Egg-as-Person Laws Deprive Pregnant Women of Their Personhood


Personhood USA apparently sees itself as the new, hipper, more effective incarnation of the anti-abortion movement. Personhood USA hopes that by establishing the “pre-born, as legal persons with protection under the law” it will end the “injustice of abortion.”  Its attempt to do this last November through a “personhood” ballot measure in Colorado’s failed miserably. Nevertheless, Personhood USA, is committed to “working tirelessly to establish personhood in every State.”

What supporters of this approach don’t mention is that if the unborn have legal personhood rights, pregnant women won’t. There is really no way around this. As National Advocates for Pregnant Women’s video demonstrates, if successful, this strategy will mean that upon become pregnant, women will lose their civil and human rights.

As Angela Carder learned it is not just life vs. choice – but life vs. life. Angela Carder, 25 weeks pregnant, was critically ill. More than anything, she wanted to live.   A court, however, ordered cesarean surgery based on claims of fetal rights. The surgery was performed over her objections as well as those of her physicians and family.  Angela Carder died two days later – the cesarean surgery listed as a contributing factor. The fetus was born alive but died within two hours.

Personhood USA doesn’t address how personhood laws will affect women like Ms. Carder and others who have no intention of ending a pregnancy.  Perhaps this is why legislators in at least five states have introduced bills that carry their message and several more are working on ballot measures like the one in Colorado.

In fact, North Dakota’s house recently passed a personhood bill that would require the state to interpret all of the state’s laws to apply to “any organism with the genome of homo sapiens” including a fertilized egg. In addition to inviting such facetious Onion-like headlines as “North Dakota House Passes ‘Homo’ Rights Law, this bill creates the basis for policing all pregnant women.

Upon becoming pregnant, women would lose their right to medical privacy, since under North Dakota law doctors are required to report to child welfare authorities whenever they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child (an organism) is abused or neglected. Accordingly, if this bill passes, pregnant women in North Dakota who are obese, have diabetes, or smoke should probably report directly to child welfare authorities – or perhaps some new agency, such as the Department of Organism Protection.

Indeed, a recent horrifying incident in California could become commonplace in North Dakota.  A pregnant woman in California experienced a miscarriage at one-month gestation. Her doctor advised her to preserve the embryonic tissue in the freezer until she and her husband decided whether to request genetic testing or to take the remains to a mortuary.  When they decided against testing, they called a mortuary. They were asked for a death certificate and were directed to the County Coroner to obtain one. The Coroner instructed them to call the police. When they complied, the police heard the words “human remains” and responded by descending on their home, entering without a warrant, and searching for what they assumed was the evidence of a crime against a person.   

While the California case reflects miscommunication, families that experience miscarriages would have to expect such intrusions in states that pass personhood laws. Similarly pregnant women who miss prenatal care appointments, don’t take prenatal vitamins, or drink any amount of alcohol could be deemed abusive under criminal child [organism] abuse and endangerment laws. Personhood laws would also provide the basis for prosecuting women for murder, manslaughter, or negligent homicide if they suffered miscarriages or stillbirths.

In fact states with these laws would look a lot like South Carolina, the only state that has, by judicial fiat, effectively adopted a personhood law.  More than 90 pregnant women and new mothers have been arrested there based on fetal personhood claims. Recently, a pregnant woman in South Carolina fell from a 5th floor window. The press reported this incident as a suicide attempt. She survived but suffered a stillbirth as a result of the fall. Last month she was arrested on charges of homicide by child abuse and is still being held without bail.

Personhood USA asserts that “each and every human being must be respected and protected from fertilization until natural death.”  Their legislation, however, would have the effect of excluding pregnant women from this protection. People committed to a true culture of life need to oppose their legislative proposals, supporting instead ones that include the interests of the women who give that life.

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To schedule an interview with Lynn Paltrow please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • invalid-0

    What these supporters of personhood for fertilized human ova do not take into consideration is that invitro implantation of fertilized ova consists of more than the one or two zygots that humans are equipped to gestate and give birth to. 4 to 8 ova are regularly implanted viability has been evidenced. So does that mean that the law will consider the ova fertilized in the petrie dish are humans? Does that mean that the physicians performing the invitro procedure are putting the “lives” of those “persons” in jeapordy by implanting them; or guilty of murder by performing the reduction?
    Its pretty obvious that these people are completely ignorant of any science or advances in medicine and reproductive health!

  • invalid-0

    Sad to see that some value an existing life less than a “future” life: Best case scanario: An ill woman with a risky pregnancy: Kill the “future” person in order to save the life of the existing person.
    Am I the only man who thinks this way? I lost my Mother when I was 4. I reason that if my partner was at risk because of her pregnancy, I would:

    Break any law of any State or Country in order to abort the life inside her that threatened her life. I have her. I do not want to lose her. I do not wish to cry every day imagining how my child would have to grow up without her Mother, as did I.

    -John H. Sauls
    Memphis, TN

  • colleen

    The ND bill and defining single celled fertilized ova as legal ‘persons’ would not just affect pregnant women, it would affect all women, pregnant or not.

    The ND bill is quite specific…..while women are entitled to life, we are not to be allowed liberty or the pursuit of happiness. We are, for all intents and purposes,chattel, a form of livestock. Uncompensated chattel but chattel nontheless.

    .

  • invalid-0

    We women might as well just go to jail right now! With these kind of ridiculus laws.
    Most people I know who are pregnant and want to be, think of their child first, and will sacrifice for them. Laws like this are an insult as well as insane!

    • invalid-0

      Pregnancy is not the reason to refuse physical activity (certainly if there are no taboos, but the doctor can easily check up). And the most important thing – to improve the mood and feelings, to pay all attention to a growing up fruit… Now a new trend – health and well-being. Is not present to war! There is no hatred! The most important thing not to pay to these laws of special attention. And to become crazy it is possible…

  • invalid-0

    I want to know when, if ever, we women will ever have rights, not equal, just rights? I am so mad about these rich white men making choices for us, I don’t know what to do,except stay on line and sign petitions and call or write our legislators.I hope I live long enough to see this country wake up and realize we are not moving forward with all this CRAP! You are either part of the problem or part of the solution! I am hopeful after this election, but it is still an uphill fight for women everywhere! Thank God I am tough and commited to sign and write everytime I get a chance!!I may have to buy a new hard drive to keep up with all the petitions and responces,but I will, if I have to!Thanks to web sites like this one, more women can get involved with our own health rights.

  • invalid-0

    Just consider, what have child-bearing-capable women EVER done to make the ruling class hate them so much? Why exactly do the ruling class feel that women have so little value? What have we done to them?

    Oh, wait. We’ve cared for, nurtured, loved them. We’ve tried to help them become whole, complete, happy, healthy, humanity. Our bad. Maybe we should stand up and begin to push back when these “persons” come around and start trying to be “Lords of the Universe.”

    I’m way past child-bearing days, had three miscarriages, and 2 pregnancies which continued to premature birth. If I were young and got pregnant today, would I be worthy of a death sentence for my physical “fault” of not being a baby machine?

    There are far more women than men in this world. If they want to fight us, let them meet us at the polls. Let them hear our voices and read our letters (and e-mails). This time, we won’t just be fighting for our country, we’ll be fighting for our lives and the lives of our female children. Perhaps even for the souls of our sons. It’s time to stop this now.

    The “Lords and Masters” need to be dragged kicking and screaming back to the earlier days of civilization, when both men and women understood that a living person is far more valuable than a might-be, and that living children are far better off if they have parents who understand that the lives of those children will be gravely impacted if the parents simply procreate without considering how to care for an extra mouth and nurture another life.

  • invalid-0

    Giving personhood status to fertilized eggs is SCARY. As a woman, it really horifies me that the state will confer equal status to a living, breathing, thinking human being and a mass of genetic material. What is the basis for this? There are anomalies of reproduction such as a hydatidiform mole where a fertilized egg does not become a human being at all! Does that mean that hydatidiform moles and choriocarcinomas — genetic homo sapiens having all the autosomal chromosomes as all of us but having defective sex chromosomes the same as me or my husband? Their definition of what life should be is too narrow and it really will compromise the rights of women who have the bodily mechanisms capable of supporting what they define as “human life”.

    I am more than a vessel, i am more than my uterus — or my ovaries or my egg cells. My value as a person is not limited to the value of my reproductive organs.

  • invalid-0

    This is CRAZY
    This is what I dont get about many “pro-lifers” THEY ARE NUTS and Extreme!
    sorry but if its going to be like this in america then I am starting to fear Being American….

  • invalid-0

    For me this argument is always about the actual vs. potential. A woman is an ACTUAL person, an embryo has the POTENTIAL to BE a person. I can’t believe this country would give more rights to the cells that have the potential to become a person than the person living who is an actual person! Let’s make it illegal again for men to “spill their seed” and put them in jail for losing all the potential babies they could have made!

  • invalid-0

    I’m very pro-life. But these laws are taking it a bit far. We allow murder in the name of self defense every day in this country, and I don’t think a pregnant woman with a condition that threatens her life is any different.

    Doesn’t change the fact that by the time most women are having abortions their babies have heartbeats and rhudimentary nervous systems, though. You can’t deny that a pregnancy is a life and that it is human. The point of the debate is only about which human’s rights are more important to you… the woman’s reproductive rights or the child’s right to life.

  • invalid-0

    I read this article and watched the video. While it points out that there can be administrative failures and that doctors don’t always save their patients, I don’t see anything that would undermine support for the Personhood initiative. To be honest, I hadn’t heard of it before- but it sounds like a good idea. Thanks for the info.

  • invalid-0

    it keeps women prisoners and not in control of their bodies. Why else would you support it you are a guy? It only increases your right as a patriarch.

  • invalid-0

    Of course you are, Larry. Every unmarriagable loser right wing tool in the country will be supporting it.

  • invalid-0

    Yup. I’m just an evil so and so who wants to protect unborn life. Vilify me if it makes you feel better ‘Anonymous’.

  • invalid-0

    So- I take it that you’ll have no objection to my assuming that you’re a strident man hater? Fair is fair.

  • invalid-0

    I am not a man hater. I meant that men like to dominate people am I right? It is a natural instinct for many guys.
    That does not mean it is bad. I just wish people- men and women who are pro-life would THINK about the person who has the children for a change. Think about the ENORMOUS responsibility it is to have a child. What happens to all these people wanting to save every embryo after the child is born? Where are they? They are not sitting up all night or changing diapers. They are not working two jobs and taking care of all these mouths to feed. What about the responsibility to the people who are already here. The earth is dying. Bringing more destructive humans here is not going to help. Please THINK. That is all.

