'They don't really believe it'

My house is on fire.

Oh my God! Are you OK?

I’m good, you know. How are you doing?

No, I mean, your house! Where are you?

Just watching the game, taking a little break.

Where? Are you …

Where else? Here on the sofa. Duh.

But the fire

Yeah, it’s horrible. The worst thing you can imagine.

Wait. I don’t understand. You said your house is on fire.

Yeah. It’s a shame. A national tragedy.

But, but you’re just sitting there on your couch, watching TV.

What’s your point? I’m not allowed to relax and enjoy myself once in a while?

Shouldn’t you be, you know … doing something? Like running outside to escape the flames? Or calling the fire department?

We don’t have a fire department, which you would know if you paid any attention at all to politics. All we have is a too-small volunteer company, because our so-called leaders don’t appreciate that fire is the Most Important Moral Issue of Our Time.

But …

Of any time, really. They just don’t share my righteous concern for …

Your house isn’t really on fire, is it?

How could you say such a thing? Of course it’s on fire. My house is on fire!

OK, maybe you just don’t understand what that means …

I know what it means. Engulfed in flames. Geez, don’t act like I’m stupid.

It’s just … Look, I just have a hard time believing you when you say your house is on fire but you’re not doing anything about it.

What do you mean “not doing anything”? I’m circulating petitions, registering voters. I’ve got a “Fire Kills” bumper sticker on my car. I just sent a check to the campaign of the new candidate for mayor …

But …

She appreciates the significance of fire as the Most Important Moral Issue of All Time. Not like our current mayor. That immoral man …

I’m hanging up now.

What? Did I say something “politically incorrect”?

No, it’s just all this nonsense about your house being on fire.

Yeah, well, I guess you just don’t have the moral fortitude to understand what’s really important.

No, you’re just a very silly person who says things he doesn’t mean and I’m going to hang up on you now.

You can’t hang up on me — my house is on fire! It’s a raging holocaust!

No. No it isn’t. And this fantasy or delusion or …

Can’t you smell the smoke?

Goodbye. [click]

Goodbye yourself, sinner. We’ll see who’s hanging up on who after the next election.

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  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    *Snorffulelaugh*  

    Oh, this makes my morning.  :)

  • Anonymous

    The day conservatives successfully overthrow Roe v. Wade is the day the GOP loses one of the main pegs holding it together.  Which is why I doubt any Republican government with the power to do it would actually do it.  It’s too useful a boogeyman, and too rich a source of cheap campaign promises.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    Agreed, but that doesn’t mean they won’t do as much as they can to make life REALLY SUCK for poor women with unwanted pregnancies.

  • Anonymous

    I see that tossed out as an explanation of why we don’t have to worry about Roe, but it doesn’t square with the reality of how the GOP works or what motivates the opposition to Roe. The current GOP don’t stop, they recognize neither failure nor success and the banishing of one boogeyman is only the cue to move to the next.

    Since opposition to Roe is about women having sex without punishment, if Roe falls they’ll just move on to Plan B, then all contraception, with a side trip to take out the HPV vaccine. This isn’t science fiction, this is what’s already happening, witness the attacks Rick Perry has been getting. We can’t rest on our heels with Roe because there is no end for the fund(ie)raisers, and they are very good at inventing enemies.

  • Anonymous

    I see that tossed out as an explanation of why we don’t have to worry about Roe, but it doesn’t square with the reality of how the GOP works or what motivates the opposition to Roe. The current GOP don’t stop, they recognize neither failure nor success and the banishing of one boogeyman is only the cue to move to the next.

    Since opposition to Roe is about women having sex without punishment, if Roe falls they’ll just move on to Plan B, then all contraception, with a side trip to take out the HPV vaccine. This isn’t science fiction, this is what’s already happening, witness the attacks Rick Perry has been getting. We can’t rest on our heels with Roe because there is no end for the fund(ie)raisers, and they are very good at inventing enemies.

  • Anonymous

    This is why the GOP, until perhaps very recently due to the Teabaggers gaining political power, took the policy described in The Simpsons as “abortions for some, miniature American flags for others.”  These people know that once they actually give the religious right what it wants on this issue, it will collectively go back to not giving a shit about politics.  (For the most part, anyway.  There are still the bugbears of Teh Gay and scary brown people that will keep some of them in line.)

  • Anonymous

    A nitpick about the Huffington Post piece:  It is a mischaracterization to say that Dietrich Bonhoeffer “took up arms to save Jews.”  He was indirectly involved with a plot to assassinate Hitler.  He did not personally take up arms.  I don’t doubt that saving Jews was among his reasons for assisting the plot, but it was not the only one. 

    But as for the main point of the piece, it is dead on.  I have been saying for years that if these people really believed conception begins at birth they would be deeply concerned about miscarriages, and their response to a miscarriage would be like their response to the death of an infant.

  • JPerson

    It’s not even a nitpick. It’s just wrong. The wording is perfectly fine as a description for what Bonhoeffer did, just as it’s perfectly fine to say George W. Bush bombed Iraq and led the U.S. to war, even if he didn’t physically, literally do those things.

  • Anonymous

    Or that if pro lifers are that concerned about the unborn they should be equally outraged by things like this, http://t.co/lGp2xTJ7

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    In my more cynical moments, I suspect this is how some “pro-life”ers want to treat ALL women.  

  • Anonymous

    Okay, though, I can kinda see where they are coming from, TO AN EXTENT.

    1) I believe that Rick Perry covered up the murder of an innocent person.  What am I going to do about it.  It’s not like I can go over to his house and perform a citizens arrest.

    2) I think that carbon dioxide is going to make life very, very difficult for several billion people sometime in the not-to-distant future.  I still drive to work everyday, cause it’s 35 miles, and I don’t want to get up at 3:30 in the morning to do it on a bicycle.

    I mean, I DO honestly believe these things, and occasionally I get hyperbolic about them.  I mean, I have told people that I think Rick Perry is “wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross” and we all ought to be on the lookout for a fire in the Reichstag, but I haven’t done anything radical about it, even though I’m pretty sure his election would AT LEAST ensure another decade of depression / recession.

    So, I don’t think pro-lifers are victims of a raging case of false consciousness because they’re not out there firebombing every abortion clinic and following every woman on earth around with a chastity belt.  I think they legitimately care that people get abortions – but I think their real concern is that “those people” might be having sex.  Because you RARELY meet a pro-lifer who wants to increase funding for WIC, or who wants to make sure that having a baby isn’t a career-killer for women, who who want to make sure that people have access to birth control so that babies aren’t born where they’re not wanted.

  • eyelessgame

    Here’s the thing, though – there are about a thousand (ten thousand?) times as many evangelicals as there are abortion doctors.

    If even a small fraction of them believed what they preach, there would be no abortion providers. It is precisely because they *could* do something about it that they are so clearly not believing what they say.  It is not “too big a problem” – the problem is easy to solve, if you have fifty million people willing to take up arms. But they dont’ really believe it.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t agree with this. They’re doing an excellent job of making abortions as hard to obtain as possible. Take a look at those new regulations they’re rolling out in Virginia. Sure, it’s not technically a ban on abortions but they make it pretty much impossible for any clinic to be able to afford to provide abortions.

    They’ve learned that an actual, pre-Roe era state or federal ban on abortions probably wouldn’t work. The pro-choice movement is too well-organized and at least equally as powerful as the pro-life movement, and even the most cowardly Democratic politician would be able to find the strength to block something like that. But they’ve also learned that if you chip away at abortion rights — by imposing onerous regulations on doctors and clinics, by restricting funding as much as legally possible, by making sure that only women with means will even be able to realistically consider the option in many parts of the country — you can pretty much ‘ban’ abortion without even having to worry about going to court.

    I don’t think you can really say that conservatives don’t care about this issue. They’ve just come up with a much more complicated — and significantly more successful — strategy to achieve their goals. Their panicky rhetoric is overblown, don’t get me wrong, but it’s all part of a broader plan.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I don’t think you can really say that conservatives don’t care about this issue. They’ve just come up with a much more complicated — and significantly more successful — strategy to achieve their goals. Their panicky rhetoric is overblown, don’t get me wrong, but it’s all part of a broader plan

    And the “brilliant” part of this as a political strategy for them?  They can nearly eliminate abortions, but as long as they remain technically legal, they can still use the issue to whip up their base.  The position is often one of moral absolutism, and that as long as any abortion is happening, they will still have a rich source of voter anger to tap into, no matter how few actually happen.  

  • Lonespark

    Yes.  Exactly.  An it is brilliant.  Evil, but brilliant.

  • Anonymous

    If even a small fraction of them believed what they preach, there would be no abortion providers. It is precisely because they *could* do something about it that they are so clearly not believing what they say.  It is not “too big a problem” – the problem is easy to solve, if you have fifty million people willing to take up arms. But they dont’ really believe it.

    You…haven’t seen what’s been going on in Kansas and Virginia and Mississippi, have you. Kansas and Virginia are working on making abortion impossible to access. Mississippi’s working on making it flat-out illegal, unless a woman knows she’s pregnant and can get an abortion before a fetal heartbeat is detectable, which is…let’s go with ‘unlikely’, it’s the most optimistic.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    I mean, I have told people that I think Rick Perry is “wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross” and we all ought to be on the lookout for a fire in the Reichstag,

    New York City, 9/11/2001.  

