Abortion in the Republican YouTube Debate


Does anyone else think that last night's CNN/YouTube Republican debate, while covering a range of important issues addressed in a (mostly) intelligent way by Americans around the country, ultimately felt deflating? There was discussion on everything from the Iraq war to the Holy Bible to gays and lesbians in the military. But none of the candidates' responses seemed to make the race any less, well, predictable. After the debate was over, a CNN anchor talked to a room filled with twenty-four "undecided" Republican Floridians who had viewed the debate to get their feedback. 12 men and 12 women and not one of them said the debate made the race any clearer for them. One woman actually said she thought maybe she'd vote for John Edwards because "these guys keep saying the same thing over and over again."

One thing the twenty-four did agree on? Those theoretically hot-button issues like abortion were not nearly as important in their decision to support a particular candidate as the media make them out to be.

It is seemingly inevitable, however, for the subject of abortion to make a showing at a presidential debate, isn't it? The geography of reproductive health is expansive – HIV/AIDS, sexuality education, maternal health, lack of access to basic reproductive heath services for millions of Americans – and yet it's abortion that gets the spotlight. It's a perfect match for the sensationalism and simplicity of a debate forum- controversial, and easily molded into a black and white issue. Despite the fact that presidential candidates – both Democrats and Republicans – have a hard time articulating exactly what they do and don't stand for in regards to abortion rights, candidates' have been traditionally pushed to take an "all or nothing" stance by the mainstream media.

But abortion is not a simple issue for many Americans. And among Republican presidential candidates' there is a more complex landscape this time around.

Rudy Giuliani is a wild card. With a careful, pro-choice stand on abortion that also includes support for parental consent and for the Supreme Court decision banning a particular type of abortion procedure, Giuliani has changed the Republican campaign dialogue.

And there's Mitt Romney – a man who has made pendulum like swings between his pro-choice and anti-choice positions throughout his political career. To wit, Romney was just taken to task by the Republican Majority for Choice over what they call his "flip-flopping" on the abortion issue.

In preparation for last night's CNN/YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, FL, over 1,000 Floridians were surveyed on a range of election issues. According to the Baltimore Sun, "19% of the likely Republican voters surveyed said they believe that abortion should be legal under any circumstances and 61% said that it should be legal under certain circumstances. However, in the same survey, 38% of these likely Republican voters ‘voiced for a preference for Giuliani.'"

So I waited in anticipation for the old standard "are you for or against" abortion question to be raised, certain that CNN would pick a simple question from those submitted to YouTube to illicit those black and white answers.

Thank god I was disappointed.

Sure, I had to sit through the video question from the young man soldierly dressed, holding his huge firearm slung over one shoulder, demanding answers to whether or not the candidates' support the 2nd amendment. And, yes, it was painful to watch the eight white men on stage squirm when a young, Black man named Printess and his father asked what the candidates would do to remedy the "war at home" – black-on-black crime, particularly in the inner cities. More than one of the presidential candidates apparently thinks that African-Americans and Hispanics are one big "other" group with which to deal collectively.

But when Journey's video question was actually aired I admit I pumped my fist in the air. Or maybe I slammed my hand down on my table. I can't remember (even though it was like time stopped for a moment. Really.).

You may remember Journey from RH Reality Check's eNews and her post last week where she shared why it has been so important to her to submit a range of video questions on reproductive health issues to the debate. RH Reality Check contacted Journey before the debates precisely because we appreciated her nuanced and assertive questions about reproductive health issues. And it is true that any of Journey's questions that were submitted to YouTube would have been a worthy addition to the sequence of questions at the debate.

But the question she asked that was put to the Republican presidential candidates was the one I thought would never get asked (kudos to the CNN employees who chose it!):

In the event that abortion becomes illegal and a woman obtains an abortion anyway, what should she be charged with and what should her penalty be? What about the doctor who performs the abortion?

It's an important question and one that addresses an issue that has only recently gained traction in the reproductive rights discourse. If one supports the criminalization of abortion, how can one not support criminally punishing women who access abortion in that theoretical instance? The candidates' responses were unsatisfying and evasive across the board. Ron Paul stuck to his tried and true position on abortion telling viewers, and Journey, that the legality of abortion should not be a federal issue or as he put it "left up to the federal abortion police." Paul said that the determination of whether abortion is or isn't a crime should be left to the states. He didn't hesitate to add that, as an obstetrician, he "never saw a medically necessary abortion" and that "when talking about third and partial birth abortions there must be a criminal penalty."

Paul also said that it was the doctors who perform the abortions who should be punished and simply stated that women who obtain abortions illegally shouldn't face criminal charges.

Fred Thompson responded that if Roe v. Wade is overturned and abortion becomes illegal the issue should be "fashioned along the same lines as it is now" with abortion being prohibited after viability and doctors getting penalized criminally for breaking the law. But Thompson didn't address the part of Journey's question which asked whether women should face criminal charges for obtaining an illegal abortion.

I immediately contacted Journey after her question was aired, who was clearly not satisfied with the candidates' responses:

"In my opinion, neither of them answered the question and I think this just goes to prove that this means they'll have to put a face to abortion and that it…just points out the inconsistencies in such a pro-life stance."

Journey's video response to the candidates:

In reference to a question about a Congressional abortion ban, Giuliani made clear that he would not sign a federal abortion ban that came across his desk as president, preferring, once again to leave it up to the states to decide. Giuliani also clearly stated that abortion should not be criminalized but saddled with certain restrictions, like parental consent.

Mitt Romney weighed in saying that he would "welcome a circumstance where there was a consensus on not wanting abortion" across America but that the time for that is not yet here. Romney feels certain that Americans want to overturn Roe v. Wade and return the decision to the states despite the fact that consistently Americans polled say they do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned.

Romney was, overall, excellent (if not a little defensive) at sticking to his script when confronted about his changing position on the abortion issue telling the audience, "I was wrong. Yes, I changed my mind. I am pro-life now. I am pro-life now." Romney is unwavering in this message but it may give some pause to wonder why his words are so, well, scripted on this issue.

The debate had its share of warm, unscripted and even funny moments: Thompson breathing a sigh of relief that the animated cartoon video image of Dick Cheney was not a portrayal of him or Mike Huckabee unequivocally stating that Jesus was too smart to run for public office.

But overall my evening shared with the Republican presidential candidates left me feeling fairly certain that, as one of the twenty-four interviewed viewers after the debate put it, "… it's going to take the undecided, independent and moderate Republicans and Democrats to decide this race. No one was swayed."

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  • invalid-0

    Like most pro-death proponents she wants to hang the question up on the criminal penalty toward the woman getting the abortion and the abortionist and not on the criminal act done to the baby.

    Simple fact is the human baby being killed is BEING KILLED at the willing consent of the mother and the abortionist. The mother and the abortionist do not have the moral or the legal right to end that baby’s life- the baby has not given consent. WTF is wrong with you people? It is not her body alone anymore when she has a baby in her body. It is a complete growing seperate human being. Even the zygote. Get it?

    She refuses to respond to Ron Paul becasue she didn’t hear his answer? WTF again. Replay the clip to see his answer. He answered her very clear. He sees no medical reason in his 30+ years as an obsetrician to kill babies in the womb. Logic would conclude that when he said the woman would not be charged with a crime in most cases the abortionist would be. And rightly so.

    Why not the woman (in most cases)? If I wanted to cut off my perfectly healthy arms because…I just wanted to. Will you throw me in jail for being an idiot or the doctor who cut them off because he wanted the money?

    Sad fact is Journey, your on-demand pro-death position is illogical and unhealthy to society not the least of which to the unborn who is also part of teh society though ihe/she has yet to join us. The Federal government has no authority to allow the taking of life like RoevWade. It is not a privacy issue because the human baby in the woamn is not afforded the same protection. The State government deals with such details, and though Dr. Paul does not agree persoanlly with abortion he is wise enough to see that such local decisions should be left up to the local communities in the States. Understand that. He knows not everyone agrees with his or your position on this or other issues, but it is the freedom of our Constituion that affords us the liberty to decide for ourselves on the local level, not the federal level for elective surgery limitations and other civil affairs.

    You might lose the ability to legally kill your baby, and I might be forced to wear a helmet when I ride my Harley if each state is allowed to decide for themselves what kind of regulations and restrictions deemed best for the citizens of each state. The flip side is also true. Read the Constitution why states have more rights than the federal government. Be brave and vote for liberty Journey. Edwards et.al. wants to decide things on your behalf that is not his to decide, and pay for them with money not his to spend.

