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Monday, November 10, 2014

Living in the Present as a Pro-Lifer

[Today's guest post is by Nick Reynosa.]

While giving a lecture, the renowned historian David McCullough made an interesting observation: “history is not about the past.” He went on to elaborate:
If you think about it, no one ever lived in the past. Washington, Jefferson, John Adams, and their contemporaries didn't walk about saying, "Isn't this fascinating living in the past! Aren't we picturesque in our funny clothes?" They lived in the present. The difference is it was their present, not ours. They were caught up in the living moment exactly as we are, and with no more certainty of how things would turn out than we have. 
Living in the present as a pro-lifer, it is easy for us for us to get caught of the concerns of now: changing public opinion, passing incremental legislation, and more immediate concerns like losing the respect of a friend who recently found out you're pro-life, or being slandered as a sexist or a fascist while tabling for a pro-life organization at your university.

But what if, as a pro-lifer, you had the ability to see into the future: a world without state-sanctioned abortion? Would you be less inclined to walk on eggshells, and more willing to condemn abortion as the act of violence that it is?

Living in the present as a pro-lifer, of course our bold comments will invite controversy. But take the broader view; issues once considered "controversial" include the "right" of slaveholders to buy and sell human beings, women's right to vote, race-segregated water fountains, and LGBT rights. The first three are now utterly uncontroversial, and the fourth is gaining momentum. But of course, activists on each of these issues were wildly controversial in their presents.

History has clear winners and losers. History does not judge the statements “I have a dream” and “segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever” as equally valid statements for consideration. Nor does it grant unto them unto them the same amount of respect.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, how will abortion be viewed 100 years from now? How will be these two sides be judged? If pro-choicers win, they will be seen as a champion of women’s rights; but if they lose, they will be seen as shockingly inhumane. If pro-lifers win we will be seen as courageously speaking out; if we lose, we will be seen as a reactionary cranks who were ignorant about the needs of women.

We are pro-life because we recognize the horror of abortion. If we are victorious, history will validate our reasoning. But in the present there remains a great deal of uncertainty of our outcome. In the face of this uncertainty, under pressure to take sides and make decisions that have major social ramifications, it easy to see how the temptation arises to find some middle position, to sidestep any controversy, and to be moderate when faced with extremism.

But let us take comfort in the fact that we are not the first people to be faced with these tough choices. Every social movement was lived in the present; activists across the centuries have shared the same uncertainties, faced the same decisions, and dealt with the significant costs (in many cases, far more extreme costs than those we face).

Above: The Liberator masthead, foregoing
subtlety, depicted a slave market
Famous abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison founded The Liberator in 1831; more than three years later, the paper had just 500 regular white readers in a country of more than 10,800,000 white Americans. Did his future seem uncertain? Yes. Did he lose friends and make enemies? Absolutely. Was he called names? Of course. As Garrison put it, looking back in 1865:
The original disturber of the peace, nothing was left undone at the beginning, and up to the hour of the late rebellion, by Southern slaveholding villany on the one hand, and Northern pro-slavery malice on the other, to represent it as too vile a sheet to be countenanced ... Never had a journal to look such opposition in the face—never was one so constantly belied and caricatured. If it had advocated all the crimes forbidden by the moral law of God and the statutes of the State, instead of vindicating the sacred claims of oppressed and bleeding humanity, it could not have been more vehemently denounced or more indignantly repudiated.
But as he lived in the present, he kept an eye on the future. Early on he had proclaimed:
[U]rge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest—I will not equivocate—I will not excuse—I will not retreat a single inch—and I will be heard. ...  
It is pretended that I am retarding the cause of emancipation by the coarseness of my invective and the precipitancy of my measures. The charge is not true. On this question my influence ... shall be felt in coming years—not perniciously, but beneficially—not as a curse, but as a blessing. And posterity will bear testimony that I was right.
There is always a cost to speaking boldly. But let us be inspired by the movements that came before us. It will not be easy, but it is worth it in the end. The pro-life movement exists to save future generations, and it is they who shall judge us.

119 comments:

secularprolife.org said...

There is nothing courageous about subjugating women to their biology, and to top it all off, of accusing them of being "violent" killers should they seek to protect their bodily integrity.

secularprolife.org said...

There is nothing courageous about killing unborn human organisms, and to top it all off, accusing them of "hijacking" a woman's uterus for simply doing what they were biologically intended by nature to do.

secularprolife.org said...

I suspect, or hope, that the way the abortion debate will end is (1) technology will advance to the point that birth control is really reliable and can really prevent unintended pregnancy, and (2) society will advance to the point where all people have the best possible birth control implanted routinely sometime in early puberty. (It will end even more finally if in-vitro gestation becomes available and is widely used.)

I don't know what the attitude towards induced abortion in the will be then. Possibly, to people who don't have to confront the fact that banning abortion means forcing pregnant people to let their fetus chemically assault them, it will seem barbaric. But I live in the present, when we don't have the technology to make the alternative to abortion safe and pretty, so I have to do what is best now, not what will be best a century or two in the future.

secularprolife.org said...

There is nothing courageous about allowing an unwanted ZEF to destroy ones life simply because one is a woman and it is their biology.

It is so disgusting that women are subjected to this kind of thinking from anti-choicers simply because they have the ability to get pregnant.

secularprolife.org said...

Chalkdust has a point in that the end of abortion will probably be accomplished by technological and broad societal changes that don't have to do with abortion specifically (to those I would add the streamlining of the adoption system to make it both easy and stigma-free--remember for a moment the obvious but oft-overlooked fact that people who abort do so to avoid parenting, not pregnancy).

People are always comparing abortion to slavery, but I think a more apt comparison is infanticide, which at one point was the only reliable method of family planning, and still is in some places. The history of its abolition would be good for pro-lifers to learn from--both the claims that banning infanticide was just a way to control women's sex lives and the anti-infanticide laws that clearly were just trying to control women's sex lives (I'm as pro-infant as anyone, but if you only prohibit killing "bastard" children, there's something wrong with your reasoning).

And so I do think that people in the future will look back and say "how could people have done that", and perhaps "wtf, if your societal idea of sex includes potential nonconsent against children, you need to stop having sex forever until you fix that". But its hard to say whether their harsh judgement will be because of a less adultist worldview or because they don't know what it's like to be living right now. I'm reminded of Rachel Held Evans's piece where she tries to answer, or at least ask, the question of "No, really, how could slaveowners and people who defended slavery have done that? How could so many people doing something so terrible genuinely believe they were the good guys?"

secularprolife.org said...

So how will the future generations see pro-life advocates of the present? I think they will be utterly confused by the weird stances most of them held. Its obvious that you feel that LGBT rights are something worth defending. Yet American pro-life politicians have a nearly perfect voting record of going against LGBT rights, as I've tabulated in the blog post 3 posts prior called "Bookmark this video". And they also have a near unanimous disdain for church state separation and are adamant climate change deniers, also tabulated in "Bookmark this video".

So how will the future generations see pro-life advocates now? They'll most likely thank you for trashing the earth, cowards for hiding behind religion in the name of stripping away LGBT rights and also being ignorants who believed religious freedom only applies to Christians.

secularprolife.org said...

"potential nonconsent against children"


I didn't quite understand this. Could you say it another way?


