20 Arguments Against Abortion, Rebutted (3 of 4)

This is part 3 of a series of posts exploring pro-life arguments. Read Part 1 here.

11. But a fetus has a soul!

Does it? If the zygote has a soul and then it splits into twins, does each twin have half a soul or do they get another one as needed or did they get two to begin with? What happens if one of those twins is later absorbed? What about conjoined twins—do they share a single soul like a shared body part? What about babies with terrible birth defects that leave them with very little brain function? What about a person cloned from a skin cell—would they have a soul? And if the story for the soul has a happy ending for the 50% of pregnancies that end in spontaneous (natural) abortion, why not for an artificial abortion?

This mess vanishes if we don’t insist on a soul. As Daniel Dennett said, “What isn’t there doesn’t have to be explained.”

12. “Abortion is much more serious than killing an adult. An adult may or may not be an innocent, but an unborn child is most definitely innocent.”

These are the words of an archbishop from Brazil. He was outraged at the abortion done on a nine-year-old girl, raped and impregnated by her stepfather. In response to the abortion, the church excommunicated the family of the girl and the doctors who performed the abortion.

Wow. Let’s leave this example of how religion makes you do crazy things and focus on the claim. First, a fetus is not a child. Second, the spectrum argument defeats this claim.

Variations on this argument are popular, and they all have pretty much the same response. Here are a few.

12a. Abortion kills a human life (at the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy) to help with another human’s self-actualization (higher on the hierarchy). That’s the opposite of the way it’s supposed to work.

The two “human lives” are not comparable. This ignores the spectrum of development from single cell to trillion-cell newborn.

Killing a blastocyst with fewer cells than the brain of the fly troubles me less than killing a civilian in another country due to war or killing a criminal on death row.

12b. Don’t we normally go out of our way to defend the defenseless?

Again, this ignores the spectrum. Defenseless people are more important than defenseless cells.

12c. Haven’t we been through this with racial minorities? Declaring that single cells aren’t human is like declaring that African-Americans aren’t human.

Nice try. Spectrum argument.

12d. In response to your abortion clinic example: you argue that, if given a choice between saving a child and ten frozen embryos, you’d save the child. Okay, and if given the choice between your wife and a stranger, you’d save your wife, but that doesn’t mean that you can kill strangers.

Spectrum argument.

13. Haven’t you heard of adoption? That’s the answer to an unplanned pregnancy.

No, it’s clearly not the answer. Two percent of all births to unmarried women in the U.S. are placed for adoption. “Just have the baby and release it for adoption” is a pat on the head. It might make you feel good, but it doesn’t work.

Adoption can also be psychologically difficult, both for mother and child.

14. You say that a trillion cells is definitely a person. Okay, how about a trillion minus one—is that a person? And if so, how about a trillion minus two? And so on.

This is the sorites paradox: if you can take a grain of sand from a heap and it’s still a heap, can you continue to do so and get a “heap” of one grain?

This same game could be played with the blue/green spectrum. If this color is “green,” what about just a touch more blue—isn’t that green as well? We still can’t get around the fact that the two ends of the spectrum are very different—green is not blue! Similarly, a single cell is not a newborn with arms, legs, brain, and so on.

15. The woman who got pregnant knew what she was doing. Let’s encourage people to take responsibility for their actions.

Did she know what she was doing? Not necessarily. Sex education is so poor in the United States that many teens become sexually mature without understanding what causes what.

But let’s assume that the woman knew what she was doing and was careless or stupid. What do we do with this? When someone shoots himself accidentally, that was stupid, but we all pay for the medical and insurance system that puts them back together. Let’s educate people, demand responsibility, and have a harm-reduction approach where we find the best resolution of problem. For a woman whose life would be overturned with a pregnancy, that resolution might be abortion.

Having sex with imperfect contraception is no more a willingness to accept pregnancy than eating a sandwich is a willingness to accept choking. When someone is choking, we do our best to take care of the problem; let’s continue to do the same for an unwanted pregnancy.

Continue to Part 4

The self-proclaimed “pro-life” crowd is entirely too obsessive
about the imaginary people they claim to be concerned about.
They need to calm down,
switch off their circuit diagrams,
get out of their blueprints,
sit in the shade of their acorns,
listen to the pleasant songs of the eggs,
and stop to smell the pollen.
— Richard Russell

(This is a modified version of a post originally published 1/27/12.)

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About Bob Seidensticker
  • M.S.

    I agree with you on point 13 that adoption is psychologically difficult, but it is any more psychologically difficult than an abortion?

    Neither adoption nor abortion are probably good options for the psychological state of the women facing those choices, in my opinion.

    • tyler

      it depends on the situation generally. i’m sure you’ve seen the statistics that show that people most often feel relieved after an abortion, but context is key. there exist people that are overwhelmingly positive about their abortion. there are those that regret it, though statistics tell us these people are in the minority. even then, correlation is not causation; many times abortion regret seems to stem from society’s highly negative view of the procedure and the people that get it. you know, the same effect that causes, say, gay people to have higher rates of depression than straight people: society says it’s wrong, therefore the victims believe they are inherently bad people.

      this of course is why anti-choicers often like to turn the debate toward abortion regret. it is socially acceptable to say you would never get an abortion, to describe your experience with an unwanted pregnancy brought to term and then either kept or given up, etc. it is less acceptable, even outright discouraged, to describe one’s positive experience with an abortion. in spite of the odds being stacked in this way, more and more people are telling their stories about their situations and their abortions. it seems abortion anecdotes may very well outnumber adoption anecdotes very soon.

      • purr

        Adopted children are also erased, and told that they should be grateful that their mother chose/and/or was forced to give them life, and that some kind family chose to adopt them.

        • Kodie

          Adoption is not for the child, it’s for the adoptive parents. When a child is told or finds out they are adopted, and it’s explained to them as lovingly as possible why their birth mother didn’t keep them, imagine how hard it is to wrap your head around that. I work with kids, I don’t have any of my own, but I often sense that one of the things a child never is told is just how much they cost in time and money. They are not made to feel like another job. Their parents love them, care about/worry about their safety constantly, and spend time with them as if they are just plain glad to and not because they (also) have to, not to mention all the extra laundry and managing meals and running them to activities, etc.

          I don’t imagine adopted children to suffer generally any burden that their adoptive parents are doing them some grand favor, either. From the parents’ perspective, they have a child they love and want, who completes their picture of a family, but from the child’s perspective, without all the mature information about what having children costs practically, take it personally, and imagine there was some quality about themselves that their birth mother looked at them and knew they were bad/ugly/stupid or whatever. Nope, just expensive and needy, just like every other child.

          There is no explanation fair enough to give them the security that they need until they are old enough to understand, which, apparently, is sometime after the age of majority. I do not think a pregnancy should continue as some favor to the child, to give it to some family that can offer it more. I mean, it is up to the pregnant woman, but it doesn’t seem to be rational to go through pregnancy just to give the best possible life to your child. It’s for the waiting adoptive parents. I get why people prefer infants. It is your own blank slate with no baggage, no memories, no name, the same race, and you don’t miss any milestones. In effect, to present a sham. It’s as close to having your own baby as you get.

          It is a practical solution that I call Abortion Plan Z. It is too late to turn the car around, and you practically cannot keep your baby. Bob refers to statistics that most women who continue their pregnancy keep their baby, because why should they have to give up their own baby? Only because they can’t afford it? Only because she can’t give it the best? I don’t know a lot of women who have children who could easily give away a member of their family, no matter what. It is really no wonder to me that few do, and yet, many who do, suffer over it. Many who do are lured into crisis pregnancy centers who persuade them not to have abortions they practically need but really don’t want and plant the idea that they will be helped all through. After they fall in love with the idea, their hopes for the future are torn away from them and made to cruelly face a bleak future that was always there.

          Not given much of a choice at that point! Why should anyone feel good about it? It’s an empty platitude. These zygotes are really just pawns of vanity. They may be given a home, but it’s not for them.

        • M.S.

          When you say “why should anyone feel good about it?”, do you mean about adoption? Or did you mean something else?
          You raise very valid points and I would not deny that adoption could be extremely difficult for all parties involved, but I don’t think it is impossible for a happy ending to exist in an adoptive situation.
          I know several adults who were adopted as children who are healthy, happy, whole people. They are not some broken fragments because their birth parents (for whatever reason) chose not to parent them.

        • purr

          You could be kidnapped by an evil psycho and get your arms and legs sawed off, and then meet the love of your life, the sexy detective who rescues you.

          And you would have a happy ending.

          Still doesn’t mean that getting your legs sawed off was a good thing.

        • Kodie

          I am hopeful that the effects are not long-lasting once a child can be made to understand why a decision was made and circumstances came to be as they were. I grew up with a friend who was adopted by her step-father. Her mother was Vietnamese and her biological father was an anonymous American soldier, and she fantasized well into her teens (around the time we grew apart and didn’t hang out as often) that her father was a wealthy something-or-other who would one day rescue her to go live in a mansion and live as a princess.

          Her step-father was damn nice too. I’m pretty sure she got over it, even though her mother abused her when she was very young in retaliation or resentment for being abandoned with a child. I think once her mother got her own situation in check, she wasn’t taking it out on my friend anymore. How many single mothers with a child in a dire situation are going to find stability and quickly put the terrible past behind them? I wouldn’t say my friend was lucky to be born, so much as lucky that after she was born, an opportunity presented itself to keep her from really having a much worse life. But she felt cast off and unwanted anyway, for a long time, especially after her mother and stepfather had two more children, none of which was her fault and nothing they should have avoided doing just for her psychological well-being. They do have prerogatives.

          I just think doing “what’s best for the child” by keeping it alive can be a lot of hell and insecurity for them. Not every damaged child grows up into a damaged and broken adult, but that’s no excuse for damaging them, since they may be ok after all. It is difficult to have to explain very adult circumstances to a child, so I don’t imagine most get into the finer details, leaving a child to imagine what they’re not being told.

          And it’s not like, you know, adoptees and birth mothers don’t seek reunion because they’re all perfectly fine and get on ok with their separate lives.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          There can be good and bad with all the various alternatives.

          My conclusion: let’s not be busybodies. Give the involved parties sufficient education and don’t stand in their way. Don’t pretend that any of us know what’s best so that we impose a path on them.

        • Kodie

          I’m not saying I know what the best choice for any individual is. What I’m against is myths. The myth that abortion is a terrible and regrettable decision and adoption is noble and awesome and something you should consider doing for your child. People are allowed to and should consider their options and how they really feel about them, not how they’re supposed to feel about them.

        • Kodie

          When you say “why should anyone feel good about it?”, do you mean about adoption? Or did you mean something else?

          I am sorry I forgot to go over this.

          I mean people who are coerced to continue pregnancy in order to provide an infant for a waiting adoptive couple; who are coerced to consider adoption (noble sacrifice) over abortion (monstrous, unthinkable). How can someone be convinced that giving away their own child because they are themselves a failure for not being able to or want to care for it is great, and they should martyr themselves to serve someone else’s goals? Women who are constantly being told that they are making the loving choice for their child over the convenience of terminating? And they have to keep a brave face and stick to the plan, even when it’s not what they would rather do, go through pregnancy and birth and then never see their own child again.

          I do not mean people who, as happily as they can, make that decision for themselves.

          Abortion does not have to be the difficult decision people are always trying to make it. Regret may come from a feeling of not meeting the criteria of a mother, and a sentimental fiction is involved that one should regret for the rest of their lives that they murdered anyone. Adoption is not always the better thing to do. Adoption comes with similar regrets, compounded with literally giving your own child to someone else, and then being sold a lot of bullshit that it is way better. Sometimes, it’s just the only practical solution left, and deciding a lot sooner and avoiding traps of guilt and potential remorse would be better.

          I am not saying abortion is a light decision, just that, given all the choices there are, it doesn’t have to not be. It doesn’t have to be the end of the world. It doesn’t have to be painted as something someone will regret for the rest of their lives, while adoption is painted as making a noble and beautiful sacrifice for your child and a waiting, loving family, so how dare anyone think otherwise and go ahead with abortion.

          To me, an early abortion should be on par with using birth control. You don’t want to be pregnant, so don’t be. Never think of it again if you don’t want to, and get on with your life. The longer you deliberate and get into your mind that it’s the most regrettable choice, guess what? Self-fulfilled prophecy. Back yourself into a corner where it is no longer a safe, clean, or unemotional option, and you must carry on. You either keep a child you can’t keep or you give it away and you’re supposed to feel awesome about it.

          Why?

    • Niemand

      Most studies of the psychological effects of abortion demonstrate that woman who have abortions feel relief, sadness, and sometimes regret, but generally the overwhelming feeling is relief. Depression and anxiety are essentially unchanged from pre-pregnancy. There is not a lot of data on adoption, but what there is demonstrates a long term profound depression and often increased risk of physical illness after relinquishing a child for adoption.

      So on average, yes, adoption is vastly more psychologically difficult. Not in every last case, of course, but for most women abortion is far safer physically and psychologically.

    • RichardSRussell

      In your opinion. But what about the opinion of the one person who’s directly involved in the matter? Are you contending we should simply ignore it and impose your preferences on her?

    • UWIR

      If we are deciding whether a pregnant woman is to have an abortion or an adoption, that would be a good point. On the other hand, if we are dealing with a woman with a mind of her own, who has decided for herself which option to pursue, and presumably has done so on the basis of a non-trivial amount of knowledge as to how difficult those two options would be, and we are trying to explain to her why she is making the wrong decision, not so much.

      • M.S.

        I guess my only point was I don’t think arguing that adoption is not a good option due to the psychological impact ignores that there is a risk of psychological impact associated with abortion as well.

  • Cafeeine

    On 15. I would also add the point that the pro-life advocate needs to show how going through with an abortion ISN’T the responsible thing to do. This seems to be taken as given, which it isn’t.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Good point. Let’s figure out the null hypothesis (which might be: “if you have an unwanted pregnancy, become unpregnant”).

      “Preserve all life at all costs” is not a realistic null hypothesis.

  • Y. A. Warren

    When we stop concentrating on a single cell or a single soul, and see all of The Sacred Spirit of life as a whole, we will realize that all of life is a spectrum that, without Sacred Spirit-to-Sacred Spirit bonding, even before birth, we are all simply animals that walk upright.

    • Pattrsn

      Thanks for the gibberish.

      • Y. A. Warren

        Gibberish to one is enlightenment for another.

        • Pattrsn

          You could probably do with setting your standards for enlightenment a little higher.

        • Y. A. Warren

          Does the term “open minded” serve you a bit better?

        • Armanatar

          It’s less terminology and more clarity of phrasing. The view you’re trying to express is either not well-defined in and of itself or is not clearly articulated in such a way as to allow others to understand it easily. When I read what you wrote, I can neither agree nor disagree with your point because your phrasing is so convoluted and vague that I have very little idea of what your point is.

        • Y. A. Warren

          When we stop concentrating on a single cell or a single soul (spiritual/non reason self), and see all of The Sacred Spirit (that special something in humans that less evolved forms of life don’t seem to have) as a whole, we will realize that all of life is a spectrum that, without Sacred Spirit-to-Sacred Spirit (personal, intimate, compassionate, one-to-one) bonding, even before birth, we are all simply animals that walk upright.

        • Kodie

          Other animals aren’t less evolved. Every animal has something special of itself that it likes to see preserved.

        • Alex Harman

          Having an open mind is one thing; not having any mental filters to keep out nonsense is something else entirely.

        • Y. A. Warren

          Does cosmology seem like nonsense to you?

        • Alex Harman

          Which cosmology? “Big Bang” cosmology seems like the best explanation available for the red-shift that increases in proportion to distance and indicates that the universe is expanding, the essentially uniform cosmic microwave background radiation that can be detected emanating from every part of the sky where no star or galaxy is in the way, and the relative abundances of hydrogen, deuterium, helium-4, helium-3, and lithium-7 in the universe.

        • Y. A. Warren

          Finally a common language. I believe that all energy on earth comes from the “Big Bang” I believe the energy manifests in many ways on earth, and that it continues to change physical manifestations as long as it doesn’t get destroyed or disappear into a black hole.

          I believe that homo sapiens, for the most part, have some control over how they guide the energy that infuses their bodies. I choose, in order to be able to fit this into a spiritual (as opposed to religious) discussion forum, choose to believe that we can guide our energy toward negative or positive metamorphosis and reproduction.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You choose to believe this or that? OK, but you can appreciate, I’m sure, that this is no evidence to encourage anyone else to come to your position.

        • Y. A. Warren

          Yes, but we all decide what we want to believe. Even in science there are many prevailing theories that are accepted as immutable evidence of THE TRUTH, but in reality, the facts are only what we can know at at this time, given certain sets of parameters.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Well, yeah, but I’m having a hard time with the leprechaun thing. I decided to believe “leprechauns exist,” but people keep laughing at me.

          So much for inventing my own reality. Dang.

        • Y. A. Warren

          I don’t care whether we call our spiritual selves energy or The Spirit. There are many things that we can’t see, but we know they exist; therefore we believe in them. I can’t see wind, but I believe in the energy that creates the wind and the physical manifestations of this energy.

          I am simply trying to be flexible with the language so that we can converse with a larger segment of the spiritually inclined. Patheos is a spiritual belief comparison sight, is it not?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You don’t see wind, but you feel it. It’s not much of a leap into the unknown to declare that wind exists. We don’t even need instruments to figure that one out.

          Let’s follow the evidence. Why, aside from wishful thinking, should we imagine the Spirit or the Force or the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

          I have no problem with your talking about pretty much whatever you think is relevant to the conversation. Lots of people make unsubstantiated claims that they have no interest in substantiating. I’m simply prodding you to
          provide evidence for your supernatural views, if you have any you’d like to offer.

        • Y. A. Warren

          We don’t see emotion, but many humans feel it. Instruments are beginning to prove the existence of the effects of stimulus on what we call emotion. I don’t proclaim that there is a “supernatural.” What I proclaim is that we aren’t sophisticated enough, at this point in our evolution (history) to find empirical proof of everything in the universe. In order to have conversations as information changes, we must come to share working vocabulary terms.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          We all agree that emotion exists. We all agree that abstract concepts like courage or happiness or purple exist. And it sounds like we also agree that we don’t know that there is or isn’t a supernatural.

          I see no reason to even speculate that there is. When there’s evidence of leprechauns, I’ll worry about leprechauns. Until then, there’s no reason for them to consume any of my bandwidth (except as a silly example in situations like this).

          Aren’t you worried that wishful thinking is getting the better of you?

