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People who are pro-choice often demonize people like Brownback who leave no exceptions for abortion (and I'm happy to hop on the bandwagon to criticize their Neanderthal arguments).  On the other hand, the pro-choice community often calls it "hypocrisy" when people who oppose abortion make exceptions for rape or incest.  I fall into this latter category and would like to explain myself.

For clarity, let me state my position.  I believe that abortion should not be legal except: in cases of rape, some incest, where the health of the mother is seriously at risk, and where the child is likely to be born so disabled that euthanasia would be a reasonable option if the child were born.  Follow me over the flip to hear me out.

First of all, I believe that the life of an individual does begin at conception and, therefore, the unborn do have rights.  Biologically, they are genetically unique individuals that are extremely likely to develop into independent adults.  

What about stem cells, you are asking?  Personally, I think it's outrageous that fertility clinics can fertilize a dozen eggs and simply throw out the ones that their clients "don't need."  I would like to see laws like those in Italythat prevent fertility clinics from fertilizing more than three eggs at a time.  Critics say that it greatly reduces couple's chances of conceiving.  But last time I checked, there's no inalienable right to have a child. (In the absence of such a law, I’d agree with DarkSyde that it’s better for a blastula to go for research than in the incinerator).  For me, the fact that the most strident of abortion opponents aren't trying to reduce the number of fertilized eggs that are incinerated is just one reason why I'm a pro-lifer that generally despises the pro-life movement.

Ok, one more question I know you will ask.  Am I against birth control?  No. Sperm and eggs are gametes; they are not individuals but parts of the individuals who produced them.  Birth control truly is "a decision about what to do with my body" and I believe that the constitution and morality require that people be able to make that decision.  (And yes, I believe in assisted suicide)

Anyway, now that I have addressed some likely questions, let me go back to the statement that unborn children do have rights.  The fact that they have rights, however, does not mean that their rights trump everyone else's. I think that the snarky suggestion that we lock up pregnant women to ensure that they will take care of their fetuses illustrates the central flaw of the pro-life movement—they ascribe to fetuses more rights than they’re willing to give the rest of us.

Since fetuses have rights, but so do pregnant women, what happens if the interests of the two conflict?  I look to the Declaration of Independence, which for me is a moral document as well as a legal one.  The founding fathers wrote: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

What happens when the rights of two adults conflict?  If I am about to deprive you of your life, you have the right to kill me in self defense.  Similarly, I think most would agree that if you are being held against your will (imprisoned under a staircase for a week) you have the right to escape and, if it is the only way to free yourself, kill your captor. On the other hand, if you had signed up for the military, and willingly given up your freedom, I don't believe that you have the right to break your contract.  In other words, going AWOL is, and should be, a crime.

Now, the abortion debate is not as simple as these examples.  For one, the fetus is certainly a "minor" and doesn't have the rights of an adult.  Children don't have the same rights of liberty as do parents, nor can they make their own decisions on medical care.  Because of these reasons, everyone should agree that a pregnant woman has GREATER rights than her unborn child.  

Now we're finally approaching the kernel of my argument.  If a fetus has rights but a pregnant woman has more, where should we draw the line?  I believe it is instructive to look at the rights of children.  Certainly, the rights of a fetus can be no greater than the rights of a child.  If we accept this, we see two areas where we should allow abortion.  If carrying the child to term would cause the death of the mother, the mother certainly has the right to abort it (just like a mother would have the right to kill her 13 year old who is about to bludgeon her with an axe).  Second, if an infant requires life support to live, it is up to the parents as his or her legal guardians to decide whether to withhold treatment, just as it should be the choice of a mother to have an abortion if the child has a malformed lung and is not likely to live for more than a few weeks.

Once we have established that a woman should be able to have an abortion if her life is at risk, I don't think it's a huge leap to allow abortion if a woman's health will be seriously damaged.  Guys, if a man is going around castrating people, which of you would not try to kill the man before he did it?  If carrying a child to term would cause irreparable harm to the mother, the mother should have the right to protect her own health.  Pro-lifers will argue there is much opportunity for abuse of this exception (women could get a doctor to say that her mental state would be severely compromised by having children) but difficulty in enforcing a law is not, in itself, a good enough justification for making it simpler but draconian.

Finally we must consider situations where neither the mother's nor the child's health are at risk of carrying the pregnancy to term.  To address these situations, we must consider rights beyond the right to life.  Pregnancy and childbirth involve a loss of liberty for the woman; however, adults have the ability to decide whether or not to give up their liberty for a short time.  They may enlist in the military, for instance.  When a woman has sex willingly, she is accepting the possibility that she may get pregnant. (I disagree with Choice Joyce that the right to non-procreative sex means that sex is not a contract for pregnancy.  Certainly, we do have the right to non-procreative sex, but we do it with the knowledge that it may not turn out as we hoped.)  If a woman does get pregnant, she has willingly given up her freedom, just like an army reservist who enlists in a time of peace (expecting no more than one month of work per year) can't get out of it if there's a war.  If a female medical student is foolish enough to have unprotected sex, her right to pursue the career of her choice does not override the rights of her unborn child.

On the other hand, if that female medical student is raped, she has not willingly given up her rights.  Furthermore, she will very likely be saddled with the emotional anguish of having to carry a rapist's baby.  Forcing her to carry it to term would be stripping her of her right to liberty, which is forcing her to bear a punishment that she does not deserve.  In these cases, I support the right of a woman to choose whether or not to have an abortion.  

Incest is a similar but slightly more complex case.  If a minor female has sex with an adult male, that is rape and the child should have every right to abort it.  If, on the other hand, the female is an adult, no right of the woman has been violated and I would only support abortion if the child was likely to have severe health problems.

Finally, I just want to add that I do believe that the potential father bears responsibility for their decision to have sex.  Due to biology, women are much more likely to be affected by an unintentional pregnancy than men, but I believe that the government should do everything it can to make men pay and support their children, including when the woman is pregnant.  

I sincerely hope that those of you who are pro-choice (like most of my friends) will be courteous and respectful of each other and this diary.  My goal here is convince at least some of you that it is a valid belief to oppose abortion in general but still allow it in some circumstances.

Originally posted to John Chapman on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:34 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Anything But "Pro-Life" (21+ / 0-)

    Anti-choice.

    Pro-control.

    But not pro-life.

    All I can say is that if you're against abortion - don't have one.

    That's pro-life I suppose.  But it changes altogether when someone tries to dictate how I live MY life.

    SaveDarfur.org WH 800-671-7887 Cong. 800-828-0498

    by Alegre on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:35:32 PM PDT

    •  and I do not recall any progressive (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maxomai, sj, JeffLieber, Alegre, begone, beathan

      calling an anti-abortion person a 'hypocrite' if they accepted exceptions. all in all the diary is based on a straw man and so it falls over.

      It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. George Orwell, "1984", first sentence

      by tony the American Mutt on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:40:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Uh oh (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jonathan

        Looks like it caught fire after it fell over.

        Wait, wait. The chickens stamped it out and are eating it now.

        A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi.

        by beathan on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:41:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not a troll (0+ / 0-)

          If you check me out you'll see that I've been posting diaries for some time now.

          A couple of you suggested that people who don't leave tip jars are trolls.  I disagree, but feel free to use this comment as one.  

            •  Hear Hear! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Elise

              Let's get it straight folks.

              They stop being pro-life and become pro-control when they cross the line from their body to ours.

              There's really no other way to describe someone who tries to tell others how to live their lives.  And this is the clearest example of that need to control ever.

              SaveDarfur.org WH 800-671-7887 Cong. 800-828-0498

              by Alegre on Wed Jun 20, 2007 at 07:11:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I didn't say you were a troll (4+ / 0-)

            just a user of fallacious arguments. You accused a group of people by putting words in their mouths that and then damming them for the words you invented for them. I have not TR'ed any of your posts on this and have not edited your tags in any way.

            It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. George Orwell, "1984", first sentence

            by tony the American Mutt on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:48:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Johnny Appleseed, sowing your seeds of discord? (6+ / 0-)

            As a male, what is this "we" you speak of in your diary?

            "...we do have the right to non-procreative sex, but we do it with the knowledge that it may not turn out as we hoped..."

            You don't speak for me.  You don't speak for the majority of women.

            <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

            by bronte17 on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 04:04:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  No, you're not a troll (6+ / 0-)

            But you are incredibly arrogant to presume you can understand every situation in which the choice to terminate a pregnancy might be made. You obviously will never be faced with a pregnancy taking over your body.

            Legislating one-size-fits-all medical decisions injures and kills people. In the case of abortion, women.

            Men should not even be allowed to have a vote on this issue, except when a pregnant woman chooses to involve a man in the discussion.

          •  I appreciate you laying out your thoughts (5+ / 0-)

            but unfortunately "reason" won't work in this situation. For example, pretend the death penalty reduced violent crime by .5% (it doesn't). It would then be rational, perhaps, to believe in it, as a means of allowing more people (potential victims) to live. But I still wouldn't support it. My gut revolts at the idea of the state taking a life. Besides, many who kill were abused as kids etc etc high on angel dust--whatever. I still couoldn't support it.

            Your thesis claims to be based on reason. But it isn't. It isn't rational to expect women to stay virgins until their professional training is finished and they are ensconsed in their careers. It isn't rational to expect women to have unmessy adolescences with no liquor or pot where they goof up at a party. It isn't rational for a poor single woman to bear another child because of the failure of a condom.

            Your reason reduces all women to lives with no sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is a healthy, warm part of adult initmacy. Is annybody going to date us or live with us if they have to wait years for this part of life?

