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Actually We Should Encourage Women Who Have Abortions to Donate Fetal Tissue to Science

Researchers have used fetal tissue in developing lifesaving medical treatments including the polio vaccine.

lunar caustic/Flickrlunar caustic/FlickrOn Tuesday, a video produced by undercover anti-abortion advocates was released showing Planned Parenthood's Director of Medical Services, Deborah Nucatola, discussing the donation of tissue from aborted fetuses to medical researchers. As you might imagine, outrage followed swiftly. For many in the pro-life camp, this was evidence of "the inhumanity of the entire abortion enterprise." Even some people with both pro-choice and libertarian views condemned the "ghoulishness" of the whole operation. The Washington Post reported today that "a House committee and at least two states have opened investigations into Planned Parenthood" following the video's release.  

Maybe my mindless-moral-revulsion factor just isn't finely-tuned enough, but I can't understand why anyone who is 1) not against abortion per se, 2) not against research using human stem cells, and 3) not against organ and tissue donation should suddenly be moved to indignation by the combining of these things. If tissue from fetuses that are going to be aborted anyway might help bring about future medical progress, and the women having abortions fully consent, what's the problem?

Perhaps now is a good time to clear up a few of the untrue statements that are going around about this: No, Planned Parenthood doctors are not doing this without women's consent. (See the consent form Planned Parenthood uses here.) No, Planned Parenthood affiliates are not profiting off aborted fetal tissue—the $30 to $100 Nucatola mentions in the video is what research firms typically reimburse clinics for the cost of storing, shipping, and transporting it. No, Planned Parenthood is not breaking federal law against selling human body parts (which would require, you know, actually selling them). 

Some have suggested that Planned Parenthood's actions may be okay, but that Nucatola's "callous" tone is the issue. I'm not sure what to say about this except <eyeroll>. Either you think harvesting tissue from aborted fetuses is wrong, or you don't; the fact that a medical professional doesn't sugarcoat the process when talking about it shouldn't make a difference. 

As Vox's Sarah Kliff points out, "fetal tissue has historically played an important role in scientific research because of fetal cells' ability to rapidly divide and adapt to new environments. In the 1980s and 1990s, researchers had looked at fetal tissue transplants as a possible treatment for Parkinson's disease and diabetes." Researchers also used fetal tissue in developing multiple vaccines, including the Rubella and polio vaccines. 

In the tradeoff between possibly of saving untold lives versus the visceral ickiness one might feel about harvesting fetal tissue, it's sad to me that so many people put more import on the latter.  

On Twitter, this has devolved into a digital shouting match in which one side says they're shocked, sick, and appalled; the other side says hey, we're not; and the first side repeats their shocked, sick, and appalled-ness in an ever escalating manner. As with the abortion debate in general, the pro-life side doesn't seem to get that increasingly graphic imagery and repeated references to "murder" and "Holocaust" and "genocide" will only move people who buy the premises of their argument to begin with. If you don't think a fertilized egg or embryo or fetus has a soul, or rights that trump a pregnant woman's rights, you're unlikely to be moved by arguments that rely on relating these premises in increasingly strong language. 

At the risk of being deemed history's greatest monster, I'm not sure why we shouldn't encourage more women (who are already) having abortions to donate the fetal organs and tissue to science. People who say this would encourage more abortions are either being disingenuous or have no understanding of how human nature works (man, I was really psyched about having a child, but now that I know I could give its remains to science, abortion all the way!). Even if you're personally opposed to abortion—even if you think it should be 100 percent illegal—as long as abortion is legal and happening, isn't it better that some good might come out of it?

But as bioethicists noted in an early '90s paper on the issue, for many people "the transplantation of tissue from an electively aborted fetus is morally inseparable from the morality of elective abortion." As Arthur Caplan, head of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University and one of the study's authors, told Vox: "For critics of abortion, the idea of making something good from something they see as inherently evil is not something they have room for." 

Photo Credit: lunar caustic/Flickr

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  • Brochettaward||

    I don't know if this place can handle Trump, Cosby, and abortion kulturekampf all in one day.

    Even if you are pro-life, the abortion already happened. If the research can help save other lives, I don't understand the opposition. Never really have.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Your face is irrational!

  • Almanian - TRUMP THIS||

    Uh, no, YOU are!

    God's mother's universe!!11!11one1!

  • DevilDocNowCiv||

    Al,

    Most on this site probably approve of the whole PP project, and don't you think it would be wise for PP to try to divert funding to get some cash to the women who are coming in the door for the abortion? Flyers or rumor-mil action to the effect that (a) you can get women's health services, and (b) a bonus check for getting an abortion might apply some free enterprise to the whole process, help the women a bit, and since we can't legally sell the tissue and give the women a percentage, at least this, or whatever more to get more women in the door/more clients might be a good idea.

  • Eman||

    as opposed to previous millennia?

  • ant1sthenes||

    If you think it's evil, you don't want to give people more of an incentive than they already have.

    I mean, let's say that Baltimore enacts a new policy where, when the police department kills someone, they also get to sell any organs or tissues from the decedent and keep the proceeds. Sure, patients and researchers will benefit. But you don't think there would be a lot more Freddie Grays? You get more of what you reward.

  • Brochettaward||

    Are women profiting from selling the fetus? No? Then there is no incentive being created on the part of the people making the choice.

    The religious right either needs to accept that they aren't getting a constitutional amendment to ban abortion, or start a revolution already to stop the genocide.

  • ant1sthenes||

    "Are women profiting from selling the fetus? No? Then there is no incentive being created on the part of the people making the choice."

    That doesn't mean there isn't incentive for the people guiding that choice. You're telling me that an adult doctor can't manipulate a desperate 15 year old girl who's already made some Bad Life Choices and doesn't have her parents around into doing what helps him make the most money?

  • Brochettaward||

    Is that actually happening right now, or are we just playing the preemptive ban game based on hypothetical scenarios that statists love so much?

  • Zeb||

    The doctor isn't getting paid for the tissue either. I think we'd need to see more evidence that that sort of thing happens before worrying about those incentives. Do organ transplant surgeons encourage people to ride motorcylcles without helmets so they can have more donors?

  • Trouser-Pod (The blowhard)||

    Do they see motorcyclists and unborn babies differently?

  • Zeb||

    I would hope so. As someone with no real moral problem with abortion, I would be more inclined to compare the motorcyclists to the women having abortions.

    There will always be unethical doctors out there, but i think that most really want to do right by their patients. Doctors can make plenty of money without being dishonest and manipulative.

  • RealCrankyYankee||

    Zeb, I find riding a motorcycle without a helmet is actually safer than with one. The helmet blocks my hearing and hinders my peripheral vision, both of which are critical when riding. I'm fortunate to live in a state that does not require helmets.

  • MichaelL||

    In fact, motorcycle helmets assure survival in a higher percentage of accidents. Thing is, are they spending the rest of their lives in nursing homes?! The survivors have been shown to use a lot of money up in the ICU! At least the death rate is higher without a helmet. You increase the risk that you will die at the scene! That would mean less suffering! If you want to look a it that way...less suffering without a helmet!

  • Eman||

    and there's also the issue that you might be less careful with a helmet on. i know i am (on a bike, not a motorcycle, but i imagine it's similar)

  • Eman||

    and there's also the issue that you might be less careful with a helmet on. i know i am (on a bike, not a motorcycle, but i imagine it's similar)

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    But we should "encourage women", says ENB. Like, pay them

  • josh||

    financial incentives aren't a problem exactly, but what about moral incentives? the idea that you might be saving lives you never even met, so it's mighty selfish of you to not have that abortion.

  • RAHeinlein||

    The initial incentive is rationalization. The pro-abortion side touts the societal benefits of tissue/fetal donation (it doesn't take a Plato-level bioethicist to see just how far this can go). I'm pro-abortion, but like you, also find Planned Parenthood disturbing at-best.

    It's reasonable to me those who oppose abortion aren't open to discussing the ethical/societal repercussions, but I find it troubling that the pro-abortion side is equally intransigent.

  • Zeb||

    I think it is a silly thing to worry about. Most people, as far as I can see, are either willing to have an abortion or not. Not to say that it is always an easy decision, but I don't think that there are very many people for whom the good of the tissue donation will really change their decision. People have abortions because they don't want to go though a pregnancy and have a baby, not because they think some other good might come from the abortion.

  • RAHeinlein||

    Zeb, I agree, from the standpoint of "are you incentivizing the person having the abortion" - but I do believe there are potential near-term bioethics concerns.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    Are women profiting from selling the fetus? No? Then there is no incentive being created on the part of the people making the choice.

    You're telling me that financial gain is the only form of incentive? Even something as simple as "you're doing the right thing, these organs are going to help scientists find a cure for cancer" is an incentive.

    The religious right either needs to accept that they aren't getting a constitutional amendment to ban abortion, or start a revolution already to stop the genocide.

    Neither of those two options seem to fit the character of the "religious right" very well.

  • Brochettaward||

    Neither of those two options seem to fit the character of the "religious right" very well.

    I shouldn't paint it as a matter of just the religious right, but they are going to be the primary group up in arms over this sort of thing. Be that as it may, it doesn't change the reality. Abortion is legal, it's going to stay legal. No law can be passed to ban it outright. So, you either go against the feds, or you are telling me that a fetus legally aborted can't be used for research.

    As for incentives, I like real world results when people tell me x needs to be banned or heavily regulated. Not hypotheticals that don't even fit the current scenarios we know about.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    As for incentives, I like real world results when people tell me x needs to be banned or heavily regulated. Not hypotheticals that don't even fit the current scenarios we know about.

    We're already living in hypothetical land where the question of abortion is already off the table. Sure, it's legal, but since when has libertarianism ever been about pragmatism at all costs?

  • RoninX||

    I'm strongly pro-choice, but there's an obvious third option for the pro-lifers: elect a president who will put justices on the Supreme Court who will reverse Roe.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Are you rooting for the Court to deny equal rights?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Ooops, got away from me. Roe v Wade has not been the Law of the Land since 1992.

  • kinghiram91||

    They won't do either. One is giving up, and the other is an action that requires effort amongst other things.

  • cliffjumper||

    Mixed thoughts on this one
    1.The women killing there unborn children are pretty evil, like manson evil
    2.Why would I want such a oxygen thief to reproduce and make more

    Guess its a draw

  • Mr Lizard||

    Ah I see florida man has slipped his leash. I can't have that mammal running about humping everything. He's got to finish my air boat

  • SimonJester||

    Hate to break it to you, future overlord, but if you are giving floridaman orders more complex than "Don't put poop on yourself" or "Try not to break yourself" you are gonna have a bad time.

  • Brochettaward||

    If a libertarian can teach a plebeian orphan to mine for coal and construct an IPAD, Floridaman can be whipped into building a boat by a reptilian.

  • BearOdinson||

    Yes, but it is the monocle polishing that mine have such trouble with. Fucking asshole orphans.

  • commodious spittoon||

    Exactly this. Libertarians should abhor utilitarian arguments, even if they agree on the underlying cause. It's part of why we tend to hate the "fiscal conservatives, social liberals" summary, as if we're nothing not than a product of party miscegenation and bastards too. We have a philosophy of personal liberty, and abortion presents one of the sticking points. There's a worthwhile debate to be had on the subject. "It's legal therefore it's acceptable" is not an argument.

  • Brochettaward||

    Well, the main issue is it's constitutional, thanks to the Supreme Court. It's now a fundamental civil right up to an extent, and changing it requires a politically impossible amendment.

    I have little respect for the law, but the absence of any pragmatism means libertarianism will remain little more than theoretical musing in books and internet comment sections.

    I was only partially facetious over the rebellion comment above. That's basically the choice someone who is anti-abortion has.

  • Kevin47||

    "It's now a fundamental civil right up to an extent, and changing it requires a politically impossible amendment."

    Or the swap of one judge on the Supreme Court.

  • mfckr||

    Even if you are pro-life, the abortion already happened. If the research can help save other lives, I don't understand the opposition. Never really have.

    Pro-Lifers will just see fetal tissue harvesting as an endorsement of abortion, no matter what. There's no reasoning with these people.

  • ScribblerG1||

    They are harvesting organs after a partial birth abortion that is illegal and long ago as decide to be unethical by a consensus of bioethicists.

  • Brochettaward||

    Sorry, but bioethicists oppose all kinds of things that people in these comment sections support all the time. When the phrase is used it usually evokes ridicule.

    We harvest organs of people whose personhood isn't debated, but a fetus is off limits?

  • Catatafish & Woodchips||

    "We harvest organs of people whose personhood isn't debated, but a fetus is off limits?"

    We seem to be dodging the original principle of agency here and the abortion conflict within libertarianism. I checked the box saying "donate my guts when I die," that baby/fetus/xenomorph did not. The big issue here as I see it is it is - in many cases, particularly third trimester - this is clearly a condemnation of the "it's just a bunch of cells" argument. If the people paying for these organs could make do with a pig heart, they'd go get a pig heart. They don't. They want a human heart. So what does that say about what kind of life is being destroyed even before it's disparate parts are recycled for some greater glory of science?

  • Brochettaward||

    The fetus can't develop beliefs yet, cannot consent to anything. If parents decide to donate their child's organs, is that a violation of ethics? I'm not seeing how this is much different than what is already done.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    If parents decide to donate their child's organs, is that a violation of ethics?

    Depends... did they kill their child out of convenience? This is similar to the gay marriage issue in that there are some inevitable connections that are being completely ignored by one side. Licensed gay marriage came packaged with anti-discrimination complaints against anti-gay marriage bakers. Similarly, fetal organ donation comes packaged with abortion. You can't ignore the tacit acceptance of abortion that comes with glorifying fetal organ donation.

  • Jim Smithy||

    Depends... did they kill their child out of convenience?


    how is any of that your business?
  • Michael Price||

    "Depends... did they kill their child out of convenience?"
    Well no because it's not a child yet, if it was it would have rights. It's a fetus, and if it doesn't have the right to not have it's existence terminated why would it have the right to refuse donation of it's organs.

    "You can't ignore the tacit acceptance of abortion that comes with glorifying fetal organ donation."
    It's not tacit, it's explicit. I accept abortion, most people do. That you have some sort of ick factor about fetal organ donation won't change that.

  • epsilon given||

    It is my understanding that it is illegal to harvest organs from a death row inmate after execution, because we don't want this to be a factor in the process of getting someone onto death row. We want to avoid the appearance of coersion, either of the jury or of the inmates themselves.

    If we are concerned about the slim possibility of coersion for criminals, why would it be so unnatural or illogical to transfer that same concern to the unborn?

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    "Even if you are pro-life, the abortion has already happened" . . . What the hell kind of logic is that?

    Listen, you moron - if you are against the death penalty (which you probably are), are you pro-organ harvesting of prisoners on death row? Because that is what you are saying.

    Hell, why wait for the body to cool before you start harvesting those kidneys and lungs and livers- hell, let the organ harvesting technique be the 'cause of death', rather than a ride on Old Sparky.

    Did the fetus have a choice in 'donating its liver'? Does the Death Row inmate? Do you not see the proverbial slippery slope in your logic?

  • Brochettaward||

    if you are against the death penalty (which you probably are), are you pro-organ harvesting of prisoners on death row

    The state is already killing them, so I really couldn't care less. But it's still not the same thing for reasons mentioned. There is no personhood involved with a fetus. A convict still retains some rights and among them, I would imagine, is getting to decide what they do with their organs.

    Now we are getting slippery slope logic. Next they'll be taking them from just anyone, because we can't draw a pretty clear line in the sand here and say that a fetus, which has no rights as a human being under our law whether you like it or not, cannot consent or deny. It can't think at all. It hasn't ever had consciousness.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    If the state can decide a fetus has no "person-hood", then it's not a leap to declare a death row inmate has no "person-hood" either. Or, you're a person until you eat your last meal. Or whatever.

