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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What is social justice?

Students for Life of America asks this seemingly simple question, but finds that the definition of social justice is more complex and contentious than you might think.

As I see it, "social justice" is currently being abused by people on both ends of the political spectrum. On the one hand, we have those who use the term to justify violations of the human right to life. On the other, we have Glenn Beck, who says that social justice is "socialism," an evil liberal conspiracy buzzword, etc.

I found SFLA's analysis helpful in staking out a middle ground.
After researching social justice, we found that there is no one consistent definition. In fact, most people cannot explain it but highlight issues that they think need social justice. Issues like poverty, hunger, and illness.

First, let us define the term. Social means “pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations.” The word social refers to relationships.

Now, what is justice? Justice is “…righteousness, edibleness, or moral rightness.” Justice is more than the enforcement of the law. Justice infers a right relationship or harmony between human beings in which there has to be mercy, love, respect and caring for one another.

Social justice is right relationships or harmony with others. Its goal is to promote human flourishing and it is the sum of millions of acts of relational justice between millions of people.
The implication, of course, is that pro-lifers must pay attention to women's relational needs. Abortion is clearly not a solution by this standard. But neither is just patting mothers on the back for choosing life. We need to develop friendships; counseling is just a starting point. We need to provide long-lasting resources; most pregnancy centers offer baby supplies, parenting classes, and financial assistance, but I'd like to see more job training. If we see a mother in need as just another case, we're no better than the abortionist who sees her as just another procedure. (As ex-abortion worker Carol Everett put it, "You call them 'baby' so you don't have to remember their name.")

This definition of social justice is a challenge, not only in our pro-life work, but in our daily lives. As human beings, we're unlikely to live up to such a high standard in 100% of our interactions. And yet Christians, atheists, and people of every religion generally want to live in a socially just way. So tell me: how would you define social justice in two or three sentences? We have some new commenters on the blog, so consider this a chance to practice social justice by getting to know one another.

72 comments:

Marysia said...

Social justice in terms of prolife? Careful, thorough attention to and relief of every structural and institutional problem in the culture that causes abortion and indeed makes it practically inevitable...

From the lack of lving wage jobs to the denial of comprehensive sex ed for every stage of the life cycle to the sanctioning of male irresponsibility and violence to the lack of free universal family planning and prenatal care services to the poisoning of mothers and babies by environmental toxins...

Standing up for the lives of women and babies, born and unborn, requires nothing less than this.

Jesurgislac said...

What consistently makes no sense to me in terms of pro-lifers claiming they are motivated by wanting to prevent abortions, is that pro-lifers as consistently oppose all effective methods of preventing abortions.

Provision of family planning services - which necessarily include provision of safe, legal abortion, but which will also provide the means of preventing abortions? Pro-lifers are against it.

Requiring pharmacists to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception, and mandating ER in all hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, to provide emergency contraception to rape victims? Pro-lifers are against it.

Requiring federally-mandated paid maternity leave and job protection? Pro-lifers are against it. In fact, when a woman is fired for being pregnant (and unmarried) pro-lifers come out in support of the employer for firing her, regardless of how this ensures the woman

Requiring free daycare for the children of working mothers? Pro-lifers are against it.

Extension of Medicare to the whole population - the simplest way of giving Americans a decent healthcare system and thus ensuring no woman has an abortion because she can't afford pre-natal, post-natal healthcare, or healthcare for her children? Pro-lifers are against it.

Attacking the pro-abortion pro-STD spread of abstinence-only health care? Pro-lifers are against it.

Not all pro-lifers are against all of these things. But pretty reliably, all of the things that would strongly ensure that fewer women chose to have abortions because fewer women had unwanted/unplanned pregnancies and because having a baby didn't mean an unsurvivable financial disaster, pro-lifers tend to be against them.

If you want to find people who want to extend choices for women and ensure fewer abortions, you have to go look at the work pro-choice people do.

The fact that reliably and consistently pro-lifers tend to come out against late-term abortions even more strongly than against early abortions - late-term abortions performed to save the life or the health of the mother - and that reliably and consistently pro-lifers tend to come out against contraception and sex-education, has always strongly suggested that pro-lifers don't care a bit about preventing abortions: what they want to do is attack women.

Yonmei said...

So tell me: how would you define social justice in two or three sentences?

