Anti-Abortion Activists Push New, More Radical Egg-As-Person Measures


Wendy Norris is a freelance writer from Denver, Colorado. Her work can also be read at the public policy blog, Unbossed.com.  She will be covering the "egg-as-person" movement for RH Reality Check in the coming months.  

Other posts on on this issue today include a piece by Lynn Paltrow, and this cartoon.  A list of past articles on this issue can be found at the end of this post.

DENVER – A resurgent movement to place
"personhood" measures on state ballots across the nation to ban
abortion and comprehensive reproductive care could have far more sweeping
implications than the trial balloon Colorado voters soundly defeated last year.

Far from being dissuaded by the 3-to-1 loss from their 2008
campaign to confer zygotes with legal rights, abortion opponents are regrouping
with a broader initiative that purports to address life span issues, from
conception to death.

The proposed 2010 constitutional ballot language – "the
term ‘person’ shall apply to every human being from the beginning of the
biological development of that human being" – was submitted Thursday for initial
review by the Colorado Legislative Council.

The new tack avoids previous efforts to redefine person as
"any human being from the moment of
fertilization" – phrasing that rankled even its supporters as too
polarizing.

Shaded beneath the state capitol’s famed golden dome and
cradling his 10-day-old son, Gualberto Garcia Jones, 31, said announcing the
new campaign:

"And the important thing to
keep in mind, if you honestly and unbiasedly read the language – this is about
the full spectrum of human development. It includes the very early stages.

But it’s also about children who
are born with disabilities and are stripped of their personhood. It’s about
handicapped people who are stripped of their personhood. It’s about the elderly
that are dying and who lose their personhood when they go into some form of a
vegetative state."

When asked how such a wide-ranging law could be implemented,
Jones, a lawyer and former legislative analyst for the anti-abortion group,
American Life League, said:

"We’ll leave it to the courts
to interpret the language of the proposed amendment … We have faith that our
legislators will be able to implement this in a consistent manner with respect
for all human beings regardless of how they come about in their creation."

Last year’s ballot opponents claimed that adding a
religiously-inspired definition to the Colorado constitution would affect
more than 20,000 references to the term "person" in local and state
statutes
.

 

A new,
all-encompassing "personhood" strategy

This new hard-line rhetorical stance is a radically
different approach than the 2008 campaign, headed by Peyton, Colo., resident
Kristi Burton, a telegenic online law school student, who furiously back-peddled
from controversial early campaign statements that Amendment 48 sought to
outright ban abortion and contraception
.

Now, all bets are off. The new campaign leadership assured
supporters that Burton will advise the team but her "muddled"
communication goals won’t be repeated.

Jones, a conservative Catholic, said he welcomed a debate
about a contraception ban as an effect of the personhood cause:

"What this amendment does is
protect all human beings," he said. "Something that is erroneously
referred to as contraception causes the early human to die because they cannot
develop in the uterus. And, then yeah, this would prohibit it. We’re more than
happy to talk about that."

The conflation of contraception with abortifacients is a
well-used tactic by those who oppose abortion under all circumstances.

Combining the orthodoxy of hard-line opposition to
comprehensive reproductive care with controversial end-of-life issues is a new
strategy in the "personhood" movement that could be designed to
appeal to the fast-growing voting bloc of religious Hispanics, whom Jones, a
native of Spain, expressed particular interest in reaching out to.

The new strategic approach also appears to stem from a
chance encounter amidst the spectacle of one family’s personal tragedy turned
national political sideshow.

Jones met long-time Colorado Right to Life activist Leslie
Hanks in March 2005 while protesting at the Florida hospice where Terri
Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman at the center of a fierce right-to-die court
battle, re-ignited the social conservative movement.

Jones and Hanks struck up a friendship. Later, he moved to
Denver after leaving ALL to work on a 2006 South Dakota abortion ban campaign
and then a low-profile campaign job to help Burton pass Amendment 48. While Hanks
had a prominent public role, opponents of the 2008 effort do not recall seeing
Jones on the stump until now.

 

Absolutist
anti-abortion groups join forces

The 2010 campaign will be backed by Personhood USA, a new
national nonprofit organization formed from the ashes of Burton’s Colorado for
Equal Rights, whose supporters were linked to militant anti-abortion groups,
like the Army of God
.

The Denver-based Personhood USA is headed by former Wichita resident and ex-Operation Rescue "truth
truck" driver Keith Mason, and Michigan
anti-abortion activist Cal Zastrow. Veterans of the failed Colorado campaign,
the two men most recently were involved in the unsuccessful 2008 South Dakota
citizen-initiated abortion ban and failed legislative actions in Montana and
North Dakota earlier this spring.

Now they have plans to deploy platoons of
"personhood" activists in 17 states to effectively ban abortion,
oral/device contraception, in vitro fertilization, and embryonic stem cell
research should they prevail to win civil rights for fertilized eggs. And if
Jones’ press briefing comments are any indication, they may take on disability
advocacy groups and the burgeoning end-of-life care movement, as well.

In addition to Colorado, a 2010 "personhood"
initiative in Montana was launched July 1
under the same auspices of broader
language
though the speech-making to introduce the campaign did not use the
same anti-contraception and life span rhetorical flourishes employed by Jones.

 

Schisms continue over
religious support for "personhood" and litmus tests

Mason noted that the local campaign counts among its
supporters Jones’ former employer, the American Life League, and Hanks’ group Colorado
Right to Life, whose long-standing feud with Focus on the Family founder James
Dobson
for not being anti-abortion enough is the stuff of local legend.
Jones will head the Colorado affiliate of Personhood USA.

Mason dismissed any lingering flack between Focus and American
Right to Life Action, another backer of "personhood" strategies, whose members
were arrested
and jailed after failing to pay a trespassing fine following
the group’s Sept. 4 sit-in protest at the evangelical Christian ministry and
publishing empire’s Colorado Springs headquarters. He anticipates Focus will
again be on board with the new campaign. "They’re bigger than that,"
he said "They’ll do the right thing."

But not everyone in the faith community is enthusiastic
about the proposal and some will continue to oppose it.

The Colorado Catholic Conference refused to endorse the
2008 measure
over concerns about "the timing and content." A
spokeswoman for the state’s three Catholic bishops, well-known for their
conservative social stances and willingness to insert themselves into political
controversy, told the Denver Post that Amendment 48 backers "seriously
misrepresented" the church
, contradicting campaign claims that the
bishops officially supported the cause.

Jeremy Shaver, executive director of the Interfaith Alliance
of Colorado which participated in the "No on 48" campaign
unequivocally stated his group’s opposition to the renewed
"personhood" effort:

"My
understanding of what they’re trying to do is insert a particular religious
definition of life in the state constitution," said Shaver. "Many
people of faith don’t believe state law should be based on religious doctrine
or religious belief. We need to base our state law on what’s in the interest of
the common good.

"We
believe it’s a violation of religious freedom for all Coloradans and it’s a
danger to do so."

Shaver said he is especially troubled by the new life span
argument:

"End of life decisions are
also among the most personal decisions that we will make. Those decisions need
to be made personally by individuals and their families and cannot and should
not be made for us by politicians who seek to impose a religious agenda."

Unflagged, the "personhood" proponents soldier on
while its advocates continue to grapple with the practicalities of the cause.

In a telling 2008 Q&A exchange, on the conservative
religious television network EWTN Kids Web page, the American Life League’s
Judie Brown admits the legal murkiness of "personhood"
to a
reader questioning whether to impose capital felony sentences on abortion
providers and women patients or merely misdemeanor penalties:

Once
personhood is restored to all human beings prior to birth, we will have to wade
through the minefield of criminal penalties and how they should be applied …
Gualberto Garcia Jones points out, "Criminal law is almost always about
knowledge."

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

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

  • invalid-0

    Who or what is funding Personhood USA and Operation Rescue?

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

    Ask any embryologist. Read an embryology textbook. They all say the same thing – human life begins at conception.

    Of course, if you want to deny it, you’ll have to go ask people who are NOT embryologists.

    So, unless embryology has suddenly become a religion, it’s really hard to see how this is an attempt to shove religion down anyone’s throat.

    Barack Hussein Obama keeps insisting that public policy should be based on science. Let’s try it for once.

  • wendy-norris

    Stay tuned. That’s the next installment in my on-going series of reports on the statehood "personhood" initiatives.

  • therealistmom

    Nobody denies that unique human DNA is created at conception, and that the cells are alive. PREGNANCY does not begin until implantation occurs. Many- possibly a sizable majority- of fertilized ova are shed before implantation and we’re (hopefully) all sane enough to think women shouldn’t be checking their tampons with a microscope so they can mourn that “human life” they may have shed. Obstetrics > embryology when it comes to actual human pregnancies. And simply because something is “alive” and “human” does not grant it personhood. A tumor is alive, human, and possesses unique DNA, and it cannot live without the benefit of the host.

    The fact that you used “Barack Hussein Obama” completely invalidates any point anyone has in an argument. Its a stupid scare tactic designed to invoke racism/ religious fears, as in “zomg Muslims!”. There are lots of xian terrorists in the United States (Oklahoma City ring a bell? How about them Mormons and the Mountain Meadows Massacre?) but in general people don’t make the xenophobic conclusion that xian=terrorist. Yes, the man’s middle name is Hussein. It is an extremely common name meaning, literally, “Handsome”. I would not assume that anyone with the name McVeigh was a terrorist- so why expose your racism and xenophobia by trying to make an emphasis on our (legally elected by the majority of people in the US) President’s middle name? When has any other president been identified by their middle name except John Quincy Adams to distinguish him from John Adams, or the initials of George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush after the latter was in office and people wished to distinguish between the two?

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

    Nice try, RealistMom, but again, ask an EMBRYOLOGIST.
    READ an embryology textbook.

    According to the science of embryology, human life begins at fertilization, NOT at implantation. The politically correct people who have reasons to want to experiment on or kill very young human lives have been trying to redefine life to begin at implantation for twenty years now. The people who actually STUDY embryos all think this attempt is pure, naked politics.

    No one knows how many embryonic children die without growing beyond that stage. All we have are animal models and we don’t really know how accurately those scale over to people. Furthermore, saying that young children die young from natural causes is NOT a reason to say that we should therefore be able to kill young children whenever we want.

    If you wish to discuss “personhood” – and remember, YOU brought it up – then we will necessarily have to discuss religion. “Person” is a religious term. It was invented by Christians to describe how God is three “Persons” yet one in divine nature. Science cannot define personhood because science has no say in how religious terms get defined. I don’t know why supporters of legal abortion always insist on bringing religion into the discussion.

    Barack Hussein Obama uses his own full name. He himself used it in his inauguration. Why is it alright for HIM to use it officially but not for anyone else? Quit your scare-mongering. BTW, Muslims are just as opposed to abortion as Christians, so I don’t see how a reference to the Muslim middle name of a pro-abortion man who claims to be Christian is anything but ironic.

    Again, let’s keep SCIENCE in this discussion and leave religion out. You keep trying to drag it in. Why?

    • invalid-0

      Dear Steve–I’ll tell you why “Mom” keeps throwing religon into the mix,since devine meddling is at the crux of pro-life movements. Meddlesome Matties! It is clever, the way you insist upon using science to back your claims, whereas, otherwise you would completely dismiss science in other contexts. I’ll bet you are a Creationist or an Intelligent Design expert. The same Meddlesome Matties build Creation Museums,where they try to convince you that Dinosaurs and humans lived together; is that right Steve? You are a “hide bound” dogmatist; hog-tied by your Catholic faith. There certainly is not much “wiggle” room there, Steve. You either hide behind your little Jesus, science (on occasion) or possibly anything else available at the time.
      Actually, you are a plain old chauvainist with a major testosterone problem. You are “in the world, but not of it”. You are out of touch. You have missed the boat.

    • invalid-0

      We do not care about these things you seem so fixated on. If a zygote or fetus (not a young child by any definition but YOURS and other mysogonist men like you) was in my body and I didn’t want it there, I would abort. PERIOD. Legal or not, which I remind you that it is legal, and will most likely remain legal. I have successfully used birth control, and that is my right and my business. I give lots of money to Planned Parenthood and pro-choice women’s groups, and will continue to do so.
      Actually, I don’t see a shred of science in ANYTHING that you say, just hidden religious dogma and hate against women. I am not religious. You are wasting your time and ours because you have zero credibility. Your arguments are silly and baseless. Life is from birth to death, that is the majority consensus and good enough for me. I will choose my own death if life on this earth is too painful and the quality of life isn’t there for me. Nothing that you can do about either. (abortion or end of life issues). End of story!

  • invalid-0

    SteveK – Why has modern medicine not evolved a method for removing these live embryos, keeping them viable for implantation in a willing host? For the same reason that all the orphanages are not empty. These may be human lives but, like it or not, these are unwanted and undesirable human lives. That is harsh and difficult to say but it is the TRUTH.

    We need to work together to get the education, information and contraception to the people that most need them. Laws defining an ovum or sperm as a person are futile and a waste of energy. Define life however you want, it will not change the fact that human beings are sexual animals and some of us actually do it for pleasure, not for procreation. You can say it is all about science, but the underlying motivation smacks of personal belief that sex should lead to offspring – every time. And that is religious rather than scientific or empirical thought.

    • invalid-0

      Excellent post, thank you! I agree with everything, especially that sex should definitely be had for fun, but not lead to procreation every time, as this poor planet is way overpopulated enough. You said it all so much better than I did.

  • invalid-0

    This fertilized egg = person hogwash drives me insane. The definition of a person is a whole and separate being that can biologically function on its own and does not need someone else’s body to survive. Until that point its simply an extension of the actual person its attached to. There is no way to extend such special protections to fetuses and eggs without stripping women of their rights to decide if and when they reproduce, or even participate in public life. It could also harm women who want to have a child, by stopping them from doing normal activities that could potentially prevent implantation, like driving, working, bathing or seeking medical help for health problems lest they be accused of murder if a blastocyst fails to implant, or they miscarry. Or the myriad other violations – forcible checks of fertile women for “evidence” of abortion, like what happens in Mexico now, abused and violated women unable to have a say in their own reproduction. The removal of the right to bodily autonomy harms the vulnerable indeed – the vast legions of women and girls who will be silenced and having their personhood stamped on by anti-choice loons who only care about control and power. The last thing women need is government-mandated childbirth.

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

    Ken,

    Why hasn’t modern science developed a car that runs 300 miles to a gallon? Because it’s technically very difficult. Same goes with moving implanted embryos out of a womb. Do you have any IDEA how marvelously the embryo’s placenta integrates himself or herself into the womb? The kind of movement you suggest would require something on the order of brain surgery – it would be enormously difficult.

    People do all kinds of things for all kinds of reasons, but it is silly to ignore the biological reality while you do it. Biologically, sex is designed to produce offspring – that’s Darwinistic evolution, my friend, pure biological science.

    Now, there are people who eat and then regret it and try to get rid of the consequences. We call them “bulemic” or “anorexic.” There are also people who show a prediliction for eating in a non-nutritive way. Medical specialists refer to this condition as “pica.” Pica is a disease.

    And having “wanted” children doesn’t solve the problem. How many women have been strangled and had their wombs cut open because not just they, but someone else, wanted that child? Did you know that a child named after a parent (a “junior”) is MORE likely to be the subject of physical abuse?

    Why do you keep confusing religion with science? I’ve never seen a pro-abort who DIDN’T confuse religion with science, or insist on dragging religion into a discussion of science. It’s spooky how much you people lean on religion like a crutch. How about we just stick with the empirical sciences of embryology and biology, eh?

  • jodi-jacobson

    Embryology and biology and medical textbooks do not address the issue of “when life begins,” in the way you are defining it, and as others here have pointed out, they also do not recognize pregnancy itself til after implantation. Pregnancy after implantation is a definition universally shared by international medical bodies.

    Jodi Jacobson

    • invalid-0

      So human life begins after implantation? Cool, so lets ban abortion after implantation.

      “It is a child not a choice”

    • invalid-0

      So human life begins at impplantation? Cool, so lets ban abortion after implantation!!

      “It is a child not a choice”

  • invalid-0

    Steve–If you haven’t noticed, it wasn’t pro-choicers who brought religion and personhood into this, it was the pro-lifers. They’re the ones trying to get a fertilized egg defined as a ‘person’. And regardless of religious belief (or lack thereof), ‘person’ is a term that everyone understands, even if we have differing notions on whom/what it applies to. It may not be a scientific term, but we’re talking about legal definitions.

