Science and Medicine Trump Anti-Choice Ballot Initiatives


It’s a clean sweep — three
ballot initiatives on abortion, three victories for women’s health.
Despite the anti-abortion movement’s best efforts, Americans in three
states voted to protect pregnant women and their physicians from interference
by the government. Weeks — no, months — of stress and worry melted away
as the votes came in Tuesday night. I am so relieved that voters chose
privacy and empathy, science and medicine, over anti-choice scare tactics
and misplaced ideology. 

Together with Barack Obama’s
decisive win, the outcomes of the ballot initiatives give us hope for
the future of Americans’ reproductive health. We can use our momentum
to work with our pro-choice president-elect on repairing the damage
done to reproductive rights over the past eight years. Imagine a country
where we don’t have to constantly defend the existence of abortion
and contraception, where we can dedicate our energy instead to guaranteeing
comprehensive reproductive healthcare for all! 

I practice in California, where
Proposition 4 would have required notification of a minor’s parents
if she needed an abortion. This was the third time in four years that
we’ve battled similar initiatives. While most teens do involve their
parents when faced with a pregnancy, we have fought to protect the health
of those who can’t or won’t. 

I volunteer at clinics where
I see pregnant teens. Some have abusive parents, are estranged from
their families, or have other good reasons why parental notification
could be risky for them. To make Proposition 4 more palatable to voters
than its predecessors, its authors included exceptions for girls like
my patients. But teens could not take advantage of these exceptions
unless they either stated in writing that their parents abused them
or took themselves to court. With my fellow members of Physicians for
Reproductive Choice and Health, I explained to voters that the exceptions
would hurt the very minors they were designed to protect. They listened. 

As we had in the campaigns
against the previous initiatives, we also told Californians that many
teens, regardless of their family situations, depend on confidential
reproductive healthcare and would not see a doctor without it. 

The voters said no to parental
notification for the third time, 52% against to 48% in favor. Unfortunately,
California is not the only state to consider a mandate of parental involvement
for abortion. Thirty-four states already require either parental notification
or parental consent. We must continue to teach the public and our legislators
about the importance of providing adolescents both medically accurate
sex education and access to confidential reproductive healthcare. 

The people behind Amendment
48 in Colorado wanted to place the government inside every pregnant
woman’s body, treating zygotes as people with rights. This absurd
initiative would have jeopardized abortion, contraception, fertility
treatments, in vitro fertilization, and the rights of pregnant women.
The voters responded by thrashing this measure, 73% against to 27% in
favor. Without a doubt, a woman has the right to determine the status
of a blastocyst inside her own uterus. Here, too, Americans picked science
and medicine over government intrusion into women’s health. 

In South Dakota, the danger
to women’s health was even more concrete. Initiated Measure 11 would
have prohibited all abortions in the state with exceptions only for
rape, incest, and a serious threat to the woman’s health. Even women
who qualified for exceptions, however, would have had a difficult time
getting an abortion under this law. As the South Dakota section of the
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists noted, the health
exceptions under  Measure 11 were "ambiguous and unworkable"
for physicians and the women they care for. ACOG stated, "This ban
puts the physician in the unthinkable position of either treating her
in a medically appropriate fashion and being prosecuted as a criminal,
or not treating appropriately and not only facing claims of negligence
but, worse, seeing her suffer." 

Like Proposition 4 in California,
the proponents of Measure 11 created these so-called exceptions to mollify
voters, who rejected a total ban on abortion in 2006. If they won, Measure
11′s masterminds hoped to provoke a lawsuit that they could use to
challenge Roe. But they lost — the voters of South Dakota came
through for us all. I am delighted that they’ve protected not only
their own mothers, daughters, and sisters, but all women in the U.S. 

In October, I spent four days
in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and a blizzardy South Dakota plain in between.
I volunteered with doctors, medical students, and other dedicated advocates
as they tirelessly campaigned against this awful initiative. We educated
South Dakotans with medical facts about abortion and shared the stories
of women who needed the procedure. Our voices managed to overcome the
ugly words of a vocal anti-choice opposition-like the parade of doctors
in a disturbing TV ad, who implored people to vote yes on Measure 11
in order to "stop the use of abortion as birth control." 

The Campaign for Healthy Families
succeeded — South Dakota soundly rejected the measure and its virtual
ban on abortion by a ten-point margin: 55% against and 45% in favor. 

Still, abortions in South Dakota
are hard to come by, with just one clinic in the state and a 24-hour
mandatory delay — as if women hadn’t thought about their decision
before they drove five hours to the clinic. This reality of scarce,
restricted abortion care in South Dakota reflects the situation in many
parts of the U.S. Over the next four years, we must try to build equity
in reproductive healthcare access, so that women everywhere can obtain
the services they need.  

As a physician, an activist,
and a citizen, yesterday’s election has brought me joy. I am deeply
grateful to every person who fought against the anti-choice ballot initiatives,
giving voters medical, scientific, and humane reasons for preserving
women’s right to abortion. Americans in three very different states
all agree that the government has no place in the consultation between
a pregnant woman and her doctor. 

As members of the growing pro-choice
majority, we can feel proud of ourselves and our fellow voters, and
use our newfound strength to rebuild reproductive rights, and make reproductive
healthcare a reality for all.  

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To schedule an interview with Dr. Susie Baldwin please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • http://spryeye.blogspot.com invalid-0

    Because the Fed persecutes legal medical marijuana users in 9 states (and because Congress perpetuates war and debt, torture, warrantless domestic spying, bailouts for financial perps, etc.) we need national ballot initiatives to fight their tide of government AGAINST the people.

    The most evolved project for national initiatives is led by former Sen. Mike Gravel. Registered voters can now vote to ratify the National Initiative for Democracy at http://Vote.org, much as citizens ratified the Constitution at the Conventions when the Legislatures wouldn’t!

  • invalid-0

    The fact that a full 1/4 of the voters supported a measure that gave full constitutional rights to the fetus, with no mention of the health of the woman at all, will be seen as encouragement.

    Now they know for certain that they are not some radical and vocal minority but a large percentage of the population.

    Also, they now know that a measure stating that “Fetuses are the sole property of the woman and have no rights separate from those determined by the woman” would have failed miserably.

    One only needs to look at other abolition movements in history to see that successful ones, like the one for slavery, started with even smaller percentages of the population so strongly supporting the measure. The defeat of these bills with such small margins simply indicates that those who claim the moral ground, currently the anti-choice camp, will eventually win.

  • invalid-0

    there is zero logic in “every state prop. or issue, or measure infringing on a woman’s choice was defeated, some of them for the 2nd or 3rd time in a row, and this forecasts a future victory for the anti-choicers”. nope. it does not.
    colorado measure 48 did get a 27% yes vote. the voting age population in colorado is approx. 3,241,804. 27% of that number is 875,287. i live in a city of 6 million people. i do not find that number of voters intimidating. even if you add the yes votes from california and south dakota – nah, doesn’t seem like any indication this self-righteous, theocracy wanting group of voters is in for a win any time soon.
    and who on earth would attempt to word a measure “Fetuses are the sole property of the woman and have no rights separate from those determined by the woman”? anyhow, we don’t need that horribly worded measure (“sole property” “no rights” – loaded words), the federal constitution gives us the opportunity to word it anyway we want when pregnant – privacy is a right.
    and wow, comparing abolitionists and slavery with anti-choicers obsession with controlling women’s choice? that sounds like the logic of an anti-choicer, the comparison of “after-born”, real human beings, miserably opressed, forced into hellish labor, women raped, families ripped apart to be sold to another plantation. the forward thinking “after-born” humans risking a lot to help free these real humans from the hell that was forced upon them. yeah, that’s truly comparable to a woman with an unwanted pregnancy having the zygote aborted.

  • invalid-0

    Notice: I’m pro-life, or “anti-choice,” whichever you wish to call me.

    There is a common and fundamental similarity between slavery and abortion: the denial of personhood to some human beings by other, usually more powerful, human beings.

    That an embryo, zygote or fetus (Latin for baby) is a human being is not in scientific dispute. From the moment of conception, that single cell is a member of the species homo-sapiens and only requires a friendly environment (only the uterus currently qualifies though research on other locations is in progress) and sustenance. The only thing in dispute is whether this human being is a person and deserving of all rights thereof.

    This is where the arguments for slavery and those for abortion converge. 1. If you don’t like (slavery/abortion) don’t have one. 2. Don’t impose your morality on me. 3. What I do with my (slave/fetus) doesn’t concern or hurt you. All these arguments stem from the same root: the assumption that the slave/fetus is not a person in “its” own right. The same arguments were made for how men treated their wives.

    That you now view slavery to be repulsive (or abortion to be acceptable) is in large part due to the social and historical framework in which you reside. Two hundred years ago, even you, if you are white, would have had rather academic discussions regarding the fact that blacks showed evidence of having familial connections and may have been in a debate where the opposing side pointed out that even dogs care for their young and that this fact alone doesn’t make a creature a person.

    Arguments pro-choice, with regard to either slavery or abortion, share the common root of denial of personhood and therefore the fundamental human rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness to those without power by those with power.

    This common thread, coincidentally, also applies to political party. The party that supported choice with regard to slavery, the Democratic Party, is the same one that supports choice with regard to abortion. Probably mere coincidence, but true nonetheless.

    The defense of the oppressed, especially those with no voice, is the right and duty of all human beings. Law and government are created for the purpose of imposing morality, especially with regard to fundamental rights, on all and deciding in the case of conflicts. In this function, it recognizes that the rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness are listed in order of importance.

  • invalid-0

    Dan Sim and RC, it’s incredibly offensive to equate abortion with slavery. Slaves were sentient people. They could think and feel and interact. A foetus can’t. Your argument is just as tacky as abortion/Holocaust comparisons.

