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Friday, March 7, 2014

What NOT to say if you're a pro-life politician

[Today's guest post by Rachel Enders is part of our paid blogging program. Get more thoughts from Rachel at her Pro-Life For All tumblr. She also blogs about sexual health at Birds, Bees, and Other Things, which is not remotely safe for work.]

The past year or so has been very exciting for pro-life activists. In Texas, we went beyond the pink shoed filibuster to pass innovative laws to preserve life and women’s health. We’ve seen more and more celebrities speaking up as pro-life activists. Most noticeably, abortion clinics nationwide are shutting down. We’ve also seen a great increase in the secular side of the pro-life movement.

However, despite the great pro-life victories, we have also been set back by the statements of certain pro-life politicians. These statements are ignorant, misogynistic, and, in some cases, very worrying to the cause of respecting human dignity.

I’ll give a few example of these comments, uttered by people who should know better.

In September 2012, a reporter from Al Jazeera asked State Rep. Jim Buchy (R-Oh) what he thought made a woman seek out abortions. His reply? “It's a question I've never even thought about.” This statement is troubling for multiple reasons. It reinforces the stereotype of pro-lifers as old white men. It rejects compassion for the woman. It perpetuates ignorance, and it simply is not productive to the pro-life movement.

Last month, Virginia Senate Republican Steve Martin spoke out on his facebook. In his status, he said “However, once a child does exist in your womb, I'm not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child's host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn't want it.” This statement is equally shameful. By using the word "host," he treats mothers as mere vessels. He leaves out every human aspect of abortion from the mother’s point of view. (After being called out, he edited the facebook post, changing "host" to "bearer of the child.")

In the early 1990's, a current Maine Republican, Lawrence Lockman, said “If a woman has (the right to abortion), why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t (in most cases) result in anyone’s death.” This is probably one of the most disgusting and disgraceful quotes out there said by a lawmaker and pro-life leader. At the time, he was the director of the Pro-Life Education Association. This statement was misogynistic, hateful, and downright revolting. It does nothing but harm the pro-life movement. While Lockman has since apologized, the statement does not reflect well on the Maine pro-life movement or the entire pro-life movement in general.

In my opinion, one of the most positive things that could happen for the cause of unborn children would be the rise of politicians who speak about the pro-life position eloquently and compassionately.

We need more leaders like former Congresswoman and Ambassador Lindy Boggs, who passed away in 2012. Congresswoman Boggs marked up the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, and she made sure to add sex and marital status to the nondiscrimination bill. She co-founded the Congressional Women’s Caucus. She also repeatedly voted against abortion and was one of the five women who voted for the Hyde Amendment.

We need more leaders like the great Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who fought against sex-selective abortions in an environment that favored men over women. She refused to make legislation that forced women to choose between careers and children. The woman who championed democracy in Pakistan said, days before her assassination in 2007, “I dream of a Pakistan, of an Asia, of a world, where we can commit our social resources to the development of human life and not to its destruction.”

We need more politicians like Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, who “walks the walk” for pro-life legislation and actions. Representative Herrera Beutler recently gave birth to a daughter who was prenatally diagnosed with Potter’s Syndrome. Potter's Syndrome was believed to be uniformly lethal, and the pressure to abort was surely immense, but Herrera Beutler chose life for her daughter. Nearly a year later, baby Abigail is thriving.

We need our male politicians to step up too. We need more men like Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), who consistently steps across party lines to preserve the life of the unborn as well as the hard working laborers of the Mountain State.

It is compassion that will further the pro-life movement. It is compassion that will change hearts and minds. It is compassion that will pass legislation. It is compassion that will end abortion. If we are to make any progress, the judgment and ignorance have got to go.

40 comments:

Crystal Kupper said...

Good blog!

Sounder said...

To be fair, I think Steve Martin was using the term "host" somewhat sarcastically, though I could be wrong. Writing "(some refer to them as mothers)" makes it sound like he was taking a shot the silliness of pro-choicers using that term ("you're forcing the woman to be a host," "the fetus is a parasite," etc.).

Jameson Graber said...

"It is compassion that will pass legislation." I appreciate your idealism, but this statement seems rather naive. Of course compassion is the right thing to do, but I'm not sure it will get any laws passed.

