Human Rights: Abortion and gay marriage

I got into an argument on a Catholic blog recently about same-sex marriage, and – in passing, but with vehemence – also got into an argument about being pro-choice.

The two are on the face of it only peripherally related – both equality/human-rights issues – but of course are very directly related in one respect: they challenge a man’s right to own his woman.

Equal marriage, where both spouses have identical obligations, rights, and responsibilities towards and for and about each other, is a fundamental redefinition of traditional marriage. In traditional marriage, the woman’s father gave her in marriage to her husband: a financially-independent widow might give herself in marriage, but once married, a woman’s rights were subsumed into her husband’s rights.

Equal marriage is a victory of the feminist revolution, but it leads directly to the idea that given husband and wife are now legally equal and identical, why is there a ban on same-sex couples marrying? Of course this next step can only happen in a country with a strong LGBT equality movement, but it is a simple next step. Nothing about a same-sex couple marrying can affect a mixed-sex married couple.

The wild claim that same-sex marriage leads to polygamy is a product of the American Christian Right’s script, and is provably false even in North America where it originated and where there are small Mormon communities of men who marry each other’s daughters and exile the “surplus” boys, the sons who can’t be allowed to marry inside the polygamous community at all. Polygamy as traditional Mormonism would have it is a profoundly sexist marriage: a man has rights and privileges over his wives that they do not have. It is the reverse of equal marriage. It is a profoundly patriarchal concept: only the chief men of the community, and their heirs, get to marry. A recent attempt in Canada to claim that it was discriminatory to deny legal marriage to polygamous men and their wives, failed precisely because those opposed could show in court how damaging polygamous marriage can be: and how it would directly affect couples married already. No such evidence can or ever has been shown for same-sex marriage: the Catholic Church’s campaign against same-sex marriage in Scotland relies, as many another campaign, on the lies put out by an anti-gay hate group in the US.

Traditional marriage is already legally at an end in Scotland. No husband has rights over his wife that she does not already have over him. Even the old traditional signal that a woman must become part of her husband’s family and change her surname to his, is fading away: no one need change their surname on marriage, but it is as easy for a man to change his surname to his wife’s as the reverse, as easy for a mixed-sex or a same-sex couple to mutually change their names.

Denial of legal abortion to a woman who is pregnant and needs to terminate does not seem to connect to that: it’s a simple public health issue and a simple human rights issue.

With regard to public health, it is much more damaging (and more expensive for the NHS) if a woman who wants to have an abortion is forced either to wait until she can find the money to pay for it, or to have it done illegally on the cheap and use the health service to clean up after her. (There is something of a postcode lottery in Scotland as in the rest of the UK as to whether a woman who needs an abortion can get it easily and quickly on the NHS: but the vast majority of abortions done are on the NHS, if sometimes with unnecessary delays.)

Throughout Ireland, abortion is banned: the government of Ireland and the assembly at Stormont claim that Ireland is a Catholic country and abortion is unacceptable. The net result of this is what you might expect: Ireland exports almost all its abortions to the UK. Women in Northern Ireland, though they pay for healthcare on the NHS via their taxes like anyone else, must not only travel to mainland UK to get one, they must pay for it privately when they get there. The Catholic Church can make abortion illegal in Ireland, but they cannot stop women from getting abortions, they can only make it difficult and expensive for a woman to do so. In countries where abortion is illegal but there is no convenient pro-choice country to provide abortions for women living under a prolife regime, the net result is even nastier: women die of illegal abortions.

Not that the Catholic Church is the only prolife campaign organisation: the Christian Right in the US is mostly Protestant, and has ensured soldiers in the US military who need abortions must request leave to travel back to the US and pay for the abortion privately: they are not allowed to get an abortion at the nearest US military base, nor are they allowed to have their abortion paid for by the US military healthcare system. Nor, if they wish to continue their military career, can they put “pregnant, need an abortion” as their reason for requesting leave. This applies to soldiers who have been made pregnant by rape, married soldiers, soldiers who have an affair… all are simply denied this basic healthcare and the US military will not even take note of how many soldiers have been denied.

WIth regard to simple human rights: no woman should be forced against her will through pregnancy and child birth: no woman should have her body used against her will to make a baby. All women, therefore, should have as a basic human right, once pregnant, to decide whether to terminate or to continue the pregnancy. It’s her pregnancy: it’s her body: it’s her decision.

This upsets the patriarchal ideal of male ownership of women’s bodies. Prolifers will argue that a girl’s father ought to make the decision for her: that the “baby’s father” should have the legal right to decide whether or not the woman will have the baby: that above all the woman must not have the right to decide what’s best for her. Even the UK system of two doctors signing off a woman’s abortion is a product of this thinking: while most abortions in the UK are effectively abortion on demand, as is right, in law a woman has to convince two doctors that she or her family will suffer if she doesn’t get an abortion.

Just as anti-marriage campaigners bring up the false spectre of polygamy, so will prolifers bring up the false cuddly claim that they’re only concerned about the fetuses – that they want to prevent women having safe legal abortions because they regard a fertilised egg as exactly the same as a baby, and a woman having an abortion (and the doctor performing it) is exactly the same as a woman hiring an assassin to kill her child. This is a fantastic lie, told and elaborated on as a justification for hurting women who have abortions. We can tell it’s a lie because prolifers are vastly unconcerned with preventing abortions. The most effective means of preventing abortions is to ensure that every time a mixed-sex couple have heterosexual intercourse, unless they actually intend to conceive, the man uses a condom and the woman is either on the Pill or using a barrier method herself. If prolifers were really truly into preventing abortions, if the Catholic Church really regarded ending a fetus’s life as a sin worthy of excommunication, then the Catholic Church would be right out there promoting condoms and the Pill. (As indeed many lay Catholics already have.)

Denial of legal abortion is about denying women autonomy and equality. Denial of same-sex marriage is about denying that marriage is a relationship of equals. It’s not really surprising that the people who oppose the freedom of same-sex couples to marry are generally also the same people who oppose the freedom of women to decide how many children to have, and when.

71 Comments

Filed under LGBT Equality, Women

71 responses to “Human Rights: Abortion and gay marriage

  1. Gabriel Duchamp

    GAY AND PROUD! LETS STICK TOGETHER!!

  2. Tell me, please, how the embryo/fetus is not equal to a baby.  Both are alive, both are human, and both are individuals–the same individual, if they are allowed to be.  What is so magical about birth (or whatever stage you choose in development before or after; no pro-choicer ever agrees) that all of a sudden, after this miraculous line, being a human individual magically matters?  I have yet to find a distinction that is not arbitrary.
    The biological fact is, that there are two human individuals involved in every abortion: a woman and her offspring.  To focus on one to the exclusion of the other is stupid, and that goes both ways.  

    “It’s her body, it’s her decision”.  Let’s say that there is a set of conjoined twins: A and B.  A is tired of being stuck to B and opts for a surgery to separate them.  The doctors evaluate the twins and come to the conclusion that B is too weak to survive the operation.  She will be strong enough in nine months, but will die if she undergoes the procedure now.  Would it be right for A to insist on the surgery, knowing that it will kill her twin?  No.  So while I agree that a woman can do whatever she wants with her body, it is silly to ignore the fact that it is not her body being torn to pieces in an abortion.  You can do whatever you want with your body, *except* hurt other people’s bodies.  

    • “Tell me, please, how the embryo/fetus is not equal to a baby”

      I don’t think that’s a productive line of discussion, unless you are yourself pregnant and looking for counselling to make a decision. In which case I advise you find a licenced therapist, not talk it through on a blog.

      “Let’s say that there is a set of conjoined twins: A and B. ”

      You’ve come up with a rather odd scenario. I could equally ask you: “Would it be right for B to insist on forcing A to commit suicide because B cannot live?”

      I note that prolifers always tend to have to reach for odd scenarios and analogies rather than considering the situation quite straightforwardly:

      Does B have the right to force A to undergo (against A’s will) a term of months which will physically alter A’s body, may damage A’s body permanently, and has a small but known risk of killing her – and which will terminate with A being responsible for the rest of A’s life for a new person in the scenario, C? Can B possibly use “But if I do this to A, then C!” as a justification for so treating A?

      I don’t see it. Human rights are paramount. Therefore I am pro-choice.

      • As to your question: A committing suicide is neither necessary nor inherent to the scenario.  As to your alternate scenario: it doesn’t fit at all.  Firstly, it assumes that C does not yet exist.  Secondly, it assumes that A must take care of C for the duration of A’s life, which isn’t true under any circumstance and never true under others. 

        The question of mine which you blew off so easily is essential to any discussion.  You work from the standpoint that women should not be forced to make babies.  I agree with that, and if babies being made were the case I’d be pro-choice.  But that isn’t the case, I think: the baby is already made.  This makes the issue much more complex and grave, as your last statement proves.

        Human rights *are* paramount.  Not just the rights of humans who can talk.  Not just the rights of humans who can be seen or cuddled or smelled or be productive.  No, the right of *all* humans, everywhere, are important.  If the embryo/fetus is a human individual, you who claim to hold human rights so dear ignore their rights offhand in favor of another’s.

        The question may not be, “Should women be forced to make babies, and sacrifice their right to liberty and happiness to something as important as a tin cup?” It may be, “Does the right to life of one human individual supersede the right to liberty and happiness of another, or vise versa?” It is easy to assume the former because it is easy to answer, but ease is a poor excuse if the latter be true.

        ps: thank you for posting my comment and thank you for an open and civil discussion.  It is not often that I meet those who have such grace.

        • ” But that isn’t the case, I think: the baby is already made. “

          Absolutely not! You talk as if a baby were made in an instant. That’s ludicrous! Making a baby from a fertilised egg takes nine months* of hard work. Denying a woman a safe legal abortion when she wants one means you intend to force that woman to make a baby against her will. And that “making” – gestation – will change her body, often permanently, sometimes damagingly, and there’s a non-zero chance it can kill her. No one has a right to force her to that against her will.

          “Human rights *are* paramount. Not just the rights of humans who can talk. Not just the rights of humans who can be seen or cuddled or smelled or be productive. No, the right of *all* humans, everywhere, are important. If the embryo/fetus is a human individual, you who claim to hold human rights so dear ignore their rights offhand in favor of another’s.”

          My problem with this line of thinking is that it presents the pregnant woman as the enemy of the fetus. Like those deeply racist ads which a prolife group billboards in some US cities, there’s no acknowledgement that if you are devoted to the care of fetuses, the only thing you (we generically) can do, is to be devoted to the care of pregnant women. Spending millions on ads telling black women they’re the enemy is almost an obscene use of funds in a country where racism can have effects on black women’s health outcomes and chances of healthy pregnancy down the generations. From November 2011: “The U.S. infant mortality rate is one of the highest among all developed countries. The disparity in rates within the United States is alarming as well, with black babies dying at more than twice the rate of white babies.”
          This is one of the ways in which we can tell prolifers in the US are lying when they claim to be attacking abortion access because they care about the fetuses: Where are the prolifers campaigning for universal and free at point of access healthcare for every pregnant woman and all children in the US? (At that point you might just as well try for an American NHS, and that would be an excellent thing>,)

          And this also comes back to a point I was making in more detail earlier today – the only way to prevent abortions is to prevent unwanted pregnancies. I see no evidence that prolifers are interested as a campaigning group in ensuring every woman in the US has free access to contraception, still less with any campaign urging everyone heterosexually coupled to both use contraception unless they intend to conceive. But such a campaign, combined with easy immediate access to contraception,. is exactly how the Netherlands has got their abortion rate down to the lowest in the world.

          “The question may not be, “Should women be forced to make babies, and sacrifice their right to liberty and happiness to something as important as a tin cup?” It may be, “Does the right to life of one human individual supersede the right to liberty and happiness of another, or vise versa?””

          Well, in this instance; “Does the state have the right to sacrifice the health, liberty, and happiness of one individual, in order to force her to create another individual”? In Europe, the dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu’s answer to that question was yes, the state does have the right to force women to make babies against their will. Maternal mortality (and infant mortality) was high in Romania under the Ceauşescu regime: it fell startlingly once Ceauşescu fell, and women could once more access contraception and abortion.

          “thank you for posting my comment and thank you for an open and civil discussion. It is not often that I meet those who have such grace.

          I may choose to quit the discussion if I feel we’ve talked it out, or are going round in circles, but in general I value the open expression of opinion.

          *(give or take, I don’t want to get into an argument about how long the process of gestation can take!)

    • Okay, let’s look at this scenario.