     I think they legitimately care that people get abortions – but I think their real concern is that “those people” might be having sex.  Because you RARELY meet a pro-lifer who wants to increase funding for WIC, or who wants to make sure that having a baby isn’t a career-killer for women, who who want to make sure that people have access to birth control so that babies aren’t born where they’re not wanted.

    Quoted for total agreement.  A lot of the time they seem less “anti-abortion” then “pro-forced-pregnancy”.

  • WingedBeast

    Because you RARELY meet a pro-lifer who wants to increase funding for WIC, or who wants to make sure that having a baby isn’t a career-killer for women, who who want to make sure that people have access to birth control so that babies aren’t born where they’re not wanted.

    For some people, it seems, morality is what you impose on others.  If it involves you actually doing something, that’s socialism.

    Eh.

    My personal philosophy on this is that, even if we were to count every zygote as a person with all legal rights, we don’t, under any other circumstances, make the use of your organs by another person involuntary.  Even after you die, you have to have pre-agreed to donate your organs before they’ll take your bits and pieces to save other human beings.

    That said, I do want to email that Wind and Sun Aesop fable to every Pro-Life group and see if that penetrates.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    For some people, it seems, morality is what you impose on others.  If it involves you actually doing something, that’s socialism.

    And here’s another definition of socialism that has nothing to do with the balance between the individual and state in terms of economic resources.

    Socialism is not “the government doing something I disagree with”.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    No, no, really! There’s a fire in my house. I can see the flames, and I can smell the smoke. Look, I’ll send you a picture from my phone! See, flames! Smoke!

    …wait. That’s your fireplace.

    I told you there was a fire in my house!

    That’s not the same thing as your house being on fire, though…

    What? Something’s burning inside my house. Oh my God, it just got bigger and hotter!

    How did – wait, did you just put another log on the fire?

    Look, it doesn’t matter who is doing what, or whether we agree with it, the fact is, there’s a raging fire in my house right now, and I need a fireman standing by to make sure the house doesn’t go up in flames!

    That doesn’t seem very reasonable. How about we just take away all that firewood that you’re throwing into the fire?

    No no NO! You’re not listening. There’s a fire going. Right now there’s a fire burning, and we should have a fire department banging down the door with axes to put it out and keep my house safe!

    Safe… from the fireplace. What’s wrong with just not starting any more fires?

    What? Are you nuts? Are you trying to infringe on my inalienable human right to warmth?

    Well, if you’re going to freak out about it…

    I’m not freaking out. I just think this destructive force of nature needs a trained professional on-hand to make sure it’s used properly and controlled, rather than being allowed to run wild and burn things willy-nilly…

    …run wild in your brick fireplace with the screens, burning willy-nilly all the fuel you’re throwing in there.

    Look, fire is natural, and no one is saying otherwise. We just need strong, trained authorities to control it.

    …I’m hanging up on you now.

  • low-tech cyclist

    I don’t know how most liberal Christians feel about abortion, but I’m pretty sure that (a) if my brain is scooped out of my body and run through a blender, I will cease to be a person in this world, and (b) for several weeks at the beginning of its development, the embryo has no brain to scoop out in the first place.

    At this early point, abortion may or may not be moral, but it can’t be murder because the embryo is not yet capable of being the residence of a person.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    I can’t be sure, but I think most liberals, Christian or otherwise, think that the moral issues surrounding abortion are deely personal matters that each individual needs to resolve for themselves. Because it is a medical matter, it should involve a trained medical professional who is capable of providing accurate, unbiased information, and whenever possible, any obvious sources of coercion affecting the woman should be mitigated. (hence why liberals tend to oppose notification laws that might inform an abusive spouse or parent capable of coercing the woman making the decision)

    Whether or not you feel abortion is murder, the liberal position is that your feelings shouldn’t be influencing the medical options of others. If you think abortion is murder, and would never have an abortion, but you respect the rights of others to think and choose differently, then you are pro-choice.

  • Lonespark

    Yes…but many liberal Christians feel that the right to control one’s own body is a freedom worth protecting.  My mom is a very active church person in the UCC, and even though money is tight my parents still give quite a bit of money to Planned Parenthood and prochoice clergy orgs and so forth.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    I can’t be sure, but I think most liberals, Christian or otherwise, think that the moral issues surrounding abortion are deely personal matters that each individual needs to resolve for themselves. Because it is a medical matter, it should involve a trained medical professional who is capable of providing accurate, unbiased information, and whenever possible, any obvious sources of coercion affecting the woman should be mitigated. (hence why liberals tend to oppose notification laws that might inform an abusive spouse or parent capable of coercing the woman making the decision)

    Whether or not you feel abortion is murder, the liberal position is that your feelings shouldn’t be influencing the medical options of others. If you think abortion is murder, and would never have an abortion, but you respect the rights of others to think and choose differently, then you are pro-choice.

  • Anonymous

    This primo persecuted hegemon ad that just started airing seems very related, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zd6cOMR249w&feature=player_embedded#!

  • Anonymous

    And required repost is required, “The Only Moral Abortion Is My Abortion” http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/03/23/196301/-The-only-moral-abortion-is-MY-abortion-by-Joyce-Arthur

  • Anonymous

    And required repost is required, “The Only Moral Abortion Is My Abortion” http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/03/23/196301/-The-only-moral-abortion-is-MY-abortion-by-Joyce-Arthur

  • Termudgeon

    I don’t see how anyone *can* feel that abortion is murder and be pro-choice. I mean, without being pro-murder. I can see how someone can feel that abortion is killing and be pro-choice, because, while few people think killing is a good thing, it can sometimes be a necessary thing. But if you’re pro-choice, it means you don’t think abortion is murder (and no one else does, either).

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    I don’t see how anyone *can* feel that abortion is murder and be pro-choice.

    I thought I laid out exactly how that works. It works in the same way that you can believe that Jesus Christ was the earthly incarnation of Jehova the one and only true God, while still accepting that other people believe differently and should have a right to worship accordingly.

    The topic in both cases categorically defies any attempts at objective certainty and instead is a matter of person belief, experience, and opinion. The liberal, progressive view is one of humility: “I know what I think, and I accept that you might think something different, and because there is no way to ‘prove’ either one of us as ‘correct’, I accept your right to believe (and as a result, choose) differently.”

    Is that really so difficult to grasp?

  • Anonymous

    The murder versus killing distinction is important here.  Murder is generally understood to be unconscionable 100% of the time.  It’s one of the few things people are willing to agree upon as evil.  Killing, while usually considered bad, can also be justified and even the right choice.

    Likewise, your example has a more extreme form. People can believe in Jesus and still accept others right to choose their own religion.  However, it’s harder to reconcile that right to choose with this version; people can believe that anyone who does not believe exactly as they do will be damned to eternal torture.  I can’t make these two ideas fit in the same moral framework.  Unless they truly believe that most people deserve to burn (which is monstrous in itself), their days should be consumed 24/7 with saving souls.  The only logical endpoint for this effort would be establishing the “correct” state religion to save as many people as possible.

    One version carries a moral imperative if they truly believe it.  The other is a much more personal choice.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    Murder is generally understood to be unconscionable 100% of the time.  It’s one of the few things people are willing to agree upon as evil.  Killing, while usually considered bad, can be justified and even the right choice.

    Sorry, but this is just word games and semantics. Is the State engaging in “murder” when it executes a criminal convicted of capital crimes? Is a soldier engaging in “murder” doing his duty during war? You’re using the terms “murder” and “killing” without explaining what, if any, distinction exists between them.

    I can’t make these two ideas fit in the same moral framework. 
    Maybe you can’t, but most people not only can, but do. Let’s take Christianity, because Patheos is mostly Christian and many of the commenters are, and it’s a fairly well-known religion.

    If you believe that Christ died for your sins, that he is the son of the One True God, and that failing to give worship to that God means an eternity of suffering, and you believed nothing else, then yes, you’d be working 24/7 on “saving souls”. Fortunately, there’s another dimension to belief that mitigates things: the importance of free will. You can’t force someone to “love God” or “come to Jesus”. You can argue, you can try to coerce, but ultimately whether or not I accept Jesus as my personal Lord & Savior is, quite literally, between me & God.

    That’s the framework of pro-choice thinking. The factors that might distinguish “killing” from “murder” (whatever you mean those terms to be) probably include things like circumstance and intent, history and context, things which may or may not be knowable to an outside observer. “Never judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes” seems appropriate here too… I know how I might decide, but you’re not the same person I am, and your decision might be different for completely valid reasons that I have no awareness of or visibility to.

    Again, to call back to the religion analogy, you might believe in the Christian God because of a personal connection you felt or feel. But would you really argue that your experience, that one time that you “felt the touch of Jesus”, was a good argument for anyone else to share your beliefs? Or would you recognize that some things are subjective, some things are a function of free will and personal experience, that some things are, for lack of a better term, between you and your god?

  • Termudgeon

    But people are not free to define “murder” as whatever they want. It has a specific definition, and it’s the deviation from that definition that amounts to playing word games. If you are using “murder” to mean something other than its legal definition in order to make “abortion is murder can be pro-choice” work for you, it is disingenuous to acuse those hwo disagree of semantics and word games.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    You can’t say “killing can be moral, but murder never is” without offering a definition of “murder” that distinguishes it from “killing” in a meaningful way. Legal definitions aren’t meaningful as you’ve already shown, and saying “murder is abhorrent while killing is not, thus killing could be moral but murder never is” is no less recursive than “murder is illegal”.

    Here’s a simple definition of “murder” that distinguishes it from “killing” in a clear, unambigious way:

    Murder is one human being causing the death of another human being.