  • invalid-0

    These egg as a person laws will never stand. We will fight with everything we have. I gave 85.00 (combined) to Planned Parenthood and Narl. There aren’t the policing resources to moniter every woman’s fertility, and we will make a Federal law to stop this nonsense. We will NOT be imprisoned, or reduced to baby machines. It ain’t happening you anti choice nuts, so dream your little dream but we will fight this with everything we have. We MUST fight for FOCA because our constitution says that we have a right to a safe and legal abortion. These laws that keep on being created to undermine Roe V Wade shall not stand. For me, I don’t have to worry. I am beyond the age of pregnancy, but for my nieces and girl children of the world, I will fight the American Taliban with every breath in my body. Please give generously to those organizations who are fighting for the same thing, so we never have to live a life of The Handmaiden’s Tale, or Start a Revolt like the Passion of Molly T. Thanks my pro-choice sisters for everything that you do.

  • invalid-0

    First, you missed my point- which was that making sweeping generalizations and stereotyping people is something that both sides are capable of doing. My being an “unmarriagable loser right wing tool” is about as fair as suggesting that you’re a strident man hating harpy.

    Incidentally, is the irony of someone characterizing a person as ‘unmarriageable’ because they aren’t in tune with feminist ideology lost on everyone? Aren’t you beyond making value judgments based on marital prospects?

  • invalid-0

    “THINK about the person who has the children for a change. Think about the ENORMOUS responsibility it is to have a child. What happens to all these people wanting to save every embryo after the child is born? Where are they? They are not sitting up all night or changing diapers. They are not working two jobs and taking care of all these mouths to feed.”

    Well, I’d check out ‘feministsforlife (dot) org’ if I were you. I think that they do a pretty decent job of addressing those concerns. For example, one thing that I know that they’re interested in is trying to expand support for pregnant women and young mothers in college.

    Also, I don’t know why you’re correlating ‘having’ a child with ‘bearing’ a child. If a woman doesn’t want to raise her baby, then I don’t know anyone who’d want to try to make her. There are actually quite a few groups (and even some legislation) trying to encourage adoption. Personally, I find it very sad that culturally many have deemed having an abortion to be preferable to bearing a child and giving it up- despite the fact that there are so many couples looking to adopt.

    “What about the responsibility to the people who are already here. The earth is dying. Bringing more destructive humans here is not going to help. Please THINK. That is all.”

    Well, if your answer to environmental degradation is abortion, then I’m not sure if you’re thinking. First of all, it isn’t the most populace countries which have been responsible for the greatest harm to the environment. Secondly, insofar as rising population is a potential problem in countries with emerging economies, I’d recommend sex ed, contraception and elective sterilization.

    Not only does “termination” end a human life- it is also the worst possible method of lowering birth rates: invasive, expensive, temporary, and more dangerous than the alternatives.

  • invalid-0

    FOCA is already DOA.
    What SCOTUS giveth, SCOTUS can taketh away.
    We’re hardly the Taliban.
    A lot of us aren’t even religious.
    From the sound of it, you can defend RvW to your last breath, but my generation will still be at it long past then.

  • invalid-0

    PS: Despite your calling my friends an I nuts (even though you sound like more of a radical ideologue than those I know), I don’t bear you any ill will.

    You’re promoting what you think is right and just- I believe that. I believe that you’re mistaken about what is right and just, but I don’t question your intentions.

    This whole issue could do with a lot less venom.

    Happy hunting.

    I just trust that my side will prevail eventually- even if it takes another 50 years to do it.

  • invalid-0

    “First, you missed my point”

    Hardly. Your point, or at least the one I was replying to was your expression of simpleminded support for a bill which specifically states that women, at least women of childbearing age, aren’t entitled to either liberty or the pursuit of happiness although the disgusting right wing tools who wrote it do believe that we should be allowed to live. Sad little right wing tools aren’t entitled to dictate which constitutional protections my daughters and granddaughters will be allowed. And you wonder why we call you folks the American Taliban.

  • invalid-0

    Pretty much, Jan.

    The fact is that Team Zygote will lose the fight before it really gets started….

    Women simply will not put up with it, and here’s why:
    The legislation threatens the autonomy of pro-life women to manage their pregnancies as they see fit. It is one thing to oblige shameless, godless, harlots to submit to public control of their pregnancies. It is quite another to legislate similar public intrusion into the pious lives of godly, submissive, quiverful women.

    Think about it…Social Services questioning/investigating the prenatal decisions of Team Zygote?

    Methinks Team Zygote should be careful what they wish for.

  • invalid-0

    Okay. I’ll be Team Zygote. I dub you, the “Double O’s”- (007: license to kill and all that).
    -
    I don’t think that you know us as well as you think.
    -
    Your “shameless, godless, harlots” remark shows that you buy into the myth that we give a damn what you do between the sheets. Act out the Kama Sutra if you want- we really and truly don’t care.
    -
    We see human life prior to birth as deserving of protection just as human life right after birth is. It’s a matter of child welfare for us. Do you think that we object to child welfare agencies?
    -
    I know you tend to fetishize all gynecological decisions as a totem of political and personal empowerment. Our side doesn’t. Don’t take my word for it- I’m a guy. Go find a female pro-lifer and ask her if she would object to laws which protect the welfare of life in utero. See if she thinks that women should be able to ‘manage her pregnancy’ in a way that endangers the life of her “zef”. If she thought that she should be allowed to risk the unborn life that way, then she wouldn’t have decided to be pro-life to begin with.

  • invalid-0

    How can you not be concerned with the quality of life here now? This country US is guilty big time of helping to deatroy the planet! Look at mountain top coal mining-it is destroying people who are already here -lives. We have destroyed so many species of animals and plants it is not funny. I am sorry but I have lost my respect for many humans. I do not think that bringing anymore into this sickening mess is worth it. I will never change my thought on having a choice in what happens to me. I have listened to many pro-lifers and they only care about UNBORN people not the ones here already. That makes no sense to me. I think all you pro-lifes should be blaming medical science for abortion not women. In fact science is to blame because we live way past our expected ages. Would you be willing to stop taking medicine that extends your life to make room for all these unborns? I doubt it. The problem is that humans have broken and upset the balance of the natural world to the point that now abortion and contraceptives are the only last saving tools we have before we overpopulate ourselves to all our deaths. Do you understand? We are not living in a balanced world anymore. We have to do something.

    Adoption is not an answer for many women. Being pregnant can be deadly for some, pregnancy is not something many can hide,it carries stigmas for women. Why are you not keeping your baby? what is wrong with you? etc etc.

    These are not excuses. This is fact. Morning sickness,Hypertension,loss of sleep,heat , fatigue, mood swings. Been there done that. It is a strain on a womans body PERIOD. It is hard painful work giving birth. This IS a BIG DEAL. YOu act as if it is soooo easy. You need to THINK more!

  • invalid-0

    I would never join Feminists for Life. Been to their website. Palin is a member for one. She is sick animal killer who has the mentality of most pro-lifers ONLY HUMANS should be on the planet regardless of the rest of LIFE. I disagree with them they believe woman are only here for reproducing. You also threw your responsibility over to these wierdo’s. I asked you as a person what would you be willing to do remember? Do n’t go shoving the responsibility on others. It is a typical response for pro-lifes. Have the babies let someone else worry about what happens to them. Real nice of you.

  • invalid-0

    I find it so confusing that there are people who oppose choice. Letting people have a choice about what to do isn’t a radical idea. However there are groups of people who think that THEIR way is the only right way so everyone should do as they say.

    As for abortions…

    Abortion was accepted in the country in the 1800s. It wasn’t made illegal until much later. So abortion is not some radical new evil thing invented by feminists.

    It seems that every time women gain ground there are folks trying to push them back somehow. What better way than keeping a woman prisoner via her reproductive system?

  • invalid-0

    Keep drinking the Kool-Aid, Larry. As it happens, pro-life women, pregnant and not, are already organizing against government control of their pregnancies. You can research their efforts right here on Reality Check. Go for it, Big Guy.

  • invalid-0

    Or you can just go here, Larry:
    http://advocatesforpregnantwomen.org/

  • invalid-0

    You totally ignored my point that the planet wide environmental damage has been caused disproportionately by countries with more advanced economies and lower population density- Which shows that the problem is not one of population but of industry. Think about that.

    “Pro-Lifers only carry about UNBORN life.”

    Well that is – not to put too fine a point on it – stupid.

    Pro-lifers are no more or less involved in charitable activities than pro-choicers. The ‘pro-life’ cause is not tied to caring for people after birth- but SFW? Does one cause have to embrace every ill in the world to be justified?

    That’s absurd.

    As far as losing respect for human life because of what’s been done to the planet- that’s just seriously messed up. What good would a pristine planet without humans be?

    If you want “balance” then attack the way people consume resources. If you really think that population is a big part of the climate change problem (which it isn’t- but w/e) Focusing on sex ed, contraception and promote voluntary sterilization.

    “Abortion for the environment” – you are not thinking at all.

  • invalid-0

    I’m not sure what your point is about women who could die from going to term. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t consider “life of the mother” to be a legitimate ‘hard case’ exception, and I went to high school a guy who spent a few years in a Catholic seminary. Six months ago, the polls leading up to the election put the number for pro-life at 47%- but only 20% of those make no ‘hard case’ exceptions.
    -
    As far as adoption not being a solution because it carries a stigma- well that is just a stupid cultural attitude. I’ll be happy to work with you folk to change attitudes about teaching biology, sex ed. and evolution in public schools. Won’t you guys help try to destigmatize adoption? There’s already a good deal of that out there already.
    -
    Anyway, I don’t consider avoiding social stigma to be a legitimate justification for taking a human life.
    -
    Granted- pregnancy and child birth are a strain on the mother. If she doesn’t intend to keep the child, then I see her enduring that hardship as something which is unjust. I’m not going to pretend otherwise. It’s not that I think that everything is peachy and dandy if she is pregnant but doesn’t want to be.
    -
    I know that there are some pro-choice dinosaurs out there who think that pro-lifers view the hardship as ‘just deserts’ for promiscuity, but it is only the pro-life dinosaurs and a handful of unreachable (ie, young earth creationists) that think like that now.
    -
    My POV- and that of all the younger pro-lifers I know is that it is a question of weighing one injustice (the hardship of bearing a child when you don’t want to) against another injustice (that of taking a human life). You guys are the ones who oversimplify- pretending that there’s no injustice if you allow abortion (because you classify some humans as ‘non-persons’). The postRvW generation of pro-lifers (born after Roe) generally acknowledge that there is going to be a level of injustice no matter what- but that doesn’t negate a duty to minimize the injustice in our society by overturning Roe.