Doug Lange said...

I think State laws restricting access to abortion will not be effective in advancing a pro-Life agenda. Women with enough money will travel to another State where abortion is available. Poorer women in Texas or Arizona will go to Mexico, or to a back alley clinic. I think we need to decrease the demand for abortion by decreasing the number of unplanned or unwanted pregnancies. Science based sex education in our schools and increased availability of safe and effective birth control would be a good start. Add a national outreach/pre natal care/post natal care/adoption program and I think we will see real progress.

Vita said...

Pre-natal care/post natal care is given at Crisis Pregnancy Centers across the nation already.

Vita said...

Compassion will not pass legislation I agree Jameson, but it will create the atmosphere where pro-life legislation has a chance to thrive. It will not get any laws passed, but it will create the environment where pro-life laws can be passed.

Vita said...

I think you are right, he was trying to make a joke. However that joke is one that has the potential to hurt not just his image, but the image of the pro-life community as well.

The entire point of this blog post was to make the following two points: be careful what you say (especially as a politician) and be compassionate to women with unexpected pregnancies, pre- and post-natal.

King Rat said...

Pregnant women are just hosts though - especially if they do not want to be pregnant but are forced to remain so anyways - they are mere vessels, if you completely disregard their feelings on the matter.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Perhaps this is what I should have said

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Of course we regard their feelings. They're people, not incubators. However, even if you feel strongly opposed to the pregnancy, it's not reason enough to kill the child.

Sounder said...

I agree with both those points, and think some politicians definitely need to do a better job heeding them. I just think in this case it wasn't so much that he said something legitimately offensive as it was certain pro-choicers being unable to recognize sarcasm. Guess he shouldn't have used it, but the response was still silly.

Sounder said...

Is a woman breastfeeding her newborn just a cow? Just a milk dispenser? No, she's a mother. And a pregnant woman is a mother. Just because the baby (whether born or unborn) is dependent on her body, doesn't make the baby less valuable. Recognizing that a woman has a responsibility to care for her baby doesn't mean anyone is dehumanizing her or not caring about her feelings, it's just recognizing that parents naturally have a responsibility towards their children.

King Rat said...

A pregnant person is only a mother if they want to be. Just like a father is only a dad if he wants to be. Otherwise, the pregnant person is just an incubator and the man is just a sperm donor. Fatherhood and motherhood are proactive roles.

Sounder said...

I assume you're referring to Mourdock, and he did not say "rape is a gift from God." Please don't misquote. Mourdock should have phrased his comment differently to make what he was saying clear and compassionate and avoid the political backlash, but there's wasn't anything terrible about the actual point he was trying to make.

He said "The only exception I have to have on abortion is in that case -- of the life of the mother. I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God. And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."

He later said "God creates life, and that was my point." And "Are you trying to suggest somehow that God preordained rape, no I don't think that....Anyone who would suggest that is just sick and twisted. No, that's not even close to what I said."

Translation: Some people do horrible things and sin, which God doesn't want, but God can make good and precious things, like life, come from something bad. All life is created by (and loved by) God, which means both rape victims and children conceived in rape.

Simplified, secularized translation: A human being is not any less valuable because of the circumstances of their conception.

I would defy anyone to deny that last statement.

Sounder said...

Biologically, a woman is a mother and a man is a father when they reproduce, which is at conception. Conception is the creation of a new human organism. It's about science, not feelings.

Is the mother of a newborn only a mother if she wants to be? Would you support her decision not to be a mother by abandoning or killing her child? Do you believe men should have to pay child support?

GEIxBattleRifle said...

First off, Stop with this valuable bullshit talk. I don't need those like you to put a value tag on my life as I am already capable of doing so. However in the case of the unborn human during the full 9 months of pregnancy and a infant, there minds are not grown enough yet for that.
As for this ''responsibility'' stuff it's up to the participants to decide. Abortion legal in most of the developed world and on top of that safe heaven laws in your country that can allow the participants to relieve themselves of this mental roadblock you stuck in your about ''responsibility'' also shows that this ''responsibility'' can be relieved any time you know.

Sounder said...

