Accurate Posters for Pro-Lifers

You’ve probably seen this type of poster/billboard coming from the pro-life movement:

PZ Myers says that information may be true — the “non-functional primordia of those organs” exist at 28 days — but the picture is misleading. If they wanted to be accurate, the poster would look more like this:

All of their billboards are like this, listing a known developmental landmark, the earlier the better, and showing a picture of a post-natal infant as if that has any relevance. It’s an attempt to make an emotional tie to developmental events. It works with a lot of people, too, the people who are ignorant of reality — and of course, these ads do nothing to educate them.

His piece on how an embryo is not a person is a terrific read.

  • Jeff

    that one in the first picture looks tasty…. but that second one looks like an AMAZING appetizer!

  • Mike

    I think a nice counter billboard is a picture of a middle aged family who is facing a catastrophe because they cannot afford health care. It appears to me the vast majority of those individuals who support the right to life don’t want to take any action to spread the benefits of health care to anyone.

  • Jim Weatherby

    We do better when we correctly identify those opposed to choice as “anti-choice”, rather than pro-life. Or as “pro-birthers”. Because there is very little in the rest of their platform (generally speaking) that is pro-life. These are the same people who (generally speaking) support the death penatly, the war in Iraq, and cutting social spending which is intended to help the very children they insist must be carried to term.

    Calling them “pro-life” does those of us who are pro-choice a disservice.

  • Jim Weatherby

    …and they could add to the poster… “I’ve had my eyes, ears, tongue, AND MY TAIL, since 28 days after conception…”

  • Schmoofy

    They both look delicious, you know, being an atheist and all.

  • http://onestdv.blogspot.com OneSTDV

    Just curious when most people here consider abortion tantamount to murder? Second trimester? 5 months? Heartbeat?

    And how do you justify setting this date as the delineation between abortion and murder?

  • http://www.bigmama247.com Alise

    @Mike — Bingo! Nothing frustrates me more about the “pro-life” movement than the unwillingness to work for benefits that might actually make life an option for folks. You can’t talk out of one side of your mouth about how precious life is and then out of the other side scream about you don’t want your money going to pay for “those people” to keep on having babies. It’s absolute insanity.

  • codemenkey

    FACE IT: i had eyes, ears, a tongue, and even a tail! 28 days from conception.

    fixed.

  • martin

    Love the picture, but as codemonkey pointed out, they should also throw in a tail and pseudo-gills :D.

  • Mike E

    @OneSTDV I dunno. Why draw the line at conception? Might abstinence be considered just as bad? You’re depriving the world of all those potential humans by not having as much sex with as many women as possible. Or masturbation? All those potential babies dying on a piece of tissue paper?

    The fact is, there really isn’t a sharp line. It’s a decision every woman has to make for herself, and frankly I don’t think it’s a decision any woman takes lightly.

  • Judith Bandsma

    @Mike

    Hell, the “pro-lifers” won’t even extend health care to that 28 day old embroyo AFTER it actually becomes a child and they won’t extend it to the woman who is its incubator.

  • Andrew

    Abortion is ok because the embryos are not humans yet? I mean its not like the embryo is going to turn to be something that is not human. Just because it does not look like a human does not mean it will not be one someday. In fact barring miscarriage the embryo is pretty much on a collision course to be a child. You can say that it is better for a child not to be born at all than be born in to poverty or a bad home but really you can’t predict what is going to happen next week much less 18 years in the future. If you don’t want a kid use birth control or give it up for adoption.

  • ckitching

    Andrew, tell that to this nine-year old girl.

  • Epistaxis

    PZ forgot the scale bar.

  • SmilingAtheist

    George Carlin said it best! (though I think PZ did well)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvF1Q3UidWM

  • codemenkey

    Andrew, and just who the hell do you think you are to tell anybody what to do with their lives?

  • Andrew

    @ckitching
    That is one extreme example. Fact of the matter is though that abortions for rape/incest victims is exceedingly low somewhere around 1% of abortions fit into that category. Also with a nine year old there are a lot of safety issues that come into play for mother and baby. However unless all abortions occur under these circumstances it is pretty hard to actually justify it. Women do have a choice they have birth control and adoption. The child also has rights and it deserves a chance at life. What if your mom aborted you?

  • Kate

    In response to Andrew (a MALE), PZ said it best:

    “A couple of additional points: notice how clever I was in not saying precisely when the fetus becomes a human being? That’s because there is no sharp magical border, it’s grey and fuzzy all the way. That’s a social and personal decision. Don’t even ask me when — I’m a guy. I don’t have the same responsibilities as a pregnant woman, so I don’t get the same privileges.”

  • Andrew

    I don’t know codemenkey. You tell me. I’m just trying to stick up for the rights of children.

  • jemand

    WTF andrew. I have no inclination to rape my mother, I have NO inclination to use her body without her consent. Now or at ANY time in my life.

    I’m sorry you care so little for your mother that you would treat her as a slave and incubator.

  • Andrew

    @Kate
    Don’t even start with the male stuff. We have a say when conceiving a child and after it is born. Why should we not have a say when it is in the womb? The child is legally seen as a shared responsibility based upon the fact that it takes two to conceive it. So naturally men should have a say otherwise we should not have a responsibility to take care of it after it is born.

  • Christy

    @Andrew, men should have no say in the matter. It is a woman’s body & her choice. Birth control is not 100% & there are many factors that go into a woman’s choice to have an abortion. I know, I have had one…I also am a teacher & a mother to 3. I suspect that you aren’t looking out for the children, rather a soapbox. Do you work with kids? Maybe social services? I find most who are so concerned with abortion don’t lift a finger to help the kids who are on the planet.

  • jemand

    you shouldn’t have a say because it’s not your womb.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    And… Andrew missed the entire point of PZ’s post.

    An embryo is not a person. An egg is not a chicken. A canvas is not a painting. A seed is not a plant. You are not defending children; you’re defending potential. And now that we’re capable of converting adult skin cells into induced stem cells, it’s not wholly out of the range of possibility that a skin cell could be converted into an egg or a sperm. But you won’t find people arguing that we should defend skin cells because they have the potential of becoming human beings.

    When should we draw the line on abortion? For me, it’s whenever the fetus would be viable outside of the mother. But guess what? That isn’t a decision that I get to be involved in for anyone else.

  • Andrew

    Yes I should. It(the child) has half my DNA. It would not exist if not for me. I have to help pay for it after it is born. Why should my responsibility for it take a break? I mean I am responsible for its existence and its future well being why should I not get to decide if it is born or not if the baby is half mine?

  • Philbert

    “Don’t ask me, I’m male” – this is an argument from authority. I don’t buy the argument that interested groups can wall off ethical questions as their own territory. But even if I did believe that only women are entitled to opinions on abortion, one can always find a woman somewhere who will think similarly, so you may as well just cut to the chase and address the argument on its merits.

  • jemand

    The same way if your child needs an organ transplant you may not force anyone to donate the necessary organ. Not even AFTER the donor is dead! So no, you cannot force a woman to donate her womb to ‘your’ fetus, unless she wants to and consents to.

    The child is ‘yours’ but it requires an organ transplant to reach viability, as it is NOT your organs under question, you do not have a right to a say.

  • bernerbits

    Just because there’s no specific line where an embryo becomes a person, doesn’t mean that all abortion is murder.

    If it’s murder to abort a brand new zygote, it’s murder to menstruate and masturbate.

    Religious zealots got IDX or “partial birth abortion” banned, even though the percentage of late term abortions performed is vanishingly small, and the percentage of non-medically-necessary late term abortions performed is even smaller. Now, if IDX is medically necessary and the child cannot be expected to survive, a c-section must be performed at risk to the mother, and the child must be allowed to suffer and die outside the womb. How is this “pro-life”?

  • Mary

    I’ve considered myself an atheist since I was in 7th grade, and up until last year, I considered myself pro-choice. However as a college sophomore, when I challenged myself on my position on abortion as an atheist, I realized it made no sense. I, and other atheists, I assume, believe that this life is it, our one opportunity at experiencing anything. With a limited understanding of genetics, we can also all agree that we are unique. We will never be made again. Therefore, when we consider what abortion is and what it is doing, it is eliminating that fetus’ one shot at life. At experiencing anything.

    Christians believe that that child will at least go to heaven- none of us buy that.

    So I was just wondering how atheists/secular people justify this act of eliminating an individual’s only chance at life, when I would think our views would have us valuing the opportunity above everything else.

  • Greg

    Fact of the matter is though that abortions for rape/incest victims is exceedingly low somewhere around 1% of abortions fit into that category. Also with a nine year old there are a lot of safety issues that come into play for mother and baby. However unless all abortions occur under these circumstances it is pretty hard to actually justify it.

    Andrew, you can’t merely dismiss abortions for rape and incest by saying they are only 1%.

    If there are times when abortion is perfectly acceptable, then either abortion itself is not automatically murder, or it is murder but justifiable. Either way, it’s up to you to make your position clearer before you can expect others to argue with it – what exactly entails whichever of these positions you hold? I’d suggest you are the one who must provide the justification as regards the bolded text, not anyone else. When are abortions acceptable? Why? When are they not acceptable? Why not? After all, ‘the child deserves a chance at life’ applies in all cases, it does not disappear in cases of rape and incest.

    (Also, of course, the use of child is wrong – a child is someone between birth and adulthood. It is only a child once it is born, not before.)

