Pro-abortionists seek new arguments

As evidence that pro-lifers are winning the arguments, consider how pro-death activist Frances Kissling is recognizing that her movement needs to make some adjustments:

We can no longer pretend the fetus is invisible. We can no longer seek to banish the state from our lives, but rather need to engage its power to improve women’s lives. We must end the fiction that an abortion at 26 weeks is no different from one at six weeks.

These are not compromises or mere strategic concessions, they are a necessary evolution. The positions we have taken up to now are inadequate for the questions of the 21st century. We know more than we knew in 1973, and our positions should reflect that.

The fetus is more visible than ever before, and the abortion-rights movement needs to accept its existence and its value. It may not have a right to life, and its value may not be equal to that of the pregnant woman, but ending the life of a fetus is not a morally insignificant event. Very few people would argue that there is no difference between the decision to abort at 6 weeks and the decision to do so when the fetus would be viable outside of the womb, which today is generally at 24 to 26 weeks. Still, it is rare for mainstream movement leaders to say that publicly. Abortion is not merely a medical matter, and there is an unintended coarseness to claiming that it is.

We need to firmly and clearly reject post-viability abortions except in extreme cases. Exceptions include when the woman’s life is at immediate risk; when the fetus suffers from conditions that are incompatible with a good quality of life; or when the woman’s health is seriously threatened by a medical or psychological condition that continued pregnancy will exacerbate. We should regulate post-viability abortion to include the confirmation of those conditions by medical or psychiatric specialists.

Those kinds of regulations are not anti-woman or unduly invasive. They rightly protect all of our interests in women’s health and fetal life.

Even abortions in the second trimester, especially after 20 weeks, need to be considered differently from those that happen early in pregnancy. Women who seek abortions in the second trimester generally have special needs and would be helped by more extensive counseling than that available at most abortion clinics. Women who discover their fetuses have anomalies, teens who did not recognize they were pregnant, women who could not make up their minds – these are not routine circumstances. Mandating and funding non-directive counseling on all options is a good thing.

Finally, the abortion-rights movement needs to change the way it thinks about the state. Right now government is mainly treated as the enemy – and it does neglect women’s needs. The new ultra-conservative members of Congress are fighting to get rid of the legal right to choose abortion. The public is ambivalent about abortion. It wants it to be legal, but will support almost any restriction that indicates society takes the act of abortion seriously. For the choice movement to regain popular support and to maintain a legal right to abortion, it has to work with the state. Society and the state do have a stake in abortion policy. Reproduction is a private matter with public consequences. Women get to decide, but we all get to weigh in on what the policy should look like.

via Abortion rights are under attack, and pro-choice advocates are caught in a time warp.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SKPeterson

    Yet, I see nothing that addresses parental rights for those “teens who did not know they were pregnant.” This issue is part of the great ambivalence many Americans feel about abortion. My daughter would need my permission for any other medical procedure, yet for abortion, the family is cut out, and decisions are left to what even the author admits, are inadequate and highly biased, abortion office staff counseling women. That is reprehensible and why many people feel the abortion movement has crossed moral and social boundaries beyond simple murder.

    I also don’t think that “[w]omen who discover their fetuses have anomalies, teens who did not recognize they were pregnant, women who could not make up their minds” are not routine. They are probably all too routine.

    Finally, I find it ironic that the government is found to be the enemy; it granted the legal protections necessary for it to operate, continuously ignored the enforcement of basic medical-surgical sanitation regulations that would have shut many operations down, and it has surreptitiously provided public funding to sustain and expand it. Some enemy.

  • SKPeterson

    Yet, I see nothing that addresses parental rights for those “teens who did not know they were pregnant.” This issue is part of the great ambivalence many Americans feel about abortion. My daughter would need my permission for any other medical procedure, yet for abortion, the family is cut out, and decisions are left to what even the author admits, are inadequate and highly biased, abortion office staff counseling women. That is reprehensible and why many people feel the abortion movement has crossed moral and social boundaries beyond simple murder.

    I also don’t think that “[w]omen who discover their fetuses have anomalies, teens who did not recognize they were pregnant, women who could not make up their minds” are not routine. They are probably all too routine.

    Finally, I find it ironic that the government is found to be the enemy; it granted the legal protections necessary for it to operate, continuously ignored the enforcement of basic medical-surgical sanitation regulations that would have shut many operations down, and it has surreptitiously provided public funding to sustain and expand it. Some enemy.

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    In defense of late-term abortions, this caveat is added:
    “Exceptions include when the woman’s life is at immediate risk; when the fetus suffers from conditions that are incompatible with a good quality of life; or when the woman’s health is seriously threatened by a medical or psychological condition that continued pregnancy will exacerbate.”
    Historically this is the same as supporting abortion-on-demand until gestation.

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    In defense of late-term abortions, this caveat is added:
    “Exceptions include when the woman’s life is at immediate risk; when the fetus suffers from conditions that are incompatible with a good quality of life; or when the woman’s health is seriously threatened by a medical or psychological condition that continued pregnancy will exacerbate.”
    Historically this is the same as supporting abortion-on-demand until gestation.

  • inexile

    Seems like the shift is from an all-out support for abortion at any stage to a more refined acceptance of abortion for ‘pre-viability’ fetus’. The shift in the argument is from a debate over the status of the fetus to the distinction of the status of the fetus that is 6 weeks vs. 24 weeks. The author sees an opening for the continuation of abortion and protection of the right to choose if they can establish that the ‘pre-viable’ fetus is essentially a different being than the ‘viable’ fetus. If the ‘pre-viable’ fetus is something less or sub than the ‘viable’ one, then the same rules should not apply to it as to the older fetus.

    Seems like we’ll want to hone our understanding of the value of a young life that has the ‘potential’ to become an older life if it’s just given the time to do so. Are we only what we are at this moment or are we also what we have the potential to become unless an abortion interrupts the process.