      “Let’s say that there is a set of conjoined twins: A and B. A is tired of being stuck to B and opts for a surgery to separate them. The doctors evaluate the twins and come to the conclusion that B is too weak to survive the operation. She will be strong enough in nine months, but will die if she undergoes the procedure now. Would it be right for A to insist on the surgery, knowing that it will kill her twin? ”

      You’re proposing that there’s a situation where conjoined twins over the age of 16 (the legal age of consent to medical procedures) are both able to survive as individuals but who have not yet been separated because, after 16 years, Twin B is not yet strong enough to survive on his own but needs another nine months of being joined to Twin A. You’ve brought up this really impossible scenario because you want to argue that a fertilised egg, or a conceptus just joined to the wall of the uterus, is exactly the same is Twin B. But not only is this scenario so improbable that it can’t serve as a clear illustration to anything, there are clear biological differences between fertilised egg and conceptus, between conceptus and fetus, and between fetus and baby.

      I decline to answer this scenario for multiple reasons: One, it’s bizarre and unlikely. Conjoined twins are normally separated as soon as is medically feasible, which is long before they are able to express their views and years and years before they have the legal obligation to make their own medical decisions. The responsibility when operating on children too young to consent or even to discuss the operation with, rightly lies with their doctors, who have an ethical obligation to act in the best interests of their patient. To put this as “Twin A is ‘tired of being stuck to B’” would be an appalling act of cruelty to the child A – outright emotional abuse. Horrible.

      Two, it is in no way illustrative of the situation of a pregnant woman.

      Three: If you have conjoined twins and Twin B is going to die if separated from Twin A, then refusing to separate them because you don’t want Twin B to die means that Twin A is going to die too. Twin A will die when Twin B dies. If Twin B doesn’t have the capacity to live a long and healthy life when separated from Twin A, then Twin A’s bodily resources are being drained into Twin B: Twin B is likely to die soon regardless of using Twin A as a life-support system, and when B dies, A dies. There was a case in the UK a few years ago when the parents decided they wanted both twins to die rather than save one twin at the expense of the other, and the doctors did, in fact, take charge to do their best for their patient – the baby they knew could survive and live to lead a normal life when separated. I really hope that child was never told her parents wanted her dead soon after she was born. That’s the reality of conjoined twins. Your scenario doesn’t even bear resemblance to that – it’s just up in the air, flailing about, attached to nothing, flying the pro-life flag without acknowledging that what you are talking about is not valuing human life enough: you’re talking about forcing women.

  3. Eye

    “Absolutely not!  You talk as if a baby was made in an instant.”

    You talk as if there is some difference between the humanity/individuality/rights of an embryo/fetus and a two day old infant.  What is this very important difference I have missed?  The only difference I see is one of development.  But, just as there is that difference between an embryo, a fetus, and an infant, there is that same difference between an infant, a toddler, a teenager, and an adult.  But you aren’t arguing those differences affect humanity and rights….

    “It presents the pregnant woman as the enemy of the fetus.”

    Did I not say that there are two human individuals in every abortion (offspring and mother) and that it would be folly to ignore either?  There are many crisis pregnancy clinics and organizations which assist young mothers in need.  You are very good at researching things, so I am surprised you haven’t found any. 
    Contraception is not a cure-all; it fails.  And there is a host of other problems that come with it, including but not limited to health risks and negative impact on the environment.  I promote NFP; it is more effective than birth control.  

    “In this instance: Does the state have the right to sacrifice the health, liberty and happiness of individual in order to force her to create another individual?”

    Er, no.  Because the individual is already made.  It is not a potential individual, but is already present.  As for the dictator: about one in three women in the US have had an abortion.  Before abortion was legal, the maternal death rate was not one in three women.  Abortion or the lack thereof is not the only or even the main factor in maternal and infant death.  Child abuse is a large factor in infant death.  Incidentally, the child abuse rate in the US rose over 500% in the ten years after abortion was legalized.*

    “You’ve brought up this really impossible scenario…”

    It is hardly impossible.  Twin B could have had pneumonia or *anything* which would have made her too weak to survive surgery.  Unlikely that they would be that old?  Maybe, but not impossible.  That, however, is really beside the point.  The point being that there were two individuals, both have rights, and either way one is going to have their rights denied so that the others can be granted.  In this way, it perfectly illustrates the situation of a pregnant woman and her unborn child.  You say that there is a difference between an embryo and a sixteen year old, but, again, it is one of development.  Degree, not kind.  The same difference exists between infants, toddlers, teenagers, and adults.  And, lastly, as I said, B could have been weak for any reason, not just needing A.  Your excuse doesn’t really fit, because an infant doesn’t have a lower chance of dying than the mother after birth (as you say is the fate of conjoined twins after separation. And you are wrong in saying that if B dies, so does A.  B could die under the knife and A would be fine.)  The fact remains that the operation will kill B.  

    “You are talking about forcing women.”

    You are talking about possibly killing human individuals.  That is a grave possibility, and at least deserves your serious consideration.  Rejecting out of hand that the embryo/fetus is a human individual is not respectful toward human life and rights.  

    *US Dept. of Health & Human Services Report; National Study on Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting, The American Human Association, 1981 & 1991; 1977 Analysis of Child Abuse and Neglect Research, US Dept. of HEW 1978

    • “You talk as if there is some difference between the humanity/individuality/rights of an embryo/fetus and a two day old infant.”

      Now you’re changing the subject, aren’t you? Please don’t do that. You claimed, of a fertilised egg/conceptus “But that isn’t the case, I think: the baby is already made” – and that is, scientifically, nonsense. You’re ignoring the whole process of gestation to make a political point – and you must see that this is an absurd thing to do. Acknowledge, please, that “making a baby” from a fertilised egg is not a thing done in an instant. Thank you.

      “Did I not say that there are two human individuals in every abortion (offspring and mother) and that it would be folly to ignore either? “

      I didn’t say you were ignoring the pregnant woman. I said you were presenting her as the enemy of the fetus.

      There are many crisis pregnancy clinics and organizations which assist young mothers in need.

      I’m surprised you’re trying to present unsystematic charity as any substitute for universal healthcare and a universal welfare state. Many of the “crisis pregnancy centers” are known to be directly linked into the adoption industry The US is known in the UK to be a ready source of adoptable babies, thanks to an adoption industry that exploits low-income women. The focus always ought to be: What’s best for the woman who’s pregnant? Not “Can she be induced to have the baby and let a private adoption agency make a fee out of agenting that baby to a wealthier couple?”

      “You say that there is a difference between an embryo and a sixteen year old, but, again, it is one of development. Degree, not kind.

      So, tell me; You’re in a fertility clinic. A fire breaks out. You can rescue the nearby freezer containing a thousand frozen embryos. Or you can rescue a 16-year-old girl, lying unconscious on the floor beside you. You can’t do both. Either the freezer burns and all the embryos inside are permanently destroyed, or you leave the 16-year-old girl behind to burn to death. What’s the right thing to do? You claim, remember, you think each one of the thousand embryos is exactly the same as that 16-year-old girl.

      So tell me: A woman is raped. Unfortunately, for aftercare she went to a Catholic hospital, so she didn’t get emergency contraception and she had to have an abortion instead. Since she was raped, she’s taken to carrying a gun, she feels safer going armed. It’s a simple one-day procedure: she’s left the clinic and is going home when by horrible chance she meets the man who raped her: he says something completely inappropriate and provocative: she pulls her gun out and shoots him dead. You tell me: Which was the worse crime she committed? Having an abortion, or killing the rapist?

      “You are talking about possibly killing human individuals. “

      About sixty thousand women each year die because of illegal abortion: those women are killed because pro-lifers do not wish women to have access to safe, legal abortion. About a million women each year die in pregnancy: and maternal mortality and morbidity is invariably higher in pro-life states, where women’s lives are not considered valuable beyond their ability to be forced to produce babies..That is a grave possibility, and at least deserves your serious consideration. Rejecting out of hand that women are human, that women deserve to choose life and health and not to be forced to make babies against their will, is deeply disrespectful toward human life and human rights.

      Whereas if you support all women the right to decide for themselves how many children to have, and when, you have fewer abortions and more healthy mothers and babies. Win, win, win.

  4. “Now you are changing the subject.”

    It’s the question I asked at the beginning, which you avoided.

    “That is, scientifically, nonsense.”

    Is the embryo a “baby” is the sense of a born human that can be cradled in the arms?  No.  That would be crazy.  There is development.  But, it is just development, and only a single stage within it.  It takes about ten months for a blastocyst to become a “baby” the same way it takes approximately three years for that infant to become a toddler, and ten years for that toddler to become an adolescent.  It is development.  Development doesn’t affect human individuality, human individuality being the root concern.  What I meant was that, like a baby in the arms, the conceptus is a human individual.  In fact, it is the *same* human individual, if it is allowed to be.  And, yes, a human individual is made in a moment.  The sperm unites with the egg, and in that *moment* a unique DNA is formed and a new, unique, individual and autonomous biological organism is created.  So, making a lie-in-the-arms baby is not done in an instant.  But we aren’t speaking of Lie-in-the-Arms-Baby Rights.  We are speaking of *Human* rights, which are possessed by *all* human individuals, be they embryo, fetus, infant, toddler, adolescent, or adult.  You speak as though a human individual with rights is potential during pregnancy, and not a current fact.  Unless you can tell me what makes embryo-infant development so different from infant-adult development, I will not understand this “person-prevention” mentality.  

    “I said you were presenting her as the enemy of the fetus.”

    Let me repeat myself.  “The rights of all humans, everywhere, are important.” How is saying this at all painting the pregnant woman to be the enemy of the fetus?  Listen: this is a bad situation all around.  Either way, one human individual will have to forfeit their rights for the sake of another’s.  I understand that, and I also understand your logic.  I happen to think it is severely flawed.  You are ignoring the existence and rights of one human individual in favor of the other, and doing so offhand.

    “I’m surprised you are trying to present unsympathetic charity as any substitute for universal health care.”

    You wanted to know how Pro-Lifers are helping pregnant women, and I told you.  You aren’t satisfied with charity, and want universal health care (which I might point out, is not economically feasible for the US at the moment).  Your preference doesn’t disprove the fact that Pro-Lifers make efforts to assist pregnant women and young mothers.

    “Many of the crisis pregnancy centers are known to be directly linked to the adoption industry.”

    I find your link extremely ironic and just wrong for several reasons, actually.  Firstly, let me point out that the abortion clinics in the US sucker women into having abortions (a very lucrative business) by telling them the same things and pressuring them in the same ways that, according to your link, “coerce” women into adoption.  Abortion clinics, and Planned Parenthood specifically, make women feel  as though abortion is their only option and drug them into compliance, far more often than is even possible for the same thing to be said for adoption agencies.  Hypocritical, at the least.  And let’s not forget the fact that most adoption agencies are government run.  Furthermore, in the United States, most women in crisis pregnancies and those who are pro-choice assume there are only two options–abortion or parenting–and they rail about this.  They defend abortion by their inability to parent.  A common question from Pro-Choicers in the US is, “If you really care about kids, how many have you adopted?” Rather than adoption on either side being common, much less coerced adoption being a common problem, it is advocated and done very little.  From the way pro-choicers speak, it doesn’t exist.  Thirdly, there are organizations which have nothing to do with pregnant women, but only helping young mothers who have already given birth.  When they don’t support just post-birth women, I haven’t seen many organizations which don’t support both adoption and parenting, equally (http://www.adoptionservices.org/pregnancy/pregnancy_financial_assistance.htm).  I would also point out that your article has some inconsistencies.  It said that women are forced to put their children up for adoption to supply a demand…but as you yourself said, there are plenty readily adoptable US children, enough to be shipped out to other countries.  It would seem that there is no demand to supply, resulting in a surplus.  Actually, couples in the US must jump through hoops to adopt, and especially if the child is also from the US.  I know many couples who have adopted kids from Russia and China, few from the United States, because of these difficulties.  The motive your article states for forcing women to give up their children makes no sense: there either isn’t a demand, or it can’t be met by US childless couples.  I will not deny that women may have been forced to adopt, but it does not occur frequently and is by no stretch the pro-life agenda.

    • “Tell me: you are in a fertility clinic…”

      I am not sure, to be honest.  Yet how could my choice or opinion affect or prove the value of anyone as a human individual?  If your child was burning in a building along with a stranger’s child, and you could only save one, which would you save?  If you saved your child, would that mean the stranger’s is worthless?  The value of a human individual is not set by the price tag a third party sticks upon them.  As for the rape victim…both are equally bad.  The rapist was asking for it, while the unborn was innocent, but they were both human individuals.  In each case, she killed a human individual.  

      “Sixty thousand women each year die because of illegal abortion.”

