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Late-Term Abortions Are Rare and 'Partial Birth Abortions' Illegal. Why Do They Keep Dominating the Reproductive-Rights Debate?

A few facts about late-term abortion in America...

In the U.S., most abortions are procured within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Yet our political discussions about reproductive freedom frequently center on late-term abortions. And so it went Wednesday during the final 2016 presidential debate, with a segment on Roe v. Wade quickly devolving into arguments about "partial birth abortion."

In Hillary Clinton's ideal world, "you can take a baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby," Donald Trump told debate viewers. "Based on what she is saying and based on where she's going and where she's been, you can take baby and rip the baby out of the womb. In the ninth month. On the final day."

As many people have pointed out, this is not true, at least not in any meaninful way. While there are a few states where a woman could theoretically get an elective abortion at any point in pregnancy, it would not be done via "intact dilation and evacuation"—the medical term for the procedure people refer to as "partial birth abortion"—or anythng like "rip[ping] the baby out of the womb." And while intact dilation and evacuation (D&X) is legal when a woman's life is at stake if she doesn't terminate the pregnancy, there's little chance a woman who's been wanting her pregnancy up until that point, or the doctor treating her, will choose D&X when there are less controversial and legally ambiguous ways to accomplish the abortion.

There's also little evidence that anyone actually chooses to terminate a pregnancy "at nine months." Just a little over 1 percent of U.S. abortions take place at any point after around five months pregnancy.

Trump's understanding of how abortions work, and when they are and aren't allowed, is severely lacking. But he's not alone: a lot of people seem to believe that U.S. laws permit any pregnant woman to abort a fetus at any time for any reason. So let's take a closer look at later-term abortion laws in America...

"Partial-birth abortion" is illegal in the U.S. Politicians who bring up "partial birth abortion" do so because they know it can spur strong and visceral reactions of disgust and moral indignation, not because it's especially relevant to U.S. health care, morals, or laws circa 2016. For 13 years, since 2003, federal law has prohibited physicians from performing D&X procedures, aka partial birth abortions, at any point in a pregnancy. Almost a decade ago, in 2007, the Supreme Court upheld the ban as constitutional. In addition, 19 states have their own laws against these sorts of abortions. While the federal ban does include an exception for situations where the mother's life is endangered, abortion doctors claim they avoid the procedure anyway, as there are other options with less liklihood of legal repercussions. Even before the federal ban, D&X procedures accounted for just 0.2 percent of all abortions, and most of these were performed before the point where a fetus can feel pain or survive on its own outside of the womb.

Late-term abortion is illegal in most of the U.S. A typical human pregnancy lasts 38 weeks after an egg is fertilized. Only seven states and the District of Columbia allow abortion at any point during a pregnancy, according to reproductive-research org the Guttmacher Institute. In the other 43 states, abortion is banned—with limited exceptions, such as for the safety of the mother—after the second trimester, after the point of fetal viability (when a fetus could live on its own outside the womb), or after a specified number of weeks (generally 20-24). When exceptions are required, many states require two physicians to sign-off on the procedure before it's permissable.

Very few U.S. women abort after 20 weeks pregnancy. Even with late-term abortion allowed in some parts of the country and under certain circumstances, nearly all abortions performed in the U.S. happen before the end of the second trimester. According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data from 2012, 65.8 percent of abortions took place within the first eight weeks of pregnancy, and 91.4 percent occurred within the first 13 weeks. Just 7.2 percent of abortions were performed between 14 and 20 weeks gestation, which means just 1.3 percent of abortions took place at or after 21 weeks pregnancy. And, from 2003 through 2012, the CDC saw a significant shift toward earlier abortions, with the percentage occuring within the first six weeks up 24 percent during the study period. The percentage of abortions occurring at or after 13 weeks, meanwhile, remained relatively consistently throughout the study period and never rose above 9 percent.

Late-term abortions are generally a last resort. While abortion opponents push the idea that women get late-term abortions because they change their minds last minute, or just can't be bothered to do it sooner—that they use late-term abortion "as birth control"—getting a surgical abortion is a serious, invasive, and expensive procedure, especially the later in pregnancy it takes place. Pregnancy itself is also quite difficult on women's bodies, and disruptive to their day-to-day lives. To believe there are women routinely putting their bodies through months of unwanted pregnancy, shelling out thousands of dollars, and undergoing serious surgery rather than use condoms or get an IUD or get an earlier abortion or whatever requires believing not just that most women are immoral or irresponsible but also, and simultaneously, wealthy, stupid, and masochistic. But abortion doctors, medical groups, and people who've gotten late-term abortions themselves all attest that these aren't decisions most women or medical professionals take lightly. Abortions procured in the third-trimester generally involve situations where the mother's life or health is in jeopardy, the fetus will die outside of the womb anyway, or the fetus is found to have a severe genetic abnormality that wasn't previously apparent.

Trump was OK with "partial birth abortion" in 1999. "Would a President Trump ban partial birth abortion?" Tim Russert asked the future Republican nominee on Meet the Press in 1999. "Look, I am very pro-choice," said Trump, before eventually answering that no, he would not ban partial-birth abortions. Trump apparently reconsidered shortly thereafter: In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, he writes that after learning more about the procedure, he would indeed support a ban. As for what he told Russert, Trump explains that his "pro-choice instincts" led him to say no.

Photo Credit: PETE SOUZA/KRT/Newscom

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  • Florida Hipster||

    So you're saying abortion is a dead issue and we should stop discussing it? I'll drink to that.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I've noticed the dems have reverted back to abortion as the "new" reason that you just must vote for Hillary. How many decades can Roe v Wade which has zero chance of being overturned be the most important issue of the presidential election.

  • Florida Hipster||

    Slavery is still an issue, so...never?

  • AlmightyJB||

    I'll never give up my army of fetus slaves.

  • Florida Hipster||

    I would like a charcoal rendering of that image.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Racist

  • AlmightyJB||

    Lol

  • ||

    Roe v Wade which has zero chance of being overturned...

    Maybe. Yet, like the Second Amendment, it is in danger of being effectively overturned by a million regulations. Something for pro-2A folks, those who are intellectually honest at least, to consider when they ally themselves with the fetus fanciers.

  • Gadfly||

    Something for pro-2A folks, those who are intellectually honest at least, to consider when they ally themselves with the fetus fanciers.


    So allying with people who recognize that incremental regulation can effectively ban one thing will somehow endanger a cause fighting against incremental regulation with the intent of effectively banning another thing? Pro-2A folks face greater danger from allying with people who don't recognize the tactic of "death by a thousand cuts" than from people who do.

  • DesigNate||

    I know it shouldn't be, but it's amazing to me that progs can't seem to understand that if over-regulating abortion can de facto ban it, over-regulation of anything else can do the same.

  • Paulpemb||

    Their leaders, at least, do understand this. They're just not being honest about their intent when they propose over-regulating things they don't like.

  • ForcaShqipnia||

    I find abortion morally reprehensible at any stage (aside from rape, saving the mother's life and/or with a fetus that will be horrible damaged in some way at birth), though I do not support law against it when it occurs early on (as most do). So no, as a pro-2A person I will not question my support of fetus (a human in an early stage of development) fanciers in general.

    I am disgusted with the leftist rhetoric that the human growing within the mother is not an individual human being. One who had no choice in being put where it was (thus not committing an aggression). I hate how it is highlighted merely a a "woman's choice". When the left will then demand child support from fathers who want no part of the child's life. I dislike the treatment of the fetus as if it is merely a parasite. Most pto-abortion arguments can apply to infants or even toddlers other than how it is easier to give an infant or toddler up for adoption.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    I am disgusted with the leftist rhetoric that the human growing within the mother is not an individual human being.

