The real war on women

So are feminists and pro-choicers so committed to abortion that they oppose restrictions on sex-selective abortions, which nearly always target female babies?

Groups opposed to abortion rights are turning charges of a GOP “war on women” against Democrats who are opposed to legislation meant to ban sex-selective abortions. . . .

Now opponents of abortion rights are using the phrase ahead of a House vote Thursday imposing fines or imprisonment on doctors who perform abortions they know are motivated in part by the fetus’s gender. The bill would also require medical professionals to tell law enforcement if they suspect an abortion has been performed for that reason.

In a letter Wednesday, Americans United for Life (AUL) urged House members to “stop a real war on women — sex selection abortions” by supporting the legislation from Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.). . . .

“The ‘war-on-women’ language begs the question: in a war, who is dying? Sex-selective abortion kills unborn women.”

via Anti-abortion groups turn ‘war on women’ charge against Democrats – The Hill’s Healthwatch.

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.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I generally find that those who are pro-abortion (read: pro-murder) will do anything and everything to defend that decision.

    It can be very hard to separate the sinner from his/her sin.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I generally find that those who are pro-abortion (read: pro-murder) will do anything and everything to defend that decision.

    It can be very hard to separate the sinner from his/her sin.

  • fws

    I think there is more to this than that.
    And I do think that abortion is murder. Even in cases of rape and incest (unlike most republicans I know…..).

    There needs to be an overall doctrine of the Law that is appealed to to make things right. This is piecemeal. It is righteous end justifies not so wise means….

    I am suggesting this as a better (and more Confessional and Lutheran ) approach:

    The Confessions say that God has instituted 3 earthly governments: Matrimony, Church and Society. Each has it’s role

    I suggest that roe v wade is really in the broader context of this question: what is the scope of authority of the head of the house over his household?

    In NT and OT times up until recently, that scope was almost absolute. The patriarch had life and death authority over his children. I suggest that is why the NT Church did not utter anything about the practices of abortion or infanticide that were commonplace then. Why not? That authority was placed in the head of each family.

    And I suggest that roe v wade is a return to that. In this case, it is the female who is placed as head of household. And she gets to decide. And so christians obey that. “they bear not the sword in vain”. And st paul says to obey even nero. So christians quietly worked to channge the minds and hearts of those heads of households…. Civil government then had no say.

    But this move was not a consistent one. A consistent one would allow JW parents to always deny blood transfusions to their children. It would make parents always the only arbiter as to what children are taught. It would restore the head of household to absolute control over wives and children as personal property of the head of household.

    Society will not go back to that.
    So what to do in that case?

    I suggest that that is really the conceptual legal framework big picture we need to work within. it is not so simple.

  • fws

    I think there is more to this than that.
    And I do think that abortion is murder. Even in cases of rape and incest (unlike most republicans I know…..).

    There needs to be an overall doctrine of the Law that is appealed to to make things right. This is piecemeal. It is righteous end justifies not so wise means….

    I am suggesting this as a better (and more Confessional and Lutheran ) approach:

    The Confessions say that God has instituted 3 earthly governments: Matrimony, Church and Society. Each has it’s role

    I suggest that roe v wade is really in the broader context of this question: what is the scope of authority of the head of the house over his household?

    In NT and OT times up until recently, that scope was almost absolute. The patriarch had life and death authority over his children. I suggest that is why the NT Church did not utter anything about the practices of abortion or infanticide that were commonplace then. Why not? That authority was placed in the head of each family.

    And I suggest that roe v wade is a return to that. In this case, it is the female who is placed as head of household. And she gets to decide. And so christians obey that. “they bear not the sword in vain”. And st paul says to obey even nero. So christians quietly worked to channge the minds and hearts of those heads of households…. Civil government then had no say.

    But this move was not a consistent one. A consistent one would allow JW parents to always deny blood transfusions to their children. It would make parents always the only arbiter as to what children are taught. It would restore the head of household to absolute control over wives and children as personal property of the head of household.

    Society will not go back to that.
    So what to do in that case?

    I suggest that that is really the conceptual legal framework big picture we need to work within. it is not so simple.

  • Mary

    fws:

    You state : . I suggest that is why the NT Church did not utter anything about the practices of abortion or infanticide that were commonplace then. Not true. The early church plainly taught against both.

    From The Didache circa 96 AD:

    The second commandment of the Teaching: “Do not murder; do not commit adultery”; do not corrupt boys; do not fornicate; “do not steal”; do not practice magic; do not go in for sorcery; do not murder a child by abortion or kill a newborn infant.

  • Mary

    fws:

    You state : . I suggest that is why the NT Church did not utter anything about the practices of abortion or infanticide that were commonplace then. Not true. The early church plainly taught against both.

    From The Didache circa 96 AD:

    The second commandment of the Teaching: “Do not murder; do not commit adultery”; do not corrupt boys; do not fornicate; “do not steal”; do not practice magic; do not go in for sorcery; do not murder a child by abortion or kill a newborn infant.

  • Michael B.

    The pro-choice argument is based upon the premise that a woman has a right to control her body. If pro-choicers acknowledge that there are cases where a woman can be made to have a baby, they’ve effectively shattered their own argument. If one fetus’s right to life trumps a woman’s choice, why doesn’t another fetus have the right the life?

    On the other hand, most pro-lifers completely fail to see how this works on their own side. The pro-life argument premise says that a fetus has no less value than a newborn. But pro-lifers think they can allow this exception and that exception, like health of the mother, rape, and incest, and it doesn’t shatter their argument.

    Pro-choicers have been much more effective in their marketing of their idea. They make the argument that losing one woman’s right to choice will cause others to lose their right, even if one woman’s choice is immoral (like a sex-selective abortion.) They refuse to get bogged down in exceptions like pro-lifers do.

    If pro-lifers were smart, they’d learn something here in how to make their argument. Whenever another pro-lifer wants an exception to abortion, they would say, “look, maybe this is a valid exception, but if we give this, we are conceding the debate and will allow many other abortions to take place”.

  • Michael B.

    The pro-choice argument is based upon the premise that a woman has a right to control her body. If pro-choicers acknowledge that there are cases where a woman can be made to have a baby, they’ve effectively shattered their own argument. If one fetus’s right to life trumps a woman’s choice, why doesn’t another fetus have the right the life?

    On the other hand, most pro-lifers completely fail to see how this works on their own side. The pro-life argument premise says that a fetus has no less value than a newborn. But pro-lifers think they can allow this exception and that exception, like health of the mother, rape, and incest, and it doesn’t shatter their argument.

    Pro-choicers have been much more effective in their marketing of their idea. They make the argument that losing one woman’s right to choice will cause others to lose their right, even if one woman’s choice is immoral (like a sex-selective abortion.) They refuse to get bogged down in exceptions like pro-lifers do.

    If pro-lifers were smart, they’d learn something here in how to make their argument. Whenever another pro-lifer wants an exception to abortion, they would say, “look, maybe this is a valid exception, but if we give this, we are conceding the debate and will allow many other abortions to take place”.

  • fws

    mary @ 3

    Of course this is right.
    I was referring to the remarkable absence in the NT of comment on these heinous sins. Isn’t it remarkable?
    It begs us to ask why that is.
    My suggestion is that the NT addresses only sins that NT christians were doing.
    This sin was so heinous that it was not ever done by christians and so there was no need to mention it in the NT.
    Which should suggest sins we should be focussing on in churches.
    Sins of “us” rather than sins of “them”.
    We would bless society by opting out of the culture wars in this way.

    And I repeat: I say this as one who thinks abortion, even in cases or rape and incest, are heinous.

  • fws

    mary @ 3

    Of course this is right.
    I was referring to the remarkable absence in the NT of comment on these heinous sins. Isn’t it remarkable?
    It begs us to ask why that is.
    My suggestion is that the NT addresses only sins that NT christians were doing.
    This sin was so heinous that it was not ever done by christians and so there was no need to mention it in the NT.
    Which should suggest sins we should be focussing on in churches.
    Sins of “us” rather than sins of “them”.
    We would bless society by opting out of the culture wars in this way.

    And I repeat: I say this as one who thinks abortion, even in cases or rape and incest, are heinous.

  • fws

    michael b @4

    Your comment has lots of worldly wisdom in it. But the point is not to win a debate so much as to save lives. And this will happen , truly, by changing one mind at a time.

    If we use politics we are saying we want majority to rule. that is a very bad ultimate strategy. Christians will always be (should always be?) the hated minority.

  • fws

    michael b @4

    Your comment has lots of worldly wisdom in it. But the point is not to win a debate so much as to save lives. And this will happen , truly, by changing one mind at a time.

    If we use politics we are saying we want majority to rule. that is a very bad ultimate strategy. Christians will always be (should always be?) the hated minority.

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

    If pro-lifers were smart, they’d learn something here in how to make their argument.

    Just because one’s argument is mischaracterized by opponents and misreported does not mean one has failed to make his argument. It means his argument has been mischaracterized and misreported. It is pro abortion folks who argue for exceptions for rape and incest and in order to get as many restrictions as possible, some politicians concede because very few abortions are for rape or incest. Those politicians who make such concessions in order to restrict abortion are not arguing for the exception, rather just compromising so they can achieve something instead of nothing. So, here we have the rape/incest argument made by pro aborts and then attributed to pro lifers who are not making that argument.

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

    If pro-lifers were smart, they’d learn something here in how to make their argument.

    Just because one’s argument is mischaracterized by opponents and misreported does not mean one has failed to make his argument. It means his argument has been mischaracterized and misreported. It is pro abortion folks who argue for exceptions for rape and incest and in order to get as many restrictions as possible, some politicians concede because very few abortions are for rape or incest. Those politicians who make such concessions in order to restrict abortion are not arguing for the exception, rather just compromising so they can achieve something instead of nothing. So, here we have the rape/incest argument made by pro aborts and then attributed to pro lifers who are not making that argument.

  • Mockingbird

    @fws “I suggest that is why the NT Church did not utter anything about the practices of abortion or infanticide that were commonplace then.”

    What is really interesting about the quote Mary gave from The Didache is that in the phrase “do not go in for sorcery; do not murder a child by abortion” the second phrase seems to modify the first, especially when you read it in Greek. Thus a better translation might be “don’t use potions; you know, for murdering a child by abortion.” There is some evidence for this, as Plutarch uses word translated “sorcery” (φαρμακεία) noting the potions were used for contraception and abortion.

    If this is the case, then it also gives an interesting twist to Galatians 5:20 and Revelation 21:8 where the same word is used and translated “sorcery”. Thus it seems there may be some NT utterances about abortion.

    I don’t so much mean to challenge your point (especially since I can’t absolutely prove mine), but I do think that how the word was used in the time of Paul should give us something to think about when “sorcery” is discussed in the New Testament.

  • Mockingbird

    @fws “I suggest that is why the NT Church did not utter anything about the practices of abortion or infanticide that were commonplace then.”

    What is really interesting about the quote Mary gave from The Didache is that in the phrase “do not go in for sorcery; do not murder a child by abortion” the second phrase seems to modify the first, especially when you read it in Greek. Thus a better translation might be “don’t use potions; you know, for murdering a child by abortion.” There is some evidence for this, as Plutarch uses word translated “sorcery” (φαρμακεία) noting the potions were used for contraception and abortion.

    If this is the case, then it also gives an interesting twist to Galatians 5:20 and Revelation 21:8 where the same word is used and translated “sorcery”. Thus it seems there may be some NT utterances about abortion.

    I don’t so much mean to challenge your point (especially since I can’t absolutely prove mine), but I do think that how the word was used in the time of Paul should give us something to think about when “sorcery” is discussed in the New Testament.

  • Morgan

    @Mockingbird:
    That’s pretty darn interesting, thanks for bringing that up. Haven’t heard that perspective before.

  • Morgan

    @Mockingbird:
    That’s pretty darn interesting, thanks for bringing that up. Haven’t heard that perspective before.

  • rlewer

    In Greek and Roman times the father had the right to dispose of any child he did not want. Often unwanted children were taken out to an uninhabited mountainside and left. Often Christians picked them up and cared for them.

    Legality does not equal morality.

  • rlewer

    In Greek and Roman times the father had the right to dispose of any child he did not want. Often unwanted children were taken out to an uninhabited mountainside and left. Often Christians picked them up and cared for them.

    Legality does not equal morality.

  • Jonathan

    Where’s the evidence that US women choose to have an abortion over the sex of their child?

    I didn’t think so.

    But it’s an election year, and the GOP needs to get the vote out without actually doing a thing to make abortion a less likely alternative. Like, say, make private health insurers provide affordable coverage to pregnant women.

    Yes, you can fool all the religious right all of the time.

  • Jonathan

    Where’s the evidence that US women choose to have an abortion over the sex of their child?

    I didn’t think so.

    But it’s an election year, and the GOP needs to get the vote out without actually doing a thing to make abortion a less likely alternative. Like, say, make private health insurers provide affordable coverage to pregnant women.

    Yes, you can fool all the religious right all of the time.

  • DonS

    sg @ 11: Exactly!

  • DonS

    sg @ 11: Exactly!

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

    “Where’s the evidence that US women choose to have an abortion over the sex of their child?”

    two studies using 2000 U.S. census data to examine sex ratios among Chinese-, Indian- and Korean-American families found that although the ratio for first-born children in such families was normal, there was evidence of son preference in second- and third-order births, if the older children were daughters.

    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/gpr/15/2/gpr150218.html

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

    “Where’s the evidence that US women choose to have an abortion over the sex of their child?”

    two studies using 2000 U.S. census data to examine sex ratios among Chinese-, Indian- and Korean-American families found that although the ratio for first-born children in such families was normal, there was evidence of son preference in second- and third-order births, if the older children were daughters.

    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/gpr/15/2/gpr150218.html

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

    Remember, these restrictions work because they target providers. Most providers won’t do such a thing anyway. So, this law would reduce the number of providers even further, because most don’t want to lose their medical license. The few left who will do it, may get more business which would then make it more obvious and then easier to catch them at it. So, it will put pressure on those doing it and it will reduce the practice. Nothing will eliminate crime.

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

    Remember, these restrictions work because they target providers. Most providers won’t do such a thing anyway. So, this law would reduce the number of providers even further, because most don’t want to lose their medical license. The few left who will do it, may get more business which would then make it more obvious and then easier to catch them at it. So, it will put pressure on those doing it and it will reduce the practice. Nothing will eliminate crime.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    First things first. That “in a war, who is dying” quote is remarkably goofy. Welcome to the 20th and 21st Centuries, where “war on” is just political jargon for “government action (involving massive expenditures and expanded bureaucracy) on”.

    Also, it does not “beg the question”. It prompts it, perhaps.

    Okay, I feel better now.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    First things first. That “in a war, who is dying” quote is remarkably goofy. Welcome to the 20th and 21st Centuries, where “war on” is just political jargon for “government action (involving massive expenditures and expanded bureaucracy) on”.

    Also, it does not “beg the question”. It prompts it, perhaps.

    Okay, I feel better now.

  • Jonathan

    @13 sg, that’s an out-of-context quote you posted, but you did a service by posting the link since the article ably refutes the sex-selection reason to restrict abortion.

  • Jonathan

    @13 sg, that’s an out-of-context quote you posted, but you did a service by posting the link since the article ably refutes the sex-selection reason to restrict abortion.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. said (@4):

    But pro-lifers think they can allow this exception and that exception, like health of the mother, rape, and incest, and it doesn’t shatter their argument.

    Here, you’ve confused “Republicans” with “pro-lifers”. Pro-lifers do not make exceptions for rape and incest, as those are not issues that have an impact on life/death, no matter how horrible they are.

    If pro-choicers acknowledge that there are cases where a woman can be made to have a baby, they’ve effectively shattered their own argument.

    Again, if we only consider the political realm, there are plenty of “pro-choice” politicians who acknowledge just that. Witness a number of “pro-choice” politicians who voted for the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. [Sound of argument shattering.]

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. said (@4):

    But pro-lifers think they can allow this exception and that exception, like health of the mother, rape, and incest, and it doesn’t shatter their argument.

    Here, you’ve confused “Republicans” with “pro-lifers”. Pro-lifers do not make exceptions for rape and incest, as those are not issues that have an impact on life/death, no matter how horrible they are.

    If pro-choicers acknowledge that there are cases where a woman can be made to have a baby, they’ve effectively shattered their own argument.

    Again, if we only consider the political realm, there are plenty of “pro-choice” politicians who acknowledge just that. Witness a number of “pro-choice” politicians who voted for the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. [Sound of argument shattering.]

