Misconceptions about the rape exception.

A few notes: (1) SPL doesn’t take a stance on the rape exception and invites bloggers
to discuss both sides of the issue. (2) Because I’m talking about rape and
pregnancy, I use female pronouns to refer to rape survivors. However, please
remember that not all rape survivors are women. (3) I reference Thomson’s
Violinist
a few times. If you don’t know what that is you can read a
summary here. You can read more about my perspective on bodily rights arguments in general here.



I believe
abortion should be legal in cases of rape. I find that many pro-life activists
disagree very strongly with my stance. In the course of our discussions, they make
assertions and ask questions that often reflect a misunderstanding of my position. In
this post I am trying to clarify what I think the rape exception is—and isn’t—about.

The
rape exception is about bodily integrity.

I should
preface this point by saying, for me,
the rape exception is about bodily integrity. There are many
pro-lifers
who believe abortion should be legal in cases of rape, and I
expect they have a variety of reasons for their stance, including some reasons
I am going to object to later in this post. So please understand I am not
trying to speak for everyone who makes an exception; I’m only speaking for
myself and the people who ground their stance in bodily integrity.
Our
society pretty carefully guards people’s bodily integrity. We don’t have
required blood, bone marrow, or organ donations, not even
from the dead
. Taking a non-voluntary blood
sample from a drunk driver is
controversial
. We won’t legally require all
citizens to get vaccinated. All of these situations involve risk to other
people’s health and safety (people dying on organ waiting lists, people hit by
drunk drivers, people getting what
should be preventable diseases
), but our society
is generally willing to pay such a price; bodily integrity takes precedence.
Granted,
none of those situations involves such a direct threat to another’s life as abortion.
It’s hard to find a truly analogous situation. But I find most people agree
that you should legally be allowed to unplug from Thomson’s violinist, even
though that would allow the violinist to die.

Even if the violinist was Sherlock. Er, maybe.
As a
baseline stance, we protect one person’s bodily integrity even at the expense
of another person’s life. I think there are strong reasons to argue for an exception when it comes to most abortions.

But those reasons get a lot weaker when we are talking about pregnancy
resulting from rape. It’s very difficult for me to imagine any other
circumstance where we would tell someone she is legally required to give of
her body that way when she did not cause the other person’s
precarious position. (Justice For All has a great analogy to explore
that concept in their De Facto Guardian
paper
. Everyone interested in the abortion debate
should really read this paper—or you can listen to a presentation of the concepts here.) 

Because I
don’t believe we should legally require people to give of their bodies in any
situations analogous to pregnancies from rape, I can’t justify that legal
requirement for pregnancies from rape either. My support for the rape exception
is about my understanding of—and agreement with—how our society treats bodily
integrity. And that’s all it’s about.
However, fellow
pro-lifers (and, in fact, many pro-choicers) seem to think I believe abortion
should be legal in cases of rape for a whole variety of other reasons—reasons that
have little-to-nothing to do with my stance. I hope this post helps clarify a few issues.
1. The
rape exception isn’t about valuing children conceived in rape less than other
children.
When I
tell other pro-lifers I think abortion should be legal in cases of rape, the
most common response is “Why do you think children conceived in rape are worth
less than other children?”
The
answer: I don’t.
How we
are conceived doesn’t change our worth. It is illogical and unfair to hold
anyone responsible (especially children) for situations over which they have no
control, and a child has no control over how she is conceived. This is why I
hate the phrases (thankfully now rarely used) “illegitimate child” or “bastard
child.” It’s why I also hate the phrases (unfortunately still often
used) “rapist’s child” or “rape baby.” It’s wrong to assign a
child negative qualities based on how she was created.
Rape
doesn’t change the child’s worth, but it does change other factors that affect
the morality of abortion. For example, as pro-lifers, we very strongly
emphasize responsibility and consent to risks. How often have you heard any of
the following?

“The two
parents consented to risking pregnancy, and they are responsible for putting
the child in a position of dependence.”

“The real
choice is the choice to have sex in the first place.”

“We
aren’t talking about forced pregnancy because people choose to take that risk!”

We get
frustrated when our opponents seem to suggest pregnancy happens in a vacuum,
divorced from our choices and therefore wholly out of our control. So we
respond with ideas like those listed above, and I get that. But when we’re talking about rape, those ideas are
irrelevant. The child conceived in rape is worth just as much as any
other, but a rape survivor is not responsible for the fact that the child is
growing inside her. By definition, she did not consent to that risk.
So if
responsibility and consent to risks are such important factors, it should be
clear how cases of rape are fundamentally different even though the child’s value
is the same. You would have to ignore the very nature of rape—the entire reason
it’s so much worse and so controversial—to think fetal value is the only factor
that could be different about a rape case.
2. The
rape exception isn’t about the rape survivor’s emotional turmoil.
Because I
think abortion should be legal in cases of rape, people have accused me of “caving
under pressure.” They seem to think I just don’t have the nerve to tell women
who are emotionally or psychologically traumatized that they should still carry
unwanted pregnancies.
I do
think it’s important to understand the gravity of rape and how it affects
people. And I worry that some pro-lifers, eager to show the consistency of
their pro-life stances, end up speaking callously or dismissively about rape. I
think, as a movement, we should acknowledge that, yes, many rape survivors want to carry resulting pregnancies and need more
social support
. But we should also acknowledge
that, no, not all rape survivors want to carry resulting pregnancies; some
really, really do not want to. I often feel as if my fellow pro-lifers prefer
to pretend those women don’t exist.
So yes,
the rape survivor’s emotional turmoil is important and we need to strive to
understand where she’s coming from. But actually, no, I don’t think her
emotional turmoil justifies the rape exception (though
some think maybe it could
).
As a
pro-lifer, when I think about the morality of abortion in a given case I try to
imagine how I would view that case if we were talking about a born child rather
than an unborn one. And we would not say killing a born child should be legal
if the parent is too emotionally traumatized to care for that child. If we
wouldn’t say that for a born child, I don’t believe the reasoning works to
justify abortion either.
However,
if we look at the issue in terms of bodily integrity, it gets more complicated.
It’s hard to think of equivalent situations where born children are using their
parents’ bodies the way unborn children do. To me, this is why grounding the
rape exception in bodily integrity is so different, and more compelling, than
grounding the exception in the woman’s emotional turmoil.
3. The
rape exception isn’t about political expediency.
Some
people assume I grant the rape exception because I believe that’s the only way
we can get pro-life legislation passed.
I expect
there are many people who grant the rape exception
for this reason. After all, only about
1%
 of abortions are for cases of rape. Given that the debate over
the rape exception is especially emotional, controversial, and entrenched, I
expect many pro-lifers would rather focus on the majority of abortions which
seem clearer cut—that is, abortions performed on a healthy fetus carried by a
healthy mother for pregnancies resulting from consensual sex. I think
some pro-lifers grant the rape exception to simplify the conversation. They
believe it’s more effective to focus our finite political power elsewhere.
But even
if we had the political power to do so, I would not support outlawing abortion
in cases of rape. This is because I don’t argue for the rape exception to be
politically practical; I argue for the rape exception because I believe it’s
the right and consistent stance to take. Our society already guards bodily
integrity even in cases where doing so can hurt other people, and to my view
supporting the rape exception is consistent with that approach.
4a.
The rape exception isn’t about punishing the child.
I’ve talked about
this point before
. People who make this claim
usually try to assert that if you advocate for an effect that harms people, you
are punishing those people regardless of your motivation. So even if I don’t
want to punish anyone for being conceived in rape, they assert that, effectively, I am still
punishing the children.
But all
we have to do is apply this line of thinking to a myriad of other topics and we
see the assertion is disingenuous. If you believe marriage should be between a
man and a woman, does that mean you want to punish people for being gay? If you
support social welfare of any kind, does that mean you want to punish
taxpayers? If you believe we shouldn’t be legally obligated to donate our extra
kidneys, does that mean you want to punish people dying while they wait on organ donor lists? Why do you think
people waiting on organ donor lists are worth less than everyone else? Why
don’t you care about their lives??
See what
I did there?
You can
apply this punishment accusation to almost anything. If we’re saying that
motivation is irrelevant and only effect
matters, then when you support any sort of law or regulation or principle that
narrows the options of any group at all, people can accuse you of wanting to
punish that group. In fact this is the exact mentality that leads so many of
our opponents to accuse pro-lifers of wanting to punish women for having sex.
If you think that accusation is unfair, maybe keep that unfairness in mind
before accusing those of us who support the rape exception of wanting to punish
the child.
4b.
The rape exception is not about avoiding punishment for the rapist!
How many
of you have heard (or said) “punish the rapist, not the child”?
Is there
a rule I don’t know about that says if I support a rape exception, I am not
allowed to also support punishing rapists? Are the rape exception and
punishments for rape mutually exclusive? Does anyone actually believe that people
who support the rape exception have some desire to take the focus away from
rapists?
I mean,
seriously, where do people get this phrase? What is the logic behind this idea?
People who advocate for the rape exception often do so from a place of particular
empathy for rape survivors and particular concern over the continued violation
of their bodily integrity. There’s really no reason to tell us—of all people—to
“punish the rapist.” I’m not sure I can overemphasize how baffling this phrase
sounds.
And the
phrase isn’t just baffling because it implies we don’t care about punishing
rapists. It’s also ignorant because it makes it sound as if punishing rapists
is a simple thing to do.
Do you know how many rapists ever even get accused of their rapes? And
of those who get accused, how many have formal charges brought against them?
And of those who get charged, how many go to trial? And of those who go to
trial, how many get convicted? Seriously, do you know? Because it’s not many.
It’s an appallingly small number, actually.

Source: RAINN.org
Why? Well,
there’s no shortage of reasons. Many rape survivors have great difficulty
telling anyone, much less telling the authorities, about what has happened to
them. Some aren’t psychologically prepared to process it. Many fear they
won’t be believed
, or that there will be
repercussions against them.
A woman
who gets pregnant due to rape can find herself in an even more complicated
situation, with geniuses
like Todd Akin
 acting as if she doesn’t exist, and with a society that
assumes she will want to abort. And, if she chooses to carry her pregnancy,
that same society treats her with increased suspicion about whether
she was really raped. And, if she lives in one of the majority of
states
 that don’t have specific custody laws regarding rapists,
she also risks having to share custody or deal with visitation or other
parenting issues with her attacker for years to come. There are already cases
where rapists
have threatened to assert parental rights
 unless these
women drop charges or testimony against them.
Even if a
rape survivor decides to go to the authorities, if she takes a while to work up
the courage much or all of the forensic evidence may already be lost, if there
was any forensic evidence to begin with! Sometimes there isn’t any.
Even if
she goes forward quickly and there is evidence and she has the evidence
collected, it doesn’t guarantee a successful prosecution. What’s the difference
between forensic evidence of rape and forensic evidence of consensual sex? If
he didn’t leave signs of other physical violence (such as bruises or
strangulation, etc.) and if she didn’t try to physically fight him off
(potentially leaving signs of physical violence on him), the evidence between
rape and consensual sex can be indistinguishable.
(And
please note that many rapes don’t involve that level of physical
violence. Our society falsely believes the “stranger-rape
prototype
,” where people think “real” rape requires
a stranger attacking in some alley with a weapon and threats of violence. In
actuality, most rapes are by someone the survivor knows, occur without weapons,
and happen in the survivor’s home or the home of a relative, friend, or
neighbor. Imagine what kind of evidence those rapes leave.)
When
people tell me “punish the rapist, not the child,” I hear “I really do not
understand your perspective and I am unaware of what a complicated, painful,
and seemingly intractable problem rape is from a judicial standpoint.”
5. The
rape exception isn’t about “undoing” the rape.
You don’t
“undo” rape. Whether a rape survivor gets pregnant or not, whether she carries
that pregnancy or not, she was still raped.
When a
rape survivor gets pregnant and doesn’t want to be pregnant, there are two
separate issues: (1) she was raped, and (2) she is pregnant against her will.
The rape exception is about addressing the second issue, not the first.
6. The
rape exception isn’t about wanting women who were raped to get abortions.
This is a
less common accusation, but occasionally people will try to claim that I favor
or am okay with abortion in cases of rape.
Actually
I think abortion in cases of rape is immoral, because it takes the life of an
innocent human being. I think the moral choice is to carry the pregnancy and
give life to a child who had no choice in how she was conceived. Likewise, I
think it would be moral to stay plugged into Thomson’s violinist, and it would
be moral for all of us to go donate blood, bone marrow, and our extra kidneys
to save other lives. That doesn’t mean I think those actions should be legal
requirements.
People
ask if I could look in the eyes of those conceived in rape and tell them they deserved to die. No, I couldn’t. Because
I don’t think they deserve to die
. And I don’t think I have to pretend to
think they deserve to die to support the rape exception.
Should we
legally require people to donate their extra kidneys? No? So can you look into
the eyes of someone dying in need of a kidney, and tell her she deserves to
die? Man, I hope not. That’d be cruel and senseless. It also probably has nothing
to do with your opposition to forced kidney donation.
The same idea
applies to the rape exception. Please don’t assume that because I think this
should be legal, I think it’s a good choice. Those are different issues. 
In conclusion…
I know
many pro-lifers disagree with me on the rape exception. This post is not my
attempt to convince you to make the rape exception. I just ask that, when you
are debating the rape exception with someone, first try to find out how they
ground their position. You may be surprised by all the points we agree on.

486 thoughts on “Misconceptions about the rape exception.”

  1. Without getting into all the various moral implications, I'm interested in your thoughts as to how abortion being legal in cases of rape, but not in cases of consensual sex, would work on a practical level, considering that A) as you said, only 40 of every 100 rapes are reported to the police and B) cases that are actually prosecuted could take months or years to get through the judicial system, by which point the baby could have been born already. Do you think abortion should be legal in cases where somebody's been convicted of rape, or where there's been a rape accusation, or where there are criminal charges pending, or…?

    Reply
  2. This is a very compelling logical argument. rebeccakiessling.com/PhilosophicalAbortionEssay.html
    Rebecca Kiessling (herself a product of rape), raises two analogies which are worth considering even if they dont dismantle your bodily autonomy argument.
    Furthermore. The rape exception *is* often a great way to force a pro choice person to seriously consider his reasoning. Often when discussing the issue for the first time they will say "but what about rape", respond with this exception and it forces them to think further.

    I personally add another caveat though.

    As with "threat to the life of the mother", we dont consider the action taken abortion. In fact using the principal of double effect we argue that we are saving both lives, however if saving the mothers life indirectly or unfortunately leads to the death of the child that is unfortunate but not abortion/murder.

    Action taken need not require a direct abortion (ie targeting and killing the unborn child) but early delivery or chemotherapy etc.

    Likewise in this case. Preserving the bodily autonomy of the mother does not necessitate the killing of the unborn child… merely the removal of the child into an incubator.

    These "abortions" should not be carried out in abortion clinics but in normal hospitals with experienced and committed doctors and nurses.

    What should happen *if* we do concede the rape exception is a requirement to still try and preserve the unborn childs life. This may be fruitless at first. However doctors will may be forced to confront more premature deliveries and therefore improve the techniques being employed and lower the cut off point further. Artificial wombs *are* being developed, we should be able to do better.

    The *biggest* problem with abortion rhetoric is the dehumanising language, the fact that abortion allows many to be convinced that a human being is being attacked and killed because the procedure is hidden.
    In this case a woman can still uphold her right to bodily autonomy but we as a society will be showing respect and care for the unwitting second victim of rape by at least nominally trying to save its life.

    Reply
  3. While we still disagree about the rape exception, I love this piece because it will help people from two camps, (or slightly different positions in the same camp) understand each other better. We should be charitable, trying to understand the best arguments for the other persons position, and I think this post will help pro-lifers to do that. Well done.

    Reply
  4. This is an interesting post and I appreciate it. While we agree that there should not be forced kidney donation, I think I can assume we can also agree that there is a difference between telling someone who needs a kidney "I'm so sorry, there isn't a kidney available for you," and actively shooting them in the face. That's why it's not a straight analogy to abortion- In abortion, you are actively killing a human being, not failing to save their life- two very different acts.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

    Reply
  5. I'm not being facetious, just pointing out that if the arguments don't dismantle the bodily autonomy argument, then it's a red herring (even though the argument may be compelling to those who don't argue from bodily integrity). If you want to try to convince the author against the rape exception, you have to address the points that she raises in this article.

    Reply
  6. That's why I like frank's post below, about not 'aborting' people conceived in rape but instead detaching them while making a reasonable effort to preserve their lives (personally I am undecided on the rape exception). What we need more than laws is a fundamental shift in the way people think about life before birth (although laws could certainly help with that).

    Reply
  7. Abortion being legal in the case of rape wouldn't really work unless the victim could prove that she was raped. And what is to stop women from lying about it to get an abortion? So basically , a rape exception would only 'benefit' a few, while punishing those whose attackers are still at large.

    Reply
  8. A born child at 1 week postpartum is just as dependent on her mother as the same child at 34 weeks gestation. In fact, a six year old is still dependent on her parents for survival. The difference between the bodily autonomy arguments you gave and pregnancy is that woman is the ONLY option for that child's survival. It is easy to say the child conceived as a result of rape is as valuable as any other child and is not being punished. Abortion means she is being forced to bear her mother's trauma and her father's responsibility. Were she born, that is called abuse. To argue for it's moral validity is to deny the child's value compared even to an unwanted child conceived through consensual sex.
    Rape and abortion are difficult. When discussing my opposition to the death penalty, people always point out that if someone I loved were murdered, I would feel differently. They are absolutely correct! However, my feelings do not make the death penalty morally right. Morality exists for situations where there is no "good" solution.

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  9. "So if responsibility and consent to risks are such important factors, it should be clear how cases of rape are fundamentally different even though the child’s value is the same. You would have to ignore the very nature of rape—the entire reason it’s so much worse and so controversial—to think fetal value is the only factor that could be different about a rape case." For me, absolutely nothing takes precedence over the value of human life. In my mind, the woman's bodily integrity is violated absolutely and irreversibly during abortion. The woman's body is working on making someone (that's kind its thing) and then we silence it, so to speak. And the body does react negatively even if the mind thinks everything is ok (and, sadly, in many cases, the mind eventually comes into accord with the body years later). Rape is a brazen and open attack on the mind and the body simultaneously. Abortion is a quieter and even more insidious way of accomplishing the same thing. The worst part is, the woman or girl in our "culture" may actually be more likely in a rape case to be convinced (initially) that her bodily integrity is being compromised if she keeps her own kid. pitch black irony there

    Reply
  10. The woman's bodily integrity is not lost as a result of abortion, specifically if she consents to the procedure.

    By your logic, all surgical procedure are a violation of bodily autonomy, even if consented to. Heck, I guess consensual sex would also qualify as a violation by your standard?

    Reply
  11. Interesting piece, not sure you've convinced me one way or another – but that leads more to our worship of the concept of bodily autonomy in general (I don't disagree with the concept, at least on paper, of forced vaccinations against whooping cough for example). I remain nebulously unsure about the rape exception, erring on the side of favoring it, at the least, because it is a difficult conversation we as a nation have to have, but it isn't worth having until we first, as a nation, establish that the unborn in general have rights. So kind of the expediency argument.

    That being said, I'm curious about a hypothetical situation, and how in your ideal world, this might work out. Let's say a boyfriend and girlfriend are sexually active. They have sex on Thursday, and unbeknownst at the time, conceive. That being said, the guy is really not a good person, and comes home the following night, drunk, and rapes his girlfriend. The girlfriend decides she wants an abortion. Should she be able to get one? How about the situation where ovulation was on Saturday (basically, so it is not possible to distinguish if the sperm that fertilized the egg came from Thursday's consensual sex or Friday's rape)?

    Reply
  12. Abortion isn't just a surgical procedure though. It's a surgical procedure which is designed specifically to stop the life of her child which her body is attempting to make. A surgery to remove a tumor or something like that is an attempt to help the body continue by removing something that will eventually end the body. A surgery to kill a child growing inside a uterus is a direct attempt to stop a "project" that is the body's unmistakable intention.

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  13. No a born child is specifically NOT "just as dependent on her mother" as one at 34 weeks gestation. In fact, the child is not dependent on it's mother AT ALL. She doesn't even have to take the born child home from the hospital. Pretty much anyone can care for the child.

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  14. The child's not dependent on the mother at all? So you're saying the child can get a job, feed himself, use the restroom, etc.?

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  15. An abortion due to rape couldn't be dependent upon conviction. Conviction rarely happens. That doesn't mean a woman wasn't raped.

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  16. That's a really good question. I'm not sure what I think of that yet. I'm leaning toward saying she'd just have to say she was raped, not prove it (as many are unprovable), but I'm sure that would lead to a spike in false accusations, which would not only be a problem in terms of enforcing abortion law but it would also really undermine the word of any woman accusing someone of rape. So yeah, I'm not sure how that would work, it's a contentious issue.

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  17. That's a really good point, and I agree. Letting die vs killing are very different acts. I do think there are forms of abortion that are more akin to "unplugging the violinist" than others–for example, it's my understanding that RU-486 detaches the embryo from the uterine wall, which is pretty different from a suction abortion that's sheer force can tear the embryo apart as it removes the embryo. What are your thoughts on that, as far as how it would affect the morality of the situation?

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  18. "For me, absolutely nothing takes precedence over the value of human life."

    So do you think we should legally require people to donate blood, bone marrow, and their extra kidneys to save more lives? Honest question.

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  19. That's a really good question, and no one has posed it to me before. I'm not sure what I think about that, I'd have to chew on it for awhile.

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  20. It's a distinction without a difference, particularly in regard to the violinist analogy. Someone must actively do the unplugging, and the act of unplugging the violinist is the proximate cause of his death.

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  21. I wasnt trying to convince the author against the rape exception. In fact I do find it logically compelling (if not morally), My point was more that when making such an exception we can still maintain a "no direct abortion" stance. My point is that you can still theoretically protect the right to life of the unborn even in the case of rape (by nominally attempting to preserve their life post delivery).

    Reply
  22. There is a distinct difference here between action an inaction. On the one hand inaction: person dies (not directly our fault), on the other hand action: person dies (directly our fault).
    The bodily autonomy argument is valid but not in the sense that pro choicers mean ("the fetus is part of my body so i can destroy it") but in he sense that "I have a right not have my body inhabited against my will therefore I want it removed and no longer my responsibility".

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  23. I would say that is a distinction without a difference, particularly if, like Catherine you are arguing "Absolutely *nothing* takes precedence over the value of human life" (emphasis added).

    I agree there is an inconsistency in forcing men who were raped to pay child support.

    Reply
  24. You don't see a difference between someone dying due to kidney failure after not finding a donor, and someone dying because you shot them in the face?

    I would say that's a pretty major difference. Can you help me understand where you disagree?

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  25. Catherine didn't make that distinction. She said "absolutely nothing" takes precedence over human life. That sounds like a much more sweeping claim than the nuanced one you make here, Frank.

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  26. Yeah, Clinton, major strawman buddy. The child is dependent on adults in general–someone has to look after the child, but it doesn't have to be the mother, so the child is not dependent on the mother specifically at all. Hence safe haven laws and giving up children for adoption without even taking them home from the hospital.

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  27. I would clarify, first, that I don't think that not donating a kidney means you are "letting someone die." If they need a kidney it means that their own body is shutting down and they are dying, however tragically, of natural causes. Certainly we hope there is a chance to save that person, but you are not morally complicit in someones death under those circumstances.

    As to your question regarding RU-486 vs a suction abortion, I would ask your thoughts on my killing you with a gun vs poison. The action – I have actively chosen to end your life- and the end result – your life is ended- is the same. The method, in my mind, makes very little moral difference. Now certainly we would say that someone who chooses to torture their victim before ending their life is a particularly grotesque individual, and in that way we might find the "method" to be particularly immoral. But saying "at least I killed them nicely" doesn't usually fly in a court of law. So to the question is there a moral difference in a method of abortion, I believe that the answer is no. There are merely some forms that catch our attention as particularly torturous.

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  28. This is a huge misconception about what "bodily integrity" means. It does not mean "do not interfere with the bodiy's natural processes." It means we protect the individual's freedom for force; we do not take control of a person's body against their will.

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  29. I'd still object to your analogy that all abortion is like shooting someone in the face. If you remove an embryo from your uterine wall, that's not like shooting them in the face. They die because of their own condition – their lack of development. But shooting someone in the face takes someone that is functioning perfectly fine on their own and *causes* them to be unable to function, usually killing them immediately.

    So I don't think you're making a fair distinction between the actual, original condition of the person dying. Shooting = causing death. Removing someone from your body = refusing to sustain, allowing their original condition to take over.

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  30. No, that's not the exception M is allowing in her blog post.

    She makes an exception for abortion in cases where a child is conceived in a situation where the mother had no say.

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  31. You're still missing the point. If a woman has sex with a man for 12 years and then one day he rapes her, would she be justified in aborting any child she had conceived at any point, because the man is a rapist? No. The distinction is whether the woman is pregnant as a result of her choices to have sex or not. That's it! It's not about how shitty the father is. It's about whether the child conceived was conceived in a consensual situation.

    I agree sometimes that's impossible to tell, in which case — probably allow an abortion. However, your sentiment that it's just about what kind of person the father is — that's off the mark.

    Reply
  32. As is usually the case in this type of conversation, I think we're misunderstanding each other. I'll try and be clear in what I think it is you're saying and hopefully you can help me understand.