    There is no legal or moral obligation to protect the life of human beings, the legal and moral obligation is to protect persons. A person is a human being with a mind (or a "human soul", if you want to use the old Catholic view). I consider people who confuse human beings and persons to be psychopaths (or,"idolaters" in traditional Christian terminology).

  • ForcaShqipnia||

    Beings that will, in most cases, be persons through natural growth. Anyway, the mind? In which case said argument means we have no legal or moral obligation to protect the life of infants and toddlers. The leftist rhetoric is disgusting.

  • MarioLanza||

    So we kill Alzeimer's patients?

    Stupid article. Why does rape incest victims come up from the other side?

    Both are to show the untenability of the other side's position.

  • Johnny Hit n Run Paulene||

    I hope this doesn't turn into an abortion thread. Those are the worst!

  • Florida Hipster||

    I tried Johnny, but my call to stop discussing it went unheeded. Well, time to drink.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Your jib...I do like the cut of it.

  • The Fusionist||

    "But abortion doctors, medical groups, and people who've gotten late-term abortions themselves all attest that these aren't decisions most women or medical professionals take lightly."

    Yes, it's established law that the severity of a killing is greatly mitigated if the killer thought about it a lot beforehand.

    /sarc

  • obijuan||

    People have an amazing capacity to rationalize the things they would like to do.

  • Robert||

    What's the dif between rationaliz'n & consider'n? A few things we'd like to do are things we're born w, like tasting sweet things, but for human beings most things we like or dislike are for reasons having to do w our experience & what we anticipate. How does one decide whether to abort? It's not an inherently pleasing activity. Rationaliz'n implies a cover story over the real reasons, but could you give an example of where that comes up in many people's decision to abort?

  • Robert||

    No, but I get in these habits from the char limit here, which still cramps my style sometimes.

  • Tyler.C||

    If i remember correctly ENB once defended her stance on abortion by saying that the principles of libertarianism don't define what a human is-so you can't say anything about aggression. Completely ignoring that that argument can be used to justify any practice. "Well there's no libertarian definition that says blacks are people, so we best not interfere with the white property owners." I don't require her agreement, but i wish she would think mote than three seconds about something.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Oh for fuck's sake. No one is trying to claim person hood is limited to certain races. There is disagreement, however, about when a fetus homesteads personhood. And the NAP does not address this. That is what ENB meant, and that is why the NAP is not sufficient for a coherent ideology.

  • Pat (PM)||

    Good thing ENB has people like you around to articulate what she actually means when she writes something completely different. I wonder if she's incredibly stupid or just incredibly bad at writing.

  • Azathoth!!||

    There is disagreement, however, about when a fetus homesteads personhood

    No, there isn't. Someone who kills a pregnant woman or who causes damage or death to a fetus can be charged with murder for the death of that fetus.

    Thus, in law, life, rights bearing life, begins at conception.

    Unless the mother decides to end it. And then we all pretend that what would have been a life that one could go to jail for ending a second prior to the mother deciding to abort now never had those rights at all.

  • ThomasD||

    Well yeah, when you put it that way.

    But hey, it's rare! So no biggie.

  • lookyloo||

    The ONLY reason they can be charged with 'murder' or any form of manslaughter in such cases is because of anti-abortionists pushing such laws onto the books.

    If you use "it's against the law" as some position of strength-to-your-stance you are generally either a moron or a scammer.

    Heck, to use a dramatic opposite-example, it was NOT against the law for a husband to rape his wife not too long ago.
    We all know of dumb, outdated, or agenda'd laws on the books - and your 'murder' claim is an agenda'd one.

    But, I will say, there should be a punishment for someone else ending a pregnancy against-the-will of the mother/carrier (before viability) in the form of a fine or some other minor punishment...
    ... just like it how it is in the Christian Bible (Exodus 21:22-25)

  • CLM1227||

    Because when a woman survives having her baby cut out of her by a psychopathic woman at 6 months pregnant, a reasonable person would like to see the psycho jailed for homocide and not just assault.

    Which was actually a case.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Yes, it's established law that the severity of a killing is greatly mitigated if the killer thought about it a lot beforehand.

    Yes, actually, it is: motivation, preparation, and justification are the primary distinctions between military action, justified homicide, manslaughter, and murder.

    Sometimes, medical procedures come down to making a decision between two lives.

  • Jimothy||

    Show me a case where premeditation mitigated the severity of a killing. It's usually the opposite.

  • AlmightyJB||

    OT: people with autism shouldn't be allowed to drive. The dude pulled over with Toutettes lucky to be alive.

    http://nbc4i.com/2016/10/20/fa.....d-for-ovi/

  • Florida Hipster||

    So we're just going to ignore that he was driving like a drunk because he wasn't drunk?

  • ||

    There is no real mention of why the guy was pulled over in the first place. Weaving? Unsteady speed? I cant really make a call on this one without seeing dash cam footage of the guy's driving skills. Well, I can make a partial call - they should not have arrested him.

  • Florida Hipster||

    When officers brought Page into the police cruiser, he told them he was autistic. In dash cam video obtained by NBC4, Page and the officers are heard talking about his disability.

    "It may be that medical condition," one officer said. "But we're not doctors. We can't testify to that. We have to go off the clues that we have."

    Page responded, "Yeah, that's fine."

    This seems pretty reasonable to me. Although I don't know why they didn't use a breathalyzer.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Right. Dublin isn't the place to break any traffic laws. I got two tickets within two weeks a few years back there.

  • ||

    His driving may have given them suspicions but after they talked to the guy...cops are pretty good at detecting when someone has been drinking.

    About ten years ago I was the designated driver on St. Paddy's day. I am always the designated driver because I refuse to have anything to drink if I am not at home and staying home. After dropping the last ones off I started home and had to pass through a traffic check. There must have been two dozen people sitting on the side of the road out of their vehicles and sporting very long faces while cops were taking turns giving them sobriety tests.

    I pulled up to the cop in the road, rolled my window down and he asked if I had had anything to drink. "Not even a drop" is all I said. Without hesitation he called to the second cop that was directing people to pull over and said "Let this one through". I still wonder how he was able to tell so quickly the difference between stone cold sober and even mildly buzzed.

    I think these guys could tell the difference between buzzed and autistic. They arrested him to cover their asses and just figured the court would work things out.

  • AlmightyJB||

    You and your Jedi mind tricks.

  • Florida Hipster||

    I'm not usually one to defend police, but from the exchange it didn't seem like they were trying to be dicks as much as CYA. Maybe the guy was driving so poorly they didn't want to let him back on the road, but knew arresting him for a disability would cause them problems. I agree, more information needed.

  • gaoxiaen||

  • gbear||

    "Partial-birth abortion" is illegal in the U.S., so is speeding.

  • Hugh Akston||

    "I know this could cost me the career I've spent half of my life pursuing, but I just can't...stop...killing..." ::plugs in stick blender::

  • ||

    The last I remember reading there are more back alley abortions in latin america in a month than there are in the US in a year. Abortion is illegal in all latin american countries. Why do we never hear about that?

  • The Fusionist||

    We never hear about back-alley abortions?

    The rule of law has a bit of a problem in Latin America.

    Not that we should complain after Hillary and her server.