  • invalid-0

    I’ve already wasted too much time commenting to an audience that has no interest in listening. I’m not going fishing. If you’ve got something on pro-life women opposing laws designed to stop unborn children’s lives from being put at risk, then lets have it. If it’s data from a trustworthy source, then I’d like to look at it and see what sort of concerns are there.

  • invalid-0

    So- FFL is a bad group because Palin likes to hunt wolves?!
    -
    Givemeafreakinbreak. Let’s ignore your concern for lupine non-persons and lack of concern for human “non-persons” because I happen to have a soft spot for dogs: what about your obvious selective revulsion for groups with hunters?
    -
    I guess that there aren’t any prominent pro-choice hunters? Is there a need to cross reference the statements of DEMs representing rural areas on abortion with their statements on guns & hunting or do you just want to concede the point?
    -
    I guess all the people in FFL are unredeemable because of the Palin connection (despite the fact that no one had even heard of Palin 2 years ago and the group has been around for over 35 years). I like the group. Frankly, the women in FFL remind me of my mom. I think that their approach is overly ‘sunny’ on the idea of motherhood (regarding it as a potential blessing that women forsake because they lack support) but I’m not holding it against them. I think it would be more realistic if they focused more on women giving their babies up for adoption (and their hardship being a potential gift to others), but that’s not the way they seem to look at it.
    -
    Anyway, my point was that FFL is a good example of pro-lifers who explicitly link opposing abortion to care after birth. Are you asking what I am doing about my special responsibility to care for babies after they’re born because I’m pro-life? It is a goofy question to ask. If the assumption is that because I would turn back laws that legalized abortion, then I have a particular responsibility for the children who are born as a result- then it is irrelevant since those children don’t exist.
    -
    If you’re contending that people who are pro-life don’t support programs to help impoverished children today, then you’re just oblivious. Most groups (unlike FFL) don’t do it as part of being pro-life, but they still do it. A lot of the pro-lifers who are religious also support all sorts of charity work. My mother’s family does a lot of that sort of thing (domestically and abroad) through their church.
    -
    I’m more like my father in that I don’t have a religion and I’d rather have the security that comes from government programs for the less fortunate. Personally, I’ve always been in favor of increased aid and assistance to the poor. I would be happy to pay more in taxes to provide more need-based services. I’d like to see single payer health care (with mental health parity) for the entire country- and dental insurance with a sliding scale for premiums that would be free for any family with incomes 50% over the poverty line. I think that all 50 states should offer free in state college tuition to students who graduate with a B average or better.
    -
    If you’re just asking if I’m going to change diapers then- No.

  • invalid-0

    My POV- and that of all the younger pro-lifers I know is that it is a question of weighing one injustice (the hardship of bearing a child when you don’t want to) against another injustice (that of taking a human life). You guys are the ones who oversimplify- pretending that there’s no injustice if you allow abortion (because you classify some humans as ‘non-persons’).

    The POV shared by pro-choicers is that it is absurd and disingenuous to call a not-yet-developed fetus “human life” in the same sense that a pregnant, grown woman is “human life,” thus conferring an equivalency between them where the two have rights that have to be “balanced” and thus the woman exercising control over her own body constitutes an “injustice.” When this equivalency is made to a fertilized egg, the ridiculousness becomes so self-evident that our biggest frustration is that such an argument often isn’t laughed straight out of the building.

    You seem a little more thoughtful than most trolls on this site, so I’ll tell you this: If you study feminism, you’ll see that one of the constant threads in the treatment of women throughout history is an often heavy-handed social regulation of their sexuality and ability to bear children. It’s why women who have lots of sex are called “sluts,” but men who do the same are called “studs.” It’s why the Catholic Church opposes contraception. It’s why when Gardasil first came out, everyone was talking about how it would make young girls into sexually aggressive libertines, but now that there’s talk of giving it to boys, everyone is now concerned about its price and efficacy (nary a word on turning “good boys” into promiscuous horndogs).

    It’s why abortion is a litmus-test issue for many voters, and not the innocents killed as “collateral damage” by fighter jets in Afghanistan or Predator drones in Pakistan. Some people may truly be concerned about the fetuses being aborted, but that’s not why abortion is the big issue it is today. It’s because the notion of a woman who controls her own sexuality, and any consequences of that sexuality—without being punished for it in some way—upends some of the most fundamental cultural assumptions held by a wide segment of society, going as far back to the story of Adam and Eve. It’s the kind of thing that makes them think civilization will fall apart if it is not nipped in the bud. (Much like the conservative position on gay marriage.)

    This is why the abortion controversy will eventually settle down in favor of pro-choicers, as it has already in a number of European nations—it comes down to equality between the sexes. While there’s still a long way to go on that front, nothing’s going to turn that clock back in the developed nations.

    I would really recommend some study of feminism, especially if the word connotes “bra-burning” to you. There’s a lot of mind-blowing analysis in there, and I think it would make clearer where a lot of us here are coming from.

  • invalid-0

    Why should a woman have to go through the entire pregnancy so she can give the child to someone else as a ‘gift’? Why do you expect a woman to sacrifice her way of life and possibly her health simply to be philanthropic?

    And you act as though adoption is a great idea. Well it might be if this country didn’t already have foster care systems full of kids who can’t get adopted. But sure, lets bring some more kids into the picture. Poverty, foster care, neglect…those always bring out the best in kids.

    If you really care about families and children then perhaps you can go to DC and lobby for health care. How about access to government funded daycare? Sex education that is worth a damn? Or female access to employment that isn’t the most monetarily undervalued and unappreciated. Oh, and maybe work on getting the rate of violence toward women down. Sexual coercion and violence leads to quite a few unwanted pregnancies. Or perhaps you care more about some strange notion of ‘life’ than about the actual quality of life of REAL people ( men, women and children)?

  • invalid-0

    Please explain to me how something that CANNOT survive outside of MY body, which lives off of my blood and tissue is an individual person. I’m not being snotty or rude. I honestly would love to know how that is justified.

  • invalid-0

    but I am glad that someone finally answered my question honestly! The point I was try ing to get at was that if people are going to try and change laws that already exist-RvW and are concerned about the lives and buisiness of other people-woman of child bearing age. A woman whose life that pro-lifes are not involved in or related to or married to. Then they are responsible for the outcome of those peoples lives. In other words why are pro-lifes trying to run and control women through the laws? They obviously have an issue with women having a free choice to do what she wants with her body without anyone interfering. Freedom of body. Something that women have yet to be able to do with the problem of having a uterus!

    I am more for prevention than anything else. You think women want abortion? NOT, birth control fails,women who are raped,forced into sex with boyfriends or violent husbands. It happens everyday. It is not a fairy tale.

    About Palin and hunting-she does not hunt like most hunters I know she allows mass murder of wolves and their pups. Did you see her in that awful interview with the farmer slaughtering the Turkey in the background, and she was smiling and laughing and being her stupid moronic self ladeda. She is horrible! I love all animals and birds and yes I OBJECT to Palin and her heartless ways with animals. It is not normal for a woman to be so bloodlusting!!!

  • invalid-0

    The POV shared by pro-choicers is that it is absurd and disingenuous to call a not-yet-developed fetus “human life” in the same sense that a pregnant, grown woman is “human life,” thus conferring an equivalency between them where the two have rights that have to be “balanced” and thus the woman exercising control over her own body constitutes an “injustice.” When this equivalency is made to a fertilized egg, the ridiculousness becomes so self-evident that our biggest frustration is that such an argument often isn’t laughed straight out of the building.

    You’ve packed a bunch of assumptions in there. First of all, calling a fetus ‘human life’ is non-controversial. People on my side of the fence feel that those who deny that are making an argument whose “ridiculousness becomes so self-evident that our biggest frustration is that such an argument often isn’t laughed straight out of the building.”
    -

    You seem a little more thoughtful than most trolls on this site

    -
    Ha! What a dubious distinction. I was pointed to an RHRC story yesterday by someone who’s sympathetic to FFL. I’m just messing around while my computer is busy with annoying maintenance stuff, but I’ll be done with that before long, and I don’t expect to ‘troll’ here in the future as nothing constructive has come of it. I will return the favor you extended to me and assume you are more thoughtful than many of the insult and mantra spouting commenters on this site. I’m hoping, therefore, that you’ll at least grant me that (without adding your qualifiers) ‘a fetuses is a human life’ is ipso facto true.
    -
    On the other hand, I’ll acknowledge that you have a perfectly good point in objecting to calling a “fetus ‘human life’ in the same sense that a pregnant, grown woman is ‘human life,’ thus conferring an equivalency between them.” The statement with qualifiers included is definitely problematic. The problem is that those are your qualifiers. It isn’t our intent to ‘confer an equivalency’ between them with regard to their eligibility for rights. Mature humans (ie, adults) who are in good mental health are eligible for the full compliment of rights. Rights can be taken away from those with less reasoning capacity due to infirmity, and rights are (temporarily) withheld from those who are still yet to develop their capacity. We are seeking to draw either equivalency or at least comparability to infants. Infants have no autonomy whatsoever. That’s why we find it so laughable for a pro-choicer to say that we want to give fetuses ‘more rights than women’.
    -
    Almost everyone agrees that infanticide is wrong because even if we deny them autonomy, we still give them the right not to be killed (or injured). Why is that? Is it because a newborn infant mind is capable of such complex reasoning? Of course not- they can’t even focus their eyes on an object enough to pick it out from the incoherent blur in their visual field. At birth, their cognitive ability is LESS than that of a NON-PRIMATE. Therefore, if your standard for ‘personhood’ is cognitive ability, then a raccoon has more status than an infant. There may be a few animal rights extremists more concerned with raccoons than human infants, but there aren’t many- and it isn’t standard for proponents of legal abortion.
    -
    Infants have an unassailable right to life because of the immanent (not merely potential) ability that any infant has merely by being healthy and human. (There are some people who worry about anencephalic fetuses and whatnot- but I find that to be merely sad.) A few people say that infants are ‘potential persons’, but most acknowledge that insofar as ‘person’ is used in a right conferring sense, they are people. If the immanent cognitive ability of an infant gives it that status when it’s actual ability is below that of animals, then how is it that the actual cognitive ability of the unborn (which at some stages is admittedly nil) is the measure rather than the immanent cognitive ability up until natural birth?
    -
    The pro-choice ‘personhood’ criterion is arbitrary and inconsistent. It is actually (despite all of the “anti-intellectual” slander thrown at my side) a remnant of bad science. It is an outgrowth of the old common law ‘quickening’ standard (which is practically prehistoric) and still bears influence from recapitulation theory. In fact, the only reason that the American law is based on trimesters (as opposed to the British law which is still derived from quickening) is because it was mathematically convenient. A consistent cognitive ‘actuality’ standard cannot account for the difference in treatment of “immature” humans and complex animals. A consistent cognitive ‘immanence’ standard is pro-life. The pro-choice ethic is a marriage of convenience between two inconsistent standards.

