Collateral Damage from 'Reproductive Rights'

The practice of eliminating people because of their sex or significant defects isn't the worst of it.

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Metaphors can be useful, unless they are allowed to override reality. In recent weeks, advocates for "reproductive freedom" have said that part of the Republican "war on women" is the proposal to let religious employers refuse to buy contraceptive coverage in their health insurance plans.

But who is the enemy? Most women, a New York Times/CBS News poll finds, agree that religious hospitals and universities should be free to opt out. Nearly half think any employer should have that prerogative.

If the effort to limit the contraceptive mandate were truly a frontal assault on women, a majority of them would not be endorsing the offensive. But the ideology of groups like Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women (NOW) sometimes ignores inconvenient gender realities.

Those advocates have been distracted from a different and far less figurative war on women—which, as it happens, is helped rather than hindered by one of the "reproductive rights" they champion. Legal abortion may empower women, but it has also become a powerful method for the mass elimination of females.

Modern technology allows prospective parents to learn the sex of a fetus, and many of them use that knowledge to exercise a preference for sons. Absent such intervention, about 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. But as Mara Hvistendahl reports in her 2011 book "Unnatural Selection," the number for boys per 100 girls has risen to 112 in India and 121 in China.

It was once assumed that the general preference for male offspring would subside as countries became richer and women became more educated. But in country after country, that has proved false.

Nor is the phenomenon limited to the eastern hemisphere. Rajendra Kale, editor-in-chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, writes that "female feticide" is so common in Canada that he believes "doctors should be allowed to disclose this information only after about 30 weeks of pregnancy—in other words, when an unquestioned abortion is all but impossible."

French demographer Christophe Guilmoto, reports Hvistendahl, regards gender imbalance as "an epidemic. In the number of lives it has touched, he says, sex selection merits comparison with AIDS." Worldwide, experts say, the number of "missing girls" amounts to a stunning 163 million—more than the entire female population of the United States.

The gender imbalance is particularly outsized in China partly because of the government's compulsory one-child policy. Yet that policy has sometimes been excused by supporters of women's rights. In 1989, as president of NOW, Molly Yard praised the Chinese population policy as "among the most intelligent in the world."

Selective abortion, however, does not target only girls. Recent screening advances now make it easier and safer to detect Down syndrome in the womb. Universal screening will have a predictable impact, because 92 percent of fetuses diagnosed with the abnormality are aborted.

Paul Root Wolpe, director of Emory University's Center for Ethics, told the New York Post, "What you end up having is a world without people with Down syndrome."

No one would object if that were achieved by curing the condition. But eradicating it through abortion doesn't sound so benign. A survey reported in the American Journal of Medical Genetics found that only 4 percent of parents with Down syndrome children regret having them—and nearly 99 percent of the people with the disorder said they are happy with their lives.

The practice of eliminating people who are regarded as unacceptable because of their sex or significant defects was probably an inevitable result of the proliferation of abortion. There may be others even more ominous.

A recent article in the Journal of Medical Ethics argues that abortion should not be limited to fetuses that have not yet been born. The authors propose instead to allow "after-birth abortion," which is "ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be"—which means, really, for any reason at all.

That policy may not be so improbable. Ann Furedi, head of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, has said, "There is nothing magical about passing through the birth canal that transforms it from a fetus into a person." The Netherlands now allows physicians to euthanize newborns with a "hopeless prognosis" and "unbearable suffering" if the parents authorize it.

Abortion-rights advocates think the right to choose has conferred great benefits. Maybe so, but not on everyone.

Steve Chapman blogs daily at newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/steve_chapman.

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  1. State coercion in the service of voluntary sterility.

    Is there any wonder Islam is growing?

    1. State coercion in the service of agricultural civilization’s “free” market.

      Is there any wonder [insert any alternative to krapitalism] is growing?

      1. …than self-styled “libertarians.”

      2. Anarco-syndicalist drivel. Have you no thoughts of your own, drone?

  2. “There is nothing magical about passing through the birth canal that transforms it from a fetus into a person.”

    Competency in algebra?

    1. … and topology.

    2. It’s such a red herring. It’s not that it becomes a person, it’s that a woman isn’t hosting it inside of her body anymore.

      1. And yet, barring rape, the woman made a choice to either host or risk hosting the fetus in her body. The fetus did not sneak up behind her and leap up her vagina.

        That’s not to say that hosting the fetus isn’t an issue if it becomes a significant health risk or threat to life, and nearly everyone who is pro-life makes exceptions for “life of the mother.”

        1. Synova writes: “And yet, barring rape, the woman made a choice to either host or risk hosting the fetus in her body. The fetus did not sneak up behind her and leap up her vagina.”

          The persistent anti-abortion partisans constantly make exception to their prohibitory yelps when it comes to conceptions resulting from rape and/or incestuous couplings.

          Why?

          If the embryo/fetus is a genetically unique and unarguably human living critter, just how much guilt can be pinned upon it by way of its male progenitor’s perfidies?

          A bit of moral consistency (and perhaps a jot of intellectual honesty?) would be appreciated among this bunch.

          1. Claiming that exceptions for rape is not morally consistent with the fetus as a person doesn’t make it so. There are two people. Each of those people has rights. There is going to be conflict.

            When the conflict is the life of the mother, we can rationally favor the life of the mother.

            When the conflict is that the mother was raped, we can encourage a woman to find the strength to carry the innocent baby, but understand that the situation may well be nearly equivalent to the preservation of her life.

            Pro-abortionists (pro-choice, whatever) insist that there is ONE person and one person only.

