The Weak and Revealing Rhetoric of the Pro-Abortion Side

 

I hate clicking on a title like “Abortion is Morally Good,” especially on my first-born’s birthday. But I thought I should. We won’t sway public opinion unless we’re willing to engage the reasoning on the other side. So I clicked, but as far as reasoning goes, I found this article remarkably weak. It’s so weak that I can’t help feeling a little sorry for its author. She reminds me of “Baghdad Bob,” convincing only those who desperately want and need to be convinced. “We are not afraid at all! We will triumph! Pay no attention to those coalition tanks massing on the horizon.”

It goes without saying that to be persuasive, you have to be in reality. You have to come to grips with facts and counter the arguments and witness of your opponents. If all you’ve got to offer is euphemism and caricature, you may manage to rally your demoralized troops for a little rearguard action, but you won’t prevail.

The article full of stuff like this:

When abortion ends a wanted pregnancy, it is one grief-sodden moment in a series of tragedies.

Note the absence of any reference to the baby. What’s wanted (or unwanted) is the pregnancy, not the baby. What’s “ended” is the pregnancy, not the baby. This is dishonest rhetoric. Does a pregnancy get sucked into a tube and thrown into a medical waste bin? Does a pregnancy have a heartbeat? Does it have fingers and toes and the genetic makeup of a completely unique human being?

And what does she mean by abortion ending a wanted pregnancy? I thought abortion was all about unwanted pregnancies. Is she referring to forced abortions? But those would be evil, not tragic, wouldn’t they? Isn’t her side all about choice? Or is she referring to the situation where the mother wants a baby, but not this particular baby, because this baby has a defect of some kind? Is that the tragedy? Maybe it’s got genetic or medical problems? Or maybe it comes at a really inconvenient time? In that case, it’s the particular child that’s not wanted and gets killed and thrown away in favor of a merely potential child—a possible future child, who (hopefully) won’t have such defects.

It’s amazing how even the most ardent abortion advocates can’t seem to spell out what it is they really want and hold. They have to keep it veiled in verbal fog.

But a lot comes through, even so, via projection. For example, speaking of the problem of Democrats ceding rhetorical territory to the pro-cause she writes:

When your enemies pick up your arguments and tolerate your allies in their midst, you can be relatively confident that you’ve achieved the social and political dominance that you’ve worked toward for years.

Evidently, as she sees it, the goal is “dominance,” not justice. So, she’s blunt in calling for total unison among Democrats on the issue. They must all be 100 % gung-ho for abortion. No support for pro-life Democrats seeking office, no tolerance for rhetoric that concedes any moral ground whatsoever to the pro-life cause.

Anything less but the prioritization of women over the pregnancies they carry cedes ground the left cannot afford to lose.

Notice, again, the obfuscatory wording suggesting that what women “carry” is pregnancies rather than nascent human beings.

She offers lots of caricature and contempt when’s she’s describing pro-life people and positions. She twists words to make us seem both vicious and irrational. When she wants to hold up a spokesman for our cause, to show how risible we are, she chooses the 89-year-old Pat Robertson, “who believes that you should pray over anything you buy from a thrift store because demons can hide in the fabric.” When she wants to state our case in a nutshell, she quotes abortion advocate Rebecca Traistor, who puts it like this:

“The imaginary futures — the ‘personhoods’ — of the unborn have taken moral precedence over the adult women in whose bodies they grow,”

Never mind that no pro-lifer ever talks that way. I’ve been pro-life all my 50-plus years. I don’t think I’ve ever come across the term “personhoods” before today. “Personhood” is a term of abstraction. It makes no sense in the plural form. (“Look at those adorable little boyhoods playing soccer with their fatherhoods.”) To oppose abortion is to stand for the right to life of concrete individuals, living human beings, not abstract “personhoods.” As for the future, it’s unknown and undetermined by definition, but, provided we’re talking about a fetus that already exists, its future isn’t any more “imaginary” than yours or mine.