  • Trans Sami

    Love how this article rips apart their propaganda, nobody would call a mindless clump of cells a person and the pro-’lifers’ know it. They fling around pictures of babies because if they were honest and said “I value the rights of a clump of cells with absolutely no capacity for thought and feeling that wouldn’t even be aware of it’s own existence if we removed it over the rights of grown woman” they’d lose all support.

    I also love how they dodge the question of raped women. Is the fetus a person or not? Is it murder to destroy it or not? When it’s some whore who gets knocked up they’re so quick with to shout “yes!” twice but those same people get real quiet and change the subject when asked if a raped woman who gets an abortion should be considered a murderer. It’s not like being raped gives you the right to murder a person *that thing they insist fetuses are*, you don’t even get to murder the guy who raped you.

    PS: If you’re wondering why I put quotes around the second half of pro-’life’ ask Dr. Tiller.

  • Andrew

    @Mike
    A chicken does not have complex emotions, plants do not think and paintings are not alive. That is the difference. As for skin cells they die naturally all the time and they are just a little easier to make and kill than an embryo.
    @ jemand
    It is not my fetus or her fetus it is our fetus. Its not like these women are forced into to becoming pregnant. This is not Ayn Rand’s Anthem. If you do not want to be pregnant use birth control. If you use birth control and it fails keep the baby or have it adopted. There are ways around abortion people just have to care enough to use them.
    Also as far as the rape question goes it is a horrible horrible thing that no one should have to go through. But at the same time two wrongs do not make a right.

  • Trans Sami

    Also as far as the rape question goes it is a horrible horrible thing that no one should have to go through. But at the same time two wrongs do not make a right.

    YES OR NO: Women who are raped should be forced to have their rapists baby and should be considered murderers if they don’t.

  • jemand

    Yes they are forced into becoming pregnant. Women do not consciously conceive. If they are pursuing an abortion than *by definition* they do not consent to pregnancy, i.e., it is forced on them. That it is done by biology doesn’t make it ‘ok’ especially when we can *transcend* biology with medical technology.

  • jemand

    btw, if males do not want to deal with the “icky” nature of abortion, especially abortion of the results of their *perfect* spunk, than they should never have sex.

    If you don’t want any possibility of being involved with an abortion?

    No sex for YOU then!

    Think that’s unreasonable? You idiot. You’re the one saying the exact same thing to women, only worse. “Don’t want to be pregnant? NEVER have sex!”

    And seriously? Dealing with someone ELSE getting an abortion? WAY fucking easier than pregnancy.

  • beth

    Of course men have a choice. They can decide to have sex or not have sex. Their window closes sooner. Not only that, but most women do speak to their partners about options before choosing. If they don’t want to talk to the partner, there’s probably a very good reason.

    Also, many “pro-lifers” also oppose birth control, and so that’s not always an easy thing to do, to “just” go on birth control. I think that it is ideal to prevent pregnancy, but not always as easy as it should be. And adoption can really be a nightmare for dome people. Its not as easy as it sounds either.

    and, unless you are actually inhabiting my uterus, you should stay the fuck out of it. I don’t like abortion, no one does, but its not a choice anyone can make for anyone else.

    And the second sign is way better. If “pro-lifers” have to lie about fetal development to make their point, then its not much of a point.

    Whoever said all the stuff about late term abortions being rare and that no one chooses them unless its medically necessary, thank you.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Set aside for a moment the question of when a fetus becomes a person. When does a pregnant woman stop being one? When does she lose rher right to determine what will happen with her own body?

    And now for a rousing chorus of Every sperm is sacred

  • Reginald Selkirk

    As for skin cells they die naturally all the time and they are just a little easier to make and kill than an embryo.

    Spontaneous abortion (aka miscarriage)

    The incidence of spontaneous abortion is estimated to be 50% of all pregnancies, based on the assumption that many pregnancies abort spontaneously with no clinical recognition…

  • Judith Bandsma

    Andrew, have you looked at the numbers of pharmacies that won’t sell birth control to ANYONE, lately. Or the push by the same people, like you, who say ‘use birth control or adoption’ to abolish not just abortion but birth control.

    Come to think about it, how many kids have those same people adopted? From THIS country, not from China.

  • jemand

    @Reginald Selkirk,

    oh yes, EVERY sperm. ESPECIALLY andrew’s.

    He has RIGHTs you know. He OWNS that stuff in that woman over there, therefor he gets to tell her which medical care she’s allowed to get.

    Negation of consent?
    What are you talking about! No way women get to negate consent! She said yes once, I’m finishing the job!

    Damn women.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    What if your mom aborted you?

    So I was just wondering how atheists/secular people justify this act of eliminating an individual’s only chance at life, when I would think our views would have us valuing the opportunity above everything else.

    Cue a second chorus of Every Sperm is Sacred

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    A chicken does not have complex emotions, plants do not think and paintings are not alive. That is the difference.

    Humans don’t breathe underwater, so fish are right to devalue us and say that there’s a difference between killing us and killing fish.

    Essentially, that’s the argument you’re making: Humans are magically special so we need special treatment.

    By the way, your children don’t have half of your DNA. They have all of their own. Contributing DNA to a fetus does not give you ownership rights.

  • Judith Bandsma

    On the subject of when does a fetus become a human being? When the woman carrying it decides that it is and not a minute before.

  • http://thegodlessmonster.com/ The Godless Monster

    @Mary,
    You bring up an interesting point. I can’t say that I have the inclination to comment further on it as I cannot hold a candle to most of the intellects on this site and will just muck it all up. I tend to kill flies with a sledgehammer, as most on this site who know me can testify to :-)
    Anyone more qualified than me care to comment on Mary’s ethical question?

  • Andrew

    Ok look a lot of you disagree with me. Understandable. Some of you have chosen name calling as a form of arguing. You know who you are. Thanks for helping my cause.
    @Mike
    Humans are special. We are the dominant species. We are more complex socially than any other species we have ever known about. It is not magic at all. We do get special treatment by the way people don’t slaughter each other for eating like they do chickens.
    Also yes the child has it’s own DNA but half of it did come from my body that is Bio 101. Also in this country the man is certainly responsible for a child just like the woman and it is on the basis that he helped create it. Are you denying that the man did not help the woman conceive?

  • Andrew

    Also please those of you who want to generalize my positions on other issues and throw me into categories with other pro-life people just stop. What you are doing is making a straw man fallacy. You are making things up about what I believe because it is easier to defeat those points than what I am actually saying.

  • Angie

    Andrew — when you trotted out the myth that only 1% of abortions are supposedly due to rape, I recalled suspiciously similar comments by someone calling himself God Is Real to the 2/22/10 post, “Why I’m Having An Abortion”. Are you God Is Real under a different name?

    For the record, what you said is INCORRECT — the percentage of rape-related abortions is far, far higher than 1%. And, unlike you, I am willing to back up my assertion with research. Here’s a repeat of how I responded to God Is Real back in February.

    According to one study, 9% of women seeking help from the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP) were pregnant due to rape. Also, 11% of women helped by the Women’s Medical Fund (WMF) were pregnant due to rape. These numbers were taken from “Abortion Funding: Matters of Justice” (2005), available at
    http://www.nnaf.org/NNAF_Policy_Report.pdf

    Additionally, one researcher estimates that rape results in 25,000 pregnancies each year in the U.S. (Stewart, Felicia H. and James Trussell. 2000. Prevention of Pregnancy Resulting from Rape. A Neglected Preventive Health Measure. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 19(4):228-229.)

    Studies in other countries show high rates of pregnancy from rape. In Mexico, for instance, studies have found pregnancy rates as high as 26% among rape victims. At a maternity hospital in Peru, almost 90% of the pregnant girls there age 12-16 had been raped. In a study of a Costa Rican shelter, 95% of the pregnancies among girls age 15 and younger were due to rape or incest. (de Bruyn, Maria. 2001. Violence, Pregnancy and Abortion: Issues of Women’s Rights and Public Health. Chapel Hill, NC: Ipas.)

  • Milena

    Ha, I like how Andrew thinks that he has as much a right to decide what happens to the fetus as the woman since the fetus is “half his.” So basically you coming once is the equivalent to not only her half of the genetic material, but also the health risks she faces, the changes to her body, lifestyle, and career options, the space (within her body) and time she must invest in carrying the child to term and all those other lovely things that pregnancy entails? You must have some really awesome spunk, Andrew.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    I’ve always thought it curious that the same psychopaths that grab guns to shoot doctors who administer abortions don’t also use those same guns to shoot the sky to kill God since according to their beliefs God is responsible for all spontaneous abortions. Since psychopaths are mainly intraspecies predators, I presume they don’t direct their behavior to other species (or imagined beings).

    To comment on Mary’s question, there is nothing about atheism itself that would influence a position on abortion. Being an atheist just eliminates the subset of pro-life arguments that come from the premise that being pro-life is what God wants us to be. Of course, abortion is not mentioned in the bible so pro-lifers who use religious arguments are projecting their views onto their idealizations of their imagined God…

  • http://thegodlessmonster.com/ The Godless Monster

    @Jeff P…thank you sir! You managed to write something very close to what I wrote someone in the past on this subject, but without all of the “stupid mother f*ckers” and “dumbsh*ts” in it…

  • SmilingAtheist

    I find it interesting how these topics always brings about the same statements over and over again. PZ put it into perspective. If you disagree with abortion, fine, that’s your choice. Don’t push your choice on others, simple. I also agree with the simple statement that I (being a man or anyone other than the women giving birth) have no say in what she does with her body. Again, simple.

  • John L.