            Pro-life doesn’t and never has insisted that there is only the child.

          2. The tenant analogy is appropriate again. In cases of rape, the tenant is a burglar.

      2. So, what if the same woman neglects the same just born baby to death? Just not feeding it should kill it in a couple days, right?

        1. Roderick Long wrote an excellent article that included the topic of why abandonment of infants is not acceptable from a libertarian standpoint. It’s called “Abortion, Abandonment, and Positive Rights.” It’s a really good article.

  3. “The practice of eliminating people because of their sex or significant defects isn’t the worst of it.”

    Well, pro-choice people usually don’t consider embryo’s and early stage fetus to be “people”, so there’s that. Saying that this “eliminates people” is like saying the pill “eliminates people” by not making them in the first place.

    What this article seems to be about is “people are being given reproductive choice but they are making choices we don’t like, so CONCERN!”

    1. Because your personhood is determined by whether or nor not someone else considers you a person.

      1. That’s right!

      2. Er, at some point everyone on both sides of that debate maket that determination. For example, you don’t consider a gleam in a lover’s eye to be a person.

        1. Every sperm is sacred!

          1. Because it’s exactly the same as a 5-month fetus!!11!!!!

            1. “Because it’s exactly the same as a 5-month fetus!!11!!!!”

              And a 5 month fetus is exactly the same as a one month old baby, I guess.

              1. And a 5 month fetus is exactly the same as a one month old baby, I guess.

                And a one month old baby is exactly the same as a three year old toddler, I guess.

                1. Which is where this comes in:

                  The authors propose instead to allow “after-birth abortion,” which is “ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be”

                  Because a child born with a disability or birth related injury is expensive, and besides they aren’t any more conscious then they were on the other side of the birth canal.

                  Where the line should be drawn after birth isn’t clear. One month or three years or (as someone said) when they can do algebra?

                  1. When they’re old enough to vote Democrat, obviously!

            2. And a 7 month fetus is the same as one immediately after conception.

              1. It’s always fun when people who support a personhood law or amendment that treats a one hour old embryo the same as a 9 month old fetus then want to argue that “but this is not like that!” The distinctions train left that stop a while back for them.

              2. And a 7 month fetus is the same as one immediately after conception.

                For purposes of killing it, yes, it is.

                1. Ahh, but it’s you that want to treat them exactly the same, right? They’re all full persons, right? The fact that one is microscopic, limbless and lacks a neural system is not a distinction meaning anything to your policy view here.

                  1. No, you’re the one who wants to be able to kill them both at a whim, not me. You want to treat a microscopic clump of cells and a fully formed, nearly full term unborn baby as equally eligible for termination at your convenience.

                    1. Not true. I’m against most late term abortions. And Roe allows restrictions on late term abortions.

                      On the other hand, those who want to pass personhood or right to life laws and amendments, and to overturn Roe, it is they who want to grant the same rights to a clump of cells as to you and me.

                    2. From the opinion in Roe:

                      “With respect to the State’s important and legitimate interest in potential life, the “compelling” point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.”

                      So, see, Roe does not treat the one day old embryo like the late term fetus.

                      But it’s opponents do.

                      Bet you didn’t know you were a supporter of Roe, eh, pussy spoofer?

                    3. The child is “viable” outside the womb earlier and earlier, these days. The fundamental question is, where exactly is the line to be drawn? The fact of the matter is that, when it comes to what may be the wholesale murder of millions of the unborn, the pro-life group errs on the side of NOT committing said horrors under their watch, while your ilk doesn’t seem to have any such compunctions.

                  2. I’m willing to go with brain waves.

                    How does that sound to you?

          2. Now, now affenkopf, don’t go determining people’s personhood like that!

            1. If they’re not a person, why does a nurse have to reassemble the corpse to make sure no fingers, toes, or limbs were left behind?

              1. They’re an Anatomically Correct Doll.

        2. I think your mom should do an after-birth abortion on you right now.

    2. Hey!

      1. It is either Schr?dinger or Schroedinger.

        1. His wave function failed to collapse.

    3. Republican Credo: Every conception should be carried to term?.there will be plenty of time later to brutally kill or maim the result in a needless, senseless
      war.

      1. I’m in awe of your brilliance.

    4. Reproductive rights have always existed. Women don’t HAVE to get pregnant, they do so because they are careless, stupid, or don’t have the cost of a 12 pack of beer each month to buy either female contraceptives, or condoms. Spare me the “sermonizing” on rights. This isn’t a rights issue, it is deciding whether other people should pay for YOUR mistake, neglect, stupidity, etc. If you want to have an abortion, do so, but don’t believe you have a right to make me or any others pay for it. I wonder how PP’s finances would suffer if women had to pay for their own abortions, contraceptives, etc. Perhaps women should start telling their mates, put one on, or forget about it,and if they can’t won’t (excepting rape) then the cost is theirs.

  4. In a free society people make choices you disagree with.

      1. I will use government to stop you disagreeing from me.

        1. The libertarian motto:

          Government for me, but not for thee.

            1. …than pissant “liberarians.”

            2. … but he never returned from the third challenge which is why, whenever we drive in the high mountains, we see signs saying “Watch for Falling Rock.”

    1. The question is, in a free society does someone have the right to commit violence against another because they chose to do so?

      And then the question is, who counts and who doesn’t, and when?

      Self-defense is a right of every individual, but when an action is freely taken and one is not threatened, how ending that life justified?

  5. Diminishing marginal utility, bitchez.

    If there is a shortage of females, eventually the “market” will shift preference. As a shortage of females increases, eventually males will become less desirable.