            I've gotten more "conservative" about abortion rights as I've aged--mostly because at 50 I can look over my life and see my kids are the most wonderful part of it (as well as my sexual relationship with my [now sterilized] partner). Also, my mom died when I was young and I always wanted children. I don't rule out the idea of compromise on some cutoff date, with exceptions, for healthy adult women. But I got pregnant when I was 22, still an active alcoholic, and had done some heavy drugs. The pregnancy wasn't discovered for 3 months (it got stuck in my tube, MD missed it) so I'd been carrying on in this way with a fetus inside me. I went for an abortion. This doesn't fall under the "if the kid will be inescapably messed up" clause, because many kids have parents like me and aren't physically messed up.

            But would it have been fair to roll the dice in this way for the life starting out? Would it have been fair to bring a baby into the world when I was so messed up I didn't know up from down?

            It's not just the mom, see, that people are thinking about in this matter. I don't believe "life as we know it" begins at conception. For example, miscarriages are more common than most people think. At 40 and older, roughly one in 3 pregnancies ends in miscarriage. Should women who get pregnant that late in life be charged with attempted murder for creating a fetus she is placing at risk of early death?

            Also, you talk about babies who will be inexcapably messed up--people draw the line in different places for that. It's not a rational line, it's intuitive, how we feel.

            John, I don't think you're a troll. I think you're grappling with a really tough question. Many women are touchy because it isn't an academic question for us--it's our body, and the next 19 years of our lives.

            I appreciate you sticking your toes in these waters--we have to have a dialogue about these questions. Be well, but think about the children born to 14-year-olds seduced by 30-year-olds.  No incest, but still clueless young mothers. Think of working mothers who get to go out on a date once in a while and end up pregnant. Forget about moms in med school--think a mom on the edge, in a minimum wage job barely holding it together as it is for the children she may already have.

            You don't have to make that choice, and I don't anymore either. But thousands of women (and their families and lovers) face it all the time.

            Keep sharing , and keep listening.

            •  Thanks for the thoughtful response (0+ / 0-)

              I know that it can be VERY HARD to raise children.  In my perfect world, people who were unlucky would have the support they need. That's why I support candidates who want to expand welfare over candidates who seek to overturn Roe v. Wade.  

              The purpose of this diary was not to demand that abortion be made illegal, right now, but to explain why allowing for abortion in certain cases but not others was not hypocritical.

    •  sweet, isn't it....that HE will never have to (16+ / 0-)

      deal with it, isn't it?

      All I can say is that if you're against abortion - don't have one.

      The unmitigated arrogance of Mr. John Chapman, his well-thought out opinion regarding an issue that he cannot possibly relate to and will NEVER have to even think about relying on in his current lifetime is simply, stunning.

      "Immigration is the sincerest form of flattery." ---Jack Paar

      by bic momma on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:47:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise, Alegre

      I consider myself "pro-life" AND "pro-choice".  The latter is because I support the right of women to control what happens with their bodies as I support the same right for men.  The former is because I don't really like death, and don't actively seek it for others. :)

  •  About that military comparison.. (0+ / 0-)

    Does that also entitle people to kill?
    Just curious..

  •  This is the part I don't follow (10+ / 0-)

    First of all, I believe that the life of an individual does begin at conception and, therefore [sic], the unborn do have rights.

    Can you explain why the latter follows from the former?

    •  All living things have the right to live (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sj, pine
      Including cattle, tumors, bacteria....
    •  Well, I can't (10+ / 0-)

      rights are a construct consisting of what society thinks should be and what society enforces as being.  That's pretty much it.  While terms like "inalienable", etc. sound nice and make for good rallying cries, the simple fact is that rights in the absence of what society enforces aren't worth the paper they're printed on.

      I found this interesting:

      Now we're finally approaching the kernel of my argument.  If a fetus has rights but a pregnant woman has more, where should we draw the line?

      First of all, let me say that I've been through this entire line of argument myself.  It's not a matter of quantity of rights, but which rights we hold as carrying the day, decided largely by the consequences of that and other options.

      Basically, if you assume

      1. the fetus is a human life, and should enjoy all the protections and rights that life would enjoy post-birth,
      1. society agrees and decides to enforce those rights), and
      1. there are no exigent circumstances mitigating the rights of the fetus to not be killed (e.g. self defense for the mother, etc.),

      ...then you're still left with this situation:  by saying the mother must not abort the fetus, you are taking control of her body and forcing her to serve as a human incubator.

      This is largely analogous to a situation in which a man had another person forcibly grafted to his body, such that removal of that person would result in the death of him or her.

      The simple fact is, we as a society hold pretty much inviolate the right to control our own bodies, save under extreme circumstances such as conviction of capital crimes.  To do otherwise invites ethical and legal conundrums leading to undesirable circumstances such as slavery, the sale and forced harvesting of organs, etc.

      Now, you might try to justify the State claiming temporary control over the woman's body in this case by positing that the woman essentially assented to the pregnancy by having sex.  This, of course, is not the way most of us want to live (the enjoyment of physical love without the downsides is obviously something many of us specifically desire, and take steps to achieve).  

      What's more, you're basically saying that the taking of risks automatically means you've agreed to accept the consequences and should simply live with them.  Why stop with pregnancy?  Does riding in a car mean you accept injury and death if it occurs, and won't expect medical care should an accident happen?

      To me, the bottom line is that by claiming the woman gives up the normally inviolate right to control her body, you're opening up a huge can of worms.  If you want another example, if you say the State can tell you not to terminate your pregnancy, it stands to reason the State can do the opposite.  Welcome to China and enforced family planning.

      Is that really the society we're after?

      •  Your arguments are thoughtful (0+ / 0-)

        but I think that, in the end, they support my belief.

        Let's start with "Does riding in a car mean you accept injury and death if it occurs"  Well, that's exactly why people have insurance.  Because, without insurance, you would have to pay for any damages yourself.  Having insurance involves paying for a reduction in risk.  

        Now consider "This is largely analogous to a situation in which a man had another person forcibly grafted to his body, such that removal of that person would result in the death of him or her."  This is only a valid comparison to rape, because only in rape is someone "forcibly grafted onto [her] body."  During consentual sex, I believe, both parties are accepting a risk.  Now, if there were a way that you could pay some money and ensure that someone else carried the child to term, I'd be all for it!  

        •  True... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Canadian Reader, chemicalresult

          Let's start with "Does riding in a car mean you accept injury and death if it occurs"  Well, that's exactly why people have insurance.  Because, without insurance, you would have to pay for any damages yourself.  Having insurance involves paying for a reduction in risk.  

          This is true, but we also look to EMT's in ambulances to help us, and reasonably expect onlookers to help out if they can (while there aren't legal consequences for failing to help in many places, leaving the scene is frequently punishable, and in any case most of us do expect onlookers to help if they can.  It's not a given that our rights go away when we take risks).

          Now consider "This is largely analogous to a situation in which a man had another person forcibly grafted to his body, such that removal of that person would result in the death of him or her."  This is only a valid comparison to rape, because only in rape is someone "forcibly grafted onto [her] body."  During consentual sex, I believe, both parties are accepting a risk.  Now, if there were a way that you could pay some money and ensure that someone else carried the child to term, I'd be all for it!

          OK, so let's modify the analogy a bit.  This time, let's say the graft occurred after you went through a bad part of town.  In fact, let's even stipulate that you know this sort of thing could happen -- people have been known to be nabbed in those neighborhoods and had grafting procedures forcibly done.

          Now, you're taking actions that you know might result in someone being grafted to you.  You still don't want the graft (and presumably, women who get pregnant, in most cases, didn't want to get pregnant).  Yet, legally--and I would say, ethically--you still would have the right to have the graft removed.  You simply cannot be forced to serve as life support for someone else against your wishes.  

          To allow otherwise is, as I said, to invite a whole host of problematic situations.

    •  No explanation? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Canadian Reader, pacotrey

      I had hoped you would clear this up for me, but alas, no.  This is the part where anti-abortion people lose me and I'm always interested to see what lies behind the non sequitur argument that I quoted above.  A consideration against your argument is that a human zygote immediately after fertilization is virtually indistinguishable from any other vertebrate zygote.  Thus, if a human zygote has right, why does a herring embryo not have rights.  Of course, then the anti-abortion people will say, "but it's a human embyro".  That doesn't help much though, unless someone can explain why exactly possession of a certain class of sequences of DNA entitles the organism to rights that an organism with other sequences (even very similar sequences) of DNA lack.  Ultimately there must be some explanation in term of morally relevant characteristics.  The irrelevant mantra "life begins at conception" fails to make any reference at all to morally relevant characteristics and thus fails to get to the point at all.  

      •  Quasi-Aristotelian mumbo jumbo? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Canadian Reader

        Oftentimes, in my experience, what lies behind the non-sequitur is some kind of quasi-Aristotelian essentialism (sorry for sounding/being uber-pretentious there). Basically, at conception the zygote already has the stuff (the genetic code, one presumes) inside it that will make it develop human, sooooo.... it's human! Usually that ellipsis gets filled in by some reference to the inner potential of the zygote to become a human adult-- see the diary above for an example of this style of thinking-- and that's supposed to reassure us of the zygote's humanity, because we human adults just replace that potentiality with actuality. So the difference between adults and zygotes is just a difference in our way of being human-- zygotes are humans potentially, we're humans actually. We share our humanity in common, and I guess that humanity supposedly comes with some right-shaped strings attached.

        If I've made this style of thinking sound lame, that's only because I think it is really (*really*) lame.

        •  Well (0+ / 0-)

          I would say that the human zygote is human. After all it is an organism in the species Homo sapiens, but being a member of the human species isn't a morally-relevant characteristic.

