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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"Now that I'm safe, I'm pro-choice."

Meet Joe, the star of today's hypothetical. Joe hates wearing seat belts. He does wear them, but only because it's required by law in his state and he's gotten a few too many citations.

Joe gets into a serious car accident, but survives. Doctors tell him that without the seat belt, he almost certainly would not have made it.

Suppose Joe subsequently joins a campaign to repeal the seat belt law in his state. Suppose he vocally supports the right to choose not to wear a seat belt, and castigates his opponents as a bunch of condescending jerks who don't trust people to make basic decisions. When you point out that he would have died without the seat belt law, he says that if he'd died, he wouldn't be aware of it now, so it makes no difference.

How would you react to Joe? Would you find it strange that he opposed a policy that had saved his life? Would you be concerned that he had self-esteem issues, that perhaps he didn't think his life was valuable? Would you simply be at a loss for words?

That's the only analogy I can use to describe how I feel about diehard abortion supporters who were conceived in rape, prenatally diagnosed with a disability, adopted, or born into poverty. It just baffles me. It seems natural to me that people who have been in those situations would gravitate to the pro-life position. I think of pro-life advocates like Rebecca Kiessling (conceived in rape and adopted), Ryan Bomberger (conceived in rape and adopted), Troy Newman (adopted), Melissa Ohden (abortion attempt survivor and adopted), and my many pro-life friends with disabilities, including two who have written for this blog before, Sarah Terzo and Rebecca Stapleford.

And yet pro-choicers like Joe do exist, trying their hardest to be cozy with a movement and an industry that treats the possibility of their existence as obvious justification for abortion.

Jill Stanek recently highlighted one example, in which a pro-choice twitter user tried vainly to make RH Reality Check's Jodi Jacobson understand why her use of the phrase "rape baby" was offensive.
I am 100% pro-choice. And affected by the issue in question. The wording is hurtful.
Please consider how you’d feel if you or your child were called the term in that tweet.
What I’m saying is there are other pro-choice people with this conception history, who chafe at that terminology.
Interesting phrase, "conception history." Much pro-choice thought implicitly rests on the assumption that there is some break in the continuity from embryo to infant. (It reminds me of the evil Principal Trunchbull in Matilda, who says, of children, "I'm glad I never was one.") It's hard to accept that assumption if you acknowledge your conception as part of your personal history. And yet she calls herself "100% pro-choice."

Of course, I do not know this random person on twitter, so I couldn't tell you why she supports abortion. And even if I could, her reason may not be the reason held by other pro-choicers conceived in rape. But I do have to worry about someone who "100%" supports an ideology that treats her life as a prime example of why abortion is necessary.

The core of the pro-life position is placing a high value on every human life. We must start by valuing our own lives, however they began.

146 comments:

Beth Presswood said...

I'm confused. You really don't understand people who would choose empathy for their mothers over self-preservation? Even if you think it's incorrect?

ignorance_is_curable said...

Your problem is obvious. "The core of the pro-life position is placing a high value on every human life." You are basically LYING to yourselves! ALL valuations are both Arbitrary and Relative, as PROVED by the Law of Supply And Demand.

Furthermore, a lot of so-called "pro-lifers" are obviously Hypocrites, because they STOP supporting human life after birth. Otherwise there would be NO members of Congress who (a) oppose abortion and (b) oppose Welfare.

Next, there is an Issue that most pro-lifers totally ignore, the Difference Between Quality Of Life and Quantity Of Life. You seem to think it is magically possible for both to simultaneously exist to ever-increasing degree, and You Are Wrong. Quality-of-Life depends on the availability of Resources that each life can access.

For example, if you don't have sufficient clean water, then your quality of life WILL be less than that of someone who does have sufficient clean water. And RESOURCES ARE FINITE, while population has been growing constantly. It Is Mathematically Impossible For Endless Growth To Be Compatible With Finite Resources. Net result, OBVIOUSLY, less and less Resources can be associated per person, the more the human population explosion continues.

Here's a cartoon just published today: xkcd.com/1338/ showing just how LITTLE Resources are left, with respect to "biomass" associated with land mammals on Planet Earth, for further human population growth. It is NO LIE that human population (and food-animal population) growth has been causing the greatest Mass Extinction of life-forms on Earth since the giant dinosaurs died.

Meanwhile, A Known Factor In Quality Of Life (mental health!) Is Interactions With Nature. Our relentless population growth is destroying something we NEED much more than it is being Arbitrarily Valued!

But so-called "pro-lifers" don't care; they think that human life is so valuable there can never be too much of it. THEY ARE WRONG. Just as the Spanish were wrong, in the 1500s, thinking that gold was so valuable there could never be too much of it. www.walden3.org/troublegold.htm



Finally, there is the Fact that because All Valuations Really ARE Relative and Arbitrary, different humans value human life differently from each other. Would suicides EVER happen if all humans had a high value of human life? Would the cultures of East Asia EVER have declared suicide to be an HONORABLE thing to do, if their populations had been as sparse as in Western Europe? The Law of Supply and Demand Affects ALL Valuations --human life really has been less-valued in overpopulated cultures, for centuries.


So, what makes the Arbitrary valuation by a pro-lifer inherently superior to the arbitrary valuation by a pro-choicer, of an unborn human? Especially since, by working to increase the Quantity of human life, abortion opponents are simultaneously working to DEVALUE human life, in accordance with the Law of Supply and Demand! (As proved whenever some Boss denies an underling a raise in pay, by saying, "There's plenty more where YOU came from!")


In EVERY case, abortion opponents rely upon fundamentally flawed foundations for their arguments. In this particular case, the foundation-argument "human life has inherent value" has TWO huge flaws. FIrst is the Fact that There Is No Such Thing As Inherent Value, and Second is the Fact That The Law Of Supply And Demand Applies To Everything.

peanutsandcheese said...

The old quality if life argument again. Quality of life is a subjective term. You can't decide my quality of life only I can. If I have less than others but am actually ok with that then my quality if life is fine. Ask any disabled person this. They will tell you not to judge their quality of life by your standards. If someone hasn't clean water we work to give them that. Well I do. The worlds resources another ridiculous argument. Let's get rid if all the pets that are not productive but cost the worlds precious resources. A medium sized dog is the equilivant of running two SUVs for a year for example. Then let's kill off the murderers the people who will never get out of jail and contribute to society. They only cost precious resources. Take your over used and abused arguments elsewhere. Life is valuable and you or anyone else.

peanutsandcheese said...

The same way you tell pro lifers that we can't judge what life is valuable pro choicers cant decide what life isn't. Sucks when your own argument is turned on you isn't it ?

Mirable said...

I would choose empathy for my mom over existence. Does that make me a baby killing psychopath?

Kelsey said...

I love my mom. If she were threatened by a deranged gunman, I'd take a bullet for her. That doesn't mean I think she ever should have had a right to kill me.
When I was a toddler, both my parents were in graduate school. It was not an easy time for them financially. But they got through it with NON-VIOLENT solutions.