  • invalid-0

    Speaking of assumptions….cognitive ability is not, in my experience, the basis for “personhood” among those of us who advocate reproductive freedom.

    Thought you should know.

  • invalid-0

    Or perhaps you care more about some strange notion of ‘life’ than about the actual quality of life of REAL people ( men, women and children)?

    I’ve always found the term “pro-life” to be disingenuous for this reason. It always comes off as holier-than-thou, patronising nonsense. It’s never “pro-quality of life”, it’s always “pro-the life I choose for you”.

    That’s the reason I can’t take anything FFL says seriously, regardless that they are just a right-wing shill organization, but because of the fact that they are totally disingenuous.

    They claim to support the choices of women, as long as they are the choices FFL personally approves of. They don’t support contraception (if they did, they would only be slightly less hypocritical), taking us back to the old canard that the only possible way to redeem a sexual woman is via childbirth, that children are punishments for deviating from a narrow gender role, and that it is the obligation of every woman to have a metric fuckton of babies regardless of her wishes. That babies are made of rainbows and fairy farts and a woman is abnormal if she does not want them. The adoption argument, especially coming from an anti-choice org that doesn’t support contraception, is like an announcement to single women that every time they menstruate, a deserving infertile couple goes without. It pisses me right off.

  • invalid-0

    I’ve never studied feminism- but I’ve been exposed to a good deal second hand. I don’t call myself a ‘feminist man’, as most of my male friends do because I think that they’re just glossing over issues they won’t raise in mixed company. There is an implication (amongst my peer group) that not being a feminist is the same as being a sexist. I think that that is bunk. Over time, modern feminism amassed more and more ideology until it is now more or less it’s own hybrid of philosophy and social theory- and objecting to it is possible without being sexist (IMO).
    -
    I find that because it began as a social movement (as opposed to philosophy and social theory which begin in the academy) it is a bit nebulous. There’s no authority or authorship or way to establish the orthodoxy of competing claims. A good example is the UC presentation on youtube about whether FFL is truly feminist or not. I wonder if this is a fundamental problem with the nature of modern feminism- that it tried to cross over from a legitimate social movement into some sort of interdisciplinary intellectual ‘paradigm shift’ that would fundamentally redefine how we see the world.
    -
    I’m kind of philosophically conservative. Whitehead famously said that all of philosophy is merely “footnotes to Plato”. I don’t go that far, but I do feel that after the age of enlightenment, most advances in philosophy have been more technical than ground-breaking. I don’t really believe that the thinking of liberal theoreticians circa 1950-1965 was wrong. I think that the problem was that it was only applied selectively. Freedom, equality, fairness and justice weren’t in need of being redefined (IMO), they just needed to be applied to people other than just white males- not that anyone here will give a rat’s hind end what I think about feminism, but that’s my two cents.
    -

    one of the constant threads in the treatment of women throughout history is an often heavy-handed social regulation of their sexuality and ability to bear children.It’s why women who have lots of sex are called “sluts,” but men who do the same are called “studs.”

    -
    I agree with all of that, but unlike some I don’t think that it is merely the product of adopting ‘patriarchical’ cultural norms. I think that those norms themselves were merely the (probably inevitable) evolution of biologically determined behavior. I think it was an unavoidable step in our social evolution. Do you agree?
    -

    It’s why the Catholic Church opposes contraception.

    I think that was one component- certainly. After all, women still can’t become priests, and catholic men are still seem more susceptible to the ‘Madonna whore’ complex than average.
    -
    The religious half of my family is Catholic. To be honest, I’m not sure that anyone is all the decisions resulting in Vitae. There’s a group that still believes that Paul VI might have allowed contraception if he hadn’t died when he did. It never made a much sense to me UNLESS you accepted that god didn’t like anyone to interfere IN ANY WAY with reproduction because EVERYTHING about creating life (including semen- ergo no male masturbation) was his to control just as ending life is his to control (which is why capital punishment, euthanasia, and wars of aggression aren’t allowed either).
    -
    I began to think of myself as an agnostic around 9, so a lot of it seemed kooky to me anyway. Over time I came to suspect (and still do) that it was partly motivated by a desire to be sure that the Catholic church would always be the dominant form of Christianity. It was a kind of biological recruitment policy to deal with the spread of protestantism :)
    -

    when Gardasil first came out, everyone was talking about how it would make young girls into sexually aggressive libertines,

    -
    LOL. To be honest, I never thought that that was the real motivation for the conservatives. I thought that it just disturbed them to think about the POSSIBILITY of their daughters being sexually active. Wasn’t there a scene in ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ where Natalie Wood’s dad slaps her for wearing lipstick? The way I read that was that the dad got angry because he suddenly realized that his daughter wasn’t a little girl anymore- and took it out on her.

    It’s why abortion is a litmus-test issue for many voters, and not the innocents killed as “collateral damage” by fighter jets in Afghanistan or Predator drones in Pakistan.

    I’m going to have to disagree on this. Many American’s do accept collateral damage as an unfortunate reality of war (although the ‘consistent ethic of life’ people in large part were more concerned about the war than abortion during the last election), BUT there is a very important difference: collateral damage is (by definition) death which was unintentional. Abortion isn’t. When our soldiers were accused of intentionally killing civilians in Iraq, there was a much different reaction. I don’t know how old you are, but my dad’s told me that outside of the anti-war movement, the reactions were similar during Viet Nam.

    It’s because the notion of a woman who controls her own sexuality, and any consequences of that sexuality—without being punished for it in some way—upends some of the most fundamental cultural assumptions held by a wide segment of society, going as far back to the story of Adam and Eve. It’s the kind of thing that makes them think civilization will fall apart if it is not nipped in the bud.

    Do you really think that? That seems awfully depressing. I can’t see into other people’s hearts or anything, but unless I’m a really bad judge of character I honestly don’t think that people think that way anymore.
    -

    the conservative position on gay marriage.

    -
    I don’t think that that is about sex. I think that it is about religious faith. I don’t really understand religious faith very well. It might help me get along better with some of my family if I did, but it seems too much like willing yourself to overcome your rationality.
    -
    Anyway, I found something that represents my view on that issue…
    Marriage and the State
    …this way polygamists can get in on the act too if they like :)

    This is why the abortion controversy will eventually settle down in favor of pro-choicers, as it has already in a number of European nations—it comes down to equality between the sexes. While there’s still a long way to go on that front, nothing’s going to turn that clock back in the developed nations.

    -
    I worry that that may be true. A friend of mine who’s more pro-life than I am (and who’s 24) told me at the end of last year that she didn’t think that she’d live to see the day when the laws got changed back. That’s a big part of why I decided to ‘start doing something about it’.
    -
    Whether it is biological or cultural, evolution doesn’t favor what is better- only what offers a material advantage. I think that the pro-choice position is arbitrary and unjust, but that may not keep it from winning the day.

  • invalid-0

    Why should a woman have to go through the entire pregnancy so she can give the child to someone else as a ‘gift’? Why do you expect a woman to sacrifice her way of life and possibly her health simply to be philanthropic?

    She wouldn’t have to do it to be philanthropic. She’d have to do it because it would be immoral and illegal not to. I said that FFL emphasizes unplanned motherhood as potential unexpected blessing for the mother. My point was that in many cases it would be more realistic to try to paint it as a wonderful gift for the couple who will adopt. If you don’t want to put a good face on it then that’s up to you. In a society where women will bear children they don’t want to have, I suppose that you can minimize the benefit of bringing happiness to a couple who wants a child happy- but why would you? Does it serve your interest somehow if she would think that there was no upside?!

    And you act as though adoption is a great idea. Well it might be if this country didn’t already have foster care systems full of kids who can’t get adopted. But sure, lets bring some more kids into the picture. Poverty, foster care, neglect…those always bring out the best in kids.

    You don’t know what you’re talking about. There are more couples wanting to adopt babies in this country than can get them. People are going to China, Korea, Latin and South America just to adopt. The issue with foster children is not a lack of couples wanting to adopt. It is that they want to adopt babies and very young children. Kids get stuck in foster care because they are already past that age when they enter. I can’t believe that I really have to explain this to you.

    If you really care about families and children then perhaps you can go to DC and lobby for health care. How about access to government funded daycare? Sex education that is worth a damn?

    Try scrolling up- I already said that I support government provided health care and comprehensive sex ed.
    -
    Gov’t daycare is a more complicated issue that I’d support if there were a counter-balance providing aid for traditional mothers so that we wouldn’t be creating an economic disincentive for women who wanted to stay at home with their young children.

    Or female access to employment that isn’t the most monetarily undervalued and unappreciated. Oh, and maybe work on getting the rate of violence toward women down. Sexual coercion and violence leads to quite a few unwanted pregnancies. Or perhaps you care more about some strange notion of ‘life’ than about the actual quality of life of REAL people ( men, women and children)?

    WTF? Oh sure- I’ll just support all of your issues and not make up my own mind. Are we going to take turns and then you can lobby for what is important to me?

    We agree on some but not all economic issues.

    You’re more concerned with the burden of unwanted pregnancy and I’m more concerned with saving lives.

    Quit whining.

  • invalid-0

    your expression of simpleminded support… the disgusting right wing tools who wrote it..Sad little right wing tools…we call you folks the American Taliban.

    Still missing the point- stereotyping and insulting just makes you look like you can’t keep it together.

    There are things that my side calls you.

    I’m trying to be polite.

    THAT is the point.

    PS: Whoever gets the nom’s to the court can decide whether the ‘constitutional’ right even exists. If that’s us, then the constitution will read accordingly.

  • invalid-0

    She wouldn’t have to do it to be philanthropic. She’d have to do it because it would be immoral and illegal not to. I said that FFL emphasizes unplanned motherhood as potential unexpected blessing for the mother. My point was that in many cases it would be more realistic to try to paint it as a wonderful gift for the couple who will adopt. If you don’t want to put a good face on it then that’s up to you. In a society where women will bear children they don’t want to have, I suppose that you can minimize the benefit of bringing happiness to a couple who wants a child happy- but why would you? Does it serve your interest somehow if she would think that there was no upside?!