    There doesn’t even need to be a debate about this. Abortions are legal for the most part. And besides that I think no one likes abortions. No one is fighting for abortion but rather the right of choice. So we should stop worrying about abortions and worry about the reasons people get abortions so that we can focus on those. It’s like worrying all the time about people stealing from your shop and never stopping to consider why people are stealing from you shop so you can help prevent it. That’s what pro-life people should focus on like financial assistance for expectant mothers and educating them without saying that they are going to burn in hell.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Beth

    Mary asked: “So I was just wondering how atheists/secular people justify this act of eliminating an individual’s only chance at life, when I would think our views would have us valuing the opportunity above everything else.”

    I cannot speak for all atheists obviously. And my answer is that I don’t have to justify it to you or anyone else. I value life. I value the life of a fetus as well as the life of the mother and already existing children. My justification to myself is that the life of the mother/existing children are already here, and therefore should garner the bulk of attention. The opportunity to take care of existing children has much greater value to me than to force all these pregnant women to have babies that no one wants and may not be able to take care of. I also value bodily autonomy when it comes to all medical procedures. I would never tell someone to have/not have an abortion, or have/not have open heart surgery. I feel that it is important and valuable for people to be able to make their own informed choices about personal and medical matters, including abortion.

    And, when I menstruate or a man masturbates, those could be considered potential lives, and we don’t get mad about those. Any one of my eggs or my boyfriend’s sperm could combine to form a baby, but that doesn’t stop us from having periods and masturbating. I have never liked the argument from the potential of a life, especially since that potential would likely be eliminated by the mother’s body anyway; many pregnancies end before the woman even knows she is pregnant.

    I hope I didn’t come off as too snarky; that’s just how I feel. Does that make sense?

    @ John L., it seems so simple, doesn’t it? I think you’re right on, but people that oppose abortion (and even pro-choicers like myself) are sometimes a little blinded by the word “abortion.” All they can think of is killing precious babies and all I can think of is a woman’s right to bodily autonomy, and it gets in the way of logical, reasonable measures of prevention that would help everyone. I might also add that some people who oppose abortion also oppose preventative measures, like birth control, condoms, emergency contraception, and comprehensive sex education (all shown to reduce the rate of unintended pregnancies).

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Of course, abortion is not mentioned in the bible…

    That is arguable. The Biblical God is NOT pro-life, he advocates child murder, infanticide, child abuse and abortion

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    There is an good mystery novel (A case of Need by Michael Crichton) written back in 1968 (before Row vs. Wade) where abortion is the major theme. If you like Crichton and like medical thrillers, you should read this book. The book was written back when abortions were illegal. If abortions were to become illegal again, stories like this could happen again.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Beth

    @ Andrew (I know better than to feed the trolls, but sometimes I can’t help myself), I wonder if I made myself clear in my first post. Men have a choice. Have sex, or don’t. Use a condom, or don’t. Make sure she’s on birth control, or don’t. That is your choice, and you need to make it responsibly. Just because your window of choice is smaller doesn’t mean you get to trample all over hers. What happens after conception happens 100% in the female body, therefore leaving her with 100% of the choice. Like I said, most women do tell their partners and discuss options before aborting, and if they don’t they probably have a damn good reason not to. If you never want to be in a relationship with someone who chooses abortion, then listen to jemand. NO SEX. Make your choice and leave mine alone.

  • Erp

    The Roman Catholic Church is fairly consistent no abortion for rape, incest, or even if the pregnancy will kill the woman. (It is also against the death penalty and certain medical directives dealing with end of life issues.) I agree with them on the death penalty but that is about it.

    The results are the lives of many women ruined (physically and/or mentally) or ended due to pregnancy. Jewish religious law considers the mother’s life to be paramount until birth. It requires an abortion if necessary to save the mother’s life. Ideally abortions should be legal, usually early, and rare and the last two requires education and availability of birth control. Even nowadays late abortions are often a tragedy because for most women in such a situation they want a baby but one of two scenarios happens: the fetus is severely deformed and will not survive birth by long (and will likely die painfully) or the mother’s life is in serious danger from the pregnancy and this becomes known only late in pregnancy.

    As for where would I be if I had been aborted? The answer is no where but that would also happen to be true if my parents had been separated during the time I would have been conceived by a business trip, call up to the army, eaten a bad meal and didn’t feel like sex that evening.

    For those who do think a fetus is a full legal human, when does it acquire citizenship? If before birth, does that mean pregnant foreign visitors can’t come to the US no matter what stage their pregnancy or even that no visiting foreign woman is allowed to have sexual intercourse while in the US?

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Andrew

    Humans are special. We are the dominant species.

    No, we’re not. Bacteria outnumbers us, has been around longer, survived worse disasters than we have and regularly kills us. It is nice to think that we are the dominant species but that’s just our human-centric bias talking.

    We are more complex socially than any other species we have ever known about. It is not magic at all. We do get special treatment by the way people don’t slaughter each other for eating like they do chickens.

    Yet some cultures have practiced cannibalism, typically to honour the dead but not always. That we don’t practice it now doesn’t make us special.

    Also yes the child has it’s own DNA but half of it did come from my body that is Bio 101.

    Right and you share half your DNA with grass.

    Also in this country the man is certainly responsible for a child just like the woman and it is on the basis that he helped create it. Are you denying that the man did not help the woman conceive?

    Taking responsibility is very different from taking over.

    Anyway back to the point: Pro life is concerned with the zygote\fetus\potential human and not the woman. Pro choice is concerned with the woman. The two sides have no middle ground to discuss their differences and nowhere to meet a compromise position. It is sad but true.

    I’d ask the pro-lifers\anti choicers two things:
    1. why don’t you insist that the victims of incest and other rape give birth to children conceived in this way? This seems inconsistent to the stated view and begs the question that if you allow some circumstances for abortion then why not others?

    2. what sentence do you advocate for women who have an abortion? Also their doctors? Should they be imprisoned or fined? How long for or how much? If you consider their actions to be murder would you call for the death penalty for their “crimes” or is life imprison sufficient punishment? If this seems immensely unfair and intuitively wrong then why is that do you think?

    Finally I think that we can agree that we want a society where abortion is rare. How is it best to achieve this goal? Abstinence education is a demonstrable failure? Scare tactics are disgusting and don’t work either. Education seems most effective and a strong program of publicly available and anonymous contraception and “morning after pills”. Abortion should be available as an option but not the first option. Prevention being the best option. Do you agree?

  • Trans Sami

    So does anyone else see where Andrew answered my very simple yes or no question? I don’t.

  • http://onestdv.blogspot.com OneSTDV

    On the subject of when does a fetus become a human being? When the woman carrying it decides that it is and not a minute before.

    So you’re OK with an abortion at 36 weeks just as long as the woman isn’t in labor?

  • cathy

    @Andrew “Why should we not have a say when it is in the womb? ” Err, maybe because it’s not your fucking womb. A woman’s body is never your property. You want half the remains after the fetus is removed, fine, but you have no right to coerce use of someone else’s body.

    Also, the idea that ‘potential people’ have rights is just stupid. Actual people have rights, potential people, not actually being people, have none. By your logic, actual people should be subserviant to the mere possibility of a child coming into existence. The ‘what if your mother aborted you’ question is no different from ‘what if your mother had recieved better birth control information” (I was concieved while my mother had been breast feeding for nine months and she was mistakenly instructed that pregnancy could not occur at all during breastfeeding), or “what if your mother had left your abusive father before he sabotaged her birth control to try to coerce her into staying in the relationship?” (how my little sister was concieved). My mother also lost a boyfriend in high school in a motorcycle accident, if he hadn’t died, she never would have met or dated my father, so I guess I had better go around killing teenagers so that potential fetuses like me come into existence.

  • cathy

    @OneSTDV, a woman maintains a right to remove the fetus from her body at all times, because even if it is a person, people do not have the right to nonconsensually use the bodies of others either (here’s Thompson’s groundbreaking paper on that issue http://spot.colorado.edu/~heathwoo/Phil160,Fall02/thomson.htm). However, if the fetus can survive outside of the uterus, if there are not health or other reasons to do otherwise, the preferred method of removal should be induction or c-section (as per the woman’s choice). I have the right to deny someone one of my kidneys despite their need, but if I refuse use of my kidneys, if they happen to survive anyways, then I do not have a right to execute them. However, if it is 100% certain that the kidney needer will die, this does not give them the right to take my kidney without consent. Treating the fetus as a person after a certain point does not give it the right to use someone else’s body without consent.

  • Ash

    So you’re OK with an abortion at 36 weeks just as long as the woman isn’t in labor?

    Absolutely. At that point it would be called a C-section and the mother shouldn’t be forced to keep it.

    Additionally, I would also be fine with an abortion at 8 months, since this only happens because the fetus is dead/will die shortly, or the pregnant woman will die.

    I take it you’d rather everyone involved suffered and died instead? Lovely morals you got there…or were you just chucking out incoherent strawmen for the sake of making anti-choicers look like asshats? In which case, bravo you.

  • Andrew Morgan

    OMFG every time this topic comes up the pro-choice side immediately gets one thing wrong; saying things like –

    @codemonkey: Andrew, and just who the hell do you think you are to tell anybody what to do with their lives?

    @PZ Myers: I don’t have the same responsibilities as a pregnant woman, so I don’t get the same privileges.

    @jemand: you shouldn’t have a say because it’s not your womb.

    @judithbandsma: On the subject of when does a fetus become a human being? When the woman carrying it decides that it is and not a minute before.

    – MISS THE ANTI-ABORTION POSITION COMPLETELY.

