Are Pregnant Women Persons After 20 Weeks’ Gestation?


Each year, six million women in the United States become pregnant. Approximately four million women go to term, one million have abortions, and nearly one million experience pregnancy losses, including thousands of stillbirths that occur after 28 weeks of pregnancy. All of these women are at risk when legislators attempt to establish a point in pregnancy when women may be deprived of their civil and human rights.

In June, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks; last week, a similar bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate. In July, Texas became the 13th state to pass such a ban, and on November 19 the citizens of Albuquerque, New Mexico, will get to vote on a ballot measure that would impose such a ban.

These measures typically define “unborn children” as existing from the moment of fertilization, and all prohibit a woman from having an abortion after 20 weeks, even if her health depends on it. But far more than abortion is at stake; these measures establish legal principles that will be—and, indeed, already have been—used to justify arrests of and forced medical interventions on pregnant women.

This past March, grassroots birthing rights activists reached out to our organization, National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW), seeking help on behalf of a frightened pregnant woman who was well past 20 weeks in her pregnancy. The reason for her fear was straightforward: Her doctor had emailed her, threatening her with arrest if she did not report to the hospital immediately for cesarean surgery. The doctor’s letter read, in part:

I would hate to move to the most extreme option, which is having law enforcement pick you up at your home and bring you in but you are leaving the providers … no choice. If I do not hear that by this afternoon you have presented to [the hospital] prepared for delivery, this pathway may be chosen.

Although NAPW was able to intervene in time and persuade the doctor and hospital to withdraw this grossly inappropriate and legally unjustified threat, such threats are being made with surprising frequency. NAPW has fielded calls for help from women in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas who, late in their pregnancies, were threatened with court orders or other state action if they did not give up their rights to medical decision-making, bodily integrity, and health and submit to unnecessary cesarean surgery.

These are not idle threats. In fact, some women who have refused cesarean surgery or rejected advice to be hospitalized late in pregnancy have been taken prisoner and forced to submit to highly invasive medical and surgical procedures. The justifications for such actions have everything to do with the principles that would be established by laws banning abortions after 20 weeks. One Florida federal district court has already (wrongly) ruled that if states may outlaw abortion at some point during pregnancy and force a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, then surely the state can also force a woman to undergo major medical procedures to deliver the child she “affirmatively desires to have.”

In addition, post-20-week abortion bans have far-reaching implications for women who experience stillbirths. Increasingly, prosecutors are arguing that if states may force a woman to carry her pregnancy to term, then states should also be able to punish her when she fails to do so. In Mississippi, a teenager who experienced a stillbirth after 20 weeks of pregnancy was charged with a crime called “depraved heart homicide.” In Indiana, Bei Bei Shuai, in an act of desperation, attempted suicide when she was 33 weeks pregnant. She survived, but her baby did not. As a result of her suicide attempt while pregnant, Shuai was incarcerated without bail for more than a year on charges of attempted feticide and murder of a viable fetus.

These are not isolated incidents. In an article published earlier this year in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, we document more than 400 cases involving the arrests and detentions of—and forced medical interventions on—pregnant women taking place between 1973 and 2005. Since 2005, we have documented more than 300 additional cases.

Our research finds little direct legal authority for these actions. Rather, prosecutors, hospital lawyers, and arresting officers rely on laws like the one being voted on next week in Albuquerque and those already passed in 13 states. They claim that if the state may protect the unborn by depriving pregnant women of their rights in the abortion context, consistency requires that pregnant women be deprived of their rights in all contexts, including birth and pregnancy loss.

These cases press home the need for abortion opponents and supporters alike to oppose these bans and secure society’s commitment to the fundamental principle: that a woman is a person with civil and human rights throughout her pregnancy. Before and after 20 weeks. Always.

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

  • L-dan

    “One Florida federal district court
    has already (wrongly) ruled that if states may outlaw abortion at some
    point during pregnancy and force a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy
    to term, then surely the state can also force a woman to undergo major
    medical procedures to deliver the child she “affirmatively desires to
    have.””

    Precisely the reason any bans on abortion are a problem. Once you start saying that the existence of a fetus changes the pregnant person’s basic human rights, it’s not a far stretch to expand the rights that are off limits while they are considered an incubator for the state.

    • dance commander

      Exactly.

    • Ella Warnock

      Well said.

    • Shawn Ryu

      How is killing a baby a human right? The whole reason why a lot of people are against abortion is because they believe its murder. You cant use HUMAN RIGHTS to argue that its not murder.

      I am not pro life by the way. I am pointing out the absurdity in your argument and will save you time and effort.

      • L-dan

        1. 90% of abortions occur well before anyone reasonable could argue that the fetus is a ‘person’. Thus they would not be murder by any stretch of the imagination. The small percentage that happen in the range where one might start arguing about personhood are mostly due to maternal and fetal health issues.

        2. Regardless of whether the fetus is a person, people do not have the right to use other people for life support. Thus, forcing someone to serve as life support violates their rights.

        3. We tend to find that folks dropping in and protesting “I’m not pro life” doth protest too much.

      • lady_black

        No babies are ever harmed in a safe, legal termination of pregnancy. And nobody cares if you think it’s murder. I have the human right NOT to be forced to live according to your “beliefs.” Your beliefs only operate in YOUR life. You DO get that, right?

        • Shawn Ryu

          I am not saying abortion is a murder in a matter of a fact. I am saying if you are going to make an argument for pro choice use science and logic.

          ITS MY LIFE argument only works in gay marriage argument, not here. If people think abortion is murder why the hell wont they tru to illegalize it? Think about it, think about what the word MURDER is.
          Thats where science and logic comes in You tell them to fuck off by proving its not murder.

          • L-dan

            It’s not an “it’s my life” argument. It’s an “it’s my body” argument. When you’re commenting on an article that lays out very clearly the risks of claiming that a fetus’s right to life somehow trumps the pregnant person’s right to life, it’s a bit disingenuous to just erase that particular bit of logic when dropping in with your concern over our logic.

            I mean, you’re chiding us for our lack of science or logic, without actually showing where we’re lacking it. It’s been explained elsewhere how the ‘murder’ charge is emotional hyperbole based on the actual definition of murder. So…logic says that abortion is not murder.

            Since science has very little to do with said definition, I’m not really sure where that comes into play on that particular topic, though biology certainly has a role to play in the entire reproductive rights vs. forced gestation debate. It really doesn’t support the latter’s position at all.

          • Shawn Ryu

            I am not chiding you, I am chiding other pro choice folks for completely wasting time and breath fighting idiots and religious nuts without science

          • dance commander

            I use science all of the time.

          • L-dan

            So. What, precisely, do you see at these supposed pro-choice rallies you have attended that you find so unconvincing?

            What have you seen here that would fit on a sign that you think really makes a better point than those already being used?

            You’re already, apparently, convinced that this is the correct side. What convinced you? Does it fit on a protest sign?

          • fiona64

            It’s been done REPEATEDLY. In this thread, in fact, I have explained in excruciating detail why abortion is not murder. And you deliberatey misunderstood me in your hurry to concern troll.

            Go fuck yourself.

          • Shawn Ryu

            What does explaining to me do anything for you when I already said I agree? Do you read anything?

          • L-dan

            So you’re telling us we aren’t arguing with science, and when we present the science we regularly use to argue with, you claim we aren’t reading your points? This is called moving the goalposts.

            I am sure that if you wrote an article detailing effective, scientific points that would really pack some punch at protests, everyone here would link the shit out of it. We’re enthusiastic like that and love to have more tools in our arsenal.

            Hell, just drop a few here. No need for your own blog and an entire article. As you’ve seen, we have the block-quote thing down as well.

          • fiona64

            Do you read anything?

            One might ask you the same question, little troll.

          • dance commander

            I am not saying abortion is a murder in a matter of a fact. I am saying
            if you are going to make an argument for pro choice use science and
            logic.

            cjvg wrote:

            A brain-dead person with a functioning heart/lungs/brain stem
            will still show electrical activity in the brain, but they won’t show the
            particular “brainwaves” that are characteristic of the higher
            cortical functions of cognition. So the whole EEG isn’t “flat”, just
            the part of the EEG profile that shows a thinking person is using that brain tissue.

            (A better description would be the more scientific exactitude of “clinical significant electrical brain activity” to avoid confusion.)

            At this point no “person” with sentience or awareness is present in
            the body, and it is legal to discontinue life support, and harvest organs for transplant, as without a functioning brain the body is just a collection of tissue.

            People who are diagnosed as clinically brain dead are routinely disconnected from life support and used to provide the organs for transplantations (no murder charges have ever been filled for this and none ever will be)
            A fetus does not have the bilaterally synchronous electroencephalographic patterns in the cortical area of the brain
            to be considered alive until 26-30 weeks of gestation, exactly like those who are diagnosed as clinically brain dead by physicians.

            People who are considered clinically brain-dead, have brainwaves (and sometimes even a beating heart), just not in the part of the brain that means that they are still alive.
            At this point doctors can start organ harvesting or turn off life support, no murder charges have ever, or will ever be been filed.

            A fetus younger then 26-30 weeks does not have all the brain structure (cortex) or the synapse, neurons etc in place to show more brain activity then a person who is clinically brain dead, as measured with the same machine (EEG)
            The heart might beat, but nobody is home.

            No embryo or fetus has ever been found to have “brain
            waves,” before 26-30 weeks gestation, although extensive EEG studies have been done on premature babies.

            In fact a fetus does not have a functional cortex before
            20-24 weeks gestation, no neurons, dendrites, and axons, with synapses between them are physically present.
            (Pretty hard to show activity in a structure that is not even present yet)

            Since these requirements are not present in the human cortex before 20-24 weeks of gestation, it is not possible to record the clinical significant electrical brain activity indicative of any form sentience and awareness prior to 20-24 weeks. (at that point the cerebral cortex can display some small intermittent non synchronous activity (“stutter”)
            This is not surprising since it is pretty hard to show activity in a brain structure that is not even present yet.

            Functional maturity of the cerebral cortex is suggested by fetal and neonatal electroencephalographic patterns, bilaterally synchronous
            electroencephalograpic are ONLY seen at a minimum of 26 to 29 weeks gestation.

            Studies used are;
            -Hamlin,H. (1964), “Life or Death by EEG,”Journal of the American
            Medical Association, October 12,113
            -J. Goldenring, “Development of the Fetal Brain,” New England Jour. of Med., Aug. 26, 1982, p. 564
            -K.J.S. Anand, a leading researcher on pain in newborns, and P.R. Hickey, published in NEJM

            So until the fetus has the same level of clinical brain activity
            (first seen at 26-29 weeks gestation, well after abortion becomes unavailable) as the woman in question, it is very dishonest (to say the least) to award the fetus more human rights then the woman.

          • Shawn Ryu

            Yea I just saw that.

            Have I said science went against abortions? No I think fetus isnt a human being, I am saying use that against pro life people and shut them up.

          • dance commander

            You say you want logic? Here you go;

            VII. The Right to Abort: A Derivative Positive Right

            I have argued that a newborn infant’s right not to be abandoned by its
            mother is a derivative positive right rather than a basic one, and that
            such a right is accordingly licensed by (20). I shall now argue that
            the same is true of a woman’s right to abort an unwanted fetus.27

            (2) A woman who voluntarily becomes pregnant but later changes her mind has the right to abort her unborn child.

            It is sometimes argued that abortion is justified because a fetus is not
            a person. If that were true, then the right to abortion would simply
            be a negative right, not a positive one, and would follow from (1) and
            (20). If a fetus is not a person, but simply a mass of human tissue,
            like a cancer[182]ous growth, then in
            aborting it a woman would simply be doing something to her own body, and
            the right to control one’s own body (so long as one does not invade
            others’ boundaries in the process) is clearly licensed by (1). If I
            forcibly interfere with your use of your own body, I am violating your
            boundaries and may legitimately be restrained by force.

            But is it true that fetuses are not persons? I think it is clearly true
            in the early stages of pregnancy, for the possession of psychological
            capacities of some sort is essential to personhood. Nothing counts as a
            person if it lacks psychological capacities; an early fetus lacks
            neurophysiological structures sophisticated enough to ground
            psychological capacities; therefore, an early fetus is not a person,28 and so may be killed without violating any rights.29

            Nor will it do to protest that an early fetus is at least s potential
            person, and is deserving of moral concern in virtue of that status.
            For the claim that an early fetus is potentially a person is ambiguous,
            and the sense in which the claim is true is different from the sense
            needed by the opponent of early abortion. The claim might mean that the
            early fetus is potentiallyidentical with a person, just as I am potentially identical with a grandfather; or it might mean that the early fetus is potentially constitutive
            of a person, just as clay is potentially constitutive of a person. The
            claim that the early fetus is potentially identical with a person might
            make it an object of moral concern (although it is far from obvious
            that it would do so); but such a claim is simply false. Whatever is a
            person is essentially a person; the change from person to nonperson or
            vice versa is not a change that anything could survive.30
            So the early fetus cannot be regarded as becoming a person; either we
            must regard it as going out of existence when the person comes to be
            (in the same way that an organism goes out of existence when a corpse
            comes to be), so that an early fetus is replaced by a person, or else we must regard the early fetus as persisting as the underlying matter of the person. In the latter case, an early fetus does turn out to be a potential person, but only in the pickwickian [183] sense of potentially constituting a person; and there is no reason to suppose that something becomes an object of moral concern merely in virtue of constituting a person. The right to abort an early fetus, then, is an unproblematic negative right.

            But while this argument serves to justify most abortions (and would
            certainly justify the use of “morning-after” abortifacients), it does
            not justify late abortions.31
            Personhood may not begin at conception, but it does appear to begin
            before birth; there is no significant difference between the
            psychological capacities of a newborn infant and those of a late fetus.
            If we deny that the late fetus is a person, we must also deny that a
            newborn infant is a person, and therefore justify infanticide. But this
            conclusion, apart from its morally unpalatable character, also runs
            afoul of (3); if a newborn infant is not a person, it does not have nay
            rights, and so may legitimately be abandoned. (The worst thing one
            could say about it is that it might be a case of littering.) One might
            respond by claiming that newborn infants can have rights even if they
            are not persons; but in that case the argument for (2)
            fails. The claim that late fetuses are not persons counts as an
            argument for (2) only if personhood is necessary for rights; and in that
            case (given the similarity between late fetuses and newborn infants) we
            do not get a view that accommodates both (2) and (3) – which is what we were looking for. So the denial that late fetuses are persons seems like an unpromising strategy.