"the end of abortion will probably be accomplished by technological and broad societal changes that don't have to do with abortion specifically"
Overall, that would be a big improvement on what we have now. But if the abortion debate simply lost much of its relevance, pro-life principles might never be established. As Scott Klusendorf said:


"It is entirely possible . . . that you could have a reduction in abortion and still have a very immoral society that thought the unborn were nothing more than personal property. That would not be a moral improvement in our nation."

secularprolife.org said...

But what if, as a pro-lifer, you had the ability to see into the future: a world without state-sanctioned abortion? Would you be less inclined to walk on eggshells, and more willing to condemn abortion as the act of violence that it is?

I suppose. If, as a Prolifer, you supported Savita Halappanavar being left to die - along with most of the other women whose wanted pregnancies end in late, prolonged miscarriage: if, as a prolifer, you think women who have ectopic or molar pregnancies should be dead within weeks: if, as a prolifer, you think women who contract pre-eclampsia should die of it: if, as a prolifer, you think girls and women who become pregnant with a foetus of cephalopelvic disproportion should die of prolonged/obstructed labour (and of course, you prefer the survivors to suffer fistulas, too).

Then you'd also have to love the Kermit Gosnells whose profiteering clinics would flourish in your prolife world. You'd be willing to condemn women who needed abortions to have to deal with profiteering criminals, because of your ideology. You'd have to enjoy their deaths in unsafe abortions, smugly preaching that hey, they didn't have to have an abortion, they could have endured a forced pregnancy and an unwanted birth.

And of course, you'd have to relish the increase in infanticide and infant mortality: unwanted babies abandoned by girls and women who were forced to give birth to them have seldom lived as long as wanted children. In countries where prolife ideology is successfully enforced, large numbers of the unwanted children forced to be born die young.

But hey, if you're a prolifer, why would you care about the fear,pain, death and misery in the future you look forward to? Just as the descendents of slaveowners look back on plantation life with wistful nostalgia, so too do prolifers look forward to a future where they can abuse and use girls and women without needing to worry about pesky human rights activists saying No. Stop.

Harriet Tubman said ""Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world."

Someday, the prolife ideology will be utterly rejected: someday, nowhere in the world will there be anyone who advocates for the enslavement and use of women, for the denial of access to safe, legal abortion. Harriet Tubman never gave up: nor will we.

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Prolifery is unjust: history is bending away from it.

secularprolife.org said...

In-vitro gestation is (at present) a scientific impossibility. It might come to exist, but there's no route to it from current scientific/medical understanding of pregnancy. It's rather like wishing for faster-than-light travel.


That said, you're right that many abortions could be prevented if everyone had free access to safe, effective contraception from puberty onwards, and was encouraged to use it unless they actually intended to engender a child. This may yet happen, though the prolife movement (being uninterested at best in preventing abortions) is one of the political factors against it.


Of course, access to safe, legal abortion on demand would still be an essential part of healthcare, as (though prolifers are in utter denial about this) pregnancy is a massively risky activity, which any girl or woman may choose to undertake - but must be able to terminate at any point if her health requires her to do so. Only she can decide how much risk she's willing to endure.

secularprolife.org said...

"No, really, how could slaveowners and people who defended slavery have done that? How could so many people doing something so terrible genuinely believe they were the good guys?"


Because, just as prolifers tell themselves that girls and women really want to be forced through pregnancy against their will, slaveowners and pro-slavers told themselves that African-Americans really wanted to be forced to labour against their will.

secularprolife.org said...

I think from the perspective of a century, it will be clearer that the modern prolife movement (1979-present) fell into three distinct groups:


The fanatics, who genuinely believed that all pregnant girls and women should be forced, and who were willing to take action to that effect:


The politicians, who simply saw "being prolife" as a vote-winning strategy:

And the majority of prolifers, who feel "abortion is bad" and who have either not the information or the awareness to realise that thinking "abortion is bad" or "some people have abortions for bad reasons" isn't actually a valid reason to prevent people from having free, safe, legal access to abortion, given the awful personal, social, and health consequences of denying this access.



The majority of prolife women, I suspect, grow out of being prolife in a natural way when they realise that they, their friends, or their daughters do in fact need access to safe legal abortion, and are in fact perfectly capable of making a good judgement about how many children to have, and when.


The majority of prolife men perhaps never do because they never need to - they are able to make the distinction that this individual woman I care for should be able to have the abortion she needs, but never need to expand that recognition outwards to all women who need abortions.


I don't believe that the majority of politicians who claim to be prolife are motivated by more than desire for funding /. desire for votes. The danger is that they help to keep the prolife movement alive by their need for the money and the votes the prolife movement can provide.


The fanatics - ranging from the terrorists and murderers to the keyboard warriors - well, I don't know how a person gets to be a fanatic, so I don't know how a person gets better from being a fanatic, or if they ever do.

secularprolife.org said...

I understand that prolife politicians may not be so passionate about it (or they actually may be) and think of it as a vote winning strategy, but if it is just a vote winning strategy, they also believe that the same sorts of people who find being pro-life attractive also find being anti-LGBT and being science cherry-pickers attractive. This does not paint a picture of the average pro-life electorate as particularly enlightened or really concerned about human rights. The future generations probably will then see the average modern pro-lifer as profoundly confused and whose pro-life didn't stemmed more from religious fundamentalism than actually caring about human rights or the well-being of humans.

secularprolife.org said...

VERY well said. You have expressed my views on the subject very eloquently. I am not living the life of the woman considering abortion, so it's not my place to judge her reasons. I have never been a pregnant teen in high school, a rape victim, someone who fell pregnant when they feared losing a job for taking time off, or pregnant by an abusive man I was plotting to get away from at the earliest opportunity. No one has ever tampered with my contraception. I have never been pregnant with a fetus so profoundly damaged as to be incapable of living (but perhaps capable of suffering). And I have never had to contemplate the fate of a Downs baby after my time on earth was up. I know I repeat myself, but I've been very lucky. My good luck doesn't negate the needs of someone else who hasn't been so lucky. Abortion must remain legal, because *life happens while you're busy making other plans.*

secularprolife.org said...

So much garbage, so little time.

secularprolife.org said...

You're using a fallacy. Guess which one.

secularprolife.org said...

Many of us are pro-choice because of the horror of illegal abortions before Roe. Speaking of studying history, watch this documentary "When Abortion Was Illegal" at https://archive.org/details/when_abortion_was_illegal.

secularprolife.org said...

Wow! well said.

secularprolife.org said...

Great analysis on the types of antis.

secularprolife.org said...

There is nothing courageous about allowing an unwanted ZEF to destroy one's life simply because one is a man and to produce sperm and engage in sexual intercourse is in his biology. So much for your kind claiming you want equal rights.

secularprolife.org said...

You mean you are pro-abortion.

secularprolife.org said...

Nick, eventually the pro-abortion crowd will be defeated as society recognizes abortion as the barbarian act it is. It will go the way of slavery, discrimination based on 'race', and infanticide.

secularprolife.org said...

Abolish safe legal abortion and you will of course massively increase infanticide.

secularprolife.org said...

There is nothing courageous about killing born rapist organisms, and to top it all off, accusing them of 'hijacking' a woman's vagina for simply doing what it was biologically intended by nature to do.