  • ||

    I meant that we don't hear about the extraordinary numbers of abortions in latin america, places where abortion is illegal. I am not laying this on you Eddie but I knew you would bite. I was alluding to the fact that those places tow the lion officially for pro-life advocates and so we don't hear from pro-lifers about the slaughter that goes on there. I am trying to point out that for many pro-lifers the issue is more about telling people what to do than actually saving lives.

  • Azathoth!!||

    We don't hear about it for the same reasons that no one talks about how most countries in the western world have abortion laws far more strict than those in the US--because it disrupts the narrative.

  • The Fusionist||

    PROCHOICE TALKING POINT #1: "These prolifers don't do anything for these women."

    PROCHOICE TALKING POINT #2: "We have to close down all these prolife pregnancy centers!"

  • Hank Phillips||

    Every nine minutes a Brazilian woman is killed because of guys like the Christian National Socialists posting here to enlist other men into their efforts to coerce American women into that situation. The Speaker of the House, an insane televangelist who blocked regulations enabling rape victims to receive forensic DNA exams and pregnancy prophylaxis--then impeached the lady President, was jailed for corruption a couple of days ago. In Catholic countries, killing the mothers is evidently a preferred method of population control.

  • The Fusionist||

  • obijuan||

    That's like being concerned about back alley muggings with the concern being for the mugger.

  • obijuan||

    Murder at large is rare. Serial killers rarer still. Not sure what rare has to with anything or why it's an excuse to take a pass.

  • Tyler.C||

    ENB always comes up with tenuous defenses of her abortion stance. As i stated above, she claimed once that since libertarian principles don't clarify what makes something human, we can't use the NAP in this case- even though that line of reasoning applies to any situation- and can be used to justify anything.

  • ace_m82||

    +1

  • GILMORE™||

    Can this wait till later today? I just made scrambled eggs

  • The Fusionist||

    Did you break the eggs to make the omelette?

  • Swiss Servator||

    "If meat is murder, are eggs rape?"

    /P.J. O'Rourke

  • AlmightyJB||

    I'm going to have to start enjoying eating eggs more.

  • Swiss Servator||

    STEVE SMITH ENJOY RAPE-OMELETTE EVERY MORNING!

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    How are eggs rape? You don't stick your hand up the cloaca to retrieve an egg, unless you are SIV. He even likes to check the roosters, cause you never know.

    Horse riding, on the other hand, is slavery.

  • AlmightyJB||

    But aren't the aborted babies the lucky ones?

  • SugarFree||

    Yes, in the sense that they will never have to listen to Eddie talk out his ass on an abortion thread.

  • ||

    [Stands and applauds loudly.]

  • SugarFree||

    What are journalists everywhere going to do when Trump goes back to just being a has-been celebrity that says stupid shit on Twitter?

  • AlmightyJB||

    There's plenty of republican politicians to go around.

  • Florida Hipster||

    I predict Rubio will win, so we can still make fun of his weird habits of drinking water and fishing.

  • obijuan||

    Do you further predict that he will renege on his promise to serve a full term?

  • Florida Hipster||

    To be honest, I don't follow Rubio. I just remember him being mocked for drinking water and painted as a fat cat for having a fishing boat.

  • spqr2008||

    And the hilarious part is that he could easily afford a fishing boat, given that the average Congressional Salary is $174K/yr.

  • SugarFree||

    Mere pikers compared to Trump, who gives them an embarrassment of riches when it comes to stupidity, rage-driven brain-farts and unrepentant denial of recorded facts.

  • obijuan||

    A movement has been started just like it was with Ron Paul (that Rand squandered).

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    A movement needs some principles other than the worship of an authority figure.

  • westernsloper||

    Reply to every stupid thing he says on twitter?

  • ||

    You mean between going down on Clinton sessions? Pick blonde curly hair out of their teeth I imagine.

  • The_Hoser||

    Their jobs?

  • westernsloper||

    "fetal viability (when a fetus could live on its own outside the womb)" What does that mean? Get a job and feed itself?
    By that definition we can kill kids until they are maybe 5, 6 or 7 years old when they reach the age one is viable to scrounge in a dumpster. Thank you for the clarification.

  • obijuan||

    Yes. They like to sidestep what pregnancy is, acting is if it is not a unique relationship between mother and child.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "Yet our political discussions about reproductive freedom frequently center on late-term abortions."

    Why? Same reason we argue about only the close calls in sports. That's where the controversy is.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Forget it, Tom. It's ENBtown.

  • nova3930||

    The extremes are where the most emotional reaction comes in. In general I find abortion to be a despicable practice but one that should be legal for a variety of reasons.

    That said, I have a severe aversion to the people who think it should be legal "anytime, anywhere, anyhow." I believe that the transition point from abortion to murder is when a birth can happen and the child can have a reasonable chance at survival. That's a pretty reasonable stance I think. The "anytime before the child takes a breath" people really bother me.

    My oldest son was technically premature at 36 weeks. He's happy healthy and never had any problems. The anytime people would argue it would be OK to have aborted him and that is quite frankly disturbing.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    How dare you post a reasonable position on abortion.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Fine, simply inform the Supreme Court they need to check that whatever they think proper needs to be personally vetted by a mansplainer named nova3930. Now can we get back to repealing laws (backed by deadly force) that force sane, nonmystical individuals to act against their will?

  • gaoxiaen||

    It's hard to get upset over a clump of cells that that has a 30-50% chance of ending without outside interference.

  • Swiss Servator||

    HAHAHAHA!

    I just contacted Reason about a password reset on my account....I get back

    "Thank you for your email. I will be out of the office on maternity leave until January. I will have limited access to email during this time."

    Then directing me to marketing for further assistance.

    Or the POC's personal gmail if it is an emergency.

    NEEDZ MOAR INTERNZ!

  • Florida Hipster||

    Two questions. Where the hell does reason get off offering maternity leave and what libertarian woman doesn't abort her fetus? For shame.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Somewhere the Koch Brothers scowl...

  • Robert||

    For approximately the same reason the euphemism "a woman's right to choose" or even just "choice" is so amusingly used in a you-know-what-I-mean way.

  • Just Say'n||

    Do you think that most people are just perturbed by the fact that the US has the most permissive abortion laws in the industrialized world (only China, North Korea, Vietnam, and Canada share the same standards)? In most parts of Europe the practice is restricted beyond 12 weeks and even in the UK, where the rules are more lenient than continental Europe, the restriction is 24 weeks and to procure an abortion beyond that time frame requires approval from a board of medical ethicists and is only allowed in extreme exceptions. In the US, regardless of the state, it must be allowed up until quickening if the doctor determines it may cause emotional harm.

    I'm not saying that we emulate Europe, to an extent, as the Europeans also have more restrictions on speech and gun ownership (with most countries not even allowing it). But, it seems strange to ignore the fact that no constitutional right is so protected and allowed to be so free of restrictions as abortion.

  • Florida Hipster||

    What drives me nuts is Roe v. Wade is about privacy so abortion is sacrosanct, but the NSA spying on us is okay-Dokay.

  • Just Say'n||

    Agreed. 'Privacy' only seems to pertain to your bedroom habits and the consequences that follow. It is slowly becoming the only right left in the Constitution (wherever it is hiding).

  • Robert||

    That's because the federal Constitutional understanding encompassed by that word, "privacy" is really a narrow matter relating to procreation, and things that can be said to be ancillary or resembling it. And if you read the Griswold opinion, you see it's deduced from the fact that we wouldn't be here if our parents hadn't reproduced, so neither would the Constitution, therefore the Constitution must embody the condition that made it possible. Privacy in a broad sense has never been litigated in such a way as to lead a federal judge to decide it was a necessary precondition to the Constitution.