          •  yah (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ortcutt

            Of course, human zygotes are, after all, human zygotes (duhhhhhh, me!). I didn't phrase that point well: the lame thought is that they're like human adults, i.e. persons [moral category, o'course], because they have it in them to grow into a human adult, and so human adults and zygotes are both persons, only the former are actually where the latter are potentially. But the difference in mode, potential or actual, isn't supposed to make a difference morally speaking. But that's what strikes me as wrong-headed. I find it hard to think of a zygote as a person because it has the potential to become one, and will (normally) do so if left to develop in a favorable environment. But people genuinely do seem to think along these lines pretty often. Or, if they don't think in terms of the zygote's developmental potential, they just fix whatever is supposed to be distinctive and morally significant about humanity and attribute that to genes, or ensoulment, or some other dummy property that gets to be shared by fully grown humans and their developmental antecedents.

  •  Oh - And One Other Thing (16+ / 0-)

    Last I checked you don't become a "mother" until you give birth.

    SaveDarfur.org WH 800-671-7887 Cong. 800-828-0498

    by Alegre on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:36:27 PM PDT

  •  Gutsy move (9+ / 0-)

    Hope people here will be civil.

    I disagree with you, but you make some good points.

  •  The one comment I'd like to make is... (21+ / 0-)

    Why is it any of your business or anyone else's concern what women do with their own bodies? It's not for you to pass judgment one way or the other. It's not your life, it's not your body, and it doesn't affect you. Women who choose to have abortions will deal with the aftermath of that decision, for better or worse.

    The whole "pro-life" side of it just boggles my mind - it's not your business!!!!

    A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi.

    by beathan on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:40:50 PM PDT

    •  I've never understood this statement. (6+ / 0-)

      And I'm pro-choice.

      You treat your assertion, that pregnancy is all about the woman is self evident.  Have you known many (willingly) pregnant women?  They don't talk about their own health that often.

      There are many restrictions placed upon what you may do with your body.  These range from "you may not beat someone else to death with your fists and feet" to and "when drafted you must appear for service", "you may not inject your body with heroin" and "you may not kill yourself".  And while you may disagree with some of these (probably the latter two), there is a clear legal history regarding regulating your actions in regard to your person.  This is especially so when it is conduct regarding your interaction with others.

      Now, I know it is difficult, but imagine that that fetus is a whole person, imbued with rights and the full protection of the law.  I'm not saying this is the case (and in fact I'd argue strongly against it), but suspend disbelief for now.  In this case the state, which steps into many such interactions, has a direct interest in acting on behalf of the fetus, it being the party less able to represent its own interests.  In doing so, the state must weigh the potential costs and benefits to both parties, the woman and the fetus, and strike a balance between the two.  As the diarist points out, it is possible to do so in a consistent way.  Sort of.

      My views are a bit different than the diarists on one crucial point.  I don't believe that a fetus, having only "potential" to become an adult, should be afforded the full rights and protections of people.  I do not do this because the fetus depends upon the mother for support (what would this imply for those on life support?) or because "it's the woman's body".  Nor do I believe viability is a meaningful demarcation, especially since it has changed substantially as technology has improved.  Rather, there are utilitarian as well has historical and cultural reasons to draw the line in various places, and this is the gray area in which reasonable debate on the abortion issue can be discussed.  However, what is absolutely clear is that "personhood at conception" is a relatively new and extreme perspective.  And one all to frequently pushed for very different motives.

      Congress has the choice between what is politically expedient and what is right. Finally, for one goddamn time, let them choose the latter! IMPEACH!

      by zephron on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:18:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good comment (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharoney, julifolo

        However, what is absolutely clear is that "personhood at conception" is a relatively new and extreme perspective.  And one all to frequently pushed for very different motives.

        This is essentially what I am railing against, albeit rather inelegantly above. And, I understand and accept your argument for a hypothetical situation in which a fetus is afforded some measure of protection from the state. However, as you state, our primary point of disagreement is my assertion that the woman is the ultimate arbiter, and that I do believe this to be a self-evident truth.

        Are there lines that should be drawn for utilitarian, historical, and cultural reasons? Probably. In my mind, however, these lines will never be decided upon for the reasons you imply: this is an hotly debated issue with many, many facets (and is commonly used as a red herring/wedge issue). And for that reason, I have to believe that the decision must lie with the mother, who has the largest stake in the matter (fetus notwithstanding). Hence, my belief that it is no one's right but the mother herself to dictate what the mother may or may not do.

        A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi.

        by beathan on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:58:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The irony is ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Canadian Reader, beathan

          ... that we have history and demographics on our side.  What we are witnessing is the last gasp of the moralizing, sexist bastards who would use childbearing as a cudgle to punish.  We can have discussions about where the line should be drawn, but it will be rather academic since there is no popular support for substantial rollbacks.

          Congress has the choice between what is politically expedient and what is right. Finally, for one goddamn time, let them choose the latter! IMPEACH!

          by zephron on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 04:05:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You neglect to understand one crucial point: (5+ / 0-)

        Outlawing abortion, even with "exceptions", will not stop women who do not want to be pregnant from having them.

        Outlawing abortion will only mean that women will seek unlawful, unsafe and/or self-induced abortions that put their health and their lives in jeopardy.

        Whole lotta more dead and sick women.

        •  Oh, I understand. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jennifer Clare

          I am most certainly pro-choice.  In part for that very reason.

          However, simply because desperate people would be intent upon breaking a law is not sufficient reason to argue the law is wrong.  Would you make that argument regarding the destitute and armed robbery?

          Rather, the fact that so many young women would go to such great lengths means to me that they draw the all important line in a very different place than where the diarist does.  And so does most of the US.  That is what makes all of this academic in the end.

          Congress has the choice between what is politically expedient and what is right. Finally, for one goddamn time, let them choose the latter! IMPEACH!

          by zephron on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 04:42:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I get that you are pro-choice; (4+ / 0-)

            my argument is not whether or not breaking the law is okay in some circumstances but not others. My argument is that the real-life effect of banning abortion is that doing so is not only ineffective, but also kills and harms women.

            And not just in cases where a woman obtains an illegal abortion, but also in cases where a woman may be carrying a very wanted pregancy, something goes terribly wrong with the pregnancy late in the game (last couple of months) and the child either dies in the womb or will likely be stillborn. Thanks to the recent SCOTUS decision outlawing Intact Dialation and Extraction--not "partial birth abortion"--this is exactly what will happen.

            Any many women who want to be mothers will either die or lose their ability to bear children in the future because of it.

    •  if someone really believes that a fetus (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ornil, Pd

      is a person, and has a soul, then abortion is murder to them. You don't need to personally know someone for their murder to be your business. This isn't my position on the issue, but its not hard to understand.  

      •  Not a question of understanding... (5+ / 0-)

        ...but a question of consistency. I live in a very conservative area of Georgia, and of the pro-life folks I know, most indulge in a cognitive dissonance that I can most aptly describe as "love the fetus, hate the child." If they are going to raise hell about abortion, then they need to be consistent and raise hell about children without adequate health care, food, clothing, education, etc. Otherwise, maintaining that opposition to abortion is based on the belief that a fetus is a person is bogus.

        A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi.

        by beathan on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:34:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So who goes to prison? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nightprowlkitty

        The woman? The doctor? Both?

        And how do we determine, when a woman goes to the emergency room suffering a miscarriage, whether or not she really had a miscarriage or whether it was an abortion?

        How do we go about conducting an investigation in order to decide whether or not to press charges for the murder? And how do we avoid indicting "innocent" women who really have had a miscarriage when the investigation gets it wrong?

        That's the difficultly that I have with the belief that abortion is "murder".

    •  well said (9+ / 0-)

      It's long been my position that the so-called "pro-life" movement in the United States (which is actually much better described as "anti-abortion" or "anti-privacy") is not really motivated by a desire to save human lives. Instead, they're preoccupied a bizarre desire to shame and control women who they believe step out of "acceptable" societal boundaries.

  •  Interesting essay (6+ / 0-)

    You might find   The Myth of the Right to Life interesting.

    Rights - whether moral or legal - impose obligations or duties on third parties towards the right-holder. One has a right AGAINST other people and thus can prescribe to them certain obligatory behaviours and proscribe certain acts or omissions. Rights and duties are two sides of the same Janus-like ethical coin.

    ...
    One's rights inform other people how they MUST behave towards one - not how they SHOULD or OUGHT to act morally. Moral behaviour is not dependent on the existence of a right. Obligations are.
    ...
    To complicate matters further, many apparently simple and straightforward rights are amalgams of more basic moral or legal principles. To treat such rights as unities is to mistreat them.

    Take the right to life. It is a compendium of no less than eight distinct rights: the right to be brought to life, the right to be born, the right to have one's life maintained, the right not to be killed, the right to have one's life saved,  the right to save one's life (wrongly reduced to the right to self-defence), the right to terminate one's life, and the right to have one's life terminated.

    None of these rights is self-evident, or unambiguous, or universal, or immutable, or automatically applicable. It is safe to say, therefore, that these rights are not primary as hitherto believed - but derivative.

    It goes on to examine each "right".  I found the perspective from which it examines this issue to be very interesting and somewhat different from how it is often discussed.  It has the advantage of explaining how, if viewed from this perspective, some of the apparent contradictions in attitudes towards abortion can be explained.

    •  PS (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise

      If you click the link, scroll down.  It looks like a book advertisement, but the text is down below.

    •  One more quote... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise

      From The Myth of the Right to Life...

      The Right to Have One's Life Maintained

      This leads to a more general quandary. To what extent can one use other people's bodies, their property, their time, their resources and to deprive them of pleasure, comfort, material possessions, income, or any other thing - in order to maintain one's life?

      Even if it were possible in reality, it is indefensible to maintain that I have a right to sustain, improve, or prolong my life at another's expense. I cannot demand - though I can morally expect - even a trivial and minimal sacrifice from another in order to prolong my life. I have no right to do so.