FTFY

secularprolife.org said...

Yet another threat of violence from a pro-abortion sympathizer.

secularprolife.org said...

That film is pro-abortion propaganda.

secularprolife.org said...

>> So much for your kind claiming you want equal rights.


BTW, what do you mean by "kind" here?

secularprolife.org said...

I am pro choice.

secularprolife.org said...

No, it's a documentry about life before Roe.

secularprolife.org said...

Hello anordinaryguy1:



How come almost ALL of the pro-life politicians in the US are for discrimination based on sexual orientation? I have tallied the results, in the comments section 2 posts back. If the pro-life movement is so forward looking and cares about human rights, why do they support discrimination based on an immutable characteristics of a person?

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr's wife Coretta Scott King also strongly believed LGBT rights were civil rights, and has stated her husband would've supported them.

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

How come there is even a discussion about rape exceptions to abortion? Barbarous rape and the resultant child is preferable to abortion for many pro-life activists and politicians.

Also, infanticide DOES drop when legal and safe abortion is available. Please look it up. Also, in the US and Japan, for example, even though abortion is safe and legal, abortion rates have been dropping nonetheless. Women do not have abortions just because they can.



Also, pro-choice is NOT pro-abortion. Many of us would love to live in a world where abortion is rare. Making such a world a reality requires amendment of many social ills. If the world were perfect, the argument against abortion would be stronger, but we simply don't live in such a world yet.

I am pro-choice for silicone breast implants. I hate the look myself and would never want to be with a woman who has them, but I fully support any woman's right to have it done to herself.

secularprolife.org said...

How is that a threat?

secularprolife.org said...

Exactly.

secularprolife.org said...

By "potential nonconsent" I mean, sex with the idea of "if I conceive a child, I might abort them" in mind. Sex where the idea of conceiving a child without their consent and then harming them as justified by the fact that they were conceived is not totally off the table.

From my perspective, getting people to stop treating the unborn like personal property will be a long, long road. In most ways, born children of any age are still basically treated like the property of their parents. But we've mostly stopped killing them, which I think is an improvement.

secularprolife.org said...

Pro-abortion propaganda.

secularprolife.org said...

You're pro-abortion.

secularprolife.org said...

Cis-gendered female supremacist of black, Hispanic, and Asian heritage.

secularprolife.org said...

Oh, OK.



I hope that was tongue and cheek. I don't know you, so I just wanted to see what you've said in the past on Disqus.



>> What incredible nonsense! Women already participate equally in the world; their problem is just that they are nnot satisfied. They are never satisfied. Greedy females always want more, more, more!


>> No human on this planet gets to have everything he or she wants. That you still believe such folly makes me think you got your positions more because of affirmative action than any abilities you might have demonstrated. -->Stop your pathetic bitching, [woman in a high ranking governmental position]<--


Glad to see that you're such a fan of women's equality.

Man-to-man, you know that many elite US universities took until the 1970s to allow women to matriculate, right?

http://www.collegexpress.com/lists/list/years-that-mens-colleges-became-co-ed/366/

My mom left Japan in the late 70s because even then, women postdocs were unpaid to do research which men were. She was told that she would have no future as a scientist because there are no positions for women. She came to the US to advance her career, and she succeeded, but even in the US, women getting paid to do science in the 70s was a new thing. Have you heard of Emmy Noether, Rosalind Franklin, Lisa Meitner, Ada Lovelace? The first 3 should have been awarded the Nobel Prize for their work, but due to sexism in the era, their vital contributions were ignored by their male colleagues, and they have not shared in the Nobel Prizes. Emmy Noether published under a pseudonym. Ada Lovelace was the world's first designer of an algorithm, on Babbage's difference engine. She also is a figure who should have been recognized.

Do you think women in the 1970s were treated fairly, or they enjoyed complete equality? How long do you think it takes for a class or "kind" of people start performing to their full potential and society begins to accept their equal capabilities?


As a bonus, since you mentioned "cis-gendered", I am assuming you don't think too highly of LGBT folks either. Have you heard of Alan Turing? You can thank this gay man for deciphering the German enigma codes - allowing us to know what the Nazis were gonna due before they did it, and greatly contributing to the defeat of the Germans, and also giving us computer science. The British thanked his services by giving him a chemical castration. The British government has postumously honored him and apologized to him for playing a part in his suicide.

secularprolife.org said...

By and large, women in the USA today are pampered and privileged. If you want to pretend they are not, that's your option.

secularprolife.org said...

I think this site has a misleading title. It's not so much a place for secular pro-life perspectives as a haven for abortion enthusiasts to post more of their endless carping about the so-called "right" to kill unborn humans.

secularprolife.org said...

Perhaps they should auto-ban pro choicers and just have a pro life echo chamber? Would that make you happy?

secularprolife.org said...

So you think they went from being shut out of universities and denied recognition for ground breaking work as recently as the 1970s to being privileged today? How do you think they are spoiled? Can you give me an example?

secularprolife.org said...

I think you hit the nail on the head. Society sees children, preborn and postborn, as personal property not as unique and unrepeatable persons.
Property is easy to dispose of.
In fact the slavery comparison is quite appropriate.

secularprolife.org said...

What about girls and women forced through abortion?

secularprolife.org said...

Indeed: forced abortion is as evil as forced pregnancy, and derives from the same root: the belief that the bodies of women exist to be used at the whim the others.

The campaign 50 Million Missing, against gendercide in India, opposes: sex-selective abortion, commercial surrogacy, infanticide, homicide by neglect (girl children in India die hugely disproportionately to boys - their parents deny them food and medical care): dowry murder and death by pregnancy (many girls are married off at an age too young to endure pregnancy safely, and of course have no access to abortion except at the will of their husband's family) and honour killing.

The international prolife movement, funded from the US, opposes only the first item on that list - and only because they can use it in their own campaign to treat girls and women in the US with the same contempt and indifference to their welfare as is shown in the gendercide of India.

secularprolife.org said...

Historical fact. Prolifers are the ones who routinely threaten violence: see OP, which threatens a future in which girls and women must die pregnant if they need an abortion to save their lives.

secularprolife.org said...

I've never seen any comments such as you describe, snd certainly no top-level posts.

secularprolife.org said...

Most prolife discussion chambers do ban prochoice commenters as soon as their view is made known. I expect SPL will eventually ban all of us: prolife advocacy cannot bear too much reality.

secularprolife.org said...

It's rather like wishing for faster-than-light travel.

What, in-vitro gestation would allow us to travel in time? :-)

More seriously, all I'm saying is that it's really easy to ignore the suffering and risks that pregnant people endure when abortion is banned, and that if, as the original article suggests, people in the distant future looked back on their past and were horrified that we permitted induced abortion, or permitted "elective" induced abortion...all that would mean is that their obstetric technology was better than ours and that they weren't confronting the reality of what banning abortion means in the 21st century. It would not, as the author suggests, mean that current pro-lifers are right and current pro-choicers are wrong.

secularprolife.org said...