            Let us grant, then, that late fetuses are persons. If that is so, what
            could justify aborting them? The answer to that question will turn on
            the answer to a broader question: When, in general, does one have the
            right to kill a person? Or, more specifically, when does one have the
            right to kill a person without that person’s consent?32 Well, killing a person without that person’s consent is a boundary-invasion by definition (16), and the general rule governing boundary-invasions was laid down by (20):

            (20) Every person has the right not to have her boundaries violated,
            and also not to have her boundaries invaded unless such invasion is
            necessary to end some wrongful boundary-invasion of hers, and such
            invasion is also not disproportionate to the seriousness of her
            boundary-invasion.

            To prohibit abortion is to invade a pregnant woman’s boundary.
            According to (20), such a prohibition will be illegitimate unless it is
            necessary to counteract some wrongful boundary-invasion on her part.
            Now aborting a (late) fetus is certainly a boundary-invasion; but such
            invasions cannot [184] be prohibited
            unless they are wrongful, where such wrongfulness is itself defined as
            the violation of (20). Therefore, to show that a woman has the right to
            abort an unwanted fetus, it will suffice to show (a) that such an
            abortion would not involve a boundary-violation, and (b) that such an
            abortion is necessary to end some wrongful boundary-invasion on the part
            of the fetus, and is also not disproportionate to the seriousness of
            the fetus’s boundary-invasion. But by (17),
            (b) entails (a). So all we need to show is (b): that aborting an
            unwanted fetus is necessary to end some wrongful boundary-invasion on
            the part of the fetus, and is also not disproportionate to the
            seriousness of the fetus’s boundary-invasion.

            Here is the quick version of the argument (which I shall go on to defend
            in more detail): Suppose Miriam is pregnant, and Joshua is her
            unwanted fetus. Joshua is using Miriam’s body as an incubator; so
            Joshua is crossing Miriam’s boundary. Miriam wants Joshua out; so
            Joshua’s boundary-crossing counts as a boundary-invasion. Joshua’s
            invasion of Miriam’s boundary is not necessary to counteract any
            invasion on Miriam’s part, so Joshua’s invasion is a boundary-violation.
            By (20),
            Joshua has no right to violate Miriam’s boundary; so Joshua’s
            boundary-violation is a wrongful boundary-invasion. Aborting Joshua is
            necessary to end his wrongful boundary-invasion of Miriam, and is not
            disproportionate to the seriousness of the threat; therefore, Miriam has
            a derivative positive right to abort Joshua.33 The right to abortion is a special case of the right to self-defense.34

            Opponents of the right to abortion find this style of argument
            repellent. How, they ask, can one treat a fetus as some sort of alien
            parasite, and pregnancy as a unnatural violation, when pregnancy is the
            most natural thing in the world?35 Well, sexual intercourse is also the most “natural” thing in the world; but when it is involuntary, it becomes rape. [185] Likewise, when the “natural” process of pregnancy is involuntary, it too becomes an alien intrusion or violation.

            Yet if the case of Miriam and Joshua is to justify (2), we must add that Miriam became pregnant voluntarily.36
            And if Miriam’s pregnancy is voluntary, then Joshua’s
            boundary-crossing is not a boundary-violation, and so the argument for
            Miriam’s right to abort Joshua cannot get off the ground.

            We must, however, distinguish between pregnancies that were initially voluntary and pregnancies that are currently
            voluntary. Suppose that Miriam’s pregnancy began in as voluntary a
            fashion as one could ask for: she voluntarily engaged in intercourse
            with the deliberate intention of conceiving a child.37
            But now she has changed her mind, and no longer wishes to carry Joshua
            to term. Her pregnancy was initially voluntary, but now it is
            involuntary. The same is true of sexual intercourse: a woman who begins
            intercourse voluntarily but then changes her mind has the right to back
            out halfway through; if her partner fail to respect this wish, he is
            guilty of rape, even if he (and she) have been socialized not to think
            of it that way.38 Consent, to justify, must be sustained.39 [186]
            When Miriam’s pregnancy was voluntary, Joshua’s occupation of her body
            was a mere boundary-crossing; but now that Miriam has changed her mind,
            that occupation has become a boundary-invasion.

            Yet what distinguishes Miriam’s case from the case of Stan the airline
            pilot, or from the case of the initially willing mother who later
            abandons her baby? Cannot Stan say that he started the flight as a
            willing pilot, but has since changed his mind, and thus that forcing him
            to continue piloting would be involuntary servitude? (And likewise for
            the abandonment case?) It seems that (2) and (3)
            have come into potential conflict once more. Either we grant Miriam
            the right to change her mind, in which case it is unclear how we can
            deny the same right to Stan or to the abandoning mother; or we deny Stan
            and the abandoning mother the right to change their minds, in which
            case it is unclear how we can grant that right to Miriam. What could
            justify giving different answers in the two cases?

            Recall that in denying Stan the right to abandon his passengers, and in
            denying an initially willing mother the right to abandon her child, we
            appealed to principle (21),
            which established that such abandonments are killings rather than mere
            lettings-die. That is, we showed that abandonment in such cases is a
            boundary-crossing – and therefore, since the victims did not consent, a
            boundary-invasion. But that was only part of the story. In order to
            show that Stan’s passengers and the newborn infant have the right not to be abandoned, it was necessary, according to (20),
            to show that the boundary-invasion would be a wrongful one. This we
            were able to do by showing that no such boundary-invasion was necessary
            to counteract any wrongful boundary-invasion on the part of the
            passengers or of the infant; a boundary-invasion that lacks such an
            excuse is a boundary-violation, and (20) prohibits all
            boundary-violations. But in Miriam’s case, killing Joshua is necessary
            in order to counteract his wrongful invasion of her body,40
            and so Miram’s act of aborting Joshua is not a boundary-violation.
            That is the crucial difference between abortion and abandonment.

            But although the fact that abandonment is a boundary-violation shows that it is prohibited by (20), the fact that abortion is not
            a boundary-violation does not show that it is licensed by (20). For
            (20) also prohibits some boundary-invasions that are not
            boundary-violations – namely, those boundary-invasions that are
            disproportionate to the seriousness of the threat they are designed to
            counteract. (Once again, I do not have the right to blow you away in
            order to prevent you from treading on my toe, [187]
            even if no lesser measure would succeed.) In order to show that
            abortion is licensed by (20), then, we will need to show that Miriam’s
            killing Joshua is not disproportionate to the seriousness of the threat
            posed by Joshua to Miriam.

            One might try to show this by appealing to the fact that the process of
            childbirth is (a) life-threatening, and (b) extremely painful.41
            (If the pain involved in childbirth were induced by other means, it
            would generally be recognized as a form of torture, and a nation that
            required women to undergo it would be found in violation of Article V of
            the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.)42
            As things stand, then, abortion is not disproportionate to the
            seriousness of the threat it counteracts, and so is not a wrongful
            boundary-invasion; we surely have a right to kill in order to avoid
            being tortured. (It might be objected that killing can never be a
            proportionate response to any threat short of death. But our concern is
            with proportionality in moral seriousness, not proportionality in
            physical effect; to claim that defensive killing can be morally
            proportionate only to a threat of death is to assume, between aggressive
            force and defensive force, a moral symmetry difficult to square with [20].)
            But what if medical science eventually renders childbirth safe and
            painless? Should abortion still be permitted under those circumstances?
            A robust defense of (2)
            should strive to vindicate the right to abortion in general, without
            relying on historically continent facts about the level of advancement
            of medical technology. In what follows I thus forgo any appeal to the
            risk or painfulness of childbirth.

            So let us pretend that pregnancy poses no risk to the mother’s life,
            health, or comfort. If the threat posed by an unwanted pregnancy is not
            one of pain or physical injury, then how could killing the fetus not
            be a disproportionate response to the seriousness of the
            boundary-violation posed by such a pregnancy? How could anything less
            than a threat of pain or physical injury justify killing one’s assailant in self-defense?

            To answer this question, it is useful to consider the analogy of rape. A
            woman is clearly justified in killing a rapist in self-defense
            (assuming no lesser measures would be successful). Rape is one of the
            most profound and traumatizing assaults on one’s personhood that it is
            possible to inflict; so killing is not a disproportionate response to
            the seriousness of rape. But a rape need not involve physical injury or
            pain; if the rape victim is intimidated into failing to resist, then in
            purely physical terms a rape may be indistinguishable from normal,
            consensual intercourse. Rape need not be violent in any overt sense.43 Yet it is a rape for all that; for [188]
            any sexual use of another person’s body without that person’s consent
            is a rape. What gives a woman the right to kill as rapist in
            self-defense, then, is not that he threatens her with pain or injury,
            but that he uses her body in the most deeply intimate and personal way,
            without her consent (even if she originally consented, then changed her
            mind). And it is precisely this same fact that gives Miriam the
            right to kill her unwanted fetus Joshua: not that he threatens her with
            pain or injury, but that he uses her body44 in the most deeply intimate and personal way, without her consent(even if she originally consented).45
            Hence abortion is not a disproportionate response to the seriousness
            of the boundary-violation it counteracts. My argument for abortion
            rights may be expressed, then, by the following syllogism:

            (a) One has the right to kill in self-defense if the threat is sufficiently serious.

            (b) The threat posed by an unwanted fetus is sufficiently serious.

            (c) Therefore, one has the right to kill an unwanted fetus in self-defense.

            My analogy between fetuses and rapists will strike many opponents of
            abortion rights as absurd. Doesn’t this analogy ignore a vitally
            important difference – namely, that the fetus is innocent? The fetus did not choose
            to violate its mother’s boundaries; the violation occurred as a result
            of natural processes over which the fetus, in the nature of the case,
            could have no control (since these are the same natural processes that
            produced it).

            Yes, this is of course an important difference; but it is not important
            in the relevant way. An unwanted fetus is an innocent threat, but is a
            threat nonetheless.46
            A boundary-violation does not cease to be a boundary-violation just
            because the boundary-violator was acting involuntarily; nor does such
            involuntariness transform a profoundly personal intrusion into a minor
            inconvenience. Proposition (20) therefore licenses the killing of innocent threats in self-defense.47 To be sure, considerations of the threat’s innocence or guilt may legitimately affect judgments of the moral [189]
            proportionality of the response. But when the threat is as personal
            and intrusive as an unwanted pregnancy, it is difficult to see how the
            innocence of the fetus could make enough of a difference to justify
            forcing the mother to quietly endure nine months of what is tantamount
            to rape. Analogously , even if someone has been involuntarily
            hypnotized into becoming a literal rapist, his victim still has the right to kill him in self-defense.

            Objection: Not if she’s the one who deliberately hypnotized him.
            Reply: Yes, even then, I think. A woman never has an obligation – or at
            any rate, never has an enforceable obligation48
            – to let herself be raped. That’s moral bedrock if anything is. The
            notion of an enforceable obligation to let one’s body be used by a
            rapist is a moral obscenity; and the same holds for the notion of an
            enforceable obligation to let one’s body be used as an incubator by a
            fetus, even if the mother is responsible for the fetus’s presence there
            in the first place.49 The right to abortion, like the right not to be raped, is inalienable; one cannot legitimately enslave oneself by waiving in advance one’s right to control one’s own body. This follows from (20);
            since boundary-violations are prohibited, the only way Miriam could
            alienate her right to her body is by placing her body outside her own
            boundary, so that someone could use her body as a mere means without
            using her as a mere means. But unless Miriam has acquired the knack of astral projection, this is impossible.50

            Yet another disanalogy may be urged between a rapist and an unwanted fetus: Joshua is Miriam’s child, and we have special obligations to our children that we do not have to strangers .51
            Miriam may have a right to deny strangers the use of her body, but it
            does not follow that she has the right to deny such use to her child,
            when his very survival depends on being allowed to use her body. The
            right to an abortion, so this objection runs, is inconsistent with the
            existence of parental obligations.52 [190]

            I would hardly deny the importance of parental obligations; but it is
            generally recognized that adoptive parents have the same obligations as
            biological parents – and that, conversely, either biological or adoptive
            parents may divest themselves of their (enforceable) obligations
            by putting their child up for adoption. Hence a parent’s enforceable
            obligations appear to stem from his or her voluntary acceptance of the
            rights and responsibilities of guardianship, and not from a merely
            biological tie. Hence an appeal to parental obligations in the case of
            abortion misses the mark, since a woman seeking abortion is ipso facto
            not a willing guardian.

            But even if we were to assume, implausibly, that Miriam has assumed the
            parental responsibilities of guardianship toward Joshua (e.g., in virtue
            of having conceived him voluntarily), does it really follow that she
            has no right of self-defense against him. Until recently, it was widely
            held (and still is, in some of the world’s more benighted recesses)53
            that a woman does not count as having been genuinely “raped” if the
            assailant is her husband. The “parental obligations” objection to
            abortion, like the refusal to recognize rape in marriage, appears to
            stem from a traditional attitude that refuses to acknowledge women as
            autonomous individuals, and regards their bodies as mere resources to be
            used by family members.54
            On this view, a woman is not an independent moral being worthy of
            respect in her own right, but instead exists only for the sake of her
            family relationships, and has her moral identity and standing only
            within that context. Simply by virtue of being a family member, then, a
            husband or fetus is imagined to possess a rightful claim to sue her
            body. A woman is only a tenant in her body, not the rightful
            proprietor.55 But this view is wrong, and (1)
            is one way of expressing the fact that it is wrong. Family
            relationships are important, but they do not give some people the right
            to use other people as mere means to their own ends.56 [190]
            What Jefferson said of men is likewise true of women: “[T]he mass
            of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored
            few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of
            God.”57

            VIII. Summary

            We began with three propositions: that people have a right not to be
            treated as mere means to the ends of others, that a woman who
            voluntarily becomes pregnant nevertheless has the right to an abortion,
            and that a woman who voluntarily gives birth does not have a right to
            abandon her child until she finds a substitute caretaker. These
            propositions initially seemed inconsistent, for the prohibition on
            treating others as mere means appeared to rule out the possibility of
            positive rights, thus making it impossible to countenance the right to
            abort or the right not to be abandoned (both of which, it was argued,
            are positive in form).

