When you thought they couldn’t get worse…

The DTH Gender Issues columnist Jessica Fuller decided to attempt a defense at public funding for abortions. This came after the recently passed House Health Care bill included an amendment preventing the public option from funding abortions, which passed with substantial Democratic support.

Her argument establishes a new low for utter stupidity, arrogance, and selfish special-interest politics. She logically equates choice with forcing others to pay for an action of which society has yet to determine its morality. Stupid. She essentially accuses her opponents of distrusting those of different races and sexualities. Arrogant. And she claims that women she be allowed the freedom to be sexual at the expense of others. Selfish.

There is no better way to proceed than to list the most ridiculous of her reasons and address them.

“Because I support a woman’s right to choose.”

Then choose. But choosing involves initiating the action yourself; you are abdicating your choice in asking other’s to pay for it.

“Because a woman shouldn’t be denied a legal health procedure because she can’t pay for it.”

I’m going to assume you don’t actually believe this. Are we to pay for any and all legal health procedures? This sort of positive rights invention is objectively untenable; society cannot possibly pay for all legal health procedures (plastic surgery?). There is inevitable picking and choosing (rationing), the sort of moral decisions which you claim ought to remain to the private individual.

“Because pregnancy should not be a threat or a punishment for being sexual.”

Blame that one on the heartless conservatives if you wish, but that’s just biology. Humans bear the consequences of their actions. It’s part of choice.

Because the seriousness of choosing to have a child or not cannot be decided by splitting hairs on the floor of Congress.”

Splitting hairs?!? Really?? It irks me that social liberals so often assume that their moral beliefs are self evident and thus can be imposed on everyone. You are asking others to pay for your questionable behavior. Congress has a right to “split hairs.”

“Because I want a doctor who can concentrate on my needs, rather than regulations or a pay plan.”

Wow. At least my fellow Review writers will appreciate the laughable irony.

“Because I value women’s potential and their futures — in careers, in families — and want them to have every opportunity to reach them in their own way, on their own time, and on their own terms.”

To conclude we return to this theme of choice.

The manner in which Jessica describes this freedom invokes the sacred notion that humans possess a natural right to exercise their own rationality to make their own decisions, and decisions of such serious import should be left to the private individual.

She contradicts herself blatantly in demanding that this decision necessarily involve others through public funding. An abortion is most certainly not “in her own way” and “on her own terms” if a woman coerces others into paying for it. To suggest that women deserve by right to have others fund their abortion contradicts the inherent nature of the freedom you describe. A woman who has an abortion on her own terms should not forcibly involve others.

A pro-choice advocate on these grounds should recognize the point that follows logically from her argument: that individuals must of their own accord decide whether to support such a complicated moral decision.

55 comments

      1. If a woman wants birth control or wants to terminate her pregnancy but isn't allowed to because it's illegal or it costs too much, that's forced pregnancy.

      2. Yep, by not helping to pay for her abortion, we forced her to have sex (which does result in children, so we are told) and then we cruelly told her to live with her decisions. What MONSTERS we must be!!

        If a woman doesn't want to get pregnant, then she could possibly (GASP!) not have sex! NO WAY!

      3. So, expecting people to live with their consequences, means I think of women as second class citizens? And saying that one way of avoiding pregnancy is to not have sex means that I'm anti-sex?

        Are you serious? Those are some serious leaps in logic there. I love that anyone who does not support abortion is instantly a sexist male chauvinist.

        On another note, I guess you were too busy attacking my character to address how not helping to pay for an abortion is the same thing as forcing a women to have sex and get pregnant. It was merely an oversight, I'm sure.

      4. Here is proof that abortion is murder:

        1.The embryo, fetus, or whatever you want to call it at any stage of the pregnancy, is biologically a living organism.

        2.Said living organism is genetically human.

        3.Said living organism is genetically distinct from the mother. In other words, said living organism is not any more a part of the mother than I am a part of the apartment that I live in.

        This is so obvious and elementary that it’s surprising even to me that
        anyone would be so stupid as to deny it. We’re not talking about complex climatology here.