      I could question the logic of making otherwise-illegal-acts legal for the safety of those insistent on breaking the law, of legalizing procedures that kill innocent human beings just to make the killing process less hazardous.  I could also point out that you must think women are stupid if you think they won’t see the risks of a back alley abortion and will be unable to weigh the consequences.  But I’ll just skip straight to the fact that, in the US before the legalization of abortion, ninety-eight thousand women sought abortion per year.  Abortion related deaths in the 25 years prior to 1973 averaged 250 a year, with a high of 388 in 1948*.  In 1966, before the first state legalized abortion, only 120 mothers died from abortion.**  In 1972, with abortion still illegal in 80% of the country, antibiotics had reduced the number to 39.*** Poland’s history disproves the notion that making abortion illegal will kill countless women.  Abortion was legal for 4 1/2 decades, paid for by the state, under the rule of Russia.  After they gained their independence, abortion was made legal in only exceptional cases.  The law took the total number of abortions down to 0.004% of what it had been.  There were 25% fewer miscarriages and 30% fewer maternal deaths compared to when abortion was legal.  In the latest annual report (as of 2000) only 21 women died of pregnancy related problems, with none due to abortion.**** 

      “Women…forced to make babies against there will…Whereas, if you support all women the right to decide for themselves…win, win.”

      This is only true if you are dealing with potential people, which, as I already said, I don’t think we are, and which misunderstanding you have for some reason refused to clear up.  If a human individual already exists, your suggestion is like saying that we should allow abusive parents to drown their children in the bathtub, because then we’ll have less abused and emotionally disturbed children and parents who aren’t being forced to raise a kid they obviously don’t want.  Of course, this is nonsensical.  And of course I don’t reject that women are human.  I simply do not think the humanity of one individual must be denied and ignored in order to acknowledge the humanity of another individual.  That goes BOTH WAYS.  *No one* should have to become an unperson for the sake of another person.  

      *Bernard Nathanson (co-founder of NARAL), “Aborting America” (NY: Doubleday, 1979) p.42

      **US Bureau of Vital Statistics

      ***Same

      ****J. C. Willke, “Clear Evidence: If Forbidden Abortion Will Not Return to the Back Alley,” Life Issues Connector, Life Issues Institue, April, 2000,  1, 3

      • ” Yet how could my choice or opinion affect or prove the value of anyone as a human individual? “

        Well, it proves yours. If you’re willing to leave a 16-year-old girl behind to burn to death, because you want to save a freezer full of embryos, the girl’s value as a unique human being is not changed, but yours is.

        “As for the rape victim…both are equally bad. “

        So a woman who has an abortion ought to be prosecuted for murder?

        “I could question the logic of making otherwise-illegal-acts legal for the safety of those insistent on breaking the law, of legalizing procedures that kill innocent human beings just to make the killing process less hazardous. “

        It depends if you value women as humans, I guess. To me it seems a no-brainer. You can’t actually force women through pregnancy against their will – women are not farm animals, they’ll always try to find an alternative. All the state can actually do is decide whether it’s important women live or die. Most women who have abortions already have children, and are making a decision for their families as well as for themselves. So a state that values women and children will always allow women to have access to safe legal abortion. A state that does not, will allow women to die in unsafe illegal abortions.

        “Abortion related deaths in the 25 years prior to 1973 averaged 250 a year, with a high of 388 in 1948*. In 1966, before the first state legalized abortion, only 120 mothers died from abortion.”

        And that was 120 too many, wasn’t it? Human lives matter. Abortion is an essential medical/surgical procedure: all doctors ought to be trained how to perform it, even if they have a mental reservation that they’ll only perform an abortion when the mother’s life is at risk. Therefore, especially since the development of antibiotics, in any country with trained doctors, it will be possible to find doctors who can perform abortion safely but illegally. (Illegal abortion is statistically safer than full-term pregnancy/childbirth, worldwide.) Of course this puts women in need of abortion into the power of doctors who have chosen to be criminals, and that in itself is a hazard. Better to make abortion legal.

        “This is only true if you are dealing with potential people, which, as I already said, I don’t think we are”

        I don’t understand this. Are you saying women are not even “potential” people?

    • “Is the embryo a “baby” is the sense of a born human”

      No. As you say.

      Please read the following comment very carefully. Thank you.

      Fertilised egg: conceptus: fetus: baby: there are multiple distinct stages in the making of a human being, and to say that a fertilised egg is an “already made” baby is (a) scientifically, biologically wrong (b) a mockery of women as it ignores completely the nine months hard labour (c) a political statement intended to justify denying legal abortion to women. I find all three highly offensive, as a lover of truth, as a woman, as a human rights activist.

      I will no longer discuss this particular topic with you, and I warn you that if you persist in making wrong, mocking, political statements like “the baby is already made” when you are clearly referring to a fertilised egg/conceptus/fetus, and you know how offensive that is to me, I may have to ban you.

      This is not a warning for general banishment, just that I genuinely find this kind of mocking women and anti-scientific lies for a political purpose genuinely bloody offensive.

    • “How is saying this at all painting the pregnant woman to be the enemy of the fetus? “

      Because you are arguing that the fetus needs separate human rights from the pregnant woman in order to “defend” the fetus from the pregnant woman. Which results in treating the pregnant woman more badly.

      “universal health care (which I might point out, is not economically feasible for the US at the moment). “

      The UK is about the fifth largest economy in the world. We began our system of universal health care when we were devastated from World War II, and it proved one of the best economic decisions the UK government has ever made. The US is the largest economy in the world. It is absolutely absurd to argue that you can’t have universal healthcare because you can’t afford it; you don’t have universal healthcare because for most of the US’s history, there was no grand political movement and no political success for US politicians in advocating a health system which treated everyone the same. (And there still isn’t, given the deep divide between rich and poor health care in the US.) The NHS was founded in 1948. In 1948 the US was still building hospitals that were whites-only. That’s why you have the worst healthcare system in the world – the most costly, the least effective.

      Firstly, let me point out that the abortion clinics in the US sucker women into having abortions (a very lucrative business) by telling them the same things and pressuring them in the same ways that, according to your link, “coerce” women into adoption.

      That is a standard American pro-life lie. Are you repeating it because you don’t know any better?

      abortions (a very lucrative business)

      Lie. It’s not.

      Adoption is lucrative – for everyone except the woman giving birth and the couple adopting. Abortion is not, and never was when carried out in a legal system. (Can be highly profitable, I admit, as an illegal business catering to desperation.)

      Furthermore, in the United States, most women in crisis pregnancies and those who are pro-choice assume there are only two options–abortion or parenting

      Well, for the woman involved, there are only two options. Either has an abortion, or she has the baby. For the adoption industry there is another option. But I see no morality in a woman who can’t afford to or can’t bear to keep her own baby, being forced through pregnancy against her will in order to let the adoption industry make money out of her baby. There are always more children in need of adoptive homes than there are parents willing to adopt.

      Adoption as rightly practiced is finding suitable parents for a child in need. Touting it as an “alternative” to abortion turns it into a market – have the women produce the babies in order that parents who want to adopt can pick and choose the one they want.

      I will not deny that women may have been forced to adopt, but it does not occur frequently and is by no stretch the pro-life agenda.

      Well, good. Let’s leave adoption as an “alternative” to abortion out of the discussion henceforth: I think we’ve both made clear how we feel about it.

    • Followup (and apology)
      “Firstly, let me point out that the abortion clinics in the US sucker women into having abortions (a very lucrative business) by telling them the same things and pressuring them in the same ways that, according to your link, “coerce” women into adoption.

      That is a standard American pro-life lie. Are you repeating it because you don’t know any better?

      abortions (a very lucrative business)

      Lie. It’s not.

      I do believe those statements are untrue, but let me explain to you why they made me so angry.

      I do not believe that the higher echelons of the pro-life movement – the men who run the organisations that oppose human rights for LGBT people, healthcare for women, equality for all regardless of religion – have any concern for mothers, pregnant women, or children. Their actions are not those of men of compassion: they evidence their “care” for “babies” solely by attacking women who need abortions.

      Nor, frankly, do I believe that the kind of person who hangs around outside a clinic that provides abortions in order to harass and bully the women going in, is doing so because they “care” about babies or really, even want to prevent abortions. At that point the woman has decided she’s going to have an abortion: it’s just an excuse for public bullying.

      I am perfectly willing to believe that there are many people who would identify as pro-life, and meaning by that they want to deny safe legal abortion to women, do so in the mistaken belief that this will help women, not because they’re evil people who want to hurt women. They just have never thought through the direct implications of their beliefs. Your uncertainty about whether you would save a 16-year-old girl from a fire speaks against you, but I suspect that your uncertainty comes from what Fred Clark at Slacktivist calls confusion between the map and the territory.

      But your assertion that abortion is “lucrative” and that the people who work in the risky and terrorist-threatened clinics of American to provide abortions, are trying to coerce women into having abortions for profit – that breaks down my goodwill, because you’re unwilling to believe what I am striving to believe of you: that most people do things because they think they’re the right thing to do. You may disagree with Planned Parenthood and other non-profits that the right thing to do is to offer women who need abortion the option to have an abortion in a safe environment, but you can concede that they are not thinking of the money when they do it.

      I apologise for making the unconstructive, pre-porridge comments. if you wish to continue discussing the morality or otherwise of providing safe legal abortion on demand, please don’t in future traduce people working for dangerous non-profits by asserting that they’re only in it for the money. Women decide to have abortions: that’s the reality. It’s how the state (and the individual) deals with that decision that we can discuss.

  5. “I don’t understand this.   Are you saying women are not even “potential” people?”

    No.  The “they” in my statement referred to the unborn.  You assume that an embryo/fetus does not matter, is not part of the equation, and does not have rights–in short, that it is not a human individual.  And I was saying, look:  all of your arguments are completely valid and totally true…provided the woman is the only human individual involved in pregnancy and abortion.  If the embryo is not a human individual, then I would be pro-choice.  Okay?  I would be pro-choice.  The issue at hand, then, is not the safety of legal versus illegal abortion, or adoption, or how manipulating some American pro-choicers and pro-lifers can be.  All of the points you made are beside the point unless or until the question, “Is the embryo/fetus a human individual?” is answered.

    Yes, I said it was a “baby.” I apologize for my insensitive disregard for technical terms.  Baby (more correctly, infant) is, as a stage in development, rather farther along than an embryo, and it is wrong to say they are the same just as it would be wrong to claim infants are adults.  That would indeed ignore “nine months hard labor” and be “scientifically, biologically wrong.” But–and please listen to the following very carefully, thank you–that was not what I meant to say.  I was saying that ‘embryo’ and ‘fetus’ and ‘infant’ (and ‘toddler’ and ‘adolescent’ and ‘adult’) are stages in the life of a human individual.  You say that conceptus-embryo-fetus are stages in *making* a human being, and I say that (while they are stages in making a “baby”) they are not stages in making a human being.  A human being, a human individual, is already made, and these are merely stages in his/her life, just as much as infant/toddler/teen.  This is not political propaganda, and is very much scientific, as I went through already.  The blastocyst is alive (carries out metabolism, irritability, growth, etc).  It is human (has human DNA).  It is individual (its function is self-directed).  A very basic grasp of biology and embryology shows us this.  The blastocyst/embryo/fetus is a human individual.  This scientific reasoning is what stands in the way of me being pro-choice.  If you can explain that the unborn is not a human individual, and why it is not a human individual, then I will be pro-choice.  As it is, you haven’t explained, I’m not pro-choice, and all your other points are beside the point.  I am not trying to offend you.  I am trying to understand you.  You made an assertion that I don’t get, and I’m asking you very nicely to explain it. 

    • No. The “they” in my statement referred to the unborn.

      Thank you for clarifying. By the way, your comments would be easier to read if you broke them up into shorter paragraphs?

      You assume that an embryo/fetus does not matter, is not part of the equation, and does not have rights–in short, that it is not a human individual.

      No, i don’t make any such assumption.

      If you can explain that the unborn is not a human individual, and why it is not a human individual, then I will be pro-choice.

      I’m sorry, I can’t do that. All I can do is point out that a woman is a human. You want to take basic human rights away from her, and that is wrong.

      It is demonstrably wrong because
      -(a) you want to take these basic human rights away from her in order to prevent abortion, and demonstrably, removing basic human rights from women only ensures that more women die: if you actually want to prevent abortion (effectively) you do so by respecting women’s human rights and dignity – with free provision of healthcare, free provision of contraception, and strong encouragement for heterosexual couples to use it.
      -(b) it is always wrong to take these basic human rights away from anyone, no matter what your justification. Your belief that you are justified in removing basic human rights from women because women can then be forced to make babies against their will, is… well, mistaken.