    You really trust the state so much ti decide, "you're a person, you're not, and you are until you finish that bucket of KFC"?

  • Michael Price||

    "If the state can decide a fetus has no "person-hood", then it's not a leap to declare a death row inmate has no "person-hood" either."
    Except of course the dozens or even hundreds of legal decisions saying that they do have rights and therefore personhood. Really going for something this obviously false is an insult to those of us with productive jobs who don't have all day to use their mother's wi-fi to spread stupid.

  • Michael Hihn||

    See how the goobers deny the person-hood of the woman. Her right to liberty is precisely equal to the fetal child's right to Life.

    That's what unalienable means, but they're too brainwashed to even check. Welcome to Huckabee, Santorum and the anti-Christ. The Unholy Trinity.

  • Atma||

    There is no personhood involved with a fetus

    This isn't an argument. It's an assertion. You've begged the entirety of the question away.

  • Michael Hihn||

    And it's irrelevant. since it ignores the woman's unalienable right to liberty.

  • epsilon given||

    "And it's irrelevant. since it ignores the woman's unalienable right to liberty."

    Is liberty really more important than Life? Property? Pursuit of Happiness?

    We have laws against stealing, murder, and raping and choking someone for sexual pleasure; surely, these are all restrictions on Liberty. If you support these laws (and most pro-life people do), it follows that it isn't unreasonable to support laws against abortion.

    On the other hand, there's also a few weirdos, like me: I'm pro-life, but I also support legal abortion. But then, being a so-called "anarcho-capitalist", I also support the removal of laws against murder, stealing, and rape. Or rather, I believe the law should be a matter between the two conflicting parties, their lawyers, and their chosen arbitrators, and no one else...

  • JFree||

    IMO it doesn't matter. Aborting the fetus is entirely the mother's choice because there is no one else on Earth who can make that decision. But the fetus is not her property. It is not hers to sell or give away. I don't give a damn about any utilitarian justification since thats an ugly road to start heading down.

    It was a life. It is now dead. If you can't respect either the life or the death - as a loss, then WTF are we turning into?

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Yep. You got it

  • Michael Price||

    What a massive hypocrite you are. What sort of "respect" is it to kill something then not use it to help people because of "respect"? Respect for what? It's wishes? It didn't have any. The whole point of abortion is that it's not a person, it's a part of a person that will become a person. When we take out a part of a person that person gets to say what to do with it.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    We wanted an end to Trump-a-thon, and we got it.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Elizabeth Nolan Brown is as wrong in her logic today as she is wrong in stating there is free association is not a right.

    Hell, I am pro-choice. But ENB just gives me the heebie jeebies. Hell, I don't think she's a libertarian , but a double agent from "Think Progress".

  • Azathoth!!||

    The people who released this video said they're going to be releasing one a week for the nect three months.

    I think it would be prudent to wait and see what else they caught before jumping in whole hog in defense of this.

  • Brochettaward||

    I'm not pro-life, and even I find Planned Parenthood to be creepy if not kind of evil. They are definitely not mainstream representatives of the Pro Choice movement. I also hate using pro choice and pro life as phrases.

  • WoodchipperPatriarch||

    I laughed.

  • BearOdinson||

    I am not sure what you mean by "mainstream representatives"? They are the very spokespeople for the movement.

    And for the record my views (because you all care about what MY views on abortion are):
    First trimester (or essentially blobs of cells): up to the woman and her doctor. From a legal standpoint couldn't possibly be considered a human life yet.
    Third trimester: It is essentially a human baby now, so aborting it is akin to killing a baby. Legally shouldn't be allowed unless the mother's LIFE is at stake.
    In between: I really don't fucking know so the more viability becomes clear, the less abortion should become an option.

  • Brochettaward||

    The majority of Americans support abortion to a point. Planned Parenthood is well beyond that line. Most Americans are not pro choice because they believe in the things Planned Parenthood did or does. They simply don't want to see desperate women incarcerated over it, or killing themselves trying to do it themselves with a rusty coat hanger.

    So, that's what I mean by representatives. Neither are a lot of Democratic politicians, for that matter.

  • kinghiram91||

    Well, shortly after banning abortion, they'll try to ban coat hangers, too. But I agree, I don't want to see women jailed or dead because they were desperate. Personally, if contraceptives were more readily, I think there would be fewer abortions. Another thing that would decrease abortions is getting rid of abstinence-only education. Let's face it, teens are going to fuck and telling them they will go to Hell does not scare them anymore.

  • Kevin47||

    Abstinence only education does not correlate to an increase in the abortion rate. The opposite is actually true.

  • Lush Rimbaugh||

    Does abstinence-only education correlate to a decrease in the abortion or pregnancy rate? No. Whether or not it correlates to this or that is not the point. The point is that kids are going to be sexually active regardless of their sex-ed curriculum and that abstinence-only education isn't really doing much to prevent unplanned pregnancies.

  • ||

    We need to make Hell scarier then.

  • Ivoted4KODOS||

    +1 Southern Baptist Sermon

  • BearOdinson||

    How the fuck are contraceptives not readily available? At any drug store there are probably 50 different types of condoms. The pill is as easy to get a scrip as amoxicillin. Should we force cereal makers to include rubbers in every box?

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Gee, and who doesn't want the pill to be OTC? Who is preventing the diaphragm from being as OTC as rubbers?

    Planned Parenthood, that's who!

    Do you see the connection now?

    Do you finally see it now? They need women dependent, vulnerable and facing an unplanned pregnancy. Do you get it now?

  • Lord at War||

    Most Americans are not pro choice because they believe in the things Planned Parenthood did or does.

    Full stop.

    FTFY

  • BearOdinson||

    I know its that second trimester that does get hazy. Personally, my wife and I would never entertain the notion of her having an abortion unless the fetus is incompatible with life (e.g. anencephalitic, etc.). However, I do struggle with the in between (2nd trimester stuff) in terms of legality. So I think that the pro-life strategy should be stick to their guns on third trimester, see where viability takes us in the second trimester, and just stop trying to legislate during the first trimester, RU-486 etc.

  • BearOdinson||

    Then buy a quality vibrator, got on the pill, make him wear a rubber, or have the fucking abortion before it's ready to start kindergarten for fucks sake. Pregnancy doesn't just happen!

  • Michael Hihn||

    BearOdinson

    He (or she) is what the Fourth Reich looks like. be VERY afraid of the New Inquisition and the Christian Taliban.
    (a minority of Christians)

  • Lord at War||

    It's single women who often aren't in a position to properly care for a child.

    "Reagan's teen-age pregnancy prevention program-- Hey girls, suck more dick!" Richard Belzer

  • Michael Hihn||

    Another brainwashed goober.

  • Irish ♥s ESB||

    "I'm not pro-life, and even I find Planned Parenthood to be creepy if not kind of evil."

    Planned Parenthood steadfastly refuses to acknowledge Margaret Sanger's more...um...unfortunate political beliefs regarding the darkies and the mentally 'unfit.'

    That alone makes them creeps, almost like an Armenian Genocide Denier or something.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I do agree with that, Irish.

  • bacon-magic||

    The new name is perfect, for someone that wants a restraining order on him.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    I'd add ENB in that creepy column

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    I can imagine PP fetus organ farms, women deliberately impregnated to abort 4 or 5 months later, and paid handsomely for the inconvenience. Poor women, in desperate need of money, getting pregnant and getting a check for 5, 10 years. And medical ethicists saluting these "brave, desperate women" for their "brave, selfless choice", saving the lives of millions.

    The whole thing just makes me shudder in revulsion. This is not donating a kidney and getting paid for it. This is the slippery slope to hell.

  • Certified Public Asshat||

    I hear she swallows a baby whole.

  • SimonJester||

    There was an old woman who swallowed a baby...

  • RAHeinlein||

    Agreed. Mollie Hemingway at "The Federalist" also has a piece on this. I'm pro-abortion (I refuse to say pro-choice), but respectful of the pro-life position. The consent form is junior high field trip level - certainly not typical of any respectable research institution.

    http://thefederalist.com/2015/.....g-program/

  • Mrs. Lemuel Struthers||

    I haven't read Hemingway's piece but two observations: 1) What does "consent" really mean and 2) getting reimbursement of $30-$100 per fetus for "shortage and shipping" doesn't preclude a profit. In fact, I'd bet PP uses this as a revenue generator.

    The issues is really one of honesty. Is PP being honest with donors about consent and are they receiving payment? That's all.

  • RAHeinlein||

    Agreed. Courts have ruled "that a person's discarded tissue and cells are not their property and can be commercialized" - not a giant leap to no consent required.

  • ant1sthenes||

    In the tradeoff between possibly of saving untold lives versus the visceral ickiness one might feel about harvesting fetal tissue, it's sad to me that so many people put more import on the latter.

    True, but you don't think fetuses have enough... whatever... to be human. For the pro-life perspective, imagine you just said "In the tradeoff between possibly of saving untold lives versus the visceral ickiness one might feel about harvesting the organs of petty criminals, it's sad to me that so many people put more import on the latter." Attaching a material incentive to killing doesn't make it worse, but it makes it more common.

  • Drake||

    Yes - I feel like I'm in a Larry Niven book where criminals are sent to organ chop-shops. The difference is that these victims haven't committed a crime (other than being conceived in inconvenient circumstances).

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Forget petty criminals - pass the law that says death row criminals will be taken apart for parts after death (you'll need a death method that doesn't ruin the organs, of course). Think of all the good it would do! Yet I doubt same crowd would be as blaze about it. Other than heartless Libertarians, of course.

  • Drake||

    That's how Niven had it start. Then they ran out of murderers, eventually they ran out of jay-walkers.

  • Drake||

    Wait. this is real?

  • Jen G.||

    It seems to be in China

  • Pan Zagloba||

    I only read two of those stories, but Death by Ecstasy still creeps me out. Someone should do a Known Universe mini series. ARM stories should be easy to get onto TV at least.

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    I'm against the death penalty, but as long as it exists I'd be for donated executed criminals organs to science

  • Mrs. Lemuel Struthers||

    I'm hoping you'd require consent from the criminal and the the state wouldn't profit from the transaction.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Yep, no government coercion there.

    "Hey, Mr. Dead Man Walking, sign this consent form or I'll hook your balls up to that Sears Die Hard again . . . Sign it, you son of a bitch or you'll beg for death sooner, rather than later . . . "

    What a nice, libertarian solution!

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    Sounds like a good movie plot.

  • ||

    We'd have to change the method of execution in order to harvest the maximum amount of useful tissue. Strangling should do the trick.

  • Mrs. Lemuel Struthers||

    Yeah, this is an issue as well. Are they altering their abortion technique to maximize tissue or organ harvest and is their patient aware of this. That prior sentence is fucked up but a relevant question.

    Ethically, I'm comfortable with using aborted fetus tissue for research, but consent, disclosure and payment are huge factors that shouldn't be glossed over has ENB has done here.

  • Michael Hihn||

    the brainwashing causes this

    Are they altering their abortion technique to maximize tissue or organ harvest and is their patient aware of this

    The patient signs a form donating the organs.
    The doctor uses a method to best honor the patient's request. (gasp)

    Meanwhile, the goobers envision Planned Parenthood workers standing on street corners, waving pregnant women into their clinic, to "harvest their organs" .... for what reason? Hysteria. Political power. Fundraising.

  • Lord at War||

    We'd have to change the method of execution in order to harvest the maximum amount of useful tissue. Strangling should do the trick.

    Bullet to the temple- leave the eyes...

  • ||

    Calling Larry Niven!

  • bacon-magic||

    -1000
    This is not cool. I like most of your writing. This however is insane. No one should control another person. Or his body. Or his property. The typical response to this on this site is "Fuck off slaver".

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Of course you are . . .no hypocrisy in you. None, whatsoever.

  • CharlotteHaze||

    Yeah? Well how would you feel about a method of execution not 'most humane' but tailored to protect the salable organs from harm? The Planned Parenthood chick was bragging about abortion techniques employed to avoid harming the desirable organs, while the rest of the otherwise disposable living human fetus is ripped apart from limb to limb by a pair of toothed forceps.

    I've been okay with abortion most of my life, but in the past few years I've begun to question it. I can't begin to articulate anything resembling a "defense" of second trimester abortion; the pro-life position, on the other hand, is at least logically consistent.

  • Azathoth!!||

    See this--

    I'm against the death penalty, but as long as it exists I'd be for donated executed criminals organs to science

    This is one of the ways Niven said it would start.

    We already have fear-of-organlegging fables built so deeply into society that they're lampooned.

  • Pope Tyrannicus XVI||

    IOW: I'm against killing jews but totally for making lamps out of their skin

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Since they're dead anyway, and using ENB's logic.

    She really doesn't understand just how amoral her article sounds, does she?

  • BearOdinson||

    Who know who else thought since we are killing them anyway we might as well further our research?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Ironic that it turns out that the Nazi organization is the one harvesting the blood of Christian babies.

  • sarcasmic||

    No.

  • ||

    Always with the abortions, ENB. The first step to getting better, is admitting that you have a problem.

  • ||

    Oh, and I meant to add: BLARGLE BLARGLE COSMO SIGNALING WEIGEL BLARGLE!!!!!!!!!

    There, am I doing that correctly?

  • Judge Chipper||

    OT:

    “A determination should now be made by a jury at an open trial as to whether or not officer Herrington had any justification for choking Jonathan Sanders to death.”

    Fucking sad.

  • Jen G.||

    You are correct - once you've decided that any given human life has relative value based on subjective criteria, it becomes logical to maximize it's usefulness to the human life that subjectively has more value.

  • Trouser-Pod (The blowhard)||

    Which is why so many people reject Utilitarianism.

  • Lee G||

    Wedge issue, yay.

  • Pope Tyrannicus XVI||

    An absolutely vital issue that soi dissant libertarians have to grapple with.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    And tomorrow we'll get Words of Wisdom from Shikha Dee - "Libertarians, stay out of the cultural wars between progs and cons . . . "

  • Irish ♥s ESB||

    Given that Bill Cosby played an OB GYN, I feel that there has to be a way to fit Bill Cosby, Donald Trump, and abortion into one story.

    What if there was an episode of the Cosby Show where Dr. Huxtable aborted Donald Trump's unborn child and then sold its pieces on the black market? I know, I know - kind of dark for the Cosby Show, but I personally think it could have taught us all some very important lessons.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Bill Cosby, Donald Trump, and abortion

    Oh, for halcyon days of pot, ass sex and Mexicans...

  • Michael Price||

    Yeah now I spend my time on reason.com instead, it's nowhere near as fun.

  • BearOdinson||

    Next, on a very special episode of Blossom........

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Next, on a very special episode of Blossom

    Joey lost the ability to say "whoa?"

  • Almanian - TRUMP THIS||

    "Oops!"

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Irish, it could have worked during the show's, darker, Lisa Bonet years, but not it's more bubbly, Raven Simone years.

  • PH2050||

    Lisa Bonet...I take it CJ would?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    One of my many rules in life is: "if it is good enough for Lenny Kravitz, it is good enough for me."

  • Cyto||

    There was that episode where Denise Huxtable ran away to Louisiana with Mickey Roarke. I vaguely recall something dark happening that might be along this line....

  • Lee G||

    I know, have Doc Cosby get paid in ludes which he then uses to trade for cheap sex with illegal Mexican hookers while promising to perform their abortions!

  • John||

    Doesn't everyone get paid that way?

  • Lee G||

    I prefer peyote, at least I won't pass out and shit myself.

  • Almanian - TRUMP THIS||

    There was a chick in college we ended up calling The Quaalude cause
    .
    .
    .
    .
    SHE WAS SUCH A DOWNER!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    true story

  • Catatafish & Woodchips||

    This works better if we find out that the aborted baby is actually Dr. Huxtable's, sired after prescribing Trump's wife some "sleeping pills."

