Christians: 1, Women: 0

In Tennessee. the Shelby County Commission has awarded a “family planning grant” to… a group that opposes family planning:

Planned Parenthood has received the family planning grant money for years, but lost in the bidding process to [Christ Community Health Center] when the state turned the funding decision over to the County.

Christ Community says it is morally against the morning after pill, but will contract with a third party to provide it. Christ Community is also against abortion but says it will acknowledge it as an option during counseling.

“Acknowledge” it?! In other words, we’ll mention it but we’ll surround the word with so many lies and myths that you won’t realistically consider it, even if it is the best possible option for you.

Reader Elizabeth adds:

… this will force low income women into an untenable situation of being forced to listen to proselytizing before they can receive the medical care that they need…

Women’s issues and sex were the catalyst that helped me realize that Christianity is a hateful religion more concerned with control than morality. This just goes to show how right I was.

The vote was 9-4. I know it’s not going to happen overnight, but this is the sort of thing that reminds us how important it is to have atheists (and/or liberals) running for public office and how important it is to vote for them.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Brandon

    I hate it when my area is on here because it reminds me how fucking ridiculous it is.

  • FunTimes001

    I was raised Christian. I wasn’t even in a fundamentalist family or church yet opposition to abortion was always strong.

    As an Atheist the problem I have now is that everyone in the community speaks  about how abortion is ok and we should allow women to do it yet they don’t give you a reason why beyond “it should be up to the woman.”

    I actually think it’s kind of backwards–as Atheists/Humanists shouldn’t we be for the preservation of life? Shouldn’t we be for the preservation of the possibility of life? 

    And why do Christians care so much if a pregnancy is aborted? Can’t almighty god just pop the baby into existence again? Or why not just pop a full grown adult into existence?

    Is there an argument somewhere that intelligently refutes the augments against abortion and is there a scientific consensus on when human life becomes human life? 

    As a former Christian I find this a very difficult subject because I’ve not yet found a sound argument defending abortion. I feel like I still might be suffering from the Christian brainwashing on this issue… and it’s unfortunate that the community can’t speak intelligently about this… it would help.

    • Brittany

      How about the fact that women are not incubators?

      • FunTimes001

        That is woefully unhelpful and illustrates my point.

        • http://twitter.com/0xabad1dea Melissa E

          How about “women are autonomous agents who should not be delegated to a machine-like capacity if it interferes with their free will and right to life and safety.”

          I am hazarding a guess that you are male. It’s probably very difficult for you to imagine how painful, frightening, and dangerous pregnancy and childbirth can be, especially to a single woman. Couple this with my integrity-of-one’s-own-body argument above. 

          • Anonymous

            Caring for children sometime interferes with people’s free will, but parents still have a responsibility to care for thier children and that includes (in later pregnancy when they are persons) making sure they don’t die in abortion. You can’t say that it is merely the location of the child that matters. If you have to care for a child that is in your arms, then you also have to care for a child that is in your womb.

            • Starfish

              Except you don’t have to care for the child in your arms. You can put that child in someone else’s arms and walk away. Because that child is no longer dependent on your body for survival.

              A fetus in the womb? Dependent upon the mother’s body for survival. That’s not a hard distinction to make.

              • Anonymous

                Are you saying that if you were on a desert island with only you and your 2 year old child that it would be moral to abandon him or her, knowing that they would die, if you didn’t feel like caring for them. Because that is exactly what you are doing if you abort in late term pregnancy. And we haven’t even mentioned partial birth abortion where the child is literally has its brains sucked out of his or her own head.

                • Starfish

                  You can come up with ridiculous situations all you like. The point stands. You don’t want to parent your child? Fine. Legally relinquish your rights and walk away. People do it everyday. Because the children are born, outside the womb.

                  As has been repeatedly pointed out to you, late term abortions are only carried out due to medical emergency. What do you think is more compassionate? Delivering a nonviable fetus in such a way that allows parents to have a body to grieve (the procedure you’re describing) or — and this is happening now thanks to the stupid outlawing of “partial birth” abortion — having the doctors go in and actually tear the fetus apart, in the womb, in order to deliver it in bits and pieces, leaving the parents no body to grieve and bury?

                  This isn’t a choice of a living child or not. Late term abortions happen because something has gone horrible, horribly wrong. This isn’t about personhood. This about making the best, most compassionate decision possible given the reality of the situation. You’re talking theories and what-ifs, I’m talking about people’s lived reality.

                • Anonymous

                  You need to read some of wmdkitty’s posts. She repeatedly says that she wants late term abortions even if the child in the womb is healthy. That is what disturbs me.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

                  Oh, STOP PUTTING WORDS IN MY MOUTH, YOU HORRID LITTLE BEAST!

                • Anonymous

                  wmdkitty, the fact that you keep telling Americans to “sod off” shows that you have nothing to add to the conversation. Smart Atheists win with logic and evidence. The face that you need to yell at people to go away shows that arguing with you is no different than arguing with a Fundamentalist. No intelligence just parroting the same lies over and over and over again, too scared to actually discuss the issue.

                • Demonhype

                  THANK YOU!  Partial birth abortion is not performed on viable pregnancies and is only conducted so the grieving parents (of what was, BTW, a wanted child) can have something left of the fetus to deal with and give them some closure.  It is not some kind of neo-Nazi mad-scientist evil procedure of baby-hating malice.  That is the lie of the anti-choice side, who love to omit that part and let people believe that it is performed on viable pregnancies.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  There is no such thing as a ‘partial birth abortion’.  It is not a medical term, it is a term coined by forced-birthers such as yourself.  Please educate yourself on this topic.

                • Anonymous

                  Please tell me we are not going to be arguing over what to call different kinds of abortion. Can we please talk about substance rather than what the proper name is?

                  I remember reading about Fundamentalist Muslim families who kill their own children if they leave the faith. I couldn’t imagine how someone could do that to their own kids. But then I see how you admit that even if your own child was conscious and in your womb from no fault of their own, you would still kill them rather than just wait a month to give birth and give them up for adoption, that your womb is more important than your kids. I see now how dogma can affect even those in the Atheist community and warp our minds and cause us to do evil things. I still think it is important to end religion, but I don’t think that alone will solve all of our problems.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Nice strawman.  Do you have a real argument?

                • Anonymous

                  If you can’t explain why it is a strawman that just means that you are avoiding the truth of what I say. Stop making claims and start showing proof. As an Atheist that is what is expected of you. Killing a child because of their location (in womb or not) is little different than killing them because of their religion. If you deny this then that means that you just don’t have the emotional strength to face the truth.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous
                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  I’ve explained it already, repeatedly.

                • Anonymous

                  You are just like the woman who kills her kids because they changed religions. If a person thinks that their child’s religion or location (in womb or not) gives them the right to execute them, then that is worse than the sickest form of child abuse. If you really loved your child, then what religion they follow or their location shouldn’t matter. You should still love them.

                  If you can rationalize killing your kids in this case, what is to stop you from doing it in others? “My child ate cookies before dinner so I killed them. My house, my rules.” Your property, your womb, and your religion (or lack thereof) maybe important to you, but they are not more important than your child.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Address the fact that a womb is located inside a woman, thus rendering your comparisons to be complete ignorant bullshit.

                • Anonymous

                  Address the fact that both the location of the womb and the religion of the child are less valuable than the child themselves.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Value is subjective, learn the difference between opinion and fact.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Do you actually think value isn’t subjective?  Wow, you really need to take a course in logic 101.

                  Yep.  Those who think slavery is wrong and those who don’t have different opinions.  Of course, those who have the opinion that slavery isn’t wrong are pathetic scumbags like you, but it still is ultimately a matter of opinion.  The fact that it is a matter of opinion is irrelevant from it being a matter of ethics.  Ethically, we do not have a right to enslave other human beings, that is why I am pro-choice and think you are an idiot.  People who think slavery is wrong base it on their opinion that a type of person is worth less than an other type of person, just as you are basing your stance on your belief that a woman is worth less than a 22 week old fetus.

                  It’s amazing how well you undermine your own arguments trying to counter mine.

                • Anonymous

                  First you say that whether slavery is wrong is “ultimately a matter of opinion” and then you flip flop to “ethically we do not have a right to enslave other human beings”, before flip flopping again back to “people who think slavery is wrong base it on their opinion”.

                  You can’t even keep your argument straight within a single paragraph.

                • Anonymous

                  You think value is subjective? So are you saying that those who believe slavery is wrong and those who believe it is okay just have different “opinions” and it doesn’t matter morally whether we allow it or not? It seems that your position undermines morality in every sense.

                  How can you go on and on about “rape” of a woman by the child in her womb (wtf?) when you think value is subjective? If value is subjective, what right do you have to order people to value what you do?

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  And once again, your inability to comprehend the written language is staggering.

        • http://twitter.com/0xabad1dea Melissa E

          another more concise statement I thought of while shopping for soda just now:

          The human who’s already alive, self-aware, and eager to keep on living is worth vastly more than a potential future human, especially if this potential future human is endangering the life or well-being of the one we already have. 

    • http://twitter.com/0xabad1dea Melissa E

      Here is an argument that hit me like a ton of bricks.

      Someone is bleeding to death in the hospital. There isn’t the right kind of blood in the refrigerator. Is it moral to track down the nearest person of the right blood type and forcibly pin them to the table and extract their blood against their will? 

      What about when someone needs an organ transplant? Can you just tear a kidney out of the nearest bystander? 

      Most people would agree that it is not moral to force one person to compromise their body for another person. It has to be willing or it’s the surgical equivalent of rape. Therefore, even if you claim that a fetus is a full person from the moment of conception (which makes absolutely no sense from a scientific standpoint – it’s literally just a cell at that point and souls are magic, not material) it is not moral to claim that an unintentional or medically endangered mother HAS to compromise her body for its sake. 

      • Anonymous

        It is different when you are considering someone’s children versus just another person. If a woman left their child to die in the woods and said that because of her “bodily autonomy” she shouldn’t have to care for a child that she didn’t want to, she’d be arrested for child abandonment and the death of the child. Not to mention that in partial birth abortion the child is literally ripped to pieces, not just removed to die.

        The only thing that matters is the question of personhood. If it is early in the pregnancy before consciousness forms, then abortion is okay. But if it is late in the pregnancy and the baby is conscious, then the parents have a moral and legal obligation to care for the child. And that means no abortion.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

          Excuse me, but one can, in fact, give up that “moral and legal responsibility” by giving the child up for adoption.

          Your example fails.

          And no, in PBA, the fetus is NOT “ripped to pieces” — it’s delivered as a stillbirth. LRN 2 RESEARCH.

          • Anonymous

            Let you what, if you can give birth to a child early without negatively affecting his or her health and give them up for adoption, then go right ahead. But between the times that consciousness develops and between viability outside the womb, abortion shouldn’t be allowed because you are not giving up the baby for someone else to care for, you are letting your own child die.

            And partial birth abortion literally sucks the brains out of the child before their head is pulled out of the womb so my discription still stands.

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

              Fuck off, troll.

              It’s MY fucking body, and NOBODY — not you, not my partner, not a fucking fetus, and NOT EVEN THE GOVERNMENT — has the right to use it without my permission.

              Fuck you, and your moronic idea of when “personhood” begins. The fact is that legally, “personhood” begins at BIRTH.

              • Anonymous

                Wow, you are psycho. Please do not become a parent. It is clear from your posts that you can’t be trusted to care for them.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

                  Not psycho, just aware of my rights, and fully willing to exercise them.

                  As for kids… I don’t hate them. I hate the asshat parents who don’t discipline them or teach them how to behave in public.

                  I don’t particularly want any of my own, no, and am absolutely diligent about birth control.

                  ‘Sides, I’d rather stick to spoiling other people’s kids — much more fun that way. I love the little shits, yeah, but I can return ‘em to their parents when I’m done loading ‘em up with sugar and caffeine. (What, it’s my job as an aunt!)

                • Anonymous

                  Spoiling kids is okay sometimes, but they have rights too. Being in the womb does not mean they give them up. If it is late in the pregnancy and they are conscious then their parents have to support them until they can safely be born and put up for adoption.

                • Demonhype

                  Now you see, I could not live with myself putting a kid up for adoption, yet you would force this onto me.  Either raise a kid you don’t want or who is living in pain, or give them to strangers and be unable to live with yourself.

                  You do not get to decide for me what I have to live with, any more than I have the right to choose for you.

                  On top of that, get it straight.  Late term abortion is not done electively, so how likely is it that you’re going to find someone to adopt a kid like that?  So on top of forcing a child to be born with a horrible problem, you’re also going to have them dumped on the state so they can always know that they are deformed and because of that Mommy didn’t want them.

                  Oh, yes, much much better than abortion, to live with agony and parental rejection.

                • Anonymous

                  I actually do support abortions at any stage of the pregnancy needed to save the life of the mother. And if the baby would live a short painful life, I might support abortions there too. I did mention that on several posts, but I’m sorry that I didn’t mention them on all of them the people I was responding to commented too many times to do that.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  And if the doctor, at week 18 says ‘carrying to term carries a 50% chance of some paralysis’, can she abort then?  What’s the cut of point for you?  why not leave that decision up to the woman, to decide what risk level she is comfortable with. 

          • Starfish

            Actually, now that the Supreme Court has upheld state laws outlawing the procedure commonly called PBA, in order to deliver a fetus intact doctor’s have to inject it with a shot of something to kill it, then perform the procedure. This is vastly more dangerous to the mother and so a lot of docs won’t do it. Instead, they’re falling back on a procedure that does, actually, end up tearing the fetus. Not by choice and not because it’s a medically superior procedure, but because forced birthers convinced the SC to outlaw it. So, sucks to be a woman losing a much wanted late term pregnancy. Instead of the previous procedure which at least gave her an intact body to mourn and bury, she’s left with bits. It’s gruesome and heartbreaking and makes me hate the bastards more than I previously did.

            So now, because of the SC decision, a woman who is already in a horrific position has to either have a messy, higher risk procedure or she gets to induce labor (if that’s medically possible for her. If she’s having the abortion due to certain health problems actually laboring could endanger her health.) It’s a heartless, inhumane decision to have to make.  Can you imagine going through 36 hours of labor delivering a child you know is dead? I had a friend who lost a pregnancy in her last trimester (the cord strangled the fetus) and she had to go through labor knowing she was birthing  dead baby. It was horrific.

            And so, that’s what these people have wrought. Find out in the eight month that the child you’d been planning for, who you’ve named and fallen in love with, has no kidneys and you either have to labor and deliver a dead baby or you get an abortion that leaves you with nothing to bury.  I don’t believe in much evil, but these people? They’re pretty damned close.

    • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

      For em the problem is, quite simply, freedom. If abortion is outlawed, and if a system is in place to prevent abortions from occurring, then the freedom of any woman of child-bearing age is always in jeopardy.

      Consider if — under such a system — someone found out a woman was planning to go to some (illegal) clinic to get an abortion. That person could report this to police, who then might be compelled to intervene. The woman would have to be checked out to see if she’s even pregnant in the first place, and if she is, some way to prevent her from running off and having the abortion would have to be implemented. But even if she’s not pregnant … i.e. if the whole episode was a misunderstanding … then she would still have been apprehended and examined against her will, so even in that case, no one could say “no harm no foul.”

      I’m not sure we’d want extremes such as women endured in Romania under the Ceauşescu regime. (Look it up if you care to discover the horrors of that, or if you don’t believe me when I say it was pretty bad.) Commenter Melissa E also makes a good point, that no one should be forced to sacrifice their bodies to someone else, not even to save their lives.