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jonathan (@16), SG’s quote (@13) wasn’t “out-of-context”. In fact, it was exactly what you asked for. Are you just upset because you’d assumed there was no evidence at all, and then went on to express your foregone conclusion?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jonathan (@16), SG’s quote (@13) wasn’t “out-of-context”. In fact, it was exactly what you asked for. Are you just upset because you’d assumed there was no evidence at all, and then went on to express your foregone conclusion?

  • Jonathan

    No, the quote is taken out of context. It is highly qualified and the cause of the gender disparity are not attributed to US abortion availability. Here’s the quote in context, footnotes omitted. Judge for yourselves.

    While governments in Asia grapple with the serious consequences of entrenched son preference and lopsided sex ratios, antiabortion lawmakers in the United States are working overtime to capitalize on the issue for their own ends. In February, the House Judiciary Committee approved legislation to ban sex-selective abortions. Among other actions, the bill would allow criminal prosecution of health care providers who perform such abortions, and of medical and mental health professionals who do not report suspected violations of the law. It would make no exceptions to save the life or health of the mother, or to allow for medical, sex-linked reasons for an abortion. (The bill also bans so-called race-selective abortions, citing disproportionately high abortion rates among communities of color as evidence that abortion providers are “targeting” them, while ignoring the underlying racial disparities in unintended pregnancy rates; see “Abortion and Women of Color: The Bigger Picture,” Summer 2008.)

    Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) originally introduced the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) in 2008, and reintroduced it in 2011, as chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution. In the interim, bills to outlaw sex-selective abortion were introduced in 13 states and enacted in two: Oklahoma and Arizona.

    The “findings” included by Rep. Franks in the preamble of his bill rely on international evidence of sex selection because U.S. data on the subject are both limited and inconclusive. What is conclusively known is that the U.S. sex ratio at birth in 2005 stood at 105 boys to 100 girls, squarely within biologically normal parameters.12 Beyond that salient fact, two studies using 2000 U.S. census data to examine sex ratios among Chinese-, Indian- and Korean-American families found that although the ratio for first-born children in such families was normal, there was evidence of son preference in second- and third-order births, if the older children were daughters. Notably, the authors do not pinpoint the cause of the disparate ratios—whether prepregnancy techniques involving fertility treatments or sex-selective abortions. In addition, they comment that these three ethnic communities constitute a very small proportion—less than 2%—of the U.S. population. A third analysis that supporters of PRENDA rely on is a small-scale qualitative study involving interviews with 65 immigrant Indian women who practiced sex selection, either before pregnancy or during pregnancy through an abortion.15 Many of these women spoke of the social and cultural basis for son preference and the intense pressure faced by women in their communities to produce sons.

  • Jonathan

    No, the quote is taken out of context. It is highly qualified and the cause of the gender disparity are not attributed to US abortion availability. Here’s the quote in context, footnotes omitted. Judge for yourselves.

    While governments in Asia grapple with the serious consequences of entrenched son preference and lopsided sex ratios, antiabortion lawmakers in the United States are working overtime to capitalize on the issue for their own ends. In February, the House Judiciary Committee approved legislation to ban sex-selective abortions. Among other actions, the bill would allow criminal prosecution of health care providers who perform such abortions, and of medical and mental health professionals who do not report suspected violations of the law. It would make no exceptions to save the life or health of the mother, or to allow for medical, sex-linked reasons for an abortion. (The bill also bans so-called race-selective abortions, citing disproportionately high abortion rates among communities of color as evidence that abortion providers are “targeting” them, while ignoring the underlying racial disparities in unintended pregnancy rates; see “Abortion and Women of Color: The Bigger Picture,” Summer 2008.)

    Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) originally introduced the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) in 2008, and reintroduced it in 2011, as chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution. In the interim, bills to outlaw sex-selective abortion were introduced in 13 states and enacted in two: Oklahoma and Arizona.

    The “findings” included by Rep. Franks in the preamble of his bill rely on international evidence of sex selection because U.S. data on the subject are both limited and inconclusive. What is conclusively known is that the U.S. sex ratio at birth in 2005 stood at 105 boys to 100 girls, squarely within biologically normal parameters.12 Beyond that salient fact, two studies using 2000 U.S. census data to examine sex ratios among Chinese-, Indian- and Korean-American families found that although the ratio for first-born children in such families was normal, there was evidence of son preference in second- and third-order births, if the older children were daughters. Notably, the authors do not pinpoint the cause of the disparate ratios—whether prepregnancy techniques involving fertility treatments or sex-selective abortions. In addition, they comment that these three ethnic communities constitute a very small proportion—less than 2%—of the U.S. population. A third analysis that supporters of PRENDA rely on is a small-scale qualitative study involving interviews with 65 immigrant Indian women who practiced sex selection, either before pregnancy or during pregnancy through an abortion.15 Many of these women spoke of the social and cultural basis for son preference and the intense pressure faced by women in their communities to produce sons.

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

    the bill would allow criminal prosecution of health care providers who perform such abortions, and of medical and mental health professionals who do not report suspected violations of the law. It would make no exceptions to save the life or health of the mother,

    Life of the mother?

    “Doctor, my husband will kill me if I have another girl.”

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

    the bill would allow criminal prosecution of health care providers who perform such abortions, and of medical and mental health professionals who do not report suspected violations of the law. It would make no exceptions to save the life or health of the mother,

    Life of the mother?

    “Doctor, my husband will kill me if I have another girl.”

  • Stephen

    Mockingbird’s observation is interesting @8, but it seems like a stretch. The word is also where we get the word “Pharmacy.” In which case it seems like one could, depending on their agenda, draw all kinds of conclusions, from “stay off drugs” to “have no faith in doctors” devolving into some kind of Christian Science. I think it is more likely that “pharmacology” such as it was in the 1st. c. was associated with pagan dark arts as to be synonymous (kind of like another “practice”). Remember that illnesses were caused by demons. I’m not sure the emphasis there is on its effects as much as it is one the medicine itself. St. Paul wasn’t against using “a little wine for the stomach” though he warned of being involved with people who practiced “sorcery” (pharmakia). Maybe it was about where people placed their faith as much as anything.

    I think fws’s larger point is about context – in what context can or should we talk about the “regulation” and authority of the family in this case? For St. Paul, it does not seem that he sought to change the status quo of the male having absolute authority over his household, including slaves!. That’s why 19th c. American Lutherans were not whole-hearted abolitionists. Does that mean he would have approved of abortion? The NT does not tell us in so many words. But it does tell us things like obey authorities, and this is always tough. I am reminded of Bonhoeffer who struggled to resolve this kind of moral dilemma between our actions and what scripture instructs regarding obedience. I’m not sure he did rec solve it other than to accept his lot. MLK had similar struggles.

    If my wife was dying in childbirth and I had to choose her life or the life of the baby, who should decide that? I’ve got two other children. I’m not asking what the “right thing to do” is. I’m asking who should make the decision. I think a question like that gets to the heart of gov’ts’ role int he lives of free citizens, and I don’t hear it adequately addressed by otherwise political conservatives other than in a way that insists on imposing their moral choice on that of others, something which they claim to abhore.

    In what sense would making abortion illegal not make that a government intrusion into the sovereignty of the family? There is no “happy” resolution, but the question is still out there – who has authority? What does St. Paul actually teach us about that? He seems to be laying out relationships for the purposes of a general, civil peace. I don’t think he is innovating per se. The virtues of having children are human ones we all share. In Thessalonians he encourages us to work with our hands and lead quiet lives. How disruptive is it to demand the gov’t force women to carry a child to term and raise it? Some? Only a little? And I don’t have a good answer to the dilemma of “choosing” the mother or the child. I also realize that this kind of thing is not usually the reason women have abortions, and I don’t pretend to know everything involved in such a horrible decision. In some ways, I think it can be argued biblically that it is none of my business. Regardless, a concern for women does seem to figure in there or else we wouldn’t have it built into the rhetoric (“life of the mother”).

    Does saying that abortion is “murder”resolve anything either than to insist on some kind of absolute legal, state-enforced solution? Why that in particular when we do not call other things, like burning children in Afghanistan, murder? It throws us back to the question of authority again. When the US military obliterates civilians in a protracted war we say they have that authority, not bearing the sword in vain and all, and so, ostensibly, it is not murder. Whether someone gets pregnant in the first place is a sovereign decision of the family. Why should authority for that process then be immediately taken be out of their hands and handed over to the state (and yes, even when it means the death of a child)?

    We allow the state to intervene on a child’s behalf after they are born, something that remains contentious and fraught with problems. Not that the state shouldn’t, but we only do it under certain terms. There is and should be conditions because this is a gray area between two orders. Such is the nature of our free society.

    I would like an either/or situation, but I don’t think there is one, in which case I’m for keeping it legal (I can hear the shrieks through my screen). As has been said, legal is not moral. For me, it’s a question of authority. I’m not sure in what way it is not a double standard to complain about gov’t intrusion in people’s lives in so many other ways, like health care and decisions about contraception for instance, and at the same time advocate for this kind of gov’t intrusion, or at least not without a number of conditions and limits on what gov’t can and cannot punish in regards to abortions. I find there a fundamental disconnect. And I may be wrong.

    I think we teach our children that it is a choice which is no choice at all. It is the ending of a life and there will be a reckoning for that even if it is not codified in civil law. When the church takes this up as a means for witness, then it must display, offer and enact mercy to women for the sake of both the woman and the child. Pushing to make it illegal and even achieving it will not make that any less necessary, though I dare say some may think it will. There are other more pragmatic issues in the realm of gov’t that have to do with what courts can handle and such (talk about a new bureaucracy!), but I’ll leave it there and whoever likes may now chop my head off. I only have one. I ask all these questions because I would really like to hear how people resolve the issue of authority in this case.

    Todd, did you bring your axe?

  • Stephen

    Mockingbird’s observation is interesting @8, but it seems like a stretch. The word is also where we get the word “Pharmacy.” In which case it seems like one could, depending on their agenda, draw all kinds of conclusions, from “stay off drugs” to “have no faith in doctors” devolving into some kind of Christian Science. I think it is more likely that “pharmacology” such as it was in the 1st. c. was associated with pagan dark arts as to be synonymous (kind of like another “practice”). Remember that illnesses were caused by demons. I’m not sure the emphasis there is on its effects as much as it is one the medicine itself. St. Paul wasn’t against using “a little wine for the stomach” though he warned of being involved with people who practiced “sorcery” (pharmakia). Maybe it was about where people placed their faith as much as anything.

    I think fws’s larger point is about context – in what context can or should we talk about the “regulation” and authority of the family in this case? For St. Paul, it does not seem that he sought to change the status quo of the male having absolute authority over his household, including slaves!. That’s why 19th c. American Lutherans were not whole-hearted abolitionists. Does that mean he would have approved of abortion? The NT does not tell us in so many words. But it does tell us things like obey authorities, and this is always tough. I am reminded of Bonhoeffer who struggled to resolve this kind of moral dilemma between our actions and what scripture instructs regarding obedience. I’m not sure he did rec solve it other than to accept his lot. MLK had similar struggles.

    If my wife was dying in childbirth and I had to choose her life or the life of the baby, who should decide that? I’ve got two other children. I’m not asking what the “right thing to do” is. I’m asking who should make the decision. I think a question like that gets to the heart of gov’ts’ role int he lives of free citizens, and I don’t hear it adequately addressed by otherwise political conservatives other than in a way that insists on imposing their moral choice on that of others, something which they claim to abhore.

    In what sense would making abortion illegal not make that a government intrusion into the sovereignty of the family? There is no “happy” resolution, but the question is still out there – who has authority? What does St. Paul actually teach us about that? He seems to be laying out relationships for the purposes of a general, civil peace. I don’t think he is innovating per se. The virtues of having children are human ones we all share. In Thessalonians he encourages us to work with our hands and lead quiet lives. How disruptive is it to demand the gov’t force women to carry a child to term and raise it? Some? Only a little? And I don’t have a good answer to the dilemma of “choosing” the mother or the child. I also realize that this kind of thing is not usually the reason women have abortions, and I don’t pretend to know everything involved in such a horrible decision. In some ways, I think it can be argued biblically that it is none of my business. Regardless, a concern for women does seem to figure in there or else we wouldn’t have it built into the rhetoric (“life of the mother”).

    Does saying that abortion is “murder”resolve anything either than to insist on some kind of absolute legal, state-enforced solution? Why that in particular when we do not call other things, like burning children in Afghanistan, murder? It throws us back to the question of authority again. When the US military obliterates civilians in a protracted war we say they have that authority, not bearing the sword in vain and all, and so, ostensibly, it is not murder. Whether someone gets pregnant in the first place is a sovereign decision of the family. Why should authority for that process then be immediately taken be out of their hands and handed over to the state (and yes, even when it means the death of a child)?

    We allow the state to intervene on a child’s behalf after they are born, something that remains contentious and fraught with problems. Not that the state shouldn’t, but we only do it under certain terms. There is and should be conditions because this is a gray area between two orders. Such is the nature of our free society.

    I would like an either/or situation, but I don’t think there is one, in which case I’m for keeping it legal (I can hear the shrieks through my screen). As has been said, legal is not moral. For me, it’s a question of authority. I’m not sure in what way it is not a double standard to complain about gov’t intrusion in people’s lives in so many other ways, like health care and decisions about contraception for instance, and at the same time advocate for this kind of gov’t intrusion, or at least not without a number of conditions and limits on what gov’t can and cannot punish in regards to abortions. I find there a fundamental disconnect. And I may be wrong.

    I think we teach our children that it is a choice which is no choice at all. It is the ending of a life and there will be a reckoning for that even if it is not codified in civil law. When the church takes this up as a means for witness, then it must display, offer and enact mercy to women for the sake of both the woman and the child. Pushing to make it illegal and even achieving it will not make that any less necessary, though I dare say some may think it will. There are other more pragmatic issues in the realm of gov’t that have to do with what courts can handle and such (talk about a new bureaucracy!), but I’ll leave it there and whoever likes may now chop my head off. I only have one. I ask all these questions because I would really like to hear how people resolve the issue of authority in this case.

    Todd, did you bring your axe?

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

    “the article ably refutes the sex-selection reason to restrict abortion.”

    I disagree. It goes on and on basically saying the same thing over and over; a conclusion without a basis just a lot of assumptions. Bottom line, it will be harder for families to pressure women to abort girls if it is very hard to find a doctor to do it. As fewer people do it, it will come to be seen as weirder and weirder. It is already marginal. Like female genital mutilation, this barbarous practice of killing baby girls needs to be confronted, and outlawed. We don’t need to apologize for our cultural standards. There is a whole world that they can live in. If they come here, they follow our rules.

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

    “the article ably refutes the sex-selection reason to restrict abortion.”

    I disagree. It goes on and on basically saying the same thing over and over; a conclusion without a basis just a lot of assumptions. Bottom line, it will be harder for families to pressure women to abort girls if it is very hard to find a doctor to do it. As fewer people do it, it will come to be seen as weirder and weirder. It is already marginal. Like female genital mutilation, this barbarous practice of killing baby girls needs to be confronted, and outlawed. We don’t need to apologize for our cultural standards. There is a whole world that they can live in. If they come here, they follow our rules.

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

    If my wife was dying in childbirth and I had to choose her life or the life of the baby, who should decide that?

    You/your wife should. Of course that is a one-in-a-million kind of situation and back in the day, people weren’t prosecuted for making those kinds of decisions. There is no equivalency between the one-in-a-million situation and elective abortion, and we all know that. It is ridiculous hyperbole. If there were only 100 abortions a year for the few weird situations like that, abortion would not be a political issue. The only political issue is elective abortion. The vast majority of even late term abortions are healthy mothers and healthy babies. That is what is so evil and disgusting.

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

    If my wife was dying in childbirth and I had to choose her life or the life of the baby, who should decide that?

    You/your wife should. Of course that is a one-in-a-million kind of situation and back in the day, people weren’t prosecuted for making those kinds of decisions. There is no equivalency between the one-in-a-million situation and elective abortion, and we all know that. It is ridiculous hyperbole. If there were only 100 abortions a year for the few weird situations like that, abortion would not be a political issue. The only political issue is elective abortion. The vast majority of even late term abortions are healthy mothers and healthy babies. That is what is so evil and disgusting.

  • Stephen

    Sorry about the length folks. I realize I got off on a tangent. I meant to add that the issue of sex-selection seems to be about the kinds of conditions under which an abortion may happen as much as it is about when it may not. Maybe there needs to be a set of conditions, but how would that even be practical? This particular prohibition would be so easy to work around it seems. Couldn’t people just lie?