    I'm not sure why you think that removing a developing human being (who is functioning exactly as he or she is supposed to be functioning) in an effort to cause their death is "allowing their original condition to take over." What is there original condition that they are returning to? They were alive, and now they are dead, due to an active desire on the part of someone else for that younger human being to no longer be alive.

    They are not dying from their own lack of development, they are dying because their natural development process was purposefully interrupted. It would be like saying that you didn't kill a fish by pulling it out of the water and letting it flop on the beach- it died due to its own lack of ability to breathe air. Obviously an infant is developmentally incapable of fending for themselves, but if you simply ceased feeding him or her, their death would be because you chose to starve them to death- not a result of their own lack of development.

    you said: "But shooting someone in the face takes someone that is functioning perfectly fine on their own and *causes* them to be unable to function, usually killing them immediately."

    On my end its entirely clear that that same action- taking someone that is functioning perfectly fine on their own(in this case a developing human being who is functioning and growing exactly like its supposed to) and *causes* them to be unable to function- is exactly the same regardless of what kind of abortion is being performed.

    All of that to say, I'm not clear on what point it is you're trying to make and any clarification would be helpful.

    Reply
  33. I think the only person who's qualified to say whether it's justified or not would be the woman who was actually raped.

    Reply
  34. Jesus, you two, did you ever think maybe he honestly didn't understand it? Not that he's *purposefully* misrepresenting it? Sometimes our points take more elaboration. Do you treat people like this every day — someone responds to you in a way that makes it clear they didn't get you, you accuse them of being dumb and insulting your intelligence? Grow up.

    Reply
  35. I disagree. A rapist is a rapist the minute he makes himself a rapist. At that point she is aborting the spawn of a rapist. Not to even mention the vexation of having to deal with the rapist for a lifetime, and possibly having to grant the rapist visitation. I did understand your point.

    Reply
  36. It's actually pretty easy to understand what lady_black was saying. Clinton doesn't strike me as someone with reading comprehension issues. Anyone can take care of a baby once it is born–that person doesn't necessarily have to be the biological parent.

    Reply
  37. Ok if that's your stance, I think that's wrong, but that's you. My only point was that's not what the blog post is stating.

    Reply
  38. No. I choose to believe he's smarter than that and was attempting to insult my intelligence. If he truly didn't understand my comment, he hasn't said so himself. If he does say he didn't understand, I'll happily apologize,.

    Reply
  39. You took the words right out of my mouth! I discourage abortion in every situation I have seen first hand. my main point being "you made this person and now you want them dead? you don't get to do that". in the case of rape, she didn't make the child.

    Reply
  40. The Lady doth protest, methinks she be trolling. She went to a pro-rape exception article, and a more-or-less in favor of the rape exception comment, and then proceeded to accuse people of forcing raped women to bear those children. If' that's not trolling, it's just being willfully obtuse.

    Reply
  41. If the pro-life stance is based on the concept that "the zef's right to life supersedes the woman's bodily autonomy", then there's no logical reason for a rape exception. Because the "right to life" of an innocent individual (if they have it that right to begin with) should not be diminished/negated based on arbitrary conditions such as someone else's responsibility or lack thereof.

    The real point is that a zef cannot have "right to life" to begin with, so all above considerations are redundant. No individual has the right to live at the expense of another person's body without their consent.

    Reply
  42. "If the pro-life stance is based on the concept that "the zef's right to life supersedes the woman's bodily autonomy", then there's no logical reason for a rape exception"

    Therein lies your misunderstanding! Pro-lifers do not place priority of the zef over the woman (generally speaking. I'm sure you could dig up some whacko somewhere). Pro-lifers generally submit that the rights of the zef and the woman are equal. The woman has an equal right to life as the zef (hence an overwhelming majority for life of mother exemptions).

    I'm glad to have cleared this up for you.

    Reply
  43. When comes to individual freedoms, the mind's intention is far more important than the "body's intention".

    Reply
  44. OK so in your opinion, does the zef's "right to life" trump the woman's bodily autonomy, or not? Yes or no?

    Reply
  45. In fairness though, the newborn and fetus are at more-or-less equal levels of dependency by nature. Whereas the fetus is specifically dependent, and the newborn is generally dependent, just by circumstance. But you could come up with any number of circumstances where the mother could not immediately transfer care of a born child, making it specifically dependent. And conversely there are futuristic scenarios wherein transferring a fetus to an artificial uterus or an adoptive mother's womb may be possible, making the fetus generally dependent.

    Reply
  46. The body has no "intention".

    We stop mindless biological processes all the time.

    And you keep talking about surgery. I guess chemical abortion doesn't bother you? It is simply an induced miscarriage.

    Reply
  47. While it's true that anybody can take care of unadopted babies, anybody can abandon post-born babies in forests, on road or somewhere else. Those babies might have a chance of being found or not, so they can't survive on their own if they aren't be found…

    Reply
  48. Interesting article, and good for helping pro-lifers to understand each other's viewpoints. It does raise a lot of questions.

    If the baby is viable, and the mother no longer wants to be pregnant (maybe she can feel the baby kicking now, or she just discovered her pregnancy), should she be obligated to undergo a c-section or to induce labor rather than have an abortion?

    If the baby is almost viable, should she be required to wait a few more weeks before inducing or having a c-section? Does the length of time required affect whether it's an acceptable infringement on her bodily integrity?

    What if she is pregnant by rape and plans to carry to term but still wishes to take acutane or thalidomide? Is that justified?

    Or what if a woman with her newborn who was conceived in rape, for whatever reason, cannot transfer care? May she abandon it? If the only way to end her responsibility to it is to kill it, may she do so?

    Also I think there is a difference between requiring an organ transplant and requiring the provision for a child's basic, natural needs (nutrition, shelter form harm, etc.) It can also be argued that the uterus is unique in that, while all other organs are of the mother for the mother, the uterus is of the mother for the child. It's intrinsic purpose is to house humans beings while we are fetuses, and so we may have a greater natural right to it than to other body parts.

    As pointed out elsewhere, there are also practical difficulties with a rape exception….Does the rape have to be proven in order to allow abortion? If not, how do we prevent women from falsely claiming they were raped in order to have abortions? What if it's unclear who fathered the child? What if she was tipsy, but not drunk? What if she was almost 16 and he just turned 18?

    Reply
  49. It's intrinsic purpose is to house humans beings while we are fetuses,
    and so we may have a greater natural right to it than to other body
    parts.

    Vaginas evolved to fit penises. Perfectly, in fact. You might say that the penis has an intrinsic right to any vagina it wants to penetrate. Rape ftw!

    What if she is pregnant by rape and plans to carry to term but still wishes to take acutane or thalidomide? Is that justified?

    What if a woman is pregnant by rape and also suffers from severe depression, is bipolar or schizophrenic. Her medications will harm the fetus – should the rape victim be forced to go 9 months sans medication for the fetus?

    Reply
  50. But it does still require the parent to use their time and bodies in ways they may not wish too. Maybe it's not to the same extent, but it's still an obligation that's required of them. And there could be circumstances where dropping the child off at a fire station is not easy, or perhaps not even possible.

    Reply
  51. sure. but it isn't INSIDE the parent, which is a whole different ball of wax

    the thing is, the very fact that we are even discussing a rape exception shows that yes, people DO know that there is a difference between having something inside your body if you do not want it there, and changing diapers and feeding formula.

    Reply
  52. Turnabout is fair play. The very fact that we are even discussing abortion shows that yes, people DO know that there is a difference between pregnancy and donating bone marrow (or being hooked up to the violinist, or sexually assaulted, or hosting a tapeworm, or whatever analogy you want to draw). Even in the case of rape.

    Reply
  53. Eh, some do. Not all do. Or maybe they do know a difference exists, but they pretend it's nonexistent. That changing diapers is just as a great a violation as birth.

    Reply
  54. Because some people ARE in favour of forcing raped women to bear the children? Because that IS part of this discussion? Because it's not one giant circle jerk?

    Reply
  55. I'm not really sure you're seeing my point. A newborn child, for instance, has a natural right to her mother's breasts, not totally, but insofar as they're necessary to provide her with energy and nutrition. (If transferring care of the newborn is possible, then they're not necessary at all, but that doesn't always have to be the case.)

    It doesn't follow that a man has a natural right to a woman's vagina; it is not part of his body, nor, like a uterus for the child, is it specifically designed for the sustenance and care of his body. The uterus is not needed by the mother for survival or even for health, but it is needed absolutely by the child. No one would exist if not for being able to reside the first 9 months in the uterus; it is what nature/God designed for our use.

    If a woman has consensual sex and conceives, I believe there are certain medications that she should be prohibited from taking. That doesn't necessarily mean she should forgo treatment, but she may have to use other options, even if they aren't her first choice. It depends on the extent of the threat to the woman and the threat to the baby, who will suffer lifelong issues if certain drugs are taken.

    If she is raped, then it comes back to the same issue of whether not consenting to the act which created the child means that she has no responsibility towards it at all.

    Accutane and thalidomide would cause harm to a person (the child), and are definitely not medically necessary for the mother, although she may desire to take them. The point was, if she has not consented to an act that would make it necessary to change her medical decisions, should she be allowed to take anything she wants, even if it's something non-necessary but very harmful to the baby, like acutane?

    Reply
  56. So, your argument in a nutshell is…

    "women were made for pregnancy, cuz uterus, therefore they should be forced to gestate"

    Right? That about sums it up?

    Reply
  57. Why is it so different? Is there some kind of sliding scale where your right to bodily autonomy is greater for organs closer to the inside of your body? Do I have a greater right to my uterus than my breasts or my hands? Caring for the born baby requires use of the woman's whole body; it's not like she leaves her internal organs behind if she walking back and forth with the little one. Holding the baby uses her muscles, her heart may work harder, she may have all kinds of stress hormones going through her bloodstream, etc. It may require use of her breasts, which are intimate body parts. Besides, caring for a newborn could easily be just as tiresome, exhausting, stressful, or even painful (if not more so) than being pregnant.

    Reply
  58. So then why is rape a crime at all? Why is it considered a violation? The rapist using your body, penetrating your body shouldn't matter, should it? I mean, if inside your body is no different from outside, yes?

    Reply
  59. Envelopment. I believe that, after having gone over this with AVFM at length on another board, that 'penetration' is covered when the woman forces herself onto the man's penis.

    Reply
  60. My argument is that children have a right to their (male and female) parent's bodies, time, and money, insofar as those things are necessary to ensure that the children get adequate food, nutrition, shelter from harm, etc.

    The role of consent to the action which created the child is what's being discussed.

    I'm pointing out that, if we have a natural right to our bodies because they are ours and our body parts were designed to promote our own survival and health rather than the interests of others, the uterus is only described by the first of those reasons. It's the only organ in the woman's body which is not biologically specified for her own use and survival. Rather it's sole biological purpose and intention is to provide for us when we are unborn babies. So, discussions on consent momentarily aside, it can be argued that the child has a greater natural right to the uterus than to other body parts, as it's sole purpose in existing is to keep her safe and alive.

    You can disagree if you want, but if you're going to strawman and imply misogyny where none exists, this discussion isn't really going to go anywhere.

    Reply
  61. It applies more particularly when someone is on life support, where pulling the plug in that case is the proximate cause of death. Failing to save a life, shooting a person in the face, the persons is just as dead either way.

    Reply
  62. Because biology is not destiny. Certain intestinal parasites evolved to live inside our guts. They co-evolved with humans, they depend upon us for survival. It could be argued that those worms have a right to our intestines, since nature designed it that way!

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  63. Um, at most, my argument could imply that penetrative rape is equal to non-penetrative rape or other forms of grievous sexual assault, not that it shouldn't be a crime. Rape is especially horrific because our sexuality is something very personal that we keep safe. If someone beat me into a pulp, I might be less upset than if I were raped, but it doesn't follow that I have less less autonomy over my arms and muscles and other parts injured by the beating, than I do to my vagina. And, although a woman raping a man may constitute penetration, she is not inside him.

    Reply
  64. Rape is especially horrific because our sexuality is something very personal that we keep safe.

    Rape is just use of a body part though. Without consent.

    Why should it matter?

    Reply
  65. Our guts, however, are needed by us for survival, so that's not a fully consistent analogy.

    More importantly, regardless of what they naturally require for survival, intestinal worms do not have the same rights as human beings, due to their nature as, well, worms.

    If the fetus were morally on par with an intestinal worm, it would be a valid analogy. But that moves the discussion from bodily integrity into personhood and the moral worth and rights of the unborn human.

    Reply
  66. Actually, recent studies have shown that intestinal worms can be pretty damn helpful:

    scientificamerican.com/article/helminthic-therapy-mucus/

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2396220/

    And my point still stands, you can't make the claim 'but this was 'designed' for the baby, therefore it has a right to it' because, not only is it a glaring appeal to nature/naturalistic fallacy, but, in as a general principle, having a body part that can be used for something does not automatically mean that it MUST be used for that something.

    Reply
  67. Respectfully whether intestinal parasites are helpful isn't really relevant and I wasn't contesting it.

    How is it naturalistic fallacy? I explained why it makes sense given the context for natural rights to one's body; if those rights hinge on the two things I mentioned, then the uterus being specifically purposed for the baby is relevant in determining whether she has has a natural right to it, in addition to the general rights of children to receive care.

    Reply
  68. No, it isn't relevant. As per my other example. Something being 'designed' or having 'co-evolved' to use something else does not give it a 'natural right' to anything.

    Biology is not destiny. Period.

    Reply
  69. Either way, it's penetration without consent. The perpetrator doesn't have to be the one doing the penetration.

    Reply
  70. Yes, but respectfully your other example was invalid because it concerned an organism which by nature was not morally on par with the woman…We're discussing two organisms which, for the purposes of discussion at least, have equal moral value.

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  71. Why isn't a fetus morally on par with an intestinal worm?

    They have more similarities than differences, i.e. non-sentient, parasitic on another organism, unable to survive on their own.

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  72. Morally on par or not, no thing – human or non-human, has a *claim* on the body of another, simply because 'evolution/god designed it that way'.

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  73. Rape is an unjust violation of bodily integrity. We can all probably agree that some infringements on bodily integrity are justified, and the right to life does not always trump the right to bodily integrity, and that the right to bodily integrity does not always trump the right to life. The question at hand is whether bodily integrity justifiably permits aborting a child conceived non-consensualy.

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  74. Interesting bait and switch. If the woman and the prenate have equal rights, then her right bodily autonomy means the prenate's right to life gives it no claim on the woman's body. To deny this is to say the prenate's right to life supersedes the woman's bodily autonomy. The life of mother exemption does not make up for the fact that you are nullifying her other rights.

    Reply
  75. If that's your position, fine. I'm just pointing two arguments that could be the basis for a natural right to one's body, and saying that clearly one of those reasons applies to the child, and not the mother.

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  76. Does bodily integrity justifiably permit aborting a fetus conceived consensually? I say yes, but all your prior posts indicate you disagree.

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  77. "Vaginas evolved to fit penises. Perfectly, in fact. You might say that the penis has an intrinsic right to any vagina it wants to penetrate. Rape ftw!"

    THANK YOU! I think that every time someone talks about how the uterus is "made for" the embryo. Freaking appeal to nature bullshit that inadvertently justifies sexual assault.

    Reply
  78. Just as an fyi, some fetuses are sentient, depending on their age.

    But consider a newborn and an animal that has comparable mental capabilities. I'm not any kind of expert on animal psychology, but let's just go with….I don't know, a raccoon. Not self-aware, not capable of rational thought. And concerning physical abilities, a raccoon is far more capable and independent than a newborn.

    Why aren't they morally on par with each other? Should someone who kills a newborn and someone who kills a raccoon be charged with similar crimes?

    What about a 1 month old? I suspect a well-trained and socialized Border Collie can solve puzzles, follow commands, and maybe empathize just as well as a one year old. (Maybe better.)

    Do you believe that they are morally on par? Why or why not?

    Reply
  79. Can these "natural rights" to other people's bodies or body parts be exercised WITHOUT the consent of the person whose body is being used?
    I would say no. Consent is a pre-requisite.

    Reply
  80. "The uterus is not needed by the mother for survival or even for health, but it is needed absolutely by the child."

    And the vagina is not needed by the woman for her health. So. What? Why in the world would you think that an organ's primary function somehow dictates the moral use of that organ? This is classic appeal to nature. It's a logical fallacy.

    Reply
  81. Because a right to your own body and a right to the body of another are two entirely different things.

    And there really is no such thing as 'natural rights'. It's an invention, so humans can get along without having to worry about getting stabbed in the back .

    And, I might add, the uterus is also the place where fertilized ovum go to die. So, as far as 'nature' is concerned, the prenate has no right to 'life' where the uterus is concerned. There is something known as “Rh-factor rejection”, an incompatibility
    between the mother’s immune system and the prenate, that almost
    always causes a miscarriage, unless modern medical technology is
    employed to intervene. Such a thing would never happen if that argument
    was completely valid.

    Mensturation is actually rare among placental mammals. It has evolved
    independently in different species (but not in a large total number of
    mammalian species). And scientists studying why menstruation evolved find no support for the notion that the human womb is actually a “welcoming” environment for the unborn.

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3528014/

    Also, there exists a completely different mechanism by which a mother’s body might kill an unborn human, “fetal resorption”. This phenomenon is fairly common in kangaroos; when the environment is poor in food, a pregnant kangaroo will literally suck out the life –and body– of its womb-inhabitant, until nothing remains. Other mammals can accomplish fetal resorption as well, including humans.

    google.ca/search?q=fetal+resorption&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb&gfe_rd=cr&ei=uiLYU6aQJY_EoATo_oHgCQ

    It is perfectly natural for the unborn to be killed if conditions aren’t adequate for supporting it.

    Reply
  82. Well that's the question at hand. Would you say that a person NEVER has any obligation to another person if they did not consent to the action responsible for the other person's need, period? For instance, if a woman is raped and goes through the pregnancy not knowing she is pregnant, and then gives birth (unlikely perhaps, but possible), can she be required to drive the baby to a safe haven location or set up an adoption? Those may not be huge requirements, but they do still infringe on her own liberty.

    Reply
  83. Just as an fyi, some fetuses are sentient, depending on their age

    The capacity for sentience does not exist until at least 25 weeks along, a point long past which most abortions occur.

    Reply
  84. As I mentioned below….I explained why it makes sense given the context for natural rights to one's body; if those rights hinge on the two things I mentioned, then the uterus being specifically purposed for the baby is relevant in determining whether she has has a natural right to it, in addition to the general rights of children to receive care.

    Anyway, I need to go for a while, so I'll try to come back later.

    Reply
  85. I'm pointing out that your argument would place newborns on the moral level of raccoons (or whatever), and 1 year olds on the level of a Border Collie. Unless you're willing to accept that as a valid argument, your argument doesn't hold weight.

    I have to go right now but I'll try to get back to you and explain more fully.

    Reply
  86. I'm not sure I agree that natural rights even exist, or that I'd support them. In your mind what's the difference between a natural right and "this is what happens in nature therefore it's good and we should support it?" I'm not seeing a distinction, hence Appeal to Nature Fallacy.

    Reply
  87. Exceptional situations should be handled on a case-by-case basis.
    But as a general rule: yes, a person has no OBLIGATION to another individual if they did not
    directly consent to the action responsible for the other person's need, period.

    Many people CHOOSE to accommodate others in need at the expense of their bodies or other resources. That should always be a choice and never be forced.

    Reply
  88. Why can't I just say, "Hey the vagina is made to fit the penis. Therefore the man's penis has a NATURAL RIGHT to the vagina!"

    You'd probably say, "But the man's penis doesn't need the vagina to live! The embryo needs the uterus to live, thus it has a natural right to use it."

    Then I'd say, "Yeah but what about all the people that need my blood donations to live? Why don't they have a natural right to use it? What's the difference here?"

    You might say, "Because your blood is not naturally made for another person's use, it's made for your use."

    So your claim seems to come down to (1) life-sustaining use and (2) NATURAL use.

    But I'm not seeing why something being natural gives it moral weight or rights of any kind. Why does the fact that I was born with a uterus somehow entitle an embryo to go in and use it against my very consent? "That's the way of nature" doesn't really cut it.

    Reply
  89. Thank you LN.

    There is nothing more annoying in a discussion than when someone insults you for disagreeing with or misunderstanding them. It shows a lack of respect and of character.

    Reply
  90. Blueberry, your conclusion about the fetus and the womb is right, just not the reasoning you are using to get there.

    Society holds the common belief that no one has the right to deliberately deny any other innocent human person the necessities of life (nutrition, hydration, oxygen, etc.)

    When human beings are in their feral stage of existence, the womb is a necessity of life – and therefore, the argument is that deliberately denying a fetus access to a womb is an act which denies an innocent human being their right to the necessities of life.

    Clearly this means that a fetus can lay a certain claim to the womb (according to this argument), and this claim isn't lessened by the manner of its conception – so rape changes nothing.

    Also, this argument would NOT justify rape, because the penetration of a vagina by a penis is clearly not an essential for the existence of an individual human being.

    Reply
  91. Once again, needing the body part of another for survival does not automatically mean that anyone or anything is entitled to that body part.

    Reply
  92. Blueberry, your conclusion about the fetus and the womb is right, just not the reasoning you are using to get there.

    Society holds the common belief that no one has the right to deliberately deny any other innocent human person the necessities of life (nutrition, hydration, oxygen, etc.)

    When human beings are in their fetal stage of existence, the womb is a necessity of life – and therefore, the argument is that deliberately denying a fetus access to a womb is an act which denies an innocent human being their right to the necessities of life.

    Clearly this means that a fetus can lay a certain claim to the womb (according to this argument), and this claim isn't lessened by the manner of its conception – so rape wouldn't mean that you are less entitled to the necessities of life.

    Also, this argument would NOT justify rape (as others have mentioned in this thread), because the penetration of a vagina by a penis, even though a natural complimentarity exists between these two organs, is clearly not an act or thing that is an essential for the existence of an individual human being.

    Reply
  93. So if abortion was carried out whereby the entire uterus was removed with the prenate inside, that'd be ok, right? Since the prenate ONLY has a claim on the uterus, correct?

    Reply
  94. Not at all, because it can be clearly shown that the intention of such an action was still to either end the life of the prenate/deny them the necessities of life.

    The only time things would be different is if the removal of the uterus was carried out as a life-saving treatment on the mother, and the unintended and secondary effect was the loss of the prenate in utero.

    Reply
  95. If what the prenate needs for all the 'necessities of life' is the uterus, then it shoudln't matter if it is removed from the woman's body. The argument is that the prenate has a claim on the uterus because the uterus was designed by it by god knows what. So, tha's fine, let's go with that. It can have the uterus, but it does NOT have a claim on the rest of the woman's body.

    Reply
  96. You're confusing the argument here.

    This argument has NOTHING to do with design, or teleology, this argument is about the biological reality of the fundamental necessities of human existence (whether those fundamentals are designed or not, or end-direted or not, is irrelevant to this argument).

    Also, if a uterus is removed, it no longer functions, and so removing it is still an act of denying the necessities of life to an innocent human being.

    This would be like denying someone clean water, and instead providing them with only toxic, undrinkable disease-ridden water, while saying 'hey, I'm still providing you your right to the necessities for life'

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  97. This argument has NOTHING to do with design, or teleology, this

    I am sorry, but that IS the argument, in a nutshell. The prenate needs the uterus, therefore, it has a claim to it, cuz nature.

    Also, if a uterus is removed, it no longer functions, and so removing it
    is still an act of denying the necessities of life to an innocent human being.

    Even with a functioning uterus separate from the woman the prenate would die. Care to guess why?

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  98. Now why the hell would anyone do that when every state has safe harbor laws and they can legally abandon them anywhere there would be 24 hour personnel available, such as hospitals, fire stations, etc. Unresponsive to my comment. A born child is no longer in NEED of it's mother, PERIOD.

    Reply
  99. That's too bad. Uteri are not removed for trivial reasons. No one has a right to the uterus or any part of another person.

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  100. The uterus doesn't belong to "the child." It belongs to the body wherein it resides. In other words, my uterus belongs to ME and nobody else has any right to it without my permission.

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  101. You still seem to be confused about this argument – the argument is definitely NOT:

    "The prenate needs the uterus, therefore, it has a claim to it, cuz nature."

    That's a complete failure to understand what is actually being argued here.

    The argument, in a nutshell, is actually this:

    Society operates on the premise that all innocent human beings have a right not to be deliberately denied the essentials for life. A uterus is an essential for life for an innocent human being in their fetal stage of development. Therefore it is a violation of its fundamental human rights to deliberately deny a fetus access to a functioning uterus.

    Secondly, I'm not sure what definition you are using for 'functioning', but it clearly needs some explanation if you think that, while carrying out its function of sustaining a human being in utero, a uterus wouldn't actually be able to fulfil that function and instead the prenate would die.

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  102. NOBODY (without exception!) has any right, natural or otherwise, to ANY part of my body. And for your information, the woman's ENTIRE BODY is used by a developing zef. Not merely the uterus.

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  103. I am not confused about anything. You are just trying to dress up a shitty appeal to nature argument.

    Society operates on the premise that we do not subject individuals to *unjust killing*. Abortion is not unjust killing – the prenate does NOT have a right to lay claim to the woman's body simply because it's natural environment is the uterus.

    a uterus wouldn't actually be able to fulfil that function and instead the prenate would die.

