Fetal Sex Determination Testing—Should It Be Banned?

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Boy or girl? No waiting.

New tests analyzing fetal DNA found in a pregnant woman's blood can identify a fetus' sex as early as seven weeks into a pregnancy. As the New York Times reported

The appeal of the test, which analyzes fetal DNA found in the mother's blood, is that it can establish sex weeks earlier than other options, like ultrasound, and is noninvasive, unlike amniocentesis and other procedures that carry small risks of miscarriage. The finding came in a study published online Tuesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association. …

The journal study analyzed reams of research on fetal DNA tests — 57 studies involving about 6,500 pregnancies — and found that carefully conducted tests could determine sex with accuracy of 95 percent at 7 weeks to 99 percent at 20 weeks.

The study "has wide-reaching implications," said Dr. Louise Wilkins-Haug, director for maternal-fetal medicine and reproductive genetics at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, who was not involved in the research. "Individuals need to be careful" to ensure that companies use rigorous laboratory procedures and support accuracy claims with data, she added.

One potential worry is that women might abort fetuses of an undesired sex. Several companies do not sell tests in China or India, where boys are prized over girls and fetuses found to be female have been aborted.

In response to the study, University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Arthur Caplan asserts

Should genetic testing—in combination with abortion—purely for sex selection be part of medicine? Is it ethical to end a pregnancy because you don't want a girl? The answer to both questions is "no." Being male or female is not a disease or a disorder. Wanting a boy is a preference, but it is not one that justifies ending a pregnancy. 

But ending a pregnancy because you don't want a girl may be legal in the U.S., but that does not make it an ethical choice. As hard as it may be for some people to comprehend, there can be good and bad reasons to end a pregnancy. Gender preference is a bad reason.

Perhaps. But assuming that abortion remains legal, does that mean that such tests should be outlawed? Writing with refererence to using pre-implantation genetic selection of embryos, Oxford University bioethicist Julian Savulescu has warned

The Nazis sought to interfere directly in people's reproductive decisions (by forcing them to be sterilized) to promote social ideals, particularly around racial superiority. Not offering selection for nondisease genes would indirectly interfere (by denying choice) to promote social ideals such as equality or 'population welfare.' There is no relevant difference between direct and indirect eugenics. The lesson we learned from eugenics is that society should be loath to interfere (directly and indirectly) in reproductive decisionmaking.

Savulescu's argument also applies in this case. 

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  1. Hey, does anyone have several millions girls they don’t need?

    1. Yes, the Gay american couples who adopted yours.

      1. Not enought to replace all the ones that have been killed in utero. We now have all these extra males – maybe we should just make our army bigger and go find some?

        1. That’s pretty much what I expect they will do.

      2. When sexual orientation can be determined by a blood test, the LBGT community will have abortion banned.

        1. Take that, homos!

        2. Re: Suki,

          When sexual orientation can be determined by a blood test, the LBGT community will have abortion banned.

          ^^ THIS ^^

          Wanna see hypocrisy in action? Then wait until these tests are used by women to abort girls.

          1. By the way…what does LBGT stand for?

            1. I don’t know for certain, but the T definitely stands for Taint.

            2. Lesbian, Bi, Gay, Transgendered.

              I guess it is the order of how cool they are. Lesbians = awesome, and transgendered = gtfo

            3. LGBTQQIAA, you bigoted monster!

              1. He’s not “family friendly”…

          2. In vitro sex determination has already led to the abortion of millions of girls. This is just a better, easier test.

            If you are determined to abort a girl, then the relative ease or difficulty of the test will not make any difference to you.

            This is a test for the curious, not the, erm, selective.

            1. Re: RC Dean,

              In vitro sex determination has already led to the abortion of millions of girls. This is just a better, easier test.

              Maybe it is, but with previous tests the woman had to wait until the fetus was old enough to determine the sex, which by then would make the procedure much more expensive than aborting an embryo. Most women who choose to abort girls do so because of very heavy and imposed costs, which mean it came down to opportunity costs.

              Instead, with an early and cheaper test, women who would otherwise NOT make their decision based on sex are now able to, because the cost has been lowered. This is the worry that many are indicating.

              If you are determined to abort a girl, then the relative ease or difficulty of the test will not make any difference to you.

              That’s not the case, you’re forgetting opportunity costs.

              1. I guess I’m thinking anyone who would abort because of sex isn’t going to change their mind based on the cost. Absent a few marginal exceptions, of course.

          3. They already know that legal abortion disproportionately aborts females. They just don’t care. It’s about women, not girls, in typical liberal short-term lenses.