I hold these truths to be self-evident: that we are all equal despite whatever differences distinguish us: that we are endowed with inalienable rights and that among those rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That if we are to create a just society, we shall do so by upholding these inalienable rights, and by the principle that each shall give according to their capacity, and each receive according to their need. That to secure this, we have instituted governments which derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and which must be founded on such principles, and its powers organised in such form, as to us shall seem most likely to effect the safety, liberty, and happiness of us all.

(Long sentences, but so it goes.)

Nulono said...

Jes, I am for family planning, federally-mandated paid maternity leave and job protection, requiring free daycare for the children of working mothers, extension of Medicare to the whole population, attacking the pro-abortion pro-STD spread of abstinence-only health care. I'd be for requiring places to carry EC if you could show, and not just assert, that it cannot inhibit implantation.

I'd appreciate it if you'd stop flinging around ad hominems based on hasty generalizations and just present your positive argument as to why the unborn child is not a person deserving of human rights.

Yonmei, I suppose those principles of equality and the right to life don't apply to unborn babies, huh?

The Alexir of Life said...

Social justice. To love your neighbour as you love you self or to do to others as you would have them do to you.
If I were homeless, how would I want someone to treat me?
If I were addicted to drugs, how would I want someone to treat me?
If I were a preteen with no knowledge of human sexuality and the consequences of its abuse, what would I want to know?
If I were pregnant and worried...
etc
Social Justice is to put yourself in the other person's shoes, ask yourself 'in this situation what do I need/ what do I want?' and then go out and do that.

Nulono said...

Pro-lifers are more vocally against late-term abortions because the fetus is clearly a baby, could survive outside the womb, and feels immense pain during the abortion.

Yonmei said...

Yonmei, I suppose those principles of equality and the right to life don't apply to unborn babies, huh?

Of course they do. I think what's confusing you is that for me those principles of equality and the right to life apply to women, pregnant or not. The essence of pro-life is the attempt to remove the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness from women - invariably pregnant women, often all women.

The rather confused justification for this is that pro-life campaigners believe the best way to protect all fetuses is to attack all women. That countries in which this view has prevailed have far higher death rates for pregnant women and for young children is something that never seems to make pro-life campaigners stop and think that perhaps advocating against human rights for women isn't going to save any fetal lives.

Which of course leads one to the conclusion that attacking women is an end in itself: saving fetal lives is just an ill-thought-out justification for the real joy of making women's lives nasty, brutish, and short.

Yonmei said...

Alexir: Social Justice is to put yourself in the other person's shoes, ask yourself 'in this situation what do I need/ what do I want?' and then go out and do that.

The Golden Rule. Yes. Though of course bearing in mind that the "putting yourself in someone else's shoes" doesn't necessarily mean you will succeed in understanding what the other person wants. Which is why in essence I am pro-choice: ensure that the other person has all the information they need and all the options they could choose, and support them to make the decision THEY feel is right for them to make.

What Planned Parenthood or Well Women counselors do as an essential part of their professional responsibility, and pro-life pavement bullies won't even consider doing because they think they already KNOW what decision is right for women to make.

Resilience said...

Brings me back to Marysia's first paragraph:

"Social justice in terms of prolife? Careful, thorough attention to and relief of every structural and institutional problem in the culture that causes abortion and indeed makes it practically inevitable..."

Abortion isn't the cure. It's a symptom that some things are terribly, terribly wrong.

Abolitionist said...

I see social justice as protecting the natural rights of human beings (life, liberty, property) and having equality under the law.
This is more of a libertarian view of social justice. It entails laws against violence as well as preventing government abuse of power such as forced conscription (drafts), Pre-emptive war, capital punishment, speech suppression, forced sterilization, racial segregation, even the income tax.

Yonmei said...

Resilience:
Abortion isn't the cure. It's a symptom that some things are terribly, terribly wrong.


In a world where no woman was denied contraception, where all children were taught from a young age that sex and sexual pleasure are normal, natural parts of life, to be enjoyed with a person that you care about, but that any time two people have heterosexual intercourse, unless they both have the conscious intention of engendering a child together they should both be using contraception: where no woman ever feared destitution for herself or for her family...

...then there would be a lot fewer abortions, and a far higher proportion of those would be carried out, late-term, for health-related reasons. (Nulono's argument that a woman who needs an abortion for health-related reasons ought to be left to die, or suffer horribly, merely proves my point that pro-lifers care more about attacking women than preserving fetal life...)