    • invalid-0

      So..

      What do YOU think the legal penalities should be for a woman that gets an abortion? After all, if a woman was an accessory to the murder of her five-year old child, she would be charged. It is normal procedure to charge the murderer as well as the person who “ordered the hit” as being an accessory to murder.

      Since the fetus is a living being, and having an abortion is murder, perhaps you can understand why I am very confused by your statement..

      “Logic would conclude that when he said the woman would not be charged with a crime in most cases the abortionist would be.”

      I don’t understand the logic behind that statement. Could you please explain? Thanks!

  • http://www.nirhealth.org invalid-0

    Congratulations to Journey on bringing this important question to the debate!

    Many RH Reality Check readers joined our Communications Connection webinar this week about the National Institute for Reproductive Health’s Messaging Project. For the past two years, we have been conducting extensive research and successful outreach with groups across the country using the criminalization message, similar to Journey’s, pressuring candidates to answer “how much time should she do?” if abortion becomes illegal.

    Results of our focus groups and message testing across the country unequivocally show that questions about criminalization of abortion motivate even soft pro-choice women to say that they will take action to protect a woman’s right to choose. In the 2006 gubernatorial race in Iowa, use of this message helped turn the tide against an anti-choice candidate. For too long, anti-choice supporters have been bringing language into the political debate surrounding abortion that polarizes, frightens, and misinforms people. It’s about time we put our opponents on the defensive and begin to get down to the core of the issue – what will happen to women if abortion is made illegal?

    The National Institute has been partnering with groups on the ground to provide resources to use this powerful message. If you are interested in our webinar presentation, the results of our research, accessing materials to use this messaging in your state, or in partnering with us, please visit http://www.nirhealth.org/sections/ourprograms/ourprograms_messaging_project.asp

  • brady-swenson

    First, Anonymous, thank you for maintaining a respectful and civil tone while commenting.

    I disagree with you that the fetus is an independent being. The fetus, especially during the first two trimesters, is completely dependent on the mother for survival. During this time the fetus is a part of its mother’s body in the sense that the mother’s body is nourishing the fetus and keeping it alive, just as her body does for her arms. You speak of liberty and the constitutional powers given to states to decide matters beyond the powers granted the federal government in the constitution. But Roe v. Wade establishes that a right to privacy is implicit in the constitution and that right to privacy extends to women’s wombs, giving them the right to choose what to do with the dependent being existing in it.

    I am confident Journey will respond to Dr. Paul’s response to her question now that the clips are posted on You Tube, but when she posted this first reply they were not yet available. Though, you might notice, her response to Thompson can be applied to Paul’s response as well. Considering that the woman is the ultimate decision maker in the situation it is certainly inconsistent to apply a punishment to the doctor and not to woman. She’s even paying for the procedure. Not to hold her accountable for an illegal abortion of a fetus would be completely inconsistent with punishments for murdering a person.

    So, why is it that both Paul and Thompson feel the woman is not at fault, not deserving of punishment for what they feel is murder of a human being? It must be that they both feel that an abortion is not the same as murdering a born person, right? Is there an alternative implication here?

    • invalid-0

      A newborn for maybe the first 5 years is completely dependent on the parents with the only difference being how food and shelter is provided. I don’t see the point.

      By your logic I should have the right to cut off my arms for no other reason than I want to. That is bizarre.

      RvW was wrongly decided. It should be removed from federal jurisdiction. It is not a privacy issue. A blastocyst is not like a wart.

      The woman is not the only decision maker. The abortionist has a decision to make. The father should have the same authority in such a situation. As a result of RvW a woman could choose to abort the baby without the consent or knowledge of the father. If he knew and wanted to keep the baby he has no say in the matter. If the woman chooses to keep the baby, the father is held minimally financially responsible for the next 18 years. That is totally unfair and unjust. If RvW remains active men should be given the opportunity to opt out of that responsibility.

      Both should be given the opportunity to make bad decisions under the current scenario, but it is unbalanced, unfair, and unjust.

      Thompson and Paul are very different. Dr. Paul is consistent and clear. I think it interesting that only recently has Thompson (and others) been saying things like states rights- away from the federal government laws is where this and other decisions lie. Look it up, Dr. Ron Paul has been saying this for decades. I will answer your last question more directly by my response to the other poster who responded to my OP.

  • invalid-0

    Thank you, Amy, for your comment. Your research and the potential for new messaging using the criminalization message is fascinating. Anti-choice advocates generally will not engage that discussion because it means admitting that one cannot criminalize an act without penalizing the person who engages or is complicit in the act itself.

    The anti-choice frame has focused on the abortion procedure itself. But what happens when we expand the discussion and talk about what it would look like for abortion to become criminalized in this country? What would that be like for women? For families led by women? For families of younger women? Or doesn’t that matter?

    We’d love to see a post written about this and how your organization is helping advocates use this message to counter anti-choice rhetoric!

    Thanks!

  • invalid-0

    Why should the abortionist get a criminal sentence and the woman not get one, if abortion is murder and the two have decided together to murder a baby?

  • invalid-0

    A few assumptions and benchmarks should be established. I am anti-abortion, anti-death penalty, and Catholic. Only recently have I fully understood the Church’s position on abortion that makes sense to me. Dr. Paul is not Catholic.

    So you know, until recently (6-7 months ago) I was also a supporter of the war in Iraq, and pro-death penalty (Changed my mind years ago on that). I challenge others to fairly examine their own positions with reason and logic with the attempt to be fair and maintain human dignity in all things. I urge you to read the many writings of Dr. Paul- he uses reason and logic to be fair for these kinds of decisions. He is a remarkable man because he also lives by that ethic of life and doesn’t just say it. Integrity should mean something.

    There are many other qualifiers but if RvW were overturned/state made abortion illegal, and an abortion was performed, and not addressing the abortionist/other:
    #1. A 13 yr old girl raped/impregnated by her father.
    #2. A 13 yr old impregnated by a 23 yr old.
    #3. A 13 yr old impregnated by another 13 yr old.
    #4. A 23 yr old impregnated by consensual sex.
    #5. A 23 yr old impregnated by nonconsensual sex.
    #6. A 33 yr old married, 18th child, poor, stressed…

    Crimes have already been committed in #1 and #2. That girl needs as much protection as her baby did. Under what circumstance can anyone give to withhold notifying the legal authorities of these crimes? The girl is a total victim and help should be provided.

    The authorities should determine if the parents in #2 are complicit or are the most reasonable authority to discipline their child who is their responsibility.

    In neither case of #1,2,3 is the child to be prosecuted by the law. If she keeps getting pregnant, maybe other steps are warranted.

    Great empathy should be extended to both #5 and #6, and in the local court of law I am sure it would be. Peers would determine an appropriate condemnation but blanket mandatory sentences should never be levied- like the 3-strikes law and the WoD laws. Compassion and sensitivities is what has been removed by the over reaching federal mandates such as RvW.

    Unlike the others #4 is the most common use of abortion today. Reasons vary widely but you would be hard pressed to convince me that it is not just a after-the-fact form of birth control. The decision has already been made to have sex. The result is the baby who has done no wrong and is by all scientific data and reasonable conclusion a unique human being from the moment of conception. The sperm is already alive as is the egg. If either were found under a rock on mars- even if it were dead, LIFE would be the headlines. That is difficult to deny.

    I don’t know what punishment would be appropriate. I would not want to be on the jury for such a case, but that does not mean a case should not be brought. Civic duty is often difficult, but the duty remains. Abortion in those cases is a sad tragedy. All things should be considered in deciding an appropriate consequence for such a decision as having an abortion, but the life destroyed should not be disregarded to a mere tissue mass like blowing ones nose.

    If your rebuttal to me strays to the personal choice line, please do not bother. It is not a personal choice because a person is being killed in that choice. You may disagree, but the argument is not sound.

    No politician will give everyone what they want personally. But the politician that says you have the liberty to decide what is best for you rather than have the government decide and regulate for you, is the type of politician I can support. Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness are rights afforded to us by our Creator, upheld by our Constitution. This includes the living unborn. Our freedom is limited only by the prohibition to injure another person or persons property. Our Constitution allows us to locally consensus our civil laws to accommodate reasonable limits for various offences from the simple common good (speed limits) to the more complex (taking of a life).