Nor does anyone in the pro-life movement argue that fetuses take moral precedence over their mothers. (Has anyone ever heard a pro-lifer suggest killing abortion-minded mothers to save their fetuses?) Rather, we hold that no human being is disposable. Each one matters. Each one has inherent value and an unalienable right to life. (Many, though not all of us, believe that individuals who commit violent crimes abrogate that right, but that’s an argument for another place.) Even the staunchest pro-lifers will grant exceptions if the mother’s life is at stake, because our cause rests on the dignity of human life as such. It’s not about who takes precedence over whom. We reject that kind of invidious moral reasoning. We’re about love, not power.

The author makes some concessions. She admits that not all pro-lifers are as odd or idiotic as Pat Robertson. And some of us “do try to deploy science to bolster [our] arguments.” She is even fair-minded enough to say this:

I don’t believe that female pain is a policy goal for all abortion opponents.

Maybe most abortion opponents have female pain as their policy goal, but not all of them.

She’s very concerned about the female pain (male pain doesn’t come into her picture) that might result from the undoing of Roe v. Wade, but apparently not at all with the female pain that has resulted from that decision of 7 men. Even if we set aside the scores of millions of tiny humans (at least half of them girls) who have been killed in the womb in our country since 1973, what about the women who have died or been mutilated in the course of legal abortions, or who suffer life-long bitter regret, or who are pressured into abortions they don’t want by boyfriends or husbands or parents or friends? Doesn’t their pain count for anything? Or does she want to pretend that all the female pain is on one side of this issue?

In the end, she has no argument at all. She only has a flat assertion, unbolstered by any form of reasoning: “A fetus is a possibility, not a person. While abortion can be the tragic end to a wanted pregnancy, it’s never murder.” She doesn’t even try to deploy science or philosophy to make her case. Probably she senses the effort would backfire. Better to caricature, heap contempt on the opposition, talk vaguely and anecdotally about female pain, then make a bald assertion and pretend you’ve been dispositive.

That’s apparently good enough for publication in New York magazine. Maybe they thought it was especially compelling because the author used to be an evangelical. Regardless, it gave this pro-lifer hope that the abortion lobby is on its last legs.

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There are 63 comments.

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    The side which changes the language is always the side in the wrong. 

    • #1
    • May 21, 2019, at 12:48 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  2. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Katie, Katie, Katie. Don’t you know that the other side Feels? We reason, they Feel. No reasoning is necessary to be pro-abortion, just the feeling that Womens’ Power over their bodies means they can do anything with those bodies that they feel is right, including eliminating the tiny human being inside them. Tragic, yes. Reasoned, no.

    Welcome back, we missed you!

    • #2
    • May 21, 2019, at 12:53 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. katievs Member
    katievs Post author

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    The side which changes the language is always the side in the wrong.

    I’d rather say the side that abuses or skews the language is always the side in the wrong. Language can be changed legitimately. 

    A new word might be coined to capture a new thing. Like “subconscious”, for instance. Or an old word, like “sodomite” or “idiot” might fall out favor for good reasons. Or a word can acquire new connotations that it didn’t use to have. Think of “cool” or “sick”.

    The question is is the aim of the adjustment to clarify or to obfuscate? To better express your real views or to hide them? Are you communicating or manipulating? Speaking truth or propagandizing?

     

    • #3
    • May 21, 2019, at 1:11 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  4. Percival Thatcher

    Reason and logic are tools of the Patriarchy. So there.

    • #4
    • May 21, 2019, at 1:11 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  5. tigerlily Member

    I didn’t click on the article you linked to, but I’m not surprised you found the reasoning weak. The pro-abortion crowd is unwilling and unable to engage in any of the facts and moral questions surrounding abortion. It is all euphemisms for them on this issue “woman’s health care”, “the right to choose”, “the right to privacy”, “women should have control over their body” and the like. They refuse to consider such questions as when does human life begin, is there a point at which the unborn baby should be entitled to any legal protections and so forth.