    At any rate, your idea of sticking to scientific terms doesn’t change anything but the terminology used, and ultimately I suspect that would only muddy things more, not make them clearer, since everyone has a different level of understanding when it come to science. The pro-life community already uses that to their advantage, by fudging information or just flat out lying. See the infamous ‘pill kills’ argument.

    In the end, I think both science and religion should keep their noses out of this, and stick to the human rights issues here. Because from a legal perspective, that’s what matters most.

  • http://bridegroompress.com invalid-0

    So, when religion opposes abortion, the pro-aborts argue that this should be a discussion based in science.

    When science opposes abortion, the pro-aborts argue that science should not be the basis, rather, law should be the basis. But law held all abortion illegal until just a few decades ago, and it still holds it illegal in many countries around the world. So, you – as a supporter of abortion – would hold that the laws rendering abortion illegal should be kept in place, since this is a legal discussion?

    But then you say it’s a “human rights” issue. But there’s the problem. If it’s a “human rights” issue, we must assume that humans are somehow different than animals. Animals have no particular rights in regard to their lives – we kill and even eat them without compunction. We can do this because we are persons and animals are not persons. If I’m hungry, I can’t kill and eat someone I meet in the parking lot, nor can I buy human meat for consumption – only animal meat.

    So, in order to make this argument about “human rights”, you have to assume that the mother has rights, that is the mother is a “person” while the embryo is not.

    But by making this argument, you bring religion back into it again. Your religion says embryos are not persons. Mine says they are. Either you are using the law to force your religion on me or I am using it to force mine on you, but there’s no way to keep religion out of it if you recognize anyone in the equation as more than an animal.

    Just because people have different understandings of reality doesn’t change the reality. We already know the hormonal contraceptive prevents implantation. The “morning-after” pill is clearly an abortifacient, it’s just a high-dose hormonal contraceptive.

    If the embryo is a person, then “the pill kills” a person. If the embryo is not a person, then the pill doesn’t kill a person. But the facts, the science of what the pill does, that cannot be disputed. The pill makes sure the embryo dies. You can’t find a medical professional who will say otherwise.

    • invalid-0

      The pill doesn’t kill embryos. The pill prevents ovulation, meaning that there is no egg present to be fertilized. Get your facts straight, Steve… or stop your obsession with women’s private parts. :P

  • invalid-0

    The issue, more succinctly, is ‘when does a human being come into existance’ and why one set of human beings enjoy rights while another set does not. This is not an issue for religious debate, as much as those who are pro-choice want to make it one. The issue is a matter of science and civil rights. Science knows clearly and unequivocally when human beings come into existance. And all human beings should be afforded equal protection under the law. That this should even be an issue still amazes me. The only people who would oppose granting civil rights to all human beings are those who have something to gain by seeing one set of human beings destroyed, whether they be in the womb or infirm.

    • clydweb

      Do you not see how ludicrous this is? How do you give freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from search and seizure and the right to bear arms to a collection of cells? Even if those cells contain the DNA to make them human, it does not make them human beings.

       

      http://www.birthingjoy.net/blog

    • invalid-0

      Tell ya what Ken: you can prevent as many abortions as you’d like. Just volunteer YOUR body to receive a transplant of an unwanted fetus. YOU be pregnant, YOU give birth (by C-section, obviously) and YOU put up with the resulting kid for the next 18 to 25 years.

      Yes, it could be done. Read “The Fourth Procedure” by Stanley Pottinger.

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

    Sorry, Princess Rot, but that isn’t the definition of a person. Your definition of a person would mean that a bacteria is a person. So is a virus, a mouse, a flea, etc.

    BTW, no one is arguing that an unfertilized egg or a sperm is a person. That’s a strawman argument.

    Your argument of what the law will become has no basis in fact. The human egg was discovered by Karl von Baer in 1827, at a time when no one would disagree that the world in which the discovery was made was highly Christianized. von Baer knew what he was looking for – the biology of implantation and gestation was pretty well understood from animal models. Artificial interruption of pregnancy via abortion was also pretty well understood. Even though everyone agreed the fertilized egg was the beginning of human life and personhood, none of the laws you say must necessarily follow DID, in fact, follow.

    Since you don’t understand what a person is (as your definition shows), it’s pretty clear that you don’t really understand what necessarily follows once a person is correctly defined.

    In fact, the only place where government-mandated childbirth has ever taken place is under governments which did NOT recognize the personhood of the embryo. Nazi Germany, for instance, both legalized abortion for the first time (it had been forbidden in Germany until 1933), and undertook mandatory abortion on inferior races, while forcing Aryan women to be impregnated by good Aryan men in the Lebensborn program. Communist China forces both abortions and full-term pregnancies. Neither regime was ever remotely Christian, both went (or go) out of their way to crush Christians.

    The fact remains – if we wish to speak of a woman having rights, then we must first admit that she is a person. By insisting that women have rights, you admit religion into the discussion.

    Now, it’s just a question of whose religion will be imposed: will you impose YOUR religion on the rest of us, which holds that women are persons but embryos not, or mine, which holds that both are persons?

  • invalid-0

    Yes, a fertilized egg is by definition a life, but does that make it a “person?” “Person” is not a religious term but a purely practical one. A person by definition is an individual with his or her own body who lives independently of other individuals, i.e., outside of his/her mother’s womb. How could a fetus be considered a person before viability?

  • invalid-0

    I am so sick of hearing the silly, made-up terms like “fertilized egg” and “egg as a person.”

    The Personhood movement has no interest or involvement in advocating rights for eggs. The second an egg is fertilized, it ceases to be an egg. This is 7th grade biology. “Fertilized egg” is an oxymoron.

    By definition, a human egg has 23 chromosomes. After fertilization, this new and unique organism has 46 chromosomes, a complete and unique genetic code.

    This is not not NOT part of the mother’s body. If it were, that would mean that billions of women regularly become hermaphrodites with multiple blood types — an unborn human being is a different gender from the mother 50% of the time, and often is a different blood type. Do you think these women become freakish mutants? Of course not. Because this organism isn’t part of the mother’s body; he or she is its own person, with a distinct living human body that is alive and growing.

    A woman has a right to make medical choices regarding her own body, including killing or cutting off certain parts of her own body.

    A woman does NOT have a right to kill her offspring.

    “Guilty? Yes. No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; But oh, thrice guilty is he who drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime!” — Susan B. Anthony, in her monthly publication “The Revolution”

    Victory Woodhull, the first female candidate for U.S. presidency, wrote:

    “The rights of children as individuals begin while yet they remain the foetus.” — Woodhull’s and Claflin’s Weekly 2(6):4 December 24, 1870

    “Every woman knows that if she were free, she would never bear an unwished-for child, nor think of murdering one before its birth.” — Wheeling, W. Virginia Evening Standard, November 17, 1875

    Feminist Sarah Norton wrote:

    “Child murderers practice their profession without let or hindrance, and open infant butcheries unquestioned…Is there no remedy for all this ante-natal child murder?…Perhaps there will come a time when…an unmarried mother will not be despised because of her motherhood… and when the right of the unborn to be born will not be denied or interfered with.” — Woodhull’s and Claffin’s Weekly, November 19, 1870

    • invalid-0

      Go off into the sunset and make lots of goofy babies together?? In the meantime, take your nonsense with you. Without the choice to end an unwanted pregnancy, women are not free and our lives aren’t worth living. My motto is live free or die. We have freedom and we aren’t going to let morons like you and your kind take them away from us. EVER. So fantacize all that you want, you are just wasting your breath and your time.

  • invalid-0

    When I say it’s a ‘human rights’ matter, I’m not saying that the embryo doesn’t matter. I’m saying that the rights of the mother need to be considered–basically, does she or does she not have bodily autonomy. If someone is trying to use my body for a purpose I don’t approve of, I am allowed to defend myself against it, using lethal force if necessary. Trying to protect the ‘rights’ of the fetus is in essence saying that the rights of the mother don’t matter, something which can have disastrous consequences when made into policy.

    And I didn’t say that the law should be the basis, I said that when talking about legal definitions, it’s not about science OR religion. It’s about people and society.

  • http://KGOV.com invalid-0

    Wendy, Colorado RTL just commented on the RHrc headline above:

    Confusing eggs and organisms in inexcusable. Those who kill unborn children use ignorance and lies. In war terms like japs and gooks dehumanize the enemy; abortionists say egg and tissue to dehumanize their enemy, the tiniest boys and girls.

    I imagine that RHrealitycheck knows the difference between an ovum and an organism. No?

    -Bob Enyart
    KGOV.com

  • http://bridegroompress.com invalid-0

    The argument of the bulimic: “The food that I swallowed – it’s doing things in my body that I don’t like. I have a right to vomit it out. It is an attacker, I am an innocent.”

    I don’t happen to LIKE the fact that eating ice cream causes me to gain weight. It does. My refusal to admit that is just silliness on my part, it is not an attack by the ice cream upon my body. The act of sex is biologically an act of reproduction. It doesn’t matter if you LIKE that fact or not.

    Pro-aborts like to say, “If you don’t like abortion, don’t have an abortion.” They hate it when pro-lifers reply, “If you don’t like the consequences of sex, don’t have sex.” But the sentiment in both cases is identical, with the small difference that even the most legal abortion can still kill you while not having sex won’t.

    But, this “invader” you speak of is your own child. Again, you may not LIKE that fact, but that can’t be helped. Now, sure, if you want to go all Old Testament and insist that parents have a right to kill their own children, then fine, go that way. But that’s a religious decision, not a decision based on science.

    And it should be noted that not even the most orthodox Jew still maintains that parents have the right to kill their own children. It’s really a pre-medieval attitude.

  • http://bridegroompress.com invalid-0

    Jodi,

    Sorry, but I have several embryology textbooks here that disagree:

    “Development of the embryo begins at Stage 1 when a sperm fertilizes an oocyte and together they form a zygote.”
    [England, Marjorie A. Life Before Birth. 2nd ed. England: Mosby-Wolfe, 1996, p.31]

    “Human development begins after the union of male and female gametes or germ cells during a process known as fertilization (conception).
    “Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei (the haploid nuclei of the sperm and ovum) and the mingling of their chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being.”
    [Moore, Keith L. Essentials of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988, p.2]

    “Embryo: the developing organism from the time of fertilization until significant differentiation has occurred, when the organism becomes known as a fetus.”
    [Cloning Human Beings. Report and Recommendations of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. Rockville, MD: GPO, 1997, Appendix-2.]

    “Embryo: An organism in the earliest stage of development; in a man, from the time of conception to the end of the second month in the uterus.”
    [Dox, Ida G. et al. The Harper Collins Illustrated Medical Dictionary. New York: Harper Perennial, 1993, p. 146]

    “Embryo: The early developing fertilized egg that is growing into another individual of the species. In man the term ‘embryo’ is usually restricted to the period of development from fertilization until the end of the eighth week of pregnancy.”
    [Walters, William and Singer, Peter (eds.). Test-Tube Babies. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1982, p. 160]

    “The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.”
    [Langman, Jan. Medical Embryology. 3rd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1975, p. 3]

    “Embryo: The developing individual between the union of the germ cells and the completion of the organs which characterize its body when it becomes a separate organism…. At the moment the sperm cell of the human male meets the ovum of the female and the union results in a fertilized ovum (zygote), a new life has begun…. The term embryo covers the several stages of early development from conception to the ninth or tenth week of life.”
    [Considine, Douglas (ed.). Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia. 5th edition. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1976, p. 943]

    “I would say that among most scientists, the word ‘embryo’ includes the time from after fertilization…”
    [Dr. John Eppig, Senior Staff Scientist, Jackson Laboratory (Bar Harbor, Maine) and Member of the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel -- Panel Transcript, February 2, 1994, p. 31]

    “The development of a human begins with fertilization, a process by which the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.”
    [Sadler, T.W. Langman's Medical Embryology. 7th edition. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins 1995, p. 3]

    “The question came up of what is an embryo, when does an embryo exist, when does it occur. I think, as you know, that in development, life is a continuum…. But I think one of the useful definitions that has come out, especially from Germany, has been the stage at which these two nuclei [from sperm and egg] come together and the membranes between the two break down.”
    [Jonathan Van Blerkom of University of Colorado, expert witness on human embryology before the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel -- Panel Transcript, February 2, 1994, p. 63]

    “Zygote. This cell, formed by the union of an ovum and a sperm (Gr. zyg tos, yoked together), represents the beginning of a human being. The common expression ‘fertilized ovum’ refers to the zygote.”
    [Moore, Keith L. and Persaud, T.V.N. Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects. 4th edition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1993, p. 1]

    “The chromosomes of the oocyte and sperm are…respectively enclosed within female and male pronuclei. These pronuclei fuse with each other to produce the single, diploid, 2N nucleus of the fertilized zygote. This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development.”
    [Larsen, William J. Human Embryology. 2nd edition. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1997, p. 17]

    “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed…. The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. Thus the diploid number is restored and the embryonic genome is formed. The embryo now exists as a genetic unity.”
    [O'Rahilly, Ronan and Müller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996, pp. 8, 29. This textbook lists "pre-embryo" among "discarded and replaced terms" in modern embryology, describing it as "ill-defined and inaccurate" (p. 12}]

    “Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote)… The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual.”
    [Carlson, Bruce M. Patten's Foundations of Embryology. 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996, p. 3]

    “[A]nimal biologists use the term embryo to describe the single cell stage, the two-cell stage, and all subsequent stages up until a time when recognizable humanlike limbs and facial features begin to appear between six to eight weeks after fertilization….
    “[A] number of specialists working in the field of human reproduction have suggested that we stop using the word embryo to describe the developing entity that exists for the first two weeks after fertilization. In its place, they proposed the term pre-embryo….
    “I’ll let you in on a secret. The term pre-embryo has been embraced wholeheartedly by IVF practitioners for reasons that are political, not scientific. The new term is used to provide the illusion that there is something profoundly different between what we nonmedical biologists still call a six-day-old embryo and what we and everyone else call a sixteen-day-old embryo.
    “The term pre-embryo is useful in the political arena — where decisions are made about whether to allow early embryo (now called pre-embryo) experimentation — as well as in the confines of a doctor’s office, where it can be used to allay moral concerns that might be expressed by IVF patients. ‘Don’t worry,’ a doctor might say, ‘it’s only pre-embryos that we’re manipulating or freezing. They won’t turn into real human embryos until after we’ve put them back into your body.’”
    [Silver, Lee M. Remaking Eden: Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World. New York: Avon Books, 1997, p. 39]

  • http://bridegroompress.com invalid-0

    I’m sorry, but you really should look up the history of the word “person.” It originally refers to the mask a Greek or Roman actor wore on stage. It was a stagecraft term.

    It only gained the modern meaning of the word through the use by the Christian theologian Tertullian in the 2nd century as he was groping for words to explain how God exists in Himself. He took the stagecraft term, redefined it and used it to describe the three Persons of the one God. The definition was slightly refined and nuanced over the intervening millennium, but it was quite settled theology by as early as the third century.

    The Christian foundational meaning is uncontested by anyone familiar with the history. Indeed, on at least one occasion, the USSR refused to sign a treaty with the word “person” in it, as they contended that this was a religious term that had no place in a legal document (Stalin was trained in a Russian orthodox seminary).

    Your definition, “an individual with his or her own body who lives independently of other individuals” is also no good. I don’t live independently of other individuals. Were it not for supermarkets, I would starve. I can’t think of anyone who lives independently of other individuals actually. Can you?

    • invalid-0

      Steve, if the connotation of the word “person” changed in the 2nd century, it can certainly change in the 21st century.

  • invalid-0

    Nice try, RealistMom, but again, ask an EMBRYOLOGIST. READ an embryology textbook. According to the science of embryology, human life begins at fertilization, NOT at implantation. The politically correct people who have reasons to want to experiment on or kill very young human lives have been trying to redefine life to begin at implantation for twenty years now. The people who actually STUDY embryos all think this attempt is pure, naked politics.

    If this is such an acccepted notion within embryology I’m sure you’ll have no problem finding a quote from one of those many textbooks and embryologists that you speak of to support your claims. In the textbooks I have read, no mention of when “life begins” has ever been made, nor have I expected to find one. Life is continuous, and does not just suddenly appear out of nowhere at the moment of fertilization. You seem to be confusing life with pregnancy in your posts, especially in your response to RealistMom, who was talking about the medical definition of when pregnancy, not life, starts.

    If you wish to discuss “personhood” – and remember, YOU brought it up – then we will necessarily have to discuss religion. “Person” is a religious term. It was invented by Christians to describe how God is three “Persons” yet one in divine nature. Science cannot define personhood because science has no say in how religious terms get defined.