In the Lois McMaster Bujold books - I don't know if you've read them, but I recommend them, the presumption on many technically-advanced planets is that a girl has her first contraceptive implant put in when she has her hymen removed, at menarche. Thereafter, if she decides to engender a child, she has eggs harvested (apparently there's a painless/simple process for this too), have the eggs mixed with the sperm, have the embryos scanned and a perfect one chosen (or faulty genes fixed in embryo) and then implanted in an in-vitro gestation chamber. 10 months later, the parent(s) open the chamber and deliver the baby. There isn't any particular need for abortion in this vision of the future - short of a power cut or sabotage or a previously-unknown genetic disease, nothing can go wrong.

But as Bujold acknowledges, not every world has access to in-vitro technology or gene-scanning/fixing medical technology - nor every person on worlds where the technology exists. And in the future where girls grow up expecting to have such absolute control over their reproduction as is expressed by Bujold, access to safe legal abortion if needed would be regarded as a right: the thought of being forced through pregnancy and childbirth against your will to bear a child you had not chosen, would be a nightmare scenario of barbarism.

(Granted, Bujold envisages a scenario where rape victims can have the fetuses conceived by raoe removed, implanted in-vitro, and the containers handed to the military commander of the rapists: but while this works out OK for the only child we see grow up, I have often thought of how many things could have gone appallingly wrong for the children of that scenario.)

all I'm saying is that it's really easy to ignore the suffering and risks that pregnant people endure when abortion is banned,


For prolifers, obviously it is., yes.

secularprolife.org said...

Honestly, I can't say how they will see pro-lifers. Hopefully favorably, but only time will tell. I am a member of the minority that you speak of. I am pro-life, but I am also VERY pro marriage equality, and I also support welfare (I think ALL children should have free healthcare) even though there is a risk of it being abused. I pretty much support what I feel is right and just, regardless of politics. There is no one party that aligns with my personal beliefs.

secularprolife.org said...

Are you attempting to quote Beautiful Boy by John Lennon (Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans) at the end there? Because if you are, I'm pretty sure abortion wasn't what he was talking about. Just wondering...

secularprolife.org said...

Purple Slurpy, from what I've read in your previous comments, you are not as "hardcore" as some of the other pro-choicers that post here, but I have wondered for some time about your stance on abortion. You have indicated that you hope for abortion to be rare. Why do you feel this way? I have exceptions to my pro-life stance- I believe that abortion should be permitted to save the life of the mother, and for cases where the fetus was conceived in rape (although, I must admit, I struggle with justifying that one), but I see those as special cases that need special consideration. If you are pro-choice, even for elective abortions, why would you want them to be rare? Unless someone comes up with a way to prevent unintended pregnancy, or a way to prevent all pregnancies from being unwanted, there will always be such cases. If abortion is such a great, extremely safe, equalizing procedure, why would you care in the slightest how many abortions were performed?

secularprolife.org said...

I actually welcome the pro-choicers here. I love exchanging thoughts with like-minded people, but it would be pointless to only talk with people who agree with you all the time.

secularprolife.org said...

Hi K

Who the hell would want more abortions? Even when legal, in most countries, abortion rates go down when societal conditions improve. I fully recognize abortion kills something, and its probably better NOT to kill when it can be avoided.

However, as a social policy issue, making it illegal would create a host of other problems which I think are less palatable than abortion. Abortion for example has led to a decrease in infanticide.

Also, some social scientists have determined correlational links between abortion and crime rates. While causality is difficult to prove, it stands to reason that unwanted children born to poor families have a higher risk of dabbling in crime. So it could be that abortion as population control does positively affect society.

Also on the other side, a society that is working well tends to have less abortion because it becomes a less attractive option to women. If social services and wages are higher, women simply won't be compelled to have an abortion. I prefer to live in such a society.

I think abortion should be rare because it IS killing, and also I in general want to live in a society that is functioning well for its citizens. Such societies also have less abortions as a by-product.

So I fully recognize that abortion is not completely victimless. But compared with overall effects on the society, I would have no qualms about prioritizing the life of the fetus - an organism which lives in complete sensory void with no hopes, fears or will of its own yet - less than other factors which come into play.

secularprolife.org said...

That's a saying much older than John Lennon. And I don't CARE if it doesn't apply to abortion. It's not supposed to. Here's another old saying: Shit happens. It means pretty much the same thing. Everything doesn't always go according to your plans. When that happens, you have to do what you think is best under your circumstances. There aren't any "one size fits all" answers.

secularprolife.org said...

I applaud you on being able to think about each issue on its own merits. I know some (probably very few out in the wild) are not bigots or religious extremists. While I am firmly pro-choice, I will get behind policies that promote social justice, and as a side benefit, I think will lead to an even lower abortion rate.

secularprolife.org said...

I agree with all of this.

I would add that abortion - and its main cause, unwanted pregnancy - tends to become rarer as societal conditions improve, because as girls and women become better-educated and better-off, they also become better able to access contraception and to mandate contraception availability for those less well-off.

Interestingly, in the UK, it was possible for many years to show that teenage pregnancy and STDs rates would drop sharply in any area within walking distance of a Brook Advisory Centre - a charity which provides sex and relationships counselling and free access to contraception to teenagers.

secularprolife.org said...

So, I take it that you are opposed to cancer treatment for women with the breast cancer gene, since their dying young is what they were 'biologically intended to do'?

secularprolife.org said...

Hell, myintx would kill a man who raped her, without intending to, because an evil scientist put a computer chip in his brain, for violating the sanctity of her precious genitals!

secularprolife.org said...

In 2014, four decades after the Supreme Court upheld a woman's right to choose, pregnant women once again find themselves crossing the border to Mexico and haunting back-alleys in search of medical care. - Laura Bassett

I had an epiphany the other day. Roe v. Wade was an attempt to regulate abortion because the abortion situation was entirely out of control in 1970.

Women were dying in ugly and public ways from illegal abortion. Lots of women.

Clergy were directing women to safe though still illegal abortion and advertising the abortion referral service in the New York Times. Rest in peace, Reverend Moody.

NOW was giving parlor teach-ins conducted by nurses to instruct women in the art of 'menstrual extraction' and how to make the device to extract with.

The JANE women's collective was doing safe cheap abortions by the thousands.

A wealthy well known woman with a thalidomide-deformed fetus inside her defied the law and had an abortion abroad. The Media made the rebel abortioneer even more well known and thereby made the plight of poor women who could not travel abroad and needed an abortion more poignant.

Nobody was waiting for the government to approve abortion. And there was absolutely no control at all. Everybody was doing illegal abortions - the Mafia, your local Nurse moonlighting, doctors with a conscience, etc. It was a Vonnegut style circus.

All by themselves, screaming they are moral, the forced birth cultists have deregulated abortion in America. The back alley abortion is back. There will be no regulations for safety or time limits on when a woman can abort. Gosnell City is here. And the 'pro lifers' built it.

I would be laughing my ass off except I remember what it was like the last time abortion was illegal. My teen Sister self aborted with quinine. Even my Catholic Mother got an illegal abortion. We could have lost her. I know someone who lost her Mother at age 9 to unregulated illegal abortion.

How many women will get maimed or die this time around the block? How many women will go to jail and leave their children to foster care? How many peaches will you get if you harm the tree? If you think I exaggerate, familiarize yourself with recent events in my backward state of Pennsylvania:
http://all-len-all.com/pa-mom-sentenced-to-prison-for-obtaining-abortion-pill-for-daughter-who-lacked-insurance/
http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2010/06/08/roundup-yearolds-abortion-need-abortion-access/

NOTE: I find it gratifying that the Guttmacher Institute agrees with me. Who knew?