        3. Aborting bi-curious girls is a sin against all the is good and holy in the world!!!

          Note: Seriously, I am not being sarcastic.

          1. bi-curious girls

            Redundant.

            1. No it’s not.

              1. She lied to you.

        4. When sexual orientation can be determined by a blood test, the LBGT community will have abortion banned.

          Why do they care about abortion anyway?
          It’s not like they have children (naturally).

      3. But the straight one’s do need them?

      4. My family will gladly take one or two…

        1. They’re best in pairs, you know.

          1. so I’ve heard.

  2. As hard as it may be for some people to comprehend, there can be good and bad reasons to end a pregnancy. Gender preference is a bad reason.

    Why?

    1. He’s making an ethical assertion, not a moral assertion.

      Being male or female is not a disease or a disorder. That’s the core of his reasoning. I don’t agree that it is sufficient, but it’s not a spurious argument to make against sex-selective abortion.

      1. Yeah, I had to remind myself of that to temper my initial reaction to Mr. Caplan’s assertion, which was to want to have a purely frivolous, spite abortion for reasons of which he would not approve. I personally do not give even one fuck why someone chooses a medical procedure. They could choose it because it’s Thursday or because they had a dream that the kid would turn out redheaded and it would be equally uninteresting.

        1. the kid would turn out redheaded

          That’s still a valid, ethical, reason to abort, right? RIGHT?!

          1. Is not having a soul a disorder?

            1. In my book.

        2. Killing a human being just because he had the wrong color hair. You know who else did that???

          1. No, who?

          2. Who would do such a thing?

          3. My views on abortion have been misconstrued.

      2. Being male or female is not a disease or a disorder.

        Well, no. But this is pure straw man. Nobody is aborting their kids because they think their sex is a disease or disorder.

        The only relevance this statement has is if you believe it is only ethical to abort a fetus because he/she/it has a disease or disorder.

        Wanting a boy is a preference, but it is not one that justifies ending a pregnancy.

        This begs for a comprehensive account of what is, and is not, a preference that justifies ending a pregnancy.

        I continue to find it odd that bioethicists only speak out to support the restriction of information and choice. Such restrictions strike me as inherently unethical, absent very strong countervailing concerns.

        1. I don’t think it’s a strawman. He not saying gender is a disorder or that people think it’s a disorder, he’s saying that considering it in the same ethical category for screening based abortion as disorders and defects is not valid.

          If abortion is ethical for disorder
          And gender is not a disorder
          Abortion for gender is not ethical

          Whether you think abortion for disorder is ethical is irrelevant to his ratiocination because he is making an ethical assertion, not a moral one. Assuming his premises, I don’t see to many flaws.

          1. If abortion is ethical for disorder
            And gender is not a disorder
            Abortion for gender is not ethical

            Your syllogism doesn’t work, unless you were to modify to: “if abortion is ONLY ethical for disorder…”

            …And he hasn’t suitably rationalized that premise either.

            1. OK, I accept that.

              1. gotta give props to you there, sugar free. a person on the intertoobz who can simply admit they are wrong is refreshing.

                adultlike even

                LIKE… :l

          2. Assuming his premises, I don’t see to many flaws.

            I guess I would like to see where he draws the line, and why, between acceptable preferences and unacceptable preferences, before I reach any conclusions.

          3. Some disorders are more likely in one sex or the other. If a couple is more likely to have a baby whose condition would be covered by “ethical abortion”, how much different would it be to do it sooner based on probability? It would certainly be easier on the mother to do it sooner rather than later.

            1. Sorry, meant to reply to your 2:14 comment.

      3. He’s making an ethical assertion, not a moral assertion.

        There is no distinction between morality and ethics. From Wikipedia:

        Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality ? that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.

        Major branches of ethics include:

        Meta-ethics, about the theoretical meaning and reference of moral propositions and how their truth-values (if any) may be determined;
        Normative ethics, about the practical means of determining a moral course of action;
        Applied ethics, about how moral outcomes can be achieved in specific situations;
        Moral psychology, about how moral capacity or moral agency develops and what its nature is;
        Descriptive ethics, about what moral values people actually abide by.

        1. Ethics is a discussion of morality, i.e. malleable as to axioms and premises. The philosophy about a subject is not the subject; the map is not the territory.

          I think of it this way: Morality is an emergent property of ethical reasoning.

          Unless, of course, you want to assert that morality is based in the extra-natural and immutable. Even then, ethics is the discussion of that thing, not the thing itself.

