Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Objections to Biological Humanity from Fertilization

I would now like to address several arguments which are commonly raised against the life and humanity of the unborn. See my previous article for arguments that support biological humanity from fertilization.

1) Human life doesn’t begin at fertilization, it began millions of of years ago.

“We are concerned...with what embryo science has to say, ultimately, about the origins of human beings. By this we do not, obviously, mean to ask when the human species, or human life in a generic sense, arose. And so our question is not answered by talk of the continuity of human life through the last few millions of years. We are instead concerned with the origins of individual human beings -- human beings like those reading this book, right now. This is the crucial question: when did those human beings begin to be, and what were the characteristic features of their growth and development?” (Robert P. George and Christopher Tollefsen, Embryo: A Defense of Human Life, Doubleday, 2008, p. 28.)

This is a rather bizarre objection. I’m including it here because I’ve now heard it three times. It’s simply semantic nonsense. A new, unique, genetically distinct human being is created at fertilization (as is attested by the science of embryology). In fact, the quote by O’Rahilly and Muller (see last article) even attests to the fact that life is a continuous process. The mother and father are alive, the sperm and the ovum are alive, and the resulting human organism is alive. Human reproduction is a continuous process of life, this is true. However, fertilization is that critical landmark that establishes the creation of a new, genetically distinct human organism.

2) Viruses and crystals are alive, yet they don't have a right to life.

It is actually not clear whether or not viruses are alive. Louis P. Villareal explains that viruses consist of nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) enclosed in a protein coat that may also shelter viral proteins involved in infection. When a virus enters a cell, it sheds its coat, bares its genes and induces the cell’s own replication machinery to reproduce the intruder’s DNA or RNA and manufacture more viral protein based on the instructions in the viral nucleic acid. Through this process other viruses are replicated. So in a sense, viruses lead "a kind of borrowed life." Viruses seem to more closely resemble a chemistry set than a living thing, so scientists consider them inert chemicals. But whether or not they are alive, it's the differences that matter. Human beings begin life at fertilization and direct their own development, which doesn't end at birth. If it can be said that a newborn is a human being, then there are no grounds to exclude the human zygote from the human community. Even if viruses were alive, it's not simply being alive that makes a human being valuable, but the kind of thing it is.

Secondly, crystals are not alive. They do grow, but they grow through a process called nucleation. In this process, they grow by combining the molecules already present with molecules from other sources, called "solute" molecules. So they are not alive; they do not grow as living organisms grow, through cell division and reproduction.

3) Skin cells/hair follicles/sperm and eggs are human.

A pro-choice advocate who claims that zygotes/embryos/fetuses don’t have a right to life because we would have to give a right to life to cells, sperm, eggs, etc. because they are also human makes the elementary mistake of confusing parts with wholes. The embryo from fertilization is a unique entity that directs its own development from within. Left alone, a skin cell will not develop into a mature human, but that’s exactly what a zygote will do. All of the embryo’s parts work together for the good (survival and flourishing) of the whole organism.

Once the sperm and egg unite, they cease to exist and a brand new human organism exists. It makes no sense to say you were once a sperm or somatic cell. It makes complete sense to say you were once an embryo. The sperm and egg merely contribute genetic material to the creation of a new human organism.

4) Freezing/Twinning/Recombining.

A pro-choice advocate I debated with once claimed that you can’t freeze an adult human, but you can freeze an embryo and it will come back to life, so the embryo cannot be human. This is faulty reasoning. First, embryos can only be frozen up to seven days after fertilization, but the embryonic stage lasts up to two months. After that, it is a fetus. But embryo and fetus are just stages of human development, like infant, toddler, adolescent, teenager, adult, and elderly.

Second, even though a very early embryo can survive the freezing process, it doesn’t follow that they are not human. This just means that early embryos can do one more thing that more mature humans can’t. They can also survive without a heart or a brain (I owe Josh Brahm for this observation via personal correspondence). Consider Han Solo, who was frozen in carbonite in The Empire Strikes Back and later thawed out in Return of the Jedi. Does it follow that Han wasn't human because he was able to be frozen?

When it comes to twinning, it doesn’t follow that because some embryos twin, there wasn’t one whole human organism before that. As Patrick Lee points out, “if we cut a flatworm in half, we get two flatworms.” (Patrick Lee, Abortion and Unborn Human Life, Washington, D.C.: Catholic University Press in America, 1996, p. 93.) However, can you seriously argue that prior to the split, there wasn’t one distinct flatworm? Also, admittedly, we aren’t entirely sure what happens during twinning. Does the original organism die and give rise to two new organisms, or does the original survive and engage in some sort of asexual reproduction? Either way, it does not call into question the fact that there was one distinct organism prior to the splitting.

5) Not all products of conception are human and won’t develop into human beings, and not all human beings may result from conception.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson distinguishes three types of nonhuman entities that result from a union of sperm and egg: the hydatidiform mole (“an entity which is usually just a degenerated placenta and typically has a random number of chromosomes”), the choriocarcinoma (“a conception-cancer resulting from the sperm-egg union is one of gynecology’s most malignant tumors”), and the “blighted ovum” (“a conception with the forty-six chromosomes but which is only a placenta, lacks an embryonic plate, and is always aborted naturally after implantations”). (Bernard Nathanson, Aborting America, New York: Doubleday, 1979, p. 214, as discussed in Francis Beckwith, Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, New York, 2007, p. 74.)

As Dr. Beckwith explains in his book, pro-choice advocates often confuse necessary and sufficient conditions. The sperm-egg union is a necessary condition for conception of a human, not a sufficient one. Not everything that arises from the sperm-egg union is a human conception, but a sperm-egg union is necessary for conception of a human.

Conversely, human clones arise without the benefit of conception. Just as the sperm-egg union is a necessary condition for conception and not a sufficient condition, conception itself is a sufficient condition for a human being to come into existence, not a necessary one. (Paraphrased from Francis Beckwith, ibid., pp. 74-75.)

Doctor Maurine Condic also provides a wonderful analogy to show that even though non-human conceptions may occur, it does not follow that all conceptions are non-human:

"Despite an initial (superficial) similarity to embryos, hydatidiform moles do not start out as embryos and later transform into tumors, they are intrinsically tumors from their initiation. Moreover, they are not frustrated embryos that are “trying” (yet unable) to develop normally. Just as a CD recording of “Twinkle, twinkle little star” is not somehow thwarted in its attempt to play the “Alphabet song” by a deficiency of notes in the fourth measure ..., hydatidiform moles are not “blocked” from proceeding along an embryonic path of development by a lack of maternally-imprinted DNA. Rather, hydatidiform moles are manifesting their own inherent properties—the properties of a tumor. Even in the optimal environment for embryonic development (the uterus), hydatidiform moles produce disordered growths, indicating they are not limited by environment, but rather by their own intrinsic nature; a nature that does not rise to the level of an organism...If the necessary structures (molecules, genes etc.) required for development (i.e., an organismal level of organization) do not exist in an entity from the beginning, the entity is intrinsically incapable of being an organism and is therefore not a human being. Such entities are undergoing a cellular process that is fundamentally different from human development and are not human embryos." (Maurine Condic, "A Biological Definition of the Human Embryo," Persons, Moral Worth, and Embryos: A Critical Analysis of Pro-Choice Arguments, as quoted by Jay Watts in his article Condic on the Difference Between Embryonic Humans and Hydatidiform Moles, emphasis Condic's.)

