Is the Health Care Bill Boxer’s “Missouri Compromise?”


"A house divided against itself cannot stand."  Abraham Lincoln.

“When you have both extremes saying they’re unhappy, I think it’s [the Senate’s December 21, 2009 healthcare bill] a fair compromise," Mrs. Boxer said.

Well, Senator, Boxer, I have two words for you: Missouri Compromise.

How preposterous is what Senator Boxer said to the nation today?  Let me count the ways.

Senator Boxer:  Just because:

  • people disagree, doesn’t mean each side has an equally valid argument.
  • you made a compromise, doesn’t mean you made good public policy.
  • you wrote a bill that 60 people voted for, doesn’t mean it’s a good bill.
  • you helped women somewhat, doesn’t mean you helped them enough.

 

And, Senator Boxer: Just because you made a compromise today and everyone’s equally unhappy today doesn’t mean that those who need help will get help, either today, or at any point in the near future.

Just review today’s history lesson, the one about the Missouri Compromise, to see how well that strategy worked:  Remember the Missouri Compromise? Well, it, and the compromises that followed it, didn’t lead to more freedom for the slaves; they led to less, and then to the Civil War.

Here are the particulars: The 1820 Missouri Compromise divided the Louisiana Purchase territory, much of the western and southern parts of the United States at the time, into a nation “half slave and half free.”  If the state was below the Mason Dixon line, it could have slaves; if it was above, it couldn’t.

But, surprise, surprise. Things didn’t get better as a result of this compromise; they got worse, culminating in the Supreme Court’s 1857 Dred Scott decision, opening the door to legal slavery in all the states because, in the view of the Court, African Americans were property, not people, and, thus, protected by the U.S. Constitution.

By 1858, in his immortal “House Divided” speech, Abraham Lincoln, then running for the U.S. Senate against Stephen Douglas, (one of the great compromisers of American history), pointed-out why the compromises proposed by the U.S. Senate, following the Dred Scott decision, wouldn’t work either.

Lincoln summarized his view by saying: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.

Lincoln was right: Two years later, our nation was a house divided, a people at war over the issue of slavery, that issue for which no number of compromises would ever work (keep reading).

It took 99 more years to put into law the equality the Constitution hadn’t brought to African Americans.

Well, Senator Boxer:  Will American women have to wait 99 years to get equal footing with men because of the compromises you’ve made?

Senator Boxer: If, by some chance, you’re not aware of the implications of your compromise, read this summary.

It’s horrifying: at bottom, you’ve endorsed a return to pre-Roe days when women had to shop around the states in order to obtain a legal abortion—it reminds me of the Senators who came before you creating a shopping list of states to benefit those who wanted to own slaves.

This is pretty damn damning, if you ask me.

Senator Boxer:  What did you think you were doing when you sat there with the big boys? It boggles the mind.

“Even Lincoln’s friends believed the speech (the “House Divided” speech) was too radical for the occasion. His law partner, William H. Herndon, thought that Lincoln was morally courageous but politically incorrect. [But] Herndon said Lincoln told him he was looking for a universally known figure of speech that would rouse people to the peril of the times.

Lincoln was willing to make the speech and lose the election, as he did. He didn’t give up. Neither should you.

Senator Boxer, I quote Lincoln to rouse you to the peril of (these) times:  

“We did this (fight the American Revolution) under the single impulse of resistance to a common danger, with every external circumstance against us. Of strange, discordant, and even hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought the battle through….Did we brave all them to falter now? …We shall not fail-if we stand firm….Wise counsels may accelerate, or mistakes delay it, but, sooner or later, the victory is sure to come.”

Senator Boxer:  Heed Lincoln’s wise counsel:  Respond to today’s “common danger,” the danger to American women that this Senate healthcare bill poses. Become morally courageous, even politically incorrect, and lead your sister Senators in a “single impulse of resistance” against this morally bankrupt compromise.

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  • brianh

    You do realize that the Dred Scott court decision that found that slaves were not persons is the same as the Roe v Wade court decision that found that human beings within their Mother’s wombs were not persons right?

     

    Yet you blast the court for deciding Dred Scott and don’t realize that the court was wrong to do the same thing again in Roe v Wade?

  • ahunt

    You do realize that the Dred Scott court decision that found that
    slaves were not persons is the same as the Roe v Wade court decision
    that found that human beings within their Mother’s wombs were not
    persons right?

    No, the decisions are not comparable, as slaves were actual people…and not dependent on another person’s biological processes for their continued existance.

