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Thursday, April 10, 2014

No, I am not interested in "punishing" women for having sex


I went to law school. This has affected my way of thinking, for good and for ill. I am now fluent in legalese.

The purpose of legalese is to increase clarity. I realize that that's very difficult for non-lawyers to believe! But it's true, and in this post, I'll show you by translating some legalese. Please bear with me. I promise there's a pro-life point at the end.

It's been said that possession is nine-tenths of the law. I'm not sure that's right. Much of the law (I won't assign a number) is about the allocation of risk.

This is especially true of tort law. A tort is pretty much anything that causes damage to persons or property (other than damages that come out of violating a contract, which are handled, appropriately enough, by contract law). So torts encompass a wide range of things. If you ever go to law school, you will study many old-timey tort cases involving trains. But tort cases may also be about car accidents, slip-and-falls, dog bites, and all sorts of other routine matters.

Torts can be divided into two general categories. Intentional torts are instances where someone deliberately causes damage; for instance, punching somebody may not only lead to criminal charges, but also to a private lawsuit for the intentional tort of battery. Then there are the non-intentional torts, which are accidental. I've already mentioned some of those: slip-and-falls, and so on.

In a non-intentional tort, nobody has done anything criminal or morally abhorrent. But damage has been donein the form of hospital bills, a totaled car, or whatever elseand the court must decide who will foot the bill. Will it be the person who innocently caused the situation? Or will it be the person who innocently was minding her own business and was harmed by the situation? Neither option is ideal, but it has to be somebody. So the law's function is to allocate the risk of the accident.

When it comes to intentional torts, the court may not only order the perpetrator to pay for the actual costs of the damage, but also order additional payment to the victim"punitive damages," so called because their purpose is to punish the person who committed an intentional tort. But for non-intentional torts, punitive damages usually aren't on the table, because nobody needs to be punished; it's purely about compensation.

For non-intentional torts, a key concept is contained in the word "foreseeable." The court asks: who was in the best position to prevent this tort from happening? Put yourself in the shoes of the person being sued. Could that person have reasonably predicted that what happened was at least a possibility? If so, the risk will be allocated to that person. If not, the risk will be allocated to the victim.

The fact that something is foreseeable does not mean that it was intentional. (Remember, the fact that we're even talking about foreseeability probably means that it was a non-intentional tort.) A dog owner does not consent to her dog biting someone. A corporation does not consent to its employees doing stupidly dangerous things on the job. A grocer does not consent to a glass jar falling off of a shelf and injuring a customer. But they may still be liable for the damages caused by their torts. It happens all the time.

So when abortion supporters chant "Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy!" and accuse the pro-life movement of wanting to "punish" sexually active women (as if babies are punishments, as opposed to human beings), my mind always goes to the concept of foreseeability. When a person has sexual intercourse, pregnancy is a foreseeable result. That does not mean that the sexually active person has done something wrong or deserves to be punished. Let me repeat that: saying that pregnancy is foreseeable is not a moral judgment. It's just an acknowledgement that, let's face it, the cause of pregnancy is not exactly mysterious!

So the question is: who will bear the risk of the situation? Will it be the sexually active person, who did not intend for pregnancy to occur, but who at least has some control over the situation? Or will it be the unborn child, who has no control over the situation whatsoever, and whose very life is at stake?

The answer to that question is very easy when two lawyers are speaking to each other in legalese: it's all wrapped up in that one word, "foreseeable." But when trying to have that conversation in plain English, instead of having one word, you have... well, you have this entire blog post.

So don't knock legalese. It's actually pretty useful.

1,389 comments:

1 – 200 of 1389   Newer›   Newest»
Star Seed said...

"When a person has sexual intercourse, pregnancy is a foreseeable result. That does not mean that the sexually active person has done something wrong or deserves to be punished. Let me repeat that: saying that pregnancy is foreseeable is not a moral judgment. It's just an acknowledgement that, let's face it, the cause of pregnancy is not exactly mysterious!"
^^^^ Exactly.

Janet Susan said...

Well said! Labeling pregnancy as "punishment", Obama and those who think like him regarding abortion are making a moral judgment against unborn children and assigning motive to those who chose to respect and protect that newly created human being. I have come to notice that often when I hear Person A saying to Person B "you're judging me", Person A is judging Person B.

Jameson Graber said...

I'm glad you wrote out this blog post, because it's good to finally know what "tort" actually means.

Dexter Pearce said...

I've actually been outlining for torts the last week so this definitely resonates with me lol. Abortion obviously comes up in Con Law, but I never thought to connect it with tort law. Thanks for both the insight and quick review (unfortunately the issue of foreseeability can be broken down so much more). Back to studying.

Dexter Pearce said...

Sorry, that was supposed to be a stand alone comment, not a reply.

Kelsey said...

Good luck in your studies, Dexter!

JDC said...

True. In fact, whenever someone calls me (or someone else) judgmental, I like to point out that calling others judgmental is judgmental.

Rebecca Rose Downs said...

This was really a great article! The title was what drew me in, but since I have friends in law school whom I'm trying to get to see the pro-life perspective and because I am hopefully attending law school myself (to impact the pro-life movement, actually), I found this article extremely helpful!

I try to be not judgmental, or at least less judgmental than I was. It's not kind and it's also not going to help our movement. I hope I have succeeded in being non-judgmental in my articles about consent to sex being consent to pregnancy.

This article, however, does so quite naturally. Kudos to you, Secular Pro-Life!

Pro Life Pagans said...

When a woman consents to sex, it's foreseeable she could get pregnant. When a man consents to sex, it's foreseeable he could get someone pregnant.

frankbellamy said...

This argument is circular. It doesn't make sense to ask if the risk should be on the unborn child if you don't start with the assumption that the unborn child is a person who can be harmed by the risk. Pro-choice people do't. If you start from a pro-choice position, then the foreseeable thing is the pregnancy and the following abortion, and yes, that's the risk of sex, but a baby is not. That's a consistent position that this foreseeability question does not undermine.

Coyote said...

Supporting bans on most abortions is no more "punishing people for having sex" than forcing people to pay child support is "pushing people for having sex".

Coyote said...

Keep in mind that if the prenatal offspring/child is *not* a person, though, then I don't see a convincing rationale as to why males should *not* get a child support opt-out in at least some cases of legally consensual sex.

frankbellamy said...

I completely agree.

Vita said...

That is why it is important to keep the personhood question out of pro-life debates. Without any fear of contradiction we can say this is an innocent human life. Debating whether or not it is a person is not helpful and not necessary.

frankbellamy said...

When you use the word human, though, you are just dodging the issue. It's easy for a pro-choicer like me to acknowledge that not all life that is biologically human is morally valuable. So just observing that it is biologically human doesn't get you anywhere. If you want to convince anyone, you still have to explicitly take on why you think it matters morally.

Tara said...

except the fact that paying child support does not carry the risk of physical injury, disability or death and I am not just talking about the cases of mother's life in danger when the risk is known. you are comparing two very very different things.

Kelsey said...

If you don't start with the assumption that the unborn child is harmed in an abortion, then yes, this argument isn't going to get you anywhere. But the trend in pro-choice circles seems to be to acknowledge the humanity of the unborn but justify abortion *anyway* on women's rights grounds. So that's what this blog post speaks to.

katsrva said...

Many people in the old South considered slaves less than human and accorded them less than full moral status.
Remember, the Constitution originally counted slaves 3/5 as much as free persons toward representation in Congress - using them as nothing more than political pawns. Then there are the numerous Supreme Court, and other legal decisions in our history that began with stripping Black people of the right to claim or even be considered as human.
I think we can all agree that arguing that some humans are more human than others is morally reprehensible.

Vita said...

Nope the word human is a word that we can both agree on. I am not dodging the issue.

We can agree that you are for allowing the killing of human beings. We can not agree that you are for the killing of persons because you have a different standard of personhood than I do. So why not use the terms that we agree with each other on?

Why does it matter morally when some humans are okay to kill and others are not? Well I would say that it is hard to tell which human beings should be protected and which ones we should be permitted to kill. When does someone achieve the status of having moral worth and who is worthy to decide which humans have moral value and which humans do not?

How can you prevent a eugenic and slippery slope from starting once you have a group (any group) of humans deciding which other humans deserve life and should be legally protected?

Coyote said...

Actually, this might not necessarily be true. After all, what if all of the money which a male spend in child support payments ends up making the difference in regards to whether or not he can afford to be cryogenically preserved and then revived afterwards and/or whether or not he is able to afford anti-aging technology and thus to extent his lifespan?

Also, I think that your objection here is not particularly valid. After all, a punishment is still a punishment regardless of its magnitude.

Coyote said...

Glad to hear!

For the record, no offense, but I want to point out that I respect pro-choice positions much more if they are similar to yours.

Coyote said...

Good points! Also, I want to point out that one might be able to argue that some cases of pregnancy can be considered to be a lesser sacrifice than paying child support for 18+ years.

Coyote said...

"But the trend in pro-choice circles seems to be to acknowledge the humanity of the unborn but justify abortion *anyway* on women's rights grounds."

If this is the case, then it *might* be harder for pro-choicers to make a more solid case in favor of their position. Honestly, I personally think that the best pro-choice argument(s) might very well be those which argue which, while acknowledging the humanity of prenatal humans, argue that prenatal humans are *not* persons/worthy of having rights due to the fact that they currently don't have sufficient mental abilities to have personhood/rights.

Coyote said...

"Why does it matter morally when some humans are okay to kill and others are not?"

Well, one can likewise ask this: Why does it matter morally when some living things (including non-humans) are okay to kill and others are not?

Coyote said...

"I think we can all agree that arguing that some humans are more human than others is morally reprehensible."