    1. Like Marxism, libertarianism offers the fraudulent intellectual security of a complete a priori account of the political good without the effort of empirical investigation. Like Marxism, it aspires, overtly or covertly, to reduce social life to economics.

      Marxism of the Right
      http://www.theamericanconservative.co…../14/00017/

      1. There are many varieties of libertarianism, from natural-law libertarianism (the least crazy) to anarcho-capitalism (the most)

        Stopped reading there. You can be both a natural-law libertarian and an ancap. Author doesn’t seem to understand libertarianism.

        1. You mean you actually started reading? Crazy. That idiot posts the same thing over and over again, doesn’t it?

          1. Well, I shouldn’t have clicked the link, but it was to the American Conservative and they occasionally have good articles. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

          2. never notices its the same ol’ shit over and over

        2. Any excuse will do for Fibertard.

      2. reduce social life to economics.

        Got something against dowries?

      3. Not really, because the fallback position for libertarians is always “But if that doesn’t end up happening, I don’t care anyway.”

        Marxism has no such built-in fallback.

        The fact that your choice to reproduce or not might indirectly contribute to aggregate demographic changes is absolutely irrelevant. Whether it increases the status of women, decreases it, or lets it remain the same. It just doesn’t matter.

    2. If there is a shortage of females, eventually the “market” will shift preference. As a shortage of females increases, eventually males will become less desirable.

      Is that so?

        1. Thin gruel. Dowry is such a powerful cultural concept in both India and China, it would take a long time and a huge cultural shift to skew the market toward a preference for girls.

        2. Less women = more masturbation.

          1. Better grasp of grammar = FEWER women

            1. Better grasp of spelling = National.

      1. Is that so?

        Eventually, yes. Just because India and China haven’t crossed the threshold, yet, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

        1. I would argue that China has crossed that threshold, but thanks to globalization, many Chinese men are importing brides from Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Coupled with ‘market interference’ by the One Child Policy, the demand for domestic girls hasn’t increased.

        2. I would argue that China has crossed that threshold, but thanks to globalization, many Chinese men are importing brides from Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Coupled with ‘market interference’ by the One Child Policy, the demand for domestic girls hasn’t increased.

          1. Why should there need to be a preference for locally sourced women?

            1. Why should there need to be a preference for locally sourced women?

              Because those foreign brides are taking marriages away from domestic women!

            2. Keeping the race pure.

              1. “I will only marry a woman who has less than 250 bride miles on her.”

                1. Doing Roanoke over.

        3. Just because government hasn’t given us all that it promised, doesn’t mean it will not.

    3. The article claims that in societies where the imbalance is acute, such as China, this isn’t happening. Do you know otherwise?

    4. Or the rate of sexual assault and rape will just go up.

  6. If we’re going to end up with less females and more males, it’s a good thing those bisexual dating sites are here for us.

    1. That’s not the kind of bi-experience I’m looking for.

  7. I came across a story about how some British university ethics board said that aborting the baby after birth is ethically no different to doing it before birth.

    One does not have to be religious to be put off by the idea of abortion especially post birth abortion.

    1. Since that’s not what people consider abortion here I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

      But I imagine that makes two of us.

      1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/hea…..s-say.html

        From Oxford university.

        1. In this country, aside from any thoght experiment, abortion applies only to the unborn.

          If you want to talk about infanticide, which is “1.The crime of killing a child within a year of birth.” then we can have that discussion.

          1. Call it want you want, call it weight loss, call it freedom of choice, call it demographic hygiene. The idea that cutting the umbilical chord is when its not to kill anymore makes you one sick fuck.

            1. So wait, now you’re arguing birth is not important?

              1. Am I, how so ? You clearly have no idea what I am talking about.

                I doubt a woman losing a baby before or after birth would give a fuck, cold fucks like you could never understand these things.

                1. Who said this:

                  “One does not have to be religious to be put off by the idea of abortion especially post birth abortion.”

                  What’s that “especially” about, eh?

                  1. Let me make it very clear for you. You see a woman pushing here baby in a pram then she suddenly decides to smother her child claiming that she was simply performing an abortion. What will you reaction be, “its alright madam, the government says that one is allowed to do this up to one year after birth, so its all ok”. You see the “especially” part yet numb skull ?

                    Actually I suspect you really would react like this, government says its ok, so its ok by me.

            2. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
              fill me with life anew,
              that I may love what thou dost love,
              and do what thou wouldst do.

            3. I gotta say, after reading this;
              “The Netherlands now allows physicians to euthanize newborns with a “hopeless prognosis” and “unbearable suffering” if the parents authorize it.”

              I would want to take my pregnant wife to the netherlands right before birth. I really think that parents should be able to post-birth abort their kids if they are going to be wheelchair-bound, deformed, and severly retarded wastes of space and resources for their entire lives. Just the emotional toll of taking care of one of those things would be too much for me.

              1. If you don’t have the fortitude to raise such a child, then do the responsible thing and don’t have kids. Complications are always a risk, and terminating a life simply because of how inconvenient it is to you is pretty repulsive (as well as stupidly irresponsible).

              2. Rupert, if you were being serious, you are a horrifically despicable excuse for a human being. I really hope you were being sarcastic, but it’s impossible to know given the current state of our vile and perverted culture.

              3. If you’re unwilling to raise the child, let someone, hey let me, adopt him/her. There’s no reason to assume that just because you can’t take care of the kid, no one else will. It’s one thing to abandon the kid, but to outright kill him/her? What happened to non-aggression?