Clinton said...

Allowing a mother to kill her child, however the child was conceived, is not empathy for the mother, it is compounding one act of violence on top of another. Empathy means doing the right thing, and helping the mom do the right thing, even when it's hard.

Beth Presswood said...

I didn't come here to dispute the position, but the perspective. I can understand both a person conceived in rape who feels self-preservation and one who feels that they would have given their life to spare their mother pain. I don't understand people who would write an article disputing someone's feelings.

Drew Hymer said...

"(a) oppose abortion and (b) oppose Welfare."

ignorance_is_curable, i hope your name is correct. Your equivocating on the meaning of the phrase "supporting human life". See http://www.personhoodusa.com/blog/you-dont-care-about-babies-once-their-born/

sarah5775 said...

I would argue that abortion is exploitive to women and often hurts them. Just this week we have seen two high profile women commit suicide due to depression after abortion. Sparing women from abortion often spares them from a lifetime of depression and guilt. Abortion does NOT help women.

http://clinicquotes.com/psychological-risks-traumatic-aftereffects-of-abortion/

Mirable said...

Then why do women choose abortion? Are they too dumb to know what's best for them? How about the women who risk death to perform an illegal abortion rather than give birth? Are they too brainwashed by misogynist forces? I also know about 5 people with uterii who would rather kill themselves than be forced to give birth? Are they also too stupid/ deluded/ brainwashed to know what is best for them?

Are you going to tell me next that PP has convinced black women to genocide the black race because black women are apparently too stupid to engage in family planning?

As for abortion leading to mental problems, all of those studies have been debunked. While we are at it, why don't we talk about all the women who commit suicide because people such as yourself view them as nothing more than reproductive objects.

Imnotsorry.net. -- they are just too dumb to know that abortion has actually made them suicidal, right?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

"Furthermore, a lot of so-called "pro-lifers" are obviously Hypocrites, because they STOP supporting human life after birth"

This is a lie. Please see http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2011/01/2380/ and http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/2012/01/refuting-common-myth.html

Chalkdust said...

You argue that abortion hurts women.

If you want to argue that the correct response is to criminalize abortion, thereby preventing women from getting abortions that they want, I feel like it is wrong to compare women who chose to abort to women who chose to carry to term. Instead, you should compare women who wanted abortions and got them to women who tried to get abortions and failed because of legal restrictions.

This is being done in the turnaway study. They found that women who were prevented from aborting by pro-life legislation, statistically, have more mental health problems than women who wanted abortions and got them.

My conclusion is that, while women can be helped by giving them the resources so that they do not want abortions, just forcing them to carry to term without addressing the reasons why they want abortions is not in their best interests. Do you disagree?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Excellent! I don't understand the cognitive dissonance either.

Mirable said...

Well I am apparently wrong to put my mind mothers wellbeing above my existence when there was no me - just a mindless body that could maim and kill her. Oh the horror, I actually put my moms health above microscopic potential me. How could I be so selfish?

Kelsey said...

I never disputed anyone's feelings. I have no doubt that people who say they're pro-choice are, in fact, pro-choice. All I said was that this scenario causes me concern and is hard for me to comprehend.

Kelsey said...

I did not address the situation of pregnancies that threaten the mother's health. Way to attack arguments that weren't made.

Mirable said...

All pregnancies threaten a woman's health. There is no such thing as a no risk pregnancy. Pregnancy permanently changes a woman's body, and not for the better.

Mirable said...

Why are pro life politicians in favor of cutting social programs and abolishing the minimum wage?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Can you provide a source for your assertion that every single pro-life politician in the nation favors cutting social programs and abolishing the minimum wage?

As to why some might, it could be that they think there are better ways to help women than government programs. Did you read my links, above? They might provide some insight.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Nice try, but no cigar. To "care" means "support", among other things --I freely agree that the word has multiple meanings. In this case, though, I only need one of them, CONSISTENTLY used (no conflation, therefore).


So, Congresscritters that oppose abortion on the grounds that they support unborn life, but also oppose Welfare, do NOT support human life after it is born, exactly like I previously wrote. Therefore THEY are hypocrites.


Do note that I didn't say (and continue to not say) that all pro-lifers are hypocrites in that fashion. Just a specific sub-group of them (which still appears to be a rather large group).

Mirable said...

Pro life politicians are overwhelmingly republican and tea party. Do explain how methods other than universal social programs can possibly reach everyone in need?

ignorance_is_curable said...

I said "a lot"; I did not say "all".

JoAnna Wahlund said...

First, can you provide a source for your assertion that every single pro-life
politician in the nation favors cutting social programs and abolishing
the minimum wage?

Second, can you provide a source for your assertion that pro-life politicians are overwhelmingly republican and tea party?

Third, please read the links I posted above for an answer to your question.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

I have been working in the pro-life movement for over a decade, and I have yet to meet a single pro-lifer who does not believe in supporting human life after birth. Please read the links above for more evidence.

Mirable said...

The republican and tea party platforms are both pro life. And those platforms also oppose social programs and raising the minimum wage. Every time a republican politician has tried to be more progressive, ze has been shot down by zus own party. It is no secret that the republican party represents the super rich - who oppose social programs - and religion - for which a pro life platform translates to votes. It is also no secret that vote are won by pitting people agsinst one another - the middle class are coached to hate the poot and minorities for 'stealing all of our hard earned tax dollars'. Dog whisyle politics is built on resentment of the 'young buck' buying drugs with food stamps, and of the ' welfare queen' living the good life by popping out kids.It does not matter if some tea parties are secretly socialist - they won't get elected because they do not appeal to the base or to the powers that be in the GOP.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

tl;dr. Didn't see a source for either of your assertions when I skimmed it. Can you provide them?

Have you read the links I posted above?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

I've been pregnant seven times (resulting in five live births), and pregnancy has never once posed a risk to my health.

You also seem ignorant of the fact that pregnancy offers health benefits as well: http://health.howstuffworks.com/pregnancy-and-parenting/pregnancy/issues/six-surprising-benefits-of-pregnancy.htm

JoAnna Wahlund said...

If your stats are correct, wouldn't a better solution be to provide women with mental health treatment instead of killing an innocent child?

Mirable said...

So your experiences give you the right to speak for all women, and doctors, who would disagree with you?


Mirable said...

I dont need a source. Or are you going to tell me that the GOP and the tea party are actually pro choice and socialist?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Do your experiences give you the right to speak for all women, and doctors, who would disagree with you?

LN said...

Good article but I'm surprised no one latched onto the seat belt analogy. I could see someone advocating for no seat belt laws despite it having saved their life, simply because wearing or not wearing a seat belt is ultimately your choice and *hurts no one but yourself* (theoretically).


