I thank the pro-lifers who persuaded me with compassion

[Today’s guest post is by Jewels Green. This Thanksgiving week, Secular Pro-Life is giving guests a public platform to thank the pro-life heroes in their lives.] 

For much of my life, I was so entrenched in the pro-choice worldview that I would completely shut down conversations that invited me to examine or question my position. Even with my history of being pressured into an abortion at 17 and surviving my subsequent suicide attempt, I remained a vehement and vocal advocate for abortion. I even worked at an abortion facility for five years. College, grad school, marriage, giving birth to three babies—nothing swayed me from my myopic view of a “woman’s right to choose” abortion.

Four Novembers ago that began to change.

While discussing abortion and surrogacy in an online forum with a group of women I knew from a natural childbirth support group, the topic of in-vitro fertilization came up. I held fast to the standard pro-abortion rights theorizing that a “bunch of cells” could not possibly be as worthy of our respect and protection as an adult woman. I was baffled (but intrigued) by two voices speaking clearly, consistently, and compassionately (against the tide of a dozen opponents) in support of the right of these microscopic humans to live to maturation.

The author wearing a consistent life
ethic hat: Life matters, no matter what.

In the ensuing conversations neither Lindsey nor Lauren ever berated, belittled, or otherwise bashed those of us who disagreed with them—but they also never backed down. Their unshakable belief and eloquent defense of the value of all human life put a chink in the armor I’d spent decades carefully constructing. What was life if not a continuum from conception to death? Wasn’t I once a tiny collection of cells? I finally began thinking about these issues of life in a new way.

As the forum expanded to discussions about surrogacy, I was primed for further interior examination of my long-held, never-before-questioned position… and I slowly began to consider that a child in womb just might be, in fact, a child. Then I learned of a surrogate who was paid her full contract price to abort the baby she was carrying after the biological parents were disappointed by an in-utero diagnosis of Down syndrome. The chink in the armor became a chasm and the truth was blindingly clear: abortion is wrong. Abortion kills a living, growing member of the human family. And to quote Feminists for Life, women deserve better than abortion.

Only as I look back do I see the blinders. My willful ignorance, my avoidance of true introspection, my stubbornness.

I can never thank Lindsey and Lauren enough for their unwavering witness to the sanctity of life. These two remarkable women (unknowingly at the time) set me on a path of discovery that culminated in my wholehearted acceptance of the right to life from conception to natural death and of a life devoted to furthering the cause of LIFE.

Thank you, Lindsey.

Thank you, Lauren.

287 thoughts on “I thank the pro-lifers who persuaded me with compassion”

  1. "And to quote Feminists for Life, women deserve better than abortion."

    Please explain how forced gestation and birth, at great risk to life and health, with numerous, negative, socioeconomic penalties, is *better* than permitting women the right to decide how their bodies are used.

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  2. Women can decide how their bodies are "used" before engaging in sex… And the sperm has a father behind it who, if he was a real man, would take responsibility for his actions, and either avoid irresponsible and unprotected sex or support the mother of and help raise his child. Abortion runs a woman´s futures, can permanently disables her, gives her numerous psychological problems, causes her to lose her job, her home, and even her life… Abortion always has consequences. As for the bills,ever heard of home births? Natural births? Fathers taking responsibility? Friends rallying round? Crisis pregnancy centres which offer help and support? Pregnancy and childbirth are not diseases. They are the very mark of the femininity and essence of a woman. Abortion is a direct attack on both the child and the woman. Any society which really cared about women would respect her sexuality and her identity, not comply in desecrating her womb. Any society which really cared about women would be warning her of the dangers of abortion and offering her support and viable and life-affirming alternatives! Any man who really cared about women would not put them in the position where an "unwanted" pregnancy might occur, and any man worthy of the name would take responsibility for defending an innocent life instead of destroying him/her and/or walking away…

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  3. Of course a society that respects women cannot leave choices that relate to women's identity and sexuality up to individual women. To fully respect women the important choices must be made by elected officials, preferably men. That's always been the true message of feminism. Really, does anyone thing that woman can decide for themselves what they "want"? SMH…

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  4. So, as Max said, so succinctly, respecting women means chaining them to their biology, because pregnancy is what women are *made* for?

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  5. What courage that must have taken to change such a long-held position! And such a good reminder that yelling at people (online or otherwise) does no good. Kindness, compassion, empathy and love, on the other hand, do.

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  6. >> Any society… blah blah blah
    You do realize that our current society is no where near this one that provides loving care for all its citizens. Ferguson, Travon Martin… need I say more? If our society had perfect social and medical safety nets in place for women and families whose well being might be jeopardized by an unwanted pregnancy, the case for more restrictions on abortion MAY be warranted. But until such a day, I think not.

    >> Any real man… blah blah blah
    The problem with this is that society is filled with men who are not valiant knights in armor. Read the news about U. Va.? Unfortunately, lots of men rape. Even those who are not rapists will sometimes skip out when they learn they might become a dad.

    >> Abortion runs (sic) a woman's futures (sic),
    Huh? That's just plain untrue. My mom had an abortion after I was born, and went on to have an awesome career as a biologist. She's now a doting grandma with a family that loves and finds much wisdom in her words. Lots of women have abortions. For example, in Japan, 90% of the populace supports abortion rights, there is no pro-life movement, that society is functioning fine, and the abortion rate has been in a steady decline for years even though abortion is legal.

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  7. Abortion was legalized after rampant infanticide following WWII. Country too impoverished to support explosion of babies. Abortion ended infanticide like that.

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  8. Quote – Women should decide how their bodies are used before having sex…………………….

    I agree and I have made my decision.
    I will have lots of hot sex.
    I will use contraception.
    If i become pregnant, I will give birth or abort as I see fit. NOT AS YOU SEE FIT.

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  9. There is probably something wrong with society if the abortion rate skyrockets. Fortunately, this just doesn't happen in stable societies where abortion is legal or at least accessible.

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  10. "Pregnancy and childbirth are…the very mark of the femininity and essence of a woman."

    Well, Pope Paul VI certainly thought so. Still, I'm finding it hard to come up with a plausible secular justification for what is, essentially so to speak, the position articulated in Humanae Vitae. Without the work god does in that argument, you run smack into the naturalistic fallacy, no?

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  11. Correct. We know that profound overpopulation in rat societies leads to male rats killing infant rats and some females.

    Homo sapiens control over unwanted births is contraception, abortion and infanticide. All in use today in every culture. Infanticide increases when abortion and contraception are not available.

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  12. Yes, gender essentialism, is/ought fallacy.

    This is what your body can do
    Therefore, you MUST do it
    Your body determines your future and you should not have a say in HOW it is used

    Replace "body" with "household appliance"

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  13. What possible relevance does a belief in the sanctity of life have to do with the prolife ideology of forcing girls and women through pregnancy and childbirth against our will?

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  14. Abortion does not ruin a girl's or a woman's future. Pregnancy and childbirth are a leading cause of death for teenage girls worldwide, and death – I assume you'd agree – really does ruin a girl's future.

    Safe legal abortion, performed by trained medical professionals, has an infinitesmal fraction of a chance of ever 'permanently disabling' a girl or a woman, unlike the very real risks of death or permanent disability caused by pregnancy and childbirth.

    Abortion has been shown in numerous studies to have no direct causation of mental health / psychological problems, unlike the very real risks to a girl or a woman's mental health of pregnancy, both pre- and post-natal.

    Abortion cannot of itself cause a womam to lose her job or her home, unless either or both are dependent on bigoted, vengeful prolifers.

    Done with your lies.

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  15. I absolutely agree. Eventually, I hope, kindness, compassion, empathy, and love, will turn the vast majority of prolifers away from their ideology of force and misogyny.

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  16. >> Abortion runs a woman´s futures, can permanently disables her, gives her
    numerous psychological problems, causes her to lose her job, her home,
    and even her life.

    Granted some people may regret an abortion, but explain how it can permanently disables (sic) her? Or causes her to lose her job, her home or even her life? Abortion is quite safe, and last I checked, its not so expensive as to put a person in debt. What on earth is Penelope talking about?

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  17. If a woman is employed by prolife fanatics, or married to a prolife abuser, and her employers or her husband discover that she had an abortion, then she may well lose her job, and her prolife husband might ensure she loses her home or her life.

    Penelope, as a prolifer, is doubtless well aware of the strong possibilities of abuse by prolifers to control or punish women who choose to have abortions.

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  18. " I was baffled (but intrigued) by two voices speaking clearly,
    consistently, and compassionately (against the tide of a dozen
    opponents) in support of the right of these microscopic humans to live
    to maturation."

    In any discussion like that, I always make a point of consistently reminding the prolifers that what they are advocating for is forced use of girls and women's bodies.

    Did anyone ask these two women to justify how "compassionate" it is to force the use of a girl or a woman's body against her will, or how "consistent" it is to argue that forced use – regardless of what damage it does to a girl's or woman's life, health, and wellbeing – is worth it for the sake of forcing the birth of an unwanted baby?

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  19. Unsafe abortion will permanently disable a woman:
    who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/unsafe_abortion/hrpwork/en/

    Pro life policies lead to an environment where unsafe abortion is practiced widely.

    Now, many medical procedures can lead to death and permanent disability, only we let people *decide for themselves* whether or not they will take the risk. Penelope us behaving as if allowing abortion = mandatory abortion, while she supports mandatory gestation, which *will* not give women a choice as to whether or not they will die or suffer disability. See totes feminist.

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  20. ** Wasn't I once a tiny collection of cells?**

    You were once an unfertilized egg, too. Do you support the 'right' of the egg to be fertilized?

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  21. **And the sperm has a father behind it who, if he was a real man, would take responsibility for his actions, and either avoid irresponsible and unprotected sex or support the mother of and help raise his child.**

    In other words, you're babbling about the world as you think it *should* be, rather than as it is.

    **As for the bills,ever heard of home births?**

    If my sister had given birth at home, her daughter would have died. Can I take this as admission that so-called pro-lifers don't care if the baby dies during birth, so long as the sacred fetus is 'protected' at all points up to the birth itself, at which point, having served it's real purpose of punishing the mother for sex, it is now expendable?

    **Fathers taking responsibility?** Again, babbling about the world as you want it to be, rather than as it is.

    **Friends rallying round? Crisis pregnancy centres which offer help and support?**

    And the friends and crisis centers are going to come up with $250,00 per baby?

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  22. The unborn child did not choose to be conceived and does not deserve the death penalty if the women is not happy with the conception.

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  23. This woman sounds like a nice sincere person, honestly. She seems to have had some traumatic events in her life, and from reading her website, she seems to have always been seeking meaning and a place. In this contribution, she keeps talking about "belief" in the right to life, unshakable "belief". Hmm, warning signs go up here. This person is a "believer". She did not end up pro-life by having rational discussions and considering societal ramifications about the availability of safe abortions, or look at other countries that have had access to safe abortions for a long period of time. No, she responds to emotional appeal and how things are presented to her.

