Tag: abortion

Hillary: “Deep-seated Cultural Codes, Religious Beliefs… Have to be Changed”


Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 3.07.09 PMThursday night, Hillary Clinton was the keynote speaker at the Women in the World Summit. The annual event, created by editrix Tina Brown, brings “women leaders, activists and political change-makers from around the world to share their stories, and offer solutions to building a better life for women and girls.” Perusing the topics, it’s three days of “sustainability,” “self-esteem,” and “safe spaces” — i.e., goo-goo platitudes to make upper-middle-class attendees feel better about themselves while accomplishing nothing.

Clinton’s speech was the usual bloodless shrug of support for women who have been victimized by mean men, bad governments, and an unfair world. But halfway through the pabulum, Hillary made a statement that is raising more than a few eyebrows.

Take Two Rationalizations and Call Me in the Morning


shutterstock_143440684An essay titled “Abortion: Caught between an oath and beliefs” was published on KevinMD.com, an online medical forum. The author is anonymous medical student that believes that he/she is in some sort of wrestling match with the ethics of performing abortions. This isn’t what the essay is really about. This essay is really a rationalization for performing abortions and reducing ethical concerns for performing abortions as subjective rather than objective concerns for the physician.

Abortion is a sensitive topic that often can spark emotionally-driven arguments. Whether abortion is right or wrong will not be directly discussed, as this article is only meant to create a healthy dialogue about how health care providers can be caught between the Hippocratic Oath and one’s personal beliefs.

Abortion also sparks reasoned debate. The questions for the medical profession concerning the abortion procedure should be: is this an elective procedure? Aren’t there two lives involved, not just the patient requesting the abortion, but the child’s life as well? What is the therapeutic value of the abortion, or is pregnancy a disease? What does the abortion cure?

Tolerance and the Despot


obama as despot“That’s my reality!” she said over and over again. It was 1997, I believe, and I was relaxing with a few friends in the NCO Club at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina following my return from another tour of duty in the Mideast. A female NCO was at our table, where we all took turns telling stories from our various deployments over the years. As the number of empty beer bottles increased, so too did the eccentricity and humor of the stories, except, that is, for this solitary NCO whose demeanor became more emphatic and grim as time passed.

I forget the specifics of the stories she told, chiefly because of the startling manner in which she concluded each anecdote, leaning in for dramatic effect, her eyes widening all the while, and announcing, “THAT’S MY REALITY!” The effect was immediate and as she desired, for it foreclosed any further question or attempts to explore her perspective in depth. Indeed, it seemed that to trespass on her “reality” would have been akin to saying, “No, actually, I don’t think your children are attractive at all, and that crayon scrawl your jug-eared son drew suggests that the epilepsy meds aren’t working very well either.” Certain things just aren’t up for discussion after all, and that included her “reality.”

To her everlasting credit, however, she didn’t demand our immediate and universal endorsement of her reality, such a presumption being considered, once upon a time, rude and small-minded. She could have her reality, and we could have ours, and we would coexist in a genial conversation. But that was back then, when from the academy to the editorial page we were encouraged to push against the alleged tide of intolerance, to celebrate inclusiveness, embrace diversity and, above all, to exercise Tolerance. Remember that word? That goal? That talisman?

Dear GOP Candidates: Beat the Press


shutterstock_120719548This new generation of GOP hopefuls understands what only Newt Gingrich knew in 2012. If you want a chance at the White House, you need to beat the other candidates and you need to beat the press.

Mitt Romney, decent fellow that he is, tacitly accepted the press’ claims of objectivity, even if he didn’t believe it in his heart. Romney grinned and nodded at reporters from CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC, even though their initials could have been DNC.

Right-leaning partisans watched moderator George Stephanopoulos concoct the fictional “War on Women” and moderator Candy Crowley actively support Obama during live debates. Many of us spent 2012 yelling at our TVs and laptop screens, “the press isn’t neutral. They’re on the other side!”

Why I Vote Republican


I am not arguing that all of you should vote Republican.  I am (1) giving an explanation of why I do, and (2) asking those who don’t why they don’t.

The Explanation: I could put it this way: on life, marriage, religious liberty, the meaning of the Constitution, rule of law, separation of powers, the national debt, health insurance, and economic growth I do not trust the Republicans to be correct; but on these things I do trust the Democrats to be wrong. As such, I vote for the least bad option in the generals, and I vote for the best option in the primaries.

