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Among their advice: "Stop talking."
The New York Times takes us behind closed doors to show how a group of conservatives are training Republicans to talk about their support for banning abortion by offering tips like this:
Keep remarks as short as possible. “Two sentences is really the goal,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, the anti-abortion group that hosts the boot camps. “Then stop talking.”
Genius! Explain in two sentences why abortion should be banned and then shut up. Actually, it's kind of appropriate, given that they think the law should say pretty much the same thing to women who want to make decisions about their reproductive health.

But if push comes to shove, and you're a Republican candidate who needs to offer more than two sentences explaining why you're anti-choice, these conservatives have got you covered, or at least they think they do:

“Don’t let them corner you,” said Marilyn Musgrave, a former Republican congresswoman from Colorado who is a longtime anti-abortion activist. [...] “Put them on their heels,” Ms. Musgrave added. “Ask them: ‘Exactly when in a pregnancy do you think abortion should be banned?'  ”
Again, genius! Except for the fact that you could also turn the question around and ask them the same thing, except slightly rephrased, perhaps like this: "Exactly when is it that you think the government should start deciding whether or not a woman should become a mother?" Their answer, obviously, is that they think the government should decide from the moment a sperm fertilizes an egg—if not sooner.

No amount of spin can change the fact that most people don't think the government should be making that decision. The fact that this isn't spin is something that these conservatives simply do not understand:

“That was one of the top five public relations coups of all time: making their movement pro-choice and purging the ugly word abortion from the lexicon for decades,” said Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster who has conducted research on women’s issues for anti-abortion groups and the Republican National Committee.
That's complete bull. The reason the pro-choice position resonates isn't that pro-choicers are better at P.R., it's that people don't want a bunch of right-wing zealots controlling their lives.

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Comment Preferences

  •  RW zealots 'n da person'hood (29+ / 0-)
    Again, genius! Except for the fact that you could also turn the question around and ask them the same thing, except slightly rephrased, perhaps like this: "Exactly when is it that you think the government should start deciding whether or not a woman should become a mother?" Their answer, obviously, is that they think the government should decide from the moment a sperm fertilizes an egg—if not sooner.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 12:47:40 PM PDT

  •  The question to ask them is (14+ / 0-)

    Just what exactly do you think the punishment should be for a woman who has an abortion?

    "Today is who you are" - my wife

    by I Lurked For Years on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 12:48:16 PM PDT

  •  It worked for the Bushies in the debates (5+ / 0-)

    Somehow or another both of them were able to simply state they were against it so their answer was "not complicated" and Kerry IIRC stumbled around and looked like like he lost the question. Of course the moderator was complicit in the bullshit answer. McCain was the only one who got nailed with his f'ing air quotes around the "health of the mother". Mr. Dress was told in no uncertain terms at that moment "This is why WE don't vote for Republicans"

    •  i remember the question to Kerry (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, METAL TREK, LihTox

      being particularly loaded, one of those "as a Catholic" things, while Bush wasn't pressed at all.  I may be thinking of the Ryan/Biden debate, where i definitely know that happened, and Biden nailed the question.

      On that point, Kelleyanne Conway's position about pr coups is silly -- pro-choice is the best way to describe the fact that people who are individually opposed to abortion, like Kerry, and those who aren't, have the same legal position that the govt should butt out.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:34:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can it get any more bizarre between now and (14+ / 0-)


    You betcha!!!

  •  50 Shades of Stupid. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, annieli, Aunt Pat, jamott, a2nite

    and, sadly, 50 States of Stupid.  

    Eh.  I'll be dead in a few years.  Thankfully.

    "The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”" -- Paul Dirac

    by Rikon Snow on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 12:55:18 PM PDT

    •  I understand your taking comfort in that. (4+ / 0-)

      However, I have two minor children and I don't want either my daughter, or my son's significant other being denied a Constitutional right in order to appease people who pulled a "deeply held religious belief" out of their collective asses.  There is no "life begins at conception" statement in any religious text.  The Catholic Church made it up in the nineteenth century and the Evangelicals discovered it after World War II, or even later.

      They can all go fuck themselves.

  •  Foolish question (6+ / 0-)

    Exactly when should a living entity be granted human rights? Please provide a moral or medical justification.

    •  Or even (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, Matt Z

      a LEGAL justification.  Personhood tosses a lot of legal definitions up in the air.  God knows where they will come down.