    I've lived long enough to notice certain patterns in the way people think and process input. This woman sounds a bit naive and impressionable, and yes, quite religious. So I clicked on her link, and found out that she's been long searching for God because there is a God shaped hole in her heart, and that her break away from being unquestioningly pro-choice was when she became a Catholic. Wow, not surprising in the least.

    Certain traits about this woman – she describes her positions as "unwavering" and her beliefs "unshakable". She talks about putting on a "tough facade of forced intellectualism" while a young pro-choicer. These are the hallmarks of people who gravitate toward dogmatic views. She says she used to be "ignorant" and "myopic". Well, it appears the way she thinks and processes the world hasn't changed at all. She replaced one set of dogma with another.

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  24. Well, thankfully without a working nervous system, being aborted is neither painful or traumatic for the fetus. No harm done.

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  25. That body next to me on the bus isn't my body, it's someone else's body. You argue that this gives him a right to use my vbody without my consent?

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  26. If my man was to try to force me to gestate against my will he is NOT a real man but a creep and a disgusting pig.

    Abortion would save my future from the misery of unwanted pregnancy. The pregnancy would cause me to lose my job and maybe my life.

    Home birth… F that… no pain killer while my hoo ha is ripped open. No thanks.

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  27. Actually she was never an Unfertilized egg. A human being begins at conception, that is once an egg has been fertilized, (called a zygote).

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  28. **Actually she was never an Unfertilized egg. A human being begins at conception, that is once an egg has been fertilized, (called a zygote).**

    So, what you are claiming here is that if I had zapped her mother with a laser, killing the UNfertilized egg a day or a few hours before it got fertilized, she would still exist? Because the human being didn't 'begin' until conception, and the unfertilized egg is not part of the cycle of human life, according to you.

    Or are you just babbling.
    Suggestion – take a remedial biology course.

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  29. Hi purple,

    I keep wondering why you think there is an irreconcilable attrition between faith and reason, or between the Catholic Church and science? I think you are aware that many, many, many scientists were catholic (look up a list on Google). Many were actually priests. Our current pope is a scientist. Faith and reason (not the emotional appeal) are part of the teachings of the Catholic Church, (look it up if you don't believe me).

    About the social safety net for moms who choose to give birth, I totally agree, there has to be one and as pro lifers we should support policies that promote the choice of life. Here is an interesting article on the subject….if I can paste it.

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  30. I agree that the baby at that stage of development Probably feels no pain and is unaware, but does that make killing him/her right? You might argue that there are some just killings and perhaps in your view (because the mother would go on to have a more productive, less insecure, more successful life) this is one of them.

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  31. Because giving someone money or food or the use of your organs to keep them alive is a pure gift on the part of the donor, not a 'right' on the part of the recipient, no matter how many sad feelies you have about it, or how many people have been the donor or recipient of such a gift, or how much off an asshole how many people might think someone is for failing to give such a gift.

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  32. Applying the term 'deserve' to something without a functional brain is absurd. Such an object can neither 'deserve' nor NOT 'deserve' anything.

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  33. About home births, many women including pro choicers support them, so no it does not mean she doesn't care about the women.

    It might take 250,000 to raise a child but thankfully you don't have pay it all at once, so yes, charities help.

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  34. As a matter of fact, she was. If that were not so, I would be able to go back in time, destroy the egg in her mother, and she would still exist.

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  35. By that logic you could go back in time and destroy her father's sperm cells and she would still jot have been born. Does that mean she was a sperm cell at some time?

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  36. Yes, as a matter of fact, it does. If THE particular sperm cell that fertilzed the egg had been killed, and a different one had made it to the egg instead, she would have a completely different genetic code. That 'precious individual unique genetic pattern' you forced gestationers like to simper about originated with the egg and sperm, NOT the zygote. The fact that they were once seperate should not make a difference, they might have only been a 'few short inches' apart. If a 'few short inches away from being born' shouldn't make a difference, than by what logic should a 'few short inches away from being fertilized' make a difference?

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  37. Why, my dear… because nobody has a "right" to occupy the body of another. Nor to have access to the blood, tissues and organs of another. Such a right simply doesn't exist. You don't have that right, I don't have that right, and my born children had no such right either. The fact that my mother chose to have children, and I chose to have children doesn't translate to any "right" to such. Gestation is a gift. No one should take it for granted.

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  38. I would agree that it is not a "baby", nor is it a "child." Pregnancies are highly expendable. Spontaneous abortion expends far more of them than induced abortion does, and the women move on to have other, wanted, successful pregnancies in the future (or not). I happen to believe that spontaneous abortions mostly occur because what has been conceived doesn't qualify as human life, and is rejected by the mother's body at some point. Having a baby never happens in a vacuum, and there is usually more involved than the quality of the woman's life, though that in itself is very important. She usually has a partner and often other children to consider in her decision, and must consider the impact on their lives as well as her own.

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  39. I cannot support unattended home births. And if there isn't a doctor or a licensed RN midwife there, that's unattended. It's dangerous to both the woman and the baby. And who in the hell wants to be a permanent charity case? It may be unavoidable for, just say… single mothers of special needs children. Nobody actually chooses that. Charities can help. If not for a charity my sister would have been homeless after the father of her children skipped out. Nobody in our family can take in a woman and three kids, that's a lot to ask and none of us had the room. A church provided her with transitional housing until she could obtain disability for the children. I'm very thankful for them doing that. But no charity can do it all, or even do enough.

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  40. Hi Rose

    I think we agree, as far as we know, the fetus doesn't feel pain and is unaware. Does it make it right? I'm not religious, so I feel this life is the one and only chance we have, no afterlife, no reincarnation. I'm also a materialist – I don't believe in souls, and our physical being is all there is to us. So for me, killing something which has no memory or experiences in the world and lives in a sensory void, I simply don't understand how killing it can have any practical observable consequence. To that fetus, its lack of a future is completely moot. If the woman by not having an abortion, is able to live a more personally fulfilling life or possibly contribute more for the betterment of society, that's all the justification I feel is necessary.

    Killing to improve the life of the pregnant woman. If you believe this life is all there is, I think there is nothing wrong prioritizing the person who actually is living and experiencing life currently, to a fetus which only has the potential to start experiencing it in the near future.

    On a more practical level, I just don't see the point in being brought into the world with a high probability of living a crappy life. Being born to someone who doesn't want you or finds you a burden… why? Why not bring a child into this world when you are ready to be a good parent? I don't find the mere fact of a being conceived particularly miraculous or special. There are bajillions of conception of life happening on earth as we speak. What is awesome and special is what you make of that life.

    I am open to changing my views if it can be demonstrated that a fetus is experiencing life in a meaningful way early on in the womb. New scientific advances may show this, but until then, I find no reason to believe so.

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  41. Hi Rose

    Faith – believing something without evidence. If there was evidence for something, you wouldn't need faith.

    Science – (my definition) is the discipline NOT to believe whatever you want.

    There are so many times as a scientist that we SO SO want one of our pet hypotheses to be true – it'd lead to endless grants, maybe even a Nobel prize… We then go and test that hypothesis by applying it to our data, and if it doesn't fit our data OR if it does but makes predictions that doesn't fit new data, we have to reject it. When there is religious disagreement, often two new sects form. Christianity is based on the Bible, yet there's so many versions of it. If two scientists disagree, NATURE is the arbiter. At the forefront of science, there's usually several competing models which fit all available data, yet disagree on predictions of unattempted experiments. Doing that experiment will determine the correct model. Two new scientific sects do not form, one hypothesis dies.

    Science doesn't need "apologetics" or "hermeneutics". Whether you believe Maxwell's equations or not, when I flip that switch, you can bet that lightbulb is going to turn on, there is no taking differential equations out of context. Science describes reality. Religion does not.

    Sure, there are scientists who compartmentalize their lives. I've met many scientists often Jewish, who after using a 128 core supercomputer to run multi-scale physics simulations will put on a yarmalka at the end of the day and walk home to a house lit with candles because its passover. I am impressed with their mental gymnastics, but also these people always have the sense to recognize where their faith begins and reason ends. Because of this, they usually don't feel the need to impose their faith-based religious views on the rest of us because they recognize what they are doing appears to those on the outside, as irrational.

    I'm all for people having their personal faiths. I do have a problem when they can't recognize where reason ends and irrational subjectivity of their religious beliefs begin. The woman who wrote this article may indeed only be "personally pro-life", and doesn't care to enforce this view on others. I'm all for that. However, if she wants others to live by her views, I can't support this. Call me crazy, but I think public policy should be based on facts we ALL agree on, not on a particular religious view that only believers of that sect can accept.

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  42. So I should be able to use your body, and even your property, without your consent, if I really really need it? If my very life depends upon it, I can tie you up and take your bone marrow, since my life overrides your rights?

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  43. For the most part I agree. I think we can agree no one loves abortions or has one for fun. Most data out there shows that abortion rates are correlated with how well a society is doing economically.

    I believe in keeping abortion legal and safe, but also believe in socializing things like medical care and child care, and making medical care free for children, and am willing to pay taxes on these programs. I think these are policies that would make abortion an unattractive choice and also make society more just and encourage economic and social mobility.

    However, I also ultimately think the moral decision of abortion is highly subjective and cultural, and don't think a one-size-fits-all solution will work. So I think the best policy is to encourage a society where there is as much support as possible for families with children, but maybe with a diminishing support as # of children increase. The number of humans the earth can support IS limited, and encouraging everyone to be like the Duggars is not a good thing. Pro-life-leaning governmental infrastructure, but pro-choice in the ultimate moral decision.

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  44. Life begins with the egg:
    discovermagazine.com/2004/may/cover

    Conception is meaningless if the egg is defective. Defective = conception will still occur, but every single conceptus will be doomed from the moment of ovulation.

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  45. Also, scientists, even great ones sometimes believe in highly unscientific ideas. Brian Josephson who won the Nobel prize in physics for Josephson junctions, also strongly believed in ESP, and even after he got his Nobel, he was shouted down at conferences when he would go off track and start talking about ESP. They respected him for his contributions to quantum mechanics, but they also knew when he was thinking without the rational part of his brain.
    Same with Linus Pauling who started a crusade for Vitamin C.

    I think the rank and file religious scientists, are in some sense similar to Josephson and Pauling, except that they recognize where their reason ends and faith begins. BTW, you say many many many Catholic scientists, but in actuality, RELIGIOUS scientists are definitely a minority in the scientific community, and Catholics are only a slice of these. In the days of Newton, there were indeed many religious scientists, but in this day and age, I'd say no more than 10% of scientists are religious, may be a bit higher for the engineers, and even higher for doctors.

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  46. I think the point was home births with a midwife, not just an unattended one. It seemed obvious to me, sorry I should have made that clearer. I agree an UNATTENDED Birth anywhere, at home or otherwise, is ill advisable.