  • inexile

    Seems like the shift is from an all-out support for abortion at any stage to a more refined acceptance of abortion for ‘pre-viability’ fetus’. The shift in the argument is from a debate over the status of the fetus to the distinction of the status of the fetus that is 6 weeks vs. 24 weeks. The author sees an opening for the continuation of abortion and protection of the right to choose if they can establish that the ‘pre-viable’ fetus is essentially a different being than the ‘viable’ fetus. If the ‘pre-viable’ fetus is something less or sub than the ‘viable’ one, then the same rules should not apply to it as to the older fetus.

    Seems like we’ll want to hone our understanding of the value of a young life that has the ‘potential’ to become an older life if it’s just given the time to do so. Are we only what we are at this moment or are we also what we have the potential to become unless an abortion interrupts the process.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    What is good quality of life? And who determines that metric?
    Am I not a part of society? I don’t think abortion should be legal for any reason.

    “It may not have a right to life, and its value may not be equal to that of the pregnant woman, but ending the life of a fetus is not a morally insignificant event.”
    Does anybody else find this statement interesting? If it is not morally insignificant does that not mean chances are it is morally wrong? Is not this statement an equivocation that hints of universal Law? I wonder. She at least on paper admits there is life, but why is there no right to life? If she is basing right to life on viability that strikes me as a poor standard as the mortality rate of any person conceived is 100%. The only question is when.

    I have said before, maybe not here, that pro-abortion views is lazy thinking. In stead of dealing with two equal rights that may come into conflict in extraordinary circumstances, they deny the rights of one part. Maybe if they quite being so lazy we might actually get some where in finding solutions to some of the issues that create the conflict.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    What is good quality of life? And who determines that metric?
    Am I not a part of society? I don’t think abortion should be legal for any reason.

    “It may not have a right to life, and its value may not be equal to that of the pregnant woman, but ending the life of a fetus is not a morally insignificant event.”
    Does anybody else find this statement interesting? If it is not morally insignificant does that not mean chances are it is morally wrong? Is not this statement an equivocation that hints of universal Law? I wonder. She at least on paper admits there is life, but why is there no right to life? If she is basing right to life on viability that strikes me as a poor standard as the mortality rate of any person conceived is 100%. The only question is when.

    I have said before, maybe not here, that pro-abortion views is lazy thinking. In stead of dealing with two equal rights that may come into conflict in extraordinary circumstances, they deny the rights of one part. Maybe if they quite being so lazy we might actually get some where in finding solutions to some of the issues that create the conflict.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    What Veenman and Luther said. This is new rhetoric, but it is hard to see how this “new” language or perception could change anything.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    What Veenman and Luther said. This is new rhetoric, but it is hard to see how this “new” language or perception could change anything.

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  • Bryan Lindemood

    Yes here, we see the Law doing its work. Certainly it is a fallen sort of dulled law, but yet, here it is clearly working. Adjustments needed indeed!! How about a status quo of mercy for those most vulnerable members of human society – who are clearly denied the most basic right – our inalienable right to live, until the day that God so chooses.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Yes here, we see the Law doing its work. Certainly it is a fallen sort of dulled law, but yet, here it is clearly working. Adjustments needed indeed!! How about a status quo of mercy for those most vulnerable members of human society – who are clearly denied the most basic right – our inalienable right to live, until the day that God so chooses.

  • Carl Vehse

    In good news, an Arizona abortion measure, House Bill 2443, would make it illegal to perform abortions based on the gender or race of the fetus.

    If the bill reaches the desk of the governor, who is Lutheran, it would “allow the father of an aborted baby – or, if the mother were a minor, the mother’s parents – to file a civil action seeking damages against the doctor who performed the abortion.”

    “It also would subject health professionals to a fine of up to $10,000 if they were aware of race- or gender-based procedures and failed to report them.”

    Applying anti-discrimination rules to abortions could reduce abortions by recognizing as “race-selected” abortions that result in a deviation in the racial balance from the overall racial balance in the general population (“Sorry – we can’t allow any more abortions until we have at least two oriental boy abortions and one aborigine girl abortion, to maintain sex and racial balance!”)

    Maybe some state can pass an abortion law that prohibits the abortion of anyone without his or her prior written consent.

  • Carl Vehse

    In good news, an Arizona abortion measure, House Bill 2443, would make it illegal to perform abortions based on the gender or race of the fetus.

    If the bill reaches the desk of the governor, who is Lutheran, it would “allow the father of an aborted baby – or, if the mother were a minor, the mother’s parents – to file a civil action seeking damages against the doctor who performed the abortion.”

    “It also would subject health professionals to a fine of up to $10,000 if they were aware of race- or gender-based procedures and failed to report them.”

    Applying anti-discrimination rules to abortions could reduce abortions by recognizing as “race-selected” abortions that result in a deviation in the racial balance from the overall racial balance in the general population (“Sorry – we can’t allow any more abortions until we have at least two oriental boy abortions and one aborigine girl abortion, to maintain sex and racial balance!”)

    Maybe some state can pass an abortion law that prohibits the abortion of anyone without his or her prior written consent.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Praise God for Frances Kissling’s sensible comments,”

    Not sensible other than noting that pro aborts embraces a faulty arguments.

    “which are much more pro life”

    They are not pro life. Rather they seek to deceive the public into perceiving that the pro aborts are more thoughtful than they actually are.

    “much of the misogynisitic spittle from the religious right.”

    Pro aborts are the misogynists.

    These arguments trying to reframe the discussion of late term abortions leave all the room necessary for irresponsible men to treat women as sex objects and give them all the time necessary to pressure a woman into an abortion no matter how late the stage.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Praise God for Frances Kissling’s sensible comments,”

    Not sensible other than noting that pro aborts embraces a faulty arguments.

    “which are much more pro life”

    They are not pro life. Rather they seek to deceive the public into perceiving that the pro aborts are more thoughtful than they actually are.

    “much of the misogynisitic spittle from the religious right.”

    Pro aborts are the misogynists.