    You don’t have to agree with it, but their position ISN’T THAT THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO DICTATE SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE; IT’S THAT THE FETUS HAS RIGHTS.

    Why is this always so difficult?

    It’s not terribly difficult to argue that the fetus doesn’t have rights. But it’s the epitome of straw men when the pro-choice position says OMG Y DO U HATE WOMEN SO MUCH!??!11

  • Ash

    Mary

    So I was just wondering how atheists/secular people justify this act of eliminating an individual’s only chance at life, when I would think our views would have us valuing the opportunity above everything else.

    See the comments concerning the wasteful disregard of masturbation and menstruation. Someone also mentioned on PZ’s thread that we are close enough to cloning technology that scratching your nose could also be soon regarded as wilful abandonment of potential life. Apparently 50% of pregnancies are spontaneously aborted. Should your morals in this regard not extend to supporting drastic measures to ensure the viability of every ‘potential’ person then?

    For me, I value the rights, desires and autonomy of actual born persons over potential and hypothetical people every time. This means that I always value the actual pregnant woman above the fetus. I wonder how an atheist/secular person could ever pretend to justify dismissing a woman as merely an incubator?

  • Ash

    You don’t have to agree with it, but their position ISN’T THAT THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO DICTATE SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE; IT’S THAT THE FETUS HAS RIGHTS.

    No, it’s that the fetus has rights that take precedent over an actual born persons rights. The only way that can play out is by saying that the woman’s rights are somehow non-existant or negatable once she is pregnant; thus they are claiming they should get to dictate her life and decisions after conception.

    If, and only if, the fetus was able to survive without dependance on a womb would this be only about the fetus’s ‘rights’.

  • Greg

    Argh – I just wrote a detailed response to Mary’s question, and IE crashed. :( (And if people have noticed the length my posts can get to, they’ll know that detailed for me means quite a bit. hehe)

    Sigh. Okay, I’ll try again. But this will be shorter and less detailed – sorry. :-/

    First things first. I can only speak for myself – the only thing I necessarily have in common with other atheists is that I don’t believe in a theistic god. Everyone else may disagree with everything else I have to say! :)

    Okay, right – I’m going to have to briefly mention something about my values, and morality. I do not agree with the statement ‘life is sacred’. For example, I cannot agree that a life full of misery and pain is better than no life at all. This immediately sperates me from many arguments against abortion, which concentrate upon the ‘sanctity of life’. I would hold that bringing a life into the world merely to suffer pain – whether mental or physical – is cruel. I also hold the concept of autonomy in high esteem – as a result, the autonomous life of the mother is more important to me than the dependent life of the unborn fetus. Also, inside the concept of autonomy is nestled awareness, and intelligence, qualities which a zygote, for example, can not have.

    Fetuses, it might be said, are potential humans. Unfortunately, I find this train of reasoning unsatisfying, for it might be a potential champion of humanity, but it may also be a potential genocidal maniac. Potentially a lot might happen, and we have no way of knowing whether benefit or penalty will result – hence nothing about being a potential human is intrinsically good. As a result decisions should be made about things we can know to be good or bad – for example, can a family support the child? Is the mother in a fit state of mind and body to look after the child and/or themselves/existing children? (etc.)

    I could say more, but having written plenty twice now, and not having masses of time, I’ll finish by saying this: Pro-choice people don’t claim that abortions are the ‘right thing to do’, rather, they say that there may be times when abortion is the ‘right’ thing to do, and when it is the ‘wrong’ thing to do. They say that there is no hard and fast rule, and, in general, the people in the best situation to judge are those involved in the situation itself – the mother, father, supporting family, and medical professionals.

    Hope that helps – even if you disagree with it.

  • Judith Bandsma

    @OneSDTV

    By 36 weeks the woman has decided. And, at that point, the fetus is viable outside the womb, not to mention that abortion at that point is illegal except for very serious medical reasons.

    So I’d say your comment is one designed just to be ignorant.

  • trixr4kids

    @Andrew: “What if your mom aborted you?”

    I (as a conscious being) wouldn’t exist, I would never have existed, and so what? Nonexistent beings aren’t hurt by their nonexistence, and worrying about whether or not they’d wish to have existed had they had the choice is ontological muddle and a waste of worry, given all the suffering of actual, born humans and other sentient creatures in the world there are to worry about.

    What if your mom and dad hadn’t done the nasty on the particular occasion you were conceived?

    Answer, see above, substituting “you” for “I”.

  • http://www.godswhitemouse.blogspot.com/ Truism

    Andrew, when it can breath independently, its a life. Until then its basically either a possibility (same as the contents of my testicles), a parasite (same as a tumor or infection), or a medical condition (like appendicitis) – feel free to choose.

    As for your attitude of ‘I put it there so you’ll do as I say’ – another reason why the sooner the Y chromosome dissolves into its own fundamental orifice, the better. And believe me, I’m a male!

  • Andrew Morgan

    @Ash

    “It’s that the fetus has rights that take precedent over an actual born persons rights.”

    Mmm, maybe, maybe not. It depends on what right, of the actual born person, we’re talking about. Which one?

    “The only way that can play out is by saying that the woman’s rights are somehow non-existant or negatable once she is pregnant”

    Sure, but here’s where the fine distinction that gets overlooked comes into play — the right that we’re talking about is the right to abort the fetus. It’s simply not sufficient to talk about “a woman’s right to decide what she wants to do with her body”. Nobody is denying that, not even the anti-abortion crowd. It’s that a woman doesn’t have the right to decide what to do WITH THE BODY OF THE FETUS. You don’t have to agree that it has rights or that it’s a body, but the locus of the argument isn’t the woman, it’s the fetus.

    “thus they are claiming they should get to dictate her life and decisions after conception.”

    Sure, in the sense that we dictate that someone can’t murder someone else.

    “If, and only if, the fetus was able to survive without dependence on a womb would this be only about the fetus’s ‘rights’.”

    No, not really. The fetus can have rights even if it’s dependent on the mother. Dependency doesn’t per se mean that the fetus doesn’t have rights.

    Using viability as a *dividing line* is, I think a good one for determining when the fetus has a right to life. But that’s the issue — when the fetus has a right to life. It’s not “when does the fetus’ right to life become greater than the mother’s right to autonomy”; I’m not sure that even makes sense.

  • Andrew

    Ok so the womb isn’t mine you’re right but the what is inside the womb that is about to be destroyed is certainly half my responsibility. Right? How else did it get there?
    It boils down to responsibility. You should not be having sex if you are not ready to accept the consequences and responsibilities that come with it unintentional or otherwise. That goes for men and women. That’s why we have laws against statuatory rape and the age of consent.
    The women has rights over her body certainly but what about the unborn child?

    I feel like abortions are justified a lot by dehumanizing the fetus by saying its not human. It will be human if it is not destroyed and as the parents people have direct power over that.
    People that are trying to make me out to be some sort of chauvinist pig: Thank You. You are the people making my point, instead of challenging what I say you are trying to discredit it by trying to twist it so I look like a sexist ass. That is not true at all. None of you can seriously argue that it doesn’t take two to tango in pregnancy even with surrogates.
    And yes humans are greater than animals that’s why we don’t own each other as property anymore like we do own animals. If you honestly don’t believe we have more rights than an animal please ask yourself why your dog hasn’t made himself a facebook page?

  • Andrew

    @Beth
    Am I troll? Or am I trying to have a legitimate discussion with people who do not agree with me. By labeling me a troll you are trying to discredit my view because you for some reason feel the need to have me lower than you so you can ignore what I am saying. That is really too bad. I have not come on here and called anyone a name or used profanity. I respectfully disagree with your position and enjoy debating it with other people. I would like the same respect I give you reciprocated.

  • ckitching

    Andrew Morgan, try this (admittedly contrived) example. Assume for a moment that I was hooked up to another person with failing kidneys as a human dialysis machine. I was hooked to this person without my consent (and perhaps without my knowledge), and disconnecting him would mean his certain death. At what point does his right to live override by rights to bodily autonomy? When does someone else get to have a say in what I want to do with my body?

    This is what is meant by the rights of the mother to decide how to use her own body. Even if the fetus has rights, that would only extend to permissible and impermissible ways to remove the fetus from the woman’s body, not the right to have it removed at all. Someday we might be able to ‘save’ all unwanted pregnancies, but I somehow doubt this controversy will disappear, even with that technology. All too often, the unspoken reason for opposing abortion is to cause pain to the “whore” who dares to get pregnant without a husband.

  • Ash

    Andrew Morgan,

    Ok, given your last 2 lines I suspect we’re (mostly) on the same page. For me, it’s the dividing line precisely because the woman is not arguing it’s her right to do what she likes with the body of the fetus; she’s arguing that it is her right to bodily autonomy that EXCEPT in the case of pregnancy, everyone assumes they have. Other than pregnancy, there is no case anywhere that anyone (and this presumes an actual born person) has the right to use another persons body, against their wishes, for a substantial amount of time, and to the possible degradation of their host’s health (both mental and physical) for the purposes of continued existence.

    Until the point of viability outside the womb, the fetus is not an independant human life, which is what the term ‘murder’ is reserved for (although I’m still confused about the distinction with ‘infanticide’ frankly).

    Yeah, I’m sure some/most? women who decide they don’t want a child might rather that an abortion meant an end to the fetus’s existence, but frankly I find it a bizarre hypothetical that such women wouldn’t get an abortion as early as possible (i.e. before viability). If I had an abortion, any pro-lifer would be welcome to have the tiny worm-like thing and try to make it develop into a baby because my issue is not what is done with body of it, it is solely with my right about whom I let -or rather don’t let- use my body for their interests.

