Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How Pro-Choice People Tend to Corrupt the Debate

The abortion debate certainly has a tendency to become emotional. There are many logical arguments used to argue for and against abortion, but these can be largely ignored in favor of appeals to emotion (such as trying to argue that pro-life people are trying to take away an important “choice” for women to make). Now, I’m certainly willing to talk to my own side and illustrate ways in which pro-life people make bad arguments in the hopes that they’ll make better ones (I credit my friend and pro-life mentor Josh Brahm for helping me see the value in treating both sides fairly, as well as my friend and pro-life philosopher, Steve Wagner, through my work with Justice for All).

In this article, I’d like to focus specifically on the pro-choice side, and illustrate three big (but subtle) ways in which they tend to corrupt the abortion debate. I call them subtle because I’m not even sure they’re aware that they’re actually doing some of these things.

Making a distinction between preborn life and postborn life.

This is one I see quite often. They’ll say something like “abortion should be legal because the rights of living, breathing women trump those of ‘potential life.’” But how do they define life? The problem here is that the unborn are just as alive as we are. They respond to stimuli, they grow through cellular reproduction, and they metabolize food for energy. The only things they need to thrive and survive are the same things we do: adequate nutrition, environment, and an absence of fatal threats. So the unborn are not “potential life.” They are actual life.

But perhaps they mean in a more philosophical sense, that the unborn aren’t morally relevant life? In that case, they would have no rights at all (so trying to compare rights that trump another’s rights is meaningless if you truly perceive that the unborn are not morally relevant human beings). Second, as I have just shown, the unborn are biologically alive, just as we are. Plus, they do breathe oxygen. As Scott Klusendorf mentions in his book The Case for Life, the method, not the fact, of breathing is what changes at birth. It’s like switching from AC to DC power once the child is born and begins breathing through his lungs. So saying that women differ from the unborn because they are “living and breathing” is simply biologically incorrect. Trying to make a distinction between preborn life and postborn life is simply a distinction without a difference.


I’ve written about this before. Both terms used for each side (pro-life and pro-choice) and bad terms to use and unfairly demonize people on the other side of the issue. However, I would argue that the term “choice” corrupts the debate in a way that the term “life” doesn’t.

The problem is that simply saying you support choice doesn’t tell us anything. Everyone supports choice. In order to realize whether or not we should support a choice in a given area we have to look at what that choice is. Simply saying that we have the choice does not automatically make the choice a moral one. So calling yourself pro-choice really begs the question because what the whole debate is about is whether or not the “choice” to abort is right or wrong. Besides that, women will always have the choice to abort, even if it becomes illegal. People have a choice right now to rape, murder, or steal, even though those choices are illegal.

Forcing women to “be” pregnant.

This is one I see all the time. Pro-choice people tend to argue that by making abortion illegal, we’re forcing women to be pregnant. That’s not exactly true. No one is forcing a woman to become pregnant. In the vast majority of pregnancies, the woman chose to engage in intercourse. No one made her pregnant, it was her choice to engage in an act intrinsically ordered toward procreation that resulted in her being pregnant.

However, what we are advocating would force her to remain pregnant once she is pregnant already. The reason for this is that there is an innocent human life at stake, one that is helpless and deserves our protection.

So pro-choice people try to turn pro-life people in monsters by claiming that we’re trying to force pregnancy on women, which is just an unfair characterization of what the pro-life position entails.

These are just a few ways in which pro-choice people tend to corrupt the debate. If we’re looking for open and honest dialogue, it would help if pro-choice people would keep these things in mind. And surely, there are things pro-life people do to corrupt the debate, as well. So don’t take my focusing on pro-choice people in this article as trying to single them out, or act like our side doesn’t make mistakes. I’m just trying to help to break through much of the confusion around this issue and help to keep clarity in our conversations.


Dylan J. Walker said...

You ask how we define life, but then proceed to gloss over this question as if it is unimportant. We generally make a distinction between the biological definition of life and the philosophical definition of life. By doing this you falsely conflate two different definitions.

Your skin cells are biologically alive but we don't have any problem with killing skin cells, this is because when we talk about life from a philosophical stance we mean more than just an organism that is biologically alive. Does it have volition? Independent thought? etc. It's probably impossible to know for certain at what point those things develop in a fetus but, I think it's safe to say that they don't have them at 12 weeks, and most abortions happen before 12 weeks.

Since you falsely conflate two uses of the word life, thus creating a strawman of your opponents position it seems that this is one of those bad pro-life arguments you were talking about.

