Thanks, Joe Biden: Abortion Is A Personal Decision


I’m totally cool with Joe Biden’s personal belief that life begins at conception. It’s a view that makes sense, morally and scientifically, to a lot of people. I personally think it’s more accurate to say that fertilization is a pivotal moment in the long arc of the biological development of any individual human being – at least for the fertilized eggs that will eventually develop into people, which are the minority – but "conception" is as good a starting point as any.

But here’s the problem: The fact that a collection of cells starts to develop when that sperm hits the egg doesn’t make that collection of cells a person, or the moral equivalent of a born human being. I think most people would agree – an acorn is not a tree, a seed is not a plant, and a zygote is not a person, even if a seed is a necessary precursor to a plant and a zygote is a necessary precursor to a person. The fact that about half of fertilized eggs don’t implant – ending the potential development of those early "lives" – coupled with the fact that there is no "pro-life" concern for all those billions of fertilized egg-deaths belies the idea that pro-lifers really believe a zygote is the moral equivalent of a born human being. The anti-choice view has always been more about controlling women and controlling sex than saving lives.

Which is why it’s very disconcerting to hear the Democratic vice presidential nominee adopting right-wing talking points about abortion. We shouldn’t have to care where Joe Biden or any other politician believes life begins, because that belief shouldn’t influence policy (luckily, Joe Biden agrees, and won’t be letting his religious views influence what’s best for a pluralistic society – h/t to Alex in the comments).

But too often politicians’ religious beliefs do influence policy – much more so on the right than on the left, but interviewers nevertheless focus on religion because it’s somehow widely accepted that an individual’s faith should guide decisions that impact a religiously diverse nation (how well has that worked out for us?). So you don’t just get Joe Biden asked about when life begins – on Meet the Press – but you get Barack Obama being interviewed by Rev. Rick Warren at Saddleback Church. And then you get follow-up questions on ABC.

Obama’s answer wasn’t bad, although I do wish he had mentioned that Democrats try to prevent unwanted pregnant before it happens, as opposed to Republicans who oppose even basic birth control:

"What I do know is that abortion is a moral issue," Mr. Obama continued, "that it’s one that families struggle with all the time, and that in wrestling with those issues, I don’t think that the government criminalizing the choices that families make is the best answer for reducing abortions. I think the better answer – and this was reflected in the Democratic platform – is to figure out, how do we make sure that young mothers, or women who have a pregnancy that’s unexpected or difficult, have the kind of support they need to make a whole range of choices, including adoption and keeping the child."

But I’m glad he highlighted the fact that Dems try to make it easier for women to choose to have children if they want them. That’s what the conversation should be about: What policies are politicians going to promote? What kinds of political solutions are being proposed by both parties?

Instead, we’re stuck talking about when Joe Biden thinks life begins. And he’s making the mistake of trying to appease the moderate and anti-choice vote by talking about conception and faith, instead of standing up for the very good and very moral position of the Democratic party: Give people the tools to determine for themselves the number and spacing of their children. Decrease the abortion rate through contraception and education. Give women a full range of choices by making childbirth and parenthood realistic possibilities. And leave it up to women to decide whether or not they carry a pregnancy to term.

That is a solution that appeals to moderates and self-identified pro-lifers a whole lot more than "Tell people not to have sex. Don’t give them education or contraception. Make abortion a crime," which is basically the Republican platform. And yet we’re still adopting their frame when talking about this issue.

If the Obama/Biden ticket is serious about change, this is a pretty good place to start.

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  • harry834

    "somehow widely accepted that an individual’s faith should guide decisions that impact a religiously diverse nation (how well has that worked out for us?)"

    Better for policy to be decided by religiously-neutral ideas of reason so as to create a policy for everyone, of every faith of no faith.

    We don’t need religion to tell us that murder, theft, and rape are wrong. Property rights and an individual’s right to be free from assault and harm are enough.