      What it amounts to, then, is that if women aren’t free to have abortions, then they aren’t free, and are basically slaves of their own reproductive organs. Is this what people really want? Fervent religionists actually DO want to control women and limit their freedom, even if they may not admit it in so many words. One finds much the same sort of attitude toward women in, say, certain Muslim countries where women aren’t allowed to drive, or go out of the house alone, or to dare show their faces, hands or feet in public, etc.

      I suggest that true humanists ought NOT to want to do this to women. But then, maybe I’m just crazy or something.

      • Anonymous

        You could arrest someone for planning to commit a crime, but you can’t arrest someone who might commit a crime. This isn’t the Minority Report.

        • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

          This assumes the U.S. legal system would be left more or less intact, but with an abortion ban tacked onto it. I’m nowhere near stupid or naive enough to believe that the militant Christianists would settle for anything as innocuous as you’re suggesting.

          First, they don’t like our current legal/political system, and want to remake it into one that forces their religion on everyone. So the current legal system would not be left more or less intact. It would be changed into one in which ANY transgression of ANY of their religious precepts would be instantly and SEVERELY punished … sometimes by execution.

          Second, even if they couldn’t make a change to our legal system that substantial, that’s not to say they couldn’t use an abortion ban as the start of a program of progressively incremental changes. The example of Romania is a very real one. I suggest you study it and understand how far an abortion ban can be taken by a government that decides to enforce it rigorously.

          We’re dealing with militant religionists who basically object to anything outside of their own belief system and who assume themselves to possess the power to control others and ultimately force their beliefs on everyone else. To assume they will limit their pursuit of any given policy, is contrary to their own nature.

          • Anonymous

            Well, I agree that in politics, sometimes you need to go as far in one direction as your opponents have in the other, but hopefully the general population will settle in the middle as I have in my posts.

            • Demonhype

              And that has been the point.  You can’t stop abortions from happening.  Outlawing abortion only forces them into the back-alleys.  To make such a law stick. you would have to resort to the nightmares cited by PsiCop above.

              Unless you are actually perfectly content with the inevitable result of a bunch of (mostly poor and minority) “whores” bleeding to death in alleys, which is something I heard an adult say when I was a kid in Catholic school.  Of course, every “whore” bleeding to death in an alley is still a “poor dead wee little noogie noogie baby”, so for that to be enough for them is pretty much an admission that it’s not about the “poor little wee noogie noogie babies” but about punishing women for having sex.  If you’re really in it for the “poor little wee noogie noogie babies” and not simply to punish women, you’d absolutely have to resort to the horrors documented in Romania to try to realistically enforce them.

              To tell the truth, the results of either anti-choice motivation fills me with horror.

    • MadeofStardust

      @b90561e7a4e58d79ac0f65d6a6034f02:disqus :

      (I apologize in advance for how long this is)

      I am very much pro-choice, even though I could never go through with an
      abortion for myself. I don’t particularly like the idea of abortions,
      but I value the lives and safety of women, far more so than microscopic
      cells that have the potential to become a person. I am not in favor of
      abortion if the fetus could survive outside the womb, but that is
      already illegal… Here’s why I am pro-choice:

      Outlawing abortion does not actually prevent abortions from taking place, but merely forces women who feel like they have no other option (scared teenagers, girls whose family would disown them if they became an unwed mother, rape victims-sometimes of incest, women who made a mistake, women whose birth control failed them, women who cannot financially, physically, or emotionally provide for a child and for whom going through the process of childbirth could be psychologically or physically damaging, women with conditions which make pregnancy potentially life threatening, etc..) to turn to back-alley abortionists and unsafe conditions to terminate the unintentional pregnancy they can’t bear to have continue.

      Have you read about the thousands of women and girls who died because they tried to use a coat hanger to do it themselves, or put their trust in someone who should not have been trusted? Admittedly the number of deaths even before roe v wade had dropped to a lower number, but only because those who could afford to pay for a safer route could find a doctor willing to do it. So who would suffer if abortion were to be illegal again? Those without the money or privilege to seek a safe (or at least a somewhat safer) abortion of course.

      The choice is not “legal abortions” or “no abortions” (and therefore “lost life” and “preservation of life”) it is “legal and therefore medically safe abortions” or “unsafe, back alley abortions (unless you are rich)”. And for those who could not seek an abortion, they would be forced to bring into the world a child who was not wanted. How sad is that? Why would we want *more* unfit parents and uncared for children? We already have so many children who do not get the love, attention, affection they deserve, or even their basic needs met. We already have crowded foster care systems and tragic lives. Why focus on the potential lives of the unborn instead of making the lives of children that are already here better?

      Close to a million pregnancies per year end in miscarriage according to http://www.hopexchange.com/Statistics.htm, do you grieve all of those potential lives lost the way you would if a tragedy struck a million people around you dead? If not, then do you admit that you value the lives of those that are *living* more than those that have not yet developed to the point that they could live on their own? And if that’s the case, then why should we value tiny bundles of cells with potential for life so much that we tell women that they *must* commit the rest of their lives to caring for them, no matter what the cost, (both physical and emotional) and no matter how poor the quality of life for both the woman and the  unwanted child?

      If all the money that is currently funneled into anti-abortion campaigns (and anti-gay marriage campaigns for that matter), and all the time spent by protestors outside of abortion clinics and whatnot were instead spent on making the lives of needy children better, imagine what a difference that would *truly* make in their lives, and how much more valuable that would be than what that money is currently spent on…

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

        *applauds*

      • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

        It’s true.  Abortion is illegal without exception in Chile, and illegal except for under very specific circumstances in Brazil, and both of those countries have much higher abortion rates than the US.  They also have much higher maternal mortality rates due to botched back alley abortions. 

        Worldwide there is little to no correlation between the legality of abortion and its rate of incidence.  There is, however, a very strong correlation between the strength of a country’s social services and its abortion rate.  Western Europe generally allows elective abortion, and yet it has the lowest abortion rate of any sub-region in the world.  What does Western Europe have that the countries with high abortion rates don’t?  Socialized medicine, strong public schools that teach comprehensive sex ed, and strong maternity/paternity leave laws.  Chile has only recently started to see its abortion and maternal mortality rates drop, and oddly enough those drops coincide with when Chile’s government started funding family planning programs.

        The pro-choice lobby in this country is almost uniformly opposed to sex ed or government subsidized heath care and birth control. Funny how the people who are most opposed to abortion are also opposed to the things that actually reduce abortion.  It makes it look like the real goal of the pro-life movement isn’t to prevent abortion but to punish women for having sex. 

        • Anonymous

          I agree that we should have more sex education as well as most of the other plans you mentioned. I think the final question is one of personhood, however. Early in the pregnancy, abortion can be allowed because an unconscious fetus has no rights, but later in the pregnancy, a baby is formed and the mother has a moral and legal obligation to care for her child and that means not killing it in abortion.

          • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

            I disagree.  If I go into renal failure, my mother has no obligation to give me one of her kidneys. So why should she have an obligation to give me her uterus?

            • Anonymous

              Actually I would favor a law that if a child is about to die that the parents be required to donate non-necessary organs inorder to keep him or her alive. Your right to keep a kidney shouldn’t over ride your child’s ability to live.

              • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

                At least you are somewhat consistent in your disregard for a person’s right to ownership of her or his own organs.

                • Anonymous

                  I take pride in the fact that I value people over organs.

                • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

                  Unless those people own the organs you want, in which case you don’t value them at all.

                • Anonymous

                  Yes I do. I’m not asking the parents to die to save their child’s life. Just to give up an organ that they don’t need anyway. It seems horrible to say that protecting people’s organs is more important than protecting people’s children.

                • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

                  You’re proud of treating people like organ vending machines?  Okay… *backs away slowly*

                • Anonymous

                  You would let your own children die rather than give up one kidney that you don’t really need?

                  *runs away quickly*

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  My mother in law’s daughter stole a large sum of money, made false allegations of abuse, stole medicine and substituted other pills, resulting in my mother in law’s hospitalization, deliberately and horribly killed my mother in law’s cat, and other assorted actions, mostly due to her meth habit.  She has severely damaged several of her internal organs due to this drug habit.

                  Are you really saying that in spite of all the above, you would force my mother in law to give up her kidney, an operation which would severely negatively impact her life even if there are absolutely no complications during the surgical procedure, for this woman?

                • Anonymous

                  But the child in a late pregnancy hasn’t done any of those things to the mothers. Infact it hasn’t tried to purposely hurt the mother at all. And as long as the mother’s life isn’t in danger we shouldn’t put the child’s life in danger.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  And as usual, our little forced birther missed the point entirely. 

              • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

                Great, I’ll be right over to harvest your organs. You won’t mind, as “your right to keep a kidney shouldn’t override” my right to live…

                • Anonymous

                  If you are my child, I’d be fine with that. But I’m going to need some DNA proof of that.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

                  Doesn’t matter — I need your organs and you therefore have a legal and moral obligation to give them to me.

                  It’s YOUR logic, numbnuts. Are you backing away from it?

                  Coward.

                • Anonymous

                  *sigh* PLEASE read my comments before making your own. I specifically said that if a child is about to die, only parents should be legally required to donate unneeded organs.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Can I take your organs for my child, in spite of any objections you may have?

                  No?

                  So you admit that it’s not the fact that they are children.  You don’t actually value the lives of the children.

                  You are all about punishing and dehumanizing the woman.

                • Anonymous

                  Yes, we should do everything we can to help children, but
                  parents have a special responsibility to care for their children.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  My mother in law’s daughter stole a large sum of money, made false allegations of abuse, stole medicine and substituted other pills, resulting in my mother in law’s hospitalization, deliberately and horribly killed my mother in law’s cat, and other assorted actions, mostly due to her meth habit.  She has severely damaged several of her internal organs due to this drug habit.

                  So you DO think my mother in law should be forced to give up one of her kidney’s for this person.  You are pro-slavery.

                • Anonymous

                  I’ve already addressed this exact issue the first time you
                  posted it. You need to go back and read my posts. You need to think outside
                  your dogma, be rational, and consider the needs of others besides yourself.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  The fact that you continue to lie about having answered the questions really doesn’t lend validity to any of your arguments.  

                  I am considering the needs of actual people.  Why do you continue to disregard the simple fact that women are people?

                • Demonhype

                  Oh, wmdkitty, don’t you see?  Hibernia86 has carefully worded their argument so that only people who are not him/her can be forced to give organs against their will!  You see, it’s about “preservation of life” in a generic sense, until you put their feet to the fire, and then “preservation of life” only applies to parents and only concerning their own children–but the next time this comes up, you can still smugly yammer about “preservation of life” as some overall value.  It allows for self-righteous smugness and disrespect for another person’s bodily autonomy and personal rights to choose, but without the necessity to walk the walk and support it by actually  giving their own kidney!

          • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

            And this is ignoring the fact that late term abortions are already exceedingly rare and almost always performed for medical reasons.

      • Anonymous

        It is a question of personhood. If it is early in the pregnancy, before personhood forms, then sure, abortion can be done, but if it is late in the pregnancy, after a baby if formed, then no, a bad situation does not give her the right to kill her own child. That is a really messed up way of thinking.

        • Anonymous

          Nonsense. What if they do an ultrasound later and determine that the child is severely malformed and can never have a normal life? Not just some mild disability, but something extremely severe. A malformed brain or no brain at all? Organ defects that will lead to its death in a couple of years? An illness that means the child will never develop beyond the mental state of a few-months old baby?

          Sometimes fetuses also simply die in the womb for one reason or another and need to be removed. There are also procedures on the uterus to treat or diagnose illnesses that are basically the same as in abortions.

          There are a number of valid medical reasons to do abortions. None of these really fall under “elective”. They are relatively rare. but if you outlaw such procedures, doctors won’t be trained to do them either. There have even bills by Christofascists who wanted to prevent funding for training OB/GYNs in them.

          • Anonymous

            A dead fetus has no rights and can be removed when discovered.

            If a two year old developed a condition that you knew they were going to die from, would you kill them early to spare them suffering? Admittedly this is a tricky issue, but many people would lean against it. Whatever your decision, it should be the same for late term pregnancies as it is for two year old children because both are conscious people.

            • Starfish

              Except they’re not. A two-year old is fully self aware. A fetus, even one at 8 or 9 months gestation, isn’t.
               
              But, leaving that aside, it is ILLEGAL to abort a viable fetus without medical reason. You can’t decide at 7 or 8 months along that you just don’t want to be pregnant anymore and get an abortion. That’s against the law in this country. If, however, you develop a life threatening disorder and the only way to save your life is to abort, then yes, you can abort a late term fetus. (Of course, most of the time that doesn’t happen. Woman who are that far advanced in pregnancy generally want to be pregnant and will simply have a c-section, instead of abort.)
               
              If you discover the fetus has a horrible abnormality that is incompatible with life, you can abort. Now, clearly, you would not do this. No one would force you to do this. I, on the other hand? Well, I don’t know. Maybe I would. If the abnormality was bad enough. If it would cause my child to have a brief, pain-filled life. Maybe. I’ve never been in that situation, so I don’t know.
               
              I do know that it’s a red herring to go on about late term abortion like it’s in anyway common. It’s not. It’s illegal unless there is a medical emergency or fetal abnormality incompatable with life.

              • Anonymous

                But I think that by the second trimester there is enough consciousness to for the baby to be considered a person. Here is an article from Scientific American saying that the thalamo-cortical complex, which is connected to consciousness, is in place in many babies by the 24th week of pregnancy which is in the second trimester.

                Yes, abortion in the 7th and 8th months is mostly illegal now, but it wouldn’t be if some of the people on this thread had their way. At a recend pro-choice rally in my city, for example, one woman said she doesn’t believe that the baby is a person until it takes its first breath. If we followed her definition, that would allow abortion up until seconds before birth. I hope that most people don’t believe that whether a person has a right to live depends entirely on location (inside the womb or out) since the baby in that case would be physically the same in either place.

                If both the mother’s life was in danger and the baby was going to die anyway, then sure, have an abortion. It is hard for me to think of a non-accidental situation involving abortion or lack thereof where the mother would die and the baby live.

                Fetal abnormalities in late pregnancy are tough, but you are right to suggest that I would lean against abortion in these cases because I wouldn’t kill a deformed two year old unless they were in serious unending pain.

                • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

                  In place?  Yes.  Functioning?  No.  Not enough oxygen.

                • Anonymous

                  The article says that a baby in the womb might dream. I count that as functioning.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  My dog dreams.  Pick a better standard.

                • Anonymous

                  I support strong laws against animal cruelty and we can debate animal rights, but I think we at least have a responsibility to protect the lives of our own kids once they are alive and conscious.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  An earthworm is both alive and conscious.  Pick a better standard.

                • Anonymous

                  I’ve already addressed this issue multiple times. You need
                  to go back and read my posts. You need to think outside your dogma, be
                  rational, and consider the needs of others besides yourself.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  You haven’t addressed the argument once.  You have never explained how ‘consciousness’ can be the criteria for person when there are literally millions of beings out there possessing the trait of ‘consciousness’ without being considered ‘people’  In fact, you personally consider beings that possess the trait of ‘consciousness’ to be ‘food’.

                  Obviously, consciousness cannot be the deciding factor.

                  So what is?

                  The very basis of your argument has been rendered completely invalid.  Your dogma has been ripped to shreds and proven conclusively to be irrational.

                • Anonymous

                  Read my comments about why parents should care for their children.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Not an answer to the question asked.

                • Demonhype

                  Oh, for crying out loud…

                  In countries where there is openly legal abortion right up to the ninth month, women still do not go get late term abortion for shits and giggles.  Know why?  Late term abortion is expensive and horrible and has many more risks, and the only reason anyone does it, legal or not, is because of their circumstances.