      To the left, to the left....

      by CWinebrinner on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 12:58:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When "human life" begins is a religious question (5+ / 0-)

      My thinking is that technically and scientifically, life is a continuum.  It's not that life isn't and then suddenly is because the sperm and egg have gotten together or have implanted or reached some level of development.  The development of a sentient human being is a process over time which becomes viable only in stages.

      The contention that human life begins at conception or at "first breath" is therefore a completely religious argument.  It is an attempt to establish a moment where new life exists which cannot be supported or even determined scientifically.

      West. No further west. All sea. --Robert Grenier

      by Nicolas Fouquet on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:28:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Human right question (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        METAL TREK

        The bacteria that live in our lower intestine are alive, but they don't have human rights. It's not a question of life, but of who gets human rights. If we think human rights are important, then it would be very important to define who gets them.

        "'Human rights.' Why the very name is racist." - Chancellor Azetbur of the Klingon High Council

      •  Actually, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        enhydra lutris

        prior to the passing of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004, and similar laws in some states (not sure how many), the legal definition of murder in most states included the fact that the deceased must have been born, in order for a murder to have occurred.  Otherwise, it fell under the umbrella of assault on the pregnant woman.

        So there is a legal side to that definition.

        To the left, to the left....

        by CWinebrinner on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:10:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree, so we come up with a compromise (0+ / 0-)

          Which is what society seemed to support for a long time - first vs. third trimester, health of the mother, viability outside the womb, etc.

          This way, a woman has the opportunity to make her own decision early enough in the pregnancy and prior to granting person-hood to the fetus before it becomes viable.  

          West. No further west. All sea. --Robert Grenier

          by Nicolas Fouquet on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:28:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's not about life, none of them give a (0+ / 0-)

        shit about life. It is about the alleged soul that god slips into the zygote when nobody is looking. They don't know when he sneaks it in there, so to be safe they say immediately upon the fusion of the sperm and egg.

        Its all woowoo, unsustainable, fact free, silly and sorry assed nonsense.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 07:08:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Assuming you refer specifically to the unborn, (0+ / 0-)

      At the exact moment you revoke the mother's human rights.

      The instant you decide that the unborn is fully human and has human rights you have reduced the mother to a mere incubator whose rights are secondary (if they matter at all).

      I don't get it. We've eliminated as many jobs as possible, and cut pay and benefits for everyone else, but the economy still keeps getting worse!

      by Darth Cheney on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 08:10:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, as a mother, that is true... (0+ / 0-)

        I found that the second I became a mother, all of my rights, wants and needs became secondary to those of my child...  There is no sacrifice I would not make for their well-being, and I put their happiness above my own.  If necessary, I would lay down my life for any one of them without hesitation.  

        But, these are choices.  And these choices are, and always have been mine to make.

      •  Mother's rights (0+ / 0-)

        Of course the mother continues to have rights, but potentially two people's right are in conflict.

  •  Ask them this question? (21+ / 0-)

    John Fugelsang:
    If abortion is banned and a women gets rape
    and decides to have an abortion,
    Who should spend more time in jail:
    1.The women who was raped,
    2. The rapist
    3. Or the doctor who perform the abortion

    Then watch they heads explode.

  •  So when should abortion be banned? (13+ / 0-)

    Uh, how about NEVER! It should ALWAYS be an available choice for women in consultation with her doctor.

    Government should NOT be in the business of telling women what they can do with their bodies (isn't that what pimps do?).

    I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

    by woolibaar on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 12:59:11 PM PDT

  •  but can they actually STFU all the time (11+ / 0-)

    Keep remarks as short as possible. “Two sentences is really the goal,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, the anti-abortion group that hosts the boot camps. “Then stop talking.”

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:00:16 PM PDT

    •  When it comes to Republicans talking about (0+ / 0-)

      ladyparts, it's wishful thinking on Dannenfelser's part that they can stop at two sentences and that even if they do, at least one of those sentences will be not so unbelievably factually incorrect that the person saying it doesn't look like a complete fool.  And those are the physicians.  

  •  Why are you against abortion? (13+ / 0-)

    It's a good question and one I ask all the time.  I get some interesting answers.  They usually boil down to one thing:

    Because abortion is murder!

    That's a great answer.  It opens the door to just how abortion equates to murder because one must argue that a zygote equates to a human being.  

    Then, you can ask if every miscarriage needs to be investigated for a possible murder--just like every death is investigated.  Does a coroner need to make a ruling?  They found my dad's body on the floor of his bedroom.  If the cops had suspected foul play, they would have opened an investigation.  Every death has to be reported currently.  Should we report every miscarriage as well?  