  • Stephen

    Sorry about the length folks. I realize I got off on a tangent. I meant to add that the issue of sex-selection seems to be about the kinds of conditions under which an abortion may happen as much as it is about when it may not. Maybe there needs to be a set of conditions, but how would that even be practical? This particular prohibition would be so easy to work around it seems. Couldn’t people just lie?

  • Stephen

    “The only political issue is elective abortion.”

    I don’t understand that. It still does not answer the question of authority that I posed. I was not suggesting there was some kind of “moral equivalence” either. I think you misunderstood my point.

  • Stephen

    “The only political issue is elective abortion.”

    I don’t understand that. It still does not answer the question of authority that I posed. I was not suggesting there was some kind of “moral equivalence” either. I think you misunderstood my point.

  • Stephen

    “You/your wife should.”

    Doesn’t seem like we would be able to do that if abortions were illegal. I admit I used and extreme example, but what are the conditions then? I don’t know about back in the day, but I do think this kind of loss of authority is at stake.

  • Stephen

    “You/your wife should.”

    Doesn’t seem like we would be able to do that if abortions were illegal. I admit I used and extreme example, but what are the conditions then? I don’t know about back in the day, but I do think this kind of loss of authority is at stake.

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

    “This particular prohibition would be so easy to work around it seems. Couldn’t people just lie?”

    Well, yes, but then they have to go to some nasty late term abortion doctor in some nasty clinic because regular OB/Gyn’s aren’t stupid and most are very ethical and would not do this and sure won’t do it if it is illegal because scum are generally cowards. The people and doctors who go for this kind of stuff are marginal. Once it is officially illegal, probably 90% of the few doing it, would chicken out because they have to operate in hospitals that don’t want to be associated with illegal activity or with a doctor under investigation for doing illegal abortions of little girls.

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

    “This particular prohibition would be so easy to work around it seems. Couldn’t people just lie?”

    Well, yes, but then they have to go to some nasty late term abortion doctor in some nasty clinic because regular OB/Gyn’s aren’t stupid and most are very ethical and would not do this and sure won’t do it if it is illegal because scum are generally cowards. The people and doctors who go for this kind of stuff are marginal. Once it is officially illegal, probably 90% of the few doing it, would chicken out because they have to operate in hospitals that don’t want to be associated with illegal activity or with a doctor under investigation for doing illegal abortions of little girls.

  • Stephen

    “If there were only 100 abortions a year for the few weird situations like that, abortion would not be a political issue. ”

    That has never been the case and never will be should abortion become illegal again. That would only account for what happens above ground. There will still continue to be abortions for all kinds of reasons. It was and will always be a political issue. Do we need a list of situations in which the state may or may not intervene, and in which case, how would that be policed? Where does one authority end (the state) and the other (morality) begin?

  • Stephen

    “If there were only 100 abortions a year for the few weird situations like that, abortion would not be a political issue. ”

    That has never been the case and never will be should abortion become illegal again. That would only account for what happens above ground. There will still continue to be abortions for all kinds of reasons. It was and will always be a political issue. Do we need a list of situations in which the state may or may not intervene, and in which case, how would that be policed? Where does one authority end (the state) and the other (morality) begin?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Stephen, the Romans and the Greeks had fathers who had life and death over their children, but Jews and Greeks did not. A very important book for Christians wrestling with abortion is “Abortion and the Early Church: Christian, Jewish and Pagan Attitudes in the Greco-Roman World” by Michael Gorman. It shows the early church took a VERY strong stand against abortion, which was an extremely common procedure in the ancient world (mostly done, yes, by potions).

    So did the Jews. Yes, the Levitical Law gives parents the right to ask for the execution of a rebellious child, but even that must be brought before a council. And there were no provisions for executing non-rebellious children. In fact, one of the complaints the Romans had against the Jews was that, instead of the Greco-Roman practice of infanticide for unwanted children (“exposing them”), the Jews let all of their children live!

    According to Romans 13, ALL authority is God’s, and while He exercises that authority through lawful magistrates whom He authorizes to use the “sword” (God working through vocation) as a way to restrain the sinful impulse that would destroy the very possibility of society if it were to have free rein (cf. 1 Peter 2:14).

    Thus, thinking in terms of vocation, God uses men and women as His means of creating children, and He has given mothers and fathers His authority to care for them. But their proper work is to engender new life, not to kill that new life; to care for their children, not to kill them.

    I would think from the Biblical teachings about lawful magistrates that protecting life is one of the relatively few things they should be doing. And that includes protecting the lives of children.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Stephen, the Romans and the Greeks had fathers who had life and death over their children, but Jews and Greeks did not. A very important book for Christians wrestling with abortion is “Abortion and the Early Church: Christian, Jewish and Pagan Attitudes in the Greco-Roman World” by Michael Gorman. It shows the early church took a VERY strong stand against abortion, which was an extremely common procedure in the ancient world (mostly done, yes, by potions).

    So did the Jews. Yes, the Levitical Law gives parents the right to ask for the execution of a rebellious child, but even that must be brought before a council. And there were no provisions for executing non-rebellious children. In fact, one of the complaints the Romans had against the Jews was that, instead of the Greco-Roman practice of infanticide for unwanted children (“exposing them”), the Jews let all of their children live!

    According to Romans 13, ALL authority is God’s, and while He exercises that authority through lawful magistrates whom He authorizes to use the “sword” (God working through vocation) as a way to restrain the sinful impulse that would destroy the very possibility of society if it were to have free rein (cf. 1 Peter 2:14).

    Thus, thinking in terms of vocation, God uses men and women as His means of creating children, and He has given mothers and fathers His authority to care for them. But their proper work is to engender new life, not to kill that new life; to care for their children, not to kill them.

    I would think from the Biblical teachings about lawful magistrates that protecting life is one of the relatively few things they should be doing. And that includes protecting the lives of children.

  • Stephen

    @27

    Hmm. But then there’s lots of Indian doctors out there. I’m kind of joking. I admit it is barbarous.

    So is the project then to pile up laws to make abortion more and more unseemly and difficult? Is that different strategy than simply making it “illegal because it is immoral” as it used to be?

  • Stephen

    @27

    Hmm. But then there’s lots of Indian doctors out there. I’m kind of joking. I admit it is barbarous.

    So is the project then to pile up laws to make abortion more and more unseemly and difficult? Is that different strategy than simply making it “illegal because it is immoral” as it used to be?

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

    “Doesn’t seem like we would be able to do that if abortions were illegal.”

    We have the historical record. We don’t have to speculate about what it would be because we know how it was. When women had life threatening complications, and the only life saving treatment was immediate delivery/removal of the fetus, that is what was done, and the doctors weren’t prosecuted. It wasn’t birth control. It was life saving medical treatment. They tried to save the baby and sometimes did and still do. That is what Michelle Duggar had to do, and because of modern tech, her baby made it. In 1960, the baby likely would have died, but either way, there was no choice.

    The political issue is whether healthy moms with no problems can just kill at will, aka elective abortion.

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

    “Doesn’t seem like we would be able to do that if abortions were illegal.”

    We have the historical record. We don’t have to speculate about what it would be because we know how it was. When women had life threatening complications, and the only life saving treatment was immediate delivery/removal of the fetus, that is what was done, and the doctors weren’t prosecuted. It wasn’t birth control. It was life saving medical treatment. They tried to save the baby and sometimes did and still do. That is what Michelle Duggar had to do, and because of modern tech, her baby made it. In 1960, the baby likely would have died, but either way, there was no choice.

    The political issue is whether healthy moms with no problems can just kill at will, aka elective abortion.

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

    @28

    Rape is illegal and it still happens.

    Murder is illegal and it still happens.

    So, what?

    People who kill and rape need to be prosecuted and incarcerated for the protection of the public.

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

    @28

    Rape is illegal and it still happens.

    Murder is illegal and it still happens.

    So, what?

    People who kill and rape need to be prosecuted and incarcerated for the protection of the public.

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

    Do we need a list of situations in which the state may or may not intervene, and in which case, how would that be policed? Where does one authority end (the state) and the other (morality) begin?

    Yes, it is call Children’s Protective services. I can spank my 8 year old and send him to bed with no dinner because he stole a candy bar from the 7-11, and it’s all good. But if I shake my crying 3 week old till he is brain damaged, now I am gonna be prosecuted. So, yeah, circumstances matter.

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

    Do we need a list of situations in which the state may or may not intervene, and in which case, how would that be policed? Where does one authority end (the state) and the other (morality) begin?

    Yes, it is call Children’s Protective services. I can spank my 8 year old and send him to bed with no dinner because he stole a candy bar from the 7-11, and it’s all good. But if I shake my crying 3 week old till he is brain damaged, now I am gonna be prosecuted. So, yeah, circumstances matter.

  • Stephen

    Thanks Dr. Veith. I’ll see if I can find the book. Do you mean Jewish and “Greek Christians” in the first paragraph.

    I think you have helped me understand what is at stake a little better. But the problem seems to me that not everyone n the US is a Christian. Suddenly, on this one thing, the “wall of separation” disappears. Can it not cut both ways? I understand commanding Christian parents to honor their vocation, and I’m trying to put that together with Romans 13 that you point to and as well as the last paragraph, where you seem to be saying it is about the church holding the gov’t’s feet to the fire. “Do your job!” I get that (I think).

    Anyway, that’s why I asked about authority. I know about Christians adopting abandoned children in the 1st c. but what exactly did that “very strong stand” look like. Did they seek the enforcement of Roman law or to change it? I don’t hear that ethos in St. Paul. he seems to advocate going along to get along. But then this is the kind of thing that is a problem for our otherwise Lutheran quietism.

    Guess I’ll have to look for the book to find out.

  • Stephen

    Thanks Dr. Veith. I’ll see if I can find the book. Do you mean Jewish and “Greek Christians” in the first paragraph.

    I think you have helped me understand what is at stake a little better. But the problem seems to me that not everyone n the US is a Christian. Suddenly, on this one thing, the “wall of separation” disappears. Can it not cut both ways? I understand commanding Christian parents to honor their vocation, and I’m trying to put that together with Romans 13 that you point to and as well as the last paragraph, where you seem to be saying it is about the church holding the gov’t’s feet to the fire. “Do your job!” I get that (I think).

    Anyway, that’s why I asked about authority. I know about Christians adopting abandoned children in the 1st c. but what exactly did that “very strong stand” look like. Did they seek the enforcement of Roman law or to change it? I don’t hear that ethos in St. Paul. he seems to advocate going along to get along. But then this is the kind of thing that is a problem for our otherwise Lutheran quietism.

    Guess I’ll have to look for the book to find out.

  • Stephen

    @ 32

    I agree. It seemed you were saying that the political issue would be resolved by making it illegal and I disagree with that. The same reasoning that makes rape is illegal, for some, is the same that believes abortion should be legal. Witness the recent outcry in Texas over the “wanding” of women now required by law before they can have abortions.

    @ 33

    Okay, I get that. So it is not an absolute moral wrong we are talking about.

  • Stephen

    @ 32

    I agree. It seemed you were saying that the political issue would be resolved by making it illegal and I disagree with that. The same reasoning that makes rape is illegal, for some, is the same that believes abortion should be legal. Witness the recent outcry in Texas over the “wanding” of women now required by law before they can have abortions.

    @ 33

    Okay, I get that. So it is not an absolute moral wrong we are talking about.

  • Stephen

    @33 cont’d

    In which case, there should be a degree of mercy in our court system to account for some things – mistakes, stupidity, social and economic pressures, spousal abuse, as well as rape and incest, etc.? No, probably not. Maybe. But then we’ve already said that there are issues with who has authority in certain situations, haven’t we?

    I just go round and round in trying to resolve it legally, not morally.

  • Stephen

    @33 cont’d

    In which case, there should be a degree of mercy in our court system to account for some things – mistakes, stupidity, social and economic pressures, spousal abuse, as well as rape and incest, etc.? No, probably not. Maybe. But then we’ve already said that there are issues with who has authority in certain situations, haven’t we?

    I just go round and round in trying to resolve it legally, not morally.

  • Stephen

    “The political issue is whether healthy moms with no problems”

    I think this assumes a lot. What does healthy mean? Physically only, or psychologically or even economically too? For some women, like black women for instance (so I have read) it is an issue of political power over their own lives, something which could be said to be in very “poor health.” And what does it mean to have “no problems” exactly? That seems like for all practical purposes a nonstarter. Are your problems and more deserving of leniency than mine or anyone else’s?

  • Stephen

    “The political issue is whether healthy moms with no problems”

    I think this assumes a lot. What does healthy mean? Physically only, or psychologically or even economically too? For some women, like black women for instance (so I have read) it is an issue of political power over their own lives, something which could be said to be in very “poor health.” And what does it mean to have “no problems” exactly? That seems like for all practical purposes a nonstarter. Are your problems and more deserving of leniency than mine or anyone else’s?

  • DonS

    Stephen @ 36: It’s good to have you back! :-)

    “In which case, there should be a degree of mercy in our court system to account for some things – mistakes, stupidity, social and economic pressures, spousal abuse, as well as rape and incest, etc.?”

    The black and white principle with abortion is whether or not a human life is taken. If you believe the answer is yes, then that is the dividing line for where the woman no longer has complete authority over her own body, just as is the case with parents having the responsibility to preserve the life of their dependent infant after birth. Taking a life is murder.

    However, there are gradations of murder in the law, because it is recognized that all murder isn’t equal. There may be mental or emotional anguish which provides a defense or mitigation, for example. There may also be, in the case of murder, a complete exoneration on the basis of self-defense. There is no reason why the same principles could not be applied to abortion. For example, if the choice is legitimately between saving the life of the mother or the child, that is a form of self-defense which would avoid or exonerate a murder charge. Emotional or physical anguish could ameliorate the consequences of the abortion as well, on a case-by-case basis. The issue is that to be a moral society, we have to recognize that abortion is the taking of a human life. This fiction that transiting the birth canal magically transforms a non-human fetus into a human degrades us as humans and as a society, with predictable results.

  • DonS

    Stephen @ 36: It’s good to have you back! :-)

    “In which case, there should be a degree of mercy in our court system to account for some things – mistakes, stupidity, social and economic pressures, spousal abuse, as well as rape and incest, etc.?”

    The black and white principle with abortion is whether or not a human life is taken. If you believe the answer is yes, then that is the dividing line for where the woman no longer has complete authority over her own body, just as is the case with parents having the responsibility to preserve the life of their dependent infant after birth. Taking a life is murder.

    However, there are gradations of murder in the law, because it is recognized that all murder isn’t equal. There may be mental or emotional anguish which provides a defense or mitigation, for example. There may also be, in the case of murder, a complete exoneration on the basis of self-defense. There is no reason why the same principles could not be applied to abortion. For example, if the choice is legitimately between saving the life of the mother or the child, that is a form of self-defense which would avoid or exonerate a murder charge. Emotional or physical anguish could ameliorate the consequences of the abortion as well, on a case-by-case basis. The issue is that to be a moral society, we have to recognize that abortion is the taking of a human life. This fiction that transiting the birth canal magically transforms a non-human fetus into a human degrades us as humans and as a society, with predictable results.

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

    “Witness the recent outcry in Texas over the “wanding” of women now required by law before they can have abortions.”

    This is so absurd because the “wanding” is standard operating procedure anyway. The women would get and do get the “wanding” before the abortion, period. That is how it is done. The law required the abortionist to allow a woman to see the screen with the image rather than not letting her see it by turning the screen so that only he could see it. So, she is getting the “wanding” either way, but the law was regarding the screen.

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

    “Witness the recent outcry in Texas over the “wanding” of women now required by law before they can have abortions.”

    This is so absurd because the “wanding” is standard operating procedure anyway. The women would get and do get the “wanding” before the abortion, period. That is how it is done. The law required the abortionist to allow a woman to see the screen with the image rather than not letting her see it by turning the screen so that only he could see it. So, she is getting the “wanding” either way, but the law was regarding the screen.

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

    “What does healthy mean? Physically only, or psychologically or even economically too?”

    I was referring to physical health. But you know what? People who have psychological problems can get better. And people with financial problems can fix those. So, no you don’t kill kids because their mothers have temporary or even permanent problems. Heck, half of the world has those problems. Shall we just exterminate them? How insane. How immoral. A person’s life in any civilized society cannot hang on whether or not his mother has psychological or financial problems! Life is a fundamental right. The fundamental right.

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

    “What does healthy mean? Physically only, or psychologically or even economically too?”

    I was referring to physical health. But you know what? People who have psychological problems can get better. And people with financial problems can fix those. So, no you don’t kill kids because their mothers have temporary or even permanent problems. Heck, half of the world has those problems. Shall we just exterminate them? How insane. How immoral. A person’s life in any civilized society cannot hang on whether or not his mother has psychological or financial problems! Life is a fundamental right. The fundamental right.