  • John||

    This topic reminds me of the immigration threads; two sides starting with diametrically opposed assumptions talking past each other. If you believe in the magic trip down the birth canal theory of creation and see abortion as elective surgery, then yes, donating the tissue removed from your body from an abortion is absolutely the right thing to do. If you in contrast think life is created independent of and at some point before the magic trip down the birth canal, then this is nothing but murdering people and harvesting their organs and can thus never be moral.

    There is really no way to reconcile the two positions. It all depends on your view of abortion.

  • Brochettaward||

    So, in your view, there is no middle ground between the Planned Parenthood view and live at conception?

  • John||

    i am not sure there is one. You could say viability outside the womb and that is certainly better than the PP view. Even that, however is internally inconsistent and arbitrary. Why is viability so special? People on respirators are not automatically considered dead with no rights. And are certainly not considered such when they have a good chance of recovery.

    I think this discovery of DNA settled the debate. What makes me human? My DNA. If the thing is self contained and alive, meaning it is not an appendage but an actual organism on its own, and has human DNA, then it is a human. But that is just my view.

    Regardless, the entire issue revolves around the question of what constitutes a human and when does life begin. Once you answer that question the rest is easy.

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    I agree with you, John. I know that my thinking on this subject has changed dramatically since I was young. It's very difficult for me to imagine that there is really such a thing as a "potential human". As such, a person's rights begin pretty damn early. Again, just my personal view.

  • John||

    The funny thing about the issue is that the stereotype is that the pro life people are a bunch of religious nuts making faith based arguments and the pro choice side is the rational ones. In fact, it is the exact opposite. The pro life people talk about DNA and break out sonograms and all kinds of scientific evidence about fetal development. Meanwhile, the pro choice side reverts to bullshit philosophical arguments like "person hood" and "potential human". No one has ever explained to me what about a fetus changes when it leaves the womb that transforms it from a lump of cells with no legal rights into a full human being.

  • Brochettaward||

    The media polarizes the issue when most Americans fall into a massive gray area across a spectrum. And there have been prominent atheists who were also opposed to abortion.

    But my own comment here is just that there is a range of views here, so most people are not going to have just the ones you outlined.

  • John||

    There is an absolute range of views. And frankly other than "thou shalt not kill" I am unaware of any biblical injunction against abortion.

    A good number of pro choice people are convinced, however, that people who object to abortion are just religious nuts and all arguments against religion are based in some religious belief. That drives me absolutely up the wall.

  • Remnant Psyche||

    Isn't that increasingly the basic left-wing explanation for everyone who disagrees with them on anything political?

  • Brochettaward||

    I get your position, but most people still don't see it that way. A majority of Americans oppose late trimester abortions. Whether that is rational or not is one thing, but a large number do not agree with the Planned Parenthood position on the matter of abortion.

  • John||

    And their position is while better than the PP position, an irrational cop out. Ultimately, the abortion industry has created enough social pressure that people are unwilling to follow the logic of their own positions.

  • Cyto||

    HeLa cells (and other immortal cell lines) have human DNA and are fully autonomous living beings.

    Maybe that definition is a little over-broad.

  • TJ_Friedman||

    Actually, there is sort of a libertarian middle ground position: Evictionism.

  • Procrastinatus||

    That's not any sort of conclusive argument though, even from a libertarian position. There's the counter argument that, provided a fetus is a human being, the woman initiated that relationship of dependency by her own actions (instances of rape notwithstanding). The fetus had absolutely no say.

    Though there are no perfect analogies to the unique condition of pregnancy, it would be like you purposely giving someone a disease that made them dependent on your body. Let's say they have to get a blood transfusion from you periodically for nine months because of a medical condition that was completely your fault. You suddenly decide that because you are sovereign over your own body you may stop those transfusions.

    Sure, you own your body. No libertarian will argue against that. But your willful actions also killed someone and you should be held accountable.

  • TJ_Friedman||

    But what if I don’t believe that the fetus I’m aborting IS a person? There’s the rub.

    To me, there are two issues that make abortion such a heated topic within the libertarian society: (1) a difference of opinion on when life begins, and (2) the conflict between the right to life and the right to control yourself and your property. Evictionism, while not perfect, is a rational attempt to resolve these conflicts.

    In a nut shell, it states the woman has a right to evict the fetus from her body, but no right to end the fetus’s life. I still have the right to have my fetus removed from my body, but you have the right to take ‘control’ of the fetus afterwards. Thus, it eliminates the second issue, and greatly resolves the first.

    The one issue that remains will be that some libertarians believe that life begins at some point before viability. As its proponents have said, this issue will resolve itself with advancements in technology. The closer viability moves to conception, the less problem abortion will become.

  • Almanian - TRUMP THIS||

    Well, that's just like, your opinion, man!

    /comma guy

  • kinnath||

    Today, I get to agree with John.

  • Shoeless||

    Maybe I'm off the mark here, but I think that much of the outrage is stemming from the idea that the they are dealing with developed organs, and selectively manipulating the body and crushing parts that are unneeded so that those that they want are preserved for their final destination. This right or wrong has a much more ghastly appearance than merely using the "tissue" for research. Maybe I'm wrong...

  • John||

    You are not wrong. And the fact that that is so ghastly and shocking says something about the absurdity of the position that life doesn't begin in the womb.

  • ||

    You have a strange definition of "fact". I don't find it ghastly or appalling at all.

    Though you're absolutely correct that the whole debate is pointless in the extreme, since the disagreement stems from two fundamentally different starting points.

  • Lee G||

    The only debate to be had currently is whether or not those with a moral objection to abortion should be forced to subsidize it thru their tax payments.

  • ||

    Totally agree, Lee.

    I suppose that means we can't be libertarians anymore.

    What's your position on immigration? Maybe I can yell at you about being wrong for that.

  • Lee G||

    What's your position on immigration?

    Um, uh... reverse cowgirl?

  • ||

    Because we don't have to fund other shit we have moral objections to.

  • ||

    We shouldn't. There should be arguments about it. That's what he's saying.

  • Certified Public Asshat||

    But if we're going to fund shit we have moral objections to, we may as well force other people with different moral objections to fund other shit. Did I get it right?

  • ||

    But if we're going to fund shit we have moral objections to, we may as well force other people with different moral objections to fund other shit. Did I get it right?

    No, I just think it's awfully convenient that this only ever comes up on one side of the debate.

  • Certified Public Asshat||

    I mean, if we look at the sides though, the pro-choice side is generally more wont to tax and spend while the pro-life side is not. GENERALLY.

  • ||

    So you're saying most pro-life parents don't want child tax credits? Don't want public schools? Don't want Medicaid to cover maternity, prenatal and postnatal care?

  • Certified Public Asshat||

    They do, but the other side does as well.

  • Kevin47||

    "So you're saying most pro-life parents don't want child tax credits? Don't want public schools? Don't want Medicaid to cover maternity, prenatal and postnatal care?"

    Pro-lifers are far more likely to oppose those things than pro-choicers are.

  • Mr. Anderson||

    Are pro choices fundamentally opposed to women having children? If not, this analogy has failed to establish another side.

  • ||

    I look forward to the next valiantly argued thread about the child tax credit.

  • Lee G||

    I look forward to the next valiantly argued thread about the child tax credit.

    What about it? Get rid of it. Along with mortgage credits and every other carveout.

  • Mr. Paulbotto||

    What about it? Get rid of it. Along with mortgage credits and every other carveout.

    But if you get rid of it, there won't be enough new children to fund social security and what few new children do get made well all be future gangbangers raised in father's homes!

    /Eddie

  • Mr. Paulbotto||

    *fatherless

  • Lee G||

    You have a problem with my NSF grant to study the nocturnal emissions of humpback whales and how that affects statistical outcomes of minority transsexuals?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Yeah, I'm fine with industrial mass murder, as long as I'm not paying for it with my taxes.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Women can now fund their abortion through the sale of the fetal body parts. Who knew that leftovers could be so profitsble?

    So - no worries. You won't be subsidizing her. And she will make a killing off her new "profession".

  • John||

    Good for you. Lots of people find lots of ghastly things not so ghastly. The people who fed the bodies into the furnaces at the death camps didn't find it too ghastly.

    You, however, are in the minority in that. And PP knows it and tries desperately to keep the public from seeing this sort of thing. The natural reaction and the reaction by the majority of human beings is to find it ghastly. The fact that you don't just means you are unbothered by ghastly things.

  • ||

    I should have bet the under on how long it'd take for somebody to compare abortion to the Holocaust.

    But since we're talking about public perception (in regards to what constitutes "ghastly"), I don't think that's really an apt analogy, considering you don't have about half of the American public saying that it should be OK to gas Jews en masse under certain conditions.

  • John||

    The people who shoot cows in the head at the slaughter house don't find that ghastly.

    There, I took away your holocaust dodge. My mistake for giving it you.

    But since we're talking about public perception (in regards to what constitutes "ghastly"), I don't think that's really an apt analogy, considering you don't have about half of the American public saying that it should be OK to gas Jews en masse under certain conditions.

    You do realize that is both an appeal to authority and a complete tautology don't you? I am pretty sure large numbers of Germans supported the deportation and murder of Jews, did that make it right?

    Since when does popular opinion determine morality? In what fucking world is that the case?

  • ||

    We aren't talking about morality, we're talking about what people, in the generic sense, find "ghastly", which is an entirely subjective term.

    There was no appeal to authority. You brought up what "most people" think, and I responded in kind.

    I maintain that there is no such thing as an objective definition of "ghastly". You said I'm wrong, that if a majority of people find something ghastly, then it must be so. Then you went off the rails and stopped talking about the subjective definition of ghastly, and moved over to the subject or morality, where even more bizarrely, you then abandoned the very argument you made originally (about defining something based on what the "majority of people", your words, not mine) think about it.

    You're kind of all over the place here.

  • ||

    In fact, let me present you a timeline of your comments on this. See if you can follow the logic. I can't.

    "The natural reaction and the reaction by the majority of human beings is to find it ghastly. The fact that you don't just means you are unbothered by ghastly things."
    The implication being that some things are objectively ghastly, and I just happen not to be bothered by them.
    I respond by stating that the Holocaust is a poor analogy if we're discussing what the majority of Americans think. Remember, it was you who brought up the idea of the majority, and that what they think matters.

    "You do realize that is both an appeal to authority and a complete tautology don't you?"
    Um, what? You brought up the idea of what the majority of people think, and I responded in kind. So why wasn't it an appeal to authority when you did it FIRST?

    "Since when does popular opinion determine morality?"
    You then jump ship from talking about what a majority of people find ghastly, to a discussion of morality, which is not the same thing.

  • John||

    The majority of the people in this country support the death penalty too. Does that then mean that they wouldn't find watching a person get electrocuted "ghastly"? I am pretty sure they would.

    And people would find it ghastly because support it or not, killing a person is pretty ghastly. The same thing is going on here. People find it ghastly because they at some level realize that is what this is. PP knows that and doesn't want them to see it. That is all that is going on here.

    Abortion is to never been seen in its full ghastly glory. It is only to be talked about in the abstract an in idealized terms involving clumps of unrecognizable cells. It is the same reason the media did everything it could not to talk about the Kermit Gosnel case. If people actually knew what their support for abortion meant, they would likely reconsider their support. And we can't have that.

  • ||

    I agree with you there. My wife doesn't like to go hunting with me, 1) primarily because she doesn't like the outdoors beyond day hikes and the like, but also because 2) despite being an avid meat-eater, she can't bear to see the thing suffer. She is aware of and acknowledges this hypocrisy, which I suppose is all I can ask.

  • John||

    I am the same way. I am a meat eater and fully understand what that means. i grew up around farms. Yet, I am too much of a pussy when it comes to animals to be much of a hunter. I swear to God animal suffering bothers me more than human suffering. And I don't say that with pride. It is not a good thing but it is how I am.

  • ||

    A lot of people are that way. On a purely emotional level, I am, as well. I think it stems from the idea of all animals as being "innocent", and you can't explain to them that it's going to get better, or that their suffering will soon end, like you can to a human. They're just bewildered and in pain, and there's nothing you can do except take them to the vet or put them down, and they're confused, frightened, and hurt during the entire process. It really is sad.

  • Cyto||

    I think John just outed himself as an undercover PETA plant....

  • mfckr||

    Good for you. Lots of people find lots of ghastly things not so ghastly. The people who fed the bodies into the furnaces at the death camps didn't find it too ghastly.

    Those were usually Sonderkommando units (fellow inmates) within the camps that carried out tasks like loading up corpses into the crematoria. Most were free to volunteer for the job and got various perks out of the deal, like better food and living quarters. The Grey Zone was a good movie about this. From my understanding, many did find it ghastly but rationalized doing it for sake of self-preservation or other reasons.

  • Drake||

    Yep - Killing them for maximum yield not minimum pain.

    And I doubt any of that revenue is finding its way back to mother.

  • EMD||

    And does the altered procedure put the 'mother' at risk? That's not good for PP's mission, is it?

  • Henrycrapcakes||

    Wonder if I could somehow patent my aborted baby's fetal tissue? If my aborted baby's fetal tissue led to a medical breakthrough pay day!

  • ||

    On Twitter, this has devolved into a digital shouting match in which one side says they're shocked, sick, and appalled; the other side says hey, we're not; and the first side repeats their shocked, sick, and appalled-ness in an ever escalating manner.

    Yeah, it's been...well, no, it hasn't been fun. It's been insanely fucking boring.

    WHY ISN'T EVERYONE TALKING ABOUT HOW AWFUL THIS IS?

    Um, why is it awful?

    WHY ISN'T EVERYONE TALKING ABOUT HOW AWFUL THIS IS?

  • John||

    Like I say above. It is two sides starting with opposite assumptions and then yelling at each other about how immoral the other side is.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Is Twitter a good indication of anything?

  • Lee G||

    The stupidity of the human race?

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    So, Twitter is the same as Congress?

  • Lee G||

    Yes and yes

  • ||

    Well, it's where I first heard this news, so yes.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I was referring more to ENB's statement about Twitter. Of course it has devolved into a digital shouting match, just like everything else that is even vaguely controversial on Twitter.

  • ||

    I also see that I missed a hell of a shit-fest on that GayJay thread. Sorry I wasn't there to stir the pot. By bringing up pot.

  • ||

    I had never heard the term "geographist" in my life until I read your comment. Is that really a thing?

  • John Titor||

    Because geography would never influence cultural and group development right?

  • John Titor||

    But those 'vast differences' are also a product of actual physical geography and other influences, yet you seem to be rejecting any claim of geography influencing groups as 'geographist'. This insult of 'culturalist' seems just as arbitrary and nonsensical. Are you seriously arguing that culture does not affect group dynamics or individual choices?

  • ||

    He's arguing that you can't predict the behavior of any one individual on those factors.

  • John Titor||

    Well, except for the fact that by looking at cultural behaviour and patterns one can hypothesize more likely, but not necessarily inevitable conclusions. A culture that practices legal pederasty is more likely to have a greater amount of pedophiles than one that actively loathes and shuns pedophilia, for example. Certainly doesn't mean that everyone in that culture is a pedophile, but the key phrase here is more likely.

    Whether you think that makes a culture 'superior' or 'inferior' are conclusions based more on your individual interpretations and morality. And I suspect that despite your moralizing on the subject you're perfectly willing to pick favourites.

    Would you be willing to proclaim the moral equality of a culture where a majority vigorously supports the institution of slavery and one that adamantly opposes it? Is neither of these cultures 'superior' or 'inferior' based on your own morality?

    Same rule for culturalism. that's why it's not a silly term.