The Netherlands proves that you can get the abortion rate down to 1/7th of (for example) the US rate, if you consciously try hard to bring social justice to all... but of course: that by nature entails not trying to make abortion illegal, or trying to force women away from having abortions, but ensuring that though women are free to choose abortion, abortions do not need to take place.

Abolitionist said...

I should also say that laws against violence include laws against abortion. (I'm not a Goldwaterite)

Yonmei said...

I should also say that laws against violence include laws against abortion.

Violence against women is okay, then.

Abolitionist said...

No I believe in laws against rape, requiring people not to kill their own offspring is not violence.

Yonmei said...

You cannot force women not to have abortions without using violence. Treating a woman's uterus as a crime scene whenever she has a miscarriage, natural or induced, requires the entire apparatus of a police state all focussed up a women's vagina. Requiring a woman to continue her pregnancy against her will is a crime against human rights.

(Claims that abortion violates the fetus's human rights should be backed up with some human rights reference that allows the forced use of another person's body to stay alive as a "human right". I don't think you'll find it anywhere.)

Abolitionist said...

what?! no it doesn't, you're not allowed to kill your child in your home that doesn't make houses totally monitored by the police state, the main legal action would be against the abortionist not the mother,

Abolitionist said...

* you're

Yonmei said...

what?! no it doesn't

Yes it does.

Have you never examined how pro-life laws are enforced in pro-life states today? Or how they were enforced in the bad old days when abortion was illegal?

you're not allowed to kill your child in your home that doesn't make houses totally monitored by the police state

A woman's body is not a house. Your uterus is not a living-room. The cervix is not a sofa. When a woman has a miscarriage, in a pro-life state, her uterus becomes a crime scene, and her vagina is entered by the police. You're against rape, except when the police do it after a miscarriage?

the main legal action would be against the abortionist not the mother,

Which makes perfect sense, because obviously if a woman goes to an assassin to have her child killed, the main legal action is against the assassin and not the woman, who clearly did nothing actually legally wrong. That makes perfect sense ... in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

FWIW, in Nicaragua, a modern pro-life state, women who have abortions are jailed for decades, thus ensuring the children they already have never see their mothers again. This is pro-life social justice: deny children their mother because she decided she knew better that the Catholic Church how many children she could have.

Nulono said...

Yonmei, pregnant women have the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But no one is allowed to pursue happiness or exercise their liberty through homicide.

Yonmei said...

But no one is allowed to pursue happiness or exercise their liberty through homicide.

But abortion is not homicide. No one thinks it is, except as a convenient excuse to make women's lives hell.

Let's suppose that a raped woman, who was unfortunate enough to be taken to a Catholic hospital and was therefore denied emergency contraception, discovers she is pregnant as a result of her rape. She makes the decision that she needs an abortion, makes the appointment, gets the two doctors' signatures (or whatever the legal requirement is where she lives) and at 10am one morning she has the abortion, say by the time she's six weeks pregnant. Premeditated, planned, organised, her decision entirely from beginning to end.

That afternoon, by one of those horrible coincidences, she walks right into the man who raped her. She screams, he slaps her, she runs, he runs after her, she shoves him, he lands under a bus, he's dead. She didn't know she was going to kill him until the moment when she saw she could, but she did know when she shoved him that the bus was coming and he was going under it.

Now, if you genuinely believe that having an abortion is homicide, the abortion at 10am was far worse a crime than the manslaughter at 2pm.

And if you were in a burning fertility lab and could rescue either the toddler in one room or the freezer of petri dishes in the other, you'd rescue the freezer and leave the toddler in burn.

Really?

Nulono said...

Homicide is the killing of one human by another. Modern biology recognizes the embryo or fetus that is the offspring of 2 humans to be a human.

The abortion was worse than the manslaughter both because of the premeditation and the fact that the child was innocent.

And of course I would save the freezer of petri dishes if they contained embryos; it's clearly better to save hundreds of lives than to save one.

Nulono said...

The act of homicide against an innocent child that was premeditated is obviously worse than the one against a rapist that was committed in a moment of passion.

Yonmei said...


And of course I would save the freezer of petri dishes if they contained embryos; it's clearly better to save hundreds of lives than to save one.


It's late where I am and this comment suggests to me that you're a spoof... sorry if that's rude, but my irony detector is functioning imperfectly.

secularprolife.org said...

Yonmei, I do not understand how you can simultaneously believe these two things:
1) The principles of equality and the right to life apply to the unborn
2) Abortion is not homocide

Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

Yonmei could your clarify where you stand on: why abortion is justified in general,
late term or sex selection abortions,
why we are obligated to care for our children if no one else can,
what grounds the value of a human life,
Should men pay child support?