    These arguments trying to reframe the discussion of late term abortions leave all the room necessary for irresponsible men to treat women as sex objects and give them all the time necessary to pressure a woman into an abortion no matter how late the stage.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @8 JB
    Kissling is sensible? Hardly, at best it is a lot of waffle from a person who is realizing her position is untenable. She sounds like a person who is finally realizing advances in diagnostic technology are revealing to a world she helped deceive, the reality of the young human beings en utero. I think of the beauty of 3d imagery showing clearly the human features of a young child in real time.

    sg, to be fair some on the pro-life proponents have said and sponsored legislation that was misogynistic. I will be generous and say it was an unintended misogyny brought about by overzealous attempts to reconcile the rights of citizens en utero. That said…

    JB, who is the more misogynistic? Those who defend the rights of all regardless of age, location, and ability; or those who denigrate the one truly uniquely feminine ability in the denial that the person a woman carries is a unique human being?

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @8 JB
    Kissling is sensible? Hardly, at best it is a lot of waffle from a person who is realizing her position is untenable. She sounds like a person who is finally realizing advances in diagnostic technology are revealing to a world she helped deceive, the reality of the young human beings en utero. I think of the beauty of 3d imagery showing clearly the human features of a young child in real time.

    sg, to be fair some on the pro-life proponents have said and sponsored legislation that was misogynistic. I will be generous and say it was an unintended misogyny brought about by overzealous attempts to reconcile the rights of citizens en utero. That said…

    JB, who is the more misogynistic? Those who defend the rights of all regardless of age, location, and ability; or those who denigrate the one truly uniquely feminine ability in the denial that the person a woman carries is a unique human being?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “some on the pro-life proponents have said and sponsored legislation that was misogynistic.”

    Can you give an example?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “some on the pro-life proponents have said and sponsored legislation that was misogynistic.”

    Can you give an example?

  • DonS

    Two statements stuck out to me:

    “We must end the fiction that an abortion at 26 weeks is no different from one at six weeks.” — Huh? That is one of the few things about the pro-abort viewpoint that is NOT a fiction. Whether the murder occurs at 6 weeks or 26 weeks, it is still murder.

    “The fetus is more visible than ever before, and the abortion-rights movement needs to accept its existence and its value. It may not have a right to life, and its value may not be equal to that of the pregnant woman, but ending the life of a fetus is not a morally insignificant event.” — Wow! She doesn’t bother to state her basis for determining that this young human life in utero is somehow not equal to that of the pregnant woman, or that it doesn’t have a right to life. Someday, she WILL have to explain that perverted thinking.

  • DonS

    Two statements stuck out to me:

    “We must end the fiction that an abortion at 26 weeks is no different from one at six weeks.” — Huh? That is one of the few things about the pro-abort viewpoint that is NOT a fiction. Whether the murder occurs at 6 weeks or 26 weeks, it is still murder.

    “The fetus is more visible than ever before, and the abortion-rights movement needs to accept its existence and its value. It may not have a right to life, and its value may not be equal to that of the pregnant woman, but ending the life of a fetus is not a morally insignificant event.” — Wow! She doesn’t bother to state her basis for determining that this young human life in utero is somehow not equal to that of the pregnant woman, or that it doesn’t have a right to life. Someday, she WILL have to explain that perverted thinking.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    > House Bill 2443, would make it illegal to perform
    > abortions based on the gender or race of the fetus.

    I wonder why race or gender matters?

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    > House Bill 2443, would make it illegal to perform
    > abortions based on the gender or race of the fetus.

    I wonder why race or gender matters?

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @11
    Virginia house bill #1677 – 2004 – Fetal death: report by mother penalty: penalized women for not reporting miscarriage – technically was aimed at preventing and catching women who abandoned children shortly after birth. But because of Virginia law it included delivery at any point during pregnancy. One item that was an inadvertent penalization of women.

    When Obama stated he wouldn’t want his daughters punished by a pregnancy there were those who said sexually active teens should face the “God ordained punishment of a child.”

    Some particularly the more hardcore members of the patriarchy movement are all about keeping women subjugated and in their place.

    K Carlisle, it is not nonsensical. It does happen at least overseas both for gender and ethnicity. In the states, there is no accurate information as nobody has either gathered the information or actually bothered to check.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @11
    Virginia house bill #1677 – 2004 – Fetal death: report by mother penalty: penalized women for not reporting miscarriage – technically was aimed at preventing and catching women who abandoned children shortly after birth. But because of Virginia law it included delivery at any point during pregnancy. One item that was an inadvertent penalization of women.

    When Obama stated he wouldn’t want his daughters punished by a pregnancy there were those who said sexually active teens should face the “God ordained punishment of a child.”

    Some particularly the more hardcore members of the patriarchy movement are all about keeping women subjugated and in their place.

    K Carlisle, it is not nonsensical. It does happen at least overseas both for gender and ethnicity. In the states, there is no accurate information as nobody has either gathered the information or actually bothered to check.

  • Mary

    Just read of the death of Bernard Nathanson, he became pro-life while in the midst running one of the largest abortion clinics in America, and also was a founding member of NARAL. He was persuaded through technology what exactly was happening to the baby during an abortion. He made the famous movie “The Silent Scream”
    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-former-abortionist-top-pro-life-advocate-bernard-nathanson-dies-at

  • Mary

    Just read of the death of Bernard Nathanson, he became pro-life while in the midst running one of the largest abortion clinics in America, and also was a founding member of NARAL. He was persuaded through technology what exactly was happening to the baby during an abortion. He made the famous movie “The Silent Scream”
    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-former-abortionist-top-pro-life-advocate-bernard-nathanson-dies-at

  • Joe

    K – There is a court case in Australia right now where the issue is whether the gov’t has to fund a second round of invetro for a family that decided to abort twins who were the product of invetro for no other reason than they were the wrong sex. It is happening re: sex right now.