6) Miscarriages.

People often point to the high number of miscarriages that occur (many of which are flushed out of the woman’s body). However, how does it follow that just because the woman’s body may miscarry, that the unborn isn’t human? How does it follow that because nature spontaneously aborts unborn humans that we may deliberately kill them? People die of natural causes, but that does not justify murder. Natural disasters (e.g. tornadoes and earthquakes) kill many people at once, but this does not justify nuking cities.

Also, it should be noted that 100% of all humans conceived die. Whether you die as an embryo, a fetus, a teenager, or an adult, why would that affect your status as a human being?

The fact of science is that biological humanity begins at fertilization. None of these arguments work to undermine that basic fact of embryology. The sooner we stop arguing over a question that's essentially been settled by scientists, the sooner we can get to the heart of the matter and keep the conversation focused where it needs to be: in what situations is it ever morally permissible to kill an innocent human being?


kap65 said...

Excellent article...thank you.

KB said...

Nice synopsis. Sadly, I hear these arguments often, and make similar rebuttals, but I find people making these arguments do so out of an uncritical assertion, and don't actually back up their arguments. Because they accept their stance as gospel, I have rarely found that these arguments are useful to them. they will blindly believe that which makes them feel better about themselves.

Clinton said...

Thank you for reading. :)

Clinton said...

Thanks. Yeah, I've found the same thing. The problem is that a lot of people have closed themselves off from evidence. There's actually another argument that I hear that I didn't respond to in this argument. Sometimes someone will try to argue that the unborn are fundamentally no different than a cancer. Aside from showing them how they are mistaken in their assertion, all you can really do is sit back and ask, "have you ever even *taken* a basic biology class?" Sometimes they're so desperate to support abortion that they'll just rely on absurd arguments that aren't even accepted by the best thinkers for their own position.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Loved the article!
Left you an email about it :-)

Clinton said...

Thanks! Yes, I got the e-mail. I'll respond ASAP.

PrincessJasmine4 said...


Natasha said...

Well, to me the issue of whether the fetus is a human life, human being, person, whatever, is wholly irrelevant. I do agree that the fetus is a human life, saying otherwise is ignorant. But, the right to life for human beings doesn't somehow trump my right to bodily integrity and autonomy.

"But, when a woman has sex, she accepts that she will get pregnant, and has to face the consequences!" you might say. As a person with full legal status, I have the right to decide what happens to my body, when, where, how and why. Even if I somehow consented for another person to use my body to sustain its life, I should have the right to terminate that at any time.

I think the right of bodily autonomy is the most fundamental of human rights, and trumps your right to life. Now, of course as a pro-lifer you might not agree...

Pregnancy has a significant impact on a woman's body, not to mention her life. She should have 100% say in what happens to her body, at all times, regardless of any other claim to the use of her body.

Coyote said...

I agree with all of your points here, and this is a great article. Very nice job, Clinton!

Also, in regards to this part: "A pro-choice advocate I debated with once claimed that you can’t freeze an adult human, but you can freeze an embryo and it will come back to life, so the embryo cannot be human."

This might not be true right now, but it might be possible for adult human beings to get cryogenically preserved and then to get revived and to get brought back to life later on.

Coyote said...

"I think the right of bodily autonomy is the most fundamental of human rights, and trumps your right to life. Now, of course as a pro-lifer you might not agree..."

I'm not so sure about this. For instance, one could state that the right to life/not to be killed/to be free from aggression/to defense/et cetera is superior to one's right to bodily autonomy, since without one's life everything else is worthless (which is not necessarily true if one's bodily autonomy is violated). Also, personally, I would probably state that the right not to be held responsible for the decisions of others is superior to the right to bodily autonomy.

"Even if I somehow consented for another person to use my body to sustain its life, I should have the right to terminate that at any time."

If you are saying that consent can always be revoked, then I don't see why this should only apply to one's body and not to one's other property as well. For instance, if I accepted this argument, it would appear to be morally justifiable to give consent to someone who can't swim to go on your boat, and then to revoke this consent later on and to throw this other individual overboard, thus possibly causing him or her to die due to drowning. Would you agree with doing this?

"Pregnancy has a significant impact on a woman's body, not to mention her life. She should have 100% say in what happens to her body, at all times, regardless of any other claim to the use of her body."

This argument appears to be ignoring the fact that abortion severely affects the fetus's body (after all, the fetus's body stops functioning) as well as the fetus's life (after all, on average, abortion ends the life of a human being several decades before it would have otherwise ended). In the overwhelming majority of cases, pregnancies do not threaten a woman's life, while in the overwhelming majority of cases, abortions *do* end the lives of prenatal human beings. You could state that the fetus's right to life ends where the woman's right to bodily autonomy begins, but I could likewise state that the woman's right to bodily autonomy ends where the fetus's right to life begins.

Coyote said...

I don't (necessarily) think that consent to sex = consent to pregnancy. However, just like consent to sex could equal to being held responsible for paying child support for 18/21 years, consent to sex could (at least generally) equal to being held responsible for continuing one's pregnancy for several months.

I agree with your point that saying that "consent can always be revoked" is a bad argument. I elaborated on this in another post of mine here.

Also, while I do value the right to bodily autonomy, I don't view it as a "holy cow"--for instance, I would probably view the right not to be held responsible for the decisions of others as superior to the right to bodily autonomy.

In my honest opinion and based on my studying of the arguments in the abortion debate, it appears that the decisive factor in regards to whether or not abortion is morally justifiable should be whether or not prenatal human beings are persons/worthy of having (any legal) rights.

NspctrGdgt said...

What about the fetus's right to bodily autonomy? If a fetus is a human, then the fetus also has the right to bodily autonomy, it just doesn't have to means to protect it's rights.

Coyote said...

"it just doesn't have to means to protect it's rights."

Which is why the government should protect the fetus's rights for him/her.

Angela McDaneld said...

What I don't understand is the justification for ignoring basic scientific facts. I'm not being inflammatory here - I really don't follow the logic and and seeking clarification that you may be able to offer.

By nature sexual intercourse has the property of being capable of producing a pregnancy. Consenting to sexual intercourse is consenting to the properties of intercourse as a whole - you can't consent to eating an ice-cream cone without consenting to the possibility of a brain-freeze and you can't consent to heating up a meal in the microwave without consenting to it becoming hot.

Even with birth control, condoms, etc. the property is still there. There is not a 100% guaranteed method of preventing pregnancy, other than not engaging in intercourse or sexual activity. (Notice I did not use "consenting to" - women who are raped can get pregnant, even without consent, but that is a different issue since consent is absent.)

Knowledgeably consenting to intercourse, then, entails consenting to the pregnancy that may arise from intercourse. I do not find it logical, then, to say that consent was not given for a pregnancy.

