Justifications for Abortion are Inherently Ableist

More on the backstory of this photo here

[Today’s guest post by Rebecca Stapleford is part of our paid blogging program.]

Recently, certain disabled pro-choicers have started to protest the ableist language and ableist assumptions about a disabled person’s quality of life used by the pro-choice movement in order to promote late-term abortion. Lenzi Sheible, a disabled woman writing for RH Reality Check, points out that such assumptions hurt disabled people who are already born, saying that:

When we rely on that stance, we’re trading on discourse that says, “No one would want to live if they had disabilities like those,” or “No one would want to take care of children with those kinds of disabilities.” What does that say about the people who are living with disabilities like those? That they should have never been born? 

While Sheible realizes that the ableism present in the pro-choice movement manifests itself in ableist beliefs about disabled people who are already born and alienates potential disabled supporters of the pro-choice movement, she fails to realize that the ideological structure that the pro-choice movement relies upon is inherently ableist.

The pro-choice movement insists that the unborn are not persons, for a myriad of reasons. However, all of these reasons are based on functionalism, which is the belief that what you are currently able to do is what makes you a person, not who you are. For instance, some pro-choicers will insist that the ability to have rational thought is what makes you a person. Now let’s completely set aside the fact that this would make infants non-persons, since they are not yet capable of rational thought, and let’s focus on the functionalism inherit in such a statement. It presumes that what makes us all equally human and equally deserving of human rights is the ability to think on a certain level, and excludes from the definition of a human person those who cannot. It is no different than saying that in order to be a human person, one should be able to produce insulin, and that therefore diabetics are not human persons. It should be obvious by now that functionalism is merely a certain form of ableism.

Often, the ableist reasons given for denying personhood to fetuses and embryos would also deny personhood to disabled or temporarily impaired human beings that are already born, if abortion supporters were logically consistent. For instance, a more common reason given for excluding the unborn from personhood is that fact that they cannot survive on their own. However, not only does this rhetoric degrade dignity of those who need constant assistance from others in order to survive, it also would deny personhood to a conjoined twin like Anastasia Dogaru, who cannot be separated from her twin Tatiana and who depends on Tatiana’s kidneys in order to survive. Another common reason given for excluding the unborn from personhood is the fact that they lack consciousness. However, if taken consistently, such logic would exclude a temporarily comatose patient from personhood, since a comatose person has brain damage that prevents consciousness. Even such a seemingly minimal requirement as sentience, which is defined as either the quality or state of being sentient; consciousness or feeling as distinguished from perception or thought, probably excludes most temporarily comatose patients, since they lack all awareness of their environment, lack the ability to respond to even the most painful stimuli, and many recovered coma patients say that they felt nothing at all while in a comatose state. Even saying that it is enough to have been conscious previously in order to be considered a person excludes an infant born in even a temporarily comatose state.

The entire ideology of the disability rights movement is based respecting the humanity and the rights of all people, regardless of level of functionality. Those who need extra assistance in order to survive and to have a good life have the right to that assistance, even if that means that extra effort must be taken to ensure that a public space is accessible or that a disabled person has access to the care that they need. Indeed, some disability rights activists, such as myself, would say that a person like Anastasia Dogaru not only has a right to care, but also the right not to be forced to undergo a lethal separation surgery by a person like her sister Tatiana, whose body she depends upon for survival. This contradicts sharply with the ideology of the pro-choice movement, which holds that only certain human organisms who have already achieved a certain level of functionality can be considered human persons who are entitled to the basic human right not to have their bodily autonomy violated by being dismembered or poisoned. True opposition to all forms of ableism means opposing the functionalism used to justify denying the humanity of the unborn,
and embracing the unborn’s right to life and to care.

174 thoughts on “Justifications for Abortion are Inherently Ableist”

  1. I feel it wouldn't have been my place to write this article, since my disabilities are minor. I talk more about adultism, since I'm a child abuse survivor, adultism has been an interest of mine since I was very young, and I am more involved in that movement as a whole. I wish people would realize that ableism and adultism are very often one and the same, especially in the case of very young children, especially the unborn.

    The point is that this article is spot on, and thank you so much for writing it. This really needed to be said.

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  2. inb4 "but what about disabled women who want their children aborted? bringing up the fact that oppressed people occasionally face violence from other oppressed people totally isn't a tired derailment tactic that everyone is sick of hearing!"

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  3. (1) I'd rather be ableist than speciesist. It's generally seen as totally okay to put a live carrot in a blender, and while we have animal cruelty laws we don't generally give, say, emergency room treatment to animals who are not pets. Are you okay with this state of affairs? If so, why is it that you think humans should have more rights than raccons should have more rights than carrots?

    (2) Do you think that post-mortem organ donation and living bone marrow/kidney/liver lobe donation should be mandatory?

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  4. I have a serious disability. I have one child with the same disability. I try to stay far away from those who want to 'do something for me.'
    I need no justification for abortion beyond I AM and I WILL.

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  5. There is no child until I make it and deliver it. I will decide when and if to do that. YOU have no standing in my sexual and family life.

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  6. When you say "I'd rather be ableist than speciesist", it sounds like you mean "the only possible justifications for valuing the human rights of some living human beings but not any living carrots are either a) to arbitrarily value the possession of some abilities over the lack of those abilities or b) to arbitrarily value the human species over other species". I'm not saying I necessarily disagree with that dichotomy, I'm just asking whether that's what you're saying.

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  7. You can be anti-speciesist _and_ pro-life at the same time,
    May be, you'll be interested in…
    facebook.com/VeganandProLife
    facebook.com/ProLifeVegansIreland
    facebook.com/groups/190085434355046/781809911849259/

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  8. The dichotomy is that I can't see any way to justify valuing human lives over vegetable lives without speaking to some tangible trait that humans have and vegetables do not. Generally that tangible trait is an ability, e.g. the ability to think and feel. I would consider other possible distinguishing traits if someone wants to suggest them.