Yes, but this is *not* the argument that an intelligent person would make here. An intelligent person can make the argument that some humans should be considered persons/worthy of having rights while other humans are not. This is not a morally rephrenseible position because one can argue that it isn't much different from giving personhood/rights to some living things (including non-humans) but not to other living things.

Jim said...

I don't find your "tort" theory of forced reproduction persuasive. The analogy is attractive at first blush, but it fails in several respects:


1. As anyone who went to law school should know, remedies in the torts context are specifically designed to return the victim to the status quo ante. In the case of an unborn child, the claim is that her parents negligently caused her to exist. What's the status quo ante, exactly? Non-existence? There's no coherent theory of damages that would justify allowing the child to inhabit the mother's body against the mother's will.


2. Moreover, there are reasons why torts remedies heavily favor money damages, rarely (if ever) resorting to the use of physical force. Even if an unborn child could establish damages, those damages would be expressed in the form of money, and not in the form of forced reproduction.


3. All of this presumes that an unborn child (I'm going out of my way to use your terminology here) can even qualify as an aggrieved party in a torts context. I'd argue he or she can't, but that's probably outside the scope of this post.


4. You personally may not have the subjective intent to "punish" women, and I agree that a negligence-like standard is not per se punishment (but rather a system to require individuals to internalize the cost of their actions), but there is substantial and persuasive evidence of a subjective intent to punish women by non-secular pro-lifers.


5. The use of contraceptives would seem to change this calculus. Is it reasonably forseeable (not just forseeable, reasonably forseeable - the actual negligence standard) that a pregnancy would occur with the use of a condom? How about birth control? A vasectomy? All three? Where do you draw the line? If every single instance of unintended pregnancy qualifies as a form of negligence, the theory falls apart because there's no possibility that precautions will relieve a person of liability.


Best,
J

Coyote said...

You might have some good points here. That said, this post was not addressed at me, so I will only respond to a couple of points here right now:

"5. The use of contraceptives would seem to change this calculus. Is it reasonably forseeable (not just forseeable, reasonably forseeable - the actual negligence standard) that a pregnancy would occur with the use of a condom? How about birth control? A vasectomy? All three? Where do you draw the line? If every single instance of unintended pregnancy qualifies as a form of negligence, the theory falls apart because there's no possibility that precautions will relieve a person of liability."

Well, there are (and should be) things such as a hysterectomy, ovary removal, and castration (Yes, castration, as in the removal of one's testicles).

"2. Moreover, there are reasons why torts remedies heavily favor money damages, rarely (if ever) resorting to the use of physical force."

One can argue that even in the event that most abortions are banned, females should still be physically able to try getting abortions if they want to (as in force will not be used to prevent them from being this). These females and/or their illegal abortion providers will simply get prosecuted if they are discovered to have actually done this.

Also, I am tempted to take offense at your phrase "forced reproduction" here, considering that reporduction has already occurred before a woman gets an abortion.

Michelle Ewing said...

"mental abilities" is a dangerous way to go and gives broad support for eugenics. I understand that are rights are given at birth, but why not before?

Sounder said...

This doesn't address everything you mentioned, and I know nothing about tort law, but perhaps it could be argued that the tort the parents caused to the unborn child (or unborn human I guess, if you prefer an unloaded term) was causing her to be in a needy, dependent, and helpless state. While obviously she can't be returned to a non needy and helpless state since she hasn't yet been in one, remedying that damage, so to speak, would entail either providing care, or if possible finding someone else to provide care, until such a time as the child is no longer needy and dependent.

Jim said...

Thanks for your response. I think clarifying my terms could help resolve some of the issues you're having.


First, when I say "forced reproduction," I'm using a process-centered definition in which I understand the term "reproduction" to encompass multiple stages (as opposed to a single act of conception). I think this is consistent with the scientific definition, and colloquial definitions as well; I'm not sure that we'd say a woman "reproduced" if she conceived but later miscarried. If it would be easier, substitute "forced pregnancy." The important part is that it's forced, because we're talking about using state power to prevent her from voluntarily terminating her pregnancy.


Second, when I say "precautions," what I really mean is "reasonable precautions." I don't think anyone would argue that castration is a reasonable precaution to protect against pregnancy. My issue is that it's no longer a "negligence" standard (or non-intentional tort) if it's impossible to mitigate your risk by taking reasonable precautions. For example, when you drive a car, there are certain precautions you're supposed to take - pay attention, be licensed, have mirrors, etc. On the other hand no one would argue that covering the exterior of your car in pillows and limiting your speed to 3 mph would be a reasonable precaution, even if doing so would prevent more accidents.


Third, I was giving the author the benefit of the doubt by assuming that she would not advocate state prosecution. Why? Because the second criminal charges (as opposed to civil suits like torts) are introduced into the equation, we begin talking about "punishment" in its most classical sense - criminal sanctions. Since we're not talking about "punishment," I assumed that was off the table.


Lastly, I'd like to offer one last tort-centered analogy to support point #2. Imagine that you engaged in negligent behavior and injured someone, damaging their kidneys in the process. Under a tort theory, a court would not order you to donate a kidney to the victim. Not even temporarily.

Jim said...

Yeah, that occurred to me, but I'm still not clear what the damage is. The negligent act, according to the author, is causing the unborn child to exist. Or, more generously, causing the unborn child to exist in a needy/dependent/ helpless state. Is that *worse* than being non-existent? In what sense was the child damaged by the negligent act? This is essential to the logic of a tort.


Perhaps we could argue that the normal rules for damages should not apply (though that would obliterate the torts analogy), and that the negligent act of accidental conception creates a dependence by the child upon the mother, thus creating an obligation to allow the child to use the mother's body. Even conceding all that for the sake of argument, I'm not sure how we could sanction the mother for violating the child's rights under a non-"punishment" approach.

Coyote said...

For the record, I myself am on *your* side on the abortion and on the personhood issue, at least based on my current views.

However, many people already use current mental abilities to determine personhood (at least based on their views). After all, many people would probably oppose giving pigs, cows, chickens, fish, et cetera personhood due to the fact that they do not have sufficient mental abilities.

As for eugenics, I see where you are coming from. However, the thing is that I don't think that this position can be considered a eugenicist (or more accurately a negative eugenicist; after all, positive eugenics is *not* a bad thing) position due to the fact that this position is not advocating violating the rights of persons and due to the fact that this position is not saying that all non-persons should be exterminated or euthanized or sterilized or whatever. Rather, this position simply has a different position on who deserves to be considered a person.

tara said...

um did you even read what I said?? how come for example becoming permanently disabled is 9 months versus 18 years?? my point is that pregnancy is something that carries the risk of physical danger and harm. paying child support... not so much.

Coyote said...

Pregnancy does not threaten the life of a woman in most cases. As for health, how exactly are you defining it? That said, I might very well be willing to get punched hard and to have my arm hurt for a while in exchange for getting $100,000.

Tara said...

punishment is punishment but there is a very big difference between paying a fine and death penalty

Coyote said...

Pregnancy is not a "death penalty" in 99% of cases. Also, a fine of $100,000+ is an *enormous* fine for most people and could possibly/theoretically make the difference in regards to being able vs. not being able to afford medical technology to increase one's lifespan.

Tara said...

pregnancy might not be life threatening but it can cause many problems in a woman's body. I listened to Clinton's debate with Matt. His ideology would force a woman to remain pregnant even if it results in her being crippled. quite sadistic and twisted. and yea if only the pain of child birth were comparable to the being punched in the face!!!

Tara said...

well thankfully because of ACA nobody will be refused healthcare because they are broke!

Coyote said...

"pregnancy might not be life threatening but it can cause many problems in a woman's body."

I am not disputing this part.

"I listened to Clinton's debate with Matt. His ideology would force a woman to remain pregnant even if it results in her being crippled."

Well, unfortunately, if one considers prenatal human beings to be persons, then I can see where Clinton is coming from (though I seriously hope that such a situation with a dichotomy would rarely or never occur) quite sadistic and twisted..

"if only the pain of child birth were comparable to the being punched in the face!!!"

I didn't say that it was equivalent. Of course, can't a woman (generally) give birth via C-section?

Coyote said...

Yep. Also, as a pleasant side note, gay sex does not have this risk.

Coyote said...

I'm not sure that health insurance will immediately cover such medical technologies once they are developed.

And for the record, I myself support the ACA (also known as Obamacare) as well.

Jim said...

re: forced reproduction. Again, I favor a process-focused definition of reproduction as opposed defining reproduction as an individual act (why then use the word "conception," ever?). But since we both know what the other means, we've agreed on an alternative term, and this point really doesn't matter much, I'll move on.


re: reasonable precautions. Well, in a torts context, juries define what "reasonable" means. But for non-borderline, non-technical cases (medical malpractice, for example) cases, this often requires little more than the application of common sense. It is reasonable to expect a person to do X? The pillows/3mph example illustrates an unreasonable precaution. I would argue that voluntary, irreversible castration is an equally unreasonable precaution, and I'm surprised to be debating that.


Lastly on that point, responding to your response to my car analogy: wouldn't castration *also* eliminate the purpose of having reproductive organs in the first place?


Re: non-legal explanation. Not really my area of expertise, but I'll give it a go. Basically, we have separate civil and criminal court systems. Civil courts have the power to issue *some* remedies (injunctions) requiring specific behavior (more usually prohibiting certain behavior) but they generally aren't empowered to do things like take people's organs, imprison them, and so on. Imprisonment is a power criminal courts have, but even they can't take people's organs, etc. because the 8th amendment bans cruel and unusual punishment.

Lieutenant Nun said...

The other issue is that young childless women will and do have an almost impossible time getting a tubal ligation. Doctors won't do it because people often change their minds. And no doc is going to perform an unnecessary hysterectomy or castration on someone!

And many of the people who have abortions already have kids or want to have them later. In the end, its about family planning. Which is why talk of permanent sterilization when people reach puberty is utterly ridiculous.