        As usual, pro-murder __o_ makes an ad hominem attack against NJR by basically wishing NJR luck in the getting-laid department. He never said that women were second-class citizens. He just said that women shouldn’t
        have their murders paid for by the state. Also, if you had any sense at all, you’d realize that NJR isn’t just against women having sex that
        results in children that they don’t want, he’s also against some douche bag getting a woman pregnant with a child that she’s going to choose to have murdered. Idiot.

      5. When do you draw the line- is it when the sperm makes contact with the egg? When the membranes merge? When the DNA starts merging? When the DNA ends merging (which can be up to 24 hours later)? When the DNA begins replicating for the first time (after all, the egg is no more alive than a virus until it begins self replication)?

        Is an egg with 12 out of 23 chromosomes merged a human or not? What about an egg with trisomy, other than in chromosome 22 and the sex chromosomes, that will be spontaneously aborted- is that a human?

        The line isn't as clear cut as you'd like it to be, Riley.

      6. Every abortion argument always boils down to whether the fetus is human.

        What you have to realize is that you cannot define a fetus as human at x time. It necessarily begs the question of what exactly happens one second before x that makes the fetus human.

        So the line is clear cut because no other explanation works. The underlying question is what makes us humans. Riley and I would define being human as having a soul, but most liberals dismiss that as religious "quackery".

      7. “When do you draw the line- is it when the sperm makes contact with the egg?”

        I draw the line when the embryo is biologically alive and genetically human. Very simple. You are intentionally trying to make this more
        complicated than it has to be.

        “When the DNA ends merging (which can be up to 24 hours later)?”

        I realize that there are medical procedures which can be pursued that will stop the egg from being fertilized. I realize that, at the very beginning stages, there’s a bit of vagueness. I’ll grant that. But there are two
        things to remember here. First, because we are toying around with a human life here, don’t you think it would be wise to err on the side of NOT
        murdering someone? Second, are you willing to concede that, after the initial procedure is complete, the embryo/fetus is human and it is therefore murder to end the life of the definitely human organism? What if I WERE to grant that the embryo is only human after the DNA starts replicating? Would you then be willing to concede that the embryo is a
        human?

        And, of course, it is interesting to note that, for the incredibly huge majority of cases, these questions that you raise are completely
        irrelevant. Nice try, though.

        “What about spontaneous miscarriages- are we going to find women guilty of manslaughter, if we can somehow prove that she didn’t do everything right during her pregnancy?”

        Again, another attempt to make this more complicated than it has to be. Obviously, if a woman is drinking and smoking and acting obviously inappropriately when she knows that she is pregnant, there could be legal ramifications. And why not?

        And to __o_: I know that you think that NJR and I haven’t talked to many women about our views, but the truth is on the contrary. When I was running
        YWC, the main protest I got from conservative women was that I didn’t talk about abortion very much. Conservative women tend to be much more pro-life than conservative men. And despite Lance’s stupid argument that
        “[h]istorically (and now), pregnancy has been used to keep women in a certain societal role,” women still are some of the most important pro-life warriors. So save your prejudicial crap.

      8. I think using the term "pro-abortion" is "disgusting and intellectually dishonest." That implies that we want people — nay, crave for people — to have abortions. We are not pro-abortion, we are pro-choice.

        Oh, and let me play Devil's advocate here:

        "Not only does it require one to reject the majority opinion of embryologists that the child in the womb is in fact a child…"

        Well, your stance on climate change requires one to reject the majority opinion of climatologists, physicists, and scientists in general. So, you must be wrong, right? Hahaha, silly guy

      9. I do, in fact, find the anti-abortion position to be disgusting and intellectually dishonest, as it treats the pregnant mother as nothing more than a vessel. Whether or not a woman gets pregnant in the first place and carries her baby to term should be entirely up to the woman. The state has absolutely no business getting involved in that question.