Yonmei said...

In response to secular prolife:

1) The principles of equality and the right to life apply to the unborn

The principles of equality and the right to life apply to everyone. Including pregnant women. That means

abortion is not homocide

because abortion is when a woman decides that her body will not be used to provide life support. Pregnancy is a nine-month act of labour, in which about half a million women each year die, about ten million women a year are injured, in which a woman uses her body intimately and in a way she and only she has a right to give consent to.

If a woman ceases to give consent to pregnancy, the principles of equality and the right to life mean she has a right to terminate.

No one in the world - including the fetus in her uterus* - has a right to say "no you must continue to labour against your will at a task which could kill you and which you no longer want to do."

You can tell denial of abortion is wrong, because of the number of human rights crimes it is necessary to commit to enforce laws against it.

*For the first 15 weeks of development, a fetus has no cerebral cortex: it is not possible for the fetus to say, do, wish, or feel anything. (After 15 weeks, the low oxygen levels in the cerebral cortex strongly suggest that a fetus is unconscious until birth.) All demands on the woman that she must continue her pregnancy "for the fetus" necessarily come from outside forces trying to control her body: church, government, father, husband, etc. The person who most naturally has a right to decide "what's best for me AND for the unborn" is the woman who is pregnant. No one else.

Simon's questions strike me as a bit of a MRA red herring, and I suspect I've given you enough to think about with this response, so I won't distract the issue by responding....

Yonmei said...

For the first 15 weeks of development, a fetus has no cerebral cortex: it is not possible for the fetus to say, do, wish, or feel anything. (After 15 weeks, the low oxygen levels in the cerebral cortex strongly suggest that a fetus is unconscious until birth.) All demands on the woman that she must continue her pregnancy "for the fetus" necessarily come from outside forces trying to control her body: church, government, father, husband, etc. The person who most naturally has a right to decide "what's best for me AND for the unborn" is the woman who is pregnant. No one else.

I put this in as a footnote because these are scientific facts and a basic human rights issue - lack of cerebral cortex, low oxygen levels in the brain: the scientific facts are not subject to discussion, because they're facts, and the basic human rights issue of outside forces such as church, state, family/in-laws seeking to control a woman's body claiming "the fetus" as justification, is not one I intend to debate: her body, her decision, not the church, not the government, not her father, not her brother, not her husband or her boyfriend.

Yonmei said...

A direct, real-world example of how "pro-life social justice" operates:

A woman, with a wanted pregnancy, discovers the fetus inside her has died, and the doctor doesn't know why.

My doctor turned around and faced me. She told me that because dilation and evacuation is rarely offered in my community, I could opt instead to chemically induce labor over several days and then deliver the little body at my local maternity ward. “It’s up to you,” she said.

I’d been through labor and delivery three times before, with great joy as well as pain, and the notion of going through that profound experience only to deliver a dead fetus (whose skin was already starting to slough off, whose skull might be collapsing) was horrifying.

I also did some research, spoke with friends who were obstetricians and gynecologists, and quickly learned this: Study after study shows D&Es are safer than labor and delivery. Women who had D&Es were far less likely to have bleeding requiring transfusion, infection requiring intravenous antibiotics, organ injuries requiring additional surgery or cervical laceration requiring repair and hospital readmission.
(...more discussion cut because I don't want to quote too long: you should read the whole thing...)
We told our doctor we had chosen a dilation and evacuation.

"I can’t do these myself,” said my doctor. “I trained at a Catholic hospital."


That's pro-life social justice: the Catholic church decides that a dead fetus can be left to rot inside the woman's body because what does it matter if no doctor has been trained to safely remove it?

That happened in the US, officially still a pro-choice country, in 2004, when intact d&c was still legal there. (It no longer is, meaning women in the same situation now would have had to suffer through an induced delivery of a dead fetus with all the consequent risks, regardless.)

How many times a year does it happen in countries around the world that have pro-life "social justice" - where a woman's body is simply not considered important to preserve in life, health, and strength?

Simon said...

Actually it was to get an idea about whether you have a grounding in the philsophy that underlies the debate or whether you are just using Pro-Choice folk reasoning and are clueless. It appears it is the latter; with no understanding or interest in matters like personhood etc to take it to a deeper level. How disappointing.

Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

Here's an analogy, a woman kidnaps a baby and attaches it to her like in Thompson's Violinist analogy. It isn't a person with sophisticated desires for future existence so by your reasoning it would be OK to detach it even it that then lead to its death.

Her body her choice. Apart from the fact you don't even have to use the thought experiment a baby just isn't a person so infanticide should be legal by your reasoning.

Simon said...

& just so you know I've studied this at uni and quite familiar with most if not all of the major arguments used in the debate.

So no need for red herrings here.

Yonmei said...

Well, Simon, regardless: I've written down with some care and thought my views on the matter. Your questions strike me as irrelevant, because they don't take into account any of the key issues about pregnancy/abortion. So my choice is to decline to respond to your questions, and await response from any one interested in the key issues I raised.

If no one's interested, well, this is a pro-life blog, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at that.

Simon said...

Well I suppose you had better go back to square one and abortion 101 because even an introductory university course would fail you.

When you have done some research and at least know the basics, sure come back, but until then don't waste our time.

If you don't want to swing at the plate don't waste the pitchers time.

That's not to say many Pro-Lifer's are any better, people overall have to start learning about the basics instead of keeping at the street corner level platitudes.

Yonmei said...

Well, Simon, if you're "Secular Prolife", then it's your blog and your rules: if SecularProlife blog requires people to be tested according to the Abortion 101 module you studied last term, that should probably be made clear in the blog operating rules and a specific post opened up for responding to the Abortion 101 module test, so that people won't be distracted in the middle of a human rights issues discussion with a demand that you prove you passed that early test.

But if it's not your blog, Simon, then I still await response from others more interested in key human rights issues than in your college module.

Simon said...

Yonmei's post didn't come through again. Ill reply anyway.


Not MY blog, not my rules, but in open discussion if you aren't prepared to learn what you don't know why bother? All you have to do is be open minded instead of blowing off my questions that were an attempt to sincerely see what you knew.

For a start don't stereotype those here as the typical religious conservative Pro-Lifers, while some are conservative others aren't. I for one am a strongly left leaning atheist.

Anyway you don't have to know the basics but at least be open to discussing them.

You want to try again?

Yonmei said...

Not MY blog, not my rules, but in open discussion if you aren't prepared to learn what you don't know why bother?

Well, quite. Which surely applies to you, too, unless you feel that a university education means you already know it all?

All you have to do is be open-minded instead of blowing off my comments that were an attempt to sincerely convey what I know, think, and feel.

As I said: if you're not interested in responding to what I wrote, but instead have only Abortion 101 style "questions" which have already been discussed to death all over the Interwebs, I'm fine with that: I just don't choose to engage with your entry-level debate when I'd rather discuss key human rights issues.

You want to try again? I'm happy to respond if you want to discuss what I wrote.

Simon said...

Ok you would rather remain ignorant about what the abortion debate is really about and would rather keep it at street corner level. In other words you don't really want to discuss thing you just want to rant.

Go away Troll.

Yonmei said...

I think that the comment I just posted, in response to Simon's last, is the second or third I've posted to this thread that has simply disappeared. Whenever the blog owner wakes up, maybe they can resurrect them. In the mean time, I think I'll just leave it be.

secularprolife.org said...

No, Simon is not SecularProLife or the blog owner.

Simon, rather than just calling Yonmei ignorant and saying that you're sick of entry-level debate, perhaps you could link her to a website that will introduce her to those debates. I recommend abort73.com. Remember, we're trying to be nice to each other.

Re: the story about the D&E, it sounds like that particular doctor was just an idiot. There's nothing morally wrong with removing a fetus who is already dead. I have no idea why any pro-lifer would have a problem with that.

"You can tell denial of abortion is wrong, because of the number of human rights crimes it is necessary to commit to enforce laws against it."
Actually, abortion itself is a violation of human rights. From the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child: "WHEREAS the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth..."

Yonmei said...

There's nothing morally wrong with removing a fetus who is already dead

But you can't do it by intact D&C unless you've been trained HOW to do it, and pro-lifers in the US have ensured that doctors are not trained in this procedure.

I have no idea why any pro-lifer would have a problem with that.