      Do you want to prevent abortions? I mean, seriously: you indicate strongly you want to make abortion illegal and make women feel bad / be punished for having abortions, but is this an end in itself? Or do you actually feel it would be a better world if there were fewer abortions and you want to make that happen?

      You made an assertion that I don’t get, and I’m asking you very nicely to explain it.

      See above. Women are human. Human rights are paramount. Forcing women through pregnancy against their will is an abrogation of women’s human rights, therefore is wrong.

  6. Thank you very much for your patient and clear response.  I greatly appreciate it.  

    “I don’t make any such assumption; all I can do is point out that a woman is a human.”

    The above would indicate that, in the case of abortion, we are dealing with two human individuals who–because they are human individuals–have equal rights and who are at odds with another.  I admit this with bitterness towards no one and an attempt to demonize no one.  I admit it because not to would ignore one human individual in favor of another, and as a human rights activist I cannot do that.  Human rights are paramount for *all* humans, and this obliges us to take the plight of each into account equally, unhampered by pre conceived notions and undue emotion.  Let us please do so here.  

    On the one hand we have a human individual who does not wish to be pregnant.  Her body is on loan to another and will undergo unpleasant and unwilled changes.  She will be limited in her activities; in short, her right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness are at stake with 100% certainty, along with–to a certain yet admittedly small degree–her right to life.  

    On the other hand we have a human individual who cannot live on their own.  They are dependent, through the fault of *no one on this earth*, on the body of another human individual.   Their right to life is at stake with 100% certainty, and through this their right to liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and every other right which human beings have.

    I see and understand completely why you wish to respect the rights of the woman, and as a woman myself I am touched and grateful for your concern.  But the part of me which values *all* human rights for *all* human beings must ask you: why should we ignore the rights of the latter individual for the sake of the former?  Or perhaps I missed something, and your view is that not all human individuals have  human rights.  If so, please explain why the latter individual does not have human rights.

    Again, I ask this for the sake of equality and human rights, not to demonize pregnant women.  I do not see the woman as the enemy of the fetus, as you say, and I do not want to see her punished, as you assume.  I acknowledge with the utmost regret, but with blame and ill-feeling toward no one, that this is a bad situation either way.  The logical side of me wishes to find a logical (rather than an arbitrary) solution.  Again, I wish to understand you.  Why do you think the latter individual’s rights ought to be forgone for the former’s?

    Abortion is not wrong if denying the latter’s rights can be logically justified.  So ways to concretely and effectively and “seriously” reduce abortion would be unnecessary.  

    • Thank you very much for your patient and clear response. I greatly appreciate it.

      You’re kindly welcome, thank you! I have to admit that unless I think we’re getting somewhere I’m going to end the discussion after this. Don’t take that as a ban, just that as I’ve said (I think more than once) all I can say about being pro-choice, and I don’t see any point in prolonging this discussion past the point of tedium.

      “The above would indicate that, in the case of abortion, we are dealing with two human individuals who–because they are human individuals–have equal rights and who are at odds with another. “

      If you want to look at it that way. It’s up to the pregnant woman in each instance how she wants to look at it – because it would always be wrong to force her to continue the pregnancy against her will. Just as all civilised countries agree it’s wrong to force someone to be a blood donor, bone marrow donor, kidney donor, liver donor, skin donor… and uterus donor. It does not matter that someone else will live or die depending on your choice: it is still your choice. No one has the right to take bits of your body against your will. There you go. Being pro-choice just says you agree it’s right not to force women. Do you agree to that?

      Because no one is ever going to convince me that it’s right to force women, and so no one could convince me that it would ever be right to take the option of safe, legal abortion on demand away from women or away from the healthcare system.

      On the one hand we have a human individual who does not wish to be pregnant. Her body is on loan to another and will undergo unpleasant and unwilled changes. She will be limited in her activities; in short, her right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness are at stake with 100% certainty, along with–to a certain yet admittedly small degree–her right to life.

      Let me rephrase that passive sentence emboldened above. You want to loan that woman’s body for the use of another: you want to force her to undergo unpleasant and unwilling changes.

      “You” In this instance being the state, or the patriarchal owner of the woman. And you want me to think about this situation – a human being whose body is deemed not their own, subject to use against her will, forced to endure damage against her will, “unhampered by pre conceived notions and undue emotion”. Can’t do that. Slavery is wrong. Using someone else’s body against their will is wrong. I don’t think any “emotion” about that is “undue”, and of course I have “preconceived notions” that it’s wrong. So do you, I would hope, and you should pay attention to those feelings.

      On the other hand we have a human individual who cannot live on their own. They are dependent, through the fault of *no one on this earth*, on the body of another human individual. Their right to life is at stake with 100% certainty, and through this their right to liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and every other right which human beings have.

      If you are dying of liver failure, and I can save your life by donating a lobe of my liver, you are in exactly that position. It’s not your fault, but your right to life is at stake with 100% certainty on getting a functioning liver again. I may be your closest relative. I might be your mother. Or your child. Still nothing on earth would give you the legal right to claim a lobe of my liver. If a liver donor chose to provide a lobe that would save your life it would have to happen as a free gift. Anything else would be wrong.

      Statistically, 50-75% of human fetuses die spontaneously – at least 250-350 million fetal deaths each year. Yet I have not noticed any pro-life movement to investigate and remedy the cause of what you perceive as the single largest cause of death in any year.

      I did some quick percentage calculations based on info here and here and I think you could argue that if all the women who conceive unwanted pregnancies could be forced to carry the pregnancies to term instead of aborting (legally or illegally) then you might manage to force the birth of as many as 40 million babies, making a total of 170 million babies born in that year instead of 130.
      -Over 5 million of those babies would die within a year. (Probably far more, because you would be forcing women to give birth against their will to babies they already knew could not survive infancy.)
      -At least 685000 women would die – probably far more, since you would be forcing so many women to give birth who had already judged the hazard to her life too high.
      -13.7 million women would suffer serious injury or disability – certainly far more, I’ve just multiplied up with strict proportionality, because again, you’d be overriding the woman and her medical advisor and their right to judge whether this pregnancy is safe for her or should be terminated.
      -Most of those 15 million women whom you are condemning to death or serious injury/disability would already have children: in the developing world, the loss of the mother of a family is not only a personal tragedy, it means her children are much less likely to survive to adulthood. Millions more children are ondemned to die in childhood – say around 2 young children for each woman who dies or suffers serious disabilitty.
      -so probably about 25 million children are going to die.

      Why do you think the latter individual’s rights ought to be forgone for the former’s?

      If you operate on strict Ceaușescu-arithmetic, not allowing any undue feelings to change your mind, then you do, I guess, end up with more babies surviving than you do women and older children dying. Nicolae Ceaușescu was able to force births in this way. But consider the long-term results.

      Do you really think it’s worth it? Do you want to be Ceaușescu to the world, or even to the US?

      So ways to concretely and effectively and “seriously” reduce abortion would be unnecessary.

      Well, we disagree again. Much better to decrease the number of abortions by the most effective methods. While even illegal abortion is far safer than pregnancy, much better to have no unwanted conceptions at all.

      • “If you want to look at it that way.  It’s up to the pregnant woman…”

        Human individuals have inherent rights.  We can ignore them.  We can recognize and respect them.  But we cannot grant them.  No matter how anyone chooses to look at it, a human individual has human rights.  No matter how anyone chooses to look at it, in this case, we have two human individuals with rights which are threatened.  

        “You want me to think about this…unhampered by preconceived notions and undue emotion.  Can’t do that.”

        When you are so attached to a particular idea and way of thinking that you become offended by and refuse to even consider another way of thinking, that is viewing the situation with hampering and undue emotion.  That was what I wished to avoid.  I am sure that when confronted with slavery I am as angry as you are.  I am also angry when confronted with the death of 3,700 individuals per day in US.  But just as that knowledge and just anger doesn’t hamper me from understanding your view of things, I don’t think your just anger should hamper your understanding of mine.

        “No one has the right to take bits of your body against your will.”

        No one has the right to kill me, either.  So, basically, your position can be summed up in the statement, “The former individual’s right to liberty and happiness supersedes the latter individual’s right to life.” You seem to think that the rights of liberty and happiness supersede the right to life.

         I disagree.  I think that the right to life supersedes the right to liberty and happiness.  Why?  Because without life no other right–from the right to happiness and liberty to the right to vote–can exist.  The right to life is not only *a* basic right; it is *the most*  basic right.  In the case of keeping an unwanted pregnancy, a human individual must give away bits of her body and be denied her right to liberty and happiness for about nine months.  In the case of an abortion, a human individual is killed and must be denied her every right, forever.  

        Planned Parenthood states, “The desire to complete school or to continue working are common reasons women give for choosing to abort unplanned pregnancy.” (Planned Parenthood Federation, “Abortion: Facts at a Glance”)
        No one argues that a born human individual can kill another born human individual to protect their happiness.  No one argues that a father can kill his born daughter because paying child support prevents him from paying for college.  No one argues that a mother can kill her born son because babysitting prevents her from working.  A preferred lifestyle is not greater than another human individual’s right to life.  ****The right to happiness/liberty does not supersede the right to life.**** This is obvious when the venue is changed; I fail to see why it is not obvious with pregnancy.  

        “If you are dying of liver failure…”

        In this scenario, I died of natural causes because you withheld something from me.  It would be more comparable to the situation we are discussing if you took a gun and killed me because you didn’t want to give me your kidney.  You took direct action to kill me.  There is a difference.  Everyone is able to see this if involuntary blood donors began strangling the unwitting recipients of their “donation”.  Again, I don’t see why abortion is viewed differently.  

        “Over five million babies would die within the year…at least 685000 women would die….”

        Abortion is illegal in Poland except for extreme cases.  In 2000 only 21 women died from pregnancy related problems (J.C. Willke, “Clear Evidence: If Forbidden, Abortion Will Not Return to the Back Alley,” Life Issues Onnector, Life Issues Institute, April 2000).  That was 0.000054% of the Polish population.  0.000054% of the United States population is, rounded up, 119.  Based on the history of Poland, we can reasonably expect 119 pregnancy-related deaths in the US if abortion is made legal only in cases of extreme fetal abnormality, rape, and when the life of the mother is directly threatened by the pregnancy.  Based on the history of the United States, we can expect about 39 deaths from illegal abortion (the number of deaths from it in 1972).  It is not impossible to take that number down to zero, as Poland did in 2000.  And, despite abortion being legal in the United States and illegal in Poland, the infant death rate in both countries from 2000-2005 was tied (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db09.htm).  

        Therefore, as far as the United States is concerned, if abortion is made illegal in all except extreme cases, we can expect a maternal death rate of at least about 119 per year and at most about 158.  158 human individuals.  Compare that to the 1.37 million individuals who are killed every year from abortion. (http://www.abortionno.org/Resources/fastfacts.html) (And that’s not counting those women who die from abortion).

        So drastic is the difference between these numbers and so unequal the violation of rights between the latter individual and the former, that I am forced to decide that legal abortion is wrong.  Forcing women may be wrong, but killing 1.37 individuals per year is more wrong.  

        “Unless we’re getting somewhere I’m going to end the discussion after this.”

        This probably will not convince you to adopt my position.  I don’t really expect it to.  But I hope that you at least understand the pro-life reasoning in America.  It’s not about control over women.  It’s about recognizing the rights of *all* human individuals and protecting those which most need protection.  It’s about striving to do what every government and society should do.  Seeing that we will never agree, and that there is no more of my reasoning to explain, further discussion would be tedious.  Now would be an appropriate place to end it, and I am fine with that.  It was very nice speaking with you, and I hope that you have learned as much as I from our conversation.  Au revoir!  

        • “When you are so attached to a particular idea and way of thinking that you become offended by and refuse to even consider another way of thinking, that is viewing the situation with hampering and undue emotion.I am sure that when confronted with slavery I am as angry as you are. “

          Yet I notice you decline to answer my question: “Being pro-choice just says you agree it’s right not to force women. Do you agree to that?”

          Instead the tenor of your comments (while not directly answering the question) is that you think it is right to force women, and furthermore (you say directly) you think my offense at the idea of forcing women is “hampering” my ability to consider the situation of what is accomplished by forcing women.

          So, well, no: quite evidently you are not “hampered” by anger when you are confronted with slavery: you’re urging me (politely, I admit) to consider the benefits of it. I’m afraid your politeness and your certainty that it is worth sacrificing women’s lives in order to force them to bear children against their will does not convince me that using someone else’s body is not a great evil, to be strongly resisted.