    Are there exceptions/conditions to most every rule, yes, but to use an appropriate euphemism; we should not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  • invalid-0

    As to why the abortionist should be charged is obvious to a rational thinking person. They are the one commiting the violent act. He has no legal right to kill the baby even if the mother agreed. A doctor would have no legal right to amputate my arms because I asked him to, he has no authority to end a life.

    If the mother commits the violent act herself, again a jury of her peers should decide based upon the conditions that drove her to make such a desparate choice. What would you say to a person smashing his hand with a sledgehammer in a dark alley? Here, let me help you?

  • invalid-0

    “Our freedom is limited only by the prohibition to injure another person or persons property.”
    We also are bound to our word and the government only has authority to interfere with our freedoms when we break our word as with a written contract. The governments sole purpose is to give us a fair place to receive justice when we have been wronged, provide for the common defense, and stay out of our lives and the internal affairs of other nations. That is part of Ron Paul’s messege. The other part is sound money.
    Abortion is one product of many departing from those principles. The government should not tell us who we can hire, fire, what we are to be paid, and set the conditions in which we interact with each other in business or personal affairs. Trust ourselves to be fair to one another, nice to one another, and share the responsibility to live with each other peacefully. Ron paul wants to give up power and give it back to us at the local government. George Washington refused to run a third term and at first even refused the Presidency offer at first for he did not want to be a great power. He just fought a war to overthrow an oppressive government…I’m sure you have heard of it.
    The “bar” should never be lowered just to make us feel better because most often it does not make us better people (torture, secret prisons, Patriot Act, LOST) We should always shoot for the stars while realizing that even though no one will ever reach them the goal nationally should be to try. Only liberty allows that. There are alternatives to abortion in almost every instance. The ideal is that every baby conceived is wanted and loved. The reality is a stark contrast. We can do better just by changing our mindset from what a baby is and what life means.

    I’m off my soap box now. Merry Christmas.

  • invalid-0

    The question has yet to be answered. If abortion was illegal, would the woman be punished? If the answer is ‘no’, why? It seems to me that the people saying ‘no’, think the woman is too weak, or ‘confused’ and shouldn’t be punished. That she was somehow ‘tricked’ by the ‘abortionists’ who just want her money.

    Why is it that the doctor gets an automatic punishment, but the woman’s peers get to sit around and disect her life, and her choices? If pro-lifers can’t come up with a punishment for the crime, why are they even trying to make abortion illegal? If all that happens is the doctor getting punished, women will resort to desperate measure to do it themselves. No ‘evil’ doctor involved, so no punishments.

  • invalid-0

    Amie, I don’t want a more predictable election. For a long time I have supported the campaign of Mitt Romney, because he was what I thought was the Republicans best shot at a win. But maybe what is best for the party is not looking for our version of John Kerry.

    As far as abortions goes Republicans clearly seem more receptive to someone with a less then perfect ProLife records as opposed to the Democrates do to someone with a less then perfect ProAbortion record. Rudy, Mitt and Fred all have histories with Planned Parenthood. I could never imagine a Democratic front runner with any similiar ties to a Right to Life Organization.

    My heart has been with Hucklebee on about 8 out 10 issues (including abortion), but I am worried about his ability to lead this nation in war. My gut says we need a tough nosed guy like Rudy, but I worry about his Supreme Court Nominees. McCane would have been great 8 years ago, but I so agree with him on the waterboarding issue (it makes me sick) I am giving him another look. Ron Paul, an OBGYN who has been present at abortions, was on target on criminalization being an issue for states — but he still scares me. Thompson disappointed me the most, between his “attack ad” youtube video and his overall dullness.

    I was fairly impressed with this debate, it showed my party as being that “Big Tent” with diverse veiws and approaches inside. I liked the Youtube format, seems more democratic (small ‘d’) and modern. The American people appear to like the format because it was the largest audiance for telecast cable primary debate ever. Or maybe they just wanted to finally give the Republicans a look, I don’t think many saw the Democrates Youtube. I am less concerned that people have not decided after this debate, what matters is that Republicans are finally getting excited about this election and looking at clear choices in this primary. I guess what shocks the media and Democrats is that Republican voters are willing to support men with some very different views from each other and from the base itself.

    As far as the questions, yes obviously many were picked for emotional reasons over true significance. Health Care matters, but instead we spend time on the confederate flag.

    If I had to pick a winner, I would say Hucklebee. But I am now excited that I could support Hucklebee, Romney, McCain or Giuliani in 2008. No one is a perfect match for me, but I feel good being in this party were we can have an debate like Wednesdays. I am Pro-Life, opposed to the Death Penalty, pro-Geneva Convention Liberties, continue to have hope and support for the mission in Iraq and Afghanistan, strongly believe in a Pathway to Citizen (America should not be a country that builds walls and puts up fences, but a nation that builds roads and puts up bridges), believe in redemption of people and former criminals, Free Trader and am greatly concerned about the lack of attention give to the changing gender dynamics in America.

  • invalid-0

    What mechanisms should be in place to investigate abortions if they are in fact illegal? What rights do the governments have with regard to searches, medical records and medical exams? (For example in Nicaragua the government can perform a pelvic exam on a woman suspected of getting abortion) Who will investigate these crimes? Department of health? Police?

    If a fetus is a person with full rights can the government, the interest of chilren’s rights, force women to undergo C-sections, aminocentisis etc. if it determined by a doctor that her refusal is endangering her child? How does any of this square with a small non-obtrusive government, liberty centered view?

  • invalid-0

    I would not support such Draconian measures as they are not needed. The state/local governments should determine who/how/when to investigate which would reflect the position of the people in that community because the state and local governemnts are made up of people like you and me.

    Do you agree with police posing as hookers to catch their patrons?
    Do you agree with police hiding behind buildings setting speed traps to generate local funds?
    Do you support local health inspectors reviewing resturants practices and procedures by surprise inspections?
    Do you approve of building inspectors making sure buildings are built to code?
    Do you like the idea of HOA”s and unions in the workplace?
    Do you accept employers right of drug testing its employees?
    Why do we force feed prisoners on hunger strikes?

    All of these things were established by state/local and federal governments. Some are good some are bad. Maybe all should be reviewed at some point in time to make sure they are still relevant, and maybe each should be taken on a case by case basis.

  • invalid-0

    The prolife movement is not about punishing women. That is why prolifers don’t want big punishments for women. Prolifers want to protect babies before they are born. Jail time for doctors make sense because a doctor who is in jail is not out in the community killing babies. Prolife is about protecting people not punishing them.

  • harry834

    First I want to thank Andy for being civil in his dissenting viewpoints.

    Now my points:

    1. You've compared abortion to cutting off one's arm. But legal abortion is 10 times safer than childbirth itself.

    2. Your above response talks about policies decided by representative government. Policies that should be reviewed every so often on a case by case basis. That's important part of the democracy. But the other part is civil rights. Rights that undeniable even if others would vote against you. Civil rights wouldn't exist if they could be voted by changing majorites. People will always disagree differently, in different times. But civil rights are to remain intact.

     

    Clearly we disagree on whether the right to abortion is a civil right, and that's ok. I hope others will respond.

  • invalid-0

    Do you agree with police posing as hookers to catch their patrons?
    Do you agree with police hiding behind buildings setting speed traps to generate local funds?
    Do you support local health inspectors reviewing resturants practices and procedures by surprise inspections?
    Do you approve of building inspectors making sure buildings are built to code?
    Do you like the idea of HOA”s and unions in the workplace?
    Do you accept employers right of drug testing its employees?
    Why do we force feed prisoners on hunger strikes?

    No I do not believe that governments should force feed prisoners or randomly drug test (although with cause I think drug testing is acceptable) but since everything else on your list does not take place inside a woman’s uterus or a felow citizen’s bodies they are utterly incomparable to reproductive rights.

    Women are inarguably human beings and citizens whose rights to life and liberty are enforceable without violating other people’s bodies. The rights of an unborn child are uninforceable without violating women’s bodies and if abortions are banned on the premise that the unborn are citizens then women’s basic right to their bodily autonomy is violated as a matter of necessity. That includes the right to control the number of children they have through the use of birth control, the ability to get abortions and the power to decide how and where they give birth.