    (And no, I don't see "capacity to think and feel" as a reasonable distinguishing trait.)

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  9. My given example was putting live carrots into blenders. Do these pro-life vegans oppose putting live carrots into blenders?

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  10. The belief that a girl or a woman should be forced through pregnancy and childbirth against her will, is essentially anti human rights.

    The much-touted prolife belief that girls or women pregnant with foetuses they have been told will have disabilities shouldn't be allowed to decide for themselves whether they think they can cope with a child with disabilities – never extends to providing any actual, practical help to parents of children with disabilities.

    Fortunately for us on the human rights side, the argument's simpler.

    We're not arguing that all children with disabilities shouldn't be born. Nor are we arguing that they should be born.

    We say that the parents, and specifically the mother, is the only person who gets to decide if she is going to give birth or terminate. That's basic human rights. Once the baby is born, unlike prolifers, we do actually care about what happens. But the responsibility of deciding to give birth remains with the mother.

    The dehumanising belief of the prolife movement that the mother isn't able to make that decision, that she exists an object to be used, is a strong reminder of the close historical and political links of the prolife movement with the racist anti-desegregation and pro-slavery political movements in the White Christian churches of conservative America.

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  11. Never understood vegans. Don't plants also have a right to not be eaten? What's that, they have no brain and no working nervous system, so they don't suffer. Hmm, sounds ableist to me.

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  12. Actually, my Black Sister told me I have the biggest ass she has ever seen on a white woman. Big but not at all bad.

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  13. Wow, I will to go around running over people in wheel chairs. Does my will apply there? And as far as a "genetic blueprint", humans go through various stages of development until death. None look or function precisely like the previous or next. How do you determine which deserves respect and protection? It is natural to be willing to abuse and destroy humans who are different from ourselves. A conquering or dominant culture has always used the difference of "the other" (anyone different from ourselves and therefore unworthy of perpersonhood) to justify abusive behavior. Similar behavior is seen in all social animals. For example, Plum Dumpling's threats and abusive language are consistent with a belief system that believes in the destruction of the other. In fact, since what makes humans special is the ability to choose to behave contrary to instinct or best interest because of a moral code, I could argue Plum Dumpling is in fact not a person and worthy of destruction. However, because my moral code believes one of several ways to ascribe personhood is the mere potential to behave morally, I must be consistent and lobby against Plum Dumpling's destruction or destruction of anyone else.

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  14. Thank you so much for assuming that I don't care. I spent 4 years live-in caring for 4 adults with mental and physical disabilities. I spent a decade in elder care. I make baby clothes for crisis centers and I spend my days off at two different food hampers in the inner city.

    What do you do personally to aid those in need?

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  15. And as far as a "genetic blueprint", humans go through various stages of development until death.

    So what? A zygote is still only a genetic blueprint that may or may not become a viable infant some day. Potentiality is not actuality.

    A conquering or dominant culture has always used the difference of "the other"

    The point of abortion is not to 'conquer' the point of abortion is to end the pregnancy – whether or not a zygote is a person is utterly irrelevant. However, it is extremely despicable to subjugate women to mere mindless cells.

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  16. . Generally that tangible trait is an ability, e.g. the ability to think and feel.

    Exactly. And I don't consider the argument which goes: "the zygote is inherently rational due to h.sapiens species membership' to be adequate. Just because many members of a species possess a trait, does not mean that *every* member necessarily possesses that same trait. For example, humans come with arms. That's a trait. However, not all humans are born with arms – sometimes those genes are simply not expressed. We can't go treating an armless person as if they possess arms simply because of species membership now can we?

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  17. R-RUH-REALLY?! Pro-life belief NEVER extends to actual, practical help to parents of children with disabilities?? My Gosh, I had no idea! How do you know this? Do you work for the NSA? Are you privy to the private charity and deeds of ALL of the tens of millions upon tens of millions of pro-life citizens in this country? That's quite a memory you've got! If that isn't the case, then I think it's safe to say that your accusation is nothing more than a baseless attack on the character of pro-lifers, and you ought to hold your tongue (or your fingers) until you can substantiate such blanket statements.

    I swear, it's almost as if you WANT to see pro-lifers as evil religious monsters.

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  18. As everyone knows: private charity is never effective in ensuring everyone who needs help, gets it.

    That prolifers indulge themselves in private charities wouldn't surprise me: prolifers are always all about what feels good to them, not about actual, practical help.

    Show me the prolife charities whose focus is on campaigning for all parents of children with disabilities get the help they need from the state as of right. Show me the prolife charities whose focus is on campaigning for full, free healthcare for all children, paid for by the state. Show me the prolife charities whose focus is on ensuring that everyone with a disability can work for a living if they're able, or get the support they need from for life if they're not.

    But they don't exist, do they? No more than any prolife charity is interested in campaigning for the welfare of women and children by free healthcare, raising the minimum wage, employment protection rights, child sick leave days, etc, etc etc. Prolifers don't care about women who want to have children: prolifers don't care about children once born: prolifers only care about force.

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  19. Can pro-lifers cover the millions of dollars that it takes to raise a severely disabled child?

    Oh, and pro-life GOP politicians routinely cut programs that help the disabled.

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  20. And thus we witness the typical overreaction when someone isn't actually being a 'badass' but simply stating her position without apology.

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  21. As everyone KNOWS? You've gotta be kidding me. I would gladly compare the budget sheets of charities with an entity (the U.S. Federal government) that pissed away 600 MILLION DOLLARS to build a frickin' WEBSITE fraught with insecurities and glitches, and see which ones are more "effective," as you put it.