            But we have seen that the prohibition on treating people as mere means
            to the ends of others is best understood as ruling out basic positive
            rights while permitting derivative ones. Since a willing mother is
            responsible for bringing her child into the world in the first place,
            she cannot abandon it without violating its negative right not to be
            killed, and so such a child has a derivative positive right not to be
            abandoned. A pregnant woman, on the other hand, has a negative right
            not to have her body invaded, and from this negative right derives a
            positive right to abort her fetus, so long as doing so is not
            disproportionate to the seriousness of the threat (as it is not in the
            case of involuntary pregnancy, or of pregnancy which has become
            involuntary).Therefore, far from being in conflict, propositions (1), (2), and (3)
            have been shown to be in harmony with one another, the latter two being
            plausibly grounded in the first. Insofar as we have reason to accept
            (1), then, we have reason to accept (2) and (3). Moreover, we have seen
            that a proper understanding of (1) allows us to embed (2) and (3) in a
            larger moral respective in which the limits of compulsory altruism are
            firmly drawn: enforceable rights to the sue or assistance of others may
            be allowed in to the moral domain only if they are “sponsored” by some
            negative right. Every putative positive right must find such a
            sponsor, or perish.

            Philosophy, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

          • Shawn Ryu

            You are acting like posting facts and figures would prove me wrong because I am a pro lifer. Which actually doesnt. Seriously, did you read anything I wrote or did you stop at the very first post?

          • dance commander

            You say you want really good arguments against pro-lifers.

            Then I suggest you shut the fuck up and read the above argument in full.

          • Shawn Ryu

            I did you tool, thats not my point. My point is you need to use that against pro lifers. Read you fucking dimwit. Read.

          • dance commander

            I always do.

            Everyone else here does the same.

            So, shut the fuck up.

          • Shawn Ryu

            Then my points arent addressed to you, but towards movement in general, then stop taking it so personally you dim wit.

          • L-dan

            Oh please. Your first post here was in response to mine, telling me my argument was wrong. Seeing as I was commenting in agreement to the article, not debating, it was a bit silly to jump on that if your point was that people somewhere…out there…in the movement in general, were making the wrong argument.

            No, you came in here to tell us our arguments didn’t address the *actual* points of forced-birthers.

            Actual arguments were presented (as opposed to commentary on an article we agreed with) with some indignation that you were coming in here and condescendingly telling us all that you knew better than we did how to argue our points.

            You flailed at the indignation, then backtracked to say you were initially pointing at the arguments made somewhere….out there…in the movement at large (because like, none of us are also part of those protests? I don’t know what you’re thinking here).

            So no, you come across as condescending, insincere, and not debating in good faith. It’s not like we haven’t seen it before.

          • L-dan

            Because we don’t? These are not new to us arguments. We are using and building off of the work that many other people have worked hard on.

            It’s not like this shit makes good sound bites. Much of it is complicated and technical. But a lot boils down to “how can people tell other people what to do with their own body.”

          • L-dan

            You are telling people who have been using these arguments for *years* to do it better, even as they toss more at you. Did you pause for even an hour to look around the site and notice this?

            Do you really think we should be thanking you for your insight instead of testily glaring at you for ignoring the work that’s been done, telling us we’re doing it wrong, and providing no new information about what you think would constitute doing it right? Does this tactic actually work for you in real life? Just wondering.

          • fiona64

            He’s a concern troll. Nothing more, nothing less.

          • Arekushieru

            Although, I would like to say that organ donation is only considered if the family consents or the potential donor consented beforehand.

          • dance commander

            One anti tried to tell me that doctors made the decision so they could make big bucks from organ donation.

          • Arekushieru

            Ugh, THEY’RE the worst ones for trying to make big bucks from organ donation, y’know, that ‘little’ thing called the UTERUS, antis? It’s an organ.

          • L-dan

            I don’t even…

            Do they really think doctors make some kind of *commission* on organs? What the hell?

          • dance commander

            Thanks for the e-coli link.

            Your post still ended up in moderation.

            Lately I have been posting complete links with no moderation.

            Weird.

          • lady_black

            Ask them if doctors cannot declare death, then who should? That’s the most ridiculous argument I’ve ever heard, saying “doctors make the decision.” Of course they do. But they don’t make money from it, other than being paid to remove the organs.

          • lady_black

            I don’t have to prove it isn’t murder. Murder is a legal concept that has NEVER applied to abortion, even when it was illegal. Therefore all your “science” talk is just nonsense. The law says abortion isn’t murder. It’s never been murder. Now… how’s THAT for logic?

      • dance commander

        How much jail time do you think women should get for these ‘baby murders’?

      • fiona64

        If you know of anyone who is going around killing babies, contact law enforcement at once: infanticide is a crime.

        Murder is the unlawful (illegal) taking of a person’s life with malice aforethought.

        Abortion is a legal medical procedure. Feti are not persons. I am sure that the problem with your assertion is now abundantly clear to you.

        • Shawn Ryu

          Thats my point. Prove that fetus isnt a human being. Science and logic is the easiest way to get your message through. I am not pro life, I am trying to say the current pro choice movement needs serious work in sending their message out. They arent helping their case.

          • L-dan

            A fetus is a human being. It is not, however, a person.

            Science does not actually have the definition of person, since that is a societal and legal construct rather than a measurable scientific fact.

            Legally, one is a person at birth.

            Socially, at minimum, a person is a separate entity, which means that pre-viable fetuses are not people.

            Conjoined twins confuse that issue a bit, but if we look at what makes us consider them to be two individuals who happen to share a body, we see that the mind is a strong component of what general consensus considers a ‘person’. So separate minds which can be distinguished by their separate thoughts and personalities appears to be a criteria. Fetuses do not have thoughts, feelings, personalities. They have a developing, but not developed mind. They have never known sentience or thought until all the nerves join up and finish developing. This is, at the earliest, 24 weeks…heading into the last trimester.

            And in that final trimester, abortions are performed to spare the pregnant person’s life or health. I hear a lot of arguments dismissing the latter, as if sacrificing one’s health for a fetus should be a requirement. As if it’s a minor sacrifice. As if someone other than the person doing the sacrificing has any right to make that determination. Given that we do not force that choice in any other comparable circumstance, I can’t see that we get to force it here.

            The other reason for abortions at this late stage is severe fetal anomaly, the sorts of things that are going to result in death in utero or shortly thereafter, or a very short life filled with medical interventions and suffering. This is science for you. And ethics. Where parents determine whether or not they are willing to put their child through that, given the choice. Where pregnant people chose whether or not they want to continue building a doomed organism, continue risking their life and health with this as the outcome.

            I don’t actually believe you’re pro-choice. You sound exactly like every other concern troll around. But I’m choosing to argue as if you’re sincere since it at offers something to others who are sincere in their questions and search for information.

            Reproductive justice advocates do need work on their message and getting it out, certainly. But we have already seen that logic and science are only so effective against hordes screeching hyperbolically about dead babies while erasing the realities of the people gestating those putative babies. So no, logic and science are not the weapons we need to work on. We’ve got those down cold. The above article, with its horrifying results stemming from the endless push to declare fetuses as more valuable and as having more rights than those carrying them is one more angle, and one more tool in our arsenal.

            So far, you’ve offered nothing remotely as constructive.

          • dance commander

            A fetus is a human, and human being is synonymous with person, imo.

            When people use the term ‘human being’ they often use it to mean person. From my understanding anyways.

            Here is a good essay on the subject:

            “Unborn humans are human beings.” PROPAGANDA, a distortion and/or
            mis-use of the language. The word “being” has a number of definitions,
            one of which relates to “existence”. So, in that sense, because an
            unborn human exists, it would qualify as a “human being”. However,
            likewise so would a radish plant qualify as a “radish being”. But since
            that latter phrase is not normally used in casual conversations, it
            logically follows that in those conversations, which so frequently
            include the phrase “human being”, the word “being” refers to something
            other than “existence”. The actual relevant definition can be inferred
            from other phrases that are used from time to time: “intelligent being”,
            “extraterrestrial being”, “alien being”. The word “being” is simply a
            synonym for “person”.

            Since a radish plant is not a person, that is why the phrase “radish
            being” does not get used in ordinary conversations. The propaganda is
            now obvious; abortion opponents are claiming that an unborn human
            qualifies as a person, without offering any evidence other than the label “being”.
            Note that because ordinary animals are also nonpersons, we don’t use
            phrases like “rabbit being” in typical conversations, either. And,
            measurably animal-level are the minds that unborn humans do have! (How
            often do you encounter the phrase “fetus being”?)

            Meanwhile, True Artificial Intelligences, when they eventually begin
            to exist, will qualify as “machine beings”, even though their offspring,
            those small “growing” electronic machines previously mentioned (#1),
            won’t qualify as persons until after many months of acquiring parts.
            Abortion opponents had better start getting used to the concept of
            “machine beings”!

            http://fightforsense.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/manyargs/#17

          • L-dan

            Oh I grant all that is true. I just don’t like to base my argument too solidly on semantics. I don’t generally even object to the other side using ‘baby’ for fetuses/embryos, because while, yes, they’re doing it for manipulative emotional effect, it’s also common for people carrying wanted pregnancies to refer to their baby-to-be simply as ‘baby’. So it becomes a distracting quibble when talking to folks who aren’t steeped in either side of the fight.

            Human being vs. human though, solid point and I’ll aim not to reinforce that one in the future.

            I do like the way the point is made there that being strongly conflates to person.

          • dance commander

            I try to avoid semantics myself. Somehow, however, it is necessary. I find that a lot of pro-lifers are utterly OBSESSED with semantics. I mean, that is often their only angle.

            We had one guy on Patheos blogs who kept saying the he doesn’t want to talk about ‘personhood’ or ‘human being’ because those words are used by pro-choicers to ‘muddy the waters’ and the fetus is a ‘human’ and that is all that counts.

            But he was quite clearly using ‘human’ as a synonym for ‘person’ but he just woudln’t admit it.

            It was really annoying.

          • L-dan

            Yeah, because if we’re just going with ‘human’ we turn off life support to brain dead patients all the time. Almost nobody considers a blastocyst a person (and if it is…what happens when it turns into twins as sometimes happens. Can one person actually become two new people? The mind boggles.)

          • dance commander

            If the ‘soul’ is present from the moment of conception (which can take up to 4 days) then what does that mean for twins?

            Because any time during that 4 days the zygote can split…recombine…split…etc etc

            So, wtf is happening with the soul(s) during this time???

          • L-dan

            Soul dancing, obviously! Those cells are boogieing.

            But yeah, the ‘it’s a person from conception’ argument just makes me boggle. It’s so ignorant of what’s actually going on there.

          • dance commander

            Yeah, a pro-lifer on another board just said this:

            “So, you won’t bring God into this, but you’ll bring in antiquated
            arguments of evolution? Let’s stick with recent scientifically proven
            facts thank you very much.”

            And you have seen the science that I paste – over and over and over. I admit, I’m too fucking lazy to retype these essays, so i just keep a copy on my pc:P I think it’s good though, to show them the science article + documentation. Because then they are stuck debating a fucking expert in the field.

          • L-dan

            I hate to tell them but evolutionary arguments are not antiquated. Tons of research and discoveries related to evolution happen every day. Pretty much the entire field of biology…there is very little research that doesn’t rely on evolution at the base of what they’re doing.

            So yeah, science won’t actually sway that crowd.

            Emotional stories will. I’m not fond of that as a method for making laws or shifting debates, but as a method of finding a crack in the sphere of science-denial, it’s a tool.

          • dance commander

            Yeah..welll…you’d be wrong!!

            ” Evolution is a disproven THEORY recanted by Charles Darwin himself.”

            Seriously, where do these people come from?

            All the while this fuckface is arguing that science proves that zygotes are human beings.

            lulz

          • L-dan

            In which case *why* are there not marches and walk-a-thons, and tiny little ribbons of some color or another all over products for miscarriage awareness month? Given the massive loss of life of zygotes/embryos before they even reach the end of the first trimester, shouldn’t they be putting all this effort toward research and awareness to stem this slaughter? 1 million abortions a year pales in comparison to the blastocysts that never make it.

            Because most people don’t consider zygotes to be ‘persons’. Because most of the forced birthers only care about fetuses as a way to punish women rather than actually wanting to put efforts into stemming the large number of early miscarriages of *wanted* pregnancies. Those are just ‘natural’ you see. Women are vessels, sometimes flawed ones. Natural miscarriages are tragic but require no efforts towards reducing their numbers. But women who think they can subvert the natural order by doing the exact same thing on their own need to be punished for thinking they’re allowed control over the process.

            *rants*

            @ Ryu…that’s a pissed off, not entirely coherent, rant. All true, but a rant nonetheless. Maybe now you can see the difference.

          • dance commander

            Yeah, someone just told this person that to compare a zygote to a dead baby is absolutely insulting to people who have lost children. The poster said that she found her 5 year old dead in his bed. And that to compare the 60-80% of zygotes that die to losing a born child is insensitive and cruel.

            What does Ms. Pro-life respond with? A rant about how the woman who lost her 5 year old is cold and heartless towards women who miscarry. heh.

          • L-dan

            You know, I know a lot of women who have miscarried, and one who baby strangled on the umbilical cord in the early hours of labor. All of those who miscarried early grieved, but they grieved (and said that they knew this is what they were sorrowing over) the *idea* of the baby to come; the loss of the little bundle of potential. None of them thought it meant the zygote was somehow a full-blown person.