      10. Aww, someone sounds a wittle angwy. I condone your "stupid" rants because I believe in the freedom of speech, but that doesn't mean I "might as well be doing it." What a "stupid" argument. Further, you still didn't address your own stupidity, Mr. Dent. Please respond:

        "Not only does it require one to reject the majority opinion of embryologists that the child in the womb is in fact a child…"

        Your stance on climate change requires one to reject the majority opinion of climatologists, physicists, and scientists in general. So, you must be wrong, right?

  1. __o__, you seem to have fallen to the same intellectual level of Jessica.

    "The state has absolutely no business getting involved in that question. "

    Your point demands that the state get involved in that question. You are incapable of understanding the concept of a positive right, that what you are classifying as a basic freedom due to an individual actually requires positive action by initiated by the government.

    Such an action absolutely cannot override my negative freedom to choose whether to support a question which you claim the "the state has absolutely no business getting involved in."

  2. Comment Pt. I: Abortion is a traumatic procedure that poses a terrible choice and should be a method of last resort. The reality is that the world is messy and complex, and the staunch pro-life position is a perfect-world scenario that requires no personal sacrifice beyond a rhetorical stand (and abstinence, but let's talk in 10 years to see how that's going). Yes, we should encourage sexually active people to have the children they conceive (and we should also encourage them to be sexually responsible). But I never hear much about offering to raise an unwanted child, or supporting the family doesn’t have the resources for the child they decided to bring to term. How about the pregnant woman who discovers she has an illness whose treatment may seriously harm her child?

    1. So, wait a second. Lemme get this straight.
      A pregnant woman discovers that she has an illness whose treatment may seriously harm her child. So, she should abort it? THAT makes sense!

      The bottom line is that having an abortion means that you simply are not taking responsibility for your actions and in turn, you are murdering a child because you made a mistake. And don't bother giving me the "What about rape victims?!" The number of pregnancies that result from rape are incredibly small. And, even in that case, adoption is a perfectly viable option.

      "I never hear much about offering to raise an unwanted child"
      I'll assume that you simply didn't think about adoption.

      "supporting the family doesn’t have the resources for the child they decided to bring to term"
      Here's the thing. They CHOSE to have the child, with full knowledge that they were not financially stable. It was a decision. And guess what? People should be expected to live with their decisions.

      1. My point is that pro-lifers need to go beyond the simple principle that abortion is wrong, and engage the question of how to foster a society that allows people to thrive. Let's talk after YOU've opened an orphanage for unwanted children, provided support services for sexual assault, and run a shelter for needy families. Get out and see the world. The answered aren't as easy in practice as they look on paper.

      2. Before you start making accusations as to what I have or haven't done, my family is currently in the process of adopting two girls whose mother did not want them. So, you can take your high mighty position of world "experience" and shove it.

        "You can condemn abortion, but I vote that we err on the side of less laws and allow people to struggle with these questions themselves and with their families" Using that logic, one could argue that we rid ourselves of all laws and just let humanity figure it out. I guess things like murder, drug-use, rape, and all these other "moral dilemmas" don't really require any regulation. You, sir, are brilliant.

        Here. I'll give you the ramifications of outlawing abortion. The very small number of cases in which rape and incest result in pregnancies, will result in children. Those who would still have abortions would be tried as murders and sentenced accordingly. You dance around the issue to avoid (I can only assume here) committing to one side or the other. All laws deal with the "issues" that you've raised. Murder: what about self defense? Stealing: what if you are starving? Lying under oath: what if you are trying to protect someone? And yet, murder, stealing, and lying under oath are all against the law, and rightly so. The issues that could potentially occur as a result of said law take a back seat to the primary issue. There is no dancing around that fact.

        You accuse Riley and me of not seeing the whole picture, or not grasping the full ramifications when you can't see past your own nose. Your beliefs on governance lead to anarchy and chaos.

      3. Before you start making accusations as to what I have or haven't done, my family is currently in the process of adopting two girls whose mother did not want them. So, how about you take your high mighty position of world "experience" and shove it.