    You guys do not have the moral high ground, and your anti-choice, anti-woman, womb-controlling foetus obsessed selves lost. Badly. There is a reason for this: the majority of people do not share your view that women should be forced to be pregnant. They do not share your view of women as walking, talking incubators. They are not obsessing about and fetishising foetuses.

    Illegalising abortion doesn’t stop women from having them; it just makes them far more dangerous. Do you honestly not care about desperate women dying? You can carry on about slavery, the unborn, foetal rights and so on as much as you want, but the reality is that illegal/severely restricted abortion kills women. Care to address why this doesn’t bother you at all? If you don’t understand the (fatal) consequences of the policies you support, then you’re not educated enough to be participating in public debate. If you don’t care, there’s something really wrong with you.

    You have no moral high ground at all.

  • mellankelly1

    The points that you’ve made are all spot-on and have yet to be answered by those who are vehemently anti-abortion.  I would like to add that I’m flabbergasted that they do not see the irony in denying the personhood and/or the fundamental right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of pregnant women (particularly if their pregnancies are unwanted.)  I imagine that they do not see how giving the government control over the bodies of pregnant women could be perceived as a form of slavery… they prefer to close their eyes, cover their ears, stomp their feet and repeat the mantra "We (heart) zygote!"  Forgetting all about the lives, health and personal belief systems of the pregnant women (you know, that mass that surrounds the zygote/embryo/fetus.)

  • invalid-0

    Your argument for sentience being a requirement for personhood has been defeated thoroughly in most intelligent philosophical debates. Requiring that one be able to think, feel and interact in order to be a person immediately invalidates the personhood of anyone in a coma, or simply asleep, for that matter. If you then argue that the being be “capable” at some future time, you’re back in the position of giving personhood to fetuses. A thorough discussion of this topic will lead to the conclusion that personhood is a quality that precedes thought, feelings and interactions, not the other way around.

    The argument that pro-life thinkers are somehow pro-death for women is unreasonable on its face. Pro-life people hardly encourage pregnant women to seek an unsafe abortion…they would rather women didn’t seek abortions at all. Further, saying that illegal abortion kills women is akin to saying bullets kill people. You confuse the tool with the person using it. Women are hardly forced, by society or otherwise, into seeking illegal abortions and to say otherwise demeans the mental capacity of women as a whole and implies that they lack the capacity to take responsibility for their own decisions.

    When it comes to conflicts of human rights between life, liberty and pursuit of happiness between pregnant women and their fetuses, it would be decided the same way other conflicts of rights are decided. Life trumps liberty trumps pursuit of happiness.

    There are cases where the woman’s life and the life of the person inside her are in conflict, as in the case of tubal pregnancies, for instance. In these cases, it’s patently obvious that you have to save the woman. There are many reasons for this but they are outside the scope of this discussion. That the fetus will die is an unfortunate side effect that is not intended but unavoidable.

    Underneath the rhetoric, the pro-life position is just that: pro-life. For all human beings. No, the law can’t prevent human beings from killing themselves or engaging in risky behavior. But it must prevent one from killing another, especially when the victim is defenseless.

  • mellankelly1

    Your argument for sentience being a requirement for personhood has been defeated thoroughly in most intelligent philosophical debates

    No, your proclamation is untrue.  Philosophers, scientists and theologians have been unable to come to a consensus on what personhood even is and none of these groups of people have proven that a person is present upon conception (nor upon viability or any other time during pregnancy.)   What cannot be denied is the personhood of pregnant women, even if their pregnancies are unwanted.

    Requiring that one be able to think, feel and interact in order to be a person immediately invalidates the personhood of anyone in a coma, or simply asleep, for that matter.

    That is insane… are you actually claiming that a person in a coma (or a sleeping person) is not self aware?  Where are you getting your information?

    A thorough discussion of this topic will lead to the conclusion that personhood is a quality that precedes thought, feelings and interactions, not the other way around.

    I do know people who believe that personhood is established long before a sperm fertilizes an ova and continues well after our physical death.  They are perfectly entitled to their opinions and beliefs about the nature of personhood and life, just as you and I and every other person are entitled to our opinions and beliefs about the nature of personhood and life.   Just take note that simply believing something does not make that thing a fact.

     Women are hardly forced, by society or otherwise, into seeking illegal abortions and to say otherwise demeans the mental capacity of women as a whole and implies that they lack the capacity to take responsibility for their own decisions.

    If this perfectly legal and safe procedure were to be criminalized, women would be forced to procure unsafe abortions if they lacked the funds to travel into a country where they could obtain a safe and legal abortion.  Listen, terminating ones pregnancy is every bit as responsible as gestating ones pregnancy… how you feel about one choice does not alter how responsible that choice is.

    When it comes to conflicts of human rights between life, liberty and pursuit of happiness between pregnant women and their fetuses, it would be decided the same way other conflicts of rights are decided. Life trumps liberty trumps pursuit of happiness.

    a) the pregnant woman/zygote/embryo/fetus relationship is unitary and the pregnant woman is the most qualified person to be making decisions regarding her pregnancy and b) life trumps liberty?  Explain that to all of the innocent victims of our wars (sometimes referred to as "collateral damage") or a victim of the death penalty.  Liberty trumps pursuit of happiness?  Please explain to me how someone who is not permitted to pursue happiness could be considered to be free.  I believe that life is on par with liberty which is on par with the pursuit of happiness… one doesn’t suddenly trump another at your whim.

    Underneath the rhetoric, the pro-life position is just that: pro-life. For all human beings. No, the law can’t prevent human beings from killing themselves or engaging in risky behavior. But it must prevent one from killing another, especially when the victim is defenseless.

    It would appear as if underneath the rhetoric is more rhetoric.

  • invalid-0

    Mellankelly1, did you get the impression that Dan’s argument was that if women die from unsafe abortions, that’s their own fault and not his problem?

    Why do you despise women so much, Dan?

  • invalid-0

    I am so tired of saying this….because it has never failed to end the conversation, and send anti-choicers into intellectually dishonest silence.

    IF the blastocyst/zygote/embryo/ fetus is a person, there is virtually no realm of human endeavor that women of childbearing age cannot be excluded from, no activity that women may not be restricted from, no aspect of a woman’s life that may not be circumscribed by law.

    IF the b/z/e/f is a person entitled to equal rights under the law, then equality under the law applies to men, postmenopausal/infertile women, and blastocysts, embryos, zygotes and fetuses but NOT TO FERTILE WOMEN of childbearing age.

  • invalid-0

    Your logic is flawed. That we have yet to define personhood does not imply that sentience/self-awareness is a requirement for personhood. Consider my 3-month old. I’d be hard pressed to prove that she’s self-aware. In fact, my cat exhibits more symptoms of self-awareness. Yet, my 3-month old is considered a person and her right to life, safety and sustenance override any concern of mine regarding my liberty, pursuit of happiness and, in limited cases, life. This is enforced both by law and my own conscience. Why is that? And no, a person who is unconscious is not self-aware by the very definition of unconscious. Is such a person any less a person? Why not?

    The personhood of human beings, woman or man, pregnant or not, adult or child, can and has been denied. In fact, only recently, from a historical perspective, has a large swath of our population been recognized as persons in their own right. The arguments used to deny them their personhood bear a striking similarity to those used to deny fetuses personhood. Weakness, lack of mental capacity, inability to survive without support, viewed as property, etc… We now deny the merits of these arguments but they were popularly accepted at one time nonetheless.

    A truly pro-life position is just that and does not condone war nor the death penalty. The latter of these two is a far cry from the slaughter of innocents in the former and in abortions. FYI, abortion has extinguished 40 million lives in the last few decades in the US alone. That’s more lives than killed in all the wars in recorded history combined.

    Humanity continues to evolve as history progresses and, with some setbacks, sees the gifts and rights held by some being extended to others. From one set of humans to the next, men to women, whites to blacks, adults to children. We are now slowly seeing the extension of these gifts outside the human tree and beyond. In history’s slow march, it is those who would deny these gifts to others, who are pro-choice for beating one’s wife, slavery, animal cruelty, abortion and other evils, who are the antagonists and will be remembered as barbarians. We will, in time, move past them, whether people like you want to or not. I don’t expect that abortion will be eliminated in my lifetime or in my children’s lifetimes, but, as humanity reaches toward harmony with all life, all things and the universe around it, history is on my side.

    And yes…it is rhetoric. And, in a world where your right to life can be decided by popular vote, you underestimate its power.

  • invalid-0

    Sim, reply to my post. Follow your beliefs through to their rational conclusion.

  • invalid-0

    You’re not addressing the point. When abortion is illegal, women die. Women have abortions for many reasons. Unless you can eliminate the reality of all those reasons (poverty, danger to pregnant women’s health or lives, foetal abnormality incompatible with life, just not wanting children, and so on and so forth) women are going to have abortions. They always have, and the fact that you believe they shouldn’t isn’t going to change that. And when women can’t obtain safe, legal abortions, they result to unsafe abortions, as they always have. Banning abortion therefore directly contributes to the deaths of women. You are advocating policies that will kill women. As much as you may want to protect all the foetuses of the world, what you’re suggesting is impractical and outright immoral, as it will kill women.

  • invalid-0

    This sweet election, however, does have a bitter side for reproductive and sexual health and justice. In California, Florida, and Arizona, voters passed initiatives banning same-sex marriage. I can’t for the life of me understand how gay people getting married affects in any way the sacred marriages of heterosexual couples. I am profoundly disappointed by the bigotry demonstrated by my fellow Californians, especially. I guess our so-called liberal state has plenty of hate to go around.