  • Ash

    Andrew, ‘scuse me for sounding facetious, but to what extent would you like to accept responsibility for a pregnancy?

    Would it be acceptable if every time you had sex the woman could decide, without your consent, to force you to submit to any and all of the following symptoms;
    piles
    depression
    aching chest
    bad back
    impromptu lactation
    forced time off work
    prolapse
    tearing and stitching of your rectum
    swollen ankles
    public defecation
    invasive surgery
    sterilization
    hormonal imbalance
    death

    These are just a few of the possible bad things that can and do occur to women as a result of pregnacy and labour. You seem to suggest you should have a part in deciding for a woman whether these are acceptable risks or not, so, to be fully responsible, should you be forced to undergo any of this if a woman decided you should?

  • Ash

    p.s. Hemant, looks like I made one too many comments and it got lost…

  • http://liberalfaith.blogspot.com/ Steve Caldwell

    Regarding unplanned pregnancy and other medical complications associated with sexuality, perhaps we should be doing what they’re doing in the Netherlands and other Western European nations:

    “Adolescent Sexual Health in Europe and the U.S.—Why the Difference?”
    http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=419&Itemid=177

    The United States’ teen pregnancy rate is over six times that of the Netherlands, almost four times that of Germany, and almost three times that of France.

    The United States’ teen birth rate is nine times higher the Netherlands’, nearly six times higher than France’s, and over four times higher than Germany’s.

    In the United States, the teen abortion rate is more than twice that of Germany and of the Netherlands.

    So … it seems a worthwhile approach to reduce the number of abortions would be do our European neighbors are doing with reproductive health care access and sexuality education.

  • Andrew

    You make it seem like someone injected these women with a fetus they did not want. For the most part pregnant women did make the choice to have sex and knew pregnancy was a possibility even with proper birth control. The fetus did not ask to be put in that position, the fetus did not force itself into existence. It did not choose to be unwanted. It has rights it chose none of this and in all fairness to the pregnant couple they made their choice. They knew this could happen. It is not the child’s fault their parents were not ready to have them. Again if you are not ready for the responsibilities and consequences, unintended and otherwise that come with having sex you should not be having sex. Moreover you should not willingly destroy another person (because that is what human fetuses/embryos become)because you acted irresponsibly.

  • Ash

    Andrew

    You make it seem like someone injected these women with a fetus they did not want.

    Yes. With a penis.

    Again if you are not ready for the responsibilities and consequences, unintended and otherwise that come with having sex you should not be having sex.

    I am. Which is why I would take the responsible action of an abortion if I deemed it necessary. Would you be willing to fully participate in pregnancy like I suggested above?

    It is not the child’s fault their parents were not ready to have them.

    But you’d be willing to punish that child by putting it in care/making it live with irresponsible unloving parents just so the parents got their comeuppance?

    It has rights it chose none of this and in all fairness to the pregnant couple they made their choice.

    1- what rights?
    2- prove it
    3- pregnant WOMAN. And her choice could still be abortion.

  • muggle

    “Abortion is ok because the embryos are not humans yet?” Exactly.

    “What if your mom aborted you?” She wouldn’t have got the chance to beat me half to death.

    “We have a say when conceiving a child and after it is born. Why should we not have a say when it is in the womb?” Because that womb isn’t in your body and you don’t have any more rights over what a woman does to her freaking womb than you do over how she cuts her freaking hair or tattoes her arm or paints her nail. In other words, what she does to her body.

    “it is eliminating that fetus’ one shot at life. At experiencing anything.” So the fuck what! Who cares?

    “It is not my fetus or her fetus it is our fetus.” No it is not until the woman carries it successfully to term. Note the woman carries it to term. Making her wholly responsible until birth. Leastways, I’ve never heard of a court granting child support to the unborn. Or do you think the woman should sue for child support as soon as she knows she’s pregnant?

    “IT’S THAT THE FETUS HAS RIGHTS. Why is this always so difficult?” Are you insane or merely trying for some misdirection since this whole freaking long thread debunking your nonsense arguments has been just that. They dismantled the notion of fetus’ being a person with rights early on and your problem is they had the audacity to bring up women’s rights.

    Go watch the George Carlin video linked above. It’ll do you good. It’ll be wasted on you but it will do you good.

  • Andrew

    @ Ash
    The woman would not be pregnant without the man. She wouldn’t. You know this to be true. Please explain to me where the man is not directly involved in creating the child.

    Yes I would accept that pregnancy.
    So it would be better than to not allow the child to have any life than a bad one? You can’t predict how that child would come out.

    @ Muggle
    “What if your mom aborted you?” She wouldn’t have got the chance to beat me half to death.

    “it is eliminating that fetus’ one shot at life. At experiencing anything.” So the fuck what! Who cares?
    I’m sorry your mom beat you half to death that is deplorable. However I am very glad you are alive to have this conversation today. As for “so what? who cares?” I do.
    Again you are not arguing any real point, you’re just ranting angrily.

  • Ash

    Andrew, please explain to me where I stated that virgin birth was possible. (clue; I didn’t).

    Glad to see you’re consistent at least, and that you would have no problem accepting being forced to accept possible inconvenience, financial loss, pain and even death for yourself every time you have sex. When this is enacted into law (i.e. made mandatory for all males), I will support your claim over a woman’s body. ‘Scuse me if I don’t hold my breath ’til that happens.

    No, I can’t predict how a child would turn out. Neither can you. The person with the best possible information about it’s chances would still be the pregnant woman. And it would still be her choice.

  • Passerby

    Does this mean Andrew wouldn’t have a problem when a woman asks him to wear a condom? I sure hope so, otherwise he’s a hypocrite.

  • Andrew

    @Ash
    I doubt the woman has a real grasp on that since we cannot fully predict the weather tomorrow much less how a child will turn out. You didn’t say virgin birth was possible that is right. However you are denying the man’s responsibility with the matter. Which is ridiculous the man has to be responsible and therefore has a say over the fetus thanks for agreeing.

    It’s not my claim over her body at all. It’s my claim that the fetus is half my responsibility.

    @Passerby
    Yeah, I would.

  • Ash

    Andrew, ok I agree, if the woman decides to have an abortion, you should be fully entitled to have that scrap of flesh and try to develop it into a baby yourself. After all, it’s your claim on the fetus that’s the only important part here, and you agree it has nothing to do with her body, right?

  • dianna

    “… If I only had a brain (at 28 days)”

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Beth

    @ Andrew, yes I called you a troll. (You have psychoanalyzed me perfectly, by the way, and I thank you for explaining my own thought processes and intentions to me.) I called you a troll because you are one. This entire comment page has now been dedicated to fending you off. If you respectfully disagreed (which I don’t think you have been) then maybe you would concede a point and go away? We can agree that we are not going to change each other’s minds, but why keep on trying? You’ve brought up every anti-choice argument there is, and every time it has been respectfully, totally, rationally refuted. We get it. My uterus belongs to you, every sperm is sacred, and the choice to have an abortion is a complex one which should involve the partner if possible. I GET IT.

    I hope that any potential sexual partner you may have understands your refusal to respect a viable option for an unwanted pregnancy (and I would like to add that you have a responsibility to your partner as well as the fetus), and I hope that you do understand that I honestly do not give a flying fuck what you think about my uterus and its contents thereof. It’s not an enjoyable discussion to have, at least not for me. Know why? Because it’s a scary time to be a woman because there are people like you who would take away my choice and treat me as an incubator. It is stressful to think that in a few years there will be enough anti-choicers that women will have to resort to dangerous methods to terminate pregnancies. It is scary to me that there are so many statistics about abortion showing that places with no legal abortion still do not have lower rates than those that have legal abortion. It is scary to me that there are laws enacted to further hinder the abortion process and treat women as if they know nothing of what their choice to abort means. It is scary to me that there are states (Utah for one) that have enacted laws that can criminalize miscarriage. Got that? They can criminalize women for not acting as the perfect incubator to a ball of cells. This is not an enjoyable discussion; this is not a respectful discussion because at its heart, acting as though women should not have the fundamental right to control their bodies is disrespectful to their personhood. And if I were going to ignore you, don’t you think I’d stop responding?

    I’m not trying to discredit your views; they have no credit to begin with, at least as it applies to my life. If that’s disrespectful to dare suggest that I and only I be in control of my uterus, then so be it.

    As far as ranting angrily goes, there is nothing wrong, unreasonable, or irrational about getting mad at someone who wants to monitor my reproductive choices. I would *respectfully* ask that you not respond to me again. I’ve said what I want to say and you have said what you want to say to me. You said you want to discuss this with people; I don’t want to talk to you anymore, and I am removing myself from this “discussion” with you. Continue your discussion with other people who are interested.

  • Ryan

    Yeah don’t abort the babies, so the Gay Couples can adopt them!

  • Mary

    I apologize for not getting to this sooner- seems like I dug myself quite the hole, but I’ll try to address the comments toward my post.

    I want to begin by addressing the chorus- and serious allegations- of “Every Sperm is Sacred”: Nah. I, like most of you- I assume- don’t really buy into that. Following this framework, I see no issue with masturbation or menstruation (or the prospects that PZ mentioned concerning cloning). Please continue to masturbate especially- that’s men and women alike.