      4. Being pregnant is not a disease or disorder in the first place either last time I checked?!

  3. Abortion thread!

    Here’s more red meat: “What is it about terminating half a twin pregnancy that seems more controversial than reducing triplets to twins or aborting a single fetus?”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08…..ref=health

    1. It’s purely irrational. People believe mystical shit about twins.

      1. I don’t know if it’s purely irrational. Even if you assume abortion is morally neutral or positive, most abortions are about deciding when you want or don’t want to have a baby.

        With “selective reduction” you’re still deciding to have a baby, just not having all the babies. There’s something of a Sophie’s Choice aspect to it. You pick who goes to term, and who goes to the trash.

        1. I was addressing the twins vs. triplets. Since people have an irrational attachment to twins, then aborting a 3,4,5th would be easier, since you still have the twins.

          1. since you still have the twins

            How do you know you got the matching pair though? Maybe 1 was twins with 3, 2 with 4, and you kept 1 and 4. No idea how it works with an odd number of fetuses.

            1. You shove doublemint in your snatch and the two that get to it first get to live.

              Don’t you know, like, basic fucking science?

              1. I still don’t understand magnets, so, no.

              2. OMG. I am hoping that you are an italian opera loving, Nietzche-following, cuisine soignee expert, cock sucking, muscle-bound, face-slapping top with dick to spare. Please marry me.

        2. There’s a health of the mother/child aspect as well. Multiple birth pregnancies are significantly higher risk than singletons

      2. In all honesty, identical twins do share several things that do make them somewhat mystical, at least in relation to the rest of us. I think most can be attributed to their specific acuity and inherent NLP skills with each other…Basically, you always know what you are saying so they are in way more sync than with others. I think NLP can address this easily in non twins but requires more practice, skill, and desire. It is just natural for twins. Not a position one way or the other regarding aborting but when it comes to societies “mystical” view of idents I think this is a plausible explanation.

        1. OK, I’ll go with it being a mixture of pre-rational and irrational. (99% of twin reverence has no clue about Neural Language Programming.)

          I wonder if the same NLP bonding works for other multiples, or if the variables become too great outside of a pair situation.

          1. OPPORTUNITY FOR GRANT MONEY WOOOOO!!!!

            1. I have seriously wondered if I could making a living coming up with dissertation topics and grant subjects.

              1. I had a “research for hire” idea once. To take people like you (but rich) and actually perform the studies they want. Using undergrad slave labor networks of course.

        2. Personally I don’t see it. My mother is an identical twin and she and my aunt are completely different. In fact, I think my mom actually resembles her non-twin sister a lot more than she does her twin sister. Maybe it’s just because we were raised by them and thus notice the differences more, but my cousin sees more dissimilarities than similarities as well.

          1. it isnt about similarities but communication with eachother and other people. Do your mom and aunt seem to argue very little and never misunderstand each other when they do argue?

            1. I don’t really know if they argue less or more than with their non-twin sister or anyone else, but I have heard frequently throughout my life my mom say “Sometimes I just don’t understand her” regarding her twin.

              1. Fascinating. of course this could be a form of selection bias regarding your mother’s desires and any minute differences with her sister. Whereas a lesser connection, such as the other sibling, would generate a “well, it IS her.” type of response. I see another GRANT OPPORTUNITY!!!!

                Quick, see if California has a department for this.

                1. Quick, see if California has a department for this.

                  Dude, just start preparing the application, I’m sure there’s a dept. to accept it.

      3. If that were the case, why wouldn’t people be pushing to reduce more than two to just two?
        More plausible is one or two seem like an ok number and three or more starts getting weird and scary. Once people decide that it is ok to reduce some they leave the ugly decision-making to the parents.

  4. I can’t wait to see how the baby murder crowd decided to dance around this proof that it is a person and not a random blob.

    1. What the fuck are you talking about? Why don’t you go away?

    2. Wiring connectors and wood joints can commonly be identified as “male” and “female”, also. As can a sperm. Does that make them “little persons!!!1!”?

      1. No, but the human DNA at conception might give the “science based” death campers a clue. Or not.

        1. Um, no. That’s completely irrelevant. There is human DNA on the band-aid I threw away the other day. That does not make it a human being. No one who has heard of DNA had any doubts that human DNA is present at the time of conception. There is no gotcha like this that anyone is going to come up with in the abortion debate.

          You are not interesting or clever, please go away.

          1. But don’t a human egg and a human sperm go on to form a human being? And not, you know, something else? So when does sentience take place? At birth? Or sometime before? And if so, when is that?