The United States legalized abortion nationwide in 1973, in part because of the clear evidence that restrictive laws were not ending abortion but were exacting a significant public health toll, notably on lower-income women who could not travel or pay for safe services. Almost immediately afterward, pregnancy-related deaths and hospitalizations due to complications of unsafe abortion effectively ended." - From Facts and Consequences: Legality, Incidence and Safety of Abortion Worldwide, Guttmacher

secularprolife.org said...

Anthropologically speaking, Homo sapiens has three strategies for dealing with unwanted reproduction (births): contraception, abortion and infanticide. All three are practiced in every culture orldwide historically and currently.

Those who restrict contraception and abortion make infanticide, child abandonment/abuse and maternal mortality inevitable. We have many in vitro examples of this but the one that troubles me the most at the moment is this example:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new...

There is nothing moral about your position if your position is controlling women's reproductive choices by law or by shaming/blaming. Illegal abortion and sepsis and hemorrhage in childbirth are
the three leading causes of maternal death worldwide. Women have blood in the game. YOU do not. Abortion and contraception are human rights. You not occupy the moral high ground. Your are pro death.

secularprolife.org said...

Yeah, exactly. That's the way I see, too.

secularprolife.org said...

I agree. That's why I come here. I don't want to hear only from the pro-choice. I enjoy trying to figure out what makes people tick. It's a hobby of mine, and boy, has it been an education being here.

secularprolife.org said...

This is one of the most pleasant forums I've found. People are generally civil to one another even while disagreeing vehemently.

secularprolife.org said...

You are once again hand-waving away real life consequences as mere "threats of violence from the pro-choice." Here's a fairly recent history lesson for you to ponder: In the 1990s, as laws passed and were upheld concerning parental involvement in abortion decisions for minors, there was a spike in so-called "dumpster babies." Terrified teens gave birth alone, in bathrooms and hotel rooms, and when confronted with newborns they didn't know what to do with, they tossed them out in trash cans, public waste receptacles and dumpsters. This spike resulted not in the repealing of abortion restrictions, but a wave of safe-haven laws, which are certainly a great idea. But this is like trying to cure a headache by cutting off one's head. My opinion is they should have BOTH repealed the parental involvement laws AND enacted safe haven laws. You are not going to get people, and particularly teenagers, to act responsibly by making it more difficult to act responsibly.

secularprolife.org said...

I am pro-life, so naturally I am pro-choice.

secularprolife.org said...

You mean women didn't have abortions before Roe? Wow. No sense of history beyond what you had for lunch yesterday?

secularprolife.org said...

And the people here, with the exception of myintx, tend to genuinely work on their arguments, and not just type bumper sticker slogans.

secularprolife.org said...

How OLD are you, BOY??? I remember in my working lifetime when "help wanted" ads were segregated by "male" and "female." When women were routinely questioned about their family and childcare arrangements during job interviews (and still are, from what I hear). When women, once it was discovered they were pregnant, were restricted from jobs by employers based on ZERO medical reasons whatsoever. And women who were married were unable to own property, obtain credit, or even open bank accounts in their own names. Pampered and privileged, you say? What a shame I've managed to miss out on all this "pampering" you seem to believe goes on.

secularprolife.org said...

True. There is genuine sincerity here on the part of some.

secularprolife.org said...

So where do you stand on -
'I am having sex and using birth control so I will not get pregnant and if I become pregnant I might/probably will abort the pregnancy/conception.'

secularprolife.org said...

No, she isn't opposed to cancer treatments, since cancer and other illnesses are "unnatural". Pregnancy, however, is intended by god and therefore natural and good, so any suffering a woman endures is a necessary sacrifice.

secularprolife.org said...

Cancer is 'unnatural'? Illness is 'unnatural' Excuse me? They most certainly are not.


But since she is opposed to anything 'unnatural' can I assume that given her perennial example of someone trapped in a cabin with a baby, if I were in a cabin with a baby (not my own baby), some bottles, and a milking cow, that myintx would therefore be fine with my letting the baby starve. Because I can guarantee you that bottle feeding is one hell of a lot more 'unnatural' than illness and cancer. Plenty of creatures get cancer and other illness. There are no species other than man that do something as unnatural as refining rubber and glass to turn into bottles and getting milk from completely different species to put into it to feed to their own young.


Can I further assume that if myintx were in said cabin with the baby, and the cow, that rather than bottlefeeding it the cow's milk she would feed it her own blood? Hematophagy is found in several species, including the vampire bat, leeches, and mosquitoes. Or is her blood as sacred as her genitals. Oh dear, what is poor myintx to do?

secularprolife.org said...

So this means what? A new excuse to handwave away the realities of the past, such as the fact that a lack of availability of abortion or birth control ALWAYS led to a high rate of infanticide, rather than angels descending from the skies, the miraculous disappearance of serious birth defects, and a spontaneous outbreak of 'responsibility' and mass celibacy for years at a time on the part of anyone who didn't want children?

secularprolife.org said...

**Let me start by saying that given a perfect world with complete income equality and opportunity, abortion would be much less necessary than in reality it is now.**


Going to have to disagree here. I can envision hypothetical, post-apocalyptic scenarios where things have returned pretty much to stone-age conditions, in which there could be 'complete income equality' or close to it, but the amount of income (in terms of food produced) is so low, that infanticide would probably be very high.

secularprolife.org said...

**Property is easy to dispose of. In fact the slavery comparison is quite appropriate.**


So, you're claiming here that slaves didn't have a functioning brain? Otherwise you're talking shit, I could just as well apply your argument to a petri dish full of bacteria that some scientist is experimenting with.

secularprolife.org said...

Pro lifers handwave away the risks of pregnancy in the first world, because death and disability rates are relatively low (every life is precious, unless you are a pregnant person), however, if you ask them about abortion in the developing world, where death and disability rates are FAR higher, you will find that they oppose abortion in those cases as well. In fact, millions of dollars have been spent making sure that 12 year old African rape victims *cannot* access abortion care.

secularprolife.org said...

Out of curiosity, if you don't mind me asking, are you yourself post-menopausal?

secularprolife.org said...

"If Roe v. Wade is overturned, how will abortion be viewed 100 years from now?"

It is worth noting that, as far as I know, even if Roe v. Wade is eventually overturned, the U.S. Supreme Court can eventually implement another ruling similar to Roe v. Wade which re-legalizes abortion nationwide in the U.S. (in fact, this might be very possible and perhaps even plausible if anti-abortion politicians screw up in dealing with the aftermath of Roe being overturned).

As for history being written by the winners/victors, this appears to be only partially true; after all, despite the fact that Europeans colonized the U.S., treated the Native Americans (very) badly for several centuries, and wrote the initial history in regards to this, nowadays many of the actions of these Europeans are viewed as morally unjustifiable despite the fact that they were the winners/victors (after all, most people in the U.S. today are of European descent).

In regards to fighting to ban abortion, frankly, as someone who is currently politically ambivalent on the abortion issue, I probably wouldn't mind it if individuals continue to do this *on the condition* that these individuals also support promoting contraception, making it available for everyone who wants it, and promoting comprehensive sex ed (abstinence should be taught as an option, but it shouldn't be taught as the *only* option) everywhere (else, these individuals' efforts might very well be counter-productive to their cause). After all, it appears that some anti-abortion people share many/most of the same principles that pro-choice people do, but simply apply them differently (I can elaborate on this part if necessary).