                  And once again, it is not your right to decide for some pregnant woman whether or not her circumstances warrant an abortion.  She found out her baby will be deformed, she will be the one watching that kid suffer, she will be the one to go bankrupt from the hospital  bills, she will be the one living with whatever decision is made.  Not you.  It’s very easy to say “No abortion for you” when you get to go home and do your own thing.  And no, even if some people have chosen to carry a problem pregnancy, even if you have, that doesn’t give you the right to tell someone else they have to.  Because it is still about choice and who has to live with it.  You perhaps couldn’t live with abortion, so you choose to carry the pregnancy to term.  I, on the other hand, couldn’t live with knowingly bringing a child into the world to suffer horribly and possibly die young, so I would choose abortion.  If the pro-choice have their way, you would still be able to carry your pregnancy to term, but if the anti-choice have their way, I will be forced to carry the pregnancy against my will and watch my child writhe and suffer until they die.

                  As for “oh, but the fetus feels pain”–what the hell do you think a deformed fetus is going to feel later, hobbling around all screwed up and in pain and being different from everyone else–if they get to survive long enough to know that?  No, once it’s out and is forming it’s own identity you can’t hurt them, but there are plenty of people, including my mother (unwanted child) and a co-worker of my sister’s (product of incest, has lived in pain her whole life), wish that their mother had made the responsible decision and not carried the pregnancy to term.  Why is it your decision or anyone else’s besides the mother to choose whether the child dies of a bullet to the brain pre-birth or dies the slow, drawn out agonizing death of a million cuts outside the womb?

              • Anonymous
                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  You have never explained how ‘consciousness’ can be the criteria for person when there are literally millions of beings out there possessing the trait of ‘consciousness’ without being considered ‘people’  In fact, you personally consider beings that possess the trait of ‘consciousness’ to be ‘food’.

                  Obviously, consciousness cannot be the deciding factor.

                  So what is?

                  The very basis of your argument has been rendered completely invalid.  Your dogma has been ripped to shreds and proven conclusively to be irrational.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

          One word: Anencephaly. No brain. It won’t survive.

          And what if the pregnancy is putting the woman’s life at risk?

          • Anonymous

            If the pregnancy is putting the woman’s life at risk then I would be okay with abortion at any stage. If the fetus has no brain then it has no consciousness and isn’t a person under my definition so abortion is okay at any point.

    • Enuma

      The fact that you feel women need to justify why they should get to a right to say what happens to their bodies speaks volumes. “Because the owner of the uterus says so,” is the default. The onus is on you to prove why it should be otherwise. Melissa E’s example beautifully demonstrates why the rights of the fetus are not an overriding factor. We don’t take away bodily autonomy for actual people. Why would we do it for a pre-person?

      • Anonymous

        Or in the later pregnancy, then the child is a person, you could say that the baby has a right to not be killed and the onus is on you to come up with a reason why you should kill your own children (which is pretty sick and I don’t think any onus will come to you)

        • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

          Please reread Melissa E’s posts.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          Hiberenia, do you understand the difference between sex and rape?

          • Anonymous

            Yes, but in either case, if you want an abortion, you need to do it during the first trimester. In the later pregnancy, when the baby is conscious, killing him or her isn’t going to make up for the crimes of the father.

            • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

              Obviously, you don’t understand, which is why you missed the point.

              You see, the difference between sex and rape is the same as the difference between a wanted pregnancy and an unwanted pregnancy.

              By forcing a woman to remain pregnant against her will, you demonstrate yourself to be no better than a rapist.

              • Anonymous

                I am not forcing a woman to stay pregnant against her will. If she wants an abortion, then she can get one in the first trimester. But after the child becomes conscious, his or her right not to be executed take priority. You don’t get to kill your kids. I can’t believe I have to point this out.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Address the fact that for many women, the opportunity to abort in the first trimester does not exist.  Explain how you will remedy this issue.

                • Anonymous

                  I would work to convince people that while a late pregnancy child is a baby, and early pregnancy fertilized egg is not. This is the main reason why the pro-choice side is failing is because they refuse to point out the fact that a fertilized egg and early fetus aren’t people. If more people knew that then more people would support first trimester abortion. With that political support, we could work to provide more planned parenthood clinics like the one in my city which do first trimester abortions and make birth control more available.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Objection!

                  Please instruct the witness to answer the question. 

                • Anonymous

                  Wow, talk about a kangaroo court! You’d object no matter what I said. I bet you agree with me that more controception and more opportunities for first trimester abortion are needed but you shouted “objection” just because you had to for anything I said.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Actually, I don’t want abortion in the second and third trimesters.  But
                  silly me, I think a person’s right to control their own body’s trumps
                  any personal feelings I may have on the issue.  You are apparently
                  incapable of understanding anything being said here.

                  Oh, and can
                  you offer any evidence that shows that abortion in the third trimester /
                  late second trimester / anywhere after say, the 24 week point is at all
                  common enough for us to actually need to pass any laws on the issue? 
                  Or are you going to point to a few statistical outliers and claim they
                  apply to all circumstances?

                  Or do you really want to put women
                  through having to justify their reasons for not continuing a pregnancy? 
                  What risk is acceptable for you to force the woman to give birth?  What
                  if she runs only a 75% chance of death?  A 50% chance of paralysis?  A
                  25% chance of a prolapsed uterus?  Who judges what is considered an
                  acceptable risk to the woman?

                  Who decides what is the ‘sensible’
                  thing to do when it’s week 18 and the doctor says, ‘if you want to
                  continue this pregnancy, you must be on full bed rest for the next 3
                  months, thus effectively giving up your career/education’

                  Shouldn’t it be the woman?

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  I objected because you didn’t actually answer my question.

                • Demonhype

                  You’d do better to fight those laws that put onerous and, in many cases, impossible demands on a woman before she can get an early-term abortion, which is one of the reasons that for many women, a first-trimester abortion is not possible.

                  And the only reason the pro-choice side is failing, if that is true, is because of an attitude in this culture that women are stupid and incapable of making wise decisions concerning their health and even the health of their wanted children–well, pre-birth, after which you can starve them, beat them, let them die while you pray over them, and then it’s okay.  But when it’s inside the woman, she ceases to exist and it becomes the duty of everyone else to make her decisions for her.

                  I got in an argument with a coworker over this, and it wasn’t even about abortion but about prenatal care.  I said that some tests a doctor wants might have risks that outweigh what they’re testing for, and that if I was pregnant I would reserve the right to be educated on those risks and make my own decision about risk-assessment.  And this woman BLEW UP at me, screaming that I was endangering my hypothetical “unborn child” by not relinquishing my human autonomy and rights and just stripping naked, lying on the gurney, and accepting my role as “incubation meat” while the insurance company and maybe the doctor decide what is “best” for me, lying still and allowing them to poke, prod and stab me with whatever they feel is necessary or an “acceptable risk”.  All this because I suggested that the right to decide what was an acceptable risk was my own to make, because as a hypothetical pregnant woman, society says I do not have that right.  Society says I do not exist until after the baby pops out and if I “whine” about my “rights” I’m a “bad mother”somehow. Even in a hypothetical wanted pregnancy, I’m just a stupid woman who can’t be trusted to make her own decisions, a reckless whore who would kill even a wanted child if left to make her own decisions.

                  If, and I do mean if, the pro-choice side is failing, it is because there is an overpowering sense of mysogyny in this country, and no other reason. whore

                • Demonhype

                  I hate this commenting system.  Please ignore that extra “whore” at the end, because it’s not supposed to be there.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  —I am not forcing a woman to stay pregnant against her will.—

                  Liar.  That’s exactly what you would be doing.  How, exactly, do you intend to stop a woman from having an abortion?  What do you intend to do if she does have a second trimester abortion?

                • Anonymous

                  No, not if she had plenty of options to have a first trimester abortion. If she has a late term abortion when her life wasn’t in danger and the child was healthy, then she should be punished since she took the life of her own child against his or her will. I leave it to the jury to determine the exact punishment.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Answer the question – How, exactly, do you intend to stop a woman from having an abortion? 
                  What do you intend to do if she does have a second trimester abortion? What do you consider to be a fitting punishment for a woman who aborted in the 2nd trimester because the doctor told her if she continued the pregnancy, she stood a 50% chance of experiencing partial paralysis, which would severely interfere with her ability to care for her two existing children?

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          You are apparently incapable of understanding anything being said here.  Prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that a fetus at 24 weeks old feels pain  or fear or any other human emotion.  Until then, all you are doing is saying your OPINION trumps a woman’s rights.

          Oh, and can you offer any evidence that shows that abortion in the third trimester / late second trimester / anywhere after say, the 24 week point is at all common enough for us to actually need to pass any laws on the issue?  Or are you going to point to a few statistical outliers and claim they apply to all circumstances?

          Or do you really want to put women
          through having to justify their reasons for not continuing a pregnancy?  What risk is acceptable for you to force the woman to give birth?  What if she runs only a 75% chance of death?  A 50% chance of paralysis?  A 25% chance of a prolapsed uterus?  Who judges what is considered an acceptable risk to the woman?

          Who decides what is the ‘sensible’ thing to do when it’s week 18 and the doctor says, ‘if you want to continue this pregnancy, you must be on full bed rest for the next 3 months, thus effectively giving up your career/education’

          Shouldn’t it be the woman?

          • Anonymous

            I can’t absolutely prove that a baby in the 24th week of pregnancy feels pain, but then again I can’t absolutely prove that you feel pain either. I can’t absolutely prove that anyone besides myself feels pain since consciousness is only experienced by the individual. What I CAN prove is that both you, me, and the baby in the 24th week of pregnancy have the neural development that is associated with consciousness. And that should be enough to give all three of us moral worth.

            It makes no sense to say “something is rare, therefore it should be legal.” The chance of you getting raped by a man with paralyzed legs is rare, but that doesn’t mean we should legalize it. The same goes for elective late term abortion.

            The risks of pregnancy are no where near as high as you listed there whereas the risk to the child of a late term abortion is pretty much 100% fatal. It is unfortunate if there is a rare instance where you have to give up three months of your career, but your own child’s life takes priority. If there is a large risk that the woman will die if the pregnancy continues (as measured by scientific consensus) then late term abortion can take place.

            • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

              You still didn’t answer the damn question.  You just told some lies.

              Yes, we can prove a person feels pain.  You claiming otherwise is a bald faced lie.  But we can’t prove that a fetus feels pain, quite simply, because it doesn’t, but forced-birthers like yourself keep putting out misleading information and making asinine claims, constantly moving the goal posts.

              How about a simple one?

              Viability.

              If it can survive once expelled from the womb, it gets to live.  If it can’t, oh well, the woman still has the right to remove it from the womb.  If it survives, it’s immediately given up for adoption.

              You can’t even prove your shitty ‘consciousness’ criteria, nor can you justify why it matters.  A cow has consciousness, and I bet you aren’t a vegetarian.

              —It is unfortunate if there is a rare instance where you have to give up
              three months of your career, but your own child’s life takes priority.—

              You are stating here that you value a potential life, one that is not ‘conscious’, sentient, or sapient, over the well being of an actual living, breathing, person, simply because that person is female.

              You are not pro-life.  You are a misogynist.  You have admitted this.

              • Anonymous

                You claim that a baby 24 weeks in the pregnancy can’t feel pain, but give no evidence to back up that point. I’m not going to take you on faith, so you are going to have to do better.

                A baby does not suddenly become worthless because it can’t survive outside the womb. Anyone who utters the words “oh well” about their own child’s death isn’t fit to be a mother.

                A cow is not your child. Parents have a moral obligation to try to keep their children alive not kill them.

                A conscious baby is not a “potential” life, it is an actual life. That is the entire point.

                I believe that both women and men can be held to a moral standard that they are the protectors of their children. If you think that women aren’t capable of meeting that standard then you are the true misogynist.

                You act like a monster and the sad thing is that you can’t even see it.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  You made the claim that they feel pain, it’s on YOU to prove it.

                  You act like a rapist, and the sad thing is, you can’t even see it.

                  I ask you, again, even though I know you won’t answer –

                  What give YOU the right to use a woman’s body against her will, as an incubator for your opinion?

                  You’ve made this mystical criteria of consciousness by using the fallacy of special pleading. 

                  Why is consciousness in a fetus different from consciousness in a cow?  Explain.  If your next response to me isn’t a complete, logical, rational explanation, you will be admitted that your criteria is completely invalid and serves no purpose other than to dehumanize and torture women.

                • Anonymous

                  Your rapist claim is a rediculous strawman.

                  I have the same right to vote on this issue as any other American citizen. Protecting children is enough reason for any man or woman to support restrictions on late term abortion. If the women don’t take advantage of an abortion earlier then the life of the child takes priority.

                  When it comes to the draft, do you think that only 18 to 25 year old men should be allowed to vote on it? By your criteria, women and older men should have no say.

                  Also, are you willing to give men the same reproductive rights that you demand for women? When a condom breaks, the law forces the man to support any child that is born even though the man never consented to having a child in the first place. Since you believe that women should be able to kill their conscious children in their womb, then would you be willing to allow men the right not to put forward the hundreds of thousands of dollars over 18 years to support a kid he never consented to? I’d be interested to see how you respond, but I bet that you’d fight against any rights for men just as hard as you’d fight for women’s rights. Are you a hypocrite? Let’s see.

                  You have a moral and legal obligation to care for your child that you don’t have to care for a cow. If parents aren’t required to care for their children the country won’t function. If you love your womb more than you love your children then there is something very wrong with you.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  —When it comes to the draft, do you think that only 18 to 25 year old men should be allowed to vote on it?–

                  Nope, I think it should be eliminated entirely, because I don’t think anyone has the right to use someone else’s body without that person’s express consent.

                  Unlike you, I’m not a rapist.

                  —Also, are you willing to give men the same reproductive rights that you demand for women?—

                  Yep.  If a man wants to have a doctor perform an abortion on him in the third trimester, I’m fine with that.  It’s his body, after all. 

                  —Protecting children is enough reason for any man or woman to support restrictions on late term abortion.—

                  It’s also reason enough to support banning bath tubs and swimming pools, given the number of drowning deaths each year.

                • Anonymous

                  Well, at least you are consistent when it comes to the draft. I’ll give you credit for that.

                  My point about reproduction was that many in the pro-choice community cite the fact that women might not be prepared to support another child as a reason for allowing abortion at any stage. I’m just pointing out that if this is such an important reason for abortion at any stage then it should be pointed out that currently men don’t have this right. Though I guess since you emphasize the body that this question is of less importance to you.

                  There actually are safety regulations for bathtubs and swimming pools. Unlike late term abortion, most children who are involved with bathtubs and swimming pools don’t die.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  You still don’t get it, do you?  Your ignorance must be willful.

                • Anonymous

                  Talking with you is almost identical to talking to a Fundamentalist. You repeat the same false claims over and over, ask me questions then ignore what I say, and respond with insults rather than logic. You seem to think your dogma is more important than morality and that you and your beliefs are more important than other people. I do have some hope, though, because I realize how small the number of parents are who kill their children based on religion or the child’s location. Most parents are better than you. By a long shot. Your dogma will hopefully die along with that of the fundamentalists.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  You can’t answer basic questions, can’t actually defend the stance you have based your entire argument upon, and call us Fundies? 

                  You are just a misogynistic forced-birther, no different from the rest of them, no different in morality than a rapist.