The problem is, a doctor who knows how to perform IDX may use her medical judgement to do so in a way that does not meet with pro-life approval: as when it's a choice between letting pregnant woman & fetus die together, or keep the woman alive/healthy by removing the fetus. In the US, pro-lifers have made clear either that they had rather both pregnant woman & fetus die (Doctor George Tiller was killed precisely because he believed in saving the woman's life & health) or if the woman absolutely must be saved, the fetus must be dismembered inside the uterus, not removed intact. It's morally better, pro-lifers in the US feel, to keep doctors ignorant of how to perform the IDX procedure and force them to use the preferred pro-life technique of fetal dismemberment, rather than let the doctor and her patient in consultation together decide which abortion procedure is best for her. Pro-life medical care is essentially about enforced ignorance and enforced hazards for women.

Do you see anything morally wrong with denying doctors the training in IDX so that a woman can be left for days with a fetus rotting inside her uterus?

I do. But then, I believe in liberty, the value of human life, and human rights for all.

Yonmei said...

Actually, abortion itself is a violation of human rights.

You're just going to ignore everything I said about human rights for all mandating a woman's right to choose abortion? As well as the specific example cited of a woman's human rights being violated by pro-life opposition to abortion?

Is this because you believe women aren't human, or just because like Simon you've never really thought about abortion as a human rights issue for women, and so lack the intellectual capacity to respond?

"WHEREAS the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth..."

And the best way to protect a fetus is to protect the pregnant woman's human rights. Which is why pro-choice countries tend to have lower maternal death rates, lower infant death rates, and lower abortion rates, than any pro-life country of the same standard of living. Attack human rights for pregnant women, and more fetuses die. (As do more pregnant women and more babies. But I notice even in this discussion pro-lifers tend not to express any concern for the women... or for the post-birth fetuses, or "babies" as we pro-choicers call them.)

Nulono said...

http://www.l4l.org/library/fetalrts.html

Yonmei said...

Thanks, Nulono.

"Trust women":

Losing Laura:

Several years ago, I was happily anticipating the birth of my second child, who was very much planned and very much wanted. During a routine ultrasound, something was wrong - a bubble of some kind was noticed in the gastric region of my baby. My ob/gyn told me not to worry and that it most likely was nothing more than a gas bubble that would pass through and that a repeat ultrasound would be done in 2 weeks.

Of course, I did worry, and with good cause. At the follow-up ultrasound, I received devastating news. It seemed my baby was suffering from a very rare birth defect of the lungs. This defect resulted in the complete malformation of the left lung. The bubble that the earlier sonogram detected was actually one of the many cystic masses that made up my baby's malformed lungs. Since lungs are the last organ to develop, this could not be detected any earlier and had only just then become apparent. In addition, the right lung was not developing as expected either, although it wasn't affected to the degree of the other one.
...
Dr. Tiller let me talk and cry and he listened to my every word through my tears. He held my hand and hugged me when I needed it; and he really cared about the emotional pain I was going through. I kept telling him that my main concern was for my baby to go peacefully, as I was not concerned for my own comfort.


A few years later, this woman was one of many devastated to hear that on 31st May 2009, a pro-lifer had finally succeeded in murdering Doctor George Tiller.

Yonmei said...

El Salvador: pro-life nation: In El Salvador, the law is clear: the woman is a felon and must be prosecuted. According to Tópez, after a report comes in from a doctor or a hospital that a woman has arrived who is suspected of having had an abortion, and after the police are dispatched, investigators start procuring evidence of the crime. In that first stage, Tópez has 72 hours to make the case to a justice of the peace that there should be a further investigation. If enough evidence is collected, she presents the case before a magistrate to get authorization for a full criminal trial before a judge.

During the first round of investigations, police officers interview the woman's family and friends. "The collecting of evidence usually takes place where the events transpired - by visiting the home or by speaking with the doctor at the hospital," Tópez said. In some cases, the police also interrogate people who work with the woman. Tópez added that that didn't happen very often because, she said, "these are women who don't work outside the home." (Indeed, the evidence suggests that the ban in El Salvador disproportionately affects poor women. The researchers who conducted the Journal of Public Health study found that common occupations listed for women charged with abortion-related crimes were homemaker, student, housekeeper and market vendor. The earlier study by the Center for Reproductive Rights found that the majority were domestic servants, followed by factory workers, ticket takers on buses, housewives, saleswomen and messengers.)

As they do in any investigation, the police collect evidence by interviewing everyone who knows the accused and by seizing her medical records. But they must also visit the scene of the crime, which, following the logic of the law, often means the woman's vagina.