        I'll give you the ramifications of prohibiting abortion. Those few cases in which incest or rape result in pregnancies would result in children. Those who still persisted in having an abortion would be tried as murderers and sentenced accordingly. You persistently dance around the issue. What you fail to understand is that ALL laws deal with the "issues" that you describe. Murder: what about self defense? Stealing: what if you are starving? Lying under oath: what if you are trying to protect someone? Regardless of the issues, murder, stealing, and lying under oath are still against the law, and rightly so. The issues that could potentially arise take a back seat to the primary issue.

        "You can condemn abortion, but I vote that we err on the side of less laws and allow people to struggle with these questions themselves and with their families" Using that logic, one could argue that we rid ourselves of all laws and just let humanity figure it out. I guess things like murder, drug-use, rape, and all these other "moral dilemmas" don't really require any regulation. You, sir, are brilliant.

        You accuse Riley and I of not seeing the whole picture, or not grasping the full ramifications, but you fail to see past your own nose. Your views on governance will logically lead to anarchy and chaos.

      4. "Those who still persisted in having an abortion would be tried as murderers and sentenced accordingly."

        Let's talk about this — so women and their doctors would be charged with murder — I assume we're talking first degree murder here, since getting an abortion is a premeditated act — so the death penalty would apply in many states. Outlawing abortion will affect its availability, but probably won't affect demand too much. About 28% of all women in the US have had an abortion, so you're looking at executing an awful lot of women and doctors. When you outlaw abortion, will you prosecute the 30,000,000 women (and their doctors) who have had abortions since 1967, or will there be some sort of amnesty?

      5. And you persist in dancing around the issue and dropping red herrings.

        You should notice my choice of the word "persisted". What that implies is that those who continue to have abortions AFTER it has been outlawed would be tried as murderers and sentenced.

        Outlawing abortion isn't some attack on women's rights and the purpose in the ban isn't to "get back" at those who have had an abortion. It's purpose is to stop murder. So, ___o_ please stop trying to set me up as some hybrid of Hitler and Jack the ripper and argue the points. That you continually attack me is what is referred to as an ad hominem attack. Those usually indicate that you have no argument, so you try and bash the person you disagree with to build up your sad.

      6. I'm just asking you to consider the implications of your position. Would you execute women and their doctors for abortion-related crimes?

        "Outlawing abortion isn't some attack on women's rights" — you haven't talked to many women about this, have you?

      7. Do you have the ability to read between the lines? No, I would support executing women and doctors for actions that we not previously crimes. If a woman had an abortion after it was outlawed, then they would be guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced accordingly. And if execution is what is merited, then perhaps she should have thought about NOT murdering a child.

        To put it plain and simple, abortion isn't an attack on woman's rights because no one, man or woman, has the right to take an innocent life. No one's rights are being violated except the aborted child who has the right to live. Just as a woman doesn't have the right to dash a child's brains on the floor once it has been born, a woman does not have the right to have an abortion, because abortion is murder.

      8. OK, thanks for clearing that up. How many women and doctors do you think would be executed every year? There are currently about 1.2 million abortions performed annually, it's one of the most common surgical procedures in the US. Let's say that making it illegal cuts that number down to half a million. Of those, some small percentage would result in arrests and prosecution; a smaller percentage would result in the death penalty. You could still be looking at executing hundreds or thousands of women and doctors every year. This number would probably drop a bit over time as there would be some deterrent effect, but I don't think the actual demand for abortion would decrease much unless you couple your abortion ban with an aggressive campaign to distribute and/or subsidize birth control and sex education. Somehow, I don't see that happening…

      9. You're simply arguing hypothetical situations and your own extreme extrapolations of the situation.

        You're argument consists of the following:

        Even if you outlaw abortions, they will still occur (kind of like murder)
        Lots of abortions would occur each year, even though people know that it is punishable by death (also kind of like murder)
        Therefore, we shouldn't bother outlawing it because people will ignore it. (Sounds like a case for removing the ban on murder)

        When you outlaw something, and enforce it, then people will stop doing it. You are "arguing" against my point by setting up extreme possibilities and citing those as reasons to not outlaw it. Never mind the fact that you are completely side stepping the point of outlawing abortion, your argument is either the result of not thinking through, or you simply don't know how to argue the point without hyperbole.