Your last argument seems to assume that when I women has sex they are automatically consenting to be pregnant, I simply don't agree with this. To suggest that women should not have sex unless they are willing to be pregnant suggests you have placed some very unrealistic expectations on human behavior.

Clinton Wilcox said...

Hi, and thanks for reading. I think you actually missed the point of the article. I was actually going to include a section on how pro-choice people tend to conflate physical and metaphysical claims (for example, pro-choice people tend to use the words "human" and "person" interchangeably, unless they're talking about abortion, then they suddenly want to make a distinction between the two).

The thing is, I talked about the difference between biological life and "morally relevant" life. So no, I wasn't conflating the two. But saying that a woman is a "living, breating human" to differentiate her from the unborn is not a real difference, because the unborn are alive and they breathe because they take in oxygen (through the umbilical cord).

There is a difference between a regular skin cell, and the unborn. The unborn are living organisms, whereas one of your skin cells is not.

However, functions do not determine when someone becomes a "person" (which is the philosophical form of life you're talking about). You must be a human being before you can perform human functions (like sight, hearing, etc.), so you must also be a person before you can develop personal functions (like rationality, self-awareness, etc.). Personhood is not determined by your present capacity to fulfill functions, but by your inherent nature to fulfill these functions, which is present from fertilization.

Clinton Wilcox said...

The first one corrupts the debate because it's an artificial distinction. This doesn't happen in academia, but I talk to a lot of people about abortion and pro-choice people still struggle with the simple biological fact that human life begins at fertilization. So pro-choice people tend to speak of the woman as if she's alive but not the unborn human being. That's why I included the next paragraph, including that they might be speaking in a philosophical sense, but then their argument that the woman is "living and breathing" is irrelevant because the unborn are, too (so that's not a difference between the two -- if the woman is valuable because she's living and breathing, then the unborn are, too). This article wasn't meant to be a full-blown defense of unborn personhood. I've written other articles for that purpose.

Drew Hymer said...

The issue of "force" is a huge pro-abortion talking point and it's completely unfair.

Even in the case of rape, a ban on abortion doesn't force anything on the woman. The rapist is the one who has forced the woman to carry the child. Pro-lifers have not.

The fact is that abortion is an act of force, of violent lethal force on an innocent unborn human being. By opposing abortion, pro-lifers are opposing force.

When we tell a mother that she can't murder her one year old, are we forcing something on her? No. The same logic applies before birth.

It's pro-aborts who support force. They think it should be ok for parents to force their views on their unborn child by killing her.

Ashley Whalen said...

Not forcing pregnancy just don't want to kill babies is that so much to ask for

Jameson Graber said...

Your reply makes it more clear that you're going after the words "living and breathing." I suppose that's fair, but maybe you should be more charitable with your interpretation of that phrase. I don't see it as a corruption of the debate, but simply as a way of stating an intuitive understanding. People on the pro-choice side are incredulous at the idea that we would consider a fetus at such an early stage of development worth protecting under the law. This is largely intuitive: a fetus doesn't "look" (much less act) very "human-like" until a bit later on. So when people contrast that with a "living and breathing" woman, I think they're simply trying to draw a visual contrast to make their point (you're supposed to think of the woman you can see right in front of you, rather than the tiny thing growing inside her).

Of course, the more I try to defend this reason behind this distinction, the more I find myself repulsed by it. Nevertheless, I have long accepted the fact that pro-lifers must work somewhat against the average person's intuition. So I draw a distinction between rhetoric which is corrupting and rhetoric which is, one might say, a beginner's argument. The latter doesn't corrupt the debate; it introduces the debate.

Clinton Wilcox said...

Exactly, Drew. Trying to claim that we're forcing pregnancy on women is an unfair accusation. We're trying to protect prenatal life, not force anything on women. But there's an innocent human life at stake.

Dylan J. Walker said...

Perhaps you made the distinction elsewhere but you did not make it this argument, which was my point.

" The unborn are living organisms, whereas one of your skin cells is not."

Skin cells are living organisms. How on earth could you possibly think otherwise?

"Personhood is not determined by your present capacity to fulfill
functions, but by your inherent nature to fulfill these functions, which
is present from fertilization."

This seems like a strange argument for a secularist to make. Inherent nature? Are you some sort of Platonist?

How exactly does a fetus have this capacity from fertilization? The very fact that we need to have this discussion at all shows that the fetus does not have this capacity at fertilization.

I don't know how you can truly consider a fetus, who not only does not have the capacity, but has never had the capacity as a separate being, to have the same rights as the woman who is carrying it. It is her body and her health she must risk in order to finish the job of turning that fetus into a human being.