    The uterus just holds the prenate, the actual job of keeping it alive is up to the rest of the woman's organs. Keep the uterus as healthy as possible, but impair the functioning of the woman's kidneys, liver and other organs, and you'll have a dead prenate. The women breathes for it, eats for it, and processes wastes for it.

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  104. I never said they were removed for trivial reasons – and if you read what I have actually said here then you'd observe that I have stated that the loss of an unborn human being could be an unintended secondary effect of a removal of a uterus, which is not unethical.

    The issue here is not really whether anyone has a 'right to a uterus', it's actually about whether or not anyone has the right to deliberately terminate and expel an innocent human being from a uterus – that's a very different proposition altogether.

    No one has the right to be in the middle of the road jaywalking either – but just because they don't a right to be in the middle of the road, that doesn't then mean that I have the right to run them down and kill them with my car if I drive around a corner and find them in the middle of the road while jaywalking.

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  105. My body was clearly attempting to grow cancerous cells on my cervix. That doesn't mean I have to go along with the plan.

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  106. I believe anyone can do the dropping off. No questions asked. The laws anticipate women who give birth alone. She can call the paramedics and hand the infant over to them, and go to the hospital (or not). That would surely "count" as a safe delivery under the intent of the law.

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  107. Innocence is important is because innocence is a qualifier in human ethics.

    For example, if a person is attacking you, you have the right to defend yourself with force, but you do NOT have the right to use force on an innocent person.

    See the importance of this qualifier now?

    Oh, and no, the woman is NOT guilty because the fetus is innocent – the innocence of the fetus has nothing to do with the state of the mother. Two completely different and totally unrelated matters.

    Secondly, this is NOT an appeal to emotion – far from it. This is about the culpability of the fetus in the actions being discussed, i.e they are 'innocent' and it would be unjust to deliberately harm an innocent person.

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  108. Why the obsession with 'innocent human being'

    Please elaborate.

    And no one has the right to be inside your body without consent, and if the ONLY way you can escape results in their death, too bad.

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  109. Well, that one right there is the ad hominem fallacy, where you attack the person and not the argument, and then there is your continual use of the straw man fallacy when you keep to trying to wrongly claim that this argument is about nature and teleology, when that's not what this argument is based on at all.

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  110. So if am being raped by someone who doesn't comprehend that rape is wrong, I can't use force to stop it? Just watch me!

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  111. but you do NOT have the right to use force on an innocent person.

    So if an innocent if cognitively disabled person (there are people with the mind of a newborn, due to oxygen deprivation at birth) attacks you, then I guess you can't act in self-defense because they know not what they do?

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  112. Certainly she does. It's HER uterus. She can do anything she wants with it. She can rent it out if she wants. See surrogacy.

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  113. Actually, ad hominem is when you insult someone without any other argument.

    For instance, if I say '2+2=4, moron' that is NOT the ad hominem fallacy. It's a fact alongside an insult.

    The ad hominem fallacy is when your ONLY argument is to insult your opponent. If, instead of including 2+2=4 I just called you a moron, that would be an example of the ad hom fallacy.

    And no, it isn't a straw man, since you are pretty much saying that because the prenate NEEDS the uterus the prenate has a CLAIM to the uterus, and thus, the woman's body. IE, 'nature' has 'designed' the uterus for the prenate, therefore, the uterus BELONGS to the prenate.

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  114. Once again, no this is NOT an appeal to nature.

    I really can't believe you're still trying to insist of this fallacious claim when I've explained several times that this is not the case at all.

    Secondly, a functioning uterus would still act to provide nutrients, expel waste, etc, even if it was separate from a woman's body (obviously this technology does exist as of yet) – the key point is that you referred to a 'functioning' uterus in relation to pregnancy, but then suggested that a healthy human being in utero would still die even if a uterus was functioning.

    This is precisely why I had to challenge your definition of 'functioning', because clearly what you have described is a uterus that is NOT actually functioning any longer, thus the death of the human being in utero.

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  115. Secondly, a functioning uterus would still act to provide nutrients,
    expel waste, etc, even if it was separate from a woman's body

    The uterus doesn't do any of that. The placenta does, all because it has literally drilled into a blood vessel. The woman's blood vessel. The uterus is just a container.

    You could theoretically impregnate a man by letting a blastocyst implant on one of his intestines. All it has to do is drill into the blood vessel, and he could potentially breathe eat and shit for it.

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  116. As I explained, innocent people have a right not to have forced used against them – but this is not true if the person being talked about is an unjust aggressor, in that situation you do have the right to use force against them.

    It's also why I am careful to use the word 'deliberate' a lot as well – because there is clearly a different level of moral culpability between deliberately doing something and accidentally doing it, or doing something else that causes that outcome as a secondary and unintended consequence of your actions.

    As you see above, I am not trying to argue that a fetus has a right to be inside someone's body – instead I am arguing that they have the right to necessities for life (and a womb is one of these when you are a human being in your fetal stage of development), and also, I am arguing that even if someone doesn't have a right to be in your body, that does not then mean that you have an automatic right to kill them and expel them from your body.

    For example, if a doctor was to open you up and operate on you, without consent – because you arrived at the hospital unconscious after a car accident, and he was trying to save you – that doesn't mean that you have the right to kill him if you awake during the surgery and find him inside your body, even if that was the only way to get him out of your body.

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  117. but this is not true if the person being talked about is an unjust
    aggressor, in that situation you do have the right to use force against
    them.

    And pray tell, why isn't an unwanted embyro an unjust aggressor?

    instead I am arguing that they have the right to necessities for life

    Which does not include the non-consensual use of someone's body and organs.

    It's not the woman's fault that the prenate cannot survive without the use of her body.

    It's not your fault that the violinist cannot survive without the very necessity of using your kidneys for dialysis, it's not her fault that the prenate cannot survive without using the woman's kidneys for dialysis. Blame nature. The woman didn't purposely create the embryo in such a needy state. Nature did. And we override nature all the time.

    I am arguing that even if someone doesn't have a right to be in your
    body, that does not then mean that you have an automatic right to kill
    them and expel them from your body.

    Of course not. But if there is no other means of escape do you just have to sit back and let your body be used as a mere means to an end?

    For example, if a doctor was to open you up and operate on you, without consent

    Yeah, that's not stupid or anything. The commonly held assumption is that if you are in an accident, that you will receive care, to save your life and/or health. If, however, you sign a DNR, the doctor CANNOT touch you, and must let you die.

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  118. I think when it comes to bodily integrity, there can be a clear distinction drawn between a requirement to violate your bodily integrity to preserve the life of someone who is otherwise dying as the result of bodily malfunction, and a requirement to violate your bodily integrity in order to refrain from terminating the life of someone who will otherwise physiologically survive. It's not about the nature of the violation so much, but more about a difference in the burden required to prove that your action/inaction is justified; the former situation requiring a lesser burden than the latter.

    It's also about the relative rights in balance. Not having to donate a kidney = right to bodily integrity trumps right to health. Having to provide a blood or breath sample for drink driving = right to life (for others on the road) trumps right to bodily autonomy. Being quarantined for disease = right to life (for others) trumps right to liberty. Involuntary treatment for mental illness = right to life (others and/or your own) trumps right to bodily integrity. And then abortion = right to bodily integrity trumps right to life.

    It's pretty clear that bodily integrity can be justifiably violated. What needs to be argued in abortion is whether or not the life and rights of the prenate provide sufficient weight for that justification to exist.

    (If anyone replies, I'm in the middle of studying for exams and don't have much time for debate. So you may have to be quite patient if you want a response.)

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  119. But that's exactly what I am NOT saying!!!

    Design has NOTHING to do with this argument.

    The argument is about what are the essentials for biological life to flourish – whether those essentials are designed or not has NOTHING to do with this argument.

    Therefore, what you are doing is engaging in a straw man argument when you try to claim that this is what I am saying.

    I am astounded that you can't seem to make this distinction – or maybe you can see it, but this is just wilful ignorance in an attempt to avoid responding to the actual argument.

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  120. The problem is that abortion is NOT like refusing to donate blood or bone marrow. In the latter case, you're simply failing to save the person's life, and the person dies from a pre-existing illness; you're no more responsible for the death than someone who drives past an accident victim and fails to stop and help.

    Let's say we have two girls, Alex and Bethany. Alex and Bethany are conjoined twins with a shared circulatory system. However, one day Bethany suffers from liver failure. She'll still be able to live, however, because her blood will still be filtered by Alice's functioning liver. However, Alice doesn't like that her liver function has essentially been halved, meaning she sometimes feels queasy and can't drink as much alcohol. If Alice could find a doctor to separate their circulatory systems, should she be allowed to do so?

    You mentioned the De Facto Guardian article, but didn't address it. Do you think that the woman in the cabin should be allowed to starve the baby to death, rather than breastfeed?

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  121. An unborn human being is not an unjust aggressor because they have no intent to cause harm to another person – intent is required on the part of the aggressor.

    LOL – if you have consensual sex with another person, and you create a dependant human being from that act, it is absolute nonsense to try and claim that nature created the human being – as opposed to you creating it as a direct result of your actions.

    The doctor analogy was used to show that your claim about it being ethically permissible to kill someone just because they are inside your body without consent is clearly not true, otherwise it would be okay to kill the doctor in that situation where you gave no consent to having doing things to your body.

    The issue of DNRs is a red herring, as it is a secondary matter that is unrelated to the point being made.

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  122. I think I can explain the "Punish the rapist, not the child!" line. It isn't meant to imply that those who support a rape exception don't want to punish rapists; it's meant as more of an attempt to establish common ground. Many people seem to be of the thought process that if you *don't* support a rape exception, that means you don't think rape is that bad, or that you don't care about rape victims. The line is an attempt to say, in a soundbite, "Look, I understand that rape is a terrible crime, and a traumatic experience to go through. I agree that more needs to be done to prevent rape and bring rapists to justice. We don't disagree on anything about rape; I'm only contending that the child conceived in rape should not die for his father's crime.

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  123. That is an example where both twins have the same rights to the body, the rape fetus is attached to a preexisting moral person with sovereignty rights over her own body.

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  124. My problem with a rape exception is the ability to enforce it. How exactly would that work? Does a woman need to simply say "I was raped"? Because that would mean that any woman could still get an abortion if they are willing to lie to get one. Which makes it not an exception at all.
    Or does a woman have to PROVE she was raped? As your stats said before, only 40% of rapes even get reported. Lets assume a woman is raped and becomes pregnant.Let's also assume that they find the rapist, arrest him, take him to trial, and finally convict. By the time all of this happens, the woman would have given birth to the child anyways.
    So my question to those out there who believe in a rape exception, is there something I'm missing? How would this possibly be enforced? In what way could this possibly work?

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  125. I know this wasn't your point, but I really object to phrases like "spawn of the rapist." I agree that rapists are the scum of the earth, but that doesn't mean their children are bad or "spawn." Many rape survivors choose to carry their pregnancies and it's really hurtful to them and their children to see society use phrases like this. Just something to consider.

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  126. I think the killing vs. letting die distinction is pretty important, actually, and so I think the method of ending the pregnancy should be an equivalent of "unplugging" no matter how far along the woman is. In later term situations maybe that means C-section or induced labor, and in earlier term situations maybe that means something like RU-486? I'm not sure. But Frank Macguire (I think) had a good comment somewhere else on this thread about how that would look if we are making that distinction between killing vs. letting die.

    I don't think thalidomide is justified, no. If she chooses to carry the pregnancy she is choosing to take on parental responsibility, at least for the duration of the pregnancy. To me that includes not harming the fetus.

    Likewise she cannot abandon a child. Once the child is born the bodily integrity argument changes drastically, IMO. The child is no longer using her organs or literally taking her nutrients from her. I think she (or anyone else, non-related adults included) would be morally obligated to prevent the child from dying until someone else could take care of the child.

    I don't agree with the argument that the uterus is for the child biologically and therefore the child has a right to a uterus morally or philosophically. We don't apply that line of thinking to anything else–bacteria or cancer cells that naturally live in various of our body parts, or the cruder penis-vagina analogy others have mentioned. It's true the z/e/f can only live in a uterus, but I don't see the reasoning that the z/e/f therefore has a right to the uterus that supersedes the woman's right to not have others use her body against her will. Not as a baseline stance, anyway.

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  127. I understand at least half of them do, and my opinion is my own. To those who choose to do so, that is their private decision and no justification is needed. I meant of course, that to ME it would be the spawn of a rapist. Not a "child" but a hateful parasite that I would in no way consider giving birth too. That may be done, but it's only inviting trouble.

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  128. Yes that's a good point. But shouldn't there then be an onus on the woman to come forward as soon as it happens? Also there would need to be a change in public perceptions regarding the 'stigma' of rape and other practical problems. But I wonder is the bigger problem women coming forward with false rape claims; but still think it wouldn't be so easy to just say I was raped last night but no evidence at all.

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  129. Thanks for that perspective. That makes a lot more sense to me, although (speaking purely anecdotally/subjectively) that's not the impression I usually get from the attitudes of the people saying the soundbite.

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  130. "We don’t have required blood, bone marrow, or organ donations, not even from the dead. . . . It’s hard to find a truly analogous situation. But I find most people agree that you should legally be allowed to unplug from Thomson’s violinist, even though that would allow the violinist to die."

    Most people do agree, but if it's not truly analogous . . . ?

    "You should be allowed to unplug" is a moral intuition in most people. Since unplugging is somewhat analogous to abortion, we may conclude "you should be allowed to abort." But what do we learn from the fact that the thought experiment works in that way? We learn the primacy of intuition. Now that we have understood that intuition is what counts, why not see what our intuition is about abortion itself? The outcome might be different. If so, the analogy has broken down somewhere. We may not logically understand exactly where, but that does not mean that we should abandon our moral intuition.

    I have thought as best I could about this here:

    NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/dismantling-the-bodily-rights-argument-without-using-the-responsibility-argument/

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  131. First of all, how is that any better than the current law? If all a woman seeking an abortion has to do is check an extra box on the form saying "I was raped.", what exactly have we accomplished by banning abortion?

    Secondly, if the pro-life movement succeeds, and the unborn are legally treated as persons with full human rights, a standard of that sort would be MASSIVELY illegal on due process grounds alone. It's not even a "my word against your word" scenario, because the fetus cannot make his own case; it's essentially a death sentence based on one person's word.

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  132. ""You should be allowed to unplug" is a moral intuition in most people.
    Since unplugging is somewhat analogous to abortion (in case of rape), we
    may conclude "you should be allowed to abort." But what do we learn
    from the fact that the thought experiment works in that way? We learn
    the primacy of intuition. Now that we have understood that intuition is
    what counts, why not see what our intuition is about abortion itself?
    The outcome might be different. If so, the analogy has broken down
    somewhere. We may not logically understand exactly where, but that does
    not mean that we should abandon our moral intuition."

    Were going to have a fuller discussion on this topic, so I won't go into much detail here. It isn't just the pinpointing of our intuition that matters in this thought experiment. Thomson also went on to explain why that intuitions work out that way despite the fact we would all acknowledge that a) the violinist is undoubtedly a person who b) undoubtedly has a right to life. Without that explanation, our reaction to the experiment could just be dismissed as an anomaly.

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  133. Yes, the person is dead, that's true. But our society has a justice system in place that recognizes different types of death and responsibility. Legally, (not to mention morally) there is a HUGE difference if I accidentally run you over with my car or if I choose to kill you and stab you with a knife. There are further distinctions depending on whether or not I was somehow impaired while I was driving. Since the question of "should there be a rape exception in abortion law" is a legal one, it seems only fair that we give it an answer on those terms. Simply saying "the person is just as dead either way" doesn't address any of the potential legal or moral implications of abortion in rape or any other circumstance.

    But you seem to really want to address the violinist argument. Frankly I haven't addressed it because I don't think it's a good argument any way you look at it. Quite simply, someones reliance on an unwilling donor, thus interrupting the donors life forever doesn't apply to either a mother or her developing child. First, the mother is not trapped in a room for an indefinite amount of time as the analogy suggests. Second, the violinists natural state of being is to be dying. The natural state of the developing human is to be developing and growing. Without an unwilling donor the violinist will die due to natural causes. Without a nurturing womb the developing human will die due to being killed- there's nothing natural about it. For those reasons(and more, but it's almost three in the morning and I have to be at work in six hours) I find that that particular philosophical exercise is, while interesting, not actually relevant, but instead a distraction from discussing the actual issue: When is it appropriate to actively choose to kill another human being.

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  134. "An unborn human being is not an unjust aggressor because they have no
    intent to cause harm to another person – intent is required on the part
    of the aggressor."

    Nonsense. Imagine, if you will, a person suffering from PTSD. That person attacks you, thinking for whatever reason that you are "the enemy." That person has no intent to harm you, but even without that intent, that person is an unjust aggressor that can be dealt accordingly.

    "LOL – if you have consensual sex with another person, and you create a dependant human being from that act, it is absolute nonsense to try and claim that nature created the human being – as opposed to you creating it as a direct result of your actions."

    I find it interesting how you insist on intent in one case but disavow it in this one. Just because you have consensual sex, it does not mean you intend to get pregnant–hence the term *unintended* pregnancy. dudebro is correct–the woman didn't purposely create the prenate.

    "The doctor analogy was used to show that your claim about it being
    ethically permissible to kill someone just because they are inside your
    body without consent is clearly not true, otherwise it would be okay to
    kill the doctor in that situation where you gave no consent to having
    doing things to your body."

    If you awake during the surgery and attacked the doctor in the honest belief it was necessary to use deadly force, a self-defense claim may or may not hold up, depending on the jurisdiction. However, in jurisdictions that recognize the imperfect self-defense doctrine, you could avail yourself of that and it would reduce the charge and/or sentence.

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  135. "Yes, the person is dead, that's true. But our society has a justice
    system in place that recognizes different types of death and
    responsibility. Legally, (not to mention morally) there is a HUGE
    difference if I accidentally run you over with my car or if I choose to
    kill you and stab you with a knife. There are further distinctions
    depending on whether or not I was somehow impaired while I was driving."

    So far so good. I am by no means saying that refusing to donate is murder, or even that the person refusing to donate should be charged with a crime.

    "Since the question of "should there be a rape exception in abortion law"
    is a legal one, it seems only fair that we give it an answer on those
    terms. Simply saying "the person is just as dead either way" doesn't
    address any of the potential legal or moral implications of abortion in
    rape or any other circumstance."

    Here is where I disagree. Other things being equal, one does have a share of moral responsibility if their action or inaction results in the death of another. In certain circumstances, failure to act is also grounds for legal liability in both criminal and tort actions. Whether it be from action or inaction, the person is just as dead, and you have a share of the blame for that death.

    "But you seem to really want to address the violinist argument. Frankly I haven't addressed it because I don't think it's a good argument any way you look at it. Quite simply, someones reliance on an unwilling donor, thus interrupting the donors life forever doesn't apply to either a mother or her developing child."

    I don't know how you can make that out. In an unwanted pregnancy, the mother is certainly an unwilling donor, and it would interrupt her life forever.

    "First, the mother is not trapped in a room for an indefinite amount of time as the analogy suggests."

    Being told she can't abort certainly does trap her for an indefinite amount of time. That she isn't trapped in a physical room doesn't make the burden of an unwanted pregnancy any less burdensome.

    "Second, the violinists natural state of being is to be dying. The natural state of the developing human is to be developing and growing. Without an unwilling donor the violinist will die due to natural causes. Without a nurturing womb the developing human will die due to being killed- there's nothing natural about it."

    Now you're playing a bit fast and loose with the term nature. After all, it is perfectly natural for a developing human to die without a nurturing womb–after all, it happens to as much as 50% of all fertilized eggs, and much as 20% of all conceptuses that implant. The womb itself is not necessarily a naturally hospitable place for the prenate to be.

    Furthermore, all that is required for the analogy to work is that the donor and the mother be unwilling in order for it to move forward.

    "I find that that particular philosophical exercise is, while interesting, not actually relevant, but instead a distraction from discussing the actual issue: When is it appropriate to actively choose to kill another human being."

    I find it quite relevant to what the real issue is: Do people have a right to control what happens in and to their bodies or not?

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  136. 1. Comparing a person with PSTD to an unborn human being is simply nonsensical.

    The person suffering from PTSD still has intent – even if their intent is fuelled by mental instability due to the PTSD.

    Their actions are intentionally directed at their victim.

    This is nothing like an innocent fetus which takes no action and directs nothing against the mother at all.

    2. The primary end of the act of sexual intercourse is the reproduction of our species (i.e. creation of new human lives).

    It is the most effective of creating a new human being, and the two bodies of the male and female sexual partners are working to try and achieve this outcome right from the very start of the act – regardless of whether you personally intend that or not.

    Consenting to sexual intercourse is consenting to the very act which has the sole biological aim of bring new human lives into existence.

    It is simply ludicrous to engage in the act that is designed to create new vulnerable human beings, and then try and claim that you are nor morally culpable for the new vulnerable human beings that you happen to create as a result.

    This is precisely why courts rule that wayward fathers have to pay child support to support their biological offspring regardless of whether they intended their sexual acts to produce the child or not – the very fact that their actions led to the existence of that human being makes them accountable for the wellbeing of that human being.

    3. I would suggest to you that no sane person would consider it ethically acceptable to kill that doctor and claim that you were just exercising your right to bodily autonomy, and that your actions were perfectly justified.

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  137. "The problem is that abortion is NOT like refusing to donate blood or
    bone marrow. In the latter case, you're simply failing to save the
    person's life, and the person dies from a pre-existing illness; you're
    no more responsible for the death than someone who drives past an
    accident victim and fails to stop and help."

    No responsibility whatsoever? How pro-life of you!

    Seriously, having an abortion and refusing to donate body parts stem from the same right to bodily autonomy. In both cases, you are refusing to use your body parts to keep another person alive. In both cases, neither the needy person nor the prenate has a claim to your body. In both cases, the refusal to use their bodies to sustain the other's results in death.

    "Let's say we have two girls, Alex and Bethany. Alex and Bethany are
    conjoined twins with a shared circulatory system. However, one day
    Bethany suffers from liver failure. She'll still be able to live,
    however, because her blood will still be filtered by Alice's functioning
    liver. However, Alice doesn't like that her liver function has
    essentially been halved, meaning she sometimes feels queasy and can't
    drink as much alcohol. If Alice could find a doctor to separate their
    circulatory systems, should she be allowed to do so?"

    Simon Jm pointed out an essential difference between conjoined twins and a pregnant woman, but I don't think that difference applies in the particular case you are presenting. It is also a bit unclear what you mean by the twins having a shared circulatory system, so I am going to leave that aside. I would say yes, Alice should be allowed to be separated from her twin (or have their circulatory systems separated–this is where things get kind of fuzzy depending on your meaning). Besides the standard bodily autonomy argument, Bethany's parasitic use very likely poses a significant threat to Alice's life and health, perhaps enough to justify the separation on those grounds alone.

    "You mentioned the De Facto Guardian article, but didn't address it. Do
    you think that the woman in the cabin should be allowed to starve the
    baby to death, rather than breastfeed?"

    I don't think the authors made the point they were claiming. And the more I read, the only thing I became convinced of was just how cruel they were.

    With specific regard to whether Mary should be forced to breastfeed in that scenario, I would say the answer is no. While a case *could* (and note the emphasis) be made against Mary in the formula version, requiring her to breastfeed crosses the line.

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  138. 1. I wasn't necessarily comparing someone with PTSD to a prenate. I was simply responding to your assertion that intent is required on the part of an aggressor before one could respond to the aggression.

    2. Who says "the primary end of the act of sexual intercourse is the reproduction of our species" or that sexual intercourse "has the sole biological aim of bring new human lives into existence"? Or for that matter that sexual intercourse was designed at all? Or that forcing fathers to pay child support for children they didn't want is any more just than prohibiting abortion?

    3. I'm not saying that any sane person would. I am saying a sane person would not necessarily convict the patient given the circumstances.

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  139. Full disclosure that it is 5am where I live and I've been up all night trying to finish a work project. Not that it's an excuse to be inaccurate, but my words tend to be more wobbly when I'm at this stage of exhaustion. And since the internet is all about instant gratification and I desperately need a break from staring at this flyer sheet I'm trying to design, I'm going to attempt a response.

    I'm going to only respond to your final question because until we resolve that, everything else will just be talking in circles. You state that the real issie is whether or not people have a right to control what happens in and to their bodies or not.

    The answer is yes, but.

    For example, I have every right to stand in the middle of a park and swing my arms around. My body, my control. However, my right to my body, my choice, my control, ends at the point that my swinging arms smack into you. It is obviously absurd for someone to justify their rape of another by saying it was their right to control what happened to their body and their body wanted to be on someone else's.

    Because, (in what I hope is obvious) your right to choosing what to do with your body is curtailed at the point that it has an impact on someone else's life. So yes, you do have the right to control what happens in and to your body. Does that right mean it's acceptable to pay someone to kill a separate human being who, by nature of their existence, through no fault of their own, is growing inside of you? To answer that question we have to address the point of when human rights begin. Are they magically assigned at the moment of birth? Earlier? At the point that they start existing as a unique individual?

    Bodily autonomy doesn't mean you get to kill other human beings, so the question isn't about your right to control your body- it's about your right to control someone else's body.

    I'm not going to try and pretend that being pregnant is a walk in the park. Personally, I hope I never have to experience it, but there are many things in my life that I have wished to not have to experience, and none of them have given me the "right" to end someone else's life.