But those who survive abortion and support it are far more nonsensical. It's one thing to support the right for *just your mother* to have an abortion -- yes, like seat belt laws, it would only affect *you*. It's quite another to support it for any mother; that would affect lives that are not yours and therefore not yours or ANYONE'S to kill.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Please look at the Congressional Voting Record, in every State or Federal chamber, regarding those who vote in some way to oppose abortion, and ALSO vote in some way to diminish Welfare.


Then remember that those people doing those votes would not be elected if they did not have lots of supporters. I therefore stand by what I wrote. There are a lot of hypocrites in the "pro-life" movement. Period.

ignorance_is_curable said...

You don't know what you are talking about.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Question. If someone who kills a born human being is not sorry for doing so, does that mean the act was therefore morally legitimate?

Mirable said...

Pregnancy is not a state of wellness.



Pregnancy also comes with risks - it is not zero risk.


The side effects of pregnancy are not healthy.



At any time your perfectly 'healthy' pregnancy can lead to disability and death.


No, pregnancy is not a 'state of health' just because YOU got lucky and had some successful births. And pregnancy HAS permanently changed your body.


You are using hindsight and assuming that pregnancy must be all unicorns and fairies because it worked out for you.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

This study shows "women who had had abortions had
rates of mental disorder that were about 30% higher. There were no consistent
associations between other pregnancy outcomes and mental health."http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/193/6/444.full

Vita said...

Ok so you are against abortion after the brain begins to function then correct?

Vita said...

Pregnancy is a natural part of the human life cycle. Therefore to be pregnant is not to lack wellness.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Not at all. I'm saying that if she is in a dangerous situation where there is a high probability, on an ongoing basis, of rape, she should get out of the situation. Wouldn't you agree?

If she is raped, and I hope that will never occur, and she gets pregnant as a result (also a low probability), an abortion would not unrape her or punish the rapist, nor would it cure her mental illness. My comments about medications, etc. apply to every pregnancy regardless of how it occurs.

If she is raped (and again, I hope that never happens), she should go to a hospital and avail herself of emergency contraception (if medically indicated) in hopes that a pregnancy will not occur.

Vita said...

"I believe that I am not the embryo that grew into me."

Alright. Do you believe that embryos are living human beings? Because they have a unique human genome and all of the characteristics of life. If so is that living human being different from the human being that is born?

Mirable said...

Naturalistic fallacy.

Mirable said...

Doesn't mean it's a state of wellness, either. Try again.

How exactly is pregnancy a state of wellness?

Jewels Green said...

Interesting article (your first link did not work, I'm referring to the second one.) It talked with women one week after being "turned away" from an abortion center, what about one year? Two years? Ten years?

Here's a 30-year longitudinal study that indicates the opposite.
http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/193/6/444.full

"Conclusions: The evidence is consistent with the view that abortion may be associated with a small increase in risk of mental disorders. Other pregnancy outcomes were not related to increased risk of mental health problems."

Here's another one for you that concludes "These results suggest women who have experienced a previous induced abortion have omnipresent anxiety and depression symptoms during a subsequent pregnancy, especially during the first trimester."
http://www.psikofarmakoloji.org/pdf/22_1_8.pdf

Abortion hurts women and kills children. Abortion ends a life.


Women are strong enough to pursue--and should demand--non-violent solutions to ill-timed pregnancies. We deserve better than abortion.

ednyc said...

my own daughter, conceived in love, placed for adoption at birth and raised in the Roman Catholic church is pro choice. I wonder if she has had an abortion

GEIxBattleRifle said...

Killing a born human has nothing to do with abortion since it pertains to humans before birth. Do care to stay on topic next time.

GEIxBattleRifle said...

It depends on what the born human has. You weren't specific about it at all really.

Chalkdust said...

(1) Apologies for the mistyped link; it should be correct now.

(2) There have been several literature reviews on this topic; that is, a committee sits down and reads through all the studies they can find on mental health and abortion. None of them have found convincing evidence of such a link. Generally large-scale literature reviews like this are more accurate than a single study, as they can assemble data from many studies.

(3) The turnaway study found that women who want abortions but can't get them are often harmed in other ways by their forced pregnancies; see this preliminary report. For example, it found that women forced to carry to term were more likely to be living in poverty or to remain with an abusive partner than women who succeeded in getting the abortions they wanted. Do you have any reason to assume that the "moderate increase" in mental health problems found in some (not all!) studies is more harmful to these women than the assorted harms of forced pregnancy? If not, I don't see how you can justify your blanket statement that "abortion harms women".

Women are strong enough to pursue--and should demand--non-violent
solutions to ill-timed pregnancies. We deserve better than abortion.


See, here's the thing that frustrates me about pro-life feminism. I agree that access to high-quality contraception, mandatory paid parental leave, subsidized daycare, and other aspects of a social safety net are good things to have. These are some of the things that would "solve" ill-timed pregnancies. My only issue is that pro-life feminism seems to want to make abortion illegal first, leaving women with all the harms inflicted by forced ill-timed pregnancies, and only then start acting to mitigate those harms. Why not instead put a social safety net into place, and watch the abortion rate decrease as women are now able to safely choose to carry to term, rather than trying to force them to continue pregnancies that they have determined will hurt them?

LogicallyProChoice said...

It's funny, pro-lifers like to call pro-choicers selfish, but this seems like a selfish argument if there ever was one. Just because something resulted in *your* existence doesn't mean that something is a good thing in general.
The obvious example of this should be staring you in the face: If someone were conceived as a result of rape, does that mean that she should be against rape being illegal? By your logic, she should be. Hey, if it weren't for rape, she wouldn't be here! Doesn't she value her own life?
The same goes for abortion. I value my own life, but not enough to have wanted to inflict suffering on my mother if she hadn't wanted me. I'm glad my mother chose to have me. But I'm more glad that she had a *choice.*

ansuz said...

I was unplanned and inconvenient, and I know that my mother went to a decent amount of trouble to make sure that her health would be prioritized through the entire pregnancy. I'm happy to know that abortion was a serious option for her, and that she elected, of her own free will, to keep me, and that she didn't suffer more than she felt she could deal with on my account.

Coyote said...

I think that he/she means the mental abilities and/or et cetera which the born human has.

Clinton said...

JoAnna, your logic is impeccable. It's probably not worth your time to debate with Mirable because he can't even admit that he made a mistake in making that sweeping generalization.

Clinton said...

That is not the naturalistic fallacy. Since pregnancy is a natural part of human reproduction, it is not a lack of wellness, any more than having a healthy liver indicates a lack of wellness.

Chalkdust said...

I am willing to have this conversation, but I don't want to lose sight of my main point, which is that "pro-choiciers are wrong to believe that embryos are not people" and "pro-choicers don't actually believe that embryos are not people" are two very different statements, and pro-lifers who believe the second statement are obviously wrong.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Actually, there IS a break in continuity regarding personhood, not biology. The Fact is, without appropriate Nurturing after birth, your mind would not develop most of the Objective Generic characteristics that can be used to distinguish any type of person, anywhere in the Universe, from any type of ordinary animal. Without appropriate Nurturing, you would be no more than just a clever animal, like a chimp or gorilla. prezi.com/j15n2ivfb85w/feral-children-and-the-brain/


In other words, in terms of Pure Continuity of Natural brain development, biology starts with a single human zygote and eventually produces a clever animal. INTERFERING with that Natural Continuity is the Nurturing that we might or might-not receive as young children, which can cause additional brain development, and lead to personhood (in terms of Science, not Law).