          “But I hope that you at least understand the pro-life reasoning in America. It’s not about control over women. It’s about recognizing the rights of *all* human individuals and protecting those which most need protection. “

          I think I understand the pro-life reasoning quite well. It’s consistent with your earlier desire to ignore and dismiss pregnancy: you pretend that you can “protect” fetuses by attacking women, by justifying forcing women’s bodies, knowing that this will kill some of them and not caring because you talk yourself into thinking it might be only a few hundred who die, and their lives do not matter to you.

          We’re at an end. Feel free to have the last word if you wish, but I won’t reply.

  7. For clarity, I will reply to your last comment.

    “Yet I notice you decline to answer my question.”

    I sort of already did. It is wrong to force someone to do something, but necessary in this case because it is *more wrong* to kill a human individual.

    “You think my offense at forcing women is hampering my ability to consider the situation of what is accomplished by forcing women.”

    No. It is hampering you ability to see what is accomplished by NOT forcing women.

    “You talk yourself into thinking that it might be only a few hundred who die…”

    It was a reasonable conclusion based on the evidence of history.

    “…and their lives do not matter to you.”

    If you think I ignore the former, then I think you ignore the latter. It is not that the women’s lives do not matter to me. It is that I see no sanity in thinking that 158 lives>1.37 million lives.

    Again, thank you for this enlightening conversation. Good luck with your blog, and good bye!

    • I really hadn’t meant to reply, but I’m kind of struck by this appeal to pre-Roe.vs.Wade history in the US – you’re okay with women having abortions, providing they’re illegal. Given the Internet, few women would die, but abortions would be carried out expensively and with maximum shame and danger to the woman who chose termination.

      You admit yourself: it’s not about saving fetal lives. It’s about controlling women: ensuring that when they get abortions, they can’t do so as a simple, legal option.

      Of course this also maximises death in pregnancy… but I’ll do you the credit of assuming that you’ve never thought that part of your plan through.

      • “You admit yourself: it’s not about saving fetal lives.”

        My argument makes no sense in light of that, and I wonder how you came to this conclusion.

        • “My argument makes no sense in light of that, and I wonder how you came to this conclusion.”

          You are appealling to the evidence of a country where abortion is illegal, not where it’s been successfully banned. In 21st-century Europe, women can access abortion on demand even when they’re living in a country in which abortion illegal: EU law mandates women being able to leave their own country in order to have an abortion elsewhere, and return. This is of course the most expensive option, and a Polish woman who cannot afford that will have an illegal abortion in her own country. Hence the low death rate – it would take substantial effort from the Polish government in keeping women from access to antibiotics / post-abortion healthcare, to make these abortions even more dangerous than childbirth.

          I’d already pointed out to you – which I assumed you’d taken in, since the evidence of history is completely solid on this! – that you can’t in fact force women through pregnancy against their will, not unless you are a dictator like Ceauşescu. Did you look up the maternal death rate in Romania when he was President?

          I could also conclude much earlier in the discussion that anytime you claimed you were interested in saving fetal lives, you weren’t really serious about that as a motivation, since:

          If you were interested in saving fetal lives, you would not be interested in forcing women to have illegal/expensive abortions by banning abortions – you would already know that was pointless. As I assumed you did when you cited Polish figures.

          You would want to provide free contraception/campaign to encourage people to use it unless they want to conceive, since that would ensure fewer fetuses were accidentally conceived only to die in spontaneous abortion or induced miscarriage.

          You cited history. That’s what history – and science – teaches us about bans on legal abortion. Given that you show no interest in any of the above, I conclude you are not interested in saving fetal lives, and further, that women’s deaths mean little to you. Sorry, but there it is.

          I would also like to argue that you would definitely want the kind of healthcare service which ensures all women get free healthcare and so do all children. Because saving fetal lives would be the important thing, you would also accept that for the healthcare service to be really effective, you would need to focus your resources on preventing abortions, rather than on limiting medical training and making doctors take the attitude that it is not important if they save women’s lives: and you would also accept that if you teach women they can’t trust the official healthcare system, all you are doing is causing the development of an illegal underground healthcare system. Not good.

          But there are plenty of other reasons why an American without much experience of other countries might not really think about the limitations of the US healthcare system with regard to women, the causes of the high infancy mortality rate, and the relatively high abortion rate in the US, compared to countries like Germany, Belgium, or the Netherlands – where abortion on demand is much rarer than n the US, but is alo legal and much more accessible – the prolife terrorist campaigns against abortion providers seem to be an American thing – and also the healthcare systems in those countries are much better than in the US, of course.

          • “You are appealing to the evidence of a country where abortion is illegal, not where it’s been successfully banned.”

            Well, the United States wouldn’t be exporting their abortions.  When abortion is illegal in one state, it is illegal for a resident of that state to go elsewhere and get an abortion; it certainly wouldn’t be different with country borders.

            [Edinburgh Eye Update – just to clarify a point of fact: Tully Marx is completely wrong there. It is perfectly legal for a resident of one US state to travel to another state in order to get an abortion – regardless of how unlawful the abortion would be in the state in which that person is normally resident. The only legal restrictions, more or less explicitly put in place in order to make it more difficult for girls to get abortions, are on minors travelling across state borders without parental consent.]

             And the point is not to kill women, so we wouldn’t even want to deny them access to antibiotics and other medication.  Therefore, the maternal death rate in the United States could not be that much higher than that of Poland, and it was the numbers I was getting at.  Not necessarily Poland’s success in preventing out of country or illegal abortions.  

            “….you can’t, in fact, force women through pregnancy against their will.”

            That is exactly like saying, because we can’t keep drugs away from consumers, we should make them legal.  I can only reiterate the words I heard a cop speak once, “There are thousands of people on drugs now.  If we made it legal, there would be millions.”  That goes for just about any law.  I mean, if they were all 100% effective, there would be no jails.  …I can assure you, that if abortion were illegal our citizens would not be having 1.37 million of them per year.  The abortion rate would go down substantially.  

            General conditions in Romania were such that the United States would never tolerate.  Nor can it be argued that illegal abortion caused them all.  Therefore, the countries are incomparable.  

            “You would want to provide free contraceptives…”

            Statistics and records from Planned Parenthood indicate that the *vast* majority of abortions are done by those whose birth control failed, or who were not using birth control in the first place.  It is not difficult to get birth control in this country.  You can go to the Planned Parenthood clinic or the local grocery store and get some.  Some schools even pass it out for free in class.  The problem isn’t a lack of accessibility; it is that no one takes it as seriously as they should.  Abortion *is* birth control in America, and women will not take pills as seriously as they should and prevent abortions, as long as abortion is a fool proof back up plan.

            I do support and promote contraceptives, as much as I am able.  Or, actually, one contraceptive: Natural Family Planning.  I know couples who have been on it for 25+ years and who have never had a single unexpected pregnancy.  It is 100% effective when done correctly, and is completely free (apart from the thermometer).

            “You…would want the kind of healthcare service which ensures all women get free healthcare…”

            I would love that.  Proposed methods of doing so could have been proposed by single-called organisms, so stupid are the plans.  But, yes, I want that, and work toward it through charity, as the only avenue available at the moment.  Again, your preference of method doesn’t disprove the fact that I try.  There is no more to discuss on this point.

            The bottom line in the choice v. life debate is that abortion is the direct, calculated, purposeful killing of an innocent human individual.  No one argues that this should be legal in any other case, and because there is no discernible difference between other cases and abortion, I will not argue that it should be legal in this case.  Until you begin arguing that a father can drown his offspring in the pool because he wants to afford college, it is inconsistent and logically silly to argue that a mother can rip her offspring to pieces, or burn them with salt, or in any other way harm them, because she wants to go to college.

  8. Tully: Well, the United States wouldn’t be exporting their abortions.

    I’ve corrected your major error of fact in the body of the comment – it struck me as such a big, misleading error that it needed to be corrected on the spot.

    If the whole continental United States instituted an absolute ban on abortions, then quite simply: Women who could afford it, would go to Canada or even Europe. (Any attempt by the US government to close the US / Canadian border to pregnant women, or to enforce a ban by medical examination of all vaginas at the border, is frankly so unlikely it is not worth discussing.)

    Women who could not afford to travel to Canada to have an abortion, would have a local, illegal abortion.

    And the point is not to kill women, so we wouldn’t even want to deny them access to antibiotics and other medication.

    So you acknowledge that, far from saving fetal lives, this would simply ensure a steep rise in illegal abortions (and subsequent fairly expensive aftercare).

    That is exactly like saying, because we can’t keep drugs away from consumers, we should make them legal.

    That’s exactly why the 21st Amendment to the US Constitution exists. Because the 18th Amendment, making access to a popular and easily available drug illegal, turned out simply to give huge financial power to criminals who provided the drug – and to cause higher death rates from consuming the drug since production was no longer regulated. History says you’re wrong. Sorry.

    I can only reiterate the words I heard a cop speak once, “There are thousands of people on drugs now. If we made it legal, there would be millions.”

    Really? That’s all you got? I can point you to Portugal, where a decision made 10 years ago to decriminalise drugs has worked spectacularly:

    There is no doubt that the phenomenon of addiction is in decline in Portugal,” said Joao Goulao, President of the Institute of Drugs and Drugs Addiction, a press conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the law.

    The number of addicts considered “problematic” — those who repeatedly use “hard” drugs and intravenous users — had fallen by half since the early 1990s, when the figure was estimated at around 100,000 people, Goulao said.

    So, history says you’re wrong. Sorry your country (and mine, sadly) is still trapped in the destructive idea that it’s better to have people made criminals than to work on the health problems of addiciton and addicts.

    “I can assure you, that if abortion were illegal our citizens would not be having 1.37 million of them per year. “,

    You have no idea, Tully. I mean, really, you don’t even know that it’s legal to cross state lines to have an abortion! You don’t have any idea how many abortions would happen if the US suddenly banned them all. All you know – and you don’t want to think about that – is that more women would die.

    ” It is not difficult to get birth control in this country. You can go to the Planned Parenthood clinic or the local grocery store and get some. “

    You do know that the prolife movement in the US is working to defund and shut down Planned Parenthood? I’m slightly doubtful, but someone who honestly thought it was illegal to travel to Kansas or New York might not have noticed the extensive campaigning against Planned Parenthood. Goodness, you have Republican candidates running for President this year who are against women getting to use contraception.

    “I do support and promote contraceptives, as much as I am able. Or, actually, one contraceptive: Natural Family Planning.”

    So you don’t support contraception access? I see.

    (Not to decry NFP as one method of preventing conception that can work for a couple – providing the woman is absolutely in charge of whether and when they have penetrative sex, according to a successful user of the method – but if you’re only willing to support and promote contraception if it’s NFP, you’re obviously – as I said – not in favour of preventing abortions.)

    I would love that. Proposed methods of doing so could have been proposed by single-called organisms, so stupid are the plans. But, yes, I want that, and work toward it through charity, as the only avenue available at the moment.

    Well, you could also invest your efforts in politically campaigning, as a prolifer, for socialist healthcare in the US. But I do admit it’s hard to believe one person could make a difference there, since both main political parties are against it. But you could donate to Planned Parenthood. You could join pro-PP demos and campaigns, making clear you do so because you want to prevent abortions, and you know that organisations like PP are key to doing so. And you could, as a pro-lifer, argue strongly against any and all “prolife” attacks on Planned Parenthood, which are – though you evidently haven’t noticed – extremely prevalent!

    Again, your preference of method doesn’t disprove the fact that I try.

    Well, I have to admit, your level of ignorance on this topic doesn’t suggest you try very hard, and your declared unwillingness to support any method of contraception except NPF really disproves it completely.

    The bottom line in the choice v. life debate…

    …is whether a woman’s body can be used against her will for the declared purpose of forcing her to “save a life”. No one argues that forced use of another’s body should be legal for any other organ of the body.

    As you yourself have repeatedly acknowledged, you know making abortion illegal will not prevent abortions. You know that the only thing criminalising abortion does is ensure women die. You may be ignorant of much else, but you do know both those things.

    So it’s really impossible for me to believe that you continue to argue against legal abortion and against contraception because your motive is to save fetal lives.

    But your dismissal of women’s lives and women’s health and women’s human rights as important issues, makes it very easy to believe that you want to make abortion illegal for frankly misogynistic reasons.

  9. “…is whether a woman’s body can be used against her will for the declared purpose of forcing her to “save a life.”

    Miss Eye…
    You have failed to prove that the unborn is not a human individual.
    You have failed to prove that this human individual has no rights, less rights, or is less valuable in any way.
    You have failed to prove that the right to happiness and liberty supersedes the right to life. Therefore, your reiterating that it is wrong to force the mother to feed and shelter her child during the pregnancy has absolutely no basis. You have not and cannot prove that her right to happiness/liberty render null and void her child’s right to life. You have not and cannot prove your favoritism.