  • Just Say'n||

    This is not the logic underlying the Griswald decision. Griswald was decided the way it was, in part, because the Court had been so monumentally wrong in Bell, whereby they held that forced sterilization was good (the most overrated justice ever, Oliver Wendell Holmes, famously declared in the majority opinion: "three generations of imbecile is enough"). Further, the Court was embarrassed by the fact that Nazis at Nuremburg used the rationale in Bell to defend their own forced sterilization program. There was a fascinating article about it in Liberty (I miss the print publication) years ago.

  • Robert||

    You saying it was a make-up call?

  • Hank Phillips||

    The National Socialist platform of 1920 declares for an altruistic Christian Germany, with censorship laws designed to protect their "feelings." A freethinker over at nobeliefs.com keeps records of these details. The school I attended published translations of Nazi ideology before 1933. Much of the content was eugenics and religious homilies popular during the TR and Taft Administrations. The fellows hanged at Nuremberg were, like the Carolina cops who shoot teens in the back today, or who shot suspected beer transporters in the back in the 1920s, following orders and enforcing "the" faith-based law.

  • westernsloper||

    This.........sumthin sumthin constitutional right to choose sumthin sumthin

  • ||

    What drives me nuts is Roe v. Wade is about privacy so abortion is sacrosanct, but the NSA spying on us is okay-Dokay.

    You've got an absolute right to privacy for the first 20 weeks after inception.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Said the one male male bystander to another. Is that a "curbside observation?"

  • Robert||

    Probably because it's recent & hasn't had much time to erode.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Canada's courts struck down ALL laws sending men with guns to order women one way or the other on the subject. So according to such beacons of rationality as Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Oral Roberts, Billy (you-won't-get-there-by-logic) Graham, Eugenio Pacelli, Garner Ted Armstrong and the like, you boys are burnin' daylight whin you could be staging a Fenian invasion of godless Canada so warrior for the babies up there. Just order the Mounties to step aside because there's some physicians and Jezebels needin' to be taught a lesson.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Do you not get that this--

    at least not in any meaninful way. While there are a few states where a woman could theoretically get an elective abortion at any point in pregnancy

    Makes this untrue--

    As many people have pointed out, this is not true,

    It tells us this is an article about semantics.

    Okay..

    Anti-abortion people see abortion as a type of murder. They're not looking at it as a set of medical procedures. They're looking at it as murder. A person is being killed.

    That's it.

    Sane rational people are AGAINST murder. Even pro-choice people. A lot of them even think that causing a woman to abort--or killing a woman while she's pregnant results in one or two murders, respectively.

    But then, pro-choice people do something weird. They decide that one type of murder isn't murder--if it is the mother choosing to end the nascent life within her.

    And they invent all kinds of explanations why this is okay--the kind we see above in this article.

    But they all boil down, to anti-abortion people, to 'it's okay for mothers to kill their children in this fashion'

    If a DAD tried it--if a dad did something that he knew would cause a fetus to abort--it would be murder. But a mom?

    So you see--anti-abortion people are trying to stop murder

    And pro-abortion people are trying to redefine a specific type of volitional killing--something we normally call 'murder' as anything else.

    Semantic games.

  • Azathoth!!||

    They call 'murder' 'murder'

    The simplest definition of murder from Merriam-Webster--"the crime of deliberately killing a person" Longer definitions add 'unlawful'--but that part is the whole issue, no?

    And then there's the question of 'person'.

    Is it a person?

    Yes. The law is quite specific on this. If someone kills a pregnant woman or causes a pregnant woman to involuntarily abort, they are tried for murder of that fetus.

    Pro-abortion people assert that the fetus ceases being a person if the mother doesn't want it.. If she does, it's a precious baby and anyone who hurts it should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law--but if she doesn't she can just pay someone to murder it.

  • Jordan||

    Yes. The law is quite specific on this. If someone kills a pregnant woman or causes a pregnant woman to involuntarily abort, they are tried for murder of that fetus.

    The law also says that pi is 3.14 in Indiana. Whether or not a fetus is a person is a moral question.

  • Azathoth!!||

    No, Jordan, the law says that if someone kills a pregnant woman they can be charged with TWO homicides..

    Likewise, the law says that someone who harms a fetus inside a woman can be charged for causing that harm--up to and including homicide if the fetus dies--particularly if they knew of it's existence.

    That is the law.

    The law ALSO seems to say that this same person you can go to jail for killing isn't a person at all if their mother has paid someone to kill them and can be killed at whim.

    Do you not see the problem with that?

  • Jordan||

    Do you not see the problem with that?

    Do I have a problem with hypocrisy? Sure. But appealing to laws to settle a moral question is pointless.

  • ||

    The law also says that pi is 3.14 in Indiana.

    It wasn't 3.14 but various incorrect approximations and never mentions pi directly, 3.2 being one of the most explicit. The bill was aborted failed to pass anyway and wasn't explicitly about defining pi as much as (inaccurately) describing a way to solve an (impossible) mathematical truth. The bill was attempted to make the knowledge freely available to anyone (as opposed to publishing it in a journal for fee). It's actually a pretty good story.

    Personally, as a libertarian, the Committee of Swamplands sounds like a pretty useful idea.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Whether or not any human being is a rights bearing entity is a moral question. Does that line of dismissal of the issue get you anyplace you really want to be?

  • Jordan||

    Does that line of dismissal of the issue get you anyplace you really want to be?

    It gets me to the place where appealing to law to settle the issue of abortion is meaningless, which was my point. I'm glad you agree.

  • Mickey Rat||

    It hets you to the place where appealing to the law to settle any conflict of rights is impossible. It is an explicitly anti-rights viewpoint.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Reading this thread convinced me to maintain my ambivalence.

  • NoDakMat||

    How about these, Jordan:
    Whether or not a black man is a person is a moral question.
    Whether or not a woman is a person is a moral question.
    Whether or not a Jew is a person is a moral question.

  • Jordan||

    And?

    Those are indeed moral questions.

  • Mickey Rat||

    So if any those types of people cannot appeal to the law to protect their rights, then they do not have rights under the color of law.

  • Azathoth!!||

    No. They're not.

    Empirically, blacks, women and jews are people.

    There is no morality that allows them to not be.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I think that is an urban legend, however;

    The issue Azathoth seems to have is that the law says one thing if the woman wants the fetus and another if she doesn't. I think a strong argument can be made that either a fetus is a seperate life or it isn't.

    IF the Indiana law says that Pi is 3.14 (I believe the legend is actually of a state that asserted by law that Pi was 3) and it doesn't then say that it equals something else on an individual whim, then at least the law is consistant.

  • Azathoth!!||

    You're not getting what I'm saying.

    The law says that if someone kills a pregnant woman they can be charged with TWO homicides..

    Thus the law--not pro-lifers or pro-choicers-- recognizes a fetus as being "a rights bearing entity". In this instance .

    And the law also says that someone who harms a fetus inside a woman can be charged for causing that harm--up to and including homicide if the fetus dies--particularly if they knew of it's existence.

    So in this instance harming or causing a fetus to abort is murder.

    That is the law.

    But the law ALSO seems to say that this same person you can go to jail for killing isn't a person at all if their mother has paid someone to kill them and can be killed at whim.

    See? The only difference between 'murder'--as noted by law, not activists or deliberate loading of words-- and 'abortion' is the will of the mother.

    The state recognizes that unborn person as a person except in this one instance.

    Do you not see the problem with that?