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  47. If someone could go back in time and kill your grandparents before they ever met you would not exist. Does that mean that you were once your grandparents?

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  48. As a pro-life man, I know that abortion can affect men. lifeissues.org/men/Impact.html. I was born into a religious pro-life family, but I wasn't really sure which side I should take. That all changed when I discovered and began reading a book called, "Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Questions". I was amazed at the logic, statistics, and common sense in the book so much that I soon became pro-life without exceptions. I am now hugely involved in pro-life stuff and have vowed to fight until my last breath to help stop the abortion holocaust.

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  49. Well, actually it DOES, unless you can explain exactly where the precious zygote came from, other than an egg and a sperm. You just don't want it to, because it would be inconvenient for you.

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  50. **Does that mean that you were once your grandparents?** No, because your unique genetic code is different from that of your grandparents. Your grandparents had genes that are NOT in you. So did your parents. Furthermore, not just any old part of your parents became you. Only the eggs and sperm did.

    I might point out that your unique genetic code (the precious unique genetic code forced gestationers like to whimper about) originates NOT in the zygote, but in the meisosis of the gametes (eggs and sperm). There is NO gene in you that was not either in the egg or the sperm that you once were. The fact that they are seperate is handwaving on your part, human beings do not stop being human beings just because they are in two seperate pieces, otherwise you'd have to claim that amputees weren't human beings any more. Nor do the number of human chromosomes define what is human, unless you want to claim that people with Down's syndrome, Turner's Syndrome, and Kleinfelter's Syndrome aren't human.

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  51. I call abortion a holocaust because it has killed more than 60 million innocent lives. It angers me that the people who run abortion clinics care more about profits than human beings and safety as evidenced by the St. Louis Planned Parenthood botching 27 abortions in a 5 year period. lifenews.com/2014/11/26/st-louis-planned-parenthood-botches-27-abortions-in-5-years-another-woman-rushed-to-hospital/ . The abortion directors who become pro-life are no longer one of those murderers and realize work to undo what they had done before. The ones you should call Nazis are people like Cecile Richards, Ilyse Houge, and Kermit Gosnell.

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  52. So you expect abortion clinics to operate for free?

    Anyhoo, tell me more about how women who are as amoral as genocidal Nazis. I mean, that is why you say holocaust, right?

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  53. No, most of the women who usually seek abortions are usually scared and feel like their alone. Instead of anger, I feel sadness because the girls are now as much of a victim as the unborn child. Planned Parenthood then takes advantage of their vulnerability to coerce them to have an abortion without telling them of the potential physical, mental, and emotional risks. Former abortion clinic owner, Carol Everett, admitted they were focused on profit instead of the girls. Last, I can't include women who abort because the reason I got more involved in the pro-life movement is because a botched abortion killed a girl named Lakisha Wilson, who was about my age, last March. After I found out, I decided I'd get more involved to prevent women from having the same fate as her.

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  54. Women aren't stupid. They aren't coerced into abortions. And many women choose to order abortion pills online. I'd rather be dead than be forced to remain pregnt. Does that make me a nazi baby killer according to you?

    Pro tip: if you are going to compare something to the holocaust, you better fucking mean it, instead of making excuses for the killers. I doubt you'd be so forgiving if women were dismembering their infants in the millions.

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  55. **I call abortion a holocaust because it has killed more than 60 million innocent lives.**

    Probably so has KFC, McDonalds, and Raid.

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  56. **About home births, many women including pro choicers support them, so no it does not mean she doesn't care about the women.**

    Are you DRUNK? READ MY POST! If my sister had gone for your 'home birth' and hadn't had some very good medical help and a team of nurses, her DAUGHTER would have died!! A single midwife would not have had the equipment or ability to help.

    Can I take this as admission on your part that the position of pro-lifers is that they want to protect the 'very lives' of UNWANTED embryos at the cost of letting WANTED newborns DIE, since firstly a WANTED baby is not very useful for punishing the mother for having sex, and secondly, once the newborn (wanted or unwanted) is on it's way out of the mother, it's now useless insofar as serving your real purpose of punishing the mother for sex.

    **It might take 250,000 to raise a child but thankfully you don't have pay it all at once, so yes, charities help.**

    Handwaving. You've ignored the medical bills that might come from a very complicated delivery, and there is no charity I know of that will give the mother 12,500 a year. Your 'charities help' is more handwaving, giving someone a penny a year constitutes 'help' in a technical sense.

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  57. Jewels Green,

    I am happy you have the choice to abort or to give birth. I am saddened by the fact that you were told obvious lies and cajoled into giving birth instead of having the free will and truthful opportunity to make a real choice.
    The impact of abortion is controlled by scientific laws. Those laws should have been explained in detail to you in any honest conversation. And the reason they should have been explained is vitally important. The very existence of human life depends on what they say.

    For example a truthful organization would have explained to you that before Roe there was a decrease in born life and after Roe there was an increase in born life. No rational organization would enter into a conversation about abortion without letting you know that fact.

    It would seem counter intuitive to claim that allowing the abortion of a zygote would lead to more babies. But the scientific fact is that 70 percent of conceptions end in natural abortion. When a fetus aborts naturally, that does not end the human race. What happens is that women simply choose to become pregnant with another child. A child that is wanted and loved.

    The same occurs with induced abortion. A woman that has an induced abortion in fact simply clears her uterus and is prepared to have a wanted child when she chooses. Forcing the birth of an unwanted child in fact denies the birth of a wanted child. That statement is the foundation of the "Law of Preclusion" that states that a forced birth precludes a wanted birth. In other words, by forcing one child you are denying the possibility of another child.

    So while I celebrate your choice to have your baby, I am alarmed that you were lied to in order to force you to believe an untrue political position. I hope in the future you will keep in mind that lies can have an impact on life as shown by the fact that millions of babies were denied life before Roe. Forcing birth with lies and distortion violates the Law of Preclusion.

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  58. " What was life if not a continuum from conception to death?"

    One of the grandest lies of the pro life movement is that life begins at conception. Life is a continuum all right. It never ends. It began 3.5 billion years ago and it evolved into humanness about 200K years ago. From that point it was passed forward and evolved into what we are now today.

    The danger in the lie you have been told is that it places more value on the fetus than on born life. We are all dying. We all need to be saved. In fact there are 1.8 born humans, 10 wanted fetuses and 1.4 unwanted fetuses dying each second.

    If your pro life advisors had been truthful to you they would have told you that you have a choice. You can save any of the life that is dying and be justified that you are saving life. You could have chosen to save born life, wanted fetuses or unwanted fetuses.

    Because pro lifers are in love with unwanted fetuses, they choose to save them and let wanted fetuses and born people die. They do not save life, they choose to let large portions of life die so they can focus on fetuses.

    That is the basis of the "Law of Charity" that states that there are more people dying than can be saved. A choice to spend one second to save an unwanted fetus is a choice to let 10 wanted fetuses and 1.8 born people die each second.

    It is disingenuous to advise a person to "save" a fetus without telling them that saving an unwanted fetus is a choice to let a wanted fetuses and born babies die. Such an action is harmful. It leads to the unnecessary death of innocent babies.

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  59. I am sorry to disappoint you, but the book you cite is filled with misinformation and distortions. If you think you can defend what is said in that book, then let me know. If you believe what is in the book, without questioning its voracity, then you have been hoodwinked. Lets discuss what it says.

    I am a very busy person, but I will get back to you if you are interested in the flaws in the science. The impact of abortion is controlled by scientific laws that contradict the political opinion expressed in your source.

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  60. Dominic, You seem to be a fellow interested in the history of the Nazi movement and the holocaust.
    The Nazis were pro life. They passed the same types of incremental legislation that is being passed in the U.S. And they eventually made abortion a a capital offense. They eventually killed abortion doctors and women.
    And the Nazis were in fact Conservative Christians with the same beliefs that you hold dear. Hitler himself was a Catholic. And even though he was a fake Catholic, his followers did not know that. He was strongly pro life, just like you.

    His belief was that abortion was immoral and that he could build a better world.

    Now what you have not been told by the pro life movement is that before Roe there was a decrease in the number of born babies. And after Roe there was an increase in born babies. That is a fact.

    Hitler made progress by telling the "big lie" and by hiding the truth. The truth has been hidden from you. And you are a victim of that lie and the hidden fact that abortion is controlled by scientific laws that make it clear that what you and Hitler believe is false. I hope you will research what I have told you and re

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  61. And by "logic and common sense" I would bet the mortgage that you mean "logical fallacies and emotional appeals." There is no such thing as *common sense*. It's all cognitive sense. Certainly abortion affects men. Many couples are faced with the loss of a wanted pregnancy, sometimes very late in the process. There simply is no such thing as "the abortion holocaust." I'm offended for the surviving victims and family of the actual holocaust that you would compare their suffering to that of an embryo or fetus that isn't even capable of suffering. What you are saying is that the horrors they faced aren't real. You are drawing a comparison to something that exists only in your mind, and has no basis in reality. It's way too easy to be an anti-choice male. You get to lay burdens upon the backs of others which you yourself will never lift a finger to bear. Gestation is a gift that you want to reduce to an obligation every bit as mundane as paying your electric bill, but you will never be obligated to pay.

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  62. No. The suffering during the holocaust was real. The "suffering" of the unborn exists only in his mind. Therefore he's saying the holocaust wasn't real. He slaps the faces of all the survivors and victims and their families.

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  63. Simply because complications are encountered during a procedure doesn't mean the procedure was "botched" or that the doctor did something wrong. I don't believe you, and I certainly don't trust your citation. Abortion is the safest medical procedure around. Safer than extracting wisdom teeth, and certainly safer than pregnancy.

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  64. Your preferred source is saying that Lakesha Wilson died of a "botched" abortion, before the cause of death has even been determined. Citation needed BADLY, because IIRC she died of an amniotic fluid embolism, a complication that all pregnant women are at risk for, and happen during births as well.

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  65. A poster here, ockraz, said that I was an *actual* Nazi, based upon the "opinions expressed".

    I asked him to elaborate, and to explain if PCers are sadistic psychopaths like the Nazis, and he said no, just YOU. This must have been based on my comments wherein I asked people to tell me what human qualities a zygote has.

    This is the guy who:

    Compared Marlise Munoz to a fish bowl
    Said that advocatesforpregnantwomen.org/issues/criminal_cases_and_issues/state_v_mcknight_sc_law_to_high_court.php. was not a " legitimate" human rights organization.

    Then he stated that he would no longer waste his precious time on me, because I'm a crackpot

    He has a degree in philosophy – an elite intellectual – yet goes around calling people Nazis, and has flounced from *every* debate he has ever had with Tim Griffy.

    Hmmm.