The net result is that YOU, the MIND who understands written text and can respond to it, is NOT the animal body that has continuity from zygote to adult. Your existence AS A PERSON depends on EXTRA factors.

ignorance_is_curable said...

See above. It is the abortion opponents who are wrong to believe that mere animals organisms qualify as people.

ignorance_is_curable said...

If you don't mis-use the language propagandistically, what you say would not only make more sense, the error in what you say becomes easy to expose.

Dictionary definitions are written to RECORD (not create) how words are commonly used. www.merriam-webster.com/help/faq/words_in.htm This leads us to the old conundrum, "if all your friends jump off a cliff, should you do that, too?" That is, just because lots of folks use a word in a certain way, that doesn't mean it is a right-and-proper thing to do (see any English teacher railing against the word "ain't").

So, regarding the word "being", it has several definitions, one of which means "exists", and another of which means "person". Since a human exists, we could call that human a "human being". Since a rock exists, we could call that rock a "rock being" --except of course this is NEVER done in casual conversations. Why?

The answer is, the word "being" is NOT getting used to mean "exists" in the phrase "human being"; it IS getting used to mean "person". Just like a science-fictional conversation about "alien beings" would probably also be about PERSONS.

So, here is what you wrote, slightly edited:
"Do you believe that embryos are living human persons? Because they have a unique human genome and all of the characteristics of life. If so is that living human person different from the human person that is born?"

Basically, by mis-using the word "being" you are "loading" your statements with the Propagandistic Assumption that every human organism is also a person. What you SHOULD have written is this:
"Do you believe that embryos are living humans? Because they have a unique human genome and all of the characteristics of life. If so is that living human different from the human that is born?"



See? The concept of "person" is DIFFERENT from the concept of "human" --we KNOW this whenever we recognize that the word "person" can accommodate utterly nonhuman extraterrestrial alien intelligences.


So, the error you make is to automatically assume that just because you CALL a human a person, by invoking the word "being", that does NOT actually mean that that human actually qualifies as a person. It Really Is Very Simple!

Drew Hymer said...

You're conflating two completely different things. Opposition to the killing of unborn babies is in no way comparable to opposition to government programs. If i don't give you something you need, it's not the same thing as shooting you in the head.

In addition, leftists often think that "caring" or "supporting human life" means "government programs". That's ideological blindness.

Many conservative recognize that government programs are not an act of charity, for two reasons. First, you extort from one group to give to another. Is a congressman charitable when he gives away other people's money?

Second, those on the receiving end of the largess are not uplifted but often enslaved by it. Government is horrible at "doing good". Rather the government should get out of the way and encourage private entities to do good.

You still owe me a cigar. :-)

ignorance_is_curable said...

You're conflating two completely different things.
----
NOPE, as explained below.

========
Opposition to the killing of unborn babies is in no way comparable to opposition to government programs.
------
HOW YOU PHRASE IT is what makes the difference. You are ignoring the REASON for the opposition. If the REASON to oppose abortion is "human life is valuable", then that REASON is also valid in terms of helping to keep it alive after birth!

That is, to NOT help keep it alive after birth is basically to say, "human life is not THAT valuable!" Which is where the Hypocrisy lies. The expressed rationale for opposing abortion is NOT being consistently expressed, when they also oppose Welfare.
=================

If i don't give you something you need, it's not the same thing as shooting you in the head.
------
Actions speak louder than words, of course. In this case, the actions reveal Hypocrisy in the words.
=========

In addition, leftists often think that "caring" or "supporting human life" means "government programs". That's ideological blindness.
----------
No, it is CONSISTENT. Unlike hypocritical right-wingers, who ACTUALLY oppose abortion and Welfare only so they can profit from it. (That is, they are consistent, too, but not in a way that reflects what they SAY, which is what makes them Hypocrites.)
==========

Many conservative recognize that government programs are not an act of charity, for two reasons. First, you extort from one group to give to another.
--------
Ah, MORE Hypocrisy!!! The claim here is, basically, "If you want something, YOU should pay for it!". LOGICALLY, therefore, if THEY want babies to be born, THEY should pay for it!
==============

Is a congressman charitable when he gives away other people's money?
--------
He, an elected Representative, is supposed to act in accordance with what the people want. So, if the people want to be charitable, he can indeed do that.
=============

Second, those on the receiving end of the largess are not uplifted but often enslaved by it.
-------
I know all about that. Here is a book you will like:
www.goodreads.com/book/show/110689.The_Losers

Basically, the problem is "mis-management", not the fact of charity.
============

Government is horrible at "doing good". Rather the government should get out of the way and encourage private entities to do good.
------
That depends on the definition of "good". Consider the Clean Air Act, for example. Lots of private entities STILL oppose it, for purely greedy reasons, despite the Fact that it is, indeed, a Good Thing.
============

You still owe me a cigar. :-)

----
NOT IN THE SLIGHTEST. Instead, you have conveniently exposed a SECOND major hypocrisy of many abortion opponents!

Mirable said...

Her logic is flawed. It's like assuming that you did not expose yourself to any risks when you drove the last 1000 miles just because you didn't manage to get into an accident. The risks were there, they just didn't materialize.



And the female body IS permanently changed by pregnancy, yes. In fact, one way scientists can tell how many children a woman has had is by the scarring on her pelvis from each and every pregnancy.

ansuz said...

That is not the naturalistic fallacy. Since pregnancy cancer is a natural part of human reproduction aging and cellular reproduction, it is not a lack of wellness, any more than having a healthy liver indicates a lack of wellness.

ansuz said...

Let me break this down for you a bit further:

Premise 1: All pregnancies pose a health risk to women.

Premise 2: You are a woman who has been pregnant seven times and for whom no pregnancy has i. caused you what you would characterize as 'severe or lasting harm', or ii. put you at higher risk for such harm than is expected.



Conclusion: You were fortunate in that you were at low risk for harm, and that you wound up on the not-harmed side of the odds calculation specific to your pregnancies.


For LASIK:


Premise 1: All surgical procedures carry some risk.


Premise 2: I am a person who has had LASIK done, and for whom i. the risk of requiring a replacement cornea in my right eye was slightly elevated, but ii. no ill effects have (as yet) materialized.


Conclusion:
I am fortunate to have suffered no ill effects of LASIK, despite the risks inherent in the procedure and my slightly elevated risk.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Right. So a better formulation of Mirable's statement would be, "Some women experience health problems during pregnancy" or "Some women are at risk for certain health problems in pregnancy." Her claim, however, was that every single pregnancy in the history of mankind has been detrimental to the health of the pregnant woman, and that is simply not true.