    With that, I'm going to sign off and hopefully leave the office so I can sleep for a couple hours before coming back. =p

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  140. 1. I NEVER said that intent was required (on the part of the aggressor) before one can respond, instead I said that a fetus is innocent of unjust aggression because THEY don't have intent. I was explaining why a fetus is innocent, and why they can't be treated with force in the same way that someone who intends to do you harm does (which a PTSD person does – putting them in a different category to a fetus).

    2. Who says? Mother nature does. Biology textbooks do. This is science and reality 101. Sex might be pleasurable for us, but it doesn't exist as a pleasure outlet for human beings, but biologically/evolutionarily speaking it exists as a vehicle to achieve human reproduction.

    3. I disagree. Unless the patient could prove insanity, I don't think any sane person would consider their killing of the doctor to be an ethically acceptable act.

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  141. leadingedge has it right in this case. The ad hominem fallacy consists of attacking the person instead of the argument, the implication being that argument itself is wrong because of the person's failing.

    An insult is just an insult.

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  142. Your would still fail because you are demonstrably wrong. A prenate doesn't just need a functioning uterus. It also needs the mother's lungs, digestive system, kidneys and circulatory system (at a minimum). This is what dudebro was getting by suggesting the prenate can have the uterus so long as it left the rest of the woman's body alone.

    It is one thing to say one should be provided with clean water. It is another to say that the clean water must come directly from my body.

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  143. My argument has NOTHING to do with separating a womb from the female – Dudebro was the one who introduced that concept.

    My argument has always been that a womb is an essential for life for a human being in their fetal stage of development, therefore it is a violation of their fundamental rights to deliberately deny them an essential for life.

    The point is that abortion terminates and then expels the fetus from a very specific part of the female body – the womb, which is why the argument refers to the womb.

    But I had NEVER envisaged wombs that are separate from female bodies – that was Dudebro's sidetrack.

    Either way, he still introduced this concept by referring to a 'functioning womb' – and in the context of pregnancy that would mean a womb that sustaining the life of the unborn human being.

    See?

    Reply
  144. I understand what you mean about writing when you are at the point of exhaustion. I once had to go back and edit a number of posts I wrote when exhausted. For most of them, it was necessary to make clarifications for something that would otherwise be misleading. But in one case I had to come out and say ignore everything after a certain point and admit I didn't know what the hell I was thinking when I wrote it. You've done quite well here, especially given the length of the post.

    When it comes to rights, there are no yes-buts. Either you have them or you don't. In saying this, I am not saying rights are completely inviolate or that you can use your rights to infringe upon those of others. But if there limits, those limits need to be consistently applied.

    With that in mind, let us move to the heart of the matter. You state, "To answer that question we have to address the point of when human
    rights begin. Are they magically assigned at the moment of birth?
    Earlier? At the point that they start existing as a unique individual?"

    The answer is that, no, we don't have to address the point of when human rights begin. It is irrelevant. Sure, if the prenate doesn't have any human rights, then having an abortion is of no more consequence than pulling a louse from your body.

    But if bodily rights mean anything, they mean that no one has the right to use your body for their purposes. You said it yourself–it would be absurd to justify rape on the ground that your body wanted to be on someone else. It also means that no one has the right to your organs, even to keep themselves alive. And "no one" includes prenates, even if they have human rights.

    You want to make a distinction on two grounds. First, the difference between letting die and the fact that a third party is involved. Okay, let's run with it then. Here are some questions for you:

    1) If a woman could simply consciously expel the fetus from her body under her own power, would it be acceptable if she did so? If not, then how can you justify fighting a rapist trying to use your body?

    2) If I happened upon someone raping an unconscious person, am I permitted to intervene? If so, on what grounds do you forbid a third person to remove a prenate from a woman's body?

    Reply
  145. Okay, then let's go ahead and work with this. You say "it is a violation of their fundamental rights to deliberately deny them an essential for life." So where exactly do you stand on forced organ donation?

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  146. I'm opposed to it, but forced organ donation is NOTHING like abortion.

    Abortion is intentional direct killing of an innocent human being, but if I decline to donate my organs to someone and they die, that is an unintentional secondary effect of my actions – which is obviously totally different to abortion.

    The person requiring an organ transplant is not killed, they die, and they don't die because I intend it, and they don't die at my hand – their lethal ailment is the thing that ends their life, not another human being.

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  147. Your argument basically proves what the anti-abortionists keep denying, specifically that they want enforced pregnancy to be used as a punishment for sex, and don't really care about the 'innocent babies'.

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  148. Blueberry wrote:

    **If the baby is viable, and the mother no longer wants to be pregnant (maybe she can feel the baby kicking now, or she just discovered her pregnancy), should she be obligated to undergo a c-section or to induce labor rather than have an abortion?**

    The problem with inducing labor is the elephant in the living room that anti-abortionists want to desperately ignore, which is that you are forcing a very large object (a head) through a very small hole (the birth canal). It's far more painful and dangerous than an abortion. Ditto for a C section, cutting a large hole in the abdomen is much more painful and dangerous to the mother than an abortion.

    If you can find a way to remove the baby intact that is not more painful, dangerous, time consuming, or expensive than an abortion, and are willing to pay for the costs of keeping it alive, then you have grounds to talk.

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  149. **As I explained, innocent people have a right not to have forced used against them **

    You're handwaving. If some hemophiliac suddenly appears, hooked up to me by transfusion appparatus, violating my bodily integrity is, in fact, a form of force. I have the right to remove the tubing by force, if I want to.. Also, you're classifying the fetus as 'people', which hasn't been proven.

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  150. **An unborn human being is not an unjust aggressor because they have no intent to cause harm to another person – intent is required on the part of the aggressor.**

    Sorry, no. If someone is falling (by accident) from a building, and they are headed towards me, and the situation is such that they will die unless I allow them to fall on my body, I am not under an obligation to let them fall on me to save their lives (thus risking harm myself) simply because they didn't 'intend' to fall from the building.

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  151. **Who says? Mother nature does. Biology textbooks do. This is science and reality 101. Sex might be pleasurable for us, but it doesn't exist as a pleasure outlet for human beings, but biologically/evolutionarily speaking it exists as a vehicle to achieve human reproduction.**

    That's like saying that your mouth was designed for eating. Sorry, doesn't hold water. Unless you belong to a strict order of monks, you use your mouth for speech, much more than for eating. The mouth has been evolutionarily repurposed in humans. Ditto for sex. Given the number of times people have sex for pleasure, vs the number of times we actually reproduce and the fact that unlike most other animals, we have sex at times other than when we are fertile, it's obvious that sex has been repurposed as well.

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  152. **Innocence is important is because innocence is a qualifier in human ethics.**

    Crap argument. A man who visits prostitutes isn't 'innocent', but I don't have the right to go shoot him. And contrawise, if a man doesn't visit prostitutes, but is starving to death, or falling towards my body from a building, I don't have an obligation to feed him or let him fall on me, merely because he is 'innocent' or 'didn't intend' to be in his situation.

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  153. Once again, you're making the classic mistake of comparing a situation that is nothing like a pregnancy to a pregnancy.

    A pregnancy doesn't 'suddenly appear', it is the result of a consensual act that has pregnancy as its primary biological end.

    The bond between you and a suddenly appearing haemophiliac is non-existent, but the bond of parenthood exists between us and our offspring, and that bond comes with certain unique obligations – the most important of which is to protect our own progeny from harm.

    What you have described here (the suddenly appearing haemophiliac) is an act of violation, but pregnancy is not an act of violation it is a good – if pregnancy is like a suddenly appearing haemophiliac, then every pregnant woman is being violated and the only difference between women who keep their babies and those who have an abortion end their lives is that the women who keep their babies are submitting to the violation, while the other women are resisting it. Clearly this is nonsense, and no sane person considers pregnancy in this way.

    Thirdly, removing yourself from the haemophiliac is nothing like an abortion – when you remove yourself from the haemophiliac you are not intending their death, and they do not die as a direct result of your actions. Their death is an unintended secondary effect of your actions – they are killed by their haemophilia, not you.

    But abortion is the direct and intentional killing of a human being – which is a totally different act, ethically speaking.

    A fetus is a person because it has all of the necessary biological factors to be an individual human being (living, growing, has its own unique DNA, etc.), and it also has all of the exclusively human potentials (potential for rational thought, freewill, etc.) that only human persons can possess within themselves in potency.

    If you want to claim that it is not a person, then you need to provide compelling evidence that it is not a person.

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  154. This is not a moment when I can get back to Thomson. I will do that when we discuss this on the blog. But at this point, I'm very skeptical that I will find her explanation to be applicable to all situations other than the violinist situation, in such a way that it certifiably overrides our direct intuitions about those situations. I don't remember seeing in Thomson or ever seeing elsewhere an explanation of an intuition that accomplished that.

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  155. Agree but if you put another moral person in a state of situational dependency needing the water you have from your body; you have a right of refusal but not from moral obligation causing them to need it from you. If I get time maybe I'll write up our discussions so others can argue over it as well.

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  156. When will the intensive focus on species membership stop? I been debating personhood now for about 3 years into ET and AI's and there is no discussion about it partly because the pro life movement wants to get an easy ban on abortion. Both movements should stop playing games and get in that non human definition of the word ''person'' that should of been in place already. Let's use a hypothetical example to make a point.

    Think about the movie E.T. If an extraterrestrial comes down to earth and asks to use the phone, we shouldn’t say, You’re not human, so instead of letting you use the phone, we’re just going to eat you. If we are talking to an alien who has self-awareness, makes choices, has complex emotional experiences, plans future projects, has enduring memories, etc.; we recognize we’re talking to another person. Those traits, or some cluster of them, are the decisive features in personhood and yet they’re not conceptually identical with “humanity.”

    Science fiction stories like E.T., Star Wars, or Wall-e may evoke our personhood intuitions simply for the purpose of entertainment, but some books and films use science fiction to explore more serious moral conundrums. The movie District 9 extrapolates South Africa’s apartheid policies and explores questions around dignity and compassion for an alien species stranded on earth. House of the Scorpion explores the identity and rights of a child who is the product of cloning. The now classic movie, Blade Runner, which is laden with religious allusions, explores themes of yearning for life and love in robots who are keenly aware of their own pre-programmed mortality. For example, optimus prime wfiles.brothersoft.com/o/optimus-prime_75933-1440×900.jpg and Jenny from my life as a teenage robot can be persons to.

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  157. I don't recognize 'obligations' and 'responsibilities' that I have not voluntarily and explicitly agreed to. Especially to something without sufficient brain to either desire or enforce such a thing, which is therefore being used as a false flag to disguise slavery to YOU.

    **(living, growing, has its own unique DNA, etc.)**

    So does cancer. And HELA cells. And my ears.

    **it also has all of the exclusively human potentials (potential for rational thought, freewill, etc.)

    So does an ova or sperm. By the use of the word 'potential' you admit it does not have those properties NOW. On what basis do you enslave an actual person to a 'potential' one, other than your sad feelies?

    **If you want to claim that it is not a person, then you need to provide compelling evidence that it is not a person.**

    It doesn't have a functioning brain. There. Proven.

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  158. ** fetus is innocent of unjust aggression because THEY don't have intent.**

    Intent is irrelevent. It is doing something aggressive, regardless of it's 'intent'. And, btw, it doesn't have 'intent', because it CAN'T have 'intent', because it doesn't have a functioning brain. thus making your pitiful use of the term 'innocent' about as meaningful as if you were to use that term to describe a rock.

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  159. **A born child at 1 week postpartum is just as dependent on her mother as the same child at 34 weeks gestation.**

    So, I'm sure you can show me the pictures in medical textbooks of week old infants still obtaining their supply of oxygen and nutrition through umbilical cords. Otherwise, you're just handwaving.

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  160. Thought experiment here. Let us suppose that a billion years in the future, people evolve to reproduce in two different ways. The first way is the same way they reproduce now (through sex or technological equivalent). The other way involves fat cells. When a person of that era puts on fat, once they become sufficiently overweight, say between 100 and 200 lbs overweight, their fat cells develop nuerons and rudimentary mental capabilities. When a person becomes further overweight, say at least 300 lbs overweight, their fat cells become motile, pull themselves off the person's body, and bury themselves in the nearest ground. After a year, the buried fat cells transform into a baby.

    Now, despite this mutation to fat cells, causing them to become a 'potential human being' through natural processes, it is still very unhealthy to be overweight. Also, when the fat cells leave the body, it causes a large, painful, and sometimes fatal wound in the legs, abdomen, or buttocks.

    Question – should it be illegal for a person with this mutation to improve their looks and health, and prevent the above mentioned wound by dieting or liposuction. Does it make a difference whether their fat cells have gotten to the point where they have developed nuerons or not?

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  161. Yeah, my explanation still stands. Attacking the person as your argument, with no other argument = ad hom fallacy.

    Example: "you are wrong because you're an atheist"

    But if you make a personal attack whilst also providing other, valid arguments, it is not an AF hom .

    I have found that people are fond of accusing their opponent of using the ad hominem fallacy *any* time an insult is used. "You insulted me! Your entire argument is invalid now! Ad hominem fallacy!"

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  162. Can you give an example of a justifiable reason for a woman to get an abortion? (Certainly there are justifiable reasons, but to discuss what you have said here, we need one that is justifiable in your eyes.)

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  163. 'Sex might be pleasurable for us, but it doesn't exist as a pleasure outlet for human beings, but biologically/evolutionarily speaking it exists as a vehicle to achieve human reproduction.'

    ……………
    I have sex to get an orgasm. I never once had sex to get pregnant.

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  164. Sex also exists for social bonding. Which is why humans don't fuck like dogs or cows. If sex amongst humans existed ONLY for procreation, humans would enter heat, have sex, and then forget about it.

    In humans, sex exists for social bonding in order to facilitate stronger group ties, and keep people together to raise a resource intensive child.

    media.uoregon.edu/channel/2013/02/15/darwin-days-whats-love-got-to-do-with-it-sex-for-social-bonding-in-bonobos/

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  165. A fetus does not meet the definition of human being. Words have meaning.

    Scientists have not yet settled the issue of when a fetus becomes a human being.
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4078859

    human being – noun
    1. any individual of the genus Homo, especially a member of thespecies Homo sapiens.
    2. a person, especially as distinguished from other animals or asrepresenting the human species

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  166. Nowadays, sex offenders are very rampant. Everyday there's a news about sex offenders. Here's a good service that will surely help you whenever you encounter any troubles. You just need to install the application to your phone. By the time you press the panic button it will automatically connect to the response center and the call can be routed to the nearest 911 if badly needed. Just visit Safekidzone.com.

    Reply
  167. My question was in relation to Ann Morgan's above post. Do you agree with her "On what basis do you enslave an actual person to a 'potential' one, other than your sad feelies?" — ?

    Reply
  168. No, but nor have I survived an attempt on my life where I have killed the attacker with no evidence to show I was the innocent party. Nonetheless I would be obliged to come forward and say what happened.

    Another way to frame it is if I was raped and a mob took an innocent man and was going to kill him even if it was traumatic I should come forward.

    Or if it was a serial rapist that had killed his other victims and is continuing to rape if you survived the rape and had any evidence at all you should come forward in the hope of stopping future rapes.

    Yes rape is traumatic nonetheless it ca still palce moral obligations on the victim to come forward.

    &if you want to use it to kill another innocent human being, the onus is on you to justify the right to do so and avoid legal repercussions.

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  169. From his number 2, it depends what one means by ''distinguished'' if by mental abilities, then a human wouldn't be considered a person until about 3 years of age since theory of mind seems to exist only in most members of the human species. If a pro choicer wants to use that to make the person/non person distinction, then ET and AI's can qualify and some humans like those with profound mental retardation and those with autism wouldn't and some other humans as well.

    There is some testing of theory of mind being done on Chimpanzees and dolphins since for theory of mind to be possible, a entity would need to have the capacity for self awareness which is in some other higher order species as well.

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  170. A fetus is not a human being or a legal person by definition. Words have meaning.

    The only reason I need for an abortion is = I do not want to be pregnant.

    I knew from your attitude you have never been raped. Best thing you could do about rape is shut your mouth. You know what Thumper's Mother said, right?

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  171. I think the question is an excellent one and goes right to the point. What is your answer?

    Here is Ayn Rand's answer. I hate it when I agree with her.

    An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn).

    'Abortion is a moral right—which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body?“

    Of Living Death”
    The Voice of Reason, 58–59

    Never mind the vicious nonsense of claiming that an embryo has a “right to life.” A piece of protoplasm has no rights—and no life in the human sense of the term. One may argue about the later stages of a pregnancy, but the essential issue concerns only the first three months.
    To equate a potential with an actual, is vicious; to advocate the sacrifice of the latter to the former, is unspeakable. . . . Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living: the right of young people to set the course of their own lives. The task of raising a child is a tremendous, lifelong responsibility, which no one should undertake unwittingly or unwillingly.
    Procreation is not a duty: human beings are not stock-farm animals. For conscientious persons, an unwanted pregnancy is a disaster; to oppose its termination is to advocate sacrifice, not for the sake of anyone’s benefit, but for the sake of misery qua misery, for the sake of forbidding happiness and fulfillment to living human beings.“
    "A Last Survey,” The Ayn Rand Letter, IV, 2, 3

    Reply
  172. Yes but by the same token things could change like definitions have changed in the past.

    BTW I wouldn't stop a rape victim from having an abortion as she isn't morally responsible.

    & no I won't shut my mouth. if you just want to come here and troll just P'Off.

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  173. I agree the science indicates the unborn are humans just like the rest of us and that abortion does indeed kill a human so pro choicers have some options.
    1. Bodily rights argument
    2. Make that distinction between being a person and just being a human with bringing ET and AI's into the picture to put pressure on pro lifers since they like to focus intensively on species membership.

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  174. Ignorance is Curable goes for the second option and I do believe he argues it quite well but relies on parent perferences for newborn humans like Peter Singer does.

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  175. You need to shut your mouth about rape for your own benefit. You come across to someone who has been raped as an unfeeling emotionally disconnected sadistic dolt. Suit yourself. A word to the wise is sufficient.

    You can stop no woman from having an abortion. Women abort. That is what we do. And we do not have to whisper about it in the kitchen anymore.

    Let us now discuss the morality of abortion:

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

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

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

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  176. Yes but the trouble with that is preferences and cultural views can change and you could end up with infanticide as a viable preference.

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  177. Some religious PL's have a problem with it but I tend to think secular PL's wouldn't; and would easily extend it to great apes etc.

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  178. Yes I did see a site where secular pro lifers has no problem with India labeling dolphins as persons and I do believe that you had no problem with it to since you mentioned elephants awhile ago.

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  179. "I do not want to be pregnant. No other reason needed."

    Whatever relief and other benefits you will obtain from the abortion lie at least somewhat in your future. No sane woman is motivated to become unpregnant by the pleasure of the immediate abortion experience, or by going to the clinic, filling out forms, and paying $350 (sometimes much more), is she? So when you say becoming unpregnant is a justifiable reason for you to abort, you mean that the abortion is justified by your future, your potential.

    And yet you and Ann Morgan say, "On what basis do you enslave an actual person to a 'potential' one . . . ?"

    Essentially, you are saying:

    1. the potential of a woman should be taken into account, and therefore she has a right to kill her unborn child

    2. it's okay to kill an unborn child, because its potential should not be taken into account.

    Any reason that might be given for abortion always gives weight to the woman's future, her potential

     

    Another point: since you say that the only-potential status of the fetus "goes right to the point," do I understand correctly that your "I do not want to be pregnant. No other reason needed" is based on that only-potential status, and that if you conceded for the sake of argument that the fetus is a person now, some further reason would be needed before aborting?

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  180. Yes and some pro choicers I talked to have no problems with infanticide since honestly nothing much really happens in the womb. The type of mental characteristics I see philosophers equate with personhood don't pop up in humans until the 3 or 4 year mark since rationality seems to be a big item they equate with personhood.

    There is a article talking about embryonic stem cell research you can look at since and I think that Lisa Bortolotti did a good job. academia.edu/163044/Stem_cell_research_personhood_and_sentience

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  181. Nice ad hom but since you have no idea what my stance is you are just shooting out your ass.

    I maintain a moral right for any woman to have an abortion and even more so for rape victims.

    But bodily sovereignty is a right not to have your body used against our will.

    It isn't a right to avoid responsibility from creating moral persons and then have them killed to maintain that bodily sovereignty.

    & unlike many PL's I support increased financial support so and keep real health exceptions.

    & I have a somewhat more sophisticated con conception of ethics than you. Something can still be wrong even if it doesn't impact on me and especially so when it impact another moral person.

    & the reason I do maintain the high moral ground on this subject compared to both sides as I'm far more consistent than either PL or PC.

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  182. I'm happy with the Mirror test at about 18 months. But some accounts say you don't have moral value as a person until you desire a future existence and understand your own mortality. That can be as late 9ys for some children.

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  183. No. I am saying none of these things below. You are saying them.

    "1. the potential of a woman should be taken into account, and therefore she has a right to kill her unborn child

    2. it's okay to kill an unborn child, because its potential should not be taken into account."

    I am saying that I do not want to be pregnant. So I will make myself unpregnant. You may do as you like.

    A woman is not a potential. She is an actual human being. There is no way to know at 6 weeks when the stick says pregnant that my current embryo will survive pregnancy and birth or I will survive pregnancy and birth. When you can guarantee that my every pregnancy will turn into a bouncing healthy baby and not kill me or maim me in the process, then you might have an argument.

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  184. Corvids pass knowledge of tool use age and other skills to their offspring.

    Animals are not different from us in kind, only in degree.

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  185. I would agree that's why I lean towards a Jainism.

    I heard the other day that humans and their feed animals make up a biomass total 50 times the amount of all other animals combined. We also use up 40% (?) of all biological productivity.

    We act more like a virus or bacteria than an enlightened animal

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  186. Nice ad hom but since you have no idea what my stance is you are just shooting out your ass.

    …………..

    I read what you had to say.

    I maintain a moral right for any woman to have an abortion and even more so for rape victims.
    ……………

    So what. You have no standing in my moral or physical life.

    But bodily sovereignty is a right not to have your body used against our will.
    It isn't a right to avoid responsibility from creating moral persons and then have them killed to maintain that bodily sovereignty.
    ……….

    Abortion is a responsible choice when confronted with an unwanted pregnancy. A fetus is not a person, legally or otherwise.

    & unlike many PL's I support increased financial support so and keep real health exceptions.

    ………..

    So what. You have no standing as chooser in my life.

    & I have a somewhat more sophisticated conception of ethics than you. Something can still be wrong even if it doesn't impact on me and especially so when it impact another moral person.
    & the reason I do maintain the high moral ground on this subject compared to both sides as I'm far more consistent than either PL or PC.

    ……….

    This does not address my response about the morality of abortion. Here it is again.

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

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

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

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  187. Your link is dead.

    & it is actually your stance that makes infanticide the logical,/b> final step for reproductive 'choice' something some PC's already accept.

    Something quite apparent in the Post Birth Abortion paper.

    But say it did make things more likely I would say the failing is on those people who even if they had financial support would rather kill their offspring. Just because you have bodily sovereignty rights doesn't make it ok to kill them to avoid your parental responsibilities.

    Plus as I said I would take away the finial justification and ensure adoption and fostering is adequately financed. So that abuse doesn't automatically follow.

    & I don't restrict most contraception actually the reverse. I would mandate a global effort at 100% safe male contraception. Also I could I would make it a legal requirement for all reproductive males have to use it or would be held as criminally responsible as the female who then has an abortion from consensual sex.

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  188. How can human offspring not be human? That this the point of reproduction.

    & A baby isn't a psychological person either if you are saying only human persons are Homo Sapiens.

    Infants don't pass the mirror test til about 18 months so technically they aren't persons.

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  189. Ok I see the problem. In philosophy Human being can be either:
    1. A Homo Sapiens
    2. A psychological person

    So I'm not sure what you mean when you say a fetus isn't Human Being.

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  190. I fixed the link. But just in case, here it is again.
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4078859

    "& it is actually your stance that makes infanticide the logical, final step for reproductive 'choice' something some PC's already accept."

    Citation needed for this. Speak to what I actually wrote not what you think I wrote. Your responses are narcissistic. Your idea of what abortion is and what reproductive activists think and value is childish and self referent.

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  191. I already posted why a fetus is not a human being. An embryo/fetus does not meet the commonly accepted definition of human being or the scientific definition of human being.

    Please cite your source for the philosophical definition of human being. I only took one semester of Philosophy and although it was highly focused on Ethics, I never encountered your definition as stated.

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  192. It really is quite simple and something the infanticide PC readily see and agree with.

    If part of the reason that abortion is justified is that the fetus isn't a psychological person -which is argued the basis or moral personhood -then it doesn't really where a immature non person is it doesn't have a full right to life.

    Therefore as pointed out in the Post Birth Abortion paper – and by others- many of the burden arguments justifying abortion, also apply to babies.

    & you last points show you have little understanding of the philosophy underpinning abortion.

    These are standard arguing points very much seen as valid even by informed individuals on both sides. They might think they are wrong but relevant arguments nonetheless.

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  193. Well I find that strange, differentiating between biological persons /Homo sapiens, psychological persons and legal persons are such basic introductory information that it is listed in lecture notes and in essays without reference.