You may claim you aren't trying to control women's behavior, but ultimately that is exactly what you are doing whether you admit it or not.

Linda Flowers said...

"This is largely intuitive..."

If it's intuitive rather than factual, it seems the problem is with the argument itself. Arguing that a caterpillar is of a different species than the adult butterfly based simply on first-glance looks would be a position fought out of ignorance, wouldn't you say?

Coyote said...

I agree with most of what you said. I want to point out that the boat vs. ship comparison is a bad one, since they are two variants of the same thing (seafaring vessels). A better comparison would be a car vs. one wheel of a car.

Also, I don't see the rationale in considering humans and persons to be equal. I define person as an "individual/entity worthy of having rights." One does not need to believe that all humans beings should have rights, or that all non-human animals should not have rights. Also, it is inaccurate to claim that a human being who developed correctly vs. a human being who developed incorrectly are equal in an overall sense--after all, a car who is irreparably damaged is not the same thing as a normally functioning car (anymore).

Coyote said...

I agree with most of what you said, but I somewhat disagree with your arguments about personhood. I define person as someone who deserves to have rights. Thus, I don't see why someone can't claim that one actually needs to have certain abilities (such as sentience, self-awareness, volitional consciousness, et cetera) rather than simply the potential for these abilities to be considered a person. I know that this definition will exclude some postnatal humans, but some people (Peter Singer, et cetera) are okay with this. Also, I want to point out that that there is a huge difference between someone who has the capacity to become an adult later on and someone who is already an adult. This is why we (appropriately) treat minors with the capacity to become adults later on and people who are adults right now differently.

@Dylan J. Walker: No one here is advocating given fetuses all of the same rights as women. For instance, no one here is advocating given fetuses the right to vote, drive, drink alcohol, et cetera.

Coyote said...

We (pro-lifers) are not forcing women to *be*/*become* pregnant, but we are forcing them to remain pregnant.

Jameson Graber said...

In what moral sense is a damaged human different from one that is not damaged?

As for human vs person, I would like to know what makes an individual "worthy" of having rights. I'm inclined to agree that non-human animals have certain rights that should be respected, but I disagree with the idea that any member of our own species should be excluded from the recognition of basic rights.

Clinton Wilcox said...

That was the point. Pro-choice people argue that we are forcing them to be pregnant, but they act as if we're forcing them to become pregnant, when all we're doing is forcing them to remain pregnant, and there is a pretty major difference.

Clinton Wilcox said...

" I know that this definition will exclude some postnatal humans, but some people (Peter Singer, et cetera) are okay with this."

The question is, are you okay with this? If you, yourself, can't support infanticide, then you need to find another definition of personhood.

The problem is that your definition is question-begging. The whole question is whether or not the unborn have a right to life, so defining a person as "someone who has rights" assumes what you're trying to argue for.

Plus, there's no reason to exlude the unborn from having rights, unless you're specifically trying to justify killing them. For example, why should I take your definition of person over mine? Why should we consider only those who have acquired certain arbitrary characteristics (such as rationality and self-awareness) as deserving of rights?

The best definition of person I've seen comes from a sixth-century philosopher, Boethius (and supported by many current philosophers, like Frank Beckwith and Patrick Lee) that a person is a substance of a rational nature (a substance being an entity that maintains its identity through change).

Gandalf's Beard said...

There is NO middle ground between Pro-choice and Anti-abortion because Pro-choice IS the Middle Ground between Pro-abortion and Anti-abortion.

Gandalf's Beard said...

Banning abortion is the same as forcing pregnancy.

Gandalf's Beard said...

I'm assuming you want to ban abortions and have that ban enforced by the full prosecutorial power of the Government. In other words you want to FORCE WOMEN TO GIVE BIRTH.

Denials and word-games are foolishness.

Gandalf's Beard said...

True! Which is why you must be stopped. Nobody should be forced to remain pregnant.

Gandalf's Beard said...

That's a lie. Nobody says that you lot raped women.

Tricia said...

I don't see the rationale in defining a person as "an individual/entity worthy of having rights". By this definition and your statement that not all non-human animals should not have rights, are you saying that non-human animals that are "worthy of having rights" are therefore "persons"? I don't even know why I am bothering to respond because your definitions are completely arbitrary and just don't make sense. But while I am at it, I have to address the car argument. You seem to be saying that a "damaged" human being, or one that didn't develop normally is unequal in the sense of being less valuable than and therefore not deserving of the same rights as a "normal" or "undamaged" human being. Does this mean that if you had to have a leg or another appendage amputated that you would be less of a human being or a less valuable human being? Does this not seem slightly ridiculous to you?