      10. "And don't bother giving me the "What about rape victims?!" The number of pregnancies that result from rape are incredibly small. And, even in that case, adoption is a perfectly viable option."

        You would force a rape victim to carry her rapist's child for 9 months and undergo the health risks of pregnancy and childbirth? That is vile and disgusting, a real indication that you have no respect for women.

      11. And you would kill the child who has done nothing wrong in order to avoid the potential health risks of pregnancy? That is a clear indication that you have no respect for the life of an innocent child. Why you bother trying to shame ME is crazy. Considering that your stance is that we kill a defenseless child who has not done anything wrong, what could you POSSIBLY say to me that is worse than that? You would rather fund an abortion than fund the birthing the child. THAT is sick. Of course, since you delude yourself into thinking that life does not begin at conception, then getting pregnant is merely a nuisance until the "child" is born.

        While the fact that she got pregnant as a result of rape is tragic, the fact of the matter is that she has a child (the rapist's child or not). You are willing to kill that child to avoid taking a risk. I would rather risk the mother's discomfort and potential complications than kill a child. Priorities, I suppose. In the end though, your priorities ALWAYS result in death. Mine do not. Who is the monster?

      12. I can't imagine any woman wanting to carry her rapist's child, yet you would force her to do so. I find that monstrous and amoral, yes. Getting pregnant is not a nuisance, it's a life-changing process, a profound act and potentially a health risk for the mother. I don't know what makes you think I would characterize it as a nuisance — you seem to be the one trivializing pregnancy here. I just don't see this issue in the same simplistic moral terms you do.

      13. "I just don't see this issue in the same simplistic moral terms you do."

        No, you simply ignore facts. The fact that you are killing a child means nothing to you because it is simply easier to ignore it and call me a monster for having the mother NOT kill a defenseless child.

        It's the lesser of two evils in this case. That you find killing a child as preferable to having the woman bear the child is unbelievable.

      14. It's an easy call for me; I believe that the life of an adult woman is always more important than that of a fetus. It appears that you believe the opposite, that once a woman becomes pregnant, her rights are negated or subsumed to the task of giving birth.

      15. BS. Don't try and turn the argument against me. WHAT rights does the mother have that the child does not? I can only assume that your use of the term "fetus" implies that you believe that it does not become a child until a certain point. And seeing as I will never convince you even with flawless logic, there isn't much of a point in continuing, now is there?

      16. What's BS? I find your logic to be quite a bit less than flawless. Of course the mother has legal and moral standing that the unborn child does not. If you grant legal standing to an unborn child, then rights of the pregnant mother must be diminished in some way; her right to self-determination must be significantly interrupted during pregnancy. I find this position to be morally repugnant, as I believe a woman has the right to determine whether or not she becomes pregnant and once pregnant, she has just as much right to determine the course of her life (and pregnancy) as she did when she was not-pregnant. More than a third of all women in the US have an abortion by the time they reach age 45 — yet you would casually criminalize them all with no regard for their own interests.

      17. "I find your logic to be quite a bit less than flawless." Seeing as you don't actually refute what I was referring to, I'll assume that you didn't realize that I was referring to the fetus being human.

        The "course" of her pregnancy? Funny as you include "terminating the pregnancy" as part of the course of pregnancy.

        Your argument is entirely based around the assumption that the fetus is not a child. I am challenging that premise, which, when proven to be false, will falsify your conclusion.

        As stated previously, you cannot attach a time x to when the fetus becomes human, because it necessarily begs the question of what about "x-1"? What is that changes in the child at point x that changes the fetus into a human. You cannot define that change.

        What defines us as human is simply a question that biology cannot answer. Therefore, you are required to go beyond what science has to offer in order to define humanity. Or, you are forced to assume that the fetus is a child. Either way, you cannot merely dismiss the humanity of the "fetus". I hate repeating myself, but abortion is murder, plain and simple. Neither the feelings of the mother, her economic situation, nor her political beliefs have any bearing on that fact.