And poor people will still be screwed, because they won't be able to afford the best contraception and/or sterilization!

Lieutenant Nun said...

Its a death penalty for about 800 per year. Near death for thousands more. Permanent injury and disability for millions

But, those 800 dead women are just a statistic, right?

Lieutenant Nun said...

C section is expensive, has its own set of dangerous complications, and is major surgery. I would not want to be tortured by vaginal birth or have my abdomen cut open with a big knife to save any life. Punishment indeed.

Lieutenant Nun said...

Female slaves were also traded like livestock, raped and forced to give birth until they dropped dead from exhaustion. They often tried to abort these pregnancies using herbs. Does this make them as morally corrupt as the slavers?

Janet Susan said...

Actually, even if there is assistance through the ACA, it is assistance, not coverage for all a person's healthcare with no cost. ACA--and many other financial assistance programs which help cover the cost of healthcare--still leaves many who have no earned income source and who are very ill with huge gaps in their financial healthcare needs. I see this every day in my work as an RN. There is no way to cover every healthcare financial need for the numerous indigent patients, and they are still then left unable to afford needed health care and meds.


Also, just because you won't be refused does not mean you won't wait way too for health care. There are still too many poor patients and not enough doctors willing and able to work for gov't programs. I see this on a regular basis in my work as well.

Janet Susan said...

Yeah, and for aborted babies, the death penalty is 100%, which is an injustice to those small humans. This is a human rights issue. Also, once a woman is pregnant, there are risks of maiming, infertility, and death whether or not she aborts. Those risks all come with *getting pregnant*.

Lieutenant Nun said...

Consent matters

Jim said...

I actually responded to exactly that analogy below, before knowing about this one. A civil court would not require you to donate your kidney to the person, even temporarily. Civil courts generally aren't empowered to do things like that, nor are criminal courts (due to the 8th amendment). The remedy is still compensatory damages (medical bills, lost wages, future lost wages, etc.), possible punitive damages for gross negligence (note that the author kinda got this point wrong. Serious non-intentional torts still may warrant punitive damages, a "punishment"), and possibly money for wrongful death/loss of consortium/etc.


I'd object to the notion that the womb is "designed" for anything, or that the mere fact of its primary function necessarily leads to any moral prescriptions. That sounds like the naturalistic fallacy to me. But as you say, that's another argument.

Vita said...

You are correct that my claims are speciest. My claim is that being human is a sufficient condition to have a right to life. That is not to say that being Vulcan does not entail the same right to life as being human.

As for your example of killing a dog for fun you are correct that it is morally wrong to kill that dog just for fun. You seem to implicitly place the killing of a dog for fun on a different level of "wrongness" than killing another human being for fun (if I am wrong on this please correct me).

So I will freely admit to being a speciest I think the crux of this issue really deals with ageism. You seem to believe that a human being gains value at a particular stage of development then a certain stage of the life cycle is given preference (in this case adulthood) as being more valuable.

frankbellamy said...

Telling me that you think this other nonhuman things have moral value is beside the point. Telling me that you think humanness is merely a sufficient condition doesn't answer the basic question: why is it a sufficient condition? The burden is on you to give a reason.

Coyote said...

No, it's not just a statistic.

Back to my overall point here, though: It doesn't make sense for pro-choicers to hastily generalize and to accuse all anti-abortion people of wanting to "punish" women for having sex when some/many pro-choicers also support "punishing" people for having sex, but simply in a different way.

Coyote said...

"The other issue is that young childless women will and do have an almost impossible time getting a tubal ligation. Doctors won't do it because people often change their minds."

And yet I have heard of at least one case where a male in his 20s got a vasectomy done by a doctor. Double-standard much?

"And no doc is going to perform an unnecessary hysterectomy or castration on someone!"

How exactly are you defining "unnecessary" here?

"And many of the people who have abortions already have kids or want to have them later. In the end, its about family planning."

Yes, I know this. This still does not necessarily make abortion morally justifiable.

"Which is why talk of permanent sterilization when people reach puberty is utterly ridiculous."

Well, there *are* options other than this which are (and which should be) available. However, can't one also get one's sperm and/or eggs frozen? I am aware that this solution is not perfect, but then again, some things in life are not perfect.

Also, there genuinely *are* some people which are not interested in *ever* having their own biological children.

"And poor people will still be screwed, because they won't be able to afford the best contraception and/or sterilization!"

I support changing this to make these things (much) easier for poor people to afford.

Lieutenant Nun said...

How exactly are you defining "unnecessary" here?


Not a medical need. The same reason doctors won't do non-reversible tubal ligations and remove limbs at people's requests. Also, they could get sued if later on the person has second thoughts and wants their balls back!

Coyote said...

"Not a medical need."

And is getting a vasectomy caused a medical need?

"and remove limbs at people's requests."

False analogy, considering that I am talking about sex-/gender-specific body parts here.

"Also, they could get sued if later on the person has second thoughts and wants their balls back!"

And is there no way for doctors to have their patients sign something beforehand which prevents them from using these doctors afterwards? Heck, I think that Dr. Murray Kimmel had his patients sign something like this before he castrated them (on their request, of course).

Also, again, I want to point out that there is the risk of people trying to do these things themselves and/or trying to do these things "in back alleys" (both of which are (much) more dangerous) if they are unable to do them in safe, medical settings.

Lieutenant Nun said...

Vaesctomy is not major surgery and is reversible. Castration is the removal of an organ and docs will view it ad doing harm. Which is also why they are reluctant to do tubal ligations and other non reversible operations.

Listen, I am with you here. Just telling you what the reality is.

Coyote said...

"Vasectomy is not major surgery and is reversible."

Actually, I don't think that vasectomies are reversible in many cases. I can try providing data for this if you are interested.

Also, as far as I know, circumcision is not completely reversible. One can regrow the foreskin, but it takes a lot of time, and I've heard that it still isn't the same as not getting one's foreskin removed in the first place.

"Castration is the removal of an organ and docs will view it ad doing harm. "

Yes, though, again, a sex-/gender-specific organ. As for doing harm, again, more harm can very well occur if these individual try doing this themselves and/or "in back alleys". In fact, this is a case where the pro-choice "back alley argument" appears to make sense regardless of what one's position on the abortion issue is.

"Which is also why they are reluctant to do tubal ligations and other non reversible operations."

OK, fair enough, though as I've said before, there *might* be some hypocrisy here on their part.

"Listen, I am with you here. Just telling you what the reality is."

Thanks for clarifying.

Yeah, the reality is regards to this is rather unfortunate. :( That said, hopefully I myself am eventually able to find a doctor to castrate me if I decide to go down this road in the future (I myself am gender-fluid and the idea of eventually getting a sex change and becoming a woman does seem pretty appealing to me; however, as a side note, the thought of killing off all of the sperm in my body and becoming permanently sterile (well, at least we are able to create and implant ovaries into trans-people) is an extremely nice thought for me).

Lieutenant Nun said...

I forgot about circumcision. I oppose it when done to babies. It is a violation of bodily autonomy. It has become so normalized, however, that people don't see it as a violation.

Coyote said...

Good to hear. I agree with you on this. I also think that someone should be above a certain age (say, 18) in order to get it done in non-emergency situations.

Clinton said...

Do you have evidence for this? I believe you're making this number up because the number of women who died from illegal abortions in 1972 (the year before Roe v. Wade) was 39.

In fact, in 1967, six years *before* Roe v. Wade, Alan Guttmacher (past president of Planned Parenthood) wrote: “Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal illness such as cancer or leukemia, and, if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save, life" (“Abortion -- Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” in The Case for Legalized Abortion Now (Berkeley, CA: Diablo Press). The reality is that abortion, even in the early term, is only marginally safer than carrying a pregnancy to term.

Clinton said...

It depends on who you're talking to. If you're talking to someone like Peter Singer who denies prenatal personhood, then you have to have the conversation. I agree that the discussion of personhood is really pretty useless if you understand the term "person" to mean "an entity with basic rights like the right to life." In that case, you're just being redundant. I don't think it's necessary but I'm prepared to have the discussion if someone denies it.

Lieutenant Nun said...

CDC
WHO

Clinton said...

The argument is not circular. First, every article on this blog does not have to make a case that the unborn child is a person. Needless to say, that case has been made countless times on this blog.


Second, embryologists are in agreement that the unborn are human beings. So if you look past the "personhood" label and just ask if it's right or wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being, then it's quite obvious that this argument doesn't beg the question.

Clinton said...

That's not evidence. I can randomly say the names of organizations, too, but that's not evidence. I provided evidence that your figure is incorrect.

Lieutenant Nun said...

Each year in the U.S., about 800 women die of pregnancy-related complications and 52,000 experience emergencies such as acute renal failure, shock, respiratory distress, aneurysms and heart surgery. That's about 2% of births per year. 25% will suffer permanent physical maiming or injury.An

additional 34,000 barely avoid death. Maternal death in the US is about 21/100,000, or about 0.021%
A 27.22% risk of permanent injury, disability and even death. Is this not enough risk for you? Should you be forced to risk this to preserve life?

Should anyone? Why do you get to choose for women? Why is your view on risk assessment more valid than the person who is actually facing the risk?