  •  John, you don't have a dog in this fight. (18+ / 0-)

    Every pregnancy involves two people - a woman and her medical advisor - and a fetus.  And a fetus has NO LEGAL RIGHTS, because a person is "one who is born alive".  

    You can "believe" what you wish.  Just don't try to use the government to push your beliefs into the realm of fact.  

    My question has always been "How did the government grant itself standing?"

    "Holy Moses, I have been deceived" - B. Taupin

    by wozzle on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:42:22 PM PDT

    •  Same way it granted corporations "personhood" (8+ / 0-)

      No doubt.

      "Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear." William E. Gladstone (British Statesman)

      by PatsBard on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:45:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Person Is Also Chartered Under State Law Like (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wozzle

      any other corporation. Not born, but with lots of rights.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:46:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I believe this is the first comment that actually (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wozzle, Canadian Reader, Elise

      addresses the diarist.  Forgive me if I'm wrong.

      Usually, when arguing with pro-lifers, we will make 100 arguments about a woman's rights.  Now, I believe in those arguments myself, but if our goal is to persuade others to agree with us, I don't think that's the best way to approach it.

      Pro-lifers see the fetus as a human being.  Now, if we can accept that as a given (I know, I know -- bear with me), it's entirely reasonable to argue that the fetus' right to life trumps all the mother's rights, with the exception of HER right to life.  Possibly incorrect, but not necessarily misogynist.

      Seems to me the best argument to make, then, is the one that undercuts this idea that the fetus is a human.  And AFAIK, there is ample reason -- not only legal but also medical and, if you go this way, spiritual -- to believe a fetus is NOT a human being, at least not during the first couple trimesters.

  •  You're welcome to your opinion. (17+ / 0-)

    You're welcome to state what it is, you're even welcome to try to convince me that your POV is the correct one.  (I will never agree, however, that a fetus has rights.)

    Just don't try to dictate what I can do with my body, and we'll get along just fine.

    "Do you know any reporters?" -- Jon Stewart to Matt Cooper, 4/23/07

    by Mehitabel9 on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:42:26 PM PDT

  •  asdf (23+ / 0-)

    If a woman does get pregnant, she has willingly given up her freedom, just like an army reservist who enlists in a time of peace (expecting no more than one month of work per year) can't get out of it if there's a war.  If a female medical student is foolish enough to have unprotected sex, her right to pursue the career of her choice does not override the rights of her unborn child.

    Yuck.  Forced pregnancy is anything but willing, friend.

    I've personally paid for two abortions for friends that have never had anything but protected sex, and yet still got pregnant.  One of the girls was 21, the other was 23.  Neither of them was in any position to have children, and as such, were taking all precautions against it.  Including terminating the pregnancy.

    I'm glad that there was no law preventing them from doing so.

    We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine

    And the machine is bleeding to death.

    by Marcus Tullius on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:42:42 PM PDT

    •  Clarification: (10+ / 0-)

      Rereading, it seems dismissive of me to refer to my friends as "girls" when they are both in their mid-20's.  Understand that I've known them both since we were children, and I still think of them as "my girls".

      My apologies for any unintended offense.

      We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine

      And the machine is bleeding to death.

      by Marcus Tullius on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:47:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How is getting pregnant from consentual sex (0+ / 0-)

      "forced pregnancy?"

      •  Because, friend, (13+ / 0-)

        The sex was consensual, not the pregnancy.  Both parties agreed to use contraception, and did so without fail.  In both instances, contraception failed.  At that point, requiring these women to carry the fetus(es) to term is forcing them to remain pregnant.

        Being forced to carry a fetus, when you wish to terminate said fetus, is forced pregnancy.  No matter how you got pregnant.  My friends happened to use contraception.  Good for them.  That doesn't mean I think that that choice should be denied to those who did not do so.

        We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine

        And the machine is bleeding to death.

        by Marcus Tullius on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:20:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But you're assuming (0+ / 0-)

          That using contraception is a promise that it will work.  Appliances fail. People have rare reactions to particular drugs.  That does not mean that the manufacturer is automatically at fault and rarely are they held responsible.

          Your argument seems to assume that no one ever gets saddled with bad luck and that somehow preventing people from dealing with their problems in whatever manner they choose is undue intervention from the state.

          Let me give you another scenario, since you seem to be passionately involved with this one.  What about people who try to get pregnant but lose their jobs after conception? In this case the pregnancy, too,  was consentual.  Do they still have the right to abort?

          •  Yes. (5+ / 0-)

            See my last paragraph in the previous post.

            No wait, I'll actually utter those taboo words:

            "I support abortion on demand."  No exceptions.

            I don't believe in holding people responsible for having consensual sex.  Have at.  If a pregnancy arises, whether wished for or not, and the woman decides AT ANY TIME to terminate the pregnancy, I support her right to do so.

            In your scenario, what would be accomplished by forcing a woman, who has now lost her source of income, to carry a pregnancy to term unwillingly?

            We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine

            And the machine is bleeding to death.

            by Marcus Tullius on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 04:01:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Also (3+ / 0-)

            Your argument seems to assume that no one ever gets saddled with bad luck and that somehow preventing people from dealing with their problems in whatever manner they choose is undue intervention from the state.

            WTF?

            My argument assumes that people DO get saddled with bad luck, and that criminalizing abortion will prevent some of them from dealing with their problems in whatever manner they see fit.

            I support the right of every woman to determine whether or not she wishes to have a child.  That doesn't mean they should avoid sex, it means that they should have access to contraceptives and abortion, without any legal or societal impediment.

            We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine

            And the machine is bleeding to death.

            by Marcus Tullius on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 04:09:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  WTF?!!! (17+ / 0-)

    If, on the other hand, the female is an adult, no right of the woman has been violated and I would only support abortion if the child was likely to have severe health problems.

    No right has been violated? Are you fucking kidding me?

    Pro-life, my ass.

    "Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear." William E. Gladstone (British Statesman)

    by PatsBard on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:43:59 PM PDT

    •  yeah no joke (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PatsBard, sessal

      Since she's an adult she cant be incestually raped?  Maybe the OP should reconsider breeding....

      "Eat flaming death fascist media pigs" - The Firesign Theatre

      by Perdurabo on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:54:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think you missed part of the diary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pd, zephron

      Specifically, this part:

      On the other hand, if that female medical student is raped, she has not willingly given up her rights.  Furthermore, she will very likely be saddled with the emotional anguish of having to carry a rapist's baby.  Forcing her to carry it to term would be stripping her of her right to liberty, which is forcing her to bear a punishment that she does not deserve.  In these cases, I support the right of a woman to choose whether or not to have an abortion.  

      •  Fair enough. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sj, esquimaux, PatsBard

        The next question is, what standing does Mr. Chapman have w/r/t abortion?  Why does he assume he's even entitled to a say in the matter?

        "Do you know any reporters?" -- Jon Stewart to Matt Cooper, 4/23/07

        by Mehitabel9 on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:02:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because he has a mind (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ornil, Pd, debedb, The Sinistral, zephron, I

          and if you have a mind you get to have a say on political questions. Doesn't mean he's at all right. But forget about whether he has a right to think what he does and focus on whether he is right to think what he does.

          •  He has every right to THINK (6+ / 0-)

            whatever he wants.

            You misunderstand what I'm saying.  By "entitled to a say", I don't mean saying what he thinks.

            The point is, this and pretty much every discussion is founded upon a (usually unspoken) assumption that men in general "have a say" (have standing as persons of authority) on the issue of procreative choice.  

            I maintain that men's standing on the issue begins and ends with their own penis.  They can choose to wear condoms, or not.  They can choose to have vasectomies, or not.  But what a woman chooses either before or after pregnancy is for her alone to decide.  

            Mr. Chapman is, as I've said already, welcome to think whatever he wants, and to say whatever he wants.  He is not however in a position to dictate, nor is any other man (or woman).  The primary error in this and all abortion debates is the assumption that it's anybody's business but the woman dealing with the unwanted pregnancy.  It's not.

            "Do you know any reporters?" -- Jon Stewart to Matt Cooper, 4/23/07

            by Mehitabel9 on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:25:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              I

              that it is not my decision to make whether a woman has an abortion or not. It's because of that that I would assent to the claim that my say extends only so far when it comes to procreation. But this is because I am already committed to the pro-choice position. It's not really an argument that can be used against someone who accepts a pro-life position. The question of whose say it is (hers) is argumentatively down-river from the question of whether women's liberty includes reproductive rights (yup).

    •  Well, this option: (3+ / 0-)

      I would only support abortion if the child was likely to have severe health problems.

      has already been rendered illegal by the Supreme Court upholding the so-called "partial birth abortion" ban.

      The phrase PBA is a made-up, political one for a medical procedure called Intact Dialation and Extraction.

      So how far does the State go in regulating private medical decisions?

  •  "Extremely Likely?" (4+ / 0-)

    What's the total failure to thrive rate? Not my specialty, but what I was able to find suggested 50% to 2/3 of all these "people" die before birth.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:44:38 PM PDT

  •  As far as I'm concerned, (18+ / 0-)

    until we can ensure that all women have the ability to raise their own child in a dignified way with assurance that neither she, the child, or other children in the family will live in poverty, we can't even begin to discuss who's "rights" are more important.  Since this is unlikely to happen, and there are circumstances other than poverty that might equally weigh in such a decision, we must leave the final decision to the woman.  For a change, lets just assume that women will do what's right for their own families without the interference of government.

  •  I'm a pro-life pro-choice guy (9+ / 0-)

    I really have a thing for life.  It's great!  I love babies.  I loved my own children when I felt them moving, but then again I think I loved my kids before they were even conceived.  

    So, I'm all in favor of life.  I certainly don't wish the opposite on anything- not even the mosquitoes.

    Then again, I certainly don't think it's my business to put myself between a woman and her womb.  