    If we were to apply the exact same principles to fertilized eggs, then everytime one of them washed out in a menstrual cycle, FEMA would have to come to the women’s vagina – because that is a natural disaster for the microscopic "person".

    Imagine FEMA at your "levy" every month? Of course, you’d at least get a 4 day waiting period…

     

     

  • invalid-0

    But why are we asking presidential candidates when life begins?

    Because there are a great number of people in America that want a Constitutional Amendment that will protect preborn humans from choice; it is a issue—in other words, as the majority rules, and we elect politicians who will push what we want pushed.

  • invalid-0

    We want leaders to run this country – people who are proud of who they are and what they believe. People with good common sense. Not power hungry cowards. Barack and Biden are chameleons afraid to show their true colors – they don’t even answer questions – they deflect. It’s all smoke and mirrors and not even good smoke and mirrors at that! Barack is unAmerican and won’t even respect our Pledge of Allegiance! The “when does life begin?” question is common sense. Your analogy that an acorn is not a tree and therefore a fertilized egg is not a human is idiotic. An acorn is the beginning of the tree, but it’s not a crime to kill a tree, yet. However; it is a crime of the highest order to kill a human being. I know that many of your constituents value trees more than human life but for now there are no tree killing felons on death row. A fertilized egg is a human life in its beginning stage – human life has to be protected in all of its stages and therefore to exterminate a human life in it’s beginning stage is murder. We fight for this for your own good, because you are obviously too academically brain-washed to think for yourself. Go back to your logic courses if you ever took any. On the politcal science front the democratic platform of “We Stand for Nothing” is boring to the American people. People are naturally attracted to others who are influential and you have to stand for something to be influential otherwise subconsciously people aren’t attracted. The TRUTH is very attractive – try it sometime – think for yourself like Galileo did – ask yourself, “I wonder if it’s true?”

  • invalid-0

    There are NOT a “great number of people in America” that want a Constitutional Amendment forcing women to gestate and give birth against her will. There are only a fraction of people that want a Constitutional amendment preventing abortion and from all the polls I’ve read about, there is a clear majority in this country to keep abortion legal but with various restrictions. They range from abortion anytime, anywhere to abortion only as a result of rape, incest, health of the mother. Besides, if memory serves and correct me if I’m wrong, a Constitutional Amendment requires the approval of 2/3 of the House and Senate, as well as passage by 75% of the states. It’s not a realistic goal. Better to just try and reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies that result in abortion. I think both sides could agree on that, don’t you?

  • invalid-0

    “How to explain the McCain campaign’s glaring contradictions on economic policy? Why do the policy mantras that every campaign uses and needs get so warped and so ignored? Why can’t the campaign stay on message? The turmoil in management that has afflicted the campaign from the start surely deserves some of the blame, but I suspect the issues run deeper. One problem is that McCain himself has no real ideas about how to fix the economy, which leaves his tetherless surrogates free to roam the policy landscape. An even deeper problem is that standard-issue Republican economic policy has run out of plausible mantras. The ritual extolling of markets and denigration of government make no sense at a moment when a conservative Republican administration is rushing to save the markets through governmental intervention”(Meyerson, H).

    Here is the TRUTH buddy!
    McCain has NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE ECONOMIC POLICY nor does the idiot blogger above!

    Reference:
    What’s McCains Economic policy. retrieved on September 9, 2008 from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/16/AR2008071602434.html

  • invalid-0

    So it doesn’t surprise me that you are for a man that doesn’t even like this country. You demoncrats have been taking credit for the economy in good times and blaming republicans in bad times for too long — we’re tired of it. Your beloved party is socialistic and will result in all of our God given rights being systematically, judicially legislated away from us. You are a parrot. Seek the truth. Read books; not your internet buddies. Start with John Locke.

  • http://feministblogproject.wordpress.com invalid-0

    “An acorn is the beginning of the tree”

    Emphsis on “the beginning of.”