    I cannot murder my dog, because he is not a human being. My cat cannot commit murder, because it is not human. Clubbing baby seals is morally abhorrent, but it is not murder.

    This is a very very simple standard that I don’t think anyone can object to. It’s not a legal standard, and if we look at everything but abortion, it’s not a standard to object to.

    Killing a person in self defense? That’s murder, but we as a society acknowledge some justifications for it. Killing a person in war? Again, murder but justified by social conventions and standards.

    Right now, the only agreed-upon standard for what defines a “human being” begins at birth. There is no standard for “life” or “humanity” or for an unborn entity, which calls into question their personhood, which in turn means killing them may or may not be murder. That’s uncertain in a way that infaticide and matricide simply aren’t, and to claim otherwise is disingeniuous.

    How we decide when something gestating inside another person becomes a person itself is a highly subjective decision, not unlike deciding if the Christian God created the entire universe and all life. There’s no evidence, no proof, no way to prove objectively one way or the other. If you think personhood begins at conception (which is actually a pretty unreliable measure given the frequency of fertilized eggs not implanting in the uterine wall) then abortion becomes murder, but how on Earth could you think that your standard for personhood is the one, true, correct standard? Conception? Implantation? Viability? Those all get question marks, and the pro-choice position is that because we don’t have an objective standard, it is the height of arrogance to assume that my standard is the “right” standard and others must be forced to accept it.

  • Termudgeon

    But Chris, causing a human’s death by, say, accidentally hitting him as he steps out in front of your car is not murder. Murder is the unlawful killing of another human being, most often from deliberate malice. It’s only be redefining deaths in self-defense and war as murder that you can claim that  murder is not always bad. Do you think the person who shot Bin Laden really thinks he murdered him? Did any media outlet report him as murdered?

    Of course there is a standard for life. It is being alive. We can tell whether something or someone is alive or not. And we also know what is human and what is not. Personhood is much fuzzier, but as we know, being a person does not mean that killing you is murder. In other words, you can easily believe that regardless of whether an embryo or a fetus has achieved personhood, killing it can easily not be murder.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    The murder versus killing distinction is important here.  Murder is generally understood to be unconscionable 100% of the time.  It’s one of the few things people are willing to agree upon as evil.  Killing, while usually considered bad, can be justified and even the right choice.

    So the only distinction is whether I want to be able to justify killing someone? Is that why so few people are willing to call many of acts of war murder?

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    So the only distinction is whether I want to be able to justify killing someone? Is that why so few people are willing to call many of acts of war murder?

    “Murder becomes execution when performed by a bureaucrat for his bureaucracy.” — Alexis Gilliland

  • Termudgeon

    Believing in Jesus, and also that other people shouldn’t have to, in no way equates to believing abortion is murder but that it should be legal. For one thing, the defining characteristic of murder is that it is illegal. The statement is logically incoherent; you can easily prove abortion is not murder, because murder is illegal. That is an objective certainty.

    Secondly, it sets the cultural relativism bar way too high. What prevents such a person from saying infanticide and matricide are simply personal choices we might not personally believe in, but we are humble enough not to assume everyone else agrees?

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I don’t see how anyone *can* feel that abortion is murder and be pro-choice.

    It is easy enough to think of abortion as being baby-murder and still be pro-choice.  You just have to believe that (situational) baby-murder is not morally objectionable.  

  • Termudgeon

    Exactly. That was what I meant by being “pro-murder.” Murder has a technical definition, but beyond that, it is abhorrent, such that we don’t define deaths in self-defense, for example, as murder. Can I imagine a case in which the situational death of a baby is in some way necessary, and thus morally acceptable? Yes. Can I imagine a case in which the situational murder of a baby is in some way necessary, and thus morally acceptable? No. Can anyone?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    It is easy enough to think of abortion as being baby-murder and still be pro-choice.  You just have to believe that (situational) baby-murder is not morally objectionable.

    Or that it is morally objectionable but that any laws we could enact would not eliminate it, any would cause additional suffering, so on balance laws against abortion are even more morally objectionable.

    Or that the role of the state is not to criminalise everything we find morally objectionable.

    There are plenty of nuanced positions around.

  • Termudgeon

    Yes, there are multiple nuanced positions around. But using the very loaded term “murder” and ignoring both its implications and its legal definition (and this is often a debate about legality) seems the opposite of nuanced to me.

  • muteKi

    My answer is something along the lines of this: 

    I feel that abortion is indeed the taking of a human life, and thus to say that it is only about controlling/freeing a woman’s body is incorrect. Life may as well begin at conception as there’s no other good marker for that determination.That said, I am in favor of policies that abortion, including late-term abortions where the question of whether or not the fetus should count as a human is pretty clear-cut; I am in favor of them for the same reasons I am in favor of euthanasia as an option for most terminal illnesses.

    However, I will never personally seek an abortion (which is easy enough to act upon, as I have a penis), and given the question may well suggest against having one for those who want my opinion.

    But if you want my opinion on, say, homebirth, then I consider that much closer to murder and would love to find more ways to legislate and license against it (homebirth midwives, at least in the US, are woefully undereducated and poorly trained for a position of their significance; between that and the lack of quick access to life-saving care, many homebirths wind up with complications that can’t be acted against, resulting in many preventable infant deaths).

  • Anonymous

    Life may as well begin at conception as there’s no other good marker for that determination.

    Unfortunately, humans tend to be uncomfortable with vagueness and just love to have specific points where things fall into distinct categories, in this case either a full human or not a fully human.  But you haven’t solved your problem.  At what point in conception should life be defined as beginning?  Should it be when the sperm enters the egg, or several days later when it implants into the uterine lining?

    And since you brought it up, if you really must have a specific point, why not birth rather than conception?  Your point is just as arbitrary, but it effects a lot more people.  Yes, I know that doesn’t mean you want to ban it, but I still think it’s the wrong way to frame it and it will affect some women.  I think there’s as much difference between a full-term fetus and a newborn baby as there is between a sperm and egg and then a fertilized egg.

    I think that “life” begins somewhere around the time of viability, in which case I think it’s ok to have some restrictions on abortions which is already the case and is generally a moot point anyway because very few women have a late-term abortion on a whim.

    But very few people will get on board with this, because they are just so uncomfortable with a vague time period instead of a specific instant.

  • muteKi

    My answer is something along the lines of this: 

    I feel that abortion is indeed the taking of a human life, and thus to say that it is only about controlling/freeing a woman’s body is incorrect. Life may as well begin at conception as there’s no other good marker for that determination.That said, I am in favor of policies that abortion, including late-term abortions where the question of whether or not the fetus should count as a human is pretty clear-cut; I am in favor of them for the same reasons I am in favor of euthanasia as an option for most terminal illnesses.

    However, I will never personally seek an abortion (which is easy enough to act upon, as I have a penis), and given the question may well suggest against having one for those who want my opinion.

    But if you want my opinion on, say, homebirth, then I consider that much closer to murder and would love to find more ways to legislate and license against it (homebirth midwives, at least in the US, are woefully undereducated and poorly trained for a position of their significance; between that and the lack of quick access to life-saving care, many homebirths wind up with complications that can’t be acted against, resulting in many preventable infant deaths).

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see how anyone *can* feel that abortion is murder and be
    pro-choice. I mean, without being pro-murder. I can see how someone can
    feel that abortion is killing and be pro-choice,

    Aside from lawyers and judges, most people don’t bother to differentiate between murder and killing.  It’s really just pedantry to the layperson.  Plenty of people use “murder” to mean “killing”, and I think most people understand that.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see how anyone *can* feel that abortion is murder and be
    pro-choice. I mean, without being pro-murder. I can see how someone can
    feel that abortion is killing and be pro-choice,

    Aside from lawyers and judges, most people don’t bother to differentiate between murder and killing.  It’s really just pedantry to the layperson.  Plenty of people use “murder” to mean “killing”, and I think most people understand that.

  • Anonymous

    Murder is such a loaded term, but it’s definitely possible to think of abortion as killing a person and still be pro-choice.  Forced pregnancy is a horrific thing, as is giving one person the right to use another person’s body.  Not to mention the privacy right violations involved in legislating what someone can and cannot do with their own body. 

    A lot of pro-choicers are really uncomfortable with the idea of abortion, up to considering it murder, but are more uncomfortable with being anti-abortion rights.  And rightfully so.

  • Anonymous

    I am principally against abortion, but when a child is born I also want it to be safe.

    So if you are against abortion it also means helping the mother and child.
    So society should do everything in it’s power to help those people, not shun them.

  • http://scyllacat.livejournal.com Scylla Kat

    So if you are against abortion it also means helping the mother and child.
    So society should do everything in it’s power to help those people, not shun them.

    I used to be pro-life back in the 80s, but after waiting and waiting to seem the roll out the campaign to protect the health of unwed mothers, adopt unwanted children, and promote birth control, I gave up on them.  …. The past couple of years have convinced me there’s no compassion or love in this movement, and they make me nauseated.

  • http://twitter.com/Jenk3 Jen K

    From Peggy Senger Parsons, a Quaker preacher, on being young, poor, and pregnant

    I found my way to Planned Parenthood. I was a little nervous. They were
    kind. They were respectful. They gave me a test – I was pregnant. I was
    also days away from starting graduate school and I was waiting tables
    full time at a pizza joint to pay for school. It was about the worst
    possible timing. I was not happy.

