at least be a part of our line drawing exercise?

  120. Abel, not Able.

  121. oops, it wont let me display special characters weird, use this
    http://www.pageresource.com/html/textags.htm

  122. Abel or Able

    (1) one should appreciate the pun
    (2) one should understand that the order of the vowel is irrelevant from the Hebrew
    (3) one should frogiev my tpying 🙂

    (4) as to his last question regarding viability, I will agree that should indeed be on the table.

    PS: I’m still pissed, but I am willing to engage reasoned debate.

  123. but don’t say I have a boner for Jesus. I respect him, but I don’t worship him

  124. val,
    Yes, that is correct, excepting of course cases of medical neccesity. Rape/incest also deserves special consideration due to the psychological trauma involved. So yes, aborting a pregnancy as a form of birth control is perfectly acceptable up until the embryo can be defined as a human life.
    As to your second point, I don’t think that is neccesarily so. Even in the worst case it seems to me that a woman should be able to ascertain she is pregnant in 5 weeks. This gives her 3 weeks to make a decision.
    Anyway, I severaly dislike pragmatic arguments. What is expedient in the range of the moment is not neccesarily what is moral. You can make all sorts of emotional and pragmatic arguments about the harm this would cause for young women, but I think ultimately you must look at it objectively it is neccesary to pick a time when “life” begins. After that time period ending that life is murder.
    That said, if you disagree with the 8 week mark I’m definitely open to hear when you would define life as beggining and why.

    italics test

  125. Not that I care, but just to instruct the stupid and rude: Cain & Able

    A-B-E-L

    I oughtta know.

  126. Sam B,

    Legaly speaking, I would only recognize, the end of pregnancy as the “bright line”. For two reasons;

    First; from what I can see so far we cannot objectively set any other marker, we cant with certaintity say when the fetus gains higher brain functions, or when it become self aware etc… And because there would have to be many exceptions to the rule. And I do not beleive in laws that would arbitrarily make someone a murderer if they did something on the first day of the thrid months, which was perfectly legal (yesterday) on the last day of the second month. This is the same logic used in many ‘child’ sex laws.

    Second; by drawing a line any time before the end, you are effectively negating the most basic rights of the mother up until she give birth. I dont beleive that the most human basic rights can just be applied and removed by matter of legal convenience.

  127. After that time period ending that life is murder.

    Murder is typically defined as the “unlawful killing of a human being.”
    When abortion is legal, it isn’t murder, just as judicial executions, killing in war or self-defense, etc., are not murder.

    That said, if you disagree with the 8 week mark I’m definitely open to hear when you would define life as beggining and why.

    I’ve never heard anyone give any remotely credible evidence that a new life doesn’t begin when you get a new set of DNA.

    Abortion, almost by definition, is killing another person, but when it’s legal it’s not murder. Check out California’s Newspeak-style definition of murder regarding the killing of fetuses, which amounts to: it’s murder unless the mother wants the death, and a (state licensed) doctor does the killing.

  128. val,
    Minor sticking point: no fetus is self-aware, children don’t become self aware until well after birth. As to the higher brain functions, that is true, that is hard to determine. It is also very hard to determine when it is that a fetus “feels pain”, another factor that could help us make a decision.
    So yes, obviously 8 weeks is not EXACTLY when all those things happen and every pregnancy is different as well. One of the difficulties in legislating around biology is that it varies so much. But I think it’s fair say for sure that a fetus, the day before it’s born is a human life by any standard.
    As to your second point, I’m not sure what rights you are reffering to, but I would counter that no one ever has the right to murder an innocent person.

  129. Jennifer,

    Able=Abel

    ought you to know? how then?

  130. ought you to know? how then?

    Heh heh heh. It’s a secret.