I think it will help though. The case for the humanity of the pre-born and the injustice of abortion is, IMO, logically sound, but I think people have an emotional block when it comes to valuing an unborn human, especially when recognizing his or her rights may mean hardship for the mother. We tend to (inaccurately) devalue individuals who are different from ourselves, and a fetus is a lot more different from you or me than a grown woman. But if people can have compassion for the baby's life, and see real compassion for the mother coming from pro-lifers (providing supplies and resources instead of selling her an abortion), I think we'll get a lot further.

King Rat said...

Is a surrogate a mother/parent? Is someone who adopts a snowflake embryo from an IVF clinic and gestates it the parent/mother? Is a rape victim a parent/mother? Is a man who has had his sperm stolen a parent/father? Is a man who has 'fathered' 1000s of children through a sperm bank a parent/father?



How about cases where a woman's eggs have a defective cytoplasm so her egg is essentially 'fixed' by using another woman's cytoplasm. This means that the DNA of 3 people is present in one embryo - are they all parents/mothers/fathers?



So you see, simple 'biological relation' does not automatically make someone a parent. By that logic, adoptive parents can't really be parents, because they are not genetically related to the child they choose to raise.

King Rat said...

She is just a cow if you disregard her feelings and force her to incubate yes. You choose the role of incubator/reproductive object/easy bake oven for her.

King Rat said...

If you force them to gestate against their will, you disregard their feelings and treat them as a fetus dispenser.

King Rat said...

And with no rape there'd be no conception. So yes, rape = the gift.

Sounder said...

Humans are inherently valuable. Some people place a lot of value on their own lives, some people sadly don't value their own lives much at all. Some people are highly valued by others, others unfortunately not so much. But none of that changes the inherent value and rights possessed equally by each individual. If you developed suicidal depression (which obviously I hope you never do), and decided your life didn't matter (which is does), that wouldn't actually make you less valuable.


So what does it matter if a newborn or fetus can't consciously place value on their own life? That's not where our value comes from. If someone is standing on the side of a bridge preparing to jump, shouldn't I pull them back and get them help? Or, since they don't place value on their own lives, does that make it okay for me to just shove them off to get them out of my way?


Safe haven laws don't change the fact that parents have a natural responsibility towards their children. They can only act in a manner which ensures that the child is provided with basic sustenance and shelter from harm. That means adoption and surrender to the state are okay, but infanticide or abandonment in a dumpster are not. Abortion doesn't ensure the child's welfare, so it's not okay. Until we develop the technology to place a fetus in an artificial womb or transplant it to someone else's, carrying it to term is the only way to fulfill parental responsibility. That may be unfortunate, but it's currently just how things are.

King Rat said...

Where does our value come from? Our DNA?

Sounder said...

If I punch someone in the face, and the delay it causes in their day results in them buying a lottery ticket 20 minutes after they otherwise would have, and wining a million dollars, that doesn't make the punch in the face in and of itself a good thing.

King Rat said...

The lottery win would not be possible without the punch. It's part of the 'gift'.

Sounder said...

Hi King Rate, thanks for your comments, replying to all of them at once to keep things simpler...

I would say that everyone with a human nature is valuable because of what they are. We have an inherent identity as rational, self-aware, moral agents, even though some people are temporarily incapable of expressing those traits due to injury (for example a head injury that puts someone in a temporary coma), disease (a mental illness that prevents one from thinking rationally), or age (being a fetus or newborn). And yes, that's because of our DNA. No one could develop self-awareness of rationality or consciousness if those traits wasn't inherently possessed in their genetic code when they were conceived; they can't arise out of nowhere.


If human equality exists, we must all share something equally in common. That's obviously not size, or age, or mental abilities, or degree of development or dependency. The only thing we have equally in common is our biologically humanity, our human nature. If you deny the rights of some humans, you therefore remove the basis for human equality. If the preborn have less value or fewer rights because they lack certain abilities or are less developed, a 5 year old should have fewer rights and less value than a 15 year old. You can throw out human equality, or you can accept that equality means everyone.


What's your response to the man on the bridge? Do you believe it is okay for me to push him off to get him out of my way, because he is suicidal?


Yes, some people can be mothers and fathers in the emotional, familiar sense by adopting a child or by caring for and helping to raise them. And yes, some biological parents are not mothers or fathers in an emotional or familiar sense. That doesn't change the fact that, if you have produced a new living thing, you are its biological parent.