    The doctor (nurse practitioners were unheard of in those days) could see
    my unhappiness. He sat with me for a few minutes. He listened to me. He
    made no judgments or suggestions. When my words and tears had run out,
    he asked me if I wanted to know about my options. I told him that my
    option was to be a mother, because aborting a healthy fetus did not fit
    into my faith, values or ethics.

    He smiled, and he said, “I think you will make a fine mother” and he
    told me where to get free pre-natal care, and about a program for free
    food for pregnant women, and where the free counselors worked. I was
    very grateful for his listening, concern, and advice. It helped.

    Five years later I had another unplanned pregnancy. Ironically I was
    getting ready to put the previous baby into kindergarten and re-start my
    education. Still, there were no at-home tests. I was still pretty poor.
    I was between health insurance plans. This time, due to hours and
    transportation issues I went to a “crisis pregnancy center” near my
    home.

    There was no doctor; instead, nice Christian ladies staffed the center.
    They were happy to help me. They gave me a test. I was pregnant. I
    wasn’t very happy this time either. The lady asked if my pregnancy was
    planned, I said no. She got really nervous. She started spilling
    statistics. She made some presumptions. I thanked her and tried to
    leave. She got more nervous. She tried to set up a video. I declined her
    offer, thanked her again, and got up to go.

    She actually blocked my way to the door and said “I’m not supposed to
    let you leave without showing you “Silent Scream.” I escaped. She yelled
    after me – “Please don’t kill your baby!” I didn’t, of course, and I
    also never got near these people again or the churches that supported
    them.

    Her experience with Planned Parenthood seems a  lot more Christian than her experience with the crisis pregnancy center.  Full piece is at http://www.religionandspirituality.com/view/post/11519916167900/Appreciation_for_Planned_Parenthood/

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I always get depressed when I see abortion being used as such a hot-button tool by people who have no intention of making life easier for pregnant women and mothers.

    Why can’t they see that there’s a common goal: Children should be wanted and properly cared for; even if one opposes abortion one could hardly want to blame the child for the mother’s faults. :(

  • Termudgeon

    Yes, perhaps this can simply be explained as a linguistic misunderstanding. I tend to think of “murder” as meaning something more specific than murder, but I accept that not everyone thinks of it that way. Which is odd, really, because we kill things all the time, most of us, so I would think it would be in our interest to make the distinction.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I think this is a case where the anti-abortion folks used the term as an appeal to emotion, but it backfired by simply mainstreaming the term so that it has less of an impact under any circumstances.

  • Termudgeon

    Sorry, that was worse than useless. Let me try this again: I tend to think of “murder” as meaning something more specific than just killing, and I would have guessed that someone who chose to use that word had that specific meaning in mind, especially when continuing to defend its use, but I accept that not everyone thinks of it that way. (Which is odd, really, because we kill things all the time, most of us, so I would think it would be in our interest to make the distinction.)

  • Termudgeon

    If it helps, I think “life” began millions of years ago, and does not begin again each time; instead, it is passed along through live eggs and live sperm. A fertilized egg is clearly “alive,” but so is the sperm that fertilized the egg. Basically, I think “where does life begin” is a red herring. A better question might be “where does personhood begin?” And if personhood has begun, what might trump it?

  • Green Eggs and Ham

    I ran across this gem last year.  (Heck, I may even have found through Slacktivist.)

    “Basically, privacy will lose to the right to life if you’re talking about a person. 

    No,
    it doesn’t. If you assume for the sake of argument that a fetus is a
    full person under the law, a woman still has a right to an abortion.

    No
    person has the right to occupy the body of another person without her
    consent. We call that rape or battery, depending on the context.

    No person has the right to injury another person’s body without her
    consent. Pregnancy causes injury. Every pregnancy damages the mother’s
    body and 40% of them require a C-section to complete.

    No person
    has the right to threaten another person’s life. Pregnancy still
    threatens the life of a mother. Women still can die in childbirth or as a
    complication of pregnancy.

    I have the right to defend my life
    and my person from an adult intent on harming me through rape or maiming
    or murder by killing that adult. I have the right to defend myself from
    grave bodily harm or death by aborting a fetus I do not consent to
    carry.”
    The quote comes from a Guest who writes way down in the comment section.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/01/the-unbearable-whiteness-of-pro-lifers-and-pundits/70002/

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    “Abortion IS killing, but it’s killing in self-defense.” – J. R. “Bob” Dobbs.

  • swbarnes2

    I don’t think it will, because that’s not what its about.
     
    I think that these anti-choice types think that sex is just too good for everyone but them.  So if someone poor, or not white get in trouble because they had sex, well, it’s only karma.  They shouldn’t have been trying to enjoy themselves like that.  That explains the “Only my abortion is moral”, because the person really thinks “Only my sex is deserved and legitimate, everyone  else broke the rules by having sex, but not me”.
     
    The attitude is visible elsewhere too.  How dare poor people have cell phones, or eat organic food, or snacks!  People with sick children who get aid from S-CHIP don’t deseve nice countertops! How dare poor people even try to have nice things like me!  It’s a crime agasint nature.

  • hapax

    TW: RACISM, MODEST PROPOSALS

    I think that these anti-choice types think that sex is just too good for
    everyone but them.  So if someone poor, or not white get in trouble
    because they had sex, well, it’s only karma.  They shouldn’t have been
    trying to enjoy themselves like that.

    The odd thing is, an awful lot of these folks are the same ones who are getting all freaky-deaky about the prospects of “Whites Will Be A Minority Race* by 2050 OH NOES!!!!”

    Considering that making abortion rights more difficult to access will mostly force the poor — who are predominantly non-white — to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, while well-off (predominantly white) women will continue to have access…

    …well, like President Obama said, “It’s math!”

    I wonder if anyone has ever tried selling subsidized abortions for the poor to the Republican Party as a long-term electoral strategy?

    *in the United States of America, that is, which is the Only Country That Matters

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    No, but I keep seeing billboards by pro-life groups that compare abortion to some kind of ethnic cleansing campaign against black people. Does that count?

  • Anonymous

    The odd thing is, an awful lot of these folks are the same ones who are
    getting all freaky-deaky about the prospects of “Whites Will Be A
    Minority Race* by 2050 OH NOES!!!!”

    They’ll never see this is a reason to make minority races have fewer children.  Instead, they’ll use it to guilt white women for not having enough babies.  Rich conservatives like to have a population of poor minorities with too many kids to feed because it gives them a steady supply of desperately poor workers who are much easier to exploit.  They don’t want other races to go away; they just want to keep them in their place.  So when they complain about the white minority, they are really complaining that the aren’t succeeding at keeping white women in their place, which is forced into early marriages with horrible husbands but also too many kids to ever have the power to divorce him or stand up to him.

    So basically, they don’t want fewer black and brown babies; they just want more white babies to keep women overwhelmed and powerless.

  • WingedBeast

    It may be even simpler than that.  There seems to be a general feeling among conservatives that liberals and other evil people are doing all these tempting things.  “Come on!  We were told that being bad makes God mad at us!  Well, let’s make sure God gets mad at them!  They’re not allowed!”

    Be as kind as possible about Christianity in general, but RTC Christianity is rather restrictive.  A woman who’s supposed to be submissive to her husband in all things isn’t going to respond too nicely to the thought that other women are going around having sex and unruined lives.

    “I’m not allowed, they shouldn’t be either!”

  • Tehanu

    It’s exactly the same logic that makes grown women in Africa insist that their daughters go through clitoridectomy.  “Why should my child be spared what I had to endure?”  I pity those women, but I don’t let my pity for them get in the way of trying to stop them.

  • MaryKaye

    I have miscarried every child I ever conceived.  I’m now an adoptive parent, so this doesn’t grieve me particularly (actually a part of me is relieved not to have to give birth) but it does make me deeply frightened by anything implying that a woman is culpable for miscarriage.  Because, you know, I didn’t live a perfect healthy life before either of those miscarriages.  I ate junk food, I stayed up too late, I suffered from depression.  Of course even if I hadn’t, half of all human embryos have genetic abnormalities that will kill them regardless.  But I didn’t get the tissue tested, so I couldn’t prove that was what happened; and indeed, I have physiological issues that likely doomed both pregnancies even if the embryos were fine (polycystic ovarian syndrome).  And, you know, I haven’t had that treated; and I had sex anyway.

    The kind of stuff that the far right is tossing around could seriously damage if not destroy *all* womens’ lives.

  • Anonymous

    The kind of stuff that the far right is tossing around could seriously damage if not destroy *all* womens’ lives.

    This is essentially what happened to Michelle Duggar.  After her first son was born, she started taking BC pills again, and got pregnant and had a miscarriage (it’s not clear which order this happened in).  Miscarriage is often extremely sad even if the pregnancy was unplanned, but it was so much worse for her because someone lied to her and convinced her it was her own fault for using birth control, AND she essentially thought of the miscarried fetus as a tiny miniature baby.  Somehow she also became convinced that the miscarriage was a sign that she might never be able to have children again, another ridiculous falsehood.  So a tragic but common event got turned into a horrible case where she felt like she accidentally murdered an actual baby.  To atone for her horrible murder of a precious tiny baby, she felt the need to have as many kids as possible, even to the point that it damaged her mental and physical health.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    On the contradictions of this issue, Australian religious conservatives have American religious conservatives beaten hands-down.

    1. Laws governing abortion are the jurisdiction of the states, not the federal government.

    2. The policies of the major conservative parties are no different to the policies of the major progressive parties when it comes to the few ways the federal government could intervene (through eligibility of procedures for Medicare, for example).