  131. Mr. F Le Mur,
    I’m not talking about what the state says is murder, I’m talking about my own personal morality. The state could say it’s not murder if the person is a black slave or Jewish and I would still argue otherwise.
    I’m not sure what you mean by a new set of DNA. It seems that you are making a “life begins at conception” argument which I also disagree with. To say that a clump of cells is a human life is to denegrate actual human life. And saying that it is “potential” life is unfulfilling. We’ll soon be able to take skin cells and make clones from them; do you want to make scratching your face murder?

  132. “what is your standard for determining when an abortion is moral or not?”

    I got no gen’l objection to killing anything which:

    is nobody else’s property

    -and-

    doesn’t mind dying.

  133. Because, it’s true, I made a typing error. The name “Abel”, however, could just as reasonably be rendered as “Able.”

    So, if you “ought to know,” and that is the basis of any dig at me, then you could perhaps explain the diff?

  134. Sam B, unless that person has sunk his teeth into you and is sucking your blood and nutrients, causes you unwelcome sickness and discomfort, repeatedly kicks you in the gut, and will soon be forcefuly entering your vagina with out your permission. Im being tongue-in-cheek here, but Im talking about the right of self-determination.

    From a liberatarian point of view, where many of us beleive that its your body and life belong to you, would the said woman be still free to take her own life? Or would that also be murder/suicide instead of murder? Would it be now attempted murder instead of attempted suicide? Once you’ve determined that the fetus is a human life with all said rights, is the woman still free to smoke, to drink, to stay out and party until ungodly hours?

  135. ***Or would that also be murder/suicide instead of murdersuicide

  136. It would be legal in some states, but not in all. So Roe v. Wade has served the purpose of not making women’s rights subject to the whim of the state she happens to live in.

    And made those rights subject to the whim of 8 men and 1 woman who looks a little like a man.

  137. So, if you “ought to know,” and that is the basis of any dig at me, then you could perhaps explain the diff?

    I’m pretty sure the diff is, one is the proper spelling of the name of the first human being ever to die (according to the Bible), while the other is the proper spelling of an adjective.

  138. Jennifer

    PLEASE see my prev comments. And why “ought” you to know, perchance?

    Is there anything special about you?

  139. Is there anything special about you?

    She was the one who killed him.

  140. Heh heh heh, Cain’s Ability. There’s absolutely positively no way you’ll ever learn why. None. The question will haunt you to your grave.

    Really, it will.

    (Damn, I’m in a fine mood today. BoingBoing doth rock.)

  141. proper spelling

    I’ve addressed that. I guess you think you gained some points in your argument. Not a chance. So I made slight slip in typing. As it turns out, that slip, although it may not conform to customary standards of English orthography, is merely a matter of taste when it comes to tranliterations.

    I “ought to know,” as a matter of fact.

  142. whatever

    way to lose a possible ally

  143. val,
    That’s a really good point and I don’t really have an answer on hand. It is true that while we need to recognize life that during pregnancy two lives are incredibly interwoven.
    I’m going to say as a kneejerk that those activities you described SHOULD be regulated during a pregnancy. It seems to me that to be intellectually consistent I would have to take this position. Poisoning is a crime as well as murder.
    As far as suicides, maybe they shouldn’t be treated as attempted murder, but rather manslaughter. Anyway, it should not be hard to prove a defense of insanity in these sorts of cases. How are they treated now, do you know?

    How about cases where a woman’s pregnancy is terminated against her will? Is that murder?

  144. way to lose a possible ally

    Oh, rats.

  145. The present administration demonstrates the need for any time abortion. Too bad abortion can’t be retroactive.

  146. How about abortion with a handgun?
    Discuss.

  147. Cain: You tend to fly off the handle, then use strange justifications for things you should just let go. “Able,” regardless of transliterations, is an adjective and certainly not the recognized spelling of Abel. Sometimes “oops” is the correct reponse, not some claim that “Able” is as correct as a potatoe.

  148. Lamar

    I did say, oops, you ass. Then I pointed out the irrelevance of the misspelling. Because, indeed, I–a Ph.D. in Hebrew–“ought to know.”