            Most women I know don’t even announce a pregnancy until they’ve cleared the first trimester. Like not naming a baby until it had survived a certain amount of time back in the days of massive infant mortality.

          • fiona64

            Thing the first: these idiots do not know the difference between a hypothesis and a theory.

            Thing the second (and please, do use this): Darwin recanted *nothing.* This is even a Christian source: http://creation.com/did-charles-darwin-recant

          • dance commander

            Tyvm!

          • Arekushieru

            “And,
            measurably animal-level are the minds that unborn humans do have! (How
            often do you encounter the phrase “fetus being”?)”

            That is what annoys me most about the Pro-‘Life’ counterargument. If a fetus is a human being/person, then the PL contingent should have NO difficulty asserting the status of said human using the medically correct terminology, otherwise they imply there IS a difference between a fetus and a ‘baby’.

            However, I would also like to point out that the phrase ‘a human’ is practically and definitively considered synonymous with human being. Just another little tidbit. That’s all, really! :)

          • dance commander

            Yes and in the semantics wars they love to use human as a synonym because there is no denying that a zygote is both human and alive. To them, human DNA equals person hood. Of course they run into problems when one points out that every human cell is human…

          • dance commander

            Cjvg proved it, asshat.

          • fiona64

            Even elementary school students know that it is impossible to prove a negative. Prove you didn’t read RHRealitycheck yesterday. See? It’s just as stupid.

            Personhood is a legal concept. It requires *birth.* Read the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. It is pretty clear. Now, re-read what I wrote — for comprehension this time.

          • dance commander

            cjvg wrote in reply to Shawn dumbass Ryu:

            A brain-dead person with a functioning heart/lungs/brain stem
            will still show electrical activity in the brain, but they won’t show the
            particular “brainwaves” that are characteristic of the higher
            cortical functions of cognition. So the whole EEG isn’t “flat”, just
            the part of the EEG profile that shows a thinking person is using that brain tissue.

            (A better description would be the more scientific exactitude of “clinical significant electrical brain activity” to avoid confusion.)

            At this point no “person” with sentience or awareness is present in
            the body, and it is legal to discontinue life support, and harvest organs for transplant, as without a functioning brain the body is just a collection of tissue.

            People who are diagnosed as clinically brain dead are routinely disconnected from life support and used to provide the organs for transplantations (no murder charges have ever been filled for this and none ever will be)
            A fetus does not have the bilaterally synchronous electroencephalographic patterns in the cortical area of the brain
            to be considered alive until 26-30 weeks of gestation, exactly like those who are diagnosed as clinically brain dead by physicians.

            People who are considered clinically brain-dead, have brainwaves (and sometimes even a beating heart), just not in the part of the brain that means that they are still alive.
            At this point doctors can start organ harvesting or turn off life support, no murder charges have ever, or will ever be been filed.

            A fetus younger then 26-30 weeks does not have all the brain structure (cortex) or the synapse, neurons etc in place to show more brain activity then a person who is clinically brain dead, as measured with the same machine (EEG)
            The heart might beat, but nobody is home.

            No embryo or fetus has ever been found to have “brain
            waves,” before 26-30 weeks gestation, although extensive EEG studies have been done on premature babies.

            In fact a fetus does not have a functional cortex before
            20-24 weeks gestation, no neurons, dendrites, and axons, with synapses between them are physically present.
            (Pretty hard to show activity in a structure that is not even present yet)

            Since these requirements are not present in the human cortex before 20-24 weeks of gestation, it is not possible to record the clinical significant electrical brain activity indicative of any form sentience and awareness prior to 20-24 weeks. (at that point the cerebral cortex can display some small intermittent non synchronous activity (“stutter”)
            This is not surprising since it is pretty hard to show activity in a brain structure that is not even present yet.

            Functional maturity of the cerebral cortex is suggested by fetal and neonatal electroencephalographic patterns, bilaterally synchronous
            electroencephalograpic are ONLY seen at a minimum of 26 to 29 weeks gestation.

            Studies used are;
            -Hamlin,H. (1964), “Life or Death by EEG,”Journal of the American
            Medical Association, October 12,113
            -J. Goldenring, “Development of the Fetal Brain,” New England Jour. of Med., Aug. 26, 1982, p. 564
            -K.J.S. Anand, a leading researcher on pain in newborns, and P.R. Hickey, published in NEJM

            So until the fetus has the same level of clinical brain activity
            (first seen at 26-29 weeks gestation, well after abortion becomes unavailable) as the woman in question, it is very dishonest (to say the least) to award the fetus more human rights then the woman.

          • lady_black

            Of course a fetus is a human being. And I am free to not have unwanted human beings growing in my body or dependent upon my organs. You have to first acknowledge that being a human being doesn’t entitle anyone (including you) to use the organs and tissues of another human being to sustain his life. My born children do not have that right. They certainly had no more rights as fetuses.

      • JamieHaman

        Really dude? Some 90% of abortions occur before 12 weeks gestation. That is not a viable human being.
        The reality of your argument is that the rights of unborn unviable ‘going to be a human baby someday’ are just as important as the woman carrying that little mass of future human cells.
        No they aren’t.
        No, you aren’t pro-life. You are a forced birther.

        • Shawn Ryu

          I never said abortion should be illegal under any circumstances All I said was pro choice argument is weak, and to improve it they need to use more science and logic. Thats my point. I am a dude so I dont care about this issue.

          • JamieHaman

            Because forced birthers have. If you don’t care about this issue, of women controlling their own bodies, you should care. You vote don’t you?

          • Shawn Ryu

            TO the so called forced birthers this isnt about woman controlling her body. Well, except hardcore fundamentalist religious nuts. This is about murder. Hence why you need to address the issue if you want this debate to favor your side of the argument.

            I am just making suggestions. It just seems like a complete waste of time when two sides doesnt argue completely different points.

          • dance commander

            Hence why you need to address the issue if you want this debate to favor your side of the argument.

            cjvg did address it. yet you ignore her

            let me repaste it, because apparently you are too fucking stupid to comprehend actual SCIENCE when it is presented to you:

            A brain-dead person with a functioning heart/lungs/brain stem
            will still show electrical activity in the brain, but they won’t show the
            particular “brainwaves” that are characteristic of the higher
            cortical functions of cognition. So the whole EEG isn’t “flat”, just
            the part of the EEG profile that shows a thinking person is using that brain tissue.

            (A better description would be the more scientific exactitude of “clinical significant electrical brain activity” to avoid confusion.)

            At this point no “person” with sentience or awareness is present in
            the body, and it is legal to discontinue life support, and harvest organs for transplant, as without a functioning brain the body is just a collection of tissue.

            People who are diagnosed as clinically brain dead are routinely disconnected from life support and used to provide the organs for transplantations (no murder charges have ever been filled for this and none ever will be)
            A fetus does not have the bilaterally synchronous electroencephalographic patterns in the cortical area of the brain
            to be considered alive until 26-30 weeks of gestation, exactly like those who are diagnosed as clinically brain dead by physicians.

            People who are considered clinically brain-dead, have brainwaves (and sometimes even a beating heart), just not in the part of the brain that means that they are still alive.
            At this point doctors can start organ harvesting or turn off life support, no murder charges have ever, or will ever be been filed.

            A fetus younger then 26-30 weeks does not have all the brain structure (cortex) or the synapse, neurons etc in place to show more brain activity then a person who is clinically brain dead, as measured with the same machine (EEG)
            The heart might beat, but nobody is home.

            No embryo or fetus has ever been found to have “brain
            waves,” before 26-30 weeks gestation, although extensive EEG studies have been done on premature babies.

            In fact a fetus does not have a functional cortex before
            20-24 weeks gestation, no neurons, dendrites, and axons, with synapses between them are physically present.
            (Pretty hard to show activity in a structure that is not even present yet)

            Since these requirements are not present in the human cortex before 20-24 weeks of gestation, it is not possible to record the clinical significant electrical brain activity indicative of any form sentience and awareness prior to 20-24 weeks. (at that point the cerebral cortex can display some small intermittent non synchronous activity (“stutter”)
            This is not surprising since it is pretty hard to show activity in a brain structure that is not even present yet.

            Functional maturity of the cerebral cortex is suggested by fetal and neonatal electroencephalographic patterns, bilaterally synchronous
            electroencephalograpic are ONLY seen at a minimum of 26 to 29 weeks gestation.

            Studies used are;
            -Hamlin,H. (1964), “Life or Death by EEG,”Journal of the American
            Medical Association, October 12,113
            -J. Goldenring, “Development of the Fetal Brain,” New England Jour. of Med., Aug. 26, 1982, p. 564
            -K.J.S. Anand, a leading researcher on pain in newborns, and P.R. Hickey, published in NEJM

            So until the fetus has the same level of clinical brain activity
            (first seen at 26-29 weeks gestation, well after abortion becomes unavailable) as the woman in question, it is very dishonest (to say the least) to award the fetus more human rights then the woman.

          • dance commander

            Cjvg already proved you wrong on the science front dumbass.

          • Shawn Ryu

            I AM NOT PRO LIFE YOU DUMB PIECE OF SHIT

          • dance commander

            Yes, yes you are.

            I suggest you discuss fetal eeg readings with cjvg. She provided you with an excellent answer.

            Until 26 weeks the fetus has the same brainwave readings as a beating heart cadaver you stupid fuck.

            so, WHY ARE YOU IGNORING CJVG??

          • Shawn Ryu

            I am sorry, I just read her post, and shes right. I have never said facts and science went against abortions. I am saying use it, which sounds quite the opposite to me.

          • L-dan

            Because….we don’t use it? I really don’t see where you came up with that idea.

          • dance commander

            He came here thinking he could blow holes in our science and logic by pretending to be a pro-choice devil’s advocate – got shown that we know our shit – and now he’s backtracking.

          • Shawn Ryu

            Back tracking from what?

          • Shawn Ryu

            If I havent been to many pro choice rallies I wouldnt be here.

          • CT14

            All your arguments are, though.

            Can’t be murder if it’s self-defense. No one is allowed to use another person’s body without consent. When someone uses another”a body without consent it’s called “rape” or “battery” or “kidnapping” or “enslavement”.

            People, even women, have the right to defend the use of their bodies. If the government takes that right away, if the government is allowed to decide what happens to your body without consent, that is slavery.

            If women can be defined as incubators and refused the right to seek appropriate medical care, then so can men. No reason you couldn’t be forced to be an organ donor against your will. It’s not like you NEED two kidneys or all of your liver, after all.

          • Shawn Ryu

            You know why? Because I am playing the devils advocate. You know what that is dont you? I am trying to present the side of the argument that pro choice people arent addressing, not most of them anyway.

            Without consent is not a good argument. Unless you were raped. Surely the risk of pregnancy even with condoms or birth control pills are still present, surely women know this when they sleep with a man? Mother nature doesnt ask for consent, it cant ask for consent.

          • dance commander

            Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy and consent can be revoked at any time.

            So, even IF a woman accepts the risk that pregnancy can occur from sex, she need not CONSENT to remaining pregnant

            Understand?

          • CT14

            Oh how sweet. Devils advocate with other people’s lived experience. What a lovely way to let women know they’re lives and concerns are just a joke to you.

            Consent IS THE ARGUMENT. Humans are allowed to control their bodies. We’re also allowed to control our property. Laws are all about consent–whether someone behaved with another’s permission or not. It’s not just rape, give me a law that’s not about consent! Even regulations are to protect people from being harmed without their consent.

            Consent matters whether or not you want to consider a fetus a person. No living person has the right to force another to donate body parts for their survival, so why would a fetus?

            And, no, consenting to sex is not consenting to pregnancy.

            If you’d bothered to read the article, you would see we’re talking about pregnancies after 20 weeks. These are wanted pregnancies that have gone wrong. Either the fetus has problems or the mother does, and these laws want to remove the ability of doctors to recommend best medical practices advice and to remove women’s rights to make the best medical decision for their health and lives.

            This is a law that will result in killing and maiming women and incarcerating women who miscarry.

            But you just go ahead and “play devil’s advocate” as if women’s lives were just an abstract notion.

          • fiona64

            All I said was pro choice argument is weak, and to improve it they need to use more science and logic

            Excuse me for just a minute.

            BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

            That’s pretty rich, coming from the side of the fence that insists that a) an embryo is the same as an infant, b) gets pissed off every time someone on the pro-choice side uses correct medical terminology and c) cannot differentiate between a legal medical procedure and a felony.

          • Shawn Ryu

            You are an idiot if you think I am a pro lifer. Or havent bothered to read any of the comments.

          • dance commander

            Oh, you are most definitely a pro-lifer.

          • Shawn Ryu

            And you cant read if you believe that nonsense.

          • fiona64

            You are an idiot if you think you’re fooling anyone with your concern trolling.

          • colleen2

            nobody believes you.

          • dance commander

            If you don’t care about it then why are you here/

          • Shawn Ryu

            Its still an interesting debate

          • dance commander

            You haven’t been debating.

            Let’s hear some of YOUR pro-choice arguments.

          • colleen2

            not the way you’re doing it.

          • cjvg

            Actually no, the anti-choice argument is weak and without any basis in science or logic!
            The only reasons given against abortions is;
            – that a fetus is a baby (?) do I really have to explain again that this is a biologically impossible to maintain falsity used only for sentimental imagery !
            – that god is against it (freedom of religion, I do not believe in your god and his personal issues)
            – consent to sex is consent to pregnancy?!, Seriously if that was the case we would not have the same biology we have now. Women are only fertile 3 days out of a thirty day cycle, obviously that is not the only time men are attracted to women, so sex is meant to be used for bonding and comfort also.
            – it is the “death” of a human life, BS it is the termination of a potential life, (as is turning down the guy who wants you to birth his baby while you do not care to do so)

      • cjvg

        You did not have to specify that you are not pro-life, people like you who do not consider born and sentient women worthy of human rights are never pro-life (they only falsely claim that designation for themselves)

        • Shawn Ryu

          This is a horrible argument If the fetus was a human being what about its rights? Thats what the pro life side is all about and you arent addressing any of it. Instead you yak on about human rights for women. Perhaps proving the fetus isnt a human being would help with that.