Anton said...

The fact of science is that biological humanity begins at fertilization.

The only scientific fact is that the zygote has its full complement of chromosomes after fertilization. Notions like life and humanity aren't scientific, they're philosophical.

But I suspect that you're not as sympathetic to the fate of zygotes as you let on. This matter is all about allowing yourself to feel morally superior to sexually active women, whom you demonize and dehumanize in the name of an "innocent" fetus.

Kelsey said...

Oooh, you mean we can just assume the worst of people despite their reasoned arguments? Oh boy, this is fun! I *suspect* that you aren't as sympathetic to sexually active women as you let on, and really just want abortion to be readily available so you can pressure your partners and avoid paying child support! J'accuse! Anton in the comment section with an ad hominem attack!
Seriously, come on now.

Anton said...

Kelsey, sorry to jump to conclusions.

Perhaps you could explain to me why pro-life literature (and articles like this) seem to ignore the fact that gestation takes place inside a woman's body. If there's actually strong concern about female autonomy in the pro-life movement, why are the mother's rights glossed over so often? If women are truly seen as conscious, responsible agents with rights that must be considered, why are they so often seen as less relevant in the matter of abortion than a person who hasn't even been born yet?

Kelsey said...

The rights of mothers are a frequent topic on this blog. Search bar is in the upper left hand corner. We talk about maternity leave, pregnancy discrimination, poverty, ways readers can help women in need, ending coerced abortions, pro-life feminism, and much more. This page from our website serves as an introduction:!pro-woman/c14bx

Coyote said...

You *might* be guilty of the appeal to motive fallacy here.

Anyway, the politically anti-abortion YouTube user here -- -- does have two videos which respond to the popular pro-choice Violinist scenario.

I do agree with what you appear to be saying here, which is that the decisive issue here appears to be whether or not fetuses should be considered (legal) persons/worthy of having (any legal) rights. I am well aware that being alive does not necessarily mean that one should be considered a person and that (legal) personhood does not necessarily need to begin at the point in which human development (of a new whole, as opposed to a part) begins. This is a separate debate. Frankly, I do appear to see some gray in regards to the whole personhood debate, perhaps even more gray than you see in regards to this.

And yes, when life begins depends on which definition of life one uses. However, we know for a fact that the development of a new whole* human specimen begins at conception/fertilization.

*These whole human specimens can separate or combine later on.

Anton said...

I do agree with what you appear to be saying here, which is that the
decisive issue here appears to be whether or not fetuses should be
considered (legal) persons/worthy of having (any legal) rights.

That's not really what I'm saying. As the father of two, I'll admit that the process of fetal development begins at fertilization. I fully understand the concern for the potential child. What I'm wondering is why pro-lifers appear to think women lose their humanity, and become mere locations for the fetus, at conception.

I'm not as comfortable as you folks are making arbitrary philosophical distinctions about "when life begins," and I'm not nearly as blasé about ignoring the woman's rights in the matter.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

That's where the pro abort and the pro lifer differ. It's not a potential life, he or she is a life.

It's your misconceived assumption that pro lifers think women lose their humanity when she becomes a mother.
This is clearly not the case.
We do everything we can to help mother and child.

We are not as comfortable as the pro aborts are with making arbitrary distinctions for when someone gets to be called a person (remember when blacks and Jews weren't?)
Everyone is deserving of life.

Anton said...

If someone's not born yet, and they're still living inside a woman's body, that constitutes a pretty hefty distinction. If you don't see the distinction, then maybe the woman herself has become invisible to you. And you accuse the pro-choice folks of dehumanizing?

remember when Women, Blacks and Jews weren't really persons?

Well, it seems women still aren't persons, if they cease to exist at the instant of conception. You "do everything you can to help" her as long as she's intent on giving birth; you revile her as a "baby-killer" if she's not.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Again, the women never ceases to exist because she is carrying new life
That is an absurd suggestion.

We tend to revile the abortionist as a baby killer rather than the woman. However, reviling someone doesn't make them any less human, does it?

Just because we reside within our mother's wombs as part of our development, doesn't make us any less human. It's just a stage of life. We are still alive, and we are still human.

Judging from the way I was treated during my pregnancies (even my first which was unplanned when I was barely getting by and in college) I'd say that women are elevated to even higher level during pregnancy.
Perfect strangers offered to buy my lunch, helped me out, gave up their seat in the bus for me.
I even had some random proposals.

No, you're wrong. We don't dehumanize the woman or the child.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

I'd like to add when was the last time you heard something like this from a pro lifer:

"The first time, I felt like a murderer, but I did it again and again and again, and now, 20 years later, I am facing what happened to me as a doctor and as a human being. Sure, I got hard. Sure, the money was important. And oh, it was an easy thing, once I had taken the step, to see the women as animals and the babies as just tissue."

- Abortionist quoted from a radio talk show by John Rice in "Abortion" Litt D. Murfreesboro, TN.

I think you're confused about which side dehumanizes women and children.

Anton said...

No, you're wrong. We don't dehumanize the woman or the child.

Well, I'm not the one who says there's no difference between a zygote and a newborn; I acknowledge that the woman's rights have to be considered in the matter. You don't.

It seems if you think you're looking at a human being when you're looking at a blastocyst, it seems that the woman has become either completely invisible or nonexistent. You may say you're not dehumanizing the woman, but that's not the way it sounds to me.

Anton said...

when was the last time you heard something like this from a pro lifer:

Um, okay. But all the time I hear pro-lifers ignore the woman and fixate on the fetus, and call abortion "baby-killing" so they can display their moral superiority to a woman who chooses to abort.

It's not my imagination.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

We're not the ones referring to woman as animals either.

The difference between a zygote and a newborn is liken to the difference between a toddler and a teenager.
Both still human.
Just 2 different stages of life.

You keep pretending that we stay in the blastocyst stage for more than a few days.
We don't even know we are pregnant when the child is in this stage.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Why does the woman get to decide who lives and who dies?
Why do think a pregnant woman and no other human gets this special privilege?

Anton said...

Just 2 different stages of life.

In one stage, however, the human is developing inside a woman's body. But you keep forgetting to mention that.

Maybe she's just not that important to you.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

It's amazing that to me that what this doctor said doesn't even phase you.
But the pro life stance is what is dehumanizing?

Anton said...

To you people women are nothing a political platform to spew your hatred for the unborn.

Wow, talk about presumption!

I have no particular hatred for the unborn. I'm a father of two, and I was overjoyed when my wife was pregnant both times. However, I do not consider the existence of a fertilized egg with a full complement of chromosomes reason to erase, ignore, and dehumanize an adult woman.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Why do you feel the need to dehumanize the child in the mother's womb?

Anton said...

Why do you feel the need to dehumanize the child in the mother's womb?

I'm much more comfortable "dehumanizing" someone who hasn't even been born yet, can feel no pain, and is still developing inside a woman's body, rather than dehumanizing an adult female.