  • Joe

    K – There is a court case in Australia right now where the issue is whether the gov’t has to fund a second round of invetro for a family that decided to abort twins who were the product of invetro for no other reason than they were the wrong sex. It is happening re: sex right now.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com forty-two

    K @ 20:

    Relevant in that voluntary abortion on the basis of sex is actually happening in a culturally similar country – it’s not just based on speculation that maybe some woman somewhere might possibly do this.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com forty-two

    K @ 20:

    Relevant in that voluntary abortion on the basis of sex is actually happening in a culturally similar country – it’s not just based on speculation that maybe some woman somewhere might possibly do this.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “More women reluctantly choose abortion for economic reasons.”

    It is a little more complex than that. The economic reason stems from the relationship with an uncommitted guy. If he would defend her and his child, she would be much less likely to go for an abortion. More likely he is telling her he wants her to have an abortion because he doesn’t want to work more to take care of her and the baby. When she knows he doesn’t want the baby it is because he really doesn’t want her either, well anyway, not for long. That rejection is very humiliating.

    Adding the whole race/gender thing is stupid. Maybe they think it will raise awareness of the disparate impact of abortion. Who knows. But any argument that means to say that who is killed is somehow relevant is pretty disturbing. What happened to equality before the law?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “More women reluctantly choose abortion for economic reasons.”

    It is a little more complex than that. The economic reason stems from the relationship with an uncommitted guy. If he would defend her and his child, she would be much less likely to go for an abortion. More likely he is telling her he wants her to have an abortion because he doesn’t want to work more to take care of her and the baby. When she knows he doesn’t want the baby it is because he really doesn’t want her either, well anyway, not for long. That rejection is very humiliating.

    Adding the whole race/gender thing is stupid. Maybe they think it will raise awareness of the disparate impact of abortion. Who knows. But any argument that means to say that who is killed is somehow relevant is pretty disturbing. What happened to equality before the law?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    K (@22), I don’t think that there’s much evidence of women in the US aborting babies for gender or ethnicity reasons (certainly no one here has offered any). As to the latter, it makes no sense at all, given that abortions are voluntary in the US, and why would a person detest the ethnicity of themselves or their sexual partner? The only answer I could see is that there are a lot of racists being raped by people of different ethnic backgrounds in Arizona.

    And Joe (@19), I can’t find any information on your Australia story — care to share a link?

    Regardless, I’d bet the Arizona law passed not because it would make any (significant) impact on the abortion rate, but because that’s what politicians do these days to show that they’re doing … something … about abortion. Find an application of abortion that is more universally reprehensible (cf. late-term/partial-birth abortion) and then make a big deal about outlawing it. Because the Supreme Court has ruled you can put restrictions on abortions, you just can’t outlaw them entirely. So these laws chip away at the rate — although, really, in this case, it appears to be mainly for show.

    But then, making a serious dent in the abortion rate in this way would probably be ruled unconstitutional. So it’s a bit of a Catch-22, as well.

    For what it’s worth, I do think that Carl’s (@7) hoped-for interpretation of this law (saying it “could reduce abortions by recognizing as ‘race-selected’ abortions that result in a deviation in the racial balance from the overall racial balance in the general population”) is not going to happen, and he knows it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    K (@22), I don’t think that there’s much evidence of women in the US aborting babies for gender or ethnicity reasons (certainly no one here has offered any). As to the latter, it makes no sense at all, given that abortions are voluntary in the US, and why would a person detest the ethnicity of themselves or their sexual partner? The only answer I could see is that there are a lot of racists being raped by people of different ethnic backgrounds in Arizona.

    And Joe (@19), I can’t find any information on your Australia story — care to share a link?

    Regardless, I’d bet the Arizona law passed not because it would make any (significant) impact on the abortion rate, but because that’s what politicians do these days to show that they’re doing … something … about abortion. Find an application of abortion that is more universally reprehensible (cf. late-term/partial-birth abortion) and then make a big deal about outlawing it. Because the Supreme Court has ruled you can put restrictions on abortions, you just can’t outlaw them entirely. So these laws chip away at the rate — although, really, in this case, it appears to be mainly for show.

    But then, making a serious dent in the abortion rate in this way would probably be ruled unconstitutional. So it’s a bit of a Catch-22, as well.

    For what it’s worth, I do think that Carl’s (@7) hoped-for interpretation of this law (saying it “could reduce abortions by recognizing as ‘race-selected’ abortions that result in a deviation in the racial balance from the overall racial balance in the general population”) is not going to happen, and he knows it.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com forty-two
  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com forty-two
  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com forty-two

    I’m not a fan of a lot of the backdoor, chipping away at abortion sorts of laws – too often they rather statist (and misogynistic) in nature – let’s burden all women to prevent a few from doing harmful things to their unborn child, using the state’s interest in the child to try to justify all sorts of intrusions. In addition to the VA bill mentioned above, another example is this proposed TN bill from ’09, which would require certain pg women be tested for alcohol/drugs, with a positive result meaning referral to substance abuse treatment; refusal of treatment would mean mandatory reporting to CPS:

    (c) The department, in promulgating rules to implement this act, shall consider the following as indications of the necessity for alcohol or drug testing:
    (1) No prenatal care;
    (2) Late prenatal care after twenty-four (24) weeks gestation;
    (3) Incomplete prenatal care;
    (4) Abruptio placentae;
    (5) Intrauterine fetal death;
    (6) Preterm labor of no obvious cause;
    (7) Intrauterine growth retardation of no obvious cause;
    (8) Previously known alcohol or drug abuse; or
    (9) Unexplained congenital anomalies.
    . . .
    (f) Any woman who tests positive for alcohol or drugs on a test administered pursuant to this chapter shall be referred to treatment for an alcohol-related or drug-related problem. Every physician, surgeon or other person permitted by law to attend a pregnant woman during gestation shall report each woman who refuses to seek treatment for an alcohol-related or drug-related problem or who misses two (2) or more appointments to the department of children’s services.

    Look at that laundry lists of problems, most all of which have several causes other than alcohol/drug abuse – but, hey, if it’s for the children, who can object to basically being guilty until proven innocent?