As for the future of abortion law, frankly, I don't know what exactly the future holds in regards to this, especially in the long(er) run; however, I *do* think and hope that, regardless of what exactly the laws in regards to abortion will be at that point in time, abortion will largely be a moot issue in the long(er) run.

secularprolife.org said...

"And of course, you'd have to relish the increase in infanticide and infant mortality: unwanted babies abandoned by girls and women who were forced to give birth to them have seldom lived as long as wanted children. In countries where prolife ideology is successfully enforced, large numbers of the unwanted children forced to be born die young."

I am skeptical that this is a good argument in favor of legalized abortion; after all, if legalizing (painless) elective infanticide hypothetically reduced the number of children who are abused and/or killed later on, would you support legalizing (painless) elective infanticide?

secularprolife.org said...

"Someday, the prolife ideology will be utterly rejected: someday, nowhere in the world will there be anyone who advocates for the enslavement and use of women, for the denial of access to safe, legal abortion. Harriet Tubman never gave up: nor will we."

The *only* way that I can see this happening is if *no one* in the entire world considers embryos and fetuses to be persons/worthy of having rights.

Of course, as I stated above, I think and hope that abortion will be a largely moot issue in the long(er) run regardless of what exactly the laws in regards to abortion will be at that point in time.

secularprolife.org said...

I don't see what possible difference that would make.

secularprolife.org said...

It would be interesting to know for the sake of curiosity.

Also, for the record, considering that I think that you previously stated somewhere that your husband is 60 years old, I am assuming that the answer to this question of mine is Yes.

secularprolife.org said...

It makes no difference. Yes I am thankfully, post-menopausal. At least I assume I am. That happened early for me due to hysterectomy. So I have no point of reference for menopause such as not having periods for at least one year. When you have no uterus, you have no periods, whether you have been through menopause in reality of not.

secularprolife.org said...

Thank you very much for all of this info.

secularprolife.org said...

Well, prolifers do seem to think that human suffering is a good thing and it's better for more girls and women to suffer more. So I suppose you'd favour long slow painful deaths for children, given your endorsement of infanticide.

secularprolife.org said...

"Well, prolifers do seem to think that human suffering is a good thing and it's better for more girls and women to suffer more."

Actually, I would think that the decent pro-lifers don't think this, but simply think that protecting prenatal life is more important. Of course, I would think that such pro-lifers would support things such as developing and commercializing 100% effective/efficient contraception for both genders, developing and commercializing artificial wombs, et cetera in order to make this largely, if not completely, a moot point in the long(er) run regardless of what the law on abortion will be at that point in time.

"So I suppose you'd favour long slow painful deaths for children, given your endorsement of infanticide."

Um ... I am *no longer* politically anti-abortion; thus, I don't think that your point here makes sense. Also, in exactly what context do you mean "long slow painful deaths for children"? Do you mean that these children will die due to being abandoned? Due to them having incurable illnesses? I need more detail, please.

Also, you still don't appear to have answered my question here.

secularprolife.org said...

The last dictator to achieve truly prolife conditions in his country was Nicolae Ceaușescu. One direct result of his ruthlessly-enforced prolife legislation was the upturn in the maternal death rate in Romania. Another direct result was children warehoused in orphanages many of whom died slow, painful deaths. Neglect is something that children can die of, and in prolife countries, children forced to be born unwanted, do die of neglect in very large numbers.

secularprolife.org said...

"The last dictator to achieve truly prolife conditions in his country was Nicolae Ceaușescu. One direct result of his ruthlessly-enforced prolife legislation was the upturn in the maternal death rate in Romania. Another direct result was children warehoused in orphanages many of whom died slow, painful deaths. Neglect is something that children can die of, and in prolife countries, children forced to be born unwanted, do die of neglect in very large numbers."

As far as I know, Ceausescu also banned contraception in Romania as well, which was obviously idiotic. Otherwise, though, your information here might very well be correct.

"I'm not sure what your question is, aside from an attempt to get me to tacitly argue in favour of infanticide."

The point of my question here is this--should one support something which one considers to be morally unjustifiable if this will prevent something worse from occurring later on? If not, then I don't think that saying that legalized abortion reduces the rate of infanticide, et cetera is a good argument in favor of legalized abortion. (Note: I am *not* saying that there are *no* good arguments in favor of legalized abortion.)

secularprolife.org said...

As far as I know, Ceausescu also banned contraception in Romania as well, which was obviously idiotic.


Yes. And the prolife movement in the US is doing the same thing. Q.V. "Hobby Lobby", etc. Allowing women access to contraception would obviously circumvent the desire of prolifers to control and use women's reproduction - hence prolife opposition.

secularprolife.org said...

Yes, and the pro-lifers who are doing that are idiots whose role in the pro-life movement should ideally be dramatically reduced or even completely eliminated. After all, the pro-life movement would honestly be much better off without them in it.

Also, do you get my point here in regards to my question?

secularprolife.org said...

A pro lifer on another forum just argued that contraception is evil because women have a "sacred" duty to have babies.

secularprolife.org said...

Well, the pro-life movement unfortunately still has a lot of idiots right now. This isn't that surprising, to be honest.

secularprolife.org said...

Shut up, Mathilde.

secularprolife.org said...

Shut up, Mathilde. We know this is your sock puppet.

secularprolife.org said...

Unfortunately, the prolifers campaigning to remove access to contraception as well as safe legal abortion are far more politically powerful, and more successful campaigners, as they have a coherent narrative (I don't like it, but it's coherent, and makes no secret of being anti-women).


No, I don't get your point.

secularprolife.org said...

"Unfortunately, the prolifers campaigning to remove access to contraception as well as safe legal abortion are far more politically powerful, and more successful campaigners, as they have a coherent narrative (I don't like it, but it's coherent, and makes no secret of being anti-women)."

Well, I seriously hope that this will eventually change.

"No, I don't get your point."

Well, you can reread my posts here as many times as you like.

Also, playing Devil's Advocate, can you please explain why exactly it is worse to painlessly kill an infant than it is for this infant to get abused and/or painfully killed at a later point in his or her life?

secularprolife.org said...

He didn't come to a very pretty end, either. That should be a cautionary tale to intrude upon the "pro-life" fantasy world. The suffering of women and children, ultimately ending with the dictator and his wife machine-gunned to death in front of television cameras after a summary trial.

secularprolife.org said...

That you don't bounce these idiots (and I agree, they are idiots) out of your movement belies any good intent you may have. It harms you, and your movement. Regarding Hobby Lobby et. al. if one doesn't believe in contraception, or think it's evil, that means YOU don't use contraception. I have no problem with that. It doesn't mean you challenge a law that requires insurers, not employers, to cover contraceptives. That's being a smart-ass, and it will do ZERO to advance the pro-life cause. I wish we could find common ground. I could find common ground. Bring Vasalgel to the USA on an expedited basis. Make it available without co-pay from insurers (including Medicaid), along with all other long term and short term contraception. Just doing that would cause the abortion rate to plummet. I think we can agree that fewer abortions are a great thing, as that would mean fewer unwanted pregnancies. You can't even agree on that within your own movement. How can you expect to find any common ground with those who are pro-choice?

secularprolife.org said...