     

     

    • #5
    • May 21, 2019, at 1:33 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. James Gawron Thatcher

    katievs: Anything less but the prioritization of women over the pregnancies they carry cedes ground the left cannot afford to lose.

    Katie,

    The above is the key quote for me. We are no longer in a naive world where young hopeful liberal idealists don’t quite think through the implications of their political positions. Rather the world has taken on a sinister quality where committed idealogues know what “ground” they cannot afford to lose.

    Recently something happened that should have shocked everybody. Perhaps everybody is in shock and still too stunned to react to it. When the Governor of Virginia casually described whether or not to kill a living breathing born baby this should have told us we have reached a new level of depravity. I think the quote above tells us why. Any person with some level of moral sincerity would have been appalled by the open murder of a living breathing baby no matter what their opinion on abortion. Yet, the logic of the statement that I have quoted from your piece denies even this open crime. We can’t afford to lose any polemical “ground”, so this paranoid argument goes, and thus openly murdering the baby is what we must do. Total madness.

    Senator Ben Sasse tried to protect babies “accidentally” born after failed abortions with a proposed bill. Incredibly, this bill didn’t pass!! What does this mean Katie?? This is no longer about the normal abortion debate that we thought we were having. This is some new level of perversity with the ends of abortion justifying any means necessary including infanticide by anybody’s definition.

    Strangely, as if some deep current of moral judgment has finally been brought to life, the anti-abortion movement is on the march. We shall see what happens next.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #6
    • May 21, 2019, at 2:03 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  7. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    The side which changes the language is always the side in the wrong.

    It’s OK to change it back, right? For example, I want to change the language of the debate from “gay” back to “sodomite.”

    • #7
    • May 21, 2019, at 2:17 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. katievs Member
    katievs Post author

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    katievs: Anything less but the prioritization of women over the pregnancies they carry cedes ground the left cannot afford to lose.

    …openly murdering the baby is what we must do. Total madness.

    Senator Ben Sasse tried to protect babies “accidentally” born after failed abortions with a proposed bill. Incredibly, this bill didn’t pass!! What does this mean Katie?? This is no longer about the normal abortion debate that we thought we were having. This is some new level of perversity with the ends of abortion justifying any means necessary including infanticide by anybody’s definition.

    Yes. I’ve said before, they relativize the absolute and absolutize the relative.

    A woman’s right to do what she wants must be respected, no matter what.

    An innocent baby’s right to life is completely contingent on the mother’s desire. If she wants it, it’s a person. If she doesn’t, kill it and throw it away. 

     

    • #8
    • May 21, 2019, at 3:16 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. I Walton Member

    There are lots of sides to this debate. The extremists who think the baby isn’t a human until born and in existence long enough for the parent or one of them to grant it life. The somewhat more moderate extremists who consider that the baby is part of the mom until almost born and obviously healthy and appealing enough to keep. Then there’s the group who think abortion is ok but should be limited to some time of pregnancy which vary. The largest group supports abortion only under certain circumstances of damaged baby and threat to the mom and some to just let it happen and live with the risks. Then there are those who don’t want the Federal government involved at all, no subsidies to abortion or abortion advocates, but no laws making it criminal.

    The problem is R v Wade et al which were nonsense decisions. They should be the focus. They should be eliminated then it falls to the states. While different states do their own thing, the US congress will take it up and get nowhere, so we will end up with States crafting their abortion laws and that’s as good as it’ll get and probably better than what Washington could craft. New York, California et all will kill lots of babies and folks from the other states who can afford it will go there to get them. With time these states may change, but not in the near future so the focus should be R v W and and the nonsense reasoning that turned abortion into a human right. 

    • #9
    • May 21, 2019, at 3:21 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Keith Rice Member

    I read this article as well and was looking, without success, for meaningful content. By “meaningful” I mean the ability to substantiate the headline, which, as it turns out, was probably just click-bait.

    Sadly we need to understand that the pro-abortion people have been so politicized that they’ve traded in their conscience for doctrine, and in cases like this, doctrine based on simple, one-dimensional platitudes.