    •  The late Bobby Franklin (R-GA) introduced a bill (5+ / 0-)

      a couple years ago that would pretty much do that:

      State Rep. Bobby Franklin of Georgia introduced a bill in his state last week that, if enacted, would require proof that a miscarriage occurred naturally. If a woman can’t prove that her miscarriage–or spontaneous abortion–occurred without intervention, she could face felony charges.
      He's not the only one who pulled a stunt like this - but I can't think of the other names at the moment.

      "How will children learn if they don't feel like they're in kid jail?" -- Principal Skinner

      by here4tehbeer on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:32:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course, since you can't prove a negative that (0+ / 0-)

        means any woman who miscarries will face felony charges.  But then again, there is nothing in the Constitution that prevents a law for which you are guilty until proven innocent beyond a reasonable doubt rather than the other way around.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:54:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Careful where you go with this (0+ / 0-)

      I think you make a great point.

      However, on the scary side, I think some people were talking about the idea of checking into "claims" of miscarriage, in case the woman really had an abortion but was just pretending it was a miscarriage. That was in the context of some state trying to limit abortions further than they are now--but I've forgotten the details.

    •  It's life if the mother says it is. (0+ / 0-)

      Which is why I am pro-choice, but am also fine with the murder of a pregnant woman being considered a double homocide.

  •  Ask them this (10+ / 0-)

    When do you think the government should make medical decisions for women? And for men?

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:00:41 PM PDT

  •  Radical RW zealots can't shut up 'bout anything (6+ / 0-)

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:02:07 PM PDT

  •  "Don't let them corner you" (14+ / 0-)

    The giveaway that they're occupying a dead end position. If you can be "cornered" on a subject, it usually means you don't have a tenable argument.

    On the other hand, it's pretty easy to stick with a principle: A person's health care decisions should be up to that person, preferably in consultation with a qualified health care professional. Easy peasy.

    •  Tough to do, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      since they're already in a corner of their own making.

      "The truest measure of compassion lies not in our service of those on the margins, but in our willingness to see ourselves in kinship with them." Father Gregory Boyle, Homeboy Industries

      by Mr MadAsHell on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:08:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Most people I know... (0+ / 0-)

      ...and myself as well know how we would answer Musgrave's question.  For me viability is a reasonable line in most cases.

      •  And that may be a reasonable line in most cases (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vadem165, METAL TREK, ickamaus

        The problem with writing a law, though, is that it is meant to apply to everyone in every case. The fetus may have passed the point of viability when a medical problem manifests itself. I can't decide for someone else what they can and can't handle in terms of a special needs baby; but a law tends to take that discretion away, particularly if there may be some disagreement as to the severity of a condition in utero. Witness the kerfuffle over Terri Schiavo, which wasn't an abortion case, but it had many of the same features. As long as there was some dispute about her condition, the controversy over letting that poor woman's body die raged on and on. It wasn't until after her death that an examination showed definitively that her brain had been gone for years before her body was allowed to die.

        Any law that is passed has to have some wiggle room, and the anti-choice brigade is dedicated to no exceptions whatsoever. In fact, there is a segment (pace Hobby Lobby) that is opposed to any form of contraception whatsoever.

  •  Follow up: Do you only care about children before (13+ / 0-)

    they are born?  What are your policies about children after they are born?  I happen to have two of those.  Where do you stand on

    - child nutrition

    - child poverty

    - child abuse and molestation

    - vaccination

    - research on childhood diseases

    - adequate preventative health and dental care for children

    - clean environment and air standards to prevent childhood asthma and cancer?

  •  Was GOD Pro-Life? (7+ / 0-)

    If so why did he have Moses and others kill so many babies?
    Also: Exodus 21:22 BBE
    Bible in Basic English
    If men, while fighting, do damage to a woman with child, causing the loss of the child, but no other evil comes to her, the man will have to make payment up to the amount fixed by her husband, in agreement with the decision of the judges.

    the punishment is not death, but a fine, had they kill a live baby, it would not be a fine, its Gods word.

    •  Since they like to quote the Bible, (7+ / 0-)

      I like to have these ready:

      But better than both is the one who has never been born, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun.

      Ecclesiastes 4:3

      If a man does not get his share of happiness……then I say a baby born dead is better off. It does that baby no good to be born…….It never sees the light of day or knows what life is like, but at least it has found rest.