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  66. Awwww You had me until the last bit about companion animals. Once upon a time, I bred TICA registered Munchkin and Siamese cats. My kittens were home-raised, and always went to loving homes. It was a labor of love, not profit. Yes, I charged for them, but that barely covered my costs in raising them. One lady sent me pictures of her kitten every Christmas until the kitty died. I got calls for years after I retired from breeding because people knew they would be getting a healthy, well socialized and loving companion animal. I believe people should adopt, rather than shop, and there are a lot of unscrupulous breeders out there. However, people want what they want, and I'm not opposed to conscientious breeders.

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  67. Yeah, he had a degree in philosophy. And I'm a secret Super Hero as a weekend hobby. Intellectual people do not go around deeming people as "Nazis" but use reason and logic as argumentation, not straw men and ad hominem. Those aren't winning arguments.

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  68. OMG, Linus Pauling. My husband still takes massive doses of Vitamin C because he believes in that quackery, even though I've tried to explain that Pauling is a quack. and the actual role of Vitamin C in the human body to him. No harm done, because excess Vitamin C is excreted in urine. Other than wasting money on the vitamins, he's not harming himself. But NO, Vitamin C doesn't cure cancer, dear. Some vitamins can do actual harm if taken to excess.

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  69. Since she was the combination of a particular ovum and a particular sperm, I think you can also reduce her to those two living cells just as easily as reducing her to the eventual diploid cell that resulted from those two specific haploid cells. This why life does NOT begin at conception. If a particular ovum doesn't contain a perfect nuclear set of 23 chromosomes (or even no chromosomes at all), the ovum can still be fertilized, but what results does NOT qualify as human life, and is void from inception. Errors also occur during meiosis while sperm are being formed. Such a sperm fertilizing an ovum will also not result in human life.

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  70. And she just explained specifically why. As you stated in your original comment, it's in HER body. And it is NOT part of her body. Therefore, it has no specific "right" to be there. Such a right simply doesn't exist. You aren't entitled to a womb any more than you are entitled to a kidney. And by the way, the fetus is using ALL the mother's organs, not just hanging out harmlessly in the uterus. There is no such thing as a right to be gestated. There never has been. If I thought you were a reader, I would recommend that you read "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood sometime. It's a cautionary tale about what happens to society as the logical conclusion of idolizing reproduction.

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  71. That's just inaccurate. Once an ovum is fertilized it ceases to be an ovum. It would be like saying a single man who takes a wife becomes a married bachelor…. but I think you know this already

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  72. Well, OF COURSE it ceases to be an ovum. Just like the zygote ceases to be a zygote, the embryo ceases to be an embryo and the fetus ceases to be a fetus. Just like I am no longer an infant, a child, an adolescent or a young adult. But I am not yet a senior citizen. I am middle-aged at this point in life. I'll be a senior citizen if I'm privileged to live that long. Your comment makes no sense, and you didn't bother reading my comment for comprehension. The zygote is composed of the genetic material of both ovum and sperm. So therefore at one time, they WERE that ovum and that sperm.

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  73. No, you are not sticking with science. Science says a cookie was once flour, sugar, butter and eggs which have been combined and processed correctly, resulting in a cookie.

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  74. I said an egg cell is not a human being and neither is a sperm cell. You can keep defending anne Morgan's view that they are, but I'm pretty sure there is no science to back that claim. Cheers.

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  75. No an ovum and a sperm are NOT human beings, and neither is a zygote. And Ann Morgan isn't making the argument you're attacking. The eventual human being (or in most cases, NOT human being) results from the union of two LIVING human cells. Life doesn't arise spontaneously out of non-life. That's what she is arguing. Life is a continuum. It began millions of years ago, and thus far has carried on to this day. If there had ever been a point at which all life had been wiped out on earth, it would not be a living planet now. She is telling you that life doesn't begin at conception. To argue otherwise flies in the face of actual science.

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  76. Read her quote : "You were once an Unfertilized egg"…. If eggs are not human beings, like you just correctly admitted, then she was NOT an Unfertilized egg once. You know it and so does anne Morgan. The argument just doesn't stand.

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  77. a cookie is made from flour eggs, etc. it does not say a cookie IS flour, eggs etc. So we agree; ovum does NOT = human being (which the original poster, we are assuming, is)

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  78. So the answer is: a baby does not have any right to be inside his/her mother's womb because there it has no right to be inside his/her mother's womb. Ok I'll read the book.

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  79. Hi purple,
    meant to write a more extensive reply, because you make many interesting points, although they all stem from the idea that faith necessarily is incompatible with reason, but I can't just now, I just wanted to let you know I am thinking.

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  80. Then it would have been acceptable to kill the unfertilized egg moments before the sperm that joined it made RoseZygote, no?

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  81. Right. So purposely killing the unfertilized egg, seconds before the sperm that fertilized it to create you does not bother you one bit?

    How about killing the egg as the sperm is piercing the shell? How about 5 minute after? 1 hour? A day?

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  82. First, it's not a baby. It's a fetus. Secondly, no one has a right to use/occupy the body of another. As I explained to you already, there is no such "right." Need doesn't create automatic rights. I totally get what you think. You think because the fetus "needs" the body of it's mother, it's entitled to the body of it's mother. That isn't how rights work. The "needy" one is completely at the mercy of the owner of the body. Just like you can't be strapped down and have so much as a unit of blood extracted from your body for someone else's benefit. Even if it means they die. Like pregnancy, blood donation isn't permanent. That makes NO DIFFERENCE. It still can't be taken without your consent.

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  83. Not the same thing at all. I already told you in another comment that an ovum is not a human being, before or after fertilization when it becomes a zygote. Whether it ever becomes a human being is very much "up in the air" until the genotype expresses the correct phenotype. A cookie isn't a cookie, until the correct ingredients are combined in the correct way, and baked correctly. You can't call a piece of dough 'a cookie.' But the cookie was once a piece of dough.

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  84. Stop playing word games. A human cell is human. However a human cell (of any type) is NOT a human being. You keep saying human being like a talisman. All life starts with the ovum. However, fertilized or unfertilized, an ovum is not a human being.

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  85. No. you do not. YOU are the one saying that a fetus is a human being while ignoring the LOGIC that this would ALSO suffice to make an egg or sperm a human being. Anne Morgan and Lady Black are showing you precisely how this is neither TRUE nor that you actually BELIEVE that rubbish. Kthx.

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  86. Yes I have a problem with unjustly killing human beings even if they are at the very infancy or beginning of their existence that is at conception EVEN If that "minute" or "hour" cannot be ascertained with precision

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  87. Then you agree that you don't believe that fetuses are human beings. Because the logic is what YOU are using and you have just effectively told us it is not logical. Hoist meet petard.

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  88. You do realize that Hitler was anti-choice just like you? Pro-'Life' for German women and Pro-Abortion for Jewish women, NEITHER of which is Pro-CHOICE. So, if anyone is advocating for genocide or slavery (in regards to which, it seems I must also remind you that slavers were FORCED BIRTH, just like your ilk) it is YOU and YOUR kind.

    Anti-choicers have no acquaintance with logic or statistics.

    And you are a sick person, indeed, to force women to undergo the third deadliest condition for women worldwide, all the while knowing YOU will never be faced with such a decision. YOU are a misogynistic, hypocritical WOMAN-KILLER.

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  89. Sorry speed read the last line there, a fertilized ovum is no longer an ovum so it is a human being at that point. I agree the Unfertilized egg is not a human being.

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  90. It's amazing how speaking the truth can garner so many enemies. However, I will not go back on what I said. Hitler was against abortion, but only for the Aryan race. He encouraged abortion for Jews, Poles, and others he considered inferior.
    You say I am for forced birth, I'm advocating for women to let nature take its course. Pregnancy has been happening for millions of years and it is unnatural to disturb nature.
    How can I be against women when I support Mary Wollstonecraft's ideas of feminism, she hated abortion and believed that it was against the laws of nature. It is in Chapter 8 of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. online-literature.com/shelley_mary/rights-of-woman/8/. The reason I care about women is why I am Prolife in the first place. Bernard Nathanson, the cofounder of NARAL admitted their statistics were faked to gain sympathy. Pregnancy is not dangerous but abortion is. lifeissues.org/breakingnews/2012/danish_medical_study_9_12.pdf. Take a look at this study if you wish.
    Last, just because I'm a man doesn't mean I don't have the right to protest abortion. It takes two to make a baby so men have every right to be involved.
    Call me anti-choice and heap all the abuse you want, but I will not tolerate the murder of innocent human beings as they are torn apart and poisoned in dirty and unregulated clinics. I will fight to end abortion because it is my duty as a man to be a leader and do the right thing. The Prolife movement will win and we will continue to fight and be a voice for the helpless.

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  91. Justification, justification. By breeding, you're putting more animals into this world, which is pretty evil considering the amount of animals that get put down.

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  92. Putting abortion aside, what would make painlessly euthanizing a 2 year old in their sleep wrong per se? Given that no one particularly cares for that specific toddler.
    I'm not trying to start an argument. I'm currently in the process of trying to analyze my prolife views.

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  93. Why don't we have the right to use another person's body if the situation calls for it? Do you believe in taxes? Why does the government have the right to take away our money against or will?
    Rights are completely arbitrary and depend on a specific society's arbitrary value judgments.

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  94. **I call abortion a holocaust because it has killed more than 60 million innocent lives.**

    So does breathing. Many bacteria that are inhaled are perfectly harmless, yet your body destroys them anyways. Stop breathing.

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  95. You are NOT sticking with science. You are ignoring science in order to pick a particular point that happens to suit your double agendas of punishing people for having sex, while letting you kill innocent helpless eggs, just because a child is unwanted and inconvenient for you.

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  96. **I said an egg cell is not a human being and neither is a sperm cell. **

    What are they, then? They aren't cats or dogs. And don't try claiming that by themselves they don't have all the information necessary to creata human being. Human beings are diploid, which means they have 2 copies of each chromosome. Trying to claim that a haploid cell 'doesn't have all the information' is like trying to claim that if you have 2 identical books, just one of them somehow 'doesn't have the whole story'.

    Every human being was once an egg and a sperm. That means that every egg and sperm are just as much 'potential human beings' as the zygote. You just don't like it because you want to kill innocent potential human beings, just because they are inconvenient and unwanted.

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  97. ** I agree the Unfertilized egg is not a human being.**

    Human beings can only come from human beings. The unfertilized egg is a human being. It isn't a cat or a dog, is it?

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  98. **Yes I have a problem with unjustly killing human beings even if they are at the very infancy or beginning of their existence that is at conception EVEN If that "minute" or "hour" cannot be ascertained with precision**

    If a 'few short minutes' shouldn't make any difference with a baby being born, how can it possibly make any difference with the egg being fertilized. You just want to kill tiny, innocent, potential human beings because they are inconvenient and unwanted.

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  99. ** Do you believe in taxes? Why does the government have the right to take away our money against or will? **

    Epic fail. I believe taxation is immoral and a violation of our rights.

    **Why don't we have the right to use another person's body if the situation calls for it?**

    Unless you are arguing that your kidney can be taken against your will by dialyisis patients, then you are engaged in special pleading for the embryo.