"Yes, we sometimes call doctors from the Forensic Institute to do a pelvic exam," Tópez said, referring to the nation's main forensic lab, "and we ask them to document lacerations or any evidence such as cuts or a perforated uterus." In other words, if the suspicions of the patient's doctor are not conclusive enough, then in that initial 72-hour period, a forensic doctor can legally conduct a separate search of the crime scene. Tópez said, however, that vaginal searches can take place only with "a judge's permission." Tópez frequently turned the pages of a thick law book she kept at hand. "The prosecutor can order a medical exam on a woman, because that's within the prosecutor's authority," she said.

Nulono said...

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMC_70oYV8U
2. Right, and how does this prove the inhumanity of the unborn?

Nulono said...

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:slbrXW7WswoJ:www.dr-tiller.com/elective.htm

Yonmei said...

Right, and how does this prove the inhumanity of the unborn?

Perhaps you should be having an argument with someone who believes in the inhumanity of the unborn?

Meantime, does anyone want to discuss why pro-lifers believe human rights shouldn't apply to women?

Yonmei said...

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:slbrXW7WswoJ:www.dr-tiller.com/elective.htm

I already know pro-lifers spread lying propaganda about Doctor George Tiller to justify murdering him. But thanks for playing!

Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

Kelsey I could but she has already made it quite clear that she doesn't want to discuss this basic/entry level information.

There comes a point when you know you are wasting your time. She is being wilfully ignorant.

Here's a start of a list of things not up for debate.

All pre-natals are human & by definition Homo Sapiens; they are their offspring.

Human life starts at conception.

Human sperm or eggs are not humans.

A prenate while attached isn't part of a womans body and is a distinct unique organism in its own right. It is no more part of the host than say a leech.

If you are using fully functional cognitive personhood to say what is or isn't a person the earliest any human is a person is about 18 months. Sentience has nothing to do with it. So by this criterion a baby isn't a person!

Yonmei said...

Simon: Here's a start of a list of things not up for debate.

Perhaps you should have this argument with someone interested in debating them?

My point is, consistently: human rights for all.

That means every woman has the right to decide for herself whether to terminate or continue a pregnancy. No one else does.

Nulono said...

No person has the right to kill another innocent human being.

Simon said...

No they aren't human rights, because a foetus is just as much a human as a adult human. You have personhood rights and you cannot even apply them correctly.

& Nulono you can take the life of an innocent aggressor otherwise we have no right of defence from mad people etc.

Nulono said...

Sorry, I meant in non-life-or-death scenarios.

Chris Z. said...

Social Justice really has been used as a communist/socialist/marxist code word for some time now, at least since the 1960's. Prior to then other phrases may have carried the underground message.

You're correct in defining the phrase the way you have, but it truely is used today by marxists as double-speak.

Since most prolifers are conservative as well, you won't find much affection for use of this phrase by most prolifers.

Instead, perhaps, you will grab the attention of many marxists who go by the name of liberals, at least for a second. This may be good because most of these liberals are prochoice liberals. They are likely, however, to become upset afterwards once they figure out the entire message as really being a prolife message.

I suppose in some sense this is an effective strategy; however, if you get many prolife conservatives following your concept (the long long ago original concept) of social justice, they might not be aware of what they are buying into (at least at first). That could possible be dangerous.

This is the same thing which happened to the word liberal, as in classical liberalism which is akin to the definition of modern political conservatism.

Personally, I would choose to come up with some other phrase, unless this message was solely directed towards pro-choice leftists, such as on their bulliten boards where they hang out or something.

Simon said...

Funny thing Chris is that you are calling conservatives in other places around the world communists/socialists/marxists as they have no trouble with social justice concerns. One could argue they don't have the US conservative obsession with an agrarian provincial Scots-Irish self sufficiency stance to support your-self and be beholden to no one. All well and good in a small largely self sufficient rural town, but civilisation has become a bit more sophisticated than that not to mention for the Christians here that that is hardly the message that Jesus gave on poverty.

Given the centrality of the high value conservatives are saying they place on human life it just doesn’t make sense.

No more than an art lover with a painting by one of the masters, who has armed guards so that no one can harm or steal the painting but then allows it to deteriorate because it is only a crime to harm or steal the painting.

Nulono said...

Marxists are liberals but not all liberals are Marxists.

Chris Z. said...

@Nulono: If you happened to think that somehow I stated in my post the opposite of what you have clarified, please do me the honor of re-reading my post.

I agree with your statement that not all liberals are Marxists.

I'm not sure if your comment was directed at clarifying any of my statements.