  • invalid-0

    Even if you do not apply the religious context to sacred the test of a civil enlightened society is based upon how it treats life in all forms. Especially human life.
    1. It is not safe for the child and is irrelevent to the discussion. It is just as safe to amputate my arms compared to child birth. It is safer to use lethal injection rather than electrocution to kill people in death penalty cases. I don’t see your point.
    2. The child has human rights which trump the mothers civil right to kill them. In fact, there is no civil right to kill children in any cases other than the abomination called abortion under Roe.

  • harry834

    you support birth control?

  • invalid-0

    Your focus remains on the woman and dismisses the growing child within her. How can I say this without coming off too religious…? There is no greater human function than procreation, and thus the taking of any life before it lives fully; be it by war, homicide, abortion or other is a preventable tragedy. When societies diminish human life in any respect, its protections in every respect are threatened as I noted earlier with regard to things like the use of torture in war, secret prisons, and the suspension of various US civil rights.
    You mention the womans body-autonomy being violated by anti-abortion laws. I had never heard that term used in this context and find it striking because it does not account for the violation of the body within. Whether or not the fetus is autonomous to the mother is not relevent because a 6 month old baby is just as reliant for survival out of the womb as a 2 month old fetus is within.
    Adult men and women already have that right to control how many children they have under normal circumstances. Don’t have sex.
    No rights are without responsibilities, and since these discussions largely focus on my #4 example in an earlier post; I find on-demand abortion an unacceptable option because the human life is already created. With rights and responsibilities come consequences and liabilities.
    Lastly, I am not passing personal judgement on the women as much as the men who support abortions. For men…I’m not sure I could remain civil so I will say nothing more here unless asked. For women I can only empathize with your personal predicament that makes you think abortion is a reasonable solution to however you see the pregancy. Many regret the decision later.
    Regardless, it is my fervent hope that the honor motherhood truly is be recognized and trumpted for the world to see. Without moms we would be nowhere. Statues should be built to women for their significant and irreplacable role in humanity. Creating new life is as close as we come to touching God and we do great harm to ourselves if we reduce it to the insignificant manner in which RvW has done. If we honored women rightly things like the glass ceiling in business would disappear, rape would no longer be trivialized, and the dignity of all humans would be raised. That is the message of liberty.

  • invalid-0

    I am at a slight disadvantage. My wife and I cannot have children.

  • harry834

    Do you support other people using birth control?

    If you have a more nuanced answer than, "yes" or "no", that is also fine.

     

  • harry834

    1. Many regret the decision later, but other do not. I take it you view the former as valid and the latter as not.

    2. It seems that anti-abortion conservatives are the ones who support torture, oppose pay equity, oppose gender equity in the workplace, and fight against civil rights during war time. The pro-choice liberals support the opposite of those policies

    Theirs a possible rebuttal to my statement if we consider that conservatives are not all alike, and neither are liberals. But the generalization holds, right? If I am wrong, someone tell me. But I read that states with the strictest anti-abortion laws have fewer services for parents helping their children, while the more pro-choice states have more child-helpful services.

    And what of Bush vetoing the SCHIP care?

    Synopsis: Does an anti-abortion attitude really predispose one to supporting children in all aspects.

     

    3. I find it almost impossible to disagree with you about the fetus being a human life. But of course, its not the same human life as people walking around. One can say, "it doesn't matter, it's still human", and that can be let be. But the issue gets re-ignited when we have to create criminal penalties for this type of "murder"

    Some horrible possibilities have been suggested above if the government committed itself to treated abortion as homicide. We started this discussion of what punishments to give, and who to punish. The doctor didn't raise any controversy. The woman did – a series of "lets let the states decide", "lets figure it out as we go", etc. Not so simple.

    Andy, you had said you would never support the Draconian policies imagined. I believe you, but what about others? What about those of another state? If left up to the votes of jurisdictions, or whomever, what can we expect in the evolution of the government's committment to prevent the "homicide" we call abortion?

    Whether or not you, and people like you will refuse Draconian policies, don't you think that a woman has a reason to fear for the public scrutinizing of her body's state? For the sake of "investigating possible murders"?

    I'll admit the future is unknowable, and fears may or may not come true. But the relationship between a woman and her doctor seems to be getting a nervous, publicly scrutinized situation.

     

     

     

     

  • harry834

    Perhaps the best solution is to keep all governments out of the business of regulating abortion, except as Roe already tells.

    Let the moral arguments, judgements, choices on this issue be made, and voiced by people, communities, individuals. But don't let the government – whether city, state, or federal – become an abortion police.

    The decisions we make when faced with an unintended pregnancy will never be accepted by everybody. But at least these various disapprovals, and personal detestments will be kept out of government criminal law.

    It will mean the difference between a society where people condemn each others choices and a society when such condemnation leads to criminalization by the government.

     

     

     

     

     

  • harry834

    supporting birth control, sex education that teaches about birth control and abstinence, affordable birth control, government insured birth control,

    condoms,

    removing stigma of condoms and birth control,

    essentially, giving more options in addition to "don't have sex"

     

     

     

     

  • invalid-0

    I support the right for the individual to be stupid, yes. I say stupid not in relation to the use of birth control exactly because I think that is a moral choice, but with regard to every Americans personal liberty which is limited only by the harm of self or others. Personally I support the individual right to use any drug for any purpose to include birth control. Not in spite of my faith but because of it. I also support the right of individuals to not act.

    What if the city/state you lived in decided by law they would not sell birth control OTC? What if your city allowed pot sold in 7-11, and prostitution? What is the difference? Is bestiality or kiddie porn taboo? What of incest and polygamy? What limits do you draw if any? What do you agree/allow government to regulate and when in any of the above would you expect society to object and intervene?

    I support the liberty of legal US citizens to form a society that reflects their values and the defense of those values when they are threatened. I can appreciate the diversity of human beings and think our governments purpose is to maintain life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    Liberty and happiness have no purpose without life. Not much does.

    My personal faith gives me an ethic of life to live by and that does not include forcing it on others, but I have the freedom and opportunity as an American to vote on it just as you do. That ethic tells me each individual is responsible for their own actions public and private, and is answerable to none on earth with the exception of some very basic rules that derive from the whole of humanities experience and at its core is the sanctity of life.

    I think you have the legal right to shoot up heroin, but not the right to drive while under it’s influence. I don’t care if you marry your dog, but expect you to clean up after it in public. I think your employer as a crane operator has the right to test you for drugs, and your state does not have to recognize your marriage to your dog.

    One of the unique things about women- when they are pregnant they are no longer an individual. They become something very special. We should honor and respect that much more than we do. Their worth is life itself.

  • invalid-0

    1. What I feel about it matters little, but would rather hear it from women though it would be impolitic to inquire. Where is your compassion for the women who do regret it? Why do you think they do?
    2. Pro-death liberals and conservatives champion such ills. Many pro-life people are hypocrites and as ill informed on subjects just like pro-death people. Anti-life, anti-liberty attitudes predispose one to abuse of children and other as well as them selves. None have the corner on that market.
    3. There simply is no justified response and comments such as yours are offensive to reason and rationality. A wounded veteran with no legs cannot walk around. Why did Christopher Reeve deserve to live as he did? How about Steven Hawkings? Why waste the expense to treat terminal cancer patients when a bullet is much cheaper?
    The fear you express on behalf of women is misguided and irresponsible. Much like the fear touted by the neocons regarding Islamic terrorists you project/imagine a police state if Roe is overturned and the neocons think it is limited to a few in that faith. You both have it backwards.

  • harry834

    3.) I figured my comment about human life "that walks" would leave a door open, by my fault, to negate the lives of terminally ill, crippled, etc.

    My mistake.

    Though there is still a difference between the terminal/disabled/etc and a fetus/embryo

    The disabled/terminal has lived a life, has something. The blastocyst hasn't even started yet, and is still a dot. As time unfolds it gets bigger, and naturally the people's comfort level with abortion drops.

    Now the exception to this rule could be cases where a person is born cattonic or non-responsive and lives that way. But then we still have a person, far beyond the stage of being microscopic life.

    Main issue: while it is safe to assume that life inside our outside the womb is human, having the government protect the fetuses inside women's bodies with the same person status as protecting people outside bodies is dangerous risk which puts women's medical lives up for public scrutiny.