            What happens when all this is takes place outside of a human female uterus? Can you terminate it at any time? If so why or why not?

            1. It is not a human being until the instant the fetus is born. One second earlier and it is just a differentiated tissue mass. And also why those who were born via c-section are soulless monsters.

              1. Excellent, this is just the clarification I was looking for!

              2. Re: Brandybuck,

                And also why those who were born via c-section are soulless monsters.

                That may explain my kids: They’re certainly no angels.

            2. Well, if you want to know what I think, I think that being human and being genetically a member of the species homo sapiens are completely different things. If you are the same kind of mental being as I am, then you are human. A cat that miraculously can speak and carry on an intelligent conversation is more human in my book than a newborn infant.

              The biology of sexual reproduction is very interesting, but, as far as I am concerned, has nothing to do with the humanity of any particular collection of cells.

              1. A cat that miraculously can speak and carry on an intelligent conversation is more human in my book than a newborn infant.

                So, a newborn human is less human than a mature human?

                1. “So, a newborn human is less human than a mature human?”

                  Yes. Having the potential to be something is not the same as being that thing. One’s mind is what makes one human.

                  1. So, what about mature human minds that contribute more than other mature human’s minds? Are those human minds that are lesser than others less human?

              2. Re: Zeb,

                A cat that miraculously can speak and carry on an intelligent conversation is more human in my book than a newborn infant.

                That’s an interesting position. Which would make you feel worse: Seeing your intelligent cat is run over by a truck, or seeing your infant child being run over by a truck?

                Or are you this cavalier only when thinking of other people’s infant babies?

                1. Well, I don’t have any children or talking cats, so I can’t really say.

                  But I will speculate that if I did have a child I would have a certain natural attachment to that child that would make me feel worse about its death than that of my talking cat. But I would also be more upset by my own child’s death than by your child’s death. And I might well be more upset by the death of my talking cat than I would by the death of your child.

                  In non-hypothetical situations, I am not cavalier at all about the death of other people’s infant children, by the way.

                  1. Re: Zeb,

                    Well, I don’t have any children or talking cats, so I can’t really say.

                    Well, speculate. Let’s say you’re given both wrapped in a pretty bow.

                    But I will speculate that if I did have a child I would have a certain natural attachment to that child that would make me feel worse about its death than that of my talking cat.

                    Why would you have a natural attachment to something you don’t even consider to be more of a person than a cat, talking or otherwise?

                    But I would also be more upset by my own child’s death than by your child’s death.

                    I would say that makes sense, as you probably do not know my child. However, what would you find more disturbing: That I killed my own child, or my own talking cat?

                    1. Well, as long as we are continuing with this silly hypothetical, sure, killing your own child would be more disturbing than killing the talking cat. But more because of what that would say about you as a person than because of the moral status of the child qua human being.

                      Thanks for playing. This has been much more amusing than the typical abortion thread.

              3. “If you are the same kind of mental being as I am, then you are human.”-Zeb

                That’s an awfully low standard.

  5. OT:

    Hey Bailey did you read this:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ti…..te-change/

    The IPCC charts show that The higher the GDP the less global warming there will be.

    1. And we can easily raise GDP with deficit spending, thereby reducing global warming. QED.

    2. I don’t see what Insane Clown Posse has to do with any of this.

      1. Global warming causes rainbows.

  6. But assuming that abortion remains legal, does that mean that such tests should be outlawed?

    No. The tests do not represent an act of aggression perpetrated against someone. It is abortion that does.

    The Nazis sought to interfere directly in people’s reproductive decisions (by forcing them to be sterilized) to promote social ideals, particularly around racial superiority.

    So does Planned Parenthood – they hate black people.

    1. Yeah, but they love their money.

  7. If we accept that

    A.) A fetus is not a person, and
    B.) A woman has self-ownership of her body (which grants her the authority to abort a fetus within her)

    then I don’t see how the reason behind the abortion necessarily affects the ethics or legality of it. Whether that reason is based on sex, potential homosexual genes, or a condition like dwarfism.

    Eugenics yes, but assuming A and B are true and there’s no coercion going on, I don’t see what the problem is.

    1. Thanks, that was exactly what I was trying to say above. The “reason” is just “I do not want this pregnancy.” Any further detail is not relevant, as is evident by the fact that if one’s actual “reason” was not acceptable, one could easily lie and no one would know the difference.

    2. Re: Applederry,

      B.) A woman has self-ownership of her body (which grants her the authority to abort a fetus within her)

      B) is contradictory, Apple. If the woman owns her body, that excludes her from owning someone else’s, which includes the fetus inside her as the fetus also owns his or her own body.