    My devout Catholic Grandmother said the same thing.  She just couldnt' see how it was her job to get between God and a woman.  

    I regard the right to embarrass each other one of the cherished parts of American democracy. -Barney Frank

    by otto on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:48:36 PM PDT

  •  I've got this crazy idea: (15+ / 0-)

    When a woman has sex willingly, she is accepting the possibility that she may get pregnant.

    What if 300 million Americans all agreed to stop judging women for their decisions to have sex?

    My crazy idea is that if this happened there would be a magical result:  abortions would be dramatically reduced.  Women could walk around with their bellies proudly sticking out because they're creating life.  Not married?  Who cares!  Accidental pregnancy? Not ready to raise a baby?  Many infertile couples would love the chance to adopt these babies.

    This won't happen because right-wingers aren't ready to stop being judgemental over young women, but it's my social-experiment fantasy.

    "Some men see things as they are and say 'Why?' I dream things that never were and say, 'I need to quit drinking!'" - Greasy Grant

    by Greasy Grant on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:48:51 PM PDT

  •  The dissonance between the "logic" (15+ / 0-)

    of your essay--its structure--and its content is too much
    for me.

    And this brilliant statement?

    "Due to biology, women are much more likely to be affected by an unintentional pregnancy than men..."  ?

    Much more likely? Um, yes. They certainly are.

    It is never too late to be what you might have been...George Eliot.

    by begone on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:49:37 PM PDT

  •  Okay... (5+ / 0-)

    Since fetuses have rights

    They do? Really? I mean, for them to have rights, the state more or less assumes that the woman is, metaphorically, the land that an endangered species or a barn sits on. But they're not: They're protected by a little thing called the 14th amendment.

    Until the fetus is fully sentient, abortion is no more than removing a cyst. A potential life is only that, potential. Only after they have shorn potentiality and have been fully born do they have any rights.

    Regardless of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, if you were going to bring it up.

    God is subtle, but malicious he is not. -Albert Einstein

    by jkennerl on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:52:41 PM PDT

    •  sorry sorry (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mehitabel9

      until they have become fully sentient. Only when they are born have they become fully independent of the mother. Apologies.

      God is subtle, but malicious he is not. -Albert Einstein

      by jkennerl on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:54:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ornil, John Chapman, debedb

      Do we say that a child has no rights because they may not become an adult?  What special feature does a newborn infant posses that imbues it with rights, that wasn't present moments before birth?

      The assertion that "rights attach at birth" is nearly as extreme as "rights attach at conception".

      PS.  I suspect you don't have kids.  Fully sentient infants.  That's a funny (and a little scary) thought.

      Congress has the choice between what is politically expedient and what is right. Finally, for one goddamn time, let them choose the latter! IMPEACH!

      by zephron on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:29:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  read my response to myself. (0+ / 0-)

        What I'm saying is that the only point at which the infant has full rights is when they are no longer dependant on the mother's body, ergo "health" exceptions to late term abortion laws.

        God is subtle, but malicious he is not. -Albert Einstein

        by jkennerl on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:32:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  AND (0+ / 0-)

        (sorry i hit enter before I wanted to)

        my argument is that sentience occurs at some point in the womb during the second trimester. Even so, sentience is irrelevant considering the "undue burden" standard promulgated in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which has displace Roe as the functioning constitutional logic for abortion anyway. Justice O'Connor knew that Justice Blackmun's logic in Roe was unsustainable on "sentience" anyway, therefore she and Kennedy tossed it out (quite rightly).

        God is subtle, but malicious he is not. -Albert Einstein

        by jkennerl on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:35:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How do you define "sentience"? (0+ / 0-)

          If it means becoming aware of one's self it doesn't happen until after the child is born.  Even then, many animals share the same level of self-awarness as young children and yet we do not attach full human rights and protections to these animals.

          Rather what you are describing is viability.  However, advances in medical technology has pushed this back further and further.  So clearly this is a practical, but not objective, demarcation.  Additionally, what about those people who are on life support, and are thus not viable?  That would imply that the history as well as the present state matters.  

          In the end, most of this will be determined by cultural norms.  And history and demographics are on our (your's and mine) side.

          Congress has the choice between what is politically expedient and what is right. Finally, for one goddamn time, let them choose the latter! IMPEACH!

          by zephron on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:49:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree, I forgot about 'viability' (0+ / 0-)

            That was the term I was aiming for.

            Abortion, fundamentally, is a practical and pragmatic question far more than it is a philosophical question.

            God is subtle, but malicious he is not. -Albert Einstein

            by jkennerl on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 04:00:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  By this logic (7+ / 0-)

    Pregnancy and childbirth involve a loss of liberty for the woman; however, adults have the ability to decide whether or not to give up their liberty for a short time.  They may enlist in the military, for instance.  When a woman has sex willingly, she is accepting the possibility that she may get pregnant. (I disagree with Choice Joyce that the right to non-procreative sex means that sex is not a contract for pregnancy.  Certainly, we do have the right to non-procreative sex, but we do it with the knowledge that it may not turn out as we hoped.)  If a woman does get pregnant, she has willingly given up her freedom, just like an army reservist who enlists in a time of peace (expecting no more than one month of work per year) can't get out of it if there's a war.  If a female medical student is foolish enough to have unprotected sex, her right to pursue the career of her choice does not override the rights of her unborn child.

    This is the most conviluted logic I could imagine.

    Considering that you are comparing unintended pregnancies that result from willing sex to endlisting in the military, let's finish the comparison.

    First, it is a given that protected sex results in unintended pregnancy a certain percentage of the time.

    Here is the military equivalent:

    Let's say I put in an application for a job and find out that my app is misdirected to my local recruiting office. Surprise! I'm in the Army.

    You are saying that I should just buck up and go to war?

    Interesting.

    •  This logic is also flawed. When you apply for a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ornil, Pragmatic Left

      job you would never think your application was going to be misderected to your local recruiting office. Everyone knows that when you have sex it can result in pregnancy, regardless of your plans and precautions.

    •  Your logic is flawed as well... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ornil

      The analagous case to your military example is thus:

      You have phone sex and wind up pregnant.

      The diarist did not discount the potential to failed birth control... it carries a risk, albeit a much reduced one.

      I'm a guy, and in the rare instance I am sexually active, I practice safe sex.  However, I also accept, by virtue of this act, a certain risk, albeit a smaller one.  If the control methods fail, and I wind up impregnating someone, I must then abide by thier decision as to whether to carry out the pregnancy or abort.  Nevertheless, any sexual activity caries with it the responsibility that it might result in a pregnancy, intended or otherwise.  Abstenence only education fails to produce abstinence, but abstinence is the only way to prevent pregnency.

      I agree with you on the substantive issue of a woman's right to choose, but I think this diarist was fair and sincere.

    •  Not sure how equivalent (0+ / 0-)

      those two things are, but a 4 for making me laugh. :-)

      Yes, that sequence of words I just said made perfect sense.

      by sbdenmon on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:18:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So what crime do you charge the women with (6+ / 0-)

    who have an abortion because they simply are not ready to have a baby?  Manslaughter, homicide?  What's it going to be?  Bug off.

  •  A fetus is not a child. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharoney, jkennerl, TeresaInPa, Mehitabel9, 0wn

    Show me a fetus that can play tetherball and maybe I'll change my mind.

  •  Although I disagree (9+ / 0-)

    I certainly think your position is valid, and you state it well.  I have no problem with you.

    First of all, I believe that the life of an individual does begin at conception

    This, right here, is the crux of our disagreement, and since everything in your subsequent chain of reasoning and my subsequent chain of reasoning flows from this, it strikes me as a to-ma-to/to-mah-toe type thing.  That is, I'm not sure how either of us could possibly convince the other as to whether the life of an individual begins at conception, and as such, it's difficult to know how to proceed in terms of having a theoretical discussion that would actually accomplish anything.

    So, my attention largely turns to the practical:

    1.  Do you base your vote only on a candidate's position on this issue, or is it only one of many factors?  (Or possibly not a factor at all - just to cover all possibilities.)
    1.  Would you support abortion being legally restricted across the country, with the exceptions that you list in your diary?  Or do you feel that your private views should not be made the law of the land?
    1.  Would you make this a litmus test for your support of a Supreme Court nominee?
    •  No -- precisely not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Sinistral, I

      and since everything in your subsequent chain of reasoning and my subsequent chain of reasoning flows from this, it strikes me as a to-ma-to/to-mah-toe type thing

      Although that claim about life and conception may be the fundamental disagreement between people like us and him, the diarist is trying to answer another question .. whether he is being inconsistent for believing in the rape and health exceptions. One can grant his crazy premise for the sake of the argument and thereafter assess whether his position is consistent. It might have been, for all its craziness, although I do not think it ultimately is.

      •  It seems consistent enough to me (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharoney, Canadian Reader

        I mean, yeah, I can see how one might be able to argue for inconsistency in his argument.

        But:

        1.  This is hardly an unique viewpoint he's espousing.  It might not be the most rigorous logically, but for quite a few people it works well enough.
        1.  Given his starting point - that the life of an individual begins at conception - the overall debate is lost already.  I don't see much value in discussing his reasoning for the rape/health exceptions as a result.  What would the goal be?  At least he believes that there are valid exceptions.  Given his starting point, we can't convince him that abortion in general should be legal, so to debate his reasoning for certain exceptions wouldn't change his mind - it only runs the risk of convincing him that there shouldn't be any exceptions.  This is not a net gain.
    •  Thank you for your common decency (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sbdenmon, I

      I'd be pleased to answer your questions.