  • harry834

    to death row inmates, the disabled, the comatose, the the persistently vegatative.

    The above groups of people are often compared with the "unborn". The difference: none of the above require the biological connection to another person with human rights. Unless pregnancy is a choice made by the state, the church, or anyone besides the woman herself, the "unborn" can’t be afforded human rights on par with the rest of humanity. The location DOES matter, as a pregnant woman is not an incubator. She is a person with the right to determine her fate, including the fate of her body and reproduction cycle.

  • harry834

    men who are trying to determine their own body’s fate by taking Viagra. A limpy penis is not a pair of legs or a functioning back. It’s purely about sexual satisfaction. Is that a medical need? For which we must spend insurance money that could go to others? Isn’t pregnancy more consequential for the individual than a lack of erection?

    That said, I’m not opposed to Viagra’s being covered. But I point out the double standard.

  • brianh

    No, the decisions are not comparable, as slaves were actual people…and not dependent on another person’s biological processes for their continued existance.

     

    Slaves were actual people according to whom?  The Law?  No, the Law clearly stated that they were not persons just as our Law currently clearly states that Human Beings who still reside in their Mother’s wombs are not persons (or in Virginia if they are still attached by umbilical cord and outside of the womb the Mother can still kill them legally).

     

    People in the time of Dred Scott were merely obeying the Law in saying that Black’s were not persons and were not like ‘whites’.  They believed that Black’s were physically different than white Human Beings and that Black’s were dependent upon whites.  They had scientists backing them up that Black’s were different.  You don’t see the similarities at all?

  • prochoiceferret

    Slaves were actual people according to whom?

    This is just a shot in the dark, but… the slaves themselves?

    People in the time of Dred Scott were merely obeying the Law in saying that Black’s were not persons and were not like ‘whites’. They believed that Black’s were physically different than white Human Beings and that Black’s were dependent upon whites. They had scientists backing them up that Black’s were different. You don’t see the similarities at all?

    Actually, I do see the similarities. You are saying that a pregnant woman must be forced to carry her pregnancy to term—in other words, to be enslaved to the fetus. So you want women to be treated like Dred Scott, as less than full human beings. Shame on you!

     

    (Oh, and fetal personhood has nothing to do with whether abortion should be legal or not. No person, born or otherwise, has the right to sustain itself directly from the body of another. If the woman doesn’t consent to providing that support, she is fully within her rights to "evict" her unwanted "tenant.")

  • ahunt

    Wiki Wiki Wiki….

     

     

    The Three-Fifths compromise was a compromise between Southern and Northern states reached during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in which three-fifths of the population of slaves would be counted for enumeration purposes regarding both the distribution of taxes and the apportionment of the members of the United States House of Representatives. It was proposed by delegates James Wilson and Roger Sherman.

    Delegates opposed to slavery
    generally wished to count only the free inhabitants of each state.
    Delegates supportive of slavery, on the other hand, generally wanted to
    count slaves in their actual numbers. Since slaves could not vote,
    slaveholders would thus have the benefit of increased representation in
    the HouseElectoral College; taxation was only a secondary issue.[citation needed] The final compromise of counting "
    and the all other persons"
    as only three-fifths of their actual numbers reduced the power of the
    slave states relative to the original southern proposals, but increased
    it over the northern position.

    The three-fifths compromise is found in Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution:

    Representatives and direct
    Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be
    included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers,
    which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free
    Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.
  • crowepps

    One big difference was that the slave was able to escape – to flee – to walk north to Canada where he/she instantly became ‘a person’ in law again.  His owner was using the slave’s body and the slave’s work without recompense and any impact on the owner from the slave no longer being there was entirely economic.  I can’t remember any abolitionists arguing that it was morally justified for the slave to kill his owner in order to survive or for a slave rebellion to destroy the entire owner class.

     

    At our present state of medical knowledge, the continuing development of the zygote requires coopting the use of the female body in which it is developing, to that mature person’s immediate and ultimate detriment.  The continued existence of the zygote actually threatens her life in a small percentage of cases.  In that situation, the woman could also reasonably be described as ‘enslaved’.

     

    That being so, using ‘the abolitionists stepped outside the law to oppose slavery’ or even ‘slavery was evil’ as an argument is useless, since BOTH sides of this issue can argue that they are the moral descendents of the abolitionists.