    3. The conservatives were in power for 12 years straight, including 3 years when they had control of the Senate and could do any damn thing they wanted. They didn’t even attempt to change laws governing abortion.

    4. In the entire 12-year period, abortion was mentioned in the federal parliament once. By a member of the centre-left party.

    5. When a Senator from a tiny right-wing nutbag Christian (sic) party played the abortion card last year in a debate about maternity leave*, he was furiously jumped on by members of the conservative side. It’s long accepted that abortion is not a politicised issue in mainstream politics here.

    6. In the most recent election campaign, both the leader of the conservative party and its health spokesperson guaranteed that a government they led would make *no* change to any laws about abortion, including its funding.

    Yet every federal election a small number of people in the religious right insist that the only morally permissible vote is for the conservative side. It was particularly stark last year when, after the guarantee I mentioned above, it was patently clear that one’s vote would have *no impact whatsoever* on abortion laws. Right wing Christians I know were calling people who supported centre-left parties (including myself and many of my Christian friends) baby-killers. When I pointed out all the things above, they doubled down. The babies!

    I suggested that perhaps they clung to the thoroughly debunked idea that their vote was about saving babies because it’s more palatable than admiting that their vote is about the financial interests of the upper middle class…that got me called a man-hating feminist (?) and kicked off the Facebook discussion. Good times.

    *ask about that if you want to hear a story of stunning scumbaggery by a ‘family values’ Christian

    PS: it’s worth pointing out that only a very small number of people engage in the OMG ABORTION pseudo-panic here. I happen to get a high concentration of it because I’m active in the church. But for most people, abortion really is de-politicised.

  • Non-tipping Bastard

    I live in a slave state that kills people for being poor. :(

    But that’s horrible!

    I know…

    You should protest it in the capital.

    Did that.

    You should pay lawyers and politicians to advocate for you.

    Did that.

    You should kill the people in charge.

    When has that ever worked?

    What will you do next?

    I believe I’ll complain about it on the internet.

  • Anonymous

    The term miscarriage is incorrect. The proper term is spontaneous abortion. The legal argument is about induced abortion. If personhood laws are passed all abortions, whether spontaneous or induced, would be a criminal act. That is not a slippery slope. That is criminalizing failure to produce a living child.

  • Anonymous

    Wasn’t there some politician who had a miscarriage and then freaked the fuck out when the medical report listed it as a spontaneous abortion?  I agree that we should reclaim that term.  I’m a hardcore descriptivist, but I have just as much right as anyone to define words.  While we’re at it, I wish more people would use the more traditional direct object for abortion.  Processes are aborted, but things aren’t, regardless of their personhood.  So pregnancies are aborted, but embryos, fetuses, or babies aren’t.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Reminds me of an old Dear Abby I saw like 20-some years ago now, or so. In those days they used the term “D&C” (which I understand has fallen into disuse). Well, someone wrote in basically all like “Well, I was pregnant, but the doctors needed to do this D&C and I lost the baby. Then I saw my records and it said ABORTION!!!”

    The woman had needed this lifesaving procedure, but she was completely aghast at the notion that she’d had what amounted to an abortion.

    I think what that says is that the right wing has been successful at demonizing the notion of getting an abortion so that for some people, getting an abortion is something those people do.

  • Anonymous

    The last time this subject came up (on the previous site) I typed up a list of 10 reasons why violence against abortion providers is bad, even if you are pro-life. Here’s what I can remember right now:
    1. I don’t believe in vigilante justice.
    2. I don’t think it will help achieve the objective.
    3. More caution and humility is called for when there is not a clear cultural and moral consensus.
    4. Violence will discourage abortions from being performed even when they are medically necessary.
    5. The basic premise – that if you really believed an atrocity was occurring, you would be out fighting it on the front lines – is wrong. (See: Genocide.)
    6. It defeats the point of being pro-life.

    To which I’d add that “My house is on fire” is really not a good analogy. “My neighbor’s house is on fire” would be much more accurate, but doesn’t let you pat yourself on the back as much.

  • Lori

    @Robyrt: Fred is not talking about people who believe abortion is wrong or a sin. He’s talking about people who say they believe abortion is murder, and more specifically ones who say that it’s morally equivalent to the Holocaust. It’s tough to take someone seriously when they say that they don’t believe in extralegal means to stop the Holocaust or that one has to take a cautious, humble approach to dealing with the Holocaust. If one is a strict pacifist then the argument that you can’t use violence to end the Holocaust and still consider yourself pro-life works. Otherwise, not so much. Very few anti-choice extremists are pacifists. (To the best of my knowledge I’ve never met one, but I’m open to the idea that some exist somewhere.)
    As far as I can see the only one of your arguments that actually makes sense WRT to the abortion = the Holocaust crowd is #5:

     5. The basic premise – that if you really believed an atrocity was occurring, you would be out fighting it on the front lines – is wrong. (See: Genocide.) 

    I actually think that’s a fair point, although I think one could argue that sitting on the sidelines of genocide is indicative of a lack of the kind of moral urgency that anti-choice extremists claim to have. IOW, I think this argument does as much to put people on the hook as let them off. 

  • Anonymous

    although I think one could argue that sitting on the sidelines of
    genocide is indicative of a lack of the kind of moral urgency that
    anti-choice extremists claim to have. IOW, I think this argument does as
    much to put people on the hook as let them off.

    That’s part of the reason I’m extremely leery of pro-choice people making this argument (“if you really thought abortion was murder, you’d act like it! You’re not acting like it, so you must not really believe what you’re saying!”). The pro-choicers seem mostly to assume that what follows is something like, “so tone down the rhetoric already–we know you don’t  really mean it!” But I think there’s a real danger of it being taken to the alternative conclusion: “so do what you’d do if you really believed someone were being murdered!” And we have already seen where that goes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=659001961 Brad Ellison

    That’s part of the reason I’m extremely leery of pro-choice people making this argument (“if you really thought abortion was murder, you’d act like it! You’re not acting like it, so you must not really believe what you’re saying!”). The pro-choicers seem mostly to assume that what follows is something like, “so tone down the rhetoric already–we know you don’t  really mean it!” But I think there’s a real danger of it being taken to the alternative conclusion: “so do what you’d do if you really believed someone were being murdered!” And we have already seen where that goes. 

    This is the thought that crosses my mind every time I imagine discussing the subject with my Dad.  He’s one of the best men I know, absolutely loves kids, and his desire to protect and care for children directly informs the fact that he is staunchly pro-life.  I half-fear that starting that thought process with him would have tragic results.

  • Termudgeon

    Its not just the “if you really thought it ws murder, you’d stop it by all means necessary” argument alone that points to people not really thinking it. Ask someone who thinks abortion is murder how, when it is illegal, women who have abortions should be punished. Ask if it should be the death penalty, or life in prison. The extent to which abortion is not like every other murder suddenly becomes much clearer.

  • Tonio

    Ask someone who thinks abortion is murder how, when it is illegal, women
    who have abortions should be punished. Ask if it should be the death
    penalty, or life in prison.

    And often the person will claim that the woman is really a victim herself, deceived and manipulated by an abortionists out only to line his or her own pockets. I suspect it’s an act of self-deception that allows the person to pretend that the issue is about moral absolutes.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2267933/

    Why the discrepancy? The answer is obvious: Like other pro-lifers, McDonnell doesn’t really believe that fetuses have the same right to life
    as the rest of us. If he did, he’d hold women responsible for contract
    hits on their fetuses. Instead, he forbids prosecution of these women
    and insults our intelligence by calling their non-prosecutable offenses
    “infanticide.” Any legislator, attorney general, or governor who
    prohibited prosecution of infanticide procurers would promptly be thrown
    out of office. But in the context of abortion, politicians do this routinely. And pro-lifers applaud them.

    If
    you seriously believe that killing a late-term fetus is infanticide,
    you should be outraged at the legal immunity guaranteed to purchasers of
    this crime under “pro-life” legislation. But regardless of your views
    on abortion, Virginia’s double standard is plainly unjust. A state can’t
    criminalize late-term abortion as infanticide, systematically prosecute
    the doctor but not the woman, and then execute a woman but not her
    triggermen for an arranged murder. It doesn’t add up.

  • Lori

     That’s part of the reason I’m extremely leery of pro-choice people making this argument (“if you really thought abortion was murder, you’d act like it! You’re not acting like it, so you must not really believe what you’re saying!”). The pro-choicers seem mostly to assume that what follows is something like, “so tone down the rhetoric already–we know you don’t  really mean it!” But I think there’s a real danger of it being taken to the alternative conclusion: “so do what you’d do if you really believed someone were being murdered!” And we have already seen where that goes.  

    I have the same concern. It’s why this isn’t an argument that I ever make when I’m talking to someone about choice. We already have more than enough people who’ve decided to act on their belief. At this point they’re few enough in number that the anti-choicers can get away with falsely calling them lone wolves. The last thing we need is for enough people to openly join them that they become more obviously not  “lone”. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I’ve been hearing that some “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” are fronts for pro-life organizations. That woman’s experience sounds pretty bad :( I hope she was able to get to a Planned Parenthood later on. :(

  • Matri

    I’ve been hearing that some “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” are fronts for pro-life organizations.

    Half of me believes that they were just hijacked by the pro-lifers.

    The other half of me believes that they are fronts, and in typical fundamentalist SOP came up with that name in order to intentionally mislead the public to their agenda.

    As usual.

  • Anonymous

    Your more cynical half is correct.

  • Lori

     I’ve been hearing that some “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” are fronts for pro-life organizations. 