      Ecclesiastes 6:3-5

      Sooo.... God seems to think that maybe it's just a smidge better to not be born than to be born to a very unfortunate situation.

      Even this line from Psalms that RWNJs love to quote:

      “You saw me before I was born” Psalm 139:16
      doesn't mean that a soul is also terminated when a pregnancy is. Souls are eternal. We have no idea when the fetus has its soul installed.  It may be when it draws it first breath.

      I believe that the woman alone understands when/if her zygote/fetus/baby acquires its soul. It's not my place to say, nor the job of any other random stranger.

       It certainly is not the job of a secular government to decide.

      © grover

      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:24:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So, you're unconditionally against abortion, which (5+ / 0-)

    means you believe a pregnant woman gives up her right to life over her baby's right to life the minute she becomes pregnant?  

  •  Or, just say: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, SteelerGrrl, METAL TREK

    Decisions such as abortions and birth control should be left to the woman, and not the government.
    What Republicans seem to want, is for men to control women's body's, just like the Taliban does.

    “Ask them: ‘Exactly when in a pregnancy do you think abortion should be
    banned?'  ”

    Severely Socialist 47283

    by ichibon on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:10:03 PM PDT

  •  They tried to get Frank Luntz (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ichibon, a2nite, anon004

    to do the wordsmithing, but even Frank was to smart so see this train wreck coming.  Marilyn Musgrave is an idiot, I had to say that.

  •  answering questions with questions (8+ / 0-)

    I don't like it when people do it to me, or when the wingnuts do it, so I would prefer to directly answer the question:

    ‘Exactly when in a pregnancy do you think abortion should be banned?'

    Never.  I don't think the government should ban abortion at any stage of pregnancy.  That's for a doctor and his patient to decide.  
    Then I might ask my own question, such as "do you think a woman's life should be sacrificed to save her child during the late stages of pregnancy, and if so, why do you think that the government should be dictating who lives or dies in that situation?"  

    you can shit on my face but that doesn't mean I have to lick my lips

    by red rabbit on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:17:09 PM PDT

  •  It's not how you say it (4+ / 0-)

    it's what in the message that is the problem.The fact they can't see that is part of their problem with women. Putting it in different words doesn't change their Forced Birther stances, their contraception stances, their slut shaming stances and their legitimate rape stances.  It's their positions.  

    It's the whole lipstick on a pig problem.  It's still a pig underneath the pretty lipstick.


    Why yes there is a war on women and minorities.

    by karma5230 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:21:54 PM PDT

  •  My response would be twofold (4+ / 0-)

    1.  "At what point do you advocate prosecuting women for miscarriage?"

    2.  "At what point do you advocate repealing the 19th Amendment?"

    This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

    by Ellid on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:23:44 PM PDT

  •  Nevermind the absurdity... (5+ / 0-)

    The entire strategy is doomed because there is not a republican alive who can limit him/herself to two sentences.

    "These 'Yet To Be' United States" --James Baldwin--

    by kevinbr38 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:27:17 PM PDT

  •  I don't get it. Why pull out... (0+ / 0-)

    Stopping after two sentences is like pulling out when you could take the safer, abstinence-only approach.

  •  From the article: (4+ / 0-)
    Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster, (said)
    “Women’s health issues are osteoporosis or breast cancer or seniors living alone who don’t have enough money for health care."
    And Republican candidates will say they will help women in those situations how, exactly?  By supporting the Affordable Care Act? Medicare?  The f'ing social safety net?

    "Get over it...and get out of the way." -- Gov. Steve Beshear (D-KY)

    by mspicata on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:34:56 PM PDT

  •  Criminalizing abortion (0+ / 0-)

    Isn't criminalize an ugly word? If you don't think so you must not have spent 18 years on death row for a crime you did not commit.
    Will I have to give my friends conception day presents instead of birthday presents?

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:37:11 PM PDT

  •  We say pro choice because (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North, laurak, METAL TREK, LihTox

    because we're not "pro-abortion."  Otherwise, I'd be walking up to pregnant women on the street and shouting at them to end their pregnancy.

    And by the way, the other side calling themselves "pro-life" has always seemed a little questionable to me.  Are these pro-life people also pro death penalty?  "Oh, no," is the reply you get.  We're talking about pro "innocent" life, not the life of criminals.