    I should probably clarify where I divulge now, which is when an egg is fertilized. The difference, I would argue, is that there is a distinction between preventing something- and destroying it once it’s there. I am 666% behind full, comprehensive sex education, including every possible preventive measure. This would undoubtedly help- though certainly not solve- the current rate of unintended pregnancies as Beth mentions. @ Beth: Not at all snarky.

    Next, to comment on the parts of Ash’s response I have not already looked at, you bring up the issue of spontaneously aborted pregnancies. I think that in this area you’ll find that we’re actually on the same page. I don’t seek to criminalize a spontaneous abort anymore than I wish to criminalize a miscarriage. The issue I see is intent. On one hand, there is an unintentional end to existence; on the other, there is an active attempt to end a life. You ask whether my morals extend to supporting drastic measures to ensure every fetus’ viability. I suppose my answer would rest with what your idea of these drastic measures are. To offer a preliminary answer: yes, my morals do extend to protecting every fetus once it has come into existence. I realize your final question was meant to be provocative- and I mean that in the positive way. I hope that you can get a sense of my perspective and see that I am not dismissing a woman as an incubator, but rather diverging from the dismissal of a fetus as meaningless.

    Now, I want to address Greg’s discussion on autonomy. You write: “I also hold the concept of autonomy in high esteem – as a result, the autonomous life of the mother is more important to me than the dependent life of the unborn fetus.” I also value the autonomy of individuals to make their own choices, but I will admit that I stop short of full endorsement when it comes to the issue of termination. Ignoring the issue of when the fetus develops functioning nerves (I fully realize this occurs within the third trimester, and the vast majority of abortions occur within the first), it seems that eliminating a fetus’ capacity to experience anything is the capital issue. Moving on to your point about valuing the mother’s autonomy over the fetus’, I want to stress that it is not that I think the fetus is more important than the mother. I just think that the mother is not more important than the fetus. Abortion, unlike pregnancy, asserts that the fetus is worth nothing. @ Greg, thank you for your careful and considerate response to my post.

    @ Ash, Greg, Beth, and everyone else I missed who responded to my post:
    I want to express how genuinely thankful I am for you to discuss this with me. As you might imagine, I don’t often get this sort of intellectual treatment in the mainstream pro-life movement, and I truly respect analysis by secular individuals- which is why I honestly want your feedback.

    I have reserved my final paragraphs to address Andrew’s posts. I do so not with the intention to antagonize, but to explicitly state that I am not sure I disagree with anyone here more than I disagree with him. You do not acknowledge that not all sex is consensual, which is callous, and that education on sex preventative measures is not currently available to all, which is ignorant. However, I am most turned off by your characterization of humans as the dominant species- essentially lords of the earth- and treatment of animals as disposable. I realize I may depart from other atheists when I say this, but I think that is a grave mistake. This is certainly a conversation for another thread, but stated simply:

    There was a time-far from long ago- when blacks were the property of white (men) and women the property of men, and society’s values dictated that this was both acceptable and appropriate. To quote Alice Walker in her discussion of another text: “The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.” I challenge you to reconsider the mainstream ideas about inherent human privilege. We are certainly more advanced, but I would argue this enables us to develop alternatives, not take advantage.

  • Ash

    Mary, the problem is that a fetus is a life-form entirely dependant on the mother for survival at most stages of its development. Unfortunately, when two clearly conflicting issues arise, a choice has to be made. If the mother is not more important than the fetus, and it is decided that the fetus should live, the reality is that a woman is thereby forced, even against her will, to be merely an incubator.

    Yes, education and wide-spread contraceptive availability helps, but is not 100%. Abstinence may be 100%, but is rarely practised by any individual, and robs ‘normal’ (i.e. the majority of people with a healthy sexual appetite) persons of a valuable part of the human experience. And, for someone like me, who never plans on having children, seems a cruel and unusual punishment for being born female. As, frankly, would be *having* to go through pregnancy + labour for a child I didn’t want and had taken all reasonable precautions against.

    p.s. love the humour :)

  • trixr4kids

    @Mary,

    Here’s a thought experiment. I gather it’s a classic, but I just heard about it recently (I’m so out of touch!):

    Suppose there’s a fire in a fertility clinic. You are the only adult present, and there is a newborn baby and a tank of liquid nitrogen with 5,000 frozen embryos in the clinic. You can save only one of them before the place burns down — which would you choose?

    On a different but related note, you said:

    “I just think that the mother is not more important than the fetus. ”

    I respectfully ask you to reconsider this. Are you sure that’s really what you think? Tweak the thought experiment, and say there’s a grown woman in the clinic–let’s say she’s unconscious–and you could save her or the embryos, but not both.

    What would you do?

    (I’m asking rhetorically, don’t feel you have to answer, unless you feel like it.)

  • Andrew

    @Beth
    I’m sorry you feel that way, I really do. I’m sorry you are more scared about the right for you to destroy another living person than you are for the person you carry. You don’t need to be bitter about it. It is a legitimate debate. I was trying to see how the other side thinks. I don’t think any of my questions really were answered. I did not mean to hurt anybody’s feelings. Have a nice life (really I’m not just saying that)

    @Everyone
    Thanks for the discussion. It was interesting. I was not trolling, sorry if you felt that way. We disagree, it’s a tough issue I get it. Looking forward to talking to you all some more in the future.
    Regards

  • Trans Sami

    YES OR NO ANDREW:

    If a women gets raped she should give birth to the rapists child. If she does not carry the child of the man who raped her for 9 months and let it claw it’s way out of her she should be treated no differently from a murderer.

    Don’t pretend you didn’t see this question like last time.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    You make it seem like someone injected these women with a fetus they did not want.

    That happens in some cases, thus the questions about rape. We are not the least bit satisfied with your answers for the situation of rape.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    I’m sorry you are more scared about the right for you to destroy another living person than you are for the person you carry.

    Andrew, you can take your sorrow and shove it up your ***. In your statement you assume what has been contested – that a fetus is a “person.” Sticking your fingers in your ears and ignoring the debate over this question does not win the argument for you, it just marks you as a clueless twit.

  • Andrew Morgan

    @ckitching

    I don’t think the hypothetical is contrived, but I think the issue of “how you ended up there” is the important part. If you ended up hooked to someone else without your consent, you absolutely have the right to immediately disconnect yourself, even if that person is going to die.

    But let’s change the hypothetical slightly. While on vacation, you and your partner decide to eat at restaurant which serves a tasty delicacy which, if the proper precautions are not taken, causes a life-threatening but survivable medical emergency. In such an emergency, the sufferer can survive if they are hooked up to someone else to act as dialysis.

    You talk it over with your partner. You know the risks and are careful, but the dish is just too delicious to pass up. You take the antidote pills beforehand, but gazing into each others eyes, agree that should anything happen, the other will provide that dialysis.

    Your partner and you eat the dish; he gets sick, and you are hooked up to him to save his life.

    NO — I do not think you have the right to disconnect yourself at this point.

    @Ash

    I mean, to be clear, I’m pro-choice. There isn’t even a “but” coming. Incidentally, while I think viability is probably a good philosophical line, it’s probably a bad practical one; birth is better.

    My point is that, when I talk to a lot of fellow pro-choice folks, they consciously or unconsciously miss that anti-choice folks genuinely think the fetus has a right to not be murdered. I think they’re wrong, of course, but that’s where my argument tends to center.

    If they’re the religious type who argues that the fetus has rights because their revealed religion says so, then I argue from the political theory angle that revealed religion is no basis for a system of government (much like strange women lying in ponds distributing swords).

  • Andrew Morgan

    Also @muggle, you fail. That wasn’t my argument. It’s the argument that needs to be debunked, and it’s the argument I think some pro-choice folks don’t hit hard enough.

    I don’t think a fetus has rights. Next time you quote someone, read what they wrote.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Moreover you should not willingly destroy another person (because that is what human fetuses/embryos become)

    Andrew: apparently you can distinguish between what a fetus is and what it might become. This is good, because it means you are not entirely stupid. However, it tears a rather large hole in your argument. You have acknowledged that a fetus is not a person, but merely has the potential to become one. That means it’s time for another chorus of Every sperm is Sacred.

  • alex

    To all truly “pro-life” out there, that is, those who really care about the rights of the unborn: how about you do something about the fact that abortions kill fetuses? Maybe you should start looking for the ways to perform abortions in such a way that the fetus will survive and eventually be born normal. Harder than forcing people to carry the damned things to term, huh? I know it’s hard. But are you doing anything at all about it, really?

    Also, hosting a parasitic organism that poisons your organism and fucks up your system for several months seems to be summarily ignored, as does 7-pound body ripping through yours at the end of it. Who cares, just give birth to it, adopt it, and everything is fine and dandy. Raped? Birth control failed? Partner left you without financial support? Oh, well, too bad; besides, you probably deserved it, filthy whore.

    Why?

  • Reginald Selkirk
  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    Pro life is concerned with the “unborn life” and not the pregnant women. She is secondary to the issue that they are discussing

    Pro choice is concerned with the woman. Her choice, her constraints and her freedoms. The “unborn life” is secondary to the issue that they are discussing.

    The two sides are not talking about the same thing. Neither side seems to be listening to the other and no effort to reach a middle ground to discuss their differences is being made. There is no compromise position.

    Personally I think that the rights of the living woman trump the rights of a potential baby every time. I also think that the pro lifers have an emotional argument that says “look at the cute ‘ickle baby, how can you evil monsters kill it” which doesn’t leave a scrap of room for discussion. To an extent pro-choicers do exactly the same thing citing rape victims and incest.