    Larry, you reduce women to the status of breeding stock, and you cannot figure out why women might be hostile about it? Lose the notion that women exist as walking wombs for those who wish to adopt. No woman OWES anyone the use of her body for their personal benefit.

  • invalid-0

    I went with what is usually considered to be the best case. I wasn’t interested in knocking down a straw man.

    Everyone who’s ever made a decent argument to me about setting the ‘personhood’ threshold at some arbitrary point (in my experience it seems to be somewhere between the middle of the 2nd and 3rd trimesters) has based it on the fact that they judge the significant sort of mental activity to begin at around the point in time that they happen to chose.
    -
    What would you prefer?
    -
    Some sort of morphology standard?
    Ability to elicit a pain response?
    Viability?!
    -
    If I had to pick one, I’d definitely go with brain development. It’s really the only one that makes any sense as far as I can see.
    -
    If you’ve got a better idea, I’d be glad to hear it.

  • invalid-0

    I’m content with the “viability outside the womb” standard.

  • invalid-0

    I’ve always found the term “pro-life” to be disingenuous for this reason. It always comes off as holier-than-thou, patronising nonsense. It’s never “pro-quality of life”, it’s always “pro-the life I choose for you”.

    The opposing sides don’t like each others names- well we’re both framing. I’ll tell you what I get tired of: people saying that there are pro-lifers who don’t support such and such a policy that they think is what pro-life ought to mean. “Some pro-lifers supported the invasion and some support capital punishment- isn’t that against life?” (FYI- I’m against capital punishment and supported the invasion at the time, but even HRC voted for it, so I don’t feel guilty.)
    -
    If I were a financial conservative or a 2nd amendment proponent or a supporter of charter schools (I’m none of those- but that’s not the point.), then there’d be plenty of “choice” that isn’t supported by the typical pro-choicer.
    -
    The Common Ground folks recommend using people’s chosen appellations as a mark of respectfulness. I happen to think it also avoids wasting time going back and forth over being “anti-choice” or “pro-abortion”, etc…

    That’s the reason I can’t take anything FFL says seriously, regardless that they are just a right-wing shill organization, but because of the fact that they are totally disingenuous.

    That just ignores their history. They began as a NOW offshoot, but w/e.

    They claim to support the choices of women, as long as they are the choices FFL personally approves of. They don’t support contraception (if they did, they would only be slightly less hypocritical),

    Technically they aren’t against contraception. They’re contraception neutral or agnostic or whatever. Personally, I prefer for pro-life groups to support contraception, but if they’re just not advocating one way or another, why do you care?

    babies are made of rainbows and fairy farts and a woman is abnormal if she does not want them.

    LOL I admit that there is a somewhat off-putting air of ‘if we build it they will come’ where the expectation is that if there’s enough support, then the mother will keep it. That’s why I mentioned earlier that I think a greater emphasis on adoption would be more realistic. (If a women would have chosen abortion had it been available, then it seems reasonable to conclude that she’ll likely not be eager to raise it.) As I also mentioned before, they remind me of my mom- kind of assuming that maternal instinct is the default setting for women. I think it’s a bit old-fashioned, but I can see where feminists would have harsher words.

    Then again- my mom’s pro-life conviction is religious, and I get a little bit of that vibe from them too.

    I still think that they’re very nice, likable folks.

    The adoption argument, especially coming from an anti-choice org that doesn’t support contraception, is like an announcement to single women that every time they menstruate, a deserving infertile couple goes without. It pisses me right off.

    Is it vital to you that they be pro-contraception rather than not being ant-contraception?

  • invalid-0

    Your mindless support of a bill which denies women our basic constitutional rights and codifies our status as a form of chattel is far from ‘polite’. THAT is the point.

  • invalid-0

    ” Which shows that the problem is not one of population but of industry. Think about that.”

    Sorry but both reality and common sense render this conclusion unusually stupid, even for a right wing tool such as yourself.
    You should try living in, say, India.
    Oh and the problem with with what the right calls ‘charitable’ is that most of it involves forced prayer and being proselytized to by moral pygmies.

  • invalid-0

    You’ve packed a bunch of assumptions in there. First of all, calling a fetus ‘human life’ is non-controversial. People on my side of the fence feel that those who deny that are making an argument whose “ridiculousness becomes so self-evident that our biggest frustration is that such an argument often isn’t laughed straight out of the building.”

    The thing is, that’s not an argument about the issue at hand. It’s just a conflation that takes advantage of a lack of appropriate vocabulary to discuss the subject. It’s akin to arguing, “This is a FREE country, so why should I have to pay for land to build my house on?”

    Consider this: A cancerous tumor is also “human life.” It’s human (as in, has Homo sapiens DNA), and it’s alive (as in, not dead). So why is killing that “human life” okay, but killing the “human life” that is a zygote not so? Can you see that there’s more to the argument than simplistically saying, “That’s human life, and killing human life is MURDER” ?

    That’s why we find it so laughable for a pro-choicer to say that we want to give fetuses ‘more rights than women’.

    By your argument, a fetus has one right that neither you, nor I, nor a pregnant woman would ever be permitted: the right to sustain oneself directly from the body of another person, without that person’s consent, for a period of nine months.

    Over time, modern feminism amassed more and more ideology until it is now more or less it’s own hybrid of philosophy and social theory- and objecting to it is possible without being sexist (IMO).

    Feminism has grown into a large and complex academic edifice, to be sure, but at the end of the day it still comes down to addressing very real inequalities that women in this country and others suffer day-to-day. If you’re not at least aware of what women are fighting for, then you’re going to have a very hard time differentiating your voice from the usual right-wing peanut gallery in discussions like these.

    One particular point you would learn is that being sexist, or even racist, is a much more banal thing than you think. It’s not about being Archie Bunker, or even being kinda-sorta like Archie Bunker. It’s that our whole society has a whole freaking lot of patterns that are fundamentally sexist, or racist, or worse, and most people just go along with that without realizing it (let alone having any sort of desire to be sexist/racist; often quite the contrary). People can be sexist/racist, but that’s not nearly as significant as the fact that the entire culture is sexist/racist, and it will continue to be so as long as people do not make themselves aware of that.

    I agree with all of that, but unlike some I don’t think that it is merely the product of adopting ‘patriarchical’ cultural norms. I think that those norms themselves were merely the (probably inevitable) evolution of biologically determined behavior. I think it was an unavoidable step in our social evolution. Do you agree?

    Hell no. Ask an anthropologist about this sometime, and read up on ethnocentrism. Just because Western culture developed one way, doesn’t mean that all other cultures will necessarily develop the same way. There’s plenty of literature about sex-egalitarian societies.

    It never made a much sense to me UNLESS you accepted that god didn’t like anyone to interfere IN ANY WAY with reproduction because EVERYTHING about creating life (including semen- ergo no male masturbation) was his to control just as ending life is his to control (which is why capital punishment, euthanasia, and wars of aggression aren’t allowed either).

    I believe that is accurate. And yet no Catholic prelate has ever suggested witholding communion to political figures who vote in favor of those three policies. Intersect the Church’s consistent pro-life slant with the Puritanism/slut-shaming of American culture, and you get the modern pro-life movement.

    I began to think of myself as an agnostic around 9, so a lot of it seemed kooky to me anyway. Over time I came to suspect (and still do) that it was partly motivated by a desire to be sure that the Catholic church would always be the dominant form of Christianity. It was a kind of biological recruitment policy to deal with the spread of protestantism :)

    Glad to see you’re not tied to that yoke. It all goes back to the “be fruitful and multiply” directive from God, which the Church has pushed in a heavy-handed way.

    LOL. To be honest, I never thought that that was the real motivation for the conservatives. I thought that it just disturbed them to think about the POSSIBILITY of their daughters being sexually active.

    It was a very real possibility for social conservatives. No one ever came out and said it directly, but the view was that the risk of contracting HPV and then cervical cancer served as a disincentive to engage in sex. Effectively, these people wanted to hang on to THE RISK OF CANCER to keep THEIR OWN YOUNG DAUGHTERS in check. That’s how sick this whole controlling-women thing is.

    I’m going to have to disagree on this. Many American’s do accept collateral damage as an unfortunate reality of war (although the ‘consistent ethic of life’ people in large part were more concerned about the war than abortion during the last election), BUT there is a very important difference: collateral damage is (by definition) death which was unintentional. Abortion isn’t.

    The reason why those deaths are not a concern to you nor most other people is because they occur far, far away, to people you cannot relate to, and you learn of them only in the most abstract terms (a soundbite on the evening news, a blurb on page A10). If you were at your daughter’s wedding reception, and foreign fighter jets dropped 500-pound bombs on the venue because they thought it was a “terrorist gathering,” and neither your head of state nor the foreign military ever apologized or even acknowledged error, let alone allowed any sort of justice to be obtained through the legal system—you would be a lot less accepting of that “unfortunate reality of war.” Your daughter, her new husband, most of your immediate and extended family—dead. Maybe even a few shrapnel pieces in your head. Would you suppose some politicians half a world away should be barred from Communion for that?

    Do you really think that? That seems awfully depressing. I can’t see into other people’s hearts or anything, but unless I’m a really bad judge of character I honestly don’t think that people think that way anymore.

    That’s why I’m suggesting the study of feminism. A lot of what the pro-life movement does makes little sense unless you analyze it in that light. (They want to get rid of abortions, but then, they also want to make contraception harder to obtain? It’s self-contradictory; it’s illogical, unless there’s something else going on.)

    I don’t think that that is about sex. I think that it is about religious faith. I don’t really understand religious faith very well. It might help me get along better with some of my family if I did, but it seems too much like willing yourself to overcome your rationality.

    In all the same-sex marriage debates, no one has ever proposed requiring religious followers to accept these unions, or even LGBT folks in general—religious faith is not at issue. When conservatives argue against it, it’s all about the effect they see it having on society (“marriage will become meaningless, divorce rates and promiscuity will skyrocket, broken families everywhere,” etc. etc.).

    I worry that that may be true. A friend of mine who’s more pro-life than I am (and who’s 24) told me at the end of last year that she didn’t think that she’d live to see the day when the laws got changed back. That’s a big part of why I decided to ‘start doing something about it’.
    -
    Whether it is biological or cultural, evolution doesn’t favor what is better- only what offers a material advantage. I think that the pro-choice position is arbitrary and unjust, but that may not keep it from winning the day.

    Abortion rights will become secure and uncontroversial in the future, but that says nothing about what the abortion rate will be then. You had better believe that everyone on this site will agree that it is better for a woman to avoid the need for an abortion, be it through contraception or accurate knowledge about her own sexuality. That’s why we call ourselves “pro-choice” instead of “pro-abortion.”