        • Y. A. Warren

          I am attempting to find a common language with those who continue to harm all on earth with their religious beliefs.

        • Alex Harman

          The kind of people who continue to harm all on Earth with their religious beliefs generally regard the kind of airy, pantheistic spirituality you’re expressing as a subset of witchcraft and devil worship; you’re not going to find common ground with them that way.

        • Kodie

          There is no empirical proof* that we share working vocabulary terms.

          *For instance, evidence.

        • Y. A. Warren

          The interest I have in internet-based discussions is that they open more doors for brainstorming with people of varying experience and opinions. I am hoping that we can find some common ground in arriving at common definitions.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          As for science, not even the scientists accept their theories as any more than a good, provisional description of the truth.

        • Alex Harman

          No, sorry, it looks like a common language because we’re using some of the same words, but they don’t mean the same thing when you use them and when I do. You’re using the word “energy” in the sense that promoters of woo use it, not in the sense that physicists do. All energy and matter in the universe, including Earth, does indeed derive from the Big Bang (assuming the Big Bang model of cosmology is correct, which all available evidence suggests that it is), but energy cannot be destroyed — that’s the First Law of Thermodynamics, and if you’re not aware of it you must have very little knowledge or understanding of physics.

          Talk of energy “manifesting” and “changing physical manifestations” is pretty meaningless. Energy may be stored as potential energy without changing at all for millions of years, as in the case of fossil fuels, or it can be diffused through matter, as in the case of all the thermal energy that gives the matter that makes up the Earth (and everything else in the universe) a temperature greater than absolute zero; neither of those very prevalent forms of energy “constantly changes physical manifestations.”

          Saying humans have some control over the energy that “infuses their bodies” is trivial — everything we do involves converting potential energy, in the form of the various covalent bonds that hold the atoms of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, and nucleotide phophates together, into kinetic energy, in the form of nerve impulses and muscle contractions.

          Finally, I do not “choose to believe” anything — my beliefs are built upon evidence, not desire. When you talk about “choosing to believe,” I think you’re really talking about belief in belief, rather than belief (i.e. the state of being convinced of something) itself.

        • purr

          In YA Warren’s defense, xe did say: “we are all simply animals that walk upright”

          And that is pretty enlightened, imo. Even if you disagree with the spiritual bits:)

        • smrnda

          We are bipeds without feathers, according to Plato.

  • wlad

    You continue to refer to the spectrum argument–pt 12c twice

    As soon as the world heard of the news that Princess Kate was pregnant, the world’s
    press, TV, radio, digital media began speaking in excited and reverential tones about Kate’s baby–not about a clump of cells. People began betting on names if it was a girl or boy. Throughout the ENTIRE pregnancy not a single story as far as I could see referred to Kate’s FETUS. Photographers waited anxiously to be the first to photograph the moment when the pregnancy would show (usually between 12 and 16 weeks after conception. Finally, Kate begins to show. News agencies throughout the world showed Kate’s BABY bump! And kept track of the growth of the baby bump. Not Once did any news mention fetus bump.

    Almost almost everyday the media shows photographs of actresses’ and famous women’s baby bumps–Kim Kardashian, Kate Winslett, Jessica Simpson, Halle Berry etc.
    Not one ever mentioned FETUS bumps.

    Don’t all these media know science–those aren’t baby bumps, they’re fetus bumps, right?
    They wouldn’t dare call it a fetus bump, even if it is the totally politically correct thing to do so. They’re readers would rebel with horror. Princess Kate’s fetus bump?
    No way!

    In their hearts, they recognize the truth of what is taking place. And if you said to the media–hey guys, you don’t understand the abortion spectrum argument–no way is the 12-16 week old fetus a REAL baby, and so please call it a fetus bump, would they stop? In their hearts, the media and the readers know.

    bumps.

    • Pattrsn

      Is this a warning as to the idiotic conclusions resulting from the puerile and grotesque obsession that popular culture has with the bodies of female celebrities?

    • purr

      Well duh.

      People are going to project their hopes and dreams onto her zygote and pretend it’s already a little prince wearing a crown.

    • Alex Harman

      A wanted pregnancy will, unless something goes horribly wrong for the expectant mother, result in a baby after about nine months. Thus, in news stories about a celebrity’s wanted pregnancy, it is appropriate to talk about the baby she is going to have and speculate about the name she will give to that baby. The bump indicates that a baby will exist in the near future, hence “baby bump” is a reasonable thing to call it. That in no way means that what’s inside the woman’s body forming that bump has any of the defining characteristics of a baby now.

      • wlad

        I see,
        Look, you and I know that no PROGRESSIVE media would dare call it a fetus bump, even if they fervently believed it. There would be riot in England, at least a terrific outcry.

        Some very committed feminists on a pro-abortion site complained how they “hated” the term baby bump. At least they were not afraid to call it as they saw it.

        Feminists, fem up, call all the media and tell them it’s only a fetus bump.

        Want it–baby–don’t dare kill it–murder. Don’t want it–OK to kill it–not murder.

        • smrnda

          You don’t give the English much credit. They’d riot over a tabloid calling the bump a ‘fetus bump?’ Are the English really so prone to rioting? I hear the cops in the UK are often not even armed.

          There are people who won’t say bad thing about Mohammad or Islam because people might riot. That doesn’t make them right, just makes them prone to violence.

        • KarlUdy

          It doesn’t take that much to get the English rioting. There was a spate of riots across England a couple of years. It appears that all it took to get some people rioting was a chance to get new sneakers for free.

        • smrnda

          I thought that was a result of various austerity policies and inequality?

        • KarlUdy

          I’m talking about the riots in August, which had nothing to do with the protests in March and June.

        • Alex Harman

          Isn’t there a segment of the British public that tends to riot whenever their favored team loses a soccer match?

        • smrnda

          Makes me think of the film “The Firm” about upper-middle class football hooligans during the Thatcher era.

        • Kodie

          It’s still just a projection. Feticide is a crime (legal abortions are exempt) in many states, and it still varies by state when an assault on a pregnant woman also includes feticide. Miscarriages are sad for people who wanted to have a baby, but it is still a projection and not a child. Wanting something puts it in a different perspective, no doubt, but it is not the only correct reaction to finding out you are pregnant.

          —————–edited to add:
          ANSWER THIS WLAD.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’ve seen several cartoons like the one below. “Obama isn’t pro-choice, he’s pro-abortion!!” And so on.

          What idiot thinks this? Obama has no interest in killing fetuses when the mothers don’t want that. And the same is true in this case. Wlad, you imagine that there’s a group of people so anti- something that they’ll demand that a mother-to-be never use the word “baby”?

          I don’t think they hang out here.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Let me check in with you on one issue. I’m assuming you’re consistently pro-life and that you support the new Affordable Care Act so that the disadvantaged women who do choose to keep their babies will have a decent, healthy environment in which to raise those kids.

          I’m right on this, aren’t I?

        • Alex Harman

          Nope, not murder even if it is wanted — not even in the Bible (Exodus 21:22), not that that should matter to the way laws are written in a non-theocratic nation. The destruction of a wanted fetus is a crime against the expectant mother — an aggravating factor in the charge of assault against her, or a separate crime of feticide in some jurisdictions.

          The kind of media outlets that use phrases like “baby bump” aren’t progressive or conservative, just sensationalistic and profit-oriented; “fetus bump” doesn’t sound good, and wouldn’t help them sell more magazines, so they wouldn’t adopt it even if it occurred to them.

          Try to wrap your tiny, calcified little mind around this concept: the lives of the potential people who do not exist because the pregnancies that would have produced them were aborted are exactly as valuable as the lives of the potential people who do not exist because the zygotes that would have developed into them were among the 60+% of zygotes that fail to implant, which are exactly as valuable as the lives of the potential people who do not exist because contraception was in use during the acts of sexual intercourse that would otherwise have resulted in their conception, which are exactly as valuable as the lives of the potential people who do not exist because the couples who would have been their parents didn’t have sex on the date the sperm and eggs that would have produced them were in place to do so, which are exactly as valuable as the lives of the potential people who do not exist because their potential parents never even met in the first place. All of which is to say that NONE of the practically infinite number of lives of potential people who were never born, regardless of the reason why, carry any moral weight whatsoever, because it isn’t our potential that gives our lives value. It’s our self-awareness, our thoughts, our feelings, our hopes, and, above all, our relationships with other people, who suffer when we die, that give our lives value and meaning.

          So can a potential life ever have value? Yes: when the woman inside whose body it must develop values it. A wanted pregnancy is a thing of value to the expectant mother, and we should rightly protect it, and mourn its loss if it ends in miscarriage or medically necessary abortion, for her sake, not the potential baby’s. Note that this right to assign value to a pregnancy does not extend to the father unless granted to him by the mother: the act of ejaculating inside a woman’s vagina does not give a man any right whatsoever to use her uterus as an incubator of his potential offspring, regardless of whether the sex act was consensual or not.

          The same concept of ownership rights, and lack thereof, also applies to the question of parental consent. This seems to be a difficult concept for conservatives to grasp, so I’m going to put it very bluntly and, metaphorically at least, shout it at the top of my lungs: A DAUGHTER IS NOT LIVESTOCK AND HER PARENTS DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO BREED HER. We, unlike certain other, less civilized cultures of the present and past, recognize that a minor girl’s parents do not have the right to consent to sex on her behalf; we do not allow parents to sell their daughters into prostitution or give them away in marriages not of their choosing, and if they do so we prosecute the buyer/”husband” for rape, and the parents as accessories to rape. We need to recognize that pregnancy and childbirth equally require the consent of the woman or girl in whose body they take place, and that parents have no more right to consent for their daughters to those dimensions of sex than they do to consent to the act of intercourse.

          “But what if [insert your favorite historical hero here] had been aborted?” Then that person would never have lived, and we wouldn’t know to miss him or her. Very few of humanity’s great achievements were truly dependent on the personality of one particular individual, though. If Mohandas Gandhi, to give a popular example, had never existed, there would still have been an Indian independence movement; it just would have had a different leader. It’s highly likely that the combination of Indian culture and the British desire to see themselves as civilized would even have led to the same successful use of nonviolent, passive resistance tactics, too. If any one of the great scientists and inventors we rightly revere had never been born, somebody else would have discovered or invented the same things they did at around the same time, because the physical laws that make those achievements possible would be no different.

          On the other hand, abortion opponents never seem to consider the flip side of that: some of the very worst things people have done were the product of a unique personality, and those personalities are disproportionately likely to come from circumstances where abortion would have been a likely outcome. If Ted Bundy’s unwed young mother had terminated her pregnancy, it’s fantastically unlikely that someone else would have raped and murdered his victims; tragically, she “chose life,” or, more likely, had it chosen for her by her deeply religious, brutally abusive father and the fact that in 1946 abortion was not easily available in the U.S.

        • Cafeeine

          “Look, you and I know that no PROGRESSIVE media would dare call it a fetus bump, even if they fervently believed it. ”

          You use “dare” as if its a taboo for people, rather than just something no one (liberal or progressive) in the media has thought about doing that you just made up. They Manufacturing a controversy is a bad way to make a point.

          The term “baby bump” is well understood and it tells us nothing as to the status of the thing inside it. You could read it as “the place a baby will eventually pop out of” if you want to be specific, but most people don’t give it much thought. Some people like it and some don’t, but sloppy language does not an argument make.

      • Alex Harman

        I should have added that an unwanted pregnancy will, unless something goes horribly wrong for the unwillingly pregnant woman, result in an abortion, not a baby. “Something going horribly wrong,” in this case, generally means she is in a situation where swine like wlad have the power to impose their rapist/slaver morality on her and coerce her into continuing the pregnancy.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      You continue to refer to the spectrum argument

      It’s my contribution to the discussion.

      speaking in excited and reverential tones about Kate’s baby–not about a clump of cells.

      If they want to speak reverently about her zygote/fetus/baby, terrific. It’s when that translates into laws that impose on others that we have a problem.

      Throughout the ENTIRE pregnancy not a single story as far as I could see referred to Kate’s FETUS.

      So what? They’re all on one side of the issue.

      In sharp contrast, imagine a 15yo girl. Not famous at all. Terrified after finding out that she’s pregnant. Suicidal, maybe. The entire life that she and her family have groomed her for is now on the line.

      I suspect that her different perspective will give her a different attitude toward the fetus.

      Not one ever mentioned FETUS bumps.

      There are two viewpoints. Really not that hard a concept.

      They wouldn’t dare call it a fetus bump, even if it is the totally politically correct thing to do so.

      Huh?? It’s not politically correct to call it a “fetus bump”; it’s moronic. If you want to call it a baby; fair enough. If you view this fetus as a potential burden that will derail your entire life; fair enough.

      Two viewpoints. Get it?

      • purr

        Poor wlad. He keeps trying to find new ‘slam-dunk’ arguments to prove that he is right.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And don’t forget his secret weapon: the ratchet goes in one direction only.

          He’s happy to accept you moving in his direction. But he enters the discussion knowing that nothing will change his mind.

        • wlad

          Bob, I don’t think you post any blog without being utterly convinced that anyone actually will change your mind.

        • Kodie

          Just because your arguments are really terrible is no reason to take your frustration out on Bob.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’m not following your point. Are you saying that I blog about stuff and never change my mind?

          Not so. I update my arguments a lot. Big changes are, admittedly, rare. But if someone points out an error, I correct it. I try to make an error no more than once. I don’t like being wrong, and once is enough.

          How about you? When you’re corrected, do you update your arguments so that they’re stronger and more coherent next time you make them? I think I’ve seen you admit a clumsily worded sentence, so good for you, but I don’t know that you’ve ever dropped an argument.

      • wlad

        “Two viewpoints. Get it?”

        The problem with your two viewpoints remark, is that BOTH sides–conservatives media who believes it is a baby, AND the progressive media that believes it is just a fetus– called it a baby bump.

        The progressives did not and would not ever call it a fetus bump, even if they fervently believed it. And never do– check the news on celebrity pregnancies. They know what people feel in their hearts, and wouldn’t dare call it a fetus bump.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Seriously? Is this really that hard?

          The pregnant celebrity who goes out in public wants the baby. From her standpoint, it’s a baby, so she’s showing a “baby bump.” The press calls it what she calls it. I am happy to call it what she calls it.

          What could your point possibly be? That we pro-choicers all secretly agree with you and see the zygote as a “baby” from Day 1? Why then would we be disagreeing so vehemently? Just because we don’t like you or something?

        • wlad

          No, just noting the hypocrisy of progressive media.

        • Kodie

          You mean the progressive media that constantly objectifies women because it sells eyeballs to advertisers? That hypocrisy?

          —————–edited to add:
          ANSWER THIS WLAD.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          What hypocrisy? It’s hypocrisy if they don’t contradict the term that the pregnant woman uses?

          You lose, once again. My advice: think before you type.

        • Armanatar

          It’s not two viewpoints on that one pregnancy, but a difference of viewpoints between different pregnancies. A celebrity mother-to-be excited over her future offspring will think of it as a baby even when it isn’t yet in any significant biological sense, and the conversation goes with that driving view. Bob’s alternative example girl doesn’t want a child, projects no future dreams onto it, viewing it in a much different light. The appropriate thing to do would then for others to treat it in the same light and not talk about it as a baby, but the pro-life crowd does just that, erasing the mother’s perspective and declaring it unimportant.

        • smrnda

          I’m not taking the terminology employed by ‘people magazine’ to be a meaningful comment on whether a fetus is baby or not.

          We don’t use the term ‘fetus bump’ because the term ‘baby bump’ probably predates accurate knowledge of biology.

        • wlad

          Search Results
          The term “baby bump” and What to Expect When You’re Expecting.
          http://www.slate.com/…/the_term_baby_bump_and_what_to_expect_…‎
          by Dvora Meyers – in 161 Google+ circlesMay 18, 2012 – Where Does the Term “Baby Bump” Come From? … pregnancy classic was first published in 1984, the term “baby bump” wasn’t yet in use.

        • Kodie

          You Have Reached a 404 Page

          Truncated link! You didn’t read the article, you copied and pasted the excerpt from your search engine results. I thought you got better about not doing that.

        • Kodie
        • Kodie

          It’s called a “baby bump” because it’s celebrity gossip. Is she getting fat? No, it’s a baby bump! It’s a clue, because reporters spy on celebrities and want to be up-to-the-minute in their lives.

          It is not a really big secret that the only culturally acceptable response to a pregnancy is joy and happiness. You act like you are surprised that the media would notice a celebrity was pregnant and don’t take bets on whether or not she’ll abort. As long as society treats abortion as a big taboo, our expectations will often be that it’s a “baby” because it’s wanted, and we never hear about the secretly obtained abortions. Why do you think gossip shows and magazines are a science documentary only using accurate terms? They fucking love puns and alliteration, or have you been hiding under a rock your whole life?

          —————–edited to add:
          ANSWER THIS WLAD.

    • RichardSRussell

      Is this supposed to be a serious argument? You really want to base public policy on the choices of headline wording made by the National Enquirer and People magazine?

      • purr

        Richard, the least you could do is humour him. He’s trying. Really really trying.

        Why won’t anyone ever give wlad a break?

        You know what? For his bday we should all pretend that he has convinced us that he is right and we are wrong.

    • Kodie

      You take things too literally. You really think people calling something a “baby bump” in the colloquial ascertains its biological and legal status? We should ignore science and use slang to determine what something is?

      You are just getting stupider.

      —————–edited to add:
      ANSWER THIS WLAD.

    • Alex Harman

      “Don’t all these media know science?”

      The celebrity gossip media? No. No, they don’t. Most of them are as ignorant as you are, if not more so (if that’s possible).

  • JohnH2

    Given 11 and 12 then one could argue that Abortion doctors are better at working salvation then pretty much any missionary ever (assuming that God saves innocent souls), even if they themselves would be damned under that view.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      An interesting point, thanks. Are you pro-choice?

      • JohnH2

        No, but I am not Catholic and have not adopted their view of the subject.

        I don’t believe that a fertilized egg is a soul and am fine with contraception (including plan B). Of preference, I would rather give anyone who suspects that they may have faulty birth control, or have been raped, or incest or whatever abortifacients at the stage where they do not know if they are in fact pregnant, and as early as possible otherwise. Obviously, in many cases that will not happen and so I am okay with abortion in cases of rape and incest, and obviously in cases where the life of the mother is at risk, even when the baby is not. So I am fine with some miniscule amount of actual procedural abortions.

        I am not at all fine with any abortion past week 20, except to save the life of the mother. At that point I feel your spectrum argument fails. It may end up failing earlier than that, but that is the point where it fails given current medical technology. I would support legislation to ban abortion at 8 weeks.