     

    Not some, all. It it’s called a “Crisis Pregnancy Center” it’s run by an anti-choice group whose mission is to prevent women from ending their pregnancies, no matter how dire the circumstances. In order to accomplish that goal they routinely lie and if necessary they will manipulate vulnerable women. They’ve been known to work to delay a woman from speaking to anyone else about her situation until it’s too late for her to legally have an abortion. At least some of the people who work in them are genuinely well-intentioned, but you know the saying about intent. The centers are truly vile. 

  • Anonymous

    The other problem with the “you’re not acting like it’s murder” argument is that it leaves untouched the basic arguments about abortion and focuses on the behavior of the interlocutor. It’s not an argument designed to support abortion rights.

    It’s not the best analogy, but I think it will do the job well enough. Assume I am accused of shoplifting. I am, for example, in the grocery store buying grapes, and I taste one. The manager–or, heck, let’s make it another shopper–accuses me of stealing. Zie goes on about how, just because a grape is small, taking it improperly is no less stealing than taking something big.

    My best argument is not “if you really thought I was stealing, you should have called the cops.”

  • Tonio

    They’ve been known to work to delay a woman from speaking to anyone else
    about her situation until it’s too late for her to legally have an
    abortion.

    That’s just as reprehensible as another tactic I’ve read about, where the centers lie about the level of fetal development at certain stages to try to make the women feel guilty. Years ago, a college newspaper reporter posed as a pregnant woman and brought a friend to investigate one center’s approach.

    At least some of the people who work in them are genuinely well-intentioned, but you know the saying about intent.

    While I agree, I doubt that those intentions are mutually exclusive with a desire to punish the women for their sexuality. In my experience, some make an explicit connection, claiming that there would be no abortions if unmarried women stayed celibate. That’s similar to the addled idea that there would be no need for condoms to prevent STDs if people stayed celibate before marriage and faithful afterward. As an aside, that is what is so repulsive about the HPV debate – opponents of the vaccine seem to want to use the threat of the virus to scare unmarried women into celibacy.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Not some, all. If it’s called a “Crisis Pregnancy Center” it’s run by an anti-choice group whose mission is to prevent women from ending their pregnancies, no matter how dire the circumstances. In order to accomplish that goal they routinely lie and if necessary they will manipulate vulnerable women. They’ve been known to work to delay a woman from speaking to anyone else about her situation until it’s too late for her to legally have an abortion. At least some of the people who work in them are genuinely well-intentioned, but you know the saying about intent. The centers are truly vile.

    You know, if I was a woman, I would probably go to one of those centers and lie that I was pregnant, and that “killing” (I would use that exact word) the baby was the only option, and that they could not stop me, punctuating the point by hitting myself in the gut. 

    I know, I know, I should not troll, but they just make it so tempting

  • Lori

     I’ve been hearing that some “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” are fronts for pro-life organizations. 

     

    Not some, all. It it’s called a “Crisis Pregnancy Center” it’s run by an anti-choice group whose mission is to prevent women from ending their pregnancies, no matter how dire the circumstances. In order to accomplish that goal they routinely lie and if necessary they will manipulate vulnerable women. They’ve been known to work to delay a woman from speaking to anyone else about her situation until it’s too late for her to legally have an abortion. At least some of the people who work in them are genuinely well-intentioned, but you know the saying about intent. The centers are truly vile. 

  • Termudgeon

    google liberty abortion demonstration to see a video of antiabortion folks thinking for the first time about how women who have illegal abortions should be punished. Interesting stuff.

  • Anonymous

    There are many anti abortion people who agree that women should be charged for having either a spontaneous abortion, and induced abortion, or a stillbirth, and even the death of an infant after birth.
    In some states women who tested positive for drug use when they were in labor were prosecuted under child abuse and drug use laws and their babies were put in foster care until the women completed their jail sentence and could prove they were not unfit.
    Now Mississippi and Georgia have taken the next step and charged women with murder who had a history of drug use and experienced a spontaneous abortion or stillbirth.
    These folks do think the house is on fire and they are doing everything they can think of.

    Suggesting that if they walk their talk they will charge women who abort with murder is an odd pro choice argument to make considering that that is precisely what some states are doing.

  • Termudgeon

    There is no state that currently charges women who have abortions with murder, so let’s not overstate things. Not that the stillbirth laws you mention are not heinous in their own right, but it’s not precisely what some states are doing.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    But haven’t there been attempts to create laws which would have the effect of criminalizing abortions? Unfortunately they have the potential side effect of possibly criminalizing miscarriages or accidental injuries, I think.

    When someone manages to get a law narrowly written enough that it superficially satisfies the “are you serious?” test, that will definitely be a time to get worried. :(

  • Anonymous

    I am not overstating things. It is a fact that Mississippi, Alabama, SC, Indiana, and other states are incarcerating women for infanticide. Google is your friend.

    http://alysonmiers.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/guilty-of-having-a-working-uterus/

    South Carolina was one of the first states to introduce such a foetal homicide law. National Advocates for Pregnant Women has
    found only one case of a South Carolina man who assaulted a pregnant
    woman having been charged under its terms, and his conviction was
    eventually overturned. Yet the group estimates there have been up to 300
    women arrested for their actions during pregnancy.

  • Termudgeon

    And none of them for having abortions. Look, fetal homicide laws are heinous, no doubt about it, but they exclude abortion; if they were charging women who had abortions with murder, it would require the overturning of Roe to be deemed constitutional. I don’t think anyone gains anything by misrepresenting the facts.

  • Anonymous

    I get ya. The fact that there was a spontaneous abortion or a still birth was beside the point since they were not charge for having one but rather for causing one.
    Perfect.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    This argument sort of reminds me of the, “The worst homophobes are closeted gay men” argument. It’s an attempt to use the obvious hypocrisy of people like Larry Craig and Ted Haggard to refute their arguments but the problem that I’ve always had with it is that it implies that the main problem with them was that they were hypocrites, rather than because they were hateful bigots. It also sort of implies that a heterosexual who hated LBGT people would be somehow ‘better’ because at least they weren’t hypocritical. I’m not really comfortable with the idea that hypocrisy makes an argument wrong because of that.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I think it’s that the hypocrisy adds another layer to the failcake.

  • http://www.crochetgeek.net Jackbishop

    From my POV, the first and simplest question to ask anyone who seriously claims abortion is murder to see if they have even the slightest courage of their convictions is “What are you doing to increase access to contraceptives and contraceptive education among at-risk groups?”

    Seriously. The single most effective way to reduce the abortion rate is demand-side. More contraception means fewer unwanted pregnancies, and thus fewer of what they call murders. That’s unequivocally good, unequivocally effective, and unlike picketing clinics, nonreligious liberals like me will actually appreciate them doing it. It’s a floor wax and a dessert topping! Any clinic picketers who are not active in increasing contraception rates aren’t actually interested in fixing the problem they perceive, they’re just in it for the persecution fix and the slut-shaming. (Those precious few that are attempting to make a difference on the contraception end at least are open to constructive solutions. Not that, AFAICT, there actually are any of those. I’ve never found a hard-line pro-lifer who is active in any sort of contraceptive support/education program to the same extent that many of them are in picketing clinics and such bullshit)

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    The single most effective way to reduce the abortion rate is demand-side. More contraception means fewer unwanted pregnancies, and thus fewer of what they call murders. That’s unequivocally good, unequivocally effective, and unlike picketing clinics, nonreligious liberals like me will actually appreciate them doing it.

    I wholeheartedly agree, and the evidence seems to back us up on this.  However, most of the strenuous pro-life people I have met seem to, when confronted by this angle, double-down and claim that a lack of contraception is not the problem, people having sex is, and that people need to be taught stronger moral values about not having sex, and the problem is people having out of control sex lives, not that they lack contraception and the knowledge to use it.  

    Which seems telling about their priorities.  At least there are a reasonable few of them who will acknowledge that, yes, more contraception and education about it is good, even if they would prefer less sex overall.  Unfortunately, the voices of reasonable are often drowned out by the yell of the zealous.  

  • Anonymous

    the first and simplest question to ask anyone who seriously claims abortion is murder to see if they have even the slightest courage of their convictions is “What are you doing to increase access to contraceptives and contraceptive education among at-risk groups?”

    I asked my brother that exact question, though I phrased it more along the lines of “This woman will have het sex, and there is nothing you can or should do to stop that. If she has sex without use of contraceptives, she will get pregnant. If she gets pregnant, she will have an abortion. Do you advise her to use contraceptives, or do you not so advise her, knowing that if she does not use contraceptives, she will have an abortion?” His answer was something about praying for her and letting her choose her own method of killing her soul. Which I think translates to the only choice he sees as acceptable for her is not to have sex, since I know damn well he doesn’t consider lesbian sex morally acceptable either.

  • http://twitter.com/Jenk3 Jen K

    Ellie, one of the frustrating things is that it really doesn’t matter if women are married or not.  It’s that they’re having sex when they’re not prepared to raise a child (or another child). 

    Remember the “Why trust me with a child if you won’t trust me with a choice” bumper sticker? 

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Those precious few that are attempting to make a difference on the contraception end at least are open to constructive solutions. Not that, AFAICT, there actually are any of those. I’ve never found a hard-line pro-lifer who is active in any sort of contraceptive support/education program to the same extent that many of them are in picketing clinics and such bullshit

    They absolutely exist. Probably don’t get called ‘hard-line pro-lifer’ cos No True Scotsman works both ways.