    The origins of the word person may have been Christian, but this does not dictate how the word is used today, and personhood certainly isn’t an exclusively religious term! There are legal definitions of persons and personhood, as well as philosophical and religious ones. Science may not be able to provide us with a clear-cut definition of personhood, but that does not mean we have to rely on religion for this.

    With regards to your claim that the birth control pill is virtually an abortifacient, I’m sure you can back this up too? Bearing in mind that the medical definition of a pregnancy is from the moment of implantation.

    Your definition, “an individual with his or her own body who lives independently of other individuals” is also no good. I don’t live independently of other individuals. Were it not for supermarkets, I would starve. I can’t think of anyone who lives independently of other individuals actually. Can you?

    I think the argument made refers to biological independence rather than social independence. You have previously stated that you place high value on science, so I’m sure you can concede there is a big and vital difference between the two?

  • jodi-jacobson

    I never contested that human development *biologically begins* with fertilization. 

    That is a vastly different issue than:

    • the beginning of pregnancy, which is at implantation.
    • when "life begins" as a person, which most credible scientific and medical texts do not even begin to address as this is a term and a concept that various from and within religious and spiritual traditions and among those who follow no such traditions but decide for or only guide themselves.

     

    These laws in question seek to govern when "personhood" is conferred and when life begins as a person with legal rights.  These texts do not answer that question.

     

    As I said earlier, we do not speak the same language, read the same meanings into these issues nor do we agree on the limits that "egg-as-person" movements seek to put on living, breathing women.

    I can respect your right to live your life according to your religious or personal beliefs and interpretations of these concepts; I can not respect your or others insistence on imposing these on me or others.

     

    Jodi

  • invalid-0

    If you wish to discuss “personhood” – and remember, YOU brought it up – then we will necessarily have to discuss religion. “Person” is a religious term. It was invented by Christians to describe how God is three “Persons” yet one in divine nature. Science cannot define personhood because science has no say in how religious terms get defined.

    Please provide a citation for this. Thank you in advance.

  • invalid-0

    Pro-aborts like to say, “If you don’t like abortion, don’t have an abortion.” They hate it when pro-lifers reply, “If you don’t like the consequences of sex, don’t have sex.”

    Why do you think sex should have consequences?? Why do you think babies are a “consequence”? I’ve never had any consequences from sex, and I’m happy that my parents don’t think of me as punishment for their fucking.

    But the sentiment in both cases is identical, with the small difference that even the most legal abortion can still kill you while not having sex won’t.

    Wait, I thought we said if you don’t like abortion DON’T HAVE ONE, we don’t believe in forcing you to do anything you don’t like, including have an abortion! (I’d also mention that the risks of pregnancy far outweigh the risk of abortion.) You want to force me to live how you want, I want you to be able to live your life how you want. See the difference? Again, your side wants to force us – to not have sex, to have babies, etc, we want you to be able to CHOOSE how you live your life, whether to have sex, how many children you want, who is allowed in your body. I would never advocate forcing anyone to have an abortion, or to have sex. You want to force me to give birth or to not have sex! fuck you. mind your own business.

    But, this “invader” you speak of is your own child. Again, you may not LIKE that fact, but that can’t be helped.

    I don’t care who the hell it is! No one should have the right to take over someone’s body against their will.

  • invalid-0

    “Person” is a religious term. It was invented by Christians to describe how God is three “Persons” yet one in divine nature.

    WTF?? Cite? This is ridiculous.

  • invalid-0

    I amazed to see Lee Silver quoted here in this context. I recall the quote itself about pre-embryo/embryo definitions, but its an odd reply to what Jodi actually said. I’ve read his works (Challenging Nature as well) and also don’t see how these books support the pro-life agenda.

  • invalid-0

    What about sperm? Sperm + Egg = LIFE, duh. I mean, by this ridiculous argument, sperm should be endowed with full personhood rights, thus making jacking off completely and totally unokay. Shouldn’t make any difference whatsoever if the sperm and the egg haven’t joined yet–by denying that union, you are denying life, you pro-bortion crazy person.

    Standards, people. It’s basically a baby. Nothing really all that important happens during nine months’ gestation anyway. Sperm=zygote=embryo=fetus=baby.

  • invalid-0

    So what is your plan, Ken? Please explain how you would go about extending equal protection under the law to blastocysts without simultaneously stripping women of those same protections. Inquiring minds want to know.

  • crowepps

    "Neither regime was ever remotely Christian, both went (or go) out of their way to crush Christians."

     

    While you are correct that China, traditionally NOT a Christian country, went out of its way to crush Christians, the Nazi regime claimed to be Christian and declared in its 25 point Programme:

    "We demand liberty for all religious denominations in the State, so far as they are not a danger to it and do not militate against the morality and moral sense of the German race. The Party, as such, stands for positive Christianity, but does not bind itself in the matter of creed to any particular confession."

    And Hitler often made reference in his speeches to being a Christian:

    "We are a people of different faiths, but we are one. Which faith conquers the other is not the question; rather, the question is whether Christianity stands or falls…. We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity… in fact our movement is Christian. We are filled with a desire for Catholics and Protestants to discover one another in the deep distress of our own people.

    -Adolf Hitler, in a speech in Passau, 27 October 1928, Bundesarchiv Berlin-Zehlendorf"

    There are a lot more quotes here:

    http://www.nobeliefs.com/speeches.htm

     

  • invalid-0

    I don’t care who the hell it is! No one should have the right to take over someone’s body against their will.

    I agree! Besides, there aren’t laws to force people to donate organs or even blood to born people. For people who believe things “happen for a reason”, then being born female and fertile means that’s a large sign of what God means for you. With this kind of PoV it’s easy to expect that, of course, a sane woman will welcome every pregnancy — and people can’t see why that’s saying women are community property …

  • invalid-0

    That’s the Monty Python song’s argument. If egg=fetus=baby, then why isn’t anyone defending the poor, poor unloved sperm? Most men and boys carelessly throw away millions every day! Why do they feel no guilt when they flush the teeming millions of future offspring down the toilet? Oh, no, it’s only the eggs we focus on. Are they fertilized? Has implantation taken place? Was fertilization or implantation cruelly blocked by an IUD? Pro-Lifers seem inordinately interested in what’s happening with women’s eggs–maybe it’s time for a little parity. I think they should begin focusing on the genocide of sperm that takes place everyday in this country–perhaps in your very own son’s room. Check those tissues in the trash can! That could be evidence of the slaughter of innocents! We must put a stop to the murderous destruction of sperm in this country!

  • invalid-0

    Freedom of Choice: It’s the American Way!

  • invalid-0

    “But, this “invader” you speak of is your own child. Again, you may not LIKE that fact, but that can’t be helped.”

    What’s your point? If I don’t want it there, I’m going to remove it whatever way possible. By design, the life of the embryo will be lost in the process, that simply can’t be avoided. My womb is just that, MINE, and I get to do with it what I want, which may or may not involve having a child.

  • crowepps

    "Biologically, sex is designed to produce offspring – that’s Darwinistic evolution, my friend, pure biological science."

     

    Actually the Darwinistic key to sex is that it is designed to give PLEASURE, thereby encouraging people to have it, which THEN produces offspring, if all the varying steps in the reproductive process work correctly, which they don’t about half the time.

     

    Religion keeps getting dragged into the discussion because most people can’t clearly articulate why these issues are so important to them, perhaps don’t even know themselves what their motivation is, and the good old ‘appeal to authority’ allows them to point outside themselves at the Great Truth that will force everyone else to act in ways that allow them to be psychologically comfortable.

  • invalid-0

    I scanned your post and when I saw the addition of “Hussein”, then I knew the vitriol abounded! Sigh, so sad…and yes, you are obviously a man. You can never ever know what it is like to have your reproductive system legislated, to be made a criminal. I suggest you read “The Means of Reproduction” by Michelle Goldberg.
    So let’s say your wife is pregnant with the third or fourth child. It is an ectopic pregnancy, but thanks to your kind, the laws are so restrictive, police are stationed at hospitals and doctors are not allowed to remove the ectopic pregancy while the “fetus” is still alive and must wait for it to burst, thus causing hemorrhaging and death. Boom! now you are a single parent of 3 kids and you lost your wife and your “human life”. Think that doesn’t happen? Think again…happens in Latin America. What about your 9 yr old daughter being raped? Oh right…she has to carry your grandchild to term. Oh my! What if she is raped by a black man! You are now the proud grandaddy of a mixed race child…hope you name him Hussein.

  • crowepps

    "This is not not NOT part of the mother’s body"

     

    Fine, it’s not.  There shouldn’t be any problem with the removal of this unwelcome trespasser, then, just as we are all free to order other intruders to leave our premises.

     

    Your quotes are nice, but you seem to have missed the first part of Wheeling’s statement:

    "Every woman knows that if she were free, she would never bear an unwished-for child".

     

    Based on that part of the quote, what you propose is to take away women’s freedom.

  • crowepps

    "We already know the hormonal contraceptive prevents implantation."

    No, WE don’t.  This is a myth.

    <blockquote>The proponents of the “hostile endometrium theory” argue that OCs are abortifacient based upon the third mechanism of action.  The medical literature clearly supports the claim that the uterus becomes thinner and less glandular as a result of the OCs, however, the medical literature comes to this conclusion from non-ovulatory pill cycles.  It is assumed that this finding in non-ovulatory pill cycles would prevent implantation of the embryo conceived in an ovulatory pill cycle, but this presumption is false.  If a woman on OCs ovulates and conceives, everything changes: through the HCG’s affect on the corpus luteum, and the corpus luteum’s release of high levels of estrogen and progesterone, the uterus is able to nourish its new guest very well.<p>

    It is noteworthy that in a normal menstrual cycle, on the day of ovulation, the endometrium is not receptive to implantation.  If the embryo were to drop down through the fallopian tubes into the uterus on that day, it could rightly be called a “hostile endometrium”.  But following ovulation, the corpus luteum transforms this hostile endometrium into a receptive, nourishing bed, where the embryo will attach about one week later after its trip through the fallopian tube, and where the baby will continue to develop until birth.</blockquote>

    Association of ProLife Physicians

    http://www.prolifephysicians.org/abortifacient.htm

  • invalid-0

    I have a scenario for you, Steve.

    Say you are in a small fender bender. You happen to rear end a female driver who is 6 weeks pregnant, and due to the trauma, she miscarries.

    You would have no problem being prosecuted for manslaughter? What if she were 5 weeks? 4 weeks? 3 weeks? 1 day pregnant (if we could detect a pregnancy that early)?

  • invalid-0

    Does this mean if I have sex with someone 6 months short of their legal age, it is not actually rape because they are 9 months older than their birth certificate says?

    Same with legal drinking age, legal signatures, movie admission, on and on.

    what a mess this would make!

  • invalid-0

    If they are going to worship the egg, then why not the penis or the vagina? Where does this stupid thought end? What sort of cult do these folks belong?

  • invalid-0

    SteveK=troll

    He will inflate, twist, use every so-called pro-life buzzword, cliche, and mischaracterization he can to push buttons. Not worth engaging, as he has formed his opinions is unwilling to enter into discussion with the intent to learn. He is only interested in his opinions and informing all that he is right, you are wrong. Attempting to interact with him meaningfully is a waste of bandwidth.

    Do not feed the troll.

    • invalid-0

      Please do not feed the trolls, and maybe they will go to anti-choice boards where they belong!

  • invalid-0

    I can see by the site your name links to that you’re one of the scaries. And you even user a referral in the link to get you more traffic credit.

  • invalid-0

    Sir:

    You–are a “fruit cake”; a real live mental malformation.
    You could, effectively,be a stalker, or a peeping Tom, or perhaps a reclusive who mails time bombs to sinners. Who knows? Or perhaps you just have too much time on your hands! But mainly, sir–you are frightening, like the rest of your ilk.

    I do not want any of your “help”!! I have a Living Will, and will die as I please. Just when I think that I’ve “seen it all”–!! Get a life, perhaps a job and let the rest of us alone!!

  • invalid-0

    So basically ‘pro-lifers’ don’t want anyone to have sex unless they are making a baby. If this is the rule ‘pro-lifers’ live by…they are clearly frustrated as evidenced by their angry responses.

    BTW, they are not pro-life but pro-birth…since we know they don’t give a shit what happens to a baby once it is born.

    I guess next they will come up with legislation that outlaws having sex unless it is to have a baby. Good luck with that. How sad for you.

  • invalid-0

    An embryology textbook says that life (human or other-wise) begins “with” conception not “at” conception. There is a big difference.

    Textbooks usually stick to scientific facts, not with unprovable conjecture.

    Can you have life (human or otherwise) without a brain stem? An embryo doesn’t have one. Nor does it have brain waves, a heart, or even a rudimentary nervous system.

    You are entitled to believe any dogma you chose, but don’t insult our intelligence by misquoting a text book.

  • invalid-0

    In fact biologists understand in great detail how each stage in the development of a human being proceeds continuously from an earlier stage. And so they they know that life never actually “begins.” The definition of the beginning of life is a purely arbitrary decision to be made by legislatures and lawyers. It is very likely that no reputable embryology text makes the naive mistake of defining “the beginning of life.”

  • crowepps
    person c.1225, from O.Fr. persone "human being" (12c., Fr. personne), from L. persona "human being," originally "character in a drama, mask," possibly borrowed from Etruscan phersu "mask." This may be related to Gk. Persephone.

     http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=p&p=12

    Note that the word "person" MAY have roots in Etruscan (not Greek), and that the first known use of it was in 1225.  The Christian theologian Tertullian, all of whose surviving works are in Latin, might have used the word "alio" (the root of alien) or ‘homo’ (man).

    Every language that has been discovered has a term for ‘person’ that has remarkably similar meanings.  Christianity didn’t invent the concept.

  • invalid-0

    OMG—–more religious nuts!!!! It is simply impossible to reason with a religious nut!! Many have tried here, but give-it-up!! Just allow this bunch to “go a’glimmering into the things that were.”

  • invalid-0

    Using religion to control women, what a novel idea. A bunch of spineless men with nothing to do enforcing their will on others through violence and death in the name of a “magic” invisable vengeful God.
    Religion by it’s very nature is intolerant and exclusive. Imagine that?
    Religion is the most dangerous Human created designed concept known to the entire Planet!

  • invalid-0

    So, Stevek,
    Are you proposing government enforced pregnancies? Are you going to put a bureaucrat in every bedroom to ensure that sex only happens if procreation is the final objective?

    No chance to decide the size of your family – or even if to have a family?
    And if I’m lying on my waste and decide to check out I have to go thru red tape and have a bureaucrat make the decision for me?
    Dream on, boy. Dream on.

  • invalid-0

    As Monty Python said: “Every sperm is sacred, every sperm is great. If a sperm gets wasted, God gets quite irate”.

    If an egg is going to be defined as a person, then why not sperm too? If you fall for this “egg as person” routine, then it should also be against the law for a man to masturbate, or even have a wet dream. Maybe we should outlaw vasectomies too.

    I am so sick of this “love the fetus, hate the child” hypocrisy. If you love babies so much, then why aren’t you people leaning on Congress to fund Headstart? Decent affordable day care for all parents without regard to a parent’s ability to pay? Health care services for all children? Twenty percent of children in the US grow up in poverty–what is your plan to take care of the children who are already here?

    Abortion is an emotional wedge issue which big business uses to stoke people to vote against their own best interests. Stop falling for it, people!

  • http://bridegroompress.com invalid-0

    Jodi,

    The point is, NO ONE ever said pregnancy began at implantation prior to about 1980. No one.

    The idea that the start of pregnancy changes simply because we would have it so is absurd. People have been attempting to change the definition of pregnancy so we could experiment on living human embryos and do IVF. But that ignores the reality.

    As I’ve pointed out ad nauseum here, scientific and medical texts do not address when personhood begins because the idea of “persons” and “rights” are religious concepts.

    The idea of “rights” is peculiar to Judeo-Christian understanding. None of the ancients held it, quite a lot of the East still doesn’t. Hinduism doesn’t believe in it, neither does Buddhism, the idea that someone has rights simply because s/he exist is unknown among Islam.

    So, here’s the irony. The moment you invoke the woman’s “rights”, you invoke a Judeo-Christian tradition of personhood (image and likeness of God), divine rights, inalienable rights, but at that same moment, you arrogate to yourself the “right” to decide who is a human person and who is not.

    When anyone complains, you yell about how they are bringing religion into the discussion, even though you started it by invoking rights and arbitrarily deciding personhood.

    Then you switch to a “legal” definition, ignoring that the entire Western tradition of legality comes out of the Catholic Church, which codified the old pagan Roman laws by rectifying them into a “rights-based” structure built around Catholic theology and philosophy. The earliest universities in Western Europe were created by the Catholic Church precisely to advance the study of law, philosophy and theology according to the Christian tradition.