      1. This is one of many factors.  I'm with the democrats on 80% of the issues so I vote D. In fact angers me when people (such as Roman Catholic Bishops) ignore torture, violations of international law and a blatant disregard for the environment to focus instead on this one issue that in reality probably won't change.
      1. I would, in fact support my position being made law.  However, I would not support federal law doing so because I think it is a state issue (And another reason why I don't like Roe v. Wade).
      1. As I stated in #1, abortion is but one factor I use when judging someone's fitness as a judge or leader.  Furthermore, I couldn't care less what people's views on abortion are if they're not in a position to affect the law.  People routinely bring up candidate's views on abortion for offices like mayor. That seems meaningless to me.
  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

    You gotta ask yourself, is this worth posting as a diary? Did I just waste this community's time trying to elect Democrats with an argument that distracts us from anything useful?

    Many of us know what we think about abortion. Maybe another time? Another place, even better?

    God is subtle, but malicious he is not. -Albert Einstein

    by jkennerl on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:55:48 PM PDT

  •  respectfully disagree (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    julifolo, The Sinistral, mudslide

    that life begins at conception.  But I agree that there is nothing inconsistent about your position.  However, you have taken a "relativist" position in that you weigh the various rights of the different parties depending on the situation.  Such a position is of course the only kind that makes sense to a discrening person, but as we saw with the Kerry campaign, most people don't like things that aren't black and white.

    Anyway, the one thing I'd suggest is that if all the people on both sides who are "absolutist" one way or the other adopted more relativist positions, the likelihood is that we'd wind up with laws fairly similar to those in most states today.  That's where the middle ground is.  So while I certainly wouldn't discourage you from stating your opinion, realize that in all likelihood the logical outcome of people listening to you and  moving towards more relativism will be a more liberal policy than you propose.  That is in fact one reasom why the pro-life movement is so absolute - it makes strategic sense.

    My own opinion is that society is better off allowing "elective" abortions up to a mutually agreed upon point (more relativism) - for a whole variety of reasons.  I would not attack someone who disagreed.  But I have little patience for those who believe life begins at conception, propose restrictions like what you are suggesting (or stricter), and then support the death penalty and/or wars of choice in any way shape or form.  Not because it is inconsistent so much as it shows a disturbing lack of consideration of all the issues involved.  I am NOT saying this is your position, just pointing out the thing about the other side of the debate that bothers me the most.

    "New World Orders" is the exciting new novel of global warming and conspiracy by Ed Parrot and Jason Derrig. Visit www.edwardgtalbot.com for more information.

    by eparrot on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:59:35 PM PDT

    •  He's not relativist (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Canadian Reader

      a relativist thinks that moral truth depends on cultural mores. There's none of that used as a reason in this diary. Instead the argument is that in some situations a certain course of action is permissible whereas in others it is not. That's no more relativist than it is to say that in some cases oxygen supports combustion whereas in other cases it does not makes you a relativist about scientific truth. Rather, it's objectively true that oxygen has different effects in different circumstances. Similarly, the diarist can be read as saying it is objectively true that abortion is permissible in some circumstances but not in others.

      It's just bad objective moral argumentation, that's all.

      •  sure it is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hypersphere01

        an absolutist believes that because life begins at conception, it is NEVER acceptable to abort a fetus.  There is a not inconsequential minority that belives that.  Once you accept that it is Ok to "kill" what you have stated is life, you are a relativist.

        There is more than one kind of relativist.  Your definition that "a relativist thinks that moral truth depends on cultural mores" is much more narrow than my definition.

        Anyway, just semantics - I'll withdraw the term relativist if its implications and prior use confuse the issue.  My point is that if you move people from the position that it is never okay to abort a "life", I expect that laws will wind up as the sort of middle ground most states have now.  Just my opinion

        "New World Orders" is the exciting new novel of global warming and conspiracy by Ed Parrot and Jason Derrig. Visit www.edwardgtalbot.com for more information.

        by eparrot on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:44:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  John? Yoohoo? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jkennerl, debedb

    At this site, you are welcome to present well-stated opinions that run counter to the opinions of many here. Then we are free to counter your arguments.

    What you are not allowed to do is to present an opinion and then run and hide. It is your obligation to stay and discuss your position with us. If you instead post and run, then you become a Troll instead of a poster with an unpopular opinion.

  •  And where, might one ask, is (0+ / 0-)

    Mr. Chapman to defend his argument?

    It might be a valid "belief" to oppose abortion in "general" but still allow it in some circumstances, but it is a pretty crappy argument, debunked elsewhere in the past few days by other people, plenty of whom actually own a womb, and therefore have some stake in the argument (and, you know, who hung around after they posted their damn diary to defend their argument.)

    And the last paragraph, where the writer asks us to be courteous and respectful of each other?  Perhaps it's just me, but this language is patronizing and condescending, and I wish to God I could find my smite this diary button.

  •  Another dude (14+ / 0-)

    sharing his opinions on women's rights.  

    the framus intersects with the ramistan approximately at the pot a nostra

    by Mia Dolan on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:04:29 PM PDT

  •  You make fair points, and I applaud your bravery (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Sinistral

    I think one the central caveats I have is that there is plenty of dispute as to when life begins, and while everyone agrees a life begins at birth, there is no universal view that it begins at conception.

    I think you are brave not only in the face of what is probably 95% opposition here at KOS (if not more) but also in the face of Pro-Life demagaugery.

    I understand that reasonable people disagree about abortion, but I believe leaving this a personal decision is central to finding civil solutions to the "problem" of abortion.

    What the sincerely pro-life and progressive community should unite around is a set of principles that would serve to reduce the total number of abortions absent of govnermental control.  Fight poverty, fight regressive sex-ed, fight joblessness, fight expensive health-care, fight wars that tear families apart.

    Illegality will not only fail to prevent abortions, it will fail to protect many people who have them, forcing them into an unregulated abyss.

    I also disagree, obviously, with respect to embryonic research, as I believe that has the potential to advance far more lives (and disagree about the rights of those in petri dishes over those suffering from chronic illnesses), but at the very least you approach this subject with far less demagaugery than we are used to.

  •  Some Responses (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ornil, Pd, Greasy Grant

    The point of this diary was to describe how you could be pro-life but allow for exceptions. There was a diary that last week that called my position "hypocrisy" (click link).  Unfortunately, this has devolved into name calling about abortion in and of itself.

    Again, I'm dismayed that people keep bringing up the canard only women have should have the right to determine if abortion is legal.  

    So should a judge who is not a landowner not pass judgement on the legality of a timber company's clearcut?  It's the timber company's land, isn't it?  Maybe only Army Generals should have a right determinining how a war is fought!  Of course not, we live in a participatory democracy, which means that everyone has a say regarding everyone's rights.

    I do believe that all organisms have rights, just some have more than others.  You can step on cockroaches but not purposely drop a piano on a dog.  

    As I've said, the pregnant woman (and I do consider a pregnant woman to be a mother) has more rights than her fetus / unborn child, but that does not mean that the fetus has no rights.

    •  Everyone has a say, huh? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Canadian Reader, sj, pattyp, hypersphere01

      Okay.  I believe that every man who impregnates a woman against her will, or even accidentally, should be castrated.  I also believe that every man who fathers a child should be 100% responsible for the cost of raising that child.  One hundred percent.  Any man who fails in that duty gets sent to debtors' prison.

      If participatory democracy means you get a say in what the consequences should be of me exercising my rights, then it also means that I get a say in what the consequences should be of you exercising yours.

      "Do you know any reporters?" -- Jon Stewart to Matt Cooper, 4/23/07

      by Mehitabel9 on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:13:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think he disagreed with this: (0+ / 0-)

        <boxquote>Finally, I just want to add that I do believe that the potential father bears responsibility for their decision to have sex.  Due to biology, women are much more likely to be affected by an unintentional pregnancy than men, but I believe that the government should do everything it can to make men pay and support their children, including when the woman is pregnant.  </boxquote>

      •  Equality? (0+ / 0-)

        "every man who impregnates a woman against her will, or even accidentally, should be castrated."

        Hmmmm. First case is rape, let the punishment fit the crime.

        As to the second, consensual sex? Isn't this in effect a contract, as it were? Suppose the man uses a condom, and accidents happen, but his fault. Alternative, the woman uses other means, IUD or whatever and accidents happen. Still his fault, eh?

        "every man who fathers a child should be 100% responsible for the cost of raising that child" and in context of "participatory democracy"

        Consensual sex is as personal a democracy as exists. So equality suggests both should have a say and both in the context of personal responsibility and accountability bear the costs.

        Of course, we could always go back to 'in the day' when the woman ran the household and the man was the breadwinner and was sole financial support of the family.

        Even then, there was the refrain of "he never does anything around the house". Etc. This ain't 1950.

        A phrase from "Animal Farm" comes to mind ...

        What is past, is prologue

        by US2oz on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 06:14:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, a fetus is about 2nd trimester (0+ / 0-)

      Just an fyi.  

      It's helpful if you use the terminology correctly.  

      I regard the right to embarrass each other one of the cherished parts of American democracy. -Barney Frank

      by otto on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:17:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So are you a vegetarian too? Vegan? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharoney, hypersphere01, I

      I do believe that all organisms have rights, just some have more than others.  You can step on cockroaches but not purposely drop a piano on a dog.

      I know of a lot of people responsible for cutting the heads of chickens and killing cows with sharp blades. Are you for or against that?

      I know of chickens whose embryos are taken from them and eaten for breakfast. Illegal? Immoral? No, just my breakfast.

      Plus, you haven't spelled out what legitimate rights a fetus has. You can't tell me that just because, double negatively, that fetii "do not have no rights" that there is no access to a legal abortion.

      Such illusory "rights" are why Justice O'Connor set up the undue burden test and threw out Roe's logic.

      God is subtle, but malicious he is not. -Albert Einstein

      by jkennerl on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:30:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the quote (13+ / 0-)

    Forcing her to carry it to term would be stripping her of her right to liberty, which is forcing her to bear a punishment that she does not deserve.