        I am morally opposed to elective abortions, but am also morally opposed to fornication.

        • purr

          So it’s only murder if the fetus was created through consensual sex?

          lulz

        • purr

          I am not at all fine with any abortion past week 20, except to save the life of the mother

          And no baby at 20 weeks has ever been known to survive outside the womb.

        • JohnH2

          Past week 20, meaning 21 weeks and on.

        • purr

          21 weeks isn’t viability either.

          23 weeks is just on the very edge of viability.

          The majority of extreme neonates never develop properly and have severe physical and cognitive disabilities.

        • JohnH2

          21 week old babies have survived. http://healthland.time.com/2011/05/27/baby-born-at-21-weeks-survives-how-young-is-too-young-to-save/

          I realize that extreme neonates usually have problems throughout their life, that is morally irrelevant to the question of whether they deserve to live.

        • purr

          Yeah. I know that less than a handful have survived.

          It is extremely rare, however.

          And quality of life is more important than mere ‘life’.

          I think it would be cruel to bring a disabled child into the world.

        • JohnH2

          Some of the happiest people I know are severely disabled. I think it would be cruel to deny them the right to live.

          I have some mild disabilities, do I not deserve the right to live because of that?

        • purr

          Disability is not something to be taken lightly, and only the parents can make the decision.

          As far as I am concerned, creating a child knowing that it will suffer is to impose suffering and torture on a human being, and that’s cruel in my book.

        • JohnH2

          In life, everyone suffers.

        • purr

          Well, I guess that’s a great reason to impose more suffering.

          Excuse me while I go burn my cat with the hot poker I have next to the stove.

          Why give her a kiss when I can torture her? IN LIFE, EVERYONE SUFFERS, INCLUDING KITTIES.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          No reason to try to minimize that suffering? “Hey, life sucks, so let’s all just get used to it, people.” Is that it?

          Or would it make sense to take steps to find a less-sucky future?

        • JohnH2

          Obviously, one should try to minimize suffering within reason.

        • Kodie

          I think that’s what we’re talking about. Your determination of “reason” is different than mine is. When is it ok to terminate? Like, there is only so much you can find out is going wrong with a pregnancy earlier on that becomes more evident the farther along you are. If I understand you, since you are saying you are morally opposed to elective abortion, you would be morally opposed to electing to abort on the basis of learning the child will be plagued with some sort of disability. It was in the last post.

          Anyway, I think that abortion is a reasonable reaction to learning that your child will be born with a disability. I mean, the cliche of the birth narrative is the counting of fingers and toes. WTF. Sorry Ma’am. We can see on the ultrasound that your fetus has 4 fingers on one hand and seven on the other. Proceed or abort?

          It seems shallow because we still struggle to overcome ableism. It sounds horrific to think we’d round up all the disabled people and end their lives for their own good. And they’re so inspiring! They’re not even allowed to be grumpy, unless that’s part of their moxie and persistence.

          But how is this different than the triumphant story of the poor kid born in a cycle of poverty to a single mother in the slum? Just because you have no money, should you have a baby you can’t afford just to work yourself night and day on the optimistic hype that your child will have their own motivation to pull themselves out of poverty?

          I’m not saying people can’t do what they want to do with their own lives, but I am saying what’s wrong if some people don’t want to? Most people (?) have children, and most of them promote it as the greatest thing ever. They put down people who don’t have kids, don’t intend to have kids, or terminate an actual pregnancy, on the invalid premise that you should do something because they think you should. It’s my life, it’s your life, everyone can elect what they are prepared to deal with. It’s hard enough to deal with a healthy child when you have enough money and you signed up for it on purpose.

        • smrnda

          Here’s my take, as another disabled person.

          If parents find out that the fetus will develop into a disabled child, I’m not going to fault them one way or the other, either choosing to go forward with the pregnancy or deciding to terminate. Whether or not you can deal with a disability, and to what extend and how hard it will be, depends on the parents. It’s like deciding whether or not you can support another child.

          For parents with the resources to handle a disabled child who live in a place where adequate social services exist, it’s probably less of a hard call than parents with limited means who don’t see any outside supports they can rely on. To me, the whole thing is informed parents making informed choices.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          … and parents being enabled to make the choice they see fit. Chopping off options (“no abortion!”) isn’t helpful.

        • Kodie

          That’s a terrible argument.

        • JohnH2

          I was thinking of it as more of an observation then an argument.

        • Kodie

          Even if you know you’re going to have a healthy child, forcing something to live is not something people should take as lightly as I think they do. I am not even sure why we think life is all that great.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          With a time machine, your thought experiment makes sense. Given that we don’t have one, a mother-to-be is entitled to abort a fetus that would grow up to be a disabled adult. Let’s leave the decision to her.

          Yes, that disabled adult might be a happy person. No, that is no argument against abortion.

        • Kodie

          They can be happy, but they would also never know they weren’t born.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          At some point, you are imposing life on them. It’s a choice either way.

        • purr

          If you would not inject your newborn with a drug that caused cerebral palsy, then why the hell would you purposely CREATE a child that would suffer from the disease?

          Because that is essentially what you are doing. You are FORCING life and FORCING SUFFERING on that future person. And that’s just cruel in my book.

        • Alex Harman

          False. By the standard measure of weeks after the mother’s last menstrual period, which is what we’re talking about every other time we say “20 weeks,” “21 weeks,” etc., Frieda Mangold was born at 23 weeks. The “21 week” figure quoted is dated from the date of her actual conception, because, being the product of IVF, that date is actually known, as it generally isn’t for pregnancies conceived in vivo — but it’s normally about two weeks after the end of the mother’s last period.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I am not Catholic and have not adopted their view of the subject.

          Lots of Protestants are anti-choice, too.

          At [20 weeks] I feel your spectrum argument fails.

          “Fails” is not the right word. The argument simply says that there’s a spectrum of personhood. Beyond a certain point (20 weeks might be a decent candidate), society draws the line. No more abortions beyond this point. Or: the conditions are narrowed.

          That’s not a failure of the spectrum argument. The spectrum argument acknowledges that you will need to draw a line somewhere.

          I would support legislation to ban abortion at 8 weeks.

          Despite the fact that some women don’t even know that they’re pregnant at that time? Your view would make more sense after we had technology to give a much earlier warning than we have now.

          I am morally opposed to elective abortions, but am also morally opposed to fornication.

          A century ago, children became sexually mature at about the time they got married. Easy. Now, they are mature at 11 or 12, and they get married at 25. We’ve just invented a big, big disconnect with reality. Premarital sex doesn’t bother me.

        • wlad

          “That’s not a failure of the spectrum argument. The spectrum argument acknowledges that you will need to draw a line somewhere.”

          Then if your spectrum argument acknowledges that you will NEED to draw the line somewhere, tell us where the line for you is! Why do you refuse to tell us?

        • Kodie

          Bob doesn’t need to tell you when you can’t have an abortion anymore. Your line is conception, my line is not at conception, but I won’t draw the line for someone else and tell them when it’s too late to have an abortion. That’s the fucking point.

          —————–edited to add:
          ANSWER THIS WLAD.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          How many world problems must I solve? Though I’m flattered that you think every word of mine a pearl from heaven, I don’t have anything interesting to say.

          But I think I’ve already explained that.

          I get it. This is just misdirection because you’re stymied by the spectrum argument. Sorry–I have no sympathy. Get better arguments next time. Better: back the winning horse.

        • smrnda

          Just a question, would you support accurate sex education in schools to reduce the possibility of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies? I just meet lots of people who oppose *people having sex who aren’t married* but who feel entitled to deny information to kids since they might do something they don’t agree with. To me, that’s like refusing to teach a kid to read and write since they might read or write something you disagree with, but just wanted to ask.

        • JohnH2

          I think the information should be available in schools; but the primary responsibility on the subject should fall to the parents and parents should be able to say that kids should not be taught in class such things (though the kids should still be able to get that information at school through the guidance counselor or something similar without that being reported to the parents).

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Why the hesitation? It’s just facts. Here’s how your new adult body works, and here’s how to avoid bad stuff.

          It’s just like driver’s ed: here’s a car, which can do good stuff or kill you, and here’s how to use it properly.

          Anyone who doesn’t like abortion should be all over sex education, since that’s how we will reduce abortion.

        • smrnda

          I think schools should assume the worst about parental competence to teach kids, just to be safe. I mean, sex education probably has a bigger chance to affect a young person’s life, for good or ill, than most academic subjects.

          Also, if you think kids should still be able to get the information but just not in class, that seems kind of silly. Why is a guidance counselor somehow different from a normal teacher? I mean, I’d rather sex ed be handled by experts myself, but I don’t see a reason to make anyone jump through hoops. There’s also the problem that kids may not realize how badly informed they are and not realize they could benefit from new information.

          At least you agree that kids should be able to get info without it being reported to the parents.

        • Alex Harman

          If the parents prefer their children to be kept ignorant on the topic of sex, that’s prima facie evidence that they’re not competent.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          If your 16yo kid goes out to a party at which there may be alcohol served, a parent may make clear that the laws against underage drinking make sense, and so on and so on. However, the wise parent also adds, “I you’re ready to drive home and you’ve been drinking or if the driver of your car has been drinking, call me. Any time. I’ll come get you, no questions asked.”

          If a parent wants to caution against premarital sex, that’s fine, but the teenager must have a safe option in case Plan A doesn’t work out.

        • Ron

          “I am not at all fine with any abortion past week 20, except to save the life of the mother.”

          Less than 2% of all abortions in the US occur after the 20th week. The majority (92%) are performed prior to the 14th week. (Source)

          Given the increased health risks of having a late-term abortion, it’s extremely unlikely that too many women would choose to terminate their pregnancies at a late stage due to lifestyle considerations.

          And according to Wikipedia:

          – 36 states ban all late-term abortions except for physical risks to the woman’s life, physical health and mental health
          – 13 states ban all late-term abortions > 24 weeks
          – 10 of those 13 states require the approval of at least two doctors
          – 9 of those require two physicians in attendance during the abortion

    • smrnda

      I tend to bring this point up responding to William Lane Craig’s defense of killing kids in the Bible.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        WLC himself makes a big deal about children getting the express train to heaven. How he doesn’t then declare Andrea Yates a saint, I don’t know.

        • Kodie

          Wasn’t she going to kill herself? It is certainly misguided, but if you’re going to kill yourself and you have children, sparing them a lifetime of motherlessness is not altogether the most heartless intention ever.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I could be wrong, but no, I don’t think she was going to kill herself. Something about their growing up and possibly winding up in hell when they die vs. killing them today and sending them straight to heaven.

          Given the WLC thinking, it’s a no brainer. In fact, she’s a martyr. She gets public condemnation, but she’s guaranteed heaven for 5 children.

          And WLC can just blather on without a twinge of guilt. I don’t know why; he just does.

          Win-win, right?

  • Eli

    #13 and your response both ignore that fact that it may not be just an unwanted *child* but an unwanted *pregnancy* and all the psychological and physiological changes and stresses that go along with it. So infrequently do I hear this aspect brought up, as though women are assumed to just always be fine with what pregnancy does to you. Or maybe you’re going to address this in the next set.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Yes, the adoption route doesn’t end a pregnancy but relieves one of the burden of parenthood.

      If you think more needs to be said on this topic, go ahead. For this series, at least, that’s it for me on adoption.

  • smrnda

    My take on the issue… I’m pretty much concerned about the woman who is pregnant – I don’t think a woman should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term if she doesn’t want to since that seems kind of unreasonable. If the argument is ‘she had sex’ – well, if you want to reduce abortion, promote contraception, teach it in schools at a young enough age, make it available from vending machines, I’d be fine with paying women to use it except then I might be accused of advocating a policy just to get some $$$ for myself.

    The problem with the ‘have the baby’ argument is that it assumes that women can simply decide to want to have the baby and can magically acquire the means of supporting a baby. On the second, we’re definitely not doing that, and on the first, it pretty much assumes women can just be programed to want something different, problem solved.

    • purr

      The problem with ‘just have the baby’ is it assumes that the woman can afford all of the medical care and physical costs of the pregnancy.

      What if she is in bed with eclampsia for two months, loses her job, is now permanently disabled, has a million dollar hospital bill, loses her house because she lost the job, and is now homeless and disabled with a baby she can’t feed?

      http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/06/27/just-have-the-baby-a-new-mom-reveals-why-there-is-no-just-and-not-necessarily-any-justice-either/

      Good read. Pregnancy and birth is not all fairy farts and unicorns.

      • smrnda

        Wow, that’s a pretty bad scenario, though I’d imagine it could be even worse.

        All said, it’s odd how the allegedly ‘pro life’ faction is often aligned with people who show no concern to pregnant women (no support for maternal leave or requiring workplace accommodation) no concern for the disabled and no concern for kids once they’re born.

        • Alex Harman

          Heck, some of the pro-life faction thinks it’s okay for religious organizations to fire women for getting pregnant — or, as Slacktivist points out, for not having abortions, which would have prevented the asshole employers from ever finding out about the pregnancy. From the Slacktivist post:

          San Diego Christian College allegedly fired an employee for not getting an abortion.

          The school says its “community covenant” forbids employees from having extramarital sex, but the school also seems to want everyone to know it doesn’t actually care about that.

          See, what happened was an unmarried employee of San Diego Christian turned up pregnant, so they fired her, allegedly for violating the “community covenant.”

          But then they allegedly offered her old job to her fiancé – the expectant father-to-be.

          So if a woman has sex and gets pregnant, SDCC says she must be fired, because people can see that. But if a man has sex and gets his girlfriend pregnant, that’s fine, because penis.

          If this woman had gotten an abortion, she’d still have her job. That’s what San Diego Christian College apparently wanted her to do. That’s certainly the incentive they’ve built into their “community covenant.” And that incentive is doubly reinforced by the double-standard in how that “covenant” is enforced for women as opposed to for men.The lesson here is to be careful taking a job with those “pro-life” Christian types. They really mean it when they say they’re not pro-choice. They’ll fire you for choosing not to get an abortion.

        • smrnda

          ‘Covenants’ like this should be illegal. Outside of the fucking priest, pastor iman or rabbi, nobody should be forced to live according to a religion’s teaching just to keep a job. That’s like being on the clock 24-7.

    • Kodie

      I think it’s because of the relatively blasé and ordinary way pregnancy is treated in general. I mean, it gets people really happy and excited, like you’re doing something original, but that’s pretty much all the attention that’s served pregnancy. It’s just the greatest thing on earth, end of the story. I know pregnant women and women with children already belong to some secret sorority where they let down their hair and talk about the hemorrhoids and having to pee all the time, but since I have not gone through it, I have never ever heard that pregnancy is anything but a glorious and sacred status of being, and you glow! At the end, well, I’ve seen on sitcoms that there’s a lot of pushing and hate. They don’t suppress this (anymore, I guess) knowledge from the public at large. They don’t teach pregnancy in school, the doctor doesn’t tell you when you go for a check-up, you just never find out until it happens to you.

      All that’s supposed to happen is you decorate the nursery, pick out names, and get a little tiny baseball mitt from your cousin on the coast. At the end, you have a “bundle of joy”. And you’re a bad person if you don’t want one, don’t like them, or ever find fault with any child ever, and you’re not their parent. Children grow in the delusion that they’re awesome creatures of the planet. The world is not allowed to discuss any sensitive issues that might hint back to any child that there are burdens involved with every stage of their development.

      So yeah, I’m not terribly surprised there is a prevalent attitude that having a baby is the recommended course, even by people who know already how difficult it is.

      • purr

        I know pregnant women and women with children already belong to some
        secret sorority where they let down their hair and talk about the
        hemorrhoids and having to pee all the time

        Whenever I list incontinence and hemorrhoids along with other more serious side effects of pregnancy, anti-choicers zero in on the hemorrhoids and laugh and laugh and laugh about those selfish sluts and their sore bums. YOU’D KILL A BABY OVER THAT???? they say.

        • Kodie

          Well, see, that’s the thing. When people are being “realistic” about pregnancy, like in the movies, these petty inconveniences are supposed to be the brunt of it, along with back pain and nausea. I suppose a lot of the cheerleading is to make this prospect attractive? To most of the general public without children, I would have to say, being pregnant doesn’t sound like it’s that hard, but just hard enough that it’s a big deal and give up your seat on the bus.

          It’s just a lot of mixed messages. Women get pregnant all the time, and repeatedly, on purpose. I mean, if they’d done it before, why would they let it happen again? Nobody is indicating that it’s any more difficult than swollen ankles until delivery, and you’re a chickenshit to avoid it. I don’t think an embryo merits a whole lot of consideration anyway, but having to traumatize my whole body even for something I thought I wanted doesn’t seem like the easiest way to get one. Affording the damn thing is another obstacle altogether. I don’t remember where I read or heard recently about people who choose to be parents – even though for many it’s a wonderful journey, it is pretty much the only thing you’re going to be able to do for the rest of your run. The reason women (primarily) can’t have it all is because children need the bulk of one’s attention.

          Is that a good enough reason to find pregnancy upsetting? Good thing it’s reversible.

      • Y. A. Warren

        My viewpoint is that only with careful training do any animals, including humans, become a benefit to the earth. The animal kingdom learns by example. There are too many “humans” who don’t prioritize protection or training of their young, so their young become simply another burden to the earth. I applaud those who don’t bring more useless protoplasm into the world.

        • smrnda

          In the past, when survival was uncertain, having a lot of kids made sense. These days, I think it’s better for fewer people to have fewer kids they planned to invest more in.

        • Y. A. Warren

          Agreed. I lobby endlessly for conception control use by both men and women. I have paid for many of these efforts.

      • smrnda

        This is totally *not* the experience that any pregnant women I know have gone through. Most of them commented that it was quite an ordeal.

        • Kodie

          I’m not really close friends with any women.

  • wlad

    Bob, are you going to bring up the pro-life argument ” A baby’s right to exist trumps a women”s bodily autonomy?”

    If you are, I won’t expect an answer to my following question, as it is off topic. If you are not going to bring it up in your final post on pro-life arguments against abortion, I’d like an answer.

    To whom does the penis of a male “fetus” belong to–to the body of the woman, or the body of the male “fetus?”

    • Carol Lynn

      Is it a Chinese penis? I’m so disappointed that you haven’t brought up those sexually frustrated Chinese guys yet in this thread.

      • wlad

        You are afraid to say the whether the penis belongs to the male fetus, or the body of the woman.
        If not afraid, please answer the question.