But I guess you're fine with that.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Well, one good presumption deserves another.
You keep saying the we dehumanize women but have offered no proof.
I've offered you proof that pro aborts devalue the life of women and think us to be mere animals.
You continue to dehumanize us when we are in the womb.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Assumptions again..
See, this is why I started playing your game and then you got offended.

Whether or not we are yet born or can feel pain is irrelevant.
Abortion ends a life. Stop the beating heart of the child.
Also in many instances is emotionally scares the mother.

Guess you're fine with that

PrincessJasmine4 said...

I'm not comfortable with dehumanizing women or children at any stage of their lives.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

more respect for women on the part of the pro aborts:

“Apathetic towards her future and her past- left her child with people in Arkansas. Doesn’t know where she’ll be tomorrow. Very talkative, carefree….Seems to be a rather confused young lady. No problem concerning abortion decision or during procedure.”

“Acted twelve years old. Not very responsible for a seventeen year old. May be a repeater with a birth control attitude. Attitude toward birth control, HORRIBLE. Says she’ll probably quit them but doesn’t want any other method. Very immature.”

“Very bad patient. Wouldn’t relax at all. Kept pulling back on the table. She was ten or twelve weeks and didn’t have much pain but worked herself into a frenzy. Possible repeater.”

From Robert H. Ruff “Aborting Planned Parenthood: Documented Proof of Planned Parenthood’s Systematic Exploitation of Teenagers and Taxpayers” (New York: Life Cycle Books 1988)

Anton said...

You keep saying the we dehumanize women but have offered no proof.

PJ, I offer your very words, in which the woman is reduced to a mere "stage," a location for the all-important fetus. You compared her to a house, an inert container. You have taken her agency, her responsibility over her person, and her humanity away because you disapprove of her sexual behavior.

On the other hand, you've given me the words of some doctor who said a nasty thing.

I'm done with this now.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Anton, you offered nothing.

I was using a comparison.

You do realize what that is, right?

Using a comparison in no way dehumanizes anyone.

I don't care about anyone's sexual behavior. Personally, I'm bisexual. I'll take sex anyway and anywhere I can get it. I love it.

However, this has nothing to with a woman's sexual behavior.. again you assume to much.
What this has to do with is the value of life.
No one has the right to take someone else's life.
No one.

It's clear pro abort dehumanize women and children.

Pro lifers are the ones taking care of both.

Of course you're done.
You are out of generalizations, assumptions and argument (not that you ever had any argument to begin with )

PrincessJasmine4 said...

The child is a stage of development. And the woman is a stage as well.
What's so dehumanizing about that? It's a fact of life.

I've not taken her agency or responsibility over her person away. What I'm asking is that she take responsibility over the person or persons she's helped to create.

Big difference

Clinton said...

Thanks! Yeah, it's possible that cryofreezing technology has advanced since I last saw the research, but as it progresses then it just makes the point about "freezing" embryos less and less effective.

Clinton said...

That's exactly right (and a topic of another article I've written here). Rights are either natural rights, meaning they come to be when we do, or they're legal rights, meaning the government can grant them and rightfully take them away. This presents an amusing paradox for pro-choice people. They don't want to concede that the right to bodily autonomy or life are legal rights, so if they're natural rights, then abortion not only violates a fetus' right to life but their right to bodily integrity. So even if you think the right to bodily integrity is the most fundamental of all rights (which is clearly a false claim anyway), then abortion is still a grievous wrong.

Cat Astrophe said...

"But, the right to life for human beings doesn't somehow trump my right to bodily integrity and autonomy."

Actually, yes, it does. For one thing, "bodily autonomy" isn't an actual right, but a very loose interpretation of two others. The fundamental three rights that exist outlined in this document are as follows: "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

The concept of "bodily autonomy" would fall somewhere between "liberty" and "pursuit of happiness". But notice that "life" precedes both of them. That was deliberate, because the other two are meaningless without the first. After all, the dead need no rights.

So yes, "life" does indeed trump "bodily autonomy".

PrincessJasmine4 said...

So well said!!!

Faye Valentine said...

lol, feigns concern for pregnant women as he goes on to tell a formerly pregnant woman how worthless our children are, and how little their lives mean in comparison to The Almighty Pregnant Woman. When a woman who has been pregnant-which he will never be-tells him he's wrong.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Very well observed Faye!!
Thank you! :-)

Rachel Anne Enders said...

But Anton - I'm sexually active and unmarried. I also oppose abortion because it takes the life of a fellow member of the human species. No moral superiority here :D

Anton said...

No, Rachel, actually it prevents a human being from being born.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

It seems to me as if fertilization is the least arbitrary point though. From a developmental point, the fetus at 32 weeks is almost identical except for size to a born infant. Is the vagina a magical organ which *poof* magically grants life upon a member of the human species? The personhood fairy does not live within the vagina waiting to give it rights. The most consistent point is fertilization itself.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Pregnancy ends in two ways - birth of a human or death of a human. Nothing else can happen. So unless you're going to compare elective abortion to a miscarriage, you have to say "yes, this is directly taking the life of a living organism".

Furthermore, I gave you an example of how I, a sexually active independent young woman, am standing up for the rights of the unborn. You say our motivations are to demean sexually active women, so what do you say about me?

PrincessJasmine4 said...

careful, he might accuse you of dehumanizing yourself :-)

He thinks that I dehumanized myself 3 times in order to give birth…

Pro aborts don't follow consistent logic.
Don't give him a headache :-)

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Hee hee hee :D

Anton said...

Rachel, it just goes to show how comfortable you are making arbitrary and unscientific distinctions about "when life begins." I never claimed to know where the fetus attains its "personhood." Since there is an adult female involved here, inside whose body this process takes place, I simply feel that the most prudent course of action is to leave the decision up to her. If you feel that it's better to force her to undergo pregnancy and childbirth against her will, then we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Ah, so you're going to take the " mama knows best" option. Tell you what, next time you see one of those mothers killing their children on the news, come back to me. Since there is an adult female here, inside whose house this process takes place, it's the most prudent course of action.

Anton said...

Rachel, are you really comparing a woman's rights over a process going on in her body to a homeowner's rights? Do you think a woman is just a location, an inert housing for the fetus?


Rachel Anne Enders said...

I've heard pro-choice bloggers compare the ability to have an abortion as the ability to kick a squatter out of a house.

Of course a woman isn't just an incubator. A woman is a person. The unborn are people. None of should be killed :D

Anton said...

The unborn aren't actually people, Rachel, because they haven't been born. Smilies do not compensate for ignoring valid distinctions.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Why aren't the unborn people though? Can you think of any other time where humans arent people.

Would you rather me frown D:

Anton said...

Again, Rachel, I'm making a distinction between unborn people who are still developing inside a woman's body, and actual infants who have already been born.

My only guess as to why it's so difficult to establish this distinction is that women aren't of much importance to you. Why is that?

Rachel Anne Enders said...

Women are of infinite importance to me. You're relying upon a stereotype that is blatantly untrue.Why wouldn't I care about women when I am a woman?

The difference between a fetus and an infant is the same difference between an infant and an adolescent. Both are behaving the way they're supposed to. Location shouldn't affect when someone can be killed.