    I have already said that donating kidneys is incomparable. In refusing to donate a kidney, you are simply refusing to save a life. In having an abortion, you are purposefully, deliberately, and calculatedly killing a life. I don’t see you arguing that you have the right to kill the recipient of your blood donation.

    From your insistence on ignoring the latter’s rights, of assuming off-hand that the right to happiness supersedes the right to life, I am forced to conclude the following:

    That you think the value of an individual is relative, based your own arbitrary views and opinions. That you think pleasure and convenience are sufficient excuses to kill. That you think the joy of the few are worth the lives of the many. That you think our society is not obligated to uphold, in principle or act, the right of *all* human individuals.

    I am not ignorant, but I will not address the obvious flaws in your last comment accusing me of that fault. All of your other points are beside the point. ABORTION IS KILLING and that is why it is wrong. How it is handled is a minor issue beside your unfounded declaration that killing innocent human individuals is alright, and I will not discuss it.

    • “Miss Eye…”

      Ms, please!

      Tully, I can’t think of anything to say in response to you that I haven’t already said and you plainly either haven’t agreed to or haven’t paid attention to. There’s no point cycling round this forever: I believe human rights are paramount, you believe in doing evil in the hope that good will come of it. (At least, I think you concede that you know forcing women is evil. I’m going to hope so, anyway.) And while I understand but don’t accept your framing of the situation, you are so ignorant of the basic facts of law, medicine, and history that you don’t really understand mine.

      “I am not ignorant, but…”

      *smiles ruefully, points upthread*

      I think we’re at that point, don’t you?

  10. “*points upthread*”

    1). It is TAlly, not TUlly
    2). You haven’t proven anything I said medically wrong, or philosophically wrong.
    3). Your article on Portugal clearly says drugs were still illegal. Addicts were simply forced into special treatment. That actually is a very good idea, for the abortion issue as well. When abortion is illegal, I’ll opt for women to appear in front of human rights tolerance panels if they’re caught.
    4). The Prohibition is incomparable for very obvious reasons. One being that when abortion was illegal, there wasn’t some widespread crime spree. History speaks differently.
    5). 1.37 million abortions can’t be exported.
    6). I meant minors.
    7). Saying that keeping abortion legal will reduce abortion (because legalizing it has really reduced it *sarcasm*) is just silly, and saying that Illegalizing it won’t reduce it, is as much so.
    8). There is money in the abortion industry in the USA. Big time. Abortionists themselves have admitted it. So while many like Abby Johnson think they are doing good, many are in it for the money. Your statement that abortion isn’t lucrative contradicts the abortionists themselves, and your offense at the suggestion hypocritical.

    But you seem to like hypocrisy, Eye.

    “Doing evil in the hopes that good will come of it.”

    You believe in denying 1.37 million human individuals per year (just in the US) their basic human right to life in the hopes that some good will come of it. Now, I hope that you think killing 1.37 million human individuals is evil, but I really don’t think you do. You’ve said nothing to indicate you do. Of course you don’t accept the framing; it makes you sound positively terrible. Your hypocrisy knows no bounds.

    I’m done here. I don’t want to have a one-sided “debate” with a hypocritical and biased selective-human-rights activist. There’s not really much more I can say anyway. If you wish to truly debate with an American in future, I do recommend you read the book, “Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments” by Randy Alcorn, just to have some competence in the discussion. Good luck.

  11. “It is TAlly, not TUlly”

    Oh. So sorry. I do apologise for that – didn’t intend to get your name wrong.

    3. “Addicts were simply forced into special treatment.”

    Not at all. Addiction is treated as a health issue. The panel which deals with addicts can recommend treatment, but of course can’t and doesn’t force treatment – that would be pointless. Help is available if the addict is willing to accept it, that’s all. All drugs have been decriminalised – and it’s worked.

    4. One being that when abortion was illegal, there wasn’t some widespread crime spree.

    Illegal abortions took place in every state of the Union where abortion was illegal. This isn’t enough of a crime spree for you? Ah well – I guess we’re back to your thinking that illegal abortions are okay.

    My point about Prohibition was actually in response to your comment about drugs – about how it would be nonsense to make drugs legal and it’s only good sense to criminalize people who use drugs. The 18th Amendment to the US Constitution stands to prove that it’s really not. As does the more recent example of Portugal.

    5. 1.37 million abortions can’t be exported.

    You’re absolutely right. Many women would be unable to afford to travel to Canada, and they would have to seek out an illegal abortion, with consequent risks to their health.

    6. . I meant minors.

    Sure you do, now I’ve pointed it out to you! But you certainly didn’;t know it in your initial comment.

    7). Saying that keeping abortion legal will reduce abortion

    Making abortion illegal won’t reduce the abortion rate.

    I have *points upthread, sighs* pointed out to you several times already how you can actually reduce the abortion rate. You weren’t interested!

    8). There is money in the abortion industry in the USA. Big time.

    Just another example of your ignorance, Tally.

    “You believe in denying 1.37 million human individuals per year (just in the US) their basic human right to life in the hopes that some good will come of it. ”

    About 12 million fetuses die in the uterus each year in the US. Conceived, spontaneously aborted, dead, shed with the menstrual blood. Your indifference to this mass death is … noted. But you should be aware that there is no basic human right to life, Tally. People die. 12 million fetuses die each year. 25 thousand babies die in the US within days of being born. No one lives forever. And there is absolutely no basic human right that can ever be based on making use of other humans against their will.

    There is a clear good in declaring that each pregnant woman has the right to decide for herself , in consultation with her doctor if necessary, whether she will terminate or continue the pregnancy. This respects the woman’s moral agency, her rights as a human being, her health, and her life. That isn’t just “some good” that “might” come: it’s just plain good.

    There is a clear evil in declaring that once a woman is pregnant, she has no right to decide for herself: her body will be used against her will in the hope that this will ensure she can be forced to produce a live baby. You began by arguing that the baby just “exists”, in an instant.

    “. You’ve said nothing to indicate you do. “

    I’ve repeatedly pointed out to you how to greatly reduce the number of abortions, Tally – a goal I support.. You weren’t interested, and it appears from this accusation that you weren’t even paying attention! You don’t appear to care if 1.37< individuals, in your framing, are killed – their lives do not seem to matter to you at all, you’re solely and completely focussed on making sure that the women who have abortions are treated as criminals. And you are absolutely uninterested in trying to diminish that number. So who’s the hypocrite here? I don’t think it’s me.

    , I do recommend you read the book, “Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments” by Randy Alcorn,

    Oh. I see. That’s why your arguments didn’t really make any sense – they weren’t your own, you were reading from a script!

    Well, thank you for letting that out at last. Please, next time you come back to this blog, do try to compose your own thoughts, and avoid giving me scripted responses. I kept thinking what you were saying sounded familiar, and I guess that would be it – a lot of prolifers using basically the same script. Well, now I know: next time someone comes along with this kind of stuff, I can just point out that they’re using scripted responses and I’d rather have them think and write for themselves.

  12. Francis

    i used to think that pro-abortion people were thoughtful, well-intentioned folks who had well formulated opinions. your blog, and this post in particular, have truly driven home to me just how immature, illogical and absurd those who argue for abortion are.

    it conveniently begins in your semantics. “pro-choice.” what a laughable term! “i’m in favour of the choice to murder someone, so long as that someone isn’t me, and doesn’t have his toe still in the birth canal!” i know you won’t go for pro-murder, but at least call yourself pro-abortion – it is what you are. i’m sure there are some choices you’re against, (right?) so don’t lie about position in your own self-definition.

    then it moves on to “terminating her pregnancy.” oh, how very simple and clean-cut! “right now i’m in a state of pregnancy, but after termination i’ll no longer be in a state of pregnancy.” that’s all well and good, except for the fact that the state of pregnancy is predicated upon another’s state of BEING ALIVE, and that sleek little ‘termination’ consists of ENDING THAT LIFE. a life with its own unique DNA is the thing that is ‘terminated’, not a simple state of pregnancy. its kinda like when a garbage man calls himself a “waste management technician,” or when a military leader claims some “collateral damage” occurred when those pesky 250 innocent civilians were blown up by a bomb. i know you’re all trying to convince people these murders aren’t really murders, but that waste management technician is still a garbage man and you’re still in favour of murder.

    but you NEED this semantic trick to keep justifying the horror you’re justifying, because the only way to really get people on the side of murder any more is by de-humanizing the victims. did the nazis murder millions of jewish people? why no – because, after all, jews aren’t really people, are they? the exact same false logic is being used here. those who really cemented the origins of the pro abortion movement (like margaret sanger, founder of planned parenthood whose only real flaws were the fact that she hung out with the KKK, and tried to use abortion and birth control to rid the world of black people – no biggie!) needed to really hammer home the fact that these aren’t babies we’re killing here, they’re just clumps of cells! i call for an end to baby showers from now on for expectant mothers – instead, lets all get together for a clump-of-cells-ebration! wow you’re showing, congratulations! when is your state-of-pregnancy due to come to its conclusion? it would be laughable were it not so tragic (true of the abortion crisis, and this blog post.)

    the one thing you really try to hang your hat on though, the big trump card, is that you are somehow “pro woman.” ahh those evil anti-abortion people, they’re so anti-woman. “women’s health” is what we like to call contraception and abortion, although both make women less healthy – the former stops a normal and healthy process within a woman’s body from occurring, and the latter is both physically and emotionally torturous for women, (oh, and over half of the babies murdered are also female. doesn’t do much for those people’s health, does it?) instead of working toward a society where women are treated with respect by men, where all of them, their fertility included, is honoured, you simply call for some pills and some bloody medical treatments to allow women to continue to be treated as objects. pro-woman? hardly. you’re the one contributing to the on-going physical and emotional destruction of modern women, through pharmaceuticals and murder. the more you write, the more you argue, the more your arguments show themselves as weak, ineffectual and porous. so please, keep arguing – it may be the only thing that will change the hardened hearts of those who somehow believe in what you’re saying.

    • “i used to think that pro-abortion people were thoughtful, well-intentioned folks who had well formulated opinions.”

      Really? I never have. I think pro-abortion people fall into two groups: those who for whatever reason purposefully deny emergency contraception to women who want to avoid pregnancy – pharmacists and the like; and those men’s rights activists who think it’s their right to decide for their wives/girlfriends. I do not think either group is thoughtful or well-intentioned, and I certainly do not regard them as having “well-formulated opinions”.

      your blog, and this post in particular, have truly driven home to me just how immature, illogical and absurd those who argue for abortion are.

      Good heavens. Where in this post have you found an argument for abortion? Have you so far blundered that you mistake an argument for choice and for free access to be an argument for abortion? Because that would be very, very silly. My point is precisely that no one except each pregnant woman can make an argument for abortion: she can also make an argument against. It’s her decision, no one else’s, and for the sake of human rights, health, life, and liberty, her right to make that decision must be protected.

      • Francis

        You cannot argue in favour of someone’s choice to murder, and then turn around and say you’re not arguing for murder. “I’m not arguing in favour of killing the Jews – good heavens! You must be silly to think that! No, I’m simply saying that it is up to each individual Nazi – and no one else – whether they choose to kill Jews.” Arguing in favour of “free access” to procedures of murder are arguing in favour of murder – and it is disturbing to see that you attempt to disconnect the two. Again, it is just like the balance of my post that you ignored – you have to try to convince yourself that you’re not in favour of murder, so you pretend you’re just for “choice.” Again – would be humourous, were it not tragic.

        • You cannot argue in favour of someone’s choice to murder

          I am not. Only the most aggressive pro-lifers argue that a woman’s decision to have an abortion makes her a murderer. It is a truly fascist idea, to allow the state the right to control a woman’s body such that she can be executed for aborting an unwanted pregnancy.

          In the real world, we are talking about abortion. Confusing the argument by trying to claim you think of abortion as murder, and every woman who’s had an abortion as a murderer, merely makes you sound…. well. Confused.

          Especially when you compare a woman to a Nazi, her uterus to a concentration camp, and her fertilised egg to a Jew. This is a metaphor forged in the fires of ignorance.

          just like the balance of my post that you ignored

          And will coninue to ignore, so long as you keep making clear you are thoroughly confused not only about what I believe but what you believe.

  13. Francis

    One of us is certainly confused, but it isn’t me.