     

    This could argueably be more accurate for those who are ProChoice since those who advocate for women are doing so on behalf of a group who are actually ASKING for their help in continuing the legality of abortion.  Those representing the zygote, on the other hand, are doing so using the zygote as a symbol which they have imbued with their own fears about mortality and the value of human life, and which they use as a representative of their own beliefs about the ideal status of women and their ‘natural place’.

  • crowepps

    Note that Indians were excluded from personhood altogether.

     

    And of course women were considered persons, counted in the census and their presence applied towards representation for over 140 years before they actually got the right to vote, and Native Americans were confirmed in their right to vote in all states as recently as 1953 after a series of Supreme Court rulings reaffirming them as ‘citizens’.

     

    Amazing how people tout the idea that their opposition to abortion is similar to the opposition to slavery because they too wish to confirm  ‘equality of citizens’ when they don’t recognize that long after slavery was banned entirely in the United States and the abolitionists had declared themselves a ‘success’ because Black men were nominally ‘free’, more than half the population still didn’t have the status of equal citizen.

  • anninroosevelt

    It seems to me that too many of us on the prochoice side have compromised with the very basic assertion that the anti-abortion crusade has resolutely made for 40 years: that from the "moment of conception" a person exists. Surely just making that statement clarifies how ludicrous the concept is, and how much junk science is involved. I know they claim that the existence of a unique DNA at the "moment of conception" proves that the zygote is a person. But science doesn’t concur, except the few scientists who can talk "science" convincingly to their fellow-believers, and thus give them scientific-sounding "proof" that conception results immediately in a person. If the zygote/embryo/fetus was a person, why couldn’t we just relieve the woman of the burden of 9 months of pregnancy by delivering the contents of the uterus and let it develop in an artifical environment? There has to be a reason why pregnancy lasts 9 months if a healthy baby is going to result. In those cases of premature births, the baby is kept alive as it would be in the womb through very sophisticated technoloogical equipment as a substitute for all that the woman would supply during the remaining weeks of pregnancy. A lot of development has to occur before life can be sustained outside the womb, and the most significant development is in the development of the brain so that it can direct the rest of the living system. The earliest this brain development occurs is at about 28 weeks, weeks after what we have come to term "viability." So, even after breathing can occur outside the womb, a 24-26 week fetus requires an artifical environment to sustain all the functions that will lead to brain development. We have to be better versed in science to effectively counter the junk science that has been perpetrated for 40 years on legislators and the American public. anninroosevelt

  • colleen

    I believe that Senator Boxer’s nonsensical analysis and, indeed, this compromise is the direct fruit of what ‘centrist’ Third Way Democrats are trying to sell as a ‘common ground’ approach. The ‘common ground’ section here contained an almost identical identical argument in the last sentence of this http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/commonground/2009/11/17/reconsidering-ellsworth. The sentence in question being:

    The Ellsworth Amendment was not endorsed by any of the major pro-life or pro-choice groups. That’s probably the best indication that it achieves common ground.

    I’m grateful for this definition of ‘common ground’ strategy as those involved in devising it often seem reluctant or unable to precisely  articulate just what ‘common ground’ would look like in everyday terms so that even we extremists can understand. It appears that as long as everyone who cares about social policies about  abortion and contraception and particularly some vaguely defined ‘left’ is angry and or unhappy then ‘common ground’ and thus success has been achieved.
    How unfortunate that those of us who aren’t as wealthy as the US senators are forced to purchase insurance we can ill afford. Ironically many who can afford the premiums will not be able to see a doctor because the deductible is 5K and the money that would have gone to a Dr is paying premimums.  Even then, because we are women, our most basic reproductive choices will be shaped by the Catholic Bishops  in order to achieve a ‘common ground’ which, curiously, does not include the voices of pro-choice men or women.

     

    What I want to know is how the Democrats believe this sort of shameless pandering to the right  is a re-election strategy or, for that matter, representative democracy.

     

     

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

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • rebecca-sive

    Here is a woman with the courage of her convictions. Check-out what Sylvia Henriquez has to say, in her Christmas-Eve letter from the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health:  http:latinainstitute.orgI’ve sent Sylvia’s letter out and provided a link here:

    http://www.sivesiftingsrebeccasivetalksback.com/2009/12/in-solidarity-healthcare-reform-is-no.html

  • emma

    What I want to know is how the Democrats believe this sort of shameless pandering to the right is a re-election strategy or, for that matter, representative democracy.