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The article, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, says newborn babies are not “actual persons” and do not have a “moral right to life”. The academics also argue that parents should be able to have their baby killed if it turns out to be disabled when it is born. The journal’s editor, Prof Julian Savulescu, […]

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Technology changes culture. Increasing support for abortion took a downward turn in the 90s, and ultrasounds usually get the credit. The fetus was seen as a person because, for the first time, it could be seen. I worry an analogous (but not virtuous!) effect will be caused by income tax filing software. What if the […]

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Why the Export-Import Bank Was My Deal-Breaker


Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 2.54.09 PMOur last poll here at Ricochet asked our members what policy position would be most likely to be a deal-breaker for them if held by a Republican presidential candidate. Despite the fact that there were 10 options, supporting citizenship for illegal aliens nearly commanded a majority (49 percent), with a pro-choice stance on abortion coming in a distant second (24 percent). All of the other options were in the single digits, with support for NSA surveillance or raising the federal minimum wage tied for third at 6 percent.

I’m apparently way outside of the Ricochet mainstream on this one, as my choice — supporting the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank — garnered only one percent of the vote, tying with marijuana legalization and sending U.S. troops to fight ISIS for dead last. Now, I can anticipate the response that some of you will have, because I heard it in a few private conversations about this survey: how on earth could you prioritize Ex-Im over the life of the unborn or combatting terrorism? Well, I don’t. But let me offer you a theory: which issue is most important to you shouldn’t necessarily be the same as which one is most disqualifying.

Let me explain: I knocked four of the 10 issues out of contention from the start because they don’t bother me. As a Republican with a conservatarian bent, I’m basically fine with marijuana legalization and gay marriage, although I wish both would be handled at the state level rather than through the non-enforcement of federal law or activism from the federal judiciary, respectively. I’m also largely (though not entirely) unbothered by NSA surveillance and pretty set on the idea that dealing effectively with ISIS will eventually necessitate some sort of American presence on the ground.

What Conservatives Could Learn From Lawyers


shutterstock_121503352I flirted with a law career for about a semester, but quickly discovered that, while I can comprehend the language used, I cannot tolerate the general lack of common sense. Lawyers, especially prosecutors, do know something, however, that conservatives could really use when it comes to dealing with liberals: when quizzing someone in public, stick to questions whose answers you already know.

That principle would have been extremely useful for Idaho Representative Vito Barbieri. If you haven’t caught the headlines about him, this idiot decided it would be a good idea to ask if a woman could swallow a camera to find out “something” about an unborn child she might be carrying. I apologize for pointing out this stupidity, but it is sadly just one in a long list of stupid things said or asked by conservative men in government hoping to pass legislation that will control what women do with their bodies. Yes, I am using the liberal terminology here for a very good reason. When “stupid” is all that the conservative side has to offer, it should face the liberal ridicule it deserves.

When it comes to the pro-life movement, there are piles of examples like this and, for a conservative woman that is ambivalent at best on the issue, it’s painful. Throw in the fact that this conservative woman spent the better part of 20 years crafting messages for politicians, and it’s downright excruciating. First of all, any legislator on either the state or federal level who wants to tackle this issue needs to be sure to have done some real research before they speak publicly. When you make a fool of yourself by not knowing the answers before the questions are asked, you hurt not only your own credibility, but also the movement. Recall how Wendy Davis rocketed to fame: fighting a law that protects women in Texas from ending up with someone like Kermit Gosnell treating them. How is that “pro-woman”?

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Mommy, please don’t go in that building.  It wasn’t my fault I came to exist.  I don’t care that you and your boyfriend slept together, then had an argument in the morning and he left, never to return.  I’m with you now.  I’m inside you.  I don’t care that you forget to take “precautions” . […]

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Recent posts on Ricochet have taken up the debate over abortion, specifically, asking whether there is or ever can be grounds for settling this issue – or at least reaching some mutually acceptable compromise – between pro- and anti-abortion proponents. While I might be willing to hold out hope of some sort of compromise if […]

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Why There Is No Objective Solution to the Abortion Debate


Yesterday, member Howard Slugh made an extensive and thorough attempt to show that the point of where a human life begins is not controversial. I agree with this assessment. The creation of a zygote is a Schelling Point for the beginning of an individual human life that is more satisfying than any other. Though I also agree with him that this is not what the abortion debate is about, I think there’s something else going on that I think is worth deconstruction.