    ** Other point: you mentioned that my fear of a police state is fear mongering, and compared it to the neo-cons fear of Islamo, etc, etc. At this point, I don't have a response, and do concede that my argument smells of slippery slope, so naturally I'll need to let it be scrutinized. But will you concede the same for your fears that abortion will lead to torture, war, and the diminishing of civil liberties? You said that in your comments above.

    Slippery slopes are difficult arguments to make. I can't predict the future, and none of us can. I think you can account for probable possibilities, and maybe I didn't make my case well. If so, my mistake.

     

    Final point:

    Where's my compassion for the women who regret it? If lack of compassion is defined by me not saying more about their pain, than you are right. But even if I say the right things (and I believe that is important, because I believe in verbal sensitivity) we still have the issue of what should government policy be. Women choose to have abortions. Afterwards their feelings run the gamut, and differ from individual to individual. Chances are a woman feels a complex web of feelings that are bigger than "regret or not regret".

    If abortion is legal, women can decide for themselves. If it is illegal, than no woman can decide, an dthis includes the woman who would not regret it, even if it was a painful experience. Should all women be banned from a choice that was wrong for some? Aren't there better ways of being compassionate to the regretful besides taking away the choice from every woman?

    I guess this ultimately leaves behind the big question "what about the unborn?" And I think that there is nothing we can do – nothing that won't take away a woman's right to decide what happens to her body.

    I think abortion will never be a choice we can celebrate, but by now we should know that not all of our life-s choices are ones that put smiles on our faces. But we still make them, because we have to. The woman with regret will disagree, but what of the woman without regret? Shouldn't we let them choose for themselves, and strive for a better world with prevention strategies, education, birth control, adoption care, pre-natal care — so that whatever women decide, whatever those arround them choose to condemn, the health services that be will be there to help and care for them in whatever decision they made.

     

  • harry834

    Criticism:

    "One of the unique things about women- when they are pregnant they are no longer an individual. They become something very special. We should honor and respect that much more than we do."

    When we decide that a woman loses her individuality with a pregnancy, that is the exact opposite of respect, and we are right to fear a world and state built on that value.

    The quote sounds nice, until you consider what it entails. I understand many believe it, including women, but I'd never want the state to adopt this as policy, for the reason that I want every person, man or woman, pregnant or not, to be guarenteed their civil rights as an individual. I do not want a woman's pregnancy to be the end of her individuality, at least as far as the state sees it.

    Complement:

    "Personally I support the individual right to use any drug for any purpose to include birth control. Not in spite of my faith but because of it. I also support the right of individuals to not act."

    I'm happy you share my support for birth control rights. May it be the one common ground there is in this national debate.

    More stuff:

    I hope your forays into marrying animals was not a tick at gay couples, but I had the hunch.

    For now, I'll simply say: I support consenting human adults, not brothers, sisters, incest, are fine with me. And since the gay movement is about couples, not three or more, polygamy is not in the equation either.

    That's where I stand: every adult should be allowed to marry another adult of their heart's choice, regardless of gender.

  • invalid-0

    Arguments like you give from men like you make my blood boil. I do not share your view for birth control rights because the intent of our positions is very different though the end result in that instance is similar. Intent matters. Yours are illogical and selfish.
    Whether you WANT it or not has nothing to do with anything. It is a biological, and sociological fact that a pregnant woman is no longer an individual, but carries within her body another human being. There is no ambiguity. All of your creepy non-human fetus justifications fail before they get off the ground and does such damage to society that I would hold you as an accessory to any abortion you had a hand in promoting. You have no concept of respect for women much less any individual. I’m done answering you.

  • harry834

    Look forward to your future commentary and hope others will join in.

     

     

  • harry834

    How I am being selfish, I would genuinely be interested in listening. I'm guessing its because of everything I said about the unborn.

  • invalid-0

    As a woman I am ALWAYS an individual with FULL human rights, whether its my eggs, a fetus, a child, or a man that’s using or attempting to use my body for their own benefit. Just because a woman is pregnant does not mean its a biological fact that she ‘is no longer an individual’ – instead she is simply being biologically violated. No one has the right to violate or harm me to maintain their life.

  • invalid-0

    A woman does not lose her individuality but neither should the new individual within her lose its life. Deniles of its own individuality not withstanding. If you view pregnancy as a offensive biolgical violation then take measures to avoid them. Good judgement and self respect go a long way in protecting one self from unwanted pregnancies.

    Lacking that do the medical procedue on yourself before you risk having to doing it to another. Sterile people live very happy lives.

    How you treat men is a non-issue here, but if you have a child you have the responsibility in all moral and civil respects to provide and maintain their life until they are legally responsible for their own.

  • invalid-0

    When societies diminish human life in any respect, its protections in every respect are threatened as I noted earlier with regard to things like the use of torture in war, secret prisons, and the suspension of various US civil rights.
    This might be a valid criticism if the government that radically accelerated these immoral practices was not pro-life.

    You mention the womans body-autonomy being violated by anti-abortion laws. I had never heard that term used in this context and find it striking because it does not account for the violation of the body within.

    As I stated earlier the issue is not whether the unborn have life or natural rights. The point is that it is impossible for a government to effectively enforce the rights of the unborn without violating the right to bodily autonomy for all women of reproductive age. If fetuses are the only focus during a pregnancy then any violation of a woman’s right to make her own decisions during pregancy can be violated. This is not just about abortion.

    Whether or not the fetus is autonomous to the mother is not relevent because a 6 month old baby is just as reliant for survival out of the womb as a 2 month old fetus is within.

    The death of a 6 month old can be investigated without a pelvic and vaginal exam. The death of a 6 month old can be investigated without coercing women into confessing by denying them health care when they are hemorraging and in pain. A 6 month old has rights that are enforceable by the state.

    Adult men and women already have that right to control how many children they have under normal circumstances. Don’t have sex.

    Now once again we get to the nut of the problem. It is perfectly rational to want to control the number of children you have. Married men and women do this all the time but in the name of ideology you would deny them sexual intimacy in favor of your romanticized vision of childbearing.

    Creating new life is as close as we come to touching God and we do great harm to ourselves if we reduce it to the insignificant manner in which RvW has done. If we honored women rightly things like the glass ceiling in business would disappear, rape would no longer be trivialized, and the dignity of all humans would be raised. That is the message of liberty.

    This is actually my favorite part of your mini treatise. If women were constrained by continuous religously motivated pregnancy (I am sorry I meant to say glorified in their role as mothers) they would be able to succeed utterly free of sexism and disrespect. There was no sexism and disrespect before RvW. Rape would be taken seriously instead of just being a silly complaint of feminists. It is not as if rape is a violation of a woman’s bodily autonomy or somesuch nonsense. The diginity of all humans would be raised except those of women who would like to decide whether they have a C-section or if they can use hormonal birth control.

    If we want a culture of life, when it comes to the unborn, it must be a culture not a legal regime. A society that respects human rights, the rights of born citizens, can be crafted through the use of government power but the conditions you desire cannot be acheived without constraining the liberty of all women.

  • invalid-0

    I don’t care if you marry your dog, but expect you to clean up after it in public.

    You seem to have a problem with the concept of individual consent: animals cannot give meaningful consent, so the state steps in to protect the animal an abusive human being. Children cannot give meaningful consent to sex so the state steps in to protect them from another abusive human being. None of these government actions involve an intrusion into someone else’s body.

    Human rights are based on the notion that each individual has absolute control over themsleves and themselves alone. All crime, in our current context consists of the violation of one person’s bodily autonomy by another person or group of people and liberty demands that the government cannot take over that control without due process. Laws against abortion, and any due process associated with those laws demand the appropriation of all women’s bodies by the government in order to enforce fetal rights.

    This is a violation of women’s most basic right to bodily autonomy. All women: women who get abortions, women who miscarry and women who give birth. All women of reproductive age are subject to violations of their human rights as a matter of course. Disrespecting the humanity of the half of our population that you obstensibly hold in the highest regard does not create a culture of life.

    As I said a culture of life, as with a culture of fidelity, a culture of faith, a culture of love and a culture that moves on the most intimate of human traits cannot ever be enforced or produced by a government. These things demand a culture, not a law.

  • invalid-0

    I have the right to stop anyone from violating my body whether it’s prevent them from violating me or it means actively stopping them from doing so, regardless if this ‘risks’ their lives because they are biologically incapable of maintaining their lives without the intrusion into my body. This includes a child….I do not have a responsibility to maintain the life of a child at the expense of my own body after birth, just as before birth.