Coyote said...

OK--first of all, you are strawmanning my position--I said that "Also, I don't see the rationale in considering humans and persons to be equal. I define person as an "individual/entity worthy of having rights." One does not need to believe that all humans beings should have rights, or that all non-human animals should not have rights." I said that not considering all human beings persons and/or considering some non-human animals to be person is a legitimate position for some people to have. This doesn't necessarily mean that I share this position. (Of course, if an intelligent non-human species arrives from outer space and lands on Earth, I might very well support giving this species legal personhood.) And actually, I think my definition of personhood makes sense--after all, we need to determine who should get legal rights and who doesn't--for instance, we don't give ants and bees legal rights.

Yes, a damaged human being is not quite the same as a human being whose body and mind works/functions properly. Not all differences between various human beings are sufficient to give certain human beings less rights, though. However, there are cases where one can make a case to deny certain human beings (such as anencephalic humans) rights.

Saying that all human beings deserve rights even while some non-human animals with greater or equal intelligence to these human beings don't deserve rights might be considered an example of speciecism.

I hope that I made my points clear in this post of mine.

Coyote said...

Just curious--if someone supported making killing human infants legal only if the infants' parents wanted to do it, would you call this individual pro-infanticide or pro-choice?

Coyote said...

As long as abortion is legal, no man should be forced to pay child support as well.

Coyote said...

To be fair, I think that pro-choicers mean that pro-lifers are forcing women to be pregnant for an additional several months, which is accurate.

Fugazi said...

Interesting article, fairly skims the surface but doesn't really have any depth.

Firstly you claim that pro-choicers "only" distinguish between a human being and a human person when it comes to abortion, that may be true when laymen are debating it, but like any other serious debate the correct word usage is very important, a human being and human person are NOT interchangeable in a serious debate - though pro-lifers do try to make them interchangeable.

Secondly you claim that the pro-life position is not about enforcing their viewpoint .. what else can it be when they advocate legislation in order to force a woman to remain pregnant against her will?

Thirdly you make this statement "The only things they need to thrive and survive are the same things we do: adequate nutrition, environment, and an absence of fatal threats.", but miss a very relevant point, once born ANYBODY can provide those things, you are not uniquely tied to a single source for any of those items, a pre-born is.

Fourthly, you use an analogy I have seen so many times before, the "nobody forces a woman to have sex" one, even though in some cases this is not true it is true for the majority, the problem with this statement is the assumption that consenting to sex is somehow consenting to being pregnant and as such the woman should simply accept the risk and deal with the consequences .. how is this thought process any different from you consenting to get into a car meaning you consent to any injury sustained should that car crash, and as such should not receive any intervention (ie medical services) due to the consequences of your actions.

Finally I would like to ask a question - If you believe that at the moment of conception that there is a unique 'person', how to do you account for chimera twins where one twin has been partial absorbed by the other. At conception they were two separate 'persons' bestowed (by your thought process) with personhood .. are you suggesting that the remaining parts of the partially absorbed twin have the same rights as the dominant one, under the pro-life mandate this would be the case. Do you agree with that or not, and if not why not?

Fugazi said...

If there is a difference explain it, both are advocating the use of force to get a woman to do something she doesn't want to.

Coyote said...

1. I agree that your point #1 is very valid.

2. Pro-lifers are trying to enforce their viewpoint in regards to abortion. However, this isn't much different from many/most people and government officials enforcing their viewpoint in regards to forcing men to pay child support, et cetera.

I don't see why this difference is relevant. Also, sometimes you could
be the only one capable of helping someone out. For instance, if you go
on a very long boat voyage and a child somehow sneaks into your boat,
for a time you are the only one who can provide these things to this
child. This doesn't (necessarily) mean that you are able to throw this
child overboard.

4. I think that this argument refers to sex and pregnancy being intrinsically linked.

In regards to chimeras, if we're talking about two individuals with
unique DNA merging into one, then these two individuals would become one
person, not two (similar to how, in fiction, two Pokemon are apparently
able to fuse into one Pokemon).

David Rais said...

He'd have to say "pro-choice" to your question to be consisitent. Otherwise we're "forcing parenthood" on a person after they've become a parent.

David Rais said...