And the very people who killed him were the children that he had forced to be born.

secularprolife.org said...

Well, I seriously hope that this will eventually change.

Oh, so do I! I live in hope that someday - maybe not in our lifetime, but someday - people will look back upon the prolife movement with as much disgust and confusion as we do today on 19th-century slaveowners, and ask "how could anyone have thought that it was ever right to support a movement that was based on owning, controlling, and abusing women"?

I never answer Devil's Advocate questions. You can play your rhetoric-games with someone else.

secularprolife.org said...

As I think I have already quoted: "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice."

The goal of the prolife movement is so profoundly unjust that we can see - over decades - the arc of the moral universe bending away from it.

secularprolife.org said...

Not quite true, actually: the children he had forced to be born mostly died of neglect in the orphanages in which they were warehoused.

secularprolife.org said...

Hey, at least they got to *live*, and this is all that matters according to pro lifers...

One actually told me that "living" as an embryo in a petri dish was preferable to non-existence.

secularprolife.org said...

"Oh, so do I! I live in hope that someday - maybe not in our lifetime, butsomeday - people will look back upon the prolife movement with as much disgust and confusion as we do today on 19th-century slaveowners, and ask "how could anyone have thought that it was ever right to support a movement that was based on owning, controlling, and abusing women"?"

Eh ... if one considers embryos and fetuses to be persons, then I would see why exactly one might be politically anti-abortion.

"I never answer Devil's Advocate questions. You can play your rhetoric-games with someone else."

Then don't try arguing in favor of abortion by saying that it lowers the rate of infanticide, et cetera.

secularprolife.org said...

"That you don't bounce these idiots (and I agree, they are idiots) out of your movement belies any good intent you may have. It harms you, and your movement.

Again, as someone who is currently politically *ambivalent* on the abortion issue, this is *no longer my* movement.

I *am* tempted to agree with your overall point here, though.

"Regarding Hobby Lobby et. al. if one doesn't believe in contraception, or think it's evil, that means YOU don't use contraception. I have no problem with that. It doesn't mean you challenge a law that requires insurers, not employers, to cover contraceptives. That's being a smart-ass, and it will do ZERO to advance the pro-life cause. Bring Vasalgel to the USA on an expedited basis. Make it available without co-pay from insurers (including Medicaid), along with all other long term and short term contraception. Just doing that would cause the abortion rate to plummet. I think we can agree that fewer abortions are a great thing, as that would mean fewer unwanted pregnancies."

I am tempted to agree with all of this. Of course, I also think that things such as comprehensive sex ed should be taught everywhere--after all, many unplanned and unwanted pregnancies could be avoided if everyone knows about all of their options, including about all of their contraceptive options (and, for certain contraceptives, how to properly use them). After all, if something such as RISUG/Vasalgel is available but people don't know about it, then it won't have as much benefit as it could have. Of course, considering how efficient many female contraceptives are, making (at least some of) these contraceptives easily available to every female who wants them might also significantly help in reducing the rate of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies and thus the rate of abortions (which is something that we can all agree on; after all, even if one doesn't care *at all* about the embryo/fetus, I would think that one *would* care about reducing the number of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies as well as the number of abortions in order to reduce the amount of emotional anguish/distress and/or (later) regret which some females might feel in regards to deciding whether or not to abort and in regards to their decision after they have already made it).

"You can't even agree on that within your own movement."

I would think that no politically anti-abortion people disagree with the statement that the abortion rate should be reduced; however, I certainly agree with you that the stance of many/most politically anti-abortion people in regards to contraception is certainly idiotic.

"How can you expect to find any common ground with those who are pro-choice?"

Well, some of us can, but Yes, unfortunately the pro-life movement obviously still needs to significantly "clean up its own house" as well.

secularprolife.org said...

There is nothing courageous about subjugating *anyone* to his or her biology.

secularprolife.org said...

Eh ... if one considers embryos and fetuses to be persons, then I would see why exactly one might be politically anti-abortion.

Only if you either (a) haven't thought things through (which I honestly think is true for most prolifers) or (b) regard pregnant girls and women not as persons but as objects to be used for gestation.

B. is certainly true for the fanatic prolifers who hold girls and women in contempt. While we commonly think of prolifery as a Christian movement, due to its origins in the US in 1979 with Christian segregationists discovering that racism was ceasing to be an effective tool for mobilising their base but misogyny could go on for ever, the root cause of prolife ideology isn't religion, it's contempt for women.

Then don't try arguing in favor of abortion by saying that it lowers the rate of infanticide, et cetera.



Ah, so you think infanticide is better than abortion? Interesting.

secularprolife.org said...

I fail to see how an artificial womb will have any impact on what a woman has to carry in her own, not-artificial womb. You appear to be making a leap here. I'd love to hear more about how this would work in your mind. I can understand how such an invention would be a boon for those who can't gestate, and can afford to pay for the use of an artificial womb. I fail to see ANY connection between that and an organ within a private person's body.

secularprolife.org said...

"I fail to see how an artificial womb will have any impact on what a woman has to carry in her own, not-artificial womb. You appear to be making a leap here. I'd love to hear more about how this would work in your mind. I can understand how such an invention would be a boon for those who can't gestate, and can afford to pay for the use of an artificial womb. I fail to see ANY connection between that and an organ within a private person's body."

Well, if artificial wombs are available for everyone to use, then *no* female will *need* to ever become pregnant in order for humanity to keep on successfully reproducing. Also, if artificial wombs are sufficiently cheap for everyone, then every female can simply use these wombs instead of getting pregnant the regular, natural way (and Yes, some females might not want to utilize artificial wombs, but at least they would have had a choice in this matter).

secularprolife.org said...

"Only if you either (a) haven't thought things through (which I honestly think is true for most prolifers)"

If you mean that one only considers embryos and fetuses to be persons because one hasn't thought things through, then you *might* have a point here.

"or (b) regard pregnant girls and women not as persons but as objects to be used for gestation."

OK, but such a position really wouldn't be any more defensible than a misandrous position would.

"B. is certainly true for the fanatic prolifers who hold girls and women in contempt. While we commonly think of prolifery as a Christian movement, due to its origins in the US in 1979 with Christian segregationists discovering that racism was ceasing to be an effective tool for mobilising their base but misogyny could go on for ever, the root cause of prolife ideology isn't religion, it's contempt for women."

Hold on a minute--wasn't the pro-life movement very strong in the U.S. even before 1979? After all, I seem to remember that the first abortion bans in the U.S. were passed during the 19th century.

"Ah, so you think infanticide is better than abortion? Interesting."

I don't think that I should be obliged to answer this question until you answer my question.

That said, though, No, I don't consider infanticide to be better than abortion. In addition, though, I don't consider abusing and painfully killing a child later on in his or her life to be better than painlessly euthanizing this child back when he or she was an infant (especially in a hypothetical scenario where there is a shortage of adoptive parents).

secularprolife.org said...

One truly terrible person suggested that if artificial wombs were ever invented, abortion would be illegal, and the woman would have to *pay* to transfer care. ..

He admitted that this would leave the poor high and dry with no options. .

secularprolife.org said...