  • Stephen

    “to allow the woman to see the screen”

    Is that really accurate? Isn’t it also about a doctor/patient relationship? Again, why in this case such authority can be usurped? Does “allowing” her to see the screen, as if she couldn’t already if she wanted to, and invasion of the gov’t here when it has nothing whatsoever to do with doctor/patient care, but is rather a means of state coercion? Isn’t it about subtly forcing her to look at the fetus?

  • Stephen

    “to allow the woman to see the screen”

    Is that really accurate? Isn’t it also about a doctor/patient relationship? Again, why in this case such authority can be usurped? Does “allowing” her to see the screen, as if she couldn’t already if she wanted to, and invasion of the gov’t here when it has nothing whatsoever to do with doctor/patient care, but is rather a means of state coercion? Isn’t it about subtly forcing her to look at the fetus?

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

    “Isn’t it also about a doctor/patient relationship?”

    No.

    There is no “relationship” with the abortionist. 90% of the time the woman never even meets the abortionist till he walks in, does the procedure, and she never sees him again.

    Very few doctors even do abortions. The few regular OB/Gyns that do abortions get most of their abortion patients from referral from another OB/Gyn who has already gone through all the stuff with the patient including ultrasounds, tests, etc. The law is directed at the abortion clinics that just run women through.

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

    “Isn’t it also about a doctor/patient relationship?”

    No.

    There is no “relationship” with the abortionist. 90% of the time the woman never even meets the abortionist till he walks in, does the procedure, and she never sees him again.

    Very few doctors even do abortions. The few regular OB/Gyns that do abortions get most of their abortion patients from referral from another OB/Gyn who has already gone through all the stuff with the patient including ultrasounds, tests, etc. The law is directed at the abortion clinics that just run women through.

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

    “Isn’t it about subtly forcing her to look at the fetus?”

    Is informed consent coercion?

    When you go to get orthopedic surgery, the doctor doesn’t actually need to explain everything to you and show you your x-rays in order to do his job. Yet the law requires that you know and that he show and tell all relevant information as a matter of informed consent. Why should abortion be the only procedure where you don’t get told everything relating to the surgery? It is just weird.

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

    “Isn’t it about subtly forcing her to look at the fetus?”

    Is informed consent coercion?

    When you go to get orthopedic surgery, the doctor doesn’t actually need to explain everything to you and show you your x-rays in order to do his job. Yet the law requires that you know and that he show and tell all relevant information as a matter of informed consent. Why should abortion be the only procedure where you don’t get told everything relating to the surgery? It is just weird.

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

    Stephen, it seems you want people with a pro life view to defend their positions etc. Just out of curiosity, if someone were pro abortion what questions would you ask him to justify his positions?

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

    Stephen, it seems you want people with a pro life view to defend their positions etc. Just out of curiosity, if someone were pro abortion what questions would you ask him to justify his positions?

  • Stephen

    Thanks Don. And hello.

    That was helpful. I have sometimes thought we might have something like a FISA court on this. I agree with your last sentence especially. It is a fiction. I also think it is easy to argue against abortion on moral grounds without dragging one’s religion into it and mucking it up. It can be argued from reason alone why it is the taking of life and not just a clump of cells. From what is known about DNA, it seems clear that all that is missing after conception is an environment and nourishment. The person is there in the DNA.

    So I’m not arguing that it isn’t wrong. I want to understand it more sanely. It is very difficult to do that because it fuels such vituperative rhetoric from the get-go. It is emotional and I feel that (we all know about me temper for Pete’s sake).

    Sometimes the only way I think it can possibly be resolved is to move as far away from religious speech as possible. You have managed to convince me all the more and you didn’t need to invoke the Almighty. I think that is how it needs to go.

    Some might hear what I just said and think I am thus advocating for religion to be set off in a corner. No, not exactly. What I am saying is that the religious language falls upon deaf ears. We all take our beliefs into the public square even if we have to adopt other language to do that. you must have good sense of that being a lawyer.

    Okay, so we call it what it is – murder. And that does not for a second relinquish any responsibility on the part of Christians to be merciful to women who have had or think they want to (or should – yes, some believe they should, as false a belief as that is). Are we doing enough there? Probably not. I guess it doesn’t matter.

  • Stephen

    Thanks Don. And hello.

    That was helpful. I have sometimes thought we might have something like a FISA court on this. I agree with your last sentence especially. It is a fiction. I also think it is easy to argue against abortion on moral grounds without dragging one’s religion into it and mucking it up. It can be argued from reason alone why it is the taking of life and not just a clump of cells. From what is known about DNA, it seems clear that all that is missing after conception is an environment and nourishment. The person is there in the DNA.

    So I’m not arguing that it isn’t wrong. I want to understand it more sanely. It is very difficult to do that because it fuels such vituperative rhetoric from the get-go. It is emotional and I feel that (we all know about me temper for Pete’s sake).

    Sometimes the only way I think it can possibly be resolved is to move as far away from religious speech as possible. You have managed to convince me all the more and you didn’t need to invoke the Almighty. I think that is how it needs to go.

    Some might hear what I just said and think I am thus advocating for religion to be set off in a corner. No, not exactly. What I am saying is that the religious language falls upon deaf ears. We all take our beliefs into the public square even if we have to adopt other language to do that. you must have good sense of that being a lawyer.

    Okay, so we call it what it is – murder. And that does not for a second relinquish any responsibility on the part of Christians to be merciful to women who have had or think they want to (or should – yes, some believe they should, as false a belief as that is). Are we doing enough there? Probably not. I guess it doesn’t matter.

  • Stephen

    sg

    You are very informed, much more than me on many particulars. I probably don’t understand all the implications of the Texas law, I’ll admit. So I will let you have that one. But I do have question you probably know the answer to and then I’ll answer you @44. So are your saying that women are not availed of all the necessary information when they go in to get an abortion? I’m not talking about adoption as an option. Rather, you seem to be saying that this particular procedure is done in a way that does not let women in on what is going on to the degree that they should know for their own health. I have had a medical procedure in a hospital where the doctor told me I could die from it. You’re saying that women are not being told this kind of thing in regards to abortion and that this new law was designed to correct that? That seems illegal on the face of it already.

    And as to your question about discussions with pro-abortion people – I would ask them if they think it is a person and why or why not. I would use the argument (and have) that I gave @45. I would press them on the values that they bring to that, things as shallow perhaps as “I can’t afford it” to “I don’t think I can handle it” or whatever it might be.

    Speaking from experience, there is a great deal of defensiveness that women have about this, and I rarely get the chance to get beyond the political to the real moral meat of it. Even some very good friends will not talk to me about it our of shame because they know I go to church and they have abandoned it. So, I try to figure out how to serve them without making a blanket judgment on their life. I have known two women for sure who have had abortions, and perhaps three, but then there’s always what we don’t know about the people in the room when we express our opinions. I’ve prayed and listened to one, wept and listened with another. And I still try to listen. That is also why I am asking questions and trying to peel back the layers of where people are coming from.

    It probably sounds like I am on the attack. Maybe I am. I do find moral inconsistencies on both sides. I think Dr. Veith is pointing to one right here. And I admit that maybe I am defending these women somehow. I’m not sure. Maybe I am not doing anyone any favors by being on the fence politically.

  • Stephen

    sg

    You are very informed, much more than me on many particulars. I probably don’t understand all the implications of the Texas law, I’ll admit. So I will let you have that one. But I do have question you probably know the answer to and then I’ll answer you @44. So are your saying that women are not availed of all the necessary information when they go in to get an abortion? I’m not talking about adoption as an option. Rather, you seem to be saying that this particular procedure is done in a way that does not let women in on what is going on to the degree that they should know for their own health. I have had a medical procedure in a hospital where the doctor told me I could die from it. You’re saying that women are not being told this kind of thing in regards to abortion and that this new law was designed to correct that? That seems illegal on the face of it already.

    And as to your question about discussions with pro-abortion people – I would ask them if they think it is a person and why or why not. I would use the argument (and have) that I gave @45. I would press them on the values that they bring to that, things as shallow perhaps as “I can’t afford it” to “I don’t think I can handle it” or whatever it might be.

    Speaking from experience, there is a great deal of defensiveness that women have about this, and I rarely get the chance to get beyond the political to the real moral meat of it. Even some very good friends will not talk to me about it our of shame because they know I go to church and they have abandoned it. So, I try to figure out how to serve them without making a blanket judgment on their life. I have known two women for sure who have had abortions, and perhaps three, but then there’s always what we don’t know about the people in the room when we express our opinions. I’ve prayed and listened to one, wept and listened with another. And I still try to listen. That is also why I am asking questions and trying to peel back the layers of where people are coming from.

    It probably sounds like I am on the attack. Maybe I am. I do find moral inconsistencies on both sides. I think Dr. Veith is pointing to one right here. And I admit that maybe I am defending these women somehow. I’m not sure. Maybe I am not doing anyone any favors by being on the fence politically.

  • Stephen

    Oooh. I said “it” in reference to a baby. Not good. All I can say in my defense is that whenever someone has told me they were pregnant, I was happy for them. For me, there is no other way to feel about it. I think it is amazing and miraculous. Not everyone feels that way. I don’t know what that is about. Indoctrination?

  • Stephen

    Oooh. I said “it” in reference to a baby. Not good. All I can say in my defense is that whenever someone has told me they were pregnant, I was happy for them. For me, there is no other way to feel about it. I think it is amazing and miraculous. Not everyone feels that way. I don’t know what that is about. Indoctrination?

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

    “Not everyone feels that way.”

    Hormones. They mess with your mind.

    Anyway, yes, there are tons of complaints about terrible conditions in abortion clinics and when you read the reports that the state agencies write. It is really sickening, but like the killing of baby girls, there is this reflexive defensiveness that lets abortion providers get away not only with murder (of babies that survive the abortion) but also with filthy conditions and outright lying to women about things like how painful it really is. Some abortionists charge lots extra for decent pain relief even though pain killers are really cheap. Go read Jill Stanek’s blog.
    http://www.jillstanek.com/

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

    “Not everyone feels that way.”

    Hormones. They mess with your mind.

    Anyway, yes, there are tons of complaints about terrible conditions in abortion clinics and when you read the reports that the state agencies write. It is really sickening, but like the killing of baby girls, there is this reflexive defensiveness that lets abortion providers get away not only with murder (of babies that survive the abortion) but also with filthy conditions and outright lying to women about things like how painful it really is. Some abortionists charge lots extra for decent pain relief even though pain killers are really cheap. Go read Jill Stanek’s blog.
    http://www.jillstanek.com/

  • helen

    Stephen @ 47
    Sometimes it is a wife being at the mercy of a total “control freak” (i.e., one of those 1st century type men).

  • helen

    Stephen @ 47
    Sometimes it is a wife being at the mercy of a total “control freak” (i.e., one of those 1st century type men).

  • Stephen

    Thanks sg, I will look at the blog. I hope there’s no hyperbole ;) Such a turn off.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but when the law in Texas came around, I did not get the sense that there was an outcry for enacting the law by women who were using those services. Did it really come from women who’d had their patient rights violated? It seemed it was being posed from the outside by people who already would not use those services in the first place. Is that inaccurate?

    Helen, I’m not sure if I know what you mean. But if we say a woman is under the thumb of a controlling man, couldn’t that argument just as well be used in both directions? I’m confused.

  • Stephen

    Thanks sg, I will look at the blog. I hope there’s no hyperbole ;) Such a turn off.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but when the law in Texas came around, I did not get the sense that there was an outcry for enacting the law by women who were using those services. Did it really come from women who’d had their patient rights violated? It seemed it was being posed from the outside by people who already would not use those services in the first place. Is that inaccurate?

    Helen, I’m not sure if I know what you mean. But if we say a woman is under the thumb of a controlling man, couldn’t that argument just as well be used in both directions? I’m confused.

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  • Michael B.

    @sg and @todd

    If you pressure pro-lifers enough, in general I find that the many will allow abortions under some cases. Not that this is true for all of them. Here’s one example:
    http://www.visionforumministries.org/issues/life/why_the_life_of_the_mother_is.aspx [Why the Life of the Mother is Not a Valid Exception for Abortion]

    Now I understand that you won’t allow the exception of rape and abortion, but you will allow for life of the mother, and that’s more than enough for me to make my point. A simple amount of research will show you how risky pregnancy can be: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/healthproblemsinpregnancy.html. As you can see, there’s no solid line between health risk and no health risk. Who would decide on how risky a pregnancy is before allowing abortion? Every pregnancy has a certain amount of risk. If you set the threshold too low, are you prepared to force women to go through risky pregnancies that could result in their death?

    But here’s my bigger point. Politically, one can be 100% pro-life and still support incremental methods of restricting abortion. Ideologically, however, a pro-lifer shouldn’t be making exceptions for any abortions. Why? Because the pro-choice side doesn’t need to prove that abortion isn’t wrong to win. All pro-choicers need to do is show that it’s the lesser of 2 evils. So when you make statements saying that it’s okay or should be legal for a mother to kill a fetus to save her own life, it doesn’t do much to convince people that a fetus is worth the same as a 2-year old. (I challenge anyone to name a circumstance where a parent kills their child to save themselves and we wouldn’t react in horror.) It’s the same principle when you say women who have abortions shouldn’t go to jail. If you want people to outlaw abortion, you have to start acting like it’s really a child that’s getting killed.

  • Michael B.

    @sg and @todd

    If you pressure pro-lifers enough, in general I find that the many will allow abortions under some cases. Not that this is true for all of them. Here’s one example:
    http://www.visionforumministries.org/issues/life/why_the_life_of_the_mother_is.aspx [Why the Life of the Mother is Not a Valid Exception for Abortion]

    Now I understand that you won’t allow the exception of rape and abortion, but you will allow for life of the mother, and that’s more than enough for me to make my point. A simple amount of research will show you how risky pregnancy can be: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/healthproblemsinpregnancy.html. As you can see, there’s no solid line between health risk and no health risk. Who would decide on how risky a pregnancy is before allowing abortion? Every pregnancy has a certain amount of risk. If you set the threshold too low, are you prepared to force women to go through risky pregnancies that could result in their death?

    But here’s my bigger point. Politically, one can be 100% pro-life and still support incremental methods of restricting abortion. Ideologically, however, a pro-lifer shouldn’t be making exceptions for any abortions. Why? Because the pro-choice side doesn’t need to prove that abortion isn’t wrong to win. All pro-choicers need to do is show that it’s the lesser of 2 evils. So when you make statements saying that it’s okay or should be legal for a mother to kill a fetus to save her own life, it doesn’t do much to convince people that a fetus is worth the same as a 2-year old. (I challenge anyone to name a circumstance where a parent kills their child to save themselves and we wouldn’t react in horror.) It’s the same principle when you say women who have abortions shouldn’t go to jail. If you want people to outlaw abortion, you have to start acting like it’s really a child that’s getting killed.

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

    There is a difference between theory and reality.

    I find it an absurd argument that people have to have a flawless basis in order to have reasonable restrictions on certain egregiously immoral behaviors because there can be exceptions. So, basically the vagaries of life make it practically impossible to have a legal standard by which we can perfectly adjudicate every possible circumstance. Yeah, no kidding. Still, reasonable criteria can be set forth in law and the courts and prosecutors can use their judgement in weird cases if it even comes to that which it wouldn’t because we have the lens of history which shows us that it didn’t. It only curbed bad behavior. There is no reason to believe that it would ever really be different. So, all of this hypothesizing is a bit silly. No law or argument is going to be perfect, but we can improve things with reasonable standards. Just like we do for murder. There are exceptions. There are weird things that happen. As for abortion, the vast majority of actual instances of abortion >90% are healthy mothers and healthy babies. Those are the abortions that pro lifers are basically targeting, not weird cases involving some poor woman with a risky condition. Of course everyone knows this and all the discussion of rape, incest, seriously ill women is just a distraction from the real point of just plain killing kids because we feel like it. If the only abortions were for rape, incest, and life of the mother, we would not have an organized pro life movement, and we all know it. The current example of killing girls just because they are girls simply highlights the shallow reasons that society accepts for killing its most vulnerable.

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

    There is a difference between theory and reality.