          • L-dan

            Why should the fetus’s rights trump those of the person carrying it though? Why should we have to prove that fetuses are or aren’t people when there is already one inarguable person in the equation who has rights that say other people cannot use their bodies against their will?

            The forced gestation position is weak in that it takes rights away from indisputable people to give extra rights to potential people…without proving *their* stance that those potential people are actual persons.

          • Shawn Ryu

            Why should woman’s rights triumph that of an infant? Dont kids and babies usually come before grown adults in a lot of cases? IF the fetus is an infant of course. This is my point again, thats why you need to prove fetus isnt an infant. I am not saying you dont have a point, I am not saying fetus is a human being, it clearly isnt. You need to bring that up and back i up with science IS what I am saying.

          • dance commander

            cjvg already proved that the fetus isn’t an infant

            the fetus lacks the brain structures necessary for sentience

            and sentience = personhood

          • Shawn Ryu

            No she didnt.

            And fine then use that in an argument against pro life side, thats my point. All I am saying is bring up science in a debate and you will have easier time.

            Its absurd how people read the first sentence and assume I am against all forms of female birth control. Ridiculous. Read people, read.

            Alll I ever see from pro choice protest is how its their right. That doesnt address any issues pro life side has. In any debate you need to address the issues of the other side.

          • dance commander

            People are sentient. Beating heart cadavers and fetii are not. It is not illegal to kill a beating heart cadaver SINCE IT’S ALREADY DEAD. A fetus has the same level of sentience (none) as a dead body:

            A brain-dead person with a functioning heart/lungs/brain stem
            will still show electrical activity in the brain, but they won’t show the
            particular “brainwaves” that are characteristic of the higher
            cortical functions of cognition. So the whole EEG isn’t “flat”, just
            the part of the EEG profile that shows a thinking person is using that brain tissue.

            (A better description would be the more scientific exactitude of “clinical significant electrical brain activity” to avoid confusion.)

            At this point no “person” with sentience or awareness is present in
            the body, and it is legal to discontinue life support, and harvest organs for transplant, as without a functioning brain the body is just a collection of tissue.

            People who are diagnosed as clinically brain dead are routinely disconnected from life support and used to provide the organs for transplantations (no murder charges have ever been filled for this and none ever will be)
            A fetus does not have the bilaterally synchronous electroencephalographic patterns in the cortical area of the brain
            to be considered alive until 26-30 weeks of gestation, exactly like those who are diagnosed as clinically brain dead by physicians.

            People who are considered clinically brain-dead, have brainwaves (and sometimes even a beating heart), just not in the part of the brain that means that they are still alive.
            At this point doctors can start organ harvesting or turn off life support, no murder charges have ever, or will ever be been filed.

            A fetus younger then 26-30 weeks does not have all the brain structure (cortex) or the synapse, neurons etc in place to show more brain activity then a person who is clinically brain dead, as measured with the same machine (EEG)
            The heart might beat, but nobody is home.

            No embryo or fetus has ever been found to have “brain
            waves,” before 26-30 weeks gestation, although extensive EEG studies have been done on premature babies.

            In fact a fetus does not have a functional cortex before
            20-24 weeks gestation, no neurons, dendrites, and axons, with synapses between them are physically present.
            (Pretty hard to show activity in a structure that is not even present yet)

            Since these requirements are not present in the human cortex before 20-24 weeks of gestation, it is not possible to record the clinical significant electrical brain activity indicative of any form sentience and awareness prior to 20-24 weeks. (at that point the cerebral cortex can display some small intermittent non synchronous activity (“stutter”)
            This is not surprising since it is pretty hard to show activity in a brain structure that is not even present yet.

            Functional maturity of the cerebral cortex is suggested by fetal and neonatal electroencephalographic patterns, bilaterally synchronous
            electroencephalograpic are ONLY seen at a minimum of 26 to 29 weeks gestation.

            Studies used are;
            -Hamlin,H. (1964), “Life or Death by EEG,”Journal of the American
            Medical Association, October 12,113
            -J. Goldenring, “Development of the Fetal Brain,” New England Jour. of Med., Aug. 26, 1982, p. 564
            -K.J.S. Anand, a leading researcher on pain in newborns, and P.R. Hickey, published in NEJM

            So until the fetus has the same level of clinical brain activity
            (first seen at 26-29 weeks gestation, well after abortion becomes unavailable) as the woman in question, it is very dishonest (to say the least) to award the fetus more human rights then the woman.

          • dance commander

            He immediately dismissed cjvg’s excellent article on sentience.

            And after I pasted it to him 5 times he was like ‘yeah, show that to them’

          • L-dan

            Because that will totes fit on sign at a protest, which is apparently what he’s complaining about. *eyeroll*

          • L-dan

            Because we are actual adult persons and we have heard the same exact words and phrases you are using over and over again from the mouths of forced-birthers. So…if it looks and quacks like a duck, experience usually means we think it’s a duck.

            You jump in here, apparently having never seen anything else on the site, saying “omg use science people! Science! You must, absolutely must address these arguments!” Which…we have addressed time and time and time again. Just because we hadn’t done so when commenting on this particular argument, which was not about refuting the points you keep tossing in here.

            You meet the definition on all points other than pushing to damage the group’s credibility. Mostly because I suspect you already think that arguing “it’s not a person” damages our credibility.:

            concern troll (plural concern trolls)

            (Internet slang)
            Someone who posts to an internet forum or newsgroup, claiming to share its goals while deliberately working against those goals, typically, by claiming “concern” about group plans to engage in productive activity, urging members instead to attempt some activity that would damage the group’s credibility, or alternatively to give up on group projects entirely.

          • Shawn Ryu

            I am using those phrase to bring up the argument of the so called forced birthers, not justify it. Again read please.

          • L-dan

            You’re the one whose reading comprehension isn’t so hot. I have mentioned that we have seen these arguments countless times. Do you somehow think you’re the first to bring them up? That somehow we’ve been sitting around on our thumbs ignoring them and not actually debating these points? Do you think we should seriously give you cookies and kudos rather than being annoyed?

            You are being an idiot when you drop out of nowhere, don’t read anything, and assume that you’re going to tell us some amazing new wisdom that will help us with problems that somehow you see and we’ve missed all these years.

            Like, everyone who’s dropped in and done this before.

            Except that they’re not remotely new. We haven’t missed them. We’ve debated them all to death a hundred times. And the forced-birthers still want to make sure women have to ‘deal with the consequences’ of sex in the way *they* feel is sufficiently punitive.

            Look up “How I Lost Faith in the “pro-life” Movement” for a good point by point shredding of their positions.

          • Shawn Ryu

            I didnt assume it was new I assumed it was common sense. But apparently its not. Reading some comments here. Not yours but others.

            I dont want kudos but surely being called names is ridiculous.As if I busted in here saying PRO lLIFE FOR lLIFE. If you find any comment from an outside view condescending and annoying how do you live among society?

            So anyone who tries to play devils advocate is concern troll? This is ridiculous. Everyone has to think the same way or you are an outcast.

          • dance commander

            http://www.mommyish.com/2013/10/29/10-reasons-to-have-an-abortion/#comment-1127107773

            Why don’t you come here and use some of your best pro-choice arguments on the pro-lifers.

            Put your money where your mouth is. SHOW US HOW IT’S DONE.

          • L-dan

            Did you even read the definition for ‘concern troll’? Because you’re acting like it and we’ve seen lots of them. There’s been a rash of them in just the past week even.

            Jumping in with “zomg all you baby killers” gets even more disparaging commentary.

            But seriously? If you assumed it was common sense, what, precisely have you seen here that indicated otherwise?

            You’ve said that the other side sees abortion as murder. Wow, we had no idea…it’s not like they’re waving signs that say that or something.

            You’ve said ‘use logic and science’ as if we haven’t been doing that?

            So, you’ve told us nothing new. You’ve paid no attention when we told you that it was nothing new and we’ve already been using that logic and science stuff you’re so gung-ho on. And yet…we’re the ones having trouble living in society? If you take this approach everywhere in life, I’m sort of surprised you’re not having more trouble.

          • cjvg

            It seems you are the one who has cornered the market on name calling. I suggest you actually read some of the nonsense you try to pass of as arguments

            Here (in order of appearance) are some of your lovely non-name calling phrases;
            -I AM NOT PRO LIFE YOU DUMB PIECE OF SHIT
            -you are too stupid to realize that though.
            -you fucking dimwit
            -Stereotype feminists
            -you dim wit.
            -low brow pseudointellcts

            Impressively civilized on your part and so convincing in it medical factuality, don’t you think?

          • Ella Warnock

            And “tool.” He called outrageous a tool.

          • cjvg

            Ah, missed that one.
            I was so impressed by his ability to pass off inane, irrelevant name-calling that that one must have slipped by.

            Amazing how he considers his use of name calling completely acceptable and needful to the debate ( as well as claiming it is non existent when called out on it).
            However he engages in major pouting and butt hurt displays when people get tired of it and throw it back at him!

          • cjvg

            Do you have the right to use a woman’s body for your benefit to satisfy your believes, contrary to her believes or choices?!
            If your answer is YES, please provide me with the science, medical knowledge, biology, social and legal constructs that grant you that right over the objections of the woman who’s body it actually is!

            Do you believe we should have the right to use your body and organs for our benefit?!
            If the answer is NO, why should we not have the right to do so since you clearly have no objections when you get to force the cost of your believes on a woman!

          • colleen2

            “no she didn’t” is not a rebuttal. It’s the response of a moron totally out of his depth. go AWAY

          • L-dan

            Oh he flounced off yesterday. Our recent outbreak of concern trolls seem to have the stomach for about one half to one full day of bluster before blowing away.

          • L-dan

            And no, kids don’t come before grown adults in a lot of cases. You put the air mask in the plane on yourself first because you’ll be useless to the kid if you pass out trying to get it on them first…etc.

            Why should the infant’s rights (not that I concede a fetus to be an infant) a. trump those of the person building it from their own body and b. exceed those of any other born person?

            You are ignoring the posts again and again showing the science…just like the forced gestation types do. You are condescendingingly coming in and repeating “science” over and over while ignoring what is shown to you, so pardon me if I don’t find that particular whine very sincere.

          • cjvg

            I have reputed your inane suggestive posts that a fetus must be considered a person with the same rights as a born woman several times.

            -I have used all pertinent science and medical knowledge available!
            -I have posted the appropriate studies used to refute your little insinuations.
            -I have dumbed it down to your level so it was understandable to someone who clearly did not have much biology in high school or any medical knowledge to speak off
            -I have questioned you repeatedly why you feel justified in dismissing the very real and most basic human right that every human has (or should have) to determine who and what gets to have the use of their body, without any response that is actually grounded in facts!

            Really there is no way to hold a reasonable debate with solid arguments with someone who will not acknowledge any FACTS that refute them and clearly and concisely address all their questions!

            You’re done, you are just a mindless troll!

          • fiona64

            It is insanely easy to “prove” that the fetus is not an infant. Infants are *born.*

            Good god, it’s like talking to a particularly slow two-year-old …

          • colleen2

            For the same reasons your needs ‘triumph’ over the needs of someone who needs a kidney or a bit of your liver.

          • cjvg

            So disregarding the human rights of a woman who is already here and present in favor of the human rights of a potential life is respectful of life?!

            That is the epitome of a horrible argument if there ever was one!
            Dismissing the wants, needs and rights of a life that is for a life that might be is in no circumstance pro-life, quite the opposite in fact!!!!!

          • Shawn Ryu

            You are not reading anything I have written. You cant make that argument to people who believe abortion is murder. Isnt murder illegal in this country?

          • L-dan

            Since it is not considered murder in this country, shouldn’t the onus be on them to provide the reasons why it *is* murder?

          • Shawn Ryu

            Finally, some non-hostile post with common sense.

            I see where you are coming from, and I cant compoletely disagree, but this isnt the court of law, per se, but court of public opinion. FOr now anyway.

          • L-dan

            And in the court of public opinion, they still need to prove that. You haven’t made much of an argument for how they’re supposedly swaying public opinion in this regard, or how science will supposedly sway it back.

            Quit coming across as a condescending concern troll and you’ll get less hostility.

          • cjvg

            There is no murder.
            Science, biology and medical knowledge do not support your believes!

          • cjvg

            What a dishonest, inane and ridiculous argument (I have a hard time giving it the dignity of even calling that)
            You can not murder something that is medically, biologically or scientifically seen not even alive !

            If you would have bothered to actually READ anything posted here you would have realized that by now !

            So I guess you are adamantly AGAINST organ donation after death? Since this is done by keeping the bodies in the same state as a fetus is before 26 weeks gestation, and harvesting the organs at that time you must certainly have a codicil stating that you refuse to accept any and all organ transplants even if that refusal will cause your death.

            If you do not you are simply being a hypocrite that is only interested in claiming murder when abortion is discussed, because you will NEVER have to suffer the consequences from outlawing abortion.

          • cjvg

            It is science is it not, there is no circumstance were a fetus can logically be considered the same as a born sentient woman.

            Why you urge us to use science, but when we do you dismiss the science as irrelevant. So why can this argument not be used?

          • colleen2

            we read and recognize you for what you are.. see above comments.

          • dance commander

            Even born human beings do not have the right to use another persons body without consent. And need I add, pregnancy is very dangerous.

          • Shawn Ryu

            Yea I am pretty sure fetus didnt have a choice.

          • dance commander

            The fetus doesn’t get a choice, it has no agency.

          • Shawn Ryu

            then dont put it like fetus had a choice.

          • dance commander

            This addresses the issue of choice:

            VII. The Right to Abort: A Derivative Positive Right

            I have argued that a newborn infant’s right not to be abandoned by its
            mother is a derivative positive right rather than a basic one, and that
            such a right is accordingly licensed by (20). I shall now argue that
            the same is true of a woman’s right to abort an unwanted fetus.27

            (2) A woman who voluntarily becomes pregnant but later changes her mind has the right to abort her unborn child.