                • Anonymous

                  I’ve patiently explained again and again (and again) the evidence, morality, and logic behind why killing your children with late term abortion is wrong, but you cover your ears and parrot back the same flimsy statements over and over without seriously considering the possibility that you might be wrong. Yes, you are exactly like a fundie.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  And now, here you are, once again, lying and refusing to actually answer the questions.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Answer the question – What risk is acceptable for you to force the woman to give birth?  What
                  if she runs only a 75% chance of death?  A 50% chance of paralysis?  A
                  25% chance of a prolapsed uterus?  Who judges what is considered an
                  acceptable risk to the woman?

                  Answer the question – what punishment do you feel is appropriate to inflict on a woman who aborted a 19-week old fetus because the doctor told her if she continued with the pregnancy, she stood a 25% chance of partial paralysis of her lower extremities?

                  Answer the question – how do you intend to stop a woman who is attempting to abort a 19 week old fetus and prevent the abortion from occurring?

                  Answer the question – What punishment do you intend to inflict on a woman who killed her 18 year old son while he was attempting to rape her?

                  Answer the question – How can consciousness be the criteria for personhood when creatures like cows, dogs, and earthworms are also possess the trait of consciousness?

                  Answer the question – Do you believe my mother-in-law should be forced by law to severely negatively impact her life and risk the complications from surgery due to giving up her kidney for the drug-addict daughter that has tormented and traumatized her?

                  You have not answered any of these questions.  You are lying when you claim you have.  Provide rational, logical answers for these questions, or admit your entire argument is irrational, illogical, and completely invalid and based entirely on your misogynistic feelings that women are not people.

                • Anonymous

                  :sigh: I don’t know why I spend my time repeating myself over and over. This is the last time.

                  1. If the chance that the mother might die if an abortion isn’t performed is getting close to the chance that the child will die if a later term abortion is performed, then a late term abortion could be morally justified. This is not true, though, if the mother’s risk is less. Science judges what is the risks are.

                  2. It should be the same punishment as one that would be given to a woman who threw her child down a well because she had a bad back and had a 25% chance of becoming paralyzed if she continued to carry the child around. The punishment should be strong in either of these cases.

                  3. If the woman was caught in the act or was caught after the fact or if there was evidence that proved beyond a reasonable doubt that she was going to kill her kid in a late term abortion, then yes that would warrant an arrest.

                  4. If it can be proven that a woman killed her 18 year old son purely in self defense because he was attacking her in an attempt to rape her, then she would get no punishment since she didn’t attack him and she was unable to stop him any other way than killing him. But pregnant women aren’t being raped and the children inside of them didn’t chose to be there, so it is unfair to kill them.

                  5. If you had a late term pregnancy with a cow or a dog inside of you that was your child, then it would be your responsibility to care for him or her until you could safely pass them off to someone else. You are morally responsible for your children when they are conscious. 

                  6. Maybe there are circumstances where a child could lose their right to organ transplants from their parents. But the children in the wombs in a late pregnancy never purposely hurt the mothers. It is unfair to kill them unless the mother’s life is at risk.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Do you really want to put women
                  through having to justify their
                  reasons for not continuing a pregnancy?  What risk is acceptable for you
                  to force the woman to give birth?  What if she runs only a 75% chance
                  of death?  A 50% chance of paralysis?  A 25% chance of a prolapsed
                  uterus?  Who judges what is considered an acceptable risk to the woman?

                • Anonymous

                  If the risk to the woman in continuing the pregnancy is as great as the risk to the child of being killed by late term abortion (near 100% if the late term abortion is done) then the woman can take priority at that time.

            • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

              You still haven’t answered the damn question.

              • Anonymous

                Just because you don’t like my answer doesn’t mean I haven’t answered the question logically.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  You haven’t answered the questions at all.

    • Aaron Foster

      The reason we say abortions are “up to the women” is because they are autonomous beings that deserve the right to make a choice.  We do want to preserve life but we have decided that because the woman is playing host to another that her rights get priority over the baby because she is the one making those sorts of decisions.  

      No one is saying that an abortion should be gotten without consideration but to me at least it seems unfair that the rights of a grown, competent and sentient person should be trumped but something that while in the future could become that grown agent hasn’t yet.That is sort of the great thing about choice, you get the choose.  If you feel like an abortion is the best option then it’s open to you, conversely if you don’t feel that way then that is what you can do.  Beyond you’re feelings that life should be preserved, which is a perfectly valid argument why YOU would not get an abortion.  I don’t see any argument from you saying why someone ELSE shouldn’t.

      Finally saying that the community hasn’t spoken intelligently about this issue doesn’t seem to lead anywhere without knowing what sort of arguments you have heard and where you disagree with them.

      • Anonymous

        Before personhood forms, yes, the fetus has no rights. But later in the pregnancy, after the baby forms, then it’s right to not be killed takes priority.

        • MariaO

          You keep referring to “personhood”. It would be helpful if you could specify: at which stage in the fetal developement do you consider personhood to appear?

          • Anonymous

            Sure, no problem. I believe that what differenciates us from nonliving matter is that we are conscious and nonliving matter isn’t. If you are conscious, I have a moral responsibility toward you. There is evidence to suggest that the beginnings of consciousness occur in the second trimester. So that is the place that you should draw the line as to whether abortion is allowed. 

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

              It ain’t a person until it’s been born and fully separated from the mother. That’s why we record the BIRTHday…

              *cough*moron*cough*

              • Anonymous

                Are you doing that badly in the debate that you need to resort to name calling to fill in the holes in your argument?

                And a birthday is when you are BORN, not when you become a person. You don’t magically go from being a blob of tissue to being a full human being the moment you are pulled from the womb. You do know that, right? 

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

                  Uhm, LEGALLY, you do. I suggest learning to research.

                  Now sod off.

                • Anonymous

                  It is frightening that you admit that a baby in a late term pregnancy is a person but you still think it has no rights and can be legally killed. How brainwashed do you have to be to kill your own children, knowing that even one day later after they were born, you’d be required to care for them? 

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

                  I never admitted that a FETUS late in pregnancy is a person. That’s YOUR obsession.

                  Now stop putting words in my mouth.

                • Anonymous

                  Do you believe they are conscious? If not, then please read this article.

                  http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=when-does-consciousness-arise

                  If you believe they are conscious but not people, then I think that is a very dangerous distinction. Would you declare that handicapped people are not people if they become a burden? I hope not. So  you should hold children in the womb to the same standard.

                • Demonhype

                  Please.  Hibernia is just going to keep repeating and repeating its BS, because that is the only thing the anti-choice crowd has left. The only reason they even have a foothold is because of the misogyny that underlies everything in our culture.

        • Demonhype

          I’m sorry if we don’t buy into these “personhood” claims, because they always amount to “I, personally, think this is when it’s a person, therefore everyone else should be legally bound to my definition.”  As for these “oh, babies sleep and dream therefore are exactly like a fully-born baby or two year old”–there have been a lot of efforts of the anti-choicers to redefine pregnancy and personhood using absurd interpretations of various studies–and, of course, plenty of suspect studies and outright lies.  You do realize that the anti-choice movement is trying to redefine “personhood” to as early as conception, in order to strip a woman of even the little freedom you would give her?  That is the only purpose this “personhood” argument is for–to try and redefine personhood until you can charge a woman with murder for having a miscarriage.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, the pro-lifers try to say that fertilized eggs are persons which is rediculous, but I think it is reasonable to say that babies in late pregnancy are persons.

            What I hate about the abortion debate is that the activists are purists on either side of the debate. Unless you take things to the extreme, they don’t consider you an ally. But the moderates, as usual, are correct, I think. You can be a moderate without supporting the other side. It is time to stop thinking in binary and try to build a good central policy.

            • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

              Here is a good central policy –

              It’s the woman’s body, so leave the decision up to her.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

      Well, FunTimes001, because it’s my body, and I get to decide what (if anything) gets to use it. A fetus isn’t any more deserving of my bodily resources than a tapeworm is.

      • Anonymous

        Early in the pregnancy, you are right that you can decide whether to continue or not. But late in the pregnancy, after your baby is already formed, his or her right to live take priority. Comparing your own child to a tapeworm is disturbing. You aren’t allowed to kill your own children just because you don’t feel like caring for them any more.

        • Anonymous

          We get it. You don’t need to post the same exact thing two dozen times

          • Anonymous

            This is the only way to bring people back to the post who have left. If you don’t want to respond then don’t, but I want to give the other people the chance to. Unfortunately on blogs like this there is a very short shelf life for new comments and it is unlikely that very many new people will read the link in a day or so, so I need to have a conversation with the people who already posted.

            • Anonymous

              The people who read the comments in this blog post read what you said. There is no need to say it over a dozen times, just under different replies. If anything it impedes having a real conversation. You aren’t helping yourself at all

              • Anonymous

                Actually I got a good number of people to come back and debate who probably wouldn’t have seen my posts otherwise. Now some, like wmdkitty, just ended up going into a rage near the end, but at least the arguments are up there for everyone to see.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

                  You haven’t presented any “arguments”. You’ve spammed the comments with your OPINION, while the rest of us have shot you down with documented medical, scientific, and legal facts.

                • Anonymous

                  Actually, I’m the one who was linking to the article from Scientific American. You just have a certain dogmatic view which won’t bend no matter how many holes are shown in it. 

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

                  An article that Enuma has already debunked… Sod off.

                • Anonymous

                  An article that Enuma didn’t read carefully enough for the reasons that I stated. Telling people to “sod off” doesn’t make you any less wrong.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

          We all know you hate women and want us to be nothing more than walking incubators.

          Now SOD OFF.

          • Anonymous

            No, more like you hate children. If you are willing to admit that in a late term pregnancy the baby is a person, but you still want to let the mother abandon him or her to die then you are sick in the head. You need to seek help.

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

              Putting words in my mouth, now, troll?

              I never said anything of the sort! A FETUS is not a person until it becomes a BABY, i.e., WHEN IT IS BORN. This is the legal and medical standard.

              You’re the one who needs help.

              • Anonymous

                I’ll say it again. You don’t magically go from being a ball of tissue to being a full human on the day you left the womb. You were a person ever since you were conscious in the womb. You need to be scientific rather than just producing legal hand waving.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

                  It’s also the current scientific and medical standard.

                  So stop lying, already…

                • Anonymous

                  No educated doctor would think of a late term pregnancy as just a blob of tissue.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

                  And no educated doctor would force a woman to be a walking incubator.

                • Anonymous

                  Rather than let the child die, she damn well would.

            • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

              I’m a mother.  I think WMDkitty is a bitch.  I also think on this issue she is correct.

              • Anonymous

                I agree that wmdkitty is not nice, but I disagree with both of you as explained in my other posts. 

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          What you are saying is, if I am snuggling in bed with someone, and he initiates sex in spite of my objection, I do not have the right to defend myself with any force that could result in harm/death to my assailant because his ‘right to life’ takes priority over my right to bodily autonomy?  Because he is a person?

          Make no mistake, that is EXACTLY what you are saying. 

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

            Hear, hear!

            All I’ve said is that nobody and nothing has a “right” to use my body without my consent, and Hibernia keeps twisting it around and accusing me of horrible things *SMH*

            I may be a bitch, but hey, I’m PROUD of it.

          • Anonymous

            While you shouldn’t go out of your way to kill him, you do have the right to defend yourself against the rapist. But your child is not sexually assualting you. Your child is maturing inside your womb because that is where children are born from. It is not his or her fault that they are being born and you shouldn’t punish them for it, much less kill them. If they are grown enough to be conscious and thus a person, have a moral obligation to care for your children until they can be adopted. Don’t hurt them because something bad happened to you.

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

              You really don’t get it, do you?

              Would you want someone or something to use your body against your will?

              No?

              Then give us ladies the same respect, and allow us to decide what (or who) gets to use our bodies.

              • Anonymous

                I’ve already said that I would donate my kidney to any of my kids who needs it to live. You should be able to donate your womb to any of your conscious children who needs it to live. At least you get your womb back at the end. If you won’t do it, you are horribly selfish and we shouldn’t make laws to allow that. You have a responsibility to support your kids and if you don’t want that then don’t have kids or give them up for adoption, but don’t kill them for goodness sake! What is wrong with people that they don’t understand this.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

                  What the fuck is wrong with you that you keep equating a fetus with a living, breathing, BORN baby?

                  They are NOT the same thing, and disposing of a fetus is NOT infanticide.

            • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

              The rapist is using my body against my will.  The fetus is using my body against my will.

              The rapist is putting his penis forcibly into my vagina because that’s what intercourse is.  So, it’s not his fault that’s what intercourse is, so I shouldn’t punish him for it.

              That is what you are saying here.

              You are erasing the woman from the picture.  You are stating that her thoughts, feelings, experiences, health, etc… doesn’t matter.   You are, in short, erasing her personhood in favor of the fetus.

              Do you deny that a woman is a person?

              How can you justify taking away the most basic right a person has, bodily autonomy, from a woman?

              Your entire argument is predicated on the idea that being conscious makes someone a person and gives them rights. 

              Are women unconscious, by your standards?

              Then how can you possibly justify what ultimately amounts to TORTURE: forcing a woman to remain pregnant against her will?

              • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

                Don’t bother. He’s not clueless — he’s deliberately and willfully obtuse. And a raging woman-hater.

                What do ya wanna bet his ex had an abortion and he can’t deal with it…

                • Anonymous

                  wmdkitty, even Withinthismind called you a bitch (did you see that below?). Now you are just making shit up because you know you can’t win a fair argument. Just because you are a psycho who thinks killing children a day before they are born is okay doesn’t mean that everyone else is.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  WMDkitty is a bitch. 

                  You, however, are far worse.  You are on the same moral level as a rapist.

                • Anonymous

                  You are starting to get crazy. I’ve explained to you multiple times why we have a responsibility to take care of our children. If insist on having the right to kill your children, I just hope that you don’t have any more children and give yours up for adoption to someone who can care for them.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  And because I oppose rape, I should also stop having consensual sex with my husband, right?

                  Typical forced-birther. 

              • Anonymous

                I think that is the basic problem here in that you view personal autonomy as more important than life itself. This is as silly as saying “Well slavery was bad, but at least they didn’t give them vaccines. That would violate their bodily autonomy!” What about your child’s bodily autonomy not to be killed?

                A rapist chooses to rape their victims. A baby does not choose to be in a woman’s womb. If you want to get a first trimester abortion, that’s one thing, but in the late trimester you have a moral responsibility to protect your children from death. What kind of sick person would abandon their children to die?

                Pregnancy can be hard, but it pales in comparison to an otherwise conscious healthy baby dying in the clinic.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Yes, I view bodily autonomy as more important than life.  I would rather die than be a slave. 

                  It’s not about the rapist’s choice.  It’s not about the fetus’s choice either.  The only choice that matters belongs to the woman, remember her?  The person in the equation that you keep trying to disappear?

                  You feel the moral right to traumatize her as you see fit on the hypothesis that a fetus is ‘conscious’, without ever explaining how ‘conscious’ = ‘person’. 

                  A woman does not choose to have sex with a rapist, that’s what makes him a rapist.  A woman may also not choose to be pregnant, that’s what makes it an unwanted pregnancy.  Her consent, her choice, is what makes the difference between the sex and the rape, the wanted pregnancy and the unwanted pregnancy.

                  As you forced-birthers make abortion harder and harder, the maternal death rate in childbirth climbs and climbs.  It’s around 1 in 16 worldwide.

                  A fetus is a potential human.  A potential person.  A woman is an actual human, an actual person.  Her right to her body trumps anyone else’s right to her body, period.

                  If the fetus cannot survive upon being expelled from the womb, that’s not her problem.