        • Kodie

          What if it doesn’t have a penis yet? What if your toenail turns yellow? Is yellow your toenail’s color or your color?

          —————–edited to add:
          ANSWER THIS WLAD.

        • wlad

          I have never had a pro-abortion person answer this question.

          BTW,

          The penis can be identified between 18-20 weeks, well before viability for most of the folks here.

        • Niemand

          Well after most elective abortions. If an abortion occurs after 18 weeks, it is most likely for fetal anomaly or maternal illness. Though sometimes it is because of obstacles put in the way of an earlier abortion by the “pro-life” movement. If the “pro-life” movement suddenly disappeared, the number and percentage of abortions performed after 18 weeks would decrease (though not disappear due to the FA issue.)

        • Kodie

          I notice you NEVER answered my question about TOENAIL. Why???? Are you afraid of ruining your pro-forced-birth narrative?

          —————–edited to add:
          ANSWER THIS WLAD.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I have never had a pro-abortion person answer this question.

          And we’ve never heard you answer lots of questions. It’d be refreshing if you’d take your medicine. Show us how it’s done. When an argument puts your position in a bad light, be a man and admit it publicly.

        • purr

          Yeah, what Bob said.

          You slyly avoid answering questions by arbitrarily deciding that people are ‘rude’ to you, so that way you can avoid answering their questions.

        • Ella Warnock

          What’s so special about identifying a penis? Why aren’t you concerned about when a clitoris is formed?

        • Alex Harman

          “I have never had a pro-abortion person answer this question.”

          There are two reasons for that. First, “pro-abortion people” are figments of your deranged imagination, and as such are unlikely to answer any questions at all. Pro-choice people would generally prefer to live in a perfect world where no woman ever gets pregnant when she doesn’t want to, no pregnant woman ever becomes impoverished or disabled while she’s pregnant, no pregnancy ever becomes a threat to the life or health of the woman, and no child is ever born severely disabled or terminally ill. Since we don’t live in that world, we recognize that abortion needs to be available as an option in order for women to have the basic human right of bodily autonomy.

          Second, the question is extremely stupid and adds no value to the discussion of whether abortion should be legal. The penis is part of the fetus and the fetus is an obligate endoparasite residing inside the woman’s uterus; the penis cannot “belong” to the fetus because fetuses, not being conscious beings with agency, cannot own anything, even their own body parts. The uterus belongs to the woman, which gives her the right to keep the fetus there or remove it as she sees fit, and denies any other person (which would include the fetus if it were a person, but doesn’t because it isn’t) the right to decide between those options for her.

        • Carol Lynn

          Why is that even relevant to this discussion? What any woman does with her body is still none of your business. And you are still unable to frame the discussion in any terms but how it affects men. You need to try harder to overcome that unfortunate blinkering if you want to be taken seriously.

          Did you clip any toenail lately, Wlad? Spit? OH NOES! As there are always micro-variations when cells divide, I unilaterally declare a lot of them are different ‘enough’ from you in my opinion – which is *clearly* the only opinion that counts!!! – to *deserve* to be independent entities. All that human potential WASTED! That’s hundreds, *thousands* – millions!! – of unique strands of DNA simply thrown away. Given enough money, technology, and care – which you are very selfishly denying to these unique strands of DNA you evilly discard!!! – they could ALL become precious, perfect children for you to care for. I disregard your your objection that you can’t afford to both spend the money on the technology to bring to fruition the DNA you have spawned and to care for the resulting teeming masses of human life. Pshaw! You have no agency here, Wlad! This is not your decision to make – it is MINE and those who think the only *correct* way about this just like I do. Your toenail clipping’s precious, unique DNA has far more right to a good, productive life than you do. I weep, weep, I tell you, for all that lost human potential you are callously denying to your own multitude of precious, perfect children.

          /sarcasm

        • purr

          Those fetii with penises need chinese wives.

        • wlad

          NOTICE in ALL the replies below to my question to whom does the penis belong to–no one has answered it! I have never had ANYONE answer it. They carefully dance around the question.

          They all know the possible answers to the question. It’s the boy’s, or it’s the woman’s. Three short words.

          They know the real answer, but simply won’t say it. And they know that EITHER answer will ruin their narrative.

          So the refuse to answer a simple question.

          Just three short words will do.

          Instead–I get long paragraphs avoiding the issue–not relevant, Chinese penises, what if it doesn’t have a penis, etc.

          Not answering simply underscores my argument that answering it ruins the pro-abortion narrative.

          And folks here certainly don’t want to hurt their narrative.

        • purr

          The penis doesn’t belong to the male fetus because it is not yet a viable individual who can take ‘ownership’ of it’s own body.

          It’s just a developing organism, nothing more.

        • Kodie

          I told you that’s where you want to draw the line. Abortion OK with Wlad before 18-20 weeks.

          —————–edited to add:
          ANSWER THIS WLAD. You’re a liar when you say nobody answered you, so answer to that also.

        • Carol Lynn

          And you have never said why this is a germane point to the discussion.

        • Ron

          To whom does the male infant’s foreskin belong to after birth? To the male infant, or to his parents?

        • Alex Harman

          If you’re Jewish or Muslim, your supposed to say that it belongs to God.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          NOTICE
          in ALL the replies to my question to whom does the penis belong to–no one has
          answered it! I have never had anyone answer it. They carefully dance around the
          question.

          And you know a lot about dancing around (or ignoring) a question that you find uncomfortable, don’t you? If this were a boxing match, you would be way, way behind in points. Sorry, dude.

        • Kubricks_Rube

          If I understand your point (and I’m not sure I do, see my question above), then you’re guilty of equivocation with your use of the word “belong.” In one sense, the penis belongs to the fetus, as in it is a part of the fetus. But in another sense of word, the ownsership sense, the penis doesn’t “belong” to anyone, let alone anyone’s body. The fetus to which the penis is attached is physically dependent on the woman’s body, but I don’t see how states of belonging clarify this relationship.

        • Itarion

          It “belongs” to the woman. What’s the big issue here? Happy now?

          Bet money that this whole argument wouldn’t even exist if the human species was hermaphroditic. And your question would sound even sillier then.

        • wlad

          I didn’t ask if it “belongs” to the woman. That’s evading the issue. I asked if it belongs to the BODY of the woman, or to the BODY of the male fetus. No ” .”

        • purr

          Male fetus doesn’t yet have a body, as it’s incomplete and unformed

        • Itarion

          Not a poor response.

        • Itarion

          Since we are discussing this purely in terms of bodies, then yes, the fetal proto-penis is a part of the fetus.

          Please continue this point, so that I may see where the mistake is, be it your mistake or mine.

        • purr

          Perhaps he is going to talk about male fetal masturbation

        • Itarion

          Well done, sir. As an internet is an informal currency awarded to funny people on the Internet, you have won an internet. Certificate and everything.
          http://you-win-the-internet.com/?n=jejune

        • Itarion

          I have answered in the direction that you were hoping for. Please continue your point, I wish to see where it leads.

        • Ella Warnock

          Yeah, the fetus has all its parts, that are residing inside an actual, fully-realized person. In the same way that I have ownership of other things in my body – organs to donate, or not, as I wish – I also have ownership of the fetus and all its parts. The arms and legs and penis and everything else continue to reside, or not, with my ongoing consent or lack thereof.

          Tl;dr. It doesn’t matter whether there’s a penis or not. Male and female fetii require my permission to stay.

        • Carol Lynn

          And it’s still none of Wlad’s – or anyone else’s – damn business what anyone decides to do with their body and the contents thereof.

    • Kodie

      I thought we already established that it’s ok if you want to draw the line at the time of gestation when sex organs become evident. Do you agree or disagree that if it doesn’t have a penis yet, abortion ain’t no big deal?

      —————–edited to add:
      ANSWER THIS WLAD.

    • Kubricks_Rube

      I don’t really understand the significance of this question. Does “penis” have some meaning in this context that doesn’t apply to “arm” or “leg”?

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        Or even XY cells. The mother doesn’t have those.

  • Kodie

    11. I have seen a lot of carefully worded avoidances of the word ‘soul’.

    • Itarion

      And whenever asked about my soul, I proudly proclaim my lack of ownership thereof.

      For either of two reasons: 1) No one has one, or 2) I sold it to my high school marching band director, because marching band was such an involved activity. Practiced more, and did better, than the football team.

  • vito

    first of all the Brasilian bishop is unaware of the teaching of his Church. According to them, we are all tainted with original sin. (That’s why they used to say that unbaptised children cannot be saved/go to heaven; now they try to avoid the topic). Anyway, original sin is still very much a dogma and clearly nobody is innocent. Even an embryo is already evil. And as far as born (real) children go, anyone who has raised one knows they are anything but innocent ..:)
    On the other hand, why would it be a greater sin to kill a hypothetical innocent human being as opposed to a “regular” human being. You would send the innocent one straight to heaven and eliminate the risk that later on in his life he’ll somewho screw up…, but if you kill a sinner, chances are you’d send him straight to hell.

    • Itarion

      And the original sin is such a depressing bit of dogma, too. “You’re a terrible person and God hates you, and it wasn’t even anything you did. Just apologize relentlessly for that, and admit to bad things that you do, and God might just love you enough. But nothing good you do counts, because a positive karma balance isn’t possible. Go have fun.”

      I think that sums it up. How far off am I? (I was never Catholic, see, so I don’t really know.)

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        Oh, great. Now I’m depressed …

      • Ron

        “Once you assume a creator and a plan, it makes us objects in a cruel experiment whereby we are created sick and commanded to be well.”
        ~Christopher Hitchens

      • vito

        Well, actually they say God always loves you… (but won’t free you from hell though…:).
        Anyway, I think any presumed innocence is completely at odds with original sin. We are performing original sin as individuals and as human race, as children of Adam and Eve, who are still performing it together with us, because God is outside time. Something like that… So no one is innocent, that’s clear. Second, there is no basis in Catholic teaching for a proposition that to kill a person who is more sinful is somehow more justifiable than killing a person who is a little more sinful.

  • Itarion

    I did enjoy reading Argument 15. I’m not sure that that’s one I’ve heard before, but even so the response was fairly good.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      My arguments continue to get better thanks in large part to input from commenters. Thanks, everyone!

      • purr

        What if one of your commenters is eating and starts choking after reading wlad’s ‘arguments’ ?

        Who *is* ultimately responsible!?!?!

        • purr

          Or *what*

          CUE SCARY MUSIC

        • Itarion
        • Itarion

          It’s their responsibility, because they consented to choking by eating while reading extraordinary and extreme comments.

          That’s how that works, right?

          Edit: formerly read “inflammatory comments”

        • purr

          Let me just say that…

          I am brushing my teeth as we speak.

          That’s all.

        • Itarion

          Don’t stab the back of your throat.

        • purr

          Come to think of it, you are misrepresenting wlad.

          I think that ‘inflammatory’ is the wrong word.

          I well imagine that readers will likely choke from laughter. Or the resulting heart attack.

          Bob is incredibly patient with him. Honestly, I like wlad. He’s more silly than anything. He’s like the blog mascot, you know?

        • Itarion

          I’m a little confused as to the voting mechanism. Is there some form of voting karma, because I end up with a solitary guest upvote on most of my posts soon after posting them.

        • purr

          You have to refresh to see who upvoted you.

          Also, I have heard that Disqus can be buggy and register a down vote as a guest upvote

          /shrug

        • Itarion

          Ah. Thanks for the knowledge.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’ve noticed the same thing. Maybe the idea is to give you an immediate upvote to make you feel good about yourself.

          If it makes you feel any better, I don’t see any upvotes on the comment of yours to which I’m replying.

          :-(

  • RandomFunction2

    To Bob the broken, yet somehow fabulous, atheist,
    I’m all for sex education (which should include a part about sex ethics and different ethical views on sex in addition to merely describing how to avoid pregnancy and how to avoid STDs).
    And I certainly don’t think that the solution is to jail or fine women who choose abortion.
    But it should at least be borne in mind that abortion is morally problematic and that our society should work as hard as it can to decrease the number of abortions and to provide mothers and fathers with resources for raising children even in difficult circumstances.
    Even deeper than that, it is the values of our society which are problematic. We put a premium on career, money and worldly success and see children as a burden and a hindrance to self-fulfillment. Which is evidence of how self-centered and individualistic we have grown.

    • purr

      We put a premium on career, money and worldly success and see children
      as a burden and a hindrance to self-fulfillment. Which is evidence of
      how self-centered and individualistic we have grown.

      Men have always had the option to pursue money and worldly success. In other words, you are saying to women that they need to gtfo of the workforce, and get back into the kitchen, where they belong.

      • RandomFunction2

        Not at all. Men should value family life and children as much as women should. The best environment for a child is when both parents participate in his or her upbringing.

        • smrnda

          You seem to be making the false assumption that, aside from family life, the only other alternative is selfishness.

          One of my friends and her husband are child-free. She’s a neurosurgeon. She’s definitely saved some kids’ lives.

        • Kodie

          What does that have to do with what adults do? You are pretty much insisting that everyone breed instead of find fulfillment at anything else. Once you are bound to the obligation, that takes priority because children are helpless for decades. Men and women should do whatever the hell they like unless they have children. Presumably they are asking for that chore, so it is what it is. Nobody should be forced to continue on that path if they accidentally end up on it.

        • purr

          People don’t have kids because they desperately want to give the gift of life.

          They have kids because either they want children to fulfill their own needs, or they are doing it because society is pressuring them to.

        • Kodie

          What about early socialization? Girls are raised to feel desperately empty if they don’t meet society’s standard for the role they are supposed to play. There is no “or”. Women are trained to want to have babies more than anything in the whole world and seek fulfillment and validation in doing so. It’s not like everyone who has a baby is being dragged there unwillingly, and yet have responded to social pressure, to measure themselves against women who focus on their careers first (it’s “first”, it’s not “instead”), and gain social status when they finally achieve pregnancy.

          Mostly, people want a little pet to train. A little alien to the planet who doesn’t know anything and thinks their parents are really smart, because nobody else does.

        • Carol Lynn

          I don’t think it’s as black and white as that either. I wanted a couple of kids because I think kids are pretty awesome in and of themselves. They were a PITA at times and involved a lot of life-style changes and expenses that I knew I would have to make, but – shrug. I freely and deliberately chose to do that. I got lucky and they both turned out to be awesome people but I knew that would be a toss-up, too, going into it. I suppose one could say that, post-hoc rationalizations be damned, I gave in to the genetic imperative to continue the species, but, since I also have a nicely evolved brain, I gave into it intelligently and sparingly. I don’t think that counts as either of your options.

        • Alex Harman

          I suspect the difference between “desperately want to give the gift of life” and “to fulfill their own needs is” is merely semantic; they sound like two different ways of putting the exact same emotional motivation into words.

      • Kodie

        To be fair, men have a lot more options and generally greater success at their options, but they are just as chained to providing for their families, once they are obligated to be. Making your own money is a sort of freedom, but having to keep your job sucking up to the boss-man or else your family lives in a box is sort of shackles.

        • Alex Harman

          It’s easier for men than for women to abandon their partners and children and get way with it — but easier isn’t the same thing as easy.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      The problem is when the people most anxious to see fewer abortions are also most anxious to avoid the things that would avoid unwanted pregnancies.

      A grasp of reality doesn’t seem to be a price of entry for that group.

    • smrnda

      So… anything but having kids is somehow extremely selfish? Is the only way you prove yourself to be something other than a narcissist to have a bunch of kids? Ever notice how some people view their kids as vanity projects and a means to live vicariously?

      I have no kids. I work at something I like, pay my taxes and give back to the community where I live. In some ways, since I work with and educate young people I’m helping the people who have kids. I mean, if everybody has kids, who is going to do some of the work?

    • Kodie

      You say that as if there is something wrong with it. Children are a huge burden and hindrance to self-fulfillment unless what fulfills you personally is having children. For all this time, we’ve all been suckered in to the idea that the only reasonable outcome is to make more people, and set aside your hopes and dreams, because what. You’re a loser. You aren’t going to be a rock star so why not just get comfortable working at the cubicle and make babies, who chain you to your miserable job just to sustain your family.

      Why should anyone be obligated to sign up for this?

      I don’t find abortion to be any more morally problematic than using a condom. People don’t weep for the rest of their lives because they had sex using a condom and didn’t get pregnant. It’s only “morally problematic” because some people think so. It’s just hype. Again, nobody should be obligated to agree with your assessment.

    • purr

      To Bob the broken, yet somehow fabulous, atheist,

      Why do you think Bob is so fabulous? Is it the hair? The tan? The big muscles?

  • UrbanPeregrine

    An addendum to number eleven: tetragametic chimera (when two fertilized eggs fuse and develop into one person with two genetic profiles–some tissues and organs can be different from the others in whole or part). Does such a person have two souls?

    • Itarion

      No. That person has no soul, just like everyone else.

      • UrbanPeregrine

        Yeah, I don’t believe there’s evidence for the existence of a soul as religious people understand it: I wrote my addendum to parallel the wording of the original post.

        Believing that a person in such a case has two souls (or has one removed before birth by some outside supernatural being or force) strikes me as an offense against Occam’s Razor.

  • wlad

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/10/18/article-0-18D545D400000578-661_634x710.jpg

    This shooting by Assad’s men happened in Syria. If the mother was on the way to an abortion clinic, would this be an aggravated assault on the woman, or a murder of the baby, or both?

    • Carol Lynn

      Safe, legal, abortions don’t ever involve a bullet and the vast majority of them take place when you couldn’t recognize the discarded bits as human, even with a microscope. Why is it that in your examples, the woman is never mentioned? Surely that bullet went through her too. No outrage at all for the woman? We can only hope that bullet didn’t do massive damage to her as well.

      What if the fetus survived and the woman died? Would it still be murder or, since the, in your estimation, more important life was preserved, would they balance out? And how much compensation does the shooter have to pay to the husband for the loss of his property? Oh no! I hope he isn’t a Chinese contractor working in Syria so he has a fighting chance of finding another suitable sex partner!

      And why is it in anti-choice arguments the picture is never shown at the point of development and scale where the great majority of abortions take place? I submit it is because they *do* recognize that at that point the embryo is not yet a person. If they showed honest pictures, most people would not be able to muster the automatic outrage the anti-choicers desire and would say, “Oh, well, if that’s all, sure!”