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com forty-two

    I’m not a fan of a lot of the backdoor, chipping away at abortion sorts of laws – too often they rather statist (and misogynistic) in nature – let’s burden all women to prevent a few from doing harmful things to their unborn child, using the state’s interest in the child to try to justify all sorts of intrusions. In addition to the VA bill mentioned above, another example is this proposed TN bill from ’09, which would require certain pg women be tested for alcohol/drugs, with a positive result meaning referral to substance abuse treatment; refusal of treatment would mean mandatory reporting to CPS:

    (c) The department, in promulgating rules to implement this act, shall consider the following as indications of the necessity for alcohol or drug testing:
    (1) No prenatal care;
    (2) Late prenatal care after twenty-four (24) weeks gestation;
    (3) Incomplete prenatal care;
    (4) Abruptio placentae;
    (5) Intrauterine fetal death;
    (6) Preterm labor of no obvious cause;
    (7) Intrauterine growth retardation of no obvious cause;
    (8) Previously known alcohol or drug abuse; or
    (9) Unexplained congenital anomalies.
    . . .
    (f) Any woman who tests positive for alcohol or drugs on a test administered pursuant to this chapter shall be referred to treatment for an alcohol-related or drug-related problem. Every physician, surgeon or other person permitted by law to attend a pregnant woman during gestation shall report each woman who refuses to seek treatment for an alcohol-related or drug-related problem or who misses two (2) or more appointments to the department of children’s services.

    Look at that laundry lists of problems, most all of which have several causes other than alcohol/drug abuse – but, hey, if it’s for the children, who can object to basically being guilty until proven innocent?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Forty-two (@25), thanks, but isn’t that story the obvious exception that proves the rule?

    The claim is that “voluntary abortion on the basis of sex is actually happening in a culturally similar country – it’s not just based on speculation that maybe some woman somewhere might possibly do this”. But … all there is to back that up is a story about one woman somewhere who did this. And we literally know nothing about that particular woman, other than what can be gleaned from your link.

    Does anyone think that this law will result in a significant decrease of the Arizona abortion rate?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Forty-two (@25), thanks, but isn’t that story the obvious exception that proves the rule?

    The claim is that “voluntary abortion on the basis of sex is actually happening in a culturally similar country – it’s not just based on speculation that maybe some woman somewhere might possibly do this”. But … all there is to back that up is a story about one woman somewhere who did this. And we literally know nothing about that particular woman, other than what can be gleaned from your link.

    Does anyone think that this law will result in a significant decrease of the Arizona abortion rate?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    K (@26) said, “When it comes to abortion, the usual fervid calls for restraint on government power found at this blog are quite plainly ignored by some.”

    I think you’ve missed the point. Look, I think the AZ law is, at best, likely to prove ineffective. But the “usual fervid calls for restraint on government power” stem from a belief about what the government should and shouldn’t do. According to this line of thought (to which I am sympathetic), what the government should do is a fairly limited set of things (meaning that what it shouldn’t do is, pretty much, everything else).

    But nearly everyone agrees that what the government should do is protect life — namely, by enforcing laws against murder. Has there been a government that hasn’t done so (at least in part)?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    K (@26) said, “When it comes to abortion, the usual fervid calls for restraint on government power found at this blog are quite plainly ignored by some.”

    I think you’ve missed the point. Look, I think the AZ law is, at best, likely to prove ineffective. But the “usual fervid calls for restraint on government power” stem from a belief about what the government should and shouldn’t do. According to this line of thought (to which I am sympathetic), what the government should do is a fairly limited set of things (meaning that what it shouldn’t do is, pretty much, everything else).

    But nearly everyone agrees that what the government should do is protect life — namely, by enforcing laws against murder. Has there been a government that hasn’t done so (at least in part)?

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com forty-two

    tODD @28:

    Honestly, I just don’t get the AZ law at all – can’t see what it will actually accomplish. I *do* think some subset of people in the U.S. abort for gender reasons, and it wouldn’t surprise me if in some subcultures that value ethnic purity, women would be willing to sleep with men who aren’t of the same ethnic group while being unwilling to bear mixed children (how voluntary the latter abortions are is up for debate). However, you don’t have to state a reason to abort in this country, and if such a law were in place, women could just stay silent or lie, and be completely in the clear, right?

    So I guess all it is a statement that the state of AZ finds abortion for the reason of gender selection or ethnic purity to be abhorrent, which I can’t really fault them for – I find it rather abhorrent, too. But I don’t see how it’s anything more than that and an attempt to chip away at Roe v Wade – but at least this one doesn’t seem to be excessively intruding on women’s lives, so I guess I don’t care (though I don’t know all that much about it, so maybe the latter assumption is untrue).

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com forty-two

    tODD @28:

    Honestly, I just don’t get the AZ law at all – can’t see what it will actually accomplish. I *do* think some subset of people in the U.S. abort for gender reasons, and it wouldn’t surprise me if in some subcultures that value ethnic purity, women would be willing to sleep with men who aren’t of the same ethnic group while being unwilling to bear mixed children (how voluntary the latter abortions are is up for debate). However, you don’t have to state a reason to abort in this country, and if such a law were in place, women could just stay silent or lie, and be completely in the clear, right?

    So I guess all it is a statement that the state of AZ finds abortion for the reason of gender selection or ethnic purity to be abhorrent, which I can’t really fault them for – I find it rather abhorrent, too. But I don’t see how it’s anything more than that and an attempt to chip away at Roe v Wade – but at least this one doesn’t seem to be excessively intruding on women’s lives, so I guess I don’t care (though I don’t know all that much about it, so maybe the latter assumption is untrue).

  • trotk

    tODD, I would add that government should also preserve justice and protect the helpless. I know that you weren’t trying to create an exhaustive list, and neither am I, but both of these other mandates for government (which nearly everyone agrees with and of which the prosecution of murder is but one part) apply particularly to abortion. The fetus has not been protected, in spite of the fact that it is helpless, and justice has not been preserved, because the rights of some have been trampled upon for the pleasure and convenience of others.