                • Anonymous

                  The child never chose to be in the womb. You as a parent have the responsibility to care for your children until someone else can. You can decide what to do with your body up until it starts causing your own children to die and then we need to think of them first.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  And we are back to the same old tired refrain of ‘baby-killers!’ instead of actually addressing the arguments.

                  Why do you keep erasing the woman from the equation? 

                  Why should we value the potential person above the actual person?

                • Anonymous

                  The problem is that you’ve heard pro-lifers falsely refer to aborting fertilized eggs as “baby killing” that you seem to think that babies can’t be killed ever. You need to actually think about the fact that true baby killing would be horrible which is what you are doing if you abort a baby close to the date of birth.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  You need to actually think about the fact that a woman is a person, and you keep dehumanizing her.

                • Anonymous

                  And you need to think about the fact that the baby is a person (which you can’t seem to get through your head which is terrifying). No one wants to kill the mother, but you want to kill the child. You keep screaming about “rape” and “slavery” just because you are asked to keep your own child alive for a few months before giving them up for adoption. Do you know how crazy you sound? You need to stop being so extremely selfish and care about your own kids.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  You are apparently incapable of understanding anything being said here. Prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that a fetus at 24 weeks old feels pain or fear or any other human emotion. Until then, all you are doing is saying your OPINION trumps a woman’s rights.

                  Oh, and can you offer any evidence that shows that abortion in the third trimester / late second trimester / anywhere after say, the 24 week point is at all common enough for us to actually need to pass any laws on the issue? Or are you going to point to a few statistical outliers and claim they apply to all circumstances?

                  Or do you really want to put women
                  through having to justify their reasons for not continuing a pregnancy? What risk is acceptable for you to force the woman to give birth? What if she runs only a 75% chance of death? A 50% chance of paralysis? A 25% chance of a prolapsed uterus? Who judges what is considered an acceptable risk to the woman?

                  Who decides what is the ‘sensible’ thing to do when it’s week 18 and the doctor says, ‘if you want to continue this pregnancy, you must be on full bed rest for the next 3 months, thus effectively giving up your career/education’

                  Shouldn’t it be the woman?

    • Anonymous

      I’m firmly against women using abortion as birth control (no reason other than we forgot to use protection or I forgot my pill one day).  But for rape or incest victims or in the case of imminent danger to the mother if the pregnancy continues, my argument is why does the existence of a lump of tissue, unviable for life outside the womb, trump the woman’s right to not be an incubator?

      I am for preserving life.  But I am also for preserving the right of the mother to choose whether she wants to continue the life inside her or not.

      I could give you my thoughts on when life becomes LIFE, but it’s irrelevant because my thoughts really don’t count.

      • Anonymous

        Why don’t your thoughts count? They count as much as anyone elses.

        If the mother’s life is in danger and the fetus/baby is going to die anyway, then yes abortions should be allowed. But for abortion in general, including in the case of rape, personhood is what matters. Early in the pregnancy the fetus isn’t conscious, isn’t a person, and thus abortion can happen for any reason. Late in the pregnancy there is a conscious baby and killing the child would be wrong even if the father was a rapist.

        • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

          There’s not really any good evidence of consciousness prior to birth.  There is a huge difference in brain activity between shortly before and shortly after birth.  A fetus doesn’t have the blood oxygen levels required to sustain conscious thought.  That requires independent breathing, which obviously doesn’t happen until after birth.

          • Anonymous

            http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=when-does-consciousness-arise

            This article says that in many children the brain development necessary for consciousness is developed by the 24th week of the pregnancy, which is in the second trimester. Yes the nature of the womb causes babies there to sleep a lot but they still have the ability to dream (even though we don’t yet know what they dream about).

            • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

               Actually your article agrees with what I said.  The circuits are in place, but there isn’t enough juice to run them until after birth, when the baby starts breathing independently.

              • Anonymous

                It says they sleep, but it strongly suggests that they could be dreaming.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  My old dog used to dream too.  I had to put her to sleep last year due to health issues.  Am I a murderer?

                  No?

                  Then obviously, consciousness/dreaming does not make a person.

                • Anonymous

                  We can debate how animals should be treated, but there are some mentally retarded people who have the intelligence of babies in the womb, but, like the babies, are conscious. Should we be able to kill them if they become a burden on society? Many people would say no and the same is true of the children in the womb.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  The term for an individual with the intelligence of a baby in the womb is, I believe, ‘vegetable’.  At which point, I am perfectly willing to say, no, they are not a person, they resemble a person only superficially.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Explain to me how it being a person gives it the right to use a woman’s body against her will?

                • Anonymous

                  Because a parent’s obligation to protect their own child’s life is far more important than how they choose to use their womb for a few months. Anyone with any understanding of basic morality would see this. Why can’t you?

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  So, in your opinion, if a 24 year old man attempt to rape his mother, she may not defend herself in case she accidentally kills him.

                • Anonymous

                  It is time to put to rest your crazy strawman. The child in your womb is NOT having sex with you (that is a pretty creepy thought). And the child never chose to be there in the first place. Comparing that to rape shows how callous you are to other people, including your own kids.

                  You say that you are a mother. If you ever try to rationalize reasons to hurt the kids that are already born, please let your husband take custody of them.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Little rapist, I’m not inclined to let you use my daughter’s body against her will, to let you torture and dehumanize her, you worthless, pathetic excuse for a slave-driver.  

                  It is because I am a mother and value my children that I am pro-choice.  I will fight for the bodily autonomy of my children, and continue to defend them against misogynists and rapists like yourself.

                  My daughter’s womb is not your property.  You do not get to decide who gets to make use of it.  You do not get to decide what risks, what pain, what suffering she must endure based on your ridiculous ‘opinion’ of what makes a person.

                  You don’t even comprehend the difference between a human being and an earthworm, and still think you are fit to rationalize anything?

                  You’ve ‘rationalized’ the dehumanization of half the born, living, breathing, thinking human beings on this planet.  You would have them endure the equivalent of rape, based on your inability to comprehend basic science.

                  You disgust me. 

                • Anonymous

                  Your strawman arguments are getting crazier by the day. I’ve been very patient with you considering how sick and twisted your beliefs are. Most people would not be this patient when talking to a member of the KKK, explaining to them why lynching is wrong, but that is pretty much what I have been doing for you. Hopefully you will be grateful one day and you can get better. I try not to lose hope about anyone even though I know not everyone is going to end up a good person.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

            Hell, they’re not exactly “conscious” for a while after birth, either.

            • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

              True.  Human babies don’t pass the “rouge test” until around 18 months.  

              • Anonymous

                Most animals can’t pass the rouge test. Are you saying that most animals are unconscious?

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  I think you need to learn the difference between ‘sentient’ and ‘sapient’, as that would more clearly illustrate the issue than ‘conscious’ vs ‘unconscious’.

                • Anonymous

                  Okay, to be more specific, I think that value is based on sentience and that sapience isn’t necessary for a person to have value. If sapience was necessary, then many mentally retarded people wouldn’t pass. But most people agree that mentally retarded people shouldn’t be killed. The same is true of conscious babies, whether they are in the womb or not.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Please justify how sapience isn’t required for a person to have value.  Without sapience, there can be no person.  That is why a frog, which is a sentient creature, is not a person.

                  A mentally retarded person is still sapient.

                  You really should educate yourself on this, especially if you are going to try to use this as your justification for the torture, dehumanization, and removal of personhood from women.

                • Anonymous

                  Not all mentally retarded people are sapient.

                  Again, this is how dogma takes control of people. You are basically saying “I decided to kill my children because they were in my womb and I didn’t like it.” Any normal person would be sickened by this thought. But dogma takes over and an otherwise normal person can do evil things. This is why slavery happened and the holocaust. People in the south in the 1850s and Germans in the 1940s weren’t naturally evil, but they were infected by dogma, just as you are. As Atheists, we need to learn to fight this.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Seriously, you, the one attempting to take personhood away from half the
                  population by reducing them to incubators and stripping them of the
                  most basic human right, bodily automony, have the nerve to pull a Godwin
                  on this thread? 

                  Have you no decency?

            • Anonymous

              Proof please.

              • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                Prove a 20 week old fetus is a person of greater value than a 20 year old woman.

                • Anonymous

                  The life of a second trimester conscious child is worth more than the convenience of a 20 year old woman. In most cases, the cost the mother would pay giving birth is small compared to the cost the child would pay if killed in a late term abortion.

    • Anonymous

      As I explained to many people below, I personally take a moderate and hopefully more morally defensible position than either the hard core pro-lifers or hard core pro-choicers. I believe that personhood is the only important question. Early in the pregnancy the fetus isn’t conscious and thus isn’t a person. It has no rights and can occur for any reason. Later in the pregnancy, however, consciousness does exist and a baby is formed. The mother has a legal and moral obligation to care for her own child and that includes not killing him or her through abortion. 

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

        *starts humming Monty Python’s “Spam” song*

        • Anonymous

          You do know that there is a big difference between a sperm and a second trimester baby with consciousness, right? Do you really think that a baby is the equivalent of a sperm until the moment before birth?

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

            *starts singing “Every Sperm is Sacred”*

            • Anonymous

              You are acting like a fifth grader here, so I’ll skip this part.

    • gentlehum

      I’ve scrolled through all the comments and as far as I can tell, no one has mentioned having an abortion.

      I have. And it was the best decision I ever made with my life.

      It was before Plan B and RU486, so it was a D&C – the cervix is dilated and the uterus scraped to remove the embryo and lining.  Mine was done at a Jewish hospital under full anesthesia. I was at 8 weeks, so it was an embryo. (If you want to see pictures of what the tissue looked like, check out the Wikipedia entry on embryos. ) The bleeding afterward was no worse than a period with no pain and lasted about three days.

      I admit I cried in the recovery room afterward, but they were tears of sheer relief. Yes, the condom failed. It happens. I knew even at age 18 I never wanted children and all I could think was that I had dodged a hideous bullet that would condemn me to a life I hated with someone I never wanted and never loved dependent upon me. I was an atheist even then, so I there was no question of moral punishment or failure..

      A few years later, I took a class on the Philosophy of Religion and wrote a short paper defending abortion as justifiable homicide, if one believes that the embryo or fetus has life on the same basis as a self-conscious human. (I don’t.)  My basis for this belief?  One may never demand that someone sacrifice their life to preserve the life of another. If I want to have a future human, a baby, then the sacrifice is my decision, and moral. If I don’t want to have a baby, then someone making me have it is immoral because no one has the right to decide for another rational human the actions they must take. The fetus within me is demanding by its existence that I sacrifice my life for it. I have the right to say NO.

      (Spare me the arguments about keeping your legs closed in the first place if you aren’t ready and prepared to be a parent. That assumes that sexual activity has a moral basis in and of itself, and that comes from christian dogma interpreting sex as related to original sin – which has no validity from an atheist standpoint.  Sex can and must be enjoyed for its own sake by those consenting to it as part of our innate functioning.)

      Every now and then, over twenty years later, I think about where (and if) I might be had I given birth. Even if a woman donates a baby for adoption, the pregnancy has permanent and in many cases severe effects upon her body. (As an aside, I suffered from horrendous morning sickness for about six weeks, where I could not keep anything down, not even water, and at the end I was vomiting blood. I lost just under 30 lbs in six weeks.) I think some of what anti-abortion forces claim as regret is merely what-ifs? They were pretty strong in the first few months, then gradually tapered off until now I can go months without remembering. I have no regret and never did.

      This may or may not answer any of your questions, but I wanted to give the perspective of one atheist woman’s experience and thoughts.

  • HappyLurker

    @03f208a81a66450ac5649b17b3b81399:disqus .  OK I personally would abhor the idea of having an abortion.  BUT I want the ability to chose what is best for me and my family.  You can present me with a million scenarios and yes I could probably come up with a case by case as to what I would do and why, and so would most women. 

    The bottom line is, what kind of life can the mother and/or the child expect after bringing an unwanted pregnancy to term against her will.  A baby that is kept in poverty that may turn to a life of crime?  A baby that flips from foster home to foster home never feeling a sense of belonging.  A woman who spends her life wondering if she made the right choice in giving up or keeping the child?  Maybe the child will be adopted by the most amazing parent ever and become an amazing person but the statistics just don’t show that.  Also the world is not under-populated at present.  My constant idea for a slogan is “Hey Pro Lifers how many unwanted children have you adopted”?  There are two issues here (the mother and what will happen to this child)  that is what makes it so heart wrenching.  Bottom line is we should have a choice in our future as individuals and our abilities to be a parent.  Terminating a blastocyst really is truly not murder.  Hope my rambling helps.

    • Anonymous

      You are right that terminatinga blastocyst isn’t murder. But terminating a third trimester baby is. The mother has a moral and legal obligation to care for her own child and killing him or her through abortion would be a grave injustice.

      • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

        We’ve been indulging your red herring far more than it deserves.  Please provide evidence that elective third term abortions are even happening.

        • Anonymous

          I’m not just talking about third trimester abortions. I’m also talking about many second trimester abortions that fall within the period in which consciousness forms.  I’m okay with late term abortions to save a mother’s life and I’ll admit that deformed fetuses are a tough moral issue that it is understandable that there might be multiple opinions on the issue. But if you are okay with banning elective third trimester abortions, then why do you argue against me when I say the exact same thing?

          • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

            Explain how ‘personhood’ gives anyone the right to use a woman’s body against her will. 

            Include an explanation for why you believe that if a 30 year old man is attacking his mother, she may not defend herself with lethal force.

      • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

        Explain to me how it being a person gives it the right to use a woman’s body against her will?

        • Anonymous

          If you abandoned your two year old child to die in the woods then you’d be arrested. It doesn’t suddenly become okay simply because you are cutting them off from the placenta. Stop valuing your womb over your kids. That’s perverted. You have the moral and legal requirement to care for your children until you can safely hand them off to someone else.

          • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

            Explain how ‘personhood’ gives anyone the right to use a woman’s body against her will. 

            Include
            an explanation for why you believe that if a 30 year old man is
            attacking his mother, she may not defend herself with lethal force.

            • Anonymous

              I have already answered this question, so I’m going to have to ask you to go read my past posts rather than have me retype it again and again.

              • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                Explain how ‘personhood’ gives anyone the right to use a woman’s body against her will. 

                Include an explanation for why you believe that if a 30 year old man is attacking his mother, she may not defend herself with lethal force.

                Your refusal to answer the question is quite telling.  You are basically admitting at this point that your position is indefensible.

                • Anonymous

                  I’ve already addressed this issue multiple times. You need
                  to go back and read my posts. You need to think outside your dogma, be
                  rational, and consider the needs of others besides yourself.

  • Memphis Matt

    Once again, the local politicians in my hometown have managed to throw reason out the window on their way to yet another disastrous policy decision.  It should also be pointed out that Shelby County isn’t just some podunk county in the middle of nowhere in Tennessee. This is Memphis, and Shelby County alone has 1,000,000 residents. This is a very serious problem, and many, many lives are going to be affected by this religious nonsense. 

  • Adambyers

    Thank you all for your comments… while some of you chose to resort to insults and rhetoric, most of you gave well reasoned arguments.  

    Let me also say that I feel I was asking an honest question. I grew up in the church and my view of abortions is still largely impacted by the influence of the church. It may be of some benefit to not attack people, or make assumptions when they ask honest questions. It is my feeling that the Atheist, Skeptical community embraces honest inquiry. Don’t crucify people for asking honest questions.

    If any of you have had any exposure to Christina views on abortion you know what they tell you and show you. It’s horrific stuff. Stuff that I assume is all made up but again, there is a certain amount of de-programming that needs to be done.

    Let me also say that I have always been for abortion as an option in cases of rape/incest. I think it is abhorrent to suggest that a victim should have to suffer the process of carrying a baby to term and then giving birth.