          2. I’ve always believed in after birth abortion up to five years as long as the parents do it.

            Give them a hammer and let them beat the kid to death.

            1. And someone will complain that Obamacare doesn’t cover the cost of hammers, which are out of the reach of Ivy League law students and similarly underprivileged individuals

      2. But I imagine that makes two of us.

        Really? Why? What happens that makes killing immoral? Passage through the birth canal?

        Is there a non-arbitrary distinction with which you can define “personhood” for me? A “person” after birth but not five minutes before?

        1. Ah, Gillie, if you go back to NotSure’s initial post he says this:

          “One does not have to be religious to be put off by the idea of abortion especially post birth abortion.”

          So he implies that there is something special about post-birth. Then he, and you, suddenly change that view, and now it’s sick to think anything changes with birth.

          Hence, I don’t think Notsure knew what he was talking about, and you too it seems.

          1. I already gave you my answer above.

            The idea of a month old baby being aborted is bad, a baby about to be born is worse, the same applies to a young infant. I know exactly what I am talking about, you can play your sophistry games all you want. Just because birth happens that does not magically make anything before that an irrelevancy.

          2. So you won’t answer the question? You claim to be all sciency, can’t you give me a scientific description of “person”?

            I simply asked you what you think is the difference. What happens at birth? If you do not believe that killing an unborn baby is wrong, why would killing one that has passed through the birth canal be wrong? It is magic?

            1. It isn’t alive yet. It is alive when it is wanted.

              1. Why should X’s status depend on what others attribute to X?

              2. Susan – nobody wants you, and yet . . .

      3. It doesn’t matter at all that in the US we don’t think of after birth infanticide as abortion.

        But when medical ethics organizations or university philosophy celebrities on *both* sides of the Atlantic argue that there is no difference between a late term abortion and killing the baby after is is born, they are telling the truth.

        The difference in the fetus/baby’s location is entirely trivial. As they say, a matter of a few inches. The development and ability of the baby to live on it’s own remains the same. The cognitive ability of the baby remains the same. All that changes is it’s location.

        In the end, arguing “abortion” based on born or not-born is arguing after birth abortion as well. And why should someone think that we wouldn’t go there? Do you have no notion how expensive children with disabilities are to the nanny state?

  8. That policy may not be so improbable. Ann Furedi, head of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, has said, “There is nothing magical about passing through the birth canal that transforms it from a fetus into a person.”

    That argument is true; however, it works both ways. If, biologically and otherwise, a late-term fetus and a newborn are the same, then how can one justify late-term abortion but not infanticide?

    1. Because passing through the magic vagina makes it a person. Duh!

      1. Personally, I’ve experienced some vaginae that I would consider to be ‘magical’.

        Jus’ Sayin’

        1. You might consider them ‘magical’, but if you don’t publish a study about them, let it be peer-reviewed and allow other researchers to attempt to reproduce the results then it is only a personal anecdote, not scientific research.

      2. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
        fill me with life anew,
        that I may love what thou dost love,
        and do what thou wouldst do.

        (Can’t breathe the breath of life inside a womb. Really. Take a science class.)

        1. So someone who must go on a respirator is not alive?

          1. ooops, dumbfuck

      3. Passing through the vagina a second time makes a boy into a man, no matter what Lola says.

    2. I am pro-choice, but don’t think you can justify late-term abortion.

      Or any abortion past the point of viability – a point that continues to retreat.

      Come up with artificial wombs and it will retreat even further.

      But I don’t think it will ever get to the point where a 16-celled embryo frozen in a tank somewhere is a “person”. Sorry. Because very soon, we will reach the point technologically where any 16 tissue cells will be just as “potentially” a person as a 16-celled embryo. And you’ll be flaking “potential people” off your epidermis every time the wind blows.

      1. I think personhood would apply based on criteria that yes, will not overlap with birth exactly. That might have been a practical shorthand before we had knowledge about a lot of things, much like “quickening” was in the old days.

        Actually, TAO has given a good answer as to when personhood would vest iirc, it has to do with having something like a functioning brain and such.

      2. How can someone’s ethics be based on technology? So, it’d be wrong for a woman today to have an abortion at X weeks (some point after the point of viability), but if that same woman did this a few decades ago (when X weeks wasn’t past that point), it would have been okay??

        Talk about moral relativism! One’s personhood is not dependent on how technologically advanced the society one is being born into might be!

        1. So, not having used a modern technique to save someone’s life before it was available constitutes negligence?

          Sorry, technology does not decide morality, but determines its practical application.

          Now, I am uneasy about viability because I still think life is too important a right to be discarded lightly, because it matters that you do not ask the baby/fetus before the procedure, and because I do not think personhood should depend only on autonomous living; but I do not see using it as a criterion for law and public morality as inherently contradictory: lives that you cannot save, even if you do know that you just need a new technological development before being able to, well, you cannot save them and you should not be ethically condemned for that.

      3. Are you worried that it might bring with it a definition of person that includes non-Homo animals?

    3. If it were up to me, I’d make abortion illegal after the point that the brain and/or heart starts to form, with the only exception to save the life of the mother.

      Before that, it should be the woman’s responsibility to find out ASAP if she’s pregnant so she can terminate the pregnancy before it gets too far along. Hell, try to freeze the embryos for research/surrogate pregnancies if you can.

      Maybe one day we’ll have “human incubators” for artificial gestation so the prospect of infanticide is totally eliminated. (I opined on this in my comic a couple years ago.)