  • mellankelly1

    Consider my 3-month old. I’d be hard pressed to prove that she’s self-aware

    That’s nice.  It is well documented that newborns will cry when they hear the cries of another baby.  Actually, an interesting study was conducted on neonates the first day after birth and reflected that infants who hear their own (recorded) cries will vocalize considerably less than if they hear another infant cry.  Further studies have concluded that newborn infants response to crying is both peer and self specific (this can be argued as "auditory specification of self").  If you’d care to research, there are many other peer-reviewed studies done on neonates which reflect differing degree’s of self exploration within the first few hours of life.  I would imagine the same is true of your three-month old daughter.

    And no, a person who is unconscious is not self-aware by the very definition of unconscious

    Are you really attempting to argue that a person in a coma ceases to be a person?  I suppose that is not any stranger than the philosophers who have argued that even after death a person continues to exist.  Heck, I’ve spoken with people who believe that a person exists prior to the formation of a zygote… there are even people who have argued the personhood of a chimp (or dog, or cat…)   I’ve just never heard someone imply that personhood is something which can be taken away and given back at a whim.

    FYI, abortion has extinguished 40 million lives in the last few decades in the US alone. That’s more lives than killed in all the wars in recorded history combined.

    Well, technically, if you’re going to consider a zygote or embryo a "person" then the lives that have been extinguished (without bringing elective abortion into the equation) would be more like 200 million each year.  If the loss of an embryo is to be on par with the loss of a person, then spontaneous abortion is the biggest killer of all, without question.  Now, if personhood of a zygote or embryo is to be accepted as fact, there would be an obligation for society to fight it.  As other posters have suggested, we would be morally obligated to monitor women and to be sure that they are not taking any unnecessary risks which would result in the death of this "person".  Also, considering that the uterus may be receptive to pregnancy only during a limited time-window (as embryos that implant in the uterus late are less likely to survive) we should be sure that women are only having sex during certain periods of time each month.  See where this is going? 

  • invalid-0

    Precisely Mellenkelly1. Antichoicers deny that the ultimate goal is to restrict women from participation in the public arena, but Governor Mike Huckabee has already suggested that legislation prohibiting pregnant women from smoking is reasonable.

    Since women of childbearing age are usually pregnant for some weeks before being aware of the condition, the only logical approach would be to prohibit all premenopausal women from smoking.

    High stress occupations triple the risk of spontaneous miscarriage. Will women be prohibited from jobs like…air traffic controller?

    Yes M, we do see where this is going.

  • invalid-0

    Here is the money quote, M, just for you!

    There are a lot of things pregnant women shouldn’t do. That’s just one of them,” Huckabee said, adding: “The point is, if you’re going to make that against the law you’re probably going to have to extend it to all the other things that are equally unhealthy for the child.”

  • invalid-0

    That’s nice that so many studies have been performed. Any of these studies done on cats? How many lines of code would you think it would take for a computer to have this “auditory specification of self?” As an engineer, I can assure you that it would be very few. Your definition of how personhood can be ascertained is rather loose and doesn’t even come close to addressing the fact that personhood precedes self-awareness.

    And no…I did not argue that an unconscious person ceases to be a person. You did. If self-awareness is a requirement to be a person, then it naturally follows that someone who is unconscious (i.e. not self-aware) is not a person. If A is necessary for B then, if not A, then not B. Simple logic. In fact, my argument is that self-awareness is NOT a requirement.

    Your last argument contains the typical slippery slope error and mistakes the goal. It is not to protect everyone from dying. That would require that everyone, men, women and children, sit in a little bubble eating sterilized food…and even that is risky is some ways. Dying is a part of life. The goal is to prevent people from intentionally killing other people.

    To go from illegalization of abortion to the monitoring of women is rather large stretch, and a logically flawed one at that. Last time I checked, I’m not constantly monitored as to what I feed my child or how I hold her. As a father, I rather like tossing her gently into the air and watching her smile. Is that risky? Yes. There’s a chance I could drop her. But a large part of life is about risks and enjoying the benefits when those risks pay off. If I accidentally drop her and she’s hurt, will I get in trouble? Yeah, I’d get talked to. But what if I purposefully slammed her against the floor? I’d most definitely deserve to go to jail. And no argument about my economic conditions, my wish to not be a parent, the strain on my mental health, etc. will get me out. What’s the difference between these two? Intent. The thing that pro-lifers / anti-choicers rail against is abortion as defined by the intentional killing of a human being by another before it is born.

    • mellankelly1

      Your definition of how personhood can be ascertained is rather loose and doesn’t even come close to addressing the fact that personhood precedes self-awareness.

      First, I feel that I must point out, for the record and all, that I have not yet shared my opinion about what personhood even is.  I was speaking to the fact that personhood (much like "life") is not something which could be defined in absolute terms; there is no consensus among philosophers, theologians or scientists on what personhood even is. 

      And no…I did not argue that an unconscious person ceases to be a person.  If self-awareness is a requirement to be a person, then it naturally follows that someone who is unconscious (i.e. not self-aware) is not a person

      You brought it up as an argument against sentience having relevance to personhood.  I merely brought up the fact that if a person is unconscious they do not suddenly lose the status of person… I mean, they were a person prior to becoming unconscious, right?  So, how is this relevant to a thousandth of an ounce, second old zygote – was it also a person prior to becoming a zygote?  I’ve said before, I know people who do believe that they were the person they are now prior to conception and that they’ll be the same person after death so I’m not attempting to discount your personal beliefs, I’m just wondering if that’s what you’re trying to say.

      Your last argument contains the typical slippery slope error and mistakes the goal. It is not to protect everyone from dying. That would require that everyone, men, women and children, sit in a little bubble eating sterilized food…and even that is risky is some ways. Dying is a part of life. The goal is to prevent people from intentionally killing other people

      Why is it that a woman who intentionally participates in any activity that will result in the death of her zygote/embryo/fetus (person) shouldn’t be held responsible for her actions?  As a society we do what we can to prevent other causes of death like cancer or murder and I’m wondering why we shouldn’t do what we can to prevent the unavoidable deaths of every "person".  We are talking about over 200 million mostly avoidable deaths per year, right?  Certainly these are preventable deaths for the most part, no?  I guess I’m just wondering why these "people" wouldn’t be treated in the same way as other people?

      To go from illegalization of abortion to the monitoring of women is rather large stretch, and a logically flawed one at that. Last time I checked, I’m not constantly monitored as to what I feed my child or how I hold her

      If your child dies by your actions do you honestly think that you shouldn’t be held accountable?  Even if your actions were only deemed intentionally negligent?  You are obligated to avoid actions/activities that would directly result in the death of your child (malnourishment, neglect, etc.)  If a zygote/embryo/fetus is a person, why shouldn’t you be obligated to avoid those same actions?  You are right, it is a very slippery slope, indeed. 

      As a father, I rather like tossing her gently into the air and watching her smile. Is that risky? Yes. There’s a chance I could drop her. But a large part of life is about risks and enjoying the benefits when those risks pay off. If I accidentally drop her and she’s hurt, will I get in trouble? Yeah, I’d get talked to

      You’d "get talked to?"  If your child died from injuries that were a direct result of you throwing her into the air you would get more than "talked to."  That would be considered criminally negligent homicide (where there’s no intention to kill or cause serious injury, but death is due to recklessness or criminal negligence.) 

      The thing that pro-lifers / anti-choicers rail against is abortion as defined by the intentional killing of a human being by another before it is born.

      Abortion is the termination of ones pregnancy.  Period.

  • invalid-0

    Stretch? Try for some logical consistency. If, for example, drinking coffee is determined to be detrimental to the b/z/e/f, your own beliefs require you to support laws prohibiting pregnant women from drinking coffee. You cannot have it both ways. One more time:

    I train horses for a living, a high risk occupation. I deliberately take a header from a foul-tempered colt, in hopes of miscarrying an thoroughly unwanted pregnancy. What is your take here, Dan?

  • invalid-0

    Slippery Slope? Opinions vary and the experts are still out, but try this one on for size:

    Kaiser Permanente researcher De-Kun Li, MD, PhD, found that women who used hot tubs or Jacuzzis after conception were twice as likely to have a miscarriage as women who did not.

    “Based on our findings I would say that women in the early stages of pregnancy — and those who may have conceived but aren’t sure — might want to play it safe for the first few months and avoid hot tubs or any exposure to hot water that will significantly increase body temperature,” says Dr Li. “Although the finding is still preliminary, it is prudent for women to take such precautionary measures to reduce unnecessary risk of miscarriage.”

    The study, “Hot Tub Use during Pregnancy and the Risk of Miscarriage,” found that the miscarriage risk went up with more frequent hot tub or Jacuzzi use and with use in the early stages of a pregnancy. Furthermore, among women who remembered the temperature settings of their hot tubs or Jacuzzis, the study found some indications that the risk of having a miscarriage may increase with higher water temperature settings.

    The study was conducted among 1,063 women, and participants were recruited in the study on average at 40 days of gestational age. The information on hot tub or Jacuzzi use was obtained through in-person interviews.

    This is the third study on miscarriages released by Kaiser Permanente in the last two years. In August, the British Medical Journal published a study showing the increased risk of miscarriages in women who used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Exposure to high levels of magnetic fields — especially early in pregnancy — can also significantly increase a woman’s risk of miscarriage, according to research published in Epidemiology in 2002

    Pay attention here, Dan. Assuming ho-tubbing is high risk behavior that can result in spontaneous abortion:
    What is the moral distinction between a pregnant woman who, with intent, takes 2 hot tubs a day and successfully miscarries, and the pregnant woman who takes 2 hot tubs a day, and without intent but aware of the risks, also miscarries?