    Despite the rhetoric, you have inadvertently confirmed my belief, which is that people who are anti-choice really are just moralists who think that the pregnant woman is a slut, and pregnancy is the "punishment" that sluts deserve.

    That is why they, and you, are willing to make "exceptions" for rape victims.

    Brownback is equally deluded, but at least his ideology is consistent.

    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. - Sam J. Ervin, Jr.

    by tiponeill on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:07:25 PM PDT

  •  I don't see why it follows (5+ / 0-)

    from the claim that a woman has more rights than a fetus (e.g. the right to vote, the right to open a bank account etc.) that she has more important rights than the fetus. If, as you suggest, a fetus is an individual (or do you mean a person?) and does have rights, then surely the rights it has are going to be as strong as the equivalent rights held by other people. On the assumption that a fetus has the same basic moral status as the woman, I really don't see how her rights get to trump its rights in some cases, but not in others.

    If the fetus really has the same moral status as a three year-old child, would we allow a woman who has had a child as a result of rape, but is now anguished by that child's existence to kill it? Surely not. But on your argument, since she is entitled to do it in the case where she is pregnant, she is entitled to do it in cases where she has given birth. Nor can you appeal to some free irrevocable decision to give birth, because there may have been no legal rape exception during her pregnancy whereas, through some radical change of law, there is now legal infanticide in cases of rape. It would still be heinous to kill the three year-old whatever the nature of the woman's decision-making in the past.

    Moreover, this argument about the voluntariness of free sexual intercourse as opposed to rape is spurious. We don't expect people to carry the costs of just anything that results from their free choice. If you choose to drive a car, you might get into an accident. But you should not be expected to carry all the costs of that accident. If you choose to walk outside, you might get raped. But we do not expect you to carry the burden of that choice -- we do not say to rape victims, well, you were asking for it. If you choose to have sex, you might get pregnant. But it is far from obvious that now suddenly not only do you have to carry the costs of that choice, but you are no longer entitled to any form of remedy for it whatsoever.

    Instead, we determine the standard of individual responsibility by assessing what sorts of expectations it is reasonable to have in our kind of society. The presence or absence of free volition per se is neither here nor there because free volition is almost always to some extent present.

    Surely driving a car is a reasonable expectation, and thus we should not make the costs of accidents prohibitively expensive. And surely being able to walk outside without fear of sexual assault is a more-than-reasonable expectation in any society. So we don't turn a blind eye to the needs of rape prevention projects or therapy for victims. And similarly, being free to make love with a person of your choice without fear of having your life ruined and your dreams shattered by a broken condom seems to me to be an obviously reasonable expectation.

    I don't think you are hypocritical for your beliefs, but I do think they are ultimately incoherent.

  •  Pro Choice, with exceptions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hypersphere01, masslib

    Choice. Period. End of story.

    But there shouldn't be a problem to make the choice to have an abortion an unnecessary one, whenever possible.

    Once you rule out the obvious exceptions like the health of the mother, non-viability of the fetus, and rape... there are few valid reasons for the choice to abort.

    Elective abortion, due to unwanted pregnancy, other that due to the causes listed above (and any others that I may have omitted) is due to an aggregious and reckless lack of personal, and societal, responsibility.

    I tell all the young women I know... "Contraception is absolutely the woman's responsibility".
    Don't find yourself in an unwanted pregnancy, and you you will never have to face that very difficult choice.

    Before everyone goes apeshit on me here... I tell all the young men I know that contraception is absolutely the man's responsibility... see the theme here? Don't help create an unwanted pregnancy and you won't have to deal with the choices therof, and the consequences.

    And yes, the best contraception methods do fail.
    In such a case choice must be available, however the mother (and hopefully the father) decide to proceed.

    Unwanted pregnancy is the problem. Not abortion.
    Education, contraception, good sense and responsibility is the solution.

    TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

    by Niniane on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:10:12 PM PDT

  •  I believe that all males should be (11+ / 0-)

    sterilyzed just as soon as they are able to freeze some sperm.  That way, neither male nor female will ever be a parent without their consent and women will never have to worry about men named John forcing their own morality on to others.
    If we can just figure out how to make men carry the pregnancy for half the term, get half the stretch marks and have half the screwed up hormones, then we're talking.

    •  So ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... you're not at all into that fitting the government into a woman's womb thing.  That's just small time for you.  You want to fit the government into a man's testes?  Yikes!

      Congress has the choice between what is politically expedient and what is right. Finally, for one goddamn time, let them choose the latter! IMPEACH!

      by zephron on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:39:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's almost Solomonic. (7+ / 0-)

      I know that this is peanuts in comparison to what women have to put up with, but I really don't like the argument that goes, "Men, unless you are pro-choice, you just have to shut up."  And I do see a lot of people making that argument.  It's a variant of the argument, "If you don't agree with me, you have to shut up."

      Now, I know that pregnancy is something that only affects women.  That doesn't make it any less galling for me, as a man, to be told that my opinion is not welcome unless it's the same as yours.  Yes, I know being forced to bear a child is far, far, far worse.  I'm not suggesting anybody should be forced to continue a pregnancy.  I'm just saying it's galling to be told to agree or shut the hell up.

      But, Teresa, your proposal does what this argument cannot do -- it puts the shoe on the other foot.  The second the government starts interfering with men's reproductive freedom, I think a lot of men who are currently pro-life will quickly turn pro-choice.

      I'm not suggesting that we make this a serious policy suggestion, but as a way of getting men to think about the implications of being "pro-life," I think your idea is a damn sight better than telling men to agree or shut up.

  •  I cannot believe that (9+ / 0-)

    people see no problem with forcing women to have children they don't want.

    When my mother got pregnant w/ me, she and my father were using 2, count 'em 2, different types of prophylactics.  In fact, that she just thought she was sick at the beginning of the pregnancy and went to the damn doctor because she thought there was no way in hell she could be pregnant.  They were shocked when they found out.

    You know what my parents always told me though?  They always told me that I was unplanned, but never unwanted.  I cannot imagine what it would be like to be born unwanted.  

    Any force that tries to make you feel shame for being who you are...is a form of tyranny... And it must be rejected, resisted, and defeated. ~Al Gore

    by Sinister Rae on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:17:00 PM PDT

    •  My boyfriend's parents (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sinister Rae, auroraborealis

      always told him he was a "happy accident." I think that's really beautiful.

      The funny part (depending on your perspective I guess), his mom told me he was an absolutely perfect baby. Didn't cry, throw tantrums, slept most of the night, was well behaved, quick learner, etc. So they purposely decided to have another child because the first one was so great. The 2nd kid - his sister - turned out to be holy hell. Tee hee.

      What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal. - Albert Pine

      by pattyp on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 05:51:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You cannot be 'PRO-LIFE" with exceptions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hypersphere01, I

    I think that those who have fallen prey to the meme _ "pro life" have put themselves into a sticky wicket.

    YOU CANNOT claim to be "pro-life" and support the exceptions.  Ie--the slaughter in Iraq--the bombers who justified their terrorism by the bible.

    You may be "pro-choice" and that is that you decide for yourself based upon your beliefs,whether or not ABORTION would be a choice for you.  Certainly, you do not have the choice to force that view upon
    others. I don't know if you are male or female, but, it is the FEMALE, primarily, who makes the decision.  HEap guilt upon her and you take away her being and her right to make decisions based on her beliefs and threaten her for her decisions and you become a authoritarian who deems that you and only you can decide for others what they should do re their bodies and their families and their very lives.

    No, you cannot claim to be "PRO-LIFE" and may have fallen victim to the "talking points" and the slogans meant to lure you into believing that everyone else is "against life" simply because they make a decision based upon their own beliefs, their own families, their own health .

    Don't have an abortion if you believe not in it--but don't claim to be "pro-life" for you are only making a logical fool of yourself if you do.

  •  You've overthought all of this. (8+ / 0-)

    Here is all you need to remember:

    A woman's reproductive healthcare choices are the business of two people: the woman and her doctor.

    If you support legislation that indicates otherwise, then you think that you, John Chapman have a right to govern what I, CJB, do with my uterus.  You don't.

    It's official, James Inhofe is a dumbass.

    by CJB on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:28:08 PM PDT

  •  Unborn child has Rights based on what? (4+ / 0-)

    All Rights are essentially based on Property Right.  Property is essentially the external sphere of freedom. So in the first place what this means is that I am alive in this organic body, which is my undivided external existence. And as a person I possess my life and among other physical things I possess my body.

    Thus a person's free will resides in the body. If a person does not possess his or her own body then he or she does not possess free will.

    Consequently a person must necessarily "own" his or her own body, or individual Rights are simply not possible. Violence done to my body is violence done to me. Without Property Right, all Rights are just talk.

    So ultimately I have the Right to do to my body what I want to do so long as I do not undermine the house of the soul.

    In the constitution, Property Right is obscurely referred to in the obtuse terms of 'Privacy'.  But of course, there is no protected privacy without Property and so we can quickly move on from this point. Now although Property Right is the most fundamental Right it is also the most abstract (thus it is not sufficent)

    Ultimately, the fetus resides in the body of a
    protected individual. And thus according to the most fundamental Right (i.e. Property Right), the
    fetus doesn't have Rights.

    But this in no way makes abortion moral, but abortion is not a moral issue, or even an ethical issue.  The difference between morality and ethics is that Morals are purely personal, while ethics are morals that a particular community agrees to accept as moral.  

    So it is possible to promote pro-life from an ethical community level, or a family level, or even an individual level without changing the law (i.e. Rights).  Changing the law, means that we are taking away the fundamental Right of a women to her own body.