    Let me also clarify–I try to consume as much information as I can. I watch talks, read blogs, books, etc. But it always seems that the issue of abortion is glossed over. “It just should be” is always the reason. I think it’s fair to ask for more.

    With creationism we say it’s wrong and here is why, even I can explain the fault of creationism. But I could not give a succinct scientific argument as to why abortion should be allowed. I AM NOT saying that I think it should not be. I am saying that I’d like a little more education on the issue but it’s not an issue that gets much more explanation than “it should be this way because we say so.”

    Perhaps it will be of some benefit if I give you some questions that I’ve asked (and some I’m still asking), perhaps if you know the answer or a resource it will help others:

    Is there a current consensus in the scientific community as to when human life begins? 

    At what point in the development does it become not ok to abort a pregnancy?

    How do various abortion techniques work? Do they really use a vacuum?  Is it really the horrific scene Christians make it out to be?

    What are the statistics on women being harmed as a result of an abortion? It is safe?

    If abortions are so great, why do people write sad songs about them? I’m not being flippant  someone once asked this…

    That’s all I can think of for now. Thank you all again.

    • Aaron Foster

      Asking if there is a scientific consensus on when human life begins doesn’t seem like you’re asking the right question.  Technically I would assume that one could go the catholic route and consider life to start at conception because that is a group of human cells that is growing. However this doesn’t mean that it can live outside the mother.   If we are going with a scientific point of view I think the correct question would be when can the baby live on its own.  Just looking on Wikipedia it says that after 24 weeks you have between a 50-70% chance of the baby surviving.

      Personally that’s the point where the debate becomes tricky for me but I digress.  Which I suppose would answer your second question at least in my point of view.  
      As to technique I believe it depends on how far along you are.  It can range from a pill or surgery and the WHO has deemed that both are safe.  

      Here’s an article about many of the pictures anti-choicers use
      http://www.lifeandlibertyforwomen.org/truth_about_photos.html

      Finally as to the songs.  That’s not something I can answer, just seems like there’s a logical fallacy somewhere in there.  

      Personally I would have to take a question phrased like “if abortions are so great why are there sad songs about them” and just brush it off.  It doesn’t have anything to do with the debate.  Relationships are great but there are lots of sad songs about them too.  It’s just some sort of weak appeal to emotion.  Most people wouldn’t say abortion are great, just that they need to be available.

      • FunTimes001

        Thanks, the link you posted–that’s the sort of debunking that needs to be brought to the front of the argument. 

        • Grneyedmonster72

          Also, look at it this way: if the government can force a woman to bring a pregnancy to term due to a “compelling state interest” (such as protection of the life of the fetus), it follows that the government can also force a woman to terminate or prevent a pregnancy due to another such interest (such as population control). Either way it is a dangerous precedent to set.

      • Anonymous

        I think that the issue should be consciousness. If the baby is conscious, it deserves rights whether it can survive outside the womb or not.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          The chicken I had for dinner an hour ago was conscious this morning.

          Pick a better standard.

          • Anonymous

            And if we allow people to kill their children up until the day before the child is born, what is to stop people from arguing that since children’s brains haven’t really matured during the first year then we can kill them then too if they become a burden? (this reminds me of the South Park episode where one of the mothers seeks a 40 th trimester abortion). We can debate animal rights, but among humans I don’t think that we should be setting a person’s value based on intelligence or location.

            • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

              And if we allow a woman’s body to be used against her will, we dehumanize her, we reduce her to animal, we lower ourselves to the level of rapists and torturers.

              That’s what you are failing to get.  The fetus could be playing chess and composing symphonies in the womb and it would be completely fucking irrelevant because it STILL doesn’t have the right to use the woman’s body against her will.

            • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

              —And if we allow people to kill their children up until the day before
              the child is born, what is to stop people from arguing that since
              children’s brains haven’t really matured during the first year then we
              can kill them then too if they become a burden?—

              A born child is no longer located inside a woman’s body.

              • Anonymous

                Any sane mother or father would not care whether their children were in their body or not. They would love their children either way.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elizabeth-Masters-Hiatt/1089954620 Elizabeth Masters Hiatt

      I grew up Christian, I still have the t-shirts, so I understand what you’re going through to some degree. It’s very important to understand that much of what they tell you is wrong, half-truths, or outright lies. Many of the pictures of so called aborted fetuses are actually stillborn babies. In an attempt to be helpful, I’m going to answer your questions to the best of my ability, but I refuse to keep biting if you’re just a troll pretending to be interested… 

      There is not a strong consensus on when human life begins, other than the obvious point being birth. It’s not completely clear at what point a fetus can feel pain, has brainwaves, etc. Personally, I believe that abortion only becomes particularly thorny when it gets to the point that the fetus would survive outside the womb. The reality is that the vast majority of abortions take place in the first trimester, 87% in fact. Most of the time that an abortion takes place late in pregnancy it is for medical purposes; either the mother cannot continue the pregnancy or there is something very wrong with the fetus. In many of those cases, the pregnancy was very much wanted, and the parents may return home with the body to bury. 
      In terms of techniques, at 17% are medical abortions which are hormones that causes the uterus to expel the embryo. This is most common in early pregnancy. Yes, suction is used for in-clinic abortion procedures. The cervix is dilated and then cleared out with suction. 

      As for safety, LEGAL abortion is very safe, less than 0.3% of patients experience complications requiring hospitalization, and there is no link to breast cancer. Furthermore, studies have not confirmed a link between abortion and depression.   

      I don’t think that many people would argue that abortions are great in the same way that popsicles are great. There are certainly many people who have abortions and never feel any qualms about it, and that’s ok. For many women however, it is a complicated, emotional decision. I think that it’s the idea of a child that is mourned, the possibility. The majority of abortions are performed on women with 1 or more children and the majority of women seeking abortions live below the poverty line. This means that these women are deciding whether they can care for the children that they already have if they have another. It doesn’t mean that they would not like to have another child, or that they hate kids. It means that at the time that they got pregnant, they just cannot care for another. This is not “convenience” as some pro-lifers like to say, this is about whether or not they can continue to feed and care for their children.  

      If you are really interested, I recommend the Guttmacher Institute and Planned Parenthood, both have very good, informative websites where I got much of the stats that I shared with you. 

      • FunTimes001

        Thanks, and I promise I’m not a troll… I suppose I could have picked a better handle than FunTimes001. 

        I got rid of all but one t-shirt, good memories with friends linked to it, I happily dumped all the music though.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elizabeth-Masters-Hiatt/1089954620 Elizabeth Masters Hiatt

          The music is still a bit of a stickler for me. Some of it was awful, but I still have some great memories associated with some songs that I can’t stand to listen to because of the lyrics. 

          • http://www.freedomloversacademy.com/ Kristina

            The music is bad for me, too. I love some of the melodies, but the lyrics, oh my.

      • Anonymous

        But I think that if the fetus is conscious (and thus a baby) they should have rights even if they can’t survive outside the womb. Late term abortions because of medical problems in the baby are difficult, but most people wouldn’t kill a two year old who was deathly ill so I don’t think it is necessarily moral to do it to a child in the womb either.

        If a woman has a lot of children and can’t care for another, she should give her new child up for adoption rather than kill it.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elizabeth-Masters-Hiatt/1089954620 Elizabeth Masters Hiatt

          She doesn’t have a child. She has an embryo or a fetus, neither of which is a child.  

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

          Actually, if I had a two year old facing a long and painful death, I’d have no problem putting the poor thing out of its misery. Better than letting it suffer.

          • Anonymous

            Well if the suffering was harsh enough, I’d probably agree.

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

              Considering I’d do the same for a beloved pet, it’s the most caring thing I could do in the situation. It would be selfish to do otherwise, even if in the name of “sanctity of life”.

              • Anonymous

                Sure, I’d agree with you.

    • Anonymous

      I think you have gotten good replies, but I think the main issue you are having is that you are having a hard time putting yourself in the position of a woman who is seeking an abortion.  I do not know many women who would say that “abortion is great”.  It isn’t something done for the fun of it, or because its a convenient form of birth control, or because they don’t know what they are doing.  There are usually a lot of emotions: relief, guilt, regret, acceptance, pain.  

      Many people who get abortions are otherwise “pro-life”.  This is known as “the only moral abortion is my abortion” phenomena.  So it’s okay that you have a hard time thinking about the reasons why abortions are necessary because even women who get abortions can have very negative views of other people who get them.

      The desire for a scientific consensus about when human life begins isn’t one that can be satisfied.  The right to choose isn’t necessarily a right that can be argued scientifically, but it can certainly be argued logically and philosophically as well as ethically.  You can’t really put the arguments in a cold and “rational” theoretical box because it is a human issue with all the complexities and grey area that humanity has to offer.  
      Here is an article that includes many other helpful links written by someone studying to be an abortion doctor. http://thehairpin.com/2011/03/ask-an-abortion-provider/  I hope you think more about this issue and see how it is a very complex issue tied to body rights, poverty, misogyny and health care.   Simply determining when life ‘begins’ (Sagan would say it began a couple billion years ago) is not the only important factor at stake.

      • Anonymous

        I think you do need to consider science when making this decision. You have to figure out to the best of your ability when personhood begins and set the line there for whether abortion is allowed or not.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elizabeth-Masters-Hiatt/1089954620 Elizabeth Masters Hiatt

          If you want to talk about the science, then you should acknowledge that there is not enough evidence to support your idea of when “personhood” starts.  

          • Anonymous

            There is evidence that strongly suggests that consciousness begins in the second trimester because that is when the thalamo-cortical complex develops. I think it is easy logical step to say that conscious people are persons.

            http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=when-does-consciousness-arise

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elizabeth-Masters-Hiatt/1089954620 Elizabeth Masters Hiatt

              Strongly suggests is a long damn way from actual evidence. I can play the links game too. http://journals.lww.com/pedresearch/Fulltext/2009/03000/The_Emergence_of_Human_Consciousness__From_Fetal.1.aspx?WT.mc_id=HPxADx20100319xMP
              Mine strongly suggests that the fetus is asleep and unconscious until birth due to low oxygen and endogenous sedation. 

        • Starfish

          As I said upthread, post-viability abortion is already severely restricted in this country to either life/health of mother or fetal abnormality. If you want to see what the restrictions are in your state, go here:
          http://www.guttmacher.org/statecenter/spibs/spib_PLTA.pdf
           
          Now, can we drop the strawman of personhood? So-called late term abortions account for approximately 0.05% of all abortions in this country, the vast majority performed because the life and/or health of the mother is at risk. They account for an incredibly small number and represent genuinely heartbreaking events in the lives of the parents who by-and-large WANTED their babies. These are people faced with incredibly difficult circumstances who deserve our compassion.

          • Anonymous

            Perhaps I haven’t been clear enough, but I actually believe that first trimester abortions should be legal. If you don’t want to dispute me on the need for late term abortions to be illegal, then maybe we agree.

            • Starfish

              Except I don’t think they should be illegal. I think that the system we have now works fine, because if a woman is in her third trimester it’s because she WANTS to be. This is what you’re not getting, it seems. Those last trimester abortions? Are caused by horrific medical problems, not women decided they just can’t stand being pregnant another minute. You’ve spent the entire thread railing against something that just doesn’t happen. Something like 80 -90 percent of all abortions happen in the first trimester, the majority of the rest happen in the second and 0.05 percent — not even an entire percent! — happen post-viability. So, if you genuinely mean that you don’t have a problem with abortion at any point to save a mother’s life, then the abortion laws in this country are directly inline with what you believe.

              The problem is a certain radical section of the population that wants ALL abortion outlawed. They want frakking BIRTH CONTROL outlawed. (Those personhood amendments? Will outlaw almost all forms of birth control. Except those that the men control, like condoms.) 

              THAT is part of my frustration with you and others like you. You are focusing on an issue that DOES NOT exist. And while you all are distracted by the notion of babies being killed an hour before their born, the fundies are slipping in laws the deny birth control, early abortion and access to abortion. They’re playing with mirrors and you’re getting distracted. By the time you wise up, it’ll be the frakking Handmaid’s Tale.

              • Anonymous

                I’m glad to fight for birth control and first trimester abortion, but the problem is that there are really people like wmdkitty and Withinthismind who DO want abortion in the third trimester for healthy babies. We need to argue against extremism on both sides. Maybe I’ll never convince wmdkitty or Withinthismind, but hopefully I’ll convince some of the moderates reading this page so that they can make a sensible policy.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

                  Yeah, because it’s just so extreme to want to keep the right to control your own goddamn body…

                  Fucking wanker.

                • Anonymous

                  Does your ranting never end? I think I’ve completed my collection of British slang terms and you are no closer to actually thinking about what I said. You just keep repeating the same dogma again and again and again. No matter how many times I pointed out the flaws in your argument, you just keep spewing. You have no desire to listen and give other people’s ideas a fair chance. Talking to you is like talking to a Creationist.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  You haven’t pointed out a single flaw in my arguments.  I’m still waiting for you to address most of them instead of coming back with the typical forced-birther retort of calling us all ‘baby-killers’.

                • Anonymous

                  Parents have a responsibility to keep their children alive even if it causes them hardship. This is basic morality. It blows your arguments out of the water. If you can’t accept it, then your philosophy threatens children everywhere and we can’t have that.

                  The problem is that you’ve heard pro-lifers falsely  refer to aborting fertilized eggs as “baby killing” that you’ve numbed yourself to the idea that babies  can actually be killed. When I point out an example you just reject it without thinking and this is dangerous to our society because it stops people from considering the full effect of what they are doing to their own kids. 

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  A child can be handed off to someone else if the parents are unfit.  A fetus, however, is not a child.  It cannot be handed off.  It is inside the woman.  It also is not sapient, while a child is sapient.

                  By your ‘argument’, any parent that has ever made the heart-wrenching decision to pull the plug on a brain-dead child is a murderer.

                  Take a moment out of your ‘waaaaaah, baby-killers!’ and address the fact that there is an actual woman in the equation whose health, well-being, and choice are all factors.  As long as you fail to address that fact, your arguments are invalid.

                  Take a moment to actually think about the danger to society people like you represent when they erase the women from the equation with no facts to back them up.  You would torture and dehumanize a woman based on the spurious critera of ‘consciousness’, a trait possessed by everything from an aardvark to a zebra mussel, and you fail to consider the full effect this will have on society?

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

                  @Hibernia86:disqus

                  “Parents have a responsibility to keep their children alive even if it causes them hardship.”

                  Legally, not true. It’s called relinquishment….

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  And if the parents fail in the duty, the children can be made wards of the state and be taken away.  I wonder how our little forced-birther would make an 18 week old fetus into a ‘ward of the state?’  I asked earlier, but our little forced-birther declined to answer the question, as it will no doubt fail to answer it this time.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Actually, I don’t want abortion in the second and third trimesters.  But silly me, I think a person’s right to control their own body’s trumps any personal feelings I may have on the issue.  You are apparently incapable of understanding anything being said here.

                  Oh, and can you offer any evidence that shows that abortion in the third trimester / late second trimester / anywhere after say, the 24 week point is at all common enough for us to actually need to pass any laws on the issue?  Or are you going to point to a few statistical outliers and claim they apply to all circumstances?

                  Or do you really want to put women through having to justify their reasons for not continuing a pregnancy?  What risk is acceptable for you to force the woman to give birth?  What if she runs only a 75% chance of death?  A 50% chance of paralysis?  A 25% chance of a prolapsed uterus?  Who judges what is considered an acceptable risk to the woman?