    But that's neither here nor there. You made a specific claim, that pro-life beliefs NEVER extend to helping born disabled people. I have challenged you on the grounds that there is no way outside of omniscience that you could possibly know that. I will insist again that you either substantiate your claim, or shut up, if for no other reason than to save your side the embarrassment of having an ignorant fool speaking on behalf of it. For your information, PLENTY of pro lifers support public assistance. Many of the contributors to this blog would attest to that.

    The more I read comments from "pro-choicers" like you, the more I'm convinced that you are simply projecting the faults you want to see in pro lifers onto them. Because it's soooo much easier to dismiss out of hand people that you've deluded yourself into believing are bad people, isn't it? But…c'mon, "Pro lifers don't care about born people?" Even DISNEY could create a more realistic villain than that.

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  22. This argument falls on its face in so many ways. A baby is potentially a child. A child is potentially a teenager. A teenager is potentially an adult. An adult is potentially a senior. None of the stages is inferior to the other; at no point does anyone in any of these stages lose the right to be unjustly killed. Potentiality does not eradicate value.

    Let's see if you post what I think you'll post next.

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  23. **Now let’s completely set aside the fact that this would make infants non-persons, since they are not yet capable of rational thought**

    Which is utter bullshit, as infants are capable of rational thought. You make your side sound ridiculous when you babble like this.

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  24. with an entity (the U.S. Federal government) that pissed away 600
    MILLION DOLLARS to build a frickin' WEBSITE fraught with insecurities
    and glitches

    Ah. I recognise a coded reference to "Obamacare", or the new access to health insurance that made certain people who had been denied or found health insurance unaffordable, could get it.

    You do realise that the prolife movement's opposition to healthcare access is the biggest flag possible that you care nothing for women who want to have children, care nothing for children once born?

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  25. The child, teenager, adult, and senior can all survive without the use of the body of a host.

    A ZEF cannot so that makes it different.

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  26. I feel so sorry for you. And at the same time, I think that's hilarious. But there is no point in arguing, since you do not see me or anyone else here as worth more than a carrot, so why are you bothering?

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  27. Likewise, then why do you bother arguing? If humans do not have any important distinguishing traits from cucumbers, then your extremely vested interest in women's rights for abortion seems superfluous.

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  28. Where are you getting that from? I see you, me, and the other commenters as worth more than carrots. It's just that I have actual reasons for seeing you as worth more than a carrot.

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  29. What tangible trait do you see as distinguishing me from a carrot? (It is the dichotomy post to which I refer, where you say thinking and feeling are not distinguishing traits).

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  30. Generally that tangible trait is an ability, e.g. the ability to think and feel.

    I said that thinking and feeling WERE the distinguishing traits that make me believe that people are worth more than carrots.

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  31. Some of the posters here maintain that the distinguishing trait is not current ability to think and feel, but the "inherent capacity" to maybe someday develop the ability to think and feel. I was trying to deny that particular argument. My comment was confusing to people who haven't been here long and I have edited it accordingly.

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  32. Thanks. I appreciate your civility. I still disagree; after all, we know at least late term fetuses can feel, and I don't think we know how much differently a newborn thinks from how a fetus thinks. So it seems if this king and feeling are the criterion, there would be evidence showing that at some stage before birth, fetuses think and feel.

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  33. What do you mean by rational thought? It may be that your understandings differ rather than that one is "utter bullshit".

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  34. A fetus can neither think nor feel. They gain the capacity for sentience at 25 weeks, but never actually awaken in utero. And to think, one must be able to form a concept – that is not happening in a merely sentient 25wk+ fetus that is both sedated and anaesthetized.

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  35. Which one of these is not like the others?

    1) quranandscience.com/multimedia/image?view=image&format=raw&type=orig&id=8

    2) readysteadytoddler.org.uk/ readysteadytoddler.org.uk/images/assets/hotspots/toddler.jpg

    3) wpc.556e.edgecastcdn.net/80556E/img.news/NEpwCFWLZ2ikts_1_1.jpg

    4) blogs.voices.com/voxdaily/senior-couple-embracing.jpg

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  36. it takes 9 months to make a child

    a child is not formed the moment sperm meets egg

    women's bodies make babies, sperm meeting egg does not

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  37. Dad here, I'd say my wife did 99% of the work making that baby. I didn't have morning sickness, back aches, anemia, and I didn't almost die when her placenta tore itself away (or as much as I understand what happened), necessitating an emergency c-section. I also didn't have c-section pains either. That said, I try to pitch in at least 60% of the effort raising him. I had SOME part in starting the process, but I'd say my wife's body MADE the baby, no question about that.

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  38. Haha, that's actually a pretty good point. But you could have included a small infant and a 20 week ultrasound in there. I recognized particular aspects of both my children after birth clearly as I saw in their ultrasounds at 20 weeks. That is, facial features and gestures were clearly recognizable.

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  39. Way to miss the point. My point wasn't to slam Obamacare, but to highlight how OBSCENELY INEFFICIENT the government is when it comes to spending money. The government had 3 years to build the healthcare market website, and they spent $600,000,000 doing it.

    That averages to $200,000,000 a year, and$547,945 per DAY! And yet, with all that time and money, they STILL barely managed to build a barely functional website!

    Let's contrast that with a charity that my wife and I participate in…Compassion International. With CI, you can feed and cloth, AND educate an impoverished child, for just $38 A MONTH! that amounts to about $1.25 A DAY! You can do all that for that little. But…according to you, that isn't "actual practical help."

    I have destroyed your blatantly false narrative. But instead of apologizing, you double down on it, repeating it over and over again. "Pro lifers don't care, pro lifers don't care." Because that's all you've got. Pathetic.