In order to be convincing, an argument must appeal to our innate ethical intuition. Another way to say this is: the argument that most successfully appeals to our common sense will win. To wit, the reason arguments require evidence to be convincing is because evidence appeals to our common sense.

The Abortion Debate Is Not About When Life Begins


shutterstock_139005974January 22, 2015 marks the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, yet the abortion discussion remains mired in confusion. The debate is too often framed as a debate over “when life beings.” That misleading phrasing obscures the two distinct questions, one biological and one philosophical, at the heart of the issue.

The biological question is not open to reasonable dispute. As shown below, an embryo created through human reproduction is indisputably a living member of the human species. Even many of the most ardent pro-choicers acknowledge this. The philosophical question is the real point on which pro-lifers and pro-choicers disagree. That question explores when a living human obtains full human rights. Is every living human entitled to human rights, or is there another requirement? Asking the question in that matter clarifies the actual dispute between pro-lifers and pro-choicers.

Absent the controversy over abortion, it is inconceivable that anyone would dispute that an embryo is a living member of the human species. This fact is reported without equivocation in embryology text books. For example, Medical Embryology 3rd edition, by Jan Langman, reports that “[t]he development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism.”

A Hard Truth: Social Issues May Not Be Losers


Republican strategists may need to face up to an inconvenient truth: conservative social positions are no longer a thorn in the GOP’s side. We can win with them. Without them, it’s tough to say.

For some, this is a hard pill to swallow. Many Republicans are quite attached to a progressive social narrative, and strategic considerations have long been the justification for telling religious conservatives that they’re on the wrong side of history. Whether that’s true still remains to be seen. This most recent election, however, showed us Democrats desperately trying to gin up some resentment over social issues, and losing. Meanwhile we saw pro-life, pro-traditional marriage conservatives winning across the map, sometimes in fairly blue states.

Pro-Life Technology


If you want to effect social change, it’s been said, you need to do the following: open an office in Washington, DC; conduct a direct mail campaign; have major fundraising events; hire an effective media team; appear on television all the time; embed your message in the popular culture; and repeat as needed.

That’s what the environmentalists do. That’s what the pro-life movement does.

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I posted this as a response in Parent A’s Libertarians thread but have decided to give it a thread of its own. I have mostly stayed out of the SSM discussions on Ricochet, but I feel this deserves consideration. It is written by an Orthodox Jew who is an award winning screenwriter, Robert J. Avrech. […]

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I don’t think the Republican brand is much better off than it was a few years ago.  A lot of people are seeing that liberal ideas don’t work so well in real life (Iraq, healthcare, the economy), but they still could not bring themselves to vote for a Republican.  Here are some issue I think […]

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… no, not abortion.  The real problem, of course, is the recession: A study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Princeton researchers Janet Currie and Hannes Schwandt quantifies just how many fewer babies were born because of the Great Recession. Their answer: at least a half a million. Preview Open

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Winning The Abortion Debate


shutterstock_155127419A few months back, I posted about a sex selection abortion ban in California being voted down on party lines. I went toe-to-toe with several folks on Ricochet as to the efficacy of the law and whether or not it could be enforceable. We had a nice debate on it, but I want to focus on one big benefit to putting a bill like this up for a vote. We have them on record voting “yes” to gendercide.

Most pro-choice Americans get queasy at the idea that someone could justify an abortion solely on disapproving of the child’s gender, i.e., it being a girl. Forcing Democrats to vote on this bill exploits that unease and gives us something to fight back with, especially with regards to the so-called “War on Women.” The next time a Democrat accuses his opponent of “not caring about a woman’s choice” or about women’s “reproductive health,” the Republican candidate can point to these votes and ask her opponent whether he — like all other Democrats who voted on the bill — thinks it’s okay to abort a baby for the crime of being a girl. Wait for  an answer, and don’t let him weasel out of it. If Democrats want a war on women, we’ll give them a war on women.

There are other arrows pro-life candidates can pull from their quivers. You know how Democrats like to hammer everyone about “women’s health,” which is now the most important thing in the world? Then ask why so few abortion clinics in Democrat-run cites like Philadelphia (hello, Kermit Gosnell) and New York inspected for sanitary standards like other medical clinics. Remember that bill that Wendy Davis — the “Abortion Barbie” as some have dubbed her — filibustered in her pink sneakers? That was the meat of the bill.