Data modeling suggesting 21/100,000 US maternal mortality rate

In 2004/2005, 1.7 million women per year suffered adverse health effects

http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/campaigns/demand-dignity/maternal-health-is-a-human-right/maternal-health-in-the-us

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/why-are-so-many-u-s-women-dying-during-childbirth/article_dd916b4b-38f0-5bae-ba42-ddee636e4cf4.html

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/dec/10/torn-apart-by-childbirth

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-buzz/opera-singer-suing-hospital-episiotomy-left-her-severe-162302400.html

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.STA.MMRT

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/03/why-are-american-women-dying-childbirth-201438161633539780.html

http://www.facethefactsusa.org/facts/more-us-mothers-dying-despite-expensive-care

childbirth (stats for U.S.):

Postpartum depression: 5 to 25%
PTSD from childbirth: 5.9%
Miscarriages: 11 to 22% (related: ectopic pregnancies and early pregnancy hemorrhages)
Maternal mortality in the U.S: 21 per 100,000 live births
Stillbirths: 1 in 160
Pre-eclampsis: 6-8%
Post-partum hemorrhage: 13%

Pregnancy worsens lupus, thyroid disease, and diabetes.

Clinton said...

Sorry, for some reason I was thinking you were talking about abortion-related deaths (of which there are fewer). However, even statistics regarding pregnancy-related deaths can be misleading. One reason is because there are many complications from prior abortions that are not diagnosed, and when she dies in a future pregnancy, rather than being attributed to the abortion she had it is attributed to a pregnancy-related death. Plus, as Guttmacher wrote back in 1967 (which I indicated in a previous note), having an abortion would be unlikely to prolong or even save her life. Plus, if the child is viable, then the hospital would deliver the child, not go through with an abortion.

Aside from that, according to a link I found from the CDC (and I noticed that none of the links, or at least I don't think any of the links, that you gave are from reputable sources), 650 women die from pregnancy-related deaths. Still a large number, but smaller than the one that you gave:

http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternalinfanthealth/pregnancy-relatedmortality.htm

frankbellamy said...

It does beg the question. If you ask me whether it is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being, my answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no, so we haven't gotten anywhere.

Clinton said...

It doesn't beg the question, for the reasons given in my comment that you have completely ignored. If you want to argue whether or not it's permissible to kill the unborn, find one of those articles and debate on it.

Michelle Ewing said...

Yes! abstinence, outercourse, or anal as I say! With all the fun things that can't get you pregnant, vaginal sex can be boring! And if you stick to the plan, these options are fool proof!

Michelle Ewing said...

For single moms, child support is an average of 60% of her income! she does get "pay back" for the costs of having the baby, and most of the time more. trust me, fathers "feel the pain" from bringing a child into existence!

Coyote said...

There is also the option of having "regular" (vaginal) sex with trans-people.

Michelle Ewing said...

I'm not sure if a ftm would want to be penetrated. and mtf would have to have the surgery. I would be interesting to know how functioning a reconstructed vagina is though.

Coyote said...

In cases of FtM, I meant that this individual would be the one who will *be penetrating someone else*.

And Yes, an MtF would need to have the surgery beforehand if we are talking about vaginal intercourse.

Douglas Noble said...

"It's easy for a pro-choicer like me to acknowledge that not all life that is biologically human is morally valuable."

"Morally valuable" is interesting phrasing but I'm pretty sure of what you're getting at.


Someone laying in a hospital bed that is brain-dead is alive and human. We don't deny their humanity but if laying comatose while artificially sustaining life by machinery is going to be the rest of one's life, then continuing life is moot.


He would hold little moral value. Am I right?

lady_black said...

Get a refund from your "law school" immediately. I could have written your treatise on tort law with my paralegal degree, and it does not apply to pregnancy. No person is legally required to undergo personal risk for another person's benefit, even if you consider the fetus as a person, which the law does not and cannot. But let's go a little further with your theory of fetus as "person." If another person is endangering my life, intentionally or unintentionally, I have the right to stop that attack with lethal force. I have the right to resist rape with lethal force. I have the right to stop someone from the attempted unauthorized seizure of any part of my body with lethal force. You cannot take from me so much as a pint of blood for someone else's use.

lady_black said...

And so, how do you return the fetus to the status of non-need? I don't think you'll like the answer. No one has any right to unjustly enrich himself at the expense of another. The only thing that can be done is restoration to the previous condition. In this case, non-existence. Money is often used to attempt to make people "whole" in the event of a tort. If I cause you to need a kidney (just for example) that doesn't entitle you to one of mine. However, if I'm liable, I could be held responsible for considerable medical expenses. In cash, not in kind.

lady_black said...

Vasectomy is not based on need. Neither is tubal ligation. They are ALWAYS voluntary, never done as an emergency. However, No doctor will castrate a male or female or perform a hysterectomy simply because a man or woman wants it done. It's just too drastic a method to be used merely as contraception. It's unethical to remove healthy organs. Now if the person has cancer, it's pretty much a no-brainer. Or in the case of the uterus, fibroids or endometriosis, hysterectomy will be considered if nothing else works and the woman has no future fertility concerns. "changing one's mind" after sterilization isn't grounds for a lawsuit. That's why we have informed consent. Sterilization is sometimes reversible, but should always be considered permanent. However, we aren't dogs or cats, and it's not done via spaying or neutering.

lady_black said...

Vasectomy and tubal ligation should always be considered permanent, and should never be obtained with the idea that you can later change your mind.

lady_black said...

That is the one exception to removing healthy organs. It's necessary to complete a sex change. And actually, I believe they use some of the tissue to construct new sex organs. It's never done for contraception.

lady_black said...

My dad was circumcised at age 60 due to phimosis. Ask him if he wishes it had been done when he was a baby. It's strictly optional, but needing to have it done later is much worse. That's the chance you take.

lady_black said...

Whatever, dude. Your kid needs to eat. You do not need to be preserved.

lady_black said...

Nine months. Yeah right. Like she doesn't also pay for the next 18 years. Cry me a river, deadbeat.

lady_black said...

Child support is not a punishment. It's something you do when you make a baby.

lady_black said...

Oh who gives a crap. It's not "all about you."

Coyote said...

"Child support is not a punishment. It's something you do when you make a baby."

By that rationale, neither is abortion.

"Nine months. Yeah right."

Pregnancy *does* generally last for around nine months.

"Like she doesn't also pay for the next 18 years."

False comparison, considering that this is voluntary on her part and involuntary on his part.

"Cry me a river, deadbeat."

I don't have children. Thus, your assumption here about me is incorrect.

Coyote said...

Using a similar rationale, I can say that one's prenatal offspring needs to use one's body in order to survive, while a pregnant woman generally does not need to stop being pregnant.

Coyote said...

"No person is legally required to undergo personal risk for another person's benefit, even if you consider the fetus as a person, which the law does not and cannot."

Um ... the draft? Also, what exactly do you mean by "cannot"? Why *can't* the law consider the fetus to be a person?

"But let's go a little further with your theory of fetus as "person." If another person is endangering my life, intentionally or unintentionally, I have the right to stop that attack with lethal force. I have the right to resist rape with lethal force. I have the right to stop someone from the attempted unauthorized seizure of any part of my body with lethal force. You cannot take from me so much as a pint of blood for someone else's use."

Keep in mind, though, that one can argue that females shouldn't literally be forced to remain pregnant, but should rather simply be prosecuted if they illegally get abortions in the event of an abortion ban and if someone finds out about these illegal abortions.

Coyote said...

One can make a similar argument in regards to pregnancy.

Coyote said...

Yes, and how frequent is phimosis, exactly?

Also, what about the risk of a male getting depressed due to getting circumcised back when he didn't have a choice in the matter? Interestingly enough, I have actually met someone like that on Facebook, and he *does* appear to be a real person and everything.

Coyote said...

Also, a useful piece of advice:

If you act obnoxiously, then people could be less likely to listen to what you have to say.

Coyote said...

"Vasectomy is not based on need. Neither is tubal ligation. They are ALWAYS voluntary, never done as an emergency."

I never said that these things were based on a need.

"However, No doctor will castrate a male or female or perform a hysterectomy simply because a man or woman wants it done. It's just too drastic a method to be used merely as contraception. It's unethical to remove healthy organs."

Go look up Felix Spektor (sp?) and Murray Kimmel. Also, I am not sure that it is always unethical to do this--just like with the back-alley abortion argument that pro-choicers love to use, it is better to remove one's gender specific body parts in a safe, medical setting than to risk having this individual try unsafely doing this procedure himself/herself or "in a back-alley" by someone who is inexperienced.

"Now if the person has cancer, it's pretty much a no-brainer. Or in the case of the uterus, fibroids or endometriosis, hysterectomy will be considered if nothing else works and the woman has no future fertility concerns."

I am not disputing any of this.

""changing one's mind" after sterilization isn't grounds for a lawsuit. That's why we have informed consent."

I never said anything to the contrary of this.

"Sterilization is sometimes reversible, but should always be considered permanent."

No--it should always be something which has a risk of being permanent, but even sterilization (or at least some sterilization) is not 100% effective/efficient.

"However, we aren't dogs or cats, and it's not done via spaying or neutering."

And why exactly is it done via spaying or neutering for cats and for dogs?

Coyote said...

Also, here's a useful piece of advice based on your comment below:

"It's really out there, like the idiot who was arguing if he had to pay child support, he might not be able to afford to be cryogenically preserved. Laughable."

Name-calling, insulting, and ridiculing people is not going to get you anywhere and is simply going to make you look like an ass or a douche. I am not sure if you are intelligent enough to comprehend this, but oh well. I am uninterested in discussing things with people who are "potty-mouths" and who are unable to remain civil.

Also, you have yet to actually rebuke this statement of mine. If you know with 100% certainty that cryogenic preservation does not work, then go ahead and present your evidence for this here.

Coyote said...

Also, here is a useful piece of advice based on your comment below:

"It's really out there, like the idiot who was arguing if he had to pay child support, he might not be able to afford to be cryogenically preserved. Laughable."

Name-calling, insulting, and ridiculing people is not going to get you anywhere and is simply going to make you look like an ass or a douche. I am not sure if you are intelligent enough to comprehend this, but oh well. I am uninterested in discussing things with people who are "potty-mouths" and who are unable to remain civil.