Mirable said...

You are assuming that 'risk' can always be predicted and managed. It cannot.


And yes, considering what pregnancy does to a woman's body, it is definitely NOT good for her health.

ansuz said...

Pregnancy is a state of elevated risk for a hell of a lot of things (as compared to non-pregnancy).
While every single pregnancy in the history of ever has not carried an overall increase in risk of Bad Things Happening for the pregnant person, I'd be willing to bet a whole lot that the cases where the overall risk for Bad Things decreases during pregnancy are few and far between, and restricted almost entirely to societies in which pregnant people are treated like glass and/or to cases in which the pregnant person in question has autoimmune disorder that is temporarily suppressed by the pregnancy.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Funny, again, I've been pregnant 7 times and my health is stellar. Just had my yearly check-up last week and all is good. I can stand to lose some weight, but that's due to my ravenous sweet tooth, I'm afraid. :)

JoAnna Wahlund said...

What about the health benefits of pregnancy? You seem to ignore those: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-health/3314614/The-unexpected-benefits-of-pregnancy.html

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Risk can often be predicted and managed, so I'm not sure what you're talking about, btw.

Mirable said...

If risk could be accurately predicted no woman would ever die or suffer permanent injury form pregnancy.

Mirable said...

So what?

That still doesn't change the fact that every time you are pregnant, you are at elevated risk of developing health problems aaaand in a less optimum state of health than if you were not pregnant.

ansuz said...

I touched on those. It is known that the maternal immune system is suppressed during pregnancy, which provides benefits to those with autoimmune disorders. A general sense of wellbeing, which is one of the other things described in the article, does not mean that one is actually healthier (though there is a correlation).

Mirable said...

One of the body's best held secrets is why during pregnancy many women
find that the symptoms of a wide range of diseases decline
substantially, only to strike back with renewed force after their babies
have been delivered.




Some women with multiple sclerosis experience a decline in symptoms
during the last three months of pregnancy, followed by a flare-up during
the three months after birth



Should continual pregnancy be prescribed for women with multiple sclerosis? If a woman has MS, just keep her knocked up her entire life? Whaddya think?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Uh, no. Risk is often accurately predicted. A woman could be told at the start of pregnancy that she has a higher chance of having gestational diabetes, for example, and then she could attempt to manage her diet accordingly. She could still suffer complications of gestational diabetes, or she could make it through her pregnancy with no problem. I have a friend who has had pre-eclampsia with three pregnancies, and, now that she's pregnant with her fourth child, she's made radical diet and lifestyle changes because she knows she's at risk for pre-e again. So far, she has no signs of pre-e (unlike her last three pregnancies).

JoAnna Wahlund said...

You seem to be confusing risk with omniscience, and I'm not sure why.

ansuz said...

Also, thanks for refusing to respect my pronouns. That's not at all rude or marginalizing.
/sarcasm

JoAnna Wahlund said...

it's worth studying to see if some of the body's naturally-produced hormones during late pregnancy can be lab-created and administered to MS sufferers. Wouldn't that be a wonderful medical advance?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Wait a sec, your pronouns? Are you Mirable's sock puppet?

Mirable said...

How you gonna predict post partum hemorrhage? Obstetric fistulas? Obstructed labour? Many other birth injuries.


One woman I know went from normal to uncontrollabely bleeding out of her nose one night from eclampsia. It was not predicted.


And another woman I know has permanent hip dysplasia after giving birth 5 times - she can no longer ride a bike.



You are also assuming that each and every pregnant woman will have access to top notch medical care and thousands of dollars in tests in order to not only accurately predict her illness, but then treat it.



hah!

Mirable said...

Should women with auto-immune disorders spend their entire lives knocked up as a 'cure' for the disorder?

yes or no?

ansuz said...

Yep. It'd be unethical like whoa, though, to do use humans who don't want to be pregnant as lab rats in order to study their hormone levels.

Mirable said...

No, that's what you're doing.

ansuz said...

No, I'm Mirable's friend who is genderqueer.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

I drive 90 miles per day to/from work (round-trip). My chances of dying in a car accident are many times that of my chances of dying due to a pregnancy-related complication. Since I have no way of predicting if I'll get into a horrible car accident, should I stop driving altogether?

Mirable said...

Yeah. Thanks for being completely dismissive.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

You also seem to be assuming that no woman has access to quality medical care, and that every pregancy is a death sentence from which each woman narrowly escapes. Don't think that's an accurate worldview.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

No.... why are you asking? I never made that claim.

Mirable said...

You drive. Voluntarily. That's the key. Take as much risk as you like, but it must be voluntary.

Mirable said...

Low income women are screwed.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Of course it would be.... when did I say it would not? There are ethical ways in which to conduct such a study.

Mirable said...

You told me about the marvelous health benefits associated with pregnancy. Well, if it's so healthy, then why not just keep women knocked up permanently? Since it cures all ills yes?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

The last time I checked, 99% of pregnancies were the result of voluntary sex, so....

Mirable said...

So when you consent to sex you also consent to rape? is that what you're telling me?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Not necessarily, That's what CPCs and other organizations are for. I was very low-income with my first two three pregnancies (qualified for food stamps and Medicaid), and I received excellent medical care.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

I never said it cures all ills, so please stop committing libel. Not to mention that being pregnant 24/7/365 is a biological impossibility. If you're unaware of that fact, perhaps you should take a basic biology course?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

No. I'm saying that 99% of pregnancies result after a consensual sexual encounter. Less than 1% of pregnancies are the result of rape, which is the exact opposite of a consensual sexual encounter. Consensual = voluntary.

Mirable said...

You stated that pregnancy is not harmful to health, and that it offers health benefits.

And women have managed to become pregnant within weeks of giving birth. It's possible.

Mirable said...

No, you are saying that if you consent once - to let someone use your body - that you have essentially given up all rights to your body. As in, if you choose to have sex with someone, and you then change your mind, you are not permitted to withdraw consent - because once you've given up your bodily autonomy you cannot get it back.

Funny how this little rule ONLY applies to pregnancy where PLers are involved.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Wrong. I've stated that pregnancy is NOT ALWAYS harmful to health, because your stance was that pregnancy is ALWAYS harmful to health. Yes, women have gotten pregnant that soon after childbirth, but that is rare - especially if they breastfeed. Regardless, I'm not in favor of forcing women to get pregnant - I just oppose killing an innocent child after pregnancy has already occurred, regardless if the circumstances were good or bad.

ansuz said...

The entire point of the abortion debate, from my point of view, is that I may, at any time, eject a fetus from my body on the grounds that ongoing use of my body requires ongoing permission. I don't care about what any individual feels about pregnancy as long as nobody has to endure pregnancy for any longer than they want to, or one iota more risk than they are comfortable with.
My mom has three kids, and has been pro-choice her whole life. I don't think that pregnancy is evil, or that nobody should ever do it. I think that it is dangerous, and that people should be fully informed of the risks.
Your making the point that pregnancy's not all bad is only relevant if you see that as reason to force people who do not want to be pregnant to remain pregnant.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Can you withdraw consent to digestion after you have already ingested food?