    The pro life side is inconsistent in this regard. They typically allow abortion in some cases like rape because they recognise that it would be intolerable to force a victim of rape to carry her rapist’s child to term. That is putting the needs of the mother ahead of the needs of the baby which is counter to their own argument.

    Surely then a pro lifer can acknowledge that sometimes abortion is justified and that the key difference between both sides is the criteria for allowing abortion. It is understandable that the views on this differ. Personally I think that abortion should be generally available up to the point where the fetus is capable of independent survival outside of the mother. Others claim that it should be right up until birth or 8 weeks after conception or something else.

    A pro-lifer says: never except for rape and incest. Oh and if the mother’s life is in danger. Some even say that morning after pills are OK because the egg hasn’t got to the uterus. Not many but some do. Some even claim that not getting pregnant every month is murder. Those people need reproduction explained to them carefully.

    I think therefore that to reach a middle ground we need to talk about when abortion is acceptable, not whether it is acceptable. If it isn’t then lock up doctors and nurses and anyone who has aborted a fetus because that’s what you do to murderers. Do that even though nobody in their right mind thinks that this is really murder.

  • Andrew

    Here is the difference between the two sides: The side I am on thinks like this: everyone was an embryo, everyone was a fetus. There is no other way to make a person. Therefore that is a person growing inside the woman. People especially ones who cannot protect themselves from being destroyed need to be protected.

    From what I can read from your side it goes like this: It is not a human yet and it is still inside the woman’s body therefore it is her property and she can do with it what she wants. No one has rights over her body. Not even the other person involved in creating the thing growing inside of her until she gives birth to it.
    Am I right about what you think?

  • Trans Sami

    Am I right about what you think?

    I think you should stop pretending not to see my question and admit you either hate women or don’t actually believe any of that BS about the fetus being a person.

    I don’t want vague crap like this:

    Also as far as the rape question goes it is a horrible horrible thing that no one should have to go through. But at the same time two wrongs do not make a right.

    I want an actual answer.

  • Andrew Morgan

    “I think you should stop pretending not to see my question and admit you either hate women or don’t actually believe any of that BS about the fetus being a person.”

    I actually think that’s a false choice, and I’d be surprised if you honestly thought it was legitimate.

    @hoverfrog: I agree that pro-life folks tend to be inconsistent when it comes to rape. In my mind, if you think abortion is generally murder, it’s always murder. It’s monstrous to say that a woman has to carry a rape baby to term, but that’s a byproduct of being wrong about abortion generally, not about rape specifically.

    As far as “Pro choice is concerned with the woman. Her choice, her constraints and her freedoms. The “unborn life” is secondary to the issue that they are discussing,” I think that’s where pro-choice people are getting it wrong. I’m pro-choice, but not because the “rights of the mother” trump the “rights of the fetus”; it’s that the fetus doesn’t possess “rights” at all.

  • Trans Sami

    I actually think that’s a false choice, and I’d be surprised if you honestly thought it was legitimate.

    YES OR NO: Raped women should be treated as murderers if they have an abortion.

    If you say yes it’s pretty obvious you hate women. If you say no you don’t actually think a fetus is a person.

  • pmsrhino

    Just wanted to say, asking a man if he would be willing to deal with all the shit women have to deal with during a pregnancy (and all the risks that go with it) is ridiculous. It is SO easy to say you would totally do something if there isn’t a chance in hell it would EVER happen to you. Don’t bother asking that kind of question, because the dude will ALWAYS say “Oh sure, I would go through all that shit women go through during pregnancy and even risk my life for my unborn child! Because, you know, I’m an awesome person unlike those awful women who kill little precious babies.”

    Am I the only one who sees how ridiculous such a question is? Not only ridiculous but offensive, especially to women who are going through a situation where they are considering terminating a pregnancy. It’s an invalid point that does nothing for this debate.

    Personally, I don’t think men should even be ALLOWED to comment on this subject, unless it’s to say “I’m a dude and I have no place here. You women go on and do what you need to.” It will never have anything to do with your body, it will never be your debate.

  • Parse

    @Andrew Morgan,
    I’d take a breath and relax a little – most of the aggressive comments directed towards ‘Andrew’ (like Trans Sami’s repeated Yes or No question, or Muggle’s response) are in response to comments signed simply ‘Andrew’, not ‘Andrew Morgan’. He’s the one taking the hardline no-abortions-ever stance, not you. It’s part of the reason why I use a relatively distinct moniker – there are a lot fewer namespace collisions, so I don’t think people are talking about me if they aren’t actually. Anyways, I’m sure that if I’m wrong, Trans Sami or Muggle will correct me.

    For what it’s worth, for people like you, me, and Trans Sami, it is a false choice because at the time abortions would be considered (via the Morning After pill), the embryo (well, blastocyst) is obviously nonviable, so murder charges are nonsensical. But ‘vanilla’ Andrew’s claiming that the blastocyst/embryo has full human rights from the moment sperm meets egg, so killing the clump of cells is fully equivalent to murder. Trans Sami’s just calling ‘vanilla’ Andrew out on the full implications of his beliefs.

    @Andrew (not Morgan),
    Everybody once was a sperm, and everybody once was an egg. There is no other way to make a person. By your logic, then, masturbation and menstruation are murder, as those sperm and eggs are also potential people, people who cannot protect themselves from being destroyed. What do you think should be done with teenage mass-murdering boys? Or girls who abstain from sex, and thus kill a person each month? Perhaps you should rethink your logic, and try again when you have a something that’ll hold up to any scrutiny.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Andrew

    Here is the difference between the two sides: The side I am on thinks like this:

    1. everyone was an embryo, everyone was a fetus.
    2. There is no other way to make a person.
    3. Therefore that is a person growing inside the woman.

    Additionally:
    4. People especially ones who cannot protect themselves from being destroyed need to be protected.

    I’ve numbered your logic for convenience. 1 and 2 are logically consistent but 3 does not follow because you have not defined a person. It isn’t easy to do this and there are many competing views of what “person” actually means. To say that all people developed in a common process isn’t to say that every body that follows this process becomes a person or that it is the only way to define a person. For example a sufficiently advances artificial intelligence could one day be granted “personhood” as could a human clone.

    Additionally your points 1 and 2 are entirely arbitrary as Parse points out. Everyone was an egg, everyone was a newborn. You have single selected a point in the arbitrary scale in order to justify your stance. What makes this state unique or special? What defines this as “person” and not a state a week or a month later?

    Once we agree that there is a person involved then your point 4 will follow but we haven’t established that in point 3.

    From what I can read from your side it goes like this:
    1. It is not a human yet and
    2. it is still inside the woman’s body
    3. therefore it is her property and she can do with it what she wants. No one has rights over her body. Not even the other person involved in creating the thing growing inside of her until she gives birth to it.

    A simplified model but essentially yes. I’d change point 1 to say that it is not a person and amend 3 to say that the woman is under no obligation to continue to sustain the organism growing inside her. She already has rights over her own body. Nothing is being added or removed by acknowledging this.

    Do you detect a flaw in this logic?

  • Liudvikas

    Andrew, let me address some of your opinions:

    1. Man have no say over what happens with a fetus. To use metaphor, assume you’ve parked a car in my garage and refused to remove it from my private property, I would have every right to do whatever I wish with your car. The car is still your property, but the continued occupancy of my garage is taking away my rights. Not to mention that the car in this question is leaking gasoline over the place and littering my property.
    2. The very fact of wish for abortion entails that the pregnancy is not consensual. The fact that women knew that pregnancy was a possibility doesn’t change anything.
    3. The possibility of a fetus to someday grow up to be a human, does not make it a person worthy of human rights. Until it can reason and think it is no more than an animal, even less when it’s brain is still undeveloped during first months.
    4. The argument “what if your mother aborted you” is nonsensical. It tries to appeal to emotion, but fails miserably. I like living, but to like it or even acknowledge it I have to have brain. Until a fetus develops brains it cannot do that. After that it is still dumber than a fully grown chimp and since killing a chimp is not a murder, then why should abortion be one. So unless you are a vegan, you are no real pro-lifer.

  • Ash

    pmsrhino,

    Just wanted to say, asking a man if he would be willing to deal with all the shit women have to deal with during a pregnancy (and all the risks that go with it) is ridiculous.

    only if you can safely assume that the man in question *knows* about all the shit that can happen with pregnancy and labour. This is the internet, Andrew is a man, there are other readers, so no, I don’t think pointing out the risks and pain factors involved is a waste of time. Many people honestly don’t know, and therefore haven’t even considered it. Perhaps now they will, so it’s worth a go. I don’t understand how pointing out that pregnancy and labour are not always the walk in the park they’re often portrayed as is offensive or invalid, perhaps you could clarify?

    Personally, I don’t think men should even be ALLOWED to comment on this subject, unless it’s to say “I’m a dude and I have no place here. You women go on and do what you need to.” It will never have anything to do with your body, it will never be your debate.

    I understand this even less…should I not comment on male + female genital mutilation because it’s not happened to me/not my culture/doesn’t generally (FGM) happen to white people? Should I not be involved with LGBT rights because I’m straight?

    Where abortion is illegal, it is men’s wives, daughters, girlfriends, mothers, loved ones, dying. It will always be the individual woman’s choice, but men also have a stake in this debate.

  • Ash

    Andrew Morgan,

    Incidentally, while I think viability is probably a good philosophical line, it’s probably a bad practical one; birth is better.

    yeah, agreed for practical reasons.

    Andrew,

    From what I can read from your side it goes like this: It is not a human yet and it is still inside the woman’s body therefore it is her property and she can do with it what she wants.