      1. Although I see that will happen, and relatively soon, I doubt that will make abortion illegal. It does not matter to the current ideological position of the pro-choice camp activism. (Although it does to many who are pro-choice without being PP-like pro-choice)

  9. Professional feminists will only push for women’s rights for those women who are politically useful.

    Therefore, Sandra Fluke = HERO.
    163 million fetuses = but look at the stupid thing Rush said today!

    1. But, as was said above, since they don’t see those fetuses as persons with rights there is actually no contradiction. The contradiction exists if they accept your premises, which, amazingly, the other side of the argument does not.

      1. Once the state considers you an unperson, you have no rights. QED

        1. Like I said above, both sides make a determination as to when something is a person or not. You just make a crazier one.

          1. But minge, you claim to believe in science. Is there any scientific basis for your determination of person? Mine is pretty simple. Meiosis is the scientific moment when new human life begins.

            AGW proven science! Evolution proven science. The beginning of live? Can’t be known scientifically!

            1. Do you know what meiosis means? It’s a molecular/cellular process that forms part of gametogenesis. If you really mean that, then human life begins at oogenesis and spermatogenesis. Better not fap, lest you kill 100 million people.

              Oh, and to the last point, life started a couple billion years ago.

              1. In other words, when it comes to human life, you err on the side of not inconveniencing someone instead of the side of not murderining someone. I don’t care if the chance that it’s murder is 1% – that’s too high a risk to take. Abortionists are horrible at ethics.

            2. I don’t think whether or not something is a person is a question that is currently accessible to science. For one thing, we have to first agree on a definition of “person”. Believing in science doesn’t mean believing that every question has a scientific answer.

              The only thing approaching a scientific answer to “when does life begin?” is that life began several billion years ago and has been doing quite well ever since, thank you very much.

      2. Of course there is a contradiction.

        Think of any other thing potentially testable… say sexual orientation. Would it really not *at all* be anti-gay to abort potentially gay fetuses? Not anti-gay at all?

        It’s anti-woman to abort female fetuses, even if they are aborted before they count.

        It would be anti-woman to use IVF and sperm sorting to avoid having daughters, though it wouldn’t be abortion. It’s still anti-woman.

      3. Which IS a problem.

        When you start denying X is really a person, the next thing you got stakes and gas chambers.

        Although yes, I see how the logic is self-consistent.

  10. But, as was said above, since they don’t see those fetuses as persons with rights there is actually no contradiction.

    Whether a fetus is considered a “person” or not is irrelevant. A woman has a right to “evict” for whatever reasons she may have. A woman has a right to evict a fetus like a property owner has a right to shoot a trespasser or a tenant who refuses to leave – but only as a last resort, of course.

    1. Equating abortion to an exercise of property rights is easily countered by saying that the right to life is more fundamental. A fetus is not committing an act of aggression by being in utero. And you do not have the right to shoot a trespasser who won’t leave, you only have that right when you feel mortal peril.

      1. You don’t have the right to shoot the trespasser, but he doesn’t have the right to stay at your place for nine months either.

      2. And you do not have the right to shoot a trespasser who won’t leave, you only have that right when you feel mortal peril.

        That’s only because you are able to call someone else who will, in fact, use force to make the trespasser leave if they won’t go voluntarily.

        1. And, in a properly functioning society, lethal force would not be initiated on the trespasser by law enforcement.

      3. Women die in childbirth and other complications of pregnancy. That’s moral peril.

        1. So, I suppose that means that any baby can be charged with assault, and, if the mother dies while delivering, manslaughter?

        2. And “life of the mother” is almost universally acknowledged as a legitimate exception.

          The simple risk to a healthy person experiencing a normal pregnancy is extremely small… you may as well justify shooting random people on the street who have a statistical possibility of planning to assault you.

      4. The trespasser will leave. It simply has their own schedule (which you knew beforehand, too).

    2. I don’t know where the article is (it was some libertarian site), but I remember reading about property rights versus the freedom of movement. The article talk about the scenario where your property encircled some other individual, that individual should still have the right to leave and live.

      In a similar vein I see a woman have fetus as not equivalent as a disease that needs purging, I see two individuals involved here so it does not simply become a property dispute anymore.

      1. That’s why I don’t support abortion past the point of viability. Because the fetus should have, as you put it, the right to leave – and your method of assisting the fetus in leaving should not be presumptively lethal (i.e. dismemberment).

      2. Good point. You can’t lock up a trespasser and then tell them if they don’t leave, you will kill them.

    3. You can’t shoot a trespasser that you invited into your house.

    4. What a stoopid analogy.

      A property owner does not have the right to invite a tenant to live there and then shoot them when the tenant is unable to leave before the lease is up.

  11. BTW, this article might set up the Reason version of a girl fight – Bailey vs. Chapman.

    Because Chapman’s entire premise – that your choice of if, when, and how to reproduce is suspect if it leads to demographic or social change that may inconvenience someone else – completely contradicts Bailey’s posthumanism advocacy.

    Because if sex-selection in reproduction (because we’re not just talking about abortion here, guys; very shortly this will be a trivial thing to achieve before embryo implantation) is somehow wrong because it reduces the number of women available to men in the next generation, WTF does that say about someone altering themselves to have wings or some such shit?

    Chapman in the future: “But this will reduce the number of women available to sexually service guys who don’t like chicks with wings!” Ad infinitum.

    1. Not necessarily.

      I am talking for both here, but there needs not be a contradiction: early sex selection is decided by the parents upon the baby; while selection someone does to put themselves wings is done upon themselves.