    K, tODD is correct. Calling for limited government is not the same as calling for no government. What you generally hear on this blog is a desire for a government that knows why it exists and therefore what it should do, and then does what it ought to do in every circumstance, but does nothing else.

  • trotk

    tODD, I would add that government should also preserve justice and protect the helpless. I know that you weren’t trying to create an exhaustive list, and neither am I, but both of these other mandates for government (which nearly everyone agrees with and of which the prosecution of murder is but one part) apply particularly to abortion. The fetus has not been protected, in spite of the fact that it is helpless, and justice has not been preserved, because the rights of some have been trampled upon for the pleasure and convenience of others.

    K, tODD is correct. Calling for limited government is not the same as calling for no government. What you generally hear on this blog is a desire for a government that knows why it exists and therefore what it should do, and then does what it ought to do in every circumstance, but does nothing else.

  • ignorant fisherman’s wife

    I find it interesting that she’s admitting ……
    “Very few people would argue that there is no difference between the decision to abort at 6 weeks and the decision to do so when the fetus would be viable outside of the womb, which today is generally at 24 to 26 weeks”.
    Then what’s the difference between a 6 week old “fetus” and a 40 week old “fetus” at birth?

    I’m sure most of you heard the current story about the house representative who defended abortion with ‘pregnancy-termination’ story: ‘I lost a baby’
    What was her point ….that she was the victim and not the baby? Oh, did she accidentally and correctly call the “fetus” a baby?

    As for the rest of it, the motivations for abortion are beside the point. It is written, “Thou shalt not kill”

    Thank you, Mary @17 for the link

  • ignorant fisherman’s wife

    I find it interesting that she’s admitting ……
    “Very few people would argue that there is no difference between the decision to abort at 6 weeks and the decision to do so when the fetus would be viable outside of the womb, which today is generally at 24 to 26 weeks”.
    Then what’s the difference between a 6 week old “fetus” and a 40 week old “fetus” at birth?

    I’m sure most of you heard the current story about the house representative who defended abortion with ‘pregnancy-termination’ story: ‘I lost a baby’
    What was her point ….that she was the victim and not the baby? Oh, did she accidentally and correctly call the “fetus” a baby?

    As for the rest of it, the motivations for abortion are beside the point. It is written, “Thou shalt not kill”

    Thank you, Mary @17 for the link

  • Joe

    I did not point out the Australia example as proof that this is rampant. I question was asked about if this was happening overseas (K as DR 21) and I happened to hear about that story so I added it to the conversation.

    K – my small gov’t philosophy ends at murder.

  • Joe

    I did not point out the Australia example as proof that this is rampant. I question was asked about if this was happening overseas (K as DR 21) and I happened to hear about that story so I added it to the conversation.

    K – my small gov’t philosophy ends at murder.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    IFW (@32) said, “the motivations for abortion are beside the point. It is written, ‘Thou shalt not kill’”.

    So … we should just ignore the reasons why people might feel tempted to do something, and instead just pass a law? And this will solve things?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    IFW (@32) said, “the motivations for abortion are beside the point. It is written, ‘Thou shalt not kill’”.

    So … we should just ignore the reasons why people might feel tempted to do something, and instead just pass a law? And this will solve things?

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com forty-two

    K @35:

    My understanding is that traditionally the law focused more on the providers than the “providees” – performing an abortion was illegal, but having an abortion was either a lesser crime or not illegal at all. That’s the route I’d take, personally. It’s not perfect, but it’s much easier to enforce without a lot of intrusive measures – going after the women who had abortions seems like an enforcement nightmare without a lot of civil liberties violations, which I’m just not willing to embrace.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com forty-two

    K @35:

    My understanding is that traditionally the law focused more on the providers than the “providees” – performing an abortion was illegal, but having an abortion was either a lesser crime or not illegal at all. That’s the route I’d take, personally. It’s not perfect, but it’s much easier to enforce without a lot of intrusive measures – going after the women who had abortions seems like an enforcement nightmare without a lot of civil liberties violations, which I’m just not willing to embrace.

  • ignorant fisherman’s wife

    todd@34 said, So … we should just ignore the reasons why people might feel tempted to do something, and instead just pass a law? And this will solve things?

    “reasons….” = sin

  • ignorant fisherman’s wife

    todd@34 said, So … we should just ignore the reasons why people might feel tempted to do something, and instead just pass a law? And this will solve things?

    “reasons….” = sin

  • Tom Hering

    That’s interesting, K Carlisle. If Roe v. Wade is ever overturned, how will all the illegal abortions be dealt with? If we truly believe it’s murder, do we also believe that women who abort fetuses should receive the death penalty, or life imprisonment, or some lesser but still severe punishment? What degree of murder should abortion be, legally?

  • Tom Hering

    That’s interesting, K Carlisle. If Roe v. Wade is ever overturned, how will all the illegal abortions be dealt with? If we truly believe it’s murder, do we also believe that women who abort fetuses should receive the death penalty, or life imprisonment, or some lesser but still severe punishment? What degree of murder should abortion be, legally?

  • DonS

    The small government view of Roe v. Wade is that it is an illegitimate and wrongheaded, not to mention evil, intrusion into the rights of the states to determine criminal law in their respective jurisdictions and also to determine the penalties for violating criminal law. The Supreme Court had no business establishing this alleged “fundamental” constitutional right out of whole cloth. The wrongfulness of the Court’s overreaching is magnified by the malignant evil of the act it sought to protect.

    Roe v. Wade should be overturned, and the right of privacy it invented repudiated. This will return the issue of abortion to its rightful place — to be decided by the people of the several states and territories independently. In my state, should that day come, abortions will no doubt remain as legal as they are today. But I will advocate for criminal laws prohibiting the practice, and penalties that fall heavily on the practitioners who profit from this grisly practice. From my vantage point, most abortions occur because of extreme pressure imposed on the woman by abortionists and the man who impregnated her, so they should face the worst penalties. As in any other criminal matter, however, factfinding will determine the level of guilt of each involved person.