Love how you guys always try to get away from the core of the debate. Tell me, exactly HOW does a woman end her pregnancy if she no longer wishes to "remain pregnant" Tell me exactly what procedure is involved, and how it is done, so i can appreciate better how one remains "no longer pregnant against her will." You see, she has to, basically, hire someone to kill someone else. Sorry, I find that unacceptable, and very disingenuous that anyone would call that a "choice" and drop it at that. Pro-aborts never want to discuss what the "choice" entails.

gandalfsbeard said...

The core of the debate is whether or not a woman has sovereignty over her body.

Your argument actually supports mine. You're absolutely right. How DOES a woman end her pregnancy if she doesn't wish to be pregnant? She only has one option.

You want to take away that one option, leaving her with NO option, and therefore NO CHOICE.

Thus, there is no middle-ground between Pro-Choice and Anti-Abortion. That's a logical statement of fact.

gandalfsbeard said...

I am only discussing the sovereignty of the Individual over their own body.

As long as some organism is living inside my body, I have the right to remove it, one way or the other.

So you can continue to be curious, because it is a Red Herring.

David Rais said...

No. The "core" of the debate is whether or not the fetus is an actual human. No one has total sovereignty over their own body. THAT's a Red Herring. Example: My hands are part of my body, I cannot use them to strangle someone. You're also acting like because something can be "chosen" it has to be legal. Then NOTHING can be against the law. I want to rape someone, by making that illegal, you have taken away a choice. (Insert stealing cars, robbing banks, etc.) There is no such thing as the "Freedom to Choose" It always depends on what is being chosen.In a legal sense, all of us left with "No Choice" on many things, everyday. Yet, somehow if we leave a woman with "No Choice" on infanticide, that's wrong? Nonsense. Again, answer my question, "HOW does she end the pregnancy" What is the procedure? Tell me what happens. I see you avoided again, just as I said Pro-choicers always do. I'll tell you how she ends it. She hires someone to kill another person.

David Rais said...

Ahh..the "soul" of the Pro-Choice movement. A human baby in utero isn't a human or a's an "organism" Yep..just like removing a virus. All under the false guise that this gives someone "Sovereignty"

gandalfsbeard said...

Of course the foetus is human. I didn't say it wasn't. (Most) Pro-choicers who argue that a foetus isn't a person, aren't saying that it's not human.

In any case, I think that is a useless argument for choice. I believe that Pro-Choicers who argue on those grounds, have already lost the argument.

My focus is entirely on the right of the individual to control their own body.

Deefr said...

If you believe the fetus is human, why did you use the word "organism"? Which you must admit, doesn't sound very human, as it's a very broad term. Let's replace your argument without the word "organism"

"As long as some human being is living inside my body, I have the right to remove it."

So "removing it" involves killing it. It ties in nicely with the subject of this article...corrupting the debate. There's a reason pro-choice folks don't want to use terms like "human" or "baby" or even "killing". I believe it's why, when I've asked you to describe this "removing" procedure you're defending, you won't do it. It's why pro-choicers don't want to look at pictures of aborted babies. That should tell us all something when you can't even look at what you're defending. Heck, they don't even want women seeing ultra-sounds of live fetuses. They don't even want to look at what pro-lifers are defending.

Can't buy that "control over your body" None of us have total control over our bodies. I'm sorry (I truly am) that if we "get our way" someone might have to give birth when they don't want to. But we all have to do things we don't want to do. Nor do I believe that's a good enough reason for state-sponsored slaughter. At the church i go to, any woman that decides to keep her baby, and comes to us. We'll pay for everything. For 5-6 years. Housing, clothing, food, medicine for her whole family. (And we're not the only church in this area that'll do that, much less the country.) The burden would NEVER get to great for us. We also know where we can get help if the numbers started to become bigger than anticipated. In fact, we're hoping the numbers DO get too much bigger than we anticipate. In short, we'd do more for these women in a year than PP has done combined in their entire existence.

gandalfsbeard said...

I used the term organism, because for all intents and purposes, a foetus is a sort of parasite until it is separated from the host organism (the mother). I was drawing a parallel.

I have no problem with agreeing that abortion is killing a human foetus. As I said, Pro-Choicers who refuse to admit that, have lost that argument.

My contention is that I have the right to be sovereign over my own body. Anything less is tantamount to slavery.

I am not going to let a bunch of Theocrats like you have any say over what I do with my body or what others do with their bodies.

The rest of your points are just rubbish! Is your Church going to take care of the millions of mothers with babies ALREADY born that live in poverty?

Of course not. Your Church would collapse financially. Charity is all well and good, but it is no substitute for government programmes to provide food, housing, medical care, and education to the needy.