Also, you have yet to actually rebuke this statement of mine. If you know with 100% certainty that cryogenic preservation does not work, then go ahead and present your evidence for this here.

lady_black said...

I'll quote the drill instructor in the movie "Stripes." Son, there ain't no draft no more. Even so, suppose there were. Yes, at one time young men were conscripted for military service. They could seek conscientious objector status and serve in other non-combat positions. Draftees are also actually paid for their service. It isn't simply taken from them without compensation as pregnancy does to a woman. Now as to your question about why a zef can't be considered a legal person. There is the body of a pregnant woman, to which two persons cannot simultaneously claim rights of use. Your body belongs to you, and I cannot walk up to you and demand that you breathe for me, even if I were your child, and even if I would die if you didn't. If I need something from your body, it must be with your consent. That's how it works. Of course women cannot legally be forced to remain pregnant, and they should not be prosecuted for refusing to remain pregnant under any circumstances.

lady_black said...

But there is no right to use the body of another. Actual children do have the right to support from both parents.

lady_black said...

Well when you make a silly claim like motherhood only involves nine months, you can pretty much expect to be ridiculed for it. That isn't an argument even a five year old would make.

lady_black said...

Well, if she chooses not to parent, then neither will she be receiving child support. Here's why: Child support is not the right of the mother and the obligation of the father. It's the right of the child, and the obligation of the non-custodial parent. The custodial parent is presumed to be providing material support simply by virtue of providing material needs and care for the child. If you don't want to pay support, take custody yourself and do the heavy lifting of single parenthood. Women are ordered to pay support if they are non-custodial parents. The language of family law is gender-neutral.

lady_black said...

No one cannot, because it is not a valid argument. You are never owed the use of someone else's body.

lady_black said...

You can put your ad-hominem argument away. I never said cryopreservation "doesn't work" although at this time it doesn't work. I could make a similar argument about how men shouldn't be required to pay child support because they might not be able to afford a ticket to a space shuttle to Mars after we ruin this planet. But it's a dumb argument for the same reason. There has been no one brought back from death, ever. And there is no colony on Mars. Am I saying neither will ever happen? No. I'm saying they are at present, a fantasy. A child with a right to be supported by both parents is a reality. You might consider that some arguments are worthy of ridicule, because they have no basis in reality or logic. And I haven't been a potty-mouth. You're just making that up, like your argument about cryogenic preservation.

lady_black said...

I have seen a few patients develop phimosis late in life. I wouldn't call it "frequent" but neither is it extremely rare. One reason it is not frequent is because most men who are now in that age group were routinely circumcised. It's impossible to extrapolate from such a small group. I have never actually met anyone who was depressed because they were circumcised as infants. But there are more benefits than simply avoiding phimosis. Circumcision has been shown to lower transmission of certain STDs to both men and by extension, their female partners. I had my sons done as infants because it was "the thing to do" at the time. That's not the best reason but I don't regret having done it. I have no strong opinion one way or the other about it. There seem to be benefits and drawbacks, some religions require it, and it's strictly a personal preference. Babies don't get to make any of their own decisions, so that is really not a persuasive argument.

lady_black said...

Because they are dogs and cats, and not human beings. Dogs and cats do not engage in sex for fun, so no harm is done to them to deprive them of their gonads to keep them from reproducing, and reducing undesirable behavior that is part of them being sexually whole. We primates function sexually quite differently. Actually, some breeders do keep vasectomized toms and sires around to keep the females from constantly cycling in and out of heat. It's a consideration to be made if someone is a professional breeder. For pets, it's too expensive to be practical, and will not stop undesirable behavior like spraying.

Plum Dumpling said...

Prosecuted for what crime?

lady_black said...

Yes they will do non-reversible tubal ligations and actually I preferred it that way.

lady_black said...

Abortion is 14 times safer than carrying to term and giving birth. That is not marginal.

lady_black said...

Never.

lady_black said...

Because C-sections are painless and risk free???

lady_black said...

Human and person are not interchangeable.

lady_black said...

Someone who is brain dead is actually dead, and not alive.

lady_black said...

Because you cannot "opt" the child out of it's rights once there is a child. The child is not a party to any agreement you may form, and cannot be bound by it. I'm sure it sounds good to people who don't know how the law works. But it's legally impossible. The fetus is not capable of agreeing with you that you do not owe support to it once it's born.

lady_black said...

Legally it won't work. The law views child support as the child's right. Therefore neither parent can unilaterally remove that right. They can only choose not to act upon it on behalf of the child. Such a contract is, however, legally non-enforceable due to the child not being a party to the contract.

frankbellamy said...

My understanding is that child support is not a matter of contract law at all, it is a matter of family law, which can be tweeked just like any other law. Also, my memory of 1L contracts is that a contract between an adult and a child is binding upon the adult but not the child.

Unicorn Farm said...

One *can* argue that, but one would sound like an a** for talking out of both sides of one's mouth. Keep in mind that one knows, if one is honest with one's self, that coercing gestation via threat of imprisonment is, indeed, *forcing gestation*.
Better luck next time.

Unicorn Farm said...

Why do you think needing something automatically gives you the right to it?
As Lady Black keeps telling you, no one has the right to use another person's body. Ever. Full stop.

Unicorn Farm said...

"Of course, can't a woman (generally) give birth via C-section?"
A huge part of me would *love* to see someone come along and cut your abdomen open with a big knife. Something tells me you wouldn't be so glib about it.

Unicorn Farm said...

You should consider reading my rebuttal post, above. I am a lawyer who practices in this area. The Secular Pro-life analysis is deeply flawed. It gets basic torts principles wrong.
The article does not provide support for the author's assertion- that foreseeability of a result means you consent to it.

lady_black said...

I'm speaking, of course, of any contract that the custodial parent will not seek support from the non-custodial parent. You are correct that child support is part of family law. It's the right of the child, and there is no such thing as "opting out."

Coyote said...

"A huge part of me would *love* to see someone come along and cut your abdomen open with a big knife. Something tells me you wouldn't be so glib about it."

I don't think that I ever said that I would love it. However, I *do* hope that an opportunity will eventually come with technological advancements which will allow me to experience this. If I actually do this, and if I will still remember this blog at that point in time, then I will make sure to tell you about my experience in regards to this.

Coyote said...

"You can put your ad-hominem argument away."

I do not think that I ever made an argumentum ad hominem attack on you, since I never said that your position on something is invalid due to a personal characteristic/trait of yours.

"I never said cryopreservation "doesn't work" although at this time it doesn't work. I could make a similar argument about how men shouldn't be required to pay child support because they might not be able to afford a ticket to a space shuttle to Mars after we ruin this planet. But it's a dumb argument for the same reason. There has been no one brought back from death, ever. And there is no colony on Mars."

Yes, these things are fantasies at the present, but nevertheless there is the possibility that someone who is currently alive will eventually benefit from these things if he/she is able to afford these things. This was my point in regards to this.

"A child with a right to be supported by both parents is a reality."

You are aware that the child can acquire the money to be fed from other sources, correct?

" You might consider that some arguments are worthy of ridicule, because they have no basis in reality or logic."

First of all, I don't think that I made any logical fallacies here. Secondly, the cryogenic preservation argument does not have *no* basis at all in reality. After all, we already have cryogenic preservation--whether or not it will work is a question which will be answered in the future, though. My point here was about the possibility of cryogenic preservation working in the future, a possibility which even you acknowledge exists.

"You might consider that some arguments are worthy of ridicule, because they have no basis in reality or logic."

Yep, though in such cases, I will ridicule the arguments, rather than the person(s).

"And I haven't been a potty-mouth."

Calling someone an idiot and figuratively telling someone to cry you a river isn't exactly pleasant behavior.

"You're just making that up, like your argument about cryogenic preservation."

Actually, I don't think that I was making anything up. As for cryogenic preservation, I don't think that I stated anything inaccurate about it--after all, my assertion that it working is a possibility appears to be correct.

Coyote said...

Wouldn't this be considered an example of begging the question on your part (at least from the perspective of morality), though? After all, not everyone agrees with the current law in regards to this. Heck, as of right now, I am tempted to say that I do not and that I would not agree with the current law in regards to this *even if* I was pro-choice.

Coyote said...

"Why do you think needing something automatically gives you the right to it?"

I don't think that I ever said anything of this sort.

"As Lady Black keeps telling you, no one has the right to use another person's body. Ever. Full stop."

And once again, wouldn't this be considered an example of question-begging (at least from the perspective of morality)? After all, not everyone agrees with the current law in regards to this.

Coyote said...

"I have seen a few patients develop phimosis late in life. I wouldn't call it "frequent" but neither is it extremely rare. One reason it is not frequent is because most men who are now in that age group were routinely circumcised. It's impossible to extrapolate from such a small group."

Thank you for this information.

" I have never actually met anyone who was depressed because they were circumcised as infants."

Yeah, I don't think that this is frequent, but it might occur.

"But there are more benefits than simply avoiding phimosis. Circumcision has been shown to lower transmission of certain STDs to both men and by extension, their female partners."

Yes, I have heard of that as well. I am not completely sure if it is accurate (I simply didn't do much research on this), but even if it is accurate, one can simply respond that this problem can be (at least largely) avoided if males refuse to have sex with someone without first finding out whether or not this individual has STDs and/or without wearing a condom.

Also, I have heard that circumcision might reduce the amount of pleasure that a male feels in that area. In addition, I have also heard that even with foreskin restoration, which a long process, a male might not feel as much pleasure in that area than if he was never circumcised to begin with. I don't know if these things are correct, but they are worth researching and keeping in mind (unless they are/will be debunked, of course).

"I had my sons done as infants because it was "the thing to do" at the time. That's not the best reason but I don't regret having done it."

Yeah, I myself got circumcised as well in a brit milah back when I was a baby.