            It is sometimes argued that abortion is justified because a fetus is not
            a person. If that were true, then the right to abortion would simply
            be a negative right, not a positive one, and would follow from (1) and
            (20). If a fetus is not a person, but simply a mass of human tissue,
            like a cancer[182]ous growth, then in
            aborting it a woman would simply be doing something to her own body, and
            the right to control one’s own body (so long as one does not invade
            others’ boundaries in the process) is clearly licensed by (1). If I
            forcibly interfere with your use of your own body, I am violating your
            boundaries and may legitimately be restrained by force.

            But is it true that fetuses are not persons? I think it is clearly true
            in the early stages of pregnancy, for the possession of psychological
            capacities of some sort is essential to personhood. Nothing counts as a
            person if it lacks psychological capacities; an early fetus lacks
            neurophysiological structures sophisticated enough to ground
            psychological capacities; therefore, an early fetus is not a person,28 and so may be killed without violating any rights.29

            Nor will it do to protest that an early fetus is at least s potential
            person, and is deserving of moral concern in virtue of that status.
            For the claim that an early fetus is potentially a person is ambiguous,
            and the sense in which the claim is true is different from the sense
            needed by the opponent of early abortion. The claim might mean that the
            early fetus is potentiallyidentical with a person, just as I am potentially identical with a grandfather; or it might mean that the early fetus is potentially constitutive
            of a person, just as clay is potentially constitutive of a person. The
            claim that the early fetus is potentially identical with a person might
            make it an object of moral concern (although it is far from obvious
            that it would do so); but such a claim is simply false. Whatever is a
            person is essentially a person; the change from person to nonperson or
            vice versa is not a change that anything could survive.30
            So the early fetus cannot be regarded as becoming a person; either we
            must regard it as going out of existence when the person comes to be
            (in the same way that an organism goes out of existence when a corpse
            comes to be), so that an early fetus is replaced by a person, or else we must regard the early fetus as persisting as the underlying matter of the person. In the latter case, an early fetus does turn out to be a potential person, but only in the pickwickian [183] sense of potentially constituting a person; and there is no reason to suppose that something becomes an object of moral concern merely in virtue of constituting a person. The right to abort an early fetus, then, is an unproblematic negative right.

            But while this argument serves to justify most abortions (and would
            certainly justify the use of “morning-after” abortifacients), it does
            not justify late abortions.31
            Personhood may not begin at conception, but it does appear to begin
            before birth; there is no significant difference between the
            psychological capacities of a newborn infant and those of a late fetus.
            If we deny that the late fetus is a person, we must also deny that a
            newborn infant is a person, and therefore justify infanticide. But this
            conclusion, apart from its morally unpalatable character, also runs
            afoul of (3); if a newborn infant is not a person, it does not have nay
            rights, and so may legitimately be abandoned. (The worst thing one
            could say about it is that it might be a case of littering.) One might
            respond by claiming that newborn infants can have rights even if they
            are not persons; but in that case the argument for (2)
            fails. The claim that late fetuses are not persons counts as an
            argument for (2) only if personhood is necessary for rights; and in that
            case (given the similarity between late fetuses and newborn infants) we
            do not get a view that accommodates both (2) and (3) – which is what we were looking for. So the denial that late fetuses are persons seems like an unpromising strategy.

            Let us grant, then, that late fetuses are persons. If that is so, what
            could justify aborting them? The answer to that question will turn on
            the answer to a broader question: When, in general, does one have the
            right to kill a person? Or, more specifically, when does one have the
            right to kill a person without that person’s consent?32 Well, killing a person without that person’s consent is a boundary-invasion by definition (16), and the general rule governing boundary-invasions was laid down by (20):

            (20) Every person has the right not to have her boundaries violated,
            and also not to have her boundaries invaded unless such invasion is
            necessary to end some wrongful boundary-invasion of hers, and such
            invasion is also not disproportionate to the seriousness of her
            boundary-invasion.

            To prohibit abortion is to invade a pregnant woman’s boundary.
            According to (20), such a prohibition will be illegitimate unless it is
            necessary to counteract some wrongful boundary-invasion on her part.
            Now aborting a (late) fetus is certainly a boundary-invasion; but such
            invasions cannot [184] be prohibited
            unless they are wrongful, where such wrongfulness is itself defined as
            the violation of (20). Therefore, to show that a woman has the right to
            abort an unwanted fetus, it will suffice to show (a) that such an
            abortion would not involve a boundary-violation, and (b) that such an
            abortion is necessary to end some wrongful boundary-invasion on the part
            of the fetus, and is also not disproportionate to the seriousness of
            the fetus’s boundary-invasion. But by (17),
            (b) entails (a). So all we need to show is (b): that aborting an
            unwanted fetus is necessary to end some wrongful boundary-invasion on
            the part of the fetus, and is also not disproportionate to the
            seriousness of the fetus’s boundary-invasion.

            Here is the quick version of the argument (which I shall go on to defend
            in more detail): Suppose Miriam is pregnant, and Joshua is her
            unwanted fetus. Joshua is using Miriam’s body as an incubator; so
            Joshua is crossing Miriam’s boundary. Miriam wants Joshua out; so
            Joshua’s boundary-crossing counts as a boundary-invasion. Joshua’s
            invasion of Miriam’s boundary is not necessary to counteract any
            invasion on Miriam’s part, so Joshua’s invasion is a boundary-violation.
            By (20),
            Joshua has no right to violate Miriam’s boundary; so Joshua’s
            boundary-violation is a wrongful boundary-invasion. Aborting Joshua is
            necessary to end his wrongful boundary-invasion of Miriam, and is not
            disproportionate to the seriousness of the threat; therefore, Miriam has
            a derivative positive right to abort Joshua.33 The right to abortion is a special case of the right to self-defense.34

            Opponents of the right to abortion find this style of argument
            repellent. How, they ask, can one treat a fetus as some sort of alien
            parasite, and pregnancy as a unnatural violation, when pregnancy is the
            most natural thing in the world?35 Well, sexual intercourse is also the most “natural” thing in the world; but when it is involuntary, it becomes rape. [185] Likewise, when the “natural” process of pregnancy is involuntary, it too becomes an alien intrusion or violation.

            Yet if the case of Miriam and Joshua is to justify (2), we must add that Miriam became pregnant voluntarily.36
            And if Miriam’s pregnancy is voluntary, then Joshua’s
            boundary-crossing is not a boundary-violation, and so the argument for
            Miriam’s right to abort Joshua cannot get off the ground.

            We must, however, distinguish between pregnancies that were initially voluntary and pregnancies that are currently
            voluntary. Suppose that Miriam’s pregnancy began in as voluntary a
            fashion as one could ask for: she voluntarily engaged in intercourse
            with the deliberate intention of conceiving a child.37
            But now she has changed her mind, and no longer wishes to carry Joshua
            to term. Her pregnancy was initially voluntary, but now it is
            involuntary. The same is true of sexual intercourse: a woman who begins
            intercourse voluntarily but then changes her mind has the right to back
            out halfway through; if her partner fail to respect this wish, he is
            guilty of rape, even if he (and she) have been socialized not to think
            of it that way.38 Consent, to justify, must be sustained.39 [186]
            When Miriam’s pregnancy was voluntary, Joshua’s occupation of her body
            was a mere boundary-crossing; but now that Miriam has changed her mind,
            that occupation has become a boundary-invasion.

            Yet what distinguishes Miriam’s case from the case of Stan the airline
            pilot, or from the case of the initially willing mother who later
            abandons her baby? Cannot Stan say that he started the flight as a
            willing pilot, but has since changed his mind, and thus that forcing him
            to continue piloting would be involuntary servitude? (And likewise for
            the abandonment case?) It seems that (2) and (3)
            have come into potential conflict once more. Either we grant Miriam
            the right to change her mind, in which case it is unclear how we can
            deny the same right to Stan or to the abandoning mother; or we deny Stan
            and the abandoning mother the right to change their minds, in which
            case it is unclear how we can grant that right to Miriam. What could
            justify giving different answers in the two cases?

            Recall that in denying Stan the right to abandon his passengers, and in
            denying an initially willing mother the right to abandon her child, we
            appealed to principle (21),
            which established that such abandonments are killings rather than mere
            lettings-die. That is, we showed that abandonment in such cases is a
            boundary-crossing – and therefore, since the victims did not consent, a
            boundary-invasion. But that was only part of the story. In order to
            show that Stan’s passengers and the newborn infant have the right not to be abandoned, it was necessary, according to (20),
            to show that the boundary-invasion would be a wrongful one. This we
            were able to do by showing that no such boundary-invasion was necessary
            to counteract any wrongful boundary-invasion on the part of the
            passengers or of the infant; a boundary-invasion that lacks such an
            excuse is a boundary-violation, and (20) prohibits all
            boundary-violations. But in Miriam’s case, killing Joshua is necessary
            in order to counteract his wrongful invasion of her body,40
            and so Miram’s act of aborting Joshua is not a boundary-violation.
            That is the crucial difference between abortion and abandonment.

            But although the fact that abandonment is a boundary-violation shows that it is prohibited by (20), the fact that abortion is not
            a boundary-violation does not show that it is licensed by (20). For
            (20) also prohibits some boundary-invasions that are not
            boundary-violations – namely, those boundary-invasions that are
            disproportionate to the seriousness of the threat they are designed to
            counteract. (Once again, I do not have the right to blow you away in
            order to prevent you from treading on my toe, [187]
            even if no lesser measure would succeed.) In order to show that
            abortion is licensed by (20), then, we will need to show that Miriam’s
            killing Joshua is not disproportionate to the seriousness of the threat
            posed by Joshua to Miriam.

            One might try to show this by appealing to the fact that the process of
            childbirth is (a) life-threatening, and (b) extremely painful.41
            (If the pain involved in childbirth were induced by other means, it
            would generally be recognized as a form of torture, and a nation that
            required women to undergo it would be found in violation of Article V of
            the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.)42
            As things stand, then, abortion is not disproportionate to the
            seriousness of the threat it counteracts, and so is not a wrongful
            boundary-invasion; we surely have a right to kill in order to avoid
            being tortured. (It might be objected that killing can never be a
            proportionate response to any threat short of death. But our concern is
            with proportionality in moral seriousness, not proportionality in
            physical effect; to claim that defensive killing can be morally
            proportionate only to a threat of death is to assume, between aggressive
            force and defensive force, a moral symmetry difficult to square with [20].)
            But what if medical science eventually renders childbirth safe and
            painless? Should abortion still be permitted under those circumstances?
            A robust defense of (2)
            should strive to vindicate the right to abortion in general, without
            relying on historically continent facts about the level of advancement
            of medical technology. In what follows I thus forgo any appeal to the
            risk or painfulness of childbirth.

            So let us pretend that pregnancy poses no risk to the mother’s life,
            health, or comfort. If the threat posed by an unwanted pregnancy is not
            one of pain or physical injury, then how could killing the fetus not
            be a disproportionate response to the seriousness of the
            boundary-violation posed by such a pregnancy? How could anything less
            than a threat of pain or physical injury justify killing one’s assailant in self-defense?

            To answer this question, it is useful to consider the analogy of rape. A
            woman is clearly justified in killing a rapist in self-defense
            (assuming no lesser measures would be successful). Rape is one of the
            most profound and traumatizing assaults on one’s personhood that it is
            possible to inflict; so killing is not a disproportionate response to
            the seriousness of rape. But a rape need not involve physical injury or
            pain; if the rape victim is intimidated into failing to resist, then in
            purely physical terms a rape may be indistinguishable from normal,
            consensual intercourse. Rape need not be violent in any overt sense.43 Yet it is a rape for all that; for [188]
            any sexual use of another person’s body without that person’s consent
            is a rape. What gives a woman the right to kill as rapist in
            self-defense, then, is not that he threatens her with pain or injury,
            but that he uses her body in the most deeply intimate and personal way,
            without her consent (even if she originally consented, then changed her
            mind). And it is precisely this same fact that gives Miriam the
            right to kill her unwanted fetus Joshua: not that he threatens her with
            pain or injury, but that he uses her body44 in the most deeply intimate and personal way, without her consent(even if she originally consented).45
            Hence abortion is not a disproportionate response to the seriousness
            of the boundary-violation it counteracts. My argument for abortion
            rights may be expressed, then, by the following syllogism:

            (a) One has the right to kill in self-defense if the threat is sufficiently serious.

            (b) The threat posed by an unwanted fetus is sufficiently serious.

            (c) Therefore, one has the right to kill an unwanted fetus in self-defense.

            My analogy between fetuses and rapists will strike many opponents of
            abortion rights as absurd. Doesn’t this analogy ignore a vitally
            important difference – namely, that the fetus is innocent? The fetus did not choose
            to violate its mother’s boundaries; the violation occurred as a result
            of natural processes over which the fetus, in the nature of the case,
            could have no control (since these are the same natural processes that
            produced it).

            Yes, this is of course an important difference; but it is not important
            in the relevant way. An unwanted fetus is an innocent threat, but is a
            threat nonetheless.46
            A boundary-violation does not cease to be a boundary-violation just
            because the boundary-violator was acting involuntarily; nor does such
            involuntariness transform a profoundly personal intrusion into a minor
            inconvenience. Proposition (20) therefore licenses the killing of innocent threats in self-defense.47 To be sure, considerations of the threat’s innocence or guilt may legitimately affect judgments of the moral [189]
            proportionality of the response. But when the threat is as personal
            and intrusive as an unwanted pregnancy, it is difficult to see how the
            innocence of the fetus could make enough of a difference to justify
            forcing the mother to quietly endure nine months of what is tantamount
            to rape. Analogously , even if someone has been involuntarily
            hypnotized into becoming a literal rapist, his victim still has the right to kill him in self-defense.