A pregnant woman can decide not to be a mother in an emotional sense, sure, just as a woman with a newborn or toddler can "not be a mother" in an emotional sense. Regardless, it is her child, and she, along with the father, therefore have a responsibility to it until such a time that responsibility can be safely and officially given to another person.


I was using the term "cow" in reference to a woman with a born child who is breastfeeding it. Say that, for whatever reason, a woman cannot immediately find another person to care for her newborn, even if she planned to place it up for adoption. For instance, say she has a home birth, but there's so much snow that they can't drive anywhere for several days. So basically, she's home with the newborn, and it can only survive by the use of her arms, body, and breasts. The law would not currently allow her to let the newborn starve. Does that mean the law is dehumanizing to her, or that it's treating her as just a cow? Of course not, it's simply recognizing her responsibility to her child. Or would you say the law would be wrong in that case? Could she say "I never planned to be a mother. My body, my choice." Could she let the baby die?

GEIxBattleRifle said...

''Humans are inherently valuable.''

Values are nothing more but a fundamental opinion not objective in anyway. Since this answer is coming from another human, there is no need for me to accept it since it is biased. Maybe if the answer were to come from a intelligent alien entity from outer space I MAY believe this claim. Until then, this statement can be ignored. Though I can't wait for the day if those aliens come and start destroying humanity to extinction your ignorant claim here would be shattered.

''Some people place a lot of value on their own lives, some people sadly don't value their own lives much at all.''

That's how life is. Value your life from 1 to 10 and you want to kill yourself then go on ahead. I could give a shit. If your brain suffered severe severe severe brain damaging well your fucked.

''Some people are highly valued by others, others unfortunately not so much''

Duh of course.

''But none of that changes the inherent value and rights possessed equally by each individual.''

SO? You can keep claiming a individual rather it be a profoundly mentally retarded human or a happy cat has ''inherent'' value those doesn't make it intrinsically true not in the slightest. As for the rights, personhood is granted at birth and that is all.

''So what does it matter if a newborn or fetus can't consciously place value on their own life?''

Since it's mind's not up to the point where it can value it's life yet it can be put on par with that of my pet kitten.

''That's not where our value comes from.''

Values are nothing but an opinion stop thinking they're objective now.

''If someone is standing on the side of a bridge preparing to jump, shouldn't I pull them back and get them help?''

YES you can do that if you want to. I won't force you to do so. If you think his life is so valuable then do what you want to. I would be walking my way to school while ignoring the situation (since I'm still in high school.)

''Or, since they don't place value on their own lives, does that make it okay for me to just shove them off to get them out of my way?''

Do what you want to do like I said, I'm not much into the morality talk here as you indicated from the word ''okay.''

As for the rest of your nonsense there is no need to say anything about it as you know what my reply to it is. There are no particular responsibilities that start when the pregnancy starts with the unborn human. No matter how much mental roadblocks you want to put in your head the women WILL abort if she wants to as indicated from the over 100,000 abortions performed a day worldwidehttp://www.numberofabortions.com/ . Your country is corrupted anyways from all the stupid shit it's been lately anyway. Maybe Russia will deem all the humans in the United States that place ''high value'' on all human life will declare your guy's value to zero and nuke the fuck out of you.

Sounder said...

A person in a temporary coma is analogous to a pre-conscious human, because their brain is not capable of consciousness. They may have a more developed brain than a young fetus, but due to damage that brain is still not capable of conferring consciousness upon the individual. They only retain the ability to be conscious later on because, just like a fetus, they have a natural identity as a conscious entity, which simply cannot always be expressed. Can we kill someone in a temporary coma because they do not have a current ability to be conscious?


Okay, so a 5 year old is self-aware. So is self-awareness your criteria for personhood? A newborn isn't self-aware. (Neither, for that matter, is the individual in a temporary coma, who does not have any current ability to be conscious, only a human nature which gives him the capacity to be conscious at a later point.) Is a newborn a person? If not we ought to be able to kill them.


The point of bringing up age, as well as dependency, is that those are two of the ways in which the unborn differ from the born, but they are also ways in which born humans differ. Do you think it is okay to kill feral children? Are they nonpersons?

GEIxBattleRifle said...