    I find it an absurd argument that people have to have a flawless basis in order to have reasonable restrictions on certain egregiously immoral behaviors because there can be exceptions. So, basically the vagaries of life make it practically impossible to have a legal standard by which we can perfectly adjudicate every possible circumstance. Yeah, no kidding. Still, reasonable criteria can be set forth in law and the courts and prosecutors can use their judgement in weird cases if it even comes to that which it wouldn’t because we have the lens of history which shows us that it didn’t. It only curbed bad behavior. There is no reason to believe that it would ever really be different. So, all of this hypothesizing is a bit silly. No law or argument is going to be perfect, but we can improve things with reasonable standards. Just like we do for murder. There are exceptions. There are weird things that happen. As for abortion, the vast majority of actual instances of abortion >90% are healthy mothers and healthy babies. Those are the abortions that pro lifers are basically targeting, not weird cases involving some poor woman with a risky condition. Of course everyone knows this and all the discussion of rape, incest, seriously ill women is just a distraction from the real point of just plain killing kids because we feel like it. If the only abortions were for rape, incest, and life of the mother, we would not have an organized pro life movement, and we all know it. The current example of killing girls just because they are girls simply highlights the shallow reasons that society accepts for killing its most vulnerable.

  • Fws

    Dr veith @29

    Yes the intent of God for all govt is to make life better.
    Yes it is wrong to take life.

    Here is the argument:
    If a sovreign government is doing evil, is it right for another sovreign govt to intervene?

    If i see someone beating their wife or children, am i supposed to stop it?

    If another country is killing christians or stealing from citizens, is our country supposed to fix that?

    If parents want to withhold medical trreatment from a child for religious reasons, should another government meddle in that?

    The large catechism says God has sanctioned 3 governments. Family , church and society.

    Here is the question: to what extent should govt intrude on the authority in that govt called family? At what point are the crimes of one govt so aggregious that another govt would be wrong not to step in and stop it?

    We are suggesting that as the moral question. Would the early christians have stepped into a family where a patriarch was committing abortion or infanticide to forcably stop that murder? Why or why not?

    Steve and i say that, logically, abortion maybe should be treated in that larger context for historical reasons and logical reasons.

  • Fws

    Dr veith @29

    Yes the intent of God for all govt is to make life better.
    Yes it is wrong to take life.

    Here is the argument:
    If a sovreign government is doing evil, is it right for another sovreign govt to intervene?

    If i see someone beating their wife or children, am i supposed to stop it?

    If another country is killing christians or stealing from citizens, is our country supposed to fix that?

    If parents want to withhold medical trreatment from a child for religious reasons, should another government meddle in that?

    The large catechism says God has sanctioned 3 governments. Family , church and society.

    Here is the question: to what extent should govt intrude on the authority in that govt called family? At what point are the crimes of one govt so aggregious that another govt would be wrong not to step in and stop it?

    We are suggesting that as the moral question. Would the early christians have stepped into a family where a patriarch was committing abortion or infanticide to forcably stop that murder? Why or why not?

    Steve and i say that, logically, abortion maybe should be treated in that larger context for historical reasons and logical reasons.

  • Fws

    If abortion is murder, and I say it is, and my neighbor. Next door is an abortion doctor, to what extent is it my duty to step in and make him stop? What level of force may i use? Am i authorized to take action? Am i required to do something?

  • Fws

    If abortion is murder, and I say it is, and my neighbor. Next door is an abortion doctor, to what extent is it my duty to step in and make him stop? What level of force may i use? Am i authorized to take action? Am i required to do something?

  • Grace

    I am PRO-LIFE, but there are circumstances such as rape by a mentally ill, deranged individual, which make the decision in favor of abortion.

    Tubular pregnancy would be a reason to abort a child. The mothers life is in danger.

    If someone raped a loved one of mine – - the perpetrator were insane, with a history of violence and mental illness, I would consider that a viable reason for abortion.

  • Grace

    I am PRO-LIFE, but there are circumstances such as rape by a mentally ill, deranged individual, which make the decision in favor of abortion.

    Tubular pregnancy would be a reason to abort a child. The mothers life is in danger.

    If someone raped a loved one of mine – - the perpetrator were insane, with a history of violence and mental illness, I would consider that a viable reason for abortion.

  • Michael B.

    @SG @Grace

    “the real point of just plain killing kids because we feel like it. .”

    Certainly we agree that there are more compelling cases for abortion than others, like rape and life of the mother. But rape, incest, and life of the mother aren’t the only ones. If you disagree that a junior high school pregnancy isn’t a horrible thing, would you wish for your young teenage daughter to receive this “blessing”?

    And the rape argument? Who gets to decide if a rape occurred? The woman? A court? Seems like a lot of men would get falsely accused of rape. Is it rape if the woman is underage, and thus unable to officially give consent? What if she were drunk when she had sex?

    Furthermore, your entire “abortion is immoral” argument simply isn’t going to cut it. If you aren’t going to show that abortion is murder, expect to lose this debate. You’re asking that the government force women to continue unwanted pregnancies. You’re going to need to show that abortion is more than just a unpleasant vice. Otherwise expect a lot of, “I think abortion is wrong BUT…”

    There’s no right-to-life for the fetus in your argumentation. Instead of the woman, the government controls who gets to have legal, safe abortions and who doesn’t.

  • Michael B.

    @SG @Grace

    “the real point of just plain killing kids because we feel like it. .”

    Certainly we agree that there are more compelling cases for abortion than others, like rape and life of the mother. But rape, incest, and life of the mother aren’t the only ones. If you disagree that a junior high school pregnancy isn’t a horrible thing, would you wish for your young teenage daughter to receive this “blessing”?

    And the rape argument? Who gets to decide if a rape occurred? The woman? A court? Seems like a lot of men would get falsely accused of rape. Is it rape if the woman is underage, and thus unable to officially give consent? What if she were drunk when she had sex?

    Furthermore, your entire “abortion is immoral” argument simply isn’t going to cut it. If you aren’t going to show that abortion is murder, expect to lose this debate. You’re asking that the government force women to continue unwanted pregnancies. You’re going to need to show that abortion is more than just a unpleasant vice. Otherwise expect a lot of, “I think abortion is wrong BUT…”

    There’s no right-to-life for the fetus in your argumentation. Instead of the woman, the government controls who gets to have legal, safe abortions and who doesn’t.

  • SKPeterson

    Abortion is murder. Always. Even for the life of the mother. Even in cases of rape or incest or cases with underage girls. But, let’s also remember that the percentage of abortions for the life of the mother (her actual physical existence sort of life, not her “lifestyle” life or her mental health life), rape or incest are minuscule compared to the overwhelming 99% that are for nothing more than the banality of a woman who wants to have sex but doesn’t want to deal with the consequences (except to treat a fetus in the same manner as a venereal disease – as something to be quickly and quietly gotten rid of so that it doesn’t compromise having more “good times”). It is evil, pure unadulterated, inexcusable evil; the blackest of sins, murder the willful taking of another person’s life.

    So what to do about the college co-ed who is sexually assaulted when drunk, or under the influence of roofies? The bias is to let her have an abortion – somehow this will sanitize the situation and allow her to heal. But will it really? Perhaps healing for the trauma of rape would come from having the child, from being loving enough and putting another person first that you will bring a new life into the world, not settle for diminishing life and choosing death out of adversity. What a sad testament to our age if we value the death of innocent others to soothe our own anguish.

    The problem is that too many people oppose abortion, but not enough think about what to do to support women facing an unplanned or unanticipated pregnancy. I plead guilty. Anyhow, it is something that the pro-life community needs to be thinking about and providing concrete solutions for. We cannot simply condemn abortion and then walk away self-satisfied. We need to take care of the most vulnerable in our communities: the unborn and their mothers.

  • SKPeterson

    Abortion is murder. Always. Even for the life of the mother. Even in cases of rape or incest or cases with underage girls. But, let’s also remember that the percentage of abortions for the life of the mother (her actual physical existence sort of life, not her “lifestyle” life or her mental health life), rape or incest are minuscule compared to the overwhelming 99% that are for nothing more than the banality of a woman who wants to have sex but doesn’t want to deal with the consequences (except to treat a fetus in the same manner as a venereal disease – as something to be quickly and quietly gotten rid of so that it doesn’t compromise having more “good times”). It is evil, pure unadulterated, inexcusable evil; the blackest of sins, murder the willful taking of another person’s life.

    So what to do about the college co-ed who is sexually assaulted when drunk, or under the influence of roofies? The bias is to let her have an abortion – somehow this will sanitize the situation and allow her to heal. But will it really? Perhaps healing for the trauma of rape would come from having the child, from being loving enough and putting another person first that you will bring a new life into the world, not settle for diminishing life and choosing death out of adversity. What a sad testament to our age if we value the death of innocent others to soothe our own anguish.

    The problem is that too many people oppose abortion, but not enough think about what to do to support women facing an unplanned or unanticipated pregnancy. I plead guilty. Anyhow, it is something that the pro-life community needs to be thinking about and providing concrete solutions for. We cannot simply condemn abortion and then walk away self-satisfied. We need to take care of the most vulnerable in our communities: the unborn and their mothers.

  • Jon

    @55 Grace

    “If someone raped a loved one of mine – – the perpetrator were insane, with a history of violence and mental illness, I would consider that a viable reason for abortion.”

    Why? On account of the possibility the child to be born would have a mental illness or be violent? Or, just because you find such a crime particularly heinous? Why does it justify the taking of the child’s life?

    What about a “date rape” scenario? Are you not OK with abortion there?

    You are Exhibit A for MichaelB’s argument about “Pro Lifers.”

  • Jon

    @55 Grace

    “If someone raped a loved one of mine – – the perpetrator were insane, with a history of violence and mental illness, I would consider that a viable reason for abortion.”

    Why? On account of the possibility the child to be born would have a mental illness or be violent? Or, just because you find such a crime particularly heinous? Why does it justify the taking of the child’s life?

    What about a “date rape” scenario? Are you not OK with abortion there?

    You are Exhibit A for MichaelB’s argument about “Pro Lifers.”

  • fws

    sk @ 57

    Amen. and Amen.

    One of the most satisfying works I was given was to work with a non profit that cared for women with HIV and their children, who often also had HIV. We quickly learned that we also had to deal with the men who infected their women. And we need to do this in a non-judgemental and compassionate way. We took that to the extent of avoiding putting a label on those men. Our support group was “msm” or “men who have other sex with men.”

    And drug and alcohol addiction loomed large here too. As did alot of social malajustments related to poverty, illiteracy, the broken probation and penal system, etc etc.

    And dealing with all that stuff was to do what? Care for the little children who were suffering so much really. It was about the kids.

    But to deal with the kids, we had to deal with that government that God had specifically placed in authority over them. No… not the civil government and courts! Not THAT government. I am speaking of that government that our Confessions call by the name “matrimony.” (Large catechism 4th commandment).

    And we had to be very careful to offer assistence to enable those whom God placed in authority, the parents, without in any way encroaching upon that authority. This means that BOTH parents have to voluntarily sign up for , and commit to and welcome such help. A court order won’t really cut it. Lots of tongue-biting on the part of all who needed to serve them…..

    Even pagans have the wisdom to know that this is what is to be done.

  • fws

    sk @ 57

    Amen. and Amen.

    One of the most satisfying works I was given was to work with a non profit that cared for women with HIV and their children, who often also had HIV. We quickly learned that we also had to deal with the men who infected their women. And we need to do this in a non-judgemental and compassionate way. We took that to the extent of avoiding putting a label on those men. Our support group was “msm” or “men who have other sex with men.”

    And drug and alcohol addiction loomed large here too. As did alot of social malajustments related to poverty, illiteracy, the broken probation and penal system, etc etc.

    And dealing with all that stuff was to do what? Care for the little children who were suffering so much really. It was about the kids.

    But to deal with the kids, we had to deal with that government that God had specifically placed in authority over them. No… not the civil government and courts! Not THAT government. I am speaking of that government that our Confessions call by the name “matrimony.” (Large catechism 4th commandment).

    And we had to be very careful to offer assistence to enable those whom God placed in authority, the parents, without in any way encroaching upon that authority. This means that BOTH parents have to voluntarily sign up for , and commit to and welcome such help. A court order won’t really cut it. Lots of tongue-biting on the part of all who needed to serve them…..

    Even pagans have the wisdom to know that this is what is to be done.

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  • DonS

    SKP @ 57: Well articulated, particularly the first two paragraphs.

    I agree with this statement, but with a caveat: “Anyhow, it is something that the pro-life community needs to be thinking about and providing concrete solutions for. We cannot simply condemn abortion and then walk away self-satisfied. We need to take care of the most vulnerable in our communities: the unborn and their mothers.”

    The caveat is that many, many folks in the pro-life community spend their days thinking about and providing concrete solutions/alternatives to abortion for distressed women considering that option. There are many, many resources for these women, most of which are low profile because the women seeking their help are battered or otherwise in need of a safe place to be for a while. While we can always do more, please realize how much is being done. Look around — inquire in your community. I think you will be surprised.

  • DonS

    SKP @ 57: Well articulated, particularly the first two paragraphs.

    I agree with this statement, but with a caveat: “Anyhow, it is something that the pro-life community needs to be thinking about and providing concrete solutions for. We cannot simply condemn abortion and then walk away self-satisfied. We need to take care of the most vulnerable in our communities: the unborn and their mothers.”

    The caveat is that many, many folks in the pro-life community spend their days thinking about and providing concrete solutions/alternatives to abortion for distressed women considering that option. There are many, many resources for these women, most of which are low profile because the women seeking their help are battered or otherwise in need of a safe place to be for a while. While we can always do more, please realize how much is being done. Look around — inquire in your community. I think you will be surprised.

  • SKPeterson

    DonS @ 60. Good points, but somehow those efforts aren’t made part of the argument against abortion. The alternatives never seem to be articulated. Instead of playing up a more holistic view – care of mother and child, advocates for life often come across as simply wanting to “force women to bear children,” to paraphrase Michael B.

    Perhaps it is media bias that diminishes or ignores those efforts. Think as well how often abortion providers are described as women’s healthcare providers, as if they are the only ones providing healthcare options for pregnant women.

  • SKPeterson

    DonS @ 60. Good points, but somehow those efforts aren’t made part of the argument against abortion. The alternatives never seem to be articulated. Instead of playing up a more holistic view – care of mother and child, advocates for life often come across as simply wanting to “force women to bear children,” to paraphrase Michael B.

    Perhaps it is media bias that diminishes or ignores those efforts. Think as well how often abortion providers are described as women’s healthcare providers, as if they are the only ones providing healthcare options for pregnant women.

  • DonS

    Bingo, SKP. The abortion rights crowd and the media does continue to impugn the motivations of the pro-life crowd as a bunch of mysogynistic jerks who want to dominate women. It suits the political strategy. But it ain’t true.

  • DonS

    Bingo, SKP. The abortion rights crowd and the media does continue to impugn the motivations of the pro-life crowd as a bunch of mysogynistic jerks who want to dominate women. It suits the political strategy. But it ain’t true.

  • Grace

    jon @ 58

    “What about a “date rape” scenario? Are you not OK with abortion there?”

    A female who goes out on a date would know the male she’s going out with, therefore she would have some history and choice in dating. If “date rape” occurred, that in NO WAY, is the same as someone who is insane, with a history of violence, singling a female out, accosting her and raping. The two scenarios are not the same.

    Severe mental illness is often hereditary. Schizophrenia can and most always is hereditary in some form, including many other mental illnesses as well. All too often people who are mentally ill are dangerous, they can and do attack others, not just women but children and weaker men. There are many homeless who are extremely mentally ill. I wouldn’t blame a female for obtaining an abortion under such circumstances.

    There are times when the life of the mother is at stake. tubular/ectopic pregnancy for one. There are other cases, but for the most part, “life of the mother” is rarely a reason for ending a pregnancy.

  • Grace

    jon @ 58

    “What about a “date rape” scenario? Are you not OK with abortion there?”

    A female who goes out on a date would know the male she’s going out with, therefore she would have some history and choice in dating. If “date rape” occurred, that in NO WAY, is the same as someone who is insane, with a history of violence, singling a female out, accosting her and raping. The two scenarios are not the same.

    Severe mental illness is often hereditary. Schizophrenia can and most always is hereditary in some form, including many other mental illnesses as well. All too often people who are mentally ill are dangerous, they can and do attack others, not just women but children and weaker men. There are many homeless who are extremely mentally ill. I wouldn’t blame a female for obtaining an abortion under such circumstances.

    There are times when the life of the mother is at stake. tubular/ectopic pregnancy for one. There are other cases, but for the most part, “life of the mother” is rarely a reason for ending a pregnancy.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I thought you were pro-life, Grace.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I thought you were pro-life, Grace.

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

    And the rape argument? Who gets to decide if a rape occurred? The woman? A court? Seems like a lot of men would get falsely accused of rape. Is it rape if the woman is underage, and thus unable to officially give consent? What if she were drunk when she had sex?