      The analogy would not necessarily even be posthuman: we have the transgendered today. Suppose all transgendered had access to operations; further suppose that there was such a number of them, and such a lopsided rate between m2f and f2m than one significantly outnumbered the other (*) that they changed the demographic balance. I take it that Chapman could support it as a choice upon yourself; but maybe not, due to social consequences.

      (*) It does seem like m2f is much more common than f2m; however the total number of true transgendered seems too low to alter the demographic balance.

  12. the number for boys per 100 girls has risen to 112 in India and 121 in China.

    A surplus of sexually-frustrated young men is always a boon for war economies.

    1. This is why we should be nervous about our Asian friends.

      1. Yeah, but everyone is focused on China. Surplus sexually-frustrated men who also have the smallest average penis size of any ethnic group is a more lethal combination if you ask me.

        1. Jason Godesky?

        2. Yeah, but everyone is focused on China. Surplus sexually-frustrated men who also have the smallest average penis size of any ethnic group is a more lethal combination if you ask me.

          Which is why Africa is a shining model of peace and stabililty?

          1. But they don’t have the severe gender disparity in demographics. QED, bitches.

          2. Well, they are free to gambol there. So it should be just as peacefull as the good old days before the agricultural city state. Right?

  13. Here’s one big reason Chapman’s article is stupid:

    What if the sex-selection method wasn’t abortion?

    This thread has turned into an abortion thread, and that’s masking the real argument Chapman is making here: that gender demographic imbalance is a problem that justifies restricting the choices of parents.

    But what if it wasn’t abortion?

    What if there was a pill you could take that would make you only produce Y-chromosome sperm?

    And all of a sudden in India and China the gender imbalance became even worse – 130, 140 to 100.

    What then?

    Chapman could write the same article about how dire the figures are.

    But what would be the import of those figures to a libertarian?

    1. “What if the sex-selection method wasn’t abortion?”

      My thoughts exactly.

      When my wife and I were trying to have a kid we were told there were certain times and techniques that made it more likely to have a girl or boy. Let’s say we engaged in those to aim for a preference, and let’s say lots of people did the same with the same preference and that created a disparity. What would be wrong with that?

      You either think abortion is murder and should be wrong regardless of what disparity it produces or you think it is the harmless elimination of cells that have not reached personhood. What “disparity” it might produce is actually unimportant to either view.

    2. The heart of the discussion is what if the collective result of people’s choices does real damage to society? Does that justify stopping people from making those choices?

      I am not sure. The problem is how do you stop people from making choices without doing other damage. But I wouldn’t call Chapman stupid. He is just not a strict Libertarian. You are. Individual choice and freedom is the end to you. So if that freedom ends up being the doom of us all, so be it. It is still better than the alternative. Chapman doesn’t view it that way.

      1. Using that argument people can (and they do) justify every government action they wish.

      2. Also: Thatcher was right: There is no such thing as society.

      3. So if that freedom ends up being the doom of us all, so be it. It is still better than the alternative. Chapman doesn’t view it that way.

        Funny how much more forgiving you are of Chapman’s idiotic hyperventilating then Tony’s. Tell me, just how worried are you about roving bands of faggots femnazis breaking into your home and destroying your crosses and Bibles?

    3. What if there was a pill you could take that would make you only produce Y-chromosome sperm?

      Don’t need a pill Fluffy. There are already doctors in China that perform artificial insemination and claim to have a 97% success rate giving parents babies of what ever gender they choose.

      1. Consider the source; what is the likelihood that the Chinese doctors are simply pouring most of the wrong sex embryos down a handy drain?

    4. There are non-abortive ways of doing this. With IVF, one can centrifuge sperm, and the spermatozoa with X chromosomes (thus bound to produce girls) will sink to the bottom due to the large mass difference in the X vs Y chromosome.

    5. I take it more as an exposition that abortion undermines the actual exercise of rights by vulnerable groups (such as women and Down’s); despite the pro-choice rhetoric being invariably talked in a pro minority, pro vulnerable people language.

      In this sense, all sex selection methods would be equal; the only difference is that abortion is the only one that is currently controversial because of the lack of a consensus definition of personhood. If anything, we do know that girl infanticide was common when abortion was too risky and pre-birth testing didn’t exist, so yes, other methods have the same outcome; but infanticide is criminalized in most countries today, while abortion is not.

  14. It will be interesting to see if nature has its own solution; will more males be homosexual?

    1. No, more males will be fighting, which is natures ultimate solution.

      1. Nature can intervene when there is a shortage of males by allowing female species to self-pregnate; zoos have seen vasectomied animals breed too.

        Why wouldn’t nature have its own way?

        1. Unless all males vanished, even a ratio of 10 females to 1 male, that would still be more than enough to guarantee reproduction.

          1. This isn’t just about breeding because humans have emotional attachments and vestigial purposes to mate for life, and in pairs. Everyone theorizes that men will become violent without enough women in their self-induced femaless society but I’m not sure that biology doesn’t trump man’s plans

            1. What? Some Chinese men will grow pussies?

    2. It has been suggested, by historians and anthropologists as opposed to anti-Islamic fanatics, that the propensity of Islamic societies towards violence is a product of the shortage of available females caused by polygamy. Not a pretty picture.

      1. Polygamy is rare in modern times (the same economic pressures that have caused women to work in the West exist in Islamic countries), so I am not sure the rate would unbalance that much. Besides, and same as the West used to prior to the Industrial Revolution, Islamic men tended to marry women younger than themselves. In a growing population, this means any generation of men is marrying a larger generation of women.

        Now, these are only my two cents. I am not a demographer.

  15. “There is nothing magical about passing through the birth canal that transforms it from a fetus into a person.”