  • http://www.crochetgeek.net Jackbishop

    From my POV, the first and simplest question to ask anyone who seriously claims abortion is murder to see if they have even the slightest courage of their convictions is “What are you doing to increase access to contraceptives and contraceptive education among at-risk groups?”

    Seriously. The single most effective way to reduce the abortion rate is demand-side. More contraception means fewer unwanted pregnancies, and thus fewer of what they call murders. That’s unequivocally good, unequivocally effective, and unlike picketing clinics, nonreligious liberals like me will actually appreciate them doing it. It’s a floor wax and a dessert topping! Any clinic picketers who are not active in increasing contraception rates aren’t actually interested in fixing the problem they perceive, they’re just in it for the persecution fix and the slut-shaming. (Those precious few that are attempting to make a difference on the contraception end at least are open to constructive solutions. Not that, AFAICT, there actually are any of those. I’ve never found a hard-line pro-lifer who is active in any sort of contraceptive support/education program to the same extent that many of them are in picketing clinics and such bullshit)

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    The single most effective way to reduce the abortion rate is demand-side. More contraception means fewer unwanted pregnancies, and thus fewer of what they call murders. That’s unequivocally good, unequivocally effective, and unlike picketing clinics, nonreligious liberals like me will actually appreciate them doing it.

    I wholeheartedly agree, and the evidence seems to back us up on this.  However, most of the strenuous pro-life people I have met seem to, when confronted by this angle, double-down and claim that a lack of contraception is not the problem, people having sex is, and that people need to be taught stronger moral values about not having sex, and the problem is people having out of control sex lives, not that they lack contraception and the knowledge to use it.  

    Which seems telling about their priorities.  At least there are a reasonable few of them who will acknowledge that, yes, more contraception and education about it is good, even if they would prefer less sex overall.  Unfortunately, the voices of reasonable are often drowned out by the yell of the zealous.  

  • Anonymous

    the first and simplest question to ask anyone who seriously claims abortion is murder to see if they have even the slightest courage of their convictions is “What are you doing to increase access to contraceptives and contraceptive education among at-risk groups?”

    I asked my brother that exact question, though I phrased it more along the lines of “This woman will have het sex, and there is nothing you can or should do to stop that. If she has sex without use of contraceptives, she will get pregnant. If she gets pregnant, she will have an abortion. Do you advise her to use contraceptives, or do you not so advise her, knowing that if she does not use contraceptives, she will have an abortion?” His answer was something about praying for her and letting her choose her own method of killing her soul. Which I think translates to the only choice he sees as acceptable for her is not to have sex, since I know damn well he doesn’t consider lesbian sex morally acceptable either.

  • http://twitter.com/Jenk3 Jen K

    Ellie, one of the frustrating things is that it really doesn’t matter if women are married or not.  It’s that they’re having sex when they’re not prepared to raise a child (or another child). 

    Remember the “Why trust me with a child if you won’t trust me with a choice” bumper sticker? 

  • arc

    Hands up who says they think the death penalty is wrong!

    You can drop your hands if you think it’s only a bit wrong, nowhere near as wrong as murder.

    Now, drop your hands if you’ve tried to kill an executioner, a politician who supports execution, or take them hostage, or take over or blow up a prison that performs executions, or any other extreme, illegal activity aimed at stopping executions.

    The rest of you, you don’t really believe that the death penalty is really that wrong, otherwise you’d take more extreme methods to stop it.  Picketing against state-sanctioned murder? Pathetic!

    No point in taking any of these anti-death-penalty people seriously – they don’t really believe what they say.

    (By this standard, those who really believe executions are as bad or nearly as bad as murder are few and far between – I’ve never actually heard of any myself)

    (tip of the hat to Non-tipping Bastard and Robyrt who seem to be thinking along the same lines).

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Um…what if you think the death penalty is just state-sanctioned murder, but you don’t try to murder anyone involved because you think murder is wrong?

    I haven’t picketed against it because there’s nowhere on the entire landmass I live on where it hasn’t been abolished. I’ve actively supported international campaigns to abolish the death penalty in those countries where it still is practiced.

    Does that count?

  • Lurker in a Box

    That’s his point.  Pro-Life positions, kinda by definition, make murder a silly tactic.  I do know people who chained themselves together to restrict access to clinics, but the increasingly brutal police power of the state has made moral tactics of resistance more difficult these days.

  • Termudgeon

    Do you mean the FACE Act? What is brutal about that?

  • low-tech cyclist

    It’s analogous to just-war theory. 

    In particular, if you’re going to do more harm than you’re seeking to prevent, you shouldn’t be going to war, or seeking to overthrow the existing order in your country through violent means, or whatever. 

    This country executes roughly 50 people a year.  How many politicians or prison wardens would we have to kill to bring the death penalty to an end?  The answer is, practically all of them: people don’t like giving in to terrorists, so they’d insist on continuing the death penalty no matter how much we DP opponents added to the carnage. 

    We would not be preventing an evil – we’d just be adding to it.

    Now compare that with a theoretical holocaust of 1,300,000 victims per year.  To bomb the relative handful of clinics and hospitals in the U.S. – a couple hundred, maybe? – where women can get abortions might cause a handful of lives to be lost – if the bombings all took place in the middle of the night, you might not make it into double figures.  But you’d practically bring that holocaust to a halt.  It would meet all the standards for a just war.

    That is, if you really believed that the fertilized egg was a person, same as you and me.

  • arc

    OK, fair enough – they aren’t exactly analogous.

    Although farming is.  Millions of animals a year are held in captivity, often in substandard conditions, and are slaughtered for food (or because they’ve reached the end of their useful life).  Plenty of people say that they think animals deserve nearly equal moral consideration with human beings – but virtually no-one is actually taking any kind of drastic action to put a stop to it.  This would surely justify terrorism on a wide scale as well.  Perhaps it so happens that all of the people involved are against any form of killing – but drastic action could involve all kinds of non-lethal civil disobedience and disruption.

    Moreover, the ‘not giving in to terrorists’ point also applies to abortion clinics.  Faced with widespread terrorism, there’s every chance that the State might take drastic measures to stop such activity, such as states of emergency, martial law, widespread powers of arrest and detainment – think Trudeau and the Québec separatists.  There’s lots of arguments that anti-abortionists can appeal to for not engaging in terrorism, and Fred has considered none of them.

    Anyway, the murder (rhetorically speaking) of 50 people a year by the State would surely justify more drastic measures than the easy option of campaigning in some way for legislative change, especially by people who know the victims personally. 

    My point is really that most of us don’t really do anything much about issues we say are really, really important issues for us, apart from voting, the odd donation, and perhaps a bumper-sticker or turning up to the occasional rally.  Fred’s argument entails that all of us that engage in at most mild activism actually do not really believe in the things we say.

  • arc

    Hands up who says they think the death penalty is wrong!

    You can drop your hands if you think it’s only a bit wrong, nowhere near as wrong as murder.

    Now, drop your hands if you’ve tried to kill an executioner, a politician who supports execution, or take them hostage, or take over or blow up a prison that performs executions, or any other extreme, illegal activity aimed at stopping executions.

    The rest of you, you don’t really believe that the death penalty is really that wrong, otherwise you’d take more extreme methods to stop it.  Picketing against state-sanctioned murder? Pathetic!

    No point in taking any of these anti-death-penalty people seriously – they don’t really believe what they say.

    (By this standard, those who really believe executions are as bad or nearly as bad as murder are few and far between – I’ve never actually heard of any myself)

    (tip of the hat to Non-tipping Bastard and Robyrt who seem to be thinking along the same lines).

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Um…what if you think the death penalty is just state-sanctioned murder, but you don’t try to murder anyone involved because you think murder is wrong?

    Seriously, what the hell?

    Do you also claim that no one can call themselves a pacifist unless they’re prepared to invade other countries and bomb the shit out of their military?

  • Lurker in a Box

    That’s his point.  Pro-Life positions, kinda by definition, make murder a silly tactic.  I do know people who chained themselves together to restrict access to clinics, but the increasingly brutal police power of the state has made moral tactics of resistance more difficult these days.

  • Termudgeon

    Do you mean the FACE Act? What is brutal about that?

  • low-tech cyclist

    It’s analogous to just-war theory. 

    In particular, if you’re going to do more harm than you’re seeking to prevent, you shouldn’t be going to war, or seeking to overthrow the existing order in your country through violent means, or whatever. 

    This country executes roughly 50 people a year.  How many politicians or prison wardens would we have to kill to bring the death penalty to an end?  The answer is, practically all of them: people don’t like giving in to terrorists, so they’d insist on continuing the death penalty no matter how much we DP opponents added to the carnage. 

    We would not be preventing an evil – we’d just be adding to it.

    Now compare that with a theoretical holocaust of 1,300,000 victims per year.  To bomb the relative handful of clinics and hospitals in the U.S. – a couple hundred, maybe? – where women can get abortions might cause a handful of lives to be lost – if the bombings all took place in the middle of the night, you might not make it into double figures.  But you’d practically bring that holocaust to a halt.  It would meet all the standards for a just war.

    That is, if you really believed that the fertilized egg was a person, same as you and me.

  • arc

    OK, fair enough – they aren’t exactly analogous.

    Although farming is.  Millions of animals a year are held in captivity, often in substandard conditions, and are slaughtered for food (or because they’ve reached the end of their useful life).  Plenty of people say that they think animals deserve nearly equal moral consideration with human beings – but virtually no-one is actually taking any kind of drastic action to put a stop to it.  This would surely justify terrorism on a wide scale as well.  Perhaps it so happens that all of the people involved are against any form of killing – but drastic action could involve all kinds of non-lethal civil disobedience and disruption.