    Okay, then are these pro-life people the same ones shouting "not my problem" at unaccompanied minors crossing the border, even though there are numerous stories of the assaults and murders of these kids in their home countries. Aren't their "innocent" lives worth saving, or at least shouldn't you be showing a bit more compassion toward their plight?  Or is it the case that once you're no longer a fetus, you're on your own.

    •  They are Forced Birthers (4+ / 0-)

      For all the reasons you cited they are not Pro Life. They could care less about the baby once it's born. Their position has nothing to do with Life and more to do with forcing someone to be a incubator and give birth.  Once you are born? You are on your own kid. They don't care about the child's education, health or welfare or if it has enough to eat and shelter and adequate clothing.

      Why yes there is a war on women and minorities.

      by karma5230 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:46:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pro-punishment, not pro-life (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      METAL TREK, ickamaus

      Many of them are opposed to abortion simply on the theory that a woman who wants an abortion is a woman who should have kept her legs together instead of being un-self-disciplined and having sex when she shouldn't have. A lot of the "pro life" people stereotype women who are seeking abortions either as very young women who were fooling around, when they shouldn't have, or women who think their careers are more important than motherhood.

      The theory is that if they don't have to suffer the consequences of their irresponsible behavior, then how will they learn to do the right thing in the future?

      I suspect that's why women who have been completely opposed to abortion for years ending up having one, and justifying it--because they discover they are outside their own stereotyping. Then they probably go right back to the picket line after that.

    •  Another "pro-life" example (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anon004, METAL TREK

      In one of his books, George Lakoff points out that many people who are opposed to abortion because, they say, they want to save the life of the fetus are also opposed to federal funding of the supplementary nutrition program for impoverished pregnant women.

      These are women who want to have the baby. Supplementary nutrition improves the chances that the fetus will be born alive, and improves the health of newborns.

      But these folks often oppose giving impoverished women this improved nutrition. Why? Because it is their responsibility to provide for their own families. They shouldn't have gotten pregnant if they couldn't afford good nutrtiion for themselves during pregnancy. Other people shouldn't be expected to pay more taxes in order to give them food they should be paying for themselves.

      So they are fiercely opposed to the life of a blastocyst or embryo or fetus being ended by way of abortion, which is murder of an innocent baby, but the death of that same blastocyst or embryo or fetus is acceptable if it is caused by the mother's failure to have adequate nutrition on hand, nutrition procured by herself. Or spouse, I suppose. Just not nutrition paid for by government.

      •  The pro-choicers have to take up that issue then. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        METAL TREK

        They need to be the ones pointing out that in order to be truly pro-choice you need to make sure that all possible choices are really on the table.  Women should never feel they must abort because it is the least bad option.

      •  Don't you know it's the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        METAL TREK

        fetus's fault for picking the wrong parents?

        Actually, it's about those women in poverty, who, in addition to being poor, should also remain celibate until they get out of poverty. You're poor because you are morally flawed, so you haven't earned the right to enjoy yourself at all, especially when it comes to the sexy.  Those slutty women deserve the "punishment" of having a child for daring to think they have the same rights to have basic human needs met as everyone else.  How dare they!

  •  I don't ask questions. I say "I will talk to you (5+ / 0-)

    about the sanctity of life when no child is hungry, ill, uneducated, abused, neglected, subjected to polluted air, dirty water, toxic chemicals, living in poverty.  Until we have cared for the already born the unborn are not protectable."  

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:41:03 PM PDT

  •  Really? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nicci August, Mr MadAsHell, anon004

    They paid consultants to tell them to STFU?

    "..... people don't come to Daily Kos for meta. That stuff is a tiny (if loud) fraction of overall activity on the site." Kos

    by Joes Steven on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:44:16 PM PDT

  •  My shorter answer to their question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Exactly when in a pregnancy do you think abortion should be banned?' 

    That is a decision to be made by women and their doctors and not the Government.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:58:05 PM PDT

  •  Conservatives are Baby-Dumpers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    After they force you to have a birth, they don't give a sh*t.  It's your problem.  No government assistance for you, you slut!  That's the attitude I hear from them.

  •  Wrong Question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anon004, LihTox

    The right question for them is exactly what do you think the penalty should be for a woman who has an abortion and the doctor who performs an abortion?

    They'll fumble because they know that their only logical answer is the death penalty, because of course life begins at conception.  They also know that if they give that answer, they'll be outed for what they really want which is nothing more than control.

    If they try to give you some BS about having a lesser penalty for abortion than the death penalty, don't let them, because of course there is no difference between a 5 year old child and a fertilized egg.