    “Only the most aggressive pro-lifers argue that a woman’s decision to have an abortion makes her a murderer.” Well, first of all, thanks for changing the topic of our conversation. I never mentioned that every woman who has had an abortion is a murderer, but thanks for ramping up the emotion of the debate in an attempt to deflect from the weakness of your argument. But even in your artful deflection you’re wrong. The pro-life movement is incredibly consistent in their belief that killing unborn children is murder – it is only pro “choice” folks like yourself who deny the humanity of these aborted babies, and so attempt to argue that abortion is not murder. But even if you were correct in that only “aggressive” pro-lifers argue this – how does this make the argument invalid? Its pretty clear that you don’t actually have a valid argument with which to justify abortion, so instead you a) try to marginalize and those arguing against you by using ad hominem attacks (“only the most aggressive…”) you develop and then attack a straw man argument (“every woman who’s had an abortion as a murderer…”) and, because every two logical fallacies deserve a third, you also employ the ‘appeal to emotion’ in an attempt to take this conversation away from murdering unborn babies, and instead make it about how judgmental I am for thinking these innocent women murderers. (Which I never said!)

    Maybe check out this neat summary ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy ) as it might help you to make valid arguments – and clear up which of us is confused.

    • “I never mentioned that every woman who has had an abortion is a murderer”

      You are confused. You claimed abortion is murder – which would make each woman who has an abortion a murderer if it were true! – in the very comment I responded to. If you can’t keep track of what you yourself are saying, how do you expect anyone to have a conversation with you?

  14. An appropriate question right now would be:

    Does an abortion involve the killing of a human individual?

    • Oh dear, Tally, are you back? Hello. Let me reiterate my request from last time you were here; Do try to compose your own thoughts, and avoid giving me scripted responses. Now that’s obviously a scripted question, to which you are hoping someone will give a response for which you have a script. I am not interested in following or in challenging your script: we’ve done that once, it was a bit tedious and weird.

      Can you come up with your own ideas?

      • Ed, the last time we discussed here, you had the abominable habit of ignoring the points of others. You are doing it now with Francis. A point is a point no matter who makes it or where it came from, and ignoring it hardly invalidates it. You yourself have offered no argument I have not already heard from a Pro-Choicer.

        But allow me to rephrase the question. A simple yes or no will suffice, and I will reply with nothing but another question.

        Do you believe that the unborn is a human individual?

        • I responded to you at length when you came by a few week ago, and wondered why your arguments in response sounded so confused and incoherent. I really appreciate your eventual admission that you were getting your entire script from Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments by Randy Alcorn, but you must admit – or perhaps it isn’t scripted! – that there is no reason to engage someone in conversation when they are reading from a standard script and won’t think overly much either about what you yourself say or what they’re saying.

    • “You have consistently argued that abortion should be legal, and is acceptable.”

      Why yes. And my motivation for arguing that is that if abortion is not legal, those 1.37 million abortions you pretend to be concerned about would still happen – and about 2200 women would die each year because those abortions would now be carried out in clinics like Kermit Gosnell’s or worse.

      Further, women would die in ectopic pregnancy, of cancer because they would be denied pre-chemotherapy abortions, of eclampsia. Raped children would commit suicide. We know all this because this is what happens when the pro-lifers win. There are actual examples from pro-life countries of how women die when these moral values win. So you are arguing, not to save fetal lives, not even to save babies, but to have women die and to suffer horribly. And strangely, you think that’s acceptable.

      You have consistently ignored the plight of these human individuals, refused to acknowledge their humanity and their right to life, and consistently argued that these women do not have such a right. And yet you project your indifference to humanity on to me. Why do this? What strange twisted pleasure do you get out of identifying your own callousness with me?

  15. How dare you be a woman with opinions on the internet?! That sort of thing just shouldn’t be allowed – at least have the decency to pretend to agree with the men in the room. We’re supposed to be serene creatures, acting like empty vessels in preparation for our rightful role in life as baby incubators.

  16. Dear Ed, as you have never read “Pro-Life Answers” you do not know what I took from it. I could as easily tell you I got all my words from, “The Grand Adventures of Carmen Krawitz;” you would know no different. I referred you to that book to find the statistics which I cited, and so that you would have the facts when speaking of abortion in American, not to tell you where I got my arguments. Are your arguments scripted, because you like to use links?

    It was neither confused nor incoherent, but I do bow before your superior skills in changing the subject.

    Now, since it is a scientific fact that the unborn are human individuals, since I consider you a reasonable person who is intelligent enough to know that, and since you have not in previous conversations and do not now offer any contradiction, I will assume you believe that they are human individuals.

    My next question is… Do you believe that human beings in general have inherent worth, and are valuable because they are human beings?

    • as you have never read “Pro-Life Answers” you do not know what I took from it

      Are you claiming that part of what you’ve been saying is totally original to you, not borrowed from any book? Which part?

      • My entire first post, for starters. And everything that wasn’t a statistic.
        Do not pretend that you yourself have unique ideas. It is the same idea as those who agree with you; you simply express and word it differently. If you can do that, so can I, and that is all one can reasonably expect in a subject that is so frequently debated.

        Do you or do you not believe that human beings are valuable because they are human beings?

        • “My entire first post, for starters.”

          *re-reads discussion*

          Okay. Then we’ve had this discussion. My views have not changed in the interim: indeed, I made an even stronger position statement for Holocaust Memorial Day, as seemed appropriate. (The Nazis were so pro-life that they instituted the death penalty for having an abortion.)

          I see no reason in reiterating for you my continued belief that human rights are paramount, that every human life matters, that forcing women is an absolute wrong: you can re-read the previous discussion we had for yourself.

          So, once again: feel free to have the last word.

  17. Firstly, the Nazis were “Pro-Life” for their own race, but were completely for abortion in races they deemed lesser. They were eugenicists, supporting everything that exterminated the less evolved peoples and condemning everything which harmed their more evolved selves.

    Your position was never clear to me, actually.
    If you believe that every human life matters, but you do not believe in a right to life. Please explain this to me.

    • Was there something you wanted to say, Francis? Because if you don’t have anything to say, I’m going to delete that comment. (I’ve changed it from “Approved” to “Pending”. Posting a bare link looks like spam.)

      • Francis

        Yes, I wanted to see whether you still wanted to defend the “choice” to abort a baby solely based on the fact that the baby is female. (Because you’re the morally superior champion of women’s rights and all.) But, I knew if I wrote any words along with the link, you’d probably just manufacture an argument I didn’t make and debate that, or try to find a grammatical mistake in my post and challenge me as to how I *dare* conjugate my verbs so audaciously. So I just posted the link. Here it is again.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/9099711/Abortion-investigation-Doctor-secretly-filmed-offering-to-terminate-foetus-because-of-its-gender.html

        • Thanks for expanding on your comment, Francis. A bare link really isn’t acceptable – there needs to be some clarifying text about what you’re trying to convey along with the link.

          The Telegraph story was run because the Conservative government are using abortion as a political football, very much as right-wing politicians do in the US when trying to take attention away from issues of more serious importance – such as workfare, the Welfare Reform Bill, or the profiteering reforms of the NHS.

          If you really are interested in what I think about the right to choose, I wrote at more length here.

          • Francis

            I’ll glean from the above REPEATED attempt to change the subject and dodge the issue that your answer is “yes” – you do indeed support those who want to abort babies only because they are female. Thanks for clarifying. You are, I suppose, at least very consistent in the defense widespread, state-sanctioned, unequivocal evil.

          • You can think what you like, Francis – it’s a free country.

            I note, however, that for all your talk of “gleaning” and “clarifying” you do not appear to be interested in the post where I actually clarified my views on the widespread, state-sanctioned, unequivocal evil of the pro-life movement.

          • Francis

            Wow – I can’t believe you think life is evil. Widespread and state-sanctioned, obviously, yes – but you actually believe life is evil? That is unreal.

          • Francis, she doesn’t think life is evil. She thinks standing for the lives of *unborn* human individuals is evil. Because for some reason she doesn’t care to explain, she thinks some human individuals are more important than others. That, or she doesn’t believe in the right to life. A change of subject discontinued clarification on that point, so I’m not sure which of those two it is.

          • Francis

            clearly in her post she claims the “pro” life movement is unequivocally evil, so therefore if anyone that is for life is evil, it must stand to reason that life itself is evil. (isn’t it fun when we take people’s arguments, twist em around, mis-characterize them and completely disregard their actual point?)

          • Hi Tally, just to note as I said upthread – you haven’t managed to convince me that you’re “standing for the lives of unborn human individuals” because nothing you’ve said has indicated that you give a whit about those lives. What you have managed to convince me is that you think women’s lives, health, and happiness is unimportant, and that you will use a pretended “concern for the unborn” to attack those values, and that you will accuse others who demonstrably care more for the unborn than you do (this is not difficult!) of holding your own indifference to fetal lives.

    • “Your position was never clear to me, actually.”

      Well, I never understand pro-lifers, either.

      I have made clear I believe in a right to life: All women need to have access to safe legal abortion on demand, otherwise women will die. You have made clear you don’t believe in a right to life or that every human life matters: you think it doesn’t matter that women will die just so long as abortion is illegal. And because you genuinely, honestly, do not think it matters when women die, you really can’t understand how my position is “every life matters” and “right to life” – and yours quite explicitly isn’t.

      Are the Christian Right any less ideological about abortion, really? That Demographic Winter racist thing was quite a hit among pro-lifers – and it was as purely a racist ideal as anything I’ve seen.

      • “But you should be aware that there is no basic human right to life, Tally.” -Edinburgh Eye, 01/02/2010, above.

        Please tell me how this does not contradict your statement that you believe in a right to life and that the lives of all human beings matter.

        “you think it doesn’t matter that women will die just so long as abortion is illegal.” -EE, 29/02/2012

        And you think the lives of millions of young male and female human beings don’t matter, just as long as adult women have the freedom to kill them. But of course, if I advertised you that way, you would say that I have missed a step in your life of reasoning, as surely as you have missed one in mine.

        • Tally, if you were in the habit of reading human rights charters – I am – you would find that nowhere in them is it decreed that human beings shall not die.

          Every year, approximately 400 million “young human beings” – in your parlance: most people would call them fertilised eggs! – die. I estimate this because 133 million babies are born each year, and it’s known that about 75% of conceptions are spontaneously aborted in the first four weeks. Your utter indifference to these deaths is … noted.

          Every year, about 529 000 women die in childbirth or from pregnancy-related complications. Your utter indifference to these deaths is … noted.

          Every year, about 42 million abortions take place. Where pro-lifers have power, the abortion rate is high and illegal: more women die as a direct result. Your utter indifference to these deaths is … noted.

          I see your line of reasoning with complete clarity: you are indifferent to human life, you especially cannot grasp that women’s lives matter.

          You cannot grasp mine, because I believe all lives matter. And that is beyond your reach.

          • Saying that people die is one thing, saying that they have no right to life is quite another. I’ve read this: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/
            Have you? I suspect not. Please read articles 1-3.

            ““young human beings” – in your parlance: most people would call them fertilised eggs” -EE

            Am I to understand that you do not, then, believe that the unborn are human individuals? Do you see these terms as exclusive?

            Perhaps you believe that all human life matters, but that women happen to matter more. Is this your reasoning?

  18. It should here be noted that I am discussing the wrongness and/or permissibility of the act of abortion itself. Your position on this is unclear. Therefore, I am discussing this. What one would do based on the conclusion of the former inquiry is not what I am discussing. Therefore, your statistics concerning how many women will die/aren’t dying/children dying/etc is currently irrelevant to the discussion. Illegal versus legal abortion is irrelevant. The question is:

    Is abortion in and of itself a wrong? Is it permissible?

    • “Saying that people die is one thing, saying that they have no right to life is quite another. ”

      And yet you persist in arguing that women have no right to life.

      “Your position on this is unclear. ”

      My position is completely clear. You only find it unclear because you cannot comprehend a position based on a belief that women are human. I could ask you why you regard woman as non-human (you are aware I’m one of them non-humans whom you believe have no right to life?) but I suspect you are so far from understanding that you wouldn’t be able to give me a coherent answer!

      “Am I to understand that you do not, then, believe that the unborn are human individuals”

      Tally, we’ve had that discussion *points upthread*

      • “We’ve had this discussion” -EE

        Really? I only found this: “I don’t think that’s a productive line of discussion.” Avoiding the point, again.

        I am not and have never argued that women have no right to life. I have said that their right to life is at odds with the right to life of others in the case of abortion, but have never said or implied that they have no right to life.

        Perhaps your position is clear in the very fact that you have completely misunderstood my argument and position. Your insistence that I cannot value both women and the unborn reveals your incapability of doing so yourself. You do not value all human life, or you do not value it equally. Your answer to my question of “Perhaps you believe that all human life matters, but that women happen to matter more. Is this your reasoning?” is Yes. Thank you for making that clear. Now, why do women matter more?