    Ideally, a monologue of this sort should at least attempt to present the other side and debunk it, but apparently they don’t tend to see the other side as meaningful enough to even consider beyond their well worn cliches.

     

    • #10
    • May 21, 2019, at 3:48 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Fake John/Jane Galt Thatcher

    The point on the left is they want what they want. It is good because they want it. You are bad, evil, mean, bigoted, racist, homophobe because you don’t want them to have it. It is just that simple.

    • #11
    • May 21, 2019, at 4:50 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Kephalithos Member

    katievs: The article full of stuff like this:

    When abortion ends a wanted pregnancy, it is one grief-sodden moment in a series of tragedies.

    Note the absence of any reference to the baby. What’s wanted (or unwanted) is the pregnancy, not the baby. What’s “ended” is the pregnancy, not the baby. This is dishonest rhetoric. Does a pregnancy get sucked into a tube and thrown into a medical waste bin? Does a pregnancy have a heartbeat? Does it have fingers and toes and the genetic makeup of a completely unique human being?

    The language abortion supporters often use — phrases like “grief-sodden” and “difficult decision,” and words like “tragedy” — tends to undermine their own arguments.

    Why is “ending an unwanted pregnancy” a “difficult decision”? There’s nothing intrinsic to unwanted growths that makes their destruction worthy of deliberation and introspection. If I wake up one day to find that a wad of cells is metastasizing within me, I don’t agonize over whether to remove it. I haul myself to the hospital and demand chemotherapy. But, for some reason, abortion is different. Why?

    It can’t be merely because a pregnancy has the potential to result in life. Else, even birth control would constitute a tragedy, since it prevents a potential life from coming into existence. Yet nobody — or nobody on the pro-choice side, at least — says, “The decision to use birth control is a difficult and private decision between a woman and her doctor.”

    Either abortion is a moral conundrum, or it isn’t.

    • #12
    • May 21, 2019, at 6:57 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  13. katievs Member
    katievs Post author

    Burwick Chiffswiddle (View Comment):

    Why is “ending an unwanted pregnancy” a “difficult decision”?

    You’re right about this, which is probably why the author says “wanted pregnancy”. The only abortions she grants are “tragic” are the cases where the pregnancy was wanted. (I guess she means cases where the fetus is determined to be defective in some way, compared with the one the mother and/or father wanted.)

    But besides the problem that no one (in this country anyway) is forced to have an abortion, (so if they want their pregnancy they can keep their pregnancy), the point is belied by the experience and moral intuition of millions.

    Even most abortion supporters know it’s a baby and think abortion is terrible. They still think it’s sometimes the best of several bad options for a woman with an unwanted pregnancy, but they don’t pretend it’s morally good.

     

     

     

    • #13
    • May 21, 2019, at 7:17 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. Kephalithos Member

    katievs (View Comment):

    Burwick Chiffswiddle (View Comment):

    Why is “ending an unwanted pregnancy” a “difficult decision”?

    You’re right about this, which is probably why the author says “wanted pregnancy”. The only abortions she grants are “tragic” are the cases where the pregnancy was wanted. (I guess she means cases where the fetus is determined to be defective in some way, compared with the one the mother and/or father wanted.)

    Oy. I now understand the perils of skimming. (Still, I’ve read plenty of pieces which argue both that abortion is good and that it’s a difficult decision.)

    Even most abortion supporters know it’s a baby and think abortion is terrible. They still think it’s sometimes the best of several bad options for a woman with an unwanted pregnancy, but they don’t pretend it’s morally good.

    Yes, which is why the activists’ insistence that abortion is a moral good is so mystifying.

    Then again, it makes some tactical sense. “X is bad!” and “X is good!” are symmetrical arguments. Saying, “Yes, X is bad, but it’s the lesser of a number of evils,” concedes quite a bit of ground.