    But you ignore all that because it doesn’t suit you.

    The pro-abortion position is incoherent nonsense, whether we are discussing the religious, the scientific, or the legal aspects.

    • invalid-0

      I suggest that you live your life according to your beliefs and that you refrain from continually attempting to inflict your beliefs on those of us who don’t share them.

  • invalid-0

    But how would one convey rights to a being that’s inside another person? And would the rights of the developing embryo trumps that of the full grown adult carrying it?

    • invalid-0

      Bingo! Let’s worry about the people we already have here, before we have to start worrying about potential members of our species. I for one believe that you aren’t a human until you laugh.

      • invalid-0

        “…you aren’t a human until you laugh.”

        I truly, truly hope you are being sarcastic. If not, this is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever read. I’ve always been pro-choice until recently, converted by science, common sense. I’m an atheist, by the way, but truly can’t believe there are those of you out there that don’t believe something with a beating heart can’t be conveyed human status. Disgusting.

        • invalid-0

          There is a historic basis for this claim- although it was not that that was when one is human, it was when one has a soul. Also, the idea goes back to the same time period when scientists though that the basic elements were earth, fire, water and air. If you’ve become an atheist pro-lifer, there are others. If you want, you can send an email to me at MessagesForLarry (at) gmail (dot) com, and I can tell you about a group which is organizing for just such people- or you can look for Society of Pro Life Agnostics and Secular Humaists on facebook.

  • invalid-0

    So they are trying to outlaw comdoms? Birth Control Pills? So tell me this, when are they going to outlaw sex? Demand that women wear burkas? Men going to quit mastubating too? No more thongs, no more 2 piece bathing suits? Gee wiz the right wing retards are always talking about individual freedoms except when they want to put thier noses in your business…..go get a vactomemy

  • invalid-0

    “By insisting that women have rights, you admit religion into the discussion.”

    How?

  • invalid-0

    This is pure religious positioning. Of course human cells that are fertilized are still human cells. They are a new recombination mixture from both of their parents. This is a recombined set of cells. Calling those human cells a person is a jumb from reality across thousands of years of human history and speaks against political rights and ethical rights. Neither blastocyte cells nor an embryo nor an early trimester human fetus show self-awareness. A dog or cow is more self-aware than any of these human cells, yet all of you take part in the horrific death of these self-aware creatures that you consume. This is an ethical disconnect. It is only particular forms of religion that is outrageously human-centric regarding personhood of cells that are the equivalent of petri dish soup. My religion has no such rules such as these. My religous and ethical view is to provide charity to all self aware creatures that exist and are independent and especially those human beings that are in terrible poverty and illness and violence in this country and overseas. This is the teachings of Jesus. You may try to reframe the question and appeal to emotionalism, but it won’t go anywhere with thinking people and those who respect the fruits of The Enlightenment.

  • invalid-0

    I have been reading all your comments. Here is my take.
    I am pro-life; but I believe in abortion for certain reasons. I am also PRO CHOICE! How can I be both? Because, I do not believe I have the RIGHT to impose my views on other people!!!! Why is that most of the Hard Pro Lifers are the same ones that yell about Government being to big? They are worried about government intruding into their lives but have no Qualm about having government intrude into their lives when it comes to Women’s rights to control their own body. Here is my definition of a person. If, when it is outside the mother’s body and can either breath on it’s own or doctor’s have a good chance of saving it’s life it is a “Person”. If, out side the womb it has absolutely no chance of servival; it is not a “Person”. And, last. why are these prolife people so interested in saving a few cells when they are more than happy to send our young men and women to die for sensless causes.

    • crowepps

      "They are worried about government intruding into their lives but have no Qualm about having government intrude into their lives when it comes to Women’s rights to control their own body."

      This might be more correctly stated as "have no Qualm about having government intrude into OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES".  They, of course, have an absolute right to practice their religion openly, no matter how offensive or uncivil that leads them to be, but OTHER people need to be shown the "right way to live", theirs.

       

      "Forgive him, for he believes the customs of his tribe are the laws of nature."  George Bernard Shaw

  • invalid-0

    “If you wish to discuss “personhood” – and remember, YOU brought it up – then we will necessarily have to discuss religion. “Person” is a religious term. It was invented by Christians to describe how God is three “Persons” yet one in divine nature. Science cannot define personhood because science has no say in how religious terms get defined.”

    I’m going to refrain from telling you what I think of someone who would make such a comment in this context. If it’s religious, it has no place being written into secular law. Do you people not understand the establishment clause?

  • invalid-0

    “We’ll leave it to the courts to interpret the language of the proposed amendment …”

    They are going to get their precious little law thrown out right there. You do not purposely write laws that are so vague they have to be litigated to find the true interpretation, it is unconstitutional. Gods deliver us from these ignorami and their hubristic blatherings.

  • http://bridegroompress.com invalid-0

    Spare me the victimhood speech, honey.

    If you’re going to invoke law, then you have to remember that law is not made by paying attention to how your gonads are or are not hung, nor is it about the color of your skin.

    If you knew anything about theology, you would know how the problem of ectopic pregnancy is addressed through the principle of double effect. Since you don’t, I won’t bother. In case you are wondering, it’s scientifically impossible to conceive a mixed race child as there is only one race – human.

    The problem is, most of the pro-aborts here are talking through their hats. None of you have ever really thought through your positions. You don’t know where any of your “ideas” come from – you just jabber away about them as if they made sense.

    • ladyjbell

      Listen, Steve, "Honey"–As females, we have ALWAYS been victims of our sexuality, and have needed to be kept in place, least we "tempt" again!! The Catholic church has taken that little matter into their hands since its inception.  A witch burning on occasion (usually an older woman) just to teach us a "lesson" or two.    Thus "sprung" up the male dominated society.  I shall not attempt to elaborate upon the whole, nasty thing; since, one day, women began to decide to end this misery by obtaining the right to vote.  Finally, feminism came to pass, along with the "pill" (Ah gawd!!); the first step toward reproductive freedom, and then Roe vs Wade–no more back alley butchers! But-hey-I digress. If I had one wish, just one, I’d ask the "genie" to inflict upon you a dose of the "victimhood" that you never dreamed existed. 

  • invalid-0

    Eggs for brains.

  • invalid-0

    My, you’re so right. No jacking off for the boys, no fun at all. We have to save all those persons from genocide.

    This is so good….

  • invalid-0

    Thanks Steve K for pulling so many books down off your shelf. You’re obviously a talented debater. I’ll bet your high school was proud of you!! As someone else noted, you are only interested in your opinion and, in my opinion, are a boor.

    Nevertheless, I do think your reliance on Christian theology to define personhood is an interesting approach, but you seem to be working under the mistaken assumption that only your carefully selected and memorized facts are acceptable. I say memorized because the substance of your arguments seems to be pulled directly from standard antiabortion/pronatalist literature. Perhaps I am mistaken. Are any of these your ideas? Have you honestly tried to formulate your own understanding of personhood, even if you can’t find big words to do so?

    You also assume that the subject of personhood was closed for debate once Tertullian was satisfied with his formulation of the trinity. Wow, that leads me to believe that you think only Christian history, Christian philosophy, Christian anything is acceptable and true. That couldn’t be true, now could it?

    Just because you are comfortable with your impressive knowledge — again, gleaned from what appears to be standard pronatalist propaganda — and not academic endeavors in the fields of theology or biology, does not mean you are right. Based on your impressive rhetorical skills, however, I’d have to say that your’s is nothing more than tautological reasoning. You use lots of different words to say the same thing and then purport to prove your point by referring back to earlier arguments or perhaps even new arguments that reiterate the point that you’ve already accepted as fact.

    My point? You, sir, are a jackass. I pity your family and friends.

    • invalid-0

      That was so true and so awesome the way that you said it!

  • invalid-0

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. If an egg is a person then so is a sperm. This means that men who masturbate are “baby killers”. We should jail them all even if that means there are no men left on the streets.

    • invalid-0

      Ding ding ding! We have a winner!!

  • invalid-0

    How women dare to have ectopic pregnancies? They also should be prosecuted for criminal intent.
    They know this will destroy the embryo and its personhood.

  • http://bridegroompress.com invalid-0

    BRT, if it ain’t alive, then it can’t very well grow, can it?

    Apart from a marshmallow in a microwave, I’ve never seen a dead thing grow.

    Have you?

    Of course the embryo is alive. It is absurd to hold otherwise, and any biologist would tell you so. The question is not whether it is alive, but whether it is a person.

    That question cannot be settled by science because science doesn’t address questions of religion.

    It can’t be answered by the law because the law doesn’t address those questions either.

    It can’t be answered by an appeal to a woman’s “rights” because only persons have rights, and if we aren’t sure that an embryo is a person, there is no particular reason to think any particular woman or man is a person either. Indeed, for most of human history, most human beings held that anyone outside of their own tribe was not fully human, and thus had no rights the tribe was bound to respecct.

    The only place to go to really adjudicate rights and personhood is the Catholic Church, who defined all these things, and of course you don’t want to go there because you know what she’ll say.

    • invalid-0

      Really, you’ve “never seen a dead thing grow”? Have you never heard of viruses?

      http://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife/yellowstone/viruslive.html

      And yeah, before you mention it, I’m aware that viruses and eukayotic cells are different- however-

      There is no precise definition of what separates the living from the non-living. One definition might be the point at which an entity becomes self-aware. In this sense, someone who has had severe head trauma may be classified as brain dead. In this case, the body and brain are still functioning on a base level and there is definitely metabolic activity in all of the cells that make up the larger organism, but it is presumed that there is no self-awareness so the person is classified as brain dead. On the other end of the spectrum, a different criterion for defining life would be the ability to move a genetic blueprint into future generations, thereby regenerating your likeness. In the second, more simplistic definition, viruses are definitely alive. They are undeniably the most efficient entities on this planet at propagating their genetic information.”

      Don’t you go wading into the deep waters of biology snookums,unless you’re prepared to swim without your floaty fish hat and holy water wings on. Don’t assume that “any biologist” will give you the definition of “alive” that you’re trying to make dance on the head of a pin.

  • invalid-0

    But oh, thrice guilty is he who drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime!

    Perhaps there will come a time when…an unmarried mother will not be despised because of her motherhood…

    1. It is significant that you chose quotes from the mid-1800′s, which is when abortion began to be looked down upon. The Catholic Church, for over a millenia the arbiter of things religious for most of the western world, did not define “life” as beginning at conception until about a century or two before that. Prior to that time, “life” was considered as beginning at what we would call viability, or “quickening”. Abortion was an accepted practice until viability, up until the confluence of Catholic teachings and victorian social norms made abortion something that was not by women who were not chaste, rather than something that a mother chose when she found herself without the resources to care for a child.

    2. Perhaps if there were better social norms regarding the provision of resources for mothers and children, there would be fewer pregnancies where the mother found herself unable to cope. Why don’t you people put your energies to something constructive, instead of trying to re-write history and intrude your ugly noses into other people’s lives.

  • http://bridegroompress.com invalid-0

    I love the strawmen that are always brought forward when the facts fail you.

    No, I’m not proposing government enforced pregnancy. I’m proposing that men and women act responsibly. Perhaps if you read through Humanae Vitae, or the Gospel of Life or any of numerous other works by Catholics on the subject of human life and how to live it, you would have a better idea of how it works.

    Whatever happened to researching the opposition?

    But I agree, it’s a dangerous thing to do. I was foolish enough to actually research the opposition once… Once…

    The logic and history brought forward forced me to switch from being atheist to being Catholic. The great pity was, I had a graduate degree in history and an undergraduate degree in medical technology so I knew the history and the biology that was laid out was correct. I had just never seen any of it from the Catholic angle before.

    All the silly questions I used to have, many of them similar to yours, were wiped away and answered with perfect beauty.

    No, I guess I don’t recommend that you do any opposition research. Very dangerous stuff, that.

  • http://bridegroompress.com invalid-0

    Yeah, nice try, crowepps, but as you know “Positive Christianity” was neither positive nor Christian. It was more like the socialist version of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. It denied the divinity of Jesus, arguing that he was an Aryan struggling against Jewish oppression.

    The definition of “Christian” is one who believes Jesus is God. Positive Christianity didn’t, so it ain’t.

    And, just as an example, Auschwitz killed Catholics exclusively for the first 26 months of operation. Hitler specifically targeted priests, and insisted that after the Jews were finished off, the Catholics had to be eliminated as well.

    • crowepps

      The definition of "Christian" is one who states he/she is a Christian.  The fact that you disagree about their theology doesn’t change that.  I have serious problems with the heretical notions of the Southern Baptists and their introduction into theology of the unBiblical notion of Rapture but that doesn’t mean I get to declare them all unChristian.

       

      The reason that only Catholics died in Auschwitz during the first 26 months was that the Jews weren’t THERE yet.  The preexisting Auschwitz was converted to a "concentration camp for Polish political prisoners…on April 27, 1940. The first prisoners, a group of 728 Poles, arrived at the Auschwitz I camp on June 14, 1940. They were political prisoners from the Gestapo prison at Tarnow".  Most Poles are Catholic.  "Initially a labor camp for Polish political prisoners and German criminals who assisted the Germans in supervising the prisoners, Auschwitz I did not become a camp for the systematic extermination of the Jews until after the Wannsee conference, on January 20, 1942."

       http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/Tour/Auschwitz1/Auschwitz02.html

       Information about the Nazi regime, its cooption of Christianity, the concentration camps and the Holocaust is easily available through the net, but your accuracy would improve if you looked at neutral sources.  Here, for instance, there are primary sources available about just who did die at Auschwitz:

      http://www.heretical.com/miscella/rudolf.html

       

  • invalid-0

    Operation Rescue gets a lot of its funding from Jeff White, the guy who used to be Troy’s boss. He has to keep his funds private so he doesn’t get anything taken away in lawsuits. But the guy has millions in real estate, his daughter is the one who bought the former abortion clinic Troy’s business currently resides in.

    • wendy-norris

      I’ll check it out.

       

      Anybody else have "money trail" leads?

  • invalid-0

    Ask any biologist, finger nails begin with the cells that form finger nails, but you still can’t scratch an itch with it. A fertilized egg contains the potential for a human being but it is not a human being. Do you feel as strongly about the male portion of the deal? I think it’s just homocide the way evangelical men flush those little guys when they’re hiding out in the loo!

  • invalid-0

    I know this really is a bit off topic, but what the hell… I’ve always wanted to share this thought…

    You know how some people claim that they can’t wear a watch because their “energy” messes with the watches proper function?

    What if a person was born with a strange “energy” and this strange energy caused abortions any time they came too close to a pregnant woman? Would this be the will of God?

    ok, new question…. if a woman has a miscarriage… is this God’s way of forcing an abortion? Does this make God a baby-killer?

  • invalid-0

    The Catholic church changed “her” mind a couple of centuries ago, to define life as beginning at conception. Prior to that, abortion was accepted up to the point of viability, just as it is now. However, the church then decided that life begins at conception, which combined with victorian social norms to make abortion a thing that only “bad” women do. Evidence from all different levels of social sophistication indicate that abortion and even infanticide have been practiced as long as there have been human beings, when a mother finds herself without the resources to provide for a child. It is a fact of life. Get over it. Find something productive to do with your time and energy, like work to make economic and social conditions such that no mother ever has to make that difficult choice, i.e., emotional and material resources are available for ALL mothers and children. Until then, you are nothing but an obnoxious busybody and spewer of peurile “reasoning.”

  • invalid-0

    “troll alert
    SteveK=troll He will inflate, twist, use every so-called pro-life buzzword, cliche, and mischaracterization he can to push buttons. Not worth engaging, as he has formed his opinions is unwilling to enter into discussion with the intent to learn. He is only interested in his opinions and informing all that he is right, you are wrong. Attempting to interact with him meaningfully is a waste of bandwidth. Do not feed the troll. ”

    The problem with ignoring ignorant cretins like SteveK is that they will not be going away. You might clean up this particular forum momentarily but that doesn’t stop the message. These pro-life clowns use comment sections like this to farm opposing arguments and practice rebuttals.

    The reason pro-life groups target CO is that you can have a global effect on the state with a simple sounding ballot question. As the Gualberto Garcia Jones states; “let the courts decide”. Well folks that’s because they know full well that they’re trying to write the question in such a way that it confuses the voters and sounds reasonable to someone reading it in the voting place. It can be very hard to communicate the actual result of passing a simply worded question to the general public. Look to the last election and Kristi Burton. We defeated her clearly insane ballot question 3:1 but it was ONLY 3:1 despite the blatant religious nature of her attack. Her question could sound reasonable to someone who did no research and didn’t follow politics astutely. Their mission is to act ignorant and push the seemingly reasonable words in the question and then full court press in the courts for life at conception.