    For those abortions that occur without some plausible justification, such as protecting the life of the mother, it is premeditated murder, and the penalties should be commensurate with the crime.

  • DonS

    The small government view of Roe v. Wade is that it is an illegitimate and wrongheaded, not to mention evil, intrusion into the rights of the states to determine criminal law in their respective jurisdictions and also to determine the penalties for violating criminal law. The Supreme Court had no business establishing this alleged “fundamental” constitutional right out of whole cloth. The wrongfulness of the Court’s overreaching is magnified by the malignant evil of the act it sought to protect.

    Roe v. Wade should be overturned, and the right of privacy it invented repudiated. This will return the issue of abortion to its rightful place — to be decided by the people of the several states and territories independently. In my state, should that day come, abortions will no doubt remain as legal as they are today. But I will advocate for criminal laws prohibiting the practice, and penalties that fall heavily on the practitioners who profit from this grisly practice. From my vantage point, most abortions occur because of extreme pressure imposed on the woman by abortionists and the man who impregnated her, so they should face the worst penalties. As in any other criminal matter, however, factfinding will determine the level of guilt of each involved person.

    For those abortions that occur without some plausible justification, such as protecting the life of the mother, it is premeditated murder, and the penalties should be commensurate with the crime.

  • Grace

    DonS

    As you might know, I am pro life – working within the movement.

    The ethical/moral question below, is not predicated on myself or my child, it is something I have thought of many times:

    In the case of a girl or woman, not only being raped – but the individual who did this dastardly deed being mentally ill, perhaps committing earlier crimes – what would be your answer if the girl or woman wanted to seek an abortion? – also taking into consideration, that given the option for adoption, would be very difficult – the true circumstances, genetic mental illness, crime, etc., were involved in the equation.

    The responsibility for bringing such a child into the world, either caring for it, or giving it away would haunt the girl/woman for the rest of her life.

  • Grace

    DonS

    As you might know, I am pro life – working within the movement.

    The ethical/moral question below, is not predicated on myself or my child, it is something I have thought of many times:

    In the case of a girl or woman, not only being raped – but the individual who did this dastardly deed being mentally ill, perhaps committing earlier crimes – what would be your answer if the girl or woman wanted to seek an abortion? – also taking into consideration, that given the option for adoption, would be very difficult – the true circumstances, genetic mental illness, crime, etc., were involved in the equation.

    The responsibility for bringing such a child into the world, either caring for it, or giving it away would haunt the girl/woman for the rest of her life.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com forty-two

    Grace @40:

    The thing is, aborting the child would *also* haunt the woman/girl for the rest of her life, too.

    WRT the prospective difficulty in finding an adoptive home for a baby with that father/conception history, I think this is where pro-lifers need to step up to the plate. If we don’t think that the baby should suffer for the sins of their father – and I for one don’t – then we need to be the ones who are first in line to adopt the babies/children that no one wants. Because women in that situation need better answers than an automatic abortion – we need to be front and center, providing them with that better way, not expecting them to do all the searching themselves.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com forty-two

    Grace @40:

    The thing is, aborting the child would *also* haunt the woman/girl for the rest of her life, too.

    WRT the prospective difficulty in finding an adoptive home for a baby with that father/conception history, I think this is where pro-lifers need to step up to the plate. If we don’t think that the baby should suffer for the sins of their father – and I for one don’t – then we need to be the ones who are first in line to adopt the babies/children that no one wants. Because women in that situation need better answers than an automatic abortion – we need to be front and center, providing them with that better way, not expecting them to do all the searching themselves.

  • DonS

    Grace @ 40: I did not know that you worked within the pro-life movement, but God bless you for doing so. It is an utter myth, perpetrated by abortionists as justification for their evil deeds, that pro-lifers do not work tirelessly to support and provide for desperate, pregnant women in their greatest hour of need.

    Again, the main point of my comment above was to emphasize that the issue of punishment is not properly a federal issue, but rather one that should be decided at the state level. However, as I said, it seems to me that seldom would the woman be criminally liable — only those few hardened women who abort for convenience would seem to fall in that category. In the case of a victim of rape, she certainly would not be subject to criminal penalty for seeking an abortion. But, the provider of that abortion is the worst kind of criminal, because the victim before him or her needs extensive counseling and care far more than she needs an abortion, which will only compound the tragedy in her life.

  • DonS

    Grace @ 40: I did not know that you worked within the pro-life movement, but God bless you for doing so. It is an utter myth, perpetrated by abortionists as justification for their evil deeds, that pro-lifers do not work tirelessly to support and provide for desperate, pregnant women in their greatest hour of need.

    Again, the main point of my comment above was to emphasize that the issue of punishment is not properly a federal issue, but rather one that should be decided at the state level. However, as I said, it seems to me that seldom would the woman be criminally liable — only those few hardened women who abort for convenience would seem to fall in that category. In the case of a victim of rape, she certainly would not be subject to criminal penalty for seeking an abortion. But, the provider of that abortion is the worst kind of criminal, because the victim before him or her needs extensive counseling and care far more than she needs an abortion, which will only compound the tragedy in her life.

  • DonS

    I see that Forty-two and I were on basically the same page, at the same time, but Forty-two’s comment helped me to realize something in Grace’s comment that I had previously overlooked. From my experience, here in Orange County, CA, there is no shortage of prospective adoptive parents for unwanted babies, even those who were conceived due to rape. I don’t think that is a problem at all.

  • DonS

    I see that Forty-two and I were on basically the same page, at the same time, but Forty-two’s comment helped me to realize something in Grace’s comment that I had previously overlooked. From my experience, here in Orange County, CA, there is no shortage of prospective adoptive parents for unwanted babies, even those who were conceived due to rape. I don’t think that is a problem at all.