    • invalid-0

      Involuntary manslaughter, which covers lack of intent, also includes the failure to perform a legal duty expressly required to safeguard human life. If the legal duty of the woman toward the embryo is extended to give it a right to life over her own body, then she is guilty if she does anything to her body that results in its death.

  • invalid-0

    Speaking of intent…what about those who push for illegalisation of abortion, knowing full well that this will directly result in the deaths of women? Perhaps they (i.e. you) should be charged with murder, or perhaps manslaughter would be more appropriate? What do you think?

    You’re ignoring a bunch of valid points and questions here. Is that because you know you’d look like an utter monster if you answered them and followed your arguments to their logical conclusion? Perhaps admitted you really couldn’t care less if women were die from unsafe abortions (they brought it on themselves, right?) or that you think it’s perfectly reasonable to ban women from any activity whatsoever that could potentially increase the risk of miscarriage? Those might include, for example, drinking coffee, smoking, taking certain prescription and over the counter medications, rapid weight loss, excessive exercise, using hot tubs/spas, anything that might cause stress, consuming alcohol, eating particular foods, and so on.

    What penalty would you suggest for a woman with anorexia or bulimia, if she were to have a miscarriage? She’d have murdered her blastocyst/zygote/embryo/foetus, after all.

  • invalid-0

    Emma, the truth is that anti-choicers dare not officially carry the courage of their convictions through to the rational conclusions. To do so would expose the profound misogyny that underlies the rhetoric: women are not persons…they are merely walking wombs.

  • invalid-0

    When I was about to get married I remember thinking “What?!!! I need a license to get married?!! Yeah..like I give a damn whether some beurocrat gives my intended and me his permission. As if their not giving me a license is somehow going to stop me.”

    Over the last 300 years, we seem to have devolved from a society of individuals to whom all rights were reserved to one of a bunch of whiners who keep asking for permission under the assumption that the one granting it has authority in the first place. Why ask for permission. People who want to be married should gather their friends, hold a ceremony and hold themselves out as married. No one in society at large is going to ask to see a marriage “license.” Many of the legal benefits of marriage can be retained by a simple power of attorney and a contract. And, in those case where the govt. is somehow giving some unions more rights than others, this favoritism should be challenged.

    But there is a twist and this may go to the heart of why some are asking for the “legalization” of same-sex marriage: government recognition has a coercive force and circumvents the right of individuals to decide for themselves whether they want to recognize someone as married or not. I have a right to consider myself as married, a right which is equal to your right to consider me as not married. I wouldn’t like it if you were to say that but you have a right to say it. On the other hand, if I can hold up a government license, I can then say “nuh uh…see…big daddy says I am.”

    I would love to see a day when both heterosexuals and homosexuals simply state that they are married and expect people to respect it without the force of government. Let’s get the government back to providing basic infrastructure and out of the job of regulating, supporting or policing relations between consenting and capable adults.

  • invalid-0

    Hi Ahunt, Emma,

    I’m purposefully trying to limit my responses to the two of you as your arguments are fraught with ad hominems and slippery slopes along with the occasional “yeah…I second that” type of responses that don’t actually add anything of value to the discussion other than to imply that the opinion being seconded is popular, which has no bearing on its validity. But I will try to address your concerns here.

    Pro-lifers want to grant a human life in utero the same rights it suddenly receives upon birth. I.e. it would be considered the same as a baby. There are fundamental needs that babies have that are protected by the government. All other rights are reserved to the parents. And this includes taking the deadly risk of driving the baby home (did you know that the #1 cause of motor accidents is driving?) on our busy highways. It does not include intentionally causing an accident in order to try to kill the baby.

    Yes, intent is hard to discern and that’s why we have courts. Mostly, the benefit of the doubt resides with the parents. And no, the system does not make perfect judgements. In the case of the intentional accident, for instance, it’s very likely not only that the parent will walk free but will also be consoled for the baby’s death.

    Pro-lifers don’t want a woman to obtain an illegal abortion, much less die undergoing one. However, we, as a society, cannot actually stop someone from risking their life while pursuing something illegal, such as killing another person. We can discourage it through social norms and laws. Further, we can address and mitigate the root causes. That is the extent of our power.

    Would pro-lifers be responsible for the death of those who procure illegal abortion. They would be sad that such things happened but no, they would not be responsible. Illegalization of abortion is not a proximal cause. And while it’s foreseeable that some women will die as an end result, the proximal cause is their decision. They weighed their options, benefits and risks with the full knowledge that the procedure is illegal. Pro-lifers are no more responsible for their death than lawmakers are responsible for the death of stalker because their laws give the victim the right to fight back.

    Yes, I realize the system is not perfect. It’s far from that. No matter what we do, in any realm of human endeavor, people will kill and some will die trying to kill. Having recognized that, let’s do what we can to minimize both and, if we can’t have that, let’s minimize the sum.

  • invalid-0

    So, Dan, to paraphrase: you’re not particularly concerned that more women would die as a result of the policies you advocate. Your statement that it would be ‘their choice’ is a cop-out, frankly, as people don’t make choices in a vacuum.

    And is it possible you don’t want to respond to ahunt or me because you realise that, if you followed your arguments to the logical conclusion, that conclusion would be a rather unsavoury one?

    If you read this article you may see why I argue that the only thing banning abortion would do would be to make it more dangerous. Can you see the point I’m trying to make? If evidence suggests – as it does – that banning abortion wouldn’t reduce them, but just make them more dangerous, then why would you see banning them as desirable? In practical terms, it’s not going to have the effect you want, and the consequence would be more maimed and dead women.

    It just seems to me that if you hope to see abortion rates go down, there are better ways to try to make that happen. Fighting for affordable health care for everyone, paid parental leave, education regarding sex and contraception, affordable and easily available contraception. Lobby for funding of research into genetic foetal abnormalities and life threatening maternal illnesses. Countries with comprehensive sex ed, universal health care, paid parental leave and so on have rather low abortion rates.

    Why would you not want to push for practical solutions that will reduce abortions? Criminalising them is a far less effect solution than the ones I’ve suggested and the ones suggested in the article.

  • invalid-0

    there is so, so much ludicrous and/or wrong about your comment; from the small things like thinking “benefit of the doubt” is a legal term and that courts are to discern intent (hint: they have something to do with crime & guilty/not guilty)to that creepy narrative all anti-choicers take on when speaking of the fantasy-land in their minds where they have “won”, and abortion is illegal. you people always have this non-existent reality so well thought out, it’s disturbing you put so much thought into women not being able to control their own bodies-something that doesn’t effect you now, in actual reality.
    what really got to me about your comment, what creeped me out the most, is how cold, how repulsively “que sera sera” you are about REAL women dying if they choose illegal abortion in your sick future world where anti-choicers have “won”. and yes, when i capitalize “real” i do mean that i am a human being and that a zygote/blatocyst DOES NOT in any way whatsoever come close to being as i am, and neither does it supercede MY constitutional rights.
    as usual, a so-called “pro-lifer” who has zero problem wanting civil rights for something that could fit on the head of a pin (and die, as it couldn’t live outside of a woman), and equally has zero problem with the idea that real women will die from illegal abortions.

  • invalid-0

    There is a charge for killing of someone without intent – involuntary manslaughter.

  • invalid-0

    Pro-lifers want to grant a human life in utero the same rights it suddenly receives upon birth. I.e. it would be considered the same as a baby. There are fundamental needs that babies have that are protected by the government. All other rights are reserved to the parents.

    And the only way this can be done is to strip women of their rights.

    In employment? Again, I train horses for a living. I would not do so while carrying a newborn…illegal child endangerment. By your own reasoning, Dan…from the moment of conception…I lose my right to my employment of choice.

    Personal rights? What if I smoke? Just as it is illegal to give minors cigarettes, (and in Arkansas, illegal to smoke in a car with children). By your reasoning, pregnant women who smoke are guilty of a crime.

    Spare me the “it won’t happen” and “invalid slippery slope,” rebuttals. The fact that a sitting governor and former presidential candidate has already suggested legislation that opens the door for precisely these scenarios.

  • mellankelly1

    Hey, I hadn’t read your response when I replied but I brought up the exact same thing (I didn’t mean to be redundant) and I’d like to add to that the fact that Dan seems to forget that involuntary manslaughter (criminally negligent homicide) occurs where there’s no intention to kill or cause serious injury, but death is due to recklessness or criminal negligence.  It seems that, at the very least, a woman who participates in activities that result in the death of the zygote/embryo/fetus "person" would fall under one of those two categories.  Giving personhood status to the zygote/embryo/fetus does not and will not ever make sense… logistically, this would be a nightmare (to say the least.)… and it would also me immoral.

  • http://democraticdiva.com/ invalid-0

    “Let’s get the government back to providing basic infrastructure and out of the job of regulating, supporting or policing relations between consenting and capable adults.”

    Dan, you forgot to add, “and forcibly compelling women to continue pregnancies against their will”. There, I fixed it for you.

  • invalid-0

    Well, I think it’s fairly clear that we’re reaching an impasse and further discussion would be a waste of the life and time we were lucky enough to get. However, it has been illuminating. Perhaps we can agree on what exactly how we disagree. I think I could discern that these are the two main arguments that you are making.

    1. Personhood is a characteristic humans acquire upon birth.

    2. People have absolute sovereignty over their bodies and everything contained within.

    Either of these, if true, is sufficient as an argument to not criminalize abortion.

    The pro-life position postulates that personhood is an innate characteristic of human beings. Ergo, it is independent of developmental state. Everything else flows from the interaction of the rights granted by personhood.

    I hope this is an accurate summary of our fundamental disagreement. If not, what would you change?

    Thanksgiving is upon us, in light of this discussion, let’s all make sure to thank our mothers. And, if you can find it in your heart to do so, take a moment to remember those women and babies who were not as lucky as us.