    Something like mentioned here.

    psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Person

    Take Peter Singer's work those differences are so interwoven into his work it would be taken for granted a reader understood the differences.

    Next while true that the majority of philosophers in the Personal Identity debate think we are ontologically speaking psychological persons the debate is far from over.

    It is so common either in ethics or the personal identity debate I just don't understand how you haven't come across it.

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  194. If the philosophical definition of human being is so common and simply defined, please define it here for me so I can understand it.

    I will read your link – but this is all bushwa if I am pregnant and do not want to be pregnant. No person of any kind has a right to my body or its contents without my consent.

    'Every man has a property in his own person and this no one has a right to but himself." – John Locke, Second Treatise on Government.

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  195. iep.utm.edu/person-i/

    "Another intuitively appealing view, championed by John Locke, holds that personal identity is a matter of psychological continuity.
    According to this view, in order for a person X to survive a particular
    adventure, it is necessary and sufficient that there exists, at a time
    after the adventure, a person Y who psychologically evolved out of X.
    This idea is typically cashed out in terms of overlapping chains of
    direct psychological connections, as those causal and cognitive
    connections between beliefs, desires, intentions, experiential memories,
    character traits, and so forth. This Lockean view is well suited for
    thought experiments conducted from first-person points of view, such as
    body swaps or tele-transportation, but it, too, faces obstacles. For
    example, on this view, it appears to be possible for two future persons
    to be psychologically continuous with a presently existing person. Can
    one really become two? In response to this problem, some commentators
    have suggested that, although our beliefs, memories, and intentions are
    of utmost importance to us, they are not necessary for our identity, our
    persistence through time.

    A third criterion of personal identity is that we are our bodies,
    that is to say, that personal identity is constituted by some brute
    physical relation between, for example, different bodies or different
    life-sustaining systems at different times. Although this view is still
    somewhat unpopular, developments about personal identity theory in the
    1990s promise an ideological change, as versions of the so-called
    somatic criterion, associated with Eric Olson and Paul Snowdon, attract a
    continuously growing number of adherents."

    Reply
  196. I agree no one has a right to use your body without your consent, but what they maybe owed is duty of care until they can look after themselves or someone else can do it.

    If the woman in the violinist analogy caused the violinist to be there I think she has the right to detach him even if it kills him. But just because her bodily sovereignty givers her rights over her body it doesn't give her the right to avoid moral responsibility for actions willingly take that lead to the death of other moral persons.

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  197. "I'm actually saying that you *can't* use your rights to infringe
    upon the rights of others

    Basically, what I'm trying to say is that rights are a base
    standard, a line that one cannot normally cross. They are not necessarily
    absolutely inviolable. But if they are going to be violated, there had better
    be a really damned good reason for doing so.

    Not at all. All I am doing is applying a generally
    recognized rules to specific situations. If an adult can be denied my body
    parts to keep itself alive, then a prenate can also be so denied. There is no
    yes-but here. Both can be denied. I am not discriminating based on stage of
    development; that is what pro-lifers are doing.

    Should the right to bodily autonomy allow you to
    actively kill another human being? Personally, if such a thing were possible I
    don't believe it would be morally right, but there would be no way to legislate
    it. While I would encourage mothers to not do that and seek to support them in
    their pregnancy and motherhood, it's not analogous to an issue like abortion
    which is a legal procedure designed to kill a human being."

    Very nice can I join in here?

    Reply
  198. From your definitions provided, a fetus is not a person.

    We are not talking personal identity. We are talking 'I do not want to be pregnant.' Is the philosopher going to bleed, labor and suffer the pregnancy for me?

    Reply
  199. What duty of care do I owe a parastic entity that may kill me or maim me? I do not even have a duty to care for a born infant. I can abandon it at the nearest hospital or police station by law.

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  200. Actually while some people do think ontology -what we fundamentally are- is irrelevant to the debate if you raise personhood you put this on the table.

    And you misunderstand what you've read if you don't think a fetus isn't a biological person.

    BTW I don't have a clitoris so does that mean I cannot criticize women who do Female genital mutilation (FGM) on their daughters?

    Reply
  201. Please link me to the portion of the writings of John Locke that asserts 'personal identity is a matter of psychological continuity.'

    Reply
  202. Look sure if you think killing offspring is ok sure, but so do people who think infanticide is ok. Neither Zef's or babies are psychological persons. & like other sentient beings they don't have a right to life as opposed to moral persons so a parent who decides they wish to humanely kill their non person offspring should be able to for similar reason to abortions.

    Reply
  203. OMG the topic is contested with differing accounts; and then keep in mind a legal person is conceptually something different though an individual can belong to both for different reasons, including arbitrary historical precedence.

    Do some introductory research. You went to university I'd imagine you are quite capable of that.

    Reply
  204. Look if the fetus isn't morally relevant than this whole argument doesn't matter.

    But there are strong philosophical and physiological reasons to think it does have grounds for moral personhood.

    So for arguments sake lets say it is a moral person.

    What obligations does creating a moral person entail?

    Could you push a button with a baby making artificial -womb machine create health Zef but then just walk away and let it die?

    No? Why not? Maybe because you created a moral person who is existential dependent on you and that creates moral obligations in the same way a baby does and especially so if no other care giver can be found.

    Again I think you have the right to say who uses your body including a right to remove them. But just because you have that right that doesn't abrogate the obligations you arguably owe that moral person you created.

    Reply
  205. Excuse me I will bow out for someone who went to university you ability to understand even simple arguments is lacking.

    Reply
  206. That may well be, but we are talking mostly about what should and shouldn't be legal, as opposed to merely moral.

    Reply
  207. How about this if I can think of a situation whereby I can intentionally
    kill someone but invoke another moral or legal right so I’m not morally
    responsible, doesn’t that at least question or make doubtful whether an
    absolute claim to that right in all situations is ethically permissible?

    Call it the Murder Test.

    I don’t think there could be an absolute moral right that is so inviolable
    that that inviolability can be used to murder or by neglect kill another moral
    person. Or alternatively framed there is no moral right that is deemed so
    extremely- but not absolutely- inviolable that this absolute inviolability means someone can
    murder another moral person and not be held accountable for that murder.

    Now I’m NOTsaying abortion is murder but what I’m saying that NO moral
    right is so important that it can be invoked to avoid moral responsibility for
    extreme harms done to other moral persons when you are the instigator.

    A right to bodily sovereignty isn’t a moral right not to be held morally responsible
    for wrongs done to moral person innocent aggressors who are themselves
    impinging on the offenders bodily sovereignty because of the actions of that
    person.

    It’s rather a right not have your body used against your will.

    Therefore if a Zef is a moral person with a right to life and well-being
    interests -among others interests- there is no moral right so important that
    even if it were absolutely or near absolutely inviolable in itself, that it would
    mean you could invoke it to avoid casual moral responsibility for actions taken
    that harm the fundamental rights of that Zef.

    Reply
  208. Not really. It is just that, like any other right, the right to life is not absolute. The right to life is one of those rights that can be forfeited. In the case of state executions, what is happening is that the person is deemed to have forfeited their right to life by virtue of having committed a capital crime.

    Reply
  209. Let us get real. There are no 'rights.' Hold up a 'right' so I can see and touch it.
    'Rights' is a concept we created. A 'right' by definition cannot be forfeited.

    Reply
  210. Not really. After all, there are a number of actions that most of us would deem immoral that are not illegal. And further, we don't necessarily think they should be illegal. Most of us would deem adultery as immoral, but we don't seek to make it illegal. Lying is generally considered immoral in most instances, but lying is illegal only in certain situations. Many of us also deem hate speech immoral, but in the US, we *can't* legislate against it because of free speech.

    Reply
  211. Sorry I'm not sure whether you are addressing what I've asked.

    Are agreeing that NO, there cannot be a FUNDAMENTAL moral principle/right that could be invoked that would allow you to intentionally kill someone -that you put in that situation- and avoid any moral responsibility for that killing?

    In other words could it be possible to invoke a fundamental right that would allow you to MURDER another moral person but get away with it because you can effectively hide behind that moral right?

    Reply
  212. I'm not sure I entirely understand your question. I would say that no, it would be impossible to murder another person and get away with it by hiding behind another moral right. Murder by definition is the unjust killing of another person. If the assertion of one's moral rights leads to the death of another, assuming the other's own moral rights are not violated, then that death is simply not murder.

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  213. I am being real. Certain rights can indeed be forfeited. As another example, take the right to freedom of movement. Yet we take duly convicted criminals and lock them up in a prison. If rights by definition cannot be forfeited, then on what basis do we do this?

    Reply
  214. Thanks Timothy could you post that under the other thread? I had to delete the clarification. Maybe should have kept the clarification. If you have it in your inbox could you post that as well?

    Reply
  215. If adoptive parents change their minds, they can pass the child on to someone else, or the state. Even speaking solely as a matter of moral obligations, situational factors will still apply to the stranger who gets trapped in a house with a random baby.

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  216. In this regard see philosophyetc.net/2005/09/attacks-and-arguments.html. The author makes the point that the difference between an insult and an ad hominem argument is that an insult is gratuitous, while an ad hominem is essential to the argument.

    Reply
  217. P.Z. Myers is one google him and infanticide.

    socraticgadfly.blogspot.com.au/2011/01/pharyngula-gets-dr-gosnell-all-wrong.html

    and

    freethoughtblogs.com/zinniajones/2014/03/there-is-also-a-secular-argument-for-infanticide/

    Reply
  218. Good article. I have bookmarked it.

    I came across another one a few months ago after being accused of the ad hominem fallacy for the umpteenth time:

    laurencetennant.com/bonds/adhominem.html

    There are some useful examples included in the article.

    Reply
  219. I think she is trying to get at the argument that rights were invented by man so that we could co-operate without having to worry about getting randomly stabbed in the back.

    However, there does appear to be *some* evidence that a form of morality evolved, and is even present in animals today:

    psychologytoday.com/blog/the-nature-nurture-nietzsche-blog/201005/did-morality-evolve

    On a related note I recorded an interesting show on stress – and how it kills us. Researchers were studying baboons, and dominant baboon males tend to be highly aggressive bullies. They routinely beat up the females and weaker males. Anyway, the alpha males, being in the habit of hogging all the food, got a hold of some rotten meat and died. The troop was then left with nothing but females and non-dominant males. The surprising thing is that none of the beta males stepped in to become alphas. The troop then settled down, shared food more equally, and everyone got along. Levels of violence plummeted, to near non-existent levels.

    Funny, isn't it, how similar human society is to the baboons – the sociopathic alphas make life hell for the rest of the world.

    Reply
  220. You came up with two people as crazy as you and you pretend those two crazies is all-or-a-majority of prochoice men and women. May God have mercy on your soul. Jesus loves you but I think you are a shitweasel.

    Reply
  221. LOL I never said they were a majority. I simply said they exist and that is the logical end point of Pro-Choice.

    Just like Choicer's who think a woman should have a right to an abortion at any time during a pregnancy even the day before birth. They exist.

    So see you are wrong again and I have wasted enough time on you already so tut tar 🙂

    Reply
  222. "I do not even have a duty to care for a born infant. I can abandon it at the nearest hospital or police station by law."

    As far as I know, in theory, this will only be true if the "baby daddy" agrees with you on this.

    Reply
  223. Look at Peter Singer, Michael Tooley, the authors of the after-birth abortion paper, two of my real-life pro-choice friends, et cetera.

    Also, for the record, *if* I become pro-choice, then I might open the door to supporting legalizing elective painless infanticide in certain cases.

    Reply
  224. leadingedge isn't arguing from responsibility in this case. I am not necessarily saying that one can avoid moral judgment in such a case.

    Reply
  225. As an agnostic, I don't particularly care much about what religions say about/on various issues, including on this issue.

    Reply
  226. Do not blame you or expect you to care about the religious aspects of the Talmud. I present this response because of the justice/legal reasoning of the Talmud.

    Reply
  227. Infanticide is murder in most cases.
    Singer is not saying infanticide is no big deal and generally okay. Assisted suicide is legal and should be. I support parents ending the life of their suffering children as well.
    I have not read Tooley.

    Reply
  228. Assuming I told the Father, yes. I can absolutely envision a scenario in which a woman would tell no one she is pregnant or that she gave birth.

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

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

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

    Obviously I have thought a great deal more about this than you have. YOU do not occupy the moral high ground.

    Reply
  230. "Infanticide is murder in most cases."

    Legally, Yes.

    "Singer is not saying infanticide is no big deal and generally okay."

    As far as I know, Singer supports euthanizing disabled infants (at least in certain cases). In regards to healthy infants, Singer stated that he is against that because these infants can be adopted by another couple, though he did not state as to what his position on euthanizing healthy infants is in the event of a shortage of adoptive parents.

    "Assisted suicide is legal and should be."

    Agreed.

    "I support parents ending the life of their suffering children as well."

    Agreed in some cases. I might need to think it over more in some other cases.

    "I have not read Tooley."

    Well, you've got time to do this. 🙂

    Reply
  231. Yes, this is what I meant by "in theory". As you said, this might be different in practice (though I wonder if there is anything that a "baby daddy" can do to try determining whether his female sexual partner gave birth and then utilized safe-haven laws without his consent; for instance, is there any way to do paternity tests on all infants at safe haven locations to see if one of them is yours?).

    Reply
  232. Yes like the European magpie. You yourself would have no problem with leaving that word open into ET and AI's currect? Because I am not welling to take the view pro lifers want to me take that only humans can be persons when we have for example 180 billion galaxies in our observable universe must likely then not containing other civilizations out there. Carl Segan estimated we may have about 100 million technological civilizations in our milky way. If he is correct, then species membership is a poor indicater of personhood. It surprising to see that the pro lifer movement can walk away from watching avatar still thinking they are synonyms still.

    It's very rare to talk to someone who takes a Jainist position since they are pretty consistent on mostly everything just about.

    Reply
  233. Yes, there are. I'm really impressed by the breadth of the examples. Is there a similar page for an "appeal to authority fallacy" fallacy?

    Reply
  234. I really wouldn't know where to start looking. Don't worry, if you made a similar argument in another thread, you would have received a similar response.

    Reply
  235. "When you can guarantee that my every pregnancy will turn into a bouncing
    healthy baby and not kill me or maim me in the process, then you might
    have an argument."

    So "I do not want to be pregnant" may not be a justifiable reason to abort, right? It is the element of risk for the woman, and the uncertainty of benefits for the baby, that matters.

    I would agree with that, though I would disagree with you about the percentages of risk for the woman, and of benefits for the baby, that would justify killing the baby.

    "A woman is not a potential. She is an actual human being."

    Do you mean that she has no potential?

    Reply
  236. "The right to self defense is absolute."

    The idea has some merit. I've heard it before. But whoever said it before was referring to a very high probability of the self-defense act being necessary.

    Reply
  237. Then you originally quoted me, also, without sourcing from any link. You relied on your memory for what you represented as an exact quote. If you will admit that was a bit irresponsible, I will provide the exact quote.

    Reply
  238. I don't know. The simplest explanation is that the right to freedom of movement can be forfeited by committing a crime. The same reasoning would apply to state executions.

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  239. In any pregnancy, the risk of the woman dying of causes related to the pregnancy or to childbirth is about 15 out of 100,000, in the US. This is tragically high. Many countries do better. However, if you kill someone on the street because there are 15 chances out of 100,000 that he will attack you, you can say different things about that, but you cannot say "The right to self-defense is absolute."

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  240. While I nominally agree that her explanation will be applicable to "all" other situations, I will submit that you have missed the point. The point was to test what you would call your intuition against what I would call your intuition. If your "gut reaction" (akin to what I mean by intuition) does not match the stated principle (akin to what you mean by intuition), then the principle does not really stand as stated. The thought experiment itself is just a paradigm case of the stated principle.

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  241. "What you have described here (the suddenly appearing haemophiliac) is an
    act of violation, but pregnancy is not an act of violation it is a good
    – if pregnancy is like a suddenly appearing haemophiliac, then every
    pregnant woman is being violated and the only difference between women
    who keep their babies and those who have an abortion end their lives is
    that the women who keep their babies are submitting to the violation,
    while the other women are resisting it. Clearly this is nonsense, and no
    sane person considers pregnancy in this way."

    Wait a minute here! Who says pregnancy is a good? Pregnancy in itself is actually neutral. The women who decide to allow the prenate to gestate is not merely submitting to a violation; she is making an active decision to continue the pregnancy because she wants the end result. A woman seeking an abortion does not consent to the prenate being in her body, and that creates the violation.

    "Thirdly, removing yourself from the haemophiliac is nothing like an abortion – when you remove yourself from the haemophiliac you are not intending their death, and they do not die as a direct result of your actions. Their death is an unintended secondary effect of your actions – they are killed by their haemophilia, not you.

    "But abortion is the direct and intentional killing of a human being – which is a totally different act, ethically speaking."

    Having an abortion does not, in itself, mean that one intends the death of the prenate. The intent is to end a pregnancy that is violating the woman's bodily autonomy. That the prenate almost always dies is a secondary affect stemming from the fact there is no other way to end the violation.

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  242. How is any of that relevant? You said "it is a violation of their fundamental rights to deliberately deny them an essential for life." These are YOUR WORDS. I didn't put them in your mouth, and I am taking them at face value.

    Now, you said that denying the prenate the use of the mother's womb denies them an essential for life and is therefore a violation of their fundamental rights. Denying someone an organ when they need it to live is deliberately denying them an essential for life. If it is a violation of the prenate's fundamental rights in one case, it is a violation of a nonprenate's fundamental rights in another.

    So, do you really believe denying something that is an essential for life constitutes a violation of their fundamental rights or not? Based on your response, I conclude you really don't believe it is a violation of fundamental rights to deny someone something that is essential for life. So what is your real reason for denying women the right to an abortion?

    Reply
  243. 1. In an unwanted pregancy, the prenate becomes an unjust aggressor because it lacks consent to be in the woman's body. Intent is irrelevant.

    2. The very fact that humans engage in sex for purposes other than reproduction itself suggests that sex that reproduction is not the primary end of sex. The biological fact is that sex serves a number of different purposes for the human species. To take any one of those purposes and call it the "primary end" goes far beyond what the facts tell us.

    3. I never said a sane person would consider it an ethically acceptable act. What I said is that a sane person might not convict the patient given the circumstances.

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  244. "It's pretty clear that bodily integrity can be justifiably violated.
    What needs to be argued in abortion is whether or not the life and
    rights of the prenate provide sufficient weight for that justification
    to exist."

    This is exactly what "pro-lifers" are trying, and failing, to do.

    Reply
  245. "How about this if I can think of a situation whereby I can intentionally kill someone but invoke another moral or legal right so I’m not morally responsible, doesn’t that at least question or make doubtful whether an absolute claim to that right in all situations is ethically permissible?

    "Call it the Murder Test."

    I think I found the post you wanted me to copy a answer to another post to. Since my answer to this question is substantially the same, I will go ahead and copy that answer here:

    I would say that no, it would be impossible to murder another person and get away with it by hiding behind another moral right. Murder by definition is the unjust killing of another person. If the assertion of one's moral rights leads to the death of another, assuming the other's own moral rights are not violated, then that death is simply not murder.

    To that, I would add that I have never said that rights are absolute in all situations.

    "A right to bodily sovereignty isn’t a moral right not to be held morally responsible for wrongs done to moral person innocent aggressors who are themselves impinging on the offenders bodily sovereignty because of the actions of that person."

    Granted. Heck, your right to free speech even allows you to express your moral indignation about it. Beyond that, you may even have a right to hold the person morally responsible for such a moral outrage, depending on how you do it. What you cannot do is hold them legally responsible for exercising their right to bodily autonomy.

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  246. I wouldn't consider myself such, if you mean the dictionary definition of "favoring or enforcing strict obedience to authority, especially that of the government, at the expense of personal freedom." Rather, I seek justice, which may or may not mean enforcing strict obedience to law.

    Reply
  247. 261 pages?!? Please tell me there is a Cosmo quiz version!

    Seriously, I will be looking through the link, but that will take quite some time.

    Meanwhile, the sort of thing I have in mind is captured well by C. S. Lewis in his essay "The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment." See angelfire.com/pro/lewiscs/humanitarian.html.

    Reply
  248. I am not reading it. I find C.S. Lewis painful to read. The test is in the beginning of the paper. I think it is in the table of contents.

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  249. I scored 66 on the RWA, which according to the author is well below the average. On the three general characteristics I'm probably something of a mixed bag. While I do tend to give authorities the benefit of the doubt in cases where I have no reason to doubt them, I don't submit to authority because they are the authority. As for aggression, I'm a pacifist; where I might otherwise agree or disagree based on submission or conventionalism, my answers were tempered when I thought the aggression element involved physical violence. On conventionalism, I will be the first to admit that I am anal-retentive control freak, but only when it comes to myself.

    C. S. Lewis can be painful to read sometimes. The essential thought is that a retributive theory of punishment is subject to the requirements of justice, whereas utilitarian theories are not. So basically I would primarily try to give criminals what they deserve rather than doing something like trying to keep them from harming others (though imprisoning them does that as well).

    While saying I believe criminals should get what they deserve sounds pretty close to Altemeyer's high RWAs, there are significant differences between me and them. First and foremost, I get *no* pleasure from being able to punish a perpetrator. Second, I don't believe that punishment is in itself beneficial or even that it is supposed to be beneficial (though of course it may well have some beneficial effects, and I certainly do support aiding prisoners in rehabilitating themselves). Finally, while I may or may not have sentenced the mugger to a longer term than the average Joe, key information I needed to make the decision was missing in the role-playing scenario–and that piece of information was directly necessary for determining what sentence would be most just.

    And don't forget, determining what is just goes beyond simple punishment. For me, it is not only the accused that is on trial, but the law itself. If the law itself is unjust or the punishment far exceeds the crime, I am free to vote "not guilty." I was once dismissed from a jury pool on those very grounds.

    And, just to get us back on topic, when responding to the "responsibility objection," my usual coup de grace is to point out that forbidding abortion is a mass violation of a woman's human rights, and not just that of bodily autonomy. Implicitly or explicitly, I am asking the question of whether the woman deserves that sort of punishment even if she is fully responsible for her pregnancy. A true authoritarian would probably answer yes, whereas my own answer is in the asking.

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  250. I not remember how it was scored. 66 is well below the average for what?
    I wonder what you deserve? A crappy way to evaluate crime and punishment IMO.

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  251. I see your point however I disagree with it because it is still the murder of an innocent baby. I have been pregnant and afraid that it was the child of the rapist. Fortunately for me the child was fathered by my boyfriend, not the rapist. Believe me when I say it is a very terrifying position to be in. My argument is that it is your choice to give a kidney or not. You may not save someone else's life, but you will not be killing that person. In abortion you are killing another human being, your own child. I cannot ever accept that.

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  252. Same penalty as in the case of a rape victim killing her newborn the second it was born if she didnt realize she was pregnant.

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  253. Most medical risks come well after viability. In that case, a DELIVERY can be done – e.g. C section – to save the life of the woman and the unborn child.

    And, what if the rape victim was an a human extermination center at 23 weeks 5 days, the abortion was botched and the baby born alive. Could she still have the doctor KILL the baby? That's her wish… you wouldn't want to deny a woman her 'wish' now would you?

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  254. So you don't deny that you would find joy in putting a 9yo rape victim in prison for life should she abort.

    I always have fun seeing how sociopathic you truly are.

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  255. "And, what if the rape victim was an a human extermination center at 23
    weeks 5 days, the abortion was botched and the baby born alive. Could
    she still have the doctor KILL the baby? That's her wish… you wouldn't
    want to deny a woman her 'wish' now would you?"

    No. She may deny the prenate deny the use of her body for its own purpose, but she may not kill it if it survives being removed from her body.

    Reply
  256. And, what if the baby is born alive and the umbilical cord is still attached – it's still 'using her body'… still her choice?

    And, are you OK with a woman aborting at 32 weeks just because the unborn child is inconvenient or unwanted?

    Reply
  257. 90 seems to be the average for Americans and Canadians, with 75 being the average for university students.

    What do I deserve? That would be the seriousness of the offense minus any mitigating factors.

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  258. "And, what if the baby is born alive and the umbilical cord is still attached – it's still 'using her body'… still her choice?"

    Yes, it is still her choice. However, in this case, the proportionate response is to cut the umbilical cord and/or detach the placenta.

    "And, are you OK with a woman aborting at 32 weeks just because the unborn child is inconvenient or unwanted?"

    Okay with it? No, but my feelings about the matter are irrelevant because it is still HER body.

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  259. No, it is not 'her choice' to kill if a baby is born still attached via an umbilical cord. There are laws against that.

    And, your feelings on abortion after viability DO matter. (It's not 'her body' killed in an abortion anyway). Post viability abortion restrictions are based on what the people of that state want. If you live in a state that does not restrict abortion after viability, you have the right to ask your leadership to make laws to protect unborn children after viability.

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  260. "No, it is not 'her choice' to kill if a baby is born still attached via an umbilical cord. There are laws against that."

    Hello! I already said that!

    "And, your feelings on abortion after viability DO matter. (It's not 'her body' killed in an abortion anyway). Post viability abortion restrictions are based on what the people of that state want. If you live in a state that does not restrict abortion after viability, you have the right to ask your leadership to make laws to protect unborn children after viability."

    True, there would still be some things that would be within my rights to do if I disapproved someone's use of their rights. And petitioning the government to restrict abortion post-viability would certainly be one of them.