    **Rights are completely arbitrary and depend on a specific society's arbitrary value judgments.**

    No, actually they aren't. It's just that many of the things CALLED 'rights' are not actually valid rights.

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  100. Dialyis patients didn't choose to have their kidneys fail. Why do they deserve the death penalty if you aren't happy with donating a kidney?

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  101. **Putting abortion aside, what would make painlessly euthanizing a 2 year old in their sleep wrong per se?**

    1. It has a functional brain in the present, and the past. That brain, however uneducated, is the owner of the 2 year old's life. The fact that it is 'sleeping' and therefore less functional than when awake does not abrogate that ownership any more than you give up ownership of your house when you take a temporary vacation elsewhere. Mind you, this does NOT apply to the embryo with no brain, it doesn't 'own' it's life because it will have a brain in '9 short months' any more than you own a house you haven't bought because you are planning to buy it in '9 short months'.

    2. The 2 year old is not attached to anyone's body in such a way that it would either be necessary to kill it to remove it, or that it can't survive being removed.

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  102. Right. So a millisecond before the sperm penetrates the egg = not a person. Worthless. Can destroy.

    A millisecond after the sperm penetrates the egg = full human being with rights, and suddenly that genetic material has worth.

    Does that about sum it up?

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  103. If you are typing on a computer or have ever been to a doctor you are "disturbing nature".

    What a terrible argument.

    And letting nature take its course by prohibiting abortion = forcing women to remain pregnant, which = harming women, emotionality, economically, and physically, sometimes to the point of permanent injury and death.

    No, if you really cared about women, you wouldn't advocate that they be victimized on behalf of a mindless embryo.

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  104. Yet you tolerate the murder of innocent women by way of fetus, right?

    Why do you tolerate harming women through forced pregnancy Dominic? Is that because you really don't care about women at all? You see their deaths and maiming as *necessary* and just so that embryos can live?

    You have made a value judgment, and that judgment is that embryos have value, and that women do not (except as biological machines necessary to create babies).

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  105. Its funny. You keep talking about how you will "stick with science" yet you didn't bother to read this article about what the latest SCIENTIFIC research is saying.
    discovermagazine.com/2004/may/cover

    Furthermore, if we were to take your "a human being is created at conception " line seriously, then that would automatically make hydatidiform moles human beings, along with the other 30% of concepti that spontaneously abort because of genetic and structural flaws that were present in the egg and sperm *prior* to conception.

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  106. You just DON'T have the right to use another person's body without consent, and there is no "situation" that calls for involuntary servitude by free people. It's called liberty, Look it up and get a feel for it. The rest is a lot of nonsense. OF COURSE the government has the right to tax people. Do you think everything is free?

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  107. See, that's the great thing about facts. They don't depend on YOU agreeing with them. A mammal in development is an embryo or a fetus, not a baby. And embryos or fetuses do not have specialty-special rights to use someone else's body without consent, when you or I, or our born children don't have that right. Those are facts. They don't depend upon your belief.

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  108. Dominic, please address my post about the Nazis. You understand that what I am saying ties you to them in an unwavering sense. You are just like the Nazis. You understand that, right?
    The pro choice movement is nothing like the Nazis. In fact, they were the victims of the Nazis and are the victims of people lie you today. You understand that, right.

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  109. The point of using CAPS is to emphasize a word, just as bold, underline and italics are used. I use CAPS vs the alternatives because typing out HTML on my phone is a giant pita.

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  110. Begins developing = key point.

    A single neuron does not a brain make..

    The fetal brain does not gain the capacity for consciousness prior to 25 weeks, and sentience is what matters. Prior to that, any brain "activity" is just meaningless noise, at the level of a person who has suffered permanent upper brain death.

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  111. Have you ever heard of emphasis added? It's a commonly used writing technique done by bolding, italics or in the case of this forum, capitalization. It's not meant to support the argument. My argument needs no support. The entire concept of liberty means nothing if you aren't even the owner of your own body and all it's component parts. Attempts to seize my body for purposes I haven't authorized are an occasion for the use of deadly force. I'm glad you agree with me on taxation, and I think the idea that taxes are an imposition is a very silly one. We all have to do our part, and I look at taxes as the price we pay to live in a civilized country. Freedom isn't really free, and all that stuff. But by the same standards, we are free from involuntary servitude, including pregnancy. I am a mother myself, and I still believe that pregnancy and birth are optional, voluntary choices. We do not force women to parent, before or after birth. That would be involuntary servitude.

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  112. An unfertilized egg is just a human cell. If your mother had sex with a different man at the time she was ovulating with the egg that was used to produce you, a different human would have been created. Once a sperm fertilizes an egg though, it is a unique organisms whose DNA will be the same from that point on.

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  113. Since you don't think a fetus is a human being (I assume you mean any fetus through the whole 40 weeks) what do you personally think makes a human being? Do you think that a barely viable premature baby who is born at 26 weeks is more of human being than a fetus who is 39 weeks, but still in the uterus?

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  114. So if you are the only person within my vicinity who is a bone marrow match, I should have the legal right to take yours, with force, if necessary?

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  115. Have you ever heard the phrase "Your right to swing your arms stops at my nose"? Bodily autonomy is regularly infringed upon to protect the party that has the most to lose, not just regarding pregnancy.

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  116. I know that a single neuron "does not a brain make". But a 14 week old fetus does not have a single neuron for a brain. If you believe this, please cite your source.

    "Consciousness" as a concept is a highly subjective and not well-understood. To say that qualia suddenly begins at 25 weeks or the capacity for it begins in any definitive manner requires an immense amount of evidence beyond what scientists and psychologists have. What seems to be the case is that consciousness emerges as a continuum (as the brain hosts more complex processes) from the early stages of life (from no consciousness) to full consciousness and self-awareness well beyond birth.

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  117. Can't have consciousness without a functional thalamocortex. Prior to 25 weeks, the thalamus and cortex are non functional. Also, the brainwaves that are associated with the capaciry for sentience can in fact be detected, and they are absent in neonates prior to 25 weeks gestation. There has been extensive research in this area, and I will be going with 50+ years of neuroscience, vs your woo.

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  118. Infants are not self-aware nor do they have an active desire to survive. Do you consider self-awareness an integral part of what it means to be human?
    If yes, then why protect babies?

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  119. Right. So if I am dying and I need your kidney, I have *more* to lose than you, therefore, you should have no right to use lethal force to protect your body from the scalpel that will be used to take your kidney. Agree?

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  120. Um, yes, pregnancy is dangerous, Bluto. If you wish to put forth a claim that abortion is dangerous, you need better citations. LIfeissues.org is not acceptable. I'll accept a governmental/quasi-governmental white paper, or a peer-reviewed study from a reputable academic source. Someone's blog or articles written by priests are out of the question. Now, about you… you thwart "nature" every single day of your life. The minute you go to the grocery store and buy products produced by agriculture, the minute you drive your car, the minute you turn your computer on and start using it, and the minute you go to your doctor and take antibiotics to clear up that infection you have, or take drugs that treat any health condition. So you can take your "natural" and stick it where the sun don't shine. You're nothing but a hypocrite, and NO I do not have to let nature take it's course. YOU certainly don't, Mr. Bigmouth. Why should nature only apply in ways that suit you?

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  121. Rapist = occupies your body without your consent

    Embryo = occupies your body without your consent

    The "innocence" of the embryo = not a factor. Any such mention = special pleading

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  122. There is nothing wrong with humanely putting down an animal. I have done so for pets that I knew were suffering. I really do wish people wouldn't abandon animals. But they do. And there's not much I can do about it that I'm not doing already. I have rescue animals myself.

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  123. He's right. Reason and science allow for the adjustment of thinking when accepted ideas are proven wrong, or incomplete. In fact, that's the entire point of science. Faith does not allow for that. In fact that's the entire point of faith, acceptance without proof.

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  124. I'm really interested in knowing what "extensive research" you're using and where I can find what scientific consensus has to say on the matter.

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  125. Also, there's nothing "woo" about admitting that there are currently things not well understood in science, specifically neuroscience. If you think you've figured out the origin of consciousness, there's a Nobel Prize waiting for you.

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  126. Well that's just too bad, because no human being exists at conception. Deal with it. The result of conception may not even qualify as human life at all. You didn't read the article referenced above about the fate of the embryo being determined by the quality of the ovum prior to fertilization… DID YOU? Tsk, tsk.

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  127. I'm trying to take the concept of being propertarian (which is really the core principle behind abortion rights) and applying them to other facets of politics.
    Mandated vaccination, selective service for males, laws against consuming certain drugs, etc. are all ways the government "imposes" restrictions on full control on one's body.
    Society also forces unwilling men to pay child support and be parents against their will (and to a lesser extent, women as well). Is this ok?

    I'm not opposed to abortion at every stage for any reason, but I am opposed to a NARAL approach where something with strong implications like abortion is completely unregulated in terms of the stage of pregnancy and the reason.

    Governments put the breaks on our so called "liberty" for "the greater good". Why does abortion fall outside those parameters?

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  128. Well, as a matter of fact, NO bodily autonomy is NOT "regularly infringed upon to protect the party who has the most to lose." As a matter of fact that is NEVER done. If that were true, I could demand an organ from anyone I wanted to if I needed it to save my life. I can't do that. I can't even demand a unit of blood that currently belongs to someone else, even if I'll die without it. I can't even steal organs from a corpse. Permission is always required.

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  129. Let's say you have a rare blood type, and I'm the only one in the world with that rare blood type, and I directly caused you to lose blood fully knowing that I could run that risk by performing certain actions and I committed those actions anyways. Well, feel free to take my blood then.

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  130. Uh, duh. And that's relevant *how* to the discussion? No human being, no matter how specialty-specially human they are, is entitled to any part of my body.

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  131. I have also put down twice my beloved cats, which killed me inside. I don't think there's anything "wrong" with putting down animals if they are suffering, but there are so many healthy happy dogs and cats in shelters that do not get adopted and breeding adds so much to this problem. I'm glad you're rescuing animals, but please re-think the notion that because people want pure breeds or kittens/puppies, that anyone ought to supply that.
    I know as a little girl I wanted a puppy, put over time after having it explained to me, I now realize there is no other fulfilling option than adopting precious cats and dogs who need a home.

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  132. Because the brain becomes functional at birth. Fetuses are in a state of hypoxic unconsciousness all through pregnancy. The spike in SpO2 at first breath wakes them up, so to speak. Can you imagine how painful being born would be if we actually felt it? Probably a great thing that we don't.

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  133. And what would those actions be? Can you list some that would qualify, say, legally? As in, police coming to your door and forcibly restraining you and taking your blood.

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  134. Are you implying that an infant is incapable of sentience? That an infant isn't actively learning from birth on? I think infants are self-aware at a rudimentary level. They certainly feel hunger, cold, pain or boredom and react to them by crying.