    Now read SteveK’s simplistic, semantic arguments and realize that we have to create an equally simplistic set of soundbites to oppose him. Then realize that we don’t get to make those arguments in the polling place. We have to find the voters that he and his ilk are trying to lie to and confuse, and communicate the truth to them beforehand. This disingenuous group gets to place their shallow, carfully crafted verbiage on the ballot itself and that’s a big advantage. If we could have communicated our perfectly rational opposition to Kristi Burton’s question last year to all voters, that question would have failed 100:1. It didn’t. 3:1 is a near thing.

    So don’t treat SteveK like a troll and ignore him – LISTEN TO HIM, learn his “buzzwords, cliches, and mischaracterizations” and develop the opposing arguments now before the national money starts flowing in.

    SteveK; you are walking filth but thanks for the heads up for how you and your disgusting compatriots will fight this fight. “select all”, “save as”.

    • crowepps

      Print up some bumper stickers that say "Fertilized Eggs Are Persons – Pregnant Women Aren’t" or "Fetal Personhood Outlaws Birth Control" and "Fetal Personhood Kills Women".  I suggest bumper stickers since that seems to be the  ‘research’ preferred by time-short voters.

       

      I’d also note that this initiative was DEFEATED in the last election, so all that malarky about ‘stop activist judges from imposing laws’ and ‘this is a democracy so let the voters decide’ is obvious nonsense.  The voters DID decide and yet they’re baaaaaack with the same initiative slightly tweaked.

       

      We could vote on this every single election for the next 50 years, so long as proposing initiatives and being an activist for their passing and SUPPORTING ONESELF WITH THE DONATIONS is the way some people prefer to make a living.

  • invalid-0

    I love how people are so concerned about the life of a child right up until the child is born, then it’s every man, woman and child for themselves. What do you honestly care about? Saving a life? Or forcing your views onto someone? Mind your own business, and take care of your own families. I can assure you that none of you compassionate hypocrites will adopt any of the children that you want to force people to have.

  • invalid-0

    Well since you’re so fond of etymology, “christian” means “christ-like” which you most assuredly are not.

  • invalid-0

    Yep. And stevek is a new convert, the very WORST kind of religous nut.

  • invalid-0

    Well Steve, I’ve seen grass grow too. Does that mean mowing my lawn is going to be illegal next?

    Tumors “grow” too, and if you are honest (and don’t get stuck on the choice of words) an embryo has quite a but in common with a tumor from the stand point of structure and developmental components….

    Your case is flimsy at best that is why you need to muddy the waters with end of life issues.

  • http://bridegroompress.com invalid-0

    crowepps, your conjecture is fascinating. It’s wrong, but it’s fascinating.

    According to the best evolutionary theory, sex, that is, the exchange of DNA or RNA material, first arose among single-celled organism. Since they don’t have brains or neurons, could you explain how they experience pleasure?

    Complex organisms like ourselves are very late in the mating game. Most of the world’s organisms don’t experience pleasure during sex – they scatter gametes into the wide, wide ocean, for instance. For some insects, the penis is actually a weapon that tears up the female reproductive tract – definitely not pleasurable.

    So, not to put too fine a point on it, you are looking at sex from a decidedly non-Darwinistic viewpoint. From an evolutionary standpoint, pleasurable sex made a very late appearance.

  • invalid-0

    There are three RACES (Negro, Mongolian and Caucasian) – there is no human “race.” The word “human” refers to a species. Another word for that species is homo sapiens. As for Embryos,fetuses, etc., I say KEEP ABORTION SAFE AND LEGAL and if people really don’t want kids, PRACTICE BIRTH CONTROL. Embryos are potential humans (if they are actually born, even if a little earlier than planned – because they can survive outside the womb), then they can be considered human beings with rights. As long as they are in mommy’s body, fergit it!!!! No rights necessary.

  • invalid-0

    PS. Mr Kellmeyer, you live in Plano, TX right? Why don’t you run this asinine question in your state and leave CO alone?

  • invalid-0

    Sorry, but I don’t find abortion to be a ‘public’ issue. It is a private issue and one that should be reached with one’s physician, not their Senator, Representative or President.

  • http://bridegroompress.com invalid-0

    KatWA,

    Oh, you’ve had consequences from having sex. They just haven’t been babies. Maybe they’ve been tears at the guy you thought loved you who threw you over or dropped you. Maybe it was time you ran and hid from some guy you slept with because you didn’t really want to see him again. But you’ve had consequences, honey.

    Actually the risks of abortion far outweigh the risks of pregnancy, as a simple thought experiment will demonstrate. Given any stage of pregnancy, it is statistically always safer to be pregnant at that stage then to be pregnant and have a chemical/surgical abortion at that stage. Indeed, the risks of having abortion rise so dramatically that it is actually safer to carry to term then it is to have a second or third trimester abortion.

    Pro-aborts like to compare the dangers of a full-term pregnancy with that of an abortion at ten weeks. Ignoring how the full-term pregnancy morbidity and mortality statistics get cooked, that’s not a fair comparison. The comparison should be day-by-day, not ten weeks to nine months.

    Once you bring in M&M reports, it is even worse. Do you realize that if you go to an abortionist and he vacuums you out, but fails to notice that you have an ectopic pregnancy, and you subsequently die, that death is attributed to pregnancy, not to the botched abortion? If the abortionist punctures your uterus and you subsequently get peritonitis, pneumonia and croak, that death is attributed to pregnancy, not abortion? Take RU-486, throw a blood clot into your lung and die, that is attributed to pregnancy, not abortion? They cook the books, honey. It’s sweet work, if you can get it.

  • http://bridegroompress.com invalid-0

    Actually, the Church never changed her teaching on the subject of abortion and contraception. Both were condemned from the earliest time. Look up a document called the Didache, for instance, and you’ll see that. Heck, some people argue St. Paul was talking about abortifacients when he mentions a ban on pharmakiae in his letters. IN any event, you can’t find a Christian prior to 1930 who said either contraception or abortion was anything other than a sin.

    What you are referring to are changes over the centuries in what penalties were applied. That is, once we agree it is a crime, how do we deter people? Should the penalties be harsh to deter people contemplating it, or gentler, to help people enter back into society once they’ve done it?

    We have the same controversies today over the death penalty, three strikes laws, criminal registries, etc. Changes in the penalties don’t mean we disagree about whether it is criminal. It just means we’re trying different things to cut down on the incidence.

    Typically, the harshest penalties were reserved for women who attempted abortion after they felt the baby move in their womb (“quickening”) – this wasn’t “viability”, since the mortality rate in the first year of life in subsistence societies is astronomical. Arguably, born children in such societies are not very viable.

    “Victorian norms” don’t apply, as those only appear during the reign of Queen Victoria, which is close to two millennia after the Church got her start.

    Sorry to be a pedant on this subject, but I researched this as a pet project of mine many years ago.

    • ladyjbell

      Oh, Gawd Stevie–I’m so glad I found you!! In the book The Rise of Christianity, a fall semester text at TCU, we find Hippocrates teaching his "med" students how to proform an abortion.  To abort or not to abort was left to the male (naturally), usually in connection with an unwanted pregnancy that had to be corrected.  The woman had no say at all.  Her genitals were spread apart, and the womb opened in order to hack the fetus out, limb by limb. There were no sedatives.  Very few women survived and if they did, they were no longer capable of conceiving. All at the whim of the male. Now as to your "knowldege" of St. (?) Paul. History indicates that he was a most disagreeable fellow. And anyway-who cares about your theology?  Actually, you are borderline morbid, with a sense of grandosity tossed in.  Why don’t you try reading sci-fi novels, or try working out, because at this point, Stevie,you are really boring.

      • invalid-0

        Well said Lady, well said

  • http://culturewarnotes.com invalid-0

    Christ called people “Blind Guides”, “Hypocrites”, “Snakes”, he called the Canaanite woman a dog when she asked Him to heal her daughter, and he said things like “Who told YOU you could escape from the coming destruction?”

    I haven’t said any of those things yet to anyone here. Would you like me to? I don’t really think it’s necessary. Everyone seems pretty nice. But if it’s something you enjoy…

  • invalid-0

    Sorry, Princess Rot, but that isn’t the definition of a person. Your definition of a person would mean that a bacteria is a person. So is a virus, a mouse, a flea, etc.

    I am speaking of humans, not other species, which should be obvious from the context of my post. Stop deliberately misrepresenting what I’ve said.

    no one is arguing that an unfertilized egg or a sperm is a person. That’s a strawman argument.

    I never mentioned unfertilized eggs. I am speaking of the fertilized: blastocysts, zygotes etc. which again should be obvious. Have you actually read what I wrote or do you just jump on women who reject the notion that embryos are people and women are incubators who should automatically give the special snowflake a place to gestate at their expense, even if they don’t want to?

    Even though everyone agreed the fertilized egg was the beginning of human life and personhood, none of the laws you say must necessarily follow DID, in fact, follow.

    …because nobody has ever tried to codify fetal personhood into the law before, but given the inclinations of the fundies to make abortion and contraception access difficult, its not a hard connection to make. It’s a very recent concept, a psuedo-scientific effort to remove access to and ban literal abortion and contraceptives believed to “cause” abortion based on a spurious belief that certain types prevent a zygote from implanting. This is done by redefining zygotes as people, thus making all of the above murder, whether it actually can be proved or not. At the heart of it, it has nothing to do with concern for “children” and everything to do with reversing the work feminism has done. Take control of reproduction out of women’s hands and you take away their control over large parts of their lives, chiefly in the public sphere and mostly in the private. That gives those in power a lot of control over the public. And give me a legitimate cite for that “everyone agreed that personhood begins at fertilization” because I smell a strong whiff of bullshit.

    Since you don’t understand what a person is (as your definition shows), it’s pretty clear that you don’t really understand what necessarily follows once a person is correctly defined.

    No, of course I don’t understand when an anti-choice movement is trying to strip all women of the right to determine what should become of their reproductive lives and reduce them to walking incubators. I need a condescending man, who will never be affected by any of this, to tell me what a “correctly defined” person is, as though that has any relevance at all, because if this bill passes, all my sisters and I will not be “correctly defined” persons. All because a clump of cells that may or may not be present in our uteri (because there is no way to detect if fertilization has occurred, only implantation) has been deemed of utmost importance and must absolutely be brought to term, no matter if we don’t want to risk life and limb to gestate and give birth.

    In fact, the only place where government-mandated childbirth has ever taken place is under governments

    …where abortion (and in some places, even contraception) is illegal, and where women die in droves trying to rid themselves of unwanted conceptus. Denying access to abortion effectively mandates that a woman must continue with pregnancy, and give birth even if she doesn’t wish to, that’s what I mean. WHEN NO OTHER OPTION EXISTS, THIS IS CALLED FORCED PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH. I don’t why you’re babbling about Nazis – is your inaccurate and irrelevant history lesson another attempt at condescension? Whether it’s race, overpopulation, or fetal rights, it still sucks for women, because in all cases they are secondary to the conceptus, which is the most important thing. In all cases, a woman’s body is a passive thing that can be used or violated against her will, whether it’s to gestate or forcibly ensure she doesn’t get the choice to bring a wanted pregnancy to term. Being pro-choice isn’t about forcing pregnancy OR abortions on women – we don’t hate women nor do we dehumanize them based on their reproductive status.

    The fact remains – if we wish to speak of a woman having rights, then we must first admit that she is a person. By insisting that women have rights, you admit religion into the discussion.

    Reproductive rights and religious rights are separate animals. It isn’t a zero-sum game. One does not cancel out the other. If a woman doesn’t want to do something because she believes it is against her faith, then she doesn’t have to do it, but the option is there for her should she ever need it. Where that ends is at her body. She (nor anyone else) gets to decide for other born people what to do with their bodies. It’s really that simple.

    Now, it’s just a question of whose religion will be imposed: will you impose YOUR religion on the rest of us, which holds that women are persons but embryos not,

    Where did I mention that I practiced any religion? For the record, I’m an atheist, so that question is another irrelevancy. And no, embryos are not persons. Z/B/E/F all require extensive use of a woman’s body, they cannot survive without it. However, we are not baby factories. I am not allowed to take your organs without your consent, even if I will die without it, then explain to me why a zygote should get exclusive use of my body based on someone else’s decision that my body is there for it to use, whether I want it or not. And don’t say “you gave consent when you had sex”, because that’s B.S. As much as I hate comparing my body to a machine, that’s like saying you consent to get into a crash because you drove a car. It also unfairly punishes women for having sex, because there is no such consequence prescribed for men.

    or mine, which holds that both are persons?

    You cannot make both “persons” under the law. To do so will deprive women of their personhood, the personhood that determines whether women are free agents, with control over if and when they bring up baby, or just walking incubators whose job it is to gestate without complaint, because there is no other option except be perpetually aware that there could be a “person” in there, and that “person” has.

  • invalid-0

    Why aren’t these nut jobs trying to put food in the mouths of children who are BORN and STARVING???

    How bout HOUSE and FEED the HOMELESS CHILDREN???

  • invalid-0

    Are they planning on making wanking illegal too??? “Every sperm is sacred….!”

  • invalid-0

    …more importance than anything else the actual independently living woman could need, ever.

  • invalid-0

    this is so weird, surreal, and fanatically out there, it is hard to comprehend.
    Jones has stretched the reality of the issue to ridiculous , if not monstrous proportions.
    how delusional can you get?
    by focusing on one demented aspect of the cycle of life, he has trivialized and twisted the reality of the situation.

  • invalid-0

    Oh here is a counter argument. Also I disagree with the author below on when the ensoulment occurs, I actually can illustrate how the soul arrives at birth, but that is another story. If you want to impose these rules/law on Catholics, fine,, oh wait you’ve tried that and large numbers of the Catholic Church have left or ignore you. This will not fly in America.

    The Beginning Of Personhood: A Thomistic Biological Analysis

    Jason T. Eberl
    Saint Louis University – Department of Philosophy

    Bioethics, Vol. 14, No. 2

    Abstract:
    “When did I, a human person, begin to exist?” In developing an answer to this question, I utilize a Thomistic framework, which holds that the human person is a composite of a biological organism and an intellective soul. Eric Olson and Norman Ford both argue that the beginning of an individual human biological organism occurs at the moment when implantation of the zygote in the uterus occurs and the “primitive streak” begins to form. Prior to this point, there does not exist an individual human organism, but a cluster of biological cells which has the potential to split and develop as one or more separate human organisms (identical twinning). Ensoulment (the instantiation of a human intellective soul in biological matter) does not occur until the point of implantation.

    This conception of the beginning of human personhood has moral implications concerning the status of pre-implantation biological cell clusters. A new understanding of the beginning of human personhood entails a new understanding of the morality of certain medical procedures which have a direct affect on these cell clusters which contain human DNA. Such procedures discussed in this article are embryonic stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, procured abortion, and the use of abortifacient contraceptives.

    • invalid-0

      Monozygotic twins (one egg fertilized by one sperm) dissociate at various stages in development – some before day 5 after fertlization, most before day 9, and the least number split after day 9. Those that split after day 9 are at risk for conjoining or incomplete dissociation. So, when exactly does the “soul” enter? Before or after the split? If it’s before, does that mean the twins have half a soul? And if it’s a matter of conjoined and resorption of one body into another, what happens then? Is the remaining previously-conjoined now two souls? What about the “normal” splitters between days 5 and 9? When exactly did their souls show up? Obviously not at conception unless the result is that they have half a soul. Shall we all admit that the concept of ensoulment is unreasonable?

  • invalid-0

    Why doesn’t some pro-lifer answer this – “If you love babies so much, then why aren’t you people leaning on Congress to fund Headstart? Decent affordable day care for all parents without regard to a parent’s ability to pay? Health care services for all children? Twenty percent of children in the US grow up in poverty–what is your plan to take care of the children who are already here?”

    What does your theology tell you about your moral responsibility to children who are already born, and through no fault of their own, go to bed hungry every night, go to bed abused or beaten, sick or dying of preventable diseases, right here in the US?

    If some of the energy spent worshiping fetuses got spent on the children who are already born, you would surely be doing God’s work.

  • http://www.cheatingatsolitaire.net invalid-0

    This argument has nothing to do with religion. It has everything to do with law and morality. You seem to be saying that fetus or zygote is a person whether or not it has developed brain function, is viable outside the womb, or possesses any cognizance of its environment. They’re not actual persons, they’re potential persons. The sentimental argument you make clouds the issue.