    However, you have mistaken my meaning. When I said my feelings in the matter are irrelevant because it is still her body, I am saying that regardless of my feelings, *she* is the one who gets to decide whether to continue the pregnancy because *she* is the one assuming the risks. My feelings don't abrogate that fact.

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  261. To tell you the truth I don't think we are even persons rather a form of Highly Autonomous Cognitively Sophisticated Complex Adaptive System that is part of even larger Super Organism species/system.

    I believe if you take a systems perspective all life are differing variations of organic Complex Adaptive System replicators, and as I think you would appreciate one could also have CAS synthetic replicators as well.

    My line is if we are prepared to consider wel-being interests as rights grounding, all autonomous CAS's whether, cognitively sophisticated or non cognitively sophisticated, biological or synthetic could have basic interests as well.

    & yes we can still be seen as a variation type of CAD but because we are strongly self developing/assembling 'persons' we are persons at all stages of our development. Philosophy just hasn't caught up with complex dual purpose machines.

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  262. I have a question for those who support the rape exception in the name of bodily integrity. What about a situation in which a woman has been trying to conceive with her partner, but is raped and becomes pregnant by the rapist? Does her predetermined willingness to share her body with a foetus alter the permissability of abortion, given that she would not have aborted a foetus fathered by her partner? Because it seems to me that if you are working purely from bodily integrity, that abortion would not be allowable in this case, given that it would have to be based on the identity of the foetus rather than the woman's willingness to be pregnant. Perhaps there are aspects I haven't considered. I'm open to hearing them if so.

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  263. The right to choose with WHOM you will create your offspring is part of bodily autonomy, actually.

    Rape is in actuality a reproductive strategy. It presents an opportunity for males to pass their genes along without having to use any resources. Just rape a bunch of women, bugger off, and hopefully some of your offspring will survive, with zero resources used on your part. It's great for the man, shitty for the woman. It is essentially a form of stealing.

    So forcing the woman to carry the rapist's offspring does in fact take choice away from her, which is a violation of her bodily autonomy. Just as a forced abortion would be a violation of her autonomy – the right to reproductive freedom INCLUDES choosing with whom and when one will choose to have children. And how many children one will have. Any government that can prevent a woman from ending a pregnancy can also force her to end it. Please keep that in mind – it works both ways.

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  264. I am uncertain what you mean. It does seem to me that "pro-lifers" have always been arguing that the life and rights of the prenate provide sufficient justification to override the woman's right to bodily autonomy. And it seems to me they have always been failing.

    I've been pro-choice ever since I've been aware there was a such thing as abortion and that there was a debate surrounding it. Before I read Thomson, however, I could have swung into the "pro-life" camp fairly easily. Before reading Thomson, I did feel there was a genuine conflict of rights. All it would have taken was one good convincing argument to flip me into the anti-choice column.

    But even during the years I was an Evangelical, when I held all sorts of other crazy beliefs, I still resisted the pressure to turn "pro-life." At least, not on the political level. On things like creationism and biblical inerrancy, they made convincing arguments (which is more of a testament of how ignorant I was back then), but they couldn't convince me that the "baby's" right to life outweighed the mother's right to decide what happens with her own body. All they had was emotionalism and the Bible (and despite being an Evangelical, I still believed in freedom of religion).

    Reading Thomson solidified my pro-choice position, mainly by resolving what I felt was a genuine conflict of rights. But it wasn't just reading Thomson. If that were the case, I could be accused of confirmation bias. What I also did was see if there were any convincing objections to Thomson's argument. If there were, most likely it would have only had the effect of continuing to recognize a genuine conflict of rights with the benefit of the doubt going to the mother (IOW, all the counterargument would have had to do is "muddy the waters" again). Be it as it may, I found *nothing.* As far as counterarguments go, it doesn't really get any better than Beckwith. And he couldn't even make a dent in Thomson's arguments.

    So, from my experience, the abortion debate has always been about whether the prenate's rights outweighed the rights of the mother. And they've always been failing in making their case.

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  265. Surely rape as a violation of bodily autonomy and pregnancy as a violation of bodily autonomy are two separate issues. I don't think anyone is out to suggest that rape is not a serious violation of bodily autonomy.

    I still feel like my question has remained unanswered, especially with your comment here: "forcing the woman to carry the rapist's offspring does in fact take choice away from her", because you are pointing towards the identity of the foetus rather than the circumstances of the conception.

    It seems like you're saying – and correct me if I'm wrong – that the genetic identity of the foetus may be a sufficient reason to abort. Which is what my question is tending towards, as that doesn't seem to be the original author's viewpoint.

    It also may be difficult for you to answer my question because it seems from your other comments that you are pro-choice, rather than pro-life with a rape exception. That would give you a different perspective on the matter.

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  266. Clearly I wasn't specific enough. What I meant was; are you saying that pro-lifers have failed to make their case to you personally, have failed to personally convince you; or do you think that pro-lifers have failed to make their case in the general arena, convincing the general public?

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  267. that the genetic identity of the foetus may be a sufficient reason to abort.

    Yes, because it IS a matter of bodily autonomy. The woman gets to choose who she will create offspring with, not the other way around. Her bodily resources, she gets to decide which genes get to cook in there – not the rapist.

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  268. So the original author says,

    "The child conceived in rape is worth just as much as any other, but a rape survivor is not responsible for the fact that the child is growing inside her. By definition, she did not consent to that risk. So if responsibility and consent to risks are such important factors, it should be clear how cases of rape are fundamentally different even though the child’s value is the same."

    Hopefully I'm not misunderstanding them, but they seem to be putting the emphasis on the circumstances of conception, rather than the identity of the individual embryo or foetus that results from that conception – in much the same manner as we would look at an adult who was conceived in rape and not suppose that their genetics allow us to treat them any differently from anyone else.

    Perhaps a further question might help me clarify your stance on abortion, although it would be most clear if you could explicitly state it yourself. If a woman has consensual sex with someone and conceives, but than later discovers that this person is a total jerk and she'd rather not have their child, is it acceptable for her to abort?

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  269. Yes, she can go ahead and abort, because it is her body, and she ultimately makes the decision regarding who or what will use it.

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  270. Then, without any intention of offending or minimising your opinion, my original question was not directed at you. It was directed towards those who are pro-life, but hold a rape exception. This is clearly not you, as your general belief in the acceptability of abortion does not require exceptions to be made.

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  271. Certainly they have failed to make the case to me personally. And considering that anti-abortion measures have always been defeated at the polls, even in places like Arizona, Mississippi, and South Dakota, I would say they have failed to make their case in the general arena as well.

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  272. "Surely rape as a violation of bodily autonomy and pregnancy as a violation of bodily autonomy are two separate issues."

    Certainly there are differences. Nevertheless, the essence is still the same. Both the rapist and the unwanted fetus are using another's body for their own purposes without their consent. Other examples would include slavery, nonconsensual scientific or medical experimentation, and China's practice of executing political prisoners to harvest organs.

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  273. Only you can speak for yourself, of course. But Gallup polls suggest that the pro-life movement has steadily gained ground in the last twenty years, albeit with some ups and downs. gallup.com/poll/170249/split-abortion-pro-choice-pro-life.aspx

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  274. I actually think that in this, the devil is in the details. But it's a complex topic which I intend to explore on my blog – which I believe is a better forum than this comment thread. Keep an eye out for it, as I'm hoping to crank it and another out in my holidays.

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  275. Yes, but when given a chance to vote on the issue, anti-abortion measures always lose. This is true even in deep red states like Arizona, Mississippi, and South Dakota. This suggests that when given the direct power to do something about it, even many people who self-identify as pro-life are reluctant to make their views law.

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  276. Which doesn't disprove that the case is being made on an individual level, or that momentum is not increasing to gamer those votes.

    I do vaguely recall reading of one measure that didn't gain enough votes, but I can't remember any details. In order to use these as positive proof, I think you would have to examine each measure individually and the environment in which it was presented. If you have a link to information on any of them, I'd be interested to read more.

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  277. I think Timothy is referring to measures that are directly voted upon by the public – I imagine similar to an Australian referendum.

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  278. Yes, I was too. And personhood for zygotes routinely fails. Pro life Mississippians didn't want it. washingtonpost.com/politics/mississippi-anti-abortion-personhood-amendment-fails-at-ballot-box/2011/11/09/gIQAzQl95M_story.html
    Worth a read:
    slate.com/blogs/saletan/2014/01/22/abortion_polls_2014_do_most_americans_think_most_abortions_should_be_illegal.html

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  279. Okay, so I found some information on the Albuquerque one:

    "According to the city clerk’s office, about 87,000 votes were cast in the election, or 25 percent of Albuquerque’s registered voters. The final tally was 55 percent of votes against and 45 percent of votes for the abortion ban."

    nytimes.com/2013/11/20/us/albuquerque-voters-defeat-anti-abortion-referendum.html?_r=0

    Two comments:

    1. 45% to 55% is pretty darn close, and actually reflects fairly well the numbers in the Gallup poll.

    2. 75% of voters didn't bother to show up. So there's no way of knowing which way they would have gone.

    It's handy in Australia that voting is compulsary, so we get a better overview of general opinion.

    The one I can find from Mississippi ( edition.cnn.com/2011/11/09/politics/mississippi-election/ and washingtonpost.com/politics/mississippi-anti-abortion-personhood-amendment-fails-at-ballot-box/2011/11/09/gIQAzQl95M_story.html) was very broad, and I imagine that people may have been scared of by the possible ramifications for IVF and birth control – but it still had 41% vote yes.

    Colorado and North Dakota haven't voted yet (November this year). Can you point me towards any others?

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  280. I commented on the Mississippi one in a response to Timothy. To be honest, unless the results of the vote are heavily skewed one way or another, e.g. 80% to 20%, I don't think they're actually a good reflection or general opinion, because it is in essence a survey with a biased selection criteria.

    The article on abortion polls was interesting reading. I wonder what the results would be if you left legality out of it and simply asked about viewpoint? Also note that a majority would still criminalise abortion after 3 months.

    I read an interesting thing once (it may have even been here) about how polls are phrased and what difference it makes. For example, how do you think the results might have changed if instead of:

    1. Legal in all.
    2. Legal in most.
    3. Illegal in most.
    4. Illegal in all.

    the poll had the options:

    1. Legal in all.
    2. Legal in most.
    3. Legal in few.
    4. Legal in none.

    Intuitively, I would say that option 3 might become much more popular, even though the meaning hasn't really changed. And even as a fairly hard-core pro-lifer, I would still choose option 3, because of the exception for the life of the mother.

    I think we may also be measuring failure/success differently. I see the increase in people giving their viewpoint as prolife as evidence of non-failure, even if they have not reached a majority. Yet.

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  281. "1. 45% to 55% is pretty darn close, and actually reflects fairly well the numbers in the Gallup poll."

    55% to 45% is practically a landslide in the American context. Consider that, since 1824, only thirteen presidential elections were won with 55%+ of the vote. An 8700 vote margin in an election where 87000 voted is hardly a razor thin margin.

    "2. 75% of voters didn't bother to show up. So there's no way of knowing which way they would have gone."

    That is actually pretty typical in American city elections. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the initiative's backers were counting on the low turnout. If so, the 55% to 45% margin just becomes all the more crushing.

    "Colorado and North Dakota haven't voted yet (November this year). Can you point me towards any others?"

    I can talk about two cases, one in Arizona and one in South Dakota. I was present in those states during the time. I voted in the Arizona election, but did not vote in the South Dakota election.

    In 1992, for the first, and so far only time, an Arizona initiative banning abortion was placed on the ballot. It was a pretty straightforward ban, and included exceptions for rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother. In an election that saw Bush get Arizona's electoral votes and sent reelected Senator John McCain with 55% of the vote, initiative lost 69% to 31%. Since then, anti-abortion initiatives have yet to gain enough signatures to even get on the ballot.

    In 2008, South Dakota had an initiative on the ballot criminalizing abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and the health of the mother. In 2006, a law passed by the legislature was overturned by voters 56% to 44%. This initiative's backers wrote their new law based on exit polls of voters, who said they wanted those exceptions. The 2008 initiative also lost 55% to 45%. (BTW, Colorado also defeated a fetal personhood law that year.)

    A couple features need to be noted here. The 2008 initiative backers had the information taken from exit polls, which said that though South Dakotan voters didn't like abortion being used as "birth control," they didn't want a ban that didn't have exceptions for rape, incest, and the health of the mother. Moreover, because we're talking about exit polls, we are talking about likely voters the next time around. The new initiative was written precisely with those concerns in mind. And yet, when it came time to vote, the anti-choicers could only shift the column in their favor by only 1%.

    BTW, Senator McCain won South Dakota with 53% of the vote. This means more people voted against the abortion ban than voted for the "pro-life" candidate.

    So, if America had compulsory voting, would anti-abortion measures pass more often? That's hard to say. The 2008 South Dakota initiative does suggest that people will tell pollsters one thing while voting another, at least when it comes to abortion. We should also consider that the "pro-life" side very, very good at "get out the vote" efforts. When there is an anti-abortion initiative on the ballot, the anti-choicers are extremely motivated. And yet they still haven't drummed up enough voters to win their own ballot initiatives.

    So, I will stand my original statements that the anti-abortion advocates have failed to make their case in the general arena.

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  282. "Which doesn't disprove that the case is being made on an individual level, or that momentum is not increasing to gamer those votes."

    You were asking me if I thought "that pro-lifers have failed to make their case in the general arena, convincing the general public," remember?

    "I do vaguely recall reading of one measure that didn't gain enough votes, but I can't remember any details. In order to use these as positive proof, I think you would have to examine each measure individually and the environment in which it was presented. If you have a link to information on any of them, I'd be interested to read more."

    How many variations on the theme do we need to try before you stop making excuses? Abortions bans without exceptions, abortion bans with exceptions, fetal personhood have all failed. California voted down parental notification laws–three times! (Yes, it's California, but still ….) Maine voted down a "partial-birth" abortion ban in 1999. Parental notification and "partial-birth" abortion bans have about as much support in the polls as the combined two answers of "legal only in certain circumstances" and "illegal in all cases." But only two states (out of four; in both cases, the vote was carried by 55%, again far short of what the polls would lead one to believe) managed to pass a parental notification law, and none have passed a "partial-birth" abortion ban. These should be slam dunks, for Pete's sake! At least, if we listened to the polls.

    Anyway, if you want to do research on how well abortion measures fare on the ballot, go to ballotpedia.org/Abortion_on_the_ballot#tab=By_state. I doubt the list you'll find catches everything, but it is a good place to start.

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  283. BTW, I do need to eat my words where I said anti-abortion measures *always* lose at the ballot. However, they do lose frequently enough that I can still stand my contention that "pro-lifers" have failed to make their case in the general arena.

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  284. It wasn't a strawman, it was following her argument to its logical conclusion. She said the child is not just as dependent, and I showed that he/she is.

    Also, I've never understood the argument that if you're dependent on one, they can kill you, but if you're dependent on many (and therefore a greater burden), we have to protect you.

    Suppose you're the last person out of a public pool, or so you thought. Before you leave, you hear a splash at the far end of the pool. A toddler has fallen in and is drowning. You look around and there's no one there. The child is completely dependent on you for his/her survival. Do you have an obligation to jump in and save the child (assuming you can swim) or are you morally justified in walking away and letting the child drown because he/she is only dependent on you for his/her survival?

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  285. Yes, words have meaning, and we must use them accurately. If you check the dictionary, one definition of both "child" and "baby" is "a human fetus." Plus, the word "fetus" comes from the original Latin word for "offspring."

    Also, embryologists consistently agree that human life begins at fertilization. It's simply not true that scientists have not settled the issue. What has not been settled is whether or not the unborn human being fits the definition of personhood, but that's a philosophical discussion, not a scientific one.

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  286. People give up their right to freedom by impinging on the freedoms of others.

    Similarly, anyone who invades another person's body gives up their right to life (if they had such a right to begin with).

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  287. What do you plan to achieve by banning abortion? There's no heroism in promoting the suffering of children, women. and society in general.

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  288. A zef is a parasite regardless of whether the woman was raped or not.

    Some women choose to accommodate the parasite at the expense of her body, while others don't.

    That decision should be entirely upto the woman, not to you, me, or the government.

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  289. Once you CHOOSE to keep a zef, i.e. make a voluntary commitment to the future child, obviously you should never berate them (to their face OR behind their back).

    If you DIDN'T choose to keep the zef, who cares what you call it? It will die painlessly, without ever knowing it was spawned by a rapist.

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  290. We're not promoting human suffering. Pro-life organizations do a lot of good in helping single parents and pregnant women. That's just pro-choice propaganda. Besides, why not just round up all women and children who are suffering and kill them now? If you can't justify doing then, then you can't justify doing that when they're still in the womb. The answer is to try to end or ease their suffering, not to kill them.

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  291. Because, once again that decision is NOT upto us but those mothers. If she feels like she cannot give the future child a good life, SHE alone has the right to terminate the zef, not you or me.

    We cannot and should not make decisions for other able-minded adults, no matter how much you wish to control their lives.

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  292. No. You are never morally obligated to risk your life and safety for another. And while others may think you are a selfish so-and-so for walking away, it is still the caregiver who is legally and morally responsible for what happens to the toddler.

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  293. Enjoy, because I will not respond to you again. You are a pompous liar.

    J Med Ethics. 1985 Dec;11(4):198-204.

    The brain-life theory: towards a consistent biological definition of humanness.
    Goldenring JM.
    Abstract

    This paper suggests that medically the term a 'human being' should be defined by the presence of an active human brain. The brain is the only unique and irreplaceable organ in the human body, as the orchestrator of all organ systems and the seat of personality. Thus, the presence or absence of brain life truly defines the presence or absence of human life in the medical sense. When viewed in this way, human life may be seen as a continuous spectrum between the onset of brain life in utero (eight weeks gestation), until the occurrence of brain death. At any point human tissue or organ systems may be present, but without the presence of a functional human brain, these do not constitute a 'human being', at least in a medical sense. The implications of this theory for various ethical concerns such as in vitro fertilisation and abortion are discussed. This theory is the most consistent possible for the definition of a human being with no contradictions inherent. However, having a good theory of definition of a 'human being' does not necessarily solve the ethical problems discussed herein.
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4078859

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  294. I realize not every woman will view a pregnancy resulting from rape the way I would view it. But in the case that it is me and NOT 'someone else' it very much matters how I view it. Nobody else's opinion matters except the pregnant woman.

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  295. Then you must be pretty thick, if you believe your question has not been answered. Eager to be pregnant by my husband does NOT equal eager to be pregnant by a rapist. The genetic identity of the fetus IS a sufficient reason to abort.

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  296. Um, NO. What requires a rape exemption to be made is the fact that the RAPE survivor might not want to carry the pregnancy resulting from rape to term. I am pro-choice in all circumstances. I personally (as myself) would only choose abortion in certain narrow circumstances, and rape is one of them. It doesn't matter what I think about anyone else's pregnancy. If the woman pregnant from rape chooses to gestate, fine. If she chooses not to gestate, fine again. Pro tip: It doesn't matter what YOU think either, nor does it matter what anyone else on this forum thinks. The only person's opinion that matters is the person who is pregnant.

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  297. Well about that you are simply wrong. Most risks do NOT happen "well after viability." They can and do happen prior to and after viability, and things can get very ugly, very quickly. And any termination after a certain point is going to result in a delivery. But nobody in their right mind is going to undergo abdominal surgery for a pregnancy they don't want.

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  298. Simply because there is an umbilical cord present doesn't mean it's being used, myintx. For your scenario to be valid, the cord would have to be in use, and it NEVER IS …immediately upon birth. That's why the first thing done is to clamp the cord and cut it. At the moment of birth, the cord becomes dead tissue.

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  299. I think that's what he said. At the moment of exiting the womb, the cord doesn't magically vanish, but it is no longer in use, and is dead tissue. It needs to be clamped off and cut.

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  300. If you kill someone, yes you are required to come forward. Killing someone is generally a crime, with certain exceptions (one of them being self-defense, as you mentioned). However, here is where your argument falls apart. Being raped is NEVER a crime. The rape victim has nothing to prove, and wouldn't be under any scrutiny for having been raped. Just as the victim of a mugging or armed robbery, she hasn't done anything wrong. She may decide to seek treatment on her own, and not to report the crime. She may be unable to report the crime if she is young and the rapist is a family member. HOWEVER, rape and pregnancy from rape do not occur simultaneously. She won't know until much later. That doesn't negate her right to treatment for an injury that wasn't found until weeks, maybe months after the assault. You're attempting to conflate victim and perpetrator here, and it just doesn't work.

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  301. Not 'the moment' of exiting the womb…. smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/should-doctors-wait-a-little-longer-to-cut-umbilical-cords-19310867/?no-ist

    So, if the baby is still utilizing the woman's resources, can she kill it?

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  302. There is nothing in the article you cited that says the neonate is still using the mother's resources. The cord is to be clamped and cut, and it's done immediately after birth. The article discusses the alleged pros and cons of doing it immediately versus waiting a few minutes. That does NOT imply that the neonate requires being left attached to the cord. It CAN and IS cut immediately upon birth. You are a schmendrick.

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  303. The "child" conceived in rape is not "dying for his father's crime." He is being aborted because the mother doesn't want to be pregnant with him. She is not obligated to do that.

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  304. "And, by waiting a few minutes the baby gets more blood!" Big hairy deal. The blood in the cord is the baby's blood, not the mother's blood. And if you actually read the article, that extra blood is not always a good thing. The extra blood also results in hemolysis and jaundice. The supposed "benefit" is higher levels of iron. As I have said (THREE TIMES SO FAR) at the moment of birth, the baby is no longer using the mother's resources. It begins to breathe and the placenta begins to die. The medical community may some day realize enough of a benefit to wait several minutes before cutting the umbilical cord. Thus far they have not. And it STILL doesn't imply that the neonate is still using the mother's resources. At the moment of birth (YES, the moment of birth) the neonate is using it's OWN resources. Here's the proof. Some parents choose to extract the cord blood and preserve it for possible future use by the baby. NOT BY THE PARENT. The blood in the cord at birth is the baby's blood. It is in no way a part of the mother.

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  305. And as far as your C-section question, YES she can refuse a C-section. If she does, she is assuming any risks that go along with that. It's a silly question in a case where a C-section is the only way the fetus can exit the body. She obviously cannot keep the fetus inside her indefinitely.

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  306. total b s… if the doctor is doing a c-section, when he has made the final incision and is reaching for the baby, the cord is still working. and you know it.

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  307. If he's reaching for the baby, it must still be inside her. At the first breath, the baby is using it's OWN RESOURCES. The physiological changes in the circulatory system of the neonate that happen at the moment of birth change that.

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  308. If the chord is still attached he or she could still be getting resources from her… can a woman have the baby killed in either case – a c-section where the doctor hasn't yet pulled the baby out? or he is pulling the baby out and the chord is still pulsing?

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  309. You seem to not even understand the physiology of pregnancy, The cord is only a conduit. Prior to birth, it runs from the fetus to the placenta. At the moment of birth, the placenta stops functioning and begins to detach from the uterus. It is momentarily either expelled by uterine contractions in the case of a vaginal birth, or it is manually removed from the uterus by a surgeon in a C-section birth. The umbilical cord is still there. But it's attached to a non-functioning former fetal organ. The blood in the umbilical artery and two veins is fetal blood. It has always been fetal blood throughout the pregnancy, never the blood of the mother. It's the placental status that matters, not the cord. At birth, since the placenta is now dead tissue that is expelled, none of the mother's resources are being accessed.

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  310. Eh well, Myintx also made the argument that the pregnant woman voluntarily *gives* her bodies nutrients to the prenate. Yes, she gives it away! In fact, the woman FORCES implantation on the poor innocent blastocyst that is just wandering by, kind of like the magical toddler.

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  311. You just don't want to answer the question. You know you'd approve of a woman killing her newborn – especially one that survived a botched abortion. After all, you'd approve of a full term baby essentially suffocating to death in his or her mother's womb if the woman didn't want to have a c-section. You probably have a picture of your hero, Gosnell, hanging in your bedroom.

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  312. Uh, I thought you knew…LB approves of killing all life on earth because she is actually HItler.

    Fuck me but you're ridiculous.

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  313. Anyone who approves of a full term unborn child dying in his or her mother's womb because the woman refuses a life-saving c-section for the unborn child is pretty close to Hitler. Don't you agree?

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  314. Let's do a deal. I won't use the term 'pro-aborts' and you don't use the word 'anti-choicers'.

    Thank you for the informative post. I think we can both agree (not that I was ever denying this) that the pro-life movement in the USA is not yet strong enough to result in a majority of public votes on legislative measures. Though I pointed out in another post that the non-compulsory nature of American voting means that these results have the credibility of a survey with an extremely strong selection bias, and a far bigger difference in results would be needed to assert that one view or the other predominates. And I would hold to that even if it was 55-45 in favour of the pro-life side.

    I think the difference in the way we're seeing things it saying 'anti-abortion advocates have failed to make their case' comes across as very final – as if the chance to make the case has come and gone. Whereas it is instead an ongoing issue.

    So if we said that we'll measure that truth of that statement by considering the majority viewpoint, as expressed through polls and public votes, then pro-lifers are failing to make their case.