All I said was that Marxists go by the name liberal. What I meant by this was that many Marxists, at least in America, will not readily admit that they are Marxists. Instead they will simply claim they are liberal. I was referring to these people as explicitly stated.

Perhaps you weren't addressing my comment in particular but were making extra sure that nobody else would mixed up the concepts after reading my post. I'm not sure. If that's the case, I got it. Good point, but then I'm not certain why it followed my comment. On a side note, I am curious as to whether or not there exist liberals (that are not of the classical liberal variety) who are not for redistribution of wealth.
I’m sure there are liberals who are not pacifists, but I’m not sure there are liberals that are not for redistribution of wealth? What is the particular noun descriptor which one would denote these liberal types should they exist? Thank you with all sincerity. I honestly do not know the name of these types.

I've got no beef with you (especially since I'm a vegetarian). I'm guarding against possible slander. I hope you understand. Thanks.

Chris Z. said...

@Simon: I'm still trying to understand how I should interpret several ideas and meanings from what you have written. I'll get back to this when I have more time. :)

Nulono said...

Sorry, I must have misunderstood you.

I think "redistribution of wealth" is a vague term. One could argue that public libraries, roads, fire and police departments, and so on constitute "redistribution of wealth".

Yonmei said...

No person has the right to kill another innocent human being.

But as you think you have the right to have women killed by denying them access to safe legal abortion, I guess you hold the view that once a woman has been sullied by sex, she's not innocent.

Pro-life is basically a misogynistic anti-human rights movement, centred around denying women human rights. Most pro-lifers also seem to have a thing about women having sex for fun/pleasure and not having to fear punishment. And Nulano explicitly says he thinks rapists ought to be helped to force pregnancy on women.

Yonmei said...

No they aren't human rights, because a foetus is just as much a human as a adult human. You have personhood rights and you cannot even apply them correctly.

If a foetus has only the same human rights as an adult human, a foetus has no right to make use of another human body against her will.

Of course this depends on your perceiving that women are human beings, and the whole pro-life claim that a foetus has the right to use a woman's body regardless of her will invariably rests on ignoring or denying the woman's humanity and her basic rights.

Nulano's support for rapists just adds a nasty little flavour to this...

Nulono said...

The most basic, fundamental human right is the right to not be killed.

If you get hurt while committing a violent crime, that's on you.

I suppose you want to legalize and institutionalize rape so rapists don't catch diseases too?

Yonmei said...

The most basic, fundamental human right is the right to not be killed.

But you don't regard that as giving women any right to life, hm?


If you get hurt while committing a violent crime, that's on you.

So you feel that women who die in illegal abortions are being satisfactorily punished for wanting to take control of their own bodies. Misogynist much?

I suppose you want to legalize and institutionalize rape so rapists don't catch diseases too?

No, you're the one advocating love for rapists here. The only one, as far as I know.

Yonmei said...

This is the most basic, fundamental human right:

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."

I see no "spirit of brotherhood" in Nulano's desire to see his sisters used and die. Nor any feeling for women being free and equal in dignity and rights. Nor any understanding that women are endowed with reason and conscience.

He's just anxious that a raped woman mustn't be allowed to have an abortion.

Nulono said...

So you feel that women who die in illegal rape are being satisfactorily punished for wanting to take control of their own bodies. Misandrist much?

Yonmei said...

No, Nulono. You are the only regular commenter I've seen on this blog who loves rape and rapists so much he adores the idea that a woman raped can also be forced through pregnancy. You may also like the idea that there's such a thing as "legal rape" since you've identified "illegal rape", and enjoy thinking about women being killed when raped, but hey: you're the misogynist.

Nulono said...

Rape being illegal makes it more dangerous for the rapist. Why doesn't that mean rape should be legalized?

Yonmei said...

Rape being illegal makes it more dangerous for the rapist. Why doesn't that mean rape should be legalized?

Thanks for confirming that you're concerned for rapists and want rape to be legal.

I knew you were lying when you claimed you were against rape.

Chris Z. said...

@Nulono

Great defense!

It's always amazing how some people whimsically use strands of logic without thinking them through.

Then once that logic is shown for its faulty underlying premise, the logic is somehow no longer recognizable by the initial user.

It takes all of that work, and then all of a sudden you realize that the other person never actually met you on deeper level, ideas and logic, in the first place, but rather solely at the surface level, emotions.

Now Nulono, you seem to have been anointed to the high position of monsterhood.

lol. That's so funny. It's funny because it happens to all of us, and the discussion above has made it all too apparent.