  • invalid-0

    From an evolutionary standpoint, homo sapiens, i.e. humans, made a very late appearance as well. And how other animals and species behave and have sex has zero bearing on human sexual behavior. Humans have a specific intelligence and reasoning ability – sentience – that most other species lack. And those abilities allow us to choose how we behave. Yes, we do many things on instinct, but we have evolved to include reasoning and complex thought into our existence.

    This is why we eschew arranged marriage in our modern culture, why spousal rape is a crime, why we can choose who we want to have sex with, and we can choose when and where and with whom to procreate – or not.

    You have sex when you want for whatever reason and with whomever you wish, I’ll have it when I want, you can look after your own fertilized eggs, and I’ll look after mine.

    Neither your presence nor your so-called arguments are welcome in my life, my bedroom or my body.

  • invalid-0

    So, according to this idea… if life begins at conception then all things that are capable of reaching full capacity, but never actually do, should be considered fully complete and intact even when they are obviously not. If an egg is a person that is entitled rights, then should we sue God or mother nature for a womans period? Think of all those millions of innocent lives that end up smothered on a bed of soft cotton monthly.

    This is utter nonsense. There are actual LIVE, breathing, functioning children all around the world that die daily from war, poverty, starvation and disease. What exactly are you doing for them? Is it because they are not as cute as a baby? Are they too black, too poor or not christian enough? Until every child on this planet knows love, shelter and happiness, the idea that anyone would waste time on a pile of cells with the possibility of life, is mind boggling. This also means that NONE of you are entitled to the term, “Pro Life” because you are only pro life towards the life you deem worthy of your attention. The fact that so many people die needlessly a day is a glaring misconception in your own perceived love of humanity.

    The idea that a few cells are the same as a human being or a person is incredibly offensive to those of us who value logic and reason. I have a pretty good feeling that the majority of you that claim to be pro life are also pro war and proudly supported the idea that “terrorists” were being blown to bits half way across the world. Sure, thousands upon thousands of innocent people where also killed, but lets be honest… they are not as precious as a little white baby or a christian child. Hypocrisy, pure hypocrisy. I think the term you are all looking for is “Pro Photos of Anne Getty babies” because you are obviously obsessed with the protection of innocence, not life. How many of these pro life senators and congressman forgot the value of life when they sent my son to die in Iraq?

    I guess he was too old to be considered worthy of rights or personhood.

    So, if a handful of cells is a person then can I please get my money back for this piece of crap VCR that I bought? Its only a few pieces of broken plastic from an old remote and some metal screws left over from my sons computer desk, but I am pretty sure that given time and the proper care and attention, it would become a vcr. As it is now, its not playing my copy of Free Willy and I am about fed up.

  • invalid-0

    Not Catholic and could care less about your myths about an man that lives in the clouds, organized religion is the oldest con created. You appear to be an expert on this con job.

    You want other people to live by the rules your “Sky Man” tells you are important. You are entitled to your belief, not my compliance.

    FYI, there is an invisiable little man that lives under my bathroom sink who thinks you are full of cr ap…. I happen to think he is divine in his evaluation, you are welcome to feel otherwise. That is unless I take up the cause of having a law passed that says “SteveK is full of cr ap” and my evidence of this is the gospel of the little invisible man under my sink… If I succeed in getting the law passed, you will be forced to live your life by my rules, which say “you, SteveK are full of cr ap”. You have no say in this, ever, under any circumstances….

    Very slippery slope you are on Stevie.

    By the way, I believe in God. Just not the business people like you have turn religion into.

  • invalid-0

    Oh, you’ve had consequences from having sex. They just haven’t been babies. Maybe they’ve been tears at the guy you thought loved you who threw you over or dropped you. Maybe it was time you ran and hid from some guy you slept with because you didn’t really want to see him again. But you’ve had consequences, honey.

    Excuse me?? Are you seriously saying you know my life better than me? And did you fucking call me HONEY?!

    No, I have not had any consequences from having sex. Especially not any of your bizarre scenarios.

    • invalid-0

      I have had lots of fun having sex too, without consequences. Steve, suck that up. My best sex so far was with a normal person who shares your name. Katwa, I am proud of you sister, and I love your line, “And did you fucking call me honey?” I almost peed my pants from laughing, that was GOOD!! This nasty, idiotic, condescending, mysogonist anti-choicer pisses me off too, but he is impotent when it comes to what he and his ilk are trying to do to us women. they will NEVER be successful We far, far outnumber he and his kind, and his kind are dying out. We have choices and he and his kind can’t stand it, and they can’t really do anything about it either. : )

    • invalid-0

      You would probably agree with my favorite bumper sticker: JUST SAY NO TO SEX WITH PRO-LIFERS.

  • invalid-0

    Dear Jodi-Give up trying to make sense of nonsense. Anyone can copy from a medical text! These people are dangerous because they have can’t connect with reality; their religion has spread to their brains. They live in a world that denies any “idea” contrary to their “doxies”, and too much reality would destroy them. The idea of “humanity”, or Christian love is lost on them; they are nothing more than ideologues; left-overs from the age of witch hunters.
    Although we must keep an eye on them; if they ever do get to the level of the Supreme Court, they will meet with the same fate as did the psuedo-scientists trying to convince the Supremes, that Creationism is real science. I would buy tickets to that encounter!!!

    Jackie Bell

  • invalid-0

    So if I held you down and forced or better word “raped” you by stuffing a cyanide pill down your throat do you have the right to throw it up?

  • invalid-0

    Yeah, whatever Steve. I don’t understand the utterly overwhelming love and concern the anti-choice have for women. Of course it’s all about the precious children and nothing at all to do with removing a large amount of control from a large part of women’s lives, to benefit others. Why, I just love the idea that I’m an incubator first and foremost, regardless of my wishes. I just love being told by condescending men that I am a second-class citizen whose fertility comes before anything else that makes up my personhood. I just love internet ignoramuses who deliberately misrepresent what I say when it would be obvious to anyone not out trolling that I was speaking of humans, not any other species. I adore privileged males who cannot see the misogyny inherent in forcing pregnancy or abortion on women, that their bodies are passive things that can be used for gestation or forcibly removing wanted pregnancies. I just fucking love concern trolls who insist that breeding is the single most important thing any woman can do, even if it’s at the expense of being treated like a potential murderer.

  • invalid-0

    Actually, life began millions of years back and has been propagating since then. The cells of your body are no less full of life than an embryo. Thus, the egg and the sperm are also alive. Therefore, this law should also cover men who ejaculate and do not do it in a way that has the potential to continue life. Hey! Great way to solve the budget deficit! Tax every teenage or adult male who ejaculates without the potential of continuing life! We’d have enough money for full health care for all in no time!

  • invalid-0

    What about a woman’s ovary?. With 100 or so eggs it is a community.

    With some kind of laser device they might be able to vote.

  • invalid-0

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news Steve, but your blowhard post still fails to prove your basic argument that human “life” begins at conception. This is the problem with you wingers when you try to wage an argument for your twisted ideology. You can’t seem to grasp the fact that word choice is of extreme importance, especially when you’re talking about jamming your beliefs down society’s throat through the legislative process. Every example you’ve stated as your proof clearly shows that human DEVELOPMENT begins at conception. But DEVELOPMENT is not synonymous with “life.”

    To develop means to “go through a process of natural growth, differentiation, or evolution by successive changes,” while LIFE is officially defined by Merriam Webster as “the period from birth to death.”

    Your lengthy argument carries no weight.

  • invalid-0

    Here we go again! There must be another election coming up so the “red herring masters” are once again getting their “better than thou” minions all stirred up. Actually, this will probably continue until we have enough gumption to begin taxing the churches (the major movers behind these campaigns). If they want to get involved in politics in order to control the lives of others, then they should begin paying taxes just like all other individuals or organizations. Right now, they are getting a “free ride” on everyone else’s dime.

    As to issues such as abortion, gays, lesbians as well as bathroom and bedroom issues, if the organizations involved spent more time insuring that people spent more time developing what is above the neckline, those having to do with what is below would not be wasting that much of our time year after year.

  • invalid-0

    It makes me laugh that about every 3rd comment and half of the word-count is from SteveK…

    If SteveK put as much time into working on social issues -education, child welfare, health-care reform, etc… as he puts into ‘lurking’ on this list trying to change people’s minds, he could actually help create a society in which there would be less need for abortions.

    Unfortunately people like him don’t realize that ‘list-lurking’ is a waste of time and energy… well let’s hope he keeps it up and doesn’t get so frustrated when no one changes their mind that he decides to murder health-care providers instead.

    Please SteveK -no need to respond. Get out and do something to make the world a better place.

  • colleen

    Steve,

     

    Why would you think this is the appropriate place to give voice to your sick fantasy life? I understand that men like you find these sorts of retributive fantasies more effective than a viagra/cialis cocktail but couldn’t you ‘share’ them in a more appropriate place? Say, a ‘pro-life’ blog?  

    Because your knowledge of women is as shallow as your understanding of basic decency.

     

     

     

     

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • invalid-0

    SteveK

    “The only place to go to really adjudicate rights and personhood is the Catholic Church, who defined all these things, and of course you don’t want to go there because you know what she’ll say.”

    Um, that would be an informal fallacy: appeal to authority. And begging the question, since your account of “rights” and “personhood” presumes the sole validity of the “Natural Law” version of these concepts. Way to go on the self-refutation, dude!

  • invalid-0

    I am pro-me. I believe in my own morality and my own judgement. If I would become pregnant it is no one else’s business what I will do with my own body (whatever choice that might be) but my own. I do not understand why people insist on forcing their own beliefs on others. It’s not right.

    • invalid-0

      If you are so pro-me, how would you like to be aborted with no second thought? All this new age junk about looking out for numero uno and not taking responsibility for your actions is bolonie. And not to mention selfish. Society does not benefit from people like that… like you. And that’s why the U.S. is in such a downward spiral, because it is full of people who care for themselves more than anything in the universe and think they have supreme knowledge to govern their own sick little worlds.

  • invalid-0

    You define an embryo as a person, a human being.
    You use 14 quotes to support your statement.
    The problem is, of your 14 quotes, not one defines an embryo as a human being.
    Instead, all but one say the embryo is “the beginning”, or “the starting”, or when it “begins the developing” (or the development), of life.
    The beginning, or the start, of something is not the thing itself.
    The beginning of a journey is not the journey.
    The beginning of life is not a life.

  • invalid-0

    It’s obvious from your comment that unfortunately not all intelligent life starts at conception.

  • invalid-0

    The ancient Roman laws allowed for anyone to discard a baby they did not want. Throwing the child on a hillside to perish. So, if tfhe Church codified Roman law, then it should allow for the discarding of unwanted children, before or after birth. That the Church, of which I am a member, advanced the study of law and philosophy, doesn’t mean that it can project its beliefs on others. They tried that once during the Inquisition. It didn’t work. Most laws are based on Hammurabi’s code, which predates the Church by centuries. To promote “personhood” status on a non-viable zygote, let a lone an unfertilized egg, is ludicrous. Does this amendment cover sperm cells as well? If so, a lot of young boys will be breaking the law.

  • invalid-0

    Like your style Steve! Probably too obvious for the masses living here who would actually have to have an independent thought to comprehend it.

  • invalid-0

    No Mr. Wilson, you are mistaken. “Science” does NOT know “clearly and unequivocally when human beings come into existance (sic).” Not even close. Real science is completely silent on this question. And modern-day radical anti-abortionists have forgotten and/or discarded the many centuries of philosophical and theological debate on this topic.

    AFAIK, historical consensus is that the soul enters the body around “the quickening” – which is debated to be between the second trimester and when the fetus becomes viable outside the womb. Prior generations have considered this point to be settled “fact.” Why has this theological certainty been discarded in our present age?

    Because it has not been – is not – and never will be – about “personhood.” I believe that, for the fanatic equivalent of the Taliban in America, it is about patriarchal retribution for “sin.” But these fanatics are – and always will be – in the minority. Shame on them for trying to force their religious beliefs on the majority, a majority who find this absolutism abhorrent.

    I believe that, for the majority of Americans, the abortion debate hinges on one question: at what point in the development of the fetus it is in the best interest of society to require the State to reach into the womb and force women to bear children.

    Men and especially women of goodwill may disagree as to when that point is. I expect in my or my children’s lifetime, the broad privacy guarantees expressed in Roe v. Wade will be more restrictively circumscribed, but never to the extent that anti-abortion fanatics pushing “personhood” for embryos are agitating for.

    It is incredibly and hypocritical for some political activists in our society – whose pose is otherwise to support individual rights and property rights, and to shrink the power of “Government” – to require the State to deprive individuals the right to determine how their bodies are used. This hypocrisy is ultimately fatal to their argument.

    IMO, this hypocritical stance is traitorous to the ideals of our Founding Fathers, and it is well past time for the majority of the electorate, the media, and politicians of all stripes to stand up to this treasonous terrorism, label it as such, and deprive it of any claim to legitimacy.

  • invalid-0

    Steve: if it’s more important to you to be indignant and antagonistic, you are welcome to simply bash another woman looking for answers or ignore this comment, but if not I ask that you enlighten those of us who admittedly do not know anything about theology but question how ectopic pregnancy fits into the anti-abortion stance. I too had an ectopic pregnancy that was insistently removed by my doctors to save my life, I was assured that the pregnancy was completely inviable as there is absolutely no way that a fallopian tube can support life. So, in all sincerity, can you please explain to me what you believe I should have done in that situation? Should I have left it alone and given up my own life, taken a mother from my other child and the wife of my husband to allow nature to take its course in a pregnancy with an absolute 0% chance of survival? And if so, please actually explain why the sanctity of my life and the well-being of the rest of my family comes second to in inviable pregnancy. And, seeing as how I am not religious why a law should be put into place that I am required to follow if it will literally kill me. I’m not looking to goad you into more comment section arguing, these are questions that I truly wrestle with when trying to understand your stance.

    • http://jacquelinehoman7.googlepages.com/nothingyoucanpossess invalid-0

      After Nicaragua, a 100% Catholic country, criminalized abortion under ANY circumstances, including rape, harm to the mother’s health or life, etc; a 28 yr old poor single mother named Maria de Jesus Gonzalez found herself pregnant. It was an ectopic pregnancy. That is to say, the zygote was lodged inside the fallopian tube. Such pregnancies are fatal to women. But due to Nicaragua’s law, Maria could not obtain a life-saving abortion. She died. So did the fetus. Her first child is now an orphan.

      This pro-forced-birth cult does not value women’s lives. Our right to life is negotiable in these ideological and theological culture wars. As women, we are the ONLY group of people whom it is becoming fashionable to maim, torture, enslave, and kill under false pretenses of “pro-life.” Case in point: Angela Carder of Baltimore, MD.

      Mrs. Carder was denied her right to life, bodily integrity, due process, and to be secure in her person (basic human and Constitutional rights that are automatically afforded to men) when she became unexpectedly critically ill in her second trimester. Due to the nature of her medical problems (complications that arose as a consequence of pregnancy), she faced death if she carried to term, and her doctors agreed that invasive high risk surgery (C-section) would almost certainly be fatal for her.

      Mrs. Carder wanted to live. Her husband and parents wanted her to be able to live. But the zealots behind the state of Maryland’s fetal protection law had other ideas. They sentenced Mrs. Carder to death. Despite Mrs. Carder’s wish to have her life saved if possible, the hospital set up an emergency hearing to determine if they had the right to get a court-ordered C-section even though the fetus was not far along enough to hae a high probability of survival — and this was at the expense of Mrs. Carder’s life.

      The hospital got the court order because Maryland’s fetal protection law subordinates the pregnant woman’s right to life to that of the fetus, thereby handing Angela Carder the death penalty for the crime of being a woman: a pregnant woman whose emergency medical problem required an abortion to save her life. The hospital performed the C-section against Mrs. Carder’s will, and caused her death. The fetus also died as well.

      The “pro-life” movement is 77% male, 100% who will never get pregnant as the result of rape or any other abusive coerced sexual laision, or even simply through lack of access to contraceptives (due in no small measure to misogynist abusive control freak men). Their agenda is pro-punishment. They want to punish women for having sex, and they want to punish, maim,torture, and even murder us just for being women.

      These are overwhelmingly Christian men who hate women; who enjoy hurting and abusing women, and they PRETEND to be “good” by hding behind punitive fetal “personhood” laws, which have no escalated to proposed ovum personhood laws (which would make every menstrauting woman a serial killer, and would definitely criminalize contraception).