    If we are going to make rape a capital crime, how about we execute the rapist instead of his child?

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

    And the rape argument? Who gets to decide if a rape occurred? The woman? A court? Seems like a lot of men would get falsely accused of rape. Is it rape if the woman is underage, and thus unable to officially give consent? What if she were drunk when she had sex?

    If we are going to make rape a capital crime, how about we execute the rapist instead of his child?

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

    In a tubular pregnancy, the child will not survive no matter what. The tube and embryo can be removed and the mother saved, or they can both die, but there is no way to save the baby. The Roman Catholic church doesn’t even consider it abortion, because the child has exactly no chance to live.

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

    In a tubular pregnancy, the child will not survive no matter what. The tube and embryo can be removed and the mother saved, or they can both die, but there is no way to save the baby. The Roman Catholic church doesn’t even consider it abortion, because the child has exactly no chance to live.

  • Grace

    Regarding rape.

    Anyone who is raped, be it a young person or an adult. The best way to identify the rapist is: call the police, go straight to a hospital. Doctors can often observe signs of rape when examining the patient – there are also signs of fighting off the rapist, and semen found anywhere on the victims body.

  • Grace

    Regarding rape.

    Anyone who is raped, be it a young person or an adult. The best way to identify the rapist is: call the police, go straight to a hospital. Doctors can often observe signs of rape when examining the patient – there are also signs of fighting off the rapist, and semen found anywhere on the victims body.

  • Michael B.

    @sg

    “In a tubular pregnancy, the child will not survive no matter what. The tube and embryo can be removed and the mother saved, or they can both die, .”

    In a tubular pregnancy, I know of no case where a live baby has been delivered. However, for other ectopic pregnancies, there are cases where a live baby is delivered and the mother lives as well. So the risk of death to the fetus and the mother is not 100%. Who determines how risky a pregnancy has to be to allow the fetus to be killed? Even more interesting is when psychology comes into play. What about established links between suicide and postpartum depression. And how many exceptions can you allow before you cease to be pro-life? On the forum it appears that Grace was ruled by fiat to have crossed that line.

  • Michael B.

    @sg

    “In a tubular pregnancy, the child will not survive no matter what. The tube and embryo can be removed and the mother saved, or they can both die, .”

    In a tubular pregnancy, I know of no case where a live baby has been delivered. However, for other ectopic pregnancies, there are cases where a live baby is delivered and the mother lives as well. So the risk of death to the fetus and the mother is not 100%. Who determines how risky a pregnancy has to be to allow the fetus to be killed? Even more interesting is when psychology comes into play. What about established links between suicide and postpartum depression. And how many exceptions can you allow before you cease to be pro-life? On the forum it appears that Grace was ruled by fiat to have crossed that line.

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

    “What about established links between suicide and postpartum depression.”

    Suicide and depression are much higher, like 400% higher, among women who have ever had an abortion than among women who have ever had a baby. Postpartum depression is real and can be serious, but, and this is a big but, serious depression and suicide are even higher among the general population. Motherhood is by far the lowest risk life category for depression and suicide. Non-mothers have on average twice the risk for depression that mothers do. (FWIW male suicide and depression is about 3x higher than for women, but who cares about them.)

    Source for this are the health service data collected on the entire population of Britain, and Finland for like 40 years, and all of the women on MedicAid in California. So we are talking millions of subjects and no study design bias. Rock solid data.

    As for drawing a line in the sand for what one has to do or say in order to wear a particular label, not playing that game. Bottom line, elective abortion is the political issue fueling the pro life fire. Notice in Europe where abortion is very restricted, there isn’t much handwringing over abortion.

    http://secularright.org/SR/wordpress/2009/10/07/its-better-in-europe-again/

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

    “What about established links between suicide and postpartum depression.”

    Suicide and depression are much higher, like 400% higher, among women who have ever had an abortion than among women who have ever had a baby. Postpartum depression is real and can be serious, but, and this is a big but, serious depression and suicide are even higher among the general population. Motherhood is by far the lowest risk life category for depression and suicide. Non-mothers have on average twice the risk for depression that mothers do. (FWIW male suicide and depression is about 3x higher than for women, but who cares about them.)

    Source for this are the health service data collected on the entire population of Britain, and Finland for like 40 years, and all of the women on MedicAid in California. So we are talking millions of subjects and no study design bias. Rock solid data.

    As for drawing a line in the sand for what one has to do or say in order to wear a particular label, not playing that game. Bottom line, elective abortion is the political issue fueling the pro life fire. Notice in Europe where abortion is very restricted, there isn’t much handwringing over abortion.

    http://secularright.org/SR/wordpress/2009/10/07/its-better-in-europe-again/

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

    Ectopic pregnancy

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001897/

    Cases of a baby being born of an ectopic pregnancy are not noted on the NIH website. Have you got a link for that?

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

    Ectopic pregnancy

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001897/

    Cases of a baby being born of an ectopic pregnancy are not noted on the NIH website. Have you got a link for that?

  • fws

    sg @ 65

    Let’s go biblical shall we.
    rape in the OT was define as a property rights violation.
    “You break it, you bought it” was the rule.

    So sg,. what was the biblical, legal, just solution for rape?
    Let’s see if you even know.
    What was the rapist required to do to make things “right” legally?

    Bet you can’t tell us! the legal requirement is explicit in the OT. Google it.

  • fws

    sg @ 65

    Let’s go biblical shall we.
    rape in the OT was define as a property rights violation.
    “You break it, you bought it” was the rule.

    So sg,. what was the biblical, legal, just solution for rape?
    Let’s see if you even know.
    What was the rapist required to do to make things “right” legally?

    Bet you can’t tell us! the legal requirement is explicit in the OT. Google it.

  • fws

    sg @ 65

    Assuming you googled “the biblical legal remedy for rape’.

    question: is that a remedy you would advocate today as law?
    Why or why not?. Let’s discuss.

  • fws

    sg @ 65

    Assuming you googled “the biblical legal remedy for rape’.

    question: is that a remedy you would advocate today as law?
    Why or why not?. Let’s discuss.

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

    How about this, fws, why don’t you make your case?

    Do you think the ancient world parameters are somehow similar to today’s and such remedies are generally applicable now? I mean back then, they did not have the same resources to deal with offenders.

    That doesn’t mean the same moral standards don’t apply because right and wrong don’t change, but specific remedies?

    Also, what would you ask of pro abortion people to justify elective abortion?

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

    How about this, fws, why don’t you make your case?

    Do you think the ancient world parameters are somehow similar to today’s and such remedies are generally applicable now? I mean back then, they did not have the same resources to deal with offenders.

    That doesn’t mean the same moral standards don’t apply because right and wrong don’t change, but specific remedies?

    Also, what would you ask of pro abortion people to justify elective abortion?

  • Grace

    Some ask questions regarding the Old Testament law for rape. Interesting – rape is punishable by prison, as it should be.

    A RAPIST, can never make it right to his victim, it’s a life long memory or torment, danger, and intrusion into the victims most private parts.

    No one has the right to take away the innocence of anyone, by forceing their sexual desires upon another. Rape is a violent crime, by which all, and any punishment, should be executed, according to the law.

    I have never spoken with a person who considered rape, anything but barbaric, and a heinous crime against their bodies.

  • Grace

    Some ask questions regarding the Old Testament law for rape. Interesting – rape is punishable by prison, as it should be.

    A RAPIST, can never make it right to his victim, it’s a life long memory or torment, danger, and intrusion into the victims most private parts.

    No one has the right to take away the innocence of anyone, by forceing their sexual desires upon another. Rape is a violent crime, by which all, and any punishment, should be executed, according to the law.

    I have never spoken with a person who considered rape, anything but barbaric, and a heinous crime against their bodies.

  • Michael B.

    @fws@71

    “Let’s go biblical shall we.
    rape in the OT was define as a property rights violation.
    “You break it, you bought it” was the rule.”

    Ha! That is brilliant. I’ve never heard it phrased that way before. Did you come up with that yourself?

  • Michael B.

    @fws@71

    “Let’s go biblical shall we.
    rape in the OT was define as a property rights violation.
    “You break it, you bought it” was the rule.”

    Ha! That is brilliant. I’ve never heard it phrased that way before. Did you come up with that yourself?

  • Michael B.

    @sg@70

    “Cases of a baby being born of an ectopic pregnancy are not noted on the NIH website. Have you got a link for that?”

    Yes. The article quotes the sources.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ectopic_pregnancy#Cases_with_live_birth

  • Michael B.

    @sg@70

    “Cases of a baby being born of an ectopic pregnancy are not noted on the NIH website. Have you got a link for that?”

    Yes. The article quotes the sources.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ectopic_pregnancy#Cases_with_live_birth

  • Michael B.

    @sg

    “Bottom line, elective abortion is the political issue fueling the pro life fire.”

    So then what are you against? Abortion or choice?

  • Michael B.

    @sg

    “Bottom line, elective abortion is the political issue fueling the pro life fire.”

    So then what are you against? Abortion or choice?

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

    Not all rape is violent. Consider statutory rape. Probably in OT times, such stuff was just as disruptive as it is now. Young folks have always been prone to passion and lapses in judgement. Talking a young girl into sex/seducing her is the kind of thing that fathers have been known to “fix” with the demand that the guy “buy” what he “broke” more recently with the added threat of the shotgun.

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

    Not all rape is violent. Consider statutory rape. Probably in OT times, such stuff was just as disruptive as it is now. Young folks have always been prone to passion and lapses in judgement. Talking a young girl into sex/seducing her is the kind of thing that fathers have been known to “fix” with the demand that the guy “buy” what he “broke” more recently with the added threat of the shotgun.

  • fws

    sg @ 78

    You are engaging in anachronism. You are projecting our social context and convention (of the idylic 50s?) back 4000 years. stop.

    In the OT rape is a violation of property rights. Women are property. Period. Debate about whether or not it was violent would not even come up. We can’t go back to the biblical definition of rape as a society. Why? the Biblical definition of marriage has changes. Now we have shifted to the legal meaning, which has also changed.

    Marriage is a legally binding contract entered into by two equal parties who possess “contractual capacity”. Women historically had NO contractual capacity. There was a sales contract. The wedding contract was a bill of sale. Dowry was the payment. It went to the family of the bride upon transfer of title.

  • fws

    sg @ 78

    You are engaging in anachronism. You are projecting our social context and convention (of the idylic 50s?) back 4000 years. stop.

    In the OT rape is a violation of property rights. Women are property. Period. Debate about whether or not it was violent would not even come up. We can’t go back to the biblical definition of rape as a society. Why? the Biblical definition of marriage has changes. Now we have shifted to the legal meaning, which has also changed.

    Marriage is a legally binding contract entered into by two equal parties who possess “contractual capacity”. Women historically had NO contractual capacity. There was a sales contract. The wedding contract was a bill of sale. Dowry was the payment. It went to the family of the bride upon transfer of title.

  • fws

    sg @ 78

    In EVERY case, legally, in the OT, the remedy for rape was for the rapist to marry the victim. The female had absolutely NO choice in the matter. Your daughter would have no choice in the matter. She would have become ceremonially unclean and with no other possible future. Damaged goods. Read the text as it is meant to be read SG.

  • fws

    sg @ 78

    In EVERY case, legally, in the OT, the remedy for rape was for the rapist to marry the victim. The female had absolutely NO choice in the matter. Your daughter would have no choice in the matter. She would have become ceremonially unclean and with no other possible future. Damaged goods. Read the text as it is meant to be read SG.

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

    “So then what are you against? Abortion or choice?”

    And what are you evaluating? Reasonable policies or the people discussing the policies?

    You know, I don’t really care how perfectly pro life Grace, or Todd, or fws are. I think we, as a society should have laws that are reasonably in line with the ethics and beliefs of the majority. We don’t have that, and that is why there is so much griping. Abortion laws are not close to what the majority want them to be. That is also why it is so common for legislatures to easily pass restrictions. We want restrictions like Europe and Latin America have. Absolute prohibition doesn’t reflect the fact that people understand that there are weird and unusual cases, so there has to be some flexibility.

    There exist nuances and complexities that are not addressed by Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton which just lay the whole thing wide open to rampant abuse and which ignore the most basic human rights of children.

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

    “So then what are you against? Abortion or choice?”

    And what are you evaluating? Reasonable policies or the people discussing the policies?

    You know, I don’t really care how perfectly pro life Grace, or Todd, or fws are. I think we, as a society should have laws that are reasonably in line with the ethics and beliefs of the majority. We don’t have that, and that is why there is so much griping. Abortion laws are not close to what the majority want them to be. That is also why it is so common for legislatures to easily pass restrictions. We want restrictions like Europe and Latin America have. Absolute prohibition doesn’t reflect the fact that people understand that there are weird and unusual cases, so there has to be some flexibility.

    There exist nuances and complexities that are not addressed by Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton which just lay the whole thing wide open to rampant abuse and which ignore the most basic human rights of children.

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

    fws, I think you overstate the case. In any case, it would be helpful if you cited exactly what you are referring to. I admit I haven’t spent any time trying to evaluate whether any state should implement OT remedies for rape. I did look it up finally. This comment seems to assume statutory ‘rape’ is the case remedied by marriage. If anything, a passage like that is a commendation to fathers to keep their daughters away from possible seducers/rapists.

    http://www.gotquestions.org/Deuteronomy-22-28-29-marry-rapist.html

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

    fws, I think you overstate the case. In any case, it would be helpful if you cited exactly what you are referring to. I admit I haven’t spent any time trying to evaluate whether any state should implement OT remedies for rape. I did look it up finally. This comment seems to assume statutory ‘rape’ is the case remedied by marriage. If anything, a passage like that is a commendation to fathers to keep their daughters away from possible seducers/rapists.

    http://www.gotquestions.org/Deuteronomy-22-28-29-marry-rapist.html

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

    Hey, since we are now discussing rape, here is an interesting article:

    Criminals Look Different From Noncriminals

    Yes, once again, you CAN judge a book by its cover
    Published on March 13, 2011 by Satoshi Kanazawa in The Scientific Fundamentalist

    As it turns out, humans possess the ability to tell who’s a criminal and who’s not simply by looking at them because criminals look different from noncriminals.
    In this blog, I have repeatedly emphasized the fact that virtually all “stereotypes” are empirically true. If they weren’t true, they would not be stereotypes in the first place. To my knowledge, all of the very, very few stereotypes that are not empirically true, for some reason, have to do with people’s appearance. Hence, it is not true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it is not true that beauty is only skin-deep.

    Another “stereotype” about physical appearance that is not empirically true is “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” In previous posts, I have explained that women can tell which men would make good fathers and which men would make bad fathers simply by looking at them. And people can tell who is altruistic and who is egoistic simply by looking at a 30-second video clip without sound.

    So, contrary to popular belief, you can assess people’s character and personality by simply looking at them. Nice people look nice, and nasty people look nasty, and it appears that humans have innate psychological mechanisms to tell them apart. Now, in a truly groundbreaking study, recently published in the Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, Jeffrey M. Valla, Stephen J. Ceci, and Wendy M. Williams of Cornell University show that people can tell criminals and noncriminals apart simply by looking at their still photos. Criminals, it appears, look different from noncriminals.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201103/criminals-look-different-noncriminals

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

    Hey, since we are now discussing rape, here is an interesting article:

    Criminals Look Different From Noncriminals

    Yes, once again, you CAN judge a book by its cover
    Published on March 13, 2011 by Satoshi Kanazawa in The Scientific Fundamentalist

    As it turns out, humans possess the ability to tell who’s a criminal and who’s not simply by looking at them because criminals look different from noncriminals.
    In this blog, I have repeatedly emphasized the fact that virtually all “stereotypes” are empirically true. If they weren’t true, they would not be stereotypes in the first place. To my knowledge, all of the very, very few stereotypes that are not empirically true, for some reason, have to do with people’s appearance. Hence, it is not true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it is not true that beauty is only skin-deep.

    Another “stereotype” about physical appearance that is not empirically true is “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” In previous posts, I have explained that women can tell which men would make good fathers and which men would make bad fathers simply by looking at them. And people can tell who is altruistic and who is egoistic simply by looking at a 30-second video clip without sound.

    So, contrary to popular belief, you can assess people’s character and personality by simply looking at them. Nice people look nice, and nasty people look nasty, and it appears that humans have innate psychological mechanisms to tell them apart. Now, in a truly groundbreaking study, recently published in the Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, Jeffrey M. Valla, Stephen J. Ceci, and Wendy M. Williams of Cornell University show that people can tell criminals and noncriminals apart simply by looking at their still photos. Criminals, it appears, look different from noncriminals.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201103/criminals-look-different-noncriminals

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

    oops, I quoted the wrong section.