        (You are aware that I’m one of the humans that you think matters more than other humans, right? I just disagree with your vanity)

        • “I am not and have never argued that women have no right to life.”

          You have consistently argued (a) that abortion ought to be made illegal (b) that it does not matter that this, if achieved, would mean more women die. So yes, you have been arguing that women have no right to life – either that, or you can’t reason from (a) to (b).

          Your insistence that I cannot value both women and the unborn

          Very obviously, you value neither women nor the fetuses that pregnant women are gestating. At least, throughout these discussions, you have never once indicated that you value the lives of women – and since you have also explicitly argued that it does not matter when pregnant women die, you have also made clear you do not value the lives of the fetuses the pregnant women are carrying.

          All you have indicated that you “value” is that the state shall control women’s bodies; that the state, not the individual woman, shall make the decision when a woman shall continue or abort a pregnancy.

          Your foolish attempts to project your own lack of concern with human lives and wellbeing on to me, is petty malice, I guess: you can’t tolerate discussion with someone who really does value human life. Which invites the question: why are you still tormenting yourself with these silly accusations that apply to you rather to me?


          “You are aware that I’m one of the humans that you think matters more than other humans, right?”

          I have no idea what you mean. I’ve never expressed a preference. If what you mean is that you’re not a fetus,well, I kind of assumed as much, yes!

          • You have consistently argued that abortion should be legal, and is acceptable. It does not matter to you that this, being achieved, condemns 1.37 million innocent human individuals to death per year in the USA alone. You have consistently ignored the plight of these human individuals, refused to acknowledge their humanity and their right to life, and even going so far as to say they do not have such a right.

            The fact of the matter is, and it is very obvious, that you either
            1) do not think the unborn are human individuals
            2) do not think they have value
            3) think they have less value than other human beings

            For you, it wouldn’t make a difference if 0 women died from illegal abortions, you would still argue for its legality because you do NOT care about **all** human life as you claim. I might take your argument that simply Illegalizing abortion will not reduce abortion seriously, but it is merely an attempt by you to discredit pro-lifers so that you do not have to address their legitimate argument that abortion ends the life of a human individual.

            You said that all human life matters, while maintaining that some humans should be able to kill other humans. Please explain this paradox.

  19. My last post does not really need a response; the point, I think, is clear.  You are accusing me of ignoring the humanity and value of a certain group, while you yourself are doing the same thing, just with a different group.  Your position is hypocritical, at best.  

    While you refuse to give reasons as to why the unborn aren’t human beings and do not have value (I suspect you have none) I have freely admitted that women are human beings with value.  I quote myself:

    “Did I not say that there are two human individuals in every abortion (offspring and mother) and that it would be folly to ignore either?” (27/01/2012)

    “The above would indicate that, in the case of abortion, we are dealing with two human individuals who–because they are human individuals–have equal rights and who are at odds with another.” (29/01/2012)

    We are faced with situations like this, excluding abortion, all the time.  A child’s right to food versus a father’s right to his own income, my right to the pursuit of happiness versus your safety on the road, etc.  In each of these cases, we deem one right to supersede that of another.  This does not mean that either individual has no rights or is not valuable…it simply means that one right supersedes another.  I explained which rights were at stake, and why I think one supersedes the other.  Your only response was to reply that there is no right to life, a response which you have since contradicted.  

    So, on the one hand, we have you arbitrarily stating that some human beings are not human individuals, don’t have value, and shouldn’t be considered, and on the other hand we have myself, who–however much you may disagree–states that everyone involved is human, just that some rights supersede others (and which, and why).  

    So the conversation turns to my moral integrity, which you attack to make up for your arbitrariness.

    As I said before, from the history of the United States, we can reasonably expect 158 women to die per year if abortion is allowed solely in cases where the pregnancy directly endangers the life of the mother.  If I for a second thought that that 158 would simply be added to the 1.37 million deaths already occurring, I would not advocate that abortion be made legal in only life-threatening cases.  However, your assertion that abortion will not go down if it is made illegal is as arbitrary as your belief that the unborn matter less.  Legalizing abortion increased its occurrence fifteen times over.  If legalizing it increased it, there is no reason to think that making it illegal will fail to decrease it.  Does the fact that making abortion illegal will not bring the number of abortions down to zero render making it illegal null?  We’ll see in a second.

    You assert that contraceptives can take the place of making abortion illegal, that it is a better alternative.  However, there is no proof of this.  Yes, you can cite studies which say high counts of contraceptive use correlates to low rates of abortion, and for the sake of argument I will even allow that it may cause it.  Does this make it a better alternative to illegalizing abortion?  Not really. 

     As I pointed out on Marc’s blog (which you conveniently ignored) you cite the experience of the Netherlands, which brought their abortion rate down to 33,000 for a population of 16,847,007,  and which would amount to 610,885 for the US’s population of 311,800,000.  It would cut the rate by, let’s say, half.  Quite a bit.  Still far from zero, though.  

    Complicating this is the fact that in the US, over half of the abortions are performed by women who are already on contraception.  8% of women having abortions have never used birth control (we’ll assume the entire 8 is due to lack of education or money).  Unless you want to *force* women to use birth control, it isn’t going to foreseeably bring the rate of abortion down by very much.  As I pointed out before, abortion is a form of birth control in the US.  Half of women seeking abortions per year have previously have one or more.  It is Plan B and, for some, is even Plan A.  As long as abortion in the US is seen as a viable option, easy to obtain and okay to do, it will be exactly that. 
     ( http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html )

    So, even assuming a best case scenario…

    Will making abortion illegal bring it down to zero?  No.

    Will pushing contraceptives bring it down to zero?  No.

    So, Ed, the most you can argue is that both should be done.  You don’t argue that.  And I don’t see the entire discussion matters much.  It is just you trying to avoid valid arguments.

    How do I know?

    Because it would not matter if every Pro-Lifer on earth was a hypocrite and didn’t want to actually reduce abortions.  Their argument that the unborn is a human individuals with value still stands, and you would still be unable to refute it.

    Seeing as you have arbitrarily decided that a certain group of human beings are not, in fact, human individuals, that they do not have value, or at least equal value… And you said this directly after saying this:  

    “It is always wrong to take these basic human rights away from anyone, no matter what your justification” (EE on 29/01/2012)

    “I believe all lives matter.” (EE on 29/02/2012)

    You are certainly in no place to point out the integrity of Pro-Lifers.  

    • You are accusing me of ignoring the humanity and value of a certain group, while you yourself are doing the same thing, just with a different group.

      No. I am pointing out to you that you are ignoring the humanity and value of fetuses. You are persistently and consistently arguing that it does not matter how many fetuses are aborted, how many fetuses die naturally, that it is not important to prevent abortions from happening, it is not important to keep the fetuses who are being gestated to term in good health – all that matters to you is that abortions should be common, illegal, and unsafe. And because I – unlike you! – care about the humanity and value of women, and do not perceive the pregnant woman as invisible, you wildly accuse me of what you yourself are doing.

      Making abortions illegal: proven to ensure that women have abortions anyway, at the same rate, just more expensively and dangerously.

      Making contraception freely available and strongly encouraging everyone to use it by a systematic education campaign starting at school, from which parents may not exempt their children: proven to cut the abortion rate down to one-seventh of the US rate.

      Your indifference to the “unborn lives” you could campaign to save, but don’t want to, is… noted.

      The only method proven to prevent abortions is for everyone to have free access to contraception & be strongly encouraged to use it, each time every time, unless they intend to conceive. I linked to the scientific research demonstrating this already in the Gor thread: if you couldn’t be bothered to read it I don’t see why I should link to it again.

      I am also of course noting that you ignore the humanity and value of pregnant women, but that group seems to be invisible to you: you only perceive the fetuses they are gestating, and you are consistently arguing that it does not matter if those fetuses you supposedly care about are aborted – all that matters to you is that women are punished and condemned for so doing.

    • “Unless you want to *force* women to use birth control, it isn’t going to foreseeably bring the rate of abortion down by very much.”

      The pregnancy risk rate for those who are not using contraception at all but who are sexually active, is 85%. The Catholic Church in the US has been vehemently attacking the idea that they should help reduce abortions by adding contraception to healthcare plans in the 28 US states where they had previously been allowed to encourage abortions by denying women contraceptions. A recent attack by prolife spokesman Rush Limbaugh on a student who spoke out for access to contraception:

      “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) then arranged for Fluke to speak at an unofficial hearing Feb. 23. In her testimony, Fluke made clear that she was speaking on behalf of other women, some of whom spend as much as $1,000 a year for birth control because Georgetown’s campus health plan will not cover contraceptives.

      On Wednesday night, Limbaugh brought up Fluke’s testimony on his show.

      “What does that make her?” Limbaugh said. “It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute.”

      “She wants to be paid to have sex,” he continued. “She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception.”” Washington Post

      Thousand dollars a year out of pocket is a lot of money for many people. Explains why so many women use contraception irregularly or poorly. Which accounts for a significant proportion of the US’s high abortion rate – it’s seven times as high as the Netherlands abortion rate. Which is why it’s clear that the Catholic Church – and Rush Limbaugh, described as “the most effective pro-life voice in America” – are vehemently pro-abortion. Yet call themselves “pro-life”, which by you, Tally, seems to mean: Let’s have women PUNISHED for having abortions, who cares about reducing the abortion rate!

      So there you go. This is why pro-lifers come across as evil, hypocritical, and fundamentally lacking in integrity. Because while they flourish fetuses metaphorically as a justification, it’s really all about getting to call women “sluts” and “prostitutes” live on air. Enjoy the Rush.

      • “You are persistently and consistently arguing that it does not matter…how many fetuses die naturally,”

        Irrelevant to the subject, and an unfounded accusation.  The keyword is “naturally,” which makes the subject irrelevant to chemical/surgical (unnatural) abortions.  And furthermore, I never said anything about the unborn dying naturally.  I simply ignored your question, because it is irrelevant.

        ” it’s really all about getting to call women “sluts” and “prostitutes” live on air.”

        What rush? I’ve never called anyone that.  Never listened to or respected anyone who calls people that, either.

        “Making abortions illegal: proven to ensure that women have abortions anyway, at the same rate, just more expensively and dangerously.”

        Keywords: “at the same rate”
        Unfounded assertion, especially considering the history of the US.

        “I care about the humanity and value of women”

        But not the unborn.  If you did, you would have no problem answering my question about their humanity and worth, the way I had no problem answering your question about forcing women.

        “pregnancy risk rate for those who are not using contraception at all but who are sexually active, is 85%”

        This category makes up 8% of all abortions.  I’ll let you figure out why that is significant.

        “the US’s high abortion rate – it’s seven times as high as the Netherlands abortion rate.  ….proven to cut the abortion rate down to one-seventh of the US rate.”

        This one-seventh number is wrong.  You are so good at percents and ratios, I’ll just let you figure out why.

        “Thousand dollars a year out of pocket is a lot of money for many people.”

        I see your point.  Yes, that is indeed a lot of money.  What if women were able to get birth control for free?  I mean, absolutely free.  To where no one, not a single person, would have to pay for it.  A birth control method that doesn’t cost a dime to manufacture.  That’s what we need!  

        Thank you, Ed, for making me see what you are getting at.

        You want to force women to take contraceptives.  You don’t care about the pocketbooks of women and their employers, you don’t care about the will of the women, or their common sense, or their reasoning capabilities, or their health, or the environment.  I won’t even go into how you don’t care about unborn human individuals and abortion.

        You just want to force women to take contraceptives.  Maybe some population-control scheme, I don’t know.  But you just want to force women to take contraceptives.  Thanks for making that clear.  

        Now that that is clear, and considering you have already clearly proven your hypocrisy and arbitrariness, I really am done here.  Feel free to take it over, Francis.  Or on second thought, don’t.  She’ll just end up ignoring everything you say and denying everything she says.  

        • “Never listened to or respected anyone who calls people that, either.”

          And yet, Rush Limbaugh is supposed to be the most effective pro-life voice in America. However, if you’re claiming you’ve never ever ever listened to him…

          Unfounded assertion, especially considering the history of the US.

          The history of the US shows that abortions were as common before 1973 as after. The only abrupt change was that women no longer died of illegal abortions. This is the same in every country – where prolifers rule, more pregnant women die. As you’re indifferent to fetal survival, this obviously doesn’t bother you.

          And the reason I know those “unborn lives” you use as your justification don’t bother you?

          Because you’re against contraception.

          If you were sincerely concerned, you’d want both women and men to use contraception. The cost wouldn’t bother you. You wouldn’t want to be cheapskate when it came to saving lives.

          But as you’re indifferent … you’re just a plain hypocrite.

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