      And A) cannot be determined by simply asserting a fetus is not a person. That would imply a person becomes “a person” when someone else says so. To whom would you be willing to grant such power – Obama? Ron Paul? The Pope? You? Me? Your dog? Or (worse): Mr. Bailey?

      [I’m must kidding, Ron! But seriously, I would not want you to decide if I am a person or not.]

      1. I agree that A is a rather murky claim, but assuming true, B is not contradictory because a non-person does not have self-ownership.

        Even if A is known to be false, I still don’t think B is necessarily contradictory. Even if the fetus is a person with self-ownership, that person is living within another person. If a property owner can vacate someone from their household, certainly we can vacate them from within our own bodies, yes?

        Are there any other circumstances where you think a person has a right to use another person’s body for life support?

        1. “If a property owner can vacate someone from their household, certainly we can vacate them from within our own bodies, yes?”

          In many northern states, you can’t evict during the winter as it could be fatal.

          1. In many northern states, you can’t evict during the winter as it could be fatal.

            That’s mixing morals and law again. We do too much of that, as well as confusing ethics and morals.

            1. “”If a property owner can vacate someone from their household”

              That’s a false premise given that they can’t evict in winter.

              1. They can. Whether it’s legal, ethical, or moral is another question entirely. Do keep up.

        2. If a property owner can vacate someone from their household, certainly we can vacate them from within our own bodies, yes?

          Yes, but . . .

          You are typically not allowed to “evict” someone who has been couch-surfing in your living room a little too long by putting a bullet in the back of their head.

          The li’l parasite is sort of self-evicting, anyway, if you wait long enough. And, depending on a lot of variables, if you have invited someone onto your property, you may, in fact, have to give them notice and a period of time before you evict them.

        3. Are there any other circumstances where you think a person has a right to use another person’s body for life support?

          Leaving aside cases of rape, let’s not forget that the mother has, in effect, invited the fetus to take up residence in her body.

          I think that changes the ethics of the situation somewhat. Having voluntarily undertaken the project of making someone totally dependent on you for their life, when is it ethical (if ever) to withdraw life support?”

          When (if ever) is it ethical for a hospital to pull the plug on a patient?

          1. Let’s not forget that the mother has, in effect, invited the fetus to take up residence in her body.

            So if I invite you to come live in my house, then later on I change my mind, you should be allowed to stay?

            1. That depends on any contract you may or may not have signed.

              Since you can’t really sign a contract with a fetus, R C Dean is using social contract ethics.

              In effect, since everyone knows what sex can result in, one is taking responsibility for any results of engaging in sex. Likewise, when you invite someone into your home you are taking responsibility for their shelter. However, the fact that the person can simply move to another house if evicted makes it more ethically acceptable than evicting a fetus, which generally has no where else to go, even if it would choose to.

              1. Since you can’t really sign a contract with a fetus, R C Dean is using social contract ethics.

                In effect, since everyone knows what sex can result in, one is taking responsibility for any results of engaging in sex.

                I don’t think “being responsible for the results of your actions” is “social contract ethics.”

            2. So if you invite me to come live in my house, then later on you change your mind, you should be allowed to put a bullet in my skull?

              Whether the defense of property ethically justifies the use of deadly force is not exactly a crystal clear issue, you know. And I think that’s what the whole “evicting a fetus from my property” approach kind of elides the issue that we’re talking about deadly force, here, not a change of address.

              1. Whether the defense of property ethically justifies the use of deadly force is not exactly a crystal clear issue, you know.

                Sure, but wouldn’t most libertarians agree that a rights-violation is the one case where resort to deadly force is justified, if all else fails?

                I wouldn’t claim to have the right to shoot you in the head right away, but what if there was simply no other way to make you leave?

                1. I wouldn’t claim to have the right to shoot you in the head right away, but what if there was simply no other way to make you leave?

                  There is another way to get the li’l parasite to leave. Just wait, and it’ll be on its way. Plus, if you’re smart, you can make some coin in a gray-market adoption.

                  Everybody wins!

                  1. “RC Dean, will you please leave my house?”

                    “Sure. In 9 months.”

                    1. heck, eviction doesn’t take THAT long, but it is not instantaneous either

                      ironically, eviction (in my state) takes a LOT fucking longer than getting an abortion

              2. So if you invite me to come live in my house, then later on you change your mind, you should be allowed to put a bullet in my skull?