  3. Comment Pt.II: The point is that abortion decisions are often so case-specific that most health plans cover abortion because they don’t want to be making that decision for the patient. Do you want the government making these decisions for you? And we enter truly dangerous ground when pro-life advocacy crosses over into abortion prohibition (limiting access is a form of prohibition). We shouldn't accept the few individuals who view abortion as a casual means of birth control as reason to withdraw that right, just as we would not outlaw guns because people kill others with them. If you want to know how well abortion prohibition works, take a look at El Salvador now, or Romania in the 1980s. We’ve been there already and we should not go back.

    1. Lance, your argument is such a cop-out. *Said in a whiny, feminist, liberal-sounding voice*: “Abortion is hard on everyone–not least of all the mother! It’s a difficult, heartrending decision (that I brought upon myself probably on a whim).”

      Here’s the thing: I don’t care how “case-specific” you want to make abortion sound–at the end of the day, you’re taking a human life. All your other juvenile points need to be considered in light of the FACT that aborting someone is the same as killing someone.

      1. I suggest that your argument is a cop-out. It's all too easy to take a pure and idealistic view, but that ultimately gets us nowhere in the real world. So what's your next step? If Abortion = Murder, then no abortions allowed ever? Will you ask for the death penalty for the aborting parent? What do you hope to achieve by this? Do you think this will make people good parents? We should definitely encourage people to make good life decisions and take responsibility for their actions. My criticism is that you never step beyond your hardline principle and address all the issues that result from it.

      2. “If Abortion is Murder, then no abortions ever?”

        Yes, that seems pretty logical to me. I’m sorry that children are such a pain in the neck, but I don’t think that that justifies killing them. And, yes, abortion is murder. See my post that proves that it is so.

        “Will you ask for the death penalty for the aborting parent?”

        This is a red herring. Certainly, since I think that it should be illegal, I think that punitive actions should be taken against (more than just) the aborting parent. This, however, does NOT mean that I would seek the death penalty.

        “What do you hope to achieve by this?”

        What do I hope to achieve by what? Making abortion illegal? Well, I don’t know…let’s see. Oh, yeah–how about a reduction in the number of children murdered every year?

        “Do you think this will make people good parents?”

        Well, I think that it will prevent the murder of children. That’s what I think. And, more times than not, a parent who doesn’t kill her child is a better parent than she who does.

        My criticism is that you want to make excuses for convenient murder.

      3. Hey Riley, I'm not in total opposition to your position, but I get the sense that you aren't considering the full ramifications of said position. Your last post seemed to indicate no exceptions whatsoever (rape, incest). Amongst the legal questions are then: to what degree to we categorize this offense? 1st, 2nd degree murder/manslaughter? What's the punishment? To what extent are will willing to restrain a woman intent on having an abortion? Can we force her to bring the child to term or will we only jail her after the procedure? If the child lives, who's responsible for he/she if the primary caretakers are jailed? Do they get the child back when they get out? If she tells her friend of her intention and the friend fails to report it, is the friend an accomplice to murder? Does your answer change if the aborter was your daughter? Would you turn her in? Medically, at what point does the welfare of the child overtake the welfare of the mother? What is your reasoning for making this determination? Etc. etc. We now end up with a labyrinthe legal statutes that has to address all these exceptions and permutations.

      4. Why wouldn't you seek the death penalty? Would you seek the death penalty for other premediated murders? What about spontaneous miscarriages- are we going to find women guilty of manslaughter, if we can somehow prove that she didn't do everything right during her pregnancy?

        And if your answers to the last two are yes, and no, you're concedeing the fact that a fetus is somehow different from a birthed human, and somehow, has less rights then one.

  4. More: It's a worthy goal to reduce (eliminate?) casual abortions, but there's a big leap from that to abortion prohibition as the solution to that problem. I hesitate to toss in the many failures of different forms of prohibition as deterent to bad behavior, as abortion is indeed a special case, but hopefully you get my point. I think a problem is that people often equate legality with morality. They inform each other, but they're not synonymous. Now, here's where we get into the proper role of government. You can condemn abortion, but I vote that we err on the side of less laws and allow people to struggle with these questions themselves and with their families.