  • mellankelly1

    Perhaps we can agree on what exactly how we disagree. I think I could discern that these are the two main arguments that you are making

     1. Personhood is a characteristic humans acquire upon birth.

    Dan, I will agree to disagree with you.  I will add that, personally, I believe that "personhood" is a quality that is far to complex to simply state as being "acquire[d] upon birth" or describe as an "innate characteristic of human beings".  Although, for logical purposes it is fair to say that two persons could not possibly share the same body (of course, conjoined twins aside – whole different set of circumstances not comparable to a pregnancy/pregnant woman scenario.)  Although… this quote: "2. People have absolute sovereignty over their bodies and everything contained within" should simply go without saying, right?  I would find any statement to the contrary very disturbing, indeed!  If our bodies are not akin to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" then what is?  I would just like to add that I have never taken issue with a person who has beliefs different than mine, however, I do take issue when those people believe that their personal belief system should trump the personal belief systems of others.  The bottom line is that the most qualified person to be making decisions about her pregnancy is the pregnant woman.  Also, you may want to consider that some people have little (to no) reason to thank their mothers for anything.   Thanksgiving means something different to everyone, why don’t we just let each person decide what it is that they’re thankful for.

  • invalid-0

    The system is not perfect. Mathematics will tell you that no system with a finite set of rules can be perfectly self consistent.

    Your argument is essentially that, since the system cannot account for all possible variations of occurrences, it should be scrapped. By your logic, we should free all prisoners as the chances of convicting someone who is not guilty is non-zero. We should also ban driving as it is a risky activity and there is a non-zero chance of fatal accidents due to recklessness.

    It’s not a simple equation that guides these laws and decisions, as you would suggest, but a complex, careful and dynamic balancing of probabilities, risks, benefits and burdens. It is so expansive that individual people, especially when mired in their own personal circumstances, have almost zero hope of comprehending it. But guess what? We, as a society, can and will work these issues out so as to minimize the weighted sum negative effects and maximize the the weighted sum benefits for all of humanity. This is not about you, me and the other individuals in this discussion. It’s about the future of humanity, all human beings, from zygote to adult and everything in between. It’s about balancing each of our rights, needs and desires, sharing the gifts of life, liberty and happiness and also the burdens.

    We cannot throw out a large segment of the population simply because it’s difficult or inconvenient to include them.

  • mellankelly1

     The system is not perfect. Mathematics will tell you that no system with a finite set of rules can be perfectly self consistent.

    Oh… is that what we’ll tell the countless women who will charged with Involuntary Manslaughter?  Sorry ma’am, you just had to take one for "Team Zygote?"  The best retort we have is "the system is not perfect"… women will be charged with criminally negligent homicide if the zygote/embryo/fetus is granted "personhood" – that is a an actual fact, not some gray area that we can "scrap" simply because these "people" are not separate entities.

    Your argument is essentially that, since the system cannot account for all possible variations of occurrences, it should be scrapped.

    No, my argument is that granting personhood to a zygote/embryo/fetus would be illogical and immoral.

    It’s not a simple equation that guides these laws and decisions, as you would suggest

    Oh my… you haven’t been paying attention.  Granting the rights of personhood (i.e. full citizenship) to a zygote/embryo/fetus would entail anything but simplicity.  It would be virtually impossible.

     This is not about you, me and the other individuals in this discussion

    Boy, you really nailed it with that… the decisions regarding a pregnancy (wanted or not) should always be made by the pregnant woman.  These decisions are irrelevant to anyone other than a woman, her loved ones and her doctor.  What you or I feel about abortion (or the "personhood" of a zygote/embryo/fetus) is immaterial. 

    We cannot throw out a large segment of the population simply because it’s difficult or inconvenient to include them

    Um… how, exactly, could a zygote (or an embryo or a fetus) be considered a member of society?  Seriously, I would like to know how (even if you grant "personhood" to the zygote) could this logically be done… would they be counted on census questionnaires?  shall we claim them as dependents?  what if one was conceived in a foreign country… would they then be considered a citizen of said country?  and what of tax status?  It does not make any sense to grant rights to a womans pregnancy at the expense of her own rights. 

  • invalid-0

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that. After all, my belief that relativism is self-inconsistent is just as valid as your belief that relativism is self-consistent or perhaps that self-consistency is not necessary…or something else. :-)

    Actually I’d much rather that people not care whether we “let” them decide what they’re thankful for. They can make up their own mind and I certainly hope that it’s not so weak that my suggestion that they thank their mothers is somehow coercing them into doing it against their will.

    But I’ll repeat as you would like for it to be stated: Take a moment to thank your mother for giving you life this Thanksgiving. (This is just a suggestion and in no way implies that you should do so if you don’t wish to do so. You may thank or not thank or do or not do whatever you wish or not wish. If you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving…well…I’m sorry.)

  • mellankelly1

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that. After all, my belief that relativism is self-inconsistent is just as valid as your belief that relativism is self-consistent or perhaps that self-consistency is not necessary…or something else. :-)

    True that… my belief that absolutism is the simple act of favoring your own preferences is as valid as your belief that relativism is self-inconsistent, eh? ;)

    Actually I’d much rather that people not care whether we "let" them decide what they’re thankful for.

    Agreed… but people do care to be permitted to decide what it is that they are thankful for, no?  I don’t believe that it’s necessary to suggest people are thankful for anything… I just kind of think people already know what it is that they’re thankful for. 

    But I’ll repeat as you would like for it to be stated: Take a moment to thank your mother for giving you life this Thanksgiving

    Oh, I hope to God that is not what I implied… some people would beg to differ that they should thank anyone (least of all their birth mother) for giving birth to them.  Of course, those who are thankful need no reminders.  Thanks again for the sentiment but remember, good intentions do not always have the desired effect.

  • invalid-0

    We can certainly agree to disagree, Dan, but the fundamental problem remains. Prolifers refuse to carry the policies they advocate through to the logical and plausible conclusions.

    You’ve been presented with but a few entirely rational scenarios, and you will not respond to the realty that your convictions essentially reduce women to breeding stock, and set the stage for the removal of women from full participation in public life.

  • invalid-0

    I understand what you’re saying. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_slope. It may help you understand what I’m saying. Mainly, in establishing a series of arguments that depend on former arguments, it’s important to understand the probabilities involved and to not mistake the total population concerned as a coherent abstract entity.

    A course in probability and statistics along with a case study on why the criminal justice system tolerates a non-zero probability of a type 1 error may be useful as well.

  • invalid-0

    Absolutism and Relativism are simply different basis sets that can be used. Both can be shown to be incomplete (i.e. inconsistent within its own set of rules).

    I don’t always know everything, especially what I should be thankful for. A reminder is sometimes useful. Consider the phrase “I cried because I had no shoes till I saw a man who had no feet.” Especially the more fortunate among us sometimes forget the things we take for granted, mundane things like ten fingers, ten toes and the right to free speech, for example. :-)

    It’s next to impossible to tailor our speech to take everyone into account. Even a statement like “the sky is such a beautiful blue today” may offend those who are colorblind…or just blind. That doesn’t mean that we stop speaking…there’s no simple equation involved. We, most of the time, try to do and say things based on what we perceive may resulted in the best weighted sum benefit.

    And so I stand by my comment and sincere wish to all: “Take a moment to thank your mothers for…you.” and further “I wish for you Happy Holidays and all the best that life has to offer.”

  • invalid-0

    Oh Dear! Math! Whatever shall I do?

    Tell you what, Dan. Why don’t you just set it out for us in layman’s terms. Because right now, you are merely blowing smoke.

  • mellankelly1

    Thanks for enlightening all of us… I’m not sure what we would do without the unsolicited advice of complete strangers on the Internet clearing up life’s mysteries.

     

     

  • mellankelly1

    Ah… not that I don’t understand the inclination to dodge a question that one would rather not answer, but we’re not all blind to it.  There simply is no way to get around the questions that myself, ahunt and many others have asked regarding the implications of giving a zygote "personhood" status.  Simply directing myself and others to a wikipedia page which explains the premise of the "slippery slope" will not make these questions go away.  People are not at all comfortable with where this will go… women being charged with murder/involuntary manslaughter of her fertilized eggs (along with the prohibition of some types of birth control) … it is a disturbing reality for the general population.  You can attempt to move the discussion into other arena’s, but we are paying attention and we refuse to allow you disregard the consequences this will have on women.

  • invalid-0

    Dan…in the 80′s…Johnson Controls required that women who worked in certain hazardous materials jobs be sterilized or lose their employment. Look it up.

    Again, your failure to acknowledge the far reaching effects of extending equal rights under the law to the b/z/e/f will likely include the systematic removal/restriction of women from ANY employment/activity that increases the potential for miscarriage is fundamentally dishonest.

    Employers, fearing liability, will simply not hire women.

    Female cops? Well, maybe desk jobs.

    Recent studies of women lawyers in high stress firms showed the risk of miscarriage was tripled.

    Military Service? No can do…

    Construction? High risks there.

    One of my girlfriends races dirt bikes. Another competes in mountain biking. Again, high risk hobbies.

    Even the medical fields could be off limits. Chemical and radiation exposure are known to threaten pregnancies.

    IUDs? Nope.

    You claim that even though the law cannot account for every possibility, there is no slippery slope.

    Think again.

  • invalid-0

    Re: Johnson Control and sterilization – Johnson Control was a single private firm. Their policy was defeated by a unanimous vote simply on the grounds that it was not a bonafide occupational qualification. In fact, Justice Blackmun said that “decision about the welfare of future children must be left to the parents who conceive, bear, support and raise them.” The pregnancy was not really relevant to the ruling. Note statement #4 below.