  • invalid-0

    I have seen dogs mate with a basketball so consent could be well argued. Groups like NAMBLA believe sex with children is a natural desire to be pursued. The same criteria you use to make those acts illegal could be used to make abortion illegal.
    You admit personal actions have social consequences when they affect self or others that require protection.

    What criminal penalty would you give to a woman having sex with her dog, or a 27 year old man having sex with a 10 year old girl/boy? Are you suggesting a fetus X hours before birth is of less worth than the abused dog?

    The fundamental truth is that a pregnant woman has a unique human being within her from the moment of conception. You might not like that biological fact and argue the (in)significance of that human being with regard to your human right of bodily autonomy but that goes against reason to conclude it does not have the same human right to life that you have.

    It’s ok to drink all you want just don’t drive? Smoke your weed but don’t clean the gutters? Have sex and hope you don’t get pregnant? The rare and extreme cases of rape and incest pregnancies do not justify on demand abortion for casual use. That is not a right.

    It’s your body so do what you want but there are consequences to your actions if you do not make sound judgments, and sometimes even if you do. Going to a clinic for an hour won’t help those injured/killed by drunk drivers, or magically heal the leg you broke falling off the roof while stoned. If 16 year olds can’t be given aspirin without consent and documentation in public schools, can’t get a tattoo, can’t smoke or drink…but a 15 year can get an abortion without parental notification? That is not reasonable. If by law it’s all or nothing. Nothing. Fidelity to life.

  • invalid-0

    I do not agree a gestating child in the womb of a woman is a violent act upon the womean and the arguments to support on demand abortion with such a claim is illogical. It is the natural order of our biological function. If you don’t want to risk the liability of children take the responsible action to prevent it before you bring a child into the equation.

  • invalid-0

    It’s pretty simple. Your arguments have zero to do with the health, welfare, or womens rights. Mocking my ethic of life to elevate your selfish attitude does not support your position thought it might make you feel better.
    Just because I am hungry does not give me the right to rob a bank so I can buy food. What is the difference between that and abortion? An individual acting on pure self interest to the detrament of others. You have a twisted view of self importance with no responsibility or compassion to others when it does not fit your personal desires and call it a human right. wtf
    You bitch about a hypocritical government but practice the same level of personal hypocracy. Your justifications are absurd.

  • invalid-0

    It is not illogical…. Just because something is of natural does not make it non-violent or something to be protected. Harming my body and ripping my vagina is always violent no matter what natural act causes it. Nature includes hurricanes and tornados. For humans, natural biological function is getting a sex drive at puberty (not with a marriage certificate). Natural order has supported the survival of the fittest, yet we override this with laws to make every human is equal. Nature leaves many more fetuses and women dead….but our current medical capabilities allow us to override nature to save the woman and many other times, with the womans consent to medical interventions, to save both.

    I will overcome any violation of my body, regardless of which one you happen to pick that reduce me to a biological function…. or those where you decide to claim that bodily harm against me is not violent.

  • invalid-0

    I am truly amazed.
    You are a * biological funtion. We all * are. We are * born, we grow old, we give new life, we * die. Every * one of us. Don’t put things in your vagina that make you * pregnant if you don’t want it ripped apart. Don’t you have (self) control over your own body? Isn’t that what you are fighting for?
    No.

    You are arguing for the right to live and * like men and that is * funny. To do so you illegitimently reason abortion a human * right and that is * scary. You posit the child is subject to loss of its life at the whim/judgement of the mother at any point up until birth but even after birth if you feel violated at some point…totally * bizarre.

    Natural events like hurricanes are natural like pregnancy/birth is. Deal with it as best you can. Abortion is like programing a tornado to destroy a town. Hundreds of times a day. Why would you do that?
    Jeebus gomer.
    I cannot comprehend your view. It seems morbidly selfish. You act as if being pregnant is a deadly germ. It makes me wonder how you would react to a friends betrayl, or an accidental injury by a stranger with such a militant view of self-preservation and isolationist self protection. Would they see you coming or do you kill them while they sleep?

  • invalid-0

    Again, I will not be subjected to anyones desire to give something else/anyone a claim to use my body for its/their benefit, no matter what excuse that claim is based on.
    I guess I’m selfish because I won’t allow the fetus to reduce me to its utilitarian value any more than I would allow anyone else. I’m selfish because I believe a doctor and a woman should have access to the best medical treatment for the woman as anyone else would – not deny her the best care and limit her to not-truly-desired medical interventions to treat the pregnancy. Yet the fetus is ultimately selfish in nature….using the womans body with absolutely no regard for her wellbeing. A man or woman violating me might be persuaded to recognize my humanity and be negotiated with to stop. I will deal with any of these natural and/or undesired acts on my body by stopping it at any point where it starts or progresses beyond my desire. I support this for my sisters, my daughter and all women – each of them having the right to bodily autonomy….and also in memory of the women who took their chances in the back alleys proving that women too are just as motivated as men to risk all for their self-determination to the point of ‘live free or die’.

  • invalid-0

    Talk about fringe views…
    twisted

  • harry834

    Hi Anonymous,

    I have a blog post I wrote a few months back in support of the gender-equal notion to "live free or die". I hope you'll like it.

    http://harryfourthuniverse.blogspot.com/2007/07/doesnt-macho-culture-require-pro-choice.html

    By the way, kudos for sticking out the debate with Andy. I think he prefers debating women on this issue, as a pro-choice man might "make his blood boil"

  • invalid-0

    I guess I’m so twisted – like many women I brought two children I dearly wanted into this world, accepting medical interventions for both pregnancies that risked my life….these children both being ones that nature did not want to live. There are many people alive today because their mothers went to additional and extreme lengths to give them life….and women who are also alive to carry subsequent pregnancies to term because abortions at other times in their lives were performed safely – instead of leaving them infertile or dead in a back alley. My two children are such, the two children I was meant to have and I would never let someone deny them to me or their very existence by overriding my reproductive fate at an earlier time. Although I don’t agree that after birth we should legislate bodily harm to save another, any more than before birth for a fetus, I have already and will continue to voluntarily sacrifice myself for these two – regardless if those who oppose abortion wish to have pre-determined my fate differently.

  • invalid-0

    How noble of you to encourage women to kill the finacial obligation you would suffer if she carried it to term? How compassionate your concern for families true well being, or the single womans lifestyle? How deep the empathy to their feelings when they regret the decision?
    Abortion is big business. Do you make your living off of death?
    Women should fear a man like you, not Dr. Paul.
    Anonymous thinks it is ok to kill the baby moments before birth if the woman alone decides to.
    Anonymous said she has the right to kill living children if she feels violated by them. She was rather vague about killing men in her life, friends and strangers that violate her body autonomy but I’m steering clear of her.
    If you don’t find that disturbing you are disturbed?
    You are faithless and cruel and uber selfish and self centered. What does gender-equal have to do with anything? Are you a gay man pushing your agenda along with abortion? You are a real class act. From one man to another; you suck as a human being.
    You are some scary people.

  • invalid-0

    You don’t have the authority to determine the fate of others. No one does. Not even the mother of her children.

  • invalid-0

    I absolutely do have the right to determine my fate when the use of my body might be needed to save/maintain the fetus’ or someone elses life. I do today – as the mother of my children they do not have a legal right to use my body to sustain their life…whether it’s now or if it had been needed in order to continue their life immediately after birth. Nor is my own right to life protected over another persons body (another person can determine my fate in the sense that they do not allow me to use their body if thats what I need to sustain my life).

  • invalid-0

    Harry,

    Thank you, great post in support of the full humanity, dignity and respect for women!

  • invalid-0

    You have a twisted view of self importance with no responsibility or compassion to others when it does not fit your personal desires and call it a human right.

    Everything I have said has to do with women’s health, welfare and human rights. Many of your statements assume that my arguments have to do with my rights, desires and condition. You assume I advocate for a woman’s autonomy during pregnancy because I can or want to be pregnant. You are simply incorrect.

    Just because I am hungry does not give me the right to rob a bank so I can buy food. What is the difference between that and abortion?

    The government does not have to violate your body in order to enforce the bank’s property rights. That is the difference. That is the differnce I have been elucidating this entire time.

    I did not bitch about the government by any measure. I pointed out a flaw in your logic. You stated that Roe devalues life and that devaluation leads to torture and out of control government. This is not a logical argument when the government commiting these atrocities advocates for a ethic of life for the unborn.