''A person in a temporary coma is analogous to a pre-conscious human, because their brain is not capable of consciousness.''
No they're not even close to comparable lol

Holy shit dude you don't know much do you? Consciousness has NOTHING to do with stuff like rationality, autonomy, theory of mind, conscience and so forth. And you should know this because you can take a conscious infant and a conscious 5 year old and there is a huge difference between them still.

Which is why that one video I showed you, even though the coma patient was unconscious the brain damaging did not DESTROY his personhood. While in the case of coma infant coming out of coma two weeks later like that guy and I did they still are not the same. So stop comparing between the potential to the actual here and try to fool the rest of us into thinking they're the same. If they're the same trust me we will know when they come out of coma.

''Do you think it is okay to kill feral children? Are they nonpersons?''

They're non persons just like a chimp is a non person. If persons want to tame the feral child go on ahead or if they want to go ahead and kill them. I could careless.

Sounder said...

Pointless insult aside, I'm aware that consciousness, rationality, etc. are different things, but you obviously cannot be rational or anything else if you're not first conscious. An accident or whatever may not permanently destroy the brain's ability to confer consciousness, self-awareness, rationality, etc, but it does mean that the brain is currently insufficient to provide ANY of those traits.

The fact that the comatose patient may have more neurons and connections than the fetus is irrelevant, because regardless they are incapable of conferring consciousness, theory of mind, rationality, or anything else upon him. Perhaps his brain will naturally re-develop those traits later on, but so what? The brain of a fetus will naturally develop consciousness, as well as self-awareness, rationality, etc, later on. This would not be possible if all those traits were not possessed inherently in her human DNA, which she had at conception.

So you think it's okay to kill a feral child. Even though she has a biologically human nature, and simply hasn't had the nurturing of someone raised in a good home.

You have now openly admitted, not only that you would be fine with killing a suicidal person and would do it gladly if they were in your way, but that you wouldn't care about the killing of a child found after years of being in the wilderness. I'm still not sure whether you condone the killing of infants, but if personhood is tied to self-awareness or the ability to consciously value one's own life, you shouldn't have any reason to object to it. And you really shouldn't object to the killing of temporarily comatose people, because as I said, they do not currently have a brain capable of conferring consciousness, rationality, self-awareness, valuing one's own life, or anything else. And how about mentally ill individuals who can't rationally determine what's real and what isn't?

You might want to consider just how many human beings can be justifiably slaughtered under your worldview.

Also I would be interested to hear what your response is to the Polaroid photo analogy, or the human equality argument. Anyway you look at it, abortion pretty much throws human equality out the window. (For instance, if personhood is linked to the ability to value one's own life, an individual with high self-esteem should be more of a person than individuals with low self-esteem.)

GEIxBattleRifle said...

''The difference between a newborn and a cat, or a fetus and a cat, is that, while neither is self-aware, there are different reasons for why that is. A cat is not self-aware because of what it is, whereas a newborn or fetus is not self-aware because of how old it is. But it will be one day, and the cat won't, because it can't, because it's a cat. The newborn or fetus could not develop that trait if it was not in some way possessed when it came into existence, which biologically distinguishes it from the cat.''

AND THERE is no such thing as a potential that needs to be fulfilled. This way of talking will be exposed for what it is once when we encounter intelligent alien life forms that use R-Strategy reproduction methods. Or perhaps instead of women breeding out one human at a time let's make it 50 or 100 instead? We will then known that too much of a good thing can always be a bad thing and that INCLUDES right to life!

''So you would shove him off the bridge? That's awfully cold and heartless, but I guess at least you're being logically consistent.''

I would shove him out of the way but if he makes me, I WILL shove him off the bridge into the river below. And you say it's cold and heartless well, that is how the world is nowadays is it?

''I'm not trying to be condescending, I'm serious. I'm pretty sure 99% of people would not "gladly shove him out of the way." (And frankly, I doubt you actually would, since I'm guessing you're a reasonably decent human being.)''
I'm pretty sure if those people have to go somewhere like I do to school, they would shove him out of the way as well. Maybe not into the river but who knows? You never know nowadays. And trust me if you knew me in real life I WOULD. I had to deal with too much in my life being dragged around in the adoption program and not welling to take bullshit from anyone.