    I am STILL waiting for your apology. I do not think it “flying off the handle” to insist that I not be lied about. Do you have the decency to apologize for your “boner for Jesus” comment? Or are you just another idiot anti-Semite?

  149. Cain’s Instability,

    Deep breaths, m’kay?

  150. highnumber

    appreciate the thought & concern, but no way

    I was insulted, by an ass who refused to bother to learn more about me before offering a stupid rebuke, and I am within my rights to insist upon an apology.

    I’m sure I won’t be missed from this thread or site, but I–unlike some–have a modicum of respect for intelligent people, and I refuse to be insulted. I have been decent. I insist others be likewise.

  151. mes ami, if you plan on engaging in discourse on the internet, you will need a thicker skin, and will have to learn to let things go. You can insits on an appolgy all you want, but due to the asynchronous and depersonalizing nature of online discussions there is very little reason for him to appologize, regardless of wether u were wronged or not

  152. Lamar | April 19, 2007, 12:29pm | #
    I apologize for saying “boner for Jesus.”

    All better?

  153. Nope. “It’s the internets” is never an excuse.

    “I oughtta know” from someone who clearly has no idea is never an excuse.

    I guess I’m old-fashioned, but I will not tolerate lies, nor ignorance. Nor anyone who defends either.

    You may continue to murder babies. Au revoir.

  154. lol,

    You all heard him, he told me to do it.

    *gets his forceps…..

  155. I just got a shipment of Chinese ones.

  156. “I oughtta know” from someone who clearly has no idea is never an excuse.

    What do you mean, “clearly has no idea?” I don’t just have an idea of how to properly spell the name of Cain’s dead brother, I demonstrated my knowledge for all to see.

  157. I just got a shipment of Chinese ones.

    Babies or forceps? Either way lets try them out.

  158. Crap. Roach clips Hemostats. They screwed up the order. I told them, “one gross of babies,” dammit!

  159. Highnumber must learn
    how to fill out paperwork
    got order screwed up

  160. Why is Moose laughing?
    Half of the order was yours.
    Your weekend is ruined.

  161. The name “Abel”, however, could just as reasonably be rendered as “Able.”

    I think this is true. And Jeezuss, Sockratees, Airristottle, and Sharlamain all agree.

  162. God gave to women
    Ability to have kids
    So men would need them

  163. “How about cases where a woman’s pregnancy is terminated against her will? Is that murder?”

    I remember several cases where a preggo woman was killed in a car wreck and the driver at fault was charged with 2 counts of murder/manslaughter etc. One for the mom and one for the foetus. These cases happened in states where abortion was legal. In one such case she was about 10 weeks pregnant.

    There also has to be the discussion about frozen embryos. Divorcing couples fight over these. I think both situations are relevant to the abortion discussion.

  164. Cain: I apologized and for the most part dropped out of the discussion because it was clear that I was bothering you. For all your umbrage, it has been you that has insulted me over and over and over. I even showed you the basis for my assertion that your ideas are overly religious. It appears that I was correct, though admittedly an ass about it.

    I personally don’t mind if you go to some other forum. I can’t recall ever being called so many nasty names in such a short period of time.

  165. High, while that is true
    the Noam Chomsky Blow Up Doll
    is patched and ready

  166. God gave to women
    Ability to have kids
    So men would need them

    Close, but that’s not what God gave to women that men need.

    “How about cases where a woman’s pregnancy is terminated against her will? Is that murder?”

    Oh yeah, in most states. It raises the interesting question as to why it is murder for one person to kill the fetus, but not another.

    The other “privilege” to commit murder is self-defense. Having an abortion isn’t self-defense, after all, unless it is reasonably necessary to save the mother from death or serious physical harm.

  167. I can’t recall ever being called so many nasty names in such a short period of time.

    I’m sure we can correct that.

  168. Lamar,

    C U Next Tuesday!
    😉

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