    If you want to “start doing something about it,” without contributing to the peanut gallery that is ultimately going to lose this debate, then fight for comprehensive sex education and improved contraceptive access. Convince those in the pro-life movement that if they’re really serious about reducing/eliminating abortions, they’ll have to learn to let go [of the whole woman-controlling schtick] and support measures that have been proven to be effective.

    In other words, quit seeking to get rid of abortions by punishing women, and start seeking to get rid of them by empowering women. It might not be as emotionally satisfying, it might not be as much fun not to lob verbal bombs at the other side—but what it will be, is effective. The pro-life movement long ago decided that they would not fight the problem effectively; what will you decide?

  • invalid-0

    you are so right about sexism and racism. We can not ignore these two issues and “hope” that they will go away. They unfortunately are alive and well after all these years.

  • invalid-0

    I appreciate the question, and I’ll do my best to answer it :)
    -
    “Person” isn’t a term with a fixed definition. One can define “person” however one wants. It varies depending on context and intent. If I recall, the earliest use of “personhood” was in theological arguments during the middle ages. Certainly, a definition of ‘person’ requiring the ability for external survival would exclude pre-viable fetuses, but it will only be one definition amongst many. Neither side can say, “In our experiments fetuses tested negative for ‘personhood.’” If I look at ‘person’ from a strictly legal perspective (in this context, determining what sort of things should be entitled to protections based on the due process clause), I would want the legal definition to reflect my philosophical stance (see above comment regarding actual, potential, and imminent abilities).
    -
    You feel strongly that if something requires the use of your body to survive, then it cannot be a person, but I don’t find that intuitive at all. An adult’s right to life is not contingent on an ability to survive on it’s own. If someone were dependent on life support, but they were expected to recover from their condition, no one would suggest terminating them as a ‘non-person’. In fact, if a family member decided that the patient’s survival was an emotional or financial hardship, and then tried to disconnect life support, then I’d expect him to be charged with a crime. Obviously, ‘artificial’ life support is different from the ‘natural’ life support of the mother’s uterus, the umbilical cord, the placenta… etc. That’s true, but is it a difference that is morally relevant?
    -
    The fact that one system is a mechanical construction and the other is an ‘organic construct’ would seem to lack moral import. Suppose that geneticists grew a massive womb-like organ in a lab from samples of human tissue, and then moved our patient from his mechanical support system to the organic one. Would that make him less of a person? It’s hard to imagine why it would.
    -
    Of course, the creation I hypothesized sounds vaguely grotesque and monstrous- and bears no relation to a woman. Nonetheless, your stated concern is with the personhood status of the life which cannot survive independently. If (putting aside issues of scale) we switch the patient from the laboratory grown system into a human body, then that wouldn’t affect the patient in any essential way. It would create a relationship that hadn’t existed previously between him and the woman, but that is not the same as suggesting a loss of personhood.
    -
    Personhood is traditionally tied to notions either of “human-ness” or of mental capacity (conceiving of a sense of ‘self’, ability to makes decisions, etc.). Therefore the creation of a relationship would not impact an entity’s status. If someone who is uncontroversially a person entered into such a relationship, then it would not make much sense to claim that their status as a person would change, but the status of any rights that they claim based on their personhood would be subject to change to reflect the relationship between persons. That’s a different argument entirely, and I suspect that it might be the best one for you to make given your moral intuitions.

  • invalid-0

    Your mindless support of a bill which denies women our basic constitutional rights and codifies our status as a form of chattel is far from ‘polite’. THAT is the point.

    If I were doing what you suggest, that it would be reason for righteous anger, although that isn’t the same as being impolite.
    -
    I don’t believe for an instant that the bill does what you suggest, and if you wanted to change my mind, then being impolite won’t help.
    -
    You’re suggesting that the bill would make women property- which is demonstrably false. You’re also misrepresnting the interpretation of the constitution on which your rights claim is based.

  • invalid-0

    Okay, “left wing tool”…
    -
    Why is India becoming such a problem? Because they are becoming a more industrialized nation. China and India are both increasing the amount of global damage because they are emerging economies. I already said that. If you’re talking about local pollution which isn’t dependent on the use of technology- that’s been the case with any major population center for the last 2 millenia. Look at the cloaca in ancient Rome or the Thames in Victorian London. Suggesting that abortion is the solution to that perennial problem is beyond absurd.
    -
    I’m not a proponent of the ‘right wing’ idea of charity rather than state action as a means of solving social ills- although I think the charities certainly help far more than they hurt.

  • invalid-0

    Hello Larry,

    I just needed to point out that ALL of your rhetoric began from you saying that you would support Personhood USA because there was nothing to undermine the support of them. Then you have gotten into argument after argument that defends your position as a man, a “non” feminist, a pro-lifer, and a person who is not being understood. You are on this page more than anyone else- generally trying to prove why you are right and the other people who comment have too many fallicies in their arguments. What it all comes down to is this- you are entitled to your beliefs and your thoughts, but so are other people including those who baited your arguments. You can be concerned with saving lives and protecting the unborn, but is not the woman carrying the child entitled to being protected until her “natural death” as well? The law gives someone else the right to choose for the fetus (genome, zygote, or what-have-you) regardless of how it affects the mother. This is wrong. I will be honest I am pro-choice, but I personally could not have an abortion and thankfully I have never been faced with a situation where I needed to even consider it. Luckily, I had two healthy children. With my first, I had a horrible labor and a terrifying emergency surgery- I could feel them cutting me and I began to choke on my own vomit while still open just seconds after seeing my newborn because I was allergic to the anesthesia (never had surgery before so how would I know?). But, it turned out well after all of that. After much deliberation, I decided that I wanted another- so my husband and I tried and I got lucky. I did everything I felt I didn’t do right the first time around. I wanted a better experience than the first time. I drank plenty of water, ate lots of fruit and veggies, lowered my salt intake and exercised. Then, in my fourth month I got up from peeing and saw a toilet full of blood. Come to find out I did not have enough progesterone to keep me pregnant. I had to go to the ONE pharmacy 25 minutes away from my house (I live in Vegas) that carried the cream based suppositories that I needed to keep my child attached to the uterus. It was 115 degrees and I did not have air conditioning in my car. The pharmacy was not open after 5 in the afternoon- so no chance of going when it was cooler. I did it, but I was a nervous wreck the whole time. I am bipolar and was taking an antidepressant as well, but I still had a lot of anxiety. We were only a two income household. So, as soon as the doctor released me I went back to work. I ended up having her almost a month early. I would have had a VBAC, but the cord was wrapped around her neck- so I had surgery again. So, in that situation do you believe it would have been right to charge me with neglect, child abuse, or child endangerment? I did everything I could in the situation I was in, in order to keep my pregnancy and have my baby. But, under the law that they propose it would seem that I could go to jail- for not having air conditioning in my car, for taking anti depressants to maintain my moods as much as possible, and for going back to work though I became a high risk preganancy. If I went to jail, who would care for my kids? My husband? when would he work? Then, who is protecting them and their life then?
    My question to you is why would you support Personhood USA? Do you believe in the right to life and well being of the mother as well as the right to life of the fetus? Aside from abortion, why would fetuses need “protecting” and rights that over ride that of the womb that carries it?
    I respect your right to support them. I also feel the need to urge you to stop and think about the negative consequences that will arise. I only see one “positive” but that depends on your perspective. But, your perspective is that of a person who would never have to be faced with having your rights trampled upon because you do not have a womb in which someone else can control. (That is where some of the animosity towards you comes from- sorry but that is true.)

  • invalid-0

    Thank you Em25. I think people forget that women have been trying to control the amount of children they have for thousands of years. Abortion has been around for almost as long. Contraception is the BEST option. Women shouldn’t have to fight for control over their wombs.

  • invalid-0

    I’m disappointed. So far, I’d thought that you were one of the three commenters that seemed to have reasonable things to say.
    -
    “reduce women to the status of breeding stock”
    -
    That’s just a blatant misrepresentation used for propaganda and I think you know it.
    -
    “No woman OWES anyone the use of her body for their personal benefit.”
    -
    Sure- standard boilerplate.
    -
    ‘No one OWES anyone their life for their personal benefit.’
    -
    Then you say “X” and I say “Y”, and on, and on, etc…
    -
    PS: Everyone feels that they have the right to be hostile on this issue. If we act on it, where’s that get us?

  • invalid-0

    Now, now, Larry…unless you can give me any other scenario where one person’s body can be used by another without permission and recompense…you are just blowing smoke.

    Give us just one.

  • invalid-0

    Is it vital to you that they be pro-contraception rather than not being ant-contraception?

    Yes – isn’t this obvious? Since they continually skirt around the issue of helping women not get pregnant when they don’t want to be in the first place, it seems they are not committed to reducing the one and only cause of abortion: unintended pregnancy. There is a chasm of difference between wanting to help women by offering sexual health, care, contraception and advice, and attempting to make abortion disappear by manipulating women into giving birth. Amanda Marcotte has a great series of posts which go right into detail about FFL, and cuts right through that flowery “pro-woman” image they put out. There’s no point in rehashing what Amanda has already written, so:

    http://pandagon.blogsome.com/category/feminists-for-life/

    I don’t believe abortion will ever go away. It may rise and fall over time, with the efforts of those committed to equality, sexual education and contraception, but like the vagaries of human life, it will never go away. Thus, it should always be legal, safe and accessible for those that require it. FFL is not helping. Lessening women’s agency over their fertility will not increase their status, no matter how much flowery language you use.

  • invalid-0

    Why is India becoming such a problem? Because they are becoming a more industrialized nation.

    India has had problems with overpopulation for generations, these problems aren’t recent nor are they limited to major cities. I suggested that you go live there in order to experience 1st hand the effects of overpopulation. However I can see that you’re destined for a lifetime embarrassing yourself by endlessly and ignorantly bullshitting your betters on subjects you know nothing about.

    Suggesting that abortion is the solution to that perennial problem is beyond absurd.

    Your mother must be so embarrassed. Did your father constantly belittle her as you do the women here?

    The solution to the problems of overpopulation is empowering women, improving our status with education and the ability to make a living for ourselves and our children and respecting our need for control over when and how many children we bear. Clearly abortion always has been and always will be part of that control as is making contraceptives available and affordable. You would have to be a right wing tool to read what I wrote as a suggestion that abortion is THE solution to overpopulation.

    • http://www.antonaf.com invalid-0

      Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on Monday endorsed a proposed Colorado Human Life Amendment that would define personhood as a fertilized egg.