Mirable said...

https: //www. facebook. com/rhrealitycheck/photos/a.102749171737.90216.9432926737/10152222743111738/?type=1&theater

“I had a patient in the clinic who really did not want an abortion but who had no resources to cover the costs of prenatal care or childbirth. She was single and without insurance coverage but made just enough money to be ineligible for state assistance. She already had
outstanding bills at the hospital and with the local ob-gyn practice. No doctor would see her without payment up front.

We were willing to do the abortion for a reduced rate or for free if necessary. But she really didn’t want an abortion. Once I understood her situation, I went to the phone and called the local ‘crisis pregnancy center.’

"Hello, this is Dr. Wicklund."

Dead silence. I might as well have said I was Satan.

"Hello?" I said again. "This is Dr. Wicklund."

"Hello," very tentatively, followed by another long silence.

"I need help with a patient," I said. She came to me for an abortion, but really doesn’t want one. What she really needs is someone to do her
prenatal care and birth for free."

"What do you expect us to do?"

I let that hang for a minute.


-------------


The CPC never did help the woman. A local anti-choice doctor was guilted into it, and he whines about how he was taken advantage of.

Mirable said...

Can you withdraw consent to the nematode worm that has just taken up residence in your intestines because you ate a bad burrito?

ansuz said...

Yup. I can throw up. I can take laxatives. I can take medications that make me less likely to absorb anything from the food.
I can feel shitty about it. I can hate myself for it. I can engage in self-harm.
I can try to claw open my belly with my fingernails.
(Hi, I have an eating disorder.)

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Why does a human being's right to bodily autonomy supersede a human being's right to life, considering that pregnancy is temporary and death is permanent?

Mirable said...

1) A woman is not at her optimum health while pregnant.

2) The women who have breastfed are often the ones who complain about getting pregnant again soon after birth. Prolonged lactation only works as birth control if the woman is undernourished. In today's society, with the high levels of nutrition that are readily available, prolonged lactation will not have much of an effect.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Yes, I've seen that. Problem is that Dr. Wicklund offers no proof to substantiate her story, and there are several red flags. For example, a CPC would typically answer the phone, "Hello, [NAME] CPC, how may I help you?" not simply, "Hello?"

I almost wonder if Dr. Wicklund dialed the wrong number and didn't realize it!

Question, would you believe a similar tale if it came from a CPC or pro-life source?

Regardless, I've gotten together with a group of friends, and we are sending Dr. Wicklund a comprehensive list of all the resources for pregnant women in the ND/SD/MT/WY area that we can find. Hopefully that will help her. :)

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Well, again, I'm proof that isn't true. I'm five months postpartum and my cycles have not yet resumed. I use the Marquette Method of NFP so I use a fertility monitor to check my hormone levels every other day, and so far they have remained low. While my son is exclusively breastfeed, we don't practice EBF (I work full-time, and pump during the day).

I did the same with my prior children (returned to work after 6-8 weeks, and pumped during the day), and my fertility never returned until I was at least 6 months postpartum (with my last pregnancy, it was 9 months). So, not sure where you get your belief that the LAM method only works for undernourished women, but it's not accurate.

ansuz said...

1. As I see it, the right to life derives from the right to bodily autonomy. I have the right to not be dismembered by someone wielding an axe because I have the right to not have my body interfered with. Fetuses have no right to bodily autonomy (because their bodies are not, in fact, autonomous), and therefore no right to life.


2. Well, if I'm pregnant, how do you intend to stop me from obtaining an abortion? I'd be willing to do what I had to or die trying. So we've got a hostage situation in which the hostage cannot be separated from the hostage-taker. Your options are two deaths, one death, or incarcerating me, physically restraining me, and intubating me for the duration of the pregnancy if you want a live baby. After that, I'd probably kill myself. So you've got one death anyway.


3. Right. So I can't shove a rapist using my body off of me if I think it's at all likely zie'll trip, hit hir head, and die. Because rape is temporary and death is permanent.

JoAnna Wahlund said...

3. You have the right to defend yourself from attacks against your person, using deadly force if necessary. I've never said otherwise.

2. If you're intent on harming yourself and killing another, you'd probably find a way to do it. But I don't think we should make killing innocent children legal just because some women are hell-bent on doing so.

1. Hypothetical question. Does a woman have the right to torture her unborn child, if she so chooses? For example, let's a a woman gets pregnant with a wanted baby, but then finds out her husband cheated on her. To get revenge, she decides to amputate her baby's legs. She doesn't want to kill the baby, just mutilate it. Should she be able to do so, if she can find a doctor who'll agree?

Ritalmumbai said...

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ansuz said...

"3. You have the right to defend yourself from attacks against your person, using deadly force if necessary."
Hence abortion. A pregnancy that I do not want is an attack against my person… unless you're thought-policing to the extent that I'm not allowed to experience a zef forcibly drilling into one of my arteries, stealing nutrients from my blood, suppressing my immune system, altering my body, and dumping its waste into my blood for my kidneys to process as an attack against my person.

"2. If you're intent on harming yourself and killing another, you'd probably find a way to do it. But I don't think we should make killing innocent children legal just because some women are hell-bent on doing so."
So… you'll support public policies that obviously don't have the effects they are (allegedly) intended to have in favour of moral grandstanding.

"1. Hypothetical question."
Good question. Obviously, I'd condemn the hypothetical woman for causing unnecessary harm (and I don't believe revenge is a legitimate reason to act). But it can't be torture unless the person on the receiving end can actually experience things (and the jury's still out on that one). Still, abortion is generally the quickest and most humane death we can manage while still preserving the health of the pregnant person. Overall, I'd have to say that the actions of the pregnant person should not be circumscribed, but that the aid of physicians should be restricted to procedures with the best interests of the future child in mind and to ending the nonconsensual use of someone's body (i.e., abortion). In the case of that specific woman, I'd recommend abortion, as she's clearly not fit to parent.

Mirable said...

3) So? It still causes harm. The worm inside your intestines is doing *exactly* what it was designed to do by sucking nutrients from your body. Therefore, you cannot remove it, because it's doing what it's meant for!!!


Biology is not destiny. If it was, we humans wouldn't try to fight death and disability.

ansuz said...

3. Are you saying that I have no right to label something that's in my body when I don't want it to be an 'alien invader', or are you saying that regardless of how I feel about it, having sex means I have to allow the zef to use my body? Am I not allowed to feel violated by a fetus, because it doesn't intend to hurt me? What about an abuser who doesn't intend to abuse?


2. There is clear evidence that some laws have absolutely no positive effects and many negative effects. Do you think that we should keep those laws on the books if they make us feel warm fuzzies about protecting human rights?