            Objection: Not if she’s the one who deliberately hypnotized him.
            Reply: Yes, even then, I think. A woman never has an obligation – or at
            any rate, never has an enforceable obligation48
            – to let herself be raped. That’s moral bedrock if anything is. The
            notion of an enforceable obligation to let one’s body be used by a
            rapist is a moral obscenity; and the same holds for the notion of an
            enforceable obligation to let one’s body be used as an incubator by a
            fetus, even if the mother is responsible for the fetus’s presence there
            in the first place.49 The right to abortion, like the right not to be raped, is inalienable; one cannot legitimately enslave oneself by waiving in advance one’s right to control one’s own body. This follows from (20);
            since boundary-violations are prohibited, the only way Miriam could
            alienate her right to her body is by placing her body outside her own
            boundary, so that someone could use her body as a mere means without
            using her as a mere means. But unless Miriam has acquired the knack of astral projection, this is impossible.50

            Yet another disanalogy may be urged between a rapist and an unwanted fetus: Joshua is Miriam’s child, and we have special obligations to our children that we do not have to strangers .51
            Miriam may have a right to deny strangers the use of her body, but it
            does not follow that she has the right to deny such use to her child,
            when his very survival depends on being allowed to use her body. The
            right to an abortion, so this objection runs, is inconsistent with the
            existence of parental obligations.52 [190]

            I would hardly deny the importance of parental obligations; but it is
            generally recognized that adoptive parents have the same obligations as
            biological parents – and that, conversely, either biological or adoptive
            parents may divest themselves of their (enforceable) obligations
            by putting their child up for adoption. Hence a parent’s enforceable
            obligations appear to stem from his or her voluntary acceptance of the
            rights and responsibilities of guardianship, and not from a merely
            biological tie. Hence an appeal to parental obligations in the case of
            abortion misses the mark, since a woman seeking abortion is ipso facto
            not a willing guardian.

            But even if we were to assume, implausibly, that Miriam has assumed the
            parental responsibilities of guardianship toward Joshua (e.g., in virtue
            of having conceived him voluntarily), does it really follow that she
            has no right of self-defense against him. Until recently, it was widely
            held (and still is, in some of the world’s more benighted recesses)53
            that a woman does not count as having been genuinely “raped” if the
            assailant is her husband. The “parental obligations” objection to
            abortion, like the refusal to recognize rape in marriage, appears to
            stem from a traditional attitude that refuses to acknowledge women as
            autonomous individuals, and regards their bodies as mere resources to be
            used by family members.54
            On this view, a woman is not an independent moral being worthy of
            respect in her own right, but instead exists only for the sake of her
            family relationships, and has her moral identity and standing only
            within that context. Simply by virtue of being a family member, then, a
            husband or fetus is imagined to possess a rightful claim to sue her
            body. A woman is only a tenant in her body, not the rightful
            proprietor.55 But this view is wrong, and (1)
            is one way of expressing the fact that it is wrong. Family
            relationships are important, but they do not give some people the right
            to use other people as mere means to their own ends.56 [190]
            What Jefferson said of men is likewise true of women: “[T]he mass
            of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored
            few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of
            God.”57

            VIII. Summary

            We began with three propositions: that people have a right not to be
            treated as mere means to the ends of others, that a woman who
            voluntarily becomes pregnant nevertheless has the right to an abortion,
            and that a woman who voluntarily gives birth does not have a right to
            abandon her child until she finds a substitute caretaker. These
            propositions initially seemed inconsistent, for the prohibition on
            treating others as mere means appeared to rule out the possibility of
            positive rights, thus making it impossible to countenance the right to
            abort or the right not to be abandoned (both of which, it was argued,
            are positive in form).

            But we have seen that the prohibition on treating people as mere means
            to the ends of others is best understood as ruling out basic positive
            rights while permitting derivative ones. Since a willing mother is
            responsible for bringing her child into the world in the first place,
            she cannot abandon it without violating its negative right not to be
            killed, and so such a child has a derivative positive right not to be
            abandoned. A pregnant woman, on the other hand, has a negative right
            not to have her body invaded, and from this negative right derives a
            positive right to abort her fetus, so long as doing so is not
            disproportionate to the seriousness of the threat (as it is not in the
            case of involuntary pregnancy, or of pregnancy which has become
            involuntary).Therefore, far from being in conflict, propositions (1), (2), and (3)
            have been shown to be in harmony with one another, the latter two being
            plausibly grounded in the first. Insofar as we have reason to accept
            (1), then, we have reason to accept (2) and (3). Moreover, we have seen
            that a proper understanding of (1) allows us to embed (2) and (3) in a
            larger moral respective in which the limits of compulsory altruism are
            firmly drawn: enforceable rights to the sue or assistance of others may
            be allowed in to the moral domain only if they are “sponsored” by some
            negative right. Every putative positive right must find such a
            sponsor, or perish.

            Philosophy, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

          • L-dan

            Where do you see the idea that the fetus has a choice in there? Whether or not the fetus has any intention (and it doesn’t) the effect is that it is using the body of another person. If that is against that person’s will, then the fetus is going to be detached from that body.

            There are cases of sleepwalking rape and assault. There was no choice or intent upon the part of the person doing the raping and assaulting, does this mean their victims should have no recourse?

            Intent…it is not magic.

          • Shawn Ryu

            And I am not arguing against any of that.

            And good for you making a civilized post without having resort in insults, I appreciate that.

          • dance commander

            Why don’t YOU make some good pro-choice arguments?

          • L-dan

            Take your stupid pat on the head and shove it.

            You’re in here deliberately pissing people off. I have no problem with them calling you on it.

          • dance commander

            here are cases of sleepwalking rape and assault. There was no choice or
            intent upon the part of the person doing the raping and assaulting, does
            this mean their victims should have no recourse?

            I have always found that to be the ideal analogy. Because people have brought up the point that, when it comes to self-defense, you can’t just kill someone based on the *potential* for harm.

            However, no one is going to complain if you whack your rapist over the head and kill him in order to escape. If that is the *only* way you can escape, then killing is totes acceptable.

            It is a given that in many ways pregnancy and birth is far more damaging and traumatic then rape. So, escaping in any that you can, even if it causes the death of the attacker, is a reasonable course of action. Of course, no matter how rational the above is, your average person will react with horror when you explain that pregnancy and birth are not all uniconrs and rainbows, and that a fetus can fuck up a woman even more so than a sleepwalking rapist. Just like they recoil in horror at the thought that a fetus is functionally a parasite.

          • L-dan

            Hell, in ‘stand your ground’ states you *can* kill someone just based on potential for harm. Yet those states also tend toward the most restrictions on abortion.

            To paraphrase another recent concern troll, ‘these laws, they’re so inconsistent! You can protect your life and well-being from one sort of threat but not another? It makes no sense!”

          • fiona64

            Rights are not afforded to “human beings,” they are afforded to *persons.* Personhood is a legal concept (as are rights). Personhood requires birth.

            Really, one does grow weary of explaining this over and over and over … to the same person.

          • Shawn Ryu

            This coming from a fool that refuse to read anything really, and insist on making stupid comments.

          • dance commander

            Prove that fiona’s comments are stupid.

            With science.

            I’m patient.

          • Shawn Ryu

            Not science. All she has to do is read what a wrote you tool. Shes acting like I am from Westboro Baptist Church.

          • L-dan

            Oh no. The comments you’d get if you came in spewing that shit would be way less civil. We’d skip the blockquotes and any attempt at logical discourse, because it’s a complete waste of time with folks being that upfront about their idiocy.

          • dance commander

            We’d skip the blockquotes

            You know what’s funny about that? More than one anti-choicer has accused me of ‘plagiarism’ for quoting their words and replying to them…

            I mean seriously. What the hell?

          • colleen2

            I keep saying this. They really aren’t very bright.

          • fiona64

            I *did* read what you wrote. And I responded — with logic, legal information, and science.

            It’s not my fault that you weren’t able to understand it.

          • Ella Warnock

            Someone said “And even if you responded surely the better way is to act civil and not insult the first chance you get”

            Hmmm, interesting. Outrageous was quite civil and the insulting term “tool” was hurled about. You really should follow your own advice, little one.

      • Shawn Ryu

        Folks believe me, I dont think abortions should be illegal, I am just saying, if you are going to make an argument, use science and logic first before bringing up human rights. It sounds ridiculous if you dont.

        Point being, ADDRESS the argument that fetus has a right of a human being, thats all. You save yourselves lots of trouble doing so. Get a biologist, or a doctor.

        • L-dan

          *eyeroll* Yeah. We haven’t done that…over and over and over again.

          A significant percentage of the people we are arguing against believe that evolution shouldn’t be taught in schools. More science and more logic aren’t remotely effective around that crowd.

          Thank you for your bizarre and condescending concern. You may want to look up ‘mansplaining’ because you are doing it all over this page. You would save yourself a lot of trouble by avoiding such tactics in the future. Get a woman, preferably with some background on the issues to vocalize your concerns for you. It might come across better.

          • Shawn Ryu

            Pro choice really havent done that, thats why I am here. I have seen pro choice protests.

            Nothing condescending about it. Just giving a fair take from a view of someone who doesnt have a horse in this race. Seems like you are too stupid to realize that though.

          • L-dan

            So you don’t care about the debate, you’re just here to help us poor wimmins out? No, that’s not condescending at all.

            Have you seen forced birth protests? They don’t really do much about having science on their side either. Nor do they listen to it.

            Have you seen the length and breadth of the information presented to you here? Exactly how well do you think those fit on a protest sign?

            We are fighting for our fucking lives and basic freedoms here. This is tiring and frustrating. And you are being a cocksure little shit int the middle of it regarding a subject that you just feel ho-hum about and haven’t bothered to remotely educate yourself about. Not sure why you’re annoyed that we’re taking offense at that. Seems pretty logical to me.

          • colleen2

            We comfort our stupid selves with the knowledge that we’re not stupid enough to believe anything you have to say.Now, please fuck off.

        • cjvg

          Yes lets use science and logic for a change!

          A fetus does not have the functional brain structure (cerebral cortex) that houses awareness until at least 26 to 29 weeks of gestation, well after legal abortion is no longer available UNLESS THE LIFE OF THE WOMAN IS IN DANGER or the fetus itself is incompatible with life!

          Since a fetus can not register pain or discomfort until that time and most certainly does not have the same sentience and awareness as the woman it is quit clear what the science and medical fact are telling you, and it is NOT what you want to hear!

          Let me repost What I usually leave for those like you that are severely impaired in the honesty, medical fact and biology department. I will even use the EXACT same research that the anti-choice groups routinely use (except they only use the part that does not contradict their ridiculous claims)

          Clinical brain activity is the same criteria which are used to determine if a patient is deceased and if it is legal to discontinue life support and being harvesting organs for transplant, as without a functioning brain the body is just a collection of tissue.

          A brain-dead person with a functioning heart/lungs/brainstem will still show electrical activity in the brain, but they won’t show the particular “brainwaves” that are characteristic of the higher cortical functions of cognition. So the whole EEG isn’t “flat”, just the part of the EEG profile that shows a thinking person is using that brain tissue.

          At this point no “person”, sentience or awareness is present in
          the body.

          Physicians use a more rigorous criterion for death nowadays then they previously did. Now the science and capacity to do so is available, clinical brain activity is used.
          A flat EEG (electroencephalograph) is one of the most important criteria used to determine death. If the cessation of brain wave activity can define death, is it then not only logical that the onset of the same clinical brain activity defines were live begins?!

          When people, including physicians, generally talk about “brain waves” and “brain activity” they are referring to organized activity in the cortex. A more scientific exactitude of “electrical clinical significant brain activity” would be better to avoid confusion.

          No embryo or fetus has ever been found to have “brain waves,” before 26-29 weeks gestation, although extensive EEG studies have been done on premature babies.

          “Functional maturity of the cerebral cortex is suggested by fetal and neonatal electroencephalographic patterns, bilaterally synchronous electroencephalographic are seen at 26 to 29 weeks gestation.

          Studies used are;
          Hamlin. (1964), “Life or Death by EEG,”Journal of the American
          Medical Association, October 12,113
          J. Goldenring, “Development of the Fetal Brain,” New England Jour. of Med., Aug. 26, 1982, p. 564
          K.J.S. Anand, a leading researcher on pain in newborns, and P.R. Hickey, published in NEJM

          So yes, I do agree that 26 weeks would then be the point where abortion would be prohibited, barring imminent threat to the mothers health and wellbeing or a fetus that is incompatible with life

          However the law supersedes me and put that point at 24 weeks were no legal abortion can be obtained.
          Again except for the few notable exceptions were the life of the mother is in danger, or were the fetus has such birth defects that it makes it incompatible with life.

          • outrageous

            I need your scientific advice.

            I have tonnes of sources debunking fetal pain + your excellent article.

            But there is this:

            http://chronicle.com/blogs/percolator/do-fetuses-feel-pain/27805

            Interestingly, Dr. Platt is still a ‘pro-abort’.

            Pro-lifers think they have a slam-dunk based on his paper criticising the RCOG report, however…

          • cjvg

            He failed, he is still pretending he never saw this comment, although he responded to every other one right away

          • outrageous

            I asked you a question, on another forum.

            Didn’t wanna ask it here. Hence the edit.

          • cjvg

            Sorry don’t always get all responses, which forum?

        • fiona64

          And then, when the anti-choicer screeches some anti-science crap at you, you are right back where you started.

          People don’t like cognitive dissonance — which is what happens when verifiable facts get in the face of their emotionally-based beliefs. The majority of the time, people ignore the facts in those cases.

          Just sayin’ … a little social psychology needs to be applied.

          • Shawn Ryu

            Only if they are religious pro lifers. Those you cant do much about I agree.

          • L-dan

            1/3 of women have abortions, and they’re half the population (give or take a bit). Only about a quarter of the population, those hard-core ones you note, believe in banning all abortions.

            Science does not explain to the rest of them why 20 week bans are harmful. Stories about what happens to actual people when these bans are in place illustrates reality in ways everyone understands.

            These bans are wrong, not because fetuses aren’t people, but because the people carrying them are. That is what this sort of article illustrates.

            Additionally, I don’t see why we shouldn’t have *both* out there. You are offering nothing constructive, kid.