  • Azathoth!!||

    So you don't call murder 'morally bad'?

    Most of humankind does. If you're not one of those who find the taking of someone's life without their consent to be a bad thing then I'm not sure you have an opinion that anyone needs to listen to--you'd be a distant outlier.

    Finding murder to be bad isn't a 'semantic thing' our laws dreamed up, it's a fairly universal stance.

    What I'm noting is that this very thing--the destruction of a fetus--is considered murder and punished just like any other murder unless the person who pays someone to destroy the fetus is the mother and wants it.

    The same thing happens in both cases--a fetus is destroyed. The same thoughts may go through the minds of the people destroying the fetus.

    But one gets a pass because she's the fetus mother?

  • Azathoth!!||

    If you and I were friends and I gave you $1000, would that be bad? If you and I didn't know each other and you mugged me and took $1000, would that be bad? In both cases the end result is a transfer of $1000 from me to you.

    In one case you give willingly

    and

    In one case I take forcibly.

    These are not the same.

    Whereas--

    In one case the perpetrator destroys the fetus because it will ruin their life

    and

    In one case the perpetrator destroys the fetus because it will ruin their life

    But one is the father, and one is the mother. One is legal, one isn't

    exact same action, exact same motive, exact same outcome--different re-action.

  • BiPolarMoment||

    Shroedinger's Baby?

  • Bubba Jones||

    Schroedinger's Fetus

  • Robert||

    Not me. I consider homicide to be murder only if the victim/target/object desires not to be killed. I don't think that's the case w abortions, because the human entity being killed doesn't mind it. Same as killing most animals, if done painlessly, & plants.

  • Azathoth!!||

    "I don't think that's the case w abortions, because the human entity being killed doesn't mind it"

    And you know this how?

  • Robert||

    1st of all, in any legal matter, burden of proof should be on the one who asserts harm. How do you know it does mind?

    Aside from that, the reason people mind being killed (or being subject to being killed in the future) is that they have some idea of continuing life, & desire to do so. Fetuses couldn't have such knowledge. Same w the vast majority of living things of various types, according to what we assume about cogitation.

  • Mickey Rat||

    So where is the point in the life cycle that a hunan being minds being killed?

  • Robert||

    I don't know exactly, but it's well after birth, both for a human being & specifically for a Hunan.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Which wouldmake killing infants fair game, which only sociopaths find acceptable. You need a standard which as ctually r ed lates to th ed law and a principle.

  • Robert||

    Sociopaths aren't about reform.

  • DarrenM||

    How can you possibly know if a person minded being killed or not if that person is dead?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Mystical altruists believe that having men with guns offer to kill doctors and pregnant women to make them obey the urgings of Divine Revelation and Creation Science. Examples have to be made of a few scofflaws to get the survivors of the demonstration to obey. Yet those who urge this behavior are [get this!] NOT sociopaths, but rather... um... sociophiles?

  • Azathoth!!||

    I'm not ascribing ANYTHING to the fetus. YOU are. You're saying that it doesn't mind getting killed.

    I'm just talking about law.

    The crap I'm talking about is all part of our vast legal code.

  • Robert||

    Whatever, we're reformers, so we're about what the legal code should be, not what it is.

  • Hank Phillips||

    "Our?" Kimo Sabe?

  • ForcaShqipnia||

    Same with infants and toddlers. There is a difference between zygotes, fetuses, infants and toddlers and plants/animals.

    The human, in its early stages, will become sentient, will have an idea of continuing life in early childhood, naturally. Plants and most animals, will never in their life become sentient or have an idea of continuing life.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "because the human entity being killed doesn't mind it."

    How do you know this? Can you prove it in a way that the Anti-Abortion side will accept emotionally? Because if you can't, then as an argument it's throwing gasoline on a fire.

  • Robert||

    Ask them what they think about meat. Does it boil down to speciesism?

  • Hank Phillips||

    The 14th Amendment says: "All persons born..."
    It doesn't say "All ova fertilized..."
    I stand with Robert Heinlein that women are in charge of this, and have every right to look the issue over and decide whether to be burdened with it or not. Oddly, aside from doting wannabee grannies, only mystics feel this compulsion to coerce the fair sex into behavior they would not voluntarily engage in, Constitution be damned. I feel pity for the whole lot of such pricks, but it is exactly the same amount of pity I have for rapists and lynch mobs. American women are fortunate to have Canada (no abortion cranks) next door and the Second Amendment all over These Very States. But Mexico is also next door, and I'd chip in for bus fare for you fellows who want to live under the Pope iv Rome instead of the 14th Amendment.

  • Intraveneous Woodchipper||

    Hank, are you on drugs? Because none of your various posts in this thread can be said to make a coherent point.

    (If yes, you really should be sharing them!)

  • Azathoth!!||

    I thought it was 'you can eat a dead baby'

    or

    'you bounce ON a trampoline'

  • gaoxiaen||

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "Why?" you ask. For the same reason that odious cunt* tried to paint the D C total ban on guns as an attempt to protect "toddlers" from "improper storage".

    *You know who.

  • pyroseed13||

    This article sort of misses the point. So what if late-term abortions are only 1% of all abortions? If people think the fetus has a right to life that far into the pregnancy, then the number doesn't matter. And instead of talking about the laws on the books, why not examine how the laws are actually enforced? I've read that the definition of the "health of the mother" has been stretched to include any emotional stress the woman might experience.If the law can be gamed this way then it doesn't really matter what the law is.

  • Robert||

    Numbers matter because more people are interested in issues that affect greater #s. Why wouldn't that be as true of abortions as it is of elections, sports, etc.? Far more people care about the result of a NFL game than of a game in a kiddie league.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Precisely--that's why the nation ignores the relatively tiny number of unarmed black people killed by police in favor of the warzone like death tolls racked up by gangs in nearly every inner city in the country.

  • Robert||

    No, gang violence has been thought of as a big deal for a long time.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Yeah--that's why BLM has a permanent protest going on outside each gang hang out, why gangsta rappers don't get any sales or airplay, why black activists don't consider you racist for noting that they're ignoring thousands of dead to be outraged at tens.....

    oh, wait....scratch that last.

  • Robert||

    Black activists are activists about blackness, or at least darkness. I'm not saying people don't have their hobby horses, nor that there aren't also many other factors into what gets att'n & how much. But just playing the avgs., the # of people affected is a big factor.

  • Hank Phillips||

    There are mathematical methods for predicting the die-offs of deer populations that practice no birth control whatsoever. Deer aren't very smart, but neither are the dupes televangelists order to march out and find a pregnant woman to coerce against her will. One anarchist solution might be to issue hunting licenses that allow you to bag X couple of rednecks who don't think individuals have rights. I don't put much stock in anarchist suggestions but try to keep an open mind regarding anything that preserves the rights of individual women, pregnant or otherwise.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    The conceptual fabric of abortion is such that its proponents would ordinarily emulate ENB's Libertarianism (which in my mind represents a plus for ethical liberty).

    Doubt and extrapolation wandering the free streets of societies embracing chance and novelty afford liquid solutions to implausible roadblocks.

    Unfortunately, socialism-tribbing feminists lack the cognitive capacity to assess the naked fundamentals of their own desires leaving the ground of their minds strewn with bias and dissonance garbage.

  • ||

    Why Do They Keep Dominating the Reproductive-Rights Debate?