If you REALLY want to help the needy, and make a dent in abortions, tell your Church to pay taxes and advocate for a stronger Economic Safety Net and Universal Single-Payer Health Care.

Deefr said...

Again..there is NO SUCH THING as "being able to do what you want with your own body" regardless of abortion laws or regulations. It's a myth pro-choicers hang onto to make themselves feel better about what they are supporting. It's not an absolute right. (Think hands and strangling.)

Ahh, now the human is a "parasite"an "invader"..Double dose of BS. A parasite is a an organism of a DIFFERENT SPECIES!!! Good Lord, what BS terminology you guys toss around to try and sound smart.

Besides, no right (especially fictional ones) is so final, that you're allowed to kill someone else to obtain it.

As for the charity part. Never said my church (or any all of them combined, or other charities.) could eliminate poverty, but it can..and does do better than ANY government program. With a lot less money, because it's allocated better. I realize all you pro-aborts like to generous with other people's money, but we have a better way. The part of the post is not rubbish, just because you don't like it. I've seen it work with my own eyes.And I've seen government programs fail the same way.Man...we DARE your side to give us the chance to see how much better we can do. Tell PP to start putting charities like that down as options/suggestions for their clients. It'll never happen because PP only gives a crap about $, but I know many folks who'd like the chance to show charity can do better than government.

See you still refuse to describe this procedure your so in favor of. Says an awful lot right there.

"Tanamount to slavery"...oh brother. Really reaching there. Not being able to kill someone (and you admitted the fetus is someone)=slavery. Balderdash.

If any movement is like slavery today, it's the pro-choice movement. Taking actual people, and saying "They're not "people" in the truest sense of the word, and not giving them the same rights.

What rights are in the USA has been clearly spelled out for centuries. There is no "Right to Choose"(People can choose to do anything.) There is no "Right to your own body"(people can do horrible things in that context) There is no "Right to not be pregnant"

I'll let you fill in the blank. _______, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness"

I give you credit for one point. Any pro-choicer saying the fetus isn't human has indeed lost the argument. That was the pro-choicers MAIN argument for about 20 yrs after Roe.

You're basically saying, that the pro-choice side has already lost the argument. Because if that's true,(and you admitted it is) then the fetus also has rights. No one, then, should be able to do anything to deny the fetus it's rights, and that would especially include killing it. See, that's why this movement calls itself "Right to Life"..because Life ACTUALLY is a right. It's why your side doesn't call itself "The Right to Control Your Own Body." That's not actually a right. It sounds good to some, but it doesn't exist. Never has.

Go ahead, call us fascist, or theocrats, or whatever. Tell us our charity isn't as good as government programs. There's a reason the tide is turning fast on this issue. (and it's not going to stop turning in our favor.) We have an actual right on our side, and you have fabricated ones.

P.S: Despite the tone here..enjoying this debate. We'll obviously never see eye to eye, and I'm not trying to win you over (And I'm sure you aren't with me.) I hope folks stumble upon this, and get their own take on it.

gandalfsbeard said...

You Religious Lot had your chance before Roe v Wade and women died because of that. So don't give me that rubbish about giving you a chance.

Of course there is such a thing as an Absolute Right to sovereignty over my own body. Laws contrary to that Right are unconstitutional. And what on earth does hands and strangling have to do with anything? Are you saying I can't masturbate now? :P

The ACTUAL RIGHTS are on OUR side, not yours. The Supreme Court agreed with us and not you. Now that your party controls the Supreme Court that may change, but not for any legitimate reason.

As to the "parasite" argument. As a male, I find it the most effective argument to give other men the idea of what it would be like to have something growing inside of them.

Alien or not (and remember, I already agreed the foetus is a living human), the practical effects of "parasitism" are the same on the body. How many men would like a 9 lb parasite living inside of them, which is going to burst out through a tiny hole in their body in a gory mess? Hell, most men can't even stand being in the same room during a birth!

I have a right to kill anything living inside of me.

I have convinced any number of men with that argument. So it's a rather effective argument for me. Admittedly, most women Pro-choicers hate me using that argument as much as you do. ;-)

And I've always hated the "when does life begin" and "when is it human" arguments. Obviously a human foetus is alive and human. I've always admonished other Pro-Choicers for using that argument.

The best argument is that the Individual has sovereign rights over their own body which trumps any alleged organism or foetus "rights." I believe that across the board, on drug issues, end of life issues, sex worker issues, etc... Laws against those issues are unconstitutional.