    “A fertilized egg is a human life in its beginning stage”

    Emphasis on “in its beginning stage”

    In both of these sentences, you distinguish the acorn and egg as distinct from fully-formed trees and humans. By your own rhetoric, they are not trees and humans – they are the beginning versions of these things.

    It is currently against the law to kill a fully-formed human being. Your own phrasing shows that a fertilized egg is not a fully-formed human being.

    Furthermore, why exactly does a “beginning human” get more rights than the fully formed, actual human on which it is dependent? Why, in its beginning stages, does it deserve so many more privileges?

  • invalid-0

    THAT MUST BE YOUR FAVORITE WORD, AND EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT AGREE WITH YOU IS A “PARROT”.
    WE ARE TIRED OF THE LAST 8 YEARS!
    CLINTON IN OFFICE=IN THE BLACK!
    BUSH IN OFFICE=IN THE RED FOR A VERY LONG TIME WITH A CURRENT DEFICIT OF ALMOST $800 BILLION!

    GET AN EDUCATION, WINGNUT!

  • invalid-0

    Dear Jill,

    You said public policy shouldn’t dictate when life begins. Would you be comfortable with a couple who gives birth to a child, discovers the child has a genetic abnormality, and then decide to euthanize the child because they believe newborn babies aren’t persons? Maybe they follow the view of Princeton bio-ethicist Peter Singer that babies aren’t persons until 28 days after birth? Or Michael Tooley who says personhood is attained at 2-3 years of age?

    What about members of one of Brazilian tribes that kills born twins because they are considered demonic?

    http://vozpelavida-midia.blogspot.com/2008/04/so-paulo-folha-newspaper-tackles.html

    Who are you to say they are wrong and you are right that life begins at birth? Should our “pluralistic society” tolerate those beliefs if the tribe practiced their religion here? Should we impose our view about when life begins on them?

    It seems to me that in the USA our law has imposed the view that life begins at birth. What is wrong with having a vigorous debate and say the law needs to be changed in light of scientific and medical evidence that points to the beginning of an individual human being’s life beginning after the completion of fertilization?

  • invalid-0

    “What is wrong with having a vigorous debate and say the law needs to be changed in light of scientific and medical evidence that points to the beginning of an individual human being’s life beginning after the completion of fertilization?”

    First, there is no possibility of a vigorous debate with folks like you. What y’all want is control and no responsibility.
    Second, If ‘life’ begins when social conservatives say it does than why don’t y’all take into account the scientific and medical knowledge which reveals that the MAJORITY of fertilized eggs in women who aren’t using contraceptives do not successfully implant and are sloughed off during menses. Indeed, the reason you people aren’t holding funeral services for tampax is because you don’t believe that crap yourself. What you want is control and no responsibility.

  • mellankelly1

    It seems to me that in the USA our law has imposed the view that life begins at birth. What is wrong with having a vigorous debate and say the law needs to be changed in light of scientific and medical evidence that points to the beginning of an individual human being’s life beginning after the completion of fertilization?

    Sure and while they’re at it they can explain how it is that two "persons" can share the same body… how one person loses her personal liberty and right to bodily autonomy upon becoming pregnant and how the other "person" has more rights before it’s born then it does after birth. 

    Would you be comfortable with a couple who gives birth to a child, discovers the child has a genetic abnormality, and then decide to euthanize the child because they believe newborn babies aren’t persons?

    I do not question which procedures (if any) a parent would choose to inflict upon their child born with any life/heath-threatening issues.  Parents are the one’s who get to decide which (if any) life-saving measures that they would be willing to have their child endure.  Now, euthanasia for infants born with disorders which cause excruciating pain from dusk til dawn?  I also feel this is a decision that only the parents are qualified to make… like these parents.  These decisions aren’t’ made because people believe that babies aren’t "persons" – these decisions are made by parents with the very best interest of their children in mind.  You and I may disagree with these decisions, but that does not change the fact that the parents are more qualified than we are to make these decisions regarding their children. 