    You funny, ENB. You know full well the answer - because intellectually dishonest fetus fondlers like Eddie, deliberately obscure the bigger debate by leading the public to believe that all abortions involve pulling a fully sentient fetus out of the womb just when it was settling down to read the NYT. The same people that will never, ever, admit that there is any such thing as a blastocyst, never acknowledge the realities of fetal development, etc, etc, etc.

  • Robert||

    Just as choicers leave the word "abortion" out entirely, trying to get people to disregard what it is & focus only on the factor of choice.

  • Azathoth!!||

    The same people that will never, ever, admit that there is any such thing as a blastocyst, never acknowledge the realities of fetal development, etc, etc, etc.

    Of course they will.

    They just don't understand why a person can be tried for murder when they kill it if mummy WANTED one, but mummy can't be tried for murder if she pays someone to kill it for her.

    Why does she get to decide if it's a person if she wants it, and not a person if she doesn't?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Because it's her body, not yours... Not the voters' body, not the body of Government Almighty, not God's body, not Santa Claus's body... Nobody's body, but HER body.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Ah, but until you convince the anti-Abortion side(note that I didn't say "prove"), as far as they are concerned it ISN'T only her body.

    I await with interest the development of Lois McMaster Bujold's imagined Uterine Replicator, which would allow the removal of the fetus without its death. Somehow I suspect that it won't stop the argument.

  • Azathoth!!||

    I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that blastocysts were part of women's bodies.

    They can be IN women's bodies, to be sure. But part of them? No. Do you even science, bro?

    But we're focusing on different things here.

    I'm talking about law, you're talking about feelings.

  • SQRLSY One||

    How about, a woman has a large tapeworm in her guts... Bleeding her body dry of nutrients, and otherwise burdening her. Much like a pregnancy... That tapeworm is not a part of her body, either. I decide that tapeworms have rights and souls... Would I be justified in hooting and hollering that the taxpayers should pay for cops and lawyers and judges to carry on all day defending tapeworms? Who can prove that blastocysts have rights and that tapeworms do not? THAT kind of thing is ALL about "feelings"...

  • DesigNate||

    Well, if she put the tapeworm there, you might have a semi-lucid comparison.*

    *Fetus' are not parasites, and abortion should be legal but safe and no more regulated than any other out patient procedure.

  • Pat (PM)||

    Fortunately, the vast majority of human beings fall within 2 standard deviations of average on intelligence tests and consequently do not struggle with differentiating a fetus from a tapeworm, so that sort of idiocy doesn't really play a major part in either side of the abortion debate.

  • DarrenM||

    So, which part of conjoined (Siamese) twins gets to decide the other is not a person and can be killed?

  • Mickey Rat||

    And pro-aborts like you think human rights are conditional (that these conditions are determined by government) and not inherent aspect of human existance.

  • Pat (PM)||

    never acknowledge the realities of fetal development

    Considering that the standard by which you judge something to be human or not-fully-human is rooted in superstition from the 3rd century BC, that's somewhat amusing.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    This seems like a pretty strange argument. If elective late-term abortions are particularly rare (and obviously they are), isn't that suggestive that the cost, in terms of women's rights, from a prohibition (with the obvious health exceptions) would be relatively modest? It doesn't strike me as particularly outlandish to say that, at some point, the fetus is effectively a person. And at that point, it's a little hard to argue that the NAP comes into play in the fetus's defense.

  • ||

    It struck me as the standard-issue Reason tone-deafness (a la the NC toilet law issue);

    "My logic is impeccable and the difference between what you're saying and what I'm suggesting is negligible so just say I'm right, let me have my way, and then we can both shut up about the issue."

  • Robert||

    Not outlandish at all to consider it a person. But presumptuous to assume it wanted not to die.

  • SQRLSY One||

    No, it's not right to take away the rights of a small group of people, such as mothers-to-be that got raped, just because the group of people is small... Also to include mothers-to-be whose lives are endangered by pregnancy, I might add. Or, women who have changed their mind, because, for example, they found out that they guy they are engaged to, is also engaged to 5 other women.

    The rights of blastocysts? Let's allow them to buy their own weapons (VERY lightly and unobtrusively regulated) and let them defend their own rights. Why burden me as an un-involved taxpayer, making ME pay for their defense?

  • DarrenM||

    If it's not a bad thing to kill a "blastocyst", then it should not no issue to kill all "blastocysts", then we'd never have this problem. Of course, the human race would die out, but that's a positive to some.

  • SQRLSY One||

    If I am allowed to cut down a tree on my own property, I can cut down all trees worldwide at will? Where has the tradition of coherent discussions or arguments gone?

  • Robert||

    That's why most people aren't het up about this issue either way. Compare to, for instance, taxes.

  • MikeP2||

    A little too much intellectual dishonesty in this article. The author should know full well why this is a concern to many.

    How many abortions in the US per year? Per Google, its 699,000 in 2015. At 1.3% after 21 weeks, per your own numbers, that is around 8000 per year aborted babies that are over or on the edge of viability.
    vs. 3500 SIDS deaths in 2015
    vs 700 child drownings
    vs. 1200 people killed by police in 2015

    So...the number isn't small, Ms Nolan, despite your masking of it using percentages.

    I am strictly pro-choice.....but that doesn't take away from the respect I have for people who fight to stop what they absolutely believe is murder of a child. This is an extremely emotional topic, and belittling the issue with intellectual dishonest is pathetic.

  • MikeP2||

    And of course, the other reason this is a current issue is the shop of horrors in Philadelphia we all heard about in great detail. Remember Gosnell?
    Remember Planned Parenthood getting caught on tape shopping prices for late term fetal parts?

    Yeh....its not the anti-abortion people keeping this topic alive, but the active abhorant behavior of the lefty death cults that keeps getting shoved in the nation's face.

  • Calidissident||

    I agree with you that just looking at percentages sidesteps the issue. That said, the 8,000 figure doesn't mean much without knowing what the reason for them was. Was it necessary to save the mother's life or save her from great bodily harm, for example?

    Also, the Planned Parenthood video you reference below was heavily edited, and the raw footage shows that they weren't illegally selling fetal tissue.

  • MikeP2||

    "the Planned Parenthood video you reference below was heavily edited"

    that is not true.
    The full unedited videos were posted on youtube, alongside the truncated version. And these were multiple videos....not one.

    I watched a number of them, and while perhaps there was enough uncertainty to keep it out of a court of law, it was very clear what they were doing.....farming business opportunities for fetal tissue, and laying out pricing considerations. Very sketchy crap and no matter what side you are one, this was sociopathic death cult stuff.

    If the sides had been reversed (i.e. a prolife org was doing sketchy stuff), they would have been fully investigated. As it is, it was brushed off with the misinformation and mischaracterization that you reference.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Just like the current videos that are getting ignored.

  • DarrenM||

    The legality of it is not an issue. Slavery was legal at one time, too.

  • Robert||

    Yeah, but those infant deaths, child drownings, & killings by or of police are about individuals that individuals cared about. Nobody's friendly to a fetus, only to fetuses in the aggregate; the only ones who care about an individual fetus in an abortion are those who wanted it dead. Nobody says, "Aw, I'm really going to miss the baby my friend next door could've had." (Or even less likely, "Aw, I'm going to miss the sonogram images that pregnant lady was coming in for.") As opposed to, "Aw, I'm going to miss that kid next door who drowned."

  • Azathoth!!||

    So if someone isn't missed it doesn't matter if they're.........looking for a non-loaded word that denotes being murdered by someone who feels that your continued existence will be an inconvenience for a few months.............killed(?)

  • MikeP2||

    So ethical questions require someone directly caring about the subject. What a bizarre premise.