    There is one seemingly anomalous finding in their paper. In both experiments, women are unable to spot rapists. Women consistently rate convicted rapists to be less likely to be criminal than not only other types of criminals but noncriminals as well! While this may be initially puzzling, upon further reflection, it makes perfect sense, as Valla et al. explain in their paper. In order to be a successful rapist, the man has to be able to fool the woman and earn her trust initially. Men who “fit the bill” by looking like a rapist or otherwise criminal and dangerous would not be able to do that. They would not be able to get close enough to the women to rape them. This may be why women, but not men, are unable to spot rapists, even though women are equally good as men at spotting other types of criminals.

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

    oops, I quoted the wrong section.

    There is one seemingly anomalous finding in their paper. In both experiments, women are unable to spot rapists. Women consistently rate convicted rapists to be less likely to be criminal than not only other types of criminals but noncriminals as well! While this may be initially puzzling, upon further reflection, it makes perfect sense, as Valla et al. explain in their paper. In order to be a successful rapist, the man has to be able to fool the woman and earn her trust initially. Men who “fit the bill” by looking like a rapist or otherwise criminal and dangerous would not be able to do that. They would not be able to get close enough to the women to rape them. This may be why women, but not men, are unable to spot rapists, even though women are equally good as men at spotting other types of criminals.

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

    @76 Fascinating. Thanks for pointing that out. Now I am thinking, hey, so a guy could maybe gestate a baby…

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

    @76 Fascinating. Thanks for pointing that out. Now I am thinking, hey, so a guy could maybe gestate a baby…

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

    “If you pressure pro-lifers enough, in general I find that the many will allow abortions under some cases.”

    And what do you find if you pressure pro aborts enough?

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

    “If you pressure pro-lifers enough, in general I find that the many will allow abortions under some cases.”

    And what do you find if you pressure pro aborts enough?

  • Michael B.

    @sg

    “We want restrictions like Europe and Latin America have.”

    Europe? European countries, like any First World countries have very liberal abortion laws. They have restrictions, but they’re big enough to drive a truck through. Wikipedia has a nice summary if you’d like to check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_law
    Generally speaking, a woman who goes to get an abortion in America could also legally obtain that same abortion in Europe.

    In second and third world countries, you see much more restrictive abortion policies. Chile has extremely restrictive abortion policies, yet they have an abortion rate that’s more than twice ours (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Chile references the estimated number of illegal abortions with source, compare with Guttmacher number of abortions in US, then compare to populations of both countries)

  • Michael B.

    @sg

    “We want restrictions like Europe and Latin America have.”

    Europe? European countries, like any First World countries have very liberal abortion laws. They have restrictions, but they’re big enough to drive a truck through. Wikipedia has a nice summary if you’d like to check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_law
    Generally speaking, a woman who goes to get an abortion in America could also legally obtain that same abortion in Europe.

    In second and third world countries, you see much more restrictive abortion policies. Chile has extremely restrictive abortion policies, yet they have an abortion rate that’s more than twice ours (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Chile references the estimated number of illegal abortions with source, compare with Guttmacher number of abortions in US, then compare to populations of both countries)

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

    Chile is not third world.

    Anyway, look how much lower the abortion rates are in Europe. So much for driving a truck through their restrictions. Meanwhile Russian rates are sky high and they have practically no restrictions. Just coincidence?

    There is a difference between theory and reality.

    My point is that Europe and Latin America have laws they actually voted for. They don’t have a fiat from on high preventing them from enacting the laws they want in their individual lands. We do. Ireland and Poland have very restrictive laws. Maybe they are the Mississippi and Texas of Europe. Do people have the right to rule themselves or not? Those in this country who are somehow labeled left are anything but.

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

    Chile is not third world.

    Anyway, look how much lower the abortion rates are in Europe. So much for driving a truck through their restrictions. Meanwhile Russian rates are sky high and they have practically no restrictions. Just coincidence?

    There is a difference between theory and reality.

    My point is that Europe and Latin America have laws they actually voted for. They don’t have a fiat from on high preventing them from enacting the laws they want in their individual lands. We do. Ireland and Poland have very restrictive laws. Maybe they are the Mississippi and Texas of Europe. Do people have the right to rule themselves or not? Those in this country who are somehow labeled left are anything but.

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

    LOL, estimated illegal abortions! Estimated by whom? This is the same crap we saw from abortion promoters before Roe v. Wade. After Roe v. Wade, they admitted that they lied.

    They said the same thing about abortion in Mexico. That there were tons of illegal abortions per year. Then when they made it free and legal in Mexico City, well whaddaya know, only about 1/10 that number showed up for safe legal and free abortions in regular hospitals. Huh? what happened? I guess they were a little off in their estimates.

    See, all this theory just doesn’t match reality.

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

    LOL, estimated illegal abortions! Estimated by whom? This is the same crap we saw from abortion promoters before Roe v. Wade. After Roe v. Wade, they admitted that they lied.

    They said the same thing about abortion in Mexico. That there were tons of illegal abortions per year. Then when they made it free and legal in Mexico City, well whaddaya know, only about 1/10 that number showed up for safe legal and free abortions in regular hospitals. Huh? what happened? I guess they were a little off in their estimates.

    See, all this theory just doesn’t match reality.

  • Fws

    The argument is that roe v wade has set the clock waaaaay back to nt times where the head of house is sovreign over family members. Yes this has not been a consistent move granted. And the head of house? The pregnant woman. See the argument now?

    Society has been shrinking the power of the family govt for a long time now. Child labor laws are an example. So is womens suffrage. So even, is the end of slavery actually. So are child abuse laws, the end of arranged marriages, etc. So what is the reasoned balance here between the power of the state and of a head of household?

    Abortion, we are suggestion, fits into this larger frame. And no one is really adressing it as a single overarching issue. And it is.

  • Fws

    The argument is that roe v wade has set the clock waaaaay back to nt times where the head of house is sovreign over family members. Yes this has not been a consistent move granted. And the head of house? The pregnant woman. See the argument now?

    Society has been shrinking the power of the family govt for a long time now. Child labor laws are an example. So is womens suffrage. So even, is the end of slavery actually. So are child abuse laws, the end of arranged marriages, etc. So what is the reasoned balance here between the power of the state and of a head of household?

    Abortion, we are suggestion, fits into this larger frame. And no one is really adressing it as a single overarching issue. And it is.

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

    Abortion, we are suggestion, fits into this larger frame. And no one is really adressing it as a single overarching issue. And it is.

    Don’t feminists sometimes make the point that absolute control over reproduction, aka life itself, is central to their philosophy. Obviously men don’t have that kind of power. If a man has relations with a woman, he doesn’t absolutely control the outcome. If just avoiding reproduction were the issue, then sterilization would be central, but it isn’t. Rather control is the issue: who decides who lives and who dies. So, you are right that it is an overarching issue.

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

    Abortion, we are suggestion, fits into this larger frame. And no one is really adressing it as a single overarching issue. And it is.

    Don’t feminists sometimes make the point that absolute control over reproduction, aka life itself, is central to their philosophy. Obviously men don’t have that kind of power. If a man has relations with a woman, he doesn’t absolutely control the outcome. If just avoiding reproduction were the issue, then sterilization would be central, but it isn’t. Rather control is the issue: who decides who lives and who dies. So, you are right that it is an overarching issue.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. said (@87):

    Chile has extremely restrictive abortion policies, yet they have an abortion rate that’s more than twice ours…

    Criminy, you’re not very good at this. First of all, the Wikipedia article you cite for the “estimated number of illegal abortions” in Chile also contains the phrase “While there are no accurate statistics…” Which, you know, makes it a fairly pointless exercise to even try to do statistics with this. But you tried, so let’s pretend that estimate is accurate.

    Anyhow, Wikipedia then goes on to note that “it is estimated that between 2000 and 2002 there were between 132,000 and 160,000 abortions in the country.” You may note that those numbers are a total for three years, not one. I tried to find the statistics in the PDF Wikipedia cited, but could not — though that might be due to my middling Spanish abilities.

    Anyhow, abortions per capita is a statistically goofy thing to try to calculate, but I looked up the other relevant demographics on Chile and the US (age population distribution, male/female distribution for the relevant age group, and, most importantly, birth rate — I couldn’t easily find anything on pregnancy rates, should those exist) and Chile and the US were, eh, close enough on those that per capita might just work out.

    Still, Chile had (it is inaccurately estimated) between 44,000 and 53,333 abortions per year between 2000 and 2002, and had a population of 15.33 million in 2001. That’s between 2.9 and 3.5 abortions per 1000 people, annually.

    Meanwhile, according to Guttmacher (whom you asked us to use), in the US, “In 2008, 1.21 million abortions were performed, down from 1.31 million in 2000″. We want to compare similar time frames, so we’ll go with the 2000 number. In 2000, the US population was 281 million. That’s 4.7 abortions per 1000 people, annually.

    So does Chile “have an abortion rate that’s more than twice ours”? Um, no. Not at all. It’s not even more than ours, according to some inaccurate estimate. Sheesh.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. said (@87):

    Chile has extremely restrictive abortion policies, yet they have an abortion rate that’s more than twice ours…

    Criminy, you’re not very good at this. First of all, the Wikipedia article you cite for the “estimated number of illegal abortions” in Chile also contains the phrase “While there are no accurate statistics…” Which, you know, makes it a fairly pointless exercise to even try to do statistics with this. But you tried, so let’s pretend that estimate is accurate.

    Anyhow, Wikipedia then goes on to note that “it is estimated that between 2000 and 2002 there were between 132,000 and 160,000 abortions in the country.” You may note that those numbers are a total for three years, not one. I tried to find the statistics in the PDF Wikipedia cited, but could not — though that might be due to my middling Spanish abilities.

    Anyhow, abortions per capita is a statistically goofy thing to try to calculate, but I looked up the other relevant demographics on Chile and the US (age population distribution, male/female distribution for the relevant age group, and, most importantly, birth rate — I couldn’t easily find anything on pregnancy rates, should those exist) and Chile and the US were, eh, close enough on those that per capita might just work out.

    Still, Chile had (it is inaccurately estimated) between 44,000 and 53,333 abortions per year between 2000 and 2002, and had a population of 15.33 million in 2001. That’s between 2.9 and 3.5 abortions per 1000 people, annually.

    Meanwhile, according to Guttmacher (whom you asked us to use), in the US, “In 2008, 1.21 million abortions were performed, down from 1.31 million in 2000″. We want to compare similar time frames, so we’ll go with the 2000 number. In 2000, the US population was 281 million. That’s 4.7 abortions per 1000 people, annually.

    So does Chile “have an abortion rate that’s more than twice ours”? Um, no. Not at all. It’s not even more than ours, according to some inaccurate estimate. Sheesh.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B also said (@87):

    Generally speaking, a woman who goes to get an abortion in America could also legally obtain that same abortion in Europe.

    Did you even read the Wikipedia article you pointed us to? Here’s a quote from it:

    Although nearly every European country makes abortion available on demand during the first trimester, when it comes to later-term abortions, there are very few with laws as liberal as those of the United States.

    According to Guttmacher, 12% of US abortions occur after the first trimester, so right there, 12% of the American women you mentioned would find things different in Europe.

    I’m also curious what you think a “second world” country is. Bonus points if you don’t have to look it up before you tell me.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B also said (@87):

    Generally speaking, a woman who goes to get an abortion in America could also legally obtain that same abortion in Europe.

    Did you even read the Wikipedia article you pointed us to? Here’s a quote from it:

    Although nearly every European country makes abortion available on demand during the first trimester, when it comes to later-term abortions, there are very few with laws as liberal as those of the United States.

    According to Guttmacher, 12% of US abortions occur after the first trimester, so right there, 12% of the American women you mentioned would find things different in Europe.

    I’m also curious what you think a “second world” country is. Bonus points if you don’t have to look it up before you tell me.

  • fws

    sg @ 91

    There again SG their argument assumes lots of stuff. Only someone post enlightenment would think to make the reason-able argument that is so individualistic. “My body”. Until around 186o the body of those women would have been the literal property of some man some where. and then our side responds with also an argument based upon individual rights.

    I am arguing that there is a larger issue of authority that isn’t being argued or debated. Who has authority over life , and why and on what basis. society changed from women being property, which I think is a good thing , probably because I am also a modern, influenced to just assume certain things are certain, such as the enlightenment doctrine of individual liberty being sacred.
    And so this same issue pops up all over the place. Homeschooling is one such place I suggest. Blood transfusions for JW children is another. Even spanking children in Sweden I read.
    These are all issues about where authority is to be placed. but no one thinks of all these issues in a connected way.

    I am suggesting we should and must SG. Do we really want parents to have total authority over their kids? Or even.. the extended family patriarch (extended family here traditionally meant tribe), or not? Why? Why not? Should that authority be divided between family and state according to some principle? what principle would that be? says who? based upon what?

    I think that needs to be the center of debate.

  • fws

    sg @ 91

    There again SG their argument assumes lots of stuff. Only someone post enlightenment would think to make the reason-able argument that is so individualistic. “My body”. Until around 186o the body of those women would have been the literal property of some man some where. and then our side responds with also an argument based upon individual rights.

    I am arguing that there is a larger issue of authority that isn’t being argued or debated. Who has authority over life , and why and on what basis. society changed from women being property, which I think is a good thing , probably because I am also a modern, influenced to just assume certain things are certain, such as the enlightenment doctrine of individual liberty being sacred.
    And so this same issue pops up all over the place. Homeschooling is one such place I suggest. Blood transfusions for JW children is another. Even spanking children in Sweden I read.
    These are all issues about where authority is to be placed. but no one thinks of all these issues in a connected way.

    I am suggesting we should and must SG. Do we really want parents to have total authority over their kids? Or even.. the extended family patriarch (extended family here traditionally meant tribe), or not? Why? Why not? Should that authority be divided between family and state according to some principle? what principle would that be? says who? based upon what?

    I think that needs to be the center of debate.

  • Michael B.

    @Todd

    “You may note that those numbers are a total for three years, not one.”
    You’re right. I should have read more carefully. I wish we had the source. I’d love to know the author’s methods, which months were compared, and other information.

    “according to some inaccurate estimate.”
    There’s a sliding scale here. Obviously stats on an illegal activity won’t be as accurate as a legal one. But that doesn’t stop us from estimating illegal drug usage all the time. Having said that, one point that I’d bring up if I were you is that we aren’t comparing abortions from abortifacient birth control and the morning after pill, which are not only not compared, but would be difficult to estimate. So that would reduce accuracy of the abortion rate even further.

    “According to Guttmacher, 12% of US abortions occur after the first trimester, so right there, 12% of the American women you mentioned would find things different in Europe.”

    It looks like you’re got your logic reversed. 88% of abortions would be unaffected. So right there, little seems to change. Of the 12%, they need some sort of reason. But a lot of those reasons are allowed to be “mental health” or “socialeconomic” . Finally in a practical sense, European countries as just much smaller than the US. Going to another country is like commuting to another city.

    “I’m also curious what you think a “second world” country is”

    Of course this was meant in the economic sense, not in a political one. In another sense, I’m speaking in terms of education. Educated populations tend to have relatively high regards for women’s rights. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that places like Africa have the some of the most restrictive laws on women’s reproductive rights.

  • Michael B.

    @Todd

    “You may note that those numbers are a total for three years, not one.”
    You’re right. I should have read more carefully. I wish we had the source. I’d love to know the author’s methods, which months were compared, and other information.

    “according to some inaccurate estimate.”
    There’s a sliding scale here. Obviously stats on an illegal activity won’t be as accurate as a legal one. But that doesn’t stop us from estimating illegal drug usage all the time. Having said that, one point that I’d bring up if I were you is that we aren’t comparing abortions from abortifacient birth control and the morning after pill, which are not only not compared, but would be difficult to estimate. So that would reduce accuracy of the abortion rate even further.

    “According to Guttmacher, 12% of US abortions occur after the first trimester, so right there, 12% of the American women you mentioned would find things different in Europe.”

    It looks like you’re got your logic reversed. 88% of abortions would be unaffected. So right there, little seems to change. Of the 12%, they need some sort of reason. But a lot of those reasons are allowed to be “mental health” or “socialeconomic” . Finally in a practical sense, European countries as just much smaller than the US. Going to another country is like commuting to another city.

    “I’m also curious what you think a “second world” country is”

    Of course this was meant in the economic sense, not in a political one. In another sense, I’m speaking in terms of education. Educated populations tend to have relatively high regards for women’s rights. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that places like Africa have the some of the most restrictive laws on women’s reproductive rights.