                Maybe not – but if I pick you up and place you outside without shooting you, and you get hit by a car three seconds later, I honestly don’t see where I have to give a shit about it one way or the other.

                I have zero moral responsibility for anything that happens to you after I put you out.

                I also have zero moral responsibility if I lock the door to my refrigerator and you starve while you are refusing to leave my house (which is pretty much what RU-486 does, and that’s considered an “abortion” by pro-life fanatics, right?)

          2. All good answers. I think the social contract argument you’re using is better than most other anti-abortion arguments made, but it still leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth, knowing its result would be to force a woman to carry to term against her will.

            The abortion debate revolves entirely around the conflict between fetus personhood and a woman’s self-ownership. Until we can teleport fetuses outside the womb into test tubes, I don’t think we’ll ever get close to a satisfactory resolution.

            Why I usually stay out of abortion threads, but I couldn’t help myself this time.

            1. Until we can teleport fetuses outside the womb into test tubes, I don’t think we’ll ever get close to a satisfactory resolution.

              This is ultimately where the property-rights approach leads, I think. The woman has the right to “evict” a fetus for any reason, but she’s compelled to do so in the least violent way possible.

              Of course, that’s assuming not-A. Someone could just assert A and we’re back to square one again.

            2. All good answers. I think the social contract argument you’re using is better than most other anti-abortion arguments made, but it still leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth, knowing its result would be to force a woman to carry to term against her will.

              Assuming you don’t accept proposition A, that’s a rather inverted way of looking at it. It’s a bit like claiming that you’re being forced to not murder. Any use of force involved is to prevent an application of force to another human being who is unable to defend her or himself.

              Until we can teleport fetuses outside the womb into test tubes, I don’t think we’ll ever get close to a satisfactory resolution.

              That will happen sooner than you think, which is precisely why I’m willing to pretty much ignore this debate. In the long run, it’s pointless.

        4. Re: Applederry,

          B is not contradictory because a non-person does not have self-ownership.

          Well, we end in the same spot: Who decides? To whom do you delegate such power? Remember, if you’re willing to have a notable decide for others, the notable can perfectly decide on YOUR personhood and not only a fetus’.

          Even if the fetus is a person with self-ownership, that person is living within another person.

          That may be so, but it was NOT by the fetus’ choice.

          If a property owner can vacate someone from their household, certainly we can vacate them from within our own bodies, yes?

          No, if there’s a tacit agreement beforehand. Even if you have no written contract between fetus and mother, there’s a tacit one because the mother pretty much invited the fetus into her womb (the exception being in the case of rape,) and the fetus has no power to resist or decide. You cannot take a person from the street, place him in your house and then shoot him and throw his body out alleging that you were evicting a trespasser.

          Are there any other circumstances where you think a person has a right to use another person’s body for life support?

          No, but I don’t understand the relevance of the question. The fact is, our BIOLOGY is as it is, we cannot change it. So imposing a moral judgment on something that is NATURAL is absurd.

    3. Assuming abortion to be morally neutral, there are a lot of things that are morally neutral which become unethical if the motivation is discriminatory.

      For example, a business owner can typically turn away customers for any reason. If he turns away only females, it’s discriminatory which is not only illegal, but a lot of people find it unethical as well.

      1. This is true, but we generally find it to be unethical because they’re people. We don’t generally find it unethical to discriminate against animals do we?

        Again, this is all assuming A is true.

        1. Relying on a particular truth value for A doesn’t get us anywhere. Definitions for humanness are almost impossible to find agreement on, whereas B is something that most people will typically accept to a greater or lesser degree (the part preceding the parenthetical, anyway).

    4. I don’t see how the reason behind the abortion necessarily affects the ethics or legality of it

      Be careful conflating ethics and legality. It is perfectly consistent to say that “abortion should be legal” and “abortion is not moral or ethical”.

        1. +2. The idea that only moral behavior should be legal behavior is the essence of totalitarian thinking. It is also begging the question of what morality is.

      1. I don’t think I’m conflating the two. I’m just saying, assuming A and B are true, I don’t see a reason why ethics or legality should change due to specific motivations.

    5. The problem is that the Americans who live in the fevered imaginations of bioethicists will invariably chose to abort when they discover their zygote will develop the debilitating disability known as a vagina.

      Because it involves both perpetuating sexism and flouting the will of God, this is a restriction on abortion that both liberals and conservatives can get behind.

  8. More males will speed the technology needed for sexbots.

    My good conscience forces me to support the abortion of unborn girls.