1. I… don't quite understand how you got that from my words. Mind clarifying?

JoAnna Wahlund said...

You really need a biology class if you think pregnancy is analogous to a tapeworm infection. Human beings' bodies are not designed or intended to host tapeworms or other parasites. They are intended/designed for human reproduction.

2. You're assuming that laws protecting human rights wouldn't work. Despite laws against theft, rape, and murder, all three still happen; should we go ahead and abolish them, too?

1. Deliberate, malicious mutiliation of a child = child abuse, regardless of that child's age, location, stage of development, or size - even if it's done "humanely."

ansuz said...

3. I said nothing about tapeworms. That was Mirable. If you're going to try to debate with me, please go back and actually respond to my questions.


2. I am doing no such thing. I asked a question: If some laws are not having their intended positive effects but having many negative effects, should we keep them on the books for the warm fuzzies they give us?


1. So abortion is child abuse. That's a useless definition.

Leila Miller said...

"As I see it, the right to life derives from the right to bodily autonomy."



Who says? I mean, I get that it's your personal opinion, but it was Susan Smith's personal opinion that her kids didn't even have the right to life even after birth. And Princeton's Peter Singer thinks children have the right to be killed up to three months after birth.


And, just curious, what is a mother's moral obligation to her own child?

ansuz said...

Well, I mean, I have a consistent moral position that allows for the use of deadly force in cases where my body is violated, allows me to judge violations of my body myself based on the amount of harm (physical or psychological) I am incurring rather than the intent of the one doing the violating, and it's really the only practical solution.
I have no idea who Susan Smith is and don't care enough to do research, but Peter Singer's position is based on the spectrum argument. I sympathize with the spectrum argument, and can see his point, but I think that, as a whole, birth is the better dividing line for society; it allows us to preserve bodily autonomy in all cases. It mitigates the total amount of harm, as near as I can tell.

"what is a mother's moral obligation to her own child?"
If there is no way for an organism to support itself and nobody else available to support it, the obligation is either to look after it or give it a quick, humane death. If there is someone available (as in pretty much every case in the modern world; the cases where there is nobody else available are Donner Party-type scenarios), the obligation is to either look after it or find someone else to.

Leila Miller said...

So, in other words, your stance on these life-or-death questions is (by your own admission) subjective and arbitrary. It's simply your opinion. Okay… great. So, if Peter Singer's argument wins public opinion one day, you can't say it's wrong, correct? And if another society draws a different line (killing older kids, or sick adults, etc.), then that's okay, too, right? As long as the thinking is to "mitigate the total amount of harm" (according to whoever has the power at the time).


Question for you: What of the bodily autonomy of the child? How does the child keep his or her bodily autonomy?


And, are you bothered at all by the oppression model here? The strong, in your view, can kill the weak and defenseless, precisely because they cannot fight back and have no power or voice. Isn't that classic oppression? That the law does not protect them?


Societies can be judged on how they treat the weakest and most vulnerable in their ranks.

GEIxBattleRifle said...

And some times the ultimate sacrifice has to be made Clinton. Have you ever watched Purge before? I suggest you read up on it. You can start from the wiki.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Purge

GEIxBattleRifle said...

Some times the ultimate sacrifice has to be made Clinton. Have you ever watched the Purge before? Here read up on it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Purge

ansuz said...

Well, no, not really. I mean, sure, values are the products of minds. This is a secular blog, and that should not be a controversial statement. That doesn't mean that we have no way of judging them, or that each ethical system is as good as any other.
I don't have the energy to get into a bottom-up explication of my entire moral system, or my understanding of how ethics work, but I have some good, solid principles.
I value minds, I value the freedom to define one's own experiences, I value bodily autonomy because of those two things, and I value mitigation of harm.


zefs have no minds, no experiences, and no bodily autonomy. Therefore, I don't assign them any intrinsic value in my moral system -- their lack of minds means the lack of the ability to value themselves, or even have 'selves' in any meaningful sense. Even if I did value them, though, their lack of bodily autonomy means that I could never, in good conscience, say that someone couldn't get an abortion.


Very young children have bodily autonomy, but they still have only the beginnings of minds and the ability to value themselves (which are the reasons bodily autonomy matters in the first place). I prefer to respect the bodily autonomy of all creatures, but I am of the opinion that if the choice is between leaving an infant behind to starve and breaking its neck quickly, the latter is less cruel. (You will notice that I did give an example of when killing someone who is not a threat to your bodily autonomy is okay, and that it was a case of extreme isolation and food shortage.)


If your question was about the bodily autonomy of children in general, I agree that society as a whole is terrible about respecting it, and that is something that should change.

Leila Miller said...

Sorry, you didn't answer the question about oppression.


And, I am gathering that your philosophy is similar to Singer's: Whatever causes the least net suffering is the way to go. The end would justify the means in that case (murder is okay if it's quick and lessens the suffering of either the murdered one or the ones around him/her). Do I have that right?

ansuz said...

Which question, specifically? I think I answered the ones about society's values, more or less.

"Whatever causes the least net suffering is the way to go."
If you want a gross oversimplification, then maybe? I'm pretty sure I didn't talk about that, though.

"The end would justify the means in that case (murder is okay if it's quick and lessens the suffering of either the murdered one or the ones around him/her)."

No, see, for something to be murder, in my moral system, either there must be a mind capable of understanding the situation and why it makes more sense for them to be killed AND they must have not agreed to it, OR it must not be justifiable on grounds of bodily autonomy or totally-dependent-with-no-options-for-care.
So, basically, you can kill someone who agrees to it, you can kill someone who is violating your bodily autonomy IF they don't stop when you ask them to, and you can kill someone who is totally dependent on you IF they are not capable of understanding/expressing a preference for dying on their own and IF there are no other options for their care.

GEIxBattleRifle said...

You wouldn't say this if a women got a tapeworm in her stomach from eating raw meat now would you? If she can kill and remove the tapeworm from inside her own body then she can do the same thing to the unborn human that is inside her body as well.

Leila Miller said...

The oppression question. Abortion is the strong killing the weak and defenseless. Isn't that the essence of oppression?


You have a moral code, I have a moral code, Joe Blow has a moral code, and if every moral code is subjective and based on what we "like" or what "feels right" to us (instead of a universal principle like We don't kill innocent human beings), then the ones with the biggest guns win. The ones with the power at the moment get to determine the morality at the time, correct? So, there really is no 'right or wrong' when it comes to killing humans, correct? It's just whoever's moral code wins out at any particular time? Might makes right. That's a dark world to live in. Just as it's dark to believe that some humans get to unilaterally decide the worth of other humans. That principle cannot go anywhere good, you know?

ansuz said...

"Abortion is the strong killing the weak and defenseless. Isn't that the essence of oppression?"
No. For one thing, oppression requires the ability to experience, which zefs do not have. For another, if something is actively causing me harm, it is not 'oppression' to take reasonable steps to end that harm. For a third thing, each zef has total, nontransferable dependence on an individual.