                  Who decides what is the ‘sensible’ thing to do when it’s week 18 and the doctor says, ‘if you want to continue this pregnancy, you must be on full bed rest for the next 3 months, thus effectively giving up your career/education’

                  Shouldn’t it be the woman?

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  The simple fact that the forced-birther won’t answer this question is quite telling.  Just another misogynist trying to take rights away from women under the guise of ‘save the babies’.

                • Starfish

                  The fact that he won’t acknowledge the fact that the abortions he objects to constitute around 0.05% of all abortions (third trimester) despite my having shown him where to find accurate statistics is telling, yes. 

                • Starfish

                  Arg! We ALREADY HAVE sensible policy! It’s not in danger of being changed. So all you’re doing is annoying people. It doesn’t really matter if anyone thinks it’s cool to abort healthy full term babies (and, for the record, believing a woman has rights to bodily autonomy and the goverment needs to keep out of personal decisions does not, in ANY way, mean you want healthy full-term fetuses aborted. Again, red herring.) It doesn’t matter what people think, it’s already illegal. So…what’s your point? You want to control people’s thinking? Why? What harm does it do to you if people hold opinions that you disagree with? That law is as it is, it’s not in danger of going away. So…what’s the point of what you’re doing? It just strikes me as going around poking people to get a reaction.

        • Anonymous

          Let’s all be adults here. And, for fuck’s sake, be honest. When you say “You have to figure out to the best of your ability when personhood begins…” what you REALLY mean is ‘You have to read the ONE article I keep repeating and make the same conclusion I did or you’re wrong.’ You’re clearly not interested in the science. You’ve arrogantly brushed aside all valid scientific rebuttals. At least have the courage to own your stance.

          • Anonymous

            Maybe I’m wrong about when consciousness begins in a child and maybe I’m right. I have no problem with us doing more research on the topic to get a better answer. The only thing that bothers me is the people who are willing to admit that the child is conscious in late pregnancy and still be willing to kill their own kid. That is where I draw the line and say that person’s mind is warped. 

            • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

              Explain how conscious =  person.

              Keep in mind technically, a fly is conscious, and you kill a dozen or so of those every time you drive your car.

              If you do not consider a fly to be a person, then you admit that consciousness alone is not a suitable criteria.

              If the criteria is not consciousness, then what is it?

              What makes a person different from say, a chicken?

              • Anonymous

                First, a fly is barely conscious, if at all. And the chicken is not your child. You have a moral and legal obligation to protect your child until someone else can.

                If you had an 8 year old child who got struck in the head and reverted back to the brain level that they were right before they were born, would you kill them? Because if you think that a baby about to be born can be killed then shouldn’t you feel the same way about an older child who reverts back to that brain level? I’m not sure that very many people would support killing mentally challenged kids, so I fail to see why they should support it for kids about to be born.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Explain how ‘personhood’ gives anyone the right to use a woman’s body against her will. 

                  Include
                  an explanation for why you believe that if a 30 year old man is
                  attacking his mother, she may not defend herself with lethal force.

                • Anonymous

                  For the last time, the child in the womb is not attacking the woman, nor is he or she raping the woman. The child had no choice about whether to be there or not. If the woman doesn’t have an abortion before the child becomes conscious, then she still can give the child up for adoption after it is born, but she can not kill it.

                  Basic ethics. If you polled the American citizens, I wouldn’t be surprised if 99% agreed with me. You pose little political threat, but I’ve tried to spend time explaining it to you anyway.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  The fetus is using the woman’s body against her will.  It’s ‘intent’ is irrelevant.   It’s her body, and her will.

                  If your argument does not extend to a child of age 30, explain why.  Obviously, the criteria of ‘her child’ and ‘conscious’ are rendered invalid by your admission here, so what exactly is the criteria?  Why won’t you actually answer the question.

                  Explain how ‘personhood’ gives anyone the right to use a woman’s body against her will.

                  Your kind once justified enslaving black people too, so why am I at all surprised you are okay with enslaving women?   

                • Anonymous

                  So if your two year old child accidently wanders onto your property by mistake after you dropped them off at your neighbor’s house, is it okay to shoot to kill since they were trespassing and “threatened” you by their very presence? If your child, through no fault of their own, ends up on your property or in your womb, any decent person would help keep their child alive until they could be handed off to another adult.

    • mai

      If a baby is born as a result of rape or incest, would it be ok to kill the newborn? No, of course not. So why do you say it’s okay to abort, if you think abortion is wrong? The fact that you say you approve of abortion under some circumstances shows that you don’t think it’s the same as killing an actual human.

      I guess what you want is as few abortions as possible? Great, so does everyone. But as someone said above, banning abortion doesn’t help at all. For fewer abortions there needs to be comprehensive sex-ed, readily available, affordable contraception for all, financial help for low-income mothers etc etc. Those are things that actually help to reduce the abortion rate. Those are things that anti-abortionists also oppose, which makes it clear that they are not about preserving life, but controlling women.

      • Anonymous

        Why can’t we provide comprehensive sex-ed AND ban late term abortion?

        • Anonymous

          The vast majority of late term abortions are performed to save the mother’s life, for a pregnancy she wanted but turns out badly, not because she couldn’t make up her mind until the fetus was viable. Banning late term abortions just puts more women in danger.

          • Anonymous

            Then why don’t we make late term abortions only allowed when the mother’s life is in danger?

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elizabeth-Masters-Hiatt/1089954620 Elizabeth Masters Hiatt

              That’s pretty much how it is now. People don’t wait until they are 7 1/2 months pregnant before they decide that they don’t want to have a baby. 87% of abortions occur in the first trimester. That leaves only 13% to be divided among the last 6 months of pregnancy. Most late-term abortions are a result of extreme problems with either the mother or the fetus.  

              • Anonymous

                I’m mainly fine with the laws for late term abortion, but I know that many in the pro-choice community want to legalize even later term abortions that we have now, so that is why I explain why that would be immoral.

                I have no problem with abortions at any point in the pregnancy that are needed to save the woman’s life. It is hard to imagine a situation where forbiding an abortion would save the baby but not the mother since the baby would die anyway if the mother died before it was viable outside the womb.

                As for defects in the child, that is a tough one. If there was a two year old about to die, I probably wouldn’t kill them early no matter how deformed they were unless they were in deep endless pain. I would probably feel the same way about deformed babies in late term pregnancies though I can understand how some people might reasonably feel differently. 

                • Anonymous

                  A two year old is not a late term fetus!

                  I think we shouldn’t ban late term abortions because it’s introducing the law into what should be a purely medical decision. I would rather an infinite number of late term abortions happen than for one woman to die because her doctor was afraid to act because of the law.

                • Anonymous

                  A late term baby and a two year old are both people whereas a first trimester unconscious fetus isn’t. That is the important distinction.

                  It is not a purely medical decision. It is a moral decision. You need to consider the needs of two people, the mother and the child. You can’t just pretend the child isn’t there. If the mother’s life is at risk then you can take the child out if viable. If it isn’t viable then it is okay to have an abortion because it is better to save one life than lose two.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  If the fetus can be safely delivered (via induction) and immediately removed from the woman with absolutely no repercussions to her, then I’m fine with that alternative.

                  But the system isn’t in place to allow that, and your entire argument completely fails to take into account the actual reasons women have abortions after the first trimester.

                  I suggest instead of advocating for bans, you address those reasons.

                  The most prevalent is the lack of access to an abortion during the first trimester, whether by location or expense. 

                • Anonymous

                  We should do both. We need to make more opportunities available for first trimester abortions and remove barriers while still limiting late term abortions except to save the mother’s life or perhaps in cases of extreme development problems. 

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Actually, I don’t want abortion in the second and third trimesters.  But silly me, I think a person’s right to control their own body’s trumps any personal feelings I may have on the issue.  You are apparently incapable of understanding anything being said here.

                  Oh, and can you offer any evidence that shows that abortion in the third trimester / late second trimester / anywhere after say, the 24 week point is at all common enough for us to actually need to pass any laws on the issue?  Or are you going to point to a few statistical outliers and claim they apply to all circumstances?

                  Or do you really want to put women through having to justify their reasons for not continuing a pregnancy?  What risk is acceptable for you to force the woman to give birth?  What if she runs only a 75% chance of death?  A 50% chance of paralysis?  A 25% chance of a prolapsed uterus?  Who judges what is considered an acceptable risk to the woman?

                  Who decides what is the ‘sensible’ thing to do when it’s week 18 and the doctor says, ‘if you want to continue this pregnancy, you must be on full bed rest for the next 3 months, thus effectively giving up your career/education’

                  Shouldn’t it be the woman?

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  —A late term baby and a two year old are both people whereas a first trimester unconscious fetus isn’—

                  Proof?

                • Anonymous

                  I’ve already addressed this issue multiple times. You need
                  to go back and read my posts. You need to think outside your dogma, be
                  rational, and consider the needs of others besides yourself.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Liar.  You haven’t actually answered a single one of my questions.

                • Anonymous

                  I spent time writing answers to SIX of your questions and you just ignore it. You aren’t interesting in my answers at all. You’ve already locked your brain away and refuse to think (how did you become an Atheist if you don’t think? Did you just stumble into this?) You just keep asking me to answer questions I already answered because you hope that I will parrot the false statements that you’ve made in the past, which I’m not going to do. In this most recent batch of responses you didn’t make a single statement about the issue, not even to repeat the same old crap you’ve repeated before. Until you say something new, there is really no reason to listen to you repeat false statements over and over again like a broken record. 

                  The only thing I want you to know is that more people agree with me than you, which means that politically, I win. You can rant and cry about it all you want, but it isn’t going to change the fact that the American people have rejected your dogma. Your desires will never come true, and of that I’m glad.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Liar.

                  You didn’t answer any of my questions, and you still won’t.  You can’t even quote where you ‘answered’ the questions.

                  There was a time when the majority of people believed enslaving blacks was a good idea.  In time, folks like you who believe in enslaving women will also fall by the wayside.

                • Anonymous

                  Here they are again. You are just going to deny receiving them, though, because you’d rather cover your ears than have a real adult conversation.

                  Oh, and your position won’t be like slavery. It will be more like fascism, which humanity rejects more and more as time goes on.

                  And now, the answers that you can’t handle.

                  1. If the chance that the mother might die if an abortion isn’t performed is
                  getting close to the chance that the child will die if a later term abortion is
                  performed, then a late term abortion could be morally justified. This is not
                  true, though, if the mother’s risk is less. Science judges what is the risks
                  are.

                  2. It should be the same punishment as one that would be given to a woman who
                  threw her child down a well because she had a bad back and had a 25% chance of
                  becoming paralyzed if she continued to carry the child around. The punishment
                  should be strong in either of these cases.

                  3. If the woman was caught in the act or was caught after the fact or if there
                  was evidence that proved beyond a reasonable doubt that she was going to kill
                  her kid in a late term abortion, then yes that would warrant an arrest.

                  4. If it can be proven that a woman killed her 18 year old son purely in self
                  defense because he was attacking her in an attempt to rape her, then she would
                  get no punishment since she didn’t attack him and she was unable to stop him
                  any other way than killing him. But pregnant women aren’t being raped and the
                  children inside of them didn’t chose to be there, so it is unfair to kill them.

                  5. If you had a late term pregnancy with a cow or a dog inside of you that was
                  your child, then it would be your responsibility to care for him or her until
                  you could safely pass them off to someone else. You are morally responsible for
                  your children when they are conscious. 

                  6. Maybe there are circumstances where a child could lose their right to organ
                  transplants from their parents. But the children in the wombs in a late
                  pregnancy never purposely hurt the mothers. It is unfair to kill them unless
                  the mother’s life is at risk.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  You answered question 2, and in doing so, showed yourself to be a misogynistic moron lacking even a basic understanding of biology, neurology, and sociology.  None of the rest were actual answers to the questions asked. 

                • Anonymous

                  I’m sorry, but talking to you is like talking to a child. In #2, I listed out a principle that is the same regardless of gender and then you start crying about how ‘misogynistic’ it is. Do you even understand basic logic? You have not even tried to prove your point, instead relying on nonsensical insults. And your pitiful attempt to sound smart where you mentioned “biology, neurology, and sociology” falls flat when you fail to mention anything about those topics. And your claim that “none of the rest were actual answers to the questions asked” shows that you can’t even remember what you wrote in your own posts. This is just getting sad.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Mostly, you’ve just proven to everyone that you haven’t bothered to actually think any of your stances through.  Thank you for conclusively proving that your arguments come from a place of utter ignorance.

                • Anonymous

                  Seriously, you aren’t even trying anymore are you? Your arrogant declarations just show that this is the only way you can have self respect for yourself after losing the debate.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  My little idiot, I didn’t lose the debate.  I forced you to reveal your true colors to everyone.  I accomplished my goal by revealing you to be an ignorant, irrational, illogical asswipe completely incapable of recognizing that women are human beings or thinking any idea through.

                  I demonstrated that all your stances were irrational and ill-thought out, as well as based upon incomplete or outright false understandings of science and sociology. I mean, the simple fact that you actually think what you offered are adequate answers to my questions proves that your stance is ultimately indefensible.

                  The fact that you actually think you came out ahead just goes to further prove my point.

                • Anonymous

                  Yeah, my “true colors” of being ration person who actually cares about people besides myself, unlike you.

                  I have to say, though, trading insults with you has been fun after you stopped trying to make sense, but it is getting redundant. No one is reading this besides us, so there is no reason to continue to try to force you to say something about the actual topic so I can cut it down with actual reason. So unless you say something new and pertinent in your next comment, I’m going to spend my time more wisely. If you want to post the last comment so that you can “win” whatever little game you are playing, fine.

                   But know that in the vast majority of America, if you are a healthy woman with a healthy late term pregnancy, you can’t get a legal abortion and public opinion shows little chance of that ever changing. You can complain complain complain but most people have already rejected you and will continue to.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Go, then, flee.  And like the slave traders of the past, your kind too will fade away.  Women are people, and we will fight for our rights.  And in spite of the fact that once, the majority felt women didn’t deserve the vote, we are winning.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  We should remember that women are actual people, and have rights, including the right not to be raped.

                  Think on this – I know a lot of herbal lore.  I can induce a miscarriage pretty much whenever I feel like it.  If I attempted to do so in my second trimester, how, exactly, do you intend to stop/punish me?

                  Chain me to a bed for the next six months?  Find some manner of coercion like threatening me with 10 years in jail?

                  You are a forced birther, no better than a rapist.

            • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

              If the fetus is 22 weeks along, and the doctor says there is a 50% chance of the mother suffering permanent paralysis, can she have an abortion?

              Answer the question, you piece of shit.

              • Anonymous

                I’ve already addressed this issue multiple times (you fucking asshole). You need
                to go back and read my posts. You need to think outside your dogma, be
                rational, and consider the needs of others besides yourself.

    • Anonymous

      What’s important to understand is that pregnancy and child rearing are not trivial things that one can just brush aside. A pregnancy (especially several ones) can have lasting effects on the body, even if they are just cosmetic like stretch marks, permanent weight gain or whatever. The temporary effects alone or rather severe

      And is it really so good if poor people have more children than they can care for? Or one with severe a medical conditions that needs around the clock care? It’s neither good for the children, nor for society. In the West we know that it increases the risks of crime and future poverty. In other parts of the world it has disastrous consequences that endager whole populations.