  •  They're not conservative; they're RW extremists (0+ / 0-)

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:24:52 PM PDT

  •  Their question is a logical fallacy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anon004, ickamaus

    In that it makes the presumption that it's a given that abortion should be banned, and that the only aspect up for debate is that of when.

    Don't even fall for that False Dilemma crap.

    My response would be that their's isn't even a valid question.

    "The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract." Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

    by SNFinVA on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 04:22:04 PM PDT

  •  My response back would be: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Are you that stupid.  Here you are involved in the anti-choice movement and YOU don't know that the courts have already ruled in Roe v. Wade when it's banned?"

  •  "The reason the pro-choice position resonates (0+ / 0-)

    isn't that pro-choicers are better at P.R., it's that people don't want a bunch of right-wing zealots controlling their lives."

    It doesn't hurt that the people pushing the hardest for pro-forced birth are men who have had their significant others avail themselves of the Constitutional right to an abortion.  "For me, not for thee," the hypocritical Conservative mantra.

    I always used this as an argument: "Abortion is not stopped by making it illegal.  When it's legal, women live, when it's illegal, women die.  Please explain why you are in favor of women dying."

    It puts the focus back where it belongs, on the living breathing woman and not a fertilized egg.

  •  Extending choice after birth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Abortion should never be restricted. In fact, I'm not sure why we should restrict abortion after birth. Sure, the pregnancy is over once the fetus is born, so strictly speaking we wouldn't call it "abortion", but why should we be restricting woman's choice simply because the fetus is on the outside, not the inside? After all, not all birth defects are detected prior to birth, and sometimes a fetus incurs life-long injuries during birth. Sometimes the doctors think the fetus is the wrong gender. And sometimes, a woman just needs to be with the fetus a bit in order to figure out if she's able to care for it.

    We don't know when life begins after all, and a newborn certainly has no conscious experience. Terminating a newborn would likely be far more humane for its sake 2 weeks after birth rather than 2 weeks before birth.

    I know this wouldn't be for everyone, and some people might personally think it's wrong, but I can't see any logical reason for birth to be some transforming moment that earns the fetus a right to life. It's anti-choice and forced-motherhood to restrict the decisions a woman can make for her own family at the arbitrary event that is birth.

    •  Actually... (0+ / 0-)

      We do know that if you ate breathing, you are alive, basically speaking, so this is a ridiculous argument.  I've never heard anyone who was pro-choice suggest that a woman should be able to kill a baby after its been born...  I'm not sure what your point was, but I hope for your sake you were attempting some kind of sarcasm...

      •  I am alive if I am breathing? (0+ / 0-)

        I think you found my argument shocking, but I don't see how it is ridiculous. You seem to be implying that once we know the fetus is alive, then that's different - killing it would be wrong. (wrong on a personal level, or wrong on an 'everyone' level?).

        You seem to imply that breathing is the best indicator to tell if something is alive or not, and therefore, it somehow matters morally whether or not a fetus has breathed outside air. What is it about breathing that makes this the best indication that a human is alive? Is it a better indication of life than a heartbeat, or brain activity, or the cell growth of an organism? And more importantly, what is it about breathing outside air through ones own lungs that is so morally relevant that it bestows the right to life to the fetus, a right it did not have just minutes before it was born? It seems to me that pointing at birth and saying that the fetus now has a right to life because it has breathed outside air is simply arbitrary, a convenient rhetoric that allows us to abort those we want to, and spare those we prefer to spare. Can you show me otherwise?

        And why judge me for my view? I think my view is logical, but even if it were not, why would you judge me for my own personal view on when life begins, or when or whether I should become a mother? (I believe you did judge me because you were "hoping for my sake [I was] attempting some kind of sarcasm"). Aren't all of the comments on this page full of people asserting that it's immoral to push your morality on someone else? Isn't this exactly what we want the government not to do: pushing morality on individuals? After all: If you don't like infanticide, then don't kill your newborn!

    •  Giving benefit of doubt you're not a troll (0+ / 0-)

      (A) The pro-choice position is not remotely similar to pro-infanticide, so drop the hyperbole.
      (B) To the question "when does life begin?" the answer is "life is an unbroken continuum that began with the first organisms to arise out of the primordial soup, and the egg and sperm were each alive before joining together into a zygote."
      (C) To the question "when does human life begin?" the answer is "that is a religious question with no scientific answer and the government has no business codifying any particular religious belief into law."