      If known anti-abortion people are shown pictures of an embryo/fetus at the usual stage of development when an abortion takes place, they knee-jerk out the same ‘created in god’s image’ and ‘all *human* life is precious and must be preserved at all costs’ rhetoric *even when the embryo/fetus shown is of a different species* and is NOT and never can be human. They can’t tell human from not-human at that stage because, as their own words prove, even for them it is not yet a person at that stage. They are using other criteria than the actual personhood of the embryo/fetus to impose their views on others. That their criteria are valid *for them*, I do not dispute. It is none of my business what decisions they make to do with their bodies as it is none of anyone’s what I do with mine.

      (I have no clue how to embed an image here, so I point people to the elephantfetusproject dot tumblr dot com to make my point.)

      • purr

        And why is it in anti-choice arguments the picture is never shown at the
        point of development and scale where the great majority of abortions
        take place?

        I asked that same thing of an anti-choicer. She said that she had to show and talk about late term abortions and babies because that is the ONLY way to get people to realize that a zygote is an ‘unborn baby’. Because that zygote will turn into a baby, therefore, it is that baby. Of course, she didn’t realise that in admitting this, she was admitting that a zygote really is just a potential baby, that it does not start out that way .

        (I have no clue how to embed an image here, so I point people to the elephantfetusproject dot tumblr dot com to make my point.)

        Just post the link, the software does the job for you.

      • Itarion

        I can totally tell that that’s not a human fetus, because human fetuses have webbed fingers at that point, not stubby stumps.

        Does that mean that I have “above average scientific awareness”? I certainly hope so, that would be nice.

        • purr

          Thats good! You figured it out even though it doesn’t have a penis!

        • wlad

          Tell that to the doctors in Syria who treated several women with shots to the pelvis–not intending to kill the woman, only the baby. And took the ex-ray The snipers were treated to cigarettes.

        • Itarion

          You’re replying to the wrong one of my posts.

        • purr

          wlad is easily confused

          must be because he spends so much time thinking of fetal penii

        • Itarion

          You’re just not giving that one up, are you?

          It’s disappointing that he never said where he was going with that, because I really wanted to hear that line of thought. It’s certainly a NEW line of thought, and not altogether uninteresting.

        • purr

          Hey, I’m not the only one!

          I love the stuff about Chinese men too.

        • wlad

          What post were you referring to then.
          I only submitted one photo, and you commented on that photo.

        • Itarion
        • wlad

          The link didn’t work. So are you saying it didn’t refer to my photo?

        • Alex Harman

          Yes, Itarion was saying that his/her comment in reply to Carol Lynne’s comment (“I can totally tell that that’s not a human fetus, because human fetuses have webbed fingers at that point, not stubby stumps.”) referred to the photos at the tumblr Carol Lynne cited (http://elephantfetusproject.tumblr.com), not the photo you posted. You need to work on your reading comprehension, wlad; you’re starting to look like a man challenging a room full of samurai while armed with a potato peeler.

        • Itarion

          Throw your weapon and run?

        • Alex Harman

          Probably better just surrender; you’re unlikely to outrun them, especially since at least some of them probably have bows as well as katanas.

        • Kodie

          Forcing abortion on someone is wrong also. Do you not read responses to your posts?
          You just keep getting wound up in your idea that you keep talking and no one has YET to answer any of your “gotchas”.

          I assume they are doing some awful war thing. Again, your focus is on the bullet in the barely-hardened skull of the fetus and not on the major social causes where something like this would even happen. The snipers were treated to cigarettes because they shot their targets and got the intended results. What do you want people to say? That it’s great?

          For extra credit, find me the name and address of one abortion clinic in Syria.

          —————–edited to add:
          ANSWER THIS WLAD.

        • Kubricks_Rube

          Let’s be clear about a few things. One-child policies? Not pro-choice. Patriarchal pressure to abort female fetuses? Not pro-choice. Shooting pregnant women? Pretty freaking obviously not pro-choice. Seriously, how hard is it to understand the concept of choice?

      • wlad

        Carol Lynn,

        I did mention the woman–BTW, she was NOT shot dead– and I asked–is it aggravated assault on the WOMAN– or murder of the child, or both. There were many more than just one–targeted killings of babies in the womb.

        If the woman died, and the child survived, the charge would be one murder, if both die, two murders.

        Planned Parenthood, RH Realty–a fervent pro-abortion site and especially all women who claim bodily autonomy–all claim abortion OK for any reason, and would not call a woman who chose a late term abortion a murderer. Bodily autonomy ALWAYS trumps the rights of the fetus–ALL the way to birth. Even when the “fetus” looks very much a child. Bodily autonomy always trumps the right to life of the child–all the way to birth.

        Would you want the law to interfere if you knew a woman wanted an abortion at 30 months, and it wasn’t for reasons of health, rape, or incest? Didn’t think so. Bodily autonomy. Her rights to her body trumps the right to life of the child.

        • purr

          Planned Parenthood, RH Realty–a fervent pro-abortion site and
          especially all women who claim bodily autonomy–all claim abortion OK
          for any reason, and would not call a woman who chose a late term
          abortion a murderer.

          No, they don’t. Pro-choicers are not a monolith. Many agree that 24 weeks, the start of viability, is a good cut off for elective abortion. The key being, they believe that restrictions on this KILL WOMEN, because a woman could be dying while doctors and a judge try to decide whether or not she is close enough to death/disability to warrant an abortion. This is what killed Savita Halappanavar in Ireland. She wasn’t nearly dead enough to warrant a therapeutic abortion, so by the time they authorized it, she was dead.

        • Alex Harman

          The murder of Savita is only one of the horrible consequences of abortion bans in other countries that misogynists like wlad the vile would replicate here if they could: the “pro-life” government of El Salvador has taken to presuming women who go to the hospital for treatment after a miscarriage guilty of abortion and imprisoning them for ten years. (That El Salvador is run by monsters isn’t all that surprising — thanks to the general amnesty passed in 1993 by a parliament controlled by the same party that ran the death squads in the eighties, many of the people directly responsible for the wholesale campaign of rape, torture and murder that killed between 70,000 and 80,000 civilians still hold positions of power there.)

        • Itarion

          Would you want the law to interfere if you knew a woman wanted an abortion at 30 months, and it wasn’t for reasons of health, rape, or incest? Didn’t think so. Bodily autonomy. Her rights to her body trumps the right to life of the child.

          By 30 months, that’s not a fetus anymore. So, yes, I would definitely want for the law to interfere in a case of infanticide. That’s fairly disingenuous to assume that pro-choicers would be *okay* with the murder of a 21 month old baby. At that point, you’re at least 23 months late, and I would think personally about 25 or 26 months late.

        • wlad

          I tried to edit my comment to obviously mean 30 weeks, and for some strange reason it would not let me make the edit.

          The question still stands:

          Would you want the law to interfere if you knew a woman wanted an abortion at 30 WEEKS, and it wasn’t for reasons of health, rape, or incest? Didn’t think so. Bodily autonomy. Her rights to her body trumps the right to life of the child?

        • Itarion

          I would. That is a late term abortion, and the woman has had ample time to make a decision. At that point, the child is actually capable of surviving outside the womb with proper medical attention, so even for reasons of health, an early birth would be the proper response here.

          Bodily autonomy is used to defend early term abortions, and I personally see very little reason for late term abortions at all. You might even go so far as to say that I agree with you, if the topic of abortions is split into early and late term. I don’t think that we have any disagreement on the topic of late term abortions.

        • wlad

          “Bodily autonomy is used to defend early term abortions, and I personally see very little reason for late term abortions at all.
          (BTW, 18,000 late term abortions were committed in 2008–Guttmacher.

          The MAIN argument for early abortions is NOT bodily autonomy–it’s Bob’s spectrum argument–it’s NOT a baby, stupid!” It is sometimes used, but most pro-lifers hear Bob’s spectrum argument.

          Although some people mention bodily autonomy for early abortions–most pro-lifers here Bob’s spectrum argument

          But it is the ONLY justification pro-abortion people use for late “elective” term abortions. Bodily autonomy always trumps the child’s right to, life.

        • Alex Harman

          “18,000 late term abortions were committed performed in 2008–Guttmacher.” Fixed that for you — crimes are committed, legal surgical procedures are performed.

          Do you have evidence that even one of those 18,000 was actually elective, not due to medical necessity for the mother or nonviability or severe disability of the fetus? Those of us who disagree with you have no reason to grant you the assumption that any of them were elective, because 18,000 is an entirely plausible number for total medically indicated late-term abortions in the U.S. in one year.

        • wlad

          Check with the Nation where very pro-choice Kathy Follit, in a very PRO-abortion article, says:

          Abortions at twenty weeks and beyond make up less than 2 percent of all abortions. So how does a woman twenty-three weeks pregnant come to be sitting in an abortion clinic waiting room so far from home?

          According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the three most common reasons are “she didn’t realize she was pregnant” (71 percent of women surveyed); “she had difficulty making the arrangements” (including gathering funding,
          finding a provider in her area or making travel arrangements–48 percent
          of women gave this response); and “she was afraid to tell her parents or partner” (33 percent).
          http://www.thenation.com/article/waiting-room

          Surprisingly to me, against the main two very severe arguments for late term abortions–the woman is going to die, it severely impacts the health of the mother, those were not the main reasons for most late term abortions’
          Pro-aborts snort with derision–you think these women wouldn’t know they were pregnant! They only have serious reasons. Well 71% did not.

          I used a source–Kathy Follit–who is a known pro-abortion.
          You may not accept this comment because it appeared on a prolife site.
          Abby Johnson on Late-Term Abortions | ClinicQuotes
          clinicquotes.com/abby-johnson-on-late-term-abortions

          According to Abby Johnson, former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic, late term abortions are usually done for elective, rather than medical reasons.

        • purr

          Yeah, sure sounds like the reasons of a selfish baby killing slut, eh?

        • Kodie

          According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the three most common
          reasons are “she didn’t realize she was pregnant” (71 percent of women
          surveyed); “she had difficulty making the arrangements” (including
          gathering funding,
          finding a provider in her area or making travel arrangements–48 percent
          of women gave this response); and “she was afraid to tell her parents or partner” (33 percent).

          The very same paragraph in the article continues:

          The stories of the four women bear out these findings. Belinda, for
          example, kept getting her period through the first trimester; Karina,
          the rape victim, is an immigrant living in a parental-consent state,
          whose parents still live in South America. Even with help from her
          boyfriend and his parents, she had only $300 to pay the clinic. Young
          women, poor women, women in a hundred kinds of trouble–this is the real
          face of “partial-birth abortion.”

          So you’re in favor of removing these barriers, offering education and early, inexpensive, and convenient abortions to women who choose them, right?

          No, because you’re flat-out against it. Stop waving this late-term abortion flag as if you have won anything and face facts and reason: late-term abortions are caused by people like you, who are so determined to make getting an abortion difficult.

          —————–edited to add:
          ANSWER THIS WLAD.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          What I hear you saying is, since a late abortion is worse than an early one, that we need to give education to teens so that the “I didn’t know I was pregnant” problem is reduced and do anything else to remove obstacles to a prompt abortion.

          You’re starting to sound pretty pro-choice.

        • Itarion

          Shh… You’ll give away the plan, and ruin the chance to corrupt him.

        • Alex Harman

          “Elective” is not an antonym for “serious.” Economic and psychological stresses are serious reasons for having an abortion; the difference between those reasons and medical necessity is that the latter leaves the woman no real choice, not that the former reasons are frivolous.

          The article by Katha Pollitt (not Kathy Follit, try to read more carefully) also raises the important point that “late term” is used dishonestly by the anti-abortion movement to conflate second-trimester, pre-viability abortions at up to twenty-three weeks, which under Roe may not be restricted or regulated for any reason except to protect the health of the mother, with third-trimester, post-viability abortions, which states can outlaw as long as the ban contains an exception for medical necessity. Very few doctors have the willingness and the training* to perform a third-trimester abortion, and many states do in fact ban them, which is why that article noted that “at twenty-three weeks, this was their last chance.”

          I’d be interested to see statistics on the number of abortions actually performed post-viability, and the reasons for those ones. Better yet, how many are performed later than the period of marginal viability where most of the fraction of premature children that survive will end up with disabilities that, if detected prior to birth, would have been reason for the mother to terminate what had otherwise been a desired pregnancy? If we’re going to have a legal cut-off point at all, rather than leave it to doctors to determine when it’s too late to abort a pregnancy, it should be the point where it would be ethical vis-a-vis the resulting child to induce birth instead of aborting, meaning the child has at least a 99% chance of surviving and being as healthy in the long term as he or she would have been if born full-term.

          That 48% of the women surveyed in the Guttmacher study had difficulty making the arrangements for their abortions means we could reduce the rate of late-term abortions by ~48% if we got rid of all the onerous obstacles to abortion that right-wing politicians have created. If there were a provider in every town, Medicaid and insurance coverage for the procedure, and no paternalistic bullshit like parental/paternal consent/notification laws, waiting periods, mandatory ultrasounds, and mandatory misinformation sessions where the women have to waste their time listening to pro-lie movement propaganda about the non-existent connections between abortion and breast cancer, depression, and other health problems, all those abortions would have been carried out earlier.

          The 33% that were afraid of their parents or partners is a reminder that we have a lot of work remaining to do in eliminating the abuse of girls and women by their parents and partners. Of course, a lot of “pro-lifers” are generally pro-patriarchy as well, and tend to oppose efforts to protect women and children from abusive fathers and husbands because they undermine the fathers’ and husbands’ “God-given authority,” which is of course a much more important consideration than the welfare of their victims.

          The 71% who didn’t realize they were pregnant until the second trimester would likely be reduced somewhat by universal comprehensive sex education, since that includes information on how to tell that you might be pregnant; that’s another thing that most if not all pro-choice people favor and most pro-coercion people oppose.

          *One of the nastier prongs of the various political efforts to chip away at abortion rights is trying to stop medical schools from teaching doctors how to perform a late-term abortion. Since this procedure is also the treatment needed by women having late-term miscarriages to prevent them from dying of hemorrhage or infection like Savita Halappanavar did, the success of that effort would necessarily mean more women losing their lives, husbands losing their wives and children losing their mothers. (Let’s not forget that the fetus whose death the Catholics murdered Savita to prolong would have been her third child; its need to take a few days longer to die was more important to the Church than her other two children’s need for their mother. They might be lucky that’s the case; had she been my wife, and had I not had other children who needed me all the more in the wake of her death, I’d probably have gotten myself a sniper rifle and gone bishop-hunting.)

        • purr

          1st trimester telemed abortions are also getting banned in red states.

          That means no abortion at 4 weeks for an impoverished rural woman.

          Instead, she has to get time off work, and scrimp and save for 2 months in order to travel for 8+ hours to get a dangerous surgical abortion.

        • wlad

          And:
          “By 30 weeks, that’s not a fetus anymore. So, yes, I would definitely want for the law to interfere in a case of infanticide.”

          So, you would be perfectly OK with imposing your moral view on abortion on others who do not share your morality–You certainly aren’t trying to individually CHANGE people’s minds on their view of the morality of elective abortion. You are merely willing to use force–the law–to force their actions to confirm to your view of morality, eve if they don’t believe it.

        • Alex Harman

          You can correct your typo in your post, but you don’t get to change it in someone else’s post quoting and responding to your typo in order to misrepresent their views; that’s just dishonest.

          (Edited to remove my more caustic characterization of wlad, since he did have the decency to admit he was wrong.)

        • wlad

          You’re right. I should have left the original typo in the original comment. It didn’t occur to me that it would make Itarion look foolish. Itarion, forgive me.

        • Itarion

          As soon as you quote me properly.

        • Itarion

          What I would be perfectly OK with codifying into law would be that people have the option to follow their own judgement. [You may want to change that back to the 30 months that I had written, as that was what you would be quoting.] Pro-choice proponents are supporting exactly what they say that they are supporting, that is, choice.

          People who wish to not conform to my morality are more than welcome to not conform to my morality. In the instance of allowing elective abortions, people who think that abortions are immoral can still say that they think so, and elect to not have an abortion performed.

          Freedom is choice. If you are pro-freedom, then you are pro-choice.

        • wlad

          I did make the edit.

          Me: Would you want the LAW TO INTERFERE if you knew a woman wanted an abortion at 30 WEEKS, and it wasn’t for reasons of health, rape, or incest?

          You: I would.

          When you said you would want the LAW TO INTERFERE, you certainly didn’t mean to say that the law would gently suggest to the woman that she really has an option to have an abortion or not. That’s not a law. It’s a suggestion.What law says: you may not speed, or you may. No law says: You may rape, or you may not. You wanted the LAW TO INTERFERE in the case of the 30 week pregnant who wanted a purely elective abortion, and say, no, you can’t.

          Not tell her:you may have an abortion, and the again you again you may not. Not a law that interferes.

        • Kodie

          Itarion said:

          At that point, the child is actually capable of surviving outside the
          womb with proper medical attention, so even for reasons of health, an
          early birth would be the proper response here.

          Why do you think you are making steps in the right direction by deliberately leaving out important context?

          And it also seems to escape you that the laws for most states determine that abortions except for cases of life or health endangerment are not allowed after 20 weeks/24 weeks/viability/3rd trimester.

          Wlad: why are we talking about abortions at 30 weeks when most are done before 13 weeks AND YOU STILL OBJECT FOR SILLY REASONS. Why are you trying to control the discussion for rare cases late in gestation when the fetus does resemble a baby? Why are you so afraid of talking about your objections to the abortion of something that is actually shaped like a blob?

          —————–edited to add:
          ANSWER THIS WLAD.

        • Itarion

          Context, dear. Late term abortion is very much different from early term abortion. The fact that you do not make the distinction doesn’t mean that no one else does.

          Yes, a late term abortion ban is less choice than no abortion ban. In the same way, outlawing murder is less choice than not outlawing murder.

          The whole point to the pro choice position is to allow women to choose to not bear a child if they are not in a position to do so. Any pro-choice law that would be passed would codify the option that every woman SHOULD HAVE during the EARLY part of her pregnancy, that is, to go through with it or not. That is the choice, and it belongs in the early part of the pregnancy. After 30 weeks have elapsed, that choice is no longer a choice, because that would be interfering with the rights of another person, because – IMO – a 30 week fetus is close enough to birth to be considered a person. Take a look at Kodie’s response below, she does a good job of understanding my position.

          The result here is that the state says: “You have X weeks to make a decision. Not making a decision counts as deciding to carry the child” Thus, there is LESS interference than the state saying: “You fucked, so you can birth the child. No, I don’t care if you will die from it, you fucked and are dirty and should bear the cost you heathen sinner.”

        • wlad

          Kodie may UNDERSTAND your position way better than I, but she absolutely does NOT share your view:

          ” Bodily autonomy ALWAYS trumps the rights of the fetus–ALL the way to birth. Even when the “fetus” looks very much a child. Bodily autonomy always trumps the right to life of the child–all the way to birth.