    As far as re-election strategies go, it seems like a terrible one, and I can’t figure it out. I get that the Democrats, including Obama, are corporatists first and foremost, and representing their representatives is a fairly minor concern, but it seems like the Democrats can’t continue to alienate their base forever.

     

    Can they really be that out of touch with the people they represent? Or do they just not give a fuck? It’s like your political system is devolving into some scary combination of feudalism and fascism (even more so than ours, which is pretty bad!).

     

    I also cannot comprehend how it could be possible that some idiots seriously believe Obama or the majority of the other Dems are ‘left-wing’, let alone socialist!! How far to the right the Overton window must be for that premise to be taken seriously by anyone

     

    (Apologies; I follow American politics closely.)

  • crowepps

    As far as re-election strategies go, it seems like a terrible one, and I can’t figure it out. I get that the Democrats, including Obama, are corporatists first and foremost, and representing their representatives is a fairly minor concern, but it seems like the Democrats can’t continue to alienate their base forever.

    "Who pays the piper picks the tune."  The corporations finance the elections, the corporations get legislation they approve of.

     

    Of course the Democrats can alienate their base – who else are we going to vote for?  The conservative nut-jobs in the other party who want to become part of government because they want to destroy it or the religious whackos who want to encourage Armaggedon because they’re sure they won’t be present?

  • brianh

    the "moment of conception"
    a person exists. Surely just making that statement clarifies how
    ludicrous the concept is, and how much junk science is involved.

    Ahhhh….junk science:

     

    A United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee invited experts to
    testify on the question of when life begins. All of the quotes from the
    following experts come directly from the official government record of
    their testimony. (Report, Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, 97th Congress, 1st Session 1981.)

     

    Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni, professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania, stated:

    "I have learned from my earliest medical education that human
    life begins at the time of conception…. I submit that human life is
    present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood
    and that any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes
    a termination of human life…"

     

    Dr. Jerome LeJeune, professor of genetics at the University of
    Descartes in Paris, was the discoverer of the chromosome pattern of
    Down syndrome. Dr. LeJeune testified to the Judiciary Subcommittee, "after fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being."
    He stated that this "is no longer a matter of taste or opinion," and
    "not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence." He
    added, "Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception."


    Professor Hymie Gordon, Mayo Clinic: "By all the criteria of modern
    molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception."

     

    Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth, Harvard University Medical School:
    "It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive…. It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception…. Our laws, one function of which is to help preserve the lives of our people, should be based on accurate scientific data." 

     

    Dr. Watson A. Bowes, University of Colorado Medical School: "The
    beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a
    simple and straightforward matter—the beginning is conception. This straightforward biological fact should not be distorted to serve sociological, political, or economic goals."

     

    Ashley Montague, a geneticist and professor at Harvard and Rutgers, is
    unsympathetic to the prolife cause. Nevertheless, he affirms
    unequivocally, "The basic fact is simple: life begins not at birth, but conception." (Ashley Montague, Life Before Birth (New York: Signet Books, 1977), vi.)

     

     

    Dr. Landrum Shettles was for twenty-seven years attending
    obstetrician-gynecologist at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in
    New York. Shettles was a pioneer in sperm biology, fertility, and
    sterility. He is internationally famous for being the discoverer of
    male- and female-producing sperm. His intrauterine photographs of
    preborn children appear in over fifty medical textbooks. Dr. Shettles
    states,

     

    "I oppose abortion. I do so, first, because I accept what is biologically manifest—that human life commences at the time of conception—and,
    second, because I believe it is wrong to take innocent human life under
    any circumstances. My position is scientific, pragmatic, and
    humanitarian."

  • prochoiceferret

    Ahhhh….junk science:

    Ahhhh….word games.

     

    The point was that "a human person" in the sense that it is normally used and understood does not come into being at the point of fertilization/conception. You’re appealing to a bunch of ostensible authorities who say that "human life" begins at that point, but what significance do you attach to that particular instantiation of "human life?" Is destroying a zygote morally equivalent to committing murder? Does the fact that you can technically call a zygote "human life" mean that you can force the woman in whose body it resides to carry it to term, whether she wants to or not? I don’t think so!

     

    Here’s a fun one for you: Cancerous human tumors are human life. (They have human DNA, right? And they’re alive, right? So there.) Removing a tumor from the body of a patient causes the tumor to die, and so thereby KILLS HUMAN LIFE. So cancer surgery is MURDER. Do you support MURDER? No? Then vote to outlaw cancer surgery!