        • colleen2

          There is nothing remotely scientific about proclaiming your belief that a zygote/blastocyst/embryo or fetus is a ‘person’. Women, however, ARE people. The notion that a fetus is a person is a religious belief. It is not ‘science’ or ‘truth’ or ‘reality’,

      • dance commander

        Fetus is not a human being you will have to do better.

      • CT14

        Are women not human beings? With the rights all humans are entitled to?

        You cannot force another person to donate an ounce of blood, even to save your life, but you want the government to have the right to force a woman to donate her entire body, against her will at at the risk of her own life, to a fetus. That grants the fetus FAR MORE right than any born person has.

        If the government can force women to gestate, than it can force them to abort, and if it can force women to be treated as incubators, it can treat ANY person as medical equipment.

        Should you be forced to donate that extra kidney of yours? How about part of your liver–it will regenerate after all.

        Or do you think human beings have the right of bodily autonomy?

        Or maybe just men have that right? Men and fetuses?

      • cvxxx

        Yes the right of the adult organism trumps that of a formative that cannot progress without the adult. In fact several societies did exactly that killing of non viable children. Republican Rome the eldest male could order the death of any in his household by law. Sparta exposed the deformed to die.

  • MaiaDoe

    Pregnant? Abort it, wait until you can move out of the country, get pregnant again, give birth, move back into the US (the last one is optional).
    Seriously, this behaviour is actually pro-abortion.

    • Madelene Maleficarum

      Can you clarify? I’m confused by your post.

      • MaiaDoe

        I don’t know how about you, but I would be scared to be pregnant woman in the US (and in some other countries, too).
        I thinking it’s better to avoid the situation… and I think that average person is unable to move in different country for some 8-10 months without preparation. Which basically forces women into aborting.

        • Madelene Maleficarum

          Ah, thanks for the clarification. Having done abortion work I don’t think that most women fear the possibility of being forced to have medical procedures done on them to the extent that they would choose an abortion. Having also done birth work I can safely say that most women can’t fathom being forced to have medical procedures done either. Coercion? Sure. Docs and nurses who play the “dead baby” card? Definitely, but flat out arrested and forced to have, for example, a C-section. No, most women don’t fear that. I’d love to see more full-spectrum, integrated, reproductive care, so that those who want to have babies can do so, with autonomy and those who do not, can have safe, affordable abortions.

        • L-dan

          Nod. There was a post a while back on Shakesville about someone who, while they would like to have children, is terrified of the idea of being pregnant without recourse to abortion should something go wrong. The current situation there has them seriously considering sterilization as the safest option.

          (note that I’m pulling this from memory and may have things out of place. The takeaway was that they were considering sterilization in the wake of TX’s laws)

          • Arekushieru

            I remember an IamDrTiller poster who described much the same situation you described, here. Similar, in that she said that she had a medically fragile late-term pregnancy and if Dr. Tiller had not been providing late-term abortions at a nearby clinic, she probably would not have chosen to continue the pregnancy, and would have found SOME way to abort.

          • Heather

            Horrifying…

    • Emma Ryan

      dont move to Ireland, Mata, Poland, or many many other countries which offer women WAY FEWER choices than you have in America

      • cvxxx

        There is other considerations that governments are making. One is economics as the social services are based on the population of young workers. if there are less young then the governments and the economists have to find new solutions. Several Asian countries are undergoing a birth rate decline that under the pyramid social plans has great trouble a’coming in the future.
        The other is that women are in the patriarchal society disposable.

  • expect_resistance

    “These cases press home the need for abortion opponents and supporters alike to oppose these bans and secure society’s commitment to the fundamental principle: that a woman is a person with civil and human rights throughout her pregnancy. Before and after 20 weeks. Always.”

    Very scary. A woman does not and should not have to give up her civil and human rights when she is pregnant. Abortion bans should be outlawed. This is a medical decision not a legislative decision.

  • JamieHaman

    Slave or brood mare status. Because if the state has the right to force a woman to carry a baby to term, that would automatically give the state the right to force an abortion wouldn’t it.? After all if she is pregnant, she can’t make her own decisions. Total BS. On the state’s part.

    • L-dan

      Pretty much. And of course, we have a history in that regard too, of forced sterilizations and so on that should make everyone wary of reproductive coercion of any sort.

  • Ella Warnock

    As long as there’s any possibility she can get pregnant and thus have an actual “real” human being on board, she’s really not a person. Privacy is difficult enough when you’re not knocked up. When you are, it becomes a goddamn national, social, and political event where everybody and their cousin and dog and lizard and rose bushes feel entitled to weigh in on what you “should” do or be “allowed” to do. If the word “allow” comes up in reference to your choices, don’t even bother to think you have any “personhood” of your own.

    I’ll point it out again, and people will likely get tired of it . . . but, keep in mind that just a couple of days ago there were commenters on an anti-choice site that claimed a woman having an abortion was a “good enough” reason to strike her. That very notion alone should be a big, giant red flag that it’s not about the “innocent babies.” Hitting a woman for any reason is NOT about any innocent anything. it’s about violence and anger and hate; it’s about might making right.

    • L-dan

      Or the ones advocating volunteering to help drive women with canceled appointments in TX so they could lecture them about not aborting and drop them at a church instead of their appointment. Kidnapping doesn’t bother them either. The control fetish is strong in this crowd.

    • dance commander

      Keep repeating it Ella.

  • Trollface McGee

    Are pregnant women human beings after 20 weeks? Were they human before??? I mean, they are fine sandwich makers, providers of sex, providers of propaganda for the anti-choice movment to show “yes you too Virginia can die a horrible death in order that your non-viable foetus gets a chance at dying outside the womb!” (or if you’re [un]lucky, your foetus will grow into a born baby who will die a painful, inevitable death – but you’ll have the honour of knowing you gave them the chance to experience pain and suffering!]

  • Shawn Ryu

    Yall know who you sound like, a lot of you? Religious fundamentalists. The very group of people you despise, I assume. Yall cant rationalize anything. You cant read one sentence and go HE MUST BE A CHAUVINISTIC PIG when the overall message is quite the opposite.

    Stereotype feminists, gotta love em.

    • dance commander

      Then I suggest you work on your delivery.

    • L-dan

      When multiple people respond to your message in the same fashion, you may want to consider that it’s your message and not the group of other people.

      If you come to tell a bunch of folks “you’re doing it wrong” while admitting that you have no horse in the race, don’t really care about the topic and are just doing them a favor by pointing out their wrongness, I guarantee you will get a similar response regardless of the topic you chose to jump in on.

      Having no actual constructive criticism is an added cherry on top of that insult.

      Flouncing out with a “yer all a bunch of humorless feminists,” and you’ve pretty much filled the troll bingo card, kiddo.

      You expected us to what? Fall all over you in gratitude for your astute observations? First you need to actually bring some astute observations. You look like a petulant child when you drop in going “look at this!” and then get pissed when we tell you we’ve seen it before and you’re being an annoyance.

      • Shawn Ryu

        I am not pissed. Why would I be? Why do I care?

        And no where did I say anyone here is doing anything wrong.
        You are just assuming my statement was only about people here and not in real life.

        Petulant child line is too funny. Who are the ones screaming and overreacting? Not I. If you are annoyed with my comment ignore it. Thats what grown ups do. And apparently a lot of people here isnt. And even if you responded surely the better way is to act civil and not insult the first chance you get? I have no issues with people calling out my posts thats what message board is for. But insults detracts from your point. Had people actually bothered to read and act civil we wouldnt have this enchanting conversation.

        This is message board you dont have to respond to every comment you know that?

        Anyways i am done.
        If you cant say anything without insults from now on, i will know what kind of low brow pseudointellcts you are and wont bother.

        • L-dan

          So you came to a random article on a pro choice board to say that we’re doing it wrong…except it’s not us here on the board doing it wrong, but some random other pro-choicers somewhere out there that you didn’t go talk to about how *they’re* doing it wrong?

          Because you’ve clearly been saying *someone* is doing it wrong and is failing to argue with logic! and science!

          And we were supposed to consider that intelligent dialogue?

          If folks responding to your offensive line of questioning with insults annoys you. You too can chose not to respond, right? I mean, apparently that’s not conversation, so there’s no need to respond.

          And see, this is why I enjoy keeping my tone civil. After a few rounds, it means the trolls flounce of at “insults” like petulant, showing their true colors. Sorry, but you haven’t come across as sincerely concerned about pro-choice issues since post one.

        • dance commander

          If you cant say anything without insults from now on, i will know what kind of low brow pseudointellcts you are and wont bother

          I am still left wondering why you did not show us any of your superior pro-choice arguments involving science and logic…

          :((

      • Shawn Ryu

        Petulant child line is hilarious.

        Who are the ones who angrily overreact yell and whine? Not I.

        You do realize you can just ignore comments right? Like real life. Thats what grown ups do when it annoys them.

        If you want to call me out then by all means. I dont need kudos or cookies. If you think I am wrong then BY all means go ahead and say it. Its what the message board is for. But if you cant act civil you end up looking like a fool.

        Straight up in to insults seems irrational to me.

        • L-dan

          lol

          So you come in here for debate. But you’re annoyed that it isn’t happening in precisely the tone you approve of. Well, we don’t need your approval so, meh.

          We can ignore annoying posts, but apparently you can’t? And that’s what adults do, so …you’re a child by your estimation? Just trying to parse the logic here.

          We *have* been pointing out that you’re wrong, civilly as well as less civilly, when you prove that you don’t actually care or comprehend the debate you’re supposedly critiquing. No, we are not required to be civil to everyone wandering in to shout tired, discredited arguments.

          And this particular set of posts is responding to your “omg, you’re like fundies!” post, so I don’t see why it’s going to address other points.

          Really, you’re behaving like a bratty kid, so you’re being treated like one. Not sure why that’s hard to understand

        • colleen2

          Straight up in to insults seems irrational to me.

          and yet your posts are abusive, deliberately insulting, stupid and bear no relation to to the subject matter. I would say you’re a C average high school student with anger management problems who women find personally repulsive. Perhaps if you bathed more often…..

        • Guest

          Okay. You’re wrong.

          Happy now?

  • dance commander

    Here is a great example of how pro-lifers don’t give a shit about pregnant women:

    “The minutes of cabinet meetings, sealed for 20 years and obtained by The
    Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, open a window on
    the tensions between ministers who wanted abortion outlawed — indeed
    punishable by up to 10 years in prison for those who performed the
    procedure — and those who wanted a far greater latitude on a woman’s
    right to choose.”

    “The records of the late 1980s also show the Conservative cabinet
    privately considered criminal penalties for women who self-aborted. One
    draft resolution would have banned the abortion of malformed fetuses.
    Another proposed that the stress caused to a woman by an unwanted
    pregnancy should not be considered a health danger and that the social
    and economic considerations of a woman facing an unwanted pregnancy
    should not be taken into account.”

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/mulroney-era-cabinet-documents-reveal-struggle-abortion-laws-090008414.html

  • outrageous

    Citation needed.

  • outrageous

    Love you blog.

  • Jennifer Starr

    Do you have proof for this unsubstantiated statement?

  • Noelle van der Veen

    There are plenty of countries throughout the west where abortions are only legal up until a certain number of weeks. These countries don’t have these problems of trying to prosecute women. Seems to me the problem here isn’t so much a limitation to the availability of abortion but more position of women in American society.

    • dildo depot

      right on the money

  • Ella Warnock

    So drive through them.

  • outrageous

    Then do it.

  • outrageous

    Gun rights override a born child’s right to life

  • colleen2

    I agree. This is doubly true if the person is claiming that ‘science’ says that a zygote is a ‘person. The ‘personhood’ of zygotes is a, absurd minority religious belief used by the religious right to demean and control women.

  • Jennifer Starr

    Care to elaborate, Mary Anne?

  • fiona64

    Kindly elaborate on the “holes you could drive a truck through.”

    I’m sure we’re all waiting with baited breath.

  • fiona64

    you believe in the right to tell men they have no rights not to become father when they have sex but women do

    No, I don’t think that anyone is arguing about whether women can become fathers …

    Oh, wait. You’re implying that a man who impregnates a woman should have the right to dictate her medical decisions?

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • L-dan

    No, both people run the risk of there being a conception when they have sex. Only one of them has this happening in their body, and therefore the right to determine whether or not it continues happening. Once there’s a child, neither has a choice about not becoming a parent, though they do have the ability to relinquish parental rights.

  • dildo depot

    To pot out eh?

  • dildo depot

    Still waiting for you to drive a truck through it, fuckface

  • Ella Warnock

    Nope, it’s not okay to tell women that. Sorry, ryan, going to have to come up with something better than that. Men, you see, don’t actually have to screw pro-choice women who won’t have their baybeez; I know, crazy, right! They can totally make sure they only screw women who will be willing to have their kids. It’s not a secret anymore! Tell all your friends!

  • Jennifer Starr

    Right, because men are often forced to carry pregnancies against their….oh wait, no. No they’re not. Do we need to go over the facts of life again, Ryan?

  • lady_black

    I’m saying 1) men don’t get pregnant, and 2) men don’t own or control the bodies of women, and therefore 3) men have only the say over a pregnancy that a woman allows them to have. If you don’t want to become a father, then use protection or have a vasectomy.

  • fiona64

    Congratulations; you are officially one of the least literate MRAs I’ve ever seen.

    That’s quite an accomplishment.

  • fiona64

    Citation needed. Thanks in advance.

  • Ella Warnock

    Why did you try to delete your post, ryan? I mean, you did think it was brilliant enough to say; so why aren’t you standing by it?

  • Quis ut Deus

    Wow.

    Unbelievable.

    And the court is guilty of essentially ‘kidnapping’ the child.

    FFS

    • L-dan

      It’s absolutely horrifying. The article doesn’t mention *why* they felt a c-section was even needed vs normal birth. Possibly because the appropriate medications are bad for fetuses? Doesn’t sound like they contacted her next of kin, or her embassy, or anything.

      • Quis ut Deus

        Pro-lifers are always fond of saying that ‘pro-aborts’ pit fetus against women.

        But, it’s the pro-life lobby that is guilty of this. By denying women their rights in favour of the fetus they are doing exactly that.