      •  Not a troll. This is a legitimate discussion. (0+ / 0-)

        The pro-choice position is wide and varied. There doesn't seem to be a strong consensus on precisely when abortion becomes impermissible. Some pro-choice folk balk at abortions after the first trimester. Others after the fetus can feel pain. Still others think abortion is permissible right up until birth. And I'm not alone in the view that some (albeit not many) think that infanticide is also permissible. Peter Singer is a notable proponent of infanticide. Whether or not someone's specific pro-choice view is similar or not to infanticide depends entirely on what their view is. My argument here is that if your view is that abortion is OK right up until birth, it's very difficult to point to a reason why infanticide would not also be OK.

        Your (B) response was clever :-) but I think you know that I wasn't asking when the very first life began billions of years ago. Nor was I asking when the egg and sperm were alive. I am asking when does a new, distinct, whole, living human being come to be. In other words, when precisely did you start to live?

        And doesn't (C) confirm my point? If we really have no idea when human life begins - it's just a religious question with no scientific answer - how can you discount a pro-infanticide view as hyperbole? Indeed, how do we know that you or I are alive?

        •  I don't think you are a troll... (0+ / 0-)

          And, for the record, the reason I finally embraced the "pro-choice" position (We could debate how unhelpful the pro-choice/pro-life monikers are all day, but that's another topic.) is because I really do believe that every woman should choose for herself what happens with her body and the potential life she carries in it.  And, that means that I do respect your right to choose the "pro-life" perspective.  In fact, I, personally, am pro-life.  But, all that means is that when I became pregnant (surprise) this year (at 44), I was determined to nurture the life I had growing inside of me and protect it, despite my age and a health history that made pregnancy a dicey proposition.  My miscarriage left me devastated, but no less certain that every woman should have the right to make decisions about her own body for herself.

          With regard to when a woman should be able to terminate a pregnancy, I believe that women should be able to obtain abortions at any time before the fetus would be viable outside of the womb.  (That's just my personal belief.)  However, I believe a woman should absolutely have access to an abortion after that time for issues such as the health and safety of the mother or if some serious physical or developmental abnormality was discovered with the fetus.  These issues are between a woman and her healthcare providers.

          As far as your contention that I was "judging you for your beliefs", I guess I was.

          We don't know when life begins after all, and a newborn certainly has no conscious experience. Terminating a newborn would likely be far more humane for its sake 2 weeks after birth rather than 2 weeks before birth.
          I was hoping you didn't mean that...
          •  I want to thank you... (0+ / 0-)

            ..for your thoughtful and considerate response. It was brave of you to share your story, and I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. My heart goes out to you. I'm interested in hearing more of your view. If you want to continue to discuss, please send me a message :-)

            If anyone is still reading this thread, I would like to propose this question. Suppose some influential person came along and advanced the view that left-handed people are not really people at all, and the rights and desires of right-handed people always took precedence over the lefty non-people. I suspect that person's view would come under some heavy criticism. I would be critical of such a view, but who am I to say they are wrong? Or, perhaps it would be reasonable for me to judge their view (if I do so appropriately and with civility) by arguing carefully against it, demonstrating that the accidental difference between left-handed people and right-handed people is not a morally relevant distinction on which to base their right to life. But let's say the righties-are-better view gained momentum, and in response, those who defend equal rights between all humans sought to advance legislation to protect the rights of lefties by banning oppression of people based on the relative strength of each of their hands. When I vote for such legislation, whether I vote for or against, am I not attempting to push my ideas onto others by the very act of voting? If I truly thought that my position on equal rights between lefties and righties was just a personal opinion that neither the government nor I should push onto others, it seems I would have to decline to vote or even discuss the matter with others if I am to avoid pushing my ideas or my sense of morality.

            Whether a pro-choice position or a pro-life position is ultimately correct, I am certain that the debate will one day be resolved, just like the debate over slavery has been resolved (though tragically we still see its effects, I'm just saying that practically no one in the field of philosophy or in the public sphere is defending slavery). But the present debate over the permissibility of abortion will only be resolved once we carefully analyze from where human rights arise in the first place, and what it is that dies in an abortion. Whether pro-choice or pro-life, this is where the discussion needs to focus in order to resolve the debate.

            •  I think the problem is... (0+ / 0-)

              When it comes to the subject of the unborn, you consider their rights, beginning (I am guessing) at conception...  Is it not equally important to consider the human rights of the women who carry the unborn?