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  40. It would be nice if our government funded private charities that provide resources, various supports, life affirming alternatives to those facing a challenging diagnosis and adoption costs as well as it funds the abortion giant Planned Parenthood. It is undeniable that the overarching social concern for those with disabilities disappears if they haven't been born. The literature given to pregnant women always reads, "your baby" and "your baby's health" until you read the literature for prenatal testing. Then the wording changes to "your pregnancy" and if the outcome of the tests is statistically indicating abnormalities, "you might want to terminate your pregnancy". Your baby just turned into an unwanted burden, an "it" that can be "terminated". In language of the other literature, "you might want to kill your baby if he/she isn't perfect or sounds too scary". There are no resources, support groups, information on the beauty and success of children with certain disabilities or hospice information offered for those with a terminal diagnosis. Fear is fed with this mentality. Pro lifers not only have unbelievable resources available to help parents and their disabled child succeed. Pro lifers feed hope. Pro abortion feeds death, despair and fear. Children diagnosed with Downs are aborted 90% of the time. Most families never hear anything hopeful or positive about a life with a child who has Downs. What a tragedy. We've become nazis, killing the disabled, "feeble minded", "simpletons" because they pose too much burden on us personally and as a society. Pro aborts can wrap their head around the fact that they preach recycled nazi eugenics! Horrifying!

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  41. If we care about people, we help one another. Your argument suggests death is cheaper option, so take the cheap route.

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  42. At what point do you justify "termination" of a newborn when disabilities are due to problem that occurred at birth? Just because it isn't legal, it certainly is justified by pro abort logic. We can't test for CP or Autism, mental illness or cancer before birth. These are all difficult situations. But, we find support and love our children.

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  43. I'm a physical therapist. I don't support unborn children being killed. I speak up for the rights of those with disabilities and the rights of their parents. Killing people with disabilities is the antitheses of support.

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  44. Wow. Way to miss the point of Seible's article, which was actually about disabled *women." Just one pertinent quote from the text: For the most part, however, the reproductive rights movement has failed
    to publicly connect insidious abortion legislation with its effects on
    people with disabilities. In Texas, for instance, abortion advocates
    have heavily promoted discourse about how HB 2 has affected poor, rural women of color,
    especially in the Rio Grande Valley. Such rhetoric is certainly
    legitimate and worthy of attention. However, feminists have said little
    about how a pregnant person with mobility issues might have a more
    difficult time reaching their nearest abortion clinic; how a person with
    a chronic condition may have a more expensive abortion because of
    medical complications; or how a pregnant person with mental illness
    might have to choose their medications over their pregnancy.

    There's a lot more, of course. But, as usual, the anti-choice want to erase women from the picture and focus on embryos.

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  45. It would be nice if our government funded private charities that provide
    resources, various supports, life affirming alternatives to those
    facing a challenging diagnosis and adoption costs as well as it funds
    the abortion giant Planned Parenthood.

    I see you've never heard of the Hyde Amendment …

    The literature given to pregnant women always reads, "your baby" and "your baby's health"

    It's written for laymen, sweetie. Your medical records refer to zygote, embryo, fetus, etc.

    Pro aborts can wrap their head around the fact that they preach recycled nazi eugenics!

    No, sweetie. The Nazis were just as anti-choice as you. You might want to look up Lebensborn on your own time.

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  46. Empty words. Often the 'cheap route' involves offering no help at all, which is the route taken by pro-life GOP politicians who cut funding that actually helps people.

    Funny, isn't it, how the head of the pro-life organization, Susan B Anthony List, opposes the ACA. After all, saving lives through affordable healthcare…pfft.

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  47. And you do realize that women don't have frivolous abortions at 20 weeks and up, right? That most women, if given the opportunity, will have an abortion as soon as they find out that they are pregnant? That the point of having an abortion is to not be pregnant, which a rational person would choose sooner rather than later.

    Also, a 20 week fetus is incapable of sentience. The capacity for sentience does not develop until 25 weeks when the thalamus and the cortex are appropriately wired.

    Oh yeah, I might add that pro-life politicians don't want women having 1st trimester medication abortions – they've just been banned in one state. Seems to me like they want women to remain pregnant, because zygotes = people.

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  48. Infants do learn very quickly how to manipulate mommy and daddy/other caregivers. Are infants writing symphonies? No. But they are capable of thought, and learning.

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  49. A better question would be how do you define respect and protection? It certainly wouldn't be defined as denying a rape victim (or any woman) a drug to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Unless you count women as unworthy of respect and protection…

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  50. I don't see pro-lifers as monsters. I wish they would return the favor. Until you have actually dealt with the extra financial, physical and emotional strain of parenting a child who's differently abled, you have no clue. Here are just a few things that might make a difference: 1) Having other children who also need your time, resources and attention. 2) The financial wherewithal to have a parent quit working and stay at home with a child who has constant medical needs. 3) The attitude of society toward providing all the resources (through tax-funded social and human services) parents need to successfully parent even a "normal" child.
    My sister is parenting three differently-abled children. Alone. Lots of work, prohibiting her from outside employment, because no employment is flexible enough to allow her to deal with the needs of the kids. Yes, the kids get Social Security. My sister will end up paying a price for that when it comes to her own Social Security. She chose to have these kids. She had a choice. This isn't a burden you can lay upon the shoulders of another, and my sister would quickly disabuse you of the notion that you can do that. And here's another burden she carries. What will become of these kids when she isn't there anymore? Everyone deserves a right to make that determination for themselves, whether they are willing and able to lift that burden. For the most part, I don't see you doing much to help. And this scenario plays out over and over, all over the world, every day. I would have a lot more respect for what you say, if you said you devote three days a week providing respite care to the parent of a differently-abled child so she can attend to her own needs. Just an example.

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  51. "The pro-choice movement insists that the unborn are not persons, for a myriad of reasons. However, all of these reasons are based on functionalism, which is the belief that what you are currently able to do is what makes you a person, not who you are."

    The reason that a fetus is not a person is that it cannot be proved to be human and capable of life until it is born. Once it is born, it is entitled to all the rights of a born human baby. Until it is born, it may or may not be human and may or may not be born.
    What makes a person a person? Until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype, there is no human life.