    1. “Your last post seemed to indicate no exceptions whatsoever (rape, incest).”

      That’s because, when it comes to abortion, there is no difference. You’re still killing a child, even if that child is inbred or the child of a rapist.

      As far as your legal questions are concerned, they will obviously have to be addressed, but it doesn’t change the fact that abortion is murder. That’s why I accused you of copping out–you’d rather see children killed than experience the discomfort of addressing legal issues.

      “Does your answer change if the aborter was your daughter?”

      No, my answer does not change.

      “Would you turn her in?”

      Depends on what the laws were. But what I would do personally has no bearing on what’s right.

      “Medically, at what point does the welfare of the child overtake the welfare of the mother?”

      First, the whole “health of the mother” argument is most of the time bogus. It’s very rare that abortion would help the health of the mother. But either way, you cannot actively kill one person to save another. Think about it this way: If the baby is threatening the life of the mother to such an extent that the mother is in danger of dying, then the baby is also in danger of dying, for the baby is in the mother’s womb. In that case, a Cesarean section might be required or labor-inducing drugs, not for the purpose of killing the child, but for the purpose of saving him and the mother. The point is, abortion, per se, is never necessary. Also, it seems to be natural for a mother (and, for that matter, a father) to give her life for her children. But I guess I’m just old-fashioned.

      “…I vote that we err on the side of less (sic) laws and allow people to struggle with these questions themselves and with their families.”

      There is much I could say here. I could point how ridiculous it is to let the average person figure out for himself/herself what’s murder and what’s not. But I think I’m instead going to point out that most people who have abortions are not terribly bright. They typically have low levels of education, they are poor, and they weren’t smart enough to avoid the pregnancy in the first place. Most educated, civilized people don’t consider the “option” of abortion. Abortion is basically the birth control of the lower class. Sorry to sound like an elitist, but I don’t think (and history backs me up here) that the question of the morality of abortion should be left up to such people.

  5. FOOD FOR THOUGHT: I think there’s a grand bargain to be made here. Historically (and now), pregnancy has been used to keep women in a certain societal role. We see that today in societies around the world, where female babies are not valued like males. Abusive partners try impregnation as a way to hold on to their abused partner. Motherhood is a beautiful thing, but if you believe in liberty and the individual pursuit of happiness, then you can’t expect all women to choose that path. I think all but the most extreme pro-choicers recognize abortion as a tear in the moral fabric, but they also fear the regressive path that is easily visualized in the face of those who make the leap that all contraception is tantamount to abortion. This is where the pro-life position jumps the shark for me. As having a baby is one of the most profound experiences in life, so it sex with a loving partner. Is there a happy couple anywhere in existence that has only had sex for the purpose of procreation? It’s not inconsistent to hear the message, “have safe sex, but if you get pregnant, it’s your duty to have that baby.”

    1. "Historically (and now), pregnancy has been used to keep women in a certain societal role." I find the phrasing in this sentence "peculiar". Especially when you place it next to "Motherhood is a beautiful thing"

      Perhaps I am simply misinterpreting your words, but it seems to me like you claim that men "use" pregnancy in order to "keep" women in the home. Do you mean to imply that women are meant to be elsewhere, or that they potentially could have a different role? And, even if the potential exists, in your opinion, would you rather have the woman in the home, taking care of child (doing what is in her nature) or off in the workplace?

      I also fail to see the "grand bargain" part.

      1. You understand correctly. The biology of childbearing has become institutionalized into rigidly defined societal roles, and not always with benign intention (yes, there has been intentional subjugation of women, past and present). This is increasingly less so in Western societies, and I think that's a good thing (self-determination, it encourages thinking about "what's best" vs. "what's expected"). Because a woman is able to birth a child does not equate to the father being less able than her to nurture the child. I do not see a problem with the working mother/stay-at-home father scenario. The goal should be in raising a well-adjusted and productive member of society, and with so many variables involved, the path to this end is up to families to work out based upon their individual situations.