    But if we said (along the lines of what I was originally thinking) that we'll measure the truth of that statement by considering how viewpoints have changed over time (which I feel is better reflective of people changing their minds over abortion, i.e. having the case made to them), then pro-lifers are indeed succeeding in making their case, even if not yet to a majority of people.

    In other words, 'failing' or 'succeeding' as an ongoing process should be considered in terms of change over time – because it has to start somewhere. If polls suddenly showed a shift in viewpoint to, say, 30% pro-life and 70% pro-choice, then I would definitely agree that the pro-life movement is failing.

    I'll have to leave it there – study calls.

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  315. Just found this (for 2013):

    gallup.com/poll/162374/americans-abortion-views-steady-amid-gosnell-trial.aspx

    and this for 2012:

    gallup.com/poll/160058/majority-americans-support-roe-wade-decision.aspx

    To sum up:

    1. 48% consider themselves pro-life, compared to 45% pro-choice.

    2. 58% believe it should be illegal in all or legal in only a few circumstances, compared to 39% saying legal under all or most circumstances.

    3. 64% believe it should illegal in the second three months of pregnancy, and 80% believe it should be illegal in the last three months of pregnancy.

    I find it interesting the second lot of results that the percentage of people who wouldn't overturn Roe v Wade (53%) is very similar to the percentage of people who believe abortion should be legal only under certain circumstances (52%). I wouldn't be surprised if that's what most people think Roe v Wade established.

    Anyway, I'm feeling even more guilty now for my neglected study. Au revoir.

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  316. 48% consider themselves pro-life, compared to 45% pro-choice.

    The problem with this of course, is that someone can consider themselves pro-life and still choose NOT to oppose abortion when it comes to lawmaking.

    Pro-life for themselves, pro-choice for others.

    Also, people tend to be dishonest.

    mypage.direct.ca/w/writer/anti-tales.html

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  317. I won't use the term 'pro-aborts' and you don't use the word 'anti-choicers'.

    Anti-choice is correct, however. It isn't a slur.

    Anti-choice = forcing women to gestate through law.
    Anti-choice is also forcing a woman to abort, through law.

    China = anti-choice. In countries where abortion is banned, the law is anti-choice. Basically, it comes down to, does the government have the right to make your reproductive choices for you?

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  318. Then let's also call people anti-choice when they don't want people to use illegal drugs, don't want to serve drunk people alcohol, arrest drink-drivers, prosecute child-abusers, etc. But we don't, because we don't call people anti-choice when they want to remove one choice in the name of keeping other people safe.

    Use anti-abortion by all means. I prefer pro-life because it focuses on the core of the issue – protecting the life of the unborn – but I don't object to anti-abortion.

    The government has a right to act to protect those who can't protect themselves. But I'm sure you've realised that that's the pro-life angle by now.

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  319. I've read that piece before. It makes me angry and sad.

    Agreed that someone can consider themselves pro-life and still not support anti-abortion legislation. It's far from a simple viewpoint.

    Reply
  320. Part of the problem has to do with the questions themselves. To use the fourfold responses, what does it mean to say that abortion should be legal in "most" or "only in a few" circumstances? Those are questions that are open to interpretation, and people may not have any idea what is included. If people think that the circumstances a person would get an abortion constitutes "most" circumstances, they use that category. Otherwise, they'd answer "only in a few." In other words, people have to estimate the number of circumstances there are for having an abortion, figure the number of circumstances they'd allow it, and then answer accordingly. And of course, the discrepancy between those who would not overturn Roe vs. those who say abortion should be legal under certain circumstances does turn partly under their knowledge of what Roe does vs. what they believe "only under certain circumstances" to mean.

    A better representation might be had by asking what specific circumstances one believes abortion should be legal. But the links you provided only deal with one specific circumstance: the timing of the abortion in relation to the trimester of pregnancy. And here, 61% agree that abortion should be generally legal in the first trimester, which undoubtedly lines up with what Roe does, even as modified by Casey.

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  321. Exactly. Matters of "legislating morality" is actually twofold question: Is it immoral? and Should it be illegal? The answer to one question does not necessarily follow from the other. That may also explain the discrepancies between poll answers and voting patterns, especially on the issue of abortion.

    Reply
  322. Yes, it's complex. For example, lying and adultery are immoral, but are not illegal. Well, lying in certain situations or to achieve certain ends is illegal. I think (after a very superficial consideration) that it may somewhat depend upon the government's duty to its people, i.e. who is affected by the action and to what degree.

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  323. It's a trap! Just kidding. Here's a good read on that topic: nationalreview.com/articles/221742/one-untrue-thing/nro-symposium.

    My opinion probably lies closest to the final one given in the article, by Matthew J. Franck. I feel that we need to balance pragmatism with idealism, and to recognise that abortion is far more complex an issue than is suggested by the question.
    Perhaps in the future we may be in a place where the immoral nature of abortion is as well-recognised as that of murdering a born person and prison sentences may become appropriate because the only women who will abort will either (a) be driven by such desperate circumstances or coercion such that a murder charge is inappropriate, or (b) be operating under the full moral recognition of what they are doing and hence need to be held to account for their actions.

    Abortionists, though – that's a different story. I have no qualms about prison sentences for abortionists.

    Reply
  324. So if a woman hires a hitman to kill her toddler, he should go to jail, but she should not, because its a complex issue?

    Reply
  325. Re-read:
    "Perhaps in the future we may be in a place where the immoral nature of abortion is as well-recognised as that of murdering a born person and prison sentences may become appropriate"

    We don't need to convince society of the immorality of killing a toddler. But there's a long way to go before society as a whole is firmly convinced of the immorality of abortion.

    Reply
  326. So? Ignorance and social norms are not a defense.

    In some societies genocide is perfectly acceptable. As is child rape. I guess these people can't be prosecuted for their crimes because their genocidal actions etc are not considered immoral in their society?

    Reply
  327. It's called pragmatism. You have to ask two questions (not ordered in any particular way):
    1. Will it work?
    2. Will it help?

    Would you, at the point our society is currently at, consider that jail terms comparable to that currently given for murder for woman who abort would (a) work and (b) help the pro-life cause?

    When the legislation is in place, or close to being so, that gives a clear and recognisable legal standing to what the act of abortion entails, then we might be somewhere where it would be helpful to talk about prison terms. Right now, it's kind of pointless.

    It's the same kind of pragmatism that means I will work towards incremental bans on abortion, even if I ideally wish for all abortions (save those necessary to prevent the death of the mother) to be illegal.

    If you're trying to trip me up and somehow expose me as not really thinking that the unborn are as valuable as born human beings, it's not going to happen. My recognition of the reality of the situation doesn't change my ideals.

    I really suggest you go and read that article I linked. You might find it helpful, if you're after a real answer to your question.

    Reply
  328. Well of course I was talking about *after* abortion is illegal. It would make sense that it should be considered a capital crime, especially if embryos have the same moral worth as all born persons.

    And I will check out that article once I have time.

    Reply
  329. After abortion is illegal, I imagine it would be examined on a case-by-case basis, as murder is now.

    Personally, I would probably advocate the introduction of incrementally more severe penalties over time, until the point is reached where the immoral status of abortion is well-recognised and accepted, and harsh penalties will not punish women who are not in full recognition of their actions, any more than harsh penalties for deliberately and knowingly killing a toddler now would. But honestly, we're so far from that recognition now that it's hard to imagine that we'll get there within my lifetime.

    Do read the article. I've ended up paraphrasing him a bit, but what Matthew J. Franck wrote really resonated with me personally.

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  330. It isn't so much "killing" a person as it is refusing to gestate. YOU are a 'moral person.' If your mother chose to breathe for you for 40 weeks, you may consider that a gift that you accepted. You may NOT consider it a "duty" that you were "owed."

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  331. "It's called pragmatism. You have to ask two questions (not ordered in any particular way):
    1. Will it work?
    2. Will it help?"

    The answer is pretty clear there, then. Criminalizing abortion will not work and it will not help.

    "Would you, at the point our society is currently at, consider that jail terms comparable to that currently given for murder for woman who abort would (a) work and (b) help the pro-life cause?"

    Now here you would have to define "pro-life" a bit more tightly. For those whom being "pro-life" is socially acceptable misogyny, then of course it will work and help the pro-life cause. If you are pro-life in the sense of Pope John Paul II's Evangelium Vitae, then not so much.

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  332. Okay. Caveats duly noted. But surely you have some ideal sentence. Would it be closer to involuntary manslaughter or capital murder?

    Reply
  333. Abortion is already criminalised to some extent in many places. Where I am, abortion is illegal past 28 weeks gestation. To the best of my knowledge, it is effective. To say that criminalising abortion will not work is a pretty sweeping statement, and conflating criminalisation of abortion with murder charges with women who abort is not, I feel, accurate at this stage.

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  334. With the caveats in place, I imagine that the gradual process of increasing severity in penalties would eventually culminate in a murder charge. What type of murder charge, I don't know – because I'm not that familiar with the current law and distinctions on murder charges. But in essence, it would be treated no differently than we currently treat the murder of a born person, i.e. extenuating circumstances, intent, forseeability etc. would be brought into play when deciding on the appropriate charge.

    And I say all this with another caveat – for the time being I am content to work on education, public awareness and incremental legislative change regarding abortion. The need for murder charges is very very far away, if it ever does eventuate.

    Curious – assuming you regarded abortion the same way I do, what would your answer be?

    Reply
  335. If I regarded abortion the same way you do, I wouldn't even think about criminalizing abortion until we have a Zion society. Assuming a Zion society, then abortion would be intentional homicide, and if aggravating circumstances apply, it would be capital murder. The penalties would be the same.

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  336. Effective in doing what? How many women were getting nontherapeutic abortions twenty-eight weeks and after before it was criminalized? What kind of legal and practical hurdles does a woman have to jump through to get an abortion before the twenty-eight week mark?

    When I say that criminalizing abortion will not work, I am working with data that shows that it doesn't. See independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/rate-of-abortion-is-highest-in-countries-where-practice-is-banned-6292070.html. And mind you, in some of those countries, abortion is treated as a murder charge. I think dudebro will have a link handy for you in that regard.

    Reply
  337. I had to look up what a Zion society is, and I'm still not really sure exactly what you mean by it. Is what you're getting at is that it would be appropriate to criminalise abortion only when there is no perceived need for abortion?

    Reply
  338. "I am working with data that shows that it doesn't."

    But I cannot see where the data you link to shows that. Do you mean, "I am working with data that does not show it does" — ?

    Reply
  339. Your link's author says, "Dr Sedgh said there was a link between higher abortion rates and regions with more restrictive legislation, such as in Latin America and Africa." Perhaps she wanted to give readers the IMPRESSION that Sedgh had demonstrated a causal link, "more restrictive legislation causes higher abortion rates," but she knew better than to actually SAY something she could not back up. She said there was a link between rates and REGIONS, not rates and LEGISLATION.

    So now it starts to become clear how the counterintuitive idea "where there is more restrictive legislation, there are higher abortion rates" might possibly be valid. As the author said at the outset, "good access to birth control in those countries [which happen to be countries with more liberal abortion laws] resulted in fewer unwanted pregnancies" (hence, naturally, fewer abortions). What countries need is not liberal laws, but good birth control. Common sense would dictate that the lowest abortion rates would be achieved by combining good birth control with restrictive laws.

    Whatever your link's author wished people to think, Dr. Sedgh's study itself did not even attempt to examine causality between legislation and abortion rates. If you're interested, I could provide links to an Ireland study, a Chile study and a US study that did attempt to do that and all concluded, to differing degrees, that anti-abortion legislation is, as Elizabeth Doecke originally said, effective. Here —

    mercatornet.com/articles/view/a_ground_breaking_abortion_study_from_chile

    — the main author of the Chile study said in an interview:

    "Third, from the perspective of protecting human life from the very beginning, obviously, abortion restriction saves many lives, in contrast to countries where elective — on demand — abortion is allowed, because in these countries all the unborn [involved in abortions] lose their lives."

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  340. Irish women have their abortions in England. And in Chile, there is a huge black market in abortion pills – a hotline even exists to help Chilean women administer the dose correctly.

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  341. I've come across that Lancet article before:

    thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(11)61786-8/abstract

    Problems with their methodology are discussed here:

    c-fam.org/docLib/20090514_Removing_the_Roadblocksfinal.pdf

    and here:

    nrlc.org/archive/news/2003/NRL02/laura.html

    (The second one is only Part 1 of 7, but the rest are easily discovered through a search engine).

    And perhaps most tellingly, here, where pre-legalisation estimates and post-legalisation data for Mexico is compared:

    femecog.org.mx/docs/IJWH.pdf

    Some of the salient points:

    – The study conflated 'illegal' with 'unsafe' rather than using a medical definition.

    – The study methods allowed room for erroneous inclusion of spontaneous miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies.

    – The estimates gained were further adjusted according to the researchers expectations, which may have lacked reasonable validation.

    It's actually very easy to get an abortion prior to 28 weeks here, as personal communication with doctors has shown me. If someone was being charged or prosecuted for getting an abortion, it would make national news (as it has done before). The lack of any such event suggests that it does not happen – hence my comment about it being effective.

    Reply
  342. In El Salvador, women are jailed for miscarrying
    m.bbc.com/news/magazine-24532694

    This is the logical outcome of abortion as murder. Every miscarriage will be a possible crime scene.

    Reply
  343. "Irish women have their abortions in England."

    The study took that factor into account and nevertheless came to its conclusions about effectiveness. In other words, the study concluded that some women do, but some don't.

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  344. I've read this before also. It's seems more like a broken justice system than anything else, e.g. "Her lawyer, Dennis Munoz Estanley, says the legal system has an inbuilt "presumption of guilt" making it hard for women to prove their innocence."

    Reply
  345. Some women are too poor to travel. The criminalization of abortion only hurts the poor. Women of means can *always* travel.

    Should women who can afford to travel to procure an abortion be prevented from traveling during their fertile years should they attempt to seek an abortion out of country?

    Reply
  346. This is true, but if abortion is criminalized, and prenates have full personhood rights, every miscarriage will have to be treated as a potential crime scene. And innocent women will go to jail.

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  347. Now you have introduced a new topic: when an abortion-minded woman is denied an abortion, what happens?

    First of all, of course, the child lives.

    Regarding what happens to the woman, your assumption that if she is temporarily frustrated in her design she is necessarily "hurt," seems like a huge leap. A more scientific approach was taken in a study called the "Turnaway Study," described here:

    nytimes.com/2013/06/16/magazine/study-women-denied-abortions.html

    The study found that such women suffer somewhat economically. But in overall terms, only 5% of such women end up wishing they had gone through with the abortion.

    Perhaps the 95% eventually realize that money would not have compensated them for what would have been lost.

    The article focuses on a woman named S. "S. now says that [the baby she had wanted to kill] is the best thing that ever happened to her. 'She is more than my best friend, more than the love of my life,' S. told me, glowingly. . . . 'She is just my whole world.'”

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  348. Yeah, and birth mothers who didn't want to give birth often regret giving up their babies for adoption.

    Oxytocin is a very powerful drug – women bond with their babies, most of the time, due to the effects of this powerful drug. It's how the neonate 'convinces' the parent to look after it. Selfish genes in action. It's why a portion of rape victims choose to keep their babies.

    Just because they might grow to love their babies does not mean that they are necessarily better off (and they aren't, they are now worse off and trapped in an endless cycle of poverty).

    Hindsight is also 20/20, and just because you can grow to love something does not necessarily mean that it's the best for you.

    BTW, there are plenty of people who regret having become parents:

    google.ca/search?q=regret+parenthood&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=WtK&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=sb&source=lnms&sa=X&ei=80jpU9mlFM26oQTXpoLoCA&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAA

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  349. It might help to look at it this way. MIscarriage is the natural death of the prenate. People die natural deaths all the time. Sometimes natural deaths have to be examined in case they were actually caused by something unnatural, e.g. murder, accidental poisoning, trauma. Sometimes, this does very unfortunately have the result that people are accused, charged, prosecuted and even jailed for crimes that they did not commit. However, it's not reasonable to suggest that we treat murder any differently because of the possibility that innocent people might be wrongly accused.

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  350. Yes but the prenate was made vulnerable by the woman in the first place right? It dies as a direct result of this vulnerability.

    If you tie someone to the train tracks and they die, whether from a train, a marauding bear, starvation or heat stroke, you are ultimtely responsible for making them so vulnerable.

    And if abortion is illegal, women will likely try to abort and then claim miscarriage should they succeed. Every miscarriage will have to be investigated as a crime scene.

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  351. I don't entirely understand your first point. It sounds like you're saying that anytime we – by our actions – cause someone to be vulnerable, and this vulnerability then directly impacts on them to cause death, we are responsible. Is that right? And are you saying that this is akin to murder?

    I think you are right about the possibility of passing off an induced abortion as a miscarriage. It does not follow that every miscarriage will have to be investigated as a crime scene, just as every time a child breaks their arm, their parents do not get investigated for child abuse. Reasonable suspicion would be needed.

    I imagine that there would need to be legislation written specifically to address this (as there is for mandatory notification of suspected child abuse), to create criteria which must be met before investigations would proceed.

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  352. I must be missing the point somehow. It seemed to go from you saying that criminalising abortion would cast unreasonable suspicion to women having miscarriages, to saying that women having miscarriages are committing manslaughter anyway. Please clarify for me, because I feel like I'm losing the plot a bit.

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  353. SIDS cases are investigated as a potential homicide already. Indeed, it has to be; SIDS is, after all, a diagnosis of exclusion.

    dudebro is quite correct though. Every miscarriage would have to be investigated as a potential homicide. The actual scene may not be important, but the mother would probably be required to give a blood sample, if nothing else. Her activities leading up to the miscarriage would have to be investigated. And if anything–I repeat anything–she did contributed to the miscarriage, then at a minimum she could be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

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  354. The Turnaway Study is still ongoing. According to the website, it has only completed five years worth of comparisons. See ansirh.org/research/turnaway.php. It's going to take at least another ten years before any firm conclusions can be made. As the New York Times article pointed, we still have little idea of the long-term effects of having vs. not having an abortion are.

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  355. Yes, El Salvador is bad, but it isn't just El Salvador. See the results of "fetal personhood" and feticide laws at rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/01/14/new-study-reveals-impact-post-roe-v-wade-anti-abortion-measures-on-women/. And this is in the United States!

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  356. "Problems with their methodology are discussed here:

    " c-fam.org/docLib/200905…

    "and here:

    " nrlc.org/archive/ne…"

    Again, define "effective." If I were "pro-life," I would define "effective" to mean actually stopping abortions. These two links address maternal mortality, but say nothing about Sedgh et al.'s bottom line conclusion that "Restrict abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates."

    "And perhaps most tellingly, here, where pre-legalisation estimates and post-legalisation data for Mexico is compared:

    " femecog.org.mx/docs/IJW…"

    This link takes issue with the methodology of one estimate of induced abortion in Mexico, comparing them to records which they acknowledge are incomplete. For the sake of argument, we'll take Juarez et al.'s estimates to be the "liberal" one. So then, we have upwards of 149,677 hospitalizations linked to complications of an induced abortion. Again, for the sake of argument, we'll cut that figure in half in a likely overcompensation Koch et al.'s problems with the methodology. That still gives us 74,838 such hospitalizations. All by itself, that is a figure that says something effectiveness of criminalizing abortion. But consider we still have to use some kind of multiplier to figure out how many induced abortions were performed in Mexico. Let's be conservative and use a multiplier of 1.5, netting us 112,257 induced abortions. Tell me again how criminalizing abortion is "effective."

    "It's actually very easy to get an abortion prior to 28 weeks here, as personal communication with doctors has shown me. If someone was being charged or prosecuted for getting an abortion, it would make national news (as it has done before). The lack of any such event suggests that it does not happen – hence my comment about it being effective."

    I notice you didn't answer my question about how women were clamoring for nontherapeutic abortions after 28 weeks before it was criminalized. If getting an abortion before 28 weeks is as easy as your conversations would lead you to believe, then that itself suggests why the law is so "effective." Women simply aren't waiting until the 28th week and then lining up to have an abortion.

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  357. "She said there was a link between rates and REGIONS, not rates and LEGISLATION."

    No, she said there was a link between "higher abortion rates and REGIONS WITH MORE RESTRICTIVE LEGISLATION." Not merely regions. Whether it was her intent to imply a causal link, I cannot say. That she didn't actually say the link was causal is something we can both agree upon.

    "So now it starts to become clear how the counterintuitive idea "where
    there is more restrictive legislation, there are higher abortion rates"
    might possibly be valid. As the author said at the outset, "good access
    to birth control in those countries [which happen to be countries with
    more liberal abortion laws] resulted in fewer unwanted pregnancies"
    (hence, naturally, fewer abortions). What countries need is not liberal
    laws, but good birth control. Common sense would dictate that the lowest
    abortion rates would be achieved by combining good birth control with
    restrictive laws."

    Or maybe not, considering Western Europe has the lowest abortion rate even though it combines good birth control with liberal laws.

    "Whatever your link's author wished people to think, Dr. Sedgh's study
    itself did not even attempt to examine causality between legislation and
    abortion rates. If you're interested, I could provide links to an
    Ireland study, a Chile study and a US study that did attempt to do that
    and all concluded, to differing degrees, that anti-abortion legislation
    is, as Elizabeth Doecke originally said, effective. Here –"

    As I asked Elizabeth, define "effective." As dudebro noted, Irish women have their abortions in England and there is a thriving black market for abortion pills in Chile. If effective means actually stopping abortions, then the restrictions are obviously not working.

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  358. I was going under the assumption (obviously unwarranted) that "effective" means stopping abortions. So, in that sense, I meant criminalizing abortion does not work.

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  359. Basically, yes. There is a part of me that regards abortion as a necessary evil. That part of me would still hold if I regarded abortion the same way as you do. I have thought about the subject in terms of, "Is there any sort of compromise in which you would agree to make abortion generally illegal?" Answering that question almost necessarily requires to use the terminology of my religious tradition.

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  360. "I was going under the assumption (obviously unwarranted) that 'effective' means stopping abortions."

    Is your point here (and in another post — "If effective means actually stopping abortions, then the restrictions are obviously not working") to distinguish between stopping abortions completely and reducing the rate? In other words, is your point "I was right to say that criminalizing abortion will not work in the sense of stopping it completely, but I would be wrong if I claimed that my linked data showed that criminalizing abortion does not reduce the rate" — ?

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  361. I wrote: "Common sense would dictate that the lowest
    abortion rates would be achieved by combining good birth control with
    restrictive laws."

    You have replied: "Or maybe not, considering Western Europe has the lowest abortion rate even
    though it combines good birth control with liberal laws."

    How can the data of a region that does not meet my conditions, unless you compare with a region that does meet my conditions, show anything about what I have said?

    "adequate access to birth control is almost a pipe dream."

    Without adequate access to birth control, abortion rates will remain high. Neither that fact nor any data you have presented indicate that anti-abortion legislation has not caused abortion rates in such regions to be at least a little lower than they would have been.

    Regarding your theory that restrictive abortion laws result causally in higher abortion rates — since the data fail to show that, let's stoop to address it for a moment on the level I suggested, "common sense." What is the causal mechanism that your common sense sees? Exactly how do restrictive laws motivate parents to kill unborn children whom they had longed to keep?

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  362. "How can the data of a region that does not meet my conditions, unless
    you compare with a region that does meet my conditions, show anything
    about what I have said?"

    You were talking about what common sense would suggest. I was talking about what real life data suggests. Common sense dictates that the chair I'm sitting in is solid, while science shows it is mostly space. Until we have a region that does meet your conditions, we have no basis for comparison. Meanwhile, we do know what region does have the lowest abortion rates, and we know that regions has both good birth control and liberal abortion laws.

    "Without adequate access to birth control, abortion rates will remain high. Neither that fact nor any data you have presented indicate that anti-abortion legislation has not caused abortion rates in such regions to be at least a little lower than they would have been."

    "Would have beens" are next to impossible to quantify. Meanwhile, what we do know is that "[r]estrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates." You are correct to point out that abortion rates are due to factors other than legislation alone. That's not something I've disputed. But going back to the original questions of whether restrictive abortion laws will work, the answer to that is clearly they will not.

    "Regarding your theory that restrictive abortion laws result causally in higher abortion rates — since the data fail to show that, let's stoop to address it for a moment on the level I suggested, "common sense." What is the causal mechanism that your common sense sees? Exactly how do restrictive laws motivate parents to kill unborn children whom they had longed to keep?"

    Hold on a minute here. I *never* said that restrictive abortion laws cause higher abortion rates. I only said they do not work and will not help. That is common sense; restricting abortion without addressing the reasons women have abortions is bound to fail.

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  363. & for a non rape created moral person its a position you put them in. Push a button with a baby making machine and tell me you could pick or choose whether that healthy fetus is then allowed to continued living purely on your whim?

    As I keep saying it isn't purely about bodily sovereignty but obligations from the creation of moral persons.

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  364. I'm not saying being raped is a crime. But even if you have the legal right to an abortion, if another moral person is involved and -especially if you are asking to be allowed to end their life- no one should have the right to do that secretly.

    Say we had to cases of the Violinist analogy where in the first case the woman was the victim and was kidnapped and the violinist attached to her. While the second she kidnapped the violinist and had him attached.

    Both IMO have the moral right to detach their violinist but just because they have that right, the woman who was the victim needs to clarify she was the victim to differentiate from the the case where she was the offender.