  • Grace

    Forty two – 41

    “If we don’t think that the baby should suffer for the sins of their father – and I for one don’t – then we need to be the ones who are first in line to adopt the babies/children that no one wants.”

    That isn’t the point.

    Have you ever been involved with the pro-life movement? – have you ever adopted? – do you know anyone who has adopted a child/children who come from biological parents who are mentally ill?

  • Grace

    Forty two – 41

    “If we don’t think that the baby should suffer for the sins of their father – and I for one don’t – then we need to be the ones who are first in line to adopt the babies/children that no one wants.”

    That isn’t the point.

    Have you ever been involved with the pro-life movement? – have you ever adopted? – do you know anyone who has adopted a child/children who come from biological parents who are mentally ill?

  • Grace

    DonS 42 and 43

    “From my experience, here in Orange County, CA, there is no shortage of prospective adoptive parents for unwanted babies, even those who were conceived due to rape. I don’t think that is a problem at all.”

    I would have agreed with you earlier, however things have changed to some degree. The reports of children from mentally ill backgrounds have been found to be more than difficult to raise.

    One of the problems people (adoption agencies, groups, counseling) encounter is; the parents who are eager to adopt, wanting a child so desperately they will overlook any and all obstacles, without thinking it through, and more importantly praying earnestly for the LORD’s answer.

  • Grace

    DonS 42 and 43

    “From my experience, here in Orange County, CA, there is no shortage of prospective adoptive parents for unwanted babies, even those who were conceived due to rape. I don’t think that is a problem at all.”

    I would have agreed with you earlier, however things have changed to some degree. The reports of children from mentally ill backgrounds have been found to be more than difficult to raise.

    One of the problems people (adoption agencies, groups, counseling) encounter is; the parents who are eager to adopt, wanting a child so desperately they will overlook any and all obstacles, without thinking it through, and more importantly praying earnestly for the LORD’s answer.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The rape exception always struck me as strange. The person who committed the crime doesn’t get the death penalty. Why should the victim get the death penalty.

    Also, I have friends and relatives-in-law who were conceived by rape but raised in loving Christian homes and are very nice people. One of my son’s friends was conceived by rape. He is a nice kid. His mother is glad he was able to adopted by good parents despite her personal pain.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The rape exception always struck me as strange. The person who committed the crime doesn’t get the death penalty. Why should the victim get the death penalty.

    Also, I have friends and relatives-in-law who were conceived by rape but raised in loving Christian homes and are very nice people. One of my son’s friends was conceived by rape. He is a nice kid. His mother is glad he was able to adopted by good parents despite her personal pain.

  • Grace

    DonS – 42

    “Again, the main point of my comment above was to emphasize that the issue of punishment is not properly a federal issue, but rather one that should be decided at the state level. ”

    I agree with you – I also would like to see the law overturned which allows under-age girls (in some states) to obtain an abortion without the knowledge or consent of their parents. A child cannot receive treatment without the consent of parents, but yet they can obtain an abortion without it.

  • Grace

    DonS – 42

    “Again, the main point of my comment above was to emphasize that the issue of punishment is not properly a federal issue, but rather one that should be decided at the state level. ”

    I agree with you – I also would like to see the law overturned which allows under-age girls (in some states) to obtain an abortion without the knowledge or consent of their parents. A child cannot receive treatment without the consent of parents, but yet they can obtain an abortion without it.

  • Grace

    sg – 46

    That’s wonderful – I too know a well known woman who gave her daughter up for adoption. She wrote a book explaining her situation, (she was raped) she was a very popular speaker on abortion vs. adoption – she and her daughter have a wonderful relationship, …. in fact they look very much alike.

  • Grace

    sg – 46

    That’s wonderful – I too know a well known woman who gave her daughter up for adoption. She wrote a book explaining her situation, (she was raped) she was a very popular speaker on abortion vs. adoption – she and her daughter have a wonderful relationship, …. in fact they look very much alike.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    I see that you -too- use the word-pro-death-
    we have allowed the Dark Side to set the argument for too long-
    If we are PRO-LIFE-
    they are pro- DEATH -
    CHOICE is not even in the argument—
    Carol-CS-
    LA Lutherans for Life

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    I see that you -too- use the word-pro-death-
    we have allowed the Dark Side to set the argument for too long-
    If we are PRO-LIFE-
    they are pro- DEATH -
    CHOICE is not even in the argument—
    Carol-CS-
    LA Lutherans for Life

  • steve

    Any law that makes it illegal to perform an abortion on the basis of race should, by all rights, put an end to much of Planned Parenthood’s business.

  • steve

    Any law that makes it illegal to perform an abortion on the basis of race should, by all rights, put an end to much of Planned Parenthood’s business.

  • Carl Vehse

    From Jeffrey Lord’s American Spectator column, “Attorney General Mark Levin: Won’t Enforce Roe v. Wade“:

    Barely twenty-four hours after her inauguration as America’s first woman chief executive, President Sarah Palin announced today that Attorney General Mark Levin has been instructed to stop defending Roe v. Wade and abortion in a wave of fresh lawsuits filed in federal courts around the country.

    Said the Attorney General:

    “Roe v. Wade contains numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of unborn children and their potential intimate and family relationships — precisely the kind of stereotype-based thinking and animus the (Constitution’s) Equal Protection Clause is designed to guard against.”

  • Carl Vehse

    From Jeffrey Lord’s American Spectator column, “Attorney General Mark Levin: Won’t Enforce Roe v. Wade“:

    Barely twenty-four hours after her inauguration as America’s first woman chief executive, President Sarah Palin announced today that Attorney General Mark Levin has been instructed to stop defending Roe v. Wade and abortion in a wave of fresh lawsuits filed in federal courts around the country.

    Said the Attorney General:

    “Roe v. Wade contains numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of unborn children and their potential intimate and family relationships — precisely the kind of stereotype-based thinking and animus the (Constitution’s) Equal Protection Clause is designed to guard against.”


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