"There seem to be benefits and drawbacks, some religions require it, and it's strictly a personal preference."

In regards to religions requiring it, I don't consider it to be a convincing argument. After all, we (rightfully) have separation of religion and state in this country. In addition, one can use one's religious beliefs to justify things such as female genital mutilation and whatnot, which I am sure that almost everyone will oppose.

"Babies don't get to make any of their own decisions, so that is really not a persuasive argument."

Actually, I am not sure that I agree with this. After all, in regards to circumcision, we are talking about something which possibly has irreversible consequences and where the good from it does not indisputably outweigh the bad from it. Thus, I don't think that circumcision can be compared to parental decisions such as vaccination.

Coyote said...

I am not sure that your reason here is a valid one. After all, eunuchs are still capable of having sex with hormone replacement therapy, as well as without hormone replacement therapy in some cases. In addition, since reproduction is no longer an option for them, pretty much the only reasons that eunuchs would have sex would be for pleasure, for pair bonding, et cetera.

In addition, I would like to point out that getting castrated appears to make sense if one wants to avoid risking unwanted pregnancy and if one is willing to deal with the consequences of castration. After all, no contraception is 100% effective/efficient, and thus, if a male is sexually active and wants to avoid the risk of unwanted pregnancy as much as possible, then it might be better for such a male to get castrated than to have an unwanted pregnancy occur later on and for him to get shamed, ridiculed, and/or insulted by pro-choicers such as yourself for not wanting to pay child support.

Also, if you have a response to my "back-alley" argument, then please let me know. Thank you.

Coyote said...

And why exactly can't the law be changed in regards to this? I am arguing this from the perspective of morality, not from the perspective of legality. However, it is worth noting that many, if not most or all, of our laws are based on someone's morality.

Coyote said...

It depends on how exactly one defines "person".

Coyote said...

For getting an illegal abortion, of course.

Coyote said...

It might depend on how one defines *force* here. I do agree that it is probably an example of coercion, though.

Of course, hypothetically speaking, with such an argument, a woman *can* decide to go to jail instead of remaining pregnant. After all, using such an argument, one might oppose even having the authorities use physical force to prevent a woman from getting an abortion or from purposely inducing a miscarriage (which isn't much different)--rather, they will simply give her the appropriate amount of jail time afterwards.

Plum Dumpling said...

Abortion is legal. You must have faith in and love government. Here is how much good it did the government the last time they tried it. 11,000 abortions over 6 years until abortion was made a choice. Cry me a river.
http://www.cwluherstory.com/Jane-Abortion-Service/

Coyote said...

"I'll quote the drill instructor in the movie "Stripes." Son, there ain't no draft no more."

Yes, I am aware of this part. Of course, the U.S. government does have Selective Service right now.

"Even so, suppose there were. Yes, at one time young men were conscripted for military service. They could seek conscientious objector status and serve in other non-combat positions."

OK, but hypothetically, what if all or almost all males which were drafted sought conscious objector status? Would all of them get such a status?

"Draftees are also actually paid for their service. It isn't simply taken from them without compensation as pregnancy does to a woman."

This pay wouldn't have much value to them if they are killed in action, though.

Also, based on this, a pro-lifer can simply argue that females should be paid for completing a pregnancy or something along those lines.

"Now as to your question about why a zef can't be considered a legal person. There is the body of a pregnant woman, to which two persons cannot simultaneously claim rights of use. Your body belongs to you, and I cannot walk up to you and demand that you breathe for me, even if I were your child, and even if I would die if you didn't. If I need something from your body, it must be with your consent. That's how it works. Of course women cannot legally be forced to remain pregnant, and they should not be prosecuted for refusing to remain pregnant under any circumstances."

The thing is, though, that one can argue that while embryos and fetuses should be considered persons, they shouldn't be allowed to use someone else's body without his or her consent. Of course, you might be guilty of begging the question here, since not everyone agrees with you in regards to this.

Coyote said...

As a side note, I did hear an interesting argument about how consent to sex *is*, in fact, consent to pregnancy. This isn't an argument which I use, but it might not be completely lacking in merit.

Coyote said...

"Abortion is legal."

Yes, and I disagree with the current law in regards to this.

"You must have faith in and love government."

I suppose that it depends on what exactly we are talking about here. I approve of some of the things which the government does, but not other things.

"Here is how much good it did the government the last time they tried it. 11,000 abortions over 6 years until abortion was made a choice."

Let me check that data and get back to you on this.

"Cry me a river."

LOL!; Will do! ;)

Coyote said...

I just checked that source. However, I am not sure what relevance exactly the info in your source here has to my arguments.

Plum Dumpling said...

You cannot make inferences but you feel capable of running my sexual/family life?

Coyote said...

"You cannot make inferences"

If the inference here is that abortion bans will not make abortion go away, then I was already aware of that. However, the pro-life argument in regards to this is that while an abortion ban will not end abortion, it will very likely reduce the number of abortions *if all other factors remain unchanged*.

Are there any other inferences which you were making here?

"but you feel capable of running my sexual/family life?"

Sexual life? No. Family life? Yes, but only in cases where I try to prevent morally unjustifiable things.

Coyote said...

Also, I would like to point out that sperm donors, if they do everything correctly, are *not* forced to pay child support.

Pro-child support choice arguments often state that the male should be considered to be (something similar to) a sperm donor.

Coyote said...

Also, I suppose that your point here raises the question of why someone who did not (from a pro-choice perspective) exist yet (at least in any meaningful sense) when an agreement was made should have any say in regards to this agreement?

Coyote said...

"Well when you make a silly claim like motherhood only involves nine months, you can pretty much expect to be ridiculed for it"

I never said that motherhood only involves nine months, though. This appears to be a strawman of what I said here. I said that pregnancy lasts for nine months, which is accurate.

"That isn't an argument even a five year old would make."

No, but once again, I am not making this argument.

Plum Dumpling said...

You come anywhere near my daughters in real life to enforce this agenda and I will rip your twig off, nail your berries to the wall, and urinate on your spasming bleeding dying body. So, come onna my house. FBI LOOK SHARP. This is the Roeder personality.

Coyote said...

"Well, if she chooses not to parent, then neither will she be receiving child support."

Do you mean if she will get an abortion, or what?

"Here's why: Child support is not the right of the mother and the obligation of the father. It's the right of the child, and the obligation of the non-custodial parent."

I am already aware of this, but once again, using the current law to argue your case when not everyone agrees with the current law in regards to this appears to be an example of question-begging.

"The custodial parent is presumed to be providing material support simply by virtue of providing material needs and care for the child. If you don't want to pay support, take custody yourself and do the heavy lifting of single parenthood."

Couldn't one ask for joint custody, though?

Also, I already knew all of this, though frankly, I would probably prefer to get castrated and to avoid such a situation in the first place.

"Women are ordered to pay support if they are non-custodial parents."

Yep, as they should.

"The language of family law is gender-neutral."

Maybe, but this might not apply to the law *overall*.

Coyote said...

Actually, I don't think that you are correct on this, and I don't think that there even is a correct answer in regards to this. It might depend on one's personal preferences and personal priorities.

Coyote said...

I don't think that I said anything of this sort.

However, I am curious in regards to this -- how much less painful, if at all, is a C-section compared to giving vaginal birth?

Coyote said...

Is this true for all abortions at any stage in the pregnancy?

Coyote said...

Just because there isn't such a right doesn't necessarily mean that there shouldn't be such a right, though.

Coyote said...

"You come anywhere near my daughters in real life to enforce this agenda and I will rip your twig off, nail your berries to the wall, and urinate on your spasming bleeding dying body. "

Actually, I myself am *against* using physical force to enforce abortion bans (if such bans are in place).

Also, I am not in law enforcement, so I am not going to be enforcing any laws.

In addition, though, if your statement about nailing berries refers to castration, and if you are a qualified medical professional, then I might be willing to accept your offer of castrating me.

"So, come onna my house. FBI LOOK SHARP."

I suspect that this is a troll statement, considering that I never intended to come over to your house.

"This is the Roeder personality."

Actually, I am vehemently against taking the law into one's own hands, especially when it pertains to issues such as abortion. Thus, individuals such as Scott Roeder are obviously vile scum.

Plum Dumpling said...

Derp.

Coyote said...

????????????????

Douglas Noble said...

I'm not saying you're wrong, and if I'm mistaken, I'd like to be enlightened... but if that were the case, I would think there'd be no need to differentiate being brain dead and dead.

In any case, in my question we can replace a brain dead person with a man in a coma with no indication of ever recovering. I was curious if that is what he meant by human life that holds little moral value.

Douglas Noble said...

We share common ground here that a human and a person may not be the same thing. Our slave population were considered 3/5ths persons. Corporations are considered people. So we have an example of humans being given a partial personhood status and an example of a non-human entity being a person.

Personhood exists as a legal concept but justifying abortion on grounds that the preborn isn't a person is an argument from legalism; it brings nothing edifying to the discussion.

purrtriarchy said...

Such a thing as natural persons exists. And the unborn do not qualify as natural persons, in a legal or moral sense.

Douglas Noble said...

"Natural person" is a legal concept to differentiate from a non-human entity that is legally a person (corporation, club, government entity)

If you speak of personhood in a sense outside of describing a legal entity or a human being, then you are using personhood as an insipid concept. You may as well say, "The unborn doesn't have a soul yet."

purrtriarchy said...

You're just wanting to play games with semantics.

Let me guess. 'Human' is your only marker, right?

Douglas Noble said...

I'm totally not playing games with semantics. How do you demonstrate having personhood in a non-legal or non-biological sense?

purrtriarchy said...

If 'person' as a descriptive term cannot be used, then what do you suggest?

lady_black said...

Persons are those who have been born and have not yet died. Therefore a woman is a person. A fetus isn't.

lady_black said...