    Actually, it's still an utterly silly concept designed more to shout down your opponents rather than actually try to provide a substantial intellectual argument.

  • John Titor||

    Answer the question I gave you, not the question you constructed because it was easier to answer and proclaim your moral superiority with. If one culture vigorously supports slavery, and one does not, are they morally equal in your mind?

    No. I opt to not judge the individual based on the culture or geography from where they come. It's a strange concept, I know, not relying on stereotypes or per-judging someone based on the actions of others we falsely equate them with.

    "Culture and geography influence nothing, now I'm going to prove it by discussing it in concepts largely influenced by Enlightenment humanist cultural constructs and Judeo-Christian ethics."

  • ||

    Again, you purposefully dodge the point. He didn't say it influences "nothing". That's you, simply making up something that you wish he had said, so that your retort would be on-point, instead of retarded.

    He's saying that, he chooses to only judge people as individuals, and as such, any predictors based on group identity are effectively worthless at that level.

    To stay with your example, someone could come from a society that embraces slavery, but I would welcome them to this country with open arms up until the moment they attempt to enslave someone. But since I don't know for a fact that they're going to do that, I would be foolish to treat them as if they were, beforehand.

  • ||

    And I think you know perfectly well what a lot of us would say; that some behavior being more likely, since it is not definitive, is a worthless category.

    It is absolutely wrong to treat someone differently (in public policy) based on what you believe they might be likely to do or not to do, until they, as an individual, confirm that behavior.

    Otherwise, you may as well round up all the young males and put them into some kind of monitoring system right now, because they are by far the most likely group to commit a violent crime.

    But I suspect that you would not be in favor of such a thing. I further suspect that you would, though, be in favor of treating different groups differently (for example, in immigration policy) based on your perception of what they may be more or less likely to do, based on their group affiliation

    Which would make you a complete hypocrite.

    I'm drawing those assumptions from the tone I'm perceiving from your posts. If I'm way off base, then please accept my apologies and I retract the entire statement.

  • John Titor||

    Again, you purposefully dodge the point. He didn't say it influences "nothing". That's you, simply making up something that you wish he had said, so that your retort would be on-point, instead of retarded.

    So you're suggesting that his argument is that culture does have influence, but we should ignore how it might actually influence people. That's the problem. For his insult of 'culturalist' to make sense culture has to have absolutely zero influence on the individuals' perceptions.

    To stay with your example, someone could come from a society that embraces slavery, but I would welcome them to this country with open arms up until the moment they attempt to enslave someone. But since I don't know for a fact that they're going to do that, I would be foolish to treat them as if they were, beforehand.

    You're not actually answering the question. The question is about the actual cultural framework of slave/no slave society, not an individual from that society. Again, the question is whether the two cultures are 'superior', 'inferior' or equal on a moral individual standing. The overall point here is to highlight the fact that everyone is culturally xenophobic to some extent, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. You just stated that you would be perfectly fine with the individual, until they embraced a cultural view you do not share. That's a pretty damn good view to have, but it's ultimately a rejection of a cultural norm you find justifiably horrible.

  • John Titor||

    Actually there's far less logic and more poor thinking in believing culture does influence individual actions and then declaring your 'culturalist' nonsense. Like I said, you want to have your cake and eat it too. Culture influences people, but don't dare talk about how it might influence individual decision making because that's culturalist. Utterly inconsistent.

  • John Titor||

    And there's certainly just as powerful a stupidity in an extreme atomist perspective that utterly ignores how the person has been influenced by their environment and the people around them. The individual is certainly responsible for their own actions, but to ignore how the individual came to that situation, how they were pushed there, is equally as absurd as assuming that culture is solely responsible. It's almost like there's some kind of nuanced middle ground between extreme collectivist and accusing anyone who sees culture influencing behaviour patterns as 'culturalist'.

  • John Titor||

    Also, you're seriously talking about 'the stupidity of cultural relativism' after stating 'the idea that one's own geography/geographic group is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular geography/geographic group is inferior to the others.' You seem to openly argue for cultural relativism when it suits you.

  • John Titor||

    That's what I was referring to, but I was being lazy with my quotes. To clarify you were describing 'the idea' in the context of a negative interpretation of 'inferior' and 'superior' cultures. But if one rejects the notion of cultures being 'inferior' or 'superior' than one is a cultural relativist position. The problem is that you're talking about the 'stupidity of cultural relativism' after specifically embracing cultural relativism to suit your argument.

  • John Titor||

    More likely certainly isn't a be-all end all, but it's something to keep in mind. My overall point tends to factor in human agency a lot more, I'm more directly criticizing Spencer's arbitrary 'culturalist' and 'geographist' concepts. Apparently culture influences individuals, but recognizing that that culture may influence them to behave in certain ways is culturalism? It's have your cake and eat it too. It also screams of anti-intellectual laziness designed to shut opponents up a la 'racist' and could easily be applied to solid anthropological theories.

    What a horrible culturalist Timur Kuran is, for daring to suggest that Islamic financial law might promote a culture of difficult capital accumulation! Is Jared Diamond a 'geographist' for daring to point out how geography influenced European and Amerindian development? These are horrible intellectuals who dared to suggest that culture or geography might have long term influences on individual choices!

  • John Titor||

    Or perhaps your definition is arbitrary

    I can judge laws or practices as being silly

    You mean like cultural practices right? You mean like the actual question I provided to you that you refuse to answer? Is the cultural practice of slavery 'superior', 'inferior' or equal to a cultural practice that rejects it?

    My answer is that I don't judge cultures. I judge individuals. I can judge laws or practices as being silly- but I don't judge all who come from a region with said laws as being more likely to be silly.

    I understand that you're enjoying this moral posturing, but you're openly judging a cultural framework when you declare practices 'silly'. You explained how you don't judge cultures by judging cultures.

  • John Titor||

    Except now you're just retracting what you said above, that you absolutely DO judge cultural practices, regardless of what you believe you CAN do.

  • Brochettaward||

    Are you telling me I can't hate the French? I spit on you!

  • Brochettaward||

    Are you telling me I can't hate the French? I spit on you!

  • SimonJester||

    Oh, so how most progies think of the south and "fly-over" states? Is that Geographist?

  • John Titor||

    Urban dictionary says:

    1. One who is far too posh to be considered a mere "geographer."
    2. One who is convinced of their geographical superiority over geographers.

  • ant1sthenes||

    "geographist"

    Like people who hate Southerners?

  • Almanian - TRUMP THIS||

    Niggers hate when you call them "nigger", too - weird that

  • ||

    You lie. Stop lying, Almanian.

  • TheWilkman||

    "If you don't think a fertilized egg or embryo or fetus has a soul, or rights that trump a pregnant woman's rights, you're unlikely to be moved by arguments that rely on relating these premises in increasingly strong language. "

    Putting the concept of a soul aside, the biggest fault in the pro-choice camp is the idea that one person's rights trump another's. How can a libertarian justify that?

    My wife and I are expecting our first child and had our first ultrasound last week, week 19. Our baby has clearly distinguished fingers, nose, everything. It moves constantly in her stomach and responds to sounds. Planned Parenthood is performing these abortions on babies up to 28 weeks, 2 months more developed than my baby right now. Recent studies have shown that there's about a 25% chance that babies can survive outside the womb as early as 22 weeks. If there's even a 1% chance, killing that baby in the name of convenience is wrong. It's a violation of another person's rights, and should not be tolerated.

  • TheWilkman||

    Yes, it does. If I was arguing it had a soul, I would say it starts at conception. That happens to be what I believe, but it wasn't what I was arguing.

    So does it magically become a person when it's outside the womb? When your mom was 8 months and 29 days pregnant with you, you weren't a person yet? You had to be exposed to air before you were declared a person, never mind that you could have survived if born early 3-4 months beforehand?

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    Frankly, a newborn isn't a viable person either. It can't survive on its own and is dependent on its parents for years before it can be classified as a viable, independent, free-thinking human.

  • mfckr||

    Frankly, a newborn isn't a viable person either. It can't survive on its own and is dependent on its parents for years before it can be classified as a viable, independent, free-thinking human.

    Let's legalize neonate killing then.

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    Let's legalize neonate killing then.

    Based on the the pro-abortion view of viability, I suppose you could.

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    So, existence inside the womb with assistance, non-person with no rights. Existence outside the womb with assistance, person with all rights.

    I think I just failed Logic 101.

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    Not really.

    Without the assistance on either side of the womb, the life form dies.

    If medical technology reaches the point where humans can be grown entirely outside the womb, what will be your threshold of "personhood" then?

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    The assistance being provided in uteuro isn't by "force". It is the natural function of the female body. The woman may regret this, or withdraw consent, or whatever, but that doesn't make an in utero human less human than an ex utero human.

    What you want is for the woman to choose to destroy a human life for any reason. That's it. Just say it and be done with the moral contortions to justify this. I won't hold it against you, I promise.

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    If it isn't human, then what is it?

    The force you are referring to is legal force. That isn't the same thing as the female body doing what it is designed to do on an involuntary basis (breathing, digesting, etc.). Just because she doesn't want her body to do it doesn't mean she is being forced to do it against her will - she has no choice at that point. The point of choosing has past.

    Like I said, you and all the pro-abortion people just want women to be able to get an abortion/end a human life at whatever point for whatever reason. Just admit it.

  • R C Dean||

    However, it's NOT the same when one party (in eutero) is forced to assist the life of another vs. outside when the assistance is voluntary.

    Its not so clear to me that the mother is "forced" to assist the embryo, unless she was raped.

    Getting pregnant is a foreseeable consequence of having sex, even with birth control (which has a statistical failure rate).

    Unless she was raped, she wasn't "forced" to get pregnant. If you are pregnant, you aren't "forced" to provide it with nutrients, etc. These are natural, foreseeable consequences of having sex.

  • mfckr||

    If medical technology reaches the point where humans can be grown entirely outside the womb, what will be your threshold of "personhood" then?

    Whenever consciousness begins to emerge, perhaps. ~20-25 weeks?

  • PBR Streetgang||

    If the threshold test is viability , independence, and be a free-thinking human, then everyone at Salon fails. Thus, can we, you know....

  • Mr. Paulbotto||

    Tony, Shriek, Tulpa, AmSock, et al too. I'll start buying up land in the Eastern Washington desert, if somebody else wants to start gathering chain-link, razor wire, bricks to build the crematoria with, etc...

  • bluecanarybythelightswitch||

    Whew... good thing you didn't mention woodchippers, cause then you would be in hot water.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Depends, bluecanarybythelightswitch (love the handle)
    Is it feet first or head first by the barbarian fundamentalists?.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Yep. If you take such a fucking hardline approach on fetuses and self-ownership, than mandating parents care for infants and small children is slavery.

    But honestly, non-libertarian pro-choicers are full of shit anyway. Anyone who doesn't support a woman's right to shoot up heroin doesn't really believe she has the right to do what she wants with her own body. They just like abortion.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Farm them ! They aren't viable, and their OUTSIDE the womb.

    Imagine all the diseases we could cure if we just started harvesting newborns like PP harvests the product of pregnancy?

    We are so culturally bound

  • Mickey Rat||

    The concept denies the existence of rights as an inherent human quality, it is an inherently illiberal philosophy. A step backward.

  • John||

    The whole "its a parasite" argument is probably the dumbest and most appalling pro choice argument. It is a parasite that you created and one that is a human life. Your inconvenience doesn't trump another person's right to live.

  • mfckr||

    Your inconvenience doesn't trump another person's right to live.

    But a fetus hasn't attained personhood.

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    Can you define "personhood"?

  • John||

    But a fetus hasn't attained personhood.

    Personhood is a completely arbitrary concept that can be used to justify the murder of anyone. You think fetus haven't reached personhood, well other people think the handicapped or the brown people haven't either. Since the term is totally arbitrary, you can't say they are wrong.

  • ||

    Anything you choose is going to be arbitrary. Choosing DNA is also arbitrary, because the decision to value "humans" per se is arbitrary as well.

  • John||

    No. DNA is not arbitrary. You either have human DNA or you don't. You may not agree that our DNA is what makes us human. But one thing is for sure, if you do think DNA is what makes us human, you can't then use that assumption to justify killing people because they don't fit some profile. It is an objective standard.

    Personhood is not. Personhood is a made up term with no relation to reality. There is nothing in science or nature that says what personhood is and who has it. It can mean whatever we decide it to mean.

  • ||

    John, I'm saying that deciding "human" should be the standard for whom it is okay or not okay to kill is arbitrary.

  • John||

    John, I'm saying that deciding "human" should be the standard for whom it is okay or not okay to kill is arbitrary.

    In the sense that any rule of morality is arbitrary, sure. That however is about the inherent arbitrary nature of morality in a Godless universe. You are right, I think killing other people is wrong but without some higher authority to appeal to that is just an arbitrary preference of mine. Others are free to disagree and have their own rules and think that killing is great or killing the unbelievers is great and that is while not my bag, no better or worse than my rule.

    I get that. But I am going on the assumption killing other people is bad for the purpose of this debate.

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    But killing un-people is ok, right?

  • R C Dean||

    You know who else wanted to kill un-people?

  • ||

    Well, I'm just saying that making it about "persons" or some other philosophical concept vs. "humans" isn't actually more arbitrary. It's just a different choice.

  • Mickey Rat||

    What would be a non-arbitrary standard for determining what entities have rights?

  • Cyto||

    DNA is not a good measure because transformed cell lines would be humans by that definition. You couldn't toss out a flask of transformed stem cells without being a mass-murderer.

    Also, there are lots of ways for a fully formed, living, breathing human DNA-based body to be something less than human. Like an anencephalic child. Born completely without a cerebrum, these poor creatures will never have a thought of any kind. Nor can they survive long, even with intensive medical care. But they are otherwise fully formed humans. It is just an immensely painful birth defect for the parents, who often know long before the child reaches full term that their baby will not live for more than a very short time, and will never know them in any way. Some friends of ours had to deal with this very issue. She was in her early 40's, so carrying to full term might cost her any chance of having a child. But not carrying to term violated their religious views on abortion. Wow, that's a horrific position to be placed in.

    All this is to point out that defining human life is extremely difficult..... nigh impossible. The edge cases will always be tough. Whether you are in favor of liberal abortion laws or morally opposed to all cases of abortion, there are edge cases that can back you into an untenable situation. The "DNA" test just gets you there way too quick.

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    Well, I suppose an un-person is the same as an in-human, right? It's a good thing no society has ever used that as a term to classify people that they didn't like or were inconvenient to them.

  • John||

    And it is not like once you say it is okay to kill the "unperson" whoever they are, it won't get out of control or anything. Not like anything like that has ever happened.

  • mfckr||

    Personhood is a completely arbitrary concept that can be used to justify the murder of anyone.

    Personhood doesn't have to be that arbitrary. You'd just need a scientifically measurable standard for whether a formative human has attained the capacity for conscious experience. And from what we know that seems to occur somewhere around ~25 wks ± a few.

  • Cyto||

    And if you lose that capacity? Temporarily? Permanently? What about possibly temporarily, possibly permanently?

  • mfckr||

    And if you lose that capacity? Temporarily? Permanently? What about possibly temporarily, possibly permanently?

    In cases of permanent unconsciousness, assuming there's informed medical opinions and voluntary consent involved (be it from a will, or family member, bla bla), euthanasia seems perfectly acceptable. Nothing new here.

  • SimonJester||

    First, what do you mean by "conscious experience"? Are you referring to feeling pain? Or being self aware? Or capable of interaction?

    Because, depending on how you define it, you are either going to end up lumping "fourth trimester" babies (0-3mo) and the brain damaged people in with "abortable" babies, or you are going to end up outlawing a great deal of abortion and it will probably move back as we learn more about nural development.

  • mfckr||

    First, what do you mean by "conscious experience"? Are you referring to feeling pain? Or being self aware? Or capable of interaction?