So, you should take your Authoritarian Pro-State-Control-of-Women's-Bodies arguments (which IS what you are advocating) and chuck them out of the window. If you actually believe in democracy that is...

By the way, I too am enjoying the discussion. :-)

gandalfsbeard said...

By the way, RE: Slavery.

Who owns my body? You? The State?

If I don't own my body, that is tantamount to slavery.

Deefr said...

No..slavery is when someone else owns you..not what you do or don't own.

Deefr said...

I have a right to kill anything living inside of me. --Okay, now I know you're not being serious. No right allocated to you allows to kill someone else. Just because "men wouldn't like it" means ZERO. Maybe we wouldn't, but that has nothing to do with an INALIENABLE right, which LIFE is, and "killing someone inside you" is NOT. The strangling analogy: My hands are aprt of my own body, I cannot use them to strangle people...ergo, I do not have "Sovereignty" over my body. No one does. Again, no right allows you to kill someone else. Especially with what you're really saying "I can it's an

P.S: Things were better before Roe vs Wade. For everyone. That's why Erma McCorvey (The Roe in Roe v Wade) became pro-life. One of the founders of NARAL became pro-life. No one switches from our side to yours, save for politicians (and we know why that is.)

It's not State control of women's's protecting innocents. So you can shove your "Kill anything that might make life a tad more difficult for me" attitude.
It's the one thing the Pro-Choicers have their side: The appeal to human selfishness.

The last word is yours. I must move on.

P.S: Good Day. I mean that. :)

Coyote said...

You appear to be guilty of the guilt by association fallacy (with your comparison to slavery).

gandalfsbeard said...

So who owns my body then? You're being ridiculous and illogical.

If the State can forcibly tell me what to do with it, then they own it, not me.

Don't you even consider your arguments before posting them? Or do you just throw them against a wall to see what sticks? :P

gandalfsbeard said...

"Guilt by association"???

You really don't know what you're talking about. That has absolutely no relevance to my comment. You are applying the term incorrectly.

In any case, I wasn't making a comparison; I was making a direct link. If the State is allowed to force me to do something I don't want to with my body, then for all intents and purposes they own my body.

It's bloody easy to understand. It doesn't take that much brain-power. :P

choiceone said...

Actually, my rights not to be raped, sexually assaulted, kidnapped, or robbed do in fact allow me to kill someone else. US law and the law in my state clarify that if a person believes, with cause, that his/she is being threatened with (or subject to) those crimes, he/she has no obligation to retreat but has the right to use deadly force if necessary to prevent/stop those crimes. And if the person threatening or committing the behavior thus perceived is legally insane and would thus not be prosecuted or would be found not guilty after the fact makes no difference at all. The behavior is sufficient warrant to use deadly force, either on one's own behalf or that of a third party.

choiceone said...

Actually, herbal abortion has been practiced by women for thousands of years, and there are many societies which ban legal abortion in which women use herbs or foods as early abortifacients. A sufficient quantity of green pineapple or green papaya early enough is likely to end a pregnancy. With sufficient chemical knowledge, one could probably make one's own mifepristone and misoprostol in one's kitchen. The main justification for legal medical abortion is that these methods are dangerous for girls/women and when they don't work, they can result in seriously disabled neonates for whose care the girls/women can't afford to pay. Oh, and suicide is legal in all 50 US states. That is the simplest of all ways to end a pregnancy.

choiceone said...

As I noted above, suicide is one way that a woman can end her pregnancy. Since she has the sovereignty over her body to do this, as does any man, she has sovereignty over her body and over the embryo's life, as it won't survive if she is careful enough in her choice of method. This is sufficient to tell us that no one has the legal right to prevent the woman from controlling her body. The point of legal abortion is to prevent her death by choice, her injury by choice, etc.

Deefr said...

This would almost be a point..(but it isn't) if the fetus was going to rape and kill you. They're innocent bystanders. Yes, I know on rare occasions birth can kill the mom, and very few say abortion shouldn't be allowed in those very rare circumstances, but to talk about that is to talk about what abortion ISN'T. No offense, but that was a real lame post. You're trying to say the fetus, by existing, has somehow committed a crime.

choiceone said...

You said that people did not have the right to kill others at all. I assumed you knew that anyone has a right to kill if his/her life was being threatened and he/she could not retreat. So I just told you about other situations in which people have the right to kill others.

I didn't say anything about the fetus. However, the fact is that no person has the right to put or keep a body part inside your body/sex organs without your prior express consent AND your ongoing consent.