''I explained why humans have value, due to their inherent nature as rational and moral agents.''

No you have not. The only thing you did was assume this is true which it isn't or otherwise women wouldn't be having over 100,000 abortions worldwide a day now would they? So stop acting like your valuation is much more superior then the women getting an abortion.

And it's potential not inherent. Because if it was inherent, then the feral child should be on par with the rest of us right? If a human is not raised by another human then your net result is just a clever animal like a chimp or gorilla is.

''That doesn't change what she is.''

No duh.

''how valuable she is''

Depends on who is doing the valuing.

''And I'm still not clear, do you or don't you consider newborns to be people?''

NOPE they're nothing more but animal level organisms like cats and dogs are.

''If they are not people, it ought to be permissible to kill them''

Just because a group of entities are not people does not mean now you should kill them. Under your view, every animal species besides one species on this planet are not people so are you saying we should just go on ahead and kill them?

Sounder said...

I don't see how the number of offspring produced at a given time is at all relevant. It's not like if a woman has triplets or quadruplets each baby has fewer rights or less personhood than if she'd had just one baby.

The man on the bridge isn't making you shove him into the water. And he's not giving you bullshit, he's mentally ill, for Pete's sake. You could wait and hope he'll move away, or call the police for help, or try to talk him down. Saying "that's how the world is nowadays" is a pathetic and frankly abhorrent justification. I'm sorry you dealt with difficulties with adoption or foster care, that stinks, and I hope things turn out well for you. But that in no way gives you the right to shove him off the bridge. Nor, as I said, does his being suicidal reasonably preclude him from being a person, even though he's currently incapable of placing value on his own life.


Inherent means that the ability is possessed in some manner from conception, even if it is only in the genetic code. Some traits, like consciousness and self-awareness and a degree of rationality, will be developed by a child whether they are raised with humans or not. Others, like morality, advanced abstract thought, etc. may not be.


For those latter traits I suppose you could amend the photograph analogy. Instead of a Polaroid that develops on its own, it's film that has to be developed by the photographer. Would it not still be equally absurd to throw the film away if it had captured an amazing image?

As far as infanticide goes, let me clarify. If newborns are not people, it should be permissible to kill them for any reason that would allow you to kill an animal or obtain an abortion. Inconvenient? Kill it. Don't want to give it up for adoption? Kill it. Down Syndrome? Physical disability? Wanted a boy instead of a girl? Worried about Malthusian Catastrophe? Kill it. Want to stuff it and mount it's head on the wall? Hell, why not, we do that to deer. Kill it.

GEIxBattleRifle said...

There are only a couple of things I need to address here.

'' Perhaps his brain will naturally re-develop those traits later on, but so what?''

Rationality can be destroyed through severe brain damaging the over intellect part of the human. In the case of the coma victim this may or may not have been destroyed. There is no ''re developing'' here.

Also if you watched the video you would've found out he still had retained his theory of mind and still retained his rationality while in that coma even though he was not USING them because of the temporary coma. Or otherwise when he came out of it, he should be on par with that of the infant born into the two week coma. Seriously stop trying to compare them like they're the same. If they're the same, we will know when he comes out of coma and that is the appropriate time to check the damage when he is conscious. That is how you check to see if someone has lost an ability or not like talking, and writing.

''they do not currently have a brain capable of conferring consciousness, rationality, self-awareness, valuing one's own life, or anything else.''

I never did say they had to be using their rationality or their ability to value their own life at the moment now did I? Take that example with the human born into a two week coma and that video I showed you. If your saying they're the same then they both should have rationality and the ability to still value their own life when they come out of the coma right? Oh wait so still comparing a unborn human to someone in a coma may or may not be valid depending on how severe the brain damaging is in the coma victim. But I can assure you if someone got in a coma and came out of it a week later and decided to post a youtube video it, nothing was really ''lost'' at all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWPx6DVY0Uo

''And how about mentally ill individuals who can't rationally determine what's real and what isn't?

Your talking about the profoundly mentally retarded who only make up about one percent of the mentally ill anyway's so this wouldn't be a problem.

''You might want to consider just how many human beings can be justifiably slaughtered under your worldview.''

If there are those who want to do the raising so be it. I never said anything about killing them now did I?