    If there is no difference between an unborn fetus and a new born infant, then at what point is someone considered a person? How old does someone have to be before they no longer have to live in fear of being aborted? Is it too late to abort the president?

    1. Not until the little brat gets a job and starts making a financial contribution to the household.

  16. Dude makes a lot of sene man. WOw.

    http://www.World-Anon.tk

  17. Everyone who is commenting that pro-choicers are defining an arbitrary point to the beginning of human life seems to be forgetting that they, too, are defining an arbitrary point. Conception itself is not a single process; it takes a day or more. Totipotent stem cells have the potential to become human, sure, but what happens when we can make skin cells totipotent?

    1. This is why I think, although a definition of person is ultimately necessary (not just for deciding the subject of abortion), its practical application will vary with technology. It doesn’t mean ethics/morality changes, it means our ways to act ethically are changing.

  18. Having more men might be a good thing for women in some ways. More choice in sexual partners and hence more ability to be selective, for one thing. I’d say a bias towards boy children is much worse for men than it is for women.

    1. Saw an interesting article recently on how its working the other way for a lot of successful Chinese women, who find themselves completely unmarriagable because Chinese men won’t “marry up.”

  19. I wonder if Steve Chapman wrote a column about how the Joos are responsible for destroying the economy and everything would be just peachy if we rounded them all up, would Reason run it?

    1. I suppose that might depend of whether he had any data backing up that assertion. This article has such data; abortions IS distorting the gender balance of societies where it is common. That will have consequences, which Reasonable people might want to discuss.

  20. This is a load. Completely skewed view of the situation. This controversy is only one of over a thousand (yes, that’s 1,000) assaults on reproductive rights in the past year, and your efforts to smooth it over are transparent.

    Steps to making a BS position seem logical
    1. Set up straw man
    2. Show that one very small part of the argument is not as bad as straw man purports
    3. claim that the majority agrees with you, so that if your readers are weak souls who just want a place to fit in, they will stop reading here, complacently moving on to breakfast. Good article. NOT.

    1. One thousand? Why not one million? Might as well reach for the sky when you’re pulling absurd figures out of your rear end.

  21. Cg,

    Do you claim that the abortion policies of China are NOT causing a gender imbalance? Do you claim that large numbers of Downs syndrome babies are NOT being aborted, worldwide? Do you claim that the past history of Eugenics does not justify some degree of concern?

    Or are you simply unwilling to examine any of the consequences of your political positions?

  22. The biggest damage from reproductive rights is stupid people will out breed intelligent people.

    1. This assumes that abortion is an intelligent choice, which I think is debatable. Especially if you include “Don’t get pregnant until you’re ready” and take into account the stresses an abortion might put on a relationship.

    2. The biggest damage from reproductive rights abortion is stupid people liberals are out breed intelligent people aborting themselves out of existence.

      That’s not very intelligent of liberals. Sadly, the promotion of abortion by liberals may kill off the entire society. Just look at the overall birth rates in Western countries.

  23. For those who think the current gender imbalance will help women, it’s actually the opposite. Both sexes are incentivized to behave differently. Here’s what the men are doing in India – multiple men sharing a single wife. Imagine the conversations they had behind her back to get this going. The ‘old boys club’ never dies:

    http://www.reuters.com/article…..WX20111027

    Bottom line is that we have NO idea how incentives will shift when we add more layers of government around ‘reproductive rights.’

    1. Both China and India have worried that their huge populations will make their countries ungovernable. Eventually, they will solve any sex imbalance problem by burning off the excess men in a very bloody war.

      1. Seeing as they are both nuclear powers, they might wind up burning off a lot more than their excess men.

  24. We’re all Shakers now!

  25. I know a women who had 5 abortions in a row because they were girls. She was really into women liberation.

  26. BUT take into consideration that women don’t for the most part die in battle it evens the birth rate.
    MEN have no business in the abortion decussion it’s not their bodies nor their responsibility all women who have a period should be forced to be on birth control.
    What did JESUS say about this? noting comes to mind.

    1. Sexist heifer.

      Silencing your opponent is the first resort of someone who knows their arguments are lame.

      Fathers donate half the genetic code for the child, mothers donate the other half.

      “A” is not demanding the right to control “A.” “A” is demanding the right to kill “B.” And you whine that “C” through “Z” should make no comment.

    2. If it’s not a man’s business, don’t ask for support payments.

  27. I devoted a blog series this week to the subject of prenatal testing for Down syndrome. Our tenth child was born with Ds and I find it appalling that children who share her genetic makeup are being targeted for destruction. http://babynumber10.blogspot.c…..geted.html

  28. Next on the list is a woman’s right to a post birth abortion, where raising a child is inconvenient to a woman’s lifestyle…aka, the Casey Anthony case.

  29. There’s more collateral damage.Black women in NYC represent 13% of the city’s female population, but have over 40% of the abortions. This is eugenics in action.

    1. Sanger would be proud.

  30. There is no ethically consistent argument for abortion that doesn’t justify early infanticide as well. The practical difference between an 8 month old fetus and an infant 10 months later in terms of the ethics of terminating it is indistinguishable.

    It is an extreme minority of the libertarian community that extends the non-aggression principle to the unborn, so I don’t see this argument getting much traction around here.

  31. If you support abortion rights, how can you condemn parents for aborting a girl but not a boy? I thought it was their choice? Chapman has painted himself into a corner. If you support abortion, you support the genocide of girls or boys.