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  135. Its actually pretty well understood. The fetal brain has also been thoroughly studied, and until specific neuronal connections are present in the thalamocortex, sentience is not possible. These connections do not form until 25 weeks gestation.

    And as I said, the brainwaves associated with sentience can be detected – this is how locked in patients can be distinguished from those who are PVS. Prior to 25 weeks gestation, a fetus has the same level and type of neuronal activity that is associated with a vegetative state.

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  136. Define "functional".
    If the brain was dysfunctional before birth then so would all the life-sustaining processes necessary to keep the fetus alive.

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  137. There are gems sitting in animal shelters to be sure. You might also be getting one with an expensive health condition, one with behavioral problems that haven't been addressed, or simply one that is the product of a puppy or kitten mill, mass-produced and never properly socialized. Or related to socialization, one that will never get along with the animal you may already have. In other words, you may be getting someone else's problem. Over the years, I've had wonderful pets adopted from shelters, and some not so much. Some shelters will euthanize "problem" animals that aren't suitable as pets and others don't. You have to be extra-careful.

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  138. It would be a little more complicated than that. Government mandated organ-donations have happened before (i.e. "Strunk v. Strunk") and the cops didn't bust down the door and perform it themselves.
    We'd go to court, you'd have your attorney, so would I. After a decision is made in your favor, we'd both be escorted to the hospital where qualified medical personnel perform the blood donation.

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  139. I read your comment just fine, thank you.

    Does consciousness begin at 25 weeks or at birth?
    I thought you and night_porter had the definite answer.

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  140. No, I want to know what actions *specifically* would have to mandate an organ donation from a matching donor.

    And the cops will have to bust down the door if the matching donor refuses, don't you think?

    So come on, out with it. Which "actions" would a potential donor have to commit in order for the law to get involved and forcibly remove an organ.

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  141. Sentience /=/ self-awareness.
    Fetuses also can be sentient, which is why anesthesia is used for intrauterine surgery.

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  142. Someone doesn't owe you a reason to abort a pregnancy, any more than they owe you a reason to have rhinoplasty, or liposuction. It's none of your damn business. There simply isn't any "greater good" served by butting your nose into the realm of private matters. If you don't wish to vaccinate your kids, they don't get into public school. You don't go to jail for it. You can always stay home and educate your own kids. If you wish to take advantage of the free, quality public education, you will not be permitted to have your kiddos spreading communicable disease to those for whom vaccination is medically contraindicated. See "herd immunity."

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  143. Considering the whole premise that "abortion is nobody's business but the woman's" is what's being debated, repeatedly stating it doesn't convince anyone, which ought to be your goal if you want less people potentially influencing public policy.
    I'm surprised you don't think vaccination should be mandatory, considering that children have suffered and died at the hands of their anti-vaxxer parents.

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  144. I violently stab you because you ate the last burrito and you're critically bleeding and in need of an emergency blood transfusion. I'm literally the only person alive with a matching blood type. Cops get an immediate court order. We're both taken in an ambulance to the hospital. Legal issues are dealt by attorneys later in court.

    For organ removal, that causes more irreparable body changes. So I would say I drug you or expose you to some sort of radiation. You experience sudden renal failure, same things as above. We both go the hospital and you get a kidney from me.

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  145. Um, where exactly did I say that vaccinations ought not to be mandatory? Reading comprehension problem? And I don't care what's "being debated." Abortion is, factually, no one's business but the woman's, and always has been. Those who stick their nose into other people's medical decisions deserve to be slapped down. Now think about it for a moment. Which of *your* medical decisions am I even privy to, much less get a vote in the matter? If your answer is "none of them" congratulations. You are correct. My medical history is not public policy, nor any of the public's business. Whether you think it should be or not.

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  146. I violently stab you because you ate the last burrito and you're
    critically bleeding and in need of an emergency blood transfusion

    So, a crime. What's interesting is that we don't demand organs from criminals, even after they stab people in the kidneys. I am sure some are a match. Why is that?

    Oh, and is having sex while female a crime, out of curiosity?

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  147. Actually? At birth. Which could be at 25 weeks. Actually I have read 28 weeks as well. But in no case does that apply in utero. Studies have been done on pre-term infants to determine when sentience is *possible.* Of course, every single pre-term infant, to the last one, has been born. Fetal life is different than infant life, and not only in terms of brain function. The lungs do not function at all, and the cardiac function is altered in such a profound way that if it didn't change at first breath, the heart couldn't sustain life outside the uterus. It has holes in it that would prevent effective pumping. Birth is more physically profound from the infant's viewpoint than "a trip down the birth canal" which is why I get irritated with people like you who don't know the science.

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  148. **How did you come to the conclusion that the definition of a "functional brain" begins the moment of birth and not anytime before?**

    Time for your remedial reading course. At no point in my post did I state that the 'functional brain begins at the moment of birth'.

    **The brain begins developing at weweeks gestation:**

    Time for your remedial biology course. The fact that a certain amount of nerve tissue with the appearance of a brain is present does not equate to that brain being functional.

    **Why is the difference between the brain of a, say, 14 week fetus and a toddler more significant than the brain of a toddler and an adult?*

    For the same reason the difference between static on a non-existent channel and Sesame Street is far more significant than the difference between Sesame Street and Nova. The static = NO television function. Sesame Street is a far simpler tv show than Nova, but it is at least, a functional, real TV show. Your precious 14 week old embryo has NO brain function. Not 'simple' brain function. It is not thinking tiny little cute goo-goo ga-ga thoughts.It has NO thoughts, sensation, or awareness, any more than a rock does. It has NO brain function. A fish, literally, has infinitely more intelligence and awareness than the 14 week old embryo.

    **If artificial wombs could host expunged fetuses from a woman who had an abortion, would killing that fetuses be "more wrong" than if it was within the woman?**

    Depends. Are you willing to pay for the artificial womb and the care for the resultant child for the next 18 years?

    **At what point do you draw the line where a human being's brain development is relevant in its life not being taken away? Birth?**

    Time for remedial reading and remedial biology. At no point did I state that brain function began at birth. So far as science can tell, it begins in the 6th month (this is assuming a normal rather than anencephalic infant). At that point it may arguably have some rights, but unless you want to give dialyisis patients free grabs to your kidneys, those rights do not include using another person's body without their consent, because there are no special rights for special people, no matter how cute they are or how many sad feelies you have about them.

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  149. What age fetus are you talking about? If it's earlier than 6 months, I can assure you it is not sentient, and not able to feel pain, because it has no brain function.

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  150. **The "innocence" of the embryo = not a factor. Any such mention = special pleading**

    Actually, it's far worse than mere 'special pleading' based on 'innocence' (defined here by lack of deliberate personal evil intention) since myintx has stated that a mind controlled rapist is evil and should be killed. So mere 'innocence' does not get you a pass with the force gestationers, apparently their moral judgements and special pleading are based on cuteness.

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  151. The argument that the baby or embryo or fetus if you prefer (funny, my obgyn refered to all of my "fetuses" as babies even when they were just a few weeks old….so I think I am perfectly free to use the word baby if I wish even if you don't like it) has no "right to be there" seems infantile and pouty to me, that is why I don't want to pursue it, not because it is a "fact." The real fact is that sex produces babies. If you are a fertile woman and your partner a fertile man there is a chance you might might get pregnant no matter how many measures you both take, so if you and your male partner still decide to engage in sex while you are both fully aware of the intrinsic possibility that the sexual act carries with it, how can you say the result of that act (ie the baby) had no right to be there? Did you and your partner have a RIGHT to conceive him/her?

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  152. Pregnancy is a horrible condition to force a woman to suffer through when she doesn't want it. Stopping it is the ONLY choice for some women. I know many women who would rather die than gestate an unwanted fetus to term.

    "it is my duty as a man to be a leader and do the right thing"

    Yeah… the only man who has ANY say in what goes on in my uterus is my boyfriend and that is only because I trust him enough to know he wouldn't force me into gestational slavery.

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  153. When I decided to have an abortion I wasn't alone. I was with my boyfriend and I knew that if I continued the pregnancy my life would be destroyed.

    The only fear I felt was from not knowing exactly what would go on during the abortion, but I felt no fear about having one or regretting it.

    I also do not feel as if PP took advantage of me. I was very aware of the physical, mental, and emotional risks that the misery of pregnancy would cause me so I was very thankful PP saved me from that.

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  154. By that logic, gonorrhea also has a right to be there, since it also has the possibility of coming along with the sex act.

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  155. Of course not. But as someone pointed out earlier, if your grandmother was killed before your mother was conceived, you wouldn't exist either, but that doesn't mean you were once your grandmother.

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  156. Which is disanalagous, because as Ann Morgan points out, the zygote did not materialize out of the ether – half the genes are from the sperm, half are from the egg. Each = half a person.

    If a star trek style transporter device were to be invented, and your body was transported by breaking it into 50% mom's genes, and 50% dad's genes, and then was reconstituted at the other end of the universe, you wouldn't stop being a human being simply because your body was in a different form, no?

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  157. I don't believe you would have a right to my kidney. I am saying that the law does sometimes infringe upon bodily autonomy.

    Suppose I am a sex addict, and I have a strong urge to have sex with you. The problem is, you don't want to. Even though having sex with you is what I have determined I need to do with body, the law recognizes that you would have more to lose from this interaction, therefore rape is illegal.

    Another example is regarding drunk driving. Driving under the influence of alcohol is against the law, because the law recognizes that my right to drink what I want to drink, and then drive where I want to drive, is less important than the lives of the other people on road. If I am suspected of violating this law, I can be stopped and have a breathalyzer forced into my mouth (against my will), and if I refuse, they can take a sample of my blood (without my consent).

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  158. Yeah, the law does sometimes infringe upon bodily autonomy, but there are limits.

    Why can't I have your kidney though, if I need it more than you do? Surely I am entire to it by default, if I need it for my very life. For you, it is just convenient to have, but not necessary to LIVE. I should be entitled to your body if my very life depends upon it, yes? For the greater good, after all.

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  159. See, it always comes down to engaging in sex for you people. Yes, people have a right to have sex. They should protect themselves. If a pregnancy happens, the woman can give birth or abort as she sees fit. Not as you see fit. And I don't care what your OB/GYN called your fetus when speaking to you. Look at your medical chart, and nowhere will the word "baby" appear when you were pregnant. You can call your fetus anything you like. You can call your dog your baby if you want. That's sweet. But it doesn't mean your dog is actually an infant.

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  160. I'm saying it's ok to use birth control because sometimes embryos fail to implant. It's ok to have an abortion because you don't want to be pregnant, or can't be pregnant for whatever reason.

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  161. Neither is it surprising that you "support" the feminist ideals of the eighteenth century. Build a time machine, buddy. We aren't going back, and you won't win.