Yeah? Well it doesn't WORK that way, Coyote. There are artificial hearts, but I am fine with my own. The existence of artificial wombs (which would be prohibitively expensive for most people) is not "a choice" for women in general, and would do nothing to prevent natural pregnancy in the first place. We're sexual beings, like it or not. But your fantasy is interesting.

secularprolife.org said...

Yeah. Bodily rights are NOT a function of available technology.

secularprolife.org said...

They are nothing if not imaginative.

secularprolife.org said...

"Yeah? Well it doesn't WORK that way, Coyote. There are artificial hearts, but I am fine with my own."

Yes, but I fail to see a point in you getting an artificial heart while your own heart is still fine. In contrast, *if* it is cheap enough, I could imagine many females utilizing artificial wombs considering that being pregnant affects a female's health, et cetera (as you pro-choicers frequently point out).

"The existence of artificial wombs (which would be prohibitively expensive for most people) is not "a choice" for women in general,"

Don't things often become *much* cheaper over time, though?

"and would do nothing to prevent natural pregnancy in the first place."

How exactly are you defining "prevent" here? I could imagine sufficiently cheap artificial wombs discouraging some females from getting pregnant the natural way. If you are talking about accidental pregnancies, then the 99.9+% effective contraception which will be available to everyone of both genders/sexes who wants it should largely, if not completely, eliminate this problem.

"We're sexual beings, like it or not."

Yes, of course, which is why I consider things such as your advice to males to abstain from vaginal sex with any fertile female for the rest of their lives to be utterly unrealistic and impractical (and Yes, the same obviously applies to the advice that pro-lifers give both males and females in regards to this).

"But your fantasy is interesting."

I can't quite tell if you are trying to insult me here or not.

secularprolife.org said...

OK, but such a position really wouldn't be any more defensible than a misandrous position would.

Totally agree, there. It isn't. Prolifery is a fundamentally misogynistic movement.

Hold on a minute--wasn't the pro-life movement very strong in the U.S. even before 1979?

Nope. The modern prolife movement certainly harks back trying to create a historical past for itself, but if we don't include Catholic objections to abortion (which certainly pre-date 1979, but which can't really be called a "movement") the modern prolife movement began in 1979. Not particularly because of "Roe vs Wade" per se, but because desegregation had become an unsafe target for the white Christian Right: but the existence of legal abortion was a safe target.

After all, I seem to remember that the first abortion bans in the U.S. were passed during the 19th century.



Many countries, including the UK, passed abortion bans in the 19th century, often amplifying bans from earlier centuries. Abortion had become technically very possible for any skilled midwife or obstetrician, but without antibiotics, it was frequently lethal.


Medical abortions were performed safely enough by various means if done early enough, but in the 19th century, drinking pennyroyal tea (for example) wouldn't necessarily be understood as "having an abortion" - just bringing on a late period. Other methods of later medical abortion, such as mercury pills, were in effect poisoning both the woman and the foetus in the hope that the foetus would die first - very risky.


As I've noticed in discussions here and elsewhere, opposition to unsafe abortion is no part of the modern prolife movement; what prolifers oppose is women having access to safe abortions. The 19th century bans on very unsafe abortions can't therefore be related to the modern prolife movement.

secularprolife.org said...

"Totally agree, there. It isn't."

Actually, I was talking about people who hold a pro-life position due to their misogyny.

"Prolifery is a fundamentally misogynistic movement."

In practice? Yes (if one is talking about people who were born with female bodies as opposed to cis-females; after all, some trans-males *can* get pregnant as well). In theory? No (or at least, not in regards to all pro-lifers).

"Nope. The modern prolife movement certainly harks back trying to create a historical past for itself, but if we don't include Catholic objections to abortion (which certainly pre-date 1979, but which can't really be called a "movement") the modern prolife movement began in 1979. Not particularly because of "Roe vs Wade" per se, but because desegregation had become an unsafe target for the white Christian Right: but the existence of legal abortion was a safe target."

So other than Catholics, there was *no* large-scale opposition to legalizing abortion in the U.S. before 1979? Also, what about pro-life movements in various European countries (which are generally weaker than the one in the U.S., but still)?

"Many countries, including the UK, passed abortion bans in the 19th century, often amplifying bans from earlier centuries. Surgical abortion - D&C - had become technically very possible for any skilled midwife or obstetrician, but without antibiotics, it was frequently lethal."

But why exactly were these bans passed during the 19th century and not during, say, the 18th century or the 17th century? After all, I am presuming that abortion was no safer during the 18th century and the 17th century than it was during the 19th century, correct?

"Medical abortions were performed safely enough by various means if done early enough, but in the 19th century, drinking pennyroyal tea (for example) wouldn't necessarily be understood as "having an abortion" - just bringing on a late period. Other methods of later medical abortion, such as mercury pills, were in effect poisoning both the woman and the foetus in the hope that the foetus would die first - very risky."

Thanks for this info.

"As I've noticed in discussions here and elsewhere, opposition to unsafe abortion is no part of the modern prolife movement; what prolifers oppose is women having access to safe abortions. The 19th century bans on very unsafe abortions can't therefore be related to the modern prolife movement."

Frankly, what I am wondering is if any anti-unsafe abortion advocates during the 19th century also opposed safe abortions.

Finally, two more questions, for now:

1. If I remember correctly, historically, "life" wasn't thought to begin until quickening (around 16 weeks gestation or so, if I remember correctly) or until some other point in the pregnancy (such as for Muslims). When exactly did this viewpoint begin to change, and why?

2. Didn't antibiotics become widespread in the U.S. shortly after World War II? If so, then why exactly did it take all the way until 1973 to legalize abortion nationwide in the U.S. (heck, if I remember correctly, even right before Roe v. Wade, abortion was illegal in the overwhelming majority of U.S. states)?

secularprolife.org said...

Yes, I am. You're full of it. There's nothing wrong with most women's uteruses either. That doesn't mean they need to be used to gestate. Artificial wombs or NO artificial wombs. The wombs inside bodies don't belong to you and they aren't for your desired use.

secularprolife.org said...

"Yes, I am. You're full of it."

I am not sure about that; anyway, I am certainly willing to re-think and to take back what I said if I hear sufficiently good arguments.

"There's nothing wrong with most women's uteruses either. "

Correct!

"That doesn't mean they need to be used to gestate."

Did I ever say that here, though?

"Artificial wombs or NO artificial wombs."

Um ... ?

"The wombs inside bodies don't belong to you and they aren't for your desired use."

Once again, did I ever say anything to the contrary here?

Also, finally, again, I did *not* express a position on the abortion issue itself here. If I remember correctly, I simply stated that having 99.9+% efficient contraception be available for everyone of both genders who wants it, along with cheap artificial wombs (and universal comprehensive sex ed, obviously), would make the debate over the law in regards to abortion largely moot. You DON'T appear to have debunked this point of mine, and thus, this point of mine appears to remain a valid one. Also, frankly, I would *strongly* suggest that you focus on what I actually wrote here instead of trying to strawman what I wrote here. I try to be intellectually honest, and taking back what I wrote here before being persuaded that what I wrote here is wrong/incorrect would be intellectually dishonest of me to do. Maybe you are into intellectual dishonesty, but I am not.