    Is it then okay to kill people that no one cares about? I would expect there are quite a large number of people in the US who live parts of their lives when no one knows or cares they even exist.

  • Robert||

    I'm just explaining the relative degrees of interest. That's what you asked about, wasn't it? Like it's a mystery why children with names & histories who die by drowning attract more concern than unnamed embryos?

    Someone whose child drowns accidentally could well thereby become an activist in prevention of drownings. How many people who have abortions decide therefrom to become activists to prevent abortions? I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but I bet the accidental drowning is a lot greater motivator than the abortion, which is something the person actually sought in the 1st place.

    Lots of people want abortions. How many want drownings? Or killings by police? Or of police? Even the police who kill other people, or the other people who kill police, probably didn't think about it much in advance or desire to be in such a position.

  • MikeP2||

    You need to up your reading comprehension.

    "That's what you asked about, wasn't it?" I didn't ask anything of the sort. I pointed out the dishonesty of the article to frame the late term abortion rate as tiny, when the actual numbers are far higher than other issues people care about.

    You are arguing something tangential with a pointless strawman argument.

  • bartzman86||

    "---- requires believing not just that most women are immoral or irresponsible but also, and simultaneously, wealthy, stupid, and masochistic."

    I guess you've never watched "the Hilary" on TV. Or an episode of The View in a dentists waiting lounge.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    OK, here goes;

    Partial-Birth and late term abortion are a big part of the abortion debate because they horrify the anti-abortion crowd, the vocal fringe of the pro-abortion crowd thinks that all abortions should be legal everywhere, and a lot of people are uneasily aware that the pro-abortion forces aren't above trying to slide around restrictions because they believe they are on the side of Light and Truth. It doesn't help one tiny bit that Kermit Gosnell seems to have done a fair number of very late term abortions, in addition to being an all around ghoul. By not looking at him too closely (for whatever reasons) and thereby allowing him to run what amounted to a combination Grand Guignol and human abattoir the Pro-Abortion forces in Pennsylvania have given their side a black eye that is going to take quite a while to fade and the way that Pro-Abortion forces elsewhere have been indignant and self-righteous every time Gosnell gets brought up isn't helping.

    The thing that people outside the Anti-Abortion side are slow to absorb is that those inside consider abortion to be child-murder. The Pro-Abortion side can blather about how the Anti bunch want to control women' bodies, but that is part dodge and part denial. The Pro-Abortion people don't want to admit that the other side's concern is real, because then they might have to argue the actual moral issue, and for a variety of reasons they don't want to.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I, BTW, am Pro-Abortion in the sense that I think it should be legal. I don't believe that a fetus is a human being, but then I meet or read about legal adults that I don't think are human beings. I also think that many forms of killing humans should be legal.

    I'm a Crank.

    But I also think that the ways the Pro-Abortion side attempts to dismiss their opponents' real concerns and focus on their own (largely ridiculous) persecution fantasies damage the cause of Abortion Rights.

  • ace_m82||

    If it's "viability", the ability to exist without outside help, OK then.

    If it's "cognition", the ability to think, OK then.

    If it's "self awareness", the ability to recognize one's self, OK then.

    But if you wrote the rest of the murder laws to allow humans to kill all other beings that aren't "viable", "cognitive", or "self aware", then politicians would be hunted to the brink of extinction.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "if you wrote the rest of the murder laws to allow humans to kill all other beings that aren't "viable", "cognitive", or "self aware", then politicians would be hunted to the brink of extinction."

    Sounds like a plan....

  • SQRLSY One||

    ^ +1 !!!!

  • SQRLSY One||

    To extinction, and beyond!!!

  • ace_m82||

    Logical consistency would solve one problem or the other...

    But of course, politicians always make themselves exceptions to any law they write.

  • Suell||

    I was listening to a conservative talk radio show about four years back and they had a pro life woman call up a Planned parenthood and pretend that she had a pregnancy at five months along and that she had just learned that she was carrying a girl. She said she had two girls already and wanted a boy and wanted to know if she could get an abortion for that reason. The PP worker didn't miss a beat and if I remember clearly even advised her about ways she could have it done for no cost to her.

  • Choadintheroad||

    I would advise abortion for someone that stupid too.

  • Pat (PM)||

    Nobody actually gets late-term abortions, and that's what makes it so egregious that women are being denied their reproductive right to obtain one.

  • Pat (PM)||

    getting a surgical abortion is a serious, invasive, and expensive procedure

    Except when it's free. Which it should always be.

  • R C Dean||

    I'm a viability guy. Anyone who can hold a 24 week preemie in their hand (singular on purpose) and say it's no more a human being than a rat and can be killed with no moral consequence is a sociopath. I understand most people have n't done that, but nobody has yet explained to meat what point during the passage down the birth canal personhood is bestowed, either, so I'm stuck on its a person regardless.

  • Robert||

    You couldn't've made such a good word play if you'd tried.

  • MikeP2||

    Yup. My first-born was premature at 28 weeks. In the top-line NICU he was in (we were so lucky to be near one of the best) there were 25, 26, etc week preemies. They were all babies, plain and simply. Even at 1.8 lbs, they were babies.
    I am firmly of the opinion that the government must stay out of this topic, so then by definition, "pro-choice". But that doesn't give any credibility to the hyper feminism abortion death cult that has become established in the US. Their positions are sociopathic and frankly, down right evil at times.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    When I read or hear a pro-abortion argument that addresses (rather than dismisses) the concerns of those who believe that a fetus, especially a late term fetus, is human, I will shout loud huzzahs. This article isn't it.

    That cold facts are that if the Pro-Abortion people are wrong, and they win, then mass murder (and possibly genocide) is taking place. If the pro-life people are wrong, and win, then pregnant women who want an abortion will be put to some trouble. Maybe a lot of trouble. Still not as bad as mass murder and possible genocide. I'm pro-abortion, but the way the concerns of the other side are dismissed as nonsense bothers me.

  • Choadintheroad||

    Ok, I accept your concern, and will stipulate that a fetus is a human being from the point of conception (or wherever you want it to be.)

    Now explain to me why government should force a person to house another human being inside their body for x number of months.

  • DesigNate||

    The libertarian answer is the government shouldn't.

  • btjnark||

    Nate, that only applies if you don't consider the still of a human heart to be murder. Do we as libertarians really think the government shouldn't play a role in preventing murder? The government isn't implanting these children in wombs. In nearly EVERY case these ladies are choosing to engage in behavior that results in pregnancy and then choosing murder for convenience, and most of the 13,000 children killed are both healthy AND being carried by women who are not in physical danger because of the pregnancy. This is't a libertarian issue. It's an issue of whether you choose to deny that a living being with human DNA that has a beating heart, awareness, ability to feel pain and respond to both sound and touch is a human or not.

  • ace_m82||

    You invite someone on your property and they fall down a cliff and break their leg. You can't get them out for months. You decide to rescind their invitation onto your property.

    Do you have the moral authority to kill them because they are now trespassing? Or do you have some sort of obligation to allow them free passage off your property (as you invited them onto it) even though that's going to take some time?

    This is a "contract" question.

    You are right in saying government shouldn't do it, but that's because government shouldn't do anything at all.

    ~An-Cap

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Because, AT THE MOMENT, the alternative is to kill one of the humans. Which is why I await with interest the development of artificial wombs.