    Re: Possible end results of personhood amendment. I dislike this topic because it entails the valuation of lives in terms of other lives or, worse, convenience. That one human life can be worth more than another is abhorrent to me. I believe that, while our actions on this earth have finite value, the value of each of our lives is infinite and incomparable. That I can’t reconcile this belief with how I think, my current state of affairs, how I do things, I think, is more a reflection on my limited intelligence than a reflection on the accuracy of that belief. But I am not completely incapable of such valuation so here goes:

    1. Estimation of probability that personhood leads mandatory to observation: <5%
    a. Inferred from # of laws for mandatory observation of parents

    2. Estimation of probability that observation leads to undue restrictions: <5%
    a. Inferred from # of laws mandating parental behavior that have severe restrictions on personal freedoms.

    3. Estimation of probability that these laws will be enforced when imposed: <10%
    a. Inferred from # of laws that are actually continuously enforced

    4. Chance that society will lose the fight against getting any given law thrown out: <50%

    Conclusion A: Chances of future women’s freedoms being severely limited when pregnant: 5% x 5% X 10% x 50% = 0.0125%

    5. Given sufficiently reasonable studies (such as the one on alcohol), most women (probably > 95%) will voluntarily take on the impositions regardless of the law.

    Conclusion B: Worst case chances of any given woman being imposed on involuntarily: 0.0125% x 5% = 0.000625% (1 in 160,000)

    Yes, that means that there is a statistical expectation that 1,200 women will be imposed on for the 9 months during which they are pregnant.

    Compare to 40,000,000 human lives that have been intentionally killed over the last 30 years.

    My math and estimates may be innacurate as I didn’t have enough time to check them very well. In case they are and the 1,200 inconvenienced : 40,000,000 killed ratio is not correct, what ratio would be acceptable? How many inconveniences is 40,000,000 innocent and defenseless lives worth?

    Perhaps its that men and women would be treated disparately? Perhaps we can mitigate this? How? Maybe it would make personhood easier to swallow if men tried to somehow share the inconvenience. Is 40,000,000 lives worth trying to do this, though it seems almost impossible right now? How many attempts at the seemingly impossible is 40,000,000 lives worth?

  • invalid-0

    Your math is meaningless, as the foundations for your estimates are what, exactly? As you yourself have noted, the courts will determine interpretation of the law…and there has never been, here in the US, any legal precedent for defining personhood as beginning at conception. If such a law is enacted, suddenly Johnson Controls has grounds for requiring sterilization/not hiring women of childbearing age.

    Next, the blurb about restrictions on what “parents” may do is disingenuous. Only women get pregnant.

    And,the notion that enforcement of restrictive laws is whatever percent, rendering the law essentially meaningless, is profoundly dishonest. Putting aside the idiocy of passing laws that will engender mass noncompliance, just who do you think the law will be enforced against? Get real. It won’t be middle class white women, in case you needed a clue.

    More later.

  • mellankelly1

    Oh Dan, your bizarre mathematics equation (i.e. number diarrhea) regarding your take (i.e. opinion) on the consequence’s of zygote personhood was another attempt at conversational blindness.  Just so we’re clear… it doesn’t work so well in this forum.  Your argument completely ignores the fact that involuntary manslaughter applies to all people… unless you believe it is perfectly fine to kill some people (zygote/embryo.)  Under no circumstances would it be acceptable to deny a woman her rights because you feel like a person is present upon conception.  There simply is no way to get around the fact that the pregnant woman is the most qualified person to be making decisions about her pregnancy.  What some third party (with absolutely no stake in the outcome) believes a pregnancy should mean is completely irrelevant. 

  • invalid-0

    Conclusion B: Worst case chances of any given woman being imposed on involuntarily: 0.0125% x 5% = 0.000625% (1 in 160,000)

    Just so we’re clear, Dan…unwanted pregnancy is an imposition of the highest order, negatively impacting on every single aspect of a woman’s life, from intimate relations to physical and mental health to the ability to support herself.

  • invalid-0

    M, it isn’t just manslaughter charges that are at issue. Think child endangerment…

    There need be no law against a woman, say…six weeks pregnant, riding full tilt boogie down a mountain with no accidents…for charges to be leveled. Under Dan’s reasoning, the act constitutes a deliberate threat to the pregnancy.Hence…child endangerment.

    See how it works, Dan? There need not be specific laws against any legal activity a woman chooses to engage in…

    …if the legal activity poses serious threat…the activity is proscribed after the fact…

  • invalid-0

    Dan Sim, did you bother to read the article I linked above? You didn’t address it. It pointed out the same thing I’ve argued a number of times, which is that abortion rates don’t go down when abortion is illegalised, but rates of maternal death (through unsafe procedures) increase. What exactly is the point, then, of banning abortion? Do you not think society has a responsibility to prevent, you know, preventable deaths? Or do you think only the lives of ‘the unborn’ are worthy of protection? Exactly why do you think society should institute policies that will result in preventable deaths of women, given that banning abortion does not prevent abortion? For you, does it boil down to something along the lines of ‘irresponsible sluts brought it on themselves’?

    Kind of easy to be cavalier about it, isn’t it, when your life will never be affected?

  • invalid-0

    I honestly can’t believe he’s trying to reduce women’s lives to statistical formulae. The humanity, the compassion, oh how they lack.

  • invalid-0

    Mellan, things don’t suddenly not work just because you say they don’t work, in this forum or otherwise. Also, simply because you don’t understand how probabilities add up (or multiply up, actually) doesn’t mean that they’re invalid. Either refute the statement, concede the point or admit that you’re not qualified to judge its merits. Calling names just makes you seem…childish.

    You say the pregnant woman is the most qualified person to decide whether the human being inside her lives or dies. Where’s your proof. Given a teensy possibility that we’ve killed 40,000,000 human beings in the last 30 years because of this “fact”, it only seems right that you support it with a real proof instead of popular opinion. Give it a shot.

    Oh, by the way, just because 99.999% of the people on this planet individually have “absolutely no stake” in whether your partner beats you up doesn’t mean that we should stand by and not do anything if it happens. As a society, we have a stake. Defending the oppressed is not a duty limited to a select few, especially the oppressors…it’s the duty of all able human beings. And the oppressor generally doesn’t get to determine the personhood of the oppressed and use it to justify the oppression.

  • invalid-0

    ahunt, how many pregnant women do you think would want to take part in activities well-researched to be high risk when they know that they will have to take care of the resulting child?

    If you can come up with a number, is this number large enough to justify completely throwing out even the minute possibility that b/e/f, or whatever you want to call them, are honest-to-goodness human beings who should be protected?

  • invalid-0

    Being killed would seem, most of the time, to be an even greater imposition, wouldn’t you think?

  • invalid-0

    For the record, Emma, I sincerely objected to trying to quantify the worth of lives. It’s a dehumanizing exercise for both the one who does it and the one who asks for it. Feels….dirty.

    BTW, it does seem slightly ironic that a person advocating that a section of humanity be denied personhood is claiming a lack of humanity and compassion on the part of another. Kinda like the pot calling the kettle black. :-)

  • invalid-0

    how many pregnant women do you think would want to take part in activities well-researched to be high risk when they know that they will have to take care of the resulting child?

    You do the math, Dan. Be sure to factor in all the women who will seek illegal abortion and those who will simply abandon the kid. Also factor in addicts and jackhammer operators and mountain bike racers who do miscarry and are thrilled about it. Be sure to factor in all the women like me, comfortable middle class, who will not, under any law, submit to forced pregnancy.

    Do the math, Dan,

  • invalid-0

    You say the pregnant woman is the most qualified person to decide whether the human being inside her lives or dies. Where’s your proof.

    Unless you are asserting that all women are public property, you may want to rethink or rephrase here, Dan.

  • invalid-0

    ahunt, how many pregnant women do you think would want to take part in activities well-researched to be high risk when they know that they will have to take care of the resulting child?

    And finally…here you have it, Ladies. Admission from an anti-choicer acknowledging that severely restricting women from public participation is desirable and necessary.

  • invalid-0

    Dan, again, did you read the article I linked in a post on the previous page?

    I don’t think you understand my position. I am concerned about the lives of all the millions of women who would potentially be affected by illegalising abortion. I have a great deal of compassion for the women who would die or be maimed by the unsafe procedures they’d be desperate enough to undergo – the article I’ve linked discusses this. Here it is again

    The reason I called you on your lack of compassion was based on the fact that you seem tremendously cavalier with regard to the fact that banning abortion will cause the deaths of more women. I mean, that’s just cold.

  • invalid-0

    This is how I see things, basically. I don’t believe there’s anything sacred about life. My primary concern is helping to alleviate as much suffering as possible for as many (born) people as possible.

    I believe that a miserable life is not necessarily better than no life. The whole concept of the human life as inherently sacred seems far too anthropocentric to me; I do not believe, for example, that my cat is any less worthy than I am.

    Essentially, I’m far more concerned about those who’ve already been born.

  • invalid-0

    Since math seems to be difficult for you, let’s forget about doing it.

    How many defenseless human lives at the beginning of their journey would you say your comfortable, middle class convenience is worth? 40? 400? 40,000? 400,000? 40,000,000? More?

  • invalid-0

    As many as are necessary to permanantly establish that women are not public property nor breeding stock, Dan.

  • mellankelly1

    Mellan, things don’t suddenly not work just because you say they don’t work, in this forum or otherwise

    That is an absolutely true statement and I’m going to go ahead and send it right back at ya!

    Either refute the statement, concede the point or admit that you’re not qualified to judge its merits. Calling names just makes you seem…childish

    Oh, I see… I need to refute your math nonsense but you need not refute the very real consequences of granting personhood to a zygote, embryo or a fetus?  So, the rules you apply to others are just not applicable to you.  Well, it’s good to know where your heads at.  Further, attempting to force your beliefs on to every other person in this country (in addition to proclaiming that we must all debate this issue on your terms) just makes you seem… control freaky.