        The grand bargain here is that pro-choicers may be willing to concede the moral issue of abortion if pro-lifers could refrain from overstepping into other issues with regard to sexual and parental choices.

      2. So, let me get this straight. Biology, or nature has dictated what roles men and women are meant to have….And this is bad….

        Think about what you are implying. You believe that it is a good thing to go against one's nature. That simply astounds me. That is not to say that you CAN'T have a working mother, but it is certainly not what we should strive for.
        "The goal should be in raising a well-adjusted and productive member of society" And time and time again we have seen that children without a father figure, or a mother figure are troubled kids.

        "a woman is able to birth a child does not equate to the father being less able than her to nurture the child" It's not a matter of "less able" so much as the woman is simply better at it. She is naturally more nurturing. That doesn't mean that the man cannot be nurturing, but if the goal is what's best for the child, then shouldn't the roles be filled by the most qualified person?

        The bargain that you propose is hardly a bargain. What bearing does a pro-lifer's opinion on sexual promiscuity have to do with the moral implications of abortion? Stances aren't like items that can be bartered. You can concede a point, but no one says, "I'll give for capital punishment if you give me abortion." That simply doesn't make sense.

      3. Think about what you are implying. You’re taking a surprisingly reductive view of the human experience, and if you want to take the biology/nature argument to determine our purposes in life then you’ll be headed down some paths that will strongly conflict with some of your other arguments. By definition, society /societal convention puts limits on our natural inclinations. Would you not chalk up sexual promiscuity to nature? The male urge is to spread his seed far and wide, but I suspect that you hardly condone this behavior. There’s a host of other bad behaviors that are biologically based as well, and there’s a great danger in allowing science an undue influence on our moral deliberations. Freakonomics attributed the exceptional drop in crime in the early ‘90s to the availability of abortion, but I doubt that you’d accept that as a pro-abortion argument (I don’t either).

      4. Back to motherhood, biology makes clear the benefits of certain parental actions – certainly, it’s best to breast feed, and in the three months following birth you’re just trying to recreate the conditions of the womb, hence it’s logical for the mother to play a large role here. But I’d be skeptical of how far you take those conclusions. For (an anecdotal) example, my brother is much more nurturing than his wife. He’s the first one to console the crying child and attend to her needs. Does this make him less of a Man? Is his wife a bad mother? They’re fantastic parents! And, if you believe that the child-rearing ideal is the stay-at-home mother, how far are you willing to support that goal? If it’s best for our society to have stay-at-home mothers, why don’t we subsidize it so that mothers never have to go to work to help with financial support?

      5. Pardon me for not being more explicit, but the grand bargain is political, not moral. There’s a lot of talking past each other and we’re stuck on a common conflict of principle vs. greatest good. One side states that the principle stands, damn the consequences, and the other side counters that the greatest good is not met with said principle. Personally, I’m pretty tired of the popular discourse on this issue.

      6. Hey editors, where's the rest of my post? Here it is again (condensed): Think about what you are implying. You’re taking a surprisingly reductive view of the human experience, and the biology/nature argument in determining life’s purposes will lead you towards some conflicting conclusions. By definition, society /societal convention puts limits on our natural inclinations. Is sexual promiscuity not a natural behavior (the male urge to spread his seed far and wide)? Beyond the other bad behaviors that are biologically based, there’s the danger in science having an undue influence on our moral deliberations. Freakonomics attributed the early 90s drop in crime to the availability of abortion, but I doubt that you’d accept that as a pro-abortion argument (I don’t either).

  6. Back to motherhood, biology makes clear the benefits of certain parental actions -breast feeding, other immediate postnatal care, but I’d be skeptical of how far you take those conclusions. Ex. A man who’s more nurturing than his wife. Does this make him less of a Man? Is his wife a bad mother? And, if the child-rearing ideal is the stay-at-home mother, how far are you willing to support that goal? If that’s best for our society, why don’t we subsidize it?

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