"(instead of a universal principle like We don't kill innocent human beings)"

How, exactly, is this a universal principle? Who defines 'innocent'? Who defines 'human being'? Is that principle a good reason to be able to kill small, furry, sapient creatures from Alpha Centauri who are looking up at you and begging for their lives? Is that principle a good reason to be able to kill a sapient robot who's never hurt anything and has no plans to? Is that a good reason to be able to kill criminals, that they 'lack innocence'? What's your best argument for considering a zef a human being in a meaningful sense? Let's say that some radical Muslim sect got to define 'innocence'. Now, guess what? Anybody who has had any sexual contact outside of marriage is no longer innocent; everybody's stoning the nine-year-old 'adulterers' in the streets. What's to stop another Hitler from defining Jews out of the category 'human beings'?


I'm not an ethicist, and I don't have a nice, handy, easy-to-understand, ground-up description of how morality works that can point out exactly why each of your questions misses the mark. I could probably put something together, but you'd get it sometime next year.


I can tell you, though, that your moral code is no less subjective than my moral code (and possibly more). If those issues you have with my stance actually apply to my stance, they apply equally to your stance.

Leila Miller said...

Yes, bingo. Those with the biggest guns win. The strong impose their morality on the rest (and it changes in any given time and place). If there is no universal principle as I proposed, then how can it be otherwise? And no society can be "wrong", since it's all subjective.


Oppression requires the ability to experience? So, if I anesthetize my victims before killing, it's not oppression? They would neither experience or know that they are being oppressed.


Babies passively gestating in the place where adults put them, in the place where nature expects them, cannot possibly be "actively causing harm", by the way.


In my worldview, all humans have human rights. Not merely the humans that meet my personal criteria. Being human means having human rights. Period.

Leila Miller said...

Let's say that some radical Muslim sect got to define 'innocence'. Now, guess what? Anybody who has had any sexual contact outside of marriage is no longer innocent; everybody's stoning the nine-year-old 'adulterers' in the streets. What's to sto p anothe r Hitler from defining Jews out of the category 'human beings'?



EXACTLY! You are saying that the unborn are not "innocent" and saying that they are not in your category of "human being". Bingo and voila, that means you can kill them! Conveniently done.


How about we stick with "all human beings are human beings" (check the science on that; it means from conception to death), and innocent means not an aggressor. Like, small babies helpless in the womb. That's about as basic as it gets. Can we agree? Otherwise, we get into the scary territory of saying that humans aren't all human, and innocents are not innocent. The stuff you want to avoid, right?

ansuz said...

I can't make sense of large pieces of this, and you've hit a couple of my rage-buttons. I'm going to go away for a while to try to process and calm down.

ansuz said...

Ehm, an aside before I leave: the innocence or lack thereof of the zefs and the humanity or lack thereof of the zefs… is entirely beside the point in my worldview. I think I've been quite clear about this.

Leila Miller said...

No need to rage. We are just talking about ideas. Take your time.

ansuz said...

"We are just talking about ideas."
No, we're not.

Leila Miller said...

Ideas have consequences of course, sometimes wonderful, sometimes deadly. But on a blog, we are discussing ideas. What else would this be?

Leila Miller said...

On second thought, you know what? Anyone who needs to "rage" and "calm down" when we've been talking about philosophies on a blog post… I am not really interested in going forth. So, thanks and have a great day.

Mirable said...

The subtext of your comments is that xir is an oppressive baby killer bereft of all morality.


Just sayin'.

Mirable said...

The fact that a zef is innocent or not is immaterial. The fact that it is causing harm and violating another person's body is what is important here.

If the harm caused by pregnancy was induced by other means, it would be considered assault, and the process of childbirth would most certainly be considered torture. And people have the right to protect themselves from assault and torture - even if it involves the use of deadly force, especially if deadly force is the ONLY way of removing the thing behind the assault.

ansuz said...

I'm tired of trying to explain to people that IDGAF about the innocence or humanity of zefs, and just want the thing that's stealing the tiny amount of food I manage to eat out of my arteries, suppressing my immune system, mucking with my already-borked-enough hormones, and changing my body to get the fuck out of me. How do I communicate the sheer horror the idea inspires in me?


But seriously, how hard is it to understand that mitigation of harm is about the person being harmed, and not the intentions of whatever is causing it?

Leila Miller said...

I have no idea who or what he/she is. I am discussing facts and ideas and philosophy. I am discussing abortion in general, and the definition of oppression. Have yet to hear any actual arguments as to why the strong killing the weak is not oppression.

GEIxBattleRifle said...

You don't understand a simple question? Look at what Coyote wrote below me and you will know what I am looking for.

Chalkdust said...

I believe more or less what ignorance_is_curable said above.

A human embryo (or zygote, or fetus) has human DNA and is alive, and that makes it a living animal of the species Homo sapiens. Through time I can be continuously linked back to human animals at earlier stages of development than the stage I am at now; this history tracks back through teenager, child, infant, fetus, embryo, zygote, oocyte and sperm. Half my personal history ends in my father's seminiferous tubules a little over nine months before I was born; the other half ends with the production of my mother's eggs in her ovaries, sometime during my grandmother's pregnancy. That is when tissue that is clearly "me" and not "my mom" came into existence, so I think it's fair to consider all of the elements of that continuity as my body.

I should mention that, while this sort of history is common, it's not universal. Aaron Ashmore's personal history starts sometime around the blastocyst stage, when the developing organism that became him and his twin Shawn split in two. So the human animal that is Aaron Ashmore's body was never a zygote.

Morally, when I was in the egg+sperm stage, I was not a thing whose interests anyone was morally obligated to consider. (I generally use "person" as shorthand for this concept.) I feel like the person who is Chalkdust is more my thoughts and mind than my body. If you gave me a drug that stopped me from thinking, but left the rest of my body functioning, the human animal part of me would be alive, but I as a person would no longer exist--for moral purposes, this is tantamount to murder. And if the person Chalkdust ceases to exist when she stops thinking, then it follows that she came into existence when I started thinking. Before I thought my first thought, my body was merely a nonsentient animal, and its interests no more deserved respect than an ant or sea anemone.

Clinton said...

The "ultimate sacrifice" is never taking someone else's life. If a mother kills her toddler to feed her older children easier, that's not a sacrifice, that's murder. The ultimate sacrifice would be a mother whose pregnancy is life-threatening sacrifice her own life to give her unborn child a chance at life (which has happened before).

someone45 said...

consent to sex does not equal consent to have your uterus invaded for nine months.

someone45 said...

I would think the health (physical, mental, and emotional) risks of pregnancy FAR outweigh any potential "benefit"

someone45 said...

Forced pregnancy does not help women. I think forcing me to carry to term and to suffer the misery of pregnancy would make me think about suicide far quicker than an abortion would.

test said...

ethical