    Capacities for pain perception and things like this, yes. Self-awareness or interaction, no—that stuff comes much later, obviously.

    From what science knows, it does seem that the former begin emerging around ~25 wks or so. So establishing some sort of cutoff point proscribing abortions after might be acceptable. Should this threshold be pushed back further as new evidence comes to light, so be it.

  • SimonJester||

    You addressed permenant unconsciousness, but not temporary. What do you think of someone who will "become" conscious in, say, 20 to 25 weeks? ("Jenny got hit by a truck, is in a coma, but we believe she will come out of it soon.")

  • mfckr||

    You addressed permenant unconsciousness, but not temporary. What do you think of someone who will "become" conscious in, say, 20 to 25 weeks? ("Jenny got hit by a truck, is in a coma, but we believe she will come out of it soon.")

    In that scenario, if there's any reasonable chance Jenny could come out of the coma, then by all means she should be kept alive.

  • Mr. Anderson||

    Good luck defining consciousness.

  • mfckr||

    Good luck defining consciousness.

    We may be getting closer to an operational definition along these lines: http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/SC.....scbcfd.pdf

    More recent corroboration: http://jn.physiology.org/content/102/2/1241

  • BearOdinson||

    Circular argument. A fetus hasn't attained personhood. Why not? Because by definition a person isn't a fetu.

  • lap83||

    Seriously. To use that argument is to say that all humans are unwanted leeches, by default.

  • ||

    No it isn't. Some people are trying to get pregnant.

  • lap83||

    Seriously. To use that argument is to say that all humans are unwanted leeches, by default.

  • lap83||

    fucking squirrels

  • ||

    I will say that squirrels are unwanted leaches.

  • josh||

    yeah, the idea that the life comes down to whether or not you're ready to be a mother has always struck me as being the dumbest part of the abortion debate.

  • Drake||

    Which is why banning elective abortions after 20 weeks has become a workable compromise in many states. It is my position on the issue.

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    Same for me.

  • bacon-magic||

    I'm good with that. Kinda been a non issue to me since I'm a man. But to say a baby is not a human is illogical. *puts on Spock ears and goes to Trekkiecon.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Which, by ENB's standards is a radical anti-abortion position.

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    The pro-choice crowd gets around that by saying it isn't a human until the trip through the magical vagina.

  • Drake||

    ALL the way through.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Wait, we can hunt those delivered through Caesarian section as un-people?

    The Most Dangerous Game: The Reality Series is back in development, boys!

  • ant1sthenes||

    Sucks for the people... sorry, animate piles of human tissue... born via C-section, I guess.

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    Indeed! There should be a whole other definition of their "personhood" and the rights they have. Surely they must be different than those that made the journey through the vagina.

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    Yeah, it's gonna suck to go home tonight and tell my 13 year old that she isn't a person.

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    It'll be ok, Tundra. Since she isn't a "person" and thus not "human" you aren't responsible for raising her anymore. Think of all the fun you'll have with all that extra free time and money. Heck, you could even use all those resources to devote to a better career, one that you'll be so satisfied with on your deathbed, surrounded by plaques and awards and sundry other accolades.

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    Awesome. Thanks, Restoras!

  • Mr. Paulbotto||

    El Chapo will gladly take that responsibility on, now that he's back out of prison...

  • Mickey Rat||

    You should look on the bright side. You have a capital asset that you did not know you had.

  • BearOdinson||

    All I know is, my wife's is pretty fucking magical!

  • SimonJester||

    Then you need to get out more. I don't think your wife's is anything special.

  • bluecanarybythelightswitch||

    I always knew vaginas were even cooler than we were giving them credit for.

  • ||

    "It moves constantly in her stomach "

    Ummmm...this might come as a bit of a surprise, but that is not where the baby is.

  • TheWilkman||

    Stomach, belly, uterus, whatever. From the outside it all looks the same. That slip up doesn't change my point.

  • Mr. Paulbotto||

    Ceci n'est pas un estomac...

  • ScribblerG1||

    You fucking lying cunt. They are doing partial birth abortions to harvest organs - that is not just taking a bit of fetal tissue for stem cell purposes. Only a batshit crazy woman could pen something this dishonest. We already settled the fetal tissue issue, as we did partial birth abortion. That's why we make laws

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Oh boy.

  • ScribblerG1||

    Oh boy what? This is against the law. Period. Partial birth abortion is not legal. She goes to great lengths to describe how she violates that law in spirit and technically, while sipping wine. Fyi, I'm an atheist - I just found this abominable. Tell me, are you okay with this? Do you care about the rule of law?

  • mfckr||

    What makes you think she's sipping wine?

  • SimonJester||

    Fuck off, slaver.

    Also, insulting ENB isn't going to get you anywhere, here. She is one of the writers we actually like.

  • Banjos||

    I think she's a fucking idiot.

  • RAHeinlein||

    Who is this "we"? ENB is a moron studying to be an idiot - although, she has that "certificate" from Cornell, so apparently achieved idiot status...

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    All the Cornell alums should be hung with the entrails of all the Brown alums

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Who is this "we"? The"we" who agree with her -there is no right to free association? Or the we who agree "women should be encouraged" to donate (or profit) from that fetal tissue harvest?

  • Baelzar||

    Just another squirrel for socons to chase, while ignoring the important fiscal stuff.

    They're not selling tissue. They're donating. They edited a 9-minute hit piece out of over an hour of video. This is so damned stupid.

  • John||

    Amazing how people are concerned about murder. Dumb fucking hillbillies.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Yeah, tell me when the cosmo's start making the hard choices between their supposed fiscal conservatism and their overriding social liberalism. Not hating rich people doesn't cut it.

    Two and a half hours has been fully released which I haven't watched. You'll forgive me if I don't just take your word for it, or ENB's with her very clear confirmation bias. Oh, and for the record I am pro-choice.

  • meh130||

    There are several things wrong here.

    The first problem with your argument is you call the fetus "fetal tissue", like the it is no different than the leftover sloughed cuticles after a pedicure. If it were, it would not be an issue. But there are bioethics to consider here.

    The second is conflating "encouraging a woman to donate" and Planned Parenthood selling for profit. Those are two different things.

    We do not know if this is handled like donating cord blood to a general bank, or if this is done without the woman's knowledge.

    The third is the distinct possibility PPA is flouting the law to maximize the value of the "fetal tissue" removed. This is not gathering an intact heart out a car crash victim where the kidneys were crushed, this is being very selective to ensure certain organs are preserved.

    The fourth and final question is the value of the use of this tissue. Fetal stem cell treatments have proven very limited. Yet there are quacks pushing fraudulent stem cell treatments. How do we know they are not the ones buying the tissue?

  • Baelzar||

    "like the it is no different than the leftover sloughed cuticles after a pedicure."

    Legally, it is no different. Once abortion is legal, this follows.

    Once it is revealed that the patients legally sign away rights to the tissue and that PP isn't making money (beyond recouping expenses) then this will fade, and the left will release the next squirrel.

    Socons are like a gift to the left. So easily distracted.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    It isn't legal if there's a profit. The judgement's still out on that.

    Cosmo's are an equal gift to the left. Willing to sell out to the most prestigious signalling club.

  • Mr. Paulbotto||

    In 1858, it made no legal difference that Dred Scott was in Minnesota, either.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    Even if you're personally opposed to abortion—even if you think it should be 100 percent illegal—as long as abortion is legal and happening, isn't it better that some good might come out of it?

    Didn't people have the same debates about the Mengele experiments? The Nazis had tons of medical data obtained from effectively torturing Jews to death. To those of us "personally opposed to abortion," the same moral question is at hand. Is there some reason to reject potential goldmines of information/tissue/organs because it was obtained in an immoral way?

    The main difference is that Mengele was presumed to be dead when this debate was going on. There was no market for future mutilation and torture. Not so with abortion. Abortion will continue, and the organs will continue to be harvested.

    It adds an additional dynamic in the minds of those of us "personally opposed to abortion," because it sets up some sort of morality play. It becomes a tormented hero story. "I had to kill my baby, but I did the right thing and had its organs donated to help cure cancer." Using Mengele's research did nothing to morally legitimize his torturous experiments. Using fetal organs can possibly act to morally legitimize abortion in the eyes of some. As a pro-lifer, that's a hard pill to swallow.

  • Zeb||

    I really can't imagine someone who thinks abortion is immoral changing their mind based on the utility of fetal tissues in medicine.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    That's not the point. It's the people on the fence about abortion. Will they be less turned off by abortion if it's "for a good cause?" Hell, if people are willing to dump ice water on their heads in support of ALS research, will they be less hesitant to abort their child if there are some warm fuzzies associated with it?

    Remember, this is all in rebuttal to the idea that pro-life people should embrace fetal organ harvesting because "some good might come out of it."

  • ||

    I think the point where the fetus is developed enough to extract organs is well past the point where abortion should be legal absent a risk to the life of the mother, but I don't see how the harvesting of the organs (or *gasp* even profiting from it) is ghastly at all. No more ghastly than any other organ harvesting. At that point it doesn't matter, the fetus is already dead.

  • TheWilkman||

    I agree 100%. In the video they talk about the demand for livers. Livers! If the baby is developed enough that you can distinguish internal organs, that's far past any acceptable point.

  • Certified Public Asshat||

    It's just a clump of organs.

  • John Titor||

    That pretty accurately describes fully developed humans too.

  • Zeb||

    And when fully developed humans are aborted, they are often harvested for their livers and other bits.

  • R C Dean||

    With their personal consent, yes.

  • TheWilkman||

    As are you.

  • Zeb||

    I think that happens pretty early on. There is really only one organ relevant to a being's humanity.

  • BearOdinson||

    Yup. The penis

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    A fully functioning penis.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    Therefore, women aren't human and men only become human at puberty.

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    YES! Finally someone gets it!!

  • Mr. Paulbotto||

    And black people are Übermenschen.

  • Mr. Paulbotto||

    Men, that is.

  • bluecanarybythelightswitch||

    What about super-clits?

  • John||

    Yes. The problem here is the abortion not the sales that came afterwards.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Listen to the woman in the video. The reason it's ghastly is because markets create incentives. Allow a trade in baby body parts and you create an incentive to produce more baby body parts. It's the same reason most of us are OK with laws against slavery and child prostitution: because we don't want to create incentives for those ghoulish markets, either.

  • ||

    It's only ghastly if you think market forces and profits is ghastly. The same argument could be made for allowing the sale of adult human organs. The incentive doesn't matter, whether the abortion is fine in the first place or if it is not.

    It's the same reason most of us are OK with laws against slavery and child prostitution: because we don't want to create incentives for those ghoulish markets, either.

    Um, I'm against slavery and child prostitution because it infringes on the rights of the slave/child, not because people profit from it.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Because there can only ever be one Reason for anything? Let me back up a step. I do not believe the abortion is fine in the first place. Infringing on the rights of the unborn child by murdering it and selling off its body parts is indeed why I am against it. I am also, secondarily, opposed to people profiting from it. I don't see that exception to my general free-market inclinations as particularly ethically inconsistent. I suppose that if I did think murdering and dismembering babies was OK, I wouldn't mind be people profiting from it, OK?

  • Cloudbuster||

    The reason I oppose the profit, specifically, is that with particularly heinous crimes, it's pretty standard to also criminalize the activities that surround it. We don't just criminalize murder, we criminalize conspiracy to commit murder, and we criminalize being an accessory to murder, and we criminalize hiring someone to murder someone else, even if you didn't commit the murder yourself (unless you're President of the United States).

  • ||

    I suppose that if I did think murdering and dismembering babies was OK, I wouldn't mind be people profiting from it, OK?

    That's my point, the abortion is ghastly, but the sale of fetal tissue and profiting from it is not. The sale of the tissue is irrelevant.

  • Marshal||

    No, Planned Parenthood affiliates are not profiting off aborted fetal tissue—the $30 to $100 Nucatola mentions in the video is what research firms typically reimburse clinics for the cost of storing, shipping, and transporting it. No, Planned Parenthood is not breaking federal law against selling human body parts (which would require, you know, actually selling them).

    This is ridiculous. I work in medical finance where the amounts we receive are referred to as "reimbursements" because technically we're being reimbursed according to someone's estimate of cost. But when we publish financial statements these amounts are called revenue, and we make a profit. What you call something has no bearing on what it is.

    Since when do we accept the idiotic parsing of self-interested propagandists?

  • Zeb||

    Well, I think you would have to look and see if they are profiting or not.

    In any case, you should be allowed to sell organs. The women having abortions should get paid for the tissue. If a few decide to become fetus farms, I don't give a shit.

  • Cloudbuster||

    "Fetus farms?" Really?

    Enjoy your Soylent Green.

  • Zeb||

    I'm referring to women deliberately getting pregnant so they can sell fetal tissue. Which I very much doubt would happen much if at all.

    I will very much enjoy it if it allows me to get a new lung or heart or liver when I get old, thank you. And I am confident that modern farming techniques and crop development will obviate the need for any Soylent Green type product. But great advances in biotechnology aren't going to happen without a few things that some people will find distasteful.

    Let me ask you, should people be allowed to sell their organs?

  • Cloudbuster||

    ...should people be allowed to sell their organs?

    Their own, not their children's.

  • bluecanarybythelightswitch||

    What about the orphans in my monocle factory? Some of them are looking a little long in the tooth, and I hate to simply toss them in the incinerator....

  • Cloudbuster||

    But great advances in biotechnology aren't going to happen without a few things that some people will find distasteful.

    Know who else thought great advances i biotechnology weren't going to happen without a few things that some people would find distasteful?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    It's the lead.

  • Zeb||

    It's always the lead. One way or another.

  • Certified Public Asshat||

    I thought in the video she does admit to some profiting?

    I think for affiliates, at the end of the day, they’re a non-profit, they just don’t want to—they want to break even. And if they can do a little better than break even, and do so in a way that seems reasonable, they’re happy to do that.

    Better than break even is, what?

  • Cloudbuster||

    Spreading the wealth around?

  • Cloudbuster||

    Exactly. Everyone who's ever bought anything on the internet and who wasn't born yesterday knows that the "Shipping & Handling" costs are part of the profit center of the business. We don't have to pretend to believe their propaganda.

  • Cloudbuster||

    I got to stop reading at " 1) not against abortion per se," because I am. So these babies are old enough to have differentiated, useful body parts (see the video) -- livers, lungs, heard, heads, limbs, but they're not really persons. No, not seeing it.

    They are the most tiny, helpless, voiceless persons and if the libertarian anti-aggression principle doesn't protect them, it means nothing.

  • Zeb||

    It's the mind that makes one a person, not fingers and toes and livers.

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    So, when does an infant become a person?

  • Zeb||

    When it learns to talk. That's when you can be sure, anyway.

    I don't fucking know. It's a question that people have been failing to answer satisfactorily for thousands of years.

  • Cloudbuster||

    I don't fucking know.

    So maybe you shouldn't go around making pronouncements like "It's the mind that makes one a person, not fingers and toes and livers."

  • Zeb||

    No, I stand by my pronouncement. I do know that it is the mind that makes one a person. Because I know what I mean when I say "person". I don't know when an infant becomes a person because I can't remember it happening to me and I can't read minds.

  • Trshmnstr doesn't recycle||

    I don't fucking know. It's a question that people have been failing to answer satisfactorily for thousands of years.

    Right, and I don't know when they become a person either. I just happen to come down on the side of not killing them while their status as a person is unknown.

    This is the crux of the issue for those of us who admit to a lack of omniscience. We don't know when the fetus becomes a person. We can't really define with any precision what makes a person a person, anyway. One side promotes the idea that unless you're proven to be a person, you have no rights. The other side promotes the idea that unless you're proven NOT to be a person, you have rights.