  • invalid-0

    27 year old man having sex with a 10 year old girl/boy?
    One cannot have sex with a ten year old one can only rape a ten year old. Does that sufficiently answer your question? One cannot have sex with an animal one can only rape an animal no matter what kind of sexual display it might put on. The human being with the capacity to reason is responsible for those actions no matter how their victims might behave because their victims cannot give meaningful consent to sex either because they do not understand the reprecussions or cannot communicate.

    When I abuse the dog growing in my uterus the government will not be allowed to intervene on its behalf either. So in no way would an abused dog be comparable to an unborn child. Because in order to enforce its rights you don’t have to, you know, violate a woman’s body. Which is what I keep saying. I keep talking about governments overreaching and taking away the bodily autonomy and you keep avoiding the legal issues with absurd non sequitors.

    Why do you think there should be rape and incest exceptions when you believe the unborn have an inalienable right to life from the moment of conception? What makes the extreme cases acceptable while all other abortions are unacceptable? If you sincerely believe the circumstances of sexual activity affect the rights of the unborn that sounds an awful like moral relativism to me. I thought you despised moral relativism?

    No one less than sixteen years old should be getting medical care of any sort or be denied medical care without their parents permission. That is of course unless their parents abuse them. If their parents abuse them they can get permission from a judge to get the medical care they need or refuse medical care they need. Those are the circumstances that are acceptable to me, were you looking for some other answer?

  • invalid-0

    “Why do you think there should be rape and incest exceptions when you believe the unborn have an inalienable right to life from the moment of conception?”
    I don’t hold to the exceptions. It would be a noble act to bring all human life safely into the world regardless of how they are conceived. Selfless acts are admirable and the baby commited no crime. Should a woman be forced to carry such a child to term? No, but as I said before…these are rare…and you can’t use it to support on-demand abortion. DNC for such crimes generally take place early in the pregnancy which lessens the offense to the baby in all but its life. All efforts should be made to save both the mother and child during difficult pregnancies. If one or both die…all efforts were made. There is no reason to make a choice.
    You accuse me of absurd non sequitors when you continually sidestep the humanity of the fetus for selfish reasons using the extremes of rape and incest. What is a 2 month old fetus? A non human blob of cells?
    One poster here (below) says it is ok to kill the baby without consequence moments before natural birth if she feels violated. She goes as far as claiming the right to kill them even after birth.
    Even those women on the View (the one time I watched it)thought late term abortions was extreme. You all here seem to think it ok. I think that is nuts.
    Why do you seperate the act (sex) from the result (abortion)? One cannot happen without the other so cause and effect is applicable like sex with dogs or children (act) and the resulting crime (violation of others). What of personal responsibility, character, and integrity? You use an extreme justification to permit wholesale infantcide in the name of body autonomy. Why do you make the distinction to the minor and the dog, but not the fetus? Just because it hasn’t fetched a stick or spilled ink on the carpet?
    Yours is not the argument for the right of safe abortions in extreme cases. Yours is the argument of irresponsibility rewarded.
    I’m sure you can list numerous sob-story scenerios that seem justified. “Justified” abortions are rare. Your argument is for the common.

  • invalid-0

    The government won’t toss me in jail or rightfully shoot me to protect the banks assets when I try and take them? It may be a justified violation of an individuals right of freedom for breaking the law but incarceration is physical restraint. Do you equate abortion rights with a right to refuse giving a blood sample when accused of a crime? You argue the right to evacuate part of your body and another being as your freedom, and the pedophile wants to keep his body autonomy intact to keep his. Difference?
    Who is being violated in the case of abortion?
    The government is not one individual. George Bush is a hypocrite for being pro-war and anti-abortion? Rudy is pro-war and pro abortion. Ted Kennedy is a disgracefull Catholic…like Nancy Pelosi and Bill Richardson are pro-abortion, but they have such compassion to allow 20+ million people here to take American jobs and raise costs for citizens and most are supporting the war by not voting to end it. Hillary is pro war and pro abortion.
    Take your pick at hypocracy.

  • harry834

    Is that it is not possible to for the law to treat fetuses like murder victims because that requires us to investigate women's bodies as crime scenes. Any person living outside another person's body, including infants, and disabled people can be protected, like any other human, because these these cases we won't need a search warrant to look into a woman's uterus, which has happened in other countries.

    I understand you don't support such extreme measures, but there are others who might. Or more likely, they wouldn't, intentionally, but they would create policies without thinking. Because good intentions aren't everything.

    I'm talking, again, of purely legal matters. How people view a fetus, in their own personal views, is a separate matter. Many women who had an abortion, even if wasn't the result of rape, are trying to do what's best for their current situation. Many of these women already have kids, and for these mothers, they feel they are obligated to their already-born-and developed children rather than a lifeform that is just starting from scratch. She doesn't believe abortion is the best, but in this case she believes its the best of all possible alternatives.

    Abortion often can be a time to re-assess and re-committ oneself to responsible behavior like contraception and condoms. And many women learn from it. It's not the best learning experience, but it helps.

  • harry834

    Another point that has popped up, repeatedly, is the idea that being pro-life, nationally or individually, will make a nation or individual more likely to support life in other contexts, ie. anti-war, anti-torture, etc. That string of cohesion seems to be the case for you, Andy, and that is a commendable consistency. I met a classmate who was similarly consistent.

    The trouble is that the correlation doesn't necessarily hold beyond people like you. And calling it "hypocracy" is accurate, but doesn't get at the point. The point is anti-abortion societies are no more likely to support life in general than pro-abortion societies. It takes conscious effort to line up the positions in the right way — meaning that it doesn't come naturally. If being one way or the other predisposed the society in one way towards life, than we would at least see general trend with minor exceptions. Instead we see whole societies that are anti-abortion that are also anti-life in general. But I will concede that pro-abortion societies have also been similarly anti-life in general.

    Either side can go in any direction. The main point is abortion positions tend to generally sway the public only on one thing: abortion. What other positions come will be the result of many factors, though one of those factors might be abortion philosophy. It is unclear because a society is the result of muti-causal factors, so its hard for anyone to blame one thing and and be certain. You need probable cause to make educated guesses and the massive differences in political positions dent a huge hole in the theory that anti-abortion generalizes anti-death.

  • invalid-0

    Some additional ‘pro-life’ consistency issues..

    Scientists estimate that 40 – 60% of conceptions pass unnoticed from a woman’s body. ‘Pro-lifers’ should be consistent to also lobby our government to re-apportion the massive amount of federal tax dollars for medical research/drug development that are currently prioritized based on the impact of public health conditions such as stroke and heart attacks, which often have a chosen lifestyle component. Instead, the reality is that this greater number of ‘unborn’ are being ‘de-humanized’ by these policies than abortion. Surely these ‘innocent babies’ deserve to be fully recognized as the number one human death atrocity, and also prioritized as such by our government spending and society given they aren’t responsible at all for their conditions. As long as we pretend these ‘unborn’ don’t exist and give them a lesser priority then there is no ‘pro-life’ consistency… or perhaps its just considered a ‘human being’ to these ‘pro-lifers’ when a woman’s body is acting on the fetus’ behalf to keep it from dying.

    Perhaps these pro-life men can also walk the walk instead of just talk the talk and hold life as more important than their own autonomy….perhaps even a woman with a wanted pregnancy who needs a late term abortion to save her life. Just because we haven’t tried it yet doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to find a way to use a man’s body used to protect fetal life. This could prevent the need for her abortion and uphold the value of two lives, both the woman and fetus – instead of insisting on limiting protection of a fetus to a woman’s responsibility. Even if one allows a ‘life of the woman’ exception to abortion, surely they would not want to see the fetus destroyed if they could help it. Or if one wants to use the ‘I’m not the father’ excuse, they still should be compelled to lobby for legal protections/research for when the actual fathers body could be used. Although this might protect life only in very few cases, infanticide does include both acts of commission or omission (such as not feeding a baby or providing it shelter) and is equally applied to both parents…so his body, as hers, should not be more sacred in law than the fetus right to life.

  • invalid-0

    You will find them in the Constitution of our nation. They are due process: the government does not have the right to deprive you of your liberty without it, it does not have the right to take blood samples without it (either warrants or probable cause) and it does not have the right to shoot you on the mere suspicion that you will rob a bank or even murder another human being. You have to be caught in the act where the evidence that you are commiting a crime is so blatantly obvious that the government can step in to protect other citizens. If you are not obviously, publicly commiting a crime or if you are suspected of having done so you can certainly be arrested.