    Not entirely clear, but if you’re saying that I think that a fetus is a woman’s property, I’d disagree. I just believe that she has the right to what she allows to occupy her womb and her body or not. If a woman does not want to be pregnant, to have an organism growing inside her and using her body for sustenance, my view is that it is totally wrong to force her.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Liudvikas, just an aside but being vegan is about not eating certain foods. It says nothing about killing animals or even people.

  • Liudvikas

    Whatever, hoverfrog, there’s just too many kinds of vegetarians and all kinds of PETA-nuts animal lovers.

  • alex

    @ Liudvikas:

    To be entirely correct, even vegans kill plants to eat. That’s just how life works: you must kill in order to survive — that is, unless you are capable of breaking up mineral matter (bacteria) or feed on dead (scavengers) or decomposed (plants) bodies. The fact that it makes some people uncomfortable is another issue.

  • pmsrhino

    @Ash

    Pointing out the consequences of labor for a woman and the dangers she faces isn’t the issue. It’s asking someone if they would be willing to go through it when it will NEVER happen that is the issue. It would be like asking me if I’d totally be willing to incubate a alien species that is on the verge of extinction when the risks entail, say, heart burn and possible blindness. For the sake of this unnamed alien species that doesn’t exist and probably never will exist then hell yeah, sure, I would do anything to save that alien race, including incubate it’s last progeny because to do otherwise would kill an entire race. I would NEVER be such a cold hearted person.

    Sounds ridiculous, right? If that even made sense, lol. But that logic makes no sense because I can say whatever I want to make myself seem holier than thou because there is no consequence for me in saying such. You know, unless aliens DO come down tomorrow, and then I may be a bit embarrassed when I really am not willing to give my body up for their race.

    And with men not being involved comment, I meant men can be involved, be allies, help out and have opinions. But should they ACTUALLY get to make decisions that will affect how I get to use my body, no. Just like I wouldn’t think a bunch of women should make decisions about circumcision (if women actually had enough power to do so). It should be a man’s choice if he wants to be circumcised, it’s his body and what not. Just like how I live in a privileged country but I still debate on female genital mutilation. But some women in those countries WANT to go through that process and some don’t, and I want those who do not to have just as many options and safe places to be as the women who do choose it. I’m not gonna dictate their lives when it has nothing to do with me, but I will be an ally and stand by the women’s decisions in those countries.

    And yeah, men have a stake but it’s not your lives. I’m sorry, men’s stakes in this debate are not as deadly, painful, or mentally traumatizing as the stakes women face. It’s just how it is, so really, be an ally, fight for choice, but women don’t need men’s protection, we just need to be able to make our own choices. :)

  • bernerbits

    People are saying that it’s 100% the woman’s decision, but that doesn’t sit right with me. Let me play devil’s advocate for a moment to see if I can understand the argument better.

    My wife and I have decided we’re not ready for children yet. There are things we want to do, bills we want to pay, and personal goals we both want to accomplish before we finally decide to spawn. Naturally, we use birth control.

    I am pro-choice. Yet, if she did get pregnant by mistake, I would not want her to have an abortion. We are financially stable and capable of supporting children and giving them happy, healthy lives, even on a single income. I would like to think my opinion counts for something in this scenario. Maybe not 50%, but what about 40%? 25%? 10%? 5%?

    Does our being in a committed relationship where children would not be an undue burden affect that decision? Are the stresses and complications of pregnancy so severe that they outweigh any and all of my rights to choose to have kids, even if I am more than willing to do everything in my power to mitigate those stresses and complications whenever possible? In either case, why?

  • alex

    @ bernerbits:

    Good point. Allow me to add to this, is there even such a thing as a 100% own decision? We are always influenced by something or someone else. So, by saying that women have to make entirely their decision, we are implying that men have to shut the hell up and not say word one.

    But maybe the question is about final say, not the arguments?

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Liudvikas, that may be the case and that supports my point that being vegan is irrelevant to the issue of abortion. Unless aborted fetuses are part of your diet that is (and we are atheists so it goes without saying).

    bernerbits, I would say that you get to have an opinion and following on from pmsrhino comment that we shouldn’t be allowed to comment I would also disagree. We should get to comment, we just don’t get to make the decision. It isn’t the man’s decision to make. We simply have a supporting role to play.

  • pmsrhino

    @hoverfrog

    Just wanted to say I clarified my statement. I agree, you should get to have opinions and get to comment, just not final say in the decision. I clarified my comments earlier comment this morning, maybe it wasn’t up for you to read it then. Just wanted to say that again so people don’t keep getting my thoughts wrong here. :)

  • Liudvikas

    It’s irrelevant, it’s just funny how they keep calling themselves pro-life, while they clearly are not.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    @bernerbits,

    You get 49% of the votes. Your wife gets 51%. And only a simple majority is sufficient to make a decision.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    pmsrhino, I had missed your comment so thanks for pointing it out. I totally agree with it. The only body I get to make decisions about is mine and nobody else gets to make decisions about my body. That is entirely fair for me and it is only good manners to extend that to others.

    The thing is that I think that many pro-lifers would agree with that but they’d extend it to a growing zygote. We, as adults and as parents get to make decisions on behalf of our children it follows that we get to make decisions for our potential children. It follows that we would make decisions to benefit our offspring. What they don’t seem to realise is that there isn’t a child involved at this point. A woman isn’t deciding for the baby because there is no baby. There is only one person involved in making a decision to have an abortion. I don’t think that the pro-lifers appreciate that.

  • Aj

    Andrew,

    everyone was an embryo, everyone was a fetus. There is no other way to make a person. Therefore that is a person growing inside the woman.

    Things are not what they were previously. Everyone was a sperm and an egg. Everyone was a zygote. Multiple people were one zygote. These are made from atoms that could have been a variety of things. Do you agree that a corpse is not a person? Every person will become a corpse. That doesn’t mean that any corpse that was a person is still a person.

  • Ash

    pmsrhino, I think you may have misunderstood my intentions when posing such a clearly ridiculous scenario, but I hope I’d cleared that up earlier. As also here;

    It will always be the individual woman’s choice, but men also have a stake in this debate.

    please note – woman’s choice, men (…) debate.

    Just to be sure we’re on the same page.

  • sash

    For those who argue that abortion is wrong and a violation of a fetus’ rights/murder of a human being – what should the LAW say, in your opinion? Should abortion be illegal? If yes under what circumstances and what should be the punishment be? Murder charges – 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree? Involuntary manslaughter? Who gets charged? The woman, the doctor, the nurse who assisted? Should the receptionist that made the appointment for the abortion be charged as an accomplice? The friend that brought the woman and drove her home? If abortion is a crime, then everyone that helped commit that crime should be held accountable under the law.

    If both the woman and the fetus have rights to life but those rights are in conflict, who decides whose rights prevail? In civilized societies, the LAW decides what is done when one person’s rights are in conflict with someone else’s rights. (BTW I don’t agree that the fetus should have those rights until birth)

    In the sound and fury of pro and anti choice debates, these real issues seldom come up.

  • alex

    @ sash:

    Looking at this, I’d say there are people that want all of them charged with Murder One and thrown in jail executed. (Pardon, I forgot that we are dealing with “pro-life” here.)

  • Andrew

    Here is my answer about rape.
    It is in incredibly difficult situation. It is a situation that pro-choice people love to bring up when this debate comes up. This is one area where the situation is very gray because I do not want any victim of that to be forced to do anything they don’t want to. I believe in that situation there are two victims. The unborn child did not ask to be put in that situation either. I have never been/known anyone who has been through that ordeal, I hope I never do obviously it is terrible. I would hope the victim would consider that the child did not want this either. If you give that child a chance to live and it becomes a loving caring human being then maybe all of that suffering would not be for nothing. Now you can tell me that sounds a lot easier than it would be to do because it is and hopefully no woman is ever put in that position again.

  • Andrew

    @ Trans Sami
    Lol. You got me I hate women and I will shove it up my ***. Come on what’s next a your mom joke? Keep yourself together dude.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    So Andrew you acknowledge a grey area for the victims of rape. You’d prefer it if they carried a child to term but grant that abortion is a reasonable course of action.

    Excellent. Her wellbeing supersedes the wellbeing of any potential offspring.

  • Trans Sami

    Here is my answer about rape.
    It is in incredibly difficult situation. It is a situation that pro-choice people love to bring up when this debate comes up. This is one area where the situation is very gray because I do not want any victim of that to be forced to do anything they don’t want to. I believe in that situation there are two victims. The unborn child did not ask to be put in that situation either. I have never been/known anyone who has been through that ordeal, I hope I never do obviously it is terrible. I would hope the victim would consider that the child did not want this either. If you give that child a chance to live and it becomes a loving caring human being then maybe all of that suffering would not be for nothing. Now you can tell me that sounds a lot easier than it would be to do because it is and hopefully no woman is ever put in that position again.

    So YES you don’t think women have any right to their own bodies and should be treated as murderers if they don’t let themselves be used as a baby factory by a rapist?

    or NO you don’t actually believe a fetus is a person?

  • Andrew

    @Tans Sami
    It is more complicated than how you made it sound. Women in that extraordinary circumstance require extraordinary measures. If you cannot see a gray area than I cannot help you.

  • Robert

    I have read the posts from both sides of this debate and I have come to the conclusion that those who are pro-choice are all really saying the same thing- its my body and i can do with it what I want and the fact that for nine months, a child that I created will inconvenience me I have the right to kill it.

    So very sad.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X