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  52. You don't even need to look at your newborn, much less take it home from the hospital and raise it. Where can you drop off a pregnancy for someone else to carry?

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  53. "How do you determine which deserves respect and protection?"

    Until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype at birth, there is no human life that deserves respect and protection. Why, because there are 1.8 born humans that die each second and any second spent unjustly on a fetus is a second one cannot spend saving human life.

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  54. Yeah. I might find that more convincing if you didn't vote for politicians who cut services for disabled people, including children, and call them moochers when they think no one's paying attention.

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  55. "A conquering or dominant culture has always used the difference of "the other" (anyone different from ourselves and therefore unworthy of perpersonhood) to justify abusive behavior."

    Forcing the birth of an unwanted fetus is abusive behavior as is killing born life to save unborn life.
    When a pro lifer forces all people to force birth, he is forcing all people to murder. There is no difference morally between forced birth and forced abortion. Pro lifers are simply evil. The force birth and steal the rights of women.

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  56. tanena, you have a choice, you can save innocent babies or you can murder them and save a fetus instead. What is your choice?

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  57. If a zygote is a baby at an earlier stage, the sperm is also a baby at an earlier stage. The fetus needs the uterus just as the sperm needs the egg. Neither is capable of life without outside help.

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  58. You have a choice Proud Anti, you can save innocent born babies or you can choose to let them die and save a fetus instead. What is your choice, murder, or saving born humans?

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  59. "And as far as a "genetic blueprint", humans go through various stages of development until death. "
    The genetic blueprint is not known until birth. One cannot tell what the DNA will express until birth. And one cannot go by Chromosome number because two types of antelope have the same number of chromosomes.

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  60. . And here's another burden she carries. What will become of these kids when she isn't there anymore?

    Exactly. Friends of mine adopted six special needs kids (one of them passed away before I met these friends). Said friends are now getting up in years, and have had to arrange for conservatorships for every one of their kids when the unfortunate but inevitable demise of both parents comes to pass. Only one of those kids is functional enough to live independently.

    I admire my friends tremendously for what they have done. However, no one should be forced to assume the kind of medical, financial and legal risks you describe above against their will.

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  61. "This contradicts sharply with the ideology of the pro-choice movement, which holds that only certain human organisms who have already achieved a certain level of functionality can be considered human persons who are entitled to the basic human right not to have their bodily autonomy violated by being dismembered or poisoned."

    It is my belief that the most life possible should be saved. For example right now we are ruled by pro life eugenics. Pro lifers could care less about the born people that are dying. They only care about fetuses. They place the fetus in the eugenic state of preferred life. They are willing to murder innocent babies to save fetuses.

    My belief is that if a person wants to "save" a fetus and pay all its expenses then they should in fact do so. But if charity money or public money is involved then the most life possible should be saved. Pro lifers want to force the birth of —-unwanted—- genetically flawed fetuses and to let born genetically flawed people die. I think that is a fair assessment of the situation.
    It is my belief that one should save the most life possible. So if a person wants to give birth to a handicapped child, they should be prepared to finance that child. Otherwise, public money that could be used to save multiple children will be wasted to save only one child. Multiple children should not be forced to die in an effort to save a single handicapped child.

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  62. And there is nothing on earth cheaper than hand-waving about the costs of bearing children. Especially special needs children.

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  63. I agree. They should have contracted Amazon.com to do the website, but they didn't. That doesn't change the fact that people need healthcare, and private charity ain't cutting it.

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  64. I'm glad you're a vegan, but you're still a speciesist. Wasn't that carrot alive before you ripped it out of the ground and chopped it up? Face it, if you eat, you destroy life.

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  65. And speciesist. That carrot is a member of a species, and it was alive before it was ripped out of the ground and chopped up for her salad.

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  66. You betcha they can! All human infants smile more as they get older. It starts as a reflex, but it gets positive reinforcement from caregivers. That's also how infants learn language. They all babble, but they take notice that sounds resembling the language of the culture gets positive attention and make those sounds to get positive attention. As time goes by, they pick up on the meanings of words very rapidly. Example: Mom gets VERY excited when the baby babbles ma-ma-ma-ma. Dad gets very excited when the baby babbles da-da-da-da-da. Infants are inherently gifted observers and begin putting these concepts together quickly.

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  67. Yes, but that is all as time goes by. Take the time away and the baby is not forming those concepts. It has the capacity to form them, that's all.

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  68. Umm…why would that even be a choice? What universe do you live in? You're attempting to set up some artificial dichotomy that doesn't exist. Very, very weak. YES, believe it or not, you CAN be supportive of the lives and well-being of both the fetus and born baby. Well, I must really be bored to bother responding to something this silly.

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  69. "When a pro lifer forces all people to force birth, he is forcing all people to murder." Russell, seriously, you make no sense. Please stop. I'm feeling embarrassed for you.

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  70. You also have a choice, you can save one of the 1.8 born persons dying each second or you can choose to save a fetus instead. What is your choice?
    If you have any cognitive ability at all you can understand that you cannot save all the 1.8 born lives, 1.4 induced abortions and 10 wanted fetuses that die each second. —But then you may not have that cognitive ability.
    Of course you can murder babies and save fetuses at the same time. I never said you couldn't. You just cannot save both. Why, because if you spend 1 second saving a fetus, then in that second 1.8 born babies die.

    The argument is not weak, your ability to reason is weak.

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  71. "Those who need extra assistance in order to survive and to have a good life have the right to that assistance, even if that means that extra effort must be taken to ensure that a public space is accessible or that a disabled person has access to the care that they need."

    Everyone needs "extra assistance" so why do you have more of a right to my money to save a disabled fetus than I do to save a born person that is dying. Why is your right to my money more important than my right to save innocent born babies?