    Should our "pluralistic society" tolerate those beliefs if the tribe practiced their religion here?

    That is one of the most absurd "what ifs" I’ve ever heard… right up there with the "what if your mother aborted you" nonsense. 

    And if you’d like accurate information about Peter Singer, try visiting his website here… he’s not shy about his views – but your statements are utter rubbish.

  • invalid-0

    Mellankelly1

    How can two persons share the same body? Conjoined twins share the same body yet we identify them as distinct individuals. Here is a link to two girls who actually two heads that share the same body.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiSuyuOOBR8

    Also, if the unborn are a part of a woman’s body, that means the parts of the unborn are actually the parts of the mother. So women carrying male unborn children would then have penises, and that just seems silly.

    In regards to Peter Singer, I met the man personally at Arizona State University last April and he reiterated to me, in front of an audience, his view that any reason to justify killing a dog (you don’t feel like paying $10,000 to fix the animal) would also justify killing a newborn infant because infants and dogs function at a similar cognitive level.

    Finally, if no one knows when “life begins” why not tolerate religious beliefs that say it begins sometime after birth. If you read the article I posted, you would see in Brazil that this is the dilemma the government is facing.

    By the way, calling someone’s views “rubbish” doesn’t refute them, it just shows you may be incapable of engaging them.

  • mellankelly1

    Conjoined twins share the same body yet we identify them as distinct individuals.

    Right.  Now, unless one of the twins is living inside the other you still cannot make an accurate comparison.  Further, in the case of conjoined twins, the parent(s) of these children get to decide whether or not to separate them, no?  Even if it causes the death of one of them.  So, it looks to me like this is not a proper argument for someone looking to take rights away from a pregnant woman – it would appear as if this would only further support the premise that some third party, with absolutely no stake in the outcome is not the best qualified person to make these decisions.

     So women carrying male unborn children would then have penises, and that just seems silly

    That’s because it is.  Silly.  And weak.

    In regards to Peter Singer, I met the man personally at Arizona State University last April and he reiterated to me, in front of an audience, his view that any reason to justify killing a dog (you don’t feel like paying $10,000 to fix the animal) would also justify killing a newborn infant because infants and dogs function at a similar cognitive level.

    You’re insane if you think I believe that.  These things are not that difficult to research.  And anyone who has read Singer is aware that his views can be extremely controversial – but the only place that you will find anything supporting your accusation is on anti-abortion sites.  You want to know what Peter Singer thinks about infants – go to his website (or buy his book) and you will find that while he does support euthanizing a child in pain (if the decision was the parents) he does not believe it is right (or justifiable) to kill a healthy newborn (as an aside, he does not believe it is "justifiable" to kill healthy animals either.) 

    Finally, if no one knows when "life begins" why not tolerate religious beliefs that say it begins sometime after birth. If you read the article I posted, you would see in Brazil that this is the dilemma the government is facing.

    I responded to your ridiculous "what ifs" already… Holland faced the same dilemma and I posted information regarding that story in my response.  What is your point?

    By the way, calling someone’s views "rubbish" doesn’t refute them, it just shows you may be incapable of engaging them.

    Ha!  You’re kind of funny.  But I did refute your statements regarding Peter Singer (which is what I referred to as "rubbish" – because that is precisely what your statements about Singer were.)  I proved your statements were wrong by using Peter Singers website which references his own words as evidence, ergo, I refuted them.  Sorry that makes you so mad… next time do some fact checking and save yourself some upset.

  • invalid-0

    You do not have the right to decide life and death whether you’re the parent, doctor, husband, wife, etc. Why do you give yourself this power? All human life has dignity and demands our protection in all of its stages beginning, middle, end, disabled, conjoined, retarded, or deformed. We have a responsibility to save all human life. To think otherwise is to assume that you are in control. Look around, Miss Kelly, you are not in control. You never have been. This Peter Singer is a complete fool to even try and compare a human life to that of any animal. I am sorry, Miss Kelly, that you view your children as nothing more than animals that you would “put out of their misery” if they became lame or otherwise disabled. I am glad you are not my mother – without hope you are already dead.