Anton said...

If you refer to a woman as a "location," it's clear her rights and humanity aren't of infinite importance to you.

I'll at least admit that I'm more comfortable dehumanizing someone who hasn't been born yet, can't feel pain, and is still developing in his mother's body, rather than dehumanizing an adult female by making her invisible and irrelevant in the matter.

Rachel Anne Enders said...

I did not refer to a woman as a location. Oh dear sweet lordie, you're gonna twist any words.

A woman is not a mere location. But the fetus is located within the uterus. Where a person is located should not affect if they can be killed.

Adam Peters said...

If you want to see who's dehumanizing sexually active women then I suggest that you check out the "bro-choice" crowd:

PrincessJasmine4 said...

I really think we should ignore him
He's accusing us women who stand for life of dehumanizing ourselves I'd argue that he's dehumanizing us as women by accusing us of dehumanizing women (But that's only by using his "logic")

It's like talking to a brick wall
He refuses to acknowledge basic science
And he refuses to see this from the perspective of a pro life woman Apparently he doesn't count us as valid individuals whose opinions are worthy of him (Again using his "logic" here)
He sounds like a misogynist and fetusist

He's a man
And he's got an agenda
So everyone else be damned
He doesn't understand what it's like to feel life in his womb
To feel the kicking
Hear the heart beating
He's never felt the hiccups when they hiccup
Or seen them sucking their thumbs in the womb
He doesn't understand
Therefore it's easy for him to dehumanize both woman and child

He claims to be a father but has no regard for the unborn
What did he think his babies or he was in the womb?

Sadly pro aborts don't understand that women men and children (born or unborn) Are of equal value

Btw when pro aborts refer to a woman as being a location it's ok There's a double standard of course

someone45 said...

Why don't you care about the rights or the life of the actual living woman who is pregnant?

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Why don't you actually read what she said?
Reading comprehension much?
Or do you just see what you want to see just like every other pathetic pro abort bot?

She said women and children are of equal value.
That has been as always will be the pro life message.
If you're too dim to understand that… it's no longer our problem.

someone45 said...

There is no way at all that they can be equal when you are putting the developing life of the fetus above the life and rights of the woman who is living.
By forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term anti-choicers are saying the eventual life of the fetus means more than the woman's life.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Just because it's impossible for you womb lynchers to understand equality Does not make it impossible
When we are in our mother's womb, we are not potential life
We are life
We are real humans in our particular state of development

If a woman does not wish to be pregnant then she should not get pregnant in the first place Nothing justifies the taking of an innocent life

someone45 said...

Please explain how you can consider them equal when you aren't even caring about the fact that the woman doesn't want to be pregnant. She doesn't want to spend nine months suffering possibly pregnancy symptoms. What she wants means nothing to anti-choicers.

I agree if a woman doesn't want to get pregnant she should use birth control, but it fails and that isn't a reason for her to have her life ruined.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Of course we consider the woman's feelings
But again, why should the child have to pay with his or her life because of the mistakes of the mother Why?
Both mother and child deserve the same care

Womb lynchers rape the child of his or her life

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Oh so now you and rest of you womb lynchers are the deciders of who is a child and who isn't??
Of course a fetus is a child
In a particular developmental stage

Even abortionists agree that they are killing babies and taking the lives of children So you know more than abortionists or embryologists?

They would be taken care of
Are you saying that because someone is unwanted they don't don't deserve life?
The main difference between a pro lifer and a womb lyncher comes down to one thing: Selfishness vs selflessness

It's a shame so many people are so selfish
It's what can make this world a terrible place

someone45 said...

What makes this world a terrible place is people can't mind their own business and stay out of things that don't have anything to do with them.

I am saying because a fetus would ruin a woman's life if she was forced to carry to term she has a right to have an abortion.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

People should mind their own business?
Right so the rest of Europe should have just minded their own business and let Hitler kill off all the Jews Right?
If I saw you being raped it's none of my business to intervene, right?
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
(Edmund Burke)

You think a woman should be able to kill a child for convenience?
What other type of citizen would you afford such a privilege?

someone45 said...

There is a big difference between rape and killing people and a woman aborting an unwanted pregnancy. They are not even close to the same.

Of course a woman shouldn't be able to kill an actual child. At that point it is outside of her body and she is not having her life messed up by the child. She could take the child to any number of places and drop it off without killing it.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

That's where you are wrong
Just own up to it
You're ok with killing babies
Even abortionists own up to it
Why can't you?
Pregnancy doesn't mess up a woman's life nearly as much as a toddler could

someone45 said...

Pregnancy and a child could both mess up a woman's life.

A baby is a recently born person. I am ok with a woman deciding she doesn't want to have her body used against her will for nine months.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

You're ok with a women having the right to kill her child
Just own up to it

someone45 said...

No I am ok with a woman abortion a embryo/fetus. I do not consider that to be a child and I never will.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Stop with euphemisms
There are people who will always believe the earth is flat or deny evolution People like you fall into that same category

Regardless of the insurmountable evidence you choose to stay ignorant

Not my problem

“We – in the states – have dealt heavily, up to now, in euphemism. I think one of the reasons why the “good guys” – the people in favor of abortion rights – lost a lot of ground is that we have been unwilling to talk to women about what it means to abort a baby. We don’t ever talk about babies, we don’t ever talk about what is being decided in abortion. We never talk about responsibility. The word “choice” is the biggest euphemism. Some use the phrases “products of conception” and “contents of the uterus,” or exchange the word “pregnancy” for the word “fetus.” I think this is a mistake tactically and strategically, and I think it’s wrong… It is morally and ethically wrong to do abortions without acknowledging what it means to do them. I performed abortions, I have had an abortion and I am in favor of women having abortions when we choose to do so. But we should never disregard the fact that being pregnant means there is a baby growing inside of a woman, a baby whose life is ended. We ought not to pretend this is not happening.”
Judith Arcana “Feminist Politics and Abortion in the US” Pro-Choice Forum (Psychology and Reproductive Choice) Sponsored by The Society for the Psychology of Women.

Please tell what you know that an abortionist doesn't

someone45 said...

There is a fetus developing into a baby inside the woman but if you took it out of her body at 14 weeks it would not survive.

It doesn't matter how strongly you believe that a fetus is a baby and should be more valuable then the woman carrying it. The woman carrying it should have the final say over whether or not her uterus and life is used to sustain the existence of the fetus.

PrincessJasmine4 said...


It doesn't matter how much you disbelieve that we are actually children with a right to life even when we are in the womb.

No one ever said that the child is more important.

I take that back… womb lynchers keep saying that.

At any rate… abortionists and embryologists disagree with you.

You have yet to answer my question.

Why do you think you know more than abortionists?


What do you know that they don't?