  • Zeb||

    How do you know that mouse you killed or the pig you ate doesn't have a rich inner life that you cruelly ended?

  • Cloudbuster||

    I am a rancher. I'm fairly confident that all of my livestock (horses, cattle, goats) have complex social arrangements and have feelings of love and caring toward members of their herd. I've seen animals grieve when a loved one dies, and fret when separated from one they care about. But they're not humans, and not sentient in the way humans are.

    Nor will they, under normal circumstances in their lifetime, develop human sentience. If a cow lived long enough and after enough time could develop the ability to talk and reason in the abstract, I'd probably hesistate to eat it.

    That's where I differ from you in your conception of how the mind makes one a person. I account for the potential of that mind, too. We know that virtually all fetuses, if left unmurdered and which come to term, will develop human minds. That matters to me. Cutting off a life before it can develop to full potential seems to be just as much murder to me as cutting short a life in its prime.

    I would feel pretty uncomfortable about chowing down on whales, dolphins or apes and a few other species.

    But I'm a specieist. I admit it. I'm an omnivore and I can't manage to be self-loathing about it any more than a raccoon does.

    Most ranchers I know, including myself, are in the paradoxical position of both caring about their animals and raising them for eventual slaughter. The way one of my friends puts it is that you try to make sure they have "just one bad day."

  • Cloudbuster||

    I'm watching my mother's mind and personality disappear bit by bit -- and way too quickly -- due to Alzheimer's Disease. Will you let me know when she stops being a person?

    These babies, left to the natural course of events, barring accident and miscarriage, will develop into people like you and me. Their minds aren't greatly different in any qualitative sense 10 minutes after they are born than they are at 8 months in the womb. Are you one of those who is OK with infanticide?

    Your assertion that "It's the mind that makes a person" is entirely your own, subjective opinion, and there's no bright line that distinguishes the mind of a late fetus, with that of an infant or a one year old. It's a gradual continuum of increasing cognition. It's a poor place to try to draw a line in ever-shifting sand.

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    It's a poor place to try to draw a line in ever-shifting sand.

    That's the point - the line can be moved around to justify whatever is most convenient for them.

  • Zeb||

    the line being difficult to draw doesn't mean it can be moved around or that anything is shifting. we have imperfect understanding of things. Yet we still have to make distinctions.

  • dissenter88||

    Liberals/Libertarians: "When she becomes Terri Schiavo, duh. Then you starve her to death."

    I am sorry to hear about your mother. It is painful to watch and my heart goes out to you.

  • Irish ♥s ESB||

    "Liberals/Libertarians"

    Well, there's a shitload of debate on the subject among libertarians, so don't lump us all together as if there's some consensus.

    Every time abortion is brought up here it turns into a shit fight.

  • SimonJester||

    And it is always good to read. Well, usually, until Sarcasmic shows up and it all goes to hell...

  • Zeb||

    I have watched two people very dear to me go through the same process. It is horrible and sad and I can truly sympathize. And at some point they do stop being people. That's what is so bad about it.

    It is a hard line to draw, and one that I was not willing to draw. But I can honestly say that after a certain point, the person is gone and I see no moral problem with setting them out on the proverbial ice flow to die of exposure. The difficulty is in drawing a line when you are emotionally involved. It will always be your mother to you, even when everything about her is gone. And that is why we don't draw the line legally or ethically. It's too hard and too tied up with emotions and personal beliefs. That doesn't mean that there isn't a line or a point at which (or before which) someone is no longer human.

  • Cloudbuster||

    And that is why we don't draw the line legally or ethically.

    Exactly. And that holds equally true at the other end of the spectrum. That line is so murky, so unknowable, and so far beyond our powers as mere men, not Gods, to define for others, that we have an ethical responsibility to err on the side of life.

    I don't think we're a poorer society because we no longer set old people out on ice floes, no matter how painful it is for me to see my mother like that and no matter how pointless her life seems to have become. If only we weren't doing the same thing to unborn children.

    My wife is guardian to another woman with Alzheimer's, a woman who has no family to look out for her. She is farther gone than my mother. The other day my wife went to visit her and she smiled at her, and laughed tried to give my wife a kiss. It was the first spark of awareness or recognition that anyone, including my wife, had seen from her in five months. Is she ready to be set out on the ice floe? Who has the moral confidence to make that decision? Keep that self-righteous maniac away from me.

    An abortion being done for the mother's delayed sense of convenience, that's like killing someone with Alzheimer's when you know for near-certainty that in two or three months the Alzheimer's is going to go away and the person is going to make a full recovery. What kind of monster are you if you kill someone knowing they're about to make a full recovery?

  • Zeb||

    Maybe I'm a cold, mean guy. I don't think I am.

    But I have a lot more concern for those who I know are full human beings than for those who might be some day or who might have some small spark of humanity left in them.
    I think my experience with Alzheimer's hardened me to these things a bit. You can't help but care. But when you look back, it is nothing but pain and heartbreak for everyone involved. No, you can't just send them out to die of exposure for a bunch of reasons. But in a way i feel like you should, for everyone's sake. My father died a few years ago, basically from drinking himself to death. It was tragic and sad, but in a way I am relieved that I don't have to see him go the way both of his parents did.

  • Cloudbuster||

    My dad died fairly suddenly. So did my maternal grandfather and my paternal uncle. My maternal grandmother lived for more than a decade with Alzheimers. My paternal aunt died of esophagal cancer. Other aunts and uncles died from cancers, heart attacks, emphysema and slow pulmonary failure.

    I've had friends die from suicide, from heart attacks, from effects of obesity and diabetes, from a motorcycle accident.

    Had cousins die from suicide, from drug overdose (another suicide?), from heart attacks, from AIDS.

    Was the grandmother with Alzheimer's the worst? No. The AIDS death and cancer deaths probably were, because they both were in possession of their faculties and suffering so long.

    The younger deaths were hard for the survivors. They sometimes left behind children and seemed "before their time."

    None of them is easy. Why any of that should make me feel any colder toward a young life that hasn't even had a chance to bloom yet, I don't understand.

    We had an "oops" baby, late in life. For just a moment the thought of abortion crossed our minds, but it left us both feeling so sick we discarded it immediately. She's nine years old now and as I type this, the very thought that we might have ended her life makes my eyes fill with tears and makes me ashamed for ever even thinking it for a moment.

    Nine months is so little to sacrifice for a human life.

  • Zeb||

    As far as infanticide goes, I wouldn't call for legalizing it, but I do believe it is less bad (when done by the mother anyway) than murdering a more mature person who can communicate and has social relationships. That's all I'm going to say there.

  • KerryW||

    Zeb"As far as infanticide goes, I wouldn't call for legalizing it, but I do believe it is less bad (when done by the mother anyway) than murdering a more mature person who can communicate and has social relationships. That's all I'm going to say there."

    This is repugnant.

  • Zeb||

    How so? Even if it is completely equal to the person being killed, a mature person with relationships and a life being killed causes a lot more harm to a lot more people than an infant being killed. I never said it is OK to kill an infant.

  • Irish ♥s ESB||

    "These babies, left to the natural course of events, barring accident and miscarriage, will develop into people like you and me. Their minds aren't greatly different in any qualitative sense 10 minutes after they are born than they are at 8 months in the womb. Are you one of those who is OK with infanticide?"

    I agree with you to a degree. I think there's a point where a baby becomes a person and that point occurs in utero so late term abortion is a fucking abomination. A fetus at 8 months is so developed that I don't know how anyone can seriously argue it's moral to kill it.

  • Restor-woodchipper-as||

    A fetus at 8 months is so developed that I don't know how anyone can seriously argue it's moral to kill it.

    They can't argue that it is moral - but they continue those attempts to cover for what they really want. They just want a woman to terminate a pregnancy at any time for any reason because...fairness? Patriarchy? Responsibilityless sex?

  • Zeb||

    There is the bit about controlling one's own body too. There is more to the moral argument than whether the unborn has a right to live. Like many situations, there is a conflict of rights involved if you assume that the unborn has full human rights.

    I don't pretend that all pro-lifers just hate women and want to keep them barefoot and pregnant. A little nuance in your assessment of pro-abortion folks would be nice.

  • SimonJester||

    Right. And this is the point. A pile of DNA becomes "a person" and at "that point" it the pile of DNA has full rights and citizenship. The difficulty is deciding on where "that point" actually is. Which is 100% of the debate.

  • Zeb||

    Not quite 100% of the debate. There is also the question of whether a person is obliged to nourish and keep alive a being who has taken up residence inside of them.

  • SimonJester||

    Fair enough. I hadn't heard this as an argument, but fair enough.

    Would the abortion doctor have to serve eviction papers?

  • Zeb||

    Really? You've never heard "my body my choice" or anything along those lines? It's a pretty central part of the pro-choice argument. Far more important than the argument about the moral status of the unborn, I would think.

  • ant1sthenes||

    No, they'd just have to whatever you normally do when a parent wants to stop providing for a child and leave it out to die. Call the police and CPS, I guess?

  • Cloudbuster||

    Since a very small portion of pregnancies are due to rape and incest, can we weed out the "extreme cases make bad law" bit and focus on the vast majority of pregnancies that are the product of consensual sex between adults?

    If you have sex, even if you use protection, you are acknowledging that there is some small percentage chance that the sex will result in a pregnancy.

    It's a logical consequence of behavior you've freely chosen to engage in.

    Nourishing and keeping alive the resident that you generated inside you (with the participation of another) is an obligation you accept when you engage in the sex, I'd say. You have every right to give the baby up for adoption afterwards, but you got yourself into this. It didn't "just happen." The baby didn't "trespass" or "invade" you. You invited the little sperm into your womb and it did what sperm does when it encounters your egg.

    Choices sometimes have consequences. You don't get to kill people because you regret your choices.

    If you don't like those odds, don't have sex, or stick to oral or anal sex.

  • bluecanarybythelightswitch||

    And you forgot to mention OTC plan-b pills. You have 72 hours to take it for it to be effective. If someone can't get their fat ass off the couch within 72 hours to take an OTC plan-b to prevent something potentially life ruining that person is a mongoloid retard and shouldn't garner any sympathy.

  • Michael Hihn||

    bluecanary, that would be $40-50 per sex act, times how many per month for young people? . Versus as little as $9 per month for the pill. OTC contraception is part of he GOP strategy to remove the contraception mandate from Obamacare. So who's the mongoloid retard?

    (sigh, I did NOT defend the Obamacare contraception mandate, but playing to the base is never a solution)

  • Zeb||

    And it is kind of silly to stop reading at that point (unless you have better things to do), since that is pretty well acknowledging that reasonable people can be against abortion per se. Or does reading things that apply to people who disagree with you cause pain?

  • Cloudbuster||

    I lied. I skimmed the rest of the article. All the rest is based upon the presumption that, if you accept abortion, then encouraging the use of the leftover parts is a good thing.

    I'm not really amenable to any of that line of reasoning, since I am opposed to abortion per se, so that line of reasoning isn't especially important to me.

    Your rather snarky "does reading things that apply to people who disagree with you cause pain" is exactly the sort of attacking the person, not the idea that one hopes to avoid at a site called "Reason."

  • Zeb||

    Your rather snarky "does reading things that apply to people who disagree with you cause pain" is exactly the sort of attacking the person, not the idea that one hopes to avoid at a site called "Reason."

    Lying isn't much better. Lighten up.

  • Cloudbuster||

    You've shattered me with the force of your moral arguments.

  • Zeb||

    Sorry for the snark. But when you say "I'm not reading this crap" but then proceed to comment on it anyway, you are kind of asking for it.

  • PH2050||

    Once again, South Park proves prescient.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I'm sorry, ENB, but your logic misses a few steps:

    "Maybe my mindless-moral-revulsion factor just isn't finely-tuned enough, but I can't understand why anyone who is 1) not against abortion per se, 2) not against research using human stem cells, and 3) not against organ and tissue donation should suddenly be moved to indignation by the combining of these things. If tissue from fetuses that are going to be aborted anyway might help bring about future medical progress, and the women having abortions fully consent, what's the problem?"

    That's just it - the world isn't divided into committed prolifers (like me) and committed pro-choicers (like you), who rigorously follow the logic of their respective positions to the bitter end. The vast "moderate" or "middle ground" people in the U.S. are *uncomfortable* with abortion. They may be willing to swallow this discomfort in response to soothing rhetoric about "choices" and "procedures," but when they have to directly confront the actual implications of abortion the ambiguity raises its head again.

    In other words, most "moderates" or "people in the middle" *don't* have fully logical, fully-reasoned-out positions on the issue except that it's icky and they'd rather not think about it. Sometimes they *have* to think about, and they don't like what they see.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    And sending dead baby-parts off to research labs is one of those things which triggers the middle-grounders' ambiguous feelings about abortion, makes them confront it against their will.

    That's why Planned Parenthood tried to do this on the down low; it's why it took an undercover investigation to show what they were doing. Absent a video, they'd be saying that there's no proof, etc., etc.

    This is a conversation they don't want to be having, because they know it hurts their case.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Don't you think that if this traffic in baby parts was perfectly normal and even beneficial, that Planned Parenthood would be celebrating it? Yet the only reason we're talking about it now is that prolifers exposed it with video evidence.

    If some prolifer came forward without video evidence and claimed that some Planned Parenthood official had admitted to dealing in dead-baby body parts, you know very well what the response would be. First, of course, it wouldn't have been in the media in the first place. Next, they would have emphasized that this prolife fanatic had no credibility, that it's the word of a disturbed zealot against a respected women's-health organization, etc.

    They so very much want to be able to deny it happened - they don't want to be talking about it - they wish there weren't any video.

    It's like the Gosnell case, where after an attempted media blackout, some of the choicers finally came out and said that the Gosnell case *helps* their argument.

    Oh, really? The case helps your argument? Is that why you tried to draw a veil of silence over it?

    Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining.

  • AlgerHiss||

    Does "Planned Parenthood" offer gift certificates for abortions? Perhaps they have a bridal registry?

  • dissenter88||

    Ok, riddle me this, Riddler (Elizabeth Nolan Brown):

    Why do the prices vary so much, and why is there talk of "demand" in the equation, if this is just donations and reimbursement? Is it really $60 more to ship a severed head than a liver?

    Why is there some kind of legal issue with which PP national doesn't want to get involved, if this is all on the up-and-up and for "lifesaving research?"

    Why does one of their known buyers, StemExpress, advertise "financial profits" to clinics who participate? http://www.centerformedicalpro.....-flyer.pdf

    Why is the "menu" of prices for body parts a secret that needs to be negotiated rather than a simple matter of figuring out how much it costs to ship things and sending them a bill?

    These questions lead me to another: Why are you covering for Planned Parenthood?

  • Marshal||

    I think ENB and most others commenting miss the point. The existence of organs suitable for research - not just indistinct tissue but usable organs - is a clear argument that this was a child not a clump of cells. I don't mean clear in the sense that it's conclusive. I mean that it's clearly a data point favoring one side of the argument and thus could be expected to influence some people who have not made up their mind or have soft beliefs on the matter.

    Skipping past this with a [if you're pro-choice] hypothetical is just assuming the conclusion.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    I don't know how differentiated the tissue needs to be in order to be useful. It could still be effectively a clump of cells.

  • Marshal||

    On the video they discuss different organs, which wouldn't make sense if there weren't differentiation.

  • Mickey Rat||

    By that logic, you are still effectively a clump of cells.

  • Zeb||

    You are just assuming the conclusion too, that the presence of organs means it is a full person deserving of all the rights that go with that.

  • Marshal||

    I am discussing the option, not assuming it away.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Well, we kind of had self-evident truths that rights are an inherent quality of a human individual.

  • Tempest45||

    So as long as the government is going to tax people, they might as well set up a large welfare state to help people, correct? That is the logic being used here.