  • mellankelly1

    You do not have the right to decide life and death whether you’re the parent, doctor, husband, wife, etc. Why  do you give yourself this power?

    Yes, I do have the right to decide which procedures (if any) my child will endure… the parents of children who are suffering unimaginable pain are the only people qualified to make these kinds of decisions.  Please stop pretending that it is every parents goal to wantonly kill for no good reason.  God trusts us to do what is best.  I could care less whether or not some anonymous dude with a God complex on the Internet agrees with my spiritual views.

    All human life has dignity and demands our protection in all of its stages beginning, middle, end, disabled, conjoined, retarded, or deformed.

    Who said anything different?  Why is it that you do not believe this human life deserves empathy, compassion and mercy?  Why is your opinion about what is most dignified for someone who is a stranger to you more important than the opinions of those who know that person intimately?

    We have a responsibility to save all human life

    Right.  And you don’t get to decide what actions will be taken in order to "save" any person other than yourself or your loved ones.  My goodness but you do think quite highly of yourself.

    To think otherwise is to assume that you are in control

    Pot, kettle. 

    Kettle, Pot.

    Now that you’ve met I’m certain you’ll have a whole lot to talk about.

    Look around, Miss Kelly, you are not in control

    Right.  In your little world, you are the one in control, eh?

    This Peter Singer is a complete fool to even try and compare a human life to that of any animal.

    And isn’t it lovely that we live in a world where everybody is entitled to her or his own opinion?

    I am glad you are not my mother

    Ah honey… would that I could have been your mother, perhaps you would have the capacity for understanding or being sensitive to the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of others… maybe you’d even have the desire to ease the suffering of others.  My own children would never, under any circumstances, force their personal belief systems upon another person.

    without hope you are already dead.

    Oh… am I one of those "undead" corpses?

  • invalid-0

    Dead in the spiritual sense.

  • mellankelly1

    says…"Feh?"  I think God would beg to differ.

  • invalid-0

    The Priority of Rejecting Intrinsic Evil

    There are some issues that always involve doing evil, such as legalized abortion, the promotion of same-sex unions and ‘marriages,’ repression of religious liberty, as well as public policies permitting euthanasia, racial discrimination or destructive human embryonic stem cell research. A properly formed conscience must give such issues priority even over other matters with important moral dimensions. To vote for a candidate who supports these intrinsic evils is to participate in a grave moral evil yourself. It can never be justified.

    Even if we understand the moral dimensions of the full array of social issues and have correctly prioritized those involving intrinsic evils, we still must make prudential judgments in the selection of candidates. In an ideal situation, we may have a choice between two candidates who both oppose public policies that involve intrinsic evils. In such a case, we need to study their approach on all the other issues that involve the promotion of the dignity of the human person and prayerfully choose the best individual.

  • invalid-0

    male? white? privileged? and it’s obvious that they are very “religious”.

    …so if there is such a concern with the FACT that there is a RESPONSIBILITY to save HUMAN lives, this must apply to people in Iraq, for example. or starving people. or sick people, here in this country even. if your concern is so strong perhaps you could put your creative energies to better use, i mean it. no, i don’t want a response with admonition, explanation or otherwise. i think it’s great to have convictions about helping humanity, as well as your actions speaking louder than words, this forum probably isn’t it.

  • mellankelly1

    The Priority of Rejecting Intrinsic Evil

    When I reject the ideology which you project, I most certainly am rejecting "intrinsic evil" as I believe that your pontification is highly destructive.  Clearly we not only disagree about certain social issues but about the role that God plays within our lives.  Your opinions are just fine within the realm of your life and are completely objectionable (at the very least although, repugnant may be a better description) in my life. 