There is no difference between a first trimester, a second trimester, a third trimester abortion or infanticide. It’s all the same human being in different stages of development. I finally got to the point I couldn’t look at those little bodies anymore--Dr. Arnold Halpern, former director of an abortion clinic, said the following on the John Ankerburg show Sunday, March 18, 1990

I guess it's good that you keep denying science.. .
it just makes your entire side look as ignorant as you…

so perhaps I should just say, keep it up.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

You have no right to say that my sons and daughter were not babies when they were in my womb.
How dare you??
They were babies when I first heard their hearts beating (4 weeks pregnant)
When I saw them sucking their thumbs (12 weeks)

I have a picture of my second son at 5 months in utero. He is smiling.
He still has that same smile.
It's still infectious.
I hold up the picture of the sonogram next to him and I see the same person.

My youngest was bouncing around and hiccuping by her 4th month in utero.

Are you really going to tell me that my babies weren't babies in my womb?


someone45 said...

No abortion is legal so it doesn't matter what you think . A woman still has freedom over her life and body.

You posting views of former abortionists who are now anti-choice does nothing. It just shows that they think women are second class citizens.

To answer your question I know a child it a born human and a fetus is not that. A fetus is a developing human but it is not a fully developed human.

someone45 said...

You wanted your child so to you they were babies. You knew you were going to have them. You loved them from as soon as you found out you were pregnant with them.

There is a big difference for a woman with an unwanted pregnancy. She probably feels nothing like you did.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

I didn't
They were all unplanned
But I had no right to stop their beating hearts

I didn't want the pregnancies
So you are wrong again. It was a huge change to my life.
I was in college
I wasn't married.
It changed my life
But I didn't resort to murder

I knew I had no right to kill another human regardless of inconvenience

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Nope… the first quote is form a current abortionist.
She's is still a leading feminist
She's ok with abortion but she also owns up to what it is.
It's taking the life of a baby.

Yes. There are fully human babies regardless of formation.

Slavery was once legal as well.
Bet you'd defend that too.

someone45 said...

They are not fully human. Fully developed humans don't need another person's body to live.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Yes, they are fully human.
You're not very scientific.
Humans do not produce non humans or 1/2 humans
Please provide me with evidence of it if we do.

And yes, infants need their mother's body to survive.

someone45 said...

Infants need someone to survive. They don't need their mother anyone can do it.

You honestly believe that an embryo at 4 weeks is a fully developed human.... that just makes no sense.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

They still need someone or they will die.

You honesty believe that embryos aren't fully human at 4 weeks?
What do you think they are?

At any stage of life, we are fully human
Size and location do not determine humanity

someone45 said...

Anyone can care for the newborn though. It does not fall onto one person as pregnancy does.

At four weeks they are developing into a human.

someone45 said...

Please explain how a pregnancy does not only fall on one person. Can someone else share the nausea or the insomnia? Can someone else give birth?

A fully developed human can live independent of someone else's body at four weeks there is no way that is possible.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

I didn't say that the pregnancy could be shared.
You need to brush up on your reading comprehension skills.

Raising the child once he or she is born can sometimes fall on only one person.

A fully development human infant cannot live without someone taking care of him or her… and sometimes it is just one person.
Sometimes it's the mother who doesn't even want him or her.
But she still cannot end his or her life.

Are you scared of insomnia and nausea?
I guess we should add cowardice to the list of MO's of the pro abort/womb lyncher

someone45 said...

Insomnia can destroy someone's life. It can take away all of their hope and leave with with no reason to live. i have seen it destroy people close to me. I know what the type of insomnia that comes with pregnancy could do to a person.

Anyone can take care of the baby after it is born. The woman can give it up if she wants. She is not forced to suffer every day for it.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Insomnia can happen to men
It happens outside of pregnancy
Who so you get to kill when it happens outside pregnancy?

There are far worse things than pregnancy
Stop being such a coward

someone45 said...

But when insomnia happens outside of pregnancy you can do something about it. When it happens in a pregnancy you just have to suffer because anything that would actually work might harm the fetus.

I'm sure there are a few worse things than being pregnant, but it is defiantly in the top 10.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Not even in the top 20
You are a coward at least own up to that
You can't even own up to the fact that current abortionists own up to

And you're also misinformed

someone45 said...

My list of bad things and yours must be very different than... I view something that would destroy my life as bad. I am also not a coward I just don't want kids now or ever.

So I was right that anything that actually works is not allowed and the useless stuff is what they give women...

PrincessJasmine4 said...

There's nothing wrong with not wanting kids
What is wrong is taking his or her life because of your mistake Children should never have to pay with their lives for the mistakes of their fathers And mothers

Yes you are a coward
You would kill your child before he or she had a chance
You would stop their beating heart sever the little fingers and toes And crush their skull and have him or her sucked out
That Someone, is what a coward would do.

You are a coward for what you would do.

No one cares that you don't want kids
As a matter of fact you're doing the world a favor
No one wants selfish whiny cowardly little someone45:'a running around
Trust me

MarcusFenix said...

Argument from incredulity, also known as the Divine Fallacy. Just saying.

MarcusFenix said...

I have insomnia. Have since i was 12.

Somehow, it's not destroyed my life. It's also treatable, should one choose to see a medical specialist.

More doom and gloom/projection.

MarcusFenix said...

But lets be honest. If you start from something even as simple as 5 minutes from birth, and say "yup, that's a person"..back it up 5 minutes. Were they still? How about 5 minutes before that? and before that?

Fallacy of the Heap, in action.

Something else to figure in...

As someone45 does a lovely job of showing, the term "personhood" and "live person", and other terms like it are simply attempts to somehow equivocate or create ambiguity between terms and what's meant. For example, when she says "live person", she's referring to someone like us...someone already born on the outside. Where she mixes and creates confusion is that she cannot accurately give an answer to the idea that women are somehow only giving birth to other humans. Women don't become pregnant with sharks, or puppies, or koala bears. You're, more or less, going down the same road.

"Personhood" could be argued to a degree that until they get a social security number and a name, they're not a person? Were they a person before the paperwork got to the appropriate clerk? Notice how...wonky...that line of thinking becomes?

The claim that it's a "person", in the case of supporters like someone45, is that they remove the idea that somehow, a fetus isn't really human, and therefore it's ok, like squishing a bug. It's simply an easy way of rationalizing a situation down to where doing whatever they want is just fine, to avoid a consequence.

Tullia_Ciceronis said...

Are conjoined twins who cannot be separated not fully human then?

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Oh my, you just hit her with some logic that will make her poor little head ache

you can expect a bunch of whining in response :-)

someone45 said...

Well good for you that you were able to treat your insomnia. Stop thinking that because you were able to find a fix everyone can.

someone45 said...

A woman should not have to pay with her life because she was unlucky. I would also not crush anything because I would take the abortion pill.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Again, we are repeating ourselves here, but… the child who did not ask to come into existence should not have to pay with his or her life.
And you would still be killing someone.

someone45 said...

I would not have asked to get pregnant since I use birth control. Why should I have to pay with my life to bring the unwanted pregnancy to term.

I plan to do myself a favor and get my tubes tied in a few years.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Why should the child have to pay?
You're not paying with your life.
In the US, you can actually have a pregnancy and not die.
Imagine that!!!

And I'd like to help you get fixed sooner.
Where can I donate?

MarcusFenix said...