    • #14
    • May 21, 2019, at 7:30 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. Aaron Miller Member

    The only honest pro-abortion arguments are: 

    “An unborn child may be killed because…” 

    “We don’t know exactly when a ‘fetus’ becomes a baby, but a mother may risk killing her baby when…” 

    I have never seen either argument. 

    • #15
    • May 22, 2019, at 6:51 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. katievs Member
    katievs Post author

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    The only honest pro-abortion arguments are:

    “An unborn child may be killed because…”

    I’ve actually seen this one published by a feminist philosopher of some kind somewhere. Its gist was: “A fetus is basically a parasite in my body, and my bodily autonomy means I’m justified in killing it if I don’t want it.” No one should be forced to “host” someone else in her body, she argued. It has to be voluntary.

    It was repulsive, but at least it was honest. 

    And, again, she absolutized the relative. She made her own bodily autonomy an absolute, when in human fact, it’s only a relative value. (No human being gets through life without radical dependence on others.) And she made the baby’s right to life, which actually is absolute, subordinate to her “right” to be personally autonomous. 

    Just imagine how hellish life would be if that were everyone’s governing philosophy.

     

     

     

    • #16
    • May 22, 2019, at 7:31 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. James Gawron Thatcher

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    The only honest pro-abortion arguments are:

    “An unborn child may be killed because…”

    “We don’t know exactly when a ‘fetus’ becomes a baby, but a mother may risk killing her baby when…”

    I have never seen either argument.

    Aaron,

    Deeply embedded in Orthodox Jewish Law are two arguments that should be more clearly understood. First, let me remind you that most American Jews aren’t Orthodox and that many Orthodox Rabbis simply avoid this radioactive debate entirely. On top of that Jewish Law is a very complex topic in itself and not easily studied.

    The first argument is what I would call the argument from indeterminacy. With the naked eye (Leeuwenhoek invented the microscope in the 18th century) one could not actually see an aborted fetus in the first two months. Thus, there was no way to prove that conception actually took place and thus that an actual abortion took place. Jewish Law considered any such determination null and void for the first 40 days of pregnancy. Interestingly, the fetal heartbeat laws using 6 weeks as the test would also satisfy this Jewish Law.

    The second argument is what I think you are talking about. This involves the idea of self-defense. There are two lives. One is threatening the life of the other and under self-defense, the one life has the right to defend itself even to the point of killing the other to stop the attack. With respect to abortion, this is all the argument entails and is to be taken literally. Literally, only if the life of the mother is at stake could this argument be used. I would guess that if you took a sample of 10,000 abortions done in the USA maybe 1 would be covered by this argument and thus justified. The other 9,999 would be illegal. Even this number may be an exaggeration. It is important to understand that there is no other argument but self-defense that justifies killing the unborn baby as one might surmise.

    Another take away from this understanding is that Judaism and Christianity are actually very much on the same page on this moral issue. Their methodologies are very different and this often creates the illusion that their moral judgments are much different. Also, both religions are being distorted by modernists who usually have a very weak understanding of any moral imperative whatsoever.

    Regards,

    Jim

     

    • #17
    • May 22, 2019, at 7:37 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. Western Chauvinist Member

    I don’t believe moral reasoning is a factor in that article, unless it’s broken moral reasoning.

    • #18
    • May 22, 2019, at 7:49 AM PDT
    • Like
  19. Barfly Member

    True observations Katie, but this

    katievs: It goes without saying that to be persuasive, you have to be in reality.

    disregards reality itself. It might be true (just maybe) that people of the right are more easily persuaded by reference to reality, but that is not true for the great majority of humans. Most people do not function by reference to reality, but rather by matching the patterns expressed by the minds around them.

    The progressive project is and has always been to transfer wealth, power, and status from those who produce to those who persuade. The core social skill of the fallen, those who choose their own minds in preference to the world of reality, is persuasion

    • #19
    • May 22, 2019, at 8:10 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Barfly Member

    I Walton (View Comment):
    The problem is R v Wade et al which were nonsense decisions. They should be the focus. They should be eliminated then it falls to the states.