      Of course contraception should be the first option here, but some Christians sects do their damnedest to prevent that too and in the US it’s even political. And even when people try, there are circumstances when things don’t work

      • Anonymous

        Yes we should be promoting controception, but “abortions are going to happen anyway” isn’t in and of itself a reason to legalize it. Theft, rape, and murder still happen even though there are laws against them. The only question that matters is whether the fetus is a person (in which case he or she has the right not to be killed) or it isn’t (in which case abortion can be allowed without problem)

        • Anonymous

          The only question that matters is whether the fetus is a person

          No, that’s certainly not the only question. You are getting tiresome

          Your complete lack of concern for women’s lives in illegal abortions is very telling. And this isn’t a theoretical concept. The maternal death rate in such countries is always higher.
          But hey, better to have more babies that can’t be taken care off properly than having intact families who raise the children they already have

          • Anonymous

            No one is forcing you to respond.

            Also, if a woman wants an abortion, then she should have one in the first trimester before the baby becomes conscious and a person. There is no need for illegal abortions. If she waits, I’m sorry about that, but she still has the ability to give the child up for adoption. Her being tardy in seeking abortions does not give her the right to kill the child.

            Yes it is better to have more babies that can’t be taken care of properly rather than killing them. Our planet is facing overpopulation. Does that mean that you would support killing people in order to balance things out? I hope not. If you want less children, then use controception or have a first trimester abortion. 90% of abortions happen in the first trimester anyway so it isn’t like it is that big of a request. 

            • Anonymous

              There are countries where abortions are entirely illegal. That’s what this is about. And that’s where the religious right wants to take the US again. One step at a time. The incident described in the post is only a means to that end. Together with the hundreds of other anti-abortions bills Republicans introduced lately

              We are NOT talking about late term abortions here, so your second paragraph is completely off topic. The third paragraph is just another hyperbolic strawman

              • Anonymous

                Fine. I think that first trimester abortions should be legal. Does that satisfy you?

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  No.

                  They must also be available, a standard much of the US does not meet and frankly, aside from medical necessity, the only reason non-first semester abortions exist.

                  You want to end second trimester abortions?  Make sure there is a low-cost to free abortion clinic in every county with a transportation system attached that would offer the woman complete anonymity.

                • Anonymous

                  Bingo. The Republicans haven’t managed to make it illegal yet, but they are doing the best they can to make it as hard as possible and to force most providers out of business. Most of their actions are very transparent

                • Anonymous

                  Well that is part of the reason why I’m not a Republican.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  You are a forced-birther, just like the rest of them.

                • Anonymous

                  I advocate for these things every time the issue is discussed and campaign for the Democrats every year. I’m trying to help you on the issues you mention above. 

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  No, you aren’t, you are just like all the other misogynistic forced-birthers out there, using the same rhetoric to dehumanize and erase women from the equation.

            • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

              —Also, if a woman wants an abortion, then she should have one in the
              first trimester before the baby becomes conscious and a person—

              Unfortunately, forced-birthers such as yourself have made this an impossibility for many women, and are doing their best to make it an impossibility for many more women.

              • Anonymous

                I actually support providing more controception and opening more planned parenthoods to do first trimester abortions. Don’t blame me for the actions of the pro-lifers. 

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  You are a forced-birther, just like the rest of them.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          Explain to me how giving something ‘personhood’ gives it the right to use a woman’s body against her will?

    • http://www.phoenixgarage.org/ cr0sh

      I want to provide you an answer on the “when does human life begin” question.

      The fact is that it is really a continuum of sorts; for any single person, yes, their life can and will end at some point. But the beginning of a person’s life…

      Well – they started out alive? Was the sperm or ovum “dead” when it was released from the man and woman? No. Both were alive, fertilization occurred (and millions of unlucky sperm then died – but then again, that’s life for ya!), and the process of cell division began. At no point was anything “dead”.

      The dead don’t make life – life makes life – so where is the “beginning”?

      Now – that is a fairly strict (and not very informative) definition; we don’t honestly think about this in such a way. Really, what you are asking can have a variety of answers, depending on where you put the goal posts…

      Capability of feeling pain?
      Capability of survival beyond the womb?
      Capability of brain function?
      Capability of sentience?
      Capability of concrete reasoning?

      All of these and others could be used to measure “at what point does being ‘human’ begin”; what is interesting is the amount of effort and argument we spend on this question vis-a-vis human embryos; yet we don’t tend to think about this to this depth when it comes to other living (or potentially living) creatures. Nor to humans approaching death, either…

      • Anonymous

        I agree that there is some hypocracy when it comes to not considering the rights of animals, but shouldn’t that just make us care more about animals rather than less about babies?

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

        Well, those last three items are kind of moot — just look at the GOP. No brain function, incapable of sentience, and couldn’t reason their way out of a wet paper bag….

    • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

      It comes down to this:

      Pregnancy is risky, childbirth moreso. http://www.thelizlibrary.org/liz/004.htm

      Now, riddle me this:  Do you have the right to force me to endure any of these risks against my will?

      No?

      Then welcome to the pro-choice camp.

      • Anonymous

        Doctors make pregnancy and childbirth safer by the year. In America only 16.7 women out of every 100,000 die from childbirth, while 100,000 out of every 100,000 children involved in a late term abortion die. I think that the child faces far more risk. Besides, all deaths in pregnancy are accidental while all deaths in late term abortion are on purpose. That alone should tell you which is worse.

         
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/apr/12/maternal-mortality-rates-millennium-development-goals

        And you don’t have the right to kill your conscious children against their will.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          I have the right to kill anyone who attempts to use my body against my will, whether they be fetus or rapist.  Whether they have an IQ of 50, 100, or 150.

          Because I am a woman.

          I AM a person, and you will not erase me.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          Answer the question – Do you have the right to force me to endure any of these risks against my will?

          • Anonymous

            I’ve already addressed this issue multiple times. You need
            to go back and read my posts. You need to think outside your dogma, be
            rational, and consider the needs of others besides yourself.

  • Anonymous

    One thing that I think often gets lost in the pro-choice/pro-life debate is that termination of a pregnancy is not always due to the mother not wanting a child.  Ultrasounds can detect all sorts of genetic defects in a fetus.  A woman who finds out that she is carrying a fetus that will not survive a full pregnancy, for example, should have the right to terminate the pregnancy. 

    In  my case, I was 42 when I became pregnant (on purpose).  However, I had all the available testing due to the increased risks associated with my age.  I would have absolutely terminated my pregnancy if there was a serious issue with the fetus, both so that I could avoid a pregnancy that would not be successful anyway and so that I could move as quickly as possible to try to get pregnant again before my childbearing years were up.  Fortunately, I had a successful pregnancy.  It horrifying to think that there could come a time when a woman could not have the freedom to make that choice. 

    • Anonymous

      Yes thank you.  A very “pro-life” type friend of mine recently had to go through with an abortion/ assisted miscarriage because they found that the fetus had died but her body was not ejecting it.  It was continuing to grow but without a heartbeat.  They did several ultrasounds over a period of three weeks and never found a heartbeat and saw that the brain stem was not connected to the body but the placenta was growing as normal.  So she had to have an abortion of a wanted but nonviable pregnancy.  This sort of thing happens more often than people think, whether the fetus dies or has a genetic defect that makes it nonviable so the best choice for everyone is to abort rather than wait for the pregnancy to continue and grow only to end in a still birth or late term miscarriage.  

      The bottom line is, trust women.  If a woman is having an abortion she has a reason for it, and ultimately it isn’t any one else’s place to tell her she is wrong.  And limits on “elective” abortions will always effect cases like that, or cases where the health or life of the mother is at stake.  The majority of abortions are by women who already have children, the choice they are making is in the best interest of themselves and their families. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

        Out of interest – did this change your friend’s view?

        • Anonymous

          I think it showed her what medical problems can happen, and she isn’t against the procedure itself since it saved her a lot of pain and heartache later, but she is in some ways more strongly against “elective” abortions because she sees it as them taking a gift for granted.  I don’t think she is strongly in favor of changing laws, its more of a personal belief.  Of course a lot of times people will knee jerk vote in favor of abortion restrictions without thinking about how that affects all the medical situations that happen (even totally natural miscarriages).   Sort of like Santorum with his wife’s abortion/ assisted miscarriage/ still birth (depends how you look at it, but it was essentially a partial birth abortion with the fetus already dead and septic – didn’t change their views on abortion at all).  The friend is catholic too, so that is part of it.

      • Anonymous

        I agree that we shouldn’t try and figure out whether an abortion is “deserved” or not, but we should consider whether it is early in the pregnancy, in which case the fetus is unconscious and has no rights, or whether it is late in the pregnancy, in which case there is a child and they have the same rights not to be killed as any other human does.

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          All people have the right not to be killed.  Except when they engage in behavior such as attempting to use another person’s body against their will, at which time, the other person has the right to stop them by using lethal force.

          Why would you change that?

          Why would you take away the basic human right to defend oneself?

          • Anonymous

            Because your child never chose to be in your womb. He or she was placed their by the process of reproduction. When they become conscious they become people and their lives matter. When they can survive on their own, then you can take them out. But until then, protecting their lives takes priority over what you might prefer to do with your womb.

            • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

              Objection, relevance!

              • Anonymous

                All of that is very relevant and it explains why your crazy strawman where you cry rape doesn’t hold up.

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  Explain how ‘personhood’ gives anyone the right to use a woman’s body against her will. 

                  Include
                  an explanation for why you believe that if a 30 year old man is
                  attacking his mother, she may not defend herself with lethal force.

    • Anonymous

      This is a difficult issue for me. Early in the pregnancy, I have no problem with abortion because the fetus is unconscious and thus is not a person and has no rights. But what about later in the pregnancy? If I knew a child in a womb would die as soon as it was born, should I kill it ahead of time to save any suffering and give the mother a chance to try again for a healthy baby? What if it were a two year old? If a two year old was only a week from dying, should I kill him or her to reduce the suffering and give the parents a chance to have another child? I don’t know, I’m leaning against it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elizabeth-Masters-Hiatt/1089954620 Elizabeth Masters Hiatt

        The difference in this case is that the fetus is relying on the woman’s body. You cannot kill a two year old, but you also could not force another person to give up their kidney to save them, either.

        • Anonymous

          I would have no problem with a law that, if a child was about to die, required the parents to give up one of their kidneys that they could survive without in order to save their own child’s life.

          • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

             Refusing to donate an organ to your child might be passively evil, but tying down an unwilling person and forcibly removing an organ from his/her body is actively evil.

            • Anonymous

              Refusing to donate an organ to your own child is far more evil than someone making you save your child’s life.

              • Demonhype

                The issue is that it is not your choice to make for someone else.

          • Eskomo

            Why should only a parent have to donate an organ? Couldn’t anyone that is a good match be required to donate?

  • Erik

    I think the average comment length quintuples when the word ‘abortion’ comes up.

  • Ducky

    While I don’t really like abortion,  I politically am for it for two reasons. One, I think it’s insanely dangerous to let any organization, secular or otherwise, tell anybody, man or woman, what they can and cannot do with their own bodies. When you start thinking about that slippery slope, it takes you to some truly terrifying places. Two, until science comes up with a better, or more humane, method of taking fetuses from women who don’t want them, it’s our only option. I would love to see free contraception for all, better sex ed, lots of financial help for single moms and dads, and so on. I would love to end abortion by making unwanted pregnancies rare. However, as long as the religions want to have their cake and eat it too (no abortion, no contrception, no sex outside of marriage), this shit will never end. Damn, I need a drink.

    • Anonymous

      What matters is whether the fetus is early and unconscious, and thus not a person yet, or whether it is later in the pregnancy, thus a child, and thus deserving of the full rights of all human beings including the right not to be killed.

      So I think that this should read, “Until science comes up with a better, or more humane way of taking conscious living babies out of women earlier in the pregnancy, then continuing the pregnancy is our only option.”

      • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

        Late term fetuses aren’t conscious either.  Consciousness requires more oxygen than a fetus gets through the placenta.  Consciousness requires independent breathing.  ie: it’s a purely post-birth phenomenon. 

        • Anonymous

          http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=when-does-consciousness-arise

          The thalamo-cortical complex, which allows for consciousness, develops in the 24th week within the second trimester. Babies in the womb may sleep but that does not mean they can’t be conscious in their dreams.

          • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

            This article just reinforces what I said.

            • Anonymous

              No it says that while babies sleep in the womb they might dream and that the neurons needed for consciousness are there by the 24th week.

              • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                You’ve pretty much proven you didn’t actually read nor comprehend the entire article.

                • Anonymous

                  Wow, with a detailed comment like that, you certainly proved your mastery of the written word, didn’t you?

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      Given the rage of your comments, I think it is far more likely that you are a troll. Most people would be shocked by some of the things you suggest in your comments (you want abortions up to the day before birth, but then the next day killing the child becomes murder? How does that make any sense at all?)

      Are you just trying to get people riled up?

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

        A late term abortion is far more humane than slagging a child off onto the overcrowded foster care system.

        • Anonymous

          Really? Would you also advocate gunning down poor people, because that seems to be the general moral set up of your above post.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

            You know, there’s a difference between a fetus and a living, breathing PERSON.

            Gunning down poor people? Immoral, as you’re killing people.

            Disposing of a fetus? Whatevs. It’s not a baby until it’s born. (Legal, medical, and scientific standards, Hibernia.)

            • Anonymous

              So you think that the location of the child determines whether you can kill it or not? If the child is out of the womb, his or her life is precious? If he or she is in the womb, then they have no value?

              The scary thing is that you can say things like this without pause, without realizing just how harmful these kind of situations would really be. People often wonder how the slavery or the holocaust could have happened. How could otherwise decent people not care about the lives of the blacks or the Jews?

              The reason is that people can rationalize anything. People would make arguments that the color of a person’s skin, their religion, or their location (inside the womb or not) made them less of a person. Sick activities followed.

              We can’t afford to be held hostage by our ideologies. We have to admit that other people have value and treat them like human beings. Stop making excuses for murder. The skeptical community should not associate ourselves with that.

              • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                — If he or she is in the womb, then they have no value? —

                The only value the contents of a womb possesses that matters is the value the owner of the womb (meaning the woman that the womb is inside) ascribes to it.

                • Anonymous

                  See I find that mentality frightening. Your child is still your child even if it is in your womb. The idea that the value of a child depends on its location (inside the womb or not) makes the womb into a type of death trap that we shouldn’t accept in civilized society.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

                  You wouldn’t know “civilized” if it came up and bit you on the nose.

                • Anonymous

                  Oh you’re one to talk. You’ve been nasty this entire time. I’m at least trying to have a mature discussion.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

                  What, by spamming the comments with your unsubstantiated claims? Spewing your “opinion” — which is worth less than the dirt under my claws — at all of us, and insisting that women, by virtue of  having uteri, should be forced to remain pregnant?

                  Fuck. You.

                • Anonymous

                  My views are logical. Yours are dogmatic. You are a child hater if you value your womb over your own child’s life. How fucked up is that? You can’t seem to act like a decent human being and are just always raging. Calm the fuck down. 

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  You have it backward.

                  I am still a person, regardless of whether or not there is something in my womb.  Therefore my body is still mine to control, and I do not have to allow anyone access to it if I do not want to.

                  Is that really a right you want to give up? 

                  Do you still not understand the difference between sex and rape?

                • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

                  You would force a woman to endure months of pain, suffering, and mental anguish, based on your inability to understand science.

                • Anonymous

                  I’ve already addressed this issue multiple times. You need
                  to go back and read my posts. You need to think outside your dogma, be
                  rational, and consider the needs of others besides yourself.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

    Well, I’m done. I’m tired of dealing with a willfully ignorant jackass who thinks a fetus is more important than a living, breathing, person.

  • Pollracker

    Is there anyway we can do a type of donation drive for the planned parenthood in the area so they can continue to educate underprivileged women about their options. 

    • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

      We could try something like http://www.kickstarter.com to open abortion clinics in some of these areas.


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