Treat it? I don't take anything for it. There's a difference between saying "it's treatable" and actually having it. I deal with it, sans medication. I sleep when i get tired. That's not a "fix". It's called coping with it. It's called dealing with it yourself. It's called "stop being a whiny little b!tch and buck up". Pick your favorite.

Here's a novel concept. Stop thinking that because you can't, or haven't, dealt with something that someone else cannot or has not. Stop thinking that everything that happens that's negative is akin to the apocalypse. Stop projecting. Those are all good things to consider. Maybe then, you can get some sleep.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

You forgot "and stop being such a whiny little 6 year old" :-)

MarcusFenix said...

I figured that was part of the "buck up" bit, but...noted. ;)

MarcusFenix said...

"paying with your life" dying for someone else. Clearly, we need to work on metaphors. And your constant projection that somehow, a person who gets pregnant unexpectedly is somehow about to die in a fiery heap of fear and loathing....or whatever.

someone45 said...

So you sleep when you are tired... that doesn't sound like insomnia to me.

There comes a point to where a person can't cope with it because it is causing them to not function. They become a danger to others just by driving being as tired as they are.

I know plenty of women can deal with pregnancies, especially when they are wanted. A pregnancy is just not something I want now or ever so it would make it unbearable.

MarcusFenix said...

"You said at first you sleep when you are tired. You did not say anything
about only sleeping four overs over seven days. There is a big
difference between the two."

I stated I have insomnia. I would have thought it no real intellectual leap that if someone says they have insomnia, that it wouldn't mean they're getting 8 hours a night. But yes...I sleep when i'm tired....every few days or so. My personal record for not actually sleeping is 12 days straight. At that point, whiskey became an invaluable tool, but one used only in extremes. Otherwise, i work, i read, i watch tv, i post at odd hours in random places, and so on. Helps kill the time, rather than staring at the walls in the dark.

"My posts are from my perspective of how it would be for me and for some
other women. I know plenty of women who share my view on pregnancy."

But it still comes across as projection. I have to admit, you're one of like....maybe three?...people i've ever heard describe their feelings about being pregnant in the way you do. Just calling it like i see it.

someone45 said...

Insomnia means not being able to sleep. A lot of the time it doesn't matter how tired a person is with insomnia they can't sleep.

Maybe the reason you don't see more people describe pregnancy as miserable is because you mostly talk to people who think as you do. If you went to a pro choice site you would probably see more people who think of it the same way I do.

MarcusFenix said...

"Insomnia means not being able to sleep. A lot of the time it doesn't matter how tired a person is with insomnia they can't sleep"

I am incredibly well're preaching to the choir. I figured you'd read between the lines and get the meaning, but here...i'll spell it out.

I get tired, like everyone else. I eventually get really tired, after being awake for a few days. I might not even sleep then. Sorry if that was unclear. Person has insomnia, apply proper idea. There ya go.

"Maybe the reason you don't see more people describe pregnancy as
miserable is because you mostly talk to people who think as you do. If
you went to a pro choice site you would probably see more people who
think of it the same way I do."

Except when i deal with people like you. or spend 3 weeks arguing with people about this on Mommyish. Or log into other sites, which don't use Disqus, and talk to people there too. Maybe the reason i don't see it in the way you're presenting it is...they don't present it the same way and in the same context. Could be that.

I see people on pro-abortion sites, who think a great many things. In the rare instance that they provide even a semi-logical response, it's twisted, out of context, incorrect, equivocation, or just plain wrong. The ones who try a solid argument eventually fall away from facts and just go to name calling, when there's nothing left otherwise. Just how it is.

PrincessJasmine4 said...
Hope this never ever happens to you
So stop your imaginary fears

someone45 said...

My fears are not imaginary. Pregnancy would be a horrible experience and I am thankful that it is something I will never have to experience.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

I'm not saying it's a walk in the park
But there are worse things
And yes you are a coward to be afraid of a bit of morning sickness

Only a coward would justify killing a child they've created

someone45 said...

There are things worse than an unwanted pregnancy but when you don't want kids it is in the top 10.

There is much more to my desire to not want to be pregnant than

not wanting to spend all day throwing up. That is just one of the 50 reasons.

I don't view a woman having an abortion as a coward. A view a woman as a coward when she is unable to make the right choice for her body and her life regardless of what that choice is.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

Right, she's also selfish and cruel

I do think however that some women don't understand exactly what abortion does to the child PP has lied to us for a very long time and when you tell a lie long enough people start to believe it
It's called a factoid
PP And most pro aborts are full of them

someone45 said...

I don't see how it is selfish or cruel for a woman to make the only choice that is right for her life.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

It's selfish and cruel to end someone's life that
You have no right to take away someone's life
The woman's actions created the child
Not vice versa
It's not her body
It's the child's body
Therefore she has no say over him or her
He or she is not the property of the woman
Just like the woman is no longer the property of the man

There's a lot of things you don't see

someone45 said...

It is inside her body and she does have control over her body. Once it no longer needs her body then she has no say.

PrincessJasmine4 said...

No, that's where you are wrong
She has no right to end the child's life
Regardless of location
You're advocating
Might means right

Clinton said...

If I thought you were actually interested in a discussion, I might respond to your silly accusations. As of right now, I'm not going to waste my time.

ignorance_is_curable said...

The main "accusation" is that you folks seem to think you can get away with always using word-meanings that will inevitably become obsolete as knowledge of relevant Facts becomes widespread.

Coyote said...

Would you be willing to respond to ignorance_is_curable's points here if he became more civil?

Coyote said...

You might have some good points here. A friendly piece of advice, though--it is probably a good idea to be civil and polite when discussing things with other people. This could make you more likely to change their minds since they could very well become more open to listening to what you have to say if you are civil and polite.

Clinton said...

That's not it at all. Words may take on different meanings, but it doesn't make the original meaning obsolete. For example, in the dictionary, even today, one definition of "child" is "a human fetus" (and that's also one definition of "baby", as well).

Clinton said...

Yes. I'm always willing to have conversations with people who are civil, even when they disagree with me. But I'm finished wasting my time with trolls. I just wasn't sure if he just wanted to pop off, then have me leave a long, drawn-out response, then never respond again, which would be a huge waste of my time, and there have been trolls that have done that to me before. So now I'm cautious about who I respond to on my articles.

ignorance_is_curable said...

Dictionary editors can and do declare that various meanings --even words, sometimes-- are obsolete.

And then there is the Law, which is known to be able to do the oddest things sometimes. Since it can be demonstrated that calling an unborn human either "baby" or "child" (without specifying "under construction"), is detrimentally unethical, imagine a Law being passed REQUIRING dictionaries to mark those definitions as "obsolete", with indications they should never be used in honest conversation.

Clinton said...

This note is just uneducated nonsense, so I choose to ignore it. I will see if there's anything worth responding to in your original note.

Clinton said...