    This.

    One reason the knot of RvW et al. is so difficult is that it entangles two distinct problems – our individual responsibilities as humans, and our societal arrangements of federalism. The Feral courts arrogated this latter half of the problem to themselves; that was an act of theft that broke the compact.

    Abortion is an intractable problem only because a majority of jurists have been hiding their jackboots under black robes. PDT is doing something about this, God bless him.

    • #20
    • May 22, 2019, at 8:23 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Jim George Member

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    Recently something happened that should have shocked everybody. Perhaps everybody is in shock and still too stunned to react to it. When the Governor of Virginia casually described whether or not to kill a living breathing born baby this should have told us we have reached a new level of depravity. I think the quote above tells us why. Any person with some level of moral sincerity would have been appalled by the open murder of a living breathing baby no matter what their opinion on abortion.

    To your point, James, here is an excerpt from my comment to the excellent post by @bullwinkle on the “logic” of the pro-choice advocates:

    ” … what we are witnessing in the death of 60,000,000 babies since Roe v. Wade is plain, pure barbarism and that lack of acknowledgement of the sanctity of life, as so elegantly stated by President Reagan, is “a wound in our national conscience” which must be addressed if we are to survive as a healthy Republic. As if any of us needed any more graphic illustrations of this out-of-control cruelty, surely one had to be deeply troubled by the spectacle of the New York legislature giving a standing ovation to Cuomo (how in the world is he allowed to continue as a member of the Church? Another mystery!) on signing a bill which would allow the killing of a baby for any reason right up to the moment of birth. And, that spectacle, reminiscent in its barbarity of the cheering mobs in the Coliseum as lions tore gladiators limb from limb, was followed shortly by a Medical Doctor, a specialist in Pediatric Neurology (!) calmly stating that, under pending legislation in the state of which he is the Governor, Virginia, after birth –that really does bear repeating, after birth — the infant would be :”made comfortable” while the Mother and attending physician decided whether it would live or die. Hearing those words from a specialist in the medical care of children was one of those moments which make me wonder of our culture is not in irreversible decline.”

    I was sick to my stomach for quite some time after hearing that very matter-of-fact statement, illustrating to me the correctness of the description we see more and more in the commentary about abortion that it has become the Religion of the Left, and that there is no penetrating their reasoning, for the simple reason that they are no longer reasoning, in the sense of that word as we understand it. 

    As Exhibit A, what could be stronger proof of that proposition than the last sentence in her piece:

    “There is no compromise, not on the personhood of women. You can’t find middle ground. Invite them into your big tent, and you threaten the most vulnerable people inside it.”

    Thank you, @katievs for an excellent, thought provoking post!

    Sincerely, Jim

    • #21
    • May 22, 2019, at 9:02 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. katievs Member
    katievs Post author

    Barfly (View Comment):

    True observations Katie, but this

    katievs: It goes without saying that to be persuasive, you have to be in reality.

    disregards reality itself. It might be true (just maybe) that people of the right are more easily persuaded by reference to reality, but that is not true for the great majority of humans. Most people do not function by reference to reality, but rather by matching the patterns expressed by the minds around them.

    I guess I’m using persuasion in a narrower sense than you are, Barfly. My sense presumes a fundamental openness and interest in truth.

    If we’re talking more generally about influence, I’d agree with you, at least in part, but I guess I wouldn’t use the word persuasion. If I think of a person who thinks there’s nothing wrong with abortion because she’s never given the matter a serious thought and it’s legal and people she likes have had abortions, I wouldn’t say she’s been persuaded that abortion is morally licit. I’d say something like she’s been led to believe or she’s been indoctrinated or she’s been breathing culture-of-death air or she’s under the influence of her peers or whatever.

    The progressive project is and has always been to transfer wealth, power, and status from those who produce to those who persuade. The core social skill of the fallen, those who choose their own minds in preference to the world of reality, is persuasion.