    1. Will these sexbots whine, complain, and attempt to control? Or will they have an off switch?

      1. Gee, what do you think? They are made by males, for males, n00b.

        1. I think you need to get your sarcasm detector checked. Clearly it isn’t working properly.

      2. More importantly, how is the sandwich-making programming coming along.

        1. The SAMMICH module will be extra, of course.

          1. Damn,I hate downloadable content. Include it from the beginning, fuckers!

            1. i propose the sammich modules might be susceptible to viruses.

              you ask for a sammich and next thing you know, you’re being served

              DEEP DISH FUCKING PIZZA!!!

  9. I think this is furthering the break down of the artificial barriers that people put up around the abortion issue. Maybe people aren’t as pro-choice as they would believe. I think the only defensible positions are either “on demand for whatever reason” or “none at all.”

    instead, we’re left with abortions for some, miniature American flags for others.

  10. There is no relevant difference between direct and indirect eugenics.

    Canada’s immigration system is indirectly eugenic, yet I can list about a bajillion relevant differences between that and direct eugenics.

  11. As the first poster snarkily pointed out, countries where girls are not “prized” are going to have their values challenged mightily soon enough. When their sons come of age in a 60/40 M/F ratio, girls will become valued rather quickly. I imagine dowries in India will go the way of the dodo.

    1. A short, but brutal Sino-Indo war will clear that up.

      1. Ah, then the question is no longer “what do we do with all these extra boys?” but instead “how can we turn this into a reality show?”

        1. They only get to use Funnoodles.

      2. Hey India, China stands for everything you don’t. Plus, they said you guys were jerks.

    2. Women aren’t all that dumbass Americans crack them up to be. Japanese,the most advanced race, has no shortage of females, yet they lead the charge in pornography and sexdoll/bot technology.

      Real bitches bleed scum from a nasty hole an inch away from their anus for more than 25% of the time. This on top of having the same grossness that allegedly repulses straight males from other men: body hair, shitting, sweating, farting, bad breath… Honestly actual humans are all just pretty fucking disgusting, but women are even moreso, due to owning what amounts to a giant bloody nose between their legs, that also manufactures hideous little alienoid creatures occasionally.

      1. Japanese,the most advanced race,

        They do lead the world in tentacle-based porn, but I don’t know if tentacle porn makes them the “most advanced” race. They need better whiskey and beer before us gaijin will admit defeat.

      2. u mad bro?

        1. Hid old lady must have kicked him out last week.

        2. His old lady must have kicked him out last week.

      3. Look, no matter how much anti-pussy propaganda you put out there, we aren’t going gay so just stop trying.

        NTTAWWT

        1. That’s not it. I want to see the end of the sexual glorification of the nasty creature known as “human female”, that’s all. And this idea that China will immolate the world due to a lack of them. They can: go gay, go asexual, or manufacture artificial sexbots that are superior in every way. And I pointed out that Japan, the world’s most leet country, has no shortage of women, yet they are devoting their energies to producing superior, clean, sex-satisfying devices.

      4. Bet you’re gay.

        1. Saywhatifyou’regay.

  12. Bailey is just gunning for this week’s most-comments award. Don’t take the bait!

  13. Why is a woman allowed to have veto-power over spawning a baby, yet the man is forced to support it even if he doesn’t want it (child support)? And he cannot prevent the woman from aborting his baby, if SHE doesn’t want it, but he does.

    1. Because despite what you’ve been hearing all your lif, it’s a woman’s world.

    2. Re: Zuo,

      [A] man is forced to support it even if he doesn’t want it (child support)[.] And he cannot prevent the woman from aborting his baby, if SHE doesn’t want it, but he does.

      A man already tried using that brilliant argument (and I am not being facetious: It IS brilliant) to try to get himself out of paying child support. He had asked his ex-girlfriend to abort the baby because HE did not want it, and then sued to be excused from paying child support for a baby he did not want.

      Obviously, the PC crowd called the guy a louse and he lost his case. It IS indeed a woman’s world.

      1. Women have the ultimate veto power.

        They can deny men sex.

        That and when she ain’t happy you ain’t happy.

        For those reasons they rule the world.

        1. Well, that’s the man’s perspective. Women decide if sex is going to happen, but men decide if a relationship is going to happen. Women want the relationship (generally speaking) about as much as the men want the sex. Its not as one sided as people think.