  • jgbeam

    Abortion is not health care.

    http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=35101&page=2

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • crowepps

    You might want to come up with something better to support your bumpersticker motto than one of the numerous occasions in the Bible where it was ‘God’s will’ that hundreds of babies were slaughtered.

  • jgbeam

    You know better, crowepps.

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • emma

    Sorry, in the previous post I wrote ‘representatives’ when I meant ‘constituents’.

  • emma

    Yeah, it seems everyone in the US other than the flat-earther premillenial dispensationalist ‘free-market jesus’ crowd is pretty much stuck without options other than the Democrats. Interesting…a choice between neo-liberal, part pro-choice and part anti-choice, war-mongering imperialists on the one hand and neo-liberal and neo-conservative, anti-choice, war-mongering imperialists on the other hand…

     

    We have a similar problem here – two dominant major parties – although it’s ameliorated somewhat by the fact that we have preferential voting and, in the Senate, proportional representation, so at least we get some minor party representation in one house of parliament. This isn’t always a good thing – right now a guy from the Foetus First Family First party has way too much power – that party basically represents the Assemblies of God churches. I’m hoping that in our 2010 federal election, the Greens – my party of choice – will pick up some senate seats, because that would force the government to move to the left.

     

    Sorry; I’m sure you’re all dreadfully interested in my discussions of Australian politics. ;-)

  • crowepps

    Actually am interested in your politics, since both preferential voting and proportional representation have been brought up here as reforms that might be useful.  Do you really feel they make a difference?

  • prochoicegoth

    Abortion is healthcare actually. It cares for the woman by removing the fetus. I guess aborting an ectopic pregnancy is wrong to you? How about aborting a FATALLY ILL fetus? What about aborting a pregnancy so a woman with cancer can get chemo and LIVE? Are those wrong to you as well? 

     


    It’s pro-choice or
    NO choice.

  • prochoicegoth

    It was your god who flooded the earth and killed billions. It was your god who burned down cities and killed billions. It was also your god who wanted a man to kill his own child to prove his faith. Also, your god aborts pregnancies every day. They’re called miscarriages and stillbirths. Face it, your god is the biggest abortionist of them all. 

     


    It’s pro-choice or
    NO choice.

  • jgbeam

    ..are with God.  The others..?

     

    You are not God and abortion is not health care.

     

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • prochoiceferret

    You are not God and abortion is not health care.

    It certainly isn’t for men. Just like "prostate surgery isn’t health care" for women. But abortion is part of health care for women, just like prostate surgery is part of health care for men.

  • ahunt

    So basically, Jim…your God is irrational, arbitrary, capricious and just plain MEAN?

  • prochoiceferret

    So basically, Jim…your God is irrational, arbitrary, capricious and just plain MEAN?

    Yeah. His God obiously has anger-management issues. He really should think of joining Avenging Deities Anonymous (ADA), where He can work out His problems with other Supreme Beings and realize that by wreaking plagues, famines, and mass slaughters upon the human populace, He is only hurting Himself.

     

    Of course, the first step of any recovery program is recognizing that you have a problem. And sadly, there are many emotionally damaged deities out there who never find the strength to begin that journey.

  • prochoicegoth

    So it’s okay for your god to kill when he’s having a bad day, but it’s not okay for a woman to abort a pregnancy? God is allowed to abort pregnancies via miscarriages, but a doctor isn’t allowed to do it? Your god is childish.And since an abortion is a way to care for the woman, it IS healthcare. You can’t just go around changing definitions because you’re a misogynist who thinks women should not have autonomy. 

     

    It’s pro-choice or NO choice.

  • ack

    Honestly, whether or not it’s a human being isn’t the point for me. No human being has the right to co-opt another’s biological resources against his/her will. Doesn’t matter if it’s a fetus, a child, a doctor on the brink of a monumental discovery who’s dying of liver disease, or a person I hit when I ran a red light. If I don’t want to donate blood or organs, the state cannot force me to, even if my own actions caused the other to need them. They can’t force this for a 15 minute blood donation, and they certainly shouldn’t be able to force it throughout a pregancy, which carries much greater risks.

  • crowepps

    If your God divides the world into ‘innocent’ and ‘sinful’, then surely all those innocent aborted fetuses are also with God, arriving spotless because they never had any chance to ‘sin’.

     

    You are not God either, Jim, and your theology is so shallow (and so obsessively focused on bodies/sex/reproduction) that it’s obvious that you are not speaking for Him.