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

    Until around 186o the body of those women would have been the literal property of some man some where. and then our side responds with also an argument based upon individual rights.

    Again, I think this is just overstatement. I am thinking of the laws of succession to the various thrones of Europe. If women were just property in those cultures, why did Kings and governments create such laws allowing women accession to the the throne? I am fine with acknowledging that those cultures operated with women primarily domestically oriented, but there is tons of evidence from history that was only primary not absolute. Women were a smaller fraction of people in business and public life than men. They also had their rights more closely tied to the head of household rather than as individual rights, but men derived their position largely because of their role as leader of their families. Society wasn’t so atomized as it is now. So, while there is some truth to what you are saying, you mischaracterize it a bit.

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

    Until around 186o the body of those women would have been the literal property of some man some where. and then our side responds with also an argument based upon individual rights.

    Again, I think this is just overstatement. I am thinking of the laws of succession to the various thrones of Europe. If women were just property in those cultures, why did Kings and governments create such laws allowing women accession to the the throne? I am fine with acknowledging that those cultures operated with women primarily domestically oriented, but there is tons of evidence from history that was only primary not absolute. Women were a smaller fraction of people in business and public life than men. They also had their rights more closely tied to the head of household rather than as individual rights, but men derived their position largely because of their role as leader of their families. Society wasn’t so atomized as it is now. So, while there is some truth to what you are saying, you mischaracterize it a bit.

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

    “I’d love to know the author’s methods, which months were compared, and other information.”

    Yeah, we all would. If it were solid, they would be announcing it. Given that they have the funding to research it and announce what they found and how they found it, the fact that they don’t leaves us all wondering why, or suspect that they don’t have good methods and data.

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

    “I’d love to know the author’s methods, which months were compared, and other information.”

    Yeah, we all would. If it were solid, they would be announcing it. Given that they have the funding to research it and announce what they found and how they found it, the fact that they don’t leaves us all wondering why, or suspect that they don’t have good methods and data.

  • Peter

    Michael,

    Our country has laws that make men go to war and possibly die. Why is it such a big deal that women are only forced to be in an unwanted pregnancy (which most of the time is a problem of their own making)

  • Peter

    Michael,

    Our country has laws that make men go to war and possibly die. Why is it such a big deal that women are only forced to be in an unwanted pregnancy (which most of the time is a problem of their own making)

  • fws

    Sg @ 96

    It is not an overstatement. It is rather a characterization of the situation back then SG. And it is an accurate one. Many if not most reformation figures were against Mary and Elizabeth ascending to the throne for the broad social consensus I accurately caractarized.

    It reflected what Islamic culture looks like today I again assert. In the larger cities and some areas there is a liberalization. It is recognized as such. The “tradition” is acknowledged, even by the more liberal Muslims, to be what is practiced in rural afghanistan.

    I read somewhere, and I am too lazy to google it, that as late as 1830 there are court cases in Mass, that justified the treatment of slaves by saying that women and children have the same legal standing.

    Do some more googling SG and I think you will find that what I am saying is the honest assessment of things if one is not trying to make some point in one direction or the other.

    Let me give you a caveat to what I have said: Hebrew culture is the only OT era culture where women could own property. The divorce laws seemed to be clearly set up to not leave an abandoned woman and her children destitute. If a woman can own property, one could argue that that means that she is not, exactly, property! But then as now, no one was bothered by logical inconsistencies. We can’t base an argument on that. My characterization, I think you will find, stands.

    One last word: You cannot read the description of Christ and the church in eph 5 , or anywhere….properly withhout knowing that women were bought and sold and had NO say so in any of this. This means that decision theology as in “I made a decision for Christ” would simply and obviously be wrong. So even in important doctrines, what I am saying matters and matters alot.

  • fws

    Sg @ 96

    It is not an overstatement. It is rather a characterization of the situation back then SG. And it is an accurate one. Many if not most reformation figures were against Mary and Elizabeth ascending to the throne for the broad social consensus I accurately caractarized.

    It reflected what Islamic culture looks like today I again assert. In the larger cities and some areas there is a liberalization. It is recognized as such. The “tradition” is acknowledged, even by the more liberal Muslims, to be what is practiced in rural afghanistan.

    I read somewhere, and I am too lazy to google it, that as late as 1830 there are court cases in Mass, that justified the treatment of slaves by saying that women and children have the same legal standing.

    Do some more googling SG and I think you will find that what I am saying is the honest assessment of things if one is not trying to make some point in one direction or the other.

    Let me give you a caveat to what I have said: Hebrew culture is the only OT era culture where women could own property. The divorce laws seemed to be clearly set up to not leave an abandoned woman and her children destitute. If a woman can own property, one could argue that that means that she is not, exactly, property! But then as now, no one was bothered by logical inconsistencies. We can’t base an argument on that. My characterization, I think you will find, stands.

    One last word: You cannot read the description of Christ and the church in eph 5 , or anywhere….properly withhout knowing that women were bought and sold and had NO say so in any of this. This means that decision theology as in “I made a decision for Christ” would simply and obviously be wrong. So even in important doctrines, what I am saying matters and matters alot.

  • fws

    peter @ 98

    Peter it is a big deal because abortion, in any situation at all, is the taking of a human life . And it is even more horrible, because this crime against humanity is perpetrated by those charged to protect that life and not only protect it, cherish it and nurture it.

    Your analogy sucks I am saying. :)

    I could be a conscientious objector and there would be nothing at all wrong with that as long as I would be willing to pay the consequences of that, such as prison time or whatever.

  • fws

    peter @ 98

    Peter it is a big deal because abortion, in any situation at all, is the taking of a human life . And it is even more horrible, because this crime against humanity is perpetrated by those charged to protect that life and not only protect it, cherish it and nurture it.

    Your analogy sucks I am saying. :)

    I could be a conscientious objector and there would be nothing at all wrong with that as long as I would be willing to pay the consequences of that, such as prison time or whatever.

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

    “Hebrew culture is the only OT era culture where women could own property.”

    Okay, but in general what is she even going to do with property? There is no point in her owning it. It is more reasonable for her son or husband’s brother or nephew to get it because they have families to support. If she did own the dang farm, who would manage it? Her brother-in-law, or son or nephew? Would he have to come to her for this and that and have her lording in over him because after all it is her farm? Not a good set-up. Better for her son to get it and be obliged to take care of her and have her help him and have him be in charge than to have her be in charge. I don’t know about back then exactly but if guys generally married women a few years younger and then the men died a few years younger, then there would always be these older women with full grown sons with families. Then here is their mother technically owning the place and trying to use that fact to get her way in the household. Can you say unhealthy situation? Far better for the sons to get the property so they can use the asset properly and not have mom throwing her weight around.

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

    “Hebrew culture is the only OT era culture where women could own property.”

    Okay, but in general what is she even going to do with property? There is no point in her owning it. It is more reasonable for her son or husband’s brother or nephew to get it because they have families to support. If she did own the dang farm, who would manage it? Her brother-in-law, or son or nephew? Would he have to come to her for this and that and have her lording in over him because after all it is her farm? Not a good set-up. Better for her son to get it and be obliged to take care of her and have her help him and have him be in charge than to have her be in charge. I don’t know about back then exactly but if guys generally married women a few years younger and then the men died a few years younger, then there would always be these older women with full grown sons with families. Then here is their mother technically owning the place and trying to use that fact to get her way in the household. Can you say unhealthy situation? Far better for the sons to get the property so they can use the asset properly and not have mom throwing her weight around.

  • Fws

    Sg @101

    You are still filtering with modern assumptions. “Nuclear family” then looked like a small village where everyone was related. The patriarch, the oldest male, would be the life/death decision maker. Women who were raped ( if u didnt die you didnt fight hard enuf…)or divorced were banished. Their only hope was to be taken in by another neighboring tribe/village. As things became more urban in jesus time , the same social assumptions remained.

    I still suggest that the best way to overcome your anachroinistic backflush or our modern culture is to assume that then was very similar to whar afganistan looks like now. It should be close.

  • Fws

    Sg @101

    You are still filtering with modern assumptions. “Nuclear family” then looked like a small village where everyone was related. The patriarch, the oldest male, would be the life/death decision maker. Women who were raped ( if u didnt die you didnt fight hard enuf…)or divorced were banished. Their only hope was to be taken in by another neighboring tribe/village. As things became more urban in jesus time , the same social assumptions remained.

    I still suggest that the best way to overcome your anachroinistic backflush or our modern culture is to assume that then was very similar to whar afganistan looks like now. It should be close.

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

    fws, it is a little hard to follow what exactly your point is. I agree life was organized very differently, but the idea that people in families weren’t looking out for their own and treated their wives and daughters callously is just painting with too broad a brush.

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

    fws, it is a little hard to follow what exactly your point is. I agree life was organized very differently, but the idea that people in families weren’t looking out for their own and treated their wives and daughters callously is just painting with too broad a brush.

  • Grace

    How many of you have studied Absalom, his sister Tamar, who was raped by Amnon her brother? Don’t forget King David was the father.

  • Grace

    How many of you have studied Absalom, his sister Tamar, who was raped by Amnon her brother? Don’t forget King David was the father.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. said (@95):

    It looks like you’re got your logic reversed. 88% of abortions would be unaffected. So right there, little seems to change.

    Nope. That was, in fact, my point, that 12% of the US population getting abortions would immediately run up against the fact that, in Europe, abortions are largely confined to the first trimester.

    12% isn’t “little”. It’s a pretty big hole in your assertion (@87) that:

    Generally speaking, a woman who goes to get an abortion in America could also legally obtain that same abortion in Europe.

    And that’s before we even consider countries like Ireland, Luxembourg, and Poland. Of course, many countries in Europe’s eastern half have abortion laws more similar to the US than in western Europe.

    Still, you are incorrect when you say:

    Of the 12%, they need some sort of reason. But a lot of those reasons are allowed to be “mental health” or “socialeconomic”

    Again, did you read your own citation? In quite a number of European countries, things like “socio-economic factors”, “mental health”, etc., are only mitigating factors making abortion legal in the first trimester, not after it — that is, for the “88%”. This is true for Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland — though check the Wikipedia chart to see which circumstances are limited in what way.

    But remember what this is all in response to. SG said (@81), “We want restrictions like Europe and Latin America have.” You seem to have largely ignored the Latin American aspect of that, but even so, I’m pretty certain I and most US pro-lifers would be thrilled to have abortion limited to just the first trimester, and not merely “on demand”, but for some (limited) subset of reasons. That would be, as they say, a good start.

    European countries as just much smaller than the US. Going to another country is like commuting to another city.

    Are you saying that all these countries, many of which have nationalized health care, just allow anyone from any other country to get equal care from them as if they were citizens? Because that is the issue at hand, not ease of travel.

    Also, “second world” only ever applied to Communist states, so I have no idea what you mean when you say you meant it in the “economic sense”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. said (@95):

    It looks like you’re got your logic reversed. 88% of abortions would be unaffected. So right there, little seems to change.

    Nope. That was, in fact, my point, that 12% of the US population getting abortions would immediately run up against the fact that, in Europe, abortions are largely confined to the first trimester.

    12% isn’t “little”. It’s a pretty big hole in your assertion (@87) that:

    Generally speaking, a woman who goes to get an abortion in America could also legally obtain that same abortion in Europe.

    And that’s before we even consider countries like Ireland, Luxembourg, and Poland. Of course, many countries in Europe’s eastern half have abortion laws more similar to the US than in western Europe.

    Still, you are incorrect when you say:

    Of the 12%, they need some sort of reason. But a lot of those reasons are allowed to be “mental health” or “socialeconomic”

    Again, did you read your own citation? In quite a number of European countries, things like “socio-economic factors”, “mental health”, etc., are only mitigating factors making abortion legal in the first trimester, not after it — that is, for the “88%”. This is true for Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland — though check the Wikipedia chart to see which circumstances are limited in what way.

    But remember what this is all in response to. SG said (@81), “We want restrictions like Europe and Latin America have.” You seem to have largely ignored the Latin American aspect of that, but even so, I’m pretty certain I and most US pro-lifers would be thrilled to have abortion limited to just the first trimester, and not merely “on demand”, but for some (limited) subset of reasons. That would be, as they say, a good start.

    European countries as just much smaller than the US. Going to another country is like commuting to another city.

    Are you saying that all these countries, many of which have nationalized health care, just allow anyone from any other country to get equal care from them as if they were citizens? Because that is the issue at hand, not ease of travel.

    Also, “second world” only ever applied to Communist states, so I have no idea what you mean when you say you meant it in the “economic sense”.

  • Fws

    sg @103

    to say that for all the world’s history upt till a couple of hundred years ago, the basic pattern of male female power sharing looked pretty much like afghanistan does today…..

    this is not saying that all men were callous towards their women in any way whatsoever. that would be to paint muslims today with too broad a brush. was there a federal govt then to deal with abuses of power within the family, like murder? abortion? infanticide? no.

    That is the point SG. we sort of have that situation today at a national level. modern nations have only existed for a short time in history. and in the 20th century the united nations was created. why? to have some collective authority greater than a nation to deal with abuses within one of those nations? and we are debating whether that is right or not…..

    so now we have life and death authority , albeit arbitrarily and not consistently, invested in the head of house once again, in the form of the mother. what authority is over her to correct her abuses of that power? would it be painting with too broad a brush to say that all mothers are callous in the use of that absolute power because they have it? yes. of course. but that is not exactly connecting to what I am saying…

  • Fws

    sg @103

    to say that for all the world’s history upt till a couple of hundred years ago, the basic pattern of male female power sharing looked pretty much like afghanistan does today…..

    this is not saying that all men were callous towards their women in any way whatsoever. that would be to paint muslims today with too broad a brush. was there a federal govt then to deal with abuses of power within the family, like murder? abortion? infanticide? no.

    That is the point SG. we sort of have that situation today at a national level. modern nations have only existed for a short time in history. and in the 20th century the united nations was created. why? to have some collective authority greater than a nation to deal with abuses within one of those nations? and we are debating whether that is right or not…..

    so now we have life and death authority , albeit arbitrarily and not consistently, invested in the head of house once again, in the form of the mother. what authority is over her to correct her abuses of that power? would it be painting with too broad a brush to say that all mothers are callous in the use of that absolute power because they have it? yes. of course. but that is not exactly connecting to what I am saying…

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

    Great perspective, fws. Lots to think on, thanks.

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

    Great perspective, fws. Lots to think on, thanks.

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

    “Educated populations tend to have relatively high regards for women’s rights.”

    I think the arrow points the other way. Populations that care about women’s rights, and human dignity in general, manifested that high regard by trying to expand education to as many as possible. Something of a virtuous circle.

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

    “Educated populations tend to have relatively high regards for women’s rights.”

    I think the arrow points the other way. Populations that care about women’s rights, and human dignity in general, manifested that high regard by trying to expand education to as many as possible. Something of a virtuous circle.

  • Michael B.

    @Peter@98

    “Our country has laws that make men go to war and possibly die. Why is it such a big deal that women are only forced to be in an unwanted pregnancy (which most of the time is a problem of their own making)”

    I’d be thrilled if Gene Veith had a thread on here about conscription. The idea that it’s okay for a government to force someone into military service or force them to have a baby is very foreign to me. And yet one of these is still legal. All men have to register for military service when they turn 18. One wonders if men’s rights have come as far as women. Certainly women have cast of the idea that women are meant to be in the home and have kids and support a man. Have men cast of the idea that they’re made to serve in the military and die or be wounded if necessary?

  • Michael B.

    @Peter@98

    “Our country has laws that make men go to war and possibly die. Why is it such a big deal that women are only forced to be in an unwanted pregnancy (which most of the time is a problem of their own making)”

    I’d be thrilled if Gene Veith had a thread on here about conscription. The idea that it’s okay for a government to force someone into military service or force them to have a baby is very foreign to me. And yet one of these is still legal. All men have to register for military service when they turn 18. One wonders if men’s rights have come as far as women. Certainly women have cast of the idea that women are meant to be in the home and have kids and support a man. Have men cast of the idea that they’re made to serve in the military and die or be wounded if necessary?

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

    I think all of the talk about rights and government forcing people to do this or that belies a lack of community. I mean, come on, we willingly joined together in a union because we felt we needed one another to defend ourselves and our liberties. Now that has turned into, “They are forcing me to go to war.” What they? Isn’t it we? Anyway, we have an all volunteer force last I checked.

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

    I think all of the talk about rights and government forcing people to do this or that belies a lack of community. I mean, come on, we willingly joined together in a union because we felt we needed one another to defend ourselves and our liberties. Now that has turned into, “They are forcing me to go to war.” What they? Isn’t it we? Anyway, we have an all volunteer force last I checked.

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