There is no differentiation. Dead is dead. Brain dead persons are usually removed from respirators once decisions have been made about organ donation. And they cannot be maintained for long periods of time in the first place. Decomposition will begin to occur regardless of any measures taken. I've cared for such patients. It's not a pretty sight. And no I do not consider a brain dead human to be a person. It's a corpse.

lady_black said...

Are you freaking kidding me??? There should be laws forcing people to give the use of blood, organs and tissues to another person??? Not in a free country, pal. Your body belongs to you. I cannot demand the use of ANY part of your body for my own use, even if I were your child, and even if I would die without it. The courts have been very clear about this. We don't even do that to criminals.

lady_black said...

It's true for the early abortions you were saying were only "marginally safer." Now as time goes by, the risks become higher. But abortion at any stage is safer than pregnancy and birth. Bear in mind that abortion means prior to viability. After viability it becomes a delivery or birth. Even if it's a stillbirth.

lady_black said...

Being that the same anesthesia (epidural) is used for both, none. There is MORE post procedure pain with a C-section, because after all, it's major abdominal surgery. There are also higher risks to both woman and child. No one should be having a C-section unless it's medically indicated.

lady_black said...

BOTH parents have to support the child. It's not like after birth she is off the hook for supporting her child. It doesn't work that way. Only SHE is pregnant got nine months, though. So no it can never be less a sacrifice.

Coyote said...

"Are you freaking kidding me???"

No, I'm not.

"There should be laws forcing people to give the use of blood, organs and tissues to another person???"

It depends on how exactly you are defining "force" here and depends on the specific circumstances.

"Not in a free country, pal."

I am not sure that what I am advocating here (again, only in specific circumstances) is particularly against freedom.

"Your body belongs to you."

Yep, though just like with one's other property, I could see certain cases where someone else might be justified in using your body in order to survive.

"I cannot demand the use of ANY part of your body for my own use, even if I were your child, and even if I would die without it. The courts have been very clear about this. We don't even do that to criminals."


You appear to be guilty of question-begging here, considering that not everyone agrees with the current law in regards to this. As for criminals, I would probably support applying this idea to them as well.

Coyote said...

Out of genuine curiosity, though--what about a late-term abortion vs. a delivery/birth? Which one of these is safer?

Coyote said...

You appear to be overlooking the fact that parents can give their offspring up for adoption, including through the utilization of safe-haven laws (which, frankly, I am wondering if females can utilize *in practice* without the consent of the infant's father).

Thus, in these specific cases, I appear to have accurately compared pregnancy vs. child support payments.

lady_black said...

No I do not mean if she aborts. If she aborts neither will be a parent of a minor child, thus support is not anissue. I mean if she relinquishes the child for adoption. Joint custody is the rule. Joint physical custody is only workable if the two parties are geographically close, as in... in the same school district. Schools are funny like that. They expect the student's primary physical address to be within their district. Now suppose that's workable logistically. The higher earning parent will still be on the hook for *some* child support because the formula works according to income. And I don't care if "some people" don't agree with the law as it is. The law is the law, and it will never change. Children will ALWAYS be entitled to the support of both parents. It's the right of the child and has nothing to do with any alleged rights of parents. It's very bad public policy to bastardize children, and it just won't happen.

Coyote said...

Thanks for this info.

Out of curiosity--are C-sections shorter (in regards to time) than vaginal birth is?

lady_black said...

You are not saying those exact words. But when you are implying that nine months of pregnancy are less a sacrifice than 18 years of paying child support, you are magically erasing the fact that BOTH parents pay to support their children for 18 years. You cannot make that argument, it just doesn't work. It's not "just nine months and she's then off the hook." That's not based in reality.

Coyote said...

"No I do not mean if she aborts. If she aborts neither will be a parent of a minor child, thus support is not an issue. I mean if she relinquishes the child for adoption."

Thanks for clarifying this.

"Joint custody is the rule. Joint physical custody is only workable if the two parties are geographically close, as in... in the same school district. Schools are funny like that. They expect the student's primary physical address to be within their district. Now suppose that's workable logistically. The higher earning parent will still be on the hook for *some* child support because the formula works according to income."

Thanks for this info.

"And I don't care if "some people" don't agree with the law as it is. The law is the law, and it will never change. "

Someone could have just as easily said in 1800 or in 1900 that the law in regards to gay marriage or whatever will never be changed. Unless you have a crystal ball, you are incapable of knowing for sure what will occur in the future.

Also, though, I want to point out that if you are arguing from the perspective of morality that your position on a particular issue is superior, then Yes, you *do* appear to be guilty of begging the question here. If you are simply stating the law without arguing in favor of a specific position, then I don't see a need for you to do this considering that I myself already know what the currently law is in regards to this.

"Children will ALWAYS be entitled to the support of both parents. It's the right of the child and has nothing to do with any alleged rights of parents. It's very bad public policy to bastardize children, and it just won't happen."

Actually, the idea which I previously proposed in regards to this might not result in much negative consequences in regards to this.

Coyote said...

You appear to ignore the fact that I was only talking about *involuntary* sacrifices, though.

In the event of an abortion ban and in a case where a woman gives birth and places her offspring up for adoption afterwards, the only *involuntary* part is the pregnancy, which lasts for around nine months.

Thus, my comparison of the woman's *involuntary* sacrifice in such cases vs. a man's *involuntary* sacrifice in regards to paying child support still appears to be a valid one.

lady_black said...

No, you don't "get it." A minor child doesn't have any say in ANY agreement, simply because they are minors. That isn't to say a minor child has no rights. One of the rights of a minor child is to be supported by both biological (or adoptive) parents. That right belongs to the child, and cannot be abrogated by ANY agreement between two adults. No court will enforce such an illegal contract. In other words, even if the two parents make such a contract, it is not legally binding. She can change her mind at any time, and if she is ever in need of public assistance for the minor, the state will force her to seek support. And she will win. With the exception of any pass-through, the state will take the support as reimbursement.

Coyote said...

Thanks for clarifying this. That said, theoretically speaking, the law *can* be changed in regards to this.

lady_black said...

Sperm donors are anonymous. The male who impregnates a woman known to him is not an anonymous donor, and can never be considered as being in the same legal position. It's abominable public policy, and not in the best interest of the child.

Coyote said...

"Sperm donors are anonymous."

Is this *always* the case, though?

I will respond to the rest of your post after you respond to this part.

lady_black said...

No consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy. Who told you that? That's like saying choosing to drive is consent to an automobile accident. Or hunting is consent to being shot. Pregnancy is a possible outcome of having sex, but that isn't the same as consent.

lady_black said...

It doesn't matter whether they agree or not. That is the position of the law. People have sued in an attempt to gain rights to the bodies of others for the purpose of preserving their life. Guess who lost?

Coyote said...

"No consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy. Who told you that?"

Does it really matter who told me this?

That said, here is a blog post about this:

http://thomists.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/consent-to-sex-is-consent-to-pregnancy/

If you are interested in writing a response to it over there, then go ahead and do so.

"That's like saying choosing to drive is consent to an automobile accident. Or hunting is consent to being shot. Pregnancy is a possible outcome of having sex, but that isn't the same as consent."

I am not sure if the driving and hunting analogies fit here, considering that sex and pregnancy are intrinsically linked; I am not sure if this is true of these other two examples.

Coyote said...

"It doesn't matter whether they agree or not."

Actually, it *does* matter if you are debating this from the perspective of morality and moral justifiability.

"That is the position of the law. People have sued in an attempt to gain rights to the bodies of others for the purpose of preserving their life. Guess who lost?"

Yes, I am aware of the current law in regards to this. Thus, I don't see a need for you to have made this part of your post.

lady_black said...

No they are not "intrinsically linked." That's what birth control is for. That's what sterilization is for. Go ask any infertile couple how "intrinsically linked: sex and pregnancy are. I had a tubal ligation at age 26. I would argue that doing so is the antithesis of "consent to pregnancy." and in fact, was an overt act of hanging out a "no fetus welcome" sign. And if the tubal ligation had failed, I would have had an abortion so fast your pointy head would spin.

lady_black said...

Well the law is the only thing that matters, isn't it? This isn't China where consent doesn't matter. It does matter. It's essential. Who cares about morality? The law doesn't deal in "sin" nor should it. The law deals with the constitutional, not with your morals.

Coyote said...

"That's what birth control is for."

And yet no contraception is 100% effective/efficient.

"That's what sterilization is for."

Once again, no sterilization (except perhaps castration and ovary removal) is 100% effective/efficient.

"Go ask any infertile couple how "intrinsically linked: sex and pregnancy are."

This is the result of something in their bodies not working as it properly should, though.

"I had a tubal ligation at age 26."

Good for you!

"I would argue that doing so is the antithesis of "consent to pregnancy." and in fact, was an overt act of hanging out a "no fetus welcome" sign. "

I'm not so sure about this.

"And if the tubal ligation had failed, I would have had an abortion so fast your pointy head would spin."

This doesn't mean that your action/decision in regards to this is morally justifiable, though.

Coyote said...

Also, did you actually read that blog post (the link for which I posted)?

If so, then it would be nice to see you respond on the comments for that blog post. Frankly, I am interested in hearing what the writer of this blog post's response to you will be.

lady_black said...

Blah, blah, blah, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. Naturalistic fallacy. I would argue that an infertile person's body is working exactly the way it's supposed to. Not every person is meant to be fertile, and the default condition of the female body is non-pregnant.

"And yet no contraception is 100% effective/efficient." So what? Are you arguing that contracepting is consent to pregnancy, or would you say that it is a willful and demonstrable act of NOT consenting to pregnancy.

Coyote said...

"Well the law is the only thing that matters, isn't it?"

Not in a debate about what the law should be.