Most of what you have to say about the English language is just uneducated assertions. I know how the English language works, and there is nothing in my usages of the term unethical, since they are accurate. However, you have expressed not only an ignorance about how the English language works, but an ignorance about how science and philosophy work, too. I will only respond to one paragraph:

"And now I can point out that Science has discovered some interesting fundamental facts about the concept of “personhood”. It is an ACQUIRED characteristic of humans; it is NOT an innate characteristic. The proof relates to the existence of otherwise-ordinary children who fail to exhibit behavior different from the “clever animal” level; the circumstances in which they grew up prevented them from acquiring personhood. For more details, look up “feral child” –and also look up “Koko the gorilla” (a non-human can acquire/exhibit more characteristics of personhood than a human!)."

First of all, scientists make discovers, science doesn't. Science is a tool that scientists use to make discoveries (people like you treat science as a religion). Scientists have discovered that human life begins at fertilization. If you don't like that fact, then tough. You're the anti-science person, not me.

Personhood is a philosophical term, not a scientific one. And scientists have made no such discoveries. Personhood is an essential characteristic of humans. All humans are persons, but not all persons are humans.

Personhood is not an acquired characteristic. If it were, then we would lose it whenever we temporarily lose that characteristic (is it consciousness or self-awareness? Sorry, you cease being a person when you fall asleep, meaning we can kill you for any reason we want).

Your example of the "feral child" actually proves the pro-life concept of personhood, not the pro-choice concept. For this, I would point you to philosopher Timothy Chappell's essay, On the Very Idea of Criteria for Personhood (I'm actually going to write about this soon). Personhood is a proleptic characteristic. We treat children as persons before they exhibit personal characteristics. For example, infants are not self-aware in the way that we are, yet when an infant does something that exhibits kindness, we treat them as if they are doing something kind (e.g. "How kind of you to share your toys with your sister when she is sad!"). It is this treatment of children that turns them into parents. As Chappell says in his essay, "If parents did treat their children in this almost behaviorist fashion (that is, treating their children according to their basic levels of functioning, such as treating her child as an inanimate object, like a sofa or refrigerator, then adjusting her attitude toward it one step at a time as the child advances), the parents would be callous monsters, and the children would be basket cases." It is precisely because personhood is proleptic that civilized children turn out civilized and not feral like a child would who was raised by wolves.

msmischief said...

So if I donate a kidney to you, and then decide to terminate your use of my body, I have the right to remove it from you, even if the process is lethal?

Chaoticblu said...

I get the bodily autonomy argument too, but I have to agree with Kelsey here something seems wrong about being able to take back that consent (to carry ) whenever you want . If you consent to carrying a child but suddenly get cold feet about becoming a mom, it's not really fair to end that child's life because you are being wishy washy. I mean, another life shouldn't be at the mercy of someone's indecisiveness.

Kelsey your kidney example was good and I think really proves a point. I have another one I've been thinking about:
Breastfeeding. If bodily autonomy is the ultimate right, then it should be within a woman's right to stop breastfeeding and let their child starve.
I can see the arugment for this being that the child doesn't have to starve, that the mother can use formula. But, the question is, if she excerises her bodily right by stopping breastfeeding, is she obligated to continue to be responsible for that child's well being? Or does this not mirror abortion enough?

Possible a stretch but the concept of breastfeeding and bodily integrity are something new I've been exploring and would like opinions on from both sides, anyone who'd like to comment.

Chaoticblu said...

Natasha, I would indeed have to disagree that bodily integrity is greater than one's right to life, but I can respect that you acknowledge the unborn are human beings and just flat up said you feel your autonomy is of more importance. I can respect you being straightforward like that. I would much rather hear people just say that then try and rationalize that the unborn are parasites, or aren't rally 'human' ..etc.

Chaoticblu said...

Same here. I think it's great people try and do the right thing and use protection , but I don't feel responsibility ends at that. One's life should not have to end because you weren't fully ready to risk (even a 1% chance) of pregnancy.

I believe Coyote is right, it all comes down to whether one thinks the unborn deserves a right to life in the first place.

I think though also that adoption isn't looked at enough. No one is saying you have to raise your child, it'd be nice if all children could be kept with their parents but that is not the case. But for various reasons carrying a child for 9 months is seen as incredible laborious (no pun intended) and inconvenient for some woman.

Some of these reasons may be valid concerns, such as serious health reasons, or continuing education reasons. But I think may of the issues can be addressed. You should at least try to before jumping to abortion.

Chaoticblu said...

That is a good reasoning, especially explaining why 'life' is first. But I think it's safe to say in some situations bodily autonomy does trump life, such as your right to defend yourself against rape and assault. Just playing devils advocate a little; I feel like it could be turned around to make it look like pro lifers don't care about these things.

But as far as the rights of an innocent human doing what they are biologically supposed to do, I would agree that their life should be protected against harm as much as possible without infringing on someone else's right to life.

Chaoticblu said...

I had a question related to this that I wanted to ask about your Identity Argument post, Clinton.

I was going to ask how if some rights can be given later in life (such as the right to vote and drink) then why not the right to life?

Would that come back to how the right to life should be a natural right and not a 'legal' right?

Chaoticblu said...

Actually, biology is the study of life. It is true though that philosophy is involved as well.

(I just took basic biology and actually had an intro to philosophy book too but had to drop the class due to other obligations But I got a little out of it.)

Ok done now. Just thought I'd clear that up for you. As much as we don't debate well, I can't let you continue to think something incorrect like that.

Chaoticblu said...

OK NO , you need to stop accusing people of doing things they are not doing. YOU are the only one claiming she (Guest I'm guessing is Jasmine) is dehumanizing the mother. Or are you saying 'you' in the sense that all pro lifers do this? That is still incorrect. Please be more specific in your accusations. Note how I try and use words such as 'most' and "from my experience pro chosers think (insert example of pro choice behavior.). I give leeway to those that do not behave the way I am describing. This is because I know that everyone is an individual and not everyone acts the same.

Yes some people are blunt and call woman 'baby killers'..perhaps the proper term is "ender of a human's life while they are still in the womb". While I agree such terms like 'murderer' do not help the cause, not all pro life people do this. Everyone is an individual , remember that.

Despite some less tasteful terms, it does NOT change the fact that abortion ends a human life. Don't like that? Leave a bad taste in your mouth? Perhaps it's guilt? Perhaps you need to think about your own morals then and stop projecting onto other people.

*whew* ok now I'm DONE. Really can people be banned form this blog? So sick of the trolling.

Chaoticblu said...

Defend your self against the actual rapist or assailant I mean of course.

Clinton said...

Hi, Chaotic. That's exactly right.

There are two types of rights that we have, natural right (sometimes called basic human rights) and legal rights. I've actually written an article about this very thing and how it presents an amusing dilemma to pro-choice people, if you're interested in reading it (you can search for the title, A Pro-Choice Dilemma).

Essentially a natural right is a right that you have simply by virtue of being human. These include the right to life, the right to self-defense, the right to a fair trial, the right to bodily integrity/autonomy, etc.

Then there are legal rights. These are rights that are bestowed upon you by the government and can rightly be taken away. These include the right to drive, the right to vote, the right to hold public office, etc.These are usually bestowed later in life because they require a certain amount of maturity in order to make use of them.