    If you are spending your own money, then more power to you. But why should my money be taken by you to use in your eugenic experiments when I can use my money to save real life babies, children and adults.

    Until you can answer that question, there is no entitlement on your part.

    To many people, supporting women, children and babies is more important than saving a fetus that may or may not be human enough to live.

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  72. What are you TALKING about? The question was can an infant form a concept. I'd like to see YOU become fluent in any language in a couple years just by hanging around those who speak it. Don't spout nonsense to me about "time going by." Infancy lasts for a year, during which time a baby learns to crawl, walk, interact socially, develop eye-hand coordination, and at the very least receptive language skills. Since when does time NOT go by? Have you ever seen an infant fake crying to get attention? That's a concept. They stop immediately and light up in a smile the minute they see the caregiver. Infants learn very quickly to manipulate mom and dad.

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  73. No, but not because charity isn't better equipped to effectively help the downtrodden. It's because we live in the real world with all sorts of unknowns, contingencies, and trade offs and not some fairytale fantasyland where if we just put the right people in charge, then nobody will be left out. Are you seriously going to sit there and type with a straight face that GOVERNMENT, with all of its long history of abuses and oppression, take care of everyone?

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  74. You have indeed destroyed her blatantly false narrative.

    One of the problems our pro-life colleagues face in discussions with the pro-abortion crowd is a simple lack of information. Often, our allies cannot respond to the false narrative that says pro-lifers never help after birth simply because they don't know what is going on in that area.

    Here is just one example of pro-lifers providing help to pregnant women:

    mcgivneycenter.net

    Also, the Knights of Columbus does a lot of work for the pro-life cause. Visit their "Culture of Life" site to find more information:

    kofc.org/un/en/prolife/index.html

    Don't be afraid to concede that pro-lifers' solutions are not perfect or that they fail to address every last aspect of the problem of crisis pregnancy. We don't have all the answers, but we certainly doing a lot of good work.

    Pro-life people should not pro-abortion people to shame them or bully them. Our movement is a work in progress. We see areas where we need to improve and pro-life organizations and individuals are making improvements.

    It is worth taking the time to educate ourselves about the services the pro-life movement provides both before and after birth.

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  75. Low IQ people frequently try to understand things beyond their abilities without first studying to learn the basics.

    That seems to be your problem. Let me give you some background information.

    When a pro lifer passes laws that force everyone to "save fetuses" and not babies, then the pro lifer is forcing everyone to save fetuses and let babies die. In such a situation, the pro lifer is forcing everyone to murder.

    Get someone to read that too you and explain what it means. Then if you wish, make a comment. Until then you are wasting your time and the time of the readers on this site.

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  76. Smart guy…you used the wrong form of to, too, two. You should have used the proposition. I think you are preaching to someone with a higher IQ than your own. You know, like 55 or so.

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  77. Thanks for admitting your IQ is 55. A person with a high IQ would be able to discern a minor error from a major error.
    You have a choice Paul, you can continue to murder innocent babies or you can stop murdering the babies and save them instead.

    Now, the following is a major error on your part, not a minor error. You murder innocent born babies to save fetuses. You are a murderer by omission. I suggest you look up "murder by omission."

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  78. Better than charity, yeah.

    Which is why, for example, teen pregnancy rates are lower in socialist democracies such as Sweden, Norway, The Netherlands and Canada. Also why citizens are overall healthier, have lower maternal and infant mortality rates, and it all costs less money.

    Americans pay more for healthcare and have worse outcomes than the above mentioned countries because of the parasitic middleman known as the insurance company.

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  79. See Russ. You cannot even read. Or maybe you choose not to so your narrative will fit. You are not smart to use the actual words and meanings to make a snarky reply. I;m lowering my guess of your IQ to 49.

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  80. That was a painful read, Russ. Now I understand why only your mom and I read your posts (she is the one who gives you your one up vote per comment) She loves you and I'm doing a study of Soros Trolls.

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  81. Perhaps you're unaware that twice as many people report being harmed by the ACA than helped?

    That healthcare costs have INCREASED due to the ACA (that some receive subsidies does not negate the fact that costs have increased), and they're projected to rise AGAIN by double digits in 2015?

    That people who can't afford these increased costs are going to be penalized for having the AUDACITY to still be unable to afford health insurance?

    That employers who operate on a paper thin bottom line are laying off/cutting hours so they don't incur massive expenses and fines that would close them down?

    That people are losing the health plans/doctors that are best suited for them in favor of a cookie cutter plan chosen by Washington bureaucrats that have never met them and never will?

    That doctors are considering leaving the field of medicine in droves because of all the red tape inherent to the ACA, which means that less qualified practicioners will have to administer care, which would lower the quality of care?

    It sure sounds like you are. See, this is the problem with liberal "solutions." You think it's enough to have good intentions, say that you care and your political opposition doesn't, and that you just need to "DO SOMETHING." You never look beyond the end of your own noses and think about the long term consequences of the policies you advance. And when we try to warn you about the misery and havoc you are creating in your oblivious paternalism, you refuse to listen because we are "heartless and don't care."

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  82. In many cases, good solutions can emerge through cooperation and partnerships between private charities and government. Each has something to offer. Most of the conservatives that I know agree with that assessment. They do want to limit government roles to those situations where governmental power is really needed, but they are receptive to the kinds of partnerships I am talking about.

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  83. Hell, that's saying something! Look at the crap Russ writes and he isn't embarrassed by that. We;re just too kind to let him know exactly what a$$ he makes of himself.

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  84. I don't have to make up figures. I simply quote the facts that are published. There are 1.8 born people dying each second. For links to the data go to: naturalabortionlaws.com/?page_id=31

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  85. I studied. I think I can sum up what you have been trying to say in almost every post. Save a fetus and lose more babies. Now you can stop. You have given everyone a headache. Three people have already poked out their eyes with icepicks.