          Would you want the law to interfere if you knew a woman wanted an abortion at 30 months, and it wasn’t for reasons of health, rape, or incest? Didn’t think so. Bodily autonomy. Her rights to her body trumps the right to life of the child.”

          She articulates your view but thinks you are wrong.
          she would argue:

          Abortion is NOT wrong after viability, even for not serious reasons–Bodily autonomy ALWAYS trumps the right of the child, all the way to birth–always–no exceptions”

          And I think you would not support a law that would give her the choice to have an abortion, even for not serious reasons, all the way to birth.

        • Kodie

          Citation needed.

          —————–edited to add:
          ANSWER THIS WLAD. ESPECIALLY THIS.

        • Itarion

          Let’s try for some citogenesis. [http://xkcd.com/978/]

          Do you, or have you ever, believed that the choice of the mother trumps the needs of the child in all cases, up to the moment of birth, a la the argument of bodily autonomy?

        • Kodie

          If Wlad can find something I already said about it, I’m prepared to explain myself.

        • Itarion

          Works for me.

        • wlad

          Notice Itarion, that you simply asked Kodie a simple question–
          “Do you, or have you ever, believed that the choice of the mother trumps the needs of the child in all cases, up to the moment of birth, a la the argument of bodily autonomy?

          She would not answer you either

          Why will she only answer “If Wlad can find something I already said about it, I’m prepared to explain myself.’

          Does she need a reminder of her views from me to explain herself?

          Why does she need ME to explain her position? I think I would be the last person to help her explain herself.

        • Kodie

          Because YOU SAID THAT I SAID SOMETHING and you can’t find where I said it.

          NOTICE YOU NEVER ANSWER A QUESTION, EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          If you can’t find where I said that, well then how are you still using it to support your shitty argument, you fucking moron.

        • Itarion

          An intriguing thought. Perhaps you should find a quote from her on her position, so that we may see the issue resolved.

          You, wlad, will notice that she offered an sort of response, as she at least said something, rather than letting the thread trail to nothingness when you can give no satisfying answer.

        • purr

          AT 30 months!!!!

          that’s one long gestation!

        • Itarion

          You’re quoting yourself, not Kodie. Could you take a quote of Kodie saying that? Cite your sources if they’re on a different page.

          At least she CAN articulate my views, which is something you appear to have difficulty with.

          And I think you would not support a law that would give her the choice to have an abortion, even for not serious reasons, all the way to birth.

          I would be surprised if you did not think this of me, since I as much said so with the whole thirty weeks deal.

        • wlad

          Look, I would never make up a quote to make a point, in my hundreds of comments on many other posts I would certainly know that I would be challenged. Those are her words, which I quoted from her a few comments above. Her comment is now missing.

          The good explanation is that it was inadvertently deleted.
          The sad explanation is that it was purposefully deleted.

          Those ARE her views, and her words. She can certainly deny it if they are NOT her views, and present her views on bodily autonomy. I would be incredibly surprised if she now said that bodily autonomy did not always trump the right to life of the child, up to birth, and come up with a different view.

        • Kodie

          The simple explanation is that you just got caught in a lie.

        • wlad

          I couldn’t help myself addressing your assertion, with no proof.

          Kodie, to prove that I have lied, simply give your view on bodily autonomy and abortion, and if it is not “Bodily autonomy always trumps the right of life of the child, up to birth,” please state it.

          One simple statement of your view on bodily autonomy will absolutely clear the issue.

          I will take a refusal to make a simple statement on your view to be an admission to all here that what I quoted WAS your view.

        • Kodie

          The two things have nothing to do with one another. You lied and you quoted yourself. You can’t even tell who wrote what and you made it up that I said it. That has nothing to do with stating or restating the answer to your question.

          By the way, where are all your answers to our questions?

        • wlad

          I can’t prove that I was QUOTING your words, so I stopped trying.

          I then simply said your VIEW on bodily autonomy is “bodily autonomy always trumps the right to life of the child, up to birth.

          That is your VIEW, not your words.

          Instead of five sentences simply avoiding my question, simply say,

          Yes, it is my view. Or

          No, my view is…

        • Kodie

          Are you trolling me now? Why would you make up something, say I said it, and then expect me to just simply answer your question? We’ve ALL answered dozens of your questions. You’ve acknowledged NONE of them.

          So, fuck you. If you can’t find it, I didn’t say it.

        • wlad

          I should not have decided to respond to you. Good bye.

        • Kodie

          You didn’t respond TO me. You used me as your strawman in a discussion with someone else to prop your shitty argument. If you can’t find where I said what you think I said, then stop using it to support your argument.

        • wlad

          Kodie–“The simple explanation is that you just got caught in a lie.”

          Me–“I couldn’t help myself addressing your assertion, with no proof.”

          I didn’t respond to you? Did I catch you in a lie?

          I was trying to avoid responding to you, and only responded to you AFTER you accused me. Only then did I finally decide to address you.

        • Itarion

          You used a quote that Kodie never made, and claimed that she said the words. That is a lie.

        • purr

          You expect us to treat you with ‘respect’, you feel entitled to it in fact, yet you make up LIES about people say?

          Atrocious.

        • wlad

          I gave up saying that this is what Kodie SAID. I can’t find it. Kodie did not say it.

          Let me be very clear. Kodie did NOT use the words that I quoted she did. I was wrong .Could not prove it.

          I then said this is what I think Kodie believed, and just asked you to tell me if I was correct.

          The problem, Kodie, is you could not say it was your view–you would be contradicting yourself.

          And you could not say it was NOT your view, because then you would have to invent another view form the one you represented in all of your many past comments in many other posts.

          So you simply refuse to answer.

        • Kodie

          Why am I involved in this at all? Because you fucked up.

        • Kodie

          Prove you’re not misrepresenting me to strawman your shitty argument.

          —————–edited to add:
          ANSWER THIS WLAD.

        • Itarion

          After digging around the page for a dozen or so minutes, I have located the following quotes.

          Forcing abortion on someone is wrong also.

          I don’t find abortion to be any more morally
          problematic than using a condom.

          Men and women should do whatever the hell they
          like unless they have children. Presumably they are asking for that chore, so
          it is what it is. Nobody should be forced to continue on that path if they
          accidentally end up on it.

          I thought we already established that it’s ok
          if you want to draw the line at the time of gestation when sex organs become
          evident.

          Your line is conception, my line is not at
          conception, but I won’t draw the line for someone else and tell them when it’s
          too late to have an abortion.

          It’s my life, it’s your life, everyone can
          elect what they are prepared to deal with.

          Sometimes, [giving a child up for adoption is]
          just the only practical solution left.

          I’m not saying I know what the best choice for
          any individual is.

          All of these quotes are, with the exception of the second to last, taken word for word from Kodie’s comments. The second to last was edited to maintain context.

          The sum total of these quotes leads me to believe that Kodie is a pro-choice non-interventionist pragmatist who thinks that each case should be treated individually, and that each woman or couple should decide for themselves whether to keep the child. The preferred time of abortion is sooner rather than later. Later is possible when pertinent information becomes available late, though adoption is to be preferred over late term abortion.

          How’d I do?

        • wlad

          Alright, but vastly incomplete.

          All the radical feminists I know hold the view that bodily autonomy always trumps the right to life of the child, up to birth.
          Kodie is more radical than any feminist I had ever met.

        • purr

          I totes luv how you’re trying to paint Kodie as some sort of Nazi.

          Yes, I went there.

          :)

        • Alex Harman

          No, wlad went there; you just made it explicit where wlad had gone. :-)

        • Kodie
        • Kodie

          Would you like to find any statements of mine that uphold your persistent wailing?

          I’m about to edit all my comments on this page in order to pick out the important points you forgot to address and conveniently dropped so you could move onto some other idiotic rambling. Ok? I’m not going to change any text, just add text to the questions unanswered, so you better go back and answer them, or, you know, STFU.

        • Itarion

          Judging a person based on the stereotypes of where you would think they belong rather than the content of their words? For sham, wlad, for shame.

        • Itarion

          I’m certain that you can find quotes to support your assertion of her view. Certainly I could find quotes aplenty to support your view.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          One
          simple statement of your view on bodily autonomy will absolutely clear the
          issue.

          Wouldn’t it be nice if a simple statement would clear things up? After seeing 10^13 comments from you I’m pretty certain that it won’t happen this time, either. You’ll be back with your confused questions yet again.

        • Itarion

          Be that as it may, it doesn’t detract from the fact that Kodie is capable of explaining my views, while you appear to be unable to do so. Whatever disagreement I might have with Kodie comes from a true disparity between our worldviews, not misunderstanding of the other’s point. Disagreements with you, on the other hand, are just as often from misunderstanding of the point.

          Speak plainly, and ask questions, and all the world will come into focus.

        • wlad

          Itarion,
          ” Whatever disagreement I might have with Kodie comes
          from a true disparity between our worldviews, not misunderstanding of the others point.”

          So you know Kodie’s view pretty well. You do NOT misunderstand her view, you disagree with it.

          Does “bodily autonomy” for Kodie mean bodliy autonomy always trumps the right of the child, up to death?

        • Kodie

          What the fuck are you doing and keep doing it? Stop trying to use your imaginary memory of something you think I said before as leverage in your discussion with Itarion.

          I mean, WHAT THE FUCKING HELL.

        • wlad

          You really , really, really are afraid of stating your view on bodily autonomy, or have somebody who knows your view very well tell me.

          You are so afraid, you won’t even answer Itarion, when he asked the same question of you. You would only explain if I found some quote of yours? You didn’t know your view until I produced a quote? You needed me to answer his simple question? I think I’d be the last person you needed to explain your view.

        • Kodie

          You don’t get what you did wrong here.

        • wlad

          Yes I certainly could N OT find the quote I used, and should not have used it

        • Kodie

          Wlad,

          Will you ever answer any questions? You get backed into a corner with many responses to your claims, a lot of information directed at you, and then instead of addressing it, you change the subject to something else.

          Will you ever answer even one question, from anyone? You are trolling me, simple.

        • wlad

          Right.

          So, I never even answered ONE question? My responses NEVER addressed the comment I replied to. In all the hundreds and hundreds of comments, I always refused to answer any questions, and always changed the topic. I certainly do not think people would continue to talk with me if I never responded to their replies to me.

          Go over the comments in just this post to see if I am correct.
          Look, it’s just me-responding to many of you. I cannot possibly answer all your questions

        • Kodie

          You let subthreads fizzle out rather than address blatant contradictions or corrections to your idiotic assertions, only to come back with a completely unrelated new argument.

          I.e., you correspond with us but only to keep repeating yourself, and repeatedly fail to acknowledge anything that contradicts your beliefs or claims.

          One of your claims is that pro-choicers can never answer your challenges. And then we all answer you and you don’t acknowledge any points being made. You just keep bringing up irrelevant anecdotes you seem to think are home runs. They don’t make your arguments for you, you actually have to think, read, consider, respond. You don’t do that.

        • Kodie

          I made 17 edits of my posts to find places where YOU brought something up, and you wanted answers, you got them, and you just let it drop until you could find something else to talk about. 17, some of which may overlap and cover the same subject, but 17 places where I and others are still discussing YOUR QUESTIONS and you never came back to it.

          I can’t edit everyone else’s posts, so I suggest you get to work addressing all the subthreads you introduced and then slinked away like the coward you are without answering.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Wlad: instead of imagining that you’ve found a weakness and continue to press it, remember how confused you have been with restating someone’s answer. Ask yourself if you really have your facts straight first.

          Show us how it’s done by answering questions that make you uncomfortable instead of ignoring them.

          Got backbone?

        • Itarion

          whatever disagreement I might have…[emphasis added]

          You will notice the use of the word “might” which indicates mere hypothetical possibility. From what I can tell of Kodie, when things are explained, she takes the explanation at face value, rather than rehashing it to fit some continuing monologue.

          When it becomes clear that I am unsure of what someone means to say, I will simply ask for clarification. I don’t pretend to know what “bodily autonomy” means to Kodie, because 1) I haven’t asked, and 2) as of this writing, she’s not even used the phrase on this page.

        • wlad

          I don’t pretend to know what “bodily autonomy” means to Kodie, because
          1) I haven’t asked,

          REALLY?
          What is this then?

          Itarion to
          Kodie
          2 hours ago
          Let’s try for some citogenesis. [http://xkcd.com/978/]

          Do you, or have you ever, believed that the choice of the mother trumps the needs of the child in all cases, up to the moment of birth, ala the argument of bodily autonomy?

          She refused to answer you just as she refused to answer you. Her excuse was that she needed me to find some quote of hers on bodily autonomy, and only then would she explain herself.

        • Itarion

          More correctly, I never asked expecting a serious response, which would be evident from the introduction, as I prefaced the question with a fictitious word and a link to a comic strip.

        • Kodie

          I’m still waiting for Wlad to answer any questions at all. Projecting your inclinations is not ideal.

          It’s not an excuse, I just have to get something out of the way first, which is where you decided to put words in my mouth and then use them to argue your shitty point. You squirm out of direct question after direct question. You repeat yourself or change the subject. Are you just a terrible person?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The
          good explanation is that it was inadvertently deleted.

          The sad explanation is that it was purposefully deleted.

          I didn’t delete anything. What probably explains this is Disqus itself.

          I don’t much like this setup, but when you get lots of comments for a post (more than 50?), you only see so many. If you click the Load More button at the bottom over and over until they’re all there, you will find the comment that you’re looking for.

        • Alex Harman

          It also doesn’t always display them in the same order; apparently, when a particular thread has more recent comments on it, it can get moved up above threads that started earlier.

        • Kodie

          When that happens, I just reload the main page and get to the comments section again.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          That’s the magic of Disqus. Later comments are physically closer to the comment in question.

          But then, there’s sort order (Newest, Best, Oldest).

          I’m not super pleased, but the editing feature is nice.

          When in doubt, you can always click “Load more comments” at the bottom until they’re all in. Then you can be assured of finding any comment.

        • Alex Harman

          Having the entire thread loaded tends to slow my machine (a 2.2 GHz MacBook Pro with four gigs of memory running OS 10.8.5 and using Safari as the browser) to glacier’s pace. For a while, text I typed was appearing on the screen at about one character every three seconds. Worse yet, it wasn’t using the same buffer for the mouse and keyboard — if I clicked somewhere to make a correction or add verbiage while it was still entering text I’d already typed, it would move the cursor immediately and then continue adding the text I’d already typed before moving the cursor to the middle of whatever sentence I was trying to edit. I quit Safari and reopened it, which seems to have temporarily alleviated the problem.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          FWIW, any reply longer than a few sentences I create outside of my browser (by replying to the email and editing there, typically). Then I copy and paste. Seems a little safer. Maybe that would avoid your speed issues.

        • wlad

          I rechecked my earlier comments and found out that I indeed did quote myself. To you and Jodie and all, forgive me.

          In many of Jodie’s comments in earlier posts she referred to bodily autonomy as justification for abortion, and radical feminists, and I consider Jodie a radical feminist, use the definition of bodily autonomy as bodily autonomy always trumps the right to life, up to birth.

          I assumed that was her position from all her incredible support of bodily autonomy.

          I was therefore surprised that she denied that was her position, and asked her what bodily meant to her.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Who’s Jodie?

        • Kodie

          It’s KODIE. K.

          I assumed that was her position from all her incredible support of bodily autonomy.

          CITATION NEEDED.

        • Itarion

          Mmmm… Tastes like autocorrect.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Freedom
          is choice. Pro-freedom is pro-choice.

          Cue the marching band and the waving American flag! A patriot like Wlad should be able to get behind freedom to choose and not be hobbled by an oppressive government.

        • Itarion

          Damn straight!

        • Carol Lynn

          I stand by, “It’s none of your business what they decide.” They should not decide for you, nor you decide for them.

          Why is that so hard for you?

        • Lyra Belaqua

          No, I would not want the law to interfere and take away her bodily autonomy, which is granted to every other born human (except pregnant women for some reason). I don’t know her financial, home, or life circumstances. I can’t make that decision & doubt the government should be able to limit her choices with potentially lifelong negative impacts.

        • Kodie

          But this doesn’t even make a point about earlier abortions in the 1st trimester, of which you have no argument.

          Do you not get the spectrum argument? Why are you so excited over the extremely rare late-term abortions, of which most, if not every last one of them, is done as an emergency for the life of the mother.

          30 weeks is a really long time to make up your damn mind. What kinds of obstacles might cause someone who elects not to carry to term to wait that long, Wlad?

          I NOTICE YOU NEVER ANSWER DIRECT QUESTIONS AND INSTEAD, YOU JUST CHANGE THE SUBJECT.

          —————–edited to add:
          ANSWER THIS WLAD.

        • Lyra Belaqua

          “Would you want the law to interfere if you knew a woman wanted an abortion at 30 months, and it wasn’t for reasons of health, rape, or incest?”

          If a woman wanted an abortion at 30 months, I would totally understand that, considering she’d have been pregnant for 2.5 years & have a toddler in there. That sounds extremely uncomfortable, not to mention extremely dangerous. And if her medical team had allowed her to remain pregnant that long, they suck.

        • Niemand

          Bodily autonomy ALWAYS trumps the rights of the fetus–ALL the way to birth.

          If bodily autonomy does not trump fetal rights in all situations then what about other, non-reproductive situations where there is a conflict between the survival of one person and the bodily autonomy of another.

          Arguing strictly from bodily autonomy, if it is ok to force a woman to remain pregnant at any stage of the pregnancy because the fetus’ right to life trumps her right to bodily autonomy then the right of a person who is ill with leukemia or aplastic anemia to live MUST trump the right of a person whose marrow matches theirs to bodily autonomy and thus the decision in McFall versus Shimp is wrong. Shimp should have been forced to donate. Likewise, anyone who is in the donor pool has made an absolute commitment to donate and no change in circumstance (certainly not change of mind) is an acceptable reason to refuse. Kidneys…well, you’ve got two, give one up already.

          Are you sure you want that world, the one where there is a precedent stating that bodily autonomy is not absolute?

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        This is the project Carol Lynn was referring to:

        http://elephantfetusproject.tumblr.com/

    • Itarion

      Ooh, I know this one! See, you’ve got three men in the desert, two of which hate the third. So one of them poisons the third’s water, and the second pours it out. Both acted without knowing that the other would act, but with intent to kill. So, who killed the third man?

      The answer is both, because both of their actions taken individually would have killed the dead man.