    1. NOW did it with regards to India and the practice of aborting girls.

  32. Would the abortion debate change if the following were possible? If they were happening?

    1. We live in a culture that prizes diversity and hates racism. Happily, we see many more multi-racial couples around us as neighbors and friends. Can prenatal testing reveal whether their children will be dark-skinned or light-skinned? Yes: if not now, then soon. Would aborting darker-skinned babies be supported by pro-choice liberals?

    2. We live in a society that has gradually made homophobia a taboo. Many of our friends, neighbors and co-workers are openly gay. Can prenatal testing reveal whether a child has a predisposition to homosexuality? Yes: if not now, then soon. Will liberal pro-choice activists support decisions by couples to abort children who may exhibit the “gay gene”?

    The pro-abortion position is really a slippery slope.

    1. I’ve been saying this for years. Let’s not forget that you can get kits in your local pharmacy that will perform genetic screening. All that has to happen is to reliably identify the so-called “gay gene”.

      1. Intrinsic to the notion of aborting pregnancies likely to result in homosexuals there’s the presumption that there actually is any genetic predisposition to such preferential heresy.

        I’m not a geneticist, but I’m sufficiently experienced in clinical medicine and the scientific literature to horseback an opinion that testing of the subject’s genome ain’t gonna tell anything more reliable about the critter’s Kinsey Scale score than it will about his/her lifetime voting record.

  33. It’s Eugenics, plain and simple. The left has always had a love affair with it, a lot of the same organizations are still involved. They’re just selling it differently.

  34. Why do liberals always want free stuff from the government? If fluke goes to congress demanding free contriceptives does she not look like a libral whore? The government is not responsible for your choices f-ing freeloading liberals. Go to cuba you worthless people.

  35. I’m glad to see this piece on Reason.com

    Abortion kills….people like you.

  36. ‘Ann Furedi, head of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, has said, “There is nothing magical about passing through the birth canal that transforms it from a fetus into a person.”‘

    Would it not hold, then, that the opposite is also true and thereby nullify ALL arguments for the legitimacy of abortion at any time and for any reason?

  37. Shall we discuss the subject of dowry?

    Even in America, the expenses associated with the spending orgies called “White Weddings” (by tradition suffered by the parents of the bride) associate with other costs of raising girl children to deter reproductive choices favoring the XX types.

    One might see a teen-aged son go out for a sexual prowl without fearing much more than a venereal disease and maybe getting himself nailed for child support, but a daughter’s impregnation can have catastrophic consequences.

    Given the ability to make a choice, parents in Western countries would tend reliably to select against the female fetus.

    If you’re considering the cold-blooded option of voluntary abortion at all, precipitating the expulsion of a female larva is a good deal more economically sensible than is the termination of a pregnancy likely to result in a little boy.

  38. http://www.zoo.ox.ac.uk/group/…..rs;_09.pdf

    This article basically describes a growing consensus among scientists that the more unified two interacting organisms are, the more we can classify them as one unit or one organism, rather than two. On the other hand, the more their interests are at odds, the more we can call them two separate organisms. This basically counteracts the argument that the embryo or fetus is a part of the woman’s body that she can dispose of. If it gets to the point that she wants to kill it, it’s clearly its own organism, because the two organisms – mom and zygote/embryo/fetus – are in conflict.

  39. Furthermore, I’d say that a zygote, embryo, or fetus its own organism anyway, simply because it meets all the generally accepted criteria to be called such. (http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Organism)

  40. A gamete does not meet these criteria, since ovum and sperm are secretions of the body, and not individuals with their own genomes.

    Because there is no doubt that the zygote, embryo, fetus, infant, etc. is a unique organism, and there is no doubt that it is a member of the same species as the rest of us, how can we possibly justify denying the human organism full personhood?

    We don’t talk about “person rights.” We talk about human rights, because let’s face it, its our membership in this species, not any particular talent or ability that we have, that gives us our rights.

    The moment we start putting extra qualifiers on the definition of person besides “individual human” we’re simply making excuses in order to get away with killing people, and we certainly aren’t the first to start doing that, so look at history, if you don’t believe me.

  41. Sorry for so many posts. It has a 900 character limit.

  42. Using waterproofing basement paint on the basement walls is a great first step at keeping your basement free from water damage such as high humidity, mildew and mold. Extreme water damage will result is loss of personal items and perhaps even flooding. Sealing the cement walls is a preventative measure that every homeowner should take.

  43. Welcome to the post-Christian world. Christianity brought especially Western civilization out of the vile swamps of pre-Christian barbarism that coldly destroyed the young (including the unborn), the elderly and the handicapped and now people are so whoring with ego and lust they would reject the God that brought this about and return to the pit whence they were dug. How ironic it is to hear people supposedly indignant about non-handicapped people parking in handicapped parking spaces but loudly advocating euthenizing the unborn and the elderly they deem inferior or inconvenient, like Nazi Germany but far worse. God save us; only He can in view of our abysmal record.

  44. Not sure if I understand why it would be a bad thing for genetic disease to be eliminated by selective abortion rather than by a ‘cure’. Baring a cure this is surely an acceptable alternative for now.

    A cure for any genetic disease will involve genetic testing of all individuals then some sort of genetic engineering to implement it. Mandatory screening is something that many governments would not have a problem with, perhaps not so much in the US. Then mandatory treatment?

    Or perhaps leave it as it should be a private decision between hopefully two people. In that light I don’t see that selective abortion as all that bad for now. Forcing people to care for their handicapped child because it would be ‘good for their character’ is a moralizing statement of faith.

  45. “Women’s right to choose”

    That Old Nick, such a kidder!

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