    The idea of evil is the logical opposite of the idea of good – your supposition that because you abhor abortion (due to your personal belief system) that legalized abortion is an intrinsic evil is absurd.  Your belief that because you say so, God must agree is equally foolish. 

  • invalid-0

    I am only reminding you of what some of God’s rules are since we are soon to vote for our President. You object them because you believe either that humans created God or that God has no rules (other than what each individual person makes up for themselves?). Not only are these rules that I reported to you God’s rules, but they are also logical and sound for those who do not believe in God. That’s the beauty of God’s plan – it’s True on all levels!

    I am sorry that you reject the Truth, but whether you accept it or deny it matters not. You are ruled by it either way. We all are. Again, you are not in control – none of us are. Your heart has been hardened and I pray that you may find the healing you need to break-through the walls you have created around yourself.

    With Truth comes peace. Until you accept the Truth you will have no peace.

  • harry834

    I’m getting tired of hearing His surrogates. Maybe we can start God with a gentle interviewer, like Larry King, then let him defend his viewpoints on Hardball.

    Does God have an email address I can write to? I was able to email an op-ed columnist I never met. Email is a great invention. Really connects us. I look forward to getting God’s email and office number.

    Since God may be writing our foreign policy, I’d like Chris Matthews to ask him some stuff. But first, lets get him to talk for Himself!

  • mellankelly1

    I am only reminding you of what some of God’s rules are since we are soon to vote for our President.

    You think that is what you’re doing.  Simply because you believe you know what "God’s rules" are does not make it so.  Your delusions about God have absolutely no relevance in my opinion of who is fit to lead our nation.

    You object them because you believe either that humans created God or that God has no rules

    Wrong and wrong… but it’s good to know that you feel that you are qualified to know what each person believes about God without actually knowing each person. 

    Not only are these rules that I reported to you God’s rules, but they are also logical and sound for those who do not believe in God.

    The hell?  It appears as if even you do not have an understanding of what it is you’re attempting to say. 

    I am sorry that you reject the Truth, but whether you accept it or deny it matters not 

    I think Einstein said it best: 

    "Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods"

     

  • mellankelly1

    Hey Harry… be sure to forward the address when you get it okay?  As for the interview – my bet is that Tim Russsert is grilling God as we speak.

  • harry834

    I can just imagine Tim giving God the third degree. And Carlin’ll give Him the fifth!

    At least Tony Snow will keep things cheerful. What a charming prick he was.

  • harry834

    No one gets a free pass, not even the ONE

  • invalid-0

    I have watched the debate about abortion since long before Roe v. Wade. I, personally, am opposed to abortion. In my opinion it imbrues the spirit of all who are involved. As a man (this applies to women as well) I have no right to tell any woman (or man) what they must do with their body. The only thing that gives me any right to have any input at all in a womans decision is if I am the father of the fetus she bears AND if I am willing and able to take full responsibility for the physical, emotional and financial support of the mother and child.
    As a caring person I prefer to see a world where no woman is forced to choose abortion. But if the choice must be made it is preferable that the choice be available to all women. It is preferable to have the procedure done in the safety of a doctors office by trained professional than in some germ infested back room as was often the case before Roe v. Wade.
    We will never stop abortion, whether it be legal or not. However, if we educate more young people on ways to prevent pregnancy and the emotional, financial and physical resposibilities and consequences of sexual activity there will be fewer unwanted pregnancies.
    If we find viable alternatives to the termination of pregnancy. Such as enabling more people who are willing and qualified to adopt. Join with groups that support people who are plagued with infertility and encourage those people to adopt. Adoptions that will allow the birth mother to be a part of the childs life after adoption. People and agencies that are willing to to provide medical, emotional and financial support for expectant mothers. As well as intensive parenting and vocational training. In this way they can raise and provide for a happy and healthy child.
    As a citizen I MUST support and defend the Constitution of the United States. I, like every other good citizen, must follow the laws of this land. We must obey the law and Roe v. Wade is the law. Currently, nationwide, all of the polls show that the majority agrees with the current laws.
    Women in the United States of America have the right to choose whether or not to bear a child. Noone has the right to infringe that right not by law, not by force, not by coercian and not by intimidation. Not now, not ever.
    However, as opposed as I am to abortion, in conscience and in principle, I would rather see 1,000,000 fetuses aborted, I would rather see 10,000,000 pregnancies terminated than to see even one(1) unwanted, unloved, neglected or abused child.
    So I call on you all NOW… Let us all be civil. Let us find the common ground without rancor, anger or hatred. Many of those who support a womans Right to Choose would rather see fewer abortions. So if people of good will from the antiabortion camp can sit down with people of good will from the Right to Choose camp. Both sides can find common ground and productive solutions. Isn’t that preferable to the anger, intimidation and, sometimes, even murder that currently accompanies the debate?
    Thank you for your kind consideration.
    Paul Diamond
    pulldigm@yahoo.com