    On this point I disagree. It sounds to me like you’re conflating persuasion and manipulation. The progressive project, as I see it, is about power, not persuasion. Persuasion has everything to do with objective reality, human dignity, rationality, liberty and the common good. It’s a core principle of the civil society.

    • #22
    • May 22, 2019, at 9:22 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Valiuth Member

    The argument over abortion rests entirely on one point of contention, the personhood of the fetus. If the fetus is viewed as a person its right to life is implicitly guaranteed under our modern understanding of basic human rights. Exceptions to that can be made, both morally and legally but they require some sort of extenuating circumstances and a concurrent infringement or threat to the rights of another human being. If you are to make such a case then you need to define what rights of the mother are being infringed upon by the fetus, and then determine some sort of test to weigh which should prevail. The way we determine when it is lawful and justified to use deadly force against any other person. Of course the problem is that almost any argument you can make about a 7 month old fetus you can make about a 7 month old baby. Both are basically utterly dependent upon other people for survival, and there are also many cases of other adults that can be come equally or nearly similarly dependent on others. The most logical of abortion advocates thus ultimately come to endorse horrific doctrines of euthanasia.

    • #23
    • May 22, 2019, at 9:28 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. James Gawron Thatcher

    Katie,

    I thought Aaron deserved a clarification from me on moral arguments. You too deserve a clarification from me but not about pure moral arguments. We are now faced with a political reality that continues to change for the worse. We have heard from so-called medical ethicists (with impeccable resumes) who justify infanticide up to 2-year-olds. The Governor of Virginia, in the sonorous tones of a bedside manner, explained the “option” of infanticide because a baby had been scheduled for abortion and had “accidentally” been born. Every moral alarm in the world should be going off.

    Although I would prefer the law to accept an indeterminacy period for the first 40 days and to accept that a woman has the right of self-defense during pregnancy as this would conform to my personal theological position, I can no longer be concerned by this. I and everyone else is now faced with a binary political choice between those who recognize a moral imperative and those who are rapidly embracing a hideous eugenic insanity. Although we would all like to have our own nuances ingrained in a law that reflects a moral imperative we should realize that the threat level from the other side is so great that we must forgo this preference and concentrate on stopping the soulless advance of those morally impaired creatures who now control a major political party.

    To put it simply. I would gladly choose to live under any of the new anti-abortion laws rather than live under the eugenic insanity that the Democratic Party now fully embraces.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #24
    • May 22, 2019, at 9:37 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  25. katievs Member
    katievs Post author

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    The argument over abortion rests entirely on one point of contention, the personhood of the fetus.

    No it doesn’t. It rests on the value and dignity of the fetus as a completely unique, living human being.

    So, even if someone (like Peter Singer, say) wants to maintain a strange and highly synthetic notion of “personhood”, such that it can only be ascribed to free, self-standing, and rational beings, not fetuses, it remains true that that fetus is a completely unique human being, and, as such, has a fundamental right to life.

    • #25
    • May 22, 2019, at 9:44 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. PedroIg Member

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Katie,

    I thought Aaron deserved a clarification from me on moral arguments. You too deserve a clarification from me but not about pure moral arguments. We are now faced with a political reality that continues to change for the worse. We have heard from so-called medical ethicists (with impeccable resumes) who justify infanticide up to 2-year-olds. The Governor of Virginia, in the sonorous tones of a bedside manner, explained the “option” of infanticide because a baby had been scheduled for abortion and had “accidentally” been born. Every moral alarm in the world should be going off.

    Although I would prefer the law to accept an indeterminacy period for the first 40 days and to accept that a woman has the right of self-defense during pregnancy as this would conform to my personal theological position, I can no longer be concerned by this. I and everyone else is now faced with a binary political choice between those who recognize a moral imperative and those who are rapidly embracing a hideous eugenic insanity. Although we would all like to have our own nuances ingrained in a law that reflects a moral imperative we should realize that the threat level from the other side is so great that we must forgo this preference and concentrate on stopping the soulless advance of those morally impaired creatures who now control a major political party.