        2. Its sad and pitiful how many men allow themselves to get enslaved over something as putrid and meaningless as sex.

  14. I really enjoy watching the uber-feminists with a serious case of cognitive dissonance squirm with this issue. They hate that the option for fetal sex discrimination has been opened and that it is frequently used to “discriminate” against females particularly in the developing world. HOWEVER, any law passed to outlaw such a practice would completely open the floodgates for the fundi crowd to try to regulate abortion out of existence. They want the freedom to abort, except, when it is for a reason they despise. But wait this was supposed to be about self-ownership and determination right? Their heads spin and I just break out the popcorn for some contorted argumentation…fun fun fun

  15. Blah, blah. Yes, we all know what we think about abortion, and none of us is going to change his or her mind.

    Here’s a more interesting question: Should the means to find out information about what is going on in one’s own body ever be restricted or forbidden? That’s really the only question here, isn’t it?

    1. Yep. And, shockingly, the “bioethicist” thinks it should. Again.

    2. Re: Zeb,

      Here’s a more interesting question: Should the means to find out information about what is going on in one’s own body ever be restricted or forbidden? That’s really the only question here, isn’t it?

      Well, it may mean the weeding out of potential welfare queens within a couple of generations. It will also mean the final triumph of the catholics and evangelicals, as they are not very disposed to the killing of their own babies.

  16. The Babies R Us adds on an abortion thread are super awesome.

  17. Suki @ 2:18: When sexual orientation can be determined by a blood test, the LBGT community will have abortion banned.

    So much fail, Suki (and OM). Sounds like you’re claiming to be able to see into the future, or read the collective will of the LBGT community. Second, you’re claiming that lesbians (an historically reliably feminist/democrat voting bloc) will all of a sudden do a complete position reversal on abortion. Third, you’re claiming that the LBGT community (less than 10% of the population by the most generous estimates) will somehow be able to make Roe v. Wade go away when the much, much larger SoCon crowd has been unable to do so.

    However, in the same vein, I predict that should a test for sexual orientation become available that the fundagelical crowd will suddenly decide that abortion isn’t that bad after all, at least in some cases.

    1. No. I don’t care for fundagelicals either, but they are sincere in their opposition to abortion.

    2. @Zuo: Exactly, which was why my counter-prediction was so deliberately ludicrous.

      A smarter Suki would have said that the feminists and (movement) LGBTs would seek to have tests for sex and orientation banned, but a smarter Suki is like a free lunch.

      1. Any Suki is like a free lunch, since she just exists in John Tagliaferro’s imagination.

  18. I am a staunch pro lifer, but even I don’t want this argument near me. Abortion has to be moral or immoral in toto, not depending on the reasons. (though I can live with a legal environment where reasons matter in whether it is or not prosecutable or how). Accepting that there are good and bad reasons sounds more totalitarian to me than either 100% for or against: “i decide you here are right and you here are wrong”

  19. The fact is, our BIOLOGY is as it is, we cannot change it. So imposing a moral judgment on something that is NATURAL is absurd.

    Some species spontaneously miscarry or re-absorb fetuses in times of food shortage or stress.

    If we genetically engineered ourselves so that women could accomplish one of the above through an act of will – if it didn’t require a medical procedure to happen – would your opinion on abortion change?

    Because then we’d have new biology.

    1. As for myself, I am inclined to say yes.
      Of course, if we were able to engineer that, we also would be able to engineer ovulation on demand, which would render the whole wanted vs unwanted issue moot.

      1. I agree that it would be a very unusual thing to engineer.

        But as a thought experiment it’s very useful.

        Because if your opinion on abortion would change, that’s problematic.

        If the decision, the will and the outcome are the same, why does the method (surgical vs. genetic engineering) make a difference?

  20. “As hard as it may be for some people to comprehend, there can be good and bad reasons to end a pregnancy.”

    My body, my choice.

  21. OK wow that makes a lot of sense dude. Wow.

    http://www.anon-vpn.it.tc

  22. “But assuming that abortion remains legal, does that mean that such tests should be outlawed?”

    A big assumption. If abortion is legal, that means that killing a human being in the womb isn’t as big a deal as killing a human being outside the womb and in practice, that means that the human being inside the womb isn’t fully human. If it’s not fully human, then whether it’s a male or female subhuman doesn’t seem to tip the ethical scales – what if a farmer only killed female chickens to sell to KFC, would that be an ethical dilemma?

    It’s only an ethical dilemma because people are aware, on some level, that a preborn human being is more significant than a chicken, and that killing them for whatever motive (purging the race of females or what have you) is a problem.

  23. THREADJACK!!!!

    RENTON PD DROPS CRIMINAL (UNCONSTITUTIONAL) CASE. Warrant already quashed.

    About time, Renton PD Police Chief.

    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/127559673.html

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