    My wife is 10 weeks pregnant, I have seen my unborn child dance.  He or she is not merely the cells in
    a petri dish that lots of morons (including front pagers) on this list would like to think.  

    Moreover on personal level I would never encourage an abortion for my friends or family, and at the community (or church)level I would try to encourage other ways of managing a really difficult situation facing a pregnant women.  

    But I would never challenge a women's Right to her own body, and the decisions that go along with her possession of her own body.  The line stops there.

  •  This makes me angry. I'm leaving. (7+ / 0-)

    Dude- when you have the ability to get pregnant...then you can talk about whether or not you'd ever have an abortion.

    But let's call your perspective what it really is - anti-choice.

    You want the right to tell other people- specifically women- what they can and cannot do with their bodies. That isn't up to you. That's up to them. Period.

    Get your nose out of other people's business.

    •  Insane (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pd, zephron, init iru, Greasy Grant

      I just see this argument as crazy and counterproductive. People do have the rights to interfere with other people's business. That's what societies are for. Now, the interference is not justified in some cases, and I would say that abortion is in fact such a case, but making a blanket statement like that is just wrong.

      There's plenty of things I am unable to do, but have the right to interfere in. For example, I am legally unable to be a US president, but I can in fact choose one or even choose the rules that bind one. Also, I am likely unable to serve in the military - because they wouldn't want me, but am I unable to vote on the war in Iraq?

      Again, I think a woman has the right to an abortion, but you have to argue that separately, and not just as a general "you have no business telling me what to do" proposition.

  •  How to be pro-life with exceptions? (5+ / 0-)

    You mean exceptions like pre-emptive war, torture, genocide, and capital punishment from your "pro-life" fantasy?  Death sentences from "pro-lifers" for caring men who are doctors and fathers and sons and brothers and these caring men also happen to care very much for women, so they are abortion providers.

    Exceptions like stem-cell research?

    From the "pro-life" hypocritical meme?

    Forced birth people are not "pro life." It’s a fantasy world just like the Creation Museums and the Hellhouse Abortion Houses of the wingnuts’ Halloween.

    <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

    by bronte17 on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:50:14 PM PDT

  •  oh whatever already! (3+ / 0-)

    how you gonna feed, clothe and educate all those kids?

    women are entitled to choose whether they want to have a baby and enjoy sex like men.

    Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. --Brazil (1985)

    by hypersphere01 on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:52:24 PM PDT

  •  No. When I have sex... I am NOT (9+ / 0-)

    accepting the possibility of pregnancy. Pregnancy is the last thing on my mind at that time. It is absolutely the stupidest thing you could say, "...do it with the knowledge that it may not turn out as we hoped..."  

    Bleah to your sickness:

    When a woman has sex willingly, she is accepting the possibility that she may get pregnant. (I disagree with Choice Joyce that the right to non-procreative sex means that sex is not a contract for pregnancy.  Certainly, we do have the right to non-procreative sex, but we do it with the knowledge that it may not turn out as we hoped.)  If a woman does get pregnant, she has willingly given up her freedom, just like an army reservist who enlists in a time of peace (expecting no more than one month of work per year) can't get out of it if there's a war.

    And, you make it even worse when you say that having hot sex is the same as signing a contract to enlist for a job in the military.

    <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

    by bronte17 on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 03:58:00 PM PDT

  •  It is always so enlightening (5+ / 0-)

    when a man weighs in on what a woman should or must do with her body and her life.

    You said:

    Similarly, I think most would agree that if you are being held against your will (imprisoned under a staircase for a week) you have the right to escape and, if it is the only way to free yourself, kill your captor.

    Has the possibility that a woman may very well be "being held against her will" by a pregnancy for reasons you cannot imagine, ever occurred to you?

    That is why your position on this issue should be irrelevant. This will never happen to you.

    The government should stay out of all of our medical decisions, period.

    •  Actually, being imprisoned under the staircase (0+ / 0-)

      was an analogy for pregnancy caused by rape.  That is why I believe that women should have the right to kill the fetus if their pregancy was caused by rape.

      Unfortunately, you have relied on the old saw that "as a man, you have no say."  My real name is not John Chapman.  Has it occurred to you that I might be a woman? What if I were a woman but never been pregnant?

  •  okay, here's the drill... (6+ / 0-)

    my belief also is that if you're going to insist that life begins at conception then you have no choice but to have no rape or incest exception.  we need to hang that logic on the anti-choice crowd.  if the fetus is an innocent life, then the circumstances of its conception can't grant an exception; if it's an innocent life, then it's innocent.

    is this what i believe?  no, of course not.  but it's the only logical path from "life begins at conception" and they should be forced to publicly agree with brownback until every candyass pandering politician finally accepts that abortion rights exist and need to exist.  making the controlling, anti-choice lot eat this is the quickest way to end the debate once and for all.

    Generally speaking, it is inhumane to detain a fleeting insight - Fran Lebowitz

    by jmonch on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 04:28:59 PM PDT

    •  Preach it. (4+ / 0-)

      "Do you know any reporters?" -- Jon Stewart to Matt Cooper, 4/23/07

      by Mehitabel9 on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 04:33:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yea, but what if it backfires? (0+ / 0-)

      What if the anti-choicers (with exceptions) when backed into a corner like that go to the other extreme and feel compelled to outlaw all abortions?  That might bite us in the butt, which may be why we usually don't make such a strong issue of it.

      •  it won't backfire (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharoney

        it's been the way righties have been weaseling out for decades, decades during which the minority voice that is anti-choice has had disproportionate power.  if the weasels are forced to move to the right on this issue, people will look for alternatives (that'd be pro choice, but perhaps with more options for women who want to carry babies to term but need assistance).  it only looks risky because we've played DLC-style for so long.

        Generally speaking, it is inhumane to detain a fleeting insight - Fran Lebowitz

        by jmonch on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 04:58:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  real life example (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        julifolo

        is the south dakota abortion ban.  it was the outrage over the "no exceptions" provision that got the pro-choice people and people who weren't normally involved motivated to get it killed.  if it can happen in south dakota, it can happen anywhere.

        Generally speaking, it is inhumane to detain a fleeting insight - Fran Lebowitz

        by jmonch on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 05:42:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Your feelings are religiously based (0+ / 0-)

    First of all, I believe that the life of an individual does begin at conception and, therefore, the unborn do have rights.  

    And, at least for now, we still have separation of church and state. Let's face it, you can't save every embryo, and I can't save every life, like the soldiers who are being sent to slaughter in Iraq.
    The question is far larger. And your opinion leaves no place for the soul, for a person is not a person without one, and the soul is separate from the body.
    In any event, I find your argument interesting since it's mostly men who are so upset with abortion (not there aren't some women). It's probably because we do all the work and we are the ones left with the child when a guy runs off after knocking a woman up.
    don't like it? Then work to make all men responsible for the lives they create. Make sure all babies born have a loving family. Stop letting kids languish in orphanages. Then, and only then, should you worry about a zygote.

    "Keep raisin' hell!" - Molly Ivins

    by MA Liberal on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 04:48:40 PM PDT

  •  By virtue of being a man? (0+ / 0-)

    Be good to each other. It matters.

    by AllisonInSeattle on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 04:57:19 PM PDT

  •  I completely ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Canadian Reader, pacotrey, begone

    ... reject the message of this diary.

    I am opposed to virtually everything you say here.  You are willing to allow women to die from unsafe and illegal abortions in order to glorify some moral notion you ascribe to.  I find that utterly immoral.

    You are willing to help make it so that women will be forced to bear children they do not want, will be forced to not only give up 9 months out of their lives, but years and years as the child is growing or, conversely, have that child ripped away from them by adoption if that becomes necessary for any number of reasons.  I find that utterly immoral.

    You are willing to help make it so that women who are poor, who are at the end of their rope both emotionally and economically, must bear children, women who perhaps do not have the resources to get birth control or have abusive husbands, and you are willing to let them suffer unspeakably so you can feel comforted in your reverence for life.  I find that utterly immoral.

    I am opposed to everything you say.  There is no middle ground in that opposition.  I find this entire diary to be immoral and obscene.

  •  I'm remembering (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharoney, begone, Greasy Grant

    Philip Roth's "Our Gang" ... 'every sperm is sacred.' Never mind!

    If "life begins at conception" is a matter of belief, faith ... then there is no grounds in the Constitution for the state, big or small, to even enter into rule of law. Separation of 'church and state' was part of founding principles  in America.

    OTOH, if one accepts the idea that the federal or local government can control a woman's choice, then the government itself becomes the virtual father. If I ran that flag up the pole, I do not think anyone would salute it. And rightfully so.

    Maybe the best idea when two people embark on consensual sex, the outcome is the personal responsibility of both parties. No others need apply.

    What is past, is prologue

    by US2oz on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 06:29:54 PM PDT

  •  So much wrong here. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharoney, begone, Greasy Grant
    I will try not to be discourteous, but you are basing your entire argument on the assumption that there is a single instant in time ("conception") before which there are only gametes, and after which there is a human being.

    Trouble is, you have no justification for that assumption. It is something you just assert is true, without any supporting evidence from, like, you know... the real world. Indeed, everything in the real world suggests that the exact opposite is true, namely, that during the course of pregnancy there is a process of development from blastocyte (approximately as human as a bacterium), to full-term fetus traversing the birth canal (a baby, as near as damnit).

    The real world of pregnancy isn't binary. It's a continuum.

    When your basic postulate is false, it doesn't matter how carefully you reason from it, you're not going to get anywhere convincing.

    You may believe, as a matter of faith, that the moon is made of green cheese. That's your perfect right. Believing something that isn't true is, and ought to be, entirely legal. But if you start advocating spending tax money on lunar expeditions to bring back loads of cheese to feed the starving, you have to expect some... objections.

    Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

    by Canadian Reader on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 06:48:50 PM PDT

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