  • paul-bradford

    Goth,

     

    How in the world did my name get added to this thread?

     

    I would love to talk to you, or anyone, about killing gods or divine murder or the responsibilities of doctors, or spiritual maturity, or the relevance of abortion in health care, or bodily autonomy or female self-determination or my supposed misogyny.  Just call, I’ll be there.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • emma

    Crowepps, yes, I think both do make a difference. The good thing about preferential voting is that people can comfortably vote for third parties as their first preference without feeling that their votes are a giveaway to the major party they hate, as they can rank the least awful major party ahead of the more awful one, and in the lower house (House of Representatives) in particular, their vote will eventually go to the major party they despise less. It means being able to lodge a protest vote, essentially, without actually ‘wasting’ your vote.

     

    Proportional representation is only for the Senate (upper house), but it’s great because it means that we do end up with minor party representation in that chamber. Although the government is formed by whichever party has the majority in the House of Reps, legislation has to be approved by the Senate in order to be enacted. Our biggest minor party is the Greens Party, which is also our most left-leaning party. When they have a decent number of Senators, it means the government – the majority party in the House of Reps – has to negotiate with the Greens, which is excellent as hey will obstruct very right-wing legislation. It works less well when conservatives/christian fundamentalist parties/independents (members of the Foetus First Family First Party, for instance) hold the balance of power in the Senate, but otherwise it can work very well.

     

    In any case, I think it’s great when the major parties don’t hold a complete monopoly on power, particularly as the difference between them is minimal – the Liberal Party, which is pretty much the equivalent of your Republicans, is somewhat worse than the Labor Party, which is somewhat equivalent to your Democratic party, but they’re still pretty similar.

     

    I also like the fact that the Prime Minister (head of gov’t) is a member of parliament rather than a separate office (as is the case with your President), as it generally means there’s somewhat less of a cult of personality around the head of government/head of state.
    Not that our system is great, and in general the country has been moving progressively to the right, but at least there’s theoretically some hope.

  • prochoicegoth

    Got you mixed up with Jim. You’re no better than he sometimes from what I’ve seen so it’s easy to see why I thought it was you I was conversing with for a sec. 

     


    It’s pro-choice or
    NO choice.

  • crowepps

    Appreciate the explanation.  Certainly both seem like they would be improvements in our system.  I remember fondly one guy who legally changed his name to "None of the Above" and tried to run for office.  If he’d been allowed to get away with it I think it would have been a landslide.  Unfortunately, he was stopped.

     

    I agree with you about the insidious problem of the cult of personality.  People who thought McCain/Palin would provide a ‘warrior king’ and ‘princess’ for them to admire are bitterly disappointed they didn’t win and usher in a resuscitated "Christian America" and those who elected Obama as a heroic Great Man who would solve all their problems for them are bitterly disappointed that he hasn’t produced any miracles.  The idea of electing a competent administrator who can actually run the country well is apparently ‘boring’ and ‘antique’.  Instead we supposedly need a Leader, someone who makes instant decisions to settle things and negates the need for fact investigation or thoughful discussion.

     

    The problem with people in the mass is that so many of them passionately yearn for that Leader, the equivalent of daddy/mommy, king/queen or priest/priestess, to whom they can crawl on their bended knees and in whom they can invest the responsibility for their lives.

     

    The number of people who willingly sacrifice their autonomy, lives and physical safety to a proxy of some sort, whether political, religious or ‘life-style movement’ in order to have the psychological comfort of not having to make and be responsible for their own decisions is staggering.

  • grayduck

    ack on December 30, 2009 – 4:00pm: "No human being has the right to co-opt another’s biological resources against his/her will."

     

    On what authority is that pronouncement based?

     

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • crowepps

    The Emancipation Proclamation?  Mr. Lincoln did free the slaves.

     

    Would certainly be interested in any authority that you can provide which makes it legal for any person to use the body of another to their own benefit, without recompense, in any other instance than pregnancy.

  • ahunt

    Minor quibble….w/o consent/recompense.

     

    Concscientious objector?

  • crowepps

    If parties negotiate recompense, then the consent would be inherent, wouldn’t it?

     

    When I constructed this sentence I was actually trying to think of other situations where a person’s ‘body’ could be coopted by society, and the only legal one that I could think of was a person being drafted unwillingly into the military in times of war.  Even in that case, however, there are clear exemptions for physical inability and freedom of conscience, and the person receives payment for their time, however inadequate.