  • invalid-0

    God’s rules are clear and written. I am only reminding you, since you have forgotten.

  • mellankelly1

    Yes, and She’s not happy with you at all.  Boo!

  • truth

    than babies being born. There have been 48.5 Million abortions since 1973. The blood of these innocents is on the hands of all Americans. It is time to stand up and fight this domestic infanticide.

     

    This most egregious disregard for human life occurred on January 22, 1973 by MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN.

     

    "Texas urges that, apart from the Fourteenth Amendment, life begins at conception and is present throughout pregnancy, and that, therefore, the State has a compelling interest in protecting that life from and after conception. We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer." – Justice Blackmun

     

    Then don’t speculate…!!!???

     

    Blackmun’s error was that he set aside from his decision-making process the question of when life begins. He claimed, in the opinion of the court, that is wasn’t his responsibility to determine when life begins but rather the world’s medical, philosophical and theological experts’ responsibility and because they did not know he wasn’t going to "…speculate as to the answer." In doing this, he couldn’t possibly make a fully informed decision about whether or not someone has a right to terminate what "might" be a human being.

     

    Think about it – Blackmun was saying that because the argument of when life begins was/is too controversial that he wasn’t going to decide this — so he set it aside stating, "…at this point in the development of man’s knowledge…" we don’t have enough information to make this decision. If you don’t know when life begins then you have a duty to error on the side of life. To do anything else is to "possibly" commit murder.

     

    Imagine you are a police officer testing your new state-issued weapon at the firing range and you are hitting the target and doing a great job… Then someone taps you on the shoulder and says, "Hey…there is a 50/50 chance that there is a human being directly behind that target your shooting at!"

     

    What do you think that police officer has a duty to do?

     Blackmun had the same responsibility.

  • truth

    I am the reason birth control was created in the first place?

  • mellankelly1
    There are more parents waiting to adopt than babies being born.

    Then why won’t they adopt these children?  A brief excerpt:

    "More than 100,000 children in the United States are in foster care waiting for permanent families. Hundreds of thousands of children around the world are living in orphanages or substitute care."

    You can find more information at the Child Welfare Information Gateway website.

     

  • truth

    Obviously most parents looking to adopt want newborn babies. The foster care numbers fluctuate because there is a constant flow of children becoming parentless as others are placed. The point is still valid that there are plenty of homes for these supposed "unwanted" babies to go…

  • mellankelly1

    Obviously most parents looking to adopt want newborn babies

    And rather than encourage these people looking to adopt (healthy, predominately white) newborn babies to instead give a loving home to unwanted older children, you would prefer that we force women who became unitentionally pregnant to gestate and relinquish their newborn to the infertile.  Do you know the percentage of women who voluntarily relinquish their babies for adoption?  Less than one percent… but you would force women to risk their lives and health (mental and physical) to gestate a pregnancy and then force them to relinquish their newborn babies so that these infertle couples won’t have to be bothered by looking to adopt the more than 100,000 older children already in foster care?  That’s lovely.