  • larry-j

    Now, now, ahunt …unless you can give me any
    other scenario where one person has the freedom to end another human’s life merely because they feel like it (other than a master who wanted to make an example of his slave, of course)…you are just blowing smoke.

     

    Give us just one.

     

    See the ‘tit for tat’ road you’re driving down?

  • larry-j

    Okay. 

     

    It’s the most philosophically defensible. 

     

    Viability is actually a terrible argument for ‘personhood’, but it makes a decent basis for arguing that the choice of the woman be given preference- which is not the same at all (since you can give preference to the woman’s rights even if the fetus is a person). 

     

    You end up in ‘Violinist’ territory that way.

  • larry-j

    So, you’ve abandoned the environmental damage justification (better late than never) and now you’re switching entirely to population control.

     

    Alright then- how has abortion been doing in India?  I mean, that’s your example, and they’ve had legal abortion longer than we have.  It must be helping, right? It couldn’t possibly be the case that it didn’t help and they’re actually starting to limit abortion- or could it?

     

    You know, they’re still using infanticide in parts of India.  That hasn’t seemed to help any – but abortion hasn’t either and you insist on that being part of the solution.  Are there other parts of this solution that I should know about?  Are any of them final?

     

    "Embarrassing yourself by endlessly and ignorantly bullshitting", said the pot to the kettle.

     

    "Did your father constantly belittle her as you do the women here?"

     

    You’re anonymous!  How can I be belittling you due to sexism if you’re anonymous?

     

    BTW:  My dad’s a staunch pro-choicer, but my mom’s a staunch pro-lifer, and I’m not buying that she’s a misogynist.  

     

    I’m almost completely out of lag time, and when it’s gone, I’m not planning on screwing around on this site anymore. 

    Reply if you want, but unless it’s in the next ten minutes, I’ll never see it.

     

    Bye.

  • larry-j

    I seem to have spelled ‘imminent’ wrong.

    I mistakenly put ‘immanent’- oh about 500 times in the post above :P

  • larry-j

    You’ve packed a bunch of assumptions in there. First of
    all, calling a fetus ‘human life’ is non-controversial. People on my
    side of the fence feel that those who deny that are making an argument
    whose "ridiculousness becomes so self-evident that our biggest
    frustration is that such an argument often isn’t laughed straight out
    of the building."

    The thing is, that’s not an argument about the issue at hand. It’s
    just a conflation that takes advantage of a lack of appropriate
    vocabulary to discuss the subject. It’s akin to arguing, "This is a
    FREE country, so why should I have to pay for land to build my house
    on?"

    Consider this: A cancerous tumor is also "human life." It’s human (as in, has Homo sapiens
    DNA), and it’s alive (as in, not dead). So why is killing that "human
    life" okay, but killing the "human life" that is a zygote not so? Can
    you see that there’s more to the argument than simplistically saying,
    "That’s human life, and killing human life is MURDER" ?

     

    I don’t know how to account for this unless you only read the very beginning of what I wrote.  You’ve knocked down a straw man by acting as if my first premise was my entire argument.  Your cancer counter-example only applies if I want ‘human life’ to be sufficient for the right to life, but I was arguing for it to be a necessary condition in addition to imminence of cognitive ability.

     

    Seriously- did you just not read it?

     

    Oh heckfire!  Maybe it’s my fault.  I just realized that I typed "immanent" instead of "imminent".  Maybe it will make sense now.

     

    By your argument, a fetus has one right that neither you, nor I, nor a pregnant woman would ever be permitted: the right to sustain oneself directly from the body of another person, without that person’s consent, for a period of nine months.

     

    I don’t see why you’re making assumptions about what rights I would permit to whom.  Maybe you should ask me first.

    .

    The reason why those deaths are not a concern to you nor
    most other people is because they occur far, far away, to people you
    cannot relate to

     

    Now you’re making assumptions about why things concern me.  I don’t think that you’d like people making all kinds of assumptions about your value system.  That’s kind of inconsiderate- or at least uncharitable.

    One particular point you would learn is that being sexist, or even
    racist, is a much more banal thing than you think. It’s not about being
    Archie Bunker, or even being kinda-sorta like Archie Bunker.

     

    Who is Archie Bunker?

     

    you’re going to have a very hard time differentiating your voice from the usual right-wing peanut gallery in discussions like these.

     

    Well, my machine’s almost finished doing with maintenace and backup anyway. When it’s done I can get back to business as usual and I don’t think that I’ll be goofing off here. 

     

    You said a bunch of other stuff that I don’t think that I have time to respond to- there’s a comment from nicci that I wanted to answer, and I think that’ll use up the rest of the time.

     

    You know, I disagree with a lot of what you say, but I think that what you say is interesting, and the back and forth is fun. 

     

    Here’s what I decided to do:  Since I don’t know who you are and I’m not planning on coming back, if you’d like to correspond about… society and politics and gender etc.- just click on my name and then you can use that to send an email to me.

     

    Bye. 

  • larry-j

    I am glad that someone finally answered my question honestly! The point I was try ing to get at was that if people are going to try and change laws that already exist-RvW and are concerned about the lives and buisiness of other people-woman of child bearing age. A woman whose life that pro-lifes are not involved in or related to or married to. Then they are responsible for the outcome of those peoples lives.

    ;

     

     

    If you haven’t been able to get an honest answer it’s not because they were dissembling. It’s just been because no one would take the question seriously.  Asking pro-lifers if they think that they have more responsibility than the rest of society for the welfare of a child they helped to keep from getting aborted – is like asking if we still honor the ancient tradition where you have to take responsibility for a person for the remainder of their life if you save them from being killed.

     

    It’s just silly.

  • larry-j

    Hi Nicci. Thanks for the thoughtful note. I’ll try to address
    everything you wrote- unless my computer gets finished scanning and
    backing up everything first :)

     

    I just needed to point out that ALL of your rhetoric began from you
    saying that you would support Personhood USA because there was nothing
    to undermine the support of them.

     

    I think that you’re the first person to talk about the content of the particular article rather than the choice/life issue generally. I’d
    meant that I didn’t believe that anything presented here would undermine support from someone who is already pro-life (which seemed to have been what they were going for). I came to this site because someone wanted me to see a different post, but I saw the headline for this one, and I’d not heard about this initiative before. I left a note because I was actually very pleased to hear about what they’re doing and I to say that didn’t think that pro-lifers would find the objections raised to be sufficient to make them not like the idea.

     

    generally trying to prove why you are right

     

    Actually, my goal was just to get people to see (and maybe acknowledge) that my point of view was as reasonable as theirs. Religious pro-lifers are sometimes sanctimonious, but pro-choicers have a tendency to believe that their view is always intellectually superior to that of any ‘troglogyte’ (actual epithet I’ve heard used) who would take away the right to choose. I mentioned before that I generally believe that people on both sides are motivated by a wish to do what they see as the right thing and I admit that your side makes powerful arguments for its view. I never expected anyone to ‘see the light’ and decide that I had been right all along, but to admit that my side has good arguments for its view only seems reasonable.

     

    You are on this page more than anyone else

     

    Yup. The last couple of days, my computer hasn’t been able to run the apps I usually use (except at debilitatingly slow
    speed) while I’ve been doing some back up and maintenance. Given that I have to sit by the computer anyway, I’ve been surfing and reading at my desk while it’s doing its thing. I responded to people who left comments to my message because it seemed mildly entertaining- or at least more interesting than my book. I think it’s about done now, though.

     

    doesn’t want to fish

     

    It isn’t my job to hunt around for something on another site just because it could undermine something that I said. I did take a look at the site- but I didn’t see where to find what they alluded to- unless they just meant the accounts of the 2 individuals on the video.

     

    So, in that situation do you believe it would have been right to charge
    me with neglect, child abuse, or child endangerment? I did everything I
    could in the situation I was in, in order to keep my pregnancy and have
    my baby. But, under the law that they propose it would seem that I
    could go to jail- for not having air conditioning in my car, for taking
    anti depressants to maintain my moods as much as possible, and for
    going back to work though I became a high risk pregnancy.

     


    Of course not! First, I wanted to say that I have a lot of sympathy for what you went  through. Someone I love has had multiple miscarriages, and your reference to the ‘toilet full of blood’ actually conjures up some rather painful memories for me. From reading your story, I get the impressionthat if a doctor had told you that you needed to stop doing something that risked killing your unborn child, then you would have done it. Even though you would have liked to have had a VBAC, you still had the C-section (CS) when you knew that it would have been dangerous to do otherwise. It sounds to me like you did everything that anyone could expect from you. No one who is in favor of legal personhood wants to try to hurt pregnant women who make a good faith effort to be responsible. That’s just a red herring.

     

    The video that NAPW put together is full of horror stories designed to scare people. They want people to think that if fetuses got personhood status then there will be jack booted “pregnancy police” putting women like you in jail if they drink coffee. Pro-choice activists all too often encourage people to believe the lie that pro-lifers ‘only care about fetuses’ and think that women should be treated ‘like breed animals with no rights at all’. (just look at some of the nonsense on this page.) They’re feeding off of a stereotype. I think that your concern about whether the proposed law would have criminalized you just shows that this video does what it is supposed to do: scare people.

     

    The video said that Ms. Pemberton “stayed home to have her baby, and when she was in active labor, she heard a knock on the door. It was the state attorney and the sheriff. They had her taken into custody.” That sounds pretty scary. It also omits what I think is a bit of important information. Before all of that happened, she had gone to the emergency room because she was dehydrated and needed intravenous fluids. When they told her that that a VBAC would be dangerous and that she would need to have a C-section (CS), she left the hospital against medical advice before she even got the fluids. 

     

    Even with the improvements in CS techniques there is still an increased risk associated with a VBAC, so it is usually only an option in hospitals which are prepared to provide an emergency CS. This seems reasonable to me. If the hospital were to agree to the riskier option without having the resources to handle the possible consequences, then they’d be partially responsible if something terrible happened (and more than
    anything they’re worried about legal responsibility). So, if a dehydrated pregnant woman sneaks out of the rear entrance of a hospital in her stocking feet so that she can give birth at home naturally- when the doctors felt that it would only have been safe for her to do this in a facility where there are staff and resources available for an emergency CS…

     

    Am I supposed to think that this is about personhood of the fetus versus the
    choice of the woman, or is it merely about patient’s rights versus the authority of the medical community- because that is not an issue which is limited to reproduction or linked to gender. I have a friend with a chronic illness who was denied his freedom because a doctor thought that he needed to stay in the hospital. While he thought that he’d be
    fine if he went home, the doctor thought that it was too risky. Whether or not the doctor did the right thing, it had nothing to do with personhood or reproductive rights. This kind of conflict can arise in any medical situation where there is a possibility of serious harm and doctors want to minimize risk.