  • btjnark||

    Choad, it isn't like these babies were implanted in the uterus by the government. In the vast majority of the 13,000 cases per year in which a beating human heart is stopped by abortion, the mother chose to participate in sex which anyone could reasonably expect to result in pregnancy. They aren't being forced to be pregnant, but they shouldn't be allowed to kill their babies for convenience. And in most cases they are. This article does not reflect research that sows that very few of these abortions are performed because of unhealthy babies or to mothers who's lives are in danger. And it also suggest that "partial birth abortions: are somehow less grotesque than simply ripping of the babies limbs in utero instead of killing them after they're born. Using your words, the government should force a person to house another human being inside their bodies for x number of months because human lives have value, abortion is murder, and sex has consequences.

  • Amerigo1||

    I have been a long time reader, however, I think this article misses Trump's point. In an interview, Hillary Clinton was asked at what point did she think it was ok to have an abortion. Her response was, and I paraphrase, "According to our constitution, an unborn person does not have constitutional rights." I am not sure that Trump's response is that far off from what Hillary said.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Of course, Her Shrillness reads whatever she wants to see into the Constitution. But we knew that.

  • DesigNate||

    getting a surgical abortion is a serious, invasive, and expensive procedure

    Wouldn't that be an argument FOR admitting privileges, etc. like Texas passed? Not saying they're right or wrong, just saying that makes it sound justified.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Sure, if they'd restricted their law to surgical abortions.

    Hint: they didn't.

  • LizCo||

    You are talking about statistics. Trump was talking about what hillary and her cohorts WANT in their ideal world. I have heard many a feminist indignantly state that there should be NO laws regarding abortion and no bans based on trimester. Also, how hard did the pro choice crowd fight the 2003 law and the supreme court ruling? Hmmmmm?

  • Hank Phillips||

    There are no abortion laws in Canada, where female immigrants far outnumber male immigrants. There also is no Klan, John Birch Society or British Union of Fascists in Canada either. I testify that Canada is the most delightful and civilized of the 8 countries I've inhabited. I only wish it were warmer...

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Last thing I read on the Klan, there's almost no Klan in the U.S. either. The author of that article quipped that the only reason the Klan could have a softball league was the number of F.B.I informants.

    Of course, this may have changed.

    I'm sorry, but I fear I suspect that Canada has the usual percentage of bigots, nutballs, and other oxygen thieves.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Good video catch!

  • hpearce||

    Killing a trespasser who is leaving the property is more than likely murder unless the trespasser is still posing a threat

    The same applies to babies leaving the woman's womb

    Partial-birth abortions ARE murder unless the mother's life is in danger

  • Paulpemb||

    For the same reason that pregnancies resulting from rape or incest drive the discussion on the pro-abortion side of the aisle?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    It really bothers me that so many commentaters that I ran into defended not closing Gosnell down a lot sooner on the basis of ensuring that poor minority women had access to abortion. They seemed oblivious to the apparent fact that Gosnell was clearly just as dangerous as the Back Alley Abortionist of legend, if not worse.

    There's a nasty whiff of eugenics and racism in that.

  • Intraveneous Woodchipper||

    Most probort arguments can be interpreted as such, in my opinion. It's hard to wash off the racist/eugenicist legacy of PP's founders.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    That and, when you get right down to it, elitism of one kind tends to breed elitism of other kinds.

  • FloridaProf||

    Late-Term Abortions Are Rare and 'Partial Birth Abortions' Illegal. Why Do They Keep Dominating the Reproductive-Rights Debate?

    Perhaps because they represent the taking og innocent human lives? And because they're not as rare as you think they are?

  • SandyH||

    I see, only 1.3 % and never got above 9% as numbers for the late term killings. ONLY? That's still THOUSANDS and thousands per year. According to googled statistics on abortion the average number of abortions probably run close to a million per year. So that's how "hardly ever happens" is defined now?

  • SezWhom||

    This entire piece makes reference to percentages, trends, etc. !9 states have this law, and a lot of states have other laws, etc. So, looking at the other side of the coin, some states DO permit partial birth abortion at will and up to the end of the ninth month. And the federal government does not forbid it. So, if anyone happens to be opposed to this, and says so, is well within their rights to do so. Yes, it's a legitimate issue.

    But these things don't happen very frequently, so why give it so much attention? Well, neither does murder. Does that mean that murder shouldn't be an issue?

  • JohnBinCT||

    "While there are a few states where a woman could theoretically get an elective abortion at any point in pregnancy, it would not be done via "intact dilation and evacuation"—the medical term for the procedure people refer to as "partial birth abortion"—or anythng like "rip[ping] the baby out of the womb."

    OK, they'd go in with a pair of forceps and ripping the baby limb from limb before using a vaccum to suck the bits out....

    Don't you think you might be splitting hairs a bit much on the "brutality" front, Elizabeth?

  • Electronics Manufactuing||

    She said she had two girls already and wanted a boy and wanted to know if she could get an abortion for that reason.

  • Barry Ronald||

    I'm making over $9k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do.... Go to tech tab for work detail...Download Kodi Android
    I've noticed the dems have reverted back to abortion as the "new" reason that you just must vote for Hillary. How many decades can Roe v Wade which has zero chance of being overturned be the most important issue of the presidential election.

  • Stan Kerr||

    The author glosses over the existence of elective late term abortions by citing the difficulty of the decision to abort, without admitting that not all such abortions are for medical reasons. The following article discusses a paper by the Guttmacher Institute that suggests there are a non-trivial number of elective late term abortions: (the url is broken with a space because the comment facility does not allow 'words longer than 50 characters') https://lozierinstitute.org/ the-reality-of-late-term-abortion-procedures/

  • georgekaplan||

    This article didn't discuss the meaning of viability. I know a woman who gave birth at 27 weeks. Obviously the baby was not viable without medical intervention. Advances in neonatal care kept this baby alive until he was ready to go home. Ina few years from now, 24-week preemies might be able to survive. Abortion is getting sicker and sicker to me, as I get older.

  • George Phillies||

    Repealing the Republican "partial birth" abortion ban is a fine Libertarian objective.

  • btjnark||

    This article some information that is incorrect and other that horribly misrepresents the facts. There are "relatively" few late term abortions COMPARED to the total number of abortions. 1.3% of abortions to be exact. BUT considering that almost a million beating human hearts are still by abortion each year that still amounts to THIRTEEN THOUSAND babies who can hear and feel being killed. And the article also misrepresents who is getting those abortions and why. "Statistics show that most late-term abortions don't actually occur for health reasons, and they're also often repeat abortions. The Guttmacher Institute reported that abortions sought for fetal abnormalities "make up a small minority" abortions in the late-term, and abortions committed to save a mother's life are even smaller."

    I am a libertarian and a Constitutionalist, but neither of those philosophies condones murder - and that's what abortion is. Regardless of one's views on abortions, however, I would suggest that if Reason magazine wants to gain popularity they commit to reporting facts and not skewing the information to support a philosophy. We have the Democrats for that.

    www.liveaction.org/news/there-.....-any-time/

  • TJJ2000||

    A starving bum breaks into your house ( unwelcome guest ) and helps themselves to your kitchen, eats your food and watches your TV. You ask them to leave and they refuse to the point of fighting back. WHAT DO YOU DO?

    Do you call the police department and have them forcefully removed or insist they stay as long as they need to? If you call the police to have them removed YOU ARE Pro-Choice when it comes to yourself. You'd rather this starving person be ejected from your house and starve to death than offer your home to them.

    Get off your moral high-horse. Accept that there are just certain PERSONAL rights not even another life should be able to diminish. Unless the state can save the fetus ( like welfare would save the bum ); they have no business FORCING a woman to deliver the child.

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