      So who killed the baby, the armed madman or the abortion doctor? The answer is neither, because there was no baby. There was an abnormal growth/parasite that the woman wished to have removed. Thus, the crime is aggravated assault and assault with a deadly weapon [edit: Mistake; under US federal law, fetuses are recognized as victims of violence, adding some level of manslaughter or murder], by US law. By Syrian law, there probably was no crime, because women have very few rights, if any, there.

      • wlad

        For a SNIPER (shooting from afar) to notice a pregnant woman, she would have to be pretty far along–way PAST viability, possibly shortly before birth– the sniper certainly didn’t care. So you’re saying that a “fetus” way past viability is an “abnormal/parasite.”

        When does this “abnormal/parasite” become a human being–the second after birth? A second before birth, a growth/parasite–a second after–a baby.”

        • Itarion

          You never TOLD me it was a sniper. All you said was a shooting, so I assumed someone got shot in a back alley. For a sniper to shoot a pregnant woman is… actually pretty much the same. Unless he was intentionally shooting heavily pregnant women, in which case, yes, there would be a crime for a late term fetus “killing”. This follows from the same opinion that a late term abortion should not be performed – they should happen as soon as is feasible.

        • Alex Harman

          That works pretty well, actually; if we need to draw a bright, unmistakable line where personhood begins, the emergence of the head from the birth canal, the first breath, or the severing of the umbilical cord would all be nice, clear lines we could draw. The first breath has a much stronger biblical basis than conception, too, for those who care about what an ancient collection of myths, mythologized history, clever sayings, poetry, and letters from the head of an organization to its foreign subsidiaries says.

      • wlad

        At least twenty-four states call the intentional killing of a pregnant woman’s child murder, murder in the second degree, or manslaughter.
        Involuntary manslaughter (driving a car DUI). I think North Carolina even calls for the death penalty.

        • Kodie

          Abortion is exempt from feticide laws. As I have already told you multiple times. It varies by state, and abortion is exempt.

          North Carolina* These provisions do not apply to lawful acts that cause the death of an unborn child as defined in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-45.1, acts that are committed in the usual standards of medical practice or acts committed by a pregnant woman that result in a miscarriage or stillbirth.

          http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/fetal-homicide-state-laws.aspx

          23 (by my quick count) states count a homicide against any stage post-fertilization under their laws but also make exemptions for abortion and other causes.

          That leaves 27 states that do not. 12 states and the District of Columbia have (apparently) no laws concerning feticide.

          Are you sure you can read?

          —————–edited to add:
          ANSWER THIS WLAD.

        • Itarion

          What’s the one that doesn’t count abortion and feticide differently?

        • Kodie

          All states exempt abortion from their laws against harming or killing unborns, if they have laws at all.

        • Itarion

          I thought there were some numbers that didn’t match up, but I can’t find which ones now. Nevermind.

        • Kodie

          Something like 2/3rds of the US states have some law on the books pertaining to harm or death of unborns. Wlad said 24, but I only counted 23 that applied to “any stage of gestation”. http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/fetal-homicide-state-laws.aspx

          The rest that do have laws tend to either elevate a charge of assaulting a pregnant woman or it has to be known she was pregnant, or known that the party meant to specifically cause harm or death to the unborn, or whether the unborn counts in lesser charges like negligent homicide or involuntary manslaughter. For example, a drunk driver wouldn’t know the car he hit was being driven by a pregnant woman, who miscarried as a result. They also tend to apply only to viable fetuses and not the whole term of gestation.

        • wlad

          Itarion

          In a comment below you indicated you would be fine with imposing your moral views on abortion by law–not forcing conversion, but enforcing action consistent with your moral views.

          Would you be fine with me with imposing my moral views on abortion by law–not forcing conversion, but enforcing action consistent with my moral views?

        • Kodie

          Maine

          Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17-A § 208-C provides
          that a person is guilty of elevated aggravated assault on a pregnant
          person if that person intentionally or knowingly causes serious bodily
          injury to a person they know or has reason to know is pregnant. “Serious
          bodily injury” is defined to include bodily injury that results in the
          termination of a pregnancy. These provisions do not apply to an abortion
          for which the pregnant woman has consented, or to any medical treatment
          of the pregnant woman or the fetus. (2005 Me. Laws, Chap. 408, LD 262)

          In many states, viability or “quick” determines whether something is a homicide or not.

          http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2011/Bills/House/PDF/H215v1.pdf

          North Carolina discerns whether the homicide was an act against the fetus specifically, and whether its death was an effect of an act against the mother, if the mother is killed. A Class A felony in the state of NC is death or life without parole, but the document states that the penalty for “homicide of an unborn child” is Life without parole. “Homicide of an unborn child” is a specific crime intending to cause death to the unborn.

          Why am I doing your homework for you? We’re all on the internet and if you say something half-assed, we’re going to look it up. There’s no “I think they get the death penalty, even!” How does that legitimize your argument, when most states do not carry that penalty (or no penalty, nor specific crime that applies to unborns)?

          —————–edited to add:
          ANSWER THIS WLAD.

        • Itarion

          Actually, that’s my mistake; the US government does have a law in place, since 2004, that recognizes fetuses as victims of violence for such actions within US jurisdiction. It does, however, make an exception for abortion, which makes this an enormous legal issue, and would, as I would imagine it, turn the question of whether to prosecute to the other victim, the mother.

          Of course, as it happened in Syria, there was probably no crime committed, and definitely no crime punished.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So what? A fetus can be wanted or not. If it’s wanted, then the killing of that fetus is a crime. If it’s not wanted, then an abortion is an option.

          You seem to have a hard time with this concept. Let’s move from one-size-fits-all thinking. Maybe “what’s right for Wlad” doesn’t actually work for everyone in the country.

        • wlad

          I see,
          So if an UNWANTED child is killed a woman herself, or by a helpful interested neighbor, (or even stranger)

          and didn’t have the more clean room of the hospital or clinic, and the expertise (attested by the state) to do the killing more cleanly and safely, it’s murder.

          Make sure the killer is professional– abortion.
          The killer in unprofessional–murder

        • Kodie

          You don’t see.

        • wlad

          Kodie,

          I rechecked all the comments, and I realized that I DID quote myself. Forgive me for making an incredibly stupid mistake.

          I think what happened is that all the radical feminist I know define bodily autonomy as meaning bodily autonomy always trumps the right of the child, even up to birth. From all your comments I concluded that your were not a luke-warm feminist for abortion, but a radical feminist. And you used the words bodily autonomy many times in your defense of abortion.

          That’s why I was surprised that you seemed to deny that viewpoint on bodily autonomy. You certainly were right that you did not use those words I quoted. But you seemed to also deny that it represented your view. And that’s why I wanted to know your view, not the misquoted words.

          Kodie, you asked me why I don’t answer any of your questions for quite a while. I have not answered any of your questions because I decided not to consider discussing comments with people who say “Fuck you.”

          Sorry, I.m sorry I jumped in to reopen an attempt to dialog.

          I won’t make that mistake again.

        • purr

          Sorry, I.m sorry I jumped in to reopen an attempt to dialog.

          Clever how you turn it all around blame it on HER.

        • Kodie

          Don’t pat yourself on the back, you fucking asshole. You are as nasty and hostile as they come. I use swear words and this upsets you to know how people really feel about your cowardice, stupidity, and failure of logical arguments? You bring up my name and pretend to know what I think, you fucked up and you persisted in keeping the mistake together because it supports your narrative.

          You weak minded piece of shit.

          Kodie, you asked me why I don’t answer any of your questions for quite a while. I have not answered any of your questions because I decided not to consider discussing comments with people who say “Fuck you.”

          You’re a dishonest piece of shit, but that’s just my opinion. When I went back over the thread, I notice you don’t answer anyone’s questions after you get backed into a corner. Why don’t you leave me alone and answer someone else’s questions?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I decided not to consider discussing comments with people who say “Fuck you.”

          But you’re still happy to engage with them when you think you have the upper hand? Sounds like just a reframing of “Ouch–this question is a little too hot to handle. I think I’ll ignore it and hope nobody notices.”

        • purr

          Yeah. Funny how that works.

          He got caught trying to misrepresent one of my arguments last week, I yelled at him for it, and he stated that he would no longer talk to me because I was ‘disrespectful’.

          Heh.

        • Kodie

          He’s a misrepresentin’ fool.

        • Kodie

          Wlad is dishonest and/or incompetent. I don’t think he should be allowed to cut his own meat.

        • wlad

          I have NOT ENGAGED Jejune and Kodie for quite some time. I made the mistake of addressing Kodie in Rebutted 3 out of 4. and I told her I wouldn’t make that mistake again.

          For some reason Kodie and Jejune keep replying to my posts, even if I ignore them. I would think they would just ignore me.

          Notice the following comments by the two–examples of a good argument? Ridicule is the refuge of those who have run out of confidence in their position.

        • Alex Harman

          Ridicule is the appropriate response to someone who has already dismissed, ignored and evaded your valid arguments and is repeating arguments of his own that he refuses to acknowledge have already been successfully rebutted.

        • Kodie

          I get a lot of fucking upvotes. I have confidence that you evade everyone and you are just pretending it’s 2 people who are mean to you. If you would read what people actually write, you might find the answers to the questions you ask that you continue to claim nobody ever answers.

          You dishonest piece of shit.

        • Itarion

          Did they run out of the regular upvotes?

          Really, upvotes are just a measure of how you conform to the general opinions of whatever site you are on.

        • Kodie

          In regards to Wlad’s accusation that I ridicule him to demonstrate my lack of confidence in my position, not only do I have confidence in my position, but several concur. Maybe it wasn’t the best way to demonstrate my confidence. Obviously, he’ll have a lot of upvotes on a Catholic site defending his position against a lone pro-choice interloper.

        • purr

          Yeah, and you stopped engaging me because you flat out LIED about something I said, got in trouble for it, and then blamed me for being angry and refused to talk to me because I was being ‘disrespectful’

          Grow the fuck up.

        • Alex Harman

          I decided not to consider discussing comments with people who say “Fuck you.”

          So in addition to your manifold other shortcomings, you’re a tone troll. Figures.

        • wlad

          You’re free to continue talking with folks that say ‘Fuck you.”
          I choose not to.

        • Alex Harman

          That’s a handy excuse, since your dishonesty and habit of patronizing your interlocutors, especially women, are bound to earn you many a well-deserved “fuck you.”

        • Kodie

          I’m pretty sure I said “fuck you” when you thought it was a good idea to put words in my mouth and use it to support your shitty argument, and continued to do so. What was your excuse?

        • purr

          This may come as a shock to you, but lying about what people say IS RUDE AND DISRESPECTFUL.

          You do that all the time. And when they call you on it, you cry like a little whiny baby.

          If you’re gonna be rude to people, expect pushback.

        • https://www.youtube.com/user/damekellen/ Dame Kellen

          Spectrum argument. Nobody’s advocating the killing of already existing children, but preventing an unwanted child from occurring in the first place.

        • Itarion

          Well, no. Murder is a legal term. If no crime is reported, no crime is committed. That’s not to say that no wrong was done, just that the state hasn’t named it a wrong.

          In short, regardless of fetal personhood, abortion isn’t murder because it isn’t reported as such to the state.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I see

          Let’s not get cocky. I doubt it.

          If I have a plate that I want and someone takes it,
          that’s “theft.” If I have a plate that I don’t want and I
          throw it away, that’s not theft.

        • Itarion

          Is this like taking couches, desks and other furniture left for pickup by the trash pickup service?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          No, that’s murder. Or theft. Or something.

        • Alex Harman

          No, you clearly don’t see. If an unwanted pregnancy is terminated by the woman herself, it’s not a crime. If it’s terminated by a helpful interested neighbor or stranger at the woman’s behest, but without medical expertise and a sterile environment, that individual is guilty of practicing medicine without a license, reckless endangerment, and possibly manslaughter if the woman ends up dying as a result.

          If it’s terminated by anyone against the pregnant woman’s will, then it’s aggravated assault or fetal homicide, depending on jurisdiction. (The only possible exception would be a doctor in a clinic or hospital terminating it to save the woman’s life without first obtaining her consent because she’s unconscious and therefore unable to give or deny that consent — the doctor in that situation should not be prosecuted even if the woman, upon waking up, declares that she’d rather the doctor had let her die than save her life by terminating her pregnancy.)

          Bottom line: the assignment of personhood to an obligate endoparasite without consciousness or agency is the sole prerogative of the pregnant woman hosting it — not the state, not her parents, not the man who impregnated her, not the clergy, and sure as hell not wlad the wlatsome wliar. (Heh! I’ve been waiting years for an apt opportunity to use “wlatsome” in a sentence! :-D)

        • wlad

          “No, you clearly don’t see. If an unwanted pregnancy is terminated by the woman herself, it’s not a crime”

          I think you probably trust RH Realty, a pro-abortion site.

          http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2011/12/06/abortion-is-legal-so-why-is-self-abortion-care-crime/

          Self-induced abortion is a crime, and the author of this article wants it to become legal. The woman self-induced at 24 weeks.

          We do not have enough information to guess whether or not this woman fell through the gaps in the social support and health net, or made a conscious choice to end her pregnancy in a way that she felt most comfortable. But why is self-treating an unwanted pregnancy a crime?

          We certainly should do everything possible to provide excellent information to women about services and fight to keep abortion care widely available and accessible. But if a woman decides that the best thing for her to do is to self-induce an abortion, she should have access to the best information available on how to do this safely (ie with medicines, NOT herbs) and know where to go in case of a complication. Criminalizing her choices does not protect her health. If we believe that women have the right to control their fertility, then we must also trust women with the right to choose the methods that make the most sense for them.

        • Kodie

          Realty is the business of buying and selling property.

          If you think this article is a point in your favor, you obviously didn’t read it. Can you?

        • Alex Harman

          Yes, Reproductive Health Reality Check (not Realty, they’re not in the business of selling houses) is generally a reliable source for factual information, unlike most of the pro-lie sites I’ve looked at.

          I should have been clearer about the distinction between what is legal in various parts of the U.S. today and what would be legal in a truly civilized society that respected the basic human rights of women. If we had a Supreme Court majority committed to upholding the Roe precedent, the laws under which these women were prosecuted for self-inducing abortions would not survive a court challenge (that repulsive little toad Tony Scalia cannot drop dead soon enough).

        • purr

          RHRC is badass.

          It is my favourite site.

        • Kodie

          You obviously don’t care about legal distinctions, so why are you wasting everyone’s time?

        • Fred

          Wow, what a purposely obtuse scumbag.

    • Alex Harman

      Not that it’s all that important, but i’m not buying that photo; the placement of the bullet is too perfect, and there’s no sign of the entry wound or wound tunnel. Also, I’d expect that kind of round from a sniper rifle in most cases to go all the way through and out the woman’s back, not lodge neatly in the fetus’s skull. I think someone at the British tabloid reporting the story took a plain X-ray of a near-term fetus and photoshopped in the silhouette of a sniper round because they didn’t have a real illustration to match the sensationalism of the story. That doesn’t mean I doubt the story itself, though; it seems entirely in character for an atrocitarian regime like Assad’s to employ the kind of snipers who would shoot a pregnant woman in the belly for fun.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        I hadn’t picked up on that, but good call. Also, if this is an x-ray of the fetus still inside the woman, wouldn’t it be likely to see some of her spine as well?

        • Alex Harman

          Maybe, maybe not; her spine could be off the left side of the image, and her pelvis below the bottom of it.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Reminds me of a photo of the earth at night. The point was how dark N. Korea was compared to China and S. Korea. Problem was, it was darker than the ocean. In other words, someone had obviously colored it in.

          The baby with a bullet inside its head but no entry wound is photoshopped (unless the bullet is simply in front of the head, and the baby wasn’t injured at all).

        • Alex Harman

          Ah, photoshop. Where would our yellow journalists, political hacks and willfully credulous Bad Jackies be without it?

    • Danel Maloy

      FAKE AND GAY.

    • Alex Harman

      Friendly Atheist brings us a timely reminder that the British tabloids like the Daily Mail (which wlad was treating as a reliable source when he posted this comment) have a nasty habit of making stories up out of whole cloth.

  • Itarion

    After thinking about a few things, and reading a few others, it appears to me that, either despite or because of, wlad’s unpopular opinions and sensationalist posts, [s]he continues to receive numerous responses. Perhaps wlad is merely an attention seeker, without any sort of regard for whether that attention is positive or negative.

    [note that this is not to impinge on the beliefs that wlad claims to hold, as it is entirely possible that these are indeed beliefs that wlad holds. My assessment is just about the continual sharing without appearing to think too hard.

    I wish tagging people was a think. Is there any way to tag people?]

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      What is tagging?

      (I haven’t seen that within Disqus.)

      • Itarion

        It’s a thing with Facebook, at least. To let people know if they have been mentioned in a comment.

        Disqus provides a wonderful service, but there are just a few times when I reach for something that isn’t there. Ah well.

        • Kodie

          @itarion:disqus @BobSeidensticker:disqus

          Let me know if that works. If you type an @ then you get a list of posters (I think just on the page where you are posting), but I don’t know what happens if I pick your name and insert it into my post, so let me know.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Itarion: Ah, that tagging.

          Kodie: these names link to the Disqus profiles, but I didn’t notice any new email alert or anything to let me know.

          That’s cool, though. At the very least, it lets you know how many people are in the conversation. Still, there must be some additional value that I’m not seeing.

    • Kodie

      I think he just feels passionately about one thing and has no idea why it’s not working. I mean, shallow emotional arguments worked on him, and if he can’t make you feel things, then you must be a radical feminist who thinks having babies is the most evil thing ever. He doesn’t think too deeply, he doesn’t seem to read any responses, he doesn’t try or pretend to understand opposing arguments, and he is a bottomless pit of terrible arguments in favor of banning abortion.

  • Itarion

    Bob, have I told you that the quotes you stick at the end of your posts are awesome? Because the quotes you stick at the end of your posts are awesome.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Thanks! Sometimes they’re on the topic of the post and sometimes not, but I hope they’re at least provocative.

  • Danel Maloy

    I’m glad you found a way to convert useless religious wars into money — advertising. <3

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Yeah, it’s criminal how much money I’m making here on advertising. Or something.

  • Brooks P.