    You say the pregnant woman is the most qualified person to decide whether the human being inside her lives or dies.

    Kindly stop putting words into my mouth.  I am very aware of what I said… The pregnant woman is the most qualified person to be making decisions about her pregnancy.  Would you prefer that total strangers(not in the medical field) make your personal medical decisions for you?

    Where’s your proof  Given a teensy possibility that we’ve killed 40,000,000 human beings in the last 30 years because of this "fact", it only seems right that you support it with a real proof instead of popular opinion.

    You want proof of bodily autonomy?  How free are we if we are forced to relinquish our bodies to the will of our legislatures?  An abortion is the termination of ones pregnancy… and proof instead of opinion?  Please, it is merely your opinion that personhood is established at conception.  When I make the utterly truthful statement that pregnant women are most qualified to be making decisions regarding their pregnancy I am certainly not making a statement of "popular opinion"… please provide proof that a woman suddenly loses her rights upon becoming pregnant. 

    Oh, by the way, just because 99.999% of the people on this planet individually have "absolutely no stake" in whether your partner beats you up doesn’t mean that we should stand by and not do anything if it happens

    Listen, if you would like to compare yourself to a thousandth of an ounce second old zygote, be my guest.  However, you cannot pretend that violent crime (including domestic violence and murder) does not effect all of society… it effects our economic growth, it effects us personally (the fear of victimization), it is estimated to costs us billions of dollars (Ted R. Miller, Mark A. Cohen and Brian Wiersema, The Extent and Costs of Crime Victimization: A New Look, 1996, National Institute of Justice, January 1996.).  Yes, society certainly has a stake in violent crime, to pretend otherwise is dishonest.

    And the oppressor generally doesn’t get to determine the personhood of the oppressed and use it to justify the oppression.

    And how… you do not get to determine the personhood of a zygote, embryo or fetus, particularly when that determination (based on your opinion) would take rights away from people.

  • mellankelly1

    For the record, Emma, I sincerely objected to trying to quantify the worth of lives. It’s a dehumanizing exercise for both the one who does it and the one who asks for it. Feels….dirty.

    Well the, by all means… stop doing it.

    BTW, it does seem slightly ironic that a person advocating that a section of humanity be denied personhood is claiming a lack of humanity and compassion on the part of another. Kinda like the pot calling the kettle black. :-)

    Except that it is nothing at all like the pot calling the kettle black… what is absurd is pretending that a woman’s pregnancy is a "section of humanity."  Irony would be referring to oneself as compassionate for advocating that a zygote be a "person" with full legal rights which will result in the diminution of women’s rights.

  • mellankelly1

    How many defenseless human lives at the beginning of their journey would you say your comfortable, middle class convenience is worth? 40? 400? 40,000? 400,000? 40,000,000? More?

    That is emotive nonsense…  feel free to wax poetic about a zygote, embryo or fetus but make no mistake, your word choices are not a compelling argument for criminalizing abortion. Also, when you make statement that woman opt to terminate their pregnancies for their "comfortable, middle class convenience" you are either being blatantly dishonest or you have been misinformed.  Studies done have shown that the vast majority of women cite a variety of socioeconomic and family considerations as their main reason for seeking an abortion; these reasons reflect an understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood (and family life.)  The myth that women have abortions for "convenience" reasons is a favorite anti-abortion tactic used in order to portray women who terminate their pregnancies as selfish women who think of no one but themselves.  The studies done clearly indicate that women consider their families/loved ones (60% of women who terminate their pregnancies have one or more children) and their economic situation when deciding whether or not to bring another child into their family.

  • invalid-0

    Mellan, keep up…I didn’t refute the consequences. In fact, I acknowledged them and made an attempt to calculate their impact. You either couldn’t understand the analysis or couldn’t refute it.

    Does it make it easier to be pro-choice when you call it a pregnancy and can forget that there are two human beings involved? Or when you can say “terminating a pregnancy” instead of “killing an unborn human being” and forget the latter?

    Is the worth of a human being determined by her weight? And should people and society only defend the oppressed only when they have “a stake” in it and stand to benefit? Doesn’t that idea grate against some sense of justice and humanity inside you?

    • mellankelly1

      and made an attempt to calculate their impact.

      Well, at least you’ve acknowledged that it was merely an attempt… hey, it’s not my fault it was a failed attempt.

       You either couldn’t understand the analysis or couldn’t refute it.

      You may be missing one other possibility… perhaps one should not really attempt to use a mathematical equation when determining the value of pregnant women.  Perhaps it’s just a wee bit insulting.  You may be an engineer (please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) and so your brain may be inclined to work that way but the value of a pregnant woman should not be different than the value of any other person. The value of a pregnancy is fully dependant upon the pregnant woman… the loss of her pregnancy (wanted or not) only effects the pregnant woman, her doctor and her loved ones.

      Does it make it easier to be pro-choice when you call it a pregnancy and can forget that there are two human beings involved? Or when you can say "terminating a pregnancy" instead of "killing an unborn human being" and forget the latter?

      Whenever I refer to something by it’s proper name, it makes me feel like a person who is fully capable of carrying on an intelligent and rational conversation.  I haven’t forgotten anything… you can use whatever verbiage you need to, and I certainly understand the need to use emotive and descriptive words (regardless of how inaccurate those words might be) in order to get the point across that you just don’t like abortion.  The only people "involved" are the pregnant woman, her doctor and her loved ones. 

      Or when you can say "terminating a pregnancy" instead of "killing an unborn human being" and forget the latter?

      An abortion is the termination of ones pregnancy… I didn’t make that up, buddy.  Again, feel free to use all the cute little qualifiers and adjectives you want, it won’t change what a pregnancy is.

      Is the worth of a human being determined by her weight?

      Really?

      And should people and society only defend the oppressed only when they have "a stake" in it and stand to benefit?

      Yes, those pregnancies have been oppressed for far too long… society simply most defend the oppressed pregnancy.  Forget about the pregnant women, we (heart) zygote!!!  How altruistic of you.

  • invalid-0

    Emma, I share and respect your concern for alleviation of suffering.

    Alleviation of suffering being more important than life itself leads to the conclusion that we should kill everyone. That immediately removes even the possibility of suffering. Do you agree?

    If not, then do you concede that alleviation of suffering as a singular goal does not supersede life itsef?

    If your cat is not any less worthy than you, then what about a kitten? How about a kitten that was just born? How about a kitten that is…being born…or just before it is born? How about a human being…just before it is born?

    • invalid-0

      No, I don’t believe we should just kill everyone in order to alleviate suffering. I do not, however, take the view that life is always better than no life, no matter how miserable, painful, poverty stricken, and so on. Life as the property of the state would not, in my opinion, be worth living. Banning abortion creates suffering and does not end abortion, which I’ve repeatedly told you, and which you’ve repeatedly ignored. I guess you don’t like facts all that much, correct?

      If the choice were between saving my cat and saving her cat foetuses, I would save my cat. If the choice were between my life and a foetus’ life, I’d choose my own. If other women choose to do otherwise, it’s entirely up to them; I wouldn’t consider trying to deprive anyone of that choice.

      Please understand, Dan, you are suggesting that women should be the property of the state, which suggests you don’t believe I should be a fully autonomous person. You are suggesting I should be subject to a variety of restrictions due to having been born female, to which you will never be subject.

      Now please, answer the question you’ve been avoiding: why do you think it’s a good idea to ban abortion when it doesn’t prevent abortion, but kills and maims women?

  • invalid-0

    “Emotive nonsense,” “wax poetic.” Calling names but at least you addressed the point, Mellan. Kudos to you. Did the lack of confusing math help? ;-)

    “Socioeconomic and family considerations.” Word for word from a paper by Finer LB et al. Translation: the vast majority of women kill their unborn child because having to take care of the child would make life more difficult for her and her family. I.e….because it would be more or less inconvenient for them.

    • mellankelly1

       "Emotive nonsense," "wax poetic." Calling names but at least you addressed the point, Mellan. Kudos to you. Did the lack of confusing math help? ;-)

      Oh, baby… your math wasn’t confusing, it was inaccurate.  Also, I don’t think you know what name-calling means.  You wax poetic whenever you make reference to the "defenseless" pregnancy being terminated at the beginning of it’s "journey."  You were emotive (at the very least) in the post I was responding to… go ahead, give it another read.

      "Socioeconomic and family considerations." Word for word from a paper by Finer LB et al.

      So, let me get this straight… the combination of social and economic factors along with giving consideration to ones family situation aren’t valid because you don’t like where the information comes from?  How very grown up that is.  As of 2008, this is the most recent data regarding the reasons given for terminating an unwanted pregnancy.

      Translation: the vast majority of women kill their unborn child because having to take care of the child would make life more difficult for her and her family. I.e….because it would be more or less inconvenient for them.

      What are you using to translate, an Army of God brochure?  You may opine that not being able to care for another child or being unable to afford another child are mere inconveniences but rest assure, your opinion is totally irrelevant to those women.  And that last bit "because it wold be more or less inconvenient for them"… what the heck does that even mean?  Wouldn’t less inconvenient just be: convenient?  I’m just saying.

  • invalid-0

    Wow. And we should kill as many birds as necessary to ensure that no woman will get sick and die right? Think about it…there is a connection. But it’s about as tenuous as the one in your answer, ahunt.

    Let’s try the question again: How many unborn human beings is it worth killing in order to permanently establish that your comfortable middle class life will not be inconvenienced?