  • Kevin47||

    And we shouldn't be concerned that the demand for organs alters the way the procedure is performed. Oh, and we should simply believe PP is opening itself to lawsuits in this manner absent any profit motive, and isn't using the reimbursement loophole to drive revenue when it uses every other means at its disposal to do so. Right.

    That said, Brown is correct that those who are genuinely pro-choice should have no problem with this. To which, I would respond that people should examine whether they are actually pro-choice. If you aren't okay with harvesting human beings for fun and profit, then you should be opposed to legal abortion.

    Maybe this will mark the turning point in which we stop drawing an arbitrary line between who may and may not be slaughtered. It would be cool if the alleged party of liberty got on board with the idea of liberty for all, but I guess its more important to poach the 6 lefties in this country who are open to Libertarian ideas by laying off their sacred cow.

  • Remnant Psyche||

    It's more like, as Notorious indicated above, "if you're pro-choice and yet you object to what PP is doing here, you should recognize your pro-choice stance may not be rooted strictly in robust logic." And most of those people would reply, "So what? Fuck you."

    No matter what we think about it, most people don't have all their beliefs and stances rooted entirely in logic. (Likely none do.) We are not strictly rational creatures. I doubt anyone would be happy if our laws were created with the assumption that we are strictly rational.

  • R C Dean||

    Even if you're personally opposed to abortion—even if you think it should be 100 percent illegal—as long as abortion is legal and happening, isn't it better that some good might come out of it?

    I would be very wary of this approach, myself.

    Not to Godwin the thread or anything, but how would you react to a German circa 1940-something saying, "Even if you are personally opposed to killing all the Jews, as long as its legal and happening, why would you be opposed to taking some of the property we confiscate from them and using it for charity?"

  • KerryW||

    Zeb mentioned earlier that what really makes a person is their mind, or more precisely, their brain. I disagree with his conclusions, but consider this:

    Many years ago I remember there was an article in Reason (the magazine, not the .com) by, I believe, Virginia Postrel, in which she argued that brain activity is often used at the end of life to determine if a person is still alive, and that a logical way of approaching abortion it is to use brain activity of the fetus to determine when it has developed enough to be classified as a person. If it has sufficient brain activity, no abortion. The time where this occurs, IIRC, is somewhere in the second-trimester. I find this criteria appealing since I think late abortion are barbaric but have a hard time feeling the same way about a clump of cells (certainly not just after conception).

    Of course the exact criteria would have to be hammered out, but the same is true for what legally constitutes the end of life. And different states might have different criteria (as they do now with end of life issues).

  • mfckr||

    This describes my position also.

  • Mr. Anderson||

    But it's not an exact comparison. A person who has lost function of their brain will never regain it. A early fetus certainly will.

  • mfckr||

    But it's not an exact comparison. A person who has lost function of their brain will never regain it. A early fetus certainly will.

    An early fetus likely will, yes.

    But then an embryo often will as well, and few are willing to grant that personhood somehow begins at conception. Else we'd be mourning every miscarriage as a tragic loss of life.

    I'd have to think on this to more fully flesh out a defensible position, but at the moment I think it's fair game to pull the plug on anything that has yet to attain conscious brain function.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Else we'd be mourning every miscarriage as a tragic loss of life.

    Some mothers do. My wife was dramatically affected by a miscarriage between the births of our third and fourth children. She grieved greatly. She's not the only woman who's grieved over a miscarriage, by any means.

  • mfckr||

    Quite true. I'm just saying that miscarriages typically don't carry the same sense of tragedy that accidental death or suicide of a child does. That sort of equivalence typically isn't made.

  • KerryW||

    "But it's not an exact comparison. A person who has lost function of their brain will never regain it. A early fetus certainly will."

    But until it does obtain the appropriate brain function (however you want to define it), it has potential, but hasn't achieved it yet. Until then, it makes sense to me that the mother's right to control her body trumps the fetus's potential.

    The brain function argument isn't perfect, but to me is the a good way to quantify (and, more importantly, legally define) the "when is it a person" conundrum. It won't sway the extremists on either side, but could become a good compromise that a majority can agree upon.

  • Grant||

    IMHO, abortion is such an emotional issue we can’t have a rational discussion. I threw in the towel a long time ago.

  • Zeb||

    You are a wise man. I'm a dope and allow myself to get sucked in from time to time.

  • Kevin47||

    People who say this tend to favor preserving the status quo. I hear this a lot from progressives. "We'll never agree so just let it go!"

    Would we say this about legal torture? Of course not.

  • Jim Kress||

    "Reason" has become irrational and nihilistic.

    If tissue from people who are going to die anyway might help bring about future medical progress, and they "fully consent" (just like we "consent" to the NDAA and SWAT), why not just drag them off the streets, murder them and take what you want? What's the problem?

    Murder justified by the "common good". "Reason" joins Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and the other "Titans" of History in their indifference to human life and rationalization of murder.

  • Cloudbuster||

    It's the seemingly inevitable endpoint of atheist societies. They're left, morally, in practice, with nothing more than some formulation of utilitarianism, and you can justify all manner of horrors in the guise of utilitarianism.

    Kant made a pretty good stab at an alternative with the categorical imperative, but the problem with people like Kant and ideas like that is that they don't live in the real world. They're not fit for an average man to use as moral guide, only for men who spend all their time sitting in their rooms staring at their navels and working out complex moral structures based on pure reason.

    The best you could end up with is something like a bunch of secular Talmudic scholars or Imams each weighing in on the precepts that they derived from pure reason, with the average man really not able to parse most of the reasoning and ending up just accepting it from their preferred scholar as revealed moral knowledge, but lacking any divine or eternal consequence for failure to adhere to it. And then what do you do if you're the ones in charge,to get people to adhere to your carefully reasoned moral code? You tell people "Obey or else, and you're right back at Mao: power comes from the barrel of a gun and the ones with the guns make the rules."

  • mfckr||

    You can be atheist without defaulting to base utilitarianism.

    I tend to see morality as something emergent from biological + cultural evolution. We can't know a priori what an optimal moral framework would be, but heuristics discovered along the way via practical experience can guide in the right directions. Hence how we get reasonable common law traditions, property rights, and other conventions over time that seem to be conducive to human prosperity.

    See Hayek on the topic: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~egick/rae.pdf

  • Cloudbuster||

    You can be atheist without defaulting to base utilitarianism.

    Individuals can. Societies can't. That's what I was getting at in my mention of Kant. There's nothing wrong with the moral system he outlines and it's not utilitarianism. It's simply not feasible for large populations.

    "conducive to human prosperity" is a utilitarian standard, you understand?

  • mfckr||

    "conducive to human prosperity" is a utilitarian standard, you understand?

    I'm not asserting it as moral end though, thus exempting it from utilitarianism. I'm basically stating that if societies are left alone, 'good' moral norms will emerge anyhow, but that we can't know in advance what those might be.

  • Baelzar||

    Do the people here who believe PP donating fetal organs will lead to Soylent Green or that abortion will lead to people in ovens also believe that gay marriage will lead to child marriage and the like?

    Your slippery slope isn't a slope at all; it's a cliff face.

  • Mr. Anderson||

    No, they believe that the fetus is a human with rights. To them saying abortions aren't a slippery slope to people in ovens is as convincing as saying eugenics won't lead to genocide. The starting position is repugnant, not just the place it "slippery slopes" to.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Exactly. Since I was the only person that mentioned Soylent Green in the thread -- in response to someone's phrase "fetus farms," I'll concur. It's not that it's a slippery slope argument. It's that when you're murdering babies for convenience and using their parts for medical research, you're not heading toward Soylent Green, you're already at Soylent Green. It was just a snarky way to make a moral equivalence between the disregard shown for human life by PP's practices and the similar disregard for human life shown in that dystopian film.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Pro-abortion rights libertarians have a disturbing tendency to regard rights as not being an inherent human quality in order to rationalize their position.

  • Intelligent Mr Toad||

    This article is absolutely right. Tossing fetal remains is wasteful and sets biotech back.

  • Cloudbuster||

    I bet you've got a lot of bits and pieces that would be useful for biotech research. Please report to the nearest processing facility. It's for the children.

  • Intelligent Mr Toad||

    Actually, I plan to will my body to a medical school for the first-years to dissect when I die. But just before I die I will have a message to them tattooed on my chest. It will read: "Med school sucks. Drop out while you still can!"

  • See Double You||

    So you get the choice of whether to donate your organs.

    The fetus, on the other hand, doesn't get to choose. The "choice" is forced upon it by others.

    So, Cloudbuster's analogy is still apt.

  • ||

    For some people killing is easy. For others harvesting the tissue of those killed is easy. I'm uncomfortable with either.

  • Issue Ninja||

    Who else used baby parts in scientific research?
    Don't bother to type your answer, it's in an article at the Federalist:

    #PlannedParenthood is trending because they sell cells of aborted fetuses for med research, so your baby doesn’t die from a bad vaccine…
    — silverfox (@silverfoxxmusic) July 14, 2015

    That’s completely different than this aspect of Nazi research: “At the German concentration camps of Sachsenhausen, Dachau, Natzweiler, Buchenwald, and Neuengamme, scientists tested immunization compounds and sera for the prevention and treatment of contagious diseases, including malaria, typhus, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, yellow fever, and infectious hepatitis.”

    On the one hand, you have scientists using human life to do medical research to try to develop better vaccines. On the other you have scientists using human to life to do medical research to try to develop better vaccines. Clearly, those things are entirely different.

  • Bobos||

    ^^
    This.

  • Bobos||

    I wonder if Reason realizes how many of us hate half their writers, ENB in particular, but stick around because the comment section is always 10,000 times more logical, articulate, and entertaining than the articles being commented on?

  • Cloudbuster||

    Wait, just a second! I have it on good authority that Reason<?i is "a leading libertarian website whose clever writing is eclipsed only by the blowhard stupidity of its commenting peanut gallery."

    http://popehat.com/2015/06/08/.....eason-com/

  • See Double You||

    Meh, I don't hate ENB. I actually really enjoy many of her articles and think she's one of Reason's best writers. I would definitely associate with her and would probably enjoy her presence.

    But she is dead wrong on abortion, and I'm happy to see so many commentors take her to task over her logic here.

  • tz||

    Serial Killers should target organ donors and insure their bodies are harvestable.
    The Nazis did learn a lot at the death camps.

    Just think if medicine was more adnvanced in 1858 - no civil war, abolition ended, so the south would have "non-persons", property, available for vivisection and other experimentation. Dredd Scott was worth more for parts!

  • AshleyJackson1989||

    Thank you so much for this article, and for clarifying that the women were aware of the donation. I was mortified that they had no idea this was happening, but that is clearly not the case. I, personally, can rest easier knowing that the embryos were not sold for profit, but donated by women who were consenting.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Typically insightful by Ms Brown. But I have yet to see anyone report when the video was made -- two weeks shy of a full year, stated in large text in the beginning.

    For me, that's the final straw. Pro-lifers are in mega-hysteria over this, but the pro-life group that made the video obviously sat on multiple federal crimes for nearly a full year. Dare we say "cover-up?"

    And how many babies died that year, who would have otherwise been born?. The number of body parts covered up is presumably much larger. If you haven't seen the video yet, the most mentioned parts are hearts, livers, lungs and heads.

    Too many discrepancies, including several unsupported claims.

  • Intelligent Mr Toad||

    No, Michael Hihn, there is no evidence of any federal crimes in the video.

    Donating fetal parts to medical research is not a crime. No evidence of selling nor of anyone making a profit.

    Sorry to burst your bubble.

  • Michael Hihn||

    (laughing at the goober) Pay attention.
    If the pro-life group claims proof of federal crimes, then they MUST also believe in a year-long cover-up, while --- and here's your clue -- "Pro-lifers are in mega-hysteria." Plus, ummm, the "insightful" overall article.

    Now, if I say your comment is mega-hysteria, would you assume I was supporting your view?

    For some people, the ridicule/satire can never be evident.

  • PM||

    Typically insightful by Ms Brown.

    Holy Christ. Talk about a ringing endorsement. Michael Hihn finds you insightful, ENB. Think long and hard about that.

  • See Double You||

    MH has no idea, none whatsoever, how someone could be pro-life. Seriously.

    He thinks the Ninth Amendment plainly allows abortion, and anyone who disagrees is some kind of fascist.

  • Michael Hihn||

    MH has no idea, none whatsoever, how someone could be pro-life. Seriously.

    (snicker) I'm pro-life myself, chump!

    He thinks the Ninth Amendment plainly allows abortion, and anyone who disagrees is some kind of fascist

    Shame on your lie. On what authority you reject the woman's unalienable right to Liberty? Why do you people refuse to answer that?

    The woman's unalienable right to liberty is precisely equal to the fetal child's unalienable right to life. Disagree? Check a dictionary for the definition of unalienable.

    Despite the bullshit of pro-life AND pro-choice extremists, this is an example of conflicting or competing rights, which you learned in high school. No rights are absolute. DUH.

    ONLY the Supreme Court is empowered to resolve such conflicts. And they are obliged to "establish a boundary" which best defends BOTH rights ... which drives the zealots and fanatics on both sides crazy.

    You goobers could have banned late-term abortions one day after Roe v Wade. But your puppetmasters care more about political power than saving babies.. How many babies have died because of pro-life extremists like you?

    Pay attention, chump. Once the fetus is viable, simply ban the abortionist from the room. Attempt a live birth. Just that simple. Any questions?

    (My tone is self-defense from aggression and bullshit, which also justifies ridiculing the attacker)

  • Michael Hihn||

    Holy Christ. Talk about a ringing endorsement. Michael Hihn finds you insightful, ENB. Think long and hard about that.

    You got me. I confess.
    I admit to frequently calling out dumbfucks, goobers and thugs like you.
    It's called self-defense.
    From aggression by cyber-bullies (and wood chippers)

    Your cult is a major reason that Cato found the libertarian brand rejected by even 91% of libertarians. For me, that makes your cult an obstacle to liberty, equal to Obama, Pelosi and Reid. Similar to those Republicans (even Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News) who eagerly disown Donald Trump.

    (Mike gets off his defensive soapbox. This is when they REALLY freak out!)

  • Negative Liberty||

    If you watch the video I think it is questionable whether Women are fully consenting.

    The form PP uses states that the procedure will not be altered in any way to obtain the human body parts however in the video Deborah Nucatola clearly states that she alters the procedure to obtain specific organs. So I think it is at least questionable whether the consent form actually covers the altering of a procedure to say obtain a liver or intact head of the child being "crushed" in the procedure.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Negative Liberty
    If you watch the video I think it is questionable whether Women are fully consenting.

    I watched it. You're either a brainwashed puppet ... or an intentional liar.

    The form PP uses states that the procedure will not be altered in any way to obtain the human body part

    Your pathetic lie is exposed, starting at 1:00 in the video.
    Also, why did the anti-abortion group sit on this video for a full year after filming it?

  • Negative Liberty||

    I am sure there are a number of reasons why footage might be filmed but not released until some later date. Does it bother you that it wasn't released earlier and if so why?

    It's all well and good to attack me personally but it doesn't address whether the consent forms used by PP cover what is actually taking place at PP and its affiliates. The form clearly states that the procedure will not be altered if the women consents to having her child's body parts donated. In the Video the good doctor explains how before the day begins they review the cases to determine best candidates for harvesting specific body parts and also ways to modify the procedure to ensure that specific organs remain intact. My point is that if the procedure is indeed being altered then PP is conducting procedures that exceed the scope of the consent granted.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Negative Liberty
    Does it bother you that it wasn't released earlier and if so why?

    Not me. It should bother YOU.

    Why did they allow such horrifying federal crimes to continue, several times a day, for a year? Do you care how many baby’s lives could have been saved? Does NONE of that bother you?