    Moreover, the ‘not giving in to terrorists’ point also applies to abortion clinics.  Faced with widespread terrorism, there’s every chance that the State might take drastic measures to stop such activity, such as states of emergency, martial law, widespread powers of arrest and detainment – think Trudeau and the Québec separatists.  There’s lots of arguments that anti-abortionists can appeal to for not engaging in terrorism, and Fred has considered none of them.

    Anyway, the murder (rhetorically speaking) of 50 people a year by the State would surely justify more drastic measures than the easy option of campaigning in some way for legislative change, especially by people who know the victims personally. 

    My point is really that most of us don’t really do anything much about issues we say are really, really important issues for us, apart from voting, the odd donation, and perhaps a bumper-sticker or turning up to the occasional rally.  Fred’s argument entails that all of us that engage in at most mild activism actually do not really believe in the things we say.

  • Lori

    Hands up who says they think the death penalty is wrong!

    Raise your hand if you think that the death penalty as applied in the US is morally equivalent to the Holocaust.

    If you’re not holding up your hand the rest of arc’s post doesn’t really apply to you, however much arc may want to believe that it does. Something that has been discussed, but which arc apparently missed while basking in the glow of agreeing with Non-tipping Bastard and Robyrt. 

  • Lori

    Hands up who says they think the death penalty is wrong!

    Raise your hand if you think that the death penalty as applied in the US is morally equivalent to the Holocaust.

    If you’re not holding up your hand the rest of arc’s post doesn’t really apply to you, however much arc may want to believe that it does. Something that has been discussed, but which arc apparently missed while basking in the glow of agreeing with Non-tipping Bastard and Robyrt. 

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been hearing that some “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” are fronts for pro-life organizations. That woman’s experience sounds pretty bad :( I hope she was able to get to a Planned Parenthood later on. :(

    Some?  All of them are fronts for pro-life organizations.  I remember one of my teachers in Catholic school openly bragging that they had established such a center to decieve women who were seeking abortion.

    Its not just the “if you really thought it ws murder, you’d stop it by all means necessary” argument alone that points to people not really thinking it. Ask someone who thinks abortion is murder how, when it is illegal, women who have abortions should be punished. Ask if it should be the death penalty, or life in prison. The extent to which abortion is not like every other murder suddenly becomes much clearer.

    There are plenty of people who will say ‘yes’ to that question.  Not many politicians, granted…They’re wrong, of course.  But that’s because abortion is not murder, not because they’re hypocrites.

    And none of them for having abortions. Look, fetal homicide laws are heinous, no doubt about it, but they exclude abortion; if they were charging women who had abortions with murder, it would require the overturning of Roe to be deemed constitutional. I don’t think anyone gains anything by misrepresenting the facts.

    I can see fetal homicide laws as reasonable under the assumption we’re talking about a law that refers to exclusively to assault or deliberate negligence that results in the termination of pregnancy without the mother’s consent (an easy – if not perfect – method of determining this is to simply ask the woman if she wishes to press charges)

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been hearing that some “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” are fronts for pro-life organizations. That woman’s experience sounds pretty bad :( I hope she was able to get to a Planned Parenthood later on. :(

    Some?  All of them are fronts for pro-life organizations.  I remember one of my teachers in Catholic school openly bragging that they had established such a center to decieve women who were seeking abortion.

    Its not just the “if you really thought it ws murder, you’d stop it by all means necessary” argument alone that points to people not really thinking it. Ask someone who thinks abortion is murder how, when it is illegal, women who have abortions should be punished. Ask if it should be the death penalty, or life in prison. The extent to which abortion is not like every other murder suddenly becomes much clearer.

    There are plenty of people who will say ‘yes’ to that question.  Not many politicians, granted…They’re wrong, of course.  But that’s because abortion is not murder, not because they’re hypocrites.

    And none of them for having abortions. Look, fetal homicide laws are heinous, no doubt about it, but they exclude abortion; if they were charging women who had abortions with murder, it would require the overturning of Roe to be deemed constitutional. I don’t think anyone gains anything by misrepresenting the facts.

    I can see fetal homicide laws as reasonable under the assumption we’re talking about a law that refers to exclusively to assault or deliberate negligence that results in the termination of pregnancy without the mother’s consent (an easy – if not perfect – method of determining this is to simply ask the woman if she wishes to press charges)

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Those precious few that are attempting to make a difference on the contraception end at least are open to constructive solutions. Not that, AFAICT, there actually are any of those. I’ve never found a hard-line pro-lifer who is active in any sort of contraceptive support/education program to the same extent that many of them are in picketing clinics and such bullshit

    They absolutely exist. Probably don’t get called ‘hard-line pro-lifer’ cos No True Scotsman works both ways.

  • Lurker in a Box

    The argument that people are somehow morally obliged to actively do something is a strangely absolutist position.  In traditional terms, absolute moral obligations can only be phrased negatively.  Thou shalt not do X (murder, steal, etc.).  What do you do in the face of the Holocaust?  Do not murder (which might include helping save Jewish people, when it is in one’s power, but not necessarily), do no steal, etc.  There is no obligation to bomb train tracks or assassinate Hitler, and it is morally simplistic to suggest that there is such an obligation.

  • Lurker in a Box

    The argument that people are somehow morally obliged to actively do something is a strangely absolutist position.  In traditional terms, absolute moral obligations can only be phrased negatively.  Thou shalt not do X (murder, steal, etc.).  What do you do in the face of the Holocaust?  Do not murder (which might include helping save Jewish people, when it is in one’s power, but not necessarily), do no steal, etc.  There is no obligation to bomb train tracks or assassinate Hitler, and it is morally simplistic to suggest that there is such an obligation.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve come to exactly the same conclusion.

    Hell, even if you’re an extreme pacifist…there are literally thousands of times more people in the pro-life movement than doctors, so how about a little kidnapping? You take an abortion doctor off the street for two months until they track you down, you get years in prison, but isn’t it worth it to save thousands of lives?

    And we’ve had like three people blow up abortion clinics, usually in a way to hurt people…but there’s no logical reason it does have to hurt people. It’s perfectly possible to destroy buildings in a way that is mostly safe, or at least mostly safe to everyone but you. You’d be arrested, of course…but see above.

    They really do not believe ‘millions of people are being killed’, despite the fact they say it. Even if we ascribe the magical restraint to never kill anyone, which is basically up there with ‘I refuse to shoot the death camp guard so we can rescue everyone’ as moral idiocy, no one says you have to kill or even injury people.

    If people really do believe that life begins at conception, either they think that life is not actually worth anything, or they are the biggest cowards in history. They’re essentially non-nazis living in Nazi Germany who won’t park their car on the death train tracks…because they’d get a parking ticket, and lose their car, and that’s all. It is literally immeasurable cowardice.

    And, as I’ve also had occasion to point out…not only do ~60%-75% of all pregnancies end, best estimates say that 50% of all fertilized eggs do not implant in the first place. Doctors don’t call that ‘pregnancy’, but the whole ‘birth control is abortion’ lunatics seem to.

    So the best estimate is that somewhere around 90% of all ‘sperm and egg that merge’ do not result in people. It’s not ‘half’, it’s literally 9 out of 10 people die, if you believe their logic. This is a medical disaster exceeding the Black Plague, reaches the entire world, and has existed for all of human history. Compared to this, abortion is nothing. It’s like asserting that the government do something about a serial killer who’s killed five people…during a damn zombie apocalypse that’s killed almost everyone and destroyed society, which the government is completely ignoring.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve come to exactly the same conclusion.

    Hell, even if you’re an extreme pacifist…there are literally thousands of times more people in the pro-life movement than doctors, so how about a little kidnapping? You take an abortion doctor off the street for two months until they track you down, you get years in prison, but isn’t it worth it to save thousands of lives?

    And we’ve had like three people blow up abortion clinics, usually in a way to hurt people…but there’s no logical reason it does have to hurt people. It’s perfectly possible to destroy buildings in a way that is mostly safe, or at least mostly safe to everyone but you. You’d be arrested, of course…but see above.

    They really do not believe ‘millions of people are being killed’, despite the fact they say it. Even if we ascribe the magical restraint to never kill anyone, which is basically up there with ‘I refuse to shoot the death camp guard so we can rescue everyone’ as moral idiocy, no one says you have to kill or even injury people.

    If people really do believe that life begins at conception, either they think that life is not actually worth anything, or they are the biggest cowards in history. They’re essentially non-nazis living in Nazi Germany who won’t park their car on the death train tracks…because they’d get a parking ticket, and lose their car, and that’s all. It is literally immeasurable cowardice.

    And, as I’ve also had occasion to point out…not only do ~60%-75% of all pregnancies end, best estimates say that 50% of all fertilized eggs do not implant in the first place. Doctors don’t call that ‘pregnancy’, but the whole ‘birth control is abortion’ lunatics seem to.

    So the best estimate is that somewhere around 90% of all ‘sperm and egg that merge’ do not result in people. It’s not ‘half’, it’s literally 9 out of 10 people die, if you believe their logic. This is a medical disaster exceeding the Black Plague, reaches the entire world, and has existed for all of human history. Compared to this, abortion is nothing. It’s like asserting that the government do something about a serial killer who’s killed five people…during a damn zombie apocalypse that’s killed almost everyone and destroyed society, which the government is completely ignoring.


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