  • invalid-0

    Where do you crazy obscene people come up with this 40million crap? Do you just pull it out of your ass because that “knowledge” has been around for at least 10 years if not more. Anti-choice wingnuts have been spouting that number for a very long time now and it doesn’t seem to have changed much.

    Dan, the nutso Man, why do you fear death?

    • invalid-0

      Wow…new person with whole new ad hominems. And I thought Mellan, Ahunt, Emma and I were having our little storm in a tea cup all to ourselves. :-)

      Clara here’s the funny thing about the stat: It’s actually rounded down to the nearest 10,000,000. The actual stat is that, in the U.S., “From 1973 through 2005, more than 45 million legal abortions occurred.” Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html

  • invalid-0

    Mellan, I don’t have a problem with you calling names. Not that it matters to you. It’s all relative right? What’s emotive and waxing poetic to you isn’t necessarily emotive or waxing poetic to me and both our opinions are equally valid right? :-)

    When did I attack Finer’s paper? I think you’re reading too much into me informally citing your source (from which you copied)…or do you not believe in citing sources?

    Hehe…would “less negative” be “positive?” It’s inconvenient for me to lose $1000. It’s less inconvenient to lose $500. So, is it convenient for me to lose $500? :-)

    Well..it seems that you, with the help of Finer, have conceded that the vast majority of women who have abortions have them in or order to not be inconvenienced. Ok…fine…because of “socioeconomic and family considerations.”

    What do you think: should “socioeconomic and family considerations” allow parents to choose infanticide? I mean, do those considerations suddenly disappear the moment the baby is born?

  • invalid-0

    You seem to have difficulty remembering what you’ve read Mellan…I believe I strongly implied that the value of a woman is no different from any other person. Check out my comments before those “equations” you find so erroneous but haven’t actually disproven. I think this is the second time you’ve made a mistake like this.

    What makes you think that I’m an engineer? Would it be that I said I am in a reply to you? Check out The slopes are slippery indeed. on page 1. Perhaps you should have been an engineer…your brain perhaps could have used the exercise. ;-)

    So you agree that “terminating a pregnancy” means “killing an unborn human being?”

    Hehe “society simply must defend the oppressed pregnancy.” Having a hard time with the “human being” part, aren’t you? Kinda like how the white folks of old had a hard time with “black people” and were happier with “negroes”…or worse. It makes it easier when they’re dehumanized.

  • invalid-0

    Wow is right Mellankelly1…the probability of overturning involuntary homicide laws has been determined (it must be in those number percentage assumptions)? Or, overturning equal protection laws so that involuntary homicide can be applied to some (babies/adults) but not others (fetuses)? I think we can safely say neither of these being overturned is realistic, not sure who wants too either…but I’d love to see any data that would hold only 10% of involuntary homicide cases of infants currently being continuously enforced (if we’re somehow supposed to find that there). Imperfect results in capturing the criminals and prosecuting under any law may occur but we should strive to get better, and not take a callous view toward these by turning a blind eye selectively devaluing some. Also (but completely separate from involuntary homicide as it needs no additional laws other than itself) if the scope of government rule increases, not sure how any assumptions on number of laws can be based only upon using the number of laws today…and not all are parental restraint laws (e.g. taking a baby onto a construction site – file under construction).

  • invalid-0

    And like involuntary homicide, to ahunts point on child endangerment and there not needing “to be specific laws against any legal activity a woman chooses to engage in…
    …if the legal activity poses serious threat…the activity is proscribed after the fact…”

  • mellankelly1

    You seem to have difficulty remembering what you’ve read Mellan…

    Says the man who uses math as a retort when the questions asked were regarding the legal issues resulting from bestowing personhood on a zygote/embryo/fetus.

    I believe I strongly implied that the value of a woman is no different from any other person

    I’ve a strong feeling that you’re the only person who came to that conclusion after reading your calculations.  For the record… you did not address the charges of involuntary  manslaughter.  That’s a bit telling, don’t you think?  Remember your bizarre scenario of throwing your daughter in the air and getting "talked to" by the authorities?  Baby… you’d get locked up if you threw your daughter in the air and she died as a direct result of her injuries.  Tell me Dan… if women are no different than any other people, why would you be willing to give more rights to her zygote/embryo/fetus (person) during the length of her pregnancy?  In what circumstance would we require people other than pregnant women to sacrifice  not only their personal liberties and rights as citizens but their mental and physical health for another person against their will?  In what other scenario is the personal values and belief systems of an individual considered insignificant within the realm of their own lives?  Why should your belief that a person is present upon conception trump the pregnant woman’s beliefs?  You’ve yet to address any of this. 

    What makes you think that I’m an engineer? Would it be that I said I am in a reply to you? Check out The slopes are slippery indeed. on page 1.

    Yep… I’m pretty sure I said "correct me if I’m wrong"… it’s really odd that you’d correct someone who is right.  More of the control freak stuff, huh?

    your brain perhaps could have used the exercise

    Now that’s the pot calling!

    So you agree that "terminating a pregnancy" means "killing an unborn human being?"

    Reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit, eh?  It is completely immaterial what word choices you use when describing a woman’s pregnancy (or her zygote/embryo/fetus).  Kind of reminds me of a great quote of Abe Lincoln…

    "How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg."

    Having a hard time with the "human being" part, aren’t you?

    No, and that doesn’t even make sense.  All along I’ve supported the rights of the pregnant woman so how could you even suggest that I’m having a "hard time" with her? 

    Kinda like how the white folks of old had a hard time with "black people" and were happier with "negroes"…or worse

    What an insanely misleading statement to make.  Here you are comparing slaves and pregnant women to a thousandth of an ounce second old fertilized egg.  That is completely insulting at best and racist/sexist at it’s worst – slaves and pregnant women have always been self aware, thinking, active members of society (comparing them to zygotes is just awful). Further, if the law control a persons body (be it a pregnant woman or "black people") , it is violating its most basic obligation to those people.  The government must ensure the rights of it’s citizens, including pregnant women regardless of whether or not their pregnancies are wanted.  Got some more numbers for us in lieu of a valid retort?

  • mellankelly1

    Mellan, I don’t have a problem with you calling names.

    That’s nice but I’m not into name-calling… I prefer to make observations.  However, if you’re actually into that sort of thing, I’m sure I could oblige ;)

    When did I attack Finer’s paper? I think you’re reading too much into me informally citing your source (from which you copied)…or do you not believe in citing sources?

    Oh, I was not aware that I was referencing Finer.  I also hadn’t realized that when one uses the term "socioeconomic" and/or "family considerations" when referencing abortion that one would be required to cite every source (even when one wasn’t using said source)  Well… here’s the short list of sources where you can find those words used when referring to abortion (not including any reference to Finer):

    Multiple induced abortions: Danish experience (Mogens Osler, Henry P. David and Janine M. Morgall)

    National Advocates for Pregnant Women (Lynn M. Paltrow, J.D)

    In the future I’ll be sure that I haven’t been recklessly referencing things I might have read without giving props… I wouldn’t want someone to come to the crazy conclusion that I may be capable of retaining information from multiple sources!  YIKES!

    the vast majority of women who have abortions have them in or order to not be inconvenienced. Ok…fine…because of "socioeconomic and family considerations." 

    Right… because pregnant women shouldn’t worry their pretty little heads about things as insignificant as being able to afford to take care of another child or being able to care for the children they might already have, right?  How pro-life of you to care so little that children are properly taken care.  I suppose you are entitled to your opinion that quality of life isn’t very important to children (as long as women aren’t having abortions)… I just happen to disagree.

     What do you think: should "socioeconomic and family considerations" allow parents to choose infanticide?

    Anyone can take care of an infant… only a pregnant woman can gestate a pregnancy.  Killing a person (infant, child, adolescent, adult) is murder… murder is illegal.  You know… you can just look this stuff up.

  • invalid-0

    Also (but completely separate from involuntary homicide as it needs no additional laws other than itself) if the scope of government rule increases, not sure how any assumptions on number of laws can be based only upon using the number of laws today…and not all are parental restraint laws (e.g. taking a baby onto a construction site – file under construction).

    Precisely Anony. The “math” doesn’t fly…and poor Dan doesn’t understand why his assumptions are erroneous…

    Dan, feel free to recalculate for us, but this time, remember that you’ll need to factor in the new reach of government. Once again, there is no legal precedent here.

  • invalid-0

    Guttmacher plainly states 45million. You said 40million. Do those 5million other don’t matter to you? What about since 2005? That’s three years. Many more could have occured in that time. And that is just recorded ones. What about the women who had to do a DIY because of stupid anti-choice laws that prevent them from getting a safe one done?

    Yes, I use ad hominems, what are you going to do? Report me to the debate police? This is a comment thread on a news site, Mister, not a debate.

    I just wanted to butt in because you are obviously not listening to the nice ladies who have been exceedingly patient with your ignorant self.


    Oh and you still have not answered my question. You dodged it like you have dodged their questions. But alas I’m just going to sit back and watch you fall deeper and deeper into the Hole of Astounding Idiodicy.

  • http://www.MAKEYOUROWNVIRTUALPET.NET invalid-0

    Terminating a pregnancy is a big no no for me. But if health issues of the mother and/ or the baby get in the way, I think it is still up to the mother to decide.

  • invalid-0

    Precisely Mellenkelly1. Antichoicers deny that the ultimate goal is to restrict women from participation in the public arena, but Governor Mike Huckabee has already suggested that legislation prohibiting pregnant women from smoking is reasonable.

    Since women of childbearing age are usually pregnant for some weeks before being aware of the condition, the only logical approach would be to prohibit thc detox from smoking.

    High stress occupations triple the risk of spontaneous miscarriage. Will women be prohibited from jobs like…air traffic controller?

    Yes M, we do see where this is going.