      Every last piece of sh*t closet rapist/torturer/killer in this pro-punishment movement deserves the Scott Peterson Award for misogyny and murder. The blood of untold number of women’s lives is on their hands.

  • invalid-0

    Define “the Church.” Are you refering to the Roman Catholic Church? Or are you refering to the Christian way – which are two different things. The first is a works based religion and the second is a faith based relationship. One would NEVER codify the discarding of infants and the other would. IF you are correct in stating the practice was in fact codified by anyone but the early pagan religions.

  • invalid-0

    Spare us, willya? So only pro-birther can think, is that it? You while away the hours trying to come up with new ways to force your phony baloney religious beliefs on everyone. You consistently put the onus on women,that her egg is all. Nothing about the man’s part infertilizaion or non.Go ahead, I beg you to try to pass a law that would imprison women for having abortions or practicing birth control. Please! Do so. But you won’t because women are not intelligent enough to make their own decisions, they are too emotional to know what they are doing. So you only push for laws that would imprison doctors. Think on this. A women who menstruates is a murderer, acoording to some of tghe pro-birthers commenting here because she has the power to stop the loss of her eggs by having sex and conceiving. So, from puberty until menopause, a woman must be perpertually pregnant in order not to be a murderer. You people really are out of your minds.

  • invalid-0

    SteveK – love it how you have to resort to an ad hominem attack on everyone who disagrees with your nutball position. You are poison, sir, and an idiot.

    Like many other of the pro-individual-rights commenters here, I have thought through my position very extensively: as a father, as a Catholic, as a scientist, as an American, and as a compassionate human. I will not idly accept criticism of my position from the tinfoil-hat-wearing likes of you.

  • invalid-0

    SteveK…(the “K” stands for kudos)…

    You will never get anywhere debating these folks who think they know the truth because they are “educated” but have been taught from (what they deem to be)”the beginning of life” to believe in something that makes no sense, as well as have been force-fed a lie for so long they have no idea what first principles or morality means.

    For you brilliant ones who believe abortion is okay, try reading the chapter on abortion in “First Things” by Hadley Arkes. Maybe it will light a spark…but, I doubt it. It’s too logical.

    Circular logic is all you will get with them, SteveK…but, nice try.

  • invalid-0

    “And it should be noted that not even the most orthodox Jew still maintains that parents have the right to kill their own children. It’s really a pre-medieval attitude.”

    OK I have read more of your posts and decided you have trained with Jesuits. I was even willing to grant your arguments a degree of elegance, if not legitimacy.

    But this comment reveals you to be just another cheap anti-Semite. Your idea of “opus dei is sadly contorted.

  • invalid-0

    I am not on some pro-abortion rant, but I always wonder the same things about these people on these blogs too! Why aren’t they out there helping the children who have been born and don’t have enough to eat or a decent place to live? I really don’t understand fighting with all of your energy over a subject like this when there are actual “persons” who need help all over the world. It really is a strange oxymoron that we can’t even feed all the people we have in the world right now, but these people will fight to their last breath to bring every possible life into the world with no thought about what happens to them AFTER they’re born. So odd… A Christian person should live in service to others. That’s what Christ did here on earth. He did not come to be served but to serve. No one is being served by these endless ideological rants by you, SteveK.

  • invalid-0

    Don’t have the stones or ovaries to post your name? I have been force-fed nothing. I have come to my position after many decades of careful, reasoned thought.

    I firmly believe that you and other anti-aborts have the weaker, circular, unsupportable argument – especially if you are pro-war and pro-death pentaly.

    Our wonderful Country guarantees you the right to believe whatever nonsense you choose to. You are also deprived of the right to force that nonsense on the majority. And you, sir, are decidedly in the minority.

  • invalid-0

    But that still doesn’t change the fact that religious law/doctrine and civil law are two very different things. The purpose of civil law is to provide the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Civil law imposes order extrinsically (“I won’t drive drunk because I fear getting a ticket”). God’s law imposes order intrinsically (“I won’t drive drunk because it is morally wrong to expose others to danger =”). Sorry, Steve-O! You cannot legislate morality. It has to come from within. You can, however, make reasonable laws to provide a civilized context in which individuals are free to make their own moral choices according to their private beliefs . (P.S: I hope your personal life improves so that you no longer feel compelled to waste your life trying to force others to submit to your religious rules.)

  • invalid-0

    These idiots are using the disabled and handicapped as props to get their pro-life agenda pushed through and that is just sick.

    While I believe that life beings at birth here is an option for us all, Life beings when the being can survive separated from its mother womb. That stops the late term abortions so many of these people are against, and keeps safe the right to first term abortions which should be legal.

  • invalid-0

    Would you invite friends over for a fried chicken dinner and serve scrambled eggs?

  • invalid-0

    I second the thought. I’d have a lot more respect for the Pro-Life movement if they actually seemed to care about the millions of impoverished, malnourished, under-educated, uninsured, psychologically messed up children already living.

    Wanna make a real difference? Foster or adopt a kid. Extra points if he/she is no longer an adorable infant, but a %$#@ed up kid who’s behind in school, pre-diabetic, and prone to depression and ADD because s/he was born to an uneducated, teenage mother who liked her meth.

    It’s a lot easier to care about and to care for a life when it’s undefined and full of wide-eyed potential. A lot harder once reality has kicked in.

  • invalid-0

    Bible thumping nut jobs. What’s next – state required genital registration and photographs to keep tabs on baby-making body parts and every egg and sperm? I don’t believe in your god. Stay away, stay out of my life. Go register your eggs, sperm and genitals with your church, join the Taliban, and leave the rest of us alone.

  • http://ixttools.com invalid-0

    Interesting article.
    As for me, I think that anti-abortion activists are too radical sometimes, but their actions make sense.

  • emma

    ‘Embryonic children’. Haha. Please do find me an embryology textbook that uses such a term.

     

    Don’t play dumb re: the Barack Hussein Obama thing, Steve. That’s a racist dogwhistle that was used by bigots all the way through 2008. It’s intended to emphasise that he’s omg different! and foreign! and probably a Muslim! and a terrorist! and so on. It’s intended to play on anti-Muslim sentiment. You know this. If you’re going to be a tawdry, unsubtle, bigoted right-wing fundie hack, at least be honest about it and spare us all the bullshit and cutesy faux ignorance.

  • invalid-0

    This is more Nero fiddling while Rome burns. Are all you hypocrites vegans? We have too many people in the world. But apparently perpetuating suffering on a massive scale is OK in your faith’s eyes.

  • invalid-0

    preview your posts to confirm that you have closed your tags properly.

     

    Thanks.

    • invalid-0

      I have never posted here before this and now I know it’s an uptight and inhospitable place that judges people on the basis of their formatting expertise rather than the worth of their ideas.

      So thanks for letting me know that I needn’t bother returning! Twit!

      MAYBE you should preview your comments for just plain mean-spiritedness.

  • invalid-0

    In a world where zygotes have equal rights I would be a mass murderer. I must have killed 500,000 just this morning.

  • invalid-0

    A quick question to those that are pro Choice. Did your mother make the right choice?

    • invalid-0

      She made the right choice at the time for HER to have me, and she was more important than me,(her being here first and all) so if she had decided to have an abortion, I wouldn’t have cared. I am sure my soul would have easily found another more welcoming body to inhibit and grow in until birth and the beginning of my life here on earth.

  • invalid-0

    Steve, or rather Snookums?…putting aside the ludicrous assertion that people who support reproductive freedom have not thought through their positions…permit me to point out that using insulting, patronizing diminutives to support your own argument merely reveals your own misogyny, and does nothing to advance your case, weak as it is. Knock it off.

  • invalid-0

    Steve,

    First, Hussein is Arabic, not Muslim. There is no language called Muslim. Ever met someone named Christian who’s an athiest? Think on that one.

    Second, just a few centuries ago scientists and scholars were excommunicated, tortured, and killed because they thought the earth was round and NOT at the center of the universe.

    My point? Your argument is invalidated by science, just like the church’s geocentric argument hundreds of years ago. Quoting medical text books that don’t actually support your argument is a classic case of “if I use big words people will listen to me.” I tried that once in high school on a research paper. My paper was justly critiqued to shreds by my teacher. Then I did actual research and wrote a good paper. Here’s an idea: go to college to get a degree in molecular biology. Then get another degree in genetics. Then get another in evolutionary biology. Then get another in planetary geology. Then another in sociology. What do you get? Thousands of years of research and proof that the earth is not 6K years old, that all life is inter-related and human evangelica xtian men have no real claim to controlling women’s reproductive rights, and all placental mammalian zygotes are virtually indistinguishable from each other. (on that last one, read: under a microsope I guarantee you couldn’t tell a human zygote from a hippo zygote or zebra or mouse or . . . get the drift?) You are unqualified to make scientific assertions predicated on religions tenets. But then again, the earth is flat, right?

    • mellankelly1

      Ever met someone named Christian who’s an athiest? Think on that one

      ~awesomeness.

      • emma

        Even more awesome: ‘Ever met someone named Atheist who’s a Christian? Think on that one’.

         

         

        (Sorry, I adore bad jokes. :)

  • invalid-0

    As long as it was her decision. If I needed her body today in order to maintain my life, it should also be her decision.

  • invalid-0

    Apparently God?

  • invalid-0

    Do any of your books point out that the majority of fertilized eggs don’t eventually develop into a full-term baby? Nature “aborts” many fertilized eggs, should we charge nature (or God) with murder when a fertilized egg doesn’t make it out of the womb? Using fertilization as a point to start personhood is ridiculous.

    • invalid-0

      The Lee Silver books do go into the fact that the majority of fertilized eggs don’t develop into a full term baby. Also twinning post-fertilization, teratomas, parasitic twins, fetus in fetu, etc. In addition, it is known that two separately fertilized eggs can combine in their embryo stages into a single entity to develop into a single baby.

      • invalid-0

        I actually know someone who is the product of two separate fertilized eggs. (I believe it’s about two weeks after implantation when one finds out whether one has one ordinary embryo, two identical twins, or one chimera, and I’ve yet to find a religious explanation for how that all works if the soul shows up at conceptions. As far as I know, my friend is a single person with a single soul, despite having an interesting genetic makeup.)

        Does God infallibly know it will happen and provide only one of the original fertilized eggs with souls (or provide two if it’s going to be twins)? Yank one of the souls back when they merge (or provide a second when it splits)?

        Being agnostic, I think it’s sort of a ridiculous thought experiment, but I’d really like to know how these fit into ensouled-at-conception worldviews (biological life is quite a bit simpler to quantify than a soul, which I think is what these debates are really about).

  • invalid-0

    Ha! With 100% of the male population locked up, then birth control & abortion wouldn’t be needed! Maybe this IS the way to go…

  • therealistmom

    But yes, my mother made the right choice, because it was the one SHE wanted. I was born in 1972, she would have had options, and I am quite sure she might well have considered not continuing the pregnancy that resulted in me. My biological father died before she even knew she was pregnant, I have an older sister already, so she was a single parent, grieving widow, and I’m sure a bit freaked out by the idea of having me. If she had decided not to continue the pregnancy, that would have been the right choice for HER if it was what she thought best. I wouldn’t have been around to know one way or the other.

    She also helped ME make the right choice when I was fifteen and pregnant to have an abortion, and was thrilled to death when I made the choice to bring to the world her three wonderful grandchildren.

  • airina

    The principle of Double Effect, so far as I understand it, indicates that it’s morally defensible to remove a woman’s entire fallopian tube because that just incidentally terminates a pregnancy but it’s not morally defensible to medically induce an abortion, which would have a much better chance at preserving a woman’s future fertility.  I prefer the principle of doing the least possible harm over a theological principle that says if you don’t MEAN to end the life of an embryo then it’s OK.  Also, way to condescend.

  • invalid-0

    My mother is pro-choice and me and my brother were both very planned. I even remember my mother asking me before she decided to have my brother if I wanted a little brother or sister. So, since she wasn’t forced to give birth to us, and it was HER choice, I say it was right. If she had gotten pregnant before she was ready (like when she was raped) I’m sure she would have chosen abortion, and that would of been right too.

  • invalid-0

    Dear drofma: Independent thought and religious dogma are incompatable. Religious dogmas block out independent thinking. Martin Luther once said: “Reason is the worst enemy of religion”. The very last thing that the “godly” want you to do is figure things out for yourself. One needs to stay as rigid and inflexible as possible in order to swallow something for which there is no evidence. Therefore, empty minds,and shallow worldviews eliminate the need to feel and be fully human. Religions are fear based, which has always driven the insatiable desire to control or destroy what the sanctified can’t compute. Anyone who could possibly find “reason” in copying medical text books to prove a mortal dilemma, could possibly get a case of delirium tremens from sipping the froth from a soda bottle.

  • invalid-0

    This is the what this debate boils down too. How arrogant of those who think they have the answer to a question we have been pondering as long as we’ve been able to ponder!

    Life has really only had one beginning… we are all descendants from that one beginning.

    Personhood is really just a social concept. Who receives the label varies greatly among time, places, and people. I think that a good definition is the one we have now, we grant personhood to viable human beings.

  • invalid-0

    I’m sure that so many others on here, including myself, find it humerous, that MEN are the ones who are initiating these ballot measures. Since when does a man have a uterus? What happened to women having rights? Or did the women from groups such as Iron Jawed Angels basically fight for practically nothing? As far as I can see it, women are being pushed into corners and used as slaves for reproduction. Government and Religion should NEVER be in bed together. So women, fight back. Stop having sex with your husbands, boyfriends, etc. If we can’t have our own reproductive rights, and be in charge of our own bodies, then I’m not willing to share my body with the MAN that took away that choice. Currently, we have more women in the United States than we do Men. How long would anti-sex go on before the men started freaking out and getting rid of these non-sense laws?

    But overall, to the men on this damn blog, go away. You shouldn’t be allowed to tell my sexual and reproductive organs how they should and should not operate or be operated. Just like a women should not tell you how your penis and testicles should be used.

  • invalid-0

    Stop having sex with your husbands, boyfriends, etc.

    Is this a joke? Why is everyone so obsessed with telling others how to live their sex life?

  • invalid-0

    My apologies, what I was trying to say, was that if MEN are going to be speaking about women’s reproductive health and their choices and their rights (their, meaning, women’s); then Women should stop having sex all together. Men can definitely and easily be replaced with some AA batteries. It was more to be a theoretical joke than anything. Men may claim to the pant wearer in their homes, but women tend to be the belts. So if a Man was going to tell a Woman and legislate what she can and can’t do with her body in regards to abortion and birth control, then the easiest solution is to stop having sex with that man. Especially the women who are married or dating the men in the government system.

    So I wasn’t trying to say, “stop having sex and you won’t get pregnant”. I was trying to say “stop having sex with men that govern women and maybe we’ll change their minds afterall”.

  • invalid-0

    I think you are on to something right there! My husband goes coo-koo when he doesn’t have sex after waiting 3 or 4 days. I could only imagine that some of these pro-life men running our government are the same way. You make another point, why are men the ones having this conversation about women anyways? When did they grow a vagina?

  • invalid-0

    So I wasn’t trying to say, “stop having sex and you won’t get pregnant”. I was trying to say “stop having sex with men that govern women and maybe we’ll change their minds afterall”.

    I don’t care what your reason is. Get out of my sex life.

    • http://www.reverbnation.com/marscaulton invalid-0

      This is a very old idea, I think starting in early Roman times? I’ve heard of it before. An “early feminist” tactic. The idea is that since women ultimately are the gatekeepers to society’s need for creating future generations, we should use that power to hold male rulers hostage by it — by refusing sex and procreation until the terms of both are more civil and forthright.

  • invalid-0

    If I stopped having sex with my bf I think I’d be punishing me more than him.

  • invalid-0

    Easy KatWA…it was tongue in cheek, I’m guessing.

    Not that I can’t sympathize with the shortness here…few other threads have pushed my buttons as this one has. I actually want SteveK to show up again…so I can draw down on him. Point is, let us not cop offense unnecessarily… Savannah is simply suggesting a modern Lysistrada response.

  • invalid-0

    I’m not in your sex life, nor do I want to be; and I don’t want anyone to be in mine either. I’m making a funny, modern day, non-violent retaliation joke. That’s all that it was. I am very much pro-choice and believe that the matter is private, as well as one’s sex life; no matter if your gay, straight, a unicorn or a purple people eater. I think the men out there with a political agenda on women’s reproductive rights are idiots. And since they like to treat women as vessels only good for reproductive use, or think of us that way, then they should be “punished” by no one having sex with them (again, this is all a joke!). So, therefore, how long can a man go without having sex, before he caves in to maybe a woman’s will and says “maybe this illegal abortion thing sucks”.