    I am sure there are a number of reasons why footage might be filmed but not released until some later date

    Name one -- equal to even ONE baby's life

    It's all well and good to attack me personally

    Personal attack? Or a I documented pathetic lie?

    but it doesn't address whether the consent forms used by PP cover what is actually taking place at PP and its affiliates.

    Why would I have to?

    The form clearly states that the procedure will not be altered if the women consents to having her child's body parts donated.

    Where?

    My point is that if the procedure is indeed being altered then PP is conducting procedures that exceed the scope of the consent granted.

    You lied about the video . Now I see you also lied about the PURPOSE of the form in the video. Where's your proof of this one? Are you just pasting in talking points, without even knowing where they fit?

  • PM||

    ENB draws on her considerable expertise for another incisive piece.

  • Michael Hihn||

    PM
    ENB draws on her considerable expertise for another incisive piece.

    ALMOST as wacky as this one:


    http://reason.com/blog/2015/07.....nt_5445185

  • See.More||

    If tissue from fetuses that are going to be aborted anyway might help bring about future medical progress, and the women having abortions fully consent, what's the problem?

    Well, see... slippery slope... or something...


    If you start allowing this sort of thing, then women will start selling directly and then they'll become fetal organ mills; intentionally get knocked up... abort... take the payday... repeat.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Umm, are you also one who says we're on the road to legalizing marriage with animals? People are NOT as dumb as you claim. Your insult is offensive. We're quite capable of making rational decisions. (gasp)

    And a constitution guarantees our right to do so, within our unalienable and/or God-Given rights. Can you not accept individual liberty?

  • See.More||

    Umm, are you also one who says we're on the road to legalizing marriage with animals?

    Umm... no.

    People are NOT as dumb as you claim.

    Funny. I never claimed anyone was dumb. But I will now... you're pretty fucking dumb for replying to me in w/o consulting your sarcasm meter.

    See, the author asked, "what's the problem?" I answered, tongue-in-cheekily w/ a sort of answer you I can imagine opponents would give. Imagine my disappointment to learn that I was not the first to allude to women becoming organ mills (see previous posts re: ranches).

    Now, fuck off!

  • Michael Hihn||

    Ummmml

    Paraphrasing: The author asked "what's the problem," so I repeated the exact type of answer we'd hear from the Christian Taliban ... with not even a hint it was sarcasm, Your statement was no more wacky than the marriage to animals meme.

    Imagine my disappointment to learn that I was not the first to allude to women becoming organ mills (see previous posts re: ranches).

    A mix of OBVIOUS satire and probable serious. None of the satire mimics the Taliban that I could see.

    Now, fuck off

    Now THAT is funny sarcasm

  • Jonathan G||

    How can anyone with commonsense endorse abortion!? It's killing a conscious human being! A society that doesn't recognize the right to life for every person born or not is doomed to collapse at some point.

  • Negative Liberty||

    I have always found it curious that so many libertarians are pro-abortion. As a basic fact of biology there is no question that abortion is the taking of a human life. If libertarians adhere to the non-aggression principle, where a person is free to do as they will so long as they do not use force against another person, the only way to justify abortion is to either deny biology or make an exception for the special circumstance of pregnancy, both of which seem problematic.

  • Michael Hihn||

    I have always found it curious that so many libertarians are pro-abortion.

    Pro-liberty and individual rights.

    If libertarians adhere to the non-aggression principle, where a person is free to do as they will so long as they do not use force against another person, the only way to justify abortion is to either deny biology or make an exception for the special circumstance of pregnancy, both of which seem problematic.

    You misdefine force. Can government compel you to wear pink panties on your head all day on Thursdays? Why not?

    What's problematic about equal, unalienable and/or God-given rights? Unalienable means Life and Liberty are precisely equal, along with all the other fundamental rights, which you have trouble dealing with on this page.

    Allow me to be blunt. We have two directly contradictory meanings for unalienable. Which one is illiterate ... yours or Jefferson's and the Founders'?

  • Michael Hihn||

    What of a society which does not defend a woman's unalienable right to Liberty? Are you aware that "unalienable" means Life and Liberty are precisely equal? Would you be okay with government suspending your liberty, to save the life of a total stranger 2000 miles away?

    NO rights are absolute, because fundamental rights can infringe on each other. Most of us learn, in school, about conflicting or competing rights, and the only way the conflict can be resolved to defend BOTH rights (because they're alienable)

  • Negative Liberty||

    Of course rights are not absolute and most libertarians say the limit is using force against another person or the non-aggression principle. In my view there is a pretty straightforward case of competing rights in an elective abortion situation. The mother wishes to have the liberty to kill her child and the child has the right to life. Now who is using force against whom? In my opinion the Mother would be the one using force to kill her child therefore I would limit her liberty in favor of protecting the child's life.

    context is everything in your society. If I were using my liberty to attempt to murder someone 2000 miles away then yes my liberty should be curbed to save the life of my intended victim.

  • Michael Hihn||

    there is a pretty straightforward case of competing rights in an elective abortion situation

    For just a few seconds.

    The mother wishes to have the liberty to kill her child

    If we reject the woman's right to Liberty, AND equal, unalienable and/or God-given rights.

    and the child has the right to life. Now who is using force against whom?

    Either way, the State.

    In my opinion the Mother would be the one using force to kill her child

    Or the state using force against the woman's liberty.

    therefore I would limit her liberty in favor of protecting the child's life.

    You employ force against the woman AND believe the right to life is NOT an absolute. See the problem?

    context is everything in your society.

    It helps me spot contradictions . And evasions like this:

    If I were using my liberty to attempt to murder someone 2000 miles away then yes my liberty should be curbed to save the life of my intended victim

    You say "yes," but not what I asked. Indeed, you cannot answer the question asked.

    So, rights are not absolute, except for your convenience
    Government may force you t wear panties on your head every Thursday.
    You refuse to say government can suspend your rights to save the life of a total stranger 2,000 miles away.
    Did I miss anything?

  • KerryW||

    "How can anyone with commonsense endorse abortion!? It's killing a conscious human being! A society that doesn't recognize the right to life for every person born or not is doomed to collapse at some point."

    Conscious? Certainly not from conception. Upstream on this thread I made the comment that brain activity could be used as the decision point for when a fetus has achieved "personhood", much in the way it is used to determine if someone at the end of life is still alive (in the legal) sense. This would be much more precise than the vague concept of viability.

    But once that brain activity has been established, I agree.

  • Michael Hihn||

    The woman has brain activity too. And an EQUAL right to Liberty.

  • bluecanarybythelightswitch||

    You're disgusting. Liberty doesn't include ending another life. What's the compromise if I claim some right to kill you and you claim a right to life? What if I agreed to a contract giving you permission to live in my home off of my dime for nine months and then reneged at month 8 and decided to kill you to get rid of you? Which rights are in competition?

  • Michael Hihn||

    You're disgusting. Liberty doesn't include ending another life.

    You're stupid. Unalienable rights are all precisely equal to each other.
    You check a dictionary, while I sit here laughing at you.

    Which rights are in competition?

    (laughing) Life and liberty.
    My turn. Where do you people get such dumbfuck analogies?

  • epsilon given||

    You keep on saying that "unalienable" means "equal". According to a quick Google search, I get

    in·al·ien·a·ble
    inˈālēənəb(ə)l/
    adjective
    unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor.
    "freedom of religion, the most inalienable of all human rights"
    synonyms: inviolable, absolute, sacrosanct; More

    I don't think inalienable means what you think it means; indeed, you seem to imply repeatedly that if my right to kill you (liberty) conflicts with your right to live, then liberty should win out, because both rights are equal...

  • TommyInIdaho||

    I'm reminded of Albert Finney as Poirot in the reveal scene of "Murder on the Orient Express" when he keeps exclaiming, "Evasion!"

  • Michael Hihn||

    Of what?

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    ENB: You didn't have to blog about this subject. And Reason could have presented a well-founded, libertarian article, taking the opposing view. But you did and Reason didn't. You both just took a left turn at the OB-GYN and kept walking.

    I was pro-choice - until I read your article. Now, I question those beliefs. Not my pro-choice beliefs. But my financial support to Reason.

  • Michael Hihn||

    I was pro-choice

    And full of shit ... as proven by your very next comment. And kinda dumb!

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Planned Parenthood needs to be exposed for who they are - blood-thirsty ghouls.

    Planned Parenthood doesn't care about women reproductive rights. They are steadfast in opposing OTC birth control pills. They lobby to keep the diaphragm from being available OTC.

    They lobby Congress so all birth control isn't as available to women as easily as OTC condoms.

    It is in their financial best interest to keep women dependent and attacked. And if women could just buy the b/c OTC, what would PP do then? OTC b/c may result in less unwanted pregnanies - and PP has an incentive to provide abortions too.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Planned Parenthood needs to be exposed for who they are - blood-thirsty ghouls.

    But it's okay to feed humans into wood chippers! FOR JESUS!!! And you just you are pro-choice!

    (planned Parenthood) are steadfast in opposing OTC birth control pills

    Dishonest. Women get the contraception free. I don't agree with that, and I support the Hobby Lobby ruling. But I ain't gonna use bullshit to make my case.

    And if women could just buy the b/c OTC, what would PP do then?

    Umm, they get more revenues from family planning counseling.

    OTC b/c may result in less unwanted pregnancies

    By increasing the cost?

    and PP has an incentive to provide abortions too.

    (laughing) Is that why they do so much contraception counseling?

    The REAL debate, for those who care, is WHY do Republicans support OTC birth control. Is it to eliminate the no-co-pay mandate of Obamacare? Legitimate question?

    Today's GOP are dumbfuck losers.. The NEUTRAL argument is that insurance is dumb for things that cost as little as $9 per month, but they pander to extreme socons. Proper INSURANCE coverage would likely include only high-cost birth control, like IUDs, with standard copays. Apparently, nether party wants you to know ... wait for it ... there are no co-pays to low-income women on Medicaid. (gasp)

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    The Woodchippin' for Jesus moniker was not my original handle. I changed it in response to the Woodchipper 6 investigation and added my own twinge of sarcasm, as a practicing atheist.

    You would have known that if you had some integrity. And you got off your lazy ass and did some research, before making fucktarded assumptions.

    I am done with you, fucktard. Slither on back to Salon and revel in your fucktardedness.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Woodchippin' 4 Jesus
    The Woodchippin' for Jesus moniker was not my original handle.

    Well. That changes everything

    This seems to be a hissy fit about me exposing your Planned Parenthood bullshit, immediately after your pro-choice bullshit. As you careen off the rails entirely.

    You would have known that if you had some integrity. And you got off your lazy ass and did some research, before making fucktarded assumptions.

    (smirk) We'll get to YOUR bat-shit crazy assumption, but for now ...

    Research WHERE? I tried Google.
    Searched "Woodchippin' 4 Jesus" - some comments from here, nothing about your handle.
    Searched "Woodchipper 6 investigation" -- nothing at all.
    So my intensive research confirms you're a blowhard and a cyber-bully.

    I am done with you, fucktard.

    DAMN. I look forward to your bullshit and bullying

    Slither on back to Salon and revel in your fucktardedness.

    Why do rightwing wackos assume only liberals disagree with their sainted pronouncements? Check the web archive of my published writing, the brief summaries on taxes, healthcare and federalism

    http://libertyissues.com/archive.htm
    Then wipe the drool from your chin and chest.

    Love and kisses, -Fucktard

    (my tone here is in response to aggression)

  • Michael Hihn||

    Woodchippin' 4 Jesus
    The Woodchippin' for Jesus moniker was not my original handle.

    Well. That changes everything

    This seems to be a hissy fit about me exposing your Planned Parenthood bullshit, immediately after your pro-choice bullshit. As you careen off the rails entirely.

    You would have known that if you had some integrity. And you got off your lazy ass and did some research, before making fucktarded assumptions.

    (smirk) We'll get to YOUR bat-shit crazy assumption, but for now ...

    Research WHERE? I tried Google.
    Searched "Woodchippin' 4 Jesus" - some comments from here, nothing about your handle.
    Searched "Woodchipper 6 investigation" -- nothing at all.
    So my intensive research confirms you're a blowhard and a cyber-bully.

    I am done with you, fucktard.

    DAMN. I look forward to your bullshit and bullying

    Slither on back to Salon and revel in your fucktardedness.

    Why do rightwing wackos assume only liberals disagree with their sainted pronouncements? Check the web archive of my published writing, the brief summaries on taxes, healthcare and federalism

    http://libertyissues.com/archive.htm
    Then wipe the drool from your chin and chest.

    Love and kisses, -Fucktard

    (my tone here is in response to aggression)

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  • Issue Ninja||

    "If you think logically about it really the abortion issue parallels the slavery issue.

    "Both slavery and abortion assert that one human being can own another human being. For slavery, it's the slave owner claiming that the slave is their 'property' to do with as they wish. They profit from the labor of another human being.

    "For abortion, the mother claims that her child is her 'property' and not a human being at all. She can do whatever she wants with her property...

    "The opposition to slavery and the opposition to abortion both originate from religious conservatives because the two issues are very similar. A key difference is that the society of 150-200 years ago was much more moral. Most people recognized the evil of slavery..."

    (from a comment on The Federalist) P.S. Fuck off, slavers.

  • bluecanarybythelightswitch||

    Forget the abortion issue - the real question is: how far along is Michael Hihn's brain tumor?

  • Michael Hihn||

    bluecanary's hissy fit because he was humiliated

    Forget the abortion issue - the real question is: how far along is Michael Hihn's brain tumor?

    Cyber-bullies start another thread, away from the one that shows how stucking fupid they are. (don't miss his batshit-crazy analogy to abortion!)

    http://reason.com/blog/2015/07.....nt_5449042

  • TxJack 112||

    In the past couple of months the concept of "Libertarian" has taken a dramatic shift to the left, hard left on this site. Some of the stories have made me question what prompted the shift but this one has help me come to the decision to delete the bookmark and ignore this site all together. There is no "reason" here. Only the same leftist drivel on other sites without any real purpose or thought.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Good. Pathetic lying trolls won't find much to cheer here..

  • Magua||

    If fetuses are not human lives why not grind them up for cat food. Perhaps that could yield higher profits than selling the parts for research. Free markets, free minds!

  • Michael Hihn||

    Hysteria for goobers. Bamboozled by a fraudulent video from its tribe,
    Perhaps ever eager to be manipulated.

  • Arthur45||

    Whoever wrote this is unaware of how ridiculous it is to use such tissue in this day and age.

  • Eman||

    practically trying to ban abortion doesn't work, and i have relatives and friends who have gotten abortions. im glad they could do so in hospitals. and i repeat myself, but anyone who's not conflicted about it isn't thinking about it hard enough

  • northerngalintx||

    "I'm referring to women deliberately getting pregnant so they can sell fetal tissue. Which I very much doubt would happen much if at all."

    I have to say that first of all, Zeb, I know a woman in Philadelphia that has given birth to 12 children during her addiction to crack cocaine. She collected food stamps on these children, while her mother who should have been enjoying the eve of her life was left to raise them because she was left them there. Do you think that the grandmother received any of those food stamps? No.... I'll give you one guess who did.... The crack head mother. Grandmother dies, children all become a ward of the state... No telling how much that mother profited off of their births.... All of which were born addicted to crack.

    I realize I am very late coming in on this thread, but thought I'd research what in the world fetal harvesting is.... I'm in shock.... I've always been pro choice, but appreciate whoever left the comment about DNA in answer to the question of when is a fetus considered a human. There has to be more restriction to the ability for a woman to kill her unborn child....I can't believe I am saying that, but enough is enough. This tip toe-ing around the real issue needs to stop. The fact of the child being in or outside the womb should have no bearing on that child's rights.... That is merely just a change in geography as far as I'm concerned.

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