    There are many aspects of your argument that are clever but not necessarily correct. Where to begin? A few times you answer with “spectrum argument,” that one fetus cell is not the same as the trillion cell newborn. Correct me if I am wrong but with that logic wouldn’t that mean an adult human having more than ten trillion cells, is incomparable to the newborn cells? Which, in turn, means your argument follows that newborn lives are not as important as adult human lives? A baby changes into an adult if I am correct? And that one cell, “the fetus,” is going to become a baby at some point yes? So wouldn’t it be logical that the one cell is going to change into a human adult? A baby’s life is just as important as an adult human I think most would agree. The “clump of cells” is going to be a baby. A baby is very different from an adult human. The “clump of cells” is very different from the baby. But in the end, barring the tragedy of medical failure or abortion, just as the baby is going to be an adult, the clump of cells is going to be a baby, and the baby is going to be an adult.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      A few times you answer with “spectrum argument,” that one fetus cell is not the same as the trillion cell newborn.

      I’ve discussed it in detail elsewhere, so I don’t want to repeat that here.

      Correct me if I am wrong but with that logic wouldn’t that mean an adult human having more than ten trillion cells, is incomparable to the newborn cells?

      The difference between a newborn and an adult is insignificant compared to the difference between the newborn and the single cell at the other end of the spectrum.

      And that one cell, “the fetus,” is going to become a baby at some point yes?

      It’s not called a “fetus” when it’s a single cell, but that’s a tangent.

      Yes, the zygote will become a baby. Right now, however, it’s not. That’s the point. Your argument is an argument from potential.

      A baby’s life is just as important as an adult human I think most would agree.

      Fair enough. And the zygote is most emphatically not a baby.

      A baby is very different from an adult human.

      Nope.

      barring the tragedy of medical failure or abortion, just as the baby is going to be an adult

      You forget that God (or nature, if you prefer) “aborts” half of all pregnancies.

      He doesn’t much care about abortion. Maybe you shouldn’t either.

      • Brooks P

        Some good points, but I would like to ask where you got the authority to determine that “the difference between a newborn and an adult is insignificant compared to the difference between the newborn and the single cell at the other end of the spectrum.” I would say that the newborn is much more comparable to the zygote than it is to the adult human. In fact, the time difference is only around 8 to 10 months where the time difference is many years between babies and adults. Also the newborn has one trillion cells I believe you said. a zygote is one cell as you say, whereas an adult has around ten trillion cells. I just haven’t read any proof from you that the difference is so substantial between a zygote and a baby that it doesn’t even compare to the differences between a baby and an adult. Also I would like to reiterate that a baby IS very different from an adult, dissimilar in appearance, unalike in progression, in critical thinking, and many other ways! And yes my argument is about potential. “The zygote will become a baby.” That baby will become a functioning adult. There are many babies right now. They will become adults. Right now, however they are not. So since they are not adults yet, by your logic, it would be alright to remove them from society. But that’s not how it should be! Because they have potential! They have the potential to become functioning members of society, just as the zygotes have potential to become babies!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          where you got the authority to determine that “the difference between a newborn and an adult is insignificant compared to the difference between the newborn and the single cell at the other end of the spectrum.”

          My God-given common sense, I guess. And who could disagree?

          The newborn has a trillion cells; the single cell has one. But that doesn’t even begin to describe the differences. The newborn has fingers and toes, arms and legs, eyes and ears, skin, liver, pancreas, a heart and a circulatory system, a brain and a nervous system, a stomach and a digestive system. Y’know, the same as an adult. And the single cell? It doesn’t have any of this.

          I would say that the newborn is much more comparable to the zygote than it is to the adult human.

          May I request you to reconsider this opinion?

          a baby IS very different from an adult

          Given the vast gulf between newborn and a single frikkin’ cell, that difference is almost negligible.

          yes my argument is about potential.

          Then when that single cell has achieved its potential and become a newborn, it’s a person. Great. Until that point, it’s not.

          since they are not adults yet, by your logic, it would be alright to remove them from society.

          Wrong. Nothing in anything I’ve ever written or even thought will support this claim.

        • purr

          The newborn has a trillion cells; the single cell has one. But that
          doesn’t even begin to describe the differences. The newborn has fingers
          and toes, arms and legs, eyes and ears, skin, liver, pancreas, a heart
          and a circulatory system, a brain and a nervous system, a stomach and a
          digestive system. Y’know, the same as an adult. And the single cell? It
          doesn’t have any of this.

          I don’t know dude. That’s just too common sensical.

        • purr

          Some good points, but I would like to ask where you got the authority to determine that “the difference between a newborn and an adult is insignificant compared to the difference between the newborn and the single cell at the other end of the spectrum.” I would say that the
          newborn is much more comparable to the zygote than it is to the adult human

          You’re an ignorant fucktard, you know that?

          You don’t have the first fucking clue about fetal development, do you?

          I just haven’t read any proof from you that the difference is so substantial between a zygote and a baby that it doesn’t even compare to the differences between a baby and an adult.

          Here, some actual science from some actual biologists who are not ignorant fuckwits such as yourself:

          1)Biologist Johnathan M Sullivan MD PhD writes: You and I contain much, much more information, both genetic and otherwise, than a blastocyst. That’s why I can write this column and you can read it, whereas a blastocyst just.. .sits there. Indeed, that is the exactly the point of stem cell research: the stem cells in the blastocyst have not
          yet acquired the molecular programming required for differentiation, and so they remain pluripotent, awaiting the necessary molecular signals (the information) that will tell them whether to become nerve or muscle,
          skin or bone.

          Blastocysts are nothing more than a little clump of cells, each of them a snippet of DNA surrounded by cytoplasm. But that DNA was later transcribed into RNA, and that RNA was translated into proteins. And some of those proteins were transcription factors that told other cells in the blastocyst what to do, when to divide, where to migrate. Transcription factors regulated the expression of still other transcription factors. Genes were turned on and off with clockwork precision. Some genes were methylated, so they could never be turned on again.

          In other words, the genome and the proteome of the blastocyst were changed as the embryo accumulated molecular information that the blastocyst did not have.

          The embryo became a fetus, with complex orientations of
          tissues–loaded with spatial, genetic, biochemical and mechanical information that simply did not exist in the embryo.

          The fetus became a child with a nervous system, and that nervous system sucked up information about the world, hard-wiring pathways for vision and movement, learning to make subtle distinctions between this and that, accumulating information that simply did not exist in the
          fetus.

          In other words, the blastocyst launched a genetic program that both extracted and acquired information. It didn’t start out as a human being. It became a human being, with a personality, feelings, attitudes and memories, by accumulating information that was not there before.

          Equating a blastocyst with a human being is like equating a brand new copy of an inexpensive spreadsheet program with the priceless databases that you’ll eventually build up with that program. It’s no less
          ridiculous than saying that a blueprint has the same value as a skyscraper–that it is the skycraper.

          No. They are not the same.

          2) Biologist Scott Gilbert writes:

          Genetics

          This view states that a genetically unique person begins at conception – a fertilized egg now hosts a complete genome, making it distinct from the sex cells that came before it. This definition has the advantage of saying that a new individual has been created that can be distinct from its parents, but is still limited by the fact that this
          embryo is still in an early stage of development and far from viable as an individual.

          This view also causes a funny paradox in the case of monozygotic (identical) twins: each twin does not exist as an individual when “its life begins” – that is, when it is conceived as the embryo doesn’t split into two parts until later. This paradox could possibly be resolved by considering the pre-twinning embryo as a disparate entity
          from either of the resulting embryos. This is why viewing the formation of life as a continuous process rather than a single event is beneficial.

          Instructions for Development and Heredity are NOT all in the Fertilised egg. The view that we are genetically determined by the combination of parental DNA has been shown to fall far short of the complete story. How the DNA is interpreted can vary greatly affected by things such as the maternal diet. Similarly some development requires

          certain bacteria to be present. Thirdly, and most surprisingly, the level of maternal care can determine which areas of DNA are ‘methylated’ which radically alters how they are interpreted. As such the view that we are ‘complete but unformed’ at conception is far from accurate.

          The Embryo is NOT Safe Within the Womb. Modern research shows that 30% or fewer fertilised eggs will go on to become foetuses. Many of these early miscarriages
          are because of abnormal numbers of chromosomes. The view that every fertilised egg is a potential human being is wrong in around 70% of cases.

          There is NOT a Moment of Fertilisation when the passive egg receives the active sperm.Again recent research has shown that the previous commonly held view that the fastest sperm races towards the egg and, bingo, we’re up and running is wrong on many levels. Fertilisation is a
          process taking up to four days. As such there is no magic moment, rather there is a process. There is NO consensus amongst scientists that life begins at conception.There isn’t even consensus amongst scientists as to whether there’s consensus. There is no consensus amongst embryologists, let alone scientists.

          Neurology

          Just as death is usually defined by the cessation of brain activity, so the start of life can be defined as the start of a recognisable Electroencephalography[wp] (EEG) pattern from the fetus. This is usually twenty four to twenty seven weeks after conception.

          The point of using neurological factors rather than other signs such as a heartbeat is that this is a much more useful indicator from the point of view of science. A heart beats using mostly involuntary muscle movements so is really little different from any other spontaneous motion or metabolic processes. A heartbeat means relatively little in
          real terms, although it is more dramatic from an emotive point of view.

          “The zygote will become a baby.” That baby will become a functioning adult. There are many babies right now. They will become adults. Right now, however they are not.

          By that logic, every sperm and egg should be protected too, as they are all potential ‘babies’. In fact, with current technology, every skin cell and most of the cells in your body can become babies. This is how Dolly the sheep was created. So, all of those potential babies must also be protected.

          And by your argument that potential = actuality then we can give children driver’s licenses at age 5, because they will be able to drive someday, therefore, we should give them those rights NOW. And you know what, you will be dead someday. Since in your idiotic logic, potential = actual, we should treat you like a corpse and harvest your organs RIGHT NOW. Idiot.

          So since they are not adults yet, by your logic, it would be alright to remove them from society

          No, moron. Because they are not infringing on anyone’s bodily autonomy. They are also INDIVIDUALS not microscopic cells. A baby can SUFFER. A zygote cannot.

          My god you are a dumbfuck.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Thanks for the research. The difference between the information in the first cell’s DNA and the information that makes up a person is something that I still don’t fully grasp. Interesting.

          And good points about where the argument from potential leads us.

        • purr

          I didn’t understand it either. Until I read the above. Then a light went off.

          A zygote also contains instructions for the creation of the placenta, and at that stage, the placenta has the same DNA as the zygote so I would like to see how ignoramuses such as Brooks P can explain how a placenta = a person.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          What?? Omigahh! The problem is bigger than I feared.

          We have placentas from not only aborted fetuses but from precious babies carried to term! And they’re just tossed out with the medical waste?! Why isn’t anyone doing anything about this? Dear Lord, these precious placentas must be allowed to live!

    • purr

      Which, in turn, means your argument follows that newborn lives are not as important as adult human lives?

      A newborn is a fully formed, sentient, sapient individual. A newborn is not infringing on anyone’s bodily autonomy.

      An embryo is incomplete, partially formed, may not even make it to the infant stage.

      The “clump of cells” is going to be a baby.

      GOING TO BE. But IS NOT YET a baby. And MIGHT NOT even become a baby, because there are no guarantees in the developmental process.

  • asmondius

    11. Each new human life has a soul.
    11.1 If a twin dies it is no different a circumstance than a miscarriage.
    11.2 The soul is not affected by the circumstance of the body (ie physical defects)
    11.3 Human cloning issues are simply speculative, however we are almost certain that even a clone would in fact be a unique individual (see 11.2 above).
    11.4 Comparing an instantaneous abortion to an induced abortion is the same moral comparison as death from heart attack vs. death via murder. These are not logical or scientific equivalents. Your figure for instantaneous abortion is overly ‘optimistic’.
    12. You’ve paraphrased the archbishop dishonestly – the thought is that the unborn are always completely innocent. Killing the unborn child does not erase the harm of what was done, it only furthers the tragedy. Incidentally, Catholicism states that anyone who willingly participates in or facilitates an abortion incur an automatic excommunication.
    12A. You are rationalizing a means of assigning more value to some human lives than others based upon your subjective judgement – this is always the path of great evil in the world. Since every human being travels along the same continuum of development, it is illogical to state that a human life is worth less at one temporary point rather than another.
    12B. See 12A – you continue to exercise your own skewed judgment as to what a viable human life is.
    12C. You simply chose to ignore the logical extension of your own opinion.
    12D. More duck and slide.
    13. Adoption is always preferable to death.
    14. You confuse what is actually a continuum with a spectrum. A ‘spectrum’ requires static data yet human development is constantly changing journey.
    15. Specious argument – the overwhelming majority of those who have abortions are not ‘teenage girls’. In fact, according to the CDC a majority of those who abort report that they use some form of contraception. Obviously they know something about sex. Pregnancy is the result of sex; to pretend otherwise is foolhardy. And to insinuate that women having abortions must do so because they are ignorant goes beyond the pale

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      11. Each new human life has a soul.

      You have a remarkably thorough understanding of souls. Where in the Bible is all this? I missed it.

      the thought is that the unborn are always completely innocent.

      Are squirrels “innocent”? Or are they not even on the guilty/innocent scale? I think the latter for squirrels and fetuses.

      Killing the unborn child does no t erase the harm of what was done, it only furthers the tragedy.

      And yet millions of women will say that their abortions enabled them to live better lives, and perhaps their other children lived better lives as well. That’s a big deal in my book.

      Catholicism states that anyone who willingly participates in or facilitates an abortion incur an automatic excommunication.

      Yeah—crazy, huh?

      12A. You are rationalizing a means of assigning more value to some human lives than others based upon your subjective judgement – this is always the path of great evil in the world.

      Value is decided by humans. You say you’ve got a better way? Show me.

      Since every human being travels along the same continuum of development, it is illogical to state that a human life is worth less at one temporary point rather than another.

      Meaningless. A single cell is worth less than a newborn.

      You want to respond directly to the spectrum argument?

      13. Adoption is always preferable to death.

      Uh, OK. Now address the point I made.

      the overwhelming majority of those who have abortions are not ‘teenage girls’.

      How is this relevant? A 20-something who got poor sex education may make poor decisions, just like a teen.

      Obviously they know something about sex.

      Yeah, that it’s fun to do in the back of a car, but I think there’s much more to knowing how to prevent pregnancy than that. How about comprehensive public school sex education?

      Pregnancy is the result of sex; to pretend otherwise is foolhardy. And to insinuate that women having abortions must do so because they are ignorant goes beyond the pale

      No idea what you’re talking about. Perhaps you’re saying that lack of sex education causes zero unwanted pregnancies? I’d like to see the data on this.

      • asmondius

        11. ‘Where in the Bible is all this? I missed it.’

        I am not a Bible-thumper, but if you are I will be happy to humor you.
        ‘Are squirrels “innocent”?’

        Since we are discussing human life, your question is indeed squirrely.

        ‘And yet millions of women will say that their abortions enabled them to live better lives, and perhaps their other children lived better lives as well.’
        Please direct me to where I may review the personal testimony of the millions of women you refer to – I assume you did so before making this assertion.
        – excommunication
        ‘Yeah—crazy, huh?’
        Crazy or not, I corrected your misstatement.

        12A. ‘Value is decided by humans. You say you’ve got a better way? Show me.’
        The problem is – exactly which humans are you referring to?

        ‘ A single cell is worth less than a newborn.’
        Ah, this is the old ‘size makes right’ argument. Based upon cell count, a baby is worth less than an adult, a human being is worth less than an elephant, and so on. Seems rather obvious that life is not wholly dependent upon physical size.

        – ‘You want to respond directly to the spectrum argument?’
        I’ll do this in another post.

        13. Adoption is always preferable to death.

        ‘Uh, OK. Now address the point I made.’
        Well, you made no point. You simply put forth a statistic that most single women choose to keep their babies. Since that is certainly not death, it doesn’t address the issue of death vs. adoption.

        – the overwhelming majority of those who have abortions are not ‘teenage girls’.

        ‘How is this relevant? A 20-something who got poor sex education may make poor decisions, just like a teen.’
        First you portrayed teens as the victims of poor sex education, and now you morphed that into ‘just like a teen’.

        – Obviously they know something about sex.

        ‘Yeah, that it’s fun to do in the back of a car, but I think there’s much more to knowing how to prevent pregnancy than that. How about comprehensive public school sex education?’
        It’s been in place for decades now. The great majority of those having abortions are not teens who were playing in the back seat of a car.

        – Pregnancy is the result of sex; to pretend otherwise is foolhardy. And to insinuate that women having abortions must do so because they are ignorant goes beyond the pale

        ‘No idea what you’re talking about. Perhaps you’re saying that lack of sex education causes zero unwanted pregnancies? I’d like to see the data on this.’
        Your quote – ‘Did she know what she was doing? Not necessarily’. What I actually said is there in black and white.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/ Bob Seidensticker

          I am not a Bible-thumper, but if you are I will be happy to humor you.

          … then do so. Show me the Bible verses on which you build your understanding of how souls work. ’Cause it sure looks like your understanding is not based on the Bible.

          Since we are discussing human life, your question is indeed squirrely.

          And yet it’s you who is avoiding the topic. Weird.

          Please direct me to where I may review the personal testimony of the millions of women you refer to – I assume you did so before making this assertion.

          Make your point clear instead of assigning me homework.

          Crazy or not, I corrected your misstatement.

          Did I make one? Show me.

          The problem is – exactly which humans are you referring to?

          So you just throw down caltrops when the questions are tough to answer? I’ll have to try that myself if I’m ever in a cowardly mood.

          My challenge remains: “Value is decided by humans. You say you’ve got a better way? Show me.”

          Ah, this is the old ‘size makes right’ argument.

          Wrong again. It’s (as I think was clear) that the change in development is substantial enough to be seen as a spectrum from single cell to newborn.

          Well, you made no point.

          Wrong again. My point was that adoption is no solution. Those stats are pretty damning to the contrary claim.

          The great majority of those having abortions are not teens who were playing in the back seat of a car.

          You do your best to slip away from the actual question when it’s not convenient, don’t you, Slippery Jim? You aren’t a lawyer are you?

          The problem is that poor sex education is causing unwanted pregnancies. Do you care about unwanted pregnancies or not? If so, I would (naively) think that you’d be eager to find ways to reduce them.

          What I actually said is there in black and white.

          And, as I made clear, I don’t know what your point is. I guess I never will. Ah, well—a burden I’ll just have to live with.

  • DMD

    This is the stupidest argument ever written on the internet.

    Having sex with imperfect contraception is no more a willingness to accept pregnancy than eating a sandwich is a willingness to accept choking

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Or driving is a willingness to accept an accident. When someone comes to the ER banged up from a car crash, we fix them up. Ditto an unwanted pregnancy.


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