    To put it simply. I would gladly choose to live under any of the new anti-abortion laws rather than live under the eugenic insanity that the Democratic Party now fully embraces.

    Regards,

    Jim

     

    • #26
    • May 22, 2019, at 9:58 AM PDT
    • Like
  27. PedroIg Member

    @jamesgawron: You touched some very fundamental points of this debate: How important is it for a civilized society to protect innocent human life? To what extremes should we go in pursuing this objective? What are the consequences if we’re not rigorous in doing so? My reading of history and fifty plus years of understanding human nature suggests that human beings, when given the slack, will always take it when it comes to weakening a fundamental moral mandate in order to make things more convenient for themselves. The protection of innocent human life is one such area where the guardrails need to be high and constantly reinforced. Extremism is this case may be our only hope.

    • #27
    • May 22, 2019, at 10:06 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  28. katievs Member
    katievs Post author

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Although I would prefer the law to accept an indeterminacy period for the first 40 days and to accept that a woman has the right of self-defense during pregnancy as this would conform to my personal theological position, I can no longer be concerned by this. I and everyone else is now faced with a binary political choice between those who recognize a moral imperative and those who are rapidly embracing a hideous eugenic insanity.

    I’m glad to have you on our side, Jim.

    But I must say I find the notion that there’s any doubt about whether conception has taken place in the first 40 days, given what we know now through science, strange.

    I also find the whole idea that a woman is justified in killing her offspring for the first forty days, but not afterwards, wretchedly arbitrary. 

    If the woman’s life is threatened (as in the case of an ectopic pregnancy), then I agree. It’s a matter of prudential judgement.

     

    • #28
    • May 22, 2019, at 10:07 AM PDT
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  29. Western Chauvinist Member

    katievs (View Comment):

    If the woman’s life is threatened (as in the case of an ectopic pregnancy), then I agree. It’s a matter of prudential judgement.

    I like to point out that Catholic hospitals are allowed to perform procedures to terminate ectopic pregnancies, but that’s because the intent is to save the life of the mother, not to kill the baby. If the baby could be saved, Catholic hospitals would save both. 

    This is the opposite of “abortion,” which has become the “right” to a dead baby.

    • #29
    • May 22, 2019, at 10:21 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. James Gawron Thatcher

    katievs (View Comment):

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Although I would prefer the law to accept an indeterminacy period for the first 40 days and to accept that a woman has the right of self-defense during pregnancy as this would conform to my personal theological position, I can no longer be concerned by this. I and everyone else is now faced with a binary political choice between those who recognize a moral imperative and those who are rapidly embracing a hideous eugenic insanity.

    I’m glad to have you on our side, Jim.

    But I must say I find the notion that there’s any doubt about whether conception has taken place in the first 40 days, given what we know now through science, strange.

    I also find the whole idea that a woman is justified in killing her offspring for the first forty days, but not afterwards, wretchedly arbitrary.

    If the woman’s life is threatened (as in the case of an ectopic pregnancy), then I agree. It’s a matter of prudential judgement.

     

    Katie,

    The original opinion about the indeterminacy was made over 2,500 years ago. There was no science that would have told anyone anything else about conception at the time. Although scientific methods now exist to give conclusive proof that conception has taken place, to actually implement them as law would probably involve an invasion of privacy by an intrusive State so great that even non-libertarians would object. I don’t think it is practical and perhaps this impracticality was the motivation for the Rabbi’s original judgment.

    What you may find interesting is that 2,500 years ago, the Rabbis knew more about when conception occurred than anybody else. The Laws of Family Purity (Mikveh) gave the Rabbis as clear a picture of when a woman had conceived as would be possible then. To do this meant a very elaborate procedure that every married Jewish woman (and man) followed by Jewish Law. Anyone (Jew or non-Jew) who does not think that the moment of conception was of the highest priority to Judaism must explain this otherwise. Orthodox women still follow the Laws of Family Purity today.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #30
    • May 22, 2019, at 10:48 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
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