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  86. You have not passed the reading test. You failed. Sorry, go home and study the links on my site scientificabortionlaws.com
    And if you need some more reading, I have more than 400 other links you can have someone read to you.

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  87. What difference does your ad hominem fallacy make in my life? Oh, none. So keep avoiding the issue and try get by acting like a child. If you have a cogent thought, now would be a good time to reveal it. Otherwise you are simply using ad hominem fallacies to avoid discussion.
    You have a choice Paul, you can save innocent born babies or you can let them die and save a fetus instead. What is your choice?

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  88. How many pro-lifers donate millions to help a low income family raise a disabled child?

    Oh wait, none.

    How many pro-lifers offer to pay the 250k that it takes to raise your average child?

    Oh, right, none.

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  89. Another failure on your part. You should study rather than just read. I suggest that you get someone to explain to you what is being said. You obviously are incapable of understanding without help. Summing up, you have a choice Paul. you can save innocent born babies or you can let them die and save a fetus instead.

    Get someone to explain the difference in your low IQ answer and what I am actually implying. The implication is that you claim to save babies, but instead kill babies to save fetuses. And that is "Murder by Omission." I am saying you are a murderer. That is the "sum up" you missed. And it is the most important thing you have ever read.

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  90. tanena, you cannot reason with these people. They love to pontificate. Russ, here is a phd. He is piled high and deep in his own ego. He is a puffed up know nothing. If one reads all of these "pro choice" posts, one will find that they all went to the same university…NARAL. Read one post and you have read them all. Smug, leftist, elitist liberals who know everything. One thing for certain, they don't want pictures of aborted, nonviable, fetal tissue showing a head, torso and four limbs to be displayed. You know, people may come to believe that that fetal tissue really is a baby.

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  91. You see that Russ has limited vision. He only wants to save genetically expressive babies, as he would like to say. He isn't interested in saving the genetically expressive baby dead on the abortionists table. He wants everyone to think you have to choose between the two.

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  92. Proud Anti, Russ has limited vision. He only wants to save genetically expressive babies, as he would like to say. He isn't interested in saving the genetically expressive baby dead on the abortionists table. He wants everyone to think you have to choose between the two.

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  93. How many pro-choicers donate millions to help a low income family raise a disabled child?

    Oh wait, none.

    How many pro-choicers offer to pay the 250k that it takes to raise your average child?

    Oh, right, none.

    See what I did there? 😉

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  94. See, that's a perfect example of what I am talking about. It's good to start my time at this site with some agreement. Thanks. 🙂

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  95. Also, if pro-abortion people are committed to making abortion "safe, legal, and *rare*" (emphasis mine), why isn't Planned Parenthood paying the money to raise a child and offering adoption services?

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  96. We aren't the side that wants to force every woman to give birth and then lie about how private charity will pay millions in dollars in hospital bills for as long as her child is alive.

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  97. You are wasting your time with these numb skulls. They all know each other and make sport of you when you disagree. They ignore points that they cannot overcome and press points you were not even questioning. After reading the post above yours, one would believe that anyone upset that the ACA passed has to be pro life. Of course that is not true,but they certainly have a brain and realize that this waste we have seen is the tip of the iceberg.

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  98. Am I mistaken or did Ann kinda decide to …not answer? These people just love to hear each other talk they are like a NARAL tag team. They have their talking points down without a lick of commonsense and lots of misplaced compassion. Worst, the trust the government.

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  99. I would say that handing out contraception and providing sex ed does a great deal towards making abortion safe, legal and rare.

    Of course, it's the pro-life conservatives who preach abstinence only education and don't want women getting free birth control and seek to shut down PP clinics that DO NOT provide abortions.

    That's right. Pro-lifers have picketed and tried to shut down PP clinics that ONLY provide contraception.

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  100. I think I know about some of the people to whom you're referring. I have encountered them at RHRC. I don't plan to converse with them here because it is, as you said, a waste of time.

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  101. They're a pro-abortion clique. I have seen them at another site. They are here to disrupt conversation about pro-life issues.

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  102. It seems to have some paranoia that anyone here (or at RHRC) would "bother" it or it's alleged children. It needs to grow up and realize that making threats online isn't terribly effective.

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  103. That is a great,unbiased site, I'm sure. I trust them like I trust Al Gore and his global warming figures. There is a lot of money in carbon credits just as there is in abortions. I say when one is dealing with figures, follow the money. Figures don'e lie, but liars figure. The same goes with Obamas cooked unemployment numbers and rate of inflation.

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  104. Paul, you are welcome to tell the world how you can save the 1.8 born babies, 1.4 unwanted fetuses and 10 wanted fetuses that die each second. If you can't explain how you would save them then I suggest you can't. I will continue to save the innocent born babies you are murdering every chance I get. You will continue to kill the innocent babies. That is just how life works. I save babies, you murder babies. It is my duty to point out to people you are a murderer. I will continue with that duty until all pro lifers quit murdering the innocent population of the Earth.

    Scientific laws show that there are more people dying than can be saved. So if your intent is to save life you must choose which life to save. You can save real human life or you can save non human fetal life. Your choice is to let the human life die.

    If you think you can save both, explain how and I will show you where your logic is flawed.

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  105. You might want to look up the term "DNA expression". You will find that an aborted fetus has not "expressed" human life. In fact it cannot be proved to be human life until it is born. Until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype at birth, there s no human life.
    If you are going to engage me in discussion, for God's sake learn what the terminology means.

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  106. This is one reason why late-term abortion bans are a thing. It's pretty clear that zygotes and embryos cannot think or feel in any meaningful way, and conversely eight-month-old fetuses do have detectable levels of brain activity. So, the moderate argument goes, an early-term embryo or fetus is not yet a person and needs no protection, and conversely a late-term fetus is a person and deserves protection. Thus, bans on late-term but not early-term abortion.