     

    Ms. Pemberton apparently had other children by VBAC “in hiding and
    unassisted.” The video says that this shows that the doctors were proved wrong. I wonder at what would have happened if their concerns had been well founded and her CS scars had ruptured during delivery.

     

    Ms. Marlowe was able to give birth naturally rather than having a CS, when
    she went to a second hospital, and I think that that’s terrific. The video implied that the first hospital had obtained an order which would have let them force her to have the CS against her will. That’s only partially true. She wasn’t actually in the hospital at the time, and
    the court ruled that if she returned to the hospital, then she could be compelled to have the CS. As is the case with hospitals that won’t offer the option of a VBAC to women if they aren’t equipped to perform an emergency CS, this is a case of hospitals being concerned about their liability.

     

    No one was sent to apprehend Marlowe and take her back to the hospital
    against her will. She simply went to a different hospital that seems not to have made the same “risk and liability assessment”. I don’t know if their policies were different or if their facilities were better
    equipped for obstetric emergencies than the first hospital. Whatever the case may be- it seems that it wasn’t a ‘personhood’ issue as much as a question of medical judgment, or else why would the second hospital not have insisted on a CS?

     

    There is a big difference between Marlowe’s case and Pemberton’s. Obviously, Pemberton was compelled to have a CS and Marlowe wasn’t- but that isn’t what I was getting at. Both women were determined to be in danger of harm to themselves (and the fetuses) if they attempted natural birth, but Pemberton wanted to go home and give birth by herself, whereas
    Marlowe (in my opinion) was not attempting  anything so
    irrational. She went to another facility where she could be treated if here were an emergency.  She acted responsibly. I don’t think that Marlowe did. I think that that is the important difference and that that is why the state was compelled to abrogate Pemberton’s rights but not Marlowe’s.

     

    Angela Carder’s story is very sad.  The video merely says “27 years old and 25 weeks pregnant, she became critically ill.”  Actually, my understanding is that she was dying from cancer, but opted for palliative care rather than chemotherapy or radiation because she didn’t want to harm the baby.  Despite the fact that her cancer (which she’d been fighting for a long time) had metastasized, she was focused on trying to make it to the 28th week so that the child would have a better chance at surviving. 

     

    She wasn’t merely terminally ill- she was determined to be ‘near death’, and she couldn’t make her wishes known because she was intubated and sedated.  Her family didn’t want the CS, but would she have?  It isn’t clear- and that’s not the impression that one gets from the video. Tragically, the baby died, and her death was hastened by the operation.

     

    Rowland’s story is tragic too, but in a different way.  She wasn’t just a pregnant woman who delayed a CS, and then was subjected to murder charges.

     

    I said before that I didn’t think that anyone who acted responsibly would have anything to worry about from legal personhood- but she was pretty much a picture of irresponsibility.  She had lost custody of a child already for punching it in the face in public.  She was an alcoholic and a drug addict who was told that she need a CS because she risked the lives of her unborn twins, but she refused (for reasons that are difficult to understand) on four different occassions. FOUR.  When one twin was stillborn, doctors testified that it would have survived if she had followed their reccommendation and had the CS on any of those four occassions.  While she was initially charged with murder, the charges were lowered to child endangerment- to which she plead guilty.  She ended up not going to prison, but merely getting probabtion.  

     

    There are parts of that story that upset me, but her being charged with a crime is not one of them.

     

    The NAPW is trying to leverage the

     

     

    Oh heck.  

     

    The computer’s all finished, and I have to go.

     

    I’ll just say this:

     

    The idea that ‘pregnant women who want their babies should be afraid of legal personhood’ is just a piece of propoganda generated by people who are pro-choice.

     

    Is it possible that a doctor could override your desires with regard to the method of birth?  It’s possible now if it is a viable fetus and he thinks that letting you have your choice would mean letting you take your life (or the life of the child) into your own hands.  On that score ‘personhood’ is a redundancy.   

     

    As far as criminality is concerned: If you aren’t being criminally irresponsible with regard to the unborn life, then no one will prosecute you.

     

    Gotta go now.
    Bye.
  • invalid-0

    “So, you’ve abandoned the environmental damage justification (better late than never) and now you’re switching entirely to population control.

    LOL! No, I was talking about empowering women. The notion frightens you so much you cannot even type it

    I wasn’t asking about the political opinions of your parents nor was I talking about the way you’ve been speaking to me. I was talking about the way that you speak to the women here and trying to understand why you believe that your more or less constant stream of insults and flaccid attempts to dominate were even minimally acceptable or effective.

    I’m not planning on screwing around on this site anymore.

    You’ve been threatening to leave since your first posts and yet you have not.

  • invalid-0

    None of you should butt into any womans buisiness. You do what you feel is right and I will do what I feel is right, and just leave things the way they are. Niether side is budging. Larry you just do not get it . You have not walked in a womans shoes or life there is no way you will ever get it. Not every one believes in God. Not everyone believes that a clump of cells is precious.

  • invalid-0

    Tell ya what, Larry:

    If you’re so concerned about the “babies”, then when a woman who does not want to be pregnant, becomes pregnant, you can do this:

    Have the fetus implanted into YOUR body. YOU go through the pregnancy, YOU go through the childbirth, and YOU deal with the resulting kid for the next 18 to 25 years.

    When you’re willing to do that, then we can talk. As long as you’re in favor of letting an unwanted parasite live in a woman’s body, we can’t. If you care so much about the “babies” then you can damn well take on those pregnancies yourself.

  • invalid-0

    What imminent ability (e.g. what is the measure and when does it occur in the newborn) is supposedly giving the newborn legal rights? – what law is that?

  • invalid-0

    Being forced to have medical treatment, even to save your own life or to ones own body for the benefit of another, is considered medical battery.

  • invalid-0

    Although some might disagree with the current law, the law itself simply grants newborns rights of personhood/ citizenship based on being born, not based on some other potential ability or a potential-yet-imminent-to-be-actual ability.

  • invalid-0

    Lots of hysterical comment here. I would ask Ms Paltrow for references to back up her claims regarding the Angela Carder case, the “horrifying incident in California” and such ridiculous comments as women who are obese, who smoke, etc having to turn themselves in for child abuse.
    Even pre-Roe, when abortion was illegal, there was not one recorded incident of a woman being prosecuted for abortion. In fact, abortionists were not prosecuted for any crime unless the woman herself was harmed or killed by the procedure. Take a minute and think, get your facts, and cut out the histrionics!
    Just a short time ago we guarded very carefully the concept that blacks were not persons under the law…everybody “knew” at that time they were different, so therefore could be considered and treated as property. Same arguments that are being thrown around today regarding the unborn. Are they human or are they not? If they are, then what rights of any person trump another person’s right to live? A person does not have rights just because another person assigns them value…they are valuable in their own right.

  • invalid-0

    There is no law against taking an action to stop someone from using your body to maintain their life….even if they will die as a result.

  • emma

    She wouldn’t have to do it to be philanthropic. She’d have to do it because it would be immoral and illegal not to.

    Actually, for those of us who don’t subscribe to the idea that abortion is immoral, we’d be carrying unwanted pregnancies to term only because not doing so would result in legal penalties.

    My point was that in many cases it would be more realistic to try to paint it as a wonderful gift for the couple who will adopt. If you don’t want to put a good face on it then that’s up to you. In a society where women will bear children they don’t want to have, I suppose that you can minimize the benefit of bringing happiness to a couple who wants a child happy-

    Because the reality of abortion bans is that they require coercion by the government and legal system. No one who is being coerced into gestating an unwanted pregnancy is going to be particularly comforted by the idea that their body is being used to incubate a ‘gift’ for someone else.

    Do I really need to start going into the fact that banning abortion doesn’t stop women from having them, and that the effect of abortion bans is more women being maimed and killed by unsafe abortions? If you’re going to take the view that this just isn’t true, then you need to do some research into the effects of abortion bans in other countries, and in the US pre-Roe. If your opinion is more along the lines that the important thing is to ‘send a message that society condemns abortion’, even if it results in more dead women, then you’re going to have to cop to holding some seriously misogynistic views (i.e. if you consider ‘sending messages’ to be more important than women’s lives, then you clearly don’t value women a great deal). Alternative statements I’ve heard from ‘pro-life’ persons are that, well, a woman who tries to Murder her Unborn Baby deserve whatever they get, and/or that abortion bans are a great success if they save one foetus, even if abortion related maternal death rates increase. If you hold either of those views, then, once again, you’re going to have to acknowledge that you’re just a teensy bit misogynistic.

    Also, I’m wondering whether you’d like to comment on the woman who died after being court ordered to undergo a caesarean, and why women shouldn’t be concerned about the possibility of finding ourselves in this woman’s situation.

  • emma

    If foetuses have equal human rights, why should a woman who has an abortion *not* be prosecuted? What’s the point of laws if they’re not enforced?

     

    Must you compare thinking, feeling, born black people to foetuses? I see that comparison – along with the Holocaust one – made frequently, and I’m not sure whether you see how vilely offensive such comparisons are to people who’ve personally suffered, or who have family members or ancestors who survived slavery, the holocaust, or other persecution. 

     

    Persecution based on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation (and so on) do not serve a purpose other than satisfying the desire of dominant groups to engage in sadism and feel superior to the persecuted groups. The primary aim of abortion is not to persecute; it is to preserve the right of women to physical autonomy and to control their own reproductive health. You cannot seriously try to claim that women get pregnant and terminate pregnancies specifically for the purpose of persecuting foetuses. The comparison of legal abortion to racism is specious to the point of being ludicrous (as well as tedious and unoriginal).

  • invalid-0

    Emma, You fail to address the basic question…are fetuses human or not? Your argument about not comparing them to thinking, feeling beings holds no weight unless you also advocate to the elimination of persons in a coma, or those who were born with little or no conscious brain function, as a personal choice of those who must care for these people. Are you OK with taking them out too simply because they are a burden on caregivers? Fetuses do feel pain, remember…they have a functioning nervous system.
    Slavery was not developed for purposes of persecution; it was strictly economic based. Women can control their own reproductive health all they want…until it involves a separate person. The fetus is separate…different blood type, DNA, everything. And remember, the fetus is only temporarily dependent on the mother for survival; no one says the woman has to take care of the child after it is born. But it should have a right to be born because it cannot choose otherwise.