              •  Human rights and equality (0+ / 0-)

                You said it right - it is equally important to consider the rights of all parties involved. If we have determined that the unborn have rights, then the rights of both the unborn and the woman who carries it must be considered. It is not always wrong to take the life of another person, but it requires adequate justification. Considering the unborn, if indeed they have rights, then it would be impermissible to kill the unborn without the kind of justification that you would need to kill a 2-year-old, for example. If the unborn do not have rights, then abortion requires no moral justification at all - you really don't need a reason.

                It's generally held that everyone in our society is equal. Though there are many differences between us: Some are taller, some are richer, some are smarter, some are this or that race, religion, gender, some are healthier, some are more able, some are older, some are prettier - yet we hold that we are all created equal. On what do we base our egalitarian principles on? It's not good enough to presuppose that we are all equal, we need to ground this important idea in something more secure than presupposition. Surely there must be something about all of us that we share in common, something that each of us have equally, by which we claim we are all equal. Anyone have thoughts on what this might be?

                •  But, a fetus is not self-sustaining... (0+ / 0-)

                  What happens when carrying a fetus to term poses a threat to the health or life of the mother?  

                  What about a mentally ill drug addict who become pregnant with her fifth child?  What if she knows there is no way she can care for that child, let alone support it?  

                  What about the college student who is raped and becomes pregnant?  Should she carry a rapists baby?  Risk her scholarship?

                  What about the single mother who is told that her son will be born severely brain damaged, with half of his brain missing, unable to walk, feed himself, develop beyond that of a two year old?

                  I have known women in each of these positions...  I won't say what they chose.  That was their business.  I'll just say I'm glad they had the right to choose, and that I don't think anyone else should have had the right to choose for them...

                  •  Fork in the road (0+ / 0-)

                    The women you describe have faced monumental struggles. It's impossible to imagine the pain they must feel. I know that tragedies like these are all too common. The heaviness of these real-life stories warrants careful consideration. I won't be handing out neat little answers to each of these today. We should explore each in turn and give it the attention it deserves.

                    Before any of these situations can be assessed, we have to decide whether we will discuss them presupposing that the unborn in each case are persons with a right to life, or non-persons/potential-persons who are human but do not have a right to life. Persons have value and rights, non-persons do not. My answers to your questions are only easy if I presuppose the unborn are not persons. I mentioned before that if the unborn do not have rights, you really don't need to justify an abortion. Using abortion as the sole method of birth control would be entirely acceptable if the unborn are not persons (speaking only of the morality of killing the unborn - there may be other reasons why abortion as birth control would be unwise). If the unborn are not persons, then have the abortion, quickly and with no questions asked, and the government should help pay for it.

                    So far, I've advanced and somewhat defended an argument for infanticide, though I admit my intent was to attack the common rhetoric that blocks good discussion over these matters. The only pro-choice view that I have critiqued here is that of birth as an appropriate marker for the right to life. So far, I've left all other explanations for when human rights arise on the table. I haven't made a case for when personhood begins and human rights arise (other than one supporting infanticide). Because of this, if I am to properly consider your questions, we'd have to presuppose that the unborn have a right to life in each case (if we presuppose the opposite, the answer is trivial).

                    So how should we proceed? I'm not sure what's more useful. I know your questions are very important and I won't dodge them. But are we getting ahead of ourselves discussing these sensitive scenarios while presupposing the most critical piece? What do you think, should we talk more about when personhood and the right to life begins, or should we address your questions with the presupposition that the unborn in each case is not merely a potential life but a real person with a right to life?

  •  This has already been settled. Oh I forgot our ... (0+ / 0-)

    This has already been settled. Oh I forgot our country went to shit.

  •  It's a Simple Question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Exactly when in a pregnancy do you think abortion should be banned?
    It deserves a simple answer:
    I don't, because it's not my decision to make.
    Or yours.
  •  Even better: ask whether every guy who has casu... (0+ / 0-)

    Even better: ask whether every guy who has casual sex can afford to pay child support -- one thing a lot of the anti-abortionistas don't get is that having sex is not the same thing as committing to parenthood. If parenthood were so great we wouldn't have to have sex to trick us into it.

  •  Where is our side? (0+ / 0-)

    What I want to know is why isn't our side more vocal in attacking pro life nonsense?  We defend our own position, but never go on the offensive.  Is this an agreed upon policy on the part of NOW, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, etc?  For myself I'd have at them, especially in taking apart their crazy rhetoric about the fetus being a person.

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