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  107. You cannot read for content. We can see you cannot read or think.
    And yet, like all whackjob zealots you want, in spite of profound intellectual disabilities, to be in charge of the sexual/family life of women you will never know.
    When sexpigs like you fly.

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  108. I didn't say anything about telling lies; I merely pointed out that referring to "your baby" instead of "the fetus" was because the pamphlet is for laymen and not medical professionals.

    I wonder at your level of reading comprehension …

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  109. So, if Abby decides Brittany has to die (or vice versa), can she kill her? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abigail_and_Brittany_Hensel

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  110. I've conceived 7 and birthed five. Guess what, the two that didn't survive to birth are still my children, objectively and subjectively.

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  111. "tanena, you cannot reason with these people. They love to pontificate. Russ, here is a phd. He is piled high and deep in his own ego. He is a puffed up know nothing. If one reads all of these "pro choice" posts, one will find that they all went to the same university…NARAL. "

    Ad Hominem Fallacy.

    "Read one post and you have read them all. Smug, leftist, elitist liberals who know everything."
    Another Ad Hominem Fallacy
    " One thing for certain, they don't want pictures of aborted, nonviable, fetal tissue showing a head, torso and four limbs to be displayed. You know, people may come to believe that that fetal tissue really is a baby."

    I love dead baby picture contests.
    Lets show zygotes and late term abortions compared to babies that were raped, murdered and tortured.
    Then we can add little boys raped by priests.

    Then we can add pictures of the holocaust as perpetrated by the pro life movement in Germany.

    Then we can add picture of the starving dead babies in Africa.
    Then we can add pictures of the wanted fetuses you allow to die so you can save unwanted fetuses.

    You know what, there are about 7 times as many wanted fetuses that you kill than the unwanted fetuses that you attempt to save.

    Damn, looks like a winning argument for me.

    Do you want to post first?

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  112. Just a sidecar before you read further. Did you know that the conservative Christian Nazi Party that existed under the Roman Catholic leader Adolph Hitler was brought into power by the vote of the Catholic Centre Party in the affirmation of the "Enabling Legislation" that lead to the murder of Jews and the adoption of eugenics. Did you know that?

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  113. There is a lot of money in carbon credits just as there is in abortions.

    So much ignorance to unpack. The typical abortion is $500. L&D can run as high as $50K. parents.com/blogs/everything-pregnancy/2013/07/01/must-read/labor-delivery-costs-hospital-bill/

    The same OB/GYN presides over both. So, where's the money again?

    The rest of your screed is just a bunch of Teabircher bullshit. You're just pissed that there's a black man in the White House.

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  114. Exactly. And I will also point out that France's healthcare system is excellent. I speak from primary experience. My husband had to go to an emergency room while we were in Paris last year, and a specialist was called in for his issue. Our bill for all of the services, sans the French green insurance card? 80 euros, which was about $100 at the rate of exchange in effect at the time. That's less than what we pay for an emergency *co-pay* with our health insurance at home, and the service was excellent.

    Of course, some idiot here will say I'm "elitist" because I've been to Paris …

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  115. What is one of them decides they are so miserable being stuck with another person for the rest of their life they decide to kill themselves? Because no matter how you look at it their life will never be normal. Also that is not the same as a pregnancy since their situation is more mutualism while the unwanted pregnancy is more parasitic.

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  116. Sounded like a self- defense threat, to me. Tomato, tomahto, I suppose.

    She has a point, though. At some point 'help' can be construed as assault. If the one you're attempting to assist is not interested in your method of assistance, then it really isn't 'help,' I'm afraid.

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  117. Notice how "fiona" immediately engages in a speculative ad hominem attack. You are right; these pro-abortion folks are here to cause disruption.

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  118. Justifications for abortion are ableist? Cry me a river. So are justifications for harvesting organs from brain dead accident victims, and justifications for eating beef but not human meat. Unless of course you are Myintx and desperately want to avoid mentioning what makes human beings different in nature than cattle, then get all pouty when someone points out that if you refuse to define the term 'human' in a way that qualitatively distinguishes our species from cattle, you've now erased all justification for any 'right to life' for anyone, anywhere.

    **embracing the unborn’s right to life and to care.**

    Unless you want to pass laws requiring people to donate kidneys to dialysis patients against their will, and to give anything and everything someone, somewhere, might need for their 'care', there is no special pleading for the unborn to have such a special 'right' that nobody else has. And before you start playing the usual game of 'being unborn is natural, being a kidney patient is a disease, qualifying your claimed supposed 'human right' such that it only applies to your pre-selected group IS special pleading. So no more games.

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  119. You are the ones who want every baby to be born. Surely you want to provide good quality of life and keep them alive for as long as possibly once born…right?

    And a disabled infant is going to be at greater risk of dying as an infant…

    You do want to protect life at ALL costs, because life is sacred.. Right?

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  120. Anyone who really believed that and who also believed women are human, would obviously be prochoice.

    Since prolife ideology,enforced, leads to girls and women dying preventable deaths, obviously prolifers either do not believe that the right to life is a human right – or do not believe that girls and women are human.

    Can you clarify which it is for you?

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  121. There is no 'right to live' – there is, however, a right not to be unjustly killed. And abortion is not unjust killing.

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  122. I'm merely pointing out that "for laymen" does not mean changing meaning, and therefore referring to "your baby" instead of the medical "zygote/embryo/fetus" implies that the terms are interchangeable. If they are not interchangeable, then indeed replacing one with the other is incorrect.

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  123. I'm merely pointing out that "for laymen" does not mean changing
    meaning, and therefore referring to "your baby" instead of the medical
    "zygote/embryo/fetus" implies that the terms are interchangeable.

    I'm sorry that you do not understand the meaning of "written for laymen."

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