    & sure there are reporting problems with certain crimes but that doesn't allow other people to take things to their own hands secretly. If she killed her rapist she needs to clarify why it was so and not a case of murder. We cannot say well she was the victim therefore she doesn't have to abide by the law like other people.

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  365. We don't care what you "accept." No one will force us to carry a pregnancy resulting from rape. That is 100% unacceptable.

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  366. Well, as a matter of fact, yes, abortion CAN be done secretly, and nobody can force the victim of a crime to subject herself to reporting the crime to the police. She may wish not to report it for reasons of her own, and that's ALSO none of your business. She may know the perpetrator. It may be a family member. She may not remember details of the crime or be able to identify who raped her because she has been drugged. Forget about this nonsense of "killing moral people." Think of the rape victim. She's the only one who deserves consideration. She owes NOTHING to you, a fetus, or anyone else. How she chooses to handle her recovery is all about HER, and NOTHING about you.

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  367. "'Would have beens' are next to impossible to quantify. Meanwhile, what we do know is that '[r]estrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates.' You are correct to point out that abortion rates are due to factors other than le gislation alone. That's not something I've disputed. But going back to the original questions of whether restrictive abortion laws will work, the answer to that is clearly they will not."

    ?? You're saying that "would have beens" are next to impossible to quantify, but some "will be's" can be flatly denied?

    "[r]estrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates."

    Either that statement means that they are not associated WITHIN the carefully-chosen methods of the study, or it is a blatantly unscientific statement. The authors made no attempt, for example, to do a before-and-after study related to legislation in any country. Even within their regional method, they, for reasons best known to them, made no attempt to compare, for instance, Ireland with the rest of Western Europe.

    "I *never* said that restrictive abortion laws cause higher abortion rates."

    I had written: "Common sense would dictate that the lowest
    abortion rates would be achieved by combining good birth control with
    restrictive laws."

    You replied: "Or maybe not, considering Western Europe has the lowest abortion rate even
    though it combines good birth control with liberal laws."

    Can't your sentence, as a reply to my sentence, be paraphrased "The fact that Western Europe, even though it combines good birth control with liberal laws, has the lowest abortion rate, may prove that a region with good birth control and with restrictive laws will have a higher abortion rate" — ?

    Maybe technically you could argue that this would be a better paraphrase: "The fact that Western Europe, even though it combines good birth control with liberal laws, has the lowest abortion rate, may prove that a region with good birth control and with restrictive laws will have a higher abortion rate OR EXACTLY THE SAME ABORTION RATE." But the possibility of a difference in such laws effecting a truly zero difference in rate can be excluded.

    Okay, however, I should have included your "MAYbe," as I have now done: "The fact that Western Europe, even though it combines good birth control with liberal laws, has the lowest abortion rate, may prove that a region with good birth control and with restrictive laws will have a higher abortion rate." But even if you are saying "MAY prove that a region with good birth control and with restrictive laws will have a higher abortion rate," anyone will be forced to scratch their heads and ask, "Exactly how could restrictive laws motivate parents to kill unborn children whom they had longed to keep?"

    "That is common sense; restricting abortion without addressing the reasons women have abortions is bound to fail."

    Where two common senses differ, there's a limit to how far we can discuss it, so now I from my side will resort to real-life data. You yourself just recently informed us that the "Turnaway Study" is still going on. The "Turnaway Study" is by definition a study of women who were successfully deterred, mostly if not entirely by laws, from getting abortions. Now you are saying that, among other people, the pool of subjects whose existence you just informed us about cannot exist.

    Not only were the subjects of the existing Turnaway Study deterred by laws, but few of them regretted the outcome for themselves.

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  368. Turn away study was for late term abortion I believe. Not something the women could do easily on their own by taking Ru 486 or undergoing menstrual extraction.

    Now, if they had the resources, they could have traveled and paid the 20k or more for a third trimester abortion. Nothing at all will stop women of means from ending their pregnancies. Lower income women will have to abort early, and worst case scenario, go the coat hanger route.

    68,000 women die per year from unsafe illegal abortion. Why, do you think, women will risk death not to be pregnant?

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  369. "Turn away study was for late term abortion I believe."

    You are wise not to categorically deny that laws may save some babies.

    "Lower income women will have to abort early, and worst case scenario, go the coat hanger route.

    "68,000 women die per year from unsafe illegal abortion. Why, do you think, women will risk death not to be pregnant?"

    Your question is intended to cast doubt on the wisdom of unborn child-protection legislation, right? The thought of those 68,000 deaths is heart-breaking. But in order to evaluate unborn child-protection legislation, wouldn't you also have to tell us out of the 42,000,000 babies presently being killed per year, how many of those heartbreaks would be prevented, and also how many of their mothers would end up saying, like S., that the baby she had wanted to kill is now the best thing that ever happened to her? ("'She is more than my best friend, more than the love of my life,' S. told me, glowingly. . . . 'She is just my whole world.'”)

    Then finally, regarding your "will have to," you would have to answer the question, "If someone wants to unjustifiably harm an innocent person, can society be harshly blamed if it does not make it safe and legal for them to do so?"

    (Unborn child-protection legislation would of course allow justifiable abortions.)

    Reply
  370. I thought your question was a rhetorical question, really a statement, something like "Any woman who risks death to end a pregnancy must really need to end the pregnancy."

    Even if they don't really need to end the pregnancy, the fact that they will take the risk is tragic in itself.

    "Why do desperate women risk death in order to end a pregnancy?"

    If your figures are right, and if WHO's figures are right in saying that the risk of death in an illegal abortion is 1/270, then about 18.4 million women a year take the risk.

    So there must be 18.4 million answers to the question every year, way beyond my knowledge or yours.

    But there must be one big category of women who don't understand the risk, perhaps because they are misled about the risk. Let's eliminate that category through education.

    And there must be one big category of women who have an undeveloped concept of the humanity of that which they wish to kill. See NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org , "Dismantling the Bodily-Rights Argument without Using the Responsibility Argument" (search for "ontological intuition") and "Education and Art to Change Perceptions about the Unborn."

    And there must be a big category of women who have false dreams in life. I feel safe in saying this because most people have false dreams in life. Napoleon observed that men will die for a ribbon. Men risk their lives in unworthy causes, so that others will see them as heroes. All those with false dreams should be educated.

    And there must be a big category of women who don't know about resources available for them. Though I don't know about countries where women resort to illegal abortions, in the US, some abortion-rights advocates, possibly including some who claim to only support "choice," actively try to keep pregnant women from contacting crisis pregnancy centers. Ignorance about resources should be ended.

    And then there is probably a big category of cases where the abortion was justifiable. For those cases, the laws that denied the abortion should be amended.

    Unborn child-protection legislation should not be designed dogmaticallly. What I object to is when society completely abdicates its responsibility to ensure that the interests of its innocent little sisters and brothers are fairly represented (versus undeveloped concepts, false dreams, ignorance of resources, etc.), and simply looks the other way while its kids are being ripped apart. "No termination without representation" (see "Personhood and Citizenship").

    Reply
  371. And there must be a big category of women who have false dreams in life.

    Is the right to self-determination one of these 'false dreams'?

    Reply
  372. You have hit on a very good example of a false dream, if that desire for self-determination does not respect the self-determination of the baby.

    Self-determination is wonderful, but is it a moral absolute?

    Pro-life feminists have a slogan, "Our liberation cannot be bought with the blood of our children."

    One blogger wrote recently: "As a woman, I neither need nor want the right to kill humans to be equal as a human being. . . . How can we truly succeed if our success is drenched in blood? How can we call that success? No one should have to die for a person to be able to graduate, get promoted, etc."

    The president of SPL has said: "As a woman, I do not want my worth to be based on my power to destroy the life of a defenseless child. And I'm convinced that as long as abortion is accepted, society will never address the true causes of gender inequality. . . . When we defend our rights as human beings – as men, women, and children – we should never substitute someone else's well being for our own. Freedom and power at the expense of someone weaker than ourselves discredits any future freedom or power."

    "Turn away study was for late term abortion I believe."

    It was for late-term abortion attempts, but not due to any conscious selection process by the author. The author was limited to the study of late-term abortion attempts because, under the benighted laws of the US, it is only late-term abortion attempts that can sometimes be turned away. If in the US early-term abortion attempts were sometimes turned away, then surely we would see women turned away from those attempts also who later felt thankful that they had not committed a terrible injustice, and later said things such as "[The baby I had wanted to kill] is more than my best friend, more than the love of my life. . . . She is just my whole world.”

    If I understand correctly, you think that the self-determination of that infant woman should have been trampled on. Why?

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  373. Unborn humans don't have self-determination because they don't have a self. They are mindless animal organisms.

    And besides, even if they did have self-determination, that wouldn't give them the right to another person's body.

    Just think of all the 5 year olds who are being denied the right to self-determination because the government isnt forcing you, Acyutananda, and others like you, to donate body parts to save their lives.

    Reply
  374. "Unborn humans don't have self-determination because they don't have a self. They are mindless animal organisms."

    They have a self in the sense of an identity. They don't need a self in the sense of a sense of self. They have their DNA. Just give them food and a safe environment, and they will develop a sense of self, and a mind, and everything else. That is what self-determination means at their stage of development. You and I are here only because we were allowed that self-determination.

    For more on personhood, see NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/personhood

    Regarding the bodily-rights argument, there may not be any good brief answer. I have thought as best I could about it here: NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/Dismantling-the-Bodily-Rights-Argument-without-Using-the-Responsibility-Argument

    Reply
  375. "You have hit on a very good example of a false dream, if that desire for self-determination does not respect the self-determination of the baby.

    "Self-determination is wonderful, but is it a moral absolute?

    "If I understand correctly, you think that the self-determination of that infant woman should have been trampled on. Why?"

    Self-determination is a right that falls under "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." As such, it has the normal limitations and exceptions. And no, the prenate's right to self-determination, if any, does not give it a claim to the woman's body. So the self-determination of the prenate is not trampled on if the mother decides to abort.

    "It was for late-term abortion attempts, but not due to any conscious selection process by the author. The author was limited to the study of late-term abortion attempts because, under the benighted laws of the US, it is only late-term abortion attempts that can sometimes be turned away. If in the US early-term abortion attempts were sometimes turned away, then surely we would see women turned away from those attempts also who later felt thankful that they had not committed a terrible injustice, and later said things such as "[The baby I had wanted to kill] is more than my best friend, more than the love of my life. . . . She is just my whole world.”

    And just as surely others will be made (more) miserable by being turned away. What makes you think that only the happy ones' feelings count?

    Reply
  376. I had written to dudebro:

    "If I understand correctly, you think that the self-determination of that infant woman should have been trampled on. Why?"

    You have replied:

    "the prenate's right to self-determination, if any, does not give it a claim to the woman's body. So the self-determination of the prenate is not trampled on if the mother decides to abort."

    At the point when I had written to dudebro, he had not yet introduced the bodily-rights argument. The bodily-rights argument does indeed attempt to answer my question to him, but I think it does not answer it very successfully. For instance:

    "the prenate's right to self-determination, if any, does not give it a claim to the woman's body"

    That is just your moral intuition, and I think not the best moral intuition. (This topic would be better discussed at the bodily-rights link that I sent to dudebro in my post to him that followed the above.)

    "And just as surely others will be made (more) miserable by being turned away. What makes you think that only the happy ones' feelings count?"

    The feelings of both count, but as I mentioned when I first referred to the Turnaway Study, and repeated later, the ratio of miserable to happy (to use your words) is 5 to 95.

    You mentioned that the Turnaway Study is still going on. Let's wait for the next installment. Perhaps the miserables will go up to 7%. But even if they become a majority, then before forming conclusions about the pros and cons of unborn child-protection legislation, we will still have to factor in the benefits for the saved babies.

    By the way, in referring to the numbers of miserable women, you are applying verifiable, objective facts to try to show the correctness of the moral intuition "we should oppose unborn child-protection legislation." But in the process, you appeal to the unspoken value or intuition "their misery is bad." I agree with that latter intuition, but it is not a verifiable, objective fact.

    Reply
  377. Since for purposes of the discussion with dudebro I had used "right to self-determination" to mean almost the same as "right to life," my answer is: "I certainly feel that it should, within reasonable limits."

    For my thinking on the bodily-rights argument, please see NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/dismantling-the-bodily-rights-argument-without-using-the-responsibility-argument/

    If you read the conversation on that page between Timothy Griffy and me, my reference to him to "verifiable, objective facts" will become more clear.

    Reply
  378. We can talk here, of course. My opening statement to you is that 12,000-word blog post. Sorry I couldn't make it any shorter. The SPL people would probably prefer that I not reproduce the whole thing here. So I provided the link.

    Reply
  379. This might be helpful
    mobile.medicalindependent.ie/page.aspx?contentid=1389
    m.independent.ie/irish-news/rate-of-maternal-deaths-here-is-double-official-figure-28939773.html

    Reply
  380. "That is just your moral intuition, and I think not the best moral intuition."

    If it isn't the best moral intuition, then prove it.

    "The feelings of both count, but as I mentioned when I first referred to the Turnaway Study, and repeated later, the ratio of miserable to happy (to use your words) is 5 to 95."

    Are we talking about the ones who were turned away? If so, what was the ration of miserable to happy for those who were able to have an abortion? That counts too, you know.

    "You mentioned that the Turnaway Study is still going on. Let's wait for the next installment. Perhaps the miserables will go up to 7%. But even if they become a majority, then before forming conclusions about the pros and cons of unborn child-protection legislation, we will still have to factor in the benefits for the saved babies."

    That's hard to do, since we don't have a baseline to compare with, as we do with the women involved.

    "By the way, in referring to the numbers of miserable women, you are applying verifiable, objective facts to try to show the correctness of the moral intuition "we should oppose unborn child-protection legislation." But in the process, you appeal to the unspoken value or intuition "their misery is bad." I agree with that latter intuition, but it is not a verifiable, objective fact."

    Actually, I was doing no such thing. My point had more to do with using such a subjective measure as evidence for anything.

    [Edit: I just ran across a good page showing the disanalogies in bodily-rights arguments. This is a different approach than my "dismantling" approach at the link I sent to dudebro; I do not focus much on disanalogies. rebeccakiessling.co… ]

    I find that, in the section dealing with Thomson, Kiessling's disanalogies are not relevant, that she distorts Thomson to the point of creating strawman arguments, that Kiessling completely ignores Thomson when it was inconvenient to her argument (i.e., Thomson anticipated and addressed many of Kiessling's counterarguments), and that Kiessling resorted to ad hominem insinuations that may well be false in themselves. I'm not familiar enough with the other authors in question to make any judgment about her particular counterarguments. However, I see no reason to believe Kiessling dealt with those authors any more fairly than she did with Thomson.

    Reply
  381. "?? You're saying that "would have beens" are next to impossible to quantify, but some "will be's" can be flatly denied?"

    No, I'm say we have enough "have beens" and "ares" to make some educated guesses about the "will bes." By comparison, it is hard to find a baseline that we can make any educated guesses about "would have beens."

    "Either that statement means that they are not associated WITHIN the carefully-chosen methods of the study, or it is a blatantly unscientific statement. The authors made no attempt, for example, to do a before-and-after study related to legislation in any country. Even within their regional method, they, for reasons best known to them, made no attempt to compare, for instance, Ireland with the rest of Western Europe."

    I would presume that the conclusion was drawn from the study. I note that for all the wrangling over the chosen methods, no one really challenged that particular conclusion (though to be fair, most of your links were about maternal mortality rather than abortion rates). Ireland was apparently compared with western Europe.

    "Can't your sentence, as a reply to my sentence, be paraphrased "The fact that Western Europe, even though it combines good birth control with liberal laws, has the lowest abortion rate, may prove that a region with good birth control and with restrictive laws will have a higher abortion rate" — ?"

    It might or might not. The United States, with good birth control and relatively restrictive laws (compared to W. Europe) still has a higher abortion rate than W. Europe. One may well paraphrase that if the US wanted to reduce the abortion rate, they might remove the restrictions on the books. On the other hand, Canada, which has NO restrictions on abortion, has a slightly lower rate than the US, but probably not enough to be statistically significant. What's the lesson there? That abortion restrictions have no effect whatsoever on abortion rates one way or the other? Beats me. As I pointed out to Coyote, the statistics in the Sedgh study only militates against naive notions that simply passing abortion restrictions will stop abortions.

    Reply
  382. "If it isn't the best moral intuition, then prove it."

    You are the one who says that the correctness of a moral intuition can be proved (hence implicitly saying also that the incorrectness of some other moral intuition can be proved). By saying that, you created a burden on yourself to provide at least one example, which in our discussion elsewhere you haven't been able to do. I have always said that the correctness of a moral intuition cannot be proved (hence implicitly saying also that the incorrectness of some other moral intuition cannot be proved). There is no burden on me to prove what you're asking me to. If I did prove it, I would be defeating my "the correctness of a moral intuition cannot be proved."

    What I say about intuitions is that one will ultimately prevail over another. I think that will come about through a process of human moral evolution with which logic will have little to do. Meditation, "Know thyself," will have more to do with it.

    I had written:

    "By the way, in referring to the numbers of miserable women, you are applying verifiable, objective facts to try to show the correctness of the moral intuition 'we should oppose unborn child-protection legislation.' But in the process, you appeal to the unspoken value or intuition 'their misery is bad.' I agree with that latter intuition, but it is not a verifiable, objective fact."

    And you have replied:

    "Actually, I was doing no such thing. My point had more to do with using such a subjective measure as evidence for anything."

    Whatever exactly you were doing, you were appealing to the unspoken value or intuition "their misery is bad," right?

    In other words, whatever your argument was in writing —

    "And just as surely others will be made (more) miserable by being turned away. What makes you think that only the happy ones' feelings count?"

    — that argument depended on a contention that the miserable ones' feelings count, right? That their feelings matter? That their misery is bad?

    Reply
  383. "most of your links were about maternal mortality rather than abortion rates"

    That's not because of me. A peculiar thing is that in spite of all the debate about abortion, causality between laws and abortion rates seems to have been little studied in a direct way. Is this because there is enough concern about maternal mortality to attract funding, but no such concern about the fate of the unborn?

    There was a US study limited to the question of distances women might have to travel for a legal abortion. It found that long distances deterred some abortions. (The study implied that those women who were deterred by distances did not resort to illegal abortions either.)

    Here —

    blog.secularprolife.org/2014/07/the-life-equation-part-iv.html

    — Nick Reynosa concluded from Koch's data, which were mostly about maternal mortality, that Chile's unborn child-protection laws had reduced abortion there by 67.5%. I wrote to NR and he kindly explained how he had derived that 67.5% from the study (which does not itself explicitly give that figure). To tell the truth, due to some health issues of mine I haven't had the time & energy since then to completely evaluate his reasoning. To share it with others, I would have to ask his permission first.

    "the statistics in the Sedgh study only militates against naive notions that simply passing abortion restrictions will stop abortions."

    That is a formulation that I guess we can agree on: some statistics that were carefully chosen to "militate against" do in fact militate against, but "only" militate against, without proving anything. "naive notions": anyone naive enough to think that any country with strict unborn child-protection laws must have a lower abortion rate than any other country without such laws, will be disappointed, that is true. They will have to dig deeper.

    But even without going outside the Sedgh study, as soon as readers get to this —

    "The unmet need for
    modern contraception is lower in subregions dominated
    by liberal abortion laws than in those dominated by
    restrictive laws, and this might help explain the observed
    inverse association between liberal laws and abortion
    incidence"

    — and realize that this is Sedgh et. al.'s ONLY stab at ascribing any causality behind abortion rates — they will realize that they can throw out the window any idea anyone might have had that the liberal laws themselves "might help explain the observed inverse association between liberal laws and abortion incidence."

    We have not addressed the question of whether countries with strict unborn child-protection laws have normally tried hard to enforce those laws, or perhaps just enacted them in the first place merely as conscience-appeasers. Whether it would really be so hard to put most of the abortuaries out of business if a society were determined to do so.

    Reply
  384. "You are the one who says that the correctness of a moral intuition can
    be proved (hence implicitly saying also that the incorrectness of some
    other moral intuition can be proved)….."

    Hold on a minute here. I didn't ask you to prove or disprove anyone's intuition. You didn't say my intuition is wrong, so I'm not asking you to prove that. What you said is that my intuition is "not the best one." That is a comparative judgment that implies that one intuition can be better in quality, quantity, or degree to another, regardless of whether the intuitions can be proven. So by saying my intuition is "not the best one," you have assumed the burden of proof for that statement.

    "Whatever exactly you were doing, you were appealing to the unspoken value or intuition "their misery is bad," right?"

    No.

    "– that argument depended on a contention that the miserable ones' feelings count, right?"

    Yes.

    "That their feelings matter?"

    Yes.

    "That their misery is bad?"

    No.

    Reply
  385. "You didn't say my intuition is wrong"

    The only real distinction you are observing between different statements of mine is a stylistic one — in saying "not the best," I was being a little softer than usual.

    I think your intuition is incorrect. I think mine is correct. I think correct is better than incorrect. (And I think that last sentence should be obvious even without my saying it, at least to anyone who has read "Dismantling.") I've already said that I can't prove the correctness of an intuition, and why I can't, and to anyone who has understood the why, it will be obvious that I recognize I can't prove better or best either — and have hence acquitted myself of any burden to do so.

    =====================
    "Whatever exactly you were doing, you were appealing to the unspoken value or intuition "their misery is bad," right?"

    No.

    "– that argument depended on a contention that the miserable ones' feelings count, right?"

    Yes.

    "That their feelings matter?"

    Yes.

    "That their misery is bad?"

    No.
    ===========

    You like being mysterious (on selected occasions?).

    Reply
  386. "I think your intuition is incorrect. I think mine is correct. I think
    correct is better than incorrect. (And I think that last sentence should
    be obvious even without my saying it, at least to anyone who has read
    "Dismantling.") I've already said that I can't prove the correctness of
    an intuition, and why I can't, and to anyone who has understood the why,
    it will be obvious that I recognize I can't prove better or best either
    — and have hence acquitted myself of any burden to do so."

    I'm still working on my response, but for now, I will leave it at this:

    If you acquit yourself of the burden of proving one is correct or not, then you essentially forfeit the authority even make such judgments in the first place. All you have is your opinion, and no warrant for why I should accept it.

    "You like being mysterious (on selected occasions?)."

    Sometimes. But that's not what I'm doing here. I fully, 100% answered the question, including stating the "unspoken value."

    Reply
  387. Some of this remains mysterious to me. Perhaps I am easily mystified. It doesn't matter, if I have understood one thing correctly:

    Your unspoken (now spoken) value is "The miserable ones' feelings (of misery) matter," right?

    Reply
  388. Well marshmallow/RonPaul2012/dance commander/kitler/feminista/vulgarism/conversate,

    I would feel somehow a little silly trying to discuss a topic I take seriously, with someone who seems to be in it importantly for the amusement. However, in this case I can answer your question just by referring back to the start of the "miserable" conversation. Timothy Griffy had written —

    "And just as surely others will be made (more) miserable by being turned away. What makes you think that only the happy ones' feelings count?"

    — and I replied —

    "The feelings of both count. . . . you appeal to the unspoken value or intuition 'their misery is bad.' I agree with that latter intuition . . ."

    To completely follow the discussion between TG and me, you would have to look under the "Dismantling" post on my blog.

    Reply
  389. I had referred to the fact that most women in the "Turnaway Study" who were denied abortions and delivered their children ended up "happy" (actually this is your word) about the outcome.

    Before continuing, let me quote a significant sentence in that NY Times article that I had not noticed earlier and that is relevant to a different topic we have discussed: "About 20 percent of the turnaways received an abortion elsewhere." So out of the group of women studied, all of whom were denied an abortion by the law, 80% obeyed the law and did not opt for an illegal abortion or even a legal abortion elsewhere.

    To continue now, you replied:

    "And just as surely others will be made (more) miserable by being turned away. What makes you think that only the happy ones' feelings count?"

    I replied:

    "in referring to the numbers of miserable women, you are applying verifiable, objective facts to try to show the correctness of the moral intuition 'we should oppose unborn child-protection legislation.' But in the process, you appeal to the unspoken value or intuition 'their misery is bad.'"

    However, you replied: "My point had more to do with using such a subjective measure as evidence for anything."

    But you have also said more recently that your point, whatever it was, was indeed appealing to an unspoken value, for which you prefer the formulation "The miserable ones' feelings (of misery) matter."

    So your point had to do with "using such a subjective measure . . .," and your point depended on the unspoken (now spoken) value "The miserable ones' feelings (of misery) matter."

    Whatever exactly your point was, you were trying to make your point through logic, yet your point, as you have agreed, ultimately depended on the value "The miserable ones' feelings (of misery) matter."

    That value is not a verifiable, objective fact. It is a moral intuition that (while I share it) cannot logically or scientifically or historically be proven correct.

    So we're seeing yet one more example of an argument that tries to proceed through logic up to a point, but ultimately depends on a moral intuition that cannot be proven correct.

    I'm not sure if your point about "using such a subjective measure . . ." was an argument in support of any moral principle, but what I've been saying is that every argument in support of any moral principle, if it tries to proceed through logic and science and history alone, will always ultimately founder in the way that your above point (whatever exactly it is) founders as long as it uses logic alone.

    Reply
  390. Well seeing as how you want to make abortion illegal, than clearly you do *not* care, about either their poverty or their misery.

    Mere empty platitudes.

    Reply

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