    And you wouldn’t punish yourself for not having sex with your boyfriend – men can be replaced with adult sex toys. Not saying that you need it or want it, but I’m joking about the fact that a man’s penis can be easily replaced.

  • invalid-0

    I agree with you; where the hell is that guy? He’s annoying, but its fun to argue with him – sad thing is that he’ll never truly understand how much of a retard he is.

  • invalid-0

    Don’t you go wading into the deep waters of biology snookums,unless you’re prepared to swim without your floaty fish hat and holy water wings on. Don’t assume that “any biologist” will give you the definition of “alive” that you’re trying to make dance on the head of a pin.

    Emily, this is priceless. May I quote as necessary? All credit to you, of course.

    And Stevie-Pooh…just so we’re clear…your “perfect beauty” is the perfect nightmare for women who reject the ugliness of ongoing Catholic misogyny. If you don’t mind, we’ll determine for ourselves what is good and beautiful and right, without worrying about the opinions of celibate men wearing dresses who (strangely enough)…imagine they they can dictate to us what it means to be a woman, wife, and mother.

  • invalid-0

    It would appear SteveK has run away. He got utterly destroyed here, and he’s probably wondering why very few people agree with him outside of fundamentalist, baby-rabid pro-birther circles. My guess is that he had never actually spoken to any woman about his views on reproduction, and is surprised as hell when we reject what he thinks of as serious scientific pontifications as nothing but misogyny and religiot propaganda dressed in a white lab coat. He may have once been an atheist, but it doesn’t make him less of an idiot.

  • invalid-0

    you are welcome to post here.

  • invalid-0

    A blastocyst is not a person. A blastocyst is a lump of undifferentiated cells. There are no skin, nerve, bone, etc cells and therefore no person. A blastocyst could become a person but is not a person and therefore has no rights. People that exist have rights.

    The problem with the “pro-life” camp is that they are not pro-life. They hunt, eat meat, support the death penalty, support the use of the military instead of diplomacy, etc. The claim that a fertilized egg is a person places the concept of human being at the same level as a real human being, which a blastocyst is not.

    A blastocyst may become a human being but may not. Until sentience occurs, a person doesn’t exist and has no rights.

  • invalid-0

    your response to that stevek guy is absolutely PERFECT. thank you.

  • invalid-0

    And thanks to you for saying so!! : )

  • invalid-0

    she said pregnancy begins at implantation.

  • invalid-0

    some of the examples already stated above occur post-implantation. Read the Silver books for starters.

  • invalid-0

    should also say…many of them are ‘implanted’ scenarios.

  • invalid-0

    An egg is not alive or deserve rights,but a fetus is and does. So therefore all the comments about arresting men for masturbation are quite of the mark, albeit very funny.

    As for religion, it clearly has nothing to do with this and I think it should stop being mentioned at all by both sides. Arguments like these should be based on science and reasoned logic.

    That said I would like to point out that abortions done to save a woman’s life are good and justified. Also on an unrelated note if a baby dies in the womb it’s okay to abort since, duh, it’s not even alive anymore.

    Finally , helping the already born is great and all people should do it. But nobody denies that the born should be helped, prolifers are simply going out to help the MOST victimized of our society. After all everybody else has somebody helping or speaking for them already.

    There is a difference between eating meat, promoting war and death penalty and with killing a fetus. Firstly not all prolifers support all these views, you are making a generalization. Meat you eat comes from animals not humans and they obviously shouldn’t have human rights (though we shouldn’t kill the smarter ones). War is rarely prefered over diplomacy. If it is it’s because one side is clearly wrong and very evil. And the death penalty is to punish evil people who some say deserve death. The fetus is not evil at has done nothing wrong and doesn’t deserve death.

    Oh and one last thing I’d like to clear up. I will never say that the fetus > woman. But the fetus’life > the woman’s pain, discomfort and hardship. (At VERY least after brain development of the fetus)

    PS. I apologize that most of my responses are from the first page. I’m new here.

  • invalid-0

    You say that you would never elevate the fetus higher than the woman, but from a legal perspective, prohibiting abortion does just that. If the government can’t mandate a blood donation to save the life of a sentient human, why should it be able to mandate the use of all of a woman’s bodily resources for nine months for the sake of a fetus?

  • invalid-0

    Have you EVER seen so much angst about the “unwanted fetus”? Use your brains, ladies. Get a life. It is a bizarre kind of feminism that features such dumb, helpless women who can’t exist without an escape route from the dread fetus. If you used half the energy you expend creating tortuous arguments to rationalize the killing of your own children on some actually worthy endeavor, just imagine what could be accomplished?!

    You should be embarrassed.

  • invalid-0

    Well hell, Lucille…you’ve certainly changed my mind! I now think dumb, helpless women are just the people who ought to be bearing and raising children. Thanks ever so much for your wisdom and insight.

  • invalid-0

    It must be nice for Lucille, to be so unconcerned that a large and powerful political movement is trying to legislate away her bodily autonomy. Must sure be swell to live in an alternate reality where sexism doesn’t exist and women’s rights are respected automatically.

  • invalid-0

    If you need abortion to have bodily autonomy, then YOU are the problem.

  • invalid-0

    If you need abortion to have bodily autonomy, then YOU are the problem.

    Gasp! Your witty retort has left the entire pro-choice movement in shambles! Oh, Lucille, let men and [slutty, abortion-loving] women everywhere fear thy silver tongue!

  • invalid-0

    the weakness in YOU.

  • invalid-0

    The question remains, Lucille…why would you hand responsibility of bearing and raising children to women you consider too weak to handle it?

  • invalid-0

    I think women should be strong in parenting as in all other things.

  • invalid-0

    Then your objection to a woman (who is not up for the intensive labor involved with bearing and raising children) seeking an abortion is what, exactly?

  • invalid-0

    I can think of about a million ways to avoid that little predicament. But–dig deep! There may be more in there than you ever believed. And, if necessary, use a flow chart. Life is a growing experience. One precious lesson is: never make someone else pay for your failure to deliberate or even for your rotten luck. If that requires doing something that is harder than you thought you were capable of, don’t sell yourself short.

  • invalid-0

    Well Lucille, verbal bullying coupled with sincere pep talks from total strangers is well and good an’ all, but I’ll leave it to the individuals involved to determine their capabilities, circumstances, best interests and course of action. If you have no objection, of course.

  • invalid-0

    Here in arguably the most advanced country in the world, the cry and hue among those professing to represent the empowered female gender is that they can be counted on to kill their own children. How awkward.

  • invalid-0

    Okay Lucille, the contempt dripping from your comment must now be counteracted. Time to offer a pep talk about how, with a high school diploma, and w/o health insurance, working a minimum wage, physically demanding job with irregular/uncertain hours…you can just do it if you try! You go, Girl. You are EMPOWERED!

  • invalid-0

    Girls DO have brains and ARE capable of thinking ahead. DO NOT ENTER SERIOUS EMOTIONAL/SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS UNTIL YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR THAT PHASE OF LIFE. (Is there a man in the scenario you detail? What is his contribution?)

  • invalid-0

    Oh jeez, Lucille…I can’t even take any more cheap shots at you, oblivious as you are…so my honest, seriously annoyed question is: do you really think you have all the answers to all the reasons why women choose abortion? I ask, because so far, all those comments essentially come down to “Suck it up, Girl, you made your bed…now lie in it… and if you were any kind of a real woman with any depth at all, you would just DIG into those vast resevoirs of intellect, ability, financial resources, family support, and of course, your sterling health, and if nothing else…you might aquire the character that is sorely lacking.

    You see the contradictions, don’t you?

  • equalist

    What does it matter if there is a man in the scenario that was detailed above?  Perhaps there was one that has now left for a younger/prettier/sluttier/wealthier woman, or one that has died in the act of serving his country, or even in just a random act of violence.  Why is society so focused on the idea that a woman cannot support herself or her family without a man’s help?  Or the idea that a man always can without any help?  A few facts involved here.

    1)Any person, male or female, will have a hard time supporting a family under the above conditions.

    2)There is nothing that will make a man stick around who doesn’t want to.  If a married man doesn’t want to be married anymore, he has the right to leave at any time, and the woman who is left behind to care for the children is not at fault for that.

    3)Abusive relationships are not something to stay in, regardless of whether or not their are children involved.  If a woman in the above situation is in such a situation without a man around because she left an abusive jerk, then for one thing that’s her business to share or keep private as she sees fit, and secondly, she should be applauded for doing what was best for her and her family.

    4)As for preparing for that phase of life, pray tell how exactly does one prepare for finding themselves pulled into an abusive relationship that appeared to be a good situation at first, or for the death of a spouse in the prime of his health, or for the man you thought you’d be with forever, and perhaps even married, walking out on you and any children you have produced with him without so much as a glance back over his shoulder?

    Let me tell you something Lucille, I am in a similar situation as described above.  A high school education, two children to support, low paying job that doesn’t quite meet the bills, etc.  Is there a man in my scinario?  Why yes, there are two.  The man with a well paying job, whom I left after he threatened my life, the life of the daughter I was pregnant with, and the life of our already born daughter multiple times, and the wonderful man I am with now, who is disabled and unable to support our family because despite the reccommendations of multiple doctors, he’s apparently "not quite disabled enough" for any kind of assistance according to the paper pushers (not doctors) who decide on the health of the citizens of this country.  My tubes are tied, so no more pregnancies for me, but I’ll tell you this, in my current situation, if I were to somehow become pregnant while already so close to being unable to support my family as it is, I would be waiting in line at the abortion clinic.  It’s not a matter of discomfort of the woman, or the woman not allowing the man to support her every need, it is about the matter that not everyone can afford a child, or another child, not every man can support his family by himself or is necessarily willing to do so, and like it or not, sometimes life sucks.

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • http://www.csupomona.edu/~njpierce/kiawah-real-estate.html invalid-0

    Do you not see how ludicrous this is? How do you give freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from search and seizure and the right to bear arms to a collection of cells? Even if those cells contain the DNA to make them human, it does not make them human beings

    • crowepps

      And that isn’t even getting into the necessary effort to BALANCE the constitutional rights of the two DIFFERENT entities involved. People who get all het up about the ‘rights’ of particular citizens always seem to forget that their right to move their elbow ends at the other guy’s nose. Was very amused by this letter in our morning paper:

      “…I hope those pushing the notion of “homosexual rights” will have the fortitude to admit what they are doing. This is about power and the destruction of liberty. It is immoral to use the civil government — which means force or the threat of force — to force people to associate. Liberty can be messy, and people do not always live the way we like. But liberty is precious, and to be a free people is to be free to associate with whom one wants to associate. To deem “discrimination” against homosexuals to be illegal is one more step in the destruction of liberty.”

      http://www.adn.com/opinion/letters/story/892429.html?storylink=pd

      Funny how he can’t grasp that he is demanding the ‘liberty’ to take away someone else’s ‘liberty’ by discriminating against them. Just as all too many ProLife activists can’t grasp that giving the “cluster of undifferentiated cells” an absolute “right to life” abridges the right to life of the woman.

  • invalid-0

    Judie Brown of the American Life League is outraged at a culture that values intercourse over procreation. See link below:

    http://www.all.org/newsroom_judieblog.php

    It would seem, then, that she should be offended by the words of Paul Lauritzen, professor of religious studies at John Carroll University in Ohio, quoted in the July 2009 article below, in which the Roman Catholic Church is depicted as favoring intercourse leading to non-genetically related offspring over baby-making with a couple’s own genetic material:

    http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=136743

    I implore all Catholic Church clergy and theology instructors to expand upon this logic that favors women conceiving with donated ovaries over women conceiving with their own eggs. So, the Catholic Church essentially says, it is morally permissible for a woman to have intercourse and procreate and give birth to a child not of her DNA, but a grave moral evil if a woman’s eggs and her husband’s sperm are joined via IVF and all embryos are transferred to her uterus for a chance at life. Which of the two scenarios would likely cause more lasting damage to the marriage and to the resulting children’s self-esteem? “Honey, I have no idea who your biological mother is, but the Catholic Church said we could only procreate through intercourse, and I had problems ovulating, so I chose to have donated ovaries inserted in my body rather than have to turn to evil IVF to become a mother. Rest assured all is right in God’s eyes.” Why hasn’t mainstream media picked up on this fascinating logic of Catholic teaching yet?

  • invalid-0

    The DNA is 100% complete at conception, so I believe that life begins at that time. How does a pro-abotion person explain the legal right to life once he is born vs. 10 minutes prior to birth? Magic? Like…..”ta da, now you have legal protection young one.” Nonsensical.

  • invalid-0

    I like how you guys claim that no one knows when life begins, then someone offers science for the answer, and you accuse him of having no life and being a religious zealot.
    All of your claims for personhood and when life begins are arbitrary. Answer this: in a civilized country in which our founding principle is that all people are created equal, name one physical characteristic that everyone has in common. Is it size? Level of development? Number of cells? Environment? Degree of dependency? These are the only differences between a born and unborn human being. The only thing we have in common is that we are human beings.
    By the way, there is no such thing as a potential human being. A potential X is an actual Y. We learned in the 1800s that life doesn’t miracuously spring into being from nothing. It’s called the law of biogenesis. As the author of “The Liberal Case Against Abortion” puts it: “Philisophical debates about the “personhood” of the human unborn resemble the old, medieval arguments about ensoulment.” By the way, these arguments used to be used against women, African Americans, and Native Americans. Just thought you’d like to know what side you are on.

  • http://www.derma-rollers.net invalid-0

    The completion of the organs which characterize its body when it becomes a separate organism…. At the moment the sperm cell of the human male meets the ovum of the female and the union results in a fertilized ovum (zygote), a new life has begun…. The term embryo covers the several stages of early development from conception to the ninth or tenth week of life.”

  • http://WWW.PAYDAYLOANZONE.COM invalid-0

    A physics, a biology where there is a God is bound to look different. So the most basic claims of religion are scientific. Religion is a scientific theory.
    Richard Dawkins

  • invalid-0

    The “right” to develop? What a morally bankrupt and stupid concept. No human life form has the “right” to develop within the body of another person. The “right” to develop is no more valid than the “right” of a child to one of his father’s kidneys. I guess these immoral fools want to go there. So the next question is: When are parents, that includes fathers, required to part with an organ for their child? Perhaps the courts and our legislators could sort it out.

  • invalid-0

    Seriously – Is destroying an embryo really the same thing as putting a two year old in a concentration camp oven? Should a woman who’s had an abortion be charged the same as someone who shot his wife? What are the differences between a developing human embryo and a person? One can start with frontal lobe development and the formation of synapses, but that would not be very medieval. Bottom line is not recognizing the significant differences and granting embryo’s civil rights is medieval, immoral and irrational.

  • invalid-0

    This means, if passed, and if one wants to read the reality of this, that implementation of this bill into law would result in the fact that any time any women is abused in ANY way that abuse has actually happened thousands of times over. If a normal woman carries about 1 million eggs at her birth, with a steady decline in egg production as she matures, she may have as many as 300 thousand eggs around the time of puberty. Then, a man has not raped just one woman or one girl, but every egg she carries that might one day become a person–that is then the rape or assault of every possible person that every egg could become. If a woman is abused by another person–any other person–including being hit, tossed around, or even tazed by police, then every single egg she carries, which is to be considered a real live person—every one of them is subjected to the same abuse. How many crimes would all of that add up to? What if a woman is imprisoned? Then, every possible or would we say (actual) person she carries is serving a crime that they have not committed. Will her eggs be taken out before she serves her life sentence? Any jail time served by any woman could then become an example of mass double jeopardy? Those eggs/people could also commit a crime some day. Would they then already have served jail time? How many oddball scenarios will this create? Will any crime or abuse against any woman equal to multiple crimes or abuse against every egg she carries? A woman could then report a mass crime when a crime or abuse has happened to her. Do not think that this thought sounds any crazier than this bill. Surely, lawyers, District Attorneys, and much smarter people than me, will also think of this concept. Someone has not really thought the implications of this crazy bill all the way through; have they? If this happens, one can imagine a speedy reversal.

  • http://www.derma-rollers.net invalid-0

    At times, we have to make some decisions that will not please everyone. While I respect life of the unborn, I don’t see why a “child” should be burdened with the responsibility of bringing up another child. If you are going to take the newly born to a foster home, then at least don’t revoke the rights of the mother to the child.

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

    I went to school and lived in Colorado for almost ten years. I hope the religious right doesn’t get their way. I’m amazed at the hold religious groups have take in the last ten years and how far their fanaticism is spreading.