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  162. We are much more than our genetic blueprint. Development is highly dependent upon chemical signals from the woman's body that turns off certain genes and turns on others. Theoretically, you could implant the same embryo in ten different women and get ten different results. There is also the matter of monozygotic twins (which are still different, and with newer types of DNA research can be distinguished from one another. And as I have recently learned, so-called "half-identical" twins that share the DNA of the mother's ovum, but the father's DNA of two different sperm. Admittedly, this is rare and scientists aren't sure by what mechanism this occurs. I don't have time to educate you to the extent of what I know (and am still learning) but suffice it to say that at conception, exactly *nothing* is certain as to what the result will be. There is nothing written in stone at the moment of conception.

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  163. Actually, there is such a thing as mitochondrial DNA that is passed down the maternal line (only), to all her children, male and female. This is how ancestry can be determined, from the mitochondrial DNA that can be traced back to female ancestors and/or their male descendants. So in a very real way, your mitochondrial DNA was once your grandmother, and your grandfather's mother.

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  164. You could implant the same embryo in the same woman 10 different times, and get a different result each time

    Also:
    io9.com/5890039/how-tortoiseshell-cats-show-the-limits-of-cloning

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  165. I never said anything about whether or not I believe a fetus is a human being or not. Please learn to address actual posts. The SECONDARY point of my post was that if a sperm and egg cannot be considered human beings by the same logic that you antis apply to fetuses to make them human beings, then YOU don't actually consider fetuses human beings. So, please tell me why YOU don't consider a fetus a human being?

    Also, there is a lot more that happens at birth, whether by c-section or vaginal, than just being born. I suggest that you also, while learning to address posts, brush up on your biology, particularly the reproduction section, as well.

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  166. I know not all breeders are in it only for the money and not all owners of such designer animals are bad, but I am turned off by too many people who think animals are toys, and they can be returned or disgarded. And I don't see the need for breeding – dogs and cats have a much shorter lifetime than humans, and in the lifetime of one human, a pair of dogs or cats can probably become a hundred or so, so its not like there aren't enough of them to go around. My aunt also had boutique dogs, and she loved all of them dearly, but I always wished she would've instead adopted a dog instead of paying top dollar for a designer animal.

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  167. Yes, the law does infringe on bodily autonomy in tangential ways that have little to do with "who has the most to lose." Actually, the law says you may not DRIVE drunk. The law doesn't say you cannot *be* drunk. Therefore your bodily autonomy is not being infringed upon. Driving isn't a right. It's a privilege. But seriously. sir?? If you aren't entitled to a kidney, you are certainly not entitled to a uterus either. The use of a uterus comes along with the use of kidneys, lungs, liver and all other vital organs and systems. And NO, you are not entitled to it, and neither is anyone else, no matter what sad feelies you have about it, or what a selfish asshole you believe someone is for denying use of said uterus.

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  168. And no, they cannot take your blood or administer a breathalyzer against your will. Because driving is not a right, you will be presumed guilty of DUI if you refuse. But you certainly *can* refuse. There is no point in refusing because it will result in conviction,

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  169. **Once a sperm fertilizes an egg though, it is a unique organisms whose DNA will be the same from that point on.**

    Study biology. That precious little unique DNA originated in the EGG and the SPERM. Under normal circumstances, there is NO DNA in the pwecious widdle zygote which was not in either the EGG or the SPERM. You just want to handwave away the real source of life, and KILL that innocent unique life, because it's inconvenient and unwanted for you. And forced gestationers are doing this DELIBERATELY and by means just as UNNATURAL as abortion! Celibacy, counting the days from your period, and fertility strips are just as unnatural as abortion. You just want to pretend they aren't to justify killing innocent eggs, which hardly are getting flushed out with your period with a wave and a smile.

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  170. First of all, you're trying for the continuum fallacy. Secondly, whether or not a surviving late term fetus is a 'human being' is actually irrelevent, since like all forced gestationers you are both handwaving away the birth process, and trying to grant special rights to the fetus to the mother's organs, which no other human being on the planet has a right to use without the mohter's consent.

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  171. Hi Rose

    To be clear I'm not saying that those of faith are stupid. Science, which uses reasoning, is a protocol which determines whether a (tentative) model of some aspect of reality is a reasonable one. Life can be successfully navigated using a variety of skill sets, and science and reason is just one skill out of many. No one has command of all skills, and I think its perfectly possible to be an intelligent and creative person who is not good at science or reasoning. However, there is no denying that science and reasoning are tremendously powerful, and it can be used in places where traditionally, scientific reasoning did not go. Application of scientific methods transformed areas where intuition and experience traditionally ruled – political strategizing, medical diagnoses, farming etc. – through hypothesis testing, good predictive models can be objectively identified, and these models sometimes do a much better job than human intuition and experience.

    All I'm saying is that "faith" is incompatible with the scientific method. The scientific method prescribes criteria for when a model of claim should be tentatively accepted. I understand that in Catholicism and in the Bible, there are many claims of miracles, and these miracles are proof of God's manifestation in the physical world. Please understand, science doesn't say these miracles are impossible, just given the evidence, an understanding of the world which includes these miracles is unlikely given the data we have available. In order for science to say anything about something, we must be able to study these miracles in a repeatable manner, or at least observe some lasting physical consequence that something out of the ordinary happened. It may be the case that miracles happen all the time, but that they are always so unexpected that there simply is no time to hook up a measuring apparatus. But they also never seem to leave any measurable traces of them happening either. When people talk about prayer healing an illness, it never seems to happen in the confines of a hospital, or its usually some internal illness that is difficult to see without high-tech medical imaging. Prayer never seems to heal amputees – people with ailments that are visible on the outside, but whose healing can would be incontrovertible and easily shown. Such a phenomenon, even if the moment of healing is not witnessed, the effects of it could be verified by anyone, assuming there is at least 1 photograph of said amputee before the miracle.

    These miracles pretty much always require faith to believe. Science must be done on limited number of observations done in a finite amount of time. In order for an observation which is WAY outside the more repeatable and accepted part of science, we need to be able to observe it repeatedly to make sure that the measurements are not due to instrumentation error or experimental error. If we don't have these, the accepting such claims "because … God" is simply the wrong thing to do, according to science.

    This may simply be a limitation of science. It may be that the world is full of miracles and science is a blunt instrument ill-equipped and limited in imagination to capture these events. If that were the case, it still holds that science and faith are incompatible. In this scenario, it would be because faith is the superior method in which to understand reality, and that science is too pessimistic. I don't discount this view, and in no way am I claiming that the faithful are stupid.

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  172. **Even though having sex with you is what I have determined I need to do with body**

    The law is most certainly NOT infringing on bodily autonomy in this case, your claim that the law is infringing on YOUR 'bodily autonomy' or your right to rape, merely because the woman 'has the most to lose' is a groteseque misrepresentation, because the act of rape is illegal precisely BECAUSE it infringes on the woman's bodily autonomy. Nor does the law forbid you from obtaining sex in other ways.

    **Driving under the influence of alcohol is against the law, because the law recognizes that my right to drink what I want to drink, and then drive where I want to drive,**

    Also a very bad example, because driving (on roads you do not own) is a PRIVILEGE, NOT a RIGHT. That being the case, conditions can be put on that privelege, by whoever does own that road. Just like using someone else's organs is a privelege, NOT a right.

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  173. **what a selfish asshole you believe someone is for denying use of said uterus.**

    There's a very good chapter in a sci-fi book by L. Neil Smith about this principle. It involves a character who was exercising on his 50th floor balcony, fell over the edge, and managed to save himself by grabbing the 49th floor balcony. The owner of the 49th floor apartment was an asshole, who first tried to knock the accident victim off his balcony, and when that failed, complained loudly while the accident victim walked through his apartment and left through the door, then ended up in court with the accident victim over the matter.

    Some points made by L. Neil:
    1. The accident victim did not, in fact, have a 'right' to the 49th floor balcony or apartment, no matter how badly he needed to use them for his 'very life'.
    2. Some people, such as the apartment owner, are assholes, or as L. Neil calls them, 'curmudgeons'.
    3. When people want to start infringing on the rights of others, they usually start by infringing on the least popular practioners of those rights (assholes, selfish people, curmudgeons, pornographers).
    4. Curmudgeons actually serve a valuable purpose in our society, in that their loud complaints over their rights being infringed in minor ways act as a 'canary in a coal mine' and let the rest of society know that there are attempts to infringe on the rights of others.

    I might point out, that there ARE ways to make life very unpleasant for a curmudgeon who is regarded by a lot of people as an asshole. For instance, if said curmudgeon falls down in his apartment, or yard, breaking his hip, he does not have a 'right' to have anyone investigate his cries for help, or to call an ambulance on his behalf, if his injuries prevent him from getting to the telephone himself.

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  174. **I think the point was home births with a midwife, not just an unattended one.**

    You are STILL DRUNK! READ MY POST! A 'midwife' would not have been able to save the life of my sister's daughter, with the problems she had at birth. If my sister had not been in a HOSPITAL with a team of nurses, and a lot of equipment, her daughter would have DIED!

    But I think you've just pretty much proven that 'forced gestation' is an accurate description for the so-called 'pro-lifers'. Their real motivation is punishment for sex, they don't give a crap about the 'very lives' of the 'innocent babies'. They only want to punish for sex, if the mother doesn't want to have a baby, they demand that she have it, and when she DOES want the baby, then they do their utmost to try and KILL that WANTED BABY, because in that case, when the mother WANTS HER BABY, killing it would be a punishment for sex. Their only goal is to do the OPPOSITE of what the mother wants, to punish her for sex. If the mother wants the pregnancy to end, they insist it continue, if the mother wants her baby, they do their best to make sure it does. The 'very life' of the embryo is of value to them only if it's not what the mother wants, so it can be used to punish her for sex. If it IS what the mother wants, then they want the baby dead, like you.

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  175. By that logic, if you get in a car accident, you should be left to bleed on the street, since driving in a car has the possibility of being in an accident, and you should therefore have to live with the results.

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  176. Hi lala

    Maybe 2-year old is a bad example for your purposes, because my 2-year old definitely goes to bed excited if we tell him we're going to Disneyland tomorrow. He has hopes for the future, and snuffing that out would be denying that person's will. If we go to a day-old infant, you're right. I'd say such an infant is barely sentient, and I agree that there may be very little practical harm in snuffing out said infant, aside from parental grief (hopefully). As a society, we do have to draw lines for acceptable and unacceptable behavior somewhere. Many societies did not always treat infanticide the same way as murder of an adult. To me, as a materialist and a moral relativist, I don't believe in absolute rights and wrongs, but I choose to assign value to human existence as a whole. So to me, I think there is value in humans valuing the lives of other humans. But I also think that there are other factors which come into play. Life is valuable, but life is not infinitely valuable. I believe there are times when taking a life is justified. In the same way I think valuing the will of the pregnant woman is justified, even if it means a fetus will die.

    Societal conditions will change the weights of these priorities as well.

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  177. I've tried, in the past, to get people to think about the importance of sentience by asking if human life is so valuable that it would be permissible to torture their pet cat or dog in order to save the life of a mindless brainless human zygote.