    The government does not have the right to violate your body in the process of determining if a crime has been committed at all and there is no due process possible with regard to abortion that is not inherently abusive to women’s bodies. (If you have to gall to compare a gynecological exam to a blood test then, again, you have no sense of what abusive and invasive actually mean) The government simply is not allowed to have that kind of unchecked power because it dangerous to all citizens and particularly to all women.

    I do not mock the pro-life beliefs but I will defend against pro-life policies because they are dangerous for women and do not save unborn children.

    The supposed hypocrasy of others is immaterial to me especially when I pointed out a flaw in your logic and did not use the word hypocrasy once.

  • invalid-0

    You accuse me of absurd non sequitors when you continually sidestep the humanity of the fetus for selfish reasons using the extremes of rape and incest. What is a 2 month old fetus? A non human blob of cells?

    You would have a point if I brought up rape and incest over and over again to justify abortion on demand but I haven’t. I did not discuss it until you brought it up.

    I never said fetuses have no humanity. I never referred to anything as a blob of cells. I never said they have no natural rights at all. I simply said that the government does not have the capacity to enforce those rights without abusing the rights of all pregnant women.

    Pregnant women with late term medical emergencies already decide in the great majority of cases in favor of interventions that risk their own lives in order to bring about new life. The key difference between you and I is that I believe they should be free to decide how they will risk their own bodies and you believe they should be required to risk their own bodies by the government.

    If you want a culture of life it has to be a culture not a law. If that was all you wanted I would have no quarrel with anything you have said but the more regulation, the more outright bans and the more crimialization that is proposed the more I will argue against it regardless of my particular philosophy about abortion.

  • invalid-0

    Or IVF, there is very little focus on protesting/legislating against this by pro-lifers….and some have actually used the technology. It is a much more purposeful act to go into a lab to create embryos – and we know in advance that most of these intentionally created embryos will fail to implant (in the hopes that one will), plus the embryos not used for attempted implantation will eventually be discarded. This contrasts very starkly to a woman who takes actions to stop fertilization yet her birth control fails.

  • invalid-0

    Limits on government power that I have been talking aout can be found here:

    The 4th Amendment:
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Government enforced medical exams are unreasonable and a woman is not a place to be searched. Women are not things, they are citizens. The right to be secure in your person is precisely that a right.

    Then of course there is the 13th amendment:

    Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Unborn children are not citizens and the determination of their humanity is entirely up to the women carrying them. Change that perception, change the moral basis of reproductive decisons and you effectively end most abortions.

  • invalid-0

    I said I am in agreement with Dr. Paul in that the question of abortion should be removed from federal jurisdiction. Removing it from the federal law arena makes it neither legal or illegal on a federal level.
    Each state already laws on the books regarding homicide and assaults so new laws are not required as far as I am concerned.
    You asked how the state would enforce such laws. How do they inforce robbery and murder laws now? Individuals are responsible to protect their own property and person. The federal government does not post guards in stores and banks why would anyone assume they would post guards in a Dr.s office? Is a Dr. like a priest? If a person with a gunshot wound goes for medical treatment, by law the Dr. must notify the local authority.
    Back to my absurd non sequitor about cutting off my perfectly healthy arms for whatever reason I want. It is my body autonomy that says I have a right to do with myself what I want. Does the Dr. have a responsibility to refuse my request and maybe contact the local police that a lunatic wants to cut off his arms?
    My wife is a RN who refuses to participate in voluntary abortions. Do doctors and nurses, hospitals and other healthcare professionals have the same freedom of choice not to perform such a procedure if they disagree with it? I think they do.
    People die because they can’t afford the liver transplant.
    People live with deformaties because they do not have access to specialists?
    Why do reproductive rights need a special law and life saving transplants don’t? The quality of life for a person with a facial deformity is more or less detramental than a woman who is pregnant but wants to go on vaction instead? The pro-abortionist argues the born-living have greater rights than the unborn-living by virtue of not having lived long enough to make a impact on society. Why are ethics involved when I want to cut off my arms, have sex with animals, or rob a bank, but excluded when talking about abortion?
    Look at Dr. Tiller in Kansas. He performs late term abortions, and abortions on underage teens as long as they pay the $. He refuses to turn over medical records the court has asked for to find out if crimes have been committed above and beyond the abortion issue. Are you suggesting the privacy rights of an underage girl trump the rights of society to determine how she got pregnant? Maybe daddy knocked her up and forced her to get an abortion to hide it from mom/neighbors. Maybe she is in love with her 35 year old neighbor who showed her such compassion an encouraged her to get an abortion. I say the state has the legal and moral authority to protect her from more abuse.
    Pro-abortion advocates do not confine their arguments to such limited criteria because that would exclude on-demand, anytime abortions which is what they are fighting for. Most anti-abortion people like myself could reason the rare justification but it is that rare justification that pro-abortion people hang their hat on as the reason on demand abortion should soley be a womans right.
    Except now body autonomy is the newspeek justification for abortion without acknowledging those same rights of the fetus. It is the law (RvW) that has changed the culture, not the other way around. Support repealing the law and vote for the only person who is asking that of us.

  • invalid-0

    I think I enjoyed this debate overall. At least one person.
    Getting pregnant is a big deal.
    Abortion is a moral choice.
    No exceptions.
    Human life is special.
    We rule. We are aware like no other being.
    We aren’t always fair to each other.
    Life isn’t always fair.
    Life is brief.
    To those that want to believe in G-d or not: death is forever. Don’t hasten it or end it before it starts. We have no right.
    Human life is unique.
    As Americans we can do many things as individuals that only current federal laws might prevent us from doing if we so wished: ingest medical and recreational drugs, pierce, brand and tattoo themsleves, S&M sex, boob jobs, liposuction, botox, daredevil stunts…to alter their perception both mentally and physically.
    Death of an individual human is not listed for a reason.
    There will always be unwanted children for one reason or another.
    Over one million abortions per year.
    (CNN) — An estimated 2 million babies die within their first 24 hours each year worldwide and the United States has the second worst newborn mortality rate in the developed world, according to a new report.
    We have made life very cheap.
    We can change that.
    Vote for Congressman Dr. Ron Paul.

  • invalid-0

    The federal government is most definitely charged with insuring that the rights of individuals when states seek to abridge those rights. No state is empowered to deprive its citizens of their rights. The right to control one’s person in the face of unreasonable interference from a state government is a just stand to take and definitely included in the rights already in the Constitution. ( As listed above amendments 4 and 13)

    The Constitution protects the rights of people born in the US so if you want to take away control of women’s reproduction you have to amend the Constitution to include all human life from the moment of fertilization. This cannot by definition be left up to the states who do not have the power to interfere with a woman’s individual rights.

    Except now body autonomy is the newspeek justification for abortion without acknowledging those same rights of the fetus.

    A fetus does not have those rights precisely because it has not been born. Again see 13th Amendment. Again if you want to fix that go and amend the Constitution.

    Only recently have women been allowed to exercise their rights to property, their right to work free of harassment from bosses and co-workers, to achieve equal protection of the law when subject to violence, and to control their own reproduction. I have a strong anti-violence ethic so, no I do not believe women should be getting abortions but I also believe, and my beliefs are born out by history, that any legal regime in which women lose control of their own bodies practices a even greater form of violence against them. Forced abortions in China and the disgusting anti-abortion practices in Ceucesceu’s Romania commit the same atrocity: they take the bodies of women into the service of the state through violence. It always becomes a greater and more widespread form of violence than abortion.

    You are the one that keeps bringing up extreme cases to justify your anti-abortion positions and extreme “cases” of women’s selfishness (Dr. Tiller. OMG a doctor getting paid to perform operations!, she wanted to go on vacation! OMG! I keep hearing this but not from any women who actually did it so it could not possibly be an urban legend. After all it fits just so with my preconcieved notions)

    I talk law and you talk in hyperbole about selfish women and doctors, incest victims and rapists.

  • harry834

    A person needs both arms much, much more than they need a fetus inside them. That is at least one reason a doctor would help a woman have an abortion, but would not help a person amputate, unless they had a disease that required it.

    Abortion, safe and legal, is 10 times safer than childbirth itself.