"This isn't China where consent doesn't matter."

I am not sure what your analogy in regards to China has to do here.

"It does matter. It's essential."

Once again, you appear to be guilty of question-begging here.

"Who cares about morality? The law doesn't deal in "sin" nor should it. The law deals with the constitutional, not with your morals."

I wasn't talking about "sin" here. And actually, many, if not most or all, of our laws are in fact based on someone's morality. As for the Constitution, even the U.S. Constitution can be amended. In addition, though, it is worth raising the question of whether any U.S. judges ever considered their own morality/political views when they were making their rulings/decisions.

lady_black said...

I'm not interested in hearing the ravings of a loon who insists that sex is consent to pregnancy. It is not. Consent to sex is consent to sex, period.

Coyote said...

For the record, though, if this is not clear enough already, I *oppose* using physical force in regards to this.

lady_black said...

No the laws that are constitutional cannot be based upon subjective morality. The laws are based upon our Constitution. Morality is highly subjective. In other words, all things that are legal are not necessarily moral, and all things that are immoral are not necessarily illegal. For example, I believe gambling to be morally wrong. That doesn't mean I can stop you from buying a Powerball ticket, or going to the racetrack. What that means is that I MYSELF do not do those things. They are legal activities, and anyone who wishes to indulge in them is free to do so.

lady_black said...

It doesn't matter what "people think" the law should be. We are a nation governed by a Constitution. We have freedoms to do things others don't agree with. You're a very paternalistic person aren't you? Believing that you must live according to what others approve of. Or to be more precise, others must live according to what you approve of. That's not freedom. I'm an adult and I don't need the approval of parental figures, i.e. *you.* Judges are supposed to be considering the law and not their own beliefs, and most of them do a splendid job of doing so. One who rules in opposition to what the law and the Constitution say are failing in their duty.

Coyote said...

"No the laws that are constitutional cannot be based upon subjective morality. The laws are based upon our Constitution."

Really? Somehow I have my doubts about this. For instance, a law banning infanticide is Constitutional, but it is also based upon someone's morality.

"In other words, all things that are legal are not necessarily moral, and all things that are immoral are not necessarily illegal."

Yes, and I would actually like to take this a step further by saying that just because something is illegal does not mean that it is morally unjustifiable, and vice versa. For instance, I consider smoking marijuana to be morally justifiable (meaning that I would support changing the law in order to make it legal), but smoking marijuana is still illegal right now in many areas.

"For example, I believe gambling to be morally wrong. That doesn't mean I can stop you from buying a Powerball ticket, or going to the racetrack. What that means is that I MYSELF do not do those things. They are legal activities, and anyone who wishes to indulge in them is free to do so."

You seem to be confusing two concepts, though. One is something being moral/immoral, while the other something being morally justifiable/morally unjustifiable.

To elaborate on this distinction:

Something which is immoral is something which one does not want to do himself/herself but which one supports being legal. For instance, I myself think that adultery is morally wrong, but I still think that it should remain legal.

Something which is morally unjustifiable is something which one does not want to do himself/herself and which one supports preventing others from doing (by supporting laws against it). For instance, I obviously consider rape to be morally unjustifiable, meaning that I would not do this myself and that I support having rape be illegal in order to prevent other people from committing this act.

lady_black said...

No. That is based upon the constitutional rights of the infant.

lady_black said...

Ok, I read your blog entry. That is one person's religious opinion, which may be "truth" according to the tenets of his particular religion, which is Catholic faith. Religious beliefs are irrelevant as a persuasive argument. That's why they call it "faith" instead of "fact." This person is making claims based upon his religious beliefs that are absolutely not true, other than in his religious tradition. I can't take such arguments seriously, and they certainly cannot be codified into law.

Coyote said...

"It doesn't matter what "people think" the law should be."

On the contrary, the people are the ones who vote to determine which politicians get into office. Politicians, in turn, determine which judges (which interpret the U.S. Constitution) get into office, and electing different politicians could result in different judges getting appointed and confirmed.

"We are a nation governed by a Constitution."

Yeah, obviously, though once again, it is worth noting that even the U.S. Constitution can be changed/amended.

"We have freedoms to do things others don't agree with."

Yep, we do.

"You're a very paternalistic person aren't you? Believing that you must live according to what others approve of. Or to be more precise, others must live according to what you approve of. That's not freedom. I'm an adult and I don't need the approval of parental figures, i.e. *you.*"

I do not consider myself to be any more paternalistic than other people. After all, I, just like other people, support making laws based on what I consider to be morally justifiable and morally unjustifiable.

"Judges are supposed to be considering the law and not their own beliefs, and most of them do a splendid job of doing so. One who rules in opposition to what the law and the Constitution say are failing in their duty."

In your opinion. Of course, it is worth pointing out that some parts of the U.S. Constitution might be open to interpretation, which in turn might mean that there is *no* one correct way to interpret these parts of the U.S. Constitution.

Coyote said...

"No. That is based upon the constitutional rights of the infant."

Source, please?

lady_black said...

The various references to due process in the US Constitution. Unless you're going to seriously argue that infanticide doesn't deprive the infant of it's rights to due process, both substantive and procedural. I don't think you want to go there. When you (just for a few examples) murder, steal, tell malicious lies, assault or falsely imprison someone you are depriving them of their constitutional rights. They are not "merely immoral." This is not a complete list of deprivation of rights, either. This is just to point out that laws that you may argue are based on morality are not just based on morality, but upon the violation of another's rights. Notice I didn't say "kill" but "murder." Some people believe killing is always immoral. That doesn't mean it's illegal. "Killing" is sometimes legal. "Murder" is a crime, thus always illegal.

Douglas Noble said...

It's just the personhood argument is an appeal to legalism and speaks nothing to the merit of if elective abortion SHOULD be legal. Even endangered species aren't persons, legally or biologically, but doing any harm to them, much less killing them, would be met with severe punishment.

Douglas Noble said...

By mentioning having cared for brain dead patients, it seems you bring relevant experience to this discussion and I'd grant you'd know what you're talking about. I just don't get why the term "brain dead" would be coined if it weren't implicit that the death were isolated to the organ. After all, most living organisms don't have brains.

In any case, I was trying to grasp frankbellamy concept of varying degrees of the moral value of human life. Summarily accepting that brain dead is not an example for best illustrating this, I'll point to a man in a persistent vegetative state type of coma. And I'd understand what he'd mean by this would be an example of human life that holds little moral value. And in these cases a decision may be made whether to remove life support. If the next of kin wants to keep the patient alive, it's their dime; if the other, a decision is made to remove him from life support to allow for him to die.

And that is what his concept of moral value of human life is, I get that.

But I myself have been in a position where I had to make medical decisions on behalf of my wife who went unconscious from Guillain Barre Syndrome and her peripheral nervous system shut off and she had to be tube fed and put on a ventilator. Now with GBS, the nerves will regenerate in time and she'd return to relatively normal. But I couldn't imagine that I would be granted a decision to have her removed from a ventilator while in a vulnerable state. A next of kin's right to make medical decisions on behalf of a patient would not honor a 'kick them when they're down' move like this (or if I'm mistaken, then the system needs to be fixed).

And this is the same key difference in the abortion discussion: a man who has stayed in a coma for more than a year are unlikely to ever recover, while embryo/fetus is transitional. If you asked me what is the point of keeping a man hooked up to life support to spend the rest of his life laying in a bed comatose, I'd say there probably is no point. But if asked what is the point of continuing life for a healthy embryo/fetus, I'd say the possibilities are endless.

purrtriarchy said...

Life in prison? Death penalty? Should the punishment for abortion be the same?

Douglas Noble said...

That is resembling the legal concept of "natural persons" and is just an appeal to legalism and speaks nothing to the merit of if elective abortion SHOULD be legal.

But to summarily accept the categorical claim for the sake of advancing the discussion, isn't the right to life known as a 'human' right?

purrtriarchy said...

Your wife was already a sentient sapient being who was temporarily not using her capacities.

A zygote is mere potential, and potentiality is not actuality. You will die a natural death someday, but that does not mean we can bury you now, simply because you have the potential to be dead. A zygote is no more a sentient being than you are a walking corpse.

purrtriarchy said...

Its a person right. Since only persons are sentient/sapient. Once the cortex is dead, or if it never develops, the 'patient' is unplugged from life support, even if the primitive lower brain is capable of keeping the body going. Prenates are mindless, just like the beating heart cadaver - lower brain, but no higher brain function.

Douglas Noble said...

If someone forced another person into labor and servitude for life by means of physical abuse today, I would advocate harsh sentences from decades to life. During the post Civil War Reconstruction, slave owners weren't punished for generations of the institution of American slavery. Even that "ex post de facto" would apply, this is just what a sick, repressed society accepted as perfectly fine, and it was many, many, many years after the Civil War that prior slave states finally started to act right.

This is just an awkward reality that I was born into. I'm not seeking getting revenge or bringing justice for aborted fetuses so much as I just want to make a difference. We have to first show what right is supposed to look like.

Plum Dumpling said...

What should the penalty for illegal abortion be?

lady_black said...

For natural persons, yes. But the right to life isn't absolute and you know it. There is no "right" to occupy, use, take, or conscript in any form, any part of a human being to further the life of another human being. You live in a nation of laws and whine about "legalism." You are free to go somewhere else. No practice this personal, intimate and private has ever been stopped or controlled by making it illegal. The government does not, and should not regulate such matters as the sexual conduct, and family planning of it's members. It simply doesn't work that way, and never has. There are many modern-day examples of what happens when you try, and history is full of them. You need only go back as far as Romania under the care of a certain pro-natalist dictator. That's the natural result of your dystopian panacea. I know it hurts your feelings to accept that the bodies of women aren't a national resource. But accept it you must. Any other course is a sure path to destruction.

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