And consent to sex with a specific man is not consent to a specific embryo . . .

Deefr said...

You're right does not extend to harming other people. My right to wave my fist ends at another person's face.You're "sovereignty" does not include harm to other people. As even gandalf admitted, the fetus is human. (At which point he lost this argument whether he thinks so or not.) None of your rights (especially ones the pro-choice movement had to manufacture) extend to killing someone else. Why do you think people that murder a pregnant woman can be held on 2 counts of murder?

Deefr said...

hence my statement that you're saying the fetus has committed a crime.That the woman is protecting herself from the fetus. It is what you are saying, whether you see that or not. You don't have the right to kill innocent bystanders.The fetus is not "put in the womb" that's an act of nature so to speak. That's like saying you can sue a tornado if it blows your house away because you didn't consent to it. We're not saying the fetus stays in the womb because it has to stay there against your consent, but because no one has the right to take away an INNOCENT life just because they don't like the circumstances. Under your scenario, the guy in Florida that shot those kids over loud music should get off. He didn't like the circumstances, he didn't consent to listening to their music, they violated his rights, so he shot them. That's okay, he does have control over his own ears/hearing, right?

Mya said...

There's a man in the picture who engages in sex as well. But it's the women who "chose to engage in sex" and is now being forced to stay pregnant against her will and suffer the consequences. Men are never brought up in this debate...while women are shamed and reviled for daring to have sex. This is one (of many) reasons why anti-choice rhetoric is so offensive to women (at least pro-choice women) and why you are seen as "hating women."

Coyote said...

In regards to males, males currently cannot get pregnant as a result of having sex. This is why males are not forced to remain pregnant against their will, at least so far.

"Men are never brought up in this debate"

I disagree, considering that anti-abortion people support forcing males to pay child support to these offspring afterwards.

"while women are shamed and reviled for daring to have sex."

I certainly disagree with anti-abortion people who do this. I don't think that anyone should be shamed or reviled for having legally consensual sex.

"This is one (of many) reasons why anti-choice rhetoric is so offensive to women (at least pro-choice women) and why you are seen as "hating women.""

OK, but this appears to be a generalization which states/implies that all politically anti-abortion people say such things, which is not the case in reality.

Also, for the record, I do want to point out that males are sometimes shamed after sex as well--for instance, many individuals (including many pro-choicers) have no problem shaming males for refusing to pay child support if these males have legally consensual sex and then an accidental pregnancy occurs (regardless of the circumstances in these situations); meanwhile, many of these individuals strongly oppose shaming females for getting abortions and/or for giving their offspring up for adoption/utilizing safe haven laws without the consent of these offspring's fathers.

choiceone said...

Please get it straight. Legal medicinal abortion with mifepristone and misprostol says it all. The mifepristone is taken orally by the woman. It loosens the biological connection of the side of the placenta made out of her own tissue, with her own DNA, from her own uterine wall. The embryo ceases to exhibit life signs immediately upon this disconnection of her tissue from her tissue. Then, she takes misoprostol, and the drug combination causes contractions in her own uterus which expel the placenta+embryo unit without ever touching the embryo.

Explain how this woman "killed" the embryo. You are aware, I take it, that no blastocyst of any placental mammal continues to live more than a few days unless implanted in a mature member of the species? In a petri dish, we can give it the most powerful oxygen-rich nutrient developed by science and all that happens is its pre-implantation life span is at most doubled. Without implantation and signals from the body of the member where it's implanted, no blastocyst goes through development.

Blastocysts are not viable organisms with differentiated organs. They never become such organisms. The only thing that ever becomes a viable fetus is an embryo that has become an implanted part of the woman's body.

Abortion means nothing but the ending of a pregnancy, i.e., a biological connection of an embryo or fetus to a woman's body. An embryo or fetus isn't aborted: the woman's pregnancy is aborted.

The UVVA-type laws all apply only if a crime has occurred against the woman - without this, there can be no crime against a fetus because a fetus IS NOT SEPARATE.

When are you people going to figure this stuff out? It has been known in biology for a really long time.

Elizabeth Doecke said...

Is not depriving a dependent human being of basic needs (nutrition etc.) that you have the capacity to supply equivalent to 'killing'?

Is not causing a human being to be in an environment where they cannot physiologically support life equivalent to 'killing'? (Unless I've misunderstood what you mean by killing, in which case clarification would be appreciated.)

For example, I am isolated with my six month old daughter. I stop feeding her and she dies. Or I place her in a sealed space and remove the oxygen from it. She dies. Explain to me in either case how I did not kill her.