    Usually, they pick their pet. KB did. Yet, they seem to have no qualms about subjecting women to the pain, and even torture, of gestation and birth.

    Do women rate lower than pets?

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  178. Pregnancy is not dangerous but abortion is

    Actually, abortion is 14 times safer than gestation and delivery. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22270271

    It takes two to make a baby so men have every right to be involved.

    Your involvement in "making a baby" ends at ejaculation. You will not be risking your life and health to gestate, so kindly stop behaving as though you are in any way affected by said risks.

    No love, someone who knows first-hand just how dangerous pregnancy can be and is lucky to be alive after gestating a life-threatening one.

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  179. a fertilized ovum is no longer an ovum so it is a human being at that point.

    Only an imbecile would claim that a zygote is a human being.

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  180. Who is playing word games now? I certainly hope that don't think that just because you share mitochondrial DNA with your female ancestors, that you are the same organism as them. Otherwise, you'd have to admit that aborting your fetus is murdering your grandmother (and mother), also suicide, since it would have mitochondrial DNA passed down from you.

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  181. Hi Dominic

    >> It's amazing how speaking the truth can garner so many enemies.

    You're entitled to your own opinions, but I wouldn't really call your ill-informed opinions "truths".

    Its just my hobby, but I've always been very interested in what people believe and why. One nice thing about discussion forums is that you can get a pretty accurate snapshot of what a person believes by looking at what they have posted in the past.

    So from this blog post, I know you were raised a pro-life Christian. Fine.

    In your history, you have said…
    >> I have a form of autism called Asperger Syndrome. I love people with Down's and they are great workers. Depending on their dreams, I've seen plenty of them reach new heights. So what if they have an extra chromosome. They are human beings and deserve respect and love.

    OK, so you have Asperger Syndrome. Fine, I know and love a few kids with AS, and while they are eccentric, they often show amazing talents in one focused area.

    >> I'm a semester away from getting an Associates Degree in college.

    Good for you! I have much respect for you and your hard work.

    But then you say

    >> I agree. The practice of gay marriage is disgusting.

    To this, I'd like to ask, do you also find gay people disgusting? There is much evidence on the table that being gay has genetic components, and I think its only a matter of time before scientists hone in on the exact genetic and epi-genetic factors that makes one gay. Gayness exists in many species, so it appears to be pretty widespread in the animal kingdom. It is a natural thing, just like Aspergers and Down syndrome. How come you feel like loving those who have "an extra chromosome", but find such hate for gay people?

    I've known many many more gay people than I've known people with Down's syndrome. I have also seen many gay kids in my high school being outnumbered and physically assaulted by people who thought gay people were disgusting.

    Just like you got your Associate Degree in college, one of those gay kids who was kicked in the head a few times and had his back pack thrown in the school pool by a few bullies, also managed to graduate from UC Berkeley with a BS, and went on to get a PhD. He was able to put the hate and discrimination behind him and succeed in life. Would you also extend a "good for you!" to someone whose condition is most likely genetically based and has met horrible discrimination at the hands of the majority?

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  182. I've recently become a fan of WEIT, and professor ceiling cat's daily hili dialogue
    whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/page/2/

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  183. See, heres the thing. The forced gestioners won't explain (and claim not to know) what qualities make human beings 'persons', they won't explain (and claim not to know) what qualities make human beings more valuable than cattle and bacteria, and given their babbling about the brains of 14 week old embryos, are apparently unaware of the qualities (such as lack of brain function) of embryoes and fetuses at various stages.

    So, basically their claim that the zygote=human being=person is an attempt to claim that object A, about which they demonstrably know nothing, is also object B (about which they also know nothing) and also falls into category C (about which they also know nothing. And given that they demonstrably know nothing about embryoes, human beings, and persons, all of this is based on nothing but sad feelies.

    Yet they insist that their claims are right, and any claims based on science are wrong, because people 'should' do what they want them to do. Well 'should' doesn't buy much, I could just as easily claim that an elevator supported by a thin cotton thread 'should' support a large group of people, because I will have sad feelies if the elevator crashes, but I doubt that is going to happen.

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  184. **By breeding, you're putting more animals into this world, which is pretty evil considering the amount of animals that get put down. **

    Actually no. See, the thing is, regardless of how your sad feelies think that the world 'should' be, certain types of people and animals are going to have a higher 'market demand' than others. A Healthy White Infant is going to have a far higher 'market demand' than a disabled, black, 9 year old, and removing some of the Health White Infants will probably not increase the demand for disabled black 9 year olds. Ditto for cats, 8 week old purebred kittens have a higher market demand than 9 year old mongrel barn kitties, and regardless of what you do, barn kitties will keep getting put to sleep while purebred kittens keep getting adopted.

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  185. **A human being is not a body part** So, what you're claiming here is that dialysis patients are 'body parts' and not people? Or what the hell are you trying to claim, because quite honestly your statement makes absolutely no sense at all.

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  186. **Probably feels no pain and is unaware, but does that make killing him/her right?**

    You are applying philosophical concepts incorrectly, and trying to imply that 'killing' an embryo is 'wrong', when morality doesn't really apply to it, you might as well ask if changing a lightbulb is 'right' or 'wrong'. If I want it changed, then it's 'right' regardless of how many sad feelies you might have about leaving the old lightbulb where it is.

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  187. **So you don't believe in welfare and government programs to help impoverished and disadvantaged families? That's more of an epic fail than asking a question.**

    Really? So, after all your programs to help the 'disadvantaged' have destroyed the economy, and those competent to support themselves, where does the government now get the money for their compassionate programs from?

    **Rights, like moral values, are completely subjective. Explain to me how they're not, beyond just "no".**

    To start with, all REAL rights are equal and reciprocal in nature. They have to be, because there are no special rights for special people. This being the case, your 'right to entitlement' government programs are NOT real rights, because for it to be a real right, if Welfare case A has a 'right' to $500 a month from Millionaire Joe, for it to be a real right, it would necessarily mean that Millionaire Joe is likewise entitled to $500 a month from Welfare case A. Which isn't going to happen, obviously.

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  188. You are a socialist.Only socialists think that rights are subjective and can be violated for the so-called common good .

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  189. The only way that they can justify depriving women of their bodily autonomy, and putting them through the torture of birth is to pretend that having sex while is an immoral act.

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  190. So you chose to have sex and can't deal with the natural consequences of that, so it's okay to kill a developing child in the womb? You are what's wrong with this world.

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  191. So, you believe that if a woman chooses to have sex, or if girl or a woman is raped, she's then fair game to be forced through pregnancy and childbirth against her will?

    Prolifery is an essentially misogynistic movement, based on the belief that girls and women exist to be used, forced, hurt, and abused by men like you.

    Fortunately for the world, men like you are scarce, and I believe with all my heart that in the end the evil that is the prolife movement will always be defeated.

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  192. "If you don't wish to vaccinate your kids, they don't get into public school. You don't go to jail for it."

    Out of curiosity: if some kid dies from a disease from which his or her parents refused to vaccinate him or her against, would this kid's parents get prosecuted afterwards?

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  193. "Permission is always required."

    Legally speaking, I don't think that this will be the case in a situation where someone kidney was donated to someone else without his or her consent as a result of a hospital mix-up.

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  194. Maybe not. But the hospital is going to be on the hook for a HUGE malpractice lawsuit, and the doctor facing criminal charges resulting in the permanent revocation of his license to practice.

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  195. No. They would not. But if their own unvaccinated brat makes another child ill because vaccination was medically contraindicated, or the child is too young to have received the vaccine, or an adult who never had the disease as a child, the aggrieved party might end up owning their house. Unless there is a medical reason why someone shouldn't be vaccinated, not doing it isn't very smart.

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  196. Sure, but that is obviously not going to restore that individual's bodily integrity.

    Thus, there might be some cases in which bodily autonomy/integrity does *not* trump all other considerations. In turn, this might mean that politically anti-abortion people *might* have some existing legal basis to try pushing through abortion bans.

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  197. NO, NO, and NO. Stealing someone's kidney is a crime as well as a tort. And if you don't have consent, you have stolen, whether it was an error or not. There is no legal basis for stealing someone's kidney. Even mistakenly. So YES, bodily integrity DOES trump all other considerations. Thus no legal basis for abortion bans. The doctor who steals a kidney from someone without consent is a criminal, and will be punished criminally AND civilly. Mistaken identity is no more a defense for that than it would get you off the hook for a murder or rape by claiming you meant to kill or rape some OTHER person, and it was a simple mistake.

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  198. I get all of that, but the kidney recipient would obviously *not* be punished in any way if he or she refused to give that kidney back to its original owner.

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  199. None of the attributes? Show this to be true. List *all* of the attributes–every last one of them–that 'constitute human being by definition,' and then prove that the fetus possesses 'none' of them. Go ahead. We're waiting, plump dumbling.

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  200. Ah, another pro-abortion loon using the nonsense term 'feelies'. Come on, law-studying 'nurse,' surely you can make your points using real words. Or are you really as incompetent at reasoned discourse as you are at nursing and at law???

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  201. You're a damned hateful and selfish hypocrite. And no, 'feelies' is a make-believe term that you and 'Ann' use because of your limited communications skills.

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  202. Do you have a case ruling that the non-vaccinating parent would not be prosecuted? Come on, fake 'law student' and fake 'nurse', show us what you've got? Or are you too busy killing unborn children?

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  203. If you could get it up and someone was enthusiastic about your doing that, you would not be here chatting with an old lady like me. So what is the issue? Your breath? Are you ugly? That can be fixed. I think it is your personality. Drink more. Might help.

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  204. No people like YOU deserve to be slapped down. I would gladly do the job. Come anywhere near me in real life, punk. You'll be carried away.

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  205. I don't have any cases showing that a parent will not be prosecuted for not vaccinating their children, because nobody makes non-prosecution cases. What are you, five years old? Since when can you prove a negative? Federal law is silent on vaccinations. State laws require vaccinations to attend public schools. It's NOT a *crime* to choose not to vaccinate your children, Squirrel Bait. That's a parent's prerogative, and some people don't do it for religious reasons (for example, the Amish). But the Amish also take responsibility for educating their own children, and if they pass communicable diseases, it's among their own people. I'm sure even an imbecile like you knows that people only get prosecuted for committing crimes. And that isn't a crime. If you wish to claim it is a crime, that's your burden to prove that it is. Good luck with that.

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  206. No, my communication skills aren't limited. My college GPA was 3.86 and my nursing school GPA was 4.0. What have YOU got?

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  207. Sorry, no. I'm not the one weeping over a 'holocaust' of brainless life. You are. If you object to a 'holocaust' of brainless life, yet continue to breath and kill bacteria, you are a hypocrite by your own standards. Since I am not sobbing over the deaths of large numbers of brainless lives, I am not a hypocrite, and can continue to breath without being a hypocrite.

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