Not to many humans are not dumb enough to get themselves in a situation where there brain has suffered severe brain damaging up to the point they're on par with the profoundly mentally retarded.

''For instance, if personhood is linked to the ability to value one's own life, an individual with high self-esteem should be more of a person than individuals with low self-esteem.)''
If one's ABILITY which I'm quite sure you know the difference between using and having an ability to value their own life is dependent on personhood that is it. Having low/high self esteem doesn't matter.
Since they both have minds capable of valuing their own life it doesn't matter if one values their own life a bit more then the guy next door

GEIxBattleRifle said...

''I don't see how the number of offspring produced at a given time is at all relevant. It's not like if a woman has triplets or quadruplets each baby has fewer rights or less personhood than if she'd had just one baby.''

Your position would cause a Malthusian Catastrophe in a R-Strategist species from outer space that could be giving birth to 20,000 of their own kind at a time or even with a k-strategists species like humans who breed like rabbits. Even with the 100,000 abortions a day, our numbers keep getting higher and higher. Also with the R-Strategists, they will be caring very little about their young and would allow most of them to die but since under your view we are obligated to take care of them since those entities who can get the brainpower to get rationality and morality. Do you and the rest of the pro lifer's have any suggestions regarding how to feed all the trillions of offspring that the R-Strategists really don't care much about?

''The man on the bridge isn't making you shove him into the water. And he's not giving you bullshit, he's mentally ill, for Pete's sake.''

He would make me want to shove him out of the way or into the water depending on what my mood is during the day. I could care less what you or other else there has to say about it.

''You could wait and hope he'll move away, or call the police for help, or try to talk him down.''

Or maybe, if I have the energy in the morning I will run towards you on the bridge and say ''you take care of him'' while I go to school.

I could just walk around him also.

Maybe I could call the police thanks for the option.

Talk him down? NOPE that would be a waste of time.

''Saying "that's how the world is nowadays" is a pathetic and frankly abhorrent justification.''

It's a good justification for me if it were to every happen. Objections?

''I'm sorry you dealt with difficulties with adoption or foster care, that stinks, and I hope things turn out well for you.''

Well thanks for your concern. And the notion you guy's sit with ''everyone is welling to adopt any human ''person'' regardless of ___ and ____'' is false from what I know. People come in looking for specifics like skin color and muscle strength strangely. I could be wrong though but I lived the experience.

''But that in no way gives you the right to shove him off the bridge.''

It's ultimately up to me to decide. You gave me options and I would pick which one I want to do.

''Nor, as I said, does his being suicidal reasonably preclude him from being a person, even though he's currently incapable of placing value on his own life.''

He already has a mind capable of valuing his own life. In the suicidal case he brought it down to 1. A unborn human's mind is not yet even up to this point.

''Inherent means that the ability is possessed in some manner from conception.''

Some but stuff that could potentially be gained like morality, higher abstract thought (that is part of brain developing that can only be actualized if the raising is done by another human), time binding, theory of mind is acquired not innate.

''For those latter traits I suppose you could amend the photograph analogy. Instead of a Polaroid that develops on its own, it's film that has to be developed by the photographer. Would it not still be equally absurd to throw the film away if it had captured an amazing image?''

I could have a problem with it though that doesn't mean now it was wrong to throw the film away.

I will repeat once again there is no such thing as a potential that needs to be fulfilled even if you want it fulfilled so badly like abortion opponents like yourself want to in the abortion debate. If you want it fulfilled so badly then you know what I tell PETA like I tell pro lifer's? ''Pay for what you want!''

LN said...

I..feel like you have some personal problems.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Thanks :D

berniebacon said...

Any pro-life law, or even an unsuccessful campaign to pass a pro-life law, can lead to awareness of facts and ideas that the much of the media doesn't like to publicize and people don't like to think about. An opportunity is created to respond rationally to the pro-abortion "naralogic" that so many people believe just because they are told it is valid with very little opportunity to consider the weakness of pro-abortion thinking.

Chris P said...

So much over reach in telling people how you want them to live and depriving them of resources just because of YOUR opinion.

Chris P said...

You are entitled to your opinion. Mothers have a responsibility to themselves too.

Chris P said...

So manipulation to have control over other people is good?